|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,
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
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.