Fumanchu2 wins VIC on 2025 Worlds Waters

Fumanchu2 wins VIC on 2025 Worlds Waters

Fumanchu2 wins Etchells Victorian Championship on 2025 World Championship Waters

With a 2, (21 UFD), 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, the scorecard of Fumanchu2 was tough to beat, and is just an indication of the calibre of competition to come for the Etchells class in Australia with two World Championships coming up on home soil in the next two years. 

Day 1 - Saturday 11 March

The first day of the Etchells Victorian State Championship was sailed Saturday 11 March from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. 

The calm morning built into a beautiful south-south easterly of ten to fifteen knots, and the competitors revelled in the glorious conditions at what will be the 2025 Etchells World Championship venue. The anticipation was high, with the current National Champions, immediate past National Champions, and last year’s State Champions all in attendance in an attempt to take home the title. 

Robin Deussen and his team of Jesse Mitton and David Snoad on Shoulda Gone Left were strong off the blocks scoring a 1, 2, 2, an indication of their desire to win back to back State Championships, even though they are from South Australia and rarely get to sail against other Etchells. 

Shoulda Gone Left finished third, and first Corinthian
Shoulda Gone Left finished third, and first Corinthian

“We had a pretty reasonable day today, and definitely not complaining,” said Deussen post racing. “At one stage, we didn’t know Mark Roberts was over the line at the start of the second race, so it could have been a 1, 2, 3,” he exclaimed. 

“We have learned a lot since we’ve been sailing in the class, we have taken in what everyone has told us but we seem to be on the pace right now, so we will take it. We have no one really to race against in SA, when the Nationals finished this year we packed the boat up to head over here.”

“We learn more from coming to regattas like this than sailing for five years in Adelaide by ourselves. We ask so many questions, and they [the fleet] answer, there is no hiding of information, the whole fleet is amazing.”

“Sydney has got guys that race every week, we race two or three regattas a year, so unless we do this we have nothing. We are here to learn, but we are here to win. We won last year, but it’s different this year. I would have expected with a one two three in this fleet that we would be in a good spot, but as is the Etchells, we aren't that far in front, and we are privileged to be where we are,” he concluded. 

Another standout today, besides the second placed and current National Championship team with John Bertrand OA at the helm, was Jukes of Hazzard with Brendan Jukes at the helm. 

Close finish between Hampton and Jukes
Close finish between Hampton and Jukes

“We came third in the states in Geelong, and won a race there,” he said. “We have done just a few club races here and there, then just came out today and put it together,” he said of his win today. 

“Such fun conditions, even if you didn't get a great result. Beautiful sunshine, ten to fifteen knots and most importantly, really really close racing,” he commented. 

“We're really happy, we looked at the fleet before we sailed, there are professionals, and Olympians, so sitting in third now is really good.”

“At the start of race three, we noticed our forestay had come undone,” he exclaimed, describing the toughest part of the podium placed team’s day. “We bore off to fix it, then were 20 seconds late to the start, but sailed through to get to sixth. Took us a whole race to work our way back in but that was pretty incredible really,” he finished. 

“Obviously the highlight was the race win, we have only sailed two State Championships and we have won a race in each. To be honest we were in the mix on the first downwind, but the course was a bit skewed. We were the first to gybe, a really good call to do the early gybe by the team, and that was the race really,” he said of their race win. 

“I'm doing the Worlds here in Brighton, the venue is great, the race track is basically off the hard stand, and the facilities are great, three cranes, historically a strong etchells fleet, top line Etchells are from here so it is really exciting, and it's a Worlds that we can put a lot of preparation into,” he concluded. 

There is just a bit of concern about how far these two teams can go when they are able to put solid hours into their training, as exhibited today. 

But despite the time ahead for the World Championship, Jukes said, “We keep it very simple. It’s meant to be windier tomorrow. We race with 2009 sails and no in-hauler, so if it blows it's good for us,” he finished. 

