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Zhik 2023 Black Friday LEADERBOARD

Messenger on a Mission

by Ian Grant on 12 Mar 2001

John Messenger, the highly respected marine industry identity plans to take some time out from a busy schedule by racing his recently launched Sydney 38 'Utopia' on the Asian circuit later this year.

The intensely competitive nature of racing One-Design has Messenger and his crew fine tuning the sloop and crew technique in preparation for the Queensland winter circuit of races including the Hog's Breath Race Week Australian championship at Airlie Beach in mid-August.

No doubt the recent success of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Sydney 38 Stella has ignited the competitive fire in the former Etchells and maxi yacht skipper.

Stella won the Singapore Straits regatta before going on to score an impressive win in the Philippine's Presidents Cup.

These results achieved under the IRC handicap-rating band have proved to be attractive to the Australian Sydney 38 fleet.

However John Messenger is the first owner skipper to make notice of his intention to race on the Asian circuit.

Australian designed and built yachts have enjoyed considerable success in South East Asia, first with Ray Roberts and more recently with Neil Pryde's Sydney 46 before the new Stella became the talk of the Asian yachting scene with her impressive debut this year.

Skipper Messenger is keen to test his speed and tactical skill against the proven Stella but first his time is focused on 'tweaking' the rig and applying the 'go fast' to Utopia.

He is pleased with the performance, remarking that the sloop 'has impressive speed, is lively and has good height sailing upwind.'

He aims to be on the pace for the first round of the State Sydney
38 titles off Pittwater in April and the final round of races on Sydney
Harbour in May.

Utopia will then be prepared for the CYCA winter series before lining up for the Sydney to Southport race and the Sydney 38 One Design Nationals which is the feature event in Hog's Breath Race Week 2001 at Airlie
Beach from August 10 to 16th.

Skipper Messenger has also nominated Utopia for the open Australian IRC class championship, which will be decided in conjunction with the Hahn Premium Race Week at Hamilton Island.

Immediately after Hamilton Island Race week, the sloop will be shipped
to Asia for the Kings Cup in Phuket followed by the Singapore Straits Regatta and Presidents Cup.

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