Former local Ryan Kelly has taken out his second Sharpie Frostbite Regatta after a dominant display on Boston Bay over the long weekend.
The traditional winter event for the Sharpie class saw 21 boats and 64 competitors take to the water, including two boats from interstate, with Kelly and his team winning three of the six races to claim the overall win.
Sailing with local James Flint and Adelaide-based sailor Sean Keen as his crew, Kelly is now in the conversation as one of the top contenders for the coming season’s national championship, which will be held at the Adelaide Sailing Club in December and is expected to draw a fleet of 80 boats from across the country.
The event was a successful one for locals with two-time Frostbite winner and former local Luke Stephens and current female national champion and local Ash Dyer finishing second and third respectively behind Kelly.
It was a great result for the home-grown talents as they held off some tough competition in two-time national champion Jason Heritage, current national champion Ash Gabrielson from Perth and two-time national runner up Chris Went.
Saturday’s weather was challenging for race officer Nikki Dyer with light winds postponing racing for two hours before a light wind got proceedings underway just as sailors thought the day was done.
A total of two races were sailed on the opening day, which was a good result considering the inconsistent conditions.
A further four races were sailed on Sunday to achieve the scheduled six-race series, all of which were sailed in a moderate but slightly building east to northeasterly breeze.
While it was the younger locals and former locals that filled all places on the podium, some of Port Lincoln’s older sailors also sailed well during the series.
Phil Kelly in Backshed Mistress, sailing with 14-year-old Tyler Cameron and Michael Cronin, finished in seventh overall with a very consistent score card and also used it as an opportunity to take Tyler for his first Sharpie sail.
Mark Forbes in Mark It Zero with Cameron Forbes and Matt Stephens also sailed consistently and came away with 12th position overall.
He was closely followed by Terry Carlson in Intoxicated with Peter Henderson and Rusty Lowe who were able to snag a best result of fifth in the first race on Sunday morning.
Reigning national champion Ash Gabrielson in The Purple Circle with Mark Lewis and Ian Davidson had their work cut out for them after a non-stop 24-hour road trip, finishing sixth overall and improving throughout the event.
Gabrielson said after the regatta the competition in South Australia was the strongest in the country and traveling to events like Frostbite would give him and his crew the best opportunity to defend their title next summer.
A second interstate boat also made the trip, this one from Melbourne, with Victorians Rob Radnell and Mick Wright flying the flag for their state for the third year running.
They were joined by a French backpacker by the name of Titouan Le Marec who skippered the boat while in Australia for his postgraduate studies abroad.
The regatta acts as a lead to the next national championships in Adelaide, which return to South Australia for the first time since 2013. Port Lincoln is expected to be well represented at this event by as many as 10 boats.