Tuesday, February 21, 2012

J/24 Sailors Dominate 174th Royal Hobart Regatta

J/24 sailing in Hobart, Tasmania at Royal Hobart Regatta (Hobart, Tasmania)- The Royal Hobart Regatta is second only to Sydney's Australia Day Regatta in longevity, celebrating its 174th anniversary on a perfect late summer's day in the capital of the island State of Tasmania.

Regatta Day has been a public holiday since 1838 when the then Governor, Sir John Franklin, declared it a day of recreation and fun afloat and ashore for the citizens of the then small Hobart Town on the banks of the River Derwent.

Sir John and Lady Franklin led a sail past to the regatta grounds, still used today, and with a benevolent gesture, turned on free beer and food for the populace.

Tasmania's current Governor Mr Peter Underwood AC arrived by water, too, on the historic launch Egeria, but his Government House budget no longer runs to providing drinks and food for the citizens of this city of now some 250,000 people.

Apart the summer of the horrific bushfire of 1967, the Royal Hobart Regatta has been held continuously since 1838, not far behind the Australia Day Regatta which on 26 January this year celebrated 176 years of unbroken continuity.

This year's epochal event saw the 23-boat fleet in perfect sailing conditions, a constant 14-16 knot south-easterly sea-breeze, gusting to 19 knots.  The winner of the historic Lipton Trophy, decided on PHS handicaps, was the smallest boat in the fleet, Greg Rowling's J/24 ANOTHER TOY!  Congratulations to Greg and crew, yet another "David & Goliath" story to add to the J/24's long list of extraordinary achievements.  Thanks for the contribution of Peter Campbell.