Etchells Worlds- Top NZ crew places 13th in Newport
by Andrew Wills on 4 Jul 2014
One of the strongest fleets ever assembled competed for the 46th annual Etchells Worlds 2014 in Newport RI, USA.
Andrew Wills, Anatole Masfen and Matt Kelway, winners of the 2014 NZ Nationals competing in the 2014 Etchells Worlds in Newport Sharon Green/New York Yacht Club
Bill Hardesty and his crew of Taylor Canfield, Steph Roble, and Marcus Eagan from San Diego put in a dominant performance to better the fleet of 95 boats and win his third Etchells World Championship.
The fleet included America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and Olympians with names like Brad Butterworth, Gavin Brady, Chris Larsen, Hank Lammens, John Bertrand, Grant Simmer, Andrew Palfrey, Eric Doyle, Jeff Madrigali, Zach Reily, Steve Benjamin, Lynne Shore, Mark Ivey, Tim Healy, Jud Smith, Mark Mendleblatt, Chris Busch, Andrew Campbell, Cameron Miles, Stuart Childerly, Andrew Mills, Moose McClintock, Malcom Page, Simon Cooke, Tito Gonzales, Ched Procter, Dirk Knuelman, Andreas Josenhans, Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry, Bruce Burton, Neville Whittey, and Richard Bouzaid.
Etchells racing is fantastic if you like to test your skills on a level playing field.
All the boats are strictly one design and are thoroughly scrutinised during the measuring and registration process for the regatta to ensure they are within the allowed tolerances. It’s a great feeling to be able to compete with the legends of the sport and give them a run for their money. Also the international travel and competition is a big draw card for many.
There were three boats that qualified and competed from New Zealand. Current national champions, Feng Shui (A Wills, A Masfen, M Kelway), Echelon (G Gerrard, R Bouzaid, R & T Bannan), and Windward (C Maud, L Carter, S Clark).
We placed 13th overall on Feng Shui, the Echelon team placed 85th and the team on Windward placed 93rd in their first Worlds.
The conditions were tricky and ranged from 5-18 knots, often accompanied by a bumpy sea. The breezes were a mix of thermal and frontal which were challenging to master. Hardesty won the regatta with a very clinical approach.
Starting well (often midline), sailing fast, making no mistakes, and capitalising on others mistakes. We started pretty well and sailed quite fast, but made a few small tactical errors which are costly in such a competitive fleet. We are looking forward to competing in the North Americans in September and then starting our summer season back here in NZ as we work towards improving on our result in Hong Kong at next year’s World Championship.
If you are interested in joining the NZ Etchells Fleet, check out the website www.etchells.org.nz we race every Tuesday night in summer, as well as a few weekend regattas. It’s fun, competitive, and affordable.
For full results click here
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