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Part of the fleet at the windward mark on day 1 of the 2018 Etchells World Championship - photo © Mitch Pearson / SurfSailKite
Part of the fleet at the windward mark on day 1 of the 2018 Etchells World Championship - photo © Mitch Pearson / SurfSailKite

Etchells World Championship 2018

On shore this morning you felt that it was going to be a grand day. The time had come. Race one, and even race two were upon us.

A champion crew was soon going to be determined for the 2018 Etchells World Championship being held on Moreton Bay in Brisbane, Australia.

Yet once out past Green Island, there was less of the 8-10 knots from the Sou’east that had blessed the grounds of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly, and much, much more of the three knots or less, and from anywhere ranging from 010 to 110 degrees. So it was not surprising at all to see the Answering Pennant hoisted before the midday hour arrived.

Some thought we might see some action by 1300hrs. Others went for a more realistic 1430hrs, which ended up being much closer to the mark in the end. This also meant it would be a one-race affair for the day. So with more than a couple of hours to kill, shade became the commodity in requirement, and so tarps, umbrellas and other items began adorning craft, as their sailors sought shelter from the powerful sun.

The good money was placed on a U Flag start being adopted, which meant that effectively you were going home for the day with no racing and no result, and alas for one craft this did occur.

The Race Officers had been clear about this, and so it was good to see that the fleet adopted a no nonsense policy when it came to starting, even if it did mean the spectators were not going to see the usual three or maybe four goes at getting a clean start away. With a 1200m long start line and a 2.5nm haul to the top, all the patience had been used in the waiting, so it was totally clear that it was all about the business end of the game out on the water today.

oday the right of centre was favoured and would be at least 12 knots from the Sou’east, but at the windward mark the increased tidal flow and shallower water meant the waves did stack up a little bit more, especially once that tide fully turned and you had it competing with the wind.

Ultimately the winner was Havoc, (AUS 1461) which is skippered by Iain Murray, with Grant Simmer and Richie Allanson on board. Of course, none of them really need any introduction, so in speaking with Murray afterwards he said, “It is nice to start the regatta, and sail well in the first race. There are a lot of anxious people out there, so getting a good start and first beat to windward, where you can find your rhythm without too much angst is a great way to begin a campaign.”

On the second work to windward they did do well, which Murray commented on, “I think we had a good rhythm in the boat, and we have been working hard on our trim in the last couple of days with our coaches. We have found an easier way to sail the boat, which allows us a little more flexibility in the waves, and not as cranky boat as we’ve had in the past.”

“With a hundred boats and all the spectator craft it gets really choppy, very quickly. If you get a good start then you are in the clear, but when you come around the leeward gate for the first time, and all hell breaks loose. There are boats everywhere, and chop, and all of a sudden you’re in entirely different conditions.”

“To get through all of that, and I think we transitioned that really well, so we made a gain on Lisa Rose (Martin Hill, Sean O’Rourke, Julian Plante, and Mat Belcher), as well as some breathing room on the crews behind, which in turn allows us to be a little more aggressive on the tack. There is certainly some advantage for being in the lead group, and hopefully we can keep the train going!”

Speaking of huddling very much under the large umbrella that adorned Magpie (Graeme Taylor, Steve Jarvin and James Mayo), Murray said, “We’ve been working with Magpie and also 1435 (Jeanne-Claude Strong, Marcus Burke, Seve Jarvin and Jeni Danks) for a long time. They have been great training partners. They keep it real, and have space for some humour in amongst it all. Just good people.”

Of tomorrow, and all the days ensuing until Saturday, Murray simple said, “I think a regatta like this is all about not making a lot of mistakes and maximising your moments!”

Indeed there were many a smile inside the top ten places today. Gen XY (AUS 864), which is crewed by Brian Donovan, Ben Vercoe, Ash Deeks and skippered by Matt Chew, who said of their sixth place today, “We’re super stoked to get race one over and done with a good result. We sailed clean and fast, are really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Team Barry (90), Damien King, Jeremy O'Connell, Eliza Solly and Ashley Stoddart, take part of the fleet up to the weather mark on day 1 of the 2018 Etchells World Championship - photo © Mitch Pearson / SurfSailKite

Team Barry (90), Damien King, Jeremy O’Connell, Eliza Solly and Ashley Stoddart, take part of the fleet up to the weather mark on day 1 of the 2018 Etchells World Championship – photo © Mitch Pearson / SurfSailKite

Mark Thornburrow was all smiles in the clubhouse afterwards, and why wouldn’t you be when your Racer C (HKG 1406), crewed by Mike Huang, Alexander Conway and 470 star, Will Ryan was in a very solid ninth place.

