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2021 J/70 World Championship at California Yacht Club - Overall

by Betsy Crowfoot 16 Aug 2021 00:31 PDT August 7-15, 2021

Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity has prevailed over 60 other teams and challenging wind conditions to capture the 2021 J/70 World Championship title at California Yacht Club, today. In a five-day series that tested the skill and patience of top-notch competitors from 11 nations, Duncan - sailing with Willem van Waay, Morgan Trubovich and Victor Diaz de Leon - secured a top five position in the beginning of the regatta and never let go.

"I'm elated!" said Duncan as he returned to the dock, bustling with activity. "That was a tough day out there. We didn't start very well but had a bit of a break with a header on the first run of the second race that let us get close to everybody and sail through some folks we need to sail through," he explained. "We have a lot of fun onboard - joke and laugh and keep it light - and that worked in our favor when we had to grind through. Everybody knows what their job is, and these guys do them exceptionally well."

The leaderboard changed with every rounding during Races Seven and Eight, as the top contenders scrapped for honors. "It was very cool that there were four boats who could have won this thing in the last race," Duncan added. "To me that's really fun, exciting sailing."

Duncan is no stranger to the podium. Recently he won the J/70 North Americans in Annapolis and triumphed in the 2017 J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Italy. "This competition was really great, and the Race Committee did a terrific job getting the races in with the breeze we had. I'm really pleased. Cal Yacht Club did an awesome job."

At day's end, the top tier was separated by just eight points with Bruce Golison taking second place. His team Midlife Crisis was primed with a solid win in the Pre-Worlds last month. One of only two teams to get bullets in the tightly matched Worlds this week (along with Magatron) Golison sailed with Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain and Jeff Reynolds.

Laura Grondin and the team of Dark Energy, just one point astern, took third. Grondin only recently began competing in the J/70. A competitive Melges 24 sailor, she switched to the J/70 when the boat's popularity exploded. "If you really want that fleet racing experience, this is the boat," she said. "I decided to go for it, and when Taylor Canfield came along, my husband Rick suggested we take this opportunity and just do as much as we can and see where we go." Where it has taken her, is third place in the J/70 World Championships.

In contrast to her life as a business owner and CEO, Grondin noted, "On the racecourse, I am really just another member of the crew." Unlike her corporate life, she laughed, "Here, I don't have the final say. But these people are far more experienced than I am, so why wouldn't I listen to them? And if I can do my job in a way that allows the rest of my team to do their jobs to the best of their ability, that's a win for me. And that is the same in business and in sailing. It's very exciting and rewarding."

The Ducasse Sailing Team of Santiago, Chile, triumphed in the Corinthian division. "We are having a really nice time, and this is so good for us, because the level of competition is so good," said Francisco Ducasse, who is sailing with his father and three brothers: Andres Ducasse Soruco, Ignacio Ducasse Soruco, Rodrigo Ducasse Soruco, and Andres Ducasse. Hoping for better wind - because they are sailing with a team of five instead of four - he said they were pleased with their result.

Ducasse noted the effort it took to bring the campaign from Chile, and their good fortune in chartering a sound boat. "We had really good training in the Pre-Worlds," and added the team is in it for the long-haul. "The level is so good, we are practicing and adapting a lot with very good teams. We were hoping for a top ten finish, and then to do better the next Worlds. We are shortening the average."

In the One-Pro division, Threatening Minors sailed by Jordan Janov, Grant Janov, Ryan Janov, Reddin Kherli and Willie Mcbride, took honors.

The J/70 World Championship regatta began Wednesday August 11 with enthusiasm: a characteristic that would continue throughout the week and result in multiple General Recalls and the hoisting of the U flag and Black flag. Breezes of 6 to 8 knots greeted the fleet, but by Thursday the wind vanished. The Race Committee attempted to pull off the desired two races, but deterred by the shifty zephyrs, abandoned racing for the day.

A slight improvement in velocity Friday allowed for one race - just skimming the Class' lower limit for breeze. A championship regatta isn't always about heavy weather, many competitors pointed out, saying it's just as vital to conquer light and shifty conditions, as heavy air. And the masters of the fleet proved that over time.

Saturday's forecast rang true, with a breeze that started at 6 knot and filled in to 14 knot by the end of the day. Principal Race Officer Mark Foster squeezed out three races, despite repeated General Recalls which threatened to trim the number of races. But organizers already had the requisite number under their belt to constitute a World Championship and allow for throw-outs.

Late Saturday, drenched and exhausted, the fleet returned to the yacht club for a 'California Dreamin' style buffet with music. The frontrunners had consolidated their positions with Duncan's Relative Obscurity in the lead followed by Dark Energy, Savasana, Midlife Crisis and Catapult. The final day of the J/70 Worlds Championship Regatta would bring fair winds averaging 7 - 10 knots to Santa Monica Bay, with a number of shifts that kept racers and Race Committee on their toes.

