At the end of June I said goodbye to the J/70. It had been a ton of fun and I’m sorry I didn’t get to sail it more, but with school and all of the other commitments I have coming up it was best to downsize my fleet.
For the 2nd year in a row I’ve sail the J/70 in the Southern Chesapeake Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta. We had mostly sunny skies and winds in the 8-12 range with 7 J/70s on the course. Early in the day we really had a groove going and were able to make good boat speed putting up 2-2 in the first two races. A 4th in the 3rd race put us in 2nd overall just one point out of first going into day 2.
Sunday started out with a close race where we finished 3rd. The wind got lighter and we struggled putting up a 6th to hang onto 3rd overall. Thanks Carrie, Brad & Louis for a great weekend of sailing!
Sunday ended up being the day for wind. It started out light as we were heading to the course, but as we were arriving it piped right up. We quickly re-tuned the rig for the windier conditions sailing all the way across and up the river near the naval base.
Dave, pictured above, was our secret weapon. As a local Harbor pilot he quickly identified a current line up the right side of the course upwind. On the other side of the current line we had almost 2+ knots of favorable current. At one point we were 50 yards from another j70 going slower on the other side of the current line and they couldn’t figure out why they were so much slower going so far as to check they weren’t dragging something. We made good gains out there before the rest of the fleet started to figure it out.
Downwind in the breeze we played it conservative with the spinnaker keeping the boat under us and getting around the course cleanly.
A second place finish in the 2nd and final race of the regatta gave us 3rd place for the day, but left us in 5th for the regatta.
Racing Saturday at Southern Bay Race Week started light and we were at the inshore course close to Hampton. We got out there and there was a whiff of a breeze and so they started us, but by the time we reached the weather mark, the wind had died and the current was running and nobody could get around it.
An hour or so later the wind filled nicely allowing for 4 more races. We dropped a spot overall, but closed the points gap with 3rd place.
This the 3rd annual Open House Regatta which has become one of my favorite events at FBYC given the mix activities, people and sailing being done. A bring-what-you-got progressive start race for boats 10-50+ ft all racing each other. Followed by rafting up and socializing followed by dinner and a great blue grass band.
Given I would be sailing my J/70 in Hampton next weekend, it was packed up yesterday and so today I joined David Hinckle and Tommy Roper aboard David’s J/70 – Air Speed. We had a good start and did well in the light air on the way out. On the way back we picked the wrong side of the course and let Nostalgia sneak by us while we couldn’t quite catch any of the boats ahead and settled for 6th.
After returning the boat to the dock I took a launch out to the raft up already in progress. I managed to go boat-to-boat around the entire circle visiting with folks on each boat. I also got to go up the mast of one of the larger boats to capture an aerial view.
And despite a little crummy weather late in the evening, we still had fun inside.
While I had the J/70 back in Richmond a few improvements were made including mid-boat storage cradle for the engine. This puts the engine low next to the keel underneath the cockpit and not taking up valuable space up front nor adding weight to the front of the boat.
Using a piece of teak from a retired trophy – I build a bracket that mounts to a bulkhead under the companionway. It has a notch cut for the engine to hold it just below the power head. And the way it is set up and angled it’s easy to slide the engine towards the center of the boat to get it into place.
Beneath the power head of the engine is another block of wood mounted to a stringer with some foam padding added to it. This tips the head of the engine upright and keeps oil from getting into the parts of the engine that it shouldn’t.
Having used it a few times now seems to work well and I like the space we got back in the bow for storing
I had seen this idea when I sailed the J/70 Winter Series last year and finally had a chance to add it. In short I cut a hole in the aft end of both dock boxes on the trailer and added a screen with a vent cover over it. This allows a little more air flow into the dock box in case any wetness ends up in there. The vents are on the back of the trailer so no rainwater gets in when trailering in wet conditions.
- Louvered Vent
- Piece of screen
- 2″ hole cutter