Team Pica to take on the world's best

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Team Pica are off to compete in Australia. Team Pica are off to compete in Australia.

TEAM Pica are off to Australia to take on the best in the world.

Sailor Tristan Hutt, along with brothers Jamie and Stewart Mears, have proved to be a dominant force in Europe in their 18-foot skiff Pica.

Team Pica have a string of European and UK titles to their name and are now heading to Australia to take on the best the world has to offer.

Sheet hand Hutt, helm Jamie and bowman Stewart will be competing in the prestigious JJ Giltinan Trophy, in Sydney Harbour, between February 16-24.

The Australians are considered to be the dominant force in 18ft skiff racing but the trio, who sail at Stone Sailing Club, Southminster, and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham, are looking forward to taking them on in their own back yard.

Hutt, from Hall Road, Heybridge, said: “We are going to give it a real go. “There will be seven races, which are held in the afternoon to avoid the worst of the traffic in the Harbour.

“Those Sydney harbour ferries don’t give way, it adds to the interesting racing down there.

“We have new sails for the boat, sponsored by Pica Floorings, and they make a big difference.” Jamie Mears added: “It is the biggest race in the world for 18ft skiffs.

“And the trophy itself is the second most valuable in the sailing world, only second to the Americas Cup.

“If we win it we will only be allowed to hold it briefly, have a photo with it and then it gets put away again.

“It costs too much to insure it and fly it anywhere else.”

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