Reigning champion Malcolm Dean held off a strong fleet of challengers to claim consecutive Australian Sports Boat Association (ASBA) Queensland State Titles last weekend.
Dean, who is also the Australian champion, steered his Shaw 650 craft The Stig to the title honours after two days of intense competition off Burnett Heads.
The Lake Macquarie sailor finished comfortably ahead of Brisbane’s Gav Arnold in Peow!! Peow!! and John Rae of Mackay in Vivace.
Bundaberg Sailing Club crews also fared well, using their local knowledge to round out the top seven in the 15-strong competition with Derek Foley, skipper of Silky, the highest finisher in fourth spot.
Bundaberg competitor John Learmonth (V Force), who tied for fifth place with clubmate Terry Riley (Blue Sky) after finishing runner-up last year, said light winds offshore had favoured the smaller craft in the fleet but also made for good competition on the water.
“The competition is taken very seriously,” John said.
“For competitors to come from as far as Townsville. Mackay, Lake Macquarie, Brisbane and Hervey Bay, they don’t pull any punches out there on the water.”
John said the successful hosting of consecutive ASBA state titles had proved that Bundaberg Sailing Club had the potential to host even larger events.
“Hosting the regatta was good for the club and for Bundaberg,” he said.
“We had 15 boats on the water, which is one of the better fleets to compete in Bundaberg and which brought an extra 65 sailors to town.”
He said improved ramp access, which has been a problem for the club since floodwaters removed a significant amount of the foreshore at the club in 2013-14, would be key to securing the right to host additional state and perhaps national events in the future.
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