Australian SB20 sailors showing their skills
Hobart boasts one of the biggest SB20 fleets in the world and its sailors have certainly been punching above their weight in the Pre-Worlds and World Championships this past week.
In fact, Australia is well placed to win the Nations Trophy with six locals in the top dozen boats in overall standings after eight races.
Leading Australian boat going into the penultimate day of competition this afternoon is 2017 Australian Champion Aeolus, skippered by Brett Cooper.
Aeolus is currently fourth overall in a tight points table, with the British boat Xcellent in first place, followed by two French boats, Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet & Associes and Give Me 5 – French Youth Team.
While early championship leader Export Roo (Michael Cooper) has dropped to sixth overall after a disappointing 32d in race eight, the Tasmanian boat has the potential to climb back up the ladder when two discards come into effect after ten races.
Greg Prescott’s 2Unlimited has sailed a consistent series after a first race 25th and is seventh overall, while Elliott Noye had his best result in Porco Rosso with a fourth in race seven to be eighth overall.
Class veteran Nick Rogers has lifted to 11th overall after an impressive second in race eight while making up the top dozen is the Victorian SB20 Flirtatious/Ambition Sailing Team, skippered by Chris Dare who finished second on race three of the Worlds.
Also ranked in the top 20 boats going into today’s racing are Difficult Woman (Rob Gough) in 15th place, Honey Badger (Paul Burnell) 16th and Ikon20 (Kirwan Robb) 17th.
There have been seven different winners of the first eight races, with the French crew of Give Me 5 – French Youth Team the only boat to win two races so far.
Tasmanians have won three of the eight races: Honey Badger (race 2), Export Roo (race 3), Aeolus (race 4).
Six women crews are competing in the Worlds with Hobart sailor Clare Dabner in Essence of Athena sailing exceptionally well to be 21st overall in this huge fleet and leading the Women’s division.
British sailor John Pollard is not only overall leader of the 2018 SB20 Worlds but is also first placed Masters sailor while the young Frenchman Robin Follin is heading the Youth and Corinthian scoring.
Tasmania’s Greg Prescott and his crew of 2Unlimited are third placed Corinthian boat while Porco Rosso (Elliott Noye) is fourth.
Nick Rogers, sailing Karabos, is second in the Masters division after finishing second in race eight.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Jane Austin
1200AEST/10 January 2018