Wednesday, November 15, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 15th, 2017

J/121 offshore speedsterJ/121 Awarded SAIL Best Boats- Performance!
(Boston, MA)- SAIL Magazine has announced the winners of SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards. If there’s one word that sums up the Best Boats Class of 2018, it would have to be “performance.” The boat review team at SAIL magazine determined the new J/121 offshore speedster was SAIL’s choice for Best Boats- Performance 30 to 40 feet. Here is their commentary:

“The J/Boats team are obviously good designers and boat builders. Their record in this area stands for itself.

However, ever since the advent of Rod Johnstone’s iconic J/24 in 1977, they have also shown an uncanny ability to discern what exactly it is sailors are looking for in their next boat: think the J/105 and its then cutting-edge retracting bowsprit in 1991, or the phenomenon that is the J/70 sportboat- eclipsing all other similar designs to date- in just four years!

The latest in this long line of outside-the-box designs is the new 40 foot J/121, a boat specifically tailored to appeal to skippers who are 1) tired of having to round up eight to 10 people to go racing and 2) are looking for something other the usual windward-leeward “sausage” courses that now dominate inshore racing.

To this end, the boat carries a “five-sail” rig that includes a main, jib and removable staysail (like the IMOCA 60 class), to make shifting gears with a crew of as little as five a snap, whether sailing inshore or off soundings. (A Code 0 or A-sail—sails #4 and 5—can be flown off the boat’s retractable sprit). To keep the boat on its feet, designer Al Johnstone has also included an easy-to-use water ballast system that can shift 104 gallons of water (880 lbs. worth) from side-to-side; the equivalent of four bodies worth of rail meat that’ll never call in sick or have scheduling conflicts.

With respect to promoting innovative, fun racing, J/Boats is championing something called “Open Course” racing- middle distance events that offer the best of both inshore and distance events (think the famous Three-Bridge Fiasco regatta on San Francisco Bay). The boat would also be perfect for shorthanded offshore racing, whether it be a shorter event like the Ida Lewis distance race or the Marblehead-Halifax. Oh, and did we mention the boat sails like a dream and is a stunner to boot? A winner in every sense of the word.”   J/121 offshore speedster video here.   Read more about the J/121 SAIL Magazine Best Boats award

J/121 offshore speedster off Newport
European Winter Boat Show Time!
On display, latest J/Cruisers and J/Racers!
(Newport, RI)- With the holidays arriving over the next few weeks, now is the time to be thinking about visiting very cool cities in Europe and checking out some of the latest thinking from the J/Design team!

SALON NAUTIC- Paris, France
Starting in the first week of December, from December 2nd to 10th, 2017, J/Composites will have on display in their booth (Pavilion 1/ Stand 1-G-35) the amazingly fast and competitive J/112E Grand Prix- the latest sport-cruiser from the J/Boats design team.  This latest evolution of the very fast J/112 hull is the one that eclipsed a number of regattas in Europe this past season and is currently running away with the overall lead in IRC 1 class in the famous Hamble Winter series.  Learn more what makes her so fast and so incredibly comfortable at the same time, her finely appointed interior is an eye-opener!  For more Salon Nautic Paris show & ticket information  For more J/112E sport cruiser information

J/112E sport cruiserBOOT DUSSELDORF- Dusseldorf, Germany
At the end of January, from January 20th to 28th, 2018, J/Composites and J/European dealers will have on display the J/97E, the J/112E, and the new J/121 offshore speedster at their booth (Hall- 15 / Stand- B21).  In addition to the J/112E sport cruiser, her smaller sistership, the J/97E will amaze you with her new spacious cockpit (about as large as the 112E’s), large diameter wheel for finger-tip steering response, and her luxurious, open, airy interior that will keep you family and friends coming back for more après-sailing parties on your mini-yacht!   For more J/97E sport cruiser information

Then, be one of the first in Europe to see first-hand the new J/121 offshore speedster- one of the most innovative offshore racing yachts ever in the famous line of J/performance yachts. Her rakish looks, her enormous cockpit, the twin carbon wheels, the novel water-ballast system, all evoke a feeling of “Performance & Speed!”

In fact, on her last offshore voyage from Annapolis to Newport, double-handed by two experienced offshore sailors, she exceeded 18 kts quite easily with her full main and A4 asymmetric spinnaker in up to 23 kts of wind- and she was averaging 14 kts, that’s cruising!   Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside  For more J/121 offshore speedster information  For more BOOT Dusseldorf show & ticket information

J/122 sailing CaribbeanSt Thomas Regatta Update
BYOB – Bring Your Own Boat! Or, charter!
(St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- Registration is open and a number of good teams are already signing up for one of the all-time “classic” regattas in the Caribbean, St. Thomas International Regatta, March 23-25, 2018, held in Cowpet Bay off the eastern tip of St Thomas.  It is no wonder it is a popular regatta, St Thomas YC truly rolls out the red carpet treatment, making you feel like family, and offer simply gorgeous yachting offshore in their emerald green/ turquoise waters between Cowpet Bay and St John island across the channel. It is an idyllic sailing venue that is easy to get to and also easy to find comfortable places to stay.

If you can’t bring your own boat, charter! The St. Thomas Sailing Center is making repairs to its IC24 fleet and these highly-competitive one-design keelboats (based on the original J/24) are available for teams to charter. In addition, if you want to up your racing game, the Center is holding two North U Racing Clinics – January 31- February 4 and February 28- March 4. Condos and villas are available nearby at the Anchorage, Cowpet Bay and Elysian on “” or “”

Or, check out the charter operators in the Caribbean and Europe that have some swift-sailing vessels available. For example, “Caribbean Races” in St. Maarten offer their J/120 JAGUAR.

