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Vice President's Report

29 August 2016 David Clark

David Clark

"David Clark"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

The Vice-President of the IECAofA, David Clark, delivered this report at the recent AGM.


Firstly, huge thanks must go out to Jake Gunther for his contribution to Etchells Australia over the past 10+ years. Our growing Social Media presence is largely due to Jake’s hard work and experience in this area and the Class continues to benefit from this investment.

Many thanks also to the tireless work of the National Executive, including Jill Connell, David Ritchard and David Healey. The mix of experience and knowledge we have in this team has provided the membership with excellent leadership.

Sailing Events

This season we have seen great participation at a particularly high standard in our Sanctioned Events. 46 competitors at our Nationals highlighted this in January in Brighton, and then also the NSW States attracting 40 teams on Lake Macquarie in February. This still makes us the One Design Class of choice, and this level of participation speaks for itself.

Having said that we need to remain alive to the threat of other Classes and how that may impact the strength of our Class e.g. look at how Etchells numbers in the US (particularly East Coast) have declined with the arrival of J70s.

This season we will continue to promote and support Sanctioned Events, but not without financial assistance from members. In the lead-in to the 2018 Worlds, Brisbane continues their Winter Championships, with the final of their three regattas on 27/28 August. Good luck to our Aussie teams competing in Cowes in early September!


The National Executive are working on a number of initiatives intended to maintain and grow strength in our Class. This kicked off with the Member Survey, which will focus us on ‘projects’ that are important to our members.

For example, one key message from the Survey is the importance of maintaining the integrity of One Design, and we will be looking to invest in initiatives that ensures this happens.

Also, recent events have highlighted some shortcomings in our National governance, and we are amending our Constitution to resolve these potential issues. Finally, we will be assembling a team (including members of the Survey team) to formulate a Strategic Plan, which will then provide us with a clear direction over the next few years.

One Design

As a Class we are continually endeavouring to maintain, and where necessary, correct for departures from our One Design base. This is to be carefully balanced with innovation and the need to make the Etchells attractive to sail. No better example is the introduction of electric bilge pumps, which has made all our lives so much easier.

In the last little while, World Sailing has endorsed some more recent amendments to our Class Rules, including a ‘total combined weight carried by the crew’ not exceeding 30kg (for both three and four-person teams). These and other changes are only implemented with full consideration and consultation by the IGC, expertly assisted by the ODTC.

New guidelines and measures around previously uncontrolled regions of the hull, and in particular the garboard, will shortly be implemented with signoff from World Sailing. This will include the introduction of new jigs and templates for the purposes of measuring the garboard and other regions. The tolerances incorporated in these tools are intended to take account of variations across builders, with a view to identifying outliers for correction.

We have now recommenced moulding of the Pacesetter boats with some subtle corrects to the keel sump mould, intended to harmonise this part of the boat with other builders.

Have a great season of fun Etchells racing!


(Vice President IECAA, Governor IECA and ODTC member)

Fifteen+ (AUS1380)


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