Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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.





Kilwell - 1Wildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

14th C. Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic and Regatta in history books
Many of the sailors taking part have competed in at least five regattas with some returning to sail 10 or more years. Many of the sailors taking part have competed in at least five Clagett regattas with some returning to sail 10 or more years. Both the US and Canadian sailing teams heading for Rio in September for the 2016 Paralympics are Clagett alumni and six out of the 15 teams taking part in the Sonar class in Rio have attended The Clagett over its 14 year history.
Posted today at 4:41 pm
GC32 Racing Tour – Can one town tip the scales for Armin Strom Team?
With a population of 6500, Kerikeri is known for rural surroundings, plentiful orchards and a true laid back Kiwi life Kerikeri, one of New Zealand’s most northernmost towns is where team manager Sharon Ferris-Choat, bowman Alex Bryning, boat captain Ned Dalbeth Hudson and two-time Kiwi Olympian Andrew Murdoch, the latest addition to Armin Strom Sailing Team, all grew up. Their passion for sailing ignited while attending Kerikeri High School.
Posted today at 3:34 pm
Clipper Race fleet enjoys strong westerlies at start of Ocean Sprint
The frontrunners have started the Ocean Sprint, gunning for all-important two extra points to add to leaderboard tally. LMAX Exchange is now leading the fleet, 6.5 nautical miles ahead of yesterday’s race leader ClipperTelemed+, which is four nautical miles ahead of home port entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire in third position. Those three teams have started the Ocean Sprint section this morning.
Posted today at 11:42 am
18ft skiffs - Yamaha wins the long race lottery at Mark Foy Worlds
After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on long race in a light breeze of about four knots. After a general recall and an individual recall the fleet set off on the long race in a light breeze of about four knots. C-Tech won the start with a port hander and the remainder of the fleet quickly tacked over to head towards the top mark, MalaMala Island.
Posted today at 6:37 am
2016 52 Super Series - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 3:00 am
Big fleet racing in store for Sailing Series Melges 20 - Act 4
The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams The entry list for the final 2016 Sailing Series® Melges 20 event is long, lean and mean with more than 50 teams scheduled to attend, and will potentially surpass all-time Class attendance records with 15 different nations from around the world being represented: Austria, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa
Posted today at 2:34 am
Azzurra wins the second day of the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
The second day of racing at the classic regatta hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda saw a big shakeup in positions. The day’s very light breezes forced the Racing Committee to substitute the scheduled coastal race with a windward/leeward race that began at 2:00 PM in light and unstable breezes that tended to shift towards the right.
Posted on 29 Jun
Underdogs and top dogs sniff out the best breeze at 52 Super Series
In a shifting light-breeze which kept tacticians on their toes, home favourites Azzurra scored their first race win. The gentle breeze moved 50 degrees right over the duration of the race, requiring successive changes to the course axis on each leg of race three of the series. It proved a good day for the underdogs too as XIO and Paprec, two of the oldest boats in the fleet, scrapped over the early lead.
Posted on 29 Jun
2016 TP52 Super Series – Race three images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from race three
Posted on 29 Jun
My Road to Rio – Part 5 – Maria Erdi
Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event Erdi booked her spot for Rio 2016 in the Laser Radial at the final opportunity, the European qualification event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Following nervously back in Balatonfured, Hungary was father Gabor, mother Gabriella and siblings Julia, Anna, Gabriella and Janos.
Posted on 29 Jun