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Fall 2018 Fleet 13 Etchells Report

Tom Carruthers Repeats as Etchells Fleet 13 Champion 

The fall series started with Tom Carruthers on USA-1411 logging 3 race wins to take the top spot for the September One Design Weekend. Kjeld Hestehave on USA-971, who was preparing for the Worlds, was sailing noticeably fast all weekend and had 2 race wins to finish a close 2nd.  Kris Zillmann racing USA-1066 won Race 3 and finished in 3rd place for the weekend.  

In early October Kjeld traveled to Brisbane, Australia to compete in the 2018 International Etchells World Championship with a fleet of 94 boats. This was quite a logistical undertaking since Brisbane is one of the most remote Etchells venues in the world.  Fleet 13 member Pat Stadel, skipper of USA-1313, also traveled to Brisbane to serve on the International Jury for the Worlds and was kept very busy in the jury room trying to keep the aggressive 94-boat fleet in line.           

Chris Nesbitt, skippering Chris Snow’s USA-1018, won the October ODW. Starting off Race 1 by going hard left out to sea, he found more velocity outside for a big win in Race 1. With Chris Snow serving as tactician, Nesbitt and Team Avalanche went on to win 4 other races to dominate the weekend. Charlie Mann aboard USA-1138 finished 2nd while Xavier Sheid racing USA-1234 finished 3rd for the weekend. New fleet member Dave Whisenhunt on USA-524 won his first fleet race and was able to come from behind to beat Team Avalanche in Race 3.

The November ODW weekend was a light-air event and PRO Danielle Richards was only able to get 2 races off each day for the weekend.  Tom Carruthers, with superior light-air boat speed, was consistently on the correct side of the tricky shifts, which on many legs favored the left side of the course resulting in a sweep of the November ODW with wins in all 4 races. Xavier Sheid finished in 2nd place for the weekend with all top-five finishes and Summer Green aboard USA-909 finished 3rd. New fleet member Kurt Tellefsen aboard USA-1214 had a great weekend for his first Etchells regatta and logged 2 top-five scores finishing in 6th place for the weekend.

Capping off the 2018 Fleet 13 racing schedule with his strong finish in the November ODW, Tom Carruthers, the 2017 winner, repeats as the 2018 Fleet Champion and Faulconer Cup winner.  Chris Busch served as Tom’s long-time tactician and bowman with Ben Mitchell and Matt Reynolds rounding out Team Elizabeth to keep them out front this year.   

Charlie Mann, skipper of USA-1138, was the Top Corinthian for 2018 and also finished 2nd in the 2018 Fleet Championship and Faulconer Cup. Charlie was aided by his blue-chip crew of J. C. Langlois and Bill Jenkins with Simon Garland filling in from time-to-time.

Rounding out the top three for the 2018 Fleet Championship and Faulconer Cup was Xavier Sheid on USA-1234.  After years of racing USA-665, Xavier upgraded to the more modern USA-1234 for the 2018 campaign, completely re-rigging the boat from stem to stern.  Racing with Xavier again this year was John Rudderham (2018 Tom Seitz Top Crew Award winner) doing middle and Christopher Smith doing tactics and bow was aboard for the entire series which was a big factor to their success.  Xavier also earned “The Most Improved Skipper” award for 2018 having jumped 8 places in the fleet standings from last year.