Please select your home edition
Zhik 2016 Dinghy Wetsuits

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

by Louay Habib on 26 Jul 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:

Latest Results:

Related Articles

Yandoo XX too Strong
In the Milson Silver Goblets An abandoned final race didn't change the outcome for Jeanne-Claude Strong's Yandoo XX, the deserving winner of the 2017 Milson's Silver Goblets Etchells regatta sailed out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from November 13-17. Posted on 21 Nov
Etchells in Sydney Harbour
Racing for the Milson Silver Goblets trophy There is local club racing, and then there's the Etchells Sydney fleet fighting for the annual Milson Silver Goblets trophy on Sydney Harbour, and raising a warning flag for other states and nations on the strength of the NSW field. Posted on 15 Nov
Etchells Milson Silver Goblets preview
Racing at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Sydney fleet captain Michael Tyquin says local Etchells crews climbing towards selection for next year's class worlds in Brisbane are all too aware that the Milson Silver Goblets regatta marks the time to really knuckle-down in the pre-worlds phase. Posted on 10 Nov
Etchells Worlds at San Francisco overall
Benjamin victorious The overall winner of the 2017 Etchells World Championship, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club, is Steve Benjamin (USA), representing the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, with crew of Dave Hughes, Ian Liberty, and Michael Menninger. Posted on 1 Oct
Etchells Worlds at San Francisco day 2
Consistency pays off Day two racing began much as day one, with a two-hour postponement, although today the call was made to hold the racers on shore. When racing began at 2:20 pm the wind had filled in at 16-17 kts from a typical San Francisco Bay direction of 225 degrees. Posted on 28 Sep
Etchells Worlds at San Francisco day 1
A long first day for the competitors The first day of racing for the 51 International Etchells teams got off to a slow start with a 2.5 hour postponement on glassy water. When race one finally began at about 2:30pm, the wind had built to a consistent 8 – 10 kts. Posted on 27 Sep
Etchells Worlds at San Francisco preview
Fifty-one teams from 10 countries ready to race The 2017 Etchells World Championship, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club, kicks off on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 with the first of five days of racing on San Francisco Bay (9 races are scheduled). Posted on 25 Sep
Australians ready for Etchells Worlds
Strong challenge set for San Francisco Martin Hill and his crew of Andrew Palfrey, David Chapman and Sasha Ryan are spearheading an Australian assault on the 2017 Etchells World Championship to be held in San Francisco from 22 to 30 September and hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club. Posted on 14 Sep
Iain Murray joins Australian Sailing
As the new Performance Director Highly respected and awarded sailor Iain Murray AM joins Australian Sailing as Performance Director, responsible for the Australian Sailing Team and the supporting Performance programs. Posted on 4 Sep
Etchells North Americans at San Diego overall
Scott Kaufman wins Saturday was an exciting last day of the 2017 Etchells North American Championship hosted by San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) and Etchells Fleet 13. Twenty-nine teams completed the last two races in Coronado Roads. Posted on 20 Aug