Outteridge takes second
Last night, seven times A-Cat World Champion Glenn Ashby (Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup team, and winner of 14 multihull World titles and two Olympic Silver medals) won the 2012 John Cootes Furniture Australian A Class Championships. Ashby declared this star-studded fleet 'the best ever.'
The final day of the Championships was another postcard day on Lake Macquarie, NSW. Blue sky and a light 10-12 knot sea breeze greeted competitors for the last race in the 2012 Australian Championships with the minor placings to be decided in another race of 'champions'.
After eight races Steve Brewin, (2011 A Class World champion) was three points clear of Wangi Wangi local Nathan Outteridge (three times 49er World Champion).
It was a clean start and Darren Bundock (14 catamaran World titles, two Olympic Silver medals and member of Oracle's America's Cup Syndicate) led at the top mark. Scott Anderson (1984 Tornado Olympic bronze medallist) was second.
Tom Slingsby (four times Laser World Champion) rounded fourth behind Andrew Landenberger (1996 Tornado Olympic bronze medallist) and Brad Collett (2011 NSW and Queensland A-Cat Champion).
Australian legend James Spithill (skipper of 2010 America's Cup winner BMW Oracle) followed, then Outteridge with Brewin two places further back.
On the next laps Bundock, Anderson, Landenberger, Outteridge, Spithill and Brewin battled for the placings. It seemed that Brewin could stay with the 49er champion.
On the top of the upwind leg for the third time, Brewin was on the wire struggling with a jammed downhaul as he started to reach to the clearing mark. Suddenly he dropped his mainsheet, the boom swung away, he capsized - it was all over. Brewin took an eternity to right his boat. He was 17th when he finally passed the clearing mark and by that time the leaders were approaching the finishing line.
Down at the finishing line Bundock crossed ahead of Landenberger and a fast finishing Outteridge, who slid across the line four seconds ahead of Anderson. Slingsby was next, then Brayshaw and Collett. Spithill was ninth, Brewin 14th.
Within minutes they were back in the boat park. It does not pay to get between a sailor and his trailer on the last day of any regatta.
Nathan Outteridge commented: "Steve was staying close initially. I was keen to try to drop us both back into the teens and then have a drag to see who could best sail through the fleet. On the last run I was really pushing. Just stoked to get second overall against this fleet."
Darren Bundock, the final race winner was third overall. "It was good to get out in front today. I won the race in the first gybe, just wish that Ashby bloke was here so I could have beaten him today."
Steve Brewin was philosophical: "Oh well shit happens!! I was really enjoying the battle with Nathan. He did it well - he was sitting on me. I made a mistake. I only had a little downhaul brake and I was trying to fix that and I shouldn't have been and I let go of the main. Game over. On the way out the sail fell down and then the downhaul went. Then I was in the water, so trouble comes in threes. I could have sat on the beach and done what I did here. But you know what? There is another regatta soon, then another Worlds. I will look forward having learnt by my mistakes. Sure I was beaten into third place overall but it was a great, great regatta."
Jimmy Spithill finished fifth overall. "A really impressive fleet, 70 boats, and a wonderful regatta. With the curved (dagger) boards, trapezing, Glenn and Nathan are on another level downwind; they are real naturals on the wire while the rest of us look like a bunch of teabags. Myself, Dirk (de Ridder), Tom and Darren are taking our boats to San Francisco. On the trapeze downwind in SFO will be a blast! Just to be able to mix it with Steve Brewin, Scott Anderson and Andrew Landenberger, who have had so much time in these boats, was wonderful. Lastly a special thanks to Tony Outteridge, who got every race away on some great courses."
Scott Anderson, the 2012 Grand Master Champion, finished fourth overall. "It's absolutely fantastic that these guys have committed to A-Cats. Now the AC on Cats and these are the perfect boats to learn the basics. If you stuff it up, the boat tells you very quickly. Good on the guys for coming."
Stephen Brayshaw said "Brilliant, brilliant racing. Not being a professional I am just stoked to come eighth in this amazing fleet. We have really, really enjoyed having to top guns here."
Tom Slingsby, still coughing, gasped: "Last night's rum did not help my cold. But I am getting this boat figured. If I started today I'd be looking OK, I just need more time in the boat. If I take it to San Francisco where there are strong breezes. I'll look for a 'kiddie's corner' where I can venture out one day."
John Kostecki (Oracle Racing tactician) quipped: "Okay, I've done enough practicing. Now I am ready to start the regatta!!"
Top 50 results:
|42||NED112||Dirk de Ridder||35||25||34||[71.0O]||71.0B||38||28||71.0F||20||322|