Posts Tagged ‘Etchells’
Starting Gun – The Etchells Worlds and a Conversation with Jud Smith
We caught up with Jud Smith of Marblehead, Mass. at Doyle Sailmakers this past week, as he gets ready for the upcoming Etchells Worlds in Newport, R.I. starting on June 21-28. Smith is a Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year and former Etchells Worlds champion who just so happens to be building many of the sails for the event. He will be racing with his long time team of Peter Duncan and Tom Blackwell. As both sailmaker to other competitors and a competitor himself, we asked Jud to take a moment to give us an overview of the upcoming event – and the state of Etchells’ sailing overall.
Q. What is different about this upcoming event in Newport, R.I.?
A. The World’s in Newport is going to be a big draw. Canada is close, and it is off-season for the Australians. The World’s has become the premier event for Australians and we have John Bertrand here along with many other teams. In 1998, the Etchells Worlds was held in Marblehead, and it was the last time we had 100 -boat strong Etchells Worlds. We are figuring we will have 95 boats on the line for this one. Newport is unique and to have an Etchells Worlds on the east coast is rare. We don’t get the Worlds in the US that often and it will be awhile before we have one nearby again (next year’s event is in Hong Kong).
Q. With such an international fleet descending on Newport, R.I.; will this be the first time some of these competitors will race against each other?
A. Many of these teams have competed in the Jaguar Series in Miami and that is what we last did as a team before we began pre-worlds races for this event. Most of the major American boats were at the Jaguar series, as well as European and Canadian teams. Many of us have met each other on the race course before this.
[“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world.]
Q. How important are these winter series like the Jaguar Series to the Etchells fleet?
A. The Jaguar Series has really helped the Etchells fleet and it has been a very popular format. It is more common now that you have to go where the sailing is – and a lot of competitors find it in Miami. The sport has evolved and whereas the summers are short and it is not always easy to get people involved in weekend racing – the competition stretches out over the year. It is so much more migratory.
Q. Will this Etchells Worlds feature a heavier contingent of professional -level sailors or will it include fleet racers from the region as well.
A. What is different about the Etchells is that many of the owners are not pro-sailors but they do have pro teams. The talent pool is incredible so what has changed is that the boats are loaded with talent. It is not like the old days where you could fill in with individuals from the host club. That being said, it is hard for the club sailor to be competitive amidst this caliber of competition. However, for the club racer, they can come and get to sail against the very best in the world and talk and mingle after the racing.
Q. What else is unique about this talented Etchells fleet?
A. Today, the Etchells is not so much a summer racing class but a traveling class. Etchells fleets are not gone, they are just not exactly where they used to be and more competitors take time over the course of a year, and not just weekends in a short summer season, to compete. The Etchells is one of the few keelboat classes that is still vibrant and does enable older sailors to compete. And, as it has evolved into a fleet that is deep with sailing talent, the more mature sailors tend to be the ones that have the resources and the time to race.
Q. As the sailmaker to the sailors, do you think you have any advantage over the other professionals in the fleet?
A. When you are the sailmaker for the event, the process for the customers started a long time ago. The Doyle team boats have been training on weekends in Newport. As a sailmaker, we live and breath this every day. Any advantage I could have had is probably negated by the amount of time I have put into working with our many customers and helping make sure they are up to speed. As much as sailmaking has evolved into being more automated and as such precise, there is still a lot of craftsmanship that our team has put into our sails – its been an exciting but exhausting few weeks leading up to the regatta.
Congratulations to Senet Bischoff and his team of Benjamin Kinney and Clay Bischoff, for winning the 2014 Jaguar Mid-Winters, the fourth and final regatta of the 2014 Jaguar Series. KGB had top six finishes in all but two of the seven races sailed over the three days in Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL. The most impressive part of this victory is the team was comprised of all Corinthian sailors competing against many of the top professional teams worldwide.
“In the past, Ben and I treated this as a social endeavor,” admitted Bischoff. “We always sailed with a bunch of friends, and had a great time, but we never had a consistent third crew. This year we added my brother Clay, a two time team race world champion and former college sailor of the year, and it’s been huge.”
“We are an all Corinthian (amateur) team so we don’t come in early to practice. We did buy a new set of Doyle sails from Jud Smith, and that has been a big help. Jud is very open and honest in helping us get better. We can send him a photo of our sails and he will respond immediately with tuning advice.”
The Mid-Winters concluded the 2014 Jaguar Series and a second congratulations is in order for Peter Duncan and his team, Jud Smith and Tom Blackwell, for winning the 2014 Jaguar Cup after finishing 4th at the Mid-Winters this past weekend! Both teams utilized the new Doyle APG Main, NLM-5 Jib and VMG Spinnaker.
“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world. Hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Etchells Fleet 20, the series consistently draws fifty or more boats to the good weather and great competition on Biscayne Bay. Teams from USA, Canada, Bermuda, Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland and Ukraine are preparing for the World Championships to be held in Newport, RI this June.
To learn more about Doyle’s Etchells’ Sails, please visit here.
To see full regatta results, please visit here.
