PRESIDENTS REPORT

Presidents Report

3 May 2019

Another Southern Hemisphere season is drawing to a close. Brisbane Fleet has led the activity schedule with the conduct of World, National, and State Championships. My congratulations to the magnificent effort shown by the Fleet Executive and members, members of Royal Queensland, and most importantly, the Wilsons.

The season has been peppered with great regattas, and results. Below I tabulate the outcome of the World, Australian, Australasian, and State titles:

EventSkipper
WorldsMartin Hill
AustralianIain Murray
AustralasianDavid Clark
QueenslandTom King
New South WalesColin Beashel
VictorianGraeme Taylor
South AustralianChris Pratt
Western AustralianMichael Manford

Congratulations also go the crews who make this all possible. Full results on our web site.

In November, our members went to the polls, and we elected five and appointed International Governors from Australian membership. To use an Americanism, our slate of governors is: Chris Hampton - Vice President, David Healey - Treasurer, Mark Roberts, Iain Murray, Grantham Kitto, Phil Smidmore, and Cameron Miles.

On that scene, Melbourne Fleet is putting forward a bid for the 2023 Worlds. I am advised that bids are also likely to come from Hong Kong and New Zealand. In my view, it is time once again for an Australian Worlds, as we have 10 active Fleets, whereas the other bidders each have one. The IGC meets in Corpus Christi in late June to decide this, matter, amongst other items. Your Governors are your representatives, so please make sure they are aware of your feelings!

Coming back to the Wilsons, and the contribution that this family have made over the years defies belief. Not only do Kevin and Ross give us their excellent management on the water, but their wives, Glenys and Sue respectively, never hesitate to muck in to ensure the race paperwork, registration and crew details are perfect.

The boys rank amongst the best in the world. We express our thanks for their long service to this class. Whilst they are the pinnacle of race management, I am sure they would be the first to recognise the vital contribution made by volunteers at all our events, including club racing. We must remember this sport relies on volunteers, and we must never forget to thank them.

Of the regatta wins scheduled above six of those places were Australian new mould boats and Havoc AUS1461, won three of them - the Australians, NSW and Victorian titles. It is gratifying to report that we have one new boat being completed; two more confirmed orders, and a further three ready to confirm. This is a very strong affirmation that our boats are the choice of champions. It also vindicates the decision to build the mould now in use.

These latest boats are being finalised, and project managed by Richie Allanson, who has presented a sensational package. Richie’s constant winning presence at regattas is putting the Australian boat before skippers and crews, and meeting with great approval.

Behind the scenes, our building team of Phil Smidmore, and Mark Rowed are turning out a better than first class package, all ready for fit out. The development of the boat over the last year or so deserves your review, and I commend you to consider moving to a new boat. Our builders report is included in this newsletter.

At the IGC meeting in Brisbane, which was followed by the member’s AGM, the member’s vote resulted in a series of changes to the Class Rules, Association Rules, and to Appendix A. A further recent amendment to Appendix A has been passed by the IGC.

The essence of these changes is:

Class Rules; changes to rigging rules allowing the use of rope instead of wire and some other allowances - these are yet to be approved by World Sailing.

Association Rules; timing of recognition of membership to allow for the Northern and Southern hemisphere seasonal differences.

Appendix A; the allowance to qualify for a world championship via a nominated event. e.g. a national championship, as opposed to qualifying via your fleet. A relaxing of rules pertaining to worlds qualification when a new boat is purchased. Very recently, relief for junior members from owner/driver rules to allow entry into regattas.

I commend you to read the amended rules at etchells.org/class/rules-documents. If I can assist in advising the application of these changes, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

I look forward to catching up in Mooloolaba from 6-9 June, and I am sure this will be another premier event.

Good sailing
David Ritchard
President IECCA