(Newport, RI)- With the recent announcement of the J/70 Speedster, enormous enthusiasm has been generated for this next-generation ramp-launchable keelboat. With fleet discussions underway around the world, J/70 is on-track to take the world by storm in 2012.
The J/70 introduces a new dimension of fun, fast sailing in a stable, easy to own boat. A natural evolution of its J pedigree, the J/70's 22-foot long waterline with high aspect, all carbon rig provides spirited performance and stability that feels like a much larger boat. Knifing through the water upwind with confidence and ease, the J/70 has that legendary “J” feel - light, controllable with a wide-groove to sail consistently fast. With an adjustable cascading backstay, one has total control over sail shape and dynamic rig tension across the full range of conditions, making it not only easy to change gears on the J/70, but faster and safer. Off the wind, J/70 will simply light-up the crew with a smile! Set the masthead asymmetrical off a retractable carbon bowsprit, point the J/70 where you want with its deep, high-aspect rudder and the J/70 pops up on a plane in a moderate breeze. Learn more about the J/70 concept here.
July's Offshore Sailing Classics
Transpac-Gotland Runt-Halifax-The Mackinacs
(Newport, RI)- It seems July in the "odd years" has more classic offshore yacht races than anyone could imagine and is an armchair sailors dream (most now have tracking). The really cool part about this year's races is that you can sail nearly all of July on a J somewhere around the world in some of the best offshore races imaginable.
Starting on July 4th is the famous Transpac Race, only 2,225 nm from LA to Hawaii's Diamond Head, easily one of America's classic offshore races right. Hard to imagine why anyone wouldn't like it- a classic "bucket list" race for anyone who loves offshore sailing. This one's easy, just head offshore beating for awhile, find the right track around the Pacific High, then uncork the big A-sails and go for it-- sliding downhill at 10-20 knots for 5-8 straight days (depending on size of boat)! Going this year is the J/130 BEBE sailed by Charles Browning from Santa Barbara YC which starts Monday sailing in Division 6. In Division 4 starting on Friday, July 8th will be a past Transpac Champion, the J/145 BAD PAK sailed by Tom Holthus from San Diego YC and the beautifully refinished (in platinum silver) J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE raced by Andy Costello from Corinthian YC in San Francisco. Follow their tracks and cheer them on (every boat can be blogged)
Next on the agenda a hemisphere away is the Round Gotland Runt Race starting July 6th, yet another Scandinavian classic that has captivated thousands for centuries (after all Viking ships did this as "practice" for crossing the North Atlantic many moons ago!). Sailing are a several J/109s and J/105s, a J/35 and J/120. The Round Gotland Race is one of the world’s largest offshore races, starting first week of July each year with the starting and finishing lines in Sandhamn, on the wonderful, charming island of Sandön in the Stockholm Archipelago. It's really several races within one sailing festival, the longest race being 500 nm and the shortest under 50 nm for smaller boats (http://race.ksss.se). For some amusing blog commentary, you can always visit Peter Gustafsson's BLUR sailing site.
Then across the Northern Atlantic on July 10th, a Canadian-American classic that has attracted a nearly "cult" following is the Marblehead to Halifax Race. Never the fastest, never the coolest, but an incredibly challenging event that keeps those hardy New Englanders (e.g. "Colonialists") answering that oft-called desire to hear the "call of the running tide, a wild call, a clear call that cannot be denied"! And, boy is that call of the running tide loud and clear, hundreds of sailors make an annual pilgrimage, to weather fog, ferries, 40 foot tidal changes, massive current and the breathless views of that spectacular "village" called Halifax (this is truly a race to the party as the Nova Scotians are notoriously fabulous hosts). Amongst the J's sailing in IRC Class are Reginald Gooday's J/44 AKUBRA from Royal Nova Scotia Sailing Squadron and George Shaw's J/122 TUMBLEWEED from Boston YC. Racing in the largest class, PHRF Racing with 34 entries, will be quite a few J's, including the Raymond's J/133 BELLA J from St John's, Canada; Jeff Eberle's J/130 CILISTA from Manchester, MA; Greg Leonard's J/120 HERON from Severn Sailing Association; Kris Kristiansen's J/130 SAGA from Marblehead, MA; Jim Praley's J/120 SHINNECOCK from Annapolis YC; Mark Schaffer's J/35 SURPRISE from Camden YC; Peter Griffin's J/120 UBUNTU from Portsmouth, NH; Mark Surrette's J/111 BLAST from RNSYS; and finally two "double-handed" racers- the Block Island Race winning J/105 JADED sailed by Peter Rugg from Fishers Island, NY and the J/109 JUICE sailed by Stew Creaser form Halifax, NS. For more Marblehead-Halifax Race sailing information.
The next weekend sees a "head-to-head" battle for the "classic" or the "longest" Great Lakes race in the great American Midwest. On Saturday, July 16th, two huge events start. The "grand dame" and perhaps the most prestigious is the Chicago to Mackinac Race- a 289 nm classic that basically pits the best-of-the-best offshore sailors from the western Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie). Much farther to the east is the "first Great Lake", Lake Ontario, the last lake to empty down the grand St. Lawrence Seaway into a yet slightly larger body of water, the North Atlantic Ocean. The Lake Ontario 300 starts and finishes in Mississauga, Ontario on a great tour of a very difficult lake to race. Following these two big Lakes races is the Port Huron-Mackinac starting on July 23rd. The longest consecutively running freshwater long-distance race since 1925. More previews to follow on these three events in coming weeks!
