Day One 2016 Etchells World Championship
Hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club

See Ingrid Abery's photo gallery here

(5th September, Cowes UK) The 2016 Etchells World Championship started in earnest today, with two intensely competitive races in the Central Solent. It took four attempts to get the fleet away for Race One and the U-Flag start produced several casualties, including reigning Etchells World Champions, Skip Dieball, Jon McClean and Jeff Eiber North Cape YC  (USA). “Yes, we will be back out fighting tomorrow, we have got our discard out of the way on the first race.” commented Jon McClean. Teams from five different nations occupy the top ten places. However two teams from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Victoria Australia, finished the day at the top of the leaderboard.

Race One was won by Chris Hampton racing with Sam Haines and Mark Andrews Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS). The chat in the beer tent afterwards suggested that Hampton's team, sailed extremely well today. Ante Razmilovic racing with Chris Larson and Stuart Flinn, representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA), scored a bullet in Race Two.

Day One, top performer was John Bertrand, racing with Paul Blowers and Ben Lamb, representing the Royal Brighton Yacht Club (AUS). After two races, Bertrand leads by three points from Hampton. Steve Benjamin's team, from the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (USA), is the smoking gun in third, behind the Australians. Peter Duncan, American Yacht Club (USA), is in fourth on countback from Andy Beadsworth, Warsash SC (GBR). Noel 'Nitro' Drennan, representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is just a point behind in sixth.

“Consistency is the key and we could not have done better than that today.” commented John Bertrand. “Between being a hero or a loser is the thickness of a sheet of paper. In Race One, we rounded the top mark in 30th and it was all about chipping away and eventually finishing 4th. This regatta is about holding it together and seeing the forest from the trees, placing the boat in the best place for the wind and the tide, and dealing with all the boats around you. To win this regatta, you have to be able to come back from the dead – everybody will find themselves in that position during the week.”

In the Corinthian Class, Thomas Brennan's team of  Ian Dobson, Sam Maxfield and Honor Fell, representing the Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR), scored an impressive 4th in the second race, to lead the 18 teams racing on countback. Martin Webster team of Annabel Vose, Peter Nicholas and Chris Smith from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, Perth (AUS) is in second. Webster's result was impressive, after recovering Annabel Vose from an unscheduled swim! James Badenach's team of Christian Thompson, Elliot Hanson and Martin Wrigley, from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, finished the day in third.

Bill Steele from Perth, Australia and Tim Patton from Bermuda, have accumulated 52 Etchells World Championships between them. Both fly a distinctive wine glass on their spinnaker, signifying a gentleman's bet. Bill Steele's cup was definitely half full today, finishing the day in fifth position in the Corinthian Class, ahead of Tim Patton. Today's Prize Giving was sponsored by Spinlock and wine merchants Justerini & Brooks, who had a special prize for Bill Steele

“This is my 25th Etchells Worlds but Tim has done 27. We both carry the wine glass on our spinnakers to signify a gentleman's wager of a bottle of fine wine on every race.” smiled Bill Steele. “We can see each other on the race course and today, it was very close in the first race, which I managed to win, and got away well in the second to win quite well. It was very nice of Justerini & Brooks to put up a fine bottle of wine today. I intend to enjoy it with my wife Annabelle, whom the boat, Chelsea Lady, is named after.”

Racing at the 2016 Etchells World Championship will continue tomorrow, Tuesday 6th September, with two races scheduled in the Central Solent. The 2016 Etchells World Championship media team will deliver live updates, including GPS Tracking, as well as daily results, news stories, interviews, videos, and pictures.

Provisional Top Ten

1. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb, AUS, 6.0 points
2. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews, AUS, 9.0
3. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet, USA, 19.0
4. Raging Rooster, Peter Duncan / Thomas Blackwell / Judson Smith, USA, 23.0
5. Etchells Andy Beadsworth / Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin, GBR, 23.0
6. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills, SIN, 24.0
7. Powwow, Pedro Andrade / Henry bagnall / Charles Nankin, POR, 27.0
8. Hephaestus (Corinthian), Thomas Brennan / Ian Dobson / Sam Maxfield / Honor Fell, GBR, 27.0
9. Sumo (Corinthian), Martin Webster / Annabel Vose / Peter Nicholas / Chris Smith, AUS, 27.0
10. La Tomenta, Shannon Bush / Brad Boston / Curt Oetking, USA, 28.0

Full provisional results

2016.etchellsworlds.org