(Shoreacres, Texas) – Thirty-five teams gathered from around the country for the annual J/22 Midwinter Championship graciously hosted by the magnificent Houston YC, renowned for its extraordinary southern hospitality. The madding crowd of sailors were not disappointed. With great food, great drink and plenty of wind and sunshine, the J/22 sailors sailed to a solid six race series out of the nine scheduled. Only a slow Saturday (no wind) put a slight damper on the proceedings, but the spirits were high and everyone seemingly had a blast.
For the first day of racing, the winds were howling on Galveston Bay in the morning with a cold front and sustained breeze in the high 20s with gusts into the 40s. After on-shore postponements, racing got underway just after 3:00 p.m. For the two races sailed, winds were blowing 15-18 knots. Chris Doyle of Kenmore, NY swept the first day. Sailing with Will Harris and Jason Suitor, the team won race one in a tight match with the runner-ups Travis Odenbach on INSTIGATOR and Terry Flynn on TEJAS. In the second race, Doyle developed and kept a strong lead over Texans Ruthie Lambert on OUT OF SIGHT and Chad Wilson on GREEN FLASH who finished in second and third place.
After Saturday’s cancellation, the outcome of the event was going to put an enormous amount of pressure on the top teams, particularly with many championship sailors breathing down there necks. On Sunday, the weather was glorious on Galveston Bay. The sun returned, and breezes started around 5-7 knots, increasing to 10-15 as it moved right. In the day’s first race, Flynn earned the top spot, followed by Allan Terhune on DAZZLER and Doyle. Travis Odenbach on INSTIGATOR won Sunday’s second race, as Terhune lodged another second and Nick Turney on FREE ENERGY came in third. Eric Faust sailing NEIGHBOR OF THE BEAST took honors in the next race, trailed by Flynn and Chad Wilson. Terhune won the closing race, with Flynn and Doyle behind.
Ultimately, Chris Doyle of Kenmore, NY won in a tie-breaker over local Terry Flynn. The two teams battled during all four races on Sunday, both ending the regatta with 12 points. Doyle, sailing with Will Harris and Jason Suitor, won the championship thanks to two bullets on day one, counting a 1-1-3-3-4 versus Flynn’s 3-4-1-2-2. Travis Odenbach rounded out the top three with 18 points based on finished os 2-4-1-6-5. Rounding out the top five were Allan Terhune in fourth with a 4-2-2-14-1 for 23 pts (a DSQ in Race#2 and a bomber in Race#5 killed his chances of winning) and Scott Young from Austin YC scoring an 8-7-5-3-6 for 29 pts. For more J/22 Midwinters sailing information