The entries for the 2013 UK Etchells Open National championship included more overseas boats than Cowes had seen for a while, including Nils Razmilovic who travelled from Singapore, Jan Muyskem from the UAE and Alex Lacy from Holland.
The CCYC in Cowes with Andrew Millband as principle race officer were requested to hold the event and with the help of the weather and a couple of smart decisions from Andrew 16 teams left Cowes with big grins on their faces, but the biggest grin was from the winning crew of Matatu SIN 1340 owned and helmed by Nils Razmilovic with Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills as crew.
Racing started on Friday with three races on the Hill Head plateau, and with a flooding tide and a SW 10kt breeze the pin seemed to have a magnetic attraction for the most leeward boat on all three of the races, and in Race one James Howells sailing Gelert was the first person seen doing a 360, on Race two it was Nils Razmilovic who caught the mark, but luck was on his side and a general recall gave him a second go from where he started cleanly. Tide appeared not to be a major issue on Friday, as following the fleet from behind in a rib those with the best speed to the top mark were the crews who adjust rig and trim throughout the beats and had the best crew-helm communication in order to keep tiller movement to the absolute minimum, and while Friday's wind shifted, the patterns were predictable. It was one design sailing at its best, truly identical boats being worked hard by the practiced teams.
Saturday's number of planned races was increased from three to four by PRO Andrew Millband, as Sunday's weather forecast had deteriorated with a gale now due sometime after Mid Day, while for day two Saturday, the wind had shifted somewhat right, so the fleet and the race committee now had to contend with a slightly unpredictable direction as the wind came across the land , but as always throughout the three day event the fleet still had constantly good wind pressure, so Saturdays race would now became more about tactics, and the 20+deg wind shifts certainly did put pressure on the tacticians; Chris Larson sailing with Ante Razmilovic on Swedish Blue said after Saturdays races that it was tough to pick the correct shifts while balancing the direction and tide, but that gains were there for the taking, and they finished the day with three thirds and a first, but that was two points behind Matatu the overall leader on day two.
CCYC PRO Andrew Millbands decision to have four races on Saturday leaving just the one race for Sunday turned out to be the correct decision, the fleet left the dock ready to commence racing at 10.30 and at 10.30 the 15kts breeze switched to 20kts and then slowly increased to 25kts gusting 30 by the end of the scheduled three lap windward leeward, but Andrew had made another popular call and stopped the race at the windward mark after two and a half laps, which also made the beat back to the bar and the warm food so much shorter for the grateful crews.
And the final race, race eight of the UK Etchells National Championship saw Nils Razmilovic Sailing with Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills confirm their position as the UK 2013 National Open Champions by winning that race, while second Overall was Ante Razmilovic, with James Howells in third.
The Fortitude trophy for top ISAF Cat one amateur boat was won by Richard Burrows sailing with daughter Sam with James Downer, Gill Taylor and his crew with an age range of 18 to 22 were second, while another youth team with Phil Bendon as helm came third in the Amateur category they were also the youngest crew to win a race.
At the prize giving both Doyle and North sails had goodies for not only the crews but also the CCYC volunteers who help on the course by manning the committee boat, laying the marks etc, and without whom yacht racing wouldn't happen, Doyle Sails also kindly donated a 50 % Discount voucher to the winner of the event.
Etchells Results table
Place No. Boat Name Owner Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Total
1 1340 Matatu Nils Razmilovic 2 3 1 2 1 -5 2 1 12
2 1410 Swedish Blue Ante Raxmilovic 1 2 -4 3 3 3 1 2 15
3 1331 Gelert James Howells 3 6 2 4 6 2 -10 6 29
4 1400 African Queen Jan Muyskem 4 12 7 5 -12 1 6 3 38
5 1015 Matatu Dubh Richard Burrows 9 4 6 1 8 -11 5 7 40
6 1407 Ice Andrew Cooper 7 7 3 6 -11 10 8 5 46
7 1014 Palaver Tarra Gill-Taylor 11 5 11 -12 2 6 7 11 53
8 1036 Esprit Robert Elliott 5 10 10 10 7 4 -11 8 54
9 1352 Exabyte V Shaun Frohlich 8 8 9 8 5 8 -12 9 55
10 1020 Sumo Peter Rogers 12 11 -14 7 9 9 3 4 55
11 1175 Darling S Phil Bendon 6 1 5 16 4 -17 dnf 13 13 58
12 1354 Elvis David Franks 10 9 8 11 13 7 4 -17 dnc 62
13 992 China White Nick Stagg 13 14 12 13 10 14 -15 14 90
14 1148 Idea Jack Wilson -16 13 13 14 15 13 14 12 94
15 954 Conjurer Alex Lacy 15 17 dnf 17 dnc 9 14 15 9 -17 dnc 97
16 1271 Ziggy Kevin Downer 14 17 dnf -17 dnc 15 16 12 16 10 100
by Rob E Goddard
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11:42 AM Tue 17 Sep 2013GMT
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