The Australian Etchells fleet is edging towards a world championship in Brisbane and the NSW title regatta on Sydney Harbour this weekend is an important opportunity for those crews with a worlds challenge brewing to test their mettle against some of the class’ best. 

Four Queensland entries plus one each from Victoria and Western Australia are making the journey to join the majority NSW contingent in the three-day regatta, February 16-18, hosted by the Sydney Etchells fleet out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. 

A strong fleet of 41 Etchells will commence their NSW title contest on Friday, among them many former national champions and a number of world-beaters, in the popular one design class that’s been around since the 1960s and according to Queenslander Matt Chew “has always been cool”. 

For Gen XY skipper Chew and his crew Ashley Deeks, Ben Vercoe and Brian Donovan, the NSW title marks the start of their run towards a home world championship at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in October. 

“We have kept training pretty low key and now we are doing the NSW event and then the Victorian championship. We are ramping up and planning to peak at the end. We’ll see; we are trying to time our run to the worlds,” Chew said. 

On the cool factor he reckons: “Etchells have always been cool. I sail all the foiling boats but there’s something about coming back to an Etchells that levels the field. In other classes it’s about athleticism but with Etchells it’s who picks the wind. It’s very pure and simple; I think that’s why a lot of pro sailors come back to the class, to measure themselves against their peers.” 

Sydney Etchells fleet captain Mike Tyquin says, “Yet again after more than 40 years the Etchells Class shows its depth of class and broad appeal with a fantastic 41 boat fleet in Australia’s largest and leading one design keelboat class. The racing will be a real spectacle on Sydney Harbour and RSYS is ready for the fleet to put on a great regatta. Looking at the start list I can make the case for about a dozen boats to have a claim on winning the regatta, and of course plenty of well-performing club crews will mix up the results. I am very excited about what the four youth teams from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club will bring, I expect them to perform very well." 

Winner of the RSYS Milson’s Silver Goblets last November, Jeanne-Claude Strong’s Yandoo XX, is just one of the notable entries. Other ranked sailors include past world champions Iain Murray (Northern Havoc), Peter Merrington (Top 40) and Olympic gold medallist Tom King skippering the 2012 Etchells Worlds victor Iron Lotus he co-owns with David Edwards and Ivan Wheen. 

An eight-race schedule is planned over three days and each afternoon the ‘Maillot Jaune’, or in this case a yellow North Sails flag, will be awarded to the ‘boat of the day’ with the best set of scores. 

The weekend forecast indicates strongest winds on Friday - up to 19kts of SSE breeze, SE to 8kts on Saturday and even lighter sou’easters on Sunday.

On Friday 16 February the first warning signal is at 1230hrs, on Saturday the program commences at 1330hrs and on Sunday it reverts back to first warning at 1230hrs with the presentation ceremony conducted at the host club immediately after racing.

The Sydney Etchells thanks fleet sponsors Zhik, North Sailsand Mercedes-Benz Sydney who between them have come up with some excellent competitor prizes.

View entries and crew lists at 

Full results will be posted at

Find out more at:


By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC

Further information: 

Isabel Wartho
p. 9017 0177 e. 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Michael Stovin-Bradford
Etchells Sydney fleet communications officer
m. 0411 703 976

Mike Tyquin
Etchells Sydney fleet Captain
m. 0422 381 151


Entries are rolling in for the NSW State Championship and we are expecting about 40 boats for what will be a great regatta.

As well as a top notch sailing program, the Fleet will be putting on drinks and snacks after racing on Friday, and there will be a casual dinner on Saturday night - a great chance to catch up socially with friends in the fleet.

Thanks again to our sponsors Zhik, Mercedes-Benz Sydney and North Sails.

For NOR and to enter go to


Call for volunteers

The committee is looking for volunteers to assist with registration and boat yard organisation on Thursday 15 February. If you can spare the day or even a few hours it would be greatly appreciated.

We are also looking for a fleet member or friend of the fleet to assist with a media boat and / or driver.

Please let Mike Tyquin or Paul Thackray know via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can assist with either of the above.

Congratulations to Magpie for winning the 2018 Etchells National Championship at Fremantle. The team comprised: Greame Taylor, James Mayo (RSYS) and Richard Allanson (RSYS), shown with prize presenter and Race Officer Kim Laurence.

Sydney Fleet Captain Mike Tyquin said he was delighted with the performances of the Sydney boats which bodes well for a strong showing at the forthcoming NSW State Championship to be held at RSYS from 16-18 February.  

Also awarded on the night were the 2018 Australian Etchells Ladies Champions - AUS 1435, Jeanne-Claude Strong (RSYS), Seve Jarvin, Marcus Burke and Kate Deveraux who also came 4th overall. 

Overall Results 

1 AUS947 Magpie - Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, Richard Allanson - 2,2,4,1,2,1,(8),3 = 15pts
3 AUS885 - This Thing of Ours - David Turton, Josh Torpy, Klaus Lorenz - (17),3,1,7 ,6,3,2,2 = 24pts
3 AUS1402 The Croc - Michael Manford, Dean McAullay, Nick Gray - 6,1,2,5,(13),4,9,1 = 28pts
4 AUS1435 (RSYS) - Jeanne-Claude Strong, Seve Jarvin, Marcus Burke, Kate Devereux - 3,9,3,(11),3,2,1,15 = 32pts
5 AUS1449 (RSYS) Lisa Rose - Martin Hill, Mark Langford, Julian Plante, Joachim Aschenbrenner - 1,10,5,2,8,(11),4,4 = 34pts
6 AUS1244 (CYCA) Ciao - Doug McGain, Michael O'Brien, Anthony Nossiter - 13, 4, 8, 4, 4, 9, (20), 7 = 49 pts 
14 AUS 1392 (RSYS) Thelastone - Stephen Billingham, Ian Johnson, Chris Allen - 18, 15, 14, 17, 7, (27), 22, 6 = 99pts

Sail-World report by Jonny Fullerton here

Final results here

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Sydney Fleet look forward to hosting Australia's premier one design keelboat fleet for the 2018 NSW State Championship to be sailed on Sydney Harbour from 16-18 February.

A strong fleet will see outstanding competition among Corinthian sailors, as well as some of Australia's leading sailors, over the three days as many crews continue their campaigns towards the 2018 World Championship to be sailed in Brisbane.

Etchells Sydney Fleet Captain Mike Tyquin commented: "As Australia's largest and leading Etchells Fleet, we are always delighted to be able to showcase all that is great about sailing Etchells on Sydney Harbour, and with the World Championship just 10 months away, there will be few better chances for crews to sharpen their skills. With the generous assistance of our sponsors North Sails, Zhik and Mercedes Benz Sydney, and of course the great support of RSYS, we look forward to running a great regatta."

Racing will be held just a short sail from the Squadron on Sydney Harbour.

Notice of Race and Entry information are available at

An abandoned final race didn’t change the outcome for Jeanne-Claude Strong’s Yandoo XX, the deserving winner of the 2017 Milson’s Silver Goblets Etchells regatta sailed out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from November 13-17.

A twilight racer on a busy Sydney Harbour veered too close to a mark of the Etchells course during the closing race and dragged it out of position, thereby throwing the Goblets fleet into chaos. Rather than trying to sort out a messy multi-boat situation in the protest room, race officer Rob Ridley decided the cleanest solution was to abandon the fifth and final race of the unique twilight series, which became the fleet’s one dropped score.

Second by seven points, Rupert Henry’s Vivienne, is a new crew who came together for their first sail on the opening day of the Goblets. The skipper is in the early stages of a possible class comeback after five years away supporting his children’s dinghy sailing pursuits.

Henry’s regular crewman Greg O’Shea plus Josh Chant and Alice Tarnawski combined smoothly to slot in behind Strong’s practised Yandoo XX crew of tactician Seve Jarvin, Marcus Burke and Tiana Wittey.

“I love the Goblets regatta,” said Strong. “It attracts really talented sailors and the competition is tough. We were lucky to sail pretty consistently all week and my thanks go to my beautiful team who did a great job, as did the Squadron in spite of a twilighter sabotaging them on the last day. Congratulations to Rupert Henry and Grant Crowle and their teams,” the lone woman owner/skipper among 26 starters added.

Rupert Henry’s boat has sat untouched on the RSYS hardstand since the club hosted the Etchells Worlds 2012. He’s excited about dipping his toe back into the closest racing he says he’s ever experienced. “Etchells racing engages my head so much; I’m exhausted every night. If you make a two metre steering error it will catch up with you at the next mark, it’s not like ocean racing where you can recover. It’s the closest racing I’ve ever done; the same reason the ‘legends’ love it.”

Asked whether he’ll try for a spot at the class’ world championship in Brisbane in October next year Henry said, “That’s a TBA. Three of us have young kids so we are just happy at the moment being harbour warriors. But we have a trailer....”

Third placed Etchells, The Hole Way skippered by Grant Crowle, finished five points off Vivienne and fourth overall was Doug Flynn’s Wobbegong 2. 

Flynn’s been racing Etchells since 2004 and is aware of new faces and more professionals joining teams, which isn’t out of step when a world title looms. “Some new people and fantastic sailors have come into the class and that’s the wonderful thing about Etchells sailing. It’s the only sport in the world you can race against world and Olympic champions whereas you can’t play tennis against Roger Federer or drive a Formula One car!”

