Milson Silver Goblets
Fill the Goblet because you can't sink the Cup...
30 January 2015
Now it would have been easy to fill a goblet on Tuesday with the rain that was blanketing Sydney Harbour. However, our reference is to the Milson Goblets being run each night this week and then concluding on Saturday with three more races. The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli is hosting both the Milson Goblets, and then next week the Etchells NSW State Championship, too.
Now the Milson Goblets are a vessel, so you could potentially partake of a winner's sip from it, but you won't be able to take drink from your winning trophy from the State Championship, as it is not a cup, but rather a resplendent plaque with a half model and full sails of an Etchells.
A high level of entries and also incredibly talented sailors have been very much the highlights of the entire NSW Etchells season, and that's before you hit the water or subsequently return for drinks and nibbles on the Squadron's picturesque deck. One person who fits that bill is the runner-up from the very recent Finn Australian Championship. He's Ian McKillop, who commented, "I really enjoyed Adelaide (Etchells Australian Championship) and it was a great, learning experience, where I was sailing with different people and embellishing the team effort. They were good conditions for Etchells on the whole, and I very much enjoyed my time there."
"For the Milson Goblets and also the NSW State Championships I will be on Top 40 with Peter 'Billy' Merrington and Geoff Bonouvrie. We have been together as a crew for one year now. It is good fun because we get along well and it's a quiet boat, which is always a real bonus. We do hope to be up there, as we've had some decent results on the Harbour of late."
"It will be interesting to see what comes about with the weather this week and with the three races on Saturday, it will be a big regatta. Over 30 boats will ensure it will be full on, too. Billy is on the tiller, I'm on the main and Geoff's up the pointy end. It has been wonderful to go out and race against sailors like Grant Simmer and Iain Murray. It's always pretty cool and that is just a normal Saturday club race."
"We're looking forward to having these two great events being held out of our new base at the Squadron. The Squadron members and staff have been very welcoming and get on well together, so bring it on with these great regattas", said McKillop.
Michael Coxon of North Sails is not sailing with his usual crew, but rather he's skippering Matt McCann's, Carabella IV, whilst he's away. Showing just how good the fleet is, that means Colin Beashel has Richie Allanson and Ed McCarthy with him on North Sydney Station. Coxon said, "My crew are doing a great job. Dara Johnson is on the bow, Campbell Davidson on the main and Jane Clark is our fourth (the very competent Kokomo crew member). She has stepped in to balance our weights out. Now all I need to do is just get the mirror out and have a look at myself in terms of getting off the start line. I'll do my bit in tonight's fresh conditions."
"Well done to Jeanne-Claude Strong, Nev Wittey, Marcus Burke and Tiana Wittey on Yandoo XX (leaders after three races). We've had pretty sketchy conditions and they have picked the wind well and sailed brilliantly from a tactical point of view."
From on board Yandoo XX, Nev said, "Fresh conditions tonight were interesting. Had some good form in spots during Adelaide and fun overall, so that was a great regatta. The hard part here is dragging the few percent out of your efforts or making that few percent less errors."
"We have managed to pick a few shifts and J-C is helming so well - she's very passionate. It's an Etchells fleet, so you can always expect a tough fight. No doubt it is the best sailing on offer this week, that's for sure."
Nev finished with, "There is a long way to go, but we are happy to have nose in front for now. We lost on count back to Michael Coxon last year, so we are motivated for 2015. We hope to continue to improve on our lead up to the 2015 Etchells World Championship in Hong Kong."
Jill Connell could almost be described as a 'newbie', but her results are very much on the radar. Sailing with her for the Milson Goblets are Wade Morgan on the main and Jason Anthill up on the bow. For Saturday, Hendrick Visser will take over that latter role. Commenting on the racing, Connell said, "It has been a fantastic few months for Etchells. First there was Adelaide, now the Goblets and NSW Championship, then it is Victoria's turn."
"Sailing on the Harbour is awesome, and I'm really enjoying it. We have been to one extreme to the other with the conditions, but that's sailing. There is a great atmosphere for the Goblets and here at the Squadron, as well. We're happy with our progress, so thank you to Wade for his efforts in coaching and we're only one year into our odyssey!" McConnell started helming her Etchells in the serious big time of Etchells One Design Fleet racing at last year's Milson Goblets regatta.
Given the challenging conditions on offer in the early part of the regatta, you would need a wise head out on the water to achieve good racing. Alas, in the form of Ian Kingsford Smith, you have a very thorough and learned man as the PRO. "Yes. The weather has been unpleasant with rain, no wind and then wind from everywhere. We had a 40-minute delay on Tuesday, which is not ideal for a twilight race, and then last night a little as well."
"We ran a three leg race on Tuesday, but shortened the course to two legs and then got a full three legs completed last night. I was dubious that we would get them away in a super light breeze last night, so it was a General Recall and then the breeze came back from the South and we got up to 10 knots. It was all done in under 30 minutes in the end, so it was certainly action packed."
Kingsford Smith added, "It can be frustrating, but we do have three races in the can already, so that is tremendous. Overall it has been good and I hope we can continue in that vein and get a full set of races in and more importantly, completed. Thanks to all of my on-water team and the sailors for their patience and understanding. We have also been ducking in and out of arriving/departing cruise ships, which just adds to the overall excitement!"
To drink from the goblet you will have to win, but you can partake of the enjoyment of Etchells just about any time you want. To begin your Etchells journey and gather all the necessary information on these regattas see etchells.org.au/states-nsw.