Racing in the forty-seventh Etchells World Championships started earlier this morning, with Kevin Wilson, Principal Race Officer, selecting to start racing on schedule, with the signal boat situated just off the north west of Ninepins. 43 Etchells began this year’s World Championships in 10-12 kts of true north, on a flat 1.8 nm course. Swiss entry No Dramas as well as Australian entry Highlander, were both over at the start, but came back and cleared the line.
After a twenty-three minute beat, Steve Benjamin’s Scimitar was the very first of an equally split fleet to go the windward mark, before of Phan, Jezebel and Aretas. With freighters and fishing boats adding a little local color, the group went on to use the whole expanse of the race course on the 1st run, dividing equally around the port and starboard gate marks with Scimitar holding onto her spot.
Helm of Aretas, Skip Dieball, ended in the second position, ruing a bad start and telling that it was really very tight racing at the top end, with boats changing positions all the time. The one who made the most gains was Marvin Beckmann, who was returned in 8th at one point (but ended in 5th).
Benjamin confirmed to a Yacht Charter Company website about changing spots, saying that Scimitar’s plan was to go right as the wind would veer right based on the predictions they looked at – they were not in the big packs. Therefore, they had clean air and they wanted to control the right.