Please select your home edition
Edition
Fremantle to Bali Race 728x90

The colour of Etchells

by John Curnow on 3 Mar 2013
Gen XY on one of those waves. - 2013 Etchells NSW State Championship Kylie Wilson Positive Image - copyright http://www.positiveimage.com.au/etchells
The 2013 Etchells NSW State Championship at Cronulla could be remembered for the rain and the waves. As time goes on, it is far more likely to be viewed more fondly, with sun, spinnakers in assorted colours and the overall friendly and competitive ambience that is Etchells being talked about at yacht clubs around the country.

As Sunday dawned, you could finally say there had been an improvement. It wasn’t raining! It was still blowing and there were still waves pounding into the beach with a fair degree of venom. The day before, Race Management had said they were going to go racing at 1000hrs and they were as good as their word, with the first race commencing at 10 after the hour. The day’s following races would begin at about ten after each subsequent hour, as well.


Sunny patches added much cheer, but there was still over 20 knots coming through from the East Sou’east. Out on the track, the axis was first set to 120 degrees at 1.1nm and would later move left to 110 at 1.3nm. There were gusts into the mid 20’s and would fall to the low teens by the time the fourth race of the day was done. Even the waves took a bit of their anger away as the morning gave way to the afternoon. Early on they were consistently 3m, with the occasional gem at over 5m rolling past and sometimes breaking at the crest to ensure you knew who was boss out there.


It was certainly a spectacle worthy of Etchells, with the glorious backdrop of Cronulla beach, rocks and Norfolk Pines adding their own element to the start. It was not such a happy time for Graeme Taylor and Sydney Fleet Captain, Richard Hammond, both of whom were On Course Side (OCS) and had to return to go back through the start again, once the fleet had cleared off.

Nice and tight fleet racing is also a feature of Etchells and then all the surfing that occurred was just as marvellous to see as the wonderful shoreline coming to life with the sun finally making a welcome appearance.


A band of boats that form the ‘usual suspects’ in an Etchells regatta would start to gather, as is the case and this time include skippers like Matt Chew, Doug McGain, Graeme ‘GT’ Taylor, David Clark, Cameron Miles, Gary Boyd and Dirk Van Der Struyf. Clark and crew of Mike Hughes and Rob Scrivenor would get the day’s first race. Matt Chew, Ashley Deeks, Brian Donovan and Bill Cuneo took the second, with GT, Noel ‘Nitro’ Drennan and Steve Jarvin claiming the fourth. Kane Sinclair, Michael Bellingham and Steve Carrick on board Resurgent had an absolute blinder to win the second race of the day. Well done.


Retirements would become a feature too and go from five not being involved at the start to over 10 by day’s end. Those sailing back to Sydney first had the challenging task of getting past Cape Solander, but after that would have a speedy run home. Zapper was one of the craft choosing that option.

The local crews kept showing the full armada of sailing skills, with No Mercy today having a Man Overboard situation. He was promptly taken aboard a course vessel and returned to his own craft. Second run of second race had the wind reduce some more, which took the heads of the waves and the breakers from the tops.

Getting away cleanly and taking the second start was The Hole Way, with Cameron Miles, Grant Crowle and David Sampson jumping away to a good lead. One of the first, Phil Smidmore built craft from the new Australian Moulds was a part of the clan at this point. It was Richard Hammond’s, Alchemist. Ciao was also a part of the leading pack, in a race that Doug McGain, Michael O’Brien and Gary Adshead would go on to claim a second place. Clean was of course more than appropriate given the amount of water that was sweeping across everyone’s decks.


Conditions continued to prove what a great spectacle the Etchells are and the images are testimony to that. All the dynamism and sailing prowess that is referred to with this premier of one-design classes is evident when the conditions get towards the top end of operating ranges. There really is something about the colour and majesty of Etchells, with colour not only describing the spinnakers, but also the flavour of the truly competitive sailing amongst a high-quality fleet.

On the second work of third race, the sun really appeared and we had something more like 15-18knots around. The fourth race was a clean start and now 14knots seemed to be more appropriate. Taylor and crew lead to the first mark, with Cameron Miles and crew in second and Matthew Chew’s crew going in for third. Eventual overall placegetters, David Clark’s ‘Fifteen’ was fourth and Doug McGain’s ‘Ciao’ was in sixth.

