Light Conditions Continue at J/70 Worlds

It wasn’t a gale; it wasn’t even Force 3 … but it was just enough breeze to pull off one race on Day Three of the 2021 J/70 World Championship Regatta at California Yacht Club. Brian Keane and the crew of Savasana clung to the top of the leaderboard, in the series which runs through Sunday Aug. 15. The long-awaited championship event started out with promise Wednesday, with two windward/leeward courses raced in 6 to 8 knots of breeze. But on Thursday the wind failed to materialize. Much like the pandemic, which forced competitors to wait out the year 2020, fickle conditions again tested the patience of the international field of sailors, forcing them to endure postponement in the California sun. It was, as Huckleberry’s Jim Murrell said, “Hurry up and bake.” Principal Race Officer Mark Foster revealed yesterday’s wind was “a bit below 5 knots and Class minimum; going from 230 degrees to 260 degrees, but never really filling in. The J/70s don’t sail that well under 5 knots, which is why the Class have a rule. So when we recognized things weren’t going to develop, we sent the fleet in.” But eager to resume racing today he prompted the fleet to dock out on time. After an hour postponement on the course, as the breeze wafted between 5 and 6 knots, the Race Committee tightened the legs to 1.1nm and commenced Race Three. Conditions remained light and challenging: sailors struggled to patchwork together the puffs. Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity took an early lead: boosted in clean air they began extending, and never let up. Duncan has just come off a win in the 2021 J/70 North Americans in Annapolis, followed by a third-place finish in the Pre-Worlds. The 2017 World Champion took first in Race Three, catapulting Relative Obscurity to second place overall. Brian Keane and Savasana’s sixth place finish in today’s race left him atop the leaderboard by four points; while Laura Grondin’s Dark Energy climbed to third place. Despite high hopes, further racing was abandoned at 3:25PM as wind conditions continued to diminish. Organizers hope to complete 10 races before wrapping up Sunday Aug. 15, however the SIs stipulate just five races must be completed to constitute a series. And if five races are completed, each boat will get a throw-out score. Racing is scheduled to commence each day at 12:30PM, with a prize-giving at Cal Yacht Club Sunday. Virtual spectators can enjoy daily updates and play-by-play online on the Cal Yacht Club Facebook Page as well as the J/70 Class page. For complete information and daily results, please visit www.
Preliminary Results (Top 10 of 61: 3 races)

  1. Brian Keane / Ron Weed / Bill Hardesty / Alec Anderson, USA – 6 – 1 – 6; 13
  2. Peter Duncan / Willem van Waay / Morgan Trubovich / Victor Diaz de Leon, USA – 5 – 11 – 1; 17
  3. Laura Grondin / Taylor Canfield / Michael Buckley / Scott Ewing, USA – 2 – 15 – 7; 24
  4. Mallory & Andrew Loe / Giancarlo Nucci / Cardwell Potts, USA – 16 – 7 – 3; 26
  5. Bruce Golison / Steve Hunt / Erik Shampain / Jeff Reynolds, USA – 3 – 4 – 22; 29
  6. Travis Odenbach / Ian Coleman / Marty Kullman / Geoff Becker, USA – 13 – 5 -14; 32.0
  7. Andres Ducasse Soruco / Ignacio Ducasse Soruco / Francisco Ducasse Soruco / Rodrigo Ducasse Soruco / Andres Ducasse, CHI – 4 -9 – 21; 34
  8. James Prendergast / Christian Prendergast / Hector Gusman / Mac Agnese, USA – 8 – 13 – 17; 38
  9. John Heaton / Zeke Horowitz / Will Felder / Zachary Mason, USA – 12 – 20 – 9; 41
  10. Paul Ward / Charlie Cumbley / Ruairidh Scott / Mario Trindade, GBR – 11 17 13 41.0
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