From February 7-8, the second annual J/70 Chilean Nationals took place on Panguipulli Lake, 800 miles south of Santiago in the “lakes district” of southern Chile. The championship was sponsored by Santander Bank as a major class sponsor and Sony Xperia, and the regatta was hosted at the beautiful clubhouse on the Puyumen Peninsula (the same location as last year). An incredibly competitive fleet of nine boats included many good teams with skippers like: Matias Seguel & Per Von Appen (former J/24 sailor), Pablo Herman (famous Lightning sailor), Pablo Amunategui & Juan Eduardo Reid (Soto 40 skippers) and other renowned Chilean skippers such as Walter Astorga, Jorge González, Jorge Lama and Carlos Vergara. The racing was incredibly close with weather mark and leeward mark roundings strongly contested by groups of boats, often the last shift determining places in the last few boat lengths to the mark. Over the two-day weekend, four of the six scheduled races were sailed. On the first day, the fleet enjoyed good winds from the southwest of 10-14 knots. Racing was very close, with Rodrigo Solar’s BLACK JACK XPERIA (skippered by Pablo Amunategui) taking the lead over Nicolas Ibañez’s CAROLINA (with Pablo Herman on the helm). Third was Juan Eduardo Reid, and fourth Per Von Appen. At the end of the day, the point scores were quite close: Amunategui 7 points, Herman 8 points and Reid 10 points. Sunday’s sailing conditions started out very unstable, and by 4:30pm the wind was finally good enough to start the one and only race of the day. Pablo Herman and his team took the lead from the very beginning followed by Carlos Vergara, Jorge Gonzalez and Juan Reid. On the second windward leg, all locals went left and Herman, Reid and Amunategui (in sixth place) took the right side of the course. At the middle of the second windward leg, the wind on the left side of the course started to die and the right kept getting stronger. At the windward mark Herman rounded first, Reid second and Amunategui third, giving the lead of the championship to Pablo Herman, Felipe “Pipe” Herman, Martin Costa (North Sails Argentina) and Roberto Caneo. After the summer holiday, the fleet moves to Algarrobo, 90km due west of Santiago, during the year for races between March and December.

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