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Tokyo Olympics meets Australian Etchells Championship in Mooloolaba, QLD

by Nic Douglass 7 Jun 22:25 PDT 9-13 June 2021
Australian Etchells Championship © Nic Douglass /

The Australian Etchells Championship will open tomorrow at 1800 hours with the competitors briefing at the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, located at The Wharf, Mooloolaba.

There will be close to 40 teams competing with a number of notable sailors, including the winners of the Etchells World Championship that was held in Brisbane in 2018.

The skipper of HillPDA Sailing Team, World Champion Martin Hill will be joined by gold and silver medalist Mat Belcher (2012, 2016) with his silver medallist crew from 2016, Will Ryan.

This incredible duo will be on board as part of a training unit for the Tokyo Olympics where they will compete together for Belcher's third, and Ryan's second Olympics on the 470 dinghy.

Interestingly, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan were competitors in the Etchells class in 2018; Belcher who was on board with Hill took the top spot over his crew, and now also Etchells team mate Will Ryan who finished second.

"How lucky am I" said HillPDA team leader Martin Hill on the crew he will have with him this weekend. Hill will also have additional members of his World Champion winning crew along with Belcher, Julian Plante will take the fourth spot, and they will also sail their World Champion winning boat from 2018, AUS 1449 Lisa Rose.

There are multiple prior winners of the Australian Etchells Championship, as well as the Australasian Championship among the fleet which will also be held in conjunction with the Australian Championship this weekend.

It's going to be all on after a serious break between major events for the class following 2020 postponements.

The last time we saw Etchells racing from Mooloolaba was for the Australasian Championships, held from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club at The Wharf in 2019, pre-COVID.

Sunshine Coast locals on "Our Thing" were the victors, with David Turton at the helm.

As always, there is so much more on our channels, head to, or @sailorgirlhq on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, iTunes, or Twitter.

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