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J Teams in Round the County Race

Round the County Race

Pacific Northwest sailors enjoyed their famous end-of-the-sailing season classic known as the Round the County Race. The circumnavigation of some of the prettiest San Juan Islands that sit at the border of the USA and Canada.

Over 100 boats signed up and looked forward to more fun, challenging racing in the wildly fluctuating winds and exasperating currents in that part of the world- truly the Emerald Coast of the northwestern USA! As the J/99 skipper also described it, having lived in the Pacific Northwest for decades, it was truly the “Noah’s Ark” edition of the race. Storm parkas and hoodies mandatory!

There were a lot of J Teams that participated in the event and in virtually all of the seven divisions, J/Crews managed podium finishes and took home a lot of silverware.

In the eleven-boat ORC Division, it was a familiar figure standing on the podium. Taking third was the gorgeous navy-blue J/160 JAM, owned and skippered by Gig Harbor Yacht Club’s John McPhail.

In the fifteen-boat PHRF Division 0, it was the Wolfe & Wolfe’s J/111 RAKU that took the bronze and also earned 4th overall honors.

The fourteen-boat PHRF Division 1 has traditionally been a battle between the top J/120s in the region. In the end, it was Sheath’s J/120 SHEARWATER that took class honors, while Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT took 4th place.

The Arnold & Machtley duo on the J/99 DASH took the silver in the ten-boat PHRF Division 2 class. Meanwhile, their colleagues on the J/99 ONE LIFE, David Miller, took fourth in class just seven minutes back on total corrected time.

As usual, the J/105s had their way in thirteen-boat PHRF Division 4. Winning was Aitchinson’s J/105 MOOSE UNKNOWN and taking third overall! Their colleagues, Schenk & Hopper, on their famous J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP took the bronze.

In PHRF Division 5, the duo of Aguilar & Kazaras sailed their J/29 RUBY to 6th in class. Finally, in PHRF Division 6, Bottles’ J/30 CELEBRATION took 4th place.

Commenting on the weekend of racing was Ben Braden aboard the winning J/120 SHEARWATER, “it’s a truly tactically challenging race. We had a great time on the J/120 SHEARWATER though, I’ve never raced one before. We must have had an extra 1,000 lbs of gear aboard and she handled it fine against the lightweights. We just got her moving, then strap the sails in as tight as could get’em, and she trucked right along.

Lower British Columbia got hit much worse than us south of the border, but we certainly had a few flooding issues and mudslides in the Skagit Valley area. What happened up in Canada (Vancouver, especially) was horrible.

We all were supposed to deliver our boats back to Seattle Monday after the race, but it was blowing 40 to 50 kts, so we waited until Tuesday. The delivery was 60.0nm total distance, with about 40.0nm of it reaching. The J/120 in 4-to-5-foot waves and 20 to 28 knots, main and J3 jib, 2 people, sun out – it was a beautiful delivery from Anacortes to Seattle last Tuesday!”

Round the County Race Weekend sailing

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