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Versatile sea captain racing at Melges East Coast Championships    
Sat, 10 Nov 2012

Teams are travelling from as far as Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Adelaide Sailing Club and The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania to compete in the third annual Melges East Coast Championship supported by SLAM and SOAK on Pittwater this weekend.

The success of previous years has seen the Melges East Coast Championships become a permanent fixture in the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Clubs regatta calendar providing quality international one design class racing.

Australia’s owners and crews have embraced the International Melges 24 and 32 classes one hundred percent. The incredibly close one design racing means that on most occasions it comes down to one maneuver on the racecourse that determines the satisfaction of success for the crew.

The local Melges 24 fleet has been taking advantage of the Royal Prince Alfred’s One Design Series during the season realizing that time, dedication and the will to improve will provide the best preparation for their Worlds campaigns. To date five Australian teams have committed to the Melges 24 World Championships in San Francisco 2013. The East Coast Championships and NSW States in a fortnight’s time will provide valuable practice and competition for these teams.

The East Coast Championships will be the first Melges 32 regatta for new owner Barry Cuneo and his crew representing RQYS. Commercial Sea Captain Barry Cuneo took delivery of AUS 138 ‘Envy Scooters’ in July. Barry is coming from a highly respected and successful sailing background, his most recent racing in the Farr 40 fleet. Another competitor this weekend new to the Melges 32 competition is Martin Cross racing Funnel Web. Martin’s experience in one-design classes will also add to the competitive line up.

Hamilton Island Race Week was the first event in the Melges 32 Asia Pacific Cup Series won by Tasmanian Greg Prescott '2 Unlimited' the East Coast Championships is the second event and provides Gus Reid ‘Maxstar ‘ CYC the opportunity to close the gap and apply pressure in the pursuit of the prestigious Cup.

The twenty-knot southerly forecast for Saturday should provide some exciting, close combat on water and the post-race Banta at the club and the ten piece local live band ‘United Notions’ as entertainment on Saturday night will ensure a successful all round event.

by Tracey Walters

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