Etchells Nationals - Triad team secures the 2013 title

Etchells National Championship 2013, McNeill’s Iris III team just ahead of Bertrand’s Triad in Race 6 to finish second
Shane Smith
At the Etchells Nationals, the Triad team of John Bertrand, Andrew Palfrey and Grant Simmer have successfully secured the 2013 Australian title with one race to go.

Bertrand’s scorecard was impressive, but not unique. Across five other teams – Peter McNeill’s Iris III, Cameron Miles’s The Hole Way, David Clark’s Fifteen and Noel Drennan’s Boat X – each had good and poor results, like Bertrand. The difference was that Bertrand kept his eye on the prize, held his own under pressure, placed no worse than fourth in Race six in the series and had a superb crew.

'Sailing with Andrew Palfrey and Grant Simmer, for me, it’s just a dream. Those two guys are just so good, combining with myself. So little is said on the boat, or needs to be said. At one stage, in race two of today, the spinnaker halyard came undone, so the spinnaker was flying out and were about to run over it. Not one word was said. They just got the shute back up. It just kissed the water. We didn’t even discuss it. To sail with a team like that, where it is a little bit like an orchestra, where it just all happens and happens together, to me that is the essence of team work. I love that element of sailing,' Bertrand.

Bertrand was also effusive about the other competitors. 'The level of racing was so close. From my perspective, it was spectacular. We are talking about boat length and half boat length between one, two, three, four and five at the top mark and for a lot of cases at the bottom mark as well. The quality and finesse of the way in which these boats were being sailed this regatta was very, very impressive,' Bertrand said.

Etchells National Championship 2013, there was plenty of speed off the line in Race 6
Bronwen Ince
The Triad team will now sit on the sidelines and watch with interest the battle for second and third place which is between two previous Etchells class World Champions, McNeill and Miles.

Today was Miles’s turn to shine as he shook off the spectre of an OCS in Race three and pushed his way through the start line and around the course on a stunning sailing day with a steady eight to 10 knots.

'We have been wanting not to be back on the line. We have been working hard on our transits. I think we have been pretty comfortable with all of our starts except that one (Race three).

'We are going really well upwind and we are just smoking downwind, like really going well. We just have to keep that up,' Miles said. This team won the race just four seconds ahead of McNeill. In third place was Drennan, just eight seconds behind again. Bertrand was fourth in this race, his worst result for the regatta.

The second race today was when the nerves really started to show. The first start was a general recall. The second then got away cleanly in 10, gusting to 15 knots.

Bertrand covered Miles on the work to the finish, engaging Miles in a ferocious tacking duel to protect his 20-second lead. 'We had a chance to beat John. We should have gybed inside him. He was 15 boat lengths in front of us at the top mark and by three-quarters of the way down we were about a boat length behind him and on a wave. We should have gybed inside him and gone around the other mark, but we sort of didn’t do it,' Miles said.

Bertrand slam-dunked the fleet finishing in first place. Miles slipped into second place 14 seconds later. In third place was a great result for the Bootross team of Mark Bradford, Anthony Nossiter and Will McCarthy.

However, for McNeill who went into this race holding second place overall, he came out of it seventh. 'We went pretty well in the first race. That’s when we thought we sailed really well. There was nothing in it right to the finish with Milsey. He happened to surf the last wave in and got past us.

Etchells National Championship 2013, first to the top mark in Race 6 and evenutal winner was The Hole Way team led by Cameron Miles
Shane Smith
'In the second race we got a pretty good start, but we didn’t have the jump and we had a couple of technical issues at the top mark which didn’t allow us to have a very good kite set. I won’t go into too much detail about that. We didn’t get the first set right and the other guys got away from us,' McNeill said.

The top six overall results, after seven races and one drop, are Bertrand on 10 points, McNeill on 17, Miles on 20, Clark on equal 26 with Drennan, and Matthew Chew’s Gen XY on 27 points.

There is one race left to be run to complete the series. While the first place is decided, second and third places are up for grabs between McNeill and Miles.

'Tomorrow we just have to sail well,' Miles said. He chuckled at the suggestion that this evening’s distraction of a quick flight to Sydney for the night and a wedding would make a difference tomorrow. 'We have just got to get on the line again with a bit of speed, make sure we aren’t over and get some clear air so we can give ourselves a chance to win the race.

'I don’t think there is anything aggressive we can do with Peter (McNeill) as he is three points in front of us and we have a lot worse drop than he has. We just hope he gets bashed up a bit by someone else,' Miles said.

McNeill is taking quite a different approach to tomorrow. 'We’re just going to match race him off the course and then celebrate. We’ve worked out he has to finish third or better to beat us. There is still a chance. It’s not over yet,' McNeill said.

Etchells National Championship 2013, the winning Triad team head home. Now it’s the battle for second and third
Bronwen Ince

The final day of racing starts tomorrow at about 1100 hours.

