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Davis Island J/70 Winter Series still going strong

by Julie & Christopher Howell 4 Dec 11:59 PST December 6-9 2019, January 10-12, Februay 7-9 2020
2019 J/70 Winter Series 3 © Christopher Howell

Eight years ago when the J/70 was taking the sailing world by storm, Joe Colling and Mike Dawson came up with the idea of an affordable winter series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL.

The concept was three two-day events where owners could leave their boats with the mast up all winter. Competitors are scored for each weekend as an individual event, and also an overall winner is crowned at the end of the three-weekend series.

Mike sold the idea to Davis Island Yacht Club, and the club cleared out the dry sail area to make it happen. This weekend, December 6-9, will mark the start of the seventh year of the series, and nearly 50 boats will be on the line.

Davis Island Yacht Club has proved to be the perfect host—from providing breakfast every race day...to the keg at the dock at the end of racing. The post-race chalk talks have become a staple for the competitors who are looking for an edge on the competition.

Although Tampa conditions can sometimes be a challenge, the race management and volunteers have always made the best out of the two-day format. Mike Dawson was the PRO for that first year, and then Judy Hanlon jumped in and managed the racecourse until last year. This winter, the club has recruited Chip Till to manage the PRO duties. Chip has extensive familiarity with the J/70 and will deliver the competitors the big fleet experience they are looking for.

From the Class' perspective, this event supports the long-term commitment to an affordable winter option accessible to everyone. The Class thanks DIYC member Kat Malone, who has been the brains of the Series' event management from day one.

Racing dates are December 6-8, 2019, January 10-12, 2020 and February 7-9, 2020. Photos will be available on the USA J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete details for the first weekend may be found at yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9645.

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