Monday, February 17, 2014

HELLY HANSEN Tops Quantum J/70 Winter Series II

J/70 Helly Hansen winning regatta
(Tampa, FL)- Hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club, the 2014 Quantum J/70 Winter Series 2 concluded Sunday for the fleet of forty-one boats. After an excellent start in the first series in early January (where the fleet got in two solid days of racing), the second installment was a bit of a disappointment.  The weather forecast looked promising, with plenty of sun and reasonable winds forecast on Saturday, but it was nearly a “glass-out” on Sunday. The Tampa Bay sailors certainly had the better end of the massive High pressure weather system parked over Florida than their colleagues sailing on Biscayne Bay, where there was no sailing at all on Sunday!

As it was, the J/70s in Tampa had enough to go sailing each day and managed to get off four races in somewhat brutally light, shifty, patchy conditions.  Saturday was a light northerly, dying to come in from south around noon at 4-6 kts, dying and then coming back in northerly from 3-6 kts.  On Sunday the light NNE winds hung in there from late morning to mid-afternoon from 3-7 kts and died late with racing finished by 2:30 pm.

Literally every boat in the top ten had a double-digit race to count in their scoreline!  Even the eventual regatta winner, Tim Healy steering HELLY HANSEN, couldn’t match is remarkable record of all top five finishes he posted for the J/70 Midwinters in Key West recently!  In four races, Healy’s crew managed a 5-12-1-3 for 21 pts to just nip out the wily coyotes sailing on the second place boat— Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (his crew included Willem van Waay, Victor Diaz & Scott Nixon).  The CATAPULT team were winning after the third race by a wide margin, but managed to punt the last race with a 17th, accumulating a 3-1-5-17 for 26 pts.  Taking third was Tom Bowen from Annapolis YC racing REACH AROUND with a serious roller-coaster scoreline of 6-5-33-8 for 52 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Jack Martin on EXIT STRATEGY II with a 14-3-8-28 tally for 53 pts and Mark Ploch on SUGAR DADDY with a 4-6-20-23 for 53 pts, taking fourth and fifth, respectively.  What’s interesting is that places 3rd to 11th were separated by only ten points!  And, Martin and Ploch were in a three-way tie-breaker at 53 pts that also included Rob Britts’s HOT MESS.  In fact, the last race cost Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, Ted Johnson’s VITAMIN J, Casey Klingler’s MENACE, John Brim’s RIMETTE and Andrew Criezis a podium finish!

A repeat winner of the Corinthians was Rob Britts’s HOT MESS, now taking three in a row- QWS I, QWS II and Key West/ Midwinters!  Second was Brandon Flack and Chris Carrol on TORQEEDO and third was Peter Tuite on CURRAGH.

With such enormous swings in the standings, it’s anyone’s guess how the QWS series will turn out after the fleet finishes their third event in March!  Watch this space again soon!  Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal-  For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information