Etchells Atlantic Championship Series – King of the Bays Regatta
The first of four events in the Etchells Atlantic Championship Series was graciously hosted by the Shelter Island Yacht Club, Shelter Island. NY, over the weekend of May 19/20. With visitors from across the North East and Canada making the trip, the event organizers exceeded expectations by delivering seven races across a range of challenging conditions paired with a nice social program that fostered many tall tales around the beer keg and an outstanding meal on the SIYC deck on Saturday night.
The race committee delivered a stirring performance to put four admittedly tricky four-mile Windward/Leeward races in the books on Saturday, two of which saw the breeze reduced to a zephyr before re-establishing from the same direction across the bay inside orient point. No team escaped the day without a high score but all competitors appreciated the tireless efforts of the race management team to keep the racing fair. A much better breeze day on Sunday allowed the fleet to stretch their legs over three more races in 9-14 knot Easterly.
Steve Girling, Ched Proctor and Dave Lutian sailing USA-1200, Lion Heart, scored a resounding win by hanging in with the top boats for a small overnight lead after the first four races on Saturday and delivering a strong performance in the fresher breeze that everyone in the fleet relished on Sunday. USA 944, Firefly, the father/daughter team of Peter and Meredith Carroll (with Meredith doing a phenomenal job driving) and ably assisted by Allan Terhune sailed a solid series and a nice final day for second overall. Reigning North American Champion, CAN 1396, Hank Lammens, sailing with Dirk Kneulman was third.
The next regatta in the Etchells Atlantic Championship Series is the Long Island Sound Championships at Shelter Island Yacht Club over the weekend of June 2/3 followed by the New England Championships at the New York Yacht Club in Newport, June 16/17