sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : The return to Etchells and the podium

The return to Etchells and the podium

'The victorious Noel, Bill Merrington and Ben Morrison-Jack with their Victorian Etchells State Championship trophy. - Etchells World Championships'    Nick McGuigan

Noel 'Nitro' Drennan sure has sailed Etchells before and even placed in the top ten at a Worlds. However, he and crew of Will McCarthy and Anthony (Nocka) Nossiter went one better at the recent San Diego Etchells World Championships and made it to the podium with a terrific second place.

Amongst it all there's been a lot of big boat work, but the lure of the Etchells proved strong once more and he found himself preparing for another World Championships. 'Our regatta plan for San Diego came together whilst Will, Anthony and I were doing the lead up to and then competing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, aboard the Elliott penned supermaxi, Loyal (nee Maximus). We had plenty of time to talk Etchells and how to build up to our goal of being on the start line of heat one, fully ready to race', said Nitro.

Early in January 2011, it was time to compete in the Rex Gorrell Prestige Australian National Etchells Championship. The result was an excellent fifth place, 'Which I was pretty happy with, seeing as it had been quite a while since I raced in the Etchells.' In fact it had been almost two years, March 2009 to be exact, since he'd been in the boat. That was the Worlds hosted out of Brighton and they'd walked away with a sixth place.

Noel Drennan’s World Championship campaign began at the 2011 NSW State Championships in Newcastle. - Etchells World Championships -  John Curnow ©  

At any rate, a couple of weeks after the Nationals, Nitro, Will and Steve 'Mothy' Jarvin appeared in Newcastle for the Thrifty NSW State Championships. Nocka was not available as he was in China, but the crew still managed to get a seventh place. Like the Nationals and the Victorian State Championships, which were to follow, any of at least 10 crews could easily have been be the victor.

The Victorian State Championships were on over the long weekend of March 12 to 14, inclusive. In Michael Hiatt's second Etchells, Bad Doll, Noel with crew this time of Bill Merrington and Ben Morrison-Jack, got up for the win - by one point in the end. 'It was a pretty difficult regatta; the whole weekend has had lots of shifts and velocity changes. It definitely kept us on our toes. The two nautical mile works were more like what we're used to years ago and I still like the longer courses and the racing it provides. Absolutely a great leveller for any discrepancies at the other end', Noel said quayside immediately after that win. Looking back it all, Nitro commented that 'The regatta was light and shifty and a really good lead up for San Diego, as we had pretty good boat speed.'

Interestingly, Will McCarthy sailed with John Bertrand in that regatta and their super fast finishing in the last few races saw them land in second place. 'Nocka was still in China and it did not hurt Will sailing with JB, either', said Nitro.

With the three practice regattas under his belt and some pretty commendable results to go with it, Nitro reflected on the fact that they had some 'Pretty mediocre starting, on my behalf. Certainly, this was definitely an area for improvement, which we did more through discussion, rather than multiple practice starts. A general simplifying of the starting procedure and the aim of just getting a good start anywhere, as opposed to owning than box seat was adopted.'

Moving on to June and the San Diego Worlds, Noel secured a good local boat to use. 'This eliminated the need to ship my own boat and made it low stress to get out on the race course. We choose not to do the pre-Worlds, as it just added more time and money. Ultimately, we wanted to be fresh for the first race and knew we had to use our time beforehand, eight days in total, really well. It seemed a lot prior to arrival, but once there we did run out of time a bit. The upshot of it all is that it allowed us to be completely focused on speed, rather than racing.'

Michael 'Living Doll' Hiatt and Rob 'Shogun' Hanna, who are both from Melbourne, had been organised for Noel and crew to tune with in the week leading up to the Worlds. 'We felt comfortable at the end of the week with our upwind speed. Checking in with several of the better, local boats allowed us to see that it was pretty apparent that we were fast in the predominantly 8-11 knot breezes.'

Noel had been out on the very same course in the 2000 Etchells Worlds, when he was crewing for Dennis Conner. 'I thought I knew the local conditions, however it definitely seems to have changed slightly, to a more even course, rather than the right side bias that I remember.'

