International J/24 Class Association

CHECKMATE Crowned 2020 Australian J/24 National Champion

January 20, 2020

The 2020 Australian J/24 Championship was sailed over four days of racing in a variety of conditions. Race Officer Steve Tucker and the Middle Harbor Yacht Club Race Management Team completed the full schedule of 12 races with two days of Northeasterly winds and two days of cooler Southerly breezes on Sydney Harbour. It was a closely fought battle for the top of the leaderboard, but in the end, it was the 2019 J/24 Australian Champion who managed to defend their title in 2020: Brendan Lee’s team on CHECKMATE from Sandringham, Victoria. Here is how it all went down for the 16 teams in the four-day, twelve-race, two-discards regatta.

Day 1: The first day saw racing on The Sound of Sydney Harbour in a light Southeasterly that became moderate in the afternoon. It was a gentle start to four days of racing, with wind strength and temperature forecast to rise as the event progressed. In the first race of the day, Lee’s CHECKMATE was third behind Steve Wright’s TINTO (Cronulla SC), the runner-up for last year’s Championship, but 30 seconds ahead was Middle Harbour sailor John Crawford and the crew of INNAMINCKA. In race two, CHECKMATE took a narrow win from David West’s Ace (MHYC), and TINTO was third. For the final race, Race Officer Steve Tucker signaled for three laps of the windward-leeward course running from south of Cannae Point out through the Sydney Heads, where the breeze held steady around 130 degrees throughout the afternoon and kept the fleet clear of the ferry lanes. David McKay’s STAMPED URGENT, the Cronulla team who placed third at the 2019 Nationals, were first home ahead of Simon Grain’s JET (Sandringham YC) and CHECKMATE. At the end of day one, CHECKMATE led the series score by 3 points, with TINTO (Steve Wright) second, and INNAMINCKA (John Crawford) tied for third with STAMPED URGENT (David McKay).
Day 2: As the morning Southerly slowly turned East, and then Northeast and freshened, the smoke haze cleared over Sydney Harbour to provide some good racing conditions. The MHYC race management team set a course between Middle Head and North Head for another three races. Race 4 was completed in an unsettled breeze with TINTO the winner by 11 seconds from CHECKMATE and VORTEX. The breeze had increased slightly for Race 5, but it was still fluky close to the top mark. STAMPED URGENT made the best of the conditions to finish ahead of Middle Harbour’s David West on ACE and TINTO in third. Race Officer Steve Tucker tweaked the course for Race 6, but there was some excitement on the start line with a number of boats making contact. CALYPSO (Paul Donnelly / RMYC) and PHOENIX (Joanna Lecka / CYCA) both suffered damage; with PHOENIX later sinking on Clontarf Beach within sight of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club marina. The boat was eventually re-floated and hoped to be back for the following day. Back on The Sound this afternoon, TINTO claimed another win, this time ahead of Warren Slater’s JAB and CHECKMATE. Two wins for the TINTO crew moved them to the top of the series table, one point ahead of CHECKMATE and eight points clear of the top local boat ACE.
