|Family Team Takes North Americans
|Tight fleet action at the first weather mark on the stormy last day. Below: GUT FEELING blasts downwind as the squall hits. Photos courtesy of Jeff Johnstone/JBoats.
Fifteen J/109's finished nine races over four days of varied conditions at NYYC's Race Week at Newport, presented by Rolex. With two days of light air and sunshine bracketed by two days of heavy rain and squalls, the winning team led by Ted Herlihy on GUT FEELING showed confidence in all conditions. That's easier to do when the crew has sailed together for a long time. As bowman Mike Owens explained, "I'm the new guy on the boat, and I've been with them fifteen years." Herlihy's two sons, a daughter-in-law, and her brother sail on the boat, so half the crew are related by blood or marriage.
Winning the North Americans was not, however, a walkaway for the family team. "Everyone has very similar boat speed," Herlihy explained. "So we tried hard to get good starts." Six different boats won at least one race during the series.
During four days of racing, the overall lead seesawed in a tight battle between GUT FEELING and CAMINOS. Going into the final day, CAMINOS was winning a tiebreaker, while GOSSIP lurked only three points back in third place. GUT FEELING's second place finish behind GOSSIP in what turned out to be the only race of the day was enough to cement the overall victory. It was GUT FEELING's first major regatta win in the class.
The race committee started a second race Sunday afternoon, in spite of a looming thunderstorm. Halfway through the six leg course, the breeze built suddenly and veered right. With the last beat turned into a reach and wind gusts pushing toward 50 knots, the race committee pulled the plug. Rick Lyall (STORM) said "we saw 46kts when they abandoned and were taking our sails down. I was kind of disappointed because we were winning the race!"
The Herlihys have earned the respect of their competitors as well. "They are really sweet people, and we love racing against them," Steve Kenny (GOSSIP) said. His partner, Greg Ames, agreed. "We beat them at Block Island, and now they beat us here. We're really looking forward to the rubber match."
Next up for Herlihy: the Buzzards Bay Regatta, in his home waters of Buzzards Bay. And after that, he plans to go cruising on GUT FEELING. Press reports and Video
1. GUT FEELING Herlihy 25
2. GOSSIP Kenny/Ames 27
3. CAMINOS Filippelli 29
4. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN Tedeschi 33
5. RELENTLESS Minella 40
6. PICANTE Salk 42
7. STORM Lyall 52
8. RUSH Sweetser 55
9. INSTANT KARMA Betts 60
10. ECLIPSE Jannetti 60
11. LADYLOVE Feeley 71
12. 5CENT van Reesema 84
13. SUPERSTITION Zibailo 98
14. HEAT WAVE Weisberg 106
15. RHIANNON III Nicholls 119
|J/109's in the Adriatic
|Jeff Johnstone forwarded this letter. Photo at right: LADY VIOLET enjoys sunshine and fresh breeze in the Adriatic.
I'm writing from Trieste, Italy and I'm the proud owner of the J/109 hull number 283, LADY VIOLET. IRC racing is growing in the northern Adriatic Sea and particularly in Trieste. During the first weekend of June we raced in the first "Campionato IRC dell'Adriatico" with 35 boats on the starting line split into two IRC divisions. We finished third in the second division and I think you will like to know that J/Boats was the best represented yard in the race with four boats in the second division, two of them J/109s.
We are working hard to develop the IRC in our area with my Yacht Club. As you know, for too many years people in Italy raced under IMS. But now people understand how important it is to sail with a well-built boat, easy to sail, safe and, no less important, nice to look at, so I think that this is really the right moment for J/Boats in Italy.
Anyways, thanks a lot for your wonderful boats (this is my third J after a J/92 and a J/105) and for the great moments that I can sail with my family and my friends.
|Sprit Fest 2008
Five races were held during the recent Sprit Fest for seven boats. At left, second place CAMINOS (red kite) chases GOSSIP downwind.
1. GOSSIP 4 pts
2. CAMINOS 8 pts
3. TASTES LIKE CHICKEN 14 pts
4. SKOOT 17 pts
5. INSTANT KARMA 19 pts
6. JOY RIDE 19 pts
7. SANIBEL 23 pts