Tasmanian boats first and second in heat four of the Sharpie championship

Tasmanian boats finished first and second in today’s heat four of the Australia Post 61st National Sharpie Championship, sailed in a fresh south-easterly seabreeze on Hobart’s Derwent River.

Only three points separate the top three boats, but when discard races are taken into account up to six boats have a chance of winning this famous Australian centreboard class that over the years has produced sailors who went on to become Olympic gold medallists, world champions and America’s Cup sailors.

Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania member Frazer Read and his crew of Justin Wells and Peter Lilley led all the way after getting an excellent start in the 33-boat fleet and then working the eastern shore on the first beat.

Sailing City Motors Volkswagon, Read, won the National Sharpie title the last time it was held on the Derwent, in 1998.

Second place today went to another Hobart boat, Impact, sailed by Warren Young, Will Logan and Sam Ibbott after a race-long duel with the West Australian crew of Blatently Obvious, Vern Tidy, Michael Outhred and Andrew Harry.

After four races, with a discard, Tasmanian Frazer Read and his crew provisionally head the series with 12 points from placings of 6-2-3-1, with West Australian Vern Tidy and his crew just one point back on 13 points, from placings of 1-1-8-3.

In third place is the other Tasmanian crew led by Warren Young on 15 points, their placings to date being 5-6-2-2.

Still in the running are the two South Australian boats, All Scoobed Out (Dave Higgins) on 24 points and Gingerbread Man (Jason Heritage), the winner of race three, on 25 points, along with the West Australian boat, Vicious (Wade Henson) on 35 points.

Race five will be sailed on the Derwent River tomorrow, leaving two heats to sail.