Thursday, October 17, 2013

CLEAR AIR Dusts J/24 Canadians

J/24s sailing Canadian Nationals off Montreall, Quebec(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)- What matters most for this year's epic J/24 Canadian National Championships hosted by Port Credit YC!?  After the first day's racing, the party was going on at PCYC with Shane Murphy’s band and a nice BBQ dinner!  That's what was happening.  Of course, it could be said that all twenty-one boats were having a blast and some crews were finding new ways to rig their spinnaker poles! You can say, you saw it all here! No question, Canadian J/24 sailors know how to have fun-- maybe even "professional grade" entertainment compared to their colonial American "J/24 cousins" to the South!

J/24 spinnaker pole dancing!The opening day of racing presented the possibility that four races could be sailed in the 10-15 kts NE breezes. The tactics were tricky and DRIVERS WANTED sailed by Mississauga superstar Ted Bartlewski got the 1st day winner's trophy. Race 1 was won by local boat BAYGULL driven by Nicolas Mabboux.  John Whynacht's Nova Scotia clan on STICKY FINGERS got Race 2 and Bartlewski's DRIVERS WANTED closed the day with 2 bullets. Tom Barbeu's NAVTECH.CA was the bridesmaid in second place.

It waJ/24 one-design sailboats- setting spinnakerss a crazy weekend for sailing conditions.  While Friday's forecast was calling for very light wind, the fleet ended up sailing four races in 10-15 knots. On Saturday, the fleet was expecting 7-10 knots fading out to 6 kts during the day.  The fun continued: this time it was again in the same tricky north east wind! In the end, two races were sailed in lighter airs. After a few attempts to get in a third race, the RC wisely decided to send the fleet back to the harbour.  It was now time for the "Go-Karting Challenge"!!  See  Everyone met at the PCYC Clubhouse at 4pm and ALL disappeared to go racing go-karts at 5pm!  Insane evening of zipping around the track and more parties later.  Did anyone mention the fact that Canadian J/24 sailors know how to have fun??

After two days of light conditions, the forecast was calling for 15-20 knots. This time, the fleet was treated to steady 16 kts with some nice puffs. As usual, the fleet split between the two schools of thought in marginal 16-18 kts TWS conditions: genoa or jib, was the question!?  Rapidly, most of the fleet adopted the jib.

J/24 sailors go-karting in Montreal, QuebecIn race 7, Rossi Milev's CLEAR AIR team dominated the game, followed by Thomas B (NAVTECH) and Greg B. (ADRENALINE RUSH). About half way to the finish, boats in 4th and 5th (ANGRY SQUIRREL & BAYGULL) both went down in ghastly broaches because of a nasty shifty gust. STICKY FINGERS passed in 5th position to limit their losses.

In Race 8, the wind and waves kept building and Milev's CLEAR AIR again pulled out a bullet, in front of Nic Mabboux (BAYGULL), followed by DRIVERS WANTED.

In Race 9, first overall was still "in play", so was the entire podium for that matter! After one lap, BAYGULL was in the lead until the last leg, where Rossi's CLEAR AIR passed to get the last point they were missing to get the title. What a comeback!  Impressive, almost "Oracle-like" sailing-- yeah- the Canadian version of a "phoenix from the ashes" returning to glory and silverware!

For those who were not there, you missed an epic event blessed by the Wind Gods and Party Animals-- yeah, not one to miss! This was a warm, friendly and extremely challenging regatta, in the spirit of the J/24 Class. See you next year in the Atlantic! What an event!  For more J/24 Canadian Nationals sailing information