A Long First Day for Etchells Worlds Competitors

Belvedere, CA, September 26, 2017 – The first day of racing for the 51 International Etchells teams got off to a slow start with a 2.5 hour postponement on glassy water. When race one finally began at about 2:30pm, the wind had built to a consistent 8 – 10 kts.  By the second race, the breeze freshened slightly to 14 - 15 kts. “The race committee, led by PRO Jeff Zarwell, did a great job completing two races in a short time window, getting everyone back to the dock before sunset,” said race co-chair Steve Fentress, and seconded by many racers.

“It was mayhem on the starting line because everyone is so good,” said Dirk Kneulman (BER), one of the three Etchells boat builders, and a previous world champion. “We had a bad first start but clawed our way back to finish in 8th. We had a great start in the second race, found a clean lane and were lucky to be the first boat to the windward mark.”  Kneulman’s and his team of Grant Simmer and Mark Strube hung on to win the race and are standing in first place after day one.  They lead Robert Elliott (GBR) and his team of Stuart Childerley and Tom Forrester-Coles by two points.

“This is the most competitive Etchells Worlds we’ve been to,” said Steve Benjamin (USA). “It’s just getting harder and harder.” Benjamin placed a disappointing 33rd in the first race and 3rd in the second race to finish the day in 16th place.

The top Corinthian team, sitting in sixth place overall after day one is Senet Bischoff with his team of Clay Bischoff and Ben Kinney.

Racing continues tomorrow through Saturday with a total of nine races scheduled. If seven or more races are sailed there will be one throw out.

Day One Provisional Results (top 10)

  1. Dirk Kneulman, BER 1454, RCYC, 8, 1; 9
  2. Robert Elliott, GBR 1439, RYS, 9, 2; 11
  3. Marty Kaye, HKG 1428, na, 4, 11; 15
  4. James Badenach, HKG 1285, RHKYC, 1, 15; 16
  5. Mark Thornburrow, HKG 1406, 10, 6; 16
  6. Senet Bischoff, USA 1349, NYYC, 6, 13; 19
  7. Graeme Taylor, AUS 947, Morningtown YC, 15, 5; 20
  8. Marvin Beckman, USA 1232, Houston YC, 3, 18; 21
  9. Ante Razmilovic, GBR, 7, 19; 26
  10. Iain Murray, AUS, RSYS, 17, 9; 26

For complete regatta information and results, please see the event website at


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Leslie Richter
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About The San Francisco Yacht Club
The San Francisco Yacht Club and its members are dedicated to promoting and celebrating yachting and life on the water. Founded in 1869, The SFYC is the oldest yacht club in North America, west of the Mississippi River. With its tranquil setting, its superb harbor and stunning views of the San Francisco skyline, it's widely recognized as a premier yachting facility on the West Coast and one of the finest anchorages in the Bay Area. It operates a year- facility including the harbor, a dry-sail area, a full-service restaurant and bar.

The SFYC has earned recognition as one of the leading yacht clubs in the country, hosting local, national and international regattas. It’s home to The Great San Francisco Schooner Regatta, and very active youth sailing and race team programs. Committed to promoting the sport and Corinthian spirit of sailing, The Club also offers sailing instruction for sailors of all ages and private lessons. Club fleets include J24s, Optimists, 420s, Lasers and Flying Juniors. SFYC's youth sailors have risen to compete at national, international and Olympic levels.

About the Etchells Class
For over fifty years the Etchells class has enjoyed solid and steady growth with over fifty active fleets worldwide. Etchells sailors are enthusiastic and loyal supporters of their boat and class association. The Etchells is a big, fast, simple, stable, and sleek racing sloop that can be sailed competitively and in comfort by three or four average sailors. It can tack in 70 degrees and has a low wetted surface hull form that keeps moving in the slightest breeze. In 20+ knots it absolutely flies. The strict one-design principle of the class was established from the outset and is controlled by a strong, established and well-administered class association. Control of construction by the class association and World Sailing ensures quality and uniformity. It's easy to trailer and light enough to dry sail; and Etchells hold exceptional resale value.