• J/Newsletter- April 17th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    One of the most amazing events that took place this past week was World Sailing’s NATIONS CUP Regatta on San Francisco Bay for nearly a week of competition. Sailed on their matched fleet of J/22 one-design sailboats, the St Francis Yacht Club held a five-day regatta that included both “Open” and “Women” divisions for world-class match-racing. Notably, the French swept the event, despite prognostications to the contrary (a bright spot for their nation, despite the tragic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral). Going from the “left coast” to the “right coast”, the largest sailing regatta in America took place in Charleston, South Carolina. That event- the SPERRY Charleston Race Week- has grown considerably over time and, in its latest incarnation, had nearly 50% J/Teams participation (about 75% of all sailors).

    Over in the United Kingdom, the Warsash Spring Series held their fifth weekend of sailing activity.  This past weekend marked the start of their Black Championship Regatta, a special “within a series” regatta that takes place over two weekends.  The competition continued to be ferocious, especially for the large fleet of J/70s that are beginning their ramp-up/ tune-up for the 2019 J/70 World Championship in Torquay, England.

    Meanwhile, down in the Caribbean, the Les Voiles de St Barths Regatta continues to progress this week. They have completed three days of racing, starting on Monday. On Thursday, the fleet was relaxing and enjoying a sybaritic day on the infamous Nikki Beach party.

    In the J/Community, there are several entertaining profiles and insights on “veteran” sailors as well as “youth” sailors. For example, one J/35 sailor has sailed all 24 Charleston Race Weeks. Then, a group of youth sailors on a J/70 described their experience sailing in Charleston Race Week. Similarly, we have a parent/ family sailing video perspective on kids sailing on their J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP off Cleveland, OH on Lake Erie.  Finally, the J/121 EAGLE had an early spring tuning session with triple-slotting as part of their training program- fascinating photos!

    SPI Ouest France Regatta Preview
    (La Trinite sur Mer, France)- If it’s Easter Bank Holiday, it must be time for the largest regatta in France to usher in the new sailing season! Yes, it is that time again, from April 18th to 22nd, the Societe Nautique de La Trinite sur Mer hosts their annual SPI Ouest France Regatta.

    The event is simply huge and is also an important gathering place for all sailors, professionals, and marine industry people.  The 2019 edition will have 398 keelboats on the water, of which 98 are a veritable navy of J’s (25% of the total fleet) that include J/70s, J/80s, J/92s, J/97s, J/99s, J/105s, J/109, J/111, J/120 and J/122E.

    The leading contenders in the IRC Divisions will include the trio of the brand new J/99’s making their first major regatta debut. The stakes could not get any higher than the largest regatta in France run each year! Leading that charge in the IRC B fleet may be Didier LeMoal’s latest J-LANCE 14 from Societe Regate Rochelaises. Then, Olivier Grassi’s J/99 GRASSI BATEAUX is sailing in the IRC Double class against a formidable contingent of top French offshore doublehanded sailing teams.

    Racing in the IRC A class will be P. Vidon’s J/111 J4F from Societe Nautique Baie St Malo.  Joining the J/99s in IRC B are H. Mehu’s J/109 JACKPOT, P. Girardin’s J/120 HEY JUDE, and P. Baetz’s J/122E MUSIX; all three teams are from the host club- SN Trinite sur Mer. In IRC C class will be two J/92s- M. Visbecq’s NAVARCHSOFT and T. Bidon’s DR JEKYLL from CN Lorient.

    The French version of the American PHRF class is called the Osiris Habitable handicap rule.  There are nine J/Teams participating in OSH 1 Division, including four J/105s, S. Blevin’s J/109 JOKE, two J/97s (O. Kayser’s NUAGE II and P. Mabo’s HALIOTIS), and a lone J/24 (A. Garcia’s JERONIMO).

    Yet again, the largest class in the biggest regatta in France happens to be the sixty-four boat J/80 class, with representatives from Belgium, Spain, Great Britain and Ireland. The top French teams include Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS, Luc Nadal’s GANJA, Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J, and Laurent Verdier’s HIP HOP. The top visiting teams include Kevin Sproul’s ULTIMATE SAILS/ J.A.T. from Great Britain and J. O’Dowd’s JABS from Ireland.

    The seventeen-boat J/70 class continues to grow its participation in the SPI Ouest Regatta, and the competition is getting stronger as well, with representatives from three nations- France, Russia, and the USA.  The top French crews are Luc Sambron’s HEMON CAMUS, Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE/ JIBESET.  The top visitors include the American B. Vibert on APOLLO J and the Russian/ Spanish team on NEW TERRITORIES, led by Alex Semenov from Moscow with Olympic Medallist Hugo Rocha as trim/ tactics.  For more SPI Ouest France sailing information

    RORC Easter Challenge Preview
    (Cowes, England)- You can pay for new sails. You can pay for keel fairing and a good bottom job. You can pay a specialist to try to optimize your IRC rating. Any of the above will help you to get around the race track faster in a more successful manner.

    However, none if them address the real issue- that boat speed gains, ultimately translating into performance on the race course- can come just as readily if you spend time not money on yourself. You can change the set-up and trim of your boat, and spend time on the water testing that while practicing to improve your crew’s skill-sets, boat handling and techniques.

    The fast track way to do this is by employing a coach– the reason why Olympic sailors and America’s Cup teams have them full time. However, competitors at the RORC Easter Challenge (Friday 19th-Sunday 21st April)- be they RORC members or no – will receive coaching for FREE from some of the top names in British sailing.

    This coaching is provided by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to improve general sailing skills, and thus, the tightness of the racing, both in its own fleets and more broadly. Many crews use the event effectively to kick start their new season, to make both themselves and their boat race-ready after the winter break.

    While the coaching may be FREE, it comes from top sailors, notably ‘the guru’ Jim Saltonstall, whose influence helped drive many of the top names in British yacht racing, like Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Chris Draper, on their way to their present success. Another integral part of the coaching effort is Eddie Warden Owen. He may spend more time in a suit these days as the RORC CEO, but he has been one of the UK’s top sailors and also has a long CV coaching, including America’s Cup teams such as Team New Zealand and Desafio Espanol. They are assisted by professional keelboat coach Mason King.

    Once again, North Sails is a partner of the RORC Easter Challenge and various sailmakers from the Gosport loft will be both helping with the on-the-water coaching, while others will be sailing on key boats in the fleet.

    “For RORC Easter Challenge competitors, the coaching is optional,” says RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. “You can just pitch up and treat it as a normal yacht race. Or, you can ask the coaches to come over and look at something when you’re out on the water. But better still, before the event let us know if there is anything specific you’d like the coaches to look at.” This is could be seeing how well a change in trim is working or a new technique for maneuvers, or checking new sails.

    For those unfamiliar with the event, the coaching comes in two significant parts. On the water, the event is unique in having RRS 41 “Outside Help” relaxed. This permits coaches to climb onboard to demonstrate something and/or the crew can step off on to a coaching RIB to check trim mid-race! A very valuable process for any sailing team!

    Post-racing on the Friday and Saturday nights at the RORC’s Cowes Clubhouse, the coaching team will examine lessons learned during the day, backed up with video from the race course. New for 2019 is that due to the breadth of the fleet and the introduction of a doublehanded class, the debrief session for the whole group will be followed by sessions for smaller groups, with, for example, Nikki Curwen (top woman J/105 sailor) leading the one for Doublehanders.

    A repeat visitor is the J/109 MOJO RISIN’, campaigned by Rob Cotterill with a crew, largely from London Business School Sailing Club. The boat is heavily campaigned and she managed to finish 16th among almost 400 boats in last year’s RORC Season’s Points Championship.

    “It is a great regatta,” says Cotterill of the RORC Easter Challenge. “We treat it like a mini Cowes Week and spend a lot of time on the debriefs, which are really useful. We’ll also be trying to get attention from the coaching boats. Last year they were able to compare how we were sailing against another J/109 JUBILEE, looking at the trim differences, etc; that was really useful. We are all amateur sailors and this helps us to learn fast. The more help we can get, the better.”

    As usual the RORC Easter Challenge will conclude with a prize-giving mid-afternoon on Easter Sunday, where chocolate eggs in extreme quantities will be given out among the prizes!  For more RORC Easter Challenge sailing information

    J/24 Lady Liberty Cup Announcement
    (New York, NY)- The Manhattan Yacht Club is proud to host the 20th edition of the Lady Liberty Cup to be sailed June 8th and 9th in New York Harbor. Sponsored by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, the purpose of the event is to support and promote amateur women’s sailing in the United States by bringing together top women sailors. The regatta will be raced on identical J/24 sailboats provided by Manhattan Yacht Club with races taking place under the watchful gaze of the Statue of Liberty herself!

    All races start and finish from the Honorable William Wall, Manhattan Yacht Club’s floating clubhouse anchored in the harbor. This means races can start upwind or downwind, depending on weather and current conditions.

    Participating teams are encouraged to start sailing on Friday June 7th, the boats will be available for a practice day from 1000 to 1600 hours and a practice race will be taking place at 1600 hrs.

    Any team of U.S. women sailors can apply to participate. To be considered for an invitation, please email “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”. The entry fee is $350 that covers the cost of the boat charter. The damage deposit is $500.  Please note the deadline for entry is May 15.

     If you have any questions, please contact the Manhattan Yacht Club at 212-786-3323. For more information and to request entry go to myc.org/racing-home/lady-liberty-regatta.  For more Manhattan YC Lady Liberty Cup sailing information

    Oregon Offshore Race Announcement!
    (Portland, OR)- The 43rd Annual Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race, sponsored by Schooner Creek Boatworks, is scheduled to start on May 9th, 2019.  This 193-mile race starts at Buoy 2 off the Columbia River entrance and finishes at the entrance to Victoria, BC harbor.

    So far, there are twenty participants and Corinthian YC Portland is expecting a few more sign-ups. The entrants so far are the usual who’s who of the Portland sailing community, with some very welcome participants coming from out of the area.  A top local boat includes Scott Campbell’s beautiful new RIVA, a state of the art J/121, crewed by the usual group of local rock stars.

    In addition to other local regulars, there is Phillip Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF RACING, the J/40 VELOCITY skippered by Thomas Keffer, and the Portland J/105 Fleet has a one-design start with three entrants (ABSTRACT, Dennis Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST, and of course FREE BOWL OF SOUP (their 6th time!)!

    This year, in conjunction with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, the event is featuring the First Annual Cascadia Cup, which will award a trophy to the competitor with the lowest combined time in the Oregon Offshore and qualifying races of the Swiftsure event.

    The Oregon Offshore skippers meeting and raffle will be held at the Rogue Brew Pub in Astoria, Oregon on May 8th starting at 6 pm.  The race will start in the morning of May 9th just off Astoria at the opening of the Columbia River. This will be another great race in the long history of the Oregon Offshore. For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information

    Calling All J/Crews- Edgartown Race Week & Round Island Beckons!
    (Edgartown, MA)— J/Boat teams are always a big part of the action at Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend, and this year organizers are putting out an “A.P.B.” to all J/Fest participants and others who own J/Boats, inviting them to join the fun on Martha’s Vineyard over July 25th to 27th, 2019.

    The three-day competition starts on Thursday with two days of ’Round-the-Buoys (’RTB) racing and finishes on Saturday with a choice of distance races: the traditional 56 nautical-mile ’Round-the-Island (’RTI) race and, introduced last year, the 20 nm ’Round-the-Sound (’RTS) race.

    Sailors can choose to sail on all three days or just in one or the other of the distance races. Either way, there’s something for everyone and something extra for J/Boat teams in the ‘RTI race. A three-boat team, representing any given yacht club and with PHRF-NE rated entries in more than one division, qualifies for first-, second-, and third-place trophies based on best-corrected times. As well, there are top-three prizes for the best individual corrected time out of all J/Boats in the ’RTI.

    As one of the smallest boats in the fleet last year, Ira Perry’s (Padanaram, Mass.) J/29 SEEFEST won the best-corrected-time J/Boat trophy in the ’RTI and finished second in his class. Perry has won the race a handful of times since he first sailed it in 2001 and has only missed a few years of competing here.

    “It’s just spectacular scenery, some of the most beautiful in the area,” said Perry, “and the race is always tactically challenging, especially in light air when you need to concentrate on keeping the boat moving, but last year there was plenty of wind, and we were in by 4 p.m.”

    Perry added that, as always is the case, the weekend will double as a getaway with his wife and kids, and this year he’s considering joining the ’Round-the-Buoys racing if his crew can come in early.

    “Edgartown Yacht Club runs a great regatta, and they work hard to make the experience the best it can possibly be,” said Perry. “The organizers are very accommodating, and they ask for and listen to feedback, making changes according to it. You don’t see that happening too often with other regattas.”

    Other J/Boat skippers signed up for the ’RTI are Edgartown Race Weekend veterans and past winners Ed Dailey and Richard Egan, entered, respectively, with the J/109 RAPTOR and the J/46 WINGS.

    Brand new to the event will be Daniel Heun (Franklin, Mass.) skippering his J/122 MOXIEE in both the ’Round-the-Buoys races and the ’Round-the-Sound race. Huen has had his boat since 2014, having progressed from owning and racing a J/24, to a J/29, and then a J/105.

    “When you want a new boat it usually is bigger than the last one,” said Heun, “and this one (hull #85 at 40 feet) is fit for cruising, with cherry joinery below, a refrigerator, etc., so the first couple of nights we’ll stay on it on the mooring, and then I’ll move ashore when my wife and daughter come in on Friday.”

    Heun, a veteran of the Chicago to Mackinac Race, Newport to Bermuda Race, Block Island Race Week and other “racer’s races”, says he and his crew try to choose at least one weekend regatta each season where the families can be part of the fun.

    “Edgartown Race Weekend is perfect, because it’s a long weekend instead of a week, and it’s in July, so it’s warm,” said Heun. “We’re planning on having good days of racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday while our families enjoy the beaches and shopping, and then we’ll have good dinners ashore with them each evening. We debated doing the ’RTI, but with the ’RTS we’re assured of getting back by late afternoon, and we’ll still be able to enjoy Edgartown after racing.”

    Edgartown Race Weekend divisions are for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), Classic, One-Design, Multihull and Doublehanded boats. ’RTI/’RTS and ‘RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

    Registration deadline for the ’Round-the-Island and ’Round-the Sound races is Wednesday, July 24, 2019.  (Registration deadline for team sign-up is Monday, July 22.) The entry fee for ’RTS is $125 ($150 after July 6). The fee for the ’RTI is $250.00 ($325 after July 5, 2019).

    Registration deadline for the ’Round-the-Buoy races is Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The entry fee for ’RTB is $50 each day.

    A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 26), and awards on both Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (July 28), round out the full social schedule.

    To request a mooring, contact Clare Sullivan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Edgartown Yacht Club Racing on Facebook here.  For more information Edgartown Race Week sailing information

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 17- Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
    Apr 14-20- Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St. Barth
    Apr 18-22- SPI Ouest France Regatta- La Trinite sur Mer, France
    Apr 20-21- J/22 Van Uden Ecco Regatta- Stellendam, Netherlands
    Apr 26-28- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
    Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
    Apr 28- May 3- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
    May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
    May 3-5- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    May 4-10- J/24 European Championship- Patras, Greece
    May 4- RORC Cervantes Cup Race- Cowes, England
    May 9-12- SAILING Champions League- Palma Mallorca, Spain
    May 10-12- Grand Prix de St Cast- St Cast, France
    May 10-12- RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup- Cowes, England

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

    Blustery, Sunny SPERRY Charleston Race Week
    (Charleston, SC)- No question, there is no more picturesque sight than Charleston Harbor during the SPERRY Charleston Race Week regatta that brings international recognition to the historic city. A fleet of almost 260 sailboats in 18 different classes took over almost every inch of the Cooper River and was truly a sight to behold all weekend-long. With seven different race courses set in various pockets of Charleston Harbor, a spectator viewing from land could see colorful billowing sails everywhere they looked!  And, what a spectacle it was for three straight days of sailing.

    It is not hard to see why over 115 J/Teams enjoyed their annual spring pilgrimage down to this jewel in the deep South.  No one could complain, three straight days of good weather, good breezes, plenty of sun, and random squalls on Sunday to spice things up a bit!

    The regatta featured six one-design J/Classes, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/105s.  In addition, there were two “Pursuit-style” sailing divisions for both PHRF and ORC handicap rated boats that includes a J/30, J/35, J/109s, J/111s, J/120s and a J/122.

    Day 1- Beautiful Southeasters!
    The weekend got off to a rip-roaring start with south-southeasterly winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots, allowing organizers to complete four races for most of the classes doing windward-leeward courses.

    There was some great action on the inside courses with the wind shifting wildly at times and a short squall wreaking some havoc then causing conditions to change significantly.

    Class newcomer Buddy Cribb sailed VICTORY into the early lead in the J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 56 boats. Barr Batzer was aboard as tactician while Scott Ewing (headsail trimmer) and Chris Manson-Hing (bow) completed the crew as VICTORY posted a solid score line of 1-3-4.

    “We got good starts, we went the right way and we went fast. We also didn’t do anything too risky,” said Cribb, a resident of Jupiter, Florida.

    Cribb had been sailing in the Etchells class for 15 years and suddenly decided to “give something different a try.” The Coral Reef Yacht Club member has about nine regattas under his belt and has clearly climbed the learning curve quite quickly.

    J/70 class leaders have requested just three races per day and VICTORY holds a two-point lead over Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT team going into Saturday’s action.

    “This is a really tough fleet, so we’ll see if we can keep it going,” said Cribb, whose last appearance at Sperry Charleston Race Week came about eight years ago with the Etchells.

    Mike Bruno has been bringing his J/88 WINGS to Sperry Charleston Race Week for several years and has never come away victorious– not even a runner-up finish or, for that matter, anywhere near the podium! The Armonk, New York native is hoping his team’s success on Friday is a good omen as WINGS began the regatta with results of 2-2-1 before a blown-out spinnaker led to a fifth in Race 4.

    “We had really good starts and really good boat speed,” Bruno said. “Our boat tends to be quicker in a breeze so we were glad to see the velocity increase as the day went along.”

    Bruno said Wings was overlapped with EXILE and SPACEMAN SPIFF at the finish of the two races it placed second. “For some reasons I’ve been jinxed in this regatta. Hopefully, things will finally come together this year,” he said.

    Warrior Sailing 1, skippered by Sammy Hodges, grabbed the early lead in the J/22 class after winning two races and placing second in two others. Navy veteran Ruben Munoz (jib) and Army veteran Troy Rasmussen (main) are the warriors aboard the boat.

    “This is my first time competing here at Charleston and it was really cool out there,” Munoz said. “We worked really well together as a team, which was great to see.”

    College of Charleston sailor Carson Shields worked the bow aboard Warrior Sailing 1, which benefitted from doing two practice sessions on Thursday. “I’m so impressed with the improvement Ruben and Troy made in the span of just one day on the boat,” Hodges said.

    On the offshore Hybrid Pursuit classes, the ORC Class A, B and C entries had a light start to the day– taking more than three hours to complete the 7.4-mile out-bound course due to the flood current and light air under eight knots.

    Despite the light air and challenging conditions, the Pursuit Race concept seemed to work across the wide variety of boat types in this division– ranging from Victor Wild’s speedy TP52 Fox to Miles Martschink’s J/105– because the racing in corrected time was also close with the top eight places in Race 1 within one minute.

    Robin Team, a multi-time Palmetto Trophy winner, led the J/122 TEAMWORK to victory in both races on Friday. Team said the return race into Charleston Harbor, which began with a fleet start, was approximately 9 ½ miles due to a windward jaunt to a drop mark.

    “We’re primarily accustomed to doing windward-leeward courses around the buoys so this point-to-point racing was a little different for us, but a fun challenge for our crew,” Team said.

    Team credited tactician Jonathan Bartlett with making some “extraordinary calls” during the Pursuit Race into the Atlantic Ocean. “That, coupled with Kevin Ryman’s great navigation, gave us a leg up on the race out,” said Team, who praised his brother Adam for doing an “incredible job” of trimming the spinnaker during the race back into the harbor, which was primarily a downwind affair.

    Day 2- Sunny, Breezy Southerly, Again?!
    Charleston Harbor was pretty much becalmed as sailors made their way to the docks on Saturday morning. Some of the professional tacticians encouraged event director Randy Draftz to post an onshore postponement in order to give the sea breeze time to fill in.

    However, Draftz has been running Sperry Charleston Race Week for a long time and knows the conditions here better than anyone. He decided to send the 257-boat fleet out on time, but instructed principal race officers on all seven circles to error on the side of caution. “We’d rather have one good race than three bad ones,” Draftz said.

    It turns out concerns about the wind velocity were unfounded. In typical Charleston fashion, the breeze built throughout the day and organizers got in four races again on Saturday- two light air starts in the morning followed by two medium breeze starts in the afternoon. Most importantly, all the racing was fair and gave the sailors quality racing in the challenging venue.

    “It was a very challenging day on the water,” said Pamela Rose, skipper of the J/70 ROSEBUD. “I give my crew a lot of credit for having the ability to tune the boat accurately for the changing conditions.”

    Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew had a dominant day within the J/70 fleet. Ronning steered CATAPULT to victory in all four races, an extremely difficult accomplishment considering the caliber of competition.

    “It was a really fun day to say the least,” said Ronning, who went right back on the water for an evening sail with his daughter and girlfriend.

    Class veteran Victor Diaz De Leon was calling tactics on CATAPULT with Charleston local Patrick Wilson trimming the headsails and Christopher Stocke working the bow. Factor in a win to close out Friday’s action and Catapult has posted five straight bullets en route to a low score of 14 points.

