CLEVELAND - Some of the world’s best sailors have flocked to Cleveland this week, as the city is hosting its first J/70 North American Championship at Edgewater Yacht Club.
It’s a big-time event for those in the sailing community, but it’s especially important for those from northeast Ohio that are use to traveling around the world to participate in these regattas.
Trey Sheehan, owner of the Hooligan, says he was introduced to sailing at an early age and the bug never went away.
“Sail camp was cheap daycare for my parents. They literally made us ride our bikes down in the morning, we were gone all day. Then it turned into a life-long addiction,” says Sheehan.
He and his team have traveled all over to race the Hooligan. Sheehan says, “We’ve traveled extensively with the boat. We take the boat to San Francisco. It’s been to Los Angeles, San Diego, Key West and Miami. I don’t know, it’s become part of my social life.”
This year, Trey and others like him don’t have to travel far to race with some of the best in the sport. They, for a change, are coming to him.
“We’ve got 45 of the best teams in the county here. This is as big of an event in our class for this year in the united states for us for sure,” says Sheehan.
Racing began on September 25th and continue through the 28th. Each race is about 5 miles, with every team using the J/70 boat, which is just under 23 feet long. However, even though the boats are all very similar, the teams are all different. The field is made up of professionals and amateurs from all over the globe. Some have more sailing experience, some have more racing experience, and some may finally have some home water advantage.
Although, Sheehan disagrees. “There is no home field advantage in this sport, especially as talented as the group is here, but to be right here at home is terrific.”
Even if the home water isn’t more forgiving for local racers, Trey is excited to show off Cleveland to some of the best sailors from around the world.
Sheehan says, “It’s Cleveland, the weather has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to a real nice weekend. I think being out in nature, it’s just fantastic.”