Wednesday, May 30, 2018

REACH AROUND Crowned J/70 N.A. Champion!

J/70s sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Thirty-two teams gathered for the J/70 North American Championship at Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. After four races on a spectacular first day, three American teams topped the leaderboard, commanded by Thomas Bowen’s REACH AROUND with 10 points after posting a 4-1-2-3 (onboard was 4x World Champion and College Sailor of the Year Bill Hardesty as tactician- a.k.a. the Dos Equis “world’s most interesting man”) . Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE held second place with 20 points, followed by Chris Snow’s MEXIGENICS with 23. Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO had the advantage in the Corinthian division.

With sunny skies, warm temperatures and breeze around 8 knots, Ricardo Brockmann’s VINCITORRE opened the Championship with a victory, ahead of Yon Belausteguigoitia’s BULLET and Sebastian Halpern’s 707. Winds increased to about 11 knots in the next contest, when Bowen took the bullet, and Brockmann and Perez completed the top trio. Ander Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA earned the race three victory as the breeze amped up again to 13 knots. Bowen and Snow followed.  Lorentzen ended the day on a positive note, while Snow and Bowen flopped second and third.

J/70s sailing pretty lake in MexicoDay Two- Another Glam Day
It was another stellar day for Bowen’s REACH AROUND; following three consecutive bullets Thursday, Bowen added a 2-3 on Friday for a dominating 25-point lead heading into the final two races of the regatta. Bowen counts only scores in the top four of the 32-boat fleet, able to drop an eight, leaving him with 18 net points in 10 races so far. Lorentzen’s NINE maintained the silver position with 43 points, ahead of third place Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA who had 55 points. Now leading the Corinthian division was Hector Guzman Gonzalez’s ESCIPION.

Valle de Bravo delivered winds at a steady 10-14 knots and gusts to 17, with puffs and shifts keeping teams on their toes. Belausteguigoitia’s BULLET lived up to its name in the opening contest, trailed by Bowen and Diego Berho’s BBB. Fernando Stephan Gutierrez snagged the next win, with Snow’s MEXIGENICS and Bowen following.

J/70s sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico Day Three- Yawn! Picture Perfect, Again!
The daily leader never changed over four days and twelve races. Bowen’s REACH AROUND commanded the 32-boat fleet and earned the privilege of returning to host Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo Mexico to watch the final race from ashore! With crew Jacolyn Wetmore, Alec Anderson and Bill Hardesty, Bowen won a third of the races and didn’t record a finish lower than 8 to end with 30 net points (discarding a DNC in race 12).

Fellow American Lorentzen’s NINE sailed a solid series, but settled for second place with 46 points. Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA displaced Snow’s MEXIGENICS to snag third place with 71 points.

Winning the Corinthian division was Hector Guzman Gonzalez’s ESCIPION.  It was an all-Mexican affair for the podium in this division, with Perez’s ZAQUERO taking second and Manuel Vazquez’s CHAVORUCOS getting the bronze.

Picture perfect conditions again greeted competitors on Saturday with winds at 10-14 knots. Fernando Stephan Gutierrez seized the first win of the day, with Lorentzen and Diego Berho’s BBB behind him. Lorentzen concluded the Championship on a high note winning the final race, followed by Chris Snow’s MEXIGENICS and Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO.  As a result, rounding out the top five on a tie-breaker at 83 pts each were Gutierrez taking the 4th on countback and Snow dropping ignominiously to 5th.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information and results Add to Flipboard Magazine.