Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

Scuttlebutt Forum
For all your commentary, questions, and updates.

Click here to view.

Scuttlebutt News:

2008-2009 Jaguar Series - Etchells class

The Jaguar Series is the premiere winter event for the Etchells class in North America, attracting big fleets and the world championship caliber competition. Hosted by Etchells Fleet 20 in Miami, Florida, the racing takes place on Biscayne Bay, arguably among the finest racing venues during the winter months. The 2008-2009 Jaguar Series regatta dates are:

Piana Cup - December 13-14, 2008
Sid Doren Memorial - January 10-11, 2009
Florida State Championship - February 7-8, 2009
Jaguar Mid-Winters - February 27-March 1, 2009

Event website:

Piana Cup - Sid Doren - Florida State Champs - Mid-Winters

Piana Cup - December 13-14, 2008

(December 11, 2008) Rigs are rattling their way up on gin poles, and the buffers are whining as the competitors prepare to splash their Etchells for the first of four weekends in the 7th annual Jaguar Cup Series. One of the most well attended keel boat regattas in North America, regularly attracting some of the best amateur and professional sailors, the regatta weekend is shaping up to be a good one. The weather on Biscayne Bay is forecast to be stormy with 15-17 kts Saturday and more of the same on Sunday. Fifteen knots is truly a sweet spot for this elegant, yet tweaky 30' boat.

To highlight a few of the sailing professionals, reigning North American champion Jud Smith is joining forces with his winning Mooloolaba Worlds crew and Etchells builder Dirk Kneulman; they will sail four up with Jud's daughter and her friend. Another Canadian and Olympic medalist, Mike Wolfe, will be calling the shots for his regular Etchells skipper Robert Wray; Jeff Madrigali will be here with skipper Jeff Siegal; Chris Busch, (2nd in the Chicago Worlds) and Bill Bennett (San Diego World Champion crew) are racing with Med-Cup series regular Tony Rey at the helm; and Ante Razmilovic, a good sailor in his own right, is joined by pro Chris Larson. Among the amateurs, Argyle Campbell, who also sails the Melges circuit, is here with his Newport Beach based partner in the boat, Jack Jakosky. Peter Duncan and crew who were 4th in the Chicago worlds and have been sailing together for countless seasons, will certainly be a contender for the weekend.

The list of top notch competitors goes on. With a limited sail card and strict one design rules, it's not usually how much money you throw at your program that makes the boat go fast, it's experienced crew, practice and team work. With 60+ boats on the line, a lot of the game will just be getting there on time.
Click here for results and complete entry list. -- Paige Brooks

Regatta report:
Bruce Golison and team
The first of four regattas in the Jaguar Series, the Piana Cup, saw big breeze and sea this weekend. Even with temperatures in the low 70s, sailors were happy to escape the ice storms and cold weather in other parts of the country for the more temperate Miami. On Saturday, the wind started at around 12-15 knots for race 1 and built after that to a steady 17 with gusts up to 22 knots. The race committee employed the optional windward gates as they did last season for the 58 teams.

The first race of the day started in lighter air and as the front went through. those who went to the right made out well. The race committee, worked hard moving marks to follow the breeze as it clocked around, and ultimately moved the windward gates and offsets every single leg on Saturday, making for some tired volunteers at the end of the day. The wind picked up for races 2 and 3, and the rides were wild and bumpy in the lumpy Biscayne Bay. Going downwind the fleet spread out across the bay by virtue of the windward gates and made an impressive sight with their colorful spinnakers. Jud Smith took the day handily with a 1, 1, 5. Eleven points back were Bruce Golison Tom Lihan tied, with 4th and 5th being Bryon Ehrhart and from England, Stuart Chiderly. An impressive collection of sailors were among the fleet far deeper into the ranks.

Jud Smith and team
The weary sailors gathered Saturday evening under the sea grape trees at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club with lots of stories to tell, including a tiller that exploded on the last downwind leg of Race 2. The skipper and crew managed to escape several collisions and steer the boat home with just their weight and sails. It was a gear buster of a day - vangs broken, outhauls giving up, and pumps not working quite as well as they should. Nevertheless, everyone who raced Saturday was back at again on Sunday.

