• 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
     

    J/Community
    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
    -----------
     
    * 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!
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/Newsletter- January 2nd 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    Happy New Year to “J” sailors, owners, family, and friends!  May you all enjoy a fun, joyous, and successful 2019! Time to go sailing!

    The New Year is starting off quickly for members of the “J” community on a number of fronts.  The new J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster was launched at Hamble Yacht Services on the Hamble River in England over the holidays. The latest report indicates that she’s a beauty, sails extremely fast off the wind, and is quite powerful upwind. After an enormously successful debut in the Paris Boat Show in December, she will also be present at the Dusseldorf boot Boat show in January.

    The J/70 class is starting off quickly, with a large turnout for the Davis Island Winter Series Act II this coming weekend. Then, the following weekend, two more take place; the YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series ACT IV in Monte Carlo, Monaco and the Bacardi Winter Series Act II in Miami, FL. Many of those teams participating are hoping to participate in the 2019 J/70 World Championship that will be sailed in Torquay, England- check out which U.K. team won their season-long series to get an idea of how serious they are taking the event as hosts!

    In the J/Community section below, read about the amazing journey that led an American J/122E from the Pacific Northwest to sail in the famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race after Christmas, starting on Boxing Day off Sydney, Australia.
     

     
    J/99 Speedster Launched!
    (Hamble, England)- After the Paris Boat Show in December, the brand new J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster was transported to the United Kingdom where she was commissioned and launched by Hamble Yacht Services in Hamble, England over the holidays.

    J/99 #1 will be sailing on the Southampton Water and the Solent for the next few months. So far, her debut has impressed all those who have sailed her to date! She is a very powerful, fast boat upwind, according to Fred Bouvier from J/Composites in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. And, Paul Heys from J/U.K. remarked on her amazing turn of speed downwind under the big screaming yellow A2 asymmetric spinnaker shown here- hitting 11.7 kts on a reach in 18.9 kts of TWS while sailing as double-handed team; should be quick offshore!

    Meanwhile, hull #2 splashed over the holidays in Brittany, France for some end-of-the-year sailing. To kick off 2019, the J/99 will be displayed at the Dusseldorf “boot” Show in Germany from January 19-27.

    The first boat to North America will arrive in Rhode Island in February and be commissioned for an early season (March) launch. The J/99 will make its North American boat show debut at the Pacific Sail Show in Richmond, CA, April 4-17, 2019.

    Please contact Paul Heys at J/U.K. for an opportunity to take her for a demo sail on the Solent (United Kingdom)- phone- +44-23-8045-5669 or email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Learn more about the J/99 Offshore Speedster here
     

    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.

    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

    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
     

    J/70 Davis Island Winter Series II Preview
    (Tampa, FL)- Will the Russian BOGATYRS be coming back again to defend their title after winning the first event back in December? Or, will the prospect of elevated levels of competition in the new year spook them as they beat a retreat back to less competitive classes?  Time will tell!

    Forty-seven teams competed in the first event in early December.  It was gorgeous the first day, but a massive frontal system rolled through on the Sunday and eliminated any chances of sailing.  The forecast for this weekend’s event looks significantly more promising.  While a front is scheduled to move through from Friday to Saturday, the southerly winds shifting into the northerly quadrants on Sunday at least promise a full slate of racing for both days.

    While Igor Rytov's Russian BOGATYRS earned the overall victory, Greiner Hobbs' DARK HORSE was second, and Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING was third. In the face of daunting new competition, can they repeat that performance?  Or, will a new “dark horse” emerge and beat everyone round the track to the finish?

    On that note, several new teams will be in the mix, like World Champion Joel Ronning on CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; Bill Draheim’s PONY from Rush Creek YC in Dallas, TX; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Boston, MA; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, TX.   For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series II sailing information
     

    Introducing J/70 Harken SnubbAIR!
    (Pewaukee, WI)- Yes, the rumors you hear are true.  The new Harken SnubbAIR for the J/70 has become class legal worldwide and you may order it today from Harken dealers in the USA or Europe.

    At first glance, the new J/70 Harken SnubbAIR looks like a smaller, more efficient and comfortable version of the winch it replaces. That’s true. Plus, SnubbAIR weighs less than half of the Harken B8A plain top it is designed to replace and is 30% lower to the deck.

    If you elect to install the available insert, you can crank it with any winch handle.  There’s just one thing: It’s not technically a winch.

    SnubbAIR is designed to function like an aggressive ratcheting deck-mounted block. Its wide drum provides lots of line-holding power- much like the monster “air drums” you see on Maxi 100s. And, mechanical advantage can come from the winch handle. But, SnubbAIR trades the height and the weight of a traditional winch gearing for two races of Delrin® ball bearings, which assure that it operates with very little friction, and ratchet mechanics for sheet control. Like a block, it requires no maintenance beyond washing its bearings with soap and water.

    “Give credit to J/Boats. They wanted to keep the winches to maintain the ability for mixed and different sized crews to continue to sail the boat at a high level. They recognized that some form of load holding assistance was necessary. They requested we look into alternatives. Ultimately that brought us to SnubbAIR,” commented Harken’s Jim Anderson.

    SnubbAIR comes complete with four integral pre-mounted threaded studs to match the bolt pattern of the B8A winch on the J/70 deck. An installation test proved that, start-to-finish, swapping out both winches for SnubbAIR takes less than 10 minutes. All washers and Nylok® nuts required for mounting are included.   Watch Harken’s J/70 SnubbAIR install video here

    “We sailed with a test batch of SnubbAIR late last summer. Our initial reaction was, great!” said Ed Furry, President of SAIL22 and an active J/70 class participant as an owner and supplier to the class. “Getting over the SnubbAIR in a tack is much easier. It’s significantly lower. And then you notice the nice, rounded lip on top. It’s going to make a big difference to the cockpit crews.”  See Ed’s J/70 SnubbAIR video review here
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    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.

    2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam Champion is DSP!

    DSP was presented with both trophies at the J/70 UK Class Dinner that was held at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London. L-R Doug Struth, Lauren Mead, Dan Schieber (J/70 UK Class/Louay Habib)

    Doug Struth & Geoff Carveth's DSP is the 2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam Champion scoring the best result in both the Corinthian and Open Divisions for the season. The total score for the nine-regatta championship was calculated by the best five results, including the J/70 UK Nationals that was non-discardable. DSP scored the best net points from any team in both the Corinthian and Open Divisions by the finest of margins. Clive Bush's Darcey was the top team in the Open Division, just a single point behind DSP. Ian Wilson & Marshall King's Soak Racing was the runner up in the Corinthian Division, also just one point behind DSP. Martin Dent's Jelvis made the podium for the Open Class, and Fiona Hampshire's Elizabeth was third in the Corinthian Class.

    “The racing has been so close all season, and we got the rub of the green with the weather especially in the last regatta. We have a relatively light weight team, so we tend to do well in light airs, which was quite often during the season,” commented Doug Struth. “We are absolutely delighted to win the Grand Slam, but the J/70 UK Class has a lot of work to do if we are going to be successful at the J/70 World Championship in Tor Bay next summer. We know that the teams coming from abroad will be extremely strong.”   UK Nationals J/70 sailing video action from VR Sport Media.

    The J/70 UK Class will continue to train during the winter months, with organized clinics in the Solent and overseas. 2019 will be a massive year for the J/70 UK Class. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club is looking forward to welcoming the J/70 Class to Torquay for the 2019 J/70 World Championship: August 29th to September 6th 2019. The 2018 J/70 UK Grand Slam series provided qualification slots for the first 20 UK teams.  For more details about the J/70 UK Class.   Like & Share the J/70 Worlds Facebook page here   For more 2019 J/70 World Championship sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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    * The J/122E JOYRIDE Goes for the ride of a lifetime!

    Considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world, the 628.0nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is an annual event hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, starting in Sydney, New South Wales and finishing in Hobart, Tasmania. A total of eighty-nine yachts participated in the 74th edition of the race.

    A trio of J/crews sailed in this year’s event, including the J/133 PATRIOT (Jason Close from Sandringham YC with crew of Lex O’Connor, Jack Fullerton, Jordan Sunkel-Lozell, Marissa Chalkley, Pete Chalkley, Stuart Moseley, Graeme Smith, Alister Greenwood, Cath Furey, & Greg Coutts.  In addition, the J/122 JACKPOT from Sydney was also sailing with crew of Robert Hale, Matt Gooden, Antoine Martin, Michael Westaway, Piergiorgio Merli, Robert Watson, Harry Atkinson, Antonio Zanin, and Mark Goode.

    And, then there were the Americans(!).  Sailing in a “bucket list” event for the entire crew, the J/122E JOYRIDE from Seattle, WA was sailed by her owner John Murkowski from Seattle YC, with navigator Bron Miller, and crew of Quill Goldman, Alexander Fox, Maaike Pen, Robin Slieker, Byron Meseroll, Erik Sjogren.

    JOY RIDE has been sailing the Pacific Northwest for the past three seasons in both buoy and long distance races. The team consists of US and Canadian sailors. The crew is dedicated to the adventure of sailing, sharing the same passions and race by the catch phrase: “be safe, have fun and go fast!”

    When one thinks of serious Corinthian-level offshore ocean racing, four signature events come to mind, namely the Newport Bermuda Race, the Fastnet Race, the Transpac Race and the Sydney Hobart. While these races vary in length from roughly 600 to 2,000-plus nautical miles, they are all time-honored contests that test skippers’ and crews’ abilities to prepare, train and execute as a team, usually in the face of challenging offshore conditions. And, while all four of these races have delivered their share of nasty weather over the years, the Sydney Hobart Race unfurls on the historically roughest patch of water and, as a result, has developed a bit of a matching reputation for nastiness.

    That said, it’s tough to beat “The Hobart” when it comes to dramatic race courses, beginning with the race’s iconic Boxing Day start (December 26th) in Sydney Harbor, followed by the long run south along the coast and the crossing of Bass Straight, a place where the seafloor rises much closer to ocean surface, often creating big waves.

    Once across Bass Straight, racers pass the iconic “Organ Pipes” at Tasmania’s Cape Raoul, and then make a final push up the Derwent River to the finish line and, depending on when one finishes racing, the start of some well-deserved New Year’s celebrations.

    While all participating sailors must negotiate these same conditions and race course challenges, North American sailors have a significantly higher hill to climb, given their antipodean position relative to the starting line. This, in turn, requires a significantly higher level of planning, boat preparation and crew commitment, as well as the confidence to take on an entirely new course and challenge the Aussies at a game that they invented, and which they play at an incredibly high level.

    Enter John Murkowski, the owner and skipper of the well-sailed, Seattle-based J/122E JOY RIDE, and the lone American-flagged entry in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. While Murkowski and JOY RIDE are no strangers on Puget Sound’s sailing scene, they first made international news by winning the Vic-Maui 2018 race on corrected time. Impressive, yes, but even more so given this was Murkowski’s and JOY RIDE’s first Vic-Maui race.

    Sound like a familiar challenge?  SAIL-WORLD.com caught up with John prior to the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race.

    Joy Ride on her home waters of Puget Sound - photo © Nick Callanan

    What was your impetus to travel Down Under and compete in the Sydney-Hobart?

    Three years ago, we sat down and outlined a race plan for the program. In addition to our normal local races, we wanted to add a significant challenge event to each year.

    Two years ago, that event was the Van Isle 360. The Van Isle is a two-week stage race with a mix of one-day races and multi-day races around Vancouver Island. It has every challenge you would want from racing, with inland island-driven wind, huge currents associated with the meeting of flows around the island and a huge offshore component with three multi-day races on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

    After winning the Van Isle, we set our sights on the Vic Maui race from Victoria Canada, to Maui, Hawaii this last July. The spacing of the races allowed us to upgrade the boat to new safety requirements, train the crew and optimize our sailing plan.

    The Vic Maui was a 13+ day race for us with unique conditions comprising 10 days of upwind beating (highly unusual wind conditions), large winds and sea states as a tropical storm collided with the normal Pacific high, days of light-wind frustration and a final three days of riding the trade-wind craziness.

    We corrected over our competition and became the first boat to ever win both the Van Isle 360 and the Vic Maui races (and hold both titles at the same time as they run in off years). With the boat in Hawaii already it seemed like the best opportunity we would ever have to enter the Sydney Hobart.

    Sailing is a big part of the Pacific Northwest [experience] and it feels great to be only the fourth boat from [Seattle] to ever make the effort to get to the Sydney Hobart. It felt like a shame to just sail her back home [from Maui] when there was new water and new adventures waiting farther ahead.

    There are other great races to do and we are already to start planning for what will happen after Sydney. We’re beginning to like the idea of shipping the boat to the Atlantic and competing in some of the iconic races available there.

    My end goal is to race across the oceans against the best competition available, and to never have to sail the boat back home.

    How long have you had the boat, and what other big events have you done with it?

    I ordered the boat new four years ago and had it built to my specifications by J/Composites in France. My father and I did the final inspection in their yard and then we had it shipped here to Seattle.

    Since then, we have done hundreds of local races with her including the Vic Maui, Van Isle 360, multiple Swiftsures, Southern Straits, Center Sound Series, Winter Sound Series, Around the County etc. We have steadily been able to improve as we have learned the boat, replaced all of the systems with our own and I’m excited to see what this crew can do with her.

    Joy Ride on her home waters of Puget Sound - photo © Jan's Marine Photography

    Can you tell us about your Sydney Hobart preparations? What, if any modifications did you have to do to the boat to get ready? Any new sails? Also, had you already accomplished a lot of this work before the 2018 Vic-Maui, or has the Sydney Hobart race been an entirely new chapter for the boat?

    We rode the boat hard in the Vic Maui and had to spend a month in a yard in Hawaii getting her back to pre-start form. The Vic-Maui is a Cat 0 race and, as such, has additional safety requirements than Sydney Hobart, so the boat is very well-prepared for the race.

