Friday, September 28, 2018

AQUAHOLIKS Top J/70 Great Lakes

J/70 sailing fast downwind (Grosse Pointe, MI)- The 2018 J/70 Great Lakes Championship was hosted September 14-16 by Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI. Their new Sailing Center, in full view of the race course, proved to be an excellent base for operations.

The event started off Thursday with a light-air practice session hosted by multi-Class world champion Tim Healy, followed by a two-hour debrief and Q&A session. It was very helpful for the sailing conditions, ultimately, to follow through with a nice onshore breeze. PRO Joe Colling and team did their best to get races off in very light conditions for the 23 competitors.

Friday started off with a postponement onshore, followed by a lot of drifting out on the water before racing for the day was abandoned around 2:30 pm.

Saturday was a wash/ rinse/ repeat of the previous day- starting with a postponement on shore. Race-able wind, but no visibility due to fog. The fog finally lifted, but, perversely, the wind speeds diminishing. PRO Joe got a start off around 1pm.....only to abandon it shortly after the start as the wind died. Racing for the day was abandoned about an hour later after hopes of a thermal breeze never materialized.

Sunday was the day to “fish or cut bait”, so to speak.  Finally, a 3-8 knot oscillating northeasterly with better pressure on the left side of the course built in the morning.  As a result, three races were run and completed so the regatta and World qualifier was/is official!

Congratulations to Martin Johnsson and his AQUAHOLIKS out of Libertyville, IL on their victory, starting out strong and getting better every race.  They came back from a two-point deficit in the last race, beating out Ryan McKillen’s SURGE from St. Francis Yacht Club by one point. Nicely done. Locals Gary Warner and Bob Pethik’s MOAB finished third.

In the Corinthian division, Mark Allen and Mike Welch’s HELIUM, from GPYC, took first place and finished fourth overall in the regatta. Glenn Gault out of League City, Texas took the prize for farthest travelled. Emily Simon and team from GPYC won the “Women’s division" on Bill William’s CHROMA.

Thank you all for your effort, help, patience and participation! Thanks to Michael Welch for this report.  For race results, please click here.  For more J/70 Great Lakes Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.