SB3's on tour

Boats head for Brest for some weekend action writes Dan Griffey

Tuesday May 13th 2003, Author: Dan Griffey, Location: France
Last weekend French, Irish and British boats made the trip to the excellent French Grand Prix Ecole Naval, in Brest, France, for the opener of a series that has already earned the descriptions 'close fought', 'exciting', and of course 'FUN'.

The Grand Prix Ecole Naval, a young but professional regatta that included the Laser SB3 class start, alongside the Mumm 30 (Tour Voile training) and radical Open 7.50 fleets, provided the ingredients of a blistering opening weekend on and off the water. 8 knots - sunshine; 20 knots - rain; Finistere fog, Brittany ‘cidre’, and buckets of muscles will be some of the great reasons why this regatta will be in the diary for 2004.

On the water the racing was nothing but intense. With impeccable crew work shining through on every boat in the fleet, passing lanes were few and far between and as the head scratching continued places changed race by race.

FRA3047, sailed by French Laser man Nico Honor came out of the blocks with a jump, showing a masterful approach to the subtle shifts, and rarely looked back as his consistent results put him on top of the pile as the fleet entered the final days sailing. With a close first place in the recent Warsash spring series Jerry Hill looked best positioned to push the French team to the last race, with Mark Richards sailing ‘Hyde Sails’, and Cork week champ Hugh Watson close behind.

Mid fleet places were never certain, and throughout the furious racing crews worked hard at every opportunity to ensure places changed race by race - everything was to play for with only a handful of points separating the fleet, showing the mood of the close racing that is to come in the 2003 Henri Lloyd Eurocup series.

The Henri Lloyd SB3 Eurocup moves onto Seaview, Isle of Wight for the next regatta on the 28/29 July. An enticing south coast venue will ensure a large fleet with the tight exciting racing that has become synonymous with the Laser SB3.

1. 3047 "Laser SB 3" Nicolas Honor (YC Grande-Motte) 10 pts;
2. 3029 "3 Sad Old Blokes" Jerry Hill (RORC) 17 pts;
3. 3024 "Hyde Sails" Mark Richards (Warsash) 23 pts;
4. 3047 "" Hugh Watson 24 pts;
5. 3016 "Saboteur" Paul Wiseman (Royal London Yacht Club) 38 pts;
6. 3040 "Richardsons" Billy McKinney (Irlande) 39 pts;
7. 3011 "Distincly Minty" David Evans (Warsash) 43 pts;
8. 3023 "Lets Be Free" Ray Nash 45 pts;
9. 3055 "Bish Bash Bosh" Roger Hexton 53 pts.

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