Thursday, April 7, 2016

J/70 Corinthians & J/24s Loving Easter Regatta

J/70 SPICE sailed by Holly Graf at Easter Regatta (Columbia, SC)- One of the most popular J/24 regatta's since 1988, the J24 Easter Regatta brings a mix of excellent shore side events with world class sailing on Lake Murray. The competition can vary from an amateur crew at their first regatta, to sailing against professional skippers such as Tim Healy, Mike Ingham, and Tony Parker.

One of the many benefits of attending the Easter Regatta is the sail club facility. With a recently rebuilt clubhouse, the shore side events are better than ever. The Columbia Sailing Club offers free camping to all competitors that attend the regatta. The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provide an excellent camping experience.

J/70 Corinthians division- sailing Easter RegattaThis year, the Columbia SC invited the J/70 class to participate in a “Corinthians” event, for Category 1 class sailing teams only.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience for the teams that attended.  In fact, David Betts on INSTANT KARMA had this commentary about why he enjoyed the event:

“The event was a one of the most friendly events that I have attended over my decades of sailing which includes owning two J/70s, hull #5 and now #903. I have also owned numerous other racing boats but recently purchased another J/70 to race.

I wanted to share with you why I sold hull# 5 a couple of years ago.  It was pretty simple. I sold the boat because it became painfully obvious that the class was going to be dominated by the pros. Therefore, when a weekend warrior like myself sails in an event it is unlikely that I can overcome the professional crews that are in the event.  I personally like many of the pros and know many of them- Tim Healy is an example of a pro that I enjoy speaking to and seeking advice and so forth. Will Welles is another fellow like Tim who takes the time to help me out from time-to-time as needed.

J/70 Easter Regatta winnersOne of the reasons I bought a new J/70 was because I have seen the Corinthian teams being recognized and it actually appears that the class is trying to promote non-pro teams, which I think will build the class. It is important to build the class with a strong base of amateurs and I feel strongly that providing recognition of non-pro teams in Corinthian events and in Corinthian Divisions (or sub-divisions in Open events) will help bring more people to the class and, ultimately, to regattas.

The Easter Regatta was a very friendly atmosphere!  It was very well run and should be promoted as an annual Corinthian event.  My hope is that such regattas might lead to a National Corinthian Series for the J/70’s. I hope we can promote the event for next year- - beginning very soon!

I also believe that we should have several Corinthian-only events including a West Coast event and perhaps a northeast event in Newport.  Just my thoughts and wanted to share my perspective with you and friends in the J/70 class.”

J/24 winners at Easter RegattaAs it turns to Betts’ crew on INSTANT KARMA had great competition with two other boats for the top of the podium all weekend long.  The trio dueling back and forth every race included Elaine Parshall’s MUTANT BLONZ and Holly Graf’s SPICE.  The three teams traded off winning races and, in fact, the podium was not determined until the final race.  In the end, it was the first regatta a women skipper won, in fact took the top two places!  Winning was Parshall’s MUTANT BLONZ with a 1-3-1-2-4 tally for 7 pts net.  Graf’s SPICE crew posted a 3-1-4-1-3 scoreline for just 8 pts net.  And, Bett’s INSTANT KARMA accumulated a 2-4-2-4-1 record for 9 pts net!  Rounding out the top five was Steve Kiemele’s WHITE RABBIT in fourth and Dinse Scott’s MARGARITAVILLE in fifth.

The J/24s also had a nice turnout with twenty-two boats from across the eastern seaboard.  Winning by virtue of posting double bullets in the last two races was Dan Borrer’s JESUS LIZARD with scores of 3-3-3-1-1 for 8 pts net.  Second place was determined on a tie-breaker between Paul Abdullah’s TEAM TARHEEL and Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD; it was Abdullah’s crew that got the nod based on number of 1sts.  Just four point back in fourth place was Jim Howard’s CLASSIC and in fifth was Andrew Carey’s MR HANKEY.   Sailing photo credits- Kimberley McGill   For more Easter Regatta sailing information