• J/Newsletter- March 13th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    While those in the northern hemisphere seem to be experiencing quite bizarre weather across the spectrum, our friends Down Under in South America appear to be enjoying a rather temperate early fall. Along the Pacific coast of Chile, the J/70s enjoyed a strong turnout for their 2019 Chilean Nationals, sailed off Algarrobo, and hosted by the gracious members of the Real Club Nautico de Algarrobo.

    Just above South America, the Caribbean sailors saw yet another of their famous winter regattas take place, this time it was in the nearly idyllic setting of Christiansted, St Croix. There, the St Croix Yacht Club, situated on a spectacular beach, held their 2019 St Croix International Regatta with a J/100 and J/24s participating in the festivities.

    Moving still further north, the spring regatta season is starting to kick in across North America. Starting in Mexico, the Vallarta Yacht Club held their incredibly fun-loving, totally laid-back Bahia de Banderas Regatta in simply spectacular weather conditions during the four-day event.

    Migrating further north to the USA, the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series just finished the third and final event at the Bacardi Invitational, hosted by Coral Reef YC in Miami, FL and sailed on the azure waters of Biscayne Bay….like their counterparts in Chile and Mexico, the conditions were nearly idyllic.

    Heading west, the J/105 Midwinters were sailed on Eagle Mountain Lake, hosted by the famous Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

    Moving to the Pacific coast again, two regattas were taking place on San Francisco Bay simultaneously, not an unusual scenario for those rabid, passionate sailors in the Bay area. On the northeastern part of the Bay, the Big Daddy Regatta was hosted by Richmond YC, off Richmond, CA, for PHRF handicap classes as well as a J/105 class. Across the Bay to the west, the St Francis YC hosted the first of three events in the J/22 California Dreamin’ Match Race Regatta series.

    Finally, moving into the Pacific Northwest, the Corinthian YC of Seattle hosted the second of their three event Center Sound Series, the 27.0nm Scatchet Head Race, with dozens of J/Teams participating.
     

    J/22 Midwinter Championship Preview
    (Fort Walton Beach, FL)- The J/22 class will be hosting their Midwinter Championship at Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  The J/22 sailors seemed to enjoy the tremendous hospitality at FWYC in the past and, as a result, the J/22s will have one of their largest Midwinters in years- with thirty-two boats registered to go racing from March 14th to 17th.

    Not surprisingly, many of the usual suspects from across the country are making their annual winter pilgrimage south for the regatta; just about all the major J/22 fleets are well-represented.  Some of those leading teams include Mark Foster’s PRESSURE DROP (with Rod “Caracas” Favela and Travis Odenbach as crew); Casey Lambert on BLACKBURN MARINE RACING from Houston, TX; Chris & Jennifer Princing’s TEAM AWARD & SPORTS/ EVIL DR. PORK CHOP from Tawas Bay, MI; Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY from Annapolis, MD; Chris Doyle’s THE JUG 4 1 from Youngstown, NY; Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Newport, RI; Benz Faget’s FATS from New Orleans, LA; and Farley & Barrett Fontenot on REPEAT from Houston, TX.  That is quite a rough bunch of hombres to have to contend with for the podium!  There are more than a few Worlds, North American, and Midwinter Championships spread amongst that group!
    For more J/22 Midwinter Championship sailing information
     

     
    Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race Preview
    (Newport Beach, CA)- The 20th running of the 800.0nm Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race starts this week. This edition of the race will be especially exciting as the West Coast prepares for a huge season of offshore sailing leading up to the 50th Transpac. The first ORR handicap classes start Thursday, March 14th at 1300 hrs, followed by five more ORR handicap classes starting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Typically a downwind run to Cabo San Lucas, racers enjoy the sunny afternoons and warm, moonlit evenings as they journey down the coast.  The race is a test of weather routing, excellent navigation, and the crew pressing hard 24 hours a day.  For the most part, it is a very reachy race early.  Then, as the fleet makes its way down the coast of Mexico, the winds move further aft and the boats start gybing in northerly winds that can often peak at 15-25 kts during the daytime.

    Three very fast J/crews will be on the race track offshore, all hyper-fast reaching machines that have proven to win their fair share of offshore silverware.  Making her race debut will be Scott Grealish’s brand new J/121 BLUE FLASH! After winning its class in the Storm Trysail Club’s Bermuda Race last year, this will be the first true “downhill” test of the J/121 against many of the best SoCal offshore speedsters.

    Perhaps the biggest competitor that BLUE FLASH will face is one of the famous J/125s, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC. TIMESHAVER’s favorite whipping post has been their buddies on the SC50 Horizon. They may now have to add Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH to their “watch” list as they make fast progress down the Mexican coastline.

    Finally, do not count out Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL from Newport Beach, CA.  Their team has proven that in lighter offshore races, like the Newport to Ensenada Race or the SoCal 300 sailed earlier in the year, they have the light air reaching speed and narrow, easily-driven hull to sail fast and get a podium finish.
    Live YB Tracking of the race here.   For more Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race sailing information
     

    Monaco J/70 Winter Series V Preview
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The fifth and final event of the Monaco J/70 Winter Series will be taking place this weekend from March 14th to 17th, hosted by Yacht Club de Monaco, with sailing taking place offshore on Hercules Bay in front of the famous Casino.

    A fleet of thirty-nine highly competitive J/70s from across Europe and other parts of the world will be participating in up to ten races over the course of the weekend. Those teams hail from Monaco, Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Ireland, Brazil, Great Britain, Finland, Ukraine, and Sweden.

    The previous regatta for this fleet was the Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse that took place three weeks ago. Winning that event was Monaco’s own Ludovico Fassitelli on JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, with the Irish crew of SOAK RACING (Marshall King) and the Swiss team of JERRY (Tom Studer) rounding out the podium.  However, the two stalking horses behind this trio were perhaps the most formidable of all.  The winner of Act III was the Russian Andreï Malygin skippering MARIA, taking both the Open and Corinthian titles. And, the winner of Act II was the YC Monaco team of CHARISMA, skippered by Nico Poons.

    With all five crews hoping to take the overall Winter Series title in the grand finale, it will be quite a battle amongst those teams.  All are well-prepared and are hoping to gain valuable experience as they keep a weather eye out for how they stack up against the world’s best for the 2021 J/70 World Championship that will be hosted by YC Monaco.  For more Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information
     

    San Diego NOOD Regatta Preview
    (San Diego, CA)- The 2019 edition of the Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta is taking place this coming weekend from March 15th to 17th, hosted by the famous San Diego Yacht Club on Point Loma.  The regatta has become synonymous with the start of the sailing season for most teams involved in one-design and round-the-cans racing in the San Diego region. It is the premiere event to start the season for various J’s; including the J/70s, the J/105s, and the J/120s.

    The forecast is promising, with temperatures ranging from mid 60s F in the day, with predominantly sunny skies and winds varying from 8 to 15 kts from the West to Northwest.  Remarkably, it seems to be a conspiracy to deliver near postcard-perfect conditions ordered up by the local San Diego Chamber of Commerce!

    Looking forward to such “shorts and shades” weather is the largest class at the event, the fifteen boat strong J/70 fleet with participants from as far-reaching as Guadalajara, Mexico; Miami, FL; and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Teams to look for on the leaderboard should be Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara YC; Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01 from California YC; Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT California YC; Chris Raab’s SUGOI from Newport Harbor YC; Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO crew from Coronado, Mexico; and Pamela Rose’s ROSEBUD from Chicago YC.

    The J/105s are fielding a talented fleet of eight boats with many familiar faces hoping to get a jump on their friendly competitors in their first regatta of the year. Many past SDYC NOOD champions and podium finishers are in the mix, including Jon Dekker’s AIR BOSS, Steve Howell’s BLINK, Stew Cannon’s J-OK, and Chuck Driscoll & Tom Hurlburt’s JUICED.

    With five boats, the J/120s are all about consistency and who’s showing up for the party with a well-oiled machine in the form of crew- trimmers and tactician!  It is never easy to handicap this fleet.  Nevertheless, watch for the usual suspects like John Laun’s CAPER, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, and Tim Hogan’s SHAMROCK to be fighting for the top of the leaderboard. 

    In the North Sails PHRF Rally, the J/105 VIGGEN sailed by Tom Fisher from San Diego, CA will be looking forward to their Saturday on the water with family and friends.  For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Sailing Regatta information
     

    Warsash Spring Series Preview
    (Warsash, United Kingdom)- The Warsash Sailing Club is about to undertake its annual rite of spring- two events that run from mid-March to the end of April.  The first is the Helly Hansen Spring Series that starts March 17th and runs every Sunday until April 28th.  During the mid-series break, the Warsash SC hosts the Spring Championship that runs over two weekends from April 13-14 to April 27-28.  It is a hugely popular event for J/sailors to get themselves tuned-up for the major summertime events on the Solent and for the RORC Offshore events that run all summer.

    The larger J’s are sailing on the Black Group/ Championship course; that includes a large IRC contingent of J/teams sailing J/111s, J/112E, J/122, J/88s, J/92, and a J/99.

    In the Black Group IRC class are:
    • five J/109s: Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN, David Richard’s JUMPING JELYFISH, and Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN’;
    • four J/111s: Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II, Tony Mack’s McFLY, and Simon Bamford’s KESTREL; and
    • Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES and Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO.  
    All are familiar boats, all famously fast! That should be an interesting class to watch!

    A new Black Group J/Sprit Class includes the following teams:
    • five J/88s: David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL, Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR, Dirk & Dianne van Beek’s SABRIEL JR, and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS; and
    • David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO and Adrian Johnson’s J/105 FLAWLESS J.
    The smaller J’s race on the White Group/ Championship course include the J/70s. Dueling for leadership all spring long should be Doug Struth’s DSP, Paul Ward’s new EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER, Philip Rees’ BRYN, Calascione/ Ripard’s CALYPSO, Alex James’ POLARIS, and the Ian Wilson & Marshall King duo on SOAK RACING from Ireland.  For more Helly Hansen Spring Series sailing information
     

     
    J/120 Nationals Announcement!
    (Cleveland, OH)- Edgewater Yacht Club is pleased to announce the 2019 J/120 Nationals will be held in conjunction with the popular Cleveland Race Week. The Great Lakes J/120 Fleet looks forward to sailing on Lake Erie from June 14th to 16th, 2019. This is a great opportunity for J/120 owners on eastern Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake St. Clair to meet in the middle and enjoy the late Spring sailing that is part of the legendary Cleveland Race Week.

    For those needing a tune-up and a great kick-off to the season, head to Bayview Yacht Club for the Bayview One-Design Weekend, and then travel to Toledo Yacht Club for the ever-popular Mills Race and then head to Cleveland for the J/120 Nationals.

    As host of the J/120 Nationals, Edgewater YC will provide convenient dockage for all J/120 teams and great racing on the open waters of Lake Erie.  The Notice of Race is posted here.  For more J/120 Nationals information and Cleveland Race Week sailing information
     

     
    2019 J/GEAR Spring ShakeOut!
    (Newport, RI)- Spring is just around the corner, believe it or not!  While you are escaping or experiencing the crazy spring weather so far, it is high time to consider getting yourself and the crew ready for another fun summer of sailing on the high seas!

    To help get you in full swing, J/Gear is offering to all J/Owners a 20% discount on all crew gear orders through April 2019.

    Go here to J/Gear (http://jgear.vsport.biz/) and start shopping.  Then, use the following discount code at checkout: JB2019st.   Please note- 1/2 models and Custom J Prints do not qualify for the discount.
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    MORENITA Wins Dramatic Chilean J/70 Nationals
    (Algarrobo, Chile)- A highly competitive fleet of nineteen boats eagerly rigged up, tuned their boats to perfection, and headed out across the Pacific Ocean to the starting line for the 2019 Chilean SANTANDER J/70 Nationals. Hosting the regatta was the Real Club Nautico del Algarrobo.  As the fastest growing class in Chile since the J/24, and with the best sailors in South America, the J/70 continues to attract the best talent for both skippers and crew. What no one anticipated was the regatta's outcome was going to be determined by a tie-breaker based on the results of the final race.

    In the end, it was an incredibly hard-fought regatta for the two protagonists in this year’s J/70 Nationals. Both sailors have tremendous pedigree as both have won many championships in J/24s, Lightings, Soto 40s, and Snipes, to name a few.  Winning the tie-breaker was Mathias Robertson’s MORENITA with a 3-1-4-1 record for 9 pts.  Losing the countback to settle for the silver on the podium was Pablo Amunátegui’s SANTANDER with a 2-2-2-3 scoreline.

    Meanwhile, the Corinthians Division celebrated their winners José Antonio Jiménez’s team on DARK SIDE.  Here is what took place each melodramatic day on the water.

    Day 1- Friday- Big Seas, Big Battle
    The first day of racing started off with winds of 10 to 12kts from the northwest with very choppy seas from a large frontal system offshore. The PRO managed to run two races before the offshore wind finally shut down, a frequent occurrence after a slow moving frontal system passes over the Andes.  Typically, the land heats up in such circumstances and creates an onshore, sea breeze from the west/southwest.  But, that was not the case this time around.

    The Robertson brothers, Ro Robles and Pino Cubillos, took the lead at the end of the first day with a 3-1 score for 4 pts.  The Robertson’s are from amazing Chilean sailboat racing pedigree; they are sons of Felipe Cubillos, their father raced in the Portimao Race (35,000nm around the world in Class 40) together with José Muñoz. Tied on points with the Robertson’s was Pablo Amunátegui’s SANTANDER with a 2-2 scoreline for 4 pts as well.

    Day 2- Saturday- Light Air Dramas
    On Saturday, light wind conditions offshore persisted, prompting an onshore postponement until 1500 hrs! Desperate to get in at least once race, the PRO sent the fleet offshore at 1530 hrs to get in just one race for the day. Incredibly, it was SANTANDER that maintained their steady pace, with skipper Amunátegui posting yet another 2nd place to take over the lead of the regatta.  Sitting just two points back was Robertson’s MORENITA with a 3-1-4 tally for 8 pts.

    Day 3- Sunday Crazy, Dramatic Finale
    The final day dawned with more light winds. The forecasts looked a bit dismal, unfortunately. Again, the PRO had to do an onshore postponement at 0900 hrs that lasted, coincidentally, until 1500 hrs. At that point, the decision was made to make an attempt to get in one more race in about 6 kts of breeze from the normal seabreeze direction of West/ Southwest. The stakes were high, as whatever the outcome of the race, it was going to determine the championship.

    MORENITA had a fantastic start on the RC side of the line with great speed. From there, they took the lead at the first weather mark and simply sailed away to win the race. Meanwhile, their principal competitor, SANTANDER rounded in 5th place. At that point, it seemed like the regatta was over for SANTANDER. But, the drama was only going to build dramatically as the fleet continued to go around the buoys.

    On the first run, the wind went a little to the right and SANTANDER and Francisco Perez’s ELEANOR RIGBY were the first boats to gybe. Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI and Juan Reid’s WINDMADE/ DREAM YACHT CHARTERS stayed close to shore, looking for more pressure.

    Then, the left shift came in and both SANTANDER and ELEANOR RIGBY had a good recovery, but it was not enough. WINDMADE/ DREAM YACHT CHARTERS managed to gybe and run into the leeward gate in front of SANTANDER; 4th at that moment in the race, but still 2nd in overall in the standings.

    On the second windward leg, with good speed, SANTANDER took the left (closer to shore) and both TSUNAMI and WINDMADE/ DYC took off to the right on port tack, despite the left-swinging wind direction. SANTANDER made it work along the shore and rounded the second windward mark in 2nd place.  Next, was TSUNAMI in 3rd, WINDMADE/ DYC in fourth, ELEANOR RIGBY 5th, and Matias Seguel’s VOLVO in 6th.

    IF nothing changed on the downwind run to the finish, SANTANDER’s big gain meant they would be winning the regatta!  However, positions could, and did, change!

    Again, the wind shifted into the right in the final 100 meters upwind at the weather mark, so WINDMADE/ DYC and TSUNAMI gybed onto port downwind, onto the favored gybe. Meanwhile, SANTANDER was still in second place, choosing the right side of the course downwind, closer to shore. Notably, the wind was decreasing in pressure and making everything more difficult tactically across the entire course.

    In the final approach to the finish line, SANTANDER made two gybes, in front of TSUNAMI and WINDMADE/ DYC.  But, they did not block WINDMADE/ DYC, who was free to sail a faster angle to the RC finish boat.  Incredibly, WINDMADE/ DYC finished in 2nd by one foot (!) ahead of SANTANDER! Thus, putting SANTANDER in between them and TSUNAMI at the finish! Those two gybes by SANTANDER may go down as the “text book” wrong move, hopefully never to be repeated again by the moribund crew!

    As a result, MORENITA won, with SANTANDER losing the tie-breaker to take second, with VOLVO third.

    Rounding out the top five overall was also determined on yet another tie-breaker on 21 pts each! Winning that “mano-a-mano” combat was Reid’s WINDMADE/ DREAM YACHT CHARTERS, taking fourth over Ducasse’s TSUNAMI in fifth place. Wow, that last race completely jumbled the ENTIRE top five standings in just 100 meters of the finish line!! Panic and anxiety in Algarrobo!!

    Meanwhile, in the Corinthians division, José Antonio Jiménez's DARK SIDE finished 6th overall with only Jimenez family members on board.  Taking second was Patricio Natho’s TRILOGIA and in third was Cristóbal Pérez’s IL MOSTRO.

    The Race Committee was managed by Fernando Pérez Spencer and assisted by Claudio Gonzalez and Javier Alias Corniza. The Protest Committee was chaired by Claudio Salvatore. Begoña Gumucio was the PRO for the regatta and also coordinated all the activities ashore. The ex-Olympic sailor was crucial for the success of the championship on the water, social events, and the award ceremony.

    On Saturday morning, the 2020 J/70 Nationals host club and town was decided and the two finalists were Algarrobo and Lake Rapel. The Chilean J/70 Class directors are looking forward to sail outside Algarrobo and hope to resolve the logistics scenario to go sailing on Lake Rapel in the foothills of the Andes Mountains; the lake is about 2 hours south of the capital city of Santiago ~ 100 miles.
     

    Bacardi J/70 Series Gets CATAPULT’ed!
    (Miami, FL)- Thirty-seven J/70 teams from ten nations (USA, Argentina, Italy, Monaco, Brazil, Great Britain, Chile, Germany, Canada, and Mexico) sailed the third and final series of the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series- the Bacardi Invitational- this past weekend in simply stellar weather conditions for all three days.  Coral Reef YC hosted the event, in coordination with Biscayne Bay YC, and the combined PRO’s managed to run eight races, much to the delight of the sailors.

    A stellar fleet was assembled for the event, following on the previous week’s J/70 Midwinter Championship that was hosted in the same venue. In the end, it was Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota that won the event, with crew of Victor Diaz de Leon, Patrick Wilson, and Chris Stocke.  It was a very difficult regatta strategically and tactically for many of the top teams in the J/70 fleet. Here is how it all went down over the three-day series.

    Day 1- Thrilling, Gorgeous Thursday
    It was one amazing sailing day in Biscayne Bay, with typical Miami winter conditions of strong breeze, sunshine and small chop. Racing didn’t get better for the 165 teams racing at the Bacardi Invitational Regatta.

    Three races were wrapped up for the J/70 fleet. Three different teams won races and it wasn’t easy task to grab victory amongst such super competitive talent. Owner-driver Carlo Alberini on CALVI NETWORK controlled the leaderboard with scores of 2-6-1 and sat on a 3 point advantage over SURGE (USA) helmed by Ryan McKillen with World Champion tactician Mark Mendelblatt. Two points behind in third was Monaco’s G-SPOTTINO driven by Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio.

    “Beautiful day out there today for yachting in Miami,” said a happy Ryan McKillen on SURGE. “We had a good day, a seventh, a fourth and a third. Our third Miami event, the Bacardi, and then we snuck in the J/70 Midwinters two weeks ago. So, we did a lot of sailing in Miami this winter.”

    Day 2- Fabulous Friday
    Miami and the South Florida woke up under a cloudy sky with the wind blowing vigorously at 15 to 18 knots from the East/North East. All races started on schedule at 1100 hours across the different race courses on Biscayne Bay. Three races were wrapped up for the J/70s.

    Tough and close battles unfolded on the J/70 course, with the top two teams separated by just four points. Italy’s CALVI NETWORK lost their overnight lead after mistakes in their gennaker drop at one leeward gate rounding, giving the opportunity for CATAPULT (driven by Minnesota’s Joel Ronning) to break away into the top spot. But, with two races on Saturday the game was still wide open. SURGE dropped to third place, and was an 11-point deficit to second.

    “It was a fantastic day in the bay,” said Carlo Alberini of CALVI NETWORK. “The race course here is always interesting and different. “We’re four points from the leader and we’re not going to make it easy for them tomorrow. This year we celebrate our team’s 20th anniversary that started in 1999. We’ve been to this event many times and it is one of our favorites!”

    Day 3- Spectacular Saturday Finale
    Miami and Biscayne Bay today showcased the best day of racing as this iconic racing venue said good-bye to the 500 sailors who competed at the Bacardi Invitational Regatta. A great Easterly breeze of around 10 knots, sun shining, warm, and wave chop a lot less than the previous days, made for a perfect race day. All of the classes finished their scheduled races.

    In the J/70s, the winners were the team on CATAPULT, featuring Joel Ronning, Victor Diaz del Leon, Patrick Wilson and Chris Stoke. They were the most solid and consistent of the fleet with every score inside the top 3, after discarding their 11th in race 3. They racked up a 16 point advantage over second placed Americans onboard McKillen’s SURGE with Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics along with Jon Wallace and Sam Loughborough.  Then, in third was Italy’s CALVI NETWORK with Carlo Alberini driving with crew of Stefano Cherin, Jas Farneti, and Marco Furlan.

    Rounding out the top five was Will Welles’ SCAMP in fourth with crew of Zeke Horowitz, Jake Doyle, and Reed Baldridge.  Fifth was the Mexican team on WOODSTOCK, skippered by Fernando Gutierrez, with crew of Willem van Waay, Javier Gutierrez, and Leopoldo Turco.

    “This was a very fun team to sail with we all got along very well,” commented Ronning on their win with Team CATAPULT. “This group of people is very good at what they do. We had tremendous fun; we were able to minimize mistakes by keeping the dialogue open and if there were any issues they were taken care of right away. It’s a phenomenal event and one of the premier series in the world. It’s very well organized. We love Shake A Leg, we love Bacardi, everybody is so welcoming and we will definitely be coming back.”  For more Bacardi Cup J/70 Winter Series sailing information


    HOSS Was Boss @ J/105 Midwinters 

    (Fort Worth, TX)– The J/105 Midwinter Championship returned to the calendar this year as eleven teams competed at Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, TX from March 7th to 10th. Locals Glenn Darden and Reese Hillard led the HOSS team to victory with 24 points. They racked up three bullets over the weekend and never finished lower than sixth. Following HOSS in second place was Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO (30 points) and Kenneth Horne’s FINAL FINAL in third (33 points).

    While being awarded the J/105 Midwinter Championship trophy, Darden commented, “It was a wild three days of tight racing with winds ranging from 3 to 30 knots. Eagle Mountain Lake always makes it interesting!

    I would like to thank my HOSS team! First, my co-owner and long-time shipmate Reese Hillard!  Then, trimmer Jake Scott, tactics and mainsheet Tony Waldon, on bow Peter Philpot, and at the mast Lindsay Scott. They really guided and pulled HOSS to the top.

    The Fort Worth Boat Club ran a top-notch event, and PRO Dwight Bengston and his race management team did an outstanding job in getting in eight quality races in three days!  Thanks to everyone again, it was lots of fun!”

    Added Matt Arno, J/105 Chief Measurer, “It’s not often you get to race in three different seasons in three days. Winds from 0 to 40 knots and temperatures from 40F to 80F gave us the full range of conditions. Despite that, racing was tight for the whole regatta.”

    Rounding out the top five was Dwight Horton’s BEAUTY in fourth place with 35 pts, just two points from third. Then, Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE took fifth with 38 pts. It was very close racing for the teams in 2nd to 5th place, the last two races seeing their positions flip fast like a game of “chutes and ladders”!  Sailing photo credits- Regattashots.com.  For more J/105 Midwinter Championship sailing information
     

    Gorgeous Bahia de Banderas Bay Regatta!
    (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)- This year’s Bahia de Banderas Regatta will go down into the history books as yet another almost perfect weekend of sailing on the gorgeous waters off Puerto Vallarta.  Thirty-seven boats in six classes enjoyed postcard perfect weather every day.  The Vallarta YC, based out of Marina Vallarta, provided excellent race management, waiting for the seabreeze to build by noontime before sending the happy-go-lucky sailors out to sea for their races each day. In the end, it was a clean sweep of the top spots by J/Teams in the PHRF Performance classes.

    In PHRF Performance A class, Mike Seth’s beautiful dark navy blue DOUBLE TAKE cruised to both line and handicap honors with a 5-1-1 tally for 7 pts overall.  Following in their wake each day was Lee Pryor’s maroon J/130 SIROCCO, posting a 4-2-2 for 8 pts to take the silver.

    Meanwhile, in PHRF Performance B class, Bart Smit’s beautifully maintained J/105 SINFONIA NAUTICA simply eclipsed their fleet with straight bullets for a total of just 3 pts in three races!

    Finally, the J/80 One-Design Class enjoyed good racing.  Easily taking the class win was Wayne Zittell’s J-WORLD 1 with straight bullets for 3 pts total.  Second was J-WORLD Team 2 and third was J-WORLD Team 3. Follow Bahia de Banderas Regatta on Facebook here   For more Bahia de Banderas Regatta sailing information
     

    Challenging Scatchet Head Race
    (Seattle, WA)- The second race of the Center Sound Series is now on the books, a three-race series hosted by Corinthian YC of Seattle.  The start on Saturday was at 10:00 AM and the fleet had to contend with light airs and lots of current.  The 26.0nm course left the starting mark buoy to port, round Scatchet Head Lighted Gong Buoy (LL#16555) to port, and finish by leaving the finishing mark buoy to port. J/Crews faired well in the challenging race and augmented their series scores to remain in contention for the overall series in a number of classes.

    PHRF 2 Class is comprised of five J/80s and a J/30 in the 11-boat class.  Currently leading in the top two spots are Phil Dean’s J/80 RUSH with a 1-1 for 2 pts and in second is John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS with a 3-2 for 5 pts.  Rounding out the top six are David Schutte’s J/80 TAJ MAHAL in 4th with a 2-8, Richard Demmler’s J/80 TASTES LIKE CHICKEN in 5th with a 7-3, and Derek Storms & Cindy Gosset’s J/30 OUTLAW is sitting in 6th with a 4-8.

    Class 4 is the nine-boat J/105 class.  As usual, it is very close racing with three boats tied on 4 points each for the overall lead.  That trio is Chris Phoenix’s JADED with a 3-1, Bucky Rezabek’s RACERS FORMALLY KNOWN AS HERE & NOW with a 1-3, and Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE with a 2-2.  The balance of the top five has Tom Kerr’s CORVO in 4th with a 5-4 and Allen Hughes & Shauna Walgren’s CREATIVE with a 4-6 in 5th place.

    In PHRF 6 class, Don Leighton’s J/35 beautifully refinished TAHLEQUAH is sitting in a comfortable 2nd place with a 2-2.  Meanwhile, Stephanie Arnold & Chuck Queen’s J/33 DASH is hanging on to 4th place in PHRF 5 Class with a 3-7.

    Tolga Cezik’s J/109 LODOS is the top J in PHRF 7 class, sitting in a tie for 4th place with a 4-6.  Then, in PHRF 8 class, Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE is sitting in a tie for 4th with a 3-6, while the Dougherty/ Andrews duo on their J/125 HAMACHI is just behind them with a 5-5. Finally, in PHRF 0 “big boat” class, we find Bill Fox sailing the gorgeous navy blue J/160 JAM into 5th place, giving them a 4-5 tally for the series and tied for 4th place.  Not bad for a “cruising/ racing” boat racing against a trio of TP52s, and a custom RP55!  For fabulous photos, check out Jan Anderson’s portfolio here  For more Corinthian YC Seattle Center Sound Series sailing information
     

     
    Light Airs Big Daddy Regatta
    J/120 Smokes Class, J/105s Battle!
    (Richmond, CA)- The Big Daddy 2019 Regatta marks the 34th year of mark racing on Saturday and a Pursuit race on Sunday hosted by Richmond YC.  All mono-hulled keelboats with a Northern California PHRF rating of 280 and below were invited. Fleets over 5 boats may be given one-design starts on Saturday. The Sunday Pursuit Race is always a scream.  Then, après’ racing is perhaps the most popular part of the regatta; a great dinner and party with live band on Saturday night and breakfast for all on Sunday morning!

    The sailing on San Francisco Bay in the late winter/ early spring is often not something to write home about.  It can be light, foggy, drifty, cloudy, ugly, rainy. Or, it can be simply a spectacular 10-15 kts sunny day at 70 degrees!  Such is the rights of spring-time weather on the infamous Bay, where “summer” in July can be 52 deg on the water blowing 30 kts (e.g. windchill way, way lower than light air cool days in the spring!).

    Enduring the challenging scenarios were a flock of J/crews ranging from J/24s up to J/111s.  In the PHRF B “big boat” class, it was David Halliwill’s J/120 PEREGRINE from San Francisco YC that took class honors with straight bullets.  Second was last year’s class winner, Nesrin Basoz’s J/111 SWIFT NESS from Richmond YC that took three deuces to secure the silver.

    In the J/105 one-design class, Chris Kim’s VUJA STAR from Richmond YC swept the series with straight bullets. Taking second with all deuces was Eric Patterson’s KESTREL from San Francisco YC and taking the bronze was Dick Maclay’s YELLOWFIN from Berkeley YC.

    George Sirogiannis’ J/35 MOJO from Richmond YC sailed consistently to take 5th place in PHRF C Class.

    Then, in PHRF E Class, the J/70s were doing battle with other sportboats, with the J/70s ultimately ruling the roost.  Winning was Mark Thomas’ J/70 KANGAROO JOCKY from Richmond YC with a 1-2-2 for 5 pts, with Tom Thayer’s J/70 RAMPAGE from Richmond YC posting a 7-1-1 for 9 pts to grab the bronze.

    Finally, a classic J/24 won PHRF F Class!  That honor went to Richard Stockdale’s FROG LIPS taking the gold with a 1-2-1 for 4 pts. Sailing photo credit- Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo.  For more Big Daddy Regatta sailing information
     

    VELA RACING Wins J/22 California Dreamin’ Regatta
    (San Francisco, CA)- The first stop of the annual California Dreamin’ Series, March 9-10 at St. Francis Yacht Club, had racers dreaming of classic San Francisco Bay sailing. However, two days of rain, variable wind, squalls, lightning and squirrely current didn’t deter local match racing champion Nicole Breault and her team of Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser and Hannah Burroughs. The four women, known as Vela Racing, bested the fleet of eight, scoring 11 bullets in 12 races – losing just once to Breault’s husband, Bruce Stone, and his team of Spencer Paulsen, Stephanie Wondolleck and Halsey Richartz, who finished third overall. Second place was nabbed by Chris Nesbitt, sailing with Drew Guay, Michael Nicoletti and Kara Voss.

    “It was very challenging out there,” said Breault, who’s the top-ranked women’s match racer in the United States. “The theme of this weekend was ‘this is so weird,’ which accounts for all the variables, the currents, the cross-currents. We’ve been sailing together for a long time and we’re trying to gear up for the Nations Cup, coming here to the St. Francis on April 10-14. This was a great warm-up for us and lays a solid foundation for the year.”

    Stone credited his win over Breault and his Day 2 picket fence to “risk minimization,” sailing away in the pre-starts as he observed the other competitors getting to the line too early in the flood tide. The strategy boosted him to a podium finish.

    Principal Race Officer Jeff Zarwell was profuse in his thanks to the umpires, who hailed from throughout the West Coast and Canada, and the race management team who endured challenging mark sets in unpredictable currents caused by the freshwater run-off of recent rains coursing over the saltier flood tide. “We hadn’t even gotten to max flood and it was already ebbing,” he exclaimed on the second day, which delayed mark-setting for some of what turned out to be the final heats when the wind shifted and then died and lightning spiked across the Bay, putting an early end to racing.

    America’s Cup veteran Russell Long, who finished near the back of the pack, said the weekend’s racing “got his adrenaline going” and praised the maneuverability and responsiveness of the Club’s J/22s, compared to the keelboats he’s accustomed to racing in the past. “Match racing has really evolved from when I used to do it,” he said. “The game is more aggressive now than 30, 35 years ago. It’s a pleasure to see the ability of some of these young people.”

    The California Dreamin’ Series brings together eight teams from around the US to compete in a double round-robin format. The next stop will be at San Diego Yacht Club on October 5-6, 2019, followed by Long Beach Yacht Club on November 2-3, 2019.   Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray   For more J/22 California Dreamin’ sailing information
     

    J/Crews Sweep St Croix International Regatta
    (Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI)- The St Croix Yacht Club, situated on the sensational sandy beach on Teague Bay in St Croix, USVI, just completed its popular St Croix International Regatta last weekend.  The event takes place over three days.  On Friday March 8th was Capt Nick's Race; a salute to Captain Nick Castruccio "Tail Hook Nick" and sharing his life long passion for racing and the sea.  Then, on Saturday and Sunday, it was International Regatta, two days of fun, fast and exciting mix of CSA handicap racing for the whole family.  The fleet enjoyed an array of courses set in picturesque Buck Island channel.

