Wednesday, April 26, 2017

J/Newsletter- April 26th, 2017

J/109s sailing Block Island Race WeekBlock Island Race Week Update
(Block Island, RI)- The Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week, the granddaddy of the club's broad regatta portfolio, is scheduled from June 18th to 23rd.  Founded in 1965 and heading for its 27th running, the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week is a great biennial tradition of New England summers and one of the oldest race weeks in the U.S.

Racing on Block Island Sound in late June, as the season changes from spring to summer, often brings ideal conditions, with a gentle breeze in the morning building to a challenging seabreeze in the afternoon. Many who sailed the regatta in 2015 completed 11 races over five days, including a gearbustin' Around Block Island Race (25+ kts and sunny!), amid some of the finest weather ever to grace the regatta.

If you have not given this amazing week consideration on your “bucket list” of activities, you should! In addition to the many fantastic social activities ashore, like six parties at the Storm Trysail Tent at the famous “The Oar Restaurant”, there is the amazing race organization provided by the army of STC Race Committee volunteers that operate the four buoy courses offshore.

For veteran sailing teams, “race week” is a bit of a “siren song” that arises each spring when flowers bloom and the “honey-do” garden list has gotten a bit too long; especially when it means digging in too much dirt, sweating bullets, or doing back-breaking chores like spreading mulch!  Suddenly, enjoying a famously cold, delicious “mudslide” on the picnic benches outside under the rows of umbrellas at The Oar sounds like a fantastic idea!

Large J/109 fleet sailing Block IslandNot surprisingly, the J/Navy will be participating in large numbers, with a veritable armada showing up in the harbor and the marinas.  Currently, 64 of the 143 yachts entered (~45%) are J/Crews! Come one, come all! Let’s hope at least a dozen more J/teams jump into the fun, frolic and great sailing off Block Island and enjoy yet another famous Round Block Race!

There are two North American Championships taking place during the event: the J/109s already have twenty (yes, 20!) entries ready do battle off the famous sandy bluffs and there are seven (7) J/44s sailing in one-design configuration (class sails).  In addition, there are already a half-dozen J/88s competing for their East Coast Championship, with the hope that 2-3 more teams show up to join in the fun. Finally, the J/105s will be racing for their New England Championship and thirteen (13) boats entered already with up to a half-dozen more expected.

In the offshore handicap-racing world, there are great teams entered already, with hopefully more joining them in the near future! There are five J/111s, six J/29s, three J/122s, two J/24s, two J/80s, a J/125, and a J/120 competing in IRC/ ORC/ PHRF handicap divisions.

Get organized and look into participating in this year’s 27th edition of the STC Block Island Race Week!  Learn more and get registered here!

Sunset on Newport to Ensenada RaceNewport to Ensenada Race Preview!
(Newport Beach, CA)- Starting on April 28th around midday Pacific time, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association will be starting the fleet of 150 offshore keelboats in the famous Newport to Ensenada Race!  This 176nm Southern California classic starts just off the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, CA, leaves San Clemente Island to port, and finishes at the Hotel Coral Marina, Ensenada, Mexico, just outside the harbor entrance.

A dozen J/Teams are participating, some with aspirations to head to Honolulu this summer in the biennial classic called the Transpac Race, this “sprint” will serve to further train their crews and help optimize their sail selections for their mid-summer 2,225nm sprint to Diamond Head.  The forecast for Friday’s start looks promising with Westerly winds gusting to 20 kts in the afternoon, shifting NW 10-20 kts gusting to 25 kts overnight.  Then, sometime by morning the breeze shifts into the NE 10 kts and become variable less than 10 kts.  Given that most boats are averaging well in excess of 8 kts on broad reaching points of sail, most of the larger J’s should be into the marina by sunrise…at least that’s the plan!

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Newport Ensenada raceChief amongst those boats that should finish in the midnight hours are the two speedsters in PHRF A, Paul Margis’ J/160 INDIGO and Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC.  Not far off their pace should be Lee Pryor’s J/130 SIROCCO in PHRF B class.

Class bragging rights for PHRF C almost always comes down to a recurring battle between the top J/120s, including Rudy Hasl’s HASL FREE, Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY, and Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER.  Of note, POLE DANCER is sailing with an all-women’s crew- please read her story below in the J/Community section about their program!

The mid-size J contingent hopes to finish by noon-time on Saturday before the winds “go AWOL- e.g. variable”!  In PHRF D, Ed Sanford’s well-equipped J/105 CREATIVE will be aiming to keep on handicap pace with their colleagues on Seth Hall’s gorgeous navy-blue J/124 MARISOL.  In PHRF E, Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR hopes to grab silverware in their class.  Meanwhile, in PHRF F Mark Weinberger’s J/33 PRIMA and Juan Lois’ one-design configured J/105 ROCINANTE vie for their class awards.  Finally, in PHRF I, Scott McKenney’s pretty little J/32 BETTY is looking forward to the experience and the awards party afterwards!  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/111 sailing San Francisco BayExcitement Builds for J/111 Worlds
(San Francisco, CA) — What happens when some of the world’s best keelboat sailors climb aboard high-performance One Design boats on a famously windy racecourse for a world-class regatta? In the case of the J/111 Worlds, the result will involve tightly contested starting lines, high-drama mark roundings and ample bow spray. Since launching in August of 2010, the J/111 class has enjoyed steady, sustainable growth for a high-end, mid-sized keelboat, with more than 120 boats now sailing in over 12 countries. The class debuted their World Championships in 2014 in Cowes, UK, and made an appearance stateside in Newport, Rhode Island, in 2015 before returning to Cowes for their most recent Worlds. But the 2017 J/111 World Championships (August 23-27, 2017), hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) in San Francisco, California, will represent the first time this red-hot class has contested their Worlds on the West Coast. Registration for this regatta is now in full swing, and StFYC encourages teams to sign up early.

To date, nine American-flagged boats have entered the 2017 J/111 Worlds, including Peter Wagner (StFYC) and his Skeleton Key (USA-115) crew, who earned a proud second-place finish at the 2016 J/111 Worlds and an even prouder first-place finish at this year’s Key West Race Week. While Skeleton Key might be sitting on years of hard-won local knowledge, they will be joined on the starting line by other talented and locally savvy teams, including Dick Swanson (StFYC) and his Bad Dog (USA-103) crew and Reuben Rocci’s (Richmond Yacht Club) Swift Ness (USA-101) squad. And that’s to say nothing of overseas teams who are looking to leverage their class knowledge on American waters.

“There are two things we’re renowned for here: world-class race management and reliable wind conditions,” said Gerard Sheridan, co-chair of the 2017 J/111 Worlds at St. Francis Yacht Club. “We have a great Race Office staffed by committed and highly skilled professionals, and a dedicated team of race-committee volunteers. We run more races per year than any club in North America, so we get plenty of practice!”

As for the competitors, there’s no question that holding the 2017 J/111 Worlds on San Francisco Bay represents a coming-of-age for the class, especially when it comes to brass-against-the-bulkheads spinnaker sets and gybes. “There’s an old saying: ‘If you can sail in San Francisco Bay, you can sail anywhere in the world,’” said Rob Theis, owner and skipper of the J/111 Aeolus (USA-007), who advised that visiting teams should use the remaining months before the starting guns sound to familiarize themselves with StFYC’s City Front racecourse, create a big-picture strategy and a little-picture playbook, with focus on boat-handling skills. “Prepare well and never give up!” said Theis. “It’s a bucket-list venue you won’t forget.”

While predicting weather conditions can be a slippery foredeck, San Francisco Bay has decades of reliable meteorological data that strongly points to August as a great sailing month. “Typically the first race of the day will have wind speeds in the low to mid-teens,” explained Sheridan. “As we get into the afternoon and it heats up inland, the breeze can pipe up into the high teens with gusts into the low-20s. This gives the crews variety of conditions to demonstrate their finesse, gear-changing and boat-handling skills.”

