Saturday, September 29, 2012

J/111 BLAST Nova Scotia Update

J/111 BLAST sailing team- Halifax, Nova Scotia(Halifax, Nova Scotia)- After a remarkable season of sailing in the Nova Scotia offshore circuit, the BLAST team from Halifax are still celebrating.  We also got a nice update from BLAST owner Mark Surrette-

"BLAST started the 2012 season with the objective of having a winning season while having a lot of fun. We put together a crew that was a composite of youth and veterans. We decided that having a pedigree in dinghy sailing was critical if one was to sail the J/111 to its potential. We put one of Canada's best Finn sailors on the helm and beside him an outstanding Laser/Byte sailor trimming main.  In the cockpit we had a couple of veteran big boat sailors along with a strapping 20 year old for power and the panel.  On the bow we had a veteran of dozens of big boat campaigns matched with an outstanding mastman from a Swan 56.  Navigation and tactics were handled by a couple of old veterans and we added in guests from Farr 40's and Soto 33's when we needed extra talent.  Without a doubt the crew was the highlight of the year and they galvanized into a cohesive group with great mutual respect very quickly.

The entire crew loved sailing the 111.  Responsive, quick, nimble with lots of gears and potential. Not much more to ask for.  One big learning we had was our ability to tweak the rig far more than we had thought.  We found a significant number of gears through rig tune and were able to turbo the boat for most any wind condition.

Our competitors during the season included another J/111, Soto 40, Farr 40, Farr 11, Mumm 30's, ID 35, C&C 115's, Tripp 40, J/120's, J/109, and a variety of other boats.  On each occasion we either won the race or had the ability to win.  The boat always performed. If we lost a race it was usually due to tactical decisions.

Our year unfolded much better than we had even hoped. BLAST won the RNSYS Opening Regatta, Chester Race Week and most importantly the Prince of Wales Regatta.  The Prince of Wales is the oldest trophy in North America--- even older than the America's Cup!

As our season grows to a close we are looking at what's next...?  Maybe Key West, Charleston, Block Island?  For sure the Halifax Race is on the agenda.  Alas, the winter planning begins as we look forward to some exciting J/111 class racing!