Allstate Sugar Bowl Sponsors J/30 Regatta National Championship This Weekend
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will sponsor the J/30 National Championship this weekend as part of its annual regatta repertoire on Lake Ponchartrain. The event, hosted by the New Orleans Yacht Club, begins with the first race at 11 a.m. on Friday and continues on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. each day. The races can be watched from Lakeshore Drive between The Lighthouse and Canal Boulevard.
According to Barton Jahncke, Olympic Gold Medal winner and multiple Sugar Bowl Trophy winner, "The Sugar Bowl Regatta Series is recognized as one of the premier national yachting events in the United States. It gives sailors or all ages, from the Optimist class through high school and intercollegiate levels and beyond, the opportunity to learn how to compete at a very high level."
Crews from all over the country have traveled to New Orleans for this weekend's championship. This year's J/30 National Championship is the 32nd in the history of the sailing class and the event will include some noteworthy participants. The top two teams in the history of the event, Zephyr (New Orleans) and BeBop (Annapolis), will each be looking for their sixth title in the event. The Zephyr crew will include U.S. Olympic boatwright Donnie Brennan and his son Andrew. There will also be two female-skippered crews with Debbie Grimm aboard Hot Chocolate and Laura Webb sailing Black Magic.
The J/30 is a family friendly sloop, which can be raced or cruised and is an ocean-bearing boat with a six-and-a half foot draft. There are no minimum crew requirements, however J/30s are typically raced with a crew up to seven. As the J/30 is notable for its ease of sailing, it can be well-handled with fewer than seven crew members if conditions permit.
Many think of New Orleans as a French Quarter venue with a lot of historic value, however, Lake Ponchartrain is another jewel for sailing. Today, there are about 2,000 New Orleanians participating in sailing on the lake - enough to attract National and International sailing events to the city. "With shifty winds and obstruction clear waters, our sailing venue is one of the best in the nation," according to David Erwin, Allstate Sugar Bowl Regatta Chairman.
Following the J/30 World Championships, the next Allstate Sugar Bowl sailing event will be the Great Oaks High School Regatta from Nov. 18-20.