(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The prestigious 2016 Vice Admiral's Cup produced some fantastic racing across all six classes but none more so than the J/111 Class. Five J/111s made the podium during the eight race series with four teams winning races.
In five races, the top three J/111s were less than 30 seconds apart and the winner of the J/111 Class was decided on countback, with a tie for first place, and the battle for third was won by a single point.
Stuart Sawyer's Black Dog was the winner of the Vice Admiral's Cup J/111 Class. The class only allows one professional sailor but Black Dog is an all-Corinthian team of friends from Cornwall.
“The last race was a good example of how close the racing was, six boats arrived at the mark within twenty seconds of each other, you are fighting all the way around the track for just half a boat length to get an overlap” commented Black Dog's Stuart Sawyer. “ I haven't had that closer racing since we sailed Mirrors, 30 years ago. However at times, you are doing that at 15 knots! In one race, we hit 16.7 knots. So it is not only tight racing, it is also in a thoroughly rewarding boat. With an asymmetric set up, the J/111 is relatively easy to sail, you spend your time not fighting the boat, and you are just letting it go.
The fleet is great, there are a number of very good sailors including one professional per team, which brings in a level of experience but we prefer to sail as Corinthians because we want to sail as a group of mates and keep it as fun as possible. When we sit down in the morning, we have a briefing, which finishes with the number one objective for the day and it is always to have fun. We were taking it all a bit too seriously last year and we have found that if you have fun, the communication gets much better, we manage our expectations and enjoy the boat.”
Black Dog tied on points with Cornell Riklin's J/111 Jitterbug but won the class by virtue of their number of race wins. Jitterbug won two races and only missed the podium of two occasions. To come second with such a consistent set of results is indicative of how close the racing is in the J/111 Class is.
“It was very close racing throughout and probably the best race series so far in the J/111s.” commented Jitterbug's Cornell Riklin. “ Leads were changing all the time, to come second after eight races by such a narrow margin was how it is in on design racing. We could have easily won the first two races or come third or fourth, but we ended up with two seconds. In Race 6, we were third coming into the penultimate mark and we spotted a wind shift, set our spinnaker and went for it. We held it as long as we could and then just let it go and our momentum took us through the line into first place by one second. It was very exciting racing, and the UK Class is very friendly with some great competitors. It will be very interesting to see how the UK J/111s fair in the J/111 Worlds against boats from overseas, as I think the UK fleet has made some very good progress.”
There was a terrific battle for third place, with Tony Mack's proven J/111 winner McFly, missing third place by a single point to Martin Dent's J/111 JElvis. Martin Dent joined the J/111 Class in July 2014 and often sails with his wife, Gloria and their two children. For the Vice Admiral's Cup there were a number of teenagers amongst the crew including Olly Maltby, who is just 13 years old and Martin Dent's daughter, Sammy who is 12 years old. Both of the youngsters were part of the crew for the 2015 J/111 Worlds in Newport USA, where JElvis was seventh and top British boat.
“I try to make sure that JElvis is as family orientated as possible,” commented Martin Dent. “I enjoy it when we come up against good crews in the J/111 Class and beat them. For the Vice Admiral's Cup, we had a number of young crew, including my 18-year-old daughter on the bow and we often sail with all the family, including my wife. The Class allows one professional so I can bring on one person who really knows what they are doing. For the Vice Admiral's Cup, we had Hannah Diamond, who is sailing the Nacra 17 for the RYA British Sailing Team, but she is only 25. The professional takes charge on board, so I don't need to say a word. If Dad goes sailing with his family and starts ordering them around, I don't think that is going to work! When you have a third party who is in charge, including myself, then there is no family issue. The J/111 is a great boat for a family to sail.
It may be the hottest yacht in the J-Boat range but when you have youngsters on board planing downwind at high speed, they get excited by it. Actually, the loads on are more manageable than other boats. I am not saying you can put a 12 year old on a winch in big breeze, but there are jobs to do, from keeping and eye on the competition, to setting the gear and packing the spinnaker for the next leg. For them planing downwind and really getting involved makes it more exciting. You can bring dinghy sailors onto a J/111 and they really enjoy it.”
The next event for the J/111 Class will be the J-CUP from 9-11 June, which will incorporate the J/111 National Championship, hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, England. The J/111 European Championship will also be hosted at the Royal Southern YC, July 16-17 and the J/111 World Championship will also be held in the Solent from August 1-4, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. Thanks for contribution from Louay Habib/ RORC. For more J/111 One-Design class sailing information For more J/111 sailboat information
“Sail a J Day” Was a Big Hit!
(Newport, RI)- The first New England based “Sail a J Day” took place Saturday, May 21st in Newport, RI. Over 50 J/enthusiasts kicked off the sailing season with some fun sailing aboard the J/70, J/88, J/97E, J/109, J/111 and J/112E. Sailors traveled from as far away as Canada and the Carolinas to enjoy the mid 60’s temps and 10-15 knot winds. Several opted to try different boats to see what fit their sailing the best.
“This was a unique opportunity to hop from boat-to-boat and actually experience the differences,” said Jeff Johnstone. “One can learn more about a boat in 45 minutes of sailing it, than years of going to boat shows or reading brochures. From the initial feedback from the participants, we can see doing many more of these hands-on events in the future!”
Cal Race Week Preview
(Marina del Rey, CA)- According to Paula Cameron, Chair of the Cal Race Week hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey, CA, “to date we have sixty boats registered, of which 21 are J/Boats! The second largest class is the J/70 and we expect more participants in the J/24, J/80 and J/109 classes!”
“We are having a sprit boat coaching session on Friday, June 3, sponsored by Ullman Sails and coached by Bruce Cooper and colleagues,” commented Paul. “We have Mount Gay Rum returning as a sponsor, with Z-Blok serious sunscreen also on board as sponsor. One of the highlights for racers after they finish racing each day is the Mount Gay Rum tasting on the docks! We’re confident that will be popular with the sailors!”
The J/70 class has several top California teams attending, including Shawn Bennett & Bruce Cooper on USA 32, Jeff Janov on MINOR THREAT, Craig Tallman on JAYA and the dynamic duo of Dale Williams & Chris Raab on SUGOI.
The J/80s will see the return of Curt Johnson’s AVET to defend their crown from last year. And, the J/24s will see home-town woman skipper Susan Taylor lead here TAKE FIVE team on the water to what they hope will be another podium finish. Finally, the J/109 class will have a number of strong teams sporting local talent, such as Tom Brott’s ELECTRA team from Seal Beach YC and two crews from the host club- Alice Leahey’s GRACE O’MALLEY team and Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE.
There is still time to participate and register for the regatta! Please contact Paula Cameron, Cal Race Week Regatta Chair, for more details- ph# 626-422-6513 or email- firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more Cal Race Week sailing & registration information
New England J/Fest Announcement!
(Bristol, RI)- The first New England J/Fest Regatta is being hosted by the Bristol Yacht Club over the August 13-14 weekend. East Coast Yacht Sales and North Sails are the Partner sponsors in this regatta limited to J/Boat owners and crew with racing taking place on upper Narragansett Bay.
This event capitalizes on similar successful J/Fest Regattas held in other US regions where participation has exceeded over 70 boats. The event coordinators are anticipating 75 boats on the starting line with One-Design starts for classes with 5 or more boats. There will be on-shore festivities including a barbeque and entertainment on Saturday night with awards following racing on Sunday.
Narragansett Bay is considered “home waters” for many of the iconic high performance J/Boats that were built at the former Tillotson-Pearson Inc. They have a very strong following and very active class associations that include world-class champion sailors.
