Monday, January 14, 2008

Major National Sailing Championship Coming to NYC

A major U.S. sailing championship will take place this spring in Staten Island. On May 15 through May 18, the Richmond County Yacht Club (RCYC) will host the 2008 J/24 National Championship.

The J/24 Class Association expects anywhere from 50 to 70 boats and crews, coming from across the country, to participate. On May 15th, boats weighed and measured at RCYC. Over the next three days in Lower New York Harbor and Raritan Bay, the boats will fight it out to determine who will be the National Champion .

The Staten Island Advance reported spoke with Doug Olsen, an RCYC officer and resident of The Rock, who said, "We're absolutely excited to be holding it. We hosted the J24 Northeast Regionals in 2005, but this is the first time Staten Island has had the Nationals ... and since there's a 20-year rotation of where the Nationals go, this could be the only time Staten Islanders get a chance to see it."

The J/24 is the world's most popular one-design keelboat, with more than 5,000 sailing in fleets around the world. While the racing is purely amateur, and more about bragging rights than anything else, to win this regatta is very prestigious among the sailboat racing cognescetti. Eight to 10 windward/leeward (upwind/downwind) races, consisting of five 1-1 1/2 mile legs, are planned each day. All boats are involved in every race, which can make for a very long starting line, and tight competition at each rounding mark. Local sailors know that the strong currents and tides, combined with pretty consistent breezes will be a factor in determining the winner.

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