Tuesday, August 8, 2017

HIJINKS Conquers J/88 North Americans

J/88 sailing (Youngstown, NY)- Of the nine races at the J/88 North American Championship, Laura Weyler's HIJINKS won five of them. Their performance dominated the thirteen-boat fleet, allowing the local team to sit out the final race.

Owner Weyler was joined on board by Adam Burns (helm), Pete Doyle (bow), John Goller (headsail trimmer), Kevin Morgan (strategist) and Kris Werner (tactician). Tim Finkle's SEAWEED came on strong to take the silver position with 23 points. Doug Newhouse's YONDER tied on points with Iris Vogel's DEVIATION at 29 pts for third and fourth, respectively.

J/88 Hijinks winnerWeyler bought her J/88 about a year and a half ago, and was especially satisfied to win this Championship on her home turf. When asked who on her team she'd like to recognize, she said, "If I were Belichick, I'd have to say it's Brady. On our boat, that’s Adam.  Adam was flawless, as well as the rest of the crew!" The J/88 Class was formed earlier this year, and Weyler thanked Iris Vogel, the first Class President, for "leading this Class into the future. It's going to be a growing Class. The level of competition will continually attract people to buy these boats."  Here is how it all took place over the three-day championship.

Day One- A Breezy Day
The thirteen J/88s took to the waters of Lake Ontario on Friday, where 15-20 knots of breeze allowed four wavy, bumpy races. Weyler’s HIJINKS collected a hefty advantage with scores of 1-1-3-1 for just 6 points. Mike Bruno’s WINGS held the second spot with 15 points. Two boats were tied at 17 pts each for third and fourth, respectively; James Egloff’s TOUCH 2 PLAY and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION.

HIJINKS, with local Burns at the helm, took bullets in the first two races.  They were followed by Newhouse’s YONDER and Egloff in race one, and by Tim Finkle’s SEAWEED and Bruno’s WINGS in race two. Bruno then won the third contest, ahead of Egloff and Weyler. Vogel and Doug McKeige’s JAZZ watched HIJINKS notch its third victory of the day in Friday’s final duel.

J/88 North AmericansDay Two- Lumpy Moderate Conditions
After two more races Weyler’s HIJINKS maintained her place atop the leaderboard, now holding an eight-point advantage heading into the final races on Sunday. With Burns at the helm, HIJINKS lodged its lowest finish thus far— a fifth place in race five.  But, they were able to discard the score as their throw-out after race six!  A second in that contest leaves HIJINKS with 8 net points in six races. Vogel’s DEVIATION earned a 2-3 on Saturday to move into second place at 16 net points. Tim Finkle’s SEAWEED and Newhouse’s YONDER were tied just one point back.

Saturday began with breeze at 10-12 knots and lumpy seas, as Newhouse’s YONDER triumphed over Vogel’s DEVIATON and Egloff’s TOUCH 2 PLAY. The Race Committee had to shorten the course in the next race as winds decreased. Finkle’s SEAWEED earned the win, trailed by Weyler and Vogel. The J/88s stayed on the water hoping for the breeze to return, but an additional race was not able to be completed.

J/88 sailing upwindDay Three
The fleet was already staring at a “fait accompli”, with Weyler’s HIJINKS just about pre-ordained to win the regatta overall- such was their domination over the first two days.  With winds on Lake Ontario around 5-7 knots on Sunday, HIJINKS simply sailed away again over the horizon to two more bullets, sealing the deal to win the event.  They did not sail the last race.

The rest of the fleet battled it out to fill out the top five.  In the end, Finkle’s SEAWEED took 2nd place, followed by Newhouse’s YONDER taking the bronze over Vogel’s DEVIATION on a tie-breaker at 29 pts each.  Rounding out the top five was Egloff’s TOUCH 2 PLAY Racing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The top Corinthian team was Joseph & Jeffrey Pawlowski on EASY EIGHTS.  For more J/88 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.