Hobart yachtsman Rob Gough yesterday proved he is one of Tasmania’s most talented and versatile sailors, winning the highly competitive SB20 one-design sports boat class at the Banjo’s Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta.
Just over a month ago he sailed his foiler Moth to third place overall and won the Masters division of the Australian Moth championships on the River Derwent. He already holds the Worlds Masters title.
This weekend Gough steered his SB20, Difficult Woman, to a narrow victory in the 33 boat fleet contesting the regatta as part of the lead-up to the worlds in Hobart next January.
Crewing the boat were Stewart Gray, Jules Salter and Laula Grafton.
Competition was fierce with just seconds separating the top five boats in each race. On Saturday, 11 boats were ‘black flagged’, eight in race three while prominent sailor Michael Cooper had successive ‘black flag’ disqualifications.
Six different boats won each of the six races, with Difficult Woman finishing first on a net 21.5 points with a scorecard of 21-2-1-4.5-4-10.
Class veteran Nick Rogers in Karabos finished second with a net 24 points, also winning a race, while talented young sailor Elliott Noye won the final race at the helm of Porco Rosso to take third overall with a net 28 points.
With almost every race decided by seconds, other race winners were Ambition Sailing (Chris Dare, Vic), Team Musto (George Peacock) and 2Unlimiited (Greg Prescott).
In the keelboat divisions, the eight-boat Racing division also produced close competition with overall Division One PHS and IRC victory going to Bellerive Yacht Club Vice Commodore Ian (‘Seaweed”) Stewart with his Mumm 36, Tas Paints.
Fellow BYC member Jeff Cordell sailed B&G Advantage, also a Mumm 36 to first place under AMS scoring.
The Cruising (spinnaker) division had one of the biggest fleets with Derwent Sailing Squadron sailing manager Mike Denney and his wife Michelle winning Division One PHS and AMS categories with their Z39, Wild West.
Cruising (spinnaker) Division Two PHS went to Ambition (Michael Jones) from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club at Beauty Point while Michael Hutchinson’s Emotional Rescue won the AMS category.
Others winners were Hydrotherapy in Cruising (spinnaker) Division Three. Cirrus (Andrew Montgomery) in Cruising (non-spinnaker) and another PDYC entrant, Andrew Jones’ Shrinkedge winning the Trailable Yacht division.
In the off-the-beach classes, youthful Sandy Sailing Club member Oscar O’Donoghue showed himself a future champion, winning all six races of the Optimist dinghy class.
by Peter Campbell