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Marshall King Wins First Race of SB20 Grand Slam At Cowes

3rd August 2014
Marshall King Wins First Race of SB20 Grand Slam At Cowes

#sb20 – There was a little bit of everything on the first day of the SB20 Grand Slam at  Cowes Week, yesterday. Racing for the 36 entries began in heavy downpours with black clouds bringing shifty, gusty conditions, which later moderated into more consistent south-westerly breezes.
Two races were held as part of the class's four-day Grand Slam format, which has proved hugely popular with SB20 sailors and seen entry numbers boosted again since the 'event within an event' was launched last year. This year the Grand Slam has attracted visitors from Belgium and Holland, two boats from Oman Sail, as well as teams from across Britain, including a boat from Scotland.
The first race honours went to Marshall King in 'Sponge Bob' from Rob Gullan in 'F5 Synthesis', with Jerry Hill and the 'Sportsboatworld.com' team in third. These front-runners, together with 'Chill Pill' enjoyed plenty of place-changing throughout the race, until 'Sponge Bob' was able to pull away.
Jerry Hill and Rob Gullan reversed the finishing order in the second race, with 'Sportsboatworld.com' taking the win from 'F5 Synthesis', while Charlie and Alec Russell took third in EDigitalResearch'. 'Sponge Bob' had to retire after a collision. This leaves 'Sportsboatworld.com' and 'F5 Synthesis' tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the first day.
Jerry Hill of 'Sportsboatworld.com' commented, "We had two great races today. We saw anything from 18 knots to 8 knots, sunshine through to torrential rain, and a good shift to the right as the day went on – all classic Cowes Week stuff!"
He added, "In the second race it was very close at the first mark with a lot of boats, we managed to break clear of that pack and Rob Gullan was a long way ahead but we steadily pulled back into them. Then right at the end a supertanker came through the pack – neither of us had seen it and we were both in danger of going from first and second to completely out of the top results, but ultimately we overtook him to win. It was a great Cowes Week lesson about needing to keep your eyes out of the boat!"
Rob Gullan was helming 'F5 Synthesis', and admitted that the team went into today underprepared. "Today was pretty entertaining, we got out and realised we didn't have a buoy map or anything – we were pretty chaotic. In the second race we must have been 500m in first, and didn't have any idea where we were going. But actually it made us sail really conservatively, and we were quite fast, so it worked out well – it was just all a bit stressful!
"Two seconds is good, we're very happy."
Rob and owner Peter Hine are returning to the fleet for the first time in two years, with their eyes on next year's worlds in Torbole.
The fleet also includes two teams from Oman Sail. Ibtisam Al Salmi was racing for her first time on an SB20. She said her introduction to the fleet was: "Very hard work – they are all very good sailors, and it's very high-level racing. I enjoyed it a lot though, especially downwind surfing the waves, although it's like taking a shower every second!"

Published in SB20
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SB20 (formerly Laser SB3) information

Designed by Tony Castro, the SB20 is a British-built strict one-design 6.15m keelboat conceived as a wide appeal, affordable, competitive sportsboat for teams of three or four sailors. It is also, arguably, the most successful sportsboat in the world with 800 owners competing regularly in a programme of exciting local, national and international events.

Originally known as the Laser SB3, the SB20 continues to deliver on its pioneering promise: a boat that is fun, fast and easy to sail by anyone of any age; the best value-for-money sportsboat in the market.

The Laser SB3 was designed by Castro and launched in 2002. In 2007 the Laser SB3 was awarded ISAF Recognised Status and the first World Championships were held in Ireland in 2008. In 2012, Tony Castro appointed a new builder, Sportsboat World. At this time, the Laser SB3 was renamed the SB20 and building was returned to the UK from Malaysia. The ethos of the class continues.

The boat is a strict one-design class, economic to buy and campaign, easy to sail with a simple deck layout and electric downwind performance delivered by the generous sail plan. The boat has a lifting keel, can easily be launched from a slipway and towed behind a family car.

Previous SB20 World Champions

2008 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Roger Gilbert, Roz Allen & Sarah Allan

Host National Yacht Club, Dun laoghaire, Ireland

2009 GBR: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heeley

Host Clube Naval de Cascais, Cascais, Portugal

2010 GBR: Jerry Hill, Grant Rollerson, Joe Llewellyn

Host Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy

2011 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Andy Ramus, Ian Mills & Emma Clarke

Host Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, UK

2012 GBR: Geoff Carveth, Lesley Dhonau, Roger Hudson & Asenathi Jim

Host Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Queensland, Australia

2013 GRB: Craig Burlton, Stephen White, Adam Heley Host COYCH Club, Hyeres, France

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