Following 4 open training camps run during February and March 2019, the Royal London Yacht Club ran the trials regatta on the weekend of March 30/31

Saturday’s conditions were difficult allowing only 2 races. However, Sunday was near to perfect with 15 to 17 knots of breeze and sunshine, enabling race officer Jong Long and his team to run a further 5 windward/leeward races

Deserving winners of the regatta were the The Royal Lymington Yacht Club team, led by Robby Boyd (bow/jib trim), Hattie Rogers (helm), Max Crowe (mainsheet/tactics), and Henry Collison (spinnaker trim/ navigation). Max and Hattie are racing Etchells for the first time, whilst both Robby and Henry sailed last year in some events with a youth team

A superb second in the series was the Greig City Academy team 2 albeit with an owner’s representative on board.

This year, the Academy has granted 5 boats. Teams will not only get the use of a fully-funded Etchells for this year’s Cowes racing season, but will also be funded to compete in the Etchells Class Nationals, Europeans and Lendy Cowes Week 2019 The successful teams are:

1. Royal Lymington Yacht Club
2. Greig City Academy
3. Royal Thames Yacht Club
4. The Royal Dart Yacht Club
5. Oxford University Yacht Club

On the weekend of the 13th and 14th April, the Cowes Etchells fleet competed in the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s Southern Area Championships, an excellently run and closely fought over regatta. The race committee perfectly took advantage of the conditions, with an average wind range of 17-24 knots, getting in 3 intense windward leeward courses per day.

Of the 11 boats in the fleet, 3 were youth teams following on from the 2019 Royal London Yacht Club’s Etchells Youth Academy trials. William Bedford’s Royal London team, having won a race, were the first youth team, followed by Robby Boyd’s Royal Lymington team and Ollie Grogono’s Royal Thames team. A further 4 Etchells were crewed by sailors that have previously been involved in the youth programme. Indeed of the 38 competitors on the water, 27 were from our youth academy either sailing a youth boat or crewing for owners. Only one boat had no youths.

Save the Dates

A new five Regatta Etchells Series for the Solent is being introduced in 2019:

May 25-27 Sir Kenneth Preston
June 15-16 Saida Cup
July 12-14 European Championship
August 24-25 Bedrock Trophy
September 27-29 National Championship

Each Regatta is “stand alone” and may be entered separately on Yacht Scoring once each NOR is published (expected by end of January).

The series winners will be decided at the end of the last regatta (National Championship) when there may be upto 4 categories of winners:

Open
Corinthian ........all crew and helm Group 1 registered with World Sailing
Youths..............all crew and helm aged under 25
Senior...............helm aged over 60

aug28 lawrie sThe 2018 Open Etchells European Champion is Lawrie Smith racing Colin (Glandore Harbour YC ) with Gonçalo Ribeiro, Ella Bennett and Pedro Andrade. The 2018 Corinthian European Etchells Champion is a team from the Royal London YC Etchells Youth Academy, skippered by Will Bedford, racing Shamal with Fraser Woodley, Nik Froud, and Henry Collison.

During the eight races, held in a variety of conditions, three teams led during the regatta. Peter Duncan won the first two races, but Lawrie Smith fought back, and was top of the leaderboard after six races. Going into the last race, Ante Razmilovic was leading by a single point, with all three teams vying for the European title.

Lawrie Smith won the 2018 Open Etchells European Champion in the very last race, after strong competition from Ante Razmilovic's Swedish Blue (YCCS), and American skipper Peter Duncan, racing Mans Best Friend, which were second and third respectively.

Organised by the Royal London Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet.

Nineteen teams representing nine yacht clubs from around the world will compete at the 2018 Etchells European Championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, 24-27 August, up to eight races are scheduled in the Central Solent to decide the Open and Corinthian 2018 Etchells European champions.