    There are some different versions of requirements than what we have already met, so we are currently getting her back to race form after the sail from Hawaii to Sydney (more damage). Our sail [inventory] has been very extensive from the start. We did add a new main sail for the Vic-Maui and a new A5 but, otherwise, she has been built to race for several years.

    Are you sailing with the same crew that you raced to Hawaii with? Also, what kind of training and crew preparations/safety courses have you guys been doing to get ready for the Boxing Day bash?

    We have had the same crew for several years, with dozens and dozens of races together. Half the crew did the sail from Hawaii to Sydney and is there now working on the boat. We have all had our safety-at-sea course, multiple first aid certificates etc. We believe we are well prepared for what is coming; but we’ll see.

    Has anyone onboard ever done the race before, or will this be a first-time experience for all involved?

    Just like Vic-Maui, we do not have any [crewmembers who] have done the race before. We discussed this at length prior to the Vic-Maui as some of competing boats had 30-40 races under their belts when you combined their crew experience. In the end, we decided that the continuity of the crew trumped the addition of a new crew member with prior race experience.

    Joy Ride on the starting line of the 2018 Swiftsure Race - photo © Image courtesy of John Murkowski/Joy Ride Collection

    What aspects of the race are you most looking forward to? The start? Bass Strait? The Organ Pipes?

    I love the starts of big races. For us around here, the start of Swiftsure every year is the highlight with over a hundred boats, the Canadian Navy (committee boat), bands and crowds on shore etc. I’ve watched every Sydney Hobart race I can, and I’m most looking forward to the entirety of the start and the excitement that comes with that many people, preparation and energy coming together.

    What are your personal and team goals for this race?

    Joy Ride has always operated on three goals that I learned long ago as a mountain guide: Be Safe, Go Fast, Have Fun.

    As long as we stick to those goals in that order, our individual and collective goals will be accomplished. The results will be what they are.

    In the mountains it could never be just about the summit as the mountain didn’t always allow you to get there. It was always about the journey and the people you choose to share it with. I think this race like all of our recent races will also be about the journey and the people we get to share it with.

    Joy Ride and her bigger J/Boat sister JAM, a J/160, battle for position - photo © Jan's Marine Photography

    What are your post-Hobart plans? Will you stick around Oz and do some cruising, or will you and the boat be headed back to Puget Sound?

    I have twins due a few weeks after the race and will be flying home ASAP to make sure I’m around for their births. The boat will stay in Sydney until our next race plans are determined. The current plan, assuming the twins are settled down, is to ship the boat [to the UK] in time to compete in the 2019 Fastnet.

    Anything else that you’d like to add, for the record?

    It has been a great experience already with the local race organization being incredibly helpful and accommodating of our transit from Seattle and welcoming us into Sydney. I wasn’t able to participate with my crew in the delivery to Sydney and, as such, haven’t been on my own boat since finishing the Vic-Maui. I’m very much looking forward to being back on the helm with the crew of Joy Ride.
    Thanks for the contribution from SAIL-WORLD News.   A few comments from the owner of J/122 "Joyride" prior to the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race   For more Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race sailing information
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  • J/Newsletter- December 12th, 2018 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    Two of the more prominent winter series around the world started in the past fortnight. The first to get rolling was the eponymous J/70 Monaco Winter Sportboat Series, hosted by the spectacular Royal YC Monaco in Monte Carlo from the end of November 2018 to March 2019, a five-event series that has over 50 teams participating. Simultaneously, the Davis Island YC hosted the first of its three-event series on Tampa Bay for a series that will also see over 50 teams sailing over the winter months.

    In China, the Xiamen Sailing Club hosted the annual Asian J/80 Championship in Xiamen Harbor, China for eight nations from across the region. For the four-day, 11-race event, teams participated from eight nations; including Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, India, USA, Canada, and China.

    Over in the Americas, the Storm Trysail Club and its multiple sailing club partners have started their SORC “Islands in the Stream” offshore series. The first event was the classic SORC Nassau Cup Race from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau, Bahamas. The second race was the Wirth Munroe Memorial Palm Beach Race. Three J/teams (a J/92, J/109, and J/44) were happily collecting some silverware offshore.

    Finally, the beautiful navy-blue J/160 AVATAR is back in the Caribbean at St John’s, U.S. Virgin Islands. Read the update below from her owners- Alan & Julie Fougere.
     

     
    J/121 Wins “Performance Yacht” @ British Yachting Awards!
    (London, England)- For the first time this year, Sailing Today teamed up with presenting partner MUSTO and sister magazine Yachts & Yachting to bring you the British Yachting Awards, truly a celebration of every aspect of the sailing world – from Caribbean cruising to high tech racing.

    In the Performance Yacht Category, there were over a dozen boats under consideration.  The sailing public voted in the United Kingdom and winning the Performance Yacht Category was the J/121 offshore speedster!  Here is what Y&Y/ Sailing Today had to say about the J/121.

    “J/Boats reckons its J/121 is the best short-handed racer the company has built.  The 40-footer is designed to be sailed by five or fewer crew, which J reckon- and we agree- makes life a whole lot easier for racing skippers fed-up with rounding up 8 or 10 bodies every time they want to compete.

    She looks the part too, boasting low, sleek lines and an easy to use cockpit with everything at hand- features that clearly proved popular with voters.

    There is an 840-liter water ballast system built-in to compensate for extra crew bodies lined-up along the rail, and the low drag hull offers straight-line speed with high form stability.

    There’s a standard suite of five sails plus the usual J/Boats retractable jib, and thanks to a comfortable fit-out down below, the J/121 is an ocean-capable racer that also functions beautifully as an adventurous daysailer, weekender, or fast cruiser. Sailing photo credit- Rick Tomlinson.  Learn more about the British Yachting Awards 2018 here.   Learn more about the J/121 Offshore Speedster here
     

     
    J/99 World Debut @ Paris Show
    (Paris, France)- The much anticipated introduction of the extraordinary J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster will be taking place at the famous “Salon Nautique”- a.k.a. the Paris International Boat Show- this coming week from December 8th to 16th at the Port de Versailles on the south side of Paris. The J/99 will be on display in Hall 1/ Stand 1 G62.  For more Salon Nautique Paris boat show information   Learn more about the J/99 Offshore Speedster here
     

    Order Your Gorgeous 2019 J/Calendar Now!
    (Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.

    For 2019, we have created another beautiful calendar for J/Sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

    The 2019 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- St Petersburg (Russia), British Virgin Island, St Barths, Chicago, France, Italy, Chile, Ireland, Germany, and Spain.  See the gorgeous photo gallery and order your 2019 J/Calendar here
     

    2019 J/80 U.K. National Champs Announcement
    (Lymington, England)- Lymington, the home town of the biggest and most active J/80 fleet in the UK, will once again host the United Kingdom’s J/80 National Championship. Twenty J/80s are based there!

    The Royal Lymington Yacht Club, which hosted the extremely successful 2016 and 2018 Championships, is the natural choice for the 2019 J/80 Nationals venue that will be sailed on the western end of the Solent.

    Demonstrating their proficiency and enthusiasm, the club has already appointed a Race Officer for the event and set about assembling a world-class team.

    The regatta will take place from Saturday, August 24th to Monday, August 26th, taking advantage of the bank holiday weekend in the U.K.  For more J/80 U.K. National Championship sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France
    Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    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.

    CHARISMA Tops J/70 Monaco Winter Series- Act II
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- With sea and air temperatures of 18°C (65.0 F) it was like spring for the thirty-two J/70 contestants in Act II of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.

    Four races were completed under blue skies on a flat sea with 12 knots of wind for the J/70s on the first day. A forecast of Force 8/9 in the Mediterranean for Sunday meant there was no racing on the last day, with everyone happy to see the prize-giving brought forward.

    Finns, Danes, Russians, Brazilians, English, Germans and, of course, Italians descended on the Principality to take advantage of the mild Mediterranean winter conditions to train and compete on the race area that will host the J/70 Worlds in 2021, organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco.

    It was an international field, but an all-Monegasque podium. It was an intense battle between Nico Poons’ CHARISMA, Roberto Stefani’s PICCININA and Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA (winner of Act 1 in November). Despite winning two races with ease, Ludovico Fassitelli was 3rd just behind Roberto Stefani, making his return to the class with a new team and tactics by France’s no.1 Laser sailor Jean-Baptiste Bernaz.

    But, the most consistent was Nico Poons, fresh from his triumph on the 2018 RC44 World Series circuit, whose bold tactics on the start lines placed CHARISMA in the best position in the race area to take the first step on the podium.

    In the all-amateur Corinthian J/70 class, it was Swiss sailor Bruno Zeltner’s QUARTER2ELEVEN, a regular at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, who pipped Monegasque Cesare Gabasio’s TINN J70 to the post by one point to win it.

    Third place in the Corinthian J/70 category went to Claudio Canaccini, leading a team of youngsters from the Yacht Club Italiano, who was racing on one of the YC Monaco Sports Section’s J/70s loaned to them by the YCM. It is all part of the Monaco club’s policy to boost exchanges between clubs twinned with the YCM through its Youth Offshore Academy.

    The next events in the five Act series are:
    • Jan 17-20- Act III
    • 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
     

    Russians Win Asian J/80 Champs!
    (Xiamen, China)- The local sailing club in Xiamen, China hosted the 2018 edition of the Asian J/80 Championship for a fleet of twenty-six boats from across the greater Asian region representing eight nations; including Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, India, USA, Canada, and China.

    This was the first time the J/80 Class was properly enforcing the rules in the Asian market. There were four days of measurement before the event, weighing boats, measuring sails, weighing crew and completing a proper safety check. During the measurement days, teams also got some nice practice time.

    The weather in the days leading up to the event was perfect shorts and t-shirt weather. However, thereafter it was a bit cooler on race days.

    Day 1
    It was awesome racing on day one, with two races sailed in a steady 18-22 knots of wind. Hull 10 came out to race on this day, starting with two bullets. This Chinese team was comprised of junior professional Chinese national sailors; their skipper was the Chinese National 470 Champion. The 2nd to 5th place boats were not so consistent, giving the Chinese Youth team a nice lead in the standings to start the series.

    Day 2
    With an earlier start and a few knots less wind then the day before, the race committee was able to complete four races. There was no dominant winner of the day, with four different boats getting first place.  As a result, that outcome narrowed the overall points for the first four boats (Russian team, Chinese National team, Australian Team, and Xiamen University Team).

    Day 3
    Following the trend of the first two days, the fleet was again blessed with good breeze, but just a few knots less than the day before. This time, it was the Russian’s turn. The Russian team from the Seventh Fleet YC (members of the Russian Navy in Vladivostok, eastern Russia) brought their “A” game and pulled off three 1sts and a 4th!

    Day 4
    The last day of racing needed only one race to complete the series. The boats went out to the starting line with very little wind. Consequently, the RC hoisted the “AP” flag for about thirty minutes to wait for a gentle breeze to build along the shore.  Soon, the fleet started with a light northerly breeze with the current helping everyone to windward and against them down wind. In this area of Xiamen Bay, you can see 1-2 knots of current sailing in the open waters off the harbor. Unfortunately, the breeze shut off for a bit when the boats all reached Mark one.  So, the race became a bit of a restart. But, when the breeze came back, it lasted for the complete race, which was a windward-leeward twice around.

    The organizers supplied two judge boats for this event with two International Judges and Jim Johnstone as the third Judge and in charge of the technical measuring process. With on the water judging, the sailors were all able to enjoy the nights off in Xiamen, with a great opening ceremony and plenty of nightlife to be had in the city!

    The final results saw the team from eastern Russia- the TEAM EVOLUTION TIGER- win the regatta with four bullets in their scoreline of eleven races for a 26 pts net total.  Second was the XIAMEN UNIVERSITY TEAM with 30 pts net and rounding out the podium with the bronze was the SEAMO RACE TEAM from Australia with 44 pts net.

    Overall, the J/80 teams were very pleased with the venue and the class is already in the planning stages for the next Asian Championships to be held in Qingdao next September 2019. The Chinese J/80 Class Association is holding the event in venues where they can see continued growth in the local J/80 fleets. The goal is a simple one- get more boats to participate than last year. The 2019 target is a lofty one-> 40+ boats in Qingdao, site of the Chinese Sailing Olympics in 2008!
     

    J/44 Wins Palm Beach “Race to the Buffet”!
    KENAI Leads SORC Islands In the Stream Series
    (Palm Beach, FL)- Elapsed time records fell in the Sailfish Club of Florida’s 62nd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race to Palm Beach, the second event of the 2018-19 SORC Islands in the Stream Series- the fabled Miami to Palm Beach “Race to the Buffet” wrapped up with one of the best feasts in sailing. Twenty-eight teams raced in near-perfect conditions on a new two-course format that started on December 7 in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    “We are delighted that this year’s race was a success at every level and encouraged that the excitement around our event reflects the growing momentum in the South Florida racing scene,” said Wirth Munroe Event Chair, Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club.

    “We had records broken, spectacular weather, a diverse fleet across a broad spectrum that included veterans and newcomers alike, and the wonderful post-race camaraderie that has made the Wirth Munroe Race such a special event.”

    In last Friday’s second event of the 2018-2019 Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC), Chris and Karen Lewis’s Texas-based J/44 KENAI won the race Palm Beach.

    Their first overall finish in ORC scoring paired with their 4th overall finish in last month’s first event of the SORC, the Miami-Nassau Race, puts them in first place Overall in the standings for the SORC Islands in the Stream Series.

    With 12 to 15 kts easterly breezes, race managers opted for ORC’s Triple Number Coastal/ Long Distance scoring model for medium wind conditions, resulting in close finishing scores for the leaders in the fleet. After six-plus hours of sailing the 60-mile course, KENAI’s victory was only 5 min 27 sec on corrected time over another Texan team, Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY (who are lying in 4th overall in the series, just one point away from third).

    Taking 5th place in ORC was the J/92 HILLBILLY sailed by Bradley Stowers.  Combined with their 3rd in the Nassau Cup Race, they are now sitting in the third spot on the overall leaderboard.

