Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kullman Dominant @ Quantum J/70 Winter Series I

J/70 Africa- woman skipper Darby Smith(Tampa, FL)- Fifty-four J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the first event of the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series on December 10th and 11th.  Basking in sunshine and breeze between 10-18 knots for seven races, Marty Kullman and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND finished strong with three straight bullets to secure the weekend victory with 13 points.

It was a tough fleet and the forecasted breezes, surprise surprise, actually filled in on the notoriously fickle Tampa Bay for most of the weekend.  The Davis Island YC’s PRO took full advantage of their good fortune, pumping out seven quick races with speed and surgical precisions.  The sailors were enthusiastic, raced hard, and virtually every mark rounding, as has become customary in tight J/70 class racing, saw teams living with “snakes & ladders” mark rounding positions every race.

J/70 Stampede sailing Tampa BayThere were several “storybook” performances in this event, notable for yet another top woman skipper’s performance, but also for the number of new faces from across the American landscape that finished at the top of the leaderboard.  Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew from Fort Worth, TX was the only team to sail all top 7 races to take 2nd overall.  The top women helm was Darby Smith’s AFRICA from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA, taking third overall.  A Chicago-based team that sails on Lake Michigan took fourth place, Mike Whitford’s RIP RULLAH from Columbia YC.  Then, David Kerr’s crew from Edgewater YC in Cleveland, OH took fifth position.

J/70s sailing off Tampa Bay waterfrontThe winner of the “Old Man of the Sea” Award (top skipper over 60) at the 2016 J/70 Worlds in San Francisco, CA, the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s Peter Cunningham, sailed his POWERPLAY into 11th overall in the talented fleet, posting a 3rd in one race Saturday and a 2nd in the last race Sunday!

The 23-boat Corinthian division was topped by Andrew Loe’s TBD from Seattle YC with 84 pts.  Second was Bryan Cameron’s B-SQUARED from Sayville YC and third was Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from host Davis Island YC.  The balance of the top five included Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY in 4th and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK in 5th.

The next events for the Quantum J/70 Winter Series are January 7-8, 2017 and the finale is February 4-5, 2017.   For more Quantum J/70 Winter series sailing information