Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

SB3 Torbay Open- Breeze On - Surf's Up!

by Stephen White on 4 May 2011
Team Zhik 3 Sad Old Blokes - Laser SB3 Torbay Open © Jean Border http://www.borderphotos2010.com/
SB3 Torbay Open - The considerable absence of breeze in recent weeks around the UK came to an abrupt halt in Torbay over the weekend as a low pressure system over Northern France drove a variable though predominantly strong Easterly gradient into Southern Devon.

Whilst temperature’s weren’t quite Guarda-esque for many this was the first time since departing Torbole a big breeze opportunity had been presented.

The opportunity to prep for the upcoming Worlds on-site was grasped by 27 boats making use of the long weekend to get over a royal wedding hangover, blow out the cobwebs and brush off some big breeze rust. Whilst the Brits were moving on from Will’s and Kate’s big day, an international flavour was added by part time residents Luka Rodian’s Team Russia and Roger Hudson’s Race Ahead squad.

Day one – Three races scheduled and some early force four to five conditions tested out by Dave Cummins Rumbleflurg faded to around 12 knots by the time racing kicked off (and red-eyed Jerry joined us ‘fresh’ from Antigua).

The breeze surprising faded altogether after two races and by 5:00 pm the fleet was sent ashore. Prior to that the internationals won both races with Luka leading the way in race one from two of the Gill boats in Geoff Carveth and Craig Burlton. Race two saw Jerry Hill and his Team Zhik crew leading comfortably early until a persistent left hander saw him touch the weather mark under pressure from all quarters and The Race Ahead team take full advantage.

Day two – the forecast delivered as 12 knots from the NE gave way to more Easterly influence gusting to around 30 knots at times and waves building to more than 1.5 metres.


More international dominance over the British fleet? Luka and Team Russia split two first place from the Race Ahead squad who showed great appreciation for the conditions minimising tacks and leaving the fleet in their wake upwind, then escaping at pace one set free downhill.

Downhill, took on a new meaning at times – I can’t recall ever freefalling from the crest of a wave with a vertical face before in a SB3 and despite doubts that we’d make it beyond the trough, somehow we popped up and continued rig intact.

After three races we were sent to shore, the race committee’s decision made easy by the site of more than half the fleet on its side at times and equally just by the demise of a local cruising boat wrecked on the lee shore shortly thereafter.

Having started the day with a log jam of boats at the top of the results sheet a pecking order was established with the Race Ahead team three points clear of Gill Race Team (Craig) with Racing Team Gill (Geoff) another three points back in third.

A debrief and coaching session had been arranged by the class with RYA youth squad coach Niall Myant taking the reins and benefiting all with insights into trim, balance, setup and technique with some notable class frontrunners also contributing. One of the local Italian restaurants then hosted 25 hungry yachters and must be looking forwarded to some ample trade in two weeks time.

By Monday morning, memories of the royal wedding were vanishing into the past as a forecast for the Northeast gradient to reach 40 knots in the early afternoon dominated thoughts of a quiet and expectant fleet.


Our race committee lead a reduced fleet out the harbour in some initially benign conditions for what turned out to be two fabulous races in the building breeze. Race six saw a very tight bunch at the weather mark continue as such downhill with waves slight smoother but no less in stature than the previous day pushing the top six into the leeward gate inside as many boat lengths.

By the top of the second beat three lengths contained the first three boats and what goes down as one of the most fantastic racing legs of my memory followed.....

Having been lead round by Geoff with Roger’s Race Head then just astern we (Gill Race Team) took Geoff to weather as roger’s team got through with superior depth on the mountainous waves. A gybe across Geoff with Roger’s team then going on our port bow set us up for a close quarters high speed battle.

After some initial surges which saw us on the edge of an overlap we were able to pass to weather and gybe clear across only to realise we’d spotted the wrong leeward mark and let our foes take the inside, not quite over we steamed through the gate right on their hammer only to be defeated by a length. The .9 mile run having taken what seemed like no more than five minutes.

