Fumanchu2 wins Etchells Victorian Champs

Mark Roberts and his team of Ben Lamb and Jake Newman on AUS1473 Fumanchu2 won the Etchells Victorian Championship today, Monday 13 March with an eight-point margin over the current National Champions, John Bertrand, Lewis Brake and George Richardson sailing AUS1478 Triad2020 to also take the Masters Championship. Third place, and first Corinthians just five points behind AUS1478, were immediate past Victorian Champions Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left.

With a 2, (21 UFD), 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, the scorecard of Fumanchu2 was tough to beat, and is just an indication of the calibre of competition to come for the Etchells class in Australia with two World Championships coming up on home soil in the next two years.

Close finish between Hampton and Jukes
Close finish between Hampton and Jukes

Despite the posted scores, Roberts described the final day as beyond tough on the water.

“It was horrendously hard today. From those lovely Melbourne conditions of yesterday, with big breeze and big big waves, today we had the polar opposite, with a sickly 4-7 knots and the very trying conditions.”

“Fortunately we sailed really really well. Given we had that four point lead our focus was getting a really clean start, working out where on the course we wanted to be relative to JB and Robbie Deussen, and managing that, and then Jake and I were 100% focused on speed while Lamby had his head out of the boat trying to join together the puffs. So there were two parts to our sailing strategy today and fortunately for us we managed to do both parts quite well.”

“As for the race committee. In really trying circumstances, I thought they did a really good job. The Royal Brighton Yacht Club are in preparation for their Etchells World Championship in March 2025 and from what I can see they’ve put some really good changes into place, it’s a wonderful club to sail out of. I am already looking forward to it!”

Niesje Hees, the Commodore of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, and competitor at the regatta confirmed the sentiments towards the home club, and the events ahead for the Etchells class in her closing remarks.

“Etchells sailing has a proud history at Royal Brighton Yacht Club and over the years we have had strong fleets and several champions to be proud of. John [Bertrand] has been an ambassador for the class and we have also had club racing stalwarts who keep coming back year after year. Over the last couple of years Fleet numbers have been down a bit. This regatta along with other recent successful regattas around the country feels like a good omen for a resurgence of the class in Australia and at RBYC. The Swan River fleet is looking forward to hosting the Worlds next March. With our Worlds here in Melbourne nine months later in January 2025 it will be a great opportunity for Australian and overseas boats to experience terrific racing at two fantastic sailing locations. 2025 is also the 150th anniversary of Royal Brighton Yacht Club. The Etchells Worlds will be a great way to celebrate.”

Overall Prizes

1st Mark Roberts, Ben Lamb and Jake Newman, AUS1473 Fumanchu2

2nd John Bertrand, Lewis Brake and George Richardson, AUS1478 Triad2020

3rd Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left

Corinthian

1st Robin Deussen, Jesse Mitton, David Snoad, AUS1395 Shoulda Gone Left

2nd Brendan Jukes, Nigel Jones, Brody Riley, Toby Conn, AUS882 Jukes of Hazzard

3rd Nick Chapman, Harrison Chapman, John Collings, AUS890 Menace XI

Masters

John Bertrand, AUS1478 Triad2020 at 76 years of age (a correction from Roberts’ quote yesterday).

Grand Masters

Chris Manton, AUS1488 Tiger

First Female Helm and Youngest Skipper
Eliza Ewart, AUS1237 Black Knight

Results and further information on the Victorian State Championship here: https://rbyc.org.au/etchells-states-2023/

The next Etchells event will be the Brisbane Fleet Championship, 25-26 March at RQYS. With the run of northern events continuing 13-14 May again at RQYS with the Winter Waterloo Cup, then the Gold Coast Championship 27-28 May, the Australasian Winter Championship 9-11 June, Mooloolaba YC and then the Coffs Harbour Championship, 24-25 June on the way home. The full calendar of events is available here: https://etchells.org.au/pages/calendar

Images thanks to Laura Thomson/RBYC.

Words: Nic Douglass

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