San Francisco Bay’s typically breezy conditions are a powerful magnet for sailors, but this sophisticated, world-class city also presents itself as a superb vacation destination for families, and StFYC’s clubhouse and facilities make visiting a treat for sailors and non-sailors alike. “There’s no better or more comfortable viewing location than our Race Deck with its panoramic view of the Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the west; Sausalito, Tiburon, Angel Island and Alcatraz to the north; and the Berkeley Circle and Treasure Island to the east,” said Sheridan. “In a flood tide, you’ll have all the boats short-tacking along the City Front, providing those on shore—and particularly on our Race Deck—quite a spectacle.”

For teams seeking to glean empirical knowledge before the 2017 J/111 Worlds, StFYC’s Aldo Alessio/Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta is scheduled for August 18-20, and is an ideal opportunity for teams to familiarize themselves with racing along the City Front.

Registration for the J/111 Worlds is open until August 1, 2017; please visit for more information or to register for this exciting World Championship regatta.

J/44s sailing one-design on Long Island SoundAmerican YC Spring Series Preview
(Rye, NY)- Starting this coming weekend, the annual Long Island Sound offshore sailing season begins with the American Yacht Club’s Spring Series.  This annual rite of spring ensures that passionate sailors around the Sound get themselves organized, clean up their boats, refresh paint jobs, and check out their new sails in time to sail this weekend.

On Saturday morning, it is an amazing phenomenon to experience as boats from seemingly every corner of western Long Island Sound materialize- from the East River’s King Point and SUNY Maritime Academies, from Harlem YC, Huguenot YC, Hempstead Harbor YC, Huntington YC, Sea Cliff YC, Larchmont YC, Indian Harbor YC and so forth on either shoreline of Connecticut and New York’s Long Island.  Sixty-nine boats in all (47 J’s are 68% of the fleet!!) are participating in a two weekend series that can see up to four races per day in ideal conditions and up to 12+ races if all things go well for the RC PRO’s and the racers (hopefully, not too many General Recalls!).

The forecast for the weekend shows the potential for SW 15-25 kt winds on Saturday and SE 8-15 kt winds on Sunday; a recipe for great sailing.  However, the “fly in the ointment” may be the “extreme tides” forecasted by NOAA, with 8.5 foot tides producing massive currents and whirlpool-like tide lines- low tide around 0830 hrs and high tides around 1500 hrs could wreck havoc for navigator/tacticians around the race track.

In the world of one-design racing, there are fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s that will be spread across two racing circles.

The fifteen-boat J/70 fleet is enjoying a great turnout for the start of their season on the Sound.  Many familiar faces that have been sailing the J/70 winter circuit are in attendance, mostly all local boats from local yacht clubs.  J/70 Corinthians Midwinters winners, Andrew & Melissa Fisher and “the twins”, are racing BUTTON FLY and hope to maintain their edge developed over the winter regattas.  They will be hard-pressed by crews like Scot & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, Marshal Saffer’s LET IT RIP, Andrew Shea’s SHAKE’N’BAKE, and Madelyn & Megan Ploch’s USA 88.

Similar to the J/70s, two J/88 teams that have experienced Key West, St Petersburg, and Charleston during the winter months are primed to apply their consistent form to their first event on the Sound in the seven-boat J/88 class.  Those crews, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Mike Bruno’s WINGS, will have their hands full with local teams like Doug McKeige’s JAZZ, Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, John Pearson’s new RED SKY, and Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY.

J/105s sailing Long Island SoundLeaders of the eight-boat J/105 class will all depend on who’s got their crew organized and minimize their boat-handing errors.  Such is the closeness of the teams, that if any one boat gets it all together, they can easily dominate the first weekend.  However, as history shows, the winner of the first weekend often does not have the ability to maintain that pace on the second weekend!  Time will tell, of course!  Nevertheless, in that group vying for the leaderboard should be Duncan Hennes teamed with Za & Lib Jeliffe on ARETE, Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA, Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION and the biggest “wild card”- the Young American Jr Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICA!

With their pending J/109 North Americans just around the proverbial corner- being held at Block Island Race Week- the nine-boat strong J/109 class will be learning quickly “who’s on first” in the pecking order.  Some boats will already be quite well-prepared, others will still be cleaning out the leaves in their cockpits and oil in their bilges as they head to the starting line on Saturday.  Although there are a number of new faces in the crowd, it’s likely the veteran campaigners will rule the roost, at least on the first weekend in good breezes.  Look for these teams to be a factor in the top five; Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, David Rosow’s LOKI, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY and Robert Schwartz’s NORDLYS.

The grand-daddy of the offshore J one-design classes, the J/44s, have a nice turnout of five boats itching to get out on the water and tackle a new season of 44 sailing in the northeast.  Many of the boats are looking at this first weekend as trial runs to determine how and where they can improve their teams as they head for the J/44 North Americans at Block Island Race Week later in June. It is a formidable group of teams as most have, over the course of time, won and placed in both top offshore events  (like the Bermuda Race) and in class events.  Those teams include Jeff Willis’ CHALLENGE IV, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE, Bob & June Kendrick’s PALANTIR 5, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE and Len Sitar’s VAMP.

In the PHRF handicap world, PHRF 1 sees Paul Strauch’s J/111 ANDIAMO and Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE taking on all comers in their seven-boat class.  And, in PHRF 2, Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER will be looking to do just that, upset their class of six boats.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information

J/122 El Ocaso sailing AntiguaEpic Fleet for Antigua Sailing Week
(English Harbour, Antigua) – A staggering number of sailors from around the world are descending on the Caribbean island of Antigua to celebrate the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week. Over 150 teams racing on a huge variety of yachts will make this year’s event the biggest for many years. After the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race on Friday, April 28 and Saturday’s Peters & May Round Antigua Race, Antigua Sailing Week will begin on Sunday April 30.

About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world-class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters & May Round Antigua Race. Thousands more will join in the party celebrations, with seven beach days and party nights, including internationally acclaimed Damian Marley heading an all-star line-up for “Reggae in the Park” in the historic Nelson’s Dockyard.

Antigua sailing weekFor five days crews are challenged with a variety of coastal race courses (54 choices in all!) that encourage tacking duels around the buoys – all in the picture-perfect setting of the deep blue Caribbean Sea off Antigua’s south coast with the ever-present trade winds. The idyllic racing is enhanced by sailors retiring to Antigua Yacht Club for passionate post-race analysis and daily prize-givings that carry on into the evening.

152 teams from 28 nations are racing at Antigua Sailing Week from around the world.  Fourteen European countries are well-represented, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland.  At least ten Caribbean island nations will be on the starting line, including Antigua, Saint Maarten, St Barths, Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Jamaica.  And, from the “America’s”, there are teams from Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina.

J/Teams have a United Nations flavor to them, with ten J’s (about 11% of the 94 CSA Class keelboats) hailing from Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean!

J/122 Liquid sailing AntiguaIn the fourteen-boat CSA 4 Class, the on-going battle between the fleet-leading J/122s will continue- a drama-filled experience for both Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID from Jolly Harbour YC in St Johns, Antigua and for Bob Hiller’s crew on EL OCASO from Lake Geneva YC in the American Midwest.  In their last encounter, Baldwin’s LIQUID team got the upper hand on EL OCASO, taking 2nd in Les Voiles de St Barths with EL OCASO 3rd.  Their biggest threat comes from a “new kid on the block”, an insanely experienced team on David Ballantyne’s J/133 JINGS/ JINGAROOS, a crew that hails from Cowes, England and have a lot of RORC offshore racing and Solent around-the-cans experience.  Fighting to stay in the hunt will be two J/120s, Ben Jelic’s JAGUAR from St Maarten and Tom Hawker’s SUNSET from Royal Victoria YC in British Columbia, Canada.

The ten-boat CSA 6 Class has two J/109s sailing that had flashes of brilliance at Les Voiles de St Barths.  Both boats are from St Barths, Sophie Olivaud’s ALBACOR IV and David Cullen’s POCKET ROCKET.  They will be up against a hot local J/105 from Barbados YC, Peter Lewis’ WHISTLER.

