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Gold Coast: Etchells Fleet Update

8 December 2011 Greg Forgan-Smith

Fleet members working their way uphill past the golden sands

"Fleet members working their way uphill past the golden sands"

After the season start a few months ago, there has been resurgence in Etchells on the Gold Coast. With only nine boats on the hard, we are now seeing six or seven registered boats on the water for our monthly offshore sailing. Many continue to compete in weekday twilights and the inshore mixed fleet racing on the Broadwater.

'Why is it so?' asked the late Julius Sumner-Miller. Perhaps it's because the weather has stabilised. After a very wild and windy 2010, when it was difficult to get through our Seaway, we now have the perfect conditions to match the city's advertisements. We also have new boat owners, who have also brought many new crewmembers into the class with them. Encouragingly, we have seen a lot of interest and involvement from our juniors, who have finally passed through from Optimists, 29ers and Blazers and are now looking to get the feel of a keelboat.

Winning the Commonwealth Games for 2018 has given the Gold Coast a real shot in the arm for business prospects in the city. It has also carried with it, the chance for the sailing community to hopefully to show their wares. Yachting Queensland and our Club have been in negotiations with Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 Bid Team for inclusion of a range of sailing activities, as part of the Cultural Activities Programme, which will form part of the games 'event'. Hopefully, we will be able to make some positive announcements, shortly.

Our fleet sees this as a wonderful opportunity to promote the Class and will be looking to hold a significant regatta on the Gold Coast in the lead up to the Games. We will be hosting the Queensland State Championship around October 2012 and also hope, with developed management infrastructure, to be holding the National titles, when they fall due for Queensland in the 2013-14 season.

Offshore panorama of one of Australia's most iconic cities

"Offshore panorama of one of Australia's most iconic cities"


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