News

Etchells Bedrock Championship

Etchells Bedrock Championship was held over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September, organised by Royal Southern Yacht Club with Tanya Robinson as PRO, whose team were warmly congratulated by the Etchells fleet at the Prize Giving for doing such a great job in difficult conditions.

Saturday morning: the fleet was greeted with a light NW breeze coming down Southampton Water onto the Hill Head and Bramble Plateau for the 13 enthusiastic Etchells ready to race. The first race saw Robert Drake’s Desperate port tack the fleet at the start line as a right-handed shift combined with the dropping breeze, caught most of the fleet out whilst starting against a fast flooding Solent tidal stream.

On the right-hand Hillhead shore, Desperate was the first to arrive with what looked initially like an easy lead, followed by Tom Abrey (aka Captain Hook) sailing Jolly Roger, whose Etchells inadvertently had acted as a low water mark for the fleet, parking for a minute or so. Unfortunately for Desperate, as can often happen with a light breeze from Southampton Water, the pressure dropped, and the boat which managed to find the best breeze was Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, which then led at the top mark and continued to lead the 4 leg race to win race 1.

Race 2 saw the tide change, and Laurence Mead, tactician on Malcolm Offord’s Plant Hunter, made the most of the tide as it sailed furthest into the Hill Head shore, gaining from the new ebb, and leading at the first mark. It was noticeable that Scaramouche Graduate, Camilo Ordobo, on Plant Hunter, was one of the most active bowmen in the fleet. At the first downwind mark, the ever fast Swedish Blue had taken the lead, but there was another twist on the final downwind leg: Plant Hunter gybed onto port first, thereby benefiting from a northerly puff and squeezed by Swedish Blue to win race 2.

Race 3 started under black flag after two U flag starts failed to get the fleet cleanly away. Swedish Blue, reveling in the strengthening breeze now above 12 knots, comfortably won. After Race 3, Swedish Blue started sailing home to Cowes when the race officer, having reviewed Sunday’s weather forecast, sensibly chose to run another race. A rib was dispatched to bring the overall leaders back to compete one more race before they could drink their well-earned beers.

At first, it looked like Razmilovic might have just as well continued home to Cowes as he had a poor start at an over-crowded pin, coming 8th at the top mark and 6th at the bottom. But he had worked back to 3rd at the final windward rounding. Jolly Roger started away from the congestion at the pin, and used three quick shifts on the first beat to lead the fleet at the top mark. After its earlier escapade on the beach, Jolly Roger was unwilling to give up the lead, and in the rising 16 knot breeze and choppy sea, it won by 100 meters from the now 2nd placed Swedish Blue who had match raced and over-taken Graham Sunderland on Strait Dealer on the final leg.

Sunday at first looked like the predicted lack of wind was likely, but after an hour’s delay, the wind had revived and the now 15 boat fleet was ready to race.

It was the first day racing an Etchells for J70 champion Paul Ward on Man’s Best Friend, which won the pin, and sailed on starboard deeper into a left-hand shift before tacking and leading at the top mark. Ward, now in clean air, pulled away from the pack on the downwind leg to win Race 5, with Razmilovic coming 2nd.

Race 6 saw Ward start cleanly by the Committee Boat and playing the shifts, led Razmilovic by four boat lengths at the top mark. Ward, without the advantage of clean air and as Razmilovic got the downwind puffs first, found himself neck and neck with Swedish Blue approaching the bottom mark. Ward chose the downwind right gate, but Razmilovic selected the more favourable left to come out ahead. Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue, with his usual crew of Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills, won the race from Jolly Roger, thus cementing their Regatta win. In 4th place overall, and 1st place ISAF Cat1 Amateur Team, was Sumo, skippered by Robby Boyd, helmed by Miles Jones, with Jack Sharland and Ted Blowers sharing crewing duties.

The next Etchells regatta is the National Championship on the 25-27th September

Weekends results are available at

https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=12900

Videos will also be published soon

Sir Kenneth Preston Results

Etchells first official regatta of the year, the Sir Kenneth Preston Trophy organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron.

