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39th Annual Cleveland Race Week

by J/Boats 23 Jun 10:59 PDT 14-16 June 2019
39th Annual Cleveland Race Week © Cleveland Race Week

Seventy-two teams competed on Lake Erie from June 14-16 in Cleveland Race Week's One Design Weekend, part of the largest sailing regatta on Lake Erie and one of the largest on the Great Lakes hosted by Edgewater Yacht Club. Racing began on Friday for several classes, with the remainder beginning on Saturday. This year, the regatta included the J/120 National Championship.

Ten fleets competed over the weekend on four racecourses. Conditions were ideal on Friday, with 12-16 kts out of the northwest, sunshine, and 1-2' waves. Saturday brought 8-12 kts from the southwest, with flat water and a bit of rain for the competitors to deal with. Sunday dawned extremely foggy and glassy; the regatta was placed on a 1-hour delay onshore before racing was entirely abandoned for the day and the regatta concluded.

The J/120 National Championship kicked off on Friday, with what could only be described as champagne sailing conditions. The first race began promptly at 12:00pm. There were seven boats on the line; the hometown Viva La Vida, Buffalo Yacht Club's Sledge Hammer, Proof from Grosse Pointe, and Bayview Yacht Club's Funtech Racing, Hot Ticket, J-Hawker, and Sleeping Tiger.

Three races were completed in strong conditions with the slowly dying breeze, each with a different winner. PROOF came out of the day strong with 6 points, followed closely by Hot Ticket with 7 points. Racing on Saturday was more challenging, with 4 races completed in shifty conditions. PROOF solidified their lead with a consistent 2- 2-2-1, placing a six-point gap between them and Hot Ticket in second. Racing in the middle of the fleet got intense, with only 10 points separating 2nd and 5th place at the end of the regatta. Funtech Racing placed third with 24 points, Hot Ticket finished second with 19 points, and Proof became the 2019 J/120 National Champions with 13 points.

Nine boats sailed in the J/70 class. Winning was Dan Goldberg's Bazinga with 14 pts, followed by Tod Sackett's FM with 18. Rounding out the podium in third place was Dave Kerr's Jilly Baby.

Marcus Rogers' Wind Monkey certainly had the wind at their back all weekend, posting four bullets to win the J/24 class by a landslide. Second with nearly as good a record was Ryan Lashaway's Running on Empty with three 2nds. Third was Mark Sprenger & Ramon Eckert's Orange Whipe.

The half-dozen J/105 class also had a winner scoring all aces, with Chip Schaffner's Fall Line running the table to take the win. Second was Robert Mock's Unbridled and third went to Ron Carson's Dark'n'Stormy.

Following racing each day, competitors were greeted with live music, great food, and cocktails provided by sponsors Tito's Handmade Vodka, Pusser's Rum, and Regatta Craft Mixers. The Race Committee did an outstanding job on all four courses and in all weather conditions. Following two days off, Cleveland Race Week starts up again with the Junior Day on Wednesday, and Women's, Doublehanded and RC Boat Racing Wednesday evening. Offshore Racing will begin on Thursday evening and continue through the weekend.

Follow Cleveland Race Week at facebook.com/ClevelandRaceWeek or for more Cleveland Race Week sailing information see clevelandraceweek.com

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