Etchells Australian Championship Day One – Right was so Right

Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championships 2011, Royal Geelong Yacht Club (AUS) Race 1 - 10/01/11 Stormy skies
Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championship 2011 Day one, Corio Bay, Geelong Victoria.

Sailing teaches you patience – as everyone knows. And so it was on day one of the Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championship 2011. After two hours delay on the millpond called Corio Bay the breeze came in from the east north east at around five - six knots enabling Principal Race Officer Greg Sinclair to gun the fleet away in the steady rain.

Damien King and his Barry crew from the pin sailed up the edge of the left hand breeze line.

Inside him was local sailor Brendan Garner, The Moe Szyslak Experience and Gary Smith’s Are We There Yet? Further up the line another five boats, was Michael Hiatt’s Extra Bad Doll and then almost midline was 2010 Etchells World Champion John Bertrand’s Triad.

At the Committee boat end, John Savage on Black Knight, caught well up the course in the very lightest of breezes, sailed back behind the line under spinnaker just 30 seconds before the start, flopped over and headed right.

Savage explained later 'Our decision was reinforced when we were bounced away by Jake Gunther’s The Boat.'

Also at the Committee boat and heading right was Mark Bulka, with midboat Stuart Nichols and on bow Glenn Ashby, the six times A Cat World Champion, back in an Etchells for the first time since the Perfect Balance trio won the 2004 Etchells Australian Championship in Adelaide, South Australia.

Initially the breeze went a little left. King looked good in the best pressure on the course initially, then the lead shifted towards the mid-liners. Extra Bad Doll looked OK, then it seemed Bertrand (Triad) was in the lead, but two thirds of the way up the beat, the wind sailed to the right.

The Right was now Right. Around the top mark went Savage just ahead of Bulka. Some good work from Bulka's team and they hit the front and soldiered down the run toward the bottom mark.

With the breeze fading the course was shortened and the two boats finished in that order at the bottom mark.

Behind them there was daylight. Ten minutes later Brad Sheridan (US Forces) crossed in third place. The left hand leader King (Barry) was third last. Bertrand was in the 20’s.

Perfect Balance Crew (L-R) Skipper Mark Bulka, Stewart Nichols and Glen Ashby - Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championships 2011
Dockside Mark Bulka commented 'yesterday in the Practice race we had a glamour start on the pin, speed and a clear lane. We figured we were famous until we looked up and saw the breeze going hard right. That was the end of us.

‘With today’s forecast and that experience, we decided we had to go right. We were third down from the boat. We were not hard right; there were at least seven or eight boats outside us. But by the time we reached the top mark, the wind had swung to 110.'

PRO Greg Sinclair and his team notified a new course of 110 and the leaders headed for the new mark.

Then in Sinclair’s words ‘It all went pear shaped. With the lead boats heading down the course it was too late to pull the pin.’

While the two leaders Bulka (Perfect Balance) and Savage (Black Knight) finished in very light two-three knots at that heading, behind them the breeze lifted to five knots but the wind shifted back to 050.

It was a tough day at the office and the bad news is the conditions look like they will be even lighter tomorrow.

