Please select your home edition
Edition
Bavaria C57 728x90

Etchells Invitational Cup – Overall result decided in dramatic race

by Rupert Holmes on 1 Aug 2014
Jeremy Thorp of Antigua YC won the inaugural Etchells Invitational Cup after a challenging day of racing Rupert Holmes
The Etchells Invitational Cup’s final day delivered more stunning, high adrenaline and incredibly close racing, with the three leading boats all in contention for the 140-year-old Gertrude Cup at the start of the final race.

Jeremy Thorp of Antigua YC led the fleet on 26 points, with Shannon Bush of New York YC on 34, and Jeanne-Claude Strong of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on 36. However, Thorp’s commanding lead quickly evaporated in the deciding race – he was sixth round the first windward mark, then dropped the overall leader’s red spinnaker in the water at the spreader mark, dragging it behind the boat.

By this time Strong was well ahead in second place, just behind race leader Marvin Beckmann of Houston YC. Thorp never recovered beyond eighth place, but with Bush and Strong finishing fourth and fifth respectively, the Antiguan team’s overall victory was sealed.


'It was my first time racing an Etchells,' said Thorp, '…and they absolutely live up to everything my really successful sailing friends have told me. They are pure and beautiful boats to sail, with excellent competition in the fleet.'

Bush held on to second place overall, having scored a consistent run of seven top-four results, but was also forced to count two 11th places. While the top four teams struggled to some extent on the final day, Beckmann, the 2013 Etchells World Champion, revelled in the slightly stronger winds to win both races, to add to two earlier race wins. 'We struggled in the lighter winds earlier in the week,' said crewmember Andrew Palfrey, himself a former Etchells world champion, Olympian and America’s Cup sailor. '…but it was really satisfying to win the last three races when there was more breeze.'


Beckmann’s top results at the end of the regatta lifted him into third place overall, tied on 41 points with Strong, but with his four wins giving him the advantage on count back.

The UK Etchells class has an enviable reputation for enabling youth teams to compete at the highest level, with 90 of the UK’s best young sailors having sailed in the fleet over the past three seasons. Much of the credit for this goes to Ted Fort OBE, a member of the Cowes fleet for 30 years, who has funded two of the class’s four boats for young sailors.

'I’ve got so much out of sailing throughout my life,' he says, '…especially courage and ambition. Besides, when you’re in business you have to think about the start line… I believe the future of the class here in Cowes is in youth sailors.'

Of the four youth teams competing, the Spinnaker Lake Sailing Club team of Matt Reid, Ashley Goddard, Martin Evans, and Emily Wiltshire had the best result, finishing eighth overall, including two podium positions, one of which was an impressive second place in the final race.

Annabel Vose, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters and Emily Nagel of the Royal Southern YC took ninth overall, just weeks after winning the World Student Match Racing Championship. They finished one point ahead of their rivals from Spinnaker Lake and on equal points with the UKSA/ British Keelboat Academy team, but gained an advantage on count back thanks to two races in which they scored podium finishes.


'It was a big challenge for us,' said Prime, 'as we hadn’t done much Etchells or fleet racing as a team. The racing here is really close and we learned loads – you couldn’t make many mistakes, and if you did you dropped places very quickly. It was also very interesting to swap boats each day and see how each one was set up – and of course it was really good of the owners to lend their boats for the event.'

'This event has been absolutely amazing – the best sailing I’ve done in my life and there were some fantastic sailors out there,' added Charlie Dodd, of the UKSA/ BKA team. 'But it’s not an arms race here – we’re changing boats each day and are all racing with identical sails, so it’s all about your skills and the decisions you make.'

Many thanks go to the event’s sponsors and organisers, which numbered 84 people and organisations. Of particular note are the host clubs, the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal London Yacht Club, the race committee led by David Campbell-James, Ron’s team of on water umpires, plus Graham Sunderland (aka Batman) and Kev Downer who provided on water support and kept the boats running throughout the event.

Sponsors whose input was invaluable to the event’s success include Francis Searchlights; Spinlock, who supplied buoyancy aids for all competitors and officials; plus Zhik and Liros ropes. A film about the event is being produced by Olivia Chenevix-Trench of OCT Films and a book will also be available.


The 2015 Etchells Invitational Cup for the Gertrude Cup will be held from Friday July 31 to Wednesday August 5 – again the week before Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Anyone interested in applying for an invitation should contact David Franks at davidfranks80@gmail.com, or call on +44 7768063868.

Wildwind 2016 660x82X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 2Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 8 - Phaedo3 victorious in Grenada
Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second year running. The American MOD70 completed the course in six days 13 hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds.
Posted today at 9:13 am
Vendée Globe – Leaders gybing along Antarctic exclusion zone + Video
The leaders in the eighth Vendée Globe are gybing along the edge of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. The leaders in the eighth Vendée Globe are gybing along the edge of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. Although they have only sailed 330 miles in 24h at an average speed of 13.9 knots for Alex Thomson and 13.4 knots for Armel Le Cléac’h, this has been one of the rare days when their foilers have not clocked up amazing distances. More live video from the Southern Ocean
Posted today at 7:40 am
Vendee Globe - Edmond de Rothschild makes up ground
For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems, patiently accepting that his two closest adversaries were going to be able to steal a march on him thanks to the more favourable conditions at the head of the race.
Posted today at 7:40 am
Melges 24 Worlds - Day 4 - Tricky conditions paid off for Bombarda
Trickier conditions with light breeze from 040° that filled in only in afternoon, forced Race Committee to raise AP flag The trickier conditions of today, with a light breeze from 040° that filled in only in the afternoon, forced the Race Committee to raise AP flag until 2.50pm, moment when the fleet was eventually given the preparatory signal and allowed to sail the first and only race of the day.
Posted today at 6:38 am
Phaedo^3 finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016
Phaedo^3 in the cover of dark finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016 Phaedo^3 in the cover of dark finishes with line honours the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016 at 01 hours 49 minutes and 55 seconds on Saturday 3rd December 2016 to take Multihull Line Honours and provisionally win the Multihull Class.
Posted today at 5:58 am
Star Sailors League Final - Day 4
Today was the final day of the Qualification Series at the SSL Final and it didn’t go as well as Josh and I hoped for. Today was the final day of the Qualification Series at the SSL Final and it didn’t go as well as Josh and I hoped for. We ended up where we started the day… in 15th. We had glimpses of upward movement; leading at the first mark of the first race. But I forgot to go back to the well on the second windward leg and ended up eighth in a race that we led in.
Posted today at 5:38 am
Ten teams announced for Star Sailors League Finals 2016
Light airs forced a delay to the start of the fourth and final day of the SSL Qualifying Rounds to select ten teams Light airs forced a delay to the start of the fourth and final day of the SSL Qualifying Rounds to select ten teams for the SSL Finals 2016, which take place tomorrow.
Posted today at 4:34 am
Young sailors have a blast racing offshore in WA
The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. Now in its second year, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club initiative attracted 26 young sailors aged 25 and under, an excellent response for offshore racing in Western Australia.
Posted on 2 Dec
Young sailors have a blast racing offshore in WA
The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. The 2016 Rockingham Race Weekend included a Youth Cup Series to promote keelboat offshore racing to young sailors. Now in its second year, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club initiative attracted 26 young sailors aged 25 and under, an excellent response for offshore racing in Western Australia.
Posted on 2 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 660 miles from finish
The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans. The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans who will be exhausted after racing across the ocean at high speeds for such an extended period.
Posted on 2 Dec