Tuesday, December 22, 2015

VINEYARD VINES Vanquishes Tampa Winter Series I

J/70 Vineyard Vines sailing Tampa (Tampa, Florida)- This past weekend marked the beginning of the Quantum J/70 Winter Series on Tampa Bay, hosted by Davis Island YC.  The fleet of fifty-one entries was treated to some of the best sailing conditions yet in the two-year history of the event.  With good breezes on both Saturday and Sunday, the DIYC PRO managed to run a total of seven races for the enthusiastic fleet of sailors.  The regatta produced a number of pleasant surprises, including the first ever win in their first ever regatta sailing a J/70- John & Molly Baxter’s VINEYARD VINES from New York YC.

J/70 Vineyard Vines team“We flew to Tampa, FL this past weekend to compete in our first J/70 regatta since buying the boat a few weeks ago.  This was the first of 3 events in the Quantum J/70 Winter Series,” said Molly Baxter, bow-girl on #901 VINEYARD VINES.  Molly continued to say, “We didn’t get any real practice in before arriving to Florida and since this was the first regatta in our new boat, we were not sure what to expect, but we knew we had to learn fast since the entry list included numerous National and World Champion competitors. There were 7 total races and the breeze ranged from 5 to 15 knots in tricky conditions throughout the weekend.  We finished the first day in second overall after 4 races and were 19 points behind John Brim’s first place team “Rimette” and only 10 points ahead of Jud Smith and Allan Terhune’s team’s, who were tied.  Day two brought more breeze overall with gusts averaging around 15 knots and we were able to secure the top spot by finishing our races with an 8th, 1st and 2nd place finish to win by 7 points.

We are so excited to be a part of this class.  Everyone was so helpful and friendly- - we are impressed with the camaraderie of the fleet and the well-attended discussions on what worked/ what didn’t after racing in an effort to help everyone get better throughout the event.

J/70 Vineyard Vines crewWe could not have done it without our crew Willem Van Waay and Chad Corning, and Collin Leon that did a great job of helping set up our boat prior to the event. We are excited to race the remainder of the Quantum series in January and February, and to keep racing our new boat as much as we can in 2016!”

In the “Open” division, behind the VINEYARD VINES team was John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fishers Island YC in New York.  Kudos to John and team for sailing their best major regatta to date and grabbing the silver for second overall.  Just after them was current J/70 North American Champion Jud Smith skippering AFRICA from Marblehead, MA.  Rounding out the top five were two Annapolis YC teams- Al Terhune’s DAZZLER in 4th place (a past J/22 World Champion) and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND in 5th place.

The Corinthians Division produced some surprises for those who follow the J/70 class.  It was an incredibly talented team that took the overall title- Mark Foster’s NO-PRO team from Corpus Christi YC in Texas.  This was also a “first” ever regatta for the NO-PRO boys.  For those unfamiliar with Foster’s crew from Corpus, TX, they have been past 470 and J/24 Champions in the 80s and 90s that have decided to come out and play again— “something wicked this way comes!”

Yet another champion J/24 and J/105 sailor from the past few decades has also hopped into the class and also posted a strong “first ever” performance- St Petersburg YC’s very own John Jennings sailing SNAP-ROLL into 2nd place.  Then, Sunfish North American Champion and J/24 and J/105 Bermudian Champion Chuck Millican and crew from Bermuda sailed ELUSIVE into 3rd place in Corinthians!  Past winner Rob Britts from the host Davis Island YC sailed HOT MESS into 4th place with another champion veteran, Mark Gorman on PAZZI taking 5th place.  Britts must’ve thought he was in a “hot mess” with all the good’ole boys sailing around him— the average age of the skippers in the other 4 boats in the top five were pushing 60+ (to be fair, a number of them were College All-Americans, too)!

The next two regattas on the Quantum J/70 Winter Series are:
    Jan 9-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    Feb 6-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series III- Tampa, FL

Many of these teams will also be sailing the Quantum Key West Race Week in the third week of January as well as the J/70 Midwinter Championship hosted by St. Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL from February 25th to 28th, 2016- learn more about sailing the J/70 Midwinters here.   For more J/70 sailboat information