Tuesday, November 3, 2015

“Master” Burnham Wins J/105 Masters Regatta

J/105 Masters skippers at San Diego YC (San Diego, CA)- From October 23rd to 25th, the San Diego YC hosted the J/105 Masters Regatta for the third consecutive year in a fleet of matched J/105s supplied by the generosity of their local fleet.  A dozen legendary master sailors from around the world sailed inside San Diego’s beautiful harbor along the city waterfront.

The weather over the weekend cooperated beautifully on Friday and Saturday, with the classic WNW seabreezes providing the fleet with five good races.  However, the racing on Saturday was concluded early due to a minor dust-up at the windward mark when three boats got wrapped up and engaged in a slow motion pirouette that left one boat without a usable pole.  Sunday dawned with overcast skies and lots of clouds with a stalled frontal system preventing any hope for the classic seabreeze.  Despite several attempts to get a final race going, Regatta Chairman Jeff Brown and SDYC’s Jeff Johnson (Regatta Manager) concluded it was time to stop for the day and bring the fleet home for the awards.

The racing was close and the sailors enjoyed racing the matched fleet of J/105s.  It was clear from the beginning that Malin Burnham’s crew, that included Star/Etchells and offshore champions Vince Brun and Benny Mitchell on board, were going to set the tone for their regatta by easily winning the first race!  Not bad for the 88-year-old skipper, a former Star World Champion himself.  Second in the first race was Sandy Purdon from San Diego YC and third was Jon Andron’s team from St Francis YC.

After the first day of racing, Andron was leading with a 3-1 followed by Burnham with a 1-4 and Gary Jobson’s team in third with a 4-2.

Saturday dawned with the potential for a perfect, sunny day with plenty of breeze.  Mother Nature delivered in spades, providing postcard perfect sailing with breezes building into the high teens by the third race of the day.  Starting out Saturday’s performance exactly how they started Friday morning, Burnham’s team put their stamp on the regatta by posting a 1-2-4 record to ultimately win the regatta with just 12 pts total!  Andron’s crew had a slow start to the day but improved every race to score a 6-4-2 on the day and secure second overall.

J/105s sailing Masters RegattaBehind the two leaders, it was “clear as mud” who was going to take the final spot on the podium.  In the fray were Purdon, Jobson, defending Champion Augie Diaz, Don Trask, Chuck Nichols and Bob Fisher.  It was rough going as virtually every mark rounding and every finish line produced yet another roller-coaster ride for these teams.  Positions changed dramatically at each corner and consistency was not a term one could use for their scorelines.  In the end, Purdon’s 8-5-6 was enough to grab the bronze.  Just two points back was Jobson’s east coast team that closed with a 4-8-10.  Then rounding out the top five was the “Cuban Comet”-  Diaz’s team that closed with an 11-3-3 to secure 5th overall.

Regatta Chairman Brown thanked the small army of SDYC’s famous volunteers (50+) that looked after the needs of the famous participants.  He also thanked sponsors JK3 YACHTS, McCarthy Holthus and TESLA Motors (who were providing test drives in their cool electric cars).  For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information