A positional switch that paid instant dividends has Moonen Yachts skipper Daniel Turner cautiously optimistic this is the year his NSW 16ft State Championship hoodoo could be broken. The Moonen skipper piloted his boat to back-to-back victories in Manly’s short course series last Saturday before immediately turning his thoughts to the upcoming states campaign.
Turner’s list of hard luck stories at that regatta could fill a book, but he feels the mojo is just right after making a key change in crew formation. “We’re pretty open minded on our team and it’s fair to say that my guys will do anything to make the boat go faster, even if it means switching positions,” Turner said. “Matt (Stenta) has gone into the bow and Simon Hoffman’s on the sheet and that’s how we’ll stay for the season. “It was all down to a bit of geometry. Simon’s 95 kilos and a foot taller than Matt, so you can’t ignore that. “I don’t want to jinx us but we’re starting to get our act together ahead of the states.
“It’s been the one that’s got away from us and there’s a little something special in the back of my mind about getting a state title.”
Turner was reminded just how tough that will be as he just held on to win both races in a gusty 15-20 knot sou’ easter on Saturday. A mere five seconds separated Moonen from runner-up Modern Concept Constructions (Gerard Smith) in the day’s first heat, with Imagine Signage (Nathan Wilmot) a further seven seconds behind in third. The racing was just as tight in the next heat, Turner just holding off Wilmot and Red Pumps (Tyler Dransfield). Turner said: “A lot of teams are getting up to speed on what’s working on their boats…what systems and sails are performing. “There’s a batch of us who have been training on Wednesdays from Manly to South Head and there’s not much in it. “There’s a lot of boats getting faster and starting to show their faces. “We say it every year, but the competition is just getting tighter and tighter.” Despite Moonen’s double victory, Imagine Signage still holds the lead on them on the overall short course pointscore tally with IMEI (Hugh Stodart) third and Sutech Building Consultants (Felix Daverio) fourth.
Words Adam Lucius
Image Credit: SailMedia