Medina Marching Band opened proceedings and Regatta Director David Franks welcomed the sailors to the regatta. As the flags of the 11 nations taking part were raised on Trinity Landing, the international gathering cheered everyone.
A total of 58 teams will battle it out in the Solent over the next 6 days, amongst them are the glitterati from the world of sailing, as well as passionate corinthian sailors.
Mark Thornburrow’s team includes 6 time 470 World Champion and 2-time Olympic gold medallist, Malcolm Page (AUS).
A closer look at the fleet reveals immense quality in depth, 14 past and present Etchells World Champions are just the tip of the iceberg. From dinghy to Maxi World Champions, arguably the coolest collection of sailors, anywhere in the world, has gathered in Cowes. 20 Olympians, with 4 gold and 3 bronze medals between them, as well as World Champions from 24 different classes and America’s Cup competitors and winners.
John Bertrand, the man who wrestled the America’s Cup from a fellow Etchells World Champion, Dennis Connor commented.
“This is my Zen, it’s like meditation. Everything else just gets stripped away at the Etchells Worlds, and we are all back to just pure sailing.
“Some other areas of the sport are full of politics but not here, which is why it is so popular with so many different sailors. The Etchells Class is probably the most competitive one-design class going, one mistake and you get spat out the back, and nobody is going to apologise. Ashore after racing the spirit is just fantastic.”
Racing at the 2016 Etchells World Championship will be held from Monday 5th to Saturday 10th September, with multiple windward -leeward racing in the Central Solent. 6 races will constitute a series and the overall winner will receive the antique silver Founders Trophy, and join a list of impressive Etchells World Championship winners.
Featured photos: sportography.tv