This last week, we raced the Etchells North American Championships, finishing 5th place. Our team consisted of me on the helm, Will Ricketson trimming kite, Joe Morris on mainsheet and tactics, and Debbie Capozzi on the bow. The regatta ran Thursday to Saturday, which really should be done more often because it gave us Sunday to unwind and get ready for the week.
We saw a range of conditions. The first day of the event had breeze building to 16 knots. On the second day, we had three races in 12-20 knots, and then on the third day conditions lightened. One consistent feature was huge chop and waves. The Etchells weighs a lot for a boat of its length; so dealing with the seas was a real challenge. Joe had to agressively twist the mainsail and I was steering decisively.
Most of my Etchells experience has been doing mainsheet and tactics. I enjoyed the chance to helm. It’ll certainly help next time I am in another roll. I certainly recommend mixing up positions on the boat to any team.
There were two areas where we made significant progress over the event: tuning in overpowered conditions and changing tuning while racing. Both were tough at the beginning of the event, but by the end, we felt we had something pretty good. Debbie was constantly winding on and off the uppers and lowers for each sustained pressure change.
Thanks again to the race management and NYYC for putting on such a good event. We had a great time sailing and enjoyed the on-shore activities too.
Full results Here.