    In the CSA Spinnaker class, Peter Stanton’s J/24 CRUCIAN CONFUSION all four races in the Capt Nick’s Race and five of the six races in the Regatta, winning class quite convincingly.  Mirroring those scores all three days was Mackenzie Bryan’s bright red J/100 BAD GIRL, with all 2nds and one 1st to take the silver.
    For more St Croix International Regatta sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
     
    * J/145 #9, now called KATARA, is returning to her racing roots under new owner Roger Gatewood from Tampa, Florida.  She will be flying the Davis Island Yacht Club flag out of Tampa Bay. Their 2019 schedule includes the Pineapple Cup, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Heineken St Maarten Regatta, Antigua Race Week, and culminates with the Transpac Race in 2019 that is celebrating its 50th year!

    So far, they are getting faster and faster. In the Caribbean, they raced the CSA rating rule measured with a 157% genoa! Yikes, that has not helped their cause in the 15-25 kt trade winds! They are now getting re-rated for a 105% #3 jib like all the other competitors for their final Caribbean event.

    Sean Motta, navigator of KATARA, explained they were first at every windward mark in the Heineken St Maarten Regatta and the fact they had no time to re-rate her for the CSA Rule after getting her shipped from the Pacific Northwest USA to Antigua.  Nevertheless, a quick “back of the napkin” calculation by Motta indicated they could have won “the Heineken” with their #3 jib.

    After Antigua Race Week, KATARA will head downwind in the easterly tradewinds to Panama.  Transit the Panama Canal, and continue their delivery up to Los Angeles for the start of the Transpac Race on July 10th, 2019. They will get rated for ORR for the Transpac Race. Thanks for this heads-up from Sean Motta, navigator of KATARA!  Enjoy their Tampa Bay sailing video here on YouTube


    * Team MBR (McGuffin Brothers Racing) Racing a J/24 to Alaska!?

    It was in 2018 that four brothers in their late teens/20’s stopped whatever activity they were doing on Salt Spring Island (British Columbia), stared at the R2AK Race that swarmed around their island, and reached a collective conclusion: “There is an undefinable but compelling reason that we are drawn into this adventure,” and Team McGuffin Brothers Racing was born out of its own name.

    At ages 18, 19, 19, and 22 years old, they are dead even with youngest team to ever enter.  The team members include Cianan McGuffin, Finn McGuffin, Callum McGuffin, and “brother in arms” Conner Ekelund.

    Who are these ripped young’uns from the generation Millennials? Combined, they are sailors who dinghy train on 49ers every week, paddle a SUP 40 miles at a clip, hike the trails, paddle dragon racing canoes, amongst many other outdoor activities.

    Short version: these guys aren’t waiting for life to happen, they’re happening to life.

    Our favorite part: their goal is to use their soon to be R2AK-glory to springboard themselves into the world of professional sailing.

    Their words: “We don’t see how Oracle Team USA could refuse us after we’ve completed this race!”  Two words: Larry Ellison.

    While their guidance counselor might have just drank the other half of the bottle, she can rest easy on her desktop knowing they at least chose a boat well-suited as any for taking them to the land of salty opportunity. The J/24 might be the world’s most ubiquitous racing sled for this or any race.  Its got a keel to keep the wet side down, flared sides to keep the saltwater off the dry side, and a tiny cabin to create a bubble of sleepable moistness between the rain and sea. There are over 5,400+ of these things charging around the buoys worldwide.  If you run the numbers, like we didn’t, literally at any given moment there are no less than seven J/24s sailing or nearly sailing somewhere around Mother Earth!  That’s astounding! As far as we know, so far not one of them has gone engineless to Alaska! Cool.

    Note- these guys will be using oars, or maybe propellers driven by bicycles, in addition to other things to propel themselves along the tortuous route to the finish line.

    Follow Team MBR and their sailing exploits on Facebook here  For more McGuffin Brothers Racing Team information  For more Race 2 Alaska sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- March 6th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    It was a busy time in the Caribbean this past week.  The largest regatta of the winter season in those gorgeous azure blue ocean waters just took place, the famous Heineken St. Maarten Regatta, sailed out of Simpson Bay on the French/ Dutch island of St Maarten.  Enjoying the spectacular, near-perfect sailing conditions for the four-day event was a fleet of 110 boats that included a J/145, two J/122s, three J/105s, and a J/30. Collectively, they enjoyed their fair share of daily podium finishes and overall regatta silverware.

    Over in sunny southern Florida, Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL hosted the 41st J/24 Midwinter Championship.  The fleet of twenty-nine boats also enjoyed near perfect sailing weather all three days- winds in the 6-12 kts range, low 80s for temperature, and plenty of sun!

    Then, way, way Down Under, there was hot racing action taking place in the southeastern parts of Australia.  For starters, the 2019 New South Wales J/70 Championship took place on Sydney Harbour, Australia.  Off to the southern coastline, a J/111 participated in the 160.0nm Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race and Lincoln Race Week. Sailing took place in beautiful Boston Bay off Port Lincoln, with the J/111 eclipsing its competitors in just about every way imaginable.

    Finally, in March, the European and Russian J/70 Sailing Leagues are getting rolling for the season. In Sochi, Russia this past weekend, their GAZPROM J/70 Winter Series concluded in somewhat stormy conditions for the twenty teams from across their nation.  From that event, the Russian J/70 sailing league, and other sailing leagues in Europe, roll into a 55+ regatta season that lasts until October 2019.
     

    Bacardi J/70 Winter Series III Preview
    (Miami, FL)- Thirty-seven J/70 teams from ten nations (USA, Argentina, Italy, Monaco, Brazil, Great Britain, Chile, Germany, Canada, and Mexico) are looking forward to the third and final series of the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series- the Bacardi Cup- that is being sailed from March 6th to 9th, 2019.  Coral Reef YC hosts the event, in coordination with Biscayne Bay YC, and the combined PRO’s hope to get in at least 3 to 4 races per day.

    A stellar fleet is assembled for the event, following on the previous week’s J/70 Midwinter Championship that was hosted in the same venue. Leading teams from the USA include Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, TX; Andrew and Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from Greenwich, CT; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in Minnesota; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC in Massachusetts; and Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI.

    There are several, quite formidable, foreign teams that will be on the starting line. Those crews include the famous CALVI NETWORK, skippered by Carlo Alberini with his Italian crew of Stefano Cherin, Jas Farneti, and Marco Furlan; Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT team from Royal Southern YC in Great Britain; Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s crew on G-SPOTTINO from Yacht Club de Monaco in Monte Carlo; Marcos Soares’ HIGHLANDERS from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Martin Dent’s British crew sailing JELVIS from Royal Southampton YC; Vincenzo Onorato’s infamous MASCALZONE LATINO from YC Monaco; Vernon Robert’s MORENITA from Club de Yates Algarrobo in Chile; Juergen Waldheim’s German team on PINGUINO ROSA from Real Club Nautico Barcelona; Tony Staples’s Canadian family crew on REDCOAT from Royal St Lawrence YC; Agustin Ferrario’s Argentinean crew from YC Argentino; and Fernando Gutierrez’s WOODSTOCK from Mexico City, Mexico. For more Bacardi Cup J/70 Winter Series sailing information
     

     
    J/105 Midwinter Championship Preview
    (Fort Worth, TX)- In Texas, that quintessential American state known for doing everything “bigger”, it is not surprising the Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, TX is hosting a “huuuugge” fleet of J/105s for the 2019 J/105 Midwinter Championship on their little lake.  Thirteen boats are looking forward to three days of racing from March 7th to 10th on the beautiful Eagle Mountain Lake on the northwest side of the Fort Worth/ Dallas metroplex.

    The lake is quite tricky to sail, even for the locals.  On the west side of the lake, it is quite hilly, so any winds from the south to west to northwest quadrants have certain characteristics, like “always head for the shore” (whatever tack is closest).  However, once the winds are in the north or go into the easterly side, it can get easier and more predictable since there is just miles of prairie grass to watch as puffs roll across the prairies down to the lake.

    For many of the teams participating, it will be a true “Texas two-step” dance for the leading teams from Fort Worth as well as Houston.  Those crews are familiar to many J/Sailors, such as Matt Arno’s BLUE FLASH, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO, Rick Shaffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Glenn Darden’s HOSS, and Mark Masur’s familiar, long-traveling team, on their USA 852 TWO FEATHERS. Knowing many of the protagonists, it will be truly an “anything goes” outcome for this event.  Surely, as a past J/105 North American Champion, Glenn Darden’s HOSS team should be likely favorites for the betting parlours in Vegas.  For more J/105 Midwinter Championship sailing information
     

     
    Miami to Havana Race Preview
    (Havana, Cuba- The Southern Ocean Racing Conference and Coral Reef YC are hosting their fourth annual Miami to Havana Race, starting on March 13th, Wednesday. The race starts just off South Beach, Miami, then it takes you down around the curve of the Florida Keys, and across the Gulf Stream to Havana, Cuba to the finish line off Marina Hemingway.

    The festivities get underway on Tuesday March 12, with a pre-race party and Competitors’ Meeting hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club, with the start on Wednesday morning. Once cleared in at Marina Hemingway, each boat will have a gracious "red carpet" welcome from the staff at the marina, which looks forward to welcoming competitors to their facility once again. Most after race festivities are set and it will be another banner year for the ride to Havana.

    Looking forward to the “Havana experience” and sailing in the ORC Division is Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Spring, Texas and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association. They have been racing most of the SORC events this year, starting with the Miami to Palm Beach Race, then the Miami to Nassau Cup Race, then the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race.  Currently, they are one of the leaders in the ORC division and hope to get yet another podium finish!  Good luck to them!  Watch the Miami to Havana Race promo sailing clip here   Follow the Miami to Havana Race on Facebook here   For more Miami to Havana sailing information
     

     
    DARWIN ESCAPES Sponsors J/70 Worlds
    (Torquay, England)- The Royal Torbay Yacht Club are pleased to announce that Darwin Escapes, one of the UK’s leading holiday park operators, has been appointed as headline sponsor for the 2019 J/70 World Championship being held in Torquay from August 29th to September 6th. The club has a long and distinguished history of hosting major international events and is looking forward to welcoming the J/70 Worlds sailors to Torquay.

    The J/70 World Championships 2019 will bring elite racing sailors from around the world to the internationally renowned sailing destination of Torbay, on the “English Riviera”, where they can expect to enjoy a cordial welcome, first class racing and great hospitality.

    “Darwin Escapes is delighted to be sponsoring the 2019 J/70 World Championships and we are looking forward to seeing some of the most talented sailors in the world competing in Torbay next August in this dynamic sailing class,” commented Lindsey Esse, Managing Director of Darwin Escapes. “Here at Darwin Escapes, we are passionate about being the best, to ensure guests at our holiday parks have the best possible holiday experience when they stay with us. We know that everyone competing in the J/70 World Championships will have that same ethos and will be striving to perform to their best ability at the highest level. We hope that everyone taking part has a successful and, most importantly, an enjoyable week sailing in Torbay.”

    Bob Penfold, Race Director of Royal Torbay Yacht Club, remarked, “The support of such a high profile sponsor is an enormous boost to the event and working with Darwin Escapes will help the club in staging a truly memorable World Championships.”  For more J/70 UK Class information   For more 2019 J/70 World Championship sailing information
     

     
    STC Block Island Race Week Update
    (Block Island, Rhode Island)- The Storm Trysail Club’s Vice Commodore & the Block Island Race Week Event Chair, Ed Cesare, stated, “preparations are well underway for Storm Trysail’s Block Island Race Week 2019. With format developments both on and off the water, the 28th edition of the biennial event promises not only a high level of windward / leeward competition for those that seek it, but an equally spirited but more relaxed experience for teams that want to both race hard and enjoy other aspects of the week as well."

    IRC and ORC yachts on the “Red Circle” will experience “Solent Style” racing with one or two windward /leeward races, followed by a race around drop and government marks.  This format tests different tactical and boathandling skills and reflect the racing at Cowes Week, the progenitor for Block Island Race Week. We expect a number of IRC boats from the UK to be at the event, so they should feel right at home.

    A third on the water development is the “Plus One” division.  Designed to reduce crew logistics for owners with busy schedules, the Plus One concept promotes “right sized” crews by allowing one crew member per 10 feet of waterline of the yacht “plus one” more. We’ve found that jibes always go better offshore with one watch below, so don’t be surprised to see some crisp boat handling on this course, notwithstanding the need for fewer sandwiches and bunks (ashore or afloat)!

    Of course, one-design classes such as the J/105s and J/88s will hold Championship Regattas and the PHRF Fleet can expect Storm Trysail’s usually high level of race management where full boar windward / leeward duals will unfold.

    Ashore, we are bringing back the lay-day! 
    The specific day will float based on weather but there will be one.  The Young Member’s Committee, led by Erick Stork and Will Gammell, are planning a full slate of events in cooperation with sponsors Musto clothing and North Sails.  Look for more on this in the coming weeks, such as fun team competitions (to include the traditional tug of war) along with more relaxed activities (think Niki Beach, for those that know! It will provide a well-deserved day of fun for all.  Additionally, this year the tent will be open right after racing, so crews can gather for social time before heading back to their house for dinner.”  For more STC Block Island Race Week sailing information
     

     
    2019 J/GEAR Spring ShakeOut!
    (Newport, RI)- Spring is just around the corner, believe it or not!  While you are escaping or experiencing the crazy spring weather so far, it is high time to consider getting yourself and the crew ready for another fun summer of sailing on the high seas!

    To help get you in full swing, J/Gear is offering to all J/Owners a 20% discount on all crew gear orders through April 2019.

    Go here to J/Gear (http://jgear.vsport.biz/) and start shopping.  Then, use the following discount code at checkout: JB2019st.   Please note- 1/2 models and Custom J Prints do not qualify for the discount.
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    CLEAR AIR Crowned J/24 Midwinter Champion
    (Tampa, FL)- Twenty-nine teams from the USA, Canada, and Japan participated in the 41st J/24 Midwinter Championship, hosted by Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL.  The racing was close over the three days, seeing change-ups on the leaderboard after every day.  In the finale on Sunday, it was a tight battle for the top three spots on the podium, with just five points separating the top three after eight races on northern Tampa Bay.

    Winning the 2019 edition of the J/24 Midwinter Championship was the 2017 J/24 World Champion Rossi Milev, sailing with his Canadian crew on CLEAR AIR.  The team was comprised of Dan Borrer, Gayle Gray, Vince Somoza (boat owner) and Mark Goodyear.  Here is how it all went down over the three days of tough, competitive racing in the world’s largest one-design keelboat class.

    Day 1- Sunny seabreeze
    The regatta started out slowly, with many of the crews anxious to get racing underway. However, the gorgeous sunrise revealed a “glass out” on Tampa Bay, without a zephyr of wind in sight. The teams simply waited for a few hours and many could be seen nervously fidgeting with their boats and rig tune, anticipating a light to moderate seabreeze to develop later in the day.

    Just after lunch, the winds rose to around 6 knots and then built to 10 from the SSE, allowing three races under blue skies and temperatures near 80. Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM, a full-blown “local knowledge” crew from Davis Island YC, led at the conclusion of racing on the first day with a steady 7-2-3 for 12 pts total. Milev’s CLEAR AIR sat five points back after scoring a 2-1-14 for 17 pts.  Then, Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE crew from Seattle, Washington was just one point further back with 18 pts after posting a 6-7-5.

    Carter White’s YouREGATTA kicked off the Championship with line honors in the first race, ahead of Milev’s CLEAR AIR and Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER. Milev moved up to the top spot in Friday’s middle race, with Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM and Dan Busch’s BUSCHWHACKER completing the top three. It was Tony Parker’s turn for the victory with BANGOR PACKET in the final duel, along with James Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT and Brown leading the group back to shore.

    Day 2- Another gorgeous sunny, moderate day
    Beautiful Florida weather again greeted the competitors on the regatta’s middle day.  Yet again, it was a near “glass out” to start the morning, with a postponement onshore. Nevertheless, the sea breeze kicked in again around noon and racing got underway at 1:00 pm with SSW winds of 6-12 knots. The conditions were perfect to run three more races in genoa-only conditions.

    Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT continued their solid performance with Saturday’s opening win, as Brown and Milev followed. The Nova Scotian Evan Petley-Jones and team on CAN 4025 found success in race five, ahead of Mollicone and White. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET, John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN (himself a J/24 World Champion with yet another World Champions as tactician- Tim Healy) and Michael Quaid’s ICE CUBE comprised the day’s final top trio.

    After six races at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL, four teams were within four points to determine the J/24 Midwinter Championship. Milev’s CLEAR AIR moved up to the top of the 29-boat pack with 18 points, after dropping a 14 from Friday and keeping scores of 2-1-3-7-5. White’s YouREGATTA leap-frogged into second place with 20 net points, benefiting from discarding a 12 in race two and holding remaining scores in the top six. Day one frontrunner, Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM, dropped to third with 21 points, although just three points off the lead. Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN ended Saturday with back-to-back seconds, leaving them four points behind Milev with 22 pts net, after tossing out a disastrous first-race 24th place.

    Day 3- Thrilling Finale!
    Sunday dawned with a near carbon-copy of the first two days.  Yet again, the fleet waited for the seabreeze to develop and with more blue skies, temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, the breeze built into the 6-10 kts range to permit the DIYC PRO to run two more races.  For the top three boats, it was an “all or nothing” battle to determine the 2019 J/24 Midwinter Champion.

    Recognizing the need to put some distance on their competitors, Milev’s CLEAR AIR crew managed to pull off a first race win to put lots of pressure on the other crews.  White’s crew managed a third and Mollicone’s team actually fell back on points by scoring a fifth place.  Going into the final race, Milev simply had to finish within four points of White and eight points of Mollicone to win the title.  In the last race, Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN put their boat into high gear and won the race handily, followed by Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER in second and White in third, with Milev crossing in fourth to take the Midwinter title with three points to spare.

    Behind Milev’s jubilant Canadian crew, it was White’s YouREGATTA that proved to be the most consistent team, closing with a 3-3 to take the silver.  Meanwhile, after their awful 24th place on day one, the Mollicone/ Healy combination on HELLY HANSEN flew back up the leaderboard to, ultimately, take the bronze. Rounding out the top five were Parker’s BANGOR PACKET in fourth and Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM in fifth position.

    This event was Milev’s first since winning the 2017 J/24Worlds. “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.” Although Gray and Goodyear were part of the World Championship crew, Borrer and Somoza were newcomers to CLEAR AIR, yet “clicked from the get-go.”

    About Davis Island, Milev summarized, “It’s one of my favorite places in North America to sail. 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. On Saturday, we had 15 minutes on one tack, and we never got a shift.”  For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information
     

     
    Spectacular Heineken St Maarten Regatta
    J/122 and J/105s Collect Lots of Silverware!
    (Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- The 37-square-mile island of St. Maarten was first settled by the Arawaks and was discovered by Christopher Columbus on behalf of Spain in 1493. Columbus sighted the island on November 11th, the holy day of St. Martin of Tours, and so named the island after him. For the next 150 years the island was passed between Holland, England, France and Spain. The old stone forts that guard many of the island’s inlets are proof of the island’s turbulent past. In 1648, St. Maarten was peacefully divided between The Netherlands and France, and today is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two sovereign nations.

    Continuing in the traditions of its seafaring heritage, the leadership on the island concluded they should invite yachtsmen from the Caribbean to enjoy their fun-loving approach to life and created the first St Maarten Regatta in 1980.  Now in its 39th year, the notion of having “Serious Fun” has evolved into the largest regatta on the winter Caribbean racing circuit- the wildly successful Heineken St. Maarten Regatta, sailed off Simpson Bay.

    The 2019 edition may be remembered as the “best ever” by the 110 teams and 1,500+ sailors; with simply amazing weather conditions all four days of the regatta from February 28th to March 3rd, Thursday to Sunday. All four days were marked by blazing sun, 10-20 kt tradewinds, 3-6 ft seas, and temperatures hovering in the low 80s.  Basically, postcard perfect, Chamber of Commerce sailing conditions.

    Several J/Crews participated in this year’s event. The J/105s trounced their CSA 4 Racing class while the J/122s also pushed everyone hard in CSA 3 Racing class to collect more silverware for their trophy rooms! Following are the daily reports that outline the Serious Fun and hot racing action each day.

    Day 1- Almost Perfect Sailing?
    With near perfect conditions, the start of the regatta saw the fleet streaming out through the bridge in time for the race starts.  Boats set their sails as they headed towards the three separate start areas.  The wind, which had been fairly steady at 14 knots, piped up, sending some 20 knot gusts through the fleet, making for some white knuckle excitement amongst the crews.

    In Marigot Bay, the ORC Performance fleet, along with the CSA classes 1, 2 and 3 had been set a windward-leeward course, which led to some extremely close competitive racing. A unique feature of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is that all classes finish at the Heineken mark, close to the famous lifting bridge into the lagoon and the Port de Plaisance Marina where the majority of the boats are moored.  By 3pm, the boats were lining up to get through the bridge, with the customary celebrations, dancing and fancy dress to entertain the crowds, many with a welcome cold Heineken in hand!

    After recuperating from the RORC Caribbean 600 Race, the J/145 KATARA, skippered by Roger Gatewood from St Petersburg, FL, managed a solid performance on the opening day in the seven-boat CSA 2 Racing class.  His largely Tampa Bay crew pulled off a 3rd and 4th to be sitting in third place.

    Similarly, Pam Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua started off somewhat emphatically with a bullet in their first race of the eight-boat CSA 3 Racing class.  That opening gambit was followed up by a 4th in race two to close the day sitting in third position on the podium sitting just one point from first place.

    The largest class in the regatta was the fifteen-boat CSA 4 Racing class.  Having such a large group of boats that ranged from 30 to 44 feet on the starting line made for some interesting (and harrowing) moments.  Reveling in the conditions was the classic J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE, skippered by the Antiguan duo of Tanner & Shari; their 2-2 for just 4 pts. However, their points total was matched by the Barbados team on the J/105 WHISTLER, skippered by Peter Lewis; technically leading their fleet with a 3-1 for 4 pts, too.

    Perhaps the craziest scenario that one could imagine took place on Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE. After rounding the weather mark in 1st place boat-for-boat in the fleet, they set the spinnaker, started to plane down a few waves, then lost their steering. Consequently, after spinning out, broaching, and getting the spinnaker down, they discovered their steering cable broke.  A quick “fix” was to insert the aluminum emergency tiller in place at the top of the rudder shaft and keep racing!  Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to steer a J/105 with a 3 foot tiller on a poorly-balanced rudder in big seas and big breeze. SOLSTICE salvaged a 7th in the first race and, still sailing with the short tiller, could only manage an 8th in the second race when the winds were blowing into the low 20's.

    Day 2- Best’est Day Ever?
    Amazing, best day ever, champagne sailing, and wow, just wow, what a day! Those were just some of the words that were used to describe Friday’s Round the Island Race.  For some it was serious sailing, and for others “Serious Fun”; but every sailor coming ashore after this epic race had a different story to tell, an unforgettable experience to recount, and a memory to savor forever.

    The Round the Island Race is one of the highlights of the four-day event.  For many, this race offers the first time to see the whole island from the unique perspective of the sea.  For those who have sailed the regatta many times before, they know the excitement of a reaching start, the long beat up the channel between St. Maarten and Anguilla, and the challenges of the big Atlantic swell and choppy seas past Pelikan Rocks at the far eastern end of the island before the final 6.0nm leg to the Heineken finish line off Simpson Bay.

    It’s a game of catch up, with the slowest boats starting first, while the super-fast Maxis and Ocean Racing class start last.  With at least 25 nautical miles ahead, not counting the extra distance required as boats zig-zag up the beat, for many boats it was going to be an exhilarating, action packed ride, while for others it was a chance to relax, enjoy the sights and top up the tan.

    Peter Lewis and his crew on the J/105 WHISTLER won CSA Class 4. “We got the best start, sped off, and never saw the others in our fleet again,” said Lewis.  Nevertheless, Lewis was chased hard by the re-energized team on the J/105 SOLSTICE; Mindich’s crew produced a great performance, taking 2nd place for a J/105 sweep of the top two spots, finishing just 1 min 52 sec behind.

    Meanwhile, the J/122s loved the Round Island Race, with Baldwin’s LIQUID taking third place to hang onto their 3rd position overall; they were a scant 4 sec back on corrected time from second place!  Their stablemate, the J/122 EL OCASO sailed by TEAM SLOVAKIA also sailed fast to take fourth place just 45 secs behind on corrected.

    Gatewood’s gorgeous J/145 KATARA again won the race on elapsed in CSA 2 Racing class, but could only manage a 4th on corrected.  Despite soundly beating two XP44s and a First 47.7 by at least eight minutes elapsed, they could not correct out on handicap time over those boats optimized for the Caribbean circuit- all sailing with #3 jibs of 102% to 109% LPs.  Later, the KATARA crew would lament that not getting rated with their 135% #2 cost them the series, e.g. an easy win!

    Day 3- More Gorgeous Weather- Hallelujah!
    Saturday’s racing saw some exciting starts and closely fought first beats.  With a more easterly breeze, the fleet again enjoyed 10-20 kt winds and big seas all day.

    The CSA 2, CSA 3 and CSA 4 fleets had two short races, setting off from Simpson Bay to beat up to a windward mark set just off Fort Willem.

    In the CSA 2 Class, the “pecking order” was beginning to manifest itself and continue, coincidentally, for the last three races of the regatta.  Winning every race boat-for-boat by at least 9-10 minutes was Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA.  Having consigned themselves to on-the-water victory, the crew made the most of it and partied home to the Heineken finish line, collecting two more 4th places to end the day in 4th overall.

    Loving the format for the two races and loving the conditions were the twin J/122s.  The first race was shorter and took an hour elapsed, while the second was at least twice as long and took around two hours to complete.  In the first race, the corrected time spread for the top four boats was a mere 54 secs. Taking third was Baldwin’s LIQUID with a time of 54:54, while just 2 secs back was TEAM SLOVAKIA’s EL CASO finishing with 54:56! In the second, much longer, race, Baldwin’s LIQUID team launched themselves into a big lead and never looked back, winning the race by nearly 2 minutes corrected time.  That result put them into third overall with just one race left.  TEAM SLOVAKIA EL OCASO missed third by just 6 secs; they could be seen later mumbling in their Heineken pints about how they had left at least 30 secs on the race track due to boathandling errors!

    In CSA 4 Class, there was a significant reshuffling of the leaderboard after two boats sailed the wrong course, most notably the regatta leader, the J/105 WHISTLER.  Sailing “lights out” was Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE, winning both races to vault up the ladder to second overall.  Lewis’ WHISTLER was DSQ’d in the 5th race for rounding the wrong mark.

    Day 4- Thrilling, Sparkling Finale!
    On Sunday, the competitors were again greeted with the unforgettable memory of sparkling azure blue seas, sandy white beaches and windswept ragged rocks.

    For the final day’s racing, Race Director Paul Miller and his team devised a format that would create a wall of sails as the boats streamed downwind to the Heineken finish marks.  Using two different start areas, the slower boats set off first, with all the boats sailing to the same first windward mark, before heading different course lengths along the south coast and for the faster, classes, up the east coast of St. Maarten, then turning back past Pelikan Rocks on a long spinnaker leg to the finish.

    “We set courses of differing lengths, which will get as many boats as possible spinnaker sailing together back towards the finish, creating an amazing and memorable visual image of boats heading back towards the airport and bridge,” said Paul Miller.

    For many classes, this final race would prove crucial to the overall results.  For some, their results had already ensured a place on the podium.  With the 15-18 knot trade winds, nearly all the boats chose to close tack up the shore, with the shifting wind and choppy seas approaching the famous Pointe Blanche, providing plenty of opportunities to win or lose places.

    CSA 4 class was won by Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER who took the bullet in the final race to win the class overall. The skipper on SOLSTICE, Jordan Mindich commented, “it was a fun race against Peter’s team on WHISTLER. We rounded the Heineken Gate in the lead, expecting to win the final race, but a few crew errors on our part, and one last huge surf down a wave right at the finish by WHISTLER gave them the win by just 2 sec corrected. Congratulations to them, it was a well-deserved win overall.”

    At the prize giving, Lewis’ WHISTLER was presented with the “Most Worthy Performance Overall” Trophy by the Minister of Tourism- Stuart Johnson.  Needless to say, the WHISTLER crew was jubilant, as it was the first time ever to win the honor.

    In a similar fashion, CSA 3 Racing class had a very tense final race for the top three leading boats. Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID again stomped, crushing their class with an emphatic boat-for-boat win by 3 min 30 sec, believing they had won the final race as they savored their beers after the finish. However, that huge margin on elapsed time was not enough, as they later discovered they took second place by a mere 4 sec on corrected time.  A bit frustrated they were! However, to add to their thrilling, anxious finale, that meant they were tied on points at 10 each with Scarlet Oyster; but won the tie-breaker to take the silver!

    Meanwhile, Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA again won their class by over 4 min elapsed and, yet again, settled for fourth place to take fourth for the regatta in CSA 2 Racing class.

    The Heineken St. Maarten Regatta delivered on its promise of four days of serious sailing, with upwind legs dousing the crews hiking on the rails with warm water from the waves breaking over them.  Spectacular champagne sailing with roller coaster downwind legs, with a myriad of colorful spinnaker kites flying in the trade winds.

    For the sailors, the adrenalin of achieving the perfect start, the tension of getting the tactics right, the physical challenges of racing to the max, and the relief and jubilation as the boat crossed the famous Heineken finish line were all part of the serious sailing experience.

    And, as the crew celebrated their day on the water, there was the fun of the boats jostling to get through the lifting bridge, with music, on-board dancing, outrageous dressing up, with the cheers and dousing from water pistols aimed at the boats from the crowds observing the procession from the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.  In the lagoon’s marinas, the crews cracked open ice cold Heineken and relaxed in the sun, chatted over the day’s activities before getting ready for the final night of Serious Fun.

    Crews, families and friends savored the tasty offerings from local restaurants in the regatta village, sharing the banter with old friends and new, before the Regatta Village turned, yet again, into the best festival venue ever, with the massive stage set up for an outstanding line up of artists playing serious funk, Caribbean jam, hip hop to reggae, and the final night’s legendary sets from Shermanology, Orange Grove and The Jacksons.

    It’s the combined mass of all these elements that make the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta a unique event attracting more than 1,500 sailors from 22 countries.  The event has seen widespread praise, enthusiasm and overwhelming support for everyone involved, especially in the wake of recovery from the devastation incurred by Hurricane Irma.  The most frequently used phrases heard from sailors during the week included, “a great day sailing”, “it’s the best”, “awesome” and “we’ve had an amazing time”.  In other words, “Serious Fun”!   Sailing photo credits- SaltyColours/ Laurens Morel

    Social Media links:
    Facebook – www.facebook.com/StMaartenHeinekenRegatta
    Twitter – www.twitter.com/sxmheineken
    Instagram – www.instagram.com/stmaartenheinekenregatta
    YouTube – www.youtube.com/heinekenregatta
    For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information
     

     
    J/111 Wins Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race & Lincoln Race Week Regatta
    (Adelaide, South Australia)- Rob Date and crew from the J/111 SCARLET RUNNER 11 recently sailed in the 160.0nm Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race, followed by the Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta.

    Rob’s J/111 home port is near Melbourne in Victoria, so the crew sailed the 550+nm trip to Adelaide against the predominant westerly “roaring 40s” winds to compete in the regatta!  The SCARLET RUNNER crew was, for the most part, inexperienced offshore ocean racers. The team included Rob’s daughter, his future son-in-law, his best mate for more than 40 years, and the balance being the usual inshore race crew; there was seven crew in total.

    The Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race started in the blue waters of the Gulf of St Vincent off Adelaide.  FOrty boats left the Outer Harbour/ North Haven Marina in Adelaide on Friday about 3.00pm to compete in the 160 nautical mile race.  It is “South Australia’s Premier Ocean Race” and, now in its 69th year, it has proven that it provides all the challenges of a Category 3 offshore race.

    The route takes the fleet southwest from Adelaide to Marion Reef at the foot of York Peninsula along the foot to the spectacular Cape Spencer.  Then, the fleet heads northwest past Wedge and Thistle Islands and Dangerous Reef to Port Lincoln, nestled snugly in Boston Bay.

    The race started with a port tack beat for 35.0nm. After passing Marion Reef, the course freed up. SCARLET RUNNER 11 put up the code zero and was doing 14 kts with the occasional knock down. Unfortunately, the zero did not last the distance. After passing the bottom of the York Peninsula, the J/111 went into downwind VMG running mode as the wind pressure dropped.  The final 20.0nm had them running downwind under A1 spinnaker.  SCARLET RUNNER 11 achieved the fastest time for this section of the race.

