Ireland Launches the SB20 Europeans 2018
Hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, from the 25th of August to the 1st of September, the SB20 European Championships 2018 racing started yesterday.
Practice day started with blowing 20+ knots letting the crews feel the power of Dublin bay in full swing. Some swimming and broaching even without gennaker occurred, but the fleet returned ashore with smiles proceeding to the opening ceremony with barbecue and delicious pint of Guinness at the Club. It was just in time for the official speeches to announce that the SB20 World trophy had been restored after an unfortunate lifting in Hobart and the Class president Ed Russo invited everyone to take a closer look. The trophy has originally been made in Ireland, hence its appearance here in Dublin, and will now travel to France, to the current World Champion for display awaiting next year’s Worlds in Hyere.
The first racing day saw medium to light winds of 10-12 knots N-NW and after a general recall and AP display the racing was started. Chief Race Officer Jack Roy and his team managed to call 2 races. In Race 1 the positions changed as the boats went up and downwind with ItParfume taking a strong lead, followed by FRA3721 of Hugo Feydit and closing the podium by VIS Sailing. The offshore oscillating breeze has made it a game of catching the shifts and staying in the pressure. Porco Rosso took it easy with 4th finish followed by local team AlertPackaging.com of former SB20 Ireland president Justin Burke. In race 2 it was the French team FRA3706 of Pierre-Yves LAMBERT, the new owner on ex Ed Russo’s Black Magic, and the Irish IRL3737 team Black of James Gorman, who caught more pressure on the right side and rounded first, followed by NED3702 of Martijn Buitenhuis. However the podium was Russian with two top places overall and in third was the Portuguese team Animal of Vasco Serpa. They were followed by two Irish teams – Black and Binn Eadair of Cillian Dickson.
Provisional results awaited ashore with strong Russians from VIS Sailing team at the top, who had proved their excellent skills at the preceding SB20 Ireland Eastern Championships two weeks earlier, followed by another Russian team Victoria of Vadim Pushev tied with the Australian Porco Rosso of Elliott Noye 7 points behind the leader. However a dispute situation at the start of the second race between VIS and the Irish team that continued late into the night in the protest room has lead to VIS’s disqualification throwing them down to the 26th position. Final results after protest hearings saw team Victoria leading the fleet with Porco Rosso in 2nd and team Black in 3rd.
Racing Day 2 started with sunny weather and clean breeze of 15 knots from North-West and calling racing on time. The opening race found greedy VIS Sailing after DSQ in the 1st place, followed by Sin Bin of local Michael O’Connor who was leading throughout the race, but lost their 1st position to VIS. Porco Rosso, who did very well on the last downwind, finished third. The Irish Bad/Kilcullen of Stefan Hyde chased them and finished 4th with another Russian Melston Team of RC44’s owner-driver Kirill Frolov in 5th. Race 4 & 5 saw wind dropping to about 8 knots and it was a game of catching tide and shifts. Current UK National Champion John Pollard was rounding the 1st mark in first, followed closely by Vasco Serpa and yet another Russian team MST of Vasily Grigoryev. Vasco’s team was more consistent in this tricky breeze and stole the victory from Pollard, who finished second with the Russian team MTS in third. Race 5 in a bit of a slow motion pace saw the local team venuesworld.com of Ger Dempsey in the lead from the start followed by the Ukrainian Olympians on ItParfume and VIS Sailing, but after the first downwind the Ukrainians took the lead and won the race leaving the 2nd place to Ger and third to VIS Sailing.
Wrapping up the day Porco Rosso’s coach Sam Brearey commented: “It was a very tricky day with Race 3 of the strongest breeze, shifts and tide dominated so it was about sailing long tacks and trusting your numbers. In Race 4 the breeze was up and down, so it came down to staying in the pressure. In Race 5 the breeze dropped sand the game became a bit more tide orientated and not waiting for a miracle, just staying in the mix and looking for advances on tide and breeze”.
All teams are ready for Day 3, competition is tight! Meanwhile check the commentary of the leading team Porco Rosso’s helmsman Elliott Noye below:
Click here for the current overall SB20 European Championship’s results.