2011 Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Class National Championship Hosted By Royal Geelong Yacht Club Race 1   (11/01/2011)  Updated:  11/01/2011  16:03:17
OD results Start : 14:25:00
PlaceSail NoBoat NameElapsdSkipperScoreFin TimBow NoDidNot
1AUS1387PERFECT BALANCE01:01:59Mark Bulka1.015:26:5932 
2AUS1237BLACK KNIGHT01:02:22John Savage2.015:27:2237 
3AUS866US FORCES 122301:12:42Brad Sheridan3.015:37:4266 
4AUS1082ALCHEMIST01:12:55Richard Hammond4.015:37:5572 
5AUS1318BANANAS IN PYJAMAS01:13:18Tim Ede5.015:38:1831 
6AUS1049VERTIGO01:13:21Doug Williams6.015:38:2149 
7AUS991THE BOAT01:13:23Jake Gunther7.015:38:2320 
8AUS1274THE NURSE01:13:28Ross Loyd8.015:38:2874 
9AUS1366PEDRO01:13:29Kirwan Robb9.015:38:2914 
10AUS1026JACK S HUT01:13:40Noel Drennan10.015:38:4052 
11AUS1367CHILLI PLUM01:13:52Doug Kerr11.015:38:5267 
12HKG1269RACER X 92301:14:17Mark Thornburrow12.015:39:1717 
13AUS1338CRITICAL BALANCE01:14:36Mark Langford13.015:39:3619 
14AUS882JUKES OF HAZZARD01:14:54Brendon Jukes14.015:39:5416 
15AUS1144RAPSCALLION01:15:00David Hearly15.015:40:0044 
16AUS1254ODYSSEY01:15:25Peter Merrington16.015:40:2554 
17AUS940NORTH STAR01:15:46Michael Coxon17.015:40:4640 
18AUS1293THATS LIFE01:15:53Ian Crisp18.015:40:5323 
19AUS994CREWS CONTROL01:16:25Paul Minter19.015:41:2534 
20AUS1361DAWN RAID01:16:37Stephen Gunther20.015:41:3736 
21AUS1277MID GYBE CRISIS01:16:43Wayne Dixon21.015:41:4377 
22AUS1385CONCUBINE01:17:58Jason Ward22.015:42:5828 
23AUS1164B SQUARED01:18:23Gary Boyd23.015:43:2364 
24AUS1383TRIAD01:18:54John Bertrand24.015:43:5433 
25AUS865FAST FORWARD01:19:06Bruce Mc Briar25.015:44:0665 
26AUS1358ARE WE THERE YET ?01:19:10Gary Smith26.015:44:1058 
27AUS947MAGPIE01:19:11Graeme Taylor27.015:44:1127 
28AUS1129STRETCH01:19:29Caillin Howard28.015:44:2929 
29AUS1275TREKKA01:20:13Cameron Barton29.015:45:1375 
30AUS1253MIRAMAR01:20:21Mark Doyle30.015:45:2153 
31AUS1391TANGO01:20:26Chris Hampton31.015:45:2639 
32AUS651ON A MISSION01:20:36Malcolm Blom32.015:45:3610 
33AUS747FUNCTIONAL OVERLAY01:20:56Niesje Hees33.015:45:5647 
34AUS1021BUSHFIRE01:20:58Jervis Tilly34.015:45:5821 
35AUS876FIFTEEN01:21:09David Clark35.015:46:0915 
36AUS1024VOODOO SPIRIT01:21:19Guyon Wilson36.015:46:1912 
37AUS1389SMOKING GUN01:21:21Robert Hanna37.015:46:2138 
38AUS1278EXTRA BAD DOLL01:21:22Micheal Hiatt38.015:46:2278 
39AUS1374SLIPPERY WHEN WET01:21:35Simon Cunningham39.015:46:3542 
40AUS961BACK IN BUSINESS01:21:39John Coates40.015:46:3961 
41AUS948SMILE N WAVE01:22:04Graeme Alexander41.015:47:0448 
42AUS1226BAD DOLL01:22:17Thomas Braidwood42.015:47:1726 
43AUS1025WALK ON WATER01:22:24Glenn Norton43.015:47:2425 
44AUS1189THE ARCHER01:22:42Clark Swan44.015:47:4218 
45AUS1288GOOD VIBES01:22:48Robert Holm45.015:47:4822 
46AUS1141MENS SHIRTS01:22:56Peter Stubbings46.015:47:5641 
47AUS1131THE MOE SZYSLAK EXPE01:23:05Brendan Garner47.015:48:0511 
48AUS913NEVER ENOUGH . . . .01:23:31Andrew Telford48.015:48:3143 
49AUS924BARRY01:23:59Damien King49.015:48:5924 
50AUS1335FREE ADVICE01:24:27Mary Hanna50.015:49:2735 
51AUS511GRAND V01:25:58Gordon Hinds51.015:50:5851