The 2016 New England J/Fest regatta is scheduled the weekend between Buzzard Bay Regatta (5-7 August) and the Ida Lewis Distance Race (19-20 August). This allows boats that travel to compete in three back-to-back events at different venues around Southern New England. This regatta has also been designated as a special event for certain J/Boat classes as follows:
- J/30 Class - Southern New England Regional Championship
- J/70 Class - Narragansett Bay Championship
- J/109 Class - Part of the East Coast Regatta Series Championship
Take note of the date and please consider joining us for some great racing in Bristol RI. Information regarding the regatta including logistics, mooring availability, barbeque signup and hotel accommodations are all located on the Regatta Web Site: http//jfestnewengland.com. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact the Regatta Chairman for more information- Bill Kneller- email- email@example.com.
Spinnaker Cup Race Preview
(Tiburon, CA)- Coming up this holiday weekend is one of classic offshore races that sends boats surfing down the “Cali” coastline in huge swells and NW breezes- the famous Spinnaker Cup Race from San Francisco Bay to Monterey, CA. The race starts Friday, May 27 and the mad dash down the coastline often takes less than 24 hours.
San Francisco Yacht Club, in partnership with the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club has hosted the annual Spinnaker Cup regatta since 1998. In its 19th year, the Spinnaker Cup holds a long tradition in offshore racing with a 100nm one-way trip from the San Francisco Bay’s Knox racing area to Monterey‘s Municipal Wharf.
Sailing this year’s event are a number of offshore enthusiasts from the J/tribe. Sailing with twelve boats in Class E are Howard Turner’s J/111 SYMMETRY from Santa Cruz YC, Ludovic Millin’s J/120 SAETTA from Singlehanded Sailing Society, and Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 RAGTIME from San Francisco YC.
The largest fleet is Class F with eighteen boats and it is rife with hot J/crews! With a number of big offshore wins under their belts already, Scott Grealish’s J/88 BLUE FLASH is hoping to duplicate those efforts again. Chasing them hard will be Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG and two J/105s- Bob Goosey’s JAVELIN and Brent Vaughan’s JABBERWOCKY. For more Spinnaker Cup Race sailing information
The Swiftsure Race Preview
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- It’s a testament to an event, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, and a sport, sailboat racing, that has been changing in ways that have allowed more people to become involved in recent years and stay interested. Swiftsure began in 1930. Since then, it has been halted only by major world calamities, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Second World War. So, this year will be the 73rd running of Swiftsure.
Its most prestigious event, the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, is 138.2nm (256 km) from Clover Point out to the Swiftsure Banks near the entrance of Juan de Fuca Strait. It’s named for the former lightship, a floating lighthouse, the US Coast Guard once anchored at the entrance of the strait as a navigation aid. The Swiftsure Lightship Classic offers some of the best, worst and trickiest conditions all in one race in one fairly wide stretch of ocean, all to be undertaken in two full days.
The Juan de Fuca Strait is bordered by the Olympic Mountains to the south and Vancouver Island to the north. And these land formations create a geographic funnel to channel wind and squeeze the air mass into a tighter space. So, the wind coming in from the Pacific will speed up as it moves farther into the strait. This speeding wind makes for an especially tricky turn, often in the dark, as returning boats swing past a narrow neck near Race Rocks, off Metchosin, BC to head north into the finish in Victoria Harbour.
But, the Swiftsure event also offers racers choices of other starts and courses. There’s the 101.9nm Cape Flattery Race, the Juan de Fuca Race at 78.7nm, and added last year was the Hein Bank Race, 118.1nm. There is even the Swiftsure Inshore Classic, a short trip designed to get sailors into Cadboro Bay in time for supper.
Charlotte Gann, Swiftsure spokeswoman, sailor and member of a family that has had an entrant in Swiftsure every year since it began, agreed. Gann said sailors vary in their competitive levels, their skills and their boats. To make sure everybody can have a good race, it’s important to offer courses to suit. It also helps keep the event fresh, giving entrants a chance to switch from year to year. She said the race had a high point for entrants in 1981 when it reached 441 boats, but steadily declined afterwards. A low point was reached in 2011 when 152 boats entered.
However, those numbers are rebounding, with 199 last year, and Gann said registration is on track to top 200 this year. She also credits what she calls a modern “culture of safety” bred by Swiftsure chairman Vern Burkhardt since he took over in 2012. People now feel confident when they enter. They can push hard on themselves and their craft, but the best safety and rescue measures are built in. “A cornerstone of Swiftsure is our safety culture,” Gann said. “It’s very high.” Agencies including the Canadian Coast Guard, the US Coast Guard, US Homeland Security, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy will be standing by for the race.
HMCS Whitehorse will fire the starting guns for the various races. It will then motor off to take a position on Swiftsure Bank standing in for the original lightship (thanks for contribution from Richard Watts- Times Colonist in Victoria, BC)
How & Where to Watch Swiftsure Race starts?
Go to Clover Point on Dallas Road about 8 AM. The race starts at 0900 hrs, Saturday, May 28. There's a pancake breakfast, blessing of the fleet by Songhees & Esquimalt elders, live commentary and RCAF Search & Rescue demonstration. Then, follow the fleet in real-time on the Swiftsure Race Tracker.
Swiftsure Yacht Race Announces Own Brand of Beer!
The Swiftsure Race is thrilled to announce our own brand of beer! That's right! “Spinnakers SWIFTSURE Session Ale” has been custom brewed for the Swiftsure Race by our uber cool sponsor, Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub. We're not sure, but we think we may be the only race in the history of yacht racing to have a beer named after them. Now, how cool is that!? Look for the label in the Swiftsure Tent and check the website here.
Dozens of J/Teams Participating!
There are 34 J/Teams entered (17% of the fleet) in this year’s Swiftsure events, by far the largest sailboat brand participating (and, maybe the largest numbers of J entries ever!). The only team sailing the original race- the Swiftsure Lightship Classic- is Reed Bernhard’s J/109 MOUNTAIN from Sloop Tavern YC. Sailing in the Hein Bank Race under ORC handicap rule are the two big J’s- John McPhail’s J/160 JAM and Tom Huseby’s J/145 DOUBLE TAKE.
The largest contingent of J’s are sailing the Cape Flattery Race, with 20 boats participating in three classes. In Class L1, the biggest, fastest rides are Tom Kelly’s J/122 ANAM CARA, fresh off their fight up the coast in the Oregon Offshore Race (report below), John Murkowski’s pretty new J/122E JOY RIDE, Greg Slyngstad’s lightning-quick J/125 HAMACHI and Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION. Class L2 is loaded with good boats that include J120s, J/109s and J/35s (in fact, there are seven J/35s across three races!). Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT will look to repeat their good performance in the Oregon Offshore and will have to contend with two J/120 colleagues- Kirk Palmer’s LIGHT SCOUT and Mike Picco’s WILD BLUE. The two J/109s are Mark Hansen’s MOJO and Tom Sitar’s SERENDIPITY. The four J/35s are Jim Prentice’s DIVA, Don Leighton’s TAHLEQUAH, Jaso Vannice’s ALTAIR, and John Vassallo’s MOONLIGHT MILE. Several leading J/105s are packed into the L3 Class, including recent Oregon Offshore winners, FREE BOWL OF SOUP skippered by Doug Schenk. Doing battle with them will be Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Chuck Stephen’s PANIC, Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT, and Ed Wilder’s AVALANCHE. Don’t be surprised if two well-prepared J/30s give them a run-for-the-money, like Scott Shaw-Mac’s NATURAL HIGH or Ulf Georg Gwildis’ IMPULSIVE.
Nine J/crews are participating in the Juan de Fuca Race across three divisions. The cruising J’s are in H1 class, John Simpkin’s J/32 BLUE JAY and John Tulip’s J/35c IRENE II. At the top of L1 Class is Peter McComb’s J/109 TIPPY. They will chased hard by a number of good crews, including Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL, two J/33s- Adrian King-Harris’ “J” and MC Marciniak’s PRESTO, Alan Ip’s J/29 GODZILLA and two J/30s- Geoff Wolf’s CONRAD J and Theo Singellis’ TAKU.
