Etchells Nationals day 3 - John Bertrand's team dominates

Etchells National Championship 2013, heading home after race 2 was postponed to the next day
Michael Jennings
At the Australian Etchells Championship today, the Triad team of John Bertrand, Andrew Palfrey and Grant Simmer continued their dominance, winning their second consecutive race.

Under the management of Southport Yacht Club and on the waters offshore of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Day three of the championship was held in overcast, shifty conditions.

PRO Kevin Wilson started off trying to lay a course for about 340 degrees. The breeze then swung to 300, then 0 degrees before going right. Finally as the breeze seemed to settle at about 020, the race committee got the fleet away.

PRO Kevin Wilson then signaled a change of course as the breeze swung left back to 010 in eight to 12 knots.

Peter McNeill’s Iris III team went into today’s race with a comfortable set of results for the first four races – 6/1/1/5 – totalling 13 points. He had everything to gain and a lot to lose today as he looked at John Bertrand’s Triad team holding a strong overall lead and David Clark’s Fifteen team in second on 11 points, before any drops. It was going to be a day where mistakes were going to be costly

'We got a really good start down at the pin. It wasn’t very crowded down there. When we noticed there wasn’t going to be many boats around and we felt the wind might, probably, do a bit of a left, so the left hand side of the track would be a better side to be.

'We nailed the start and then headed right out, close to the lay line on the port hand side. John Bertrand started maybe mid-line. Apparently he got a really good start as well. Then he tacked before the lay line. We proceeded to spend a fair bit of time getting out to the mark on port tack.

'He came back at us right at the top mark. We had to tack to because he was on starboard, but we were on lay so we got around the mark first. He was pretty close to us.

Etchells Nationals Championship 2013, lined up on the run on day three. Peter McNeill’s Iris III (1325), Matthew Chews’ Gen XY (864) and John Bertrand’s Triad (1383).
Michael Jennings

'We were going down the run and we were hoping we would skip away from him, but he came back at us and just held us out on the starboard gybe. He overlayed the rounding mark so he could just get a nice angle and break the over-lap. Then it was a case of us getting our kite down too late, mainsail not coming and jib not coming on. He got in front of us.

'We then decided to focus on covering our third place boat which was Chewie (Matthew Chew). We had a good little tussle up the next beat to stay in front of him then and down the run,' McNeill said.

The first five across the line in today’s only race was Bertrand, McNeill, Chew, Clark and Cameron Miles’s The Hole Way.

Just after Race one was finished the breeze went around to the north and then went north-west with lightning and thunder over hinterland. Next it came out of about due west and died. The frustrated PRO said; 'we sat around with nothing for an hour and a half. I told them that if there was no breeze by 2.30pm, I would have them all heading home. Most of them were sitting at the breakwater ready to go home.'

At 2.30pm the Wilson called it quits for the day. Just as he was making the radio call to postpone Race six, Wilson said: 'Murphy came along. A nice little northerly started to fill in of about 10 or 11 knots.'

McNeill said the racing is not over yet with three races to go. 'He (Bertrand) is looking stronger by the minute with a win today. We need to get him to fall back a bit and get a few boats between us for the next couple of races. Hopefully that will happen so we can have a go at him on the last day.'

On the overall pointscore and with one drop, Bertrand leads with six points, McNeill is on nine, Clark is on 11, Chew is on 14 and in fifth is Miles on 17 points.

At mid-fleet, the Funky Gold Medina Gold Coast team of Kelvin Holdt, Matthew Percy and youth sailor Sophie Lahey had a great race today. 'We’re pretty happy with 14th. We have had a couple of really bad races so to come eighth around the top mark and in with Peter McNeill and Bertrand was pretty good. The difference today was we had a glamour start,' Holdt said.

OD results Start : 11:31
PlaceSail NoBoat NameFromElapsdSkipperFin TimScore
11383TRIADRBYC01:09:43John Bertrand12:40:431.0
21325IRIS IIILMYC01:10:30Peter Mc Neill12:41:302.0
3864GEN XYRQYS01:10:41Matthew Chew12:41:413.0
41306THE HOLE WAYRPAYC01:11:03Cameron Miles12:42:034.0
51380FIFTEEN+CYCA01:11:20David Clark12:42:205.0
6991THE BOATRBYC01:11:23Jake Gunther12:42:236.0
71377ROULETTERSYS01:11:30Mark Johnson12:42:307.0
8892XXXX XXXXXXXRQYS01:11:39John Warlow12:42:398.0
91088SUN TZURSYS01:12:06Roger Hickman12:43:069.0
101395SHOULD'A GONE LEFTRBYC01:12:35Peter Coleman12:43:3510.0
111144RAPSCALLIONRQYS01:12:38David Healey12:43:3811.0
12868YANDOO XXRSYS01:12:46Jeanne-Claude Strong12:43:4612.0
13874TANGORBYC01:12:49Chris Hampton12:43:4913.0
141347FUNKY COLD MEDINASYC01:12:52Kelvin Holdt12:43:5214.0
151288GOOD VIBESWSC01:13:04Robert Holm12:44:0415.0
161215BOAT XRBYC01:13:22Noel Drennan12:44:2216.0
17885THE BOAT THAT ROCKEDRQYS01:13:35James Chilman12:44:3517.0
181392BOOTROSSRQYS01:13:36Mark Bradford12:44:3618.0
191338CRITICAL BALANCELMYC01:13:37Paul Garaty12:44:3719.0
20994CREWS CONTROLCSC01:13:38Howard Blowes12:44:3820.0
2112781278 HEAVEN CAN WAITRQYS01:13:48Peter Hollis12:44:4821.0
221318ADOLESCENCERSYS01:13:59Steve Billingham12:44:5922.0
231186TOUCH PAUSE ENGAGERSYS01:14:12Michael Stovin-Bradf12:45:1223.0
24731WHERES WALLYSYC01:14:52Greg Forgan-Smith12:45:5224.0
251276REBOUNDSYC01:14:56Scott McInally12:45:5625.0
261025WALK ON WATERRBYC01:15:01Glenn Norton12:46:0126.0
27418TUCORQYS01:16:11Alistair Cowen12:47:1127.0
281275TREKKACYCA01:16:22Mike Thackray12:47:2228.0
291365JUNGLE DRUMRQYS01:16:50Stephen Toms12:47:5029.0
DNC883TUSKRPYC Cary Smith 31.0

Two races have been scheduled for tomorrow with the Warning Signal at 1100 hours.