Tag Archives: Nationals

2015 Jet-14 Nationals Story

It didn’t take long before the out-of-staters knew they were in for something special. Prior to starting any races for the 2015 Jet-14 Nationals at Mohican Sailing Club in Mansfield, OH, we saw: 10’ high corn, Regatta Chair Marion Zaugg (one of the best sailors, and The Best regatta comedian in the country), reminders that Ohio is the home of The Ohio State University and the #1 ranked football Buckeyes, and the best cider donuts in the world, courtesy of Barbara and Anne Joudrey.

The generally hot weather turned cool just before regatta time, and lasted through the event, giving the campers some nice natural air conditioning for sleeping. There was enough wind to race 3 of the 4 days, averaging about 7 knots, and mostly from the northeast quadrant. Although not the most ideal wind direction for courses, PRO Mike Fulton, assisted by Stewart FitzGibbon and Karen Zaugg worked hard to fit the windward-leeward courses in the best possible location.

And then there was the food. Never has there been more at a regatta, and it was all great!

The early arrivals were greeted with the famous He Man Breakfast. Within hours, the Women’s Nationals got started in a nice northerly. 4 very competitive boats competed with Connie Berchem and Teri Fosmire from Asheville, NC, Taylor Sackett and Abby Freeman, borrowing Nate Ireland’s boat (Thanks Nate!) from Edgewater, OH, and 2 hometown teams of Barb and Anne Joudrey, and Karen Hugon and Ann Roessner. Team Joudrey continually worked their way to the front with good speed and tactics, taking bullets in all 3 races. Towards the end of the day things got a bit flukey, but the competitors remained patient, and fought hard until it was over. Following Team Joudrey in 2nd place were new-comers Taylor Sackett and Abby Freeman, who both have much experience in several other types of boats. 3rd place went to Connie and Teri, who have quickly picked up on how to sail a Jet in just a few years. Karen Hugon (borrowing her former boat from Dan Reiber—Thanks Dan!) and Ann Roessner ended up 4th. Nice sailing to all!

women_1134_203_94_884
2015 Jet-14 Women Nationals on Wednesday

Lesson Learned: Good boat speed and tactics are hard to beat.

The next day the Nationals started on time in a light, shifty northeast breeze. Race 1 saw the eager competitors pull the trigger a bit early, leading to several general recalls. Mike Gemperline and Tom Irwin (#665), after arriving at the site just hours before the starting time, sailed an impressive race, finishing with a strong 2nd. This race set the tone for how things would eventually play out for the final results, as the top 6 finishers in Race 1 placed in the top 6 for the event.

Lesson Learned: Get on the tack which points your bow closer to the next mark.

Race 2 saw the 2014 National Champs Bryan and Tiffany Parker (#1135) lead wire-to-wire for an impressive win. Just after the first mark, at the top of the run, Team Parker was alone out front with a pack of about 12 boats lined up fighting for 2nd. Several boats were patient, and showed good light air downwind speed, with Bridget Ireland and George Auer (#1147), and Nate Ireland and Ben Stock (#698) pulling out of the jam.

Lesson Learned: Try to be patient, and don’t panic in light air, especially downwind.

Day 1 start.  It's pretty obvious which end of the line is favored.

Day 1 start. It’s pretty obvious which end of the line is favored.

After only 2 races on Day 1, the fleet was anxious to get more in during Day 2. Race 3 again started in light wind, generally from the east. That said, several good puffs from the NNE were prevelent prior to starting, and the writing was on the wall this was going to be really shifty. After a clean start, one of those “puffs from the NNE” appeared, and one needed to assess whether to follow the lesson from Race 1, or don’t sail toward the next mark, but toward the puff. It turned out that sailing toward the puff was the way to go this time. Unfortunately for the 1135 Team, who had the best start, and was the early leader, a few puff chasers got by them before the 1st mark. The race continued to be a fight for the “puffs from the NNE”, with the team of Marion Zaugg and Anne Joudrey (#1132) coming on strong for 2nd. Team Parker followed closely in 3rd, with Women’s Champ Barb Joudrey (#94) and Sue Halliwell taking 4th for their best race.

Lesson Learned: Sometimes it pays to get on the tack which points your bow closer to the next puff, as opposed to the next mark.

