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Florida State Championship
Recap by Steve Girling
The Etchells Florida State Championship, the third event in the Alpine Jaguar Winter Series was hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club over the weekend of February 4th/5th in a typical range of Biscayne Bay conditions.
Saturday promised to be the windier of the two days (10-16 kts from the ENE) and it was clear that the 50+ boats were going to have a thrilling day of racing.
Putting their stamp on the regatta from the get-go was the team of George Andreadis and Tony Rey. They reeled off a 1,1, 2 on Saturday sailing smart and fast all day. Their only threat after an awesome day on the water was Peter Vessella, sitting 8 points back, but with a lighter forecast for the two scheduled races on Sunday, it was certainly all to play for with several others counting a pair of top ten scores from the three races sailed.
Sunday did indeed dawn lighter and more challenging. The excellent race committee work continued with a 1.8 mile beat into the 8 knot Easterly that was oscillating 5-10 degrees.
George Francisco, a veteran of two decades of Etchells campaigns in the US and Europe mastered the middle left perfectly to hold a nice lead at the weather mark, but many of the top boats overall were in the hunt. George and team extended, especially at the top of the second beat, to win by a comfortable margin. Critically, the Andreadis/Rey team clinched the regatta with a race to spare by scoring a solid 4th.
The final race had a similar set up with a little
boat bias allowing the mid-line pack an opportunity to hold off the pin end
starters and make the most of the middle-left advantage. This race saw some new
(but not so unfamiliar faces) at the front as Jud Smith ground out a victory
sailing Scott Piper's boat and Henry Frazer led Team 102 driven by Thomas Hornos
across the line in 2nd. 3rd was none other than the Andreadis/Rey team
completing a dominating five race in the top five showing and winning the crown
of 2012 Florida State Champs!
Peter Vessella and team sailed a nice regatta with 5 scores inside the top 10 for a comfortable 2nd overall and Jeff Siegel and crew had 4 scores inside the top 10 for 3rd overall.
The Fleet reconvenes on Feb 24th for the three day Mid-Winters regatta and then again in March for the US National Championships. Both events promise to be hotly contested 50-60 boat fleets