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J/22 Midwinter Championship at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans - Day 1

by Julie & Christopher Howell 22 Mar 23:41 GMT March 21–24, 2024

Light and shifty breeze welcomed 28 J/22 teams to the J/22 Midwinter Championship hosted by Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, LA. Following an onshore postponement while rain squalls passed through, two races were accomplished under clearing skies and spring temperatures.

Michael Gemperline's Defiance from Bristol Yacht Club in Rhode Island posted a pair of deuces for 4 points and the early advantage. Jeff Hayden, also from Rhode Island, stands only one point back, after finishing 4,1 on the day. Matthew Thompson's Gray Duck from Wayzata, MN holds third with 7 points.

Kicking off the Championship with a win was Kurt Taken-Holtze's Turn Down 4 What, ahead of Gemperline's Defiance and Thompson's Gray Duck. Hayden took the next battle, with Gemperline and James Freedman's Miss Conduct completing the top trio. The Race Committee attempted a third race on the day, but the wind did not cooperate, and teams returned to shore.

Racing in this event are J/22 hulls ranging from #8 through 1649, following the 40-year anniversary of the boat in 2023. Helmspersons range in age from 26 to more than 80 years old.

Racing continues through Sunday, with nine total races scheduled. Complete results may be found at www.j22mw.com.

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