Beverly Yacht Club Commodore Jack Gierhart (left) presented the perpetual J/80 North American Class Association trophy to Bill Marvel, Zander Gryska, 2018 champion skipper Chip Johns & Cam Tougas. Race PRO Sam Vineyard is at right
Chip Johns and his crew of Zander Gryska (mast), Cam Tougas (pit), and Bill Marvel (trimmer) dominated in 3 days of racing in windy conditions to win this year’s 2018 J/80 North American Championship, hosted by the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, Mass. The crew aboard 702 Cavitica, whose worst score in the 13 races held was a 4, got shot out of a cannon early to open the competition with two straight wins on the opening day of racing on Buzzards Bay and never looked back. Congratulations to team Cavitica on a fine performance!
Thursday evening at the skippers’ meeting before racing opened, Race PRO Sam Vineyard promised a brisk turn-around between races, for the 22 teams assembled, as a cold front with heavy rain and a lightning show outside the BYC clubhouse swept in a strong northeasterly breeze that would hold and build across the event. Vineyard was true to his word, getting off 5 races on day one in 13-knots and better; day two saw 15-plus knots with higher gusts in the often oscillating winds and washing machine-like chop; day three saw 15-20 knots under a low overcast cloud cover- all in unusual contrast to Buzzards Bay usual southwesterly thermal and wave set.
The conditions made the starts critical as those who got off with clear air got to choose when to tack on each shift while the boats in the second row looked to clear air but often got pin-balled by the lead group. Here again, Johns and his team were masters of the start with phenomenal acceleration off the line and going the right way. They seemed to tack on every shift and while they didn’t win every race, their 1,1,3,3,2,1,1,3,1,4,2,4 scores were enough to hold off Kevin Hayes & Jeff Kirchoff’s More Gostosa from fleet 1 on Lake Winnipisaukee, helmed by Conor Hayes, who finished in second overall, 11 points behind, and 2016 NA Champ John White on 1162, who finished 3rd, with 44 points.
Johns, a past Commodore at BYC, was instrumental in getting BYC to host the Championship this year. The fleet-12 Marion racers upheld the honor of the host club with an outstanding demonstration of winning starts, acelleration off the line, upwind boatspeed-keeping the boat flat in windy conditions, great tactics and sound boathandling.
The excellent all volunteer BYC committee provided housing for visiting teams and quick turn-around on launch and haul at Barden’s Boat Yard. While J/80 class president Ramzi Bannura oversaw the weigh-in and measurement supported by several independent ISAF measurers. BYC’s hot clam chowder, free beer, excellent food service, and inclusive dockage made a welcome and easy focus on the racing.
Full Official scoring can be found on Yachtscoring.com
Photographer Anne T. Converse has posted some pics on facebook HERE.
Day 2, Race 1 Cavitica horizons the fleet. Photo courtesy of Hew Russell
The start line with Gary Panariellero (Bow#7) who finished 4th overall getting the jump! photo courtesy of Hew Russell
In a stunning display of boat speed in light air, Les Beckwith and his team on 1151 FKA came from behind and won the 2018 J/80 East Coast Championships in Boothbay, Maine this past weekend. FKA representing fleet 1 from Lake Winnipesaukee, had a solid first day of racing with a couple of bullets, but also a 10th place and a couple of mid-pack 6th place finishes in the 16-boat fleet to put him in fourth place after 5 races on the first day of racing-which was held east of Squirrel Island in a light SSW’ly 4-6 knot breeze and sunny skies. The left side of the course paid off all day with a lift off Fisherman’s Island and a bit more velocity.
The standings after day one had 1153 More Gostosa, helmed by Conor Hayes leading with 16 points followed by Dan Shanahan’s Lawyers, Guns, and $, (Mangos), Ken Mangano from Annapolis being a guest trimmer, with 22 points, followed closely by Craig & Madeline Preston’s hull # 4, Sky Rocket, then Beckwith, a slim point behind them in 4th place, with 24 points.
The 16-boat fleet, with boats from Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire joined the host fleet-14 Maine boats back at the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club for a traditional lobster bake with all the fixings, including a Maine blueberry sheet cake for desert-No one left Hungry!
Sunday morning the wind was up a bit more to start, blowing 8-knots out of the South and PRO, Carter White set up on the west side of Squirrel Island to take advantage of that. This time the right shore lift paid dividends, especially for Beckwith and his FKA team who recorded four straight bullets to jump over everyone to win the East Coast Championship. Les and his team on FKA had 6 bullets in the 9 races run.