Finally, happy to just spend a weekend sailing are those sailing in the Inshore Flying Sails division, two J/35s- Ed Pinkham’s JEOPARDY and Bob McClinton’s INTREPID and Tom Kerr’s famously fast J/33 CORVO! Follow the Swiftsure Race social activities here on Facebook For more Swiftsure Race sailing information
Italy J/24 Nationals Preview
(Marina di Carrara, Italy)- There will be over thirty crews sailing from the 25th to 29th of May in the XXXVI J/24 Nationals in Italy! Hosting the event is the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara in cooperation with the Italian J/24 Class and the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV).
Amongst the participating teams is three-time defending champion LA SUPERBA, sailed by Ignazio Bonanno and crew of Giuseppe Incatasciato, Francesco Picaro, Alfredo Branciforte and Vincenzo. More determined than ever to win the title are the following teams JUMPIN JACK FLASH, sailed by Frederick Miccio and Alessio Cervellin; NORTH EAST CONSTRUCTION skippered by Antonio Chessa; JOC helmed by Fabio Apollonio from Lake Garda; JUDITH skippered by Riccardo Oleanders; and CAPTAIN NEMO steered by Chief of the Rome J/24 Fleet- Guido Guadagni.
Two German crews will also be participating, ROTOMAN owned by the President of the German J/24 Class Jan-Marc Ulrich, and skippered by Tobias Fernherdt (third last year in the Open Division) and TINTO with Till Pomasius skippering.
Defending the honor of CN Marina di Carrara will be TALLY HO (owned and skippered by Roberta Banfo); JAMAICA (owned and skippered by the President of the Italian J/24 Class- Pietro Diamanti- fourth in the Italian Nationals last year); and the 2014 National Champion- MOLLICONA (owned by Massimiliano Biagini and skippered by James Black).
Racing starts on Thursday and finish on Sunday, a total of twelve races are scheduled, weather permitting. For more Italy J/24 Nationals sailing information
The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing WorldwideIt’s that time of year when the sailing world wakes up to all of a sudden realize it’s late spring in the northern hemisphere and summer is nearly upon us! That means a proliferation of sailing events in late May as all kinds of sailing activity kicked-off this past weekend.
Starting in Europe, there were the J/24 Northerns in Sligo, Ireland sailed on the Irish sea; the J/24 Trofeo Nino Menchelli at Marina di Carrara, Italy sailed in the Mediterranean; the J/24 Whit Cup in Flensburg, Germany on the FlensburgerSee; the RORC Vice Admirals Cup for one-design fleets of J/111s and J/109s sailed off Cowes, England on the mighty Solent; and the Spanish J/80 Championship hosted by the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona on the Med. On top of all that activity, there were at least three major sailing league events being sailed in J/70s- the Swedish clubs were sailing on a beautiful lake in Motala, Sweden; the Norwegian clubs were sailing in picturesque Oslo, Norway; and the Netherlands clubs were sailing in the flat waters off Monnickendam.
Over in the Americas, the Manhattan J/105 Regatta was sailed on the capricious Hudson River off lower Manhattan Island and the Statue of Liberty, hosted by Liberty Landing Marina. Then, down were everything is bigger in Texas, the Lakewood YC in Seabrook, hosted the TORQEEDO J/70 North Americans on the stormy and choppy Galveston Bay. Out West, one of the US Match Race Qualifiers was hosted at St Francis YC and sailed in their matched fleet of J/22s. Up north, the Oregon Offshore Race, hosted by the Corinthian YC of Portland, turned into a 2-3 day overnighter due to light winds- the race started at the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon and finished at Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who 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:May 27-29- German J/70 Bundesliga- Kontanz/ Bodensee, Germany
May 27- Gulfstreamer Offshore Race- Daytona Beach, FL
May 27-29- Norway J/70 Sailing League- Oslo, Norway
May 27- Spinnaker Cup Race- Belvedere, CA
May 27-29- Swiss J/70 Sailing League- Thun, Switzerland
May 28- RORC Myth of Malham Race- Cowes, England
May 28-29- Swiftsure Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 29- Coastal Cup Race- Encinal, CA
Jun 1-5- Normandy Sailing Week- Le Havre, France
Jun 2-5- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 3-5- Alcatel J/70 Cup- Porto Cervo, Sardinia
Jun 3-5- J/80 Trofeo Conde de Godo- Barcelona, Spain
Jun 3- SoCal 300 Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 4-5- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Westport, CT
Jun 4- Delta Ditch Race- Richmond, CA
May 19-22- J/70 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
July 22-24- J/70 Great Lakes Championship– Youngstown, NY
Sep 24-Oct 1- J/70 World Championship- San Francisco, CA
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
FLOJITO Crowned J/70 North American Champion!
Franco Tops Corinthians Division
(Seabrook, TX)- Thirty-nine teams competed in the third TORQEEDO J/70 North American Championship hosted by Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX. Teams from Brazil, Japan, Mexico and the USA sailed in a wide variety of conditions on the choppy and stormy Galveston Bay over the weekend of May 19th to 22nd. The sailing was punctuated by a fairly classic setup of a stalled front over the Gulf of Mexico forming a ridge that continually spawned rain, clouds, thunderstorms, localized flooding and random bits of wind. The Lakewood YC’s PRO and RC team demonstrated their experience and local knowledge and did a commendable job of getting in seven races over the four days. In theory, fourteen races were possible, but a lack of wind on the first day, a wildly shifting breeze on the third day did nothing to help that matter. In the end, reigning J/70 World Champion Julian Fernandez Neckelmann and his crew on FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty and Danel Belausteguigoitia) were crowned the 2016 J/70 NA Champions.
Day 2- Friday
After the first day of racing was canceled due to a massive line of thunderstorms laden with hail, lightning and tornado warnings, the fleet was chomping at the bit to get some racing done on Galveston Bay. The indoor golf games and Formula One go-kart racing were not enough to satiate the competitive juices of the J/70 sailors on their impromptu “lay day”. On Friday, the weather Gods cooperated, somewhat, ginning up a marginal day of racing in flukey 6-8 kts of wind. The FLOJITO crew started off with a bullet, appropriately enough, and sailed off to an early lead with a scoreline of 1-3-1-11 over four races. Just eight points back was Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS crew from Alamitos Bay, CA and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas was third.
FLOJITO scored the first win, ahead of Golison and Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT. Those same three teams swapped places in the next contest, with Golison 1st, Franco 2nd, and Neckelmann 3rd. It was FLOJITO’s turn back at the top in race three, trailed by Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY and current J/70 Midwinter Champion- Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Forth Worth Boat Club. In the final race of the day, it was Phil Haegler’s CLOUD NINE from Rio de Janeiro YC in Brazil leading, followed by Will Welles’ SCAMP then Darden’s HOSS in third.
Day 3- Saturday
Two more races went in the books on Saturday with very light breezes from the north (when it was cloudy) and to the ESE (when it was sunny). It took a lot of patience by the LYC PRO to accommodate the sailors itching to get a race in. However, 60 degree shifts and wind speeds fluctuating from 1 to 7 kts was not exactly a recipe for a “fair” race. For the FLOJITO team, it was feast or famine as a 13 in the opening meeting briefly dropped them out of the regatta lead. But, a bullet in the day’s only other contest gave the Mexican team 17 net points, four in front of Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS (who recorded a 5-8). Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE held third place with 28 points, with Darden’s HOSS hot on his heals with 29.
