Friday, August 12, 2016

J/Fest New England Preview

J/Teams at start line (Bristol, RI)- The first New England J/Fest is shaping up to be a popular one!  With forty-one boats already registered and more planning to attend, the weekend of August 13th to 14th should provide exciting racing in upper Narragansett Bay.  Host for the regatta is Bristol YC and racing will be provided on two circles.  There is one-design racing for J/22s, J/70s, J/30s, J/105s and J/109s.  And, for the rest of the boats there will be PHRF handicap racing for J/88s, J/29s, J/35s, J/92s, J/100s, and J/97.

On Friday evening, August 12th at 6:30pm, there will be a “Local Knowledge Briefing and North Sails Happy Hour”, featuring local experts- North Sails President Ken Read and J/24 Champion and Volvo Race veteran Charlie Enright- for all competitors prior to the skippers meeting at Bristol YC. Get in the know and hit the water with speed for the weekend's racing!!  The "Happy Hour" is courtesy of your North Sails crew!

Furthermore, North U. Regatta Services sailing team is offer a “Practice Day with North U.” on Friday afternoon, August 12th.  There will be on-the-water practice clinics for all competitors. Please RSVP to Chuck Allen ( to make sure the North U. crew finds you!

Coming off their well-attended J/109 North American Championships at New York YC’s Race Week in July, the J/109s will have the largest class at J/Fest with nine teams participating.  Notable crews include Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE, Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA, and past NA Champion- Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING from New Bedford YC.

The J/105s will have a strong showing as well, with seven boats on the line, including past J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault sailing GOOD TRADE from St Francis YC.  They will be sailing against a number of good teams from across New England, including Mark Lindquist’s STERLING from Beverly YC, Fred Darlington’s TONTO from East Greenwich YC, Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF from Low Tide YC, and Charlie Stoddard’s FALCON 2.0 from Barrington YC.

With eight boats on the starting line, the J/22 fleet boasts teams from as far as Kaneohe, Hawaii!  Ken Kaan’s crew from Kaneohe YC are looking forward to test the waters of the Bay against teams like Bill Porter’s CONUNDRUM from Conanicut YC, Nick Cromwell’s DIRT DOG from Bristol YC, Matt Dunbar’s WHARF RAT from Conanicut YC and David Wehr’s SHAKE & BAKE from East Greenwich YC.

The first ever cruiser-racer from J/Boats, the famous J/30, will feature five boats from around the Bay, including Chris Tate’s BLITZ, Dan Borsutzky’s HAM & CLAM, Jim Hilton’s KAOS from Tiverton YC, Bob Rude’s MMMM from Bristol YC and Mark Rotzky’s NEMESIS from Bristol YC.

The leading J/70 teams include Scott Dinse’s MARGARITAVILE from Youngstown YC in New York, Chris Murray’s LUCKY from Ida Lewis YC and Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA from Wickford YC.

The nine boat PHRF Division will be a study in contrasts from the old classics like the J/29 and J/35 to the newest off the drawing boards of the J/design team- the J/88 and the J/97.  In fact, the “battle of the 30 footers” includes two J/88s (Jeff Johnstone’s ELECTRA and Doug Newhouse’s YONDER), two J/29s (Charles McCooy’s HAWK and Steve Thurston’s MIGHTY PUFFIN), plus EC Helme’s J/92 SPIRIT and David Russ’ J/97 SEA BEAR.  Joining them will be another battle of the 34-35 footers; Lanny Goff’s J/35 ICON, Carol Scanlon’s J/100 MOXIE and Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY.  For more J/Fest New England sailing information