The first New England J/Fest Regatta is being hosted by the Bristol Yacht Club over August 13-14th 2016. East Coast Yacht Sales and North Sails are the Partner sponsors in this regatta limited to J/Boat owners and crew with racing taking place on upper Narragansett Bay. This event capitalizes on similar successful J/Fest Regattas held in other US regions where participation has exceeded over 70 boats. The event coordinators are anticipating 75 boats on the starting line with One Design starts for classes with 5 or more boats. There will be off the water festivities including a barbeque and entertainment on Saturday night with awards following racing on Sunday.
Narragansett Bay is considered “home waters” for many of the iconic high performance J boats that were built at the former Tillotson-Pearson Incorporated, the former Pearson Composites LLC, US Watercraft and CCF Composites. They have a very strong following and very active class associations that include world class champion sailors. The 2016 New England J/Fest regatta is scheduled the weekend between Buzzard Bay Regatta (5-7 August) and the Ida Lewis Distance Race (19-20 August). This allows boats that travel to compete in three back-to-back events at different venues around Southern New England. This regatta has also been designated as a special event for certain J/Boat classes as follows:
- J/22 Class - Winner is NBYA Qualifier for US Sailing Adult Championship (Mallory Trophy)
- J/30 Class - Southern New England Regional Championship
- J/70 Class - Narragansett Bay Championship
- J/105 Class - Fleet 14 Event and East Coast Championship
- J/109 Class - Part of the East Coast Regatta Series Championship