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They're happy and they know it

27 July 2014 David Irvine

Expansive facilities and terrific water. All that is needed for 2018

"Expansive facilities and terrific water. All that is needed for 2018"

The Etchells Brisbane Fleet has undergone steady growth over the past eight years and now numbers 21 boats, with a consistent 12-16 boats out on the water each week.

This is due to the progressive promotion of the Class and the tireless work of the current Class fleet administration. Also contributing is the wonderful sailing nature of Moreton Bay.

So the plan was hatched for Brisbane Etchells to nominate and prepare a submission to the International Governors for Brisbane Etchells to host the 2018 Etchells World Championships.

With the acceptance of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, our initial planning and timelines were established in September 2013. We concentrated on the IECA World Championship Handbook and most specifically on course location and layout, regatta timing and personnel. Searching the BOM archives for suitable weather windows and scenarios, as well as incorporating local, State and Australian activities and holidays, it was decided the best time would be October 2018.

Covering a lot of ground in the early meetings meant for a relaxed Christmas break. With March fast approaching, the team got together and nutted out the broad picture of the presentation document, including wording, gathering photos and Google Earth shots suitable for printing and sought letters of support from The Premier, Federal Member, Local Member, Brisbane City Major, RQYS, Queensland Yachting and past World Champions.

Preparing for the presentation in person took a large turn and changed our planning. Noel Paterson was to present our bid to the Governors at the Annual General Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island on 21 June 2014. Noel has had some health setbacks, which he is getting on top of now, and David Irvine was chosen to travel to Newport and make the presentation. This would essentially be a PowerPoint display with embedded video, produced by an avid Etchells supporter within RQYS.

Brisbane Etchells is very fortunate to have highly skilled people in digital media, finance, planning and printing. The next month was devoted to budgeting, infinite proof reading and layouts for the presentation for the initial soft version release to be emailed to the Governors. It may be easily written here, but the team spent many hours collating, proof reading and digging up statistics to be included. Come time for finalisation, publishing and printing passed in a blur. Soft versions were out to the Governors in May 2014 with the printing finalised in three days, for posting in late May.

Mark Bradford, a valued Fleet member, would be competing in the World Championships in Newport and would assist with passing around the good word on the ground. David Healey, Governor and Australian Class Secretary would be travelling to Newport for the AGM and would assist with the presentation. With flight dates looming and feeling the need to be independent and totally prepared, I hired a data projector to make the trip to Newport. If a screen was not present, then I would have to move a few pictures on a wall.

An early arrival in Newport was best so I could get over the travel and finish the on-ground preparations, catch up with sailors, Governors and scope the meeting room for equipment that may be needed. To this end, I went to Home Depot and purchased a couple of extension cords, just in case.

The presentation was successful, the extension cords returned for credit (USD4.22) and now the hard work starts.

The facilities at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron are extensive. After current expansion is completed later this month, the Squadron facilities will now include some 600 marina berths, 160 trailer boat parking spaces, repair and maintenance hardstand, boat retrieval facilities and launching ramps, plus a 'down the bay' facility at Canaipa, on Russell Island.

Other facilities also include a function room for private events, weddings, seminars parties etc, and a boardroom. New facilities, which will be commissioned in August 2014, include a new state of the art kitchen, 100-seat theatre and a 200-seat function room. This is in addition to the existing facilities of a 200-seat restaurant, a 150-seat bistro, meeting rooms and a boardroom.

Couple all of these facilities with,

  • A dedicated team of employees and up to 70 volunteers, most of whom have operated previously at National or World Championship level
  • A location that is approximately:
    - 15 minutes from the CBD
    - 15 minutes from the Port of Brisbane
    - 20 minutes from the Brisbane Airport
    - 50 minutes from the Gold Coast
    - 1 hour from the Sunshine Coast

...and voila, you have all the makings of a world-class regatta. See you on the water on Moreton Bay in October 2018.


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