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Tip your hat

12 May 2020 John Curnow

Iain Murray, Richie Allanson and Colin Beashel competing at the Victorian State Championship, which they won

"Iain Murray, Richie Allanson and Colin Beashel competing at the Victorian State Championship, which they won"

Photo by:
John Curnow

Winning the Etchells World Championship in 2019 in Texas, with Richie Allanson, and another living legend, Colin Beashel, was a sweet moment for Murray. He and Allanson had been hard at work over the previous two years looking at every single component on the vessel inside this strict One Design Class. That first Allanson/Murray Etchells stayed behind with the her new owner being the Class President, and the pair set about building the 18 vessels they now had on order.

Speaking of the Class, and the revered AM Etchells, Allanson said, “I reckon we are set for a relaunch of the Etchells Class, as we will be one of, if not the first OD fleet back out racing competitively here in Australia. Sailors recognise what a good class this is, with both the racing and the people involved absolutely top notch. The camaraderie is spectacular, and you get to mix with all the best and legends of our sport. It is the best racing in Australia, if not the world!”

“This pandemic has been quite a bump in the road. Maybe with sailing having been taken away our appetite has been wetted once more. You just don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it is gone.”

Allanson added, “Fortunately for us we have been able to keep rolling along, with the hulls being built as quickly as they can be. We just launched AUS 1483, with 1484 launched even more recently. Matt Stenta and I go for a test sail as part of the commissioning process, and then hand the vessel over. This complies with local (NSW) social distancing protocols.”

“The hull for 1486 is nearing completion, so we’ll jump on that soon enough.” The first new Magpie (1472) remains in the USA where it was second at the Worlds, and has won events down in Miami before COVID-19 arrived. The second hull, 1474 won the Australian Championship in January at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

Back to the Etchells, and Allanson added, “Hull 1485 is due in May from the UK. The team bought a Heritage hull, as they did not want to wait until 2021 for one of ours. We are going to fit it out, and this is a perfect example of how well a controlled OD fleet can operate. Equally, 1082 has just had a birthday and is now getting re-fitted to the latest layout and thinking.”

“1487 is just out of mould, and 1488 was laid up just last week. All of it means Allanson/Murray are working towards all planned deliveries ahead of the Perth Worlds, which are presently slated for November, 2020. Will they be delayed for 12 months, ala Olympics, or is it all still up for grabs?

So from me to all of you associated with Etchells, cheers, thanks, see you soon, and…

Rock on,
John Curnow

Richie trimming aboard the TP52, Hooligan

"Richie trimming aboard the TP52, Hooligan"

Photo by:
John Curnow


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