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Etchells Worlds: Winning is hard

Published on June 25th, 2014

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
At the 2011 Etchells World Championship, I was fortunate to crew for Bill Hardesty where we won the title. I likely was brought along for only parental supervision and Bill’s personal entertainment, as all else I remember contributing was a lot of painful hiking.

On an Etchells, there are no hiking straps. You grab lines and hike off your hands, which swell from the pain. As graceful as an Etchells looks from afar, she is more water buffalo onboard. Hiking hard on this beast offers little feedback. You just grunt and do it.

I still recall the second beat of the first race of the Worlds. It was then that I really took in the magnitude of a 2+ mile weather leg. We were doing well in the race, but I thought to myself how miserable it would be to hike like this when deep in the fleet. Fortunately, I never had to find out.

Starting among 90+ boats is hard, and when you mix in the deep talent, and the hiking, the Etchells Worlds is a tough trophy to win. When I think back to all the training in advance, it is easy to wonder why we do such things.

It’s June 25th, the 2014 Etchells World Championship has completed 4 of the 9 race schedule, and the tail of the fleet is now approaching 400 points. With the mid-regatta crew weigh-in following today’s races, and a party scheduled afterwards, I hope the bar is ready. Only one team can win the day, but everyone can win the night.

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