Over the years one of the great pleasures for Australians has been to beat their British rivals at their own game, be it cricket, rugby or tennis. Now the pressure is on the Brits in one of their favourite sports - sailing.
Nathan Outteridge - Audi King of the Docklands 2011 - Audi Victoria Week 2011
The SB3 dinghy is a particularly British Class. Designed in 2002 by British naval architect Tony Castro, most of the 600 boats in the World are being sailed in England and Ireland. Up to now every World Champion in the class has been British.
But now an Aussie Dream Team is aiming to beat the Brits in their own class at the upcoming World Championships in Torquay, England in May 2011.
And there is hot news today from the SB3 Australian Championship, being sailed as part of Sail Port Stephens 2011.
Double 49er World Champion and Moth World Champion and Olympian Nathan Outteridge will now be sailing the upcoming World Championship in Torquay with fellow Olympian and current ISAF Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby.
Triple Laser World Champion and Etchells World Champion Slingsby steps in for Dave Cheyne, who is the SB3 World Class President, after he hurt his shoulder. Outteridge, Brown and Cheyne had signalled their intentions with back to back wins at Audi King of Docklands and Audi Victoria Week, back in January.
Tom Slingsby was 'press-ganged' and agreed to sail as bow with Nathan and Olympic 470 medallist and coach Ian Brown only in the last few days.
The Olympians schedules are tight but the SB3 Worlds just squeeze in before the Holland Regatta.
With Tom Slingsby currently in Europe, today Nathan had his 21 year old younger brother Beau, who incidentally was making his SB3 sailing debut, on the team. Beau has been teaching sailing in the US for the last couple of years.
After the first race Nathan laughed, 'Some things never change. Half way up the first leg, my kid brother was telling me what to do.’
'Dave Cheyne is going to sail the SB3 Pre-Worlds with Brownie and I, then Tom will step in for the Worlds, after an RC44 regatta in Austria. The team’s first outing together will be on the first day of the Worlds.'
Fellow SB3 sailor and rival for the Australian and World championships, three times Laser Class World Champion and triple Cowes Week SB3 and also European SB3 winner Glenn Bourke feels Australia has a really good chance of claiming the SB3 World title and that both he and Nathan ‘will be giving it their very best shot.’
The SB3 fleet contested four races on Salamander Bay on day 1 of the SB3 Australian Championship.
Nathan Outteridge (One Design Sailing) finished race 1 in first place, 38 seconds ahead of Glenn Bourke (Club Marine White) with Stephen Fries (Wysiwyg-V) a further forty six seconds back.
In Race 2 Bourke reversed places with Outteridge. Mark Wolfenden (Still Out of Control) was third.
In Race 3 it was Outteridge, Bourke and Wolfenden.
Race 4 also belonged to Outteridge from Bourke with Mike McLean (Wagop) third.
Overall Series leader after day 1 is Nathan Outteridge (1,2,1,1) from Glenn Bourke (2,1,2,2) and Mark Wolfenden (7,3,3,5).
Sail Port Stephens website