The regatta started off with light winds on Saturday, with the race committee managing to run four races. Leading after the first day with a very steady 2-3-2-3 was Seguel’s ALEGRO- he was 10th in the San Francisco J/70 Worlds and was winner of the Chilean J/24 Nationals just three weeks ago. Needless to say, Seguel’s crew felt like they were on a roll with their skipper, Felipe "Flecha" Robles, at the helm. In second for the day was Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI with a 4-6-3-2 and sitting in third was Jorge Gonzalez’s MAL CRIADO with a 3-1-8-6.
On the second day of racing, the winds increased substantially over the day before. With bigger waves and “planing mode” conditions, the differences in each teams performance changed dramatically; some crews were much faster than others in the bigger breeze. Consequently, Robles’ LEXUS crew closed with a convincing record of 2-1-3-4 to be able to throw out a first race 13th place to win the regatta on the tie-breaker. Behind the two leaders in third place was Pablo Amunategui’s BLACK JACK with 23 pts total. The balance of the top five included Vergara’s SENSEI in 4th and Per Von Appen’s BLACK SAILS in 5th place (he was the 2016 Chilean J/70 Nationals winner on Lago Panguipulli).
According to Juan Eduardo Reid, the Chilean J/distributor, “we had five teams debuting this weekend. Four of them received their boats from the J/70 Worlds San Francisco purchase program! The sixth team to debut was J/70 156, it was donated by entrepreneur Nicolás Ibañez young sailors to campaign on the Chile J/70 circuit; for this regatta Branko Markinovik, former Chile National Opti and Laser coach, crewed for the young skipper Ezequiel Grez- a very promising sailor at the National and World level!”
The next major regatta for the Chilean J/70s will be the 2017 J/70 Nationals on Panguipulli Lake from February 10th to 12th; this regatta will be the largest since the class was formed in late 2014, with 18-20 J/70 teams expected from all fleets! There will also be a Pre-Nationals Regatta on Frutillar Lake (close to Puerto Montt and Patagonia) from February 3rd to 5th.