Sunday, April 28, 2019

American YC Spring Series Preview

J/105s  sailing
(Rye, NY)- Spring sailing in the northeast of America is always a fickle thing; just ask those Solent sailors in the U.K. that are on the receiving end of the goofy weather patterns experienced over North America that happen to make their way across the North Atlantic in due course and slam into Scotland, Ireland, and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Remarkably, the forecast for the first of two weekend’s of sailing in American Yacht Club’s annual Spring Series Regatta looks reasonably good for two solid days of sailing.

There are a total of seventy-five entries overall in the event in One-Design and PHRF fleets. Six boats are racing IRC (obviously, not popular in the USA). Eighteen boats are racing PHRF; not exactly a ringing endorsement of YRA Long Island Sound PHRF is it?

What is remarkable, is that fifty-six participants in the AYC Spring Series are J/Crews- 75% of the fleet are racing one-design! Those classes include One-Design classes for J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s.

Starting with the “big boat” J/44 One-Design Class, we find New York Yacht Club Commodore Bill Ketcham racing MAXINE with his family crew.  They are hoping to lead some old familiar names, as well as new ones, in what could be called the “Gold Digger Division” (in honor of the late Jim Bishop whom pioneered the development of the J/44 class). Chasing Bill will be none other than Len Sitar’s VAMP, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, and class newcomers like Bill Mooney’s KATANA, June & Amanda Kendrick’s PALANTIR 5, and Tom Blackwell’s BREAKAWAY.

The ten-boat J/109 class will see their usual suspects of class leaders on a national level participating in their first major regatta of the season. The real question will be “who’s showing up on first base” with a well-oiled machine? Likely, no one.  However, all will be focused on fine-tuning their teamwork and boatspeed for their J/109 North Americans later in the year. Notable leading teams should include Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Jon Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, David Rosow’s LOKI, and Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS. OK, well that is half the fleet! Well, that is often the case in the J/109 class; anyone can win given that magic combination of starts, speed, and crew work!

As the largest class in the regatta, the fourteen J/105s are certain to see great competition as the event will mark the first regatta on the road to the J/105 North American Championship to be held by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA this coming September 2019. Watch for an eclectic selection of crews to be amongst the leaderboard; such as Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, John Koten’s GRAY MATTER, Jeremy Henderson & Harald Edegran’s CONUNDRUM, the kids on the YOUNG AMERICAN, and Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA.

The seven-boat J/88 class will be HOT off the trails of the recent Charleston Race Week that took place two weeks ago in Charleston, SC.  There, Mike Bruno’s team on WINGS won a very closely fought battle over Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS, with Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION just off the pace in fourth.  Watch for the same trio to have another dust-up over the next two weekends on Long Island Sound.

The octet of J/70s will be enjoying fun, fast racing on their near-shore race course. Familiar names that will factor into the leaderboard will be Marshall Saffer’s LET IT RIP, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Alex Meleney’s TRUCKIN, and the White Rhino Racing team on J-RHINO!

A half-dozen J/80s will be participating with various crews from the Hudson River Community Sailing program. The lone private boat will be Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER from Huguenot YC.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, there are three divisions.  In PHRF A Class, the Kings Point US Merchant Marine Academy is sailing the J/111 BLACK DIAMOND; Scott Devine is skippering the J/112E REVIVER, and Ron Richman will be helming the J/133 ANTIDOTE. Then, in the PHRF Cruising division, Charles Taus is sailing his J/33 SIRIUS. And, in the PHRF Plus-ONE Division is Steven Levy’s J/121 EAGLE from Indian Harbor Yacht Club.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.