Benjamin takes lead at Etchells Worlds

Published on September 6th, 2016

Cowes, UK (September 6, 2016) – After two Australian teams topped the rank after the opening day of the Etchells World Championship, a third team today led by Noel Drennan was the star of the second day of racing. Drennan, who has raced Etchells with class world champions Dennis Connor and John Bertrand, showed his experience by nailing the pin end of the start to win the only race today by a large margin.

Drennan’s bullet lifts his team to second overall, with day one leader John Bertrand slipping to third after finishing today in 22nd. Taking the top rank now is Steve Benjamin (USA), but his team’s scoreline of 14-5-5 only separates the top three by four points.

“We were unsure which side was going to pay before the start,” shared Benjamin. “Literally before the gun, the pin came good and we were near that end of the line. It was then about how long to stay on that tack, which was dictated by the tide and the wind, and also the lane we were holding. The lane started to get congested so we tacked to port and made it in good shape to the top mark.

Benjamin understands his position is far from secure. “There is a long way to go in this regatta and the results do not count a throw out yet, so we are taking absolutely nothing for granted. It is a lot of fun sailing in this fleet, the racing is really tight and it is a fantastic mix of sailors, from so many areas of the sport.”

Chris Hampton (AUS) posted a 28th to slip from 2nd to 4th position, while Swiss skipper Seamus McHugh’s team, including two-time Olympic gold medallist Luis Doreste, finished 2nd today to move up to 5th overall.

Sitting 11th overall is Martin Webster (AUS) who has taken the lead in the in the Corinthian Class, followed by Thomas Brennan (GBR), and James Badenach (HKG). The best result of the Corinthian Class today was an 11th by Mark Downer (GBR), lifting his team to 4th in the class.

Fifty-eight teams representing 11 nations will compete September 5-10. Six races shall constitute a series with 9 races planned in the Central Solent.

Day Two Results (Top 10 of 58; 3 races)
1. Scimitar, Stephen Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Ian Liberty / George Peet , USA – 14 -5 -5 ; 24
2. Matatu, Noel Drennan / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills , SIN – 7 -17 -1 ; 25
3. Triad2, John Bertrand / Paul Blowers / Ben Lamb , AUS – 4 -2 -22 ; 28
4. Tango, Chris Hampton / Sam Haines / Mark Andrews , AUS – 1 -8 -28 ; 37
5. TQUILA, Seamus McHugh / Luis Doreste / David Vera Vera / Leo Ramio , GBR – 21 -14 -2 ; 37
6. Racer X 2, Mark Thornburrow / Mike Huang / Malcolm Page / Simon Cooke , HKG – 18 -12 -9 ; 39
7. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Chris Larson / Stuart Flinn , GBR – 30 -1 -10 ; 41
8. La Tomenta, Shannon Bush / Brad Boston / Curt Oetking , USA – 5 -23 -14 ; 42
9. K2, Andy Beadsworth / Grant Simmer / Steve Jarvin , GBR – 16 -7 -20 ; 43
10. Ice, Andrew Cooper / Mark Mansfield / Calum Healey , GBR – 19 -9 -15 ; 43

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Report by Louay Habib.

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