Big Breeze at Etchells Worlds

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(8th September, Cowes UK) Big breeze arrived at the 2016 Etchells World Championship today; fully powered up, punching through Solent chop upwind and pulling the trigger down wind, several teams experienced gear failure. The conditions were unexpected, 25 knots of solid breeze with bullets of pressure, sending the wind speed past 30 knots. Race 6 was completed, guaranteeing a series for the regatta, and bringing a discard race into play. Argyle Campbell, representing the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, (USA), won today's only race. Andy Beadsworth, representing Warsash Sailing Club (GBR), was 2nd and reigning Etchells World Champion, Skip Dieball, representing North Cape YC (USA), was 3rd.

John Bertrand representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS), extended his overall lead at the top of the fleet, scoring a 6th today and discarding a 22nd. Steve Benjamin's team suffered damage to their main sheet system before the start, which they repaired, but the knock-on effect was a rushed pre-start, and a 20th place dropped the team to 3rd overall. Irish born Australian, Noel Drennan, scored a 5th place to steal past Benjamin by a single point. Drennan has competed in the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and 30 Sydney Hobart's. This is Noel 'Nitro' Drennan's 18th Etchells World Championship.

Photo by sportography.tvDay Three 2016 Etchells World Championship
Hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club

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 (7th September, Cowes UK) It was a dramatic finish to the third day of the Etchells World Championship, sponsored by Red Funnel Ferries. John Bertrand, representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS), was initially disqualified from Race 5, for being over early on a U-Flag start, and then re-instated after the Race Committee reviewed the decision. "We have cameras at both ends of the line and this system enabled us to have an exact picture at the start. Having reviewed this evidence some teams were re-instated for Race 5." confirmed Principle Race Officer, Phil Lawrence.

Steve Benjamin, representing the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (USA), scored a bullet in Race 4, and fought back from a mid-fleet start in Race 5, to end the day four points behind Bertrand. "We fully expected John (Bertrand) to be ahead when we came in. He got a great start in the last race, as did we in the race before." commented Steve Benjamin. "I love coming to Cowes, I have been here for five Admiral's Cups and the Jubilee, and it is one of my favourite places in the world to go sailing. Today was tough again, but we have a really good team, and we are happy with our speed."

(6th September, Cowes UK) There was some more Aussie cheer, on Day Two of the Etchells World Championship. Noel 'Nitro' Drennan, has raced Etchells with Dennis Connor and John Bertrand, and his experience showed today, nailing the pin end of the start to win Race Three by a handsome margin. Drennan's bullet lifts his team above John Bertrand, but only into 2nd place. The Stars & Stripes of Steve 'Benj' Benjamin's team, from Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club Connecticut USA, leads the Etchells World Championship after three races.

“Very challenging today and a lot of fun.” summed up Steve Benjamin. “We were unsure, which side was going to pay before the start. Literally before the gun, the pin came good and we were near that end of the line. It was then about how long to stay on that tack, that was dictated by the tide and the wind, and also the lane we were holding. The lane started to get congested so we tacked over and made it in good shape to the top mark. There is a long way to go in this regatta and the results do not count a throw out yet, so we are taking absolutely nothing for granted. It is a lot of fun sailing in this fleet, the racing is really tight and it is a fantastic mix of sailors, from so many areas of the sport.”