J/80 hull #1 still going strong in the Northwest photos by Jan Anderson
Race Report by: Lek Dimarucot
The J/80 West Coast Championship was held on Oct 9 and 10 as part of the Puget Sound Sailing Championship organized by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. While several local teams couldn’t make it to the event, eight boats raced in the regatta.
Conditions varied widely, from strong breeze and choppy seas on Saturday (more typical of fall racing in Puget Sound), to calm, sunny weather with
variable wind on Sunday.
Emre “John” Sezer’s Reckless (USA 296) took bullets in all three races on Saturday, holding back Lek Dimarucot’s Underdog (USA 85) who finished second in every race. As the wind strengthened from the low teens to over 25 knots, crews and boats were tested and only half of the fleet completed the last
race of the day. Among many other incidents experienced by the fleet, Reckless tore a spinnaker and Underdog broke their vang after a knockdown.
Crews kept a lookout for a beluga whale rarely encountered in the Sound but recently reported to be in the area, but thankfully the wayward cetacean steered clear of the racecourse. It would have been hard to spot in the heavy chop, sea spray, and later pelting rain which the fleet encountered on Saturday.
The weather was a lot more sedate the following day. Because of the variable wind conditions, the race committee was only able to run two races, one in a southeasterly wind and the other in a northwesterly.
Charles and Sarah Hampson’s High Five (USA 333) won first place in both Sunday races, gaining a spot on the podium despite missing the last race on Saturday. Although Underdog finished second in both Sunday races, posting a consistent 2-2-2-2-2 scoreboard over the weekend, However, Reckless’ wall of bullets erected on Saturday proved impenetrable and Underdog took second overall.
Reckless won the West Coast Championship, despite John Sezer being overseas on another sailing adventure. “Wow, what a showing,” said a thankful John to his team, which included David Rogers, Kelly Moon, and Marc-Andrea Klimaschewski. What better proof is there that John has gathered a deep
bench of talent than Reckless winning the championship while he was away.
Pacific Northwest Fleet 18, together with the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle, has hosted the West Coast Championship since 2018. The local J/80 fleet has been rapidly growing in recent years, fueled not only by private owners discovering how much fun it is to race in a J/80, but also by sailing clubs who use the boat for introductory sailing lessons.
Photos of the event, including other fleets racing, can be found here.