Hamilton Island Race Week 2010 Tasmanian sailors shine in wind

Hamilton Island Race Week 2010 Tasmanian sailors shine in wind

Tasmanian former world Dragon champion Nick Rogers felt right at home on the SB3 course at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week today. The dark skies, cooler temperatures minus the snow peaked mountain in the background and a top puff of 22 knots created conditions similar to those experienced by the hardy Derwent River sailors, and the Tasmanian’s shined.

‘They were the strongest conditions we’ve sailed in so far in the class,’ said Rogers, who is steering the SB3 called Toll Shipping with Chris Keil and Julian Salter, a well known International Moth sailor.

Toll Shipping is leading the series pointscore after seven races thanks to today’s two firsts, a second and a third.

Their third result came in today’s opening race, the same race in which Rogers thought he’d take a quick dip at the top mark.

‘We went around the top mark and I kept going,’ said Rogers. ‘Luckily I was still hanging onto the mainsheet but by the time the crew realised I was gone I was being dragged about three boat lengths behind.

‘The crew went to put the kite up then turned around and saw I wasn’t where I was supposed to be,’ laughed Rogers who indignantly had to haul himself back to the boat while the crew looked on, finding the whole situation amusing.

Rogers’ usual ride is back at home so for this regatta he chartered the SB3 just purchased by Hobart’s Steven Chow.

Having road tested the new boat during the three day SB3 Wild Oats Challenge, Rogers will trailer Chow’s pre-loved boat to Hobart and deliver it to him.

With SB3 world champion Glenn Bourke, the island’s CEO, making a guest appearance on the course yesterday, Rogers took the opportunity to ask him for a bit of advice so prior to joining the crew of Wild Oats XI today for the Superyacht race, Bourke went through Toll Shipping’s set up with the keen skipper.

‘Glenn really helped me, I could feel the difference straight away. Yesterday we didn’t have the boat sailing nearly as well.’

Talking about the strength of the SB3 class in Hobart, Rogers says they’ve managed to get the fleet to seven in just three months.

It seems the SB3 class is full of chivalry with Bourke giving up his three wins yesterday and today Rod Jones, the boat charterer, gave his SB3 Club Marine Blue to round the world sailor Jessica Watson’s crew after they found a crack in their spinnaker pole before the opening race of the day.

‘I’m not sure whether I’m a knight in shining armour or just an obligated boat charterer,’ laughed Jones.

The final day of the SB3 Wild Oats Challenge, with the prize the winning skipper’s weight in Wild Oats wine, will wrap up tomorrow with two races scheduled.

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