Monday, November 4, 2019

Whittemore Crowned J/24 World Champion!

J/24 World Champions- Furio
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Seventy-nine teams from 19 nations (Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Grenada, Hungary, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States) sailed in the 41st edition of the J/24 World Championship. The amazing combination of USA J/24 Fleet 12 and the Shake-A-Leg organization in Coconut Grove, FL hosted the 400+ sailors and their friends and families. Ten races were sailed over four days from October 23rd to 26th on the aquamarine waters of the beautiful Biscayne Bay. Winning the regatta was the Seattle-based team on FURIO, Keith Whittemore with crew of Shelby Milne, Willem Van Waay, Mark Rodgerd and Brian Thomas. Here are the final two-day’s reports.
J/24 Worlds starting line
Day 3- Friday
Whittemore’s FURIO extended their lead on a wild and exciting day of sailing. Winds were regularly recorded at 18 knots with gusts in the 20s, testing competitors and equipment, and causing some boats to retire early.

Whittemore’s FURIO, who excelled in the Championship’s lighter days, also shone in the bigger breeze Friday, posting a bullet and a 12 for 32 net points in eight races. Two more races were planned Saturday to conclude the event. Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD held on to the runner-up position with 41 points, following a 26-5 on the day (discarding the 26). Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR maintained the third spot with 42 points.

FURIO’s Whittemore explained that Van Waay has some regatta experience with Furio, but joked, “the rest of us has sailed together for 4,000 years.” Whittemore also keeps a boat in Europe, and is regular on that circuit, creating friends and supporters worldwide.

In race seven, Whittemore won with John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN and Tokuma Takesue’s GEKKO taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Three J/24 World Champions comprised the top three in race eight: Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA from Brazil, Will Welles BUCKAROO from the USA, and Daniel Frost’s JJ-ONE from Germany.
J/24 sailing upwind
Day 4- Saturday Finale
Whittemore’s FURIO entered the final two races with a nine-point advantage, and quickly slammed the door on the competition by dominating race nine of 10. Following their bullet to start Saturday, long-time J/24 sailor Whittemore placed eighth in the final contest, five notches better than his closest challenger Milev’s CLEAR AIR. Although 2017 J/24 World Champion Milev placed second behind Whittemore in Saturday’s first match, FURIO was able to cover Milev in the final race to clinch victory with 41 points to Milev’s 57. Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD assembled an impressive Championship for third place (66 points).
J/24 Worlds winners- Whittemore's Furio
Whittemore’s highest finish in prior World Championships was third, and he has been a bridesmaid at more than one major Championship. Five J/24 World Champion helmsmen were among this fleet, and Whittemore smiled, saying, “Being able to beat those guys feels really, really, really good!” He added, “Today was scary. When we drove down, we said we really need to win the first race, so the second race isn’t a complete mess.” The plan worked perfectly when FURIO started at the pin, and got a header. “We could cross everybody. We were frankly gone at that point, and extended our lead. We struggled up every first beat of every race. That was the first time where something happened, and we said this is going to be really good!”
J/24 Worlds- Women's winners
The IJCA also awarded its perpetual trophies:

Jaeger Women’s Trophy- to Erica Beck-Spencer and her SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM as top Women’s team

Under-25 Turner Trophy- to Matthew Miranda’s TEAM OUTRAGEOUS as the top Youth crew on the Kelly Holmes-Moon Grant Boat.

Rounding out the top five were Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS in fourth place and Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER in fifth. Complete J/24 World Championship results may be found here.  ForAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
more J/24 World Championship sailing information