I LOVE THE J/24 Class. Leslie and I had a blast racing one the years (1979-87) I was Executive Director of US SAILING (then USYRU) and AMERICA II, and we lived in Newport, RI. Kenny Read. Ed Adams. Mike Hill. Scott Ferguson. And many more great sailors then and now, and good friends still. Leslie was the first employee that Bob and Mary Johnstone hired when the offices were still in their Beechbound condo as Bob and Rod were getting J/Boats off the ground. Sometimes Leslie looked after young Peter J when he came home from school and Bob and Mary were out of town, not that Peter ever needed much looking after, LOL!
So I was looking forward to writing up something on the J/24 Nationals which concluded Sunday afternoon in Seattle, hosted by the esteemed Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. Some other websites just did a cut-and-paste of the J/24 Class news release and posted photos circulated by the class without identifying the winner. A bit disappointing.
I went to look at the Sailwave Results and see who we knew, or didn't, and get a feel for the event. I saw that Seattle Yacht Club's Mark Laura, our old college sailing adversary from UWash, longtime Alaska Airlines pilot, and one of the nicest guys ever to grace a race course or yacht club bar, finished 6th.
In reviewing the results, one could not help but notice that 23 of the 32 entries were from host Corinthian YC and/or neighboring Seattle YC. Aside from second place Will Welles from Portsmouth, RI and third place Nobuyuki Imai from Wakayama, Japan, all the rest were listed as being from Washington state or neighboring Idaho and Montana. Perhaps more of a Pacific Northwest Championship than a nationals?
Regardless, congrats to the winner Keith Whittemore (Corinthian YC of Seattle) and his team for an impressive victory – winning five of the nine races (eight actually, as they were so far ahead they didn't have to sail the final race). Crewing were Shelby Milne, Brian Thomas, Kevin Downey and Mark Rodgers.
Without a photo on offer of Mr Whittemore and his team, I tracked down his sail number (5399) in the results, then looked through all the photos and found this nice one....