Newly launched SB3 Match put to the test
Despite the rain, fog and limited wind, six teams of university student sailors set sail to put the SB3 Match Racing Kit through its paces on Friday 19 March from the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble.
This is the first time the SB3 Match has been used in a competitive event in Europe. They key differences following the conversion of a
standard SB3 to an SB3 Match include the use of a symmetrical spinnaker and sheets, a symmetric spinnaker pole, spinnaker deck hardware and the re-positioning of the lower shrouds from the mast to the gooseneck. The original design brief for the SB3 Match included a "no rivet gun, no drill" rule, the fitting of the Match Kit was to be achieved without the addition any new holes in the hull or deck. Glen Truswell,
LaserPerformance Technical Project Engineer confirmed, "This has been the most challenging part of the kit's development, but we managed it!"
Following a warm welcome from the members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Truswell briefed the students, many of whom have sailed the SB3 in it's original form, on a couple of preferred techniques for the SB3 Match, including the spinnaker sheet catcher and the opportunity to hoist the spinnaker either under or over the newly positioned lowers. This was all food for thought as the students headed to the dock to where their rigged and ready SB3's, provided by Pelican Racing, waited.
The first match of the day was scheduled to start at 10.00 hrs however, with only two knots of wind and extremely limited visibility, racing was postponed. At 11.30 hrs, the first flight of races began. Principal Race Officer, Simon Hand was anxious to complete the full race schedule appropriately shortened the course to compensate for the lack of wind.
All matches were completed in good time and some tight, nip and tuck match racing was enjoyed by the competitors and spectator students, press and race officers. Southampton University, helmed by Andy Shaw won the event by a convincing margin.
Nial Myant, helm of Team Myant was taken aback by how well the whole event was organised and delivered. "The Royal Southern Yacht Club ran an extremely professional event and we received such a warm welcome, we're not really used to that at Student Sailing Events!" Having achieved second place overall Myant clearly had a great day on the water, when quizzed on the SB3 Match Kit his response was extremely positive, "The SB3 converts to the match racing format beautifully, the design is so simple. The pole system is the best design of any of the boats that I've ever match raced before. Our bow girl enjoyed using the lightweight carbon spinnaker pole, a fantastic feature of this kit! The boat was extremely responsive in the match format; the symmetrical kite sailed really well, heating up easily but also able to sail deep. All in all the SB3 Match is a fantastic boat for match racing!"
Coinciding with the launch of the Match Racing Kit by LaserPerformance was the second launch event of the Royal Southern Yacht Club Youth Academy for 18 - 25 year olds. The aim of the Academy is to make the Royal Southern the hub of sailing and socialising for this age group on the south coast. Following the event laid on last Friday, the Royal Southern will have no trouble attracting new members to the Club!
Event Organiser, Guy Jackson of Southampton Solent University is to be congratulated for arranging an excellent event, he successfully
co-ordinated a large number of different parties who all pulled together to make the event possible. Thanks also go to Pelican Racing for their support and Robinsons' Family Brewery for their generous supply of prizes.
Southampton University, Andy Shaw, 5 points, 1st overall
Team Myant, Nial Myant, 3 points, 2nd overall
Southampton Solent University, Chris Witty, 3 points, 3rd overall
Portsmouth University, Tom Cheney, 2 points, 4th overall
Cardiff University, Dom Breen-Turner, 1 point, 5th overall
Southampton University, Ben Pym, 1 point, 6th overall