(Tampa, FL)- Fifty-six J/70 teams qualified to win the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida by competing in at least two of the three weekends with the same boat and skipper. Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE placed third overall in Saturday’s three races before the wind died to secure the Series victory (no races were completed Sunday due to lack of breeze). Darby Smith’s AFRICA earned the silver position in the series (and as Top Women’s Skipper), with Doug Strebel and Jay Lutz’s BLACK RIVER RACING in the bronze.
The QUANTUM J/70 Winter Series Corinthian division was won by Andrew Loe’s DIME PIECE, followed by Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY and Mark Allen on MACRO CONNECT.
The popular Series on Tampa Bay spans three weekends of racing between early December and February, allowing participants to store their boats on-site for a reasonable fee. Alex Meleney of TRUCKIN’ US 343, said, “I want the J/70 Class leadership to know how much I enjoy going down to the Davis Island three-weekend Series during the winter. My northern crew likes to come, and it is easy to get local fill-ins. As a Corinthian, the Series is a great learning opportunity.”
How did the final event off Davis Island go that concluded the outcome of the series? Unsurprisingly, many new faces were in the crowd post Key West Race Week. It was a record turnout for the event, likely due to the fact that three weeks later is the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta hosted by the St Petersburg YC and then, just one week later, the J/70 Midwinters hosted by SPYC in the same venue! Lots of activity on sunny, warm Tampa Bay when all hell is breaking loose weather-wise in the northern parts of the continent.
The regatta weather forecast was variable, at best. There was promise of at least one good day of racing, followed by scramble by the DIYC PRO and the fleet to get in enough sailing on Sunday. At the end, there were just three races to determine the winners in the third QJWS event. Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, TX, sailing with the famous PanAm Gold Medal winners Jay and Jody Lutz, stayed out of trouble to win the regatta with a 1-1-12 for 14 pts. Not far off the pace was Peter Cunningham’s POWEPLAY, sailing a consistent 2-5-8 for 15 pts to take second. Third was Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, fourth was Robert Willis’ RIP RULLAH from Columbia YC in Chicago, IL and fifth place was taken by Josh Goldman’s BUILDING A from Cedar Point YC in Cedar Point, CT.
Taking the honors in the Corinthian fleet of 24 boats was Mark Allen’s MACRO CONNECT from Pontiac YC in Pontiac, MI. Seattle YC’s Andrew Loe guided DIME PIECE into second, while Jon Pollak’s MONKEY BUSINESS from Severn Sailing Association took the bronze. For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information.