SB20’s Make Their Annual Pilgrimage to Seaview
The first weekend in June saw Seaview Yacht Club host the annual pilgrimage of SB3s to the Eastern tip of the Solent for the event supported by Gill, the UK Laser SB3 Class Clothing Sponsor. As part of the lead up to the class world championships in Lake Garda a fleet of 21 boats enjoyed two days of racing in temperatures if not breeze rivalling what can be expected in Torbole this July.
Following the Morgat and Lake Garda events over the previous weekend the UK fleet completed six races in light airs completing the entire series despite races twice being brought to a standstill as pressure faded whilst the fleet was on course – only for the best breeze of each day to fill after racing was completed.
After taking the starter in a lumpy SE sea and moderate to fresh breeze in 2009 the first heat of 2010 was also in SE conditions but light and flat water. The left paid through the first two races of Saturday with wins to Gill Race Team (Craig Burlton) and Team Rola Trac (Ben Saxton) with local guru Colin Simonds and James Budd representing opposing ends of the SB3 experience spectrum returning consistent results early.
The third race of Saturday saw the left of leg one pay again with Craig Burlton and Ben Saxton leading the first two legs as the SE breeze began to become unstable and shift hard to the South then fade on leg three. Andrew Oddie and Jim Eynon (racing with Hugh Styles aboard) made the most of the difficult conditions to progress through to 2nd and 3rd places although most of the fleet timed out before reaching the finish.
Three more races were held on Sunday with an earlier start and breeze in the Western quadrant showing promise early then fading as racing got under way. Jim Eynon and Mark Stokes lead early in race four before Craig Burlton and Andrew Oddie took over the first two positions.
Race five was another trying affair with the breeze fading rapidly on the first leg and those not heavily favouring the left dropping well behind, Jerry Hill being the most notable early loser. A downtide second leg accompanied by the remaining breeze now bending into the right saw positions change significantly and those losing on leg one making big gains. Meanwhile Colin Simonds and family were never headed and won despite the glass out and eventual new breeze filling from the SE, from Dave Cummings showing the ‘flurgs potential and Michael Wood’s Hot Pants scoring a podium position.
The new SE breeze quickly rotated to a SW Sea Breeze and filled to provide the best conditions of the event for the sixth and final race although those who had thrown in the towel early missed the opportunity to race in planing conditions. Dave Cummins won the final race from Andrew Oddie and Mark Rushall in the places.
Overall Craig Burlton’s Gill Race Team took the second round of the 2010 Solent Series sponsored by Gill and Wight Vodka from Andrew Oddie and Colin Simonds. Much of the UK fleet will now focus on World Championship preparations with a journey to Torbole for the Italian Nationals starting June 25th the preferred preparation for some local conditioning (and hospitality). For those not going to Italy, Lymington will host Solent Series 3 on 26/27 June.
Many thanks to Seaview Yacht Club for the hospitality again shown to the fleet.