Nathan Hits Back
Published on August 9th, 2012
After the story in Scuttlebutt 3650 about the Australian Gold Medal winning 49er boat being “not as one-design” as everyone else’s, journalist Andy Rice provided Aussie skipper Nathan Outteridge a right of reply. Here’s what he told Andy today…
Ours is a Bethwaite boat, the other guys have got Ovingtons or Mackays. A lot of other guys said they never had the chance to buy one of those boats, but Julian [Bethwaite] built 10 of them and no one decided to buy, so people started complaining about it. It’s a bit frustrating that people have talked about it like that, but we’ve sailed an Ovington, a Mackay and a Bethwaite and won a Worlds in all three. It makes no difference. The last Worlds was in a Bethwaite, the Worlds in Garda in an Ovington and sailed all through 2010 in a Mackay. The Worlds I won with Ben [Austin, in 2008] was in a Mackay.
“The boats are one-design but there are small differences and you can get any boat from any supplier and I’m sure you’ll find differences. It’s a matter of spending the time over a four year period working out what’s the right equipment to use for the weather. The hull is most important when it’s windy, and our best day here was in the lightest weather and our worst day was in the windiest weather, so I don’t think it’s the equipment that’s doing it for us.
“It’s been going on for about a year, people going on about our equipment. If someone had an issue about it they needed to come and talk to us about it, rather than just going behind our back. It’s been quite frustrating. We had four boats here, in case we had problems. And we were ready to say, ‘you tell us which of these four to use, so long as we can tell you which of your boats you can use.’ We’ve got a few Bethwaites here and Mackays as well, and it was a case of, ‘I don’t care which boat we’re going to sail because it’s not going to make a difference.'”