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Etchells Midwinters West

Report by Eric Doyle

Congratulations Tom Carruthers!


This past weekend 28 teams descended upon San Diego Yacht Club to participate in the West Coast version of the Etchells Mid-Winters. After the great team at SDYC got everyone checked in and weighed on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, the stage was set for a great weekend of sailing. Super race committee chairman Bill Stump was able to hold all 11 races over the three days in some very trying conditions. The breeze was generally 6 to 10 knots with some really large swell which made for some interesting driving and spinnaker trimming conditions.

Tom Carruthers with crew Chris Busch and Andrew ‘Dog’ Palfrey prevailed for the weekend with great starts, solid upwind speed, sharp crew work and excellent downwind tactics—a very strong combination to say the least! They used the standard PC-F mainsail, the VMG spinnaker, and the LM-2L radial head jib. This is a new jib Norths sails has been developing and they have been testing it for the past year. The goal of this sail is to fly exactly the same as the very well proven LM-2L jib, but this model has a radial head to go up range a few more knots and to help with longevity. It has a little smoother transition in the lower section but is still very powerful to help drive the Etchells in light air. However, Team Carruthers have also used it in up to 15-16 knots of wind and are very happy with their speed. In fact this past weekend they were able to win 5 races and they complimented the sail’s smoothness and versatility throughout the wind and wave conditions.

Bruce Nelson and Eric Doyle fought it out for 2nd overall with Bruce prevailing in the end. The top 7 teams all used entire North Sails inventories. Some teams with softer masts opt for the PC+ mainsail which has more luff curve to accommodate the softer masts, the LM-2 light was the jib of choice, and the VMG spinnaker was in range pretty much every run. We actually never pulled the heavy jib or the full runner spinnaker out of the bag.

Big thanks to regatta chair and fleet captain Xavier Sheid and the whole team at San Diego Yacht Club for a great weekend. This was the first regatta in the West Coast Spring Series with the next event being the Pacific Coast Championships on April 28-29 and the series culminates with the famous Orca Bowl on May 28 and 29. All this racing and the summer One Design Weekends will be great practice for the North American Championships which will hosted by San Diego Yacht Club in August.


1. Tom Carruthers
2. Bruce Nelson
3. Eric Doyle
4. Argyle Campbell
5. Don Jesburg
6. Jim Cunningham
7. Chris Snow

Photo: 3rd place - North Sails San Diego Team - Eric Doyle, Patrick Powell & Pike Harris

Learn more about North's fast Etchells designs.