by Lulu Roseman
Easy Tiger Racing Team has taken delivery of a Melges 32, to be named Easy Tiger III.
Easy Tiger III - in action as Tirade at 2010 Melges 32 Worlds, San Francisco
Since disposing of their Farr 40 Easy Tiger II in 2012, team owner Chris Way and his crew have been keen to get back into racing more compact sports boats. They competed in the Melges 32 Australian Championships in March 2012 on a chartered yacht, The Business, where they were competitive overall before falling foul of gear failure on the final day.
This passion was ignited further after the team won the 2012 Platu 25 Coronation Cup at the Top Of The Gulf Regatta in Thailand. That winning crew of Way, Peter Winter, Tom Spithill, Peter Gregg and Malcolm Clarke will form the core crew onboard the Melges 32.
Built in 2010 the yacht was previously known as Tirade, hull number 221, and competed in the Melges 32 Worlds in San Francisco that same year where under previous owner Stefan Goldwater she lead the 32 strong fleet after two days before finishing in 17th place overall.
Team Tiger will spend the next few weeks familiarising themselves with the new boat, training and competing in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Sprint Series.
'We’re all pretty excited about this new boat and after the disappointment of last year’s performance at the Melges 32 Nationals we are determined to make amends,' Way said.
'This boat has a good track record and the fact she hasn’t been raced very much is a bonus. After competing in the Melges 32 Worlds in San Francisco in 2010 she was shipped to New Zealand and only did half of the 2011 season,' he added.
'Her main claim to fame was winning the first race of the 2010 Worlds and overtaking Russell Coutts and his crew on Goombay Smash on the first run. That’s not to be sneezed at and hopefully some of that Kiwi magic will rub off on us in this class.
'I love the thrill of racing sports boats and this crew has really gelled both on and off the water. We all just sail instinctively. Everyone is very experienced at their position on the boat, knows their job and just gets on with it. There are rarely any issues and it makes for very enjoyable and relatively stress-free racing.
'After looking at a number of options we decided that Tirade was the best boat for us and we can’t wait to shake up the local fleet.'
Easy Tiger III will make her regatta debut at the Sydney Harbour Regatta being hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club on 9-10 March 2013 and will then compete in the Melges 32 Australian Championships in April.