Tuesday, September 2, 2014

J/70 HEARTBREAKER Bullets Verve Cup

J/70 Heartbreaker- wins Chicago Verve (Chicago, IL)- After Saturday’s races were postponed due to weather, 71 boats made the most of a spectacular day of sailing in Chicago in the annual Verve Cup Inshore Regatta, hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club at its Belmont Station. The annual regatta features the best one-design sailing in the Midwest, with nine classes in this year’s event.

“It was some nice racing on Sunday,” said Jessica Jamieson, chair of the Verve Inshore. “Unfortunately, we had to abandon racing on Saturday due to the weather, but I was pleased to see the turnout of so many fleets— especially the J/70s!”

With temperatures in the upper 80s under sunny skies, winds shifted to the east/southeast at approximately 8 knots throughout the day.

“We made up for the weather yesterday with champagne sailing today in Chicago,” said Jay Kehoe, on-the-water director for the Chicago Yacht Club. “We also saw great performances by Sarah Renz in the J/70s and Mark Teborek, who are both preparing to represent CYC in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Qualifying Series in the first week of September.”

PRO Rick Lillie said there was a 55-degree wind shift during the first race, which made it a challenge to keep the course somewhat square.

“A special thanks to the Race Committee teJ/70 Aquaholiks team taking 2nd at Chicago Verveam, who moved every mark several times today,” Lillie said. “Good, tight racing and we were able to get three races in today. And we are happy to host the largest J/70 turnout of the season.”

The J/70 class is indeed growing and attracted competitors from as far away as Norway. Eighteen J/70s competed in this year’s regatta. HEARTBREAKER, skippered by Bob Hughes of the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, earned the top spot in the J/70 class, scoring three straight bullets. The Heartbreaker crew included Taylor Canfield, ranked No. 1 match racer in the world.

“We got in three great races today, with the wind backing from the southeast all the way to the east. But overall, it was some good, fair racing,” Canfield said. “The city is great — freshwater, Lake Michigan is awesome. It’s one of my favorite places to sail and one of my favorite places to be.”

The balance of the top five saw some remarkable scores, all having at least one chance hopping aboard the runaway shopping trolley loaded with cash.  Sailing consistently to hang onto second was Martin Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS team with a 2-6-3 for 11 pts.  Also in the same category of performance was Tom Londrigan from Island Bay YC on POLARIS, scoring 6-4-6 for 16 pts.  From there, it was anything but clear who would fill out the balance of the top five.  In fact, going into the last race on the last leg, six boats were in contention for 4th and 5th.  In the end, John Gottwald’s EAGLES WINGS overcame a slow start to roll into fourth with a 14-2-2 for 18 pts.

Fifth place was determined by a tie-breaker.  Lloyd Karzen’s TAIPAN/ SB managed a 3-12-4 for 19 pts to win that tie-break over Leif Sigmond’s NORBOY who had a 5-7-7.  Just missing the top five were John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA with 20 pts and Amy Neill’s NITEMARE with 23 pts.

Top “family-owned” boat was Martin & Jorgen Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS from Lake Forest YC and top women skipper was Amy Neill on NITEMARE from Chicago YC.  For more Verve Cup sailing information