Historic world title win for Cairns yachtsman
NEW sailing world champion Adam Beattie is weighing up whether to pursue an Olympic berth after creating history for the Cairns Yacht Club this week.
The 26-year-old, with the help of crewman and Cairns mate Jamie Leitner (22) overcame amazing adversity to win the Nacra Infusion World Championships in Southport.
It is the first world championship for a Cairns Yacht Club member in the club's 104-year history, and came in dramatic fashion after the bow of their boat was rammed and split before a race had started.
The team was forced back to shore to repair the damage but incredibly they returned to win the third race of the day.
An appeal that night awarded them 3.4 for the first two races they missed and that fraction was the difference as they finished just .2 points ahead of second place (20.8 to 21).
"It is very, very rare that it is that close," Beattie said.
"It's just an amazing feeling to have world champ next to your name. But we have sailed really well these last few weeks."
He said to seriously pursue an Olympic dream he would have to move overseas, find a female crew member and devote his entire life to the sport.
"I don't know what's next, but having a crack at making an Olympic team is something that has been in mind on a daily basis," he said. "It's a big risk and I'd need help funding it."
The crew only finished outside the top three in two of the 10 races they completed, winning four including the final race under immense pressure.
"In those situations you've just got to go out there and sail as best you can," Beattie said.
"It was just so close at that point."
He said his partnership with Leitner, and their local advantage, were big factors against a field that included boats from Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Oman.
"Jamie and I have done a lot together, it just works between us," he said.
Cairns Yacht Club committee member Will Lucas, who competed with Tarrant Green to finish 14th, said Beattie was a deserved winner and class act.
"To win with that adversity is against the odds, it's very rare," he said.
He said his time sailing in Europe had turned him from a "good sail to an amazing one".
The Cairns club had five crews competing in the Gold Coast championship.
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On course: Adam Beattie and Jamie Leitner sail towards the history books after claiming the world championship.