Etchells Pacific Coast Championships Regatta Report
November 16-17 2013
San Diego Yacht Club
In conjunction with San Diego Yacht Club's monthly One-Design Weekends, the local Etchells fleet came out in force to host a world-class group of sailors from around the country for the 2013 Pacific Coast Championship title. 24 boats competed in seven races held on Coronado Roads in a variety of conditions. The days leading into the regatta saw some fall weather and windy southerlies. This provided some great training, but a sloppy sea-state for the fleet on Saturday morning.
In addition to sloppy swell and chop, an uncommon southerly breeze built Saturday. 10 knots faded to 8 knots by the end of the day, but a slow right trend in the breeze proved manageable for the Race Committee. After three races Bill Hardesty and crew on the 979 held a slim lead over Tom Carruthers, Marvin Beckman, Geoff Davis and Tyler Sinks, Bruce Nelson, Chris Snow, and Jim Cunningham, all bunched within 7 points of the lead.
Saturday night, Vince Brun moderated an open debriefing session with World Champions Marvin Beckman, Steve Hunt, Jeff Madrigali and Bill Hardesty handling the questions. The Etchells sailors discussed habits and settings with the panel and came away with some great nuggets to put into practice the following day and in their planning for the winter season. "We spent as much time in the boat as we could," said Beckman reflecting on his recent effort to win the 2013 World Championship in Italy. "The best coach is the one you can have on board," he added referring to Steve Hunt's continuing guidance in his program. The room went back and forth on some of the concepts suggested by the champion panel, "We're probably lower upwind and higher downwind," Hardesty commented regarding his pace in the choppy ocean conditions that day. "We'll probably adjust for other conditions, but in those conditions, your trimmers may tell you to come up on the breeze, and I'm just going to keep the bow down and get the boat going first."
San Diego provided a chamber of commerce day sailing Sunday. A light westerly built quickly to the autumn standard 7-9 knots from 250 degrees. Point Loma provided some geographic influence to the course along with a big ebb tide running out the bay. Including a throw-out, team 1066 led by Geoff Davis with Tyler Sinks and James Egan led the regatta going into the final race after winning a couple races. Tom Carruthers in the 1411 and Bill Hardesty in 979 were close behind. 1066 failed to get off the line cleanly mid-line, while Hardesty and Carruthers battled for the boat-end. Ultimately the right side of the course proved much better and the short three-leg course was not enough time for the 1066 to recover. Hardesty and the 979 won the race, but the title was taken by the 1411 team of Tom Carruthers with crew Chris Busch and Andrew Campbell. Consistent scores for the 1411 were the key to the win. Winning two races over the series but not finishing outside of the top 6, was enough to get Carruthers his first victory in the class outside of the local fleet regattas. "I'm speechless!" Carruthers said at the awards on SDYC's front deck Sunday evening. He's looking forward to the Jaguar Series in Miami this winter to continue to get ready for the 2014 Worlds next June in Newport, Rhode Island.
2013 PCC Regatta Results