Friday, November 1, 2019

Canadians Crowned J/105 Masters Champions!

J/105 Masters winners- Canada Andy Roy
(San Diego, CA)– The 2019 International Masters Regatta got off to an entertaining start today. After a slight course adjustment to the south and the first race of the weekend, the sailors and their crews were gifted an extra-long lunch break with a view. Just around 1200 hrs, the U.S. Navy rained down on the South Bay course during an airdrop exercise, presenting the sailors and spectators with another San Diego airshow.

Meanwhile, down on the water, 11 boats skippered by seasoned sailors over the age of 60 were putting on their own show of fast, competitive and close racing. It was the perfect fall day in San Diego to impress the out-of-towners from the East Coast and Canada. The conditions saw a breeze of 12 to 15 knots and not a cloud in the sky.
J/105 and US Navy
Day 1- Beautiful opening day
Finishing the first day in the lead was Canadian Andy Roy with 12 points, the only International team at the event. Following Roy was Tad Lacey with 11 points in second and the famous two-time America’s Cup winner Gary Jobson with 15 points in third.

Roy proved that consistency was key in a successful regatta. Managing to stay fairly consistent with his scores, Roy never finished below fifth place. He slowly crept his way to the top, finishing the fourth and final race of the day in first.

“We were over early in the first race which wasn’t a great way to start, but we made a pretty good come back towards the end. Staying in the lower, single digit numbers is what we were going for. Last year we did this race and stayed closer to the 8s and 9s. So far this year we kept our races clean, got a clear lane on the first windward leg, and had good speed up and down,” Roy explained.

Only one point behind Roy was Lacey, showing off his experience with two bullets; one in the second race and one in the third. Roy and Lacey often found themselves neck and neck today. In the second race, the two boats went head to head on their approach to the first weather mark. In the third race, Lacey finished only a foot or two ahead of Roy.

“Roy and I were really close in the third race, but we stayed in front of them. The two of us were well out in front and the race was really between the two of us. That’s when we inched him out. He’s a great sailor. Now we’re going to get a good night’s sleep and do it again tomorrow,” Lacey commented.

Several sailors today deserve notable mentions for their outstanding performances during the day. Jobson (3rd) started off race four with an OSC and managed to pull himself back into fourth place by the end of the race. Chuck Sinks (4th) took a hard turn in race two, finishing 8th, but kept their spirits high to finish with a second and third and the final two races. Bill Peterson and Scott Harris both kept their name on the top half of the score sheet, moving in and out of the top of the fleet throughout the day.

It’s to go without saying that SDYC’s International Masters Regatta brings some of the best to San Diego and that was easy to see with the incredibly close racing and skillful tactics out on the water. Despite the distractions and visitors to the course, each one of them proved that they belonged there with the rest.
J/105 sailing Masters Regatta off San Diego
Day 2- Fleet "Moving" Day
It was “moving day” and the skippers were getting more comfortable making their homes on the score sheet and moving in on their competitors. After the second day of the regatta, there were major position shifts in the results.

After Saturday’s races, Roy was still in first with 27 points, with Chuck Sinks moving up to second with 29 points, and Lacey holding on to third with 37 points.

The master skippers and crew were greeted with light winds and glassy water as they headed down to South San Diego Bay this morning. After a short AP to wait for the breezes to fill, teams were soon sailing in 10-13 knots. Similar to yesterday, the South Bay course was blessed with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60s.

The first race of the day was dominated by Mary Brigden-Snow. Snow held her position until the last leg of the race when Roy was able to pull ahead into first, leaving the all-female team narrowly in second. Brigden-Snow kept her momentum going all day, finding herself at the top of the fleet in several races. The team finished at the top again in race seven with a third and in race eight with a second.

“We had a little more time to get ourselves sorted out today. We got our starts going, my crew is amazing and it was fun seeing us get a little momentum. As JJ [Fetter] says ‘keep her rumbling’ so I’ll be staying focused on the rumbling while my crew keeps doing a great job. Hopefully we can keep on doing some of that tomorrow,” expressed Brigden-Snow.

Sinks and his crew moved around the score sheet quite a bit as well. The team finished the first day of the regatta in fourth place tied with Gary Jobson. In race six, Sinks battled it out with Scott Mason and Roy to take the first-place finish. He climbed his way to the top of the fleet by the end of the day but not without more competition from Jobson. In the final race of the day, Jobson took the lead around the first weather mark. Sinks caught up and rounded the leeward mark first while Jobson got caught on the outside, spinning to make it through gate. Sinks was able to keep a solid lead on the rest of the fleet, taking his second bullet of the regatta.

“We had pretty good starts today in both races that we won, which gave us a lot of space to do what we wanted to do. The team did a phenomenal job as usual. We’re happy to be where we are with three more races left. We’re all having a good time and we’re all still talking to each other, so, so far so good,” said Sinks in high spirits.

Scott Harris also came ready to play today, especially in race seven when he was leading the fleet by about a minute. With Harris’ strong, unbeatable gain, the real race was for second place. Bill Peterson, who was standing mid-fleet yesterday, made an impressive comeback, fighting against Brigden-Snow in the second to last race to take second place. Peterson was able to improve his position by a few places to fourth place.

The day ended with a high-note for many, especially for the San Diego Yacht Club’s home-teams. To celebrate wins and join in on friendly camaraderie, skippers, crews and their families enjoyed the International Masters Regatta traditional Saturday night banquet. Each skipper took to the stage where they could recap their successes and roast their fellow sailors and crew… always one of the greatest laughs at the regatta.
J/105 sailing Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Day 3- Another sunny, pretty day?
The regatta saw three beautiful, windy days of sailing in breezes up to 13 knots each day. By the last race, the South Bay course had white caps and extra chop. Andy Roy finished in first place overall with 41 points, followed by Scott Harris in second with 47 points and Chuck Sinks in third with 49 points.

In race nine, the first race of the day, the win went to Gary Jobson, who battled his way back up the score sheet through the day, ending in fifth place. In race 10, Harris proved his master status with the bullet and a solid lead on the rest of the fleet. “We started a little slow at the beginning of the weekend, and then we just got better,” Harris said laughing. “We brought Jon Pinckney on board who sailed in the regatta last year, and learned a lot from him over the course of the weekend. One of which was to play the backstay more."

Harris will be back at the San Diego Yacht Club next weekend for the 105th Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup where he will be sailing with his son. “We’ll go for first this time,” joked Harris.

In the final race, race 11, Roy and his crew got back into the game. After a fifth and an eighth in the first two races, Roy was only one point ahead of Sinks going into the final race. It all came down the start. The team got under Sinks and was able to control their fate for the rest of the race, sealing their regatta win.

Roy and his fellow Canadian sailors headed back up to Canada on Monday morning, where they’ll be retiring the boat for the winter and breaking out the skis for the season.

After the races, the skippers and their crews gathered on the Front Deck of the San Diego Yacht Club where they were presented with their awards. The teams enjoyed dockside cocktails and ended the weekend with good camaraderie. The 2019 International Masters Regatta was an unpredictable, highly competitive regatta between experienced sailors over the age of 60. Many of the men and women sailing this weekend have national, world, and Olympic titles paired with their names. During the IMR, these sailors get to rejoin old friends, teammates and competitors for three days of sailing in the beauty that is South San Diego Bay.  Sailing photo credits- Mark Albertazzi/ San Diego YC   For more J/105 Masters Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.