<![CDATA[Etchells New Zealand - News]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:03:04 +1300EditMySite<![CDATA[Post-Christmas Series - Flight 2]]>Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:44:40 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/post-christmas-series-flight-21
The Etchells gave the Westhaven dragon boats a run for their money on a long paddle out to the race course - until the expected southerly filled in to push the tail-enders out into the flooding tide.  This new breeze filled and established itself quickly, allowing the Squadron race committee - ably led by Megan Kensington - to get away three short, but action-packed races for the Etchells and the ladies' fleets.

Beginners luck prevailed again with 'newbie' Craig Greenwood celebrating his return to the fold with a bullet in race 1 aboard Affinity (1059).  Your correspondent was hot on his tail until the last mark, but was rolled by Willzy et al on Feng Shui (1348) - finishing strongly (as ever) after an earlier error (circles duly noted).  

Reality also bit Magrette (1240) after their stunning debut in Flight 1, but do not expect this rock-star crew to stay down for long.

With Hugh Rebbeck absent, the ring-in crew aboard Echelon (1083) sailed an intelligent flight, culminating in a bullet in the very-tricky race 3 to take out 1st place overall from Affinity and Feng Shui.

This week's racing featured TRACKING and you can relive the action for all three races here.  Warning - this is highly addictive.  Please note also that not all boats were tracked - it would be great to get everyone on board next week (and certainly for the Auckland Champs in two weeks' time).

Check out the guts and never-say-die determination of Lincoln Fraser's Alliance (1295) in race 3 here - particularly the final run - (just don't look at who they rolled...

Many thanks as always to the ROs for an excellent and highly enjoyable flight

Results here (flight) and here (series).
<![CDATA[POST-CHRISTMAS SERIES - FLIGHT 1]]>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 04:13:39 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/post-christmas-series-flight-1
Newcomers Russell Benshaw and crew aboard Magrette (1240) set the cat amongst the pigeons with a convincing bullet in race 1 of the season's opening flight.

Shifty conditions on an sweltering evening saw the wind clock through all points of the compass as the fleet limbered up, until a merciful southerly prevailed and allowed the race committee to set a relatively short course across the ebbing tide.

A pronounced pin-bias in race 1 was offset be the strong left-to-right tide and the right hand side paid off for those in phase.  As ever, the shifts under the tank farm were perilous - particularly to those caught down-tide and in a hole.

In addition to Magrette's firm statement of intent,  Feng Shui (1348), Upfront (814) and Lincoln Fraser's Alliance (1295) each posted strong performances on a tricky night and there was a three-way tie on points in fourth place (resolved on count-back).  All in all a very satisfying and tantalizing start to the season.  In the words of Dean Barker, if you didn't enjoy that, you need to find another sport...

Race Tracking

From next week, we hope to be able to offer live race tracking (and of course replays to your hearts' content).  Instructions for signing up to this initiative have been sent to all oweners and we will follow up later in the week.

Live action and replays will be available via the website, with a link beside each (recorded) race on the website calendar.

Results here (flight) and here (series)
<![CDATA[Tuesday Night Series - Flight 8]]>Tue, 15 Dec 2015 08:49:50 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-81
Shifty conditions provided a final frisson of excitement in this last throw of the dice before the Christmas break.  Hayden Whitburn aboard Upfront (814) may have been tempted to count his chickens with Valsheda (950) a DNC, but there were no dead-certs on a course bristling with false hopes and banana skins.

Only Feng Shui (1348) seemed able to pick her way faultlessly through the pratfalls to take a clean sweep, while the fortunes of the following fleet were mixed in a very close-fought flight.  

Race 1 saw Feng Shui and Tortuga (779) make an early break onto port tack as the wind clocked left through 35 degrees such that the starboard layline was under the spans of the Harbour Bridge.  Showing a clean pair of heels to the following fleet, Feng Shui, Upfront and Tortuga made for the downwind mark, with Tortuga creating and then losing the overlap to round in third.