Sydney Etchells fleet captain Mike Tyquin said in summary, “We’re very fortunate in our class to have great mix of sailors from the very peak of our sport and also as importantly a strong group of enthusiastic and committed broader base of Corinthian and club racers. The Milson’s Silver Goblets really is a showcase of all that is great about sailing Etchells and sailing on Sydney Harbour. The racing this week was incredibly close and great fun. Congratulations to JC and her team, they are the hardest working crew in our fleet and deserve all their success.”

Mercedes-Benz Sydney and Zhik supplied prizes to placegetters and Yandoo XX add their name to the stunning perpetual trophy for the second time.

Sydney Etchells fleet sailors now turn their sights to the NSW state title run out of RSYS from February 16-18, 2018 and look forward to hosting 40 boats from other clubs and interstate. Details coming soon and all are welcome.

View video here

Full results here


By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC

There is local club racing, and then there’s the Etchells Sydney fleet fighting for the annual Milson Silver Goblets trophy on Sydney Harbour, and raising a warning flag for other states and nations on the strength of the NSW field preparing for next year’s world championship.

Half of the 26 Silver Goblets skippers are either past Etchells national champions, world champions in any class, America’s Cup sailors or Olympic representatives in sailing, and some fall into multiple top-level categories. Then there are the likes of Magpie’s crew, Iain Jensen and guest skipper Tom Slingsby driving for owner Graeme Taylor, who between them add Olympic gold medallist cachet to the talent mix.

Three races into the five-race twilight series on Sydney Harbour and the only female skipper, Jeanne-Claude (JC) Strong, leads the fleet by six points with her Etchells Yandoo XX.

Tactician Seve Jarvin said, “We’ve had three good starts and stayed in the top bunch. The courses are short, within the harbour’s natural boundaries, and that makes the starts all-important.  We aren’t winning races but we are finishing in the top two to four, and in the Etchells fleet that’s pretty solid. JC runs a very good program; she’s very dedicated to doing it properly and it’s good to see the results coming for us at the Queensland title and here,” Jarvin added.

Second on progressive scores is Rupert Henry’s Vivienne and third is Magpie, in spite of the crew playing musical chairs.

London Laser gold medallist and Oracle Team USA tactician Tom Slingsby skippered races one and three, and will see out the week, and Iain Jensen moved aft from mainsheet to tiller on Tuesday. Steve Jarvin and James Mayo are both regular Magpie crew and not long back from finishing second at the 2017 Etchells World Championship with Taylor at the helm. Jarvin’s holding onto his seat for this Goblets and Mayo jumped in as third crew when Slingsby needed a leave pass.

New Etchells Sydney fleet website and full results so far at

Some of the sport’s most decorated plus a strong youth component and class veterans have made the most of the late afternoon nor’easters and plenty of spring sunshine delivering sublime conditions for races one to three. An afternoon shower is forecast for Thursday November 16 and on Friday the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the chance of an afternoon thunderstorm and sea breezes up to 20 knots.

Following a Mini Regatta race on Saturday afternoon, an evening trophy presentation back at the host Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron will celebrate the placegetters among the teams. The majority of the fleet sail for the host club with a small number representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club to the north and Cronulla Sailing Club to the south.

Keen to encourage the next generation of Etchells sailors and build on the class’ four-decade long legacy, as well as for strength and talent reasons, a number of owners are choosing to round out their crew with younger sailors and professionals such as Jarvin and tactician David Chapman sailing with Martin Hill on his Etchells called Lisa.

Tiana Wittey, the 18 year-old daughter of Olympic sailor turned coach Neville Wittey, is an important long-time member of Yandoo XX. “I’m consistently the youngest in the fleet,” she said. “At dad’s suggestion I hopped on Yandoo at a Newcastle regatta eight years ago when JC needed another 40 kilos of crew weight, and I’ve been there ever since.”

She says her crew worked hard over winter for the current season - two or three weekly on-water training sessions starting at 6am at the RSYS, plus gym work. Like many among the Goblets fleet, their aim is to qualify for the 2018 Etchells World Championship to be hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

Wittey notes there aren’t many women in the fleet and says, “One day I’d love to have an all-women crew. JC has been an incredible mentor; she’s taught me beyond sailing, about organisation and how to run a business.”

And Wittey threw down a challenge to other Etchells owners: “There’s no weigh-in, so why not grab a young boy or girl and throw them on board. Etchells racing needs to be affordable and accessible to attract young people.”

Visit us at:


By Lisa Ratcliff/OCC

Sydney dialled up light breeze, calm water and a glorious evening to welcome the 27 strong fleet contesting the Milson Silver Goblets. 

Fleet Captain Mike Tyquin commented 'Perfect conditions for Etchells, it was a joy to sail on a clear harbour and the fleet put on a fine display this evening. It's been a great start to the series which augurs well for the rest of the week.’

