Sunday, December 6, 2009

Etchells Jaguar Series - Piana Cup Wrap-Up

Paige Brooks, Etchells North American Correspondent
December 6, 2009
Day one results turned out to be the final results in the Piana Cup – The first of four winter regattas in the Etchells Jaguar Series. Peter Vessella and his San Francisco based team of Tracy Usher and John Calllahan took the day and weekend with a 3, 2, 3. Second place finisher Marvin Beckman, who won the first race, said they know they “missed something” on the second race and ended the day with a 1,8,2. San Diego’s Bill Hardesty tied for second with a 2, 3, 6.

Saturday’s forecasters couldn’t seem to decide on the weather and we saw top end forecasts anywhere from 13 – 25 knots. The day truly was WYSIWYG and turned out to be a typical Biscayne Bay day with a pleasant 12-15 knots out the SSW with a small chop. With 45 boats of the registered 52 racing, the competition felt civilized and the starts manageable compared to recent year’s bigger numbers. Climbing out of a bad or late start line was actually do-able.

Peter Vessella said they never really banged one side of the course or the other, and aimed to start in the middle of the line – the least congested. In the first race they worked up the mid-right to beat other guys on the right, but didn’t take any chances, which turned out to win the day. This team has been racing together now for 4 years and he said they have learned to trust each other. “It’s all about team work,” Vessella said.

The teams wishing for at least one more race today (Sunday) waited for two and a half hours while the race committee toiled away trying to find good breeze. The wind kept hinting it would pick up, but never filled in more than 4 knots, but even then not for long enough to set a course. Finally, PRO Dave Brennan blew the abandonment horn and arranged tows for the competitors.

Next up for the Jaguar Cup is the Sid Doren Regatta, racing the 9th and 10th of January.

Final results:

1. Peter Vessella, John Callahan, Tracy Usher (3, 2, 3) 8 pts
2. Marvin Beckman, Kurt Oeking, Andrew Lee (1, 8, 2) 11 pts
3. Bill Hardesty, Quentin Strauss, Jack Jennings(2, 3, 6) 11 pts
4 Jeffrey Siegal, Jeff Madrigali, Becky Nygren, Willem Van Waay, (6, 5, 1) 12
5. Tony Rey, Bill Bennett, Chris Busch (5, 6, 4) 15

Full results are posted here: