LAKEWOOD CLAIMS THREE FIRST PLACES IN J/FEST SOUTHWEST REGATTA
During the 2nd Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta held over the weekend of Oct. 29-30, two Lakewood Yacht Club racers placed first in overall-wins. Taking first place for the second year in a row in the J/105 fleet was Bill Zartler on “Solaris”.
Claiming first place in the J/80 fleet was David Whelan and Terry Flynn on “Gulf Coast Racing” and Doug Shaffer’s “Gambler” was first in the J/PHRF fleet.
This national regatta, hailing J boats from as far away as Colorado and Connecticut, was held on Galveston Bay with two days of contrasting weather conditions. According to LYC Race Committee Chairman Dwight Bengtson, the winds started out good on Galveston Bay on Sat., but died mid-afternoon after the second race. Sunday, with winds 10-15 knots, there was a lot of spirited competition. “It was a great afternoon for one design racing and the participants loved the competition as well as the Saturday night dinner and party,” Bengtson related.
With fifty boats racing, there were two lines: one for the J/105, J/80 and J/PHRF, the other for the J/22 and J/24. Winning first place in J/22 was Chad Wilson on “Green Flash” while first place on J/24 went to Bryan Dyer on “Rum Line”.
Rodney Johnstone, the co-founder of the J boat design, handed out the trophies during the Awards Ceremony held in Lakewood’s ballroom on Sun., Oct. 30, afternoon. Speaking briefly to the crowd, Johnstone shared that there has been a resurgence of J/boats in the five state area. “Thanks to the good results of fleet building, there are 400 J boats in Texas right now. And, interestingly, the J/111 boats are really taking off on the East Coast and in Chicago. The J/70’s are red hot off the production line,” he explained. The first J/boat regatta was held in 1978 in Newport, Rhode Island.
There were four “Spirit of J Boating” Awards presented during the ceremony. For effort above and beyond in the spirit of fleet building and J/boat racing, these awards were given to Lakewood members Casey Lambert for the J/22 fleet, Al Poindexter for the J/80 fleet, and Alan Bates for the J/80 and J/105 fleets. The J/24 fleet award was given to Kelly Holms for his competitive campaign.
The City of Seabrook was the Platinum Sponsor for the J/Fest Southwest Regatta for the second year in a row. Additional sponsors included J/Boats Southwest, Parkway Chevrolet who had an automobile display on Lakewood grounds, J/World Annapolis, Waterline Works, Tacktick Wireless Electronics, Harken, Blackburn Marine Supply, West Marine, UK, the Hilton, and North Sails.