The North Sails J/24 team of Will Welles and Mike Marshall headed down to Texas to sail in the Performance Cup, one of the J/24 Texas Winter Circuit events, as practice for the J/24 North Americans, to be held there at the end of May. Sailing with them were Mike Nicoletti (trimmer), Tom Lapin (mast) and Rod Favela (bow).
Forecast for breeze at about 8-10 knots and rain. The breeze built to about 12 knots, the rain came in. By the end of the day and four great races, the eighteen teams were thoroughly soaked.
Day two brought fog and very light air in the morning. The race committee decided to send the boats out anyway, despite a grim-looking forecast. Their decision turned out to be a wise one because, as we approached the newly set race course, the fog lifted and a 6-8 knot southeasterly rolled in. The RC decided to have one 5-leg and send the fleet in early so the out-of-towners could pack up and leave promptly.
Even though this event may sound very average as regattas go, Mike will remember for a while for two reasons:
1. I can never be reminded enough times about how great it is to go sailing when you hop on a boat with an awesome crew of friends. Somehow, it just seems like everything gets easier when your team knows each other well enough that they can joke about things and keep the mood on board light.
2. Tonja Holmes-Moon and the others involved in the J/24 Texas Circuit really know how to run an event. The racing and parties were great, but it is also nice to know that the race committee is looking out for the boats that have traveled a long distance, making sure they can get out of town in a timely manner. The fact that we could be comfortable packed up by 4 pm and easily make our 6 pm flights is a huge benefit in my mind that really makes me (and I'm sure many others) want to return for more events in Texas.
The North Sails J/24 team is looking forward to see you on the water soon!