    The next race, the classic Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race starts Thursday, January 17, 2019 south of Port Everglades. Another Conch Grinder Race and party at the First Flight Island Restaurant and Brewery (formerly Kelly’s Caribbean) are on the agenda for the weekend.

    The SORC Islands in the Stream Series consists of these five events:
    • Nov 15 – Nassau Cup Ocean Race
    • Dec 7 – Wirth M. Munroe Invitational Race
    • Jan 17 – Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race
    • Jan 27 – Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race
    • Mar 13 – Miami to Havana Race
    Follow the SORC Islands In The Stream Series on Facebook   For more SORC Islands in the Stream Series sailing information
     

    “The Russians Are Coming!”
    Not Subs, But J/70s @ Tampa Winter Series!
    (Tampa, FL)- Forty-seven J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the first weekend of the 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series. Conditions on Saturday were sunny and warm with winds at 6-8 knots, allowing three races.

    The passage of a cold front on Sunday brought rain and storms through Tampa Bay, keeping teams ashore.  By 12:45pm the weather conditions had not improved enough to warrant a lifting of the harbor postponement, so the “AP over A” code flags were flown, signaling the end of the day and the regatta for the weekend.

    Igor Rytov's Russian BOGATYRS earned the overall victory with scores of 7-2-4 for 13 points. Greiner Hobbs' DARK HORSE placed second with 16 points, and Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING followed in third with 18 points.

    The 14-boat Corinthian division was topped by Bob Willis' RIP RULLAH, who notched a bullet in race 2. Taking second was Rob Britts' HOT MESS with an all-girl crew (a past DIYC Winter Series Champion from the home club) and taking the bronze was Mike Kirkman's HOT TICKET from Grosse Pointe YC in Detroit, MI.

    Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 leads the Porch Series including a North Sails debrief. This weekend featured several races in which 33 boats were able to learn from on-water coaches, before heading in for a North Sails forum at the DIYC clubhouse.

    Racing continues at Davis Island Yacht Club on January 4-6 and February 8-10.

    2018-19 J/70 Winter Series
    Dec 8-9: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5916
    Jan 5-6: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5917
    Feb 9-10: https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=5918


    For more Davis Island YC J/70 Winter Series sailing information
     

    Nassau Cup Report- from KENAI
    (Nassau, Bahamas)- “Coral Reef YC, Nassau YC and Storm Trysail Club hosted the Nassau Cup Ocean Race from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas being the first Islands in the Stream Series event for the 2018-19 season. After free rum drinks and a regatta briefing at Coral Reef YC in Miami, we noticed interestingly that the fleet had consolidated entries in the last 10 days across IRC, ORC and PHRF to one 13-boat ORC fleet split between ORC1 and ORC2. This left a cruiser and then Argo the MOD70 trying for the course record.

    Despite some races offering different handicap options, overall standings in the Islands in the Stream Series will be determined by ORC scoring. ORC 1 included three TP52’s with Denali, Fox and Spookie, with Fox being a well-sailed west coast boat that is campaigning SORC. STC member Steve Benjamin sailing Spookie was the scratch boat and STC member Chris Lewis was on his J/44 KENAI. A canting keel Shock 40 and a modified Farr 40 comprised the balance of the ORC 1 Class. ORC 2 Class included a range of boats from an Aerodyne 38 with STC member HL DeVore navigating to a Catalina 425 SD sailed by Russell Dunn, a former racing yacht owner.

    The outlook during the week was for a 70-mile beat across the Gulf Stream into a blasting Northeaster.  But, as race day came, the cold front was delayed and the fleet got off to a spinnaker start in a warm SE breeze. As predicted the wind dropped when yachts crossed the Gulf Stream making tactics interesting; 4.5 knots of boat speed and 3 knots of current! Boats that gybed early gambling not to benefit from a later port gybe header benefited with a better VMC to Great Isaac Lighthouse and the earliest pick up of the cool NW breeze that filled in across the course. Meanwhile, the scratch boats worked to maintain their lead through the stormy thermal cloud-induced wind variations.

    Rounding Great Isaac Lighthouse and setting course to the Great Stirrup Cay, the NW breeze built from 8 to 22 knots over the balance of the race, veering to the NNE and providing fast reaching conditions during the night. Racing on the edge of control with shallow reefs to leeward the mid-fleet boats caught the TP52’s. KENAI’s navigator was surprised to be able to pick them up on AIS during the graveyard shift. The frontal passage was slow enough to frustrate Spookie, et al., as they gybed downwind hunting for angle and breeze.

    On KENAI, we set the A3, Code Zero, A5 and finally the big A2 as we rounded Great Stirrup Cay. At one point an electronics short in our NEMA 2000 network took the boat dark and made for an exciting time steering by traditional compass binnacle until the offending backup GPS antenna was disconnected! You don’t realize how dependent upon digital data at night you are until you lose it all!

    As the sun came up, we were treated to an 18-24 knot port tack broad reach into the finish in building seas. KENAI hit 16 knots and left a broad flattened sea behind as her 23,000 pounds tried to defy the laws of physics for a displacement yacht. As we charged into Nassau Harbor, past the breakwater with our big red spinnaker, the focus was on dowsing the kite as we crossed the finish with very little sea room ahead of us (e.g. the beach)!

    The overall results reflected the impact of the slow moving front. Our J/44 KENAI corrected to win in ORC 1 Class. And, Brad Stowers’ J/92 HILLBILLY was third in ORC 2 Class.

    Nassau YC provided great hospitality, as they have forever and day over the course of this event! For those that missed it, we had a great J/22 Match Race Championship on Saturday at the Nassau Yacht Club. Congratulations to the team from the J/92 HILLBILLY- the J/22 Match Race winners! Photos can be found here. Thanks again to Robert Dunkley for some great shots!

    It’s always a great pleasure to be in Nassau and have such gracious hosts. SORC is seriously fun and has great sailing conditions. Why anyone who could sail south, and make these events, and doesn’t do it, beats us!! Why not plan on this next year?”  Thanks for contribution from Chris and Karen Lewis, owners of J/44 KENAI.  Follow the SORC Islands In The Stream Series on Facebook   For more SORC Islands in the Stream Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
     
    * “Our J/160 AVATAR is back again at Proper Yachts in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, having just arrived from New England after another perfect delivery trip south.  Love our J/160! My goodness, what an offshore cruising machine!

    Behind the photo of her at anchor, you can see how well the U.S.V.I. is recovering from the hurricanes that devastated the islands over the last three years.

    Support the U.S. Virgin Islands & British Virgin Islands! Come spend some time in the islands and enjoy some of the best sailing in the world!! Not to mention you might get to see a great J/Boat, big and blue right next to you! Say ‘Hello’ if you are in the neighborhood!”  Happy Holidays from Alan & Julie Fougere - owners of the J/160 AVATAR.
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

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  • J/Newsletter- December 5th, 2018 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past week two popular winter series held their finales with various J/Crews enjoying the fruits of their good performance.  In Great Britain, the Hamble River Sailing Club had their final weekend of the HYS Hamble Winter Series with sailing taking place on the Southampton Water and the current-laden Solent.  There were a number of hotly contested classes that included J/109s, J/88s, and J/92s.

    Over in America, the San Diego Yacht Club held their third and final race of the highly popular Hot Rum Series on San Diego Harbor and on the Pacific Ocean off Point Loma. The pursuit-style PHRF race saw the big boats (e.g. over 50 feet) predominate in the top ten overall standings.  However, in the classes, there were good performances by J/120s, J/70s and J/105s. In the southeast, Shake-A-Leg Foundation hosted the first of the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series on Biscayne Bay for a very competitive fleet of top U.S. J/70 teams.

    Further east in the Caribbean, the season “opener” was held over a three-day weekend, the Course de’Alliance Regatta.  It is a port-to-port event that starts in Saint Maarten, goes to St Barth, then to Anguilla, and back to Saint Maarten.  A J/105 team enjoyed the sailing and the relaxed ambience at each of the three spectacular islands.

    Finally, we get a report from our friendly “ex-convicts” on the far side of the blue planet, more “thunder from Down Under”!  A J/122 is wrecking havoc in the offshore community of Western Australia, sailing out of the famous America’s Cup port of Perth.
     

     
    J/99 World Debut @ Paris Show
    (Paris, France)- The much anticipated introduction of the extraordinary J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster will be taking place at the famous “Salon Nautique”- a.k.a. the Paris International Boat Show- this coming week from December 8th to 16th at the Port de Versailles on the south side of Paris. The J/99 will be on display in Hall 1/ Stand 1 G62.  For more Salon Nautique Paris boat show information
    Learn more about the J/99 Offshore Speedster here
     

    Order Your Gorgeous 2019 J/Calendar Now!
    (Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.

    For 2019, we have created another beautiful calendar for J/Sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

    The 2019 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- St Petersburg (Russia), British Virgin Island, St Barths, Chicago, France, Italy, Chile, Ireland, Germany, and Spain.  See the gorgeous photo gallery and order your 2019 J/Calendar here
     

     
    Davis Island J/70 Winter Series Preview
    (Tampa, FL)- Like its counterpart in Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Davis Island YC has been running its winter series since the inception of the International J/70 class.  It has been a popular series from the beginning for J/70 sailors across America; this year at least 50 entries will be participating in one of the three events.

    One of the most popular elements of the regatta is that all sailors are treated to an on-going “seminar/ training” program every day, held Friday afternoon before the regatta starts.  As an “upside down” club, the coolest part of DIYC is the fleet congregates upstairs around a massive central bar that is surrounded by an enormous covered porch.  With giant 60” plus TV screens everywhere in the ceilings, it is a multimedia extravaganza that is all turned over to sailing when needed (of course, football takes precedence at certain times of the day!). Many famous sailmakers from DOYLE, NORTH, QUANTUM and ULMAN Sails have contributed to the post-race de-briefs that include white board sessions as well as video/ photo analysis.

    Not surprisingly, many J/70 crews look forward to participating in the DIYC J/70 Winter Series because it is a great training program for the skippers and crews. There are many top J/70 teams from across the country that are participating again this year. Some of those teams include; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Texas, Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from New York, Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from Tampa, Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, Will Welles’ NEW WAVE from Florida, Doug Clark’s POLAR for US Coast Guard, Bill Draheim from Texas, and Kevin Morgan’s WILD CARD from Rochester. Notably, there is a well-attended fleet of thirteen Corinthians teams.

    The one major variable for the weekend’s racing will be Winter Storm Grace that is battering the USA’s West Coast on Thursday and is due to swing south across the Texas Panhandle region and across the top of the Gulf of Mexico Saturday evening and Sunday midday. Forecasts for Friday and Saturday show great breezes from the ESE feeding that frontal system; but Sunday may see anywhere from 15 to 35 knot winds from 6am to 1pm. Sailing on Sunday T.B.D.  For more Davis Island YC J/70 Winter Series sailing information
     

    Wirth Munroe Memorial Race Preview
    Palm Beach, FL- The Wirth M. Munroe Memorial Yacht Race (a.k.a. the “Race to the Buffet”) is held on the first Friday in December. First sailed in 1957, the race begins the winter ocean racing circuit in South Florida. The course presents challenging conditions, as yachts must consider the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and the passing of the season’s first frontal systems.

    In 1957, members of the Florida Station of the Cruising Club of America, led by Dick Bertram (famous as founder of Bertram Yachts), decided to sponsor a race from Miami to Palm Beach and to hold it in early December as racing yachts from the north had arrived by then in preparation for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference held in January and February.

    In the 1960’s the Sailfish Club of Florida became a co-sponsor of the race and now hosts the well-known awards party following the finish- e.g. the “race to the buffet”- upon finishing the race, there is dockside cocktails and live music. Racers finish the evening with a world-class awards banquet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

    In 2016, the Club partnered with the Storm Trysail Club and decided to extend the course back to the Miami, FL. This year’s race will see the addition of a second course, from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach, catering to racer-cruisers, cruisers, and smaller racing yachts. The new course, called “The Sprint”, will be 40.0nm, and will complement the existing 60.0nm Miami to Palm Beach track, known as “The Classic”.

    There are several J/Crews that have taken up the challenge for this year’s event, about 4x the number that had participated in the previous years. In the ORC Class are the J/109 HARM’s WAY (Andy Wescoat from Houston, TX), the J/92 HILLBILLY (Brad Stowers from Melbourne, FL), and the well-traveled J/44 KENAI (Chris Lewis from Seabrook, TX).  Then, in the PHRF Class will be the J/88 LOOSE CANNON (John Kearns from Jupiter, FL).

    The forecast for ESE winds in the 10-20 kts range promises a fast race for all boats and both courses; a fast reach off into the Gulf Stream flowing north at 3-5 kts, then giant A2 spinnakers to fly north up the Stream to the Palm Beach finish line.  For more Wirth Munroe Race sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France
    Dec 1-2- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series I- Miami, FL
    Dec 8-9- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
    Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    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.

    Pierini Tops Bacardi J/70 Winter Series I
    (Miami, FL)- Biscayne Bay was open again for business as the inaugural three event Bacardi Invitational Winter Series kicked off December 1­-2 in Miami, FL. The event is an off-shoot of the perennial Bacardi Invitational Regatta now run in conjunction with the legendary Bacardi Cup every March.

    Despite light winds allowing only three races on day one and no racing on day two, the J/70 Class was extremely tight in the top five positions, with a different crew winning each race. Day one was as predicted. As it progressed, the breeze lightened, so did the chop. The left side continued to be favored, making starts difficult since everyone wanted to go the same way.

    Many teams from across the USA and Europe arrived early for the regatta and took advantage of the Miami weather to get in some practice. On day one, sailors awoke to an overcast sky, a westerly breeze of 8–11 knots, and moderate Biscayne Bay chop. The Key Biscayne Yacht Club Race Committee set up a windward--leeward course of two laps.

    In race one, the entire J/70 class went left on the upwind, so a strong start was essential to being in the top of the fleet. Henry Brauer's RASCAL and Joel Ronning's CATAPULT led neck and neck at the first mark. The two boats battled closely throughout the race with CATAPULT victorious in the end. Trey Sheehan's Team HOOLIGAN sailed a near perfect second race, winning with a generous lead for such light conditions.

