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21 January 2006, 10:51 am
That's Commitment!
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Skandia Geelong Week 2006

Steve HARRISON is a committed sailor who often wonders whether he himself should have been committed at one stage. Selling a house in Tasmania, Australia to buy a yacht in Ohio, USA, whilst sitting in a hotel room in Florida, was an interesting situation for HARRISON a couple of years back, but when the boat happens to be the yacht of your dreams, common sense and sound reasoning tend to evaporate.
HARRISON laughingly dubs his beloved Mumm 30 Oedipus Complex as, 'The bargain boat that wasn't' and happily relates what happened once the stunning Mumm 30 racer was officially his. 'There was sudden realization that I had to get it back to Tasmania somehow. I thought I'd land the boat and probably save about $60,000 but in the end with freight, customs and delays I ended up saving only $10,000 off buying one here in Australia, hence I now live in a rented fibro shack,' then he adds, 'but I've got a really nice boat!!'

HARRISON's decision to upgrade to a better boat was driven by a desire to retain his crew of young Tasmanian dinghy champions. 'They've got a good future ahead of them and a Mumm 30 would provide the type of racing we all wanted.' Some may question the sanity of racing an open grand prix yacht at Devon, an hour and a half South of Hobart and right in the path of the roaring forties, but HARRISON dismisses any concerns saying, 'Ah we're all dinghy sailors and this is just a big dinghy! We sit on the rail no matter what happens however I do confess to wearing seven layers of clothes during winter races.'

The Oedipus Complex crew is an eclectic bunch; a bank teller, a barman, a student, a nurse and an apprentice sail maker, who all scrimp and save to help HARRISON get the best out of their beloved yacht as they prepare for regattas thousands of miles away.

Earlier this month, the commitment of the Devon school teacher and his crew was recognized by organisers of Skandia Geelong Week 2006 when they included Oedipus Complex in the regatta's official Skandia Squad. Renamed Skandia Commitment for the event the Mumm 30 boys from Tassie are looking forward to donning their blue jackets and jousting for start line positions on Corio Bay.

'We're still in our first season of local racing but after Geelong we'll keep the boat over there and get it up to Sydney for the Mumm 30 Nationals at Prince Alfred,' says HARRISON. 'It's been a long haul since I saw my dream boat for sale on the Internet and I've often questioned my state of mind, but basically there's no one to tell me NOT to do it!'

Skandia Geelong Week commences on Wednesday 25 January and continues through to Sunday 29 January. With 130 races, over 400 boats and more than 4000 competitors and 100,000 visitors Skandia Geelong week goes beyond sailing.

Fiona GREIG (As Amended by ISAF)
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