Saturday, October 22, 2016

J/105 Stella Artois North Americans Preview

J/105 sailing offshore (Larchmont, NY)- Since 1991, as the world’s first sprit “sportboat class”, the J/105 class continues to attract a strong group of corinthian sailors from across the spectrum of experience; both offshore sailors as well as round the buoys windward/leeward specialists.  For the 2016 edition of the 2016 Stella Artois J/105 North American Championship, forty boats from across several continents- the USA, Canada, Bermuda and Europe- are participating.

The host, Larchmont Yacht Club, is famous for its “Pandemonium” facility and its unconditional support of one-design sailing and offshore events.  The forty teams can expect terrific on-shore festivities for all four days of the event, starting Wednesday evening and ending with the awards ceremony on Sunday.

The field has diverse talents and includes several North American Champions (like Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer’s MANDATE, James Rathbun’s HEY JUDE, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE) as well as multiple regional champions in events like Block Island Race Week, J/Fest Southwest, Marblehead Race Week, NYYC Race Week (like Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE, Fred deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA, Mike Mountford’s LIVE EDGE, Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE, George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION, Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, Fred Darlington’s TONTO and Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS).

The previous weekend was treated as a training/ warm-up for several boats sailing the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series.  What was notable was the dominance of the top three boats, winning was the Toronto, Ontario team hailing from Royal Canadian YC- McLaughlin/ Wilmer’s MANDATE.  They were followed by two teams that finished the regatta tied on points- Stone/Breault’s GOOD TRADE taking the tie-breaker over deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  Another noteworthy performance was to see the American YC’s J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, sailed by the Young American Junior Big Boat Team, win one race in convincing fashion.

With four days of racing scheduled and up to 12 races to be sailed, the J/105 teams will be working hard to maintain a high degree of consistency.  The weather forecast indicates the first two days will be in light to moderate breezes.  But, a Low that continues to deepen and move up the northeastern shoreline is showing it may give sailors 15-25 kt winds, gusting to 30 kts and much, much cooler temperatures- high 40s and low 50s for Saturday & Sunday!  True fall weather conditions on Long Island Sound!   For more Stella Artois J/105 North Americans sailing information