An All Star Cast for the 2009 National Championships
Following a vote by the members of the UK Laser SB3 Class Association, Falmouth was the out and out venue of choice for the 2009 National Championships. Falmouth is the first repeat venue for the Class Nationals and has already proved a popular venue with 64 entries, the UK SB3 class’s highest National Championships entry ever. The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club host the 12 race series, which begins on Wednesday 24th June and run until Saturday 27th June.
“Who’s going to walk away with the silverware?” is a commonly posed question, but looking at the entry list, it’s a hard one to call. The calibre of the entry list is high, very high. Form boats include Geoff Carveth, 2008 SB3 World Champion sailing with dinghy star Roger Gilbert, Craig Burlton, 2006 European Champion with his favourite crew combination of Steve “AB” White and Adam Heeley. Jerry Hill and his original 3 Sad Old Blokes crew of Dr Mark “Tommo” Tomson and Mark “The Rigging Guru” Richards reunite to defend Jerry’s 2008 National Championship title. Having previously won the National Championships in Falmouth Hill is looking to for a Nationals hat trick.
In addition, a host of World, European and National Champion title winners will compete at the Falmouth Nationals. Mike Budd; with achievements in the 1720, Mumm 30, and Laser Class, Jono Shelly; SB3 Cowes Week legend, Colin Simonds; previous SB3 National Champion, Soling and J24 Champion, Jamie Lea; Melges 24 Class Champion and Mark Rushall of Fireball, Lark and 1720 fame are all likely to give strong performances in this year’s Championship.
Good things are expected from Martin Jones, International 14 World and National Championship Winner and SB3 Irelands favourites Peter Kennedy and Dave Cheyne. Sarah Allan, now sailing her own boat, has put in some consistently competitive performances during the 2009 SB3 Season so far. Father and son duo, David and Roger Hudson, founders of the South African sailing project “Race Ahead” will field a team of two boats crewed by some of South Africa’s hottest sailing prospects with a string of accolades to names including Lipton Cup winners, 29er Youth World excellence, 420 South African National Champions and Shosholoza squad members. Not only are they a highly talented squad, they are also “fleet favourites”.
The 2009 National Championships will be a hotly contested event, with an extremely competitive fleet hitting the water on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see who leads the score sheet at the end of the first day’s racing. “The winner will have overcome one of the toughest sportsboat fleets ever assembled in the UK and I’m glad I’ve won the title before!” commented Jerry Hill, UK SB3 Class Chairman.