Please select your home edition
Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

An interview with John Farris on the 2023 J/22 Midwinters

by David Schmidt 14 Mar 2023 08:00 PDT March 16-19, 2023
J/22 Midwinters at New Orleans day 1 © Christopher E. Howell

The year was 1983, and the J/22 was the latest One Design from the pen of celebrated yacht designer Rod Johnstone. The trailerable ride boasted 22' 6" on the waterline, a fractional sloop rig, a slippery-looking hull form, and 700 pounds of lead hanging from her undercarriage. Unlike her bigger, more offshore-worthy sister, the J/24, the J/22 is sailed and raced sans lifelines, giving the boat clean-looking on-deck aesthetics and a sporty feel for those on the foredeck's sharp end.

Flash forward 40 years and some 1,700 J/22s can be found plying the word's racecourses.

Take, for example, the 2023 J/22 Midwinters (March 16-19), which are being organized by the U.S. J/22 class association and the Fort Walton Yacht Club (FWYC), and which is being hosted by the FWYC, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on the waters of Choctawhatchee Bay.

I checked in with John Farris, regatta co-chair of the 2023 J/22 Midwinters, via email, to learn more about this exciting warm-water One Design regatta.

How many boats are you expecting on this year's starting line? Also, where do most of these boats and teams hail from? Any geographical concentrations?

We have fifteen boats registered. We expect to have twenty to twenty-five [boats] start the first day of racing.

Most boats and crews are from the south, with several from the upper Midwest.

How would you describe conception levels at this year's Midwinters?

The competition levels at this year's J22 Midwinters are intense and highly competitive. The event [is attracting] many skilled and experienced sailors, all vying for the top position.

Generally speaking, what kinds of conditions can sailors expect on the waters of Choctawhatchee Bay in mid-March?

Mid-March weather here is frontal-driven. We could have blustery conditions out of the north or pleasant, easy conditions out of the east or south.

Do you see local knowledge playing a big or small role in the regatta's outcome? Can you please explain?

Local knowledge usually doesn't affect the outcome at the J/22 Midwinters. It's usually 'anybody's game' with this fleet.

I realize that these are still early days, but do you have any entries that you're eyeing for podium finishes? What about any dark horses who you think could prove to be fast, once the starting guns begin sounding?

Our vote for a 'dark horse' would be Kurt Taken-Holtze from [Minnesota]. He's been eyeing the top spot and improving with each regatta.

In the ideal world, how many races do you and the other event organizers hope to score each day and over the regatta?

As event organizers, we aim to score as many races as possible each day and over the regatta, depending on various factors such as weather conditions, number of participants, and competition schedules.

The ideal number of races would be three per day for [a total of] nine to eleven races. It varies from event to event, but the goal is always to provide the best possible experience for the participants.

What kind of onshore entertainment can sailors look forward to once the finishing guns have gone silent each day?

Once the finishing guns have gone silent daily, sailors can look forward to various onshore entertainment options in and around Fort Walton Beach. We are known for our beautiful beaches, and Fort Walton Beach has several restaurants and bars where sailors can enjoy delicious seafood and drinks while relaxing and unwinding after a long day on the bay.

Can you please tell us about any efforts that the club has made to green-up the regatta and generally lower its environmental wake?

Fort Walton Yacht Club is a certified Clean Marina, and the club is registered with Sailors for the Sea. To the best of our ability, we have incorporated many Sailors for the Sea Best Practices by advertising to our members and guests ahead of time.

Specifically, by asking them to bring reusable water bottles, reusable cups for beer (if serving with kegs), reusable coffee cups, use reusable bags while provisioning for the regatta, reef-safe sunscreen, eco-friendly cleaning products, and recycling waste.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add about the 2023 J/22 Midwinters, for the record?

Fort Walton Yacht Club hosts various local, regional, and national regattas in Choctawhatchee Bay. Events such as Laser Nationals, Melges 24 Nationals, Thistle Nationals, four Catalina 22 Nationals, Trimaran Nationals, Coronado 15 Nationals, Tornado Nationals, Hobie 16 Nationals, Hobie 20 Nationals, Y-Flyer Nationals, and A-Cat Nationals are just a small group of various classes who have chosen Fort Walton Beach as their National Championship Venue.

Our dedicated team of US Sailing certified race officials and assorted volunteers have several years of experience handling races and regattas, making all sailors happy with the results.

Related Articles

Dave Valentine on the TX Yacht Club Challenge Cup
A Q&A with Dave Valentine about the 2023 Texas Yacht Club Challenge Cup Sail-World checked in with Dave Valentine, of the Fort Worth Boat Club, to learn more about the FWBC's Texas Yacht Club Challenge Cup. Posted on 5 Dec 2023
J/22 Winter Series in full swing in Charlevoix
Nine J/22s from USA 135 to USA 1200 are competing every Sunday afternoon The Charlevoix Yacht Club is hosting the 36th Anniversary of Arena Sailing and the Cranberry Cup Regatta in the Round Lake Yacht Basin in Charlevoix, Michigan. Posted on 26 Nov 2023
A look at the Jamin J/22 International Regatta
A Q&A with Spencer May on the 2023 Jamin J/22 International Regatta Sail-World checked in with Spencer May, regatta chair and commodore of the hosting Montego Bay Yacht Club, to learn more about this now-classic warm-water J/22 regatta. Posted on 21 Nov 2023
Women's Invitational Regatta returns to San Diego
Sailing will be directly off the docks in La Playa in February 2024 San Diego YC's annual Women's Winter Invitational Regatta returns this upcoming winter, February 16-18, 2024. Recently having won the US Sailing One Design Regatta Award, this all-woman, three-day competition attracts sailors from all over the world. Posted on 2 Nov 2023
J/Fest Southwest Fun & Frolic!
The regatta celebrated its 14th Anniversary in early October J/Fest Southwest Regatta celebrated its 14th Anniversary with over 70 J/Boats and avid J/Boat competitors from around the country. This year's event featured one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, and J/105s. Posted on 28 Oct 2023
Fraporita wins J/22 World Championship
The ZYC Race Committee and PRO team did a magnificent job running a total of nine races Held in conjunction with the massive Travemunde Week regatta, this year's J/22 World Championship was hosted by the Zürcher Yacht-Club (ZYC) for the fleet of twenty-six teams from around the world. Posted on 5 Aug 2023
Olympic class racing, IC37s, J/22s
David Schmidt summarises the most important racing news for North America While large swaths of the USA, Europe, and China are grinding through one of the hottest summers on record, thanks at least in part to the start of the El Nino cycle, the Olympic cycle is hoving closer into view. Posted on 18 Jul 2023
J/22 North Americans in Kingston overall
Glenn Darden's Baby Doll team crowned champions Glenn Darden's Baby Doll, sailing with Willem Van Waay, Jackson Benvenutti and Min Min Kelly, have been crowned 2023 J/22 North American Champions. Posted on 16 Jul 2023
J/22 North Americans in Kingston Day 2
New leader in Kingston, Ontario, Canada Light winds at the J/22 North American Championship at CORK in Kingston, Ontario, Canada allowed one more race, bringing the total to four. Posted on 15 Jul 2023
J/22 North Americans in Kingston Day 1
Twenty-two teams took to the waters of Lake Ontario Twenty-two teams took to the waters of Lake Ontario for the inaugural day of the J/22 North American Championship at CORK in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Posted on 14 Jul 2023
PredictWind - Offshore App 728x90 BOTTOMVaikobi 2024 Sale - FOOTERMelges 2023 - Melges 15 FOOTER