    The distance race was then followed by the Teakle Classic Lincoln Regatta with a mix of inshore and coastal courses over four days.  The fleet sailed six races, making the most of the fantastic sailing in Boston Bay and among some of the surrounding Islands. One race finishing at an isolated beach for a BBQ, drinks and beach cricket.  Then, the second race of the day was a downhill sleigh ride back to the marina!  It was a cracker of day, that one!

    At the conclusion of the regatta, after all points scored for the Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race and the Lincoln Race Week, it was SCARLET RUNNER 11 that topped the Division 1 leaderboard- scoring 1st on AMS (9 points), 1st on PHS, and 2nd by just two points on IRC. That was a very impressive result considering the competition, which included a Farr 40, First 45, First 47.7, Melges 32, Sydney 38’s, and a Sydney 47. Congratulations to Rob and the crew and we hope for fair winds for their homeward journey to Melbourne.  Sailing Photo Credit- Alex McKinnon Photography
     

    WILD DIVISION Wins Radio Monte Carlo J/70 Winter Series
    (Sochi, Russia)- Over the March 1st to 3rd weekend, the final stage of the Russian J/70 League Radio Monte Carlo Winter Series took place off Sochi, Russia, with sailing taking place on the capricious Black Sea. Hosting the event for the twenty J/70 teams from across Russia was FGBU “Yug Sport”.  For the third year in a row, the winner was the Chechen Republic’s WILD DIVISION, skippered by Alexander Bozhko (one of the premiere crew members on Valeriya Kovalenko’s famous Russian J/70 called ARTTUBE RUS1)!

    In early March, the weather in Sochi changes rapidly and is very inconsistent.  Storms and cold with giant waves one day, perfect sunny warm spring weather the next.  Not surprisingly, Sochi’s weather gods lived up to that reputation for the first day of racing for the anxious crews watching the ferocious weather offshore.  It was so nasty, the boats were never rigged; not surprising considering there were 10-15 foot waves at the harbor mouth and 20-35 kt winds!

    “To our great regret, the finale began very poorly,” commented the Chief Judge of the competition, Nikolai Yushkov. “The first day was stormy, such that we could not even get out sailing. The waves were huge, breaking way over the pier, the wind was very strong, and, of course, there was no point in breaking the boats.”

    On Saturday, the wind abated, dropping into the 10-20 kts range. Although the waves were still big, the organizers decided to go sailing. As a result, they turned out five races, with varying winds and difficult conditions. When the wind strengthened in the afternoon, and breakdowns began to occur on the boats, the racing was stopped- with the hope that the weather would improve on Sunday.

    “Thankfully, the Good Lord heard us and gave us a most magnificent day on the final Sunday,” continued Nikolai Yushkov. “We had nine races. There was a beautiful wind, the perfect direction; the sun came out, which warmed all the participants. The day was very productive overall. The struggle for the top of the podium was very hard. The winners of the Winter Series will show themselves well in the National Sailing League, they will be able to race and fight for prizes.  They are very good sailing teams.”

    The winner of the Winter Series was the WILD DIVISION Team from the Chechen Republic Sailing Federation. Throughout the winter season, the team stayed among the leaders of the series. “At various stages of the series, we changed the composition of the team, we trained hard, we tested how to improve our boathandling,” said Bozhko, the team’s skipper. “And, in the finals, the team really wanted to win. On the first day, there was a strong wind, but we managed. We were able to show a good result; we managed to get three 2nds!”

    In the six races on Sunday, the WILD DIVISION crew won three races, took two 2nds. Such consistency enabled them to bypass all their rivals and their Chechen team won the gold medals for the overall series.

    “We decided to perform our best in the Sochi J/70 Winter Series, to show the world that sailing in the Chechen Republic has not been forgotten! In fact, it is developing,” said the President of the Chechen Sailing Federation, Hassan Hajiyev. “The federation is very young, it is only 2.5 years old. The team is the innovation of Alexander Bozhko. Alex gathered our team together and he trained them.  Now, our Chechen Sailing Federation is taking the first steps to develop sailing in Chechnya. So, we hope to encourage the young guys, the young girls in this beautiful sport, that includes not only physical exertion, but also the human intellect, it is like chess on the water. This is very important for human development. A yachtsman must know geography, physics, and geometry. Accordingly, the preparation of the children must be at the same level, we must begin to teach them from the beginning such intellectual challenges!”

    Second place in the series finals was taken by the crew of ZID ART Sailing team from Moscow. Last season, the team sailed in the Premier Division of the National Sailing League and won the right to move to the top division.

    “For us, the Winter Series was a serious training process and preparation for the Higher Division of the NPL,” said the skipper of the team Zoran Paunovich. “What we wanted to achieve, we achieved. We risked a lot, we tried many different options. A lot of things happened to us. We tried to find ways out of such situations, and to a greater degree succeeded. The first race day here, we demonstrated that we could win in such tough conditions. And, the second racing day showed, that in good conditions, we can not only win, but also lose. This year, we plan to be in the top ten of the NPL Supreme Division. We also want to participate in the J/70 European Championship in Italy in June of this year, but without any special ambitions. This year should show what we are ready for and what we can do!”

    Another debutante of the Winter Series, the M*Sailing Team from Rostov-on-Don, was ranked third. The result was excellent, but the team that led in several stages probably wanted more.

    “Today the weather was atypical for Sochi. Twisted, twisted, there were some holes, puffs from the right and left,” said the skipper Andrey Malygin. “There were no unambiguous solutions. And, the one who read the weather better, he won. All teams were even, everyone prepared for the final.  All the teams had their best sailors pushing hard. I think our result is normal; there were a couple of errors. But, in general, everyone is happy!”  For more Russian J/70 Sailing League Sailing Information
     

     
    JUNO Tops J/70 NSW State Championships
    (Sydney Harbour, NSW, Australia)- The New South Wales J/70 State Championship regatta was held in glorious warm weather on the first weekend of March on Sydney Harbour. Racing was held at the entrance of Sydney Harbour, so the Pacific swell became a factor along with a flood tide and the occasional passing ferry during the next two races. This was the first regatta held by the Australian J/70 Class Association after a great effort by J/70 racers and lawyers Peter Ryan and Adrian Kiely, and others that led to official recognition by Yachting Australia.

    The racing was closer than in previous years, with at lot of congestion at the turning marks and many new hot shots from the Olympic classes making an appearance.

    Racing was delayed on the first day while the PRO waited for the sea breeze to settle after swinging through 30 degree shifts either side of ENE at 6-10 knots.  After the delayed start, the major shifts returned and boats that correctly picked the right side of the course opened large leads, with Tim Ryan and his team on JAMES 007 winning race 1.  Races 2 and 3 were both won by ex-Etchells and America’s Cup sailor Jervis Tilly and his team on JACKAL from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

    On Sunday, the crews enjoyed the forecasted slight increase in pressure to steadier ENE 10-15 knots. With two wins and a second place, JACKAL had a strong lead after day one.  Australian J/70 class President Andrew Thompson and his JABBERWOCKY team, representing the host club of Middle Harbour Yacht Club, showed great speed to win race four. With the sea breeze strengthening for the final race, Reg Lord and youth match racer Tom Grimes with new crew George Richardson and Mitchell Evans on JUNO found the groove and won the final race after placing second in the previous four races.

    After a visit to the protest room regarding rule C3.1(c), the final results were the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s JUNO and JAMES 007 in first and second for the second consecutive year. Then, JABBERWOCKY placed third, just ahead of JACKAL in fourth.  Finally, rounding out the top five was Paul Breslin’s fast improving MADNESS in fifth.
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    * Celebrate International Women’s Day!  For the past three years, Hillary Noble– North’s content marketing manager— has called tactics for the J/24 Women’s Seabags Sailing Team. Successfully sailing a J/24 with six women requires a strong team, both mentally and physically.

    “We’ve come a long way since the 2017 Worlds,” Hillary says of the team’s first big regatta, where they won the Yaeger Women’s Trophy. “It’s been very rewarding in many ways.” Along the way, all six women have learned what it takes to be a great teammate, in order to make their next regatta more successful than the last.

    “It’s so much fun to race with these amazing women!” she says. “They are powerful, and we keep getting better together—it’s a lot of fun.”

    The team competes on the J/24 circuit year-round, and they are currently preparing for the 2019 World Championship in Miami, which they qualified for at the district one championships at Kittery Point Yacht Club, NH in 2018.

    “It felt great to qualify on the water for this upcoming Worlds,” Hillary says. “This has opened two spots for other women’s teams to compete.”

    “We are working hard this season,” she continues. “Making sure we have the right players for each event is really important. There will be plenty of opportunities to improve and we are always looking forward to the next regatta together.”

    Hillary has collected five tips that form the basis for the team’s success. They apply equally well to her day job as part of the North marketing team—or to a mixed or men’s J/24 team. As Hillary points out, “We all want to win and get the most out of our experiences together.”  Here is Hillary’s complete story, read more here   Learn more about the women @ North Sails teamAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- February 27th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The seventh J/70 Midwinters took place this past week on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay.  Fifty teams from five countries participated in what many described as near postcard-perfect sailing conditions for all three days, giving sailors the pantheon of downwind sailing modes (displacement, wing & wing, planing) to test their skills against the world’s best sailors.

    In the J/Community section below, read about how the past two J/70 World Champions have been awarded the ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Award. In 2017, it was Peter Duncan from Rye, New York (for winning the J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia) and this year’s award goes to Jud Smith from Marblehead, MA, winning the Worlds in his home waters.

    Then, sadly, we honor the passing of J/U.K.’s founder and leader- Paul Heys of Southampton, England- a J/Boats enthusiast that loved being on the water, sailing with customers on the Solent for over 25 years.
     

    J/24 Midwinters XXXXI Championship Preview
    (Tampa, FL)- The 41st J/24 Midwinter Championship is being hosted from March 1st to 3rd, 2019 by Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida.  The thirty-two boat fleet comes from across the USA, Canada, and Japan.

    After hosting the three event J/70 Winter Series, the DIYC Race Committee and PRO have become a well-oiled machine, providing good start lines, effective courses, and a fast pace to keep the sailors busy. The J/24s can expect more of their good race management this coming weekend and sail up to four, or even five, races per day given the flat water of upper Tampa Bay and shifty winds.

    Several World, North American, and Midwinter Champions will be using the Midwinters as their first major training regatta for 2019.  Many of the seasoned veterans are sailing in this year’s J/24 World Championship that will be held at Coral Reef YC and raced on Biscayne Bay in late October. Those teams include Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA; Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Al Constants’ BLITZ from Seawanhaka YC in New York; Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR from Port Credit YC in Mississauga, Ontario; John Mollicone and Tim Healey’s HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from Rochester YC in New York; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME; Todd Fedyszyn’s SPOONY TACTICS from St Petersburg, FL; and Carter White’s YouREGATTA from Portland, ME.  For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information
     

    Heineken St Maarten Regatta Preview
    (Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- Over 110 yachts from thirty-five countries will compete in the 39th Heineken St Maarten Regatta. A key event on the Caribbean race schedule, the regatta attracts some of the world’s elite sailors and crews, with fast and furious racing in monohulls, maxis and multihulls.

    Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. And with Heineken as title sponsor, the racing days blend seamlessly into four nights of exceptional parties. The event is a bucket list must-do! The Serious Fun goes for four days, from February 28 – March 3, 2019!

    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is as famous for its parties as it is for its racing. Over four nights, some of the world’s top artists take to the stage and ensure that each day of racing starts as well as it ends with the festivities continuing long into the night. So far, Alison Hinds, The Jacksons (originally the Jackson Five), Shermanology and Fatman Scoop have been confirmed with more party announcements to follow.

    Looking forward to enjoying all the Serious Fun are a several J/Crews from the USA, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.  In the CSA 2 Racing class, Roger Gatewood’s team on his J/145 KATARA have already sailed 600nm two weeks ago, having participated in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race that started and finished off English Harbour, Antigua.  Joining them in the class will be Emilio Torres-Requena’s J/130 MAZU from Puerto Rico.

    As has happened multiple times in the past, the two famous, colorful J/122s that live in the Caribbean will be going at it again in CSA 3 Racing class.  The protagonists are Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID (including her international crew of Julian White, Matt Kasorzycki, and Sil Grijpma) and Bob Hillier’s EL OCASO.  Both boats have won many of the top Caribbean events, so watch for this battle royale to drive both boats to the top of the podium!

    Similarly, the trio of J/105s in CSA 4 Racing class push each other hard and such tight racing keeps the scores very close.  Those J/105s include WHISTLER (Peter Lewis from Barbados), SOLSTICE (Jordan Mindich from Long Island, New York), and SUNBELT REALTY JENK (Remco van Dortmondt from Curacao). Joining them this year will be the J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE, sailed by Tanner & Shari from Antigua and Barbuda. Sailing photo credits- Loren Morels. For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information
     

    Banderas Bay Regatta XXVII Preview
    (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- In 1524, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Cortés de Buenaventura arrived on the coast of this beautiful bay known today as "Bahias de Banderas". Legends say that 20,000 warriors came down from the mountains above and assembled in the lush valley, into his path. Their bows, decorated with banners in a rainbow of colors, were so impressive that the Bay became known as the “Bay of Flags,” or Bahía de Banderas.

    Today the bay is sanctuary to sea life including giant manta rays, sea bass, red snapper, sailfish, marlin, dorado, dolphins and more. Humpback whales come each winter to birth their young, and Olive Ridley sea turtles return each year to the nesting grounds along its shores. In addition, the bay is ringed by mountains and a river valley that is adjacent to the town of Puerto Vallarta; that geography creates a fantastic sea breeze on sunny days, where the wind flows in from the west at 10-17 kts.

    After sailors discovered this sunny paradise, it did not take long to attract cruising sailors from around the world.  In addition, because of the amazing sea breezes, it has also attracted racing sailors. This year marks the 27th time the Banderas Bay Regatta will be sailed on the spectacular waters off Puerto Vallarta. The emphasis has always been on having a fun and friendly series of races that take place in a serious, professional format.

    Hosting the regatta from March 5th to 9th is Vallarta YC that is situated in the northeastern part of the bay called Nuevo Vallarta.  They will provide five full days of racing with up to two races per day.  Some races are windward leeward and others are fun, random leg affairs that take your for a tour around the picturesque bay.

    Joining in the fun is a number of J sailors from Mexico and the USA.

    Participating for at least the third years in a row in the Big Boat PHRF division are Mike Seth’s J/145 DOUBLE TAKE from Vallarta YC in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico and Lee Pryor’s J/130 SCIROCCO from Oceanside YC in Oceanside, CA.  One of their eager competitors in class will be a 54 footer called “Mermaid Magnet”!  LOL!

    In the smaller boat PHRF division, there are at least two J/80s participating.  A veteran of the BBR happens to be Wayne Zittel from San Francisco YC in San Francisco, CA; he runs the J/World Sailing programs based in San Diego, CA and also Berkeley, CA on San Francisco Bay. Wayne is racing, appropriately enough, J-WORLD 3.  On the beautifully maintained J/80 SHIVA, Rush Faville from Vallarta YC and Bucerias, Mexico will be hoping to give Wayne and crew a run-for-the-money at the top of the leaderboard.

    The final day for all sailors, March 9th, will be a full day; no rest for the weary at the end of the regatta! It will start with the final day of racing and end with the fabulous Awards Beach Party. In addition to the presentation of awards to the winners, live music by “Luna Rumba” will accompany dinner and after-dinner dancing. The Italian buffet under the stars has been brought back by popular demand. The evening will end with a bang, as fireworks will mark the end of the amazing week! The Beach Party is open to competitors, crew, and anyone else who likes a great tropical beach party.  For more Banderas Bay XXVII sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Duncan Dominates J/70 Midwinters VII
    (Coconut Grove, FL)- Fifty J/70s enjoyed postcard-perfect Biscayne Bay conditions for three days, with breeze on from the southeast to south in the 8 to 17 kts range and sunny most of the time! The regatta was hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL, and was a qualifier for the 2020 World Championship to be hosted by California Yacht Club (2 Open berths and 1 Corinthian berth).

    One team enjoyed the conditions much more than anyone else in the fleet; winning by an amazing 16 pts over the star-studded fleet was J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan and his incredibly talented crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY; sailing with Peter were two-time J/70 World Champion crew Bill Hardesty and Willem Van Waay from San Diego, CA, along with ace bowman Will Felder.  This quartet of rock stars started off winning the first two races and never looked back, counting five 1sts in their eight-race scoreline for a total of just 18 net points!

    In the Corinthians Division, it was the Argentinean team on JUICY that won by just 3.8 pts in a closely fought battle with two other boats- DONKEY McFLY and RIP RULLAH.  JUICY was skippered by Francisco Van Avermaete, with crew of Carlos Lacchini, Galvan Geronimo, and Rafael De Martis.  Here is how it all went down over the three gorgeous days of sailing.

    Day 1- Sunny and breezy
    The anxious fleet of J/70s reveled in gorgeous Biscayne Bay conditions on Friday as the J/70 Midwinter Championship got underway with three races.  Miami delivered its renowned weather with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 80s and winds between 8-14 knots.

    Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY laid its claim to the top spot by knocking out two straight bullets and adding a fourth for only 6 points so far. Following Duncan, Bruce Golison’ MIDLIFE CRISIS and Brian Keane’s SAVASANA were locked in a tie for second and third places at 15 points each. Scott Sellers’ DONKEY McFLY started off atop the Corinthian division with an enormous lead.

    The day’s overall top three were the same group leading the way in the Championship’s opening battle: Duncan, Keane and Golison. Trailing Duncan in race two were Kevin Downey’s Mr. PITIFUL and John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA. Golison earned the victory in the final contest, ahead of Heaton and Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.

    Day 2- More Sun, More Breeze!
    A fresh breeze in the mid-teens on Biscayne Bay made for an exciting day for fleet, with plenty of planing rides all over the race track. Three more races were completed, bringing the total to six, five of which were won by Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY.

    Now able to drop a fourth, the Rye, NY-based skipper counted five bullets for a mere 5 net points. Keane’s SAVASANA moved solidly into second place with 19 points, following consecutive second-place finishes today and discarding an eight. Three points back was Heaton’s EMPEIRIA that earned redress points in the opening race and followed with a 7-3 to sit in third.

    Sellers’ DONKEY McFLY continued to hold the top spot in the Corinthian division and was in 20th overall in the Open Division.

    Duncan’s team appeared untouchable after two days of racing, hanging on to a comfortable 14-point lead. Looking ahead at them in the day’s first race were Ryan McKillen’s SURGE and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT. The trailing teams in the middle duel were Keane’s SAVASANA and Michael Goldfarb’s WAR CANOE. And completing the top three to end the day were SAVASANA and EMPEIRIA.

    Day 3- Wash, Rinse, Repeat! More windy fun in the sun!
    After posting a 2-7 on the final day, Duncan’s crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY sealed the deal to win the seventh J/70 Midwinters and simply sailed for home, while the rest of the 49-boat fleet sailed one beautiful final race.  Meanwhile, Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS finally got their “mojo” going. His crew (Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain, and Jeff Reynolds) crushed the final day with three bullets, hurdling them up the leaderboard into second place overall with 34 points. Keane’s SAVASANA team (Tom Barrows, Chuck Swanson, and Mack Bryant) placed third with 46 points. Rounding top five were Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT (Victor Diaz de Leon, Patrick Wilson and Chris Stocke) and Heaton’s EMPEIRIA team (Zach Mason, Joe Morris, and Ian Barrows), fourth and fifth, respectively.

    “It’s really all the practice and all the little things that make the big difference,” Duncan summarized regards their team effort on RELATIVE OBSCURITY. “You have to do those very repetitively, and it becomes second nature. So, when you have to make big decisions, it’s easy.”

    Duncan explained the team’s conservative approach, saying, “we came off the middle of the line, went straight as far as we could go. If we could hold our lane, it was very positive.” While 2017 J/70 World Champion Duncan excels in a variety of conditions, they do like more breeze. “These boats are great to sail, and when there’s 50 boats or more, it’s very exciting!”

    Winning the Corinthians Division was Van Avermaete’s JUICY team from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Second was Seller’s DONKEY McFLY crew (Polk Wagner, Harrison Turner, and Owen Beckley) and third went to Willis’ RIP RULLAH team (Mike Whitford, Matt Clark, and Pat Hitchins).

    Since the event was a US qualifier for the 2020 World Championship to be hosted by California YC, the two Open berths were awarded to Bruce Golison and John Heaton, and the one Corinthian berth went to Scott Sellers.  For more J/70 Midwinters VII sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    Congratulations to Jud Smith! He was named 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year!

    J/70 World Champion Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) was selected as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his sailing performances in 2018.  He follows another J/70 World Champion receiving the award in 2017- Peter Duncan.

    The selection follows the announcement in January of the three men who were shortlisted for these prestigious awards and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing.

    The slate of finalists, nominated by members of US Sailing and determined by US Sailing, was presented to a panel of 28 accomplished sailing media professionals and past winners of the awards, who analyzed the merits of each finalist and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners using a weighted point system (1st place vote – 5 points; 2nd place vote – 3 points; 3rd place vote – 1 point).

    For the first time ever, it was an all J/Boats slate for the final trio: Jud Smith tallied 116 points, including 20 first place votes. Placing second was 2018 J/22 World Champion, Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Md.), with 86 points and seven first place votes. Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.), 2018 J/24 World Champion, finished third with 50 points and one first place vote.

    Smith will be honored on February 28 at the Rolex YoY Awards Ceremony hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where he will be celebrated by family and friends, teammates and crew, past winners, 2018 finalists, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex.

    He will also be presented with specially engraved Rolex timepieces and designed picture frames of the winners commemorating their outstanding 2018 accomplishments.

    At the age of 62, Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.), becomes the oldest winner of this esteemed award. He was 61 at the time of his team’s win at the 2018 J/70 World Championship. Smith is now a two-time winner of the award, earning his first Yachtsman of the Year award in 2006.

    “I do consider my age as my biggest challenge,” said Smith. “However, I just have to work on my fitness and health much more than in years’ past. Instead of worrying if I’m good enough to be competitive, I worry if I am fit enough to be competitive. I now spend much more time in the gym, since that’s my limiting factor. Mentally, the game is less daunting than when I was younger.”

    Smith continued his assessment of where he is in his competitive sailing career and how it remains, more than ever, a team sport to him. “To be competitive at the top level requires sailing with the best young sailors in the world. There a lot of 25 to 50-year-old talented sailors that make it possible for my generation to continue to compete. It’s a pleasure to be able to race with such a talented and committed group of young sailors. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be playing shuffleboard.”

    The win at J/70 Worlds in 2018 was his second consecutive win at this highly competitive regatta. In 2017, Smith won the J/70 Worlds as crew for Peter Duncan, who went on to win Yachtsman of the Year honors in 2017.

    “I had the opportunity to campaign in 2017 with Peter Duncan, along with Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz for the J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo (Italy). It was not only a privilege, but a daily clinic with such a talented team, and it served as an ideal vantage point to know how to prepare my own team and boat for the 2018 Worlds at my home club.”

    The 2018 J/70 Worlds, once again, featured a deep fleet, including 91 teams from 18 countries. On the final day of the event, the wind failed to deliver sufficient breeze and the standings were deemed official. The top three teams in the final standings were separated by only three points through 11 races.

    Consistency truly paid off for Smith and his crew aboard AFRICA. They didn’t win any races, but they placed in the top 10 in five races and top five in two. Smith edged Bruno Pasquinelli by one point and Jack Franco by three. Duncan, last year’s winning skipper, placed fourth overall.

    “We have the utmost respect for all of the other teams,” said Smith. “Anybody could have won this regatta, and we respected that. I would like to thank my team. We have worked really hard, training for this event all year long, and we have been together through thick and thin. It was a real privilege to race with such a talented group of sailors in a World Championship at my home club for an opportunity of a lifetime.”

    Smith posted podium results at other top J/70 events in 2018, including first place out of 57 boats at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Marblehead, MA; second place out of 47 boats at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami, FL; and third place out of 27 boats at the Newport Regatta in Newport, RI.

    Sailing has always played an important role Smith’s life. He grew up in Marblehead, Mass. and started sailing with his father, David Smith, at a young age. David was also an accomplished racing sailor. He won an Olympic Gold Medal at the Rome 1960 Games in the 5.5 meter event as crew.

    “Sailing was such a big part of my life growing up at Pleon Junior Yacht Club during the summers and frostbiting Interclub dinghies in the winters,” added Smith. “I met my wife, Cindy, frostbiting in Marblehead. She’s a very good sailor herself and serves as our J/70 fleet secretary.”

    “We continue to race the J/70 together in Marblehead every chance we get. Massachusetts Bay and Salem Sound is still my favorite place to sail, where no two days are the same. There’s always a new wrinkle to work out, which makes it challenging.”

    Previous J/Sailors that have won the award since the 1977 introduction of the J/24 include, Dave Curtis, Ken Read, Ed Adams, Betsy Gelenitis (Allison), Bonnie Shore, Susan Dierdorff Taylor, John Kostecki, Lynne Jewell, Allison Jolly, Larry Klein, Jim Brady, Kevin Mahaney, Cam Lewis, Ed Baird, Dave Ullman, Augie Diaz, Hannah Swett, Sally Barkow, Kevin Burnham, Bill Hardesty, Brian Porter, Terry Hutchinson, Stephanie Roble, and Annie Haeger.  Not bad company to keep for Mr Smith!! Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com/ Alan Clark- photoboat.com


    * We are deeply sorry to share the devastating news that long-time friend and colleague Paul Heys of J/UK passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 25th, 2019, while on vacation in the Caribbean with his wife Marie-Claude.

    It would be impossible to put into words just how much Paul will be missed and how much our hearts and prayers go out to Marie-Claude, Gemma, Paul’s family, and everyone at J/UK.

    Paul’s lifelong devotion and passion for sailing is second to none, and his legacy will live on through everyone who knew and loved him, the numerous J/one-design fleets and annual J/Cup regatta he founded, and the many other thousands of sailors he inspired.


    * Going down to the J/105 Midwinters soon?  Here is a good compendium of speed tips, tricks, and how to sail faster from the North Sails J/105 team.  It is a good “pre-season” primer and reference to get you and your team going in the right direction and faster, sooner!  Most of the ideas are quite practical and apply to whatever sails you may have.  Read more here.
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  • J/Newsletter- February 20th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    There was plenty of winter series action taking place in Europe last week, with one series hosting their finale and the other hosting their penultimate event. On the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Vigo, Spain, the Bosch Systems J/70 Winter Series wrapped up their three-regatta series, hosted by Real Club Nautico Vigo.  On the opposite coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona hosted their 4th of five events for both J/70s and J/80s in the Barcelona Winter Series; the last event is mid-March.

    In the Americas, the first of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas took place in St Petersburg, Florida.  St Petersburg YC on Tampa Bay hosted the regatta for fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s and a PHRF fleet. Then, out West on the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach YC and San Diego YC hosted their 10th annual Islands Race for offshore racers. This year it was an abbreviated affair due to U.S. military exclusion zones for exercises west of San Clemente Island, the usual westernmost mark of the course.  Instead, the fleet rounded Catalina Island to port and headed south to the finish line off Point Loma, San Diego, CA; it was a successful outing for a J/124 and J/44.

    Finally, down in the Caribbean, the first event was just completed in the season long Offshore Points Series for the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the United Kingdom.  The spectacular RORC Caribbean 600 Race started and finished off English Harbour, Antigua for dozens of sailing yachts that went around 11 islands between Guadeloupe (southeast) and St Maarten (northwest); a J/122 and J/145 enjoyed their adventures sailing around a spectacular group of islands in what many consider to be one of the pre-eminent “new” offshore bucket races.
     

     
    Market Disrupter- the NEW J/99 Offshore Doublehanded Speedster
    (Lymington, England)- The new J/99 is featured in the latest issue of Seahorse Magazine, just hitting the news stands now. Here is an excerpt of their review…

    “The new J/99, built by J/Composites in France, is J/Boats’ answer to extensive customer demand for a smaller ‘adventure racer.’ True to this globally successful brand’s fundamental philosophy, it has an all-round performance hull, rather than a boxy, hard-chined body with squat, open-style stern sections, like so many boats on the race course today.

    The 32.6' J/99 is equipped with a powerful, easily controlled keel-stepped rig, which optimizes the boat’s reaching and downwind sail configurations. As a result, the J/99 is designed to plane in 17+ knots of breeze, but won’t drag extra wetted surface in light airs. It is designed to be IRC/ORC rating friendly, not too far from the successful J/97, but longer on the waterline with less overhang. The trial certificate for boat number one, which we sailed at the turn of the year on the Solent in seven to 10 knots of chilly breeze, comes in at 1.015, comparing favorably in between the JPK 1010 (about 1.006) and the Jeanneau SunFast 3600 (around 1.040)….read more below.  Here is a link to the article posted online.
     

    J/70 Midwinters VII Preview
    (Coconut Grove, FL)- Since the first J/70 Midwinters in 2013 down at Key West Race Week, the class has continued to attract sailors from across the spectrum of experience, club sailors with family aboard up to world-class programs with some of the world’s top sailing pros on board.  What continues to be a unique experience for the class is the extraordinary degree of “freely-exchanged” information regards what each team believes is working for them, from tuning numbers to tactics to general boat-handling.

    The Davis Island YC Winter Series was, essentially, three weekends and nine days of “sail training” for anyone that wished to participate in the Q&A with the sailmakers (Doyle, North, Quantum, Ullman) and the leading sailors like Willem van Waay, Victor Diaz de Leon, Thomas Barrows, Jonathan McKee, Bill Hardesty, and so forth.

    Continuing in that tradition of camaraderie and close competition, fifty-six boats are headed to the beautiful azure waters of Biscayne Bay to sail the 7th J/70 Midwinter Championship, hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Florida. In addition to many top American teams, there will be crews from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile), Mexico, United Kingdom, and Germany.

    Fresh off the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series win will be Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and also fresh off last weekend’s Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Overall win will be Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER.  Both teams will have their hands full with a rogue’s gallery of European, U.K., Midwinter, North American and World Champions from recent years.

    Watch out for these crews to be serious contenders on the leaderboard; Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, MN; Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Martin Dent’s JELVIS from Cowes, England; Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Harm Muller Speer’s PLATOON from Hamburg, Germany; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from Rye, NY; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX.  Anyone of these teams are capable of podium finishes throughout the regatta, the question will be, which ones put it together for consistent results! Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com.  For more J/70 Midwinters VII sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    J/Sailors Love St Petersburg NOOD Regatta!
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta took place from February 15th to 17th, hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club. This year’s event may go down in history as one of the best three days of sailing ever on Tampa Bay!  Epic conditions every day, with sunny warm weather (70s F), and fresh southeast to southwest breezes ranging from 6 to 17 kts- in other words, true “Chamber of Commerce” conditions with shorts, t-shirts, and shades being the wardrobe of the weekend.

    Thirty-seven of the 106 keelboats participating were J/Boats crews (34%). Those 250+ J sailor certainly had a rocking good time, making the most of the spring-like weather to enjoy the famous “Tiki Bar” on the second floor of St Petersburg YC’s terrace.  Participating teams included one-design fleets for J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s and a few J/crews sailing PHRF handicap, too! Again, it was another “de facto” J/Fest for J enthusiasts across America.

    Fabulous Friday
    The first day of the regatta dawned with a sunny day and a harbor postponement. That was a good thing.  Since virtually all weather forecasts and GRIB files showed the seabreeze starting to roll in before noontime and increasing into the 8-12 kts range by late afternoon.  It turned out to be a good call, as the fleet left the docks at 11:30am to head out to the race course for three good races in SE to SW winds of 6 to 12 kts.  It was great sailing for all the one-design fleets on all four circles and the competition was tough!

    The competition was not lost on Maddy Ploch sailing on the J/70 circle. The high school student jumped into the boat for the first time in over a year and a half. Despite shaking off rust today she and her crew- including her father (Mark Ploch) as tactician- finished the day in third overall.

    "You look over your shoulder for one second and you already lose two boat lengths looking at the guy next to you," Ploch says. "It’s really good competition here and I am actually really excited to come back again tomorrow and use some of the information I got today and apply it for every race that comes after."

    Ploch's forte is offshore long-distance racing - she has a few thousand miles under her belt from racing to Bermuda twice and doing boat deliveries - but she is no stranger to NOOD regattas having competed in her first one when she was 12 years old.

    "It's very different racing, you have to be in a different mindset," she says. "The start is one third of the race on a short course. It's always about boat speed, tactics and strategy - when to cut your losses and when to duck and bite the bullet. I was glad to have some light wind today to get my bearings straight and remember the feel of the boat. But, it would great to have more breeze in the coming days to keep things exciting and sail the regatta in all conditions."

    Leading the J/70s after the first day was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, followed by Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER in second.

    Fast out of the blocks in the J/24 class was Carter White’s YouREGATTA, scoring a 1-2-3 to lead with 6 pts.  Following them were Mike Quaid’s ICE CUBE in second and Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM in third.

    The J/88s had very closely fought racing.  After three races, Bill Purdy’s WHIRLWIND was leading with 9 pts, followed by Mike Bruno’s WINGS and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE tied at 10 pts each.

    Similarly, the J/111s were all essentially tied up.  The leaders were tied at 6 pts each, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF and Ian Hill’s SITELLA. Just one point back was Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK.

