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Eric Doyle wins Etchells Midwinters West at San Diego Yacht Club

by San Diego Yacht Club 9 Apr 09:54 BST 5-7 April 2019
2019 Etchells Midwinters West © San Diego Yacht Club

The pressure was on at the Etchells Midwinters West, the only regatta of the Etchells West Coast Spring Series with no throw-out score option. All three days were full of tight, fast racing with intense competition, but Eric Doyle, sailing on USA 1177 with crew Patrick Powell and Justin Mendham, has a good start to the top spot on the series podium by finishing first this weekend.

Eric Doyle has been skippering the event for a couple of years, but has experience crewing for other Etchells sailors during this regatta too many times to count. "Once we had confidence that our rig tune and sail trim was correct and we were fast, we used excellent starts and conservative tactics to make sure we were always in the front of the fleet. We didn't have to take many risks and just kept chipping away at good finishes over the long series."

The regatta kicked off with only two races sailed on Friday due to light winds. Chris Snow's Avalanche and Tom Carruthers' Elizbeth set the standards on day one, both taking bullets in one of the races. Day two's breeze picked up to about 12 knots with challenging wind shifts. After three races, Jim Cunningham's Lifted and Eric Doyle's USA 1177 joined the competition. Day three ended with three races in typical San Diego winds, favoring the right side, making for the most competitive day of all.

"The last race was probably our best," Doyle started. "We had all the point scenarios figured out. We didn't have to win the race but we ended up having an incredible start and lead the whole way and got to enjoy the victory without too much stress." In fact, Doyle and his team only had one bullet the entire regatta... the final race.

Tom Carruthers with crew Chris Busch and Ben Mitchell finished fourth in the Etchells Midwinter West, currently sitting in third place in the 2019 West Coast Spring Series. Although the team saw two bullets through the weekend, they experienced some struggles on the course. "We broke our tiller extension within 30 seconds of the first start on Sunday. It was probably our best race as we had the best comeback to give us a keeper and keep us in contention."

Jim Cunningham currently holds first place in the overall Etchells West Coast Spring Series.

After the races, the skippers and crews all enjoyed a BBQ together at the San Diego Yacht Club Pavilion. Doyle and his team celebrated their first place finish by enjoying some rum out of their winning trophy!

Doyle will be sailing in the Etchells Pacific Coast Championships on April 27-28, 2019 before switching his focus back to the Star boat for the European Championships in Lake Garda, followed by the Star World Championships. Eventually, Doyle will be making it back to San Diego for the SoCal 300 and Yachting Cup.

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoBoat NameBILL BENNETTWEST (DNE)Pts
1Jim Cunningham1404Lifted224
2Eric Doyle1177USA 1177415
3Tom Carruthers1411Elizabeth145
4Kirsten Zillmann1066Lola3710
5Rick Goebel969Happy Ending5611
6Charlie Mann1138Jack8917
7Xavier Sheid1234Pelikaan71118
8Chris Snow1018Avalanche16319
9Bruce Nelson986Rhino16521
10Dave Vieregg984Hey Now16824
11Mickey Ryan981AHui Hoi91726
12Summer Greene909Mostly Harmless131326
13Kjeld Hestehave971Miss Murphy161026
14Kurt Tellefsen1214Maxfli111627
15Patricia Stadel1313Triskaidekaphobia121527
16Mike Terry1263Blue Fin101828
17Chris Nesbitt1210t/t Yankee161228
18David Whisenhunt524Mojo141428
19Sherwood Kelley1092Coyote62430
20Kurt Eve1016Bermuda Triangle161935
21Pete Bellin13724 All The Chips162036
22John Sutak901White Jacket162137
23Scott Gordon776Bungle162238
24Dale Gordon1044Hydrophilic162339
25Nora Elsharhawy494Vision152439

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