Laser SB3 Worlds preview

James Boyd Photography /
Glenn Bourke, Nathan Outteridge, Tom Slingsby, Rodion Luka plus three British champions - who to choose?
One of the most significant regattas to be held in the UK this year is currently firing up in Torquay with the World Championship for the Laser SB3s, the 10th anniversary of the class’ launch. Yesterday and today the pre-Worlds are taking place with the Worlds proper running from Monday until Friday next week on Torbay. Among the 119 boats taking part in the Worlds, with boats from 13 different nations, the majority obviously from the UK, but also from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Two of the hottest prospects are from Australia in the form of three time Laser World Champion and ex-Volvo Ocean Race CEO Glenn Bourke, now holder of the cushiest job on the planet, running Bob Oatley’s Hamilton Island resort in the Whitsunday Islands. Then there is the Aussie equivalent of ‘Ben and Percy’ – double 49er World Champion and present Moth World Champion Nathan Outteridge and triple Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby, who are both sailing with Ian Brown, Slingsby set to arrive in the early hours of Monday morning straight from the RC44 Austria Cup. Glenn Bourke claims not to have done much sailing over the last three years since moving back down under. However when he was living in the UK he won both the UK Nationals and Cowes Week twice and was generally considered the form sailor. Since then what little sailing he has done has been in the SB3, including recently the Aussie Nationals and the Audi-backed King of the Docks event down in Melbourne. However he remains enamoured with Laser’s keelboat: “I just think they are the perfect stepping stone between a dinghy and a yacht and I’m not ready to sail yachts,” he told thedailysail. “I loved dinghies when I sailed them and these things are just