The FSE Robline SB20 Open UK National Championship, organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, came to a dramatic conclusion after three days of intense racing. Boasting 38 entries from Australia, Belgium, England, Ireland, Oman, Russia, and Scotland.
The SB20 Class were out in force, battling medium to heavy conditions in the Central Solent. Several races were held in over 20 knots of wind, with some high octane action on the windward leeward course. Eight races were held in the series, which was decided in the very last race.
Joe Llewellyn’s Forelle Estates is the SB20 National Champion, after a highly competitive and somewhat stressful final day, racing with Joe Llewellyn: Nigel Wakefield, and Jeremy (Pasty) Vigus.
“Nigel and Pasty did a great job getting me round the course, so thank you very much and for Jerry Hill and his team for giving us a close run.” commented Joe. “I would like to thank the Royal Southern, it has been a really enjoyable event. The club’s new yacht haven, makes this an awesome venue to host championship events; everybody is on the dock together, and the clubhouse is one of the best venues along the south coast, and that is why we love coming here.”
“It all got a bit close today, our engine broke down on the way out to racing, and even with our spinnaker up, we were two minutes late for the first start! We managed to claw our way back to tenth, and in the end, we counted that score, and discarded our last race, so perseverance got us through a rough patch.”
Royal Southern YC member, Jerry Hill, a former SB20 World champion, and 2014 SB20 UK National Champion, started slowly but built momentum as the championship played out, scoring two race wins on the penultimate day, but finished second by just four points. Australian Elliott Noye’s showed his intentions from the first race scoring a bullet in brutal conditions, and consistently placed in the top ten, bar one race, to claim third overall.
Congratulations should go to John Pollard’s team from the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, who scored a 1-1-2 on the final day, to finish the championship in fourth place. Also Michael O’Connor’s team from the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dublin, scoring two podium finishes to finish fifth.
The Prize Giving was held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club Upper Bar, with Royal Southern Yacht Club Vice Commodore, Graham Nixon, officiating. Paul Hine, SB20 Class Association, was on hand to present prizes generously donated by championship sponsor FSE Robline.
by Louay Habib