Friday, May 6, 2011
Fun-racing J/80, J/105 & J/120 Fleets
(San Diego, CA)- 2011 marks the 39th year of San Diego Yacht Club's signature regatta, the Yachting Cup. This premiere regatta brings together competitive fleet and one-design racing at multiple venues on courses both inshore and offshore San Diego. This year saw 89 boats participate in 12 fleets, J's accounted for 33 boats (37% of the total) in 5 fleets- 4 in PHRF, 6 in J/120s, 16 in J/105s and 7 in J/80s.
The J/120 crowd are a bunch of tough hombres, as usual. Past multiple J/120 winners like CAPER and CC RIDER were always going to be tough to beat. And, they proved that again this year. After leading off with three straight bullets, John Laun's CAPER was going to be very tough to knock off the top of the podium. While Chuck Nichol's team on CC RIDER won the last two races, it was not enough to overcome the nearly unassailable lead set by CAPER. John's crew sailed to a very strong 1-1-1-2-2 for 7 pts and Chuck's crew sailed to a 3-2-2-1-1 for 9 pts. While the drama was unfolding upfront, perhaps more drama was unfolding in the fight for the bronze position. Steve Harris' TAMAJAMA, Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY and Peter Zarcades' MELTEMI were flip-flopping for 3rd position contention virtually every race. After five races, just two points separated all three boats! No question the last race was a nail-biting, anxiety-driven, manic depression-inducing situation for the tacticians. Earning his keep at the end was Steve's TAMAJAMA tactician, ending up with a 2-7-3-5-3 for 20 pts to snag third position.
Like their counterparts in the STS Annapolis NOOD Regatta taking place on the "right coast", the "left coast" J/105s had several tight fought races for the top 2, 3rd and 4th and for 5th overall. In the Case case, Dennis and Sharon Case on WINGS were not able to overcome the performance of the well-sailed team aboard Rick Goebel's SANITY- a first for Rick? SANITY sailed to a 5-2-1-2-2 to win with 12 pts. Second were the Case's on WINGS with a 1-1-6-1-4 with 13 pts. Similarly, the BLOW BOAT and PHOLLY tussle went all the way down to the wire with perhaps the Case's and Goebel acting as surrogate spoilers in this drama. In the end, on a tiebreaker, Tom Hurlburt sailing BLOW BOAT finished 3rd with a 2-5-3-7-1 tally for 18 pts. And, Chris Logan's PHOLLY got the short end of the straw to finish 4th with a 3-3-5-4-3 for 18 pts. Fifth place also had its dramas between three boats! Steve and Lucy Howell's BLINK!, Dave Vieregg's TRIPLE PLAY and Fisher Dagostino's VIGGEN all finished just points behind Jon Dekker's AIR BOSS who finished 5th with 4-4-8-11-5 for 32 pts.
The seven boat J/80 fleet saw some spirited racing. A repeat winner was Curt Johnson's AVET sailing to four 1sts and a 2nd for 6 pts. John Steen sailed UNDERDOG to a 2-4-2-1-2 for 11 pts for second. And, third was Bob Hayward's BLUE JAY with a 3-2-5-3-3 for 16 pts.
Amongst the handicap crowd, the big guns in PHRF 2 included Tim Fuller's J/125 RESOLUTE and Tom Holthus' well-traveled and campaigned J/145 BAD PAK. Perhaps for the first time in several regattas, Tim's RESOLUTE took on all the course racers and sailed well to finish 2nd with a 2-2-3-2-2 score for 11 pts. Accustomed to trouncing the J/125s around the closed-course race track was Tom's BAD PAK. However, after a slow start, Tom's crew wound up the big beast, sailed faster and smarter and finished strongly to just miss out catching stablemate RESOLUTE. BAD PAK sailed to a 4-3-2-1-3 for 13 pts to get third in class.
In PHRF 3, it was the battle of historically significant 35 footers. Included in the pack were a J/35, J/36, Frers 35, Beneteau 35 and Hunter 34. After the smoke cleared, Tom and Terri Manok's J/35 PREDATOR laid down a consistent 3-2-2-3-2 for 12 points to secure second place. Sailing photos credit- Bob Betancourt. For more San Diego Yachting Cup sailing information and results.