Under grey skies the 2012 ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship fleet sailed up the Mooloolah River this morning for race 1 of the series.
Matthew Chew sails into the lead ADCO Australasian Winter Etchells Championships
With the breeze blowing at 12 to 15 knots and with occasional offshore squalls, the Race Committee set the course at 180, with leg lengths of 1.5 nautical miles, in overcast conditions and a confused seaway.
Race 1 started in around 16-17 knots after a squirt pressure just before the gun.
In a clean start, quite unusual for the first race of the championship, Peter McNeill (Iris 111) started on the pin with Todd Trevillion (3 Gone Missing), Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance) and World Champion Tom King (Iron Lotus) next up. Then came Philip Coombs (J for Jig), John Warlow (Le Grande Coq) and class president Jake Gunther (The Boat).
There appeared to be more pressure on the left of the course as half the fleet tacked to port. McNeill led with Bulka and King close behind.
In 15 knots, Gunther was the most left hand boat on the course as the fleet tacked towards the top mark for the first time. Boats mid course seemed to be gaining the most in a now flattening seaway.
Around the top mark coming in from the left on port tack Bulka led from Graeme Taylor (Magpie) and King. King had sailed inside Bulka across to the clearing mark, Matthew Chew (Gen X Y) and Colin Beashel (North Star) followed.
McNeill had lost a lot of ground. Mark Thornburrow (Racer X) followed him, then came Mark Johnson (Roulette) and James Chilman (The Boat That Rocked).
Conditions were improving with the boats surfing downwind making big gains on the waves.
Bulka was holding the lead from Taylor with the familiar red kite of King’s Iron Lotus next, followed by Chew and Beashel.
At the bottom mark Bulka rounded well clear of the fleet. Taylor was second, King third, then Chew and Beashel. Thornburrow made gains to be next, then came early race leader McNeill and Chilman, with Jeanne-Claude Strong’s Yandoo XX pulling up to ninth. Gary Smith’s Tusk completed the top ten.
David Rose (This Will Make Her Scream), the winner of the first Etchells Mid-Winter championship, ruined his chances of a repeat performance when the spinnaker halyard caught around the boom and the spinnaker went into the water. Ten minutes later the crew were still trying to drag the spinnaker aboard. His two crew went for a rather chilly swim but Rose was still smiling. (Dockside Rose reported the whole prawn catch was lost as they had to cut the spinnaker away).
At the mark, Bulka led Taylor with King closing.
As they sailed to the finish the breeze had dropped to about 12-14 knots.
Taylor held a four boat length lead. Bulka, King and Chew were three abreast, with Chew sailing through King and into third after catching a good wave.
With the finish line it sight, the minor placings were all about which boat ‘surfed’ best in the conditions.
Graeme Taylor led Mark Bulka and Matthew Chew, with a tenacious Tom King hot on Chew’s stern.
Graeme Taylor (GT – Magpie) surfed across the line just one length ahead of Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance) with Tom King (Iron Lotus) regaining third, just one length further back.
Matthew Chew (Gen X Y) was fourth, a great result for the first season skipper in such great company.
Mark Johnson (Roulette) finished strongly to take fifth, Mark Thornburrow (Racer X) was sixth and Jeanne-Claude Strong (Yandoo XX) gained places to finish seventh. Peter McNeill (Iris 111) and James Chilman (The Boat That Rocked) followed.
Graeme Taylor said 'It was very close and it could have gone any way. It all came down to those last few waves.'
Magpie crew Steven 'Mothie' Jarvin was smiling after their win. 'We protected the right from the top mark and that helped.'
Race 2 of the series got underway as the sun shone through the clouds and conditions eased. The Race Committee set two and a half legs, with an upwind finish near Point Cartwright.
In around 13-14 knots, Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance) started on the pin and got away nicely from Mark Thornburrow (Racer X), Colin Beashel (North Star), Todd Trevillion (3 Gone Missing) and Dean Blatchford (Echo Beach).
Bulka extended his lead as the entire fleet went left from the start. This was the case for nearly five minutes until the backmarkers, sucking too much gas, finally started to turn away.
Bulka tacked well ahead, crossing the entire fleet to the inside of the course. Thornburrow followed but Thornburrow had to take a big duck behind Beashel.
Tom King (10) and Mark Thornburrow (11) - ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship
By the top mark however, Bulka was just one length ahead of Peter McNeill (Iris 11I) who had moved into second, ahead of Philip Coombs (J for Jig) and Graeme Taylor (Magpie). Tom King (Iron Lotus) followed, then Beashel, Thornburrow and Mark Johnson (Roulette).
Conditions were easing further and the sun was shining as the fleet headed down the first run.
At the top mark for the second time Matthew Chew (Gen X Y) was 1 min 20 seconds ahead of Bulka. Then came Beashel, Chris Hampton (Tango 1990), Thornburrow and Graeme Taylor (Magpie), while Tom King (Iron Lotus) had dropped back to tenth place.
Colin Beashel (North Star) - ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship
It was an impressive win for Matthew Chew (Gen X Y) from Colin Beashel (North Star), who sailed into second on the last beat.
Mark Bulka (Perfect Balance) held on to take third from Mark Thornburrow (Racer X), then Mark Johnson (Roulette), Christopher Hampton (Tango 1990), Jean-Claude Strong (Yandoo XX), Tom King (Iron Lotus) and Graeme Taylor (33).
Colin Beashel said ‘Pretty cold, confused seas. A bit of fun down wind, all in all a good day.’