More Gostosa slipped to second overall in spite of a strong 2,2,5,2 second day, Lawyers, Guns, and $ (Mangos) took third and New York boat 381 Upsetter, skippered by Jason Viseltear won the Corinthian Award (top amateur crew) with a 5th overall.
In his acceptance speech, Beckwith (4th from left) thanked the BHYC organizers and co-chairs Jen Baker (left) & Ken Colburn (2nd from left) for a fabulous venue and incredible hospitality!
For full results visit Regattaman.com
For race photos complements of Keith Luke
Race report by: Jeffrey Rabinowitz
Dear Fellow J/80 Sailors,
August is now upon us and the first Regatta of the exciting Northeast Circuit is just a few weeks away. The J/80 East Coast Championships is August 24th to 26th and is being held for the first time at Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club. Fourteen boats are now registered for what promises to be excellent racing on the beautiful Maine Coast with an active social lineup including a Lobster Bake on Saturday evening. Launching/haul out and the social events for your crew of 4 are included in the $275 entry fee. Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club is working on housing for visiting boats. The entry fee goes up by $50 as of 2000 this Friday, August 3, so get your entries in.
You can enter at https://www.regattaman.com/def_event_page.php?race_id=517&cancel_dest=calendar.php
Please direct any questions to the event co-chairs:
Ken Colburn or Jen Baker
The Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, MA announced the Principal Race Officer for J/80 North Americans. It is Sam Vineyard. Sam has a history with the class, running the very successful 2010 North Americans.
That Championship, also in Marion, featured 44 boats. Sam and his race committee managed to get off 13 races over three days. At the awards ceremony, he was hailed by a well known veteran competitor, This is the best regatta I have ever been to.
BYC, this year's host club, always provides excellent race management and their choice of Sam Vineyard emphasizes this. The all volunteer committee invites you to register now at yachtscoring.com
The 2018 J/80 East Coast Championship will be hosted by Fleet 14 and the BoothBay Harbor Yacht Club in BoothBay, Maine August 25, 26. Ken Colburn, and Jen Baker, the event co-chairs, have offered free housing to travel teams on a first come, first served basis. Register now!
J/80 East Coasts
This year's NOOD in Annapolis was won by Gary Panariello in USA 1313 Courageous! It was a closely contested 8-race match with Courageous just edging out Thomas Kopps, Kopp-Out by a single point. Sailing World editor, Dave Reed, wrote a nice article about the J/80's, named "The Class That Came Before", which can be found on the Sailing World site.
David Neasmith from the Nepean Sailing Club in Ottawa invites J/80 racers to the 20th Annual Nepean One Design Regatta June 16-17. Already confirming 4 boats registered at this early stage, Neasmith hopes to attract boats from Toronto, Lake Ontario, Montreal and beyond. This marks the second year of J/80's racing at the regatta for the growing 5-boat local fleet.
Nepean Sailing Club is host to over 500 keel boats and is one of the largest clubs by boat count in Canada.
Click on The J/80 championship page above to access the 2018 race calendar of J/80 one-design events with links to local registration of each event.
Five new J/80's in the last two years on Gatineau mix it up in PHRF too.
Buy a raffle ticket to support the Class and a chance to win a choice of J/80 or J/70 set of Quantum Sails - Main/Jib or Spinnaker; winner gets choice. Drawing to be held during Annapolis NOODS 2018 or shortly after 50 tickets are sold; whichever comes first.
Note: Raffle to abide by all appropriate process and procedures as dictated by law. Class tags or any tax or related implications not included. Class reserves the right to postpone drawing or cancel raffle at any time due to any unexpected circumstances.
Mark your calendars, the 2018 J/80 North American Class Championships will be held September 7-9, 2018 at the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion MA... Registration Just Opened on yacht scoring!
The International J/80 Executive Committee has awarded the 2020 J/80 World Championship to the J/80 North American Class Association! A short list of five (5) potential venues is being explored then announced at the end of this coming Summer 2018. Please share your nomination through Facebook or our J/80 web site to where you would like to see the event to be held to ensure your participation. Stay tuned for more news on this topic here our J/80 web site www.j80na.com.
