The best sailors remember every detail of every race. But there are some days on the water that simply have to be forgotten. Day 3 of the 2014 Etchells World Championships, hosted by the New York Yacht Club in association with Sail Newport, was such a day for Jim Cunningham.
After waiting much of the day for a sailable breeze, Cunningham and his team of Jeff Madrigali, Mark Ivey and Bryn Bachman had a strong start and approached the first mark among the top 10 boats in the 95-boat fleet. With the rain pouring down and the breeze lightening, Cunningham's boat stalled as he tried to sneak it around the first mark and he and his crew could only watch as half the fleet-some 40-odd boats-sailed past. They finished 50th in the race.
A front passed through overnight and replaced yesterday's soggy, overcast weather with a fresh, dry northerly breeze and abundant sunshine. Cunningham and his team did likewise with their memories of yesterday's race; and the results were spectacular: a third and a fourth and the satisfaction that comes with being the top team on the water for a single day at one of the sport's most competitive regattas.
"I am really proud of our team because we had such a difficult day yesterday,"
said Cunningham, of San Francisco. "We kept it together and focused on our job today, which was to figure out the day and look forward. That's really how we approached all this, just keep looking forward."
With today's breeze blowing off the land, Cunningham said the team focused intently on playing the variations in the breeze, both in direction and velocity.
"The tactical calls today were really good,"
said Cunningham, "we stayed in pressure and we played a fair amount of shifts on the first beat of the first race, we weren't just glued to one side."
The breeze lightened as the day went on, and Cunningham said another key was switching to lighter-wind sails in between the two races.
The two top-five finishes moved Cunningham and his team into 14th overall. Two-time world champion Bill Hardesty is still in the lead after finishing fifth and 13th in today's races. The latter result was particularly impressive as Hardesty rounded the first mark in the bottom third of the fleet and ground his way back to earn a positive result. That result proved very significant in the overall standings as Hank Lammens, the skipper of the second-place boat in the regatta, struggled to a 47th. Hardesty now has an 18-point lead going into the final day of the competition.
Place, Sail Number, Boat Name, Skipper, Hometown, Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Race 4, Race 5, Race 6, Race 7, Total (not including worst score)
1. USA 979, Line Honors, Bill Hardesty, San Diego, 2-2-20-1-4-5-13 27.0
2. CAN 1396, Hank Lammens, Norwalk, Conn., 1-8-1-12-16-7-47 45.0
3. HKG 1333, Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic, London, U.K., 3-6-8-44-14-19-3 53.0
4. USA 1372, Aretas, Skip Dieball, Beaver Dam, Wis., 38-13-4-19-7-17-1 61.0
5. USA 1378, The Martian, Marvin Beckmann, Houston, 8-3-11-5-15-46-32 74.0
6. USA 1308, KGB, Senet Bischoff & Ben Kinney, Larchmont, N.Y. 10-20-25-52-1-31-2 89.0
7. USA 1296, Appreciation, Jeffrey Siegal, Portsmouth, R.I., 17-17-16-17-47-8-20 95.0
8. AUS 1383, Triad, John Bertrand, South Yarra, Australia, 4-10-5-28-27-23-53 97.0
9. USA 1137, La Tormenta, Shannon Bush, Refugio, Texas, 26-16-31-37-6-21-6 106.0
10. USA 1376, Arethusa, Phil Lotz, Newport, R.I., 9-18-6-96/BFD-52-9-12 106.0
For more information about the regatta, including a complete schedule of events and an entry list, click here
. For more information on the class, visit the Etchells Class Association website