Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SAVASANA Wins J/80 North Americans

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing(Fort Worth, Texas)- Brian Keane of Beverly Yacht Club sailing SAVASANA with his team of Steve Hunt, Mike Wolfs and Ben Powers have been crowned 2012 J/80 North American Champions, edging out defending champions Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard on LE TIGRE who finished just one point behind.  Terry Flynn and David Whelan aboard QUANTUM GC Racing took third.  Following today’s racing, Keane said, “This is the second time we have been here, having sailed in the Ol’ Man of the Sea Regatta a couple of weeks ago.  After that regatta we expected this to be simple sailing, but we had three days of unbelievably different sailing.  Conditions were always changing.  We were able to minimize our mistakes and repair them when we made them.  Fort Worth Boat Club is a great venue for racing and it is a testament to the club members, race committee and the judges that they were able to put on such a successful event.”

J/80 one-design sailing in TexasHere is how it all went down for this year's event on Eagle Mountain Lake, northwest of downtown Fort Worth.  For the first day of racing, the serious fun began. PRO Mark Smith promised at the Competitors’ Meeting that he would make the best possible use of time and weather conditions to maximize the quality of races and closely watch weather pattern changes for Saturday and Sunday. Five W4 races averaging 48 minutes in length were run with breeze ranging from 9-11, starting at 210 degrees and shifting to the left throughout the day.  Most shifts were easily accommodated with a code flag C notification, but Race 3 went to AP within a minute of the start and the signal boat was repositioned and all marks reset, with the race starting at 1242.

There was another sunny day on Saturday.  Friday's leaders, the Quantum/Gulf Coast Composite team of Terry Flynn (FWBC) and David Whelan (LYC) sailing with Jake Scott and Matt Romberg had a brilliant day but found themselves in second (pending protests) when Brian Keane, Steve Hunt, Mike Wolfs and Ben Powers on Savasana came back strong Saturday.   Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard, with Max Skelley and Karl Anderson climbed back up in the standings with two top ten finishes and the help of that throw-out.

Weather predictions Sunday morning weren’t stellar for the kind of racing the PRO hoped to provide, but after the frustration Saturday dealing with a front that just lolly-gagged around and refused to settle in, PRO Smith felt fortunate to have completed seven races before facing the challenges of this final day of scheduled racing.   Temperatures were a bit cooler, but there was no rain and earlier threats of thundershowers for Sunday never materialized.

J/80 one-design sailboat- Savasana sailing in TexasThe competitors left the harbor for a scheduled 1000 start, with wind at 5 mph coming from the north.  After a postponement of 45 minutes, support boats set up for a W4 course at 010 with 0.6  nm legs, having been able to move the signal boat back toward the south end of the lake from Saturday’s location in an effort to minimize shore effect and the bend around the point at FWBC.   Wind velocity held pretty steady from 5-8, but dropped to 3 several times during the two races completed today.  The course was shifted only slightly to 005 for the last race of the day and the fleet was pretty well split for all four 0.6 mile legs of the final push.  PRO Smith was very complimentary of his race committee team.  He reported, “Three quarters of our team was here for the Ol’ Man as a tune-up for this regatta.  A racing skipper wants to make a decision on the course and have the crew execute without further direction.  This is what I had with this race committee crew.  We had outstanding teamwork and excellent communication, therefore great results.”

In the end, while Brian Keane's SAVASANA and Glenn Darden's/ Reese Hillard's LE TIGRE took the top two, the balance of the top five were Terry Flynn's/ David Whelan's QUANTUM GC RACING winning a tie-breaker to finish third in front of Ray Wullf's NORTHERN AGGRESSION from Annapolis YC.  Fifth was Les Beckwith on FKA from Lake Winnepesaukee Sailing Association in New Hampshire.   Sailing photo credits- Sue Bodycomb  For more J/80 North Americans sailing information