by Ian Grant
A recent fourth place in World SB3 championship in England suggests the talented crew of skipper Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith should be the pacesetters in the Queensland championship at Hamilton Island.
"Club Marine" Glenn Bourke; Rod Jones; Greg Mcallansmith - ZHIK SB3 Worlds 2011
Glenn Bourke has proved his skill as one of Australia’s foremost one design racing sailors having represented Australia at the Olympics raced in The Americas Cup besides winning four World Laser championships.
He has formed a strong association with the Sunshine Coast’s Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith as the trio prepares to contest the World championship over the physically demanding waters off Hamilton Island in December 2012.
The Club Marine/Hamilton Island racing team have shown their tactical ability to successfully ‘step up to the plate’ after they gained Australia’s best ever World championship result.
There is an element of confidence however the 12 other crews representing Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales also have the proven credentials that are capable of winning the 12 race championship.
Queensland’s World champion Olympic 470 class helmsman Matthew Belcher and his Beijing Olympic Gold Medal winning crew mate Malcolm Page have teamed up with Sydney Olympian Ian Brown.
Both Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page winners of the 2012 London Games test event at Weymouth earlier this month will be tactically conditioned to enter into a speed sailing test of skill and endurance.
'We are facing a very formidable group of successful one-design racing crews including the former World Dragon class champion Nick Rogers from Tasmania' Rod Jones said.
The international champion from the cold climate port of Hobart is not the only potential challenger with the former Australian 505 champion Phil Gray from the Sunshine Coast also ranked among the skippers who have the experience and the tactical racing knowledge capable of extending the skills of Glenn Bourke, and Matthew Belcher.
However the experience gained from finishing fourth in the 2011 World championship supports the claim for the Glenn Bourke, Rod Jones and Greg MacAllansmith to be named as the pre-regatta favourite.
But that stands to be challenged when the sails are tensioned off Hamilton Island next week.
There is a strong indication that this title battle will be close with Glenn Bourke claiming he was happy with their World championship result however he remained concerned that the downwind spinnaker sailing skills needing refining.
He is a perfectionist and his results at the international level have been achieved through long hours on the training track to make sure he and the crew are physically and mentally prepared to answer all their challengers.