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2012 Australian Championship

The Gill International 505 Australian Championships where run and won in Mandurah WA over Easter.

It was a regatta of two halves. After the first days racing was abandoned due to high winds and large swells, Robin Deussen and Jordan Spencer sailing 'Xtreme' came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders, winning the first four races in generally light and shifty conditions.

Race 5 was then won by Brett Sharpe and Anthony Gaunt. It was then the turn of Michael Quirk and Simon Reffold to dominate in slightly breezier conditions. The pair won races 6, 7 and 8.

With one race to go and two drops allowed, it was tight at the top with Deussen and Spencer leading Quirk and Reffold by one point. If Quirk and Reffold could finish inside the top 3 and beat Deussen and Spencer they would win the Championship.

The last race was a doozy! Held in 8-10 knots with small shifts and pressure changes the tension held to the end. Deussen and Spencer went left early trying to drag their competition away from the fleet. Quirk and Reffold came across, stood further left, hooked a pressure line and rounded in the top three with Duessen and Spencer back in sixth. Duessen and Spencer clawed back through the race and heading into the last leg Quirk and Reffold were just in front of Duessen and Spencer.

The two teams split. Quirk Reffold went right and Duessen Spencer left. When they converged halfway up the beat Duessen Spencer were in front and from there it was a match racing battle as Duessen Spencer worked not only to keep Quirk and Reffold behind but slow them down, so three boats could gap away from them to ensure Quirk and Reffold finished fourth or worse.

At the end Nick Davis and Mike Duffield won the race leading from start to finish, with Duessen and Spencer fourth with Quirk and Reffold fifth and Duessen and Spencer were the new Australian Champions with a 2 point margin to Quirk and Reffold. Davis and Duffield pulled themselves up to third with their strong final race a further six points back.

The regatta was a great event put on by the Western Australian fleet and they had some great young talent competing, including the son of Peter Gilmour, Sam who won the youth trophy.

The win for Duessen was his first in the class, to go alongside his multiple wins in the Flying Dutchman and Sharpie classes. It was the second win for Spencer in the 505's who has also won the FD's.

It was the last 505 regatta for the pair, so it was an emotional win for them both.

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