The Showdown - Exhilarating sailing on the Derwent

Australian champion Bruce Rose won the Paper Tiger class - The Showdown 2011
Rob Cruse
The Showdown annual spring regatta, hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, was held from 4th to 6th November on the River Derwent. Bruce Rose, the three times Australian champion, has showed his class with a comfortable overall victory in the Paper Tiger catamaran class.

This is the first time the Paper Tigers, which are based at Lauderdale Yacht Club, have competed in The Showdown and their presence, along with A-class, F18 and Taipans, added to the spectacle of the event.

Rose began the regatta with a third place, but then notched up six straight wins, ending the regatta with a second to finish with a net eight points. Second overall was SSSmokin Billy (Sean Keady) who won the first and last races. In third place was Mud Shark (Mick Boyle).

The catamarans joined other high-performance skiffs, sailboards and dinghies on Alpha course off Sullivans Cove where they enjoyed some exhilarating sailing today, with the NNW wind gusting down the river at up to 25 knots before easing back to 10-15 knots early in the afternoon.

However, the early racing was not without incident, a collision between two catamarans, a Paper Tiger and a Taipan, resulting in one holed cat and one crew taken to hospital for seven stitches in his hand.

Once again, racing was fast and furious and race officer Louise Hutton was able to finish the scheduled three heats by 1300 hours, bringing the regatta total to eight races.

Another Australian champion sailor, teenager Alec Bailey, finished the regatta with eight straight wins in the International 420 class. Sailing VMG with Nelson Brown as crew, the former national champion and international sailor in the International Cadets showed outstanding boat-handling skills in today’s early strong breeze.

With a series score of seven points, VMG, representing the RYCT, won comfortably from Clueless (Jonathan Cooper & James McIndoe) on 18 points and Hot & Steam, and Hot and Steamy, sailed by Bridget Anderson and Lucy Slevin-Jones, on 19 points.

Adrian Beswick, who sailed his B14 Strait4Devils across Bass Strait to raise funds to save the Tasmanian Devils, dominated the class at The Showdown. Sailing with Briony Van Galen as crew, he scored seven wins and a second, finishing on a minimum seven points.

Second overall, on 15 points was The Hitcher (Robbie Hunt and Grace Edwards), third Good Question (Grant Atherton and Daniel Mcaully) on 25 points.

The Showdown committee member Tim Jones today managed to get the better of his son Hugh in the Bic sailboard class, winning two races while Hugh had a second and a third. Tim finished with nine points, Hugh 11.

Many girls competed in the Laser Radial class - The Showdown 2011
Rob Cruse

The Laser Radial fleet produced exceptionally close racing today, with Zac Pullen taking out the series, thanks to his good results on Saturday. Dylan Gore, sailing Son of Cod, had a 2-1-1 score today to Pullen’s 1-4-2 with Crude Oil.

However, Pullen had the numbers after discarding his fourth place to finish with eight points Goring’s 13. Third overall was Audrey, sailed by Michael Vaughan on 26 points, placing 5-2-3 today.

A depleted Moth foiler fleet today saw international sailor Will Logan (Impact) notch up a 1-2-2 score to win the series by just half a point from Julian Salter (Rags Racing).

In the NS14s, Seabreeze, sailed by veteran Dennis Leitch and Blake Nicholson, breezed home with two wins and a third today to finish clear winners on 7 points, ahead of Norwegian Blue (Scott and Aiden Wilkie) on 15 points and Go with the Flo (Katherine and Karen Davis). All sail out of Lindisfarne Sailing Club.

Only two competitors finished the last heat of the Sailboard class, with Starboard 159 (Stewart Gordon) ending the regatta with 18 points and Starboard1 (David Moorhead) second on 25 points and Formula (Steve Charles) third on 27 points.

Results were also scored for mixed classes using yardstick handicaps to cater for mixed catamarans plus a 29er and its crew that came down from the Deviot Yacht Club especially for the regatta.

Laser Radials dominated Division 6, with Crude Oil (Zac Pullen) the winner, while in Division 8 for multihulls, the F18 Wicked (Darren Flanagan) won close series from two A class cats No Name (Geoff Jack) and Magic Marine (Richard Eveleigh).

Sole 29er in The Showdown - The Showdown 2011
Rob Cruse

Straits4Devils (Adrian Beswick) took out Division 9 from two other B14s, the Hitcher (Robbie Hunt) and Good Question (Grant Atherton) and the 29er Tang, sailed by Sally Whitmore and her brother Mike, who sailed impressively against the faster B14s.

Division 10, a mixed division of sailboards saw a deserved win for Tim Jones sailing his Bic, Wally 1, with his son Hugh, sailing Greg in second place, with a margin of just two points. Third place went to Stewart Gordon, sailing the sailboard Starboard 159.

Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania website