Three ‘epic’ races with 30-knot gusts made for spectacular competition on Day 4 of the SB20 World Championships.
Three physically demanding races were held for the Gold fleet today (July 9) at Torbole, Lake Garda. Racing began in 20-knot breezes, which built throughout the course of the afternoon to 30 knots. Jerry Hill, sailing “SportsboatWorld’ in 13thoverall described it as: “Classic Ora conditions. We had three cracking races – hard racing with some epic downwind legs. There will be lots of very tired bowmen in the fleet tonight, but this is why everyone comes here!”
With the increasing winds, the race committee from Circolo Vela Torbole opted to cancel the third race for the silver fleet, however both fleets have now completed enough races for the second discard to come into play.
John Polland’s ‘Excellent’ took the first win of the day in Gold fleet, but went on to score a 24th and DNF – one of seven Gold fleet boats who failed to complete the last race. He was followed home by Robert Jeffreys and Glenn Bourke who took second, and Robin Follin, with the FFV Youth team ‘Give me 5’, who finished third.
Follin’s youth team went on to score another second and a fifth. With two discards coming into play they now count no result worse than a fifth, and have recovered their position at the top of the leaderboard after four day’s of racing on 27 points, with a 9 point advantage over their nearest pursuers.
Robin Follin and his team began sailing the SB20 just 18 months ago. They are supported by the French Sailing Federation (FFV) and include very successful match racers and 470 sailors. Follin is just 19 years old, while his oldest member of crew is 26. The team have put a great deal of time into sailing the SB20 this year and are performing impressively well. However, having already used a high scoring discard, they may be put under pressure in tomorrow’s final races.
Roger Hudson and the ‘Race Ahead – Spirit of Cape Town’ team took the day’s final win, following on from a consistent day with a sixth and ffith. They now have an all top-10 scoreline and are lying second overall on 36 points.
Rodion Luka and his ‘SkyLine’ team from Kiev took the second race win, his fifth race victory of the series. He has now climbed up to third place ovearall, after finishing 10th and seventh in the remainder of today’s races. Luka and team are on 41 points, with Glenn Bourke and Robert Jeffreys in fourth on 49 points.
First British boat is now Joe Llewellyn and the Wessex Exiles sailors on ‘Forelle Estaes’, lying in sixth on 65 points. The leading Italian flagged entry is Ian Ainslie and Paulin Gian Matteo’s team, in seventh on 71 points. In eighth is Michael Cooper, who has travelled all the way from Tasmania to compete in the event. He has one boat back home in Australia, and another he will keep in Europe for the next two World Championships (Cascais, Portugal in 2016 and Cowes, UK in 2017).
Cooper said after racing: “I just love this boat, I love the people in the class, and I’m having an absolutely great time.” As one of two Australian boats in the top 10, however, he really wants to beat the Poms in the SportsboatWorld-sponsored ‘Nations Cup’ prize (for the best aggregate score for the top three teams from each nation overall).
In the Silver fleet the Italian team ‘Enjoy’ of Carlo Tomelleri enjoyed the first race win of the day, with Ireland’s Ronan Downing taking the second victory. Vladislaav Ivanovskiy retains the overall lead after discard with 118 points, from second placed ‘Venuesworld.com (IRL), skippered by Ger Dempsey, on 121 points. Ronan Downing is in third on 132 points overall.
Racing concludes tomorrow, Friday, July 10 with two races scheduled from 1100am..
Image credit: Jurij Plavnik/Circolo Vela Torbole/SB20 Class