“It’s hard to beat the feel of an Etchells going upwind in 10 knots. I also enjoy the complicated tuning and constantly learning from it, along with the tactical downwinds with symmetrical kite.”
“I’ve been really lucky to have both Dave [Curtis] and Jud [Smith] as role models… other figures I look up to are Paul Cayard, Robert Scheidt and Augie Diaz who have been true professionals in the sport of sailing with incredible talent and discipline.”
Interview with the Captain — Tomas Hornos
Can you share a bit about your background and how you became a sailor?
My sailing story begins in the late 1970s when my father came several times to race regattas in various places in the US. One of his stops was Marblehead where he ultimately did a short stint at HOOD Sails at Little Harbor. Enamored with the town, we ended up moving to Marblehead in 1991 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was destiny that ended up bringing us here and creating a strong passion with these waters. As a junior, I sailed at Pleon in the Opti and then Laser. During the Opti years, I started traveling internationally and really fell in love with competing. I admired sailing legends both global and local, and realized then that it was a lifetime sport. Luckily I was introduced into a number of one designs that each taught me something different including the Snipe, Star, Etchells, Sonar, Rhodes 19, and J70.
Why did you choose to buy a Etchells?
I started working in the One Design department at Doyle Sails in 2010 and inevitably learned about the accomplished Etchells sailors like Dave Curtis, Jud Smith, and Robbie Doyle. I was intrigued by their success but also liked how there was a local fleet to learn from and how the traditional aspects of the boat suited my style of racing.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
The story of Destiny’s origin is a sad one and starts with the previous owner, Sted Beckwith. Sted was a longtime Fleet 4 member but had recently lost a battle with cancer. Destiny was to stay in the Marblehead fleet and keep the name/logo as part of the agreement with any new owner. That’s where Chris Boulter and I step up in 2011 and decide to honor Sted’s wishes and continue sailing her for future seasons.
Destiny was built in 1994 by Ontario Yachts in Toronto Canada. She was part of a production batch that was ordered to replace a fleet of 10 Etchells that burned in a warehouse fire in Detroit. She has favorable keel dimensions that are now “grandfathered” because of a rule change in 1998, making her a quick and rare boat.
What races have you competed in?
Destiny has been to many local and regional regattas, however mostly staying local as my year long regatta schedule has limited my time to take her to regattas outside Marblehead. North American Championships in Detroit and Rye NY come to mind. Wins at Lobster Bowl in Portland ME, Atlantic Coasts in Shelter Island NY, New Englands in Marblehead, and 4 consecutive Marblehead Race Weeks stand out as well. But maybe the sweetest moment was beating Steve Benjamin and his high profile team/program at an event on Long Island.
Who are the sailors you’ve learned from or follow?
I’ve been really lucky to have both Dave and Jud as role models. I saw Dave as more of a distant icon but respected how successful on and off the water he was. Jud, I’ve seen from very close, working every day together and admire his incredible attention to detail and relentless passion for racing. Other figures I look up to are Paul Cayard, Robert Scheidt and Augie Diaz who have been true professionals in the sport of sailing with incredible talent and discipline. It’s been great getting to know them as customers too.
What are the features you like most about Etchells vs. other boats you’ve raced?
The features I like the most about the Etchells are its classic lines and balanced helm. It’s hard to beat the feel of an Etchells going upwind in 10 knots. I also enjoy the complicated tuning and constantly learning from it, along with the tactical downwinds with symmetrical kite.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Not many challenges in servicing an Etchells, no engine, no problem. As a one design sailboat, parts are easy to come by and hauling/launching is a breeze. Mostly everything can be done by the owner themselves.
Do you have any notable sailing/racing resources you use (apps, websites)?
I look at PredictWind a lot and their different models and pay the $30 annual fee, definitely worth it.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy an Etchells like yours?
I highly recommend the Etchells to those looking to get a well renowned one design sailboat. There’s a great history with the class in Marblehead and lots of local support from all the clubs. The fleet is active and enjoys racing every Saturday, not many places can say that. The boat has its quirks but so does any, and part of the fun is the learning curve associated with it.
Check it Out
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Destiny!