The first SB20 Grand Slam of the season, over May 2-4 2014 saw a strong fleet of 25 boats from 7 nations, representing France, Britain, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Monaco. Just as for the World Championships last year, the Mediterranean venue of Hyeres offers great sailing with a real mix of conditions. On Friday we had very British weather that seemed to suit the British boats with 35 knots and some rain, which cleared up and dropped right away to nothing, forcing Race 3 to be abandoned – much to the relief of some!
Day 2 was warm and sunny with a building breeze that started at 10 knots and saw the day finishing in a perfect 20 knots, allowing four excellent races to be completed. For Day 3 the forecast was pretty light and while the excellent race team from COYCH tried in vain to get us racing – one race was started (allowing the SportsboatWorld team to once again show how average they can be in 2-3 knots of wind!) but the race committee had to bow to the inevitable and send the fleet back in
Well done to our hosts the COYCH for running some excellent racing and great hospitality in the evenings, including refreshments brought to the crane whilst de-rigging – that sets the bar very high! Thanks also to the SAX bar, which always looks after us so well. Hyeres is a great venue – good facilities, great restaurants, good breezes. The SB20 fleet will be back later in the year for the French Nationals, and no doubt for a Grand Slam event in May 2015. The next stop for the Grand Slam circuit is Torbole on Lake Garda, Italy over May 23-25, which is always a favourite.
1st John Pollard, Rob Smith and Steve Proctor Excellente
2nd Jerry Hill, Alan Hillman and Chris Quentin SBW.com
3rd Alexey, Egor and Kirrril M Team
4th Ian Armstrong, Mark Sherwood and Michael Gifford Trouble & Strife
5th Ed Russo, Phillippe and Gilles Black Magic