    “One thing about this team is that we have a tremendous amount of fun together. It’s a very harmonious group,” said Ronning, who captured J/70 class and earned the Charleston Race Week Cup in 2017. “Victor Diaz is a brilliant tactician and the communication on the boat is tremendous. Patrick and Christopher are fantastic about feeding information to Victor.”

    ROSEBUD held second place in J/70 class, 19 points behind CATAPULT and six ahead of VICTORY (Buddy Cribb). This was Rose’s third time at Sperry Charleston Race Week and this is the highest she has been in J/70 class.

    “I love coming to Charleston because it’s such a dynamite venue. This is by far the best results I’ve had in this regatta and it’s because I have such a great crew,” Rose said.

    Lucas Calabrese, part of the 2018 J/70 World Championship crew, is calling tactics for the Chicago & Florida owner along with Jud Smith (the 2018 J/70 World Champion skipper). “It’s really tough out there, so you have to keep your head out of the boat and work hard to stay in phase,” Calabrese said.

    SHENANIGANS, sailed by the husband and wife tandem of Bill and Shannon Lockwood, had set a strong pace in J/80 class- getting the gun in five of eight starts. The Annapolis boat has a couple seconds and a third for a low score of nine points, but was still just three clear of the second place boat. ELEVEN, another Annapolis entry skippered by Bert Carp, had also posted a steady string of top three finishes highlighted by three bullets.

    Carter White and his crew on YouREGATTA had put forth a masterful performance in J/24 class, winning six straight races after beginning the regatta with a second. White, who hails from Portland, Maine, had built an eight-point lead on LEVEL PELICAN (Crisp McDonald).

    Day 3-  Spectacular, Blustery Finale
    The regatta concluded in spectacular fashion with strong winds producing exciting action and several classes being decided during the last race.

    The J/88 class saw the battle go right down to the wire in the final race. Mike Bruno said following Friday’s racing that he’d been jinxed at Sperry Charleston Race Week, suffering problems that prevented podium finishes in 2018 and 2017. He thought his bad luck would be extended when WINGS was ruled on-course-side in Race 9 and had to restart.

    “We came into the day saying we were going to be conservative and not make any mistakes. Then, we got tangled up with another boat at the start and right out of the gate we were over early,” said Bruno, who did manage to battle back to finish sixth in the 10-boat fleet. “We were pretty glum going into the last race. I thought we’d blown it again.”  At that point, Bruno’s WINGS team had dropped into 2nd place, two points back from the lead.

    However, there was a happy ending as WINGS redeemed itself big-time in Race 10, which was held in 20-25 knot south-southwesterly winds with gusts approaching 30 kts. WINGS basically had to win the race and hope for the best, letting the chips fall where they may. After rough going on the first weather leg, WINGS rounded the first weather mark in sixth, then moved up a couple places by the downwind rounding. Bruno and crew turned it on from there, passing the remaining three boats to get the gun in a cloud of spray on the final, full-on, planing-mode run into the downwind finish line.

    That victory in the final start of the three-day regatta gave WINGS a two-point victory over ALBONDINGAS (Justin Scagnelli, West Nyack, NY), leading Bruno to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Third was Rob Ruhlman’s family crew on SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.

    “What an exciting way to win a regatta. To come from behind like that was thrilling and I feel fantastic,” Bruno said. “We like heavy air, so we were really happy when the breeze really came on for that last race. It was really exhilarating blasting downwind in planing mode and passing boat after boat.”

    Bruno noted the average age of his crew is 60, with bow man Jonathan Asch checking in at 66. Stuart Johnstone called tactics, Chris Morgan trimmed the main, while Steve Lopez and Tim Randall teamed to trim the headsails aboard Wings.

    TEAMWORK, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, North Carolina, earned the Palmetto Trophy for the fifth time at Sperry Charleston Race Week! Jonathan Bartlett called tactics on TEAMWORK, which won all six races in ORC B class on the Hybrid Pursuit course.

    “We’ve been coming to Charleston for a long time and we absolutely love this regatta,” said Team, whose previous Palmetto Trophy wins were as top PHRF entry. Now TEAMWORK has another one for their trophy shelf for best performance among ORC entries after duking it out with the J/111 SITELLA (Ian Hill, Chesapeake, VA).

    “We had a great time mixing it up with Sitella, which is always well-sailed,” Team said. “We had the boat well-prepped and dialed in from the beginning, while our crew work was incredible once again.”

    Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew secured a surprisingly convincing victory in J/70 class. Victor Diaz De Leon served as tactician on CATAPULT, which won six of nine races in posting a low score of 20 points– 20 better than runner-up ROSEBUD (Pamela Rose, Aventura, FL).  Third went to Cribb’s VICTORY, fourth to Henry Brauer’s RASCAL and fifth to John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES.

    “We had some really fortunate breaks this week. There is nothing like having luck on your side. Sometimes the karma is with you and this is one of those instances,” said Ronning, a resident of Excelsior, Minnesota. “I’ve always loved sailing in Charleston and this year’s regatta was an awful lot of fun.”

    Diaz De Leon joined the team about six months ago and Ronning has been impressed by the way he’s blended in with holdovers Christopher Stocke (bow) and Patrick Wilson (headsail trimmer).

    “Our team communication is the strongest I’ve ever seen on a boat. We’ve been clicking really well together and the chemistry is the best it’s ever been on the boat,” Ronning said. “Victor was getting great information from Chris and Patrick and was really on fire this week in terms of making the calls.”

    Carter White skippered YouREGATTA to the most dominant victory of 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week, winning seven straight races in J/24 class after placing second in Friday’s opener. YouREGATTA did not start Race 9 and still finished 12 points clear of Level Pelican (Crisp McDonald (Charleston, S.C.). Third was Cameron Rylance’s THAT’LL DO PIG.

    Molly White worked the bow for her husband, who has been racing a J/24 for more than two decades. Michael McAllister called tactics, Ted Wiedeke trimmed the spinnaker while Chris Lombardo trimmed the genoa.

    “It’s really about our team. We’ve been sailing together for four years and do five to six major regattas a year,” said White, who hails from Portland, Maine. “We have a routine that really works and puts us in a different league. Our consistency and ability to adapt to changing conditions is crucial. We had to shift gears constantly and our crew is capable of doing that.”

    SHENANIGANS came away as winner of J/80 class following a tight three-way battle with fellow Annapolis entry ELEVEN (Bert Carp). Shannon Lockwood steered while her father Bill trimmed the main. Jeff Todd handled headsails while his daughter Cassie worked the bow.

    “We had a great battle with Bert, who we race against on Thursday nights in Annapolis,” said Shannon Lockwood, who was a member of the keelboat team at St. Mary’s College. “I thought our team handled the boat well and paid attention to the puffy and shifty conditions. We were also conservative and smart with our maneuvers. It’s always cool to win, especially at such a major regatta like Charleston so we’re super psyched.”

    Warrior Sailing 1, skippered by Sammy Hodges, led from start to finish in J/22 class – winning five races and having the luxury of skipping the last. Navy veteran Ruben Munoz (jib) and Army veteran Troy Rasmussen (main) were the warriors aboard the boat. “Tiger Woods won the Masters today, but that doesn’t even compare to what we did,” Munoz said proudly. “We came here to have fun and learn so winning is icing on the cake.”

    This was the first sailing experience for Rasmussen, who gave credit to Hodges for helming and coaching at the same time. “Sammy was awesome about keeping us on point and teaching all the little nuances,” he said.

    Finally on the last day of competition the wind gods permitted the ORC Hybrid Pursuit entries to enjoy the intended three-race daily format: a morning pursuit distance race from the harbor to the offshore course area, followed by a windward-leeward buoy race, and ending with another distance race to the harbor.

    “This Hybrid Pursuit style was well received by all the boats and we enjoyed it,” Team said.

    Principal race officer added a second windward-leeward race to make up for the fact Saturday’s Hybrid Pursuit was abandoned. ORC D was won by SKIMMER, a locally-based J/105 team led by Miles Martschink and Ben Hagood.

    “This was our first experience with ORC racing,” said Tucker, “and with some more measurements we probably could have optimized our rating a little better. Yet on the whole we thought the ratings were fair.”

    A pair of Charleston entries came out on top on the regular Pursuit Race courses with Wadmalaw Island resident Bill Hanckel skippering his J/120 EMOCEAN to a two-point victory in Spinnaker PHRF A. Third were “the kids”, the College of Charleston Sailing Team racing the beautifully restored J/36 SOUL. Sailing photo credits- Nancy Bloom / Priscilla Parker / TimWilkes.com / Photoboat.com-Alan Clark.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

    Les Voiles de St Barths X Edition Update
    (Gustavia Harbor, St Barths)- The tenth edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth started on Monday this past week.  A fleet of fifty-five offshore racing thoroughbreds has enjoyed the spectacular aquamarine waters around St Barths for the past three days.  Thursday is the infamous “Nikki Beach Club” day-off, where teams party and play, eat lots of “sushi boats” and consume copious quantities of the famous “pink rose’” wine from jeroboam bottles.  Racing continues on Friday and Saturday.

    The third day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth sent the fleets on the Round the Island race in which local knowledge paid off with few surprises in the results.

    The race veterans knew how to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities on the 24–32 nautical mile courses around St. Barth’s rocky cliffs and surrounding volcanic rock landmarks. The 12 to 15 knots and northeast direction also provided 30-degree wind shifts to further challenge the nine classes.

    “Sailing in St. Barth’s is never easy,” said Luc Poupon, Race Organizer. “There is much to navigate around with the rocks and it’s not as simple as it seems to negotiate. Clearly, knowing the nuances of sailing around St. Barth helps, and today is a perfect example, especially, as competitors had to deal with the large wind shifts.”

    After posting a 2-1-1, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua holds a strong lead in CSA 4 Racing class. Meanwhile, Chris Body’s United Kingdom team has posted a 3-5-3 and is now sitting in 4th place and is within striking distance of a podium finish for both J/122s!   For more Les Voiles de Saint Barth sailing information

    French Dominate World Sailing Nations Cup
    (San Francisco, CA)- The 2019 edition of the World Sailing Nations Cup was sailed on a fleet of matched J/22s on San Francisco Bay, hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club.  The event is emblematic of the world sailing championship for Open and Women’s match racing teams.  In the end, the French dominated nearly from beginning to end, despite the best efforts of truly world-class American teams like StFYC’s own Nicole Breault!  Here is what took place day-to-day in this remarkable event.

    Day 1- All Bullets for American Breault and the French (Courtois and Mesnil)
    It was picket fences for both French teams– top-ranked Women’s skipper Pauline Courtois and Open Division skipper Maxime Mesnil, as well as defending Nations Cup Women’s Champion Nicole Breault (USA) after the first day of racing.

    Competition commenced with 10 women’s division teams from around the world facing off in round robin format on two east-west race courses. Ripples of current snaking across the courses made for challenging conditions for first-timers to San Francisco Bay sailing. “It was really difficult with the current, but my team did a really good job,” said Courtois, of her Match in Pink Normandy Elite Team of Maelenn Lemaitre, Loise Acker and Sophie Faguet. “We had really good, close matches in difficult conditions. There were no surprises, but it is important to keep focused and watch the water and the current.”

    Anna Östling (SWE) currently in third place with three wins echoed the sentiment to stay focused: “Our first race with [Juliana] Senfft (BRA) we had a penalty at the start and were able to wipe it and give her one right at the finish line. It was one of those races where you think, think, think and finally get the win.”

    “It was a really fun start to the event,” she added. “This is the kind of sailing we love.”

    Defending Women’s Champion, and Bay local, Nicole Breault, raved about the caliber and tightness of competition. “You have to capitalize on their mistakes, because they’re capitalizing on yours.”

    Asked if she had any unforgettable moments on the racecourse today, she recalled her match against fellow USA skipper, Allie Blecher.

    “We were trailing around the leeward mark, but really close. We rolled into a tack, got our bow forward and I realized we’d rolled over our spinnaker sheets.” With the drag of the sheets slowing them down during the short second beat, Breault’s bow Hannah Burroughs was all over the deck recovering and retying them. “We rounded, tucked to the inside, got control of them, and had the most perfect spinnaker set. We ended up passing them and winning the race.”

    The morning’s light northerly winds eventually clocked to the west and built to the high teens delivering more robust afternoon conditions for the nine Open Division teams. The tail end of a strong flood tide pushed competitors close to shore seeking relief and moments of lift in reversing ebb. This made for fantastic viewing from StFYC’s clubhouse of a series of dial-downs between David Rae (RSA) and Henrique Haddad (BRA) in a match ultimately won by Haddad. By day’s end, the ebb had shortened the average match times from 16 minutes to 11, noted World Sailing’s Technical Director and PRO David Campbell-James.

    “We had a very nice day,” said Maxime Mesnil (FRA), sailing with Match In Black Normandy Elite Team members Hugo Feydit, Yann Chateau and Yves-Marie Pilon. “Last week we were at Congressional Cup and today we had more wins than all of last week. It was a very good start to the event.” A neck-and-neck match against Pearson Potts (USA) had spectators out of their seats as the two boats rounded the windward mark, raised their chutes for the downwind with Mesnil quickly luffing Potts to the north, their hulls careening wildly in the building seas. “I thought I had a penalty,” Mesnil explained, “So I was trying to penalize him, but my team said no, we are fine.” Eventually bearing off, Mesnil sent it for the finish line and squeaked out the win.

    Tomorrow, he’ll be up against Haddad, who also had a strong day, and Ettore Botticini (ITA) who’s hoping for more wins than he scored during his first day sailing in San Francisco. “Today was hard. We lost, not the most important matches, but the ones we wanted to win,” he said. “We improved a lot through the day, but tomorrow we need to do better.”

    Day 2- Mesnil Leads Open Division, Breault Undefeated in Women’s
    Maxime Mesnil (FRA) dominated the Open Division during the second day of racing. In the Women’s Division Nicole Breault (USA) and Pauline Courtois (FRA) continued to rack up wins through the afternoon, sailing into a late afternoon face-off with seven wins each; the eighth was Breault’s.

    Mesnil opened the day winning a tight race against Henrique Haddad (BRA), who’s standing at second place after completing Stage 1 of the round robin. In a morning plagued by a delayed start, fluky wind and unpredictable current on the Cityfront course at St. Francis Yacht Club, Mesnil went on to display smooth, economic boat handling skills as he battled with Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZ) and Ettore Botticini (ITA). Mesnil won against the Kiwis, but stalled out in a twist of luck against Botticini, who managed to hang onto the edge of a wind line and finish first, keeping him in the running as they head into day three of racing.

    “We had a very good day and we sailed fast,” said Mesnil. “We lost that match, but we won the stage.”

    Haddad, who hasn’t match raced since the 2013 Nations Cup and is sailing with a tactician, Leonardo Lombardi, who’s never match raced in his life, said the opportunity to sail on San Francisco Bay outweighed the uncertainty of how they might do. “We’re very pleased with our performance,” he said, adding, “It’s not done yet.”

    James Hodgson (AUS), now sitting at third place, opened the day with a loss to David Rae (RSA) followed by two wins, one against his Kiwi neighbors. “They beat us at our last event, the Hardy Cup in Sydney, so it was definitely good to get one up on them,” said Hodgson, who noted that the racing has been consistently close, “which you expect at an event like this. No race is easy. Usually we have a couple where we can keep it simple and win on speed. No one here is taking it easy.”

    Breault went into the day knowing she’d be up against the top-ranked skippers at the competition and was hoping to lock in at least two wins. “We raced Anna Östling in the second match and I knew it was going to be huge. It was getting windy. We were able to luff her in the pre-start and timed it perfectly, holding it just long enough so she had to peel off to port and we were able to start ahead. On that upwind, we felt ready for the breeze. We were hiking really hard, trimming in sync and we felt really fast,” recounted Breault, who’s defending her Nations Cup title against women she emphasizes are just plain good. “The boat handling and pre-start action has been phenomenal.”

    Up against Courtois, Breault said, “Pauline had control of us in the beginning,” but, “we had an awesome set, shot downwind, no engagement and it turned into a drag race.”

    Courtois went on to win her remaining matches and sits at second place. Östling, poised at third place and one win up on Allie Blecher (USA) and Juliana Senfft (BRA), said, “We need to stay on our toes.”

    Day 3- Courtois Leads Women, Anyone’s Game in the Open Division
    Pauline Courtois (FRA) ran a picket fence during Day 3 of racing. Nicole Breault (USA), went into the day’s racing undefeated, but suffered a loss to Anna Östling (SWE) in the first match, going on to win against Allie Blecher (USA), Juliana Senfft (BRA) and Clare Costanzo (AUS). The two leaders then faced off in the day’s final flight, with Courtois besting Breault.

    In the Open Division, Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and James Hodgson (AUS) each have a 3-1 score line, but it remains anyone’s game as racing continues in the double round robin tomorrow.

    Day 3 dawned with a repechage for four Open Division teams and five Women’s teams, all competing for the chance to continue racing in Stage 3. Those two coveted spots were taken by Costanzo in the Women’s Division and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZ) in the Open Division.

    As a testament to just how close the sailing has been, the Women’s Division teams from Australia, Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Great Britain swapped wins and losses, resulting in an unbreakable three-way tie. Stage 1 standings came into play, allowing Costanzo to advance and leaving Johanna Bergqvist and Marinella Laaksonen on the sidelines for the remainder of racing at St. Francis Yacht Club.

    “It finally feels like we got things under control and now it’s not enough,” said Bergqvist, who lost her first race of the day then had a fantastic comeback in a match against Laaksonen in which they battled tack for tack to the windward mark, rounding and setting in sync. Bergqvist, slightly behind and to port, was able to push Laaksonen off to the north enough to come ahead in the gybe and lay the finish in a beautiful bit of boat handling.

    Bergqvist, Costanzo and Laaksonen with three wins each, all went on to win one against each other, creating an unbreakable tie settled in favor of Costanzo due to her higher ranking from Stage 1.

    Excited to have the opportunity to continue competing, Costanzo called the next stage a “redemption round,” saying that she’d had close races with all the top women she would now face again.

    “This morning, it was everything to lose and now it’s everything to win,” said her sister, Juliet Costanzo, who sails with her.

    The Open Division raced a knock-out round, with Ettore Botticini (ITA) beating Kohei Ichikawa (JPN) 2-1 and Egnot-Johnson beating David Rae (RSA) 2-0, then going on to nab two more bullets against Botticini to advance to Stage 3.

    Egnot-Johnson echoed the sentiment that the racing has been incredibly even and close. “Anyone could win this regatta,” he said. With minimal experience racing J/22s in the breeze-on conditions of San Francisco Bay, during Stage 3 he managed to score wins against front-runner Mesnil and Pearson Potts (USA). Potts had a string of losses but scored one against Open Division defending champion Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS), who had a sluggish day on the water with just one win against Henrique Haddad (BRA). 

    Day 4- French Sweep Nations Cup Grand Final
    Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA) took top honors respectively in the Women’s and Open Divisions at World Sailing’s Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA.

    Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team of Maelenn Lemaitre, Loise Acker and Sophie Faguet opened the day with a 2-0 lead over Anna Östling (SWE). Östling scored a crucial point in their first match and kept the pressure on Courtois, but in their fourth and final race, Courtois was able to pour on enough speed to clear a penalty just before crossing the finish line a few boat lengths ahead of Östling.

    Meanwhile, Nicole Breault (USA) sailed two strong races with commanding leads against Juliana Senfft (BRA) earning her spot in the final.

    Close racing ruled the Open Division from the end of the semifinals all the way through the last match of the day. Mesnil’s Match in Black by Normandy Elite Team of Hugo Feydit, Yann Chateau, Yves-Marie Pilon scored two against Pearson Potts (USA), getting back in the game after two early losses in the semifinals. James Hodgson (AUS) locked in an early win versus Henrique Haddad (BRA) and the two went into their second race of the day neck and neck around the course, sailing cleaner than the previous day. On the second downwind leg, Hodgson had a smoother set to the chute and galloped into the lead, but Haddad managed to close the gap. Both gybed solidly to lay a photo finish, with the point going to Haddad. The four Open Division teams sailed a fifth flight, tucking tightly to shore along the south end of the course to seek relief from the strong flood current. Mesnil and Haddad both managed to gain control and hold it steady during the downwind legs to cross first ahead of Potts and Hodgson, respectively.

    In the Final Round Mesnil bested Haddad 3-1. Courtois kept up the speed in her battles with Breault, who tore a spinnaker in a very close first match giving Courtois the opportunity to attack from leeward, luff her and offset a penalty she’d picked up earlier. Breault was never able to scratch ahead enough to score a point and Courtois won it 3-0. 

    “It was a good fight. We didn’t make it easy, but they owned us,” said Breault, who was racing with the same Team Vela members Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser and Hannah Burroughs from 2015 Nations Cup, defending their Women’s Championship title. “The losses live with you, but we can’t wait to do battle again,” she said.

    Courtois had only praise for her rival, Breault, recalling that “four years ago we were in the Nations Cup Final in Vladivostok, Russia against them, and we lost 3-1; so to win these three races today was incredible,” she said. “It’s an amazing place to sail.”

    Mesnil said the matches against Haddad were tricky, but the elevated wind conditions helped put his team on the podium, which he’s delighted to be sharing with “the women’s team, who are our training partners.”

    “A nation wins the Nations Cup,” said Michael O’Connor, Nations Cup Working Party Chair in World Sailing. “Many of the countries who came are emerging nations in match racing- we want to build a platform for it.”

    Haddad concurred that the event helps the sport in general. “We started in match racing 12 years ago because we had the Nations Cup in Brazil,” he said, thanking his team for coming together to compete once again.

    Östling and Senfft finished third and fourth respectively, with Östling scoring two points in quick succession during the petit-finals. Hodgson and Potts battled for a medal in the Open Division, with Hodgson beating him 2-0 to finish third overall.

