45th Tasar Nationals - Darwin

18 July 2018

Glorious sunny conditions producing balmy 5-15kt land & sea breezes greeted competitors from every State & Territory as well as NZ, for the 45th TASAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in Darwin during 18-25 July 2018!!


From RACE DAY 1 to 5, it was a battle of the top 3 contenders throughout the 10 heat event, but it was twice ex Tasar World Champions & NSW's father & daughter team of 21 yrs, ROB & NICOLE DOUGLASS who succeeded, picking up their 8th National Title in the class! In a match racing finish, RA Navy's/Canberra YC's & ex Tasar World Champion veteran Rick Longbottom with Darryl Bentley earned their 2nd spot on the podium ahead of 6x Nationals Champions SA's Craig McPhee & Gill Berry in 3rd. With only 5pts separating this top bunch, next in 4th position was local favourite, Darwin SC's Conor Byrne & Kieran Schortz, just 5pts infront of another NSW father & daughter team Ralph & 15yo Imogen Stanford who may have turned that placing around if they hadn't black flagged their final race!


The next 3 spots resulted in a remarkable top 8 representation by all States & Territories (excl Tas), with respective 6th to 8th positions going to QLD's Kelsey Ormsby & Alison Barrett, VIC's Mark Bulka & 8yo son Oliver and WA's David Meehan & Rhyss Edwards. Skippers Kelsie & Mark captured some nice heat wins in the process.

1807 Tasar National Final Day 9

Many females made up the crew combination this year including 10 at the helm. Joining that group was 2013's Junior Helm Champion Megan Thomson from FBYC in Auckland NZ, racing with her dad Fergus. Picking up this Regatta's Nationals Lady Helm Trophy was SA's very jubilant Melissa Crawford, breaking a 6x hold on the Trophy in recent years by VIC's Heather McFarlane who was racing her fireball concurrently in the UK & France. The Junior Lady Helm Trophy was won by NT's local Club sailor girl Georgia Glover.


The top 17 positions in addition saw 3 further junior helm teams take glory, with best pts earner & overall Junior Helms Trophy awarded to Jed Cruickshank also from Darwin SC.

Not only did this National Title showcase more participation at the `younger end' but also at the older, awarding the inaugural SSGM's prize (for combined age 130+) to QLD's David & Lesley Ormsby. SGM's (120+) went to NSW's Malcolm Handel & Jenny Sorensen, GM's (100+) to Rick & Darryl, and Masters (80+) to Rob & Nic.


DARWIN'S warmth & magnificent sunsets each evening over Fannie Bay highlighted the wonderful week of sailing for all competitors in the 52 boat fleet. The race courses provided plenty of entertainment from navigating best routes around local tidal currents, to avoiding sandbars and the odd school of fish or sea turtle. Fine tuning rig tensions & sail trim proved also a challenge with the predicted daily reversal (or not!) of off & onshore winds & strengths.


Many visiting crews who had not flown in, had engaged in adventurous long haul road trips with many a story to tell, including Regatta Sponsor NB SAILSPORTS who arrived into Darwin minus 5 `top sections', now believed basking somewhere in the Central Australian desert. Of course, competitors' stories contributed to sponsor RONSTAN's `Half Hour' of laughs & daily post-race presentations. One of their last giveaway prizes was awarded to a husband & wife crew, whose keys to their apartment were left in a handbag snug in their boat strapped to the ceiling of their State's shipping container just prior to the Final Presentation Evening. We salute our much loved `Wilsons'!


In summary, the Darwin SC volunteers & race officials together with members on the NT Tasar Association and on-site catering sponsors The Waterfront Bistro, provided a brilliantly programmed & officiated Regatta, hosted at what must be one of Australian Tasars best Event venues. From the balmy breezes contributing to the enjoyment on the water, to function evenings & presentations adorned with sunsets & stars, competitors & families could not have asked for more. Best of all, much to the delight of visiting sailors, there had been no sightings of large reptilian sea creatures!!


Jenny Sorensen ~ Australian Tasars Media / TANSW Publicity Officer 2018/19

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