Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fabulous Sail Newport Regatta

J/70s sailing Newport RegattaAwesome Sailing for J/70s & J/24s!
(Newport, RI)- The largest regatta of Newport’s summer sailing for one-design sailboats is the Sail Newport Regatta. The fleet of seventy keelboats had thirty-nine J/crews (55% of keelboats) competing in two of the world’s leading keelboat classes- the J/70 and J/24.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the racing over the three-day weekend was the weather.  On Friday, a pernicious low pressure system was working its way ever, every so slowly east, just south of Long Island Sound and south of Newport.  In the morning until about 2:30pm on Friday it rained, from a persistent drizzle to a sheer monsoon-like downpour.  Everyone was pretty much soaked to the skin and cold with temperatures in the high 60s.  Then, as predicted in several “grib” forecasts, like magic the skies went overcast and a strong northerly filled in behind the front, providing the fleet 10 to 18 kts winds for two quick races.  Saturday and Sunday could not have started out more differently, but ultimately, both days produced simply classic Newport sunny, windy seabreeze conditions at SSW 10-17 kts.

J/70 HOSS sailed by Glennn DardenWith twenty-nine teams, the J/70s were by far the largest and most competitive fleet of the event, with more than half of the total sailors participating in the regatta. For a modest-sized fleet, there was extraordinary depth of talent; from various classes there were Olympic and Pan Am Medallists, plus World, European, North American and National Champions all represented in just half of the teams entered! In the end, it was Peter Duncan’s very talented RELATIVE OBSCURITY team (that included Juddie Smith and Willem van Waay) that won the regatta with just 13 pts net, winning three of the seven races.  Taking second place with 20 pts net was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team from Beverly YC in Buzzards Bay.  Third on the podium was Oivind Lorentzen’s crew on NINE with 23 pts net.  Rounding out the top five was John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES with 26 pts in fourth and in fifth place was Glenn Darden’s crew on HOSS that included Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician and main trimmer.

The Corinthians Division in the J/70s was won by Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE team from New York YC with 43 pts, followed by Mallory & Andrew Loe’s crew on DIME in second place with 53 pts, third was Daan Goedkoop’s LOCOMOTION with 68 pts.

In the Youth Teams Division, 1st place was Brendan Read’s SCUBA STEVE, followed by Brad Gibbs’ GLIDE in second and Rachel Bryer’s JUNKANOO in third place.

Not surprisingly, the J/24 class turned into a shoot-out at the OK Corral between three teams that all have North American or Worlds credentials on their collective resumes. After the dust cleared, it was Travis Odenbach’s crew on HONEY BADGER that won with 11 pts net, collecting four 1sts in the six races they counted.  Second were the lethally competitive combination of John Mollicone and Tim Healy on Team HELLY HANSEN, starting out very slowly (a 9-5 in the first two races), but closing fast as they worked out their bugs for a 1-2-2 in the last three races for 15 pts net.  Third only one point back was Rochester YC’s Mike Ingham sailed NAUTALYTICS to 16 pts net and collecting four 2nds along the way.  Fourth place went to Matt Coughlin’s FUDGIE and fifth position to Ted Winston’s PASSAGE EAST.  For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.