HYC awarded the Etchells World Championships for 2010
Author: Simon Knowles Posted on: 16/11/06 Print Version

Howth Yacht Club has been officially awarded the Etchells World Championships for 2010.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Etchells Class Governors in Fremantle, Western Australia on 16th November 2006.

This event will attract the best sailors in the world, past winners of this event are household names within sailing circles and beyond including the likes of John Bertrand, Denis Connors and Russell Coutts, all America's Cup Winners.
This is an enormous achievement for both the Irish Etchells Class which was only formed in 2004 and for Howth Yacht Club. Work will commence right away to put together what will be the biggest sailing event ever to come to these shores.

The Etchells is an international racing keelboat sailed world wide in Countries such as USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Canada, Bermuda and Israel. It was designed in 1967 and has grown steadily since.

The 2006 Worlds Start in Perth, Australia ( ) on 18th November. This is probably the biggest yachting event in Western Australia since the America's Cup in 1987 and Ireland is represented by Richard Burrows and Dan O'Grady and their crews. Richard completed in the Australian Nationals last weekend and finished an excellent 5th with a host of previous world champions including John Bertrand in his wake.

The 'elder statesman' of the class, John Bertrand who quit Big Boat racing after Australia II's win in 1983 and has sailed Etchells ever since, is still searching for his first Etchells Worlds title. The 59 year old master sailor showed he 'has still got what it takes', decisively winning the last race in the pre-Worlds event last weekend. John Bertrand contends this is a hot fleet. 'In terms of depth, I think this would be one of the hottest championships ever run certainly for the Etchells class. My take on it is the Etchells is the Olympic class in the non Olympic years. Everyone gravitates to this class for the World Championship.'

The class attracts many of the big names of International yacht racing, regular Etchells sailors are Dennis Connor, Russell Coutts, John Bertrand, Cameron Appleton, Iain Murray, Jud Smith, Kenny Read to name but a few.

Howth Yacht Club's Etchells fleet has already had Russell Coutts and Dennis Connor racing against its club sailors and the target for the 2010 World Championships will be to attract the best sailors from around the world to a showcase championship in Howth racing against Irish Club sailors.

The boat is 30ft in length, fast and sleek and has a preference for Windward/Leeward courses. The Irish Class is now firmly established in Howth and Dun Laoghaire with 27 boats. If sailors are interested in getting involved in the class contact details and more information can be found at The Class also hopes to have a strong presence at the 2007 Irish Boat Show in the RDS in February next.