The forecast for Sunday depended on who you asked - anywhere from 12 to 20 knots out of the east. Light or heavy, the bay was still going to be lumpy after several days of pretty strong breeze. Race 4 started out in about 12-15 knots and about 15 boats over early down the nearly mile long starting line. Peter Duncan with crew Bill Barton and Tom Blackwell, all amateurs took a hard fought race 4. With the pressure of a 4pm low tide and flights to make home, the competitors were eager to get back to the club and the RC complied with a long legged course 3 (three legs) in slightly softer and shifty wind conditions for Race 5. Peter Vesella and his San Francisco based crew made all the right moves and won the final race, bumping them up to second place overall from 6th with a total of 19 points after the drop. Jud Smith's good first day, with more bullets broke the tie in points allowing him to hold his first place with 19 points. -- Paige Brooks

1. Jud Smith / Dirk Kneulman / Darby Smith / Tim King - 19
2. Peter Vessella / Tracy Usher / John Callahan - 19
3. Bruce Gollison / Stevie Ericson / Billy Lynn / Peter Lynn - 21
4. Tom Lihan / Moose McClintock / Jim Porter - 23
5. Stuart Childerly / Robert Elliott / Sam Richmond - 24

Full results are posted here:

Photos above by John Payne - Click here for photo gallery.

From left: Jud Smith, Tim King, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club Commodore Hal Kendall, Darby Smith, Dirk Kneulman. Photo by Paige Brooks

back to top
Sid Doren Memorial - January 10-11, 2009

(January 11, 2009) The Etchells Sid Doren Memorial Regatta had a soft kick off on Friday with half the fleet participating in a practice race set up by coaches Morgan Reeser and Larry Suter in pristine Miami conditions: 8-12 knots from the east and clear blue skies. Earlier in the week, Annapolis sailor Allan Terhune and San Diego sailor Bill Hardesty called to say they were on their way, upping the ante among the top level competitors.

With a forecast for 7-10 knots on Saturday and a little lighter on Sunday, the PRO Dave Brennan told the 62 Etchells skippers that they planned to get as many races in as possible on Saturday, as they weren't sure they would be able to get off a race on Sunday. This turned out to be the case. Saturday's racing saw breeze a little left of east with 5-10 degree shifts.

Allan Terhune and team
Tony Rey, sailing with Billy Bennett and Ched Proctor, won the first race by going up the left side and finding the pressure. They had a back and forth with second place Bruce Golison, sailing with his regular team this season of Steve Erikson, Billy Lynn and his son Peter Lynn, finally passing them on the last beat and winning the race.

In Race 2, Dirk Kneulman, Henry Frazier, and Dwayne Smithers had all the speed, rounding every mark in first, with Kurt Winklemann following at every mark in second. Bill Hardesty, sailing with Vince Brun in the middle, Erik Shampain and Jennifer Wilson, was called over early, went back, rounded the top mark in 40th and clawed his way back to finish 13th.

In Race 3, Rey said he saw the wind shift to the right, started by the committee boat and went right. In light air, the two knot current ended up playing a role in the race going south to north and benefitted boats on the right as they came downwind. Race winner Senet Bischoff went down the right side, gybed into the middle, and won handily. The windward gates spread the fleet out right and left enough to make heading down the middle a reasonable proposition and it certainly worked for them.

Saturday's races ended up standing as final - the breeze never seemed to get about 1 knot, so the racers turned around and headed home. The race winners agree that the fleet is getting more challenging due of the depth of competition. With great weather and tight competition, the competitors ended the day pretty happy. -- Paige Brooks

Top 5 of 62 competitors
1. Allan Terhune, Katie Terhune, Todd Wake, Kristine Wake - 21 points
2. Bruce Golison, Steve Erikson, Billy Lynn, Peter Lynn - 23
3. Tony Rey, Billy Bennett, Ched Proctor - 28
4. Kurt Winkelmann, Brad Boston, Will Crump - 28
5. Bill Hardesty, Vince Brun, Eric Shampain, Jennifer Wilson - 29

Full results are posted here:

Photos above by John Payne - Click here for photo gallery.

From left: Katie Terhune, Kristine Wake, Todd Wake, and Allan Terhune. Photo by Paige Brooks

back to top
Florida State Championship - February 7-8, 2009

Windward mark gate diagram
Stirring up the windward-leeward game
(February 5, 2009) Last year the Etchells Jaguar Cup employed windward mark gates in their 90-boat fleet to mixed reviews. Once they added the offset marks, it became a whole new game. In the 08-09 Jaguar Series, the Race Committee has set windward gates in each race for the 60-boat fleet, in addition to utilizing the leeward gate.

