J/24 Campeonato Del Centro Republica Report

A near-record turn-out of 26 J/24s assembled on Lago San Roque for the annual “Central Republic Championship.” Club Nauticos Cordoba played host for the event and ensured all teams from every fleet in Argentina, including one team from New Jersey (USA), enjoyed themselves despite the less than stellar weather conditions. While the sailing on this gorgeous Andean lake can be stunningly beautiful, this year’s event was affected by a massive low that came sweeping across the southern tip of South America. While the weather may have dampened the racing, the spirits were running high! The racing was quite a see-saw battle for the top of the fleet. Literally every boat had at least one or more double-digit finishes in their scoreline to have to consider as part of their overall tactics and strategy. As an illustration of fleet depth, there was a different winner for every race. And, the top two boats could only manage top five finishes in four of the seven total races. Tough sledding for all and some wild “chutes & ladders” scorelines were posted by many of the teams. Despite the drizzle, clouds and lightish winds, the PRO managed to fire-off three races on the first day. The leaders after the close of racing Saturday were Team BWANA, followed by RINA and INDIGO. Sunday’s racing was less promising. The fleet managed to squeeze in two races, but at 1430 hrs, the weather conditions forced the suspension of the third race due to the minimal winds and persistent rain. The two races that were sailed had southerly breeze of 4-6 knots, gusting to 8 knots at times. While a typical direction for Lago San Roque, the winds were remarkably shifty, swinging quite dramatically at least 15-20 degrees on every leg. After five races had been sailed, the Mar del Plata crew on MENDIETA (with Francisco Van Adermaete on the helm) held onto a slim lead. In second was local sailor Ezequiel Despontin (Córdoba Yacht Club) sailing INDIGO. In third place was OJOTA with Sebastian Halpern Mendoza skippering. Perhaps most surprising was to see Argentinean J/24 champion Nicholas Cubría (from Yacht Club Olivos) sailing RINA to fourth place. The final day of racing dawned with rain and very little wind and a “mini-borneo” breeze coming down from the mountains. Ultimately, the mountains warmed up enough to create the standard “adabatic breezes,” and the southerly filled in enough to get off two races. The regatta lead came down to a duel between MENDIETA and INDIGO. By getting a first in the sixth race, INDIGO was sitting atop the podium, while MENDIETA scored a third to slip into second overall. However, like the proverbial “phoenix arising from the ashes,” the MENDIETA crew rose to the occasion and won the last race, sufficient to beat INDIGO on a tie-breaker. Third for the regatta as JALMANSO, fourth was BWANA and fifth was Cubria’s RINA. Club Nautico Cordoba hosted an incredibly popular awards ceremony. In fact, the awards were “delicious,” to say the least, and were consumed nearly immediately. All J/24 teams received a box of Cordoban Malbec wine (six bottles in each box). There were also prizes for the “Best Dressed” and a special prize for Ezekiel Despontin’s INDIGO team—two boxes of Mendoza wines with their name on the labels. For more Argentine J/24 Class sailing information, visit http://j24arg.blogspot.com/.

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