by Alex Webster
2013 Etchells Victorian Championship
Auckland’s long belt of sunny days and good afternoon breezes have provided great sailing conditions for the Auckland Etchells fleet. Close racing in this fast one design class tests all sailors being able to mix it up in two to three races each Tuesday night. Here's the latest update:
Flight 13 - Lucky for some. A perfect evening, with just the right weight of breeze to keep things interesting, clear blue skies and a slowly setting sun. I don't know that it gets any better than this, but there are two more flights to go...
With Valsheda and Feng Shui taking the silverware again, some newer additions to the fleet (and some older hands) merit comment. Affinity has proved a real threat over the season and will be a contender at the forthcoming National Champs (of which more later).
Windward's results are heading in the right direction towards the tail end of the season and the longer races of the National Champs should allow her to settle into her (evident) pace.
On newcomer Tortuga we are running out of excuses, but looking forward to the last two flights of the series to prove that we are not entirely out of our class.
Quantum and Foundation seem to be the perenial bridesmaids - and while they remain beyond reach of the two leaders, they are also now clear of the also-rans and are well-poised (and well-practised) to reach the podium at the Nationals.
Split-Decision's results look more like split-personality - with positions scattered all over the board. Consistency is key in a long series, but who knows which boat will show for the Nationals? One to watch.
Upfront has been, but has also not been. A mixed season, but not without drama. Keep a close eye on this one at the Nationals - particularly if you see her through your main window...
Irish Crystal has displayed moments of brilliance throughout the season and in the crucible of the Nationals this may shine through again.
Bobby's Girl has had a patchy attendance record this year, but has shown well on the days that she is there. Let's hope she doesn't stand us up again at the Nationals.
Echelon has been another persistent absentee and her strength is hard to guage at this point.
Captain Pete is, as ever, the dark horse in this fleet. After last week's epic performance your correspondent predicts an heroic return to erstwhile form at the Nationals. Here's hoping.
THE DATE OF THE NATIONALS MUST BE DECIDED THIS WEEK. PLEASE VOTE http://www.etchells.org.nz/nationals.html!HERE.
To find out how to join the fleet, or register as a crew click by www.etchells.org.nz/join-the-fleet.html!clickiing_here
The results can be viewed by www.etchells.org.nz/results.html!clicking_here