Monday, June 11, 2012

A PEARL For J/24 Canadians

J/24 sailing Vancouver Canada (Vancouver, BC, Canada)- This year's J/24 Canadian Nationals were held in the incredibly picturesque city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Like her famous sister-city, Victoria, that hosts the annual Swiftsure Lightship Classic Offshore race every year, the Vancouver locals seem to have a habit of making sure that any sailor and their merry bandits of crew have a happy time, no matter the conditions or circumstances anyone encounters.

dolphins in CanadaFor the near dozen or so J/24 teams that participated in this year's J/24 Canadians, it would be fair to say that most every crew had a "happy face" no matter where they were in the fleet.  Beautiful sailing.  Fabulous hosts at West Vancouver Yacht Club.  Great racing with an RC determined to get in a lot of great races, nine total sailed for the series!  More often than not, tired sailors are happy sailors.  "Veni vidi vici", as they say!  We came to sail.  We came to party.  We came to have fun!  West Vancouver YC and their supporting cast delivered.

J/24s sailing upwind in CanadaIn the end, it was a "pearl" of a regatta for Mike Johnson and crew from Seattle YC sailing their great yacht PEARL to 5-4-3-1-2-2-7-3-1 to lay down the gauntlet for others to match, generating a mere 21 points in 9 races-- about a 2+ average?  Recent J/24 Seattle NOODS Regatta winner, Mark Laura on TUNDRA ROSE could not match their prodigious output, managing to amass a 2-3-2-4-1-1-3-9-8 record for 24 pts net.  Third was Bard Miller's HAIR OF THE DOG, managing to compile a 4-2-8-5-3-5-1-6-3 for 29 pts net-- an appropriately named boat, by the way!  To show you how deep the competition was, past J/24 Seattle NOOD champion Scott Milne started off incredibly strong and then faded from view, collecting a 1-1-4-10-5-7-2-8-2 for a 30 pts net to earn 4th place.  Fifth was Eric Sanderson and buddies on SUSPENCE, working hard against some formidable competitors to scratch out a 3-5-1-9-4-5-5-9 for 40 pts.

All in all, a very tight fleet that had a lot of fun amongst friends in a gorgeous setting.  The remarkably roller-coaster finish results were a testament to the competitiveness of the fleet-- only a dozen or so College All-American sailors sprinkled throughout the fleet.  Case in point?  Steve Fleckenstein on BABALOUIE, a former top Canadian Star and Laser sailor struggling against fellow bro's to grab a 7th in this crazy fleet, just 3 pts(!!!) from third place.   For more J/24 Canadian sailing photos  For more J/24 Canadian sailing information