Tuesday, October 18, 2016

VINEYARD VINES Wins J/70 East Coasts

J/70 Vineyard Vines wins East Coast Champs (Rye, NY)- American YC hosted their 12th annual HEINEKEN High Performance Dinghy Open and, simultaneously, ran the J/70 East Coast Championship off Rye, New York.  Like their college sailing friends in western Long Island Sound, the twenty-two teams that had registered to sail the event experienced far better sailing conditions than anticipated for the weekend.  In the end, after sailing eleven races (counting 9 after 2 drops), it was John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES that blitzkrieged the fleet with five bullets enroute to a dominating performance in the challenging conditions.

Saturday dawned with a moderate ENE breeze in the 6-10 kts range and, in fact, slowly increased to permit the American YC PRO’s to run six races on the day- a marathon for everyone, including the race committee and mark boats!  On Sunday, the tail feathers of Hurricane Matthew worked their way across Long Island to provide exciting racing conditions- 12-20 kts planing mode most of the day, much to the delight of the sailors.  While cold, wet and windy, the tremendous physical activity downwind kept the crews warm and focused!

J/70 Team Vineyard VinesBehind TEAM VINEYARD VINES most excellent performance was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE, winning a few races themselves and posting all top five finishes to take the silver with just 25 pts net.  Behind them, it was a tremendous battle for the last spot on the podium between John Brim’s RIMETTE with Stephanie Roble (US Women’s #1 Match Race sailor) as tactician and Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis YC in the Chesapeake Bay.  Having sailed Long Island Sound waters for decades, it appeared that Brim’s RIMETTE had the upper hand for most of the races.  In fact, their worst race the entire regatta was a 7th; an astounding achievement for a 60+ year old skipper in such hard-core racing conditions!  Nevertheless, their battle came down to the wire, with the Wulff’s tying them on points at 35 net pts each, with the tie-breaker going in favor of the Napolitans over the Long Islanders.  Fifth was Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTONFLY with 51 pts net.  Sailing photo credits- Karen Ryan.  For more J/70 East Coast Championship sailing information