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J/70s sailing Galveston Bay(Lakewood, TX)- This year’s turnout for J/Fest Southwest was awesome and the sailing was even “awesomer”!  The fleet of several dozen J’s and 100+ J sailors were treated to yet another amazing weekend of sailing by the Lakewood YC team of volunteers both on and off the water!

Sailing on the always-challenging Galveston Bay was a treat for the one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s and the PHRF handicap classes for the J/130, J/122, J/109s, J/92s, J/29s and J/27s.

The J/22 class was won by the locals- Casey Lambert on BLACKBURN MARINE RACING in a very tight battle with Tom Meeh on MEEHEM.  After seven races, Lambert’s crew won the last race and prevailed by one point with Meeh in second.  Third was past North American and World Champion Terry Flynn on TEJAS.  The rest of the top five included Mark Foster’s PRESSURE DROP from Corpus Christi in fourth place and Vince Ruder’s USA 365 in fifth.

The large J/24 class was bedazzled by the fabulous performance by top woman skipper Natalie Harden. She and her GIGGLES team just about laughed there way to the top of the leaderboard, posting four 1sts in five races to win by a country furlong- just 6 pts total!  A distant second was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT with 18 pts.  Third was settled by a tie-breaker between Mark Smith’s AFTER MIDNIGHT and Barry Bailey’s TRICK BAG.  Winning the treat, not the trick, was Smith’s crew.  Fifth place went to John Parker’s CHUPACABRA from Austin YC.

Class domination reigned in the J/70 class as well, with Chris Lewis’ GB taking honors with all top three finishes, compiling four 1sts, two 2nds and one 3rd on their way to the win with just 11 pts in seven races!  Behind them, it was three-way battle for the balance of the podium by some of the most experienced J/70 teams in America!  In the end, Lakewood YC homeboy Forbes Durdin skippered MOJITO into second place in that dog fight over Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE and Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING- 2, 3, 4, 5 finishers, respectively.

J/Fest J/80 fleetThe leaderboard for J/105s was a three-way battle all weekend-long.  Yet another homeboy from Lakewood YC, Uzi Ozeri, took class honors skippering INFINITY to a squeaker of a one point victory over Scott Spurlin’s AFTERSHOCK.  In fact, in a fleet of ten quite well-sailed boats, Ozeri nearly threw it all away in the last race by taking 5th place, while Spurlin’s crew rose to the occasion and won the last race!  After watching all the histrionics at the front of the fleet, John Barnett’s VICI crew got it all together in the last three races to post a 3-2-2 to close within four pts on AFTERSHOCK, taking the bronze on the podium.  After traveling all over to hell and back (including the J/105 NA’s in Larchmont, NY), Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club sailed consistently to take fourth place.  Meanwhile, Brad Robbins’ RUMPUS started off well, including two 3rds, but could not hang in there towards the end, settling for fifth overall.

The large PHRF Asym class saw a near whitewash (or, maybe it really was!) of the fleet by JD Hills’ magnificent J/122 SECOND STAR; seven 1sts in eight races is not too shabby.  Finishing a comfortable second place was Tom Sutton’s J/109 LEADING EDGE with 17 pts.  Third was Albrecht Goethe’s J/109 HAMBURG.  Fourth was determined by a tie-breaker on 37 pts each between Dan Sullivan’s J/92 LITTLE JOE and Dave Christensen’s J/109 AIRBORNE, each finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.

The PHRF Spin class saw Ray Bentele’s J/29 PRESS TO MECO win with Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA taking the silver.   Congratulations to all and thanks again to the numerous sponsors and supporters of the event as well as all the volunteers at Lakewood YC!  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information
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