The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing WorldwideAs summer time officially commences in the northern hemisphere on June 21st, it also seemingly kicks off several notable race weeks around America as well as perhaps the most famous "round island" race in the world. As has been the case all year long, the capricious weather patterns are nowhere near what any of the meteorological agencies are forecasting, no matter their reputation for being right or wrong in the UK's MET Office or America's NOAA. For the eponymous Round Island Race that sails around the Isle of Wight, England, the sailors were greeted with winds and waves much greater than what most anticipated, even for skeptical veterans of the race-- but a brand-new J/111 loved the conditions! In America, it was no different. The start of the Marion to Bermuda "cruising race" saw near gale-force winds when none were forecasted, making not just for a blustery start but for a challenging race overall as fronts didn't move anywhere near "what they were supposed to do"! Experiencing similar conditions were the Rolex Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week participants that saw Wednesday's sailing canceled due to no wind, thunderstorms and tropical downpours that were flooding an island! Nevertheless, fleets of J/111s, J/122s, J/109s and J/105s had four great days of racing. Following Block Island was the Bacardi Race Week hosted by SailNewport off Newport, RI for several one-design classes including J/80s. Out West, simultaneously two events were held in the West Coast's two largest cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In northern California, the St Francis YC hosted the Sperry Topsider San Francisco NOOD Regatta for J/105s and J/24s and down south Alamitos Bay and Long Beach YC's hosted Long Beach Race Week for J/105s, J/120s, J/80s and J/24s.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north. Check them out! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Regatta & Show Schedules:Jun 29-Jul 2- J/80 Pre-Worlds- Malmo, Sweden- http://bit.ly/mRZVdv
Jul 7-10- J/24 Canadian Nationals- Mississauga, ONT, Canada- http://pcyc.net/
Jul 7-10- J/24 UK Nationals- Weymouth, England- http://www.weymouthregatta.co.uk/
Jul 9-10- J/22 Canadian Nationals- Kingston, ONT, Canada- http://www.cork.org/
Jul 9-10- SailNewport Regatta- Newport, RI- http://www.sailnewport.org/index.html
Jul 16- Chicago-Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL- http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/
Jul 23-26- J/22 Europeans- Travemunde, Germany- http://www.j22kv.de/
Jul 28-31- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- http://www.sailingworld.com
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
J One-Design Fun @ BIRW!
RUSH, WINGS, PARTNERSHIP, CHALLENGE IV, ECLIPSE, RUMOUR Win
(Block Island, RI)- It was an epic event, no matter how you looked at this year's Rolex STC Block Island Race Week. The weather Gods tossed just about everything including the "kitchen sink" at the sailors and the PRO/RC all week long. It was about a tough a BIRW to run for everyone in recent memory, a bit of a Catch-22, "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Nevertheless, some excellent race management and great PRO work prevailed across all three races courses- so refreshing to see "upfront and personal" communications with the sailors to keep the ball rolling and ensure their opinions and perspectives were addressed--- after all, such events live and die on keeping the sailors happy! Everyone came to sail and they weren't disappointed.
The Storm Trysail Club’s (STC) 24th biennial Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex by all indications hasn’t lost one bit of charm or competitive appeal in a history that spans more than four and a half decades. In fact, the five-day competition, originally patterned after Cowes Week, is one of the last true Race Weeks remaining in America, with a dominant theme of hard racing and fine competition supported by a subtext of daily camaraderie in complete informality. The event hosted 134 boats sailing in IRC (four classes), PHRF (five classes) and One-Design (J/44, J/111, J/109 and J/122).
The sailing for the event could not have been more challenging to both competitors and the PRO's alike. For the first two days, light winds caused delays, but nevertheless resulted in some fantastic sailing conditions late afternoon that, "thank Heaven", the PROs saw to running as many races as possible in the 8-14 knot southerly sea-breezes. As a result, by the end of day two five races had been run for most courses. Wednesday was never going to be good day with a rather weird setup for storms, fog, no wind, more rain and more thunderstorms. Give the PRO's credit for trying, but it was a "no go" rather obviously and rather quickly as racing had to be canceled for more than one reason- no wind, then lightning, then fog, then you name it! The "onshore" forecast for this day was the classic Block Island libation, the "Mudslide" that flowed by the gallon at Payne's Dock, The Oar Restaurant and Bar and Champlin's Marina-- the famous evening watering holes at the Yellow Kittens and Captain Nicks were over-flowing with fun-loving revelers. "It is what it is," said Kevin Burnham (Coconut Grove, FL), a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, top J/24 sailor for years and 470 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist in the Athens Games sailing in IRC 2. 'We’re here for fun, not for sailing in the rain, so they made the right decision." Thursday dawned with hung-over crews but a great breeze from the northeast at 10-20 kts being fed by a strong Low offshore-- simply classic conditions for the Around Island Race- a beat to 1-BI bell off the northern shoal, running clockwise around with a fast blast spinnaker reach on the east and south sides followed by a beat to the finish on the west side. Despite somewhat grey skies, Friday made for great racing in a lingering Northeaster to finish off the week with two solid races across all three race courses.
In the J/109 class, the largest class at Block Island Race Week with 15 boats, it was Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, Md.) on RUSH (photo at right and top) as repeat victor in a tough one-design competition. Bill was admiring his trophy for winning the J/109 East Coast Championship even before the Awards Presentation. 'We brought it with us because we won it last year,' he said, 'so I guess we deliver it back to the organizers and they turn around and give it back to us. This is the first time anyone has won it twice in a row.' Sweetser’s RUSH led the 15-boat J/109 class from day two and entered the final day with eight points over Donald Filippelli’s (Amagansett, N.Y.) CAMINOS. 'After the first race we put one more point between us and CAMINOS, and in the second race we knew if we were conservative and stayed close to them we could win.' Sweetser appreciated the tough competition and said it was great preparation for the J/109 North Americans in Annapolis in October, adding, 'We’d love to see all these boats there.' Sweetser also was presented with a Rolex timepiece for best performance among boats competing in the Blue and White Fleets combined. After the dust settled in this closely fought class with some new blood spoiling the ranks at the top of the fleet, Sweetser's RUSH team finished with a solid 2-1-1-2-2-5 record for 13 pts. Don Fillipelli's CAMINOS team had a 7-4-2-1-3-1 record for 18 pts. Past 109 Champion Rick Lyall on STORM finally found their top gear on the last day, compiling a 5-5-8-4-1-2 record for 25 pts.
