Etchells Race Boat Charters
Give anyone the opportunity to race in one of the world’s great racing fleets on the
iconic Solent waterway with a world-class crew.
The Etchells has been established as one of the sailing world’s best one-design classes
for decades. It is still as current as ever. The 2018 World Championship was contested
by 94 boats, with many of sailing’s greatest names taking part. It is also a class that is
evolving responsibly - moving with the times, but carefully managing the cost of
The local Cowes fleet has had a resurgence in the last few years, culminating in the hosting of the 2016 World Championship. The 2017 and 2018 seasons have seen
upward of 25 entries for events. The Worlds are coming to Cowes again in 2022.
GBR 1460 - christened Man’s Best Friend - a play on my nickname, was built in the
winter of 2017-18. I saw an opportunity to build the best Etchells ever, as there was a
superb hull sitting in the mould at Heritage Racing Yachts. That hull had
been laminated some weeks earlier in the height of summer. Through that winter, David
Heritage and I collaborated and developed several areas to take his boats to
the next level of detailing and gadgetry. I am extremely proud of what we created.
Man’s Best Friend can be chartered “bare” (ie: bring your own team), or with full or part-
crew supplied. I have been racing Etchells at the top level since the late
1980’s and also have an intimate knowledge of the Solent.
Any type of package available
We can assist with Cowes accommodation packages, catering, restaurant bookings,
sailing apparel, the works!
All insurances, launching fees and race entry costs are covered as part of the charter
package - simply turn up for the fun bit!
Year 1 - 2018
A very successful first season for Man's Best Friend. Cowes Week was the highlight, with a victory for Martin Hill, Andrew Mills and myself.
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, this was a “bucket list” event for Martin, who had always
dreamt of racing in a Cowes Week. Martin also brought out some family members and
rented a great house in Cowes, overlooking the Solent. He then went onto win the
Etchells Worlds in Brisbane 10 weeks later!
The US Sailing's 2017 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Peter Duncan (New York, USA) chartered the boat for both the UK Nationals and the European Championship, using these Solent events to prepare his team for the 2018 Worlds. Peter finished 5th in the Nationals and a close 3rd in the Euro’s. Acclaimed British yachtsman Lawrie Smith and his team were the winners of both events.
Kim Ridge, a London-based property developer chartered Man’s Best Friend for three
events, finishing with very creditable 3rd place in the well contested Bedrock Trophy
Finally, Man’s Best Friend was chartered “bare” to Grant Simmer, the CEO of the INEOS
Team UK, the British America’s Cup Team for the Saida Cup.
Year 2 - 2019
The boat was chartered exclusively to Grant Simmer for the 2019 season. Grant is an three-time America’s Cup winner and has been inducted to the America’s Cup hall of fame. He is also an avid Etchells sailor and good bloke to boot. Grant was in the UK, serving as CEO for the INEOS Team UK America’s Cup team. Sailing Man’s Best Friend was Grant’s way to stay active in the sport and keep his racing instincts sharp whilst he drove a desk all week.
The crew saw a revolving list of INEOS sailors and shore team. Sir Ben Ainslie did a couple of days in the boat, as did Giles Scott. Grant was generally on the podium, with a regatta win or two as well.
Year 3 - 2020
What a year! It started out quite bleakly from a sailing perspective. But as we emerged from lockdown, Man’s Best Friend got a lot of use. Firstly as a test platform for a series of products that included the new Jib Track System and the milled alloy Spreader Bracket.
As racing in the UK was allowed to proceed, the boat was chartered to current J/70 World Champion Paul Ward and his team. Paul took his first steps into the Etchells class.
In the end Paul did a handful of events in a season that extended into mid December 2020. He loved sailing the boat so much that he has bought his own new boat from David Heritage, which is on schedule for an Easter 2021 delivery.
Price on Application - contact me for further details.