Ian Brown set for SB20 victory in Melbourne

As we batten-down the hatches here on the south coast of Britain, the forecast for the final day of the Australian SB20 Nationals, is west to southwesterly 10 knots tending southerly by the afternoon. Ian Brown and his handpicked crew of gifted 470 sailors, barring a major upset, looks set to collect the overall winner’s trophy and take it north to NSW.

Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship has set up a take-no-prisoners fight for the minor placings among the rest of the SB20 fleet on Melbourne’s Port Phillip this Sunday. Thanks to today’s three from four bullets, Brown’s Sydney based One Design Sailing holds a commanding 14.5 point advantage after eight races with four remaining.

Second again on the daily points ladder is Nick Rogers’ Karabos from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Derwent Sailing Squadron in Hobart. Third is Callum Burns’ Purple Patch, the local crew of Sabre and 14 foot skiff national champions opening solidly but finding Saturday’s conditions testing and their pace wanting in the second half.

SB20 AUS Nationals Fleet startClick image for a larger image

Breeze swinging 30 degrees either side of the SW mark peaked at 16 knots, averaged 12-14 knots and dropped as low as a dozy eight knots in race 4. The race committee responded, shortening the leg lengths to keep the succession rotating. A weak sun disappeared early and temps remained low at 14-15 degrees.

The forecast for the final day of competition, when a new national champion will be crowned, is west to southwesterly 10 knots tending southerly by the afternoon. let's hope we have something similar here in the Solent.