Australian Etchells Class expert Ian Johnson interviewed David Clark (Clarky) after his convincing win at the QLD, Etchells State titles against a very strong fleet.
Clarky teamed up with well known Western Australian sailors Ray Smith, Alan Smith and young champion from QLD Mitchell Luxton at just 11 years of age.
The winning team © Kylie Wilson - positiveimage.com.au
Backing the team up was larger than life Mike Hughes also from W.A. Hughesy ran the coach boat and kept the team in check on and off the water.
All of them had sailed with each other before but not as an Etchells team of four.
Having the two days on the water prior to the regatta to get the team work and boat speed on track was invaluable. This is when having a coach and coach boat pays off says Clarky. Tuning up with Bruce Ferguson and his team was great to get up to speed.
I asked Clarky about the crew roles on the boat.
"All of us knew each other well and the dynamics fitted pretty quickly. Young Mitch Luxton sails Optis. He also sails with his brothers and family at RQYS. Having a young set of eyes and extra set of hands was great. "
"Ray Smith did the main sheet and kept the boat rolling, and me in check. Ray is a great sailor and loves his Etchells racing. This program was put together by Ray.
Alan Smith sat up the front and did tactics. Alan and I sailed together in the Sydney Worlds so It didn't take long to get our communication up to speed. He did a very good job."
Working hard down wind © Kylie Wilson - positiveimage.com.au
What boat equipment were you using Clarky?
"The boat is a new Smidmore boat and Smidmore mast.
We used North Sails Jibs, LM2L and LM2H, Main TKR and a VMG Spinnaker."
It was the first time I have sailed with North Sails in a long time. I never felt compromised with boat speed. It was nice not to think about sails and go yacht racing.
What's next Clarky?
"I will start thinking about putting the program together for the Worlds in Brisbane next year. It was great to sail at RQYS, It's an amazing facility, race track and organisation I and look forward to coming back next year."