Non Pointscore Short Course: 01/10/2022
Typhoon’s innovative move to shift to a squad model over a set crew is showing early signs of being a winner after Nathan Wilmot piloted the boat to back-to-back wins in successive shortcourse races at Manly last Saturday.
Sick of scratching around for crew each week, Typhoon owner Craig Nicholls set up a consortium of skiff sailors willing to join a large team without having to commit every single week.
There are now 14 sailors on the list, with Nicholls and Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page making the call on the line-up once each member’s availability is known.
A WhatsApp group has been set-up to co-ordinate the roster.
Wilmot has been installed as skipper for the major regattas and is getting plenty of time in the boat as Nicholls recovers from a leg injury.
The reigning national 16ft champion joined with Page and Ricky Bridge, another highly regarded member of the WhatsApp contingent, to win both races at the weekend.
With many of the top crews in the fleet sitting it out, Typhoon’s double success broke a long drought for the boat in scratch races.
“We’re just sharing the boat between us so we’ve always got a crew each week and the boat is always in the water,” Wilmot explained.
“We let Malcolm know through WhatsApp who’s available each week and it’s worked out from there. So far it’s been really good.
“It just takes the pressure of having to find a crew every week and also allows you to miss a week here and there if there are other commitments.
“We haven’t had the problem of having too many wanting to sail at the same time, but I’m sure when the weather gets a bit nicer there will be even more interest.”
The weather certainly wasn’t at its nicest as a reduced fleet took to the water last Saturday for two non-pointscore races.
A biting 10-12 knot sou’easter made for a cold and bumpy ride, with Typhoon overcoming a few early problems in the first race to take the lead in the first run.
Botany Access (Chris Thomas) stayed on Typhoon’s hammer all the way, finishing just two seconds behind in second with Shebang (Anthony King) and Altis Consulting (Phillip Cooke) close behind.
Typhoon and Botany Access also went one and two in the afternoon’s second race, with Altis Consulting third and Musto (Nia Jerwood) fourth.
“It was good to get out there and get around the course and have a bit of fun,” Wilmot said.
“We did a bit of work (during the week) with putting new ropes on and I stuffed up a few little things but managed to get around the course okay.”
Wilmot, Page and Brett Davis will combine on Typhoon as they look to defend their national crown at the Australian 16ft Championships at Manly in January.