The J/122s competed for their national title while sailing in the IRC 3 class, and it was Mike Bruno/Tom Boyle/Jim Callahan’s (Irvington, N.Y.) WINGS (pictured at right) that moved into the top three after day two to finish second in IRC 3 and snatch the J/122 Championship trophy. Just behind them was Andrew Skibo's PLUM CRAZY II for second overall and in third was George Marks beautiful GEORGETOWN III. The J/122s competed in a very strongly sailed IRC class that left no quarter for the J/122s as they focused on each other's positioning going around the race course, often ignoring the handicap gain to ensure the one-design positioning was secured.
The four J/111s in PHRF 1 had a great time racing one-design for the first time as a fleet on the East Coast. Leading after the first two days, David and MaryEllen’s (Fairfield, Conn.) J/111 PARTNERSHIP (pictured at right) with a 2-2-2-3-3-1 division record for 13 points narrowly lost out on overall division winning, but secured the J/111 one-design win over her three sisterships. Just 4.5 points back was Doug Curtiss' WICKED 2.0 with a 4-4-1-2-4-2.5 for 17.5 points. Third was Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO with a 3-3-4-5-2-2.5 for 19.5 points.
Damian Emery’s (Shoreham, N.Y.) ECLIPSE (pictured at left) won the J/105 class, with 13 boats competing. His main trimmer and tactician George Ryan (East Northport, N.Y.) said the victory was far from easy. 'We started dead last in the Around the Island Race and had to work to third,' he said, also pointing out that today’s first-race victory was counterbalanced with a seventh. Damian Emery skippering ECLIPSE schooled the fleet on both speed and tactics. With four bullets and 3-7, Damian's team led by four points over past Block Island J/105 Champion Bruce Stone with tactician Nicole Breault sailing JOUSTER with a 2-3-3-1-7-2 for 18 points. Losing on a tie-breaker to Stone's JOUSTER to finish third was Jordan Mindich sailing SHAKEDOWN to one of his best BIRW's ever with a 5-2-2-2-4-3 record for 18 points.
Jeffrey Willis’s (Huntington, N.Y.) CHALLENGE IV (pictured at right) finished 4-1 Friday in J/44 class to keep its place at the top of the scoreboard. The team had a total of four victories in its six-race series and led from day one. 'We tend to be better when the wind blows harder,' said Willis, 'but everyone can have their day.' Counting back, Willis revealed he won this event in 2009 as well as 2007. His closest competition here was William Ketcham’s (Greenwich, Conn.) MAXINE. At then end of the week, Jeff Willis' beautiful CHALLENGE IV won with a 1-3-1-1-4-1 for 11 points and Bill Ketcham's gorgeous 44 MAXINE with a 2-1-2-2-5-3 record 15 points was good enough for second. Lying third only one point back was Don and Rick Rave's RESOLUTE with a 4-2-3-3-2 record for 16 points.
In the PHRF 3 fleet, the J/29s ruled the top of the class. At the top of the leader-board for most of the week was past BIRW Champions John and Tony Esposito sailing the infamous HUSTLER (pictured at right), ultimately winning in a final day duel with with a 1-2-5-3-2-1 record for fourteen points, just one ahead of the strong, but late charge by Steve Thurston's MIGHTY PUFFIN with 5-1-4-2-1-2 record for fifteen points for second place. After a slow Around Island Race and slow first race on the last day, John Lavin's DIRTY HARRY with a 6-3-3-4-5-3 record for 24 points dropped to fourth.
In PHRF 4 the J/80 RUMOUR (pictured above) sailed by the Storck family from New York proved yet again that consistent sailing would rule the day over their PHRF counterparts and ultimately ended up compiling a very strong 1-2-6-1-1-4 record for 15 points to win their division by an impressive eight point margin. For more Rolex STC Block Island Race Week sailing information Sailing Photo Credits- Rolex/ Daniel Forster and Onne Van Der Wal Photography
SHMOKING Round Island Race
J/111 Wins IRC 1 Overall!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The famous Around Island Race, an epic 50 nautical mile adventure that is also the original "America's Cup race track", was run this year with nearly 2,000 entries from all over the world (1,908 to be exact). And, the brand-spanking new J/111 SHMOKING JOE really did "smoke" the fleet around the 50 nm race-track, and with a no-guts, no-glory approach nearly pulled off the overall win for the Gold Roman Bowl-- missing it by just 11 minutes!
Weather is always a major factor in a race of this size and stature. Saturday's forecast was particularly important given the vast number of yachts starting off the Royal Yacht Squadron's famous starting line in front of Cowes' equally famous waterfront walk- "The Parade". Although some of the smaller boats felt it best to withdraw owing to threats of bad weather, the bulk of the record-breaking fleet of 1900 plus yachts turned up to take part in this historic event, the fourth largest participation sporting occasion in the UK. Some 16,000 sailors faced wind speeds of up to 28 knots and there were huge swells up to 20 feet to contend with off the Needles and at St. Catherine's as the record-breaking fleet undertook this most famous westabout Island circumnavigation on Saturday. In short, the race was a blast through waves upwind to the infamous Needles, then flying downwind at enormous surfing speeds down around St Cats to the Forts and a final near fetch home to the start/finish line off Cowes-- one of those rare races where the weather Gods simply provided epic conditions and record speeds around one of the world's best "round island" races.
