Russian sailor Vasily Grigoriev, sailing MST, has finished first across the line in race one of the 2018 SB20 World Championship on Hobart’s River Derwent.
The Russians, who arrived in Hobart late last week, missing the Pre-Worlds, finished just three seconds ahead of Pre-Worlds winner Robin Follin, sailing Give Me 5 – French Youth Team. However, Follin was disqualified, along with Smigger (Andrew Smith), OTS (Paul Sillifant) and Black (Richard Fader) under the black flag rule following a general recall.
In a blanket finish, the first 15 boats crossed the line in less than a minute, the Russians sweeping in from the left-hand side of the course to gybe just ahead of the French boat.
Results are unofficial as the tracker system does not indicate any starting line disqualifications. According to the trackers on each boat, another French boat, Le Grand Reservoir/Maxet & A, skippered by Achille Nebout, finished third finished ten seconds astern of Give Me 5. Two seconds astern came the first Australian boat, Export Roo, skippered by Michael Cooper. He narrowly beat his rival from the 2017 Worlds, Britain’s Jerry Hill.
The lead changed hands several times, both on the windward and downwind spinnaker legs, with British yacht Marvel (Richard Powell) getting an early break, but overtaken by woman sailor Clare Dabner, steering Essence of Athena. Greg Rowlings, helming Piste, was among the leaders early in the race, as was the Irish Youth sailor Cillian Dickson in Binn Eair.
The River Derwent turned on champagne sailing for the 59 boats contesting the 2018 Worlds, a moderate but freshening south-easterly sea-breeze of 14 knots, gusting to 7 knots.
Race officer Nick Hutton told competitors at the briefing that he planned to run three races today, a good start to the 12 race series that runs through to next Thursday.
Words: Peter Campbell
Photos: Jane Austin/Peter Campbell
1445AEST/7 January 2018