Our SB20 sailors taking on the World

Hobart’s SB20 fleet, the fastest growing class fleet in the world, hopes to make its mark on the international scene this week,  with the crews of Export Roo and Mind Games contesting the 2016 World championships at Cascais, an historic seaport in Portugal.

Three Australian crews, two from Tasmania and one from Victoria,  are taking on some of the world’s best sailors when they  contest the championship with competition starting overnight tomorrow (Tuesday).

The 73 boat fleet from 13 nations is packed with Olympic medallists, round the world sailors and champions from this and other classes,  with the 14-race regatta running through to next Saturday, 3 September.

The Export Roo, Michael Cooper,  Matthew Johnston and David Chapman,  has already shown they will be strong contenders for the Worlds,  finishing eighth overall in the Pre-Worlds regatta, sailed over the weekend.

Cooper sailed Export Roo to placings of 7-14-22-2-9 to finish a close eighth to crews from France, Russia and Great Britain.

Victorian Chris Dare, sailing Flirtatious,  finished 19th overall in the pre-Worlds,  including a third in the second last race.  Mind Games,  sailed by Phil Reid, Sam Ibbott and Andre DeClerk, finished 28th overall.

Heading the line-up for the Worlds is defending champion,  the young French 49er sailor Gabriel Skoczek, while another leading competitor is expected to be Rodion Luka from the Ukraine, an Olympic silver medallist in the 49er in 2004.

Additional competition will be for the Nations Cup.  Last year the Russians won a closely fought inaugural contest which they claimed by just one point from the Australian and British teams.

In addition to competing the Worlds,  the Tasmanian crews will be promoting the SB20 Worlds to be conducted by the Derwent Sailing Squadron and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania on the River Derwent in January 2018.

Peter Campbell

29 August 2016

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