Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Spectacular J/Fest Southwest!

J/70s sailing J/Fest Southwest (Houston, TX)- J/Fest Southwest was a spectacular success this year! Sixty-two boats total; the J/22’s and J/24’s really came out in force! The sailors were treated to awesome sailing conditions both days; in particular, it was windy on Saturday with gusts in the high 20’s, which was tough on humans, sails, and boats.  Reported Scott Spurlin- J/Boats Southwest dealer- “we had a nice sustained downhill ride on the J/88!  Held 17.2kts for a loong time.  Crew was hooting and hollering!”

The J/FEST Southwest Regatta took place from October 12th to 14th, hosted by Lakewood YC.  The event started out with the newly famous “LEGENDS RACE” that was sailed in a “stadium-sailing” scenario right off BARge 295 on Clear Lake, right in front of the club. Five (5) video cameras recorded the live action, broadcast worldwide on YouTube!

As for the sailing, it was Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY crew that won the fifteen-boat J/22 class by a Texas mile- winning six of seven races.  Taking second was Casey Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING with 22 pts and third was David Bethancourt’s USA 1271 with 27 pts.  The balance of the top five was Farley Fontenot and son’s USA 707 in 4th and Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951 in 5th position.

The seventeen-boat J/24 also saw a near clean sweep take place.  Certainly, the first four races looked like a runaway for Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT crew, posting four bullets in a row.  Thereafter, they stepped off the gas a bit and closed the regatta with a 3-2 to win with just 9 pts. Sitting 7 pts back was woman skipper Natalie Harden and her crew on GIGGLES with a near reciprocal scoreline to MISS CONDUCT, posting a 3-2-6-3-1-1 to close the regatta with 16 pts total.  Taking the bronze was Frank Keesling’s THE DUMPSTER from Dillon YC in Dillon, CO. The balance of the top five was Josh Bowens-Rubin’s ZERO GRAVITY in 4th and David Broadway’s SUPERMAN in 5th place.

Winning the J/70s was not easy for Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS team.  They were involved in a dogfight with Forbes Durdin MOJITO.  In the end, they both had all top four finishes and dominated the top of the leaderboard.  However, ZOUNDS had an amazingly consistent tally of 1-2-2-2-1-3-3 top score the gold, while the MOJITO boys popped for a 3-4-1-1-2-2-4 for 17 pts to take the silver. Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE started strong with a 2-1-5-3-, but lost their “mojo” on the last day, dropping 5-8-5 to settle for third with 29 pts.

For the nine-boat J/105 class, it followed a similar story to the J/22s and J/24s, a near blitzkrieg for the top team.  In this case, it was John Barnett’s PESTO that started off with a 1-1-1-1, then forgot how to sail in race #5 and score a 2nd, then closed with a 1-1 to win with 8 pts total.  That was an extraordinary performance in what is normally a very tight, close-racing class on Galveston Bay. Taking the silver was Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY with 19 pts and third was Dennis Kokkinis’ SPITFIRE with 24 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Brad Robbins’ RUMPUS in 4th and Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE in 5th position.

Taking a page out of their J/one-design colleagues success was Jim Demarest’s J/46 SODALIS II. His team of Tom Johnston, Terrill Munkres, Don Lemire, Pedro Gianotti, Sally Thurner, & Scott Demarest won their J/PHRF Class with five bullets in seven races!  Second was JD Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR and third was Dave Christensen’s J/109 AIRBORNE.

In the random-leg J/PHRF Distance division, Alan Bates’ J/105 ZIPPITY took class honors, followed by Doug Love’s J/95 UP TEMPO in second and John McCutchen’s J/29 SUPERGIRL in third.

Watch the J/FEST Southwest highlights video here:

For more J/FEST Southwest sailing and registration information Add to Flipboard Magazine.