Over the past week Etchells sailors around the world have been busy competing in both hemispheres in two of the toughest Etchells international events.
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2011
In the northern hemisphere the World Championships were hosted by the San Diego Yacht club with 83 of the top teams from across the globe competing in a range of challenging racing conditions off the Southern Californian coast.
13 teams from Australia travelled across the Pacific to do battle against the world’s best. The 2011 World Title was won by Bill Hardesty and his team, who proved to be a level above the rest of the fleet achieving four first places and only once being outside the top ten. North Sails were well represented with Australia’s Noel Drennan, sailing very consistently to finish second with fellow North veteran Vince Brun finishing close behind in third place overall. Of note was Australian Michael Hiatt, of the Farr 55 'Living Doll' fame, competing in his first Etchells worlds finishing a creditable seventh overall.
Meanwhile in the Southern hemisphere the Australasian Mid Winters were held out of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland over the long weekend. The three days of racing were held in light, fresh breeze, concluding with moderate conditions featuring unusually cold and often shifty southerly breezes which tested the sailors, with the faster boats achieving the more consistent results. Tom King took out the title with Mark Tonner-Joyce and Damian King following closely in second and third places.
Tom King explained. 'We were pleasantly surprised by the result as this was the first time we had sailed together as a team. We felt confident in our set up and this allowed us to focus more on our boat positioning and strategy in the tricky conditions.'
North Sails powered the top eight teams at the Worlds and top three teams at the Mid Winters and have won the last five World championships.
Mark Langford around the top mark, race 5, Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2011
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