by Robin Evans
World Champion Steven Brewin and third in the world Jack Benson have been competing over the weekend at the Sail Sydney 2011 regatta in A-Class Catamarans, out of Georges River 16ft Sailing Club.
Grant Pellew, Daren Bundock and Mark Johnston try some formation sailing - Sail Sydney 2011
The A-Class is a popular high performance class with some members taking a break from commitments like America’s Cup to compete. Earlier this year the class turned out 73 boats for the Australian Nationals and the 2011 A-Class World Championship saw 96 of a possible 100 boats racing with Australians taking the top three places in Denmark. Brewin is convinced that the Australian made sails and sail makers helped him secure the title in August.
On the first day of races at Sail Sydney, Brewin managed three wins out of four races, dropping to third place in race three, which allowed Benson to take the win.
'Jack is always on my heels. He normally gets me in a race or two in every regatta. One mistake and he will have you.' Brewin said, 'I like it when they beat me and they are using my sails... It keeps you on your heels if you have got guys pushing you, then your brain starts working better.'
Today Brewin and Benson were joined by two time Olympic Tornado silver medallist Daren Bundock. 'This is basically my first regatta back in the A-Class. So came down for the day and see how I’m going against guys like Steve and Jack Benson' said Bundock. His excuse for not turning up earlier this weekend was 'I had a Christmas party on yesterday...gotta get your priorities right!', but noted he’d been looking forward to getting on the water.
Bundock has been in the country for a couple of weeks after recently training on the AC45 America’s Cup team Oracle with James Spithill. Bundock explained that 'nothing’s happening with the Tornados. I basically haven’t sailed in the Tornados since the last Olympics… (I) just got myself an A Class and did the Australian Nationals. A lot of the Oracle guys are going to do that as well and a few from the other teams...'
A 'reliable source' within the A-Class explains that Spithill’s lack of attendance to Sail Sydney was due to a hammering on the water last week by his brother-in-law and fellow competitor Grant Pellew, leading Spithill to decide to stay at home and not risk his reputation. James’ brother Tom was out racing today however, placing fifth in the first race and dropping to eighth for the last two.
At the end of the day, Bundock had secured one win and two seconds with Brewin managing to get the upper hand in the last two races.
Overall Brewin won the regatta in the A-Class on 7 points with Benson placing second on 17. Close behind was Andrew Williams on 18 followed by Grant Pellew on 21, Mark Johnston 31, Julian Jenkins 37, Daren Bundock 41, Bradley Wicht 50, Tom Spithill 57, Dario Valenza 59 and Simon Nelson on 72.
Steven Brewin working hard at the top mark - Sail Sydney 2011
Jack Benson off to a flying start with Steven Brewin in hot pursuit - Sail Sydney 2011
Tom Spithill all smiles before the race - Sail Sydney 2011