The 2021 NSW Etchells State Championship was held from 19-21 February out of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. RSYS was well represented with 11 boats competing of the 24 entered.
In testing conditions that saw the race management team having to shift from the traditional course in open waters off Barrenjoey Head to within the estuary between Middle and West Head on two of the three race days, a closely fought contest played out between Martin Hill’s Lisa Rose, Colin Beashel in Havoc, local Billy Merrington in First Tracks and Etchells Class President and Squadron Member, Mark Roberts in Fumanchu2. To say that the racing was close is somewhat of an understatement! It could not have been closer, with mere seconds separating the finishers in all of the races.
On the last day only few points separated the leaders, and by the final race, any of the top four had the chance to win the championship. Ultimately it was the consistency of the Fumanchu2 crew that paid dividends with a fourth in the final race being enough to win by two points over Havoc and Lisa Rose who were tied for second and Fast Tracks only a further point behind.
Acknowledging the efforts of the race management team during the presentations, Roberts also spoke of the tremendous energy within the NSW fleet and the quality of the racing that has led to both him and John Bertrand AO, now keeping their boats at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and regularly travelling from Adelaide and Melbourne respectively to participate in this country’s most competitive one design class.
By the time of the presentations, Ben Lamb, Fumanchu2’s front man, was already on a flight to Adelaide to participate in the Pt Lincoln Race Week regatta on Ichi Ban. Nevertheless, Roberts praised Ben and fellow crew, Squadron member Will Ryan whose outstanding contributions had been instrumental to the regatta win.
“These two guys are simply fantastic at what they do and bring every time we come together. This was our first full regatta together, having sailed as a team only a few times since October.” He added, “It is pretty cool how they worked together to get the most out of the boat and from me. I think we have a pretty good road map moving ahead and will continue to build on what we have done this week. I think there are plenty of good things on the horizon for the Fumanchu2 team and look forward to our next event together.”
Article by Mark Roberts
photo RPAYC Media