Monday, October 3, 2011

AYC Fall J/Fest Series

J/122 Christopher Dragon- sailing dowwind- cruiser racer sailboat Needed: ANTIDOTE!
(Rye, NY)-  The forecast was not good.  Cloudy, drizzly Saturday.  ESE nothing, building to nothing.  Sunday, clearing slowly, from the WSW nothing, building to almost nothing.  Seems it was true for most of the East Coast.  Except for those areas that can build sea-breezes from nothing into something, like Newport and Buzzards Bay!  And so it was.

For the 59 J's sailing in a fleet of 90 boats (60% of the fleet), it was an exercise primarily in frustration with the weather Gods.  This time it had less to do with the "classic Long Island Sound" weather conditions producing nothing, but more to the point that wind gradients and weather systems were stalled, pouring buckets of rain on those who needed it the least (already flooded out, mind you)!

Undaunted, the huge turnout of J/Teams nevertheless produced good racing for the ONE race that was conducted all weekend long.  Ouch. The J's sailing in the "handicap racing world" had their work cut out for them in the challenging conditions in both IRC and PHRF.

In the IRC 3 Division, the J/133 ANTIDOTE sailed by Ron Richman won their class with the J/111 ANDIAMO sailed by Paul Strauch finishing 5th and David & Maryellen Tortorello's J/111 PARTNERSHIP in 8th.  It was a true "toss-up" of a race, so we hope there's more semblance of order next week.

In IRC 5 Division, the J/122s showed up "en masse" and with five of them entered, it was certain that many would be amongst the leaders of the class.  Sure enough, the J/122s finished 2-3-4-5, led home by Andrew Weiss's family team aboard the famous CHRISTOPHER DRAGON, followed by Mike Bruno and Jim Callahan on WINGS, then Stephen Furnary on PATRIOT and Barry Gold on SUNDARI.

For the PHRF World, it just seems the Esposito Brothers are intent on establishing global domination in western Long Island Sound, not having ventured very far from the safety of that warm cocoon of water.  Nevertheless, they've proven to be nearly unbeatable in most all weather conditions in their redoubtable J/29 HUSTLER!  Finishing 2nd in the first race in crazy conditions is a good thing for John and Tony and crew on the great yacht HUSTLER.  Just behind was a pretender to the PHRF throne of J/29 mastery and domination, Matheus Hovers on his J/29 KATOENDRA.  Back in 6th was Christian Uecker's J/92 HOUND DOG.

On the One-Design side of the Sailing World, the nine J/44s sailing had a great showing with nearly all of them crossing the starting line in near perfect formation (at least close enough!).  After a spirited sparring match around the race-track, the top three ended up being Don and Dick Rave's RESOLUTE in first, Bill Ketcham's MAXINE in second and Jeff Willis' CHALLENGE IV in third.  One can only make this sage observation, "you've trained them well, Gentleman Jim (of GOLD DIGGER fame)

Amongst the J/109 one-design contingent, Jack Forehand's STRATEGERY broke free and led the pack home with some degree of bravado!  Bob Schwartz's NORDLYS was second and third was Intergalactic J/109 Champion Rick Lyall's STORM.  Watch out for next week, not always that Rick's team can be held back for long.

The J/105 one-designs showed up with the largest fleet in the regatta with nineteen "wanna-be" winners and only a few that could taste the elixir of the winning champagne glass.  As in the other fleets, the magic of the "roll of the dice" was factor.  Nevertheless, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE continues to prove his "wizardry" works (most of the time) and pulled off a first in the first race!  George and Alex Wilbanks on REVELATION were second and another J/105 Champion, Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes hung tough to snag third.  Nathan Boylan on JOYSEA was fourth and fifth was Jordan Mindich on SHAKEDOWN. It was nice to see some new faces amongst the leader-board!

As a "warm-up" for their J/80 North American Championships, a number of teams were hoping this weekend would shake-out a few cobwebs, get team and sails fine-tuned for the upcoming "Battle of J/80 Champions" the following week.  Unfortunately, the weekend was wiped out from that perspective.  Rising to the top of the pack was Chris Bulger on GOOSE, finishing first.  GOOSE was followed by Kerry Klingler on US 352 and Tim Pitts on the infamous PORTSMOUTH PRINCESS.  For more AYC Fall Series sailing information