Saturday, November 7, 2015

Seattle Round County Race Preview

J/145 sailing off Seattle, WA
Two days of racing, under 35 miles each day, with an overnight in the amazing accommodations of Roche Harbor Resort.  To get there the fleet sails through conditions ranging from protected channels behind islands with tremendous adverse currents to wide-open straits that can bring everything that good Pacific Northwest winter sailing can offer.

J/120 sailing off Seattle, WAWith 21% of the entries carrying the 10th letter in the alphabet on their mainsails J/Boats has by far the largest group of boats in the race.  Class 0, with ratings from -62 to 42 has the new J/122E JOYRIDE, owned by John Murkowski going up against some stellar competition.  Class 1 has two J/109’s and three J/120’s going up against a handful of capable sailors and it’s hard not to put your money on the locals – Bob Brunius and crew onboard the J/120 TIME BANDIT.

Class 2 is a blast from the past, 1980’s specifically, with four J/35’s and a J/36 going at the 15-boat class.  Class 3, with 20 boats, has the second to last J/40 built- HARLEQUIN- owned by Bruce Hamilton along with the lone J/105- LAST TANGO- owned by Jim Geros. Look for LAST TANGO atop the results on Sunday evening after racing.  The 19 boats in class 4 contain three J/29’s, three J/30’s and a J/92!  It’s hard not to look for one of the J/29’s to dominate this J/92 sailing offshore Seattle, WAgroup, but if the conditions are right the J/92 Hijinks owned by Scott Ellis, has taken it in the past.

The growing IRC fleet in the Pacific Northwest put together a 13 boat fleet with 2 J/145’s, a J/160 and a J/133.  The big J’s are going up against some seriously sporty competition but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the well-sailed J/145 JEDI, owned by John Tenneson sitting on the podium at the end of the weekend.

A race for the true sailor Round the County has become a must do event for big and small programs alike.  Racing in November up here near the 48th parallel isn’t for the faint of heart, nor mind, nor those lacking 5 warm under-layers, but it can also reward everyone with some of the most amazing sailing, racing and camaraderie you can find in the sport today.   For more Seattle Round County sailing information