Day 3: With the mercury rising to the mid-thirties C, humidity around 40% and the breeze topping 20 knots, it was an exhausting third day for the sailors. Three windward-leeward races were completed on a course set between the Sow & Pigs Reef and North Head with an axis of 025 degrees for the first two. INNAMINCKA was fast out of the blocks, claiming their second win of the series in Race 7 ahead of STAMPED URGENT and CHECKMATE. The breeze freshened to 18 knots in Race 8, and TINTO was back at the front, leading STAMPED URGENT and CHECKMATE to the line. For the final race of the day, the breeze had backed to 015 degrees and was 20-plus knots. Grain’S JET crew loved the conditions and scored their first win, with TINTO in second and INNAMINCKA third. After nine races, TINTO had a four-point lead over CHECKMATE in the Championship series score; meanwhile STAMPED URGENT was another seven points adrift in third.
Day 4: The final trio of races on the fourth day started in a moderate to fresh Southerly with the course moved out of The Sound and set between Obelisk Bay and Neilson Park in search of flatter water. Shockingly, regatta leader TINTO posted their two worst results in races 10 and 11 (an eighth & seventh), handing the series lead on a silver platter to the CHECKMATE crew who had posted another steady 2-1 tally. In short, with just one race left, the CHECKMATE could have DNF’d the race and went home delirious with their good fortune and celebrating with a few dozen “tinnies”; however, that was not the case. The story gets better, or worse, depending on which boat you were on. With the wind building to 20-25 knots, things got very interesting for the final Race 12. It took two General Recalls before the last race got underway. After getting completely flumoxed and frazzled in the first two races to give away the Championship, the TINTO team managed to collide with the Committee Boat in the final pre-start…adding insult to injury, as one might say. As a result, they were slow off the line and 11th at the first leeward rounding, half-way through the W2 course. Meanwhile, CHECKMATE was having issues of their own. At the same half-race leeward gate, they managed to put their spinnaker in the water, and the resulting tangle caused them to retire and take a DNF. Meanwhile, STAMPED URGENT, the boat placed third in the series, was following INNAMINCKA in the lead at the first leeward rounding, and held on to post a handy second. At the conclusion of four day’s racing, Brendan Lee and the CHECKMATE crew of Daniel Abbas, Daniel Cave, Will Shears, Keren Reynolds and Belinda Christie were declared the Australian J/24 Champions for 2020. While CHECKMATE was able to drop their DNF score and finish on 25 points, Steve Wright’s TINTO had a disappointing day posting 8-8-7 to slide back from series leader into third place, behind McKay’s STAMPED URGENT. MHYC’s Vice Commodore of Racing, Geoff Charters, presented the J/24 National Championship awards, and J/24 Australia Class President Ron Thomson presented the Handicap Prizes. First on handicap was PHOENIX (Joanna Lecka), second BAILE DE LUNA (Adam Keyes-Tilley) and third KAOTIC (Geoff Pearson). A special award was made to David McKay for an incredible effort getting the sunken PHOENIX back on the race track the following day. Many thanks to the Middle Harbour Yacht Club race management volunteers, the protest panel and NSW J/24 Association volunteers for enabling the Championship to run so smoothly, and to Marg Fraser-Martin for the great photography. For more J/24 Australian National Championship information, visit https://www.mhyc.com.au/sailing/regattas-championships/australian-j24-championships-2020.


