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Teamwork the key to St Jude’s winning performance

Teamwork the key to St Jude’s winning performance
Noel Cornish's Sydney 47, St Jude - Andrea Francolini

Topping IRC and ORCi Division 2 in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2017 was the hard-earned reward for the crew of St Jude, Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47, which stemmed not only from long term prep, but punishing hours in the race itself.

“We’re delighted with the result from this race. It’s like everything in life, when you work hard at something and you get the rewards,” said Cornish after sending up his crew to collect the prize on stage, an act of recognition for their efforts.

“You can’t go well in a race like that without your crew being 100% committed. My crew gave it everything. There were times when they could have gone off shift but stayed up and stayed active in order to keep the boat going faster. Also my tactician Ron Jacobs did a great job in tuning up the boat for this race but also getting the tactics for this race. He was just fantastic, working and talking over plans with the crew and then executing. It was a fantastic team effort.  I’ve very very grateful for what they’ve done.”

In a race as tight as the 2017 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast was, the extra efforts of the crew seemed to be large part of the difference which allowed St Jude to take the division honours. Boat on boat racing was par for the course meaning the slightest slip up throughout the race could have cost the victory.

Cornish added, “For us the race was intensely competitive. One of the toughest tactical races that I’ve been a part of. It was difficult because all the competitors were so close to each other. If you found yourself tactically in the wrong part of the course for whatever reason, maybe you didn’t pick the current right, or you didn’t pick the transition from the day breeze from the evening breeze, then you found you went five places down in a matter of hours and you had to work hard to get yourself back into a strong position. That happened often in this race.”

Key to the overall success of the race was not only the maximisation of the conditions and the tight racing between competitors but the organisation and support racers enjoyed before, during and afterwards, said Cornish.

“It’s hugely important to recognise to the support of our sponsor Land Rover as well as our finishing partner, Southport Yacht club. It’s also important to thank the Sailing office – they do a huge job, there’s a lot of complexity and to organise a race of this magnitude which is run with limited issues, is superb. My thanks also to the race committee, headed up by Tim Cox.”