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21 January 2005, 10:18 am
Michael COXON Wins
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Australian Etchells Championship
Sydney, Australia

A win in the seventh and final race by Sydney yachtsman Michael COXON today clinched him victory in the 2005 International Etchells Australian Championship, conducted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on Sydney Harbour.
Steering North Sydney, with the accomplished father-and-son combination of Ed and Will MCCARTHY as crew, his National title in Australia's largest one-design keelboat class adds yet another trophy to the Sydney sailmaker's remarkable sailing career that began as a teenager.

His successes have ranged from winning 18-footer championships through to major America's Cup and Admiral's Cup roles, and being the tactician and sailing master for Neville CRICHTON on his super maxi Alfa Romeo, including the boat's line honours win in the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and its subsequent successes in Britain and the Mediterranean.

However, like many leading international sailors, the one-design Etchells, sailed with a crew of three, has remained Coxon's favourite racing boat because of the close round the-buoys competition.

North Sydney jumped into the overall lead in the 2005 National championship following the OCS disqualification from race five of early series leader Neville WITTEY, steering Yandoo XX.

Although Wittey was able to discard the OCS, he still faced an uphill battle to regain the overall lead and today's placings of second and ninth were not still sufficient to lift him above third overall.

Coxon won the championship with 22 points after one discard, his seven placings being 2-9-1-19-3-6-1, with second place going to current World champion Peter O'NEILL sailing Tom Pepper XVIII from the Lake Macquarie fleet. He finished with 32 points from placings of 1-8-19-7-2-12-2, just one place ahead of Wittey. Wittey, also from the Sydney fleet, totalled 32 points, his placings being 4-2-10-6-OCS -2-9.

Fourth place overall went to the Melbourne skipper Damien KING, steering Barry White, finishing with 43 points from a scorecard of 18-BFD-2-2-8-10-6 who improved so well after the first day.

Brisbane fleet's John WARLOW, steering Blinky the Three Eyed Fish, took fifth place overall with 55 points, while sixth overall went to Glenn COLLINGS from Mornington Yacht Club in Victoria, steering Satu, on 65 points.

Today's races were sailed into another splendid Sydney nor'easter that freshened steadily during the day from 10-15 knots to more than 20 knots in the late afternoon.

America's Cup winner of 1983, John BERTRAND, another international who loves his Etchells sailing, turned in his best form of the regatta, steering Two Saints and a Magpie to first place in race six from Neville WITTEY and John WARLOW, and placing third in the final race close astern of the rival sailmakers, Michael COXON and Peter MCNEILL.

However, Bertrand, from the Melbourne fleet, had to be content with 12 place overall, sharing this with Steam Packet V (Bruce Wookey & Rob Brown) from the Pittwater fleet, and Brisbane's The Room of Mirrors (Mark BRADFORD).

Another early favourite, Iain MURRAY, at the helm of Kaenon from the Pittwater fleet, finished ninth overall, with a 19 and a DNF (did not finish) in today's final racing for the 55-boat fleet.

Final Results - Top Ten

Pos Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1 Michael COXON 2 9 1 19 3 6 1 22
2 Peter MCNEIL 1 8 19 7 2 12 2 32
3 Neville WITTEY 4 2 10 6 ocs 2 9 33
4 Damien KING 15 bfd 2 2 9 10 6 43
5 John WARLOW 11 7 4 17 18 3 13 55
6 Glen COLLINGS 10 15 25 8 14 7 11 65
7 Bruce MCBRIAR 6 11 41 5 22 4 19 68
8 David ROSE 5 1 30 21 20 16 5 69
9 Iain MURRAY 12 3 15 26 4 19 dnf 79
10 Julian PLANT 3 4 28 15 ocs 14 16 80
Event Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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