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21 January 2004, 10:59 am
Nationals Provide Excellent Preparation For 2004 Worlds
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Etchells Australian Championship
Adelaide

Sunshine Coast Etchells skipper David TURTON will be happy to return to club racing with the Mooloolaba Yacht Club after finishing 12 in the 2004 Australian championship in Adelaide last week.
Turton, his younger brother Andrew and Daryl SPICER are regarded as one of the pace setters in the open water racing environment off Mooloolaba's Point Cartwright.

However before contesting the Nationals hosted by the Adelaide Sailing Club, skipper Turton was forced to make a late crew change with the talented Luke MOLLOY standing in for Spicer.

Molloy has spread his career over a number of one design racing classes and his late inclusion forced the Sunshine Coast crew to develop a new understanding as the series progressed.

But Turton is not making any excuses and he is happy with the result as the best Queenslander in the 7 race championship dominated by the strong Victorian Etchells fleet.

John BERTRAND who steered Two Saints and A Magpie to victory with his crew of Ernie LAWRENCE and Bill BROWNE in the 2003 National series over the Mooloolaba Yacht Club course last January had to contend with the Bronze Medal behind the 'Wild Card' Mark BULKA in Balanced A-Tac and Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winning skipper Grant WHARINGTON in Satu 11.

Bulka was very consistent in the complete wind range to record a 6-5-1-1-2-3 (18pts) in his best six races to count forcing the equally impressive Wharington 1-7-4-3-3-1 (19pts) into accepting the Silver Medal while Bertrand 3-4-7-12-1-5 (32pts) completed the clean sweep for the Victorians.

Former Australian Winter Champion, Michael COXON steered North Sydney Station into fourth place on 35 pts with David Turton 7-25-17-21-5-2 completing another 'learning curve' at the regatta with 77 penalty points lost.

Mark BRADFORD winner of the World championship Silver Medal in New Zealand in 2002 and the Australian Winter championship in the same year also returned a relatively poor result finishing 14, another 4 points behind David Turton.

However these results will change when the two Queensland crews line up to contest the 2004 World championship at Mooloolaba from 28 July to 8 August 2004.

They will become heavily involved with developing an understanding with the local sailing conditions in a build up to what is guaranteed as the most exciting Etchells Championship to be held in Queensland since Olympian Colin BEASHEL helmed The Boat to win the 1993 World title over the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron courses on Moreton Bay.

Etchells fleet racing at Mooloolaba will become increasingly competitive over the next few months as more crews who have qualified will step up their training on the World title course.

Mark BRADFORD winner of the 2003 Queensland title at Mooloolaba will set the pace benchmark with his keel modified challenger rigged with latest sail technology developed from the North Loft.

Boat speed will be crucial, but paramount perfection in the collective human element skills of mistake free technique and tactical strategy is what separates a World Etchells contender from a World Etchells championship pretender.

"There is no chance to rest with past success because the competition is so hot at the top if you're half prepared then expect to finish back in the pack". Bradford said.

The NoR for the World Championship is now available on the event website via the link below.
Ian Grant (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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