Geoff Carveth and team win the Touareg Laser SB3 European championship at Weymouth 25/6/07

After three days of flight racing in windy Weymouth Bay Geoff Carveth has won the Laser SB3 European Championship. Carveth and team built an almost unassailable lead going into the final day’s Gold Fleet series on Friday. With points continuing to count, he was discarding a bullet from the eight preliminary races, with Marshal King in second, and Paul Lovejoy in third after an impressive double win on Thursday.

Carveth had it all to do though, and it became evident that the Gold Fleet final showdown would provide some of the toughest racing many of us have experienced since the start of SB3 racing in 2002. In 6-10 knots of breeze, and flat water, if you didn’t get your bow out and clear from the start, which had pretty much no second row, you were spat out the back and struggled to get back from the thirties. Yet it was Carveth who led to the first mark, and held on to win the first race, and pretty much settle the matter. A 10th and 17th in the next two races for him showed how much pressure there was, so he wisely headed to shore before his brain went into meltdown, and let the reality sink in whilst the rest of the fleet battled on for the remaining places.

The Silver fleet fought a tough battle of their own, on a separate windward/leeward course, in parallel with the Gold Fleet course; the trapezoid being dropped to allow easier course adjustment.

Racing on the final day was held in the Harbour at Portland, with flat water inside and out in the bay, and convergence squeezing and increasing the pressure in the harbour, the true versatility of the venue was demonstrated. It was a tense affair, with black flags being flown, and shifts of up to 15 degrees and short duration filtering across the race area, meaning heads needed to be out of the boat, and conservative tactics the way to go.

Craig Burlton finally got into his stride, though it was a little too late for the former European Champion, in Team Touareg, to make any meaningful impression on the top three, and Glenn Bourke equalled him but likewise, the damage was done, and no-one could match the superiority demonstrated by Carveth. With redress being granted for Marshall King in the last two races, he was able to take second place, whilst Lovejoy dropped to fourth. Top ladies team, Team Maclaren showed excellent form to secure ninth.