At the end of it all, it was an "epic first voyage" for the brand spanking new (barely 24 hours old in the water) J/111 called SHMOKING JOE sailed by sailed Phil Thomas and Duncan McDonald-- they not only managed to finish first overall in IRC1 division and 1st in IRC Division 1A, they were also 6th overall in a fleet of 400+ IRC boats! Read more about their story in the riveting account outlined below in the J/Community section by Paul Heys- an able and willing deck-hand aboard that maiden voyage. Just behind them in IRC 1A was the French J/122 NUTMEG IV sailed by Francois Longnone finishing 4th and 14th was the J/133 JERONIMO sailed by Julian James.
In IRC 2 overall, it was seemingly over-run by J/105s and J/109s for top honors. As it broke down the J/105 NEILSON REDEYE sailed by Pip Tyler was winner of IRC 2B and 19th overall in IRC 2. The J/105 JELLY BABY sailed by William Newton, 2nd in IRC 2B and third in IRC 2 overall. From there it broke down into the divisions 2A, 2B and 2C.
For IRC 2A, 2nd was the J/109 BLUE JAY sailed by Alan and Lis Bennett, 4th was the J/109 JELENKO skippered by Jonathan Bevan, 5th WAS J/109 TEAM VOLVO 2 sailed by the famous Sakia Clark, the 470 UK Champion and in 6th was the J/109 TEAM VOLVO 3 sailed by Nick Dempsey, the RSX World Champion. Some serious competition in that division!
In IRC 2B, it was basically a J/105 and J/109 division, with J/109s racing in one-design configuration-- and it was a clean sweep of the top five! The winner was the J/105 NEILSON REDEYE followed in 2nd by the J/105 JELLY BABY, 3rd the J/109 JAHMALI, 4th the J/109 OFFBEAT and 5th the J/105 KING LOUIE.
IRC 2C saw the J/92s' and the J/97 racing for class honors. After surviving the 20 foot waves off The Needles, lying in 3rd was the J/92s HULLABALOO, followed in 6th by the J/92s J'RONIMO and in 7th the J/97 JIKA JIKA.
In addition to the IRC honors listed above, the J/109s sailing in OD configuration were also scored as a class. The leader of the J/109 class was JAHMALI, 2nd OFFBEAT, 3rd JIBE, 4th JUMUNU FOUR sailed by Alistair Ray and 5th BLUE JAY raced by the combination of Alan and Lis Bennett.
The J/24 and J/80 one-design classes clearly had a pretty wild and woolly day for the smaller boats. Leading the J/80s was JUMPIN JENGA skippered by Colin Simonds, 2nd was TEAM BALTIC led by ace Henry Bomby, 3rd was the appropriately named (for the day) WILD WALLY sailed by Robert Walters, a respectable 4th was BRITISH KEELBOAT ACADEMY steered by Robin Elsey (ex-RYA Youth Laser Squad) and 5th was JASMINE skippered by Douglas Neville-Jones. The J/24s had a "head-bangers ball", smashing, bashing and crashing around the course all in good order to demonstrate yet again how tough this 35 year old design can be. Leading the J/24 crowd home was Dave Lush's A-PLAN, followed by JAM's Tim Brouard and in third was CLEWLESS's Tom Coe and Simon Lewis. For more Round Island Race sailing information. A fun YouTube sailing video of the Round Island Race.
ARBITRAGE Crushes SF NOODs
(San Francisco, CA)- This year's Sperry Topsider San Francisco NOOD Regatta was marked by "classic" San Francisco Bay conditions- "nuking" when the interior Valleys hit 90-100 degrees in the extreme hot weather the American west/southwest coasts have been experiencing. Two solid days of breezes and sunny skies with one day hitting the upper end of the sea-breeze range, blowing 15-25 kts gusting to 30 knots. The sailors who know the Bay love it and live for these conditions when they see it-- cool, foggy mornings punctuated by walking down to the local Peet's Coffee bar for fresh-roasted, fresh-brewed yummy coffee and breakfast treats. Then, head down to the Marina District to savor the cool, light morning breeze and sunshine, waiting in anticipation of another day of racing on one of the sailing world's more spectacular venues.
This year saw a nice turnout of J/24s with nine entered for the event and the J/105s had their usual strong turnout with fun, tight racing with seventeen entered to compete for that great "free" trip to race in Tortola BVI if you happened to have the best record and performance for all classes in the regatta!
Perhaps savoring it more than most this year was Bruce Stone (pictured at right with tactician Nicole Breault). Having just competed in the Rolex Block Island Race Week and finishing 2nd in the J/105 class after five days of sailing, Bruce and crew flew direct from Boston to San Francisco to sail Saturday/ Sunday in the SF NOODs! Mike Lovett from SAILING WORLD magazine caught up with Bruce after the first day-
"Bruce Stone really, really likes racing J/105s. On Saturday morning, he flew from Rhode Island, where he'd just spent the week competing at Block Island Race Week, to San Francisco, where he had just enough time to zip down to St. Francis YC and lead his Arbitrage team out to the racecourse for the first start of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta.
In Block Island, the team was racing a borrowed boat in light and variable conditions; returning to San Francisco, they were back in a familiar boat, racing in familiar, 18-25 knot conditions. "It was like putting on an old pair of shoes," says Nicole Breault, who calls tactics and trims mainsail. "And that's such a good feeling. You just know when it's happening. All the information is coming in, everyone is doing their job, and the boat-handling is like clockwork. If we had to make a last-minute douse at the leeward gate, the team just made it happen."
