Carruthers wins Etchells Midwinters West
Published on March 29th, 2015
Twenty-four teams competed for three days in the Etchells Midwinters West, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club on March 27-29 in San Diego, CA. Tom Carruthers, with crew Chris Busch and Andrew Palfrey, found their groove in the second half of the series, keeping scores in the top three to capture the title. Just two points back in the 8-race series was Jeremy Thorp with crew Stuart Childerley and Mark Andrews.
Additional report from event media…
After a beautiful weekend of competitive sailing, Tom Carruthers goes from the man behind the scenes to the man on top of the podium. A driving force in getting the West Coast Series started, Carruthers took his passion for Etchells sailing with him on the race course, where he claimed the first place finish at the Etchells Midwinters West. Carruthers sailed with crew Chris Busch and Andrew Palfrey.
The Etchells Midwinters West consisted of 8 races over March 27-29 and is one piece in the four-part West Coast Series hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club. The West Coast Series culminates with the Etchells National Championship, which will take place in two weeks on April 10-12.
Twenty-four boats competed in the Midwinters regatta, with many competitors looking at the weekend as a way to gain additional practice before the National Championship. For Dirk Kneulman, who has been sailing and building Etchells sailboats since 1979, the first two regattas are for sizing up regatta variables.
“I’m trying to get a feel for how Race Committee sounds as well as the attitude of the fleet.” Kneulman said. In addition to looking for patterns in set-up and weather, Kneulman also hopes to take a pulse of the competition itself. “You can use them as wind vanes. You watch them at the starting line and try to see what they see, why they want to go there.”
Kneulman sailed aboard Tiburon, which finished the regatta in 8th place overall, just behind last weekend’s winner of the Bill Bennett Cup Vince Brun. Both Kneulman and Brun are World Champions, a title that is impressive but not rare in this high-class fleet of Etchells competitors.
“It’s a very competitive fleet, we’ve gotten a lot of top guys out there. You’re happy if you get 10th in this fleet,” said Alex Camet, who guided his boat Camet Racing to fifth place overall. Camet, who will be competing in the Etchells National Championship says that there’s anywhere between 15 or 18 boats with a solid chance at taking home the title. As for who he’s watching? “Anyone who gets the puff.”
In this regatta, the guy who found the most puffs was Carruthers, who edged out Jeremy Thorp by two points to finish in first with a total of 22 points. Rounding out the podium in third place was Marvin Beckmann, with a total of 36 points.
The West Coast Series includes the Bill Bennett Cup on March 21-22, 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. Best 3 of 4 events determines overall series winner.