SA State Championship

Picture Perfect SA States

12 December 2017 Author:
Winners! Congratulations!

 Winners! Congratulations!

The weekend of the 9th and 10th December saw the Doyle Sails State Etchells Championship, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, held in picture perfect conditions synonymous with sailing in South Australia. Held in conjunction with the Adelaide fleet qualifying event for the upcoming world championships in Brisbane, there was plenty on the line.

The two-day series saw former state champions Mark Roberts and crew Chad Elsegood and Matt Johnston going in as the hot favourites in their new Smidmore boat, Fumanchu. It was not expected though that the Fumanchu team would have it all their own way with the likes of Tim Cowen of Doyle Sails pairing up with Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia commodore and state yachting legend Geoff Boettcher in Cowen's new boat Pickles and two time Sydney-Hobart winning crew member and former Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron commodore Caillin Howard back skippering Stretch. Also back on the water for the first time in a few years was former multiple state champion and well known Etchells sailor David Royle on Here Comes Another One sailing with David's brother, Peter Royle.

What made this event even more special for Peter and David was their third crewman and Peter's son, Patrick; a keen young sailor fresh out of the junior ranks. In their new boat (AUS 1386) the Royles were certain to be competitive.

As hoped for, the sailing was truly special. With temperatures in the high 20s each day, Saturday's racing saw a 6 to 7 kts breeze building to a constant 14 kts. Roberts and his crew on Fumanchu made the most of the conditions grabbing two firsts and two seconds over the four races. He did not however have it all his own way with both Royle and Boettcher each grabbing a race win.

On the Sunday and with two races planned, good old Huey did not let the fleet down. Starting off in a pleasant 10 kts, the breeze steadily increased to be 15 kts by the end of the first race. By the second race, with the breeze building to 16 -17 kts and a sea state to match, the fleet saw some picture perfect downwind rides over the extended 1.5 nm course. Roberts and Fumanchu relished the conditions coming away with two first places. The Royle three were able to get over perennial third place getter Howard in Stretch in what had been a brilliant tussle between the two boats all weekend.

After racing the beer flowed freely at the newly renovated Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia facilities (as did the stories and the "almosts").

Roberts in his speech acknowledged his enjoyment and that of his crew Elsegood and Johnston in coming back to Adelaide to do some racing and the fact that it was exciting to again see what is undoubtedly a growing Adelaide fleet. Thanking the generous contribution of Tim Cowan and Doyle Sails to assist with putting this event on and the fantastic facilities on offer at the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, Roberts promised to promote this event and bring back a few Victorians and perhaps some boats from further north for next year's event.