J/80 World Championship
Sailors on board 32 J/80s—racing sailboats that are roughly 27 feet long—tested their skills in the J/80 World Championship in the waters off Annapolis.
Hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club in September 2014, the regatta featured 32 boats—each with a crew of 4 or 5 sailors—who will race for five days, up to four races each day, each race about an hour long. While many of the sailors were from the Chesapeake area, others came from across the country and around the world!
In order to ensure top-quality racing, the team that managed the races—the “race committee”—trackd wind conditions on and near the race course. While some of this critical work is done by race committee members on the water using hand-held instruments, they also relied significantly on CBIBS observations.
Accessing CBIBS data using the smartphone or iPad apps, they checked to see data at the Annapolis CBIBS buoy.
“Multiple times per day we check to see what the Annapolis buoy is displaying to determine our decisions,” said Jeff Borland, one of the J/80 World Championship organizers. That data can help them decide whether to send the fleet out to the race course. For example, early in the regatta, winds were quite light; waiting until the buoy showed about 5 knots helped provide good racing.
Borland also noted that wind data from the CBIBS buoy is very useful because the anemometer is an appropriate height off the water—it provides data at the level of a J/80 sail. Other nearby observation locations, such as Thomas Point Light, provide terrific data—but from a point higher up off the water.
After they enjoy tight competition on the water, regatta participants got to unwind on shore at fun evening events. One evening highlighted steps the regatta and host yacht club are taking to responsibly use the Chesapeake Bay, as they participate in Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regatta program.
Borland is often busy organizing great regattas and managing terrific races, but he’s a busy sailor and boater himself, and uses CBIBS data to help him on the water.
“[And] when I hear there was ‘lots of wind,’ I always want to know how much it might have been!” so he’ll refer to past CBIBS data as well.
The NOAA CBIBS team wishes all the competitors in the J/80 World Championship a great regatta and a terrific stay here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.