Awesome Vaeterchen Frost Regatta

November 20, 2019

Over a three-day weekend, the Hamburger Segel Club in Hamburg, Germany hosted their annual fall regatta on the beautiful Alster Lake. The 2019 edition had near record entries, and the racing was extremely competitive. In the 17-boat J/24 fleet, it was Jan Kaehler’s GER 5281 who took a tie-breaker at 7 points each over Hauke Kruess’s GER 5073. Ascending to the third step on the podium after starting out with a Black Flag in race one was Fabian Damm’s GER 5316 with 9 points, winning two of the races. The rest of the top five included top woman skipper Lynn Wolgast (Muehlenberger Segel Club) on GER 5266 in fourth place with 13 points. Then, fifth position went to Stefan Karsunke’s (Bayerischer Segel Club) GER 5381 with 17 points. For more Vaeterchen Frost Regatta information, visit https://www.hsc-regatta.org/.


CARRERA is Argentine J/24 National Champion Again

Organized by the Club Nautica Cordoba, Leo Rivas and a seasoned team were in charge of the regatta and ran eight races over two days on the lake called Lago San Roque, high in the Andes Mountains. The 20 J/24 crews from across Argentina sailed their 38th edition of the Argentine J/24 National Championship in epic conditions, starting off with 13-18 northeast winds on Saturday, and ending with more northerly winds from 18-22 knots. Matias Pereira’s CARRERA (Club Nautica Olivos) and his team comprised of Andrés Guerra, Hernán Suarez and Joaquín Delgado, again managed to win the Argentine J/24 Championship. This is his seventh consecutive year as Argentine Champion, winning five of eight races. Pereira was accompanied on the podium by Nicolas Cubria’s RINA (C.N. Olivos) taking the silver, with crew of Hernan Cubria, Federico Bertrand and Nico Gorelik Mazur. Then, attaining the bronze medal position was the top local boat, Ezequiel Despontin’s U2 (Club Nautico Cordoba) with crew of Pablo Aguirre, Alejandra Zicovich and Daniel Distefano. Rounding out the top five was Javier Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO in fourth place with crew of Adrian Berelejis, Angeles Mensa and Francisco Agusti. Taking fifth was Sebastian Halpern’s MORRUCHO with crew of Gaston Jaren, Gabriel Miralles and Roberto Monetti. The “Long Distance Award” went to the Uruguayan crew sailing MARIA MARIA, skippered by Guillermo Pla with crew of Fernando Castro, Paola Rapela and Ismael Caballero (all from YC Uruguay in Montevideo). This event also scores in the Triple Corona Series 2019-2020. It was the first of three events to be completed; the next two are the West Championship (February 22 to 25) and the Central Republic Championship (from April 02 to 05). For more Argentina J/24 Class information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.


ENJOY 2 Leads J/24 Anzio & Nettuno Winter Championship

The 45th Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno is organized by the Circolo della Vela of Rome, by the Reale Circolo Canottieri Tevere Remo, and by the Italian Naval League of Anzio. The sailing is taking place from the Nettuno Yacht Club off a prominent cape on the shores of the Mediterranean, southwest of Rome. The event is a series divided into five weekends, one a month (16 and 17 November, 14 and 15 December, 18 and 19 January, 15 and 16 February, 29 February and 1 March). The second weekend welcomed the Roman J/24 crews with a nice Sirocco wind around 15 knots with a rolling cross-swell. Chairman of the NYC RC, Mario de Grenet, was able to run two good long races for the fleet. The day was dominated by ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA skippered by Gianni Riccobono. Their two bullets enabled them to climb up to third place in the series standings. Second in both races was Luca Silvestri’s ITA 458 ENJOY 2. As a result, they now lead the overall ranking after four races. After starting strong in the first weekend with two bullets, Paolo Cecamore’s ITA 447 PELLE NERA added a 7-5 in the second weekend to drop into second place overall. Currently sitting in fourth position is ITA 399 MOLLA skippered by Massimo d’Eramo. They are followed by ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE SAILED by Rome J/24 Fleet Captain Paolo Rinaldi. For more Italian J/24 Winter Championship information, visit https://www.j24.it/.


