Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90
Product Feature
Zhik Men's Hydrophobic Fleece Top
Zhik Men's Hydrophobic Fleece Top
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

The Etchells Invitational Cup at Cowes - Overall

by Rupert Holmes 31 Jul 2014 22:54 BST 28-31 July 2014

The event's final day delivered more stunning, high adrenaline and incredibly close racing, with the three leading boats all in contention for the 140-year-old Gertrude Cup at the start of the final race.

Jeremy Thorp of Antigua YC led the fleet on 26 points, with Shannon Bush of New York YC on 34, and Jeanne-Claude Strong of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on 36. However, Thorp's commanding lead quickly evaporated in the deciding race – he was sixth round the first windward mark, then dropped the overall leader's red spinnaker in the water at the spreader mark, dragging it behind the boat.

By this time Strong was well ahead in second place, just behind race leader Marvin Beckmann of Houston YC. Thorp never recovered beyond eighth place, but with Bush and Strong finishing fourth and fifth respectively, the Antiguan team's overall victory was sealed.

"It was my first time racing an Etchells," said Thorp, "...and they absolutely live up to everything my really successful sailing friends have told me. They are pure and beautiful boats to sail, with excellent competition in the fleet."

Bush held on to second place overall, having scored a consistent run of seven top-four results, but was also forced to count two 11th places. While the top four teams struggled to some extent on the final day, Beckmann, the 2013 Etchells World Champion, revelled in the slightly stronger winds to win both races, to add to two earlier race wins. "We struggled in the lighter winds earlier in the week," said crewmember Andrew Palfrey, himself a former Etchells world champion, Olympian and America's Cup sailor. "...but it was really satisfying to win the last three races when there was more breeze."

Beckmann's top results at the end of the regatta lifted him into third place overall, tied on 41 points with Strong, but with his four wins giving him the advantage on count back.

The UK Etchells class has an enviable reputation for enabling youth teams to compete at the highest level, with 90 of the UK's best young sailors having sailed in the fleet over the past three seasons. Much of the credit for this goes to Ted Fort OBE, a member of the Cowes fleet for 30 years, who has funded two of the class's four boats for young sailors.

"I've got so much out of sailing throughout my life," he says, "...especially courage and ambition. Besides, when you're in business you have to think about the start line... I believe the future of the class here in Cowes is in youth sailors."

Of the four youth teams competing, the Spinnaker Lake Sailing Club team of Matt Reid, Ashley Goddard, Martin Evans, and Emily Wiltshire had the best result, finishing eighth overall, including two podium positions, one of which was an impressive second place in the final race.

Annabel Vose, Amy Prime, Hannah Peters and Emily Nagel of the Royal Southern YC took ninth overall, just weeks after winning the World Student Match Racing Championship. They finished one point ahead of their rivals from Spinnaker Lake and on equal points with the UKSA/ British Keelboat Academy team, but gained an advantage on count back thanks to two races in which they scored podium finishes.

"It was a big challenge for us," said Prime, "as we hadn't done much Etchells or fleet racing as a team. The racing here is really close and we learned loads – you couldn't make many mistakes, and if you did you dropped places very quickly. It was also very interesting to swap boats each day and see how each one was set up – and of course it was really good of the owners to lend their boats for the event."

"This event has been absolutely amazing – the best sailing I've done in my life and there were some fantastic sailors out there," added Charlie Dodd, of the UKSA/ BKA team. "But it's not an arms race here – we're changing boats each day and are all racing with identical sails, so it's all about your skills and the decisions you make."

Many thanks go to the event's sponsors and organisers, which numbered 84 people and organisations. Of particular note are the host clubs, the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal London Yacht Club, the race committee led by David Campbell-James, Ron's team of on water umpires, plus Graham Sunderland (aka Batman) and Kev Downer who provided on water support and kept the boats running throughout the event.

Sponsors whose input was invaluable to the event's success include Francis Searchlights; Spinlock, who supplied buoyancy aids for all competitors and officials; plus Zhik and Liros ropes. A film about the event is being produced by Olivia Chenevix-Trench of OCT Films and a book will also be available.

The 2015 Etchells Invitational Cup for the Gertrude Cup will be held from Friday July 31 to Wednesday August 5 – again the week before Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Anyone interested in applying for an invitation should contact David Franks at , or call on +44 7768063868.

Overall results are at regattaguru.com/cowes/minisite?series_id=100074#Results;class_id=100666

Related Articles

Etchells Victorian Championship overall
World Champions claim title with a great win on the back of incredible consistency The reigning Etchells World Champions, Iain Murray, Colin Beashel and Richie Allanson secured the 2020 Victorian title with a race to spare. Posted on 9 Mar
Etchells Victorian Championship Day 2
All about the sail changes Unlike yesterday, today's three races delivered three separate winners at the 2020 Etchells Victorian Championship from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. Posted on 8 Mar
Etchells Victorian Championship day 1
Stake a claim With the reigning World Champion, current Australian Champion, the Corinthian winner from just two months ago, and crews full of Olympians, World Champions and offshore legends, the fleet for the 2020 Etchells Victorian State Championship is white hot. Posted on 7 Mar
Australian Eastern Region Etchells Championship
Largest participation for a few years, with strong growth from Gippsland Lakes Over the Australia Day weekend Metung Yacht Club hosted the 30th Eastern Region International Etchells Class One Design Regatta sponsored by Julie-Anne McPherson Photography. Posted on 29 Jan
Shutters come down on MacGlide Festival of Sails
The TP52 division offered spectacularly close racing Some of the thousands of MacGlide Festival of Sails sailors weary from three days of racing and partying over the Australia Day long weekend are fortunate to be heading home with a trophy for their efforts. Posted on 27 Jan
North Sails Weekly Debrief
#NSVictoryList: 5.5 Metre Worlds, North Kites, Etchells Australian Nationals, Winter Photo Share Congratulations to Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, and Anders Pederson for winning the 5.5 Metre Worlds in New South Wales, AUS. What did it take to win? Posted on 18 Jan
That man Lilley
Latest Sail-World Australia newsletter from John Curnow When he won the medal race at the recent Finn Gold Cup, it was not some random event. Jake Lilley has been at it for a while. It's called work ethic... Posted on 12 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship overall
Two races in good wind with improving skies closed out the event Two races in good wind with improving skies closed out the 2020 Etchells Australian Championship from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. Posted on 12 Jan
Etchells Australian Championship day 4
How would you like your moguls? Just off the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, and to the East of the main shipping channel, Port Phillip created a special place that was cold and nasty, horrifically wet, and yet there were smiles all around. Posted on 11 Jan
Etchells: Singularity and uniformity
Etchells Class has regularly taken the opportunity to review itself Over the course of their exemplary 50-year history, the Etchells Class has regularly taken the opportunity to review itself. The mission is to ensure that the singularity of focus remains on delivering the best One Design racing Posted on 10 Jan