Plans for the championship regatta had been on the books since 2018, according to Chair Marylyn Hoenemeyer, and slated for July 26 to Aug. 1, 2020. By early that year the entry list was brimming at 96: nearing the 100-boat limit, with half the fleet hailing from around the globe. Then the pandemic turned everything upside down, and the event was rescheduled.

"This has been a tremendous effort and success," added Hoenemeyer. "The racers, Race Committee and entire organization have been so patient and tenacious, and I would like to thank everyone involved. This was a full club effort. I think we're aware of the volunteers on the water, but less aware of the volunteers onshore, and the impact on the members. We're thankful for the support of the Cal Yacht Club membership and our terrific staff. We're no different than other organizations that are working short staffed these days... they've pulled together a really tremendous effort and we are proud of the experience we've provided these racers, both on the water and off. "

The last World Championship regatta had been held in Tor Bay, England, with GBR's Paul Ward and Eat Sleep J Repeat besting that 77-boat fleet in a grueling 14-race series. Ward finished seventh in the 2021 event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameTeamR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1  USA 1311Relative ObscurityPeter Duncan / Willem van Waay / Morgan Trubovich / Victor Diaz de Leon5111263410842
2  USA 26Midlife CrisisBruce Golison / Steve Hunt / Erik Shampain / Jeff Reynolds3422102111646
3  USA 819Dark EnergyLaura Grondin / Taylor Canfield / Michael Buckley / Scott Ewing21573512SCPSCP47
4  USA 96SavasanaBrian Keane / Ron Weed / Bill Hardesty / Alec Anderson6161327513549
5  USA 65CatapultJoel Ronning / Morgan Resser / Christopher Stocke / Patrick Wilson7311219136250
6  GBR 1127Eat Sleep J RepeatPaul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Ruairidh Scott / Mario Trindade111713219135472
7  USA 179SurgeRyan McKillen / Lucas Calabrese / John Wallace / Sam Loughborough25192226142019102
8  USA 169EmpeiriaJohn Heaton / Zeke Horowitz / Will Felder / Zachary Mason1220991294332103
9  CHI 218Ducasse Sailing Team (Corinthian)Andres Ducasse Soruco / Ignacio Ducasse Soruco / Francisco Ducasse Soruco / Rodrigo Ducasse Soruco / Andres Ducasse R49213414115811104
10  ESP 961NoticiaJose Maria Torcida / Luiz Martin Cabiedes / Rayco Tabares / Pablo Santurde / Francisco Palacio4416193717289108
11  USA 1523MagatronMargaret McKillen / Brian Kamilar / David Shriner / Orrin Starr13427113274612115
12  USA 85Dime (Corinthian)Mallory & Andrew Loe / Giancarlo Nucci / Cardwell Potts1673434305025119
13  USA 369Cool Story Bro.John Brigden / Nevin Snow / Tomas Dietrich / Malcolm Lamphere29242684102920121
14  USA 839StampedeBruno Pasquinelli / Jonathon McKee / Charlie McKee / Joe Morris26361038188177122
15  USA 383Threatening Minors (One Pro)Jordan Janov / Grant Janov / Ryan Janov / Willie Mcbride / Reddin Kherli3928401145251126
16  USA 40HoneybadgerTravis Odenbach / Ian Coleman / Marty Kullman / Geoff Becker13514273962446128
17  USA 1362Its All Good (Corinthian)Jay Golison / Steve Flam / Nic Santos / Mark Ryan102711623432142140
18  USA 602Good to Go (One Pro)Douglas Rastello / Jacob Ladow / Alex Curtiss / Robert Kinney2821161232152623141
19  CAY 1310PowerplayPeter Cunningham / Hartwell Jordan / Mark Mendelblatt / Marc Gauthier328231531232814142
20  BRA 1518HighlandersSelmo Nissenbaum / Mauricio Santa Cruz / Julio Carvalho / Gabreil Penido476242815164913149
21  BRA 1174To NessaRenato Faria / Ricardo Ermel / Henrique Haddad / Kadja Brandao204337221730BFD151
22  USA 326Aquaholiks (Corinthian)Martin Johnsson / Jorgen Johnsson / August Hernandez / Connor Adams5726557837218153
23  USA 347Sugoi (One Pro)Chris Raab / Carlos Robles / Erik Lidecis / Rob Lindley3722151437241926157
24  USA 18WarCanoeMichael Goldfarb / Jonny Goldsberry / Scott (Chuck) Norris / Emory Williams414229422471121175
25  USA 167USA 167 (One Pro)James Prendergast / Christian Prendergast / Hector Gusman / Mac Agnese81317494738451176