Or, you could sail NOISY OYSTER, a highly competitive J/122 offered by Swiss-based J/122 Experience.  And, if needed she’s available with a First Mate that knows how to sail her fast!

Finally, Caribbean Yacht Racing in the U.S. and St. Maarten has its J/122, the very famous EL OCASO for charter- that boat with the amazing NASCAR-like paint job of turquoise blue and flowing racing stripes of orange & yellow down the topsides. Any more J/122’s? Three or more entries can get their own one-design class!

Register now! Pay only US $250 for entries received and paid in full by 5 p.m. AST on January 31, 2018. From February 1 to March 20, the entry fee is US $400.  Questions?  You may contact them directly at email- or or call- +1 (340) 642-3204.  For more St Thomas International Regatta sailing information

J/122 sailing upwindCaribbean Sailing Update
(Lanzarote, Canary Islands)- Each year at this time a mass migration of boats from the continental USA and Europe heads to the Caribbean through numerous rallies and races for sailors that seek a warmer climate.

The two largest events are the “ARC” races (really cruises in company) that are organized by World Cruising.  One leaves the USA from Portsmouth, VA and heads to Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands.  The other event, the “granddaddy” of them all is the ARC Europe rally that leaves from the Canary Islands and heads to St Lucia.

ARC Caribbean 1500
The ARC Caribbean 1500 began on November 5th from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay with eighteen boats sailing 1,500nm to Nanny Cay in Tortola, British Virgin Island.  Included in that fleet is the J/42 MERLIN sailed by Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho.

The ARC Europe
The ARC + Cape Verdes left Gran Canaria on November 5 and the ARC direct to St. Lucia leaves Las Palmas on the November 19. In all, nearly 200 boats will join the fleet.

The ARC is a ‘must do’ for many sailors, and attracts over 200 boats and 1,200 people every year to sail 2,700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia.

The ARC is for everyone; families with children, tough racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. More than just a boat race, the ARC is about friendships made ashore in the two weeks of pre-departure activities continued over the radio net at sea. It’s about arriving in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer, knowing you have achieved something fantastic - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat.  Participating in this year’s event is the Dutch J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema.  For more ARC Rally sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The second week of November saw hot racing take place down in the Mediterranean.  YC Monaco hosted the second Act of its Monaco Winter Sportboat Series for a large fleet of J/70s, with a lot of close racing taking place on Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Then, off to the northwest, the Hamble River Sailing Club held yet another good set of racing on Sunday for their famous Hamble Winter Series sailed on the Southampton Water and the Solent for one-design classes of J/88s and IRC divisions with J/92s, J/97s, J/109s, and a new J/112E Grand Prix team.

Across the big pond to the Americas, we find that St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL hosted the Mallory Cup Trophy- emblematic of US Adult Sailing Championship- in their matched fleet of twelve J/70s.  Then, out west, what is reputed to be the “best race in America” took place north of Seattle- the 30th annual Round the County Race hosted by Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club- it’s about 76nm of racing on Saturday and Sunday with an overnight stay in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island.  Several J/crews that know their way around the islands and the capricious currents took home lots of silverware!  Then, down south in California, the first weekend of the San Francisco Winter Series took place- hosted by Sausalito YC- for one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s.

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/70 mallory cup winnersSAIL MAINE Crowned Mallory Cup Champion!
(St Petersburg, FL)- The action was fast and furious on Tampa Bay this past week. Twelve teams in J/70s representing their respective Regional Sailing Associations (RSA) across America enjoyed the speedy and highly entertaining racing format, as well as the spectacular weather and racing conditions at the 2017 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions throughout the week, including light air and sunshine to big breeze and rain. Thirty-eight races were completed throughout the weekend.

Sailors were greeted with rain, wind and waves for the final day of racing at the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship for the Mallory Trophy. Seven races were completed to round off the championship series. Great work by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s waterfront team who were quick on their feet to repair breakdowns throughout the weekend and keep sailors racing.

In the end, it was Carter White (Portland, Maine) and his team composed of sailors from Sail Maine representing the Northeast Sailing Association, who came out on top in an exciting finish on Sunday. White’s team included Michael McAllister (Portland, Maine), Henry Cole (Freeport, Maine) and Fiona Gordon (Portland, Maine).

Carter and company were ranked fifth after two round robins. They avoided the qualifying repechage round by one spot, as the bottom six teams dueled it out over four races with the top six teams advancing to the championship round and the last two teams being eliminated from contention. The Sail Maine team saved their best for Sunday afternoon as they dominated the 10-team championship round and won by 11 points through 10 races.

“We sailed almost 40 races over four days. It’s pretty crazy,” said White. “I had never skippered a J/70 before so it was a lot of fun. The four of us have never sailed before as a team. Mike and I sail a lot together on the J/24.”

“We had a lot of breeze today, at times, and changing conditions throughout the event from 6 knots to 20 knots. There was a little bit of everything for everyone and the race committee did an excellent job.”

The win for White and his team earns them an entry to represent the U.S. at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier.

David Loring’s team from Charleston, S.C. representing the South Atlantic YRA placed second. This team featured Jeff Woodard, Amy Woodard and Patrick Wilson.  Finishing third was Trey Sheehan (Chagrin Fall, Ohio), Wilson Stout (Annapolis, Md.), Brad Boston (Sarnia, Ontario, Canada), and Curtis Florence (Lakewood, Ohio). They represented the Inland Lake Yachting Association.

The Championship got underway on Thursday under light breeze. Most of the day was spent under postponement. Racers experienced a Northwest building breeze at 5 to 8 knots later in the afternoon and the fleet managed to complete two races in the first round robin series. Local knowledge paid off for skipper David Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla./Florida Sailing Association) who won both races to take an early lead.

