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2015 J/70 North American Championship - Strebel still on top

by SDYC on 27 Sep 2015
2015 J/70 North American Championship SDYC
Doug Strebel and the Zounds crew have successfully completed their third consecutive day atop the 2015 Green Flash J/70 North American Championship scoreboard. With a total of 40 points, Strebel will head into the final day of racing with a fifteen-point lead over Jud Smith's Africa and a 30-point lead over Tim Healy's Helly Hansen.

If these three names sound familiar, it's because they are. Over three days of racing, wind changes and tough competition, Strebel, Smith and Healy have not only consistently stayed in the top three spots, they've also stayed in the same order.

Winds were light for the third day of the regatta, prompting Race Committee to call it an early day after completing two races.

Race seven began with light winds that averaged between five to seven knots at a direction of 275. Bruno Pasquineli (Stampede) led at the first upwind mark, but a slow patch on the downwind leg put him several places back into the fleet. Smith (Africa) gained two positions in the last legs to steal the bullet, while Shannon Bush (Hooligan) conceded one spot after the gate rounding to end the race in third.

Renato Faria (To Nessa) and Will Welles (Sea Bags Sailing Team) rounded out the top five teams for Race seven. Doug Strebel's 17th place finish was his worst of the regatta and first finish outside of the top ten, those 17 points combined with Smith's bullet gave Africa a temporary stint as the overall regatta leader.

Unfortunately for Smith, a bad start and upwind leg in Race eight trapped him in the middle of the fleet, and the Africa crew watched as Strebel skillfully maneuvered Zounds through light winds as the race leader. Strebel's early lead paid off at the finish line, where he took second and Smith took 28th.

Gannon Troutman, who at 14 years old is by far the youngest skipper at the regatta, led the Pied Piper crew to their first bullet of the regatta. If that isn't impressive enough, he has also competed this entire regatta with a cast and sling due to an arm injury two weeks ago.

John Brigden (Cool Story, Bro) held his position of fourth place overall, while Brad Rodi (Bl!ss) moved past both Savasana (Brian Keane) and Ocho Cinco (Allan Terhune) to claim fifth place overall.

Competitors gathered back at the San Diego Yacht Club for the post-racing social event sponsored by Green Flash Brewery. Racing will continue tomorrow at 11:30am for the final day of the regatta.
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