Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lovin’ Honky Tonk J/Fest

J/24 sailing (Seabrook, TX)- The 6th Annual J/Fest Southwest was hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club off beautiful, sunny, Seabrook, Texas.  The sailors had a blast and there was no lack of shore-side entertainment all weekend.  That’s just how it is in the humongous state of Texas.  Everything is bigger down there- parties, people, sailing, honky tonks, trucks, mechanical bulls.  Did I mention sailing?

Can you imagine some old cow pokes looking out over Galveston Bay for the first time in their life? Bet it would be an amusing conversation.  Well, to most cow-pokes, sailing is truly an “alien” subject matter, much less understood than the subtleties of why Old Milwaukee vs Schlitz vs Pabst Bleu Ribbon vs Bud vs Miller is not any different than comparing Perrier bubbles to San Pellegrino bubbles.  The former they know a lot about.  The latter they know ’nutin!

Sailing one-design and havin’ a ball were fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and J/109s. Additionally, a J/PHRF fleet sailed some random-leg courses and had a scream.

Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES team from Austin YC vanquished the 15 strong J/24 class again; in fact, she blew them away with four bullets in six races!  Second was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT from Dallas Corinthian YC and third was more “girl-power”- Kelly Holmes-Moon’s BAD MOON.  Fourth was another women’s boat, Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN and rounding out the top five was Stu Juengst’s VANG GO.  Three of the top five are women’s teams?  You go girls, fantastic work!

The second largest class in the event was the J/70s. Not surprisingly, it was local hotshot Bruno Pasquinelli from Fort Worth Boat Club sailing STAMPEDE that won with five 1sts in their scoreline of seven races.  Second was Chris Lewis’ GB from the host Lakewood YC, third was Tim Molony’s JOUST from Southern YC, fourth Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING from LYC and fifth was Al Poindexter.

In the J/105s, Mark & Jolene Masur from Forth Worth Boat Club sailed TWO FEATHERS won their class with four 1sts and three 2nds for 10 pts.  Second was John Barnett’s VICI from LYC, third was Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, fourth was JB Bednar’s STINGER and fifth was Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE.

The J/109s saw Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG simply sail away with class honors, posting nearly all 1st places.  However, behind him it was a complete dogfight at the OK Corral! It was the “Thrilla from Manila”.  The “Rope a Dope” in Rhodesia! Virtually tied on points were the rest of the top five going into the last race!  In fact, the J/109s had all the drama in the regatta and no one knew who won until the finish line of the last race! David Christensen’s AIRBORNE took the silver with a 2nd in the finale while the LEADING EDGE duo (Alex Acensios/ Chris Dees) grabbed the bronze with a 3rd.  A tie-breaker determined the balance of the top five, with Barry Hoeffner’s POLE DANCER taking 4th and Andy Westcoat’s HARM’s WAY settling for 5th!

The J/22s also experienced another runaway in the form of Dov Kivlovitz on USA 951 starting off with two bullets in race one and closing with four bullets to win by a country furlong.  Second was Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE with nearly all seconds.  And, third was Larry Blankenhagen’s PARROT TALES LIGHT.  The balance of the top five was Gary Thies’ STUDENT DRIVER in 4th and Rick Duste’s LOOSE CANNON in 5th.

The J/PHRF clan saw a pair of J/27s dominate the proceedings. Chris Alk’s FOOTLOOSE took first over Gary Trinklein’s TOCCATA.  Third was Glen Stromme’s J/29 rocketship- PRESS TO +MECO!   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information