“Give Me Five” wins SB20 Grand Slam ahead of the Worlds 2019
Some great sailing in Hyères ahead of the SB20 World Championships in two weeks time with three days in tricky conditions of this renowned venue. Mistral has showed the participants its force and some relatively stable winds that allowed to call in total 9 races.
It was for the French team Give Me Five FFV Youth (FRA) of Robin Follin, Emeric Michel, Gaulthier Germain and Laurie Candela to win the title! The French team continued a super strong lead throughout the event winning 6 races with their worst result in 15th.
“Like in 2018, we won the pre-Worlds, but we know that is not the good one to win. The objective is clear, and we decided to come back on the SB  with only one goal, bring the title back like in 2015. We sailed a very nice Grand Slam this year with tricky winds, but lots of very nice improvements for us,” – said Robin Follin.
Second place with a 16 point gap went to the recent French Open National Championship winner – team XCELLENT (GBR) of John Pollard, Jack WETHERELL and Stephen PROCTER, who haven’t won a race, but probably had the most consistent results with two 2nd finishes overall.
Bronze went to the Russian team Absolut (RUS) of Igor Ginzburg with Hugo Rocha calling tactics sailing with Andrey Klochko and Zhanna Manukyan, who on the last day scored a 1st and a 2nd, potentially winning Silver overall with another top finish, but the 12th position in the final race pushed them to 3rd overall.
What we see on the results below the 3rd and probably until 12-15th place are the teams who will be strongly competing for the Top 10 at the Worlds. Vadim Pushev on team Victoria (RUS) was in the Top for the first days, but had a DSQ in Race 5/worst result & finished 4th overall having also sailed very consistently.
Strong performance again from the Australian team Aeolus of Brett Cooper, who sailed with Jock Calvert and Darren Jones, they were in second place on Day 1 with 2-2 finishes, however the tricky Day 2 with massive shifts didn’t help and they dropped to the 7th. They were the best performing Australian team, 5th on the final leaderboard.
Another French Youth team and the winner of 2018 Worlds in Tasmania of Gabriel Skoczek (FRA), who sailed here with his Diam 24 crew Lucas Chatonnier, Sandro Lacan and Lou-Anne Morin, doesn’t need an introduction in our Class. After scoring 3-3 on Day 1 and maintaining their second position overall after Robin after Day 2. On a very tricky Day 3 they were unable to perform at same level scoring 16-10-11 on the closing day. That placed them 6th overall.
We had some troubles on Day 3, not having good starts and after, even if the boat speed was okay, we missed on the tactics taking the wrong side of the course. Despite this we had good first two days and we are really looking forward to sail the SB20 Worlds again to defend the title! Together with Lucas we were vice champions in Cascais at SB20 Worlds 2016, so great memories, and recently we sailed the whole season together on Diam 24, so it will be good to continue sailing together. Sandro [Lacan] will sail with us too, he also comes from Diam 24, where he was third in Tour de France [de la Voile]. The fourth crew will be Cassandre Blandin, who never sailed SB20s before, but she is a really good sailor and will help us a lot on tactics, – said Gabriel.
Day 2 was good for Vasco Serpa, team Animal/SailCascais (POR), when they scored 3-2-2 and then 17 and also won the 9th race. Vasco was sailing with two fellow Portuguese sailors – Pedro Costa Alemão, his long-standing SB20 partner, and a younger crew – Diogo Machado Pinto, Snipe sailor, coach and match-racer back home. On the final table they took 7th place overall.
Andrew Smith, skipper of The Imp (AUS), who scored a bullet on Day 2, was impressed with his new team’s performance. “We finished eighth overall which was an awesome start for us. My brilliant crew made it all work – Lewis Noye was a star performer and Mikael Mergui (Tassie) a brilliant addition, ” – said Smith. Smith welcomes SB20 Australian Champion David Chapman back on board for the Worlds.
The Worlds fleet will be strengthened once again with more entries from Russia, Portugal, Netherlands, UK, Italy, Singapore, UAE and Turkey and who knows who might jump in ast minute. See you soon, from 19th to 25th of October 2019 in Hyères!
Thanks to COYCH, Hyeres, PRO Jean Diaz, volunteers, jury and the Race Committee for a fantastic regatta.
Words: SB20 Class / SB20 Australia
Images: Courtesy of @COYCH
For full results click here