Seventy-four teams will hit the starting line today off San Diego when the SailNet.com Etchells World Championship gets underway. Among the competitors in this fleet are some of the more recognized names in the sportDennis Conner, Peter Isler, Iain Murray, Vince Brun, and Robbie Doyle, to mention a few. With eight nations represented, the event has legitimate status as a world championship, and certainly the caliber of the competition on the water will bear that out.
www.sailnet.com/etchells. Well post daily updates, interviews with winners each day, and cumulative scores to keep you in the know.
The final results of last weeks warm-up regatta at the San Diego Yacht Club had just two points separating the top five finishers, and a tiebreaker was needed to decide which of the top three boats would take home the silver. Brun won out over former world champions Conner and Dirk Kneulman of Canada, and Smith of Marblehead, MA, was just a point behind, with Isler two points behind. There were only 43 entries in that prelude regatta, so all the competitors will have their hands full with the fleet size nearly doubling today. The race committee plans to set a three-quarter mile starting line and run the boats around a three-mile windward-leeward course.
At the risk of overlooking some of the lesser-known teams who are probably just as talented, here are a few of the other competitors who should be in the hunt out on Coronado Roads off San Diego: the Ross, Booth, and Turnbull trio from Pine Harbour, New Zealand; the Weisman, Pape, and Whittome team out of San Diego; Brian Camet and family (also local); and Bruce Nelson, who hadnt revealed his crew at press time.
To follow the action (in photos and text), log on to SailNet.coms adjunct website, the official site of the world championship regatta