Wednesday, September 29, 2010

J Sailors Lovin AYC Fall Series

J/122 one-design offshore racing cruising sailboat
(Rye, NY)- With fall weather quickly gathering steam in the northeast, J sailors on western Long Island Sound are enjoying the changes in the weather patterns that often generate powerful fronts with strong, shifty West/ Northwesters or wet and wild North Easterlies on the back side of large offshore Lows.  No glassy summer calms for the troops this past weekend!  Saturday dawned beautifully, with partly cloudy skies and a strong westerly that kept shifting between 250 to 280 degrees all day with large, well-defined streaks of breeze in the 10-20 knot range.  By Sunday, the fronts moved on, greeting the fleet with a cooler, wet, grey day typical of a lingering northeaster with winds vacillating in the 45 to 80 degree range at 10-15 knots.  No one was complaining about the conditions, that's for sure.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing around race markFor the one-design classes, the weekend was especially challenging as tight fleet racing often brought about large changes in positions at each mark rounding.  Nevertheless, in the twenty boat J/105 class, the class leaders emerged with a only two points separating Joerg Esdorn's KINCSEM in first from Damian Emery's ECLIPSE.  Lying third is Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO.  The J/44s have a great turnout of eight boats all sailing with class sails.  While the ubiquitous turquoise-green boat, Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER, was having difficulties divining what the wind Gods had in store for them, it was Jeff Willis' CHALLENGE IV that threw down the gauntlet and established a very slim lead in this fun, but very competitive, class.  Sailing a great series so far is Bill Ketcham's MAXINE in second, one of their best regattas in awhile.  And, Don and Dick Rave are in third with RESOLUTE.  Only four points separate the top three boats after seven races!  Gotta hand it to Jim, his vision for one-design class sailing in big boats continues to be a formula for long-term success-- still the largest one-design class to sail to Bermuda for over 15 years!

J/109 sailing upwind at American YC Fall seriesOver in the IRC/ PHRF handicap world, Rick Lyall's very successful J/109 STORM is in fourth in IRC 35 Class after six races, just eight points behind the leaders.  In the IRC 40 Class, David and Mary Ellen Tortorello's J/122 PARTNERSHIP is in second and Tom Boyle and Jim Callahan's WINGS is in fourth in a very tightly contested series.  This weekend was essentially a warm-up for next weekends' J/122 East Coast Championship that will have at least six boats vying for one-design/ handicap honors.  In the IRC 45 Class, Ron Richman's J/133 ANTIDOTE is winning on a tie-breaker over Tom Carroll's J/133 SIREN SONG.  Finally, the irrepressible HUSTLER, John and Tony Esposito's masthead J/29, continues to dominate their PHRF division, rattling off five 1sts in six races to simply vaporize (or atomize?) their competition.  For more American YC Fall Series Regatta sailing information