Thursday, September 19, 2013

J/24 North Americans Preview

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off Maine(Newport, RI)- Forty-one J/24s are entered from six countries across North and South America to compete in the upcoming J/24 North American Championships hosted by SAIL NEWPORT in Newport, RI from September 19th to 22nd.  Renown for their pro-active race management, the J/24 sailors should be treated to superior racing by SAIL NEWPORT's Race Committee team on either Narragansett Bay or outside on Rhode Island Sound, depending on wind and weather conditions.  For America's Cup history buffs, the J/24 NA's are being sailed at about the same time as past Newport-based America's Cup had been sailed for several decades; with promise of cooler weather conditions and generally reliable sea-breezes from the south/southwest.

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing downwindThe largest number of teams hail from the USA, however, eight Canadian teams are sailing and a very competitive group of seven teams are participating from the South American countries of Chile, Peru and Argentina.  What's readily apparent is that many of the J/24 sailors are looking at this year's event as a "warm-up" for the 2014 J/24 Worlds also being sailed in Newport and hosted by SAIL NEWPORT in late September 2014.

The top US teams include Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY; Peter Bream on Team TARHEEL from Florida; John Mollicone on HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; Taylor Neff on BUBBLES from Lake Minnetonka, MN; Pat Toole on THREE BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara, CA; and Travis Odenbach sailing HONEY BADGER from Rochester, NY, amongst many other good teams.  Some of these teams have been sailing quite a lot lately, including recent J/24 World's participants Ingham, Odenbach and Mollicone (the cockpit/ tactician for Tim Healy's recent J/24 Worlds win in Howth, Ireland).

Eight Canadian teams from the Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia provinces include Greg Blunden on ADRENALIN RUSH; John Whynacht on STICKY FINGERS; Mike Howarth on MISTER H and Rossi Milev on CLEAR AIR.  Some of these teams are well-practiced having just competed in the Chester Race Week regatta in Nova Scotia.

The South American contingent all have tremendous experience at the top of the J/24 class, including a few with world-class experience.  The top Argentinean crews are Mario Cubria on ELVIS, Sergio Pendola and Guillermo de Martis on TWIN.  The Chilean teams include Matias Seguel sailing GURU and Robert Vernon on GRINGA.  And, the Peruvean teams include Lucas Peschiera on TIAMAT and Javier Arribas on WAYRA.

The lone ranger from Japan is Sumio Shimoyama sailing aboard SOKOKUMARU. Sumio is no stranger to top flight J/24 competition, having been a top Japanese J/24 team for years and is always a factor in the J/24 Worlds in recent years.   Sailing photo credits- Carter White   For more J/24 North Americans sailing information