J/39 99 sailing AntiguaThe J/39 MICRON 99 OSSENFEFFER, sailed by Robbie Ferron from St Maarten YC, will be taking on the eight-boat CSA 7 fleet.  And, a famous Antiguan team lead by Tanner Jones from Jolly Harbour YC will be racing their equally famous J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE against a dozen boats in CSA 8 class.

Interestingly, many sailors making a long journey to the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week will be from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The ten Australian crew racing the J/133, JINGS/ JINGAROOS have notched up 22 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races between them!!

“We are coming to Antigua to redeem the most coveted item on our collective sailing bucket list – Antigua Sailing Week!” explains ‘Aussie Jings’ Headsail Trimmer, Jasmine Hogg. “It is everyone’s first time here and I had no problem in persuading the motley crew to make the trip for my big birthday. We are all absolutely thrilled to be taking part.”

With Antigua Sailing Week celebrating 50 years, it is also of great importance to be looking forward, as well as remembering the past, hence this year’s mantra: Old Traditions, New Ways. Sailing is now a part of the school curriculum in Antigua & Barbuda and many young Antiguan sailors will be participating this year, racing with their heroes, but also learning how to win by themselves.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more Antigua Sailing Week information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week of April certainly brought some of the fabled showers that, supposedly, bring May flowers.  Some of those systems made their way across race courses in the Americas and Europe.  However, for the most part, the weather cleared up in time to have good racing in major events; some were more fortunate than others.  Those who got the short-end of that stick in Europe were the crews sailing the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series finale, hosted by the Warsash Sailing Club on the famous Solent.  However, this time the weather Godz simply did not have enough stores of Neptune’s favorite "vino rojo" to get the wind generators going.  As a result, with no wind in the foreseeable future, racing was canceled and the fleet meandered home for their final social get-together.  Off to their east, the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta sailed off Stellendam, The Netherlands played host for one-design fleets of J/111s, J/22s, J/70s, and J/109s, in addition were IRC and ORC Doublehanded classes that included J/105s and J/109s.  Even further southeast on the Mediterranean, the Italian J/24 sailors actually had a fair amount of wind and sun!  This time, it was the 2nd act of their J/24 National circuit hosted by Italian Naval Academy in Livorno. Offshore to the west in Sardinia, the Arzachena fleet hosted their 2nd act of the spring series.

Over in the Americas, the enormously popular Sperry Charleston Race Week took place in Mt Pleasant, SC at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina on Patriots Point.  A massive fleet of 217 boats were treated to one of best CRW’s ever.  One-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/105s and offshore PHRF handicap fleets that included J/111s, J/122s, J/109s, J/35 and others all reveled in the rare spring-time conditions.  Out west, several events have taken place over the past two weekends, including the Puget Sound Spring Series hosted by the Corinthian YC of Seattle- included were one-design classes of J/105s, J/24s, and J/80s plus PHRF boats with a trio of J/109s.  Then, there was the famous Blakely Rock Benefit Race at Sloop Tavern YC for over 109 boats- and well over a dozen J/crews of all stripes participated to benefit the STYC Sailing Foundation- J/24s, J/80s, J/92s, J/105s, J/109s, J/122s, J/145, J/30, J/35, J/27s J/29s, etc- a fantastic program to support!  Finally, our off-the-wall friends in San Francisco cooked up a really interesting concept for a regatta to engage more kids, women, adults in sailing offshore keelboats- they called it the “Legends Regatta of the Kingdom of St Francis YC”, all sailed in their fleet of ten J/22s!

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:

Apr 29-30- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
Apr 29- RORC Cervantes Trophy- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Apr 30- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 5-7- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 5-7- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
May 6-7- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
May 6-7- Race to the Straits Regatta- Seattle, WA
May 3- RORC De Guingand Bowl Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 13-14- Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Race- Seattle, WA
May 17-21- USA J/24 Nationals- Seattle, WA
Jun 2-5- J/22 World Championship- Scheveningen, The Netherlands
Jun 3-4- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 3-9- J/70 European Championship- Hamble, England
Jun 16-18- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Cleveland, OH
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England

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

J/24s sailing CharlestonSpectacular Charleston Race Week!
J/70 CATAPULT Overall CRW Champion!
(Charleston, SC)- For the first time in years, the Sperry Charleston Race Week that took place from April 20th to 23rd in Charleston, SC saw simply great weather for all three days of the regatta.  Some sailors say they had never seen better weather for CRW, with S to SW 10-15 kt winds gusting to 20 kts most days and sunny!  For the 217 boats entered (127 J’s were 59% of the fleet), it was icing on the cake each day to retire back home to the amazingly accommodating Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina on Patriots Point for more “dark’n’stormies” and fresh cold brews at the sandy beach/  tent party and awards each afternoon- almost Caribbean-like atmosphere!

J/70 Catapult- Joel RonningThe big winner for the J/70 class, and the CRW Overall Champion, was Joel Ronning’s formidable crew on the J/70 CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, MN.  There’s was not an easy “road to hoe” to the top of the leaderboard in the extremely competitive 76-boat fleet. In fact, after the first day of racing, it was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA leading with a 2-4-3 for 9 pts followed in second place by Gannon Troutman’s PIED PIPER with a 6-2-2 for 10 pts and in third was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE with a 1-9-1 for 11 pts.  However, over the next two days of racing, the winds of change would dramatically re-arrange the top ten.

At the end of the regatta, Ronning’s CATAPULT simply out-sailed their competition, the only boat to post all top five finishes for the next six races!  As a result, they not only won with just 30 pts in 9 races, a 3.33 pts average per race (!), but they also were awarded the coveted CRW Overall Champion award for best performance in the toughest class in the event.

J/70s sailing Charleston HarborBehind the clear-cut victory for CATAPULT, it was an all-out battle for the balance of the podium, if not the top five for the regatta.  Literally, the last set of races determined that outcome for the podium.  By closing with a 2nd, Troutman’s crew on PIED PIPER managed to sail consistently enough to hang on to their second place performance on the first day with 36 pts total. Just one point back in a tie-breaker were Marty Kullman’s NEW WAVE and Al Terhune’s DAZZLER, with the tie going to Kullman.  Rounding out the top five was John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES with 48 pts total.

J/70 Joint Custody- Ray & Jenn WulffTo qualify to be podium winners of the J/70 Corinthian Division meant you had to be a couple’s team! Perhaps the first time in the history of yacht racing, if not certainly in the J/70 class, the top FOUR boats, in fact were sailed by couple teams!  First was the Annapolis team led by Jenn & Ray Wulff on JOINT CUSTODY. Taking second place was Andrew & Mallory Loe’s DIME, followed by Mark & Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP in third.  Fourth was Tracy and Christy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN from San Francisco, CA and fifth place went to Stein Skaane’s SHRED.

J/24 Bangor Packet- Martha Parker on bowIn the “Battery Bash” along the Charleston city waterfront, the big, competitive twenty boat J/24 class saw the class leaders emerge from the weeds along the “middle ground” to take home all the silverware.  Topping the fleet were all Midwinter, North American or World Champions in the J/24s.  First was Mike Ingham’s USA 5443 team from Rochester, NY with 22 pts, followed by Mike Marshall’s USA 5209 crew from Newport, RI with 32 pts in second place and Tony Parker’s Annapolis team on BANGOR PACKET taking third place with 40 pts.  The balance of the top five include Scott McCormack’s GIGGITY in 4th only one point back and Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM just two more points back- a close finish for the top five!

J/80 Rumor- Storck familyCelebrating their first J/80 Midwinter Champions title for several years was John Storck’s RUMOR from Huntington, NY, winning 8 of 10 races and not even starting the last race to win by 12 pts!  Behind their stunning performance, it was quite a battle for the next four spots.  Winning the last race and taking second place was Ken Mangano’s MANGO from Annapolis, MD with 23 pts.  At 29 pts each, Tom Kopp’s KOPP-OUT and Bill & Shannon Lockwood’s SHENANIGANS tie-breaker ended with KOPP-OUT taking the bronze.  Then, fifth place went to Ryan McCrillis’ HAKA.

