Two high profile Australian sailors Glen Bourke and Nathan Outteridge, with ten World titles under their belts between them, are amongst the favourites for the 2011 SB3 Australian Championship to be sailed Friday 15th to Sunday 17th April, as part of Sail Port Stephens 2011. For these two top sailors, this is their last hit out ibefore the Torbay Worlds
Glenn Bourke, three times Laser Class World Champion was the Venue and Competition Manager of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Sailing event. He had a very successful stint as the CEO of the Volvo Round the World Ocean Race and while UK based, moved into the SB3 Class.
He won three Cowes Weeks sailing in the SB3 class, one of them in a fleet of ninety eight boats, two British National titles and the 2007 European Championship, the peak event in the class at that time.
Bourke commented ‘I have been out of the class for more than three years but now we are back campaigning hard, with Australian SB3 Class President Rod Jones and one of the best bowman in the world, Greg McAllansmith. I am looking forward to sailing at Port Stephens. It’s a great venue and it is our last event before the 2011 SB3 Worlds in Torbay in England in mid-May.’
But Bourke and his crew will certain not have everything their own way. One of the most talent Australian sailors of recent years Nathan Outteridge, will compete with SB3 World Class President Dave Cheyne from Ireland and fellow Australian, Olympic medallist and Coach Ian Brown. For the Port Stephens event one of Nathan’s Lake Macquarie sailing mates Jodie Shields will substitute for Cheyne.
Outteridge, twice 49er World Champion, current Moth World Champion and recent winner of the Audi King of Docklands and Audi Victoria Week in the SB3, is aiming to win selection in the 49er class for the London 2012 Olympics.
And he is a very busy sailor. Nathan explained. ‘I got back from the 505 Worlds at Hamilton Island a few nights ago and started back to 49er training in Sydney. It will be 49ers every day until next Thursday when its up to Port Stephens for the three day event. Ian Brown will have our boat sorted.
'After Port Stephens I have more weeks of 49er training and then we will fly over to England for the SB3 Worlds. We think ‘Bourkey’ (Glenn Bourke) will be one of the toughest contenders in Torbay, so we are looking forward to next week’s battle.'
Rod Jones, twice Australian IRC Champion, is in no doubt who the favourite will be for this event. ‘We know we are competitive but I think Nathan has got all the boxes ticked and obviously with 'Brownie' (Ian Brown) on the technical side, I think they will be the favourites for the event based on Nathan’s recent form in many other classes.
‘But our job is to spoil their party,’ he laughed.
The first of two feeder races for Sail Port Stephens 2011, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Pittwater to Newcastle race starting tomorrow Saturday 9th April and the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club’s Newcastle to Port Stephens leg, will see the fleet streaming into Port Stephens on Sunday 10th of April.
The Commodores Cup begins Monday 11th and will be sailed over three days on three picturesque Bay courses.
Thursday’s lay day allows the Commodores Cup racers a day of leisure, as the action heats up again on Friday 15th with the Yachting NSW IRC Championship and the Port Stephens Trophy, which will feature both Racing and Cruising divisions and the SB3 Australian Championship.
For more information on Sail Port Stephens please go to http://www.sailportstephens.com.au