Sunday, April 17, 2016

INDIGO Crowned Argentine J/24 Triple Crown Winner!

J/24s sailing Argentina- Lago San Roque (Mendoza, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 fleet continues to have passionate competition amongst many of the best sailors in South America.  This year, their famous “Triple Crown” Series included the Argentina Championships in 2015 and the Campeonato Del Oeste in Potrerillos and the Campeonato Del Centro in Cordoba.  It is not an easy event to win since the teams have to adapt to insanely choppy, ocean-like conditions on the Rio de La Plata off Buenos Aires to the mountain lakes with mostly flat water but insanely shifty wind conditions with micro-bursts often flying down off the steep Andean Mountains.  After 25 races counted with 4 discards, the winner overall was Ezequiel Despontin’s team on INDIGO that won the coveted Triple Crown for J/24s in Argentina.  His crew consisted of Martin Costa, Gustavo Llanos and Franco Monetti.

After the Nationals in Buenos Aires, the crews all moved their boats into the base of the Andes in Potrerillos to sail on Lago Mendocino. It’s a hard place to sail but nothing short of exquisite and insanely beautiful.  The lake is so deep and so clear that you can literally dip your cup and drink it- fresh off the mountain glaciers!  What was interesting was to see the “giants” of J/24 sailing in South America return to the class for this event.  The competition featured multiple defending champions- South American, Argentine, and even the Pan American Gold Medalist at the 2016 Pan Am Games in Toronto!

J/24s sailing ArgentinaCampeonato del Oeste
Guillermo Parada was back on track in the J/24 Class; back in 1995, he was the Argentine National Champion of this fierce international class. He proved, yet again, that he had the talent to win the class and won the regatta quite easily over the eighteen-boat fleet, wining six of eleven races. His crew included Paul Despontin, Carlos Fioritti and Ezequiel Sirito.

Taking second was the INDIGO crew led by Ezequiel Despontin with Martin Costa, Gustavo Hernan Llanos and Mieres. Taking third was the Mendocino crew- the multifaceted Sebastian Halpern on MORRUCHO along with the "family" Monetti (Franco & Choli) and Juan Barquero.  Despite having suffered a DNF, MORRUCHO managed to climb on to the podium for the bronze and defeating, at the last moment, another great international level competitor- the great old Nico Cubria on RINA/WORKNET with crew of Fernando Bertrand, Mario Cubria and the American lady sailor- Barbara Gold from Boston, MA.  Fifth was Matias Pereira on QUATTRO sailing with Federico Reser, Elder Pascheta and Andres Guerra (the Pan Am Games Gold Medallists!).  The Punta del Este, Uruguayan team led by Pedro Garra on EXTASIS took sixth overall, sailing with his crew of Santiago Gari, Juan Carral and Ivan Guicheff.

The whole event was a real party and therefore congratulates the organizers. Thanks to the sponsors and tournament officials!  The was fortunate to have three days of great sailing with winds ranging from single digits to 25 kts plus on Saturday.

J/24s sailing Andes Mountains, ArgentinaCampeonato del Centro
Having learned a thing or to about getting around the race track on Lago Mendocino in Potrerillos, Despontin’s team on INDIGO were determined to make the most of that experience racing on the gorgeous Lago San Roques at Villa Carlos Paz.  After the three-day event, seven races were counted and Eze Despontin’s team won not only the regatta, but the overall Triple Crown Series as well!

On Friday, March 18th, the races began with lots of rain and cold weather and very little wind.  Just one race was run that day with INDIGO winning.

On Saturday, the 19th, more rain, more cold and also very little wind.  The forecast was not very promising.  Again, the first race was hard to get running on the flat waters of the lake, but again INDIGO won!  However, as the wind dropped yet again, racing was postponed until 1700 hrs.  Two more races were conducted in light breezes until sunset.  Nicolas Cubria’s RINA/ WORKNET won the second race and Sammy Capueta’s CALEUCHE won the third and last race of the day.  Anxiety was creeping into the INDIGO teams confidence after posting a 14-4 in those two races.

Like the previous two mornings, Sunday dawned cloudy with little wind.  However, in spite of the weather conditions, the breeze ultimately developed and the fleet was able to enjoy three good races, racking up 7 races overall.  The first race was won by Cubria’s RINA/WORKNET, the second by MEU VICIO, and the third by Halpern’s MORRUCHO.

The final results saw Despontin’s crew on INDIGO win the regatta and the Triple Crown.  Second in the regatta was Halpern’s MORRUCHO (and 2nd in the Triple Crown).  Third in the Triple Crown was Cubria’s RINA/ WORKNET.   For more Argentina J/24 Class sailing information