    Spectacular Saturday
    The second day of racing started off with a good breeze out of the south that, ultimately, swung into the southwest and increased to 10-15 kts for most circles. All circles got in at least four races and the sailors were sent home at 2:30pm in the afternoon!

    White’s YouREGATTA continued to lead the J/24s, but the rest of the podium saw changes. David Ogden’s BUCKAROO crew from Toronto, Canada leapt into the second spot with a 3-1-2-1 for 17 pts, while Quaid’s ICE CUBE dropped to third with a 4-3-3-2 for 21 pts.

    Similar movement was seen in the J/88 class. Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION team managed a 2-1-1-3 to lead with 17 pts, followed by John & Jordan Leahey’s DUTCH team from Denver, Colorado that had 21 pts.  One point back was Bruno’s WINGS with 22 pts.

    The J/70s saw their standings shuffle dramatically amongst the leaders. Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER crew knocked it out of the park on Saturday; they were now leading after blowing off their erstwhile competitors with straight bullets to lead with just 12 pts. Second was now occupied by Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 6-2-6-4 tally on the day for a 22 pts total. Third was still the young Ms. Ploch on USA 88 with 23 pts.

    Beginning to pull ahead in the J/111 class was the Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, posting a scorchingly hot tally of 1-3-1-1 for a total of 12 pts on the day! Ouch, that’s putting the big hurt on the fleet! Then, Hill’s SITELLA hung on to second with a 2-2-3-3 for 16 pts and Davis’ SHAMROCK remained in the third position with a 3-1-4-2 for 17 pts.

    Meanwhile, in PHRF 2 Racing Spinnakers, sitting in second after five races was Ray Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI with George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE in third, just a scant point in arrears.

    Supercalifragilistic Sunday
    It was another beautiful sunny day for the final day of racing. Once the sea breeze patiently filled in by noontime, it built quickly into the 8-12 kts range from the S to SW. Racing got underway and most classes completed two races for a regatta total of eight to nine races by the 1400 hrs time limit.

    At each Helly Hansen NOOD regatta, organizers select one team from among its class winners to challenge the 2018 Caribbean NOOD Championship winner. This year’s winner in St. Petersburg was the J/70 class winner, Travis Odenbach, skipper of HONEYBADGER. He and his crew earned a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October 2019.

    This was a particularly sweet win for the Pittsford, New York, native and his team that won their class by 15 points. Previously, Odenbach was the regatta’s overall winner, but was unable to attend the Caribbean Championship due to a conflict with the J/24 North Americans.

    "I have been doing the NOOD since then trying to redeem myself and my crew won’t sail with me if I skip it again," said Odenbach. "We tried pretty hard to win and this is a gift. We are really excited and we are not going to skip this year!!”

    "With 75 degree temperatures and 10 to 12 knots of breeze, it's been one of the best years that I have been in the NOOD here," continued Odenbach. Odenbach, a successful J/24 racer, is relatively new to the J/70 and attributes his success to his crew who is enjoying the boat and also some lessons on the water over the weekend.

    "One of the things I learned was how to drive through waves and understand that the boat doesn't go any faster or slower if you go really low through the waves.  So, we powered up, crashed on through, and it seemed to really work out going upwind," he said. “Good starts, getting off the line clean, and letting the crew do the rest was our recipe to success.” Crew members on HONEYBADGER included Ian Coleman, Patrick Wilson and Brendan Feeney.

    Rounding out the top three in the J/70s were Maddy Ploch’s USA 88 crew taking home the silver, while Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE picked up the bronze.

    Top marks in the J/88 fleet went to Iris Vogel and the crew of DEVIATION, who struggled with shifty conditions and battled through a four-way tie for second place on the first day of racing. The team found its groove over the next two days and focused on boatspeed.

    "In this fleet, we just had to be fast," says Vogel. "Everyone is so close and so good. One mistake and you go from first to fifth. Our goal was to get a good start, and go as fast as we can, and hold on to it."

    The balance of the podium went to the Leahey’s DUTCH in second place and Bill Purdy’s WHIRLWIND in third position.

    White’s YouREGATTA split 1st and 2nd in the last two races with Ogden’s BUCKAROO to maintain their lead in the J/24 class.  Behind Ogden was Quaid’s ICE CUBE in third.

    The J/111s saw the Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF hang on to their lead to take the class win.  Behind them, it was an anxiety-ridden last two races, culminating in a tie-breaker.  Such is the scenario for the incredibly tight racing in the class.  Winning the tie-break on 21 pts each was Davis’ SHAMROCK over Hill’s SITELLA.

    Finally, PHRF 2 Racing Spinnaker class saw Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI get on the podium, again, for what seemed like the dozenth time in the St Pete NOOD Regatta!  His crew from Largo, Florida took home the silver. They were followed by Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE in third position.  Watch the interview of the Overall Winner- Travis Odenbach and HONEYBADGER team

    Sailing video highlights
    Friday- https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x72ijfe
    Saturday- https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x72iztl
    Sunday- https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x72kina
    For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information
     

    J/122 Bronze @ RORC Caribbean 600 Race
    (English Harbour, Antigua)- Seventy-eight yachts entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, where in excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations competed in what became a record-setting race around 11 Caribbean islands.

    Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID, with Julian White from the United Kingdom as skipper, sailed for their third time in this “bucket list” race.

    Yet again, her team proved they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium!

    On the final leg home from Redonda Island to the finish line off English Harbour, Antigua, a distance of 35.0nm, her team sailed a brilliant last upwind leg, powering their way back into contention to take the bronze on the IRC 2 Class podium! Congrats to Pamala, Julian, and their crew as they crossed the finish line at 19:31 hours Antigua time on Thursday, February 21st, for a total time of 3d 11h 31m 11s and a total distance of 627.0nm! YB Tracking link to replay the race  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information and tracking.
     

    J/Crews Prevail in Fast, Shortened Islands Race X
    J/44 and J/124 Garner Silver!
    (San Diego, CA)- The 10th annual Islands Race attracted 26 teams on February 15 for a Southern California offshore course from Long Beach Harbor, around Santa Catalina and finishing in San Diego, CA. The standard 134.0nm course, which generally includes rounding San Clemente Island to port, was shortened to 80.0nm when the island mark was removed due to a military exclusion zone!

    As anticipated by the sailors, the teams took awhile to head offshore to pick up the west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. With the shortened course, the crews went around Catalina Island, turned left, set spinnakers, sailed down inside San Clemente Island to the Point Loma finish line off San Diego. It was a quick race in the 10-17 kts WNW winds offshore, with most boats finishing in less than 13 hours of sailing!

    Taking up the challenge were two J/crews with lots of blue-water pedigree. In ORR 3 Division, it was Seth Hall’s famous navy blue J/124 MARISOL from Newport Beach, CA that captured the bronze in a class littered with custom carbon offshore speedsters.  Hall’s crew were elated to beat some of Southern California’s more notorious offshore racers, just missing the silver by a mere 47 seconds!!

    Similarly, in ORR 4 Division, it was Paul Stemler’s pretty J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC that took on all comers with speed, grace, comfort, and elegance, winning their division by 12 minutes corrected time!  For more Islands Race sailing information
     

    NOTICIA V Wins Vigo J/70 Winter Series IV
    LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA Crowned Winter Series Champions
    (Vigo, Spain)- The Trofeo Bosch Service Solutions J/70 Winter Series, hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Vigo, brought together the best sailors from across Spain to race in the spectacular waters of the Vigo estuary.

    This past weekend, the fourth and final event of the winter long series 2018/2019, saw the two-time J/80 World Champion and runner-up in the 2018 J/70 Europeans- Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida- take the win against some of the toughest competition he has faced in years. Torcida’s Real Club Maritimo Santander team on NOTICIA V was as formidable as it gets, his crew consisted of Pablo Santurde del Arco, Luis Martin Cabiedes, and none other than Rayco Tabares (himself a J/80 World Champion from the Canary Islands).

    On Saturday, with a spectacular sun and temperature, the “virazón” (an onshore thermal wind from the West) arrived punctually after finishing a duel with the early morning "bocana-terral" (Northeast winds) that lasted longer than normal. As a result, the RCN Vigo PRO managed to run three good races in the classic and stable virazón.

    Leading after the first day was the SOGACSA team (Pablo Iglesias, Sancho Paramo, Javier Porto, and Iago Carrera); they posted a consistent 3-5-2 for 10 pts. Two teams were tied for second; the series leader LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA (Alfredo Gonzalez and Gonzalo Araujo) posting a 11-1-1 and Torcida’s NOTICIA team with a 1-6-6, for 13 pts each.

    On Sunday, it took a long time for the south wind to gain sufficient strength for racing; it finally filled in around 1200 hrs.  However, due to the 1400 hrs time limit, only two more races were completed.  Splitting the two races, each with a 1-2, were Torcida’s NOTICIA and Enrique Freire and Manuel Cunha’s MARNATURA (with crew of Gerardo Prego Menor, Luis Bugallo Arriola, Alberto Basadre López, Jorge Lorenzo Roman).  As a result, NOTICA won the fourth event with just 16 pts after five races, followed by SOGACSA in 2nd with 19 pts and MARNATURA in 3rd with 21 pts.

    The balance of the top five was determined on a tie-breaker between LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA and PAZO DE CEA (Pablo Martinez Abad, Ramón Ojea, Guago Mosquera, Rodrigo Ojea, Pancho Tourón, & Ángel Tourón).  Winning that countback was L&M.

    The results of the final weekend showed that LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA was the great dominator, winning the 21 race Trofeo Bosch Services Solutions Winter Series Regatta by an enormous margin of 42 points! The series consisted of four weekends, one per month, from November to February.  Completing the podium in 2nd was ABRIL VERDE (Luis Perez Canal, Carlos San Martin, Juan De Cominges Carvallo, Rafael Martínez-Almeida, & Edu Reguera) and in 3rd was SOGACSA. It was an impressive showing for the local hosts, as the top three teams were all from RCN Vigo, a proud moment for their club members!

    Rounding out the top five was Torcida’s NOTICIA in 4th place (having missed the first regatta in November) and Luis Albert Solano’s PATAKIN in 5th place from Club Maritimo Mallorca.  For more Trofeo Bosch Service Solutions J/70 Winter Series sailing information
     

    Competitive Barcelona Winter J/70 and J/80 Series
    (Barcelona, Spain)- While there was good racing on the Atlantic Ocean off Vigo for their winter J/70 series on Spain’s western coastline, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona was hosting its Barcelona Winters Series for J/70s and J/80s on the sunny, warm Mediterranean.

    Eighteen J/70s from Spain, Germany, Cyprus, Russia, Poland, Norway, Italy, and the United Kingdom have been thrashing around the Barcelona waterfront for five events so far.  Just one final weekend is left on March 16th and 17th.  After a total of fifteen races, the leading team is a bunch of Russians sailing out of Cyprus YC; their fearless leader on AMAIZ SAILING TEAM- Sergei Dobrovolski- has guided them to six race wins and look tough to beat with just 35 pts. Only a colossal miscalculation will prevent them from winning the overall series.

    However, with one regatta to go, it is a battle royale for the balance of the podium and the top five spots.  Currently sitting in second is the duo of Tony Hayward and Mark Lees from Great Britain, sailing with their Royal Thames YC team on SERIOUS FUN. They haven’t done themselves any favors by having to count a DSQ/19 in race 8 and a 15th in race 15; consequently, their 57 pts is just two shy from the third place team.  That crew is the Spaniard Luis Martinez Doreste; he’s skippering FORTY FIVE and his Real Club Nautico de Grand Canaria team is capable of winning races (three so far).  Then, sitting three points behind FORTY FIVE is Pablo Garriba’s RCN Barcelona crew on TENAZ with a total of 62 pts  And, only one point in arrears of them is Gerard Marin’s CLUB NAUTIC L’ESCALA with 63 pts.  The grand finale is going to be thriller and a nightmare for the tacticians as all four boats easily have a mathematical chance of getting onto the podium.

    Spoiler alert! Of note, the top five crews are likely happy that the duo of Spanish Olympic Gold Medallist Hugo Rocha and Russian Alexey Semenov on NEW TERRITORIES missed the first three events, as they are averaging a 3rd in their last seven races, including two bullets and two deuces!

    Meanwhile, the nine-boat J/80 fleet had their hands full dealing with past J/80 World Champion Marc de Antonio on his familiar boat named BRIBON-MOVISTAR.

    Marc’s RCN Barcelona team have sailed all fifteen races, won six of them and placed in the top three twelve times; their points total is just 26! Comfortable in their second position is Agusti Altadil on NACEX with 32 pts overall.

    However, the balance of the podium is sure to be a full-on battle in the March event between MIKAKU (Rosa Artigas and Luis Corbella) and AKEWUELE (Silvia Ravetllat and Joan Salame). Both women skippers are quite talented and have sharpened their skills over the course of the winter series. In particular, Silvia Ravetllat has seven top three scores and, other than her OCS/10 in Race 14, she would have had a chance at the silver.  Instead, Silvia’s AKEWUELE team sits in 4th place with 44 pts, three points in arrears of Rosa’s MIKAKU crew that have 41 pts.  Follow the Spanish J/70 teams here on Facebook  For more Barcelona J/70 & J/80 Winter Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    “Mimosas, Massages, & Memories.  Women go sailing J/22s in San Diego!”  
    When Kim Couranz first suggested we represent Severn Sailing Association at San Diego Yacht Club’s Women’s Winter Invite on February 16-17, I was excited to get “the band” back together again. It had been almost a decade since Kim and Margaret Podlich and I had sailed together, but we still remembered how much fun we had.

    A “girls’ weekend” that included racing (and an escape from real winter, back east to San Diego, CA) was definitely worth traveling cross-country.

    I can’t speak for why so many others traveled similar distances—there was even a team from Mexico—but I’m pretty sure everyone went home happy. What’s not to like about yoga, mimosas, massages, sunshine, great breeze, and fast-paced competition from several generations of sailors?

    Here’s how the racing worked: Twenty teams sailed ten J/22s, rotating after every race on a dock only a few minutes from the race course. La Playa is a small basin that (on this particular weekend) was filled with anchored boats, all taking shelter behind the high ridge of Point Loma from a series of winter low pressure systems.

    Regardless of whether the left or right breeze won at any given moment, there were plenty of obstructions on the three-minute legs—and no lead was safe.

    Between races, we socialized. The dockside SDYC RC boat ‘Corinthian’ hosted self-serve food and drink, while two masseuses were kept busy working on tight muscles. While cheering on lead changes and overlapped finishes, we made some new friends and caught up with old ones.

    With the likely exception of massages, all of what I’ve described so far could’ve happened at any regatta. Three major differences made this event particularly special:

    1. Starting off the day with a yogi-led group stretch. Loosening up joints and muscles surrounded by a roomful of competitors put the whole regatta thing into perspective. When else do we prepare for a day’s racing by channeling gratitude rather than grit and determination?

    2. A competitor age range of close to forty years. There were teams who could’ve been my kids, others that I’d raced against “back in the day,” and several sailors I knew only by reputation. It was definitely not the “same old crowd,” for anybody.

    3. “Sail with the Commodore.” Each rotation, SDYC Commodore Jerelyn Biehl took out women who’d never raced before— and her teams won two of the 46 races. Her real win was exposing more yacht club members to small boat sailing and its unique camaraderie.

    After racing each day, we retreated to hot tub or bar (or both) for more socializing over more food and drink. SDYC was as welcoming as always, and even the fork and knife crowd didn’t seem to mind a handful of lifejacketed ladies wandering through.

    And yes, my team achieved our original mission; get the band back together, and laugh a lot. After observing the three of us finishing each others’ sentences the first morning, one of the younger skippers observed, “You guys must’ve spent a lot of time together.”

    Guilty as charged, and long may it continue.  Thanks to all the organizers for making this happen, and please sign us up for next year!”

    In the end, it was top Olympian sailor Allie Blecher from California Yacht Club that won the regatta with a 1.20 race average.  Jenny Swett, a native of Newport and Jamestown J/24 Fleet 50 days, appeared like she had not lost her touch, taking 2nd with a 1.40 avg.  Third was author Carol Cronin’s crew from Annapolis, MD with a 1.71 avg. Fourth was Liz Baylis from San Francisco with a 1.83 avg.  Then, fifth place was determined on a tie-breaker with a 2.00 avg between Emily Maxwell from New York YC and Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, with Maxwell getting the nod on countback.  Sailing Photo Credits- San Diego YC/ Bob Betancourt  Thanks for the contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing and Carol Cronin  For more Women’s J/22 Winter Invitational Regatta sailing information
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  • J/Newsletter- February 13th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    A lot of sailing took place on four separate continents over the past few weeks.  Beginning with South America, Chilean sailors are enjoying the precursor to a glorious “Indian Summer” in the southern parts of the 2,700 mile long country. Down near Puerto Montt, a fleet of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/105s enjoyed the Semana de Vela Santander Regatta, hosted by Cofradia Nautica de Frutillar on Lake Llanquihue, a spectacular large lake at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountain range, with three enormous snow-capped volcanic mountains ringing the eastern side of the lake.

    Also taking place down in the Southern Hemisphere, there has been plenty of activity in Australia.  Queensland Cruising YC hosted their annual 95.0nm Surf to City Race, the fleet sailed in the Pacific Ocean waters off Brisbane, South Australia; a J/122 and J/130 managed to add some silverware to their trophy shelves.  Then, not far away in another part of South Australia, the 2019 J/24 Australian National Championship was sailed off Adelaide, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.

    Up in the Northern Hemisphere, an enormous contingent of European, South American, and Russian sailors enjoyed what many consider to be the premiere opening regatta of the European summer sailing season; the famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse that is hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco off Monte Carlo, Monaco, with sailing taking place on Hercules Bay. With YC Monaco hosting the 2022 J/70 World Championship, a significant fleet of fifty-one boats enjoyed the three days of sailing in the always-challenging conditions on the Mediterranean. Further north on the Continent, the Grevelingen Cup Winter Series sailed its fourth weekend off Port Zeelande for a fleet of IRC/ ORC boats that included a J/109, J/111, and J/122.

    Finally, in North America, the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series sailed the third and final regatta of the series in what many thought was the “best weekend ever” sailing in northern Tampa Bay.  As usual, the volunteers at Davis Island YC rolled out their proverbial red carpet and welcomed the fleet of fifty-four boats with open arms and put on a great show, running seven races over two sunny days with good breezes from the N-NE.


    J/70 @ Austrian Boat Show- BOOT TULLN
    (Tulln, Austria)- The Austrian Boat Show– BOOT TULLN- continues its success story! The biggest and most comprehensive boat and water sports trade fair in Central and Eastern Europe, the show takes place from March 7th to 10th, 2019.

    The trade fair city Tulln on the Danube River has been presenting the Austrian Boat Show for 45 years. More than 45,000 visitors with substantial purchasing power come each year from Austria and abroad to enjoy the attractions of the trade fair and its host city.

    On display will be Europe’s most popular sportboat- the internationally famous J/70 one-design sailboat.  The class has truly taken over Europe by storm, with nearly 1,000 boats on the Continent.  That activity has been driven by the famous SAILING Champions League, in which 20 nations are taking part from across Europe in the incredibly popular sailing league programs that has mostly standardized on J/70 sailboats. Austria has been an active participant in that growth for “club sailing”, bringing aboard most all of Austria’s top sailing clubs. Come on down and learn more about the J/70 in Austria and how you can participate in European J/70 events.  For more BOOT TULLN show information

    To meet J/Boats Austrian representative Richard Gebetsroither-Haslinger from Yachtservice Gebetsroither GesmbH, please contact them at mobile +43 664 211 68 33/ email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ or web- http://www.yacht.co.at


    Helly Hansen St Pete NOOD Regatta Preview
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta will be taking place from February 15th to 17th, hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club, with sailing on Tampa Bay. Continuing the trend from past years, the J/family of sailors continues to grow across the spectrum of experience and competition.  Of the 162 boats registered, 106 are keelboats, and of that 34% (or 36 boats) are J/Boats crews.  In terms of “sailor participants”, the J/crews number over 50% of the regatta, at least 250 sailors that are on J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/111s, & J/PHRF teams!  Yet another “de facto” J/Fest for enthusiasts across America.

    Fresh off their last weekend in the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series are fourteen J/70 crews from Canada (Port Credit, ONT), Maryland, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, New York, and Connecticut. Watch out for Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER crew form Rochester YC in New York as well as Maddy Ploch’s team on USA 88 from the greater Tampa Bay area (includes her Dad- Mark Ploch, first time J/24 Midwinter Champion in 1978)!

    The half-dozen J/88s will square off again after their Midwinter Championship over two weeks ago.  Will Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew duplicate their remarkable feat of five bullets?  Or, will Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE exact revenge and turn the tables on everyone? That outcome may be “condition-specific” as certain teams have proven to be faster in some conditions versus others and, as a result, may become a war of attrition to the very end!

    The J/111 class will see the addition of the popular WICKED 2.0 crew, skippered by Doug Curtiss from New Bedford YC in South Dartmouth, MA.  Their pretty black and green boat will be put to the test by the previous J/111 Midwinters leaders- Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Chesapeake, VA; Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from Cleveland, OH: and Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY.

    The octet of J/24s will enjoy good racing, as they usually do in the friendly confines of Tampa Bay. Do not be surprised if the top of the leaderboard sees Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from Davis Island YC dueling for class honors with Carter White’s YOUREGATTA from Portland, Maine.

    The PHRF 1 Racing division has grown, yet again, with 25 boats on what could be a very scary starting line. This year, two J/105s will be on hand- George Cussins’ FIRE & ICE from Apollo Beach, FL and David Arata’s J-HAWK from St Petersburg YC.  Joining them in the fray will be Ray Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI, a past class winner!

    Finally, the NORTH SAILS RALLY for Racer Cruisers includes David Mendelblatt’s J/24 USA 4159 from St Petersburg YC, going for a “family cruise” with the hopes of collecting some silverware along the way.
    Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ OutsideImages.com   For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information


    RORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview
    (English Harbour, Antigua)- Seventy-eight yachts have entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, where in excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations will compete in the thrilling race around 11 Caribbean islands starting on Monday 18th February. Winners from the Olympic Games, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and multiple world champions have gathered in Antigua and will be competing alongside passionate Corinthian sailors, both young and old.

    Two offshore thoroughbreds from the “J” stable will be participating in the event in the IRC Division.  Sailing for the first time will be Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from the USA; given the right conditions, her enormous asymmetric sails and her ability to excel in a long upwind slog (154 degree for 190.0nm) from the northeastern point of Saint Maarten (Ile Tintamarre) to the southeastern tip of Guadeloupe (Iles de Saintes). Similarly, Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID will be participating for the third time in this “bucket list” race; her team has proven time and again they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium!  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information and tracking


    Islands Race X Preview
    (San Diego, CA)- The San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club are celebrating the 10th annual Islands Race on February 15-16, 2019. The decade old, 134.0nm race is a signature SDYC offshore regatta co-hosted with Newport Harbor Yacht Club. An expected 25+ boats will start from Long Beach Harbor, make way around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands and finish in Point Loma.

    As the first race of the 2019 Southern California Offshore Racing Calendar, many competitors will be using this event to prepare for the NHYC Cabo Race later in the Spring. The NHYC Cabo Race is an 800.0nm, 3-4 day, intense offshore competition. The Islands Race, involving only a single overnight at sea with various offshore wind and sea conditions, is a good opportunity for sailors to get ocean experience while still remaining relatively coastal.

    Competitors in the Islands Race will head offshore in west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. Boats will typically encounter better sailing winds in the evening as they get further into the trades, and round Catalina and San Clemente islands. However, as they pass to windward of these islands, they are exposing themselves to larger swells and wind waves that are not blocked by the islands.

    SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges with these offshore winds. “As the winds flow down the coast, they continue south even as the coastal shoreline recedes to the east. This creates a gap between those trade winds and the coastline, over most of Southern California. During the day, the thermal effect pulls those offshore winds into the coast. But, at night, coastal waters are largely calm. However, the trade winds continue to flow, just further out to sea. The Islands Race course places competitors among those night-time winds and gives them valuable night-time offshore sailing experience.

    Taking up that challenge in the ORR 1 Class are Seth Hall’s famous navy blue J/124 MARISOL, with crew from Newport Beach, CA.  In addition, Viggo Torbensen’s race-winning J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC will be hoping to set the pace offshore and overcome notorious competitors like the SC 52 Horizon.

    In the ORR EZ5 Class, Paul Stemler’s pretty J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC will be taking on all comers with speed, grace, comfort, and elegance.  Sailing photo credit- JOYSailing.com  For more Islands Race sailing information
     

    J/22 U.S. Youth Match Racing Announcement
    (San Diego, CA)- Come one, come all!  All youth sailors between 16 and 20 years old are invited to apply for the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship (“USYMRC”) to be sailed in matched J/22 one-design sailboats from June 26th to 30th, hosted by San Diego YC in San Diego, CA!

    The “USYMRC” for the Rose Cup is an invitational event. The Championship features world-class coaching and race management and serves as an outstanding training ground for young sailors who are passionate about match racing and focused on competing at the next level.

    The online form to request an invitation to the 2019 USYMRC is now available to prospective sailors. Requests for invitations received by April 1, 2019, will receive preference, and selected skippers will be notified by April 7, 2019.  If you wish to participate, please go to the online application here.

    Please note- competitors must have reached their 16th birthday, but not their 21st birthday during the calendar year in which the event is held. Teams will consist of crews of four (4), with at least one male and one female, and a maximum crew weight of 680 lbs.  The event is expected to be a World Sailing Grade 3 Event. Teams may be composed of members from other yacht clubs or sailing associations.

    Championship History
    The Rose Cup started as an invitational youth match racing event in 2010. It was founded by members of Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach, California, and the Newport-Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association (“NBSSA”). Its mission is to assist in the promotion of youth match racing in the United States and improve the quality of US competitors in national and international competition. Thanks primarily to the efforts of US Sailing Match Racing Committee Vice-Chair and five-time US Match Racing Champion, Dave Perry, US Sailing made the event one of its three match racing championships, and it officially became the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship in 2015.  For more J/22 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship sailing information


    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Fabulous Semana de Vela Santander Regatta
    Gorgeous Sailing for J/One-Designs on Lago Llanquihue
    (Frutillar, Chile)- From January 19th to 26th, the Semana de Vela Santander took place on Lago Llanquihue, the second largest lake in Chile, for fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, and IRC handicap boats.  The event was hosted by Club Nautico Oceanico, the Chilean Navy, and Cofradía Náutica Frutillar; it was the first time in the history of Chilean sailing that a fleet of forty-three keelboats have ever assembled together for a week-long event on the lake.

    Lago Llanquihue and the Valdivia villages were first settled by German colonialists in the 1850’s, led by Manuel Mont, and supported by then Chilean President Pérez Rosales. The principal strategy was to settle the area by giving away 2 hectares to each family to farm and make a home in a region that was sparsely populated.  However, due to the heavy rains and dense rain forest during the winters, the best mode of transportation by far was using boats on the lake!  Even to this day, there are many ferries that run back and forth between the coastal towns as principal commercial service on what is also one of the deepest lakes in all of South America (1,500 ft)!

    The opening ceremony of the regatta took place at the famous “Teatro del Lago”, one of the most important public theaters in all of South America, located literally on the Frutillar shorefront. In the background of the 300 sailors attending the festivities were the famous “tres-amigos”- the enormous 12,000 ft-plus volcanic, snow-capped mountains of Osorno, Puntiagudo and Calbuco.

    The sailing conditions started out a little light in the beginning of the week. For the long distance race between Frutillar, Puerto Octay and return to Frutillar, it was longer than what most anticipated.  After a one-day break, the fourth day of racing was the 18.0nm distance race from Frutillar down south to Puerto Varas, a long slog to windward for the entire fleet!

    The last three days of the regatta were in Puerto Varas at the southern end of Lago Llanquihue.  The southerly offshore winds were shifty, puffy, and made it difficult on the tacticians to decide where to go for the next wind shift.

    The J/24 class was dominated by Team VALDIVIESO, sailed by Felipe Molina and Fernando Gonzales, posting nine 1sts in eleven races to win with just 12 pts total.  Second was Team GUAMBLIN, sailed by the Escuela de Grumetes I team and taking the bronze on the podium was Team MARISCAL sailed by the Escuela de Grumetes crew.

    For the J/70s, it was a battle royale to the finish line. In the end, it was Manuel Urzua’s crew on PATIO LV that took the title with 18 pts, followed by their erstwhile competitor, Francisca Cisterna’s UROBORO with 19 pts total. Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Paulo Molina’s ALBATROSS with 28 pts total.

    Like their compadres in the J/24 class, the J/80s were treated to another near “white-washing” of the class.  Ezequias Alliende and Alfredo Valdes had one bad blemish on their record of near all first places, posting a DSQ in race 3, to finish with just 14 pts.  Taking the silver was Anton Felmer’s COSACO with 22 pts, followed by Gabriel Jordan’s CUMBERLAND YACHT CHARTER with 26 pts.

    Finally, the J/105s had quite close racing over the course of the week. In fact, their class had the closest racing of any of the handicap or offshore classes. Wining the event with just three 1st places was Jose Tomas Errazuriz Grez on WICHITA 4 with 26 pts total.  In a nose-to-nose horse race to the finish line were four other boats, anyone of which could have take the silver based on their final race positions! Taking the silver on a tie-breaker at 35 pts each was Jorge Gonzalez Correa’s PLAN B over Patricio Seguel’s GRAND SLAM.  Fourth was Daniel Gonzalez and Claudio Leon’s TRICALMA just one point back with 36 pts.  And, yet only three points in arrears to claim 5th place was Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA with 39 pts.  Fantastic racing for all J/105 crews over the course of the week’s racing!  For Semana de Vela Santander Regatta photos  More photos on Semana de Vela Santander Regatta on Facebook   For Semana de Vela Santander Regatta Results
     

    Fassitelli Crowned J/70 Primo Cup Champion
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Over 400 sailors on ninety-three one-design sailboats in five classes made the trip to Monaco for a long weekend of racing in the 35th Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse, from February 7th to 10th.

    Launched in 1985, at the instigation of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, a year after becoming the Yacht Club de Monaco’s President, the Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse has established itself as the principal meeting that opens the yachting season in the Mediterranean for Europe’s one-design elite.  It’s no wonder that “Albert” loves to support one-design sailboat racing, for nearly two dozen years, he loved racing his favorite J/24 in the local Monaco fleet amongst “friends and family” in the Mediterranean.

    With eight races completed in the J/70 class, the 35th edition lived up to its reputation as a demanding, high quality event that every year draws sailors from all over the world to kick-off the season. With the J/70 World Championship set to descend on the Principality in October 2021, nearly sixty teams turned out for the Primo Cup. In fact, the huge fleet of fifty-four highly competitive J/70s from across Europe and other parts of the worlds included; Monaco (14), Switzerland (11), France (6), Germany (7), Italy (6), Russia (5), Ireland (2), Brazil (1), Great Britain (1), Finland (1), Ukraine (1), and Sweden (1).

    To say the outcome would have been pre-ordained amongst this incredibly competitive group would be considered an oversight.  Anyone could have won the event in the top ten, which is how close the racing was going into the last day.

    Nevertheless, lying in third place after the first day, Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA- BANCA SEMPIONE generated the surprise outcome for the event; taking the top step of the podium, without having won a race, but having been the most consistent overall.

    “I am delighted for two reasons.  First, because I had the chance to race with fantastic friends, and secondly, what a joy to win at home,” said Ludovico Fassitelli.

    Taking second was the Irishman and J/70 International Class President- Ian Wilson (SOAK SAILING), with the Swiss Thomas Studer (JERRY) in third place.

    Rounding out the top five were two former winners of the YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series; Andrei Malygin’s Russian crew on MARIA RUS 1405 and Nico Poons’ CHARISMA MON 730, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively. As a result, for the first time in Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing history, there were six nations in the top ten (Monaco, Ireland, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, & Italy)!  Sailing photo credits- YC Monaco- Stefano Gattini/ Carlo Borlenghi  Follow Yacht Club de Monaco on Facebook here  For more J/70 Primo Cup Trophee Credit-Suisse sailing information
     

    J/Teams Dominate the Surf to City Race
    (Brisbane, Australia)- Recently, the J/122 JAVELIN and the J/130 RAGTIME competed in the Offshore division of the 26th Queensland Cruising YC Surf to City Race last weekend. The unique race starts at Southport Yacht Club and finishes just off Shorncliffe Pier in Brisbane.

    Two fleets competed in the event, with the smaller boats took a 50.0nm route inshore of the Stradbroke Islands, while the bigger yachts took a 95.0nm Offshore course around the outside of the Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, then back across Moreton Bay to the finish. 101 boats participated in total, with 36 taking the offshore course and 65 on the inshore route.

    After fifteen hours of racing, Chris Morgan’s J/130 RAGTIME won IRC Division 2 and James and Sally Crowley’s J/122 JAVELIN took 2nd in IRC Division 2 and 2nd in ORCi Overall.

    Here is James and Sally’s report:

    “The race started off the Gold Coast seaway at 10:00 hrs in 1-3 kts NNE. RAGTIME got an early break with some favorable pressure and their large #1 headsail giving significant advantage. JAVELIN was penned in by a Marten-49 and surrounded by other 40 footers.

