'It was a tough race with a very competitive fleet,' said a delighted Anthony PATERSON this morning.
'We put together a team of regular Tow Truck guys, including the champion Laser sailors Richard and Will HOWARD, who know the boat well and never back off. It was a testing race but the conditions suited a boat that likes hard running and a crew of guys who aren't reliant on much rest. We were hoping for these conditions and to actually get them twice in three years is extremely lucky,' PATERSON added.
Tow Truck won the 2003 Sydney Mooloolaba Race on IRC overall handicap.
The Tow Truck crew did not sail a perfect race. During the second night at sea they slipped from first to 21st on IRC handicap but on Thursday they managed to claw their way back to the top position.
Maurice CAMERON's Phillip's Foote Witchdoctor, a former PHS winner of this race and second on handicap last year, took PHS honours and CAMERON puts this down to the way they sailed the 1979 built Davidson 42 rather than the conditions.
'We sailed moderately conservatively and the boat performed well. Most importantly, we didn't break anything,' said CAMERON yesterday morning.
The Sydney Mooloolaba Race, which began in Sydney Harbour on Wednesday at 1300, was a big success for race organizers with all but seven of the 39 which started out three days ago crossing the finish line within a 15 hour stretch.
After such a long race, it is not often the fleet is so compressed and today, big and small boat crews alike are swapping tales at Mooloolaba Yacht Club where the official prize presentation will be held at 1600 this afternoon.
IRC Division A
1st - AFR Midnight Rambler (Farr 40), Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas, NSW
2nd - Lady Godiva (Swan 60), David Currie, VIC
3rd - Austmark (Lyons/Cawse 46), Gunther Schmidt-Linder, NSW
IRC Division B
IRC 1st Overall and 1st in Division - Tow Truck (Mumm 30), Anthony Paterson, NSW
2nd - Immigrant (Mumm 30), Jeff & Janet Paul, NSW
3rd - Ray White Koomooloo (Kaufman 41), Donald Freebairn, QLD
PHS 1st Overall & 1st in division: Phillips Foote Witchdoctor (Davidson 42), Maurice Cameron, NSW
2nd - Torpan International (NSX 38), Torpan International, NSW
3rd - Kickatinalong (Adams 13), Phil Darling, NSW
Sydney 38 Division
1st - Horwath BRI, Tony Levett, NSW
2nd - Next, Alison Thompson, NSW
Line Honours: Wild Joe (Reichel/Pugh 60), Steven David, NSW, 2 days 7 hours 17 minutes 45 seconds