Might as well keep the last regatta of the year as the best one. The Worlds start tomorrow on the waters of the “Rio de la Plata” river, in front of the Port of Buenos Aires. I wasn’t sure at the start of the year how the turnout would be. Well, it’s great. 60 boats have registered. Check it out here. The J/24 is definitely not losing ground to the new sport boats. In fact, I would say that we are pulling away! Be on the lookout for a great fight on the water between Healy, Welles, Santa Cruz, Pereira, Joaquin and Ingham.
JBoats had a great preview. Here it is:
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- Considering the J/24 is approaching its 35th birthday, it’s still pretty astounding to see both the level of activity and the depth of the competition in the world’s largest one-design keelboat class. Back in the day in 1977 the J/24 really was a “revolution”, the “Laser with a lid”, the first “sportboat” anyone had ever seen in its size range- a 24 footer that could actually plane! Remember, back then the “hot” IOR Quarter-tonners all had masthead rigs, three foot booms, monster genoas and 10 foot spinnaker poles! Rod rigging was considered “hi-tech”. Say what? Yes, such IOR beasts were a wonder to behold, downwind with “bloopers” up (anyone know what that is?) they could “swap ends” faster than any other sailboat designs in history, and you didn’t even have to steer when that happened– just hold on for dear life!
Thank goodness, sailboat design has evolved, as have strong one-design classes. The J/24 led the charge back then and with 5,000+ boats sailing around the world, the J/24 class continues to field very strong events– a fleet of sixty-one boats from nine countries are sailing the 2011 J/24 Worlds in Buenos Aires, Argentina this coming week. Contenders include some well-known faces in the class. Starting with the hosts, Argentina has a strong contingent of 26 boats, including their top sailors like Roberto Authier and the top two from the Pre-Worlds- Francisco Campero and Matias Pereira. From Australia is one of their top teams, Sean Kirkjian and Simon Cunningham. Brazil is perhaps leading with its favorite, former J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz sailing BRUSCHETTA. From across the Rio de la Plata (River Plate), third place at the Pre-Worlds was Uruguay’s Pedro Garra. The USA always has a strong team fielded at the J/24 Worlds. They’re led by a very strong team of past World, North American and Midwinters Champions, including current World Champ Tim Healy on 11TH HOUR RACING from Newport, RI; Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY; Scott Milne on TREMENDOUS SLOUCH from New Orleans, LA; Will Welles on PUMA from Newport, RI; and Keith Whittemore on CINQUECENTO from Seattle, WA. The other countries represented, Chile, Italy, Peru and England all have teams capable of challenging the leaders for the top ten.
Expect the YCA (YC Argentino) to put on a world-class event where the sailors will be treated to excellent race management as well as the famous Argentinean hospitality- what’s not to like about Argentina’s delicious Malbec red wine varietals and mouth-watering grass-fed beef from the pampas?! Keep up with your favorite teams by following them on the link below. For more J/24 Worlds sailing information