10:42 PM Thu 7 Jun 2012 GMT
The first race of the 2012 ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship is scheduled to commence at 11.00am today, Friday 8th June and out on the course a combination of swell and seaway will produce four-five metre waves. With a mixture of rain and sunlight in the distance the forecast is for 15-20 knots with gusts up to 25, so it will be an interesting day on the water.
There is a lot TV interest in this classic one design event, with a long segment on Win TV-9 news last night and Channel 10 doing their state-wide weather report with the help of the three young Etchells sailors. Channel 7 will be on water today.
If you looked around the room at last night's Welcome function at the Wharf Tavern, most of the Etchells class 'big guns' are competing at this event just a few short months after their intensive Etchells Worlds campaigns in Sydney. Damien King and John Bertrand are missing but they will be back next year.
As Roger Hickman said 'It might only be a 40 boat fleet, but its all class. As relative newbies, it's only our third Mid-Winters, if we can finish top 30 we will be pleased.'
Mark Thornburrow from Hong Kong is sailing his fourth event in Australia in the last year and has Bucky Smith from the 2009 Etchells World Championship crew with him.
Mark commented 'Just love this regatta - varied offshore conditions, sometimes strong as we are about to have, sometimes soft but blue skies and always always great competition.'
Big things can be expected today from Colin Beashel and his knockabout crew of Richie Allanson and Gary Gudmunson, also from Dave Clark, Tom King, Chris Hampton, Mark Johnson, Ross Lloyd, Peter McNeil, Dave Rose, GT (Graeme Taylor), Jake Gunther, Jeanne-Claude Strong, Mark Bulka - in fact from the whole fleet.
Mooloolaba Fleet captain Trevor Martin said last night 'The healthy thing for this event is that just on half of the fleet are first timers at the Mid-Winters.'
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by ADCO Etchells Australasian Winters media