Tech GP finalists we joined on the day by Yamaha Australia and New Zealand’s service department as well as Yamaha Motor Australia’s Managing Director, Isaac Otani and General Manager for overseas service, Mr Takeuchi.
Simon Guard from Power Boating Centre in NZ completes a task under the keen eye of a Yamaha assessor
Yamaha crowns top technician in the 2011 Marine Technician Grand Prix
15 Mar 2011
The results are in. Yamaha has crowned Ryan Zell from Yatala Yamaha in QLD as Australia and New Zealand’s top Technician in the 2011 Marine Technician GP. This years event was even more challenging than ever, designed to test the theoretical knowledge of all competiors as well as their practical ability in high pressure situations. Ryan’s win is a great result for Yatala Yamaha, a family owned and run business that prides itself on exceptional technical ability backed up by years of industry knowledge and experience.
Yamaha began its search for Australia and New Zealand’s top technician earlier in the year with over 100 technicians completing the entry exam. From this the field was narrowed down to just 8 competitors who were invited to compete for the title at Yamaha’s Marine HQ in Brisbane. This was the first Marine Technician GP to be held at Yamaha’s purpose built marine facilities on the Brisbane River. The venue provided more flexibility to indroduce new and varied challenges to the GP.
This years assessments varied from a theory exam using wireless interactive key pads to a water practical test using a laptop computer and Yamaha’s diagnostic software, but by far the most challenging in this years event was the customer service task. Contestants were first confronted with a customer who had his holiday interrupted due to his outboard stopping only to be told there were potentially further delays in the repair. This discussion was then interrupted by a phone call with another customer issue, then another somewhat agitated customer steps into the office to complain about his repair bill. This scenario certainly tested each competitor’s skills in customer relations and ability to workout satisfactory solutions to difficult problems in a high pressure situation.
Throughout the day there were several standout performers in different areas of the competition. Brendan Irvine of Streaker Boats in Victoria demonstrated exceptional hands on skill in the engine analytics and assembly task. Chris Wilson from Pitmans Marine in SA shone out in the areas of engine troubleshooting and David Kranz from Waikerie Motorcycle and Marine in SA displayed his exceptional knowledge in the theory section.
With the event approaching completion the competition was still very close. Michael Finlay from In and Outboard Marine in NT put in a strong all round performance to push Ryan Zell all the way to the finish line. Michael is now a Tech GP veteran and with victory just slipping away from him this year, Yamaha looks forward to seeing him back in future competitions.
At the end of the day there can only be one winner and in this years event Ryan Zell proved to be too strong for the competition. Ryan’s ability to approach each task with a cool head ensured the pressure of the competition did not impede his judgement. His supreme all round performance saw him take out the title in impressive fashion.
Yamaha congratulates all competitors who took part in this year competition and hopes the experience gained helps them in future challenges and hopes the example these excellent technicians set helps to raises the standard of technical service in Australia and New Zealand across the board.