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Monday moanin' mega-post: J-Class Worlds, Audi Hamilton Island, and Long Point

SAN FRANCISCO – While your Ed. was racing this past weekend in SoCal's famously good Long Point Race Week hosted by Balboa YC and Newport Harbor YC, the J-Class Worlds hosted by New York YC concluded Saturday in Newport, RI, and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week hosted by Hamilton Island YC wrapped up Sunday at that other end of the world in Australia's beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

First, congrats to owner-driver Harold Goddijn (NED) and his LIONHEART team who bested Jim and Kristy's Clark's HANUMAN skippered by the consummate pro-sailor Ken Read (USA). Best write-up we've seen was by Sean McNeill for the Providence Journal. Sean wrote:

LIONHEART has made a habit of staging comeback wins from mid-regatta. The crew, most of which has been sailing together since 2011, trailed HANUMAN by four points after the first four races. At the America’s Cup J-Class Regatta in Bermuda in June, HANUMAN led by one point after three races before losing by three points at the end of the five-race series....The majestic, 130-foot J Class yachts first raced off Newport for the America’s Cup in the 1930s and it was only fitting that John Williams’ RANGER of the U.S. placed third overall. In 1937 Ranger won the America’s Cup under the guidance of the masterful Harold “Mike” Vanderbilt, who won the Cup for the third consecutive time. Williams’ RANGER is a replica of the ’37 winner and built to the original lines drawings in steel whereas many of the newer boats are built of aluminum.

Read Sean's full ProJo story here. Final day photos, courtesy of the superb Carlo Borlenghi (ITA) and the J-Class in a gallery below.

2017 J-Class World Champions LIONHEART after Saturday evening's prizegiving at NYYC's Harbour Court overlooking Newport (RI) Harbor. Photo: Carlo Borlenghi (ITA) for the J-Class.

Final-day (Saturday) photos of the J-Class Worlds, by Carlo Borlenghi courtesy of the J-Class.

More final-day photos from the J-Class Worlds by the incomparable Daniel Forster (SUI/USA).

Kudos also to Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark who took top honors at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in a tough fleet of close to 2,000 sailors racing in 15 different divisions. Crews from Tasmania to Western Australia to the American classic DORADE reveled in the final day's sou’east tradewinds of 15-18 knots in spectacular North Queensland winter sailing conditions, and producing stunning photos (gallery below). Prince Frederik skippered NANOQ, the Oatley’s 66-footer and baby sister to the supermaxi WILD OATS XI. “A win is a big thing for me,” the Crown Prince said. “I knew I was going into something fantastic by word-of-mouth, but that was it. I know this part of the world a little but I didn’t know the sailing conditions. “Personally and statistically I think I improved over the week. The first day was pretty wild; one of my top three sailing days ever. I have never steered such a big boat – I’ve steered 52s and 40-footers before. I had a brilliant crew; my friends Chris Meehan and Iain Murray put the team together. ”So will he be back? “Certainly, yes!”

IRC winners sailing NANOQ (née the 66' WILD OATS) skippered by Crown Prince Fredrick (DEN, front row right). Tactician was Iain Murray (AUS, back row, second from right). Photo: Andrea Francolini.

Spectacular conditions make for amazing photos, from the final day of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Photos by Andrea Francolini via AHIRW. The photo of DORADE is particularly beautiful.

Finally, congrats to Hasso Plattner (GER/USA) and his team on his brand new Baltic 68 CLAUDE 2, including tactician John Kostecki (USA, StFYC), who took overall honors at the hotly contested Long Point Race Week that concluded Sunday afternoon. Many think it is the most fun regatta of the summer in Southern California, if not the country. Friday is a 25nm race from Newport Beach out to a finish line near Catalina Island's Long Point. Saturday is an 8nm race along Catalina's rocky coast, up to Ship Rock and back to Long Point, typically a windward-leeward. Sunday's finale is a 25nm straight shot from Long Point back to a finish line near the Newport pier, normally a tricky one-tack reach with several headsail changes. Yesterday's race was in near-perfect conditions with a steady 14-17 knots and surfable waves. Most of the fleet of 40 yachts, racing by invitation, finished Sunday's sprint in under 2.5 hours. Below is a gallery of many smiling faces, on the water and ashore at Catalina, that tell the story of this most enjoyable event, photos courtesy of Bronny Daniels.

Now it's Monday moaning', and back to work for a lot of sailors who probably could use a day or two off after the weekend's exertions. But then we all know that, for most of us, work is the curse of the sailing class.

Hasso Plattner (USA, holding the pitcher) at yesterday's final Long Point Race Week prizgiving with his team and BYC Commodore Tom Mooers. To Hasso's left is tactician/navigator Bruce Nelson (San Diego), holding, LOL, a glass in each hand. John Kostecki (San Francisco) must have escaped to the airport. Photo: Bronny Daniels / Joy Sailing.

You couldn't help but find lots of smiling faces on the 400 or so sailors racing at Long Point Race Week this past weekend. Beaut weather (as usual), most of SoCal's best boats and teams, great competition and camaradarie, plenty of time to relax before and after racing, and all beautifully organized by Balboa YC and New Harbor YC.

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