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Hard work paves way for Satterthwaite 7th Elliott 5.9 National Championship

by Gareth Howard 24 May 08:25 NZST
Rough and Ready - 1st place, Elliott 5.9 National Championship 2021 © Helen Hart

“It may look easy but there is a lot of hard work that goes into this,” was Craig Satterthwaite’s comment as he and his crew of Tom Maidment and Chris Maddock on Rough + Reddy celebrated his seventh Elliott 5.9 National title.

Whitianga and the host club, Mercury Bay Boating Club, turned on a stunning 3 days of racing with light 5 - 8 knots breeze on the opening day with all 4 races completed. The second day produced a light 4 - 5 knot breeze and the race committee had to delay the start by a couple of hours until managing to complete 2 light air races for the day. With a large low developing, an early start was called for day three and the race committee did well to fit in 5 races in a steadily building breeze with the final race completed in a gusty 18 knots and the fleet getting home before the full impact of the low arrived.

While an obvious feature of the event was Rough and Reddys domination of the first 2 days sailing, with only a third place to blemish their otherwise perfect score card, and a further 2 wins on day 3, the other feature was the intense and close racing that was taking place throughout the fleet. The one design Elliott 5.9 and the depth of sailing experience the class attracts means many boats with title intentions just had to battle to be in the top 10 and remain in touch with the leader board.

With Rough and Reddy effectively taking control of the title after day two, day three proved to be a moving day for the rest of the podium places. The Norths Sail team of Derek Scott, Richard Bicknell and Ben Costello on Retro picked up 2 race wins to move up the rankings into third place overall. However, they were not able to knock over the ever consistent Stu Clark and his crew of Cam Horne and Stu Molloy who took the other race win and counted no results outside the top 4 to claim a well deserved second overall. With Slam Dunk in second and Retro third, class stalwart Dave Cochrane sailing Zoot Allures was pushed back to fourth after looking likely to take a podium place after day 2.

However, Dave’s performance and relentless dedication to the class did not go unrewarded and during a very successful and well supported prizegiving evening, Dave was presented with the Elliott 5.9 Class life membership.. Dave has been involved with class for the last 30 years, is a three time Elliott 5.9 National Champion as well as fulfilling a number of roles in the successful running and promotion of the class over these years.

Mercury Bay Boating Club was an amazing organising club with a full range of social activities, great support boats and a well run race committee. Thanks must also go to Paul Davies who travelled up from Wellington to oversee the race committee and make sure the Elliott 5.9’s had another great contest.

Another strong fleet of Elliott 5.9s are expected at the next regatta which is the Traveller Series event hosted by the Napier Sailing Club at Napier 3 - 4 July.

Full results here and pictures here

For more information on the Elliott 5.9 Class Association visit

About The Elliott 5.9

The Elliott 5.9 emerged in the early 1980’s as a high performing trailer yacht and continues to deliver competitive one design racing in a welcoming fleet of world-class sailors and novices alike. The boats started a revolution with their well-balanced and cost effective design, and quickly became the boat of choice for top club training schemes and a breeding ground for NZ’s America’s Cup, Ocean Race and Olympic champions. Sailed by a crew of three, the Elliott 5.9 remains a low maintenance sailboat with an efficient single spreader fractional rig, a well-balanced sail plan and practical deck layout. Whether sailing among mixed trailer yachts, sport boat fleets or in a one design setting, the 5.9 is celebrated for its responsiveness and outstanding value.

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