It's been 25 years since an England cricket team won a Test Series in Australia, and we now turn directly from the cricket triumph to the Australian Dragon Nationals being sailed at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Melbourne. Will the glory of the cricket transfer to the water? Will we give the Aussies a race for their money?
Rob Campbell, who chairs the International Dragon Association has entered Quicksilver for the event, crewed by Martin Makey and Matt Walker. Tim Tavinor is also out there, representing Petticrow and offering assistance to the Petticrow boats. He is also crewing for Lawrie Smith, an Olympic Bronze Medalist in Alfie.
The Prince Philip cup is a warm-up event before the Nationals proper. It was a seven race series, allowing one discard, in which Quicksilver finished 26th overall. The Wednesday racing was enlivened by Campbell going for a swim!
This is how Martin Makey described the event on Wednesday the 5th...
"This is the third day of the Prince Philip Cup. Today was decidedly more civilised than yesterday when strong winds and very choppy seas caused all sorts of problems! The main one was accidently gybing 100 metres from a busy leeward mark and losing Rob overboard. That led to a very interesting series of manoeuvres which did result in the recovery of RC and continuation of the race. However a shredded runner meant we couldn't do the second race (thank goodness!). Today about 10-15 knots, flatter sea and temperature 30 degrees. We had one average result and a 9th which improved morale considerably. Last race of series tomorrow then a bit of rock and roll before the Worlds. More later!"
(Have a look at the International Dragon Association's website where you will find a video clip of Campbell being interviewed in his capacity as Chairman of the IDA. Rob tried very hard to avoid the question about the swimming conditions but the interviewer persisted and Rob had to admit the water was lovely!)