Rod Jones, the 2009 Audi Australian IRC Ocean racing champion, has not rested on his laurels since winning the prestigious title during last month's t Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. The talented Sunshine Coast skipper who proudly races under the Mooloolaba Yacht Club burgee has continued to promote an important one-design fleet racing competition with the OceanBuro SB3 sports boat class.
He and his high performance Oxygen Ocean racing combination valued the opportunity of competing in major regattas against the Nations best blue water sailors in a varied range of classes including the Etchells and the exciting SB3 Dart.
Racing in these classes refined their individual skills to ultimately play a major role on the deck of the Achambault A40 Alegria when she outpaced Australia's best.
Skipper Jones is surrounded by a group of versatile sailors including Beijing Olympic coach Adrian Finglas ,World Etchells champion Bucky Smith and former Australian Sabot champion Sean O'Rourke who have made a major contribution to his domination of the national series.
Winning two Audi Australian championships has continued to remain as ‘work in progress' for the crew with Rod Jones already planning to defend the title at Hamilton Island in 2010.
Meanwhile he has completed important negotiations for the 2010 and 2011 Australian SB3 championships to become a feature event at the Sail Port Stephens regatta. The mid-north New South Wales tourist destination is an excellent sailing venue offering a testing range of courses which promise exciting racing for the thrill seeking crews. Hosting the championships at Port Stephens offers all crews the opportunity to test their one-design skills without the advantage of local experience.
The SB3 now regarded among the fastest growing One-design classes in the World promises to stage an exciting championship series with several high profile sails accepting the Notice Of Race for the April 12-18 championship regatta.
“Port Stephens is a perfect venue where the local community and tourism welcome the sailors and their families.”
“This is supported with the option to select good courses which makes for high quality racing in a competitive environment”. Rod Jones said.
Event Manager Jody O'Brien is also delighted to have the SB3 Nationals at Sail Port Stephens. “We're working closely with Rod Jones and the OceanBuro team to deliver a quality experience for the fleet both on and off the water,” she Said.
Queensland fleet skippers led by Kai Timm will remain focused on preparing their national championship challenge with fleet racing off Mooloolaba while the strong New South Wales and Victorian crews will be race prepared to protect their reputations when they go head to head to prove who is the smartest and fastest SB3 sports boat racing combination in the Nation.
Meanwhile Rod Jones will continue to encourage his National IRC championship winning crew mates Sean O'Rourke, Greg Macallansmith and Chris Annear to contest the series and hopefully win another Australian championship for the Mooloolaba Yacht Club.
– Stripey Grant