MENDIETA Wins J/24 Campeonato San Isidro
May 17, 2014
Over the weekends of April 26-27 and May 3-4, the Club Nautico San Isidro held their annual J/24 Campeonato San Isidro for a very strong showing of the Argentinean J/24 fleet. There was some “new blood” in the class with good teams participating from CUBA, YCA and CNO yacht clubs across Argentina. For the first four boats (RINA, MENDIETA, CACIQUE and COCOON), in fact, the racing proved to be very close for the eleven race regatta. For the first weekend, it was clear there were four very well-sailed teams that all had their eyes on being at the top of the podium, some of whom have already registered to sail in the J/24 Worlds in Newport, RI this September. The racing was electrifying, with finishes being determined by less than 10 meters between all four, sometimes even just centimeters of differences! On April 27, the CNSI club PRO managed to conduct three races with steady breezes from the ENE. For the first race, it was blowing up to 18 knots, forcing many teams to choose between genoas and jibs. Then, for races 2 and 3 that day, the wind calmed down to 9 knots or so, so genoas ruled the day. On Sunday, the fleet was more compact than most of Saturday and positions juggled wildly during the course of each race. After the first weekend, other than having to contend with a DSQ for MENDIETA, the top three boats were essentially tied. The following weekend was going to be a suspense-filled, anxiety-ridden affair since all three boats, with COCOON hanging tough, could again see the standings get juggled again. Montes’s COCOON team was determined to make a comeback against the other three. After Saturday’s racing, their three seconds in a row allowed them to climb back quickly into overall contention for the lead while the other three boats faltered. Sunday was going to bring a lot of drama. The morning started with fog, and the start of the race was postponed until there was good visibility. With “borneantes” winds blowing from 120-160 degrees, and wind strength varying between 5-10 knots all day, it was going to be a challenging day for everyone. The first race went to COCOON, and that happened after making a 720-penalty turn. Their excellent recovery was enabled by the other three boats spending too much time focusing on one another. MENDIETA was second, third RINA and fourth CACIQUE. The results after the first hard-fought race had RINA leading overall with 20 points with MENDIETA and CACIQUE tied with 21 points, and COCOON following closely with 23 points. In short, whoever won the last race won the championship. To add more excitement, RINA match-raced CACIQUE off the starting line, but both had good windward legs and rounded together 1-2. In the end, after passing them, MENDIETA took the bullet with CACIQUE in second, COCOON in third and RINA in fourth. The final top five was first MENDIETA (Pancho Van Avermaete), second CACIQUE (Sergio Pendola), third RINA (Nico Cubría), fourth COCOON (Fernando Montes) and fifth Juan Pablo Rixon. For more information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.