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12 January 2006, 11:00 am
RYDGE And SCARR New Champs
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Flying Dutchman Australian Championship 2006
Melbourne, Australia

Norman RYDGE and Richard SCARR are this year's Flying Dutchman Australian Champions after winning the last race in a tight series from former World Champions and incumbent National Champions Ian MCCROSSIN and James COOK.
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17 entries contested the eight race Sail Melbourne series hosted by Gippsland Lakes Yacht and sailed on Port Phillip in variable and shifty breezes from eight to 20 knots.

The top two crews managed well - winning three heats apiece each. However, better minor placings gave RYDGE a three point advantage and the Championship.

Local crew Stuart EDGAR and James MASKIELL sailed consistently to take bronze.

A feature of the regatta was fine weather and excellent race management by Gippsland Lakes YC. Strong winds mid-regatta strained the 17 boat fleet and forced the retirement of strong title contenders Mike CHAPMAN and crew David HAM.

RYDGE and SCARR sailed a new Mader boat and were the only crew to take advantage of new class rules permitting carbon masts. The pair has been developing their rig with the help of CST Composites and the Sydney Ullman Sail loft ahead of the next Flying Dutchman Worlds in Florida, USA, where they hope to improve on the third place they achieved last year in Hungary.

Crew MCCROSSIN and the rapidly improving team of Andrew and Alister MCCOWAN (VIC) may also represent Australia in Florida.

Di PEARSON (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Champions Norman RYDGE and Richard SCARR:© John FORD
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