Mark Thornburrow was philosophical. ‘We made a few mistakes but we hung in there and got some consistent results. Overall a great day’s sailing.’
After two races at the 2012 ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship, Brisbane sailor Matthew Chew and his Gen X Y crew Ashley Deeks, Paul Wyatt and Brian Donovan (4,1) lead the regatta overall on count back from Mark Bulka on Perfect Balance (2,3). Colin Beashel, North Star (5,2) is third, Hong Kong sailor Mark Thornburrow, Racer X (6,4) fourth with Graeme (GT) Taylor, Magpie (1,10) fifth.
Matthew Chew, part of the 2009 Etchells World Champion crew was a happy skipper. ‘The conditions seem quite similar to those off Pittwater (NSW) so we were comfortable.
‘In the first race we had a good start but had the brace come off our spinnaker and we hung in there for a fourth.
‘In second race we went left, won our side and it turned out to be the favoured side. For a new crew and new skipper we are definitely ahead of schedule.’
Racing at the ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship continues tomorrow, Saturday and concludes on Sunday.
Graeme Taylor leads Race 1 ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship
|1||17||Matthew Chew, Ashley Deeks, Brian Donavan & Paul Wyatt||Brisbane||4||1||5|
|2||27||Mark Bulka, James Arnold & Steve Young||Melbourne||2||3||5|
|3||12||Colin Beashel, Richard Allanson & Garry Gudmunson||Sydney||5||2||7|
|4||11||Mark Thornburrow, Simon Cooke, Sam Sakai & Bucky Smith||Hong Kong||6||4||10|
|5||33||Graeme Taylor, Steve Jarvin & Ben Morrison-Jack||Mornington||1||10||11|
|6||10||Tom King, David Edwards, Ivan Wheen & Owen McMahon||Sydney||3||8||11|
|7||02||Mark Johnson, Christian Brook & Nikolas Burfoot||Sydney||9||5||14|
|8||24||Jeanne-Claude Strong, Tiana Wittey, Neville Wittey & Marcus Burke||Sydney||7||7||14|
|9||20||Peter McNeill, Simon Reffold & David Gleadhill||Lake Macquarie||8||9||17|
|10||06||Christopher Hampton, Matthew Johns & Sam Haines||Melbourne||17||6||23|
|11||15||Ross Lloyd, Matthew Turner & Peter Williams||Melbourne||11||12||23|
|12||16||Philip Coombs, Stuart Schafer & David Eickmeyer||Melbourne||15||13||28|
|13||34||Jake Gunther, Tony McPhail & Stuart Skeggs||Melbourne||12||18||30|
|14||09||David Clark, John Collingwood & Andrew Smith||Melbourne||14||17||31|
|15||39||Gary Smith, Michael McAullay & Andrew McAullay||Swan River||16||15||31|
|16||37||James Chilman, Stephen Girdis & Gary Van Lunteren||Brisbane||10||22||32|
|17||23||Graeme Alexander, Errol Candy & Chris Jackson||Mornimgton||21||11||32|
|18||03||Roger Hickman, Kate Besley, Daniel Williams & Daniel Morrow||Sydney||13||21||34|
|19||05||Dirk Van Der Struyf, Graeme Johnson & Richard Rowell||Swan River||25||14||39|
|20||21||Dean Blatchford, Greg Torpy & Keith Jensen||Lake Macquarie||20||20||40|
|21||28||Noel Paterson, Sarah Board, Mark Buchbach & Hamish Crossan||Brisbane||18||23||41|
|22||13||John Warlow, Craig Alcock & Bradley Ginniven||Brisbane||26||19||45|
|23||35||Mark Sanders, James Howarth & Scott McInally||Gold Coast||19||26||45|
|24||29||David Turton, David Biggar & Shayne Farnell||Mooloolaba||31||16||47|
|25||25||Trevor Martin, Paul Braithwaite & Darrell Civic||Mooloolaba||22||30||52|
|26||01||Michael Stovin-Bradford, Andrew Gordon & Keith Short||Sydney||30||25||55|
|27||04||Peter Coleman, Iain Gartley & Wayne Dixon||Melbourne||28||27||55|
|28||31||Paul Minter, Glen Thomson & John Minter||Cronulla||24||32||56|
|29||08||David Healey, James Hallam, Timothy Robba & Jennifer Skeahan||Brisbane||27||29||56|
|30||30||Gregory Forgan-Smith, Bruce Pitt, Ludvig Bengtsson & Stuart Lorimer||Gold Coast||32||28||60|
|31||26||Todd Trevillion, Roger Gain & David Ritchard||Sydney||29||31||60|
|32||14||Ian Anderson, Joshua Willis & Robin Braender||Swan River||23||40\DNC||63|
|33||22||David Rose, Josh Torpy & Edward Cowan||Brisbane||40\DNF||24||64|
|34||18||Jack Ellis, David Buckland & Luke Cable||Melbourne||33||33||66|
|35||32||Stephen Toms, David Smith & Patrick Largier||Brisbane||34||34||68|
|36||38||Hayes Michael, James Dagge & Liam Hayes||Brisbane||35||35||70|
|37||19||Glenn Norton, Brett Heath, Peter Rattray & Richard Hodgson||Melbourne||40\DNF||40\DNC||80T|
|37||36||Grant Chipperfield, Fenge Shave & Ross Wade||Melbourne||40\DNF||40\DNC||80T|
|37||07||Mal Blom, Toby Abbot & Iain Davidson||Melbourne||40\DNF||40\DNC||80T|
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