22/23rd August 2020, 12 socially distanced crews entered the event which was run in the central Solent. Unfortunately Saturday’s storm meant that racing was held only on Sunday and the RYS organised an early start and 4 windward leeward races of just under an hour each.

To ensure the races were completed before the time cut off, the “U” flag was used. Initially a strong flood tide with a westerly breeze ranging from 10-20 kts was the day’s racing conditions. However, the varying cloud cover meant that big shifts and pressure variations were available for all crews to try and find. Unfortunately, as frequently happens, getting from one favourable shift to another meant sailing through light patches, so the pack was frequently shuffled.

Main Interest of the day was on “Man’s Best Friend” and “Swedish Blue” both of which had been practicing with the new Andrew Palfrey designed jib track system, and it was evident from the fleet support rib that the optional smaller wind angle gave a tremendous advantage in getting a clean lane, starting and laying marks, but if overcooked or not matched by the main sail, could easily jeopardise boat speed.

The first race was won by Robby Boyd sailing “Sumo GBR 1020” who choose correctly the right hand side of the course, as the wind shifted right, and with the added pressure on that side he led and won the race convincingly.

Race 2 was sailed in one of the more sustained wind pressures, and Ante Razmilovic, the fleet’s high wind specialist sailing “Swedish Blue” looked to have won the race by the top mark. However, a wayward halyard meant that sailing minus spinnaker or a jib at the top and the bottom of the course was slow, and this disadvantage meant that Swedish Blue slipped back into the fleet, while John Warwick’s “Audrey” helmed by Will Bedford capitalised to win.

Race 3 was where the event was lost, Grant Simmer sailing “Man’s Best Friend” tried a tight cross on Robby Boyd’s “Sumo” and with Robby feeling he was infringed protested, and as Man’s Best Friend continued sailing scoring a podium result they took the overall lead while awaiting the post racing hearing, as Swedish Blue, now with 2 working halyards went on to win the race.

Race 4, and it was all to play for anyone of 7 out of the 12 boats could now win the series, and it was Grant Simmer Sailing “Man’s Best Friend” who took the race, but the series was all down to the protest room, where the port and starboard rule interpretation “reasonable apprehension of a collision” meant that Man’s Best Friend was scored DSQ’d for race 3.

Robby Boyd and his crew of Quentin Bes-Green and Hugh Ward were the 2020 overall winners, and Cat 1 Corinthian winners, and now Robby has name on a prestigious Trophy’s winners’ board in the Royal Yacht Squadron.

For results see…https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=12895

Sir Kenneth Preston

The first Cowes Etchells regatta takes place this weekend, the Sir Kenneth Preston regatta run by the Royal Yacht Squadron.  Currently 10 boats entered with a further 3 or 4 saying they will be there!

There is still time to enter – enter here

To comply with RYA requirements please ensure the waiver is signed on Yacht scoring within 24hrs of the start of the event, or sign hard copy at CYH before going out for the first race.  You will not be able to race if you do not comply.

2020 Racing

Our current program as booked with the clubs is: 

22/23 Aug – SKP

5/6 Sept – Bedrock

11/13 Sept – Nationals

3/4 Oct – Southern Areas

24/25 Oct – Ice Bucket

7/8 Nov – Autumn Regatta

None can be confirmed until we know that social distancing rules permit up to 4 unrelated sailors on an Etchells. The Clubs are booked but if they struggle to find a race team, we will look at alternatives so that we can get some racing and/or coaching on these same dates.

Youth Academy Trials Weekend

If you are a Youth Team and would like to take part in our 2020 Royal London Yacht Club Etchells Youth Academy Trials weekend 28th/29th March 2020 please contact David Bedford on 07808400008 or Bedfordd@hotmail.co.uk

If you are successful during the Trials Weekend you will be allocated an Etchells for all Class Regattas in 2020, all racing and boat costs paid by the Class.

