Consistent breeze that ranged from light to medium to heavy? Check. Close competition and exciting racing across the broad spectrum of classes? Check. High-quality race committee work? Check. Factor in three days of beautiful, warm, sunny weather and the 2022 Charleston Race Week demonstrated why sailors come back year after year. Texas skipper Bruno Pasquinelli repeated as champion of the J/70 fleet despite racing with a completely different crew than last year. Morgan Reeser served as tactician aboard Stampede, which won two races and finished fifth or better in five others, totaling 42 points – 14 better than runner-up Yonder (Doug Newhouse). Matt Woodworth (trimmer) and Max Skelley (bow) also crewed for Pasquinelli, who won the J/70 fleet a year ago with brothers Charlie and Jonathan McKee. “I’m very proud to be able to defend the title,” said Pasquinelli, who competed at Charleston Race Week 10 times before capturing his first regatta win. “It was super-difficult out there.” Pasquinelli had high praise for Reeser, a veteran pro who was able to sort out the shifty wind patterns and strong current. “Morgan was on fire this week, which was critical because this was a highly tactical regatta. He consistently put the boat in a good position.” Winning here is special to Pasquinelli, who has relatives in Charleston and has been visiting the southern port city since he was a young boy. He got off to a tough start, absorbing a 29th in Race 1 that he could not wait to throw out. Yonder, which had Australian professional Jeremy Wilmot as tactician, trailed by 10 points entering the final day and could not close the gap thanks to results of 11th and seventh. Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year nominee Laura Grondin posted a first and third on Sunday to move into third place in the 49-boat fleet – largest of the regatta. “You’ve really accomplished something when you win a major regatta in this Class because there are so many talented boats,” Pasquinelli said.