There were 17 boats at this year's J105 SoCal Champs, with a boat from as far as Mexico. It was a great weekend for the fleet. We had 3 totally new boats there. Fleet 8 hasnt had that many new boats at a regatta since 2006. There is so much experience in this fleet and the teams are really fun. The conditions were pretty typical for Long Beach - windy and relatively flat water. The wind was light to start with, but by the end of the day it had built to 16-18 knots both days. Team Off The Porch had a great time on and off the water. This was the first time the 6 of us had raced together, but we managed to stay in sync with each other most of the time. Our first start left a lot to be desired, but even after being the last boat off the line we were still able to catch up and have one of our best finishes. Everyone on the boat was really good about not letting our bad start cloud what needed to be done to make the boat go fast. This is critical to doing well. Its all about who makes the least amount of mistakes, so its important to be able to move on. The rest of our starts were spot on and we were able to focus more on tactics, rather than playing catch up. I think our upwind boat handling was on par with most of the boats around us, but our downwind speed and tactics were what allowed us to pass boats. We just stayed out of the gybing wars and stayed in clear air. The last race on Saturday was one of our better ones. We were able to change gears and keep the boat going fast without being too overpowered. I think we all learned a lot this weekend, and I know the boat is on its way to moving up in the rankings.
Thanks to Long Beach Yacht Club and the Race Committee for putting on a great regatta. Congratulation to our new J105 SoCal Champs, Current Obsession II, they sailed a great regatta. I think everyone was very pleased with how the regatta went, and that the wind was much higher than the forecasts! The J105 is truly a fun fleet to be apart of, and I look forward to the next event.
Thanks to Rachel Ellis for the report
*Off the Porch uses Ullman J-105 sails