News & Media


June 16, 2022 worldsadmin0

Last weekend saw RQYS host the inaugural Waterloo Cup for Etchells. This regatta was put together at the last minute after the Mooloolaba Winter Nationals were cancelled due to an unsafe bar (river – not drinking establishment 😊) and to provide an additional regatta for the southerners that came up for the Southport Regatta (that doubled as the Winter Nationals) several weeks earlier. Many thanks go to the club and Brisbane Fleet committee for arranging this regatta at short notice.

We had a fleet of 14 entered, only for our fleet captain Jason Hawkins to withdraw on the first morning due to an injury to a crew member. We had 7 Etchells make the trip from down south with Wayne Kirby from the Southport joining 6 of the local fleet.

Though only small in numbers there was some quality with 3 Etchells world champions represented including Martin Hill and his crew of local Olympic gold medallist Mat Belcher and Julian Plant who won the Worlds held here in Brisbane in 2018.

Saturday saw 3 races completed in 10-15 kt westerlies on a course east of Green Island. Considering the reputation of westerlies the conditions were fairly stable and provided some good and close racing. Race 1 went to Lisa Rose, our own Todd Anderson on TAG grabbed the second and Cameron Miles on Tango won race 3.

Martin Hill on Lisa Rose was the overnight leader with a 1 point lead over TAG. A point further back was Tango. Also in the mix was Peter McNeill on Lucy.

The un-Queensland like temperatures with a wind chill in the low teens made for a very long and cold beat home at the end of the day. A hot shower and a great BBQ put on by our resident fleet chef Chris Nezmah soon warmed everyone up.

Sunday dawned overcast with a freezing 15 kt westerly blowing through the RQ grounds. The wind chill prompting comments along the lines of “if I wanted to sail in these temperatures I’d live in Hobart!”

With the race committee not receptive to a minimum sailing temperature we all set off for an 11am start. I can assure you it was no warmer on the race course with most sailors wearing their entire kit including beanies in an effort to keep warm.

In Race 4TAG got their 2nd race win of the series with Lucy and Lisa Rose grabbing 2nd and 3rd. Tango was subsequently DSQed after an incident with Lisa Rose

Race 5 saw the breeze drop to about 10 kts and the sun come out. This made conditions a lot more palatable, which was just as well, as it would have been a tough ask to stay out for 3 races in the earlier temperatures and wind strength. Lisa Rose grabbed this win with Tango second and TAG 3rd. The regatta’s was anyone’s at this stage.

Going into the final race Lisa Rose and TAG were tied on equal points after 1 drop. Lucy was 4 points further back and Tango was right in the mix as well. It was all on.

Noel Paterson on Waterloo Too led the fleet for the first lap with TAG close on his heels with Lisa Rose and Lucy in hard pursuit. Todd got Patto through at the bottom to clear out for a comfortable win with Lisa Rose grabbing third. A protest against Lucy by Martin saw them DSQed for this race.

Once the protests were all settled TAG came away the winner by 2 points form Lisa Rose with Lucy grabbing the final podium spot. Congratulations to Todd Anderson, Curtis Skinner and Lucas Down on a great result.

The day rounded out with Chris’s famous BBQ chicken wings and prizegiving at the Etchells Hardstand.

We would like to thank Guy and the other race committee and mark boat volunteers who without their support the regatta would not have been possible.


Kevin Molen.


April 27, 2022 worldsadmin0

For the 2021/22 Season, the Brisbane Etchells Fleet launched a ‘loan a boat’ program to not just grow the local fleet, but specially targeted to encourage more women to the join the class and experience what the best one-design sailing class has to offer!

We welcomed Helen Wood as skipper in September last year and got to work training her, her crew and readying the boat for the year ahead. What a fantastic season, she was just a superstar and such a valued member of our weekly fleet, thank you Helen!

We especially thank Dan Cassell for the generous use of his boat ‘Etchellence’ throughout the season!

Here is Helen’s experience of the season.


Helen Wood, Skipper of Etchellence

I was lucky enough to be selected for Brisbane Etchells’ ‘Loan a Boat’ Program for the 21/22 season, which should really be rebranded ‘Etchells Fleet Fast Track Program’, as I’ve got to focus on sailing skills and technique every Saturday, immersed in a community with a shared passion for sailing and skills to be endlessly observed in a one design fleet.

