Rosser Bodycomb, of Ft. Worth, TX, and his crew aboard Bodacious, finished the first day of the 2001 Sailing World Texas NOOD regatta and the J-80 NAs topping a fleet of 17. “Its the Blind Hog Syndrome,” says trimmer David Stout. “Even blind hogs can find acorns.” Hardly a blind hog, Bodycombs 40 years of sailing experience on a small lake in Ft. Worth gave him a sense of shifts that came in handy in the light, fluky conditions seen on Galveston Bay this afternoon. “It clocked around the course today,” he says. “You just have to know where the wind is.”
Louis Church, owner of Bodacious, put his trust in Bodycomb to find the wind, taking the sheets instead of the helm. Church bought Bodacious two years ago to compete in the growing fleet in Ft. Worth.
The J-80 class is rapidly gaining momentum in Texas, enough to give last years national champion, Roland Arthur, of Ft. Worth, TX, a run for his money today. “There are a good five or six boats that could win this regatta,” says Arthur, whos J-80, Wild Thang finished just two points behind Bodacious with a total of 11 points for the day. “Its a lot tougher than it was last year because the class is growing so much. Its a fast boat, but its easy to sail–you can take non-sailors with you and theyll have a great time.” Arthur caught the wave almost instantly by purchasing his boat in 1993 when the J-80 first came onto the market.
Church turned in his PHRF boat for the J-80 two years ago. “I prefer the way one-design competition works,” says Church. At that moment, James Berry, Churchs friend aboard Weekend at Bernies, chimed in: “Friends dont let friends sail PHRF.” Weekend at Bernies is currently in ninth place in the J-80 fleet. Another crew member aboard Weekend at Bernies, decked out in the boats arresting lime green uniform, rebutted his fellow one-design warrior. “Friends dont let friends wear neon,” said Kelly Holmes.