Race 4 was similar to Race 3, with a bit less wind velocity, and the Zaugg/Joudrey Team made the most of the left side of the course to round the first mark in the lead. They ended up 2nd again, with the Ireland/Stock Team quietly sailing very consistent, taking 3rd. The Parkers were again amongst the leaders, and ended up 4th. Another Joudrey, Tom, sailing with Aaron (#120), were impressive to take 5th.

Lesson Learned: See Race 3 lesson, but beware, a good lesson for one race may not hold up for the next race.

747_1132_1147

Doug Brown (#747), Zaugg (#1132) and B. Ireland (#1147) race upwind.

Although no one knew it at the time, Race 5 would be the last race for the regatta due to lack of wind. This would play into the final results as there would then be no throw-out race (due to not having at least 6 races). From the start, it was evident that Team 1147 was following the Race 1 Lesson approach. While many boats tacked to go left, towards what they thought—or maybe hoped—was more wind on the left (one of those “puffs from the NNE”) and not towards the 1st mark, Bridget and George took the favored tack (bow pointed more toward the mark), working their way up the right side of the course, leading at the first mark, and down the run. Then things got crazy. Team 1147 again stayed on the favored tack, and others again worked left. This time the left puff won out, and the positions were shuffled. Nate and Ben sailed another nice race, and took 2nd, while the Zaugg/Joudrey Team completed a great day with a 3rd. Dave and Sue Michos, after scraping some rust off, and not sailing in their favorite conditions, figured it all out and placed 4th.

Lesson Learned: When it gets light and flukey, there may not be any lesson to follow. Keep your head out of the boat as much as possible, keep looking for that next puff!

After waiting a bit, and having the wind come out of every direction within an hour, the fleet headed in for a steak dinner.

The final results show that Team 558 with super-crew Sarah Paisley came out on top. Sarah has a wealth of experience, and in addition to winning the 2012 Jet Nationals, she has been part of several other national champion teams in other classes. In 2nd was the Nate Ireland/Ben Stock Team, bringing #698 out of mothballs, and sailing a very consistent series with all top 5 finishes. 3rd went to Marion Zaugg and Anne Joudrey, just 2 points back, with a very strong final 3 races. Bryan and Tiffany Parker were 4th, and also the top husband/wife team, and several times fought their way back from early race setbacks. 5th went to Bridget Ireland and George Auer, who were also very consistent with all single digit finishes. Both Ireland boats were impressive, as they posted their best nationals finishes while not having sailed much in the past few years. The Mike Gemperline and Tom Irwin ended up 6th, and by far were hurt the most due to not having a throw-out. But we’re guessing they had the most fun of any boat at the event! One point back in 7th were Tom Grace and Paula Pacheco, also with all top 10 finishes. Paul and PJ Blonski were 8th, and tied Charlie and Megan Bark for Most Improved from 2014. Dave and Sue Michos ended up in 9th, thanks to their fine last race, and Doug Brown and Susan Mallows from NJ were 10th. Word has it that Doug, who has rebuilt several Jets, has already taken apart #747, to be rebuilt again…..so watch out for more speed next year!

Other awards included the Persistence Award, which went to Jim House and Joe Murr. Madison Porter, traveling from Charlotte, NC to sail with her dad Tim, won the Youngest Sailor Award. Taylor Sackett and Abby Freeman won the Best Finish for 1st Time Nationals Award.

And so the party was over. The boats and kids were packed up, cars ready to roll. But not before one last good meal. Mohican Sailing Club treated all to a great time, and we thank Marion Zaugg and his fleet, and PRO Mike Fulton and his committee for another great Nationals! We said goodbye to one another, goodbye to the 10’ corn, to the Buckeyes, and to the cider donuts. Mohican Sailing Club is a special place, and if any Jet-14 sailor has never been there, put it on your places-to-go list.

Also, a big THANK YOU to Chris Hennon, for his fine and enthusiastic service to the Class as President for the past 2 years. He has put the Class in a good position to move forward in 2016!

See you all at West River next August, and hopefully sooner at other regattas.