I saw none of what developed astern but somehow Luka and Jerry both passed Geoff, leaving the final race a battle for first between ourselves four points off the lead held unsurprisingly by Race Ahead.


An early exchange off the start and up the first beat saw us pass Race Ahead but back from the lead held by Andy Oddie, no let up in the breeze which probably built further down the run enough so that Geoff spun out of second place with a broken rudder. The second beat was more of the same and we were forced to follow Andy all the way to the left corner after being pinned to the flank by Luka with Race Ahead now up to fourth.

Rounding close enough to Andy to be in with a chance and having dropped Luka we set about chasing down the lead and despite some enormous surfs from Andy at the bottom of the course took the gun whilst Luka broached out at the leeward mark loosing third to Roger’s fast finishing team.

The top three places remained as they’d been the previous evening and all enjoyed the opportunity to get away earlier than expected thanks to two very rapid races now looking forward to returning in two weeks for more of the same!

The Royal Torbay Yacht Club deserve praise and thanks having made us all very welcome throughout the weekend, getting racing away in short order through some very trying conditions whilst Adrian Peach pulled the organisational strings.



Laser SB3 website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

PA Consulting Allen RS Feva Worlds – Day 1
Following the 12 practice race recalls the fleet behaved for the first championship start, and got away first time. Champagne stuff is very overused in sailing, but with temperature in the high twenties, 15kts average, three qualifying series races, your mates are your arch competitors it is at the very least aqua frizzante, or full fat coke and not the zero stuff. OK, after race one the wind did ease off and by race three it was more like 8-10kts.
Posted on 26 Jul
29er Worlds - Team Postma/Bramervaer wins opening day in Medemblik
Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik. They are leading after three races on Monday July 25, on equal points with the 2015 Optimist World Champion Rok Verderber and his crew Klemen Semelbauer from Slovenia. The Australians Tom Crockett and Harry Morton are in third position, also on equal points with the numbers four and five.
Posted on 26 Jul
KBC Laser Radial Youth & Men’s Worlds - Shifty start on Dublin Bay
Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day at the 48–nation KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship on Dublin Bay. Ireland, Croatia, USA and the Cayman Islands were four countries that made the most of the day's sub ten–knot breezes, each winning a race in their respective divisions of the 229–boat boys fleet.
Posted on 26 Jul
World of Sailing in review - July 2016 edition - Round the Island Race
World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race (around the Isle of Wight) and preview several personalities and aspects of the upcoming Rio Olympics
Posted on 25 Jul
Anders Pedersen heads into Rio Olympics with high expectations
He is one of the youngest Finn sailors heading to Rio at 24 years old but has proved himself many times on the water. He is one of the youngest Finn sailors heading to Rio at just 24 years old but has proved himself many times on the water. Junior World Champion in 2014, later that same year he qualified Norway at the first opportunity at the Santander world championships. Since then he has bee a regular at the front of the fleet and showing some real potential.
Posted on 25 Jul
Teams step up and claim the coveted titles on final day of 420 Worlds
The transition from the light winds to big breeze and waves, turned up the heat and pitched new faces to the front. Medal deciding day on Saturday 23 July, and the breeze ramped up in a final test for teams, just to make sure the medallists rising to the front were truly challenged across all conditions.
Posted on 24 Jul
Stage set for nail biting final at 420 World Championships
Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in 420 World Championships - Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Championship Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in. A forerunner to what looks likely to be epic 'big breeze' conditions tomorrow.
Posted on 23 Jul
Harkers Island Regatta draws 51 Sunfish for three-day sailing event
The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. And…they’re off! Not the boats, the crabs! The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. Thus began the racing on a historic island off the coast of central North Carolina.
Posted on 22 Jul
55 boats from 11 Nations already entered for RS Aero Europeans
With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. This leaves potential event leaders hard to pick, however, here is a short summary of those with form so far this season.
Posted on 21 Jul
420 World Championships - Gold and Silver fleet splits decided
The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage 2016 420 World Championships - The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage wrapped up for the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets, and confirm the teams advancing to the gold and silver splits for the six race final series.
Posted on 21 Jul