Saturday, February 10, 2018

Quantum J/70 Winter Series Preview

J/70s staring off Davis Island YC, Tampa, FL (Tampa, FL)- For the third and final event of the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series, the weather Godz are promising a “tour’de’force” for weather.  Apparently, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce ordered (or bribed) the local weather prognosticators to let everyone know that Florida will deliver on it’s “postcard perfect” reputation as a winter haven for all those frozen “snowbirds” from up North.  Mostly sunny skies, 60s F at night, 80s F in the day- what could possibly go wrong with that forecast?  Perhaps, not bringing enough sunscreen and avoiding looking like a burnt rock lobster?  With massive cold fronts whistling across the American Midwest, it appears all they are doing is sucking the warm Gulf of Mexico air to the north/northeast; the winds are predicted to be in the southerly quadrant all weekend, starting on Friday, and flowing warm & gently at 8-12 kts.

Considering that a record fleet of sixty-plus boats is registered, such a forecast must be a good thing.  Many of the top boats in the USA J/70 class are participating.  The question on everyone’s mind will be- can Joel Ronning’s formidable crew on CATAPULT pull it off this year and actually win the series?? Time will tell.

J/70 Catapult leading Quantum J/70 Winter seriesMaking sure that Ronning will have to fight for every inch around the race track will be teams like Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Boston, MA (winner of the first event in December); Darby & Jud Smith’s (daughter/father) AFRICA team from Marblehead, MA: Jack Franco’s FLOJITO 3 JT from Houston, TX; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from Greenwich, CT; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from the Cayman Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Forth Worth, TX.

The Corinthians Division has ten boats with strong contenders within the group, including past Winter Series winner Rob Britts on HOT MESS from the host club- Davis Island YC.  Other contenders in the division could be two teams from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA (hosts of this year’s J/70 Worlds)- Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK and Nancy Glover’s WINTERWIND.  For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.