The windward gates add a new tactical facet to the regular windward leeward race. It makes the race more challenging for the leaders to hold their lead, diminishes the starboard tack layline parade, and forces the sailors to commit early to a side. Olympic medalist Mike Wolfs points out, “The big question is when to decide whether to go right.” Since you come off the right windward mark on port, you have to check the upwind traffic to make sure the option to gybe right away is there, or that you can easily continue on port.

Going downwind, the racecourse becomes two parallel courses which often does not allow the rich to get richer the way a single windward mark used to. And while the middle used to be off limits due to the wind vacuum created by the boats behind, the greater opening between the left and right offset marks makes it a viable option.

As most Etchells are set up for port roundings, turning right at the top mark is a new challenge for the crew. Some crews are moving the spinnaker pole to the boom, which makes for easier launching on either tack, other crews simply toss the kite around the jib and do a windward hoist.

Greek ISAF member and Etchells sailor, George Andreadis, pointed out today that setting windward gates is great for shallow water, but not so easy on the RC when changing course in 100 feet of water. In Biscayne Bay with 10 or so feet of water, it’s a workout for the mark boat operators, but not insurmountable, as they have shown.

For skipper and crew, the addition of the windward gate has added new and interesting tactical options to the standard windward leeward large fleet regatta. It probably would not provide the same benefits for a smaller fleet, but for a large one, it separates the fleet, limits the windward mark parade, and provides new opportunities downwind. -- Paige Brooks

Bill Hardesty rallies on second day for the win
(February 8, 2009) - The Etchells Jag Series, packed with amateurs and professionals in this 60 boat fleet, proved again during the Florida State Championship what a challenge it is to win an Etchells regatta on Biscayne Bay.

The initial forecast for the third of four race weekends was for anywhere from 15-25kts out of the ENE. On Saturday it never hit 20 kts, and instead blew 13-16 essentially the sweet spot for Etchells racing. Race 1 breeze held a consistent 90 degrees with slight ups and downs, but finding the pressure proved to be the most important for Jud Smith, sailing with Dirk Kneulman, Darby Smith and Tim King. The overcast day in races 2 and 3 created some challenge, especially a huge 30 degree lefty and then swinging back right. Bill Hardesty found the pressure and caught the shifts to win race 2 and Jud Smith managed the huge changes of race 3 to win again, and win the day.

Aside from the wind challenges, the day had its share of unfortunate collisions including one with a wayward cruiser. The cruising sailboat found herself in the middle of the beat, went upwind to try to get away, then rounded the windward gate mark. After some 'discussion' with an Etchells skipper, he pushed the helm, causing his mighty transom to crush into the transom of that skipper. Frustrated but ok, they were still able to finish.

Photographer John Payne describes the incident that he caught with the sequence below:
"As we stood by the weather gate during race 2, we noticed a cruising boat, towing a dinghy, that appeared to be heading right into the middle of the race course. I am sure that at some point the skipper looked up from his cold adult beverage, and uttered something to the effect of, "where'd all these other sailboats come from?" What happened next was hysterical. By the time he realized what was happening, he was inside the line of downwind boats. At some point he loses his dinghy which begins to drift away. He tries to bear off, but can't jibe inside the port tack boats approaching the weather mark. So, he heads up, and, ROUNDS THE MARK! After rounding, Etchells bow 26 tries to duck him to head for the offset mark. As a parting shot the stern of the cruiser slams into the Ethcells amidships, causing damage. We were all watching this unfold, dumbfounded."

Sunday morning started with Hardesty in third with 23 points and Jud Smith with 9 points. The day ended with Chamber of Commerce weather: 12-15, flat water and partly cloudy skies; and Bill Hardesty managed to eke out a 1,2 to win the regatta over Smith.