If you are not successful there is the opportunity to be teamed up with one of the boats in the fleet as crew for a full season.  The Worlds are being held in Cowes in 2021 and this could be your opportunity to become involved.

Teams should not exceed the Class association weight limit of 285kgs and can consist of 3 or 4 crew.

The cost per boat for the weekend is £275 which includes supper on Saturday evening at the Royal London Yacht Club, you are expected to find your own accommodation.

2020 Royal London Yacht Club Etchells Youth Academy

Applications for the 2020 Royal London Yacht Club Etchells Youth Academy are now open.

The dates of the training weekends and trials are:

  1. January 18/19: Training Camp 1
  2. February 15/16: Training Camp 2 
  3. February 22/23: Training Camp 3
  4. March 14/15: Training Camp 4
  5. March 28/29th: Trials 

Teams should not exceed the Class association weight limit of 285kgs and we are happy to accept a ‘squad’ of crew members as we understand that study/work commitments may clash.

The cost per boat is £2,200

For full details, please contact David Bedford on 0780 8400008 or Bedfordd@hotmail.co.uk

Please note that the closing dates for all applicants is November 30th 2019.

Etchells Class British Open & National Championship

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd November 2019

Stars Align for Jolly Roger

The Etchells British Open and National Champion for 2019 is Jolly Roger sailed by Tom Abery, Bruno van Dyke, Matt Reid, Dom Mortimer and Quentin bes Green. The 2019 Corinthian National Champion is Audrey sailed by Jon Warwick, Will Bedford, Adele Young and Will Heritage, who have all come through the Cowes Etchells Youth Programme. The first youth team at the championship was the Royal Dart YC team of Miles Jones, Fraser Woodley and James Homes.

“Racing in the Cowes Etchells fleet is pretty tough and very challenging. We never thought we would win it until we crossed the line in the last race. Thank you to all of the teams and see you next year!” commented Tom Abery. “That was a big weight of our shoulders, we have been trying to win this for nine years.” commented helm Bruno van Dyke. “Sometimes thing just go your way – the stars aligned.”

On the first day (Friday 01 November) the fleet sailed in 15-20 knots of breeze from the southwest, with gusty conditions testing boat handling skills. After three races Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue was a point ahead of Strait Dealer, helmed by Graham Sunderland. Jolly Roger was third. Swedish Blue got two great starts and showed impressive downwind speed to win the opening two encounters. Rob Goddard’s Rocketman nailed the pin end to win the start of Race 3, but the race was won by Jolly Roger.

The second day of racing (Saturday 02 November) was a non-starter as a 50-knot front blasted into the Solent. The race committee, led by PRO Paul Jackson, called off racing for the day at 08:00 allowing the Cowes Etchells Fleet the opportunity to watch the Rugby World Cup Final. The Royal Ocean Racing Club provided a Full English Breakfast for an eager crowd, the fayre was more enjoyable than the result, especially if you were English!

Three races were held in a variety of conditions on the final day (Sunday 03 November). Race 4 was a light airs affair with a northerly gradient at the start. Kim Ridge’s Colin was over eager at the pin end and having been called OCS restarted some way behind the fleet. However Colin, with Dog Palfrey on tactics, spotted a big lefty and recovered from their premature start to win Race 4. The penultimate race was held in building conditions with a big wind shift after the first lap. The race committee spotted the shift and changed the course axis to accommodate the 30 degree wind shift. As the breeze swung to the west, Jolly Roger came to the fore scoring their second bullet of the championship.

After a General Recall, Race 6 got away under the U-Flag. Three teams fell foul and were disqualified including Swedish Blue, effectively taking away any chance of victory in the championship. Jolly Roger showed impressive speed to take the gun and seal overall victory. Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte 7 won a close battle for second just pipping Strait Dealer to the line.

