ike the leaves turning pretty colors and falling to the dusty ground, and the days becoming so short that Daylight Saving Time has worn out its welcome, there's no surer indicator of autumn in Northern California than the wrapping up of championship series and the awarding of season trophies. This feeling of finality by no means indicates that yacht racing is over for the year — late fall and winter are some of the nicest times to sail, at least at sea level, here on the West Coast. As usual, our November championship profiles are few in number, like a pile of leaves that isn't quite big enough yet to hide in. The one-design classes that follow are those that achieved completion early enough — and responded to our inquiries for information promptly enough — to make our November issue deadline.
DANIEL FORSTER / ROLEX
SEASON CHAMPIONS PART 1 —
LATITUDE / CHRIS
J/105 — Ne*Ne Tim Russell, SFYC This was Tim Russell's first full year with the J/105 Ne*Ne (he had previously owned Aquavit). "We were in the market for a pre-scrimped 105 for more than a year. I kept bugging Norman Davant about finding me a boat, and he kept telling me to be patient. Well I wasn't. I contacted several owners in our local fleet to see if they would be interested in selling their boat, including buying Aquavit back. Nobody was interested. Then Nor man called after the 2017 North Americans in Houston. He told me of two boats that might be for sale. When he told me about Ne*Ne Tim Russell and who the previous owners were (O.J. Young, Dennis Conner and Jennifer Spithill), I was very interested. She is the oldest boat in the fleet, hull #3. But she doesn't look it. Fortunately for her (and me), her previous owner, O. J. Young, owns a boat yard Page 76 •
• November, 2018
in Houston and completely refurbished her. She looks brand-new." We wondered where the name came from, if it was from the Hawaiian goose. "As you know, it's bad luck to change a boat name," said Russell, "unless you are willing to go through all the ritual stuff. So we decided to keep the name. According to Urban Dictionary, a NeNe is the 'sweetest, most gorgeous girl in the world, who keeps your deepest darkest secrets. Having a NeNe in your life makes everything perfect!' Some say that it's the state bird for Hawaii. We prefer the first definition and pronunciation." After selling Aquavit, Russell never really left the fleet and kept in touch with the old crew. "I sailed as tactician/main trimmer on several local boats, including Mojo and Blackhawk. As I was looking I kept the guys apprised. When we found the boat, I just called up the guys and said, 'We are getting the band back together,' and we had to fill in a couple of missing pieces. I thought it would take two years to get the right group together,
J/105 hull #3, 'Ne*Ne' had a blast at the Rolex Big Boat Series.
so we were rather surprised how quickly it came together. We were all so used to each other and the 105." The crew this year were Ted Wilson, John Claude, Scott Parker, Chance Portillo, Jeannette Daroosh, Ian Baldwin and Bill Melbostadt. The Ne*Ne team enjoyed the Rolex Big Boat Series, and finished second to Mojo in the 28-boat fleet. "We were having a great battle with Mojo. Even though we fell short of our goal, I thought the sailing was awesome and I liked the changes that the StFYC made to the venue." Ne*Ne lost a crewmember overboard while leading in Race 6. "Fortunately, we were able to recover her very quickly due to some great crew work. We ended up eighth in that race, but I was proud of our performance given the circumstance, and happy no one was hurt." The J/105 class counted 44 races toward their season. Ironically, Russell commented, "I thought the sea-
The November 2018 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.