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Melges 24 Australian Championship - Second national victory for Bandit

by Tracey Walters on 29 Jan 2012
Bandit - Melges 24 Australian Championship at Festival of Sails 2012 Tracey Walters
Today was a hot final day of racing with the dolphins on Corio Bay, Geelong, at the Parks Victoria 2012 Melges 24 Australian Championship.

A first in race nine sealed a podium place for the crew on Warwick Rooklyn's Bandit (CYCA) ahead of Kevin Nixon's Accru (RPAYC), allowing them to skip race ten for an early pack up in Geelong. A well deserved win to the team onboard Warwick Rooklyn’s Bandit handed them their second Australian Melges 24 Championship.

The crew work on Warwick Rooklyn’s Bandit AUS 814 runs like a well oiled machine. His gun team are all accomplished sailors and includes a balance of up and coming Australian Youth Match Racing sailors Jay Griffin and Sean O’Rourke with the experienced cool heads of Etchell sailors Julian Plante and Doug McGain. Julian a National Champion himself and McGain and ex Australian Finn coach are both heading to the Australian Etchell Championships and Worlds later in February.

Bandit's performance was consistent throughout the regatta, their worst result a third and six firsts in a ten race series. Holding them to account until day four was Kevin Nixon’s Accru who finished in second place and five points behind. In contrast the Accru crew are a sailing family which includes wife Glenda, daughter Bonnie and son Daniel.

It was a tight battle for third place which was determined in the last race of the series, Heath Walters Arriba Arriba’s (RPAYC) superior boat speed edging out Heath Townsend Kaito (GBYC).

Overall, the results were spread but the racing on the course super close, keeping the fleet focused and competitive.

The hospitality and entertainment put on by the Festival of Sails was exceptional and all crews enjoyed their racing and onshore Geelong experience.

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