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Ready to Roll in Buffalo

SW's Michael Lovett checks in from the J/22 North Americans, hosted by Buffalo YC.

August 18, 2010
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Just after 5 a.m. today, I was standing outside my apartment in Providence, R.I., waiting for my skipper, Bill Porter, to swing down my street with the J/22 in tow.

Now it’s 9 p.m., and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Buffalo, where we spent a breezy afternoon at the Buffalo YC making last-minute preparations for the J/22 North American Championship, which kicks off tomorrow with a practice race.

I’m always amazed by how far you can go in a day. It’s not like Buffalo is all that far away from Rhode Island—just a painless, eight-hour drive separates the two—but somehow the end of this day feels a long way away from the beginning.

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I’ve been looking forward to this regatta all summer. Not because I think we’re going to win, but because this event promises to be an intense learning experience. We’ve spent the past few seasons mixing it up with our local J/22 fleet, and we’re eager to see how we stand on the national stage.

I’ve got a feeling we’ll be taking our lumps and learning some lessons the hard way. The last time I sailed the J/22 NAs, in Cleveland in 2007, it seemed like we spent the entire week ducking boats on the starboard layline. Hopefully, we’ll be wise enough to avoid that pitfall this week, but I’m sure we’ll find another way to screw things up. In some sick way, that’s why I’m here.

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_For more about the 2010 J/22 North American Championship, check out SW’s __Finish Line forum__._

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