The Etchells Class has it all. It attracts the most skilled and seasoned sailors, and the allure of the class has always interested me. When the opportunity to join the ‘Loan a Boat’ Program came up, I leapt at the application – although unsure of what I would achieve from it.

And now at the end of the season, I can certainly say it surpassed my expectations, and has left me anticipating the next one.  I’ve learnt far more than I expected, on so many levels. It’s the type of environment I was looking for – to sail, race, improve, and have a good laugh. Sailing every Saturday on Moreton Bay is a pleasure in itself (if you can dodge the sandbars).

For regular sailors on the bay, you may have forgotten the natural asset that you sail on. On a blue-sky day, it provided the perfect antidote for a stressful week. And in questionable weather, it reminded me that sailing is all about the conditions, which fundamentally requires skills to read and adapt. Sailors who know the bay – tides, wind conditions, westerlies – are already miles ahead when they approach the start line.

So boat handling is secondary to reading the conditions… A quirk of sailing an Etchells is the lack of engine, so tacking out of Manly harbour, and then navigating the leads, was a good warm up for the afternoon ahead, and the crew warmed up to my helming style.

Etchells are a beautiful boat to sail, easily balanced (I think due to hull shape), although not a lot of sail reduction options when the Summer storms pick up. They require technique and skill to manage the 2800 controls, strictly not that many, but many more than most boats! When you think you are on top of them all, another option surfaces!! Super skilled sailors make sail trim look effortless, but let me tell you, many options makes for more choices, and more double guessing!!!  There has been frustrations during the season, some sails just don’t always work the way you want, but that’s life.

Sailing is ultimately teamwork. Whilst I’ve been getting experience helming, racing and navigating all the boats on the start mark, racing rules- its ultimately a team sport, where everyone has a stake in the outcome. I’ve introduced 4 new people to the club, 2 to sailing, and sharing the enjoyment has been a bonus of the program too.

The Brisbane Etchells fleet is a community. A group of sailors who have a range of skill levels, but all are very competitive by nature. Those with decades of experience openly shared their advice with me, and then drip fed their gems of wisdom after each race day. I felt welcomed into the group, in which the BBQ & beer post race wind downs make the Etchells fleet pretty tight.

It’s also because the boats all live together in Etchells Avenue, with easy access to the hoist, where you rig, and you can borrow a missing tool from your neighbour – or Tony’s mobile chandlery. There is also Kevin’s weekly roundup to find out what happened at the front of the fleet.

Thanks to the many, many Etchells fleet crew that have helped me out this season – especially Jason and Tony – for letting me float, sail, and fly. If an opportunity comes up like the Loan A Boat for the Season – Jump at it!



We once again thank Helen and her crew for a fantastic season and we look forward to seeing what the future brings! A huge thank you too Tony Di Betta for all the boat work throughout the season, without his drive and obsession this would not have been possible, Etchellence is in great shape.

If you would like to know more about this program for 22/23 season please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0407 160 900. We hope to continue the program and introduce more sailors to Etchells.

Jason Hawkins
Brisbane Etchells Fleet Captain


April 22, 2022 worldsadmin0

The Final Showdown Race Review Sat 9 Apr

by Kevin Molen

It came down to the final day of racing to determine this year’s squadron championship winner with Patto and Heals tied on points going into the final day of racing. The day started with drama. BBQ Chef extraordinaire Chris tested covid positive on Saturday morning meaning Jason and Jim had to take on BBQ duties for the pre race sausage sizzle. Of even more concern was Patto’s bowman Will calling in positive as well, leaving Patto with a last minute scramble to find a replacement. Liam – formally of The Saint stepped up. Just to add a bit more drama Patto felt the need to take a covid test before coming down to the club leaving a nervous wait for his crew. He duly showed and the battle was on.

We only had 4 entries for the day. Due to Chris’ withdrawal, Jason took the helm of Chaos Theory with Tony being promoted to the bow. Dave Smith joined Helen on Etchellence for the day. The forecast was for anything between 13 and 20 knots from the south east which made the boat set up an interesting dilemma.
As I mentioned Rapscallion and Waterloo Too were tied on points going into these final two races. They also had an identical score card meaning that if they were tied at the end of the day the championship would be determined by a countback based on who won the last race – game on!!!

