Mills family are King of the Bays!
Jay Mills, Jamie Mills, Chris Constant and Luke Reich prevailed in 6 races over a very strong 26 boat fleet of Etchells competitors who were graciously hosted for the weekend by the Shelter Island Yacht club and their excellent volunteers and staff teams.
Saturday delivered a tricky 12 knot easterly in Gardiner’s Bay that gradually faded throughout the day. What transpired were four challenging races where the current protection in the bottom right corner of the track, had to be balanced by the pressure and left shifts on the left of the track.
The Mills team started the regatta with a strong win from Thomas Hornos and Steve Benjamin in the opening race of the regatta. Team Mills confidently followed that up with a second to Ched Proctor and team who won Race two and Jay Cross and team who were third in race two.
Race three saw the leading four boats break away from the pack with a good tussle that saw Marvin Beckmann and crew grind out the win and Steve Girling’s team slide past Ched Proctor’s team for second.
The final race of the day saw the return of the Mills team, who were able to cross from the left halfway up the first beat to lead around the weather mark, from Girling and Hornos.
Girling got ahead at the leeward mark and ran away for the win. Mills just managed to hold off Hornos at the finish.
The fleet enjoyed a hearty dinner back at the club with Team Mills out in front with a 1,2,5,2, but a cluster of boats hot on their heels less than 10 points behind.
Sunday dawned with a light Easterly gradient, forecast to swing south and build to 8kts. The fleet towed to Orient Bay.
The first race on Sunday was a drifter, which likely only satisfied the winner, Ched and those who managed to hang in there in the front group (Marvin Beckmann, Steve Schram – they finished in that order…) or those who made Lazarus like recoveries from the back of the fleet to 4th on the final run (Jay Cross).
Finally the sea breeze settled in and we had a reasonable race in 7-9 kts. It was very clearly a pressure left, shift left track and the pin was favored, so everybody wanted to be there. Only team Mills were really able to execute the pin escape well and this converted into a handsome lead at the weather mark. Unfortunately the leaders gybed away from the favored side in the run (something about current…) and Scott Kauffman and crew welcomed the opportunity to stretch their legs at the front of the fleet. They sailed away for an easy win, followed by Marvin Beckman and the Mills/Constant clan who claimed the overall victory with their third.
So overall, Mills was two points ahead of Proctor who was a further three points ahead of Beckmann. Hornos and Girling were another two points back respectively.
A great weekend, good sailing, friendly, yet intense competition and a jovial mood ashore means we’ll be coming back to a Shelter Island Yacht club again, whenever they’ll have us.