MADELAINE Tops U.K. J/24 Autumn Cup

November 10, 2019

After a week of watching the forecast, Race Officer Steve Thompson made the decision to go ahead with the J/24 Autumn Cup at Poole Yacht Club. Saturday dawned with a strong southwesterly breeze so the decision was made to race within the harbour to shelter from the mid-channel gales. Following the briefing, 22 teams went afloat for four races back to back. Race one started on time at 10:30 with Madelaine helmed by Duncan McCarthy leading from start to finish. A pack of boats followed in close company with Joe Cross in Jambalaya just holding off a late charge from Dave Cooper’s Jive to take second followed by Cacoon and National Champions Hustle in fourth and fifth respectively. A quick turn around, and the fleet were away for race two. Once again, a good start from Madelaine catapulted them into an early lead which they held to the finish. This time, Nick Phillips and team on Chaotic recovered from a main halyard issue in race one to sail a solid race to finish second ahead of Sam Pearson’s Hustle. Race three saw the breeze increase, with some particularly strong gusts on the run, resulting in plenty of planing and broaches. Jive stormed into an early lead, which they held until the final run, when the ever-consistent Madelaine powered past to take their third win of the day. Jive took a close second with Hustle once again taking third. The final race of the day started with two boats OCS, but the majority of the fleet starting cleanly for another three laps. Once again, Madelaine started well leading around the windward mark and extending away to take a clean sweep for the day followed by Chaotic and Nick Macdonald’s Mojos in third. The fleet returned to Poole YC with smiles on their faces ready for a barbeque laid on by the club straight after racing, allowing crews to get together and socialize after an exciting day on the water. Following a few protests, the day’s results were posted seeing Duncan McCarthy and his team on Madelaine leading the way with 3 points. Second was Dave Cooper’s Jive on 9 points with Joe Cross’ Jambalaya third, ahead on count back of Sam Pearson’s Hustle (both on 11 points). Sunday morning dawned with gusts over 30 knots and a forecast of building breeze during the day. The decision was, therefore, made to abandon the day’s racing allowing boats to be lifted out before the weather closed in. A slick operation executed by a team of Poole YC members meant that an hour and a half later the 16 visiting boats had been lifted out of the water ready for the prize-giving where Poole YC Commodore (and J/24 sailor) Nye Davies presented Duncan and team Madelaine with the J/24 Autumn Cup. Duncan thanked the team at Poole YC for putting on a good event and getting four good races away in challenging conditions to finish the UK qualifiers for next year’s UK J/24 World Championship. For more J/24 United Kingdom Autumn Cup Championship information, visit https://www.pooleyc.co.uk/racing/results/772.


MADELAINE Triumphs at Irish J/24 Westerns

Thanks for the report by Chris Scott: A 13-strong fleet defied the aftermath of Hurricane Lorenzo to return Lough Ree for a re-run of the event which was originally blown out in mid-April. The easterly breeze on day one ranged between 10-15 knots with increasingly persistent rain, although the conditions did not dampen the competition with closely fought racing throughout the fleet. Principal Race Officer David Dickson and team performed with textbook efficiency to deliver four high-quality races in typically shifty lake conditions that ensured there were plenty of snakes and ladders to contend with. The Gold Fleet became a shoot-out between Il Riccio helmed by JP McCaldin from Lough Erne Yacht Club and local boat Headcase helmed by Cillian Dickson. Il Riccio reveled in the shifty conditions to return three bullets, however, a fourth place in race three allowed the consistent performance of reigning Irish National Champions Headcase to finish the day within one point of the lead. A strong performance by Diarmuid O’Donovan’s Yahtzee was marred by retirement in race four, however, it remained enough to lead the Silver Fleet overnight and stay in contention for the overall podium places with Mark Usher in Jumpin’ Jive and Flor O’Driscoll in Hard on Port. A fine dinner provided by Lough Ree Yacht Club and numerous hot whiskies revived cold competitors ashore– at least until the next morning. Day two provided a spectacular autumnal morning with lighter breeze from the west. A prompt start from David Dickson ensured two tight races to close out the event. The clinical Il Riccio crew only required one race to secure overall victory, a further bullet enough to win with a race to spare from Headcase. Il Riccio had successfully snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on several previous occasions during the year so this victory in the season finale was greatly welcomed by the crew. The evergreen Flor O’Driscoll and crew completed the Gold Fleet podium placings in third. The lighter breeze saw new competitors enter the fray with Fergus Kelliher from Tralee Bay SC on Jibe securing their best individual result with a second in race five with newly installed Class President Mark Usher’s Jumpin’ Jive narrowly missing on a race win in race six. Diarmuid O’Donovan’s Yachtzee completed a successful weekend for Lough Erne crews by securing Silver Fleet honours with a narrow victory over Conor Haughton’s Jade from Wicklow Sailing Club. Dave Lane’s YaGottaWanna from Royal Cork Yacht Club completed the Silver Fleet podium. Lough Ree Yacht Club delivered an excellent event with special mention at the prize-giving reserved for J/24 stalwart and event organizer Finbarr Ryan. The J/24 Irish fleet now enter the winter period following an excellent season of racing including a record-breaking entry for the National Championships and a different winner in each of the four events demonstrating the competitiveness within the fleet. 2020 will see the prestigious J/24 World Championships hosted in Poole, Dorset; therefore, the Irish circuit will be full of well-primed crews preparing for the challenge. Away from Lough Ree, Colm O’Flaherty from Sligo Yacht Club represented the fleet at the hotly contested All Ireland Sailing Championship in Dun Laoghaire. The Rosses Point helm won the Repechage before finishing seventh overall. For more Irish J/24 Westerns information, visit https://j24ireland.ie/il-riccio-wins-j-24-western-championships-at-lough-ree-yacht-club/.


