Saturday, October 28, 2017

J/105 North Americans Preview

J/105 sailing Houston North Americans (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club, in co-operation with the J/105 International Class Association, is hosting the 2017 J/105 North American Championship regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams have entered, nineteen of which hail from Texas, while the other three teams come from California (2) and Bermuda.

The weather forecast promises a warm, sunny day on Thursday with seabreeze conditions from the SSE up to 10 kts, a dark & stormy Friday with showers and thunderstorms with the wind clocking fast into the NNW as the frontal system passes, then a rapid cool-down overnight with northerly winds Saturday and Sunday with dramatically colder weather- e.g. 40s F in the morning warming to low 60s F by midday! In the fall, such weather patterns are pretty normal as low-pressure systems roll across the Great Plains of America, completely unobstructed to any geographical resistance, and the hot waters (85 F) of the Gulf of Mexico feed cold fronts- producing nasty things like tornados! The conditions will make for tough, challenging racing as the fleet will be presented with a wide variety of wind and sea states- particularly on Saturday/ Sunday when the winds will be very shifty and streaky.

Amongst the local “homeboys” hoping to make their mark on this year’s J/105 NA’s will be hot teams like J.B. Bednar’s STINGER, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO, Mark Smith’s EAU LA LA, Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, and Josh Richline’s VELOCE.  Teamwork, consistent starts, and boat speed will be the most critical issues for these boats as they face a formidable array of “outsiders” coming in from afar.

The three boats visiting and racing in Texas for their first times are no spring chickens, that is for sure!  For starters, Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from San Francisco, CA will be racing with a hyper-active, smart crew; as past Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week Champions, Rolex Big Boat Series Champions, and J/105 North American Champions, they are likely the odds-on favorite to be at the top of the leaderboard.  Next up is Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego, California, yet another crew of rock stars that have won the San Diego NOOD, silver at Rolex Big Boat Series, and top five at past J/105 North Americans, plus they won last weekend’s J/Fest Southwest Regatta.  Finally, the Bermuda J/105 Champion from the Royal Bermuda YC, James McDonald on DISTANT PASSION, have a lot of J/105 mileage under their belts, having been a top five contender in events on the Chesapeake Bay, Block Island, and Marblehead.  To get current J/105 North American results, click here.  For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.