'It is our biggest win ever in the class - by a country mile - and we beat a record fleet,' an elated DOUGLASS said as he relaxed under a palm tree at the picturesque Darwin Sailing Club on the shores of Fanny Bay where 262 Tasar sailors from around the world have been competing in Darwin's 'winter' weather of 32ºC, at times sailing three tough races a day.
Sea breezes have been light to moderate, but on this final day of the Championship there was no wind and racing was abandoned early in the afternoon leaving Rob (46) and Nicole (20) DOUGLASS in their boat, Chukkel, the winners of the Qantas World Championship.
The fleet of 131 boats from Australia, Britain, Japan, the USA and Canada completed ten of the twelve scheduled races, with the DOUGLASS team taking the title with a net 38 points, a margin of seven points from current Australian champions Craig MCPHEE and Kevin KELLOW from Adelaide, sailing Code Flag Z, on 45 points. Third place went to Japan's husband and wife crew of Ikuya and Norika TANAKA, sailing Kai Ona, with 66 points.
The DOUGLASSES did not win a race, but sailed consistently throughout to return an excellent scorecard of 2,6,3,6,12,9,6,4,3,8, discarding the 12 and 9 placings. MCPHEE and KELLOW won the last three races sailed, but could not quiet do enough to haul back in the leaders.
Rob DOUGLASS, a business consultant at Ulladulla and a member of Bateman's Bay Sailing Club, has been a sailor almost all his life, starting in Manly Juniors and winning a National title in Perth in 1973. He then moved into Lasers, including gaining a second overall at the 1996 Laser Masters World Championship in South Africa.
'After that event I decided I should give some sailing time to my family; all three daughters, Nicole, Kate and Bronwyn are active sailors,' DOUGLASS said today. 'Nicole and I got into Tasars and I bought a Mirror for Kate and Bronwyn.'
Kate also sailed in the Tasar Worlds, crewing for another Bateman's Bay Sailing Club member, Gary FOLEY.
'We have had placings of second, third and two fifths in Australian Championships, a second, third and fourth in the NSW States titles and a seventh in the 2004 Worlds in Canada, but until now never a big win,' continued a delighted DOUGLASS.
'We prepared relentlessly for these Worlds, sailing three times a week this winter, either in Sydney or Bateman's Bay. We also lost 16kg between us to bring us close to the class minimum of 130kg.'
'Nicole is really motivated…sailing three times a week and going to the gym three times a week as well. We also had some coaching from Neville WITTEY…we were fast… but I think that our positive mental approach was the key factor in our World Championship win.'
Top Ten Results
|1||AUS||Rob DOUGLASS||Nicole DOUGLASS||2||6||3||6||(12)||(9)||6||4||3||8||38|
|2||AUS||Craig MCPHEE||Kevin KELLOW||5||(31)||1||13||(47)||6||17||1||1||1||45|
|3||JPN||Ikuya TANAKA||Noriko TANAKA||8||2||5||(132)||(39)||1||1||10||29||10||66|
|4||AUS||Rick LONGBOTTOM||John FORCE||17||4||12||(24)||(41)||7||16||5||7||2||70|
|5||AUS||Ben NICHOLAS||Thomas WINTER||1||12||(33)||14||(61)||27||8||2||2||5||71|
|6||AUS||David BRETHERTON||Doris BRETHERTON||4||(132)||17||8||(132)||17||11||3||8||6||74|
|7||AUS||Martin LINSLEY||Nick GREY||6||(132)||8||5||(42)||4||4||23||27||7||84|
|8||GBR||Dan VINCENT||Hamish WALKER||19||11||6||1||8||(132)||(40)||9||4||37||95|
|9||GBR||Dan WALKER||Caroline EYRE||(132)||20||27||(132)||1||5||3||27||14||3||100|
|10||AUS||Phil DARBY||Chris DARBY||7||33||25||4||3||(49)||12||(35)||5||20||109|