Mark Roberts and his team on Fumanchu have given themselves every chance at taking out this year’s state title after two wins from four races on the first day of the Doyle Sails SA Etchells Championship.
However Roberts didn’t have it all his own way, with fierce competition in David Royle on Here Comes Another One and Geoff Boettcher steering Pickles also taking race wins in races two and four respectively.
Before racing yesterday we spoke to Tim Cowen, Doyle Sails representative and owner of Pickles, who said one-design racing in South Australia was a key element to the sport that he was keen to push and promote.
“It’s good, tight racing, it’s cheap racing and accessible to a lot more people,” he said.
“At Doyle Sails we’re quite big in the one-design stuff and we put a lot of importance on it so it’s something we really want to see growing here in SA.”
While Etchells racing has traditionally been for the older members of the sailing community, the class in South Australia is being encouraged to a lot of younger sailors as well.
We caught up with Patrick Royle, a keen young sailor fresh out of the junior ranks, who has been racing with his father Peter and uncle David this weekend.
He said he enjoyed the close and competitive nature that Etchells racing created.
“It’s a family affair – Dad and my uncle David have sailed Etchells for years and years,” he said.
“I remember growing up as a young kid being around them and being taken out for joyrides on the boat so I’ve always known it’s been around.”
Racing continues today with a 12pm start, which will round out the state championship for this season.
Stay tuned to the Down Under Sail Facebook page for photos and updates.