Yet without any doubt at all, seeing AUS511 (Grand V), so a very old boat indeed, and one of the only ones around with coloured topsides still, collect eighth place was wonderful. To learn that this is indeed part of the Royal Prince Alfred YC’s Youth programme (under 25) was even better.

William Dargaville, Sarah Parker, James Farquharson, with David Chapman filling in today for Jessica Angus, were both very relaxed, and also really excited by their efforts. Talking with them all ashore, the group commented that, “The highlight has to be that race. The close racing really is what it is all about. We do like the challenge and technical aspects, sailing offshore here with the big fleet really has cemented the whole notion into our minds, as we got to see the craft come into their element.”

Will and Sarah are no strangers to keelboats, with the 2016 Youth Match Racing Championship to their credit. “There are a lot of technical details that mark the difference between those Elliotts and these Etchells for us to get our heads around. So with Jess coming on we hope that they can perhaps even get a bullet”, added Chapman as he stepped off.

Reigning World Champion, Steve Benjamin, with Michael Menninger, Ian Liberty, Jonathan Goldsberry, on board Stella Blue finished in 18th place today. Benjamin commented quayside, “The race course was absolutely perfect. The race management was spot on, and they waited just the right amount of time to get the race away and it was dead true. 120 degrees was a perfect course. We were quite surprised by the tide change. It was a little more than we were expecting, but it worked out in our favour, so we’re happy about it. It was a really challenging racetrack, we’re having a lot of fun, and really thrilled to be here.”

Racing continues tomorrow, Tuesday October 23.

The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in the Brisbane suburb of Manly will host the 95-boat strong armada for the 2018 Etchells World Championship, as they tussle it out to see which crew reigns supreme. Racing begins in earnest on Sunday October 21, and concludes on Saturday October 27. Now to find out all you need to know about the boats, on the water, off the water, or to register to receive news, simply go to 2018etchellsworlds.organd click away!

Results after Day 1:

