Posts Tagged ‘J24’
Rossi Milev’s final report from last week’s J/24 Worlds has reappeared from the hole it fell down, and here it is. Congrats to Rossi and the team on a solid 7th place, and a big thanks to all of them for contributing to 6 great reports from yet another strong J/24 WC. Also a big congrats to winner Will Welles and his crew on their first J/24 Worlds victory, especially long time Anarchist and contributor Luke Lawrence, who becomes one of the year’s super successful one-design sailors. Luke adds the Worlds to a list of diverse overall wins including the Bacardi Cup (Viper), Charleston Race Week (Viper), Celebrity Pro-Am Nantucket (IOD), J/24 Nationals, and the Medal Race in the Finns at the Miami OCR, as well as 6th in the J/70 Worlds and 15th at the Jaguar Cup. Here’s the report from our favorite Canadian Bulgarian. Vote on your favorite photo from J/24 Worlds at the Class Facebook page.
Brad Read made the call at 830 AM – it’s the Worlds, and that means we’re going out to the ocean again. And what an EPIC day it was! Very windy on the way to the course, and we were thinking the jib was the call again. Waves were 90 degrees to the wind and looked a lot like day one, but the wind was from the NNE. I wished it was day one and I could start this regatta over again from the beginning…
We had a nice 30-minute tune up with Will, with our boat finally moving really well upwind. We’d moved the mast butt forward a bit to get less forestay sag, and the boat felt lit up. It’s always amazing when you find the sweet spot with the tune just right, and the boat just transforms herself into something beautiful. Maybe she is called a ‘she’ for a reason!
In Race One, we again had a solid start just under the midline boat, burning boats off our hip until we looked good again. The breeze was dying a bit since we tuned up and the shifts becoming bigger and more unpredictable. We tack to port and look launched – until the next righty came in again and we can’t cross. A few more tacks back to the left and we’ve gotta win our side. Some things never change.
A very tight fleet at the top with Mollicone rounding ahead by a length or two over Will, with Tar Heel following. We rounded fifth, and with good right shifts on the downwind it was a drag race to the mark and the new course change. Not much changed for the rest of the race, with the order at the finish mostly matching the order at that first rounding. With Mauricio Santa Cruz out of the top ten, it was now a three boat regatta – not gonna be a lot of match racing in the last race!
As we grabbed another good start – five in a row now – I found myself wishing again that the regatta started on Monday. We went straight again, looking good and playing the left, though the leg repeated the first race; right with more pressure and left shifts short but strong, making you put the bow just high enough to clear the waves and grab the lift. Climbing up the ladder was tricky.
Mauricio was very patient on the left, surviving to round on Chile’s Matias Seguel stern. Welles in third again, and we were top ten. With Helly Hanson in the twenties and not a lot of passing lanes, the race between Will and Mauricio was on – but the boats behind suffered in few-to-no-gybe drag race. A big left shift on the second upwind inverted the fleet, and some corner bangers made huge gains on the left; we went middle right and lost twenty boats. Not the way we wanted to finish!
On the other hand, we were overjoyed for our long time friend and tuning partner Will Welles and his crew for fighting right to the end and winning a title that’s eluded Will for decades. Well done, guys.
The awards ceremony was a class act and a great finishing touch to a Worlds that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the first one. Can you imagine predicting that the J/24 would still provide some of the world’s best keelboat racing a third of a century after its first Worlds?
Feel free to question that by coming to Germany next year and trying to win. If you do, your name will be in some great company.
A huge thanks to Lavalife.com, Sailing Anarchy, and DryUV for their support of our Toronto-based team, which included Trimmer Chris Ball, Mast Mike McKeon, Bow Whitney Prossner and Tactician Chris Snow. We hope you enjoyed our stories.
October 6th, 2014 by admin
While our good friend Rossi and the Clear Air/Lavalife/Sailing Anarchy team didn’t win the J/24 Worlds, they sailed a strong top-ten regatta while writing daily reports for all you J/24 fans, and we’re damned proud of them. Here’s the report from the penultimate day of the event – come back tomorrow for the final report. Paul Todd photo and some huge galleries to browse from Worlds at this link.
