Last weekend’s Mooloolaba Etchells Australasian Winter Championship delivered yet another winning skipper to make it 17 skippers in 17 years. The international team of Hong Kong’s Mark Thornburrow and his usual main-sheet trimmer, Simon Cooke, were back to better their second place of last year. Joining them up front was tactician and Olympic gold medal legend Malcolm Page, and local high performance dinghy sailor, Klade Haudschildt. There really isn’t a better, more positive way of being noticed in the wider sailing world, than to be recognised as one of the members of the winning team in a prestigious event such as the Etchells Winters. That is what 24-year-old Hauschildt hopes to achieve. It’s been a fast-paced seven days for Hauschildt. Less than a week out from the regatta, he received a text message from Page asking if he could fill the fourth place on Thornburrow’s team. 'I had sailed with Malcolm Page in the SB20 World Championship at Hamilton Island. He put me on the boat for that regatta and I think we clicked as sailing partners. He sent me a message three days before the regatta saying they needed an extra person and they wanted me. 'I said yes straight away,' Hauschildt said. The international team were up against a fleet of 37 teams which included two class world champions, John Bertrand and Cameron Miles, 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist helm Tom King, and several class national and State champions. Day one of the regatta started comfortably for Thornburrow with a fourth in the first race then a first in the second, racing in pleasant south-east five to 10 knots. Day two looked very good with the weather similar to day one and their first race delivering a second across the line. However, race four turned the tide. A general recall was the first distraction, then a tense Black Flag start with the heart wrenching call going out soon after the start; ‘bow 36 Black Flag’.
Mooloolaba Etchells Winters Thornburrow’s team on their way to second in Race 5 and regatta overall win - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2013
The third and final day saw the winds gusting over 20, the sea swell increasing and the rain pelting down. Those distractions weren’t going to let the Thornburrow team take their eye off the chance of the overall prize. They did a superb job in a whittled down fleet of 23 boats to ride the swell in the kite runs and punch their way through the shifty east-south-east breeze to finish second across the line and far enough ahead of title defender Matthew Chew, to take out the Winters trophy. Back on shore a tired Hauschildt reflected on the experience of racing with a new team. 'Because I used to do the 470s in Victor’s (Kovalenko) program and train a lot with Malcolm, he taught me how to crew properly. Any boat that I went in with him, a lot of my skills complimented his skills. Whatever he needed done I had a second nature to do it as well. Like, if he needed help pulling on the kite, I knew it and I would help him without him having to tell me. 'He was always asking me about tactics and upwind and I would give him my opinion and nine times out of 10 he would agree with that. We worked really well together.' The weekend’s racing has re-energised Hauschildt who has spent the last year recovering from an injury and putting in some hard yards as he tries to complete his double degree in Sports and Exercise Science, and Bachelor of Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 'What I mainly took out of this weekend was the people that were there. They are the sort of people who take notice and have a lot of influence in the sailing arena. So they now know my name next Mal’s, as a winner, hopefully they will get me on bigger boats easier 'I will get back in to my dinghy racing, Olympic type stuff, but right now I am really driven towards bigger and faster boats, like the America’s Cup and TP52 racing. I would like to get on a boat like Hooligan. 'I want to get noticed and get on the America’s Cup type circuit.' Stay tuned to this name. He will get there.
Mooloolaba Etchells Winters 2013 Thornburrow on way to win - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014