J/88 Hijinks sailing CharlestonThe five-boat fleet of J/88s saw Laura Weyler’s HIJINKS from Youngstown YC take class honors to add to their Key West Race Week 1st place silverware. After posting six 1sts and three 2nds in nine races, they did not start the last race to win with just 12 pts net.  Sailing fast and showing why they had earned the bronze at Key West Race Week was Ryan Ruhlman’s fast SPACEMAN SPIFF team from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH, taking home the silver with 19 pts net.  Winning the last race and taking the bronze was Brian O’Malley’s BLUE with 27 pts.

The J/105 class, in fact, did suffer a RUM FRONT by the end of the regatta!  Winning with virtually all bullets in 8 races was the duo of Fred Martschink & Bill McKenzie on RUM FRONT.  Winning the only other race and securing second place was the trio of Seif/ Smith/ Jacques on RUCKUS with 16 pts.  Rounding out the podium in the bronze spot was another duo, Miles Hartschink & Ben Hagood’s SKIMMER with 23 pts.

J/22 women's / girl's team at CharlestonThe J/22s saw the WARRIOR SAILING TEAM, a program designed to provide opportunities for America’s war veterans to experience the sea and team-building with friends, take home class honors.  They were followed by Allyson Pleassner on College of Charleston #9 in second place and John Thompson’s DIESEL’s WEASELS in third position.

The Warrior Sailing Program showed up in Charleston a few years back, quietly providing outreach and the therapeutic effects of sailing to injured and wounded veterans. And just three years later, they have their first class victory at Charleston Race Week! Here blind sailor Scott Ford shares his experience along with program J/22 Warrior Sailing skipperdirector Ben Poucher. We salute and thank all our vets!

In the world of offshore handicap sailing, in ORC A class we find multiple Key West Race Week champion, the J/122 TEAMWORK, led by owner/skipper Robin Team from Lexington, NC, take the silver in their class.

In ORC B class, the J/35 ARROW with Willy Schwenzfeier from Charleston, SC at the helm took second place. Fourth was the J/36 SOUL with Charles Coyer from College of Charleston YC; in fifth place was John Keenan’s ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC; and sixth was the J/120 MOOSE DOWN with Richard Moore from Carolina YC.   For more SPERRY Charleston Race Week sailing information

J/22 sailing Van Uden Reco in NetherlandsGlorious Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta
(Stellendam, The Netherlands)- With rain, sun and above all plenty of wind, the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta was a spectacular season opener for the over 100+ registered sailing teams in the Benelux region.  The biggest class, again, were the J/22s with strong showings again from the J/111 class and the rapidly expanding J/70 class.  In addition, there were IRC and ORC/ ORC Double classes competing offshore.

To begin with, all the J/111 owners agreed it was another great success!  Last year was the first time the fleet had sailed in the Van Uden Reco event as a class; in particular because it was great preparations for the J/111 World Championship in 2016 that was raced in Cowes, England.  This year, five teams showed up for close class racing all weekend long.

J/111 Sweeny sailing Van Uden Reco in NetherlandsBy combining the forces of J-Benelux, the J/111 boat owners and crews, the fleet had another great weekend of sailing with six races. Paul Gladdines, class chairman of J/Benelux, enthusiastically responded after the event: "All owners liked it and the class looks forward to more one-design racing offshore, too! It's truly unique to sail with 36 ft boats as one-design class machines!"

Winning the J/111 class this year was Paul van Driel’s SWEENY crew from The Netherlands, showing that they had learned a lot from sailing last year’s J/111 Worlds in Cowes! They posted a 1-1-1-4-1-2 record for 6 pts net to win the class by a comfortable margin.  Pulling in the silver medal on the podium was Sigg Joerg’s LALLEKONIG from Switzerland, with a 2-2-2-3-2-3 tally for 11 pts net. Taking third on a tie-breaker at 14 pts each was Sjakk Haakman’s RED HERRING team from The Netherlands; on the short end of that stick was Sebastien de Liedekerke’s DJINN from Belgium.  Occupying the fifth spot was Norbert Burkert’s TOP JOB.

J/22 sailing Van Uden Reco off NetherlandsThe J/22 was the largest class in the regatta with no less than 23 participants this year. Lisanne Nijdam’s TU DELFT crew on NED 1365 won last year with one point difference, but this year it was a much different story.  For starters, a significant development in the Dutch J/22 class was that NINE of the skippers were women in this year’s regatta- nearly 50% of the fleet!  The other element was that the level of competition was dramatically higher, especially since the J/22 World Championship is just weeks away and being sailed nearby.
After an eight race series, it was Nic Bol’s QUANTUM HOLLAND that took the series with a very strong performance- accumulating four 1sts and three 2nds to win with 10 pts net.  Second was Hans Deutz’s BIERTJE with 19 pts net, including a 1st and three 2nds in his tally.  Third was Reiner Brockerhoff’s French/ German crew on JAZZY with 24 pts net, also a double-race winner.  After starting with a 1st in the first race, it seems that Lisanne Nijdam’s TU DELFT crew could only manage 3rds- taking four of them in her scoreline- to finish fourth overall (she was also top woman skipper). Finally, if fifth place was Thom van der Starre’s TU DELFT NED 1514 crew with 38 pts net. 

J/70s sailing Van Uden Reco in NetherlandsAs a result of the fast-growing Netherlands J/70 Sailing League project, there was a huge increase in J/70 sailors in this season opener.  Winning the J/70 class was Diederik Forma’s JULIA with five 1sts and two 3rds in their eight-race scoreline with 11 pts net.  Second was Rikst Dijkstra’s WATERLAND MONNICKENDAM-SHE SAILS with 18 pts and third was Thorsten Willemsen’s JAY DAY with 22 pts net.

In the IRC Class, Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI sailed well to take fourth in class.  In the ORC Class, the J/24 JOOL skippered by Dirk Olyslagers simply crushed their class, taking it with a 2-3-2-2-1-1 for 8 pts net.  Then, in the ORC Double Class, Yvonne Beusker is out practicing hard to get their team on PANTHER ready for the various RORC and North Sea races in the respective double-handed classes; she ended up tied for 3rd in class.   Sailing photo credits- Laurens Morel   Van Uden Reco Regatta Facebook page   For more Van Uden Reco Regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing on Solent, EnglandGlass Out @ Warsash Spring Series Finale!
(Warsash, England)- After five fantastic weeks of racing in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, the final day's races (Sunday 23 April) had to be abandoned due to a lack of wind.

Competitors headed out for their start lines in fog with very little wind and little visibility, less than 1/2 mile. The White and Black Group Committees announced a half hour postponement and whilst the fog slowly lifted, revealing a beautiful sunny spring morning, the wind remained elusive. This proved to be the first of several postponements.

With less than 4 knots of wind, both committees and all the competing yachts waited for breeze through the morning, some using the time to potter around, do light maintenance jobs, talk to old friends, or just lay back and soak up the sun; at one point Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody could be heard drifting over the water.

Midday saw the prospects for a sea breeze filling start to look promising, with cloud bubbling up over the Isle of Wight and on the mainland. White Group Race Officer Peter Knight moved the committee boat further inshore in the hopes of picking up some temperature increased airs, but it was not to be, and eventually both committees abandoned racing and sent the fleets in at around 13:00.

This was a disappointment to those boats hoping to improve their final positions, and a frustrating finish to a good Spring Series, but of course, the weather is beyond the control of even the highly-respected Series Race Officers!

J/111 Kestrel sailing on Solent, EnglandPeter Bateson, Spring Series Chairman, commented, "Congratulations to all the class winners and thank you to all the boats and crew that have competed in this year's Series - we hope you have enjoyed the racing. Thank you also to our title sponsor, Helly Hansen, for their continued support!”

The prize draw winners this week were J/88 J-DREAM for the Helly Hansen Roll Top Sail Bag and J/109 JAGERBOMB for the Crewsaver Crewfit 180N Pro lifejacket.

