Adams 10 Championships 2014 - An 'Executive Decision' to cough up a small fortune to send his yacht by truck up the highway from Victoria to Gosford, NSW, proved a wise one for Adams 10 owner Grant Botiga.
Along with his skipper Josh White and trusty crew of five others aboard Executive Decision, Botiga took out the national Adams 10 Championships in fine style on Brisbane Water over the Australia Day long weekend.
The sole interstate visitors among the 8-strong fleet won six of seven races in a challenging variety of conditions on Brisbane Water. The others aboard Executive Decision were Blake Anderson, Peter Elliott, Tim Bold, Craig Black and gun fore-deckie Reagan Burdon-Bear.
Botica said the idea of testing their mettle across the border was the natural 'next step'’ after winning the Geelong Week regatta for three years in a row and the Australian championships in Geelong in the IRC division C.
After the presentation at Gosford Sailing Club, the Vics weren’t hard to spot with VB cans populating the table they sat around, and the impressive ship wheel scratch trophy was also a bit of a dead giveaway.
But despite their dominance of the seven-race series, which was preceded with a novelty series on Friday and concluded on Monday, Botiga was magnanimous in his appraisal of the competition.
'It was six wins and a fourth but it wasn’t as easy as it seems on the scoreboard,' he said.
'In every race we just had a little edge on them - they were all experienced and skilful sailors sailing well, it often only comes down to one little mistake.'
Although compared to Port Phillip Bay it was 'flat water sailing, even at 34 knots', he said it was 'one of the trickiest places I’ve sailed on, the shifts were very extreme.
The racing proper started on Saturday with a building 25 knot south-easterly, conditions that whet the whistle of Executive Decision’s crew as the Royal Victorian Yacht Club bunch were well used to them. They didn’t have it all their own way on that day, though, with eventual runner-up up Another Dilemma, from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, nailing the second race.
Adams 10s at close quarters at the National Championships on Brisbane Water. Pictures: Mo Goodship - Adams 10 National Championships - Mo Goodship Click Here to view large photo
As Gosford vice-president Geoff Jollow put it, Sunday dished up 'something fickle from the east', and the final day delivered a nice 15 knot nor-easter. Despite their modesty, in the end the overall winners proved far more successful at adapting to the changing conditions.
'It was a magnificent score of six … the champions picked the right way to go each time and showed some excellent sailing skills,' said the association’s Lindsay Rose.
'We will need to sharpen our skills and give them more competition.'
Despite their dominance, there was keen competition among those chasing the leader and only a few minutes separated first from last in all races.
The runner-up Another Dilemma, skippered by Tim Gallego, finished on 12 points, followed by the late challenger coming back through the fleet Sirius, skippered by Ben Nossiter (MHYC), with Rock Solid, Mitch Miller (MHYC), fourth overall.
Gosford’s sole entry, Skinny Flat White, skippered by Jo Hayes, picked up a trophy as the best older-style boat in the fleet, being the only one with wooden seating. Despite being off the pace by a couple of minutes in the races, the crew enjoyed steady improvement and managed to put a boat behind them in three races.
Relaxing afterwards, Grant Botiga said the slick Vics did enjoy their time in NSW 'sleeping under sheets instead of doonas' and reckoned they could come back but would consider chartering a boat in NSW instead of freighting.
Next year the nationals will be staged in Sydney and the experience of hosting has made the Gosford club keen to do it all again.
Leading results were: Executive Decision, skipper Josh White, RYCV, 1; Another Dilemma, Tim Gallego, MHYC, 2; Sirius, Ben Nossiter, MHYC, 3; Rock Solid, Mitch Miller, MHYC, 4.
The scratch winners of the Adams 10s from Victoria, with Executive Decision owner Grant Botiga front right. - Adams 10 National Championships - Mo Goodship Click Here to view large photo
by Peter McIntosh
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1:16 PM Mon 27 Jan 2014GMT
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