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3rd Place J-24 World Championship- Howth Ireland

Steve Haarstick - INTRO

I am very pleased to report that our Travis Odenbach finished 3rd O/A at the 2013 J-24 Worlds in Ireland this past August!

We have been designing and building J-24 sails since I crewed for Jack Mathias at the Key West Mid Winters in 1979, and have had the pleasure of working with several excellent J-24 programs over the years. In addition to Jack, we have built sails for other very successful skippers such as Gunther Buerman, Ben Taves, Greg Eiffert, Kirk Reynolds, John Enwright, and Kris Werner.

This spring Kris joined John Enwright’s crew as Helmsman at “Charleston Race Week”. Their boat speed was excellent, throughout the various conditions, and they not only won 1st Overall in the J-24 fleet, but they also won the Performance Trophy for the best performance for the regatta! Kris’ feedback on our J-24 sail designs last fall really helped me develop some design adjustments that helped to give us the boat speed edge they needed. I felt we were on the right path to improving our sails! When Travis joined our team this spring, He wanted to campaign both the J-24 and the J-22 classes, Travis’ first opportunity in the J-24 started at the J-Daze regatta in Canandaigua in early May, While the 6th overall wasn’t what Travis had hoped for, he was pleased with his speed in the rare opportunities when he had the chance to sail along side another boat for a moment before the next shift.

However, Travis got it in gear for the Districts at Oneida with a 1st O/A, followed by a 2nd at the Nationals in Minnesota, and at the Great Lakes in Oswego, he finished 2nd to John Enwright’s 1st O/A (with ALL Haarstick sails)! As the date for the 2013 J-24 Worlds in Ireland approached, I was hopeful that Travis could have a good result at this most difficult venue.

As the Worlds began, we all followed the daily results with intense interest. After the first couple of days, it was clear that Travis and his crew were in contention to win this regatta! The excitement here really intensified as the last day of racing approached with the last 2 races to go, and Travis was in 1st place overall going into the last day!

However, a tough 1st race that last day took away the overall, but Travis and his crew held on in the 2nd race to finish 3rd O/A for the regatta! As far as I’m concerned, this was far and away the best J-24 regatta result we’ve ever achieved, and I’m very proud of Travis and his crew: Rossi Millev, Jimmy Barnash, Josh Putnam, and Chris Morgan. They sailed great and had a great regatta! Here are some of Travis’ thoughts and what he learned from the World’s: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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2nd - J/24 NATIONALS

Source: Travis Odenbach

June 20 – the 23rd I spent my time in Wayzata Minnesota at the j24 national championship regatta. Wayzata is located on beautiful Lake Minnetonka. This lake made for pretty tricky sailing conditions yet very fun. The regatta was scheduled for 9 races and the Race Committee was on a mission to make sure they got off all 9.

The conditions for Friday and Saturday were 5 knots of wind or less and the temperature was 85 degrees out. Needless to say we all ended up with very nice sunglass tan lines. My Team consisted of Josh Putnam, Jon Faudree, Emery Williams, and Bobby Bryant. These guys were amazing on all fronts. Josh on Bow, Emery at Mast, Bobby calling Tactics, and Jon trimming. I was blessed with a team of sailors that are way better than me.

Friday and Saturday like I said was very light and tricky. No side of the race course was particularly favored more than the other. The key was being patient and going all the way to one side or another. Anybody caught in the middle ended up tacking too much and losing a lot of leverage. That was the key to the regatta leverage! After Friday and Saturday were over, Mike Ingham, another Rochester local, was leading the regatta with Bill Allen a gold medalist in the star in second and ourselves in 3rd. After those two days of super light air Sunday was a relief to us and I believe probably all of the competitors. With 15 knots of breeze it was looking like a great day of racing. It was a hard fought battle between the top 3 through the whole day and at the end of it Mike Ingham won with our team in 2nd and Bill Allen in 3rd. I had a blast racing against these guys and learned a ton from the legend ( Bill Allen) on how to sail on Lake Minnetonka.

For the last few weeks I have sailed in Choppy and moderate wind conditions. This was not the case on Lake Minnetonka. As I said before the breeze was very light the first two days and very flat. As most people would think you will want to power the boat up because the breeze is so light. True until a point. I usually set my base up at 20 on the uppers and 15 on the lowers with 3 fingers of head stay sag. After that if it is drifter conditions with some lump I will go down another step to 18 on the uppers and 12 on the lowers. The tricky part here is, already having plenty of head stay sag if I were to go down a step that would deepen my main and give me even more head stay sag. This is not needed with my set up in super light air. I want to keep the sails flat as possible with flat water and light air. So I stayed at 20 15 and 3 fingers on the head stay. Speed was adequate but keeping the sails flat lets me maintain height up wind! On Sunday once the wind picked up to about 10 to 15 knots of breeze I would normally stay at 24 on the uppers and 21 on the lowers for power through chop. Once again it was very flat and not much power was needed. So in the beginning of the day when the wind was at 15 + knots I went right up to 27 24 to keep my sails flat and this enabled me to keep the bow down and keep the boat flat for max height. It seemed to work very well. I thought I may be too tight toward the end of the day but the one race I stepped down on the rig I felt that I could not keep the bow down in puffs causing me to pinch and go slower. So what I learned was the rig can stay a bit tighter in the flat water to keep the bow down and sails a bit flatter.

On the tactics side of the event it was also very tricky. With land close on each side you would get a geographical advantage on either side of the course. So our game plan was to get all the way to one side or the other while trying to stay in the max puffs. It was very puffy so we looked for darker water and tried to connect the dots all the way to one side of the course. Any time we tacked into the middle of the course we would lose boats trying to get out of the middle. That was very frustrating and we learned our lesson early.

All in all the regatta was a success. The race committee got off nine races in very challenging condition. My hat goes off to the yacht club which did a great job with the party’s and organization of the regatta. Also one more congratulations to fellow Rochester sailor Mike Ingham on a hard fought regatta.

***Editors note.. Tim Healy, along w the best crew that North sails could send- sailed w/ Mike Ingham- we think Haarstick is getting noticed for its blazing speed...

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J-24 Great Lakes Championship- Haarstick 1st & 2nd!

Source: Kris Werner

Another Win for Haarstick! John Enwright sailing "Rake Hell" won a tie-breaker over our own Travis Odenbach "Honeybadger" for the overall win. Haarstick powered both boats to the front of the pack!

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J/70 - First Set Of Sails Proven

Source: Kris Werner

First set of J70 sails, at first J70 regatta for skipper, crew and boat and they got 3rd out of 17 boats. The 2 teams that beat them have been sailing the boat for almost a year with many sets of sails and practice.

“The boat was fast upwind and downwind. A little more practice with crew work and changing gears and we’re right up there with the big boys that have had a big head start. The fact that the first set of sails we built for the J70 are already on the podium is an amazing testament to the tried and true designs of Haarstick Sailmakers.”

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