With the top mark reset, the three leaders played the shifts up the middle and Tortuga was able to gain second place after Upfront pushed hard left and into a hole.  Downwind, the ebbing tide began to tell and the deeper course of Tortuga allowed her to hang on to second place.

In Race 2 it was the right that paid on the first work.  The long offset leg - laid close to the Westhaven breakwater - provided passing opportunities for the brave and the fleet remained very close for the run producing more than one photo-finish.

​After the breeze settled for Race 3, Upfront will have been happy to take out 2nd overall (in both the flight and the season), having managed a 3. 4. 3 on the night.  After a misstep in race 1, Windward (1114) posted a 3, 2 to finish 3rd in the flight.

Your correspondent once again enjoyed exceptional crew-work - and expert tactical guidance - from the English girls, Ellie and Rosie and only slipped out of the main running when failing to do as he was told.

Many congratulations, then to Feng Shui on a series win, to add to the a top-ten finish at the Worlds.  Upfront (814) takes 2nd overall from Valsheda (950).

A very Merry Christmas to all Etchells sailors - with hopes that we will see more of ALL of you in 2016.

​Results here (flight) and here (series)
<![CDATA[Tuesday Night Series - Flight 7]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 09:43:11 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-71
'A blustery day gave way to a more beguiling lull ahead of the the 6:00 PM start, but by the warning signal it was fairly whistling down the course, against the last of the flooding tide.  This made for a sporty start and an epic downhill slide, with Feng Shui (1348) leading the charge from an eight-boat fleet over some rowdy surf.

Tragically (particularly for an unusually well-placed Tortuga (779)), the downwind mark had not been set and the first race was abandoned.  However, a new race was quickly re-set and the fleet set off again in similar breeze, albeit over a flatter course on the now-ebbing tide.

It is a sad reflection upon the paucity of homegrown Kiwi sailing talent that your correspondent has had to fly in his crew from the UK and Spain, but Rosie (fresh off the jet), Ellie and Antonio fully justified the price of their airfares (it's their suite at the Langham that's really killing me) by bringing Tortuga (779) home a comfortable 2nd in Race 1, behind Feng Shui and ahead of Valsheda (950) - welcoming guest-helm Jan Dawson on an impressive debut.

Race 2 was a far closer affair, with the boats so tight at the top mark that, paradoxically, the spreader mark was not missed.  In what amounted to a sprint, Feng Shui took another bullet from Upfront (814) and Valsheda (950).  Torguga had held her own until the jib halyard cleat gave way, but avoided a total loss thanks to quick work by the crew (whose pay has nevertheless been docked).

Race 3 was, frankly, odd.  The race committee got the start sequence underway with commendable alacrity, but while some of the fleet were still some way off.  When the start signal sounded, only 3 boats were anywhere near the line, and 2 of them - Tortuga and Feng Shui - were close enough to it, that an individual recall seemed to be aimed at them.  But no.  It was for the (distant) late-comers.  This, your correspondent learned only after having re-crossed the line behind Feng Shui.  Consequently, Windward (1114) parlayed a late start into a comfortable win from Feng Shui and Tortuga.

With only one flight remaining, Feng Shui seems relatively safe in the top spot - but second place is very much up for grabs between Valsheda and Upfront.

Many thanks to the race committee and congratulations to Jan Dawson and crew on a strong flight to keep Valsheda in second spot on the leader board.

Results here (flight) and here (series).
<![CDATA[TUESDAY NIGHT SERIES - FLIGHT 6]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 09:11:47 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-63
Ideal conditions prevailed for Flight 6 and the fleet was champing at the bit to get amongst it, checked only by a short postponement to correct a wildly biased line.

This will be an unusually brief report as the festive season brings numerous pressing responsibilities for your correspondent.  Suffice it to say, Upfront (814) and Valsheda (950) are making a mark on this series and won't let Feng Shui (1348) take it by default.

