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Brothers to be international rivals in SB20s

by Peter Campbell 11 Nov 2017 11:17 GMT 11 November 2017
SB20 Marvel sailing in Cowes © Jane Austin

Tasmania sailing brothers, Paul and Tim Burnell, will be international rivals in the World Championship for the SB20 one-design sport boat class to be sailed on the River Derwent in early January.

Paul, a world champion dinghy sailor as a teenager, will sail The Honey Badger with his teenage sons, Ollie and Toby, and 12-year-old Bailey Fisher, representing Australia in the World Championship.

Tim, a prominent yachtsman who until recently was based in the UK, is now back living Hobart and will sail on UK boat Marvel, owned by British sailor Richard Powell.

Tim and Paul teamed up with Powell to contest the Cowes Week SB20 Grand Slam in August, with Paul helming Marvel. They finished a close fifth overall in the international fleet, including winning one race.

In the 2017 World Championship also sailed at Cowes, Marvel placed seventh overall and second for the Corinthian Trophy, but this time without Paul on-board.

Last weekend Tim joined Paul on-board The Honey Badger to compete in the BMW Showdown Regatta on the Derwent.

A black flag in race three didn't help, but against strong local competition they finished seventh in the 26 boat fleet.

"The boat [Marvel] is on its way to Australia and by January I'll be changing nationalities again and sailing for the Brits," Tim said at the weekend.

"I think it's going to be a great sailing event on the Derwent and I'm looking forward to racing against Paul and his boys."

A fleet of 64 SB20s is expected to contest the World Championship from 2-11 January 2018, including 20 boats and crews from overseas. The event is co-hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and the Derwent Sailing Squadron.

Heading the overseas entries will be 2017 World Champion Jerry Hill with his boat Sportsboat World, while runner-up at Cowes, Hobartian Michael Cooper in Export Roo, will head the Australian fleet.

A container-load of the overseas SB20s is due in Hobart next week with entries for the Worlds officially closing next Wednesday, 15 November.

Early entries include boats from Russia and The Netherlands, with three youth entries also coming from France and one from Ireland to provide competition to the two Hutchins School boats.

At least five predominantly all-women crews are also expected to contest the Worlds, with Colleen Darcey, steering Pride of Athena, the top placed of four women crews in last weekend's BMW Showdown Regatta.