J/24 World Championships gets underway on September 13th 2012. Over 100 J/24 teams are breathlessly anticipating the start of the first 'open' J/24 Worlds in decades. A strong American contingent will be doing battle against a cadre of past World, European, North American, South American, Canadian, Bermudian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Chilean, Peruvian and Japanese Champions. Hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, NY, located on the south shore of Lake Ontario, the teams are anticipating how best to get out of the starting blocks with over 100 boats on one huge line with multiple line boats calling the start and keeping the aggressive teams in check.
J/24 World Championship 2011
On the American side of the equation, the 'open' registrants has encouraged a lot of the 'old guard' from past J/24 wars to jump into the fray and test how far the world of J/24 sailing has progressed over the course of time. Additionally, it has also encouraged a number of young, college-experienced sailing teams to jump in with minimal budgets and determine whether they're competitive at a global level. Amongst the veterans are Pat Toole's 3 Big Dogs from Santa Barbara, CA, Tony Parker's Bangor Packet with Geoff Ewenson as tactician from Annapolis, MD, Al Constant's Blitz from Long Island Sound; and John Gjerde's Persistence from Lake Minnetonka J/24 Fleet #1!! Amongst the next generation teams are a powerful group from Newport, including Will Welles' Cougar, Tim Healey's 11th Hour Racing and Peter Levesque's Orange Blossom with Charlie Enright as tactician. Other top champion teams include Mike Ingham's USA 5448, Travis Odenbach's Honey Badger, Darby and Jud Smith's DARBY from Marblehead, MA, Mike Sudofsky's Bob Dylan, Kevin O'Brien's Fugue State (with Moth World Champion and Melges 24 Champion Bora Gulari from Detroit, MI as tactician). Finally, the 'unofficial' Sailing World team from Newport is sailing on their thoroughbred Crack Of Noon with Ian Scott, Herb McCormick, Stu Streuli, Dave Reed and Charlie Zechel on-board.
After the Americans, the second largest contingent by far are the Canadians with twenty-five teams participating. Amongst their top boats will be John Wynacht's Sticky Fingers, Tom Barbeau's Navtech.Ca and Mike Howarth's Mr H.
The next largest contingent are the extremely competitive teams from South America, with nine teams headed north to vie for top 'Americas' honors, too. Leading that charge are the top Argentineans (Nicolas Cubria's Elvis and Matias Pereira's Luca) and past multi-world champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil sailing yet another Bruschetta. Rounding out the South Americans are three boats each from Peru (Javier Arribas Leigh's Hawky, Luis Olcese's Scaramouche and Tania Zimmerman's Jitana) and Chile (Raul del Castillo's La Banca, Vernon Robert's Joyita and Matias Sequel's Guru). Amongst the 'island nations', sailing are Bermudian champ Trevor Boyce on No Skirt Required, Barbudan Neil Burke sailing Impulse and Japan's Mikio Tokano sailing Hanselkai.
Finally, the European contingent is perhaps the least represented in the 'J/24 Nation', with single entries from France (Nicolas Mabboux's Tempus) and Germany (Frithjof Schade's El Schlachtschiff). Noticeably absent are top Australian, British, Mexican, Irish and Italian J/24 teams in this year's worlds.
J24 International Class Association website