Story by Chris Furey
I know that J24s are often maligned as old fashioned boats these days but they still provide tight tactical racing in good sized fleets and at an affordable entry level. I sailed my first J24 back in the late 70s and was the original Victorian dealer for the class so I have a bit of a soft spot for the boats. We have a growing and very active fleet at Sandringham Yacht Club with 18 boats now parked on the hardstand and prospective owners clamouring for space for more boats. A fantastic initiative from the local fleet has been to provide two fully kitted J24s for intermediate & youth sailors to charter and race for a season as a stepping stone from the off the beach dinghy scene to keelboat racing.
Last Sunday I was fortunate to hitch a ride with ISAF judge Rob Ware on the Jury boat to observe and photograph the 20 boat J24 fleet fighting out the last three races on the final day of their 2012 Victorian State Championships off Sandringham. It’s a privileged position for a keen sailing observer and photographer to be in as we were right up close and personal with the sailors as they raced hard on a gusty Port Phillip.
We were closely observing a couple of the boats running hard past the leeward mark and on to the finish of the second race of the day in about 25 knots of gusty northerly when a big gust came through and caught the windward boat, Brendan Lee’s ominously named “By The Lee” and spun her out.
Read the rest of the story and see the pics here