Sunday, June 1, 2014

Southern Bay Race Week Preview

(Hampton, VA)- With eight-nine boats participating, the Southern Bay Race Week has undoubtedly enjoyed a more prosperous participation level than it has seen in recent year.  Taking place from May 30th to June 1st in Hampton, VA there is a happy coincidence that taking place on the harbor as well is the “Blackbeard Pirate Festival” and the “Hampton Block Party” hosted by the City of Hampton!

In other words, with visitors from all over the country enjoying the sights and sounds of 18th century Hampton overrun by “pirates” (and pirate-wannabe’s), Hampton’s waterfront gets a bit wild and crazy.  The waterfront comes alive with dozens of pirate re-enactors, costumed in historically accurate garb, who transform today’s Hampton into the busy seaport of yesterday. Led by “Blackbeard the Pirate” himself, re-enactors help visitors step back in time and re-live the history and legends of 1718 Hampton. The Festival offers a variety of children’s activities, live musical entertainment, fireworks, period vendors, arts and crafts, and much more!  Learn more here-

So, were we talking about sailing?  Yes, “avast’ye’matey’s”, the J/70s are making a huge debut in this year’s event.  Perhaps the reason why participation has massively increased?  Nine J/70s are sailing with several top traveling teams in the mix.  Top of the box (e.g. the podium) candidate has to be Blake & Lud Kimbrough’s NOSTALGIA and giving them a run for the money are experienced 70 veterans like the VORTEX Racing Team’s two boats, GETMYBOAT.COM and VORTEX.  Noel Clinard’s LOONATICTU and Clark Dennison’s CAT’S PAJAMAS will be sure to give them all a battle over the weekend.

J/24s are not far behind with a half-dozen boats dueling for class bragging rights, including Mike Verladi’s QUICKY, Francis Ford’s ROCKET J and Alan Bomar’s ROUNDABOUT.  How about a quicky roundabout with rocket J across the vortex of a racing tide?  Yup, all J/24 boat names.  The world hasn’t changed there, has it?

In PHRF handicap world, PHRF A-1 has various 35 foot J teams fighting for supremacy.  Two J/109s are sailing, Craig Wrigth’s AFTERTHOUGHT and Sam Mitchenor’s DOUBLE EAGLE, both from Fishing Bay YC.  The J/35 BUMP IN THE NIGHT is sailed by Maury Niebur from West River, MD and the J/36 SEA STAR will be helmed by Vernon Eberwine from Hampton YC.

Over in PHRF A-2 are three J/105s, Dave Clark’s CORRYVRECKAN from Fishing Bay YC, Don DeLoatch’s SPECIAL K from Virginia Beach and Rick Payne’s FLYING COLORS from Hampton YC.  Doing their best to upset that shopping trolley is Phil Briggs’s J/36 FEATHER from Hampton YC.

It looks like Ben Weeks’s J/29 RUMBLE from Yorktown, VA is the lone J wolf sailing in PHRF B-1 class hoping to hold up “J” honors against a raft of 26 to 35 footers.  And, doing the same in PHRF B-II are Rusty Burshell’s J/30 COOL CHANGE from Yorktown, VA and John Wanding’s J/27 REBECCA J from Carrolton, VA.  PHRF Non-Spinnaker Double-handed has Ben Ritger’s J/30 BLEW-J from Virginia Beach taking on all comers while in PHRF Cruising we see Jim Champman’s J/37c JENERAL’s LADY also from Virginia Beach taking on a thirteen boat class!   For more Southern Bay Race Week sailing information