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J/Fest Southwest Regatta 2022 at Lakewood Yacht Club

by J/Boats 29 Oct 2022 11:35 PDT October 20-23, 2022
J/Fest Southwest Regatta 2022 © jfestsouthwest.com

The J/Fest Southwest Regatta celebrated its 13th Anniversary this past weekend with over 70 J/Boat competitors from around the country.

Lakewood Yacht Club hosted the vent from October 22nd to 23rd and managed to provide up to seven races for the one-design fleets of J/70s, J/22s, J24s, J/105s, and the J/ORC Division. The regatta attracted many of the best teams in the American Southwest.

Here is the regatta report from Scott Spurlin:

"J/Sailors arrived from near and far to take part in this year's J/Fest Southwest. The weather was mid 70's and the wind started Saturday morning at a nice 8-10 knots from the SSE. By noon it was clocking around to the South blowing 15-19 and gusts up to 26! Yee-hah!

The J/22s and J/24s came out of the Kemah Boardwalk channel and turned north to make up the Red circle. MEEHME took the J/22 win. Tom Meeh and his Wednesday night Clear Lake crew took their act to the big water and still won! Doug Weakly on HNL2 was used to those big Corpus Christi winds and took 2nd place. Colin Feik on STAMPEDE finished the event with a bullet and 3rd overall.

The J/24s had 14 boats in town for their season-ending circuit event and had a Texas size shoot out on the water with 4 different gunslingers getting a 1st. The BAD MOON team skippered by Christopher Holmes took the win and ended up in 3rd place overall for the J/24 Texas circuit. James Freedman's LOL came in 2nd at J/Fest and 2nd on the circuit. Gilberto Rivera on URAYO, all the way from Puerto Rico, took 3rd! They also won the J/Spirit "Road Warrior" trophy as they made J/Fest Southwest a truly international event! Shout out to our other Road Warrior from Puerto Rico Javier Almodovar. Not present for J/Fest but the #1 J/24 circuit boat was helmed by Paul Foerster. The J/24 fleet is so much fun to watch as they race hard, play hard, and the on-shore camaraderie is strong within this group. Is it a cult? If so, it's a good one!

Down South on the Blue Circle, the J/70s were launched downwind. First-time J/70 spectators could not believe the boats were even attached to the water as the bow was pointed skyward and the keel could be seen as these boats were flying downwind! Kurt VanderWall and his boat partner on MELVINIZE- By Baldridge- made their return to J/Fest on their "new to them" J/70. By recruiting his rock star son Reed to crew, along with that Australian guy Rob Scrivenor, to round out the crew and take 1st. Second for the regatta was multiple World Champion Jay Lutz on AL'S BABY and third went to Derek Simms' WHISKEY BUSINESS.

The J/105s were a nine-boat fleet and every boat in the fleet led at least one leg of the 7 races held. YOLO! skippered by Scott Spurlin put together a 12-point regatta to win, followed by Uzi Ozeri's BON BON crew in second place. John Bell's KINDERSPEL had an amazing Sunday climbing up from 8th place to 3rd after posting a 2-1 the last day.

The beautiful J/124 MICRODARCY owned by Steve Guerin made its J/ORC Division debut and took home 3rd place. Dave Christensen and his J/109 AIRBORNE team had a strong outing for 2nd place and the always hard-racing and fun-loving J/122 LEADING EDGE team, helmed by Tom Sutton, brought home the big trophy.

The J/22s were witness to a see-saw battle for the top of the leaderboard between Tom Meeh's MEEHEM and Doug Weakly's HNL2. That outcome came down to the final race when Meeh's crew scored a 4th to Weakly's 5th place. As a result, MEEHEM won with 12 pts over HNL2's 13 pts. The final step on the podium was Colin Feik's STAMPEDE with 18 pts.

It was truly a "bad moon rising" in the J/24 class for the weekend. Sailing a smokin' hot series was Chris Holmes' BAD MOON team counting three 1sts and a pair of deuces in the win with just 10 pts total. Second went to James Freedman's LOL with 18 pts and third was Gilberto Rivera's URAYO from Puerto Rico with 21 pts."

Saturday night the Lakewood YC pool was rocking! Pig roast, Cuban-influenced side dishes, Cuban cigars, and the famous local band LC Roots had the place jumping. Great party!

More information at www.jfestsouthwest.com

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