    “Brazil sailed better than us and deserved the spot,” said Hodgson. “We’re super happy with how we sailed today. These were the most fun matches of the regatta for us, my crew was really on and we’re grateful to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia for supporting us and St. Francis Yacht Club for hosting us.”

    “We’re pleased with how racing played out and entertained viewers in and around the club. What was unique about the venue was the public had commanding view of the racing – all the tactics and execution were visible to everybody, whether you were a junior or a match race champion, you could learn from watching,” said Regatta Chair Bruce Stone. “One of the challenges of the final day of racing was the current and who could get in to the rocks first. The tide charts were not accurate due to snowmelt from the Sierra Mountains and outflow from Oroville Dam. While we short-tack the shore often here, I’ve never seen it done so tightly in all my years here."

    Photos by Chris Ray – team photos, videos from drone, and all days up to Saturday:

    Photos by Leslie Richter from Sunday, the final day of racing:

    Photos by Gerard Sheridan of awards ceremony:

    Photos and video by Gerard Sheridan of each day of racing:

    For more J/22 World Sailing Nations Cup sailing information

    Warsash Spring Series- Weekend V Report
    (Warsash, England)- Ian Wilson & Marshall King's SOAK RACING started the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series in style, winning the opening round of the nine-regatta Grand Slam Series. SOAK RACING scored five bullets out of eight races over the two days, including a hat trick on the last day. Second was Doug Struth's DSP, who scored two races wins, as well as two second places. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep. J, Repeat was third, just one point ahead of Phil Rees racing Bryn. Ten teams made the top five over the course of the weekend.

    Conditions varied dramatically over the two days, with medium wind on the first day, followed by a full-on foam-up of 20 knots plus on the second day. Air and sea temperature was also a factor, as mid-April is about as cold as the water gets in the Solent, added to a bitter easterly breeze, it was a weekend for wrapping up and keeping warm.

    “The first day was all about keeping your head out of the boat with lots of gear changing, and the last race the following day, we had 25 knots of brutally cold easterly wind, I think we pulled 19.8 knots out of the boat downwind,” commented Ian Wilson. “The first day was really hard work, trying to spot what was coming next, and getting the right side of the shifts. Downwind, we were switching from planing to low mode, maybe changing mode up to five times. The last day was tough sailing, fresh to frightening, the day started in 16 knots and it built from there, to 20 knots in the second race, and the last race was filled with aggression. To be honest there were a few boats on the ears, beginning to struggle with the conditions, and the freezing conditions were like being slapped in the face with a plate glass – it was sharp, brutal even, when ever a wave came over the boat. It was great for us to have done all that training in Monaco during the winter, but with the best J/70 sailors coming to Torbay for the worlds later this year, we know that on current performance, we would struggle to make the top 20. A great start to the season but we have a lot to do.”

    Black Championship Report
    In the IRC 1 Class, Tony Mack’s J/111 McFLY is sitting in third place in the two weekend series. The J/109s are doing well in IRC 2 Class, with Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE in 2nd and Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO in 4th. In the J/109 Class, Perry’s JIRAFFE leads, followed by the Yates’ JAGO in 2nd and David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH in third position.

    Black Group Report
    In IRC 2 Class, Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE continues to hold on to 2nd place.  But, with toss races getting factored in, it is Charles Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES that has raced up the ladder to now sit in the bronze position.

    Despite not having sailed races 3 & 4, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO is now sitting in fourth place in IRC 3 class.

    With six races, the J/88 Class continues to see Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS topping the class with all bullets for 5 pts. Now that “toss races” are factored in, Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR still hold on to 2nd place, while Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR hangs on to third position.

    The J/109s have six races counting. Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE continues to lead with 7 pts, winning their fourth race last weekend. Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN stays in second with 18 pts, third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN with 20 pts.  The balance of the top five is John Smart’s JUKE BOX in 4th and the Royal Air Force Sailing Association’s RED ARROW in 5th position.

    The J-Sprit class still sees Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS leading.  In fact, J/88s occupy the entire top five! SABRIEL JR is 2nd,  Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J/88 J-DREAM is 3rd, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL is 4th, and Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR is 5th.  Sailing photo credits- Andrew Adams/ CloseHauled Photography
    Follow the Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Dr. Willy Schwenzfeier: the only sailor to compete in all 24 Charleston Race Weeks

    When Willy Schwenzfeier first competed in Sperry Charleston Race Week, there were about 15 boats entered and nightly awards parties were held at Carolina Yacht Club.

    It was 1996 and Schwenzfeier, as one of the original members of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA), played a role in establishing the fledgling regatta.

    Schwenzfeier has watched the event grow and develop significantly since then and has been a loyal supporter throughout. The longtime Charleston resident has competed in all 24 editions of Sperry Charleston Race Week, the only boat owner to do so.

    “I remember the very first year there was this new sport-boat called a Melges 24 and it raced in PHRF and the skipper had to put a bow pulpit on it,” Schwenzfeier said with a laugh.

    Schwenzfeier has always campaigned a J/35 named Arrow and has done quite well in Sperry Charleston Race Week over the years, capturing class honors numerous times and finishing on the podium more often than he can count. Perhaps his most notable victory came onshore.

    “Beneteau sponsored Charleston Race Week during the early years and held a raffle for a five-day, four-night trip to Nautic Paris Boat Show,” Schwenzfeier said. “My wife bought the winning ticket and we got to go to Paris for a great vacation courtesy of Beneteau.”

    Dr. William Schwenzfeier originally came to Charleston in 1977 while serving as an ear, nose and throat specialist for the United States Navy. He was stationed at the Navy Regional Medical Center in the Holy City and enjoyed living here so much he stayed. Schwenzfeier ran a thriving practice known as Charleston ENT & Allergy up until his retirement six months ago. He also served as chairman of the ENT Department at Roper/St. Francis Hospitals.

    Schwenzfeier and his wife Caroline, who he met while attending college in Baltimore, live on James Island and berth their boat at Harborage on the Ashley River.

    Schwenzfeier played basketball at Johns Hopkins University while earning a degree in biology then attended medical school at the University of Florida. He bought the first J/35 in 1984 from renowned racer Charlie Scott, who owns a marina on Whitehall Creek in Annapolis.

    “I sailed the boat all the way from Annapolis to Charleston. It was an interesting trip,” Schwenzfeier said.

    Arrow actively participated in various offshore events organized by CORA and other organizations over the years. “We used to race up and down the coast all the time, but I don’t do overnights anymore,” Schwenzfeier said.

    Schwenzfeier has been blessed with a loyal and dedicated crew with five members having raced aboard the boat for 25 years or more. Topping the list is Jules Ivester, who is considered the co-skipper.

    “The joke is that it’s both of our boat, but I pay all the bills,” Schwenzfeier said with a chuckle.

    Ivester is an anesthesiologist and initially met Schwenzfeier in an operating room during a surgery. They hit it off over their mutual love of sailing and have been racing together since 1985.

    Ivester grew up in Charleston and has been sailing since the age of 12, enjoying considerable success in the Laser class. Schwenzfeier started sailing at the age of six and was once the Ohio national champion in Interlake class.

    Schwenzfeier names the other longtime sailors aboard Arrow along with their crew position and occupation. There’s Tom Weir (bowman and dentist), Sam Furr (starboard trimmer, architect), Cale Martin (mast, head of physics at Porter), Katherine Purcell (main, English teacher).

    “I have the best crew a skipper could possibly want,” Schwenzfeier said. “They’re all great people and outstanding sailors. We get along great and have been sailing the boat so long that very little needs to be said when doing maneuvers.”

    Schwenzfeier is both impressed and amazed that Charleston Race Week has grown into one of the largest regattas in the world, attracting almost 260 boats in 18 classes this year. He applauds event director Randy Draftz for his leadership in transforming the event into a civic treasure.

    “Randy has done a phenomenal job of shepherding this regatta. I can’t imagine anyone doing this any better than Randy,” he said. “What I love most about Sperry Charleston Race Week is that it has the right temperament. People come here to have fun and enjoy sailboat racing in its purest form. There is a great vibe about the regatta and everyone gets along great.”

    Arrow may be a 34-year-old boat, but it still performs extremely well, winning the last two races en route to a runner-up finish in ORC B class last year. Schwenzfeier is looking forward to the 25th anniversary of Sperry Charleston Race Week and plans on competing here for the foreseeable future.

    “I’m 74 years old, but I don’t know it,” said Schwenzfeier, who kindly donates his 25-foot Bertram for use as a race committee asset.

    “Willy Schwenzfeier is what Sperry Charleston Race Week is all about – just a real gentleman and a true Corinthian sailor,” said Draftz. “Willy has always been a tremendous supporter of this event and a great resource for information. We’re always looking for feedback from participants and he is very helpful in that regard.”

    * Public Service Announcement from a kid- by Lily Flack and friends on a J/70 that sailed in Charleston Race Week. Watch sailing video above for fun and games from the kids in Charleston

    Sailing is the most varied and diverse sport, offering something for everyone to enjoy. But for youth sailors, their involvement is often limited to age-based boats and competitions. While these provide tremendous experiences, if that is all they know, it isn’t enough to fully grasp the sport. Or worse, it doesn’t connect with them and they move on.

    Sixteen year old Lily Flack has a message for her age group, but first she has a story to share…

    "It was the final J/70 race on the last day of Charleston Race Week, and our youth team was on the last downwind leg. We all knew we were towards the front of the fleet, thinking we were maybe top 10 at best.

    We gybed out early around the windward mark to clear our breeze from the boats behind us, and while we were still in displacement mode, we saw some big pressure coming up from behind us. I took a look over my shoulder to see the puff was coming fast, prompting the call for Lucas Masciello, our floater, to get the jib out.

    I started to count down in my head. Once it got closer, I yelled 3… 2… 1… and had timed the puff perfectly. We were immediately up on a plane and our skipper Gannon Troutman called for weight back to keep the bow out of the water. Jack Solway, our bowman, ran to the back of the boat (while recording the whole thing) to keep us cruising along. Peter Cronin, our spinnaker trimmer, needed an extra hand on the sheet so I jumped on and helped him out.

    All of our eyes were locked on the speedometer to watch the numbers climb… 10 knots, 12 knots, 14 knots. At this point, we were all screaming and having such a blast that only one of us realized we had topped out at 16.5 knots in boat speed.

    None of us knew a J/70 could go that fast, until then. We later declared after watching the video below that explicit language is allowed over 15 knots of boat speed. Overall, we steadily improved our boat handling and tactical calls throughout the regatta to secure a 5th place finish in the last race of the event. We hope to see more kids join us on the race course for the next J/70 regatta!” Thanks for story from Scuttlebutt Sailing.com.

    * Speaking of kids, the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP, sailed by a family in Cleveland, OH, is up to their usual fun and games. And, the kids are important participants on their family sailing team!  Enjoy their latest “pre-season” video from owner Brett Langolf

    * J/121 EAGLE tuning and testing on Long Island Sound- Steven Levy from New York said,
    "It was a remarkable afternoon. What the picture does not tell you, is that there was 12-13 knots of breeze just above the surface. With the 3 headsails triple-slotting, we were sailing at 8.8 to 9.5 knots on glass-like water, ideal for water skiing! Spectacular sailing!" Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- April 10th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past week saw an enormous diversity of sailing experiences around the world.  Starting in Central America, the 2019 J/24 North American Championship took place in Valle de Bravo, Mexico; the fleet of twenty-seven boats enjoyed amazing hospitality from Club Nautico Valle de Bravo and simply spectacular sailing conditions all four days of the event.

    Then, just to the east of them across the Gulf of Mexico, a brand new J/112E sailed the St Petersburg to Havana Race, a 300.0nm race from a start line off St Petersburg YC on Tampa Bay to a challenging finish line just off the Hemingway Marina in Havana, Cuba.  It blew like hell most of the race, from 15 kts up to 40 kt gusts at times. Theirs was an interesting report to read!  Then, across America to the west coast, St Francis YC hosted J/Fest San Francisco, with racing taking place on San Francisco Bay for one-design fleets of J/70s and J/105s.

    Over in the United Kingdom, we find the Warsash Sailing Club hosting their fourth weekend of sailing on Southampton Water and the infamous Solent for their HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series; participating were fleets of IRC boats and one-design classes of J/70s, J/88s, J/109s; and a J/Sprit Class!

    Finally, yet another brand new J/112E had her sailing debut in Australia. Sailing the Sydney Offshore Series, which ran from the September 2018 to April 2019, the new boat with new crew enjoyed tremendous success Down Under.

    In the J/Community section below are two enjoyable stories to read from Sailing World from two notable writers- Gary Jobson and Dave Powlison.  First, the Women’s World Champion in J/22s and J/24s and summer resident of Newport/ Jamestown, Cory Sertl, has been named as US Sailing’s next President. Gary Jobson interviews her and provides his report. Second, J/35’s continue to provide vintage offshore one-design yacht racing for vintage crewmen. Read what David Powlison had to say about his recent experience sailing the 2018 J/35 North Americans in Michigan late last summer.

    J/99 Sailing Anarchy Report
    (San Francisco, CA)- Norman Davant from Sail California sent this report to SailingAnarchy.com from the first sail of the new J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster on the west coast.  Norm and crew took her for a spin on the infamous San Francisco Bay to give it a good test after the Pacific Sailboat Expo boat show in Richmond, CA.  Commented Norm,

    “We went thru several gyrations of everything, stretching and settling-in, and finally got the rig set up correctly. The headstay adjustment will be the key to the boat, keep the rig straight as the breeze comes up and then apply backstay.

    Jeff Thorpe and Peter Cameron set the rig up as we went up thru the range; it sure helped to have these two guys along. We think we have good numbers in the 14-18 knots range, we need to sail in a bit more wind to make sure the headstay and shrouds are correct, they are close for sure.

    We had six sailors on board. Amazingly, the J/99 is on “rails” up wind, totally balanced, beautiful touch on the helm.

    We did not have anyone hiking; I wanted to see what the stability was like.  The boat is really stiff; you can sail with two upwind in breeze for sure.

    As we were tuning, I did the old bear away trick to see if you can bear away with sails fully trimmed-in. No problem! There is no shortage of rudder size and control!

    Downwind, we had a few nice 18-knot puffs and we were cruising along at 12 kts boatspeed with all the control you would want. Was I surprised with the way the boat handled and sailed? Not at all.  Designer Al Johnstone nailed the design and the build was exactly as expected out of J/Composites in Europe.

    This boat will be a weapon for anyone that wants to go short-handed racing.”  Thanks for contribution from Norm Davant and SailingAnarchy.com

    SPERRY Charleston Race Week Preview
    (Charleston, SC)- It is that time of year again, the weekend before Easter/ Bank Holiday, when it seems just about half the East Coast heads down to Charleston Harbor to sail in the amazingly popular SPERRY Charleston Race Week.  It is not hard to see why over 115 J/Teams are headed down to the historically famous venue (Fort Sumter is where the American Civil War started) for a long three-day weekend of sailing on six courses spread around the huge harbor.  The Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina serves as host for the event and the CORA organization provides all logistical and professional race management for the 750+ sailors.  While the on-water racing is fun, fast & furious, it’s the après’ sailing social activities on the beach ashore with loads of rum, beer, southern food, and live music that keeps sailors coming back for more fun-loving memories in the Deep South.

    The regatta features six one-design J/Classes, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/105s.  In addition, there are two “Pursuit-style” sailing divisions for both PHRF and ORC handicap rated boats that includes a J/30, J/35, J/109s, J/111s, J/120s and a J/122.

    Starting with the biggest fleet in the regatta, the fifty-seven J/70s will have their hands full negotiating the shoals and currents and wildly shifting breezes on 3/4 mile windward legs (max!).  Despite the challenges, for most J/70 sailors, it is like a big college regatta, but on keelboats. Looking forward to that experience are many top J/70 teams, like John & Molly Baxter’s VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in MN; John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA from Chicago YC; Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING from Edgewater YC in Cleveland, OH; Marty McKenna’s RARITY from Annapolis, MD; Henry Brauer’s RASCAL from Marblehead, MA; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from American YC; and Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Boston, MA.

    Top visiting teams from outside the USA include Tony Staples’ REDCOAT from Royal St Lawrence YC in Canada; Francisco Van Avermaete’s JUICY from YC Argentino in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Pedro Camargo’s MANCHA NEGRA from YC Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Paul Wolman’s MENACE from Royal Hamilton Dinghy Club in Bermuda; and Vernon Robert’s MORENITA from Club de Yates Algarrobo in Chile.

    After sailing two midwinter regattas in St Petersburg, FL, the ten-boat J/88 class is looking forward to solid, warm winds, and hot competition.  It is a star-studded gathering of the top J/88s from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and the Northeast. The leading teams should include Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from Huguenot YC in New Rochelle, NY; Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL; Laura Weyler’s HIJINKS from Youngstown YC in New York; Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH; and Mike Bruno’s WINGS from American YC in Rye, NY. Anyone of those teams is capable of podium finishes and have all topped the leaderboard in major J/88 regattas in the past.

    There are six-boats sailing in the J/22 class, mostly comprised of “Warrior Sailing Teams” on four boats; the four skippers are Sammy Hodges, Jacob Raymond, Corey Hall, and Sammy Lugo. Joining them is Terence Young’s PUFF and the US Patriot Sailing Team on PATRIOT XXII.

    Of the dozen boats sailing in the J/24 class, eight are from the local fleet and four are “out of towners”.  It is those “foreigners” that represent a formidable challenge to local knowledge, such as Carter White’s YouREGATTA from Portland YC in ME and Mike Quaid’s ICE CUBE from Mallets Bay Boat Club in VT.

    The five-boat J/80 class may be dominated by a dynamic duo from Annapolis, MD. Those teams are Bert Carp’s ELEVEN from Annapolis YC and Bill & Shannon Lockwood’s SHENANIGANS from Eastport YC in Annapolis.

    It will be an all-South Carolina turn-out for the five-boat J/105 class. Amusingly enough, it also features an internecine rivalry amongst them; Frickie Martschink & Bill McKenzie on RUMFRONT versus Miles Martschink & Ben Hagood on SKIMMER. Making sure that family blood doesn’t boil over will be Joe Highsmith on DEAD ON ARRIVAL, Bob Scribner on JOYRIDE, and the trio of Matt Self, Russ Smith, & Paul Jacques on RUCKUS.

    It will be interesting to see how the ORC Hybrid Pursuit Division of fourteen boats turns out after three days of sailing. Half of the division is J/Teams.  Those boats include Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Houston, TX; two J/111s (Rob Stein’s KINETIC from Charleston, SC and Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Hampton YC in VA); two J/120s (John Keenan’s ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC and Rick Moore’s MOOSE DOWN from Charleston, SC); Robin Team’s J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC; and Will Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW from Charleston, SC.

    In the “traditional” PHRF Pursuit Division, there are five J/Teams.  Those fun-loving crews include the J/120 EMOCEAN (Bill Hanckel from Charleston YC); the J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE (Rick Oricchio from Mt Pleasant, SC); the J/130 SCEPTRE (Bob Musor from CORA in Mt Pleasant, SC); the J/30 LAS BRISAS (Mark Swatta from Mt Pleasant, SC); and the J/36 SOUL (the College of Charleston Sailing Team).

    The forecasts are for “breeze-on” for most of the regatta, starting Thursday practice day through the Sunday finale.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

    Les Voiles de St Barths X Edition Preview
    (Gustavia Harbor, St Barths)- The tenth edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth is about to start this coming weekend.  A fleet of fifty-five offshore racing thoroughbreds and a dozen cruising multihulls will be plying the spectacular aquamarine waters around St Barths for a week of fun in the sun and fabulous sailing from April 15th to 20th, 2019.  And, to be sure, the après’ sailing is simply outstanding and considered some of the best in the Caribbean.

    Les Voiles has been a bucket list event for sailors since its inception in 2010, and for its tenth edition, the sailors will enjoy five days of racing! Regatta Director François Tolède commented, “The extra day of racing last year proved very popular.  It brings more competitiveness and fun to the regatta, which we know is exactly what our participants are interested in! We look forward to the regatta kick off on Sunday and wrap up Saturday.  Racing is scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Still, the official “Day Off” is scheduled for Thursday and we hope to see everyone at Nikki Beach to celebrate!”

    Participating for at least the fourth year in a row are the two J/122s- LIQUID (Pamala Baldwin from Antigua) and EL OCASO (Chris Body from the United Kingdom). Joining them will be the J/105 SUNBELT REALTY JENK from Curacao, skippered by Jan Henk van der Wier.  For more Les Voiles de Saint Barth sailing information

    J/Fest Northwest Announcement
    (Seattle, WA)- Sail Northwest, the northwest USA J/Boat dealer, invites you to join them for the 2nd year of the comeback of the original J/FEST Northwest from June 22nd to 23rd, 2019.

    New this year! The Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle will be taking over management of the Regatta!

    This is a two-day event that is open to all J/Boats owners and crew.  Starts will be provided for one-design, PHRF and cruising classes.

    The on-the-water activities are hosted by Sail Northwest and Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. Shoreside activities will be at the CYC Seattle Shilshole clubhouse Saturday and Sunday.

    Saturday evening’s dinner and door prize extravaganza is always a sellout. So head on down and join them for what Northwest Yachting Magazine called “the most looked forward to regatta of the year-” J/FEST NW.

    Initial one-design class commitments include the J/22s, J/24s, J/80s, J/97e, J/105s, and J/109s. And, the PHRF commitments include a J/122E, J/29, J/27, and J/30 and Cruising class commitments include a J/35c, J/37, J/40, and J/44. Come join the fun, every type of J/boat will be out sailing with us at the end of June!

