LOCAL sailors Aaron Linton and Jamie Jochheim came second in the Sail Iceberg 37th National Tasar Championships, which finished up at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on the weekend.
The Whitsunday Sailing Club members almost stole the silverware from current World Champions Rob and Nicole Douglas with an inspired sailing performance throughout the week, finishing second in a record fleet of 93 yachts.
Had it not been for an infringement early in the racing, they would have been the new national champions.
Linton said he and Jochheim had only sailed together on a couple of occasions before the event and both of them had only been sailing in the Tasar class for the past eight months.
“We were up against some very experienced crews from all over Australia and even the Australian Defence Forces Sailing Association sent a crack team over to race at Airlie Beach,” he said.
Naming rights sponsor, Sail Iceberg owner Luke Mairs also sailed in the regatta with partner Isabelle Diebold. He was joined in the racing by mother and father Bill and Jenny Mairs who had recently moved to Airlie Beach from down south.
Bill said he was very impressed with the competition put on in Airlie.
“I have been to many interstate championships, but this is the best one the Tasar association has ever put on,” he said.
“They were blessed with Whitsunday sun and fair winds for the whole regatta.”
Australian Tasar president Mike Paynter, who had arrived early in Airlie Beach to prepare for the event, echoed this comment.
“We are sorry to be leaving to return to Southern winters and look forward to returning to the Whitsunday Coast again for the Queensland State Championships,” he said.
Paynter added he was grateful for the wonderful support from local businesses and said the Whitsunday Sailing Club had provided the perfect venue for the championships, catering for more than 290 visitors at the presentation night on Saturday night.
Whitsunday Sailing Club Offbeach Commodore Terry Archer praised the club's staff and volunteers for their efforts in running the championships.
“We had challenges with so many yachts coming to the club,” he said.
“But we were confident that we could provide a world-class event and there is no doubt that we succeeded.”
Full results can be viewed on the Tasar site at www.tasarnationals.-com.au.
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