U.S J/24 Grant Boat Update By Kira Munger

After two regattas and a couple weeks of weeknight racing with Fleet 50, the 2018 Boat Grant Team has learned a few lessons on boat speed and tactics. The team started their season at the 30th anniversary of the J/Daze regatta, hosted by Canandaigua Yacht Club. This season-opening event has always been a favorite, and CYC’s Cinco De Mayo on Saturday just added to the fun. For those unfamiliar, Canandaigua Lake is one of the Fingers Lakes in NY and runs about five and a half miles long north/south and one and a half miles wide, with race courses about a mile from the northern end. Sailors were met with temperatures in the high 70s all week, but unfortunately Friday’s practice races were canceled due to thunderstorms. Saturday started off with light westerly winds that built to 14-15 gusting in the high teens. Thanks to the great work by the CYC Race Committee, six races were sailed Saturday. Tom Doran led the North Sails-sponsored clinic on Saturday evening, which was a good opportunity to ask questions and recap the day’s races. Due to lack of wind, no races were held on Sunday. Doug Kakankein won the regatta, followed by Tom Doran in second, Alfie Merchant in third, the Boat Grant Team took fourth, and Mike Stasko rounded out the top five. For full scores, visit www.j24d7.com. Two take-away points from this event were feeling the boat and staying in pressure. Team skipper Kira Munger expands on what the team reflected on afterwards
"Feel the boat. Keeping the boat balanced and flat was key. Early in the day when the breeze was inconsistent, it was essential for the crew to anticipate weight placement.With a breeze building throughout Saturday, depowering and staying flat in the puffs was essential. Between each races, I ensured that our rig was still tuned to the current lulls. Bowman Tom King and mastman Andrew Green did a great job on communicating oncoming breeze, which allowed me to stay focused on driving while playing the traveler and backstay based on their information. Downwind, trimmer Chris Wilson worked on steering the boat with his weight. When he called for ‘up’ or ‘down,’ he would step in the appropriate direction. I followed with main trim, and if needed, one of our middle crew leaned out or in; this allowed the rudder to pretty much stay centered.
Stay in pressure. Canandaigua Lake runs north/south. With westerly winds for J/Daze, we sailed across on relatively short legs. Before each race, we made a game plan of where the pressure was and how to set up on the start. Getting off the line well and punching out to be able to stay in phase was essential. Tacking to stay in pressure was definitely more important than worrying about losing speed by adding an extra tack."
For their next event of the season, the Boat Grant Team traveled to Oneida Lake for the second Pennant Series Regatta. Conditions on Saturday were 10-12 knots with gusts and surfable waves on some downwind legs. Sunday was slightly lighter breeze and flatter water. Once again, this regatta was lake sailing, except Oneida is much rounder and smaller with lower geography surrounding it than the Finger Lakes. This is a relatively new regatta and has been growing steadily every year. The Oneida Lake Sailing Club does a fantastic job hosting and makes everyone feel real special so definitely make your calendars for next year. The Boat Grant Team was sixth after the first day of racing, but unfortunately a broken outhaul and OCSs brought the team’s final score down. Travis Odenbach of Quantum Sails Rochester won the regatta on Honey Banger and was a great resource to have at the event. Skylar Munger took second on No Cry Babies and Tom Doran’s Oz was third. Full results and information on the regatta can be found atwww.oneidalakesailingclub.org/copy-of-cruising.
Since Oneida, the Boat Grant Team has been sailing in Newport, RI with Fleet 50 on Thursday evenings. Most nights, two races are held which has given the team an opportunity to practice starts and fine-tune maneuvers. For more information on Fleet 50, visit j24fleet50.org.
The J/24 Boat Grant Program was made possible by Kelly Holmes-Moon, the namesake of the program, and Dave Eggleton, who donated the first boat, USA 423. Kira Munger and team have use of USA 423 for the 2018 season with a packed regatta schedule that includes the US and Canadian National Championships. The team would like to thank all the supporters who have contributed to this program and logistical support of the team including: the Boat Grant Committee of Will Welles, Marcus Rogers, Molly White, Finn Hadlock and Chip Till, North Sails, Emco Tools/RI Water Jet, Chris Sheldan, Joy Martin and John Baker. To donate to the program and find out how your team can apply for 2019 visit http://j24usa.com/boat-grant-program.

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