    For most of the day, boats that got out in front, stayed in front. The day ended with Geoff Pierini winning the third race. His team kept their pace in the dying breeze and seemed to glide effortlessly around the race course. Pierini and his team were hyper-focused on maximizing their speed and making the smallest of gains on every little puff.

    Pierini's J/70 team had three great starts that gave them the freedom to continue left as long as they wished and not be held out to the layline.

    The breeze was relatively stable and pressure moved slowly down the course, so it was difficult to make major gains on the upwinds. Gains were sometimes made on the downwinds by teams taking a risk to jibe away from the fleet early. The majority of the J/70 fleet straight set on the downwinds and gybed only when they arrived near the layline.

    The J/70 winner, Geoff Pierini, attributes much of his win to his crew, US Olympian Thomas Barrows, keeping them in the pressure on the downwinds. That helped them work the boat lower than their competitors, giving them the chance to gybe out when the opportunity presented itself. Timing was everything in the tight fleet.

    Sunday's weather forecast proved over-­optimistic. Despite the patience of the Race Committee and the competitors, the day's racing was called just after noon. The breeze never filled.

    The J/70 sailors headed back to shore by motor. Smiles abounded later in the afternoon as the sailors found themselves again with Bacardi cocktails in their hands and surrounded by the hospitality of the folks at Shake—A-­Leg, the regatta venue.

    After the three races, the top of the leaderboard was quite tight.  Pierini led with 6 pts, followed by Ronning’s CATAPULT in second with 8 pts, Sheehan’s Team HOOLIGAN- FLAT STANLEY in third with 9 pts, Brauer’s RASCAL in fourth with 11 pts and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE in fifth with 13 pts. The Top Corinthian J/70 Team was Joey Kolisch. Thanks to Kathleen Tocke for the contribution.

    The series consists of three events, the next two are scheduled as follows:
    Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    For more Bacardi Winter Series sailing information
     

    Hamble Winter Series Finale
    (Hamble, England)- After last week's brief return of “the Beast from the East”, the forecast for Week 8 of the HYS Hamble Winter Series 2018, was for 12-30 knots WSW, with low water in the Solent at 12.30 pm. "Quite interesting conditions!" as PRO Kathy Smalley put it. Or, as one competitor was heard to mumble, "A witch from the West!"

    There were two options to find a decent opening beat, move the Bramble Bank or head south of the bank to Goodall Roofing (4W) which is where the HRSC PRO took up station. The windward destination would be Prince Consort, followed by a "sheltered" broad reach to Norris to keep the first boats round the windward mark away from those still approaching it. A sort of health and safety spreader leg if you like.

    There was a return to the “War of the Roses” in IRC 1 Class, when Chaz Ivill (Red) and Rob Bottomley (White), turned out for the final race showdown. It was the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES (Chaz Ivill and Paul Heys) who were cooking their hotpot with gas; taking their fourth win of the series and the overall title for IRC 1 Class. The J/112E DAVANTI TYRES closed with four 1sts and four 2nds to win by a convincing margin over the best 36 to 41 footer IRC teams in all of the Solent and southern Great Britain. Not surprisingly, this built upon the J/112E’s extraordinary 2018 season of sailing; winning the IRC Europeans overall and in class on the Solent and also winning the Offshore World Sailing Championship (IRC/ ORC) sailed off The Hague, The Netherlands.

    The on-going battle between the J/109's continued between JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) and JAGO (Mike and Susie Yates). Perry commented that Yates was “quite good at match racing today!" This was probably because JAGO (second on the water) beat JIRAFFE (third on the water) and, unless JIRAFFE did something really quite silly, they had the series sewn up. Notably, JAGO had 14-year-old Cameron Yates on the mainsheet on Sunday, as he has been all series! A new record? His Dad Mike fell on the wheel during the race and bent it, but don't worry his wife Susie is getting him a new one for Christmas!  Rounding out the top five in class were two J88s; Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS in fourth and Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM in fifth place.
      
    In Class 3, the Greenhalgh family effort (Dad- David and daughter Libby) on their J/92 J’RONIMO leapfrogged into third position after the double toss races came into effect.  Thereafter, they won the final race in dramatic fashion and sealed their bid to take the bronze position on the podium!

    Meanwhile, the J/88s saw a duel to the finish for class honors. Winning by one point was Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS over David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM. Taking the bronze was Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR.

    A number of competitors were impressed by two club stalwarts, Rupert Smalley and Peter Baines, who manned the pin end boat, Obsession, as it bounced up and down during the windy start sequence. Rupert had a slightly different point of view, “it was nice and flat until all those race boats started to thrash around." He also felt it would be better if crews did not "ping" the port pin mark until it had actually been laid!!

    Back in the HRSC Clubhouse, Paul Heys of Key Yachting presented the day prizes. He managed to avoid one awkward moment by quickly passing the Champagne and chocolates for the IRC 1 class winner to Chaz Ivill.

    The Series prizes were presented by Lee Pollock of Hamble Yacht Services. Simon Perry’ J/109 JIRAFFE won “Yacht of the Series”. He thanked the Race Team and volunteers. "It was a fantastic series,” said Perry. “We will definitely be back again next year." Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information
     

    Hot Rum Series III Finale
    (San Diego, CA)- The third and final race of the San Diego YC Hot Rum Series took place this past weekend off San Diego’s beautiful harbor and Point Loma peninsula.  In the end, the results were a mixed bag of outcomes for various J/crews.

    The one shining beacon of performance, not surprisingly, was the large turnout of J/105s and J/70s that were all lumped into PHRF Class 4.  J/Class honors flipped back and forth over the two weekends and, in the end, it was Dennis Case’s J/105 J-OK that took the silver, just barely losing overall honors in the last race. Third was Steve Wyman’s J/70 NUNUHUNU, fourth Erostino Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN and fifth Dave Vieregg’s J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR.  A commendable performance to all, four of the top five in class!  For more SDYC Hot Rum Series sailing information
     

    J/105 Flies at Course de’Alliance Regatta
    (Saint Maarten)- The Course de’Alliance Regatta is a port-to-port event that is raced between three magnificent islands in the Caribbean- St Maarten, St. Barth, and Anguilla- over a three day weekend.  For those that love sailing in the spectacular aquamarine waters of the Caribbean and enjoying the 15-25 kt trade winds, you cannot get much better than racing to those three amazing islands!

    In the Racing Class, there was an epic battle between the J/105 SOLSTICE (skippered by Jordan and Shannon Mindich) and the M24s. In the end, SOLSTICE was 1st on the leg from St Maarten to St Barths, 4th place on the downwind leg from St Barths down to Anguilla, then 2nd on the beat/reach home to St Maarten. In the end, SOLSTICE took 2nd overall.

    According to Jordan Mindich, “the conditions were spectacular, including a two hour tight spin reach up the north side of Saint Maarten. It was interesting racing, including a last minute capsize by Gill less than 100 yards from the finish - giving us 2nd overall! Loads of fun!!”

    “This really is my favorite regatta. It is the season opener, and a great chance for the crews from the different islands to meet and socialize in beautiful locations. But, though the atmosphere is friendly, the competition is fierce, and it was great to see such tight racing amongst such good teams,” says Race Officer Paul Miller.

    “The racing was hot, and still the participants had energy left to enjoy the socials in St Barth and Anguilla. That’s why this event is so popular, the concept of racing to 2 other islands and then enjoy the finest of the Caribbean is golden. We thank the St Barth Yacht Club & Sailing School and the Anguilla Sailing Association for their assistance with the event, the cooperation is vital for the Regatta’s continuation and success,” commented Leonde Vermeulen, Event Manager at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, organizer of the event.

    Organizers like to thank sponsors Moorings, Fiji Water and Mount Gay Rum for their contributions to the event. “Not only do our sponsors help to reduce costs, they add significant quality to the event. They are not only appreciated by the organizers, but by the participants as well. We are grateful for the ongoing support,” explained Vermeulen.  For more Course de’Alliance Regatta sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * More “Thunder from Down Under!” Ian Clyne’s J/122 JOSS recently won the 140.0nm 2018 West Coaster Ocean Race off Perth, Western Australia.  Here is the report from Tony Bewsher, crewing aboard the J/122 JOSS.

    “A very competitive fleet took part in the West Coaster 140nm overnight race on the weekend of the 24/25 November, including our J/122 JOSS.

    The course was westerly from Fremantle, around Cape Vlamingh (the western end of Rottnest Island), then a 65.0nm northwards leg to a virtual mark set just of the historic coastal fishing town of Lancelin, and finally back south to the finish in Fremantle.

    The race started in 8-10 knots SSW winds with the fleet jostling for position on the 1.0nm upwind beat to the first mark. JOSS rounded in 3rd position behind “Dirty Deeds” & “Weapon of Choice”, then the fleet sailed off on a broad reach out to the Western Windmills Fairway mark off the SE corner of Rottnest Island followed by an upwind beat in a dropping breeze along the south side of the island to Cape Vlamingh (the most westerly tip of the island and extremely exposed to the full forces of the Indian Ocean).

    As the fleet approached Cape Vlamingh, the winds almost dropped out completely, making the rounding a slow frustrating affair. With an ever-growing cloud line slowly building on the horizon, the fleet edged westwards in our search for stronger more consistent breeze.

    Big Sails help win big races, and as the clouds built overhead, the wind grew sufficiently for everyone to hoist their biggest spinnakers.

    JOSS hoisted our big “Bright Green” A1.5 Spinnaker for this 65.0nm downwind run. The wind built steadily throughout the afternoon to 15-18 knots. We found ourselves dueling all the way to the Lancelin mark with “Obsession” (Mat1180) and “Weapon of Choice” (FB35). We even managed to pass these higher IRC rated boats midway along the track, only to have them battle back to lead us by a few hundred metres around the virtual top mark off Lancelin at approx. 2100 hrs Saturday night.

    With a stunning full moon lighting up the ocean, we sailed for Fremantle in a more moderate breeze, maintaining contact with the 4 faster & lighter Div 1 yachts ahead of us. At sunrise we witnessed a beautiful Western Australian dawn with JOSS leading the fleet in both IRC & YAH, and eventually crossing the finish line at Fremantle at 0700 hrs Sunday morning in a time of 21:35:37.

    Our winning margin on IRC was an impressive 27 minutes to the second placed boat “Obsession”, and 45 minutes to the 3rd placed boat “Alfresco”.

    It was 22 hours of perfect sailing conditions for JOSS with fluctuating winds between 8-18 knots and moving from an early light southerly on Saturday morning, swinging west and building until sunset throughout Saturday, then moderating over night to finish in an easterly land breeze.

    The 140nm “WestCoaster” was a much more enjoyable sail compared to the recent similar distance overnight race, the “3 Ports Race” being knocked down 3 times during the night by 60-70 knot winds!!!

    In sailing, winning is often a combination of great sailing by the boat & crew, and an equal measure of the “sea gods smiling on you”. There were many smiles over this weekend.

    “Joss” has started the 2018/19 ORWA Offshore Season in strong form with 2 wins in Div 1 IRC, a 2nd, & a 5th, and 3 wins in Div 1 YAH & a 5th place.

    With the lowest rating in the Div 1 Fleet in Western Australia, JOSS is proving how competitive J/Boats are against a very competitive fleet of top teams here in the West.”
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

    Read more...
  • J/Newsletter- November 28th, 2018 The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    Across Europe and the islands, several winter series have started while other fall series are slowing starting to wind down.  The long-running Hamble Winter Series completed their sixth weekend of racing on the Southampton Water and the infamous Solent.  Hamble River Sailing Club based in Hamble, England runs the series.  In addition, the J/24 U.K. Class published their 2018 National Rankings update; an important milestone as it determines which British teams will participate in the J/24 World Championship that will be sailed on Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida in 2019.

    Across the straits from Great Britain (e.g. the English Channel), the Dutch J/22 Winter Series started up in Brassermermeer, The Netherlands. Just north, the Väter­chen Frost Regatta was sailed on the beautiful Alster Lake in Hamburg, Germany for fleets of J/22s, J/24s, and J/70s! Heading south across the Continent, we find the J/80 Catalonia Championship was sailed on the Mediterranean off Barcelona, Spain and hosted by Real Club Nautico Barcelona. Further east in northern Italy, the first of many Italian J/24 class winter series events took place in Lecco, a quaint Italian village situated on the southeastern arm Lake Como (Lago di Como).

    Over in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the J/105 AXA XL International Challenge Cup, sponsored by Bacardi Rum, was sailed in the Great Sound off Hamilton, Bermuda and was hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

    In the Americas, the St Francis YC hosted their annual BIG Sail in J/22s on San Francisco Bay, California.  The BIG Sail is an annual match between two famously "high tech" universities in California- Stanford versus University of California- Berkeley.  Each school fielded teams in five divisions- Varsity, Women, Young Alumni, Master Alumni, Grand Master Alumni.

    Down in the southern Americas, the Argentine J/24 Championship took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted by the Club Nautico Olivos north of the capital city and sailed on the muddy waters of the Rio de la Plata (the River Plate). Then, on the western side of South America, the Chilean J/24 Nationals was sailed off Bio Bio, Chile, north of Valparaiso along the Pacific coastline.
     


    J/121 Nominated @ British Yachting Awards
    Performance Yacht of the Year Category
    (London, United Kingdom)- The J/121 offshore speedster has been shortlisted in The British Yachting Awards 2018 Performance Yacht of the Year category.

    For the first time, the established and influential Yachts and Yachting Awards and Sailing Today Awards have been combined as the British Yachting Awards. This a new event draws upon the very best boats, sailing gear, sailors, achievements, destinations, and events from the past year, placing the spotlight onto the finest of both the racing and cruising worlds.

    The winners will be announced at a champagne reception from 6.30pm to 10.30pm on Tuesday, 11th December at the prestigious Royal Thames Yacht Club headquarters in Knightsbridge, London.

