Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes

by Rupert Holmes on 29 Jul 2014
Etchells Invitational Cup 2014 Rob Goddard
The opening day of the inaugural Etchells Invitational Cup delivered plenty of sun, but variable winds that tested the 20 teams from 11 countries that are gathered in Cowes.

While it was a day that saw plenty of place changing throughout the fleet, three clear low-scoring leaders have emerged. Jeanne-Claude Strong of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, is leading the fleet on four points, with Chris Bull of the Yacht Club de Cannes and Ian Dobson of the Royal Thames YC tied on six points. Despite a disappointing 12th place in the second race, Marvin Beckmann from Houston YC is holding fourth overall, on 13 points.


A slowly dissipating band of thundery clouds to the east of the course defined the start of the first race, which didn’t get away until the fourth attempt. When the fleet finally got away, under a U flag penalty rule, an individual recall signal indicated at least one boat over the line prematurely that would be disqualified.

New Cowes based owner Julian Metherell started at the committee boat in clear air and stayed on starboard tack, benefitting from a big right-hand windshift, However, the first three boats approaching the top mark were those that started near the pin. Jeremy Thorpe, representing Antigua YC and crewed by former world champion Stuart Childerley and Mark Andrews, rounded first. Shannon Bush from New York YC followed, with RYA Team Glamour (Annabel Vose, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters and Emily Nagel) in third.


The Antiguan team gybed around one-third of the way down the first run, consolidating their lead and looking very strong, although an early gybe by Beckmann, who rounded the top mark fourth, also saw him looking well placed. At the end of the second beat, Beckmann remained in second place, although Bush now held the lead, with Thorpe having slipped to third.

On the run Bush gybed early, a move that translated into a commanding lead at the finish. However, she had been one of the premature starters, along with Thorpe, so it was Beckmann that took the winning gun, with Ian Dobson’s team of Murray Chapples and Thomas Brennan second and Jeanne-Claude Strong third.

The second race initially got away smoothly, but with the wind dropping to almost nothing and the back markers failing to reach the windward mark against the building tide, it had to be abandoned. When the race was restarted it was in a light southerly breeze, with almost two knots of ebb tide setting across the course. The fleet got away cleanly, with boats soon spread evenly across the course, but it was Chris Bull, crewed by Nigel King and Tim Davies, that took an early lead in the middle of the track.


However, Strong rounded the top mark first, followed by Bull and Dobson, with the team from Houston buried in 13th place. 'We had a poor start and on the first beat we couldn’t go the way we wanted,' crew member Andrew Palfrey, another former Etchells world champion, explained. 'We picked up some places by the finish but it was difficult to recover in those conditions.'

While most of the fleet favoured the right-hand side of the first run, Strong gybed early which helped to extend her lead, which she held to the finish. Chris Bull took second and Bush third. 'The strength of the tide makes it a bit difficult for us here,' said Strong’s middle crew member Neville Whittey, who raced a Soling in the 2000 Olympics. 'We’re not used to that much stream – it feels like a nightmare, but it’s a great challenge.'

With the wind again dying over the racecourse, the fleet assembled ashore at Shepard’s Wharf, for the official opening of the new six-tonne crane at the marina’s dry sailing facility, plus a special prize for the youngest team at the event – James French, Tristan Seal and Rob Bunce of the UKSA/RYA British Keelboat Academy, whose average age is under 20.

NaiadWildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted today at 5:53 pm
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted today at 8:58 am
Former Clipper Race skipper equals British record in Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe. The youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe.
Posted today at 6:38 am
Quantum Key West Race Week closes with a bang
Doug De Vos' Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week By winning the final race of the highly competitive 52 Super Series and with it the class championship, Doug De Vos' (Ada, MI) Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week hosted by the Storm Trysail Club.
Posted today at 5:19 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 5 action.
Posted today at 4:29 am
Countdown to Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Following on from Coastal Series over last three days, competitors are enjoying rest in preparation for big race. Following on from the hugely successful Coastal Series over the last three days, competitors at the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, are enjoying a well-earned rest in preparation for tomorrow’s big race.
Posted today at 4:00 am
Triumphant Quantum Racing are Key West Champions
Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from uncharacteristic high scoring to close out first regatta title of 2017 Showing the winning hallmark of a crew that are current 52 Super Series champions, and three times holders of the title, Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from an uncharacteristic high scoring, mid-regatta, three-race slump, to close out the first regatta title of 2017, triumphing in today’s last race of Quantum Key West Race Week.
Posted today at 3:37 am
Azzurra looks towards the 52 Super Series in March in Miami
Conclusion of races in Key West was worse than expected for Azzurra but her team is looking towards second event in USA The conclusion of the races in Key West was worse than expected for Azzurra but her team is looking towards the second event in the USA, in March in Miami, with confidence before getting ready to head back to the Med.
Posted today at 3:01 am
Le Cléac'h and Thomson revel in the Vendée Globe glory
Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson were basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest sailors. Armel Le Cléac'h and second-placed Alex Thomson were today basking in the glory of becoming the solo round the world race's fastest ever sailors. Le Cléac'h and Thomson arrived in the race's home port of Les Sables d'Olonne in France just 16 hours apart after more than 27,000 nautical miles of racing over 74 days to claim the top two podium places.
Posted on 20 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 4 images and videos by Nic Douglass
Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four Nic Douglass has provided these images and videos from day four
Posted on 20 Jan