The Etchells is an exciting, friendly class to join with some of the most competitive racing available. If you would like to join a boat in Cowes or see which teams are looking for crew, please join the group.
More info can be found on the class website:
or ask to join this group.
crew member needed for the 26/27th August Etchells Southern area championships, up to 55KGS
Transport to and from Cowes, plus accommodation available in Cowes
Last race, last run, 200 metres to go. This after a massive rain squall and 26 knot puff earlier on the same leg....! Easy win for Robert Drake today. Shaun Frohlich (1437) rolled over the top of Robert Elliott (blue chute) for 2nd and in doing so allowed Murray Chapples (1148) to sneak past Elliott at the same time to grab 3rd. EASY win in the week as a whole for Robert Elliott / Stuart Childerley / Ben Childerley however. Well done to them, counting 4 bullets they were easy winners. 2 (2 weeks ago)Donna Woodward Taylor:
1 (2 weeks ago)
If we are blown off tomorrow - anyone for Croquet?
On Stampede we lost our handheld radio on Tuesday we think, anyone found one, small reward of beer tokens available
Cowes Week Race 5
(Edited to say Race 5 not 4!).
There were two races taking place today in the Etchells class at Cowes Week, news to the organizers who only ran one start and one finish, but for most of the race, and not for the first time this week, the only place that really matters was entirely locked up by Robert Elliott and his crew on GBR 1439. They had a little battle with Murray Chappels “Silver Lining” on the first leg but from halfway down the tight reach to the first mark they were bow forward and they extended serenely away. Well they did, until they didn’t!
A 15 to 25 knot southerly breeze and grey skies with drizzle was the order of the day and the Elliott / Childerley / Childerley team won the start and popped out in front. Rather rarely for an Etchells race, but a ritual - once per regatta - at Cowes Week, the fleet had a tight reaching start from the RYS line heading East to escape the worst of the wild weather predicted for later in the day. (As an aside it is indeed wild and wet and windy outside at the time of writing).
Half way down the first leg Murray Chapples “Silver Lining” got inside Elliott and bows level during a big lull but he couldn’t roll them and in a flash GBR1439 was gone. Like a boat that was 12 inches longer “Bon Vivant” sailed away and over the horizon.
Further back it was a different story and a great race within a race was taking place. Initially there were two boats fighting for second place being Murray Chapples GBR 1148 and Sean Fröhlich on GBR 1437. Chapples team were second but they hoisted a twisted chute and with that Frohlich’s team got alongside. With a decent puff blowing through the fleet more than one boat broached and for those new to the class the spinnaker sheet in a cleat seemed like the sane option to avoid being sucked through the sheet block in the biggest puffs.
Chapples and Frohlich were neck and neck after a beat and another run but on the second beat they were joined by Tom Abrey’s GBR 1352 and double race winner from earlier in the week, Robert Drake in GBR 1432. Abrey, with Matt Reid calling the shots was both going fast and going the right way. With very little tidal relief on offer, and a very shifty southerly blowing over the Isle of Wight onto the race course Reid picked some nice right hand shifts to first pass Chapples then blow right past Frohlich while he was at it. Murray Chapples team had the added drama of losing another place to Robert Drake right at the last mark as well.
Nothing was standing in the way of the leaders however. Still serenely in the lead Elliott rounded the last mark for the fetch home to Cowes and the finish. Except for the fact that the rhumb line passed close to Norris Point and the infamous lulls which await there. Unusually for the team on GBR 1439 they sailed a straight line for the finish, sometimes kite up and sometimes not but seemingly without too many eyes looking backwards. The gusts were decent, short sharp blasts and the boats behind, with chutes up, took a much more aggressive course, bearing off hard in the gusts (into more adverse tide but there was plenty windy in the gusts!) and coming back up as the gusts dissipated. At one point Elliott was parked up under the headland with his chute up and down like a yo-yo as he tried to get down to the wind line to cover the fast approaching Tom Abrey team (Bruno Van Hyke, Laura Chewitt, Matt Reid, Julian Riley). They were blasting along with Frohlich (David Bedford and John Santy) right behind them also at speed. Your reporter can’t say exactly how close it got but it looked much tighter at the line than Elliott would have liked or expected!
Elliott followed by Abrey followed by Frohlich were the podium places.
True to form the race wasn’t over until the last drama of the day had been squeezed out however. Chapples boat managed to bear away with the gusts to sail out from under Robert Drakes team for 4th (by one second ! ) which became 3rd after Tom Abrey had been scored OCS for just breaking the start tape. As the old saying goes, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”
The fleet may, or may not get a race in on Thursday. Windy is the forecast.
