In just over one week, forty-two Etchells from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong will battle off the famed Mooloolaba beachfront for The Dock Mooloolaba Australasian Etchells Championship. With five previous Etchells World Champion skippers, as well as multiple National and prior Australasian Champions, the regatta is certain to be one to watch.
Leading the way in the star-studded fleet is America’s Cup winning skipper John Bertrand with his world champion forward-hand Ben Lamb, and multiple contender World Champion Mark Bulka filling in for gold medallist Tom Slingsby. The dream team of Iain Murray, Colin Beashel, and Richie Allanson will also be a tough combination. It’s hard to believe none of these talented sailors have previously won the The Dock Mooloolaba Australasian Etchells Championship.
The only skippers to have won the event twice, Matthew Chew with Gen XY, and Graeme Taylor with his Magpie team of James Mayo and Steve “Mothy” Jarvin will without a doubt be in the mix pushing for an elusive third title.
Lead sponsor for the Etchells Australasian Championship this year is The Dock Mooloolaba, directly across from where the Etchells will be berthed, providing the venue for all after-racing hospitality.
“I moved to the area eight years ago and fell in love with the place” said The Dock owner, Jared Hart. “We opened in December right under the tower on the marina. We have sixteen beers on tap over fifty-two taps. While we are now known for our meat smoker, we do have something for everyone, and we are proud to fast be becoming one of the new ‘locals’.”
The Sunshine Coast Council are once again on board, keen supporters of the Championship since the first year. The forty-two entries are definitely looking forward to a weekend at one of the most memorable regatta locations in Australia.
Michael Coxon, North Sails Australia Director, is heading north even though he is not racing, not only to enjoy to renowned Mooloolaba hospitality. “Cocko” will be onsite at the regatta to support the class in a sponsorship role, but also with on-water coaching and commentary.
“It’s a two way street between North Sails and the Etchells class” said Michael “Cocko” Coxon. “I personally have been a member since 1982. Over that period we have given away over fifty jibs. This regatta will be no different with every competitor in the prize draw, minus the podium placegetters – and you have to be at the presentation to win!”
In addition to the support from North Sails for a new jib, Whalespars will be providing a $100 gift voucher for each heat winner, Harken Australia will make sure that second and third in each race are looked after and we have seven “Thirsties”, that is a jug of beer up for grabs for each race thanks to Waterfront Agents.
Nic Douglass, Adventures of a Sailor Girl will be covering the event with live feeds each race and has invited “Cocko” to join her with his expert advice and tips to help out those watching, or re-watching the racing. Nic and Cocko will no doubt make a great team, so make sure that you tell your friends and family to get onto Facebook and watch this amazing regatta come to life in real time.
If you are wishing that you could be there yourself, the good news is that there’s still time to enter this fantastic event, and loyal event sponsor Newport Apartments still have rooms available for entrants who can pay for three nights and get the fourth night free.
We hope to see you soon, whether in person or online as part of The Dock Mooloolaba Australasian Etchells Championship.
Title image by Alex McKinnon Photography.