Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle’s traditional pre-Thanksiving event, Turkey Bowl, has been running a long time, but it hasn’t always been so well attended as it was in 2023. This year boasted a fabulous turnout, with racing on north and south courses, including many youth sailors as well as a one-design start for the rapidly-growing J/70 fleet.

While the J/70s might be the hot fleet at the moment in many ways, their five-boat class was no great shakes in terms of participation at this year’s Turkey Bowl. There were 10 Lasers, 11 RS Aeros, 7 C420s, 16 Laser Radials, 10 FJs, 5 Laser 4.7s, 16 optimists, and 5 Stars.

An easterly breeze and a double rainbow… what does it mean? Photo by Lek Dimarucot.

Though there were some dismal looking forecasts even late in the week, the actual conditions turned out better than predicted, especially for the north course boats, who got a total of at least seven, and up to nine, races scored. The south course dinghy fleets with younger sailors didn’t get as much racing in on Saturday, but still had a full day of racing on Sunday.

Kurt Hoehne was racing in the RS Aero fleet and summed up the racing like this: “It was good, close racing in the RS Aero fleet, though the drifting races left something to be desired. All the world championship experience in this fleet is great — and humbling.”

There was great racing in all fleets, but the J/70 crew has been most communicative about their experience. J/70 fleet coach and organizer, Ron Rosenberg, described Saturday’s southerly conditions and three races as, “A super fun, super challenging day on the water!” Rosenberg elaborated, “The racing was tight and quite well mixed among our J/70 teams as we all worked hard to get off the line well, keep the boats fast, and connect the dots with the light, shifty, puffy wind while still trying to position well with the ever-changing current. I felt like today was one of those days where both the speed team and the strategy team were pushed hard to produce all day long. Shifting gears was a high priority for both upwind and downwind speed as the breeze did not seem to remain consistent for more than about 30-45 seconds at a time. Kudos to Boris and his team of high schoolers from Orcas and also Pat Dore with his high schoolers from Tacoma. Both of these young teams spent most of the day out in front of the pack.”

What an extraordinary flurry of activity on the dinghy docks at CYC! Photo by Lek Dimarucot.

Longtime Seattle sailor but newcomer to the J/70 fleet, Lek Dimarucot, had this to share: “Fun racing with the J/70 fleet at Turkey Bowl this weekend, with a high school team that won a spot in the National Keelboat Invitational next month. I got to helm my first J/70 race (thanks to Pat Dore) and the race committee pulled off nine races, including five in a rare easterly on Sunday that just kept on going like the Energizer bunny. It was also great to share a course with Aeros, Stars, and Lasers, and not be the small boat dodging bigger boats.”

Well done to CYC for having such an excellent Turkey Bowl 2023, thanks to the Race Committee, and mainly congrats to all the participating sailors who made it a great event. Around the fleets, class honors went to: Henry Tuttle among the C420s, Kaitlyn Beaver in the Laser Radial, Lydia Carscaddon in the FJ, Noelani Li in the Laser 4.7, Sebastian Samano in the Opti, Boris Luchterhand and the high schoolers from Orcas in the J/70 fleet, Derek DeCouteau in the Star, Alex Zaputil in the Laser, and Keith Hammer in the RS Aero. What a weekend, gobble gobble!