Audi Etchells Australian titles 2006' by
The Etchells One Design class attracts some
of the world's best sailors, and the upcoming 2006 Audi Etchells Worlds
in Fremantle, Western Australia is no exception. The event will be
sailed from November 17th to 25th, and it has attracted 'a red hot
fleet' according to Etchells sailor John Bertrand.
Bertrand, who skippered Australia II to that
famous victory in 1983, loves sailing in Fremantle, sailing there last
month and coming fourth in the warm-up Syd Corser Cup. He will also be
on the water for the Slam Etchells Nationals from the 10th to 12th
November ahead of the Worlds Championship.
With summer coming
fast in the West, inland day temperatures are often well in the 30s.
Around noon each day Western Australia's legendary 'Fremantle Doctor'
begins to cycle and the cooling, south westerly sea breeze builds most
These are great sailing conditions but Bertrand,
who turns 60 next month, warns the regatta will take its toll. 'This
regatta will be a fitness test as much as anything else. We could
easily see 25 knots by 3pm each day and it's going to be all action.'
Generally the breeze by mid-November will be
very steady. That being said, in 1987 for the Fremantle America's Cup
defence (when another Etchells sailor, Dennis Conner won back the 'Auld
Mug'), it blew and blew. A year later, in exactly the same week, it was
calm - so anything can happen.'
'The one thing we can be sure
of though, it's that it's going to be a very tough world Championship.
This fleet is red hot. Stuart Childerley, the British dual World
Champion, is a consistent winner when it blows. American Jud Smith, who
just missed winning the World Championship last year in San Francisco
in strong conditions, has recently won his third North American titles
again in plenty of wind.'
'We Australians love the breeze. Rob
Brown, the current Audi Australian champion, was third in the Syd
Corser ahead of us. Cameron Miles, who won in 1999, is amazingly
consistent, on the podium in his last four cracks at winning.'
Bradford, who is sailing an America's Cup campaign with BMW Oracle, was
second in another windy regatta in Auckland. Mark Bulka, from Victoria,
who won the Syd Corser regatta is another contender while Michael
Manford, who came second, is a local entirely at home when it blows.'
'There are probably 15 crews that can win this event and we will certainly all be giving it our best shot.'
Around fifty boats will be sailing in the final pre-world regatta, the 2006 Slam Etchells Nationals, on 10 - 12th November.
least seventy boats will contest the Worlds with crews from Great
Britain, Ireland, Italy, North America, Bermuda, Hong Kong and New
Zealand fighting the strong Australian contingent.
will be sailed between Cockburn Sound in the south and Gage Roads to
the north, a superb stretch of water just off the Port of Fremantle,
sheltered by the outlaying Carnac and Garden Islands.
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (RFBYC) and the Royal Perth Yacht Club
(RPYC) are the host clubs, with the Fremantle Sailing Club providing
Slam Advanced Technology Sportswear is sponsoring the Slam Etchells Australian titles.
World Championship title sponsor Audi Australia also sponsored the 2006
Audi Etchells Nationals. Audi Australia are supporting a wide range of
Australian sailing events including the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
and the Audi Regatta in Sydney, and will be certain to make this a
The Maersk shipping Line is another Premium
Sponsor and their support has meant that 28 containers have brought
Etchells to Perth from around the world.
Major Sponsor: Audi
Australia. Premium Sponsors: Maersk Line, Rob Bird's Pro Choice Safety
Products, Fontys Pool Wines, Events Corp and Slam Advanced Technology
Support Sponsors: Perth Integrated Health Clinic, Oak Ridge Communication Group, Sail-World.com and North Sails
Full entry lists for both regatta along with a great deal of extra information