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A tremendous season

14 April 2014 John Curnow

Sassy and Digby Taylor try out dadís Etchells during the VIC State Championships and with many thanks to GT for supplying the image

"Sassy and Digby Taylor try out dadís Etchells during the VIC State Championships and with many thanks to GT for supplying the image"

Photo by:
Graeme Taylor

In short, it was a tremendous season because of you, the Etchells sailor. So thank you all for talking with me on the quay, answering countless questions on the phone and making time to reply to my emails. All of these actions ensured we got the right messages out about our events, the class and the many technical aspects of the One Design - Etchells. That you all did this whether you had things like family commitments to cover, were behind the wheel driving to or from an event, and yes it was with a proper car kit, was not lost on me.

There are many stories from this, but one that stands out is from Graeme Taylor. He'd taken his family to Metung for the Victorian Championships. He'd sailed, packed up camp, was driving back quite late on the final night and still managed to call me, as well as send on the picture we see here. Thanks GT!

In it's entirety it was just awesome to be a part of, whether in situ or from afar and your desire to go racing was completely evident. Yet this was eclipsed by one thing: the thirst for knowledge and the selfless nature to pass it on to others, if you happened to be the fortunate person to have such prowess at your disposal.

Of itself it proved that this is the Class in which to see how well you sail. For whether you are battling it out to determine if you get first or second place, or 21st over 22nd, the same competitive spirit is evident. Etchells appear to be a lot like golf, where the players can be excruciatingly frustrated with their game, but yet they'll be back again to master the challenge.

Now just like golf, Etchells certainly have a plethora of nuances to consider. I was not fortunate enough to have a race on an Etchells this season, let alone just sail one somewhere, but wow did I learn a lot from all of you, whether directly or indirectly as I watched you race. Thank you for the experiences and knowledge. Many thanks also to the unsung, but oh-so-wonderful cast of thousands who are the volunteers that make racing possible in the first place. Ashore doing registrations and results or on-water laying marks and even more arduously pulling them up, firing guns (mostly blowing horns unfortunately), raising flags, ensuring you were signed on, got the right place rounding the mark and finishing or getting pinged for being OCS - you are all sensational and greatly appreciated by every Etchellian.

Finally then to Adelaide and January 12 to 16, 2015. Elsewhere Mooloolaba and even Newport are mentioned, but Adelaide needs to be on your radar, for it will appear quickly from this point on! The conditions seem right for Etchells with clear courses and good winds. After all, it is closer for the West Australians than the East coast and more than doable for those coming from NSW and VIC. Queensland, you have not been forgotten there, you deserve a special mention and hopefully many of you will begin to prepare your plans and lodge applications for subsidy, should it be made available again.

So please start considering it. With all the effort gone in to promoting the class of recent times, it would be good to have a super-armada arrive to see who will be the new Australian Champion. The innumerable efforts of your Australian Association will be justly rewarded thus, so congratulate them by making sure you attend, please.

Cheers and well done.


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