Saturday, October 10, 2015

J/Fest Southwest Preview

J/Fest Southwest sailing information (Seabrook, TX)- The 6th Annual J/Fest Southwest is being hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club from October 10-11 off beautiful, sunny, Seabrook, Texas.  The event is open to all J/Boat owners, their crew, and their family and friends. The sailors will participate in top-notch racing on the water and enjoy a superb shoreside environment with food and entertainment.  Sailing one-design will be J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/109s. In addition, a J/PHRF fleet will sail in both round-the-buoys and random-leg courses.

The largest class in the event will be the J/24s- 15 strong and counting!  Nothing but “top drawer” stuff for this gang that can almost shoot straight!  So, let’s start with the women’s teams since they’re leading the charge here in Texas anyways.  All of them are talented and have proven they can win races, some regattas, too.  Don’t discount these gal’s ability to grab their rightful share of silverware, such as Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN from Dallas Corinthian YC, Kelly Holmes-Moon’s BAD MOON from the same club, and Amanda Casey’s MOMENTOUS from AYC as well- nearly 25% of the fleet them Texas women are!  Watch out boys, there will be hell to pay if you do not give them room at the mark when the politely ask for it!  Hoping to not incur their wrath will be John Parker’s CHUPACABRA, Charles Slingstad’s CODE BLUE and James Freeman’s MISS CONDUCT.

The second largest class in the event is the J/70s, with eleven teams showing up on the starting line.  Local hotshot Bruno Pasquinelli from Fort Worth Boat Club will be sailing his famous STAMPEDE with a cast of cowboys (or hooligans, or characters, depending on your perspective) that includes Max Skelly, Patrick Wilson and Brian Zimmerman. Pass the scotch (no soda) and Advil, please, these guys are about to give me a headache! At least that will be the refrain from fellow FWBC skipper Rick Shaffer sailing the newest addition to their fleet, USA 820!  Certain to give them fits roping in the cattle (e.g. trophies) will be Jay Lutz, a local Lakewood YC member, sailing ZOUNDS HEARING.  However, watch out for the “fly in the proverbial ointment” looking to spoil this Texas party, none other than Tim Molony from Southern YC in a place called “Naw’leans”, they’ll be JOUST’ing with the locals for top honors.

Next up are the J/105s.  Incredibly, the very long-distance traveling team of Mark & Jolene Masur, from the Forth Worth Boat Club, will have taken their TWO FEATHERS from the east coast (Block Island/ Marblehead, etc) to the west coast (North Americans) and now back home to the land of mechanical bulls!  Joining them will be JB Bednar’s STINGER, past champion Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE from the host club, and Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY.

The J/109s expect a half-dozen boats on the line, a great turnout for this fleet on Galveston Bay.  Will Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG continue to be a top contender?? Or, will Barry Hoeffner’s POLE DANCER, Andy Westcoat’s HARM’s WAY, David Christensen’s AIRBORNE or the LEADING EDGE duo (Alex Acensios/ Chris Dees) upset that apple cart.  Tune in next week to find out!

The J/22s will have a real dogfight on their hands as small fleet often produces roller-coaster scores.  A bit hard to handicap, but we shall see if Larry Blankenhagen’s PARROT TALES LIGHT, Rick Duste’s LOOSE CANNON or Gary Thies’ STUDENT DRIVER all land on the podium as the expense of Dov Kivlovitz on USA 951.  Perhaps this one will be easier to wager bets than NFL Fantasy Football!!

The J/PHRF clan include a pair of J/27s working on their symmetric spinnaker work, Gary Trinklein’s TOCCATA and Chris Alk’s FOOTLOOSE.  Hoping to nail them into a corner will be Glen Stromme’s J/29 rocketship- PRESS TO +MECO!  What?!  Glen, “need some ‘splainin to do on dat one.”  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information