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Etchells numbers bursting for the ‘Spring Regatta’

Six months ago we fielded queries from south of the border as to what was happening at RQYS prior to the World Championship program. We decided to run a low key regatta but because Opening Day is late this year (15th Sept.) there wasn’t much wriggle room after opening day so we decided to run it pre- season on the 8th and 9th and not overstretch the infrastructure of the club.

This was always intended to be a low key regatta, an opportunity for locals and visitors to have a hit out on the Worlds course with a relaxed sail card (no card) and now a slightly relaxed crew weight limit of 287kg up from the regulation 285kg. This gives Worlds participants the opportunity to trial sails as they wish in preparation for the big event.

Our expectation was that we would attract a fleet of around 20 – 25 boats. Wrong, the Fleet has grown from 14 a week ago to 44, the size of a major regional championship or National event and has caught us a little unawares. We have found it necessary to use a mobile crane now to help get the Fleet in and out of the water. I thank the RQYS membership for their support and tolerance with this.

The regatta has attracted the likes of John Bertrand, Iain Murray, three times National Champion Graeme Taylor, boats from New Zealand and Hong Kong and a host of hot sailors from around Oz. The Etchells International Chairman Grantham Kitto has also graced our shores.

The month of October will be Etchells central with the Pre Worlds (Queensland Championship) racing scheduled from Sunday 14th Oct – Tuesday 16th Oct. There are currently 65 entries for this regatta with more to come.

The World Championship racing is scheduled from Sunday 21st Oct – Saturday 27th Oct. There are currently 91 entries with more to come. This is the 50 Etchells World Championship and there is a Gala Dinner on Saturday 20th October where the old boys can tell some lies.

This really is a feast of sailing and I would encourage the RQYS membership as a whole to come to the club and get out on the water to watch these remarkable events, a genuine representation of true one design racing at the pinnacle. 90 + Etchells on a start line is visual overload so don’t miss the opportunity to witness it.

– Noel Patterson, Brisbane Fleet Captain