    As pressure built during the morning to 10-12 kts, the wind rotated to the north, and a tacking duel with a Sydney-39 and First-40 up the coast of Stradbroke island ensued. JAVELIN and the others went tack-for-tack into the surf zone in 5.0 meters of water with 1-2.0 meter swell, then back out to 20.0 meters of water.

    As the wind built to 12-14kts and rotated more northerly, JAVELIN changed to #2 headsail and, slowly but surely, overtook the competition. By Point Lookout at the NE tip of Stradbroke Island, JAVELIN had established a small lead on their key competitors.

    Going from Point Lookout to Cape Moreton, as the sun was setting over the islands, the wind continued to build to 15-18 kts and the leg was made on a single tack in the growing darkness.

    Cape Moreton was made at 19:00 hrs and the 15 deg bear-away to a shy reach gave JAVELIN her legs and by NE2 at the entry to Moreton Bay JAVELIN had established a 30-minute lead on her competitors. By this stage, the wind had died to 8-10 kts due north, and the shallow water in the channel combined with the swell and dead-aft wind made for uncomfortable downwind sailing in the dark, requiring numerous gybes to keep pressure in the A2 kite for the 8.0nm leg.

    Our saving grace was the incoming tide giving 1.5 kts assist. Past Tangalooma to the turn off at Cowan-Cowan, the seabreeze became extremely fluky and died before rotating around. As the wind became established off the shore in the NW, the A2 wasn’t able to hold at 90 deg AWA and 12 kts of breeze, so the Code-0 was deployed for the final run to the finish, crossing the line at 01:14 AM.”
     

    SAVASANA Wins Davis Island J/70 Finale & Overall Series
    (Tampa, FL)- Forty-nine J/70 teams qualified to win the 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club by competing with the same boat and skipper in at least two of the three events in Tampa, Florida.  Brian Keane’s SAVASANA repeated as Series Champion, including a commanding performance at the final stage February 9-10 with four bullets in seven races. The finale for the Corinthian division was narrowly won by Eddie Keller’s team on KEY PLAYER, nipping Bob Willis’s RIP RULLAH (by one point).

    Gorgeous Act III Weekend
    The weather for the weekend was considered by many Davis Island Winter series veterans as perhaps the “best ever”.  Saturday’s racing started off virtually on-time on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day, with winds of 13-20 kts out of the NNE (30-40 deg). It was apparent the shifty, offshore breezes often favored playing the fleet left of middle and, in particular, staying left at the top of the course. Quickly figuring out that formula was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team that included College Sailor of the Year Thomas Barrows as his tactician.  SAVASANA won the first three races, leaving the fleet in their dust as they planed away downwind in a cloud of spray.  However, by the fourth race of the day, most of the top crews had seen what they were doing tactically and strategically, and SAVASANA had to claw their way back into 6th place to be the leader at the conclusion of racing on Saturday; they were the only boat to post all single digit scores in four races.  Hot on their heels all day were Will Welles’ NEW WAVE from Newport, RI and Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA.

    Sunday dawned with great promise, but as the “locals” all know, any frontal weather system generating northeasterly winds on sunny days often dies out quickly on the second or third day. The forecast was for 10-15 kt winds from the ENE (65-90 deg.), it didn’t last long.  While the first race was fun and exciting, including a combination of planing puffs, wing-on-wing VMG’ing, and even light VMG modes, the next two races started to see massive holes materialize in the middle of the course.  Starting out where they left off on the first day, Keane’s SAVASANA won the first race, then closed with a 6-5 to win Act III of the DIYC Winter Series and also take the Overall Prize for winning the series.

    Behind Keane, it was a battle for the balance of the podium between Downey’s MR PITIFUL and Welles’ NEW WAVE.  However, it appeared the “die was cast” after the first race of the day when Welles posted an 8th to Downey’s 22nd.  Then, Welles closed with two bullets to cement their hold on second place, while Downey’s crew posted a 2-3 to also secure the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA from Wilmette, IL in fourth place, sailing with North Sails’ Tim Healey, and Doug Clark’s POLAR from the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT sailing his best regatta of the series by taking 5th place.

    In the Corinthians Division, Keller’s KEY PLAYER won, followed by Willis’ RIP RULLAH in second, and the Mexican team from Puerto Vallarta taking third- Fernando Perez’s BLACK MAMBA.

    Close Battle for Overall Championship Series
    In the Overall “Open” Division, SAVASANA won with a 3-1 tally for 4 pts. However, the balance of the podium was determined on a tie-breaker at 7 points each, with local DIYC sailor Greiner Hobbs posting a 2-5 to win the tie-break over Downey’s MR PITIFUL that had scored a 4-3!  Taking fourth was Welles’ NEW WAVE with a 6-2 for 8 pts, while Clark’s POLAR scored a 5-5 for 10 pts to take fifth position.

    In the Corinthians Overall Championship, Willis’ RIP RULLAH won by a small margin, posting a 6-8 for 14 pts.  Keller’s KEY PLAYER had an 11-7 tally for 18 pts to take the silver, while Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE posted 29-17 for 46 pts to take the bronze.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information
     

    BYE THE LEE Crowned J/24 Australian Champion
    (North Haven, Adelaide, SA, Australia)- Brendan Lee and his crew on BYE THE LEE won the 2019 Australian J/24 Nationals that was ailed off Adelaide, Australia.  Here is Brendan’s perspective on their experience winning the Nationals for the first time.

    “After some confusion as to whether the 2019 J24 National Championships would be held in Adelaide or not, the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia got behind the J24 class and hosted the championships from the 3rd to the 6th of January 2019.

    Whilst down on entrants from previous years the competition was just as fierce. A special thank you to the 10 crews that travelled from NSW and Victoria.

    Twelve races were scheduled over 4 days of racing with the first discard coming in after race 8 and the second after race 10.

    Day 1 and with a forecast top of 41 degrees, race management decided to put up the “AP” and keep the fleet in the shade until the sea breeze kicked in. Race 1 eventually got underway in about 6 knots of wind with the official sea breeze announcing itself part way up the 3rd leg with a massive starboard lift. Those that decided to go to the left gate and out to sea prospered. Those that did not, paid a hefty price, except for “Team El Fideldo” who charged out to sea and picked up the generous lift to record a bullet in Race 1.

    If anyone was watching from the shore they would have been curious as to why there was often someone hanging over the back of the boats. This was to rid seagrass from the rudder. Unfortunately, arms were not long enough so it was just a case of putting up with it and assuming that everyone was “in the same boat”, so to speak. As for the keel, well there was little that could be done other than sailing backwards which would not only have been costly but likely pointless as it would have just been a matter of time until more accumulated. I understand “Wildfire” did in fact execute the backwards move mid race. The following morning a number of brooms showed up on various boats with “Vice Versa” and “By The Lee” targeting the same Bunnings at the same time.

    With the first race out of the way and, hopefully, an early discard, the hammer went down and “By The Lee” picked up Race 2.

    Race 3 and it was “Stamped Urgent” recording the win, successfully defending off “By The Lee” which at times were just 4cm behind and doing everything possible to get by. A shoulda-coulda moment for sure.

    By the end of Day 1 and with 3 races sailed it was “Stamped Urgent” showing the way on 7 points with “Tinto” and “Two Dogs” on 10 points and “By The Lee” lying 4th on 11 points.

    Following the day’s racing, it was the usual stories and banter about what coulda and shoulda been enjoyed over a BBQ put on by the South Australian Association. Thank you to Jim and Robyn for bringing it all together and Andrew and others for doing the cooking in almost 40-degree heat.

    Sponsors “Dog Ridge Wines” joined the party by giving away 60 bottles of Rosé to be handed out to the top 3 places on ‘One Design’ and ‘PHS’ for each race and a new Genoa from Peter Stevens, representing a new Chinese Manufacturer “Loong Sails” for the median placed PHS boat overall.

    Day 2 and the forecast Strong Wind Warning was spot on. St Vincent’s Gulf was recording in excess of 25 knots. With no wind abatement in sight, race management called off the day and after just 3 races the fleet was rewarded with a lay day. Some chose to go to the wineries and others decided to race go-carts to blow off the adrenaline built up from Day 1. All in all, it was in fact a great J/24 community day with many teams coming together and having fun.

    Day 3 and the wind had moderated to 12-15 knots. Race 4 was set in at 0.6nm, however I think the race officer underestimated the speed of a J/24 and subsequently set Race 5 at 0.8nm and Race 6 & 7 at 1.0nm. With a big incoming tide the upwind legs on the last race was seriously hard work.

    Race 4 and 6 were taken out by “By The Lee” with “Stamped Urgent” picking up Race 5 and their second win.

    Onto race 7 and the final race of the day and it was a new boat at the top “Wildfire”, which I think started a few minutes ahead of the rest, as this is how it ended up. I think Ron and the team were in the bar by the time the second boat crossed the line. Well done!

    So, at the end of Day 3 it was “By The Lee” and “Tinto” at the top on 20 points with “Stamped Urgent” just 6 points behind.

    With Day 2 being blown out, race management decided to get things underway an hour early on the final day so the stage was set for a 10am start and up to 4 races scheduled. The championship was far from decided.

    Day 4 and “By The Lee” knew what they needed to do, stay ahead of “Tinto” in every race. Race 8 got underway in about 8 knots of breeze it was “By The Lee” rounding the top mark in first place with “Tinto” a few places back. However, in true Steve Wright style the competition was picked apart and in the end it was “By The Lee” followed by “Tinto” in second. With 8 races sailed, the first discard came into play, and the finishing positions were starting to take shape with “Stamped Urgent”, “Wildfire” and “Two Dogs” all eyeing out a podium finish.

    Race 9 and it was “By The Lee” first at the top mark, however, this was short lived after a massive spinnaker wrap which took a full 3 minutes to come free, allowed “Tinto” and “Vice Versa” to sail through. With “By The Lee” going toe to toe with “Tinto” for the entire regatta any placings between the two was huge, so in this case it was +2 to “Tinto”.

    Race 10 and “By The Lee” had “Tinto” sucking dirty air off the line. However, a short tack out to sea and back over to starboard, saw “Tinto” cross the fleet, which left “By The Lee” wondering what the hell just happened. “Tinto” recorded their second win and once again, the gap narrowed by a further 2 points with “By The Lee” coming home in 3rd.

    With 10 races sailed and the second discard now in place, it was a showdown in the last race with just a two-point spread between first and second place. A good upwind leg on Race 11 saw “By The Lee” round the top mark first with “Wildfire” hot on their heals. “Tinto” was a bit further back, but again this was short lived. Another less than ideal spinnaker launch saw “Wildfire” sail over “By The Lee”.

    With a close eye on “Tinto”, defensive mode kicked in. “Wildfire” extended their lead and the fleet closed in on “By The Lee” with both “Tinto” and “Stamped Urgent” getting past. Provided the gap was no more than 3 placings and a result of 5th or better, “By The Lee” was okay.
    The next thing I saw was “Tinto” doing a gybe upwind which I later understood was as a result of contact being made with “Stamped Urgent”.

    With a generous port lift, “By The Lee” crossed ahead of “Stamped Urgent” and, as a result of the penalty, “Tinto” was back in 6th.

    At the end it was “Wildfire” recording their second win, “By The Lee” coming home in second place and securing the championship with “Stamped Urgent” crossing the line in 3rd which also resulted in being awarded 3rd overall by one point over “Wildfire”. A very consistent effort across the 11 races saw “Tinto” drop their 6th place, finishing second just 3 points behind “By The Lee”.

    And, so it was.  On to the prize giving with a traditional dinner overlooking the beautiful North Haven Marina. The last few bottles of Rosé were handed out and the winner of the Genoa was awarded to Jack Fullerton on “Two Dogs” who sailed an excellent regatta finishing 5th overall, just five points off the podium.

    After seven attempts, it was Brendan Lee, Rory Groves, Dan Cave, Peter Lee and Keren Reynolds on “By The Lee” picking up their first Australian J/24 National Championship!

    In usual J/24 style, the night went on with plenty of laughter and cheer. The 2019 championship was a great success. A special thank you to the CYCSA, J/24 SA organizers and volunteers and to the sponsors “Dog Ridge Wines” and “Loong Sails” for their support.

    We look forward to seeing you at the Victorian Championships regatta in Victoria being held on the 30th and 31st of March 2019.”  Thanks to Brendan Lee for his story.  For more Australian J/24 Nationals sailing information
     

    J/Crews Dominating Top Five @ Grevelingen Cup Series
    (Port Zeelande, The Netherlands)- Over the past four weekends in the Netherlands, there is no question that Marjolein Swiebel and crew keep pushing their J/111 MAJIC in the Grevelingencup Winterseries at Port Zelande.  After a slow start (an 8th), they have won all three races since and are now sitting just one point from first overall.

    Sailing an incredibly consistent series has been GGPM van Beers on his J/122 JAM SESSION.  After four races, their 3-5-4-3 tally gives them 15 pts total for a 3.75 race average and are sitting in fourth overall, just 3 pts shy of a podium spot.

    Then, while they are currently sitting in fifth place, Martijn Graafmans’ J/109 EAU-J had a very slow start, posting a 9-9.  However, they have now come into their own in the last two races and are finally showing signs of life and a competitive spirit, scoring a 3-5 to race up the standings from the bottom of the fleet!

    With at least three more races to go, there is still a good mathematical chance that all three J/crews end up on the podium together!  Follow the Grevelingen Cup Winter Series on Facebook here   For more Grevelingen Cup Winter Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    United Kingdom Doublehanded Woman Offshore Star to lead RORC training program- Nikki Curwen from J/105 VOADOR fame!

    While mixed two-handed offshore racing is set to be a new Olympic discipline for Paris 2024, closer to home and more immediately, the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues to see a surge in doublehanded participation in its events. Last month entries opened for the club's pinnacle event, the Rolex Fastnet Race and the maximum limit of 340 slots sold out in just four minutes 37 seconds. Of these, 68 are currently entered in the IRC Two-Handed class, a significant step-up from the 57 that competed in 2017.

    To acknowledge this trend, the RORC has introduced, via the Royal Yachting Association, specialist two handed coaching for its RORC Easter Challenge training regatta over 19-21 April.

    "In the past two-handed crews haven't been able to get involved and we are well aware how important our two handed fleet is," says RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. "So we are offering them coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge for the first time."

    Open to all (not just RORC members), the RORC's first race of the domestic season makes coaching uniquely possible as the racing rules of sailing covering 'outside assistance' are relaxed for it. This permits coaches not only to offer advice from their RIBs, but to come on board or for crews to step off their boat and on to a coach RIB to check trim, sail shape, etc -during races.

    As ever, the RORC coaching team will be led by the 'legend' in this field Jim Saltonstall, ably assisted by Mason King and former America's Cup coach and sailmaker, Eddie Warden Owen, now RORC CEO, plus the talented staff from North Sails UK.

    "A training regatta is the ultimate pre-season warm-up," continues Stone. "It is the opportunity where everyone gets to test their skills out, have them reviewed and look at what changes can be made as they go into the season ahead. Best of all is that it is done in a racing format and we allow our coaches to follow boats and make comments about things to improve. It is more of a relaxed racing environment with a view to coaching and people getting the most out of it while they can, in a racing situation."

    In addition to Saltonstall's team, specialist two handed coaching will be provided for the first time, both on the water and in the classroom, by Nikki Curwen.

    Curwen was weaned in two-handed offshore race by her father Simon (still Britain's highest-placed Mini Transat sailor) on board the family J/105 Voador. Father and daughter raced extensively in both RORC and Royal Southampton Yacht Club doublehanded events, including the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race. Two years later Nikki won the two handed Figaro class in the Rolex Fastnet Race with top French skipper Charlie Dalin. She has also raced extensively both solo and doublehanded in the Mini class, completing the famed Mini Transat in the footsteps of her father in 2015.

    "The two handed fleet is pretty good already, but the coaching will include some of the 'secret little tips'," explains Curwen. Coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge is a mix of generic to all and specific for individual boats (all competitors are encouraged to request specific coaching from the coaches and this can be done by contacting the RORC in advance), so is designed to be equally relevant for newbies to the highly experienced. All can learn.

    "For new people coming in it might be breaking down maneuvers, thinking about things early on, pre-planning, etc," says Curwen. "A common mistake is running constantly back and forth between the foredeck and the cockpit. So we'll look at hoisting kites from cockpits. There might be tiny little things like throwing the halyard out the back, which slows the drop down so you don't have to be so quick with your hands. And communication - it is quite different when there's two of you on board to when you are used to having seven or eight."

    While the majority of the RORC's two handed racing is in its extensive offshore program, it also organizes the IRC Double Handed National Championship, the first part of which will take place this year on the Solent over 14-15 September. At the RORC Easter Challenge, competitors in this and also the Rolex Fastnet Race have the opportunity to learn valuable skills thereby enhancing their performance.

    As usual, the Club's Race Team will set a variety of courses around the Solent and will lay on practice starts and the opportunity for much mark rounding practice and speed testing. The three-day event will conclude on Easter Sunday with a prize giving at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where the silverware is usually overwhelmed by the hundredweight of Easter eggs that are liberally given out as prizes.
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  • J/Newsletter- February 6th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    As North America and Europe are granted a temporary reprieve of sub-zero weather from the weather Godz, for at least the coming week, those who headed south to the Caribbean for the first major event of the season were rewarded with absolutely gorgeous sailing conditions.  No question, the nearly four dozen teams participating in the increasingly popular Grenada Sailing Week sailed out of St Georges Harbour relished the “bucket list” conditions.  Further down in the southern hemisphere, South African sailors are enjoying their third in a series of regattas that comprises their summer series in Table Bay. Finally, the Sardinian J/24 fleet in Cagliari just completed their first event in their winter series in gorgeous Mediterranean weather last weekend.
     

    J/70 Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse Preview
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The premiere offshore one-design keelboat event of the spring, the very popular Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse, will be taking place this weekend for a huge fleet of fifty-four highly competitive J/70s from across Europe and other parts of the world. Those teams hail from Monaco (14), Switzerland (11), France (6), Germany (7), Italy (6), Russia (5), Ireland (2), Brazil (1), Great Britain (1), Finland (1), Ukraine (1), and Sweden (1).

    As they have for years, the Yacht Club Monaco is welcoming the enormous fleet with their extraordinary red carpet treatment, welcoming all sailors to their gorgeous setting on Hercules Bay.  The tempo and the competitiveness level of the J/70 fleet continues to increase as many teams are increasingly focused on the fact that YC Monaco will be hosting the 2022 J/70 World Championship.

    Based on what happened in Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series for J/70s two weekends ago, most competitors will be wondering if the theme of “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming” will repeat itself in the face of heightened competition.  Surely, the winner of both the Open and Corinthian Divisions, the Russian Andreï Malygin skippering MARIA, will be doubling down their efforts to stay atop the leaderboard.

    And, the balance of the top five that included two YC Monaco crews (Loïc Pompée’s ALLO III and Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE), two Swiss crews (Florian Geissbuehler’s ATTAQUE and Laurane Mettraux’s CER APROTEC VILLE DE GENEVE), and the top Irish team (Marshall King’s SOAK RACING) will all battle hard to remain in the top five.  For more J/70 Primo Cup Trophee Credit-Suisse sailing information
     

    Davis Island J/70 Winter Series III Preview
    (Tampa, FL)- In the third and final regatta of the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series, fifty-five J/70 teams are hoping to sail in the forecasted winds of 10-20 kts from the northeast this coming weekend. Should that happen, that would more than make up for the fact that in the two previous events there was only one good day of racing both times; ironically both on Saturday, with Sunday being washouts for either no wind or storms.

    Who will ultimately triumph in the 2018-2019 edition of the DIYC J/70 series?  It is all up for grabs, that is for certain.  Teams only have to count all races in their two best regattas.  Given the somewhat “yo-yo” scorelines for most teams in the first two events, virtually anything can happen for the overall standings.  Current leaders include Travis Odenbach’s B-SQUARED team; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, TX; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; and local Tampa rock stars on Greiner Hobbs’ DARK HORSE.

    In the Corinthians Division, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY and Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH appear to be significant players to remain at the top of the leaderboard after the battlefields clear over the weekend.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Feb 7-10- J/70 Monaco Winter Series IV/ Primo Cup- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Grenada Sailing Week Report
    J/24 Fun, J/122 Offshore Success
    (St Georges, Grenada)- Long-time J/sailor, Hilary Noble, has been on the pointy end of many top teams over the years in J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/88s.  This past week, she was down in the Caribbean sailing in the first major event of the winter season “down island”- Grenada Sailing Week.  Here is her report on the proceedings.

    “The Caribbean racing season is now underway with the 6th edition of Grenada Sailing Week that was held from January 28th to February 1st.

    A record fleet of 40 boats gathered at Port Louis Marina, and it being my first year racing in this event, I was really excited to see what this so-called “friendly island” was all about. Just as I expected, the competitors brought their A-game and race officials and volunteers had one goal in mind: great racing, hospitality, and tons of fun!

    Racing began on Monday, on the south end of the island just west of the airport, off the pristine Grand Anse beach. Local knowledge played a key role in staying in pressure and setting up for what new pressure was to come. Most of the local teams played the shoreline often, giving them the famous “elevator lifts” to easily one-tack the top end of the race course.

    If you could break away from the pack and get into the pressure first, you had a great chance of leading around the windward mark. The wind was pretty shoddy on the south end, with the land breeze mixing with sea breeze funneling over the huge mountainous terrain.

    This created huge puffs and huge holes, something to really keep an eye out for! We dug into a lot of puffs, but we may have found a hole where it seemed like our world stopped, while the rest of the world kept spinning. Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones to find it.

    Day two was very similar, presenting puffy conditions that made the racing fun and unpredictable. It reminded me of college sailing, with the auto-tacks and huge lifts that would give you 30-degrees more point than the boat just to leeward of you.

    The last race on day two was a 12-mile race and a downwind start. We checked our angles to assure that our starting line plan would be successful – and boy was it ever! Instead of leading our fleet in, we tailed the competition and right as we started we executed a perfect jibe-set, hoisting our code zero.

    Being one of the last boats to enter the starting area by the RC end allowed us to fulfill our higher angle with ease after our set, while some boats chose to use their A2, making it impossible to get to us. At that point, it was full-steam ahead.

    As we approached the tip of the runway, a massive JetBlue airliner came in hot, landing right over us.  That was exhilarating and got my adrenaline pumping for the next leg. At that point, you could see the land clearing ahead where our next mark was for us to honor and head upwind.

    There was a 10-knot increase around the end out in the open on the east end of the island that made for the freshest upwind leg we had yet. We had a last minute call to change our headsail, we had 30 seconds to plug and hoist before we could get our code down.

    We had one hell of an epic takedown with the wind howling and waves crashing on our port side, we got her in and we were headed uphill, keeping an eye out for the next mark. We hadn’t seen the other end of the island yet and WOW, she was beautiful. Finishing off the point of Prickly Bay, I thought to myself, after the salt water shot under my sunglasses, this just doesn’t get any better!

    On our lay day, we left our Port Louis and stopped just outside to snorkel the underwater sculptures. We headed over to the beach after that and went ashore to the spice market and had lunch. After loading up on some local fare, we casted off and motored around the point to relocate our mother ship, a 50-foot catamaran to the east end of the island in Secret Harbour where racing would commence the remainder the week.

    The last two days were just fantastic. Excellent racing, fun courses, and stiff competition. The courses were interesting and kept it fun and exciting for the pointy end. Our team vibe was great all week long and we all had a blast racing together.

    The Caribbean circuit is unlike any other racing circuit in the world. Sailors from all over the world come to experience new cultures, taste the amazing food, and make new connections. For most, it’s a vacation in itself. Living in Rhode Island these days, I appreciate the aspects of warm-weather sailing more than I ever have before.

    For this event, I had the pleasure of making new friends and teammates. A few of the crew I’ve known for years and have spent a lot of time on the water racing and some were new crew to the program that meshed really well with the team and were fun to sail with. This regatta was a great experience and I highly recommended it to those who want to escape the winter and get a taste of some really fantastic sailing. I can’t wait to sail in Grenada again!”

    Living it up and enjoying their entire week was a well-known crew from Antigua, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID.  Sailing in the largest class of the event, the thirteen-boat CSA Racing Division, Pamala and her crew sailed by far the most consistent series of any boat on the water.  LIQUID’s worst race was a 4th (their toss race) and all the rest were 1st, 2nd, and 3rds, finishing on the podium to take the silver in their first outing in the Caribbean winter circuit!

    Meanwhile, one wonders if it was a case of sheer joy or pure exhaustion for the half-dozen J/24s that sailed off St Georges for the entire regatta.  After eighteen races (!) it was quite apparent that the top of the leaderboard was going to be determined by a “war of attrition”.  In the end, Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE from St Lucia never broke down, never lost focus, and never finished worse than 4th place! Amazing! Consequently, ATTITUDE maintained the pressure on the fleet after winning the first three races to take the J/24 crown. Second was Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD from Grenada; posting nearly as many 1sts, 2nds, 3rds as Sweeney’s crew, but not nearly enough, settling for the silver.  Rounding out the podium was Stephen Bushe’s HAWKEYE from Trinidad, taking the bronze- a truly international podium
    Follow Grenada Sailing Week on Facebook here   For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information
     

     
    J/133 JACANA Wins off Cape Town
    (Table Bay, Cape Town, South Africa)- In the southern hemisphere, most sailors are familiar with the extensive one-design and offshore racing taking place in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay) and the Antipodes (Australia and New Zealand). However, an active offshore fleet continues to enjoy the often-spectacular conditions sailors experience off the famous landmark known as the Cape of Good Hope. In fact, there are more than a dozen J/teams sailing those waters ranging from J/24s to J/27s, J/30s to J/105s, and even a J/133.

    Recently, the J/133 Team HOLLARD JACANA (owned by the trio of David Munro, Patrick Holloway, and Neil Gregory) was the overall winner of the Class 1 Division in the 2019 Fling Regatta, the first amateur team to win in five years.

    Patrick commented on their performance, “racing was incredibly close, as was the overall result. Our crew had one 1st, three 2nds, a 3rd and a 4th in the six-race regatta, for a total of 10 points, after a one-race discard. The regatta was sailed in Table Bay over the weekend of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd February 2019.

    The event was the third and penultimate round of the Western Province Inshore Championships, which the team continues to lead. Previously, we won the False Bay Spring Regatta (September 2018) and finished 2nd in Table Bay Race Week (December 2018) by the narrowest of margins on a tie break.”
     

    Casales Leads Sardinia J/24 Winter Series
    (Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)- In the waters of the Golfo di Poetto, the Windsurfing Club Cagliari hosted the first event of their winter series on the beautiful waters off Sardinia for a fleet of ten boats. Prior to the start of the series, mistral-like conditions buffeted the island with steady 30 knots of winds, gusting to 45 knots.  However, by the weekend, the Race Committee of the WCC, chaired by Betty Lai, managed to run three races on Saturday.

    The starts were close, tightly packed, and the first windward legs were, in particular, very shifty, making it hard for boats to remain consistent race to race. The one exception appeared to be Andrea Casale, an Italian J/24 Champion and also two-time J/24 World Champion. His team managed to round all marks in the lead and start out the series in first place.

    Behind Casales’ team on ARIA DELLA LNI OLBIA in the first race was Aurelio Bini’s VIGNE SURRAU in second and Giuseppe Taras’ DOLPHINS in third. In the second race, DOLPHINS took second followed by Sergio Contu’s NEW MOLLICA in third place.  In the last and final race of the weekend, NEW MOLLICA took second in a close duel with Casales, with VIGNE SURRAU taking third.

    At the end of the racing, the J/24 crews met to talk with the Genovese champion- Casales- who, in addition to describing the sails he represents, gave excellent advice on the boat's handling and on the tactical choices to be competitive in conditions like those on the weekend. The arrival of pasta and delicious Sardinian wine offered by the WCC gave the right conclusion to a beautiful day at sea and sport.

    The overall standings (after the first 5 races) have ITA 443 ARIA DELLA LNI OLBIA leading with a 6-2-1-1-1 record, followed by ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from the Circolo Nautico Arzachena with a 3-1-2-9-3 tally in second, then Giuseppe Taras’ ITA 401 DOLPHINS sitting in third with a 2-6-3-2-5 scoreline.

    The next event for the Sardinian J/24 fleet is scheduled for February 16th and 17th.  For more Sardinia J/24 fleet sailing information
     

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    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    WINGS Rises to New Heights at the J/88 Midwinters.  Five Bullets Guarantees The Title in St. Pete

    Taking on a new sailing challenge is nothing new for Mike Bruno. Through nearly three decades of racing he and his team have raced, and succeeded, in several different boats. So, when the J/88 launched onto the scene Mike jumped in and the Wings program had a new sailing challenge to conquer. Fresh of their recent win at J/Fest in St. Petersburg we wanted to know more about the Wings team and their thoughts on their 3Di sails.

    NORTH: Mike, first of congratulations to you and your team on Wings for your continued success in the J/88. Can you share with us a little bit about your sailing background and how long have you been sailing in the J/88 class?

    BRUNO: Thanks! We are having fun with Wings and continue to learn more and more about sailing the J/88 fast. Insofar as how we got this far, I started out as casual cruising sailor and began racing about 25 years ago. I would say that in the past 15 years or so we have gotten fairly serious about racing and being competitive. We had a Jonmeri 40 named Karjala that I raced for many years, then a series of “Wings”.

    First was a J/124 I raced for two years. It was a nice boat, but we found it to have a tough rating to sail to, so we traded it for a J/122.

    The J/122 really was a great step and I successfully campaigned that boat, with a few partners, for eight years as a one-design. The J/122 program brought us some great results, including winning the North American title twice and a Rolex award at a New York YC regatta. That brought us to the current Wings, the J/88, which I bought the 3 years ago. We have really enjoyed this program and had great wins including the inaugural J/88 North Americans as well as a big J/88 class win at Key West Race Week.


    NORTH: The pictures from the J/Fest Regatta in St. Petersburg made it appear that you had good breeze for the event. Did the conditions match up with the pictures throughout the championship?

    BRUNO: St. Petersburg Yacht Club runs excellent events and Tampa Bay can be a bit “challenging”, so you really never know what you will get on any given day, especially in the winter. That said, the sailing conditions at the J/Fest were certainly fair. Across the entire event, I’d say the breeze ranged from 8-20 knots. I think the cooler conditions (locals may call it “unseasonable”) played a role in how much pressure we had throughout the weekend. Also, Tampa Bay is quite shallow so there was a reasonable amount of sea state but the very steady breeze overall and significant shifts kept every team on their toes and working hard looking for opportunities to be gained via tactics and gear changing.

    NORTH: Can you tell us a little bit about your team, who does what, and how long have you all been together?

    BRUNO: The team is really made up of a large group of great friends and awesome sailors and, like many others, we find we are rotating in and jumbling pieces for any particular event to make sure we, not only do well, but have fun.

    For J/Fest Midwinters I helmed and had Chris Morgan, a local Floridian, trim main and work with me on our overall speed. Stu Johnstone was our tactician and he really had a great feel for the bay the entire weekend. Tim Randall ran the pit for us while Mike Booker did all the headsail trimming and Stephen Yip ran the bow.

    NORTH: Looking back through the weekend what were the keys to your success at the Midwinters?

    BRUNO: It’s a great question, as it forces me to look back and try to pinpoint a few things I think we did really well.

    1. The biggest thing was we were just able to sail a bit higher and faster than the fleet much of the time. A lot goes into that for sure. The team really worked hard on proper rig tune and working the sails and trim constantly to maximize the boats potential but our new sails were probably the most significant difference in our ability to make that happen. 

    2. Our crew work was excellent! As a skipper knowing that your team can execute any maneuver at a seconds notice and pull it off without a hitch is a huge confidence builder for the entire boat. It seems that at almost every mark rounding we seemed to gain 1-3 boat lengths.

    3. I mentioned earlier that Stu Johnstone called tactics for the weekend; he was really on tactically this regatta, just incredible! Stu didn’t miss anything, which also gave us terrific confidence. We did make a few mistakes in the event, including being over early at the start in two races. In the last race, we were over (again) and we re-started, probably, 300 yards behind fleet. But, Stu got us back in the game, and we kept using our boat speed and crew work to do all we could to gain distance. Remarkably, we still nearly won the race- just a 1/4 boat length off! I guess maybe the new saying is “When you have a great team and fast sails it’s never over until it’s over!”

    NORTH: What are your 2019 sailing plans for the J/88?

    BRUNO: Wings has a very full 2019 sailing calendar. We have already done the Egmont Key Race and St. Pete J/Fest. Up next in February is the St Pete NOODs, and then we head up to Charleston Race Week in April. From there the team will go back north for the American Yacht Club Spring and Fall Series, Cedar Point One Design Regatta, Block Island Race Week, possibly the New York Yacht Club 175th Regatta, as well as J/Fest in Newport, with a focus on the J/88 North Americans in mid-October at Larchmont YC.