With flawless crew work, stellar starts, and a never-say-die attitude, the Arbitrage team put up a 2-1-2-1-2 scoreline to win the 17-boat J/105 class and earn the event's overall prize, which includes an invite to compete in the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Championship regatta this November in the British Virgin Islands. "There were plenty of times this weekend when we found ourselves in a tight spot," says Stone. "At a couple of the starts, we were sandwiched between two good sailors and had to fight to maintain our lane. Other times, we'd get the slows in the heavy chop, and we'd have to make some adjustments to get back up to speed."
In addition to Stone and Breault, the Arbitrage team includes Terry Brennan (pit), Mike Straus (trimmer), Will Madison (bow), and Marc Acheson (mast). "What makes the teamwork good," says Breault, "is when you do make mistakes, you fix them right away."
Stone moved to San Francisco from the East Coast in the early 1980s and has been running a bi-coastal program for the past 11 years. "We keep Arbitrage here on the Bay, and then we borrow boats on the East Coast," he says. "We find owners who want to race but don't have a team, or don't have the experience, and then we bring the team, help re-rig the boat, and go racing. I pay the variable costs, and they provide the boat.
"We've raced seven different boats in 11 years," he continues. "A few years ago, on Power Play at the Sail Newport Regatta, we had three bullets in one day. The owner was just ecstatic. He said, 'I've never been on a boat that had one bullet, let alone three in one day.' We had him doing mast, and he just had a blast. It's worked out really well that way."
Bruce's ARBITRAGE team ended up winning with a 2-1-2-1-2 record for 8 pts. San Francisco Bay veteran Rolf Kaiser on DONKEY JACK finished 2nd with a 6-7-3-2-1 tally for 19 pts. Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK was third with a 1-5-4-4-6 for 20 pts. 4th and 5th were settled on a tie-breaker with Jason Woodley on RISK taking the 4th and Jeff Littfin on MOJO taking 5th.
Amongst the J/24s, it was another past winner taking the gold with Mike Whitfield on TMC RACING winning with four firsts! Second was Don Taylor sailing ON BELAY, third Darren Cumming's DOWNTOWN UPROAR, fourth Luther Strayer and fifth Raymond Lynch's BAD FISH. For more information on the Sperry Topsider San Francisco NOOD Regatta. Sailing Photo Credits- Tim Wilkes Photography
SRM, CO2, CAPER, AVET, HP Win LBRW
A J/125, J/105, J/120, J/80, J/24 Enjoy Long Beach
(Long Beach, CA)- As the West Coast's largest keelboat regatta, Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week on June 24-26 hosted 148 boats in 15 classes. Two J fleets were resolved on tie-breaker count-backs: Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2 over David Gould's AIR BOSS in J/105s and John Laun's CAPER over Chuck Nichols' CC RIDER in J/120s. And, Jim Madden's J/125 STARK RAVING MAD walked off with their class.
Long Beach has long had the reputation of being the home of the notorious summer sea breeze that roars down the San Pedro Channel like an express train. So what was with the wimpy six to seven knots that greeted 150 boats in 15 classes for the first day of competition in Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week? Michael Johnson towed his J/24 HOT PURSUIT down from Seattle expecting something more than the wimpy six to seven knots he saw Friday. Johnson (1-3), despite sharing the J/24 lead with David Klatt's JADED (2-2) from Ventura, said, 'We were hoping to have more wind---and more sun, too, actually. That's why we came down from Seattle.' After winning the J/24 Western Regionals, he had hoped to use the event to prepare for the class worlds at Buenos Aries in November.
On Day two it didn't look much different. When Jim Madden and his Newport Harbor Yacht Club crew on the J/125 STARK RAVING MAD arrived at their boat Saturday morning for the second day of racing they ditched the dismal forecast for continuing light wind and proceeded to pack heavier sails. 'We saw the sun was out,' Madden said, knowing that in Southern California rising inland desert temperatures tend to suck in offshore sea breeze for sailing like a vacuum cleaner. True to form, after fourth and third place finishes Friday, their J/125 sprang to life to sweep its three races Saturday and jump into a tie for the lead in the PHRF-2 class. Most impressive was that as the scratch boat in the class, STARK RAVING MAD, with a plus-3 rating, owes from 12 to 33 seconds per mile to its six rivals but finished far enough ahead in all three races to correct out on handicap time. Of the wonderful wind, Madden said, 'We were reading 15 and 16 knots and a couple of puffs to 17' - about double the forecasts which, incidentally, call for 9 knots from the west-southwest Sunday after the sun breaks through for the two races remaining starting at noon.
The final days racing saw many scores settled amongst the fleet leaders in all classes. In PHRF 2, Jim's SRM crew on the J/125 simply dominated their class, garnering a 4-3-1-1-1-2-1 for 13 points to win their class with ease.
In the J/120s, it was clear that the top three boats were going to have a closely fought competition for the lead between John Laun's CAPER, Charles Nichols' CC RIDER and John Snook's JIM. After the dust settled on the last day, CAPER's record of 1-5-1-4-1 for 30 pts won the tie-break over CC RIDER's tally of 3-1-2-3-3 for 30 pts. Just 4 pts back was JIM snagging a 4-2-7-1-2 for 34 pts. Fourth was Peter Zarcades on MELTEMI with a 6-4-4-2-5 for 39 pts and fifth was Mike Hatch on J ALMIGHTY with a 2-8-3-5-4 for 40 pts.
Like the 120s, the highly competitive J/105 class also needed a tie-breaker to determine the ultimate winner. Sailing a strong last day was the eventual winner, Gary Mozer on CURRENT OBSESSION 2 counting a 4-2-10-2-4-1-2 for 25 points. Second was David Gould on AIR BOSS with a 3-6-3-4-3-5-1 for 25 points. Third only one point back was Ed Sanford on CREATIVE with a 5-3-4-5-2-2-5 for 26 points. And just 2 points back from them in 5th were past LBRW winners Steve and Lucy Howell on BLINK! with a strong start, but slow finish, collecting a 1-4-5-3-7-8-7 for 35 points.
