Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hot, Sunny J/Fest New England!

J/109 Sweet Caroline- sailing J/Fest New England (Bristol, RI)- The first New England J/Fest was a popular event that saw forty-one boats from across New England enjoy roasty-toasty weather, intermittent thunderstorms on Saturday and spectacular sea breezes on Sunday.  The sailing conditions provided for tight racing in the one-design classes and spirited competition in the PHRF Class.  Bristol YC hosted the regatta and racing took place on the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay, with most classes getting in six races.  One of the highlights of the regatta was the Friday evening skipper’s Ken Read & Charlie Enright from North Sailsmeeting and “local knowledge” presentation put on by local heroes Ken Read and Charlie Enright from North Sails- both are national and world champions in various classes and both have conducted successful Volvo Ocean Race campaigns- Kenny twice on IL MOSTRO/PUMA and Charlie once on ALVIMEDICA.

The fleet was split onto two courses, with the J/22s and J/30s sailing in the immediate vicinity south of beautiful Rumstick Point with views of the Mount Hope Bridge- with the course managed by Bristol YC’s Race Committee.  The J/105s, J109s, and PHRF class was hosted by Barrington YC’s Race Committee over on the northern course, just west of the famous Colt State Park.

J/105 Good Trade- sailing J/Fest New EnglandsWinning the J/105 class was Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s brand new (re-constructed) J/105 96- GOOD TRADE, winning five of six races to win their class by five points.  Fred Darlington’s TONTO gave them a run for the money on Sunday, winning the first race and taking two 2nds, but not enough to overcome GOOD TRADES lead on Saturday that had three bullets in the scoreline.  Third was Mark Lindquist’s crew on STERLING from Buzzards Bay.

J/109 Gut Feeling- sailing J/Fest New EnglandThe J/109s saw past North American Champion Ted Herlihy skipper GUT FEELING to a big win in their class, finishing with four 1sts in their six races to win by 9 pt.  John Sahagian’s PICANTE, featuring guest helmsman Dr Rob Salk, managed to overcome an enormous deficit on Saturday to close with a 1-2-3 on Sunday to leap onto the podium and grab the silver.  Bill Kneller’s team on VENTO SOLARE sailed a steady series to secure third place. As one of the top women helms in greater New England, it was not surprising to see Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA sail fast to take 4th position.  Fifth was Brian Kiley’s GAMBIT.

J/22s sailing J/Fest New EnglandThe J/22s had a terrific turnout, with Bill Porter’s CONUNDRUM overcoming Matt Dunbar’s WHARF RAT early regatta lead on Saturday to close the deal on Sunday with a 1-2-1 and the class win.  Third was Nick Cromwell’s DIRT DOG, showing the other teams how it’s done in the big breeze on Sunday, with 10-20 kts puffs crossing the course the DIRT DOG boys closed out the regatta with a 1-2.  Taking fourth was Neil McDermott’s KONA and fifth place was David Wehr’s SHAKE & BAKE.

J/30 sailing J/Fest New EnglandSailing on the same course as the J/22s, it was Mark Rotsky’s NEMESIS that secured the class win with just 6 pts.  Second was Robert Rude’s MMMMM and third was Jim Hilton’s KAOS.  The pretty bright red DIPLOMATICO from Hamilton, skippered by Dan Borsutzky, sailed with just main & jib on the final day due to a small family crew and very blustery conditions; nevertheless, they were always in the hunt and enjoyed themselves immensely!

It was blistering HOT racing in the PHRF division, especially between the two J/88s, a J/29 and a very well-sailed J/110 cruiser!  In the end, the regatta was determined on a tie-breaker between Doug Newhouse’s J/88 YONDER and Jeff Johnstone’s J/88 J/88s dueling at J/Fest New EnglandsELECTRA (with guest tactician Charlie Enright on board), with YONDER taking class honors.  The series went down to the wire and perhaps the spoiler in the J/88’s epic battle was Kevin Dakan’s pretty J/110 MEMORY- being sailed by a full family crew!  After Saturday’s light-airs racing, YONDER was winning by one point over both ELECTRA and Steve Thurston’s J/29 MIGHTY PUFFIN- both tied on points with 2-3 records.  However, the breezier Sunday brought a huge change in the scores; after three fast races in flat water, the big winner on the day was Dakan’s MEMORY, posting a 4-1-1 to win the day J/110 Memory saling J/Fest New Englandand jump into third place for the regatta.  Thurston’s MIGHTY PUFFIN dropped to fourth and taking fifth place was Charlie McCoy’s navy blue J/29 HAWK.

A big “thanks” goes out to regatta sponsors North Sails and East Coast Yacht Sales for their support and, again, a warm “thanks” to host Bristol YC, Commodore Joe Brito, the BYC volunteers as well as their friends at Barrington YC.   Sailing photo credits- John Lincourt Photography  For more J/Fest New England sailing information