Offshore Yachting : April May 2009
SEAMARK Photo: Andrea Francolini australia For further information visit www.audietchellsworlds.com.au 12 | offshore Jason Muir beats Bertrand’s boys at Audi Etchells Worlds Queensland’s Jason Muir and crew claimed victory over the star-studded crew of John Bertrand, Ben Ainslie and Andrew Palfrey to win the Audi Etchells World Championships held in Melbourne in March. Rain and thunderstorms combined with raging 30 knot winds to force regatta organisers to cancel the final day of racing, which left Jason Muir, Matthew Chew, Paul Wyatt and Bucky Smith in the winning position. Bertrand and crew, who entered the regatta as favourites, were stumped by flukey winds on the penultimate day and scored 12th nine-race series. and 32nd placings in races 7 and 8 of the The results saw them come in third behind local heroes Damien King, Simon Cunnington, James Ware and Andrew Butler aboard their boat Barry. “We’re not that sorry that the last race was abandoned. Thinking about having to go head to head with Ben Ainslie was a bit daunting,” said Cunnington, who described the win as a “humbling experience” given the quality of the opposition. Bertrand was disappointed the final day was abandoned and said their regatta came unstuck in the shifting winds of the second last day. “We got good starts and went left, but the breeze freshened from the right and we were stuck in the boondocks. Once you get buried, that’s it, and with one drop, there’s no way back,” he said. Bertrand praised his expert crew as the best he has sailed with since the America’s Cup winning Australia II team. “Ben and Andrew – sailing with these guys – they were a joy to be involved with. It was a fabulous experience to be plugged into the latest Olympic thinking and technology. There was so much knowledge on our boat,” he said. “These guys are so on top of everything, so the boat was remarably quiet, we didn’t need to talk much. Ben ran the tactics, while Dog (Palfrey) ran the mechanics. They have such a great sense of awareness around them. My job was to concentrate on steering the boat, and I was able to do that. The three of us were like well-oiled machinery, which is a very rare thing. I have only felt this once before and that was with the Australia II team – that’s the last time it’s happened until now. Some people never know the pleasure – it’s a rare and real privilege.” Skipper Jason Muir (second from right) with his winning team.
February March 2009
June July 2009