SB20 Victorian Championship – Commanding leader
Jono Shelley and his crew of Clare and Chris Molloy hold a commanding lead after the third day of racing in the SB3 William Angliss Victorian Championship at Audi Victoria Week.
Shelley’s Credo-Group.com was again the outstanding boat in the 15-strong one-design keelboat fleet, racing from Royal Geelong Yacht Club in a light to moderate south-easterly breeze with many tricky wind shifts.
The first race was the lightest, and a major wind shift right at the start gave an advantage to the boats at the port end of the start line. Credo-Group.com was buried at the other end. ‘We were right down the pan, but we fought back to finish fifth,’ said Clare Molloy, who is sailing in the bow, while her husband Chris is in the middle and Shelley is helming.
Credo-Group.com went on to win the other two races of the day, in slightly stronger and steadier breeze. ‘We concentrated very hard on reading the shifts, which were still 15 or 20 degrees,’ Clare commented.
‘We have sailed together on and off for about four years now and we make a good team,’ said Clare, who was part of the third placed team at the 2008 SB3 world championships in Ireland.
The Credo-Group.com team are a multinational bunch, with skipper Jono Shelley hailing from the United Kingdom, but currently living in Wellington, New Zealand, while Clare and Chris Molloy live in London but British-born Clare lived in Melbourne for ten years and her husband Chris was born in Zambia.
Jono Shelley has returned to Royal Geelong Yacht Club for his second SB3 regatta on Corio Bay, having finished second overall in this regatta 2008. He is an experienced SB3 sailor and has placed in the top five in a number of big events in the UK, where the class regularly attracts fleets of 100-plus boats.
Today’s first race was won by Wedgewood, skippered by Andrew Crisp from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in Hobart.
Unlike Shelley and his crew, Crisp is a newcomer to the SB3 class, taking delivery of his new boat at the start of this series, but his previous sailing accomplishments include winning the 1989 world title in the 14ft skiff class. His crew includes ‘secret weapon’ James Jaffa, an experienced British SB3 sailor currently holidaying in Australia, and David Graney, one of Tasmania’s top sailors in the Dragon keelboat class.
Wedgewood’s 1-3-4 scorecard in today’s racing has allowed her to retain second overall, eight points behind Credo-Group.com and six points clear of Club Marine Blue, skippered by Rod Jones from Mooloolaba (Qld).
The first day’s winning skipper Kai Timms in Club Marine White is now lying fifth overall, a further eight points astern.
Two races are scheduled for the final day of racing tomorrow in the SB3 William Angliss Victorian Championships at Royal Geelong Yacht Club, with the first start from 9.35am.
‘It’s great to have an eight-point lead, but it’s never over until the finish of the final race,’ Clare Molloy said.