Friday’s conditions were improved, as sailors experienced a Northeast breeze of 6 to 10 knots. The fleet tallied 16 races. Chris Raab (Huntington Beach, Calif./YRU of Southern California) took command of the leaderboard on Friday and had a six point lead through the first round robin and a five point lead through six races of the second round robin series.

On Saturday, sailors finished the second round robin, completed four races in the repechage round and the top ten teams sailed three races in the championship round. Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions from medium breeze to start the day, to lighter breezes mid-day and ideal conditions for the start of the championship round. Raab and crew maintained a five point lead over Pat Toole (Santa Barbara, Calif./Southern California YRA) through the second round robin.

Teams qualified by competing at a high level in their respective RSA events. Teams consisted of both men and women sailors.

The league racing format offered sailors quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing opportunity for spectators. Every race counted, so consistency was a major factor. Races were approximately 15 minutes in duration. Some of the competitors have likened the format to college sailing in big boats.

First place team was presented the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy and received entry as the U.S. representative at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier. The top three teams received US Sailing medals – Gold, Silver, Bronze. Teams representing the Southern Yacht Club, Edgewater Yacht Club, and James Island Yacht Club earned the Staton J. Peele, Jr. Trophy for sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship Notes:
  • Southern Yacht Club: Following racing Thursday evening, members of the Southern Yacht Club team de-rigged their J/70 and then assisted the St. Petersburg Yacht Club junior sailors by hauling 20+ Optimist prams out of the water.
  • James Island Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the James Island Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round.
  • Edgewater Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the Edgewater Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round. In addition, on Sunday sailors from the team came in off the water to assist in the replacement of a forestay; they even offered their personal forestay to the event.
For more U.S. Adult Sailing Championship/ Mallory Cup Trophy sailing information

J/70 sailing off MonacoARTTUBE Leading Monaco J/70 Winter Series
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series attracts sailors from very diverse circuits and backgrounds. This weekend the J/70 class had several star-studded sailors in their midst.  Olympic champion and three-time Laser World Champion Paul Goodison was on Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO, while the recently crowned European Vice-Champion in the Star class, Diego Negri, was also present in his capacity as coach. Other well-known names such as Sébastien Col, Match Racing and America’s Cup expert, who has done two seasons on the GC32 Malizia helmed by Pierre Casiraghi (HRH Prince Albert’s brother-in-law), was also in the Principality for the occasion.

However, in the end, no amount of super-star power on any of the J/70 teams could overcome the quick hand and fast sailing by Russia’s top woman keelboat sailor- Valerya Kovalenko skippering ARTTUBE.  She not only won her second regatta in a row, she now has a commanding lead in the overall Monaco Sportboat Winter Series.  Here is how it all happened off Monte Carlo in Hercules Bay.

J70 Monaco winnersDay One
Forty crews returned to the heart of the Principality this past Friday to kickoff the second act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series. Like the first meeting of the 2017/2018 season, the huge, competitive J/70 fleet was again in the spotlight over the weekend.

In contrast to the first act dominated by Russian crews, this second meeting took place under the sign of change with the presence of a large number of Monegasque crews on the water. The cards were re-distributed after the three races; a day largely characterized by light to medium winds and a short chop on top of a rolling sea.

On board Vincenzo Onorato’s J/70 MASCALZONE LATINO, the British sailor Paul Goodison, Gold Medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games and triple Laser World Champion, was among the forces involved pointing them in the right direction as mainsheet trimmer and tactician. At the end of the day’s racing, there were in first place out of 27 competitors. They were followed by the infamous Russians on ARTTUBE skippered by Valerya Kovalenko, winner of the first Act.  Just behind them in third was Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio skippering G-SPOTTINO from the host club YC Monaco.

j70 sailing off MonacoDay Two
It went down to the wire for the top three on the last day in the enormously talented J/70 fleet. The leader after the first day, YCM’s Onorato on MASCALZONE LATINO had to concede victory to his closest rival, the tenacious team on ARTTUBE, helmed by their very talented skipper- Valerya Kovalenko.

The Russians from Moscow won the previous Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series and have now gotten off to a good start this season by winning Act 1. Peter Harrison from the United Kingdom, skippering SORCHA J, completed the trio at the top, clinching 3rd place. Enjoying the SSW winds that blew 10-12 knots all three days, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s crew on G-SPOTINO was consistent throughout the regatta to finish 4th, just three points adrift of a podium finish.

At the end of two regattas and after 14 total races, Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE tops the leader board for the 2017/2018 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, a full 43 points ahead of the Italians on SPORT CUBE, followed by YC Monaco member Stefano Roberti on PICCININA.

The next regatta for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series is December 8th to 10th.  For more J/70 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series sailing information

J/120 sailing off SeattleJ/Teams Cruise Seattle’s Round the County Race
(Seattle, WA)- The Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club their 30th annual “Round the County” sailboat race this past weekend on November  11th & 12th. As usual, it provides the sailors with spectacular views of the enormous snow-capped mountains surrounding the challenging waters of San Juan County Washington. The race is approximately 76 miles with an overnight stop in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. Due to the great venue, the better winds of November, and the overnight stop in Roche Harbor, the race has become one of the more popular events in the Pacific Northwest.  And, for the dozen-plus J/crews participating, it provided yet another great experience and an opportunity to close out the 2017 season with a few more “pickle dishes & silver” for the “man cave” and trophy room in the basement.

