Tuesday, February 7, 2012

J/24 MAKE MY J Wins Geelong Regatta

J24 sailboats under tow in Australia (Geelong, Australia)- A small group of hardy J/24 sailors made the annual sailing and party pilgrimage to Geelong this year. The weather was sunny and hot and with a great range of breezes to suit and gave the fleet some great close racing.  Here's their collective report from Hugo Ottoway and Simon Grain:

"This year the passage race was on the Thursday, with 3 windward/ leewards on the Friday and a short round-the-sticks race on Saturday.  Sunday was light wind and blazing hot.  More than that it was time to go home after the race.  And, you guessed it, the wind was on the nose back to Sandy, so we skipped the last race in favour of the tow we organised from one of the Sandy patrol boats and we all bought blue tarps to keep the sun off (looking like a B&Q or Home Depot "special"!).

So perhaps the most unusual regatta paparazzi photo-op is 3 of the 4 boat "tent city" towing back to Sandy (seen above with "greenies" on the afterdecks and wishing "shrimp on the barbie" was a possibility!).

The series was won by Simon Grain's MAKE MY J with a 1-1-2-2-1 for 7 points.  Next was Ron Thomson's KICKING BOTOM accumulating a respectable 3-3-1-1-3 for 11 points.  The KICKING BOTTOM boys narrowly edged out Robyn Coombs' HYPERACTIVE with their 2-2-3-3-2 for 12 points.

J/24 sailor Stuart Jardine from England sailing in AustraliaOne of the highlights of the regatta was the gracious presence of J/24 International Class Measurer and Ambassador-- Stuart Jardine and his lovely wife Mary Ann.  Stuart was on hand to help Australian J/24 Class Measurer Peter Stevens, Victorian measurer Mark Haughton, Assistant measurer Doug McGregor and several members of the J/24 fleet at Sandringham learn the nuances of measuring a J/24 for International One-Design standards.

Stuart (now only 78 years young) is based in the UK and is a member of the International J/24 technical committee. His experiences in Europe, as well and the America’s over the past 30 years has given him a wealth of knowledge regarding the boats and he spoke of his vision regarding future and the where the class is going in the next 10 years and beyond (BTW, he still kicks the crap out of a LOT of young bucks/ newbies in the class who have NO idea who "that old guy" is). Stuart was impressed by the J/24 Australian national data base which has been correlated by the states and processed by Pete Stevens. With changes in the boats and new technology the class will be able to keep abreast of the best ways to make the measurement process fair and quick.

A strong measurement process is one of the fundamental foundations that make the J/24 Class such a great boat to race.  It’s not easy being a measurer, as I know having been involved at the highest level since 1988 and we should support the system that maintains our status as a prestige Class. To win a J24 National Title is one of the highest achievements in sailing, both here and abroad.  Lets help in maintaining our investment and encourage and support our measurers who currently are working towards a updated list of measured boats!"

Thanks to Hugo and Simon for their commentary. For more information on Stuart, please see this article on the International J/24 Class site.    For more Geelong Regatta Sailing results