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J/22 Midwinter Championship at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Overall

by Julie & Christopher Howell 24 Mar 17:20 PDT March 21–24, 2024

It took a tiebreaker to determine the winner of the 2024 J/22 Midwinter Championship hosted by Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, LA: Glenn Darden's Baby Doll of Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas.

Eking out the victory at 28 points, including back-to-back bullets in the final two races, the team included Willem Van Waay, Jackson Benvenutti and Min Min Kelly, all gearing up for the 2024 J/22 World Championship in Annapolis, Maryland this fall. The same team won last year's North American Championship. Darden is a veteran of several Classes, and said about the J/22, "Great people!

The Class is strong, and racing is hard, very close and competitive." Jeff Hayden from Newport, RI, the youngest helmsperson in the event, was runner-up. Kurt Taken-Holtze from Wayzata, MN proved the most consistent throughout the Championship, never finishing out of the top seven, for third place (34 points). Nine out of nine planned races were completed.

The three days saw a myriad of conditions, ranging from light and lumpy Friday to windy and wavey Saturday to the highest breeze Sunday, although with flatter seas. "It was typical Lake Pontchartrain," summarized Benvenutti. "It was really tricky, and we were struggling at the beginning. Our heads were spinning sometimes." Van Waay added, "In the lighter air, we had some tough times. We also had a rough start in the last race, and ducked a few boats. Even at the top, we could never relax."

Overall Results: (top five)

1. 1076, Baby Doll, Glenn Darden, Fort Worth Boat Club, 5-[15]-1-1-5-9-5-1-1, 28pts
2. 1586, Jeff Hayden, Sail Newport, 4-1-2-2-3-5-[14]-6-5, 28pts
3. 1318, Turn Down 4 What, Kurt Taken-Holtze, Wayzata Yacht Club, 1-[7]-6-5-7-4-4-4-3, 34pts
4. 1649, The Jug 4 1, Christopher Doyle, Youngstown YC, 10-5-4-[12]-4-6-1-2-6, 38pts
5. 1464, Hot Toddy, Jeffrey Todd, Annapolis YC, [9]-6-7-8-1-7-3-7-4, 43pts

Twenty-eight teams competed from March 22-24.

Complete results may be found at www.j22mw.com.

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