Brent Barbehenn (#558)

Full results here: 2015 Jet-14 Nationals

Barbehenn Continues Dominance with 19th National Championship

Brent Barbehenn (558)

Barbehenn and Paisley (558) round the bottom mark in a familiar position as the Parkers (1135) give chase

Brent Barbehenn and crew Sarah Paisley won the 2015 Jet-14 Nationals in typically dominating fashion at Mohican Sailing Club this past week.  Defending national champs Bryan and Tiffany Parker were the only team able to best Barbehenn/Paisley in any race over the 5-race series.  This is Barbehenn’s 19th National Championship in the Jet-14 as a skipper, his first coming in 1974.  Brent won his first Nationals crewing for his father Ed in 1972.

There were many other fine performances of note.  Nate Ireland and Ben Stock (#698) sailed consistently fast and were rewarded with their highest ever finish at Nationals (2nd).  Not too far behind was Nate’s better half Bridget, coming in with a strong top 5 result with some help from crew George Auer.  Tom Grace and Paula Pacheco, who have been cleaning up the North Carolina circuit this season, sailed a very consistent regatta (8 9 6 7 6) and just missed out on the perpetual trophies with a 7th place finish.

Look for a more detailed recap of the regatta very soon.  Full results are now posted on jet14.com.

Jet-14 Nationals Reflections

It’s hard to adequately describe the overwhelmingly positive experience that I had at Nationals.  Even more surprising since we had to deal with a rogue trailer roller that decided to punch through our hull on the very first day.  Bryan Parker has written up a fantastic recap of the racing and some of the other highlights of the week.  Now that things have calmed down and I’ve had some time to reflect, allow me to highlight some of the awesome things that I saw and experienced during the week at Mayfield.  I’m sure that many of you had similar experiences.

1. Dean and Kelly Whalen

Can’t justify with words the job that was done to make this a successful event.  Kelly was everywhere all week, taking pictures, helping with food, helping the weary skippers and crew get out of the water, and just solving any problem that came along.  As far as I could tell, Dean took the lead in just about everything for the event, including gathering race committee, arranging housing (thank you for our lovely boat!), food, finding crew, t-shirts, auction, and everything else required to pull off a Nationals.  Thank you!  And Chris Whalen, you are getting good – keep sailing!

2. Mayfield Yacht Club and their generous members

MYC is not a one-design club.  In fact, the Jet-14s as far as I can tell are the only non-cruising/power boat fleet in the whole club.  So I was gratified to see that their membership took it to another level to welcome us back, whether it be helping out on race committee, taking pictures, helping with food, donating their boats for housing (or rescue!), letting us park and mess up their grounds, and just making us feel welcome.  I know I speak for everyone when I say that we will look forward to coming back!

3. Dave Japikse the boat finder

I thought our Nationals was over at the end of Day 1 when #483 jumped off the trailer pulling up the ramp and crashed down through the trailer (completely my fault I should add).  Next I think I know, Dave is pulling out of the club with an empty trailer (the Parker’s – thank you!) on his way to pick up a mysterious Jet-14 out in the woods somewhere.  He brought us a rock solid boat that we were able to race for the final couple of days without one thing breaking.  I hope we were able to help out with the tuning a little bit so that the boat will be a bit quicker.  Thank you! 

4. New faces in the fleet

At the 2013 Nationals at Lake Norman last year we had a number of new skippers and crews, many from the North Carolina area.  This year the trend continued.  I was happy to meet Paul and PJ Blonski (Edgewater), Lee Sackett with crew Emily (Edgewater), and Dennis Foley (Mayfield).  The trick is to keep the new faces coming back.  Signs are that this time they will.  Dennis was indicating his interest at coming out to Ohio this fall for the Halloween Classic.  Speaking of Edgewater, they had the most boats in the entire fleet – keep up the great fleet building work!

5. Quality of the racing was ridiculously good

The first two days we were more concerned with not flipping over than racing.  Watching the top boats compete in winds of 15-20 kt. with gusts into the 20s was mind blowing.  They were consistently keeping the boats flat and fast.  Chutes came out like it was nothing.  It looks like magic to me, and I know its not, but it gives us bottom feeders something to work for in the coming months and years.  

