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SB20 World Master Championships Won By Ireland's Cuppage & Crew, UK Team Win Overall

14th September 2013
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marty cuppage
Ireland's Marty Cuppage, Peter Lee and Michael Galvan are crowned world masters at the SB20 sportsboat prizegiving in Hyeres
SB20 World Master Championships Won By Ireland's Cuppage & Crew, UK Team Win Overall

#sb20 –In a week that saw mixed results for the Irish fleet, it was Marty Cuppage, Peter Lee and Michael Galvan that will bring home the silverware as newly crowned SB20 World Masters. Entry into this prestigious band of brothers is dictated by combined age of 150 years or more. The crew representing the Royal St. George Yacht club scored an impressive 1,1,2,1,2,2,,1 and dropped a DSQ and a 2 in the 10 race series which offered the two discards. In the overall series Marty was 58th overall.

Ben Duncan, Joe Turner and Aidan MacSweeny on Sharkbait racing for New Zealand were 14th overall in the series. Sharkbait had dropped from 5th overall on Wednesday following a set of results in the mid-twenties despite being in the top tier of the fleet. On Thursday racing, Sharkbait came from about 80th position and benefited from a shift on the last downwind and ended 6th. However, despite being in the top 4 at the first weather mark, Ben was infringed at the leeward gate and quickly lost places to finish the final race 24th. In this fleet, even the slightest mistake will cost heavily.

Best placed Irish Entry was Ronan Downing, Graeme Grant and Breffini Jones on ManaMana. The Kinsale Yacht Club entry was showing considerable pace in the heavy breezes earlier this week but was unfortunate to lose a protest and an ultimate disqualification. On Thursday's race 3 in 30 knots of wind Ronan was involved in another incident that brought down the mast of an Italian entry but happily the protest panel found in Ronan's favour and the all-female Italian crew withdrew from the competition. Up to that point Ronan was lying mid-teens but had to endure a 62nd which was later discarded after race 10. In race 2 Friday which was sailed in more likeable 10-12 knot conditions, ManaMana which was helmed by International Moth sailor Graeme Grant scored a 19 to solidify his 31st overall.

Mel and Killian Collins can only be described as having an unlucky week. After a most unfortunate dismasting on Mondays race 1, the Cork crew went on to have a series of high scoring results including a Black Flag, however their best result was a 5th on Tuesday Race 3.

Other Irish interests hovered in the mid fleet with Venues-World.com, Milvus & the bear occupying the 44th, 45th & 48th respectively.

Craig Burlton (GBR) with his crew of Adam Heeley and Stephen 'AB' White are Audi SB20 World Champions 2013. The result was secured after one race on Friday 13th September in the Baie des Iles d' Or. This is the second time Burlton and Heeley and White have held the class title.

The Race Committee attempted to get the 90 strong SB20 fleet racing on schedule at 10.00 hrs this morning; the fleet were recalled twice. The second recall was made under the black flag. Fourteen competitors were called over the line and were forced to wait for the start of a second race; which never came. The 'AP' was raised as the wind pressure deteriorated and the direction had no stability.

Almost three hours later, the fleet were underway to the windward mark of the tenth race that would ensure the application of the second discard.

With the Championship still up for grabs in what was to be the final race, the arrival of the fleet at the first windward mark rounding was tense for all involved. Edward Russo (FRA) sailing his beautiful 'Black Magic' emerged at the lead of the fleet and maintained his lead to the leeward mark. Championship contender Roger Hudson (RSA) arrived in fourth position ahead of Craig Burlton (GBR). Hudson called a foul on Burlton, who promptly took his penalty turn on the spreader leg, which provided the opportunity for Rodion Luka (UKR) and Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) to pass him.

At the leeward mark not much changed in the rankings, other than the addition of Iain Ainslie (RSA), sailing ITA 3099, to the mix of top placed boats.

By the second windward rounding, Ainslie had taken the lead. Hudson was ahead of Luka, who was ahead of Burlton.

On the race to the finish, the result was still open. The winner only became clare after some quick calculations from the press boat that the winner emerged. Burlton had done enough, he was three points clear and the 2013 World Champion.

When the result was confirmed, the Gill Race Team crew gasped with relief, Burlton's first comment after the result was confirmed, "I can't believe it....! It's been such a good week. When we came round the top mark and Roger [Hudson] called a penalty on us, we had to take it...all the time we were trying to close in on the twelve or so boats ahead of us. It was really hard. It's been a tough week of racing in a really tough fleet. We've absolutely loved it."

Roger Hudson complimented Burlton's success, "This win for Craig sets him apart; all the other boats in the top five have professionals sailing on them; Craig's crew have been together for a long time, they sailed really well; they were awesome this week." Praise indeed.

SB20 sailing doesn't stop there for 2013, with Autumn and Winter racing scheduled throughout Europe there will be plenty of competitive racing to enjoy ahead of 2014.

Published in SB20
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