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