Dogs and Sheep
The Sutherland Shire Leader
The 2012/2013 Etchells State Titles have now been successfully conducted by the club over the weekend of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of March. We had 37 competitors with boats from Qld, Victoria and Western Australia as well as all NSW fleets
The first 2 days sailing was blown out. Friday we did not even leave the beach, Saturday looked better but the seas meant we could not get a course in, and even on sunday it was touch and go as to whether the race committee would hold the races. In the end we threw some marks in the water and got in 4 really good races, albeit in over 3 metre seas and a big wind chop which made for a challenging upwind and an exciting downhill ride. The Etchells were even being pooped by waves breaking over their sterns. Good to see boats running downhill with all sails simply flapping as they ran ahead of the breeze down the waves.
Cronulla fleet had mid fleet results but David McKay and crew sailed well to pick up the grand masters trophy. (young Tim a grand master???????)
Other boats picked up prizes for positions in various heats.
A regatta such as this cannot run without support and in this regard special mention has to be made of our sponsors.
Nautica Watches was the principal sponsor providing multiple prizes of watches to be given away as overall prizes, for bow number draws in individual heats and for the raffle conducted in conjunction with the series.If you are in the market for a sailing watch, remember the support they have given us and there is even a special code (ask Don Chapple) which gives a 20% discount.
The watches looked so good that several competitors made an arrangement that although they might not have won a watch they bought one on the sly to take home and show their better halves what a fabulous win they achieved for all the money spent on the boat.
Powerade provided much needed sustenance for the competitors which was much needed to do 4 races in one day.
Estate Wine Distributors provided some of their Stonefish wines to be provided to heat winners and also for the raffle
North Sails have traditionally provided a new Etchells jib for the mid fleet boat and when that would have gone to a Norths sailor in the overall results, generously adjusted how the winner was to be determined so that another boat received this great prize.
Thank you to Tooheys for providing samples of their most delicious ale. When it was put out on saturday night it was if a flock of seagulls had found a bag of chips. Made for a most convivial evening. The support from Tooheys was arranged through the good offices of Reg Dolden.
Thank you to all our sponsors for your support.
The members of the Cronulla Etchells fleet, and none more so than Jon Harris, put in a mountain of work to get the series away and other than Jon no individual mentions. It is the other members of the club that deserve special thanks. As per usual with Cronulla there are too many names to mention all but some people deserve special attention.
To Pete Cox for providing Valhalla as a mark boat and sitting at the top mark bobbing around in trying conditions.
To Steve O'Rourke for providing bottled water and the use of the Protector as the pin boat. Steve forewent his sailing to help run the series.
To Reg Dolden for providing the beautiful Janice as a VIP and support boat. Some of the guests got quite green around the gills, but the media people were provided with a platform par excellence thanks to Reg.
To the start boat crew for a sterling effort but particularly to Andrew McLachlan from GRSC who came in as PRO and provided professional expertise necessary when handling a fleet of this calibre.
To Bruce McKay and Michael Druce for collating the results, several times, as protests and arbitration ebbed and flowed and changed the finishing order.
To Dennis Mccllarren and Col Nielsen, who as usual were always there when anything needed doing
To the dinghy section for cancelling their sunday sailing to enable the Etchells to have clear rigging deck space and the support boats necessary to conduct safe racing.
And a special mention to Paul Kelly and Bucho who were not only involved in organising the event but were on hand each day. On the sunday they spent a most pleasant day in the Alufarm, two miles off Cronulla, in over three metre seas. With as much good grace and humour as they could muster they had to move the top mark, as the breeze shifted, I think but did not keep accurate count, six times. By the end, Bucho had no fingers left.
This was the second major regatta our club has conducted this season, the other being the Finn Nationals at Christmas, and it is with great pride that one looks on what we can achieve. Thank you to all the volunteers. You really are the backbone.
Your Exhausted Commodore