So Steven Norman Brewin is the Australian ‘A’ Class National Champion yet again.
After the regatta at McCrea Yacht Club, we asked him if he'd approached this championship any differently to his previous ones. He said that he did nothing unusual, other than his normal approach; getting himself in good health and importantly, into a good head-space. He’d aimed to stay sailing clean and clear, and with no OCS incidents. ‘I did a lot of boat-work and preparation as usual’ he added, ‘just tweaking to the finest settings’. Getting to know his settings too was important, as later on in the series was to show. He also recommended that actually writing your settings down on the boat, in a black pen, can be very useful.
Enquiring as to what he does in the winter season, he said that his training, this time, had been focused on a lot of upwind work and trying to foil upwind during his practice sessions. ‘I know it’s slow at the time’ he says, ‘but I knew that it would eventually change and that I could turn it into better speed. It's now really starting to show’. It is also very important to have a good training partner, indeed this is useful for all ‘A’ Cat sailors regardless of ability, so Stevie has also been doing a lot of practice with Darren Bundock as his training partner.
As regards boat alterations, before the event, it was reported that he had altered dagger board positions on his eXploder Ad3. This took them 100mm further forward from his last boat. However, Stevie readily acknowledges that he couldn’t really see any major improvement in handling or tacking speed, although he was pretty certain that it had no detrimental effects in any of the sailing conditions either. It was also noted that Landy had chopped his rig down by some 500mm, (A useful utilisation of a broken mast). This would reduce the heeling moment and allow the centre of effort to be lower down, something that a foiling boat needs. Being a sailmaker, we asked his option. ‘The current rigs are super refined, so it will be hard to slap a new design together in a short period of time without developing it first’. He thinks it does have potential for the future, but only time will tell.
So finally, we wanted to know what happened with that OCS in race 8, dispite his planning to avoid getting one and also what happened to his boat in the same race.
‘I got a hole in the transom!’ he replies, ‘So I was towed in at 25 knots and whole turn around was less than 1/2 hour!’. Changing platforms was the only option he had in the time available between races. Fortunately for Stevie, his other platform just happened to be available, as poor old Dan Philpott, who was using it for the week, had not been sailing on it for the last two days due to an earlier injury. He managed to swap the rigs but had no time to adjust the rudders to suit his weight, things were not setup as he’d wanted but he just had to suck it up..
However, of such things Champions are made and in the paraphrased words of Napoleon ‘I know he’s a good sailor, but is he lucky?’ Indeed he was. As fortune would have it, a 20 degree windshift, coupled with a noticeable increase in strength, had delayed the start and the race committee had to reset the course. One can only imagine the disappointment Bundy must have felt as he saw Stevie come over the horizon to turn up on the start line for the next race. A DNS and a resulting 50 point penalty would have seen him dead and buried, consigning him to about 7th place! He actually finished that race 2nd and thus kept his lead, albeit reduced to just 3 points.
In the end this was enough as all of Day 5 racing was called off after 10 mins, due to a lack of wind and the championship was his. Well done sir and commiserations to Bundy. Close, but no cigar.
Photo Harrison Rietman