<![CDATA[Etchells New Zealand - News]]>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 15:03:32 +1300EditMySite<![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
<![CDATA[TUESDAY NIGHT SERIES - FLIGHT 2]]>Wed, 21 Oct 2015 06:10:03 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/tuesday-night-series-flight-23Report by Lincoln Fraser

Flight 2 was run in a gusty 12 to 20 knot SW breeze.  Three races were held with the final race required to decide a three way tie after two races between Feng Shui (3, 1), Upfront (2, 2) and Valsheda (1, 3).  Vilda Hilda was next placed on eight points after two 4th place results. 
The final race saw a tactical first beat with Feng Shui holding Upfront and Valsheda out to the starboard layline, only finally tacking when all three boats were well over laid.  At the top mark it was Spitfire and Echelon leading the way followed closely by Foundation and then Feng Shui with their rivals for the nights honours trailing. 
The gusty conditions helped compress the fleet for a tightly bunched bottom mark rounding to set up a critical final beat. Again the right side of the course paid, lifting Feng Shui into the lead closely followed by Spitfire, Echelon and Valsheda, Upfront and Vilda Hilda. 
An early gybe and some inside pressure helped Valsheda sneak past Spitfire and Echelon to take second for the race and overall for the night behind Feng Shui who had jumped out to a comfortable lead.  Upfront came in 4th for the final race behind Echelon but 3rd for the night. 
Many thanks to Warwick and Teresa Gair  and Allan Fraser for race management.

Results here (flight) and here (overall).
<![CDATA[TRAINING DAY - SEPTEMBER 2015]]>Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:59:57 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/training-day-september-2015Following the success of the first training day last month, a second training day has been scheduled for  Sunday,13th September, 2015, from around 11:30am to 3:30pm,  followed by a debrief. 

This will be a great start to the season ahead of the commencement of the Tuesday Night Series on 13th October and the Spring Regatta on 17th / 18th October.]]>
<![CDATA[Training Day - August 2015]]>Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:08:54 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/training-day-august-2015
Many thanks to Will Tiller for the first session of the season.  Here are Will's notes and observations:

Start Prep: Good to have most of this sorted before the 5 min gun goes

- Transit and while doing this check line bias

- Laylines, both pin and boat

- Favoured side of course

- Is it light or breezy? Easy or hard to live to windward of someone off the line?

- Have a couple of plans A and B for your desired start

During the Start:

Have clear crew roles

·         Bowman (time on distance and calls the line and other boats),

·         Mainsheet (time, evaluates start plan, calls threats and helps spot nice gaps on line),

·         Helmsman (clear communication)

Can use the pin as a reference for your starting position.

Pin start:  be underneath pin with 1:30 to go

Boat start: be underneath pin with 2:30 to go

At the gun:

Clear call from bowman if over or not

Mainsheet calls if you are in right phase or left phase, breeze-wise, off the line

Skipper calls desired mode to be sailed

General Notes from Sunday

Boat End Starts

- Generally an earlier setup than pin end starts, from early set up you have to fight hard to keep spot, with aggressive bow downs when people try to tack beneath you and then sharp bow ups to build separation

- Try not to get yourself caught above the lay line to the boat, its asking for trouble

- Identify if you’re in a bad spot early and get out of there!

Pin End Starts

- Generally to win the pin you’re the last boat to tack over onto starboard so a very late set up

- Remember only one boat wins the pin so it’s a risky start, can always be a safe start to be down towards the pin but above the main bunch fighting for it


- In general you guys were all fairly good at being close to the line at the gun, but we only had one boat OCS all day, so maybe you could push this a little harder

Racing Starts

- Don't set up too far away from the line, get in there and fight for your position
<![CDATA[Post-Christmas Series 2015]]>Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:58:26 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/post-christmas-series-2015
With a crucial 1, 2 in the final flight of the season, Valsheda II (950) has taken the double - winning both National Championships and the Post-Christmas Series from Feng Shui (1348) - a very close second - and Upfront (814).

This has been the most competitively fought and well-attended series in recent history and overall victory came down to the final flight, with only 2 points separating the fleet leaders.

Overall, the standard of the fleet has been raised this year and with new entries to the fleet, next year promises to provide some real competition to the usual suspects.

There does remain some disparity in the condition of sails and boats and this winter we will propose a refurbishment programme that should allow us to leverage the buying power of the class to complete (in some case, much needed) maintenance and repairs work on our boats.  Watch this space for details.

Congratulations to Al Gair and crew - and to all who competed this year. 

Results are here (flight) and here (series)
<![CDATA[National Champs 2015]]>Tue, 31 Mar 2015 07:31:41 GMThttp://www.etchells.org.nz/news/national-champs-2015
In all-too-typical Auckland conditions that ran through a repertoire of variations from light and shifty to wet and wild, Valsheda II (1295) somehow maintained a close harmony, producing a master-class in yacht-racing to take the National Championships.

However, their dominant performance on paper (with no fewer than 5 bullets) belies the closeness of the fleet racing, in which no single crew seemed to have things their own way.  6 boats achieved podium finishes over the two day regatta, with the order changing at almost every mark.

Day one was charaterised by light to moderate winds and some colossal shifts.  The trying conditions served to separate the sheep from the goats and the fleet's more agricultural practitioners were mercilessly punished.  The race committee worked heroically to keep pace, but after 3 races and a postponement, in which the wind visited all point of the compass, a halt was called.  

Day two dawned wet and windless, but quickly cleared to near-perfect conditions for four long races.  Your correspondent suffered an early end to his campaign with a main halyard breakage before the first start, but witnessed and relished the action from the sidelines.  Valsheda II consolidated a commanding lead with three more wins, while Affinity played bridesmaid with three 2nd-places (after a 6th, which they would drop).  Bobby's Girl who were in 2nd place overnight, failed to maintain their consistency and Maverick's 1, 2, 3 (and a solid 5) were enough to secure 2nd place from Affinity.

Congratulations to all competitors in an awesome regatta and many thanks to the race committee and all of the many volunteers, sponsors and supporters who contributed to the event.  

Results are here