Anticiapation in the Air
137 Laser SB3 have gathered in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland for the inaugural Laser SB3 World Championships, hosted by the National Yacht Club. 11 Nations are represented at the event. The vast majority of the fleet are fielded from England and Ireland, though some competitors have travelled from as far as Australia, the United Arab Emirates and America.
Dun Laoghaire basked in sunshine as measurement, registration and launching of the 137 boat fleet was undertaken. Now that this is all but complete, there is tangible anticipation as the fleet make final preparations to their boats for the start of racing on Monday. The line up of past Olympians, National, European and World Champions will compete for the title of Laser SB3 World Champion and the honour of lifting the stunning Waterford Crystal World Championship Trophy on Friday 26th September.
14 races are scheduled for the 5 day regatta with a maximum of two discards. Qualifying races will be held on two courses over the first three days before the fleet is split into Gold and Silver Fleets for the final two days racing. Principal Race Officer, Jack Roy has more than 20 years experience as a race officer and will preside over Course 1. The National Yacht Club’s Honorary Sailing Secretary, Con Murphy will take control over Course 2. Over 60 race officials will be afloat to ensure the smooth delivery of this event on the water.
Event Organiser, Rory Byrne has worked tirelessly to ensure that no stone has been left unturned in the organisation of this event, both afloat and ashore. “After a massive amount of planning, far the largest gathering of one design keelboats Ireland has ever seen racing has finally got underway with this afternoon’s Practice Race. The National Yacht Club has drawn together a large team of individual experts in various fields of race management, all of whom are confident of running an event that ranks as high as any on the global stage.”
Dockside banter amongst the fleet is rife and the chat in the bar draws one conclusion; that the book remains wide open for this event. There are obvious favourites, Geoff Carveth, Gareth Flannigan, Jerry Hill, Sean Craig, Dave Cheyne, Craig Burlton, Colin Simonds, Mike Budd, Dave Lenz, Dave Hudson but with a list so long anything could happen, but one thing is for sure, this week is going to see top level sailors competing on the level playing field that the Laser SB3 provides.
A spectacular Gala Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Sunday evening, attended by many of the stakeholders who have made this event possible. The centre piece of the Opening Ceremony is the evocative flag raising ceremony celebrating each Nation’s participation.