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Burlton takes Irish SB3 title

1st September 2008

England's Craig Burlton and his three man crew became Irish SB3 champions in an open event on Dublin bay where only half of the top ten were Irish boats. The result is an indication of British prowess in the class, as if it were needed, and one that puts Burlton as favourite for the World title to be decided on Dublin bay in three weeks time.

Although the weekend weather provided a dull, grey backdrop there was no mistaking the dawn of a new order in one design keelboat racing in this country with 80 boats participating.

After a tight eight race series Burlton won through from Class supremo Geoff Carveth also of England. Ballyholme's Gareth Flannigan kept the Irish flag flying going into the last race on Sunday afternoon in the top three overall.

Far from being a mere 'warm up event' for this year's World championships the second ever national championships was the biggest keelboat fleet of the season here.

Boats from eight counties filled the northern part of the bay yesterday to create a spectacle of sail that is set to double in a months time when the inaugural world championships are staged here by the National YC.

Flannigan finished third, David Quinn of Howth next best Irish in fifth, Sean Craig of the host club eighth and Emma McDonald of Howth tenth.

The championship, run by the Royal St. George YC, was further confirmation that the second season for the Laser SB3 in Ireland is in full swing with three very successful regional events already completed this year and a national following of 70 boats. photographed the event and a range of photos are published here

The world championships begin on September 21st. This months issue of Afloat magazine has an interview with boat designer Tony Castro plus a run down of one of the biggest ever one designs fleets to assemble here.

If you have any news or information we'd like to hear: [email protected] The SB3 class sent this report:

The Laser SB3 Irish National Championships took place on Dublin last weekend, 29th to 31st of August. 8 races were sailed over the three days on Windward/Leeward courses. Fridays conditions proved very tricky with light airs and a few punishing shifts. The fleet were very enthusiastic on the start line and PRO Colin McMullan had to use the black flag in most starts. Craig Burlton and his crew had a great start to the regatta with a score of 8, 1, 1. Gareth Flanagan on McCready Sailboats had a good start also but the reigning European Champion, Geoff Carveth, started with a 2, 23, 28. The final race on Friday saw a big shift and lull on the right hand side of the course. This caught out even the most experienced Dublin bay sailors and meant an early pint was the only option.
Saturdays weather was more of the same with lots of general recalls and black flags. Geoff Carveth fought back hard with two race wins whereas Burlton scored a 6, 25, 5. Ian Sullivan on Cheeky Monkey continued a very consistent regatta and by Saturday evening his highest placing was a 15th.
Sunday dawned to a dull grey day but there was a notably stronger breeze and everyone hit the water in anticipation of some downwind planing. The first start was a very frantic affair with the PRO setting a fairly tight line. After a few recalls the breeze gradually dropped to around10 knots. Carveth and Burlton continued their battle but Burlton couldn’t be caught. McCready Sailboats and Cheeky Monkey had their worst results of the regatta but John Sheehy was delighted to win the final race.
Burlton on Team Gill was crowned Open Winner with Geoff Carveth on Earls Court second. Gareth Flanagan on McCready Sailboats was top Irish boat and was crowned Irish National Champion. Ian Sullivan on Cheeky Monkey had a very consistent event and ended up fourth. Nicky Smith, Dave Quinn & John Malone on Helly Hansen were fifth with Witzmann,Waimer & Waimer from the United Arab Emirates were sixth overall. Emma McDonald from Howth was awarded the Top Lady Helm Award.
Many competitors were using this event as a warm-up for the World Championships due to be held in Dun Laoghaire from the 22nd to the 26th of September.
The Silver Fleet was won by Gordon Patterson and the Bronze fleet was won by John Driscoll, both from RNIYC.  
Helly Hansen, the SB3 Ireland clothing sponsor, generously provided prizes for the Gold, Silver & Bronze fleets.
Congratulations to all involved and well done to Don O’Dowd and all his team at the Royal St George Yacht Club.

Craig Burlton Team

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