Easy Tiger III has been pipped by Tasmanian Greg 'Enzo' Prescott's 2Unlimited at the 2013 Melges 32 Australian Championships to finish second overall after scoring a second, two fourths and a third on the final day of the series. Angus Reid's Max Star completed the podium in third followed by Queenslander Barry Cuneo's Envy Scooters.
Four races were held today on Sydney Harbour in light and fluky conditions that were a complete contrast to yesterday’s 25 plus knot wild sou 'westerly winds that saw the Tiger Team in the lead after five races.
'We were stoked after yesterday’s results and absolutely on top of our game. To have the team perform so well in that kind of breeze was awesome. Then to go into today and have between 0-8 knots was just devastating. We just didn’t change gears fast enough,' Skipper Chris Way said back at the dock.
'We started the first race, a three lap windward/leeward with too much rig tension on and we just couldn’t get our pace up. In the end we finished in second place and that was phenomenal considering how slow we were. We then managed to get the rig sorted out fore the next few races but to be honest Sydney Harbour was just all over the place with 30 degree shifts, it was crazy,' he added.
'In the second race four of us were overlapped at the finish line and we were on the backside of that so we only managed a fourth. By the third race we thought we were tied with Enzo and Twirler (Darren Jones) on 2Unlimited so we thought we could get onto them and then they announced they were going to have two one lappers. To be perfectly frank one lap windward/leewards don’t allow you to equalise if you have a bad start or a bad windward leg.
'So in the first of those last two races we got fourth to Enzo’s first and literally everyone was within two seconds of each other going over the finish line. In the last race we led Enzo but by then he had a three point advantage on us so we weren’t going to beat him.
'This is our first Melges 32 Nationals with this boat and if there was a team we had to let win it that was 2Unlimited. In fact Max Star got quite close to us in the end and got a second in the race where we were all overlapped and suddenly they were a threat so we had to watch then in the last two races as well. It’s pretty hard sailing with two boats that can potentially win and another sailing right on your heels.
'We kept an eye on Max Star and that’s possibly why we kept going rather than gybing at the top mark which cost us against 2Unlimited because we were actually leading them at that point. At the end of the day we’re pretty happy and we’ll be back with the same team next year.
'We were a little bit light this regatta regarding weight and we have a bit of overall fitness work to do with the whole team. We raced with old sails from 2010 as our new sails didn’t arrive in time and that was pretty unfortunate.
'The new sails would have made a big difference particularly today as light air is where you are going to get more height and speed more quickly and that hurt us. But that’s no excuse as there are no excuses in this game. We were leading in the last two races so we didn’t give it away but the other team had more punch to wind. We’ll get there next year.'