Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CONVEXITY Dominates Blustery J/105 North Americans

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off the city front
(Chicago, IL)- Don Wilson on CONVEXITY never gave up his hold on first place through four days and eight races at the J/105 North American Championship. Sailing with Nathan Hollerbach, Milosz Mogilnicki, Hans Pusch, Mauro Matias and Tod Reynolds at the Chicago Yacht Club, Wilson concluded the event with five bullets, two second-place finishes, and a ninth for a total score of 18 points.

Following CONVEXITY in the overall standings are David Wagner on GIGI (26 points) and Jim Rathbun on HEY JUDE (2nd in last year's J/105 NA's in Larchmont, NY with 35 points). Twenty boats competed. The regatta saw a wide variety of conditions, starting with strong winds up to 30 knots and large waves on day one, and concluding with a light day Sunday with breeze mostly 5-8 knots and flatter seas. As the event came to a close, local Clark Pellett won the day's first race, trailed by Rathbun's Hey Jude and Bernie Girod's ROCK & ROLL on the come-back trail for redemption. In the closing match, Wagner's GIGI took the top spot, with Wilson's CONVEXITY and Girod's ROCK & ROLL in second and third respectively. Current J/105 Class President Bernie Girod had a tough go of it this year, suffering a breakdown and some difficulties on the windy day (an account from one of Bernie's crew on ROCK & ROLL is below).  The top five overall all are: Don Wilson sailing CONVEXITY (18 points), David Wagner skippering GIGI (26), Jim Rathbun racing HEY JUDE (35), Carter Williams on CREATIVE DESTRUCTION (60), and Blane Shea skippering STRIKING (67).

J/105 Rock & Roll- Santa Barbara, CA- sailing North Americans in Chicago, ILFor those of you who sailed, you'll appreciate a report from the Santa Barbara, CA ROCK & ROLL crew (pictured here) on sailing the J/105 NA's in Chicago- "Crazy day on the water. Forecasts came true - we had over 30 before the first start and 20 - 25 for the first race. Second race (which was abandoned by RC just as we were getting to the weather mark) had us in 17 - 20 most of the way and the third race (which became the second race officially) had us in 20 - 25 knots of breeze.

Our first race (10th place finish) was a good one except for the first takedown (two lap race) which we left too late and lost several boats as we floundered about. Picked up a couple of those that passed us and would have probably been top five with a good takedown.  The cancelled race was looking good for us and we figure we were in 4th when it was called.

The last race was really good for us. Two lapper with us in second ahead of CONVEXITY at the first gate rounding. Unfortunately, our spin halyard box pulled out of the mast somewhere on the run and we couldn't get the chute down. Ran off deep and with three of us pulling on the kite we finally managed to get the sail in the hole. Debated continuing to race but figured we'd need the time at the dock to get the mast fixed and we were five miles out from the harbor. Came in and began working on things. Hit the dock about 3:30 and finally got things fixed up by about 7:30.  Fortunately, our breakdown was the final blow for the RC and they didn't hold the scheduled 3rd race of the day. Instead of only 8 races left for the regatta we have 9.

We may have had a chance for a top 5 result before the breakage but now it's probably not in the cards. We've been fast both up and down wind as especially down. Been fun and is supposed to go light tomorrow and then be an even heavier day on Saturday than today was.
Nice to come in on a windy, rough day and not be caked with salt.  105 N.A.s are now over for 2010. Interesting event with a myriad of conditions and challenging racing.  Huge thanks to the Chicago Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club, J/105 Fleet 5 and the RC team. Excellent event, good racing, super parties and very warm and friendly people.  We had a terrific time.
I love Chicago.  We saw a wide range of water and wind conditions, hot sunny days to (Santa Barbara like) cold and overcast.  Competition from Chicago, Canada, Texas, Missouri and (of course) us from California.  We ended strong with two third places and pulled ourselves up from 15th after a very difficult Saturday to an overall 9th when Sunday closed the event."  For more J/105 North Americans sailing information