Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando won the first race of the Torqeedo J/70 North American Championship and withstood an onslaught of challengers over seven races to earn the trophy.
The reigning J/70 World Champion, Neckelmann was joined by crew Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty and Danel Belausteguigoitia at the event hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas. Able to discard a 13 in race five, Flojito y Cooperando kept scores of 1,3,1,11,1,3 for 20 net points.
The next five teams juggled standings all weekend, but with the victory in Sunday’s only contest, Glenn Darden’s Hoss leapt into second place with 30 points (Darden is the current J/70 Midwinter Champion). Peter Duncan’s Relative Obscurity benefited from a second on Sunday to move into third overall with 32 points. Robert Hughes’ Heartbreaker snagged fourth (34 points), and then Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis and Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampedetied at 37 for the next spots. The 10-boat Corinthian division was ruled by Jack Franco’s three Ball JT.
Neckelmann, from Mexico, credited his team which has been together for more than a year. He also thanked the Race Committee, saying “It was just a very tough weekend with complicated conditions for them to run races. They did an outstanding job.” Expect to see Flojito y Cooperando at the J/70 World Championship this fall in San Francisco. “I’m just very happy to be sailing J/70s,” Neckelmann said with a smile. “It’s a lot of fun, and the Class is going the right way. We’ll keep growing and having big fleets.”
1) Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Flojito y Cooperando, 1-3-1-11--1-3=20
2) Glenn Darden, Hoss, -4-3-3-10-9-1=30
3) Peter Duncan, Relative Obscurity, 14-7-2--2-5-2=32
4) Robert Hughes, Heartbreaker, 4-9--7-3-7-4=34
5) Bruce Golison, Midlife Crisis, 2-1-5-16-5-8-=37T
6) Bruno Pasquinelli, Stampede, 10-8-4-5-1--9=37T