Racing on the last day of the championship was held in sunny, moderate conditions in Fort Worth. Weather that provided an ideal climax to the J/80 Worlds.
The winds clocked back around to the northwest during the night, but continued to come in at 10-15 knots. Sunny skies prevailed and the Race Committee was on the lake shortly after 0800 hours. After the third general recall with adjustments to the starting line each time, the Z flag was flown. Three boats were identified as over the line within the last one minute and were assessed a 20% penalty before another general recall was required. The Z flag went up this time, with the course heading changed to 355. A clear start was called at 0946. A good square course saw lots of tacking and jibing for the entire 5 legs. Kerry KLINGLER (USA 352) established a commanding lead on the second downwind leg, with Jim KEESLING (USA 367) and Christer FAITH-ELL (243) in hot pursuit. At the finish line, Klingler crossed first, John KOLIUS (USA585) was second, Keesling third followed by Faith-Ell and Jesper NORDSTROM. The RC signal boat docked at 1207.
Jay Lutz (USA 531) never missed a beat during the week and had four 1st place finishes and a final score of 32. Sailing with the 2003 J/80 World Champion were Joe Taylor, Derek Gauger, and Alex Crowell. Lutz said, "We were fortunate to have had great wind all week and able to get in all 10 races. There must have been lots of prayers to the wind gods. For us, we were lucky when we were well in the back to be able to work our way back up and have good finishes and we were back there plenty of times. Our competitors struggled when they were back in the cheap seats. I'd say that was probably the biggest factor. Congratulations to Fort Worth Boat Club for pulling off an outstanding regatta. We look forward to traveling to Sweden for the 2004 event"
John KOLIUS (USA 585) finished in second place. His crew was Caleb BORCHERS, Roberta STEELE, Mallory FONTENOT and Megan MULHERN. John told his crew this morning that it would be a cat fight for 2nd place and that he had the only crew qualified for this work. Yeow, it worked! In third was Christer FAITH-ELL (243) sailing with Hans RENMAN, Thomas LUNDBERG and Ann-Charlotte KORNBLAD. Fourth place went to Kerry KLINGLER (USA352) with his crew of Mike and Chris QUAGLIA and Jay LUREE and in fifth place was Scott SPURLIN (USA334) with Scott YOUNG at the helm and crew members John MORRAN and Trip WESTBROOK.
Regatta Co-Chairs Craig and Martha White commented that the regatta had the largest fleet of J/80s ever assembled. They said, "The weather was perfect and we had great racing and a true champion (a Texan) showed everybody how to sail around the marks."
Betsy SCHAFFER added, "This has been a great week and we would like to thank all of our sponsors, the Fort Worth Boat Club staff, and all the members who volunteered to work on race committee and came out with spectators. We couldn't have done it without them."
Final results are available on the event website at the address below.