(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Islands Race is making its way to the starting line on February 21-22, 2020. Returning to the sea for its 11th annual running, this signature event is expecting over 25 boats to race from Long Beach, California, around offshore landmarks Santa Catalina Island and San Clemente Islands, and then to finish off Point Loma in San Diego.
For many, the Islands Race kicks off start of the 2020 Offshore Racing Calendar and doubles as a shakedown for the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Cabo San Lucas Race or, on alternate years, San Diego Yacht Club's Puerto Vallarta Race. With the race only involving one night at sea, it works as the perfect opportunity to gain offshore experience.
"The Islands Race is our final check before Puerto Vallarta 2020 and we are preparing for it as we would any other major offshore regatta...with safety gear, boat preparation, weather planning, communication, et cetera," explained navigator Ivan Batanov.
Newcomer Andrew Wescoat, sailing the J/109 HARMS'S WAY, has an array of offshore races planned after the Islands Race and looks forward to spending some time on the west coast. "This is our first Islands Race. We're bringing Harm's Way from Texas to California to race in a number of offshore events between February and June. Over this past summer, we've been sailing in a number of offshore events in the Gulf of Mexico, so we're really looking forward to this chance to sail with everyone in California."
Roy Disney's giant sled PYEWACKET has a loyal crew that can attest to some of the challenges of the Islands Race. "I've done this race about five times, and it seems to always be a challenge," said Robbie Haines. "There's either lots of wind, or tricky navigational issues. Rounding San Clemente Island is very tactical, especially on the East End. We always seem to finish early morning off Point Loma with interesting transitions to stay in the wind on our way in."
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 off 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."
A number of top offshore Southern California J/Teams are participating in this classic "SoCal" race. Sailing the ORR 5 Division is Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY, Doug & Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID, and Paul Stemler's J/44 PATRIOT. For more Islands Race sailing information
William D. Alcott III (“Bill”) of St Clair Shores, Michigan sailed offover the horizon on February 3, 2020 at the age of 83. He had beenwinning a battle against cancer for 14 years when it finally overtookhim, but he enjoyed life to its fullest, even during those battle years,living his life, not his disease.
During that time, he sold his company, immersed himself further in hisfavorite pursuit, sailboat racing, created an elaborate model trainlayout, married his long-time sweetheart, built a home on Lake St Clair,and adopted his beloved dog Murphy.
Bill traveled a lot, won a half dozen Mackinac races overall and hadmost recently shifted his focus to a classic mahogany Hacker Craft, as atender to his cherished sailboat, Equation. There was no slowing downfor retirement or disease.
Perhaps the best inspiration for his successful healthcare informaticsbusiness was his love of sailing. Bill was the proud owner of the“Equation” brand – seven sequentially larger racing sailboats (one washis beloved J/44 for ten years) and a long-time member of Bayview YachtClub. Bill was also a member of the Storm Trysail Club, Society ofMackinac Island Old Goats (BYC), and the Island Goats Sailing Society(CYC), which put him in the illustrious group of “Double Goats” havingcompleted in 25 races each.
Bill raced the Great Lakes, East Coast, Key West, and he especiallyloved the Caribbean with his devoted crew members, and these were longstanding, close personal relationships for him. His crew were familymembers. His boat rules were simple – no shouting, always show up with ahangover, and if you were late for boat call you had to buy drinks forthe entire crew.
His racing program and success on the course are well known and include47 Port Huron to Mackinac races and 35 Chicago to Mackinac races. He issurvived by every sailor who ever had the good fortune to participate onEquation.
Bill loved reading and always had his Kindle in his pocket. He was askilled banjo and ukulele player and could harmonize to fit in with anybarbershop quartet. He taught all his kids to play Frisbee and when theygrew up, he taught the dog.
His personal loyalty, his passion for integrity, his bewitchingintensity had the power to make everyone feel like family. Thefoundation of that ability, though, was his real family. He is lovinglyand forever remembered by his wife and partner of 32 years- Kim- histhree children, his two sisters, and multiple grand-children.
Fair winds and safe harbor, Bill. You will be missed by all of us. Add to Flipboard Magazine.
(Miami, Florida)- The 2020 J/70 Midwinter Championship promises to be a fun, sociable, and wildly competitive regatta; a bit of a reunion of sorts for many top teams that have been at the top of the leaderboard at past Worlds, North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans. Fifty-seven teams from eight nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Denmark) will be represented on the race track on Biscayne Bay. As host for the event, the Coral Reef Yacht Club will have their hands full managing a fleet that has the same depth as most World Championships. At play for the strong representation from foreign crews is the fact the 2020 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey, CA in July.
