J/30 Nationals Come to the Gulf Coast

Published: Southwinds Sailing Magazine
September 1, 2005

The winds and water of Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans will be host to the J/30 National Championships October 20th - 23rd and the expectations are building for this to be one of the most fiercely competitive championships to date.

With big name sailors already being spotted sizing up the notoriously shifty winds on the lake and having cocktails at New Orleans Yacht Club's bar, it's bringing an early sense of what's to come. The interest level is already high, as one New Orleans based team has a lot riding on this regatta. Team Zephyr having won the last four J/30 Nationals Championships will be shooting for an unprecedented fifth win on their home waters.

When asked about the upcoming championship, maverick New Orleans sailmaker and Zephyr crew, Benz Faget, states "I'm looking forward to the J-30 nationals after being with Scott for the last four winning years. We are expecting some great competition from both the local sailors as well as the out of town boats. I will be doing a tuning seminar prior to the regatta and will give away some of our successful secrets and tricks to help everyone get the most performance from their boat."

In J/30 circles, the blue-hulled Zephyr, has become the boat to beat on the Gulf Coast, with an average margin of victory of over 18 seconds per mile against other J/30s and is manned by some big names in southern sailing: Tonguis, Faget, Steinkamp, Brennan and Erwin. They're not only known in south either, in 2001, Zephyr won Chicago's Verve Cup, Leukemia Cup and the 2001 North American Championship all within a two-week period.

With an anticipated turn-out of over 25 J/30 teams from over 15 states and helmed by names such as David Bolyard, John McArthur and Scott Tonguis, the expectations are that there will be a record number of spectator boats plying the waters around the course.

As the host site, New Orleans Yacht Club is providing a huge amount of support ranging from the parties, including an expedition to the French Quarter, to the spectator boats to free winter storage. A number of loaner boats are available and registration is ongoing. For further information, visit or contact Katie Triplett at