by John Curnow
There is no doubt that the latest Etchells National Championship in Perth will be remembered. There was plenty of Black Flag and Jury Room action to keep all entertained. Adding to the drama was a sinking and subsequent recovery, as well.
Etchells World Championship Sydney Australia 2012. Michael Manford racing The Croc.
Out of it all, the most notable element for the class as a whole, is that Michael Manford, Dean McAullay and Nicholas Gray won in, The Croc (AUS 1402), which is the third vessel to come out of the new Australian mould.
Michael Manford (the Croc) sits comfortably at the head of the table after four races. - Prochoice Safety Gear Etchells Nationals
Yes, the third boat is now the first over the line at the Nationals and the first of the new Pacesetter craft from the very capable, exceptional and reliable, Phil Smidmore. Phil not only sails the Etchells, but has also been a dedicated builder for many years. Not surprisingly then, one of the last vessels from the old mould was first in the lead-in event, the Syd Corser Regatta. Torvar Mirsky, Steve Thomas, Nick Davis and Justin Wong would then go on to place third in the Nationals on board, Chilli Plum.
Melbourne’s Ian Crisp took the first of the new Etchells hulls from Pacesetter, with the Sydney Fleet Captain, Richard Hammond, grabbing the second. Jan Muysken, who is based out of the United Arab Emirates took the fourth hull, but this will not hit the water until the 2013 Etchells Worlds in Italy this June. The fifth is sitting in the mould ready for a new owner, so make your enquiries of Phil at Pacesetter now!
‘I’m absolutely delighted for Michael, who is a long-term Etchells customer and sailor. He has showed a lot of faith in me and the new boat, with his vessel being made ready in time for the Sydney 2012 Worlds, unseen and untested, which he has done before with earlier vessels from Pacesetter. Well done to them all for setting the standard in Perth 2013’, said Phil.
Ultimately, it all points out that Pacesetter are well and truly on the pace, so congratulations not only go to Michael and the crew of The Croc, but also the Etchells Committee and Phil Smidmore of Pacesetter for their countless hours in first arranging, then completing this lengthy task.
David Ritchard, Australian Etchells Treasurer and International Governor said, ‘I am sure Michael will once again praise Phil and the team at Pacesetter for not only the standard of the boat, but importantly the exemplary service, presentation and delivery of The Croc.’
Well done to all the competitors, volunteers and Race Management for a great regatta. The spirit of co-operation displayed by the Royal Perth Yacht Club and the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club to run the Prochoice Safety Gear 2013 Etchells Nationals is also extremely noteworthy.
The Croc on display at Mooloolaba before even hitting the water. - Etchells National Championship