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2024 Etchells World Championships at Fremantle Sailing Club - Day 3

by Suellen Hurling 20 Mar 05:10 PDT 18-22 March 2024

Shiftier than a bag of snakes!

Day 3 of the 2024 Etchells World Championships brought a new level of frustration for the 40 competing boats, with light and shifty conditions across the race course all afternoon.

Tensions were as high as the thermometer as the fleet was met with an oscillating and unsettled breeze.

For Race 5, the Race Committee set a course of 1.6nm and aimed for a duration of 60-70 minutes.

Magpie, Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, and Richard Allanson managed to outsmart the conditions and claim their second bullet of the regatta, pushing them ahead of the fleet. They jumped from third overall after Race 4 to the top of the scoreboard after six races. Magpie is the first team to get two race wins so far in this regatta.

"It was tricky. We had a pretty decent day, winning the first race easily, but it was still quite stressful. The second race, we sort of coughed it up down the first run, which is a bit annoying, but I'm sure there are many more stories of woe out there!" said Taylor.

"We're looking forward to tomorrow, and hopefully, we can get out there and get the job done," continued Taylor.

USA1494, AMac had their best race of the series, finishing second in Race 6. They bettered their Race 2 result by one place, giving them a slight edge after a disappointing BFD in Race 4.

The Hong Kong four-up team of Mark Thornburrow, Malcolm Page, Mike Huang, and Julian Plante also had their best race of the regatta to date, claiming third.

Throughout the race, the conditions began to decrease, and with the shifts becoming greater than a white shark.

Top Corinthian crew for Race 5 was AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left, Robin Deussen, Dave Snoad, and Jesse Mitton.

Race 5 Results: (top three)

1. AUS - Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, Richard Allanson
2. USA - Andy Beadsworth-Brian Ledbetter / Ben Lamb
3. HKG - Mark Thornburrow, Malcolm Page, Mike Huang, and Julian Plante

Race Officer on the Pin End Boat, Kevin Wilson, said the conditions were oscillating all day.

"Throughout the day, we saw the breeze go from 090 to 020," said Wilson.

"We did have a 'Charlie Minus, ' bringing the course length from 1.5 to 1.4nm to cope with the fading conditions."

Before heading into Race 6, there was another change.

"We went under AP for five minutes to make some course adjustments, then got into it," said Wilson.

The Wilson Brothers, Ross, and Kevin, called for Race 6 to be 1.2nm.

"We saw everything from 6-7 knots and up to 12-15 in the gusts. During the second race, we saw good gusts, but you had to be in the race place, and that's where JB (John Bertrand) got ahead - he got lucky!

Yachting legend John Bertrand, who has won two previous Etchells world championships (2016 & 2010), had a glamour Race 6 to finish the day with a smile and pushing him and his crew, George Richardson, and Lewis Brake, up to eighth overall.

"It was brutal out there. Massive shifts, in some cases, with air coming down from the heavens. One minute, you're laying the mark on one tack, and then boom, you're laying it on another tack," said Bertrand.

"But we were on the right side of the shifts in the second race, and we were able to play the game, which was terrific. The quality of the competition is just fabulous."

"This class is the best one-design racing in Australia from my perspective. And what's great is that we're getting many more girls involved in Etchells," said Bertrand.

Peter Ahern, Gordon Blaauw, and Mark Spearman, AUS1422 Yo, were also on the lucky side of the shifts, claiming second in Race 6 (and top Corinthian), their best race of the series. Another best so far was Peter Merrington, Ian McKillop, and Steve Jarvin, AUS1485 First Tracks, who claimed third.

Race 6 Results: (top three)

1. AUS - John Bertrand, George Richardson, and Lewis Brake
2. AUS - Peter Ahern, Gordon Blaauw, and Mark Spearman
3. AUS - Peter Merrington, Ian McKillop, and Steve Jarvin

With Magpie having a good day and moving into first overall, there has been a slight reshuffle in the results. The top three after four races are still the top three after six races, but Taylor, May, and Allanson have moved into the top spot. This has pushed Graham Vials and his crew into second place and Michael Manford's team into third.

The drop comes into play once seven races have been completed, which means the first race of Day 4, Thursday 21st March, we could see some big changes.

The Race Committee announced that Day 4 races will go ahead as per the planned schedule, with the first warning signal at 1300 hours local time.

Results after Day 3: (top five, 6 races)

1. AUS - Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, and Richard Allanson - 32pts
2. GBR - Graham Vials, Billy Russell, and Andrew Lawson - 34pts
3. AUS - Michael Manford, Dean McAullay, and Nicholas Gray - 38pts
4. HKG - Mark Thornburrow, Malcolm Page, Mike Huang, and Julian Plante - 65pts
5. AUS - Chris Hampton, Charlie Cumbley, and Paul Childs - 67pts

2024 Etchells World Championship - Schedule

  • Monday 18 March - Warning Signal: 1000 hours AWST / Race 1 & Race 2
  • Tuesday 19 March - Warning Signal: 1300 hours AWST / Race 3 & Race 4
  • Wednesday 20 March - Warning Signal: 1300 hours AWST / Race 5 & Race 6
  • Thursday 21 March - Warning Signal: 1300 hours AWST / Race 7 & Race 8
  • Friday 22 March - Warning Signal: 1200 hours AWST / Race 9, Prize Giving Presentation

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