The final overall positions for the Black Group in the Helly Hansen Warsash Springs are, therefore, the results from the previous weekend’s sailing.

It was a good showing IRC 1 class for J/Crews.  Taking 2nd was Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL with 19 pts total, 4th was Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG and 5th place was Paul Griffith’s J/109 JAGERBOMB.

In the rough and tumble IRC 3 fleet, third was determined by a tie-breaker on 18 pts each; David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO took it over Rachel & Robert Hunt’s J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 by having more 1sts.  And, in IRC 4 class, it was Jim Anderson’s antique Rogers J/24 called CHALLENGER that took third place!

J/88 sailing Solent seriesLike they have done in the past with the J/109 fleet, with a bit of practice, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s crew on their J/88 J-DREAM would finally get it all together and climb on to the podium.  This was their first Warsash Series win in the J/88 class, winning three of the last four races!  Second was determined on a tie-breaker no 13 pts each, with Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS securing 2nd with more 1sts over Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR.

The eleven-boat J/109 class had spirited racing for six weekends, with Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE taking class honors with just 9 pts.  Remarkably, yet a third fleet saw positions determined by a tie-breaker!  In this case, at 13 pts each, it was the familiar JYNNAN TONNYX skippered by Owain Franks that took 2nd place over Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO.

J/70s sailing on SolentThe J/70 fleet on the Solent continues to gain in popularity, the spring series saw over two-dozen boats participating over the 12 race series in six weekends!  A newcomer topped the standings this time!  Another veteran of the J/109 wars, David McLeman, put together a crackerjack team and on his new OFFBEAT managed to post two 1sts and two 2nds on their way to the class win with 73 pts total.  Second place was a veteran of the J/80 wars, Patrick Liardet, who’s COSMIC crew also posted duel 1sts and 2nds enroute to 76 pts net.  Having missed four races, but in between posting five 1sts and two 2nds in a dozen races, enabled Marshall King & Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING to snare 3rd on the podium with 88 pts net.

The half-dozen crews on the J/80s saw a “runaway” take place each weekend, with Jon Powell’s BETTY winning nine races to finish with just 13 pts net in 12 races sailed.  Hopefully, he can carry that momentum into the J/80 World Championship later in the summer on the same Solent waters!  Second was Mike Lewis’ JESTER with 26 pts and third was Terence O’Neill’s AQUA-J in third with 32 pts.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/22 Solid Gold Dancers sailing Legends in San FranciscoSOLID GOLD DANCERS Top Legends Regatta
(San Francisco, CA)- The idea was simple and clever; invite your top sailors from your club to create a team that was inclusive of the club membership, from top sailors to women and juniors.  The idea was hatched by Russ Silvestri and friends at St Francis YC in San Francisco to encourage fun and mentorship amongst all member sailors in a fun, festive atmosphere, sailing aboard their fleet of J/22 one-design sailboats.

They called the event “The Legends Regatta of the Kingdom of St. Francis YC”.  Tongue in cheek, of course!  Here was the invitation to StFYC members that were selected as the “Legends” to pick their team of “Knights”:

“I, Jim Kiriakis, the reigning Commodore of St. Francis YC, do hereby invite you, a named and distinguished Lord and Legend of the Kingdom of St. Francis YC, to serve as Captain and to appoint your finest Skipper and Crew to enter into battle in the Legends Regatta of St. Francis YC, celebrating the honor and distinction our Club has enjoyed for four score and ten years.

The Legends Regatta and Crowning will take place on Friday, the 21st day of April in the year 2017. Racing will commence at precisely 1300 hours and no races will commence after 1551, which marks two hours before sunset on that day. The Regatta will be conducted upon the Kingdom’s J/22s with four valiant sailors per team.

On the day of the Battle, all Teams are encouraged to invite a cheering entourage clad in your Team Colors to bear witness to the Battle. The most spirited entourage will reduce their Team’s score by two points! The Kingdom’s finest Jurists will judge the Battle on the water. The Crowning will include a Proclamation announcing your conquest along with a Team photo published in Ye Olde Mainsheet.”

Legends sailor Russ Silvestri in San FranciscoAccording to Russ Silvestri, “the weather was perfect, the racing on target and for those that stayed for the party, it was a great time! I feel fortunate to be a part of a club that has the willingness to create and try something new. I look forward to next year and the chance to improve upon the regatta!  And, we plan to have more junior sailors and women skippers and crew in the mix!”

As it turned out, there were two women’s teams- the “AMAZONS” and “MORE GIRLS”.  The Amazon’s Legend was John McNeill and their handpicked crew included Pam Healy (skipper), Jody McCormack, Betsy Weiler, and Elizabeth Little.  The More Girls Legend was Cindy Lou Delmas and their crew was comprised of Molly Carapiet (skipper), Molly Vandermoer, Helena Scutt, and Juliana Testa!

In the final tally, it was the SOLID GOLD DANCERS team of Russ Silvestri (skipper), Mario Yovkov, John Collins, Ethan Sargent (12 years old), all hand-picked by Legend Jim Cascino and Russ, that were crowned winners of the inaugural Legends Regatta.  It was pretty clear that Silvestri’s time in the J/22 doing a lot of match-racing and team-racing paid off, with their team winning 4 of 6 races to finish with 7 pts net.

Just behind them, the battle for second and third on the podium had become a three-way battle between three famous StFYC skippers- Paul Cayard, Craig Healy and Sean Svendsen.  Second was determined by a tie-breaker at 18 pts each.  Taking the silver was the HOLM BOYS team that was crewed by a bunch of famous “characters” in StFYC lore.  Legend Doug Holm had selected no less than Paul Cayard (skipper), Steve Marsh, and Norm Davant as the “holmies” to lead the charge.  Indeed, they had a great time!  Much to everyone’s surprise, no one fell overboard from laughing so hard- Norm did not want to be bow man!

The most intimidating team had the most ferocious name- the ELIMINATORS. Led by Legend Terri Anderlini, their crew of Craig Healy (skipper), Chris Smith, Seadon Wijsen, and Chris Trezzo managed to never win a race and, as a result, lost the tie-break to Cayard’s “holmies” team.  Many beers were likely paid out over that betting!  As Sir Silvestri promised, more fun to be had next year!  For more Legends on J/22s Regatta sailing information

Blakely Rock Benefit raceBlakely Rock Benefit Success!!
(Seattle, WA)- The “milk-runs of milk-runs”– the Sloop Tavern YC Blakely Rock Benefit Regatta, took place on April 1st!  116 boats signed up to support The STYC Sailing Foundation fundraiser and after all the starting horns were done waking up the live-aboards at Shilshole Marina, 109 boats in 16 different classes crossed the start line on their way to the well-rounded, and often-bumped, Blakely Rock off the south east end of Bainbridge Island.

Think about that for a second – 109 boats – put together a conservative average of 5 people per boat and you have almost 550 people out on the water participating in a fundraiser for a very well deserved organization that focuses on promoting the advancement of youth sailing and boating safety.  Where else do you get together this many people having a good time raising money for a good cause outside of the local Elks lodge? Well done Sloop Tavern Yacht Club!!

One of those milky-grey mornings greeted the sailors as they made their way out to the starting area and true to form the all-volunteer STYC race committee set up an absolutely perfect port tack starting line.  If you’re gonna do it, do it right eh?  With very little chance to cross the line on starboard, even though boats kept trying, the place to be was at the committee boat, circling, waiting and then lining up for that easy, cross the fleet port tack start we all know and love.

Winds were light, in the bottom of the #1 range and with the south easterly angle, if you could start at the committee boat and hold your lane, you were able to sail right up into the lee of West Point before sticking your nose out into the strong ebbing current.

As more fleets started, the “high lane” was still the way to go.  The low boats either stuck there nose into the ebbing current earlier, and were in it longer, or they had to tack to starboard on the low VMG angle with their nose into the wash coming out of the locks– pick your poison.

