Anja, 33, will sail on the bow aboard the Sydney fleet entrant, One Crowded Hour, because of the withdrawal of owner/skipper Gordon Hinds. Regular crewman Stephen Ingate will take over as helmsman with Roger Downs moving to mainsheet.
“I’m doing the worlds, it’s super,” an excited Anja said at Mooloolaba Yacht Club where she has been working with UK Sailing Academy. “I’ve not sailed much in Etchells, but I did sail with Roger (Downs) in the Winters and Pre-Worlds.”
The slim, blonde Dane is, however, a highly experienced sailor, holding a Yacht Master Offshore certificate and has competed in Lasers and Europes and aboard many offshore yachts. She has crossed the Atlantic three times.
Anja is one of only three women sailing as crew in the Etchells World Championship, with the invitation race tomorrow and the first of eight championship heats scheduled for Monday, 2 August.
Rebecca Alson is sailing on the Mornington, Victoria, boat Run Like You Stole Something, skippered by Aaron Drummond, while Theresa Zandvliet is crewing on the New Zealand boat Waiwera Naturally Hot, skippered by Bruce Mathers from the NZ Eastern fleet
Tasmanian yacht damaged
Tasmanian yachtsman Andrew Hunn seems dogged by bad luck sailing in the Etchells one-design class at Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast this winter.
He had his boat damaged beyond repair in a crunching collision in the Etchells Australian Winter Championship in June and two weeks ago took delivery of a new replacement boat for the ACE Etchells World Championship regatta which opens at Mooloolaba tomorrow.
Today, Hunn’s new boat, Zulu, went hard aground at the marina, at low spring tide, bending the aft tip of the keel.
All yachts had to be in the water for this 'wet' regatta by 5pm today, but the International Jury gave Hunn until 6pm to haul Zulu out, undertake repairs and then put it back into water, enabling the fibreglass repair material to harden.
Sailing with Hunn, a Hobart neuro-surgeon, are fellow Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania members Dave Connor and Stephen McCullum.
Connor, an past Olympic sailor, is a Hobart businessman while McCullum is ship manager for Incat, the large Hobart ship-building enterprise where he oversees military ship projects.
“I’ve been sailing with Andrew for some 20 years now, in Sharpies and in Etchells,” McCullum said today. “We had a couple of good races in the Pre-Worlds and are hoping to do well in the Worlds,” he added.
Zulu is among 85 yachts contesting the Etchells World Championship which start tomorrow with the invitation race, followed by eight championship heats through next week.
Sponsors of the Etchells World Championships 2004
ACEAustralian Currency Exchange,MTIAB,Maroochy Shire Council, Queensland Events, Ken Down Architects,Ronstan, North Sails, Mooloolaba Yacht Club & Marinaco, Yamaha Motor Australia Pty Ltd, Zodiac Group Australia, Mainstay Marine, Kevlacat, Dolphin Marine, Peter Campbell & Associates, Advance Sports Sunshine Coast, Peninsular Beachfront Resort, Newport Holiday Apartments, Sun-air bus service, Pacesetter Etchells Pty Ltd, House of Maroochydore, Landmark Resort, The Jetty Specialists, Kelly Green and Co, The Weekender, Win TV, Mix FM, Mooloolaba Yacht Brokers, Telstra Country Wide, Cooroy Mountain Spring Water, www.questphoto.com ,Thrifty Car Rentals, Wedderburn Scales, UKSA, Neumanns, Tasqua Cellars, Southcorp and Sunsport Marine, Century Batteries, Advanced Technology Training, ANZDL, P&O Nedlloyd (Shipping),Kawana IT, Harken, Quickshade, Smith Sails, Westcoast Sports.