Australians dominate Etchells World Title in US
America’s Cup legends Iain Murray and Colin Beashel, as well as Richie Allanson, have just taken home the Etchells World Championship in Texas. The title is touted as one of the most coveted in world sailing and features a who’s who of world class skippers.
Here’s what else you need to know.
The Aussie trio won gold aboard an Australian made Etchells, built with special features thought up by Allanson and Murray. The boat had its maiden international voyage during the championship, performing exceptionally well.
Innovations within one-design
The International Etchells Class is a class of racing, which consists of strict one-design rules for all sailing boats involved. These limitations make it a popular racing class, and the innovations implemented by the Australian team were praised by other sailors in the event.
The world’s best sailing talent descended on Corpus Christi, Texas, for the race, including American champs Marvin Beckmann, Steve Benjamin and Jud Smith, as well as British legend Laurie Smith.
Other Aussies involved in the race included 2018 winner Martin Hill, plus Tom Slingsby and Chris Hampton, who joined off the back of the SailGP in New York. There was also a formidable presence of young talent from the US and the UK.
The race itself is difficult to win, since world class skippers like Dennis Conner, as well as Australians John Bertrand and John Savage, have taken home gold twice. Despite the talent pool, the Aussie AM boats were impossible to beat.
Australian sailors dominate
Australian sailors dominated the Etchells class, bringing home 4 out of the 5 top places. Murray spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald about winning his last Etchells title.
“I can remember back to 1984,” he said.
“The class has changed a bit, as have we as sailors. We were a far more assembled challenge this time. It is incredibly satisfying given everything we put into it.”
Murray also spoke about the joy of sailing with good friends.
“The coolest thing is sailing with my mates, just for the love of it, which makes a nice change. I have had a big break from the class, but you come back wiser and smarter.”
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