The J/80 North American Class announces J/World partnership to include all 2018 Class members get one complementary spinnaker training class for skipper, crew or anyone they choose. J/World Annapolis and the J/80 North American Class continue to enjoy a strong partnership and promote benefit for its alumni and members. Join the Class today! https://www.j80na.com/membership.html
Click here to see the new class rules effective March 2018 that address three (3) major changes:
1) Backstay Flicker now allowed
2) On-Board Camera allowed
3) Total Crew weight increased to 350kg
Ken Mangano and crew of Mango capture 2017 J80 East Coast Championship on Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire
This year’s J-Jamboree was held on Lake Winnipesauke from September 23rd - 25th. The event once again delivered great racing and memories for all participants. Nine teams from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire participated. On Friday teams registered and attended a great welcoming party at the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association Sailing Center. Racers enjoyed J-Jamboree chili, enjoyed a few beverages and bantered about racing. Racing began on Saturday morning. The day brought New England fall weather. Participants enjoyed sunny weather with temperatures in the 60s. The wind quickly filled in to 12 – 18 knots with gusts around 20 knots. The Race Committee fired off 6 races. With great planning conditions boats rocked up and down the race course. At the end of Saturday, FKA (Les Beckwith) and More Gostosa (Conor Hayes) were tied for first place with 14 points. Argo III (Jason Blais/Casey Nickerson) close behind with 19 points. Saturday evening the J-Jamboree party was held at the Lake Winnipesauke Yacht Club.
This year’s J-Jamboree was held on Lake Winnipesauke from September 18th - 20th. The event once again delivered great racing and memories for all participants. Thirteen teams from Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire participated. On Friday teams registered and attended a great welcoming party at the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association Sailing Center.
Racing began on Saturday morning. The day was very warm, in the mid to upper 70’s. In the morning there was little to no wind. Due to wind conditions the first race was abandoned and the Race Committee raised the AP flag. During the delay, teams participated in water fights, friendly banter, general tomfoolery and swimming. Shortly before 2pm the winds filled in. Conditions were perfect with flat water and 8-12 knots of breeze. Four races were held. Kerry Klingler’s boat Lifted dominated the day with 3 bullets and a first day total of 8 points for the day. In second place was Ken Mangano’s boat Mango with a first day total of 12 points, followed closely by Casey Nickerson’s boat Argo III with a total of 15 points.
On Saturday evening the J-Jamboree party was held at the Lake Winnipesauke Yacht Club. Racers had a great dinner, rum drinks and participated in a raffle of North Sails gear. Overnight conditions changed and fall arrived in New England. The morning dawned cool and blustery with winds over 20knots with gusts approaching 30 knots. Strong winds made for exciting and challenging conditions for all the racers. At times the scene was reminiscent of 2010 Worlds, with boats planning down wind at over 15knots and carnage on the race course!!
In the end, it was once again Lifted dominating the day with three more bullets and taking home the 2015 East Coast Championship trophy! With a great day on the water and in difficult conditions Les Beckwith’s boat FKA came from behind and put three deuces on the board to take 2nd place overall. Mango was close behind taking 3rd. Complete results will be posted soon on the J-Jamboree website www.j-jamboree.org See you all next year!!! Cheers, Jeff Rabinowitz, J80 Fleet 1 Captian.
| 30 September 2016 |
Hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club, the ECC's are a prelude to the fall - winter J/80 racing season. We expect some of the best teams to be in Annapolis “testing the waters” and building their Annapolis experience in order to be best prepared for 2017. For local sailors, this is an incredible opportunity to learn from the best coming straight from the North Americans.
| 01 September 2016 | Registration |
John White added to his long list of impressive victories last week when he captured the J/80 North American Championship, hosted by National Yacht Club in Toronto. Competition was held on the Humber Bay area of Lake Ontario from Aug. 5-7.
| 15 August 2016 | click here for full editorial |
Congratulations to John White and the crew of 1162 from Annapolis. Finishing with 27 points after 12 races they won this year's title of North American Champions here in Toronto! … Safe travels home everyone!
| 08 August 2016 | Full results here.. |
The 2016 J/80 NA's are now only 5 weeks away and we're looking forward to seeing you there!
The Organizing Committee have been hard at work booking bands, planning meals and of course, lining up a top notch Race Committee to ensure we pack as many races into the 3 days as possible! In true J/80 Fleet 20 style, it's going to be one of the friendliest and fun regattas you'll ever attend with great racing too!
There's already 20 boats registered including 6 from the US and at least another 5-10 competitors expected. If you've registered but not yet paid, be sure to do that before the late fee kicks in on July 17th.
When registering, we hope many of you will also join us for the tune-up clinic being hosted by our friends at North Sails One Design on Thursday August 4.
If you're looking to make the most of your on water time in Toronto, consider joining us for 3 days of course racing at LYRA the weekend before the North Americans (July 29-31). LYRA is being held in Whitby which is just a 20 minute drive from National YC or compete in the free feeder race, The Founder's Cup, on Tuesday July 26th. Find out more about LYRA here - http://wyc.ca/LYRA2016/
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
J/80 Fleet 20 - NAs Organizing Committee
| 02 July 2016 | Registration |
Heading to the 2016 J/80 North Americans in Toronto? Preparation is the key to crossing the border with a boat!
My wife, Lisa, and I have been racing our J/80 Eagles Wings since 2002, but have always been a little intimidated by traveling to regattas. We finally decided that the 2012 LYRA at Ashbridges Yacht Club (just outside of Toronto) would be our first out-of-town (Rochester, NY) regatta. The north side of the lake J/80s (Fleet #20) were growing and we knew it would be great to race against a bunch of new -to-us boats. The welcoming crew at AYC was a great way to begin to ease our stress. They knew when we were to arrive, how to use the equipment, where to dock the boat and in general available to help.
Besides packing up and making sure we hadn’t forgotten anything, my biggest “fear” was how was the border crossing going to go? As it turned out, the border crossing was a non-event and despite the lack of wind, the regatta was a blast – we got to make a bunch of new J/80 friends and had a great time.
Just like racing, the key to success with crossing the border into Canada and (don’t forget) back into the United States is preparation. The definitive sources of information are the Canada Border Services Agency (http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca) and US Customs and Border Protection (http://cpb.gov). We’ll cover the high level items here, but if you have any questions you should contact either or both of the above agencies well before attempting to travel into Canada. For the sake of this discussion, we’re assuming that you are US citizens and will be trailering a boat across one of the US/Canadian border crossings to Toronto for the J/80 North Americans.
Both governments have two main areas of interest when you are traveling across the border: the vehicle-trailer-boat and the people.
Both governments are concerned that all vehicles are properly registered and carry current inspections. The ideal situation would be if all three (vehicle, trailer, boat) are registered to the same name and that person is you or is with you. Otherwise, there must be clear documentation that you have permission to be transporting the vehicle/trailer/boat, including the owners contact information. The other concern is that you are not buying or selling – and therefore should be paying some tax. When asked, simply state that you are traveling to a regatta in Toronto and will be returning to the US in a few days.
The documentation required for the people crossing the border is different between the US and Canada. In order to return to the US, you must have a valid passport, NEXUS, or enhanced driver’s license. You can enter Canada with a birth certificate, but that will not be sufficient to allow you back into the US. If you are traveling with a minor whose parents are not present, you will also need an original Birth Certificate and a signed consent letter from the parents. Canada may also not allow individuals with a felony conviction or DUI entrance to Canada. See the websites above if there are any concerns about the admissibility of anyone in your group.
The websites also document items that are prohibited going to Canada and back into the US:
If you are leaving your boat in Canada for any reason, you will need form E29Bfor temporary Importation. For example if you are racing the LYRA regatta in Whitby Canada the week before and you wish to go back to the US in-between the regatta's.
In our case, for the 2012 regatta, both border crossings went very smoothly. We crossed into Canada at Lewiston, NY on a Wednesday in the early afternoon and only spent 5 minutes with the Canada Border officer. I had all the vehicle documentation ready, but all he needed were our passports. A simple conversation about where we were going and when we expected to return and then we were on our way. Sunday night after the regatta, we did encounter a delay due the amount of traffic returning to the US (maybe an hour), but the interaction with the Border officer was also very straightforward and professional.
| 21 April 2016 |
Oh what a feeling! Its been a few weeks since LYRA and the after glow continues. We had our largest Fleet 20 turn out yet with 9 boats competing at Sodus Bay YC. For those that didn’t make it, you were missed!
The J/80 fleet started showing up first by water after racing from Rochester YC to Sodus Bay YC in true championship fashion. We clearly were making a statement by posting a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place win in the Centennial Race Division 2, PHRF 1 Spinnaker start and PHRF 1st Overall Corrected. I had friends in other fleets that were blown away watching the J/80 fleet storm by them on the course. Everyone wants a J/80!
Congratulations to Gene and the Escape crew along with the rest of the competitors. This has inspired a coastal race to be incorporated into next years race week. More to follow.
2015 CENTENNIAL RACE RESULTS:
2 Stray J
3 EAGLES WINGS
Wednesday was the day the road warriors arrived, one by one pulling in and taking over the SBYC launch area. Owners and crew across the fleet swarmed in to assist in what was a mostly uneventful process of stepping the masts and launching the boats. By mid afternoon many of the competitors were tuned and rafted off the prime location designated J/80 docks and enjoying the camaraderie.
The Smith’s invited us all to a Irish Pub in Webster where we were toasted by the locals in true tradition, Sláinte J/80’s! At this point I want to thank our Chef de Mission Lisa Smith and her crew David and Ben. You guys truly made the entire regatta for us, from the moment we arrived until we pulled out on Sunday. Having the SBYC committee know what to expect before we arrived, assigning a sweet location for us and setting the extra buoys to support our raft was awesome. Dave, your assistance and cool head mast stepping kept us all calm and got the job done. Ben, I’m sure you had something to do with the ever flowing beer (and water) in Lisa and Dave’s cooler, thanks for all your help!
I can’t forget to mention our mariners on Breakaway J that sailed in from Kingston YC, on short fuel rations and the circumnavigators on Feisty, sailing all the way from NYC in Toronto, wow… impressive!
The LYRA course racing was awesome, with three great races Friday, three more on Saturday and two on Sunday. We had every condition from no wind, good wind to OMG STAY ON THE BOAT!!! Saturday being the highlight for me, with 6' waves and 20+knots of breeze! Those downwind sled rides were incredible! A true reminder of how fun this little yacht is.
LYRA COURSE RACING RESULTS:
Hans Fogh Memorial J/80 Lake Ontario Open
9 J/80s - seven races & close results with only 6 points spread between 2nd and 6th
1 Nautical Symphony
3 EAGLES WINGS
LYRA ONE-DESIGN REGATTA CHAMPION: Nautical Symphony
Not only was this a great LYRA regatta but an awesome opportunity to demonstrate what a great fleet we've created. I was taken aside by SBYC’s Commodore, Bob Carey, and given an incredible compliment directed at the entire fleet. He shared that it didn’t get overlooked by the club and the other regatta participants just how great you all are, coming together to help each other out, to party and to compete.
The LYRA Championship Award that Nautical Symphony was presented goes to you all. Congratulations. Speaking about Nautical Symphony, WOW… a two peat! Second year in a row wining the Hans Fogh Memorial Open. A fantastic accomplishment amongst a fleet of 9 very competitive sailors, with seven races and only 6 points spread between 2nd and 6th. Congratulations to owners Bart Smit & Pascal Desrosiers, crew Gitte Frederiksen and driver/tactician David Holmes for showing us how its done.
The Hans Fogh Memorial Lake Ontario J/80 Open is being held again next year in conjunction with LYRA on July 29-31 at Whitby Yacht Club.
I look forward to seeing everyone there in the lead up to the North Americans. I'm sure we'll be taking the LYRA One-Design Fleet flag home again with more than 9 boats attending next year for sure!
CAN 33 JIGGERS!
J/80 Fleet 20 Captain
| 20 January 2016 |
Good morning J80 enthusiasts! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Life gets busy sometimes, and before you know it, the days disappear on the wings of a stiff southerly….
There is lots going on around the country with regard to local and regional events, and the J80 NA’s are set for October at Lakewood Yacht Club in Texas…but that’s not why I’m writing today. I wanted to fill you in on some of the good work being a part of this awesome class always us to do.
As some of you may know, The Leukemia Cup Regattas are a series of events held at different locations around the country throughout the year to help raise funds for research into Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other blood cancers. The first regatta was held in Annapolis, MD 23 years ago, with the latest edition held this past weekend.
Though the events are pretty standard around the country, one aspect of the Annapolis event is very unique. Years ago, J80 Fleet 10 (the Chesapeake Bay fleet) decided to change it up a bit. Fund raising while competing on the course is always a good time, but maybe they could do something a little more. A group of owners and event supporters got together and hatched a plan. What if, instead of just sailing, the group pulled out of the normal regatta aspect and took children in treatment and their families out for a fun day of sailing just off the docks of Eastport Yacht Club. There is plenty of room right off the club to host such an event. By keeping the venue close to land, it was easy to get anyone back to shore if a medical issue arose. The owners also recognized the layout of the J80 cockpit and overall stability of the boat made it the ideal platform for such an event. The proposal was presented to the Fleet, the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society chapter and Eastport Yacht Club. Everyone loved the idea and the Leukemia Cup J80 Fun Race was born!
So, this past Saturday, the 6th Annual Leukemia Cup J80 Fun Race was held. The children (some in treatment, some in remission and some long time survivors) and their families arrived at the club around 11AM. They were attended to by scores of volunteers, including members from local High School sailing teams. Chic Fil A, a long time sponsor, treated everyone to lunch. The kids snuck over to the painting area, where a donated mainsail was spread out for all to adorn as they saw fit! Then, the kids were assigned to boats for the day, introductions were made, and everyone headed out on the water. Spectator boats were provided so the parents could stand back and enjoy some desperately needed downtime. And the kids got to stop worrying for a while and just be kids playing on the water experiencing something new!
After 4 close races, and lots of laughing, giggling and tons of smiles, the fleet headed back in for ice cream and awards. And in this event, everyone wins!
I can tell you from personal experience that this is the most worthwhile sailing this group does every year. The ability to give back and influence others in need using a sport we all love is incredibly humbling. I have been blessed with being at 5 of the past 6 Fun Races, and it becomes more rewarding and emotional every year. Church Key has had the gift of taking many children over the years, from kids in treatment, to survivors, to the siblings of a sister taken by this disease just weeks before she was supposed to come sail. You fall in love with these kids, and I stay in touch with many of the families still. They become part of your family, after all. This year we had the added bonus of taking McKenzie Wilson, a spunky 11 year old and her older sister along for the ride. McKenzie was this year’s Annapolis Leukemia Cup Honored Skipper. Even better, she had just been moved into the survivor category…4 years cancer free!
So, come next May, you’ll see the local Chesapeake Bay J80 sailors out again. There’ll be splashing, feet dragging in the water, new intrepid ‘skippers” driving boats for the first time, and smiling parents at ease for a bit. We hope if you’re in the area, you’ll stop on by. Even more, if there is a Leukemia Cup Regatta in your area, you may decide to do this little bit more….we are standing by to answer any questions you may have on how we do this. And we’ll travel to assist if needed.
If you are so inclined, I’ve attached the link for the J80 fleets Leukemia Cup fundraising page. Even 5 dollars helps…..
I hope this finds you all well. Stay happy, healthy and safe over the coming summer sailing season.
Yours in Sailing,
Chris Chadwick, USA J80 Class Association President
USA 59 CHURCH KEY
| 01 June 2015 |
Henry DeGroot was kind enough to write up a bit on his adventures this year!! Thanks for taking the pressure off me on this one, Henry!!
Quantum Key West race week 2015 had everything that you expect, beautiful Florida weather, plenty of wind, bright sunshine, amazing azure waters, and of course unlimited partying on Duval Street.
We launched the J/80 Saturday at the Truman Annex right downtown, where we got to check out the burgeoning J 70 fleet as well as the eye-popping GC32 high powered foiling catamarans being fitted with their 10 foot long carbon foils. The superb launch and recovery site set up by the race management team made it easy to get the boat rigged and dropped in the water.
Weatherwise, we had excellent conditions with a mix of sun and clouds each day. Steady northerlies in the 8-12 knot range monday and tuesday dropped off to 4 knots on Wednesday, forcing the race committee to cancel the second race. The breeze and chop built from the Southeast thursday, followed by a big breeze on Friday with 20 knot southeasterly's and big rolling waves coming in from the Straits of Florida.
To our dismay we found ourselves on the only J/80 in Key West 2015, forcing us into PHRF. We were put in PHRF 2, racing against a Cape Fear 37, a J105, a C&C 121, and a VAR 37. The J/80 proved faster upwind and equal off wind to the entire fleet in light and smooth conditions, but as the chop built it was harder to maintain upwind speeds. Once the wind speed went above 15 knots the chop was a major factor and the bigger stiffer boats made huge upwind gains. However, the amazing downwind speeds the J80 can develop in a breeze allowed us to surf our way back into contention every race. Our best speed was 18 knots, our best finish was a first, our best finish for the day was a second, and our overall finish was third in this small mixed class.
Although we were sad not to see the friendly faces and excellent competition from our fellow J80 class members, we had a blast at Key West 2015 and plan to return in 2016!
Henry DeGroot J80 808 "Wired"
***Tim Wilkes Photography***
| 05 February 2015 |