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President's Report

1 March 2015 Jake Gunther

Australian President, Jake Gunther

"Australian President, Jake Gunther"

So we are just about through the season, and as usual it has been an amazing time so far.

There is a fresh energy about the fleets at the moment, and that is reflected well in the brilliant standard of racing we are seeing at our championships. Some very experienced and determined crews are battling it out, event after event, to secure very well earned, solid results.

With our National Championships being held on the beautiful racing water off Adelaide, we once again bowed to the experience and skill of the best sailors in the country, fighting out a very hard fought and extremely close finish to the week. No one dominated the event and at the end, there was only a only a five point spread from first to fourth, with the event finally being won on a count back. No one had it to themselves, and it was a fight the whole way. Many thanks to the Adelaide fleet and the RSAYS for putting on a great event!

We still have the Victorian and WA champs to go, so don't drop your guard just yet. Also, without a conflicting World Championship we will get some serious numbers up at Mooloolaba, which, as always, will be just be perfect mid-winter regatta. Trevor and his team are working hard to make this another brilliant opportunity to race Etchells in the Australian winter.

Next year's Australian Championship in Melbourne is shaping up to be an outstanding event. The plan is to attract 60+ boats and really get the Etchells Class pumping, just as it was pre-GFC. In 2006 Melbourne had 60 boats on the start line for the nationals, and I am confident that we can achieve those numbers again. For those of you that aren't used to travelling, we urge you to make take this opportunity to hone your big fleet skills, so that you can approach the up-coming Brisbane Worlds with confidence and experience. It is normally difficult to get experience in these size fleets, but this one is only a highway away. There will be heaps to do in Melbourne at the time, so jump on it and lets make this a milestone for the Class and see if we can beat 60!

As some of you may be aware, we have had Bill Abbott out from Canada to do some measuring and checking. Bill is our Chief Measurer and it was a real pleasure to get to know him and spend some time developing some new techniques for check measuring various areas of the boat. The Class has been very responsive to the need to maintain our 'one design' integrity, and this visit was the beginning of an audit of all the manufacturing facilities and large numbers of existing boats. This work will continue through 2015 and with this we will be able to ensure that the class remains the leading one design racing keelboat in the world.

Our media push continues with great success, and I am happy to say that in most cases, regattas are being monitored via a wide range of media outlets. We have seen some excellent real-time reporting and when events are on, our online presence is accurate and reliable. Those that can't get to the regattas have been able to get a feel for the daily on-water battle that unfolds. We have had up to 14,000 views on some posts so somebody out there is spending a whole lot of time on Facebook or we have an enormous amount of interested followers. The online presence has been hugely successful and has become the staple in regard to information sharing in the class. If you're not already on Facebook, it is worth being there just to get the Etchells information.

As always I wish to thank all those hard working individuals that put in so much time and effort in the administration, at regattas and in the clubs. Without you, none of this would be possible.

See you on the water,

Jake Gunther
President International Etchells Class of Australia


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