Ring in gets Fluid home

 In 16ft Skiff News, Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club

Clint Bowen is a hard man to say no to.

So when the Fluid Building skipper sent out an SOS for a sheethand the day before Manly 16ft Skiff Club’s fifth pointscore race last Saturday, Jason Atkins knew there was only one answer to give.

“I am one of his best mates so it was a call of desperation. He used the best friend card on me so how could I refuse,” Atkins said with a laugh.

Bowen is persuasive but also shrewd.

He knew the right man to target when regular sheethand Matt Wark made himself unavailable.

Atkins is an accomplished sailor in his own right but just can’t fully commit to the sport due to his role as general manager of the North Ryde Golf Club and as father of a young son.

The son of legendary sailor and renowned sailing coach Robert “Baz” Atkins, Jason sailed a lot in his younger days before concentrating on golf.

But he is the epitome of a gun for hire in the 16ft skiff ranks, and lived up to his reputation in helping Fluid to victory in the pointscore race.

Unlike their club championship heat win seven days previously, Fluid did not lead all the way and had to overcome a few obstacles to claim their second win in as many weeks.

Sutech (Daniel Turner) took early control of the race before nosediving and dropping back to second behind Botany Access (Chris Thomas).

Turner clawed his way back only to be thwarted by the Manly ferry as he attempted to rope in the leader.

Fluid hit the lead on the top mark and held off their rivals to claim victory by the narrowest of margins.

Sutech was second with Botany Access close behind in third.

“I am a bit of a fill-in. I only get out once or twice a month but I love it when I do,” Atkins said.

“And it always helps when they put you on one of the fastest boats in the fleet.

“They treated me very nicely. Clint kept his calm throughout and we slowly worked our way to the lead and held it for the last 15 minutes of the race.”

Atkins will return to ‘hibernation’, as he calls it, as Fluid continues to build towards the upcoming state titles.

Botany Access took handicap honours last Saturday from Belsah (Peter Warner) and Sydney Shade Sails (Michael Koerner)

 

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