Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik AzkoNobel 728x90

Etchells Worlds 2012 - Two 12 year olds join the ranks

by Tracey Johnstone on 21 Feb 2012
Etchells Worlds 2012, Yandoo XX’s Tiana Wittey and Menace’s Harry Smith, youngest members of the fleet Anousha Fluck - copyright
It is rather unexpected to also see two 12-year-old sailors joining the Etchells class, even though the class is experiencing an influx of younger skippers and crews.

Tiana Wittey and Harry Smith are competitors in the 74-boat Etchells fleet contesting the 2012 World Championship.

Tiana is racing aboard Yandoo XX. Her skipper is Jeanne-Claude Strong and her fellow crew members are Marcus Burke and her proud dad and previous Olympic competitor, Neville Wittey. Neville had planned to ‘blood’ Tiana during the national championship so that she could get used to the big fleet starts, all the people and noise, but then Yandoo had to withdraw from that event. This has meant she has come to the World Championship without any prior big event experience.

On meeting Tiana she exudes a sense of quiet confidence in her place within the Yandoo team.

'Yandoo has been my family boat for a very long time. I bought it in 1996. Tiana has known Yandoo for her entire life. She knows that Dad goes off sailing and he always comes back to Yandoo. 'I think she sees this event as a great opportunity to have a good sail with Dad. And, perhaps, if she chooses to do it, kick off her sailing career.

'She knows she has to perform because we now give her jobs she must do; critical jobs such as she is the one that calls the start time. If she gets that wrong we are in real trouble. She does stuff that we really need her to do. She loves it. She just loves being out on the Etchells and she is not afraid of putting in,' Neville said.

Tiana’s school, Our Lady of Mercy College at Burraneer Bay, are very supportive of Tiana’s opportunity to race among some great sailors in a very supportive environment.

The other 12-year-old competitor, Harry Smith, is competing on board Menace with USA skipper Vince Brun and Australian crew Michael Coxon and Paul Westlake.

He has taken time out from his school studies with the full support of his school, The Southport School. He first stepped on an Etchells just a few weeks ago and was competition blooded at last week’s Australian Championship where the Menace team finished fifth.

'I was down here (Sydney) about a month ago sailing with Dad on Wild Oats. Flipper (Paul Westlake) was on the main and he noticed me and said I could be a good fourth-man on the Etchells crew that Cocko (Michael Coxon) was putting together.

'I started sailing in Optis and I am still in them. I did a bit of racing in a Laser, but it was a bit too full on,' Harry said.

Both young sailors are now part of the World Championship family. The older sailors have quickly accepted their presence around the hardstand and on the water.

The Etchells Worlds 2012 are being hosted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and racing will continue offshore until 25 February.

Event website
Barz Optics - Kids rangeProtector - 660 x 82Insun - AC Program

Related Articles

World Sailing Show - Video news - May 2017 - Volvo 65, America's Cup
May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and more May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features: Winding the clock back on a Volvo 65 and taking a race boat that already has over 40,000 hard miles under its keel might not be your idea of a perfect start for another lap of the planet. But the newly refurbished fleet of Volvo 65s are better than new. We went to Portugal to find out how this can be so.
Posted today at 11:41 am
Top Chinese sailor aims to inspire in hometown of Qingdao
24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as Extreme Sailing Series™ returns The 24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as the Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to China’s Olympic Sailing City for an incredible seventh time.
Posted today at 11:18 am
Sailing World Cup - Medal races on LIVE NOW - Day 1
Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST . First up is the Mens 49er skiff
Posted today at 10:48 am
Annapolis to Newport Seminar - Navigation, Routing and Weather
Navigation, Routing and Weather, being held at the AYC Clubhouse, wraps up the popular and informative seminar series. Navigation, Routing and Weather, being held at the AYC Clubhouse, wraps up the popular and informative seminar series. There are few sailors anywhere in the United States who have logged as many ocean miles as Tarry Lomax and Tom Schubert.
Posted today at 8:01 am
Comanche on the warpath for Transpac record
Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has joined fleet of 62 entries preparing for Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has recently joined the fleet of 62 entries currently preparing for the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race, with one goal: to set a new race record. This 100-foot carbon fiber ocean greyhound designed by VPLP/Verdier and built by Hodgdon Yachts in 2014 was created to be quite simply the fastest sailing yacht in the world
Posted today at 5:29 am
Countdown to Transpac - Under 70 days to go
With just under 70 days to go to the first start of 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, are all working hard With just under 70 days to go to the first start of the 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, sponsors, families, spectators and organizers from the Transpacific YC are all working hard on their preparation tasks for this classic 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. In all, 63 monohull and multihull entries from seven countries around the Pacific and beyond are now entered
Posted today at 5:17 am
RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted on 28 Apr
28th May announced as the America’s Cup Endeavour Day
The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is the America’s Cup’s ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
Posted on 28 Apr
Challenging Qingdao tests Extreme Sailing Series fleet in Act 2 opener
As the fleet of seven crews hit the water the wind was down to just a couple of knots, delaying the start of racing. China's Olympic Sailing City is renowned for its tricky weather conditions that can catch sailors off guard with sudden changes – and the opening day of Act 2 Qingdao 'Mazarin Cup' was a prime example.
Posted on 28 Apr
Extreme Sailing Series – Team Oman Air promise to bounce back
Qingdao is notorious for delivering tricky conditions that can change in an instant, and that's just what happened today After almost two hours of bobbing around waiting for enough wind to allow action to commence, a solid 15-knot breeze swept over the seven-strong fleet allowing three races to be held.
Posted on 28 Apr