Etchells World Championship day 2, San Diego.
Courtesy Doug Peterson - EW SD 2011 - Etchells World Championship 2011
With two firsts on Monday, it looked as though Hardesty could breeze into his second world championship but the combination of experience and patience has been paying dividends for Brun and his tactician, Ben Mitchell, who both have America’s Cup experience on their lengthy resumes.
However, the regatta is still fro the taking by any of the top six boats if Brun and Hardesty abandon their consistent finishes.
Day two of the 37th Etchells World Championship convened timely at 12:00 with the wind freshening from 250 and the sailors thinking about heavy jibs or replacing the upper batten in the light jib. With no general recalls and only a handful of individual recalls, the Race Committee ran a smart four leg course with the wind averaging 250 degrees, and an occasional left hand shift to keep the locals honest.
With two first place finishes on his score card, Bill Hardesty looked to have an easy second day with months of practice behind him with his team of Craig Leweck, Mandi Markee and Steve Hunt. Vincent Brun, the 2000 San Diego Etchells Champion had other plans, however, as Brun took a second place with Hardesty placing 19th. Although Hardesty recovered in race 4 to score a seven after coming from mid-fleet, it was not enough to overcome Brun, who currently leads the regatta, having scored a fourth place finish to take over the lead with 13 points (3-4-2-4). Hardesty lies in second with 28 points, (1-1-19-7), and Noel Drennan from Melbourne, Australia, recovered from a poor race on Monday to pull into third place with forty points (21-9-8-2). Craig Healy (4th) and Peter Vessela, (5th) both representing St. Francis Yacht Club (SFYC) in Northern California, are doing well to represent the northern part of the state. The ever wily Dennis Conner is in sixth place, having taken a first place finish in the fourth race on Tuesday.
The winds have cooperated with San Diego Yacht Club’s (SDYC) Race Committee (RC), headed by on the water Principle Race Officer Bill Stump and logistics PRO Bruce Greene of SDYC. Despite the southern movement of a weak front from Northern California, the RC managed to get off two races with the winds starting at 7-8 knots and generally trending right to the West / Northwest. An occasional left hand puff kept the locals honest even though they generally favor going to the right (Westerly) side of the race course.
The 37th Etchells World Championship runs through 11 June, with nine races scheduled through Saturday. The Etchells is keel-boat weighing no less than 1508 kilos or 3325 pounds. Crewed by three or four with a maximum crew weight of 285 kilos (628.3 pounds), the boats are extremely well matched and differences of a few feet can turn a first place mark rounding into a fifteenth. With San Diego’s light and shifty venue, regatta followers should expect more shake-ups atop the leader board as the regatta reaches its mid-way point.
Etchells World Championship 2011 website