"The first one was hard to take and the second one was even more painful"

Manly 16ft skiff Fire Stopping is using the pain of again missing out on a national title by the barest of margins as motivation to grab the season's final trophy.

The Joe Turner-skippered boat made it three wins from as many starts in the Manly club championship last Saturday, beating home great rivals Fluid Building (Clint Bowen) and Brydens Lawyers (Lee Knapton) in a 10-15 knot sou' easter.

The latest victory comes a fortnight after Fire Stopping finished runner-up at the Australian 16ft Championships for the second year running.

Twelve months previously, Turner and crew Rob Napper and James Bury endured similar heartbreak when they finished one point behind the eventual winner after the final race was cancelled due to the light conditions.

"The first one was hard to take and the second one was even more painful," Bury admitted.

"But that's sailing and you've just got to get back out there and keep going.

"It's good that we've got the club championship to focus on. It's obviously a big deal at Manly and something we are extremely keen to win.

"It's not quite the same as a national title but we are extra motivated to win it to round off the season."

The defending club champions did not have everything their own way in a closely contested heat three-way shoot-out.

Fluid and Brydens were right in the race, with the former leading up until the second bottom mark.

But when Fluid lost crewman Brent Dennis overboard, Turner pounced and cleared out to a narrow win.

"It was a typical club championship…closely fought and in doubt right until the end," Bury said.

"We're in a strong position after three heats but can't take anything for granted.

"No one is going to hand it to us."

Namotu Island Fiji (Natasha Ivshenko) took out handicap honours from Shebang (Anthony King) and Sutech (Daniel Turner).

The next heat of the club championship will be sailed on February 11.

Created By
Michael Chittenden

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