Lord of Etchells
Any way you play it, Bill Hardesty has been crushing in his dominance of the Etchells Class over the past year. Along with Steve Hunt, Erik “mini-hippy” Shampain, and Jennifer Wilson, Billy grabbed a 7,1,1 at The Etchells Worlds yesterday – springing to a five point lead over Vince Brun after two days of racing, with third place a distant speck on the points horizon. Day 3’s racing today gave a dose of humility to Hardesty and crew, but even after eating a 39 in a shifty race 4, they’re still leading.
We know how skilled and hardworking Shampain is, having raced against him and chilled with him a lot on the Melges circuit. But Hardesty’s intensity surprised us when we spent two weeks with him in Sardinia last month when he was calling tactics for Sevenstar SLAM. The kid is absolutely driven to perfection, smart as hell, and completely thorough in everything he does. If we were to put money on anyone in US racing ascending to where Spithill has, we’d put it all on Billy.
We talked to him today just as he was finishing dinner with his crew.