Keith Whittemore’s Furio Attains J/24 World Championship

October 27, 2019

Keith Whittemore’s Furio entered the final two races of the 41st J/24 World Championship with a nine-point advantage, and quickly slammed the door on the competition by dominating race nine of 10. With crew Shelby Milne, Willem Van Waay, Mark Rodgerd and Brian Thomas, the Seattle-based team has been crowned 2019 J/24 World Champions, topping 78 other eager competitors in Miami, FL. 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 Rossi 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 in race 10 to officially clinch victory with 41 points to Milev’s 57. Chris Stone’s Velocidad assembled an impressive Championship for third place (66 points). 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’d 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!”

The IJCA also awarded its perpetual trophies:
• Jaeger Women’s Trophy to Erica Spencer, Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team, USA
• Under-25 Turner Trophy to Matthew Miranda, Team Outrageous on the Kelly Holmes-Moon Grant Boat, USA
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) completed 10 races from October 22-26.
Top Twelve:

  1. Furio, Keith Whittemore, USA – 4 -3 -7 -3 -[33] -2 -1 -12 -1 -8 ; 41
  2. Clear Air, Rossi Milev, CAN – 1 -6 -14 -1 -3 -[16] -11 -6 -2 -13 ; 57
  3. Velocidad, Christopher Stone, USA – 5 -2 -4 -14 -4 -7 -[26] -5 -8 -17 ; 66
  4. Nautalytics, Mike Ingham, USA – 2 -14 -[39] -7 -8 -5 -14 -4 -9 -5 ; 68
  5. Honeybadger, Travis Odenbach, USA – [22] -19 -19 -5 -9 -1 -8 -11 -5 -1 ; 78
  6. Lifted, Evan Petley-Jones, CAN – 12 -16 -29 -6 -5 -[35] -4 -9 -3 -9 ; 93
  7. Bruschetta, Mauricio Santa Cruz, BRA – 27 -[80] -11 -20 -10 -8 -9 -1 -6 -3 ; 95
  8. Angel of Harlem, USA – 7 -12 -3 -29 -[80] -23 -6 -8 -7 -2 ; 97
  9. Buckaroo, Will Welles, USA – 13 -[24] -13 -21 -6 -14 -13 -2 -19 -4 ; 105
  10. Bangor Packet, Tony Parker, USA – 15 -1 -6 -2 -2 -[27] -17 -24 -25 -25 ; 117
  11. Spoony Tactics, Todd Fedyszyn, USA – 3 -33 -22 -11 -13 -[42] -22 -22 -4 -6 ; 136
  12. Fox, Keiji Kondo, JPN – 6 -43 -1 -15 -29 -[80] -7 -29 -24 -14 ; 168
    Photos from event photographer PhotoBoat are available at https://www.photoboatgallery.net/2019j24worldspressphotos. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893.


