Friday, June 14, 2013

J/Sailors Love Southern Bay Week

(Hampton, VA)- One of the highlights of the southern Chesapeake Bay racing season is the Southern Bay Race Week hosted by Hampton Yacht Club.  The event actually starts with the annual "feeder race" from Annapolis, the "Down the Bay Race".  After the racers have recuperated from their blast down the Chesapeake, the Hampton YC plays host to an amazing regatta that is loaded with an enormous amount of social activities and festivities for the next four days straight!  Great bands, great food and simply fabulous Southern hospitality.  No wonder its popular for "those in the know" in the mid-Atlantic region.

For their debut event, the J/70s had a good turnout for Southern Bay.  In the end, it was evident the teams were all on an enormous learning curve as some boats that did well in the beginning soon found themselves on a slippery slope trying to cope with others who were learning how to go faster and apply better tactics upwind and, especially, downwind. Locals Ron Thompson and crew started strongly but struggled later in the regatta.  Their 1-1-2-1-4-1-3 for 13 pts sealed the deal to win the J/70s.  The Kimbrough boys on NOSTALGIA sailed well and their 3-4-1-3-3-2-1 for 17 pts was good enough to take a comfortable second overall.  Third was John Hanna sailing VORTEX Racing, beating on a tie-breaker their friend Basil Rowland sailing GETMYBOAT.COM.

In the J/24 world, the ROCKET J boys found their groove and were going to keep pounding away after their roaring success in the "Down the Bay Race".  Neil Ford and gang sailed a solid series to score a 1-2-3-2-4-1 for 13 pts to lead from the start and take the class.  The battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place was truly a herculean struggle, with nearly all three boats tied.  After the dust cleared, taking second by a tie-breaker was MIZZMO sailed by Ben Carver with a 3-1-4-4-1-4 for 17 pts.  Losing that battle was Alan Bomar's ROUNDABOUY with a 4-4-1-3-3-2 scoreline for 17 pts.  Finally, Mike Veraldi's QUICKY took fourth despite having the BEST RECORD in the last four races!  QUICKY's very slow start ended with a profusion of top three finishes, but their scores of 5-5-2-1-2-3 for 18 pts wasn't going to cut it to crack the top three.

In PHRF A, it was nearly a J class clean sweep!  Imagine this, a 1982 J/36 and modern J/109 (about the same size) simply crushes a brand spanking new Farr 400!  Yeah, it did happen.  Winning class was the J/36 SEA STAR sailed by David Eberwine.  Second was future sistership J/109 AFTERTHOUGHT sailed by Craig Wright.  Fourth was the J/36 FEATHER sailed by Phil Briggs. Quite the performance by a vintage J/Crew in this division!

The terrific performance exhibited by Jim Bordeaux sailing his J/40 SOLSTICE in the Down the Bay Race was repeated, to some degree, again by their remarkable finish in PHRF A2.  A J/40 cruising sailboat that is racing against serious racing/ performance boats like a Hobie 33, Soverel 33, Frers 36, C&C 99 and Olson 33 gets fifth overall!  Kudos to the Bordeaux crew!

The highly competitive PHRF B1 class saw the classic J/29 RUMBLE sailed by the Ben Weeks/ Michele Cochran duo from Yorktown, VA take second in class.

In PHRF C, the J/22 NOT SO BLUE sailed by Pete Wallio was "laying some serious pipe" in the last three races (1-1-2) to grab third overall.  It can be said they would've been happy to somehow ditch their experience in the first two races which netted them 10 pts (6-4)-- perhaps an issue of being "asleep at the wheel"?

In PHRF Cruising A class, the J/37 JENERAL'S LADY sailed by Jim Chapman from Virginia Beach, VA sailed nicely to grab third overall in their class.  For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information