Thursday, July 12, 2018

SANTANDER Wins Tiebreaker @ Algarrobo

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, Chile WINDMADE Crowned Chilean J/70 Autumn Circuit Champion
(Algarrobo, Chile)- In the last weekend of June, six races were sailed for the Autumn Championship, hosted by Cofradía Náutica Algarrobo, off the Pacific Coast of Chile.

Seventeen J/70 showed up at the starting line, thanks to the delay of the incoming winter and the lack of snow in the Andes Mountains ski resorts. It is true, many J/70 sailors are also snow skiing fans but the fun-in-the-sun on the ocean was far more appealing!

As the sun rays dawned over the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains to the east on Saturday morning, it was clear the wind was a “no show” for the first part of the day, leading to a postponement until the early afternoon.  Nevertheless, a cold and nice breeze from the west started blowing around 2:30pm.  Three races were sailed with winds ranging from 10 to 13 knots.  It could have been a cold winter day of sailing, but the nice winter sun and the tight racing made the atmosphere warmer than expected.

From the beginning, the battle between Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER and Juan Reid’s WINDMADE started in the first race. In the first beet, WINDMADE (J/70 hull #001) managed to get in front after SANTANDER tried (and failed) to do lee bow getting to the 1st weather mark. On the 2nd beat, SANTANDER chose the left, tacking immediately after rounding the leeward gate.  A good left line of breeze gave them the advantage on the second windward leg. The final result of the 1st race- 1st SANTANDER and 2nd WINDMADE.  In short, that was the summary of the close racing between these two boats all weekend.

The conditions for sailing were very nice.  In general, the left side is favored in the westerly winds, but that was not the case this weekend.  As a result, the fleet could spread out and play windshifts and breeze lines across the race course.

J/70s sailing on Pacific Ocean off ChileThe second race of the day was a lot more complicated for SANTANDER, finishing 13th while WINDMADE finished 5th.  First was Pedro Cabezón (Corinthians and very new skipper in the class!!) and second, again, was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSEI.

For the third race of the day, Reid’s WINDMADE won handily, followed Cristobal Molina’s LEXUS in second and Matias Seguel’s VOLVO in third.  The day closed with WINDMADE leading, followed by SENSEI in second and VOLVO in third place.

The weather forecast for Sunday was complicated, some rain during the morning, but the day continued to get better than expected. The breeze start blowing from the north at 8-12 kts, with tricky, choppy seas (north seas comes directly from offshore) and that made for a challenging race course with difference in pressure and direction.  The seas were very difficult to steer on starboard tack, as you were going perpendicular to the wave train!

It was close racing all day long Sunday. Pablo Amunategui & Rodrigo Guzman’s SANTANDER sailed clean, posting a 1-3-2. With three great starts and perfect tactics/ strategy, they deserved their excellent results.

Meanwhile, WINDMADE struggled a bit on the last day, with finishes of 7-1-3.  In fact, in the last race, Reid’s WINDMADE had a bad start and made an amazing recovery (thanks to great tactics from Rodrigo Amunátegui) to get the third place.

J/70s racing off Algarrobo, ChileWith six races, one discard race came into play.  On total points, WINDMADE won, but with discards, both WINDMADE and SANTANDER were tied with identical records of 1-1-2-3-5 at 12 pts each.  Amazing! Shocking! In any event, “c’est la vie, c’est la guerre”!  It came down to “who-beat-who” in the last race, tipping that advantage to SANTANDER over WINDMADE. Rounding out the podium was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSIE with 14 pts- the most consistent boat in the regatta, throwing out a 5th place and on straight points/ no throw-outs had won the regatta!  Tight racing to say the least for this trio.  The balance of the top five included Seguel’s VOLVO in 4th and Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI in 5th position.

In the Corinthians division, there was just about a three-way tie for first!  Two cousins, and both Lightning skippers, Cristóbal Pérez on TRILOGIA and Francisco Pérez on ELEANOR RYGBY, both finished with 46 pts! That tiebreaker went in favor of TRILOGIA.  Just one point back with 47 pts was Paolo Molina’s ALBATROSS.

After the Algarrobo event, the eighteen-race Chilean J/70 Autumn series concluded, with two discards permitted for overall results.  Crowned as champion was Juan Reid’s WINDMADE with 49 pts total. The silver went to Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI with 62 pts and the bronze to Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER with 67 pts.

In the Corinthians Division, winning the Autumn Series was Pablo Cisternas’ UROBORO with 153 pts. Second was José Antonio Jiménez onboard JUMENEZ with 170 pts and third was Francisco Pérez skippering ELEANOR RYGBY scoring 183 pts.

The Chilean J/70 class begins their Spring series on September 8th and 9th with one regatta per month until the middle of December (when the Summer Series commences). Twenty boats are expected for the Spring series.

In the meantime, three teams are preparing to sail the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA (Boston)- WINDMADE, TSUNAMI, and BLACK SAILS. Add to Flipboard Magazine.