In the 5th race, Pasquinelli bested Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY and Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER. Following a pause to allow the wind to stabilize (which it did at 6-12 knots from the ESE), Neckelmann and teenager Gannon Troutman’s PIED PIPER renewed their Charleston Race Week battle, with Neckelmann earning the win. Brian Keane’s SAVASNA was third. Jack Franco’s 3-BALL JT held a healthy lead in the 10-boat Corinthian division.
Day 4- Sunday Finale
After an hour postponement due to another series of fickle thunderstorms developing over Galveston Bay, the fleet departed LYC’s docks anticipating getting at least two more races on their scorecards. The cloudy skies parted magically as the first start was about to get underway, the breeze built to 10-13 kts from the ESE, and all was good in the world of J/70 racing on the Bay! After two general recalls, the fleet took off. Many locals favored the right hand side of the course, local knowledge has seen that “sunny days, go right” after the seabreeze develops almost always pays. But, not this time. Several top boats tanked while others that had been forced left after the start magically saw the breeze swing left 20 degrees and increase 1-2 kts! Can’t knock a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak! At the end of the first race of the day, the seventh for the series, the FLOJITO gang worked hard to get back into 3rd place, effectively closing out any chances for other teams to catch them. Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY took 2nd and winning was Darden’s HOSS with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonathan McKee calling tactics.
The LYC RC and PRO team tried valiantly to get in another race with just 20 minutes to go before time expired (1330 hrs) to start races on Sunday. However, the fleet was less than cooperative, with two general recalls and a black flag start producing yet another general recall. After that ugly scenario, the PRO canceled racing for the day; it was unfortunate since the breeze and weather conditions were just about perfect for another great race- sunny and 10-15 kts from the ESE!
As a result, the FLOJITO crew from Club Nautico Valle de Bravo were crowned 2016 TORQEEDO J/70 NA Champions with 20 pts net with a comfortable ten point lead. Second was Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club with 30 pts net. Third was Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY with 32 pts, 4th Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER with 34 pts and 5th Golison’s crew suffering a MIDLIFE CRISIS after such a strong start to the regatta. Losing the tie-breaker for 5th on 37 pts each was Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE.
Neckelmann, from Mexico, credited his team that has been together for more than a year. He also thanked the Race Committee, saying “It was just a very tough weekend with complicated conditions for them to run races. They did an outstanding job.” Expect to see Flojito y Cooperando at the J/70 World Championship this fall in San Francisco. “I’m just very happy to be sailing J/70s,” Neckelmann said with a smile. “It’s a lot of fun, and the Class is going the right way. We’ll keep growing and having big fleets.”
Winning the Corinthians Division was Franco’s 3-BALL JT with 71 pts. Taking second was Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING with 116 pts, third was Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO with 125 pts, fourth Tracy & Christine Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN from San Francisco and fifth Tim Molony’s JOUST from New Orleans. For more TORQEEDO J/70 North American Championship sailing information
RORC Vice Admirals Cup Report
BLACK DOG Jumps J/111s, DIAMOND JEM Glitters in J/109s
(Cowes, IOW, England)- The RORC’s annual Vice Admiral’s Cup Regatta took place from Friday 20th May to Sunday 22nd May. Since its introduction, the event has gone from strength to strength with its simple close racing format and fun social programme. This year there were six classes taking part in the event, including a strong fleets of J/111s and J/109s.
The first day of racing was epic, with 15-20 knots of wind and a building tide. The high performance fleet was launched on two tight windward-leeward courses and a final round-the-buoys race to finish off a thrilling day on the water. With downwind boat speed nudging over 20 knots at times, staying on the plane and nailing gybes at full chat was the secret to high gains. Many of the days races were won by mere seconds.
Stuart Sawyer's J/111 BLACK DOG shot out of the blocks with good pace, winning the first two races and placing third in the last. The Cornish team led the class but the racing was incredibly close. Cornel Riklin's JITTERBUG scored three second places to finish the day just a point behind the leader and Tony Mack's McFLY finished the day in third place. "We were happy with our speed today, especially downwind but we had a really bad rounding in the last race which let JELVIS get away and allowed JITTERBUG to catch us up. In the end, there was just 16 seconds between all three of us. The J/111 fleet can be quite aggressive, we have come to have a really competitive regatta, and we are pleased with how we are going."
In the J/109 Class, Robert Stiles' DIAMOND JEM had an outstanding day, posting two wins and a second, to lead the class by three points. David Richards' JUMPIN JELLYLFISH won the last race of the day to take second place in the class, just a point ahead of Chris Copeland's JUKE BOX.
Day two was a wet and wild affair and produced yet more fast and exciting racing. The Solent weather was 15-20 kts from the south with the cold front providing constant drizzle. Not exactly champagne weather, but the adrenalin pumping action, more than made up for the cold showers!
The J/111 class enjoyed some spectacular racing with every race decided by seconds. In the first race of the day Mack's McFLY won by 21 seconds from Martin Dent's JELVIS. In the second race of the day Sawyer's BLACK DOG beat JELVIS by 21 seconds and in the final race of a thrilling day, Riklin's JITTERBUG was just one second ahead of McFLY. The outcome from the day’s result meant BLACK DOG retained the class lead, but only on countback from the McFLY gang, which scored the lowest points score today.
Stiles' J/109 DIAMOND JEM had another great day, posting two wins and a fourth, to extend their class lead to five points. Richards' JUMPIN JELLYFISH continued in second place while three solid results by Simon Perry's JIRAFFE, including a win in the first race of the day, put the team into third place. Stiles commented on their performances over the previous two days, ”We sail all year round even in Winter and that keeps the team together and tuned up, we are all from Brighton or the Sussex area and been recruited through the Brighton Marina YC and we have raced together for a few years, so I would say we have learnt how to sail Diamond Jem fast but we still have another day of racing and anything can happen."
The third and final day of racing was “the Thrilla From Manila” for the J/111 class. The intense competition continued right until the last race with virtually every one of the eight race series being decided by seconds. Overnight leader BLACK DOG could only manage a sixth place in the last race but just hung on to win the class on countback from Riklin's JITTERBUG. The young team on Dent's JELVIS scored a second place in the last race to come third in class, just a point ahead of Mack's McFLY. Fifth place was taken by Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, overcoming a slow start to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and close with a 2-3 in the last two races.
"Fantastic, close racing, which is just what we need,” smiled Stuart Sawyer. "This is a big year for the J/111 UK fleet, we have the J-Cup, the Nationals and the World Championships to look forward to. The Vice Admiral's Cup has been a great event to start our season and we have done better than I expected!”
As for the J/109 Class outcome, it seems it was nearly for-ordained after DIAMOND JEM’s stunning performance on the first day. Stiles' DIAMOND JEM had another great day, posting two wins to win the class by a big margin, closing out their scoreline with four straight bullets to with just 8 pts net (tossing a 3rd in the process). Richards' JUMPIN JELLYFISH was second and Perry's JIRAFFE finished the regatta in third place.
RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd officiated at the Prize Giving at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Cowes Clubhouse. He thanked all of the competitors for coming and showed appreciation for the RORC Race Team, especially the number of volunteers who give up their free time. Racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues with the Myth of Malham offshore race, on Saturday 28 May, over the Bank Holiday weekend. For more RORC Vice Admirals Cup sailing information
HM HOTELS Spanish J/80 Champion
(Barcelona, Spain)- With the J/80 World Championship at Sotogrande Marina on the horizon nobody wanted to lose the opportunity to measure their performance at the Spanish J/80 Championship in Barcelona. With more than fifty teams registered for the Worlds to be sailed in the waters of San Roque from June 25th to July 2nd, it was going to be a great opportunity to test the crew, the boat, the sails and tactics. Several teams from Italy, France, Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom were present in the Sotogrande Marina. The tenth edition of the Spanish J/80 Championship was organized by the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona.
