Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cleveland Race Week Preview

J/70 sailing fast downwindJ/70 & J/22 Great Lakes Championship
(Cleveland, OH)- Cleveland Race Week (CRW) is the largest sailing regatta on Lake Erie and one of the largest on the Great Lakes. The annual event, now celebrating its 37th year, attracts hundreds of boats from across the Great Lakes and beyond. Nationally, Cleveland Race Week ranks as one of the largest sailing events based on number of sailing classes. Building on that eminence, this year’s CRW Regatta will again play host to multiple Regional Championship events.

Founded in 1980, CRW has developed into ten days of racing and special events. Edgewater Yacht Club, which recently celebrated it’s Centennial, is currently undergoing an exciting renovation and will be the host club for this event, scheduled to take place June 15-25th. CRW annually draws over 1,500 national and international participants.

One-design fleets that participate include J/22, J/70, J/24, and J/105 classes.  And, the PHRF Division has nine racing divisions and three JAM divisions.  This year’s event is also the Great Lakes Championship for J/22s and J/70s.

J/22 crew working hardThe eleven-boat J/22 fleet from across five states in the northeast and Midwest.  As usual, some of the New York J/22 mafia are in attendance, hoping to lift a few pounds of silver from the podium; those teams include Vic Snyder’s MO’MONEY, John Huebschmann’s ESCAPE, Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA and David Krystaf’s RUFUS.  From the local Ohio fleet are Tim Roberts’ DEUCE, Rick Raymond’s LONDON FOG, Mike Meaney’s MEANIAC, and Jim Latham’s RAMBLE ON.  From farther afield are teams like Chris Princing’s Michigan crew on EVIL DR PORK CHOP/ AWARD & SPORTS, Scott Gelo’s VENTUS from Annapolis, and Dave McBrier’s VAMANOS/ HARDWARECHIMP.COM.

The eight-boat J/24 fleet has virtually an all-Ohio state contingent battling for local honors as Ohio’s “Top Dog”.  For starters, the spoiler to that party could be John O’Brien’s MOSH PIT from Fishers, IN.  Making he has a hard time getting there will be Steve Hronke’s BLACK & TAN, Mike Palmer’s BOOYAH, Ryan Lashaway’s ESCAPE PLAN, Park McRitchie’s NO B.S., Chris Glynn’s THE MYSTERY MACHINE, and two women skippers- Nancy Zangerle’s TBD and Cathy Graf’s GRAFIX.

J/70s sailing off starting lineThe fifteen-boat J/70 fleet has several well-known traveling teams and the locals, representing six states and Canada.  Perhaps the most notable top team is Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Alamitos Bay YC in California, the 2016 Pacific Coast Champion.  He will be up against top locals like Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING, Tod Sackett’s FM, and Lee Sackett’s USA 364.  From Chicago is Jim Prendergast’s USA 167 and from Youngstown is Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR.

The six-boat J/105 class is an all Ohio affair that includes Rick Drucker’s KNOT GUILTY, Steve Mitcham’s BREEZIN BAYOU, Chip Schaffner’s FALL LINE, Lucinda Einhouse’s OVATION, the Uhlir Brothers’ TRIO and Bob Mock’s UNBRIDLED.

In the PHRF Handicap Spinnaker division are 12 J/crews in a fleet of 22 boats- 55% of the fleet! Expected to be at the top of the class are two J/111s- Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF Key West Race Week winning team and Don Hudak’s CAPERS.  They will be chased hard by a plethora of PHRF rocketships (e.g. boats with good ratings), including Chris Mallets’ J/109 SYNCHRONICITY, Tim Yanda’s VIVA LA VIDA, Arne Lillo’s J/29 AQUARIUS, and Mark Saffell’s J/36 PAINKILLER.   In PHRF Non-Spinnaker, Doug Wahl’s J/30 RUBBER SOUL will be taking on the world of 15 boats in his class.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.