Ontario-based J24 sailor Rossi Milev and crew won the J/24 Midwinter Championships held in early March in Tampa, beating out 28 other competitors.
It’s the second time that Milev, who is based in Mississauga, has won that regatta, also winning at the same event in 2016.
Racing this time on the yacht called Clear Air, Milev had a couple of bullets and a second- and third-place finish to end the eight-race regatta with just 23 points, three less than the second-place finisher from the U.S.
A 2017 J/24 world champion, Milev sailed with a crew consisting of Dan Borrer, Gayle Gray, Vince Somoza (boat owner) and Mark Goodyear at the regatta hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida.
One other Canadian boat was racing at the event. Evan Petley-Jones from Halifax ended up finishing in ninth place. The rest of the J/24 fleet were from various cities spread out across the U.S.
This event was Milev’s first since the 2017 world championships, according to a post on the J/24 class association website. “It felt great to be back,” said Milev. “We didn’t have the gears since we haven’t sailed for a while, but every day, we got a little better.”
Of the crew, Gray and Goodyear were part of the world championship crew in 2017 and the other crew members, Borrer and Somoza, were newcomers to the yacht Clear Air.
“We clicked from the get-go,” says Milev.
The J/24 sailboat is a popular one-design racer with a crew ranging from three to five, and is popular around the world. The sailboat can be raced and cruised.
At the Tampa regatta, blue skies, a solid sea breeze and temperatures hovering around 80 degrees were welcomed by the Canadian sailors, says the report.
“It’s one of my favourite places in North America to sail,” Milev says about Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa. “It’s the friendliest yacht club by far. The breeze this weekend was unbelievable. I’ve sailed here a lot of times, and this is the steadiest I’ve ever seen it.
“We had 15 minutes on one tack, and we never got a shift.”