USA's Aretas Wins Etchells World Championships
Published: Monday, 09 November 2015
Going into the final day of the Etchells World Championships (Nov 1-7), USA entry Aretas claimed the win with a five-point lead over second place Scimitar (USA), with Australia's Magpie also making the podium in third.
(Photos: 2015 Etchells Worlds/Guy Nowell)
Racing throughout the week took place in the waters of east Hong Kong with boats hosted in the marina of the official regatta partner the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club.
The 2015 Etchells Worlds, organised by the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and co-organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Hong Kong Etchells Association, began with a practice race on the first day followed by nine races over six days to decide the World Champions.
At race start on the last day of the championship, The Battler, Scimitar, Free Advice, China Wight, Kirribilli and Tango were all pushing for the line, with Swedish Blue suffering a collision during the melee and heading back to Kellett Island.
With a number of boats obscured as the class flag dropped, a general recall followed and 42 boats lined up for the restart under a U flag, with Australia’s Tango once again catching the RO’s eye and earning themselves a UFD for the final race.
By the first windward rounding, Australia’s Baby Doll had pulled into the lead, ahead of Scimitar and New Zealand’s The Horn, with Hong Kong’s Wanchai Belle in fourth place and USA Skipper Argyle Campbell in fifth.
All week, shore based observers have been watching the racing live on TracTrac and excitement reached a peak at the leeward mark rounding as Scimitar Skipper Steve Benjamin took the lead, with Aretas showing in seventh, positions which would have given Scimitar the overall championship.
By the second windward rounding Aretas had made up one place with Scimitar still leading Magpie, Phan, 1364 and Baby Doll.
As predicted by Aretas crewmember Jon McClean, in a nail biting finish on the final beat, in spite of Scimitar taking their third bullet of the series after leading all the way, Aretas made up a further two places to finish fourth with celebrations on board as McClean, Skip Dieball and Jeff Eiber crossed the line as 2015 Etchells World Champions.
“We knew it would come down to the last third of the last beat of the last race on the last day,” says McClean. “I’d like to thank Skip Dieball and Jeff Eiber who won the race. It was a lesson in discipline, persistence and never giving up. They worked so hard and I’m humbled to be in the boat with them.”
Happy to finish on the podium, Graeme Taylor of Magpie reflected “Obviously it was a long week, there’s been some great racing we’ve had an absolute ball and it was really tight going in for third position today, six points behind Marvin (Beckmann) and two points to the boats between. We were actually eighth this morning. The winners were in a league of their own all week, but we improved gradually through the week.”
Etchell’s World Championship Provisional Results:
1st: Aretas – USA – 27
2nd: Scimitar – USA – 29
3rd: Magpie – AUS – 50
4th: Phan – GBR – 50
5th: The Martian – USA - 55
6th: Swedish Blue – GBR – 57
7th: Gen XY – AUS – 59
8th: 1375 – USA - 62
9th: Baby Doll – AUS - 77
10th: The Horn – NZL- 79