South African Olympic sailors Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson normally sail in a two man Olympic class dinghy called a 470. They were recently joined by two other Capetonians, Alex Burger and Taariq Jacobs, to sail a bigger boat, an SB20 named ‘Race Ahead – Spirit of Cape Town’ to compete in the SB20 World Championships on Lake Garda in Italy.
The 470 team of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson took the Gold Medal at the 2014 Delta Lloyd regatta which was the 2nd event of the 2014 European Sailing Federation’s Champions Cup circuit. Their win was a first for a SA sailing team.
After two days of racing and three races in the SB20 World Championships this week the team of hardy Capetonians were placed top of the leaderboard with consistent placings of 2 seconds and a 4th ahead of 91 other teams.
After a change in conditions followed by a demanding afternoon of three rapid-fire races for Day 3 of the 2015 Trentino SB20 World Championships saw a shake-up on the leaderboard.
The 92-boat fleet awoke to a humid and windless Lake Garda this morning (July 8). Overnight storms delayed the formation of the – usually reliable – early afternoon breeze, and the race committee from the Circolo Vela Torbole flew the AP flag, with many in the fleet anticipating that racing would be cancelled for the day.
However, a later Ora breeze filled in mid-afternoon, and at 1500pm the AP was lowered and the competitors in both Gold and Silver fleets were sent out to complete three rapid races in 16-24 knots. It was a tough day on the water for many, with the atypical Lake Garda conditions proving harder to read and strategise for, and some big gusts downwind also putting pressure on boat-handling skills.
Ukrainian Olympian Rodion Luka, initially one of the early favourites for the regatta, stormed from fifth overall to the top of the leaderboard by taking a sixth, second and first place today. Adding to the three race wins he carries from the qualifying series, Luka and his ‘Skyline’ team now lead on 33 points.
Rodion Luka said after racing, “We had an amazing day. It is great to be back in the game!”
One point adrift, Roger Hudson’s ‘Race Ahead – Spirit of Cape Town’ team has yet to finish outside the top 10, and with a 10th, ninth and third place on the third day are now second on 34 points.
In third lies the Russian ‘Melstrom Team’ of Alexey Murashkin, who had a mixed day with a second and a 14th place, and are now on 43 points overall. They are just one point ahead of early leaders, the FFV Youth team of ‘Give me 5’, who scored another race win before picking up an unwanted 27th, which cannot currently be discarded. Robin Follin and his young French team will surely be feeling the pressure.
Just five points separate the fifth to 10th placed boats. First Briton Joe Llewellyn lies in fifth place, after also scoring a mixed day. Ian Ainslie and team have slipped to sixth with a 20, 10, 12 scoreline from the day. Michael Cooper’s Tasmanian team in seventh took the first race win of the day.
In the Silver fleet Valdislaav Ivanovskiy and his RUS 373 opened the day as leader of the silver fleet, flying the Sportsboat World pink gennaker – and to great effect. They were easy to spot at the front of the fleet, and nailed three consistent results to open out their lead to a 26-point advantage over Chris Darling (GBR). The RUS 373 team scored two seconds and a fourth while today’s race winning honours were shared by Pierre-Yves Lambert (FRA 3339), local skipper Claudio Dutto (ITA 3633) and Fabrizio Boromei (ITA 3567).
Simon Hume, racing in the silver fleet, was celebrating his birthday at yesterday evening’s gala dinner for the fleet on the shores of Lake Garda, hosted by Circolo Vela Torbole. He commented: “Fantastic sailing – this is what we came for!”
After last night’s prosecco celebrations and a demanding day on the water, there were some very tired crews in the SB20 fleet, with many heading back to base for an early night after an exhausting day on the water. Racing continues until Friday, July 10.