All eight scheduled races were completed in gorgeous Miami, FL conditions at the J/24 Midwinter Championship, but Will Welles’ Bogus only needed seven of them to tie up the victory. Rhode Island-based helmsman Welles led his team of Rich Bowen, Jock Hayes, PJ Schaffer and Nick Turney to a scoreline of 2,1,1,5,1,2,3 for 15 points, allowing them to forego the eighth and final race. Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet secured second place with 33 points, six ahead of both Aidan Glackin’s Mental Floss and Ron Medlin’s Bash. Thirty-five teams competed from March 2-4. The Bogus team is a blended group of all J/24 World Champions—Welles, Bowen and Turney from Cougar in 2014 and Hayes and Schaffer from Salsa in 2004. This Championship was the first time they had all sailed together, and it was on a chartered boat. Welles names Miami as one of his favorite places to sail but said this year was, "Super shifty and hard to see the puffs and lulls. There was a lot of gear shifting and trying to get on the lifted tack." The J/24 Midwinter Championship debuted 40 years ago in 1978 in Key West, Florida. "There are a lot of famous names today who cut their teeth in this Class," said Welles. "The difference today is that people know all the tricks when it comes to sail trim and rigging. It usually comes down to good starts and teamwork."
The top five:
- Bogus, Will Welles , USA - 2 -1 -1 -5 -1 -2 -3 - ; 15
- Bangor Packet, Tony Parker , USA - 6 -2 - -1 -2 -11 -9 -2 ; 33
- Mental Floss, Aidan Glackin , USA - 7 -10 -9 -3 -6 -1 - -3 ; 39
- BASH, Ron Medlin , USA -  -6 -8 -2 -6 -4 -4 -9 ; 39
- Long Shot, John Poulson , USA - 8 -5 -2 -4 - -9 -13 -10 ; 51
Mark Laura’s Baba Louie won both of Sunday’s contests in about 10 knots of breeze. Photos are posted on the J/24 Class Facebook page, and complete results are available at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4527.