Update : No racing Thursday, blowing 30 knots. (2 weeks ago)
68-73 Klg sailor available for Cowes Week
Oxford University 2011-2015
Date of Birth: 03/08/1992
+44 780 265 99 00
Oxford University graduate, working abroad in NGO consultancies. Looking for experience both offshore and inshore racing, with experience in both and experience first mating and skippering across UK, France, Croatia, Australia and Sweden.
• INSHORE RACING: Swan European Championships 2015, as mid bow/mast, and in 2017 as trim 2 on a Swan 36, where we took 2nd place. RTIR 2017 on the same, as downwing trim, finishing in the top 25% of the race. Southern June regatta on J88, coming 3rd in class. ISC Solent race (June 2017) on an S-362 Sport as Trim 2, taking 1st place. Round the Island 2014, Cowes Week 2014 and the Warsash Spring and Winter 2014 and 2015 series on Prima 38.
• OFFSHORE RACING: Fastnet 2017 campaign on a J133 as trim 2, taking 1st in IRC1 for De Guingand Bowl. RORC St Malo and Channel Race 2017 on Sunrise, JPK 10.80 as trim, coming 4th the overall series and 5th in IRC3. Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race (2011), in the pit/ midbow on ‘Arctos’, a MacIntryre Marine cutter. I was the youngest, female participant on the race. 2015 Fastnet on a Prima 38 in pit/foredeck and downwind trim. 2016 RORC Ushant on the same, as pit/nav 2. 2014 RORC and JOG offshore races on the Prima, including the JOG offshore week, on bow and jib trim.
• OXFORD UNIVERSITY RACING: Two years on the Oxford University Yacht Racing Squad in pit. I have competed in the British University Student championships for the last two years (2014-15), taking 2nd place in 2015. We qualified for the 2015 World Student Championships in La Baule on J80s, coming 6th, where I was on bow. I also competed at the 2014 EDHEC Course Croisiere (the European Student Regatta) on J80s, as bow.
• RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (2011): I gained my Yachtmaster qualification in 2011, having spent three months on the east coast of Australia and taking my exam in the Solent. OUYC accommodated for cruising, training and milebuilding, and I have first mated in coastal trips around; Croatia, 4 day trip Weymouth and a four day trip around the Channel Islands. I skippered for a week in Sweden in conjunction with the RCC.
• COACHING: I worked for Girls4Sail, in Cowes Sept-Nov 2015 as first mate with an emphasis on coaching during the Warsash Winter Series in the Solent. This ranged from complete foredeck training as well as tweaking on trim and foredeck work. I simultaneously acted as navigation. I first mated and coached again in Sunsail events, like the Polypipe Regatta 2016.
• RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS: I also hold a PADI Divemaster certification (2011), from diving in Egypt, the Caribbean and Australia, which included First Aid training and teaching assistance. I also hold the RYA Sea Safety (2015) and the ISAF Sea Survival.
TOTAL MILES LOGGED: 8,300 (07/2017)
I am looking for a 3rd for Wednesday of Cowes Week (tomorrow!) if anyone is available. (2 weeks ago)
Cowes Week Day 3
Race three of the Etchells class at Cowes Week 2017 saw just about every boat in the fleet have a look at a podium position at one time or another with a huge number of place changes throughout the 2.5 hour race sailed in glorious sunshine and 12 to 16 knots of SW breeze. At least four boats had the lead at one time or another and in the end the winner beat the boat in second place by a single second. Thanks to the tide the first two, while not far ahead on the water were two minutes ahead on time but third beat fourth by 10 seconds, fourth beat fifth by eight seconds and they beat sixth place by nine seconds. 3rd to 7th place were covered by only 54 seconds.
The race started with the now familiar short beat towards Gurnard and a starboard rounding of Kingston Marine Services buoy. Unlike earlier in the week the fleet had a little bit of positive tide at the start so were more evenly spread across the short leg with most of them are arriving at the KMS mark the same time. First around were Robert Drake and his crew in “Desperate” and they led a very tight pack which completed the rounding with at least one protest flag flying.
Down the first long run to the mainland shore at Hill Head the youth crew on GBR782 (Tommy Hough steering) showed exceptional downwind speed sailing over the top of Murray Chapples and then through the lee of Robert Drake's team to hold a notional lead. Further to the right (looking downwind) Rob Goddard had sailed cleanly all the way down and at one point also looked firmly in the top three. Right at the end of the leg however there was a small right shift and the more windward boats were able to soak down and assert their position in the lead with Desperate just leading round the leeward mark.
