2019 Etchells Queensland Championship
by Noel Paterson
8th – 10th November 2019
It seemed surreal to be racing a major championship on a weekend when so many of the community were suffering hardships with the bushfires. The series was hosted by the Southport Yacht Club and had thirteen boats sailing in the open water off Main Beach in hot humid conditions with the atmosphere filled with smoke.
This was the first series hosted by SYC for several years as the Southport Etchells Fleet graciously skipped their rotational turn to host the States so the Brisbane Etchells Fleet and RQYS race management could gain valuable experience in anticipation of the looming World Championship in October ’18. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Southport Etchells for their generous gesture of handing two rotational championships to RQYS and forgoing their turn.
Southport turned on the weather for two great days of racing with a great 8 – 12 kt ENE breeze on Saturday and a more variable NE – South of East providing great options to think about on the course on Sunday. The seascape was confused by a moderate chop with small swell coming from two directions on Saturday which made powering up the order of the day. Sunday provided us with a beautiful 8 – 14 kt breeze and a smoother chop than Saturday. SYC must be on good terms with Hughie at the moment as they really turned on great sailing conditions which gave us champagne sailing for two days.
First night fever definitely hit the fleet hard and several crews were looking a little over-trained as they left the dock for the first race. The Front Bar won the trophy for this but was not awarded a prize. Five Etchells made the trip south, Encore – Peter Conde, The Front Bar – Bradley Ginnivan, Waterloo Too – Noel Paterson, Athena – Alistair Cowen and TAG – Todd Anderson.
The regatta was won by David Clarke in The Cure from RSYS, second was 1165 – Ben Leigh Smith SYC and third Encore – Peter Conde. The other RQYS boats were …. The Front Bar – Bradley Ginnivan 4th, Waterloo Too – Noel Paterson 5th, Athena – Alistair Cowen 6th and TAG – Todd Anderson 7th. An overall great event!