Leigh McMillan leads Aussie SB3 Nationals

Day One Leaders from Vectrix SB3 Nationals.
Tom Rosoman

Britain's Olympic Tornado sailor, Leigh McMillan, made a late decision to sail in the Australian Vectrix SB3 Championship in a boat borrowed from the manufacturer. McMillan decided to enter this regatta on Wednesday night and only stepped aboard this particular SB3 for the first time yesterday afternoon. He leads the series after winning three races in the first two days racing.

The other half of his Olympic crew has gone back to the UK leaving McMillan to shuffle new crewmembers on the boat each day at Skandia Geelong Week, but so far that hasn’t affected his performance.

The first days racing at the inaugural Vectrix SB3 National championships lived up to all the hype during the last few months. A quality fleet, with top international crews battling it out against crews from Melbourne, Hobart and Queensland.The British sailors arrived with serious intention to drive away on the Vectrix Scooter and had the advantage of more time in the boat.

In race one, sailed in 4-7 knots, McMillan’s PBR beat Brendan Garner’s Home Team with third, Wagop, skippered by Mike Mclean. The surprise from race one were the two pre-regatta favorites, two-times runner up at Skandia Cowes Week, Jono Shelly being OCS and the other British Team skippered by Andy Hazell DNF.

Race 2 saw around 9 – 13 knots of breeze and the boats one design nature resulted in one of the closest finishes seen in Keelboat racing for some time. McMillan in PRB, Jon Shelley in GBR1, Andy Hazell in GBR2 and Brendan Garner all finished within two seconds of each other, highlighting the caliber of the sailors competing.

On returning to shore race winner McMillian said “Every second counted in that one, and we really didn’t know who had one!”

Day 2 and with Race 3 Jon Shelley won this one ahead of Australian Brendan Garner with McMillan in third place.

Race 4 and McMillan was back in front, winning ahead of Garner with Mark Dagge, Ocean Blue finishing in third, his best position so far in the series.

Race 5 and local Garner scored his first win beating Britain's Jon Shelley, with Aussie Guy Bancroft, Sail-Mcrae in third place and Kai Timm, Oceanburo fourth.

Overall Leigh McMillan leads Brendan Garner by one point. In third place is Jon Shelley on 12 points and in fourth Andy Hazell wirth 18 points.

Laser SB3 - Results after Day 2 and 5 races with 1 discard

1 GBR - PBR Leigh McMillan MDSC [13.00] 1 3 1 1 6 pts
2 HOME TEAM Brendan Garner RGYC 1 2 2 [4.00] 2 7 pts
3 GBR 1 Jon Shelley UYC 2 6 1 2.5 [14.00O] 11.5 pts
4 GBR 2 Andy Hazell UYC 7 4 4 2.5 [14.00F] 17.5 pts
5 SAIL-MCRAE Guy Bancroft MCCYC 3 5 5 5 [8.00] 18 pts
6 OCEAN BLUE Mark Dagge RQYS 6 3 6 [6.00] 4 19 pts
7 OCEANBURO 11 Kai Timm MDSC 4 7 [8.00] 7 6 24 pts
8 NOOSA RIVER FERRY Phil Crawford NRYRC 8 8 7 [8.00] 7 30 pts
9 WAGOP Mike McLean NQCYC 5 [13.00] 12 11 3 31 pts
10 TASQUA YOUTH Sean ORourke MDSC 10 [12.00] 10 9 5 34 pts
11 FLYING FISH ONLINE Andy Fairclough MHYC [12.00] 9 9 10 9 37 pts
12 DART VADER Mark Prince NCYC 9 10 11 [12.00] 10 40 pts
13 SEABISCUIT Ian McLeod SYC 11 11 13 [13.00] 11 46 pts

For Full Race results and pictures please visit:www.dartsailboats.com or http://www.topyachtsoftware.com/results/2008/sgw/series/index.htm