In the 2014 Etchells World Championship Bill Hardesty and team ground through to victory, ultimately with a race to spare.
For Race 6, we had a new breeze direction with the post frontal NE flow well established at 14-17 KTS. Sparkling, yet shift sailing conditions made for a fun first race.
The fleet liked the look of the boat-half of the line and the pressure certainly looked to favor the right, however the congestion off the line and a left shift meant that boats who could tack were able to cross the fleet 2 minutes after the start.
The pressure still looked better to the right; however, the boats that worked middle left got a nice leftie and were launched!
The leaders at the first mark were Bruce Golison, Bill Lynn, Richard Clarke and Dina Corsi, Jay Mills, Chris Constant, Bill Mills and Luke Reich, Jim Cunningham, Jeff Madrigali, Mark Ivey and Bryn Bachman and George Francisco, Michael Guerriero and Zach Railey.
In the run, the boats that held starboard gybe in the pressure made gains, with Lammens, Bojsen-Moller and Girling just off the back of the top 5 and Hardesty, Canfield, Egan and Roble right on their tail.
Golison sailed a nice second beat and run into the finish on this four lap course to claim victory, team Mills/Constant held on for an excellent second. Jim Cunningham was strong in third.
Just behind the leaders, Hardesty had managed to gybe on Lammens breeze, and with the longer port gybe on this run, got up to fifth with Carruthers, Busch and Campbell in sixth and Lammens seventh.
Race 7 started without much delay, but the breeze was already moderating.
Off the line, the fleet liked the boat-half of the line and immediately started to sheer away from the guys to leeward. This was a trend that would continue, and those teams that worked right early gained most. This was the first sign of a thermal influence.
Things seemed settled throughout the first lap of this 5-leg course, however, and on the second run, the fleet in the middle and left of the track (looking downwind) found themselves in a hole. This allowed for some shuffling of the order and a tricky decision for the last beat. The right had paid both times, but now looked awful and the left looked great.
Needless to say, the boats that worked left and got into the re-establishing gradient breeze found gold. This race came down to a battle between Shannon Bush, Kurt Oetking and Brad Boston and Senet Bischoff, Ben Kinney and Clay Bischoff, Ante Razmilovic, Chris Larsen and Stuart Flynn and Skip Dieball, John McClean and Jeff Eber and Cunningham, Madro, Ivey and Bachman.
Dieball prevailed for a nail biting victory, Bischoff was second, Razmilovic third and Cunningham fourth for an excellent 3,4 for the day.
Going into the last day of the regatta with a light sea breeze forecast, Hardesty had a twenty point lead over Lammens who was eight ahead of Razmilovic.
Race 8 in a light Southerly sea breeze proved how tricky a race track can be in Newport. Off the line, the fleet once again preferred the boat half of the line, but this time, the guys in the middle popped out, or so it looked. However, nobody tacked and crossed, and then slowly the fleet began to sheer off to windward. The further right you were able to work, the better it got.
Nils Razmilovic, Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills played it perfectly and led around the weather mark, Kjeld Hestehave, Ian Storer and Lynne Shore were in hot pursuit in second and Scott Kaufmann, Justin Law, Jesse Kirkland and Austen Anderson third.
Although the boats that gybed early in this four lap course initially gained, the leaders were able to consolidate their positions by going back out to the right upwind.
So Nils Razmilovic and team were able to consolidate for a great win, Hestehave had an awesome second, and Kauffman and clan had a terrific third!
This race also decided the championship with Lammens deep, Hardesty able to recover to 15 and no other threats, Hardesty and team were able to pop the champagne corks with a race to spare.
Race 9 started with a weather mark at 195 degrees and a clear right influence in play; however, the pressure looked great on the left (as always).
Not surprisingly, the fleet favored the boat-half of the line, but off the line, the pin group was in great shape. Several boats were able to consolidate from the pin-half of the line, most notably, Peter Duncan, Jud Smith and Tom Blackwell.
At the weather mark, it was Australian legend John Bertrand, with crew Andrew Palfrey and Grant Simmer who led the fleet around with Duncan and Robert Elliott, Sam Richmond and Stuart Childerly got in their heels.
A tricky run ensued that allowed Duncan to make up some ground on Bertrand and force a split at the leeward gate. This let Duncan get to the favored right side and shepherd the action from there.
Across the finish line it was Duncan with a great win, Bertrand in second and Elliott third.
The conclusion of the regatta saw Lammens slip to sixth, Dieball fifth, Bischoff fourth and top Corinthian, 2013 World champs, Marvin Beckmann, Steve Hunt and Ezra Culver in third, Ante Razmilovic in second and team Hardesty champions.
Congratulations to Bill, Taylor, Marcus and Stephanie for a great win among a tough fleet of champions and legends! Top 10 Results
Day 3, Cumulative Sail Number / Boat Name / Skipper / Hometown / Race 1-2-3-4-5, Total
1. USA 979, Line Honors, Bill Hardesty, San Diego, 2-2-20-1-4-5-13-15-96/DNC 62.0
2. HKG 1333, Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic, London, U.K., 3-6-8-44-14-19-3-31-13 97.0
3, USA 1378, The Martian, Marvin Beckmann, Houston, 8-3-11-5-15-46-32-7-19 100.0
4. USA 1308, KGB, Senet Bischoff & Ben Kinney, Larchmont, N.Y. 10-20-25-52-1-31-2-9-15 113.0
5. USA 1372, Aretas, Skip Dieball, Beaver Dam, Wis., 38-13-4-19-7-17-1-61-23 122.0
6. CAN 1396, Hank Lammens, Norwalk, Conn., 1-8-1-12-16-7-47-49-42 134.0
7. AUS 1383, Triad, John Bertrand, South Yarra, Australia, 4-10-5-28-27-23-53-43-2 142.0
8. USA 1376, Arethusa, Phil Lotz, Newport, R.I., 9-18-6-96/BFD-52-9-12-37-8 151.0
9. USA 1137, La Tormenta, Shannon Bush, Refugio, Texas, 26-16-31-37-6-21-6-16-66 159.0
10. USA 1404, Lifted, Jim Cunningham, San Francisco, 42-4-32-40-50-3-4-25-10 160.0