Day 2 - Sunday 12 March

Day two of the Etchells Victorian State Championship was sailed Sunday 12 March, in a solid southerly from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. The twenty boat fleet continued to push hard into day two, shown by their enthusiasm on the start line. 

“It was a great breeze from the south but it was a trying day with the fleet a bit eager on the starting line. We had eight starts for three races. Five for the first race, even on a U Flag, two for the second and thankfully they were either tired, or were just behaving on the last start of the day” said Ross Chisholm, the Race Officer. 

Despite the eagerness on the start line, the competitors all commented on the brilliant race track, and the perfect Etchells conditions. 

In the pack - 20 Etchells strong
In the pack - 20 Etchells strong

“Today was just a great showcase of the waters of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club which will be the home of the World Championship in two years' time. Conditions were 12-18 knots with those Port Phillip waves to surf down, it was just pristine,” said John Bertrand (AUS1478 Triad2020), currently placed second overall. 

“Our results today were fine, but Mark Roberts with Ben Lamb and Jake Newman put on a sailing display with three wins from three races. I have sailed with both Ben and Jake, so some of the fleet were joking about the Bertrand sailing school”. 

“Ben has just come back from Miami, tactically it shows that he’s just come back from racing in a 70 boat fleet. We all know there is nothing like having time in the boat, his fleet management today was just exceptional. Jake is very naturally gifted, and a good lad. They are clearly making a great team”. 

“I’ve been sailing with Lamby for a couple of years now, and did the last Nationals in Victoria with Jake Newman,” said Mark Roberts following the three wins of AUS1473 Fumanchu2 on day two. 

“So I’ve sailed with both of them but we’ve never sailed together. We’ve gelled pretty well and are having lots of fun. To be able to sail with these two is pretty cool.” 

“Overall we have been able to put together each race. We have been able to get across the line first in four of the races, and the other two have been a second and a third so we have just been sailing really well. Of course one of those wins was an OCS but we didn’t know that until back in the sailing club after racing. I think that leaves us four points ahead with tomorrow to go”. 

“We have some amazing competition with really close racing between us John Bertrand and Robbie Deussen. Having Robbie come over from Adelaide has been very cool. Robbie has lots of sailing under his belt with 505s and Sharpies and it has been no surprise to me to see him take to Etchells like a duck to water. And JB. Well what can I say. Still one of the best out there and with young George and Lewis with him, they are at our heels and I have no doubt that any slip ups by us and they will be right there!”

Bertrand was also supremely complimentary of his team, who he recently won the Etchells National Championship with in Adelaide. 

“It’s the same team as the Nationals, Lewis [Brake] and George [Richardson], it’s a delight to sail with these guys. Both are naturally gifted, talented sailors and both are always striving to improve, and the discussions we are having on board about tactics and boatspeed are just next level, and it’s a real pleasure to sail with them,” said Bertrand. 

“We have up to three races tomorrow, and the models are suggesting that the conditions will be not unlike what we had today, perhaps lighter, with the cut off at 2:30pm, but the objective is three races tomorrow. A lot can happen in three races, as we saw today,” finished Bertrand.  

“Today we started in 11-12 knots and by the third race it built to 18-19 I guess. Some big waves and great surfing. I have not looked too closely yet but tomorrow is another early start and I think a bit lighter, in the 9-12 knot range. So we can’t take anything for granted. Both Robbie and JB have proved to be bloody fast in those conditions. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow and will have to sail like today to get it done,” noted Roberts. 

In seventh sits AUS1433 Forte, Mark Crier, Andy Fethers and Robbie Gibbs, out of the Swan River Fleet, who had an outstanding 5, 6, 2 today. 

“We travelled so far to sail on a windy bumpy track, the Swan River is not quite so bumpy! 

We are heading up to Mooloolaba and the Gold Coast, making it a four regatta trip after and including the last Nationals in Adelaide,” said Mark Crier. 

“Conditions today were very good for us as you can see. We like a blow and it was solidly 15 to 18 knots with a great rideable swell. There was a lot of surfing past boats only to be re-surfed past by them a wave or two later. 

