Johnny Melville (Bobby's Girl) has complained - long and often - that he does not get to do enough Etchells racing. Frustrated by the unbending paucity of time, Johnny has evidently alighted upon the novel solution of cloning himself. In last night's race, '1058' seemed to be all over the race course, until it became apparent that there were three or four '1058' clones. And the trend is catching on: '1348' also doubled-down.
I sympathise with Johnny (and his various clones), but my deeper empathy is reserved for the Race Committee, whose results were, necessarily, heavily glossed with explanatory notes.
Whilst the munificence of Johnny and Anatole are to be applauded, I would ask their beneficiaries to limit the bounds of their admirable frugality and splash out on some new numbers...
To the extent that it was possible to discern which boats were actually participating, the racing was close and exciting - often a little too close and too exciting. Your correspondent was so taken up in the confusion of the action that he started to hallucinate - imagining at one point that Split Decision (914) was actually doing its turns...
The patchy conditions were fraught with gusts and treacherous holes - particularly at the top mark, where a strong ebbing tide caught out more than a few boats.
Newcomer Hayden Whitford on Upfront (814) has proved to be a strong competitor this season, while Affinity (1059) sailed an intelligent flight despite a couple of marginal starts to finish 2nd overall. Feng Shui (1348), however, won the day and remains at the top of the leader board - only two points clear of Valsheda II (950) - with 5 flights to go.
results here (series) and here (flights).
The 2014 Etchell Auckland Championships were held over Monday and Tuesday nights attracting a fleet of ten boats.
Six races were sailed in total, with gusty winds ranging from 10 - 18 knots. Racing was very tight, with four different race winners.
The Overall Winners were
1st - Andrew Wills, Anatole Masfen and Matt Kelway
2nd - Alastair Gair, Derek Scott, Rhys Johnson and Andrew Clarke.
3rd- Hayden Whitburn, Rob Salthouse (Monday), Paul Murray (Tuesday), Henry Haslett and Guy Wilson
4th -John Melville, Stu Malloy and Cam Horne
Many thanks go to Warwick and Theresa Gair, who did a fantastic Job running the racing.
We race every Tuesday night during the Summer and welcome new sailors - please join the crew / mailing list or contact us to get involved
All images by kind premission of Johnny Montgomery
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.