OD results Start : 11:05
PlaceSail NoBoat NameFromElapsdSkipperFin TimScore
11306THE HOLE WAYRPAYC01:11:47Cameron Miles12:16:471.0
21325IRIS IIILMYC01:11:51Peter Mc Neill12:16:512.0
31215BOAT XRBYC01:11:59Noel Drennan12:16:593.0
41383TRIADRBYC01:12:13John Bertrand12:17:134.0
5991THE BOATRBYC01:12:18Jake Gunther12:17:185.0
6874TANGORBYC01:12:27Chris Hampton12:17:276.0
71392BOOTROSSRQYS01:12:39Mark Bradford12:17:397.0
81377ROULETTERSYS01:12:58Mark Johnson12:17:588.0
91338CRITICAL BALANCELMYC01:13:04Paul Garaty12:18:049.0
10892XXXX XXXXXXXRQYS01:13:11John Warlow12:18:1110.0
11864GEN XYRQYS01:13:22Matthew Chew12:18:2211.0
121380FIFTEEN+CYCA01:13:25David Clark12:18:2512.0
131088SUN TZURSYS01:13:35Roger Hickman12:18:3513.0
141318ADOLESCENCERSYS01:13:53Steve Billingham12:18:5314.0
1512781278 HEAVEN CAN WAITRQYS01:13:54Peter Hollis12:18:5415.0
161276REBOUNDSYC01:14:01Scott McInally12:19:0116.0
17885THE BOAT THAT ROCKEDRQYS01:14:05James Chilman12:19:0517.0
181395SHOULD'A GONE LEFTRBYC01:14:06Peter Coleman12:19:0618.0
191144RAPSCALLIONRQYS01:14:07David Healey12:19:0719.0
20994CREWS CONTROLCSC01:14:22Howard Blowes12:19:2220.0
21868YANDOO XXRSYS01:14:36Jeanne-Claude Strong12:19:3621.0
221186TOUCH PAUSE ENGAGERSYS01:14:43Michael Stovin-Bradf12:19:4322.0
231288GOOD VIBESWSC01:15:02Robert Holm12:20:0223.0
241347FUNKY COLD MEDINASYC01:15:07Kelvin Holdt12:20:0724.0
25418TUCORQYS01:15:17Alistair Cowen12:20:1725.0
26731WHERES WALLYSYC01:15:45Greg Forgan-Smith12:20:4526.0
271365JUNGLE DRUMRQYS01:15:57Stephen Toms12:20:5727.0
281275TREKKACYCA01:16:13Mike Thackray12:21:1328.0
291025WALK ON WATERRBYC01:16:18Glenn Norton12:21:1829.0
DNC883TUSKRPYC Cary Smith 31.0

OD results Start : 12:50
PlaceSail NoBoat NameFromElapsdSkipperFin TimScore
11383TRIADRBYC01:25:09John Bertrand14:15:091.0
21306THE HOLE WAYRPAYC01:25:23Cameron Miles14:15:232.0
31392BOOTROSSRQYS01:25:59Mark Bradford14:15:593.0
41215BOAT XRBYC01:26:05Noel Drennan14:16:054.0
5864GEN XYRQYS01:26:12Matthew Chew14:16:125.0
61377ROULETTERSYS01:26:13Mark Johnson14:16:136.0
71325IRIS IIILMYC01:26:19Peter Mc Neill14:16:197.0
81338CRITICAL BALANCELMYC01:26:35Paul Garaty14:16:358.0
9991THE BOATRBYC01:26:53Jake Gunther14:16:539.0
101380FIFTEEN+CYCA01:27:06David Clark14:17:0610.0
11874TANGORBYC01:27:10Chris Hampton14:17:1011.0
12868YANDOO XXRSYS01:27:37Jeanne-Claude Strong14:17:3712.0
1312781278 HEAVEN CAN WAITRQYS01:27:45Peter Hollis14:17:4513.0
141088SUN TZURSYS01:27:52Roger Hickman14:17:5214.0
15885THE BOAT THAT ROCKEDRQYS01:27:56James Chilman14:17:5615.0
161276REBOUNDSYC01:28:37Scott McInally14:18:3716.0
17892XXXX XXXXXXXRQYS01:28:43John Warlow14:18:4317.0
18994CREWS CONTROLCSC01:28:58Howard Blowes14:18:5818.0
191144RAPSCALLIONRQYS01:29:15David Healey14:19:1519.0
201288GOOD VIBESWSC01:29:20Robert Holm14:19:2020.0
211186TOUCH PAUSE ENGAGERSYS01:29:25Michael Stovin-Bradf14:19:2521.0
221395SHOULD'A GONE LEFTRBYC01:29:26Peter Coleman14:19:2622.0
231318ADOLESCENCERSYS01:29:43Steve Billingham14:19:4323.0
241347FUNKY COLD MEDINASYC01:29:44Kelvin Holdt14:19:4424.0
251025WALK ON WATERRBYC01:29:57Glenn Norton14:19:5725.0
261275TREKKACYCA01:30:09Mike Thackray14:20:0926.0
27731WHERES WALLYSYC01:30:13Greg Forgan-Smith14:20:1327.0
281365JUNGLE DRUMRQYS01:30:18Stephen Toms14:20:1828.0
29418TUCORQYS01:30:51Alistair Cowen14:20:5129.0
DNC883TUSKRPYC Cary Smith 31.0