Armed with the knowledge that they had good upwind speed, they set about devising a strategy to make effective use of it. In the main, they started away from the bunch and focussed on being at speed with a reasonable start as their priority. 'Whilst racing up the first beat, primarily being in the middle or just towards the slightly favoured side (left or right), we seemed to spend a lot of time sailing against Bill Hardesty. He seemed to have a similar plan to us', Noel discovered. 'Overall, it probably would have been better for us to work a side of the course a bit harder, but it was very difficult to fully commit to one side. We were a little conservative, especially in the second half of the first beat.'

Like all the good crews, effective communication played a crucial role. 'We had no clear definition of our roles on the boat, so there was plenty of overlap with everything, which is good I think. If you had to place it however, overall, our race strategy was worked out between Nocka and I, whilst Will made sure we were travelling forward quickly enough. When Will chipped in on strategy, Nocka and I knew it was for a good reason and that we'd better factor in his thoughts.'

'Our drop race was our first race (21), which was not ideal, but we knew it was a long regatta and things have their way of evening out, especially in an 83 boat fleet, with large wind shifts. We had pretty strong races from Heat Two onwards and were never out of the top 10. Unfortunately and unlike Bill Hardesty, we could not convert it into heat wins, despite being in similar positions at the first mark', said Nitro of their results.

The last race was the trickiest race of the regatta with larger than previous wind shifts and big pressure variations across the course. 'Even though we had a four-point positive gap to Vince to retain our second place, overall, it was still a really tough race. We managed to stay ahead of Vince at every mark, albeit just and then put several boats between us at the finish, so it looked easy but it was definitely stressful!'

Interestingly, the first eight boats at San Diego and the last five winners of the World Championship used North Sails. Now, concurrently, and in very different conditions in the Southern Hemisphere, North's were taking the top three spots at Mooloolaba.

Noel works with Ross Lloyd at the Melbourne loft and said this of the impressive results, 'North's current win ratio has a lot to do with the sail makers from the various North lofts around the globe, all of whom are long-term Etchells sailors. In addition to us, in Australia we also have Michael Coxon, Mark Bradford and Vaughan Prentice. In the USA, there are Vince Brun, Chris Snow, Jeff Madrigali, Chad Hough and Ched Proctor, with Simon Fry in the UK. Whilst it may look a lot of people on paper, I think it's a good thing, as you get a broad view on how an Etchells sail should look and perform.'

Getting back to reflect on his personal achievements at the San Diego regatta, Noel said, 'We were happy with our second overall, well maybe not completely… Anyway, before we left Australia we all knew that it would be tough racing the local San Diego fleet, who would be very used to their local conditions. It would have been easy to pack it in and say it was a tough regatta, so we'll take the podium finish. The upcoming 2012 Worlds in Sydney will be a great regatta and hopefully, we'll end up with a strong overseas entry, just like San Diego did. They had 11 nations competing! I am looking forward to Sydney, as I think the Manly Circle will provide a variety of wind and sea conditions, rather than just the 8-11 knots we saw most days in San Diego.

Noel 'Nitro' Drennan making his acceptance speech. - Etchells World Championships -  Nick McGuigan   Click Here to view large photo

International Etchells Class Association website




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=86405

6:14 PM Tue 26 Jul 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
Australian Etchells Racing News

Related News Stories:

04 Mar 2013  Images from NSW Etchells Championships
27 Jul 2011  Michael Hiatt – Top Ten hit for the 'Commodore'
12 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship - Noel 'Nitro' Drennan second
08 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship day 2 + Video
07 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship day one - Hiatt top placed foreign boat
12 May 2011  Etchells Experience for RSYS youth sailors
06 Apr 2011  Kane Sinclair on Cherubs, 505s, Etchells and Sydney 2012
17 Mar 2011  Race Committee – Walk a Day in their shoes
14 Mar 2011  Etchells Victorian Championships 2011 -Close contest and great result
13 Mar 2011  Port Phillip provides the usual excitement for Etchells
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean Race has lifted intensity again on Day 9 with the fleet spread across 100nm of ocean and charging in a line for the turning point of Fernando de Noronha, 220nm off the Brazilian coast. ... [more]  

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Rolex Middle Sea Race - As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. ... [more]  

34th Student Yachting World Cup - France knew today its best day since the beginning of the competition. They spent the two races at the very first positions, even rivaling with the ultra-dominant English team. They showed today an astounding panache, and can now hope to improve their ranking before the end of the SYWoC. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Donfeng Race Team, has lost her lead on Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with boats on the east and western side of the course threatening. Two hours before the most recent sked at 0640hrs UTC, Dongfeng was still being listed by Volvo Ocean Race as the leader. But Team Brunel is now listed as the leader, but on a time taken projection basis, Team Brunel is fifth. ... [more]  

