Organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet. Etchells teams from yacht clubs from around the World have been invited to Cowes, to compete for the Royal Thames Yacht Club's Gertrude Cup. The invitational event for the Etchells Class has attracted teams representing yacht clubs from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Malta, Nigeria, and the United States of America. The invitational regatta features five days of exciting racing, and a vibrant social programme. The regatta has great emphasis on introducing young talented sailors into the Cowes Etchells Fleet.
A fleet of equally matched Etchells is provided, each crew may sail a different hull each day to ensure fairness. Fully rigged, with new matching sails and prepared, ready to race, by the Cowes Etchells Fleet. The helm must be a member of the invited club, but there are no other crew restrictions other than a weight limit. The intention is to run thirteen races with up to four races per day.
Thanks to the generosity and support of The Royal London Yacht Club, investment bank LionTree, and volunteers within the Etchells Class Association, young, talented sailors who aspire to race one design keelboats at the highest level are invited to apply for access to a fully race-prepared Etchells keelboat for the Cowes Etchells Fleet 2017 racing season.
Success at the trials means that the selected teams can benefit from the use of their own boat and participate in a full programme of competitive racing with entry fees and boat-yard costs covered by the class.
In the past 5 years, over 230 youths have competed in an Etchells in Cowes, with a significant number experiencing top level Etchells racing in Newport, USA, Hong Kong, Miami, Italy and Australia.
Entries are now being accepted for the Youth Trials to be held in Cowes on 1-2 April 2017.