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Nice One Team!

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 28 Oct 2018 14:00 PDT
Julian Plante, Martin Hill, Mat Belcher and Sean O'Rourke after winning the 2018 Etchells World Championship © Emily Scott Images

On Saturday, Martin Hill, Julian Plante, Sean O'Rourke and Mat Belcher became the 2018 Etchells World Champions. Nice one. So many awesome sailors from all over the globe congregated on Moreton Bay for the challenge, so to all of you, nice one! David Irvine's Organising Committee from the Brisbane Etchells Fleet, in collaboration with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and with the mighty Wilson brothers in charge on the track, ran a supremely well executed regatta, both on and off the water. You guessed it – Nice one!

Martin Hill's crew were deserved winners of the event, and were also humble and full of praise for all those around them. Meeting some heroes like Lawrie Smith was also way cool, seeing once again our Australian Sailor of the Year, Matt Wearn, getting to know Jake Lilley and Lewis Brake, as well as chatting with many old friends was sublime. Could have used nice one, but I am pretty sure you get the point by now.

Yet out of it all, the main thing that dawned on me was how healthy sailing seems to be at the moment. Not only from a participation by all ages and categories of sailor point of view, but also the number of new boats that were in the fleet. A vibrant industry is simply very good for everyone.

On that particular point, all-round nice guy and industry stalwart, Kevin Barr, was in attendance at the regatta. I have been fortunate enough to use his Barz Optics specs for years now, and they are pretty damn robust, which is handy when you abuse them like I do. Now I had not actually got around to purchasing a new pair after I tortured the last, so was at the regatta with a sub-standard product. New BFF, Andrew Barney, actually did me a favour when he deep-sixed them during the regatta. At least that is how he's pitching his efforts to send them over the side. That's two pairs of mine that Moreton Bay has now claimed.

On hearing the news, Kevin quickly stepped in with a pair of his latest, which are polarised, photochromic and float. Read that Barney? At any rate, they are simply marvellous, lightweight, grip your skull, and work faultlessly. It all happened on the day when the race channel out on the course was full of hilarious banter about what you could and could not see with your Barz Optics specs, which had followed on from a huge mention in the morning briefing.

Really, really saddened to hear about the cancelling of the 'new' Coffs race. I had been a fan of it since getting wind of it something like 16 months ago now. Unlike a Category Zero or One, where it takes at least a year of planning before you attend, as a Cat3+ you don't have to book in too early. This is kind of handy. They had eight booked in already, so it was still going to easily get into the teens, for you can kind of make your mind up, hire the appropriate gear if you do not have it, be on the start line just after Christmas, and back before NYE with literally only weeks to go.

To my mind was the right race at the right time for a sector not interested in a multi-day race, let alone a multi-week return program either. Also, it takes time to re-educate the market after a lengthy absence, and as the times have moved on, it also served straight into a new market not necessarily already across ocean racing. The latter is way different from the 80s and 90s when it was thriving. Just saying...

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about records in the Middle Sea Race, blowing bags on the River Derwent, intel form North Sails, Finns, Route du Rhum, gear from Musto, 2019 Transat, the 18s, AC and World Sailing and all the goings on there..., apparel from Zhik, records with Alex Thomson, regattas for the Olympic classes in Europe next year, the Clipper, that beast known as Macif, 5.5, J/24, the Volvo, the Yacht Racing Forum, the Golden Globe, Mirabaud, France's team for SailGP, Hervey Bay, Heaven Can Wait, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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