Flying Dreams is a movie directed by the talented Elsa Blayau is an ode to ocean, water sports and femininity. Based on an original idea from Alex Udin, Elsa Blayau transformed the project to a complete story and brought it to reality with this realization. ... [more]  

The 70th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is living up to expectation with 98 high-calibre entries received so far, from Sean Langman’s 1932 built Maluka of Kermandie, the oldest and smallest boat at nine metres, to the super maxis. The most talked about boat though, is the Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp 100 footer, Comanche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. Catch a birthday at sea on board Team Brunel, and unravel the fishing net with Team SCA Hear and see how the crews coped with the front that came through in the nigh ... [more]  

Shala Youngerman and her team from Southwestern Yacht Club won the 23rd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday in this two-day fleet race regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. ... [more]  

After three days of racing in the Valparaíso bay, the Santander team was crowned champion of the Off Valparaíso Race, first stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour that was held in the Yacht Club de Chile with the participation of eight boats. ... [more]  

Day two of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the glorious golden sunshine continue together with the waves, but unfortunately the wind remained absent again. To keep the crowds entertained Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) and birthday boy - Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) - attempted a bit of wave tow-in with varying degrees of success, as Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) took control of the jet ski. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
After cutting between the Cape Verde islands, separating from the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Chinese entry, Dongfeng gained an initial significant lead, which they are in the process of consolidating. One routing option for the then race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, gave the team the option of cutting inside the island group, they are close to the optimum course for Fernando off Brazil ... [more]  

RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action by RS:X Olympic Windsurfing Class Association
Mild, breezy weather, temperate Gulf of Mexico waters and wide bands of sugar white sand - this is the place where 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship racing is about to start. 'Clearwater Beach is the perfect spot to play host to the young windsurfers gathering here from around the world for international competition', says Frank Chivas. ... [more]  

The first 24 hours of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has seen the fleet progress slowly up the eastern seaboard of Sicily towards the Strait of Messina. By 16.00 on day two, a mere ten per cent of the competition had passed through the Strait and started the leg to Stromboli, where they will turn west towards the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - If only it were that easy. Amazingly we did manage to replace the rudder and regain first position amongst the fleet however just hours afterwards, navigator Pascal Bidégorry was faced with an important strategic decision. ... [more]  

Ian Moore, navigator on Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino, is no stranger to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this is his fourth and Ian was part of the winning crew on Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky in 2010. Ian describes the tactical nuances of the first night at sea. ... [more]  

Top videographer and photographer, John Navas, was on the water for the final day of the Farr 40 Worlds being sailed on San Francisco. ... [more]  

The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20–knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour. Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - The fleet has finally left the West African Coast. They are now in the trade winds, making the westerly course across the Atlantic Ocean to FernandoThey will find the Cape Verde Islands in the way and that will cause some issues of navigation. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - It was a light wind, big wave finish at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the medallists were decided across the six fleets competing on the waters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - In life, timing is everything. And, after seven years in the Farr 40 class, the timing was right for New York financier Alex Roepers to achieve a long-held goal of winning the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. ... [more]  

Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video   
Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy lives on in Qingdao + Video   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A return nearly 20 years in the making   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Game on for remaining fleets   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 2 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Day 5 of the Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge: 4 more records!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Coastal racing at its best - Leg 1, Day 5   
Chris Poole new number one Open Match Racer in U.S.   
Rolex Farr 40 World Champs - Plenty leads as Struntje Light impresses   
2014 Soto 40 South American Tour - Back in action   
Volvo Ocean Race - Mail arrival brings excitement for Team SCA + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Jens Dolmer getting restless onboard Team Brunel   
Volvo Ocean Race - Too close for comfort as fleet pushes on + Video   
Foils or not? Explanations from IMOCA Class President Jean Kerhoas   
Ben Ainslie's Olympic Finn sails are up for auction   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica goes to school   
Volvo Ocean Race - Intensity level rises for Dongfeng Race Team   
China Cup Regatta - Olympic medallists and offshore legends to race   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Friendly US rivalry on the Island   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Tight and tactical racing + Video   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT