Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gorgeous Start to AYC Fall Series

J/44 one-design sailing American YC Fall Series (Rye, New York)- The classic fall offshore sailing series on Long Island Sound got off to a spectacular start this past weekend.  The American YC Race Committee took full advantage of the sunny skies, beautiful breeze with skies punctuated by "torn cotton" clouds scudding across the horizon, by running five great races for the fleet of ninety boats sailing in the western reaches of the Sound.  Sailing were fleets of IRC & PHRF handicap classes as well as one-design classes of J/105s, J/109s and J/44s.  J/Teams comprised well over 50% of the fleet with 49 J's participating in the event, by far the dominant brand sailing in the AYC Fall Series.

J/111s sailing on Long Island SoundStarting with the handicap classes, leading IRC B by just one point is the J/122 WINGS sailed by Mike Bruno and crew, posting a 1-2-2-1-3 score for 6 pts.  Just behind them is stablemate J/122 PATRIOT helmed by Stephen Furnary (the same boat that won with all the AYC Juniors in the recent Stamford-Vineyard Race!)- they posted a 2-1-1-3-4 for 7 pts, losing their lead from Saturday.  Lying fourth with a shot at the podium is Ron Richman's J/133 ANTIDOTE with 12 pts.

PHRF A class has three J/111s sailing and Paul Strauch's crew on ANDIAMO are continuing their great performance this summer at Storm Trysail's Block Island Race Week.  ANDIAMO's crew sailed well to finish 3-5-3-4-5 for 15 pts to hold third overall after the first weekend.  Just one point back is PARTNERSHIP sailed by David and Maryellen Tortorello with scores of 6-3-4-3-7 for 16 pts.

J/109s sailing upwind on Long Island SoundThe thirty footers that are populating PHRF C class are having to contend with some well-sailed, fast J/29s and J/92s!  Surprised?  Who would be by now?  The usual suspects are all occupying the top spots led by the famous father/son team of John & Tony Esposito on their J/29 HUSTLER; they're five 1sts and a 4th means they're counting just 1sts after a toss race for a mere 5 pts!  Tom & Julie Sinatra's J/29 SMOKIN'J is second overall with a 3-2-4-2-1-2 tally for 10 pts net.  Third is Christian Uecker's J/92 HOUND DOG three point back with a record of 2-3-2-4-2-5 for 13 pts net.  Rounding out the top five is Aleksandr Tichter's J/29 AKULA with four 5ths and two 6ths for 26 pts net in fifth place.

J/44 sailing upwind off American YCThe extraordinary J/44 class just keeps on bouncing along like the proverbial Energizer Bunny!  With a fantastic turnout of nine boats, the J/44s seem to continually enjoy a never-ending renaissance of perennial and new owners that jump into this popular class.  Some familiar faces are leading the pack, but some new ones are learning quickly and climbing the ladder fast.  Currently, Bill Ketcham's MAXINE is ruling the roost with a 1-1-1-3-3 tally for 6 pts net.  Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER lies second with a 2-5-7-1-1 record for 9 pts net.  Len Sitar's VAMP is third with 7-3-2-2-4 finishes for 11 pts.  Fourth is Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV and fifth is class newcomer Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes sailing the "new" KINCSEM (J sailors may recall they were J/105 champions for years).

J/105s sailing downwind on Long Island SoundSpeaking of a renaissance, the J/109s and J/105s both have huge fleets sailing this year.  The J/109s have ten boats participating with some new names at the front of the fleet.  Currently leading is Jim Vos's SKOOT with a very consistent record of 1-2-2-2-2-4 for 9 pts net.  Second is Bill Rogers on BIG BOAT with a roller-coaster scoreline of 8-1-7-1-5-1 (hitting corners there Bill?) for a total of 15 pts.  Third is Jack Forehand's STRATEGERY with a 7-8-3-3-1-2 tally for 16 pts.  Two points back in fourth is perennial class champion Rick Lyall sailing STORM with 18 pts net.  And, fifth is Jonathan Rechtschaffer's EMOTICON with 22 pts net.

J/109s reaching under spinnaker at American YC Fall seriesThe J/105s also have a great turnout with nineteen boats registered.  The top four boats are all very close, with just five points separating them.  Currently, Sean & Susan Doyle's KESTREL is leading with a 2-3-4-2-2-4 score for 13 pts net.  Three points back in second is George & Alex Wilbanks's REVELATION with a 7-4-5-1-5-1 record for 16 pts net.  Third is perennial class champion Damian Emery sailing ECLIPSE with a 1-2-3-4-8-7 tally for 17 pts net.  One point back is Paul Beaudin's LOULOU with 4-9-2-6-1-5 finishes for 18 pts!  That's close competition and anything can happen this weekend with the light airs forecast from the NE-SE.  Fifth is Jeremy Henderson's CONUNDRUM.

With a Saturday forecast for light Northeast winds filling in behind a large Low pressure system going out to sea, the fleet will be challenged to make the most of 4-8 kts breezes against the strong Long Island Sound tides and currents.  Sunday's forecast shows some improvement with southeasterly breezes in the 6-12 kts range.  Sailing photo credits- Tom Young/ American YC   For more American YC Fall Series sailing information