The Blurr takes out a close fought 2013 Elliott 5.9 Nationals

The Blurr leads - Elliott 5.9 Nationals - Auckland Cup 2013
For their 2013 Nationals the Elliott 5.9 Class Association chose to join the Auckland Regatta to celebrate 30 years of Nationals event racing for the E5.9. The fleet is growing steadily and involves some well known sailors, with a successful Traveller Series that focuses on five weekend events each year, followed by the class Nationals.

This years Nationals event was supported by Doyle Sails and PIC Insurance Brokers.

Volvo Ocean Race winner, Mike Sanderson helmed Stratis in the Elliott 5.9 fleet (55) - 2013 Auckland Cup, Day 3
At the Nationals the fleet enjoyed the glorious Auckland late summer conditions and completed a highly competitive and successful regatta. After 12 intense races Simon Manning and his crew of Andy Robertson and Hayden Whitburn sailing The Blurr (RAYC), one of the first E5.9's launched, came though to win overall and cap off a great season where they also won the Traveller Series and the North Island Champs.

Second overall in what was a stunning first Nationals was Chris Maddock and his crew sailing their newly purchased Animal Crackers.

Third was Mike Sanderson and his crew of Will Tiller and Harry Thurston sailing Stratis Icebreaker. Mike has returned to the class after many years away and made a very strong showing, winning three heats.

Several boats have been bought and refurbished by new sailors to the class and all of the crews enjoyed the closer racing in every race.

Quotes from the leading skippers

Craig Coulam (4th placed Ewok); 'From my team's perspective this year's Elliott 5.9 National Champs were our most intense racing in years - more than years. Six individual race winners over the series, positions changing every leg of the race, often within metres of the finish line, it doesn't get any better! This is yacht racing at it's best - competitive one design where the cheque book won't win.'

Zoot Allures - Elliott 5.9 Nationals - Auckland Cup 2013
Chris Maddock (2nd overall on Animal Crackers); ... 'very' tight racing where you couldn't afford to take your mind off the game...and if you did you went backwards quickly. The boats are surprisingly even and really it comes down to boat handling and tactics. Great bunch of guys in the class and we can't wait for the next event [in Opua in May].

Nathan Williams (6th on Brzo): 'amazing how both the boats and the sailors have stood the test of time, you can’t get better racing for $10-$12K. 6 different race winners says it all really. All races were sailed in good spirit, close racing but nothing personal and we are all still friends at the end.'

Mike Sanderson (3rd overall on Stratis Icebreaker): I think the great testimonial for the class was the fact that you had boats with sails and gear aging through ten years and still everyone was going the same speed, I have NEVER seen it like that before, because of that the racing was incredibly exciting, with every boat in the fleet having a turn up near the front. The boats are fast enough to be modern and exciting and yet not too fast that the fleet gets spread out. There is no doubt that 'bang for your buck' there is nothing quite like it. '

Mike also gave the regatta a great sign-off - 'Happy Birthday Elliott 5.9, I think you are good for another 30 years at least'

The Elliott 5.9 Class Association

Stratis - 2013 Auckland Cup, Day 3
The class has some ambitious plans for 2013 with a Traveller Series already set in place, some new and returning owners to the series, and the timing of the 2014 Nationals changed to November to better align with the other events.

It is also focused on further growth and capitalising on the current interest from many potential new owners.

Offering close racing and great social events built around a North Island weekend regatta circuit, the Elliott 5.9 class is the perfect 3-person syndicate boat. The class is relatively low maintenance and is sailed by a crew of 3. No rail meat - everyone has a job! There are active fleets in Opua, Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington, and New Plymouth with boats in other venues like Lyttleton, Nelson and Queenstown.

The Association is undertaken several new long-term initiatives including recent rule changes designed to improve the competitiveness and longevity of the boats, the supply of standard components. New boats are also a possibility with a group assessing a joint project that would utilise the Association-owned moulds under expert supervision. The Association operates a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/elliott5.9) that contains news, details of events, boats for sale and many photos including gear layout shots.

2013 Traveller Series Schedule

Opua ? 25/26 May
Marsden Cove? 27/28 July
Auckland Champs? 14/15 September
Gulf Harbour? 19/20 October
Sandspit? 23/24 November

Elliott 5.9 - 2013 Auckland Cup, Day 2

280313E5.9 (1) - Elliott 5.9 Nationals - Auckland Cup 2013

Brzo - 2013 Elliott 5.9 Nationals
Rob Gill