Bromby snatches Etchells title in thrilling final race
Peter Bromby kept his cool when it mattered most to clinch the Etchells title on the final day of the Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) National Keelboat Championships in the Great Sound today.
The veteran skipper, who was joined on Pippa by Peter Shrubb (trimmer) and Leatrice Roman (bow), scored a bullet in the final race of the 12-race series to finish two points clear of nearest rival Mark Watson atop the leaderboard.
Tim Patton rounded off the podium finishers.
This year witnessed one of the most exciting national championships in the Etchells in recent memory. The regatta went right down to the wire with as many as four boats in contention for top honours heading into the final race.
Bromby’s strong finish in light air conditions capped a superb fightback after he made a sluggish start to the three-day regatta before eventually finding his form.
“The first day I didn’t do a good job at all,” Bromby said. “After the first day I said to Peter (Shrubb) ‘we’re going to have to be the most improved team this weekend’ and that’s basically what happened. We just got better as the weekend went along.”
Bromby entered the final race with a slender one-point lead atop the leaderboard and did just enough to keep the chasing pack at bay, finishing four boat lengths ahead of Watson to clinch the regatta in emphatic fashion.
“We were made to work really hard and we were on edge the whole time and I think that was the same through all of the top four boats,” Bromby said. “In the last race anyone of us could’ve won and fortunately we got a good start and got in control a bit and were able to go where we wanted to go.”
ISAF sailing judge/umpire Shrubb said: “We all contributed in our own way. Having Peter Bromby onboard and Lenny (Roman) doing her thing makes life easier.”
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club flag officer Roman, added: “It’s a pleasure sailing with these guys and my favourite boat is the Etchells . . . I love sailing in these boats.”
Bromby, Watson and Patton all claimed the three qualifying spots for next year’s Etchells World Championships in Newport, Rhode Island that were up for grabs during the regatta.
The remaining national keelboat titles went to James MacDonald and Blythe Walker.
MacDonald claimed a maiden J-105 national title after coming from behind to pip John Corless on a countback after the two skippers remained tied at the end of the eight-race series for the championship.
“I’ve been sailing a long time so it’s nice to win a national championship,” said MacDonald, who was joined on board the yacht Passion by crew Paul Watson, Alison Hill, Nick Smale, Mary Geraghty and Jay Tucker. “I had a good crew and we had good boat speed so that we could stay competitive no matter what happened.”
Chuck Millican rounded off the podium finishers in the J-105 fleet.
Walker captured the national title in the International One Design (IOD) sloop after finishing the four race regatta five-points clear of nearest rivals Penny Simmons and Patrick Cooper.
“We had good starts and no issues which helped out a lot,” said Walker, who competed with crew Joshua Greenslade, Michal Nosek and Michael Brace. “It was good teamwork and the races we won (three) we led all the way around.”
Defending national IOD champion Simmons pipped Cooper for second place on a tiebreaker after both skippers finished tied on points.
The races sailed in the IOD fleet also served as the final qualifier for next year’s IOD World Championships.
Simmons claimed the sole qualifying spot up for grabs and will now represent Bermuda next year in Norway.
Jack Corbett (USA) won the Bermuda Optimist Open which was held in conjunction with the National Keelboat Championships.
Bermuda’s Ceci Wollmann finished second followed by Nico Martin (USA) in third.
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