sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Fitting finale at the Etchells Australian Championship
Fitting finale at the Etchells Australian Championship


'Men at Work, John Bertrand, Andrew Grant Simmer and Andrew Palfrey competing in last year’s Etchells National Championship in West Australia'    Bernie Kaaks

In the very year that Australia marks the passage of 30 years since a group of dedicated sailors changed the course of sporting history, and as celebrations for the Etchells 40th anniversary draw to an end, it seems terribly fitting that the two should be inexorably linked.

The 2013-14 Australian Etchells Australian Champions are Australia II’s John ‘JB’ Bertrand AO and Grant ‘Grunter’ Simmer. The third crewmember, Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey is a tad younger, and like the rest of us, had to watch it all unfold on TV. This year’s title takes Bertrand’s personal tally to seven (and also one World Championship) in the class he fell in love with nearly twenty years ago. Talking of World Championships, this very crew are known to have a wee penchant for the 2014 title, which is to be staged in none other than Newport R.I., as if you could not have seen that coming…

The man himself commented, ‘Of the five Doggy and I have sailed together, we now have four titles and a second place. This regatta did have a set of consistent results, which is great. I’m going to keep one SMS on my iPhone, as it came from Tom (Slingsby). He said, ‘Awesome guys! That’s the most impressive scorecard I’ve ever seen in an Etchells Nationals. Really impressed. Well Done!’ What an accolade from our Olympic Gold Medallist’, said a truly humbled Bertrand.

Etchells National Championship 2013, let’s go downhill in race one as Triad chases Iris III. -  Michael Jennings   Click Here to view large photo

‘We saw 9 to 18 knots over the course of the regatta, so it was really just medium to fresher. All in all, we enjoyed quintessential champagne conditions offshore of the Gold Coast. What was worth noting was how close it was not only at the top mark, but also the bottom and then the finish. All of us (JB, Grunter and Doggy) commented on the high level and refined racing that this regatta just kept on providing.’

‘One crew from lake Macquarie commented that all the bastards up front are World Champions, Olympians or America’s Cup veterans. For us the fleet sure was stacked with great talent and it was just awesome to be out there with terrific people to race against. Peter ‘Polly’ McNeill (former World Champion) has come from nowhere. What a great job to come back so strongly!’

Etchells National Championship 2013, Peter McNeill’s Iris III to leeward of John Bertrand’s Triad - Etchells Australian Championship -  Michael Jennings   Click Here to view large photo

‘We’re running a North Sails main and Doyle jibs, with a combination for our ‘chutes, as a result of having a look at what Jud Smith has been up to. This was our preparation for the 2014 Worlds – we’re all very keen to do it. My next regatta will be the Victorian State Championship at Metung (7 to 10 Mar 2014), which I think will be big and then Triad will be shipped off to Newport.’

‘The fleet may have been a bit smaller because of the time of year as we all head in to Christmas, but the decision to run it now was based on the weather. January and February can be a bit mushy and there are the conditions over the bar to look at. We were missing the likes of Graeme ‘GT’ Taylor and Tom Slingsby who could just not make it, but did not feel like it when you were racing out there. If it was January, it would have easily been 50+ Etchells.’

‘The boats may be classed as vintage, but there is still something in it. They are so refined in the tuning. We’re down to one turn on the lower and I have never been at that level of gradation between fast and slow. It was all about drag racing, boat speed and boat handling, not massive wind shifts. Seven knots uphill may not be huge, but it really is quite intense.’

ESP-Rafael-Trujillo - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition  Robert Deaves-Finn Class©  

‘Handling the swell and chop was where you got your refinement. You know, Rafa (Spanish Olympian, Rafael Trujillo Villar) loves the Etchells and he’s raced so many boats. You’re crossing others by 20 to 30 cm, which is just amazing. There are lots of yachting luminaries really looking at Etchells once more because of what they are. True One Design. It is a different world, but it contains the best there is on offer’, Bertrand finished by saying.

Another person very happy with the overall outcome is Etchells Class President, Jake Gunther. Catching up with him in the first light of day he commented, ‘At 0530hrs there is plenty to see. What a great location! This may well be the most under-utilised location we’ve ever seen for a World Championship. All you need to do is manage the time of year and the tides and away you go. Well done to the Southport Yacht Club, the Etchells Gold Coast Fleet, Race management and all those volunteers!’

‘Throughout the regatta everybody was gunning for the best spot possible. Where we all finish up is important in light of our goals for coming here in the first place. One of our main objectives is always to be the first of the non-pro, non-Olympian and non-World champ crews. We’ve had a third and fifth in previous World Championship campaigns and this particular fleet is something else. All our results are sort of sixth to ninth place, but there is something in understanding the track.’

The Boat skippered by Jake Gunther, out on the course today in the Etchells National Championship practice race. -  Michael Jennings  

‘We have been within a boat length of Mark Johnston for most of this, and he was on top after day one. My crew of John Collingwood, Stuart Skeggs and I do a lot of two-boating with David Clark and there is some serious talent on board there, as there was throughout the entire top end. Mark had Nik Burfoot and Rafa Trujilo Villar on board. Rafa has not only represented Spain at the Olympics (2000, 2004 and 2008), he medalled, too, with a Silver in the Finn at Athens. To get over the top of them on the last day is a delight and shows how in Etchells, every single place counts’, said Gunther.

The other and virtually as important prize on offer at the Etchells Australian Championship is the North Sails jib. This is awarded to the mid-fleet vessel and apart from anything else, acts as a sort of encouragement award. Winning this fantastic prize for 2013-14 is Jeanne-Claude Strong and the crew of Yandoo XX, which consists of Nev Whittey, Marcus Burke and Tiana Whittey. Strong said of the win, ‘Bit of a surprise and rather nice. We’ve been a Doyles boat to date. I was talking with Richie Allanson just before and we’re certainly happy to try this new medium job out - looking forward to trying something different!’

‘First is always the best, but there’s a 10th, 11th and 12th in amongst our results, which is a real credit to the crew. Can I tell you that this is a lovely location, with great people, awesome conditions. We’re just delighted to be here with such a wonderful collection of sailors’, Strong finished by saying.

So that’s it. The last bullet has been fired, so to speak, on another terrific Etchells Australian Championship. Whether you’re first or 31st, the challenge remains with you as a crew of sailors. To begin your Etchells journey, go to http://www.etchells.org.au/ and locate a fleet near you. One Design does not get better.

Triad’s crew of John Bertrand, Andrew Palfrey and Grant Simmer - Rex Gorell Prestige Etchells Australian Championships 2011 -  Teri Dodds ©  

Triad amigos, John Bertrand, Grant Simmer and Andrew Palfrey -  John Bertrand  


by John Curnow

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=116733

12:51 PM Sat 16 Nov 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World



Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,




International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA
























Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek by Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014,












Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   
WWA Wakeboard National Championships head to Waco   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Day 2   
RP52 Scarlet Runner sails in San Francisco   
2014 Governor's Cup - Nevin Snow and team on form   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Americans claim silver medals in Tavira   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Day 1   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Windsurfing and Kiteboarding World Cup to take place on Fuerteventura   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Medals decided in thrilling Tavira conclusion   
7th Annual Swim for Cystic Fibrosis to take place July 21st   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Max Ranchi   
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, Day 2 - It just keeps getting better   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship final day preview   
AWT Pacasmayo Classic 2014 - Catching up with Levi Siver   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT