Ronstan

Etchells Worlds: Former Champ Hardesty atop leaderboard

Published on June 24th, 2014

Newport, RI (June 24, 2014) – It’s hard to imagine a better day to start the 2014 Etchells World Championship, which is hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court in association with Sail Newport. Plentiful sun, warm temperatures and moderate breeze created near perfect sailing conditions off Newport, R.I.

For two-time Etchells World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego) it was hard to imagine a better start to the regatta. Hardesty and his team of Taylor Canfield, Stephanie Roble, and Marcus Eagan placed second in both races and lead the regatta overall, with Ante Razmilovic’s Swedish Blue team (London, U.K.) in second and defending world champion Marvin Beckmann (Houston) in third. In his first visit to Newport in more than 30 years, John Bertrand (South Yarra, Australia), the America’s Cup-winning skipper of Australia II, lies fourth.

It wasn’t easy for anyone, however. To spread out the fleet, principle race officer Tom Duggan stretched the legs to between 2 and 3 nautical miles, with each race taking between 90 and 120 minutes. The bulk of the fleet didn’t reach the dock until after 6 p.m.

“We were physically grinding it out all day,” said Taylor Canfield, who serves as tactician for Hardesty. “Finishing up with a five-leg course just made it that much more grueling. Our downwind speed was great; we gained a couple of boats every run. Then we were able to catch one or two boats on the upwind.”

Hardesty, who won his world titles in 2008 and 2011, Beckmann (2013), and Bertrand (2010) are all former world champions, and their experience and poise showed today. With 95 boats on the starting line and both starts run under the black flag (which means that anyone who is over the starting line early is disqualified from the race), it was a day to limit risk and avoid large mistakes. Sailors will often say before events such as this that you can’t win the regatta on the first day, but you certainly can lose it.

“The goal today was to get two single-digit finishes,” said Steve Hunt, Beckmann’s tactician. “We did and so we’re happy.”

Those teams that were not so fortunate today can take some comfort in knowing that, should the regatta schedule play out as planned, they will be able to discard their worst finish from their scoreline. But those teams with one or more disappointing finishes on Day 1 are now operating with little margin for error.

The nine-race series, hosted by the New York Yacht Club in association with Sail Newport, continues daily through Saturday.

Report by event media.

Preliminary Results after Day One (Top 10 of 95)
1. Line Honors, Bill Hardesty, USA – 2, 2; 4 points
2. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic, UK – 3, 6; 9
3. The Martian, Marvin Beckmann, USA – 8, 3; 11
4. Triad, John Bertrand, AUS – 4, 10; 14
5. Elizabeth, Tom Carruthers, USA – 5, 12; 17
6. Gumption3, Kevin Grainger, USA – 6, 19; 25
7. Arethusa, Phil Lotz, USA – 9, 18; 27
8. CAN 1396, Hank Lammens, USA – 20/ZFP, 8; 28
9. KGB, Senet Bischoff, USA – 10, 20, 30
10. Appreciation, Jeffrey Siegal, USA – 17, 17; 34

Note: Final results after day one are different. Use the link below to view.

Complete resultsEvent website

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