For a new class, the J/88 has developed a nice racing fleet out of Youngstown Yacht Club. This year, the Can Am Challenge Regatta July 25-26 was well attended with eight boats racing. This is the biggest J/88 regatta to date. With more events in the future, the class seems on its way to some fun racing.
If you have not sailed at Youngstown, you are missing a treat. The water is beautiful, and racing in fresh water is great. Youngstown Yacht Club goes out of its way to provide the fleets with great competitive racing, super race committees, with well-run race course management, and their on-land hospitality makes this event something that should not be missed.
Overall the wind strength started at around 8 Knots and built to 20 on the final beat on Saturday. In the first two races Rob Butler sailing Touch2Play seemed like the pace setter for the fleet with convincing wins. The next race saw Jeff and Joe Pawlowski take the win, with Iris Vogel on Deviation coming from behind to edge out Touch2Play for second place on the last run.
The next two races presented the fleet with tricky shifting conditions, with a front trending the wind to the west, but with left hand shifts still in play. The Deviation crew mastered the shifts, and sailed fast for two wins to end the day.
The second day presented itself with light wind out of the North West. After a postponement the committee managed to get of two races it trying light winds. Iris Vogel managed to get off two solid starts with challenges from Easy Eights and Touch2Play. She managed to sail fast and smart to finish off the regatta with two wins.
For Iris Vogel and the Deviation team, it shows that hard work pays. They have raced at Key West Race Week, Charleston Race Week, Block Island Race Week, and now the Can Am Challenge. Dedication to working on the boat, improving the layout, learning to get more speed and keeping track of small refinements has led to a very successful season. Deviation was fast upwind and down wind. For Iris, having support on sails and tuning from Quantum sails makes the difference – fast long lasting sails that preform.