26  USA 249HuckleberryJim Murrell / Kevin Abbink / Chuck Eaton / Patrick Powell402828294019323179
27  USA 45Wild Child (Corinthian)Henry Filter / Alex Stout / Will Wagner / Tom Murray242345310343353181
28  USA 898D.J. (Corinthian)Ryan Cox / Garrett Baum / Avery Stewart / Christina Ballas213552522324247182
29  USA 583 Big Dogs (Corinthian)Pat Toole / Dale Turley / George Witter / Oliver Toole381442237224743189
30  MEX 595BuenaJuntaMarco Sparvieri / Gerardo Benítez / Ramón Benitez / Danel Belausteguigoitia3529451746331517191
31  USA 370Jennifer (Corinthian)Chris Kostanecki / Augie‑ Dale / river Paquin / crew Fritsch3612343145213129194
32  USA 1364YOLOScott Spurlin / Evan Aras / Reed Baldridge / Austin Powers918361835315248195
33  GBR 1123Soak Racing (Corinthian)Charles Thompson / Ian Southworth / Tony Hanlon / Craig BurltonUFD48473319251216200
34  CHI 1038MorenitaVernon Robert / Macarena Robert / Nicholas Robertson / Rodrigo Robles / Alfredo Rovere17254156BFD35328205
35  USA 5341FA (Corinthian)Harrison Turner / Geoff McDonald / Tim Clarke / Mike Nunes1440614416184831211
36  USA 305Groundhog Day (Corinthian)Rich Festa / Tony Festa / Allie Blecher / Mary Stuyvesant193444543551844216
37  TUR 1118Eker Kaymak (Corinthian)Nevra Eker / Burak Baran / Bilge Kerem Ozkan / Yasar Doga Aribas185351112952949219
38  USA 490Minor ThreatJeff Janov / Doug McLean / Ben Mercer / David Ullman50UFD331630203933221
39  MEX 1323Zaguero (One Pro)Ignacio Perez / Santiago Perez / Juan Ignacio Perez / Diego Reyes31413946282816DNS229
40  MEX 1152Black Mamba (Corinthian)Fernando Perez / Eduardo Oetling / Alejandro Perez / Eduardo Perez2237503236415515233
41  USA 250nunuhunu (One Pro)Steve Wyman / Tony Beale / Antoine Screve / Sarah Wyman3430183555DSQ3724233
42  URU 1370Farrista (Corinthian)Gustavo Coll / Sebastian COLL / Cecilia COLL / Juan Pedro COLL4338385BFD424030236
43  CHI 410Los RollingPedro Cabezon Marin / Guillermo Arriagada / Benjamin Grez / Felipe Cubillos27DSQ315144262738244
44  GER 53Paint it blackMichael Grau / Florian Thoelen / David Chapman / Gerard Mitchell5344203642295722246
45  USA 70Sloop John B (Corinthian)Tom Garrett / Shawn Patrick / Tyler Macdonald / Peter Macdonald3045403033405440258
46  USA 32USA 32 (One Pro)Bruce Cooper / Steve Shaw / Danny Bailey / Paul Chyz5210305553513534265
47  MEX 401Vincitore (Corinthian)Ricardo Brockmann / Alejandro Sole / Jeronimo Mariscal / Diego Velasco2349535226483439271
48  USA 600Airplane!John Evans / Tomas Hornos / Abie McLaughlin / John Von Schwarz1555562451502354272
49  USA 389Hooligan: Flat Stanley RacingTrey Sheehan / Zygmund Beatty / Brad Boston / Curtis Florence46333250204744DNS272
50  USA 501Button Fly (One Pro)Andrew Fisher / Shawn Burke / Mike Marshall / Melissa Fisher / Andrew fisher4546253941463852280
51  USA 201Avet 21 (Corinthian)Curt Johnson / Dylan Finestone / Paul Burnett / Talin Babikian5832492038545337283
52  USA 539Agent 99 (Corinthian)Doug Weitz / Yumio Dornberg / Paul Zambriski / Brian O'Mahony3350354149445141293
53  MEX 523Chilcano (Corinthian)Eduardo Cano Saija / Roberto Escalante (Pollo) / Diego Cervantes / Hugh McCarthy4956585950391435301
54  USA 328Namaste (One Pro)Thomas Tunberg / Chris Snow / Paul Harteck / Hendrik Reidel5152434348492257308
55  USA 29Kangaroo Jockey (Corinthian)Peter Cameron / Marcos McGee / Drake Jensen / Robert Milligan4254485725RET5636318
56  MEX 1519Woodstock (Corinthian)Fernando Gutierrez / Javer Gutierrez Ahrensburg / Leopoldo Turco / Jeronimo Gutierrez4847604752365945334
57  USA 607Orange You Glad (Corinthian)Brian Mullen / Alan Field / John Fracisco / Elsa Balton5539526054533650339
58  USA 307River Song (Corinthian)Liz Hjorth / Karyn Jones / Kevin Thomas / Stine Cacavas5657465857574127341
59  USA 850Mojito (Corinthian)Ole Eichhorn / Leasha Barry / Hayes Stuppy / Ulrik Knap6051575458594555379
60  USA 586Son of a Son (Corinthian)David Fried / Lex Band / David Sharp / Celena Staff5458544856566156382
61  USA 247Boondoggle (Corinthian)Patrick Danly / Tyler Peyatt / Clark Lindsey / Brian Werner5959596159586058412

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