North American J/80 Class Association
Thanks to Jeffrey A. Rabinowitz, J/80 NA Class President, USA 738 Mistress, for the report:
The North American J/80 Class held its East Coast Championship event from Friday, July 28th to Sunday, July 30th as part of the Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA) annual regatta in Kingston, Ontario. Kingston, famous for its reliable breeze and challenging windshifts was the venue for the 1976 Olympic sailing regatta, and the ECC was hosted by the Kingston Yacht Club (est. 1896).
Racing began on Friday morning under mostly sunny skies and moderate breezes between 8 to 12 knots. With excellent race management, the Race Committee treated racers to four races over the course of the afternoon. Saturday dawned gray and rainy. The fleet went out and the RC managed to get off one race under difficult and sporty conditions of driving rain and breeze from 15 to 20 knots with gusts in the upper 20s. Class stalwart Hugh McGugan (CAN 347 Breakaway J) noted that "the NE breeze saw the J/80s planing downwind at speeds in the 15 knot range (the 1 mile run took 5 minutes to sail), mostly under control although with a couple of notable exceptions and spectacular broaches". On Saturday night racers enjoyed dinner and local music at KYC. Sunday began with light conditions of about 5 knots that built throughout the day to 12 to 15 knots. The RC provided teams with 4 quality races and still brought the fleet back with ample time for teams to derig, decompress, and lift a beverage or two before the awards ceremony. As for results, Conor Hayes and team More Gostosa (USA 1153) provided a master class with six bullets and a total of 9 points after their drops. There was a hard fought battle for the remaining podium places. In the end, John Vallee and team Sheets and Giggles (CAN 1326) was second with a total of 22.5 points after their drops. Both Hugh McGugan and team Breakaway J and Doug Gibson and team Cheeky Monkey (CAN 1067) had 28 points, with Breakaway J winning the tie breaker for third. Congratulations to all the teams! In moving the east coast 500 miles inland, the J/80 Class truly embraced our rapidly-growing Fleet 20. Fleet 20 actually comprises several dispersed J/80 local fleets and has grown every year for the last 8 years: Toronto area (12 J/80s), Ottawa/Nepean (7), Port Dover on Lake Erie (4), Rochester NY (4), as well as 1 in Kingston and 1 nearby in Eastern Lake Ontario. With suburb organization, grace, style and cooperating breeze the North American J/80 Class was treated to a fantastic event. Particular thanks must go to Hugh McGugan and his mighty gin pole for raising and lowering so many masts in such a short timeframe! Smiles abounded at this regatta and there is already discussion about coming back. The Class thanks LYRA, KYC, the entire Race Committee, volunteers, staff and the City of Kingston for hosting the event.
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