ISSA National Keelboat Invitational
November 19-20, 2016
St Petersburg Yacht Club
10 teams were in attendance all having qualified through their district eliminations or having received an at large berth. The St Petersburg Yacht Club just recently bought a brand new fleet of J70’s, which were used for the event.
All ten teams showed up on Friday for the optional practice led recent J70 world champion crew Chris Stocke and US Coast Guard keelboat coach Kevin Dooley. The teams were able to ask questions regarding some of the different boat handling maneuvers associated with an asymmetrical spinnaker and were able to spend a couple of hours on the water with the coaches.
On Saturday sailors were greeted with a beautiful building breeze and were able to complete 6 races. The racing was incredibly tight with multiple boats finishing overlapped on more than one equation. Corona Del Mar HS sailed a great first day and held a well-deserved lead.
Day two started with 20-25 knots of breeze and a shore-side postponement. After a couple of hours, sailors were released and greeted with a 15 knot northerly for the final 4 races of the series. Throughout the days four races, the wind slowly moderating creating very tricky conditions with big shifts and big differences in pressure. Corona Del Mar once again sailed strong winning the Mendelblatt Trophy for High School Keelboat Racing. Newport Harbor HS finished 2nd and Falmouth finished in 3rd.