    The winners will be published in the January 2019 issue of Yachts & Yachting and the February 2019 issue of Sailing Today, on newsstands by Friday 14 December and Friday 28 December, respectively.  A full list of Performance Yacht of the Year nominees can be found here
     

    J/121 Northeast Sailing Calendar 2019 Update
    (Newport, RI)- The J/121 fleet continues to grow and next season, nearly one third of all the boats worldwide will be sailing in the New England area for the summer. Kicking off the season will be the 2nd Annual J/121 Spring Tune-up hosted by J/Boats and the Newport Shipyard. The great line-up of events continues, highlighted by Block Island Race Week, the NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta and J/Fest New England. Let the fun begin! Here is the list of the events and links.

    May 17-18    J/121 Spring Tune-up/ Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI – a combination J/121 clinic/regatta with onboard coaching and daily recaps– a great way to get up to speed within weeks of spring launching. Four boats and seven owners participated in 2018 and as many as eight teams are expected for 2019.

    May 24    Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race (Stamford, CT) – this 186 miler is the first offshore distance race of the season and a great shakedown for teams planning on more offshore racing during the year. It’s a commitment to get the boat down to Stamford, CT and back after the race. But, worth the effort if you want an early season challenge and some potential speed-record setting legs.
     
    June 7-9    New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Newport, RI)– this is the big season opener in Newport with usually 150+ boats participating and a variety of courses. Friday is the classic round-the-island race – tailor made for the J/121.  The weekend is a choice of buoy racing or mid-distance open, course style – a great tune-up for Block Island Race Week.

    June 23-28    Block Island Race Week (Block Island, RI) – this biannual classic attracts teams from all over the east coast for five days of spectacular racing.  Storm Trysail Club will provide the J/121s (with at least 6 boats) with a class start and the ability to sail Round-the-Island type courses, which Block Island is most famous for.

    July 7    Marblehead to Halifax Race (Marblehead, MA) - the principal offshore race of northern New England, this 363 mile race goes from Marblehead, MA to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    July 15-20    New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta (Newport, RI) – New York Yacht Club’s anniversary regatta only comes around every 25 years, so this is a must-attend event!  The NOR indicated that entrants must be members of NYYC or three specific guest clubs, but one can also apply to the sailing office.  With several J/121 owners being NYYC members, there’s an excellent chance for a class start.

    August 10-11    J/121 Open Course Rally @ J/Fest New England (Newport, RI) – J/Boat owners from around New England will rendezvous for a fun weekend of racing and socials.

    August 16    Ida Lewis Distance Race (Newport, RI) – the 15th edition of this 120nm to 165nm overnight race that starts off Fort Adams State Park and finishes inside Newport Harbor with a bottle of champagne awaiting every finisher.

    August 30    Stamford-Vineyard Race (Stamford, CT) - This 238-mile course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of Plum Gut past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard on route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.

    September 1    Conanicut Round the Island Race (Jamestown, RI) – the oldest continuous yacht race on Narragansett Bay, this event drew 100 boats in 2018 with the J/121 CRESCENT winning its class and finishing 2nd overall.
     

    NEW Doublehanded Class Debuts @ Antigua Sailing Week 2019
    (English Harbour, Antigua)- In view of the ever growing demand for double-handed racing, the organizers of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) are pleased to announce 2019 will benefit from the addition of a new Doublehanded class.

    Race manager Lorna Saunders says, “This will add an exciting new dimension to ASW. Safety being paramount, the Doublehanded class will have its own start and courses will be carefully planned to accommodate doublehanded participants. The courses will be a mix of round the cans, with slightly longer legs and some days a coastal race. We look forward to thrilling, competitive sailing.”

    Antigua Sailing Week takes place from 28 April to 3 May and the Notice of Race is now available.  An optional Round Antigua Race takes place on the 27 April, which will also offer a doublehanded class, and is the perfect warm-up event prior to the five challenging days of Antigua Sailing Week where everyone is invited to race, chase and celebrate.

    The professional race management team will continue to offer exciting racing for participants who range from fully professional campaigns to crews of family and friends.

    Post-race prize-giving ceremony at the Antigua Yacht Club.
    Post-race daily prize-givings and an exciting week-long social calendar, including the 10th edition of Reggae in the Park, the mid-week Lay Day Beach Party and the prestigious Final Awards Ceremony, are key events on the “must-do list” during the week.

    But first, experience all of the action from our 2018 event in this fantastic recap. To get a flavor of the scenes at Antigua Sailing Week watch this highlight video here.

    For any questions, please contact Lorna Saunders, Race Manager, Antigua Sailing Week- phone +1-268-717-9619 or email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Register to join Antigua Sailing Week for 2019 here
     

    J/88 Fleet #2 Schedule Announcement
    (Rye, New York)- After the J/88 Annual Meeting, and many long, productive discussions on coordinating with other fleets for a series of strong one-design J/88 events, the J/88 Fleet #2 is excited to announce their 2019 J/88 One-design schedule.

    J/88 FLEET 2 SCHEDULE 2019:
    • Jan 24-27- St Petersburg J/Fest- St Petersburg, FL- 6 entries
    • Feb 15-17- St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL- 6 entries
    • Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC- 8 entries/ 10 committed
    • Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
    • May 4-5- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
    • Jun 1-2- Cedar Point One Design- Riverside, CT- 8 committed
    • Jun 23-28- East Coast Championship- Block Island, RI- 3 entered/ 6 committed
    • Jul 15-18- NYYC 175th Anniversary Race Week- Newport, RI- 3 committed
    • Aug 3-4- RYC YRALIS Championships- Riverside, CT- 8 committed
    • Aug 10-11- New England J/Fest- Newport, RI
    • Sep 21-22- STC LIS Championship- Larchmont, NY- 9 committed
    • Sep 28-29- American YC Fall Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
    • Oct 5-6- American YC Fall Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
    • Oct 17-20- J/88 North American Championship- Larchmont, NY- 8 committed
    Please note- that in addition to the One-Design schedule, there are a number of distance races that are well attended by J/88s and, often, the J/88’s get their own section.

    DISTANCE RACES
    • May 11- LYC Edlu
    • May 18- IHYC Gear Tester
    • Jun 29- RYC Stratford Shoal Race
    • Aug 29- SYC Vineyard Race
    • Oct 5- IHYC Gear Buster
    For more J/88 Class sailing information

    Bacardi J/70 Winter Series- Act I Preview
    (Miami, FL)- The first Bacardi Invitational Winter Series will take place December 1-2, 2018, this coming weekend, on the sparkling aqua-blue waters of Biscayne Bay. Hosting the event will be Shake-A-Leg Foundation in Coconut Grove, just south of the completely refurbished Monty Trainer’s Bar and Cafe on the waterfront.

    An incredibly talented fleet of eighteen boats has assembled to begin their bids to improve their performance for the 2019 sailing season.  In fact, the first major J/70 event will be the J/70 Midwinter Championship in late February 2019 that will also be sailed in the same waters of Biscayne Bay.

    Leading contenders for the start of this winter series will be teams like Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (1st 2016 J/70 Worlds), Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN- FLAT STANLEY RACING, Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE (2nd in 2018 J/70 Worlds).

    The series consists of three events, the next two are scheduled as follows:
    Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
    Mar 6-9- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
    For more Bacardi Winter Series sailing information
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Oct 7- Dec 2- Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
    Nov 30- Wirth Munroe Memorial Race- Palm Beach, FL
    Dec 1- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France
    Dec 1-2- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series I- Miami, FL
    Dec 8-9- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
    Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    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.

    AIRFORCE Three-Peats J/105 AXA XL International Challenge Cup
    (Hamilton, Bermuda)- Every November, for three days, the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta is held in Bermuda. Racing is held primarily for one-design boats such as Etchells, J/105s, and International One Designs. The J/105 fleet is an invitational-only event, as they race with a combined Bermuda and International crew to compete for three awards- Bermuda and International Divisions and the Overall AXA XL International Challenge Cup series.

    This year’s event ran from Thursday November 15 to Saturday, November 17 with a fabulous opening reception held at Bacardi World Headquarters in Hamilton on Wednesday November 14, 2018. Bacardi was once again the title sponsor with Bermuda Tourism Authority as a supporting sponsor.

    A spokesperson from Bacardi stated: “Bacardi has always been a strong supporter of sports and in particular sailing, both in Bermuda and internationally, and is very pleased to once again support this event.  The international flavor of sailing competition and the natural camaraderie that goes with it resonates with Bacardi’s values. We wish all the competitors three days of great sailing in the pristine waters of Bermuda.”

    In addition to Bacardi’s sponsorship, the J/105’s were competing for the AXA XL International Challenge Cup, a sponsorship supported by one of Bermuda’s largest re-insurance companies (their Managing Director is an active J/105 sailor in the local fleet).

    The J/105 fleet fielded its usual strong contingent of competitors with international helmsmen and crew hailing from the US and the UK, paired with an equal compliment of local Bermuda sailors onboard each boat. Most have participated in the event several times over the years, annually yielding one of the strongest gatherings of amateur sailors in Bermuda.

    The AIRFORCE Team were the local favorites, having won it twice before.  But, the racing again proved to be very tight. There were seven J/105s competing this year in a Bermuda Series where the Bermuda skipper drives, alternating races with the international skipper for the International Series, and combined results for the AXA XL Overall Trophy.

    The first day of racing produced a gorgeous sunny day of 10-20 kts with four races counting, two for the Bermudian skippers and two for the International skippers. The second day was blown-out, with winds topping 40+ kts. Fortunately, the huge North Atlantic storm passed quickly, producing another day of 10-20 kts of breeze that permitted four more races to determine the winner of the AXA XL J/105 International Challenge Cup.

    As anticipated, it was the team of Bermudian Peter Bromby and Peter Snelling on AIRFORCE that ultimately won the regatta.  However, it was a rocky road to the top of the leaderboard for the AIRFORCE crew.  After four races on day one, they were sitting in third place.  Then, on the closing day they had to contend with a DSQ in Race 6 that nearly torpedoed their chances for their three-peat win.

    Leading after the first day of racing with a 1-2-3-2 were the duo of Bermudian Trevor Boyce and American Stew Neff sailing YABSTA.  While sailing fast and smart on the first day helped their performance, that was not to be repeated on the closing day. The YABSTA crew could not find good pace the last four races, closing with a 6-3-4-6 to miss the win by just 2 pts and settle for the silver.

    American Mike Riley and Bermudian Ed Faries on BACK IN BLACK also experienced a roller-coaster scoreline.  Closing with a 1-2-1 tally on the last day to rocket up the leaderboard from mid-fleet, taking the tie-breaker at 28 pts each over MAYHEM (American Jason Owen and Bermudian Jon Corless). Rounding out the top five was the PASSION Team (Bermudian James MacDonald and Texan Bill Lakenmacher).

    For the Bermuda Division, winning was Peter Bromby, followed by Jon Corless in second and James MacDonald in third.

    In the International Division, winning was Mike Riley, with Stew Neff second and Bill Lakenmacher in third position.  For all scoring of the J/105 AXA XL International Challenge Cup   Follow the Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Regatta on Facebook here  For more Royal Bermuda YC Bacardi Keelboat Regatta sailing information
     

    CARRERA Wins 6th Argentine J/24 Title
    (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The most famous J/24 fleet in Argentina may be the one situated on the Rio de La Plata, just north of downtown Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Club Nautico Olivos and their local J/24 fleet hosted the event. Sixteen competitors participated to determine the final winner of the COPA PIMMS Argentine J/24 Championship (note- this “local” fleet includes World Champions). Winning the event for the sixth time (a new record) was Matias Pereira’s team on CARRERA (A. Guerra, F. Scarpatti & J. Delgado). Here is what took place over the three-day weekend from November 16th to 19th.

    Friday- Windy & Wavy
    With a good 20-plus kts wind from the East Southeast, big waves and cool weather, the CN Olivos RC Team managed to complete three good races on the first day; participating were teams from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, and an enthusiastic female crew from Uruguay!

    Fast out of the box and putting establishing a firm hand on the top spot was Pereira’s CARRERA team, posting three straight bullets to lead by a wide margin.  Also enjoying the windy, wavy conditions were Sebastien Halpern’s crew on MORRUCHO (G. Mirralles, F. Monetti, and E. Despontin), posting a 5-2-2 for 9 pts.  Just behind them, it was a tie at 11 pts for third place between the SEA WOLF crew (P. Senestrari, M. Halac, P. Despontin, & skipper Guillermo Parada) and the U2 Team (G. Aporszegi, M. Ferrero, F. Ambrus & E. Pittaluga).

    Saturday- Canceled
    Sadly, the day dawned bright and beautiful, but the forecasted wind never materialized as the J/24s were slowly drifting down current on the Rio de La Plata headed for Antarctica!  Wisely, it was best to cancel the day’s sailing activities not long after noontime. In fact, for most teams, it was time to “party” in the Saturday evening cocktails & dinner that seemed to start much earlier than most expected!

    Sunday- Gusty Shifty Northerly
    The final day started with a good strong wind in the 20-plus knots range from the Northwest and, as the day progressed, it kept rotating (veering) into the NNE quadrants and slowly diminishing in pressure. Despite the difficult conditions to keep resetting marks for the Race Committee and mark boats, they managed to pull off running four races! That meant all the teams could enjoy one discard race for the final results.

