Britain and Russia share the honours on Day 1 of the Laser SB20 Eurocup

Britain and Russia share the honours on Day 1 of the Laser SB20 Eurocup

Britain and Russia share the honours on Day 1 of the Laser SB3 Eurocup, the Grand Prix Ecole Navale’s second act.
The Bay of Douarnenez set a perfect scene for the opening day of the 2010 Laser SB3 Eurocup, the second event in the Grand Prix Ecole Navale in Crozon-Morgat, Brittany.

By lunchtime the wind had swung to around 260 degrees, with between 5-10 knots of pressure.
The race committee set a two-lap sausage course for the afternoon’s starts, with 20 SB3s lining up to bid for the Eurocup title, including a dozen British crews, as well as French teams and visitors from Ireland, Belgium and Russia. 

Many of the British entries arrived early this morning after an overnight Channel crossing, with competitors enjoying reduced rates thanks to the support of Brittany Ferries.

Taking the first gun of the championship was TEAM RUSSIA, skippered by Luka Rodion. Rodion is a Ukranian sailor who scored a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the 49er fleet and also helmed the VO70 ‘Team Russia’ during the last Volvo Ocean Race. In second place was Colin Simonds, who is sailing with his brothers Gavin and Raymond in DOOLALLI. Before racing he joked “We have what we call the ‘A’ crew here at the moment, ‘A’ as in Auld because our average age is 59!” Simonds is also the class’s chief measurer. Third place in Race 1 went to Ann Jackson with EXCUSE ME GENTS.

It was the turn of Peter Saxton in ROLA-TRAC to set the pace for Race 2, leading around the top mark, with Colin Simonds having a great start to the event as DOOLALLI once again lay in second place. The French team on DIRECT SAILING, skippered by Figaro sailor Thomas Rouxel, was also in the top three around the first windward buoy.

Things got even better for Simonds and the crew on DOOLALLI in the second lap, as they went into the lead, building a strong margin of 50m by the finish. On the final downwind leg the hotly-favoured British team RIGGING GURUS, skippered by Mark Richards, came down the left-hand side of the run, whilst Simonds led the fleet down the right. Richards’ tactics paid off and saw him overtake the close pack to move into second, but Simonds held on for the win. TEAM RUSSIA (Luka Rodion) tried the same tactic but couldn’t make a dent on the top places, with DIRECT SAILING tacking third.

Tomorrow conditions are forecast to change with strong southerly winds predicted for Morgat in the morning. A full day of racing is scheduled with the first start after 9.00am.
QUOTES (GBR unless mentionned)
Colin Simonds (DOOLALLI):
“Well that wasn’t quite in the script! It’s only our second time out this year so we weren’t expecting that, but it’s a terrific start – one for the boys of Seaview (on the Isle of Wight). The standard in the top half of the fleet seems very high – any one of those could win a race and they’re very close, with places changing all the time. We rounded the mark in second in the first race, and behind us there was just a wall of 10 or so boats breathing down on us. It’s forecast to be quite a bit more wind tomorrow, so we’re expecting to be pretty tired.” 

Mark Richards (RIGGING GURUS):
“We found a little more pressure on the left on the last downwind leg. The Russian team went out that way too, and we made up a few places – I think it was the same as what we lost in the first race, so it’s pretty shifty, as we expected, with lots of snakes and ladders out there.”

“My crew are Ollie from Great Britain, and Florence Lebrun who twice sailed at the Olympics in 470s. We rounded the first buoy ahead in the first race, but had a problem with the spinnaker, dropping it in the water. It’s very positive that there are more French boats here than last year, with three coming from Normandy because a fleet is being created in Le Havre. Edward Russo (skipper of MORPHEUS) is the new President of the French class so we can be pleased that a quarter of the fleet is French.”

Thomas Rouxel (FRA / DIRECT SAILING):
“This was my first race on the SB3 but Direct Sailing in Brest gave me a boat, and I had to put together a crew as quickly as possible. Before I started racing on the Figaro I did a lot of 420 and 470 sailing and some Melges 24 racing, which is very close to this boat. But tomorrow it will be more difficult because there should be a lot more wind.”

GPEN Laser SB3 Eurocup RESULTS after 2 races:
1: “Doolalli”, Colin Simonds ( GBR) 3 points  (Ra courses : 2,1,)
2: “Rigging Gurus”, Mark Richards ( GBR ) 6 points  (Détail courses : 4,2,)
3: “Team Russia”, Rodion Luka ( RUS) 7 points  (Détail courses : 1,6,)
4: “Direct Sailing”, Thomas Rouxel (FRA) C V Baie D Erquy) 10 points  (Détail courses : 7,3,)
5: “Rola-Trac”, Peter Saxton (GBR) 10 points  (Détail courses : 6,4,)
6: “Darling Associates”, Chris Darling (GBR) 13 points  (Détail courses : 5,8,)
7: “Sail Boat Spares.Com”, Sarah Allan (GBR) 14 points  (Détail courses : 9,5,)
8: “Excuse Me Gents”, Ann Jackson (GBR ) 16 points  (Détail courses : 3,13,)
9: “Laserperformance”, Philippe Peron ( FRA) Ctre Naut. Crozon Morgat) 17 points  (Détail courses : 10,7,)
10: “Seriously Bonkers 3”, Martin Ceppage (GBR ) 17 points  (Détail courses : 8,9,)
11: “Huttons”, Ben Williamson (GBR) 21 points  (Détail courses : 11,10,)
12: “Morpheus”, Edward Russo (FRA) Ligue de Voile Rhone Alpes) 25 points  (Détail courses : 14,11,)
13: “Eric”, Martin Wedge (GBR ) 28 points  (Détail courses : 12,16,)
14: “Cheeky Monkey”, Ian Sullivan (GBR ) 28 points  (Détail courses : 13,15,)
15: “Tad’minus”, Sebastien Bresson ( FRA) Ligue de Voile Rhone Alpes) 29 points  (Détail courses : 17,12,)
16: “Sail Army – Engineering”, Mike Barham (GBR ) 30 points  (Détail courses : 16,14,)
17: “Liesl II”, Bertrand Stuyts ( BEL) 32 points  (Détail courses : 15,17,)
18: “Tb4e”, Geoff Gritton (GBR ) 36 points  (Détail courses : 18,18,)
19: “Spartacus”, Charlotte Leguillette ( FRA / S R Fecamp) 38 points  (Détail courses : 19,19,)
20: “Tacktonic”, Cedric de Bleye ( BEL ) 40 points  (Détail courses : 20,20,)
—: “Bartaba”, Benoit Charon ( FRA / Y C de Granville) 46 points  (Détail courses : DNC ,DNC ,)
—: “Hot Pants”, Michael Wood (  GBR ) 46 points  (Détail courses : DNC ,DNC ,)

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