Down to the wire

Maserati wins the 2019 MC38 Australian National Championship.

Photography by Tilly Lock Media

18 March 2019


Nine races down and the national title was anyone’s to claim. It wasn’t until Race 10, that saw the Championships being handed over to Neville Crichton’s Maserati.

Over the course of three days, the MC38 2019 Australian National Championships proved difficult to give away. Boat of the day on day one went to 2018 national champions, Lightspeed. Keeping their scores low, Steve Barlow’s team entered day two on six points, with a point separating them and John Bacon’s Dark Star who was on seven points.

Leslie Green’s Ginger, although considered a promising contender, struggled with rudder issues and took on a DNS and DNF for races two and three, sending them down the leaderboard.

Day two saw new contenders rise to the top. Lightspeed made some risky decisions, resulting in penalties being handed out, costing their place in the championships to move down to the middle of the fleet.

Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart’s Lazy Dog, shot ahead of the fleet and claimed two bullets in races four and five.

Steve Thomas, Lazy Dog’s tactician said: “We motored our boat really aggressively towards the pressure, and I think that was probably the edge we had.”


Whilst the newer team were proving to be one to keep an eye on, lower scores were being handed out to Maserati and Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, who took the bullets for races six and seven.

Debuting their time in the One Design Regatta, Steve Proud’s Swish moved into the final day of racing battling it out with Hooligan for fifth place.

Steve Proud said: “When we’re putting ourselves under pressure, we’re figuring out how to get the modes right. It’s a big learning curve, but things are going well… we’re all learning together.”

A remarkable effort for their team, with regular competitor Billy Sykes on tactics, proving his comment that ‘tactics on Pittwater really is easy’.

Day three of the championships saw the national title come down to the wire. Pittwater locals, Dark Star, made their mark in race eight by snagging their second bullet of the series.

Proving consistency really is key in such tight competition, Maserati claimed a third and a second in races eight and nine, leaving it up to race ten to announce their victory.


Joe Turner, Maserati’s tactician said: “It was an up and down weekend for us. We had some shockers and had some glamour moments as well. One thing we didn’t do was give up and the points fell our way in the end. Strategist Ben Lamb gave an almighty pump up talk on the way out and we had our best day yet, telling us that light and shifty conditions are what dreams are made of when you need to catch up 9 points in 3 races. Tom Quick did a great job and kept the composure in the testing conditions of Pittwater, he’s a class act.”

Race ten, the final race of the series, saw Lazy Dog leading the fleet followed by Dark Star and then Maserati. Fighting their way to the top, Helmsman Tom Quick steered Maserati ahead of Dark Star and Lazy Dog, surpassing not just one, but two places to take home the 2019 National Australian Championships title.

Tom Quick, having just made a sailing trifecta after winning the Sydney Regatta and the 2019 Farr 40 National Championships this month said: “We were keeping a loose eye on the points and the aim of the day was to just get out there and have a crack”.

“The racing is obviously of a really high standard, very very close, sometimes too close and it is great, fair racing on a really tough race track.” 

Chris Way’s Easy Tiger VI, shot out in front of the fleet in race nine, taking a third place to inch their way ahead of Ross Henessy’s Ghost Rider, finishing eighth overall.

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