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Santander wins Act V of Chilean National Circuit at Algarrobo

by J/Boats 16 Sep 2018 10:35 PDT 8-9 September 2018
Chilean J/70 Winter Series 2018 © Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico

The fifth event of the Chilean J/70 Winter Series took place over the September 8th to 9th weekend off Algarrobo, Chile, hosted by the Cofradía Náutica del Algarrobo.

With fifteen boats on the starting line, the conditions on Saturday were cold, but with a great wind of 10 to 14kts from southwest. Each race had slightly different conditions for the swell and choppy seas. The left side was favored on the windward leg, but also the right was favored on some of the running legs, due to better pressure. So, the race track was quite open for the teams and the smarter tacticians could gain and recover a lot.

On Sunday, the conditions were quite unstable. The wind did not show up until 1530 hrs in the afternoon and the conditions were still very random and light. The CNA Race Committee and the PRO decided not to go ahead with the races and the weekend regatta was concluded with 3 races of the 6 programmed in the Sailing Instructions.

As a result, Santander won with a solid 1-1-3, skippered by Pablo Amunátegui with a family crew of two brothers - Felipe & Pablo Herman - and their father - Lucho Herman.

In second place was Tsunami, skippered by Andrés Ducasse, with a 2-2-4 tall for 8 pts. Third was Matias Seguel's Volvo with a 4-5-1 for 10 pts. The balance of the top five included Juan Reid's Windmade in fourth with a 3-9-2 for 14 pts, tied with the fifth place boat- Vernon Robert's Morenita.

In the Corinthians Division, Cristobal Perez's Trilogia won, followed by Francisco Perez's Eleanor Rigby in second, and Felipe Gonzalez's Columbia in third place.

The standings for the "Circuito Nacional J/70 2018" for Chile are the following after 21 races and 3 discards:

  1. Windmade- Juan Reid- 54 pts
  2. Tsunami- Andres Ducasse- 57 pts
  3. Santander- Pablo Amunategui- 59 pts
  4. Morenita- Vernon Robert- 85 pts
  5. Peligro- Alejandro Perez- 94 pts

Of note: for Tsunami, Windmade, and Morenita teams, this was the last regatta in the Chilean circuit before the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA, where the three qualified teams are competing.

Remarkably, the Chilean J/70 fleet has grown to thirty-six boats, with the principal activity taking place in Algarrobo- a seaside port 90 miles west of the capital of Santiago at the base of the Andean Mountain range. Algarrobo enjoys a year-round sailing calendar, no matter what the conditions are in the famous ski areas to the south and east in Chile and Argentina (considered some of the world's best) - "cold" is 45-50 F, warm is 60-75 F in the "winter". Doh, so why don't Europeans and North Americans, and Asians travel to Chile for more fun in the sun! It is "bucket list travel" conditions- sailing, skiing, and beach weather all at the same time!

The other small J/70 fleet is located on Panguipulli Lake, 900 km south from Santiago, where the J/70 fleet actually started in Chile and the first three J/70 Nationals were raced (2013, 2014 and 2015). They have an extensive schedule for January, February, March summer racing. The enormous 14,000 ft snow-capped mountain peaks, many of which are active volcanos, produce amazing "adabatic" wind conditions all summer long— think of Italy's famous Lago di Garda and its clockwork-like winds in their European summers...it is no different on Lago de Panguipulli.

According to Juan Reid, the J/Boats Chile dealer, "the J/70 fleet will have forty boats by the end of 2018, and more than 20 active boats in Algarrobo. The class is now the largest and most competitive one-design keelboat in Chile, by far. The only class that has had similar success in the past, not surprisingly, was the J/24 class from 1994 to 1998.

Even now, the southernmost one-design class in the world are the Chilean J/24s, with a fleet in Puerto Williams, Chile- a town on Navarino Island in the Beagle Channel, in Chile's far south. It's part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, known as a starting point for trips around Cape Horn. For those that love travel, Argentina's famous town and port of Ushuaia is north and west by 30.0nm, considerably farther away from the fabled Cape Horn and any expeditions that head south to the Antarctica.

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