Friday, September 5, 2014

J/ONE Marblehead Raging Success

J/105s sailing at Marblehead ONE regatta (Marblehead, MA)- According to Hill & Lowden’s George Lowden (the Boston area J/Dealer), “The past several days saw lots of J/Boat action here in Marblehead. Seventeen J/105’s, eleven J/70’s, three J/111’s, a J/122, four J/109’s and assorted older model J’s all competed in this three day event- the Marblehead ONE Regatta.

There were a variety of different wind and sea conditions.  But, basically the weather was very good for the whole regatta. Overall, the turnout by J/Teams in the area was excellent. Almost half of all the registered boats were J/Boats.”  Indeed, with two large one-design classes of J/70s and J/105s and the rest sailing in PHRF fleets, it would have been easy to mistake the event as a “New England J/Fest”!

J/70s sailing Marblehead ONE regattaFriday we had 6 to 12 knots out of the North-Northeast which provided great racing for Line 1 (larger PHRF racing boats) and Line 2 (one-designs and PHRF Class 5). Both lines got off 3 races sailing 1.2 to 2 mile legs of windward-leeward courses.  The wind stayed up and actually built a little as the day went on to provide great racing for the short-handed class who raced a 90 mile offshore race on Friday night finishing Saturday morning.

Saturday the wind built from the northeast with a good swell and chop to provide Champagne Sailing and a perfect platform for championship racing. Line 1 got off 3 long races capped off with a five leg race with 2 mile long legs. Line 2 raced 4 races providing some great surfing conditions for the J/70s and J/105s. The Navigator classes and PHRF Class 6 started their regatta off on Line 3 "the inside line" near Salem/Beverly Harbors. These boats raced 4 races around the buoys as well as drop marks, getting to see some of the great scenery around the Marblehead waters.

Sunday the wind gods were a little sleepy and the racing didn't get started until between noon and 1pm or so depending on what line/area you were starting at. Each class got off one race in 5 to 7 knots of wind. The short-handed class joined Line 3 and raced a 13 mile course that went past Manchester by the Sea.

J/109 sailing at Marblehead ONE regattaStarting with the large and competitive J/105 class, it was clear there is several new faces in the crowd who have jumped into the class to challenge the old guard.  Having said that, it was “old school” showing “new school” the ropes this time around.  Long-time J/105 veteran Fred deNapoli and crew aboard ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA rattled off four bullets in a row to dominate their class like they have never done before.  Chalk it up to good living and good wine, according to one of Fred’s good buddies!  Sailing better all the time was Matt Pike’s GOT QI, sailing to a 3-2-6-2 to take second on a tie-breaker over Jon Wales’ BANTRY that had a 4-3-3-3 also for 13 pts.  Fourth was past J/105 NA Champion Ken Colburn skippering GHOST and fifth was Marblehead NOOD winner, Ric Dexter’s CIRCE’s CUP.

The J/70 class also had a number of new faces in the crowd make for a pretty radical changing of the guard in just one weekend!  Taking the J/70 class was local rock star Billy Lynn sailing the mighty AFRICA to a 1-2-2-2 for 7 pts total.  Not far off the pace was Kurt Winkelmann’s NAVEGA RACING with a 3-3-3-1 for 10 pts.  Third was Alex Meleny’s LAYLA with a 2-4-1-4 for 11 pts.  Close racing for the top three and it could have easily gone one way or another for these three boats in each race.  Rounding out the top five were class veterans Dave Franzel on SPRING taking 4th and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK in 5th.

J/111 sailing Marblehead ONE regattaIn the world of offshore PHRF handicap racing, the two J/111s in PHRF 2 class took 4th and 5th respectively, Mike Williamson’s BRIGADOON and Ed Kaye’s PRAVDA 2.  In PHRF 3 class, the J/109s dominated, taking four of the top five.  Gary Weisberg’s HEATWAVE won, followed by Chris Zibailo’s SUPERSTITION in 2nd, Dan Boyd & Mitch Wiest’s WILD THING fourth and John Doub’s RESOLVE in fifth.  The J/33 SIROCCO sailed by Ward Blodgett took third in PHRF 5 class.  And, in PHRF Double-handed class the J/122 RESOLUTE sailed by Scott Miller took 2nd while Mike Piper’s EAGLES DARE took 5th.

The ONE Team Championship went to TEAM UCYC (Under the Crane Yacht Club).  The team consisted of:
  • One Design: the J/70 AFRICA skippered by Bill Lynn
  • Racing: the J/33 SCIROCCO skippered by Ward Blodgett
  • Navigator: the Pearson 30 CORSAIR owned by Ralph & Peter Carlton
 Africa was 1st out of 11 J/70s, Sirocco was 3rd out of 7 boats in Class 5 and Corsair was 1st out of 7 boats in Navigator Class 2.   For more Marblehead ONE Regatta sailing information