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Cronulla; Race wins spread across strong fleet

26 March 2009 Scott Backhouse

Cronulla Fleet's No Mercy competing at the Audi Etchells World Championship 2009

"Cronulla Fleet's No Mercy competing at the Audi Etchells World Championship 2009"

Photo by:
Andrea Francolini,

The Cronulla Etchells Fleet continues to be strong with 12 boats regularly lining up on the starting line each weekend. With the age of the boats in the fleet varying from very early Pamcrafts to two relatively new Pacesetters, race wins are being spread amongst the fleet.

This season has seen the standard of racing increase with the joining of the Botany Bay fleet with the Cronulla Fleet. The pre-Christmas scratch sprint point score was testament to that with only six points separating first place from third. No Mercy skippered by Burke Melia sailed consistently to take the point score out with 20 points from long term Etchells veteran Steve O'Rourke on 22 points sailing Panther and Hubba sailed by Bruce Swane on 26 points. The handicap winner for the pre-Christmas point score was Tism skippered by Gavin Condon finishing on 28 points from No Mercy on 39 points and Peter Young's Panther 2 on 43 points.

With the increase in fleet size and registered numbers, Cronulla was fortunate to be able to send three boats to compete in the Audi Etchells World Championship 2009 in Melbourne. The fleet was represented by Crews Control, crewed by Paul and John Minter and Ross Bull; No Mercy's Burke Melia, Wayne Keavy and Scott Backhouse; and Panther's Steve O'Rourke, Scott Condie and Bruce Swane. Team Panther also competed in the previous year's worlds in Chicago.

The team results were varied for the Cronulla Fleet with the lighter than expected winds catching a few crews out. No Mercy performed strongly and was the best of the Cronulla boats finishing a credible 30th in the 85 boat fleet while Panther and Crews Control finished 76th and 80th respectively. While Crews Control had a series to forget, they had also competed in the Entire Pre-Worlds Regatta performing considerably better in the stronger winds the previous week finishing 23rd overall.

The Cronulla fleet would like to congratulate all those that competed in the recent Worlds as well as those who represented Cronulla and also congratulate the winners, Jason Muir and his crew from Brisbane, for a magnificent performance in winning the regatta with a race to spare.

At present the post-Christmas series is in full swing and with the return of the boats which headed to Melbourne. The last couple of weeks of racing look to be intense as the battle heats up for the overall Point Score Champions.

For those interested in joining the Cronulla Etchells fleet, the fleet races two to three sprint races each Saturday from September to the end of April on the beautiful waters of Bate Bay with racing starting at 2pm during daylight saving and 1pm outside daylight saving. Further information about Cronulla Sailing Club and updated Etchells information and results can found on the Cronulla Sailing Club website or please feel free to contact fleet captain Jon Harris with any enquires.

Cronulla Sailing Club


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