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Venuesworld & Bango Tied for the SB20 DBSC Lead

5th June 2017
A typically shifty and unsettled westerly breeze confounded and frustrated many competitors A typically shifty and unsettled westerly breeze confounded and frustrated many competitors

A fleet of nine SB20s enjoyed the challenging conditions on Dublin bay on bank holiday Saturday. A typically shifty and unsettled westerly breeze confounded and frustrated many of the competitors but in the end it was Alert Packaging, sailed by Justin Burke along with guest Ruffian supremos Alan Claffey and Chris Helme that showed the rest of the fleet how to master the conditions and get the job done.

Race 1 started in 8-10knts of breeze with most of the fleet heading left up the first beat. A few boats peeled off right including Smoke on the Water (Bob, Paddy and Eugene), Sin Bin (Michael, Owen and Ed) and Sea Biscuit (Sam, Niall and Barry). As the boats progressed up the beat, the wind started to shift dramatically towards the left by 40 degrees, putting those boats out left closest to shore up the first beat comfortably in the lead. Around the top mark, Alert Packaging led from SBodkins (Rob et al) with SacreBleu (Colin, Chris et al) and Bango (James, Peter et al) in close pursuit. The large shift had turned the run quite one sided with opportunities to pass limited for the chasing pack. Around the leeward mark, the leaders continued out left once more as the new breeze began to build to 20 knots, hitting the leaders towards the top mark, allowing them a fast planing reach back down to the gate and the finish line. At the finish it was Alert Packaging by some margin over SBodkins with SacreBleu in third and Bango in fourth. Sea Biscuit managed to recover somewhat to sneak into fifth place.

The wind abated during the break and the fleet headed off from the start line of race 2 in about 10 knots of breeze. Again, most of the fleet drag raced out left with Alert Packaging showing great pace to lead around the first weather mark closely followed by Bango, SBodkins, Sin Bin and SacreBleu. With the breeze softer, boats were picking their way through the shifts downwind, covering and attempting to avoid being covered. At the leeward gate, Alert Packaging held on to their lead but there were place changes behind with Sin Bin sneaking into second just ahead of Bango and SBodkins. were also making a charge up the fleet after uncharacteristically finding themselves further down the fleet. Up the second beat, the leaders again headed out left in the expectation of the left hand shift going into shore. Boats behind took short hikes onto port tack before returning to clear their air but even this was sufficient to allow the leaders extend their lead significantly once the left hand shift arrived. At the second top mark, Alert Packaging had a ten boat length lead over Bango, who had skilfully snuck ahead of Sin Bin by a couple of boat lengths in the approach to the second weather mark. Sbodikins, Venuesworld and SacreBleu were hanging on in there, keeping touch with the leaders.

At the weather mark, the OOD signalled a shortened course to finish at the end of that lap so down the final run, the three lead boats enjoyed a gybing duel, trying to pick up the smallest of shifts and eek out an advantage over their nearest competitors. Cool heads on Alert Packaging allowed them to take a well-deserved race win by three boat lengths over Sin Bin, who had managed to overtake Bango by a boatlength. Fourth went to SBodikins with in fifth and SacreBleu in sixth.

After 6 races, Venuesworld and Bango are tied for the lead on 14 points and hold a four point lead over Alert Packaging in third on 18 points. Series 1 will conclude with the final two races next Saturday before the fleet heads off to Mayo for their westerns.

Published in SB20 Team

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