Bill Hardesty said that looking for pressure was the name of the game this weekend. On Saturday, the pressure was in the rare moments of clear sky, and on Sunday with clouds to the left and right, sailing to the clear sky again seemed to work. Bill was sailing with one new crew this year, Vince Brun, who is handling the middle for him as they prepare for the season in Etchells and Melges24s. In the Etchells, the team works well sailing 4-up with Eric Shampain and Jennifer Wilson. The key to their success is to divide responsibilities and holding that team member responsible for that job. So the procedures of communication come in a specific way after a rounding: find the mark, find the breeze, then clean the boat up. They put a lot of effort into getting where they are with practice, including at least one day before the race, never getting complacent, always open to changing rig tune, and never afraid to try new things as the fleet constantly improves.

Local Miami sailor Frank Atkinson brought in 2007 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jeff Linton of Davis Island, FL and Jamie Stewart from Seattle to take 5th. Atkinson said the team gelled quickly and Jeff’s a fantastic driver. Their greatest challenges were the 58 boat starting line. He said they were able to make the right choices 70% of the time and then capitalize on good luck.

In third place, London-based Ante Razmilovic sailing with Stuart Flinn and Chris Larson. Going into Sunday they were in second, but dropped a place when they finished the day with a 10, 11. Larson said picking the shifts was the challenge and Jud Smith did an amazing job at that. They dropped back mid race and managed to claw their way back up to Jud, but nevertheless ended tied for third at 23 points with Tony Rey, sailing GRE 1368. This particular race has a special trophy that goes to the top Florida fleet skipper. This weekend, Bryon Ehrhart beat out the other locals with 27 points. -- Paige Brooks

Top 5 of 60 (5 races, 1 throwout)
1. Bill Hardesty, Vince Brun, Eric Shampain, Jennifer Wilson - 12 points
2. Jud Smith, Dirk Kneulman, Darby Smith, Tim King - 13
3. Ante Razmilovic, Stuart Flinn, Chris Larson - 23
4. Tony Rey, Billy Bennett, Ched Proctor - 23
5. Jeff Linton, Frank Atkinson, Jamie Stewart - 24

Results are posted here:

Click here for photo gallery by John Payne.

Click here for photo gallery by Becky DaMore/

From left: Bill Hardesty, Eric Shampain, Jennifer Wilson, and Vince Brun. Photo by Paige Brooks.

back to top
Jaguar Mid-Winters - February 27-March 1, 2009

Vegas Baby!
(February 25, 2009) - Once again, many of the sailing luminaries will be heading down to Miami for the Etchells Jaguar Series and some will stay on for Miami Race Week and the Bacardi Cup, which follow in quick succession. The Etchells Midwinters Regatta is both an independent regatta and the final weekend of the series held here on Biscayne Bay. The racers in the series are watching the weather, figuring what sails to check in, and monitoring their weight (max weight is ~ 628 lbs) as they prepare for the three-day racing weekend. Late February, or early March, when the regatta is held, is usually breezy, but the forecast this weekend is for lighter air, which could make it feel a little like Los Vegas.

Not new to the top standings for the series, Jud Smith, who has been racing with Dirk Kneulman, will be heading to Melbourne to tune up for the Etchells Worlds. Hank Lammens will shake off the cobwebs and take over the helm for the weekend with Dirk and Hank’s brother Mark Lammens. Bruce Golison, lying in second for the series will sail with Steve Ericson and Steve Flam, who, like Hank, hasn’t been to Miami this winter. In third for the series, Bill Hardesty, who came on strong after missing the first regatta, will be sailing with his same crew of Vince Brun, Eric Shampain and Jennifer Wilson.

As the teams assemble in Miami, the organizers are already getting their share of weigh-in questions. Some want to know what type of scale they’ll be using, others, how it will be calibrated, and still others, exactly how early and often they can weigh in before the first gun. No one-design sailor will be surprised to see a few folks running the streets of Coconut Grove in foulies Thursday morning, hoping to sweat off the last few pounds.

With light wind forecast for the weekend, the racing will surely be tricky for all of the competitors. Will they just roll the dice to figure out which way to go? Jud Smith thinks it could be anyone’s game. He first said when Hank Lammens “has his mojo on [in the light breeze] he is good.” After thinking about it, he hedged his bets and said Hardesty, of course with his same team, or Golison who is “really good in the light stuff,” could come out ahead. With one drop allowed, it’s worth a look deeper into the standings as you lay your bets for the winner.

The coaches, relegated to the sidelines during the racing, will be interested to hear that the class will be giving Kattack tracking devices to all of the competitors. Shortly after racing each day those mid-fleet finishers who wonder what happened and where the leaders went, will be able to review the races over adult beverages at the club with their competitors. It should make for interesting bar talk.