The Coral Reef YC PRO Mark Foster (who performed the same role at last fall's J/24 Worlds) will be blessed with an amazing weather forecast for the weekend. The sailors may see strong northerly breezes on Friday in the 10-20 kts range as a classic weather scenario sets up with a big High pressure to the north squeezing a Low Pressure off to the east. On Saturday and Sunday, the breeze will simply keep swinging Northeast to East and gradually lighten into the 8-15 kts range.
Looking forward to that weather forecast will be a number of top American teams that have successfully sailed in Biscayne Bay waters with a near "carbon copy" scenario. Those teams may include Jack Franco's 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning's CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago, IL; Glenn Darden's HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Bruce Golison's MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; the Jeff Janov/ Dave Ullman duo on MINOR THREAT from Malibu, CA; Kevin Downey's MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Heather Gregg skippering MUSE from Boston, MA; Oivind Lorentzen's NINE from Greenwich, CT; Henry Brauer's RASCAL from Marblehead, MA; John Brim's RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Pamela Rose's ROSE from Chicago, IL; Brian Keane's SAVASANA from Boston, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; Ryan McKillen's SURGE from New York, NY; John & Molly Baxter's TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT; David Jannetti’s VERY ODD 1513 from Miami, FL; and Mike Goldfarb's WAR CANOE from Seattle, WA. To say the least, that is an incredibly diverse, amazingly talented group of teams.
As if the USA teams were not strong enough, the foreign teams in attendance are not exactly "window-dressing" or "chump-change". On the contrary, "the British are coming" is a refrain that may not make many J/70 sailors quake in their proverbial "wellies". However, most of the teams participating either won the J/70 Worlds in Torquay, England, or have placed in the top ten in the past few Worlds and Europeans. Britain's Ladbrokes Betting Parlour would certainly place odds on teams like Charles Thompson's BRUTUS (recent winner at Primo Cup Monaco), Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (2019 J/70 World Champion), Martin Dent's JELVIS (J/111 World Champion), and Tilly Harrison's JOLT (Monaco J/70 winner). Then, the two Brazilian teams are always contenders; Selmo Nissenbaum's HIGHLANDERS (with 5x J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz as main/ tactician) and Pedro Camargo's MANCHA NEGRA (a few Lightning Worlds aces on board). For more J/70 Midwinter Championship sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
(Marina del Rey, CA)- The annual Southern California YachtingAssociation J/70 Midwinter Regatta took place last weekend in what willbe the site for the 2020 J/70 World Championship later this summer. Thesixteen J/70s sailed off Marina del Rey, hosted by California YachtClub. The J/70 teams soon found out which teams were the boats to beatover the two-day regatta.
The Cal YC PRO managed to get three races completed the first day andtwo more on Sunday to close the series with five races, all counters andno discards. Jay Golison's IT'S ALL GOOD from Alamitos Bay YC took thetitle with a fast-out-of-the-box tally of 2-1-2-3-10 for 18 pts. Second was Jim Murrell's HUCKLEBERRY with multiple-World Champion DavidUllman aboard with a record of 1-4-1-6-9 for 21 pts. The podium waspretty tightly packed as the bronze medal team of Craig Tallman on JAYAfinished just three points back with a 5-3-3-10-3 scoreline for 24 ptstotal. Rounding out the top five was Tony Collins' FLY in fourth andChris Raab's SUGOI in fifth place. For more SCYA Midwinters 2020 sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
(Los Angeles, CA)- The Los Angeles Yacht Club held their annualMidwinter Around Catalina Island Race the past weekend. Starting the80.0nm race next to Angels Gate Lighthouse, the PHRF handicap fleet ofnearly twenty offshore racers head due west, leaving Catalina Island toport, then head back and finish at Angles Gate Lighthouse. It was arelatively quick race for the fleet, with the bigger boats gettingaround in about 16 hours.
Winning the PHRF A Division quite handily was Roger Gatewood's J/145KATARA, winning both class and fleet with a corrected time of 15:49:16. Winning the PHRF B Division by a country mile was Doug and JackJorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, crossing the line not far off the J/145 paceand correcting out to 17:04:53, good enough for fifth overall. Finally,taking the silver in PHRF B was Daniel Murphy's J/105 CUCHULAINN. For more Los Angeles YC Catalina Island Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
KEY PLAYER Takes Act 3 on Tiebreak with PINTA
(Tampa, FL)- Forty-eight J/70 teams qualified to win the 2019-20 J/70Winter Series, requiring them to compete with the same boat and skipperin two of the three events held in Tampa, Florida. For the thirdconsecutive year, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA is Series Champion. Keane’screw included Nic Baird, Christian Koules, and Conner Harding. TheCorinthian Division Series was won by Peter Firey’s PHOENIX with team ofTimothy Mangus, Michael McNamara, Ray Wulff, and Eric Mentzell.