PHRF 4 Division was dominated by a "classic" J, Dick Velthoen's J/35 RIVAL. Their 3-1-2.5-5-1-1-2 for 15.5 points simply smoked their class, winning by 7.5 points. Second was a J/33, John Messenger's NITRO getting a 1-3-5-2-3-6-3 for 23 points. Just behind in 4th and 5th place, respectively, were two well-sailed J/109s, Alice Leahy's GRACE O'MALLEY and Tom Brott's ELECTRA.
For the J/80s, it was Curt Johnson yet again taking their class with all firsts and seconds on board his well-sailed machine AVET. 8 points back was Steve Wyman sailing NUHUNU to get second and in third was Dan Gribble skippering MONKEY SHOULDER.
The J/24s had a strong showing with a dozen entries for this year's LBRW. Leading the pack home over some big dogs was Mike Johnson's HOT PURSUIT from Seattle with a 1-3-1-3-1-1-3 for 13 points. Second was Pat Toole's team from Santa Barbara, past J/24 North American Champion, sailing their renowned 3 BIG DOGS to a 8-1-2-1-2-3-1 finishes for 18 pts. Dave Klatt's team on JADED finished third with a scoreline of 2-2-3-2-4-4-2 for 19 points, losing his second place position on the last day of the regatta. For more Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week sailing information.
Marion to Bermuda Cruise In Company
(Marion, MA)- The hosts for the Marion-Bermuda "Navigational Cruising" Race are the Beverly Yacht Club, Blue Water Sailing Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. This year marked the 18th running of the event over 34 years, starting from a race that began with two old sailing buddies talking about racing from Marion to Bermuda and inviting their friends, to each boat being tracked through satellite navigation for all the world to follow. It has always been a race for cruising boats and remains so today.
The unique value of the race really lies in the mission to maintain its roots in blue water cruising while staying abreast of the changes in our sport. In 1977 it was a celestially navigated race only because that was the way it was done. The race added electronic navigation in 1997. The average size of a cruising boat in 1977 was 38 feet. In the 2007 race, the average boat was 47 feet with a number of boats over 70 feet. Today’s boats are often equipped with modern technology that makes the handling of sails and rigging simpler and offshore navigation more precise, but the challenge of this ocean passage, the camaraderie of the crew, and the personal reward of a good finish in this competitive event remain unchanged.
No matter how good the meteorologist is, you can always bet Buzzards Bay will surprise you. Winds were supposed to be 15 SSE – but reports at the start of the race saw a steady 30 with many seeing gusts in the 40′s. In shallow Buzzards Bay, with the sea state picking up along with the wind, it becomes a lumpy, choppy, uncomfortable wet mess. But all 50 competitors got out of the gate like champs. Finishing is a "victory" for many people who sail the race- the word "race" really being a misnomer since the event is treated as a "cruising navigational challenge and experience."
Congratulations are deserved for the J-Teams that successfully participated in this year's rough and tumble event. Included amongst the fleet were, in Class A, the pretty J/44 NJORD sailed by Fred Ewing that sailed into 9th place and just behind in 10th was another beautiful J/46 RUNNING TIDE sailed by Waddy Garrett. Sailing Class B and crossing 7th was the J/42 STARLIGHT sailed by John Bell. Sailing photo credits- Spectrum Photo For more Marion-Bermuda Race sailing information
CAPTAIN JACK's North Sea Report
(The Netherlands)- There was much cause for celebration after this year's offshore North Sea Race for the crew on the J/109 CAPTAIN JACK, they sailed a strong race to get 2nd place overall in IRC-2 class.
It all started on Tuesday-night the 31st of May, the Vuurschepen Race acted as the delivery-race for the RORC North Sea Race. It was a tough, long race in which a 3rd place was best possible for the team (for the first time offshore with this boat!). The North Sea Race was an old fashioned beating for the day, evening and night. In these circumstances the J-109 felt comfortable, as another J-109 YETI took 1st place and CAPTAIN JACK getting 2nd.
Then the inshore-races were sailed in difficult weather conditions, with rough waves and tide situations, delivering a real good battle for the strong IRC-2 Class. CAPTAIN JACK sailed as consistent as could be, fighting till the very last leg for the overall win. In the end they finished 2nd. Next on their regatta calendar will be the Dutch ORC Championship and the IRC East Championship in Ramsgate (UK).
Fun Bacardi Week For J/80s
(Newport, RI) - An iconic brand has taken its decades-long affiliation with the sport of sailing to a new level with the start of a new tradition: BACARDI Newport Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. For this inaugural event staged from Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s public sailing center, four one-design fleets, including the J/80s – they got in three great days of racing (June 24-26) under PRO Anderson Reggio who received resounding applause at the awards presentation.
'It was fantastic. It exceeded what we expected,' said Eddie Cutillas of BACARDI U.S.A. 'I think it’s a great first step and I look forward to a long future here.' Cutillas explained that the shore side activities – which included an exhibit of nautical photographer Cory Silken’s work along with nightly social events – are just as important as what happens on the race course: 'They [the sailors] work hard and it’s a long day on the water. I love to have something fun for them to come back to and enjoy after having been on the water all day.'
The only detail the event organizers could not dictate was the weather, which was chilly and grey for the first day of racing before settling into a partly sunny pattern that brought typical Newport sailing conditions of light, shifty breeze. Racing north of the Newport Pell Bridge on one shared course meant the sailors also had to contend with current which one described as 'tough because there was more pressure where there was adverse current.'