Blakely Rock sailboats10 more classes rolled through the line after the little boats and cruising classes got out of the way.  You name it, everything was out there racing from the big, heavy teak-laden “furniture boats” to outrageously light and fast ULDB’s. Everyone was having fun on Saturday April 1st in a true “race what you brung, have a good time,” STYC fashion.

Once around West point the winds built into the top of the number 1 range and boats with heavy crews began to take the advantage back and pull away from their competition.  If you took the time to look up and west you noticed the clouds running a straight line towards downtown Seattle, no curving up the sound to suggest that westerly shift for all the boats that fought the low road battle.  Time to take that low vmg tack to the east to line up for the starboard rounding of the rock.

The ferries rolled through the fleet with only a few boats needing to tack or duck around the big wind shadows.  Now normally there is some sort of ground-breaking action at this point in any race around Blakely Rock. but all I’ve heard about is two J/Boats in a collision and them retiring from the race.  Could it be we had a race around Blake Island where not one single boat hit the rock?  Doubtful!  Someone is keeping that information close.

By now the sun is out, it’s blowing 10 to 12 kts out of the Southeast and as the spinnakers pop-up, the clothing layers pop-off, and the milk-run turns north for the long starboard pole drag race towards West point.  However, looking forward, the non-flying sails boat fleet looked light and struggling.  Oh no! The convergence hole is setting up at Meadow Point, as the wind slowly begins its move to the afternoon’s forecast for a northeasterly shift!

J/109 sailing Blakely RocksWhat’s next?  Sure enough, the fleet congregated near the turning mark at Meadow point, wind dying, current changing, spinnakers covering spinnakers, fleets covering fleets.  It got messy and light, fast!  Man, it was ugly (tactically), but beautiful for all the flying colors spinnakers! Slowly, ever so slowly the masses made their way around the mark, sometimes 3 or 4 wide and scooted towards the finish off Shilshole with the current now helping them towards the line.  Guns blaring, sometimes 3 in row as the first in each class crossed the line – what a day – wind, sun and friends all out having fun to support a worthy cause.  Thanks for this contribution from Ben Braden @  Here is how it all went down class by class.

Starting with little boats, in Class 5, two J/24s took 3rd and 4th, respectively, Mark Daniel’s ROSHAMBO and Tate Higgins’ SILVER LINING.

Class 8 was a J/Team sweep.  It was also the battle of the J/27’s with the beautiful and fast LXII owned by Dennis Clark from host Sloop Tavern YC taking the win by 2 minutes over the J/27 WIZARD skippered by Leo Morales. Third was Mike Poole’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN and 5th place was Derek S & Cindy G’s J/30 OUTLAW.

Class 9 saw the J/29s take 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with Christine Nelson’s SLICK leading Pat Denney’s HERE & NOW back home to the barn.

J/105s sailing Blakely Rocks raceClass 11, the J/105 One Design class, was easily taken by John Atchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN.  They finished  6 minutes ahead of Tom Kerr’s CORVO-105 and 2 minutes back from them was Chuck Stephens’ PANIC.  The rest of their top five included Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO in 4th and Matt Rockett’s INCONCEIVABLE in 5th.

Class 13 saw the J/35 TAHLEQUAH take 2nd, just one minute shy of winning the race on corrected time.

Class 15 was won by the slick and beautiful J/122 GRACE, owned by Andy and Jaime Mack from Seattle YC.  Their J/122E sistership, John Murkowski’s JOY RIDE from Seattle YC, placed 4th. Kyle Caldwell’s J/44 ASYLUM took 6th in class.

In the “big boat” Class 16, John Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI from Seattle YC took 3rd place, only 10 minutes back from leading two TP52 “wannabes”.  Sailing photo credits:  Sean Trew– on Facebook.   Jan Anderson–     Michelle Neville–     For more Blakely Rock Benefit Race sailing information

J/105s sailing Puget SoundFun-lovin’ Puget Sound Spring Series
(Seattle, WA)- Corinthian YC of Seattle recently hosted their Puget Sound Spring Series.  It is a popular event that is comprised of two divisions, the Big Boats and Small Boats, which sail over two weekends.  Furthermore, the fleets are comprised of PHRF handicap classes and also three J one-design classes- J/24s, J/80s, and J/105s.

The eight-boat J/105 class was incredibly competitive, considering how early it is in the Puget Sound sailing season!  1st was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE with 9 pts net, winning just 6 of 8 races for landslide victory.  However, behind them it was quite the battle for the top five.  In the end, taking 2nd was David Cohen & Lance Rummel’s INCONCEIVABLE with 17 pts net, hoovering up most of the 2nd places. Then, in 3rd position was Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO with 20 pts net, followed in 4th by Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM, and in 5th- Chris Phoenix’s JADED.

For the first time in awhile, the J/80s showed up “en masse” to have a strong start to their 2017 sailing season- a half dozen teams showed up on the starting line!  The top three positions were hotly contested, with the outcome not becoming after until after the smoke cleared in the final race!  Winning was David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL with 19 pts net, just one point in arrears for the silver was Mike Poole’s JOLLY GREEN with 20 pts net.  Then, the bronze was taken by Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN with 23 pts net.  The rest of the top five included Lek Dimarucott in 4th and Alan Ross’ STELLAR J in 5th position.

Shockingly, the largest fleet registered for the PSSS were the fourteen J/24s! However, it is not altogether surprising since in a few weeks, Seattle is hosting the J/24 National Championship.  As a result, the first major event for J/24s was PSSS and it was tough sledding for many crews.  Remembering tuning settings, which jibs/genoas to use and what boat-handling tricks to use in key situations was determining several outcomes on the race track.  Drawing first blood was Wayne Pignolet’s JOY RIDE with 14 pts net, winning by 4 pts.  In 2nd was Harry Dursch’s SELF ABUSE with 18 pts net, followed by Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH in 3rd with 21 pts net to round out the podium.  The balance of the top five included Jakob L’s HAIR OF THE DOG in 4th place and 5th was top woman skipper- Lydia Volberding’s JAILBREAK.

In the PHRF handicap world, the J/29 HERE & NOW sailed by Pat Denney took class honors counting just 1sts (5) and 2nds (4) and tossing a 2nd place to finish with 13 pts net in ten races!  Their colleagues on the other J/29 SLICK, skippered by Christine Nelson took 5th in class.

PHRF 2 North, the J/109s had a rough time sailing against some ULDB’s, ending up in 4th and 5th, respectively, were Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA and Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ JanPix!  For more CYC Seattle YC Puget Sound Spring Series sailing information

J/24 sailing in TexasStampede In CowTown USA!
Sailors Seen Trampling Dance Floor in Boots!
(Fort Worth, TX)- The Fort Worth Boat Club hosted their Annual Regatta & Cowtown Stampede on Eagle Mountain Lake over the weekend.  Sure enough, the sailors were all revved up and ready to go “line dancing” and other social oddities that take place when they put on boots with spurs, girls wear short shirts,and guys wear plaid shirts with huge hats on their heads.  While “grace” was not a word that springs to mind watching sailors attempt to dance like real cowboys after a few too many local brewskies, there was no question “The Party” on Saturday was not only well-attended, but massively celebrated by all— e.g. it was a Stampede of sailors in CowTown!

So, weren’t we supposed to be reporting about a sailing regatta?  Perhaps.  So, that is one thing the Fort Worth Boat Club knows how to do really well.  They have world-class sailors corraling the mob of unruly sailors, whip them into line (yes, we believe they do have whips on the starting line), and you can hear PRO’s like Bob Gough for Course 1 (J/22 & J/24s) and PRO Chet Klyn on Course 2 (J/105s) talking in a measured “lowlands Texas drawl” over their VHF radios making sure no one on the race course is either lost, or hasn’t started correctly!

While there were some threats of storms over the weekend, these two PRO’s simply knocked out the races and got in a half-dozen on each course over the two days for the fleets of J/22s, J/24s and J/105s.

The J/105 class was won by Rick Shaffer’s DOUBLE DARE with nearly all bullets (of the sailing kind!).  Taking second was Dwight Horton’s BEAUTY with a 4-4-2-3-3-1 tally for 13 pts net.  Only one point back was the almighty HOSS sailed by Williamson Phillip to a 1-2-3-4-5-4 record for 14 pts net (hard to believe that downhill slide of a scoreline, eh?)!

