Cheyne and Burlton win closely contested McAllister Volkswagen SB3 East Coast Championships
Author: David Quinn Posted on: 8/7/08 Print Version

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Howth Yacht Club played host to 38 SB3's for the East Coast Championships, with 6 races total, sailed on July 5th & 6th. The large Dublin fleet was joined by a number of top sailors from the North, Cork and the Midlands clubs.

As the crews adjourned to the bar after Race Officer, David Lovergrove's briefing on Friday night, speculation mounted as to who would be favourites. From the domestic fleet, Olympic 49er sailor Tom Fitzpatrick was back sailing 'Helly Hansen', and looking to defend his 2007 title. 2006 SB3 European Champion Craig Burlton from the UK was in Ireland to sample some hospitality and check out the Irish Fleet in advance of the Worlds in September. Craig was to helm Dave Cheyne's 'Redman Fisher' for the event. Gareth Flannigan has been no stranger to the podium at SB3 events, and was again helming 'McCready Sailboats'.
Conditions for Saturday were ideal, and far better than the Friday forecast of 30kts. Racing was held past Irelands Eye in the north east corner of north Dublin Bay, with a steady 18kts from the South East and rolling sea.

Craig Burlton got the perfect start to his event, heading right after a committee boat start and crossing the fleet to round the first weather mark with a significant lead. He held this lead through to the finish with Gareth Flanigan second and Tom Fitzpatrick third.