North Sails NEWS
North Sails clients take 9 of top 10 positions at 2017 J/24 US Nationals
J/24 Nationals is a wrap! Thirty two boats participated in the three-day championship, with strong participation and support from local J/24 Fleet 26. Aside from racing, the sailors enjoyed making new connections and learning what they could from each other. Lots of factors in the game for this event, with light air and strange current in Puget Sound keeping sailors on their toes. Nine races with a generous discard gave sailors a break, however the scores stayed very close in the top 10 positions.
Thursday was designated as a practice day, though without enough wind to sail, the North Sails on-site team hosted a dock talk. Lead by North Sails experts Will Welles and Brian Janney, who finished 2nd on USA 5208, the dock talk allowed for a beneficial group discussion among competitors. Many questions were asked and answered. Local sailors shared knowledge of the sailing area and sailors from around the country shared techniques.
The fleet was very competitive in light air, which was prominent throughout the event. Current and eddies along the shoreline were considerations, which made decisions tricky and the importance of making the right decision even more of a priority. Playing the current well served huge gains, as well as spending as much time as possible on the lifted tack upwind. Keeping your head out of the boat and eye on the dark water was also very important and made a big difference within the top 10.
“It was never the same way twice it seemed,” said Welles, who placed 2nd at the event. Local sailor Keith Whittemore and his crew on Tundra Rose leveraged their intel particularly well on the 2nd day, judging when the wind wouldn’t shift any farther right. They placed their bets on the left side early which proved beneficial. The current was also much stronger on the left, but that being said it was hard to decide if it was worth getting into. The wind was still so light there was concern that it could be impossible to get out of the strong current when it was time. Boat speed was important, but so was staying between your competition and the marks.
The breeze filled in much sooner in the day on Sunday, allowing the committee to get in three good races before the event came to a close. Keith and his team were able to minimize mistakes, allowing them to stay out ahead of the pack the majority of the time.
“They were unbelievably fast,” said Will.
A fun regatta with newfound friends and experiences to remember, are the things every sailor in the J/24 fleet can take away from this event. Welcoming new sailors to your home club and sharing your knowledge of the craft shows a lot for the J/24 class and its sailors as a whole. Big thanks to Seattle Fleet 26 and RC volunteers for making this event a success. Will commented,
“Sailing with friends is what it’s all about”.
Congratulations to our clients for their strong performance in the top 10, and special congrats to Keith Whittemore and his team Tundra Rose for taking the overall win.