FSE Robline UK National Championships

FSE Robline SB20 National Championships Report

Held at Royal Torbay Yacht Club 15-17 June


Two Royal Torbay YC boats shared the lead after the first three races of the FSE Robline SB20 Class UK National Championships in Torbay. The fleet of 25 teams, including visitors from Malta, Eire, Ukraine and Russia had three closely contested races in a SW 2-4 with challenging, shifty breeze. The closeness of the racing is illustrated by only two points separating fifth and tenth places.

In Race 1, Breaking Bod (Charlie Whelan, Richard McAdam, Ollie Spensley-Corfield) led round Mark 1 from Absolut (Igor Ginzburg). Absolut led by the second windward mark from Xcellent (John Pollard, Robert Smith, Charlie Hook). Xcellent played the shifts on the run well to overtake Absolut with third place taken by Uber (Morgan Peach, Adrian Peach, Rhoss Hawes, Mark Ripley) coming quickly in from the left of the run.

In Race two Hareraising (Martin Scobie, Simon Barnett , Jim Short) led round the first windward mark with the Irish team Sin Bin (Michael O’Connor, Davy Taylor, Ed Cook) close behind. Wildling (Martin Boatman, Stu Brown, Jack Wetherell) sailed a brilliant second beat to take a lead that they kept until the end of the race followed by Uber, Xcellent and then Game Changer (Yulia Kyrpa, Semen Dmytrenko, Serhil Koval and Victor Kandyba).

In the final race of the day, the leaders stamped their authority on the race early with Uber leading around the first mark from Xcellent and Absolut. These three were pursed down the final run by Gamechanger who squeezed through into third in front of Absolut.
At the end of day one Uber and Xcellent were tied on six points ahead of Gamechanger and Absolut

Day 1 ended with the class dinner which was enjoyed by 80 hungry and thirsty sailors.

By Tom Clay GB3106



With different wind models presenting different variations of the same GFS forecast, crews woke up to more breeze than most had expected. Racing was scheduled for the afternoon as nearby fishing town Brixhamwas holding its annual trawler race at lunch time.

As the SB20 fleet went afloat after the trawler men had gone ashore, winds were in the mid to high teens with gusts upto 24/25 knots. Rigs were wound up and 4 races were sailed. The RO opted for the black flag on every start and there were a few casualties throughout the day.

While the front boats were batting it out the increased wind brought some damage. In particular Doris (John Horn) who is new to the class and in the process of setting up a fleet in Malta joined us for his first SB20 event. Doris was hit by another boat in a straight port/Starboard accident. Sadly John’s forestay and spreader snapped and the mast came down. No one was hurt but due to the associated damage that was the end of his event. When the offending skipper (who immediately retired) humbly apologised to John, not only did John emphasis it was not a problem but he lent the offender his new jib for the final day. It is this kind of generosity and camaraderie that keep the class alive. As other damaged boats arrived in the marina John also lent 6A Vision Homes (Peter Noe, James Greenwood Greenwood, Alex Smerdon) his pole so they could continue racing on day 3. 6A had also suffered a collision but following a protest received redress for the two races they lost. Everyone was very impressed and John has certainly made some friends in the class quickly. We wish him the best of luck with establishing a Maltese fleet and hope Malta will become a SB20 district in its own right soon.

Day 2 continued ashore in the bar with our AGM and a number of FSE Robline prizes being raffled. Thank you as always to out sponsors FSE Robline, without them these events would be much more expensive and would attract less competitors.

Dark & Stormy (Andrew Bell, Alida Lewis Lewi, /Adam Kitchen), PB (Mark Gillet Gillet, Paul Hine, Flora Stuart, Anne Ashworth), Turbulence Too, Natalie French, Paul French, Doug Innes), Breaking Bod, Doris, 6A Vision Homes and Sharc (John Sheppard, Jamie Skinner, Brian Hexte) organised an informal second “class dinner” at Rock Fish that evening, while the more “sensible” teams got an earlier night.


Day 3

As the final day dawned only 2 points separated the top three boats.

In races 8 and 9 Uber scored two bullets, and Excellent two seconds. This gave Uber a fragile 1 point lead going into race 10.

Whyaduck (Tom Clay Richard Clay, James Clay) damaged a spreader in race 9, and had to retire. Sadly retiring from raceS 9 and 10 hurt their overall result considerably but on a brighter note they did get packed up before most.

The two local boats, Uber and Excellent started well in the final race but were beaten by Absolute who made a comeback to score her third bullet of the series and PB who scored their best result (2nd). Excellent scored third and Sin Bin and Wildling got between her and Uber, which ultimately hurts Uber’s overall score card. A protest had to be settled before final results could be announced.

This was an excellent event for the class, everyone left happy having had some tough racing and we welcomed several new boats to the fleet. Reach Around (Christian Sutherland, Etienne Gauvain and Tom Dickson ) have made their mark in a few other recent events, but left their first Nationals with a 10th.

3019 (Nick Verdino. Jon Dixon, Phil Round) also enjoyed their first Nationals having recently bought one of the very first SB20s and brought it back to life, they are sailing at Rutland Sailing Club and hope to re invigorate a fleet there again.

There are of course two many boats to name everyone, so apologies if you don’t have a mention above.

A mention should also me made to the flawless work of Bill Butcher the Race Officer and his team afloat, to the volunteers who helped with trailer marshalling and crane lifting and of course a big thank you to Gina Peach and her team who managed registration, weighing, trackers, receiving protests and general admin. Without these people these events would not run as smoothly.

All racing can be viewed at http://sb20.sailracer.org/eventsites/tracking-mobile3.asp…

Final results
1st Excellent (GBR) 21 points
2nd Uber (GBR) 23
3rd Absolt (RUS) 28
4th Sin Bin (IRE) 33
5th Game Changer (UKR) 42

Next year’s UK Nationals will return to the Solent in June 2019, (info to follow soon). The next event in the SB20 UK calendar is the Royal Solent Yacht Club, Taittinger RSYC Regatta on the 21/22 July, which scores points in both the SB20 National Series and the Solent Series.

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