Brisk conditions brought the J/22 Midwinter Championship to a close Sunday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, but Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger got hot to secure the 2023 title. With crew Geoff Becker and Justin Damore, the Rochester, NY-based skipper leapt from third place to first among the 20-boat fleet with 13 net points. Jeff Todd’s Hot Toddy finished only one point behind for second place after a solid series, keeping only finishes in the top five. James Freedman’s Miss Conduct notched similar scores, placing third with 16 points. Only four points separated the leading five teams, as the fourth and fifth place boats tied at 17 points: Chris Doyle’s The Jug 4 1 and Kurt Taken-Holltze’s Turn Down for What.
Odenbach commented in regard to the big breeze, “We are a light team, so it is a little scary. And this is a very shifty venue with frontal systems. There were 30-degree shifts. You can go from winning a race to 10th in about 30 seconds. Having 20 boats was great, and the North Americans will be at another windy venue in Kingston this summer.”
Racing was abandoned Saturday due to strong breeze but resumed Sunday with winds at 15-20 knots and chilly temperatures for the event hosted by Fort Walton Yacht Club. Six races were completed overall, including one discard. Sunday’s race winners were Doyle, Taken-Holtze and Todd.
|1||1542||Travis Odenbach||Honeybadger||Rochester Yacht Club||1.0||4.0||3.0||2.0||3.0||(8.0)||13.0|
|2||1464||Jeffrey Todd||Hot Toddy||Annapolis YC||4.0||2.0||5.0||(7.0)||2.0||1.0||14.0|
|3||752||James Freedman||Miss Conduct||DCYC||3.0||3.0||1.0||(8.0)||4.0||5.0||16.0|
|4||1649||Christopher Doyle||The Jug 41||Youngstown Yacht Club||2.0||1.0||2.0||1.0||(11.0)||11.0||17.0|
|5||1318||Kurt Taken-Holtze||Turn Down For What||Wayzata Yacht Club||(6.0)||5.0||4.0||4.0||1.0||3.0||17.0|
Photos are available on the J/22 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at www.j22mw.com.