Deep Fleet for Etchells World Championship
Published on September 4th, 2016
Cowes, UK (September 4, 2016) – Eleven nations will take part in the 2016 Etchells World Championship, with 58 teams to battle it out in the Solent on September 5 to 10.
A closer look at the fleet reveals immense quality in depth; 14 past and present Etchells World Champions are just the tip of the iceberg. From dinghy to Maxi World Champions, arguably the coolest collection of sailors, anywhere in the world, has gathered in Cowes. Competing are 20 Olympians, with four gold and three bronze medals between them, as well as World Champions from 24 different classes and America’s Cup competitors and winners.
World class sailors include 2015 Etchells World Champions Skip Dieball (USA), Jon McClean (USA) and Jeff Eiber (USA); America’s Cup winning skipper, Etchells World Champion and Olympic medallist John Bertrand (AUS); Two-time Olympic gold medallist and six-time 470 World Champion Malcolm Page (AUS); Olympic silver medallist, Fireball, 505 and Maxi World Champion Steve Benjamin (USA); Five time Olympian and two-time gold medallist Luis Doreste (ESP); Round the world legend, two-time Olympic bronze medallist and Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith (GBR); Five time GP14 World Champion Ian Dobson (GBR); and Melges 24, Melges 32, J/22, J/24, Mumm 36, Swan 45 and Maxi World Champion Chris Larson (USA).
Four World Champion yachtswomen will be competing: World Champion Match Racing and Olympic sisters, Lucy and Kate McGregor (GBR), 420 & J/111 World Champion Annabel Vose (GBR), and Etchells World Champion and 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble (USA).
“This is my Zen, it’s like meditation,” commented John Bertrand, the man who wrestled the America’s Cup from a fellow Etchells World Champion, Dennis Connor. “Everything else just gets stripped away at the Etchells Worlds, and we are all back to just pure sailing. Some other areas of the sport are full of politics but not here, which is why it is so popular with so many different sailors. The Etchells Class is probably the most competitive one-design class going, one mistake and you get spat out the back, and nobody is going to apologize. Ashore after racing the spirit is just fantastic.”
Racing at the 2016 Etchells World Championship will be held from Monday to Saturday, September 5-10, with multiple windward-leeward racing in the Central Solent. Six races will constitute a series.
Report by Louay Habib.