Tuesday, March 10, 2020

BANGOR PACKET Cruises J/24 Midwinters

J/24s sailing Midwinters off Florida
(Melbourne, Florida)- Since 1978, when twenty-one boats participated in the first J/24 Midwinters in Key West, Florida, the fleet has always seen remarkably talented fleets sailing their annual event in Florida. For this year's 42nd annual regatta, Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Indian Harbour Beach, FL hosted the thirty-three boats that participated from across the USA with a particularly strong contingent participating from the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle, Washington.

After sailing eight races with one discard, the most remarkable performance came from the famous septuagenarian Tony Parker on BANGOR PACKET XXX (Tony has owned many J/24s over the past forty years!). For those J/24 class historians, Tony has sailed the J/24 since 1978, starting in Portland, Maine and has continually sailed in the class ever since. Here is how it all went down over the three-day event.

J/24s sailing Midwinters off Melbourne, FL
Day 1- Gorgeous Start
The regatta started off on Friday in a beautiful breeze averaging 13 knots, sunny skies, and cool temperatures; the fleet was treated to three races. Reigning World Champion Keith Whittemore’s FURIO got out of the gate strong, posting a 4-1-1 for 6 points and the early advantage. Whittemore was leading Parker's BANGOR PACKET that had posted an equally impressive 2-3-4 with 9 points. Two teams were tied at 10 points for the next two positions: past World Champion Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS and Kirk Reynolds’ TYRUS (a past J/24 North American Champion).

J/24s rounding marks at Midwinters Regatta
Day 2- Another Perfect Day
The second day of the Midwinters delivered yet another extraordinary day of racing. The EGYC PRO managed to conduct three hotly contested races with winds averaging 15 kts, gusting to the low 20s, under a postcard perfect azure blue skies.
Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS shot up the leaderboard after posting a sensational all-podium finishes day of a 2-2-3 and now lead the fleet with 11 pts net after six races. Dropping a sixth from the first day, Ingham retained four seconds and a third for his regatta-leading scoreline. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET held on to second place with 13 points. Reynolds’ TYRUS was clinging to the third position at 15 points, just one ahead of both Whittemore’s FURIO and John Mollicone’s BUCKAROO/ NEW ENGLAND ROPES from Newport, Rhode Island.

J/24 Bangor Packet winning team
Day 3- Cliff-hanging Finale
A victory by Parker’s BANGOR PACKET in the final race, coupled with a U-Flag penalty for regatta leader NAUTALYTICS, gave Parker with crew Will Bomar, Emmet Todd, Zeke Horowitz and James Niblock the 2020 J/24 Midwinters title. BANGOR PACKET recorded only top-four scores throughout the three-day event, and finished with 18 net points, one better than Mollicone’s BUCKAROO/ NEW ENGLAND ROPES. Mollicone started slowly out of the gate on Friday, but then notched five finishes in the top three (including a pair of bullets) to nearly capture the Championship. Ingham claimed the third position overall with 20 points, and Whittemore’s FURIO was just another point behind in fourth.

“It was one of the tightest regattas we have ever sailed,” said Parker. “The regatta was won on the final leeward leg. It was fun and challenging, and any of the top six boats could have won. We had a terrific team with Zeke, James, Will and Emmet. They performed brilliantly.”  For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information