Congratulations to Todd Anderson, Charles Kosecki and Tom Needham on winning the 2022-2023 Etchells Queensland States.
The regatta was sailed the weekend of 14-16 October, and hosted by RQYS, a seven race series over three days.
Unfortunately entries were light with only 9 RQ fleet members entered but what we lacked in numbers, we made up for in quality with close tight racing all weekend.
Friday saw 2 races on the eastern course outside Green Is in great sailing conditions – 12-15 kts from the NE. Minutes before race 1, one of the crew on Gen XY had to return ashore due to a family emergency leaving Grant a man down. They considered 2 up but there was just too much breeze and they had to withdraw from the days racing. Todd Anderson on TAG opened his account for the weekend with a win in race 1, followed by Marty on The Saint with Patto and the Waterloo 2 crew grabbing the 3rd spot.
Race 2 saw Patto grab the gun from nemesis Dave Healey on Rapscallion and The Saint maintaining their form to grab 3rd.
This saw Patto go in as overnight leader with Marty a further point back and Todd another point behind.
Due to volunteer shortages, Saturday's 3 races were held inside on the northern course – in a 16kt SEer against a strong incoming tide which created some rather unpleasant and lumpy conditions at the bottom end of the course.
Race 4 saw the fleet race off to Green Island where those who tacked off early benefited from a left hand shift while those that went hard left overlaid the top mark. Cameron on Etchykoo Pk went onto a comfortable win followed by Rapscallion and TAG. At this point E Pk, Rapscallion and TAG were tied for first with Waterloo 2 just a point further back. Every place was important. The Project withdrew from the regatta during this race after struggling in the heavier conditions due to being +80kg under weight.
Race 4 saw TAG grab another bullet, Rapscallion their 3rd second place and Jason and the Knot Easy crew poked their head up with a 3rd.
In race 5 Gen X had their first win followed by Waterloo 2 and TAG snaffling 3rd by a second from Rapscallion.
So, after a day of close racing, TAG had a 2 point lead from Rapscallion who had 2 points on Waterloo 2 with Etchycoo PK another 2 point back. It was all on for day 3!!!
Sunday saw us back on the northern course in a building 6-10kt Easterly. TAG took out race 6 with Patto grabbing 2nd and Gen XY 3rd. Rapscallion came in 4th meaning Heals and Patto were tied for 2nd while Todd had a commanding lead of 5 points going into the final race.
As you can imagine race 7 was all about Patto and Heals with 2nd and 3rd places overall at stake. Rapscallion has an ideal start pushing the weather boats up on the start line causing Patto to be shut out. Forced to tack off behind other boats he head out to the right. Unfortunately Rapscallion couldn’t get a clear lane to tack back to cover and Patto rounded the top in second behind TAG with Rapscallion buried in the pack. TAG went on to claim his 4th bullet and the championship and while Rapscallion clawed back to 4th this wasn’t enough as Waterloo 2 crossed for 2nd and a well deserved 2nd overall. Rapscallion grabbed the final podium position.
Congratulations to Todd Anderson, Charles Kosecki and Tom Needham for a well sailed and consistent regatta.
Thanks to Etchells Fleet Captain Tony Di Betta for all the behind the scenes work to make this successful weekend happen.
A big thanks goes to Mark Dingley and his race team and all the on the water volunteers who provided great race management.
Also, a shout out to Norths Sails for their support.
Last but not least, thank you to Chris Nezmah for another great BBQ on Saturday night.
See you all on the water.