For those of you interested in watching how these competitors navigate the light breeze in good old-fashioned fleet racing (sans lawyers), you can virtually watch using the Kattack web player at -- Paige Brooks

Hardesty wins battle - Dirk Kneulman/Jud Smith win war
(March 1, 2009) - Biscayne Bay really showed its stuff to the sailors coming down to Miami from their winter wonderlands this weekend. Warm days and variant conditions took sailors through their paces in the final weekend of the Etchells Jaguar Series.

Friday’s weather saw 12-15 knots throughout the day, and it was partly cloudy and gorgeous to boot. The RC set up their windward and leeward gates and got off three great races with 55 boats on the line. There were a few scary moments for Cape Cod sailor and boatwright Karl Anderson, who fell in the water in the midst of a crowded leeward gate rounding. Fortunately, the boats nearby were able to avoid him and is crewmate wrangled him back in to continue sailing.

The challenging conditions proved skilled crew work was tantamount as no one team got more than one bullet this weekend.

Saturday’s conditions were out of the southeast and started about 10 knots and dropped throughout the day. After two races, PRO Dave Brennan couldn’t see any more potential breeze and called the day. Even after the slow going the fleet had in the light breeze, professional sailor Tony Rey said this is his favorite sailing all year, due to the fantastic competition and tricky conditions.

Sunday morning saw Bill Hardesty and his team, who had only one bullet in their quiver, were race leaders by five points over Tom Lihan with his crew of Moose McClintock and Flip Wehrheim. In the windy first race, Hardesty finished 3 points ahead of Lihan and in the final race got a 13th in a tight row of downwind boats, making it hard to call onboard, but ultimately they took the regatta by one point. Hardesty said they “had a tough start and had to fight back from the twenties” to get that.

Local sailor Chris Lanza, sailing with Anson Mulder and Mike Danish, won that last race and said, “We really go faster in the big breeze and worked the boat hard up and down wind to finally cross Bryon Ehrhart near the finish.” Then with a sideways smile, said he “was glad to make it up to the second page of the standings.” As Scott Piper said on Friday after getting his bullet, the winners of these races have to “gloat when the gloating’s good.”

The Jaguar Series is comprised of four regatta weekends and teams also compete for the Jaguar Cup, which allows for one dropped weekend. Jud Smith, Dirk Kneulman, and Hank Lammens co-skippered the boat with a total of eight different crew rotating through the boat over the winter. Though Smith (in Australia this weekend to prepare for the Worlds) thought Lammens would have his “mojo” on in the light stuff, it was the heavy air that proved successful for the crew of Hank and Mark Lammens, sailing with Kneulman. Third overall for the weekend meant they held their first place position for the series and will take home the Jaguar Cup. Dirk Kneulman, a Canadian Etchells builder, said “the recipe this weekend was chicken wings and beer every night.” Going into the final day he called his wife and said, “the dream is over, “ but according to him, “like a fruit salad, you never know what’s going to come to the top.” Hardesty's team finished second overall in the Jaguar Series.

Many of the competitors commented on the tough competition the Jaguar Series brings, thus the winners of the series, Dirk Knuelman, Jud Smith, Hank Lammens and the rest of their crew, as well as Bill Hardesty, Vince Brun, Eric Shampain, and Jennifer Wilson earned a heartfelt applause at the trophy giving. For those interested in watching what made the winners come out ahead, you can review the races at -- Paige Brooks

Top 5 of 55 (7races, 1 throwout)
1. Bill Hardesty, 31 points
2. Tom Lihan, 32
3, Smith / Kneulman / Lammens, 48
4. Jeffrey Siegal, 49
5. George Andreadis / Tony Rey, 51

Results are posted here:

Click here for photo gallery by John Payne.

From left: Jennifer Wilson, Vince Brun, Bill Hardesty, and Eric Shampain. Photo by Paige Brooks.

back to top

Scuttlebutt Sailing Club

GMT Composites

Team McLube

Lemon & Line

Newport Shipyard

Kaenon Polarized

 Latest Issue  |  Archives  |  Calendar  |  Photos  |  Classifieds  |  Extras  |  Forum  |   Scuttlebutt Sailing Club  |  Privacy  |  About  |