Former world champ aims for elusive Aussie title

Bucky Smith.
Bucky Smith.

MOOLOOLABA sail-maker and professional yachtie Bucky Smith has had very little rest since Boxing Day.

He has been on the water every day since the start of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race - except for New Year's Day.

Taking a breather, though, is the last thing on his mind as he starts a campaign today to win an elusive Australian title in the Etchells class.

"We are in good form at the moment," Smith said of his international team.

"We just came off a second place at the world championships and first place in the Queensland championships, so our form is good.

"We're confident, but anything can happen in the water. It's hard to predict."

The Australian Etchells championships start today in Western Australia and comprise a scheduled eight races over four days - dependent on the weather.

Smith was able to spend a quick 10 minutes in a phone interview with the Daily yesterday as he helped finalise preparations and registration and awaited a weigh-in with his fellow crew members. They must collectively weigh less than 268kg to qualify for the event.

Smith is crewing with Racer X boat owner and helmsman Mark Thornburrow, of Hong Kong, 470 Class world champion Simon Cooke, of New Zealand, and Andrew Service, a UK national who also resides in Hong Kong.

While Smith has already won a world title in the class as well as the recent Queensland title, he would love to win an Australian title, which is so far missing from his resume.

"That definitely has been on my mind, and I know we can do it - we're good enough," he said.

"We've showed consistent form, we're in good shape, but you have to make sure you don't underestimate the competition."

The 36-year-old Smith's Sydney-Hobart campaign was disheartening to say the least. The yacht he was crewing, Living Doll, broke a rudder mid-way across Bass Strait, forcing a withdrawal from the iconic ocean race as they limped back to shore.

Smith backed up that misfortune, however, with a win in the Hartley TS 16 Australian Championships at Lake Cootharaba, near Noosa, last week.

Also, the Racer X team sailed strongly to finishing second in a warm-up regatta of five races at the Perth Yacht Club earlier this week - a hitout that gave the crew a good look at the championships' course.

"A top-five finish is a good goal and top three would be awesome, but on winning... we think we can do it," Smith said.

The racing starts today.

Topics:  sailing

Star Jets player turned drug addict found with loaded gun

Jets Rookie of the year turned druggy seeks new life

Murderer used Beerburrum forest as dumping ground

Deceased woman Tia Landers. Her accused murderers have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Landers wasn't the first person Harris buried in Beerburrum forest

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

10 things to do this weekend

Support the United Tradesmen's Lodge as they raise funds for Guide Dogs Queensland by Dining in the Dark

Check out what's happening around the region

Kindy celebrates golden years

Maisie, Isaac and Abigail from the C&K - Silkstone Baptist Community Kindergarten.

Don't miss cake cutting ceremony with Mayor Paul Pisasale

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

10 things to do this weekend

Support the United Tradesmen's Lodge as they raise funds for Guide Dogs Queensland by Dining in the Dark

Check out what's happening around the region

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

OPINION: Dusit Thani Resort needs our full support

An artist impression of the Dusit Thani Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort.

Resort will bring great benefits to Ipswich