Photography by Nic Douglass @sailorgirlhq
31 May 2022
Lisa Rose has won the Etchells Gold Coast Championship and Australasian Championship which were sailed from the Southport Yacht Club from 28 and 29 and 28 and 30 May 2022 respectively.
Martin Hill, Julian Plante, Sean O’Rourke and Mathew Belcher, sailing on Lisa Rose AUS1449 took both titles by one point over Cam Miles, Grant Crowle and David Sampson on Tango AUS874.
After a lack of breeze and rough sea state forced day one to be abandoned, day two couldn’t have been more different, with a lack of swell and solid but shifty breeze from the north-west varying from 12 to 21 knots.
“The conditions for the sailors were very shifty with the breeze coming from the West to North-West throughout the day,” said Race Officer and Southport Yacht Club Sailing Operations Manager, Simon Turpin.
“We saw gusts of up to 21 knots, averaging 12 knots and shifts of up to 35 degrees at times.”
Race 1 was set at 295 degrees, with a windward work length of 1.1 nautical miles at an average of 12 knots.
AUS1435 Flying High skippered by JC Strong with Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Joel Beashel, won the start in the middle of the line directly to windward of Lisa Rose AUS1449, who went on to lead around the top mark.
Hill was never headed and went on to win the first race from AUS874 Tango and the team on AUS1435 Flying High.
Race 2 was also set at 295 degrees, but the Race Committee shortened the course to 0.9 nautical miles to ensure races were completed in optimum time to complete a series.
Flying High AUS1435 again won the start, this time at the pin, but again Lisa Rose AUS1449 took the lead by the top out of the left. The final results were identical to the first race of the series for the podium.
The breeze continued to swing left and the Race Committee adjusted the course to 270 degrees, and a 0.8 nautical mile beat for Race 3.
Tango AUS874 won the start at the pin, however, Lisa Rose AUS1449 again gained out of the left at the top of the beat and were first to round over AUS1291 and AUS874 Tango.
Second and third at the top reversed on the second work, and again Hill and Miles took the top two for the third time in a row.
Race 4 was set at 265 degrees to account for even more left in the breeze, at 0.75 nautical miles.
Tango AUS874 were the first to take a win from Lisa Rose AUS1449, followed by Encore AUS1433 skippered by Mark Crier with Robbie Gibbs and Andy Fethers and Flying High AUS1435.
The final race of the series was led by AUS874 from start to finish after a cracking pin end start. Lisa Rose finished second, which was just enough to give them the win in the Gold Coast Championship.
Day three of the Etchells Australasian Championship unfortunately saw no racing due to the Gale Force Wind Warning for the Gold Coast. With day two the only day where racing was feasible, the result for the Etchells Australasian Championship also came down to the five races from 29 May.
“Can I just say thank you to Wayne and all of the SYC volunteers for putting on this regatta,” said Cam Miles, skipper of Tango AUS874, second placed overall and winner of the Classic and Grand Masters divisions for the Gold Coast and Australasian Championships.
“We love the class and supporting it, so hopefully we will see you all at Brisbane in a few weeks to beat up on Martin [Hill].”
“We were trying a few things at this regatta, so we were happy with the result and where we are at as a team leading into the worlds in September,” said Mat Belcher for Lisa Rose AUS1449, winners of both the Gold Coast Championship and Australasian Championship.
Belcher is the most decorated Australian sailing Olympian, with two golds and a silver. He was the closing ceremony flag bearer in Tokyo.
“For me personally it was fantastic to be back at the SYC which is home for me and to race offshore in one of my favourite classes on arguably one of the best racetracks in Australia,” said Belcher.
“Racing at Southport Yacht Club for the International Etchells Class is always popular on our beautiful ocean waters,” echoed Turpin.
“Etchells are one of the most exciting classes that offer perfect one design racing which attracts professional sailors from all over the world. It’s a privilege to have them racing at SYC throughout our sailing season and especially when hosting these major regattas,” he finished.