Pos Boat Name Nationality Bow no Sail No Skipper Crew 1 Crew 2 Crew 3 R1 Pts
1st Havoc AUS 7 1461 Iain Murray Grant Simmer Richard Allanson 1 1
2nd Lisa Rose AUS 19 1449 Martin Hill Sean O’Rourke Julian Plante Matt Belcher 2 2
3rd Whisper AUS 57 1330 Bruce Ferguson Cameron Miles David Sampson 3 3
4th Roulette AUS 5 1377 Jud Smith Mark Johnson Andrew Smith 4 4
5th Triad2 AUS 2 1440 John Bertrand Ben Lamb Noel Drennan 5 5
6th Gen XY AUS 64 864 Matthew Chew Brian Donovan Ben Vercoe Ashley Deeks 6 6
7th The Hole Way AUS 37 1306 Grant Crowle James Mayjor Joe McMillan 7 7
8th Grand V AUS 51 511 William Dargaville Sarah Parker James Farquharson David Chapman / Jessica Angus 8 8
9th Racer C HKG 84 1406 Mark Thornburrow Mike Huang Alexander Conway Will Ryan 9 9
10th Our Thing AUS 85 1446 David Turton Josh Torpy Klaus Lorenz 10 10
11th America Jane 11 USA 98 1198 Scott Kaufman Lucas Calabrese Jesse Kirkland Austen Anderson 11 11
12th Iron Lotus AUS 4 1442 Tom King David Edwards Greg O’Shea Ivan Wheen 12 12
13th Skanky Gene USA 27 1464 Jay Cross Mike Buckley George Peet Eric Shampain 13 13
14th War Canoe USA 33 1363 Michael Goldfarb Morton Henriksen Skip Dieball 14 14
15th Tango AUS 43 1443 Chris Hampton Sam Haines Charlie Cumbley 15 15
16th Magpie AUS 47 1447 Graeme Taylor Steve Jarvin James Mayo 16 16
17th BGR AUS 17 1317 Bradley Ginnivan Scott Miller Stuart Lee 17 17
18th Stella Blue USA 1 1427 Stephen Benjamin Michael Menninger Ian Liberty Jonathan Goldsberry 18 18
19th Ciao AUS 79 1244 Douglas McGain Michael O’Brien Anthony Nossiter 19 19
20th Alfie GBR 34 1434 Lawrie Smith Richard Parslow Goncalo Ribeiro Pedro Andrade 20 20
21st Wobbegong2 AUS 36 1436 Doug Flynn Steve McConaghy Henry Kernot 21 21
22nd The General HKG 53 1285 James Badenach Christian Thompson Martin Wrigley NIcholas Behrens 22 22
23rd Oatmeal USA 26 926 Peter Duncan Andrew Palfrey Victor Diaz de Leon Sasha Ryan 24 24
24th Triad AUS 83 1383 William Voerman Lucas Down Gary Van Lunteren 25 25
25th Iris V AUS 6 853 Peter McNeill John Boyd Kane Sinclair 26 26
26th Les Freak Sont Chic HKG 28 884 Martin Kaye Marco Pocci Ben Cornish 27 27
27th Emotional Rescue AUS 38 1385 William Cuneo Stephen Girdis Victoria Pryce Greg Clarke 28 28
28th Dawn Raid AUS 61 1361 Ian Johnson John Collingwood Tim Ede 29 29
29th Mojo AUS 46 1146 Mark Kennedy Madi Kennedy Simon Ellis Indiabeau Laborie 30 30
30th Dream On HKG 93 1269 Greg Farrell Daniel Belcher Nagisa Sakai Alex Gough 31 31
31st Encore AUS 70 870 Peter Conde Brian Hillier Myles Baron‑Hay 32 32
32nd The Cure AUS 74 1374 David Clark Raymond Smith Alan Smith Angus Sherring 33 33
33rd Dangerzone NZL 96 1396 Lincoln Fraser Geoff Woolley Sam Melville Paul Snow‑Hansen 34 34
34th Chelsea Lady AUS 67 1267 Bill Steele Matthew Jerwood Pat Vos 35 35
35th Log AUS 18 1021 Mark Bradford Vaughan Prentice Darren Hutchison Carissa Bridge 36 36
36th African Queen NGR 50 1450 Jan Muysken Laurence Mead Simon Smith 37 37
37th Top 40 AUS 32 1332 Peter Merrington Ian McKillop Michael Coxon 38 38
38th 1435 AUS 35 1435 Jeanne‑Claude Strong Seve Jarvin Marcus Burke Jeni Danks 39 39
39th Animal House AUS 20 1320 Dirk van der Struyf Richard Rowell Luke Paterson 40 40
40th Land Rat AUS 22 1422 John Warlow Todd Anderson Curtis Skinner 41 41
41st Cruel Jane NZL 48 1348 Andrew Wills Simon Cooke Anatole Masfen 42 42
42nd Flirtation AUS 62 1026 Matthew Crawford Robert Crawford Lucy Shephard Karl Bromfield 43 43
43rd Annie USA 88 1388 Gary Gilbert Andrew Heenan Claire Heenan Stephen Girdis 44 44
44th Just 2 Funny AUS 44 1144 Trevor Martin Angus Lane Steve Cook 45 45
45th The Martian USA 3 1232 Marvin Beckmann Jeff Eiber Wilson Stout Serina Vilage 46 46
46th Fifteen Plus NZL 77 1059 Craig Greenwood Jeremy Scantlebury Sam Meech 47 47