Race one started in about 14-16 knots with Waterloo Too at the boat and Rapscallion a little further down the line. They both hit the line at pace and it didn’t take long for both Chaos and Etchellence to be squeezed between them and tack off to the right while they continued out to the left. Neither obtained an advantage but Rapscallion blinked first tacking and crossing behind to avoid being trapped on the layline. Patto wasn’t going to give anything away and after a few short tacks Rapscallion had to settle in on his hip for the long port tack drag to the top. Patto had a comfortable 4 length lead at the top. With the left heavily favoured they established a big lead ov erChaos and Etchellence. Rapscallion gained a length or so on the run but not enough to make a difference by the bottom.

Around the bottom and with Patto protecting the left Heals wasn’t left with many options. Bring on the tacking duel!!! After ½ a dozen or so tacks Rapscallion had halved the gap down to less than two lengths at which point Waterloo Too decided to let Rapscallion go left while they went for straight line speed out to the right. Much to Rapscallion’s dismay Waterloo got a small right hand shift to have a comfortable margin at the final turn. Meanwhile Chaos and Etchellence were also having a great battle with Chaos having to do a pirouette after an P vs S incident halfway up the beat. They grabbed 3rd back on the run to finish just ahead of Etchellence. Meanwhile Waterloo Too had a comfortable win about 15 secs ahead of Rapscallion – 1 nil to Patto!

Race 2. Chaos retired after the first race – apparently sailing at the pointy end broke Tony, leaving just three in the final showdown. As long Etchellence didn’t get between the other two the title was going to who ever beat the other. It was all on. With a few minute to go Dave went on the attack hunting Patto pushing him away form the line. The clock didn’t matter for this start. Dave led back to the line with Patto on his hip – both about 20 seconds late. Meanwhile Helen and her crew misjudged the time but still had a good start.

Halfway up the beat Etchellence had the lead while Rapscallion and Waterloo Too were battling it out. Rapscallion had crossed Waterloo and had them pinned to leeward for a long beat to the top in a reverse of the first race. Rapscallion managed to tack just in front of Etchellence on the starboard layline with Waterloo tacking behind Helen to round in 3rd.  With Rapscallion trying to keep their wind clear Etchellence pulled alongside, and they fought for the inside position for the bottom mark. Patto saw this as a chance to go for a clean rounding of the left-hand gate. Rapscallion rounded ½ a length before Waterloo Too with Etchellence right on their transom. This created a split between the two title contenders. They came together ¾ the way up the final beat of the season. Rapscallion slam dunk forcing Waterloo Too back to the right. With Waterloo Too on the starboard layline Rapscallion went for the tight lee bow as they couldn’t cross but as Waterloo rolled over them they couldn’t lay the mark while Waterloo Too shot the mark to have a 3-4 length lead at the top. If it stays like this its 2-0 to Patto.

But as in any good Etchells race there was still drama left in this one. It didn’t take long for Rapscallion to pull alongside on the run and at one point was even a length ahead. Coming into the gate mark for the final gybe to the finish it was neck and neck. 50 metres to go and the title was still on the line! 25 metres to go and it was still neck and neck and a slight pin end bias favouring Patto. At this point Rapscallion caught a couple of waves to surge ahead to get the gun by a second and take out the championship. Though the RC announced the result over the radio Dave wasn’t prepared to believe it until he saw it in writing. What a great finish to the season. Helen and Etchellence crossed not far behind to grab a well-deserved podium.

The day rounded out with drinks at the hardstand followed by some celebratory and commissary drinks back at the bar.

It was a frustrating season with a larger than usual number of races lost to the weather, but it was great to welcome 3 new crews to the fleet this year. They all improved significantly as the season went on and we all look forward to an even more competitive fleet next season.

A big thanks goes to Jason, Chris and Tony who put a lot into the fleet this season and to Dave Smith who put in a number of hours working and sailing with some of the new commers to help them get up to speed. Thanks guys.
Well, that’s a rap for 21/22. See you all next season – if not before.


April 2, 2022 worldsadmin0

Thanks for a great weekend!

Many thanks to all our valued fleet for a fantastic weekend at the Brisbane Etchells Fleet Championship last week. Congratulations to Peter Conde, Brian Hillier and Miles Baron-Hay for the win on Encore! David Healey, Kevin Molen and Ian Miller on Rapscallion took 2nd and 3rd place went to Vaughan Prentice, Lachlan Prentice and Josh Torpy on ‘Stand In Line’. Congratulations!

