AUS: Spinnaker Tales
OceanBuro the Sunshine Coast based professional sailing company have successfully introduced a strict one-design sports boat to the Australian yachting scene.
There were the expected sceptics when the high profile SB3 Dart made its initial debut under the Oceanburo banner however the class has continued to attract attention with fleet numbers growing throughout Australia.
The strict design pedigree and the flighty nature of this ‘clone’ class where the hull, sails, rig and mechanics are identical which provides all crews with an even chance off the start line has and will continue to attract the attention of the sailor who is searching to master a supreme personal challenge.
Queensland class stalwart Rod Jones held a personal vision that the exciting SB3 Dart would successfully fill an important place on the Australian regatta circuit.
His personal passion and vision to develop a one-design class of sailing for all Australians will be rewarded when the World championship (the first to be contested outside of Europe) is decided at Hamilton Island in December 2012.
Meanwhile the Australian crews which are expected to include Olympic helmsmen Nathan Outteridge (49er) and Matthew Belcher (470) will have a selection of major regattas to refine their skills before they face the starter’s orders on the windy Whitsunday Island waters.
“There is a growing interest in the class and we are expecting strong fleet numbers to contest the major regattas including the 2012 Australian championship in Tasmania next February”. Rod Jones said.
The talented ocean racing skipper Rod Jones who combined with his Mooloolaba mate Greg MacAllansmith and the multiple World championship winning helmsman Glenn Bourke to finish 4th in the 2011 SB3 Dart World championship in England are naturally accepted as the crew to beat after their runaway Queensland championship win at Hamilton Island last August.
However while this trio are presently ranked as the crew to beat they know from experience that past reputations can only be protected with winning on the race course.
The intense regatta campaign for the Queensland champions in Club Marine Blue commences with the Geelong Race Week on Corio Bay in late January followed by the Australian Championship on the River Derwent in February and their State championship defence at the Southport Yacht Club Sail Paradise regatta in March.
They have including the New South Wales championship at Port Stephens in their racing log for April as the final regatta before contesting the Wintersun championship series off Mooloolaba Beach during June and July.
By then the Club Marine Blue racing team of skipper Glenn Bourke, and his Sunshine Coast sail handlers Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith should have a guide on the boat speed and tactical standard they will have to produce to improve on their fourth at the 2011 Worlds when the tactical ‘slug fest’ for the 2012 World crown begins off Hamilton Island in late December. — Ian Grant