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Sail World NZ Lone Wolf

J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championships - Overall report

by J-Boats on 11 Nov
2017 J/24 East Coast Championship Luke Pelican Photography
Over the 'pre-Halloween' weekend, the Severn Sailing Association held its 39th annual J/24 East Coast Championship. Simultaneously, they also hosted the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship. Off the mouth of the Severn River on Chesapeake Bay, both fleets enjoyed a lot of racing over the weekend, with J/24s sailing nine races and the J/22s seven races.

What was not surprising was who won the J/22 class, a long-time leader, Brad Julian from Youngstown YC in Youngstown, NY. What surprised most everyone in the J/24 class was to see James Bonham’s SISU defeat several J/24 class championship teams (of note- Bonham did have two-time J/70 World Champion crew Willem van Waay in the cockpit and past J/24 East Coast Champion skipper Todd Hillman as “rail meat”).



The J/24s had twenty-five boats registered for their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship; a terrific turnout considering the class was also celebrating 40 years of J/Boats (e.g. J/24s), too! The teams came from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet. It was not an easy win by any stretch of the imagination for Bonham’s SISU crew; in fact, it was a three-way battle for at least the first six races. After the first six races, SISU’s tally of three – two – one – one – two - one for 10 pts was just four points in front of perennial J/24 class champion, Tony Parker and the infamous Bangor Packet crew. Parker’s tally was an equally impressive one – one – three – three – three - three for 14 pts. And, just as good in those six races was Travis Odenbach’s Honey Badger with a four – three – two – two – one - two tally for 14 pts. However, thereafter, the “wheels fell off the shopping trolley” for Parker and Odenbach. Parker’s crew misfired in race seven, adding a seventh to their scoreline, while Odenbach’s crew “sent it down the mineshaft” in race eight, adding a ninth to their scorecard. In the end, consistency paid off for Bonham’s all-star cast on SISU, closing with a one – two - five to win by five points. Second was Parker’s Bangor Packet and third was Odenbach’s Honey Badger.



Unlike the J/24s, the top three J/22 teams on the leaderboard were all very close until the last race. In fact, the final race for the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship determined the ultimate outcome. Going into that race, Mike Marshall’s Bad News was leading with 18 pts, followed by Brad Julian’s USA 677 with 19 pts and Jeff Todd’s Hot Toddy next with 20 pts. By winning the last race, Julian’s USA 677 crew snatched the title away from Marshall’s Bad News, who scored a fourth in the last race to drop to second. Todd’s final race third place kept them in third overall.

For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information - Click here.


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