The UON SB20 World Championships will get underway at Hamilton Island, Australia, on Friday 14 December when 42 crews representing nine countries meet for the opening race in the Whitsunday Islands, at the edge of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
Leading contenders from overseas will be current SB20 European champions, Russian Oleg Zherebtsov and his helm Rodion Luka (Raketa), and former class world champions Geoff Carveth (WKD) and Jerry Hill (sportsboatworld.com) from the UK. Local hopes are focused on Victoria’s Chris Dare (Flirtatious), Tasmania’s Nick Rogers (Karabos) and Hamilton Island’s CEO Glenn Bourke (Club Marine), who fared well in last weekend’s non-pointscore pre-worlds.
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“We sailed really well on Saturday to win three of the four races then on Sunday Rodion pulled out his big guns and started playing hardball, he was very impressive,” said Bourke, who has teamed up with Andrew York on the main and Mooloolaba’s Greg Macallansmith on the bow. Bourke has his money on a strong finale from Aussie Ian Brown who has teamed up with London 2012 470 gold medallist Malcolm Page, bowman Klade Hauschildt and Sabot and Flying 11 sensation, 14 year-old Finn Gilbert from Sydney, on One Design Sailing.
Of the 42 SB20 crews, three will be skippered by women including Russian Olympic 470 and Yngling sailor, Anna Basalkina, Great Britain’s Sarah Allen (Sailboat Deliveries), part of the winning crew at the 2008 world title, and Australia’s Paris Stowell and her crew of West Australian Aboriginal high school girls on Squalo Bianco.
Up to three races have been scheduled daily through to the deciding day, Thursday December 20, with Monday 17th is a planned layday, designed to give competitors, particularly the Europeans who have come from their winter, a well-earned break from the comparative sauna-like conditions and the relentless trophy hunt.
All crews are now installed at Hamilton Island and many have been out training and cramming to learn the area’s nuances. “It’s a stunning location, more of a tropical paradise than we had ever imagined and in direct contrast to the UK where it’s three or four degrees, grey and rainy,” said SB20 class secretary Katie Ashworth.
The Whitsundays have been blessed with magic sailing conditions for weeks on end, providing the perfect introduction to the area for first-time visitors. The solid breezes are expected to hold for the next couple of days then may peter out, putting the acid test on the world’s best sports boat sailors as the mercury rises.
Registration commences Wednesday and racing is due to start this Friday, 14 December, at midday under instruction from the island’s trusted Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson, and his world class race management team.
SB20 - UON 2012 World Championship - Entry List (42 entries)
Callum Burns, Australia, Puple Patch
Chris Dare Australia, Flirtatious
Chris Kameen, Australia, Chota Hazri
Craig Nicholls, Australia, Typhoon
David Graney, Australia, Wedgewood
Dennis Winstanley, Australia, Jump!
Glenn Bourke, Australia, Club Marine
Ian Brown, Australia, One Design Sailing
John Gardiner, Australia, Oceanburo Discover Sailing
Mark Prince, Australia, Dart Vader
Mark Wolfendon, Australia, Still Out of Control
Matt Wenke, Australia, Got a bit on
Mike McLean, Australia, Mountain Goat Racing
Nick Rogers, Australia, Karabos
Paris Stowell, Australia, Squalo Bianco
Peter Jones, Australia, And Then
Stephen Fries, Australia, WYSIWYG V
Tim Henderson, Australia, UON Hamilton Island
Trevor Martin, Australia, Blue Tac
Troy Forrest, Australia, Black Rat
Alan Quere, France, New Caledonia 2
Ed Russo, France, Zeus
Thomas Rouxel, France, Hyères 2013
Tugdual Piriou, France, New Caledonia 1
Adrian Peach, Great Britain, TBC
Andrew Oddie, Great Britain, Harry powered by Underground Toys
Ben Saxton, Great Britain, TBC
Chris Darling, Great Britain, Darling Associates
Geoff Carveth, Great Britain, WKD
Jerry Hill, Great Britain, sportsboatworld.com
Robert Greenhalgh, Great Britain, Bang Tidy
Sarah Allan, Great Britain, Sailboat Deliveries
Simon Hume, Great Britain, Geronimo
Andrea Racchelli, Italy, Altea
Andrea Zanforlin, Italy, Nuri
Giulia Tobia, Italy, Borgo Scopeto
Pietro Negri, Italy, Stenghele
Martin Buitenhaus, Netherlands, Cube II
Declan Keogh, Republic of Ireland, Sidewinder
Anna Basalkina, Russia, TBC
Rodion Luka, Ukraine, Raketa
Gareth Owen, United Arab Emirates, TBC
12 December 2012 7:26 GMT