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Sydney; CYCA's successful raid on RSYS Trophy Cabinet

8 June 2009 Mike Thackray

Leaders of the Kopsen Trophy challenging fleets, Jan Muysken (RSYS) and Mike Thackray (CYCA)

"Leaders of the Kopsen Trophy challenging fleets, Jan Muysken (RSYS) and Mike Thackray (CYCA)"

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Etchells sailing out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia fleet have soundly beaten Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron-based Etchells for the 2008-2009 Kopsen Trophy Interclub Challenge by a margin of 171 points over the 37 races sailed during the season.

Bill Kopsen, one of the earliest Etchells sailors in Sydney and a well known yacht chandler, presented the Kopsen Trophy - Etchells Teams Racing Perpetual Trophy to the RSYS in 1987 when the RSYS defeated a combined CYCA/Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club team.

Over 22 years the trophy has been presented seven times with the score to date being RSYS 4 - CYCA 3 following CYCA's latest win. The CYCA crews are determined to maintain their current dominance and tighten their grip on this prestigious prize.

Mike Thackray, CYCA member of the Sydney Etchells Fleet Committee and co-owner of EAUS 767 Champagne Charlie with well known Sydney sailor Peter Charody, has been the driving force behind the revival of the Kopsen Trophy. At the start of the 2008/09 season Thackray issued a challenge on behalf of CYCA based Etchells owners and crews to the Fleet Captain Jan Muysken, owner of EAUS 1360 Etch and a member of RSYS based Etchells fleet.

Thackray also designed an innovative point scoring system that encouraged all boats in the fleet to finish every race they compete in as well as they can. Points were allocated based on finishing positions across the line for each team's three boats sailing in each race. Three boats were selected from each club comprising those with the highest and lowest handicap for each race and the boat with a handicap closest to the average of the highest and lowest for that race.

In the event of two or more boats being eligible for selection as the third team member, the boat selected was the lower/lowest hull number. For OCS, DNF or RAF boats, points scored equal the number of starters plus one.

"It is a system that can be used for one design classes in any combined club fleet or regatta using handicapping systems where three or more boats per club are racing," Thackray said.

Thackray said the revival of the Kopsen Trophy has strengthened the spirit of strong competition and camaraderie among the top class Sydney Fleet. "It was very effective because handicaps during the season varied so much that 33 of our 34 strong fleet scored points for their club once or more. Most crews only found out after the race that they had been in the team as few crews read their handicaps before each race, so the surprise element was a bonus. It was also very noticeable that the better performing boats were giving lots of sail faster tips to their lower handicapped teammates throughout the season which raised the standard of racing substantially and was great to see.

"We have generated increased publicity during the season for the Sydney Etchells fleet and believe this has contributed to the successful promotion of the International Etchells class in the lead up to the Sydney Etchells World Championship in 2012 and beyond," he added.

Kopsen Trophy


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