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Jim Cunningham's Lifted wins Etchells Midwinters West

by San Diego Yacht Club 12 Apr 03:38 BST
2022 Etchells Midwinters West © Mark Albertazzi

The conclusion of the Etchells Midwinters West this weekend means only one more regatta in the Etchells West Coast Spring Series... and the top overall positions are a close call.

Jim Cunningham on Lifted earned a first place win this weekend after staying consistently in the top three for the previous two races in the Series. However, Cunningham and his crew are unable to sail in the final event, the Orca Bowl, leaving the battle between Chris Busch's Elizabeth and Tom Carruthers' Louise for the overall Series winners.

The final standings for the Midwinters West:

Jim Cunningham, Lifted, 12 pts.
Chris Busch, Elizabeth, 19 pts.
Tom Carruthers, Louise, 26 pts.

Cunningham finished the Midwinters West with two bullets and a DNS on the final day. The team secured their win after Race 7 and retired early to celebrate.

"The competition was fierce and kept us pressing hard all the time. The wind and seas were bigger than we usually see in San Diego, so it was a challenge for us to figure out how to keep the boat going in the conditions. We were fortunate enough to win the regatta with a race to spare, so we decided to head in and start our mudslide tradition early," explained Cunningham.

With Cunningham gone and Busch securing 2nd in the regatta with a 2nd place finish in Race 7, the final race became a tight battle for 3rd place. Chair Chris Busch commented, "The pressure was on Carruthers who needed a 3rd place in the regatta to have a chance at winning the WCSS and he did that by winning the last race and putting a few points between him and LaDow and Jesberg. The Orca Bowl is super important for us as we need to win that to beat Carruthers in the WCSS."

Day one of the regatta saw what PRO/Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson described as "epic." The breeze out on the Coronado Roads course on Friday greeted the sailors with 12-18 knots! Winds coming from the WNW allowed for Point Loma to shelter the fleet from the large ocean swell. Day two and three weren't so lucky. The wind switched to the south with a velocity of about 8-14 knots, resulting in choppy seas on top of an occasional 4 to 6 foot SW swell. This made for some uncomfortable Race Committee work.

Next up for the Etchells West Coast Spring Series is the final race in the Series, the Orca Bowl on May 14-15, 2022. The Orca Bowl will determine the overall Series winner.

View the current standings here.

Learn more about the Orca Bowl here.

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