    NORTH: Thanks Mike and congratulations, again. Sounds like you have a full schedule set with an awesome team. Good luck the rest of the year, have fun and sail fast!
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  • J/Newsletter- January 30th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    It was a busy week Down Under off Melbourne, Australia.  The largest regatta in the Southern Hemisphere was sailed off Geelong, Australia, a “suburb” west of Melbourne along the southern coastline.  Throngs of party-goers, sailors, a J/121, the Australian J/111 Championship, and a gaggle of J/24s were all participating at the same time in the famous Festival of Sails.

    Up in the cooler northern hemisphere, several dozen Russian J/70 sailors were making a go of it in Sochi, Russia, sailing in the eastern parts of the Black Sea at that famous summer/ winter resort. Four Russian J/70 Sailing League regattas have taken place so far with thirteen teams from across the vast expanse of their country.  Over in Italy, the Roman J/24 fleet sailed the next stages of their Lozzi Trophy and Winter Series off Anzio on the sunny Mediterranean.

    Hopping over to the Americas, the J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta marked the occasion for the J/88 and J/111 Midwinters, hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Florida. Out West, the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay hosted the infamous Three Bridge Fiasco Race for a crowd of 300+ boat; it was gorgeous, warm, reasonably quick and, as usual, had a few fiascos and a near disaster with a whale.

    Finally, check out 2019 J/24 Worlds opportunities for slots for Women’s Teams and Under-25 Teams from any member J/24 National authority worldwide.  The regatta is being held in September on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Check out the information below.
     

    Grenada Sailing Week Preview
    (St Georges, Grenada)- From January 27th to February 1st, Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina and Secret Harbour Marina are continuing their loyal support as host venues for the 2019 edition of the Grenada Sailing Week.

    The regatta kicks off at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, one of the most prestigious names in the marine industry. Marina manager Charlotte Bonin says, “Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina is delighted to be hosting the Grenada Sailing Week again in 2019.”

    Racers will be welcomed for the first two days of racing and parties. Port Louis is a luxury super-yacht marina located in the beautiful lagoon just outside St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, and overlooking the colorful waterfront of the Carenage.  With 160 berths for yachts up to 300 feet, they provide the perfect base from which to race in the protected waters off Grand Anse beach and the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The marina includes The Victory Bar and Restaurant and Yolo Sushi and Wine Bar, a swimming pool, as well as nearby chandlers, provisioning and all the amenities the capital of Grenada has to offer.

    The transition race on the afternoon of Tuesday 29 January moves the fleet to Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay. The manager Catherine Delcroix says, “Come and enjoy the Secret, experience the breath-taking views and discover the hidden gem of Grenada. Secret Harbour Marina, Boutique Hotel and Restaurant is proud to host the mid- races and the grand finale of this fantastic Grenada Sailing Week edition 2019.” Secret Harbour Marina have 50 berths, they offer a quiet and secure bay away from the hustle and bustle of town but within easy reach to nearby Grand Anse and its beautiful beaches. Sel & Poivre Restaurant elegantly overlooks the waterfront. The marina will be hosting the lay day, the last two days of racing, the final prize giving parties.

    Grenada Sailing week is excited to announce their support of the first youth sailing team to join the J/24 class.  The Grenada Sailing Association National Youth Sailing Team is a new team made up of 16 to 20 year old’s. Prior to this, they sailed on Optimists and Lasers at the various sailing clubs around the island (Gouyave Sailing Club and Woburn Wind Warriors). This is a huge step for them to progress into J/24 sailing, helping to bridge the gap between dinghy and keelboat sailing. This program is supported by Grenada Sailing Association, Caribbean Sailing Association, Grenada Tourism Authority and Glenelg Spring Water. The team is coached by Robbie Yearwood of the J/24 Team DIEHARD and another J/24 owner- Kevin Banfield- the GSA Olympic & World Sailing trained coach.

    Participating offshore teams in the event include two in CSA Racing Division; Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Jolly Harbour, Antigua and Jonathan Totten’s J/105 DOGSMILE from Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

    Then, in the half-dozen boats in the J/24 class are Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE from St Lucia, Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD from Grenada, Gus Reader’s FADEAWAY from Barbuda, Rick Amerling’s FRIGATE from New York, Stephen Bushe’s HAWKEYE from Trinidad, and James Benoit’s SHAKIN OBTW from Grenada.  Follow Grenada Sailing Week on Facebook here  For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information
     

    J/80 World Championship Announcement
    (Bilbao, Spain)- The Real Club Marítimo del Abra-Real Sporting Club, organizer of the J/80 World Championships that will be held from the 13th to 20th July 2019, has recently announced the launch of the championship official website.

    The website, which has a Spanish, Basque, English and French version, includes in-depth information about the Championship and allows users to register for the championship through its online virtual office.

    The site also provides other information of interest to those who will be coming to the Club for the event; including how to get there, the location of the Club, accommodation in the area, local transport services, and the wide range of leisure activities that both Getxo and nearby Bilbao have to offer.  For more 2019 J/80 World Championship sailing information
     

    J/Models For Awards, Home/ Office!
    (Annapolis, MD)- For years, the Abordage.com family has produced amazing half-hull and full-hull models of J/Boats down in the Dominican Republic for J/enthusiasts around the world.

    Despite several extraordinarily destructive Caribbean hurricanes, the family-owned business has endured, and they continue to maintain their amazing high-levels of craftsmanship.

    Abordage.com clients include America’s Cup sponsors like ORACLE and dozens of J/Boat owners everywhere around the world.  Here are a few recent examples for J/owners and J/regattas.

    For more information, please contact Denis Cartier at Email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / Tel: +1-809-528-1992 ext: 503 / Web: http://www.abordage.com
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Feb 7-10- J/70 Monaco Winter Series IV/ Primo Cup- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
    Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
    Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
    Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Windy J/Fest St Petersburg
    J/88 WING Soars, J/111 SPACEMAN SPIFF Zooms to Class Wins
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January saw the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida, take place from January 25th to 27th.  It was the Midwinter Championship for both the J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay. The fleet was blessed with two great days of sailing on Friday and Saturday, with consistent winds of 8-15 kts ranging from N-NE; the StPYC PRO and RC team managed to run four races each day for a total of eight races for both classes. Sunday’s racing was canceled due to a massive frontal system rolling off the Gulf of Mexico with low visibility, incessant rain, big breeze, and quite cold (by Florida standards) temperatures- 48-51 F all day.

    The northerly winds in St. Petersburg are essentially offshore near the city front, making for very shifty, streaky breezes that challenged the tacticians.  It was not unusual for teams to round the weather mark in first, and then drop a few places by the leeward gate.  Conversely, sometime 1-2 boats would hit opposite corners on the second windward leg and leap from last at the gate to being leaders at the final top mark! As close-winded as the 88’s and 111’s can be in flat water, tacking through 76 to 80 degrees, a 5-degree shift and 1-2 kts in velocity would translate into big gains (or losses) with boats around you.

    J/88 Midwinters
    Six J/88s escaped the Polar Vortex to compete in the J/88 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Mike Bruno’s WINGS from Armonk, NY tallied 9 net points in 8 races after counting only firsts and seconds (dropping a fifth in race four) to take the 88 Midwinters by a very comfortable margin. With team Mike Booker, Stu Johnstone, Chris Morgan, Tim Randall and Stephen Yip, WINGS secured five bullets and relished the breezy conditions on Friday and Saturday, when four races per day were completed. Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION took second place with 19 points, including two first-place finishes on day one. William Purdy’s WHIRLWIND tied DEVIATION on points, but lost the tie-breaker and had to settle for the bronze position.

    Rounding out the top five were Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO in fourth place and Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL in fifth position.

    J/111 Midwinters
    After eight races, only two points separated the four boats competing for the J/111 Midwinter Championship! By way of a bullet in Saturday’s last (and ultimately final) battle, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF eked out the title with crew Dustin Graef, Jeff Haase, Marty Kullman, Doug Moose, Abigail Ruhlman, Ryan Ruhlman and Jim Sminchak.

    Ending with 15 net points, SPACEMAN SPIFF flipped positions throughout the Championship with Ian Hill’s SITELLA (who placed second with 16 points) to take the 2019 Midwinters title. Then, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s team on BRAVO tied with SITELLA on 16 pts, but lost the tie-breaker to take third. The “hard luck” award likely goes to Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK, going into the last race winning, leading a good part of the last race, then watching SPIFF and BRAVO catch a shift to sweep past them to take 1st and 2nd in the last race to jumble the standings yet again! Racing was so tight, that, literally, all four boats were leading the regatta at some point, and all four boats won races (SITELLA- three 1sts, SPIFF/ SHAMROCK- two 1sts each, and BRAVO- one 1st).  For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information
     

    J/121 Wins @ Festival of Sails!
    JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Champs
    (Geelong, Vic, Australia)- As many as 200,000 people are believed to have enjoyed the festivities of the Geelong Waterfront this past weekend as the city played host to two major events – the historic Festival of Sails and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

    The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keelboat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 300 yacht entries and 3,000 competitors annually taking part in the event. First held in 1844, the Festival of Sails Regatta (held over the Australia Day Long Weekend) is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events, and has evolved over many years culminating in its current format as Australia’s foremost keelboat regatta.

    Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said beautiful weather, exciting racing on Corio Bay and Port Phillip Bay and a smorgasbord of entertainment combined for a terrific event. He explained, “this weekend, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club welcomed hundreds of boats and thousands of sailors, including participants from overseas and every state and territory, to our city. This is fantastic for the event and for Geelong.”

    JOUST Tops Australian J/111 Nationals
    The Festival of Sails concurrently hosted the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals, sailing in gorgeous Corio Bay. From the very beginning, Rod Warren’s very talented team aboard JOUST threw down the gauntlet by winning the first race.  They never looked back, winning four more races over the three days and having to toss a 2nd place to win with a perfect score of 5 pts in 5 races!

    Meanwhile, there was a real battle for the balance of the podium with everything going down to the wire on the last day for the two contenders- Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE and Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER. After the dust cleared from the battlefield, it was evident Team VELOCE’s crew were up to the task, posting a 3-2-4-2-1-4 for 12 pts net to take the silver.  Rounding out the podium to take the bronze was SCARLET RUNNER with a 2-3-2-5-5-3 tally for 15 pts net.

    J/121 Wins AMS Cruising Division
    Meanwhile, sailing in the offshore, random-leg, AMS Cruising Division was the new J/121 JAVELIN. The crew has been on a roll since winning the ORCV 2018 Winter Series. Skipper/ owner Mark Nicholson and team took on many of Australia’s best offshore teams, sailing the biggest and most competitive division in the entire Geelong Festival of Sails.  Starting off with a 6th place on the first day, JAVELIN took off on their fleet, posting a 2-4-1 to finish with 13 pts and convincingly win their division six points clear of the next boat- a pro’d up Soto 30! Here is their report.

    For the J/121 JAVELIN, the event kicked off with a 32nm passage race from St Kilda in Melbourne, across Port Philip Bay to Geelong.  Two start lines of 230+ boats set off at 9.30am in light 4-5 knot southeast winds.  J/121 JAVELIN was in the first start of 100+ yachts of all shapes and sizes, including 32 yachts in the AMS 1 division. This division featured yachts from a Soto 30, through a Caprice 40 (2nd in its IRC division in the recent Sydney/Hobart) all the way up to a Reichel Pugh 63 (3rd IRC overall in the Sydney/Hobart).

    J/121 JAVELIN was buried on the start but set to the task of reeling in the competition, with the strategy to keep slightly left of the course to take advantage of a forecast wind shift.  JAVELIN flew their Code Zero most of the way (albeit it was hoisted and dropped half a dozen times along the way!). The last stretch passed through the tight shipping channel with the wind peaking at 16 knots, and JAVELIN sailing on a close reach. Their strategy worked and they finished 6th in their division in the passage race. Plenty of celebratory drinks accompanied the Australia Day fireworks display held at the Regatta Village.

    3 further races were held over days 2 and 3, with 2 of those races having to race back through the shipping channel to open waters. This made for some spectacularly close racing where water rights dominated sailing rights.  The fleet of 70+ yachts (up to 65 footers and including some big cats) worked together to get through relatively unscathed (though a few boats ventured a few metres outside the channel and ran aground). JAVELIN successfully tried a wing-on-wing strategy for a short while with the A2, managing to both gain clear air and separation from competitors. Conditions were pleasant once past the channel with flat water and breeze ranging 12-14 knots.  JAVELIN finished 2nd in race 2.

    A twilight race was also held to take advantage of the stronger afternoon breeze, building to mid-20’s, though quite shifty.  After a general recall, JAVELIN had a clean (and conservative) start, and powered over 10-12 yachts on a tight 2 sail reach.  The A3 kite was hoisted at the top mark for what looked to be a beam reach.  However, the wind shifted just after the hoist and the A2 would have been a better choice. JAVELIN maintained their position finishing 4th in Race 3.

    Going into the final day of racing, JAVELIN was in the lead position, with only a few points separating the first six yachts.  She sailed a clean covering race in perfect sailing conditions- sunny, flat waters and 12-14 knot breeze.  The results came in and JAVELIN finished 1st in Race 4 and, therefore was declared the overall winner in her AMS 1 class!

    J/24s Love Corio Bay Sailing
    The Passage & Twilight Series was sailed under the EHC handicap rule.  A gaggle of J/24s enjoyed tight racing with each other, with just 2.5 pts separating them in the final tally.  Top J/24s, sitting in 4th handicap was Simon Grain’s JET.  Just behind them in 5th was Miles Hurrell’s SCRUMPY, and only a half point back was Pauliina Mattila’s BRUSCHETTA VI.

    Like their sisterships, Jeff Harris’ J/24 FUN enjoyed the Corio Bay series, taking a 4th for their weekend of fun-loving experiences on sunny Geelong Bay.

    Watch the highlights video, including several interviews of the J/111 Class ownersSailing photo credits- Salty Dingo/ Melbourne, Australia  Follow the Festival of Sails on Facebook here  For more Festival of Sails sailing information
     

    J/Sailors Love Three Bridge Fiasco Race
    (San Francisco, CA)- The 2019 edition of the infamous Three Bridge Fiasco will go down in the history books as one of the nicest and most benign races in recent memory- sunny skies, gentle northeast winds of 4 to 12 kts, warm 72 F temps!  With the event taking place in January on San Francisco Bay, anything can happen in the middle of winter with massive storms piling into the Pacific coast from the Gulf of Alaska, dumping rain and chilly temperatures on the competitors, blowing a gale.  Or, it can be lightish northerlies/ easterlies with chilly winds, a constant mist and rain, and 100% cloud cover.

    The Singlehanded Sailing Society welcomed a fleet of 334 boats that were entered as singlehanded or doublehanded teams, most were sailing doublehanded. It is believed the race, a 21.0nm dash around three “marks”, is considered the largest shorthanded sailing event in the world.

    The race track couldn’t be more picturesque or unique.  Starting off Golden Gate YC on the south shore of the Bay (next to St Francis YC), the sailors can choose which direction to go- clockwise or counter-clockwise.  The marks are Blackaller Buoy near the south pylon of the Golden Gate Bridge at the westward opening of the Bay, around Red Rock Island near the Richmond/ San Rafael Bridge in north Bay, and around the Bay Bridge by rounding Treasure & Yerba Buena Islands.  Since the race is a reverse start (pursuit) race, the start time for each boat is based on its PHRF rating, with slowest boats starting first at 0900 hrs and the fastest at -102 starting 2 hours later!

    Eighty-eight J/Crews participated in this year’s race (26.0% of the total fleet!), a record number of J/sailors!  They sailed in one-design classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/105, J/120) and in PHRF handicap divisions. A LOT of pickle dishes (silverware) were collected by these intrepid adventurers!

    ONE-DESIGN CLASSES
    In the seven-boat J/22 class, it was the famous J/105 racing couple that took one-design honors- Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault sailing TOM ALLEN; crossing at 15:01:23.  Second was Owen Lahr and Connell Phillipps’ YANG at 15:07:08 and third place went to David James and Roy Haslup’s FRITZ JEWETT at 15:12:39.

    The eight-boat J/24 class saw a decisive leader in their class, with Deke Klatt and Claudia Gottstein’s JADED crossing the line at 14:21:41, a solid 45 minutes ahead of the next J/24!  Taking the silver was Val Lulevich and Alex Schultink’s infamous SHUT UP AND DRIVE crossing at 15:04:03, followed in third by Randy Rasicot and Mays Dickey’s FLIGHT getting home at 15:09:35.

    The five-boat J/70 class saw a runaway winner, with Peter and Drake Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER taking class honors crossing at 14:12:39, nearly an hour ahead of the next boat.  Davis King and David Sharp/s ALLONS-Y was second home at 15:06:43 and crossing third in a near dead-heat at 15:06:51 was David Fried and Paul Schroeder’s SON OF A SON.

    There was an enormous turnout for the J/105s, with eighteen boats showing up on the starting line headed every which way! The winner, again, went to a CCW team.  Will and Jayden Benedict’s ADVANTAGE 3 easily won, crossing at 13:47:58. Chasing them hard on the CCW option was Chris Kim and Carl Plant’s VUJA STAR, finishing just under five minutes behind at 13:52:29.  First CW team was Morgan and Jordan Paxhia’s STILL PINCHIN with a finish time of 14:12:59- a 20-minute delta to the CCW boats!  Read about the whale of a tale collision with Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION below.

    The big boys sailing in the six-boat J/120 class saw one boat dominate by nearly an hour over their not-so-lucky classmates. Steve Madeira and Jeff Lawson sailed the big green MR MAGOO over the horizon, finishing at 14:16:15 off GGYC. Second home at 15:02:42 was Timo Bruck and Rich Hudnut’s TWIST and third on the podium was Tom Grennan and Herb Kleekamp’s KOOKABURRA crossing the line at 15:06:37.

    PHRF CLASSES
    Class 2- Singlehanded Spin PHRF 108 and Under class- was won in convincing fashion by Jim Hopp’s J/88 WHITE SHADOW, finishing at 14:36:41, 23 minutes ahead of the next boat in class!

    Class 6- Doublehanded Non-Spin PHRF class- saw two J/Duos do well.  Taking the silver was William Mohr and Mark Townsend’s J/124 SPIRIT OF FREEDOM, crossing at 14:49:19.  Meanwhile, Steve and Eli Gordon’s J/88 INCONCEIVABLE placed sixth, finishing at 15:05:47.

    Class 8- Doublehanded Spin PHRF 111-159 class- saw Gregg Wrisley and Craig Collins’ J/80 PK take fifth place, crossing at 14:50:04.

    Class 20- Doublehanded SF Bay 30 class- was nearly swept by J/Sailors.  Winning was Alex Huang and Jeff Bruton’s J/29 L20, crossing at 13:55:59.  Second was Luther Izmirian and Ken Brown’s J/32 PARADIGM finishing at 14:58:29 and then fourth was John Riley and Larry Weinhoff’s J/32 LA DOLCE VITA crossing at 15:05:55.

    Class 21- Singlehanded Spin class- saw Ralph Morganstern’s J/30 GEODESIC take fourth place, finishing at 15:46:35.

    A Clockwise Perspective- from Robert Johnston
    “After studying the wind forecast and currents, several of us singlehanders planned to go CCW (partly to avoid traffic).

    But, on my way to the course and right up until my approach to the start, I kept looking over towards Treasure Island/ Yerba Buena Island and it looked very light. I also observed the majority of the Moore 24's and Express 27's (where many of the best sailors are) going “clockwise” to Blackaller first, so that's what I did. Of course, my friends, who went CCW, probably beat me- I know at least one that did, by a half-hour!

    I got a good start and had a nice close reach down to Blackaller, finding a decent gap to get around the mark. Then, I made my second mistake. Lots of boats risked the remaining ebb and sailed towards the north tower of Golden Gate Bridge. Many had been swept out the Gate last year. But, it must have been flooding well at the north end.

    I took a more conservative route and headed towards Angel Island. Going south of the island looked like light air, so I planned to tack across to the entrance to Raccoon Strait - the pressure looked good up the west side of Angel Island. This worked out well but I got caught in a huge hole near Pt. Stuart. I'd beaten the boats that sailed the farther distance, but then I had to watch most of them pass by while I was stuck in the wind hole. Once I got moving again, I had a decent sail through the Strait and up to Red Rock.

    The NE wind was strange up there. Boats to the east were on starboard tack in good breeze, sailing high enough to round from the east side. The boats to the west were on port tack in lighter breeze. Trying to cross over to the east was disastrous - there was a transition zone in the middle (probably from the island's wind shadow) that trapped many boats, including me. So I lost a few more boats before getting across into the better breeze and getting around. Then many of us got trapped again trying to get away from the island. It was also still ebbing up there, which wasn't in the forecast. We've seen this in other years due to runoff.

    I hoisted right away and enjoyed a tight spinnaker reach all the way down and around Treasure/ Yerba Buena Islands. The puffs put the boat on the edge and I actually dialed up once near SH Shoal light. The boat was pressed pretty hard just then, with the main a bit over-sheeted. I wanted to see where the edge was, and there was just enough breeze to find out.

    Rounding Yerba Buena Island was tricky. Many boats took a wide lane to avoid its wind shadow but there was a narrow band of breeze up closer to the island. I saw a couple boats with spinnys still up, moving right on through. I followed them and passed a bunch of boats.

    Then, the spinny came down and we all fought the flood as we tacked back up towards Pier 39. There were lots of boats doing this and frequent crossing issues. As a singlehander, I chose to duck several times when I could have pressed my rights- it just wasn't worth all the angst, possible crash tacks, extra grinding etc. This is where the Three Bridge is getting old for me: Far too many double-handers who are better able to play that game.

    Once around Pier 39, it was a fast close reach to the finish with the jib on a rail lead. I finished just after 1500.

    Conclusion: We were racing sailboats on a sunny day, with breeze, in January, on San Francisco Bay! What's not to like? I never put on a jacket. I finished the race and there were still quite a few boats behind me!!”

    Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault- J/22 winners
    “We had a reverse order start at Golden Gate YC in either direction. Nicole and I chartered a J/22 from St. Francis YC.

    We decided that based on tide, we would go clockwise. We won our fleet. However, Will Benedict in his dad’s J/105 ADVANTAGE 3 went counter-clockwise and crushed; they finished way ahead of everyone!

    Course length was 21 miles, winds were light, around 6-8 kts from the Northeast. We started late in the ebb tide, which then turned into a light flood tide, making it hard to get around Treasure Island. Some boats, like Scott Sellers in his J/70 1FA, reported losing 70 places there! We passed at least that many boats by cutting inside them along the southeast corner. But, then we lost around 20 of those as the big boats caught up and passed us. The winning move there for us on the J/22 was to get to the city front near the ferry building and short tack the docks in a substantial early ebb, hugging the shore all the way back to the finish line at Golden Gate YC.”

    A Whale of a Tale
    A pair of racers in the Bay Area's popular Three Bridge Fiasco race were left rudderless after a collision with a whale in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on Saturday.

    Adam Spiegel, a technology CFO in San Francisco, and his partner had been roughly an hour into the 334-boat race around the Bay's three central bridges before the incident occurred. They'd rounded one the race's marks up by Fort Point and were heading across Bay toward the Richmond-San Rafael bridge when JAM SESSION, their J/105 sailboat, abruptly came to a stop.

    "All of a sudden it felt like we'd ran aground," Spiegel told SFGATE.

    A second or two later, Spiegel said, there was another thud, followed by another thud. Then, the pair heard a loud, cracking noise and what sounded like a splintering sound.

    After that, a gray whale, which Spiegel estimated to be at least 25 feet long, surfaced next to them. Spiegel couldn't see any blood in the water or damage to the whale, but they wondered if the whale was going to "come after" them like Moby Dick!

    Then, they wondered if their boat was going to sink. They figured out they'd lost partial steerage and couldn't get back safely on their own.

    Spiegel and his partner contacted the dockmaster of the St. Francis Yacht Club, they came out in a powerboat to rescue the pair and tow them back safely.

    The boat's rudder was dislodged and the underside of the boat was scraped up by the whale, Spiegel said.

    It's still not clear what injuries the whale sustained. Ship collisions are a frequent cause of death for whales along the California coast.  Here is the story on SFGate.com

    Brandon Mercer- new J/24 sailor
    “It was a first for the Three Bridge Fiasco for me! First time on WOOF. First time doublehanding a J/24 in a race. First time meeting the skipper. We clicked! Awesome stuff!

    We finished fourth in our fleet!  22 nautical miles in 5 hours 43 minutes!

    The crazy part? Like over 300 boats and you can start in any direction and round the bridges in any direction. Huge fleets sailing head on into one another, with just 1-2 people on boats to look at the traffic. Lots of fiberglass touching some years. This year less of a fiasco because we had solid wind and WOOF’s team planned a smart route taking into account tides by each hour.

    Sailed from before dawn, finished at incredible time of 3:14 PM in the afternoon, and back at dock and buttoned up before sunset!”  For more Three Bridge Fiasco sailing information
     

    M*SAILING TEAM Leads Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League
    (Sochi, Russia)- The 2019 Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League has been racing off Sochi, Russia (site of the 2014 Winter Olympics) with sailing taking place in the eastern parts of the Black Sea.  A huge summer resort, Sochi has continued to grow as a base for lots of winter activities in the mountains north of the city. A fleet of a dozen J/70s are based at the Sochi Sailing Center, managed by FGBU “Yug Sport”, so that the thirteen teams from across the far reaches of Russia can compete on the water and sail a lot of waters in a short amount of time. 

    NSL Winter Series III
    Ten teams took part in the third event from January 12th to 13th. The fleet was not blessed with good weather conditions. In fact, it was downright miserable.  The yachtsmen were met with cold, torrential rain and just moderate winds.  On the first day of racing, all sailing was canceled after just two races due to a lack of breeze.  However, despite more rain on Sunday, there was more than enough breeze to hold up to six more races for each of the crews.

    “The New Year threw us a monkey wrench,” joked the Chief Judge of the competition, Nikolai Yushkov. “But, in principle, everyone was happy. True, on the first day we barely managed to hold two races. Although it was pouring rain, the wind was only good for two races. But, it all worked out on the second day, when a very good wind was blowing- up to 30 knots in the bigger gusts! Well done to all the participants, they all coped with the challenges on Sunday. The only damages we could see may have been a few egos! There were no crashes, no protests, either.  Amazing! The teams sailed well, it was wet and wild for them!”

    The third stage of the NSL series was the most difficult so far of the three events. A number of boats suffered some severe broaches, but survived to tell the tale; most importantly, with no ripped spinnakers. Others managed to “submarine” up to the mast in the steep, choppy waves off the Sochi waterfront!

    The crew of the M*SAILNG Team XO saw a new crew member for the regatta- Mikhail Poslamovsky.  He took third place in the first stage of the series as part of the M*SAILING Team, but took on a new role for himself, this time as skipper. Despite the difficult weather conditions in which the regatta took place, he considered the experience a success; the results speak for themselves. In the last three races, his team had two 2nds a 3rd.

    "I felt great, even comfortable! I would like to sail another couple of races in order to improve my result," said Poslamovsky. “Our team has already improved, we feel that we are ready to go further. Compared to other big boats, the J/70 seems much better, much more comfortable. It is more maneuverable, it accelerates faster. It is much more interesting to race the J/70 than other racing yachts! In general, there is no comparison! We plan to continue to race in the Winter Series, then hopefully go to the Premier Division and win!”

    The winner of the stage was again the “leading” crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team. This was not surprising, considering their record of three 1st, three 2nds, and one 3rd for a total of only 12 pts in 7 races! According to the team members, their performance was a result of constant training.

    “Before this stage, Andrei Malygin and I worked out here on the Laser,” said Alexey Borisov, the Captain/ Coach of the M*SAILNG Team. “We had a training program, we worked hard. And, we wanted to learn more about the winds in Sochi.  Andrei has a good understanding of the wind, an understanding of how the boat goes and everything else. At the present stage, I have him focusing only on tactics, not just boat speed. The training we did gave us a lot experience. And, of course, for this regatta, we do not exclude an element of luck; it is always present in sailing. We are lucky again. We plan to continue to increase the pace; it is good to complete the NSL Winter Series and the J/70 Winter Series in Monaco. In general, we have ambitious plans. We want to work harder, we strive to win, and I think everything will work out.”

    Second place in the January regatta went to the crew of WILD DIVISION, skippered by Alexander Bozhko, representing the Chechen Republic. The team, which debuted in the series at the last stage and took second place, again lost only to the winners of the regatta. This time, the crew was strengthened by the President of the Chechen Sailing Federation- Hasan Khadzhiev.

    “This was not our first time on the J/70.  Both myself and crew have trained on them.  However, this was our first time in such crazy, cold, rainy, windy conditions,” said Khadzhiev. Laughing, he said, “I promised my crew sun and fun in Sochi and a nice warm beach with beautiful women! But, it turned out the opposite- cold, rain and no sand, no women anywhere! Hahaha. In general, it was a test of myself and the crew. We did a good job on the coordination of our team for our upcoming regattas in the National Sailing League.”

    Khadzhiev continued to explain, “the Federation of Sailing Sports of the Chechen Republic has only existed since December 2016.  Since that time, we have not just entered sailing, we have burst onto it! We have won prizes in both Russian and international competitions.  When they announced our team for this Russian J/70 National Sailing League as "the team of the Chechen Republic", people no longer have a panic in their eyes! Instead, they say, it’s amazing they came here to sail, and they look at us as genuine rivals on the race course! Of course, none of this would happen without the support of the President of our Chechen Republic- Ramzan Kadyrov. He has drawn attention to our sport, is promoting it in our republic, and helped us develop the sailing program. Now, our main task is to pay attention to sailing within the republic itself. Until we have children on the water, until we have our own sailing school, it’s difficult to talk about the future of the sailing federation. Nevertheless, we will grow sailing for everyone!”

    The bronze medals were won by the crew of THREE 2 Sailing Team, skippered by Alexandra Peterson. Their team won the first stage of the NSL Winter Series, but unfortunately, missed the second. However, another successful performance in Sochi gives them a good chance to fight for the overall victory in the series.

    NSL Winter Series IV
    The fourth stage of the Russian J/70 Winter Series was, again, sailed in Sochi and hosted by FGBU “Yug Sport”.  Thirteen teams attended the event.

    For the first time in four stages, the crews did not have to freeze and soak in the rain. Optimism abounded across the fleet as a great breeze filled in for the first day of racing on Saturday. The sailing was so good, the organizers managed to hold eight races. The participants of the Winter Series also pinned great hopes on Sunday, but the weather again brought a surprise.

    “On the second day, we decided to start the race earlier,” said Nikolai Yushkov, the main judge of the competition. “However, the start had to be postponed from 1030 hrs to almost 1200 hrs.  The morning wind died.  Then it went into a 360 and it was very, very difficult to catch at least some stretch of wind so that you could carry out a race. As a result, we miraculously managed to hold four races, and the fifth had to be canceled because it shifted and died again.”

    In the fourth stage, the struggle for victory in the series reached a new level. Many teams decided to strengthen their line-ups and trained with special diligence- everyone wanted to beat the crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team that was in the lead after three stages. And, the efforts actually bore fruit for some team. For example, the East-West team, which was eighth in the last regatta, dramatically improved its position this time, taking fifth place.

    “For us, this was actually a great result,” commented Andrei Zuev of the EAST-WEST team. “To bypass such pre-eminent and famous teams- it's great! It was possible to achieve success through training with an experienced and famous yachtsman- Konstantin Besputin. Before, we did a lot of things a little bit wrong. Kostya made fine-tuning a focus of our team. And, the results were fantastic. We got two 1sts in eight races- for us it's just super! We will definitely improve further, train further. We hope that in the final we will not look bad.”

    Changes occurred in the crew of MATRYOSHKA. For the first time, Leonid Tarasov acted as a helmsman. And, the team immediately took seventh place- beating many experienced teams.

    “Wonderful training programs helped us,” said Leonid Tarasov. “But, of course, we still have to learn a lot more. The first time we race, we tanked and it sucked for us. Now, we were absolutely delighted with our improvements. The steering is cool. Of course, I want to continue skippering and learning how to go faster. It is good if we manage to keep the lineup that we had here, along with our coaches- Musikhin and Yuri Popov. I feel comfortable with them, they seem to be happy with me, too. The result is, of course, from a lot of hard work. And, I understand that I will try to improve our performance, somehow. Everything was very calm. Once there was a false start, but that race was canceled!  Thank goodness. And so, for us, a wonderful stage! We loved Sochi- cool weather, much better than all three previous stages. We will participate in the following regattas and develop!”

    To develop and train is what both Rostov crews are set up for. And the plans and ambitions of Rostovites are very serious; already they plan to take part in the Premier Division of the National Sailing League and win. The fact that these are not just words, but a specific task is indicated by the serious progress of the teams in the NSL Winter Series. The debutante of the last stage- the crew of the M*SAILING XO Team- has already managed to bypass ten strong teams in their second event to take the third place.

    “We trained a lot and prepared for this stage. And, most importantly, we were mentally/ psychologically tuned,” said Mikhail Poslamovsky, the helmsman of M*SAILING XO.  “It was mentally difficult, it is very hard to sail calmly and focused when rivals are near you, for me at least. I want to do more driving, to learn how to go fast, stay calm, and get ahead. But, in general, everything was very positive. I treat this as a workout, adjusting myself so as not to get upset. Well, it turns out to be happy sometimes. My team is on fire. We will further develop, train and achieve results. To more victories!"

