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25 June 2015 John Curnow

Melbourne skyline

"Melbourne skyline"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

Jeanne-Claude Strong may be petite, but she is a giant of intellect and determination. She has been fortunate enough to meet other focussed souls in her many travels and one of them is the Aussie two-wheel demi-God. The drive to be the best is clear between the pair and JC has taken many a note from the other legend of sport. That Doohan gained all his titles back-to-back needs to be noted here, for one victory will not be enough to sate Strong and her crew of Nev Wittey, Marcus Burke and Tiana Wittey.

They enjoyed the great conditions and had lots of fun, so that is a trend to look out for. Additionally, as they have developed as a team over the last five years, it seems they "…can execute Plan A most of the time, which really helps. The team is certainly pumped", commented Nev.

Yandoo XX's win also brings into sharp focus the number of hitherto lesser-known crews out there making a name for themselves in Etchells. Another that comes to mind is the Brisbane Fleet's Land Rat, with John Warlow, Mick Patrick and Will Thomson on board. As you can see they collected some silverware at the RQ presentations, but I think they would be most proud of their efforts at Mooloolaba, which was their best result to date and also the first time they have placed above Gen XY.

Yet another example would be Chris Hampton's Tango with souls like 'Barney' Walker, Ben Morrison Jack and Andrew 'Dog' Palfrey as crew. They will have been to the UK and also Honkers by the year's end, so match ready comes to mind as a description…

This of course means that there will be added spice come January 10-15, 2016 when Brighton will host the next Australian Championship. Many a well-known name will be there to have a red hot go, and you cannot help that wonder if the price of admission would be well worth it to see whether 'old stayer' or 'relative newbie' gets the Gold. They want 60+ boats on the start line, so that will mean nearly every road trailer in the country will be required, with charter vessels also in short supply. As lots of crews are having their boats sent to Melbourne straight after HKG, you think it could well be an accurate forecast.

Finally, it is wonderful to have a new article from health guru, Andrew Verdon. Look out for more 'decades of fitness' and other wonderful topics in future editions.

Rock on,
John Curnow

Australian Championship Regatta Site

Melbourne skyline for the Nationals

"Melbourne skyline for the Nationals"


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