One boat, in particular, celebrated their 20th Round the County Race this year- Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT.  The “banditos” have won their class multiple times (2006, 2009, 2015, 2017) and placed 2nd three times!  Here is Bob’s account of their experience winning this year’s race in PHRF 1 division:

“While many of the regattas in the Pacific Northwest have been seeing a gradual decline in participation over the years, the Round the County has been growing since it's humble beginnings 30 years ago. The race was the concept of local marina owner and past Orcas Island Yacht Club Commodore Betsy Wareham.  This year the race had 123 participants enter. What makes the race unique is the two starts - one on Saturday and one on Sunday with an overnight at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.  The race finishes on Sunday afternoon at the same place it started on Saturday morning and it runs clockwise around San Juan County on even years and counterclockwise on odd years.

The race is long enough to let the fastest boats in the area stretch their legs and still let the slower rated boats finish the full course most years. With 8 divisions, the rating spread is tight and the fleet sizes are big. The venue is really beautiful and boats often get an escort of Dall's porpoise - or on other occasions kelp! Playing the tidal current is a big part of the strategy and can favor those with lots of RTC experience, or the lucky.  Early November is a bit of the sweet spot on the calendar between the doldrums of summer and the frequent storms of December and January. It all adds up to make a very popular event. Results are based on combined times from Saturday and Sunday.

This marked the 20th year that Barb and Bob Brunius raced their J/120 TIME BANDIT in the event. Most of the boat's race crew are in their second decade of racing the boat and they do understand how to make it go. They were tickled to place 1st in DIV I and 6th overall in the 100 boat PHRF fleet. HINZITE, also a J/120 sailed by Jim Hinz & Peter Dorcey, finished right on the Bandito's heels both days and only 20 seconds behind on combined time!

Our J/120 is still the consummate race boat. TIME BANDIT has been spending more time carrying kayaks and cruising the waters of the PNW in recent years! The design does well at both duties.”  Thanks to Bob for this report.

J/29 sailing Seattle fast!Furthermore, we have a great report from the RTC team from Orcas Island YC and Friday Harbor SC:

“Round the County – America’s Greatest Sailboat Race – yeah, you know, it probably is America’s greatest sailboat race.  There are some cool ones out there that bring in the numbers, the Mac, or the races to Mexico and Hawaii and I’m sure some others as well but as an admittedly biased Pacific Northwest Sailor there is just something special about braving the short days of November to tackle the challenging current riddled swirly wind waters around the San Juan Islands at a time of year most people in America are hunkering down for winter or waxing up their snowboards and making plans for their winter trip.

118 boats were entered by race day and something like 100 of em’ were signed up within 72 hours of registration opening.  So there I am thinking about this, stuck in Everett traffic on Friday heading up to A-town.  My eyes drift up and I’m looking at the bow of my boat in the rear-view mirror and pondering about all the boats delivering to the San Juan’s from every direction imaginable – on their keels and on trailers – from the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Hood River, the Great Lakes and more. The draw for this race is amazingly diverse.  Top level sailors on stripped out high performance rockets on down the line to family and friends on heavy cruising boats to old wooden schooners and crazy fast multihulls; Round the County brings em all out, and you know what, depending on how the conditions align, each type of boat has a chance at the podium.

In years past the party was Saturday night in Roche Harbor but as the entry list has increased and the party wore out its welcome in the now posh marina of Roche Harbor, the revelry seems to have switched to Friday night leaving everyone especially chipper and ready to race come dock call Saturday morning – for many it’s shoving off at 6am to make it to Lydia Shoals for the 8:30 start.

This year’s forecast was for an OK Southeasterly on Saturday with the currents looking like they will line up well and a bit more breeze forecast for Sunday.  So there we are, ready for the start with our bow pointed 180 degrees from the start line, nose into the current waiting to jibe around at just the right moment and swing up across the line on the moderate Southeasterly.  Two minutes, wait for it, 1:45, 1:30…Ok, helms over, jibe around and come up directly into the new Northeasterly breeze!  That’s how it works back there around Orcas Island, one minute a southerly and the next a northerly…it’s all about the timing.

J/92 sailing off Seattle, WAOff everyone went, to weather now in a light northeasterly, the current behind us – mostly – running the front of the flood past the Peapods and off towards the Sisters and Clark Island.  Little elevators of flooding current pushing random groups of boats out into the lead until the big fast ORC boats began working through the fleet of early starters moving so fast that they sucked the wind along behind them and pulled the southeasterly back onto the race course and the pretty colored sails popped up across the bay.  Boats lined up across the waters from Clements Reef out towards the mainland looking for wind and positive current to give them that simple little edge on their competition.

As we came into Patos Island, now sitting somewhere mid-fleet, we watched the Santa Cruz 33 Muffin do a crazy round up away from the island with their chute flying high at the end of their sheets.  When we arrived at the same spot we noticed the depth coming up and saw the rocks over the side in the clear water – so this is why they rounded up!  Up and around it we went, no issues for us, but later, after the race, I learned that Muffin wasn’t as lucky and had actually hit the rock hard causing the roundup and had quickly found themselves scrambling towards safe harbor to deal with and assess the damage.

Rounding the halfway point at Patos Island brought everyone into Boundary Pass and what looked to be a nice little drag race to Turn point. Pole forward, wind over the port beam at 6 knots, fire up the bbq and have some lunch type of drag race.  But that’s not how the San Juan’s work.  About halfway down Boundary with the upwelling’s of the new ebbing current starting up the winds decided to crap out and we were back to the light weird winds and current elevators that had boats 100 yards from you shooting forward down the course – sometimes on both sides!