    In these very challenging weather conditions, it was clear the top two teams were CARRERA and SEA WOLF.  Posting their worst result of the regatta on the opening race (a 4th), the CARRERA team closed with a commanding tally of 3-1-1 to wind the regatta with just 8 pts net.  The SEA WOLF crew was hopeful that winning the first race of the day portended even better things for the next three races.  However, that was not the case.  Like the phoenix rising too close to the sun, they burned their feathers and came crashing to Earth, closing the regatta with a 6-2-3 to take the silver with 17 pts net.  With a bit more consistency, the MORRUCHO crew may have had a chance at the silver.  But, a 3-10-3-6 scoreline on the final day blew them out of contention, having to settle for third place on a 21 pts tie-breaker over RINA-ALAGUA (a famous team led by Nicolas Cubria and crew of M. Cubria, F. Bertrand, & J. Filidoro).
    For more Argentina J/24 Championship sailing information
     

    Hamble Winter Series- Week 6 Report
    (Hamble, England)- Week six of the HYS Hamble Winter Series dawned with blue skies, beautiful sunshine, and a forecast for some breeze, though nowhere near as much as the two previous weeks. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turned out, the Committee Boat, Jabberwock, refused to start and an urgent message was sent ashore. With Andy and the River Taxi alongside, the combined brainpower ascertained that it was not a loose wire, or a faulty starter battery, but that the house battery bank was to blame. With that turned off, the little 75amp hour starter battery kicked the engine into life and all was well.

    With the battery bank now slowly charging, the Committee Boat headed for East Knoll and the Race Team WhatsApp'd the fleet with their intentions. The forecast was for the wind to go to the East but it was 060 when they arrived on station and it never went past 070. With that direction and the forecast in mind, PRO Kathy Smalley decided on courses containing triangles, sausages and beats. The number of triangles and sausages depended on the size of the boats. Class 1 and 2 would in fact go to Royal Thames twice whereas Class 3 & 4 would not. All classes finished with a spinnaker reach to the hamblewinterseries.com buoy.

    There was significant, though neap, tide crossing the start line and this made the decision on where to go interesting. Most teams in Class 1 decided to hog the boat end, which led to a number of performance enhancing expletives being heard. With a large NKY Lines container ship in the Thorn Channel, the PRO was relieved to see that the fleet knew that they had no rights whatsoever, and that they all behaved impeccably.

    The J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, sailed by Chaz Ivill and Paul Heyes, once again won on handicap in IRC 1 Class. As a result, after tossing out their first two “practice” races of a 3-6, they are the only team in the fifteen-boat IRC 1 Class to have posted a podium finishes; in fact, three 1sts and four 2nds.  They are leading the class by just two points, so they will have to be vigilant in their final weekends.

    In IRC 2 Class, it continues to be a battle of the J/Teams.  The J/109 JAGO (Mike & Susie Yates_ was keen to keep tabs on the J/109 JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) as they are the two leaders of the series.  JAGO was OCS, despite what Mike Yates said later in the bar, they spent the race "clawing their way back into second place,” as Susie put it. JAGO went left up the second beat and put herself back in contention.

    Meanwhile, the J/88s have been dueling it out for the balance of the podium in IRC 2 Class, as well as fighting for the lead in the J/88 One-Design class honors.  At this stage, it’s a “dead heat”, a horse race of epic proportions developing between Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS and David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM. To add to that anxiety, both boats have had their “send it down the mine shaft” type scores; TIGRIS with a 7-12 and J-DREAM with a 7-11 as their current discards.  At the moment, TIGRIS leads by one point over J-DREAM in the IRC 2 scoring.  Those two are also leading the J/88 One-design scoring, followed by Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in third.
      
    In Class 3, no one was surprised to see the Greenhalgh family effort (Dad- David and daughter Libby) on their J/92 J’RONIMO leapfrog into third position on the podium once the two discards took effect after eleven races.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information
     

    BRIBON MOVISTAR Wins J/80 Catalonia Championship
    (Barcelona, Spain)- The 2018 J/80 Catalonia Championship was hosted by Real Club Nautico Barcelona over the past weekend for a fleet of twenty-one teams from across the region. A total of five races were held over the two days in relatively light winds, very unsteady in direction, and with quite a swell rolling across the race track. As a result, it meant a tough test for skippers, tacticians and crew that had to work hard in each of the races to stay in contention for the regatta.

    Winning the regatta was past J/80 World Champion Marc de Antonia; his BRIBON MOVISTAR team posted a 1-6-1-3-3 for 8 pts net.  After a brilliant last day of racing with two bullets nearly allowed Jose Maria Pujol’s DECKMETAL to pull off a surprise win.  However, it was his first three races that prevented the dream from occurring, recording a 7-2-6-1-1 for 10 pts net.  Finally, it was Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU that took the bronze on the podium with a fairly steady tally of 2-5-3-5-2 for 12 pts net.  For more J/80 Barcelona Winter Series sailing information
     

    J/24 U.K. 2018 National Rankings Update
    (Poole, United Kingdom)- The United Kingdom J/24 Class continues to enjoy good participation in its regional events this year and a total of twenty-three teams participated in the five U.K. events and twelve of those participated in the 2018 J/24 World Championship recently sailed on Lake Garda, Italy.

    After eight events that include regattas in Fowey, Dartmouth, Poole & Saltash in the U.K., plus Kieler Woche and the J/24 Europeans in Germany, plus the Lake Garda Worlds, the leading team appears to be David Cooper’s JAWBREAKER from Royal Western YC with a Best of 4 total of 127 points (a high points total).  Sitting just five points back is Nick McDonald’s MOJOSI from Royal Western YC and then just arrears of them in third position is James Torr’s MAJIC from Saltash Sailing Club.

    At this stage, the UK J/24 Rankings are important as they serve as the UK qualifiers for the 2019 J/24 World Championship being sailed in Miami, Florida and hosted by the Coral Reef YC. The UK can qualify six teams for that event.  So, in addition to JAWBREAKER, MOJOSI, and MAJIC, the next three teams are Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE from Parkstone YC, Iles Kysyk’s TEAM IMPACT (an Under 25 crew) from Parkstone YC, and Austen Davies’ JAM TOO from Royal Western YC.  For more J/24 U.K. Class sailing information
     

    Fall Italian J/24 Class Report
    (Lecco, Italy)- The Italian J/24 Class continues to see good participation in many of its fall/ winter series championships across the country.  In particular, some of the fleet locations, like Lecco, Marina di Carrara, and Taranto, have been blessed with nice sailing conditions, from the Lakes District north down to the warm, sunny Mediterranean.  Here is one of those reports from Lecco.

    Lecco (Lake Como)
    ITA 499 Kong Griffin II, skippered by Marco Stefanoni, ended up winning the famous Interlaghi- Trofeo Canottieri Lecco- with a score of 1-3-1-2.  The regatta is a classic for the end of the season in the lakes district north of Milano, the first edition of the regatta started back in 1980 for the J/24 class.

    Taking second place was ITA 476 DEJA VU, skippered by Ruggero Spreafico, posting a 4-4-2-1.  And, rounding out the podium was ITA 498 NOTIFYME-PILGRIM sailed by the fleet champion Lario Mauro Benfatto.

    Five races were held over the weekend. On the first day, rain and bad weather did not stop the crews from racing.  Faced with a strong wind from the South that, at times, reached 16 to 20 knots, the fleet completed four races in about six hours on the water. At the end of a full and tiring day, the delicious aperitif in Canottieri, prepared by chef Alberto Galbani, was welcomed and inhaled in minutes by the hungry crews!

    On Sunday, it was a completely different story.  The first race was held in very strong gusty winds from the North that were already hitting 20-plus knots, with big rain showers rolling across the race course.  However, as the winds built in squalls up to 25-plus knots, the Race Committee was forced to cancel the second race for safety reasons.

    In addition to the winner of the regatta, a very special award was handed out- the Gino Cicardi Trophy (reserved for the oldest sailor). This year, it was awarded to Sergio Agostoni (born in 1938), helmsman and owner of the J/24 ITA 469 Bruschetta Guastafeste, fourth in the overall classification J24.  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information
     

    Stanford Dominates The BIG Sail Regatta!
    (San Francisco, CA)- In anticipation of the college football rivalry game on November 17 between the Stanford University Cardinals and the University of California- Berkeley Bears, the 15th annual The BIG Sail was held between the schools on San Francisco Bay. With five divisions competing on a slalom course in J/22s, Stanford took the title by winning four of the five matches. Hosting the event in their matched fleet of J/22s was the St Francis YC.

    In the Varsity Division (e.g. “pro’s”), it was a nip and tuck battle.  Each school taking a win in the first two races. However, in the “rubber match” in race 3, it was Stanford all the way home to the finish line to take the victory in this prestigious division.

    In the Women’s Alumni Division, it was not the “cat fight” that everyone imagined it might be between two very well-sailed all-women’s teams.  It was all Stanford, taking the division with a 2-0 record.

    The Young Alumni Division was no different than the Women’s group. Stanford ran the table on U-Cal again with a 2-0 record.

    It was a different story in the Master Alumni Division. This was the only “shining path” to victory seen by the rocket scientists at U-Cal Berkeley, taking their Stanford luddites to task with a 2-0 pasting.

    In the end, it was all up to the Grandmasters Alumni Division to determine if U-Cal could save face, the northerners versus the southerners on San Francisco Bay.  It might as well be called “the Civil War”!  As some of these old guys may be old enough to remember what Grandpa told them about those crazy colonialists in the East.  Nevertheless, it was the Stanford Cardinals senior AARP cardholders and collectors of Medicare/ Medicaid that took home all the marbles in this division. Perhaps something to be said for living and going to school in warm, farm country down in south Bay!  For more The BIG Sail regatta information
     

    J/Love @ Väter­chen Frost Regatta
    (Hamburg, Germany)- It may not rank as the world’s most notable “local” regatta, if there can be such a thing. However, it certainly ranks amongst the most competitive, picturesque regattas held on a lake in the middle of a major city in Europe. That is what the Hamburger Segel-Club was hosting this past weekend for a fleet of fifteen J/70s, nineteen J/24s, and eight J/22s that LOVE sailing on the gorgeous Alster Lake in front of the Hamburg city waterfront.

    Klaus Brinkbäumer, winner of the J/70 class had this to say about their experience:

    "Father Frost Regatta is becoming Father Late Summer! LOL. It was warm, and the moderate winds over the Alster Lake were spectacular. The wind was good, from the east, gusty and with many shifts, but that's how we know and like our lake.

    We (tactician Carsten Kemmling, trimmer David Heitzig, bowman Florian Thoelen- all from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein) got off to a great start with our team on GER 958 BROOKLYN. It was a scramble at the start boat in the first race. We were over early, so had to restart. But, the races were long. Four laps. So, we were able to work our way up to third place. Then, we managed to get a 2nd and 1st, a perfect first day for us!

    On Sunday, we made it exciting for us! We were a little early on the layline on the first windward mark. I misjudged it, and wrapped our keel on the anchor line! That was our discard race! Thankfully, we won the last race!”

    Taking second behind them was Ulf Plessmann’s crew of Katrin Jahncke, Ohle Vollmer, and Anreas Benkert on GER 966 with a tally of 1-6-4-1-4 for 10 pts net.  Third was the top woman skipper, Johanna Meier’s crew of Heinrich Hader, Matthias Rummel, and Milena Muller with a 7-1-7-2-5 record for 15 pts net.

    In the J/24 class, it was a “Tale of Two Cities”. The leaders and the almost leaders.  In a battle of “not torpedoing ourselves” were Fabian Damm’s GER 5316 and Frank Schoenfeldt’s GER 5412.  Both teams were experiencing an amazing roller-coaster ride all the way to the final finish.  Winning that battle was Damm’s crew on GER 5316 (Jannik Duehren, Moritz Boeoek, Jonas Lyssewski, Jan Eike Sihdiz) with a 1-6-1-8-1 for 9 pts net.  Wishing for a better outcome in their last race was Schoenfeldt’s crew on GER 5412.  In the end, their tally was the most consistent on the leaderboard, with a 5-1-2-3-4 for 10 pts net.  Taking the bronze was Stefan Karsunke’s team of Lina Nagel, Lars Hager, Lars Gibbe, and David Thompson.   Sailing photo credits- Johann Nikolaus Andreae  For more Väter­chen Frost Regatta sailing information
     

    Dutch J/22 Winter Series I Report
    (Brassermermeer, The Netherlands)- The J/22 class in Europe has exhibited an extraordinary perseverance to hang tough and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with sailing a fun boat that is easy to trailer around the continent.

    By far, the most popular J/22 series is hosted by the Dutch J/22 class on the famous Brassermermeer Lake.  Ten boats from France, Germany, and the Netherlands are participating in the 2018/ 2019 Winter Series.

    In the first regatta, it was FRA 1444 (Brockerhoof, Michaux, Declercq) that are leading the series on a tie-breaker over the Dutch team of NED 1295 (Liselotte Verdoorn, Jan Dirk, Anneloes Rosemarijn).  Remarkably, these two teams are dominating the top of the leaderboard with a combined six 1sts, six 2nds, and four 3rds.

    Third is another Dutch crew on NED 1223, led by woman helm Suzanne van Iterson, with crew of Frans, Suzanne, and Anne. They won the first race, but followed it with a 4-3-2-2-3-5-4 in eight races scored so far.    For more Dutch J/22 Winter Series sailing information
     

    Big Battle @ Chilean J/24 Nationals
    (Bio Bio, Chile)- The Chilean J/24 National Championship was sailed on the waters of the Bay of Concepción, based on Quiriquina Island. A beautiful location to host such an important regatta for the dozen J/24 teams that participated from across the world’s “longest” country (north and south).

    A select group of famous South American J/24 sailors were invited to participate as crew aboard various boats. Chief amongst them was the famous Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz, multiple World and South American Champion. In addition, the Argentine Matias Pereira, multiple South American champion, Pan-American champion and multiple Argentine champion was crew.  And, finally Nicolas Cubria, former Argentine champion also sailed as crew. Each one of them sailed as crew with a top Chilean helmsman.

    Positioning themselves comfortably in first place on the first day of racing was the Chilean Del Castillo and his crew (totally local); they won 3 of the 4 races!

    In the first two days, the winds were mild. But, as the racing progressed and the wind increased, it was a classic trade-off in the J/24 class- top end genoa or go for the jib. A true test of offshore sailors, ironically enough!!

    At the end of the last race, the teams of E. Fernandez and N. Cubría with the crew of Carlos del Solar and Mauricio Santa Cruz were tied in points.