Outstanding performers from the 2018 British Etchells Championship will be in action including the open winner, Lawrie Smith with Alfie (Glandore Harbour YC), and the Corinthian Champion Ante Razmilovic with Swedish Blue (YCCS). Runner-up and third place for the 2018 British Championship will also be racing, Marco Pocci with Les Freaks Sont Chics/Bon Vivant (Royal Hong Kong YC) and Peter Rogers with Highlife (Royal London YC). American skipper, Peter Duncan will be in action with Mans Best Friend, and 2011 and 2012 Etchells European Champion, Shaun Frohlich with Exabyte 5 (Royal Southern YC). Cowes local Graham Sunderland will be driving Strait Dealer (Royal London YC), and from Australia Chris Hampton will be in action with Tango (Royal Brighton YC).

Four youth teams, which have all learnt their skills through the Royal London Etchells Youth Academy will be in action. Ellie Cumpsty will skipper an all-women team racing Mano, William Bedford will skipper Shamal , Ted Blowers will be racing Sumo, and Andrew Wishart will be racing Ziggy.

Racing for the 2018 Open Etchells European Championship is scheduled to start at noon Friday 24th August, and conclude on Monday 27th August with a Prize Giving at Cowes Yacht Haven after racing.

For more information including the entry list:
yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6018

Follow the 2018 Etchells European Championship from the Cowes Etchells Fleet Facebook page:
facebook.com/groups/etchellscowes

The Etchells Gertrude Cup was 4 days of intense racing with 12 races scheduled and, despite the predominantly high pressure sitting over the UK, was successfully completed. By the final day, 4 boats were in contention for overall victory.

Initially the regatta was reliant on sea breezes to get the racing under way, and somehow PRO Phil Hagan seemed to predict its arrival with remarkable accuracy, arranging for the fleet to be towed to the race course with no breeze in the Solent, only for it to arrive as the fleet did.

Day 1, in breezes of never more than 12 kts, saw the Royal London’s Mark Lees win the leader's Red Spinnaker. Lees used the strong ebb on the left-hand side of the course to good advantage with a first and a third in the 2-race day. However, the day wasn’t without incident as the strong ebb tide for one race changed the spreader mark into the windward mark, and only race leader Mark Lees spotted this resulting, as the fleet tried to pinch up to the “new” mark, in 3 boats ended up having to do penalty turns.

Day 2, after visiting yachtsman Pat Voss from the Royal Perth Yacht club easily won the first race, things didn’t go his way and it was the combined GBR/USA team skippered by Ted Blowers who won the Boat of the Day. The team's wind calls and precise gybing saw Blowers move through the pack to give them 3 podium positions out of the days 4 races. Unfortunately, this was not enough to give Blowers the coveted Red Spinnaker, as Lees had achieved consistently good results in all 4 races

Day 3 saw the visiting USA youth team win their second race of the series, but the day's stars were the Greig City Academy team helmed by Montel Fagan-Jordan, who scored 2 firsts and a second. Their 2nd first included a man overboard recovery, as just after rounding the bottom gate in first place one of the crew hiked too hard, and it was only the quick response of tactician Matt Reid pulling him in as he passed the stern of the boat that meant they only lost 2 places, but on the down-wind leg recovered their first place to win by less than half a boat length. The Series leader suffered gear failure but, with 2 discards now in place after 10 races, were able to maintain the leader's Red Spinnaker into the last day.

Day 4 - final day - saw at last a true gradient breeze and conditions more akin to the Solent - a South Westerly at 12 Kts that slowly built to 18 Its, variable cloud cover giving good wind shifts - a race officer's nightmare, yet Phil Hagen still managed to put on 3 fair races in the now more challenging conditions as the seas started to build. 4 teams could potentially win the event, but Lees needed a bad day to throw it away, and that he nearly did, but such was the overall quality and competitive nature of the fleet that none of the contenders could maintain 3 good race results together. Without doubt though, the top boat of the day was Annabelle Vose’s all-girl crew from the Royal Southern Yacht Club who scored only 9 points from the day's 3 races with 2 podium positions.

Overall winner was helm Mark Lees’ Royal London’s team skippered by Will Bedford, ahead of USA Youth team Blue, Sean Cornell. Cornell won the Youth’s and Corinthian Trophy, a prize he was delighted to take back to the States. Lees said in his acceptance speech that teams coming to Cowes from around the world make this a special event, both on and off the water.

Rob Goddard