6. The new Iron Man

Tom Grace has raced in every single Jet-14 Nationals since 1975.  1975!!!  But more than that, Tom is just the nicest guy you will ever meet, and he’s incredibly important to Jet sailing at Lake Norman and in North Carolina.  I’m looking forward to many more years of competing with him and Paula Pacheco – someday we will pass them on a run.

7. My wife and crew Paula

Sharing a boat with your spouse in 20 kt is a good way to explosively release all at once those things that you’ve buried deep inside of you.  Paula, thank you for introducing me to sailing, for teaching me all I know, for trying to stay positive after I make yet another bad start (“Say FAST, not F@#!”), for sticking in there when your body says no, for putting up with my whining and complaining, for not telling me where to go, and for being my partner in sailing and in life.  

Racing sailboats is a great classroom for life.  Thank you all for letting me share these experiences with you.  

Chris

Jet-14 Nationals – Day 2

It was another wild day of sailing on Lake Sacandaga but this time we did manage to finish 3 exciting races.  The weather  forecast was calling for WSW winds in the 10 kt range, which was probably where we were at on the long run out to the race course.  By the beginning of Race 2, winds again approached class limits in the upper teens and stayed there the rest of the day, with occasional puffs blasting through in the mid-20s range.  The observations tell it all.

Jet-14 Nationals day 2 wind observations on Lake Sacandaga (from iWindSurf.com)

Jet-14 Nationals day 2 wind observations on Lake Sacandaga (from iWindSurf.com)

A few boats came in early as the winds built but 3 long races were completed.  Bryan and Tiffany Parker were consistently at the top of the pack and have built a 4 point lead over a trio of boats from Edgewater YC: Dave and Sue Michos, the Gemperlines, and Lee Sackett.  Weather forecast for tomorrow calls for sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and a perfect 6-10 kt southwesterly wind.  Tune in tomorrow to see if the Parkers can hang on for the first Jet-14 National Championship.

Unofficial Results (Top 10)

1135  B. Parker  2 1 1    4
217  D. Michos 1 3 4    8
665  M. Gemperline  3 4 2  9
1152  L. Sackett  4 2 3  9
1130  L. Wells  11 5 5  21
1076  S. Parker  9 7 6  22
717  T. Grace  7 8 7  22
602  D. Japikse  15 6 8  29
1126  P. Blonski  8 14 9  31
203  C. Berchem  13 11 10  34

Jet-14 Nationals – Day 1

Carnage.

That word pretty much describes the events this day.  The fleet enthusiastically sailed out on a long run toward the starting area in a stiff but manageable 12-15 kt. wind.  As the race committee set up the course and the last Jets were arriving in the starting area, the wind began to build and gusts approached 20 kt.  Team Whalen and Team Hennon retired before the start of the race, looking to get a head start on the 2 mile beat back to the club into an 18 kt. wind.  As they gazed back at the race, many boats were pinching up into the gusts but things overall seemed under control.  It appeared that the leaders (Parker, Zaugg, Gemperline, Michos) were flying their chutes on the long run even as gusts began to exceed 20 kt.  As they rounded the gate and began the second windward leg, gusts were regularly measured above 20 kt. with maxima in the upper 20s according to the race committee. Weather observations from the lake confirmed their measurements, with the peak wind occurring just after noon with a gust above 30 mph:

Lake Sacandaga wind observations for Thursday August 14, 2014

Lake Sacandaga wind observations for Thursday August 14, 2014 (graph from iWindsurf.com)

 Boats began to capsize all over the course.  Grace and Pacheco went over with the chute, snapping Tom’s tiller in the process.  Eitnthoven swamped and could not recover without aid – her crew sliced open her fingers on the centerboard and had to make a trip to the emergency room for stitches. The race was abandoned but many in the fleet were not aware as the race committee boat pulled up anchor to aid several capsized boats.  Those still upright continued all the way up the beat and then began their second run toward a finish line that did not exist.  Another puff in the upper twenties put Zaugg and Michos over within seconds of each other.  It would be over 2 hours before they could be rescued and safely returned to shore.  There were too many tales to retell here, but lots of belongings were recovered in the water when other boats returning home “sailed through the debris field” of the capsized Jets. 

