The third day of the International Etchells Australasian Championship was sailed on Sunday 11 June and despite the best efforts of their competitors, the team onboard AUS1486 Magpie skippered by Graeme Taylor, with Richie Allanson and James Mayo swooped in to finish off the job and take the regatta.
Day 1 - 9 June 2023
The first day of the International Etchells Australasian Championship was sailed on Friday 9 June from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club in exceptionally challenging conditions, with breeze from west, round to sou’east, and sou-west over the course of the day.
“It was lovely Mooloolaba winter weather” said Malcolm Page, tactician on Racer CC currently placed second in the International Etchells Australasians.
“It was pretty toasty being a southerner, and the wind was better than predicted, although pretty shifty, as it was west off the land”, he surmised.
“GT [Graeme Taylor] was probably the boat of the day but he had a little issue in the middle of the day with a disqualification for being over the start line. The middle race was really shifty with 40-50 degree shifts. JC was exceptional to do well in that race. We were sailing from fully hiked to being on the leeward side. It was seriously tricky”.
“Plenty of stuff to work on as always” he finished.
While Racer CC is currently placed in second, and the team on Magpie had two firsts, there is no denying who sailed exceptionally well today on average, and that was AUS1475, Flying High.
“Today was a very long day,” said Seve Jarvin, the tactician on Flying High.
“The wind was all over the place and the race committee did a good job to get the three races in. We were lucky to get off the start line well in two races, and the team sailed amazingly. Special mention to our super crew Sebastian I think he would be the lightest crew ever on an Etchells at 26kgs”.
“Was a great day on the water in tricky conditions” said Graeme Taylor, skipper of Magpie.
“JC did an awesome job. We need to be a little less eager to prove ourselves, as in race two”.
Day 2 - 10 June 2023
The second day of the International Etchells Australasian Championship was sailed on Saturday 10 June from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club with races four to six of the series in a sou-easter of up to 10 knots. Graeme Taylor’s (GT) AUS1486 Magpie with Richie Allanson and James Mayo lead by one point over Mark Thornburrow’s AUS1486 Racer CC with Malcolm Page, Ethan Lozevski and Sam Saiki going into the final day of racing.
“It was a great day on the water” said GT, skipper of AUS1486 Magpie. “Conditions were excellent but it was really tough. We are super happy to come away with the results we did and are looking forward to tomorrow”.
Echoing the difficulty of the second day of racing, was dual gold medallist and tactician on AUS1486 Racer CC, Malcolm Page.
“It was actually lighter than predicted and it made it tough. It was a relatively decent seaway, and a lot of finesse was required to get yourself around the racecourse. You were at the bottom end of the swing at times,” said Page.
“The course axis probably changed 10 degrees throughout the day, but in saying that it still had its lefts and rights and remembering that everyone is doing a maximum of 5.8 knots”.
“There are a lot of good sailors here, so you have got to try to do your best, and sometimes the stars align and help you do that”.
“We made some rig changes overnight, honestly we are still learning the converted boat, we feel like we don’t know this boat yet. We put some more rake in and it felt like an easier boat to sail today, we were matching Magpie. It’s cool to make that little step up” Page finished speaking of their win in race four and the day overall.
“We are happy about today,” said David Dunn, skipper of Great White Hunter, winners of the third and final race of the day, sixth of the series, after a pair of sixth places in race 4 and 5 to start the day.
“We had to have a good hard look at ourselves, we are a relatively new crew, and we were not starting well and the communication wasn’t the greatest,” he commented. “But our starts were better today”.
“It came together for us a bit in the last race, and we had a fantastic game of chess with Mark Thornburrow and Mark Roberts. Very happy with our downwinds and that is where we made our gains”.
“Really good team effort, not a race where you won it from one side of the course, we really worked at it and played the percentages and came out with the win”.
“Forecast is for a little bit more pressure for the final day and that would be good for us. At the end of the day we will just try and build on today”, he finished.
“We threw the kitchen sink, and the dirty dishwater and they were too good,” said Malcom Page, tactician on AUS1482 Racer CC with skipper Mark Thornburrow, Ethan Lozevski and Sam Saiki on the winners on board Magpie.
“First race, we had a good start and they had a cracking start. We fouled someone at the top mark and that put us behind the eightball.”
“Last start, we had it all to play for, we pinged them a few times, they exonerated themselves, and they still started more quickly, and they were too fast and too good,” conceded Page.
“They did throw the kitchen sink and a bit of fibreglass at us,” said Graeme Taylor (GT) the skipper of Magpie.
“We had a really nice race this morning, we probably got caught in a little bit of action for the last start, but we found a tight hole, and we were able to control him and sneak through, and it was good,” said GT.
“He pinged us twice, and we had to wake up and sort ourselves out. Now that we have introduced Big Fella as our coach we are doing pretty well. It’s all good, we are back and we are loving it,” exclaimed GT.
Well done to Doug McGain for winning the Corinthian division with Michael O’Brien and Scott Miller, Mark Thornburrow for winning the Masters Division, and David Dunn for winning the Grand Masters Division.