Two bullets for 'the pesky kids'
It’s been a case of the apprentice showing the masters on the opening day of the UON SB20 World Championship at Hamilton Island with Great Britain’s 22 year-old Ben Saxton scoring two bullets.
With an average age of 23 among the four crew on Bango Powered by SLAM, the youngsters won the first race having led the fleet around the course in Turtle Bay, to the east of the award winning island, in a 12-14 knot easterly breeze.
It was no fluke, the young Brit picking up the second gun of the day after match racing the Italian team of Stenghele, led by Pietro Negri, around the track to a photo finish just four seconds clear when it counted.
When asked between races whether the first bullet was a surprise, the winner of the Endeavour Trophy, the UK’s Dinghy Champion of Champions event, grinned from ear to ear, “not at all” he said with typical Gen-Y confidence.
“We hoped both races would be easier, but we finished feeling like we’d worked really hard, which is a credit to the rest of the fleet. The line-up has some serious quality to it and that’s the reason we are here,” added Saxton. “We looked at the entry list and thought ‘we have to get involved in that!’”
On their prospects at the end of the six-day world title the skipper commented, “We’d like to be in the game going into the last day”.
Current SB20 world champion, Geoff Carveth, who has also won the Endeavour Cup, has in the past affectionately referred to Ben and his twin brother Tim as “the pesky kids". Ben Saxton was a credentialed British Sailing Team 470 development squad sailor who has transferred to the Nacra 17 mixed catamaran for the Rio Olympics.
Sailing four-up with his brother Tim, Maria Stanley, 24, and Johnny McGovern, 26, on the bow, Saxton joked dockside this afternoon, “We have a bit of wisdom at the front of the boat to tell us where to go”. McGovern also has Olympic designs, in the 470 class, while Tim’s happy to let his brother shoot for the stars. “I have a real job,” he jests.
Behind the young Brits, the minor placings shuffled at each top mark rounding in race one with 2010 SB20 world champion Jerry Hill’s Sportsboatworld and Australia’s own Glenn Bourke on Club Marine grabbing vital opening points from the 42 strong fleet.
In the slightly pressured up race two, the Italians found their mojo in the Med-like conditions, Steghele and Andrea Racchelli’s Altea placing second and third.
The best placed Australian in race two was Bourke, a multiple Laser World champion, who was buried on the right side of the course when the breeze unexpectedly came out of the left.
Denis Thompson and his heavyweight team of international umpires, including Oracle Team USA’s rules advisor Richard Slater, New Zealand’s Bevan Woolley and American Charlie Arms, reported a great opening day in light to moderate easterlies.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for sunny skies and SE-E winds at 8-14 knots.
|1||Bango Powered by SLAM||Ben Saxton||GBR||1||1||2|
|3||Team Russia||Rodion Luka||RUS||6||4||10|
|4||The Beard||Robert Greenhalgh||GBR||4||8||12|
|6||Club Marine||Glenn Bourke||AUS||3||10||13|
|12||One Design Sailing||Ian Brown||AUS||8||15||23|
|13||Darling Associates||Chris Darling||SCO||15||9||24|
|15||Sailboat Deliveries||Sarah Allan||GBR||7||25||32|
|17||Black Rat||Troy Forrest||AUS||16||21||37|
|18||WYSIWYG V||Stephen Fries||AUS||20||20||40|
|19||New Caledonia1||TUGDUAL Piriou||FRANC||22||19||41|
|21||Still Out of control||Mark Wolfenden||AUS||14||30||44|
|22||Harry powered by Und||Andrew Oddie||GBR||21||23||44|
|23||And Then||Peter Jones||AUS||34||12||46|
|24||Cube II||Martijn Buitenhuis||NED||24||24||48|
|25||Borgo Scopeto||Giulia Tobia||ITA||38||13||51|
|26||Purple Patch||Callum Burns||AUS||19||32||51|
|27||Got a bit on||Matt Wenke||AUS||27||26||53|
|28||Marine Tech||Gareth Owen||UAE||32||22||54|
|29||Blue Tac||Trevor Martin||AUS||26||31||57|
|31||New Caledonia2||Alan Quere||FRANC||31||27||58|
|33||Dart Vader||Mark Prince||AUS||23||37||60|
|35||Chota Hazri||Chris Kameen||AUS||29||35||64|
|36||Mountain Goat Racing||Mike McLean||AUS||35||34||69|
|37||UON Hamilton Island||Tim Henderson||AUS||36||36||72|
|40||Squalo Bianco||Paris Stowell||AUS||39||42||81|
|41||Oceanburo Discover S||John Gardiner||AUS||40||41||81|