Monday, April 9, 2018

CARRERA Crowned J/24 South American Champion

J/24 South Americans- sailing Lago San Roque (Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba, Argentina)- For the first time, the J/24 South American Championship was held high in the Andes Mountains, in the spectacular setting of Lago San Roque.  The views are simply awesome, clear blue waters, with majestic 14,000 ft snow-capped mountain peaks ringing the horizon around the western part of lake.  Twenty-one teams from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay made the long trek up into the mountains to savor the delicious wines of the famous Cordoban region- the world-renowned “malbec” reds- and the lovely, quaint waterfront of Villa Carloz Paz on the southwestern corner of the lake.

After the 10th and final race of the regatta, Matias Pereira’s team on CARRERA from YC Olivos (Buenos Aires) were crowned the winners after winning 7 of the 10 races!  There is no question they are one of Argentina’s top crews, with Pereira having won the J/24 South Americans five times before, won five Argentine J/24 National Championships, and were the Gold Medallist at the Pan-American Games sailed on J/24s in Toronto, ONT, Canada!

J/24s sailing South Americans- Villa Carlos Paz, ArgentinaThe first day of racing produced a roller-coaster ride for most of the fleet, in particular, the top five teams. After three races in the shifty, puffy winds that Lago San Roque is famous for, the leading crew was a local Cordoban team- Julian Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.  Their 3-5-1 record for 9 pts was just one point ahead of another local boat- Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO that had a 5-2-3 for 10 pts.  Then, sitting in the third spot was Sebastian Halpern’s MORRUCHO with a 6-3-4 tally for 13 pts.  Winners for each race were Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE, Matias Pereira’s CARRERA and Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.

After three more races, it was quite clear that one team had finally found their “mojo” and blitzed the fleet for three straight bullets- Pereira’s CARRERA.  Now counting net totals after tossing your lowest score, Pereira could now dump his 3rd race Black Flag (19 pts) and take the lead with just 11 pts.  Despontin’s INDIGO was solidly in second place with all 2nds and 3rds and sitting in third place was Pendola’s CACIQUE.

Waking up on the third day, the teams were greeted by a strong wind of 15-20 kts and with big shifts and big streaks, the top teams sailed away from the fleet.  The CARRERA team from Buenos Aires loved the big breeze, posting three more bullets to take a commanding lead.  However, not to be outdone too badly, getting all deuces was Despontin’s INDIGO to take a firm grasp of second place.  The big change was the final spot on the podium, where Halpern’s MORRUCHO sailed a consistent 5-3-6 to leap back into contention.

The tenth and final race on the fourth day did nothing to change those standings from the previous day, with Pereira’s crew taking the Championship.  Winning the last race was Pendola’s CACIQUE pulling themselves back into 4th place for the regatta.  Rounding out the top five was Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.

Congratulations to all competitors and organizers for a brilliant event!  It was a great celebration of yachting of the highest magnitude (and altitude) in Argentina!  Special mention must be made for their participation and enthusiasm at the regatta- to Patricio Rodriguez’s Team VIKING from the Bio Bio flee in Chile and, especially, to the passionate women’s team on PEPPER from YC Uruguay led by skipper Carolina Rodriguez.  For more South American J/24 Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.