The fleet then stacked up again around Turn Point and it was decision time for everyone. Tack over and get into the bay towards Danger Shoal or lay hard on the starboard bow and hold out into Haro Strait and hope for the building ebb to push you along.  Of course by this time the big fast boats had been tied up for an hour or so while their crews were enjoying the hot tub but us common folk were still out there trying to figure out how in the heck to get to the finish line inside Battleship Island with the building ebb on the nose coming out of Spieden Channel.  Many worked up towards Danger Shoals in the now dying southeasterly while a smaller group sailed down Haro to Henry Island before tacking back in along the island and working the eddy and small puffs back North towards Battleship Island, shooting the gap between McCraken Point and Battleship then sneaking across the line in the now surprisingly strong ebbing current.

A bunch of boats made this work well.  Stories went around Saturday night of attacking botmarks, finishing in the wrong direction and dodging current line debris but at the end of everything the days challenges left a smile on most everyone’s faces (except the poor Muffin’ers) as they dropped their heads on their pillows wherever they were staying on San Juan Island.

Sunday dawned much simpler for everyone.  The delivery to the starting area is minimal, the winds looked to be a solid 20 knots out of the Southeast and all everyone has to do is find a lane out of the wind shadowed starting area and push their boats hard around the south end of the islands before popping the chute for the epic run up Rosario to the finish.  Sounds perfect right?  What are odds this will happen in the San Juan’s?

So, off we went with the fleet taking two distinct tactics as they worked south into the building flood current.  Most chose to short tack along San Juan Island in the eddies, tough work with all the traffic but I’m sure it kept the crew warm and excited.  A few in the fleet decided to take it easy and lay on port tack from the starting line until they had to decide between tea at the Empress or tacking over to starboard towards the halfway finish line and on toward Iceberg Point.  Did you catch that – one tack after the start at Snug Harbor and then lay Iceberg Point on the south end of Lopez.  Now those crews were sitting there cold, legs falling asleep, minds and conversations drifting off towards work and that summer vacation they had in Mexico but you know what?  That was the right way to go.  As the legendary Master Bezwick is fond of saying “It ain’t a flyer if it’s the right way to go.”

Catch the last of the ebb on the Canadian side of Haro Strait and then turn left into the eastward flooding current of the Straits of Juan De Fuca.  There they were, this little red Chicken Coup Special Blade Runner, sailing out where they shouldn’t otherwise be – ahead of some much bigger and faster boats.  Yet like everything else in San Juan Island racing it’s all about the timing.  The J/120’s were able to run this move all the way to podium finishes while other boats made it just as far as Lydia Shoals before the wind crapped out and they waited, waited, and waited…  Changed sails, changed again, changed back, waited, found the current building against them and then see a little red chicken coup special ghost in behind them – crap – then look up and see a damned Moore 24 reaching in towards the pin from the right and with their momentum coast in around the pin, jibe and sail off into the building darkness of the east literally hours after they had arrived at the finish area.  The emotions, the challenges, the ups and downs, the friends and foes, the conditions at 48 degrees North in November – put it all together and you have the Greatest Race in America.

Thank you Orcas Island Yacht Club for coming up with this crazy idea of racing around the Islands in November and then actually doing it and sticking with it over all these years.  Each year is different, each year is challenging, each year a different boat has the conditions they need to step up on the podium.  See you all next year.”

With regards to the class results, the top J in ORC Division was the J/160 JAM in 4th place. Taking 6th place in PHRF Division 0 was the J/122 GRACE.  The J/120s went 1-2 in the PHRF Division 1, TIME BANDIT and HINZITE, respectively. The Petersen’s J/109 LEGACY took fourth in the same division.  In PHRF Division 2, the J/35 ALTAIR took 7th place.  The PHRF Division 3 saw a clean sweep by J/crews, led by the J/105 JADED, with the J/92 ZAFF in 2nd and the J/105 LAST TANGO in 3rd place.  The J/33 KEET took 5th place in the same class.  J/29s faired well in PHRF Division 4, with HERE & NOW taking a 2nd and CRAZY SALSA placing 4th.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson-   Follow Round County Facebook page here   For more Round County Race sailing information

J/70 Christine Robin- women's sailing crew!J/Crew’s Chillin’ in Frisco
(Sausalito, CA)- The annual San Francisco Bay One Design Winter Series kicked off last weekend thanks to Jeff Zarwell's REGATTA-PRO race management and Sausalito Yacht Club. The local San Francisco Bay fleet of J/70s, J/120s and J/105s enjoyed sunshine and mild breeze on the first race day of the weekend series that sails on the second Saturday of each month- from November thru February.  The San Francisco Bay summer wind and fog machine has turned off for the winter and unless it's a storm front, conditions on the Bay can be delightfully balmy on the Berkeley Circle as they were this past weekend. Jeff provided this report on the first weekend of racing:

“It was typical fall weather, the forecast was for no wind in the circle until 12:30-1:00 when a westerly was to come in with 12-15 kts of breeze.  So, it was no surprise at 11:00 that an un-forecasted northerly (310 at 4-5 kts) was coming down San Pablo Bay, unforeseen by meteorologists.

The RC was in a quandary as to what to do.  With a westerly forecast in an hour and a half, there was good reason to believe any race started at 11:30am could very well end up abandoned as the northerly typically shuts down before the westerly comes in.

In postponement, Zarwell was driving around the bay looking for signs of a westerly developing ANYWHERE.  At the same time, everyone seemed to be sailing well in the light northerly with almost no current.  Looking up San Pablo Bay there were no signs of the northerly breaking down any time soon either.

J/70 women's sailing team- San Francisco, CARealizing the natives might be getting restless, the RC decided to roll the dice and get everyone sailing in the northerly, with expectations of having a 90 degree course change at some point during race 1.  All the fleets were started and the breeze was still holding.

Ultimately all six fleets had two challenging, yet pretty fair races with a northerly that never broke down.  That is until 3:30, well after the last boat had finished.  At that point, it did not shut down; rather it made a graceful swing over to the west.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, reasonably warm, flat water and that fall lighting that lets you know summer is over.

