Last week I got the awful news that the J/29 I loved and cared for from 1996 through 2002 was abandoned by its owner in the Ferry Point marina. The marina took over the title of the boat and discovered that she had filled up with rainwater while sitting on land, destroying the interior. When boat yards are in a situation where they have taken title to a worthless boat, they cut them up and have them hauled off to the dump to free up space for paying customers. That is what happened to my poor baby.
I found out because over the years I have kept in touch with the guy who owned her before the last owner. As it happens I had travelled to see her a couple of times in recent years and I knew she had fallen into neglect. When I saw her in 2018 right after we sold Le Saberage she was in the water and had obviously not been sailed in many months or even years. I asked Peter to put me in touch with her owner to see if I could help fix her up and get her sold. The owner, who was reputed to be in poor health, never responded to Peter.
I’m not one of those racers who can remember every leg of every race in his/her career. In fact I remember very little of any of them, but I remember this Annapolis Nood race and this beat in particular. We made the right call by choosing the genoa instead of the #3 (it was a borderline call). We substantially outpointed Huster for the entire first leg of the beat on starboard tack and had a big lead when….a massive lefty filled in. They tacked over and crossed us by a significant margin and beat us to the mark.
That’s yacht racing. Sometimes you can make all the right decisions and still come up short! Still this was only a slight negative in a regatta full of positives that resulted in a podium finish. Best of all was the sailing itself – just look at the J/29 going upwind with a full rail of crew and a nice, flat, 150% heavy genoa. The J/29 in its prime.
Editor’s note: to get our new blog going, we’re importing articles we’ve written in the past about our sailing adventures together. This article was written by Rich and was published on the J/Boats website, where it remained linked from the main page for many years. Rich and Lisa owned Jeoaprdy from 1996 through 2002. This article was written at the end of 1998, and Jeopardy would go on to bring us years of adventures, including first place at the 2001 J/29 North American Championships.
Without specifically setting out on the task, during the last two years I have found myself determined to bring my J/29, Jeopardy, as close as possible to a new condition. It’s a challenge I have grown to love as much as sailing her.