Meet the Fleet: Oddie and Greenhalgh

2015 National Champions Andy Oddie, Rob Greenhalgh and Gareth Edwards 'Underground Toys'

2015 National Champions Andy Oddie, Rob Greenhalgh and Gareth Edwards ‘Underground Toys’

We catch up with the 2015 SB20 UK National Champions, Rob Greenhalgh and Andy Oddie

The skipper

For owner Andy Oddie and team mate Gareth Edwards the 2015 National Championships were a chance to revisit unfinished business – the pair nearly won the UK Nationals back in 2010, only losing the title on the final race. This year they laid down an impressive challenge from Day 1, winning the first three races in a row on ‘Underground Toys’ – the name of Oddie’s company which produces cool collectable toys with famous brands including Star Wars, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who.

Name: Andy Oddie

Sail Number: 3462

SB20 Fleet: Hamble

Skipper/crew: skipper

What drew you to sail in the SB20 fleet originally/or drew you back this year?  I like the boat, and the people.

How many years have you sailed in the class? Six

What is your experience in one-design racing? Etchells, Mirrors, Lasers and 420s –

not in that order!

What was the rest of the Nationals crews’ experience? On average 6 years in the boat.

Do you have a favourite SB20 sailing memory?  Buying the boat from Paul Lovejoy.

Where is your favourite sailing location? Have you sailed an SB20 there? Cascais, yes!

If you could change one thing about the SB20, what would it be? Improve upwind performance

When you’re not sailing, what do you do? Work, travel with work, and look after two young children

Anything else we need to know about you? There is a beer named after me in Battersea. This is probably not a good thing!

 

The pro

Rob Greenhalgh’s sailing CV is not only impressive, but reads like a list of seriously fun events. Initially known for his high performance dinghy sailing successes, he’s won the 18ft Skiff, International Moth and International 14 Worlds, and turned his hand to cat sailing with great success to win the Extreme 40 series.

He’s also a top big boat sailor, and has been in fierce demand among Volvo Ocean Race teams – including the winners ABN Amro One in 2005-06. Earlier this year he completed his fourth Volvo, as Watch Captain for Mapfre. Far from taking time off after the Volvo marathon ended, Rob headed to the Netherlands, where he won the foiling Moth European Championships. The next week he was back in his home town of Hamble, sailing with Andy Oddie and Gareth Edwards to pick up another championship, at the Stormforce Coaching SB20 UK National Championships, at the Royal Southern YC.

Rob was sailing as tactician and main trimmer on ‘Underground Toys’ for the 2015 nationals, having also won the first ever National Championships back in 2002, crewing for Mike Budd, and has also scored podium finishes at many UK Nationals and World Championships.

Rob Greenhalgh competing at the 2012 SB20 Europeans in Medemblik with Jerry Eplett, Shane Hughes and Henry Rees, where they finished second. ©Katie Ashworth/SB20 Class

Rob Greenhalgh competing at the 2012 SB20 Europeans in Medemblik with Jerry Eplett, Shane Hughes and Henry Rees, where they finished second. ©Katie Ashworth/SB20 Class

Name: Robert Greenhalgh

Most recent SB20, and your role:  ‘Underground Toys’, mainsheet

Skipper/crew: Andy Oddie & Gareth Edwards

What drew you to sail in the SB20 fleet originally – and drew you back this year?  The one-design racing, good competition, and very local

What is your experience in one-design racing? Quite a lot! (see above – Ed!)

What was the rest of the Nationals crews’ experience? Quite a lot!

Do you have a favourite SB20 sailing memory? Windy training days and sailing at Hamilton Island

Where is your favourite sailing location? Have you sailed an SB20 there? Solent, yes!

Rob Greenhalgh was Watch Captain in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on 'Mapfre' ©MAPFRE

Rob Greenhalgh was Watch Captain in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on ‘Mapfre’ ©MAPFRE