The Etchells Worlds continues to be one of the most hotly contested regattas in the world, pitting America’s Cup sailors, Olympic Medalists and Volvo Ocean Race sailors against each other. This year, in Hong Kong, two American teams, Aretas and Scimitar, dominated the event. Aretas and Scimitar finished two points apart and were both Velocitek Shift equipped! The top two boats left a 21 point gap between 2nd and 3rd.
Skip Dieball, helmsman on World Champion Aretas, explains how and why he used the Shift at Worlds:
Q – Why did you choose the Shift?
A – We demo’d the Shift at Etchells Long Island Sound Championships and compared it to our existing compass. The ease of use and clarity of the readout made it a no-brainer. Compasses are incredibly valuable. The Shift is the best we’ve sailed with.
Q – Did you use the shift tracking feature?
A – Yes, we did use the shift tracking. We sailed upwind pre-race and got a feel for the range in the wind shifts. Then we picked a number that we felt was a good average. Going into the top mark it was really easy to know whether the breeze was right or left and whether to do a bear-away set or gybe set.
Q – Did you use the start timer?
A – Everyday. Having timer AND compass on display when in start mode is one thing I really like. No more paging through the modes to do last minute wind and line checks!
Q – How do you like the new anti-reflective / anti-glare lens?
A – We demo’d the original and then raced with the new AR/AG lens. Very nice!
Q – What type of sailor do you think would benefit the most from using the Shift?
A – All sailors. More experienced sailors will find it to be a useful tool. Newer sailors will learn the game and windshifts faster if they have a tool like this.
Title inspiration thanks to Dexter.