Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

Etchells Invitational Cup – Overall result decided in dramatic race

by Rupert Holmes on 1 Aug 2014
Jeremy Thorp of Antigua YC won the inaugural Etchells Invitational Cup after a challenging day of racing Rupert Holmes
The Etchells Invitational Cup’s final day delivered more stunning, high adrenaline and incredibly close racing, with the three leading boats all in contention for the 140-year-old Gertrude Cup at the start of the final race.

Jeremy Thorp of Antigua YC led the fleet on 26 points, with Shannon Bush of New York YC on 34, and Jeanne-Claude Strong of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on 36. However, Thorp’s commanding lead quickly evaporated in the deciding race – he was sixth round the first windward mark, then dropped the overall leader’s red spinnaker in the water at the spreader mark, dragging it behind the boat.

By this time Strong was well ahead in second place, just behind race leader Marvin Beckmann of Houston YC. Thorp never recovered beyond eighth place, but with Bush and Strong finishing fourth and fifth respectively, the Antiguan team’s overall victory was sealed.


'It was my first time racing an Etchells,' said Thorp, '…and they absolutely live up to everything my really successful sailing friends have told me. They are pure and beautiful boats to sail, with excellent competition in the fleet.'

Bush held on to second place overall, having scored a consistent run of seven top-four results, but was also forced to count two 11th places. While the top four teams struggled to some extent on the final day, Beckmann, the 2013 Etchells World Champion, revelled in the slightly stronger winds to win both races, to add to two earlier race wins. 'We struggled in the lighter winds earlier in the week,' said crewmember Andrew Palfrey, himself a former Etchells world champion, Olympian and America’s Cup sailor. '…but it was really satisfying to win the last three races when there was more breeze.'


Beckmann’s top results at the end of the regatta lifted him into third place overall, tied on 41 points with Strong, but with his four wins giving him the advantage on count back.

The UK Etchells class has an enviable reputation for enabling youth teams to compete at the highest level, with 90 of the UK’s best young sailors having sailed in the fleet over the past three seasons. Much of the credit for this goes to Ted Fort OBE, a member of the Cowes fleet for 30 years, who has funded two of the class’s four boats for young sailors.

'I’ve got so much out of sailing throughout my life,' he says, '…especially courage and ambition. Besides, when you’re in business you have to think about the start line… I believe the future of the class here in Cowes is in youth sailors.'

Of the four youth teams competing, the Spinnaker Lake Sailing Club team of Matt Reid, Ashley Goddard, Martin Evans, and Emily Wiltshire had the best result, finishing eighth overall, including two podium positions, one of which was an impressive second place in the final race.

Annabel Vose, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters and Emily Nagel of the Royal Southern YC took ninth overall, just weeks after winning the World Student Match Racing Championship. They finished one point ahead of their rivals from Spinnaker Lake and on equal points with the UKSA/ British Keelboat Academy team, but gained an advantage on count back thanks to two races in which they scored podium finishes.


'It was a big challenge for us,' said Prime, 'as we hadn’t done much Etchells or fleet racing as a team. The racing here is really close and we learned loads – you couldn’t make many mistakes, and if you did you dropped places very quickly. It was also very interesting to swap boats each day and see how each one was set up – and of course it was really good of the owners to lend their boats for the event.'

'This event has been absolutely amazing – the best sailing I’ve done in my life and there were some fantastic sailors out there,' added Charlie Dodd, of the UKSA/ BKA team. 'But it’s not an arms race here – we’re changing boats each day and are all racing with identical sails, so it’s all about your skills and the decisions you make.'

Many thanks go to the event’s sponsors and organisers, which numbered 84 people and organisations. Of particular note are the host clubs, the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal London Yacht Club, the race committee led by David Campbell-James, Ron’s team of on water umpires, plus Graham Sunderland (aka Batman) and Kev Downer who provided on water support and kept the boats running throughout the event.

Sponsors whose input was invaluable to the event’s success include Francis Searchlights; Spinlock, who supplied buoyancy aids for all competitors and officials; plus Zhik and Liros ropes. A film about the event is being produced by Olivia Chenevix-Trench of OCT Films and a book will also be available.


The 2015 Etchells Invitational Cup for the Gertrude Cup will be held from Friday July 31 to Wednesday August 5 – again the week before Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Anyone interested in applying for an invitation should contact David Franks at davidfranks80@gmail.com, or call on +44 7768063868.

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr