Kaufman takes over lead at Etchells North Americans
Published on August 18th, 2017
San Diego, CA (August 18, 2017) – A new leader emerged on the second day of the 2017 Etchells North American Championship, with Scott Kaufman and his team of Jesse Kirkland, Lucas Calabrase, and Austen Anderson dominating today with a 3-1-1.
The theme of Friday’s racing can be described in two words: go right. Shannon Bush (USA 1415) realized early on that this was going to be the key to success out on the water.
“The story today was go right. We learned to connect the dots and stay in pressure. There was more pressure on the race course today compared to yesterday, but you still had to get right. It’s San Diego….go right!”
Bush revealed that she has not been in an Etchells boat in five months and that she is using the North American Championship as a refresher course before the Etchells World Championship this September in San Francisco.
“We came back from the Worlds in Cowes last year to San Francisco and it was really light. You never know what you’re going to get there. This is a great fleet, a deep fleet, so I’m going to continue to improve our game and work on timing. Any time I can have in the boat is a bonus.”
Andrew Campbell is another sailor in this championship who hasn’t spent much time in an Etchells boat recently. It’s understandable since he just returned to the United States one month ago after training and racing in Bermuda for the 2017 America’s Cup for Team Oracle.
“I’m glad to get out and go sailing with these guys. It’s cool to have the International fleet here and most of the top US guys are here so I like to support that kind of fleet. These guys are all good friends and people I’ve raced against for the last few years so it’s nice to welcome them here. I’m looking forward to getting back into sailing Etchells more often.”
Campbell is crewing for Chris Snow (USA 1018) along with Chris Nesbitt and Piper Holthus and was pleased to race in another day of champagne conditions.
“We had a really nice day today. Once we got out there it showed that it was going to be a chamber of commerce day – the sun came out early, the breeze came on early, and we showed this whole fleet what San Diego should be like in August.”
Steve Benjamin (USA 1228) was another competitor who had a good day today. Defending his Etchells North American Champion title for the past two years, Benjamin is hoping to seal the deal in the last two races tomorrow.
“We have a 13 point deficit to catch up to get to first, but there are three other boats ahead of us so we just need to have two good races tomorrow. We’re defending from the past two years so we’d like to win this race again. Our main goal really is the World Championship next month in San Francisco. But no matter what, it’s fun…we love it here.”
There’s a lot of top talent in Benjamin’s crew of Michael Menninger, Dave Hughes, and Ian Liberty. Hughes sails on the US Olympic team in the 470 crewing for Stu McNay and Liberty has also sailed Olympic campaigns in the past.
Consistency was a struggle for Alex Camet and Argyle Campbell, who avoided the shockers yesterday to hold down the top two spots but both found themselves deep in race five today to allow Kaufman’s team to leap to the top.
“We got off the line perfectly, 3 races out of 3, and it turned out really good,” noted Kaufman. “If we get one or two good races tomorrow, I think we’ll be in the top 3 and that’s definitely our goal. The main thing today was getting off the line really well. The start was everything- you had to go right.”
With 6 of the 8 races completed and the discard in play, the game is still wide open for the 29-boat fleet as the series concludes tomorrow with the final two races.
Now tenth overall, Keith Whittemore with crew Brian Thomas, Kevin Downey, and Peter Busch lead the 11-boat Corinthian division with 46 points. In second and third are Ted Hardenbergh (59 points), and Kjeld Hestehave (81 points).
Racing is planned for August 17 to 19.
Day Two Preliminary Results (Top 10 of 29; 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Scott Kaufman / Jesse Kirkland / Lucas Calabrase / Austen Anderson – 6 -3 - -3 -1 -1 ; 14
2. Alex Camet / Ben Mitchell / Patrick Powell – 4 -2 -3 -6 - -5 ; 20
3. Argyle Campbell / Luke Lawrence / Brian Janney / Anton Schmid – 10 -1 -1 -1 - -8 ; 21
4. Jim Cunningham / Jeff Madrigali / Mark Ivey / Serena Vilage –  -4 -7 -4 -3 -7 ; 25
5. Steve Benjamin / Michael Menninger / Dave Hughes / Ian Liberty – 2 - -9 -8 -6 -2 ; 27
6. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise / Ezra Culver – 3 -14 -4 - -4 -10 ; 35
7. Tom Carruthers / Chris Busch / Willem Van Waay – 1 - -12 -2 -10 -15 ; 40
8. Shannon W Bush / Brad Boston / Phil Trinter – 7 -7 - -14 -5 -9 ; 42
9. Don Jesberg / Bill Hardesty / Andrea Cabito / Robert Dean – 12 -9 - -10 -11 -3 ; 45
10. Keith Whittemore / Brian Thomas / Kevin Downey / Peter Busch –  -6 -8 -5 -15 -12 ; 46
Source: SDYC, Scuttlebutt