Thursday, August 30, 2012

J/111s BLAST Chester Race Week

J/111 sailing upwind at Nova Scotia(Chester/ Halifax, Nova Scotia)- Chester Race Week started out slowly and with challenging weather, but ended with glorious sun and good wind. The competitors were happy with the race management and the evening parties, which didn't start until 9:30pm and were extremely well attended with 3 great local bands and wonderful Dark'n'Stormies at the bar!

The regatta featured a huge turn-out of J's ranging from the classic J/22s, J/24s, J/27s, J/29s, J/30s, J/35s and J/36 to J/92s, J/109, J/120s, J/111s, J/42 and J/44- a total of thirty J's in all, about 36% of the fleet of 92 handicap racers.

Leading the charge in the Alpha 1 Division were the two J/111s, BLAST (Mark Surette from Royal Nova Scotia YS) and STAMPEDER (Dave Connolloy from Chester YC).  BLAST managed to pull off a strong series counting six 1sts, a 2nd and 3rd to finish with 11 pts net, well clear of the next boat by ten pts!  STAMPEDER sailed a very nice series to collect a 7-2-2-3-6-2-5-6 for 33 pts net to grab fourth in their division.

In the Alpha 2 Division top dog was the famous J/92 POOHSTICKS (Colin Mann from Lunenburg YC), pulling off a 7-1-6-6-3-4-5 for consistent finishes to grab fifth in their division.  Finishing just behind were the J/35s and J/36s, most all suffering from a controversial second race DSQ factored into their scores!

J/29s sailing one-design- Nova Scotia Chester Race WeekIn Bravo 1 Division the J/30 FLUX (Jordan MacNeil RNSYS) sailed a consistent regatta, garnering a 5-3-4-5-scp-1-4-2 for a net of 24 pts, finishing 4th by virtue of losing a tie-breaker for 3rd overall.  Johnny Wynacht, Canadian J/24 and J/29 National Champion sailed the first J/70 in Nova Scotia, finishing a credible 6th in their first outing with a slow start, but rapid finish-- scoring 9-9-6-7-1-4-3-8 for a 38 pts net, just 12 pts from the podium.  Not bad for the first day sailing the J/70 and not knowing which strings to pull first!

In Bravo 2 Division the J/30 GROOVIN (Greg Hammond) finished second with a consistent record of 4-4-3-1-2-2-5-1 for 17 net pts.  The J/22 CHEAP THRILL (Karen Fowler) was sailed fast by her lady helmsman, gathering a respectable (and very fast) 2-2-4-7-dnc-6-4-6 for 31 net pts.  Other than her DNC, Karen would have easily factored into the top three!

In the Distance 1 Division the J/120s performed brilliantly, with the J/120 BRILLIANCE (Richard Calder from RNSYS) scoring a 4-3-1-1 for 9 pts net to handily win their division.  Fourth was the other J/120 BLACK PEARL (Ross Leighton from RNSYS) with a 3-6-7-2 for 18 pts net.

In Distance 2 Division the J/109 WISC (Paul Rafuse from RNSYS) sailed beautifully to get 4-1-7-4 to finish with 16 pts net, good enough for 2nd in their division.  Also sailing well was the gorgeous J/42 CASTANEA (Paul Conrod from RNSYS) that managed a tally of 2-6-3-7 to net 18 pts, just 2 pts off 2nd.  Close racing, indeed, in this group of fast cruiser-racers!

J/24 one-design sailboatFinally in the two J/One-Design divisions you have a literal wolf-pack of J/24s and J/29s sailing, neither fleet was won in a runaway.  In fact, the regatta outcome hung in the balance of the last race or two for both fleets!  In the J/24s, it was Greg Blunden on ADRENALIN RUSH that won a tiebreaker over Hamblin's JAMMIN. Blunden's `-5-3-1-1-3-2 for 12 pts net won on 1sts over Hamblin's 9-1-2-2-3-2-2 for 12 pts, too.  Third on the podium was decided by yet another tie-breaker!  "Holy Tie-breaker Hell" said Robin to Batman.  How can this be?  Ross Romney's RUSH HOUR managed to score a 6-6-1-4-2-5-4 for 22 pts and Ted Murphy's JUVENILE DELINQUENT tallied a 4-7-4-5-4-4-1 for the same 22 pts, but lost.  The nod went to Ross's RUSH HOUR crew to fill out the 3rd spot on the podium.

chester sailing week volunteersIn J/29 World, with even more on the line with the recent J/29 North Americans having been run nearly concurrently, it was going to be "local bragging rights" to see who could party hardest, go the fastest, sail the smartest to win this division!  In the end, it was pretty remarkable to see Andrew Childs' team on SILVER WOMAN top the 29 charts with a spanking of the class- a 1-1-4-4-2-1-3 for 12 net pts laid down the gauntlet for all to match.  Next up was past champion SCOTCH MIST IV sailed by Chris Mac Donald with a 6-2-5-2-1-4-2 for 16 net pts.  Third sailing well were Matt & Scott Christie with a somewhat steady 3-3-3-5-8-2-1 for 17 net pts (imagine what might have happened had they not had to toss an 8th!).  Fourth was the Williams/ Matthews crew on PARADIGM SHIFT and 5th was Jim Mason's SATISFACTION.  Sailing photo credits- Heather McGuire/ Tim Wilkes -   For more Chester Race Week sailing information