Round One - Seaview YC
A total of 46 SB3s entered the Volkswagen Touareg / Henri-Lloyd-sponsored Seaview Eurocup on the Isle of Wight last weekend, 21-22 May 2005.
Glenn Bourke was out to prove that no-one had usurped him as class leader, and despite spending 15 minutes hacking a snagged line off his RIB prop at the pontoon, chest deep in water, he made the line to finish 6th, before keeping it 1st and 2nd all the way in, to finish on an amazing 7 points in Musto.
If the English were out to make sure the Aussie didn’t make it look too easy, they hadn’t counted on a Southern Hemisphere double, as Dan Geoghegan in Blonde Ambition kept the pressure on Glenn right up to the final whistle with a string of top five finishes. His performance would have been all the more impressive had he held onto his lead in Race 5 when, in a sunny Force 3-5 southerly, he sailed a masterful race, opening up all the way from the first mark, to hold a huge lead round the last windward mark. As they shot off to leeward at speed, with Musto on their tail, followed closely by the all-girl team on Team Maclaren, they looked to be cruising in, only to chuck their kite in the sea and let the chasing pair through. The girls finished second, which, along with their two 5ths and a 9th, was only marred by a 28th as they got buried in race 4 coming off a heavily port biased line, leaving them in 8th place overall.
Jerry Hill started each morning with a first, and looked most likely to break the Aussie dominance, only to fall victim to the Black Flag in Race 6, and as he led into the first mark, was forced to leave the course by the pursuing Race Office RIB. Hill, sporting a 5ft square picture of his lovely new Volkswagen Touareg on his mainsail, finished 3rd overall with the ever more consistent Shelley brothers in PWC, one point adrift, also falling foul of the dreaded black flag, used for every single start. It certainly reduced the start line shenanigans often seen, but was a very harsh penalty on a line which frequently had simply too much port bias.
Conditions were near perfect for the SB3s, with upwards of 15 knots for most races, touching 25kts at times on Saturday afternoon, with full-on planing in most races. There were a lot of weary bones after race 6, and the anticipated race home ended up a bit of a struggle, as winds hit 25-30 knots past Ryde and into the central Solent. Paul Ellis, driving for Toby Litton, was unfortunate enough to find himself on the lee shore at Hillhead, and for a while it looked as if they were going to have to swim ashore, before the accompanying RIBs pulled them back into deeper water.
Other unfortunates on the weekend included Neil Hardies team, who managed to keep quiet until Saturday night, that theirs was the tub which went walkabout on Friday night, as the Sea View Briefing Team announced that an unidentified SB3 had spent the night in Gosport! At the Saturday night buffet dinner in the magnificent Sea View YC clubhouse, local hero Raymond Simonds, ex Laser maestro, was awarded a lovely inflatable rubber ring duck for his totally unnecessary attention seeking swim at the previous weekend’s RSnYC Regatta. With all the teams forced to stay and drink the night away on the isolated island hideaway, there were a few sore heads on Sunday.