Looking forward to the next race in the series on December 9th. Let’s see if we can get more of you out there in December for some challenging light air racing!  It’s the best time to train new crew and keep you on your game during the winter months.”

According to Christy Usher, skipper of the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN, “two of the five J/70s that signed up for the series raced this past Saturday. As a result, it was a fun match-race between Tom Thayer's RAMPAGE versus my all-women crew on CHRISTINE ROBIN (Terre Layton, Dana Riley and Jessica Chase).  After sailing a few short races, both teams traded wins in the light and tricky conditions.”

And, Tom Thayer had this to say about the day’s racing:

“The day started out cool and over cast with a discouraging glassy look to the water.  So, after we rigged the boat, we got at the Torqeedo and slowly headed toward the racing area.  Our conversation on board was mostly jokes about the lack of wind.  But half way out the wind started to fill in, building to about 8 knots allowing us to practice our jibes and wind-on-wings on the way.  The racing was on!

Once we got to the race area, we searched for other J/70s, but could not find any.  So now, the jokes were about finishing first and last at the same time, port tacking the fleet, and general recalls. Fortunately, Christine Robin made an appearance just before the scheduled 11:30 first gun.  While it would have been great to have more boats, with two boats we could use the races to continue to refine our rig tune, trim settings, weight placement and driving technique in the light air.

The Regatta Pro/ Sausalito YC team, under the direction of Jeff Zarwell, did their usual great job of setting up a course.  Given the light air, we were given ¾ mile legs.  But the short legs allowed for more boat handling with course 4 (double sausages) for each of the two races.

J/105s sailing San Francisco BayRampage got a good start in the first race.  We were able to use a high mode to force Christine Robin to tack for clear air.  But that was a mistake on our part because as soon as they were free to sail their own race.  Christy Usher and her crew found a fast, high mode that was devastating.  They went on to win the race by a large margin.

But we continued tweaking or boat, going to a sloppy loose rig setting for the second race as the wind died down.  We also got more power from the jib with a little less halyard tension.  And, we got even more aggressive with our weight placement.

The result of all of this was that we could come closer to hanging with Christine Robin in the second race.  They still beat us around the first windward mark, but we were closer.  They jibed soon after the mark rounding.  By doing so, we thought they were going the wrong way.  Despite our intent of staying with them to maximize the opportunity for two boat testing, we couldn’t resist the temptation to separate on starboard.  By the time we reached the leeward gate, we had made a substantial gain, that we were able to hold onto for the rest of the race.

So a successful day for both boats.  Christy had little experience at the helm before, and had to have gained considerable confidence with the excellent way she had the boat performing.  Rampage was able to continue up the light air learning curve, especially with our weight placement and luff tension adjustment.  And both boats ended up with a 1st and 2nd place finish (or is that first and last?)!”

The J/105s have the largest fleet registered with sixteen teams.  Leading after the first weekend was the duo of Colin Miller and Peter Baldwin on BIG BUOYS  with a 2-2 tally for 4 pts.  Sitting in second with a 1-6 for 7 pts is Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE.  Then, rounding out the top of the leaderboard is Phil Laby’s GODOT with a 7-3 for 10 pts.

Like the J/70s, there are five J/120s registered, but only two showed up for the first weekend.  It was a match race between Steve Madeira’s big green machine- the mighty MR MAGOO- and Timo Bruck’s white wonder- TWIST.  After two races, the Magoo Maulers took two bullets to start off their series well.

Similarly, the J/24s had a match race scenario between Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS and Richard Stockdale’s FROGLIPS.  It seemed the Froggers kept leaping ahead of the twisted up Octopus, taking two bullets to start their series.  For more San Francisco Winter Series sailing information

J/97E sailing on SolentMore Winter Sailing @ HWS
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails.

In IRC One, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES scored their fifth bullet of the series, and was yet again the fastest boat around the track in any class after IRC time correction. They are now leading their class by the considerable margin of ten points.

In the J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s team are sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series.  They, too, are leading their class by an enormous margin of ten points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to 2nd place with 16 pts net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE continues to sail fast and consistent.  Despite missing three races, their blistering pace of three 1sts and a 2-3 have them now sitting in third place just 2.5 pts away from the silver.

In IRC Three, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II have two drop scores after ten races sailed, giving them a comfortable leading margin of 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 16 pts net.

Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #seven on Sunday 19th November.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/95 cruising* J/95 (hull no. 15) owned by Paul Eckel has won both the Bird Key Yacht Club and Sarasota Yacht Club first in class and first overall trophies. Continuing a string of victories, "Encore" sailed by Doug Fisher and Paul Eckel took home the Sarasota Bay Cup by finishing first in class and first overall racing in the Mote Marine Laboratory Regatta in April.

Last week the J/95 Encore finished first in class and first overall to take the Sarasota Yacht Club 2017 Invitational and is now inscribed on the perpetual trophies in both clubs. Thanks for this contribution from J/95 owner Al Agachinsky from Sarasota, FL.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 8th, 2017

J/Gear items for the holidaysJ/Gear Holiday Special!
A Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-

J/100 modelBeautiful J/Models for Home or Office
(San Cristobal, Dominican Republic)- Wondering what kind of fun and unique gift to give to a friend or loved one this holiday season?  Consider Abordage down in the Dominican Republic.

Founded by Denis Cartier in 1989, his model-making business called has produced a number of gorgeous J/Models, ranging from the J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80 up to the J/109, J/122, J/44, and J/122E.

With their great devotion to both the sea and sailing, Abordage has been proudly producing beautifully handcrafted ship models; either classic or modern ships for nearly three decades.  Spectacular examples of their work include the 100 footer COMANCHE (4 feet long!) and the equally large (6 feet tall!) model of J/24 half modelthe ORACLE America’s Cup winged catamaran that was in the lobby of Bermuda’s international airport!

