Monday, February 11, 2013

J/24 Midwinters Preview

J/24s sailing Midwinters off Tampa, FL (Tampa, Florida)- This year's J/24 Midwinters are shaping up to be as competitive an event as its seen in recent years.  The Davis Island YC that is playing host to the event from February 12-15 is no stranger to having to manage this group of high-test racers who look forward to their winter pilgrimage down to Florida to challenge the locals as well as the top teams that show up from around the country, a tradition that started back in 1978 in the first J/24 Midwinters and has never let up since!

With a massive Low pressure weather system flowing across the south and into the northeast coast this coming weekend, it may just clean out the weather and offer up some great sailing conditions on Tampa Bay for these intrepid J/24 sailors.  The Bay can be notoriously fickle at this time of year since most of the weather is driven by relatively fast-moving frontal systems from the Arctic North curving south and sweeping across the North American continent.  It's not unknown for Tampa Bay to have light to moderate winds one day and blowing "dogs off chains" in rather "fresh to frightening" conditions the next day as yet another enormous winter front pushes through the amazingly choppy waters off the Tampa city-front.  Without fail, the Midwinters always provides challenging conditions to the competitors.

Fresh off their win at the first J/70 Midwinters, perhaps it's somewhat symbolic the "three musketeers" of John Mollicone, Tim Healy and Geoff Becker have joined together again on I FEEL LIKE(?) as a formidable crew to take on other top teams for the J/24 Midwinters.  Giving them a serious run-for-the-money, and perhaps looking forward to knocking them off the podium, will be several top teams all with equally impressive credentials.  Special mention must first go to Tony Parker sailing yet another incarnation of the famous BANGOR PACKET, more often than not, Tony's always a factor amongst the regatta leaders-- not bad for a guy who's sailed J/24s starting in Maine since 1979! Yes, that does span four actual decades for those who are counting!  Watch out!  The wise-man cometh.  Other notable teams include Peter Bream's crew on TEAM TARHEEL, Robby Brown sailing USA 799, Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER and a pretty formidable group from Newport/ San Diego that know a thing or two about sailing J/24s- Will Welles is teamed up with Chris Snow and Anderson Reggio.  Sailing photo credits- Tim
For more J/24 Midwinters sailing information