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Irish SB20 Teams Look For Top Third Finish At Cascais World Championships

2nd September 2016
Royal St George YC's Chris Arrowsmith, David Cahill and Colin Galavan competing in yesterday's SB20 Worlds at Cascais Royal St George YC's Chris Arrowsmith, David Cahill and Colin Galavan competing in yesterday's SB20 Worlds at Cascais Photo: Club Navale de Cascais

There were some great results from the four boat Irish SB20 team in Cascais, Portugal yesterday and another good day in prospect today could see an Irish team finish in the top third of the SB20 World Championships.

Royal Cork Yacht Club entry, The Bear (skippered by Stefan Hyde with Graeme Grant Tara Flood, Clara Hynes) took a ninth in race two (race eight of the series).

The National Yacht Club's Bango (James Gorman, Rory Fitzpatrick, Neil O'Toole and Laura Jackson) climbed six places up to 35th. Royal Irish Yacht Venuesworld (Ger Dempsey, Chris, Blair Stanaway and Maeve Judge) had a great first race yesterday (16th) but dropped back a few places to 40th, one ahead of The Bear in 41st. The masters team on Wahoo climbed up to 46th (Colin Galavan, Chris Arrowsmith and David).

Again, as the results today showed, there is plenty of scope for movement up the leaderboard and a really good day today could propel any of the teams up into the top 25/30. Full results here

Yesterday was a day of changes, which saw three more challenging races completed. First, the weather proved just how quickly conditions can vary at this Atlantic venue. There was sun but very little breeze as the 75-boat international fleet left the dock, which saw the competitors being towed to the race course by various RIBs, Jury and coach boats – no small undertaking with an entry of this size.

But by the time an outer course was set the breeze had filled in to 15 knots, which built to 20 over the course of Race 1. There were three general recalls before the first start of the day, and seventh of the series, could get underway, with at least 12 boats falling foul of the Black Flag and called OCS, which kept the Jury busy late into the evening.

Race 2 began in similar breeze, but the right-hand side paid handsomely. The challenge with such a busy startline was to get away cleanly and make ground to the right - Simon Hume on Skewered (GBR3716), whose previous results had all been in the second half of the fleet, impressed as they absolutely nailed the start, tacked right and stayed on the right side of the fleet all race to secure a top 10 finish.

By 1715 the breeze was dying off, leaving a patchy and difficult racecourse for Race 3. The race was shortened at the end of the second beat as the breeze was fading away. It then faded completely on the sail in, requiring the RIBs to be called into action once again to tow the fleet back in. It was a very tired fleet that hit the dock at gone 1900hrs, and the welcome courtesy beers and food laid on at the Clube Naval de Cascais were very appreciated.

The boat of the day was unquestionably Massimo Fullone’s Mercy Bocu (ITA3637), who took a win, an 11th, and another win on a particularly tough day for consistency. The second race was won by Rodion Luka on TREM Engineering (UKR3042).

Many competitive teams today scored one strong result – and one 77-point penalty, including José Paulo Ramada on Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali (POR3105), who took a second before being Black Flagged in the last, and the experienced Nika crew (RUS3709), who picked up both a 3rd and 77-pointer today.

Significantly, Hugo Rocha’s New Territories team also carries a DNC after not racing the final race of the day due to gear failure. This has seen a change at the top of the scoreboard, with Gabriel Skoczek’s France Jeune SB20 (FRA3653) now the overall leader on 39 points, just one point ahead of New Territories. Rodion Luka is third overall, with 49 points.

The 2016 World Championships are proving to be a very tough competition with a great many good boats and a very demanding racecourse – this title fight looks set to go to the wire. The Nations Cup battle between France, Portugal and Russia is equally intriguing, and six nations are represented in the top 10.

For those looking further ahead, the Royal Yacht Squadron from Cowes, UK, made a presentation tonight about the 2017 World Championships, which was very well received.

Three more races are planned for tomorrow, before competition concludes on Saturday, September 3.

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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