While last weekend’s regatta at San Francisco YC’s Open Keelboat Regatta served as a good warm-up and training event for some crews, the real deal is scheduled for Friday, May 22nd through Sunday, May 24th, 2015. The USA J/24 Nationals has over two-dozen boats registered ready to roll on the infamous Berkeley Circle.
The venerable Berkeley Yacht Club is hosting the event and they promise big breeze! Not just a little bit, but a whole’lotta breeze-on baby!! BYC’s support of J/24 One-Design racing started in 2008 as the “TMC J/24 Invitational Regatta” and they’re looking forward to another year, for 2015 will be the eighth (8) consecutive year, of “off the charts” San Francisco Bay competitive sailing, “paella gorging” (see photos here), adult beverage consumption and hilarious fun and silliness!
Based on prior reputations (some good, some questionable), the battle for the pickle dishes is going to be a true “mano a mano” battle between some seriously experienced J/24 teams. The locals that hope to hold their own against the “foreigners” includes boats like Mike Whitfield’s TMC RACING, Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE, Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS, Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR and Paul Ravenswaay’s FERAL ROOSTER.
Coming from beyond the fog enshrouded Alcatraz is a bevy of talent that may appear mind-boggling to some J/24 sailors. Leading that crowd must be last weekend’s winner, former J/24 North American Champion Pat Toole from Santa Barbara, CA guiding the mighty 3 BIG DOGS. Another NA Champ in the hunt will be Chris Snow’s BOGUS from San Diego, CA. The winner of the last J/24 Southwest Championship event in Dallas, Natalie Penner’s GIGGLES from Austin, TX will be in the hunt. Japanese J/24 National Champion Tokuma Takesue will be sailing GEKKO.
Then, there’s the J/24 mafia from Seattle’s Pacific Northwest J/24 fleet. Oh dear, the locals may be in for some trouble with these gangsters, SIX boats X 5 people X 3 hangers-on each means nearly 50 people from the Seattle area! It’s an invasion of the salmon-people! Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE and Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH might be considered fleet leaders anywhere, plus they’re quite familiar with the insanities of the Berkeley Circle.
Should be fun sailing for all with even better social festivities ashore. For more J/24 US Nationals sailing information: 2015j24nationalssfbay.com