Thompson tops in Etchells series
Etchells skipper William Thompson captured a maiden KF Trimingham Trophy during yesterday’s penultimate day of Bermuda International Invitational Race Week.
Heading into the final two races of the 11-race Etchells series, all Thompson and crew Adam Barboza and Somers Kempe had to do was keep nearest rival Tim Patton behind their transom.
And the trio did just that despite getting off to less than ideal starts in both races contested in light and fluky breezes.
A wind shift at the start of the first race left Thompson and crew with a lot of ground to make up on the rest of the seven-boat Etchells fleet.
“The wind was very far to the left and we were down on the pin end of the line and couldn’t sail close enough to the wind to get around the mark,” Thompson said. “We were essentially shut out so all the other boats were going over the top of us. So we gybed around and sailed our own race from there.”
Thompson eventually passed Patton midway through the first beat to windward and went on to take third spot and extend his lead from one to three points heading into the final race.
The three-year Race Week veteran also had a poor start in the second race but bounced back to clinch the series in style with a fifth bullet of the regatta.
“Somers and Adam are phenomenal sailors and I think we work well as a team because we have sailed together a bunch of times in the past,” Thompson said. “We probably all have different areas of expertise which helps.”
Thompson and crew underlined their supremacy by finishing no lower than third in a race during the series.
Patton, who put up a brave fight to the end, said the better team won this year’s series.
“It went right down to the wire, they covered us hard and the reason they beat us this year was because they sailed better,” he said. “You cannot take anything away from them and I give them full credit.”
Co-skippers James Hudleston and Vladimir Kolinchenko rounded off the top three in the Etchells fleet.
Also celebrating yesterday was Malcolm Smith who clinched the 13-race Laser series and with it the International Race Week Championship Trophy.
The past World Sunfish champion, who led the regatta from start to finish, finished 10 points clear of nearest rival Brett Wright with two-time defending champion Rockal Evans rounding off the top three.
“I am happy that I was able to compete this week,” Smith said. “I felt good going into the week and I just tried to sail consistent and not take too many chances.”
Giles Peckham extended his lead in the International One Design (IOD) ‘B’ Series to six points after picking up a first and a fifth yesterday.
However, the Englishman still trails overall series leaders John Burnham and Peter Rugg by three points going into today’s final two races to determine this year’s Vrengen Cup winner.
Bermuda’s Penny Simmons is currently second in the IOD ‘B’ Series and third overall.
“We’ve had a rough series all week,” was the way the six-time IOD World Champion summed up the regatta so far. “But we are sailing a bit better in the ‘B’ Series.”