First J/70 North American Champion Is Crowned!
Annapolis, MD (September 28, 2013) – Heather Gregg Earl and Joe Bardenheier won the first ever J/70 North American Championship, with racing on September 26-28. The co-owners from Boston, MA, sailing Muse with Stuart Saffer and Bill Lynn, rallied on the final day over the 89-boat field to win the seven-race series.
The North American Championship was held at the Annapolis Yacht Club by Fleet #1 and title sponsored by Hillman Focused Advantage Fund. Brian Keane’s Savasana earned second on the podium with 97 points. Tim Healy’s Helly Hansen placed third with 101 points.
“We didn’t know we won the regatta until we got to the dock!” beamed Bardenheier. “We just figured if we stayed in the top 10, we might end up pretty high in the event. We didn’t look at the scores all day.” In fact, Muse was 13th after the first day, when they tallied two fifths plus a 55 due to having the challenge of a penalty turn. “Today we sailed very consistently and just stuck with it. We had great teamwork and good communication the whole time.”
After light winds postponed racing on Friday, Saturday’s conditions cooperated to allow four races in winds that started around 15-18 knots and leveled off to 8-10. Keane crossed the line first in the day’s initial bout, with Healy and Muse rounding out the top three. Douglas Strebel’s Black River Racing won the next contest, trailed by Robert Hughes’s Heart Breaker and John Killeen. Keane returned to victory in Saturday’s third race, while Jennifer Wulff’s Joint Custody placed second and Joe Colling/Ian Moran third. The final battle saw Cole Allsopp’s Moxie take line honors, followed by Hughes and Bruno Pasquinelli.
Muse was purchased in December and sails with an entire Corinthian team, and have campaigned the boat throughout the Southern Circuit as well as events in New England. “This was a conclusion to a hard fought year,” summarized Bardenheier.”We got into the J/70 relatively early, and we’ve put together a nice team effort with my fellow Tufts University Alumni. It’s a wonderful Class, and we are so excited about the people in it. The organization is wonderful, and we look forward to being involved for years to come!”
Final results (Top 10 of 89)
1. Heather Gregg Earl/Joe Bardenheier (95 points)
2. Brian Keane (97)
3. Tim Healy (101)
4. Peter McChesney (111)
5. Robert Hughes (115)
6. Joel Ronning (144)
7. Douglas Strebel (152)
8. John Brigden (153)
9. Martin Kullman (154)
Sandy Grosvenor served as PRO for the 90 teams from Bermuda, Canada, Mexico and the USA. Event website: www.j70nac.com.