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Adelaide; Big summer in Adelaide

26 March 2009 Wayne Knill

Presentation night for the Adelaide Fleet

"Presentation night for the Adelaide Fleet"

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This summer was a busier time than usual in sleepy old Adelaide. Firstly the 2009 Nationals was run and won in early January by that little known underdog from Melbourne, John Bertrand (you can still check out stories, pictures & results from that regatta on www.09etchellsaustchamps.org.au ). A special mention must go to locals Ian Dixon, Mark O Brien and Nick Paterson for winning the Grand Masters division, the first time an Adelaide fleet boat has collected any silverware at national level!

The South Australian State Championship was sailed over two weekends. The first four races were conducted in November and the final four races in late January. This year our State Championship was won by Chris Pratt and Simon Estella who jointly helmed AUS1270 La Vie Dansante to victory. Second place went to Jason Ward and third to Shane Duessen who continues to crank up Wood Duck (a 20-year-old hull) to faster than she has any right to be.

We recently conducted a 'Come N' Try' day with 'five Etchells tearing around a short course on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. About 15 sailors from the Squadron, who all usually race bigger yachts, finally got the chance to grab the helm and see what all the fuss was about. Everyone marvelled at the feel and balance of an Etchells and loved the even boat speed and close racing. The main attraction for them was something we all now take for granted; first over the line wins. There seems to be a lot of frustration out there over handicapping in the big boat fleets at the moment and the one design principle is looking more and more attractive!

2009 Etchells Australian Championship









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