    Please contact SAIL NW with any questions about the weekend’s festivities, sponsorship and racing questions- phone# 206-286-1004 or email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 17- Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
    Apr 9-14- J/22 World Sailing Nations Cup- San Francisco, CA
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 13-14- Irish J/24 Westerns- Lough Re, Ireland
    Apr 14-20- Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St. Barth
    Apr 18-22- SPI Ouest France Regatta- La Trinite sur Mer, France
    Apr 20-21- J/22 Van Uden Ecco Regatta- Stellendam, Netherlands
    Apr 26-28- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
    Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
    Apr 28- May 3- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
    May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
    May 3-5- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    May 4-10- J/24 European Championship- Patras, Greece
    May 4- RORC Cervantes Cup Race- Cowes, England
    May 9-12- SAILING Champions League- Palma Mallorca, Spain
    May 10-12- Grand Prix de St Cast- St Cast, France
    May 10-12- RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup- Cowes, England

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

    Welles Crowned J/24 North American Champion
    (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Who knew that the Mexican-hosted J/24 North American Championship would come down to two “gringos” from “el norte” that are “buenos amigos” from “el estado de Maine”. What? Yes! True story.

    Having known each other from way, way “Down East” for well over three decades, it was more than ironic that the two leading protagonists for the 2019 J/24 North American Championship both hailed from the state of Maine, and had sailed against each other in J/24s at various events ranging from Portland to further Downeast in Southwest Harbor off Mount Desert Island! That they found themselves battling “hammer & tong” for the 2019 J/24 N.A. finale was a bit of a “back to the future” experience for both Will Welles on BRUSCHETTA and Tony Parker on BANGOR PACKET. No one was going to “pull the wool over the eyes” of the other boat, they both know each other all too well!

    The 2019 J/24 North American Championship was hosted by Club Nautico Valle de Bravo on their gorgeous lake in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.  The twenty-seven boat fleet consisted of USA, French and Mexican teams from across the top fleets in the respective countries.

    In the end, it was Welles’ BRUSCHETTA that withstood a hard-charging Parker on his BANGOR PACKET to return the J/24 North American Championship to Newport, RI. Welles, two-time J/24 World Champion and now four-time J/24 North American Champion, came into Friday’s final two races with a slight two-point advantage over Parker. With Mexican boat owner Aroldo de Rienzo aboard, as well as Rich Bowen, John McCabe and PJ Schaffer, BRUSCHETTA took the victory in Race 9, with Parker still hot on their heels in second. The pair dueled in the final contest, with Welles placing ninth and Parker 10th, giving Welles and team the Championship with 24 points to Parker’s 28. In third place overall, and top Mexican finisher, was Kenneth Porter’s “S” with 32 points.

    Welles had never sailed in Valle de Bravo before this week, when he also competed in the Mexican National Championship (placing first overall). Although this marked the first time paired with local Valle de Bravo boat owner de Rienzo, the remaining crew are good friends from Newport, RI, who sometimes race together in the famous Newport Fleet 50 Thursday night races (considered the world’s “hottest” fleet since it has at least five J/24 World Champions sailing on some Thursdays!).

    Welles summarized the conditions in Valle de Bravo, saying, “It’s funky out there. The puffs don’t move quickly, so you have to get to them. That doesn’t happen in Newport or other places we have sailed.”

    As for strategy in the final two races, Welles said, “We focused on getting good starts, so we could go the way we thought we should.  The goal was to just keep Bangor Packet behind us!  Of course, we know them, and Tony is a great friend. Kudos to them for pushing us so hard!”

    Rounding out the top five were top Seattle, WA sailor Mark Laura with buddy Mark Thomas onboard, sailing BABA LOUIE to 4th place.  Fifth was another Mexican team, one of the early regatta leaders- Javier Velásquez’s TRINQUETE.  For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

    J/112E SILVER SURFER Wins St Petersburg to Havana Race
    (Havana, Cuba)- “The forecast looked good for this year’s 89-year old race from St Pete YC to Havana (Marina Hemingway). In fact, it was so good that the 25-30 knot NNE breeze would be too much for the leeward shore Gulfstream finish line in Havana, so the start was delayed a day.”  So said, Harvey Ford and Tom Mistele, the co-owners of the new J/112E SILVER SURFER.  Both went on to describe their somewhat demanding experience in moderate to very high winds (40 kts plus) over the course of their race in their newly launched boat.  Here is their story:

    “At 9:00 AM the next day, on March 19, twenty-seven boats started on a reach off downtown St. Pete in a still sporty 25 knot NNE breeze.

    So back up a minute...the race was the first of its kind in 1930, running for 29 years until suspended due to events in Cuba. Then, 58 years later, it resumed in 2017. This year was the third edition of the new race. Unchanged since 1930, the race is a 20-mile dog leg out of Tampa Bay under the Skyway Bridge, with a sharp left-turn just outside the Bay at Southwest Pass sea buoy #1, then at ~182 degs and 200 miles to Rebecca Shoals (east of Dry Tortugas island at the end of the Florida Keys), then about the same heading another 80 miles to Cuba.

    This year, our J/112E SILVER SURFER took first overall, much to our pleasant surprise! Who knew! The crew was Chris Bergstrom, Marty Kullman, Lin Robson, John Monahan and Christian Koules.

    Finishing second was Wasabi (a fast, well-sailed Farr 395 also from St. Pete), and third went to Fresh Pineapple (a hard-charging Esse 990 from New Orleans). All 3 boats set a new course record, with line honors to Pineapple (32h:43 m) and Wasabi (34h:5m), but neither saved their time on SILVER SURFER that finished in 35h:27m.

    At the downwind start, conditions were about 25 knots and gusting higher. SILVER SURFER, appropriately painted silver/gray and named after Tom Mistele’s Marvel comic hero, set its A2 spin and jumped on the wake of the larger Wasabi, together chasing Pineapple out of the Bay. However, Pineapple was soon raked by some really big gusts and got the dust washed off its spreaders in a prolonged knockdown (e.g. a massive massive broach!). Wasabi similarly rolled out, so Surfer lost its wake ride, but we surfed on. Surfer took several knockdowns itself, losing its MOB buoy in the process (as did Wasabi), leading to calls to the RC to advise that all was OK. For sure, we were successfully testing the maximum limits of the 650 fabric of our brand new North spinnaker!

    We were the first boat to the dog leg inside the Skyway Bridge and then set our A3 chute in the building breeze. Recording 29-33 knot gusts, we managed to carefully jibe about 5 times in the dash out SW Pass maintaining 10+ knots for the first 2 hours and maxing at 14.5 knots.

    After the final jibe at SW #1, Surfer and the others set into a 200-mile port tack reach in the 25-knot breeze...with the true wind angle at about 140 degs off the bow and apparent wind at about 100 degrees. With a deep keel, one reef in the main and the A3 spinnaker, we were able to maintain a higher COG inside the rhumbline, while still surfing off every other wave...eventually posting a top speed of 15.7 knots.

    Pineapple scooted out ahead, but stayed in sight all day on a lower heading. Wasabi eased further offshore outside the rhumbline and eventually caught us at Rebecca Shoals, out of view to leeward.

    Anticipating even higher winds (35-40 knots) and a slight tilt to the east for the breeze on the first night, according to pre-race weather reports, we elected to drop the chute before full-on darkness.  But, that was done only after hot lasagna and Hawaiian Rolls served “comfortably” to the whole crew. The next 9 hrs were still fast under full main and jib and a totally obscured full moon.  But, the really bad winds never happened, so we settled for good control, a high course, and 10-12 knots of boat speed all night.

    Wasabi was going to catch us eventually, but owed us 99 minutes on corrected handicap time. In the conditions we were sailing, that meant they had to beat us by about 15 miles, so we felt relatively safe.

    On Wednesday morning, the winds dropped down to a civilized 21.0 knots. Feeling quite comfortable, we served coffee and breakfast bars and then we re-set the A2! Tracking the location and strength of the Gulf Stream, we jibed back and forth across the rhumbline to attempt a clean arrival at Havana over the final 80 miles.

    As we approached the Havana Hemingway Harbor finish line, the 10-foot onshore rollers triggered by the NE breeze and the opposing east flowing Gulf Stream of 4-5 kts would make the after-dark finish somewhat challenging, to say the least!

    The finish mark, being a 10 sec flashing white light with the city behind it, is an annual riddle. The buoy bobs in 300 feet of water (up from about 2,000 feet deep less than a 1/2 mile offshore) and the conditions were too rough for the RC to stay on post. So, we all took our own times at the finish buoy per the Sailing Instructions. The reef along the shore is just 1/4 mile downwind from the finish, so we definitely had one foot on the brake as we approached! Conservative as we were, we even doused the chute well before the finish! This hair-raising finish made the smooth Cuban customs process seem like a walk in the park!

    Our hats off to the designers and builders of the sturdy J/112E! Despite the “dancing on a piano-wire/ walking the tight-rope” sailing conditions, our only real challenge was the A-sail tack line chafe that we doubled up underway before it parted. We regularly blessed the over-sized rudder and carbon wheel and, needing front-end buoyancy, we were happy that we had stored the extra water, life raft, anchor, and other stuff in the aft lockers.

    As you would expect, a glorious hour of celebration occurred at the dock after clearing customs! All seven of us went below, turned on the AC, had some drinks, ate the full dinner that we had been envisioning all race long, and asked each other what just happened! What an amazing time and great way to celebrate our first win on Silver Surfer!”   For more information regards the fast, powerful J/112E sport cruiser

    Successful J/112E Debut in Sydney Offshore Series
    (Sydney, Australia)- In its first full race series since arriving in Australia, the stunning new J/112E ZEST finished an impressive 2nd overall in the Sydney Amateurs Sailing Club “Cruiser Racer series”. The full sixteen race series was held on stunning Sydney Harbour.

    Starting in September 2018 and finishing in mid-April 2019, the competitive fleet raced in a wide variety of wind and sea state conditions. From light drifters to 30 knots plus “blowing dogs off chains” kind of weather, the new J/112E handled everything in her stride, with an impressive score line of four 1sts, a 2nd, three 3rds, and a 4th.

    “I was on a very steep learning curve,” commented ZEST’s proud owner Stephen. “A new crew, new sailing club, new courses and a very special new boat; we are still learning a lot about it! Progressively, through the season, we learnt what the boat was capable of doing in all conditions.  We especially enjoyed sailing upwind, with her better pointing and better VMG speed capabilities than our competitors! A special thanks to my crew and our competitor’s, we look forward to racing against you all again next season!”  For more information regards the exciting, powerful J/112E sport cruiser

    Tight Battles @ J/Fest San Francisco
    (San Francisco, CA)- The annual J/Fest San Francisco, hosted by St Francis Yacht Club, provided yet again excellent race management and close racing for the fleet of one-designs that included J/105s and J/70s. Over the two-day weekend, the fleet was able to get in three races per day for a total of six overall.

    In the twenty-five boat J/105 division, the top of the leaderboard saw nip-and-tuck battles that raged race-by-race.  The key was consistency and, other than the regatta winner, all teams posted at least one or more double-digit finishes; that is how tight the racing can be in the J/105 Fleet #1 on San Francisco Bay.

    It was rough going for everyone, as evidenced by the scorelines.  Nevertheless, it was Tim Russell’s NE*NE, with an 8-1-1-9-5-3 tally for 27 pts, that took the class honors.  Leading the regatta after four races was Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, but a bruising 5th race dropped them out of contention, scoring a 2-2-10-3-13-2 for 32 pts to take the silver.  Taking the bronze on the podium was Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION with a 3-8-5-10-10-7 scoreline for 43 pts.  The balance of the top five was Justin Oberbauer’s STRANGELOVE with 44 pts in fourth and Phil Laby’s GODOT with 53 pts in fifth (breaking a tie-breaker with Jeff Litfin’s MOJO that ended up 6th).

    The J/70s saw two boats duel for the class lead on the first day.  However, on day two, it was Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER that firmly took the upper hand to win the regatta with a 2-4-1-1-1-3 record for 12 pts.  While giving them a run-for-the-money on day one, Scott Sellers/ Harrison Turner’s 1FA ultimately had to settle for the silver with a 3-3-4-2-5-1 tally for 18 pts. After starting off with a blistering 1-1-5 to lead the regatta on the first day, Brian Mullen’s ORANGE YOU GLAD lost their “mojo” on day two, posting a mediocre 5-7-9 to close the series with 28 pts and settling for the bronze on the podium.  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

    Warsash Spring Series- Weekend IV Report
    (Warsash, England)- The fourth weekend is now on the books for the Warsash Sailing Club’s famous HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series. The fleet was blessed, again, with good enough conditions to get in one more race for the IRC handicap fleets and three more for the J/70s.

    Race Report- Black Group
    IRC 4 Class was started off Meon Shore on time at 1000 hrs from the White Group line in a very light easterly breeze. As on the previous Sunday, the main Black Group start was set up near QXI International buoy on the south edge of the East Knoll bank.

    With the forecast of 6-8 knots starting off in the ENE and swinging to the SE during the racing period, but then dying away to nothing by late afternoon, the race team was considering the difficult question of timing the moving orientation for course setting when the breeze died away almost completely. With more hope than expectation about any return of a sailing breeze, a postponement was announced and the boats and the race team sat and waited.

    Happily by about 1030 hrs a light breeze of 4-5 knots arrived from the SE and with suitable courses quickly set, the start sequence got all classes away between 1050 and 1110 on a series of beats, runs and reaches between the Ryde Middle bank and the East Knoll area, with courses of 8-10 miles. Light sunshine and the gentle breeze made for enjoyable racing and testing tactics over the spring tide.

    In IRC 1 Class, it was the first outing for Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, showing they had not lost their edge by winning their class in convincing fashion.

    In IRC 2 Class, Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE had a disappointing 9th place on Sunday which she’ll hope to discard when enough races have taken place next Sunday; but even so she held onto second place overall. Sitting in third continues to be Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN.  It was good to see Royal Yachting Association Chairman Christopher Preston out racing with the J/109 JUBILEE, his crew included Cowes Week regatta director Laurence Mead; they scored a creditable 5th place in this 21-strong class. In addition, Charles Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES team is beginning to get themselves up to speed in the series, posting a 1-3 in their last two races to be sitting in 5th overall, easily within striking distance of the podium.  Everyone was also glad to see the new J/99 JENGA 99 competing for the first time, raced by Mark Richmond and his team and finishing a few seconds behind the J/109 JUBILEE.

    With four races under their collective belts in the J/88 Class, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS continues to dominate with all bullets for 4 pts. However, the top five has jumbled a bit since a few boats had “no show DNC’s” posted in their scorelines.  Currently, sitting in second is Dianne & Dirk Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR with 31 pts, third is Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 33 pts, fourth is Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 36 pts, and fifth is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL with 38 pts.

    The J/109s also have four races on the books.  Winning the fourth race quite handily was John Smart’s JUKEBOX, an amazing performance for their first day on the water this season!  Meanwhile, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE continues to lead with 7 pts.  They are followed by Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN in second with 12 pts, third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN with 33 pts.  The balance of the top five is Bill Stock’s JENGU in 4th and Chris Preston’s JUBILEE in 5th position.

    The J-sprit class continues to be dominated by the J/88s and by Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS, in particular, as she took her fourth win in four weekends! The next two spots have flip-flopped.  Sitting in 2nd is now Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s J/88 SABRIEL JR with 31 pts, following in 3rd by Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J/88 J-DREAM with 33 pts. This class will see a significant shake-up on the leaderboard once the toss race comes into effect after race six, as several teams have “no show 25’s” counting in their scorelines.

    Race Report- White Group
    The forecast for the day was not exciting, E to SE, 4-7 knots. This eventually turned out to ENE to S and the back to ESE, with 3-5 knots for most of the day and reaching nearly 8 knots for the last half of the last race of the day.

    IRC 4, as is normal, got away on time at 1000 hrs for their round-the-Solent cans course, but the swing to the right started immediately, and the start of the combined sportsboat fleet was postponed. After an hour, during which the wind went right round to S before settling at SSE, the fleet finally got away. In the second race, it was a relatively stable breeze.  Then, for the third race the wind was back to its old tricks, which needed the course shifted left before the start, and 25 degrees further left during the race. The ongoing shift shook things up somewhat on the race track.

    The hotly contested fleet of J/70s have now sailed twelve races. Continuing to lead the class is Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT with mostly 1sts and 2nds for 15 pts net. Jumping up to second place is Phil Chandler’s BLACKJAX with 50 pts net. Dropping into third place was Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER with 66 pts. The rest of the top five includes Terry O’Neill’s AQUA J in 4th and Doug Struth’s DSP in 5th place.   Sailing photo credits- Andrew Adams/ CloseHauled Photography    Follow the Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here   For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Tony Mack’s J/122 McFLY/ EL OCASO took second in their division at the recent BVI Spring Regatta. Tony also remarked on the BVI Spring Sailing Festival events that took place before the regatta, commenting that “Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID won the very popular Round Tortola Race and our J/122 won the fun-loving Scrub Island Race. We thought you might enjoy some photos from those events and the team celebrating their good fortune with some nice silverware!”

    * J/35 Vintage Yacht Racing with Vintage J/35 Classmen!?
    Three decades and many owners later, these utilitarian 35-Footers remain true to their calling. Sailing World’s David Powlison provides us a unique insight into the popular offshore class.

    “It’s been more than three decades since I last set foot on a J/35, but walking down the docks at the County Marina in Cheboygan, Michigan, I’m feeling, as Yogi Berra once famously said, “déjà vu all over again.” Among the marina’s slips are 13 survivors of the one-design ­sportboat invasion: battle-worn J/35s and their owners gathered 15 miles southeast of Mackinac Island for the class’s 2018 North American Championship.

    There’s no mistaking the J/35 with its big overlapping genoa and a weather rail stacked with crew, just as designer Rod Johnstone intended it to be. Yes, a number of the boats have bits of modern gear; carbon tillers and spinnaker poles, new instrumentation, laminate sails and modern lines. It all seems cosmetic. With boats, especially, age is impossible to mask. The copious hardware mounted about the deck, the beefy rod rigging, the unmistakable profile— the J/35 is, without a doubt, a product of the 1980s.

    As I study which halyards lead to where, it’s obvious this championship will require me to tap a skill set from years past.

    With the symmetric spinnaker, there are sheets and guys and their lazy counterparts— a far cry from the simplicity of the modern asymmetric. Gigantic overlapping headsails take a lot longer to grind home after a tack than the non-overlapping jibs used on newer boats. Then, there’s the task of choreographing 10 people every time something happens. A consistent crew is prized among owners, especially when racing on the championship’s short, labor-intensive, windward-leeward courses.

    I’ve been invited to join Greg Whipple, from Grand Blanc, Michigan, and his crew aboard Whiplash. Whipple races in the Detroit area, and the crew delivered the boat north as part of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race two weeks earlier, which is the case for other teams from Detroit. The Chicago-area fleet used the Chicago to Mackinac Race as its feeder to Cheboygan.

    Whipple has been in the class for a long time; but for this event, most of his crew are new to the boat. He walks us through maneuvers as we motor out of the harbor for the first race of the series. Once sails are up, with the wind spiking into the upper teens, much of our pre-race time is consumed by a sail change from the No. 2 jib down to the No. 3. It’s a reminder of how long a sail change takes, even with a rail full of helping hands.

    Thirteen J/35s on the ­starting line of the 2018 North ­American Championship at North Star Sail Club is a testament to the strength of the class, its devotees and the timeless nature of the design.

    Once racing, we get a good start and hold our own, upwind, before the fun begins.

    Across the fleet, foredeck crews are assimilating to an old-world order at the pointy end. Most newer crews survive the heavy-air spinnaker sets, but there’s plenty of chaotic jibing, shrimping and ­spinnakers flagging aloft.

    “Having the same crew is a big deal,” says Bill Wildner, whose boat, Mr. Bill’s Wild Ride, is always the one to beat. If there were a reward for having the most seasoned crew, he would’ve won that too. His youngest, newest crewmember joined the squad 14 years ago. The crew’s age range goes from Mike Zanella, 67, to Eric Weston, who joined the team 26 years ago, when he was 16.

    “I’m very fortunate I’ve had the same guys stick with me— and it’s not just for sailing,” Wildner says. “ We have a blast the rest of the time as well.”

    The wind moderates the second day and eventually fades to a whimper on the third and final day. The Whiplash crew, and most of those on other boats that struggled the first day, hit their stride, and crew work dramatically improves. The race committee delivers nine races over three days, which amounts to 18 spinnaker sets and drops. That’s enough to make veterans of any crew in one weekend.

    As with any grassroots regatta, the overarching social experience transcends the racing itself. The Whiplash crew meets regularly for breakfast at Alice’s Restaurant, a great dive with a menu a mile long. Coincidentally, Cheboygan, a city with fewer than 5,000 full-time residents, is hosting a music festival the same weekend as the regatta. Bands play from early afternoon and well into the evening, and for the thirsty sailors, there’s the Cheboygan Brewing Co., which has been serving suds since 1882.

    The biggest draw to this year’s championship, however, is the omnipresence of designer Rod Johnstone. At 81, Johnstone still sails his own J/35 in Maine. He might not be as quick on his feet as he once was, but his stories and enthusiastic wit make him the star of the show.

    Dean Fitzpatrick, the mastermind behind the North American Championship, remembers calling Johnstone’s house one Thanksgiving morning. “His wife answered and said she was making dinner for him and their kids,” Fitzpatrick says. “But, she put him on the phone anyway, and when I told him about the event and that we hoped he’d attend, he said, without hesitation, ‘I’ll do it!’”

    He didn’t just show up to shake hands though. For the final day of racing, he jumped aboard Sheri Dufresne’s Firefly. “It was amazing,” she says. “He was so giving of his time. We even had him sign the boom.”

