Aussies lead as Etchells Worlds Gets Underway

Published on September 5th, 2016

Cowes, UK (September 5, 2016) – The 2016 Etchells World Championship started in earnest today for 58 teams with two races in the Central Solent. Teams from five different nations occupy the top ten places, but two teams from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Victoria Australia are at the top of the leaderboard.

It took four attempts to get the fleet away for Race One and the U-Flag start produced several casualties, including reigning Etchells World Champions, Skip Dieball, Jon McClean and Jeff Eiber (USA). “Yes, we will be back out fighting tomorrow; we have got our discard out of the way on the first race,” commented McClean.

Race One was won by Chris Hampton, Sam Haines, and Mark Andrews (AUS) while Ante Razmilovic (GBR), racing with Chris Larson and Stuart Flinn, scored a bullet in Race Two. Day One top performer was 2010 World Champ John Bertrand (AUS) racing with Paul Blowers and Ben Lamb. After two races, Bertrand leads by three points over Hampton, with Steve Benjamin (USA) in third.

“Consistency is the key and we could not have done better than that today,” commented Bertrand after posting a 4-2. “Between being a hero or a loser is the thickness of a sheet of paper. In Race One, we rounded the top mark in 30th and it was all about chipping away and eventually finishing 4th.

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“This regatta is about holding it together and seeing the forest from the trees, placing the boat in the best place for the wind and the tide, and dealing with all the boats around you. To win this regatta, you have to be able to come back from the dead – everybody will find themselves in that position during the week.”

Thomas Brennan (GBR) with Ian Dobson, Sam Maxfield and Honor Fell are in 8th overall and lead the 18 teams in the Corinthian Class. Martin Webster (AUS) with Annabel Vose, Peter Nicholas and Chris Smith are in second despite Vose taking an unscheduled swim. James Badenach (HKG) with Christian Thompson, Elliot Hanson and Martin Wrigley finished the day in third.

Bill Steele from Perth, Australia and Tim Patton from Bermuda, have accumulated 52 Etchells World Championships between them. Both fly a distinctive wine glass on their spinnaker. “This is my 25th Etchells Worlds but Tim has done 27,” notes Steele. “We both carry the wine glass on our spinnakers to signify a gentleman’s wager of a bottle of fine wine on every race. We can see each other on the race course and today, it was very close in the first race, which I managed to win, and got away well in the second to win quite well.”

Racing will continue tomorrow with two races scheduled.

Fifty-eight teams representing 11 nations will compete September 5-10. Six races shall constitute a series with 9 races planned in the Central Solent.

Day One Results (Top 10 of 58; 2 races)
1. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb , AUS – 4 -2 ; 6
2. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews , AUS – 1 -8 ; 9
3. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet , USA – 14 -5 ; 19
4. Raging Rooster, Peter Duncan / Thomas Blackwell / Judson Smith , USA – 2 -21 ; 23
5. K2, Andy Beadsworth / Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin , GBR – 16 -7 ; 23
6. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills , SIN – 7 -17 ; 24
7. Powwow, Pedro Andrade / Henry bagnall / Charles Nankin , POR – 3 -24 ; 27
8. Hephaestus, Thomas Brennan / Ian Dobson / Sam Maxfield / Honor Fell , GBR – 23 -4 ; 27
9. Sumo, Martin Webster / Annabel Vose / Peter Nicholas / Chris Smith , AUS – 9 -18 ; 27
10. La Tomenta, Shannon Bush / Brad Boston / Curt Oetking , USA – 5 -23 ; 28

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Report by Louay Habib.

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