After a brutal nine race series with one discard, the Balearic team of HM HOTELS skippered by Javier Chacartegui took the national title in a hotly contested championship; in fact, they were not declared winners until after crossing the finish line in the last race to win by only one point! The Catalan team of Marc De Antonio sailed their famous BRIBON-MOVISTAR into second place with 27 pts and just one more point back taking third on the podium was José Maria van der Ploeg’s NAUTICA WATCHES! It was an intense finale, not surprising given that two former J/80 World Champions were dueling it out to the finish!
The three days of racing provided a constant battle between the top three teams. On the first day, the provisional leadership was the Balearic HM HOTELS, followed by the Catalan NAUTICA WATHCES and the French team COURRIER JUNIOR skippered by Eric Brezellec. After the second day of racing, the tables flip-flopped in the top three; Van der Ploeg’s NAUTICA WATCHES was winning followed by De Antonio’s BRIBON-MOVISTAR in second and HM HOTELS third.
After a disastrous second day, dropping out of the top ten, Brezellec’s French crew COURRIER JUNIOR acquitted themselves nicely and posted a closing day 5-5-3 scoreline to jump back into 6th place. Similarly, yet another J/80 World Champion, Iker Martinez skippering BIDASOA-MOVISTAR overcame a nasty second day to post a 2-6-1 to secure 4th overall. Sailing photo credits- Carlos Pich For more Spanish J/80 Championship sailing information
STRATOS King Of Manhattan J/105s!
(Jersey City, NJ)- While they may not have ability to hop up on J-foils in a 14 kt puff in front of the Statue of Liberty like the ACWS 45 foot cats, but the Manhattan J/105 fleet surely had one helluva lot more fun during their Manhattan Regatta that took place over the May 21st to 22nd weekend.
Hosted out of Liberty Landing Marina, the same home base for all the America’s Cup World Series events that took place the previous weekend, the fourteen J/105s were treated to amazing hospitality by the Liberty Landing Marina crew and by the weather Godz— certainly better than what the AC45 cats had the weekend before suffering through three near “drift-a-thons” that masqueraded as “races”.
As usual, the strong currents and busy commercial waters of New York Harbor pose an interesting challenge. Mixed weather provided breezy weather the first day and light air the second day. The fleet got five races in with W-L courses set in the area just east of the Statue of Liberty. The competition was close with different boats winning each of the races and the final standings coming down to the last race.
Winning the event despite his best efforts to torpedo their own chances was Marcus Wunderlich’s STRATOS crew. After maintaining a tenuous lead after four races over Paul Beaudin’s WARLOCK, the STRATOS crew imploded in the last race and posted an 8th place. Nevertheless, they remained three points clear of Beaudin’s WARLOCK who secured second place for the series. Taking third by virtue of a tie-breaker and having a chance at first overall was Gary & Ann Myer’s MAGIC; unfortunately, misfortune also befell them in the last race, having to score a DSQ! Losing the tie-breaker and taking fourth overall was Dennis Driscoll’s HORNET and in fifth was Mark van Schallkyk’s CIRCE.
Thanks for the efforts of Fleet 10 and Fleet 6 and the hospitality of Liberty Landing Marina to make the event possible. The weekend included a great BBQ aboard the Liberty Light Ship permanently docked at the marina immediately across the Hudson from the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan. As most sailors commented, you simply cannot beat the view of the sunset bouncing off all the glass on the southwestern Manhattan skyline, with the 1,776 ft tall Freedom Tower and the famous Empire State Building in the background- two of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world! Next time, join us! We have a blast, it’s totally laid back sailing, and the views are simply mind-blowing! One of these days, we might even have to include a “Manhattan Round the Island Race” (motoring permitted, of course!). Sailing photo credit- Pimm Van Hemen.com. For more J/105 Manhattan Regatta sailing information
WV Almere Centraal Leading Netherlands J/70 Sailing League
(Gouwzee Waterland, Monnickendam, Netherlands)- Host for the first edition of the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League (EredivisieZeilen.nl) was the Waterland Yacht Charter Monnickendam team. Over the three-day weekend, they managed to run thirteen races for the eighteen teams that were participating in the first full season of league-style racing.
At the conclusion of racing on Sunday, it was the WV Almere Centraal team of John den Engelsman, Willem Jan van Dort, Nova Huppes and Irena Doets that took a commanding lead after the second day of racing and win by the astonishing margin of 15 points, winning 10 of 13 races in total! Here is how it all came about.
After the first day of the first round, the team of RR & ZV Maas and Roer won no less than four of the six races. The matches were sailed on the Gouwzee on the Monnickendam coast. Here were some of the reactions from the sailors after the first day.
Max Fisher- skipper of RR & ZV Maas and Roer in Roermond- gave the following explanation: "It was actually quite good for us. Better than expected. We are very satisfied. All the other teams have also trained and do not know what to expect. We had hoped to be in the top five. But, this is a great success for us today! Compared to last year, you will notice that more teams are able to win races at the top of the fleet. You notice that other teams have trained a lot and boat handling is much better. Teams go around the buoys better. So, the racing is much, much closer, it is absolutely exciting!”
John den Engelsman, crew on WV Almere Central was very satisfied. "We had a fantastic day. For everyone perfect conditions. A bit more sunshine would have been nice. But, as a team, we have done very well. We once made a mistake and have clung to the top mark. But then we actually made more mistakes! Still, we are very pleased with today. The level of sailing was much better than last year. All teams have been training and that you can see that on the water. All teams were doing a much better job all around. We have a mixed team two very good women on our team- they are used to training hard."
On the second day of sailing, it appears the teams were becoming more evenly matched, with the exception of the mixed team of WV Almere Central. WV Almere Central was now eight points ahead of the number two team- RR & ZV Maas en Roerin. In third place was the team of WV Brassermermeer.
One team sailed a nearly faultless day. Nova Huppes of WV Almere Central gave the following explanation, "It went very well for us. Only firsts and one second place, so we can be satisfied with our performance. Our secret is good teamwork. We have all been on board for a while and divided our responsibilities very well, so no one has too much to do and no one too little. We had a great day! Too much sun, so we cannot complain! Tomorrow, we will try to defend our lead!”
The general conclusion of all eighteen participating teams is that the level of the entire fleet is rising quickly. The J/70 is easy to learn how to make it go fast, especially in flat waters of the lakes and bays. As an example, the position changes on second day were remarkable, with teams going up and down the results ladder like a roller-coaster.
Sailing their inaugural series, the Haarlem Jachtclub had a good weekend of sailing. On the first day, they had to score all DNC’s because of responsibilities at school! However, the talented young team sailed well on Saturday and posted a few thirds along the way. Their skipper, Bart Lambriex, took silver at the Optimist Worlds in 2011. Lambriex wants to sail the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the 49er class. Commenting on their performance, Lambriex said, "It was very rough getting used to sailing a keelboat. Many things are going well but some things are not going so well. What is not going well are those typical J/70 things that have to do with operating the gennaker. Especially the crew, learning how to raise and lower it correctly without shrimping it! So, for us it means getting better on technique! Tactically it went well. We won some starts and often sailed the right side of the course. Nevertheless, there is much room for improvement. Tomorrow is a new day!"
On the final day of racing on Sunday, the Watersportvereniging Almere Central took a commanding lead after winning four more races in a row, taking the series by the commanding margin of 15 pts. Led by their experienced helmsman, John den Engelsman, they were a class apart. They sailed a near flawless regatta, with perfectly executed maneuvers. And, if they were at all threatened, the mixed team from Almere defended with great skill and ferocity.
Behind them, it was it was a huge battle for second place. The number of race victories was decisive to determine who beat whom in the final standings. Three teams tied on 31 pts each after 13 races! Winning the tie-breaker to take the silver was Watersportvereniging Sneek, then in third was Roermond Rowing and Sailing Club and in fourth was Watersportvereniging Brassermermeer. Rounding out the top five was WSV Almere Haven.
John den Engelsman (54 yrs old), skipper of WV Almere Central was very satisfied. He has sailed in the Nations Cup Match Race Worlds with Roy Heiner. As helmsman, he has won the J/22 Worlds and X35 Worlds and has raced for 40 years. John said, "It was a super weekend with 18 clubs from the Netherlands with superb sailing conditions. My team has really done very well. What's our secret? We sail together in many sports boat competitions. For five years in the Melges 24 and in the past few years in the J/22 and X-35."
Menno Berens (33 yrs old) of WSV Sneek said, "It's super exciting. Many struggles. Nice short racing. Great competition. Boat handling should be good. But, in addition, there are also critical tactical decisions to make, which is nice. Our coach (Coen van Esch) is the boss of the WSV Sneek team. The coach determines and selects the crew. We started with a large group. First, he determined the skipper, Maarten Jamin- an old hand who was twice Yngling World Champion. Then the coach added a few young guys from the Laser class (Martin Smith and Eric Jan Westerhof). One of them was World Youth Laser Radial Champion."
Martijn Worse Ling (42 yrs old) sailed for Watersportvereniging Brassermermeer and was enthusiastic about the sailing league format; ”this is fun, an exciting format! There were very many close races of high quality. Everything is very tactical. With the exception of WV Almere Central, of course. It's also really nice to get out and sail for your club. This is truly an asset for the sport of sailing! This tastes great, we want more like it!” Watch some good YouTube sailing video action here.
The next events for the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League (eredivisiezeilen.nl/) are:
- Jun 10-12 – Gieseplas Havenweg, Giesbeek
- Jul 1-3 – Westeinder Vrouwentroost, Aalsmeer
- Sep 9-11 – Veerse Gat Torenwal, Veere
- Sep 30– Oct 2 - Weerwater Esplanade, Almere
Asgardstrand Tops Norway J/70 Sailing League
(Oslo, Norway)- The battle to become the best sailing club in Norway is now in full swing. This past weekend was debut of the 2016 Norwegian Sailing League in Oslo. Inspired by the German Segelbundesliga and Danish Sejlsportsliga, the Seilsportsliga.no saw thirty sailing clubs from Tromso in the north to Halden in the south were in place at Tjuvholmen. The clubs were divided into two divisions with 15 teams in each.
It was hard battle in the forefront of the 1st division from the outset. After eight races, Åsgårdstrand SF won the first regatta by the narrowest of margins, just two points over Kongelig Norsk Seilforening. Third was Fredrikstad SF with 31 pts.
“We sailed uniformly well and did not get into any protests during the competition. So, it feels really good to win here in Oslo,” says Karl Otto Book, skipper of the Åsgårdstrand SF Team.
In Division 2, it was one team that stood out from the first regatta- Moss Seilforening was superior and could go home with straight firsts in every single race! “There were eight wins of eight possible. We are very pleased with,” says Jørn Erik Ruud, skipper of the Moss Seilforening team.
“Oslo offered challenging conditions for the sailors with both fresh breezes and zero winds. There was some rough sailing along the way, but all in all there were many happy sailors who took part in the opening of what will be the elite division in Norwegian sailing,” says Espen Guttormsen, Secretary General of the Norwegian Sailing Federation. The next event will take place in Sandefjord on 17 June. For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information
Kullaviks Canoe & Racing Club Leads Swedish J/70 Sailing League
(Motala, Sweden)- The first event for the Swedish J/70 Sailing League took place in the pretty setting of Motala’s lake in the heartland of Sweden. After a ten race series, several non-traditional sailing clubs ended up leading some of the more famous yacht clubs in Sweden with impressive performances. Winning Act One of the Allsvenskansegling was none other than Kullaviks Kanot och Kappeseglingsklubb (Canoe & Racing club)!
On the first day of racing, it was the Cape Crow Yacht Club that impressed everyone at this year's kick-off of the Allsvenskansegling series. The first day of the first round was sailed in Motala in mostly light winds, light rain and chilly temperatures.
But, the weather did nothing to dampen the mood of the eighteen teams who have trained hard during the spring and were happy the series finally started. It was generally light in Motalaviken. Sometimes down to 1 m/s, but in some races it could quickly blow up to 7 m/s and rain a lot!
Cape Crow Yacht Club, from Hönö outside Gothenburg, thrived in the gray weather and impressed by winning all three races they sailed, despite being complete newcomers to the J/70s and the league. After them, the next two top teams were KSSS (the Royal Swedish Yacht Club) and Ekolns Yacht Club, both of which had a respective first, second and third in the three races.
After the second day of racing, the leaderboard shuffled completely with a surprising newcomer sitting on top of the pack of eighteen teams. Motala’s lake provided sun and steady winds of around 3 to 5 m/s all day with many wind shifts. By posting a 1-2-1-1-1, the Kullaviks Canoe and Racing Club hurtled into the lead, much to the surprise of the more experienced teams. Still lying second was KSSS (Royal Swedish YC).
After Kullaviks and Royal Swedish Yacht Club, chasing them were another set of newcomers- Cape Crow Yacht Club from Hönö sitting in third place and Ekolns Yacht Club of Uppsala that was in fourth place. In fact, in fifth was yet another newcomer- Segelsällskapet Kaparen from Gottskär and Kungsbackafjorden! This is all good news for the development of sailing in Sweden, all new, young teams few have seen sailing against each other before!
The final day of sailing on Sunday produced mostly light winds on the pretty lake. The shiftiness and streaky breezes produced many tight duels all day long. However, there was no question that KKK (Kullaviks Canoe & Racing club) from Kullaviks south of Gothenburg had everyone’s number! They won 7 of 10 races and closed the regatta with five straight 1sts!
The Kullaviks team had a really good mix of sailors on board, including Marcus Westerlind (Olympic 470 sailor in 1996), Oskar Angervall (two America's Cup project with Victory Challenge, plus victory in Match Cup Sweden), and two 15-year-olds- Elin Nordin and Samuel Fridriksson.
“This is how we want to known for in Kullaviks headlines. Two veterans and two kids! It will be a fantastic for the boys and girls in our club,” laughed Marcus Westerlind. “Today, we really had an amazing five races, we won four and finished second in one. And, we were leading the one race that we got second; on the final run in the race, we were a little too passive and KSSS sailed past us. But on the whole, we are extremely pleased with the day!”
KSSS also sent a ”youth" crew to Motala; at 26 yrs, skipper Erik Skoting was the oldest aboard their boat. The other three were Jacob Lundqvist (24 years), Linnea Floser (23 years) and Oscar Lundqvist (22 years). Despite their youth, they all have a solid background in dinghies, especially Optimist and Lasers. In recent years, however, they have been sailing keelboats like a Farr 30, X-35 and last season some J/70s.
The concept for the Allsvenskan is audience-friendly short races close to shore that are easy to follow. The format is proving to be extremely popular for sailors in Sweden; the fact that three of the top five are all relative “newcomers” to racing is a tremendous development. It is the clubs- not the individual sailors- that finally brings the gold!
The final results had Kullaviks at the top followed by Cape Crow YC in second, KSSS (Royal Swedish YC) third, Ekolns Segelklubb fourth and Halmstads Segelsallskap fifth.
The next events for the Allsvenskan are Ekerö (10-12 June), Malmo (12-14 August), and finishing in Gothenburg (2-4 September). For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information
Feuerherdt Tops Whit Cup In Germany
(Flensburg, Germany)- The Flensburger Segel-Club (FSC) hosted their annual Whit Cup on their beautiful lake over the weekend for one-design classes of J/24s, Dragons, Stars and M24s. The weather was light to start with on Saturday morning, then strengthened dramatically for the next two days. The FSC’s PRO, Claus Otto Hansen, managed to run four races on Saturday and two more on Sunday, much to the delight of all classes.
