Export Roo Slides Down SB20 Leader board
Export Roo, Tasmania’s major hope to win the SB20 World Championship 2018 on the River Derwent today slid down the leaderboard from first to sixth place overall.
Export Roo, skippered by Hobart yachtsman Michael Cooper, began day three with consistent sailing, notching up a second and a seventh place in the 59 boat fleet. Then came race eight of the 12 boat series with a disastrous 32ndas his British and French opponents turned in high placings.
Unfortunately, Export Roo has to carry the 32nd place in its overall score as Cooper has already used his race five UFD disqualification (60 penalty points) as his discard. Cooper’s hopes of winning the SB20 World title he lost so narrowly at Cowes, England, last August now rest on at least 10 of the 12 races being completed, allowing skippers to discard two races.
And, of course, Export Roo and her crew must sail as brilliantly as they did earlier in the series. Export Roo’s sensational fall from grace, hopefully short-lived for the local Hobart fleet, has seen the British yacht Xcellent moved to the top of the leaderboard with a net 41 points after placings yesterday of 10-1-3. One of skipper John Pollard’s crew is Matthew Johnston, Commodore of the co-host club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. Ironically, Johnston previously sailed with Michael Cooper.
Second overall is the young French sailor Achille Nebout and his crew of Le Grand Reservoir/Mazet & Associes who yesterday had a 3-3-8 result for a net 45 points. In third place is another young French crew, Give Me 5 – French Youth Team who starred yesterday with two first places and an eighth. Give Me 5 is on 27 points.
Top placed Australian (and Tasmanian) after eight races is Australian Brett Cooper, skippering Aeolus, also from the Hobart fleet, in fourth position on a net 52 points. Aeolus yesterday placed 11-4-7 to be on 52 points. In sixth place is the consistent Tasmanian Greg Prescott in 2Unlimited while Elliott Noye had his best race to date with a fourth place, lifting Porco Rosso to eighth overall.
The SB20 World championship is still wide open with British, French and Australian boats all in contention with four races to sail over the next two days.
Words By Peter Campbell
Photos By: Jane Austin