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Irish Gladiators Victorious in Australian Team Racing Competition

8th April 2013
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Gladiators sailing team - Elliott Noye Sam Hunt, Conor Byrne, Claire Cassidy, Dr Frances O'Loughlin and Gillian Burke - have won the New South Wales team sailing championship on Sydney Harbour. Photo: Robyn Tames
Irish Gladiators Victorious in Australian Team Racing Competition

#teamracing – An Irish team has won a top Australian team sailing championship on Sydney Harbour.

The Gladiators - whose members have represented Ireland at almost all team sailing world championships since 2003 - have beaten 21 teams to take the New South Wales titles at Woolahra Sailing Club.
The NSW states, sailed in supplied 3.7m Pacer dinghies, is often more competitive and better-attended than the national championships.
The Gladiators were denied racing on the first day of the two-day event because of light winds on the short S-shaped course on Rose Bay on the first weekend of April.
And things were looking bad for a clean win on the Sunday with just four wins against two race losses.
But that was enough to slip into a tight three-race semi-final against Imperial Poona Yacht Club - captained by veteran racer Paddy Oliver (not Olliver), originally from Ballyholme, County Down, butbased in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, championship defenders and national match race champions Cruising Yacht Club Australia had lost the opposite semi to the unbeaten Sydney University.
Gladiators won the best-of-three final after only two races, scoring a 2,3,4 and a 1,3,6 in millpond conditions - making a miraculous recovery after a disastrous 2,5,6 windward mark rounding in the final race.
The six-strong team, accountant Sam Hunt, 30, Sydney/ Kinsale; carpenter and token Aussie Elliott Noye, 21, Hobart; journalist Conor Byrne, 29, Darwin/Skerries; engineer Claire Cassidy, 30, Sydney/Dublin; recruiter Gillian Burke, 28, Sydney/Howth; and Dr Frances O'Loughlin, 31, Nowra/Malahide; was third in the 2012 edition.

Published in Team Racing
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