Sunday dawned bright and breathless for the 20-boat Etchells LIS Champs fleet and out on the course, a drift-a-thon ensued. The courageous Larchmont RC set up due North of Hempstead Harbor in mid-sound, ready to catch the anticipated southerly.

After a short postponement, the Vipers were away under an I flag and the Etchells were in sequence, also under I-flag. Drifting towards the pin-end seemed to be the best plan and Girling led the fleet left in the tricky conditions with Cross and Marx hot on his heals and overnight leader Dowd, struggling for air, back in the pack. Meantime, Kauffman and Bischoff had moved right (which looked awful, but actually worked out OK) and Kauffman’s corner Kings crossed just ahead of Girling and Cross from the right edge.

At the top mark it was very tricky with Marx and Kenahan now in the mix as well, but Kauffman had squirted ahead, followed by Marx, Cross, Girling Kenahan and Bischoff. A tricky run ensued. Kauffman managed to stay just ahead, Cross gained early by gybing down the middle and just escaped the vacuum on the left, Girling initially got ahead of Marx, but the PHRF boats sailing upwind through the course, plus a shut-down/shift, plus a patiently charging Bischoff and 1167 meant that Kauffman’s win was only good enough for second as cross, then Bischoff, then Marx, then Girling sagged across the line (course shortened to two legs).

This gave Bischoff the title with an impressive 2,3,3 score line (these boys could take up drifting for a living J) and an equally impressive 1,7,1 score line for Kauffman was just not good enough on the day. 1167 (entered by Connor Needham but sailed by another Youth Challenge crew (names not available at time of writing) tied with Girling for third and won the countback)).

Thanks to the gallant Etchells sailors for showing their mettle and for the equally determined RC for giving us at least a tease of some action, even though it looked as though we’d see none!

Congrats to Team KGB – Great job and well sailed!

By Steve Girling
USA 1412