Saturday, 23 January 2010
Audi's Anna Burgdorf presents Nathan Outteridge with the keys to the Audi A4 Avant. Image copyright Andrea Francolini/Audi.
by Di Pearson
Young Australian Sailing Team sailor Nathan Outteridge came ashore at Waterfront City, Docklands tonight with an ear splitting smile – and why not, he had just won the Audi King of the Docklands and in doing so, will drive home to the NSW Central Coast in a brand new Audi A4 Avant, courtesy of Audi.
Outteridge and his crew of gun Moth sailors Scott Babbage and John Harris, who is also an 18ft skiff world champion, helped the 2008 and 2009 49er world champion who finished second at the Worlds in the Bahamas earlier this month.
“I couldn’t have done it without John and Scott – I couldn’t have picked two better guys; guys who are friends. I’ll be shouting them to dinner tonight,” said Outteridge, who turns 24 at the end of the month.
“It’s awesome the support that Audi gives to sailing. As an Australian Sailing Team member, I get to drive an Audi all the time, because they sponsor our team. I feel very fortunate for that,” said Outteridge from Wangi Wangi on the Central Coast of NSW.
Scott Babbage, Nathan Outteridge and John Harris with the Audi A4 Avant. Image copyright Andrea Francolini/Audi.
The young sailor, who could not wipe the smile from his face continued: “I’ve driven the Audi A4 station wagon; it’s awesome to drive and very fuel efficient. I’ll make the best of my new car.”
“Congratulations to a great crew, you raced in difficult conditions. We are happy to be supporting such a great event and we thank Rod Jones and Oceanburo and Royal Geelong Yacht Club for their support,” said Anna Burgdorf, General Manager, Corporate Communications, Audi Australia, as she presented Nathan Outteridge with the keys to his brand new silver Audi A4 Avant valued at $54,800 at Docklands this evening.
As part of his prize, Rod Jones from Oceanburo donated the use of an SB3 to the winner’s home club to use for two years. “Wangi Wangi has a lot of young upcoming sailors, they’ll really appreciate this generous prize,” said Outteridge who let slip, “After sailing these boats I’d like to do the SB3 2012 Worlds if I can fit it in my program.”
Outteridge won both his heats to progress to the six boat final, which kept spectators holding their breaths. The two semi-finals were exceptionally aggressive, reminiscent of an America’s Cup action with plenty of pre-race tactics being played out on the course.
ABC’s Ian Cover and around the world sailor Nick Moloney gave blow by blow coverage from Waterfront City in breezes that were up and down, keeping all competitors on their toes until the final race in which the best six crews competed.
By the time the six teams hit the water, the breeze had faded to almost nothing and it was touch and go as to whether to abandon the race or not, but in the little breeze there was, the six moved at snail’s pace on the Victoria Harbour course with a crowd cheering them on.
The six finalists representatives in their headcams prior to heading on the water. Image copyright Teri Dodds/Audi Victoria Week media.
A young Geelong crew skippered by Brendan Garner finished second, as both his father John and Nathan Outteridge’s father Tony looked on, seemingly relaxed.
Garner made a brilliant recovery after crossing the start ahead of time, forcing him and his crew Jake Newman and Tim Clark, to take a 360 degree penalty turn, leaving him well behind the other five. However, sailing to the second last mark of the course, the 34 year-old skipper caught some breeze and forced a Quest crew, skippered by Julian Plante, out of the podium running and into fourth place.
A crew skippered by legendary 18 and 16 foot skiff sailor, Peter Sorensen, who also sails sports boats, finished third. Sorensen also happens to be the second winner of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, driving home in an Audi in 2008. “Oh well,” said the 60 plus year old, “you can’t win them all.”
Two other champion crews skippered by Heath Walters and Jock MacAdie, who is also in his 60’s, gave it their best and positions behind Outteridge changed constantly right to the end, thrilling onlookers.
Audi Victoria Week