The J/22 fleet had a great turnout, with eight boats registered but only seven making it to the starting line.  In the end, Keith Zars’ VOODOO BABY outwitted them all, scoring four 1sts and a 2nd to win with 6 pts net.  That’s voodoo, baby!!  Some crazy guys from southern Texas joined Kevin Orff’s TRES LOCOS to steal 2nd place with 11 pts net.  Then, Britt Felk’s STAMPEDE had a random “running of the bulls” scoreline to hang on to their stirrups for third place with a 4-3-4-1-6-3 tally for 15 pts.

As part of their season-long Texas Circuit (that started over 35 years ago!), the J/24s had a shockingly close outcome between the top two teams.  Winning the tie-breaker at 8 pts each was Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT from Dallas Corinthian YC over Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC; Freedman got the win based on winning 3 races (next time Natalie, take Jim line-dancing straight into the pool!).  Third was Mark Smith’s AFTER MIDNIGHT from Fort Worth Boat Club, the only other boat to win a race.   For more Cowtown Stampede sailing information

J/24 La Superba sails ItalyItaly J/24 Report- Week 17
(Livorno, Italy)- The second “act” of the Italian J/24 National Circuit took place in Livorno, Italy this past weekend.  The regatta was hosted by the Italian Naval Academy and the City of Livorno.  Nine races were sailed over the three days in a wide variety of sailing conditions.  After dominating virtually every day, the winner of this act was none other than the star of the Italian Naval Academy Sailing Team- ITA 416 LA SUPERBA skippered by Ignazio Bonanno with crew of Francesco Ciccio Linares, Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro and Alfredo Branciforte.

After the first day of racing, LA SUPERBA had a commanding lead with three straight bullets.  Behind them in 2nd was Fabio Apollonio’s ITA 371 J-OK and in third was ITA 400 CAPTAIN NEMO co-skippered by Domenico Brighi and Guido Guadagni. In fourth and fifth positions, respectively, were ITA 212 JAMAICA skippered by Pietro Diamanti and ITA 489 VALHALLA sailed by Fabio De Rossi.

"This first day was characterized by weak winds and so many waves: difficult conditions for the crews, but at the same time it made the races tough, unpredictable, and exciting," commented Mr Diamanti.

J/24s sailing off Sardinia, ItalyOn the second day, three more races were sailed with largely the same outcome.  The day was sunny with winds in the 14 to 16 kts range. LA SUPERBA was simply superb!  Adding three more bullets to their scoreline for a perfect record so far.  After a great performance with 6-2-2 on his scoreline, Diamanti’s JAMAICA jumped into 2nd overall in the provisional standings.  Also climbing quickly in the standings was De Rossi’s VALHALLA, scoring a 2-3-8 to finish third overall after two days on the water.

After three Sunday races and three on Monday, the final day just two races were run in big waves and 18 to 24 kt winds!  "There have been three beautiful sailing days, challenging but very good, without any protest," commented Alessandra Virdis, Chairman of the Regatta Committee, assisted by Riccardo Incerti, Gabriella Matteucci and Mario Forgion.  Not surprisingly, LA SUPERBA posted two more 1sts to win the regatta with just 7 pts net in 8 races!  Second was Diamanti’s JAMAICA team (Fabrizio Ginesi, Paolo Governato, Giuseppe Garofalo, and Antonio Lupo) after they posted two more 2nds to finish with 20 pts net.  Taking the bronze position was De Rossi’s VALHALLA-HOTEL VERONA with 27 pts net- his crew was Marco Belotti, Alberto Zandomeneghi, and Andrea Fronti.

J/24 sailing off ItalyArzachena / Palau- Sardinia
A cool, majestic wind accompanied the Sardinian J/24 fleet on the second day of racing of their spring circuit. Here is the report of Sardinia J/24 Fleet Captain Marco Frullio:

"The organizing club, the Club Nautico Arzachena (, was able to opt for the race course near Spargi to allow the crews to run three quick races. The Race Committee, led by Sandro Ricetto, however, waited until the breeze was up to 16-18 kts.

In the wavy, windy conditions, it was Aurelio Bini’s ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU with crew of Evero Niccolini, Pietro Alvisa, Roberta Piras, Mauro Pisanu, and Danilo Deiana that proved to be the “boat to beat”.  Their scores of 1-3-2 for the day meant they easily led the fleet in the series after this weekend.

The other race winners were Mariolino Di Fraia’s ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA and Filippo Masia’s ITA 497 BOOMERANG.

At the end of racing, the excellent performance of Gianluca Manca’s crew on SANTA LUCIA enabled them to take 2nd in the series; just 4 pts back from VIGNE SURRAU.  Then, sitting in third place is Davide Gorgerino’s ITA 431 LNI CARLOFORTE-AUTO A.

After racing, the crews were all treated to the wonderful hospitality of the CNA and the refreshing meal and tasty wines at the end of the regatta were offered at Hotel La Vecchia Fonte- Thank You!”  For more Italian J/24 fleet sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/120 Pole Dancer women's crew* Twice as Nice – J/120 POLE DANCER Owner Wins by Giving Back- by Laurie Morrison
Skipper Terri Manok and her J/120 Pole Dancer return to the annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race April 28 in hopes of scoring another win for Oceanside Yacht Club, but in an N2E first, she’s bringing a trophy to the race. What?

Manok and crew won the prestigious Caroline Starr Trophy for being the fastest all-women crew in PHRF last year. With trophy in hand, the team reviewed names of the inspirational women sailors who preceded them and a discussion began. What would it take for more all-women teams to compete, Manok and team wondered. In part, they felt that there needed to be more encouragement for women just starting to race and not quite ready for flying a spinnaker and PHRF class racing.

So, what if there was a trophy for women sailing in the cruising class? That would offer them another competitive opportunity to sail together while building skills and confidence along the way, thought Manok.

Over the past year, Manok and her friend/ crewmate Judy Rae Karlsen flushed out the idea and presented the option to the Newport Ocean Sailing Association board. NOSA, host of the iconic race, agreed and worked with her on the Deed of Gift for new Nauti Chicas All-Female Crew Cruising Class Non-Spinnaker Trophy. “It’s given with hopes that it will serve as motivation for women who are not quite ready to enter the PHRF spinnaker classes, yet have the desire to compete and be competitive in N2E,” she said. Manok and Karlsen, who met years ago sailing with a local all-women’s group called the Nauti Chicas, donated the trophy in honor of the former team and the women who have sailed in it.

“In terms of sailing goals, at this time in my life it’s about giving back to the sport that has given me so much joy,” said Manok. She discovered sailing, particularly racing, as an adult. “I’ve been fortunate to have had amazing male and female mentors that accelerated my learning curve.” She acknowledged her appreciation for Cindy Wynne, a multi-time winner of the Caroline Starr Trophy, for being a star mentor. In fact, it was aboard Wynne’s boat Sol Mate that Manok first raced N2E.

J/120 Pole Dancer sailing offshore“I am so very grateful that they chose to share their knowledge, so I try to do the same these days and in particular with other women sailors who have a desire to race.”

“Terri’s gracious donation is so very much appreciated,” said Daniel Hodge, Vice Commodore of NOSA. “We are grateful for the opportunity to offer a trophy that will empower women sailboat racers and hopefully even attract more women to N2E.”

As for her strategy for a repeat win on N2E’s 70th Anniversary is simple: have fun, sail safe and sail fast!

“The best part of N2E is that every year is a little different,” Manok said. “There’s last year with great wind; fast race, and then there’s the drifting off the Coronado’s through the night with not a stitch of wind for hours. It’s like a box of chocolates.”  Sailing photo credit- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing

Admittedly, the crew is key to their success and keeps Pole Dancer in the race. “I’m blessed to have them not only as crew but great friends as well,” she said. Her amazing N2E crew is comprised of long-term friendships and very talented sailors. “I’d go anywhere in any conditions with these ladies,” Manok said. “And we’ve been through a few gnarly seas and weather together in the past for sure.”

