The leaderboard changed with every race on day one of the first-ever J/70 North American Championship, but it was Bennet Greenwald’s identical line of 4,4,4 that places him in the lead after three races. With winds ranging between 4-8 knots, and no boats able to repeat a top three finish all day, Greenwald’s Perseverance lived up to its name as the 89 teams battled the tides of the Chesapeake Bay. This inaugural event is title-sponsored by Hillman Focused Advantage Fund and hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club and J/70 Fleet #1. Joel’s Ronning’s Catapult notched 22 points after finishes of 15, 6 and 1 for second place. Martin Kullman’s Touch 2 Play is next in line with 41 points.
Excitement ran high for the kick-off race, which saw Kerry Klingler’s Menace seize the victory, with Bodo von der Wense on Turbo Duck and Douglas Strebel’s Black River Racing close behind. Kullman’s team took the win in race two, trailed by Peter McChesney on Trouble and Henry Filter’s Wild Child. Ronning snagged Thursday’s closing contest, and rounding out the top three were John Aras and Tyler Doyle.
At the party afterward, we heard racers marveling over the fact that the first race took over two hours (four miles) and that the starts were "one testosterone-fueled line of 90 $#$&%$#'ing boats." If you're not out there, you're certainly jealous. Enjoy the regatta, sailors.