Thanks also goes to the volunteers and RQ sailing management team for delivering a fabulous event, especially on the outside Green Island course. It has been several years since we have been able to race outside and I loved being back out there, especially the tight finishes! Sooo good! It’s why we race Etchells.

Special mention also goes to our esteemed fleet treasurer and celebrity chef Chris Nezmah who has been awarded this year’s “Pick of the Year” for his valued contribution over the years. He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the “Pick”, a tradition that started in the 1980s! Well done!

Kevin has written a blow-by-blow account of the weekends racing below but I would also like to thank not just the place getters, but all those who participated. There were some great battles mid and at the back of the fleet with very tight racing – sometimes only seconds separating competitors. Believe me, Etchells can be brutal on the ego, but the learning experiences make us all better sailors, armed with knowledge that can be shared in the broader sailing community for years to come. My advice would be to be patient and keep at it, the results will come.

We have one weekend of racing left and a nice rib-fillet left over in cold storage, so I look forward to seeing everyone on April 9th to close out the season.

Jason Hawkins
Brisbane Fleet Captain

Brisbane Fleet Championship March 26-27 2022

The gods were finally smiling over the fleet with a forecast of 5-15 kts for the weekend leading up to the 2022 Fleet Championship. We had 14 entries which was great including Wayne Kirby and his crew from Southport on Emotional Rescue. Cam Price was down from Gladstone and a few long time Etchellers in Vaughan Prentice, Peter Conde and Barry Cuneo came out of the woodwork for the weekend.

The plan was for racing outside Green Island for the first time in a number of years with a provision to move inside if the conditions proved unfavourable. Sailing outside provides a different challenge including dealing with slop, bigger waves and a greater tidal influence. This was going to present some interesting sailing – especially for some of the newer fleet members who hadn’t had the opportunity to sail in these waters previously.

Race one started in a pleasant 7-8 knots from the south east.  Five minutes after the start a message over the radio by race control announced that the race was been stopped and was to be restarted due to a timing issue that impacted some crews during the starting period, much to the displeasure of a certain crew member! Take 2 – The leading boats all went left off the line. Rapscallion was first to the top and led start to finish with Peter Conde in Encore 2nd and  Barry Cuneo grabbing 3rd.

The left was paying all day with Rapscallion going hard left in race 2 and having a handy lead at the top that wasn’t challenged. Encore was again 2nd with Bait and Switch 3rd.

Race 3 saw the breeze up to 10 -12 knots. The left continued to pay with the breeze ending up in the north east by the end of the day. Encore grabbed 1st with Vaughan on Stand in Line 2nd and a well deserved 3rd to Jason and the Knot Easy team who had a last minute crew substitution earlier in the day due to a overnight covid case. Dave Healy’s winning run came to an end with a 9th.

Considering the weather around, (Moreton Is spent much of the day in rain and some significant rain squalls moved along the mainland coast) we were very lucky to avoid the rain and have such consistent and stable conditions.

Post racing, Chris Nezmah (Knot Easy) with support from Tony and the Chaos Theory crew put on a great BBQ.  Thanks guys. It’s much appreciated.

Sunday’s forecast looked a little dodgy with concerns as to whether the wind would fill in. The fleet required a tow out to the start and we spent a hour waiting for it to come in before settling in from the east at 7-10 kts.
Race 4 saw some close racing with Stand in Line first around, not to be headed. Encore grabbed 2nd again with Bait and Switch grabbing another 3rd. Unfortunately, Waterloo Too broke their jib halyard and had to sit out the remainder of the racing from the aft deck of John Warlow’s bay cruiser.

Race 5 saw a number of general recalls – first the U flag and followed by the angry (black) flag. This didn’t seem to fix the issue. It was finally resolved after Barry moved his Palm Beach away from the start line where it had ended up due to number of line resets due to the shifting wind. Rapscallion continue their good form to lead around the top followed by Stand in Line, TAG and Encore. It was close racing all around the track with Encore, Rapscallion and TAG crossing the finish line abreast. Encore was awarded 1st, TAG 2nd and Rapscallion 3rd.