The RC made a good call racing us inside the Bay, North of the Newport bridge, with wind forecast to increase to upper teens gusting in the twenties – too rough for the RC to anchor outside (and here is a good time to thank all the volunteers on and off the water – without you, we can’t race so thanks!). The bay is plenty big and made for a good tricky race course for 70+ boats. The local guys maybe had a small advantage, but conditions were very tricky for everyone.
We had a good start and headed to the left shore with Will Welles, Hillman, and Tony Parker just to leeward. It looked like our side was favoured and we could tack and cross the fleet but we were convinced the left was the way to go and did not want to give that up. Well, a 20 degree right shift came in half the way up the beat and we went from wining to salvage mode in a hurry. We took many transoms to make it to the right and rounded the mark in the 40s or 50s. On the other hand, team HH and few others that I could not even see were well ahead of the fleet.
We gybed on the mark and few more righties helped us pass a pack of boats that went straight. Rounded the bottom mark in the mid 20s, finally a small break for Clear Air! A few more breaks came our way on the upwind, and we passed a few more to finish 14th. Again out of the top ten but we were happy about decent recovery. A few boats got stuck on the left and could not get out – one of them was regatta leader Will Welles, making life harder for his team with a 46.
Race 2 gave us another good start on the boat, feeling good until the boats that started in the middle tacked and were crossing. We tack to leeward and head back to the right, favored all day. We tack back short of layline, anticipating it to be very busy place. That worked out very well for us and a small left shift at the top put us in fifth around the mark. Has our luck changed?
Motorhome with local fleet fifty sailor and past world champion Jens Hookanson calling the shots rounded the mark first with a small lead, with Will behind and Mauricio just behind him. Will and Mauricio started fighting (they had been 1-2 for most of the week) and that opened up some space for us to sail our own race. Mauricio managed to get inside at the bottom mark and passed Will, while we went to the right gate and once again, a shift came our way and we were gone from the fleet. Motorhome won the race comfortably, while the Japanese boat Gekko passed us to get second. Behind us the fight was on; Mauricio ,Will, and Hillman finished overlapped at the finish line and Mauricio got the all-important two points on Will.
Racing on the bay felt much more like the lake conditions we know so well. Check back tomorrow for the final day’s report!
September 30th, 2014 by admin
It wouldn’t be a J/24 Worlds without controversy, with Helly Hanson and several other top teams getting redress/AVG for their black flag DSQs while others didn’t after a marathon multi-day protest bonanza. Check the thread over here for protest forms and jury decisions, and thanks to Paul Todd/Outside Images for the great shots with a massive Day 3 gallery here.
We had an on-time start on Wednesday for three scheduled races thanks to an unpredictable forecast for Thursday. Another gorgeous Newport fall day on the ocean course, with wind at 75 true on the way out and 90 soon after passing R4. 12 knots with trending right breeze and the RC again had a hard time lining the three-boat startline up. Around 1230 we went off with a few U flags awarded. I have no idea what a U flag is but I’m happy we didn’t have to learn it.
We again had to tack to port and duck a couple of boats, but within a few minutes of the start we were going to the right with a great lane and following our game plan. We got a nice right shift, tacking over together with Helly Hanson and Will Welles. It looked great under the boom (though I’m no longer allowed to look under the boom) until only one boat crossed…and tacked on our lane. Two tacks and a new layline was expensive, and we lost out to everyone leeward who didn’t need to tack. And of course the left came in strong at the final approach. And of course, we round in about 10th – again!
I don’t understand why gybing immediately at the offset under this big fleet has been working consistently but Mauricio won the race doing the same thing and HH got into second. Travis Odenbach had a great race to take 3rd; we stayed only long enough to clear the fleet and then gybed, but it was too late – we lost ten boats in that one and had to play catch up again. 17th place.
The second race started in a bit less breeze and we were happy to have eased the rig at the last minute. Best start of the regatta for Clear Air, a neat split in the fleet, and we got to go straight for the longest we have all week. We worked the left and looked great until the right shift came back, and the port side caved. Travis had it right again and led around the mark with Welles second, with the rest mixed up. We rounded in…wait for it…tenth again. Not bad for being on the wrong side, but most amazingly, the leaders from both sides converged at the weather mark bow to bow in both races!
The one time gybing on the mark didn’t pay, and the boats that stayed on starboard had a nice lead at the bottom mark. Some passed us. It is time for us to get a break!
The wind kept tracking right and the second and third upwind was pretty one-sided, Odenbach again played the right and won by a good distance over Alejo from Argentina and Mike Ingaham. Will now has a nice little lead cushion against Muauricio in second. Team Tarheel consistently strong and comfortably in third. I have not seen this many letters on a scoring sheet before. Many boats are dropping DSQ/BFDs (or U flags) and scoring penalties; forecast is changing fast from light to windy with gusts into the 20s for Friday. Stay tuned for more action from the course.
Huge thanks to Lavalife.com, Sailing Anarchy, and DryUV for their support in our quest, and an even bigger thanks to our hosts Adrian and Matthew Buechner and the many families in Newport that embrace sailing and have put J24 teams in their houses. You have made the Worlds experience possible for many sailors.
September 25th, 2014 by admin
After two hours of postponement for Day Two, we were off the dock at 11 – the best call the RC made all day! By the time we got out on the ocean, the Newport sea breeze was building nicely. We waited for a short little postponement on the water while the wind shifted between 200 and 230. Waves were much smaller if any factor at all.
The RC had a tough time holding the three-boat line on station, with one end always favored; Race Three for the championship hit a few General Recall snags; finally, a Black Flag start sent the fleet off with a handful picking up BFDs. I again screwed the start up, and we were hosed – tacking to port to salvage. Halfway up the beat I second-guessed my tactician Chris Snow and made him go hard right; that was expensive at the top mark when the left came in hard on our approach. Oops.
Carter White led the race at the mark with Mike Ingaham in second or third; I lost track after that looking for a place to dig into the starboard tack train. After an average downwind and a great second beat – we tacked maybe 6 times on that shortened leg but still somehow passed a few boats – we finished 14th. We’ll take that, and move on.
Race two was a messier story for many; after two general recalls and around ten boats getting the BFD boot off the line, we took a seventh in the last race and moved up to the top ten. Team Tarheel won the day and is looking solid now, while Tony Parker is on the move. Will Welles is looking untouchable and Mauricio may be the only one with a shot at him, but it’s still early days and the throwout comes in after today’s first race.
A number of top competitors – including Day One leader Mark Hillman’s boat and the Helly Hanson team- were still in the protest room at 10 PM. Not sure how they can get rid of the BFD but you never know what happens in the room.
With the lighter northerly breeze forecasted for the next few days the dogfight is on, and will be a good one until the last leg on the last race. Things are just warming up here in Newport.
Rossi Milev, CAN 5483 Clear Air/Lavalife.com/Sailing Anarchy
September 24th, 2014 by admin
From an Aussie Anarchist, clearly a little overwhelmed at the excitement of a foiling Australian America’s Cup team…
We are on the trail of something big here at Sandy. With the approaching summer season rapidly coming at us here in Melbourne, we believe testing with the new J24 foiler has been going on over the winter. The skipper is reported as saying that they have been able to get the boat foiling once they get surfing on a wave and can sometimes keep it on the foils long enough to get onto the next wave and doing that they have been able to actually skip forward, overtaking the wave crests.
‘The AC is safe for the moment’ is the joke going about down on the hardstand but there are some very serious faces around this project where the foils remain covered away in a padlocked cover to keep prying eyes out (shades of Ben Lexcen). The skipper went on to say that “where we have made real gains though, is reaching, traditionally the J has been a very poor reaching boat due to it’s short waterline length, now we are blasting along like a skiff”. Apparently the lead in the keel keeps the boat much steadier than a foiling moth or Laser when it is up on the foils. The normal righting moment of the lead keel would tend to confirm this. Tests continue on foiling upwind which although reported has not been verified by anyone reliable yet. The only picture released so far is a rather poor quality shot showing the boat up on its foils whilst surfing a wave off Sandringham YC. We note that the name has been airbrushed off the hull to mask that actual test boat and the sail number has been blocked out. More when we can break through the security surrounding this amazing breakthrough.
October 8th, 2013 by admin