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President's Report

6 October 2011 Jake Gunther

Australian President, Jake Gunther

"Australian President, Jake Gunther"

Firstly, I would like to start with a very sincere thank you to both Noel Patterson as out going President and of course, Ian Kingsford- Smith as out going Secretary. Both of these fine gentlemen have contributed thousands of hours to our class and for that element alone, we all owe them a great deal of thanks. They have handed me the helm of an association that is in excellent order and a class that remains the premier one-design sailboat racing class in Australia.

I am very excited to say that we have had some very experienced and competent class members step up to fill the executive spots. David Healy has moved up into the Secretary's position and is absolutely on top of it. I have known David for many years and am very happy that he has taken up the job.

David Ritchard remains as Treasurer, and as usual, he provides a knowledge base and an ever-steadying influence, one that has helped me within both the Executive and the class for many years.

David Clark needs little introduction to most of you, but for those that don't know him, he has a fantastic overview of the class and as an excellent sailor and very approachable fellow, we are very fortunate to now have him within the Executive.

The assistant Secretary's position has been filled be Sydneysider, Michael Stovin-Bradford, who brings to the class many years of experience, not just in Etchells and Lasers, but also professionally as a highly respected IT person. His knowledge and understanding will be a tremendous asset to our team.

The Class itself continues to shine, with ever growing interest and support from the wider sailing community. It is always interesting to see that our Etchells sailors are almost always in the spotlight when it comes to all forms of sailboat racing, whether it be offshore IRC or performance dinghy racing, there always seems to be an Etchells person adding to the mix. This is really what we have to offer - true one design racing, at well run events, which give everyone an opportunity to develop and hone their racing skills to the highest level. It may be a tough school sometimes, but for those that stick at it, the rewards are well worth the effort and we should all be very proud to part of this fantastic class.

This year we are very excited to have 're-tooled the boat' with brand new moulds, which reflect where the class is in the 21st century. We have taken all the technical advantages and all the niceties of all the existing manufacturers and rolled them into a beautiful new boat that is now selling again. Check one out, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

With the upcoming Worlds on our home turf next February, we are all in for a very big season. World Championships always create a surge and by all accounts, our 2012 Worlds will be a big one. The Sydney Fleet is progressing well with the preparation. They are setting the stage for a fantastic event, one that will be hard fought by the finest sailors in our Class. I have heard that the reigning World Championship team of Bill Hardesty and crew are planning to attend, so they and many, many others will make for a very hard fought championship. The event will be tracked in real-time, so we will see lot of attention on the Etchells this Summer.

In addition to the Worlds, there are a multitude of events that will offer some very fine racing. On top of all that, the qualifying regattas add another dimension to the weekend club racing. There really is something for everyone. Lets all get out there support the events and make this a Summer to remember.

Finally, I would like to sincerely thank all those that have put in so much for our class. They are way to numerous to list, but they do know who they are. Whether you are a Fleet Captain, a mark layer on a club boat, a measurer, or have helped out on a Protest Committee, we all thank all of you for helping to maintain and administer our great class. I wish you all good luck in all your sailing pursuits this season and very much look forward to catching up at the Regattas, for some great racing and some wonderful socialising.

Yours in Sailing,
Jake Gunther


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