Championships Wrap Up for Etchells and Stars
Linda Ambrose, Regatta Manager
Soggy and breezy conditions for the second and final day couldn’t dampen the energy on the race course with fierce competition in both classes. Initial forecasts for Saturday were bleak but PRO Kevin Reeds alerted the competitors that he’d keep them ashore for a minimum of an hour and delay the first warning for both classes, which per the Sailing Instructions would have been at 1030 and 1040. RC boats left the dock at 0930 to check out the conditions and based on the breeze that began to fill in, AP was dropped at 1100. The Etchells kicked off the first of three races on Day 1 at 1205 with the Stars 10 minutes later. Knowing that the system moving in to the Mid-Atlantic overnight was initially predicted to bring sustained winds in the mid-high 20s with gusts over 30kts, the RC wasted little time between races in order to get the Stars the minimum of three races needed for a series. With only one race needed for the Etchells to crown an Atlantic Coast Champion, the balance of the races was a battle for the podium with 1st through 5th overall trophies on the line. The final races on Sunday gave both the Etchells and Star competitors a drop and after a 4th race for the Stars and a 5th for the Etchells, PRO Kevin Reeds sent the sailors back to shore to put away their boats and head to the clubhouse for the trophy ceremony.
Returning to AYC having won the Etchells Fall Regatta in 2018, George Francisco from Houston once again topped the podium on American Baby and was awarded 1st place in the Etchells Atlantic Coast Championship. Second by one point, Event Co-Chair Jose Fuentes on Caramba, with Co-Chair Chris Larson in 3rd aboard Canadian entry Cruel Jane owned by Dirk Kneulman. In 4th overall and 1st place in the Corinthian Division, Jonathan Forsberg on Solsidan. It was a family affair for the Forsbergs, with Dawn who serves as Etchells Fleet 28 Fleet Captain on the Organizing Committee and AYC junior sailor Linnea serving on the RC on the leeward mark boat. In 5th, losing a tie-breaker, Matt Lalumiere on Marge. Lalumiere was 2nd in the Corinthian Class with Ed Holt on Eduardo Especial in 3rd.
Matt not only brought a talented team to the regatta but also supported the event by sponsoring the regatta along with father Todd, an Etchells sailor himself. The Lalumieres own Maritime Coffee Time, LLC, and warmed everyone up each morning by supplying Dunkin Donuts coffee, bagels, and Halloween inspired donuts. Also supporting the event, member Matt Boudreau of Boudreau Insurance who made sure there was cold beer for all when competitors hit the dock each day. Thanks to North Sails and Skip Dieball who came into town to run a clinic for the Etchells sailors on Friday, followed by a chalk talk with videos of the day’s on the water drills. Etchells Fleet 28, Fuentes, and Larson hosted a welcome reception and Skippers meeting at the Club on Friday evening to kick off the weekend.
The Star Class had two titles on the line over the weekend with the traditional Lippincott Memorial Regatta being held concurrently with the 2nd District Championship. No stranger to the podium at this event, known to most as Johnny Mac, John MacCausland the 2013 Star Worlds Champion had three bullets and nothing deeper than a 2nd place to win both the Lippincott and 2nd District Championship. MacCausland first won the Lippincott Memorial Regatta in 1978 when it was held at Riverton Yacht Club in New Jersey, and this is the 10th time he’s been the Overall Winner of the Lippincott Memorial Regatta Trophy. The 2019 2nd District Championship was the 22nd win for the Skipper. He shared an interesting anecdote yesterday when accepting the award: “My first win was in 1979 when the event was held at AYC. We launched the boats where the Activity Center is now and had to wait for the Spa Creek Bridge to open to get out to the race course." His crew for this weekend, Kevin Murphy, was the recipient of the John Avis Award. Avis, who passed away in 2015, was honored by his wife Heather and their children who sponsored the top crew award in his memory for the crew member sailing on the top placing boat in the 2nd District Championship.
In 2nd place, Mike Hecky on Big Jim, with Aaron Serinis in 3rd. Having hosted the Worlds and multiple Western Hemisphere Championships in the past, AYC is looking forward to welcome Star sailors in 2021 for the North American Championship.
More photos from the weekend can be found on our Racing Photos page.