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History made at Mooloolaba

27 July 2014 Tracey Johnstone

Someone had to do it and it was Gen XY that made history. Cheers team

"Someone had to do it and it was Gen XY that made history. Cheers team"

Photo by:
Teri Dodds

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's Gen XY team of Matthew Chew, Ashley Deeks, Brian Donovan and Paul Wyatt created Etchells class history in June. Chew became the first skipper in the Etchells Australasian Winter Championship's 18 years to win the coveted trophy for a second time.

Their win was not an accident. It was a well laid out plan that was formulated on friendship, consistency and absolute focus on the task at hand.

Gen XY had worked as a tight sailing team for many years, honing both their skills and their Etchells partnership. Additionally, they tapped into the exceptional knowledge of former Australian Olympic Team coach, Mike Fletcher, during the Brisbane Etchells Fleet group coaching sessions and private sessions.

"We sail a lot together. We're all good mates and go out on the water as much as possible. We do all the club racing. That's how we are such a good team. We sail on other boats like Alive, but the Etchells is our number one boat," Chew said.

Gen XY came into the regatta as previous winners in 2012. Additionally, both Wyatt and Chew had already experienced the taste of major Etchells glory as a member of Jason Muir's team that won the 2009 Etchells World Championships in Melbourne.

They started the three-day regatta in the lead and never let up. They did however have serious competition from the 34-boat fleet. The Gen XY crew were up against Olympic and Etchells World champions, as well as America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race competitors.

"The racing was really close right throughout the regatta. Consistency made the biggest difference for us. We had reasonably conservative starts and first upwind strategy. Then we looked for good boat speed and handling. Our goal was to get to the top mark in around fifth place for most races and then we would try to pick off a few boats after that. It never changed from there."

"After last year, where we were leading into the last day to then finish second, we are just stoked with the win this year. It's kind of unbelievable," a delighted Chew said.

Can anyone match Chew and his Gen XY team's achievement? Going forward the challenge will be to see who might be able to match this new record for the Etchells Winters.


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