Etchells Worlds 2019 in Corpus Christi
● By Jessie Monsivais
You may have noticed a little more sailboats on the water than usual this past week. The Etchells World Championship Regatta brings 37 teams to compete for the 2019 Etchells World title from June 25 to June 29 with international teams representing 10 different countries, from Australia and Bermuda to Nigeria and the U.S. to race right here in the Corpus Christi Bay.
These regattas are no stranger to the Corpus Christi area, last summer the Corpus Christi Yacht Club hosted the Youth World Sailing Championships which included over 500 sailors from across the world. In previous years, Corpus has been the host of seven international sailing events and another prestigious international championship has returned to the city.
2018 Etchells World Champion Martin Hill (AUS) has set out to defend the winning title returning with his crew Julian Plante, Mathew Belcher, and Sean O' Rourke. Returning champion skippers, Steve Benjamin (USA), Marvin Beckmann (USA), Jud Smith (AUS), head crews with several world titlists and Olympians also crewing in the field. In the mix as one of the few female and local skippers is Shannon Bush (USA) racing with her crew, Brad Boston, Nick Ford, Emory Williams. Several teams have been practicing in Corpus for three weeks.
An impressive group of volunteers from the area and country have come to aid the event. Local sailor Robert Moreno shares his experience of volunteering on the water and assisting with setting the race course. “Being a part of the team that organizes the courses for the Etchells World Championship has been a great opportunity to see the boats start the race. The most exciting part of a race occurs at the start. I get to see the boats jockey for their space of clean air and to be on the line at Go.”
Moreno adds, “Being off the water is just as interesting. We have socials after the race and get to talk with the sailors that have traveled to our small corner of the world and hear what they think about our winds and waters.”
The boats sail out from the L-head on Coopers Alley for their 12 o’clock start on Corpus Christi Bay. The Lawrence and Peoples T-head offer the best views from land for those wishing to catch a glimpse. Tune in to the event from the live broadcast provided on the Corpus Christi Yacht Club’s Facebook and Instagram @ccyachtclub.
For complete daily results, visit yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm. To learn more about the Learn to Sail Program and other youth sailing opportunities in Corpus Christi, go to ccyc.com or call 361-883-6518.