To read the full regatta re-cap, please visit here.
Congratulations to Peter Duncan, and his crew Tom Blackwell and Jud Smith, for winning the 2013 Louis Piana cup, the first event of the 2014 Jaguar Cup. Held in Miami, Florida December 7-8, the regatta featured five races with 64 of the world’s top Etchells sailors – no fewer than five previous Etchells world champions were amongst the sixty-four boats on the starting line.
Peter Duncan was using Doyle’s latest AP Mainsail, NLM Jib and the AP Radial Runner and the Bi-Radial Runner. Also in the top ten, using Doyle Sails, were Ted Hardenbergh in 6th, Shannon Bush in 8th and Flip Wehrhem in 10th.
“The Jag”, as it has come to be known, is a four regatta series, spread out over four weekends between December and March, and brings together many of the best Etchells sailors in the world. Hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Etchells Fleet 20, the series consistently draws forty or more boats to the good weather, great competition and even better camaraderie.
The first race on Saturday, with East-southeast winds of about six to eight knots, saw lots of shuffling between the favorites and the rest of the fleet. Eight of the eventual top twenty sailed their throwout.
Peter Duncan commented, “We pressed a little too hard on the start and were over early. From that point we did well just to get back to the front half of the fleet.” In the second race, a few boats once again pushed the middle of the line, and were called over early, though all of the leaders started clean. By now the winds were a fairly consistent eight knots, still from the east-southeast. This race also saw a wire to wire winner with Peter Duncan taking his first of what would be three guns over the weekend. He was closely followed by Jim Cunningham. Tom Carruthers rounded out the top three, fresh off his recent win in San Diego.
Sunday brought a bit more wind to the bay with speeds above ten knots. Race four got under way at 1100, with a 1.6mile first beat at a 115 degree bearing. Peter Duncan was first to the weather mark, a lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race. Jim Cunningham, sailing with Jeff Madrigali, Mark Ivy and Bryn Bachman took their third straight second place finish, in what had now become a two boat regatta.
In the last race it all came down to Cunningham and Duncan. With a ten as a throwout, to win the Piana Cup, Cunningham simply needed to beat Duncan, or have Duncan finish lower than fifth. However, some technical issues undid Cunningham’s team. “We didn’t get a good start in the last race,” said Madrigali. “We probably should have started near him (Duncan), but we were a little out of whack. But all in all we sailed well. We never dropped boats, and always finished in the best position we were in in any given race. We’re happy.”
When asked about that fifth and deciding race, Peter Duncan said, “We noticed a bit of a right shift while practicing before the race. We decided to go that way, and it was still there. We pretty much stayed right all weekend, except for the last two legs on Sunday when the left paid better.”
Commenting Jud Smith, “We tried to stay in the top five all weekend. We screwed up the first race, but recovered in the next two. The right had good pressure all weekend except as it died at the end of the day, and then the left paid.”
To learn more about Doyle’s Etchells’ Sails, please visit here.
To see full regatta results, please visit here.
The 2013 Etchells Australian Championships have wrapped up, with Doyle sails on five of the top ten boats in the 30-boat fleet. Most impressively, the top three boats were all carrying Doyle sails. The regatta was a very good indication of the speed potential of the new 270 MHL Light Air Jib, with many of the top finishers carrying the sail.
John Bertrand, sailing with Grant Simmer and Andrew Palfrey, won the regatta with an impressive 2-3-2-1-1-4-1 before sitting out the final race. For this regatta, the team used Doyle’s 270 MHL and 280 NLM jibs, and downwind used primarily the new AP Radial spinnaker.
In second was Cameron Miles, who utilized the 280 DCM Jib and AP Main. Third went to Doyle’s own Peter McNeil, who has long been involved in Doyle’s Etchells development.
David Clark(6th) was using Doyle One Design 270 MHL and 6.8 DCH jib combination, with the APSD main on a Sparcraft mast. Mark Johnson (9th) was using the 280 DCM and 6.8 DCH jibs, combined with the AP Main on a Sparloft NZ mast. For spinnakers he used the AP Radial runner and VMG Cross Cut.
To learn more about Doyle’s Etchells Sails, please visit here.
View the full regatta write-up from John Crunow, Sail-World, here.
Full regatta results can be found here.
Congratulations to Bill Barton and his crew Peter Smith, Peter Duncan and Thomas Blackwell who recently won the Atlantic Nationals held at the Madison Beach Club. Sailing with all Doyle Sails, this is the first time that Bill and his team have won the event. The team have been sailing together for years and have roots at the American YC in Rye, NY where Bill grew up, and are active in the Etchells class as well. The team finished with an impressive scoreline of 3,3,1,5,1, besting the competition by 2 points after sealing the regatta and sitting out the last race.
Since 1981, Bill has crewed on various Atlantics in Blue Hill Bay, Maine . He bought his Atlantic shortly after the 2008 Nationals. Over the next 3 to 4 years he picked away at re-rigging and updating all the gear during his vacation time in Maine but continued to crew for others, including his current middle man in this year’s event, Peter Smith of Morris Yachts. Due to commitments and priorities racing in the Etchells Class internationally, his boat languished until finally being ready in 2012 for the KYC Atlantic Nationals where he finished 5th.
