Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90

The Gertrude Cup 2017 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club - Day 4

by Louay Habib 26 Jul 2017 09:37 BST 22-26 July 2017

The Etchells fleet racing for the Gertrude Cup was kept ashore for the fourth day of the regatta, waiting for a sea breeze to develop. At midday the fleet was towed out to Hill Head, in anticipation of wind, and soon after arrival in the race area, a fresh breeze rapidly kicked in from the southwest delivering classic Solent sea breeze conditions. The master class of race management, produced by PRO Phil Lawrence and his team from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, was further demonstrated with three superb races, with fine tuning of the course length and axis for each race.

James Badenach representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, retained their lead for The Gertrude Cup, but it was far from straight forward, exemplified by their 6-1-9 scoreline for the day. The USA Youth Team, skippered by Connor Needham, scored the best set of results, 1-3-5. The team are all from the East Coast of the United States, and sail out of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, established in 1886, one of the oldest clubs in North America. By contrast team tactician Hannah Polster, is one of the youngest sailors racing at the Gertrude Cup, having just finished College in Boston, MA.

"I have done a lot of college sailing, mainly 420s, and I am a dinghy sailor, this is my first keelboat regatta." commented Hannah Polster. "The regatta has been a lot of fun, and it has been interesting for me to race as part of a bigger crew. My role as tactician means that I just keep my head out of the boat and focus on the racecourse. This is something that I have really enjoyed, and it is new to me, because in the 420, this is not my role. Today the current was a big factor, and there were also a lot of shifts on the racecourse. So upwind we were focusing on staying in phase, but taking opportunities to get left for current. Downwind every inch matters, so we were really fighting for it. Both here and in the U.S, we have older sailors in the Etchells fleet, but they are really talented as well, and it is really cool to sail with a different generation, because you learn so much. Also in this regatta we have four youth teams, two from U.S. and two from England, and we were challenged to come here, and that is a lot of fun too."

The Royal Yacht Squadron Team, skippered by Bruce Huber, is third for the regatta, and sailing well. The RYS team include, Edmund Peel and Angus Hemmings, two great characters. Every regatta has its stories, and one of them from this year's Gertrude Cup deserves a mention, as David Franks, Cowes Etchells Fleet Captain, explains: "We should have an award for sportsman-like conduct, and there is no question whom it would be, and that is Robert Drake (RORC) and his team. After a collision on the first day, they gave up their boat to Bruce Huber, who went on to win the next race, which is absolutely fantastic."

Congratulations should also go to the young team from the Royal Thames Youth Academy, skippered by Chris Eames, which finished the day in style, winning their first race of the regatta. Whilst some of the crew of the team have sailed Etchells, this was the first time Chris Eames, had done so. "It has ben a steep learning curve, especially how to set up the boat, and we really appreciate the help we have received from Graham Sunderland and all of the Etchells fleet. In the last race, everything seemed to come together and we had a bit of luck, and we are delighted to win a race."

It was an unfortunate start to the day for David Anastasi's team, representing the Royal Malta Yacht Club. A broken halliard forced their retirement from the first race. However the team showed great tenacity, scoring two podium finishes, and just missed out on a race win, in the photo finish for the last race of the day.

The Medina Marching Band opened proceedings for a Champagne Reception and Gala Dinner, held at the Royal Yacht Squadron Pavilion. A succulent three course plated dinner was served with fine wines. The marching bands repertoire included the theme tune for The 1960s TV series, The Champions. The 2017 Gertrude Cup concludes today, Wednesday 26th July.

Follow the action with live updates from The Gertrude Cup Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rtycgertrude

Latest Results: www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4357

Related Articles

Northern Havoc takes out Etchells NSW Championship
Murray and Hampton finished day one Captain and Commander respectively Iain Murray's Northern Havoc sailing for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Chris Hampton's Tango from Brighton, Victoria, maintained the rage to finish first and second at the 2018 Etchells NSW title sailed on Sydney Harbour in superb conditions. Posted on 18 Feb
Il Duce wasn't walking on eggshells
He was busy taking pictures of them He was busy taking pictures of them... Photographer Andrea Francolini was there for the last day of the 2018 Etchells NSW Championship, and turned in this gallery of images. Posted on 18 Feb
Etchells NSW Championship day 1
Murray leads the A-grade fleet in Sydney Three races into the 2018 Etchells NSW Championship and the 1984 class world champion Iain Murray and one of his crew from that campaign lead the series and an A-grade fleet. Posted on 17 Feb
Etchells NSW Championship - The path to the Worlds
Australian Etchells fleet is edging towards a World Championship The Australian Etchells fleet is edging towards a World Championship in Brisbane and the NSW title regatta on Sydney Harbour this weekend is an important opportunity for those crews with a Worlds challenge brewing to test their mettle Posted on 14 Feb
New Regatta Director joins Cowes Week Ltd
Laurence is no stranger to the regatta, having raced in his first Cowes Week in 1982 Laurence joins the Executive Management Team at Cowes Week Ltd with responsibility for leading all on-the-water aspects of the regatta. He will join existing management team members Kate Johnson, CWL's Commercial and Marketing Director Posted on 12 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship overall
Graham Taylor, James Mayo and Richard Allanson on Magpie seal the title Around the top for the last time appeared the red kite of Jeanne-Claude just ahead of David Turton. These two boats were tied on equal points at the start of the day and Michael Manford's Croc was a bit buried in the pack. Posted on 12 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship day 3
Fleet beginning to get used to the settings Not so much wind today and a little cooler but the fleet of 32 Etchells left the dockside for two windward/leeward races of 1.5nm legs in a short steep swell rolling in towards the harbour. Posted on 11 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship day 2
The Fremantle Doctor delivers As per the forecast, the 'Fremantle Doctor' made an appearance on the second day of the 2018 Etchells Australian Championship to provide 32 competitors with the sort of sailing conditions Fremantle is renowned for. Posted on 10 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship day 1
A slow start with the whole fleet staying well back from the line The breeze begun in the East at 6 - 8 knots for the first race, then shifted to the South increasing to 15 - 17 knots and finally the sea-breeze threatened with 18 - 19 knots and short sharp waves to provide some great downwind surfing. Posted on 9 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship preview
Anticipation building on the dockside Another reason competitors are attracted to race in the ocean off Fremantle is the weather conditions. Guaranteed blue skies, warm summer temperatures (Avg 30 degrees this week), and strong winds. Posted on 8 Jan