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Western Australian Etchells Championship – Peter Chappell claims title    
Sun, 17 Mar 2013

The final day of the Western Australian Etchells Championship had the competitors eager to dock out at 0730 for the scheduled 0830 warning – the previous day had been a long day with five tough heats to sail and with the breeze at a light 5-7 knots from the East most were looking for an easier day on the body.

Race 6 had the fleet underway with the pack again aggressively pushing the line hard. There were some nervous starters on the line as many already had a BFD or OCS to their name. The first beat had many snakes and ladders however Alistair McMichael on Daylight robbery picked the tricky conditions best to round just ahead of Martin Webster on Highlander and Dirk van der Struyf on Chilly Bin.

Both McMichael and Webster chose to bear away set however van der Struyf and the ever opportunistic Peter Chappell on 1382 chose the gybe set and it was those two who led at the bottom gate, 1382 choosing the left and Chilly Bin taking the right.

This was to be the telling moment where Peter Chappell and those that chose the left gate tacked early and picked up a right hander off the beach giving Chappell a handy race victory, his third for the regatta. Alastair McMichael sailed well to snatch the second and Doug Kerr had a blinding last run to pick up many places into third.

So leading into the final race seven of the regatta had Peter Chappell and Doug Kerr tied on points – Chappell with his incredible three bullets would win on a countback if the final race didn’t get underway in the fading breeze.

By the cutoff time of 1200 and having started and abandoned a race already the race committee called it a day and it was Peter Chappell, Mike Hughes and Dave Castles on 1382 who took out the series, Doug Kerr on Screaming Plum took second after the countback and Alistair McMichael took out third place.

A delighted Mike Hughes sailing middle for the winning boat has had a terrific last three weekends, sailing with Dave Clark in the NSW and Victorian States and capping it all off with a victory in his home state – where to next Hughsy?

by Etchells Swan River Fleet

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