First taking the world by storm in 2010, the J/111 has grown dramatically as a class worldwide, having achieved International status with the International Sailing Federation in November 2012. With over 100+ boats now sold across six continents (North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia/New Zealand), the fourteen J/111s will all be on a fast learning curve as boats congregate from three major coasts around the Americas (Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and East Coast).
With seven boats sailing from the Chicago fleet, all eyes will be upon them to be amongst the leaders in the first major continental event for the 111 class. With a combination of Chicago-Mackinac and Bayview-Mackinac Champions as well as Sailing World NOOD Champions, Verve Cup Champions and Singlehanded Society Champions amongst them, this formidable group of 111 teams will be a force to contend with. Don't be surprised if many of the following boats either place or fire top three finishes with some degree of regularity, including KASHMIR (Karl Brummel skippering), MENTAL (Paul Stahlberg), LUCKY DUBIE (Len Siegal- also Regatta Co-Chair), IMPULSE (George Miz skippering), NIGHTHAWK (Steve Dabrowski skippering), WOOTON (Bill Smith), MISTY (Tom McIntosh) and ROWDY (Rick Witzel).
Other local Great Lakes hotshots will surely include the two Harbor Springs speedsters, NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) and WINDCZAR (Rick Lehmann)-- both winners and podium finishers in the Harbor Springs Ugotta Regattas and Irish is a Chicago & Bayview-Mac silverware winner as well. Toss in HOBGOBLIN (Dick Hobbs) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who recently won the Chicago-Mac J/111 class, and the crystal ball clouds up a bit more with three fast horses on the track to mix it up with the Chicago crowd.
Finally, the "out of town" visitors include two top teams from the East Coast and a new crew from the Florida Panhandle. Marty Roesch's team on VELOCITY, based in Annapolis, MD, have dominated many Chesapeake Bay events as well as posted excellent results in Charleston Race Week and New York YC Annual Regatta, taking silverware more than once in both events. Newcomer Henry Brauer on FLEETWING from Marblehead, MA has a fairly formidable crew, having recently won the New York YC Annual Regatta 2013 as well as the NYYC Race Week in 2012. George Gamble's crew from Pensacola, FL are sailing MY SHARONA in their first major one-design event and may yet prove to be one of the spoilers in the event. Look for some fantastic racing amongst this fleet of fourteen teams and don't be surprised to see some significant roller-coaster scorelines amongst the leaders in the fleet. For more J/111 North American Championship sailing information