Up the first beat the main mover was Robert Elliott who moved from mid-fleet to 2nd position, taking a more right hand course seeking shelter from the adverse tide behind the Bramble Bank. (This turned out to be a. precursor to some action on the next leg……) Like he had done the day before Robert Drake and his crew focused on covering Elliott and these two started to look like clear regatta favourites. The pack were all together but not able to settle into any clear pecking order.
Cowes Week not being pure windward leeward courses however saw the next run being a broad reach which was sailed at higher speeds. With the wind softening towards the bottom of the leg the boats behind caught up such that at the start of the second beat the fleet were more or less all back together again. Now it started to get really interesting!
Elliott with his tactician Stuart Childerley turned on the afterburners and munched their way past Drake to lead. There was a definite gain to be had by hiding behind the Bramble Bank and this worked well for Elliott, right up to the point where it became a complete disaster!!!!. Although their on-board mathematics had suggested it should have 1.8 m of water over the top of it the reality proved far different. Sailing through clearly very choppy water (read - shallow!) they ground to a halt - hard aground - and by the time they had got going again they were back in eighth. Exactly as she had done the day before however Phoebe Connellan accepted a stronger adverse tide on the south side of the Brambles Bank but found a fabulous left-hand shift coming out of the Medina River, such that she had her bow across the tide and lifted away from fleet to move from sixth or seventh right up to 2nd. Rob Goddard did something similar and got himself into contention and the whole fleet were within a minute or so of each other again.
The last run was a long leg down to Fastnet Insurance on the mainland shore and although not much happened in the early stages Elliott did get a squirt down the right hand side to get himself back into the first four. By halfway down however it was clear that the leaders - being Robert Drake Mark Mansfield and Roger Reynolds - had sailed too low and needed to heat it up to make the mark. The boats behind them hardened up with spinnaker poles forward to get a better line into the mark. Rob Goddard was the first to spot this opportunity and at the last mark he led by about 10 feet. The top group of 6 boats were nose to tail.
The fleet faced a good long beat back to the finish line at Cowes with plenty of adverse current all the way. The leading six got themselves into a slight covering game and worked the centre right of the racecourse. Murray Chapples, who had not had a particularly wonderful day touring round just off the back of the pack but never able to break into it decided to strike left for the tidal protection on the island shore and the pretty well established and well-known left-handers that come out of Osborne Bay. By halfway up the last beat it was clear that anything could happen. Chapples was lifted and had clearly taken a couple of places while Rob Goddard was persisting centre right. The big losers were Sean Fröhlich and his team on Exabyte who having been in the top three for most of the race found themselves struggling back to the left at the back of the pack.
With 500 m to go to the last mark - which was virtually on the finish line - Drake and his team looked left, saw the threat and broke from Goddard leaving him isolated in the middle of the channel but determined to sail his own race. Murray Chapples was rapidly crossing all of the bows of the boats coming back on starboard towards the left and he found himself in third as the last mark approached. Goddard's patience and guts to hang on meant he found one of the few right-handers with pressure to tack on and although at times he looked extremely isolated on the right he was able to get back to tack under Robert Drake and the two of them set off on the short fetch to the finish overlap.
Chapples was comfortably in third, while the youth team of Oli Aldridge on Sumo had what looked like a very close near miss with Elliott at the last mark, both boats missing each other and the mark by what must have been a mere inches.
Drake / Mansfield and Rogers did everything they could to sail over Goddard and safe it up but never got on his wind and at the line it was literally a one second win to the team on Desperate. Aldridge and his team beat Elliot for fourth but the final twist in the day’s proceedings was a disqualification for Murray Chapples ion 3rd place after a protest from Robert Elliott’s boat for a port and starboard at the very first windward mark, nearly two and a half hours before.
So finished an amazing race where almost every boat had a sniff of the podium at one stage or another, the team which looked likely winners going aground on the Bramble Bank, the various youth teams showing great speed downwind (Tommy Hough and team) great tactical awareness upwind (Phoebe Connellan and team) and class stalwart Rob Goddard always nipping at the heels of the leader.
Overall the only boat showing any consistency is Robert Elliott with a 1, 3, 4 everybody else has already used a discard so need to find consistency in order to challenge Elliott / Childerley / Childerley.
Not the winners track but the course for the day! 1 (2 weeks ago)Adam Turk:
Good write up Laurence although shouldn't you be in the beer tent ?!? (2 weeks ago)David Franks:
Wonderful write up as usual and much appreciated (2 weeks ago)Marty Kaye:
Exciting (2 weeks ago)Laurence Mead:
post beer tent (and protest room!) (2 weeks ago)