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Howth Sailors Lead Irish Hopes At SB20 World Championships

7th July 2015
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SB20s on Lake Garda in day two of the World Championships
Howth Sailors Lead Irish Hopes At SB20 World Championships

#sb20worlds – Shane Murphy, Daragh Sheridan and John Phelan of Howth Yacht Club lead Irish hopes at the SB20 Worlds in Italy. The Dublin trio are 20th in a fleet of 98 after six races sailed and might well have been higher only for a black flag scored in the last race this afternoon. Full results HERE.

Three races completed on Day 2 with the 98-boat fleet now divided into 'gold' and 'silver' fleets, determining who can challenge for the title. But there's nothing to split the leaders, with two teams tied on points after six races.

Torbole provided more classic conditions at Lake Garda for the second day of the 2015 SB20 World Championships, with the famous south to south-westerly afternoon 'Ora' breeze allowing six more races to be held, three each for the two qualifying fleets. The qualifying series is now over and one discard comes into play. Eight more races are scheduled – with just one discard allowed from the final races: there is no room for error over the next three days.

The large international entry is now split into Gold and Silver fleets, with the Gold fleet leaders vying for the title of 2015 World Champion. Competition couldn't be tighter, with the lead two boats each tied on 12 points apiece. Roger Hudson's South African 'Race Ahead – Spirit of Cape Town' had a super-consistent day, scoring a fourth and two seconds, while the French youth team 'Give me 5' from the FFV opened their day with a win, and went on to score another second and fourth.

Robin Follin of 'Give me 5' commented after racing: "So far in the regatta we've wanted to sail 'safe' so as to make it into the Gold fleet. Now we know our boat is fast, so tomorrow we should take more risks!"

Early leaders Ian Ainslie and Italian crew have dropped to third on 17 points after counting a sixth and fifth from today's races. There is little to split the fourth placed Russian team of Alexey Murashkin, who took two seconds today to end on 23 points, and the highly-fancied Ukrainian entry skippered by Rodion Luka, who is lying in fifth on 24 points. Luka scored two race wins today, but also finished in 19th place in the day's opener, which forces his 'Sky Line' team to count an earlier 12th place on their scoreline.

The first British boat is Joe Llewellyn in sixth place with 'Forelle Estates', who picked up his first race win of the championships today. He is tied on points with seventh-placed Russian entry Vladimir Prosikhin on 'Nika'. The first of a strong Australian entry is Glenn Bourke and Robert Jeffreys, currently in ninth place.

SB20 World Council Class President Ed Russo, who is racing on 'Black Magic' in eighth place, said: "It is extremely tough out there. The competition is incredibly tight and it's great to see the youth teams coming to the fore. We are looking forward to the final series – where it's going to get even tougher for sure!"

For some teams the no-hold-barred nature of the championship led to disappointment ashore, with Pieter Heyn and Rob Gullan's 'F5 Synthesis Team Gul' (GBR) picking up two OCS scores on today's competitive startlines. The Black Flag also caught a couple of boats out in the final race of the day. There was more disappointment still for Richard McAdam and team on 'Here Comes Bod' (GBR) scoring three DNFs today, after failing to sail with the correct fleet.

Those teams now in the Silver fleet aren't out of contention for a prize haul, as class builder and supplier Sportsboat World will be sponsoring the Silver fleet with separate bounty up for grabs, and from tomorrow the leaders in that division will be flying the famous bright pink spinnaker (Tour de France yellow jersey-style).

SportsboatWorld are also sponsoring a 'Nations Cup' prize for the best aggregate score for the top three teams from each nation overall. The main contenders expected to compete for this include France, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, UK, Australia and Ireland. Inevitably, with UK and Australia as the two leading teams currently some 'Ashes style' rivalry is developing...

Published in SB20
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