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Thread: J-Fest Receives Infusion

  1. #1
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    J-Fest Receives Infusion

    2 new classes provide much needed charge to J-fest

    The annual salute to all things J-Boat , the StFYC's J-Fest got a well needed shot in the arm this year with the addition of the J-111's and J-70's. A staple of the StFYC spring series for decades, the J-Fest originally featured dozens of J-24's, J-30's and the then, elite J-35's. The fleet of these boats have lessened in years gone by and the introduction of the J-105's in 1991 J-120 in 2000 and the J-Fest enjoyed a bit of a resurgence.


    Mr Magoo was top dog in the J-20 class


    With some ongoing compression in the J-120 fleet underway, Desdemona's former owner, John Wimer, joined forces with Timo Bruck and provided some insight and guidance, propelling Twists Stock to new highs in the J-120 division

    The last race was a bit stressful for us after we fouled Peregrine the wind died just as we were about to cross them, so we didn't make the cross), but were able to recover after we took our penalty. John did a great job of keeping us calm, focused, and fast. It was fantastic having him on board with us.
    Timo Bruck
    With the introduction of sportboats, many of the J-24, 30' and 35' owners moved on, and while a handful of J-24's would show, the feature was the 20 plus 105's and the 120's which grew to a dozen at its height of popularity in the past 10-15 years. Utilizing a handicap to attract a variety of newer modern J's, The J-Fest was becoming lesser of a class event than more of a PHRF meet.


    The Blackhawk success continues in the 105 class, Ryan Simmons and company holding off Jeff Littfin's Mojo by 3 points after 5 races


    But in the past few years, J-Boats have hit the nerve of the performance sailor exceptionally well with the 36.5 foot J-111 in 2010 and the 22..75' trailer sailor the J-70.


    Dorian McKelvy's Mad Men sailed a tight battle with Big Blast and Aeolus, in the end, consistency paid off with 1 point victory!


    This was really a great win For Dorian in the first J/111 event of the season as we have been sailing together as a team for the GGYC midwinter's this year and a few events last year so we have spent a fair amount of time developing our rig settings for light air so to be able to check in with our settings in the higher wind speeds were great this weekend against other j/111's, As my starts were sub-par this weekend and we had the speed to recover and come out with a narrow victory! The Mad Men Team is very excited to be sailing in a one design fleet now. With the talent being assembled with the other boats within this fleet it was very competitive as can be seen with the results!

    Jeff Thorpe

    10 J-70's were on the line for the 2014 edition of J-Fest and 6 J-111's, and those numbers will continue to grow "We are expecting 8 J-111's for the Vallejo race", said Drew Harper who was tugging on lines aboard Roland Vandermeer's newest to the fleet J-111 Big Blast, which had consistently superb results over the weekend especially considering it was their 1st regatta. " We were very pleased with the results of not only our boat but also the turnout of the regatta. Additionally the Bay Area fleet is expected to grow to 10 boats by April 29 as Bad Dog joins the fleet, going to former J-120 owner Dick Swanson, and another J-111 named Blast is en route from Nova Scotia"


    J-111 Big Blast came to the Bay just weeks prior to J-Fest and did a remarkable job,
    despite lack of team workouts


    "Roland is no slouch at the helm" Says Bill Colombo, who was calling tactics on board Big Blast. "Roland has done well on his Melges 20, Blast, and the boat, just arrived from the Great Lakes where it achieved 3rd in last year's J-111 North Americans. Andy McCormack is running the program and is doing a very good job " Bill is no newby to the J-111 having sailed on Frank Slootman's original Invisible Hand, J-111 hull # 4, and sailing in the aforementioned NA's last year and the Verve Cup.


    We got the J111 because it is the perfect combination of fun to sail with family and friends and it is a blast to race. It is very agile and quick to respond. It is very easy to sail and still requires a good team to drive fast and hard. The first regatta proved this all and the fleet dynamics and people look great! Andy has sailed with me in the Melges 20 and we just threw some friends together to race and it worked well. We still have so much to learn about all the modes of the boat, but not a bad set up for first time out.

    Roland Van Der Mer




    Jennifer, with Ben Mercer assisting Chris Kostanecki take flight

    "Friday was a great opportunity to learn more about the boat from Stu Johnstone during Fridays J70 Clinic. Rig Tune, sail trim, and using the winch to keep the boat at a constant level of heel, were all highlighted points as we went through the weekend. Saturday brought on solid "Chamber of Commerce" sailing conditions on the city front in a burgeoning flood. As we learned in the clinic, aggressive mainsail trim and driving is needed to keep the J70 tracking without making too much leeway so mainsheet trimmers got a workout but the drivers who trimmed their own mains were looking especially tired at the Rum Party. Sunday brought us a chance to relax and mingle on the dock in a postponement till the breeze filled in. It was all about rig tune and using the shifts to get to the current relief on the beach. The biggest takeaway was having a solid team that could all work together because every position has a crucial role on the boat. It was great to see all the J Boat classes have such a strong showing, new and old designs alike! "

    Ben Mercer

    Sugoi drops in on the photo boat

    Josh Butler, was working the strings and calling shots for Mark Nelson's J-70' Sugoi, which literally translates to : terrible, dreadful, terrific, amazing, great, or wonderful , depending on its context. " I think conditions were great for the J-70's and overall the Bay is a great place to sail them. The competition level is already high and there is plenty of room for growth in the fleet. The nice thing about the J-70 is a family can race them, the boat handles very well upwind and pops up onto a plane offwind quite nicely. Josh says "And at this point, there isn't an arms race of boats stacking up on pro talent"


    "The J-70s will add 6 boats to the 15 boat fleet very soon," says Drew Harper , who is working with Sail California. "Those 6 boats should sell at the Strictly Sail Show" Drew adds "The next available boat in the delivery queue is due in August, but we are negotiating with J-Boats to get some earlier slots, and J-boats has been VERY receptive and supportive"


    1FA with Scott Sellers and Geoff McDonald in familiar territory in the J-70 fleet, took delivery the day before the regatta


    "Norman Davant from Sail California helped us tune the boat on Friday when we took delivery, and we were ready to sail on Saturday. It is a pretty easy boat to sail so there weren't a lot of tricks. Our crew has a lot of miles sailing together in small keelboats on the City Front so despite being a new boat for us, we felt we were playing a game that we have played before. Just like with any boat on the City Front in 15 to 20 knots of breeze, keeping the boat flat and tracking consistently through the puffs is the key to speed. Everyone in the fleet is fairly new to the boat so I am sure techniques will be refined and the class will get more competitive as more people enter the class and spend more time in the boats. The momentum in the class nationally and locally is undeniable. I expect 30+ boats on the Bay in the next 2 years."

    Scott Sellers
    On the J-24 front Michael Whitfield's TMC Racing sailed a near perfect regatta, with 4 aces and a duece, to claim victory in the 6 boat fleet. The J-24 World Championships will be held in Newport this September. Used J-24's can he had for a song, so if you want to mix it up in Newport, start shopping!

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    Last edited by Photoboy; 04-10-2014 at 07:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    The new J's certainly seem to offer a lot of bang for the buck. The question is whether the event support can match or surpass the Melges programs.
    If so, they have a winner!

  3. #3
    there's something about seeing a big assym trimmed like a symmetric and going dead downwind that just, well, doesn't look good.

  4. #4
    There are a few pictures of boats online racing Saturday April 5th off the City Front near the St.FYC in J Fest: Gallery.LINK

    The wind built a bit as the day went on. The tide shifted pushing some boats towards the beach going upwind.


    J-120 Mr. Magoo



    J-120 Twist





    J-105 Blackhawk




    J-105 Mojo




    J-105 Akula


  5. #5
    J-24 TMC Racing blowing upwind,



    J-24 Downtown Uproar, leading a pack toward tide relief




    J-111 Mad Men




    J-111 Symmetry




    J-70 IFA





    J-70 Prime Number


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