Richardson-led crew sails Pocahontas to national title
HERVEY Bay sailor Tony Richardson went to the Australian Multihull Titles with little expectation. He left Airlie Beach a national champion.
Crewed by skipper Richardson, Ros Richardson, Drew Carruthers, Keith Hinks and Trevor Brown, Pocahontas prevailed in light winds to take out the Division 3 on offshore multihull rule handicap.
After six races over a week, Pocahontas finished one point clear of Hot Option.
All that separated the two boats was 15 seconds, which is how much time Pocahontas finished ahead of its nearest rival in the final race.
"We didn't go up there with huge expectations because this was only our third time at the national titles and third time at the Whitsundays," Richardson said.
"We were really lucky to win it as it was the mostly closely contested division in the multihull titles and our results came down to the last race.
"It was amazing and a huge amount of credit has to go to the crew, who did an outstanding job."
Richardson conceded he had thought they would struggle in the light winds, which never reached more than 12 knots.
Having the largest boat, a 10m long f-33 trimaran, and the highest handicap in the division proved an even greater test.
"It can be very challenging to race in those conditions," Richardson said.
"Sailing in soft breezes and flat water, it allows smaller boats to keep up and not get buffeted by waves as much, which makes it tougher to get away from them on handicap."
Richardson was unsure if Pocahontas would defend its national title next year at Port Lincoln.