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14 June 2004, 11:12 am
Wharington's Crafty Tactics Wins Title
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Etchells Australian Winter Championship

Grant WHARINGTON capitalised on aggressive starting tactics to pilot his Mornington Yacht Club Etchells class sloop Satu 11 to a deserved win in the Australian Winter Etchells championship off Queensland's Sunshine Coast today.
Wharington better known as the skipper of the Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner the maxi Skandia moved strongly into contention for a top placing in the 2004 World Etchells title over the same course when he beat one of the class masters John Bertrand (Two Saints and a Magpie) in a full blown match race.

Both Two Saints and a Magpie 1-1-12-2-2-7 and Satu 11 3-1-3-6-6-6 shared the points lead when they sailed onto the course for the decider.

As expected there was some apprehension among both crews when they faced a light land breeze which failed to gust above 8 knots.

However this failed to stop Grant WHARINGTON and his talented Queensland tactician Simon GORMAN from 'going for the juggler' by immediately showing the Two Saints and A Magpie crew that they were going to start the race on their terms.

They applied the pressure early and never let up to be in the bulk of the pack but ahead of the boat they had to beat.

"Our race plan was to make sure we held the upper hand and that meant being ahead at the start and then making sure we held the cover".

"Goose (Simon Gorman) gave us the title winning chance when he called the right tactics in what proved to be the edge we needed". Wharington said.

Bertrand and his crew of Mark RICHARDS and Richie ALLANSON well recognised for their tactical skills tried every trick in the tactical text book but they failed to shake the Stau 11 crew.

By the end of the first windward return the Satu 11 crew had pushed their rivals back to 24th while they provisionally held a firm grip on the 2004 title trophy with 20th place when sails were tensioned for the second beat into a failing wind.

Bertrand who lost the 2003 title in the final race 12 months ago showed his renowned fighting spirit to put his rival Wharington under the hammer as both crews climbed back into the leading group but Wharington made sure the title win was secure when he finished 7th to beat Bertrand 9th by two points .

Three former Australian Sabot champions Jason MUIR, Steven LAMBOURNE and Lucas PRESCOTT combined cleverly to claim third overall with Racer XY while former winter champion Ian JOHNSON (Bananas in Pyjamas) claimed 4th place. Full results are available on the event website at the address below.

Overall Top Ten

Pos Skipper Total Points R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8
1 G. Wharington 32 -8 3 1 3 6 6 6 7
2 J. Bertrand 34 1 1 -12 12 2 2 7 9
3 J. Muir 65 11 7 -30 9 7 8 2 21
4 I. Johnson 70 7 5 4 16 -20 19 4 15
5 M. Bradford 75 13 4 3 6 1 13 35 (68\DNF)
6 D. Turton 75 29 17 2 8 11 -33 5 3
7 C. Appleton 75 14 9 8 4 19 4 17 (68\DNF)
8 C. Miles 76 4 19 20 1 5 24 3 -29
9 D. Clark 78 18 11 -28 5 3 26 13 2
10 D. Rose 98 3 16 21 21 -34 11 1 25
Ian Grant (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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