(5th September, Cowes UK) The 2016 Etchells World Championship started in earnest today, with two intensely competitive races in the Central Solent. It took four attempts to get the fleet away for Race One and the U-Flag start produced several casualties, including reigning Etchells World Champions, Skip Dieball, Jon McClean and Jeff Eiber North Cape YC (USA). “Yes, we will be back out fighting tomorrow, we have got our discard out of the way on the first race.” commented Jon McClean. Teams from five different nations occupy the top ten places. However two teams from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Victoria Australia, finished the day at the top of the leaderboard.
Race One was won by Chris Hampton racing with Sam Haines and Mark Andrews Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS). The chat in the beer tent afterwards suggested that Hampton's team, sailed extremely well today. Ante Razmilovic racing with Chris Larson and Stuart Flinn, representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), scored a bullet in Race Two.
Sunday 4th September Cowes, UK - 250 guests attended the Etchells World Championship Gala Reception, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. The Medina Marching Band opened proceedings, and Regatta Director, David Franks, welcomed the sailors to the regatta. As the flags of the 11 nations taking part were raised on Trinity Landing, the international gathering cheered everyone. 58 teams will battle it out in the Solent over the next six days, amongst them are the glitterati from the world of sailing, as well as passionate corinthian sailors.
A closer look at the fleet reveals immense quality in depth, 14 past and present Etchells World Champions are just the tip of the iceberg. From dinghy to Maxi World Champions, arguably the coolest collection of sailors, anywhere in the world, has gathered in Cowes. 20 Olympians, with four gold and three bronze medals between them, as well as World Champions from 24 different classes and America's Cup competitors and winners.