Thursday, September 4, 2014

J/35 North Americans A WILD RIDE!

J/35s sailing North Americans off Muskegon, MI (Muskegon, MI)- After three action packed days and eleven exciting races, Bill Wildner and the Crew of MR BILL’s WILD RIDE captured their 4th J/35 North American Championship title this past weekend at Muskegon Yacht Club in Muskegon Michigan. Bill credits his steady and loyal crew who have been with him through all four Championship campaigns. The boat was perfectly prepared, the sails were crispy, and the crew work was flawless! Ed Bayer and the crew of FALCON (also four-time NA winners) placed second and Bruce Metcalf and the crew of BOZO’s CIRCUS, a last minute entry, rounded out the podium placing third.

For the three day weekend, the sailing conditions were outstanding with steady breezes of 8-10 knots, making it easy for the race committee to bang out all eleven races and get everyone back to the dock early every day for refreshments, story-telling enhanced by multiple refreshments (mostly exaggerations and extraordinary embellishments— a.k.a. sea stories), and really good BBQ food.

Race Chairman and Class President, Larry Taunt commented that, "the J/35 fleet has an outstanding group of owners and crew. The racing was intense with ridiculously close crossings, and all the boats finishing within seconds of each other. The level of competition is simply outstanding. On shore, we have almost as much fun as the Muskegon Yacht Club provided great food, drink, atmosphere, and a pool to cool everyone off. I wish we could do this every weekend!"

This was the 30th J/35 North American Championship Regatta and while the fleet is aging, this venerable design is still very competitive around the country and provides an excellent competition when they get together to play.  In fact, during the NA’s, the J/35 owners held a J/35 Class Association meeting- it was recorded as a “webinar” which can be found at

The fleet is working hard to re-build the J/35 Class association. This year’s NA’s and this meeting were the first big steps in this process.  The J/ website has been updated, and they’ve added a J/35 Class Facebook page.  For any J/35 owners that wish to contribute new energy, communication, and fresh ideas, be sure to let them know!   For more J/35 North Americans sailing information