Race Officer Rob Ridley of RSYS set course 5 from Rushcutters Bay to Woollahra Point. The course was set at 080° in an 8-10 knot variable easterly breeze which made approaching the top rounding marks tricky. The fleet sailed two laps with a windwind finish.

Tom Slingsby helmed Graeme Taylor's Magpie 947 to a win, with Mothy and Mayo on board. 2nd was Vivienne 1393, Rupert Henry;  3rd Whisper II 875, Bruce Ferguson/Cameron Miles.

>> View results here

>> Photos and videos will be posted on this site and to Facebook and Instagram ASAP.





The Sydney fleet will host one of the marquee events on the annual Australian Etchells racing calendar, a unique five-race midweek series called the Milson Silver Goblets to be sailed out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in the twilight from 13-17 November. The time of day makes the most of minimal harbour traffic and daylight savings, with beautiful late afternoon spring conditions on Sydney’s world famous harbour.

“Goblets is the start of things getting serious for those hoping to qualify for next year’s world championship,” said Fleet Captain Mike Tyquin. “The Silver Goblets leads into the nationals in Perth then back to RSYS for the NSW state champs in February, and from that follows a world qualification series in March-April.

“As well as being one of Australia’s largest fleets, the Sydney fleet is one of the most competitive in the country with owners who have recently been on big campaigns with professional crew for the worlds in San Francisco and last month’s Queensland championships.”

Racing will take place after 1745 hours over five consecutive evenings from November 13 to 17 on a track likely to be between Kirribilli Point and South Head. The presentation dinner will be held at RSYS on Saturday 18 November.

>>This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.View entries here

>> Read the full press release here

>> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Held on the magnificent waters of Moreton Bay, on the same track that next year’s World Championship will use, the Brisbane Fleet ran another successful event from their base at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly. Congrats to The Cure: David Clark, Alan Smith, Mitchell Luxton and young Raymond Smith for their win.

Sydney fleet sailors acquitted themselves extremely well. Commenting on her third overall position, Jeanne-Claude Strong said: 'RQYS put on a great regatta and with 38 entries the competition was pretty fierce. We appreciated the opportunity to spend time on the race track of the world championship next October. We were lucky to have good starts and got to the top mark in the first five boats every race so we were happy with that. Two wins weren’t enough for us to defend our title from last year, but we gave it our best!

'Congratulations to our training partners GT, Mothy and James, with whom we were even on points but ahead on count-back at the start of the last day, and who ended up second overall. Also congratulations to David Clark who came second last year but who won this year. Well sailed!'

>> View results here

>> Read the Brisbane fleet's report here


Since season close the Sydney Fleet performed strongly at the Australasian Championship at Mooloolaba, winning the Fleet Trophy once more with seven boats finishing in the top 20. Mothy and James Mayo with GT formed an outstanding Sydney/Melbourne combination to win the regatta; meanwhile Tom King put his 2012 World Championship winning team back together on the new Iron Lotus, and with limited preparation, looked threatening to take out second.

Congratulations also to Jeanne-Claude Strong who was named 2016 RSYS Yachtswomen of the Year for her fantastic and ever-consistent campaign, including successes at the Queensland and Victorian State Championships.

With a year to go to the Worlds it is important that owners / skippers intending to compete are clear on the qualification requirements.  

For our fleet it is pretty simple, with our series scheduled for March 2018 over three Saturdays. I am aware that there are some clashes with events for other classes, and while this is unfortunate, we are not in a position to change our schedule from the dates published in the programme in early August.  

If you intend to qualify through Sydney it is very important that: - you are a member of the Sydney fleet - you are not a member of any other fleet, or that if you are, then you will need to join Sydney before the other fleet starts its qualification series and you advise the other fleet that you intend to qualify through Sydney before the other fleet starts its qualification series. (A skipper can nominate for and compete in qualification for one fleet only)  We will be issuing an NOR in the early New Year for our series.

It is worth having a look at Appendix A of our Class rules to be clear on the requirements.

>> View rules here

>> Visit Brisbane Worlds site

San Diego 16-19 August

Martin Hill AUS 1449 (Andrew Palfrey, David Chapman, Sasha Ryan) and Jeanne-Claude Strong AUS 868 (Seve Jarvin, Marcus Burke, Tiana Wittey) finished in the top 20. Well done guys! View results and photos.

The 2017-18 season schedule has been finalised and promises an action-packed season of racing. View the 2017-18 calendar

Enter for Mini A available here

The Milson Silver Goblets will move forward to 13-18 November 2017.

The NSW State Championship will be conducted by RSYS from 16-18 February 2018 with a programme being finalised to manage Saturday Harbour traffic.

The World Qualifiers for Brisbane will be held throughout March.

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