Aboard Tortuga (779), your correspondent enjoyed mixed fortunes - albeit in fine company, with fleet debutante, Russell Benshaw in the middle spot. Sadly missed, of course, was your correspondents erstwhile ship-mate, the incomparably Dom Lundon, whose deft (and entirely kosher) touch on the main sheet and shrewd tactical counsel have always been the key ingredients in each of Tortuga's myriad successes.

Many thanks to the Race Committee for an excellent outing.  There are two more flights before the Christmas break.

​Results here (flight) and here (series)
<![CDATA[TUESDAY NIGHT SERIES - FLIGHT 5]]>Tue, 24 Nov 2015 19:09:07 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-53
Following a weekend of gales and thunderstorms, Tuesday dawned bright and calm and, thanks to many crossed fingers, the fine conditions held for a flawless evening of close racing in a warm, light breeze and slack tide.

Flawless, that is, apart from the obvious lacuna in your correspondent's crew (bloody no-show lawyers.  They are the WORST).  In fact, the beats favoured a double-handed set-up - but the spinnaker sets did not...

Willzy, fresh from his extended sojourn in Hong Kong, took the early advantage aboard Feng Shui (1348) up the left hand side in Race 1.  The bulk of the fleet fought over the meagre breeze at the boat end and made a late start.  By the time they had hit their straps, the work was in the bag.  

Your correspondent, ably assisted (that is to say, carried, by Ellie Aldridge) made a strong start and rounded in about third.  At this point, we really weren't missing our AWOL middle-man and his ham-fisted trimming, but at the mark-rounding Tortuga (779) hemorrhaged places as the spinnaker set proved heavy going for two pairs of hands. 

The run was closer than the uphill, with a few cat's paws of pressure batting the fleet into a tighter cluster at the bottom mark.  The second beat saw an obvious breeze gradient left to right which caught out a few and on the run Feng Shui held on for the win from Maverick (1077) and Echelon (1083).

The fleet started well in Race 2 in slightly more pressure, again split left and right on an even course both up and downwind.  As the pressure started to fail Upfront (814) took the win from Valsheda (950) and Feng Shui (1348).

Race 3 was a drifter and despite a marked boat-end bias at the gun, pressure proved to be the critical factor.  Those heading left built an impressive lead in the better breeze and as your correspondent drifted accross the line, Captain Pete (716) was barely visible on the far horizon.

In a pronounced right shift and dying pressure the race was shortened to one lap with Feng Shui taking out a second bullet from Upfront and Captain Pete.

All in all a fine evening - with many thanks to the Race Committee for three very efficient, quick-fire races.

​Results here (flight) and here (series).
<![CDATA[TUESDAY NIGHT SERIES - FLIGHT 4]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 04:59:55 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-44


Report By Hayden Whitburn

Two races were completed in some strong gusty conditions with some very exciting racing.

Race One 
It was all on at the start with Fengi Shui (905) leading the charge from the pin, clear ahead of Upfront (814), Etchelon (1083)  and Valsheda (1348).  With the gusty conditions, it was all about playing the shifts.  However, the left proved to come through for Upfront (814) which lead at the top with Fengi Shui (1348)  and Valsheda (950) close behind.

Upfront had spinnaker Issues and was passed by both boats down the run with Fengi Shui  now taking the lead and Valsheda right on their transom around the bottom.

Upfront (814) choose the left again, which proved to be favoured again, but not enough to catch Fengi Shui.  Valsheda had a superb hoist and passed Upfront to the finish.

Race Two 
Again the left side paid dividends and Upfront (814) lead around the top from Etchelon, having a great beat with the help of Grant Loretz  – Americas Cup Veteran - Fengi Shui a close 3rd,  followed by Valsheda.
Upfront had spinnaker issues again and Fengi Shui and Echelon both passed to leeward.  However, Upfront finally got it together, got a big puff and managed to gybe and cross ahead to lead around the bottom mark.

These positions held for the upwind leg,  so it was all down to the final downwind.  Fengi Shui had a better hoist and managed to soak inside Upfront, but they managed to find a puff and gybe ahead to clear Fengi Shui to take the Bullet.