Fifty teams competed in the final event on February 8-9 which sawperfect sailing conditions all weekend, with winds of 8 to 15 knots,clear blue skies, and temperatures in the 70s. After seven races, it wasclear there was going to be a battle for the top of the podium. In thestreaky, shifty offshore breezes in the upper part of Tampa Bay, it was a100% Corinthian team on Eddie Keller's KEY PLAYER fighting off a veryprofessional German team led by Mike Illbruck on PINTA. By winning thelast race, Illbruck's super-star crew on PINTA (John Kostecki, PatrickWilson, and Chris Stocke) put themselves into a tie at 41 points eachwith Keller's team on KEY PLAYER (Wade Waddell, Chris Keller, and PeterLynn). KEY PLAYER took the win on countback. Rounding out the podium wasJosh Goldman's team on BUILDING A (Al Terhune, Cate Terhune, andFrancisco Lobato). The balance of the top five included the overallseries winner- Keane's SAVASANA- in fourth place and the Italian team ofENJOY 1.0 taking fifth place (Carlo Tomelleri, Pietro De Luca, DanieleDe Luca, and Alberto Taddei).
Remarkably, the winner of the "Open Division" was also the winner of theCorinthians Division- Keller's KEY PLAYER. Second went to theArgentinean team on JUICY- Francisco Van Avermaete, Geronimo Galvan,Carlos Lacchini, and Rafael De Martis. Third was Tod Sackett's FM withcrew of Jeff Haase, Ted Pinkerton, and John Rampe.
For the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series (best 2 of 3 regattas), Keane'sSAVASANA won, followed by Goldman's BUILDING A in second and WillWelles' BRIBONA in third. The rest of the top five included DarbySmith's AFRICA in fourth and John Koten's PLANET CLAIRE in fifthposition.
The Corinthians Division series winner was Firey's PHOENIX, followed byBob Willis' RIP RULLAH in second and Tod Sackett's FM in third place. For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
ELF Dominates J/70 Primo Cup- Credit Suisse Regatta
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Yacht Club Monaco's 36th Primo Cup– TrophéeCredit Suisse took place last weekend off Monte Carlo, Monaco in whatcould only be described as "champagne" sailing conditions. For the firsttime in recent memory, the enormous sixty-five-boat J/70 fleet wastreated to brilliant sunshine, relatively flat waters, and southerlybreezes in the 8 to 15 knots range for all three days.
The regatta was the first "dress rehearsal" for the 2021 J/70 WorldChampionship that will be sailed in the same waters and hosted by YCMonaco from 18th to 23rd October, 2021. Last year's winner, LudovicoFassitelli on JUNDA, commented that, “you have to be constantly on thealert, always on the lookout without ever lowering your guard.Obviously, we want to win, but at the same time we are trialing newsails to decide which to use for the Worlds”.
From day one, the Russians on ELF flew into the lead, never torelinquish the top of the podium. On the first day, they were fast outthe starting blocks with three 2nd places. By Sunday afternoon, they hadwon their first-ever YCM Primo Cup Trophee Credit Suisse regatta; theirskipper Mikhail Sheremetev and crew (Sergey Sobolev, Maksim Sheremetev,Pavel Sysoev, and Mikhail Chegurov) were overjoyed with their amazingperformance. The Swiss team on CER APROTEC- VILLE DE GENEVE, skipperedby Nelson Mettraux, took back to Geneva the silver medal. Finally,taking the bronze was YC Monaco's own Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio,skippering G-SPOTTINO. The balance of the top five included the"hard-luck" American team on FURIO in fourth place, they were in secondplace overall going into the last day, but a disastrous last race 26thdropped them off the podium. Taking fifth position was the Cyprus/Russian team on AMAIZ, skippered by Viacheslav Martynov.
The Corinthians Division saw extremely tight racing with the winnersdetermined on a tie-breaker at 60 points each. Winning that tie-breakon count-back was United Kingdom crew on BRUTUS- skipper CharlesThompson with crew of Tony Hanlon, Ian Southworth, and Craig Burlton.Taking the silver was Cesar Gabasio's Monaco team on TINNJ70 thatincluded Paolo Canale, Pietro Corbucci, and Gianluca Caboni. Third wentto a well-known YC Monaco crew- Stefano Roberti's PICCININA with crewof Axelle Foucaud, Yves Drappier, and Ludovic Broquaire. Sailing video highlights of first day For more YC Monaco Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
(Newport, RI)- The Young American Sailing Academy (YASA) is seekinginterested sailors to join the YASA sailing team and participate in amixed double-handed offshore program.
