Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

Charleston Race Week - Monster J/70 class to debut!

by Stuart Johnstone on 17 Apr 2013
J/70s sailing fast downwind - Charleston Race Week Onne Vanderwal
Charleston Race Week 2013 - Commencing on April 18th, a massive navy of J/Teams will descend upon the beautiful sleepy town of Mt Pleasant, South Carolina and transform the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina into 'J/Town'. Of the 295 boats participating, 117 J/Teams (40% of the fleet) are sailing in the event coming from all points of the compass, by far the dominant boat brand.

Making its debut as the single largest fleet ever since CRW began, the J/70 class will have 56 teams vying for both Fleet and Corinthian class honors. The depth of the competition is quite extraordinary, as it has been since its debut in Key West Race Week in January of this year. As more J/70s are delivered there will be more new faces showing up for the first time enjoying the fun, camaraderie and amazing sailing that is on offer from the world's best 23 ft sportboat!

Many of the top teams from the first three 2013 J/70 regattas to date will be participating, making this event a good indicator of what the competition may be like for the J/70 North Americans in Annapolis in September (100 boats, maybe?).


One thing is certain, Brian Keane's Savasana team are proving to be incredibly consistent, tough competitors no matter what the weather conditions or where they've buried themselves on the race course-- seemingly always 'rolling 7's and 11's' to take the pot at the end of the day! Key West winners and top teams include Tim Healey (Newport, RI) sailing with Will Welles on Rascal; Bruno Pasquinelli (Houston, TX) on Stampede; Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, CA) sailing USA 32; Cole Allsop (Annapolis, MD) on Moxie; and Corinthians winner David Franzel (Boston, MA) on SPRING. In addition to this tough crowd, St Petersburg Nood winners Joel Ronning (Minneapolis, MN) will be racing Catapult and Kerry Klingler (Larchmont, NY) will be sailing Menace. The entire fleet of twenty boats that raced Bacardi Miami Sailing week will be attending, including top five finishers like Joe Woods (Torquay, GBR) on Red; Brian Elliott (Sayville, N.Y.) on B-Squared; and Peter Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) and Jud Smith on Relative Obscurity.

New teams participating in their first major J/70 regatta that could easily be factors in the top ten include champion Etchells 22 sailor Peter Vessella (San Francisco, CA) on Running Wild; Richie Stearns (Chicago, IL) sailing Tylishan; Ryan Ruhlman (Cleveland, OH) on Spaceman Spiff; Henry Filter (Stevensville, MD) on Wild Child; and Nick Johnstone (Charleston, SC) sailing Cat's Pajamas.


Next up on the big J fleets are the classic J/24s with over two dozen boats! Fielding one of the strongest fleets in Charleston, it's about as deeply talented as any fleet. Contenders include Mike Ingham (Rochester, NY) sailing USA 5443; local sailor Tommy Smith (Mt Pleasant, SC) on Puff Daddy; Aidan Glackin (Huntington, NY) on Mental Floss; Chip Till (Wrightsville Beach, NC) on Murder Incorporated; and Clark Dennison (Richmond, VA) on Kobayashi Maru.

Not far behind the 24s are the J/22 gang with a solid showing of thirteen boats. Several 22 champions are present along with competitive locals. Perhaps best known is J/22 World Champion Greg Fisher (Mt Pleasant, SC) who is not only a local, a Lighting World Champion too, but also Sailing Director for the local hosts- College of Charleston! Giving Greg a run for the money will be a cadre of very experienced 22 teams, including Jack King (Coconut Grove, FL) on Hot Streak; Ryan Flack (Fenton, MI) on Blind Pig; Kurt Swanson (Media, PA) on Slingshot; and Chris Doyle (Youngstown, NY) on THE JUG 41.

J/80s sailing will have spirited competition between Jim Kershaw (Leesburg, VA) on Cool J; Brad Bertram (Augusta, GA) on Rocket Dog; Rick Donn (Thornwood, NY) on Superfluous; and Bert Carp (Annapolis, MD) on USA 11.


On the 'outside' courses are the big PHRF handicap fleets. Leading the way in PHRF A will certainly be past winner and long-time local contender Robin Team (Lexington, NC) and his merry bandits aboard the J/122 Teamwork. Chasing them hard will be a trio of J/111s including Kristen Berry and Fast Eddie (Annapolis, MD) aboard Fireball, locals Bob Stein (Charleston, SC) on Kinetic and Doug Curtiss (S. Dartmouth, MA) on Wicked 2.0. A trio of J/120s will be aiming to upset the apple cart of their modern siblings, including John Keenan's (Mt Pleasant, SC) Illyria; Rick Moore's (Charleston, SC) Moose Down; and Glenn Gault's (Houston, TX) well-traveled, gorgeous flag-blue Rebecca. To say this fleet will be highly competitive would be a slight under-exaggeration. With 7 of 12 boats all very well-sailed J/Teams, it's about a complete toss-up as to which 'horse to ride' in this race.

In PHRF B, the J/Teams include the J/109 Heatwave sailed by Gary Weisberg (Marblehead, MA); the J/105 Dead On Arrival sailed by Joe Highsmith (Bluffton, SC); and the J/35 ARROW skippered by Willy Schwenzfeier (Charleston, SC). The betting is that one, if not all, of these teams are capable of sweeping class.


The 'sleeper' division always seems to be PHRF C in Charleston Race Week. It's a fleet made up of good performance boats built over the past few centuries in the 26 to 30 foot range. An eclectic mixture, but the J/Teams showing up on the starting grid are very experienced and with enormous amounts of 'MoJo' they can certainly kick some booty! Leading the charge should be Dave Pritchard's (Atlanta, GA) J/92 AMIGOS. A trio of J/29s are certain to give the Amigos boys headaches, including Steve Thurston's (Bristol, RI) Mighty Puffin; Jim Mackevich's (Edison, NJ) For Sail; and Alex Miller's (Erie, PA) Pagan. The real sleeper in the bunch is Robert Key's (Columbia, SC) J/27 Audacious. Yes, it would be audacious if Audacious stole the PHRF C title from this band of pirates!

Finally, Charleston Race Week has included an entire 'pursuit' division, based on the fact you start right off the marina, race around the track and hopefully everyone finishes together in time for the party on the beach! Wow. Not a bad idea. And, it has certainly attracted a lot of boats to this novel concept. Chalk one up for CRW organizers! In the Pursuit Spinnaker Class is Charles Coyer's (John's Island, SC) J/36 SOUL and a highly regarded northeast double-handed circuit competitor, the J/105 Jaded sailed by Peter Rugg (New York, NY)! The fact that both Soul and Jaded are rated dead-even at 84 PHRF means they're in for a 'run for the roses', who beats who!! Cool.





Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted today at 12:16 pm
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
Southern Spars - 100Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring AC72