Dragon Point J/24 Fall Championship Regatta

Thanks to Rick Jarchow for this report: Great weekend of sailing in Melbourne, FL on September 30-October 1. Friday, the drive from south Florida was inundated with rain as four boats slowly crawled out of the Hurricane Irma zone to get back on the water in the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. With all four boats arriving in the rain much later than they expected, rigging would have to take place on Saturday morning as the travel-wary crews dropped their boats at the very accommodating Anchorage Yacht Basin. A huge shout-out to these guys for launching and retrieving all four travel boats even in the rain on Sunday. Saturday turned out to be a Chamber of Commerce day with a light SW breeze coming in over the Eau Gallie Causeway. Pat Lambert and his Team from the Eau Gallie and Melbourne Yacht Clubs kicked off the event with a competitors’ meeting right on time at 11:30 am with a warning signal as planned for 1300 on Saturday, September 30. This group did a fantastic job in an oscillating breeze to place the weather mark and get things going right on time. The first race had newcomer to the fleet Eammon DeLisser lead all the way around the course with his Team on Main Squeeze. Eammon picked right up where he left off from his debut regatta in Miami three months earlier. Hot on his trail were David Silverman sailing Linda and Patricio Sly aboard Muy Muy (the reigning Florida State Series champion to round out the top three). Battles were being fought by tough crews on every corner of the race course looking for breeze and puffs. The day was very challenging to all Teams as consistency seemed to be an issue for all but Sly who went on to bullet in the next three races. DeLisser on Main Squeeze had 10 points and was not far behind Sly on Muy Muy with 6 points after four races to close out Saturday’s racing. Rounding out the top three was Team Exit Strategy 18 points. It was quite the talk of the yacht club when the boats arrived from sailing that the top three boats where all from Miami. Eau Gallie Yacht Club continues to be super hospitable and welcoming to the J/24 fleet, and the pool was extremely inviting after a very hot day of sailing on the Indian River. The whole fleet from Melbourne Fleet 87 made everyone from Fleet 10 feel extremely welcome, especially after Hurricane Irma damaged our home clubs. With Saturday in the books, the fleet had a social at Intracoastal Brewery which was also site to the welcome party on Friday night in the pouring rain. Great venue, great people and great beer. Sunday started out with the race committee trying to decide if they were going to run any races with thunderstorms all around. Pat Lambert and his crew, after a brief postponement, ran two excellent races in 12-16 knots of wind out of the NE in overcast conditions. With first and second looking far out in front, the battle became for the final podium position. With Team Exit Strategy two points ahead of Linda, the two commenced to battle on the line for the start of the first race on Sunday. With the gun going off, the race was underway and Linda pulled out this race with a second and Team Exit Strategy limping home with a ninth did not look good for a clean Miami sweep of the regatta. But as Team Exit Strategy crossed the line, they informed the race committee of their intention to protest Linda. Race 2 went through the cycle to have Pat Lambert scold the fleet with a General Recall and announce that this last race was going to get off before the bad weather moved in. With the Black Flag in effect, Team Exit Strategy chose to stay away from the fray and get a clean clear start. Now that Muy Muy had effectively wrapped up the regatta, they stayed out when they could have used their throw-out to get to the lift first and derig. Instead, they continued their dominance of the Florida boats with another win. Team Exit Strategy was hot on their tail in second, with Fine Finish owned by John Tworkowski right behind Team Exit Strategy. With the last race in the books, the regatta came down to the protest room with Linda one point ahead of Team Exit Strategy after six races with the throw-out. Linda and Team Exit Strategy both filed protests. In the end, Team Exit Strategy won the protest on the testimony of the skipper of Linda David Silverman. Rule 16.1 had been broken by Linda. With the protest committee announcing their decision, the whole group hustled over to The Anchorage Yacht Basin for the awards. With Pat Lambert reading out the results and Peter Fischel handing out the awards, the results where announce a little after 2p.m. With the gorgeous awards created by Dave Noble of Noble Awards, the regatta came to an end (the awards were fabulous flasks for all team members). A big thanks to Pat Lambert, David Noble, John Fox, Peter Fischel (organizer) and John Tworkowski (Fleet 87 Captain) and to all the Race Committee and volunteers who made this regatta. Finally, a big thank you to all the Miami boats that made the haul both ways in the rain to make the first of the 2017-2018 Florida State Series a success. For complete results, visit http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/15384#_home.

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