    The silver medals of the stage were won by the crew of BATTLESHIP I with Vladimir Lyubomirov on the steering wheel. Their tally of five 2nds and three 3rds was by far the most consistent of any team in the regatta.  Only a disastrous Race 7 where they posted a 7th ruined their chances for the overall regatta win.

    Winning only two races, but keeping very steady top three race results, were the ultimate winners for the third regatta in row- the M*SAILING Team from Rostov-on-Don.

    “Probably, it is lady luck or dumb luck, that we manage to win everything,” commented skipper Andrei Malygin, laughing at himself. “We try to stay out of trouble and, hopefully, we try to win further. The next stage of the Winter Series will be missed because we are going to the J/70 races in Monaco- to participate in the famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse. In Sochi, there will be only one of our crew - M*SAILING Team XO.”

    The absence of a three-time winner of the NSL Winter Series stages at the next regatta will give opponents a chance to close the gap on the leaders.  Sailing photo credits- Elena Razin  Russian J/70 Sailing League information   Follow Russian J/70 Class here on Facebook   Follow Russian Yachting Federation here on Facebook   Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here
     

    LA SUPERBA Leads Italian J/24 Winter Series
    AMERICAN PASSAGE Leading the Lozzi Trophy
    (Anzio & Nettuno, Rome, Italy)- With two beautiful days of sailing with moderate breezes, the Roman J/24 fleet enjoyed great racing on the Gulf of Anzio southwest of Rome.  The fleet was sailing for the Lozzi Trophy on Saturday and the Anzio & Nettuno Winter Series on Sunday.

    Shifty Saturday @ Lozzi Trophy
    Saturday’s sailing was marked by partly cloudy skies, plenty of sun, and very shifty offshore winds for the ten-boat fleet.  Three races were completed by the end of the day. Victories went to ITA 458 ENJOY 2 sailed by Luca Silvestri, ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE skippered by Paolo Rinaldi and to ITA 36 FLETCHER LYN sailed by Stefano Renoglio.

    As a result of Saturday’s racing, leading after six races in the overall Lozzi Trophy standings is AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 4-3-1-2-1-2 scoreline for 9 pts.  The balance of the top three overall includes ENJOY 2 in second with scores of 3-2-2-1-2-4 for 10 pts and, in third place, is FLETCHER LYNN with a tally of 2-5-3-5-5-1 for 16 pts.

    Pretty Sunday for Winter Series
    The second day of sailing produced three more races for the twenty-one J/24s on the Gulf of Anzio.  The day started off spectacularly, but menacing black clouds loomed on the horizon as the fleet, again, sailed in easterly winds of 10-13 kts.

    Winners on Sunday were determined by who completed the podium behind the domination of ITA 416 LA SUPERBA; their performance was unstoppable, posting three straight bullets! Skipper Ignazio Bonanno from the Italian Navy and his crew of Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro, Alfredo Branciforte and Francesco Linares were delighted with the outcome, further lengthening their already insurmountable lead in the overall Winter Series- now counting 9 bullets!

    In the first race, behind LA SUPERBA was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA sailed by Gianni Riccobono and ITA 447 PELLE NERA helmed by Paolo Cecamore, second and third, respectively.  In the following race, it was AMERICAN PASSAGE and ENJOY 2 in 2nd and 3rd.

    After ten races in the overall Winter Series, LA SUPERBA continues to lead by a substantial margin. However, the balance of the podium is currently tied between two boats at 43 pts each; ITA 385 J ARMED JUDGE (Riccardo Aleandri, Antimo Bruno, Fulvio Marchionni, Fabio Di Bartolomeo, Vito Esposito and Fabiana Onori) and Luca Silvestri’s ENJOY 2.

    Sunday ended with the traditional pasta and wine party on the terrace of the Circolo Della Vela, a celebration greatly appreciated by all twenty-one teams!  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Women & Youth Team Opportunities for J/24 Worlds
    The International J/24 Class Association Regatta Regulations allow opportunities for Women and Youth in the J/24 class at any major event.

    One all-female crew per country, to be selected by each governing J/24 national authority, will be eligible to sail the J/24 World Championship to compete for the Jaeger J/24 World Championship Women’s Trophy.

    One Under-25 crew per country, to be selected by each governing J/24 national authority, will be eligible to sail the J/24 World Championship to compete for the Under-25 Turner Trophy. The crew members shall all be 24 years of age or under on the first day of championship racing.

    The 2019 J/24 World Championship will be held in Miami, Florida from October 19th to 26th, 2019, with sailing taking place on the beautiful azure waters of Biscayne Bay.

    The US J/24 Class is accepting applications for the Women and Youth berths. Interested parties should click on and complete the following forms in their entirety by April 1st, 2019.

    2019 US J/24 Women’s Worlds Berth Application: https://bit.ly/2BbzFs8

    2019 US J/24 Under-25 Worlds Berth Application: https://bit.ly/2GdJeKm


    * US J/24 Class Association Awards Third Annual Boat Grant to Matt Miranda from Ronkonkoma, New York!
    The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the third annual Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant to Matt Miranda from Ronkonkoma, New York. The Program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

    For the 2019 season, the boat will see weekly action at Sayville Yacht Club with J/24 Fleet 182. The Boat Grant team plans to participate in a number of events including the US Nationals in Rochester, NY, Changing of the Colors Regatta in Lake George, NY, Charleston Race Week in Charleston, SC, and they are applying to be the Under-25 team at the World Championship in Miami, FL. Class members will mentor the young team, as well as the other individuals who applied for the Program.

    Matt has more than a decade of J/24 experience, having crewed on multiple World Championship campaigns, numerous District and national events, and has skippered at US Nationals and local Fleet 182 series racing. His team will consist of a mix of younger J/24 sailors and seasoned veterans, who will surely help them grow over the next year. “I am incredibly honored to receive the grant boat this year! Excited to see some new faces, and some old, as we travel around to our nine or more scheduled events. Come say hi if you see us! I would like to thank the US J/24 Class and the Boat Grant Committee for making this possible and for helping me achieve a lifelong dream.”

    The Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The application process for the 2020/2021 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in the fall of 2019. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- January 23rd, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    For many sailors, the third week of January long stood for that “Woodstock-like” festival of sailing that took place in Key West, Florida every winter. It was a favorite both for Europeans as well as those in the frozen parts of North America.  Continuing at least part of that tradition has been the Storm Trysail Club’s annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, a 160.0nm dash down around the Florida Keys.  This year four J/Crews participated with all collecting silverware!

    Meanwhile, J/70 teams were busy on both sides of the Atlantic.  In Europe, the Yacht Club de Monaco hosted their third act of the Monaco J/70 Winter Sportsboat Series on Hercules Bay in front of Monte Carlo.  As host of the 2021 J/70 Worlds, there is no question the interest levels have started to surge to head down to warmer climate of the Mediterranean and go for a sail.  Meanwhile, in southern Florida, the second event of the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series took place on Biscayne Bay in somewhat breezy conditions.

    Below in the J/Community section, one can find a newly updated, and greatly expanded, J/121 North Sails Speed Guide.  It is a good read since many of their speed, tuning, sail-handling, boat-handling tips are quite applicable to many other sprit-sailed J/Boats across our range.

    Also, the J/35 One-Design Class in Detroit, Michigan is organizing a J/35 offshore crew seminar to teach any sailor how to race offshore- six days at five hours per day!  Check it out below!
     

    J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta Preview
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January marks the occasion for the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida.  Sailing will take place from January 25th to 27th, with the teams of J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay.

    The regatta represents the 2019 J/88 Midwinter Championship, with a half-dozen crews participating from the Midwest and the Northeast. Many top crews in the class will be looking forward to a break from the frigid temperatures up North. No one would be surprised if Andy Graff’s EXILE team is already on the road headed south from Chicago, IL to escape the sub-zero temperatures in the upper Midwest! From the northeast, watch for these teams to be near the top of the leaderboard; Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from New Rochelle, NY; Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO from Rochester, NY; and Mike Bruno’s WINGS from American YC in Rye, NY.

    Similarly, the J/111s will be hosting their Midwinter Championship for the fleet of four boats. Last year’s winner- Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from Cleveland, OH- will have to contend with battling a fellow Cleveland team for top honors- Rob Ruhlman and family aboard their famous SPACEMAN SPIFF.  In addition, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY and Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Hampton, VA will be mixing it up with the Cleveland gang for class honors.  For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information
     

    Festival of Sails Preview
    Australian J/111 Champs Preview
    (Geelong, Vic, Australia)- A fleet of more than 270 boats will compete in the 2019 Festival of Sails, Australia’s biggest celebration of sailing, which kicks off with the 176th Passage Race from Melbourne to Geelong on Australia Day.  The regatta runs from January 26th to 28th and is hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

    Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said, “It’s fantastic to see so many keelboat entries with participants coming from nearly every part of Australia and international competitors heading to Geelong in the coming days from Malaysia and the United States. We expect about 3,000 participants will take part in the event and we are already seeing boats arriving at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club in preparation for the Festival of Sails. We are looking forward to welcoming more competitors over coming days, ahead of what is looking like three spectacular days of sailing on the beautiful flat waters of Corio Bay.”

    Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the Geelong waterfront over the Australia Day long weekend. Complementing the sailing is the Waterfront Festival, presented by Geelong Connected Communities, which will provide visitors with a smorgasbord of activities, live music and the Regional Artisan Fair, showcasing local produce.

    The Royal Australian Airforce’s elite formation aerobatic display team, the “Roulettes”, will also make a stunning return to Geelong. They will perform a breathtaking 15 minute aerial display in their PC-9/A aircraft, over the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and Eastern Beach Reserve, from 1pm on January 26.

    The Royal Australian Navy Band, one of Australia’s most widely recognized military bands, will also entertain crowds on Australia Day, with two sets starting at 12:30pm, from the Eastern Beach Reserve stage.

    A fireworks display, proudly sponsored by AirAsia, will be held at 9.15pm on Australia Day. The best vantage points will be from Eastern Beach Reserve and Ritchie Boulevard.

    The event is concurrently hosting the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals.  The very competitive fleet includes Rod Warren’s JOUST, Stu Lyon’s JAKE, Matt Powell’s PLAYLIST, Rob Date’s SCARLETT RUNNER 11, and Phil Simpendorfer’s VELOCE.

    Meanwhile, sailing in the offshore, random-leg, handicap racing divisions will be a number of other J/Crews. In the AMS Cruising Division is the new J/121 JAVELIN. She was newly commissioned this year and is based in Mornington.  The crew has steadily optimized their performance and is proud to be the recent winners of the ORCV 2018 Winter Series.  Skipper/ owner Mark Nicholson and crew will have their hands full taking on many of Australia’s best offshore teams.

    The Passage+Twilight and Corio Bay series include many members of the ubiquitous Australian J/24 class. Those teams include Peter Kirman’s BAILE DE LUNA, Jeff Harris’ FUN, Pauliina Mattila’s BRUSCHETTA VI, Simon Grain’s JET, Chris Ravesi’s SANGUINE, and Miles Hurrell’s SCRUMPY.  Follow the Festival of Sails on Facebook here   For more Festival of Sails sailing information
     

    95 Clubs In 2019 SAILING Champions League Qualifiers
    (Hamburg, Germany)- For the first time ever, ninety-five clubs from the National Sailing Leagues will participate in the SAILING Champions League 2019 qualification process that culminates in the SCL Finale to be sailed, yet again, in St. Moritz, Switzerland in August.

    “The fact that we are hosting three qualifying events shows the growing importance of the SAILING Champions League and also of the National Sailing Leagues”, says the CEO of the SAILING Champions League (SCL), Oliver Schwall, after the draw that took place on Wednesday in Hamburg (Germany).

    The first qualifier will be hosted by the Club Nautic S’Arenal in Palma de Mallorca, Spain from May 9th to 12th in their fleet of J/80s.

    Two weeks later, from May 23rd to 26th, the second regatta will take place in Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy. For the fifth year in a row, the Italians from Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are hosting an SCL event as one of their top sailing regattas in their matched fleet of one-design J/70s.

    The third qualifier will take place from July 4th to 7th in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Russian city and Saint Petersburg Yacht Club are hosting the SAILING Champions League for the fourth year in their fleet of matched one-design J/70s.

    In this year’s qualifying events, the SCL will grant “wildcard slots” to the new National Sailing Leagues from Estonia, Portugal, Spain and Belgium.

    At the SCL final in the Swiss Alps, 24 clubs will compete for the trophy.  The fleet will include three clubs with wildcard slots; the hosting club Segel-Club St. Moritz, one club from Australia and one from New Zealand/ Oceania.

    Livestream and results by SAP
    As with all SAILING Champions League events, the racing will be live broadcasted by SAP, with expert commentators providing blow-by-blow analysis of the racing, aided by the detail provided by SAP Sailing Analytics. The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media. Watch how your favorite team performs with GPS tracking, real-time analysis, and the live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You will find all results on SAP SAILING (http://www.sapsailing.com)!   For more 2019 SAILING Champions League information here
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Jan 17-20- J/70 Monaco Winter Series III- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
    Jan 24-27- J/Fest St Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
    Jan 26-28- Festival of Sails- Geelong, Vic, Australia
    Feb 7-10- J/70 Monaco Winter Series IV/ Primo Cup- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

     
    J/Crews Fly Around Florida Keys
    Fast Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race
    (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Storm Trysail Club’s Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race started at 1000 hours last Wednesday in a light east/northeasterly breeze of 4-7 kts.  The fleet took off on port tack, with most of the big boats sporting either Code Zero’s or A1 spinnakers. While not setting any records, the fleet enjoyed near postcard perfect sailing conditions offshore with a warm breeze powering the boats down to Key West in about 24 hours for most boats (about a 6.7 kts average).

    In the ORC B handicap class, it was Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX that took line honors for the J/Teams and second in class on handicap calculation.  In addition, rounding out the podium with the bronze was Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association in Spring, TX.

    A similar scenario played out in PHRF B handicap class.  Continuing their string of epic performances, Brad Stowers’ J/92 HILLBILLY took the silver while Matt Self’s J/105 RUCKUS took the bronze.   Follow the SORC Series on Facebook here  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information
     

    CATAPULT Takes Bacardi J/70 Winter Series Act II
    (Coconut Grove, FL)- The 2019 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series continued with the second event of the 3-stage inaugural series on January 19-20 in Miami, FL. With two-dozen J/70 teams from the USA, Monaco, Germany, and Great Britain on the line, Biscayne Bay delivered two distinctly different days for the competition.

    Three races were completed for the J/70s on day one in 10-12 knots and sunny skies. However, the remnants of Winter Storm Harper proved disruptive for day two. Once the system passed, a cloudy and colder WSW breeze at 15-18 knots allowed for two more races.

    Starting off with a mid-fleet finish in the first race, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team of Patrick Wilson, Victor Diaz De Leon, and Chris Stocke set a blistering hot pace for the remaining four races, peeling off a 4-1-1-2 to win with just 8 pts net. For this team, that is two wins in two weekends of racing J/70s, first Tampa Bay, then Biscayne Bay!

    Yet another J/70 World Champion was chasing the CATAPULT team hard and keeping Ronning’s crew honest; that would be Peter Duncan’s World Championship caliber crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY (Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty, and Will Felder) that posted a very steady performance, collecting a 2-6-4-3-4 for 13 pts net to take the silver.

    Taking the bronze with a record of 1-1-8-4-10 for 14 pts net was Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS with crew of Jeff Reynolds, Steve Hunt, and Erik Shampain.

    Rounding out the top five was an international affair. Taking fourth place was Germany’s Harm Müller-Spreer, skippering a “baby” PLATOON. Harm normally sails his World Champion TP 52 of the same name with an awesome “metal plating-look” paint job. His crew of Eric Doyle, John Kostecki, and Doug McLean managed a 4-9-2-5-5 for 16 pts net in their first event as a team.

    In fifth was another talented crew from Monte Carlo, Monaco; Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-SPOTTINO. His team of Alessandro Franci, Ettore Botticini, and Luca Faravelli posted a 9-2-5-7-12 for 23 pts net.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series Act II sailing information
     

    MARIA Wins Monaco J/70 Winter Series Act III
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The new year offered proof the one-design J/70 fleet is thriving in Monaco and Europe, judging by the number that turned out to compete in Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, with 40 boats out on the water.

    “The race area and conditions were awesome, with a steady wind and flat sea. I was especially impressed by how responsive the Race Committee, the PRO Thierry Leret, and staff were in managing races in such quick succession,” said Ian Wilson, International J/70 Class President. He was racing this weekend on one of the Irish boats (Soak Racing) to see the Yacht Club de Monaco’s organization ahead of the J/70 Worlds that are set to take place in Monaco in 2021.

    For certain, the competitive level at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series continues to rise. Many new teams were participating in anticipation of the 2021 J/70 Worlds in Monaco. Teams came from Finland (for the first time), Sweden, and so did a veritable armada of Swiss, Germans and Russians, ever-loyal to Monaco’s monthly regattas.

    It was tough racing over the weekend and after seven races, the leader was the Russian Andreï Malygin skippering MARIA, winning both the Open and Corinthian Divisions! Knowing the record of some of the professionals out on the water, one can only be impressed by Malygin’s Russian team that were always in the lead group, posting an amazingly consistent 1-2-UFD-4-6-2-1 for 16 pts net.

    Flanking them on the podium were two Yacht Club de Monaco boats, Loïc Pompée’s ALLO III who was celebrating his birthday by taking the silver with a very consistent 7-5-6-17-5-3-6 for 32 pts net. Starting out mid-fleet but winning their next two races enabled Ludovico Fassitelli on JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE to not only take the bronze, but continue as the leader of the overall winter championship; JUNDA’s record was 16-23-1-1-7-7-4 for 36 pts net.

    Rounding out the top five was the top Swiss team, Florian Geissbuehler’s ATTAQUE with a 3-11-2-18-1-14-8 for 39 pts net and the top Irish team, Marshall King’s SOAK RACING with a 15-16-4-5-10-1-10 tally for 45 pts net, both fourth and fifth, respectively.  Tied on 45 pts with SOAK RACING was the top woman helm, Laurane Mettraux’s Swiss team on CER APROTEC VILLE DE GENEVE.  Remarkably, there was one other team tied on 45 pts, yet another Swiss crew- Jean-Luc Leveque’s SWISS WATCH!

    All teams will meet again for the 35th Primo Cup presented by Credit Suisse, and garments from technical clothing supplier SLAM, 7-10 February 2019.

    A fine spectacle is in store in the bay of Monaco for this major one-design regatta that has been opening the Mediterranean season for the last 35 years.  For more J/70 Monaco Winter Sportsboat series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    * NEW J/121 Speed Guide!
    North Sails experts Kimo Worthington and Chuck Allen answer questions in this speed guide for the J/121 offshore class.

    Who sails a J/121?
    There are several distinct types of people who sail a J/121, and most are experienced sailors. Some race the boat one design, some race shorthanded or fully crewed offshore, and some head south and cruise the Caribbean. Many are individualists who have been changing keels and adding sails. In the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, four J/121s raced in three different configurations. The point is, the J/121 is a versatile boat that’s ready to sail offshore, and the sailors who buy one all seem to agree that they’d rather do something other than race windward-leeward course configurations.

    What’s the ideal J/121 crew size?
    That’s a trick question for this boat. The most crew you’ll ever need is five or six, total, for an event like Block Island Race Week. But, the boat was designed for sailing doublehanded. It sails well without water ballast, but it really shines when you fill the windward tank with 850 pounds of water; that’s like having four or five extra people on the rail. Testing in a strong breeze, we have found the performance is spectacular with a reefed main and inner jib.

    If you wish to learn more about sailing this high-performance offshore shorthanded speedster, be sure to read the rest of the 10+ page guide. It discusses sail combinations and cross-over charts, Rig tuning, Sail handling, and Boat handling.   Read it all here on the North Sails J/121 website.


    * J/35 Class Seeking Offshore Sailors
    A J/35 owner in Detroit, MI- Dean Fitzpatrick- is organizing an offshore racing clinic for just 20 people this May 2019.  It is a six lesson program, five hours per day, that will teach wanna-be offshore racers how to rig, sail, and race one of the most iconic offshore racing sailboats ever designed- the J/35.

    Detroit has some of the best offshore sailors in the USA that are going to volunteer their J/35s and time. The boats are WHIPLASH, DEAN’S LIST, FALCON, and BLACKHAWK.

    On the last day of the clinic- May 19th- there will be W/L races against several J/35s from the local fleet to test everyone’s knowledge and skills.

    A candidate must be at least 18 years old and know how to swim.  The program is open to ANYONE that wishes to learn how to sail offshore. The six-day, five hours per day, program cost is $1,000.  But, you will get ALL your money back IF you race five races on any J/35 (or similar big boat) between May and September 2019.

    Please call Dean Fitzpatrick to lock in your enrollment, it just might be the best move you ever made! Call Dean at ph# (989) 305-2985 or (248) 790-0666.  Or, email him at- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- January 16th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    With Europe buried in snow and ice, one can imagine that just about everyone wished they could be sailing down in the Caribbean at this moment!  With long-term weather forecasts worsening by the week, due to the “polar vortex” splitting into a triad of death circles(!), both Europe and the northern parts of the Americas (e.g. USA and Canada) are about to experience Arctic blasts lasting for weeks (e.g. according to the ECMWF Euro model)!

    Basking in sunlight and warm weather were the lucky few that happened to be in Fort Lauderdale, FL this morning.  At 10:00 AM, the Storm Trysail Club’s annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race started on time with all boats sporting reaching headsails in lightish easterly breezes.

    Just this past week, the U.S. Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards “short-listed” the candidates down to three for both the men’s and women’s categories. Remarkably, the three winners of J/Class World Championship- J/22, J/24, and J/70- were selected as the “podium”, with just one being awarded the overall title.  That was the “first” time ever in the history of America’s most prestigious award that one brand swept the podium!  Bravo to that J/Trio of sailors!

    Down in the J/Community section, you can get an excellent perspective on what it takes to participate in one of the world’s true “bucket list” offshore races- the ROLEX Sydney- Hobart Race.  John Murkowski, the owner/ skipper of the J/122E JOY RIDE from Seattle, WA, reflected on their experience racing “the Hobart”; the crazy starting experience, to reaching the Bass Straits in no wind, the magnificence of the “Organ Pipes”, and the wacky sailing up the River Derwent to the finish line off the docks in Hobart.
     

    Get Ready for Boot Dusseldorf!

    The massive, world-famous, Dusseldorf Boot Boat Show is taking place from January 19th to 27th in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Renowned as one of the major “arts” centers in Europe, Dusseldorf is both a cultural attraction along the gorgeous Rhine River as well as an amazing boat show to attend- the world’s largest by far!

    On-site in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be J/Composites and the European J/Boats team, presenting the latest J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster, the world champion J/112E sports cruiser, and the world’s most successful sportsboat- the International J/70.  For more 2019 Boot Dusseldorf boat show information
     

    Announcing The 2019 J/80 World Championship!
    (Bilbao, Portugal)- From the 13th to 20th of July, the Real Club Maritimo del Abra and the Real Sporting Club will host the 2019 J/80 World Championship in the gorgeous waters off Arenas/ Bilbao (the Basque country of Spain).  The class expects over 75 boats and more than 500 sailors from all over the world that will compete for the title on the challenging conditions of the Cantabrian Sea.

    Spain has previously hosted the J/80 World Championship in Santander (2009) and in Sotogrande –Cádiz- (2016).

    For the host nation, it will be a real fight for national honors for the top three teams from last year’s 2018 J/80 Copa de Espana that were held on the same waters. Winning that event was ONO EUROFRITS-AVIKO sailed by local Cantabrian Daniel de la Pedraja; the silver went to a J/80 World Champion- BRIBON MOVISTAR- sailed by Marc de Antonio Altimira; and the bronze was taken by a double J/80 World Champion, Ignacio Camino’s PAR!  Will history repeat itself again? Or, will the top French, German, or United Kingdom teams have done enough homework, refined their speed and tuning, to displace those hot Spanish teams from the podium?  There is no question many leading J/80 crews across Europe are already working hard on that idea!

    “As Chairman of the RCMA-RSC and skipper on a J/80, I would like to encourage you to take part in the upcoming J/80 World Championships that are going to be held in the Port of Bilbao from the 13th to the 20th of July 2019. Our Club is fully committed to making this regatta a success, especially as it is a one-of-a-kind event for the Club since it was founded 120 years ago.

    During race week you will not only be able to enjoy sailing on a magnificent course, but also enjoy a variety of social events organized ashore where you will get a first-hand taste of the wonderful gastronomy and hospitality our Club and our Getxo region. Nearby Bilbao and the Basque Country, in general, are also ideal holiday destinations for you and your companions.

    I would also like to express my gratitude to the Spanish J/80 Class Association and to other worldwide national associations for their backing of our bid to host these Championships. Likewise, I would also like to thank the public institutions who have given us their full support and the private companies that have helped us in this bid; in particular, BRITTANY FERRIES, COCA COLA, and EL CORREO.

    I sincerely hope many J/80 sailors from around the world take part in this fantastic event (an “open” J/80 Worlds), it’s a beautiful place to sail and the food, wine, ambience, hospitality are second to none,” commented the Chairman of the RCMA-RSC, D. Ramón Zubiaga Garteiz-Goxeascoa.

    With the practice race scheduled for Sunday, racing commences on Monday, July 15th with the goal to run as many as fifteen races by Friday, July 19th.

    At the conclusion of racing, the World Championship title will be awarded along with trophies for the best Women’s team, top Youth team, top Masters, top Mixed, and the top Corinthian crews.  For more 2019 J/80 World Championship sailing information
     

    2019 Block Island Race Week Announcement!
    (Block Island, RI)- The 28th Edition of the famed Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week will take place from June 23rd to 28th, 2019.  The STC Committee expects 150 boats and the number of racing formats has been expanded to attract an even wider array of yachts; ranging from Grand Prix teams to family-friendly cruising boats. Besides the usual Windward/Leeward racing, there will be Pursuit-start and ‘Solent-Style’ racing formats, too.

    IRC, ORC and PHRF are returning, as one might expect. In addition, an exciting, new, innovative format will be introduced– “Plus+1”.  Plus+1 allows the crew to be one person larger than the first digit of hull-length. (30-39’= 4 crew, 40–49’= 5 crew, etc.) Plus+1 fills a sweet spot between double-handing and fully crewed racing, lowering costs and the need for crew. The Plus+1 class will be sailing a windward/ leeward course in the morning and a “random-leg” race around government marks in the afternoon. They will also do the famous Around the Island Race on the day the whole fleet goes around.

    A spring schedule of Plus+1 Races is coming together and the first event will be the American Yacht Club Spring Series (April 27, 28 and May 4, 5) where the group will sail courses around government marks. The second race is the Edlu Trophy (May 11), which is a short distance race that goes east 16 miles, rounds a mark and returns to the finish. The third event is the 186-mile Block Island Race (May 24) that goes from Stamford, Ct., around Block Island and the back to Stamford. The last scheduled Plus+1 regatta will be Block Island Race Week.

    7 Reasons To Sail Plus+1:
    1. Easier to find enough crew. Reduces the time e-mailing and calling.
    2. Everyone on the boat has a lot of jobs to do. No bored rail meat.
    3. It's safer. If someone gets hurt or goes overboard, two or more people can help.
    4. Teams can sail in a broader range of events; windward/ leewards, race around government marks, and classic distance races.
    5. Saves money. Fewer lunches and fewer post-race cocktails to buy. Rent a smaller house!
    6. Makes your boat better for cruising. Setup to be handled by less people, better for couple cruising
    7. Sail with your friends, not your friends’ friend.
    Over time, J/Sailors have been big supporters of their favorite summer race week on the East Coast.  Starting in 1977, the J/24 sailed against the best the MORC Class had to offer and won by a significant margin.  The rest, as they say, was history. Having started an “instant legacy”, droves of J/24s, then J/30s, J/35s, J/29s, and J/44s up to the recent offshore sprit machines like the J/105, J/109, J/111, J/88, J/122, J/120, and the new J/121, will continue to expand on that legacy of J/Boats participation across the board.

    So far, twenty-three J/Teams have signed up for PHRF, ORC, and one-design racing (J/88, J/105, J/109). Will the EVERETT B. MORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY Winner (emblematic of the Overall Winner of BIRW)- the J/105 GOOD TRADE (sailed by Bruce Stone, Nicole Breault, Marc Acheson, Bill Higgins, John Sahagian, and Casey Williams)- repeat their performance from 2017? You will need to go sailing to find out!  Come one, come all, it’s an amazing event run by crackerjack Race Committees and PRO’s organized by the Storm Trysail BIRW Committee. Sailing Photo Credit- Alan Clark/ PhotoBoat.com.   For more Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week sailing information
     

    Nations Cup Grand Final Sailing J/22s!
    (San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA has been selected by World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, to host the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final from April 9th to 14th, 2019 and will use its matched fleet of J/22 one-design sailboats. St. Francis Yacht Club previously hosted the Nations Cup back in 1995 using J/24s.

    Ten Open and ten Women’s division skippers have registered for the Grand Final, including some of the top world-ranked skippers from various countries.

    As winners of the last Nations Cup Grand Final, USA’s Nicole Breault earned a spot in the Women’s division and Russia’s Vladimir Lipavsky earned a spot in the Open. World Sailing Member National Authorities (MNA) filled out the field by nominating their most recent National Match Racing Champions in each division. Nominations were allocated by region to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America & Caribbean, Oceania and South America, and the event will have ten countries represented in the Open and eight countries in the Women’s.   For more Nations Cup Grand Final sailing information
     

    Another J/Family Performs in St Maarten Heineken- “The Jacksons”!
    (Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)– The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world’s top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Another famous “J/Family” will be present- Motown royalty, no less! “The Jacksons” (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon), will perform on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 at the final Awards Ceremony!

    St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Production Director, John Leone, comments, “Along with an action-packed race schedule this year, we are ecstatic to announce The Jacksons will headline our final party on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. They need no introduction. We are 100% certain their iconic through-the-decades beloved music will inspire all regatta competitors and party revelers. The Jacksons, will take us on an unforgettable journey through their historic lives and influential musical careers. Hearing this band on this beautiful Caribbean island will be Legendary!”

    The Jacksons made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, they celebrated 50 years as one of the most successful groups in music history. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, five brothers from Gary, Indiana, began as the Jackson 5 and later The Jacksons, and rose to fame for their combination of extraordinary musical talent and spectacular choreography.

    First signed to Steeltown Records in 1967, The Jacksons found international success with the songs: "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There". Five albums later, the brothers went on The Victory Tour in 1984, and it became the highest-grossing concert series ever staged in the United States. The group, already inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, came to serve as inspiration for several generations of boy bands, including Backstreet Boys, New Edition, N*SYNC, News Kids on the Block, and today, the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and many more.

    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is now in its 39th year, and now sports a brand new 2-handed racing class. The sailing and parties take place over four days, from February 28th to March 3rd, 2019. Four days of World-Class racing mixing perfectly with the awesome Heineken parties, electrifying the island well into the night. The entire event is located at the St. Maarten’s Heineken Regatta Village at the Port de Plaisance Resort, Casino and Yacht Club. Get ready for some Legendary “Serious Fun”!

    To date, there are nine members of the J/Family participating, with more rumored to be hopping aboard the bandwagon of “serious fun” soon!  Here are the J/Teams currently registered:
    • Emilio Torres-Requena’s J/130 MAZU from Puerto Rico
    • Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from the USA
    • Bob Hillier’s J/122 OCASO from the USA
    • Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua
    • Kathy Campbell’s J/120 JAGUAR
    • Remco van Dortmondt’s J/105 SUNBELT REALTY JENK from Curacao
    • Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados
    • Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE from USA
    • Tanner & Shari’s J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE
    Follow the action on social media links here:
    Facebook – www.facebook.com/StMaartenHeinekenRegatta
    Twitter – www.twitter.com/sxmheineken
    Instagram – www.instagram.com/stmaartenheinekenregatta
    YouTube - www.youtube.com/heinekenregatta

    Sailing photo credit- Laurens Morel.  For more St. Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Jan 17-20- J/70 Monaco Winter Series III- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
    Jan 24-27- J/Fest St Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
    Jan 26-28- Festival of Sails- Geelong, Vic, Australia
    Feb 7-10- J/70 Monaco Winter Series IV/ Primo Cup- Monte Carlo, Monaco
    Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Storm Trysail Ft Lauderdale- Key West Race Update
    (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The infamous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race started today at 1000 hours in a light east/northeasterly breeze of 4-7 kts.  The fleet took off on port tack, with most of the big boats sporting either Code Zero’s or A1 spinnakers. The beginning of this a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port, does not look like it will set any records of any kind.  However, with the ECMWF Euro forecast showing a steadily increasing breeze clocking into the east/southeast overnight and strengthening to 10-15 kts by Friday evening, it should be a beautiful race!

    At this time on Thursday afternoon, leading the J/Fleet is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX. They are followed boat-for-boat by Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association in Spring, TX; then Matt Self’s J/105 RUCKUS from Charleston YC in Daniel Island, SC; then Brad Stowers’ J/92 HILLBILLY from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL.

