Bertrand on top in Day One of Victorian Etchells

John Bertrand (Triad) crosses Cameron Miles (Black Snake) - Etchells Victorian Championships 2008
Tricky conditions on Corio Bay today, proved difficult for many in the large fleet of Etchells in the Victorian Championships. John Bertrand and his Triad crew won the day ahead of Melbourne’s Damien King, with the 1999 Etchells World Champion Cameron Miles third.

Racing was postponed for over an hour, due to lack of breeze, which gave some interstate and overseas crews time to familiarize themselves with the bay.

This proved costly for some as they were testing their boats in the light breeze, out of ear reach of the committee boat and failed to hear warning signals consequently missing the start, which took place just after 1320hrs.

Cameron Miles timed his pin end start to perfection, with Graeme Taylor’s Magpie to windward of him, choosing to go left up the first beat. The wind was NNE in 3-4 knots with lots of holes and shifts, so sailing was testing the best sailors on the course.

Black Snake's race one start - Etchells Victorian Championships 2008
Melbourne entrant Damien King skippering Barry came out on top in race one, with Fathom (Rupert Henry) from Sydney taking second spot in a shortened course as wind faded in the latter half of the race.

Shortly after race one was completed, the sea breeze arrived and welcomed by the fleet, which were sent away for race two in the steady 8 – 10 knot southeasterly.

A nervous wait for the race Committee though, as the ship ‘San Jacinto’ was entering the Hopetoun channel, which the fleet needed to cross to get to the windward mark.

PRO Greg Sinclair was relieved to see all yachts pass well clear of the ship’s bow and continue sailing unhindered.

John Bertrand coming off a seventh in race one started at the pin end with local sailors on ‘Slick 2’ just to windward of them. This was tactically the place to be as positions remained like this at the top mark. Cameron Miles was third round with Alice Spring’s Jeff Rose (Second Wind) third, and Graeme Taylor (Magpie) fourth.

The wind remained consistent from the SE for the remainder of the race and in the end, John Bertrand was home first, with an elated Geelong crew (Skipper Brendan Garner, Michael Schultz and Tim Clark) on Slick 2 second and Mornington’s Graeme Taylor third.

After the race Bertrand said, ‘We got hammered in race one with big wind shifts, we went right and it went left and we paid the price’

Different for race two – ‘We had a good pin end start and just went into phase after that.’

Brendan Garner (Slick 2) was very pleased with his racing today and sits in fifth place – ‘ Race 2 was great but we didn’t get the perfect start, with Garry Sheard’s ‘Wicked’ burying us, but we kept going left and it paid off.

Slick 2 - Etchells Victorian Championships 2008
Geelong’s Class Captain Jason Farnell on Bananas in Pyjamas who has helped co-ordinate the event, said ‘he was a bit unlucky with wind shifts in race one (33rd), then it came together well in the second, they took fifth place)

‘Conditions were pretty confused’ for New Zealand entrant Alistair Gair who is here skippering Velsheda - ‘There was really big shifts which made it difficult, and we’d hoped the sea breeze would come in earlier.’ Only arriving in Geelong yesterday for the series, Gair, and his crew are using this regatta and the next in Mooloolaba for preparations for the Worlds in Brighton (Vic) in 2009. Gair was second in the 2006 Etchells Worlds in Fremantle behind the winner Judd Smith (USA)

Racing continues on Corio Bay tomorrow from 10am.

  Series Results [Class ET] for Etchells up to Race 2 (Drops = 0)
PlaceTiesSail NoBoat NameSkipperFromSeries ScoreRace 2Race 1
12RAUS1321TriadJohn BertrandRBYC8.001.007.00
2 AUS924BarryDamien KingMelbourne8.007.001.00
3 AUS945Black SnakeCameron MilesPittwater10.004.006.00
4 AUS947MagpieGraeme TaylorMornington11.003.008.00
52.0SAUS1131Slick 2Brendan GarnerRGYC13.002.0011.00
6 AUS1367Chill PillRob BirdSwanRiver13.008.005.00
7 AUS1337FathomRupert HenrySydney22.0020.002.00
84.0SAUS1162Happy ManCampbellMylesMelbourne27.0023.004.00
9 NZL950VelshedaAlistair GairG27.0013.0014.00
10 AUS1122PedroKirwan RobbRBYC28.0016.0012.00
116.0SAUS1338Critical BalanceMark BulkaRBYC31.006.0025.00
12 AUS1288Magic B422Steve GuntherMelbourne31.0015.0016.00
13 AUS1318Bananas in PajamasIan JohnsonMelbourne32.0011.0021.00
14 AUS1274The NurseRoss LloydMelbourne33.0024.009.00
153.0SAUS872Count Boris Secret RNick KnezicMelbourne34.0031.003.00
16 AUS1326Steampacket 7Rob BrownPittwater34.0012.0022.00
17 AUS1276Over EngineeredGarrath JamesBlairgowrie37.0022.0015.00
185.0SAUS1121Bananas in Pajamas-2Jason FarnellRGYC38.005.0033.00
19 AUS1024Voodoo SpiritGuyon WilsonRGYC38.0014.0024.00
20 AUS892Second WindJeff RoseAlice Springs39.0010.0029.00
219.0SAUS1011Quantum LeapChris JacksonMornington40.009.0031.00
22 AUS417White PointerA SandyMetung40.0030.0010.00
23 AUS1237Black KnightJohn SavageMelbourne41.0021.0020.00
2413.0SAUS1257TemptressRichard RobertsonBlairgowrie46.0033.0013.00
25 AUS1189The ArcherClarkSwanRGYC46.0028.0018.00
26 AUS1123WickedGary SheardRGYC48.0018.0030.00
27 AUS1048Frequent FlyerDavid AtkinsonMelbourne52.0035.0017.00
2819.0SAUS1134DotMatty WhitnallSydney53.0019.0034.00
29 NZL1314AddictionLindsay KennedyGhef53.0026.0027.00
30 AUS948Smile N WaveGraeme AlexanderMornington54.0017.0037.00
31 AUS941J for JigLex O'ConnorMelbourne55.0036.0019.00
32 AUS1141Mens shirts shorts sPeter StubbingsMelbourne62.0027.0035.00
33 AUS751LeglessGraeme AlderseaMetung65.0039.0026.00
34 AUS1026Jacks HutBill FairleyMelbourne66.0025.0041.00
35 AUS1223TangoChris HamptonRBYC68.0029.0039.00
36 AUS1244Dr.EvilJake GuntherMelbourne69.0046.00O23.00
37 AUS1293That's LifeIan CrispRBYC70.0042.0028.00
38 AUS913Never EnoughAndrew TelfordMelbourne73.0037.0036.00
39 AUS994Crew ControlPaul MinterCronulla74.0034.0040.00
40 AUS882Jukes of HazzardBrendon JukesMelbourne75.0032.0043.00
41 AUS1158New WavePeter La FontaineRGYC78.0046.00O32.00
42 AUS780Urban GorillaMichael ShanahanRGYC81.0043.0038.00
43 AUS747Functional OverlayNiesje HeesMelbourne82.0040.0042.00
44 AUS784Feng ShuiAndrew PerkinsMelbourne83.0038.0045.00
45 AUS235Clean SkinPhilip DyerMornington85.0041.0044.00