The Prize Giving was held at the Cowes Yacht Haven with Rob Goddard as master of ceremonies and Julia Bailey awarding the prizes for the 2019 Etchells British Open and National Championship. The ceremony included the announcement of the winner for the five regatta series Champion of Champions, which was Tom Abrey and Bruno Van Dyke on Jolly Roger. The Etchells Ice Bucket regatta which was sailed on the 14th and 15th September was won by Jon Warwick’s Audrey and was also presented this weekend. The Trophy for this regatta was kindly donated to the class by Andrew Cooper.

Full Results: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6262

The International Etchells Bedrock Trophy

Eight Etchells raced this weekend in competition for the Bedrock Trophy. Saturday greeted the class with sun and a twelve knot south easterly breeze. The first race started on time to the north east of the Bramble Bank; with many of the fleet starting towards the pin end of the line. The early leader was Rob Goddard’s Rocketman who led round the course to take the first win of the regatta closely followed by Colin being sailed by Will and David Heritage and Will Bedford. Race two was again in Rocketman’s favour with the Greig City Academy in Palaver coming a close second. And the Royal Lymington Yacht Club Youths in Sumo coming third. The third and final race of the day was sailing in slightly more breeze, the race was started under the U flag and resulted in three boats being disqualified for being over the start line within the 1 minute. Colin took the win with Sumo second and Palaver third. The results overnight was very close with the top two boats (Colin and Rocketman) on equal points. 

Sunday’s racing was delayed allowing the Cowes Torquay race powerboats pass through the Solent, there was a worry about not having enough breeze to race in but again a ten knot south easterly was present and allowed racing to get underway. The racecourse was set up nearer Hill Head. Colin continued from Sunday and won with Rocketman in second and Shaun Frohlich’s Exabyte in third. The second race of the day was won by the Greig City Academy who took advantage of a left shift on the first beat to round the windward mark in first and maintain the lead through the race. Colin came in second and Sumo in third. The third race of the day and the final race of the weekend was again won by the Greig City Academy; sailing well at the front of the fleet. Rocketman finished second with Colin third. This meant that Colin (9pts) won the event with Rocketman (10pts) beating the Greig City to second on countback. 

Thank you very much to the race team from the Royal London Yacht club and all the volunteers involved in the running of the event. The next event is the Ice Bucket on the 14th-15th of September. 

Full results 

https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=7270

The International Etchells South Coast Championship 2019

Over the weekend 26/27th July, the 2019 Etchells South Coast Championships were held in Cowes and organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club

Saturday morning’s racing started in a 12 to 14 knot breeze from the north and, while it was forecast to increase, that didn’t happen. Unfortunately as the wind was shifting so much, it took 45 minutes before the first start could actually happen, as the committee struggled to lay a fair line.

It was a day that the wind pressure was up and down by 4 knots with frequent 20 degree wind shifts that kept rolling over the race course under the clouds. So, heads out of the boat, and watching for the wind shifts is what counted on the day, and the first race was won appropriately by the Royal Thames Youth Sailing Team skippered by Ollie Grogono, before Matt Hannaby sailing Escape helmed by Julian Smith won the following two races and were the overnight leaders, with Rob Goddard’s Rocketman in second place and David Heritage’s family crew sailing Colin in third place.

Sunday brought a slightly more consistent breeze pressure, but still with the wind shifting with every cloud formation that moved through the Solent, and it was Rocketman’s turn to fly, taking a first and second in races four and five, moving them into first place overall. For the sixth and final race after a good start Rocketman seeing Escape sailing behind, but starting to move swiftly through the fleet, realised that for the second consecutive

Etchells Regatta a match race was called for. What resulted was Rocketman sailing back to cover Escape by closely tacking on them while sailing up the first beat, but in traditional symmetrical spinnaker match racing style, the advantage switched to the trailing boat on the down-wind leg as Escape forced Rocket Man away from the leeward gates, and while Escape rounded a boat length ahead, Rocketman took the opposite gate to regain the lead forcing Escape deeper into the pack, thereby giving Rocketman crew their first series win, with Colin taking the 6th and final race win with Sophie Heritage helming.

Eddie Warwick supplied the weekends beer, with Shaun Frolich providing Rum and Cake for the hungry sailors.

https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=7274