Etchells Worlds Coming to Cowes
Published on August 22nd, 2016
Cowes, UK (August 22, 2016) – 58 teams from all over the world have entered the 2016 Etchells World Championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Boasting at least thirteen current and past Etchells World Champions, as well as Olympic medalists, America’s Cup sailors, and world champions from numerous sailing classes.
Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. The event will be hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club, August 31 – September 10, 2016.
At the start of 2016, a fire raged through a boatyard in Cowes ravaging the Cowes Etchells Fleet. Not only has the class recovered, it has flourished as David Franks, Class Captain of the Cowes Etchells fleet, explains, “We lost more than half the fleet but we have come back stronger, there has been a real pulling together from fleets throughout the world. To have 58 Etchells teams of such quality at the worlds is just fantastic. None of this would have been possible without the help of our supporters.
Zhik and Spinlock have been long term partners of the Cowes Etchells fleet and Red Funnel Ferries and Cowes Yacht Haven have been so supportive, especially with the development of youth sailing, by providing free travel and discounted marina services for our youth programe. LionTree, Royal London Yacht Club and Royal Thames Yacht Club have all supported our youth sailing along with our Admiral of the Fleet, Ted Fort, who started off Etchells youth sailing by providing two fully funded Etchells 5 years ago.”
Racing at the Etchells World Championship will include a galaxy of stars including the reigning Etchells World Champion team of Skip Dieball, Jon McClean and Jeff Eiber from the USA. Previous Etchells World Champions confirmed for the event include John Bertrand (2010), Andrew Palfrey (1999 & 2010), Andy Beadsworth (2007), Jud Smith (2006), Dirk Kneulman (1998 & 2006), Paul Blowers (1997), Stephanie Roble (2014), Peter McNeill (2004), and Cameron Miles (1999).
Notable women sailors at the 2016 Etchells World Championships include Jeanne-Claude Strong, current Etchells Australasia Champion, and Shannon Bush, top female helm from America. British ladies competing include the 2011 420 World Champion, Annabel Vose and 2010 ISAF women’s match racing World Champions, and 2012 Olympians, Lucy and Kate McGregor.
From Australia, Oracle Team USA’s Grant Simmer, will be competing. Grant has been involved in the America’s Cup since winning, as navigator, on Australia II. In the Etchells Class, Grant is a past Australian Champion and 2015 World Grandmaster Champion.
From America, Steve Benjamin, a past Olympic medalist, 505 World Champion, and 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year returns to compete, having been runner-up in the 2015 Etchells World Championship. Multiple world champion, Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup sailor, Chris Larson, will also be competing.
Competing from Great Britain will be past Dragon World Champion, Olympic and Whitbread Round the World sailor, Lawrie Smith. Olympic medallist Ossie Stewart, and Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of Royal Ocean Racing Club, and former top ranked sailing match racing champion.
The 58th team to enter the 2016 Etchells World Championship is the Royal Thames YC Youth Academy Team, helmed by Tim Gratton. At the beginning of August, the young team won the prestigious Gertrude Cup by a narrow margin, defeating five past Etchells World Champions.
Prior to the 2016 Etchells World Championship, the current Etchells World Champion, Skip Dieball, will be running a training regatta on 28th of August. As a pre-worlds event, the Etchells European Championship will be raced August 29-30. Racing for the 2016 Etchells World Championship will be held from September 5-10.
A full program of social activities has been organized throughout the event, culminating on the 10th of September with the Justerini & Brooks Champagne Reception & Prize Giving Dinner, at the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Source: Event Media.