by Ian Grant
Seasoned sailors Greg Macallansmith and Glenn Bourke are headed into busy weeks of sailing as they set their sight at giving Australia its first ever title in the upcoming 2012 UON World SB20 Sports Boat Championship to be held at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club courses from December 12 to December 20.
2012 UON World SB 20 sports boat championship
In many respects Mooloolaba’s Greg Macallansmith is regarded in the physically demanding sport of sailing as a quite achiever.
He has progressively developed an impressive career from sailing in various classes from blue water racing yachts to the stricter art form of one design racing in the clone class SB20 sports boat.
Every race and championship event has provided Macallansmith with the important experience and results to be ranked among Australia’s more successful crew members.
While his name is rarely mentioned in the media outside the Sunshine Coast, he has the distinction of winning two Audi Australian Ocean racing championships and finishing fourth in the 2011 World SB20 World championship.
Naturally he is proud of his career achievements but his quite nature prevents him from promoting his personal role.
He is very much a team player and has the pleasant nature that instantly bonds with his sailing mates and rival crew members.
His present sailing focus remains fixed on contesting the 2012 UON World SB 20 sports boat championship set down for racing over the Hamilton Island Yacht Club courses from December 12-20.
As expected Greg Macallansmith is not prepared to make any predictions on what represents another supreme test of his career experience when the 2012 Australian class champion combines with the master tactician and helmsman Glenn Bourke to hopefully win Australia’s first ever World championship in the highly competitive one-design class.
Glenn Bourke, a former Olympian and Americas Cup crew member, is regarded among Australia’s most successful skippers with four World Laser championships already recorded in his log book.
But even with this impressive resume, Bourke – the present CEO of the International award winning Hamilton Island Resort – and his relatively modest sailing mate Greg Macallansmith from the Sunshine Coast clearly understand the challenges of retaining or preferably improving on their ranking as the World’s fourth best SB 20 racing team.
Since returning from the 2011 World championship in England, skipper Bourke and the Club Marine crew have dominated class racing winning the 2012 Australian championship on the River Derwent while also registering a runaway win during the AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week regatta in August.
However, all of these results while being important have been achieved in smaller fleets and against less experienced crews.
The talented tactician Bourke and his skilled for’ard hand Macallansmith can expect to face serious tactical attention when the Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson sets the racing format in place on December 12.
There is no doubt that the Club Marine sailing team represents the best chance that Australia has to win the tactical arm-wrestle over the powerful English team and eventually allow Macallansmith with the opportunity to finally enter a World championship Gold Medal in his already impressive personal log book after the final race is decided on December 20.