    Afterward, Johnstone stopped by every boat to chat with owners and sign his name on the interior. The entire Blackhawk crew signed a hat for Johnstone that he wore for the rest of the event. He spent a lot of time with us aboard Whiplash.

    “That was so cool having Rod stop by to talk with us,” Whipple says. “For most of us, it’s likely his visit will be remembered long after the event itself fades.”

    Pulling off an event of this caliber, let alone drawing a fleet of this size, is a feat. Even with 13 boats, the J/35 class championship is the envy of many 30‑plus‑year-old one-designs.

    The venue had its challenges too: There’s no yacht club, and it’s being held in early August, earlier than the traditional September date. And, with the Mackinac races serving as feeders, it’s part of a two-for-one event. North Star Sail Club, located down lake in the Detroit area, hosts the event “off-campus,” so to speak, and shuttles race-committee gear, boats and personnel north to make the event successful.

    Fitzpatrick no longer sails competitively, but still maintains an unparalleled passion for the J/35, its people and its class association. He regularly corresponds by email with 172 people, which includes 45 J/35 owners from: Chicago; Milwaukee; Duluth, Minnesota; Ohio; New York; Annapolis, Maryland; and Toronto. Despite the mountain of work he puts into this event, he deflects all praise with humility. “I just make the calls,” he says. But he does ­acknowledge, “Nothing ever just happens.”

    When the J/35 was conceived in the early 1980s, there was no real consideration of the measurement rules of the time. Johnstone had another idea in mind. “As with all of our boats, we worked to create a one-design racer, but it just happened to rate well under IMS,” Johnstone says. Yet, one of the first J/35s ever built won its ­division in the 1984 Bermuda Race.

    The J/35 is an offshoot of the J/36, which debuted in 1980. The J/36 came fully loaded, with a complete interior, wheel steering, etc., and the $84,000 price reflected that. “Then the recession hit in 1982,” Johnstone says. “We couldn’t sell any more 36s. And the big thing was the number of hours we were spending on the J/36 to fit all the options. The J/35 was easy. We made everything optional except for the diesel engine and four bunks below.”

    J/Boats sold the base boat for $49,500 back then, and when the first boats were delivered in 1983, it was clear they had a winner. The boat rolled up a string of victories beyond the ’84 Bermuda Race, including Mackinac Races, the Monhegan Race and Miami to Montego Bay. American Tony Lush raced one in the 1984 OSTAR, a singlehanded transatlantic race. It carries a PHRF rating of around 72 in most PHRF fleets.

    By 1988, J/35s were getting more expensive to build, Johnstone says: “With the 35, we ended up competing with ourselves in the used-boat business. This happened with the J/24 and J/30 as well. When you get to a certain point where a new boat costs twice as much as a used one, it’s hard to sell new boats.”

    Once production ceased in 1992, 330 J/35s had been built.

    Yes, there are challenges to owning a 1980’s-vintage fiberglass craft. The hull is balsa-cored, so buyers beware: a moisture meter is a sound investment.

    “If you can find one that’s not all wet, you’ve done well,” says Wildner, who recently stripped the skin off his rudder, dried it out and rebuilt it. “I was tired of fighting the blisters,” he admits.

    Blackhawk had its stern replaced as a condition of purchase before Amie and Tim Ross bought it. It had fallen victim to a bungled DIY repair involving particleboard that attempted to deal with high moisture content. The boats can be refurbished without too much time and money, however, and parts are readily available, either with a direct replacement or its modern equivalent.

    While many sailing thoroughbreds of a similar vintage have been put out to pasture, converted to cruising boats or left to decay in their slips, the class has persevered, with centers of activity in Chicago, Detroit and Annapolis. Any time I ask a J/35 owner, “Why this boat?” I hear the same answer as I would for any other older design with a devoted following. The appeal is the level of competition, the presence of like boats in their area and the lower cost of getting into one.

    Yet, there are intangible reasons that link those who sail it with Johnstone’s creation. Amie and Tim’s relationship is founded in their love of the 35.

    They met on match.com, Amie says. She had posted a picture of herself on a boat she was racing, and he had posted one of himself with a car.

    “He saw my picture and wrote, ‘Nice boat.’ I responded with, ‘Nice car!’”

    Tim had never sailed before. Amie talked him into trying it out, and in short order, they were sailing together in a Mackinac race. During the race, the owner’s son got sick, and they had to retire. “While we were ashore, Tim told me that this race was going to cost us a lot of money,” Amie recalls

    “He said, ‘We’re going to have to buy our own boat so we can finish the race.’” That boat ended up being a J/35. Besides a few local races, they’ve since completed a pair of Port Huron to Mackinac races.

    There’s also Ron Rabine, a barrel-chested man with rosy cheeks and a big smile buried in a thick gray beard. “He would often sail with us,” Amie says. “He even let us braid his beard. One time, he was flying the kite, and one of the other crewmembers suggested he move to get his weight in a better place, and he said, ‘When I’m flying the kite, I don’t weigh anything.’ So we started calling him our deck fairy.”

    Rabine’s connection to the J/35 came while running some races at a J/35 championship out of Cheboygan back in 2002.

    “I had heard a bunch of love songs on the radio on the way up and bought a ring at the local Kmart that used to be just down the road from here,” he says. The race committee boat he was assigned to had a Gaelic name that translates to “love of my life.” The coincidence was too great to ignore, so he proposed to his wife, Terry, just as the fleet rounded the weather mark.

    She said "yes", of course.

    The appeal is the level of competition, the presence of like boats in their area and the lower cost of getting into one.

    Distracted, he pooched the starting sequence for the next race. “I was off by a minute,” he says. “But I stopped the sequence, admitted the mistake over the radio and also said, ‘I just proposed to Terry.’”

    The entire fleet broke out in applause. The following year, he picked up a ­permanent spot with Mr. Bill’s Wild Ride. He’s been a fixture ever since.

    Ken Schwandt operates Kent Sail Co., a three-person sailmaking business. His father, Kent, got him involved in the family business when he was 11, sweeping floors and keeping the loft tidy. They built mostly cruising sails, but got involved in the now-defunct MORC class with a Lindenberg 26. In 1988, the elder Schwandt bought a J/35. Son Ken now makes class-legal sails, including wardrobes for three teams at the North Americans — including Wildner’s.

    The Schwandt family tradition continues with his son. “When he was young I tried to put him in junior sailing,” Schwandt says. “But he said he’d rather skateboard. He’s 30 now, and he came back and said, ‘Hey, can I go sailing with you?’”

    He’s now a regular with Mr. Bill’s Wild Ride, and so long as Wildner keeps winning, he’ll have no problem keeping the consistent crew required to win. It’s a code of competitive sailing: Good teams keep good crew.

    When Wildner bought the boat 26 years ago, he thought he’d have the boat for five years at most. “I’ve sailed a lot of different boats when they first came out — J/105s, J/120s — thinking I’d make a move, but I like the way the J/35 sails,” he says. “It’s a better sailing boat and a great platform to race.”
    Sailing photo credits- Sailing World/ Santo Fabio and article credits- Sailing World/ David Powlison

    * Cory Sertl- J/22 and J/24 Women’s World Champion- is now US Sailing President!

    Gary Jobson recently provided a profile on Sailing World.com regarding the recent election of Newport/ Jamestown native and top woman sailor- Cory Sertl. Here is Gary’s report on a woman sailor he has also known for nearly two-plus decades as a friend, competitor, and fellow US Sailing volunteer.

    “The new leader of American sailing is a champion and a proven leader, but the sport is changing faster than any organization could possibly keep apace.

    From Cory Sertl’s ­perspective at the President’s helm of US Sailing, and as a member of the World Sailing Council, she sees similar challenges across the American sailing landscape as she does elsewhere in the world: participation is stagnant in many regions. At home, the United States won only one medal in the past two summer Olympic Games, and there’s considerable confusion on what is the best handicap-rating rule. Sertl has the high-level racing experience and longtime board service to draw upon as she takes on these and other challenges, but she faces stiff headwinds on her first beat.

    Sertl, 59, has transitioned over the years from an Olympian and champion sailor to a leader at the highest levels of the sport. She was selected Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year twice (1995 and 2001), is a winning skipper and crew, and regularly races with her family. But, today, she’s committed full time to advancing the sport that has defined her life. She recently reminded me of a story when, in 1990, immediately after she and Jody Swanson won a gold medal in the International 470 class at the Goodwill Games in Seattle, I took them aside and said, “OK, you have just won a gold medal, so now you have to give back to the sport. You really have to be role models here.”

    Sertl took my advice to heart and has since become connected to the sport, from the bottom up. Leading US Sailing while simultaneously serving on the World Sailing’s Board today gives her a unique vantage point to the inner workings of our sport.

    “It’s been fun to continue at a high level in sailing, not just competing, but also making decisions about what’s good for the sport,” she says. “Sixty years ago, we didn’t have many women sailing at as high a level as men. There has been a women’s class in the Olympics since 1988 and now we have more opportunities. I’m glad to see World Sailing working to achieve gender equity by the number of competitors and medals starting in 2024. It’s really exciting.”

    US Sailing’s Presidential term limit, however, is only three years, which is a short amount of time to implement initiatives, but her priorities include improving the U.S. Olympic sailing program, building a better education system and getting more new people to the water. The organization recently published its strategic plan for 2018 to 2020 and one of its goals is to encourage more people to get out on the water throughout their lifetime. The plan is to offer a variety of sailing activities.

    To understand sailors’ needs, US Sailing will use technology and data analysis, focused communication and customer service. Each department will address specific ways to achieve these goals.

    “We put all new projects and ideas through this filter to understand what will work,” Sertl says. “For example, if someone leaves the sport for several years, we must help them re-engage with sailing. We can do this with colleges, community sailing, yacht clubs and other sailing organizations. It could be something simple like getting five friends together to go sailing on a J/24. An important part of the plan is to measure progress by observing participation trends at events or training programs, US Sailing membership and results at regattas. These activities will include casual recreational sailing to high-­performance competition.

    “At the World Sailing Annual Conference in Singapore last year we talked about how to keep kids in the sport,” she adds. “Sometimes young girls don’t like sailing by themselves in the Optimists. We want to keep them excited and we worked on ways to accomplish that task.”

    US Sailing’s Board has its own set of priorities. But, at the international level, the process of governing a rich and increasingly diverse sport is considerably more complicated today. Sertl says she’s learned to listen and understand different people’s points of view and has become more effective as a result.

    “It takes a while to gain respect and trust, so, when we speak, people listened,” she says. “Common sense is important when finding solutions.”

    Sertl started down the sailing path in Jamestown, Rhode Island.  Her family had a summerhouse on the small island west of Newport when her father served in the Navy.  “We learned to sail right in front of the house,” she recalls with fond memories.

    US Sailing’s presidential term limit, however, is only three years, which is a short amount of time to implement initiatives, but her priorities include improving the U.S. Olympic sailing program, building a better education system and getting more new people to the water.

    She attended the University of Pennsylvania and raced on the sailing team for four years. Upon graduation, she campaigned an International 470, crewing for Susan Dierdorff Taylor. They won the World Championship in Brazil in 1988, and with her commanding height, she says, she was best-suited for the crew position.

    The pair later lost Olympic selection to Alison Jolly and Lynn Jewell by a narrow margin. Sertl, however, was named to the Olympic Team in Pusan, South Korea, as an alternate. Jolly and Jewell went on to win a gold medal that year, the first female sailors to achieve such an honor.

    “Crewing in a 470 is awesome, because when you’re on the trapeze you get to see a lot,” Sertl says. “You really get to control the tactics. I enjoyed getting into that role because I had done so much skippering. I felt like a true 50/50 partner. We helped push Alison and Lynn toward winning the gold medal. It’s fun to be part of the whole team, and experience the Olympic movement.”

    In 1995, panelists selected Sertl as Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, citing her versatility in both fleet and match racing that year as both a skipper and a crew. Sertl and her teammates, Dina Kowalyshyn, Susan Taylor and Pease Glaser won the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship sailed in a matched fleet of J/24s, the pinnacle of women’s fleet racing at the time. The team won four of 10 races against 60 teams. The winning skipper of the championship was awarded a Rolex watch, and because Sertl, Glaser and Taylor had already had won Rolex watches in the past, Sertl made a grand gesture by giving hers to Kowalyshyn.

    In 2011, Sertl was back into the action at the Rolex International Keelboat Championship with a new team sailing on J/22s, all from her home club. The regatta was held at Rochester YC, so she was right at home.

    There were 36 teams from 16 countries racing, and entering the final day of racing, she trailed 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Anna Tunnicliffe and Olympian Sally Barkow. Three races were sailed in thunderstorms and unsettled conditions and Sertl won the regatta, beating Tunnicliffe by 5 points.

    Sertl, her husband, Mark and their two grown children, Katja and Nick, continue to race Lightnings, but they usually race on separate boats because the Lightning requires three crew. Plus, they are often seen sailing their J/22 in the Conanicut YC’s famous Tuesday Night Series in the summertime.

    The Sertl family spends winter months in Rochester, New York, where they own a real-estate development and management company, and try to spend a good part of the summer in Rhode Island. Sertl recently teamed up with Hannah Swett, Melissa Purdy Feagin, Joan Porter and Jody Stark to compete in the 2018 J/70 World Championship. In the next few years, she plans to race in the New York YC’s IC37 fleet, to continue to racing in the Lightning class, and to race a J/22 in the local circuit.

    One of her roles at World Sailing is serving as chair of the Youth World Championship committee. Teaching young sailors to make sailing a lifelong sport is an essential part of Sertl’s work both in the United States and around the world.

    “We try to provide great resources for youth sailing and make it more understandable and easier to get into the sport, and easier to stay in it,” she says. “We want to promote all kinds of different sailing, not just at the top level.”

    Sertl is a certified sailing instructor and travels often to work directly with ­community sailing programs.

    “I am passionate about getting young people involved in the sport at all levels,” she says. “At US Sailing we have the opportunity to strengthen support for the sport at all levels, continuing to strive for excellence and creating quality programs. Partnering with the many organizations that support development is key to sustaining a solid base and inspiring ­lifelong sailors.”

    Young people who get involved in sailing are busy learning life skills and contributing in positive ways to their communities, she adds, noting that lasting friendships develop through the sport whether it is racing and learning the elements of sportsmanship or becoming a sailing instructor and having a summer job teaching sailing.
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- April 3rd, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past week presented the sailing world with a variety of options for their sailing passions.  For starters, out west in California, the San Francisco-based Bay Area Multihull Association (BAMA) hosted their annual Doublehanded Farallones Race.  The race is notorious for never delivering what the most sophisticated weather prognosticators forecast, such has been the case for winds inside San Francisco Bay versus what is seen “outside” past the infamous “Potato Patch”; it is a 58.0nm race from the Golden Gate YC start line (remember the America’s Cup on 75 foot cats?), out around the Farallones Rocks to port, and return. This year’s race featured a “first ever” J/120 one-design class!

    South of those sailors doing the thrash around the Farallones Islands, the J/24s are enjoying nearly flawless (like never seen) sailing conditions in Valle de Bravo for their J/24 North American Championship, hosted by one of the most accommodating sailing clubs on the Planet Earth- the Club Nautico Valle de Bravo in Mexico. They have two days to go, follow the action below.

    Meanwhile, off to the east in the Caribbean, their was another amazing host team for the British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta, the Nanny Cay Marina.  Considering the absolute devastation they experienced from “the hurricanes”, it is a remarkable comeback story.  This year, the BVI Spring Regatta enjoyed double-digit growth due in large part to their amazing determination to make it all happen.

    Finally, off across the great Atlantic Ocean, we find the Warsash Sailing Club hosting yet another challenging weekend of sailing on Southampton Water and the infamous Solent for their HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series for fleets of IRC boats and one-design classes of J/70s, J/88s, J/109s; as well as a unique J/Sprit Class!

    J/Fest San Francisco Preview
    (San Francisco, CA)- The annual J/Fest San Francisco is hosting one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/111s, hosted by St Francis Yacht Club and hosted on San Francisco Bay. Given the recent trends for weather patterns, the fleet is hoping for more traditional Bay area weather patterns, with some fog in the morning, but sunny out to the east over the valley to produce the classic westerly sea breezes for the weekend of sailing.

    The largest one-design fleet by far is the J/105 class, with twenty-five boats participating off the San Francisco waterfront.  A crowded starting line it will be for many of the top “locals” that have won various major events over time. Those J/crews include Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Jeff Littfin’s MOJO, Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Phil Laby’s GODOT, Rolf Kaiser’s DONKY JACK, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, and Tim Russell’s NE*NE.

    The J/111s will have tight racing by some of the top dogs in the Bay area, such as past J/111 World Champion Peter Wagner on SKELETON KEY, Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, and Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS.

    Leaders of the eight-boat J/70 class may include Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Chris Snow & John Bridgen’s COOL STORY BRO, Pete Cameron’s KANGAROO JOCKEY, the trio on 1FA (Scott Sellers, Harrison Turner, Geoff McDonald), and Tracy & Christine Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN RACING. For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

    Australia Boat Show Announcement- Debut of J/121 & J/112E!
    (Sydney, Australia)- The team at J/Boats Australia (Yachtspot) will be displaying at the Club Marine Sail Expo over the weekend of 27-28 April 2019.  The Sail Expo is to be held at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newport, about 25km north of Sydney.  Yachtspot will be exhibiting the J/121, J/112E and J/70.  Also close by, Yachtspot will also have access to a J/97E and J/88 on another arm of the marina.

    J/121 Australia Updates
    The J/121 is Melbourne-based and will be sailing 600.0nm up the east coast in time for the show, and then venturing another 1,200.0nm up to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland for some winter regatta racing at Hamilton Island Race Week.  The beauty of the J/121 is that she is fully ocean-capable, so offers the thrills and adventure of not only ocean racing, but also the journey to get to the World’s most beautiful sailing locations.

    Also, on display will be the J/112E from the Elegance range, the epitome of ‘performance cruiser’ design for comfort, style and speed.

    Plus the inimitable J/70, with representatives from the J/70 Australian Class Association on-hand to chat through why they love the J/70 and the benefits this International one-design class can bring to sailors from all ranges of experience, from beginning racers to the most experienced world-class Olympic Medallist.  For more information, please contact Ray Entwistle- ph- +61 2 9997 7158/ email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Follow J/Boats Australia (Yachtspot) on Facebook here

    New England J/Fest Announcement
    (Newport, RI)- The third annual New England J/Fest Regatta is being hosted by Sail Newport the weekend of August 9-11th 2019. This is the third New England J/Fest Regatta limited exclusively to J/Boat owners and crews with racing and social events scheduled throughout the weekend.

    This event capitalizes on the very successful 2017 event and similar successful J/Fest Regattas held in other US regions where participation exceeded seventy boats. Event organizers anticipate more than seventy boats at the starting line for the 2019 New England J/Fest. Expected one‐design classes include J/22, J/24, J/30, J/70, J/80, J/88, J/105, J/109, J/121. The 2019 event will also include a class for J/Cruisers.

    Narragansett Bay is considered a special “home waters” venue for the New England J/Fest as many of the sailboats were locally built in Rhode Island. Once again, Sail Newport has been selected to host the 2019 J/Fest Regatta. Sail Newport has an active racing program that includes a fleet of club owned J/22’s and counts numerous J/Boat owners as many of their most active members. Sail Newport is a State of Rhode Island resource that provides strong support for sailing and has the facilities to successfully host an event of this caliber. The shore side activities for the 2019 J/Fest will be held at the Sail Newport gorgeous new facilities located at Fort Adams.    J/Fest Registration is currently open.

    Information regarding the regatta including logistics, mooring availability, social event signup and hotel accommodations are all located on the J/Fest New England regatta website: http://www.jfestnewengland.com.

    THE Easter J/24 Regatta Preview
    (Columbia, SC)- Sailed in J/24s since 1987, THE Easter Regatta has been one of the world’s most popular and enduring J/24 events. It offers an excellent mix of shore side events and world-class competition. Whether your’s is an amateur team attending your first regatta or a professional team contending for the top prize, you will find something that impels you to return year after year!

    The Columbia Sailing Club offers first-class facilities. Everyone will appreciate the new Bath House at the beach and camping area, especially the campers! Their “never-leave-the-club” option offers free camping (first-come, first-served), meals every day, and parties galore! The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provides an unparalleled camping experience.

    Most importantly, the down-home southern hospitality ties everything together. This is the tradition that competitors have come to know and love.

    Answering that “call to duty” for J/24 sailors are at least thirteen teams from across the cosmos of the J/24 universe.  Notable characters include such teams like Mike Palazzo’s JO MAMMA from Charleston YC; Steve Wood’s TASMANIAN DEVIL from Sail Newport, RI; Paul Abdullah’s TEAM TARHEEL from Jacksonville, FL; Corey Huseby’s BORK! BORK! BORK! from St Paul, MN; Rob Baldwin’s PIG from Central, SC; and Crisp McDonald’s LEVEL PELICAN from Charleston, SC.   Follow the J/24 Easter Regatta on Facebook  For more J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 17- Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
    Apr 6-7- J/Fest San Francisco- San Francisco, CA
    Apr 9-14- J/22 World Sailing Nations Cup- San Francisco, CA
    Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Apr 13-14- Irish J/24 Westerns- Lough Re, Ireland
    Apr 14-20- Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St. Barth
    Apr 18-22- SPI Ouest France Regatta- La Trinite sur Mer, France
    Apr 20-21- J/22 Van Uden Ecco Regatta- Stellendam, Netherlands
    Apr 26-28- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
    Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
    Apr 28- May 3- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
    May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
    May 3-5- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    May 4-10- J/24 European Championship- Patras, Greece
    May 4- RORC Cervantes Cup Race- Cowes, England
    May 9-12- SAILING Champions League- Palma Mallorca, Spain
    May 10-12- Grand Prix de St Cast- St Cast, France
    May 10-12- RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup- Cowes, England

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

    Gorgeous BVI Spring Regatta
    Silver for Leading J/Teams!
    (Nanny Cay, Tortola, BVI)- The sailors that participated in the 2019 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival could not have enjoyed a better long weekend of sailing in the sunny Caribbean in the British Virgin Islands.  Hosted by the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club and sailed out of the spectacular Nanny Cay Marine, the various members of the J/Tribe enjoyed racing the 48th edition of the regatta with 60-plus boats.