From their well-established workshop in the Dominican Republic, the highly skilled team of craftsmen works with only the finest materials and produces every ship model in minute detail and with innovative perfection.  If you have an interest in these remarkably affordable models of your boat, please visit-  For J/Model examples, please take a look at some of the stunning detail here.   For more information, contact Denis Cartier- email- tel: +1-809-5281992 ext- 503

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The first week of November saw brilliant winter sailing in parts of Europe, South America and southwest USA.  In England, the popular Hamble Winter Series had a bright and beautiful weekend of sailing on the Solent, not like its usual stormy mix of wind and rain.  The Hamble Sailing Club managed to run some great racing for the IRC classes and the one-design J/88 class.  Across the English Channel, we find French J/80 sailors ending their Coupe de France series in Quiberon, France, competing for the French J/80 National Championship- a lot of races were run by the very capable YC Quiberon.  Then, up north in Berlin, Germany, there were two finales in the German J/70 Sailing League (the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga); one was the first league’s finale for the top eighteen teams in Germany, and the second was the Youth J/70 Sailing League finale held on same weekend.

Over in the Americas were two well-attended events.  In San Diego, CA, southern California J/sailors get excited to have fun in the infamous Hot Rum Series- a “pursuit-style” race that starts and finishes off Shelter Island.  The opening event saw classic conditions, light to moderate WNW breezes and plenty of sunny skies.

Then, way, way south off the Pacific coastline of Chile, the second annual J/70 South American Championship was hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico off the port of Algarrobo, Chile.  It was a highly competitive fleet of twenty boats from Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Nov 9-12- Mallory Cup- US Adult Champs- St Petersburg, FL
Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/70 Black Sails winning South AmericansBLACK SAILS Crowned J/70 South American Champion
(Algarrobo, Chile)- The second annual J/70 South American Championship took place off Algarrobo, Chile and was hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico from the 27th to 31st of October. Almost 100 sailors participated on twenty boats including teams from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

There were lots of expectations that had been mounting for months prior to the regatta. Chile had a 20+ active J/70 fleet members among the first 33 boats imported from USA in the last 5 years into South America.  The Chilean class did their best to make a fair championship, with Chief Measurer Dave McNabb and a local team measuring all boats.  Flavio Naveira and Nelson Ilha lead the Jury team.  And, Theodoro (Kiko) Kundig lead the RC team.

The previous month, some teams started to search for light 5th crew among the Optimist class in Algarrobo.  This time of the year is somewhat famous for the strong winds in Algarrobo, so the average weight among the boats was 340 to 350kgs.  Before the start of the first official race, BLACK SAILS team was set with 5-crew and 370kgs total weight.  But, after a bad practice race with light winds and looking at the weather report for the week, they decided to put one crew back on the shore!  And, they were right.  Everyday, but Sunday, the winds averaged 10-12kts and two races were sailed with less than 10kts. There were four days of racing with a total of nine races.

J/70 sailing off Chile- South AmericansOn the first day three races were sailed, the first started at 2:30pm.  The fleet was greeted by southwest winds from 230 to 240 deg at 8-12 kts and choppy seas.  Top teams were Per von Appen’s BLACK SAILS with a 1-1-3 tally and TSUNAMI with the Ducasse family on board with an 8-3-1 scoreline (skipper was Andres Ducasse). The Ducasse family had four brothers and their father as the team; a tough crew that would certainly battle until the very end of the regatta! Then, sitting in third with scores of 3-6-5 was URUBORO sailed by Maria “Pipa” Cisternas, her family, and Benjamin Grez calling tactics- they were a very tough team to beat.

On the second day, two races took place with the 1st start at 12:00. Light southwesterly winds from 240 to 260 deg prevailed and the heavier crews struggled. BLACK SAILS continued to stretch their lead with a 9-1.  And, the Ducasse family on URUBORO did a great job to manage the light winds and the tough fleet to hang on to second overall in the provisional standings with a 3-8.

J/70s start South Americans off Algarrobo, ChileOn the third day of racing, the more experienced crews maintained their consistency and kept rising to the top of the leaderboard.  With stronger southwest breezes of 12-15 kts, the boats had to manage transitions from planing mode to soak mode in the large Pacific swells and the wind streaks.  In general, sailing off Algarrobo is very favored on the left.  But, this time some boats gained a lot looking for some pressure with the kite downwind on the right side of the course.  Carlos Vergara on board SENSEI/ TECNOFAST posted a 3-2-2 for the day’s best record.  And, Matias Seguel on board VOLVO had the next best tally for the day with a 5-1-1. Unfortunately, SENSEI/ TECNOFAST and team were OCS on the first race of the day (race #6) and could not stay in the top places.

Chilean J/70 sailors at South AmericansWhat became the final day of racing started a little later than 1200 hrs.  Only one race was held with very light winds from the west.  Ducasse’s TSUNAMI did a great job to win the only race of the day, ultimately taking 2nd overall for the Championship.  Closing with a 3rd place in race 9 was von Appen’s BLACK SAILS, effectively shutting the door on all other competitors to win the regatta with just 20 pts net. By taking a 5th place in the final race, Alejandro Perez’s PELIGRO took the final bronze position on the podium. Seguel’s VOLVO could not overcome their mid-regatta “brain fade” of 11-11-9 to take fourth place (note- they had by far the best last four races of the fleet- a 5-1-1-4!).  Then, an early fleet leader, Cisternas’ URUBORO faded fast with a 9-10-7 in the last three races to drop to fifth place overall.