In the J/80 class, Newport sailor Andy Burton closed the series with a 2-2 after winning the first five races, for a net score of seven points to take the regatta title. Chris Bulger (Brookline, Mass.) was second with 11 points followed by Tim Pitts (Plymouth, Mass.) with 19. By all accounts, the inaugural Bacardi Newport Sailing Week event Presented by EFG Bank, with Verizon Wireless as a preferred sponsor, hit it out of the ballpark with their first effort. For more Newport Sailing Week sailing information.
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide* SHMOKING JOE- So Young Yet So Fast! Here's Paul Heys' report on what it was like to sail a brand-spanking new J/111 in that famous Round Island Race (Isle of Wight): "The new J 111 # 20 arrived a little late from the builders yard J Composite of Les Sables D'Ollonne, France. J Composite had originally hoped to begin delivery of J 111's in April. However in an effort to refine the details of the boat and to "industrialise" the production line so that the boats could be built more accurately, quickly and profitably, more time was taken and hull 1 for Switzerland was only delivered early in May, Hull 2 went to the French Atlantic Coast, Hull 3 was commissioned at the new Key Yachting Scotland base on the Clyde, Hull 4 from France and # 20 of the overall model run, was to be the new Shmoking Joe.
Shmoking Joe is a replacement for the J 90 hull # 1 Joe 90, which since its launch in 1998 had achieved massive success. Sadly a dehumidifier fire caused massive structural damage to Joe 90 last Autumn.
The late delivery of the J 111's meant that the boats maiden regatta kept changing until 10 days ago, it seemed just possible that she would make the Round the Island race which would run on June 25th.
J Composite told us to send the truck in to collect the boat on the 22nd which would result in a delivery to Hamble on Thursday 23rd giving us 2 days to fit electronics and rig and commission her. Then on Wednesday a new problem: the boat was ready the trucker was not. Delayed on another job he would only arrive at the Yard in Les Sables after normal business hours on the 22nd. The yard stepped in and stayed late to get her loaded, ready to roll on Thursday at first light.
With new wide load restrictions in place in France, the trip to the ferry port in Caen took all day Thursday, so we now had a new eta at Hamble of 0700 Friday. This ratcheted up the pressure another few notches.
Pacing the yard like a bunch of expectant fathers at 7 the next morning were the Commissioning team, not knowing that the hauliers had one more delay for us... they had to change tractor units and finally rolled in the door at 8 am. This was 21 hours before she would have to leave the dock for the start of the race.
Now the experience of all involved kicked in, under the watchful eye of Duncan Mcdonald one of the two owners, the Tacktick transducer was mounted with the boat on the truck and in the water she went. The engine fired, the Volvo guys jumped on to inspect and the rig was stepped and dock tuned, 8 guys worked hard that day to install, commission, calibrate, test and inspect.
It went well: the rigging lengths were millimeter perfect, the mast wedge was a little on the tight side, the Tacktick gear fired up first time.
At 4pm after an 8 hr shift we were ready for the sails. 5pm as planned a week earlier, we left the dock on the maiden voyage, to find 20 knots in Southampton Water up went the main.... Perfect fit, then the J3 and we were off. Duncan on the helm, his longtime friend and shipmate Kevin Sproul monitoring the sails produced by his Ultimate loft.
How's the rig Kev? It looks great on starboard, lets check it on port. How's it look on port Kev, perfect. What?? No change required? No the tune put on the dock is absolutely bang on!
6.30 back on the dock, ace electrical Paul Knights was waiting for us with a new chart plotter that had been rushed down from Winchester. Plug her in fire it up. Bingo we are now ready to race.
8pm co owner and fellow medic Phil Thomas arrives from the operating theatre with the safety gear. The team retire to the bar or bed !
RACE DAY- The forecast was showing a 20-25 knot South Westerly, off the dock at 5:15 motor 100 yds.. Where is the navigator? He was first on board at 4.30 now he's gone missing, back in to the dock to the amusement of our fellow J sailors. Robin ambles down, we hustle him on board, gun it and go.
Duncan makes the introductions, not only a brand new boat but a bunch of people that have not sailed together, however it is a strong team. Duncan allocated the roles, Kevin is to helm for the start and the first part of the beat.
Putting our nose round Calshot and entering the Solent it is clear that the forecast is correct, Kevin calls for the code 3 jib and the code 3 spinnaker, these would be the sails we use all day.
Racing in the Solent, playing the tide is critical, and as ever on this race you want to start in the favourable tide which is strongest on the island Shore.
There are several hundred boats on the start line a great many of them much larger than us. Kevin won us a nice front row start, however not wanting to get gassed by the bigger faster-to-windward boats we initially played the middle of the course trading some tidal advantage for clean air.
Making good progress in the front 10-15% of the fleet, a huge bang resulted in the jib dropping half a metre, as the mast foot halyard block exploded and disappeared. Stuart Miller our commissioning guru had expressed his view that the 6mm pins were inadequate, I had given him my light-boat=light-loads response. Stuart was correct. We re-reeved the halyard through the reef line block and set out to regain the 3 or 4 places lost in the incident. We clamped vise grips to the jib and main halyard blocks to prevent them splaying and a re-occurrence.
Fast progress was made on the beat down the Solent and as the traffic thinned we started to make progress on the pack of 39-43 footers that surrounded us, we arrived at the Needles about 10th of our group.
Bearing away for St Catherines point, the wind was now blowing the forecast 25kts and at 110 true, too far forward for a kite, so with the jib on an outboard lead we set off with the boat-speed around 12 knots.
Moving away from the Needles a bay opens up, we expected that this topography would allow the wind to back in addition to allowing more sea room to drive off in the puffs.
The code 3 spi was set the crew was shuffled aft and we took off, sailing at 140 true was as hot as we could go, the layline for St Catherines point was marginal. Spinnakers went up on the boats in front, at least on those equipped with A sails. Shmoking Joe was now full living up to her name smoking through our own fleet as well as the sportsboats and the slower end of the multihulls and larger IRC boats that had started ahead of us.
