Wednesday, April 4, 2012

J/111 JATO Wins "Border Run"

J/120 J-ALMIGHTY & J/124 MARISOL Dominate Too
(Newport Beach, CA)- With 223 boats entered in this years 2012 Border Run, it seems the Southern California yachting scene may have a new favorite sailing event.  "The Border Run", that begins in Newport and heads to Dana Point (the Sprint course), or to San Diego (the Short course) or San Diego via the Coronado del Norte Island (the 90 mile Long Course), has provided SoCal sailors with a viable race that satisfies appetites for long-distance racing.  The race attracted a lot of SoCal J/Sailors, too.

In their inaugural race, the J/111 JATO sailed by Bill Webster and Mike Moorhead won their class by a significant margin in the Long Course PHRF Light A class.  They were up against some hot Farr 40s, a Turbo OD35 and a Ross 40, not an easy task to beat this group of boats.

J/120 sailboat sailing in Border Run RaceThe J/120 Class showed up with a strong group of ten boats.  Leading the way home was Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY in first, followed by Tom & Terri Manok's POLE DANCER in second and Chuck Nichols' CC RIDER in third.

In Long PHRF C, the J/30 EGGEMOGGIN sailed by Thomas Lehtonen sailed to a respectable second overall just 8 minutes off the pace after 19 hours of sailing the 90 nm!

In Short PHRF C Light class, the J/Teams simply smoked their class, led by Seth Hall's J/124 MARISOL.  Three hours behind them was Joe Simpkin's J/124 FORGIVENESS followed by yet another well-sailed J/109 ELEKTRA sailed by Tom Brott.  Win-Place-Show, these guys dominated.

In Short PHRF D Light class, three J/105s were sailing but it was Bill Moore's KESTREL that simply out-sailed the rest to take top honors in their class by nearly two hours on corrected time.

In Short PHRF B, the J/35 MACS! sailed by Eric and Steve McClure finished fourth, narrowly missing third by just 6 minutes.  Just behind them was the J/33 PRIMA sailed by Mark Weinberger just 14 minutes back in fourth place.

After the exciting start, the wind challenged sailors as the south wind stayed on the bow making the race an upwind battle for all three courses until the wind died to a whisper once the sun went down. On the Short and Long Course to San Diego only half the fleet finished with the other half enjoying the full moon and flat seas as they motored to the party at Silver Gate Yacht Club, this years venue for the San Diego trophy party.

The annual race is in its fourth year and has grown to over 200 boats since it’s inception in 2009. What started as a response to one of the founders being excluded from the Newport to Ensenada has become an event whose tag line is “where everyone’s invited”.

J/124 MARISOL wins Border Run“It’s funny how things work out,” said co-founder Randy Reynolds. “It gave us the opportunity to put together an event with new elements and components we thought the racing community would want. We’re delighted with the progress of the event.”  Reynolds believes one of the key reasons why the event has become so popular in such a relatively short time is the fluidity in which they approach each year’s contest. While some yacht races are steeped in rigid traditions and formulas, the Border Run continues to experiment with ideas that they believe respond to the changing nature of the sport itself.

This year they employed a single start concept. Most races begin a rolling class-by-class start, but in an effort to make this particular start more fun and exciting, organizers had the entire fleet begin at the same time.

“We’re looking to find ways that make the event special,” said co-founder Bob Long. “We’ve offered multiple course options, a European style start, a special course to challenge dinghy sailors and we’re always looking for unique elements for the parties.”

Reynolds and Long are also visibly proud when they speak of the charity aspect of the event. Last year the Border Run raised money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and this year competitors raised over $19,000 for both LLS and local charity City2 Sea that provides free education in the ocean sciences and an introduction to sailing to at-risk children.

“I have to say, being a part of something that not only allows for a great time for those involved, but also raises awareness and money for these charities is really a great feeling,” Long said.

The 2012 Border Run is sponsored by Ullman Sails and outfitted by Pirates Lair. The Border Run team, consists of XS Racing of Huntington Beach, South Shore Yacht Club of Newport Beach (the Organizing Authority) and Dana Point Yacht Club of Dana Point.  Sailing photo credits- Peter Howson   For more Border Run sailing information