Gertrude CupOrganised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Cowes Etchells Fleet.

James Badenach's team representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, has won the fourth edition of the Gertrude Cup, after holding off a strong challenge from the USA Youth Team, led by Connor Needham. Bruce Huber's team, representing the Royal Yacht Squadron, recovered from a show-stopping collision on the second day, to claim third. Two youth teams tied on points for fourth, with the Grieg City Academy YC , led by Montel Fagan-Jordan, winning on countback, from the Royal London Yacht Club Youth Team, led by Ted Blowers.

Final Results

Two races were held on the final day of the Gertrude Cup, taking the series tally to thirteen. Pewter skies with rain and sea fog, reduced visibility and air temperature, but did not dent the enthusiasm of the eleven international teams. A southwesterly gradient breeze built during the day, peaking at 20 knots, with the wind oscillating 20 degrees, producing a shifty race course in the Central Solent. Once again, the Royal Thames Race Management Team, led by PRO Phil Lawerence, produced windward leeward courses with slide rule precision, taking into account a strong tidal flow. Two teams shared top performance of the day. Bill Steele's team representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and Rob Tyrwhitt-Drake's team, representing the Royal Ocean Racing Club, both scored podium results.

Gertrude CupOrganised 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.

Cowes Etchells youth sailors once again notched up superb results in a National Match Racing Championship last weekend. Although we don’t match race Etchells in Cowes, the skills learnt in the super competitive Etchells fleet transfer easily into match racing. For 4 years now, Etchells match racers have won World, European and National match racing titles.

Last weekend was no exception: Etchells sailors dominated the RYA British Match Racing Championships with Mark Lees, Toby Mumford, James Dodd ,Toby Yeabsley and Matt Hallam making-up the winning squad.

Ten other Etchells sailors were also well-placed in the event: Quintin Bes-Green, Kate Deveraux, Fiona Hampshire, Ali Hinds, Honor Fell,Tom Williams, Jack Preece, Jack Davies Hannah Peters, and Jonty Cook

Etchells youth sailors, we salute you! WELL DONE !!

oct19 miketill sRegarded marine artist, accomplished sailor and class leader in the Etchells fleet among others, Mike Till, 77, passed away at home on 10th October 2016 after a tough bout with bowel cancer. He passed away surrounded by his adoring wife Kathy and his children. Sailing and organizing sailing events were a key part of Mike’s life. He never let his illness slow him, whether it be sailing his XOD two weeks before, sailing with 360 other Finn at their World Championship in May, or working on a disabled sailing regatta.

A regular on the Etchells podium both nationally and internationally, Mike played key roles as Chairman of the British Etchells Association from 2003-2008, representing the British contingent as a Governor in the international governing body, and a number of important roles for the Cowes fleet. He organized 2007 World championships for the Class and pushed hard to build fleets on mainland Europe.

Mike started sailing Etchells in the late 80s, becoming Cowes Fleet Captain and helped rapidly expand the class ahead of the 1996, 2001 and 2007 World Championships based from Cowes and Lymington. He encouraged others to get out on the water by generously lending his boat. A late starter at sailing, he began in a Wayfarer sharpening his skills while raising two daughters, and progressed his way up the fleet. Always quick to help new sailors to each class he sailed, he was a welcoming figure for many to learn how to ply their boats faster, using the knowledge he accumulated. Prior to sailing, Mike was an accomplished cyclist – a sport he continued competitively for a long while – and a Kent county cross country runner.