Saturday, February 22, 2020

J/70 Midwinter Championship Preview

J/70s sailing off Miami, Florida
(Miami, Florida)- The 2020 J/70 Midwinter Championship promises to be a fun, sociable, and wildly competitive regatta; a bit of a reunion of sorts for many top teams that have been at the top of the leaderboard at past Worlds, North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans. Fifty-seven teams from eight nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Denmark) will be represented on the race track on Biscayne Bay. As host for the event, the Coral Reef Yacht Club will have their hands full managing a fleet that has the same depth as most World Championships. At play for the strong representation from foreign crews is the fact the 2020 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey, CA in July.

The Coral Reef YC PRO Mark Foster (who performed the same role at last fall's J/24 Worlds) will be blessed with an amazing weather forecast for the weekend. The sailors may see strong northerly breezes on Friday in the 10-20 kts range as a classic weather scenario sets up with a big High pressure to the north squeezing a Low Pressure off to the east. On Saturday and Sunday, the breeze will simply keep swinging Northeast to East and gradually lighten into the 8-15 kts range.

J/70s sailing off Miami, FloridaLooking forward to that weather forecast will be a number of top American teams that have successfully sailed in Biscayne Bay waters with a near "carbon copy" scenario. Those teams may include Jack Franco's 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning's CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago, IL; Glenn Darden's HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Bruce Golison's MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; the Jeff Janov/ Dave Ullman duo on MINOR THREAT from Malibu, CA; Kevin Downey's MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Heather Gregg skippering MUSE from Boston, MA; Oivind Lorentzen's NINE from Greenwich, CT; Henry Brauer's RASCAL from Marblehead, MA; John Brim's RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Pamela Rose's ROSE from Chicago, IL; Brian Keane's SAVASANA from Boston, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; Ryan McKillen's SURGE from New York, NY; John & Molly Baxter's TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT; David Jannetti’s VERY ODD 1513 from Miami, FL; and Mike Goldfarb's WAR CANOE from Seattle, WA. To say the least, that is an incredibly diverse, amazingly talented group of teams.

As if the USA teams were not strong enough, the foreign teams in attendance are not exactly "window-dressing" or "chump-change".  On the contrary, "the British are coming" is a refrain that may not make many J/70 sailors quake in their proverbial "wellies".  However, most of the teams participating either won the J/70 Worlds in Torquay, England, or have placed in the top ten in the past few Worlds and Europeans.  Britain's Ladbrokes Betting Parlour would certainly place odds on teams like Charles Thompson's BRUTUS (recent winner at Primo Cup Monaco), Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (2019 J/70 World Champion), Martin Dent's JELVIS (J/111 World Champion), and Tilly Harrison's JOLT (Monaco J/70 winner). Then, the two Brazilian teams are always contenders; Selmo Nissenbaum's HIGHLANDERS (with 5x J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz as main/ tactician) and Pedro Camargo's MANCHA NEGRA (a few Lightning Worlds aces on board).  For more J/70 Midwinter Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.