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Zhik SB20 UK National Championships - Burlton and crew victorious    
Mon, 8 Jul 2013

At the Zhik SB20 UK National Championships, Craig Burlton, Stephen ‘AB’ White and Adam Heeley sailing Gill Race Team have claimed victory in Falmouth for the second time as a crew. Adam Heeley enjoys his third trip to the top of the podium in Falmouth and confirms his winning streak in the West Country.

Day one provided perfect conditions for four back to back windward leeward races in Falmouth Bay which ensured the championships series. Craig Burlton, Stephen ‘AB’ White and Adam Heeley came ashore with a 2, 2, 2, 3 scorecard after the first day of racing with a lead of 11 points over second place team, Henri Lloyd/Forelle Estates campaigned by Joe Llewellyn, Jerry ‘Pasty’ Vigus and Nigel Wakefield.

A flat calm greeted the fleet on day two in Falmouth. When the fleet were released to the race course, and after a number of SB20-typical false starts, racing got underway. Peter Saxton made the correct call to shorten the course to ensure the race remained fair as the wind began to disintegrate. John Pollard, sailing with Rob Smith and Charlie Hook from the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, won the firth race of the championship and what turned out to be the only race completed on day two.

After a long wait on the water, the Race Committee did start race six of the Championships. The over eager crews of John Pollard, Ian Hudson and Dudley Stock were all black flagged at the start of the sixth race; which was subsequently abandoned and the fleet were sent ashore for the day. Although there had only been one race and despite the scorching the fleet endured in the heat wave that has swept the UK this weekend, all crews returned ashore cheerful and in hunt of pasties and pints. Race six would be restarted on the morning of day three of the Championships.

When day three dawned, the fleet were again signalled to remain ashore until 11.30 when the call came from the Race Committee that pressure was building off Pendennis Point and the fleet were released to the race course. While the course was laid and the fleet mustered in the starting area, the previous 5-7 knots began to drop. Although the start sequence for race six did begin, the committee hoisted the AP over A as there was not enough pressure to run a good championship race. The SB20 fleet returned to Port Pendennis to begin haul out and de-rigging.

Although just five of the eleven scheduled Championship races were completed, the fleet enjoyed highly competitive racing in the fabulous surroundings of Falmouth Bay. Peter Saxton delivered the perfect possible series of races in extremely challenging conditions; no Race Officer could have tried harder to complete the full schedule of races, but the conditions were not favourable on this occasion.

The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club hosted the Class to dinner on Saturday night at their fabulous river side club house. They have provided the class with another excellent Championship in Falmouth and all of their organisers and volunteers are thanked.

Attention now turns to the Grand Slam at Cowes Week, 3rd-6th August with one final Solent ‘warm up’ event on 27th – 28th July at the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

SB20 Class website

by Katie Jackson

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