Fleet arrives for Chicago Etchells Worlds

Etchells downwind
A star-studded international fleet of 84 Etchells will converge on Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station this week in preparation for the 2008 Etchells World Championship, which takes place June 21-28, 2008. The event is presented by World Sport Chicago (WSC), the 'living legacy' of Chicago 2016’s Olympic Games bid, and is hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club.

This annual event has attracted some of the best sailors from around the globe, with competitors hailing from Australia, Bermuda, Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States.

Among the exciting lineup is the 2007 Etchells World Champion Andy Beadsworth of Cowes, England.

'We got in town yesterday and are excited to be in Chicago for the first time. The venue looks great and we are looking forward to a fantastic Championship with very good racing,' said Andy Beadsworth’s coach, Salton Stall. 'We’re glad the sun came out, and this week we will be working on the boat and getting ready for the week ahead.'

Jud Smith during press conference after his win - Audi Etchells Worlds 2006

Beadsworth will have tough competition from 2007 Worlds Runner-Up, USA’s own Jud Smith. Smith has been runner-up five times and was the World Champion in 2006. Also joining the fleet is 2004 World Champion Peter McNeill of Lake Macquarie, Australia. Other results for McNeill include two Etchells New South Wales titles, and third- and fourth-place finishes at Etchells World Championships in Pittwater and New Zealand, respectively.

Other top names — like Simon Minoprio of New Zealand, Marco Cimarosti of Italy and Bill Hardesty of San Diego — are sure to raise the level of competition.

Let’s also not count out Beadsworth’s UK rival Ante Razmilovic, who took third place at last year’s Worlds in a close battle with Beadsworth and Smith.

This prestigious international sailing event is presented by World Sport Chicago. Wolrd Sport Chicago is the arm of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid focused on bringing world-class Olympic sporting events to Chicago as well as expanding the opportunities for Chicago youth to get involved in Olympic sport.

Other recent World Sport Chicago events include the 2007 and 2008 Chicago Cup, an international Olympic wrestling event and the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships.