Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pereira Dominates J/24 South Americans

J/24 one-design racing sailboats- sailing off Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina)-  This year’s J/24 South Americans had a highly competitive turnout of twenty-four teams from across the continent, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.  The high level of competition generated electrifying combat on the muddy waters of the Rio de la Plata in simply fantastic sailing conditions over the four day event.  Perhaps most importantly, the Club Universitario de Buenos Aires were simply amazing hosts, looking after the needs of all the sailors both on-the-water and ashore with some amazing post-race social entertainment.

Despite having to take a SCP scoring penalty in the first race, Matias Pereira and crew sailed a masterful regatta aboard their renowned CARRERA, counting four firsts in their nine race scorecard to win by ten points.  Pereira’s crew included Juan Ignacio Pereira, Guillermo Bellinoto, Federico Roberto, and Bellinoto Ambrus.

The first day of racing had ideal conditions for sailing, with a mild northeaster to start the day with the wind veering into the SSE by late afternoon.  With plenty of sunshine and relatively flat waters, the RC’s PRO did a great job to keep the aggressive fleet under control and run three of the nine races scheduled for the regatta.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing off Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe first race was an all Argentine affair in the shifty northeasterly, with Sergio Pendola on CACIQUE taking the gun followed by current Argentinean Champion Matias Pereira on CARRERA and Alexander Rossi on TOMMY HILFIGER.  The next race saw more wind coming out of the east and getting shiftier and streakier.  Pereira won quite handily followed by the Uruguayan team of EXTASIS skippered by Pedro Garra and another Argentine team sailed by Nicolas Cubria on RINA.  By the last race, the wind had increased to nearly 20 kts from the SSE with some teams changing over to jibs.  In the end, the Chilean team on VOLVO sailed by Matias Seguel won handily followed by Cubria’s RINA and Garra’s EXTASIS.

The second day of racing was going to be a challenge for both competitors and the CUBA RC.  Starting out quite strong from the northeast, but rapidly dying, the winds went very light with a strong current on the river.  As a result, the PRO wisely took the fleet in close to YC Argentino’s harbor entrance to get some benefits of a building sea-breeze condition, enough to get some races going for the day.  In the first race of the day, Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO took the gun followed by CARRERA and Robert Vernon’s JOYITA.  After completing the first race, the RC’s PRO again had to postpone to let the breeze settle in at around 5-7 kts.  The second race of the day saw CARRERA win followed by INDIGO and EXTASIS.  At this point with five races counting, CARRERA had a substantial lead with just 9 pts, with EXTASIS in second with 14 pts and VOLVO in third with 18 pts.

J/24s sailing on Rio de la Plata- Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThe last day dawned with yet more challenging weather conditions, with the lack of wind forcing an hour postponement.  Nevertheless, the wind quickly built to 8-12 kts from the ESE, enabling the RC to quickly fire off four races for the happy crews!  In fact, by the end of the day, the SE breeze had built to over 18 kts TWS and most of the crews changed from genoas to jibs and back again during the race!  Sailing fast and furious was CARRERA, scoring a 3-BFD-1-1 to win the regatta by ten points (dropping the BFD race).

Behind Pereira’s team was the Chilean team on JOYITA sailed by Robert Vernon, followed by fellow countrymen on VOLVO skippered by Matias Seguel.  This was the best showing of these two Chilean teams at the South Americans in recent years; a measure of how far they’ve improved on the international level of J/24 competition!  Rounding out the top five were the Uruguayan team on EXTASIS with skipper Pedro Garra taking fourth and behind them were Argentinean Nicolas Cubria on RINA in fifth.

There was some great social media and YouTube sailing videos of the event, please see some of these links below:
For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information