Mike Marshall wins J/22 Midwinter Championship
Published on March 20th, 2016
Fort Walton Beach, FL (March 20, 2016) – When the winds piped up to 16-24 knots today at the J/22 Midwinter Championship, Mike Marshall’s Bad News rose to the top of the 26-boat fleet to capture the title. With crew Mike Nicoletti and Matt Schubert, the Newport, RI-based helmsman sealed the victory with a 2,1,2 in Sunday’s blustery three races to total 20 net points.
Of the three boats within one point of first place heading into today, Marshall not one of them but the team reveled in the conditions despite being about 70 pounds under the Class crew weight limit. Terry Flynn’s Tejas earned second place with 22 points, and Jeff Todd’s Hot Toddy took third with 24.
Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, FL hosted the three-day event (Mar 18-20).
Bad News ran into a little bad luck on the opening day when a big shift at the end of the only race left them with a 10th place. Day two brought intermediate conditions where, Marshall said, “I think the lightness of our boat hurt us, and we had to fight for every point.” When several boats struggled in Sunday’s heavier air, Marshall said the team “took about half of the first upwind leg to figure that we needed to ease the jib a little more than we thought.”
Marshall also credited tactician Matt Schubert for making a few key calls on where to go. Recalling that most of Sunday’s starts saw them off the line in the top five boats, the team still had to battle to pick off boats and make up the four-point deficit they started the day with. “By being a little forward off the start, we could choose our own destiny. Boats we didn’t pass upwind, we were able to catch up with downwind. The last race we played a covering game,” summarized Marshall. While accepting his trophy, he said, “I love this Class!”
The top five: Mike Marshall (20 points), Terry Flynn (22), Jeff Todd (24), Chris Doyle (24), and Chris Wientjes (32).
In addition to Bad News, Sunday’s other race winners were Flynn and Todd.
Source: J/22 Class Association