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Sydney: First race of the season ends in tie!

4 September 2010 Kylie Wilson

Umami leading the way to Bradley's

"Umami leading the way to Bradley's"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

With 30 entries and 30 knots forecast for the first Sydney Fleet race, there looked to be some promising action...

Unfortunately, this activity, along with the attendant rain, must have scared many away, with just nine boats venturing out for the race. It may have been wet and blustery, but it did prove to be a nice warm up event, with Sydney Harbour the first in the country to start summer Etchells racing again.

Until you get the gun, you can never be really sure that you've done enough to hear the grand old opera dame doing scales in her dressing room. Certainly this was the case at the season opener, when Matt Whitnall's, Umami (AUS1250), took the start from the pin and with first tack at Bradleys Head, they crossed the fleet and they didn't really look back. As it eventuated, they lead the other eight boats for the whole race and by a fair distance, at that. The race was Matt's first with a new boat, "after taking a season off and only squeezing in two regattas in the Dragon's, last season. It really was good to come back to the Etchells and get a good result."

Ultimately, the results showed Umami tying for first with Stephen Barlow's Humpback, although corrected results would reveal Humpback as the winner. Alchemist (AUS1082) took out third place, of which her crew said, "Being the first race back... it was hard", and packing up the boat with weary arms seemed to take more than the usual focus.

The next race had the Sydney fleet start their World Qualifiers with a Mini series on 11 September. 37 starters are listed, but you just never can tell how many will appear and who will do enough to win.

Avalon with some company

"Avalon with some company"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,


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