Bill Bennett Cup launches Etchells West Coast Series

Published on March 22nd, 2015

For the Etchells class, the inaugural Bill Bennett Cup held March 21-22 in San Diego, CA was to honor active class member and friend Bill Bennett, who had tragically died prior to the 2014 Etchells World Championship. But for local Vince Brun, the event meant a lot more than just his first place finish. Brun and Bennett sailed together to win the Etchells World Championship in 2000, and for Brun, this regatta is a sentimental one.

“Billy was really the glue of that Etchells program,” said Brun. “He was always extremely competitive in sports; he was just good. But he was also the one who would pick you up when you were down. He was the one who was always paying attention and could keep you on track.”

Brun’s crew for the Bill Bennett Cup included John Kostecki and Brad Rodi, both friends of Bennett, along with 11-year old junior sailor Gabriel Campbell.

The Bill Bennett Cup is the first in a four-part Etchells West Coast Series conceived by Brun and Tom Carruthers, who led the scoreboard on Saturday and went on to finish second overall. “We were looking at the Jaguar Series in Miami, and really wanted to create a similar competition on the West Coast,” Carruthers said. “With the Worlds being held in San Francisco in 2017, the West Coast had a really natural pull.”

For the inaugural event, the final scores in the 25-boat fleet had Brun with 23 points, Carruthers with 26 points and Tyler Sinks with 35 points. Full results.

The West Coast Series includes the Midwinter West on March 27-29, US National Championship on April 10-12, and Orca Bowl on May 16-17, all hosted at the San Diego Yacht Club.

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