Outteridge has the rest scratching their heads at Audi King of the Docklands
While he says he’s beatable, the rest of the SB3 sailors racing in today’s Audi King of the Docklands are scratching their heads as to where the chink in Nathan Outteridge’s armour might be hidden.
The 24 year-old from Lake Macquarie in NSW has for the third time in four years been named Audi King of the Docklands after battling south southwesterly winds gusting over 20 knots in the course area in Victoria Harbour off Dockland’s Waterfront City.
Points from yesterday’s cycle of races were added to today’s cycle, which is where Outteridge’s string of race wins and places held him in good stead.
“Yesterday was light and the bodies were a little sore afterwards. Today was hard work and the crew work very demanding,” said the winning skipper this evening.
Outteridge combined well with new crew, Ian Brown, Olympic 470 bronze medallist and the boat’s owner, foredeck hand David Cheyne, the World Council SB3 Class President, who is providing a boat and has teamed up with Outteridge for the classes next world Championship, and agreed to come to Australia for some practice and to do the Audi King of the Docklands. An exhausted Cheyne literally fell out of the boat onto the dock this afternoon announcing breathlessly “I’m taking up rugby, it’s easier”.
Outteridge’s mum Jasmine and dad Tony drove down from Wangi Wangi on the shores of Lake Macquarie to watch her son win his third consecutive title. From Docklands she’ll head to Geelong for the second stage of Audi Victoria Week where both Nathan and 19 year old daughter Haylee will be skippering an SB3.
“Nathan works very hard at it,” said Jasmine. “He’s so dedicated, if he spends three days off the water he gets itchy. We are very proud of him.”
Outteridge is aiming for the next SB3 world title, amongst other classes, but the big fish he’s really looking to land is another chance to represent Australia in the 49er class at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Second place in the Audi King of the Docklands went to three time European SB3 Champion Glenn Bourke who was hit by a gust in the middle of a late kite drop and clipped the turning mark, resulting in a re-round followed by a penalty turn. Bourke lost valuable seconds and possibly costing himself a shot at being crowned King for 2011.
“We went for a late drop thinking we might get Nathan on an overlap but a big gust hit us and the kite got away from us,” Bourke conceded.
“Nathan did a great job, he’s as good as there is. He’s found the middle ground between being aggressive and chipping away.”
Third on the pointscore was Geelong sailor Brendan Garner.
A surprise early exit this morning was Australian SB3 champion Jono Shelley, then later in the day former Dragon world champion and national Etchells champion Nick Rogers (TAS) who came unstuck in the tight pre-start area, finding his SB3 in irons hard up against the end of the pier, pinned there by the strong onshore wind.
The entire Audi King of the Docklands fleet of 14 put on a brilliant two-day show for the Docklands crowds as they went through their paces in the elimination style competition aboard the popular SB3 keelboat class.
All but two of the crews are planning an assault on the 2011 SB3 World Championship in May in Torquay, UK.
Outteridge won an Audi A4 Avant last year, this time he’ll spend 12 months behind the wheel of the brand new Audi A1.
Following the final race this afternoon a number of TV and sporting celebrities donned life vests for the Audi King of the Docklands Celebrity Race Challenge. Daniel Harford, former football player and now SEN presenter was lucky enough to be on the winning SB3 skippered by Dean Joel.