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

 

Sail-World.com : Etchells Worlds 2012: youth aim to join cut and thrust competition

Etchells Worlds 2012: youth aim to join cut and thrust competition

'Brisbane’s Jason Muir charges down wind on day two of the 2008 Musto Winter Etchells Championship'    Peter Duncan ©

The change in the Etchells class is noticeable. Younger skippers and crew are joining the older sailors in the hunt to qualify for the Etchells Worlds in Sydney in February 2012.

Dubbed by sailors in the past as the ‘old man’s class’, it is no longer an accepted description of the Etchells. The younger sailors have sniffed out what the older Etchells sailors have known for quite a while - high calibre, challenging racing, strict one-design and a welcoming crowd of professional and weekend sailors.


Australian class president, Jake Gunther, said one of the key attractions for the younger sailors now coming into the class is that the Etchells racing is very tactically based. 'The boats are tacking through 70 or 65 degrees. A five degree shift is going to represent a fair per cent of that wind angle. The boats therefore are very responsive to shifts in breezes and the gains are much greater as the breeze shifts. Consequently the boats are very tactical. With us not doing reaches anymore, just windward/leewards there is a whole other tactical thinking that goes into downwind as well. The boats are always close, always within seconds of each other and good tactics are well rewarded in this class.'

'With this kind of racing there is a solid base of 20, 30 and 40 year olds starting to emerge within the fleet as really significant players. There is still a population of older boys in the fleet and they are there because the boats are so good and they are not going to go find that level of racing somewhere else. There are a lot of people have been in Etchells for 20 or 30 years – that in itself is a testament to the quality of the class.'

National class president, Jake Gunther, is chasing 2012 worlds qualification -  Alex McKinnon ©?nid=90048   Click Here to view large photo

Some examples of the youth racing in the class are Matthew Chew (28yo, helm), Tom Slingsby (27yo, crew), Josh Torpy (19yo, crew), Ben Davis (21yo, crew), Jamie Woods (22yo, helm) and current world champion, 36-year-old Bill Hardesty.

The opportunity to compete in the Sydney Etchells World Championship, one of the events in host club Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s 150th year celebrations, is appealing. The class numbers during the lead-up to the Worlds have strengthened making the qualification racing in several of the fleets almost as tough as what is expected for the worlds. Then there is the element of competing in a World Championship on a level playing field against some exceptional international talent including Hardesty, Vince Brun, Noel Drennan, Ante Razmilovic, John Bertrand and Jud Smith.

Youth world championship 2001 class representative Matthew Chew joined the Brisbane Etchells Fleet in 2005 taking the helm of Daniel Belcher’s boat for the nationals and mid-winters. When that boat was sold Chew moved onto Jason Muir’s boat as crew to win the 2008 nationals and then a third at the mid-winters before taking out the big prize in 2009, the Etchells World Championship.

Chew it seems has had an interest in what he enthusiastically describes as his 'perfect fit' class since his early sailing days. 'I have always been drawn to one-design sailing as it attracts the best sailors in the world. I remember particularly Dennis Conner when I was a young kid. I think I had a picture on my wall of him sailing an Etchells, that was when I was sailing Sabots.'

Back on the water after a break, Chew has settled into the Etchells class again, recently buying his own boat and now campaigning it towards the Worlds qualification. Chew is on the younger side of the fleet members, particularly when it comes to owning one, but that has not made a great deal of difference to his enjoyment either on or off the water. 'The old fellows are very good, very supportive. They enjoy having another boat to race. They share their knowledge with me and I share mine with them.'

The Queensland State Championship this weekend is his first big World Championship campaign event before he moves down south to compete in the NSW State Championship followed by plenty of offshore weekend training.
Close quarter racing for crewman Jamie Woods in the 2011 Etchells Winters -  Kylie Wilson Positive?nid=90048 Image - copyright  


Another self-confessed weekend warrior, but with quite a different approach to his Etchells sailing is Lake Macquarie’s Jamie Woods. He has come from a match and skiff racing background and still likes to dabble in different classes in between his Etchells competition.

In June this year Woods reluctantly joined his dad, Tom Woods, as crew for the younger Woods’ first big Etchells regatta, the Mooloolaba winters. 'I was up there to fill in and then I decided I would sail the class for the rest of the season. So I made a deal with dad and said I don’t want to crew, I want to steer. He agreed, so I am steering for the rest of the season which is good.

'I was pretty good at it (helming) I thought back in my junior days and then I got too big so I crewed for about four years on 29ers and 49ers, but then I wanted to get back into steering.'

He jokingly said he doesn’t even like racing the Etchells, but in the next breath he is firm in his statement that the class attracts him because of the great racing and its tactical side. 'It is really close racing. I have stepped into it and I am finding it really hard to be competitive. I have gone through my whole life being up the front of the fleet and now I am cruising around the middle. It’s really hard.'

Woods just isn’t sure how he is going to fair trying to qualify for the Sydney worlds as he is also preparing to compete in the 49er class worlds in Perth. 'At the moment my outlook on it is, it depends is how lucky you are on the day. Everyone is a good sailor, it just depends on how much things go the right way for you at the time. So just try hard to make everything go the right for you.'

The Etchells World Championship 2012 will be conducted by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in conjunction with the Sydney Etchells Fleet from February 16th to 25th.

Event website http://www.etchellsworlds2012.org/worlds/




by Tracey Johnstone

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=90048

8:58 PM Thu 27 Oct 2011 GMT






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


Related News Stories:

30 Oct 2011  Etchells QLD States: Prentice defends title in tight series
30 Oct 2011  US champion flies in for Sydney Etchells Worlds 2012 qualifier
12 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship - Noel 'Nitro' Drennan second
11 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship 2011 crowns a winner
09 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship day three - Clarity at the top + Video
08 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship day 2 + Video
07 Jun 2011  Etchells World Championship 2011 day one to Hardesty
28 Feb 2011  Etchells Worlds 2011- Bill Hardesty returns to San Diego

News - USA and the World

















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,




















America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland




2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images   
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive   
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one   
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia   


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