Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity only needed eight of the nine races at the J/70 Midwinter Champion to collect the 2019 title. Fifty J/70s enjoyed postcard Biscayne Bay conditions for three days, but none more than the Relative Obscurity team of Will Felder, Willem Van Waay and Bill Hardesty, who counted scores of 1-1-4-1-1-1-2-7 for 18 net points. Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis crushed the final day with three bullets, hurdling him into second place overall with 34 points. Brian Keane’s Savasana placed third with 46 points. The Juicy team of Francisco Van Avermaete, Carlos Lacchini, Galvan Geronimo and Rafael De Martis from Argentina earned victory in the 11-boat Corinthian division. Rounding out the top three amateur teams were Scott Sellers’ Donkey McFly and Bob Willis’ Rip Rullah. “It’s really all the practice and all the little things that make the big difference,” Duncan summarized. “You have to do those very repetitively, and it becomes second nature. So when you have to make big decisions, it’s easy.” Duncan explained the team’s conservative approach, saying, “We came off the middle of the line, went straight as far as we could go. If we could hold our lane, it was very positive.” While 2017 J/70 World Champion Duncan excels in a variety of conditions, they do like more breeze. “These boats are great to sail, and when there’s 50 boats or more, it’s very exciting!” This event, hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL, is a US qualifier for the 2020 World Championship to be hosted by California Yacht Club. The two Open berths are awarded to Bruce Golison and John Heaton, and the one Corinthian berth goes to Scott Sellers.
Top Five Overall:
- Relative Obscurity, Peter Duncan / Will Felder / Willem Van Waay / Bill Hardesty 1 -1 -4 -1 -1 -1 -2 -7 - ; 18
- Midlife Crisis, Bruce Golison / Steve Hunt / Erik Shampain / Jeff Reynolds 3 - -1 -10 -6 -11 -1 -1 -1 ; 34
- Savasana, Brian Keane / Thomas Barrows / Charles Swanson / Mack Bryant 2 -7 -6 -8 -2 -2 -8 - -11 ; 46
- Catapult, Joel Ronning / Victor Diaz-de Leon / Patrick Wilson / Chris Stocke 9 -6 - -3 -11 -7 -5 -5 -6 ; 52
- Empeiria, John Heaton / Zach Mason / Joe Morris / Ian Barrows 21 -3 -2 -7.2 -7 -3 -9 -11 - ; 63.2
Photos are available on the USA J/70 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=6070.