Saturday, August 5, 2017

J/122E Wins Chicago Mackinac Race- the full report!

Bob Mampe- sailing J/122E Gotta Wanta (Mackinac Island, MI)- Bob Mampe, owner of the new J/122E GOTTA WANTA, sailed an amazing Chicago to Mackinac Race and won their class going away.  Here is Bob’s account of their experience in this year’s wild and woolly Mac Race:

“I’m just getting back into sailing after a hiatus of nearly 21 years. I've always dreamed of owning a plumb-bowed performance boat. I searched the internet and studied the numbers and came across the J/122. Unfortunately, Mitch Padnos snatched up the only available one in the USA at the time. Fortunately, for me, I was ready when the new J/122 E came out.

Over next couple of years I've had the good fortune to have some J/Boat smart guys around me like Tom Babel "well known in the J racing " He's a member of GTYC and good friend. We worked putting a group out of the yacht club and in a couple of years we're doing quite well.

Getting to the Mac Race, it was everything one could ask for. Starting with light winds, then a nice build to a full gale and an 18 hour beat to Pt Betsie and the Manitous, then chasing cats paws going to Greys Reef! The great thing about the J/122E is that it does all of them well. You just need to know which buttons to push.

Our crew was under the tutelage of Tom Babel, a great offshore sailor, and they were ready!

windy tumbleweedsWe worked our way out of the start with the Code Zero and, as the wind built, we debated A1.5 or A2 spinnakers, ultimately we went with the A2 and never looked back, the symmetrical chutes were no match. As we're getting close to midnight Tom was on the helm and we saw the weather to the west we knew it would hit soon!  So, we got the J3 heavy weather jib on deck ready to go.  We also discussed “letter-boxing” the kite and untied the knots in tack and sheets. We didn't get the lazy sheet over the boom but we got a hold with several people when all hands on deck was called out. The take down went with out incident when we were hit with 40+ knots. Tom was on the helm at the time and let out a Hee Haa and we were going 15 knots boatspeed “bare-headed” under full main alone!

Things clocked around to the north fairly quickly and the slug-fest began. J3 first reef in the main beating into 20 to 25 knots no problem. Tacking back in forth under the lee of Leelanau Peninsula closer to shore was nicer than heading west. The boat is an up wind killer as well as it reaches.

J/122E wins Chicago to Mackinac Race!The next was the best to come. Light to no wind! Jim Elvart nephew in law had the cat paw / tumble weed debate all the way through to Greys Reef with Tom. It's about wind trying to re connect to the water. Jimmy is the master, and I thought I was good. The competition started to catch us but the artful debate an incredible bottom "They didn't have a chance"
The J/122E is absolutely deadly in light air. About 40 gibes latter with the A 1.5 The Mighty Crew of the Gotta Wanta did a horizon shot on the rest of the fleet.

I am blessed with a great bunch of friends an incredible all-weather boat.  Thanks to my amazing crew- Mark Clark, Tom Babel, Mike Burns, Karen Nemecek, Jim Elvart, Andrew Berg, Eric Geiser, and Scott Zimmerman!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.