by Ian Grant
Talented English helmsman Geoff Carveth set a new standard in international one-design sports boat racing this past May when he became the first skipper to win two SB3 Dart World Championships on home country waters.
Geoff Carveth and crew: Andy Ramus, Emma Clarke and Ian Mills at the Zhik SB3 World Championship 2011
Now Carveth, who steered Race Team Gill to a commanding victory, has set his sights on defending the Gold Medal on unfamiliar waters off the Queensland tourist resort of Hamilton Island from December 12th-20th 2012.
He has time on his side to gather all the important tactical data but not unlike all tacticians the English champion can expect to have his personal skills tested in the warm tropical sailing environment.
Based on wind speed recordings for the December 12-20 period in 2010 all of the high standard SB3 Dart racing teams can expect to prepare for a mixed bag of heavy wind racing.
As an example skippers and crews will need to bring the fresh wind sailing skills to Hamilton Island where the wind speeds recorded ranged between a seventeen knot East North East sea breeze to a howling 43 knot West North Wester.
Naturally there is no guarantee that there will be a similar weather pattern prevailing in the Whitsunday Islands in thirteen months time.
But the strong British sailing team who have dominated the World championship since the class was accepted on the international sailing circuit will face a supreme test when the wind blows against the fast flowing current to form a corrugated sea surface.
Meanwhile the fast growing Australian SB3 fleet headed by the Glenn Bourke skippered Club Marine Blue crew including the dual Audi Australian ocean racing champions Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith will be race ready to repel the British when the battle lines are drawn to decide the 2012 World champion.
Both Sunshine Coast sailors Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith and the multiple World Laser class gold medallist Glenn Bourke who finished a creditable fourth in the 2011 World title in England will contest the important Australian title in Hobart next January then line up for the series of four pre-world regattas at Hamilton Island.
After scoring a runaway win in the Queensland championship at Hamilton Island last August the Club Marine Blue crew firmed as a front line challenger for the 2012 World crown.
At the time Glenn Bourke said 'This regatta was a good result for us but there is always room for improvement'.
Hopefully his meticulous vision to make the smallest gain in boat speed will be refined when he and his Sunshine Coast crew mates put there proven one-design sports boat sailing skill to the test on the 2012 Australia regatta circuit and then take on the best in the World when the battle lines are drawn on the tactically demanding Whitsunday Island waters in late December 2012.