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Tom Carruthers Wins 2017 ORCA Bowl & Etchells West Coast Spring Series

By Jared Wohlgemuth | May 22, 2017

This weekend over 20 boats raced in Coronado Roads for the 2017 ORCA Bowl which was the fourth and final event in the Etchells West Coast Spring Series. Over two days of racing, the Race Committee ran 6 races, using one as a throw out score.

Sailors competed in sunny, but slightly breezier conditions than expected, especially on Saturday. The breeze built to about 15-20 knots on Saturday while the highest speed reached on Sunday was about 10 knots.

Tom Carruthers sailed consistently well throughout the whole series, and ended the last event on a high note as the overall winner with 15 points. “The breeze on Saturday was tricky because there were holes. You would see puffs and usually puffs come down the race course, but these didn’t, they just stayed right there. Or, you’d sail towards what you thought was a puff and it would start moving away from you.”

However, these challenges did not stop Carruthers and his team from prevailing this weekend. “It was a good thing we did well on Saturday since we did not start Sunday off well. It was really tricky, but we got lucky and had a couple of good breaks. We had a bad first race on Sunday because we didn’t have the best start and we didn’t go the right way, but after that we were okay.”

Once scores from all four events were compiled, Carruthers ended the day on Sunday not only as the ORCA Bowl winner, but also as the overall series winner. Carruthers will compete in the Etchells North American and World Championship regattas later this year and to prepare he is trying to spend as much time as he can in the water with the competition. The confidence of finishing in the top three of the series, one of his major goals this year, is also helping him get in the right mindset.

Alex Camet and his team were somewhat of a wildcard this weekend as they did not compete in any of the other events in the series this year. With a team of great sailors, he sailed very well over the weekend and placed second overall. “We had decent races on Saturday and were leading one of those races, but then the wind died down and we ended in fifth. On Sunday we sailed really with a couple of firsts.”

Camet attributed his success on Sunday to learning on the water on Saturday, which ultimately helped him make some noise this weekend. “It was a fun regatta with good camaraderie. That is why we sail in the class. It’s just fun for us.”

Nick Kaschak and his team also did well this weekend, but noted that the conditions were difficult to contend with. “It was a tough weekend out there. Not a consistent breeze, really up and down which made gear changes and transitions very critical. The fleet is always very tough and anything in the top 10 was a keeper race this weekend. We had fun, sailed well, got along great, and we’re going to keep pushing on.”

Many boats competing in the Spring Series are planning to race in the Etchells North American Championship also hosted by SDYC this August as well as the Etchells World Championship hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club this September.

West Coast Spring SeriesSeries Standings

Top WCSS Standings after four events (including one throw out):

1. Tom Carruthers (5 points)
2. Argyle Campbell (6 points)
3. Bruce Nelson (8 points)
4. Don Jesberg (12 points)
5. Jim Cunningham (14 points)