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J/Fest Chicago celebrates sailing again!

by J/Boats 6 Sep 05:07 PDT 29-30 August 2020

Following Chicago's pandemic guidelines, the Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club was able to host Chicago's first one-design keelboat regatta for just J/Crews- the inaugural J/Fest Chicago! The event took place August 29th to 30th, sailing out of Montrose Harbor, with racing taking place on the gorgeous azure blue waters of Lake Michigan. Three one-design classes participated in the event- J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s.

In the largest class, the six-boat J/88 class saw a great battle unfold between one of Chicago's premiere offshore teams- Ben Marden's Banter and a fast-learning Scandinavian crew- Jorgen Christiansen's Norse. Winning the first race, Christiansen's team posted all podium finishes of 1-3-1-2-3 for a total of 10 pts to win the class. Uncharacteristically, Marden's team posted a 6th in the first race, but closed with three bullets and a deuce for 11 pts total to take the silver. Tim Wade's Windsong rounded out the podium in the bronze position, scoring a pair of deuces and a pair of threes for 15 pts total.

The J/105 one-design class had a closely fought battle for first, with the top two boats tied at 11 pts with identical records of 1-1-2-2-2-3! In the end, by winning the last race, Josh Lutton's Kinship won the gold, while Mike Sheppard's crew on Flying Pig slipped to 2nd. Rounding out the podium taking the bronze was Richie Stearns's Glider IV.

In the J/111 one-design class, it was a match race duel all weekend between the two boats. In the end, it was John Kalanik's Pura Vida winning over their colleagues on Momentus (Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi).

Thanks to regatta sponsors/ supporters such as MarkSetBot (the fully autonomous mark setting miracle), Stearns Boating, Evolution Sails, Skyway Yacht Works, and Sail22.com.

More J/Fest Chicago sailing and registration information here.

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