race report


I figured you guys would like this shot…anarchists always love carnage and there was a lot of it this weekend.
This hole took Team Lucky out for the weekend – that had a great first race and were the defending Etchells Florida State Champs, as the owner Bryon Ehrhart is a part time Miami resident.

Here are some of the details as I’ve heard them:
Saturday – cloudy and breezy – winds building from 15 – 20, with good chop on the Biscayne Bay. In Race 2, Scott Piper, skipper of 1372 "Pipe Dream" who’s been sailing Etchells in Biscayne Bay for more than a decade, rounded the top mark in 8th and was just turning down at the offset when they collided with a port tack boat, Ehrhart, with Rodney Hagebols in the middle, sailing 1355, "Lucky." They hit bow to bow and with so much force in both sails, they just kept pushing into each other, rather than going into the usual collision dance circle. The bowman on 1355 (no one from that boat has responded to my queries for more info) went to the bow to try to push Pipe Dream out of their boat, but was bounced into the drink instead. He was momentarily stuck between the two heavy boats but was able to scramble back onto his ride with a few scratches. In the room, it was ruled a port / starboard. Seems simple, but it took the protest committee an hour to be sure, and that’s even when no one from the port tack boat showed up for the hearing.

In the rest of the weekend’s racing, it was a bit of a San Diego show-down with San Diego’s Bill Hardesty and Chris Busch racing on two of the top boats. Busch, with Tony Rey driving and Bill Bennett in the middle (Bow 03), was in close quarters in nearly every race with Bill Hardesty with his regular crew of Quentin Strauss and Jack Jennings (Bow 79). In race 2 n Saturday they rounded opposite gybe marks at the same time and came together again at the top mark.

The race came down to a slightly faster pace downwind on a long starboard gybe, and Tony eked Billy out at the end. They had their next matchup in Race 4 in about 15 knots of breeze on a clear sunny day. This time Bill was able to out gybe Tony, in a fantastic gybing duel and take 1st. At the outset of Race 5, Hardesty had a fighting chance of taking the weekend if he won race 5 (Rey with a 7, 1, 1, 2,: Hardesty with a -34, 2, 7, 1). Tony said they had to stay with the leaders at the start and went left, but the wind went right. By the top mark, they knew Billy was deep in the fleet and thus elected to sail home, taking the last race as their drop. Bill said he went left when the wind went right, and then went right when the wind went left. You gotta hate that. Worse, at the finish, he didn’t leave quite enough room for another finisher and was rewarded with a 1′ x 6" hole in his stern. With a deep finish, Hardesty gave the victor the spoils: Tony Rey and team went home with the pickle dishes.

I imagine Hardesty is looking forward to matching up against Chris Busch in the races leading up to the NAs in San Diego this June. Good Times.

Paige Brooks