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President's Report

3 April 2013 Jake Gunther

Australian President, Jake Gunther

"Australian President, Jake Gunther"

So the summer's gone, and with it all the National and State Championships, but hey, it was one amazing season. There was a continuum of events all over the country and they were really well attended. The big one for me was the Nationals and like always, Freo turned it on. Those guys sure know how to run a regatta, so a huge thank you to all of you that helped put all these events together!!!

Big congratulations to our new and current National Champs - Michael Manford, Dean McAullay and Nicholas Gray. They sailed a brilliant series in their brand new Pacesetter to show the world that the new boats are absolutely on the pace with the best boats around. If you are thinking about upgrading............. Now is the time!!

We had new State Champions in South Australia with Ian Dixon and crew, NSW was won by Doug McGain with Gary Adshead and Michael O'Brien. The Victorian Championship was won by Graeme Taylor, Noel Drennan, Steve Javin and Ben Morrison-Jack, whilst over in WA, Pete Chappell, Mike Hughes and David Castles got the gold. Well done to all. I can tell you these regattas are all hard fought and never easy to win.

This season, your Australian Association has been busy with a lot of promotional ideas, so I really hope that you all felt that the new coverage of some of the major regattas was up to today's expectations. We are working hard on improving our social media coverage and consequently now have a very active and exciting social media program. We are wanting to project our major events into the limelight, but please, if you are a social media user, don't hesitate to post anything relevant on the sites yourselves.

I know that every one doesn't use facebook, twitter etc, but they are great tools for getting instant news out there and we are also posting pictures virtually live from events. Maybe it is time to check this out, as it is definitely not 'just for kids'.

The online media beast has been well fed with loads of great, well written articles that have achieved some serious online interest. It is never easy these days with the America's Cup dominating the news all the time with their million dollar media budgets, but we have really achieved a solid presence. One post this year achieved over 55,000 hits, yes that's right fifty five thousand.

There have been a few folks involved in this, but sincere thanks go to Kylie Wilson and John Curnow for their fantastic tenacity and enthusiasm!

Almost all the rule changes were adopted, so it will be very interesting to see what developments come from these. The mast ram especially interests me, as it poses some serious engineering issues. There are many very smart sailors in the class and that will surely result in some very workable solutions.

While I'm touching on one-design issues, be assured that the inboard sheeting controls that are starting to appear are currently regarded as legal and are offering some fairly mixed results. Some love them, some think they are a waste of time. Like I say, it will be very interesting to see where we all end up.

There are two important issues that arise regarding the sinking of a boat in Freemantle this year at the Nationals. The reason why she sank was that the inspection port that was fitted to the rear tank access cover simply fell out!! Please if you have these type of ports fitted to your Etchells make sure they are fitted as the manufacturer intended, with metal fasteners AND sealant. Sealant alone is definitely not enough. Further, the boat was dragged sideways by a full spinnaker whilst on her side. A halyard jam stopped the kite coming down. At this point a handy knife would also have helped save the ship. This exact scenario has happened to me in the UK in 2007, but a quick slice of the halyard saved the day.

Mooloolaba is next and it will be another great year, I am sure. Trevor is already working hard to make it the best it can be and I am sure, as always, it will be. I wonder if we will have yet another new winner!

I'm off to the worlds in Italy so unfortunately I won't make it North this year.... Ahh, la dolce vita....

The Nationals in Southport this year will be a new venue for many and we hope that many of you can find your way up to the Gold Coast for what will be a great event. The facilities there are first class and there are some very keen folk who are intent on putting on a brilliant regatta. Put it on your program and we will see you in November. Hopefully I will see most of you at the Nats!

Once again, a big thanks to all my great friends in the class administration. Without them there would be no Class, in both senses of the word.

See you all on the water









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