Just as the swallows return to Capistrano, the J/24s keep coming back to Miami. This time the regatta host is Coral Reef Yacht Club and the dates are February 19-23 with racing on the 21st through 23rd. You might ask why this will be the 15th time that Biscayne Bay was chosen as the venue in the 36 years of Midwinter Championships. Yes, it might have something to do with the fact that Miami guarantees no blizzards, nice breezes, lots of great Cuban food and a legendary J/24 tradition. It also just makes sense.
Spinnakers on the horizon...with City of Miami in the background
According to last year’s winner, John Mollicone, 'I will be down in Miami for the 2014 Bacardi J/24 Midwinters and really am looking forward to it. I have been racing in the J/24 Class since 1998 and like the competition, the boats, and especially the great people. There are no restrictions on sailor classification in the J/24 class so you end up racing against so many great skippers and crews. I also love sailing with the genoa, which you do not really see any more on other types of boats. I love sailing in Miami during the winter months for its warm weather, dependable breeze, and I like the chop that Biscayne Bay has to offer.' Some of the other sailing stars who have already registered include Skip Dieball, 2011/ 2012 winner Peter Bream, Tim Healy (Five time champ), Robby Brown and Travis Odenbach as well as top local sailors like Eamonn DeLisser and Gary Sprague.
Although the J/24s have been around for 37 years, they are comparable to a Ford Mustang … still going, still popular and very American. Watching the boats with their colorful spinnakers is fun too and the sailors will certainly enjoy the food and beverages at Coral Reef Yacht Club along with the competitive race courses and regatta management by Coral Reef Yacht Club’s highly regarded Race Committee. J24's are one of the oldest classes still racing in Biscayne Bay. Local J24 Fleet 10 was the 10th fleet formed in the late 1970's when the class first started and has as many members as the local Miami Etchells and Snipe fleets.
Here are the ingredients: The Overall Regatta Chair is Mark Pincus of Columbus Day Regatta and Bacardi Miami Sailing Week fame. For a class which began in the 70s and is still charging along, you had better 'be there or be square' for the 2014 Bacardi J/24 Midwinters at CRYC in Miami. You do not want to miss out on the sailing and the partying!