Jud Smith wins J/70 North Americans

Published on September 27th, 2015

San Diego (September 27, 2015) – Jud Smith overcame a 15 point deficit on the final day of the J/70 North Americans to take the title. Sailing with Smith was Marc Gauthier, Victor Diaz, and William Felder.

Doug Strebel and the Zounds crew led for the first thee days of the event, posting all top six scores except for one race yesterday. However, while Smith gathered a 9-4 today, Strebel’s team struggled with a 25-18 to slip to second. Tim Healy finished third, a position he had held throughout the four day event.

With light winds and a 2:00pm deadline for the final race start, Smith only had two races to shorten Doug Strebel’s 15-point lead. Winds blew at an average of 6-8kts over the racing venue, set up just offshore from Coronado beach. The first race of the day was a four-leg course, with two upwind and two downwind sprints. Smith (Africa) finished in 9th place, while Strebel (Zounds powered by Black River Racing) fell to the second half of the fleet, finishing in 25th.

In addition to a major change on the scoreboard, Race 9 also had significant changes of its own. John Brigden (Cool Story, Bro) was poised for a top finish after an early lead in the upwind leg, but ultimately fell behind and finished in 14th place. Shannon Bush (Hooligan) and Thomas Bowen (Reach Around) both conceded two places during the second two legs, finishing in 6th and 4th, respectively.

Joel Ronning (Catapult) won Race 9, followed by Jeff Brown (J/70) in 2nd place and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann (Flojito y Cooperando) in 3rd.

Going into the final race of the regatta, a two-point spread separated Smith in 1st from Strebel in 2nd. Since competitors were not eligible for any throw-out scores, every race counted towards the final showdown.

The final race of the regatta was a 5-leg course with an upwind finish, whose original start was temporarily postponed to allow for consistent breezes to fill in.

By the time the fleet made it to the first upwind mark, Brad Rodi (Bl!ss) was leading the race with regatta leader Smith just four boats behind. Strebel was well behind the top third of the fleet during the second leg. He finished the race in 18th place, guaranteeing that Smith would take home the title.

Racing was held September 24-27. A maximum of four races could have been held on any day, and up to a maximum of 12 races (with no discards) for the series.

Final Standings (Top 10 of 50; 10 races)
1. Jud Smith, Eastern YC, 3-5-9-2-5-2-1-27-9-4- ; 67
2. Doug Strebel, Lakewood YC, 2-1-4-6-4-4-17-2-25-18- ; 83
3. Tim Healy, Sail Newport, 1-13-6-4-13-10-13-10-13-15- ; 98
4. Brad Rodi, SDYC, 5-18-18-7-8-14-2-9-18/ZFP-1- ; 100T
5. John Brigden/Chris Snow, StFYC/SDYC, 8-26-2-5-3-12-20-5-14-5- ; 100T
6. Allan Terhune, Annapolis YC, 10-7-12-24-1-6-19-11-11-8- ; 109
7. Shannon W Bush, TCYC/NYYC, 17-9-8-12-10-29-3-3-6-17- ; 114
8. Thomas Bowen, Lots of YCs, 11-15-10-9-12-32-8-15-4-3- ; 119
9. Jack Franco, LIYC, 7-23-3-13-25-1-10-23-16-11- ; 132T
10. Joel Ronning, Wayzata YC, 12-3-16-22-11-18-9-13-1-27- ; 132T

Corinthian Class Standings
1. Chris Raab
2. Pat Toole
3. Steve Shaw

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