    The Race week schedule included the traditional Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, followed by Scrub Island Invitational on day two of racing in the Sailing Festival. Then, three great days of racing followed for the 48th BVI Spring Regatta.

    Like they have so many times before, the J/122s enjoyed more racing success in the Caribbean.  This time, in CSA Racing 2 class, it was Tony Mack’s J/122 TEAM McFLY/ EL OCASO that took the silver with a 3-2-1-3-4 for 13 pts.

    In the CSA Racing 3 class, there was more silver to be garnered, this time by Mackenzie Bryan’s J/100 BAD GIRL taking the silver medal with a 1-1-2-2-4 for 10 pts. Fifth in class was Mike Feierbend’s J/24 BRAVISSIMO with a 5-6-3-3-5 for 22 pts.

    Finally, in the CSA Performance Cruising, fourth place went to Kieran Duck’s J/120-mod ESCAPED AUSSIES~ JAGUAR with a consistent 4-4-4-5-4 for 21 pts.  For more BVI Spring Regatta sailing information

    J/24 North American Champs Update
    (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- The 2019 J/24 North American Championship is being hosted by Club Nautico Valle de Bravo on their gorgeous lake in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.  The twenty-seven boat fleet consists of USA, French and Mexican teams from across the top fleets in the respective countries.

    Day One- Flawless Weather
    The sailors reveled in flawless conditions in the first day of racing. Winds started at 10-12 knots and increased to 12-16, with occasional higher gusts.

    Under cloudless skies on the picturesque lake in the mountains of Mexico, current J/24 World Champion Will Welles skippered BRUSCHETTA won the first race. Trailing him in race one was American Mark Laura on BABA LOUIE and Mexican Kenneth Porter’s “S”. Welles again won the next race, followed by Mexican Javier Velasquez on TRINQUETE with Laura’s BABA LOUIE in third. Velasquez earned the final victory of the day, as American Tony Parker on BANGOR PACKET and Welles comprised the top three.

    At the conclusion of the day’s racing, at the top of the leaderboard sat Welles’ BRUSCHETTA with scores of 1-1-3 for 5 pts. The balance of the podium was locked in a tie at 10 points: Velasquez’s TRINQUETE had a 7-2-1 while Laura’s BABA LOUIE posted a 2-3-5.

    Day Two- More Gorgeous Sailing
    It was yet another gorgeous day in Valle de Bravo! And, it was yet another day atop the leaderboard for Welles’
    BRUSCHETTA. With boat owner Aroldo de Rienzo aboard as well as Rich Bowen, John McCabe and PJ Schaffer, Bruschetta lodged scores of 1-5-1 on Wednesday. Now able to discard the fifth in race five, Welles has a net score of 7 points in six races (winning four of them to date) of the planned 10-race series.

    Parker’s BANGOR PACKET benefited from a solid day to jump into second place overall, after recording a 3-1-3 for 14 net points. Porter’s “S” moved into third place with 19 points.

    Following a brief postponement while the breeze came in, racing got underway in winds of 8-10 knots, which increased to 10-14 kts with puffs in the high teens. Welles earned his third bullet of the Championship in Wednesday’s initial contest, trailed by Porter and Parker. Then it was Parker’s turn for line honors, his best finish of the series, while Laura and Ramon Benitez’s DE COLORES followed. Leading the fleet back to the docks after the third race of the day were Welles, Porter and Parker. For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

    J/120s Duel @ Doublehanded Farallones
    (San Francisco, CA)- Sixty-three boats registered to start the 2019 edition of the infamous Doublehanded Farallones Race, hosted by the Bay Area Multihull Association (BAMA).  This year, most of the top boats completed the picturesque, iconoclastic 58.0nm race between 9 to 10+ hours elapsed time (a not so fast average of ~ 5.8 kts to ~ 6.4 kts).

    Going for it were seven J/crews from various Bay area sailing clubs and most all of them completed the circuit out and around the foreboding Farallones Island and rocks.

    For the first time in recent memory, there was a “big boat” one-design class. The PHRF 3 Class was comprised of entirely J/120s. Winning that “mano’a’mano” battle by just five minutes was Sean & Jeff Mulvihill’s JAMANA in 8:49:14. Taking the silver was Mike O’Callaghan & John Verdoa’s PEREGRINE in 8:54:13.  Then about ten minutes behind them taking the bronze was Timo Bruck & Elaine Scott’s TWIST in 9:14:26. Rounding out the top five were Ludovic Milin & Philippe Jamotte’s SAETTA and Bridgitt Ahern & Gilles Combrisson’s ALCHERA in 4th and 5th, respectively.

    Commented the winning skipper Sean Mulvihill from JAMANA, “a strong J/120 fleet enjoyed having its own division. JAMANI and SAETTA were over early in very light wind at the start, taking 6-8 minutes to re-cross. PEREGRINE had a perfect start, but were caught in a wind hole mid-bay. JAMANI and PEREGRINE traded the lead several times during the race, but JAMANI prevailed at the finish! An exciting race overall for all J/120 crews!”

    Then, in PHRF 5 Class, taking second was Chris Kim & Carl Plant’s J/105 VUJA STAR in 9:29:04, about 45 minutes elapsed behind the lead J/120.  Fourth in class was Jim Hopp & Chris Cartwright’s J/88 WHITE SHADOW.  For SF BAMA Doublehanded Farallones entries and race results  For more SF-BAMA Doublehanded Farallones Race sailing information

    Warsash Spring Series- Weekend II Report
    (Warsash, England)- The second weekend is now on the books for the Warsash Sailing Club’s famous HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series. The fleet was blessed, again, with good enough conditions to get in one more race for the IRC handicap fleets and three more for the J/70s.

    In the IRC 2 Class, now sitting in 2nd is Simon Perry’s J/111 JIRAFFE with a 1-2-3 for 6 pts, just one shy of first place overall. And, hanging on to 4th is Chris Burleigh’s J/109 JYBE TALKIN with a 6-5-8 for 19 pts.

    Meanwhile, in the IRC 3 Class, having not raced the third race, sliding down to 4th overall is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

    The hotly contested fleet of J/70s have now sailed nine races.  Sitting comfortably in 1st is Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT with mostly 1sts and 2nds for 12 pts net. 2nd is Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER with 39 pts, having not sailed the last three races. 3rd is Phil Chandler’s BLACKJAX with 43 pts. 4th Doug Struth’s DSP with 51 pts, having missed the 2nd weekend of races. And, 5th Martin Dent’s JELVIS with 53 pts, having missed the 1st and 3rd weekend of races.

    To date, the J/88s have three races.  Leading is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with all bullets for 3 pts. 2nd Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with a 3-2-3 for 8 pts. 3rd Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM with a 4-3-4 for 11 pts. Then, rounding out the top five is Dianne & Dirk Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR and Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL, in 4th & 5th, respectively.

    The J/109s also have three races on the books.  Winning handily is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE with all bullets for 3 pts. 2nd is Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN with a 2-2-3 for 7 pts. 3rd is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN with 30 pts. And, the balance of the top five are, 4th Bill Stock’s JENGU and 5th Chris Preston’s JUBILEE.

    The all-encompassing J/Sprit division is dominated by J/88s.  They hold all top three spots; 1st is Howe’s TIGRIS, 2nd Apthorp’s J-DREAM, and 3rd Cooper’s JONGLEUR.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- March 27th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    Two significant sailing series began this past week on the pan-Eurasian continent.  Starting the farthest “east”, the Russian J/70 Sailing League kicked off their season-long series in Sochi, Russia, with twenty-three teams enjoying a stormy weekend on the Black Sea. Then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series began in England, hosted by Warsash Sailing Club for IRC handicap racing and one-design classes for J/70s, J/88s, J/109s and the new J/Sprit Class.

    Down in the Caribbean, the St Thomas International Regatta enjoyed four spectacular days of sailing in the aquamarine waters off the eastern end of US Virgin Island, hosted by St Thomas YC and sailed out of beautiful Cowpet Bay.

    Headed over to the Americas, we find two events took place, again at extreme ends of the continental USA.  Up in the Pacific Northwest, the Center Sound Series, hosted by Corinthian YC of Seattle, held their third and final race of the series on Puget Sound for PHRF handicap fleets as well as a J/105 one-design class. Down in southern California and Mexico, the Newport Harbor to Cabo San Lucas Race finally finished. Normally, it is an 800.0nm “barn burner” downwind. However, for the fleet that included a J/124, J/121, and J/125, it was possibly one of the slowest “Cabo Races” on record to the cute little seaside resort at the bottom of the Baja Peninsula.

    Finally, in South America, the annual J/24 Campeonato del Oeste was sailed off the pretty mountain lake of Potrerillos, Mendoza, Argentina for a highly competitive dozen-boat fleet.

    J/99 USA Debut @ Pacific Sailboat Show
    (Richmond, CA)- Don't miss the 2019 Pacific Sailboat Show from April 4th to 7th, 2019 at the Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, CA! Get your tickets here- https://pacificboatshow.com/

    Making her USA boat show debut will be the new J/99, a 9.9 meter (32.6’) crew-friendly, offshore-capable speedster.

    The J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat.

    Now more than ever, sailors are attracted to adventure-filled, signature events (Fastnet, Middle Sea, Chicago-Mac, etc.) where straight-line speed, sail handling, strategy and weather routing are all equally put to the test. The J/99 is designed to excel in these events (both fully crewed and short-handed) while delivering the exhilarating, family-friendly experience the J Sport range is known for.

    Please be sure to contact Norm Davant at SAIL California for more information- ph# (510) 685-7453 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Learn more about the J/99 Shorthanded Speedster here

    Celebrating the Life of Paul Heys
    (Hamble, Southampton, United Kingdom)- The sailing world paid tribute to one of its own on March 19th as 500+ sailors gathered at Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, UK to celebrate the life of Paul Heys- husband, father, brother, friend, colleague, sailing mate, and sailing entrepreneur (pictured above on the newly introduced J/99 in England).

    A dock walk thru Port Hamble Marina and Hamble Marina Services only scratches the surface of the impact Paul’s love and dedication for sailing had on the greater sailing community. J/Boats of all sizes and vintages are around every corner, from early model J/80’s and J/105’s to last year’s IRC World Champion J/112E and the newly launched J/99 Hull #1.

    Paul only had one speed, and that was full speed ahead (like steering the first J/121 above off Bristol, RI). He woke earlier and worked later, and in between, managed to accomplish more in a day than most do in a week. Whether on a boat or in the boatyard, he inspired everyone around him to “do the job right” and along the way gave many young sailors their first opportunity to work in the sailing industry. He went the extra mile to make sure everyone was having the most fun possible with their boats. Sailing couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador.

    Paul will forever be part of the J family and the J story. He and Marie-Claude were there for the first J/80 Worlds in 2001 in Newport, and for so many subsequent firsts including the launch of J/122 hull #1 in 2006, and the more recent hull #1 launchings of the J/121 and J/99. The face of one-design keelboat racing in the UK is forever changed thanks to the J/80, J/109, J/88, J/111, and J/70 classes that Paul and his J/UK team incubated and supported, not to mention the many other J designs he introduced to the UK market and successfully campaigned at the highest levels. The annual J/Cup regatta, founded by Paul, is one of the most prestigious keelboat events on the UK schedule. The 2019 J/Cup, slated for July 18-20 at Royal Southern Yacht Club, is expected to be the biggest yet.

    Paul’s lifelong devotion and passion for sailing was second to none, and his legacy will live on through everyone who knew him, the numerous J/one-design fleets and annual J/Cup regatta he founded, and the many other thousands of sailors he inspired along the way. Paul would have wanted to share the credit with his incredible team (both past and present) at J-UK / Key Yachting. He was after all the consummate teammate. We will miss you Paul.

    Bigger than Ben Hur!
    Season Preview - J/70 UK and Ireland Class
    (Southampton, United Kingdom)- The 2019 season is expected to be bigger than Ben Hur for the J/70 UK and Ireland Class, with ten regattas in the Grand Slam Series, and the first ever J/70 World Championships to be held in the UK. There are over 50 teams racing in British waters, and over 100 international teams are expected for the 2019 Darwin Escapes J/70 Worlds, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. Racing for the Grand Slam Series starts 13 April and concludes 27 October.

    Scoring for the J/70 Class Grand Slam Series is calculated by the best five events, with the J/70 UK Nationals as compulsory. Two fabulous trophies, for Open and Corinthian teams, will be presented at the end of the season, and the top teams for the series will be allocated places for the 2020 J/70 World Championships. The Grand Slam Series events are all based around weekends with a schedule of racing over no more than 2-3 days, except the UK Nationals, which runs for four days.

    “Many of the UK teams have been training over the winter, and the buzz in the UK class is stronger than it has ever been,” commented Paul Ward, owner/driver of Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, and UK Class Secretary. “Time on the water is a big factor to a top performance and going on 2018 results the class will experience extremely competitive racing, last year only three points separated first and fifth. There are now over 1500 J/70s worldwide and the cream of the crop will be in the UK this year, both at the worlds and also the nationals, which is an open event. The UK Class is set for an awesome season!”

    The 2019 Grand Slam Series kicks off next month with two weekends of racing at the Warsash Spring Championships (13-14 April & 27-28 April). Cowes is the center of attention for May and June; the RORC Vice Admirals Cup (10-12 May) is followed by the Southern Championships (01-02 June), hosted by the Royal Thames YC. The UK Training Event (18-22 July) will run alongside the J-Cup hosted by the Royal Southern YC. A full race series will be complimented by practice starts plus coaching and video analysis from the expert term at North Sails. Lendy Cowes Week is the venue for the J/70 mini-series (10-13 August), before the J/70 fleet head to the Royal Torbay YC in Torquay for the J/70 UK National Championships (23-26 August), a compulsory event for the Grand Slam Series. Two weekends of racing at the Hamble One Design Championships (05-06 October & 19-20 October), hosted by the Hamble River SC, will be followed by the final event of the 2019 Grand Slam Series, the Solent Championships (26-27 October), hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes.

    The highlight of the season is the 2019 Darwin Escapes J/70 World Championships (30 August-06 September). This will be the first J/70 World Championships to be held in the UK. Professional and Corinthian teams are expected from all over the world. The J/70 UK and Ireland Class welcomes new members and chartering opportunities are available from boat owners and yacht clubs.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ PWPictures.com   For more J/70 United Kingdom sailing information

    J/24 North American Championship Preview
    (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Hosting the 2019 J/24 North American Championship will be the Club Nautico Valle de Bravo on their gorgeous lake in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.  The twenty-eight boat fleet consists of all Mexican and American teams, with most of the top crews participating from both countries.  Sure to be amongst the leaders of the Mexican contingent will be past Mexican J/24 National Champion Kenneth Porter’s “S”, sailing for the host club- CNVB.

    The leading USA contenders should include Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle YC in Seattle, WA; Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD; Will Welles’ BOGUS from Portsmouth, RI; and top woman helm- Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland YC in Portland, ME.  For more J/24 North American Championship sailing information

    Doublehanded Farallones Race Preview
    (San Francisco, CA)- This coming weekend marks the start of one of the most famous offshore shorthanded races in all of California- the Doublehanded Farallones Race. Hosting the event is the San Francisco Bay Area Multihull Association (SF-BAMA). Fifty-seven teams are taking up this epic shorthanded challenge.

    From the start inside San Francisco Bay alongside the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the fleet heads out to sea and around the Southeast Farallones Island, leaving it to port, and then to the finish- a distance of approximately 58.0nm.

    Seven J/Teams are participating in the race. Leading them all should be the group of five J/120s; including Mike O’Callaghan’s PEREGRINE, Sean Mulvihill’s JAMANI, Timo Bruck’s TWIST, Ludovic Milin’s SAETTA, and Bridgitt Ahern’s ALCHERA.  Joining them will be Jim Hopp’s J/88 WHITE SHADOW and Chris Kim’s J/105 VUJA STAR.  For Doublehanded Farallones Race entries and race results   For more SF-BAMA Doublehanded Farallones Race sailing information

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 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.

    Newport Harbor to Cabo San Lucas Drift-A-Thon
    (Newport Beach, CA)- The 20th running of the 800.0nm Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race started with some degree of promise that the weather forecasts would not come to fruition. The first three fleets of boats started off in decent winds from the WNW that slowly clocked as the fleet sailed south down the Mexican shoreline.

    However, the forecasts did, indeed, hold true and the race became somewhat of an anti-climactic event for the late starters.  The winds were so light that nearly all of the Saturday starters (the Maxi’s and Super Maxi’s) dropped out! And, over a third of the rest of the fleet did the same, “turning and burning” under their “iron gennies” to head back to home.

    It was still the usual downwind race, with winds fluctuating from the northeast to northwest, as the fleet ever so slowly crawled down the Mexican coastline, gybing on lifts and desperately looking for pressure anywhere!

    For the three J/Teams that managed to finish the race, there was no question there were many anxious moments as one after another held either the lead in their division or were hanging on to a podium finish (as forecast by the YBTracker.com fleet tracking algorithms).

    Those three boats were Scott Grealish’s brand new J/121 BLUE FLASH, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC, and Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL from Newport Beach, CA.

    In the battle of the 40+ footers, it was Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER that yet again out-gunned their classmates, working every inch of advantage, every degree of downwind AWA, every perfect sail combination, to finish the race in 4 days 18 hours 18 minutes to correct out to 2nd in class, missing the ORR 3 Division win by just 4 hours.

    Hanging onto the class lead for the better part of two days was Grealish’s brand new, fresh out of the box (2 hours!) J/121 BLUEFLASH. Interspersed with their moments of brilliance were hours of frustration chasing wind streaks for advantage over their erstwhile competitors. As part of their “training mission”, their hope was to learn as fast as possible how to guide their new 40-foot missile faster down the track, experimenting with every sail combination possible. As the smallest boat in the class, they suffered from the same malaise that the Super Maxi’s and Maxi’s got caught in, little to no wind the further they got down the coast as the frontal system receded away from them. That phenomenon not only forced the biggest baddest boats out of the race, with their speedo’s reading “triple naughts” at times, but that also enabled the top boats in ORR 3 Division to continue to extend their lead. In the end, BLUEFLASH was content with a 5th in class, and gathering an enormous amount of data to help them on their 50th Transpac Race preparations later in the summer.

    In ORR 5 Division, Hall’s J/124 MARISOL took 5 days 9 hours 55 minutes to complete the 800.0nm track to correct out to 4th in class.   Watch YB Tracking of the race here.   For more Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race sailing information

    Another Epic St Thomas International Regatta
    (Cowpet Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- For three days, the 50-plus boat fleet enjoyed near postcard-perfect sailing conditions in the Caribbean off the east end of St. Thomas.  Not surprisingly, the St. Thomas YC’s idyllic location on the beach of Cowpet Bay served as the base of operations for everyone, with plenty of shoreside après ‘sailing festivities. J/Crews garnered their fair share of silverware in the performance CSA racing fleets.  Here is how it all took place.

    Day 1- Picture Perfect
    The conditions could not have been better for the first day of the 46th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR). Warm trade winds blew an average of 12 to 15 knots with occasional gusts to 20 knots, seas were relatively calm at 2 to 4 feet, and the bright sun made for a balmy 80’s Fahrenheit. What really stood out as a signature feature of STIR was the race committees carefully planned round-the-island-, rocks- and cays-style courses that offered highly competitive racing in an extraordinarily scenic setting. Definitely the best of both worlds.

    “The courses were awesome,” says St. John’s Mike Feierabend, who with his all St. John crew helmed his J/24 BRAVISSIMO to first after two races in the CSA Spinnaker 2 class. “We really love going around the islands. The wind angles on the courses set by the race committee were especially nice.”

    The four-boat CSA Spinnaker 2’s races were each nearly 10-nautical miles and wove around Dog Rock, Little St. James and Packet Rock off St. Thomas’ east end.

    Meanwhile, the eight boats in CSA Spinnaker 1 raced in the same vicinity, but these larger vessels were able to stretch their legs to a greater extent on a duo of longer courses that extended to Buck and Capella island’s off St. Thomas southern Caribbean Sea shore.

    “We sailed well today,” said Antigua’s Pamala Baldwin, who raced aboard her J/122 LIQUID. Crewed by several aspiring professional race boat crew, LIQUID was second in class, yet tied at 5 points with class leader. “We had a one-hour debrief yesterday after the Round the Rocks race and worked out the tweaks. Four of our sailors are new to the boat and we really came together as a team today.”

    Round-the-island courses are something that USA-based PRO (Principal Race Officer) Dave Brennan has been setting for the past several years at STIR.  “Sailing here is special and even more so when racing around the islands rather than marker buoys. These types of courses make it more fun for the average sailor, who wants to sail with friends, especially those who don’t have a lot of expertise with windward-leeward courses. We really work hard to set different types of courses each day. It’s more fun this way and truly something special,” says Brennan.

    Day 2- More Perfect Weather?
    Some of the 50-plus boats racing on the second day stretched their class leads. Others overtook fellow class competitors to jump into the lead. Either way, blue skies, warm seas and winds blowing steadily at 12 to 15 knots over the round-the-island and round-the-buoy courses proved fun for everyone in this St. Thomas Yacht Club-hosted event.

