Stuart Childerley retains open and British Etchells crown 20/6/06
The Etchells National and British Open Championship came to a close yesterday with three great races on the final day in 12-20 knots on the Solent.
Hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and with 36 competing crews the regatta ran from Saturday 17 to Monday 19 June and will be followed later this week by the Etchells European Championship, which takes place from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 June.
It was a closely fought regatta and with all six scheduled races completed double Etchells World Champion Stuart Childerley and his crew Simon Russell and Roger Marino retain their National and British Open Championship crown with a very low score of 11 points.
European Champion Nils Razmilovic, crewed by Brian Hammersley and Adam Turk (22 points) took second and third place went to David Bedford sailing with owner James Howells and Phil Lawrence (27 points).
Ante Razmilovic, crewed by Mike Wolfs and Stuart Flinn, was fourth (29 points) and 1996 Etchells World Champion Adam Gosling crewed by David ‘Sid’ Howlett and Star World and European Champion Steve Mitchell was fifth.
Speaking after racing Stuart Childerley said: “The first couple of days were a real test, but if you stay consistent and just watch the others make mistakes around you you’re there. Despite the conditions the race management was excellent and we’re very much looking forward to the Europeans starting on Wednesday. The only negative is that the Royal Corinthian’s hospitality has been fantastic, which is going to make it tough for us at the weigh in on Wednesday morning!”
On the opening day competitors spent as much time waiting for the sea breeze to make up its mind as they did racing.
PRO Tony Lovell did get race one underway but up the beat the wind died completely and he was forced to abandon and restart. The second attempt was more successful but it was still very light and shifty with strong tide making it hard work for all concerned.
Double European and former British National Champion Nils Razmilovic kept his head and took the race from John Brinkers and his all girl crew of Julie Wilkinson plus Lucy Macgregor and Annie Lush, who are keeping their hand in while their Yngling helm Shirley Robertson takes maternity leave.
Third place went to Stuart Childerley with David Bedford fourth and Mike Sparks fifth. They dying wind made it impossible to start race two and the crews were sent home.
Day two was another light and extremely difficult day. Ultimately two further races were completed but it was frustrating sailing for all concerned. In the first Graham Bailey did a great job of the first leg and took off down the run with a lovely lead. Unfortunately for Bailey about half way to the leeward mark the Solent delivered one of its classic 160 degree wind shifts and his lead evaporated as the crews found themselves beating instead of running.
Back in the pack Childerley was the first to spot the shift, going high and dropping quickly to put himself firmly in the led. Tony Lovell wisely decided to finish the race on the leeward mark putting Childerley first with Ireland’s Jamie Boag second and Tom Hughes of the USA third. Bailey had to content himself with fourth place just ahead of Cordelia Ellis.
The day’s second race was a little more conventional but the sea breeze still refused to come out to play. Nils Razmilovic again showed the fleet a clean pair of heels while Nigel Harley put in his first appearance at the front of the fleet taking second. Ever consistent Childerley slotted into third with Simon Williams fourth and Ante Razmilovic fifth.
Much to everyone’s delight the wind finally put in an appearance for the final day and the championship closed with three incredibly close races in 14 – 20 knots from the west.
By the end of the day legs and backs were turning to jelly as the crews hung on up the final 1.6 mile beat but there were plenty of happy faces. Adam Gosling got his day off to a good start by winning the opening race from David Bedford with Stuart Childerley third.
Ireland’s Anthony Shanks had his best race of the regatta, initially leading the fleet but eventually finishing fourth with fellow Irishman Richard Burrows in fifth. In the day’s second race Ante Razmilovic decided it was his turn to star with a win over Graham Bailey as brother Nils came third and Anthony Shanks was fourth again. Childerley was having his worst race of the regatta and only managed fifth!
Childerley closed the regatta in style with a lovely win in the final race. There was quite a tousle for second which Bailey won putting Brinkers third. The Razmilovic brothers duelled over fourth with Ante beating Nils and Doug Flynn finished fifth.