Friday, December 20, 2019

Keane's SAVASANA Draws First Blood at J/70 Davis Island Winter Series

J/70 Savasana wins Tampa Bay series
(Tampa, FL)- Eight years ago when the J/70 was taking the sailing world by storm, Joe Colling and Mike Dawson came up with the idea of an affordable winter series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL. The concept was three two-day events, where owners could leave their boats with the mast up all winter. Competitors are scored for each weekend as an individual event, and also an overall winner is crowned at the end of the three-weekend series. Mike sold the idea to Davis Island Yacht Club, and the club cleared out the dry sail area to make it happen. This weekend, December 6-9, will mark the start of the seventh year of the series with nearly 50 boats on the starting line.

Davis Island Yacht Club has proved to be the perfect host; from providing breakfast every race day…to the keg at the dock at the end of racing. The post-race chalk talks have become a staple for the competitors who are looking for an edge on the competition.

Although Tampa conditions can sometimes be a challenge, the race management and volunteers have always made the best out of the two-day format. Mike Dawson was the PRO for that first year, and then Judy Hanlon jumped in and managed the racecourse until last year. This winter, the club has recruited Chip Till to manage the PRO duties. Chip has extensive familiarity with the J/70 and will deliver the competitors the big fleet experience they are looking for.

From the Class’ perspective, this event supports the long-term commitment to an affordable winter option accessible to everyone. The Class thanks DIYC member Kat Malone, who has been the brains of the Series’ event management from day one.

For the first event of the 2019/ 2020 Davis Island Winter Series that took place this past weekend, forty-six teams made it to the starting line. With Saturday's racing canceled due to no wind, it was all or nothing for the teams no Sunday.  Three races were completed Sunday in winds of 8-10 knots on Tampa Bay. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team (Nic Baird, Mack Bryan, & Conner Harding) posted all seconds for 6 points to top both the Open and the 19-boat Corinthian division. Will Welles’ BRIBONA crew (Steve Liebel, Colleen Walsh, & Judah Rubin) held second place with a record of 5-6-3 for 14 points. Rounding out the podium in the bronze medal position was John and Marissa Koten’s PLANET CLAIRE with crew of Zeke Horowitz and Mike Coe; posting a 4-7-8 for 19 pts total. 

The balance of the top five included Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in 4th place with a 1-8-12 for 21 pts; his "all-star" crew included Victor Diaz-De Leon, Chris Stocke, and John Wallace.  Fifth place went to Buddy Cribb's VICTORY team (Barr Batzer, Scott Ewing, & Griener Hobbs) with a tally of 6-4-15 for 25 pts. total.

Race winners were Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Mark Foster’s HONEYBADGER and Darby Smith-Long’s AFRICA.

In the Corinthians Division, beside Keane's SAVASANA winning both Open and Corinthians titles, taking second place was Peter Firey's PHOENIX team (Tim Mangus, Eric Mentzell,& Sean Nunes) from Annapolis Yacht Club, and bringing home the bronze was Frank McNamara's CHINOOK crew (Paula Grasberger, Rick Guardia, & Rick Myers) from Eastern Yacht Club. A total of eighteen teams qualified to sail as Corinthians.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 hosts the "Porch Series", including a North Sails debrief. Jackson Benvenutti was this week’s coach. Practice races were run, followed by a debrief and prizes. The Series continues January 10-12 and February 7-9. Photos are available on the USA J/70 Class Facebook page.
For complete scores of DIYC Winter Series I Add to Flipboard Magazine.