Friday, July 26, 2013

J/70 New England's/ Marblehead NOOD Preview

J/70 one-design speedsters- sailing fast downwind under spinnaker (Marblehead, MA)- This year's Sperry Topsider Marblehead NOOD regatta will also be featuring the inaugural J/70 New England Championship, hosted by the famous trio of yacht clubs in the harbor- Eastern YC, Boston YC and Corinthian YC.  In addition to the J/70 class there will be fleets of J/105s and J/24s participating.  Of the 150+ sailboats participating, by far the largest brand represented are J's with 42 boats (28% of the fleet) sailing in the waters off Marblehead.  The wind forecast for Friday looks a bit "iffy" as a large Low pressure system offshore will be pumping Northeasterly winds into the harbor all day, with steadily increasing winds forecast to hit 20-30 kts by late evening Friday. The scene inside the harbor may be "touch & go" with huge waves rolling into the docks, making launch and recovery a bit delicate, one might say!

A fair number of recent J/70 regatta winners will be participating amongst the fleet of seventeen J/70s.  They include the winners of St Pete NOOD, Charleston, Annapolis NOOD, Bacardi Newport, Cal Race Week and Long Beach Race Week-- Joel Ronning on CATAPULT and Bennet Greenwald on PERSEVERANCE!  Tough hombres these guys are!  Several locals will be quite competitive in their home waters, including Etchells 22 World Champion Jud Smith sailing with his wife Cindy, Dave Franzel on SPRING, Tyler Doyle and Ted Johnson on VITAMIN J.  Notably, two women skipper/owners will be sailing, including Newporter Suzy Leech on JUNKANOO and Nancy Glover on WINTER WIND from Marblehead.  Finally, the "long distance" award may have already been won by the German team on ROSAROTER PINGUIN led by Juergen Waldheim from Berlin!

As the largest J/class, the eighteen J/105s will have several local and visiting teams that sailed well in last year's NOOD as well as in the J/105 North Americans held at Eastern YC in the past.  Amongst the Boston crowd that could be factors in the event include the entire top eight teams from last year's Marblehead NOOD!  Those teams include past NOOD regatta winner Charlie Garrard on MERLIN, Matt Pike's GOT QI, Ric Dexter's CIRCE's CUP, Peter & Doug Morgan's STEELAWAY III, the BLOWN AWAY trio (Jon Samel, Mike Royer, Bob Mann), Fred deNapoli's ALLEGRO SIMPATICA, and Mark & Jolene Masur's TWO FEATHERS from Ft Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, TX!  Watch for significantly different results this year as the weather forecast may upset this pecking order!

Last year's J/24 class winner, Jubilee YC's John Denman on AIRODOODLE, will again be back hoping to repeat their win in the seven boat J/24 class.  Another past top five finisher that will be sailing is Mike Taber's XINGU form Boston YC.   For more J/70 New England's & Marblehead NOOD sailing information