The final Race of the series got under way in a softening easterly. Once again Rapscallion was 1st around the top mark followed the ever present Encore and TAG. TAG led around the top mark the final time followed by Rapscallion for the final sprint to the finish. From 3rd place Encore picked up a private puff to grab a handy lead with TAG and Rapscallion crossing neck and neck with TAG being awarded 2nd.

The day wrapped up with Chris’ famous chicken wings and the presentation at the hand stand. Overall, the Encore crew of Peter, Brian and Myles deservedly took out the championship with just 7 points and a drop of a 2nd. Congratulations guys. Rapscallion with David, Ian and Kevin had a very good regatta to be 2ndjust two points ahead of Stand in Line (Vaughan, Lachlan and Josh)

The final presentation of the day was for the ‘Pick of the Year’ award which goes to a fleet member who has made an outstanding contribution to the fleet. This year it went to a deserving Chris Nezmah for his BBQ and culinary skills and keeping the engine room running as Fleet Treasurer. Congratulations Chris and keep up the good work.

Thanks to the sponsors including North Sails (Vaughan) and Gill (Scotty) and to all the work by Jason, Tony and other fleet members to get this event across the line. Also, a round of thanks the RC and volunteers who without their support we wouldn’t have had such a successful weekend.

And finally, a thanks to all the Etchells crews who supported the event. This helps keep the fleet strong and I hope that we continue to get this level of support next season.

Kevin Molen


July 7, 2021 worldsadmin0

Seeking “Expressions of Interest” to campaign an Etchells in the 21/22 season.

Entries close Saturday July 31st
Our trial loaner boat program, starting in August 2021 in the lead up to the 21-22 season, will have boats available to those wanting to put a club racing program together. There is a huge upswing of female participation in sailing at RQ and combined clubs, Brisbane Etchells would like to nurture and create further opportunities for women, as skippers of their own Etchells program or crewing in a mixed team.

Our Objective

Our primary objective is to get more people out racing Etchells on a regular basis throughout the club season and provide accessible opportunities to learn to race in what we consider to be the best one-design class in world.

How it will Work

  • We use the 2021-2022 season as a trial of this program.
  • The Etchells Fleet committee are reaching out to possible boat owners with available boats to ask if they are interested in chartering their boat for the season. We have a few already available and are hoping to add more in the coming weeks.
  • Pending submissions, we would like to have at least two (2) female teams or mixed crews with a female skipper, if we manage to get more boats available then we would open it to both male and female nominations.
  • The Etchells fleet committee (in collaboration with the boat owners) then select suitable skippers from the nominations:
    • Preference would be given to experienced sailors, who would like to extend their skills into one design racing. They may be active in the RQ Elliot program or keelboat racing programs.
    • We welcome all nominations, especially those who are keen to grow their knowledge, commit to weekly racing, have fun and are willing to learn.


We don’t want to just throw participants in the program in the deep end, we will do our best to provide training seasons, at least every fortnight from our pool of existing and ‘semi-retired’ skippers to get up to speed with all things Etchells and one-design racing – building confidence and knowledge is what it is all about.

Key members of the Etchells fleet will provide fortnightly Saturday morning training (before club racing starts) where possible to the new teams to get them confident with sailing and racing Etchells.

Conditions of Program Participants

There is an expectation that a team will:

  • Commit to racing in at least 70-80% of RQ season point club races.
  • Respect and value the Etchells they have chartered as though they own it.
  • Sail with a safety-first approach in compliance with the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).
  • Respect the Royal Queensland and Brisbane Etchells Fleet volunteers, we all do this because we love the sport.
  • Work closing with the Etchells Fleet committee throughout the trial.
  • Skippers and Crew must become financial members RQYS and the Australian Etchells Association and have a valid Australian Sailing number.
  • The intention is that program participants are supported by the Etchells Fleet, but they still need to ‘carry their own bags’ so to speak, being responsible for organising your crew and getting your boat on the water each week.  We will do our best to help you get crew if you are having difficulty
  • Have fun and enjoy the season.

What does it Cost?

We trying to keep this trial as simple as possible from a financial perspective, whilst keeping the costs down, whilst ensuring the owner’s are covered for their generosity to the program.

