Colin Simonds and team win Touareg-sponsored Laser SB3 championship at Torquay

Colin Simonds and team are the new UK National Laser SB3 Champions after a fine display of sailing in the fantastic conditions of day three of the event at Torquay on Saturday.

In the swell of 4-5 feet and 8-12 knots of constant easterly breeze, Simonds and team scored a series of three wins which was enough to stay ahead of the European’s runner up from France, Luc Videau, who probably thought he had done enough to take the lead with a second and two thirds on the same day.

As the thunder and lightening rolled in, the final day’s racing on Sunday was scrapped, and cheers emanated from Doolalli 3017, one of the oldest boats in the fleet, Simonds was the new champ. An emotional 54-year-old Simonds, who sailed with his little brother of similar vintage, 6ft 3in Gavin, (his Soling crew of days gone by who recently swam from Seaview across the Solent), paid credit to the competition, and declared how delighted he was to finally win a big SB3 Regatta, and how racing SB3s was the best fun he had in his long and illustrious sailing career.

Race management was very appropriate with the PRO getting races fitted in to whatever short windows of steady breeze there were, and the shore staff kept glasses filled as fast as they could be emptied. Sponsorship again from Volkswagen Touareg and Henri-Lloyd was plentiful, and WKD kept a steady supply of free booze going on several evenings, much to the detriment of those on a budget.

Alan Hillman, the new South Coast co-ordinator, ran a superb video analysis session on the Friday night before the Hog Roast, and really the only downside was the arrival of the torrential rain and lightening, which made the prospect of hoisting your chariot out of the sea with an 80 crane pointing skyward, a rather anxious experience.

The youth award went to the West Mersea Youth Team, who sailed one of two borrowed boats, one owned by Josh Warren of West Mersea, the other by Laser. They collected the Mailspeedmarine prize donated by Simon Relph with a fantastic 13th overall.

Overall Results

1. Colin Simonds, GBR, 30 points

2. Luc Videau, FRA, 36

3. Glen Truswell, GBR, 44

4. Stephen White, GBR, 50

5. Jerry Hill, GBR, 55

6. Geoff Carveth, GBR, 64

7. Peter Kennedy, IRL, 70

8. Gareth Flannigan, IRL, 77

9. Mike RIley, GBR, 84

10. Paul Ellis, GBR, 84