The newly sponsored Tamar Marine PDYC Blockbuster was lining up to be Tassies biggest regatta of the year. Run over the first weekend of February 4-5 2012 boats had only just returned from their National championships in Perth, Western Australia. With 14 boats including 4 brought over from Victoria and another leased meant the fleet, which was going to be one of the smallest, became one of the largest. As always the Victorian contingent have put a massive effort into making the trip happen.
Guy Bancroft Sailing with Lachlan Imeneo on One More For The Bone. Photo: Kelly Atkins
Next year the Tasmanian Association hosts the National Championships only a stone’s throw away from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at the Tamar Yacht Club, so the weekend of sailing provided the perfect refresher for people wanting to get a few laps on Bell Bay in preparation.
The Victorians came across on Toll Shipping to get to the event. Excited to get to the yacht club on the Saturday morning drivers Mike and Guy were delayed numerous times on their way through to Beauty Point and only just made it in time to get on the water for race 1.
Day 1 provided some great consistent breeze from the North to North-west, all crews managed to get out on the wing and had good boat speed. Despite being over 3000 kilometres away from their previous destination, Bancroft (OMFTB), Darlow (SIREN) and Beswick (Strait4devils) were at it again and all without the policeman Webster from the ACT to really make them think were they still on the swan at the Nationals. “Girl Crom’ stepped off the Strait4devils front end for the more liked back end of Smokin and teamed up with “Boy Crom” to try their luck as a sibling combination once more. Also making a first appearance in the class was well known yachtsman David Rees who decided to come up with Daughter Lucy to try out a B14 for the weekend.
Tim and Richard Grant sailing B Alert (Tas) chasing down Steve Miller and Claire Cerutty in Phantom (Tas) with Dave Lorimer and Morgan Davies Sailing Toxic (Vic) in the distance. Photo: Kelly Atkins
Siren took out the first race in fine form from One More For The Bone (OMFTB) with Strait4devils coming in a close 3rd position. Sailing well out of the blocks was the Grant brother combination of Tim and Richard on B Alert who got 9th position. Race two went to the national champ in OMFTB followed by Siren and Strait4devils.
Clare and David Cromarty sailing Smokin with John Tanton and Benn Morgan on Not Just Yet in the distance Hanging 20! Photo: Kelly Atkins
With the breeze lightening the Victorians took a clean sweep of the podium with OMFTB 1st, Siren 2nd and Clean Skin 3rd. Not Just yet sailed by Tanton and Morgan made it to their first regatta since the Belmont National Championships and in race three managed to find themselves in 5th position! Strait4devils had their worst result for the series coming in a dismal 9th position behind Bondi Tram sailed by Mitchell and Van Galen who had made the most of the conditions to get their best result of the series in 8th.
Startline - Siren and OMFTB in good positions. Photos: Kelly Atkins
The final race for the day again went to OMFTB with Clean Skin jumping another spot to 2nd and Strait4devils getting their stuff together to come back with a 3rd position. Siren had their drop for the regatta this time around. Featuring at the front for the race in 5th position was Toxic sailed by expert skiff sailor Lorimer who called up a local sabot sailor Davies to race the weekend.
Day 2 brought a different breeze, sailors hit the water with little wind around but plenty of activity trying to ensure they all got to the start line. Boy and Girl Crom embarked on a mission to change their tack line system to something a little more manageable and just missed the starting gun. Once they got to the club (Better late than never) newcomers “Team Hunt” found their boat had been “HoolaHooped” from the balcony the night before, the delay tactics for the up and coming crew didn’t prevent them having another day of success on the water.
The breeze piped in from the north east at 15-20 knots with hints of 25. The fifth race got underway towards the Bell Bay wharf. Chaos erupted on the top mark when a few of the boats got stuck battling the tide which allowed Strait4devils through to take the lead. After the first of two laps it looked to be in the bag with a 200 metre lead over the next boat in Siren who came 2nd. The Dabner/Moreton combination sailing The Cunning Plan also did well in the race lining them up for a 3rd position, showing that the heavy weights hadn’t lost their winning feeling. Just ’n’ Time sailed by the Victorian combination of Randall and Merritt showed some more potential after recovering nicely from their run in with the top mark to get 4th.
Adrian Beswick and Ben Price on Strait4devils hoisting their Spinaker on their way to victory. Photo: Kelly Atkins
The sixth race went to OMFTB followed by Strait4devils and closely behind them Siren. Phantom sailed by Miller and Cerutty managed to get within a sniff of the podium in the freshening conditions taking 4th position after a string of 6th places in their previous heats. The Cunning Plan also did well holding out some faster downwind crews to take 5th position.
The seventh and final race got underway in a softening and what appeared to be shifting breeze. After making the most of the first windward the fleet raced downwind in a fading breeze. A shortened course siren was sounded and the fleet finished between the bottom mark and the rescue boat in a soft south-westerly. OMFTB took out the win from Siren and Phantom. Strait4devils got 4th and the Hunt Combination in The Hitcher took out 5th. The Cromarty combination also sailed well to take out 7th position, their best result of the series.