FYC to host J24 North American Championship Regatta

Downing Nightingale III (Lamb’s Yacht Center / Ortega resident), David DeCamp (Venetia), Piper Shad (Ortega), and Brooks Busey (Sadler Point Marina / Avondale resident) round a mark during a practice run on the St. Johns River. Photo credit: Deb Fewell

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

The choppy waters of the St. Johns River will hold a fleet of sailboats Nov. 13-17 when the Florida Yacht Club and J/24 Fleet 55 host the 2012 Merrill Lynch-Bank of America J/24 North American Championship Regatta. Some of the sport’s top talent from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will race against seven local sailors, including five members of FYC and one San Marco area resident.
As of press time, 28 boats were registered, including 14 entrants from Florida. Ten states are represented in the group, which also includes teams from Canada and Mexico. Locally, Ortega resident Tim Monahan, Avondale resident Greg Griffin, Bill Derr of Orange Park, Robert Gibbs of Atlantic Beach, and Downing Nightingale III of Ortega will represent FYC. Other local skippers include Michael Pentaleri of Ortega and Peter Bream, a resident of San Marco’s Granada neighborhood. Some of the competitors are winners of past championships so the competition will be fierce for the home teams.
The J/24 North American is an annual continental-level championship, which rotates north to south (Canada hosted 2011; Mexico will host 2013) and then alternates within the United States. The East Coast hosts every four years so it’s a significant honor for the Florida Yacht Club and Jacksonville to be selected to host this event.
“The club tries to host an event of this caliber roughly every three years,” noted event chairman Tim Monahan. “FYC previously hosted the 2007 J/24 U.S. National Championship and the Snipe Women’s National Championship in 2006 and 2010.”
A J/24 is typically raced with five crewmembers with a maximum weight of 882 pounds.
The regatta schedule begins with registration and sail measurements on Nov. 13, practice races on Nov. 14 and the first of the three-day races begins at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 15. Winners of this regatta will qualify for the 2013 World Championship at Howth Yacht Club in Dublin, Ireland next August.
For more information about the J/24 N.A. Championship Regatta visit www.j24northamericans2012.com or contact event chairman Tim Monahan at [email protected]

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