Photo; Joy Ayton

South Africa take an early lead

The Hudsons' Spirit of Cape Town ahead at Laser SB3 Nationals

Wednesday September 1st 2010, Author: Katie Ashworth, Location: United Kingdom

Summer has officially returned to the south coast of the UK today for the first day of racing at the 2010 Neilson Active Holiday Laser SB3 National Championships. 41 boats departed Brighton Marina this morning for the first 3 races of their 12 race championship series.

The South African’s are on great form, posting a 3, 3, 1 on the score board today and are clearly in the grove for a good championship performance. “The conditions were great today, sunshine, good breeze and surfing, as well as 3 ‘keeper results’ on day one, it’s set us up well,” reported Roger Hudson as they returned to the dock this afternoon.

‘The Kids’ on Rola Trac had a great first day. According to Tim Saxton they sailed, “...better than expected” and really enjoyed the downwind legs where they were able to pick off boats. “We’ve not really sailed in big waves before in the Laser SB3 so we are really pleased with our performance.” 2008 Laser SB3 World Champion Geoff Carveth and crew of Emma Clarke, Sandy Ramus and Toby Litton won race 1 and the additional prize of a crew dinner at the Memories of India this evening. “What a lovely day sailing, the conditions were great considering the forecast! ‘The Kids’ were on good form today and will certainly be giving us some pressure this week, and a curry to top it off, perfect.”

This year's Laser SB3 World Champion, Jerry Hill has been deserted by his winning crew, but despite this had a good couple of races with one less good result. “I’m sailing with Richard Lovering and Matt Alverado, my crew from the Le Crouesty event in France in 2006, we might have had a bad third race today, but we are definitely still in the hunt!”

Coach, Barry Dunning, observing from a RIB also enjoyed the days racing on the “Costa del Brighton”. Barry is attending the event as a coach to one of the competing teams who’s performance today was described as Eau-k. “Today has really shown how quality stands up, there’s been some really good boat handling at the upper end of the fleet.”

In 2009, Mike Budd lead the National Championships after the first day of sailing, however, having not set foot in his Laser SB3 this year, he’s a little rusty, “We were black flagged in the first race which knocked us, but the conditions were great, the boat speed was good and Budd, Budd and Jackson will be back on form tomorrow I’m sure!” Dave Cheyne, President of the Laser SB3 Class Association claimed sore hands after his first day of sailing at the front of the boat for a long time, “the spongy tiller extension’s a lot easier on the hands,” joked Cheyne as he came ashore having joined Charlie Whelan and Richard McAdam onboard ‘Here Comes Bod’ for the event.

Overnight the fleet is led by David Hudson (Spirit of Cape Town) followed by Craig Burlton (Gill Race Team) and Geoff Carveth (Core Elements) in third. The fleet return ashore to barbecued burgers and free beer, the hospitality and organisation of Brighton Marina Yacht Club has been first class, we’re in for a great event this week!

Full results here

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