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North Sails NEWS

June 6, 2018

J/24 DISTRICT ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

Clients Shine at Worlds Qualifier in Portsmouth, NH

© SA Follansbee 2018

For those of you who have never been to Kittery Point Yacht Club in New Hampshire, it is one-of-a-kind. On the border of Maine and New Hampshire, sitting on the edge of the Piscataqua River, this quaint club put forth some big expectations in hosting this event-which they pulled off without a hitch. KPYC volunteers and club members were on-point, on and off the water, and the fleet had a very successful weekend of racing with a fun social atmosphere ashore. Big thanks to J/24 Fleet 139, the Portsmouth Yacht Club, the Piscataqua Sailing Association, and the Kittery Point Yacht Club for your hospitality, hosting the J/24 D1 Championship.

© Boats N Stuff / Brittany Anania

On Saturday, a dry front approached the Portsmouth area, and high pressure sat over the fleet creating shifty light-air, which was challenging in many ways. Sailors and RC volunteers stuck it out to the end- giving the fleet two races to kick-off the regatta. That evening a front moved in and the high pressure lifted. The temperature dropped 10 degrees, and the breeze welcomed the fleet to the racecourse Sunday morning, providing great racing conditions that would last throughout the day. Swells and current made things interesting, mostly for the skippers, as the puffs, waves, and current created a constant battle uphill to keep the boat powered up and on track.

© SA Follansbee 2018

The breeze oscillated, favoring the left side of the course a bit more often [local knowledge paying off] giving teams leverage coming out of the bottom mark if they tacked right away and got left of the fleet when the pin was favored. Racing was tight so every point was important. Overall boat speed was key to being able to extend and solidify positioning. Downwind was exciting with surfing conditions, testing the power of teamwork and boat handling skills to stay in the most pressure, especially when it came to maneuvers, setting up for lay lines, and jibe angles with the waves. The RC ran two races on Saturday in the light air, and six races on Sunday, giving competitors some great racing- exactly what they came to NH for.

Congratulations to our clients for sailing a great regatta, finishing 1*,3,4,5. Big thanks to on the water photographers, Susan Follansbee, and Brittany Annania / Boats N Stuff for supporting the J/24 fleet at the D1 Championship.

Clients Carter and Molly White, with team YouRegatta, were unstoppable, claiming five bullets out of eight races, giving them the overall win with a total of 11 points. Congrats!
© SA Follansbee 2018
Third place was a battle, as teams that had not already qualified were fighting for the one World Championship berth available. The berth would go to the top skipper, and the Seabags Women’s Sailing Team with skipper Erica Beck Spencer won the battle, after a good fight, rounding off the podium and securing their spot for the 2019 Worlds in Miami.
Finn Hadlock’s team Boreas had a great comeback on Sunday, moving up to fourth overall, and Andrew Carey’s Mr. Hankey was right behind in fifth. © SA Follansbee 2018
“Each event is a learning experience”, commented trimmer Katie Drake. “We take notes, listen to the experts, and make adjustments. All of our hard work and fresh/new insights are starting to pay off on the water”. © SA Follansbee 2018

“This will be the second World Championship in which our team will compete, which is a big deal for us”, commented Hillary Noble. “This is something we’ve always wanted and we worked hard this weekend to achieve that goal. It’s a great feeling to be able to accomplish it on the water too, which will [hopefully] encourage more all-women’s teams to compete at the 2019 worlds.”

“The team rocked it this weekend. The driving was exceptionally tough on Sunday with bigger waves than I am used to sailing in. The waves were affected by the direction of the wind, and the groove where you had to sail was very narrow. With six races on Sunday, it became challenging to keep track of how we were doing against the other boats that also were trying to qualify. We didn’t find out until we arrived at the awards ceremony that we had done it! It was thrilling to know we had met our goal. I am exceptionally proud of my team!”

-Erica Beck Spencer

Full Results
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© Boats N Stuff / Brittany Anania
© SA Follansbee 2018
© Boats N Stuff / Brittany Anania
© Boats N Stuff / Brittany Anania
Images © Boats N Stuff / Brittany Anania , SA Follansbee 2018