by Clare Murray
Sharpie National Championship was held by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly. Blur officially celebrated their championship win today after going into the final day of racing with the title already secured.
Sharpies line up at the start line - Sharpie National Championship 2012
Racing was tight with hot contention for second place; the honour going to McGees Property followed by One Hump of Two in third.
The final race offered unpredictable conditions with Blur and McGees Property leading the race right until the end.
'The weird change point was at the last gibe mark when we were in 8 knots and the guys behind us were in 15 knots planing straight at us. The whole fleet compressed into the front,' McGees Property’s skipper Bill Cuneo said.
McGees Property had to secure their sport by covering third and fourth placed boats Warpig and One Hump or Two, which allowed Doyle Sails to slip past the fleet and take first place.
'It was good to finish the regatta in a good position instead of 21st,' skipper of Doyle Sails, Johno Wilson said. Wilson and his crew finished the series in tenth place.
'We had an excellent race with the Queensland guys (McGees Property),' Blur skipper Malcolm Higgins said.
'Unfortunately we were the wrong side of a shift up the last beat and we ended up second. We had no pressure on us today so we had an enjoyable day just sailing around. It was an excellent quality fleet with some very good yachtsmen in it so it’s a privilege to compete with them and win.'
Blur Crew from left Sam Sanderson, Andrew Chisholm and Malcolm Higgins - Sharpie National Championship 2012
Blur’s crew Andrew Chisholm and Sam Sanderson were really happy with the regatta overall. 'We loved it here in Queensland. The conditions just suited us perfectly,' Chisholm said.
'We are very happy with the way things went,' Sanderson said. 'We were well prepared coming into the event and the conditions for us were perfect with a shifty, moderate breeze. That’s our favourite kind of weather and that suited our kind of sailing.'
The crew have just sold Blur and are waiting on the delivery of their next boat in preparation for the next nationals later this year.
Cuneo said the McGees Property‘s crew were happy about their second in the series. 'We’re totally ecstatic for a lot of reasons; for Clarkey being Commodore, for Gus (Angus Galloway) being the Youth Sailor of the Year and for us coming into a class with a boat that’s 13-years-old. There’s a lot of history in that equation and I think that’s a lovely thing for these guys.'
As a representative of RQYS, Clarkey was delighted with the week of racing. 'It was absolutely superb to have 34 Sharpies here at the squadron. We’ve got every state represented which is fantastic. The competition on the water has been incredible, every inch you’ve had to fight for. It’s a great delight to have the Sharpies back on the lawn.'
For race results click here.
Sharpie Association website