The 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.
On the last run in the final race, Lawrie Smith team came from behind to pass both Swedish Blue and Mans Best Friend to secure the championship by a single point.“Thank you to the Royal London and all of the race management team, we have had great racing,” commented Lawrie Smith, “To all my team well done, and sorry about the last run Ante, he was winning the regatta until then but he didn't!”
“A high level of competition with top sailors, especially from Peter Duncan and Ante Razmilovic, who pushed us all the way, ” commented Pedro Andrade tactician for Lawrie Smith. “We had a shocker in Race 7, and in Race 8 we didn't have a good start, so it wasn't looking good. On the last run, we decided to stay on the starboard gybe, and the competition gybed away from us. The wind was dropping, and we saw a bit of a pressure from the left with a favourable shift. We were patient, held our nerve, and it did pay. We managed to sail around them, after rounding the bottom gate, we were with the tide and pulled away for the beat to the finish.”
Will Bedford's team have all come through the Royal London YC Etchells Youth Academy, and in a strong field of experienced Etchells sailors, topped the Corinthian ranking for the 2018 Etchells European Championship. “The Royal London Etchells Youth Academy is a great programme and you are sailing against great people, and we are privileged to be here.” commented Will Bedford.
Runner up in the Corinthian Class was Rob Goddard's Stampede (RYA/CCYC) and in third place was Maarten Jamin's El Toro (WSV Hoorn).
Congratulations should go to all the teams who made the podium in a highly competitive fleet, including Chris Hampton (Royal Brighton Yacht Club) who scored a 6-1-2 on the last day to take fourth in the Open Division. Also making the podium: Marci Pocci (Royal Hong Kong YC), Graham Sunderland (Royal London YC), Peter Rogers (Royal Lymington YC), and Shaun Frohlich (Royal Southern YC).
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