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Pittwater: punching above their weight

2 March 2010 Hendrik Visser

Tom Slingsby at the NSW States

"Tom Slingsby at the NSW States"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

While the Pittwater Etchells Fleet is not large, it continues to punch well above its weight in state, national and world championships.

The Fleet was well represented at the 2009 Worlds in Melbourne. Andrew Palfrey crewed with John Bertrand to achieve third place and six Pittwater boats competed skippered by Rob Brown, Julian Plante, Mark Doyle, John Sheehan, Josh Chant and Hendrik Visser. Brown, Plante, Doyle and Sheehan finished in the top 21 places out of the 86 boat field.

In June at the Mooloolaba mid-winter nationals, John Sheehan came a credible tenth. Julian Plante and Ian Audsley also competed in this event.

In November Julian Plante went to Sydney Harbour and won the Milson's Silver Goblet Twilight Regatta.

Then in the 2010 Nationals at Lake Macquarie in January, Pittwater sailors again featured strongly. Andrew Palfrey again crewed with John Bertrand to win the Championship, Phil Smidmore crewed with Ian Johnson to claim fourth, Adam Beashel skippered Steampacket to fifth, Julian Plante finished sixth followed by Peter Merrington and Mark Doyle.

Last month the NSW State Titles were held off Sydney Heads. The Pittwater Fleet had another strong showing with six boats competing. Tom Slingsby sailed Steampacket 7 into third place, Julian Plante into fourth followed by Peter Merrington, Mark Doyle, Mark Richards and Hendrik Visser.

Meanwhile back in Newport, we race every Saturday with an exciting program of three sprint races sailed alternately inside Pittwater and offshore in Broken Bay. This variety is excellent training to help prepare for almost any race course around the world.

Some years ago the Fleet purchased an Etchells which is used to introduce new members to the class with great success. We have now introduced the boat to the Youth Development program with a view to attracting young sailors to the class.

The Fleet members are keen to attract more Etchells sailors to the Pittwater Fleet by offering excellent competitive yachting with top class hard stand facilities at RPAYC.


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