In the J/24 class, the winning team was SIEGERTREPP-CHEN from the Blankeneser-Segel-Club, skippered by Tobias Feuerherdt. Second place went to Daniel Frost from Joersfelder-Segel-Club (Berlin) and third was Stefan Karsunke.
The top women’s team was Laura Hatje from the Segler-Vereinigung Altona Oevelgonne. Thanks for the contribution from the Flensburger Tageblatt newspaper in Flensburg.
J/Teams Top Oregon Offshore
(Astoria, Oregon)- Corinthian YC of Portland celebrated their 40th Anniversary of their famous race offshore race- the Oregon Offshore- that took place from May 12th to 15th. It was yet another test of wills, perseverance, and clever sailing as the fleet took off in sloppy seas and light winds. There was a huge tidal ebb flow out of the Columbia River "mushroom" for much of the start of the race. This allowed the boats on the northern edge of the fleet to benefit early with a lee bow push upwind, northwesterly, and out to sea.
As one skipper described it, “we were caught in the grip of the Columbia River as she emptied out into the Pacific. I was struck by just how confused the sea can be with very little wind. We were aware of what was happening, but powerless with the little wind we had, and there was nothing we could do about it. With no wind we were swept west. The smart play was to be on port tack and fight like the dickens to the north edge of the channel and stay near the shore to escape the clutches of Columbia’s current before she fully fanned out over a wide area. We were more fortunate than some who started and then were flushed south— in the opposite direction of the intended target of the race, Victoria, British Columbia.
This description just doesn't do it justice, but it was an odd sea state. There was a fresh water/ salt-water interface that had small wavelets on top of larger waves that were in turn on top of large ocean swells. The sight and sound were quite unique — and perhaps it was something that Moses saw when the Red Sea was parted! Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but pretty cool nonetheless.
This interface was constantly moving and when the wind briefly rose, we’d punch through it and escape, only to be over-run when the wind failed. And as the current was fanning out north, we’d be over-run by this river within the ocean and owing to our slow speed (sometimes only a knot or less) the current would steal all water flow over the rudder and we’d lose steerage way!”
Later in the race, when the fleet was making it way down the Straits of Juan de Fuca towards the finish line on the north shore of the channel, the fleet often has to negotiate the infamous Race Rocks. As one skipper described it, “last night, we saw the brutal effects of the tide and current change at Race Rocks. And, how devastating the effects of combined light winds and strong currents can be, even on the biggest, toughest competitors."
Race Rocks is a pivotal point in this race's final miles. Previous Oregon Offshore’s have been won, and lost, at this crucial point on the course, where the fleet turns north towards the race finish outside of Victoria Harbour. There is plenty of depth to take a shorter, inside route through Race Passage. However, at night, in the dark, with an ebb tide, it's not always as easy as it may seem or look on a navigation chart. In a race like the one we have now, there is little doubt the lead boats will try to shave as much distance as possible, and may likely take the shorter route through Race Rocks Passage.”
In fact, as night time set in, and the tide slowly changes from flood to ebb, the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP made a calculated move north of the leaders in the fleet as they approached Race Rocks. Despite some considerable distance to make up, SOUP was gambling on playing the coastline of Canada on a northerly track as a hedge against the imminent ebb tide running until about 4:30 am, relative to their colleagues on the J/122 ANAM CARA and the J/120 TIME BANDIT. Sometimes this strategy pays off like the HOV lane on the freeway; but sometimes it can be a parking lot. As it turned out, it was a good tactical play in the final analysis.
First to finish was the 70 footer called RAGE around 0427 am on the third morning of the race. They were closely followed by the J/120 TIME BANDIT and, shortly thereafter, the J/122 ANAM CARA and hot on their heels at dawn the amazing J/105 bandits on SOUP!
Dominating Class A2 were the fast offshore J/Teams. Winning was Eric Hopper/ Doug Schenk’s J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP and taking 3rd overall in PHRF. They were followed by Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT in second place and 5th overall. And, in 4th place was Tom Kelley’s J/122 ANAM CARA.
According to skipper Doug Schenk on the J/105 SOUP, “here’s our sailing video of the race, with an over the top soundtrack (best to watch with sound up!), gratuitous use of slow-motion and time-lapse video, and, as usual, not enough footage from when the race was actually interesting (dark segment was trying to show the 30 knots+ of breeze when rolling through Race Rocks, where we hit 15.6 knots). Still, it was fun and looking forward to Swiftsure!”
If you want to follow their antics, be sure to check out FREE BOWL OF SOUP’s Facebook page and here is their latest 2016 Oregon Offshore sailing Vimeo.
Please also check out the collection of Maria Swearingen's photographs of the start of the 2016 CYC Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race, you can tell it was light! For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information
MOLLICONA Wins Trofeo Nino Menchelli
(Marina di Carrara, Italy)- Despite the adverse marine weather forecasts, two beautiful sunny days with big waves and breezes of 10-12 kts greeted the fleet over the weekend of May 20-21 off Marina di Carrara. Six races were completed by the PRO for Club Nautico Marina di Carrara and the dozen crews participating in the event, most using it as a “warm-up” for the Italian J/24 Nationals being sailed in the same waters the following weekend.
The racing was very tight and more competitive than most had expected prior to the start of the series. In fact, it was such an epic battle that a razor-thin crossing on the final leg determined victory in the great duel between MOLLICONA and JAMAICA. After the crossing, MOLLICONA’s crew (skipper Giacomo Carrara Del Nero with Riccardo Marini, Benedetta Beba Tognetti, Paolo Bottari, Nicholas Marchini and Massimiliano Biagini) were overwhelmed with emotion as they crossed the finish line, cheering wildly but also congratulating their fellow protagonists on JAMAICA- skippered by Italian J/24 Class President Pietro Diamanti. The ultimate finish scenario might have had a slightly different outcome had the leader from Saturday’s racing continued to sail on Sunday; Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA had racked up three bullets but one of his crew got dramatically sick Saturday evening and had to go to the hospital.
The balance of the podium was TAKE IT EASY sailed by the team of Eugenia De Giacomo, Nicola Pitanti, Mark Brown, Matilde Pitanti and Massimo Cusimano. The rest of the top five included NINA in fourth and LA SUPERBA in fifth.
"This year, as in previous editions, the Trofeo Nino Menchelli was kissed by ‘luck’”, said Pietro Diamanti. “We managed to have six good races. Fun sailing and very close battles! Excellent training for the Championship next weekend!”
"I think the two days were very beautiful and fantastic sailing; we were especially very lucky with the weather,” confirmed Nicola Pitanti. For more Trofeo Nino Menchelli sailing information
Cabrillo Beach YC Earns Berth to US Match Racing Championship
(San Francisco, CA)- On a partly cloudy day that started with 8-12 knots of breeze the St Francis Yacht Club held the first round robin of the U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier in their matched fleet of one-design J/22s.
Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club’s Steve Natvig and his team of Roger O’Connor, Wes Byrne and Brian McMartin were on a roll! Fresh from winning the California Dreamin’ Series, they came back to the Bay Area this past weekend (May 21-22, 2016) and won another hotly contested match racing event—the US Match Racing Qualifier hosted by the St. Francis YC.
Competitors arrived Friday to a blustery day. With winds in the high teens and low 20s and gusts into the upper 20s, only half of the eight teams were able to go out to practice. On Saturday and Sunday, the winds came down a bit but still favored both the heavier teams and those with extraordinary sailing skills due to the challenging flood tide, which later switched to a mild ebb. In tight racing over two days, St. Francis Yacht Club member Nicole Breault’s team of Molly Carapiet, Dana Riley and Hannah Burroughs tied with Natvig and lost in the tie-breaker.
