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Etchells Victorian Championship at Royal Brighton Yacht Club - Day 2

by John Curnow 8 Mar 20:55 GMT 7-9 March 2020

Unlike yesterday, today’s three races delivered three separate winners at the 2020 Etchells Victorian Championship from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. Magpie won the first, Flying High the second, and Triad 2020 (John Bertrand, Grant Crowle, and Jake Lilley) took out the third. The breeze started at 095 degrees, and clocked through to around 130, building from a mild eight, to a significant 25 knots by the time the racers were all heading down to the finish, and back to the marina.

Magpie is seven points adrift of the Clubhouse leaders for the second night, Havoc (Iain Murray, Colin Beashel, and Richie Allanson). Whilst not unassailable, it is a more than healthy lead, and one they will be keen to protect. On board Magpie are Graeme Taylor, James Mayo and Tom Slingsby, who recorded a win in the first race of the day. Taylor said of their gun-to-gun win first up, “It was very shifty and we managed to get a good gust down the first run and that really helped to get us in front of everyone, and that was sort of the game, really. Very happy with the outcome…”

Of the vast range the wind operated in, Taylor added, “We certainly were busy changing sails the whole day, and turning the turnbuckles (to tighten the rigging).”

Jeanne-Claude Strong, Seve Jarvin, Kate Devereaux, and Troy Tindal on Flying High won the second race of the day, with their bright pink spinnaker leading the way off the wind after a very brisk start. Strong said afterwards, “Always nice to have fresh air isn’t it? It is also special to be up there in that sort of company. The crew did a superb job - Seve in particular. The earlier races were somewhat uneventful, unlike the last one, where we enjoyed a really good run down to the finish – I love it when there is water flying out from either side (surfing down the waves).”

As for tomorrow and in particular the forecast, Strong said, “Usually you look at it and know what not to expect. I now look at several and just decide which one I like…”

What is also really interesting is, The Cure, who had a good day in the conditions. They posted an 8, 2, and 5 to come to within one point of the Corinthian leaders, Triad, who’s 7, 7, 6, whilst consistent, is not has healthy as their previous day. Tomorrow will be interesting with Triad in sixth place overall on 29 points, and The Cure in eighth place overall on 30. Nestled in between them is Triad 2020, that probably should have been called, There or There Abouts, which based on the way Bertrand is able to apply scoreboard pressure when even not seeming to be near the podium.

At any rate, Ray Smith from The Cure said, “A good day today. The weather was really pleasant, just a bit breezier in the third, but a great day for sailing.” Of their march up the leader board, he said, “Because we are new crew for this regatta, I think we have improved each race, and seem to be able to have reduced the errors, so hopefully we can keep a good score line tomorrow.”

Over in Western Australia, their State Championship finished today. In an amazing turn of events, Chris Pratt, Ethan McAullay and Harmon McAullay on Azure climbed from 10th to second on the last work to windward to claim the title. To do so they had to be three places ahead of, The Croc, who have won at least eight WA Championships over the last decade.

Dirk Van Der Struyf commented, “We had nine races in 6-12 knots off Fremantle, less than a mile from the Fremantle Sailing Club. Magic conditions, not a lot of swell, 32 degrees, and smiles from all of the crew on 16 boats. It was also really close racing with 1 to 16 separated by just 90 seconds in all nine races – so super close.”

“We also had multiple winners, at least four, and we are all warming up for the Worlds this November. I was about to give it away, but won the last race today, so I am coming back!”

Just as over in the East, two youth teams were provided boats by the association. Interestingly, the WA Fleet recognised that most of the sailors were already Masters, so have re-issued that particular trophy as the new prize as the new Youth Trophy. Everything old is new again, and that is simply brilliant.Connor Nicholas is on one of the youth sailors, and offered, “It is all in preparation for the Worlds. This weekend was our first regatta, and it has been really enjoyable. You work hard for a 25m gain, and loose places even quicker. We’re learning a lot about the boats, each other and the positions on board. Each day we set goals for ourselves, and we have achieved them, which is great.”

Monday is the final day of racing, and Melbourne’s ever-challenging Port Phillip looks set to offer similar conditions as occurred today, albeit that it will be stronger in the morning and then easing as the races take place. We’ll see about all of that, but for now, Havoc has a good stake at the claim of 2020 Etchells Victorian Champion.

Results and information from – here

See Etchells Australia for live broadcasts from the water and updates

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