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2017 Etchells Worlds

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  • 2017 Etchells Worlds

    High pressure has camped over the northern California bring warm temps and beautiful beach weather.

    Wind, on the other hand has been slow to arrive, and led to a lengthy delay in the start 2017 Etchells Worlds
    currently underway on the Berkeley flats on San Francisco Bay. Tuesdays 1st start finally got underway at 14:30
    for the 51 contestants from 9 countries competing for the coveted title.

    Mark Strube, Grant Simmer and Dirk Kneulman are racing Tiburon under the Bermudan flag and took an 8th in the 1st race
    sailed in a light westerly, and a 1st in the 2nd race which began at 16:30 with a tad better breeze. Close behind is British entry Robert Elliott
    Stuart Childerley, and Tom Forrester-Coles aboard Bon Vivant, which were 9th in the 1st heat and 2nd in the closer, just 2 points aft with 11 on their scorecard.

    Two races per day through Friday are on tap with 1 on Saturday. Winds are expected to be light today and increase Thursday into the weekend with the return
    the marine layer. Stay tuned...

    Nic Douglas is streaming live starts and on the water interviews as well
    as mark roundings!

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Long days on water mean little sales at the YC Bar.


    • #3
      Who knew the Hong Kong crews were so good in the Etchells?


      • #4
        Their surnames sound sound suspiciously Kiwi or Aussie if you ask me.


        • #5
          Race 3

          American Jane
          Stella Blue
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            Results updated through race 3:

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7

              Race 4 in Progress Nic Douglass with the goods...
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • #8
                Results through race 4

                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery


                • #9
                  Day 2 Etchells Worlds

                  Wednesday racing on the Berkeley Circle resumed after a 2 hour AP delay, this time dockside
                  to prevent needless sailor baking on the water while waiting for the westerlies to fill. After
                  the 14:00 gun, the crews were off in 10-12 knots with gust to the mid teens and warm conditions. The Yankees fought hard and took the 1st 3 spots
                  in race 3, with Peter Duncan' s Oatmeal taking the bullet, Don Jesberg's Viva(with legendary hiker, Rikki Robbie working the pointy end) taking 2nd
                  and Scott Kauman's American Jane II securing third for the podium sweep.

                  all photos © nic douglass /

                  The breeze stayed consistent for race 4, with a light increase in pressure. The Aussie entry Martin Hill's Lisa
                  was in the front of the pack the entire race and took an ace for the queen, while local heroes aboard Jim Cunningham's Lifted,
                  was in hot pursuit and hung on for their 1st deuce after a 4th in race 3. All the way from Seawanhaka YC in Oyster Bay,
                  Steve Benjamin's Stella Blue secured their 2nd 3rd of the regatta and now sit in 4th overall.
                  Atop the leaderboard, hailing from the NYYC, Senet Bishcoff's KGB with 28 points total.

                  Wind is expected to increase of the next two days with the return of the marine layer,
                  and the heavier crews should have their time to shine!

                  The official report is below:

                  Consistency Pays Off for the Top of the Leader Board

                  Belvedere, CA, September 26, 2017 – Day two racing began much as day one, with a two-hour postponement, although today the call was made to hold the racers on shore. When racing began at 2:20 pm the wind had filled in at 16-17 kts from a typical San Francisco Bay westerly direction of 225 degrees.

                  We’ll say it over and over -- consistency is the name of the game in this fleet. No one understands this better that the top Corinthian team of Senet Bischoff (USA), Ben Kinney, and Clay Bischoff. After today’s two races, they lead the entire fleet with 28 points. “This is the most competitive class in the world, and we like to sail against the best sailors, pro or amateur,” said Senet. “I get to sail with my brother Clay, the best amateur sailor in the world, and my boat partner, Ben Kinney. And every time we go sailing we learn something new.” The Senet brothers were both college sailors and have done a lot of keelboat team racing over the years, but the Etchells is their preferred fleet. “I only have time for the Etchells since I spend the rest of my time driving my kids to Opti events,” quipped Senet.

                  Mark Thornburrow (HKG) and his all-star team of Malcolm Page, Mike Huang, and Wiley Rogers moved into second place with 33 points. Thornburrow has been sailing Etchells for 40 years, “It’s the best fleet in Hong Kong,” Thornburrow said. “This is only the second time the team has sailed together, and our new boat was delivered in May. Consistency is key, and it’s easy to have a bad race in this talented fleet.”

                  The day one leader, Dirk Kneulman moved into third place after a deep finish in race four. Jim Cunningham and Steve Benjamin are hot on his heels with top ten finishes today.

