Sail Port Stephens 2013 - Hottest fleet ever for Elliott 7 Nationals

Last years top four rounding in order - P-plater, Evergreen, Taking Back Sunday and Woof
Jim Walsh
Australian Elliott 7 Championship 2013 - The hottest fleet ever has entered for this year's Elliott 7 Nationals which is being held in conjunction with Sail Port Stephens 2013. A fleet of 14 boats are looking forward to three days of intense competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the waters of Salamander Bay, Port Stephens.

The predicted wind forecast has the fleet of 14 warming up with a solid 25 knots on Friday, followed by 20 knots on Saturday and closing with a gentle 15 knots on the deciding races on Sunday.

The defending Champion Aaron Terry has got most of the the same team as last year which dominated the light air regatta when he won every heat however he has himself to blame for losing his wife Kate off the team as she is six months pregnant.

Terry is admitted being nervous about Matt (Pillow) Owen making a comeback 'Pillow always seems to be fast' said Terry ' And he knows these boats backwards'.

However Owen has been talking himself down since selling his boat to concentrate on his Flying 15 campaigns and continuing to build the highly recognised sailing programs at the Canberra Yacht Club which go all the way from Tackers through to Adults.

Owen commented 'I'm not used to these new square top mainsails but I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone as much as I am to the competition on the water'

Veteran Hobart competitor Mike Green and 2011 Australian Champion is always a threat and did show some good form at the recent sports boat regatta at Pittwater including a beautiful Chinese gybe in 25 knots that put the mast tip underwater. He will be looking forward with glee at the current forecast.

After missing last year due to a family trip around Australia, Andrew and Carmen in the Barney Army are keen to improve on their last effort where they lost to Greenie on a countback.

Chartering boats is common in the class and again sailmaker Andrew Chapman has chartered Taking Back Sunday in which he finished third after fitting it out with a full set of gear.

There is also a team from WA coming over sailing Dan Jack's 'Me Off' from QLD. The team sail on several competing Elliotts out of Nedlands Yacht Club in Perth and team captain Ric Fairey said 'It is exciting to come all this way to compete and thanks to Jason 'Goggles' Rocket who is towing the boat down for us'

With a class dinner for over 80 on Friday night at the Soldiers Point Bowling Club and considering the forecast for a strong day on the water it should be an night full of tall stories and tired bowmen.

Jim Walsh from the Elliott 7 Class association added ´We are very pleased to be run ning our second National titles at Sail Port Stephens and to have such a solid fleet here. The class has maintained its good numbers over the past 10 years due to the tireless work of the Association. Most notably Neil Primrose who has been instrumental in providing clear guidance to the members and good governance.'

The association website can be found at http://www.elliott7.com.au/

Sail Port Stephens 2013