Your investment:

  • $1800/boat for the season, paid directly to the boat owner + general running repairs throughout the season are to be covered by the loanee. You will also need to provide your own compass and personal safety requirements.
  • Your boat’s entry into the RQ season points and/or additional regatta entry fees such as the Brisbane Fleet Championships or State Championships should you choose to enter.

The Brisbane Etchells Fleet will also contribute up to $1500/loaner boat to ensure Category 7 safety compliance and to get the boat base level race ready.

(The $1800 fee helps cover yearly insurance costs (Boat Owner must have Third Party Personal and Property Liability Insurance cover of a minimum $10,000,000 with racing cover) and a small contribution to hardstand costs. Note that this obviously doesn’t cover all the costs of owning an Etchells and keeping it on the hardstand, but it does help reduce the ongoing costs for an owner)

Nominate your Entry Here

To find out more please don’t hesitate to call Jason Hawkins (the Fleet Captain) on 0407 160 900.



November 6, 2020 John Curnow0
The Front Bar after Race Four. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

The 2020 Etchells Queensland State Championship was won by The Front Bar (AUS 1317). On board were Australian Sailing Squad member, Joel Turner, Ray Smith, and skippered by one of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s most notable members, Brad Ginnivan.

Ginnivan is certainly a character amongst characters, but so giving of his time and energy, as well as innumerable items for the club from his business, Moreton Bay Signs.  A tireless ball of energy with strong sense of humour, Ginnivan was quick to recount just how they secured Turner for the regatta.

“A while ago, I was MC for a charity auction, and one of the items up for grabs was sail with Joel. So I was encouraged to put an auctioneer’s bid in to secure the opportunity, and we won. It’s taken until now to make it happen, but he was brilliant. Both he and Ray were great. Both of them called the shots uphill, and I just steered. Joel took care of tactics downhill and to win with a race to spare was just brilliant”, said Ginnivan.

Brad Ginnivan’s The Front Bar on Day One. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

“Our goal was to be in the top five of every race, which we accomplished, except for last where we were ninth. We were eight kilos underweight, and I had put in a new Whale Spars mast that had only done six races before the championship. I also pulled out a brand new North Sails main from the shed, and we used our existing jibs from the (2018) Brisbane Worlds.”

“We had traditional headsail sheeting by the way, and we might have been slightly lower in some instances, but our pace was awesome. We also used our (mast) chocks a bit more as well. Ray made me take my watch off and it was all about looking forward for me. He’s terrific and has now won three of the last four Queensland States.”

Part of the fleet coming back downwind. Photo credit: Emily Scott

“Friday was just beautiful with 10-14 knots, and I remember how we won race two after a gybe set at the top set us up marvellously. Saturday blew in at 25 knots and then some. We achieved 16-18 knots downhill at one point. David Turton (who was ahead of us) recounted to me that he had said to his crew ‘Have a look at Brad!’ Sunday light again, and fluky, but we did win the first race of the day.”

Ginnivan finished by saying, “Joel wanted us to finish the regatta off, so we completed the last race. This is my first Etchells win ever (in a big event), and we got two bullets as well! Mum was in tears, and sent me $100, which we put on the bar. It’s really nice to get a result after all this time. I am pretty stoked, and we beat some serious players in Vaughan Prentice, Peter Conde and David Turton. Ray and Joel were awesome, and I thank them, the fleet, the club and the volunteers so much.”

Martin Sinclair’s, The Saint, during Race Four. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

David Turton’s, Our Thing (AUS 1446), placed second, some three points astern. Reflecting on it all, Turton commented jovially, “Giving him the (mast chocks) secrets did not help. It was all really good fun. It was the first time in the boat since Mooloolaba 2019. We had Josh Torpy, and seasoned Etchellian Ash Deeks on board, and might have gone in cold, but we came out hot!”

Turton added, “We had a blast and racing on Saturday in 25 knots was a highlight for sure. A lot of us have been in the Finn a lot due to travel restrictions. This has been good, and we’ve learned a lot, as we have a large fleet of 30 or so here.”

Encore at the weather mark of Race Four on Day Two. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

In third place was Peter Conde’s Encore (AUS 870), and they were also the first placed Corinthian crew. Conde sailed with long time crew Brian Hellier, and Peter Elkington stepped in for Myles Baron-Hay who could not attend. “We have not sailed the Etchells since last October at the States. We are still keen to be involved in the Class, it’s great regattas and very close racing.”

