by John Curnow
Etchells Victorian State Championships 2011- Race One and Two
The fleet with Melbourne's CBD behind it. - 2011 Etchells Victorian State Championships
THe first race of the Championships was delayed under Answering Pennant for about 35 minutes.
In the end, 9 to 13 knots from 340 degrees allowed for a result, which went to Ian Johnson’s Bananas in Pyjamas (BiP) with a certain Phil Smidmore crewing along with Tim Ede.
Jake Gunther’s, The Boat, was second and third place was Mark Bulka’s Perfect Balance. Principal Race Officer at the host club, Royal Brighton, is Simon Dryden and he was, 'Delighted to see that breeze hold in for the second race so we could complete the day’s schedule.'
Race Two got away cleanly after the Black Flag ensured all played fairly. Chris Hampton’s Tango got the honours over Jack’s Hut, which is Noel ‘Nitro’ Drennan and in third was Bananas In Pyjamas.
After all that, it is a comfortable lead to BiP at the end of the first day.
Jack’s Hut is in second with Peter Merrington and Ben Morrison-Jack also onboard with Nitro. In third place is the newly crowned NSW Champions aboard Roulette. Mark Johnson, Nik Burfoot and Peter Conde had two sixth places for the day to show that consistency really is a significant part of the game in Etchells racing.
Now Ian Johnson also is in the lead of the Grand Masters, with Peter Coleman, Iain Gartley and Wayne Dixon on Mid Gybe Crisis in second place. They had a great time in Race Two, which showed in their results. Peter has been delighted with the climb up the board in recent times. Third position belongs to Dawn Raid, which comprises of Steve Gunther, John Collingwood and Glen Gibson.
In the Masters category, which is the closest of the lot, so far, Jack’s Hut leads from The Boat (Jake Gunther, Stuart Skeggs and Tony McPhail) and then Chris Hampton’s Tango, which is crewed by Ben Durham and Bucky Smith.
Challenging conditions for race management seem set to prevail for the entire championship and close racing from the competitors is also a shoe-in for the remaining time on Melbourne’s Port Phillip.