Gertrude Cup 2016 30th July - 3rd August
Day 1: It was a classic day on the Solent on Sunday, July 31 as the Cowes Etchells fleet invitational event for the Royal Thames Yacht Club's Gertrude cup got underway. This event which provides equally matched actuals to competitors from around the world is based loosely on the New York yacht club invitational event and as such each competitor is given a set of North sales which are all matched and they rotate boats each day to ensure fairness in equipment. This, combined with the incredible one design racing in the Etchells fleet led to last years event seeing three teams tied for the lead after 11 races, all being split by a tiebreak.
After the first three races, one of those teams led by Tom Carruthers from San Diego yacht club holds a two point lead over Seamus McHugh from Geneva with the Royal Thames yacht club's own youth Academy sailor Tim Gratton holding third. Carruthers is preparing for the Etchells world championship in Cowes in September and had a very strong score line of 2, 3, 6.
Home of the UK Etchells Fleet
For over 30 years the International Etchells Fleet has been the world’s leading international one-design keelboat outside of the Olympic classes. Predominantly owner-driven by enthusiastic and loyal supporters of the class association, the fleet has strict one-design credentials and an annual six sail limit thereby making it a cost effective but highly competitive class.
The Etchells is a fast sleek stable racing sloop which can be sailed competitively by 3 or 4 average sailors. It can tack through 70 degrees and its low wetted surface hull keeps moving in the slightest breeze in 20 plus knots it absolutely flies. It is trailerable and easy to maintain and light enough to dry sail. The annual World Championship (Sydney 2012 - Italy 2013 - New York YC 2014 and Hong Kong 2015) is a showcase for international talent from fifty fleets worldwide.
1400 boats have been built and the rules ensure that older boats remain competitive allowing newcomers to join with a modest investment. Family teams, young talent, sailing greats (such as Dennis Conner, John Bertrand and Russell Coutts) and Saturday afternoon club sailors all enjoy racing in the boat, 30 feet of pure sailing machine, which planes downwind when it’s windy and slips along in the light.
The Etchells is an exciting, friendly class to join with some of the most competitive racing available. If you would like to join an Etchells fleet in the UK, please download the membership form. If you would like more information, please go to our CONTACT page and ask away - members always want to help