Saturday, April 16, 2016

J/Fest San Francisco Preview

J/24 sailors loving San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- The fleet of thirty-eight J’s are looking forward to the annual J/Fest Regatta on San Francisco Bay, hosted by St Francis YC at their beautiful waterfront location; one of the world’s nicest places to enjoy spectacular sunsets framed by the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  The J fleets on the Bay have continued to expand (soon the J/88!), with fun and frolic for 24s, 70s, 105s, 111s, and 120s.  Imagine this 3D vision, the StFYC starting line is between their famous waterfront bar and a yellow ball just 300 yards offshore.  It simply does not get any better than that for “stadium sailing”.  While the rest of the world is just beginning to discover the merits of that experience, StFYC sailors and their friends across the Bay (and the R.O.W.) have enjoyed it for decades!  The entire J/Fest Regatta is taking place with starts in front of the club and courses that circle around between the infamous Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge with finishes just nanometers off StFYC!

The largest class in the event will be the seventeen-boat J/105 class, with many of its legendary class stalwarts participating along with some fresh faces in the class.  Expect to see “ye olde guard” like Shannon Ryan/ Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, and Phil Laby’s GODOT, somewhere at the top of the leaderboard.

The J/70s have a nice turnout.  Expect to see newcomers like Tracy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN competing for class honors against Bay veterans like Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Peter Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER and John Brigden/ Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO.

The triumvirate of top J/111s will certainly have a fun weekend between Richard Swanson’s BAD DOG, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT.  Likewise, the J/120s will have yet another donnybrook between the protagonists- PEREGRINE (Halliwill/ O’Callaghan/ Lacey), KOOKABURRA (Grennan & Grennan & Associates), TWIST (Timo Bruck), CHANCE (Barry Lewis) and SENOR MAGOO (Stevie Madeira).

For the J/24s, what will it be this time??  The EVIL OCTOPUS (Jasper Van Vliet) over the FERAL ROOSTER (Paul van Ravenswaay)?  Or, will it be Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR crew telling their skipper to SHUT UP & DRIVE (Val Lulevich) or take FLIGHT (Randall Rasicot).  Hah! No matter what, this gang always has fun! :0   For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information