In winning the regatta, Natvig will receive an invitation to compete in the US Match Racing Championship this October at San Diego Yacht Club to be raced in their matched fleet of one-design J/22s. As the top female skipper, Breault will receive an invitation to the US Women’s Match Racing Championship being held this September at Annapolis Yacht Club.
Regatta Chair Bruce Stone, who also chairs the US Match Racing Championships Committee, commented that, “This USMRC Qualifier was one of eight around the country to select skippers to go to the finals. St. Francis attracted both highly experienced skippers as well as a few newcomers who managed to grab some wins from the leaders. Several newbies said they are now stoked to continue with match racing. This fits into our mantra of these events serving a dual purpose, both to select the top skippers to go to the finals, but also as developmental regattas, and in fact 65 teams around the country are competing in Qualifiers.” Sailing Photo credits- by Chris Ray
Loads more pix here of the regatta. For more San Francisco Match Race sailing information
IRELANDS EYE KNITWEAR Wins J/24 Northerns- Ireland
(Sligo, Ireland)- Sligo YC in Sligo, Ireland hosted the J/24 Northern Nationals. It was a fantastic weekend for the nineteen teams, over 100 sailors, with six great races, nice winds, flat water & amazing location! Thanks to Gary Stafford from Lyon's Cafe for the meal & Blackwater Jack for the music!!
IRELANDS EYE KNITWEAR-Kilcullen have won the J/24 Northern Nationals in Northern Ireland. The team sailed an incredibly consistent series, finish with just 8 points after counting a 1-2-2-1-2 record.
The K25 girls (and Ryan) finished eighth, overall, a promising result for their first J/24 event with a lot learnt by this “newbie” team. Great racing in tricky conditions for the 19-boat fleet. The ladies team on SCANDAL have improved throughout the weekend in their first J/24 event.
The IRELANDS EYE KNITWEAR Team captain had this to say, “We are delighted to announce a partnership with the next generation of our family as official sponsors of the Howth Keelboat Under 25 Team Kilcullen! The incredible story behind the team and "the knitted boat" is a heartwarming one.”
“The K25 Kilcullen team is an under 25 team, sailing out of Howth Yacht Club in Dublin. They compete in what’s known as the J/24 class, in which they are the current European Under 25 Champions. The K25 Programme is an exciting initiative by Howth Yacht Club and we at IRELANDS EYE are delighted to be supporting it. Cillian Dickson will helm the team with Gordon Stirling as Tactician, our very own Sam O’Byrne as trimmer, Cian Manley at the mast and Luke Malcolm on bow.”
“When the boys told us the story behind their Kilcullen boat, it captured our hearts. The boat was found abandoned in a ditch, full of water a few years ago by an Irish sailor, who fixed it up and sailed it at Howth Yacht club. However, disappointed with the little boats performance he left it abandoned again, without any prospects. That’s when the boys rescued it and decided to spend a summer working on the boat, putting what little resources they had and all the time they had into it. Eventually, they went on to win the Under 25 section of the J/24 World Championship in 2013!” Learn more about the IRELANDS EYE KNITWEAR J/24 here.
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* The J/24 celebrated its 40th anniversary on May 15th in Stonington, CT- a notable milestone for a boat that has seen 5,500 copies launched around the world in that time frame and, as a result, became the world’s most popular recreational offshore keelboat ever.
A wonderful reception was hosted for family and friends by Dodson’s Boat Yard in one of their boat storage sheds. On hand to commemorate the 40th anniversary were Rodney Johnstone and his three “helpers”, Jeff, Phil and Alan Johnstone who were instrumental in helping scavenge parts, wood, nails, glue and other stuff to help build the original J/24 RAGTIME in their garage back in 1975 to 1976, a nearly two year building project. In fact, all the Harken blocks aboard the original RAGTIME came from the Soling called BESS, originally owned by the famous Olympic sailing gold medalist from Denmark, Paul Elvstrom.
A great time was had by all and Rodney had the opportunity to re-tell the story of how the boat was created and how it became the foundation for the founding of J/Boats Inc back in the fall of 1976 with his brother- Bob Johnstone, and how they formed the partnership with another family to build the production boat- Everett Pearson of TPI Industries, in Warren, RI. Over 30 people were on hand, many of whom were part of the beer and spaghetti party that saw 20 people hoist the original onto the keel bolts!
After the festivities, a number of the sailors walked over to the famous Dog Watch Cafe on Stonington Harbor to continue the celebrations- the Dog Watch was founded by cousin Clay Burkhalter and cousin Wendy Burkhalter Eck, in partnership with her husband Dave Eck (see http://www.dogwatchcafe.com). Some of the crew recollected that RAGTIME won 15 of 17 races that summer in the ECYRA (Eastern CT YRA) offshore circuit- the picture here is of the family team (Rod with sons Jeff, Phil and Al) winning one of those races by a country mile.
* The J/30 ZEPHYR team, lead by her owner/skipper Mike Erwin, participated in the recent Leukemia Lymphoma Society fundraiser held at Southern YC. Amazingly, the family and friends team were able to become recognized as the single largest fund-raiser for LLS this year to date- a total of $127,000 was committed by their donors! Here is a photo of Emily Faschan and Mitchell Erwin at the Southern YC and on their J/30 on Lake Ponchartrain. Watch this YouTube sailing video for some entertainment- the Erwin’s certainly like to have fun and make sure their crew enjoy sailing as much as they do! Watch their fun-loving sailing video of their escapades over the weekend here
* J/22 Midwinter Champion Mike Marshall, a member of the North Sails One-Design team, talks about the “attributes for success” in the class.
Venue- I really like venues like Fort Walton Yacht Club where the boat dockage is very close to the evening activities. It makes it easy for everyone to get together after the racing. This is especially beneficial for a one design Class like the J/22 in which people are so friendly and willing to share what they’ve learned each day
Training- Because we had never sailed together in big breeze, we got out to the course early for the extra practice. We were able to do an entire upwind and downwind leg, getting comfortable with the breeze, before the next boat arrived. It was also very important to our final day strategy to know that we were closing on points, keeping us in the fight.
Weight- Ideally, I’d sail right at the Class weight limit for every event. I don’t think that being under the limit gave us much of an advantage in the light air of day one. On the second day, once the boats were fully powered up, the heavier teams didn’t have to de-power as much, making things a bit easier for them (than us). Finally, in the last day’s big breeze, when everyone was very overpowered, technique tended to be more important than weight. Because even the heaviest teams were way overpowered, it came down to who could work the boat better.
Camaraderie- It’s a tight-knit group of people that, no matter what happens on the race course, can always come back ashore and share stories. If you ask a successful team what they were doing to go fast, they’ll willingly tell you exactly what they believe they did right. I think that attitude is incredibly important to the success of the Class. New people joining feel they can ask anyone for advice and therefore get up to speed quickly. In my view, it’s that kind of friendly, helpful attitude that makes the Class so appealing and keeps it going so strong.
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/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific. Learn more about their adventures and experiences here- http://heronreachodyssey.blogspot.com/
* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands. Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination? A giant whale! Look at this amazing photo!
* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR. Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now. We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their well-documented blog here: http://www.svceolmor.com/SVCeolMor/Welcome.html
* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016! We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR. Alan sent us an email update regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above). They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.
* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea". The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:
Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety
The article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers. We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.
WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"
Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.
Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.
People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."
READ MORE ABOUT BILL'S INSIGHTFUL COMMENTARY AND THOUGHTS ON WSJ ONLINE HERE
* 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/
* 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).
- 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). Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".
- 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.