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Post Cards From Paradise – J/24 National Championship

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Being a tactician requires intense focus and concentration. Hey! Is that a cumulus cloud?

Editor’s Note:  This is the second dispatch from our man in Amsterdam Kent Bartlett who reported on his experience a the J/24 National Championship.

Day 2 of the J/24 US National Championships was nothing short of spectacular.  The breeze was stronger topping out at about 16 knots with the puffs going to 18 knots but still from about 65 degrees off magnetic north.  The fleet split in their decision to use either the genoa or the jib with the top competitors opting for the increase in sail area to cut through the chop and the majority of the rest of us opting for more pointing ability in the flat sections of water.  Our first race we decided to use the genoa and quickly abandoned that idea after we saw 90% of the fleet ahead of us at the windward mark with 60% of the boats in front of us using the jib.  We noted that if the driver wasn’t changing their main trim every 3-5 seconds the boat would heal excessively sliding the boat to leeward and adding to the windward helm causing the boat to slow down while it rounded up to slightly above the groove everyone was aiming for.  It also didn’t hurt the jib trimmer to only have to move the clew of the jib 3 feet across the boat instead of the 15 feet that the genoa required for a proper close-hauled to close-hauled course.  Being the jib trimmer I thanked (insert preferred savior here) for that last benefit.  Race 1 with the genoa left us 35th across the finish line in a 45 boat fleet while Race 2 with the jib put us at 21st across the finish line.  Suffice it to say we decided the jib worked just fine for us and gave us more room for error with the repercussions of being caught off guard in the chop or puffs being less than if we flew the genoa.    Read more

Postcards from Paradise – J/24 National Championship

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Coach Kent Bartlett contemplates whether to go left or right? You can almost see the though bubble above his head.

Editors note:  The following is a a report filed by Kent Bartlett – J World Annapolis Coach – who is in Newport this week racing in the J/24 National Championships.

For Shifty, the first race of the J/24 US National Championships was a back to basics boot camp with mental highs and lows, itchy heads as to what the future would hold, and short periods of insanity. Here’s a leg by leg break down of Race 1 on the twice around windward-leeward courses with gates and an offset.

At 1100 with the fully overcast sky the breeze was at 11 knots with puffs in the 13-14 range from about 65-75 degrees magnetic north. The first leg of the first race proved to us (yet again) that being the pinball in the middle of the course doesn’t do squat. We stayed in phase when we weren’t trying to clear our breeze but too many tacks and trying to lead boats back without a clear strategy just does not work. End of leg 1, 35th. Read more