High drama as series goes to the wire 03/8/06

Going into the last race David Althorp, with SB3 Champion Geoff Carveth on board, was in pole position overall by a margin of just two points from Alister Richardson. In third place was Andy Budgen, crewing with his brother Ian, but in this highly competitive fleet, with no discard available, the winner or even top three was still very much wide open.

As predicted the wind speed had picked up to 18 knots, enough for the Laser SB3s to get up on the plane. The stage was set for a dramatic finale and the high calibre fleet certainly delivered one.

The fleet got away to a clean start and after a two mile beat and a short reach, they hoisted spinnakers. Ultra light weight and designed to plain, the race course was awash with spray. There was high drama as David Althorp, who was leading after two races, lost bowman Matt Adams over the side during a broach. Thankfully he was swiftly recovered by the crew but the incident was to have a significant effect on the outcome of the series.

Russell Peters showed his calibre and took full advantage winning Race 3 by several boat lengths from Alister Richardson with Andy Budgen rounding off a consistent series coming in third.

Alister Richardson managed three podium finishes and although he didn’t win a single race, consistency paid and he was duly crowned King of Cowes. Richardson was delighted to receive the top prize of a brand new Volkswagen Touareg and commented at the prize giving; “That was some fantastic racing, the crew worked really well and we are delighted to have won against such tough opposition.”

David Althorp was second, winning a Volkswagen EOS, which must be of some comfort, after the drama of the last race! In third place and winner of a Laser GXD was Russell Peters who must be looking back at the penalty in Race 2 as a pivotal point in his fortunes.

The Volkswagen Tourag King of Cowes is new to Skandia Cowes week and it has been fascinating to watch. The outcome is a good indication of what SB3 sailing is all about; the top three helmsman were all from highly different disciplines of the sport; catamaran, keel boat and dinghy which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as the Laser SB3 borrows some characteristics from all three.

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