SB3 Australian Championship and Crown Series Bellerive Regatta preview

SB3s at speed on the Derwent - Fast sailing on the Derwent
Rob Cruse
SB3 Australian Championship and Crown Series Bellerive Regatta are just two upcoming national events for sports boats to be held on Hobart’s River Derwent.

Hobart is set for a feast of super fast sailing from next weekend through to Easter, hosting national and state championships and regattas for high performance sports boats, including the one-design SB3 class.

The SB3 Australian championship will bring to the River Derwent some of Australia’s best sailors, including past Olympic sailors and world and national champions, while a big fleet of sports boats and trailabr will contest the national titles here over Easter.

The Crown Series Bellerive Regatta in late February will also see its biggest ever fleet of sports boats and trailable yachts, making it the largest sailing regatta in Tasmania and the largest combined keelboat/off-the-beach classes regatta in the nation.

The fast-growing SB3, a three-crew keelboat, is the fastest growing one-design yacht class in Australia and later in the year the world championship will be sailed at Hamilton Island in Queensland.

Among leading helmsmen contesting the SB3 class Australian championship in Hobart will be former world Laser champion and Finn class Olympic representative Glenn Bourke, Prince Philip Cup Dragon class champion Nick Rogers, prominent ocean racing yachtsmen Roger Hickman and Chris Dare, and top performing local yachtsman David Graney.

The Australian championship, with a fleet of more than 20 boats, will be sailed from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania over the extended weekend of February 18-20, followed by the Tasmanian championship as part of the Crown Series Bellerive Regatta from February 24-26.

SB3 race start in a regatta on the Derwent. - Fast sailing on the Derwent
Rob Cruse

However, the action will start this coming weekend, with intense lead-up racing in the RYCT Friday evening series on followed by the Derwent Sailing Squadron sprint series on Sunday with most of the local SB3 boats competing.

At least 35 sports boats and trailable yachts are expected contest the Crown Series, including the SB3s contesting their state title. Making its local racing debut will be the first Tasmanian-built i550 sports boat, an inexpensive, ‘stitch-and-glue’ boat built from plywood that has already attracted considerable interest among amateur boat builders in Tasmania.

The Australian sports boat and trailable yacht championships, to be conduced by Bellerive Yacht Club at Easter (April 6-9), has particular significance as it will bring together all types of sports boats under the banner of the Australian Sports Boat Association, racing under one handicap system, the Sports Measurement System (SMS). Trailable Yachts will be handicapped using the CBH system.

A huge fleet is expected with entries coming in from Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania, including the fastest racing yachts in Australia.

Sports boats will be out in strength in the Crown Series Bellerive Reatta - Fast sailing on the Derwent
Rob Cruse