Tuesday, July 3, 2012
(Dillon, CO)- The "Two-Mile High" J/24 Nationals are taking place this weekend in Dillon, Colorado in one of the most picturesque settings in America's Rocky Mountains, if not the world. Dillon Reservoir has to be one of the world's more challenging places to sail, like any mountain lake at a maximum elevation of 9017 feet (2,748 m) the winds come flowing over the mountains from every direction, often forming their own "micro-bursts" as you're sailing upwind or downwind. Sometimes on the same leg, you're planing downwind under spinnaker while the boats around you are beating upwind with jibs up!! The activity for many can literally leave them breathless at such altitudes-- imagine a J/24 Worlds on Lake Titicaca in Peru at 12,000+ feet!
The J/24 teams sailing Dillon Reservoir are on a naturally formed lake that remained unnoticed until the mid-19th century, when gold was discovered in the area. Upon this discovery, the trade post town of Dillon was formed. The town of Dillon was on the bank of the Blue River and was the most populous area in Summit County. In the mid-20th century, ski resorts were becoming popular, outweighing the mines in the economy of the area; the town lost many residents to them. The lake became a target for expansion by the city of Denver, who deemed it necessary to have a water reserve in the high country. The dam was constructed in 1961, enlarging the small finger lake into the massive reservoir it is today-- great for sailing! The original town of Dillon was left to be flooded over and residents were forced to move.
For those who love sailing, the outdoors, majestic vistas and incredibly fun, but challenging mountain lake sailing, Lake Dillon ranks amongst the best in the world. Answering that call are an amazing range of thirty-six J/24 teams from across America. World, North American, National and Regional Champions in the J/24 class are all making the migration to the Rockies for some fun and frolic in nose-bleed territory. Featured amongst the top teams will be Tim Healey's 11TH HOUR RACING from Newport, RI; Chris Snow's BOGUS from San Diego, CA; Pat Toole's 3 BIG DOGS team from Santa Barbara, CA; and the notorious Brian Simkins from Centerport YC sailing the appropriately named SHOULDA WOULDA COULDA . For more J/24 Nationals sailing information