Doyle One Design has been building and refining Atlantic sail development for the last 6 years, and their sails also won Nationals in 2011. The Jib is designed for a looser headstay to improve tacking angles, and the main is optimized for a stiffer mast. The combination has proven very fast in recent years.
Marblehead Race Week Re-Cap:
Marblehead Race Week just wrapped up, and featured four days of racing that saw a variety of conditions. Doyle Sails performed well, winning the majority of the classes, and the overall title as well.
In the Sonar Class, Doyle sails took 1-3, led by Skip Shumway, who was also named Overall Winner of Race Week for winning its most competitive class. Following behind Shumway were Larry Ehrhardt and Eric Voss. Many in the fleet were gearing up for the upcoming Sonar World Championships to be held in Rochester, NY in September.
In the hotly competitive Rhodes 19 class, with 32 boats entered, Doyle Sails took home 1-8, with Ben Richardson winning over last years champions, Charlie Pendleton / Jim Raisides.
Tomas Hornos won the Etchells Class sailing Destiny, with Doyle boats also taking 3rd and 4th. This is the first time that Hornos has won the Etchells class in Race Week, having previously won the Sonar class in 2011. Crewing for Hornos were Luke Lawrence and Andy Casey from Florida. Hornos was using a standard AP main new MHL2 full version jib with dual jib track trimming designed for typical confused sea state in Marblehead and offshore Newport, in anticipation of the 2014 Worlds to be held in Newport.
The IOD class was won by Norm Cressy and Bruce Dyson sailing Gypsy. Norm Cressy, who worked for Doyle until his retirement, has raced the last 65 Race Weeks, winning a number of them over the years.
The Town Class was also won by Doyle sails, with Berit Solstad taking home the win after winning 6 of the 9 races.
In the J/70 Class, Jud & Cindy Smith took home second, while Tyler Doyle finished 4th. The regatta was a good experience, with some more information on tuning and trim sorted out in Friday’s racing.
Sailing in a wide variety of conditions, Peter Duncan and his crew Tom Blackwell and Jud Smith won the Etchells Mid-Winter Regatta in commanding fashion, besting their closest competitor by 20 point and only finishing outside the top 10 once in the 60-boat fleet. The regatta was the largest of this winter’s Jaguar Series, with everyone bringing their A-Game for the final event. The win pushed them up to 4th overall in the Jaguar Cup, where they joined Doyle customers Shannon Bush and Senet Bischoff in the top five overall.
The regatta was light on Friday, very breezy on Saturday, and then Sunda featured a range of conditions, forcing everyone to adjust gears throughout the regatta. The team utilized Doyle’s AP Main the entire regatta, and the latest NLM (Light-Medium) Jib on Friday, while the DCH proved its worth in Saturday’s big breeze as well as on Sunday. Downwind, the team was able to use the AP Radial Runner in most of the races, and broke out the VMG Cross Cut spinnaker in the lightest legs.
“We were fortunate to have all of our practice pay off,” explained Jud Smith. “Our team has been training in two different boats – the J/70 and the Etchells in preparation for Etchells Worlds in Italy in June as well as a full circuit in the J/70. With our divided focus, being able to jump back into the boat and excel feels great. Our latest sails are easier to adjust than ever, and changing to the inboard jib lead has greatly improved our pointing ability – essential in the big-fleet starts.”
2013 Etchells Mid-Winter Regatta
Congratulations to Doyle customers who were successful in both hemispheres over the weekend. Torvar Mirsky and crew on Chilli Plum won the Syd Corser Championship Regatta in Australia, while Mark Thornburrow and his crew on Racer X was second. Mirsky was utilizing the new AP Main and his 2010 DCH1 Jib. The regatta serves as a warmup for the Australian Etchells Nationals which begin this week in Perth. Be sure to follow this regatta here as racing gets under way: 2013 Prochoice Safety Gear Etchells Australian Championship
In Miami, FL Doyle customers took 6 of the top 10 spots at the Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta. Fifty seven boats competed in the event, the 2nd of the Jaguar winter series, which was held Jan 5th and 6th on Biscayne Bay. The conditions were generally light NE to SE sunny with temperatures reaching 80 degrees both days.
The large fleet put a premium on starting consistently in the front row without being called over. Doyle sails won 4 out of 5 races, with Skip Dieball and Jon McClean going into the last race with a lead over the fleet but were over the line in the final race along with many others and could only watch from behind as Ante Razmilovic sailed consistently to finish in the top 8 to clinch the regatta win.
6 of the top 10 Etchells were powered by Doyle sails: Dieball, Bischoff, Pomerleau/Dressel, Bush, Hornos and Duncan. Many of those boats remain the leaders of the overall Jaguar series with two remaining regatta to go in February. This years Jag has been primarily light 10 knots or less in all the races.
Syd Corser Championship:
Sydney Doren Memorial Regatta: