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The word's out

27 July 2014 John Curnow

Well done on your success Brisbane

"Well done on your success Brisbane"

So indeed the word is out, but it is not necessarily the BBQ that I'm referring to here. Rather, it is Etchells and you, the sailors that make Etchells the Class to be a part of.

Adelaide will be here before you know it and the ability to operate out of a spacious and soon-to-be even more comfortable locale will make it a must-do. Add good water, plenty of squirt and they should have no problem getting a full series in.

Further off, but very important is Brisbane and the 2018 World Championships. It was great to see such a good team and set of facilities get the nod. David Irvine commented of their success, "Winning the right to host the 2018 Etchells World Championships was very satisfying; a slight sense of relief, immense pride on behalf of all that have contributed and a sense of fulfilment in successfully achieving our first goal. It is the result of a lot of hard work, research and collaboration from many people; and it is just the start of such efforts, as we assemble a team to host the event."

"I would like to thank my fellow Organising Committee members: David Healey (assisting with presentation, Current Secretary of Etchells Australia and IECA Governor), Noel Peterson (IECA Governor), Mark Gallagher (Rear Commodore, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron), John Warlow (Fleet Captain, Brisbane Etchells) and Paul Hughes (General Manager, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron).

"Special mention for their assistance goes to Lynne Jackson (Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron - supply of photos and answering my 1,001 questions and requests for information), Kevin Miller (Commodore Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron - for great assistance with marketing and letters of support), Graham and Christine Bickley (Visionz - for production of the video used in the Newport presentation), Jason Hawkins (KND Digital - for tireless work, drafts and final copy for Bid brochure), Darren Gunning (KND Digital for Graphic Design and logo design), Mark Bradford (North Sails Brisbane - for his insights and assistance in preparation and on the ground in Newport) and John Ferguson and Steve Wataman (Fergies Print & Mail - for document printing). Yes. That is correct. They printed our bid document in hard copy full gloss as designed and charged peanuts, as John Ferguson is a past RQYS Commodore and great friend of Etchells."

"To view our successful bid, please go to, said David in finishing.

Now off to the USA, where three of our Australia II demi-Gods hit those waters they know so well. John Bertrand, Grant Simmer and Phil Smidmore all raced. Naturally, in a Class such as Etchells, they were not the only legends present, but there were plenty who contemplated this fact in awe.

John Bertrand said of the event, "The Newport Etchell Worlds was a sensation. Conditions ranged from light to moderate. The New York Yacht Club did a superb job in sometimes very unstable conditions."

"95 boats and a 1 km start line is another world of racing. A washing machine off the line and the death cone of turbulent affected air coming into and leaving the top mark made for massive gains or losses."

"The best team won. Bill Hardesty and his three crewmembers were always smooth and always fast. This is his third Etchells World Championship win and it's no fluke. The fleet is now very professional in depth. Hard to punch back from a 40 at the top mark!"

"Grant Simmer, Andrew Palfrey and myself finally finished 7th overall and won the consolation prize - the world senior championship. Always 'could-have-beens, should-have-beens' but all in all, a great regatta."

Somewhat auspiciously, the event held even more gravitas for John, who commented, "This was my first time back to Newport since the last race of the America's Cup 31 years ago! Initially it felt like re-visiting Vietnam. Blood on the water all those years ago. Very much memory lane for myself and Rasa, but our welcome back was fantastic."

"The former and current Commodores of the New York Yacht Club organised a private dinner at their original club house called Station 10 on the grounds of the New York Yacht Club in Newport. This is where Commodore John Stevens originally hatched his plans to win the 'ol mug' over 160 years ago. A memorable evening of both the past and present. We felt very welcome and typical of their hospitality."

Your continued participation in our Class is what makes it strong by virtue of critical mass. Seeing the beloved E just about wherever you go to race is the determining factor. Keep the faith and spread the word. Cheers and well done Etchellians.

What a team - Andrew Palfrey, John Bertrand and Grant Simmer

"What a team - Andrew Palfrey, John Bertrand and Grant Simmer"


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