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Always something a little bit different out there

29 August 2016 John Curnow



I have always thoroughly enjoyed the many, varied and completely broad range of interactions I get to enjoy with the Etchells Class. This newsletter is even more so and I thank each of you personally. Of special note this time is Phil Smidmore, whose musings herein stretch way, way past the pointy, skinny little boats we love. The points he puts forward for your reflection and consideration are tremendous.

Elsewhere, a man I have admired for his supreme dedication has just nailed a third place at a major overseas regatta. True, Tango won the Brisbane Winter Championship last year, and it was certainly a harbinger of times to come. Talking with him over the years you could tell he was on the job, but more importantly always looking up.

Crewing with Chris at the Gertrude Cup were the super-friendly Sam Haines and Scotsman, Mark Andrews. This will be the crew for the Worlds, as well. You can certainly tell they have a true focus on that regatta, so I wish them all the very best. Obviously the recent third place means they gelled well and Mark’s coach from the Finns, Matt Howard, will join them after he’s finished in Rio with one Giles Scott.

Haines said today, “It was a great event and the Poms do know how to put on an event, with marching bands and all. Chris has done a lot of Etchells sailing over the last 18 months, so it was good to have this kind of result for him.” Sam is on the main and Mark is up the pointy end… We will watch with extra interest.

The man in question said this of it all, "One of the interesting challenges of this event is tuning up a different boat every day. We found ourselves moving from boats with stiff masts to soft masts and having to run considerably tighter and softer caps and lowers tensions than the tuning guides would suggest to achieve the requisite sail shape. We tend to get very precious about our own boat, which makes this an interesting experience.”

“The team worked very well together and were competitive from the outset. We were leading going into the last day on count back from the eventual winners, but with the prospect of a 2nd drop on the last day bringing other teams back into the mix. Essentially we still needed to win the last day’s racing. After the first race we were still in good shape finishing 2nd. In the final race we started well, but misjudged the layline and over stood the first top mark.”

“More importantly we had a lot of fun and are much better prepared for the forthcoming worlds", said Hampton.

Cowes also had some other Aussies, and Aussie-sympaticos like Mark Thornburrow, doing well. Doug Flynn’s CYCA crew was eighth, Yandoo from the Squadron were ninth, Bill Steele from Perth was 11th. Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey was on board the second place getter and the aforementioned, Thornburrow, was sixth.

Good luck to all in both the Europeans and Worlds. May it go your way! We will enjoy watching from afar.

Back local again and an interesting opportunity has literally just come up for one lucky crew. Mick Miller (spoken of elsewhere in this newsletter) has a place for rent at the time of the Nationals (Jan 2017). Comfortable three-bedroom waterfront house for rent in Elvina Bay, Pittwater.

  • 3 Bedroom - sleeps 6 (2 queen, 1 double)
  • 2 Bathroom
  • Open plan kitchen, dining and living room.
  • Large veranda with BBQ, stunning water views, outdoor setting.
  • Rear courtyard and large lawn.
  • Fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher.
  • Water access only - pontoon holds up to a 4.8 metre boat.
  • 8 minutes by speed boat from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Royal Motor Yacht Club.
  • For more details phone Mick 0427 043 867 or email


  • No smoking
  • Be considerate to neighbours with noise levels
  • No pets allowed

This one is bound to move smartly, so get onto it…

Rock on,

John Curnow

Up for rent

"Up for rent"


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