The J/24 fleet in Talcahuano hosted the regatta out of the Chilean Navy Base in Marina El Manzano. Of note, this harbor was located at the center of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010 that flooded coastal cities and harbors up to 8,000nm away! The fleet and harbor have since recovered and have a growing fleet of J/24s in the last few years, now numbering a dozen boats! Participating in this year’s event were several famous South American sailors, including Patricio Seguel, Matias Seguel, Vernon Robert, Raúl del Castillo and Carlos Pérez.
Racing started on Saturday for the fifteen-boat fleet that had participants from Talcahuano (10 teams) and Concepción (5 crews). The fleet was challenged by tricky, shifty northerly all day. The wind was shifting from due north to the west and then back again during the course of three races held during the day.
From the very beginning, Matias Seguel’s GURU and Raul el Castillo’s LA BANCA were dueling for the top of the leaderboard. At the conclusion of racing, GURU was leading with a 2-2-1 for 5 pts with LA BANCA in second with a 3-4-2 for 9 pts. Third position was held by Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT with a 6-1-4. Vernon Robert’s JOYITA could have been amongst the leaders with all top three finishes, but was DSQ’d in the second race to end up with a 1-DSQ-3.
At the end of the long day a burgers & beers party was offered at the Chilean naval base by the local fleet and with support of Navy people- led by Ricardo Vío, who is in charge of sailing development at the Marina, and Fernando González, owner JOTE, a local J/24.
For the second day of racing on the famous Talcahuano bay, well known for their strong thermal seabreezes, the fleet ended up having to camp out on the shoreline until the breeze built to a sailable level. Around noon, the southwesterly seabreeze built quickly with winds blowing form 10-15 kts, gusting to 17 kts. Three very good races were sailed to determine the championship. Seguel’s GURU continued to dominate the regatta, sailing away with a 1-2-1 for an easy win with 7 pts net, throwing out a 2nd as his worst score! The balance of the podium was a battle between el Castillo’s LA BANCA and Robert’s JOYITA. Robert closed with a 2-4-4 but it was not enough to overcome el Castillo’s 4-1-6; both were tied at 14 pts each with LA BANCA taking 2nd overall and JOYITA third. Rounding out the top five was Patricio Seguel’s MACH POINT in 4th just 1 pt out of third with 15 pts and fifth place was taken by Carlos Perez’s BUFFALO.