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Geelong: Fresh enthusiasm

30 November 2009 Tim Clark

Mike Schilt, all 120kg of him, showing how to hike. There are 3 onboard; I'm just hidden behind Mike

"Mike Schilt, all 120kg of him, showing how to hike. There are 3 onboard; I'm just hidden behind Mike"

Photo by:
Greg Sinclair

The Royal Geelong Yacht Club's Etchells Fleet has had a strong start to the season with the majority of boats moving off the hardstand regularly with fresh enthusiasm.

There has some defection from handicap racing to one-design with boats gaining new crew in what has been a predominately light weather start to the year's racing. The fleet has also had an injection of young blood with 22-year-old Jordy Smith taking advantage of a regular skipper being forced overseas with work and has now grabbed the helm of Urban Gorilla. With one regular crew and a variety of others, he has steered the boat to its best results with a first and three second places, then second in the championship. The owner may find it hard to get the stick back come the new year. Another youngster, 19-year-old Tom Kelly, has also snatched the helm from his father and taken The Archer to some impressive results.

Most of the new crews participated in the successful Etchells Geelong winter series. Reigning champions, The Moe Szyslak Experience, had the pace on the fleet as a whole, but as we all know in Etchells racing, things can change quickly.

All boats have been equipped with Tack Trackers this season. Analysis of the plots is helping crews establish whether they have boat speed issues or it's the direction their pointing their boats that is determining their place over the line.

Seven heats have been completed at the time of this report and with 27 races scheduled until middle April, the season and the fleet will continue to improve.

The Archer (1189), Urban Gorilla (780) and Free Advice (1335) rounding the bottom mark very close

"The Archer (1189), Urban Gorilla (780) and Free Advice (1335) rounding the bottom mark very close"

Photo by:
Greg Sinclair









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