Champion Hobart sailor Brett Cooper and his crew of Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones and Jock Calvert are leading the SB20 French Nationals after day one of racing off Hyeres, near Marseille, scoring two wins and a second overnight.
Sailing Cooper’s brand new SB20, Aeolus (AUS), the Tasmanians excelled in the sea breeze and already hold a commanding points lead with Aeolus on 4 points and the next boat, Skin in the Game (FRA), on 11 points. Third overall is another French boat, Vetus Forward (FRA) on 15 points.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania crew have had only a few days to prepare the Tony Castro-designed, UK-built boat for the French championships, the first regatta at Hyeres leading up to the SB20 Worlds there in late October.
They won the opening race, then finished second in race two to leading British sailor John Pollard, sailing Xcellent. In race three, the Aeolus crew were again the winners. Pollard is seventh overall, having had a BFD in race one and finishing second in race three.
Jock Calvert, a member of the Australian Sailing Team’s Olympic Finn campaign, wrote on his Facebook page after today’s racing: “Out here in Hyeres for the next few weeks for a few SB20 regattas and we’ve started off strongly! Had a beautiful sea breeze and lovely warm weather. Two more days of racing, so looking forward to continuing in the same fashion.”
Delighted with the result of day one, Jock’s grandfather, Don Calvert, could not help but mention the fact that his famous yacht Intrigue was designed by Tony Castro 35 years ago and Jock is sailing a Castro design in France.