Santa Barbara YC Extends Lead @ US J/70 Youths
The second day started out with a forecast for light to medium winds from the southeast after an early morning Low passed over the region. Instead, early morning showers gave way to light fog, overcast skies, and a virtual glass-out across Newport Harbor. At the 0900 hrs team meeting, it was decided to postpone, again, on half-hour intervals until the forecasted wind would settle in. By 1100 hrs, the six boats set off from the docks to attempt a race. It never happened. And, after waiting around for the breeze to increase, all six teams were towed back into the docks for a harbor postponement.
For the next few hours, teams played “cornhole”, tossed footballs and frisbees, or played games over the internet. By 2:30pm, it was clear the forecasted breeze from the southeast would finally settle in and at 3:00pm the AP pennant was lowered and the teams set out from the docks again for another attempt at completing a round-robin of nine races.
PRO Kevin Dooley made the wise choice to set the course near Fort Adams, placing the weather mark just 200 yards off Fort Adams’ point. The starting line was set in the vicinity of Rose Island. The breeze initially filled in from the southeast for the first three races, then slowly veered to the south/southwest for the last six races. Starting around 3:30pm, PRO Dooley managed to fire-off nine races to complete a full second round-robin by 6:20pm on Saturday! No question, the youth teams were stoked that another full day’s of racing was completed, no one seemed to mind pushing hard to complete the round as everyone wanted to have a chance to sail!
As they had done on the first day, the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team, skippered by Lucas Pierce, won their first two races in convincing fashion to extend their lead. However, in their next four races they stumbled a bit on their customary “form”, and posted a 3-4-4-3 to close out their 2nd round series with a total of 29 points, sitting on a comfortable 10 pt lead overall.
Just behind the Santa Barbara crew, it had become an all-out scramble for the balance of the top three qualifying spots. Tied on 39 pts each were the Severn Sailing Association Youth Team (with Jim Golden as skipper) and Annapolis YC Youth Team (with Porter Kavle as skipper). Severn’s crew shot up the standings after winning their last two races of the day to lead on a tie-break.
To add to the drama, the next two boats that round out the top five were also sitting in a tiebreaker at 41 pts each, just 2 pts back from 2nd overall! Those teams were the SAIL NEWPORT Youth Team (with Brendan Read as skipper) and Coral Reef YC Youth Team (with Ivan Shestopalov as skipper). The SAIL NEWPORT team have been ascending in the standings since their first four races, closing their day with a 1-2-5. Meanwhile, Coral Reef’s team, which had been a model of consistency on a very difficult day of sailing on Friday, posted their three worst scores of the regatta so far- three 6ths out of their six races today to drop from 2nd on Friday down to 5th at the end of Saturday’s sailing.
As a result, the die is cast for the schedule on Sunday. The top three teams (Santa Barbara, Severn Sailing, & Annapolis) have a “by” in the morning as the four-race “repechage” round takes place for the bottom six teams. The top three of the repechage round then sail the five-race finale with the top three teams from the round robin to determine the ultimate winner of a FREE J/70 for use by their sailing clubs for an entire twelve (12) months— J/70 sailboat complete with brand new North Sails and a Triad trailer!
Notably, all scores carry over to Sunday for the finale. The top three from Repechage advance with scores reset to their qualifying total from the two round-robins.
The forecast for Sunday is again for light to moderate breezes from the west, slowly backing into the southwest as the sun and localized heating generate, hopefully, a modest seabreeze from the south/ southwest. It is hoped that a complete repechage round and finale can be completed by 4pm on Sunday!
Sailing photo credits- Matthew Cohen
For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information and results