“Hopefully we can stay our spot on the ladder tomorrow as front runners look set to fight it out amongst themselves.” Mark Roberts and his team of Ben Lamb and Jake Newman on AUS1473 Fumanchu2 won the Etchells Victorian Championship today, Monday 13 March with an eight-point margin over the current National Champions, John Bertrand, Lewis Brake and George Richardson sailing AUS1478 Triad2020 to also take the Masters Championship. Third place, and first Corinthians just five points behind AUS1478, were immediate past Victorian Champions Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left. 

Port Phillip Bay Rollers
Port Phillip Bay Rollers

Day 3 - Monday 13 March

Despite the posted scores, Roberts described the final day as beyond tough on the water. 

“It was horrendously hard today. From those lovely Melbourne conditions of yesterday, with big breeze and big big waves, today we had the polar opposite, with a sickly 4-7 knots and the very trying conditions.”  

Fumanchu2, a wave in the final race
Fumanchu2, a wave in the final race

“Fortunately we sailed really really well. Given we had that four point lead our focus was getting a really clean start, working out where on the course we wanted to be relative to JB and Robbie Deussen, and managing that, and then Jake and I were 100% focused on speed while Lamby had his head out of the boat trying to join together the puffs. So there were two parts to our sailing strategy today and fortunately for us we managed to do both parts quite well.” 

“As for the race committee. In really trying circumstances, I thought they did a really good job. The Royal Brighton Yacht Club are in preparation for their Etchells World Championship in March 2025 and from what I can see they’ve put some really good changes into place, it’s a wonderful club to sail out of. I am already looking forward to it!”

Niesje Hees, the Commodore of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, and competitor at the regatta confirmed the sentiments towards the home club, and the events ahead for the Etchells class in her closing remarks. 

Niesje Hees, Commodore of Royal Brighton Yacht Club
Niesje Hees, Commodore of Royal Brighton Yacht Club

“Etchells sailing has a proud history at Royal Brighton Yacht Club and over the years we have had strong fleets and several champions to be proud of. John [Bertrand] has been an ambassador for the class and we have also had club racing stalwarts who keep coming back year after year. Over the last couple of years Fleet numbers have been down a bit. This regatta along with other recent successful regattas around the country feels like a good omen for a resurgence of the class in Australia and at RBYC. The Swan River fleet is looking forward to hosting the Worlds next March. With our Worlds here in Melbourne nine months later in January 2025 it will be a great opportunity for Australian and overseas boats to experience terrific racing at two fantastic sailing locations. 2025 is also the 150th anniversary of Royal Brighton Yacht Club. The Etchells Worlds will be a great way to celebrate.”

Overall Prizes

  1. 1st Mark Roberts, Ben Lamb and Jake Newman, AUS1473 Fumanchu2
  2. 2nd John Bertrand, Lewis Brake and George Richardson, AUS1478 Triad2020
  3. 3rd Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left


  1. 1st Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left
  2. 2nd Brendan Jukes, Nigel Jones, Brody Riley, Toby Conn, AUS882 Jukes of Hazzard
  3. 3rd Nick Chapman, Harrison Chapman, John Collings, AUS890 Menace XI


  1. John Bertrand, AUS1478 Triad2020

Grand Masters

  1. Chris Manton, AUS1488 Tiger

First Female Helm (and Youngest Skipper)

  1. Eliza Ewart, AUS1237 Black Knight
Eliza Ewart, first female helm, and youngest skipper
Eliza Ewart, first female helm, and youngest skipper


The next Etchells event will be the Brisbane Fleet Championship, 25-26 March at RQYS. With the run of northern events continuing 13-14 May again at RQYS with the Winter Waterloo Cup, then the Gold Coast Championship 27-28 May, the Australasian Winter Championship 9-11 June, Mooloolaba YC and then the Coffs Harbour Championship, 24-25 June on the way home. The full calendar of events.

Author: Nic Douglass
Photos: Laura Thomson/RBYC
Back to news