    In the CSA Spinnaker Racing 2 class, it was a case of overtaking rather than lead stretching for the St. Croix-based team aboard the J/100 BAD GIR. With Mackenzie Bryan at the helm, BAD GIRL had a tough time on the regatta’s first race on Friday and needed to retire. The young Crucians, almost all 20-somethings that grew up sailing together in dinghies, came back strong with nothing less than all first place finishes. As a result, BAD GIRL pushed St. John’s Mike Felerabend’s J/24 BRAVISSIMO to second. Both boats were tied at 8-points each.

    Day 3- Windy, squally, sunny finale
    Clouds and a couple of squalls sent windy curve balls across the courses set for the fleet. The big story of the final day of racing was all about the wind.

    “We had light air and heavier air, a little big of everything,” said one sailor. “Today, when the squall blew through in the second race of the day, winds hit over 30 knots. We broached and briefly had a man overboard situation. But, there was no damage, no one was hurt and the team recovered quickly. Overall, it was a really amazing regatta.”

    Tied on points for the lead in CSA Spinnaker Racing 1 Class was Antigua’s Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID. However, she lost the count back in the tie-breaker based on number of firsts, settling for the silver.

    In the CSA Spinnaker Racing 2 class, St. Croix’s Mackenzie Bryan drove the J/100 BAD GIRIL to a first place finish. “That squall today was as windy as I’d seen it the entire regatta. So much so that we decided not to hoist the spinnaker on the first run and we were still flying,” says Bryan, who served as a junior crew several years ago when Bad Girl also won her class. “Our strategy was to have good boat handling, minimize mistakes and stay out of the current. The effect of the current was huge.”  St. John’s Mike Felerabend’s J/24 BRAVISSIMO ended second, just four points back. Thanks for contribution- Carol Bareuther.  Sailing photo credits- Ingrid Abery/ Dean Barnes  For more St Thomas International Regatta sailing information

    Russian J/70 Sailing League 2019 Stormy Kick-Off!
    (Sochi, Russia)- Hosted by Sochi Grand Marina by Burevestnik Group, the fifth season of the Russian J/70 Sailing League kicked-off this past weekend in Sochi, Russia, with sailing taking place on the eastern reaches of the Black Sea.

    In five acts over the 2019 season, with one big final in Kaliningrad in early August, the Russian teams competed to qualify for the SAILING Champions League 2020. In the end, each team sailed six races with AXMAT Team winning, followed by the famous ArtTUBE RUS1 Sailing Team led by Valeriya Kovalenko, and RUS7 in third position.  Here is how it all went down in the battle off Sochi.

    Day 1- Beautiful spring day
    Who were the protagonists for the first event of the season?  Many of the best yachtsmen in Russia joined some of the twenty-three teams participating from across the country.

    Those teams included Burevestnik Sailing Team (former Leviathan) (co-driver Maxim Titarenko), ArtTUBE RUS1 (Valeria Kovalenko), Calipso (Maxim Taranov), the Academy of Sailing of the Yacht Club of St. Petersburg (Anna Basalkina), “Pirogovo” (Yuri Morozov), RUS7 “Sail Lord — ASIA” (Vyacheslav Yermolenko), “Sail Lord – EUROPE (Andrey Ryzhov), NAVIGATOR Trem (Alexandra Peterson), Rocknrolla Sailing Team (Andrey Novikov), X-Fit (Vladimir Silkin), RUS7 (Sergey Shevtsov), “Region-23” (Evgeny Nikiforov), CSKA (Mikhail Poslamovsky), Black Sea (Andrei Malygin), Resurskomplekt (Oleg Tikhonov), “Komatek” (Vyache Lav Frolov), USC (Edward Skornyakov), East-West (Andrey Zuev), ZID art Sailing team (Zoran Paunovich), Parusnik74.ru (Edward Podshivalov), Winner Sailing Team (Alexander Mikhailov), Matryoshka (Natalia Kravets) and Akhmat (Alexander Bozhko).

    For the first day of competition, the fleet was treated to unusual spring weather for Sochi, warm, stable winds, sunny, and great sailing!  Twelve races were held on the first day. The results were very, very close. NAVIGATOR Trem (2-1-7-2), East-West (2-2-7-1), RUS7 (1-3-5-2), Calipso (1-4-1-3) and Akhmat (3-1-2-1) were essentially all nearly tied on points- just three points separating the top crews. ArtTUBE RUS1 and BLACK SEA had a smooth day. The ZID art Sailing team would have taken off much higher than their position in the middle of the table, if were not for their BFD in two races (yes, they were fast and recovered fast!).

    Day 2- The storm obscures the sky ...
    On Saturday, the racing day was cut short by a storm front.  Nevertheless, it was a very intense day of sailing. Only four races were sailed in total, without completing a full round.

    The first three races were relatively calm. But, the fourth race looked like a mini-Volvo Ocean Race! Cold, white mist, winds gusting to 35 knots, waves sweeping boats sideways. So much for sunny, spring-like Sochi ...

    In such extreme conditions, the skill of the crew and coordination around the course was critical to success. Mistakes were very costly.

    Winning the fourth and most epic race was Akhmat Racing Team.  Sailing boldly, faster, and more confident than ever were Alexander Bozhko, Roman Konstantinov, Oleg Kuzmin, Alexander Andrianov and Boris Kucherenko. Just behind them, Zoran Paunovich, Evgeny Neugodnikov, Sergey Volchkov and Daniil Banayan from ZID art Sailing Team planed wildly to the finish line to take second place. And in seconds, finishing third in a cloud of spray was Maxim Titarenko, Vadim Yakhinson, Maxim and Mikhail Sheremetyev from Burevestnik Sailing Team.

    Day 3- Sunny Finale
    After a stormy Saturday afternoon, Sochi presented the teams with wonderful sunny weather and the opportunity to conduct another fourteen very intense races.

    Winning the final day by a landslide was ArtTUBE RUS1 (Valeria Kovalenko), with three 1sts in five races. The surprise of the day was the two victories by Region-23, skippered by Yevgeny Nikiforov.

    Nevertheless, it was the first premiere National Sailing League regatta for the Chechen Republic team AKHMAT skippered by Alex Bozhkov.  In the finale, they managed to snatch their victory from some of the pre-eminent Russian J/70 sailing teams. As a result, they won on a tie-breaker on 2.9 pts average over Kovalenko’s ArtTUBE RUS1.  Third place went to RUS7 skipper Sergey Shevtsov.  Sailing photo credits- Andrej Sheremetyev  For more Russian J/70 National Sailing League News

    Center Sound Series Finale- Three Tree Points Race
    (Seattle, WA)- The third and final race of the Center Sound Series took place this past weekend on Puget Sound. In the end, the Corinthian YC of Seattle managed to run three good, challenging races, giving the sailors all they could bargain for- from fast drifting, to hiking hard in 15-25 kts breezes.  Overall, the J/Teams faired well, collecting a significant amount of silverware and pickle dishes for their trophy rooms. 

    In the “big boat” PHRF 0 Class, it was another strong performance for the J/160 JAM, the only certifiable “cruising” boat in a division largely populated by offshore racings machines like TP52’s and other 44 to 55 footers.  In the end, the Fox/McPhail duo on JAM managed a 4th place, but was just one point shy of 2nd place! It was very close racing amongst the big boats.

    The PHRF 2 Class was populated by a quartet of well-sailed J/80s, sweeping their class.  First was Phil Dean’s RUSH, followed in second by John Sezer’s RECKLESS, third was David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL and fourth was Rick Demmler’s TASTES LIKE CHICKEN.

    PHRF 4 CLASS was the one-design J/105 class.  The top five saw a familiar face at the front of the fleet, showing their transom to everyone else most of the series.  Winning was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE, followed in second by Bucky Rezabek’s RACERS FORMALLY KNOWN AS HERE&NOW, then Chris Phoenix’s JADED in third, Tom Kerr’s CORVO 105 in fourth, and Allen Hughes/ Shauna Walgren’s CREATIVE rounding out the top five.

    PHRF 6 Class was treated to J/35 domination; proof an old warhorse like the 35 can sail fast on all points of sail.  Winning was Don Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH, while Tyson Varosyan’s J/35 SOLUTION placed fifth.

    Finally, the battle of the 40-footers took place in PHRF 8 Class.  Placing fourth was Dougherty & Andrews J/125 HAMACHI and fifth was Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson  For Corinthian YC Seattle Center Sound Series sailing information

    HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series Starts Up!
    (Warsash, England)- The Warsash Sailing Club on the Hamble River in the United Kingdom started its HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series this past weekend. The WSC PRO paid tribute to Paul Heys of J/U.K., in particular since he was largely responsible for the large fleet of J/Teams that were on the starting line this past weekend. In addition to the two IRC handicap classes, there were three one-design classes of J/70s, J/88s, and J/1092.

    Starting with the Black fleet, leading the IRC 2 Class is Simon Perry’s J/111 JIRAFFE with a 1-2 for 3 pts total.  Sitting in 5th with a 6-5 is Chris Burleigh’s J/109 JYBE TALKIN with 11 pts. Holding on to third in IRC 3 Class with a 2-4 is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with 6 pts.

    In the one-design world, the fleet of J/70s enjoyed six quick races, putting the crews through their paces.  Currently leading is Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT with a 1-1-1-3-2-2 for 7 pts net. Just one point back is Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER in second and laying in third is Martin Dent’s JELVIS.

    After two races in the J/88 class, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is leading with two bullets.  Then, Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR posted a 3-2 which puts them in second for 5 pts and David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM has a 4-3 tally to hold third position.

    Similarly, the J/109 class also saw a double bullet performance, with Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE sitting atop the class.  Second is Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN and third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN.

    Finally, in the newly-created J/Sprit Division, it is Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS leading, followed by the Apthorp’s J/88 J-DREAM in second and Richard Cooper’s J/88 JONGLEUR in third.  Follow the Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here   Sailing photo credits- Close Hauled Photography/   For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

    CAMBURY Crowned J/24 Campeon del Oeste
    (Potrerillos, Mendoza, Argentina)- The Campeonato del Oeste was recently sailed on the gorgeous Andean mountains lake off Potrerillos.  The dozen-boat fleet was treated to a wide variety of conditions over the three-day championship.

    After eleven races, it was clear the regatta had become a three-horse race between CAMBURY, RINA, and MORRUCHO.  The final standings were not determined until the last race, with the team of CAMBURY (Marcelo Freytes, Ricky Homps, Torkel Borgstrom and Ezequiel Despontin) winning by just one point.

    Racing was so close amongst the trio of boats that second place was determined by a tie-breaker.  Winning that count-back was Buenos Aires sailor Nicolas Cubria’s RINA over Sebastian Halpern”s MORRUCHO.  Rounding out the top five were US in fourth and SEAWOLF in fifth.

    Nico Cubria commented on the sailing:
    “On Saturday, we sailed for the Martin Pelado Costa Cup, a tribute to past J/24 sailor Sr. Martín. The best boat of the day was MORRUCHO skippered by Sebastian Halpern. In the afternoon, there was an emotional presentation of prizes that counted on the presence of the wife and children of Martin who, together with Torkel Borgstrom, dedicated warm words and anecdotes remembering Martin. On Sunday, the wind breeze stayed strong in the 12 to 20 kts range, enabling the PRO to run four more races. The fleet has been very close and we hope for a good outcome tomorrow! But, it will be difficult against our friendly competitors, CAMBURY and MORRUCHO. Needless to say, there is great camaraderie amongst the sailors and we look forward to our dinner at the Otaviano Vineyard enjoying some good wines!”
    Follow the Argentine J/24 Class on Facebook here   For more Argentine J/24 Class sailing information.

    What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Ben Braden from SAIL NORWEST in Seattle, WA had an opportunity to look over the two latest boats in the J/stable of offshore sailing machines.  Here was his amusing, insightful take on both boats.

    J/99 Doublehanded Offshore Speedster
    This boat is gonna create more temptation in sailors minds then back when Jansson put herring in his favorite cheesy potato dish creating such a delight. She’s been touted as a Market Disruptor by Seahorse Magazine and Versatile & Exciting by Yachting World as she sits proudly on their April 2019 magazine cover.  
    The all new J/99, from J/Boats, checks more boxes than any boat they’ve produced in over 30 years, period. After touring the boat this past week in Rhode Island I initially walked away happily amazed at her design, as well as, her bigger sister, the all new J/121. My mind kept harkening back to a time in my youth when we all sailed and raced 25 to 30 foot sailboats and were awestruck and tempted by those massive IOR boats, 50’ and up, sailing ahead of us and finishing before dark on all those mid distance races we knew and loved. Then along came the J/35. Truly an every man’s big boat. A powerful platform that brought with it a sense of the speed and thrills we observed on those big IOR warhorses of the time but in a package that each of us could touch, feel and most importantly a platform that we, the everyday sailor could handle – both race and cruise.

    Bill Schanen, of Sailing Magazine, once reported that the appeal of the J/35 “…was its pure hull form, a sweet easily driven shape free of the rating rule-induced exaggerations that made other handicap racers of the 1980s cranky and difficult to sail. With its light weight and long sailing length, big but uncomplicated rig and sensible deck layout, the J/35 was graced with a responsive yet forgiving nature over a wide range of conditions. These endearing characteristics gave the J/35 a parallel life as cruising boat. Easily handled by a family, it offered plenty of space below for accommodations that were plain but practical.”  
    While describing his latest new design, Alan Johnstone shares that “The J/99 opens up a wide range of sailing possibilities. The versatile sail plan, balanced hull form and efficient cockpit will work as well for short-handed offshore sailing as for weekend sailing with friends. The J/99 packs a lot of performance and versatility into a manageable size and budget.”

    Sound familiar?

    After touring the boat on the hard at International Marine last week I was left with a sense of how big it was on deck with a large workable cockpit that blended the sit on the deck aspects of the J/33 with the cockpit seats everyone loves in the J/35 for cruising, daysailing and distance racing. The side decks were spacious, quickly creating images of kayaks or SUP’s on deck for the summer cruise, as well as, hazard free spaces for crew to move freely from bow to stern as duties required. As I walked forward I was reminded of the deck space on a J/120.
    Stepping below my response was simply wow – a modern J/35 interior. Everything you need to be comfortable cruising with your family or friends, sitting below after a race or regatta bragging with your crew or escaping the weather for a break while on a distance race. Full functional galley, large forward facing nav area, large double bunk aft cabins port and starboard, double drop leaf table center of the salon, two very comfortable settee bunks port and starboard with an enclosed forepeak cabin housing the head and sail storage, and ample storage throughout the boat. It’s even got a headliner! Granted it doesn’t have 6’ 6” headroom like a true cruising boat, she does have a very functional 5’ 10”ish hair draft that for a race boat of her obvious caliber is astounding.

    So I’ve touched on the similarities of the space and feel of arguably one of J/Boats best performance cruising designs, the all new J/99 also incorporates many of the desirable modern performance traits of the big fast warhorses of today.

    Sound familiar again?
    She has a fixed carbon sprit off the bow to easily handle both the A-sails and various code zero type rags that excel in different areas or point to point racing. She also can have water ballast, yep water ballast on a production every man’s boat, approximately 55 gallons per side. Not the type of water ballast that has to be managed constantly to keep the boat upright but water ballast that assists in the boats sail-ability. This type of water ballast, while at its base is weight on the rail, will enable more people to go sailing and perform duties they otherwise wouldn’t be asked to do. Smaller, lighter and less agile sailors can now do the job of that affectionately named deck potato or grinder or can simply stay in the cockpit if they are unable to get out on the rail for a physical reason and the boat can still perform well due to the water ballast holding the rail down.

    Seriously, imagine a scenario that you are able to take your 80+ year old grandfather out sailboat racing and benefit from his years of sailing knowledge being shared with you and your 14 year old lightweight kid while they trim the sails and have a chance of competing against that fully crewed deck filled with butt’s race boat. As silly as this sounds it’s a real thing this type of crew assist water ballast enables. Sure you can still pack the rail and use the water ballast at the same time – but your boat would be that much heavier doing so.
    J/121 Shorthanded Offshore Speedster Overview
    Her big sister, the J/121 – in the vein of Orwell’s 1984 newspeak, if my reaction going below in the 99 was wow, the J/121 invited a quick double wow! This boat is big.  Yeah it’s 40’ on deck but she is wide, open and utilizes every bit of that 40’ for working purposes. Below you can swing your wet foulies around over your head there’s so much space and then quickly wipe the spray off the carbon fiber countertops. A touch that floods the senses, carbon fiber panels trimmed out with teak edging – it’s cool, it’s really cool. Double French doors forward leading into the spacious forward bunk, deep and wide aft cabin to port and open aft head to starboard with easy access to what J/Boat sailors worldwide describe as the garage storage area. Her large crew assist water ballast tanks, similar to the 99’s but more volume, are obvious but trimmed well and every system aboard seems to be easily accessible without compromising fit and finish. The galley with double basin sink, top loading deep frig and double burner stove/oven looks super usable and the large forward facing nav area looks about as usable as you find on a 40’ sailboat with plenty of working space and also room for electronics.

    On deck everything at first glance looks well thought out. From her hybrid mainsheet system that leads through the deck to the port and starboard mainsheet winches to all the very raceable control lines led to easily accessible areas along with her outboard twin wheels to get you the visibility you need to react and respond to all inputs for optimal control while sailing. While standing behind the wheel at the true aft end of the boat looking forward I couldn’t help but think how similar everything looked and felt in size and function to being at the helm of the J/145 and I expect this boat to outperform that amazing vessel both on the course and with her accommodations below while cruising.

    With these two designs J/Boats is bringing the modern performance aspects of the big amazing performance machines like the TP 52’s and the offshore Open 40’s to the yacht club near you in a package that will keep your crew list long while also impressing your non-racing family and friends when they hang out in the cockpit while daysailing or enjoy the accommodations below while on a cruise sailing from port to port rather than motoring simply because you can, because the design enables it.
    We were able to view these boats while back east for the J/Boat dealer meeting held at the Harken offices in Middletown, Rhode Island in March 2019. Dealers from across the country and as far away as Alaska made the trip to spend the day with the Johnstone’s discussing what J/Boats is doing currently and is planning on doing in the future. Everything from the current models and their build schedules and demand to some great new ideas for smaller and larger models and fleet purchases that are being considered by the family and their network. Exciting stuff actually, and some very promising ideas for what is coming in the near future. For a company founded by the everyday sailor that built itself into a successful family business now on it’s second generation of leaders J/Boats continues to move forward with designs that incorporate modern attributes in attainable platforms accessible for the every day sailor, their families and friends. A model that will never lose it’s market appeal.

    * The J/70 class has grown quickly and, worldwide, has established a reputation as being one of the most competitive offshore keelboat classes in the world.  When Olympic Medallists, World Champions from dozens of prominent classes get eaten for lunch on a regular basis, you know it is rough and tumble going for many of those sailors turned into  top professionals. After getting killed on the race course once or twice, some of those pro’s have never returned.  While others appreciate the competition as an opportunity to learn and become a better sailor.

    Recently, Craig Leweck from Scuttlebutt Newsletter, wrote an interesting perspective on how the class has been managing this enormous influx of professional talent.

    Nobody could have anticipated the explosive growth of the J/70 Class. What was deemed a dumbed-down sprit boat was in fact what the market wanted, which was a boat with decent performance that could be mastered by a wide swath of the boat buying public.

    Having the solid J/Boats brand gave it the legs for growth at the local, national, and international levels. But this growth also created opportunity for skilled pro sailors to increase boat performance and regatta budget. Even multi-talented Jud Smith was writing his crew checks in route to winning the 2018 J/70 World Championship.

    The influence of pay-to-play sailors has led the Class to test some initiatives, the first of which was the inaugural Corinthian US Nationals in 2016. This no-nonsense event required all competitors, including the owner/driver, to provide proof of a valid World Sailing Group 1 (i.e, amateur standing) classification at the time of registration.

    Interestingly, the top performers at this event are generally the same skippers that compete with pro crew, but for the Corinthian Nationals they get back to the roots of recreational sailing. After titles held in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas, the 2019 edition will be August 8-11 in Harbor Springs, MI.

    The latest move by the J/70 Class is a change in 2019 requiring all sailors in any J/70 event who do not hold a Group 1 Classification to be members of the Class Association.

    The rules on Class Membership are now as follows:
    1. Any driver of the boat (regardless of Classification) must be a Class Member;
    2. Any crewmember not classified as a Group 1 (i.e., a Group 3 or someone not holding any Classification) must be a Class Member.
    These changes were made to bring more consistency and accountability to the Class by making sure that the professionals sailing in the Class are as committed to the Class Association and have the same level of responsibility as boat owners and drivers.

    In addition, the January 2019 Rules specify that all members of the crew must be listed as part of the registration, entry list, and results for all J/70 events, whenever the skipper or owner is identified. No longer can owners seek an advantage by hiding who they have hired, with the change offering an overall benefit of increased recognition for all crew.

    I give the J/70 Class a lot of credit for advancing these initiatives. One design classes succeed based on the common interests and involvement of its members, with these positive bonds helping to create growth and maintain equipment value. For any class feeling the impact of professionalism, it will depend on the contributions of all members to remain attractive. Here's a link to the Scuttlebutt article.

    * Warrior Sailing Program Expanding to J/22s at Fort Worth Boat Club

    Warrior Sailing is expanding its Basic Training Camp program to include Fort Worth, TX where they have partnered with the Fort Worth Boat Club. Training will take place from May 14 to 16 on beautiful Lake Ray Hubbard on the club’s fleet of J/22s.

    Coaches will instruct onboard J/22s with a crew of three warriors. The club has accommodations onsite for the coaches, so there will not be a lodging cost to the coaches or to Warrior Sailing. If any sailing coaches have an interest in helping out, please let them know immediately!

