Tuesday, June 2, 2020

J/70 Mexico Regatta Report

J/70s sailing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- The new year had started off well for "nuestros amigos" in Mexico. The 2020 Mexican J/70 Circuit blasted off with a lot of enthusiasm and families and teams looking forward to a winter/spring regatta series across the country in some of the more famous "watering holes" in Mexico. 

Here is the brief report from Mexican J/70 Fleet Captain Ignacio Perez Morett, just before the world went off the cliff and into the abyss of the pandemic.

"We started this year with the first two J/70 Mexico regattas in 2020. The first regatta was held in Valle de Bravo at the La Peña Sailing Club, over the January 11th to 12th weekend, with the participation of six boats.

The top of our leaderboard had some of our most exceptional sailors. Winning was Hector Guzman's ESCIPION, followed by Diego Reyes' RAGTIME in second and Roberto Escalante's LAMPUGA bringing home the bronze.

Our second regatta was sailed off Puerto Vallarta on January 18th to 19th on the famous Bahia de Banderas, famous for being one of the world's most beautiful places to sail, with its highly reliable 10 to 18 kts seabreeze that builds like clockwork from 11:30 am onwards.

In this regatta, we had eight boats participating. Wow! I can tell you from my personal experience, the competition was getting significantly better over last year! The leaderboard was comprised of Fernando Pérez Ontiveros' BLACK MAMBA taking class honors, with José Luis Pérez Morett's AMIGO earning the silver, and Eduardo Cano's CHILCANO holding the bronze medal."

Like many other J/70 sailors around the world, they are anxious to get out sailing again in a socially responsible way-- perhaps, a Doublehanded J/70 World Championship, anyone? Anywhere? Serious!? Why not!? Simple to organize, BTW.

Editor's note- "Having done over 100 Around Conanicut Island circumnavigations (yes, that does include my J/World days in Newport), I can honestly say one of the most satisfying and enjoyable were my last two double-handed around the island races.  Ironically, the first was a complete lark.

A good friend at Ida Lewis Yacht Club- Dan Faria- offered his Shields 30 ft. classic, beautiful, day sailor to do the race. Of course, we took him up on his offer, as it was the first (of three) Round Jamestown races that summer- Cafe Zelda's version is always the first. It was a blast. Spectacular day in Newport. Sunny, a gentle seabreeze blowing out of the south/ southwest.

Our principal competitor was a green Shields from Jamestown with SIX guys aboard, about average weight just a bit north of 250 lbs (our best guess, they looked like NFL offensive linemen). Most importantly, when asked what was in the Igloo Cooler in the middle of their cockpit before the start, they simply replied "beer". LOL. As is the tradition of the Round Island race (a day race, thank God), the partying had started early, like pre-noon.  So, after the start, they were first to the weather mark. We were not surprised.

However, the several mile downwind run from Beavertail Light to the top end of Jimmie-town proved to be their undoing. One wonders why!? LOL. A few missed shifts, a missing beer over the side, and they were done. Never saw them again... we simply gybed the Shields downwind, 470-style with tiller between my legs, handling both spinnaker sheets, while Julia gybed the spinnaker pole standing at the mast... a bit difficult sometimes, of course. Conversation during each gybe was, as you might imagine, along the lines of "What the hell honey, ease the sheets and bear off for God's sakes"...and, some other choice expletives hurled in the skipper's general direction.

The subsequent round island race was on a J/70. It was a "no dramas" circumnavigation. Fast. A blast. Perfect day. We had a scream as it reminded us of sailing in dinghies, like 470s, Hobie 16s, and International 14s. Upwind was simple, since the jib on a J/70 is easy to trim by anyone- young, small, old, man or woman. Downwind, gybing all day long was a complete "no-brainer". Having reflected on our Shields experience the previous year, it was laughably easier and more enjoyable. Change tacks, change gybes? Simple. Let go one sheet, pull the other, all day long.  Perhaps a consideration for the near future for J/70 events? And, true for offshore sailors, as well! Think J/88s, J/99s, J/105s, J/111s, J/121s, J/122s, truly the simplest, easiest boats to sail offshore double-handed, ever.  For more J/70 and J/70 Class sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.