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President's Report

14 October 2012 Jake Gunther

Australian President, Jake Gunther

"Australian President, Jake Gunther"

Tuscany. Well, if you haven't been, you must! Now if you have, then you will understand why I have written this piece.

Yes I have been, and that is why I didn't hesitate when it came to my decision to get over there for the 2013 Worlds. It is arguably one of the best sailing, holidaying and relaxing places in the world. The food, the people, the wine, but most of all the sea breezes and the Mediterranean Sea offer really perfect conditions for Etchells. I know I'm sounding like a travel brochure, but if there is a way you can do it, you must, for you will really regret it if you don't. I was there for the Finn Masters Worlds a year ago, when we had a regular sea breeze of 9 to 14 knots every day and we ate the best Italian food in the world every night. It was something very special.

Locally, things are moving along just fine, with all the sailing seasons now under way and members getting ready for what will be a great season. It was wonderful to see Etchells out training just off Brighton once again, in preparation for another year of solid competition, both locally and nationally. We may not have a World Championship in the Southern Hemisphere this season, but we do have a fantastic program for the Nationals. Perth will be a blast and you all know that the competition and the organisation will be fabulous! With a little assistance from the National Association, via our new travel assistance program, we are expecting great numbers, so make sure you're there. This regatta too, will be well worth your effort to get to WA!

I get the feeling that our sport is in for a renewed interest after what can only be described as a landslide victory for Australian sailing at the Olympics. This hopefully will feed through to our class, via greater media interest and generally more enquiry from newcomers. This is an ideal time to be fostering new members, not just owners, but very importantly, new crews as well. If you get the opportunity, take a few of your friends out for a sail who haven't sailed Etchells before. We have to be careful not to develop a 'closed group' and new faces are what we need. While I'm on membership, if you are on Facebook, then jump on the Etchells Australia page, give it a like and then you will get all the posts on your newsfeed. It's a great place to just peruse, check things out and there are links to events and other Etchells sites. I really would like to get this going and it will be participation that will get it there.

While I have your attention, please don't forget to vote in the upcoming elections for the IGC. Please have your say on the rule change items, too. We need your opinion!

A big thank you to our builder, Phil Smidmore, for all his efforts. Unfortunately, due to the current ailing economy, he is not building many new boats, but please support his efforts by considering him when refitting or maintaining your Etchells. He has all the hard to get bits, as well as the general items. We are working hard to bring him up to speed on the Internet, but until then he is only a phone call away!!!

Also again a big thanks to all those that have and continue to put in so much to make this wonderful class power on!!!

I am really looking forward to getting out on the water this season and giving you all a run for your money. Most of all I look forward to just being out there and sailing the world's finest racing sailboat!

See you all on the water...


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