Monday, February 6, 2017

CARRERA Crowned J/24 South American Champions

J/24 Carrera sailing Punta del Este, Uruguay (Punta del Este, Uruguay)- The 2017 J/24 South American Championship was hosted by the extraordinary club  members at the Yacht Club Punta del Este on the gorgeous “Latin American Riviera” known simply as “Punta”.  Surrounded by spectacular high-rises, even more spectacular beaches, and an amazing harbor/bay to race around, the eighteen teams from three countries- Argentina (11), Peru (2) and Uruguay (5)- experienced near champagne conditions for the entire regatta.

After ten races, there was no question the class act of the regatta was the Argentinean crew on CARRERA, led by skipper Matias Pereira and crew of A Guerra, J Bellinotto, E Losano and G Bellinito.  Winning 4 of 10 races ultimately led to a winning total of 24 pts.

J/24 sailing with spinnaker off Punta del EsteThe first day of sailing the regatta was epic.  Three races in 18-23 kts of breeze, big waves and lots of sun!  The locals from Uruguay were tough in these conditions.  Local hotshot Pedro Garra and his PANTERA crew (M Garcia, I Guichef, M Leite, A Carlucio) were first with just 4 pts, having posted a 2-1-1 on day one.  They were followed by Matias Pereira on CARRERA with 6 pts and Harry Giura on LUCA (with crew of D Guani, G Arocena, I Arocena, M Pineyro) with a 3-5-4 for 12 pts.  Fourth was the top Peruvian boat, Javier Arribas’ MONARCA (with crew of J Gavino, A Lafosse, M Markovinovic, D Mendoza) with 17 pts.

J/24 sailing upwind at Punta del Este, UruguayThe second day of racing on Friday brought beautiful, electrifying racing.  The breeze subsided to 12-15 kts with much less swell, with all teams returning to using their 150% genoas.  After a one-hour postponement, the racing started in a southerly breeze that slowly shifted left to the southeast.  Three more races were run, with the course clearly favoring going to the coastline off to the left and catching the breeze lines filling in off the beach.  It was a great day of sailing for Sergio Pendola’s crew on CACIQUE (C Dagusti, J Lupo, M Santangelo, L Luzzi), posting a blistering pace of 2-4-1 to surge up into the top of the leaderboard and win “Boat of the Day”.   Overall, Garra’s PANTERA was still winning with Pereira’s CARRERA following closely behind.

J/24s sailing off beach at Punta del Este, UruguayOn Saturday, the third day of racing dawned with a 16 kts wind out of the north that little by little started to weaken and get increasingly shift.  Fortunately, the YCPE PRO Bernie Knuppel managed to knock out another three races, much to the delight of the fleet.  With the ability to apply a discard after six races, the leadership board has changed significantly.  Now, CARRERA was leading followed by Garra’s PANTERA.

For the finale on Sunday, it was a nearly anti-climactic scenario.  By winning the final race, CARRERA walked off with the Championship.  Taking second was Garra’s PANTERA followed by Pendola’s CACIQUE in third.  Rounding out the top five, it was Rodrigo Benedetto’s HAIK- THOMPSON REUTERS team that took 4th place with Marcelo Alzola’s BLUECROSS & BLUESHIELD team placed 5th.

The 2016 South American Champion, Matias Pereira, adds to his laurels that of Pan American Champion and Argentinean Champion 2016!! This result gives Pereira an automatic place to participate in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Canada.   For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information