Recap: 2015/2016 J/70 Winter Series - a Season Favorite

The Davis Island Yacht Club wrapped up three weekends of racing this month when they hosted the final event of the 2015/2016 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Filling each regatta with the maximum number of racers, the Quantum Winter Series has become a premiere event for the J/70 fleet.

Quantum’s Global One Design Director – and J/70 racer – Allan Terhune, Jr. said the combination of sailing, socialization, and education made for a fantastic series. “The real key was the amazing weather,” he said. “The first event was shorts and t-shirt weather. The second event we had good breezes both days. We got in a lot of sailing.”

The Winter Series enjoyed good weather during all three events, but Terhune said each weekend provided unique racing conditions. In December, everyone was evenly matched on the water. “The fleet was really compact. We had perfect wind strength, and everyone was close together,” said Terhune.

“All the boats had the opportunity to do well and the opportunity to not do well. It’s not like the top five boats blew everyone away. That was the fun of it for everyone. They realized how challenging it was.”

When the racers returned in January, the conditions were breezier, which made for a more aggressive fleet. “From a technical side, the importance of managing lanes was the difference maker. It was all about making sure you chose spots to cross and tack wisely,” said Terhune. “It was much more of a fleet-management event. The guys who got to the front quickly were able to manage the fleet better.”

The winds really picked up this month at the February 6-7 event. After 8-10 knots on Saturday, the racers faced 20-25 knots on Sunday. Quantum’s Marty Kullman won the final event of the series thanks to teamwork and versatile sails.

“I’ve sailed with my team for quite a while,” said Kullman. “It’s always good when you have the ability to sail with the same people. The crew work was really good. It felt comfortable. We had great starts and great boat speed. That makes it a heck of a lot easier.”

Kullman said another advantage was his Quantum sails. “We haven’t had many J/70 events with 20-25 knots,” he said. “It’s hard to have a set of sails that go from 5-25 knots, but Quantum’s sails covered the range well. We were fast in 5 knots and fast in 25 knots.”

Terhune said Quantum sails performed well, but what really stood out was the service on site. “If you looked around, there were more boats with Quantum sails than ever before,” he said. “Our sails were on equal footing out there, but what really stood out was the service. The list is long of the Quantum representatives who were there to support our sailors and give them what they needed. Quantum reps want to see people do well on the race course, but it’s also about making sure everyone has fun. It’s the whole package.”

In addition to the weather, Terhune and Kullman agreed that one of the best aspects of the series was the host, the Davis Island Yacht Club. “They do the best job,” said Kullman. “They provide a great experience on and off the water.”

“We’re looking forward to this series again next year,” said Terhune. “We have mid-winters coming up in St. Petersburg and North Americans not far behind in Houston. We’re putting a lot of effort into helping our sailors have a fun year. This is going to be another big year in the J/70 fleet, and Quantum’s proud to be part of what’s happening.”

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