    As in the last regatta, Del Castillo won; he qualified as Chilean 2018 J/24 Champion. Second was Carlos del Solar with Mauricio Santa Cruz. Third was Patricio Rodriguez's team with Matias Pereira.  And, fourth was Raúl del Castillo.  For more Chilean J/24 class sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * In a bit of a “Throwback Thursday”, the J/88 MAI TAI (now J88.SE) was bought by two Swedes in the Hamble, England in August 2017.  The two excited owners, Jonas Dyberg and Roger Ohlsson, decided they would do a doublehanded delivery back to Goteborg; it was an 865nm delivery in eleven days!

    It was an epic adventure. Their delivery track took them from Hamble, across the English Channel to the Netherlands, then up the coast to the opening of the Elbe River in Brunsbuttel, Germany.  Then, they motored up the Nord See Kanal to Kiel, Germany, and then a straight shot north up the Baltic Sea to Gothenburg, Sweden! It was an epic journey and here are the videos to prove it! Top speed was 18.6 kts on their delivery cruise!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PSCQnqDVo

    Then, if that wasn’t an adventure enough, Jonas and Roger took their friend Peter Gustafsson from BLUR.SE fame on board to see if they could establish a “speed run” on the windy wavy Baltic Sea in October 9th, 2017!  It was a gorgeous sunny day, with a northerly breeze of 20-30 kts off Vinga, Sweden.  Here is how they went.

    https://youtu.be/9nHglNNWM4Y

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  • J/Newsletter- November 21st, 2018 The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide
    This past week, the U.S. J/70 Youth Championship took place on Tampa Bay, with seven youth teams from across America experiencing an amazing 21 races in three days, thanks to the serendipitous combination of fabulous weather and the efficient St. Petersburg YC RC and PRO team.  Then, out west, the San Diego YC hosted the second of three races in their infamous Hot Rum Series on San Diego Harbor.

    Over in Europe, the Hamble River Sailing Club hosted their fifth weekend of their annual Hamble Winter Series on the Southampton Water and the Solent for a fleet of J/88s, J/109s, J/111s and J/92s.

    Still further east in Asia, the Royal Hong Kong YC annual classic, the 26.0nm Round Island Race took place for over 100 boats, with a number of J/Crews collecting silverware in the roughly four-hour race.

    Finally, in the J/Community section, there are two good articles; one is an account from the Chilean owner of the J/122E ANITA that sailed this year’s very challenging ROLEX Middle Sea Race and the other is an interview of Mike Ingham at North Sails One-Design by Erica Beck-Spencer, skipper of the SEABAGS Women’s J/24 Sailing Team.
     


     
    J/24 Worlds Miami Announcement
    (Miami, FL)- J/24 Sailors from around the world are looking forward to the 2019 J/24 World Championships in Miami, Florida, October 19–26.

    This is the first time in the 41-year history of the J/24 Worlds that the event is being held in Florida, with its sunny skies, palm trees, warm breezes and excellent sailing conditions. The J/24 Worlds will be held on the same course used by ISAF every January for the World Cup Olympic Classes Regatta. The weeklong event will feature six days of exciting racing on the emerald-green waters of Biscayne Bay, one of the world’s great yachting venues.

    The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) will be the race committee, and will host the opening night ceremonies on their sweeping lawn overlooking Biscayne Bay. The rest of the week will feature food, music and an open bar every night sponsored by Bacardi.

    The week’s festivities and social events will be located just down the waterfront from CRYC in the historic Pan Am Flying Clipper hanger on the water’s edge at Shake-A-Leg Miami, the sailing center in the heart of Coconut Grove that hosts sailing programs for the disabled and disadvantaged. Measurement, boat storage, launch and retrieval will be a short walk away at beautiful new Regatta Park, a purpose-built facility designed to host regattas of large fleets, used by Olympic hopefuls during the World Cup.

    Eighty boats and more than 400 sailors and their support teams are expected from all over the world, representing approximately twenty countries. Mark Pincus, regatta chairman and well-known Miami J/24 sailor and regatta organizer for many South Florida regattas said, “the pristine waters of Biscayne Bay have always beckoned sailors from around the world, and the J/24 Class has always produced world-class sailors. This will be the perfect marriage of sailors and setting. In addition to the excellent sailing facilities, Miami boasts a wealth of great restaurants and lodging opportunities. Keep an eye on our website for our special hotel bureau coming soon.” Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com.  For more J/24 Worlds Miami sailing and registration information
     

    2019 Marblehead to Halifax Race Registration Open!
    (Marblehead, MA) - Registration is now open for the 38th biennial Marblehead to Halifax Ocean race July 7, 2019.

    “We are looking forward to an elite fleet of racers again this year,” says David Bows, Rear Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead and co-chairman of the race. “This is truly one of the great racing events of the summer.”  Michael Simms of the RNSYS is the co-chair.

    The organizing committee is considering the addition of an ORRez division. Co-Race Directors Anne Coulombe of BYC and Richard Hinterhoeller of the RNSYS have already received two requests for an ORRez division. “We get the sense that this could be quite popular”, said Richard. “Anyone interested in having this division, should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know”. Hinterhoeller says the sooner they can establish this interest, the better they can integrate it into the event.

    The 363-nautical mile Marblehead to Halifax is one of the oldest races on the eastern seaboard. It began 1905 and has continued every other year except during war time. It is co-sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, NS. Major support comes from the Steele Auto Group of Nova Scotia.

    “Marblehead is the idyllic place for the start of this race,” Bows declares. “There will be a round of parties and social events throughout the weekend before starting the race.”

    The fleet will be competing for trophies at every level including best-combined result with the Newport to Bermuda race. There will also be prizes for teams such as U.S. vs. Canada, double handed, all women crew, maritime academies, schooner ketch or yawl and over the hill gang.  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race registration and sailing information
     


    A Happy Holiday Special at the J/Store is taking place NOW through November 24th! Receive 20% off your entire order, just enter code “JB2018x” when you place the order.  Please note- 1/2 models and J/Prints are exempt from this offer.  Check out all the cool gear, hats, shirts, and so forth online here today!
     

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Oct 7- Dec 2- Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
    Nov 30- Wirth Munroe Memorial Race- Palm Beach, FL
    Dec 1- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France
    Dec 1-2- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series I- Miami, FL
    Dec 8-9- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
    Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
    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.

     
    King Harbor YC Crowned U.S. J/70 Youth Champs
    (St Petersburg, FL)- The 2018 U.S. J/70 Youth Championship, hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL, concluded with a total of twenty-one races over the three days for the seven youth teams from across America. The teams enjoyed the short-course “stadium-style” racing of 20 minutes per race, sailing the StPYC’s perfectly-matched fleet of J/70’s just off the beautiful St Petersburg city waterfront.  Winning the event in a convincing fashion was the King Harbor YC Youth Team (Kyle Collins, Brock Paquin, River Paquin, and Justin Zmina).

    The regatta was blessed with a remarkable weather pattern that lasted the entire weekend.  As the northeastern region of the USA was blasted by its first winter storm, paralyzing major cities like New York, the southeast region of the continent-spanning frontal system provided nice N to NE breezes for four straight days with gorgeous sunny skies.  Here is how it all went down over the weekend.

    Day One
    The St. Petersburg YC welcomed the teams at the 8:30am Captain’s meeting and, facing winds gusting to 25 kts at 7:00am, Regatta Chairman and PRO Todd Fedyszyn wisely postponed for one hour. With a forecast of NNE winds of 15-20 kts diminishing to 6-15 kts by day’s end, the teams were blessed with a perfectly sunny, cool day, with not a cloud in the sky. As a result, the teams sailed a fast-paced series of ten races of about 20 minutes each, finishing by 4:00pm.

    Starting off with a 2-1-1-1, there was no question the team from King Harbor YC (Kyle Collins, Brock Paquin, River Paquin, and Justin Zmina) in Los Angeles, CA were determined to set a high bar for the rest of the top youth keelboat teams from across the country. A few lapses in concentration in races 5 and 7 were their only blemish on a record that closed with three bullets to lead the fleet with 16 pts total.

    Their arch-nemesis all day long was the Chicago YC team headed by Ray Groble and crew of Bridgette Groble, Remington King, and Jack Hemmelgarn.  While emphatically winning the first race, the Chicago team accumulated six more 2nds in the ten races to comfortably hold on to second place.

    Sitting in third was Little Traverse YC skippered by the top woman skipper Merideth Moran and her team of Ellie Wagner, Molly Matthews, Luke Baker, and Jack Miller (pictured below).

    Day Two
    Based on the weather forecast that indicated a brisk north/ northeaster of 8-12 kts in the morning would diminish to 3-5 kts by mid-afternoon, the StPYC PRO Todd Fedyszyn immediately sent the teams out to start promptly at 10:00am in the morning. The stated goal for the day was to get in at least seven races.  In the end, the amazing RC and mark set boat teams managed to pump out eight races before the wind diminished to below the 4-5 kts threshold at 3:00pm.

    Starting off where they left off the first day, King Harbor YC Youth Team’s won the first race of the day in what only could be described as a “horizon job”, despite the short course.  Thereafter, they accumulated five more 1sts in the eight races to extend their lead in the championship by 21 pts.

    Jumping into second place with an amazingly consistent day was the Little Traverse YC Youth Team with top woman skipper Merideth Moran.  They posted five 2nds in those eight races and had a total of 58 pts by day’s end.

    Not having one of their better days was Chicago YC Youth Team’s skipper Ray Groble. In the shifty, variable conditions, they started off with a promising 3-2-3 in the first three races. But, then the wheels fell of their shopping trolley, posting a tough 6-6-2-6-5 record for their last four races to drop back into third on the leaderboard, 8 pts off the pace from second place.

    Day Three
    Given that the enormous front that first hit on Thursday was losing a lot of steam, it was not surprising to see the forecast for Sunday’s racing was indicating even lighter winds. The morning dawned grey with overcast skies, with winds again ranging from 30 to 45 deg, light from the NNE at 4-7 kts. The StPYC PRO wisely scheduled a half-hour earlier start time of 9:30am with the goal of completing at least two races. In the end, three races were run for a total of 21 races in three days!

    The sailing was tough on the tacticians, as the puffs were streaky and spotty across the race track.  Mastering the day was Merideth Moran’s Little Traverse YC team, winning two of the races and adding a 2nd to win the day by a large margin.  Also, showing vast improvement since their first day was South Carolina YC’s youth team (Matthew Monts, Bradlee Anderson, Colin Meidler, James Thurlow, and Bobby Soares), posting an equally impressive 3-2-2 in their final races to take 2nd for the day!  Having their toughest day of the regatta was Ray Groble’s Chicago YC Youth Team, having to contend with a PMS, a mark rounding foul, and another PMS, resulting in a 7-7-7 tally.

    In the end, King Harbor YC’s youth team sailed an amazing event, closing out their finale with a 1-4-3 to win by a 17-point margin; that record included fourteen bullets in the 21 races!  Taking the silver was Little Traverse YC’s youth team, garnering the best record of the fleet in the last five races (2-2-2-1-1).  And, despite their miserable last day, the Chicago YC team had sailed such a strong event in the previous two days that they managed to hold on to the bronze medal on the podium! Sailing photo credits- Chris Howell/ J/70 Class.  For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information
     

    J/145 Wins Round Hong Kong Island Race
    (Hong Kong, China)- The annual Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is one of the biggest inshore events in Hong Kong. It is a 26.0 nm race around Hong Kong Island involving Class Keelboats, Dinghies, Beach Cats and Cruisers.

    Winning IRC 2 Class and taking 12th overall in what was decidedly a big-boat race was David Mitchell’s J/145C REDEYE, rounding the 26.0nm course in 3:58:16, for an average of nearly 6 kts.  Fourth in IRC 2 was Rick Van Den Berg’s J/111 JUGGERKNOT.  Taking 5th place in the IRC 3 Class was Nick Southward’s J/109 WHISKEY JACK.

    In the eighteen-boat J/80 class, it was a horse race all the way around the island, with several teams running neck-and-neck the entire way.  Ultimately, it was Henry Wong’s FOOTLOOSE that won the class by 11 seconds over Rita Yau’s JELIK 7! Then, just over a minute back was Ben Bulmer’s JASMINE in third place, just edging out by a half-boat length (4 seconds worth) Sarah Page’s SEABISCUIT.  Fifth place went to Andrew Blank’s JAVELIN and Pascal Martin’s J/105 LEGENDE took 7th place.  For more RHKYC Around Island Race sailing information
     

    Hamble Winter Series- Week 5 Report
    (Hamble, England)- The fifth week of HYS Hamble Winter Series coincided with Remembrance Sunday and the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day for World War 1. The first warning was put back until after the 11.00 am two minutes silence, and Jonathan Blanchard, played the Last Post, live from the deck of his boat.

    The Committee Boat set up station at 4S (Royal Southern) in 20 knots of breeze from 240 degrees and with "Yankee" flying once again. With the breeze forecast to increase, Race Officer Steve Parry decided on a two-course strategy for the day. The bigger boats in Class 1 and 2 would disappear off round the cans, whilst Class 3 and 4 would be kept close on a 1.6 mile Windward/ Leeward so that they could be shortened if the worst of the forecast came to pass.

    As it turned out the smaller boats managed the three rounds of the course though with varying degrees of skill and technique, especially downwind. Windward/Leewards with their associated gybes downwind are not everybody's cup of tea in these conditions, though not many would manage tea anyway.

    Up in Classes 1 & 2, there was plenty of action. The beat took the fleet to 3S (Royal Thames) where there was an interesting split. The asymmetric boats mostly gybe set, but others made ground by using the last of the East going tide with a bear away set and then gybing when meeting the West going tide on the North shore.

    The second downwind leg hoists at West Ryde Middle were dramatic as they coincided with a 30–33 knot squall! The J/88's appeared to come off worst with spectacular broaches and, indeed, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL suffered a MOB. Some quick thinking aboard Malice, who stood by the incident, meant that the MOB was recovered.

