Second South American Championship held by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico en Algarrobo October 27-31
Thanks to Juan Eduardo Reid for this report: Almost 100 sailors in 20 boats including one team from Argentina, two teams from Brazil and one from Uruguay participated in the second South American Championship held by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico en Algarrobo (Chile) from October 27-31. There were lots of expectation about this second South American Championship. Chile had a 20-22-boat active J/70 fleet among the 33 boats imported from the USA in the last five years. The Chilean Class did their best to make a fair Championship, with Dave McNabb and a local team lead by him measuring all boats to make all boats equal. Flavio Naveira and Nelson Ilha lead the Jury team, and Theodoro (Kiko) Kundig lead the RC team. The previous month, some teams started to search for light fifth crew among the Optimist Class in Algarrobo. This time of the year is kind of famous for the strong winds in Algarrobo so the average weight among the boats was 340-350 kg. Actually, before the start of the first official race, Black Sails team was set with five crew and 370 kg. But after a bad practice race with light winds and looking at the weather report for the week, they decide to keep one guy on the shore. And they were right. All the days but Sunday, wind average was 10-12 knots, and two races were sailed with less than 10. Overall, there were four days of racing with 3, 2, 3 and 1 races (nine races in total). On Wednesday, no races could be sailed. On the first day, three races were raced, with the first at 2:30pm in winds of 8-12 knots (southwest from 220- 230) and some choppy seas. Well done Black Sails and Tsunami with the Ducasse family on board. These four brothers and father started with the right fit in the series and wouldn’t give up until the very end. Uroboro also were doing a great job with Pipa Cisternas on board, her family and Benja Grez calling tactics. The revelations of this South American Championship. On the second day, two races took place with the first start at 12:00. In light winds, the crews, especially the ones with five guys onboard, did their best to manage the conditions and succeed. Black Sails stretched the lead. The Ducasse family and Uroboro were doing a great job to manage the light winds and the tough 20-boat fleet. It was again a southwest wind, but more to the west than the previous day. On the third day, the more experienced crews did their job and came in to play with stronger (13-15 knots) breeze from southwest again. Algarrobo was very favored on the left, but this time some boats gained a lot looking for some pressure with the kite downwind on the right side of the course. Charly Vergara onboard Tecnofast with a 3, 2, 2 and Matute Seguel onboard Volvo with a 6, 2,2 did the best job of the day. Unfortunately, Charly and team were OCS on the first race of the day and couldn’t stay in the top places. The final day of racing started a little later than 12:00, waiting for some wind. Only one race with very light winds from the west didn’t make most of the fleet happy who were hoping to race as much possible to improve their positions. But only one race was possible, and this was the final day of the Championship with a very quiet wind prediction for Wednesday. Tsunami did a great job to win their third race of the Championship, finishing second overall. Third place was for Ale Perez and crew with a fifth in the final race for the series and with strong speed in all conditions. On Wednesday, that start was programmed for 11:00 but hour by hour the sailors started to realized that nothing would happen. At 4 pm, the awards came in. In addition to the five top places, the top three Corinthians were awarded. First place in Corinthians was Benjamin Fuenzalida with father and brothers onboard plus some other folks. Benja is an ex-Optimist sailor with a brilliant future in this Class and in the 420. Best boat from abroad was Higlander from Marcos Soares from Brazil (7th place). Then Tonessa from Renato Farías from Brazil as well (9th) and Diego García onboard Chapulín (12th place). The next South American Championship will be in Argentina in November 2018 and Brazil will host the Championship in 2019. For complete event details, click here.