                  Racing continues tomorrow through Saturday with a total of nine races scheduled. If seven or more races are sailed there will be one throw out.

                  Day Two Provisional Results (top 10)

                  1. Senet Bischoff, USA 1349, NYYC, 6, 13, 5, 4; 28
                  2. Mark Thornburrow, HKG 1406, 10, 6, 10, 7; 33
                  3. Dirk Kneulman, BER 1454, RCYC, 8, 1, 8, 21; 38
                  4. Jim Cunningham, USA 1404, SFYC 31, 7, 4, 2; 44
                  5. Steve Benjamin, USA 1427, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, 33, 3, 7, 3; 46
                  6. Martin Hill, AUS 925, RSYS, 12, 22, 16, 1; 51
                  7. Graeme Taylor, AUS 947, Morningtown YC, 15, 5, 6, 25; 51
                  8. Peter Duncan, USA 926, American YC, 23, 4, 1, 26; 54
                  9. Don Jesberg, USA 1429, SFYC, 19, 27, 2, 8; 56
                  10. Marvin Beckman, USA 1232, Houston YC, 3, 18, 18, 18; 57

                  For complete regatta information and results, please see the event website at
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

         Photo Gallery


                  • #10

                    A few select selects from races 5&6 of the 2017 Etchells Worlds on the the Berkeley Circle.

                    The wind picked up nicely today and the races finally started on time! Mostly 225-230 degrees
                    hitting 21-23 in the 2nd race with lots of tight action, cursing and close calls. Protest room must have
                    been busy after the days races. 50 boats spread out very wide comin across the course and then narrow
                    down into a finite space at top and bottom!

                    2 more races Friday and one on Saturday to wrap things up!

                    Selects Gallery

                    Official type report below:

                    Breeze on for Day Three of the Etchells World Championship

                    Belvedere, CA, September 26, 2017 – Racers were overly eager as racing kicked off on the third day of racing in the 2017 Etchells World Championship. Unlike the previous two days, a consistent 8 – 10 kt westerly had filled in by noon and racing started on schedule – except for a general recall in race five, the first of the regatta. Racers were still pushing hard at the restart, with ten boats hailed OCS, and only seven returning to restart.

                    Scott Kaufman and his team of Austen Anderson, Jesse Kirkland, and Lucas Calabrase were first to the windward mark and held on to win race five. “This regatta is far more competitive than the 2016 event in England,” said Kaufman, the 2017 North American Etchells Champion. “The top 30 teams are incredibly close. You can’t make any mistakes. We hope we can keep it together for the next two days and finish in the top 10.”

                    The consistency story of this regatta is the performance of the top Corinthian team, Senet Bischoff (USA), Ben Kinney, and Clay Bischoff. With a third in the first race and a bullet in the second, their lead on the competition has widened. Prior to the start of the regatta, Dave Ullman opined “Any team than has a top ten finish in every race will win the regatta.” At this point, no one has achieved that goal, but Bischoff and his team have come closest. “Bischoff’s team is sailing really well, and they haven’t needed to discard any of their scores so far,” said Dave today. “It’s a powerful weapon to have a throw out to use later in the regatta.”

                    Mark Thornburrow (HKG), Malcolm Page, and Mike Huang, held on to second place overall despite placing 18th in the first race. Jim Cunningham, with Chloe Holder, Jeff Madrigali, and Mark Ivey moved into third place, and Steve Benjamin moved up one place into fourth. After tomorrow’s seventh race, competitors will discard their highest score.

                    Racing continues tomorrow through Saturday with two races on Friday and one on Saturday.

                    Day Two Provisional Results (top 10)

                    1. Senet Bischoff, USA 1349, NYYC, 6, 13, 5, 4, 3, 1; 32
                    2. Mark Thornburrow, HKG 1406, 10, 6, 10, 7, 18, 6; 57
                    3. Jim Cunningham, USA 1404, SFYC 31, 7, 4, 2, 10, 7; 61
                    4. Steve Benjamin, USA 1427, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, 33, 3, 7, 3, 16, 2; 64
                    5. Graeme Taylor, AUS 947, Morningtown YC, 15, 5, 6, 24, 11, 3; 64
                    6. Martin Hill, AUS 925, RSYS, 12, 22, 16, 1; 51
                    7. Scott Kaufman, USA, RSYS, SIYC, 20, 28, 3, 16, 1, 16; 84
                    8. Michael Goldfarb, USA, CYC Seattle, 13, 30, 19, 11, 6, 8; 87
                    9. Dirk Kneulman, BER 1454, RCYC, 8, 1, 8, 20, 25, 26; 88
                    10. Don Jesberg, USA 1429, SFYC, 19, 27, 2, 8, 12, 21; 89


                    Last edited by Photoboy; 09-29-2017, 08:50 AM.
                    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                    • #11
                      Stella Blue Crowned 2017 World Champs

                      The overall winner of the 9-race 2017 Etchells World Championship, hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club, is Steve Benjamin (USA) with crew of Dave Hughes, Ian Liberty, and Michael Menninger.

