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Doctor Who and Wild West rounding the leeward mark on the River Derwent. Wild West took line honours and AMS, Doctor Who won IRC and pHS categories © Peter Watson
Doctor Who and Wild West rounding the leeward mark on the River Derwent. Wild West took line honours and AMS, Doctor Who won IRC and pHS categories © Peter Watson

Summer Pennant River Race

Doctor Who, one of Tasmania’s most successful racing yachts of the past three decades, yesterday made a winning comeback in the opening race of the Combined Clubs Summer Pennant, a river race on the Derwent.

Skippered by Rod Jackman, the black-hulled sloop which won its division of the Sydney Hobart race in 1990, slipped away from the fleet becalmed off Gellibrand Point to finish fourth across the line.

The 45 boat fleet racing yesterday certainly gave an early indication of the success of the bold new concept for the summer pennant – four Saturday afternoon river races and five long day races.

Group 1 has attracted 18 entrants of which 14 raced yesterday, Group 2 nine, Group 3 twelve and Group 4 eleven, with just one non-starter within these groups.

On corrected times, Doctor Who won the Group 1 PHS category by just 34 seconds from line honours winner Wild West, skippered by Michael Denney. Under IRC scoring, Doctor Who also won from Wild West.

The success of the veteran yacht was also a winning comeback to big boat racing for skipper Rod Jackman who in recent years has been an active, and successful, participant in racing radio controlled yachts on Risdon Dam.

Wild West made up for her two second places to Doctor Who under PHS and IRC scoring with an emphatic win under AMS scoring. Veteran Don Calvert steered Intrigue into second place with third going to Gary Smith’s The Fork in the Road.

As Bellerive Yacht Club sailing manager Peter Watson put it….”chocolates for some, boiled lollies for others appeared to sum up the day, especially for Group 1 boats.””

Group 1 went down the river to a mark off Gellibrand Point where the sea-breeze was fighting the northerly gradient, leaving completely calm sections on the.

Among those becalmed was Michael Pritchard’s Cookson 50 which had opening a commanding lead in the spinnaker run down the river.

The Cookson 50 Oskana, a Tasmanian entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, had a luckless day, becalmed down the river and losing he big lead. © Peter Watson

The Cookson 50 Oskana, a Tasmanian entry for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, had a luckless day, becalmed down the river and losing he big lead. © Peter Watson

Some boats, including Wild West and Doctor Who, slipped up the eastern shore in a light northerly to establish an unbeatable lead.

It was a long day on the water for some boats in Group 1, with Ian Stewart’s Tas Paints and Ian Marshall’s As Good As They Get crossing the finishing line at 17.51, just 11 seconds apart.

Groups 2, 3 and 4 stayed with the Howrah/Tranmere vicinity of the eastern shore with plenty of breeze for the whole race.

Under PHS scoring, the 8-metre Juana (Jock Young) won Group 2 from Twitch (Twitch Syndicate) and Pirate’s Pride (Peter Masterton). Under AMS, first place in Group 2 went to Wings Three (Peter Haros) from Jyuu (Peter Davis) and 42 South (Mark Ballard).

In Group 3, Kamehameha (Frank Chatterton) took out Group 3 on PHS from DSS Commodore Steve Chau’s Young Lion and Silicon Ship (Gordon Clark and David Wyatt). Young Lion took out AMS from Silicon Ship and Mako (Phil Soley).

Kindred Spirit (Peter Alcock) won the strong Group 4 from Innovator (Ian Smith and Dean Aberl), third place going to Hornet (Neville Georgeson) which took line honours in Group 4.

by Peter Campbell

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