Magpie swoops to win the VIC Etchells title

Spinnakers with Magpie (Sail 947) - Victorian Etchells Championships 2008
Graeme Taylor’s Magpie has taken out the Etchells title on the final day of racing, in a mixed bag of sailing conditions.

After two days of racing in three-five knots of breeze, Corio Bay put on a glorious day, with a temperature of 33 degrees and the promise of a 15 – 20 southerly seabreeze later in the day. Two races took place in tight sequence after the fleet was put into postponement for nearly two hours, awaiting the breeze. After a general recall the fleet took off for race six under a black flag in 10 – 12 knots of breeze from the west nor-west, with the top contenders choosing the boat end start.

As the race progressed the seaway built to a short chop and with the breeze around 20 knots, conditions tested crew skills downwind. Rob Bird from Western Australia on Chill Pill came home first from Graeme Taylor’s Magpie, with Royal Geelong Yacht Club's Gary Sheard on Wicked, third.

Chill Pill - Victorian Etchells Championships 2008
Race seven was a mixed bag for all competitors with major wind shifts and pure pot luck. The pin end was favoured with Mark Bulka (Critical Balance) right on the money and taking the lead into the first mark, closely followed by a tight group including Cameron Miles (Black Snake), John Bertrand (Triad), Chris Jackson (Quantum Leap) and NZ’s Alistair Gair (Velsheeda). Within metres of dropping their spinnakers the southeasterly seabreeze came in, which resulted in cracked sheets back to the windward mark. Devastating for some of the leaders as they dropped to mid-fleet coming into the last mark, particularly for Mark Bulka who rounded first at mark two, then third last for the run to the finish.

The Kiwi team seemed to hold their position well, rounding third behind Rob Brown (Steampacket 7) and Alice Spring’s entrant Jeff Rose (Second Wind). It was a tight reach into the finish as Brown and Rose had to drop their spinnakers, and were just pipped by the New Zealanders on the line. Lucky for all crews no major damage was sustained in windy and unpredictable conditions, except that was for the other Kiwi entrant Addiction which suffered a broken boom shortly after the finish.

After the race an elated Graeme Taylor was happy with his Championship win, only having purchased Magpie last year. His crew of Grant Wharington (owner of 98ft Skandia Wild Thing) and Peter (Billy) Merrington have many years of sailing experience together on Skandia. Wharington commented ‘We had good speed all series and just sailed a solid race, it was great sailing.’

Velsheeda’s Alistair Gair gave his thoughts on the regatta. ‘We were pretty vulnerable after day one with two 14th’s, but yesterday we came up OK and of course we’re really happy with the win in the final race of the regatta today.’

Overall second place went to Rob Bird, who ‘enjoyed the flat waters of Corio Bay’ adding ‘For a 61 year old, this is perfect for Etchells racing, much like our Swan river back home.’ From here Bird’s Chill Pill will be sent to Sydney for shipping to Chicago for the Worlds in June, then back here to Melbourne for the Worlds at RBYC. Just coming off their State titles win two weeks ago, Bird and his crew of Graeme Johnson and Nic Gray were more than pleased with their overall second place. Rob ended with ‘We’ll see how the body shapes up after all that, before we look ahead of the 2009 Worlds.'

Cameron Miles was pretty happy with his regatta, saying ‘It’s been the best regatta I’ve been too with the hospitality to the sailors, refreshments on the water, pizzas and drinks after racing and everyone here to help us out, it’s been fantastic.’ Miles returns to Sydney to oversee the new standard keel Reichel Pugh 63 for Stephen Ainsworth (who lost Loki in the 2007 Rolex Middle Sea Race), in between some Sydney 38 racing and possibly the Etchells Worlds in Chicago.

Overall the host club Royal Geelong Yacht Club was thrilled with the 45 entrants, especially with being able to attract some of the best Etchells sailors, both past and present, on the circuit. And for some, it was a great opportunity to 'mix it with the best of them.'

