Nick Rogers to sail SB20 at Port Stephens and Worlds
Tasmania’s World Dragon class sailing champion Nick Rogers is among the latest high profile skippers to focus their attention on winning the 2011 Audi Australian SB3 championship at Port Stephens in March.
Rogers, who was invited by the Australian fleet founder Rod Jones of Mooloolaba to contest the Wild Oats trophy series at Hamilton Island in a chartered boat in August, is among three World champions who have signed up to gain class racing experience before a high standard fleet compete for the World championship at Hamilton Island in December 2012.
Beijing Olympian Nathan Outtridge and seven times World champion Glenn Bourke, winner of three consecutive Laser dinghy championships plus the distinction of representing Australia at the 1992 Olympics, have joined the SB3 fleet in recent weeks.
The class promotion has proved to be a success for the Sunshine Coast and dual Audi Australian IRC Ocean racing champion Rod Jones who ‘gambled on’ introducing the Tony Castro designed sports boat to Australia based on the surge of popularity in Europe.
Designer Tony Castro has provided the specialist one-design racing crew with a supreme challenge to protect their reputations in a class now regarded as the international competition sailor’s harp because of the quality of fine tuning required from crew and craft to gain the best results.
There is absolutely no margin for error in the nip-n-tuck type racing where the results are generally decided in centimetres rather than seconds of boat speed.
In fact it is the smartest and not necessarily the fastest crew that wins and it is this challenge that has attracted the attention of so many high profile sailors who have won World championship Gold Medals in other classes.
All of the top line Audi Australian championship contenders will have the opportunity to test their boat speed in the Yachting Queensland Sail Brisbane regatta on Moreton Bay before competing on the 2011national circuit of racing including the Docklands and Geelong Race Week in Victoria followed by the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and the Wild Oats Trophy at Hamilton Island in late August.
Meanwhile the Sunshine Coast fleet including the present pace setter Phil Gray and his Dulon crew will continue to refine their tactical strategy and individual crew skill with fleet racing off Mooloolaba.
Rod Jones will take a break from his busy schedule to team up with Greg Macallansmith and Australian Olympic high performance coach Adrian Finglas in a bid to have Club Marine Blue on the pace for the important Queensland championship races off Mooloolaba before heading to contest the finals on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay later this year.
They need some serious racing to evaluate their ranking in the order of merit before they line up for the Audi Australian championship in the Sail Port Stephens regatta next March.
Ian “Stripey” Grant