Rick Tomlinson Photography / www.rick-tomlinson.com

Fully funded Etchells campaign

Winners of the Cowes Etchells fleet generous annual offer announced

Wednesday March 19th 2014, Author: Rob Goddard, Location: United Kingdom

After trials involving seven teams racing one design Etchells in the Solent held over 15-16 March, three youth teams, aged 18-25, have been selected to race in the 24 boat Cowes Etchells Fleet on fully-funded yachts.

This is the third year of these trials backed by the RYA and UKSA British Keelboat Academy, which has seen over 90 young and talented sailors race on the boats. The winning teams will race in the active Etchells programme, including the local SCRA races, Cowes Week, and Nationals and Europeans in Weymouth in September as an early build up for the Etchells Weymouth Worlds in 2016.

This year’s talented sailors who have won through are: Bryn Phillips, Jack Muldoon, Philippa Hollinghurst and Ashley Goddard.

This crew won the five race regatta organised by Race Officer Andrew Millband of the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club. All have sailed dinghies for many years in Spinnaker Lake in the New Forest in Hampshire, England - a hot bed for young sailors coming up the ranks. Bryn is studying Engineering at Oxford University, Jack Marine Geography at Cardiff, Philippa Biology at Bristol and Ashley Aeronautical Engineering, also at Bristol University.

Jonty Cook, Joshua Potts, Kate Devereux and Tom Harrison. Jonty Tom and Kate have been British Keelboat Academy members. Jonty is Yachting Captain at Southampton University studying Economics. Josh has raced in the transatlantic ARC, and is an RYA instructor. Kate has many sailing qualifications and medals and has won five consecutive years of team match racing championships in Poole Harbour and studies Ship Science at Southampton University. Tom won last year’s Beneteau 40.7 Nationals and is a dinghy instructor.

Bradley Mclaughlin, Andrew Lis and Andrew Baker. All members of the British Keelboat Academy. Brad has been on the Isle of Wight’s Gifted and Talented Athlete Programme for three years and has a wide experience of racing dinghies and yachts. Lis too has a wide experience and is a freelance yacht designer in the Solent area. Baker from Northern Ireland is moving to Cowes. He has represented Ireland in the Laser class and in the Commodore’s Cup and is a senior instructor. This team will crew for a new owner, Julian Metherell, who has generously offered the young team the use of Esprit when his business commitments prevent him from racing. The other two teams will be racing boats lent and funded by Ted Fort OBE, a long term supporter of the Class.

These three youth teams will train with our established youth team skippered by Jack Wilson on Idea.

Cowes Etchells is a growing fleet in the Solent; four new boats are currently being built by David Heritage Racing Yachts. Etchells World Champion Andrew Palfrey ('Dog'), who has been coaching an America’s Cup team for the past two years, has been working with Heritage on these new boat designs along with input from Graham Sunderland (author of Winning Knowledge and Winning Tides) and top Solent sailor and coach, David Bedford. Loaner boats are also available in the fleet for anyone who wants to join in our active race programme in the Solent and Weymouth.

The 2014 race programme includes the new Invitational Cup in which 16 different countries will race Etchells in the Solent the week before Cowes Week. Top sailors have entered the regatta including Australian John Bertrand, past Etchells World Champion and 1983 America’s Cup Winner. There are five other past and present World Champions entering the event set for 26-31 July competing for the 140 year old Gertrude Cup presented by the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

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