Shannon Bush tops at Etchells Biscayne Bay Series

Published on January 10th, 2016

The second event of the 2016 Etchells Biscayne Bay Series attracted 56 teams for the Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta on January 9-10 in Miami, FL. Hosted by Etchells Fleet 20 and the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, the 4 race series was won by Shannon Bush with Brad Boston and Curt Oetking. The annual winter circuit concludes in February with the Florida States and Midwinter Championships.

Etchells Biscayne Bay SeriesSidney Doren Memorial Regatta

Report by John Payne:
Saturday’s weather was not exactly everyone’s choice. Light air led to a postponement, while waiting for the breeze to fill in. By the time races were started the winds were mostly light and shifty. Though some puffs to ten or twelve knots were seen on the course, the majority of the time saw five to seven knots.

The leader after the first day was Bryon Ehrhart, sailing with Chris Lefferdink and David Burrows, rolled a nice two race line of 4-3. In second was Shannon Bush with Brad Boston and Curt Oetking with a 9-5. Rounding out the top three was Jamie Hilton with Tim Healy, and a player to be named later, with a 12-8.

Normally the BBYC race committee tries for three races on day one and two on day two so that the competitors would get a drop. To try to get in three races on Sunday, PRO Stuart Childerly called for a one hour earlier start.

Sunday dawned with no rain, warm temperatures in low seventies, and a nice southwesterly breeze of 8-12 knots.

Race three went off after a general recall, and even still multiple boats were called over early on the restart. The fleet split across Biscayne Bay on the 1.6 mile upwind with probably a mile between the far left and far right boats.

First to the top was Peter Duncan sailing with Jud Smith and Thomas Blackwell. They were followed closely by Jim Cunningham and Phil Lotz. Buried pretty deep were Shannon Bush, and Tony Rey sailing George Andreadis’ boat with Chris Cantrick and Steve Jarvin.

Shannon explained what happened on the downwind. “We jibed out immediately and took the left side. While all the cluster of boats went right, we had a nice clear lane to ourselves that was clocking and making us look good. That, and a favorable current brought us to the gate in the top five.”

She also mentioned that Rey took the same approach and also moved to the top.

The next start was a doosey! At about one minute before go a squall line with 30 knots blew through the start area. Boats were crash tacking and spinning to avoid each other. The mid line boat, Alligator Boots, was not so lucky. They took an Etchells bow “T-Bone” just forward of the transom. The boat was to leave for Key West tomorrow, but a two foot hole is not going to buff out.

About two-thirds up the first leg, the PRO didn’t like what he was seeing on the race course, and abandoned the race. At that point it became doubtful that he could get in two more races, so no drop for this regatta.

After a 30 minute delay for the weather to settle, race four got under way with a bearing of 300 and a distance of 1.6 miles. The shifty winds led to several lead changes and single digit finishes went to a few boats that enjoyed the new found success. Rising to the top were perennial winners. The race win went to Marvin Beckman, followed closely by Steve Benjamin and Ernie Pomerleau.

Finishing first for the regatta was Shannon Bush, her first win in the Etchells Biscayne Bay Series. Second went to Tony Rey. Former world champion Marvin Beckmann with San Myers, Danielle Septembre and Lara Dallman-Weiss finished third. Fourth went to Andy Beadsworth, Finn Hill, and Simon Fry sailing Tquilla, the world’s newest Etchells. Rounding out the top five were Craig Mense, John Hartford, Nicole Popp and Fred Strammer.
To qualify for the overall Etchells Biscayne Bay Series (formerly known as “The Jaguar Cup”) prizes, boats must count their place in the Mid-Winters Regatta, and any two of the other three individual regattas (Piana Cup, Sidney Doren Memorial, Florida State Championship).

2016 Etchells Biscayne Bay Series
Louis Piana Cup Regatta – December 5 & 6, 2015
Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta – January 9 & 10, 2016
Florida State Championship – February 6 & 7, 2016
Mid-Winter’s East Regatta – February 26 -28, 2016

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