Top Gear’s Stig was a man of few words – and Lake Macquarie sailor Malcolm Dean also let his Shaw 650 of the same name do the talking in the hard-fought ASBA State Championships at the weekend.
“We didn’t need to sail the last race, which was a nice position to be in,” Dean said.
“The regatta was awesome.
“The race committee on our course did a brilliant job in really challenging conditions.
“Everything was perfect – we kept checking bias on the start line and there wasn’t any.
“I’m going to buy them all a beer this afternoon.”
The Stig has won the past two national titles, the past two Queensland titles and now the NSW – a trifecta that Dean believes has never previously been achieved in the class.
“It was the last piece of the puzzle and I don’t think anyone has done it before,” he said.
“We have a great boat and also a great crew.”
Cousins Andrew and Israel Smith, who happen to live in the same street as Dean, were pulling the strings on The Stig.
Re-Heat finished second overall and took a race win on Sunday 25 April.
We’re always wrestling with them, even in the pub,” Dean said.
“There’s great banter and we love sailing against the best – that’s what we enjoy.”
Where only one race was sailed on Saturday due to a non-existent breeze, the Finn class managed three excellent windward-leewards 24 hours later.
Association president Phil Chadwick was rapt with the regatta and, like Dean, full of praise for the race committee from Bay Sailing Centre.
“We’ll be back and we’ll bring more with us,” he said.
“We had a beautiful apartment right on the water and rigged up on the front lawn.
“All nine Queensland Finns launched together, and we had a ball.
“Last night, 24 of us went to dinner and we have 14 tonight.
“Sailing’s only half of it – for us, socialising is the other half.
“We loved the venue and the holiday atmosphere.”
Rob McMillan dominated the results aboard NB Sailsports, winning two of the four races against a nationals-quality fleet.
Sabots and Lasers also joined the regatta, which is now set to become a permanent fixture on the Sail Port Stephens calendar.
- by Mark Rothfield