Rod Jones eyes 2010 National SB20 Championships in April
Mooloolaba Yacht Clubs 2009 Audi Australian Ocean racing champion Rod Jones re-addressed his one-design sailing skills to win the Bronze medal in the Victorian SB3 Dart championship on Australia Day.
Jones who recently sold his title winning Archambault A40 Alegria made an eleventh hour decision to test his proven tactical racing skills in the championship with the option to race in the Audi SB3 Australian championship at Port Stephens from April 12-18.
The National championship already regarded as the feature event in the Sail Port Stephens Race Week promises to attract an International standard fleet including top English skipper Jon Shelly who steered Credo-Group.com to a convincing victory in the William Angliss Victorian championship over the Royal Geelong Yacht Club courses on Corio Bay.
Shelly a specialist one-design racing helmsman presently working in New Zealand had raced on Corio Bay before but was not happy with his result.
He was much happier last Tuesday when he and English husband and wife Chris and Clare Molloy enjoyed their escape from the harsh Northern Hemisphere winter to express their talent with an impressive six point win over Tasmanian Andrew Crisp while Rod Jones helmed Club Marine Blue into third overall 13 points ahead of OceanBuro business partner Kai Timm of Noosa in Club Marine White.
Kai Timm set the pace early winning the opening race by a comfortable 59 seconds from Rod Jones while Jon Shelly claimed the important third place points by a narrow 12 seconds from Andrew Crisp. Both Shelly and Crisp then became embroiled in a boat on boat match race where the Tasmanian Andrew Crisp showed he was no push over with his personal determination allowing him to overcome his maiden SB3 fleet racing challenge to eventually finish with the Silver Medal winning 4-2-2-1-3-4-1 score.
Crisp will certainly be among the pace setters at Port Stephens and is expected to gain further important fleet racing experience when the high standard fleet compete for title honours during the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta next month.
This series raced over the Middle Harbour Yacht Club courses will be the final evaluation trial before the tactical ‘dog fight’ begins at Port Stephens.
Meanwhile Rod Jones presently waiting the delivery of an exciting new blue water IRC class racing yacht from Spain will keep refining his skills with SB3 class racing.
His score of 2-7-4-5-2-2-2 at Geelong suggests he is not far off the pace to become a major medal contender at Port Stephens in April
But every new SB3 championship has a history of presenting different results within the format of high pressure one-design racing and both Rod Jones and Kia Timm are well aware that they need to limit the mistakes in tactics and technique to justify the respect from their rivals when the battle lines for the war on the water are drawn on the ideal courses at Port Stephens.