“This one came down to the first race on Sunday when they gybed on the new breeze first and went to the lead. There were lots of changes of places throughout the event, and in flat water with 8-10 knots blowing it becomes very tactical, and a game of centimeters”, added Conde.

“Really glad to collect the new Corinthian trophy, and we hope to have time for Brisbane fleet and Mooloolaba event in 2021, so we can see some of the regular faces again.”

Chinese take away for two – Waterloo Too (Red) and Stand In Line (White) both Chinese Gybe immediately after the finish of Race Four. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

The PRO for the regatta was Guy Morton who pushed for a third race on Friday, which paid dividends for Saturday. “They are a great bunch of sailors, and it’s always good to get out with them. I did really enjoy the Saturday, very exciting and thrilling. Noel Paterson had his whole body on the tiller as they came down to the finish line, and it was amazing.”

“We had two volunteers on the two mark boats, five on the committee boat and all of us enjoyed it the entire regatta. We had great feedback too, which is lovely. RQ has a very experienced team, which makes changes easy, and the fleet was flexile with start times, and that also helps to get all the scheduled (seven) races completed.”

Noel Paterson’s Waterloo Too crossing the finish line of Race Four. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

Brisbane Fleet Captain, Jason Hawkins commented, “With lockdowns and restrictions in place around the country, we are extremely grateful to have been able to hold the 2020 Etchells State Championships on the waters of Moreton Bay. It was also fantastic to see five skippers returning to Etchells racing since we hosted the Worlds in 2018. This resulted in very tight, highly competitive racing… and this of course is the reason we sail Etchells. We had 15 in the fleet, with Ben Leigh-Smith making the journey up for the Gold Coast Fleet.”

“We had extremely mixed conditions, and our PRO and volunteers did a fantastic job. Saturday was our most challenging day, with easily 25-30+ knots in highly unstable conditions as the storm front approached. We only got one race in, but got back ashore at 1pm, did the BBQ at 1.30, and then the storms hit at 2.15, so we all stayed around to watch the lightning show.”

Start of Race Seven on Day Three. Photo Credit: Emily Scott

In closing, Hawkins added, “Chris Nezmah has taken over the tongs from the Healey family for our world famous BBQ, and brought on chicken wings as his specialty. The next regatta is Brisbane Fleets in March 2021, so hopefully the borders will be open, and we look forward to welcoming back all the sailors from down South for our renowned Brisbane Fleet hospitality.”


July 28, 2019 Jenny Cooper0

At the Brisbane Etchells Fleet AGM yesterday, long-time office holders Noel Paterson and David Healey stood aside from their respective positions within the Fleet handing their batons over to Jason Hawkins (incoming Fleet Captain) and Chris Nezmah (incoming Treasurer).

Both Noel and David have worked tirelessly to further the Etchells Fleet in Brisbane as well as world-wide as the summary of their involvement to-date listed below testifies to:

Noel Paterson

  • Brisbane Fleet Captain: 2000-2004, 2009-12. 2014-19 (total 12 years)
  • International Governor: 2003-08, 2011-15 (total 12 years)
  • Australian Vice President: 2002-2004 (2 years)
  • Australian President: 2004-06, 2008-11 (5 years)
  • Awarded International Life Member 2018
  • Awarded Brisbane Fleet Life Membership 27 July 2019
  • (unfortunately, there is no record of Noel’s previous service in the 1980’s)

David Healey

  • Brisbane Fleet Treasurer: 1999-2019 (except for 18 months 2014/16)  (18.5 Years)
  • Australian Assistant Secretary: 2008-11 (3 years)
  • Australian Secretary: 2011-2016, 2017-19 (7 years)
  • Australian Treasurer: 2016- to date
  • International Governor: 2009-15 (8 years)
  • International Governor & Treasurer: 2017-21 (2 years)
  • Awarded Australian Life Membership 2018

From official records, we note that collectively these two Etchells elder-statesmen from the Brisbane Fleet have given their time for almost 70 years in total !

Noel and David have handed over the Brisbane Fleet to new hands in the strongest position it has ever been in its 40+ year history both in terms of participation as well as financially.  We wish them both all the best in their ‘retirement’ and know they will remain just as active on the race track continuing to campaign on Moreton Bay.   

See you out on the water.