The first step of this program is sailing the 2020 Newport Bermuda Raceas mixed double-handed entries. Do you have the passion and the skillsto be part of a winning team, sailing mixed double-handed offshore forthree to four demanding days? If this is your calling, please apply withYASA.
Newport Bermuda Race
YASA will have two mixed double-handed entries in the 2020 NewportBermuda Race. At 640 nm the Newport Bermuda Race is the only race ofdistance and duration to be relevant to the upcoming World Championshipsand the 2024 Olympic event, which is planned to be a 3-4-day duration.The Newport Bermuda Race is an ideal training event for those seekingthe near-term goal of qualifying for the World Sailing Championships tobe sailed October 2020.
Using the boats immediately available, YASA is upgrading its two J/105sfor double-handed offshore sailing. The boats are being equipped andconfigured with high quality instruments/auto pilots and offshore sailconfigurations. J/105s have successfully sailed transatlantic andtranspacific races, and given their size and setup are consideredappropriate equipment for mixed offshore training.
If the demand is sufficient from skilled and qualified sailors, YASA will work to provide additional boats for mixed duos.
Interested skippers are asked to submit their sailing resumes and theirexpression of interest. The YASA selection committee will select a shortlist from the submissions from which interviews will be conductedleading to the selection of the final skippers. Second tier and backupcrews will be selected at the same time. Interested sailors may applyeither as individuals or as a pre-formed team.
The Application Information
The selection committee anticipates starting to review applicationsFebruary 25 with the intention of making selections by March 15. Contact Peter Becker below.
YASA has been a youth centric program from its inception and consistentwith that bias we encourage interest from youthful participants (<25), however all candidates regardless of age will be considered.
Some of the qualities and characteristics that are desirable in a skipper candidate are the following:
- “Skipper” frame of mind and team attitude
- Having a gas-pedal – i.e. the ability to do all things to make a boat go fast in all conditions
- Prior experience with offshore endurance sailing, preferably short-handed
- Tireless, flexible, curious and tenacious
- Focused and with a willingness to commit to an intense campaign
- Knowledge in weather and weather routing
YASA Framework & Support
Projects such as this are dependent on funding, YASA as a 501(c) (3)provides the tax advantaged framework for charitable donations andcommercial support to help meet the funding requirements. YASA willenhance its social media campaign promoting the project, its sponsorsand highlighting the sailors.
As previously mentioned, YASA is providing the boats and is working hardto deliver the associated equipment and upgrades. There is and will beplenty of work and preparation required which YASA will support in everyway possible.
Team/ Skipper Commitments
Each skipper should be committed to providing the following:
- Commitment to working and training hard to become an elite short-handed sailor
- Achieving and maintaining a high level of physical conditioning
- Commitment to fundraising in support of the project budget (approx. $8,500/crew member)
- Providing personal safety equipment, offshore gear and associated supplies
- Having the time, energy, passion and excitement about mixed offshore sailing
The provisional budget for each of the two boats for the Newport BermudaRace campaign is approximately $17,000. This budget includes the entryand operational expenses as well as the necessary safety equipment andORR rating. It does not include capital upgrades, which include B&GH5000 Hercules instruments and pilot and offshore sail inventory.
This is the moment to find and create American’s talent in theshort-handed offshore discipline. In four years, there is an Olympicmedal up for the taking, let’s set a course toward that goal and enjoythe journey.
(St Petersburg, FL)– Everything is shaping up in St. Petersburg, Fla.,to kick off a great season opener for the Helly Hansen National OffshoreOne Design Regatta Series — the largest national sailboat racingcircuit in the United States. The St. Petersburg NOOD regatta, organizedby Sailing World and hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, has developedinto the one of the largest regattas in Florida, and its 32nd editionwill see 185 boats and more than 1,000 professional and amateur sailorsconverging onto Tampa Bay and the bustling downtown area for racing andfun on this Valentine’s Day weekend on Tampa Bay.
Theweekend weather forecast is promising to deliver perfect Floridaconditions for the sailors representing 27 states and three countries:seasonal temperatures, sunshine and a mix of breezy and moderate windswill challenge the 17 different classes of sailboats racing in eitherone-design J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/111s or PHRF (handicapped). A distancerace across Tampa Bay will be held for select classes on Saturday only.
Travis Odenbach, of Pittsfield, NY, returns to St. Petersburg this yearto defend his J/70 class win against sixteen other teams, but alsoanother chance to represent St. Petersburg at the series’ seasonchampionship invitational, the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD ChampionshipRegatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.