Apparently the fun wasn’t over at the ramp.  Hennon did not sufficiently tie the boat to the trailer and when the car began to pull the boat out, the weight of several gallons of water rushing aft pulled the boat off the back of the trailer.  Unfortunately, the boat also crashed off the side of the trailer, allowing the trailer roller to do this to the hull:

483_hole

After spending a significant time in the water, Marion finally got towed in and pulled out of the lake only to have water in the tanks rush back and pull his boat off the trailer as well.  Lots of other boats had broken lines, blocks, and other rigging that were being worked on well into the afternoon.  An emergency run to West Marine got several boats back in working order.

Tom Grace said afterward that it was probably the worst day he can remember in terms of wreckage to a fleet.  In my relatively brief experience over the last 10 years I must say that I agree.  The forecasters are calling for a more pleasant day tomorrow with winds in the 7-10 kt range.  We lost a couple of boats today but most of the fleet will be back looking to jump into Nationals contention tomorrow.

-Chris

Nationals Weather Forecast

You may not know this but I am a professional meteorologist.  Some claim this gives me an inherent advantage to racing sailboats, but my results speak to the truth.  What I do know is that there is some great news for our Nationals participants and some not so great news for the Women and Juniors on Wednesday.

Women/Junior Nationals on Wednesday looks like a good day to own an ark.  Heavy rain is forecast Tuesday night and through the day on Wednesday with 1-2″ accumulations.  Typically this type of rain comes with little wind unless we’re dealing with a tropical storm.  A reschedule of this event to later in the week is likely – stay tuned.

Once we get past Wednesday, the weather looks FANTASTIC.  Partly sunny Thursday, temperatures in the upper 60s, with a strong 12-18 kt westerly.  For those who remember the 2009 event at Mayfield, this is about the opposite of what we had on day 1.  Friday looks like another awesome day, with 6-10 kt. winds, dry conditions, and temperatures in the mid-upper 60s again.  And we’ll finish things off Saturday in 8-12 kt. conditions with warming temperatures into the mid-70s.

I know I will be enjoying the conditions regardless of my finishes (cough cough).  Before I sign off I’d like to thank Marion and the folks at Mohican Sailing Club for letting us get in some pre-Nationals racing on Sunday.  We had 5 Jets out there along with a few Interlakes in a pretty decent Mohican wind.

From a luxurious Red Roof Inn in Utica NY,
Chris

Jet-14 Nationals Preview Part Deux

We’re a couple of weeks away and have had some new registrations for Nationals.  The Vegas odds makers have been busy updating their betting lines.  Here’s a couple of more entries for those looking for a good score:

#1135 – Bryan and Tiffany Parker (5-2) – Pros: Talent, experience, almost topped Barbehenn at Mayfield 5 years ago, incomparable boat speed, just reproduced.  Cons: Distracted by poopy diapers, probably a little rusty, troubled by Ohio State band director dismissal, probably haven’t been on the water as much as they like.

#94 – Barb Zaugg and Tom Joudrey (7-1) – Pros: Boat weighs about 50 lbs., good family chemistry, Tom’s good grasp of English, fast downwind.  Cons: This isn’t English class, 235 lbs. of lead required to make minimum weight, boat was built during the Eisenhower administration.

Welcome to our New Members!

Received a couple of notes this week from some new NJ members – very encouraging to hear about new growth in that region:

Paul Fisher joins Fleet 51 at Hunterdon SC.  Paul recently purchased #1140 and is eager to try out this 2-person racing thing.  The fleet is already meeting with Paul to sort out stuff and get them on the water.

Fleet 35 (Packanack Lake) is welcoming Chris Seliga, who recently acquired #1013.  Chris is looking for a decent Sailor’s Tailor cover if anyone is looking to get a new one.

Nationals Silent Auction Taking Shape

The silent auction during Nationals is a great event that helps raise money for the class – and attendees always get great deals on awesome stuff.  Matt Japikse and his friends at Mayfield YC have been busy gathering merchandise and services for the event.  Dave recently posted a photo of one of the items on the Jet-14 Facebook page:

marion

Whoa!  My bad.  Here’s what Matt really posted:

radio

Two-way radio!  Nice.  By the way, please join the Jet-14 Facebook group!

That’s it for now – get your Nationals registration in if you haven’t already.

Chris