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A Great Season for Pacesetter Etchells

26 August 2018 Phil Smidmore

Class news

"Class news"

With their win in the last season’s finale at the Mooloolaba Australasian Championships, The Cure, bookended a very successful season for both themselves, as well as Pacesetter Etchells.

The Cure won the season’s opening major regatta, the Queensland State Championships, had a mid season win in the Brisbane Fleet Championships, then wrapped up the season with a win in Mooloolaba. Obviously the Smiths (Ray and Alan - not related) enjoy the trip across the country to link up with ex-West Australian, Dave Clarke. Also great to see a Queensland based teenager as part of the team. The Cure was built and fitted out by me as a turnkey package for the 2016 NSW State Championships. Its first race was the first heat of that series, and it notched up a first race win. It sets North Sails on a Smidmore mast with fixed spreaders.

Hopefully they can hold onto their Queensland mojo for this year’s Worlds.

Their Mooloolaba win also capped a great season for Pacesetter Etchells with series wins in all five State Championships, plus second in the NSW Sates, and then also second and third in the Victorian State Championship. In addition, Pacesetter boats were second and third at the Nationals. A pretty impressive performance over a number of regattas, held in varying conditions.

It was yet another good season for sales of my masts, with 18 sold since last October, 12 of which were exported. Various other parts have been selling pretty well.

In preparation for the rapidly approaching Brisbane Worlds, I have just completed another batch of masts, commencing with mast number 601. After a couple of very small design modifications, I have done a run of mast levers, and I am now able to sell them for 25% less than previously. With Brisbane in my sights, I’m building stock of numerous items in order to be able to meet the usual demand at a World Championship, but don’t wait until the regattas begin, get your orders in now to ensure I can supply you. The open waters of Moreton Bay can lead to some decent waves and water on board, so make sure the bilge is clean, and the pumps are working.

With Bill Abbott promising comprehensive measuring in Brisbane, some owners have been taking advantage of the appointment of measurers based in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth for the first time, and having some checks run on their boats prior to travel. Bill has instigated some new templates, and has put different interpretations on a couple of issues.

As the class celebrates 50 years with regatta numbers the envy of many other classes, we can thank the Etchells rules, which have allowed the boats to evolve and be able to take advantage of new equipment and fittings, even though the basic platform remains unchanged.

Regrettably some new systems and ideas get put on boats without first checking and confirming they will comply. Just because so and so has it (even if his boat passed measuring at a Worlds) does not mean that it complies. While I try to answer most compliance questions I get asked, I am not the correct authority to ask - there is a procedure to get queries answered. That system gets a definitive answer. I cannot give a definitive answer. In most cases, a close reading of the relevant Class Rule will give you the answer.

The introduction to the Etchells One-Design Rules overrides all other rules, and its finishing sentence is ‘If these rules do not say you can, then you cannot.’

Good sailing,
Phil Smidmore.









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