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  2000 J/80 U.S. National Championships  
     
  Sailed in conjunction with the Texas NOOD Regatta, the 2000 J/80 U.S. National Championships provided the challenge of sailing in varying conditions. To ensure optimum racing, the J/80 fleet sailed on a separate circle with a dedicated Race Committee. With thunderstorms interrupting racing the first two days, competitors were faced with wind speeds ranging from 6 to 20 knots. After throwing in a strong outgoing tide and some equipment failures, things got pretty interesting...  
     
  As reported by Bruce Huckaba:

The J/80 National Championship was held as part of the 2000 Texas NOOD Regatta on Galveston Bay. Lakewood Yacht Club hosted the event and the Houston Yacht Club provided the Race Committee for the J/80 line. Seventeen J/80’s entered with boats traveling from Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, and all over Texas. Eight races were scheduled to be held on a racing line separate from the other NOOD starts. We sailed just off of Red Bluff, south of the Bayport Channel, where we had clear air, away from the other lines and shore. The weather forecast was for hot and breezy with thunderstorms.

The Competitor’s Briefing was held following the NOOD skipper’s meeting, to cover the location for the course and the amendments that were posted. This included the use of VHF channel 78 to announce recalls.

Friday’s racing started in a light southwesterly breeze. A squall moved in from the Gulf of Mexico at the finish of the first race. The Race Committee postponed to allow the storm to pass and the wind to settle. The second race was sailed in gusty conditions with occasional rain resulting in several broaches and a couple of torn spinnakers. Things settled down some for the third race and by the end it was clear that this was going to be challenging and close event. The top contenders at the end of the day, separated by only one point, were Monster Lady (Martin Kald, East Elmhurst, NY) and Wild Thang (Roland Arthur, Roanoke, TX). Hammertime (Steve Hammerman, Houston, TX) was in third and Sooner Magic (Bell/Kirkpatrick, Edmond, OK) in fourth.

Saturday brought steadier, southerly winds and plenty of sunshine. Three more races were run. The aggressive starts had several over earlies, but only one general recall (actually caused by a wind shift, favoring the boat end of the line). Wild Thang moved into the lead by three points, followed by Monster Lady, Hammertime, and Kicks (David Balfour, Austin, TX).

Sunday started out with a nice south-southeasterly breeze. An approaching cold front brought lighter, shiftier conditions as the day progressed. The final two races were completed with two course changes in the last race. Wild Thang held on to first place, Monster Lady kept second, Kicks moved up to third, with Hammertime fourth and Sooner Magic fifth.

This event had it all: fast boats, great crews and lots of close sailing. And it was held in the middle of the biggest sailing party in Texas. Speaking for the Race Committee, we thoroughly enjoyed setting the courses, making the signals, and watching the competition. Thanks to everyone who came out to sail. Also thanks to those who worked to bring this event about: Jimmy and Camille Tichenor, Paul and Sally Berner, Bruce and Nancy Huckaba, Ned Van Maanen, Mary Meyer, Keith Palmer,

Buddy and Kay Rodgers, Mike and Ann Bordelon, Gail and Dave Bernstein, Dick and Dawn Hatch, and of course Steve Hammerman, who coordinated the event.

 
  Final Results (One Throwout)  
 
      Race
Place Boat Skipper #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 Total
1 Wild Thang Arthur 1 2 5 1 3 1 1 3 12
2 Monster Lady Kald 4 1 2 2 2 4 3 4 18
3 Kicks Balfour RET 3 3 4 5 2 2 1 20
4 Hammertime Hammerman 2 5 6 10 1 3 6 2 25
5 Sooner Magic Kirkpatrick 5 9 1 3 4 6 11 5 33
6 Nasty Schaffer 6 4 7 5 6 8 4 7 39
7 Lone Star J DeHam/Zartler/Handlin 7 6 8 8 8 5 5 10 47
8 Weekend.... Nauta 8 14 4 6 7 10 8 14 57
9 Sting Jones 3 7 9 11 10 7 13 12 59
10 Whiskey Tango Liem 10 8 12 7 9 9 12 8 63
11 Unpredictable Johnson 13 10 10 9 13 12 10 9 73
12 Heatwave Morlan 12 11 16 12 16 11 7 6 75
13 Ricochet Putman 11 16 13 15 11 14 14 13 91
14 Aggravation Nieves 14 12 11 14 12 13 16 15 91
15 Infinity Myers/Ozeri 15 13 15 16 15 16 9 11 94
16 #263 Easton 9 15 14 13 14 DNC DNC DNC 101
17 MC˛ Ellis DNC DNC DNC 17 RET 15 15 16 117