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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Etchells Australia National Championship 2024 at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron - Day 1

by Sydney Etchells Fleet 8 Jan 13:43 PST 7-11 January 2024
Etchells Australia National Championship 2024 © Aero Media

Day 1 of the Etchells Nationals (hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron) was greeted with grey skies and lighter than forecast winds. The 33 entrants, which includes the usual mix of seasoned professionals, ex America's Cup and Olympic champions and importantly a strong contingent of Corinthian sailors who are the mainstay of the local fleets.

With an expectation of up to 3 races for the day the race committee headed out to a relatively quiet Sydney Harbour to get racing under way. Unfortunately the wind (and rain) didn't play ball and as is often the case the fleet was put on delay until the weather stabilized.

When racing did get under way it was quality who rose to the top for race 1, with John Bertrand on Triad2020 taking the win from Graeme Taylor (GT) on Magpie and Billy Merrington on First Tracks. 4th and 5th were taken out by the 2 international entrants from Hong Kong, Jamie McWilliam in 4th and regular participant in Australian regattas Mark Thornburrow in 5th.

Race 2 got under way late in the day, with a little more controversy, the winner of race 1 was the victim of a black flag and returned to the dock early. After what was a shifty and difficult race, local sailor Nick Kingsmill with his new skipper James Dorron on Vincero was the winner, Mark Thornburrow followed up his 5th with a 2nd, and Martin Hill on Lisa Rose dug back from a deep one in race 1 to finish 3rd. Great to see the youngest team in the fleet The Archer, skippered by Jack Abbott in 4th and JC Strong on Flying High finished 5th.

Perhaps as expected in a fleet like this, with no quarter given there were red flags flying as boats hit the dock and the jury will be busy this morning before the fleet heads out for a scheduled 3 races.

Overall results available here.

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