Day 2 dawned sunny and calm on Shelter Island for the Etchells ACCs Regatta. Light air and poor forecast greeted sailors as they prepared their boats and a postponement ashore ensued. At 11:30 the postponement flag was dropped and the fleet made its way back to Orient Bay in a light NW/W breeze that would oscillate back and forth on its way to the W/SW as the day went on.
Kaufmann won the boat end of the line and tacked to port, looking for the magic of Saturday’s fifth race, Benjamin, Duncan and Proctor led from further left. Kauffman converged with Benjamin, clearly ahead (remember these two are leading the regatta) and a positioning duel ensued. Kauffman rounded ahead, with Benjamin, Duncan, Proctor Hinton their heals.
Boats that recognized the right shift coming into the weather mark and who were also able to hunt early, after rounding realized big gains, with Girling moving up into a close 3rd on the run, following Kauffman and Benjamin around the right gate.
Up the second beat, Proctor made nice gains on the right to move up to third as puffs tumbled over the North Fork onto the water and fanned gently down the course.
Kaufmann and Benjamin played the leg well, with Girling not far behind.
At the final top mark, it was Kaufmann, Proctor and Girling with handy leads who legged out on starboard in what felt like a leftie (looking upwind). Several boats rounded a bit further back, gybed onto port after rounding and, after seeming to sail quite high and therefore away from the finish, hooked into some breeze, gybed back to the middle and made huge gains. Girling and Proctor limped out from their side, losing places to the chasing pack.
Soon after the finish of Race 6, the breeze swung left, forcing the committee to change the position of the starting area to accommodate the building sea breeze from the SSW.
Race 7 – Racing for the Championship
Going into the final race, Kauffman led Benjy by 3 points, but had a 5 vs a 4 for a discard. It was all going to come down to this final race!
The first try for race 7 led to a general recall and so at the second attempt, the fleet was away under an I-Flag in a slightly fresher breeze, around 10 knots, but with plenty of holes.
Duncan made the best start from the middle of the line and found additional benefit from some right shift after the start. Bendy, further down the line, managed to force Kauffman off after the start, effectively ending the battle for the championship as Kauffman could not recover on the 3-leg course.
Duncan led around the weather mark with Needham and Benjy hot on his heels.
Again, a quick gybe at the offset paid dividends for the pack behind, due to a right shift. The right gate was favored however, and those who rounded it not only sailed less distance but were also rewarded with a significant left shift. This launched the left boats as they stretched to the finish, with you guessed it, Benjy, leading the charge and wining the race and the regatta from Needham and the Youth challenge team who scored an excellent second and Duncan in third.
Overall Benjy held off the impressive Kaufmann to win the regatta by two points.
Duncan/Jud Smith/Tom Blackwell placed third with consistent scores, and Steve Girling/Taylor Walker/Marc Jacobi rounded out the top 4.
Results can be found at: