The Victorian boat Red, with Queensland’s Glenn Bourke (helm) and crew of owner Robert Jefferies and Mark Bulka this afternoon were crowed Australian champions in the SB20 one-design sport boat class.
Red and crew sailed a consistent and competitive regatta over the four day regatta to win the title from the Tasmanians Nick Rogers, Col Dabner and Simon Burrows (Karabos).
Karabos took second place on a countback from Michael Cooper, David Chapman and Matt Johnston (Export Roo). Both had finished on 19 points after ten races on Port Phillip.
In what was a frustrating end to the championship event, Race 9 (the first of up to three races scheduled for the last day) was delayed 3.5 hours with PRO Kevin Wilson finally sending the fleet on its way just after 1.30pm.
Before heading out, a number of crews were keen to sail just the one race while others wanted at least two races knowing that a drop after Race 10 could impact the final standings.
Bourke was all class in Race Nine which started in very choppy conditions in 15 knots of breeze. An individual recall was a setback for Michael Cooper (Export Roo).
Bourke gained a healthy lead on the first beat which he didn’t relinquish for the rest of the race.
Scott Brain (Ronald Young Builders) and Nick Rogers (Karabos) sailed a personal duel within the race with Brain holding out Rogers to take second place with Rogers third.
Michael Cooper fought back from his recall at the start to finish fourth which left Export Roo sitting equal second with Karabos going into the final day’s racing .
Race 10 saw a clean start with Matthew Pilkington (Balios) leading the fleet to the top mark, closely followed by Bourke (Red) for a fast downwind run in strengthening conditions.
Bourke regained the lead by the second lap to take out the last race of the series and clinch the 2016 National championship. Michael Cooper (Export Roo) finished second, with Matthew Pilkington (Balios) finishing a strong third.
The end result was another Australian title in the SB20 class for Bourke, a fomer world Laser champion, Olympian in the Finn class and key crew member in the America’s Cup and Admiral’s Cup. He has been a senior administrator in major international yacht events, including the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the Volvo Race and is now CEO of Hamilton Island Resort in Queensland.
Presentations were held at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron to finish off an excellent week of top quality racing. Along with presentations to the top three winners, a Corinthian prize for first non-professional crew was awarded to the crew of Ronald Young Builders, Scott Brain, Bill Lawrence and Michael Viney.
Series results are as follows:
1. Glenn Bourke (Red) 12 points
2. Nick Rogers (Karabos) 19 points
3. Michael Cooper (Export Roo) 19 points
4. Scott Brain (Ronald Young Builders) 30 points
5. Matt Pilkington (Balios) 40 points
6. Stephen Catchpool (Hypertronics) 47 points
7. Phil Reid (Mind Games) 54 points
8. Russell Rooney (Back of the Bus Boys) 62 points
9. Stephen Fries (WYSIWYG-VII) 66 points
10. Hughie Lewis (Nautilus Marine) 70.5 points
11. Andrew Smith (Fruit Machine) 71.5 points
12. Richard Fader (Sudden Impulse) 77 points
13. Mark Wolkenden (For Sale) 90 points
14. Nick Bez (A-Play) 94 points
15. Jan Talacko (Foreign Object) 99 points
Colleen Darcy/Jane Austin/Peter Campbell
6 March 2016