sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo 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

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong










America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ














Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   


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.
X6XL WAS US