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European title for Team Pica
1:59pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Ryman Division One North
FRESH from defending their European sailing title Team Pica are planning an assault on Australia.
Tristan Hutt and brothers Jamie and Stewart Mears sailed their 18ft Skiff Pica to the European title on Lake Garda, in Italy.
They once again proved to be the best European boat on the water by winning the 18ft Skiff European Championship, which was the second race of the European Grand Prix series.
And this time round sheet hand Hutt, helm Jamie and bowman Stewart also defeated Australian John Winning’s boat, who denied them the world title last year, and in the process became the first European skiff to win the event outright since 2008.
Hutt, from Hall Road, Heybridge, said: “It was great to get out there and take the title again.
“Especially beating Winning and the Howie Hamlin from the US.
“And we won the last race on the final day. It was a great feeling to cross the line in front as European Champions.”
And following on from this success Team Pica are now determined to take part in the premier 18ft Skiff event – the JJ Giltinan Trophy in Sydney Harbour, Australia, next February.
The Australians are considered to be the dominant force in 18ft skiff racing and Team Pica had intended to race in this year’s event but hadn’t been able to get the funding in place quickly enough.
Hutt said: “We are due to have a proper sit down in the next couple of days and decide our strategy.
“Since beating Winning a lot of people in Australia have been calling for us to go down there and race.
“Local knowledge is advantageous but it will be great to go and race on their home turf and hope to come away with a good result. There will be teams we haven’t raced against which are amongst the best in the world.
“But we will not race against Winning and Hamlin again before then so the last thing they will remember about us is that we beat them.”
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