Friday, July 25, 2014

J/111 North Americans Preview

J/111s sailing one-design class(Harbor Springs, MI)- The 2nd annual J/111 North American Championship will be hosted by Little Traverse YC from July 23rd to 27th in Harbor Springs, MI.  Eight states are represented amongst the thirteen competitors that range from Arizona to Florida and Maryland to Ohio; the largest contingents coming from the Great Lakes fleets in Michigan and Illinois.

Many of the teams recently experienced a spectacular Chicago-Mackinac Race with sunny weather, starlit skies and mostly Code Zero to A2 reaching conditions for over 35 hours straight.  Some of that experience may help in the race format being introduced to the teams for the upcoming event. In addition to the traditional windward-leeward race courses, the teams will also join the “random leg” Bay Tour that is a popular race within the Harbor Springs Regatta being held at the same time.

Coming off their dominating performance in the Chicago-Mackinac will be Dave Irish’s crew on NO SURPRISE, who not only won the J/111 Class with ease but also finished 2nd overall in the 150+ boat Mackinac Cup Division.  Many other top teams will be participating from the Great Lakes fleets, including Key West Race Week winners Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Ohio; last year’s J/111 NA winners Dick Lehmann’s WIND CZAR from Paradise Valley, AZ; Chicago NOOD Regatta winners KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer); Great Lakes Double-handed winners NIGHTHAWK (Dabrowski & Edman); and East Coast Champion Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY from Annapolis YC.  Newcomers to this year’s event include Don Hudak’s CAPERS from Mentor, OH; George Gamble’s Gulf Coast Offshore Series champion MY SHARONA from Pensacola YC; Dan Kitchens’s SKULL CRACKER from Huntleigh, MO and Brad Farber’s UTAH from Owosso, MI.

The racing promises to be close and exciting.  After two year’s of one-design and offshore racing in various parts of the country, most J/111 teams are experiencing similar speeds and it has been the basics of racing (tactics/strategy, boat-handling, and starts) that are the primary determinants of ultimate success sailing around the race track.   For more J/111 NA’s sailing information