Kevin was giving a masterclass of downwind steering when he started to complain about slack in the steering system, yes the brand new cables were stretching in. Hanging upside down in the lazarette whilst the boat is doing 17 knots, trying to adjust cables on a rapidly moving quadrant is a great new game, throw in the fact that there is not enough room to use a normal length spanner makes the game impossible. Those lock nuts could not be moved. Wedging a small spanner between the lock nuts and the quadrant and taping it in place, reduced the play sufficiently to make the helmsman happy.
Less than half the course gone and 2 vise grips and a spanner in permanent use, the tool-bag is starting to look empty!
Being unable to weather St Catherines and with a closing speed of 15 knots we doused the chute with half a mile to go, heading up onto a 2 sail reach it felt like we were parked, yep we are down to a miserly 12 knots.
We expected the wind to accelerate around the point and were not disappointed. 25 became 30 and as we bore away it came much further aft.
Just as we were about to re-hoist, a trimaran pitchpoled a 100 metres to weather, as the closest boat we radioed a Mayday, whilst in dialogue with the coastguard, a spectator RIB arrived and took over the situation so we were free to blast on. Now able to sail at a TWA of 155 and with the extra pressure of 30 knots we took off, long bursts of the high teens were capped by a 22.5 peak, just a tenth slower than I had seen on the J 111 sistership Arabella. We absolutely smoked past all around, nobody passed us.
It was very much on the edge sailing and fantastic fun, we broached three times in total, blowing the spi halyard got us back on our feet and we were able to re-hoist and carry on each time.
At this stage we were pretty sure that we were leading our class, as we rounded the leeward mark at Bembridge we were in company with an Oyster 82, a Class 40 and some big multihulls, all of which had started before us.
The leg from Bembridge into the Solent was a flat water fetch, the wind was still in the 20's. Hardening up for the 7 mile beat home, we traded tacks with a 28 ft tri and stepped away from a class 40. We could see the second boat in our fleet Tokoloshe some 5 minutes behind and knew that she would be eating into our lead and so it proved, Tokoloshe finished 3 minutes behind us which increased to 10 minutes when the handicaps were applied.
Upon arriving ashore we found that we had won both our class and our 125 boat group and initially were lying 3rd overall sandwiched between 2 TP 52's. Later in the day, as the small boats arrived carrying favourable tide, a Contessa 26 took the top prize and we were shuffled down to 6th out of the whole IRC fleet of 450 boats. A very good maiden race.
Now we can get the boat out of the water, do the bottom job, have here weighed and measured for an endorsed rating and look forward to more high octane days. Cheers, Paul Heys
* J/105 RACERS TEAM UP WITH DETROIT PRO TEAMS? Yes, for only the second time in the 87 year history of the longest, continuously run fresh water race in the world, Bayview Yacht Club's Mackinac Race on Lake Huron will include the "Pro Team Challenge" in 2011.
The challenge is sponsored by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association with the participation of Detroit's Professional Sports Teams including the Detroit Lions (football), Detroit Pistons (basketball), Detroit Red Wings (hockey), and Detroit Tigers (baseball).
The boat names of those registered to sail the Shore Course in this year's race were picked at random by each team last week. Each of the teams will outfit the boats and crews of their adopted boat with team hats, jerseys and a team flag. In addition, the logos of the teams will be shown on the GPS tracking system so fans can follow their favorite team boat from Port Huron to the finish at Mackinac Island. Cheerleaders and mascots of the sports teams will cheer their adopted skipper and crews on Friday night July 22 at the Blue Water Festival in Port Huron. The race starts on July 23rd.
In 2010, each team "adopted" a boat in the race via blind draw, with the Detroit Tiger's boat winning among the four teams. The Tigers honored the crew on the field at Comerica Park this past September. For the 2011 race, one of the adopted teams is "RED WINGS"- Larry & Brian Smith's J/105 SORCERY from Bayview YC!! Cheer them on and follow them on the Port Huron Mac Race website.
* Olivia Constants had a tragic accident this past week while sailing a Club 420 practicing on the Severn River just off Annapolis, MD. The Constants family of New York/ Long Island have been long-time J/24 sailors-- both Al & Dave Constants were familiar faces to members of the J/Family for over 20 years. In the tradition of being inclusive of all family members, it's a tribute to the Constants "clan" that they've passed along their love of sailing to the next generation. Olivia will be greatly missed by everyone. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family.
The J Cruising Community J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers. Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.
* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand. Their blog is here: http://www.svjarana.blogspot.com/
* Prolific writers, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years. Their blogs/journals can be found at- http://blog.mailasail.com/jaywalker. The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at: http://www.blurb.com. Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin." UPDATE- Just a short note to update from Bill- "Our cruise began in May of 2000 and ended in May of 2008, some 8 years later. I have just finished and published my third and final book covering the last three or so years including our double handed crossing in 16 days and one winter in the Caribbean. Like the others, "Sea Trek- A Passion for sailing- Book III," can be found at www.blurb.com. Thanks, Bill and Judy"
* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/shazam/.
* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between. Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins?? Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).
- SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (http://www.salacia1.blogspot.com).
- Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (http://web.me.com/susangrun). Check out there recent travels- now past Fiji!
- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at http://www.sailmandalay.com. Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand. MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.
* The J/109 GAIA (seen right in the Java Sea) was sailed by Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay around the world. In February 2011, their cruising adventures came to an abrupt, sad ending. As a tribute to them and their cruising friends worldwide, we hope their chronicles on their GAIA website remains a tribute to their warm-hearted spirits- read more about why many loved them dearly and will remain touched by their loving spirit forever- http://www.gaiaworldtour.net/