                      Benjamin, a past Olympic medalist, 505 World Champion, and 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, finally claimed the championship after numerous attempts. He also wins the Senior (helm over 60 years of age) and Masters (helm over 50 years of age) trophies.

                      With one race to be held on today, the overall standings were anything but certain. No single boat had dominated this regatta. The race committee, with PRO Jeff Zarwell at the helm, opted for two postponements to ensure a fair starting line given the wind shifts and current influence which had boats piling up on the favored right end of the line.

                      At the picture perfect start, the wind was building from 10 to 12 knots, and only one boat was hailed OCS.

                      The final race brought yet another first place finisher to the tape. Marty Kaye (HKG) with his crew of Charlie Cumberley and Marco Pocci were first to finish, putting them in tenth place overall. Dirk Kneulman (BER) finished second for an eighth overall, and Don Jesberg (USA) finished third for seventh overall.

                      Benjamin was clearly elated, “It feels great to win. It’s been 37 years since I won my last world championship, and I have to give the credit to my crew. Mike Menninger is our main trimmer and calling tactics, Dave Hughes is on jib and spin trim, and Ian Liberty is our bow/pit guy.”

                      He added, “We did lots of work to prepare – we built a new boat, a birthday present from my wife Heidi. Dirk Kneulman of Ontairo Yachts built us a great boat, and we also did a lot of work with North Sails on the sail inventory.“

                      With an eight point lead, Benjamin’s strategy for the day was to keep his options open since his wind forecast wasn’t very certain. “Our forecast had more wind velocity on the left, so even though the shift would be on the right, there would be more wind on the left,” said Benjamin.

                      While much of the fleet went upwind on the right side of the course, Benjamin mostly stayed in the middle. He was seventh rounding the first windward mark, and broke away from the crowd on a wind shift to sail down the middle of the course. This tactical decision was pivotal in today’s performance. On a day when the wind settled in at 10 to 14 knots, Benjamin finished the race in fifth place, for a total of 41 points.

                      Graeme Taylor (AUS) with James Mayo and Steve Jarvin finished the day in 11th place, but held on to second place overall.

                      Senet Bischoff (USA), the top Corinthian finisher with his team of Ben Kinney and Clay Bischoff, remained in third overall with an eighth place in the final race.

                      Dirk Kneulman (BER), with Grant Simmer and Mark Strube, wins the Grandmaster Trophy (a crew of three with a combined age of 150 or more).

                      The top woman skipper was Shannon Bush (USA), with Brad Boston and Phil Trinter, in 24th overall.

                      “With the warm temperatures, we were concerned that this might be a light air regatta,” admitted Julie Wiard, regatta co-chair. “However, the breeze filled in every day, and sailors were treated to some very typical San Francisco Bay conditions – everything from fresh to frightening.”

                      The 2017 Etchells World Championship was held from September 26 to 30.

                      Final Results (Top 10 of 51; 9 races, 1 discard)
                      1. Steve Benjamin, USA 1427, (33), 3, 7, 3, 15, 2, 5, 1, 5; 341
                      2. Graeme Taylor, AUS 947, 15, 5, 6, (24), 10, 3, 2, 3, 11; 55
                      3. Senet Bischoff, USA 1349, 6, 13, 5, 4, 3, 1, (OCS-52), 19, 8; 59
                      4. Jim Cunningham, USA 1404, (31), 7, 4, 2, 9, 7, 17, 7, 16; 69
                      5. Mark Thornburrow, HKG 1406, 10, 6, 10, 7, 17, 6, (24), 17, 9; 82
                      6. Martin Hill, AUS 925, 12, 22, 16, 1, 22, 4, 4, 6, (31); 87
                      7. Don Jesberg, USA 1429, 19, (27), 2, 8, 11, 21, 3, 21, 3; 88
                      8. Dirk Kneulman, BER 1454, 8, 1, 8, 20, 25, 26, 7, (32); 96
                      9. Scott Kaufman, USA 1198, 20, (28), 3, 16, 1, 16, 20, 16, 4; 96
                      10. Marty Kaye, USA 1198, 4, 11, 14, (28), 19, 25, 22, 9, 1; 105

                      FULL RESULTS
                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

             Photo Gallery