Brilliant summer conditions and competitive racing made for a very successful Victorian Etchells Championships 2008.

We hope to see everyone back at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club to find out what will next year bring.

  SERIES RESULTS Series Results [Class ET] for Etchells up to Race 7 (Drops = 1)

Place

Sail NoBoat Name

Skipper

From

BOW NO

Series Score

Race 7

Race 6

Race 5

Race 4

Race 3

Race 2

Race 1

1

AUS947

Magpie

Graeme Taylor

Mornington

43

25.00

[12.00]

2.00

5.00

2.00

5.00

3.00

8.00

2

AUS1367

Chill Pill

Rob Bird

Swan River

02

31.00

4.00

1.00

[19.00]

12.00

1.00

8.00

5.00

3

AUS945

Black Snake

Cameron Miles

Pittwater

34

38.00

7.00

4.00

4.00

[15.00]

13.00

4.00

6.00

4

NZL950

Velsheda

Alistair Gair

G

30

39.00

1.00

5.00

1.00

10.00

8.00

14.00

[14.00]

5

AUS1326

Steampacket 7

Rob Brown

Pittwater

45

41.00

3.00

8.00

10.00

4.00

3.00

13.00

[22.00]

6

AUS924

Barry

Damien King

Melbourne

37

49.00

21.00

15.00

2.00

3.00

[25.00]

7.00

1.00

7

AUS1338

Critical Balance

Mark Bulka

RBYC

18

54.00

[29.00]

14.00

6.00

1.00

2.00

6.00

25.00

8

AUS1337

Fathom

Rupert Henry

Sydney

40

57.00

[26.00]

12.00

12.00

6.00

4.00

21.00

2.00

9

AUS1321

Triad

John Bertrand

RBYC

27

71.00

5.00

7.00

18.00

33.00

[46.00O]

1.00

7.00

10

AUS1121

Bananas in Pajamas-2

Jason Farnell

RGYC

39

71.00

8.00

31.00

8.00

13.00

6.00

5.00

[33.00]

11

AUS1318

Bananas in Pajamas

Ian Johnson

Melbourne

29

76.00

15.00

6.00

16.00

17.00

10.00

12.00

[21.00]

12

AUS1131

Slick 2

Brendan Garner

RGYC

05

81.00

23.00

20.00

[25.50]

5.00

20.00

2.00

11.00

13

AUS1162

Happy Man

Campbell Myles

Melbourne

15

82.00

16.00

9.00

20.00

21.00

12.00

[24.00]

4.00

14

AUS1288

Magic B422

Steve Gunther

Melbourne

09

84.00

9.00

19.00

17.00

[20.00]

7.00

16.00

16.00

15

AUS1122

Pedro

Kirwan Robb

RBYC

41

93.00

22.00

[24.00]

11.00

8.00

23.00

17.00

12.00

16

AUS1274

The Nurse

Ross Lloyd

Melbourne

08

94.50

[28.00]

13.00

25.50

11.00

11.00

25.00

9.00

17

AUS1244

Dr.Evil

Jake Gunther

Melbourne

17

95.00

17.00

18.00

9.00

18.00

[36.00]

10.00

23.00

18

AUS892

Second Wind

Jeff Rose

Alice Springs

03

100.00

2.00

25.00

3.00

30.00

[46.00O]

11.00

29.00

19

AUS1011

Quantum Leap

Chris Jackson

Mornington

35

103.00

6.00

21.00

14.00

25.00

28.00

9.00

[31.00]

20

AUS1276

Over Engineered

Garrath James

Blairgowrie

19

107.00

[42.00S]

26.00

15.00

9.00

19.00

23.00

15.00

21

AUS1123

Wicked

Gary Sheard

RGYC

28

115.00

24.00

3.00

[32.00]

24.00

15.00

19.00

30.00

22

AUS1293

That's Life

Ian Crisp

RBYC

04

115.00

18.00

32.00

7.00

14.00

16.00

[43.00]

28.00

23

AUS1257

Temptress

Richard Robertson

Blairgowrie

07

128.00

11.00

22.00

21.00

[40.00]

27.00

34.00

13.00

24

AUS1237

Black Knight

John Savage

Melbourne

46

134.00

42.00S

[46.00S]

13.00

7.00

30.00

22.00

20.00

25

AUS417

White Pointer

A Sandy

Metung

33

137.00

10.00

33.00

[39.00]

35.00

18.00

31.00

10.00

26

AUS1189

The Archer

Clark Swan

RGYC

44

137.00

20.00

[36.00]

34.00

22.00

14.00

29.00

18.00

27

AUS1024

Voodoo Spirit

Guyon Wilson

RGYC

26

138.00

25.00

11.00

35.00

28.00

[40.00]

15.00

24.00

28

NZL1314

Addiction

Lindsay Kennedy

Ghef

42

138.00

14.00

17.00

27.00

[29.00]

26.00

27.00

27.00

29

AUS872

Count Boris Secret R

Nick Knezic

Melbourne

31

158.00

33.00

43.00

[46.00Q]

38.00

9.00

32.00

3.00

30

AUS1026

Jacks Hut

Bill Fairley

Melbourne

20

160.00

31.00

23.00

37.00

26.00

17.00

26.00

[41.00]

31

AUS1134

Dot

Matty Whitnall

Sydney

01

161.00

[46.00C]

28.00

22.00

19.00

38.00

20.00

34.00

32

AUS948

Smile N Wave

Graeme Alexander

Mornington

32

164.00

[46.00C]

10.00

28.00

42.00

29.00

18.00

37.00

33

AUS1048

Frequent Flyer

David Atkinson

Melbourne

22

168.00

13.00

35.00

31.00

36.00

[37.00]

36.00

17.00

34

AUS1141

Mens shirts shorts s

Peter Stubbings

Melbourne

21

173.50

[46.00C]

29.50

44.00

16.00

21.00

28.00

35.00

35

AUS941

J for Jig

Lex O'Connor

Melbourne

23

179.00

34.00

16.00

[43.00]

39.00

34.00

37.00

19.00

36

AUS994

Crew Control

Paul Minter

Cronulla

16

185.00

19.00

27.00

33.00

31.00

[41.00]

35.00

40.00

37

AUS1223

Tango

Chris Hampton

RBYC

10

187.00

27.00

37.00

23.00

[43.00]

31.00

30.00

39.00

38

AUS747

Functional Overlay

Niesje Hees

Melbourne

06

197.00

36.00

42.00

24.00

32.00

22.00

41.00

[42.00]

39

AUS882

Jukes of Hazzard

Brendon Jukes

Melbourne

36

201.00

38.00

41.00

30.00

27.00

32.00

33.00

[43.00]

40

AUS751

Legless

Graeme Aldersea

Metung

12

202.00

[46.00C]

34.00

29.00

34.00

39.00

40.00

26.00

41

AUS1158

New Wave

Peter La Fontaine

RGYC

38

203.50

30.00

29.50

36.00

41.00

35.00

[46.00O]

32.00

42

AUS913

Never Enough

Andrew Telford

Melbourne

11

207.00

32.00

38.00

40.00

23.00

[43.00]

38.00

36.00

43

AUS784

Feng Shui

Andrew Perkins

Melbourne

24

221.00

35.00

39.00

38.00

37.00

33.00

39.00

[45.00]

44

AUS780

Urban Gorilla

Michael Shanahan

RGYC

14

231.00

39.00

44.00

42.00

44.00

24.00

[44.00]

38.00

45

AUS235

Clean Skin

Philip Dyer

Mornington

25

246.00

37.00

40.00

41.00

[45.00]

42.00

42.00

44.00

   
Magpie - Victorian Etchells Championships 2008

Chill Pill Rob Bird (left) with Magpie’s Graeme Taylor -Victorian Etchells Championships 2008 Photo - Teri Dodds

Black Snake - Victorian Etchell Championships 2008
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