Three bullets for Bourke on day one of the HR Owen Laser SB3 nationals

The HR Owen Laser SB3 National Championship got off to a flying start in the River Blackwater, Essex yesterday (Thursday) with winds gusting up to 22 knots and competitors keen to flex their muscles.

Race One had Race Officer Alan Crosbie gritting his teeth as the entire fleet of 34 boats chose the committee boat end of the start line with the inevitable chaos resulting. Those who managed to clear the fleet and tack away on port made the most of the tide and wind shifts and led the pack around the course.

The wind built for race two and only those with exemplary boat handling came away unscathed. There were some spectacular broaches and enough damage to keep the local sail maker busy well into the evening.

By race three everyone was in their stride hitting the line in unison for an almost text book start and following through with consistent sailing in a settled breeze.

Glenn Bourke and his crew aboard Musto showed they hadn’t lost any of their form since winning the class in Cowes Week and notched up three firsts. They didn’t have it all their own way, however, with Doolalli (Colin Simonds) and Spank the Monkey (Nigel Olive-Jones) a constant threat.

The four-day regatta, hosted by West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club, continues until Sunday.

Results (after day one)

1st Musto Glenn Bourke 3pts

2nd Doolalli Colin Simonds 7 pts

3rd Spank the Monkey Nigel Olive-Jones 8 pts

4th Laser Sailing Chris Blackburn 15 pts

5th 3 Sad Old Blokes Jerry Hill 16 pts

6th SFG Henry & Luc Videau 24 pts

7th Mr Skiddy Peter Kennedy 32 pts

8th Bullet Graydon Dawson 33 pts