Sporty Penultimate Day at J/24 World Championship

October 26, 2019

Keith Whittemore’s Furio extended his lead at the J/24 World Championship, as Biscayne Bay in Miami delivered a wild and exciting day for the 79 teams. 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 exceled 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 are 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. The Seattle-based Furio crew is comprised of Shelby Milne, Willem Van Waay, Mark Rodgerd and Brian Thomas. 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. After Whittemore in race seven were John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen and Tokuma Takesue’s Gekko. Three J/24 World Champions comprised the top three in race eight: Mauricio Santa Cruz’s Bruschetta, Will Welles Buckaroo and Daniel Frost’s JJOne. 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) conclude racing Saturday. Photos from event photographer PhotoBoat are available at https://www.photoboatgallery.net/2019j24worldspressphotos. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893. Follow on-the-water updates at the International J/24 Class Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ij24ca/).


Keith Whittemore’s Furio Holds Advantage at J/24 World Championship

October 25, 2019

The middle day of the J/24 World Championship brought the Miami conditions the 79 teams came for—breeze in the mid-teens, sunny skies, warm temperatures and the Biscayne Bay chop. Day two leader Keith Whittemore on Furio overcame his worst finish in Thursday’s beginning race (32nd) to earn a second in the next. With the discard taking effect as of race five, Furio keeps all top-seven scores for 19 net points in six races (10 races are planned). Chris Stone’s Velocidad shot up the leaderboard into second, posting a 4,7 on the day for 22 net points. Rossi Milev’s Clear Air and Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet remain in the hunt in third and fourth places, Milev with 25 points to Parker’s 26. Victor Diaz de Leon, Clear Air tactician, is racing only his second J/24 regatta. He noted, “The camaraderie in the fleet is really fun. Everyone is super friendly and nice.” A regular in other one-design Classes, Diaz de Leon has been impressed with the high level of female participation, including two all-women teams. “There’s a ton of great sailors here, and the boats are very challenging.” Kohei Ichikawa, from Japan, racing Gekko Diana proudly crossed the finish line first in race five, trailed by Parker and Milev. Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger completed Thursday triumphantly, with Whittemore rebounding in second place and Ichikawa again in the top three. 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) will compete through Saturday. Photos from event photographer PhotoBoat are available at https://www.photoboatgallery.net/2019j24worldspressphotos. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893. Follow on-the-water updates at the International J/24 Class Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ij24ca/).


Keith Whittemore’s Furio at Top of J/24 World Championship

October 24, 2019

Only one team has recorded all scores in the top 10 so far at the J/24 World Championship, and that is the day two leader after four races: Keith Whittemore’s Furio. Conditions in Miami, FL were again on the light side (winds at 5-7 knots) as temperatures remained in the 90s, testing the competitors’ ability to locate the better breeze and tackle the shifts. The Seattle, WA-based Furio crew added scores of 7,3 on Wednesday for 17 points overall. Rossi Milev’s Clear Air notched their second bullet of the Championship in race four, however a 14 in the day’s initial contest gives them 22 points and second place. Bangor Packet, led by Tony Parker, held their own Wednesday, tallying a 6,2 for third place (24 points). When the fifth race has been completed, a discard will take effect. Keiji Kondo’s Fox finished ahead of all others to start Wednesday’s matches, and the Japanese team was exuberant to earn a World Championship race win. With his son Wataru among his crew, Kondo shared, “I did come to Miami last year for the J/24 World Council Meeting, representing Japan. It was so nice weather and a good place, so I wanted to bring my guys here.” Following Kondo across the line were Andrew Carey’s Mr. Hankey and Robby Brown’s Angel of Harlem. Milev’s Clear Air racked up bullet number two to close Wednesday, with Parker and Whittemore behind. 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) are scheduled for 10 races through Saturday. Photos from event photographer PhotoBoat are available at https://www.photoboatgallery.net/2019j24worldspressphotos. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893. Follow on-the-water updates at the International J/24 Class Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ij24ca/).


