Ronstan

Field Closes in on Bertand at Etchells Worlds

Published on September 9th, 2016

Cowes, UK (September 9, 2016) – The penultimate day of the Etchells World Championship produced another chapter in a highly competitive regatta. The wind was still in the upper range of 20+ knots, but a more southerly component produced gusty, shifting conditions for two races.

The wind came over the top of the Isle of Wight, accelerating across the Eastern Solent pumping shifts both left and right. Getting off the start line, into clear air, has been paramount throughout this championship. However, getting the wrong side of a big shift today, could and did, undo even the best start.

John Bertrand (AUS) is in pole position, but that lead has been eroded. Noel Drennan (AUS) momentarily took the overall lead, but ended the day 8 points behind Bertrand. Stephen Benjamin (USA) maintains third, but had another day with drama, with a man overboard who was recovered. Benjamin is 11 points off the lead. In this fleet any of the three top teams could have a shocker tomorrow. With just one race remaining tomorrow, the 2016 Etchells World Championship is going to the wire.

Dragon World Champion, Olympic bronze medallist and Round the World legend Lawrie Smith (GBR) took the gun in Race 7. Smith was pushed all the way by Noel Drennan (AUS) and Anatole Masfen (NZL), who finished third. The result put Smith up into the top five, but more importantly, with Bertrand scoring 34th, Drennan was the new overall leader, by a single point.

In Race 8, Double Olympian, America’s Cup helmsman and past Etchells World Champion Andy Beadsworth (GBR) came off the line with power and speed, but it wasn’t enough to win the race. Drennan and Smith both looked to be in the chocolates but got rolled downwind as a shift favoured the chasing fleet. Drennan finished 18th, when a podium score looked likely, and Bertrand retained the overall lead.

Mark Thornburrow (AUS) played the shifts well, and in the latter part of the race, covered brilliantly from the front to take the bullet. Beadsworth (GBR) ended up in second with James Badenach (AUS) finishing third for his podium appearance. Badenach’s team are almost assured of taking the Corinthian Prize, but will be looking to break into the top ten overall tomorrow.

Racing at the 2016 Etchells World Championship concludes tomorrow with high winds forecast.

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

Day Five Results (Top 10 of 58; 8 races)
1. John Bertrand/ Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb, AUS – 4 -2 -22 -5 -5 -6 -[34] -8; 52
2. Noel Drennan/ Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills, SIN – 7 -17 -1 -12 -16 -5 -2 -[18]; 60
3. Steve Benjamin/ Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet, USA – 14 -5 -5 -1 -17 -[20] -10 -11; 63
4. Chris Hampton/ Sam Haines / Mark Andrews, AUS – 1 -8 -[28] -13 -3 -24 -9 -10; 68
5. Lawrie Smith/ Joost Houweling / Tim Tavinor, GBR – [40] -6 -3 -6 -27 -9 -1 -22; 74
6. Mark Thornburrow/ Mike Huang / Malcolm Page / Simon Cooke, HKG – 18 -12 -9 -4 -[59] -29 -5 -1; 78
7. Ante Razmilovic/ Chris Larson / Stuart Flinn, GBR – [30] -1 -10 -17 -20 -12 -6 -13; 79
8. Seamus McHugh/ Luis Doreste / David Vera Vera / Leo Ramio, GBR – 21 -14 -2 -3 -[26] -11 -20 -9; 80
9. Andy Beadsworth/ Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin, GBR – 16 -7 -20 -11 -[43] -2 -27 -2; 85
10. Skip Dieball/ Jon McClean / Jeff Eiber, USA – [59] -10 -13 -35 -8 -3 -4 -15; 88

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Report by Louay Habib.

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