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French youth sailor makes his mark on the Derwent

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French youth sailor and former world champion Robin Follin has emerged as hot favourite for the SB20 World Championship on Hobart’s River Derwent, starting on Sunday. Helming Give Me 5 – French Youth Team, Follin (FRA) this afternoon won his third out of six races in the SB20 Pre-Worlds regatta, taking out the last race with French flair.

In 2015 Follin became the first and only youth sailor to win an SB20 World title, at Trentino in Italy, and still qualifies for the youth division at the age of 25. Follin and his crew also won the Youth and Corinthian trophies for the Pre-Worlds. The Masters went to Jerry Hill (GBR) the current World Champion.

In today’s racing in a brisk 10-15 knot south-easterly sea breeze, Give Me 5 finished ninth (their discard) in race five, but there was no question of his dominance as he clinched an overall victory with a last race win. He finished with a net 9 points from placings of 1-1-2-4-(8)-1, eleven points clear of his nearest rivals, Export Roo (Michael Cooper, AUS) who finished on 19 points with a scorecard of (12)-4-7-1-2- 5. Third place went to current Australian Champion Aeolus (Brett Cooper) on 29 points (11-6-3-5-(18)-4) with fourth place going to current World Champion sportsboatworld.com (Jerry Hill) who did not compete in the final race.

Two other French boats followed in the final standings, Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet &A (Achille Nebout) on 35 points, EOLIFT Racing (Hugo Feydit) on 37 points. Next best of the Australian boats was Henty.cc (Matt Pilkington) who placed eighth after winning race five, followed by the Irish entry Sin Bin (Michael Connor) and two Tasmanian boats Karabos (Nick Rogers) and Porco Rosso (Elliott Noye).

In race 5 the Irish boat Binn Eadair (Cillian Dickson) crossed the finish line first only to find he had been called UFD and disqualified for breaking the start. This resulted in Henty.cc being first, Export Roo second and sportsboatworld.com third. In race six, Honey Badger (Paul Burnell) was also called UFD.

Tomorrow is a lay day, with the first two races of the 2018 SB20 World Championship scheduled for Sunday, 7 January.

Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Jane Austin
1730AEST/January 2018

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