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Sydney: Big races and big names

17 December 2012 Richard Hammond

Michael Coxon

"Michael Coxon"

The Sydney Fleet is looking forward to the 2012/13 season, which started on September 1st.

Michael Coxon has won the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's annual Etchells Championship for the Milson's Silver Goblets. Sailing North Star with his colleagues from North Sails, Richie Allanson and Dave O'Connor, as well as 12 year-old Optimist sailor, Flynn Twomey. Coxon managed to secure the series on the final downwind leg of the last race.

Sailed over five successive evenings with a 1750hrs start time each day, the 20 strong fleet was able to enjoy fabulous Sydney Harbour conditions, without the traffic usually experienced during weekend racing. The fleet included some of Australia's leading Etchells sailors including Coxon, past World Champion Cameron Miles and 2012 World Championship runner up, Graeme Taylor, as well as mix of Olympians and other World Champions scattered across various crews.

The series was closely contested with each of the first four races won by a different boat and going into the fifth and final race, any of the top six contenders could win the regatta. For the final race, the moderate to fresh conditions experienced earlier in the week had given way to 2-4 knot Sou'easterly, with Coxon demonstrating his 30 years of Etchells experience to sail through the fleet on the downwind leg, thereby securing the race and series win.

"It was great to compete in the regatta and get back involved with the Sydney fleet", Coxon said. "The racing was incredibly close with many of the top Etchells sailors in Australia competing and I really enjoyed sailing with Richie, Dave and young Flynn, who all put in a top effort and kept me on track. I'm looking forward to racing more regularly this Summer."

In his first Etchells regatta, Marc Ryan edged out recent World Championship runner up Graeme Taylor for second place, on a count back.

Coxon also won the first race with other individual race winners including runner up Marc Ryan, fourth placed Cameron Miles and sixth placed, Rob Weir.

The regatta was also noteworthy for the involvement of Mike Fletcher, who the Sydney Fleet had invited to provide coaching during the week for its fleet members, as part of an ongoing fleet development programme that is seeing Fletcher work with the fleet throughout the season.

The Sydney Etchells Fleet is capitalising on its successful staging of the 2012 World Championship and offering world class racing across the summer. Testament to this can be seen with Coxon and his team from North Sails due to appear more regularly, plus 2012 World Champion, Tom King, and runner up, Graeme Taylor, already sailing with the Sydney fleet.

Final Points Top 10 for the Milson's Silver Goblets:

  1. North Star - Michael Coxon, 10 pts
  2. Viken - Marc Ryan, 12 pts
  3. Magpie - Graeme Taylor/Steve Jarvin, 12 pts
  4. The Hole Way - Cameron Miles/Grant Crowle, 17 pts
  5. Ciao - Doug McGain, 17 pts
  6. Shindig - Rob Weir, 19 pts
  7. Alchemist - Richard Hammond/Roger Gain, 29 pts
  8. Odyssey - Geoff Bonouvrie/Peter Merrington, 32 pts
  9. Grand V - Gordon Hinds/Stephen Ingate, 35 pts
  10. Yandoo XX - JC Strong/Neville Wittey, 37 pts


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