Building this team started about 16 years ago when Denise Eldredge, great spin trimmer and all around sailor, asked Manok to work bow on her J/24. She met Betsy Crowfoot and Sharie Sneddon, both very experienced sailors, via their mutual friend Sue Senescu. The following year, Manok had the privilege of being invited to join the Nauti Chicas crew that Senescu led. Senescu and Manok co-skippered Predator, her J/35, to her first Caroline Starr Trophy win in 2008.

J/120 Pole Dancer- women's crewAt the time we met, it was difficult for women to get a spot on a race boat; “It was a real ‘chicken or egg’ dilemma,” said Crowfoot. “No one wanted you as crew unless you had experience, but how could you get experience if no-one invited you aboard?” Women had to create their own opportunities, so organizations like WORSA were formed to help get them out on the water to cultivate their skills. “Over time, scores of women have proven themselves on the race course, and now gals are more integrated into racing in general,” Crowfoot added. “But it is still the most fun to go out sailing with your girlfriends.” She applauded the new Nauti Chicas All Female Crew Cruising Class Non-Spinnaker Trophy as a way to motivate novice women into offshore racing.

Also on Manok’s team is Lesley McDonald; bow gal extraordinaire, who she met when coaching for the Sea Gals program in Long Beach. Angela McDowell has just a few years’ experience yet Manok says she’s a natural sailor and a great main trimmer. Kaci Yachecak, an avid J/24 racer from Montana, joins the team this year. They met while sailing at a women’s regatta in Puerto Vallarta several years ago. And Terrie Canon is a local sailor who owns her own Catalina and has been racing on various boats for many years.

Manok reports that Pole Dancer is an absolute dream to sail. “J/Boats got this one right for sure,” she said. The boat, named for how the spinnaker looks dancing off the pole, sails well to its rating, is fast yet offers nice creature comforts, is well balanced; and easy at the helm.

What races to do each year has become somewhat of a tradition at her house.  She and her husband sit down every New Year’s Day and go over the upcoming race calendar.

This year, they’re focused on one-design and playing with the strong J/120 fleet in various venues (Yachting Cup, NOOD, Newport and Long Point.) Previously, they focused on supporting their home club, OYC, in local races. Other years they make a point of competing in the more challenging, long distance (Santa Barbara to King Harbor, Newport to Cabo, Newport Ensenada, etc.,) events.

Either way, Terri still likes to go sailing - on her boat or someone else’s, at least twice a month. This of course is how one gets the experience and skills to be a competitive sailor and earn your place - twice now - a trophy won previously by some of Southern California’s most talented and successful women racers.

All told, she has competed in 8 N2E’s. Three were on other boats and 5 have been on the J/35 or Pole Dancer. She thinks the number of times might pale in comparison with some who have done the race for 40+ years, but she hopes to compete in another 10 or so.

Team NOSA says they look forward to seeing her and Pole Dancer in N2E 80!

The inscription on the trophy reads:

In dedication to the women
who cast off the lines
and venture away from shore.
It's a symbol of strength and perseverance.
It's a symbol of love of the sea
and the joy that is found in sailing.
It's a symbol of women with a sense of adventure
that can only be found on the water
and among friends.

As a recipient of this award it is your obligation
to continue the journey and
share your experience and knowledge
of sailing with others.

Annapolis YC youth Burgee project* Accepting Responsibility for the Sport- Exposing young people to all forms of sailing improves the likelihood they will stay in the sport. Embracing this reality is Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, MD) which has announced a youth initiative in conjunction with its popular Wednesday Night Racing (WNR) keelboat series.  Note- many of these supporters are part of the large J/Boat owners contingent on the Chesapeake Bay!

The goal of the Junior Sailor Streamer Program (JSSP) is to pair juniors with boat owners who would like help sailing their boats during the 2017 WNR Series which runs from April to August.

“WNR is already a hallmark of AYC,” said Robert Shapiro, a former AYC Sailing Director who is now a Club member and Junior Fleet Committee Chair. “Now to include and reward the Junior Fleet sailors, I think it raises the game even more.”

JSSP sailors will be given their own 4-inch by 30-inch streamer that features the AYC Burgee and 20 inches of space for the juniors to proudly personalize their streamer to make it visible to WNR competitors and the Race Committee.

Each streamer is professionally made and will affix to the backstay with Velcro so the boat is recognized as not only a participant, but also a supporter, of JSSP. The junior sailor maintains possession of their streamer as they might sail on different boats during the WNR series.

The streamers for this inaugural season of JSSP have been purchased and donated by AYC member Dr. Pen Alexander, a staunch supporter of the Junior Fleet and a cofounder of JSSP.

Dr. Alexander, who, along with fellow AYC member Dick Neville, cooked up the idea of formalizing what had been a decades-long informal practice of juniors assisting boat owners during races, simply wanted to ensure that junior sailors are given the tools and opportunities to remain in sailing beyond their junior years.

“The idea is to give a little credit to the boaters who are taking juniors out, and have the kids stick with sailing,” Dr. Alexander said. “We need to accept responsibility for growing and maintaining the sport. It’s critically important to support the juniors and make them stay.”

Mr. Shapiro agreed: “We’ve tried all different elements and, in some ways, it did get kids out on boats, but never in a way that rewards boaters for bringing out juniors.”

Adding to the excitement of the program will be the creation of a new JSSP annual award to be presented at this year’s WNR Awards Ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, September 13. Boat owners will be recognized for their commitment to growing the participation of juniors in keelboats.

The award will be given to the owner with the most JSSP participants aboard their boat over each of the three WNR Series. The tally will be counted by the Race Committee at the series finish simply by adding the number of streamers flown off the backstay by each boat entered in the program.

“There’s a whole lot that kids can get out of this,” Dr. Alexander said. “If this program catches on, it can be really special.”

A WNR boat owner will communicate with the junior on where the boat is docked, boat call time, and a “rough” idea on when racing will be completed to allow the junior to coordinate their ride home. Juniors will be required to bring their own Personal Floatation Device, wear it always while aboard a boat, report to their boat on time, and hold to their commitment of sailing with the boat owner.

Sailors who are members of the Junior Sailing Program at Severn Sailing Association are eligible to participate in the AYC JSSP. Dr. Alexander, who was a junior sailor at his hometown California Yacht Club, used to read about SSA and what he calls the club’s “longstanding reputation.”

“There is a lot of respect for the tradition and heritage at SSA,” he said. “Among yacht clubs, it’s pretty neat to have an institution that cares enough about an initiative to extend that to its competition. That’s big boy stuff.”

Information and availability will be collected from the juniors through an online registration form. The information will then be used to help pair a junior sailor with a boat owner. Boat owners can contact the Junior Fleet office — (410) 263-9267 or — to indicate whether they have a need for crew for one race, a series, or for each of the WNR races.

The online registration for the juniors will include a waiver that may be signed electronically by the sailor and parent/guardian, which includes the junior’s personal and emergency contact information.

Any questions can be sent to AYC Sailing Director Jane Millman, Registration for junior sailors can be found on the WNR Series event page.

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-
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* 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!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* 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:

* 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- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* 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

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe 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."


J/42 sailing off France* 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 and points further around the Blue Planet Earth.  Here is their latest update (December 2016) from Bill & Kathy:

“We completed a three year tour of the south pacific and sailed from Hobart Tasmania back to Seattle in the fall of 2012.  After two seasons of local cruising, we decided to truck the boat to Rochester NY.  In the summer of 2015, we sailed out the Saint Lawrence seaway and down the east coast of Nova Scotia and the US, with a few months in the Bahamas that winter.  This past summer, we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores, making landfall in Falmouth, UK.  We have worked down the coast of France, Spain and Portugal and are now in Lagos Portugal.  We plan on passing through the Straits of Gibraltar and spending a couple seasons in the Med.”

Their blog is here:

* 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

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* 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 (  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  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.
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