By Tonja (Sanchez) Holmes-Moon
I was recently reading the original archived newsletters to get some history on the J/24s in Texas. As I was reading from the 1978 and 1979 issues, I found that the Texas Championship, held in Corpus Christi in September 1978, was the first District Championship event in Texas. From this event, the Fleet Captains from Fleet 3 (Corpus Christi), Fleet 5 (Galveston Bay), Fleet 9 (Canyon Lake) and Fleet 21 (Austin) formed what is now known as the Texas Circuit. By 1981, the Texas Circuit had four circuit stops and between 26 and 40 boats participating in the various regattas hosted by Texas yacht clubs.
In June 1979, the first Southwest Championship was hosted by Chandlers Landing Marina on Lake Ray Hubbard east of Dallas, and in 1980, the Houston Yacht Club hosted the first Beasley Cup, which was donated by Rauol Beasley, and originally known as the J/24 Midwinter Regatta. The Beasley Cup is the oldest perpetual trophy in the J/24 Class.
The reason I was researching this information is because recently two long-time host clubs and supporters of the J/24 Texas Circuit were awarded big events. Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club was awarded the 2021 J/24 Nationals, an event hosted by them back in 2011, and the club that Kelly Holmes-Moon (in which the Boat Grant Program is named) was a member. Corpus Christi Yacht Club was awarded the 2022 Worlds. Both clubs are excellent regatta hosts, so expect to get your bang for your buck at both locations. But, for now, let’s talk about 2018 and J/24s in Texas!
The 2018 Texas Circuit consisted of seven circuit stops hosted by Austin Yacht Club (Fleet 21), Fort Worth Boat Club (Fleet 54), Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club (Fleet 163), Corpus Christi Yacht Club (Fleet 3), Houston Yacht Club (Fleet 5), Lakewood Yacht Club (Fleet 5) and Canyon Lake Yacht Club (Fleet 21). There were between 9 and 18 boats competing at the various events, with 13 competing at 5 out of 7 circuit stops. J/Fest Southwest had the most participation due to an influx of new Fleet 5 boats joining the Circuit.
The top two boats, helmed by James Freedman (Miss Conduct) and Natalie Harden (GIGGLES), occupied the regatta podiums by routinely swapping out first and second places throughout the year. Not far behind was up-and-coming skipper Christopher Holmes (BadMoon) in third, as well as a nice showing from Mark Smith (After Midnight) in fourth and Stuart Juengst (Vang Go) in fifth. After taking a couple of years off from the Circuit, Kevin Mott (Boo-Yah) showed us that he still has what is needed to give the top folks a run for their money as he took the sixth spot in the Texas Circuit. Rounding out the remaining top ten were David Broadway (Superman) in seventh, Graham Marshall (ClaireBouyant) in eighth, Barry Bailey (Tropical Aggression) in ninth, and newcomer Darrin Hill (The Goat aka Frat House) in tenth.
This year, James Freedman (Miss Conduct) and his team consisting of Theo Hasse, Chris Corley, Angel Shellenberger and Tyler Bullard not only won the District 14 Championship (Texas Circuit), but they clenched the perpetual trophies, Southwest Championship and Beasley Cup, securing them a berth in the 2019 Worlds in Miami from the Southwest Championship win.
Natalie Harden (GIGGLES) and her team consisting of Bob Harden, Mike Lefebvre, Rachel Lozniak and David Fowler also secured a berth to the Worlds, but this team got their spot by placing at the J/24 Nationals.
Christopher Holmes (BadMoon) and his core team consisting of Johanna (Joey) Holmes, David Haslip, Victor Alcaraz and Victoria Hielscher, with Jeff Jones and Peter Brigaitis filling in, also secured a berth at the Worlds as pass-down winner of the District 14 Championship (Texas Circuit).
In 2018, Tonja (Sanchez) Holmes-Moon stepped down as the District 14 Governor. The Fleet Captains have voted in John Parker (Fleet 21) as the new District 14 Governor. Tonja will continue to coordinate the Texas Circuit. John Parker is looking forward to working toward building the Texas J/24 presence in advance of the National and Worlds events.
In 2019, the J/24s and J/22s have also banded together to hold some of their Circuit Stops together and expect to see a great turnout of both fleets at various regattas in Texas.
The J/24 Texas Circuit continues to be a strong presence of great competition in the U.S. and we look forward to the anticipated growth coming over the coming months and years.
For more information about the Texas Circuit, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/J24Texas/. Stay tuned for a new website for the Texas Circuit at www.j24texascircuit.com in the new year!
Overall Texas Circuit Scores
Place Skipper Sail No. Boat Name Yacht Club Points
1st James Freedman 3734 Miss Conduct Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 6.0
2nd Natalie Harden 126 GIGGLES Austin Yacht Club 7.0
3rd Christopher Holmes 267 BadMoon Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 19.0
4th Mark Smith 2702 After Midnight Fort Worth Boat Club 27.0
5th Stuart Juengst 2822 Vang Go Austin Yacht Club 28.0
6th Kevin Mott 592 Boo-Yah! Oklahoma City Boat Club 33.0
7th David Broadway 2380 Superman Austin Yacht Club 37.0
8th Graham Marshall 3757 ClaireBouyant 38.0
9th Barry Bailey 814 Tropical Aggression GBCA 41.0
10th Darren Hill 4306 Frat House Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 42.0
11th Timothy Johnson 1565 Gray Wolf Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 43.0
12th Andrew Theismann 229 YounG'uns Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 56.0
13th Doug Weakly 2828 2828 Corpus Christi Yacht Club 79.0
14th Frank Keesling 2185 The Dumpster Dillon Yacht Club 81.0
15th John Parker 3358 Chupacabra Austin Yacht Club 89.0
16th Charlie Daniel 1929 Whitney Lake Whitney Sailing Club 89.0
17th Ryan Miller 1155 Trick Bag 99.0
18th Amanda Casey 1444 Momentus Austin Yacht Club 101.0
19th Josh Bowens-Rubin 4200 Zero Gravity Dillon Yacht Club 104.0
20th Paul Cammarata 1954 Phantasm Houston Yacht Club 104.0
21st Alex Delgado 2618 Dirty Little Oar US Navy 107.0
22nd Richard Peters 786 YODA Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club 113.0
23rd Lyndon Looger 4411 One in a Mellen Austin Yacht Club 115.0
23rd Gary Roesler 1903 El Rayo-X 115.0