    Further down the leg the, Mike & Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO and Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE, were battling for 1st place and could not afford to go down to white sails only. Meanwhile, JOLLY JACK TAR, RNSA, and HOT RATS all decided to consolidate their 3rd and 4th positions and white-sailed home past a number of Class 1 & 2 kiting casualties!

    In Class 1, Chaz Ivill & Paul Heyes’ J/112E DAVANTI TYRES finally lost a race, taking 2nd on corrected time.

    In Class 2, loaded down with numerous J/109s, JIRAFFE held on (e.g. survived) to beat JAGO by 2 minutes and 19 seconds with JOLLY JACK TAR in 3rd.

    For Class 3, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO was sailed by his daughter- Libby (one of the British Sailing Team’s top women helm).  This meant that, again, David was allowed to enjoy some golfing on the Algarve last week. Though, sportingly, he made it to the bar to celebrate her success whilst mumbling on about a torn spinnaker! Hard to please Dad, isn’t it, even though she finished 2nd!

    There was much praise for the Race team for both suffering the conditions and putting on a great race for everyone. Back in the clubhouse, Athena Rossi, of Force 4, presented the day prizes. No doubt, there will be some brisk business at Force 4 this week replacing broken and strained parts.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information
     

    Hot Rum Series II Report
    (San Diego, CA)- The second installment of San Diego YC’s famous Hot Rum Series took place last weekend, just one more to go!  There were a lot of position changes for various teams going up and down the standings as they navigated the waters of San Diego Harbor and the Pacific Ocean off the majestic Point Loma.  Again, the conditions were generally favorable to the bigger boats starting later in the PHRF “pursuit-style” race, as they started with more wind than the earlier slower boats.

    In PHRF Class 2, Ernie Pennell’s J/120 MAD MEN sailed another good race to score a 2-7 so far and hang in for a 2nd place in the series lead.  Just behind them is Rudy Hasl’s J/120 HASL FREE with a 6-6 for 12 pts.  Then, third J/120 is Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER with a 9-8 for 17 pts.

    The J/105s seem to rule the roost in PHRF Class 4.  Leading the fleet is Dennis Case’s J/105 J-OK with a 4-2 for 6 pts.  Third is Erostino Dagfish’s VIGGEN with a 6-5 for 11 pts.  Fourth is Steve Wyman’s J/70 NUNUHUNU with a 2-10 for 12 pts.  And, sitting is 5th place is Donica & Scott Ryder’s J/105 SANITY with a 14-1 for 15 pts.

    Finally, in PHRF Class 5, David Cattle’s classic J/27 BLACKADDER is hanging tight, in a three-way tie for 4th place with a 4-6 for 10 pts. And, they are just 5 pts off the lead.  So, anything can literally happen in the next race for this class!  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOY Sailing.com.  For more Hot Rum Series sailing information
     

    J/Community
    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    -----------
    * After a really tough 50th edition of the ROLEX Middle Sea Race, the J/122e ANITA finished 3rd in IRC Class and 24th among 115 boats sailing.

    The Spanish-Chilean team led by owner/ skipper Nicoléas Ibañez Scott, put up a strong effort in wildly variable weather conditions on the Mediterranean Sea, from “glass-outs” with burning sun, to 40+ kts, grey, cold, and 15 ft seas rolling over the deck.

    Here is their “insider’s report” on what went down in this incredibly challenging “bucket list” race on the Mediterranean Sea.  Thanks to ANITA’s owner- Nicoléas Ibañez Scott.

    “This was the second year that Anita, a J/122E, participated in the Middle Sea race, 600-mile race around Sicily and the islands that surround it.

    It was an especially hard race, with only one-third of the fleet completing the race.

    This year we sailed with more sails, more crew (8), and made various improvements in our maneuvers and how we used our navigation/ electronics equipment.

    The race started off for us with a collision! The other boat came from behind and hit us in the stern and they ended up getting a badly broken bowsprit. We just got a little scratch astern.

    The first long leg is getting to the Straits of Messina between Sicily and the mainland.  It was a long windward leg, with 12-16 knots. Our closest references were the J/133 JIVARO that was easily advancing on us in these conditions. And, the other was the J/122 JOY; they helped us find the correct sail trim.

    At nightfall, the wind got lighter and near land, it also became unstable in intensity and direction.  Good tactical decisions and the use of our Code 0 in some transitions allowed us to place ourselves at the head of the fleet in our group and very well positioned in the overall fleet.

    In the morning, a zone of total calm trapped the fleet. We floated for hours trying to move. Our new windseeker became crucial!

    In the afternoon, the wind finally returned astern and propelled us towards the Strait of Messina. We sailed in sight of the JPK 1180 for hours; in the end they would end up winning the regatta in our class and overall.

    In the Straits of Messina, the wind and the currents became capricious, and forced us to continuous changes of sails and maneuvers.

    The duel with the JPK 1180 "Courier Recommandée" in this section of the race was exciting for us, we go forward several times, sometimes the boats sail backwards due to the current.  In fact, we sailed just 20-30m from the shore to reduce the current effects.

    Finally, we managed to escape from the "claws" of Messina and with a strong wind we got to the Strómboli volcano.

    Then, there was one of the biggest highlights of our race, a port-starboard under spinnaker with the JPK 1180 in the middle of the night. From there, they would escape from us, culminating in a masterful race for them! But, frustrating for us!!

    Soon after, an enormous lightning storm hits us. The wind came from every direction and intensity. Fortunately, a heavy thundershower caught us with the spinnaker on deck!

    After rounding Strómboli, we began a long windward course to the Egades. The wind raged (up to 40 kts) and the waves were difficult to steer through.  In this section, the larger and heavier boats could pound through the seas better and took off from us.

    We rounded Favignana rocks on the third night.  We believe this is where the JPK 1180 got away from us, as until this time we were still very close to them after beating upwind for so many hours.  At this stage, the wind was aft and the big waves behind us.  This leg was over 150 miles with 20-30 kts of wind.


    We tried the A4 spinnaker for 15 minutes.  But, we quickly realized the boat was difficult to control in the big waves.  So, we lowered the A4 before losing control and breaking something. We sailed this leg with the main and 105% jib only, sailing much slower than many of our rivals.

    We finally rounded Lampedusa the fourth night and we had a very wet leg from there to Malta, with 20 knots of wind.

    We passed between Gozo and Malta before sailing under kite the last 15 miles and crossing the finish line after four exciting days of racing.

    Good times, exciting duels, new lessons, a 3rd place in our class and we want to repeat next year!”

    * The SEABAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM continued to have fun racing their J/24 during the 2018 sailing season.  Their all-women crew had more than a dozen women crew cross the decks over the course of the season.  Their skipper, Erica Beck Spencer, is also the team leader, keeps the women organized, and often leads them on training weekends to keep their skills sharp. She also works closely with World-class coaches, such as Mike Ingham from the North Sails One-Design Team.

    Here is Erica’s recent interview with Mike at a recent regatta:

    “I love dock talks at regattas. I sit in the front row, my trusty notebook open, scratching down everything I can (because that is how I remember things best), and am never short on questions to ask the pros.  I’m a regatta nerd. Everything I learn at each dock talk and more goes in that notebook and on more than one occasion someone has approached me to say,  “I want your notebook!”

    So, we’re changing the title of this blog to The Dock Talk and the Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team hopes to share with you lessons from dock talks, insights we glean from the experts, or learnings from our own experience at regattas.

    While dock talks offer a wealth of information to any sailor, they do pose a challenge for even the most seasoned. The answers to questions presented at dock talks are usually just sound bites—a short answer given to maintain the attention of the audience. Responses are not usually detailed enough to change someone’s strategy or sailing practice. To that end, I am thrilled to share something new we’re going to try. Mike Ingham, US Sailing Coach of the year in 2017 and 2018 J24 North American Champion has agreed to do a question-and-answer column with us.  We plan to feature Mike regularly, so we hope you’ll check back often. For today, let’s kick off our first Q&A.

    Erica: The pros all seem to be able to point higher than me and most of my fellow J24 Corinthians. I've been told it is all about flow over the keel and you can't start pointing higher until you have enough flow. I know a zillion factors affect this pointing ability, but let's talk about the big ones. And for simplification let's say that the breeze is about 8-11 knots (everyone's on the rail but we’re not overpowered.)

    Mike: Let’s focus on pointing higher than VMG (Velocity Made Good: practically put VMG= optimum height/ speed angle for making progress upwind) for tactical reasons.  The range between VMG and pointing artificially high is maybe 4 degrees.  Higher than that and the speed drops off way too drastically.  So hopefully that frames the discussion.

    Erica:  OK great, so how do you go about pointing high?

    Mike: First off, don’t overdo it or it will backfire.  Ease into pointing by gaining speed first.  If someone is right below you (like at a start), you still can’t stick it high too quickly because until flow gets going on your foils (keel and rudder) you will just slide sideways and although your bow will be pointing high, you will go really slow and slide sideways –the worst of both!  I see many people try to point by trimming in their jib hard and although tempting, over-trimming the jib is not the way to point. When pointing considerably higher, especially in lighter winds, the pressure on jib will decrease (think the extreme of luffing) and the jib may get tighter in the leach and we may actually need to ease it.  If trying to point higher by heading up, and your jib leech telltale stalls, you need to ease.

    Erica: Sounds slow. I can picture my team getting frustrated with me…

    Mike: You mostly get point by simply heading up a little and paying attention to the leech of the main –you get height from over-trimming the main and thus hooking leech. I look at the top leech tale and see what % it is flowing.  If in VMG mode, I might have it stalling 50% of the time.  Then in point mode I would trim it in so it is now stalling 70-80% of the time. Over trimming the main will give you more hook.  If it comes easy with main trim, then great!  But if the hook is hard to come by, ease backstay and possibly vang. Each will straighten the mast and that makes the leech tighter.  Easing cunningham, and outhaul also add some return (hook) and thus leech tension.

    Erica: What percentage of your time are you looking at the leech of the main versus the luff of the genoa?

    Mike: Even though main trim is super important, I spend most of my time looking at those jib tales and just glance up and read the % stall on the main.  The important tale is the one on the biggest/ most hooked part of the roach. -if you have more than one, it’s the one that stalls first. That leech tale will alternate between flowing and stalling over a few seconds. For example, it may flow for a second, then stall for 2 seconds and translates to around 60-70% stall. I will be watching the jib tales for maybe 15 seconds then I will glance up for those 3 seconds to understand my main trim then go back to looking at the jib tales for 15 seconds and so on. In addition to that, I adjust the main trim whenever there is wind change. For example, if my target is 70% stall, and last I checked I was spot on, but then I get a lull, I will ease main and then look up and fine tune to get it back to 70%.  To circle back and relate this to pointing high, I will do this regardless of pointing, VMG, or footing, but the target stall time is what changes.

    Erica:  We talked steering angle, jib, and main trim, what about the other controls?

    Mike: Less important for sure, but worth a discussion:
    • Traveler: Pull the traveler up so the boom is just above centerline.
    • Heel: Over-flatten the boat.  You need the blades more vertical than usual to get the most lift off your blades.  It’s just a few degrees more than normal.  If you are sailing a round bottom dinghy and sailing with just 2 degrees of heel, then sail absolutely flat A keelboat you might be sailing with 6 degrees, notch that down to 4 degrees.
    • More on heel: Flattening the boat also has the added bonus of getting your sail area a bit to windward to help if the reason you are pointing is to get away from the boat to leeward
    • Controls: I don’t change a lot of the controls.  If I think I will be in point mode for a while, I might fluff up the jib halyard a little and ease the ham.
    Erica: Did you just say “fluff up the jib halyard and ease the ham?” Making sure I’m paying attention?

    Mike:  Ha, yeah “fluff up” is not a technical term, it means ease the halyard.  Easing the main cunningham “ham” loosens the luff and easing the jib halyard loosens the jib luff.

    Erica:  All that discussion was for “ideal” 10kt conditions.  How does all that change when we are overpowered?

    Mike: Once overpowered, it’s more about sailing really flat and pinching.  When overpowered the main is already eased so the top tale is always flowing.  You will still need to trim in your main when pointing, but instead of trimming to the main leech tale, you trim to keep the boat at the correct heel.   I rarely look up, instead I focus on the heel, puffs, lulls and waves.

    In all conditions, you need a human speedo.  Even if you have some instruments, you still need someone on board to gauge your height/speed ratio.  They should know if you are too high and losing too much speed to make it worth it.  There is such a fine line and for sure you do have to feel it, but your human speedo will give you a visual comparing other boats to give you a sanity check.

    Erica: Sometimes I feel I can point for a while but then the wheels fall off.  What’s going on?

    Mike: I find pointing a little high (1-4 deg) is ok, but pointing really high (5+deg) is unsustainable. If I really need height for some tactical reason, I look at pointing high as cyclical.   In all conditions, I will overtrim and pinch until I feel the boat start to slow then put the bow down and get speed again and so on.  It’s walking a knife’s edge and if you get it wrong by staying high too long it is a disaster!

    Erica: In all conditions? Even at the start where every second counts?

    Mike: Well, in short, yes, especially in a situation like the start.  But don’t confuse weather conditions with a segment of the race.  When I say “all conditions” I mean all wind conditions. There is always a VMG heading for all wind conditions and I can really get some extra height relative to that but if I go really high I can only hold it for so long before I start to slow.  Racing with waves is a different story, so I guess I did not really mean “all conditions”.

    Erica: So, tell me more about height in waves.

    Mike: Getting height in waves is super tricky. If you go high at the wrong time, a wave will kill all your speed.  I focus much of my attention at the upcoming waves, but I find it super helpful to have a teammate call flat spots so I know when I can point.  I often can see waves just fine and can deal with them, what I can’t see is a nice flat spot, so I often prefer my teammate calling flat spots and really bad waves, but not all the little waves.

    Erica: This is brilliant Mike, thank you so much. I know I learned a lot and hope others will too.  I learn best when I have easy slogans to remind myself of key points. Some of my Mike Ingham takeaways are:
    • To point gain speed first
    • Point off the leech of the main
    • A flat boat moves sails to windward
    • Call flat spots
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