Thursday, April 11, 2013

J/70 Lake Ontario/ Lake Erie News

J/70 sailing Great Lakes- Youngstown, NY (Youngstown, New York)- The action is hot and heavy in the world of J/70 sailing!  There is a major event every month somewhere, and we haven't even gotten to the local events yet.  This month Charleston Race Week promises the largest fleet to date, then the Annapolis NOOD two weeks later will no doubt have another big turnout.  Boats from the Lake Erie/ Lake Ontario region will be taking part in both events.

Here's the latest report from J/Dealer Don Finkle from Youngstown, says Don, "Our first J/70 to be launched and sailed here this spring has already hit the water (seen here acting like an ice-breaker!).

On Friday, I was at the factory in Rhode Island and there were J/70s all over the place waiting for pick-up.  They are building a boat a day and still cannot keep up with the demand.  We are only talking about the USA builder, they are also building J/70s in France for other parts of the globe.  I've been in this business for over 40 years and only once before have I witnessed anything to rival the immediate success of the J/70 and that was back when the J/24 first came on the scene.  But back in those days this was a much different business, it is much harder to develop a new boat today that sells in large numbers.  That is what makes the J/70s meteoric rise in popularity so amazing.  The right boat at the right time!

Some news and notes, in no particular order. Local J/70 Fleets have started in: Erie, Buffalo, Youngstown, Rochester, Canandaigua, Lake George and, of course, in nearby Ontario & Ohio.

Upcoming Regattas for J/70s in the Lake Erie/ Lake Ontario region include the following

- June 15-16- Cleveland Race Week- is a perennially entertaining regatta that is a favorite for those along Lake Erie's south shore.  The J/70 class will have a warm reception and the Race Week is looking forward to have them aboard.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information.

- July 27-28- 40th Annual Youngstown Level Regatta:  This is the final year for this famous event and we'll have a good turnout of boats from out of town.  Don't miss it.  We will take good care of you!  For more Youngstown Level Regatta sailing information on

- August 9- J/70 Clinic- to be run by former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Etchells 22 World Champion- Jud Smith- at the Buffalo YC.  This event will be held the day before the J/70 Great Lakes Championship hosted by BYC.  More details to follow, stay tuned, this should be a really helpful program.

- August 10-11- J/70 Great Lakes Championship-  The Buffalo Yacht Club has plans well underway for the hosting of this event which promises to be a good one.  BYC has the experience to do the job right and they have signed on Wayne Bretsch as the PRO.  Wayne has done many high profile regattas all over North America, including Key West, Charleston, Annapolis, Youngstown Level and various championship events.  More details will be forthcoming before long but in the meantime mark your calendars."  Registration is up on YachtScoring.