Jason Marra and Brendon Duske win Tornado Nationals

11 Apr

2022 Tornado Champions - Jason Marra & Brendon Dusky

Team Relentless, comprising of Jason Marra and Brendon Duske from Tauranga, are stoked after winning the New Zealand Tornado Championship.

The competition was hosted in Auckland from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12 under the organising authority of the Howick Sailing Club and run in conjunction with the A Class Nationals.

“It was awesome to bring the trophy to Tauranga. Looking at the previous winners inscribed on the trophy was surreal. It’s like a who’s who of New Zealand sailing. It’s amazing to be in that sort of company,” says Jason Marra.

Jason says the competition was tough, and the final race was still anyone’s game.

“Going into the last race, it was tight. The previous multiple national champion Bill Caunce and Aaron Duncan were just one point behind. If they won the last race the win would have gone to them on countback, as they had one more ‘first’ than us.”

“It was a must win for us to take the title, so we were prepared to take chances.

“At the top of the last windward leg, we were sitting 4th – but only seconds were in it. Immediately after that rounding, the other three boats gybed onto port and went to the left hand side of the course. We chose not to cover them – so we maintained our starboard course. Halfway down the leg we gybed onto port and quickly closed on them. As we converged we gybed back onto starboard – we were the windward boat, meaning the other boats under us would have a near impossible chance of sailing through our wind shadow, and were easily able to lay the finish line, we were ahead by the slightest of margins. It came down to the last 300 metres when we managed to squeeze the others out and take the win by a few boat lengths.”  

The chances paid off for the duo, as they now have their names permanently inscribed in the Tornado championship trophy that dates back to 1971.

Jason and Brendon are the first team to bring the trophy to Tauranga, now the epicentre of the Tornado class, making this a significant achievement.

“It’s a fantastic result. We’ve been sailing this class for around 10 years, often achieving 2nd or 3rd at Nationals but never 1st, so it was a sweet victory.”

Tornado racing is an international racing class recognised by the International Sailing Federation. Tornados are a double handed multihull class, first designed in 1967 which were used at the Olympic Games catamaran class from 1976 to 2008.

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