    For more information, please contact- Cory Kapes/ Warrior Sailing Program Manager / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ phone- (727) 773-6164.  Our Sails are Powered by the Wind, Our Program is Powered by DonationsAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- March 20th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    Two more winter series concluded this past weekend, with sailing taking place on the Mediterranean for both events.  Over in Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Yacht Club Monaco hosted the fifth event in their Monaco J/70 Winter Series.  A big stone’s throw off to the west, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona concluded their final Barcelona J/70 & J/80 Winter Series, sailed in the same waters as the sailing Olympics a few decades ago.

    Hopping across the Atlantic, the J/22 Midwinter Championship was sailed off Fort Walton Beach, FL, hosted by the Fort Walton YC.  Then, going that same distance further west (e.g. the Atlantic Ocean is ~ 3,000 miles wide, as is the continental USA), two events were taking place simultaneously in Southern California.  The HELLY HANSEN San Diego NOOD Regatta featured highly competitive fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s, hosted by the eponymous San Diego Yacht Club, with sailing taking place offshore of Point Loma as well as in South Bay inside San Diego Harbor.  Meanwhile, a fleet of offshore racers started the Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race and they are, universally, suffering from an extreme lack of wind…somewhat unusual for the giant Pacific High to pack it in and get pushed around by that insufferable Arctic Polar Vortex.

    St Thomas International Regatta Preview
    (Cowpet Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- If your bucket list includes having a drink at one of the Favorite Yachting Bars in the Caribbean, then tick that box for the St. Thomas International Regatta. Announced in 2017, 50° North (creators of Wight Vodka) and Scuttlebutt Europe announced that the STIR-host (St. Thomas Yacht Club) won its annual contest in a special Caribbean category.

    For those who have never visited, Cowpet Bay is a beautiful place to finish a race and the Club and its bar are located on the beachfront, literally. Plus, for those that are long timers, think back to your first Caribbean regatta and what a great experience it was. The club offers the same vibe year after year, with an emphasis on ‘simple fun and great sailing’. That’s why sailors love it!

    There is no question many sailors are answering that siren call! For those that enjoyed Caribbean racing in the 1970s and 1980s – or heard the stories and wished you were there– this year’s St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), set for March 21st to 24th, is the place to be!

    A dozen boats are registered for the fourth annual Round the Rocks (RTR) race on Thursday. This one-day event, whose course is a 19 mile circumnavigation of the neighboring island of St. John, is a great way for teams to tune up for the main event starting on Friday. Boats sailing in the Round the Rocks race will start off St. Thomas’ east end off Cowpet Bay, sail counterclockwise around St. John, and finish off St. Thomas.

    “By popular demand, we brought back the Round the Rocks race last year. This sprint around St John is both scenic and tactical. It’s a great way to kick-off STIR, especially with Rock City Brewing Company sponsoring the race and after-racing Happy Hour,” says regatta director, Bill Canfield.

    CSA Spinnaker Racing class has four J/crews.  Topping that pack is Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua.  Joining them will be Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER, the recent winner of their CSA 4 class at Heineken St Maarten Regatta; Mackenzie Bryan’s J/100 BAD GIRL from St. Croix YC; and Mike Felerabend’s J/24 BRAVISSIMO from St John YC.  For more St Thomas International Regatta sailing information

    BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival Preview
    (Road Town, Tortola, BVI)- Hosted by the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club and sailed out of the spectacular Nanny Cay Marina, the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, has grown back bigger than it has been in recent memory.  It is a fitting tribute that a dozen boats showed up last year to go racing, including members of the J/Tribe that sailed on two J/122s, a new J/121, a J/111, and J/105s.  The 48th edition of the regatta in 2019 will have 60-plus boats and the crews are excited to be sailing in sunny BVI. This year’s regatta runs March 25th to 31st.

    The Race week schedule will include the traditional Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup, followed by Scrub Island Invitational on day two of racing in the Sailing Festival. Then, three great days of racing follow for the 48th BVI Spring Regatta.

    There’s plenty to love about Spring Regatta beyond the spectacularly blissful break it gives from the winter doldrums, especially the mix of international crew and range of boats that participate. The fleet includes owners and crews from USA, Germany, BVI, USVI, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Canada, Antigua, Belgium, Barbados, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.

    It’s also a guaranteed good time when many of the fleet is returning for their multiple BVISR events, including the four J/crews in CSA Spinnaker Racing class. Topping that pack is Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua and also Tony Mack’s British crew returning to sail the infamous J/122 TEAM McFLY/ EL OCASO!  Joining them will be Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER, the recent winner of their CSA 4 class at Heineken St Maarten Regatta; and Mackenzie Bryan’s J/100 BAD GIRL from St. Croix YC.

    “We are very open, very ready, and very excited to welcome sailors from around the world who are returning or making this their first BVI racing experience,” Judy Petz, Regatta Director said. “The energy and spirit of sailing in the BVIs takes more than category five hurricanes to keep people from coming back to sail and race here!”   BVI Sailing Festival sailing information

    J/70 Sevastopol International Cup Announcement!
    (Sevastopol, Russia)- From September 19 to September 22, 2019, a brand new and grand sailing event will be held in Sevastopol - the first international regatta for J/70’s in Russia- the Sevastopol International Cup. The project organizers promise participation by international teams from Europe, Asia, and across the world.  Simply apply to the National Sailing League in Moscow, see links below. You do not have to bring your own boat, just fly in with your crew!

    Given the fact that the regatta will become the main part of the program of the Sea Festival known as the “Sailing Week of Sevastopol,” the event will be truly unforgettable.  For those international teams interested, there will also be a serious prize fund for the event for the podium finishes as well as daily prizes. Winning teams can either keep the cash prizes or donate them to their favorite charities.

    In fact, as a “sailing league” style event, the supplied J/70’s will be racing in the spectacular bay of Sevastopol, on the warm, azure blue waters of the Black Sea. There are several spectacular seaside spa resorts nearby for regatta participants- like Sevastopol Hotel & Spa or Aquamarine Spa & Hotel.

    Note- the event will also be broadcast across Russia, Europe, and the rest of the world with “live” feeds over the Internet.

    The sailing league is growing and growing, and now the National J/70 Sailing League has their blog on Russia’s national sports portal. As a result, all sailing news from the various regattas taking place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Sevastopol, and Vladivostok can now be found on Russia’s largest sports resource. You can follow their rapidly growing fleet of J/70s at the links below!

    Russian J/70 Sailing League on SPORTS.RU here  Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League here  Russian J/70 Sailing League promo video (nicely done)  The Russian National Sailing League site is here.

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Mar 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.

    Not Fake News! BAD NEWS Wins J/22 Midwinters!
    (Fort Walton Beach, FL)- Perhaps it was more like a story of “The Incredibles”! Three J/22 World Champions joined forces at the J/22 Midwinter Championship this year, and they didn’t need much luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day to take home the title. On BAD NEWS, New York Yacht Club’s Mike Marshall, with crew Zeke Horowitz and Todd Hiller, never finished lower than fifth in the 30-boat fleet, and were able to hit the docks early to let their fellow competitors battle it out for the remaining places. Marshall won the J/22 World Championship in 2016 in Kingston, ON Canada with Hiller as crew, and Horowitz won as skipper last fall in Annapolis, MD. Their win was well-deserved against the remarkably hot competition in sunny southern Florida.

    Day 1- Dead Heat Flippin’ Friday!
    Thirty-one J/22s convened on the starting line for the J/22 Midwinter Championship at Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Three races took place on the inaugural day in winds between 6-12 knots.

    Two teams dueled hard and both ended up at 8 points each, both logging identical finishes of a 1-2-5. Those protagonists were Kevin Doyle’s MO’ MONEY and Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS. Needless to say, those two boats are quite familiar with each other and are often thrashing it out at the top of the leaderboard.  Just behind was Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, resting in third with 14 pts.  And, just five ticks back in fourth was Chris Princing’s Team Award & Sports/ Evil Dr. Pork Chop from the greater Midwest J/22 fleet.

    Marshall got off to a successful start in race one, as did Chris Doyle’s THE JUG 4 1 and David Muller’s CALL THE BALL. Casey Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING took line honors in the middle race, ahead of Kevin Doyle and Jeff Todd. Then, it was Kevin Doyle’s turn for the win, with Marshall and Todd on his tail.

    Day 2- Shifty, Horizon-job Saturday
    A shifty weather pattern that followed a cold front challenged the fleet. In winds between 10-15 knots Saturday, Karen Glass’ PAYASO opened triumphantly, with Mark Foster’s PRESSURE DROP and Doug Weakly’s HNL next. Marshall then earned his second of three bullets thus far, in advance of Doyle’s THE JUG 4 1 and David Muller’s CALL THE BALL. Closing out the day’s final top three were Marshall, Vincent Ruder and Jeff Todd.

    Marshall’s BAD NEWS flourished in the conditions, posting a 4-1-1 on the day for 9 net points in six races, a horizon job in the last two races. Discarding a 5th from race two, the 2016 J/22 World Champion not only broke the day one tie for first place, but secured a HUUUGE (not fake news) 14-point advantage for BAD NEWS over their closest competitors— Todd’s HOT TODDY.

    The balance of the top five were all within five points of each other, heading into the final day of competition on Sunday. Following Todd was Mark Foster’s PRESSURE DROP, whose solid day shot him into third place. Then, just one notch behind him was Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING and Doyle’s THE JUG 4 1.

    Day 3- Bad News Eclipses Fleet, Or Not?
    The final day produced more good winds. That was good news! Taking advantage of their tactics, speed, and confidence, the three J/22 World Champions on BAD NEWS started the day with a 4-1, then sailed home knowing they had clinched the title.  Todd’s HOT TODDY from Annapolis YC posted a 5-13-3 to secure the silver.  Meanwhile, Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING sailed a solid 9-2-4 to finish just three points back and take the bronze.  While they were hot on the trail for a podium finish, Doyle’s Youngstown YC crew faltered on the last day, posting a 1-8-10 to finish fourth. Then, past J/22 World Champion (another one??) Mark Foster and his crew on PRESSURE DROP (with Rod “Caracas” Favela and Travis Odenbach as crew) from Corpus Christi YC rounded out the top five.

    Marshall credited his team for doing “99 percent of the work.” He explained, “Zeke called stellar tactics upwind in a super shifty venue. Todd called breeze downwind and talked about how we were doing relative to other boats. So, I could change what I needed to if we were going slow or keep trying to do what I was doing if we were going fast.” Marshall said all the competitors would be happy to come back to Fort Walton Beach again, summarizing it was “great sailing, flat water, really shifty and a super inviting yacht club.”  For more J/22 Midwinter Championship sailing information

    Irish Luck @ Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Act V
    Yacht Club Monaco Team Wins Overall!
    (Monte Carlo, Monaco)– The 6th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series held from October 2018 to March 2019 ended in style this weekend with the fifth and final Act taking place in spring conditions (sunshine and wind) to the delight of the J/70 contestants that set up their winter base in the Principality.

    Organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier SLAM, the regattas were important for J/70 one-design teams to prepare for the season.  Already, many of the crews from Europe and the rest of the world are focused on the 2021 J/70 Worlds in Monaco.  That was evidenced by all the foreign teams, some from across the Atlantic.  Among the favorites in the J/70 fleet was the Brazilian sailing star Marcelo Ferreira, loyal teammate of Torben Grael, two-time Olympic gold Medallist and bronze Medallist in the Star class.

    In the J/70 class, it was only fitting that on St Patrick’s Day, victory went to Marshall King’s Irish team on SOAK RACING, led by the International J/70 Class President. The team dominated the weekend with two race wins and always in the vanguard, despite determined Swiss opposition on CDE CH, helmed by Nicolas Anklin. Russian Sergey Sobolev on RUS 1271 took 3rd, although two poor results cost him dearly, as fewer than two points separated him from his pursuers all the way down to 7th place. Notably, SOAK RACING also won the Corinthian category, ahead of the Swiss armada.

    For the fourth season, the YC Monaco Race Committee, managed by PRO Thierry Leret, managed twenty-nine races. Amazingly, they averaged nearly six races a weekend. It was a notable accomplishment by YC Monaco’s commitment to provide world-class sailing all winter long to their J/70 fleet.  It was greatly appreciated by sailors across Europe, Russia, and the rest of the world. Can anyone imagine that the vision of YC Monaco’s yacht racing evangelists (including HRH Prince Albert- himself an active J/24 sailor for decades) four years ago would lead to sixty-one teams participating in the 2018-2019 winter series?

    In the final overall ranking for the 2018-2019 season, it was clear that HRH Prince Albert and his team at YC Monaco are producing great outcomes supporting their sailors on the European and International J/70 circuits.  Consistency and competitiveness paid off for Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA BANCA DEL SEMPIONE. It was a successful return to the J/70 for the YC Monaco member, which bodes well for the J/70 World Championship in Monaco in October 2021.

    Another YC Monaco member took 2nd place, Loïc Pompée’s ALLO III, who continues to progress and will be a team to watch out for in the next J/70 Europeans. The Swiss Corinthian team, Bruno Zeltner’s QUARTER 2 ELEVEN team, hung onto their 3rd place and 1st in the Corinthians after nearly 30 races.

    Following the Swiss team in the Corinthians were two Russian teams; second was Dimitri Zaritskii (RUS 1271) and third was Andreï Malygin’s MARIA. Notably, MARIA had no worse than a 2nd in the middle two regattas of the series, winning both of them easily.

    Dates have already been set for the 7th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series with five Acts and more than seventy boats are lined up to participate.
    • Act 1: November 7-10, 2019
    • Act 2: December 5-8, 2019
    • Act 3: January 16-19, 2020
    • Act 4: February 6-9- 2020- (Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse)
    • Act 5: March 5-8 2020
    For more Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

    ROSEBUD Tops San Diego NOOD Regatta!
    (San Diego, CA)- The 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego was sailed from March 15th to 17th for the nearly 130 teams that were sailing for the weekend.  As has been the case in past years, the J/Teams and their dozens of sailors predominated in the event that saw classic sunny San Diego conditions. Pamela Rose’s J/70 team on ROSEBUD from Chicago/ San Diego emerged as the top team in a talent-laden class and was selected as the San Diego NOOD Challenger for the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship!  Here is what happened over the three-day weekend.

    Day 1- Picture Perfect Sailing
    There was plenty to play for on the first day. Friday’s action was focused on the regatta’s San Diego Bay course with four races conducted by the Coronado and San Diego Yacht Club race committees.

    In the J/70 fleet, typically laden with professional sailors, skipper Chris Raab’s team on SUGOI of amateur sailors from Long Beach, California, emerged as the top boat, winning two races to lead the 15-boat fleet by 2 points over Pamela Rose’s ROSEBUD.

    Raab’s team includes close friends Rob Lindley, Kelley Jane Paradise and Erik Lidecus. With winds shifting throughout the day, Raab and his teammates had to focus on their competitors and their positioning on the racecourse.

    “It was a pound the paint kind of day,” Raab said. “We had to sail through some lulls to get to the next puff. If we over-tacked the boat, it was a problem and the sides would tend to get us. We had to be patient, that’s for sure.”

    Whenever an amateur team outshines professionals, it’s a sign of the fleet’s depth. As a winner of 43 national championships, Raab’s career has been nothing short of prolific, but he still leans on the professionals in the fleet for advice.

    “[Pro sailor] Willem Van Waay was super helpful this morning,” Raab said. “He scrubbed the bottom of my boat and told me my rig was too loose, so we developed a new base setting and that speed difference was super helpful.”

    Day 2- More Picture Perfect Conditions
    Racing continued on the second day, with the addition of one-design keelboat fleets on the ocean course, there was plenty of action in the waters off San Diego. While competitors inside San Diego Bay continued their series from Friday, the San Diego Yacht Club race committee set its first race course 2 miles south of Point Loma, where classic Southern California sailing conditions provided an action-packed day of racing for six different classes.

    Day 3- Regatta Photo Finish
    The third and final day showcased plenty of tight racing across all one-design fleets. The regatta’s Ocean Course was set south of Point Loma and the two Bay Courses were set on South San Diego Bay. With light and shifty winds, racers had to stay focused throughout the challenging final day.

    Going into the final race of the J/105s, a 2-point margin between the top-three boats produced a winner-take-all showdown. After two races, Chuck Driscoll and his team on JUICED emerged victorious.

    “This win is important to us,” said Driscoll, of San Diego. “My partner, Tom Hurlburt, and I have been sailing this regatta for twelve years, and we’ve come second many times. This was the first time we’ve been able to put it together for a win.

    "The Driscoll family has a long history with the San Diego Yacht Club. My grandfather was commodore here in 1939. My father won the Star Worlds in 1944 and was the skipper of Intrepid in the America’s Cup trials. My father also won the Lipton Cup, along with my brother and I. Our family has been involved in boating my whole life. We’ve been very fortunate.”

    Rounding out the podium in the J/105s were Stewart Cannon’s J-OK with 16 pts in second position and Steve Howell’s BLINK in third place with 18 pts.

    In the J/120s, John Laun’s CAPER took class honors with a near whitewash. They won five of six races to take class with just 7 pts total.  Second was Chuck Nicholls’ CC RIDER with 15 pts and then Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN secured third with 16 pts.

    Pamela Rose’s J/70 team on ROSEBUD emerged as the top team in a talent-laden class and was selected as the San Diego NOOD Challenger for the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship.

    Each stop of the 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta series produces a challenger for the Caribbean NOOD Championship with Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in late October. This year’s San Diego challenger is crew of Pamela Rose’s J/70 ROSEBUD. Sailing with Rose was Willem van Waay, who accepted the trophy on her behalf.

    “I’ve had this regatta snatched away from me more times than I can remember,” said Van Waay, of Coronado, California. “Pam did a great job steering. The conditions were challenging each day, and consistency was key. We’re excited to head to the British Virgin Islands later this year and we should be competitive.”

    Rounding out the top five in the J/70 class were Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT with 35 pts, easily posting the best record in the last six races with four 1sts in their tally. Third was Raab’s SUGOI, winning Corinthians as well.  Fourth was Mexico’s Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO and fifth was Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.

    The balance of the Corinthian Division podium included Tony Collins’ FLY and David Hochart’s TANGAROA.

    In the NORTH SAILS RALLY, Tom Fisher’s J/105 VIGGEN took third place amongst a widely varying fleet of day sailors from across San Diego Harbor.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.com. For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Sailing Regatta information

    Newport to Cabo Drift-A-Thon Update
    (Newport Beach, CA)- The 20th running of the 800.0nm Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race started this past week. So far, it has proven to be such an anti-climactic event, with such light airs, that nearly all of the last fleet to the starting line on Saturday (the Maxi’s and Super Maxi’s) have dropped out!! And, over a third of the rest of the fleet have done the same, “turning and burning” under their “iron gennies” to head back to home.

    It is still a downwind race, with winds fluctuating from the northeast to northwest, as the fleet ever so slowly crawls down the Mexican coastline, literally! For the three J/Teams still on the race track offshore, they may be suffering anxiety attacks as each zephyr of wind rolls down from the heavens above to power them down, euphemistically speaking, to their ultimate destination in Cabo San Lucas.  Those three boats are Scott Grealish’s brand new J/121 BLUE FLASH, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC, and Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL from Newport Beach, CA.  Live YB Tracking of the race here.  For more Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race sailing information

    Russians Win Barcelona J/70 Winter Series
    (Barcelona, Spain)- Sixteen boats sailed the 2018- 2019 winter series in Barcelona, Spain; the event was hosted by Real Club Náutico de Barcelona. The sixteen teams hailed from across Europe- Cyprus, Great Britain, Spain, Poland, Portugal, Russia, and Italy.

    Winning the overall winter series was the Russian crew of AMAIZ SAILING TEAM with Egor Terpigorev, Sergey Dobrovolskiy, Victor Serezhkin and Slava Martynov from Cyprus Yacht Club. Their winning record was 5-1-1-4-1-1-10-7 for 20 pts.

    Tony Hayward’s SERIOUS FUN from Great Britain, skippered by Mark Lees from Royal Thames YC, was DSQ’d in the last race to lose the regatta by just 1 point.  For Hayward’s team, it was serious training for the 2019 J/70 World Championship that will be hosted in Torquay, England.

    The balance of the podium and top five were all hot, fast Spanish crews.  Third was Pablo Garriba’s RCN Barcelona team on TENAZ with 26 pts. Fourth was another Spanish crew on Luiz Martinez Doreste’s FORTY-FIVE with 30 pts. Fifth place went to David Marco’s Spanish crew on REBUFF from Real Club Nautico Barcelona with 36 pts.

    In the J/80 Winter Series, Marc de Antonio's J/80 BRIBON MOVISTAR won the series handily. Taking the silver was MIKAKU, sailed by Rosa Artigas (also top woman helm) and Luis Corbella.  Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was AKEWUELE, skippered by the second woman helm- Silvia Ravetllat.
    For more Barcelona J/70 & J/80 Winter Series sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

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

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    HOSS Was Boss @ J/105 Midwinters 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This event was Milev’s first since winning the 2017 J/24Worlds. “It felt great to be back,” said Milev. “We didn’t have the gears, since we haven’t sailed for a while.  But, every day we got a little better.” Although Gray and Goodyear were part of the World Championship crew, Borrer and Somoza were newcomers to CLEAR AIR, yet “clicked from the get-go.”

    About Davis Island, Milev summarized, “It’s one of my favorite places in North America to sail. It’s the friendliest yacht club by far. The breeze this weekend was unbelievable. I’ve sailed here a lot of times, and this is the steadiest I’ve ever seen it. On Saturday, we had 15 minutes on one tack, and we never got a shift.”  For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • J/Newsletter- February 20th, 2019 J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Here is James and Sally’s report:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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