Sunday, March 4, 2018

40th J/24 Midwinters Championship Preview

J/24s sailing (Miami, FL)- Back in 1978, no one could have ever guessed that 40 years after the inaugural J/24 Midwinters in Key West, Florida that the J/24 class would be going as strong as ever in 2018!  Around the world, the class has demonstrated its appeal to a cross-section of sailors, young and old alike.  Now quite inexpensive, boats can be bought from $5,000 up to $15,000 (depending on your appetite for “fixer-uppers”) and you can be competitive against some of the worlds best sailors in the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Chile, United Kingdom, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Japan, Greece and Ireland, to name a few locations where the class has strong local fleets.

This year’s Midwinters is being hosted by Shake-a-Leg in Miami (Coconut Grove), FL.  It’s essentially “40 for 40” (boats & anniversary) and a number of North American, Midwinters and World Champions will be pointing their bows across the starting line on Thursday.  The four-day event goes until Sunday afternoon, sailing on the warm, inviting, choppy waters of Biscayne Bay.

The betting parlors would have a field day trying to handicap this fleet.  Teams are competing from across the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.  Top Americans should be Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA; Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Will Welles’ BOGUS from Newport, RI; Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from Pittsford, NY; Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Huntington, NY; Ernesto Mendoza’s MUY MUY from Miami, FL; and Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD from Middletown, NJ.

There are three women’s skippers in the event, including Erica Beck Spencer’s famous SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Falmouth, ME; Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin, TX; and Elaine Haher’s A GOOD HAIR DAY from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.   The Mexican J/24 National Champion should be a contender- Kenneth Porter’s MONSTER FISH.  The Puerto Rican team is Gilberto Rivera’s URAYO from Guaynabo and the Canadian crew Nathan Bresett’s WOODJCHUCK from Belleville, Ontario.  For more 40th J/24 Midwinters sailing information