“We set out to win, we were made to work hard for it so we are going to really enjoy this,” said Euroflex’s victorious skipper Nathan Outteridge, “We have had lots of different people here and without the effort of the boat builders and all the guys it would have been really hard to achieve this.”
The star-studded sky-blue SuperFoiler with Olympic Gold medallist Nathan Outteridge, America’s Cup winner Glenn Ashby and Australian Sailing Team member Lachlan Gilmour had needed to keep Pavement and tech2 at bay to seal the prize and managed to clock in a clean sweep on the final day of racing in Sydney to secure the title by four points alongside the regatta win.
“I’m really pleased, it has been a big team effort to get to this point,” said the newly crowned SuperFoiler champion Glenn Ashby, ““My pistols are in need of a bit of servicing after this.”
It was a nervous start to the pinnacle event on the calendar with Phil Robertson’s Record Point and iD Intranet both capsizing before the start of action.
There was also serious concern for the series front-runner Euroflex after Lachlan Gilmour – the blue bolter’s third bowman in as many days – suffered an injury before the race-start, cutting his leg on the foil and requiring running repairs from the on-water paramedic.
But the injury was the furthest thing from his mind as he celebrated being a part of the first Champion of the SuperFoiler circuit with two of the world’s best sailors by his side.
“I’m just stoked to be sailing with these two legends of the sport,” said Euroflex’s bowman Lachlan Gilmour who was filling in for the team’s mainstay Olympic gold medallist Iain Jensen who missed the last event.
tech2 had looked like winning the final race and had a shot of stealing the Championship in the process, before Euroflex rolled over the top of them on the final leg to secure the Sydney Regatta and Championship win in the process. The red flyer’s skipper vowing to return to claim the top prize in the next instalment of the Australia-wide series.
“I think the boats are unreal. I enjoy every opportunity to get on the water in these things,” said Luke Parkinson who finished the series with tech2 in second overall.
Pavement secured third place on the championship podium in the race for the Ben Lexcen trophy.
“To finish strong on the final day of the series was a massive effort the for the entire way through. I couldn’t think of a better was to spend my summer,” said Pavement skipper Steve Thomas.
As well as the injury to Gilmour, the on-water paramedics also had to render assistance to the series fourth-placed finisher Record Point’s Sam Phillips, who headed to the hospital for scans on his foot following a clip with the board.
“That was carnage. I think being the Expr3ss Grand Final everyone wanted to push boundaries,” said Kleenmaid skipper Olivia Price, “It was action packed out here.”
“We couldn't put a foot wrong yesterday and had the boat dialled in and today we couldn't even warm up without pissing it in,” said Record Point skipper Phil Robertson.
“It was bloody tough but it has been wicked fun and a privilege to do it,” said Paul Campbell-James who steered iD Intranet to fifth in the series, “These are wicked boats to sail and I hope to be invited back to do it again.”
The crowning moment played out in front of a sold-out VIP pontoon and organisers have promised to bring the world’s best sailors back to Australian shores with a follow up instalment.
“We have demonstrated the machine and the racing entertainment model is word class. Having some of the world’s best sailors declaring the SuperFoiler to be the future is perhaps the most important litmus test,” said SuperFoiler CEO Bill Macartney, “To have sold out corporate hospitality on the last day of the Expr3ss! SuperFoiler Grand Final and such an excited viewing crowd was also a key indicator for us going forward.”
The series climax will be broadcast on the Channel 7 after the Commonwealth Games.
2018 Ben Lexcen Trophy (Final Series Standings)
Record Point (18)
iD Intranet (15)
Sydney Regatta Standings
Record Point (34)
iD Intranet (29)