Healy Leads J/24 World Championship
November 16, 2011
(Buenos Aires, Argentina) – After the first day of racing, Tim Healy and his team on 11th Hour Racing hold the lead in the 2011 J/24 World Championship, hosted by the Yacht Club Argentino. Healy, from Newport, Rhode Island, is the current J/24 World Champion and showed his top form with consistent 3rd and 5th place finishes in the 58-boat fleet.
After an on-the-water postponement waiting for wind, the two scheduled races were completed in 8-12 knot breezes on the Rio de la Plata. Each race was started under a black flag after one general recall, with several boats earning a BFD in Race 2. As the wind built during the day, the sailors were challenged by the short chop on the race course, which also allowed for some fun surfing on the downwind legs. The conditions were much to the liking of the locals as the remainder of the top-five positions are held by Argentinean teams, led by Francisco van Avermaete in second place and Miguel Saubidet in third place overall.
10 races are scheduled and racing will continue through Saturday. Full results and photos of the racing can be found on the regatta website at: www.j24worlds2011.org.ar. Live on-the-water updates about the racing can be found on the regatta Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/2011-J-24-World-Championship/221084941244241
Top-5 Results: 1. Tim Healy (USA) – 8 pts., 2. Francisco Van Avermaete (ARG) – 11 pts, 3. Miguel Saubidet (ARG) 15pts, 4. Alejo Rigoni (ARG) 18 pts, 5. Juan M. Duarte (ARG) 19 pts.
Report from Tim Winger – IJCA Technical Committee Chairman
Things started a bit late, but pretty much as predicted. I thought we could have started about a half hour earlier, but the delay gave me time to pester everyone about mainsails hoisted above the mast band. This RC did not mess around once they started at about 3:30 – after one recall the black flag went up. Same thing in the second race but this was necessary if they wanted to get in two races for the day.
Once settled, the wind built nicely through the races from about 7 to maybe 15 mph. There was only one course change, and that was in the second race. The chop is short here and pretty variable in size and it made for some nice surfing at the end of the day. After two good races, the first boats got back to the marina just after sunset at around 7:30.
It was a pretty day, but there were a lot of protests. I passed by the protest rooms a little after 11:00PM on my way back to my room and there were still a few waiting to be heard. Emillio, the head judge, is staying in the room next door to me. I heard him come in about 12:15AM. All through measurement I was thinking I should have been a judge. Now I remember why measurement is better! I don’t know if they even got any dinner. The weather has been fabulous here. You guys in the northern hemisphere – eat your hearts out!
Report from Andrew MacFarlane – Team Cinquecento (aka Tundra Rose)
The first race was scheduled to start at 2:00 PM; however the wind was very light and shifty. The race committee did a great job setting a course and waiting until the wind filled in enough to get a start. Finally the postponement flag came down and we were ready to race. The first start was a general recall. The next start was under a BLACK FLAG and the pressure was about 8 kts. We started mid line with a few boat lengths to spare. We had clean air and boat speed off the line but the boat end of the line was favored by a wee bit. We went left up the first beat rounded in the top 15. At the leeward gate, we were forced out to the right mark, which was unfavored. The next leg was very much the same and we finished 14th.
Race 2 started with a general recall followed again by a BLACK FLAG. We started mid-line again but pulled the trigger too soon….you don’t want to hear your number called at the worlds, but we did!