You won’t find this in the tuning guide

Published on June 13th, 2023

Skipper Brian Keane and his teammates on the J/70 Savasana were the top team at this winter’s J/70 Winter Circuit events and the root of their success is not something you’ll find in the tuning guide. Report by Dave Reed for Sailing World:

The most recognizable ­spinnaker in the US J/70 fleet is arguably the white one with a stylized red stick figure. And it is immediately recognizable because Brian Keane’s Savasana has been a fixture of the class since 2012, usually near the front of the fleet and found wherever J/70s gather in numbers. Keane and his teammates have won plenty of J/70 regattas over the years, but never a world championship. Close, yes, but never No 1.

However, his current cast of teammates—Thomas Barrows, Ron Weed and Conner Harding—have their collective minds set on the impending Worlds in St. Petersburg, Florida, in November. There’s no reason to doubt this could be their year to win the big one, especially considering they ran the table on the Miami J/70 winter regatta circuit with three big wins and then followed up with another at Charleston Race Week.

You might think this peak in Keane’s long sailing career, which includes Junior National Championships, All-American honors, and the Hinman Trophy, and has spanned eras in the J/105 and J/80 classes, is the result of some ­game-changing sail development or magic bullet. But you’d be wrong. The difference is Keane’s present battle with cancer. – Full report

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