Brett and Jacinta Cooper’s SB20 in full flight on the Derwent

Brett and Jacinta Cooper’s SB20 in full flight on the Derwent

In their first season on the River Derwent, two SB3 sports boats are leading Division two of the Derwent Sailing Squadron’s Boat Sales Tasmania Winter Series going into Sunday’s race four of the five-race series.

Brett and Jacinta Cooper’s Harcourts is on five points from a second and a third while Nick Rogers Tolling Shipping has six points from a first and a fifth on corrected time. The opening race was abandoned because of lack of wind.

Sunday’s race will be a final tune-up before the two Tasmanian crews fly to Hamilton Island to compete in the SB3 division at Race Week from 21-28 August. Among their opposition will be round-the-world teenage sailor Jessica Watson who has entered an SB3 for the regatta.

Two more SB3s are expected to join Sunday’s race – Wedgewood, now owned by David Graney and Steve Henley, and a brand new, as yet un-named boat, launched this week for David Kirkland.

The two SB3s to be helmed by Nick Rogers and Brett Cooper at Hamilton Island will be brought to Tasmania following Race Week for their new owners, Steve Chau and Stephen Catchpool. This will boost the local fleet to six boasts and enable the SB3s to race as a class in the Summer Pennants on the Derwent.

‘If we can get to ten boats this summer this class will take off on the Derwent as the major one-design class,’ said Rogers, a former world and Australian champion in the International Dragon class. ‘I’m certain we will have six or seven boats racing here by the start of summer.’

In contrast to the two SB3 sports boats, the veteran ocean racing yacht Natelle II is third overall on nine points going into Sunday’s Division two race with the DSS, with skipper Glen Roper notched up a third and a sixth on handicap.

The pointscore situation is also close in Division one and Division three. The former Sydney Hobart yacht Dump Truck, a Ker 11.3 now owned by Edward Fader and Justin Wells, heads Division one with a first and a fourth, while a close second is the Farr 40 Voodoo Chile, owned by Lloyd Clark and Andrew Hunn, so far placing scond and fifth. A close third is the Sydney 38 Ciao Baby (Chau/Borlase) with a seventh and a first.

Three yachts are locked on six points in Division three – Storm Petrel (Roger Jackson) with a first and a fifth, Epoxy Warrior (Ross Mannering) with a fourth and a second, and Ragtime (Tom Kirkland) with a 2-4 scorecard. Just one point back is Rotary (Norm Brundle) with a 6-1 result.

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