47th Barry AUS 90 924 Damien King Jeremy O’Connell Eliza Solly Ashley Stoddart 48 48
48th Waterloo Too AUS 21 921 Noel Paterson Andrew Wiklund Brad Bell 49 49
49th Rapscallion AUS 65 1365 David Healey Ian Miller Kevin Molen 50 50
50th Crews Control AUS 99 994 Paul Minter John Minter Bruce Swane 51 51
51st Curved Air AUS 81 1118 George Johnstone Mark Thomson John Humphries 52 52
52nd Odyssey AUS 54 1254 Jill Connell Wade Morgan Gordon Maguire 53 53
53rd Rat Pack AUS 63 963 Grantham Kitto Bradley Moore Gary Smith 54 54
54th Avalon AUS 10 1346 Michael Bellingham Will Canty Mike Hughes 55 55
55th Forte AUS 59 1359 Mark Crier Andrew Harry Andy Feathers 56 56
56th Shindig AUS 86 1268 Robert Weir Paul Thackray Will Northan 57 57
57th Mona Lisa AUS 89 925 Matthew Whitnall Robert Bishop Harley Kruse Blake Wilson 58 58
58th Thelastone AUS 42 1392 Steve Billingham Kevin Nixon Will Lewis 59 59
59th Kalika 3 AUS 14 1314 Ian Audsley Gordon Otten Peter Kelly 60 60
60th Bait N Switch AUS 15 1215 Jake Lilley Matt Wearn Lewis Brake SCP 61
60th Touch Pause Engage AUS 68 1186 Michael Stovin‑Bradford Andrew Gordon David Baker 61 61
62nd Iris III AUS 52 1325 Andy Kearnan Hamish Hardy Ben Durham 62 62
63rd Great White Hunter AUS 40 1401 David Dunn Andrew Howe Stuart Clark 63 63
64th Fumanchu AUS 80 1444 Mark Roberts Chad Elsegood Matthew Johnston 64 64
65th Highlander AUS 66 1226 Martin Webster Robbie Gibbs Will Boulden Zoe Thomson 65 65
66th That’s Life AUS 31 1399 Ian Crisp David Buckland Jefferson Bacon 66 66
67th The Saint AUS 41 941 Martin Sinclair David Smith Liam Murray Jordan Barney 67 67
68th AUS1463 AUS 92 1292 Matthew Ramaley Will Thomson Adam Turk 68 68
69th 2107 Racing AUS 12 1213 Jason Antill Dave Taylor Jack Andrew 69 69
70th Finesse AUS 75 875 Malcolm Parker Harry Hall Ruby Scholten Anneliese Scholten 70 70
71st Athena AUS 58 1258 Alistair Cowen Mike Allan Brad Warneke 71 71
72nd Stampede GBR 29 1329 Rob Goddard Jack Muldoon Sam Penhaul Smith Diana Kissane 72 72
73rd Perfect Balance AUS 78 1387 Brendan Garner Chris Manton Ben O’Brien Joshua Garner 73 73
74th Panther AUS 23 1102 Steve O’Rourke Burke Melia Tim MacGillivray 74 74
75th Sea Legs AUS 87 1287 Matthew Madsen Laurence Wood Todd Hughes 75 75
76th Pedro II AUS 24 1366 Mark Woodland Grant Cramer Mal Ware 76 76
77th Miss Murphy USA 71 971 Kjeld Hestehave Dan Tooth Brian Pike 77 77
78th Should’a Gone Left AUS 95 1395 Peter Coleman Glenn Ferguson John Shallvey 78 78
79th War of the Roses AUS 60 1360 Jeff Rose Taylor Rose Richard Smith 79 79
80th Goodvibes AUS 11 1288 Robert Holm Mark Leman Leroy McAvoy 80 80
81st Rogue AUS 30 1130 Robin Row Sam Johnson Gregory Doolan Kate Baisden 81 81
82nd Madness HKG 39 1339 Charlie Manzoni Kevin Crandall Tiger Mok Will Bridge 82 82
83rd Incentive BER 49 1249 Tim Patton Campbell Patton Rockal Evans 83 83
84th Surprise AUS 82 1128 Matthew Fisk Ryan Fisk Brett Sims 84 84
85th Voodoo Spirit AUS 55 1024 Guyon Wilson Alistair Lee Ben Ramage 85 85
86th Walk on Water AUS 25 1025 Brett Heath Glenn Norton Andrew Poulton 86 86
87th The Don AUS 91 1291 Don Wilson Graeme Murray Brian Hawthorne 87 87
88th Spandangles AUS 94 1294 Kerry Spencer Fraser Spencer Nicholas Spencer 88 88
89th Knot Easy AUS 76 876 Jason Hawkins Jim Snow Chris Nezmah 89 89
90th Chad AUS 72 1318 Stephen Bradford Ollie Nicholas Elliot Noye 90 90
91st Trekka AUS 13 1275 Craig Coulsen Terry Ellis Carel Pretorious 91 91
92nd Fast Eddy AUS 73 1156 Damien Williams Peter Austen Julia Clare Harry Wieland 92 92
93rd Mens Shirts Short Skirts AUS 45 1141 Peter Stubbings Ross Melville Dick Stephens UFD 95
93rd The Good The Bad and The Ugly AUS 16 1316 Jonathan Harris (co‑skipper) Peter Cush (co‑skipper) Ryan Cush DNF 95

by John Curnow

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