Odenbach, a professional sailor, has competed in the previous six NOODsand considers the February event a great chance to mix sailing businesswith pleasure. His goal is twofold: gain valuable training for the J/70World Championship later this summer in California, as well as enjoy awarm-weather family vacation. “Coming here is a win-win for greatsailing and family time. You can’t beat the combo,” he said.
The St. Petersburg NOOD is also a favorite event for Tampa resident ChipMerlin, thanks to the typically gorgeous weather, protected water andability for Tampa Bay to accommodate so many boats and race courses.“The multiple courses give you that ‘regatta within a regatta’ feelingwhen sailing, but we get to hang out with all the other fleets at theparty after. It’s a great chance to see so many sailing friends in oneplace,” Merlin said.
HellyHansen—a global leader in technical sailing apparel with more than 135years of experience protecting professionals on the water—continues astitle sponsor for the elite sailing series for the sixth consecutiveyear. As part of Helly Hansen’s commitment to the sport, the companywill also continue to sponsor two teams of local teens, competing as theHelly Hansen Junior Crew at each stop this year. One crew will behelmed by top woman youth sailor Heather Kerns from the host StPetersburg YC Youth Team. The other crew will have Preston Weaver asskipper, also a member of StPYC's Youth Team.
The J/88 class will feature all the top boats that recently participatedin the J/Fest St Pete J/88 Midwinters two weeks ago. Those crewsinclude the winners- Iris Vogel's DEVIATION- plus other leading teamslike Andy Graff's EXILE from Chicago, IL; Jim & Scott Sorbie'sLEGACY from Detroit, MI; Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOOMANY from Mamaroneck, NY; and Dave Tufts' GAUCHO from Rochester, NY.
Similarly,the J/111 class will also have their leading crews from their recentJ/Fest St Pete J/111 Midwinters, including Ian Hill's SITELLA fromHampton, VA; Jim Sminchak's SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; and DougCurtiss' WICKED 2.0 from Buzzards Bay, MA.
The J/24 class sports a cast of characters from primarily the southeastUSA. Those crews include Chris Jackson's LUCIFER'S HAMMER, NadiaDaggett's MUSTACHE RIDE, Seth Rosenthal's NO RULES, and JonathanStewart's BREEZE. The lone exception to that group is one team thatliterally traversed the United States north to south (about 2,300miles)- Mike Quaid's ICE CUBE from Mallets Bay Boat Club nearBurlington, VT!
In the world of PHRF handicap racing, two J/105s from Davis Island YCare racing in PHRF 2 Division; Stephen Mitcham's BREEZIN BAYOU andGeorge Cussins' FIRE & ICE. Then, in PHRF 3 Division, two familiarand hotly competitive J/29 crews will be dueling for class supremacy;Robert Wetmore's FAMILY CIRCUS and Ray Mannix's SEMPER FI. Notably, inthe North Sails Rally Racer Cruiser Division will be the Ford/ Misteleduo on the J/112E SILVER SURFER and Jose Suarez-Hoyos on the J/35 NO WAYJOSE! Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/Outside Images For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.
Distance sailboat racing is a growing segment of sailing. Offering newand different challenges, distance races around the world have attractedsailors with various degrees of offshore experience.
In particular, offshore shorthanded and doublehanded sailing continuesto grow participation the fastest across the USA and Europe. Addingfuel to that fire was the recent announcement by World Sailing and theOlympics 2024 Committee that a new sailing medal competition will beheld for a Doublehanded Mixed Offshore Keelboat Race during the Olympics2024 in France.
The concept is a simple one, a male/female team sailing a 28-footoffshore sailboat start on the first day of the Olympic Games and sailfor 40 to 60 hours over an approximate 250 to 300 nm offshore racecourse, starting and finishing off the Mediterranean port of Marseille,France. The entire experience will be televised globally and followedonline via blogging and social media.
As noted above, US Sailing selected the J/88 class as the boat for theChicago-Mackinac Race qualifying event for the 2020 World DoublehandedMixed Offshore Championship being held in late summer/ early fall on theMediterranean.
As part of an offshore team's preparation for the 2020 sailing season,here is a short three-part series with some essential tips-and-tricksfor the novice distance racer and reminders for those salty offshoreveterans. The Quantum Team teamed up with offshore expert Dave Gerberfor these critical on-board processes and maneuvers:
Watch the helpful "how-to" instructional sailing videos here
- PART 1: Four simple on-board optimizations
- PART 2: Reefing your mainsail
- PART 3: Mastering Headsail Changes