    If the reaching conditions persist for the next 24 hours (perfect for the asymmetric configured J/Teams- including the J/44 KENAI), don’t be surprised if they all win class and overall!  Follow the fleet on the Kattack Tracker here  Follow the SORC Series on Facebook here  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information
     

    Weakley Tops 2018 Texas J/22 Circuit
    (Houston, TX)- Texas is a stronghold for the J/22 one-design sailing; areas like Galveston Bay can see 18 boats on the line for Wednesday night racing, which makes for plenty of competitive racing. Sailing his J/22 consistently throughout the seven regattas making-up the Texas J/22 Circuit, Doug Weakley (Corpus Christi, TX) came out on top after winning four events and placing well in the remaining three.

    The primary keys for his success were Doug’s relentless drive to keep his older boat (hull #24) and his crew competitive. Sporting a new suit of sails, combined with awesome crew-work, good speed, and extraordinary perseverance to do tactically well in all weather conditions, ultimately, led to their tremendous performance.  Here is Doug’s take on the season:

    “2018 started out great with Jim Kondziela and Joe Mayfield sailing with me on HNL (#24) at the Houston Yacht Club’s Midwinter regatta. We were really fast throughout the event and starting with a bullet in race one. We were pretty excited about our 6th place finish in the 39-boat fleet, competitive fleet.

    We then sailed using our new radial jib at Austin Yacht Club and took first in a competitive fleet made of locals and traveling boats.

    We got back into the boat in the fall and took back-to-back wins at Corpus Christi and Canyon Lake yacht clubs and the HYC Heritage Cup. At Corpus, we sailed with the cross-cut jib for power through the chop and we used it again at Canyon Lake in the light conditions. Canyon is all about avoiding a really bad race in the shifty conditions there, and we were the boat that did just that.

    At HYC’s Heritage Cup, we went back to the radial jib and we were very fast in all the conditions. Saturday started out in very light air and we were quick in the light stuff, coming back from a terrible start to win the first race. The breeze quickly built and our old boat was set up really well for it. The radial jib was great, the boat just felt really fast. We had great downwind speed also with the new spinnaker design.

    We look forward to more success in 2019, beginning with the J/22 Midwinters at Ft Walton Beach in March!” Thanks for contribution from Adam Loory at UK Sails.  For more J/22 Class sailing information
     


    J/Trio Top ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards!

    (Newport, RI)- Three J/Sailors are finalists in ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards 2018, based on winning recent World Championships in a J/Boats class - J/22, J/24 and J/70!

    This historical occasion marks the first time in the history of the ROLEX Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year awards that a brand has “swept the podium” in the most prestigious individual yachting award in America. Congratulations to Zeke Horowitz (J/22 World Champion in Annapolis, MD); Will Welles (J/24 World Champion in Lake Garda, Italy); and Jud Smith (J/70 World Champion in Marblehead, MA)! May the best man win!

    Once again, the annual rundown of the year’s “best in the U.S.” represents a wide range of accomplished sailors from various disciplines and at different stages of their respective careers. The finalists for US Sailing’s 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award are:

    - Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Md.) – The versatile sailor came out on top at the closely contested J/22 World Championship (Annapolis, Md.) in his home waters. He captured the Flying Scot North American Championship (Rockwall, Texas) and was second at the Viper 640 North American Championship (Kingston, Ontario, Canada).

    - Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) – A second J/24 World Championship (Riva del Garda, Italy) title in five years places Welles back on the shortlist for 2018. Welles was the runner-up at the J/24 North American Championship (Charleston, S.C.) and later in the year he dominated the fleet of 89 boats at the J/24 Worlds.

    - Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) – The 2006 Yachtsman of the Year returns to the shortlist after besting the fleet of 91 boats at the J/70 World Championship (Marblehead, Mass.). Smith added another win to his 2018 resume by placing first at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Marblehead.

    The nominees and their 2018 sailing resumes will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists and past winners of these awards that discuss the merits of each sailor’s racing results before voting to determine U.S. Sailing’s 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

    The winners will be announced in February and honored on Thursday, February 28, 2019, during a luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

    Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by ROLEX Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of U.S. Sailing’s ROLEX Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.

    Over its history the coveted awards have been presented to 44 men and 35 women, including these distinguished sailors that have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Terry Hutchinson, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O’Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner. NOTE- the highlighted names sailed J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, or J/80s at Championship events.  In other words, Zeke, Will and Juddy are in good company!  For more ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards 2019 information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * Reflections on the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race- by John Murkowski and friends on the J/122E JOYRIDE

    JOY RIDE team: John Murkowski, Quill Goldman, Maaike Pen, Bron Miller, Alex Fox, Erik Sjogren, Byron Meseroll, and Robin Slieker

    “3 Days, 16 hours and 49 minutes. Sydney Hobart 2018 is in the bag!! Sitting here on a New Years day, finally rested post race, reflecting on this unique experience, there are a few things that stand out for me.

    Sydney:
    The first time you walk the dock in Sydney the amount of race boats is overwhelming. Joy Ride isn’t a slow boat, but on the dock of Sydney Hobart there are only a dozen boats slower than us and it is clearly apparent when you walk the docks, look at the crazy race boats and talk to their crews. The first time you sail out into Sydney’s harbor, there are boats everywhere with sail races going on up and down the harbor. Coach boats chasing, high speed ferries going everywhere and race crews preparing for the race. The actual start is crazy with three different start lines and 40+ boats in our start, a very favored committee end of the line, 6 helicopters flying overhead, and hundreds of spectator and chase boats surrounding the course.

    The race to the Heads goes much faster than you might think. The harbor looks much bigger on TV than it is, despite several areas of dirty air, we won our start, and put a lot of faster boats behind us by the time we passed the South Head.

    The Race:
    Great first 24 hours of downwind running with the big A3 in 20-25 knots of wind. We lost the tack eye off the sprit during the night and we’re knocked down for a few minutes until the crew got the kite back in and we could repack and launch again off the other tack. By the midnight check in, four boats had retired due to damage. One demasting, one lost rudder, one broken sprit and one ripped out sheave box. The race down the coast was great and we made our safety call upon entering the Bass Straits. If you had told me that we would be becalmed in Bass Straits for 8 hours, I would have never believed you. During the second night, we put 25 boats behind us and felt really good about how we were sailing. Then we sailed into a huge hole and with the advantage of AIS, most of our fleet escaped to the east and we quickly found ourselves back behind. With two high pressure systems separated by a low pressure trough, there was significant instability as we moved from a big Northerly to an even bigger Southerly. We did more sail changes than I can remember trying to get the boat moving and find the new southerly wind. The southerly came in strong with 30-40 knots of wind and with the huge fetch from Antarctica, some significant sea states. The temperature dropped and we all put on our foulies for the first time as waves started breaking over the boat. The third night came and we sailed past the pipes and started to try to find our way into Storm Bay. Turning further right at the famed “Organ Pipes” allowed us to start quartering the sea state and helped empty the cockpit of the cold Antarctica water. We entered Storm Bay before sunrise and passed three more boats. As the sun rose and we entered the river, we were fortunate to find pressure after another 20+ sail changes. We crossed the line early in the morning with the J1 doing 7+ knots.

    Hobart:
    We crossed the line, got our horn and waited for the escort boat to come out to meet us. We docked and were immediately met with a case of beer from the race committee. As we drank our 6 am beers and walked the dock, it was clear that a lot of sailors had been there for a while and had also enjoyed their beers. In Sydney, the big boats weren’t in the marina, but in Hobart the whole fleet is together and as you walk the dock, Joy Ride looks like a tender for one of the big boats. Hobart’s welcome was overwhelming and with two races finishing together (Sydney Hobart and the Melbourne Hobart), the taste of Tasmania and the race village; there was a great energy at the docks. We cleaned the boat and waited for our hotel rooms to become available. Breakfast and more cleaning and then the rooms were available and we could go rest and get clean. At three and a half days, the race is much more of a sprint than Vic Maui. More like an extra-long Southern Straits race. Definitely a boat of exhausted sailors when we finally tied up.

    As I sit in Sydney waiting to fly home, I’m immensely proud of our crew. They put so much effort into preparing the boat and worked so hard during the race. While we always want to win, I don’t have any regrets about our effort and how we did in the race. We sailed our boat 7000 miles from Seattle to do the famous Sydney Hobart. From leaving Elliot Bay to arriving in Hobart, it has been an epic adventure that will be with all of us for the rest of our lives! Four of the crew will be returning the boat on January 6th back to Sydney where she will live until we figure out what the next great adventure will be.

    Finally a huge "Thank you" to one and all for the wonderful words of encouragement over the last few weeks. We are overwhelmed by all of your support.

    Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2019 from all onboard Team Joy Ride! Sail safe, go fast and have fun!"

    Follow the J/122E JOYRIDE Team here on Facebook  Follow Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on Facebook hereAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- January 9th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    It was an exciting first week of sailing in the New Year for those participants in the J/70 Winter Series hosted by Davis Island YC in Tampa, Florida.  Starting out with storms and a cold front, the fleet of fifty-six boats enjoyed a gorgeous weekend of racing in northern Tampa Bay. Next up for the J/70 fleet are the Bacardi Miami J/70 Winter Series in Miami, Florida and the YC Monaco J/70 Winter Sportsboat Series in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

    Then, in the middle of next week, the USA offshore season kicks-off with the famous 160.0nm dash around the Florida Keys to Key West, Florida- the Storm Trysail Club’s annual Lauderdale to Key West Race.  A half-dozen offshore J/Teams ranging from a J/92 up to a J/44 are participating in this iconic classic.

    Finally, in the J/Community section below, read about the latest update on the newly launched J/99 offshore doublehanded speedster; Paul Heys from J/U.K. gives us an insider’s perspective on what it is like to sail the newest J/Design off the drawing board.  Also, learn more about sailing J/24s in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, as well as a remarkable husband-wife J/105 team that just swept “Yachtsmen & Yachtswoman Sailor of the Year Awards” at St. Francis YC!
     

    J/70 Monaco Winter Series Act III Preview
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- A total of forty-plus teams will be participating in Act III of the J/70 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, from January 17th to 20th, sailed on Hercules Bay just off the fabulous, majestic, mountainous setting off Monte Carlo. Hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the international contingent of teams from Finland, Denmark, Russia, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Ireland, and France are looking forward to yet another amazing weekend of racing off the famous Principality of Monaco.

    Will the all-Monegasque podium hold together like they did in the first two regattas?  Or, will there be more intense battles for the top of the leaderboard? In the previous event, it was an intense battle between Nico Poons’ CHARISMA (winner of Act II in December), Roberto Stefani’s PICCININA and Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA (winner of Act 1 in November). Perhaps there will be other protagonists that step into the field of battle to tip the results in another direction?!

    In the all-amateur Corinthian J/70 class, it was Swiss sailor Bruno Zeltner’s QUARTER2ELEVEN, a regular at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, that pipped Monegasque Cesare Gabasio’s TINN J70 for the win.  Can the Swiss sailors do it again after a massive New Year’s Celebration and skiing with too much kirsch and delicious cheese fondue in the Swiss Alps?  Time will tell.

    The next events in the five Act J/70 Winter Sportboat Series are:
    • Feb 7-10- Act IV PRIMO Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse XXXV
    • Mar 14-17- Act V Finale
    For more J/70 Monaco Winter Series sailing information
     

    J/70 Bacardi Miami Winter Series Act II Preview
    (Miami, FL)- The first Bacardi Invitational Winter Series took place December 1-2, 2018, on the sparkling aqua-blue waters of Biscayne Bay. A talented fleet of eighteen boats raced the first of the major J/70 Winter Series down in Florida. For Act II of the Bacardi Winter Series, sailing from January 19th to 20th, a slightly larger fleet will be assembled on the Bay, twenty-two boats from across the USA, Great Britain, Cayman Islands, Monaco, Canada, Netherlands, and Italy will be participating in this international regatta.

    Leading contenders for this event will be teams like Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (1st 2016 J/70 Worlds San Francisco), Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY (1st 2017 J/70 Worlds Sardinia), Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY from the Cayman Islands, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from California, Martin Dent’s JELVIS from the United Kingdom, Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-SPOTTINO from YC Monaco in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com.  For more Bacardi Winter Series II sailing information
     

    Ft Lauderdale- Key West Race Preview
    (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The third week of January has traditionally marked the start of the American offshore sailing season. That event is the infamous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port. The Storm Trysail Club and Fort Lauderdale YC host the event. The fleet will start on Thursday, January 17th, at 1000 hrs.

    It is always a challenging race in light or strong breezes as teams are forced to sail in a narrow band of water to avoid the adverse, northerly-flowing, Gulf Stream currents and the precipitous walls of coral on the northern side of the course that are the Florida Keys.

    The race track is simple enough, start off the Ft Lauderdale inlet, then head south to several key turning marks to be left to starboard- 68.0nm to Elbow Key Light, 12.0nm more to Molasses Reef Light, 53.0nm more to Sombrero Key Light, 45.0nm more to Key West Channel buoy #2, then a short 6.0nm sprint north up the channel to the finish off Truman Annex Navy base.  Because of the current off Key West (a channel that seemingly has half the Gulf of Mexico empty through it), the last 6.0nm can often be the most frustrating in the race in an ebb tide and light winds!

    After the first two races, the Nassau Cup Race (from Miami, FL to Nassau, Bahamas) and the Wirth Munroe Memorial Race (from Miami, FL to Palm Beach, FL), the leaderboard has three J/Teams in the top four! Leading is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX. They are followed by the J/92 HILLBILLY in 3rd place, sailed by Brad Stowers from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL. And then, lying in fourth position, is the J/109 HARM’S WAY, sailed by Andy Wescoat from Galveston Bay Cruising Association in Spring, TX!

    Joining them for the this overnight blast around the Keys will be Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG from North Cape YC in Toledo, OH and also Matt Self’s J/105 RUCKUS from Charleston YC in Daniel Island, SC.
    Follow the SORC Series on Facebook here  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information
     

    January Boat Show Announcements!
    (Newport, RI)- The first of the new year’s boat shows will be taking place in two widely disparate locations across the world.

    Chicago Boat Show
    The first event is the Chicago Boat Show in Chicago, Illinois that is running from January 9th to 13th at the famous McCormick Place Pavilions on the south side of the city.  Please make sure to stop by and chat with Midwest J/Dealer Stearns Boating about their plans for the exciting J/99 this summer season on the Great Lakes.  Richie Stearns will be at Booth- S719.  To make an appointment to see him, please contact Richie at phone- (847) 404-2209  or email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For more Chicago Boat Show information

    Dusseldorf Boat Show- Germany
    The next event is the world-famous Dusseldorf Boot Boat Show taking place from January 19th to 27th in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Renowned as one of the major “arts” centers in Europe, it is both a cultural attraction along the gorgeous Rhine River as well as an amazing boat show to attend- the world’s largest by far!

    On-site in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be J/Composites and the European J/Boats team, presenting the latest J/99 offshore speedster, the world champion J/112E sports cruiser, and the world’s most successful sportsboat- the International J/70.  For more 2019 Boot Dusseldorf boat show information
     

    Announcing The 2020 J/80 World Championship!
    (Newport, RI)- The J/80 North American Class Association is pleased to announce that Sail Newport, Newport RI has been selected to host the J/80 2020 World Championships, September 28th to October 3rd, 2020.

    The regatta will be the 10th year anniversary of the epic J/80 Worlds that was held in Newport 2010 and almost 20 years since the very first J/80 Worlds that were also hosted in Newport.

    Mark your calendars now in what is once again expected to be yet another epic, open, J/80 World Championship! Anyone and everyone are welcome to participate in one of the world’s greatest venues for sailing!  Stay tuned for further details announcements on the J/80 North American Class site
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
    Jan 24-27- J/Fest St Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
    Jan 26-28- Festival of Sails- Geelong, Vic, Australia
    Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
    Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
    Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    CATAPULT Wins J/70 Davis Island Winter Series II
    (Tampa, FL)- Fifty-five J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the middle weekend of the 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series. Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT took the victory with 24 points in five races over the two days.

    The weekend started off with great promise from a weather perspective.  Friday was the SAIL22 “Off the Porch Series” that never fully materialized.  An impending frontal system with forecasts for rain, thunder, squalls and gusts to 35 kts did, in fact, roll in around 2:00pm, upsetting the scheduled clinic. Anticipating the storms, many teams opted to get out early to get in some practice.

    Saturday dawned with clearing skies and strong, puffy, northwest winds of 12 to 23 kts, just as forecast.  Not wasting any time, the DIYC Race Committee, PRO, and mark boat teams set out to get racing rolling on time at 10:00am.  After a few general recalls, racing commenced for what turned out to be a glorious day of sailing on northern Tampa Bay (a.k.a. Henderson Bay) just south of the pretty skyline of Tampa. The RC/PRO team managed to run four races in very tactically challenging conditions.  With 20-30 degree windshifts on each leg of the course and massive wind holes and wind streaks, it was easy for teams to gain/lose 10-15 boats per leg!

    At the end of Saturday’s racing, Travis Odenbach’s B-SQUARED team led the fleet with scores of 1-3-1-4 for 9 pts.  Just one point back on the leaderboard were two heavyweight J/70 teams tied at 10 pts each, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT with a 5-2-3-1 record, while Brian Keane’s SAVASANA posted a 3-1-5-2 tally. Interestingly, Ronning fell ill with food poisoning on Saturday morning and did not skipper his boat. Instead, the team scrambled quickly and recruited crewman Chris Stocke’s fiancé from St Petersburg- Wendy Reuss- to step in and skipper the boat for the day; she guided them to a remarkable outcome for someone that had never sailed, much less skippered, a J/70 before!

    Sunday dawned light and fluky from the northeast, again as forecast. After several aborted attempts to get a race going, the DIYC RC/PRO team managed to get a race off that will simply go down in the record books as perhaps the worst light air race imaginable. With winds ranging from 0 to 5 kts (e.g. below the J/70 Class minimum recommended wind speed), and shifting 30 to 60 degrees, and very spotty and very streaky (teams were often seen sailing downwind, at the same angle, on opposite gybes); it was not surprising to see dramatic swings in the final race standings.

    For the one and only race sailed on Sunday, the runaway winner was Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, sailing with a star-studded crew of Tim Healy, and brothers Jay & Jody Lutz (all three are World Champions in various classes). They started at the port end of the line, hooked into a private wind streak, and simply sailed away from the fleet to win by a Texas mile! Not far behind them in 2nd place was Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA- also sailing with a star-studded crew that included World Champion and North American Champions in his crew- Brian Thomas and Willem van Waay.

    As a result of the last race, the now happy and healthy Joel Ronning skippered CATAPULT into a “come from behind” victory on the last downwind leg to post a 13th and win the regatta with 24 points.  The final run, with 0-3 kts of wind, was so sketchy, so streaky, so full of holes, that it was anyone’s game to win. Rounding the last mark, Keane’s SAVASANA was at the top of the fleet, winning the regatta, and leading both B-SQUARED and CATAPULT by over 20 boats. However, “lady luck” was not on their side, falling into a giant hole (more like a vacuum), while his erstwhile competitors gybed away in the middle of the course and sailed around them. In the final tally, CATAPULT won, then Odenbach’s B-SQUARED finished 20th to take 2nd with 29 pts, while the hapless crew on SAVASANA posted a gut-wrenching 22nd to drop into 3rd place on the podium with 33 pts total.

    Rounding out the top five were Downey’s MR PITIFUL in 4th place and Greiner Hobbs’ DARK HORSE in 5th place.

    In the Corinthians Division, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY won, followed by Eddie Keller’s and Billy Lynn’s KEY PLAYER in second, and Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH in third place. Sailing photo credits- Phil Pape Photography
    For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series II sailing information.
     

    LA SUPERBA Crowned Winter J/24 Champion
    (Anzio & Nettuno (Rome), Italy)- This past weekend, the fiercely competitive J/24 Fleet of Rome had a regatta full of fun and lots of racing (eight races in total!) The fleet of twenty-two boats was sailing in their 44th Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno, racing for the Lozzi Trophy.  Winning the regatta was the famous Italian Navy crew on LA SUPERBA, skippered by Ignazio Bonanno with crew of Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro, Alfredo Branciforte, and Francesco Linares; they dominated the regatta with six 1sts and two 4ths.

    “On Saturday, a mistral of 22 knots and a flat sea provided the sailors fabulous conditions for racing,” explained Federico Miccio. “The crews did not seem at all intimidated by the strong wind and, indeed, had fun sailing three demanding races on the first day."

    "On the following day, the scenario was decidedly different. The light wind between 4 and 5 knots oscillated between the Levante and the Sirocco, and then stabilized at Ostro. This allowed the Race Committee to start the racing,” explained Miccio. “A large part of the fleet chose the left-hand side, while the wind was shifting to the right, and very spotty along the race course. It was a challenging day for us and the rest of the fleet.”

    After eight races and two discards, is was Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA crew that eclipsed the fleet with blistering pace and very sharp tactics and boathandling.  Taking second place was the young crew on J-GIUDITTA, skippered by Riccardo Aleandri, Antimo Bruno on tactics, Fulvio Marchionni on bow, and Fabio Di Bartolomeo, Vito Esposito, & Fabiana Onori in the middle. Closing out the podium was Paolo Cecamore’s PELLE NERA.  Rounding out the top five were Michele Potenza’s ARPION (also top woman helm) in fourth position and Massimo Mariotti’s AVOLTORE in fifth place.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    * J/99 Update from Paul Heys of J/UK

    “J/99 #1 is here in Hamble. The boat has the standard single rudder and fixed bowsprit. We took the "all lead" IRC keel option as we like the effect of this keel design on our J/112E GP "Davanti Tyres”. The keel is heavier, deeper, with less drag and more lift.

    We have now sailed the 99 five times, the most breeze was on the launch day.  Offshore on the Solent in 23-25 knots of wind, Dave Lenz on the helm, heated her up and had her sailing at 14 knots under the A2 kite. We were not in race mode, no weight on the rail, with a cockpit full of people fiddling with ropes. So, we know now the new hull shape developed from the 112E, does allow her to get up and go in a manner that just cannot happen on a J/97 in flat water. The loads are a lot less than the J/109.

    The boat is definitely stiff enough; the wider stern boosts the form stability.  The cockpit works well and it feels much more spacious than any of our other J's under 40 feet.

    The boat is definitely targeted at regaining our position on the doublehanded circuit, as well as working with a full crew of six.

    It seems that the optimum set up for doublehanded demands the following:
    • Spacious cockpit
    • Tiller steering
    • Comfortable side deck benches with great cockpit sole footrests
    • Great stability
    • A rudder (or twin rudders) with great grip, with a light balanced feel
    • -ufficient sail area to have decent light weather performance
    • The ability to lead all controls to the helm position including the jib/zero/spinnaker sheet.
    The J/99 gives all of these in a package that is well-mannered and wrapped in a hull shape that has neither excessive beam nor a fat stern with chines. It is no secret that boats with chines are effective in a breeze off-the-wind, but can be very sticky in the light stuff. To win a series, an all-round good performance is very helpful.

    A large part of the doublehanded fleet is sailing with symmetrical spinnakers. Thus, the boat is designed without the normal J retracting sprit. Boats that are equipped with the optional symmetric pole will also have a short fixed prodder to carry a zero or A-sail. I think that of the 34 orders to date, the split is pretty even between the two spinnaker types.

    The length of the standard sprit is sufficient for us to sail down to 168 TWA in 12 knots of breeze and, on a reach, it is long enough to keep the boat balanced.

    There is an option for twin rudders that some folk are very keen to have, having sailed her I am completely happy with the single rudder.  And, in fact, I prefer it for slow speed handling; whether on a light weather start line or docking under power in strong tide or breeze. Blasting across the ocean on autopilot offshore in huge swells in the Trade Winds might be another matter....

    SPI Ouest France on Easter Weekend will be a great opportunity to see how the boat fares in both fully crewed and doublehanded mode.

    We have from North Sails UK a fluoro-yellow A2 of 100M, black A3 of around 90M, and a cable-less code zero.

    Interestingly, we find that the range of the cable-less sail is greater than the one with a cable that we have on the J/112E Davanti Tyres. We were sailing at 145 TWA yesterday in 8 knots of wind. We can see that at times of fluctuating wind speed and direction, this sail might get more use when sailing shorthanded than we had envisaged. We have added a second eye on the sprit and a rope clutch near the bow for the Code Zero tack line. Our second spin halyard will be super low stretch to be used primarily for the Code Zero.

    We have a loaner main and jib from France, made by Technique Voile in La Trinite. They were a perfect fit the first time hoisted. The jib has a very neat soft hank system, which is used by the Figaro fleet, of which Technique Voile boss Fred Duthil is a leading light.

    The alloy mast is a new custom extrusion from AG+. It is designed to have more stiffness than off-the-shelf extrusions. The mast stands up very well, supported by Dyform wire rigging. Neat details include the fact that, as part of the extrusion, there is a combination mainsail luff track that will handle either a boltrope or Antal 40 slides. Mast wiring cables exit above deck which allows a 100% waterproof internal dam to be installed.

    The next public viewing will be at Dusseldorf Boot show in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Swing by and see us at the stand if you want to chat face-to-face!”


    * Local J/24 Knowledge Pays Dividends in Mexico’s Yucatan!

    “Until the 1950’s and 60’s when Yucatán was linked by rail and road, respectively, with the rest of Mexico, it traded by sea more with the USA, Cuba, Caribbean, and even Europe. It is home to one of the largest indigenous populations in Mexico, the Mayan people. Mérida is its capital city, and it is part of the Yucatán peninsula. This is all to say yes, Yucatán is part of Mexico, but it is a world unto its own.

    I made my way back to Yucatán Friday for my second year documenting (and sailing with) this enthusiastic new fleet which began just a few years ago, when El Capitan Jorge Ojeda convinced his friends to start racing one-design. They have captured my imagination for their casual determination to grow a fleet without scholastic programming or access to competitors. New to the fleet this year was Janko, a club boat named in memory of Jacobo Sosa, an active fleet member who died this spring. She was crewed by school-aged kids representing the youngest group of Yucatán sailors. The fleet is looking to add another club boat in 2019.

    Current J/24 US class president Chip Till flew in to lead a rules and tuning clinic preceding the regatta. In its second year, the format consists of a clinic on Saturday, a Christmas boat parade of lights, and the regatta on Sunday.

    With average December temperatures of 82°/ 69° F, it makes for a very good J/24 winter weekend. While Till stayed closer to the front of the pack and one of the fleets leaders Tomás Dutton, I sailed with the crew of X’kau (Mayan for blackbird), who kept yelling “perro” to my confusion as I connected the associated following action.

    They later explained they took this term from the Hobie class that once thrived there, who used it because a cam cleat “bites” like a dog. Applied linguistics will never stop being the most fun part of intercultural sailing to me. When he wasn’t expertly trimming, Till had fun with it, too.

    My other favorite part outside of the sailing is the food.

    Homemade horchata is one of the million gastronomic perks of Yucatan casual dining. No better way to put back a fresh cochinita roll for a pre-regatta breakfast of champions. I also ate grasshopper doused in hot sauce and lime from a beach vendor bought by one of our hosts- Ignacio “Nacho” Ponce Manzanilla, the man behind Yucatán’s yachting growth, although Nacho said grasshopper wasn’t local. On a weekend with shifty, often low, and challenging winds, it was great to enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

    Sailing took place off Progreso, a port originally planned for fishing and tourism and now the largest exporter of octopus and scaled fish in Mexico.  As a result, the J/24 Yucatán class is geographically isolated from the nation’s only other J/24 fleet, the established and skilled sailors in Valle de Bravo. The J/24 sailors of Yucatán could just as easily reach Miami to compete, which is to say they can’t reach either place easily. This creates national level friction as they work to create competitive opportunities outside themselves. J/24 Yucatán cannot easily come to its competitors, but urge its competitors to come enjoy racing in Yucatán.

    After 25 years of a yacht club with no facility, Club de Yates de Yucatán has a home a block from the beach now, surrounded by marinas, and is at work to secure a hoist and ideal water access. The world’s longest pier creates an artificial harbor for their course, buffering prevailing northeast winds to create year round ideal conditions. That’s not to say it never blows from the northwest. Once a month or so, including this weekend for the final in the annual Regata de Amigos series, a “chikinic” (Mayan for “northwestern wind”) blows in and challenges the sailors on the race course.

    J/24 Yucatán are organizing a team for 2019 Charleston Race Week, and planning other efforts to connect with the international J/24 community. Proof that being isolated does not have to mean being alone.” Thanks for contribution from SailingAnarchy.com- Anarchist Heather.  Learn more about J/24 Yucatan here

    * St Francis YC Sailors of the Year- Two J/105 Sailors!

    The St. Francis Yacht Club Sailor of the Year is a member who, through dedication and persistence, achieved excellence as an amateur skipper and/or crew in the sport of yacht racing.  For 2018, the award went to Bruce Stone, a past Rolex Big Boat Series winner, Rolex Block Island Race Week winner, and J/105 North American Champion.

    In addition to a busy season racking up wins sailing J/105s across the USA, Bruce Stone also chaired the US Match Racing Championship Committee, organized the 2019 Nations Cup Match Racing finals to be held at St Francis YC in April 2019, and continues to chair multiple StFYC regattas. Congratulations Bruce Stone!

    Coincidentally, it was Bruce’s crew and wife- Nicole Breault- that was awarded the StFYC Yachtswoman of the Year, recognizing her for a woman member’s contribution to the sport of yachting!

    Nicole continues to be an amazing sailor and supporter of the Club, running learn-to-sail and learn-to-match-race clinics that are getting more women out on the water.  In addition to adding to her own podium moments in both match racing and J/105 fleet racing, she’s been an important role model in motivating women to improve their skills and lose their fear of taking responsibility on board. She’s the #1 Woman Match Racer in the USA for the third year in a row, and #6 in the Women’s World Match Racing rankings! She’ll be representing the Club at the 2019 Nations Cup, which will be held at StFYC in April 2019. Congratulations Nicole Breault!
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Sailing for Life in Better Sailboats

Sailing is the ultimate freedom, the experience of being at one with nature and the sea, powered only by the wind and one's imagination. It's one of the few "life sports" that offers both a relaxing escape as well as an invigorating challenge. You pick your level of comfort and excitement. Sailing is never the same twice - each time on the water with your sailboat is a unique adventure that can enrich friendships, strengthen family ties, and refresh one's own sense of well-being. How many other outdoor activities can be shared with three or more family generations?  It's been said there are two types of sailors in the world - the young and the young-at-heart.

What a Difference a J Makes

Fulfilling those sailing dreams starts with finding a sailboat that fits you - whether you aspire to sail close to home, cruise to distant shores, or take up the challenge of competitive sailing. Performance differences between sailboats are greater than differences between golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis or cars. A well-designed sailboat, like a good sports car, is an extension of its owner. It could take years of sailing other boats to learn the difference that good design and quality make to one's sailing enjoyment. Or, you can save time and take advantage of what we've designed into every "J."

J/121 Offshore Speedster for 5 or fewer Crew

J/121 offshore speedster sailing off Newport The J/121 is a 40’ offshore speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by just 5 or fewer crew…. the best short-handed J ever…. capable of winning on any race track while also excelling in daysailing and weekend mode. J/121 redefines offshore sailboat racing as a recreation and shared adventure with friends - fulfilling the growing need to simplify life and reconnect with those you really want to sail with on a boat that’s pure magic to sail. Learn more about J/121 here.

Elegance, Comfort & Style- J/112E

J112E 01 19986J/112E is the newest “E” Series of sport-cruising yachts.  An Evolution of Elegant performance cruising design. This dual- purpose 36 footer has a spacious two-cabin layout and a roomy, comfortable,  cockpit.  Perfect for the annual club cruise, offshore racing or short-handed blue-water sailing.  Learn about J/112E here.

A Family-friendly One-Design & Daysailer - J/88

J88 SolarSailer cockpit 001 18209The J/88 combines big boat feel with sportsboat-like acceleration.  Add a weekend interior, inboard head, engine and huge cockpit and you have a versatile 29 footer.  Blistering upwind speed of 6.5 kts and trailblazing speed offshore means smiles all around as you collect both the silverware and priceless sailing memories. Learn more about J/88 here.

J/70 - The Sportboat Changing Sailing

J70 spin08 redThe J/70 speedster is a fun, fast, stable, 22 footer that can be towed behind a small SUV and ramped launched and rigged by two people.  J/70 sails upwind like her larger sibling (the J/80) and off the wind she simply flies - planing fast in moderate winds. With 1,400+ boats delivered worldwide, the choice is clear. Learn more about J/70 here.

J/Sailing Gear For 2019

JGear marquee 2018Look great this season in J sailing apparel. Check out the comfortable and fashionable sailing clothing, tech shirts, polo shirts, sailing jackets and sailing hats at the J/Sailing Gear site. Also backpacks, totes, J battleflags and other fun items like half-model sailboats are available as gifts and trophies. 

J/Gear is fully customizable to your needs.  When you order, you can specify just about anything you wish, including boat name, boat type, yacht club, hailing port, etc.  Please be sure to visit our store here.

Upcoming Sailing Events

Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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