American Yacht Club held its annual spring regatta again this year on both April 23-24 and April 30 – May 1st. The regatta attracted J/70 talent from Western Long Island Sound Fleet 15 and Cedar Point Fleet 22. 17 boats were registered with 12 racing the first weekend and 15 on the second.
During the second weekend, the J/70s flew Ebisu spinnakers donated by North Sails to commemorate the life of Reggie Imamura and his passion for sailing and family. A new trophy was dedicated for the J/70 with 2 or more family members with the best performance on April 30th. Donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/SailorsWageHope/SailorsWageHope
Team Victura won the regatta with 27 points overall. Fleet 9’s Team Locomotion (Daan and Eloise Goedkoop, Dave Tabors, Chris Remeika, Paula Grasberger and Will Felder) finished 2nd in the overall standing, up from 7th place after series 1, by winning series 2 with just 11 points (1-1-4-5). Trevor Roach with Team Semi Charmed finished third overall.
Series 1 weather conditions were difficult with oscillating variable strength out of the North and some rain resulting in multiple fleet inversions throughout the day. On day 2 of series 1, the sun came out but temperatures were cooler with drier air and the wind fought between north and west directions. Wind strength average 8-12 knots with puffs up to 18knots, and local knowledge and experience seemed to pay big dividends for getting around the course quickly.
Series 2 conditions were generally lighter. On day 1, it blew only 5-7 knots out of the North but shifted toward the South East later in the day. On day 2, clouds and rain with temperatures below 50 kept competitors cold. The wind was East with 8 -10 knots strength in still relatively flat water but clocked to the South East as the day progressed with more lumpy seas. Boat speed and finding the best overall pressure seemed to matter the most. Wind and current never seemed to be the same on different parts of the race track on either weekend.
On October 8 – 9, 2016, American Yacht Club will host the J/70 East Coast Championship as part of its Heineken High Performance Dinghy Open (HPDO). Western Long Island Sound will likely become a more active place for J/70 competition as sailors prepare for the 2017 North American Championship also hosted by American Yacht Club.