Sailors snare national title
BUNDABERG sailing duo Bruce Potter and Matthew Caldwell claimed a second consecutive Australian championship at the national titles in Largs Bay, Adelaide.
The Bundaberg Sailing Club members navigated difficult conditions including wind speeds of up to 30 knots in pursuit of the coveted 5.8 NACRA class national championship trophy.
The national title was earned with a consistent performance throughout the week-long competition that featured eight firsts, a second and a fourth, from 10 races.
Skipper Potter said he and helmsman Caldwell had to fight to achieve the title amidst unpredictable weather conditions and strong wind gusts.
Two races were cancelled during the course of the competition due to safety concerns.
"There were some challenging conditions out there, that's for sure," he said.
"We just sort of put our heads down and gave it our best and everything clicked into place."
The dual national titles are stand out achievements in a prosperous period for the pair that has also yielded two state championships.
Their names will be embossed on the national title trophy alongside the likes of world champion sailors such as Stevie Brewin and Robert Forbes.
Caldwell is a sailor with more than 20 years experience operating catamarans and 10 years competing in NACRA events.
Potter, however, is a relative newcomer to the sport who has excelled in part because of a past life as a competitive windsurfer.
"I may not have had any sailing experience but I learnt a thing or two about reading winds and conditions wind surfing," he said.
He started sailing catamarans in 2007 and has quickly progressed to the forefront of the sport with the help of Caldwell.
The pair will go to Lake Samsonvale this weekend to compete in the NACRA national traveller series.
Adding to the success enjoyed by Bundaberg Sailing Club was Potter's son Jarrod who was second in the NACRA 16sq category.