Lakewood Yacht Club racers earned 9 out of the 20 trophies presented, or almost 50 percent, at the awards ceremony for the 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta Nov. 2.
The national race, with sailors coming from as far away as Colorado, was held on Galveston Bay Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1 and 2, in very windy and challenging conditions.
“With 20 knot winds and gusts much more than that, racers had a wild time and loved every minute of it,” J/Fest Regatta Chairman Al Goethe remarked.
Fifty-eight boats raced in two lines with Line A featuring the J/105s, J/109s, J/PHRF Spinnaker Asymmetrical and J/PHRF Spinnaker Symmetrical. Line B featured the J/22s, J/24s and the new J/70s.
Friends and family of the racers were aboard the Spectator Boat “Liberty Bell,” owned by Paul Dunphey.
Attending the J/Fest Southwest Regatta for the fifth year in a row was J/Boat co-founder Rodney Johnstone from the northeast. He presented the trophies to the winners on Sunday afternoon. In the J/105 fleet, Lakewood racers John Barnett on “Vici” placed 3rd while Uzi Ozeri came in 2nd on “Infinity.”
Lakewood racers swept the J/109 fleet with Dave Christensen, 2nd place, on “Airborne;” Al Goethe, 1st place on “Hamburg.” Lakewood racer J.D. Hill placed 2nd on J/PHRF Spinnaker Asymmetrical on “Second Star.”
On Line B, Marek Valesek of Lakewood placed 2nd for the J/22 fleet while Casey Lambert claimed 1st. In the J/70 fleet, Lakewood racers Chris Lewis came in 3rd whereas Taylor Lutz placed 1st.
Making the weekend memorable were numerous sponsors including the City of Seabrook, which was the title sponsor. Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal greeted and congratulated the racers. Afterwards, Goethe awarded Five Year Anniversary Trophies to 11 racers and participants through the years. “This was our most successful J/Fest yet and we look forward to the 6th year in 2015,” concluded Goethe.