Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Etchells- 70 boats for Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta

by John Payne on 8 Jan 2014
Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta 2014 John Payne
The 2013-14 Etchells Midwinter Series continued in Miami last weekend. The Jag, as the series has become better known, attracted 70 boats for the Sid Doren Memorial, the second event of the four regatta series.

Miami is famous for its great winter climate, but the local weather gods were not quite so accommodating on Saturday. A light drizzle and overcast skies greeted sailors as they prepared for the first of three races scheduled for the day. However with temps in the low seventies, everyone was happy they weren’t almost anyplace else in the continental USA as snow, ice and frigid temperatures gripped most of the rest of the country.


Race one got underway right on time for the seventy Etchells. PRO Dave Brennan set a course at 070° with a first beat of 1.5 miles in a little over eight knots. As often happens in a large, aggressive fleet, several boats pushed the start and were caught over early. Among those were two perennial favorites, Shannon Bush and Keith Whittemore. As Shannon said later, 'Once we were over early that just about sealed our race. It’s difficult to claw your way back to the front of a 70-boat fleet.'

Andrew Cumming was first to the top, followed closely by Ernie Pomerleau and Jim Cunningham. That order held for the downwind. Dave Brennan likes to start each Etchells race with a long first beat and first downwind, in an attempt to spread out the fleet. Seventy sharp pointed keel boats arriving in a leeward gate together can be dangerous. Once the fleet has spread out some, Dave will then shorten the last two legs to keep the race to a decent length of time. Today’s races were no exception.

On the beat back to weather Jim Cunningham took the lead and won the race. Pomerleau / Dressell held on for second, with Mark Fleckenstein easing into third.


Race two went off with the same distance and bearing with the wind holding near nine knots. Once again, many boats jumped the gun and had to go back, putting themselves in a deep hole. Mark Watson and Dirk Kneulman led the race wire to wire taking the gun. They were followed by David Burrows in second and Buddy Cribb in third.

Starting race three proved to be the biggest challenge for PRO Brennan and his race committee. Utilizing a mid-line boat, the starting line was almost a half mile long. Dave said they were getting different wind bearings on each of the three start boats with a variation of as much as 15-20° over the five minute starting sequence. This oscillation in bearing lead to three short postponements as the race committee worked diligently to set a square line. When race three finally got under way, the pin end RC boat looked like the center of a giant nautical merry go round as five or six Etchells, who were very early, rounded that end to re-start. Former two-time world champion Bill Hardesty was one of the boats over early at the pin, and was only able to salvage a finish in the top of the bottom half. Of note, Bill spent his honeymoon towing the Etchells cross country to make this regatta. Sounds like he found himself a keeper!


Peter Duncan, sailing with another former world champion, Jud Smith on board, led the fleet to the top mark, followed by Shannon Bush. Following in third was Tom Carruthers with Andrew Campbell on board. In another wire to wire lead, Peter Duncan held on over Shannon to take race three, the last of the day. Tom Caruthers finished third.

Back on shore it was time for some socializing under the sea grape trees. One of the best parts of the Jag, the sailors all meet up for a few cold ones, and some tasty snacks as provided by host Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. On this day there was a considerable amount of commiserating amongst the competitors. Nineteen different boats had a single digit finish in their score line, but many of those also carried one or more score in the bottom half of the fleet. The same oscillations the RC saw on the start of race three were present all over the race course. As Tom Lihan said with a chuckle, 'We won our side of the race course all day; we were just consistently on the wrong side.'


Sunday dawned with a promise of more great racing. The rain had moved out, and there was plenty of sunshine and warm breezes. Race four started at 165° and 1.5 miles with winds approaching 10 knots. Peter Duncan won the pin and started off towards the left side of the course. He didn’t take that tack very far and flopped over to port in an effort to get to the right. As Tom Lihan pointed out, 'there was a pretty strong left running current at the top of the course due to its proximity to the ICW. If you could be on the right at the top you picked up an extra one to one-and-a-half knots of apparent boat speed.' Duncan indeed got out to the right middle and rounded the top mark in fourth. First to the top was Phil Lotz driving Arethusa. He was followed closely by Ethan Doyle and Wade Edwards. On the long downwind the wind velocity started to decay. By the bottom gate it was barely holding at 5.5 knots. The top of the fleet was shuffled on the next two legs with the exception of Phil Lotz, who held on for the victory. Ante Razmilovic took second followed by Shannon Bush in third.

By now a very nasty looking squall was moving in from the south. It effectively sucked most of the wind out of that part of Biscayne Bay. The race committee decided to wait and see what would happen, but after it moved through bringing strong gusts and driving sheets of rain, it left the bay once again becalmed. With a second line of squalls fast approaching, the PRO decided to cancel racing for the day.

That decision meant there would be not drop for the regatta forcing many to keep a score they were desperately hoping to discard.


Winning the 2014 Sid Doren Memorial was Peter Duncan, sailing 'Raging Rooster' with Jud Smith and Tom Blackwell. This follows their triumph in the Piana Cup back in December, and makes them the overall, early leader for the Jag Series. I spoke to Jud Smith after the regatta to get his take on the weekend, and asked him what he thought was the biggest secret to their success. He said, 'Not being over early! With 70 boats out there you gotta not make mistakes. A great start would be good if the fleet was half the size, but there were too many boats to push it.' He went on to say 'We thought the right paid in the first two races, though not too much. We tried to be in the top twenty at the top mark and then gain a few boats on each subsequent leg.' Clearly that strategy worked.

Finishing second was Andrew Cummings sailing with local Brian Kamilar, Victor Diaz and Eric Aronsohn. Third place went to Jim Cunningham with Jeff Madrigali, Mark Ivey and Bryn Bachman. In fourth place was Ante Razmilovic on English Blue with his crew of Chris Larson and Stuart Flynn. Rounding out the top five were Skip Diebal and Jon McClean sailing with Jeff Eiber.

First place had an average score of six, and fifth place had an average score over 12. As Jeff Madrigali summarized, 'Consistency paid in a no drop regatta'.

Next up, the Etchells Florida State Championship February 8-9, Click here for complete results

Southern Spars - 100Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr