Airlie Beach Race Week makes its pitch for Etchells class sail

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

AS ONE of the Etchells class ma­jor re­gat­tas in Aus­tralia, the Etchells Aus­tralasian Cham­pi­onship at­tracts some of the coun­try’s best sailors.

This year a crew from Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club joined the com­pe­ti­tion, in an ef­fort to at­tract the class and the top sailors to com­pete in Airlie Beach Race Week in Au­gust.

Robert Holm, who owns the boat Good Vibes, teamed up with Ross Chisholm (fore­deck) and Adrian Bram (main­sheet) to com­pete to­gether in the event.

This crew had never sailed to­gether un­til the first race.

Sail­ing in such an ex­pe­ri­enced fleet, and with 40 boats on the start­ing line, the learn­ing curve was huge, but the crew faced the chal­lenge with re­sults of 33, 33 and 34 on the first day set­ting the scene.

On Satur­day, the wind was even stronger.

While Good Vibes felt they sailed well, ob­vi­ously so did the op­po­si­tion, re­sult­ing in sim­i­lar re­sults on day two.

With only one race re­main­ing on Sun­day, the crews woke to a light, five-knot breeze and large swell.

The fleet split af­ter the start.

Those who went out to sea ben­e­fited.

Pick­ing up on this, Good Vibes favoured the sea­ward side of the course and clawed back from a slow start to fin­ish a cred­i­ble 20th in the last race.

Its re­sults may not have been at the top of the score sheet, but the op­por­tu­nity to meet some of the coun­try’s top sailors, and in­vite them to Airlie Beach Race Week was a chance not to be missed.

Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club is hop­ing to at­tract at least 10 of th­ese rac­ing boats to Race Week on Au­gust 10.

PHOTO: JOHN CURNOW

LARGE SWELL: Some close Etchells rac­ing at Mooloolaba on the Sun­shine Coast.

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