Valsheda sailed superbly downwind to pass Echelon to claim 3rd place.

The Fleet headed to Swashbucklers for a final debrief and was presented with prizes for every boat by of Stephen Brayshaw of Ronstan - to whom many thanks.

Thanks also to Joshua McCormick for being RO, Allan Fraser for supplying his fine vessel and Matthew Caldwell from North Sails.

​Results are here (flight) and here (overall)
<![CDATA[Tuesday Night Series - Flight 3]]>Tue, 10 Nov 2015 10:18:06 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-32
Fine conditions, but a fickle breeze eventually confounded the the RNZYS race committee and saw the fleet retire for an early bath after two exacting races on the flooding tide.

Top mark identification provided a poser on leg one of race one and some boats never quite recovered from plumbing for the wrong yellow buoy.  Your correspondent gamely attempted to redress the error with a late, footing charge from the port lay-line (known hereabouts as 'a Prydie'), bailed, fouled Captain Pete (906) and then - to the perplexity and consternation of his crew - performed a rarely seen manoeuvre known as 'circles'.

The long, up-tide run provided passing opportunities and culminated in a difficult rounding, which saw the fleet compress and re-shuffle, but Valsheda (950) held on for a solid win from Upfront (814) and Feng Shui (1348).

Race two was a very similar affair.  The breeze died on the first downwind rounding and the following fleet scrambled to get round.  It was very close at the next mark, but again Maverick (950) held out for another strong bullet over a late-charging Echelon (1083) and Upfront (814).

Many congratulations to fleet members Anatole Masfen and Andrew Wills (not to mention skipper Dirk Kneulman) for their top-ten finish at the Etchells World Championships in Hong Kong (and also to Anatole for making it out for Flight 3).

Many thanks to the RNZYS Race Officers and their crew.

​Results here (flight) and here (series)

RONSTAN Super Series - 17th November

Next week's racing is presented by RONSTAN, with the usual great racing enhanced by some awesome Ronstan prizes and of course drinks at Swashbucklers.
<![CDATA[Etchells Invitational 2015]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 07:09:57 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/etchells-invitational-2015

Conditions were perfect for the 2015 Etchells Invitational with a 12 knot westerly breeze, sunshine and an enthusiastic crowd, comprising some new and some familiar faces.

ROs Warwick and Theresa Gair aboard Allan Fraser's shiny new RIB (for which many thanks) got away 4 single-lap, quick fire races.

Although no single boat dominated, the top three places of night went to guest helms, with Stefan Goldwater aboard Lincoln Faser's Valsheda (950) taking first place. Paul Murray and Carl Evans shared second place aboard Hayden Whitburn's Upfront (814) and Ed Crooke took third place aboard Hugh Rebbeck's Echelon (1083).  Fleet newcomer, Alistair Campbell took 4th and the incumbents (led by Pelle Petersen aboard Vilda Hilda (906)) will need to lift their game, or else may wish to suggest that they were sand-bagging as part of the overall marketing strategy...

Aboard Tortuga (779) guest-helm, Ellie Aldridge, demonstrated both yachting prowess and saintly patience for her crew (viz. your correspondent and his part-time middle-man, Dom Lundon), who struggled with a Gordian tangle of knitting before settling into a study in ineptitude.  While posting a 4th place in race 3, Ellie deserved much better overall.

Simon Craddock aboard Andrew Fraser's Spitfire (1077) remained in touch with the incumbents and was unlucky to finish 9th overall on the count-back.

As the light faded on the race-course, a cheerful fleet returned to Z Pier for a dock-side beer post-game analysis.  As a fleet, we sincerely hope that our guests will return - perhaps as new owners...

Many thanks again to our Race Officers, Warwick and Thereesa Gair and to Allan Fraser for kindly donating his RIB and time.  Thanks also to Richard Gladwell and sail-world.com for coverage and action photography.

Results here
<![CDATA[Etchells Invitational 2015 - gallery]]>Tue, 03 Nov 2015 06:02:13 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/etchells-invitational-2015-gallery