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Ocean Elements 2018

Viva le France as the SB20 World Championship concludes in Hobart

by Peter Campbell 11 Jan 08:28 GMT 2-11 January 2018
The World Champion SB20 in action © Jane Austin

Young French skipper Achille Nebout, sailing Le Reservoir/Mazet & Associase, today brilliantly won the 2018 World championship for the SB20 one-design sports boat class on Hobart's River Derwent.

With his equally young crew of Gabriel Skoczek, Pauline Mazzocchi and Bruno Mournac, they finished the 12-race series with a first and a second on a sparkling Derwent and hot summer's day.

Another young French crew, headed by sailor Robin Follin, the 2015 World champion finished second overall, third place going to the British boat Marvel, skippered by Richard Powell.

Top Australian boat was the National champion Aeolus, skippered by Brett Cooper, also from Hobart, who finished a sixth overall.

But it was a sad end to the worlds for fellow Tasmanian Michael Cooper with his boat Export Roo receiving a BFD (Flack Flag) disqualification for a starting line infringement in the last race.

Export Roo had crossed the line in second place in race 12, just seconds astern of another French boat, EOLIFT Racing (Hugo Feydit).

But it was not to be, with Export Roo relegated to seventh. Cooper lodged a claim for redress but the International Jury denied this, Export Roo with a last race BFD.

While the international sailors from France and Britain dominated the top five overall placings, (three French, two Britain) six Australian boats finished in the top 11 placings.

Today's races were sailed on a sparkling River Derwent in a 10-15 knot ENE breeze on a hot (28 degrees) summer's day that drew a large spectator fleet out on the water to watch the final races.

With the standings so close going into the final race, the start became aggressive with the first attempt being a general recall.

Race officer Nick Hutton then hoisted the Black Flag and four boats were called BFD – Export Roo (AUS) Xcellent (John Pollard, GBR), Provident CRM (Michael O'Connor, IRE) and Ikon20 (Kirwan Robb, AUS).

Export Roo had crossed the line in second place and Xcellent fourth.

The first SB20 World championship in Hobart was conducted with the highest professional standards by the Royal Yacht of Tasmania and the Derwent Sailing Squadron as joint hosts and Nick Hutton, an international race officer, heading up a team of mostly volunteers from both clubs.

Weatherwise, sailing conditions were excellent for the Pre-Worlds and the Worlds, with moderate to fresh breezes ranging from northwest to west and south, to east-north-east on the final day.

The championships drew a fleet of 59 boats, 18 internationals from France, Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Singapore and New Caledonia.

Great credit for getting the Worlds to Hobart and their organisation cmust go to the two yachts clubs and the Tasmanian and Australian SB20 class associations, headed by Steve Catchpool.

Overall Results: (top ten)

1. Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet & Associates (Achillle Nebout, FRA) 2-(11)-7-(25)-11-3-3-8-3- 4-1-2, 44pts
2. Give Me 5 - French Youth Team (Robin Follin, FRA) BFD-8-3-3-(23)-1-8-1-91-15-4, 53pts
3. Marvel (Richard Powell, GBR) 10-(32)-1-(13)-10-11-1-3-4-7, 57pts
4. IOLIFT Racing (Hugo Feydit, FRA) 13-17-5-(23)-4-(35)-17-17-4-2-6-1, 86pts
5. Xcellent (John Pollard, GBR) 6-12-6-14-3-10-1-3-24-(30)-7-BFD, 86pts
6. Aeolus (Brett Cooper, AUS) (26)-16-11-1-2-11-4-7-(19)-13-12-11, 88pts
7. Export Roo (Michael Cooper, AUS) 3-3-1-9-(UFD)-2-7-32-6-9-17-(BFD) 89pts
8. 2Unlimited (Greg Prescott (AUS) (25)-7-15-5-7-14-5-5-14-(26)-20-18, 110pts
9. Porco Rosso (Elliott Noye, AUS) 11-(24)-18-7-(33)-4-9-15-13-23-5-6, 111pts
10, Karabos (Nick Rogers, AUS) (28)-14-25-6-8-(29)-12-2-11-14-14-12, 118pts