It would not be Etchells regatta without a jumped start, General Recall and Black Flag, but this was not the case today, just the Individual Recall for Taylor and Hammond. That OCS would go on to hurt Taylor’s ‘Magpie’ overall, but they got the race win over Chew and McGain in third.

Once ashore again, Principal Race Officer, Andrew McLachlan said, 'A little worn out, for sure. It was still a little doubtful at say 0800hrs this morning, but I am really glad we persevered and got all four races in that we started. Great work by my team, so thanks to them and I hope everyone had fun out there.'

The overall winner was to be, Ciao - Doug McGain, Michael O’Brien and Gary Adshead. Doug commented, 'A good day and we have enjoyed it and been consistent, so that is always a good feeling to have. Bit of club racing now and then we’ll have a break. The Gold Coast in November for the Etchells Australian Championship is a good possibility and also the mid-winters in Mooloolaba. That could be a plan. It really was a great effort by the club and all the volunteers. Many thanks to them and our fellow competitors.'


Matt Chew, Ashley Deeks, Brian Donovan and Bill Cuneo on Gen XY took second. Matt said, 'Got the magic bullet (first place) in that third race and we were tenth on the first beat of that race, so it was good to do well. Some of us were really close all the way and we just never gave up. Had some good air over left and stayed in phase with the breeze, which meant we could really make some gains. Very happy.'

'The seaway was a little confused early on and flattened out some as the day grew and breeze dropped. Yesterday was certainly close to the limit, whereas today was certainly really steep, but more sailable and not breaking as much. Going downwind, Brian told me not to look back, so they must have been pretty big. We surfed a couple and they were very fast. We inverted the spinnaker with it pushing back on to the spreaders, but our team certainly worked hard and well to keep it tidy.'

'I love Etchells, just look at the people here. They sail all the big boats and it is great to race them in a one-design fleet. It is always tough and competitive, but you get to do it in Etchells with a smile. Great stuff.'


In third place were David Clark, Mike Hughes and Rob Scrivenor on Fifteen. Clark said, 'Tough going, but really enjoyed the racing. Great pressure and pretty steady breeze, but we just felt a little out of phase with it all, so tactically not one of our best. Good starts and uphill pace to keep us in the chocolates. Terrific race track and thanks to Powerade for making it a little less painful.'

Taylor, Drennan and Jarvin on Magpie were impressive for speed and nearly got on to the podium. Taylor commented, 'Going really well, the OCS is just that, so no problem and we were getting quicker as the day wore on. A good set of training races for the Worlds in Rosignano, Italy, in June. We’re off to the Victorian State Championship at Brighton next weekend, where we’ll get to continue developing, sailing against the likes of former World Champion, John Bertrand, as well as the guys from, Barry – Damien King, Tom King, Mark Bradford and Simon Cunnington.'


The Masters champion from the 2013 Etchells NSW State Championship was Doug Flynn, who finished ninth overall with his crew of Chester Maudslay and Alex Flynn on Wobbegong. The Grand Master was local favourite, David McKay, who’s Pork Ye Pig was crewed by Tim MacGillivray and Stephen Jones.


Courtesy of so many great sponsors being involved, there were terrific prizes to be won for not only placegetters, but also raffles and draws. Sailing identity, Roger Hickman, took home a new Nautica watch, as did local sailor, Jon Harris. The crowd were quick to ask if the Nautica watch also had a depth sounder, after their grounding yesterday. Mike Tyquin’s Shindig received another coveted prize, when they took home the new North Sails LMH jib.

Many thanks to all the volunteers from the Cronulla Sailing Club and the sponsors, Nautica, Tooheys, Powerade and North Sails. Our appreciation also goes to Reg Dolden for providing his glorious Halvorsen as a viewing platform and Gary ‘Bags’ Ball for driving, Suzanne 1. See etchells.org.au for more information or to begin your own Etchells journey.

