J-Fest gets much needed charge + Video
by Erik Simonson on 10 Apr 2014
The yearly salute to all things J-Boat , the StFYC's J-Fest, got a well-needed shot in the arm this year with the addition of the J-111's and J-70's. A staple of the StFYC spring series for decades, the J-Fest originally featured dozens of J-24's, J-30's and the then, elite J-35's. The fleet of these boats have lessened in years gone by and the introduction of the J-105's in 1991 J-120 in 2000 and the J-Fest enjoyed a bit of a resurgence.
The Blackhawk success continues in the 105 class, Ryan Simmons and company holding off Jeff Littfin’s Mojo by 3 points after 5 races. Erik Simonson © http://www.pressure-drop.us
With some ongoing compression in the J-120 fleet underway, Desdemona's former owner, John Wimer, joined forces with Timo Bruck and provided some insight and guidance, propelling Twists stock to new highs in the J-120 division.
The last race was a bit stressful for us after we fouled Peregrine the wind died just as we were about to cross them, so we didn't make the cross), but were able to recover after we took our penalty. John did a great job of keeping us calm, focused, and fast. It was fantastic having him on board with us. -Timo Bruck
With the introduction of sportboats, many of the J-24, 30' and 35' owners moved on, and while a handful of J-24's would show, the feature was the 20 plus 105's and the 120's which grew to a dozen at its height of popularity in the past 10-15 years. Utilizing a handicap to attract a variety of newer modern J's, The J-Fest was becoming lesser of a class event than more of a PHRF meet.
But in the past few years, J-Boats have hit the nerve of the performance sailor exceptionally well with the 36.5 foot J-111 in 2010 and the 22..75' trailer sailor the J-70.
10 J-70's were on the line for the 2014 edition of J-Fest and six J-111's, and those numbers will continue to grow 'We are expecting eight J-111's for the Vallejo race', said Drew Harper who was tugging on lines aboard Roland Vandermeer's newest to the fleet J-111 Big Blast, which had consistently superb results over the weekend especially considering it was their first regatta. 'We were very pleased with the results of not only our boat but also the turnout of the regatta. Additionally the Bay Area fleet is expected to grow to 10 boats by April 29 as Bad Dog joins the fleet, going to former J-120 owner Dick Swanson, and another J-111 named Blast is en route from Nova Scotia.'