Today at CYCHeadlines From the Clubhouse

Seven CYC San Juan 24s Participate in the 2017 SJ 24 North Americans

Mark Bradner’s Return, in third, is top CYC Finisher

Seven CYC San Juan 24s motored up to Oak Harbor to contest for the 2017 SJ 24 North American Championship on June 24 and 25. The CYC boats joined 5 other SJ 24s from around Puget Sound to race in shifting and variable winds – as in past years, good starts, sharp weather leg sailing, clear air downwind sailing and consistent crew work proved the difference amongst the closely-packed fleet.

Oak Harbor Yacht Club was the center of activity, and the Race Committee, headed by PRO Byron Skubi of Oak Harbor, got off 9 races  (one discard) over the two days in challenging wind conditions, with 6 races on Saturday and 3 more on Sunday.  The volunteers of the Oak Harbor Yacht Club, including OHYC Commodore Avis Berney, were assisted by Chuck Skewes and Bryan Paine of Ullman Sails, prime sponsor of the regatta.

Ekono Juan from Orcas Island, owned by Ryan Forbes, repeated as the North American Class Champion, followed by Bruce from Bellingham, skippered by Mike Kleps, Return from Seattle, skippered by Mark Bradner and Renaissance from Oak Harbor, skippered by Regatta Organizer David Steckman.  The other members of Return’s crew were David Valentine (main), Gary Reifel (foredeck) and David Fukuhara (sheets). The next top CYC finisher was Jeff Kendall’s Fancy in sixth place.

CYC’s Return leads Snappy Tom (39608) of CYC, Ehu Kai (710) of Oak Harbor and eventual winner Ekono Juan (442) of Orcas Island around a leeward gate (Photo credit: Steve Hucke)

Saturday’s racing started in Saratoga Passage just outside of Penn Cove in a northerly that started to die as the boats headed downwind against a building adverse current. Thee race was shortened to finish at the leeward gate, but even so only four boats crossed the finish line, with Grauer Geist from Seattle,  Ekono Juan and Renaissance finishing on a spinnaker, and Seattle’s Fancy and Return on a jib;  the 7 remaining boats were not able to cross the finish line within the time limit, with 5 boats frustratingly within one or two boat lengths of the finish line (Oak Harbor’s Ehu Kai was a yard away before being swept away by the adverse tide and  the time lime expired!).  After a delay, the westerly finally began to fill in Penn Cove and the action moved there for the rest of the regatta.

A long difficult second race, with many wind shifts and varying wind patterns across the Cove greeted the racers, won by Ekono Juan, followed by more consistent westerlies as the day progressed for races three through six.  Mike Klep’s Bruce handled with day best with an unprecedented four straight dominating wins in the last four races – this was a bit of a surprise as Bruce did not race in the 2016 event and finished 13th in 2015 and 7th in 2014 – but its yellow spinnaker was clear ahead in each of those races.

After Saturday’s six races, Bruce and Ekono Juan were tied for first, with Bruce ahead on a tie breaker, each with 10 points (after the discard), with Return and Renaissance 6 and 8 points, respectively further behind.

In the first Sunday race, Ekono Juan, in its typical pin-end start at the gun with speed, was able to tack to port, clear the fleet, and was not headed again for the rest of the regatta. Ekono Juan stayed ahead of Bruce in the last two races with a first and third, to claim its second straight and third overall SJ 24 North American Championship.  Sailing with Ryan Forbes on Ekono Juan were Ian Wareham (helm), Chris Kaufman and Scott Wallace.  Mike Kleps on Bruce was joined by Scott Wilson, Jeff Goodman and Tom Anderson.

The fleet was highly competitive, with close racing throughout with the bottom boats not far behind the leaders.  Eight of the 12 boats had one or more top-three finishes, and four different boats claimed at least one first place.  No one fleet dominated the results, with the top four finishers coming from four different yacht clubs.

As one first time Seattle participant summarized, “What a great place to have a regatta! I have cruised but never raced here before.  Good close racing, interesting currents and winds, snow capped mountain ranges to the west and east, a fine hosting yacht club, great regatta organization, and lots of fun people. I am so glad I made the effort to participate!”


2017 Final Results:

Place Boat Skipper Yacht Club Points
1 Ekono Juan Ryan Forbes Orcas Island 15
2 Bruce Mike Kleps Bellingham 21
3 Return Mark Bradner Corinthian Seattle 23
4 Renaissance Dave Steckman Oak Harbor 32
5 Contact Andrew Fitzgerald Bellingham 42
6 Fancy Jeff Kendall Corinthian Seattle 50
7 Ehu Kai Bill Walker Oak Harbor 55
8 Sweet Jesus Sean Busby Corinthian Seattle 56
9 Snappy Tom Gil Lund Corinthian Seattle 61
10 Grauer Geist Ken Johnson Corinthian Seattle 64
11 Miss Mayhem Melissa Davies Corinthian Seattle 66
12 Wiki Wiki Zachery Warren Corinthian Seattle 78







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