Bob Steels Quest to take King of Docklands Title
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race winner Bob Steel will place his reputation on the line when he contests the 2009 Audi King of the Docklands one-design match racing championship on January 21-22.
The short course series organised by Mooloolaba based Oceanburo Performance Sailing in conjunction with event sponsor Audi Australia and contested under the burgee of Geelong Race Week will be conducted over a spectator friendly America’s Cup type course on Victoria Harbour.
Racing conditions will be extremely tense and tricky where the wind shadows cast from the palatial apartment buildings fringing Docklands are expected to keep the skippers and tacticians looking for the vital race deciding wind direction and velocity changes.
They will need to react positively or suffer some damage to their respected reputations because this style of high performance match racing in the clone designed SB3 Dart sports boat class has no margin for human related errors.
Both Bob Steel and his arch rival Peter Sorensen who beat Steel by a narrow margin in the 2008 Audi Australian IRC championship have accepted they will again be on even terms when the sails are tensioned for the tactical dog-fight at Docklands.
Past championship and major race results will have no bearing on the outcome with the two highly talented skippers basically starting from scratch when they grip the tiller of the SB3 Dart for the first time.
This type of intense tactical racing will be in complete contrast to Bob Steel’s personal triumph over the 628 n/ml Sydney Hobart course however he has added some important tactical clout to this challenge with the inclusion of Jamie MacPhail in his crew.
The equally talented MacPhail understands the demands of sailing smart and fast under pressure and he has the experience to quickly ‘come to grips’ with pointing the SB3 Dart in the right direction even when his rivals try to share the same sea space.
His mind games with Peter Sorensen and West Australian Alan Brierty is expected to develop into a close and exciting nip-n-tuck dock fight when they duel for the important points to ultimately decide which skipper will drive home in a new Audi A4 2ltr TDI sedan while his club will receive a fully rigged SB3 Dart as part of the lucrative $100,000 dollar prize.
Hopefully the Dart SB3 fleet will remain in top racing condition when the owners and Sunshine Coast based Oceanburo business partners Kai Timm and Rod Jones focus on separate class championships during the popular Skandia Geelong Race Week over the Australia Day weekend.
Rod Jones will have Australian Olympic Yngling coach Adrian Finglas calling the tactics onboard Alegria when they contest the opening regatta of the 2009 Audi Australian IRC championship while Kai Timm and Team Noosa’s Queensland Laser champion Ryan Palk and Australian Blazer 23 champ Chris Annear will compete for the 2009 Audi SB3 Australian title trophy.