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30th Australian Eastern Region International Etchells Championship at Metung Yacht Club

by Metung Yacht Club 29 Jan 11:31 PST
Jack Bate, Peter Bate and Peter Kant in Race 4 - 30th Eastern Region International Etcells Championship © Julie-Anne McPherson

Over the Australia Day weekend Metung Yacht Club hosted the 30th Eastern Region International Etchells Class One Design Regatta sponsored by Julie-Anne McPherson Photography.

The fleet of 13 Etchells representing Metung Yacht Club, Royal Tasmania Yacht Club, Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Blairgowrie Yacht Club and Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club.

This was the largest participation for a few years and shows the strong growth in the class in the Gippsland Lakes Region. This was also highlighted by the young sailors joining the class and pushing the seniors hard with such young guns as Tom Russell, Mitch Kant and Ed Guiness consistently in the higher standings.

PRO Jacquie Crawford and her team got of all seven scheduled races in fast succession over the three days of competition. The 0.6 nautical mile legs kept the fleet tight and close with a heavy emphasis on getting good consistent starts. Everyone quickly realized that it was all but impossible to work your way back on such short course if you didn't and the results reflected just that.

Winning the Eastern Region International Etchells Regatta for the 5th time was Jeff Rose skippering War of the Roses representing Metung Yacht Club, crewed by life time mates Fred Haes and Damian Daniel who started sailing together some 45 years ago.

Saturday brought light winds of five to 12 knots from the South East. War of the Roses won the first heat followed by David Strange who skippered The Archer to win heat 2.

Sunday had light winds forecast again from the South East with the winds in the first race being unsettled. Toby Richardson representing Royal Tasmania Yacht Club won race three.

Races four and five were sailed in a South Easterly that had built from 16 to 20 knots with both races being won by War of the Roses.

Monday brought about perfect sailing conditions, flat water and a consistent 10 to 12 knot and again from South East. The scoreboard was close with any of the top four going into the last day able to win, only four points separated second third and fourth.

Race six was won by Graham (Lefty) Aldersea and Stuart Loft in White Noise by the biggest margin of any race in the whole regatta. Toby Richardson was over the line early so put pressure on themselves to keep second place overall. The Archer sailed by David Strange did the same in race seven by being over the line early and having to return, and by doing so nearly gave away second place overall to Toby Richardson in E'xcite.

Final podium positions:

11 points - 1st War of the Roses - Jeff Rose, Fred Haes and Damien Daniels
19 points - 2nd The Archer - David Strange, Buster Hooper and Brandon Kibby
22 points - 3rd E'xcite - Toby Richardson, Robert Gash and Wayne Johnston

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