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16 May 2011, 10:37 am
Zhik SB3 World Championship: Preview
Defending champions
Defending Champion Jerry Hill (GBR)

2011 Zhik SB3 World Championships
Torquay, Great Britain

103 entries representing 14 nations are ready to go in Torbay, UK for the 2011 Zhik SB3 World Championship. With the fleet packed with Olympians and world championships the competition is set to be fierce.
Racing for the 2011 Zhik SB3 World Championships begins on Monday 16 May and runs until Friday 20 May hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay, UK. The 103 entries representing 14 nations will sail two days of qualifying in two fleets, before splitting into Gold and Silver Fleets for the finals races. 14 races are scheduled for the Championships. The first race will start at 1100 hrs on Monday on the beautiful waters of Torbay.

The sun has shone as measurement, registration and launching of the 103 boat fleet was undertaken. Now that this is all but complete, there is great anticipation as the fleet make their final preparations to their boats for the start of racing on Monday. The line up of Olympians (past and present), National, European and World Champions will compete for the title of Zhik SB3 World Champion and the honour of lifting the stunning Waterford Crystal World Championship Trophy and receiving a full crew compliment of Zhik ISOTAK range on Friday 20 May 2011.

There is one thing that is guaranteed at this event, competition is going to be fierce and as ever in the Laser SB3 fleet, consistency will be essential. Roger Hudson (RSA) and his crew on Musto Race Ahead will be battling to improve their three previous Laser SB3 World Championship 2nd places. Jerry Hill (GBR) will defend his 2010 Laser SB3 World Championships title with original crew member Grant Rollerson and Matt Alvarado, a new "Sad Old Bloke" for 2011. Joe Llewellyn (GBR) middle man for Jerry Hill last year now campaigns his own boat in the Championship from his home Club, the Royal Torbay YC.

The Australians have launched an assault on the 2011 World Championship and field a team of four entries, two of which are definite contenders for the Championships title. Glenn Bourke (AUS) returns to the class after a three year absence and will undoubtedly return to form in no time at all. Moth World Champion and twice 49er World Champion Nathan Outteridge (AUS) will sail with Olympic Medallist Ian Brown and 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and three times Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby.

Possibly considered the "wildcard entry," Robert Greenhalgh (GBR) will race Joe Wood's Laser SB3 Red with Shane Hughes, Jerry Eplett and Kirsty Skinner. All eyes will be on Robert to see if he can transfer his one design fleet racing and offshore experience to the Laser SB3 class. Rodion Luka (RUS) will helm Oleg Zherebtsov's Laser SB3 Team Russia and will be looking for an improvement on his eighth place in 2010. Team Russia have been training hard and deserve a good result.

Craig Burlton (GBR), 2009 Laser SB3 World Champion is considered by many "the boat to beat" at any Laser SB3 event. With his regular crew of Stephen "AB" White and Adam Heeley, Gill Race Team are sure to feature in the top results. Fellow Gill boat, helmed by Geoff Carveth, winner of the 2008 World Championships and 2011 Pre World Championships, seem to be in the groove for a good week of competition at the front of the fleet.

The 2011 World Championships has received fantastic support from many sponsors, including title sponsor Zhik. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club lead by chief event organiser Adrian Peach have made a tremendous effort in organising what looks to be a great event.

Stay tuned and follow the action at www.ZhikSB3Worlds2011.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ZhikSB3Worlds2011

Katie Ashworth
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