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Etchells Australian Nationals 2022 at Metung Yacht Club Preview

by Jeff Rose 12 Jan 05:12 GMT 2-6 March 2022
Etchells Victorian Championships © Julie-Ann McPherson

There is a little-known place on the Gippsland Lakes known as Metung Yacht Club, but its rapidly becoming the center of the universe. With 60 miles of lakes system that open into Bass Strait, flat water sailing surrounded by National Parks, 90-mile beach and wineries. Metung Weather in March according to BoM looks like this - Mean Maximum Temperature 22C, Mean Wind Speed 12km/h (6.5knts), Mean 3pm Wind Speed 19km/h (10.25knts) what else could you ask for.

From a sailing perspective some of the best of the best in sailing are about to descend on this quiet little-known community. There are already 18 Etchells and 6 Dragons entered in Metung Yacht Clubs One Design regatta this Australia day weekend, that I suggest that would be the envy of any yacht club in Australia in the current time.

Both the International Dragons and the International Etchells Fleets at Metung Yacht Club have been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance with the Dragon fleet boasting 12 and the Etchells growing to 17 boats. Again, any club in Australia would be happy with these numbers, and activity and that does not take into consideration the Off the Beach, Junior and Woman in Sailing programs that are also going so well.

Metung Yacht Club is also hosting the King and Heath First National sponsored Australian Etchells Championship from 2nd to 6th of March 2022 with 26 boats already entered. While Metung's own local legends Peter Wilkinson, Steve Bull, Kim McKendrick and Jack Bate will make their presence felt they will have their hands full. With the likes of 2018 World Champion Martin Hill crewed by Olympic Gold Medallist Mat Belcher coming, current Victorian Champion Chris Hampton with two-time world champion Cameron Miles and Americas Cup sailor Sam Haines on board, 2021 Line hours winner of the Sydney to Hobart Blackjack skipper Mark Bradford, Noel Drennan who was on the handicap winner Ichi Ban, not to mention Toby Richardson from Tasmania with Sam King and Wayne (Moose) Johnston. So, the locals will have it all to do.

Holding such a prestigious event with some of the best sailing talent arriving in Metung means having the best people in race management. Metung Yacht Club welcomes back possibly the most experienced Principal Race Officers in Australia with Olympic and International level experienced, Kevin and Ross Wilson along with Pam Scrivener and local Australian Sailing award-winning race official Jacquie Crawford leading an experienced group of Metung Yacht Clubs own volunteers.

In addition to having some of the best sailors, best race management and media led by World champions sailor Nic (Sailor Girl) Douglas to do the live commentating in her beautiful humorous fun style, Metung will also be using the latest in technology used at the likes of World Championships and GP50 regattas when it comes to mark laying by using the MARKSETBOT system. The MARKSETBOT system uses GPS technology to make placing and repositioning marks safer for our volunteers and more accurate.

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