Presidents Report

26 August 2018

Below is a summary of the 2017/18 Etchells Season.

All State Championships saw an increase in participation, with the exception of WA, where the numbers were the same. Great to see these increases, the Class is holding up, and by the numbers anticipated for the Brisbane Worlds, we are looking OK.

I table the participation and winners at our Nationals and States.

EventEntrantsWinning Skipper
2017/2018 Australian Championship32Graeme Taylor
Queensland States37David Clark
NSW States40Iain Murray
Victorian States32Tom King
WA States21Michael Manford
SA States7Mark Robert
Australasian Championship44David Clark

Ten Australian boats competed in the World Championship in San Francisco, with GraemeTaylor’s crew finishing a very tight second. All our entrants acquitted themselves with exemplary performances.

Congratulations to all competitors, and especially the winners. Many thanks to the various teams of volunteers who make all this possible. The multiple Australian winner this year is David Clark crew of, The Cure, who took out the Queensland and Australasian championships. Reminding all that their success is in a new Australian boat, as are the winners of the Victorian, WA and SA states.

We have undertaken a program to add to the strength of our measuring facilities. We now have five measurers adopted being:

The program of equipping each of these measurers with a full set of templates has now been completed, and a training program is presently being drafted.

We have an extremely strong Australian representation on the International Governing Committee. A fresh election process commences in October, and completes in November, for the re-election of the 10 international governors. More on that in another article...

Plans are well in place as result of the efforts of the Brisbane Worlds Committee for the conduct of what is shaping to be a large, and excellent event in October of this year. I commend the work done to date, and I am sure that the effort that has been put in will ensure the event will be second to none. At the time of writing 78 entries have been filed, and more are yet to come. That augers well for a large and truly excellent fleet, and I am certain it will be run in the absolute best circumstances.

Not only is the Australian Association at a watershed, the Class as a whole is in the same position. In the last few years we have seen an influx of professional competitors. That has brought with it a change and a new dynamic. The benefit of professional sailors is that they raise the level of participation to a greater height than we have seen in the past.

Some may say that we are losing our Corinthian spirit; I counter that, for our members wish to participate at the highest level. The demands and attention to minute detail puts pressure on our builders to produce vessels at a higher level than we have ever seen. The boat is now in its 50th year and it is pleasing to see that it has evolved in that period to that which it is today. The platform envisaged by Skip Etchells in 1967 has provided plenty of room for evolution, without losing One Design principles. It is incumbent on us all to ensure that we put forward a consistent and growing participation, and by maintaining the impetus, we will maintain our place in the milieu of great boats.

The efforts of the Executive of your Association this year have been exemplary. There have been many pressures put on it by various institutions, and our changing scenario into a new dimension of detail. I commend and thank my fellow executives for their effort.

My congratulations go to Noel Patterson who, at a recent IGC meeting, along with Kers Klausen and myself, were elected Life Members of the International Etchells Class. The work that has been done by Noel over many years truly warrants his promotion.

All the very best to all members and Fleets for the 2018/2019 season. I look forward to strength and growth of the fleets in the ensuing period.

David Ritchard
President IECCA
Co-opted Governor, Treasurer IECA