Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship - Fight for minor placings

Stephen Fries WYSIWYG-V has the youngest crew Jack Furey racing in the Nationals
Teri Dodds
Ian Brown’s incontestable top of the point score at the 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 tomorrow, Sunday 27th October.

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.

As the regatta has evolved, so have Brown and his handpicked crew of gifted 470 sailors found their groove. Barring a major upset, the only NSW crew at this national championship looks set to collect the overall winner’s trophy and take it north.

Sailing: Brighton BMW SB20 National Championships 2013, Sandringham Yacht Club, Melbourne (AUS)
Teri Dodds

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 today’s conditions testing and their pace wanting in the second half.

Brown’s SB20 is not the only one with a lower than average crew age. Classmate Chris Dare’s crew of Australian Sailing Squad team member and Olympic Finn hopeful, Ollie Tweddell (mainsheet), and 470 sailor Will Llewellyn (bow), have reunited for these nationals. They last competed at the 2012 UON SB20 Worlds in December at Hamilton Island, placing 18th from a strong international field.

'We got the band back together,' said skipper Dare, now sixth on the pointscore with his SB20 Brighton BMW.

The trio is a good mix of experience, strength and raw talent.

'A weekend with these guys and I feel 10 years younger,' laughed Dare back at the host Sandringham Yacht Club where the crews mingle and thaw out post racing.

Three years ago Dare made the transition from grand prix keelboats and major coastal campaigns to these zippy lightweight sports boats. Suddenly he went from organising 18 people for his 50-footer to two. 'Racing an SB20 is easy and fun,' he said.

Sailing: Brighton BMW SB20 National Championships 2013, Sandringham Yacht Club, Melbourne (AUS)
Teri Dodds

On the quality of the field they are up against, Tweddell vouched, 'It’s really tight racing, some of the crews have really stepped up this week and are really pushing it'.

Stephen Fries is another SYC skipper throwing plenty of youthful exuberance into his nationals campaign. Daughter Jess is 21 and his regular crew while 25 year-old Ben Frecheville plus the youngest competitor at the championship, 13 year-old Jack Furey, are newcomers to the one-design boat and class.

Jack was born into sailing family, in fact dad Chris is on the race committee this weekend. A Cadet skipper and year eight student at Kingswood College, Jack’s 43 kilos helped correct a crew weight deficiency on Fries’ WYSIWG-V, plus like the nursery rhyme he’s nimble around the boat, making him a very useful addition.

Furey sensibly chose to wear a helmet for these nationals, which now seems a good call, 'So far I’ve copped all sorts of knocks to the head, elbows…spinnaker sheet…'

So what do his school mates think of him competing at a national championship? 'I haven’t had time to tell them, my spot on the boat wasn’t confirmed until Thursday night and racing started the next day!'

In race seven Dave Graney’s Tasmanian SB20 Wedgewood was nobbled by a wayward spinnaker halyard, disappointing for the crew given their solid performance in race 4 and eventual third in the 14-boat fleet. They were hoping to be back out for the final race 8, but are in fact still working on the problem this afternoon.

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.

Sailing: Brighton BMW SB20 National Championships 2013, Sandringham Yacht Club, Melbourne (AUS)
Teri Dodds

Class president Robert Jeffreys says the SYC race management has been excellent with all scheduled races completed. He agrees Brown is in a different league and the tussle for the minor placings is now the focus.

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.

2013 Brighton BMW SB20 National Championship Hosted By SYC
Provisional Results

Results and list of entries at Sandringham Yacht Club
Series Results [OD] up to Race 8 (Drops = 1)
PlaceTiesBow NoBoat NameSkipperFromSers ScoreRace 8Race 7Race 6Race 5Race 4Race 3Race 2Race 1
2 7KARABOSNick RogersRYCT/DSS23.[9.0]
3 10PURPLE PATCHCallum BurnsSYC/BYS31.08.0[11.0]
4 12STILL OUT OF CONTROLMark WolfendenSYC34.01.04.0[11.0]
5 15WYSIWYG-VStephen FriesSYC36.[10.0]
6 4BRIGHTON BMWChris DareSYC/SSCBC41.[11.0]4.09.0
7 13THREE MUSKETEERSBrett CooperRYCT50.[14.0]
8 3BRAINWAVEScott BrainDSS57.[12.0]
9 5FOREIGN OBJECTJan TalackoSYC58.0[13.0]
105.0S6HYPERTRONICSStephen CatchpoolDSS64.[16.0C]
11 11REDRobert JeffreysSYC64.[12.0]
12 1A-PLAYNick BezSYC64.[16.0F]13.06.0
13 8MIND GAMESPhil ReidRYCT67.[13.0]
14 14WEDGEWOODDavid GraneyRYCT85.016.0C[16.0F]
15 2ANDTHENPeter JonesPDYC112.016.0C16.0C16.0C16.0C16.0C16.0C16.0C[16.0C]

SB20 national website