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Tough Day for Irish Boats at SB20 Worlds in Cascais

1st September 2016
Ger Dempsey's Venuesworld from the Royal Irish Yacht Club leads the Irish at the SB20 Worlds Ger Dempsey's Venuesworld from the Royal Irish Yacht Club leads the Irish at the SB20 Worlds Photo: Clube Naval de Cascais

Day two of the Cascais SB20 World Championships 2016 yesterday, Wednesday 31 August, brought three more testing races for the 75-boat fleet – or, according to some crews, two testing races and one giant crazy game of Risk. It was a tough day for the four Irish boats too: Bango (James Gorman, Rory Fitzpatrick, Neil O'Toole & Laura Jackson) dropped to 41st overall. The lead Irish boat is now Venuesworld (Ger Dempsey, Chris Nolan, Maeve Judge and Blair Stanaway) who remain bang in the middle of the fleet in 38th, Wahoo drops to 48th (Colin Galavan, Chris Arrowsmith & David Cahill), leapfrogged by The Bear (Stefan Hyde, Graeme Grant, Tara Flood, Clara Hynes) in 43rd. The Bear had the best day of the Irish contingent with a 23, 38, 30 scoreline on the shifty inner course.

The championships are sponsored by the Portuguese city of Cascais, and were officially opened by Mayor Carlos Carreiras in the presence of the President and Vice President of the Municipality of Cascais.

Things had looked ominous after Day 1, with winds overnight blowing around 50 knots, but as crews left the dock for the second day of racing the breeze died completely, before shifting to the north. By the time the 75 SB20s had headed out to the racecourse, it had filled in to a fickle northerly wind of between 14-18 knots.

Rodio Luka on Trem Engineering (UKR3042) took the opening win, which he followed up with a 5th. But a 19th place in a highly unpredictable third race leaves the Ukranian Olympic medalist with two high scores and in fifth overall.

Luka commented after racing: “We had two good races the last race was.... Well, let’s just say really hard. Racing in the inside course is really random in these conditions.”

The third race turned into a game of a dice, with the wind bouncing off the shore and surrounding mountains onto the course at all angles and velocities. “We had 5-15 knots of windspeed, huge holes and massive shifts… not a race for the faint hearted!” reports Alan Hillman of SportsboatWorld (GBR 3750), adding: “I shall not be going to the casino this evening!”

Portuguese skipper José Caldeira with Uon (POR3620) won the second, and like Luka also scored a 5th today, plus a 15th, to climb up the rankings to 7th. Just behind him going into Day 3 is the top British crew, John Pollard’s Xcellent (GBR3724), who scored a 6, 20, 3.

Pollard said: “We were just really consistent all day… we managed to really read the last race and hang in at the times where it was looking bad at times, Smithy (our middle man) called it perfectly and we hung on to a third.”

The third race win went to Kevin Peponnet with Team SMC/France Jeune (FRA3580). The wind then increased to over 30 knots as the boats approached the marina, making for an entertaining end to a highly challenging day.

The overall leaders, and the only boat to have clung on to all top-10 finishes in the six races held so far, is Hugo Rocha with New Territories (RUS3711), crewed by Goncalo Barreto, Alex Semenov and Fran Palacios. They currently lead by 5 points to France Jeune (FRA3653), skippered by Gabriel Skoczek, also top Youth team.

France Jeune crew Emeric Michel said: "We had a better day on the water – it is not possible to sail perfectly because it is so shifty and hard to read, but we sailed better and have moved up to second. The team that wins this regatta will be the team that manages to minimize their mistakes."

Third is the Australian boat Export Roo with Michael Cooper. There is a big focus at this event on the Nations Cup, which will be awarded to the country with the 3 best results. Portugal currently occupies first place, from France, followed by Britain.


Published in SB20 Team

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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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