Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Welles Crowned 40th J/24 Midwinter Champion

j24 start (Miami, FL)– All eight scheduled races were completed in gorgeous conditions at the J/24 Midwinter Championship, hosted by the Shake-A-Leg Foundation team and PRO in Coconut Grove.  Will Welles’ BOGUS only needed seven races to tie up the victory over the 35 competitors.

The Rhode Island-based helmsman led his team of Rich Bowen, Jock Hayes, PJ Schaffer and Nick Turney to a score of 15 points, allowing them to forego the eighth and final race. Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET secured second place with 33 points, six ahead of both Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS in third and Ron Medlin’s BASH in fourth. Rounding out the top five in fifth place was John Poulson’s LONG SHOT.

The BOGUS team is a blended group of all J/24 World Champions— Welles, Bowen and Turney from COUGAR in 2014 and Hayes and Schaffer from SALSA in 2004. This Championship was the first time they had all sailed together, and it was on a chartered boat.

Welles said Miami is one of his favorite places to sail, but his team definitely had to earn this win. “Super shifty and hard to see the puffs and lulls. There was a lot of gear shifting and trying to get on the lifted tack.”

The J/24 Midwinter Championship debuted 40 years ago in 1978 in Key West, Florida. “There are a lot of famous names today who cut their teeth in this class,” said Welles. “The difference today is that people know all the tricks when it comes to sail trim and rigging. It usually comes down to good starts and teamwork.”

The top women’s skipper was Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin, TX in 13th place, followed by Erica Beck Spencer’s famous SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Falmouth, ME in 19th place and then Elaine Haher’s A GOOD HAIR DAY from Atlantic Highlands, NJ in 24th position.  For more 40th J/24 Midwinters sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.