by John Daffy
With more than a quarter of a century of professional experience behind him, Michael Finlay from In and Outboard Marine, Darwin has taken out Yamaha Motor Australia’s prestigious Marine Technician Grand Prix for 2012.
Michael Finlay-Winner of Yamaha Motor Australia’’s Marine Technician Grand Prix 2012
Competing for the third time, Michael claimed victory in Yamaha’s search to find the very best marine technicians across Australia and New Zealand.
In doing so, Michael has won a trip to Japan to visit Yamaha’s head office and production facilities.
And further showcasing the expertise of marine technicians at In and Outboard Marine, was Michael’s fellow worker, Ian Steinohrt who also made the final and was officially ranked in the top eight.
Competing for the second time, Chris Willson from Yamaha Pitmans Marine, Adelaide achieved an excellent result as the runner up of our Technicians GP.
The other five finalists were: Bradley Pulver from Riverina Marine Centre, Wagga Wagga, NSW; Brendan Irvine from Leon and Paul Savage’s Streaker Boats, Bayswater, VIC; Peter Sertis from Boat City, Balcatta, WA; and two from New Zealand: Tony Powell from Telfer Marine, Rotorua and Rhys Sutton from OVLOV Marine, Auckland.
Michael and all other finalists were formally tested at Yamaha’s national marine headquarters and training facilities in Brisbane across a demanding range of subjects including engine diagnostics and testing; engine and gearbox repairs; engine servicing protocols, customer relations and product knowledge.
'The Grand Prix is virtually ‘race day’ in Yamaha’s Technical Academy program that runs throughout the year to keep skill levels for marine servicing in Yamaha dealerships throughout the country at the very highest level,' said Mr Martin Dwyer, Yamaha’s National Training Manager who co-ordinated the grand prix.
'The commitment required to be part of the Marine Tech Grand Prix includes attendance at Yamaha Technical Academy training courses as well as a qualifying exam that is used to select the finalists for the grand prix.'
'Qualifying as one of the eight finalists drawn from all of Yamaha’s dealerships across Australia and New Zealand is an outstanding achievement,' he said.
'For Michael to then claim victory while surrounded by that level of expertise, is a brilliant performance.'
The tests included practical exercises, theory and simulated workshop scenarios,' Mr Dwyer said.
'They were conducted under strict exam conditions with technicians being assessed on their technical abilities, speed, quality of workmanship, communication skills and their capacity to cope under pressure.'
Michael has worked at In and Outboard Marine for the past 10 years.