North Technology - Southern Sparsnavathome 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

DSS Winter Series - Coopers’ winter win with new SB20
Brett and Jacinta Cooper yesterday sailed their brand new boat, Aeolus, to a win on its first day of racing 2016 DSS Winter Series - SB20 one-design sportsboat enthusiasts Brett and Jacinta Cooper yesterday sailed their brand new boat, Aeolus, to a win on its first day of racing in the Derwent Sailing Squadron/Cascade Winter Series on the River Derwent.
Posted on 15 Aug
Dateline Rio - Boulevard of Broken Dreams or the Stairway to Heaven?
The Mixed Zone at the Rio Olympic Regatta was certainly true to its name this evening The Mixed Zone at the Rio Olympic Regatta was certainly true to its name this evening, with some of the sailors passing through having seriously improved their regatta, and for others a steep climb to the podium just got steeper.
Posted on 14 Aug
Soft shackles are a win-win
Soft shackles are a fraction of the weight, stronger, safer and have a similar life span as their metal equivalents. Soft shackles are a fraction of the weight, stronger, safer and have a similar life span as their metal equivalents. Generally made of single braid, polyurethane coated Dyneema® SK75 or SK78 with a diamond stopper knot, they can be used to replace virtually every stainless shackle on-board.
Posted on 10 Aug
Dragon Europeans - Coupe Virginie Heriot went to Anatoliy Loginov
The “Big Dragon week” in St.Petersburg YC started in first ten days of June 2016 with the Silver cup practice regatta The “Big Dragon week” in St.Petersburg YC started in the first ten days of June 2016 with the Silver cup practice regatta for dozen of early birds that arrived at the Europeans venue to train.
Posted on 10 Aug
EFG Sailing Arabia–The Tour score Farr 30 success on and off the water
Strong winds on three of the four days made life tricky for Dee Caffari’s half Omani half European crew Strong winds on three of the four days made life tricky for Dee Caffari’s half Omani half European crew since they were around 100kgs lighter in weight than other teams. They finished in 10th place overall after 12 races.
Posted on 9 Aug
Royal Thames Academy wins the Etchells Invitational Gertrude Cup
Over the practice day, we worked hard at getting a good approach to the start line and some solid boat handling routines Given our inexperience in the boats, we were somewhat surprised to find ourselves leading the first race, having had a great start combined with some fast sailing and smart tactics up the first beat.
Posted on 4 Aug
RTYC Etchells Invitational Gertrude Cup – Final day
Last day began in a building nine to 10 knot SW breeze with the front runners in the fleet sharing top five positions The last day began in a building nine to 10 knot SW breeze with the front runners in the fleet sharing the top five positions in the morning race. A win for Tom Carruthers (San Diego), second place for Chris Hampton (Melbourne) and third place for Jan Muysken (Abu Dhabi) meant that there was literally nothing in it overall
Posted on 4 Aug
Cowes Etchells Invitational Regatta - Wrap-up
The Cowes Etchells Invitational Regatta finished up today with the Royal Thames Yacht Club Youth Academy The Cowes Etchells Invitational Regatta finished up today with the Royal Thames Yacht Club Youth Academy beating a fleet of far more experienced Etchells teams to take the Gertrude Cup.
Posted on 4 Aug
Oman Sail's women team set to compete at Farr30 Internationals
Caffari has put together a team of six Omani and European sailors for the event in Bastad in Sweden Most familiar among the Omani crew is Ibtisam Al Salmi who has spent part of the summer competing in Europe on the Oman Sail all women’s J80 alongside Marwa Al Khaifi and Tamadher Al Balushi, her teammates for the trip to Sweden, all of them taking time out from their ‘day jobs’ as Oman Sail sailing instructors.
Posted on 3 Aug
The Gertrude Cup - Melbourne and Royal Thames Academy youth share lead
On a slightly damp and overcast Monday in Cowes Etchells Invitational Regatta for Gertrude Cup continued with four races On a slightly damp and overcast Monday in Cowes the Etchells Invitational Regatta for the Gertrude Cup continued with four races held in six to sixteen knots of breeze which started out at 320 degrees going left to 240 over the course of the day. Only one race had a significant shift in it however with the rest providing plenty of small shifts and opportunity for losing and gaining places.
Posted on 2 Aug