Bringing back the J/24 in San Diego

Published on October 13th, 2022

by Bill Ramacciotti
The J/24 is an oldie but a goodie and has flourished into the newest one-design class in San Diego, CA. The fleet grew through the spirt of cooperation, as we’re not big budget programs, with a goal to keep it accessible so more people will participate. We are all weekend warriors with different years of experience, and these boats provide the platform to help us continue to learn.

It all began with three J/24s racing PHRF who were strangers that met to create a fun learning and competitive atmosphere. When a fourth boat was added, the fleet qualified for one-design class starts. With this status, a few people in the same J/24 PHRF rating band become envious when seeing how much fun and close racing was being had by the fleet.

Soon, crew members from the original four boat fleet decided to purchase their own boats to join the class as a boat owner rather than a crew member. This opened more opportunities for others to sail as a crew member in a local one-design class.

One reason for its popularity is it is easy and inexpensive to acquire a used boat and gear due to the large number of boats produced. Most of the boats are competing with used sails either from a world champion’s second set or club quality sails. The boats range in years from 1977 to 1987 and some of them have trailers.

In the beginning, one boat was influencing the fleet, but after many Q&A sessions with the competitors, the racing is now back and forth with close starts and mark roundings. The competitors understood the boats are similar in speed so crew work, sail trim, good starts, and sailing fast is the key for the fun and to enjoy standing on the podium.

The fleet has organized to host the 2022 J/24 West Coast Championship – San Diego hosted by Southwestern Yacht Club on October 14-16. The event added a Mixed Plus division which is either a female driver or two or more females as crew. At this time, there are four boats that qualify for the divisional honors.

With nine boats in the San Diego fleet and a couple of out of towners joining the regatta, it should be unforgettable. More so, this regatta is a warm-up for next year when the San Diego Fleet will host the first annual J/24 Corinthian National Championship West on September 6 to 10, 2023.

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