Three Way Tie at Opening Day of J/24 World Championship

Enthusiasm for the J/24 Class was still running high after the opening ceremony and flag parade to open the 41st J/24 World Championship when racing got underway Tuesday in hot and sunny Miami, Florida. The 80 teams had to wait out a two-hour onshore postponement while the seabreeze kicked in at 8-10 knots. After two races, three teams are tied at 7 points: Rossi Milev’s Clear Air (1,6 on the day), Chris Stone’s Velocidad (5,2) and Keith Whittemore’s Furio (4,3). Eighty 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) are scheduled for 10 races through Saturday. Milev, 2017 J/24 World Champion and winner of the first contest, summarized his starting strategy, “We started just above the mid-line boat. There were a couple of boats we barely lived with, and then we saw something on the left. It was nice pressure, and more about the wind than the five-degree shift.” Milev and Mike Ingham’s Nautalytics traded the lead until Clear Air passed them on the second downwind for the victory. Todd Fedyszyn’s Spoony Tactics followed in third. Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet and Stone were launched on the fleet in race two, when winds decreased slightly. Whittemore placed third, lining up the three-way knot for first. Photos from event photographer PhotoBoat are available at https://www.photoboatgallery.net/2019j24worldspressphotos. Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893. Follow on-the-water updates at the International J/24 Class Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ij24ca/).


41st J/24 World Championship Attracts Twenty Nations to Miami

October 16, 2019

Forty-two years after the first J/24 was built in Rod Johnstone’s garage, the Class will attract 81 boats from 20 countries to Miami, Florida for the 2019 J/24 World Championship. Sponsored by Bacardi Rum, the combined efforts of the US and International J/24 Class Associations, Coral Reef Yacht Club, Shake-a-Leg Miami and Twelve USA will present five days of racing on the spectacular Biscayne Bay from October 22-26. Participating in the event will be five J/24 World Champion helmsmen, plus countless Continental and National Champions. The nations represented include Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Grenada, Hungary, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The 2019 edition will be the 41st World Championship for the enduring Class. A complete list of all J/24 World Champions can be found at http://www.j24class.org/about-the-j24/hall-of-fame/world-champions/. Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats, said, “The J/24 Class is thriving in 2019 for the same reasons it took the world by storm 40+ years ago. It’s all about people. Great racing in the world’s best sailing venues is one thing, but making life-long friends along the way, that’s priceless.” J/Boats and the US J/24 Class Association will launch the Championship by sponsoring Monday’s Opening Ceremony. The festive atmosphere will include classic memorabilia, a photo slideshow, flag bearers from each country, live music and food/beverages. Will Welles, reigning J/24 World Champion, said, “The J/24 Class is alive and strong! I don’t think the racing has ever been closer. The boat is so refined these days with everyone knowing the tricks; it’s great one-design racing.” Nancy Zangerle, IJCA Chair, said, “The 2019 World Championship will be a celebration and culmination of 42 years of J/24 Class history. It is a testament to how one man’s idea has grown into a world-wide family of sailors. The International J/24 Class continues to attract new sailors with affordable boats, great competition and adherence to strong Class Rules that really provide a level playing field on the water. The J/24 Class has sustained its popularity with the enthusiasm of so many racers and J/24 alumni who keep coming back to the premier Class events, year after year. This year’s World Championship will see crews from age 16 to 70. While I’m looking forward to five days of exciting racing, the World Championship is as much a reunion with so many J/24 family and friends.” Complete event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5893.


LA SUPERBA Three-peats at Coppa Italia J/24 Regatta

The sixth stage of the 2019 Italian J/24 National Series took place in Mandello del Lario, Italy. The competition was intense and very close for most of the regatta. Nevertheless, there was a familiar team sitting atop the podium—the Italian Navy team aboard LA SUPERBA, skippered by Ignazio Bonanno with crew of Simone Scontrino, Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro and Alfredo Branciforte. Their team won convincingly with a record of 1-2-1-1 for three points net. Second place went to Pietro Diamanti’s ITA 212 JAMAICA, with crew of Fabrizio Ginesi, Paolo Governato, Edoardo Ghirlanda and Giuseppe Incatasciato. They finished comfortably second with a tally of 5-1-2-2 for 5 points net. Third place went to ITA 371 J JOC ALCE NERO, owned and skippered by Fabio Apollonio, with crew of Giuseppe Diamanti, Lorenzo Marini, Tommaso Fusato and Alessia Bellotti. “We are very pleased to have won, after the Italian and European Championships, also the 2019 Italian Cup. Above all, because it took place on the lake and not on the sea, which is a race course more suitable for us,” commented Bonanno. Apollonio added, “The Lario club provided fantastic organization and hospitality and has certainly won a stage of the National Circuit 2020.” For more Italian J/24 Class information, visit https://www.j24.it/.


