SB20 head Down Under for Hamilton Island Worlds

With less than a month to the close of entries, twelve crews are signed on for the UON SB20 World Championships at Hamilton Island YC in the Whitsundays, Australia. Up to 45 SB20s are expected on the start line for the Whitsunday battle to be staged from 12 to 20 December. To date the countries represented on the starters list include Italy, United Arab Emirates, France, The Netherlands, Russia and Britain. GBR teams entered to date include 2010 SB20 world champion Jerry Hill, Adrian Peach, Ben Saxton and Rob Greenhalgh. Geoff Carveth, is expected to defend his 2011 title and aiming a hat trick of victories.

Carveth’s form is ominous given he won the Dutch Open Championships just prior to the late September European Championships in the Netherlands, where he placed third from 43 starters.

British countryman and 2010 SB20 world champion, Jerry Hill, will compete at Hamilton Island with his regular crew of Australian Grant Rollerson plus Tasmanian Tim Burnell, a UK resident and a regular on Mike Slade’s maxi Leopard 3. Former Volvo Ocean Race winner and double 18ft skiff world champion, Robert Greenhalgh (UK), will make his second appearance at the SB20 world championships.

Ian Brown at Hamilton Island Race WeekClick image for a larger image

New SB20 European Champions, Team Russia, helmed by Rodion Luka, will join international compatriots. Owner and mainsheet hand, Oleg Zherebtsov, believes Australian sailors will be very competitive and strong. ‘Last year in Torbay we saw Glenn (Bourke). For sure there will be many more from all classes as this is their home event and they will fight’.

Another top Aussie team will be Ian Brown’s entry, One Design Sailing with London Games 470 gold medallist Malcolm Pageon the mainsheet. Brown’s no slouch either, his credentials include Olympic 470 bronze medallist and Olympic coach, Moth world champion and top four in the world in numerous classes.

One of the most anticipated local entries is coming from a crew of Perth based indigenous school girls whose inaugural SB20 campaign is being sponsored by the 2012 world championship naming rights sponsor, UON, supplier of power generation, air compressors and water pumping solutions to industry.