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Big breeze to spice up Coast NZ Etchells Nationals

by Andrew Delves, RNZYS PR & Communications Manager 4 Nov 2020 22:47 PST
The Etchells class is well regarded as one of the most technical yachts to sail well, with many different controls and tuning options. © Andrew Delves

A twenty-knot forecast is set to spice up the Çoast NZ Etchells Class National Championship being run by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland this weekend.

Ten very competitive crews will do battle in some classic one design fleet racing in the Etchells across Saturday and Sunday, with the winner being crowned the National Champion.

The fleet includes some incredibly talented Etchells sailors, including defending champion Andrew Wills. Wills has seen the forecast, and the entry list, and is looking forward to what is going to be a great weekend of racing -

"We are really looking forward to getting out and competing at the highly competitive Coast NZ Etchells Nationals against some great teams this weekend. It's a bit of a different feeling heading into nationals this year after only sailing the boat twice during the last year due to COVID and other commitments. Traditionally we would have sailed the boat every week for months prior. Some of the other teams have put in a lot of time and will be really hard to beat."

"We also have some new designed sails for the regatta which will get a baptism of fire in the forecast breezy conditions. I'm also looking forward to sailing with my long-time friend and work colleague, Derek Scott. Derek, has not sailed Etchells for years but has previously placed second in the Etchells Worlds and won many national championships."

Alex Webster, Coast New Zealand Managing Director, is also a keen Etchells sailor and the class organiser, is also competing again this year on board Magrette. Webster is proud to be supporting this event, and is hoping some the sponsorship goodwill will come back his way in the form of racing luck -

"I have been involved with the Etchells, here and abroad, for 25 years and the racing never gets old. This year, the fleet welcomes some new faces, some young guns, and some old hands - the racing has never been closer!"

"Coast New Zealand is delighted once again to support the fleet as sponsor of the Coast New Zealand Etchell Class National Championship 2020. In that capacity, I wish all the competitors the best of luck, but I reserve some of that luck to myself as a longshot for the National title."

It's anyone guess who will come on top this weekend, with other talented teams led by Laurie Jury, Lincoln Fraser and Craig Greenwood all with a great chance of halting Wills' quest for back-to-back titles.

There is also some great youth talent on show, with Niall Malone bringing an all RNZYS Performance Programme team to the party. Malone has an upgraded boat will be looking to take on the experienced teams in the fleet.

Racing will take place on the water off Takapuna Beach, with Janet Airey in control as the Race Officer under the mentoring eye of experienced Race Officer Megan Kensington.

Results and more regatta information can be found here.

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