Howth Yacht Club’s Headcase are 2019 Irish J/24 National Champions

September 1, 2019

The fleet awoke on Sunday morning 25 August to a lake that looked like a sheet of glass and were none too optimistic as they headed to the racecourse on the final day of the Irish J/24 National Championship (writes Elaine O’Mahoney). But as the morning went on, wind started to build, and by the time the fleet had made it to the race area, a steady 10-12 knots had materialized, enabling OOD Derek Bothwell and his team to lay marks and get racing off on schedule. With just five races completed out of a scheduled nine, the race management team were eager to get as many races in as possible, and all racing for the day started with the U flag. Going into the final day’s racing, Cillian Dickson’s Headcase from Howth Yacht Club were lying in third place behind Darragh McCormack’s Stouche from Foynes Yacht Club in first and JP McCaldin’s El Riccio in second. However, Headcase climbed their way back up, winning the first two races but still needing to finish two places ahead of Stouche in the final race. That race was won by Jana from Sligo Yacht Club, but Headcase’s third place ahead of Stouche’s fifth was enough for them to finish the event on level points and win on countback. Tadgh O’Loinsigh on Janx Spirit from Tralee Bay Sailing Club sailed a superb series and is the new ICRA Under 25 J/24 National Champion. He will receive a grant from ICRA to assist with his J/24 campaign which will be presented at the ICRA National Conference later this year along with a presentation on the importance of supporting under 25 programmes. The Silver Fleet was won by Colm O’Flaherty from Sligo Yacht Club on Jana. The Bronze Fleet was won by Conor Houghton from Wicklow Sailing Club on Jade. The band playing outside on the Saturday night was a little bit of magic and gave the event a festival feel, and the racing finished on a high with three great races.


Will Welles Earns Fourth J/24 US National Championship

August 26, 2019

The J/24 US National Championship perpetual trophy will have a familiar name for 2019: Will Welles’ on Buckaroo has achieved the title for the fourth time. Welles, also the reigning J/24 World Champion, was joined by crew Jeff Linton, Chris Morgan, Monica Morgan and Erik Rexford at Rochester Yacht Club in New York. Buckaroo collected Sunday’s first win and added a seven for 23 net points in the eight-race series. Able to discard a UFD from race five, Welles retained scores only in the top seven. Last year’s National Champion Robby Brown and Mark Liebel on Angel of Harlem claimed the runner-up position with 38 points. William Bomar’s Bangor Packet sailed an impressive regatta with a pair of bullets, putting them in third place with 41 points. Joining Welles as a race winner on Sunday was Nobuyuki Imai’s Siesta team from Japan. The 46 teams enjoyed a calmer sea state, sunny skies and winds of 8-12 knots.

Top five:

  1. Buckaroo, Will Welles – 2 -3 -2 -3 -[47] -5 -1 -7 ; 23
  2. Angel of Harlem, Robby Brown/Mark Liebel – 5 -9 -[16] -5 -3 -4 -6 -6 ; 38
  3. Bangor Packet, William Bomar – 1 -2 -[20] -1 -4 -11 -13 -9 ; 41
  4. Honeybadger, Travis Odenbach – [14] -1 -3 -9 -5 -8 -14 -2 ; 42
  5. Helly Hansen, John Mollicone – 4 -6 -1 -4 -17 -[47]
    Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6056, and photos are available on the USA J/24 Class Facebook page.

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