Happy New Year 2014
2013 was a “bon cru” for the SB20:
First of all, a recap of the 2013 Worlds in Hyeres: 90 boats on the one and only starting line; 16 Nations with 5 big fleets from France/Monaco, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland and Russia; the nation with the most boats (host countries France and Monaco) represented only 22% of the fleet; 3 days of Mistral with gusts of over 30 knots for the last race of each of these three Mistral days; an early start on the third day of racing in light air before the Mistral kicked in; 4 nations represented in the top 5 spots; and finally, Craig Burlton, Adam Heeley and Stephen White on top at the end of 5 days of racing. You would have to say that Craig and his crew pulled off one of the most difficult SB20 Worlds in the history of the class. Well done lads.
The new series Grand Slam began with a bang in Europe with strong international participation at each of the Grand Slam events and adding a new dimension to the season inFrance,Italyand theUK.
New boat production is up and running and delivering competitive boats. The waiting list is a healthy 6 months now. But the old hulls continue to perform outstandingly as the number GBR 3042 demonstrated by winning the Worlds in tough conditions. You would have to say it’s a toss up between the old and the new hulls.
How is the 2014 year shaping up:
2014 will be the year of the Russians. With over 30 boats inRussiatoday and more boats arriving every month, we’re expecting a very strong Russian fleet at the 2014 Worlds inSt. Petersburg. The organisation promises to be picture perfect and visitingSt. Petersburgwill be outstanding.
The new year will get off to a quick start with a 4 day Mediterranean Championship event at the Primo Cup inMonacoin early February. There are already 5 Russian boats and 5UKboats signed up and a strong French/Monaco fleet is expected as well. The Yacht Club of Monaco puts on a great show and it’s a great opportunity to get on the water before the ice thaws in most parts ofNorthern Europe.
We’ve added Kiel Woche (Week) as a 4th event to the Grand Slam series for those who want to bring their boats toNorthern Europe in preparation for the Worlds. The ferry boats forSt. Petersburg leave from harbours in the vicinity ofKiel. BeforeKiel, there will be Grand Slam events inHyeres in early May,Italy late may and inCowes in early August.
So the choices are plentiful and the opportunities for great events are before us all. You would have to say that 2014 is shaping up for an excellent cru as well.