Winning the Corinthians Division was Benjamin Fuenzalida with father and brothers. Benjamin is an ex-Optimist sailor with a brilliant future in the J/70 class.

Best boat from abroad was Brazil’s Marcos Soares, sailing HIGHLANDER to a 7th place overall.  Then, Brazil’s Renato Farías sailing TONESSA was 9th and Diego García’s CHAPULIN from Uruguay took 12th place.

The next South American Championship will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2018. Brazil will host in 2019. Sailing photo credits- Ben Sans.   Local sailng news story here on Algarrobo Digital   For more J/70 South American Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing German league in Berlin, GermanyLindauer Segler-Club Wins DSBL Berlin Finale
Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Crowned 2017 German Champions
(Berlin, Germany)- The 2017 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga championship (DSBL) was characterized by remarkable “roller-coaster” scorelines by all clubs and the resulting anxiety-ridden finale in Berlin.  After comfortably leading the series with just 20 pts going into the finale, it appeared the last event would just be a coronation for Deutscher Touring YC to win the series, an almost anti-climactic event.  And, all other clubs would just be competing for the balance of the podium, such was the consistency of German’s leading club for the entire season, sailing on the fleet of matched J/70 one-design sailboats.

In what could only be described as one of the most shocking, chaotic outcomes in the history of the DSBL, the entire top of the leaderboard for the season series was “flip-flopped” in one regatta!

Winning the Berlin event with a very strong performance was the Lindauer Segler-Club with mostly top three scores to win by a comfortable margin of 8 pts, with a total of 36 pts for 15 races.  A surprisingly good effort was put on by Chiemsee YC, winning a tie-breaker on 44 pts each over Dusseldorf YC.  Then, rounding out the top five were Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in 4th place with 45 pts and Wassersport Verein Hemelingen with 48 pts.

J/70 German Sailing League winners in BerlinAs a result, the DSBL series experienced an eye-opening outcome.  By virtue of finishing 4th in Berlin, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein won the 2017 edition of the German J/70 Sailing League. The six regatta series (Prien, Lindau, Kiel, Travemunde, Glucksburg, Berlin) was a story of steady, but rocky, improvement for the NRV team.  Their regatta tallies of 10-2-1-9-2-4 were enough to be crowned German DSBL champions with a total of 28 pts.

After going into the final regatta with a comfortable lead, it was Deutscher Touring YC that must be crying into their 1-liter beer steins! After posting a 4-6-6-1-3 in the first five regattas, the famous Oktoberfest may have influenced their thinking.  A 16th place in the last regatta may have left a sour taste in their mouths, dropping them into 2nd overall with 36 pts.

Nearly eclipsing their brothers for the worst performance in a finale were the Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen.  After winning the first regatta in Prien, their team was happily in 2nd place for the season going into the finale. However, like their DTYC colleagues, no one seemed to figure out how to sail on the German J/70 women sailorsflat lake in Berlin, adding a 13th to their tally to drop to third overall for the season with a 39 pts total.

View the German J/70 sailing video summaries here:

German J/70 Youth Sailing League Finale
After the “open” DSBL championship was completed on Saturday, the youth league held their finale on the same boats and same venue on Sunday. The “youth league” was comprised of five regattas, 143 races, 32 competitors, 66 races, 276 nm of races sailed, with the highest recorded speed of 17.5 kts!  Taking 2017 league honors was Berliner YC, followed by Bayerischer YC in second place and Munchner YC in third to round out the podium.  Follow the German J/70 Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga)   For more German J/70 Sailing League information

J/112E Davanti Tyres winning Hamble Winter seriesBrilliant Winter Sailing @ Hamble Winter Series
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the fifth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed a fantastic day of racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails. Winter racing doesn't get much better, there may have been a chill in the air, but the sea temperature in the Solent in November is as good as June. Bright sunshine, 15-20 knots of wind over tide, and the whole Solent to choose from, a wide variety of teams and boats reveled in the superb conditions. Principal Race Officer, Stuart Childerley and his team delivered a superb course with one long race for all classes.

In IRC One, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES scored their fourth bullet of the series, and was the fastest boat around the track in any class after IRC time correction. They are now leading their class by a considerable margin.

"This is the first year with the new boat, and as always it takes time to tune up and figure out the best set up,” commented Chaz Ivill. "We have been sailing the boat much flatter in a good breeze, and that has powered her up, especially upwind."

J/88 sailing Hamble winter seriesIn the J/88 Class, Avia Willment is having an outstanding debut season, scoring a fifth bullet for the series, but only just. J/88 National Champion, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was just 17 seconds behind. Gavin Howe's TIGRIS was third.  Consequently, Willment’s crew is leading by a hefty margin of 9 pts over fellow 88 teams.  Second is Howe’s TIGRIS with 16 pts net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 20 pts in third place.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE pulled off the best start of the day to take second place and is currently sitting in third place overall for the series.

In IRC Three, David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO was third, by just 11 seconds after IRC time correction. Nevertheless, still leading the series id Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 13 pts net after seven races sailed.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 19 pts net.

Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #six on Sunday 12th November.  Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing off FranceARMEN HABITAT French J/80 National Champion!
(Quiberon, France)- The French J/80 sailing season ended where it started, on the Bay of Quiberon from October 28 to November 1, 2017, at Quiberon (Port-Haliguen) organized by the Yacht Club of Quiberon.  Forty-seven teams participated in the finale that saw amazing racing from the top J/80 crews in France.  The regatta was held in variable wind conditions, oscillating between 7 and 15 knots.  The first day saw light weather and flat seas, and then the remaining days had medium breezes and chop sitting on top of large swells.

In the end, it was Pierre Loic Berthet’s crew on ARMEN HABITAT from APCC Voile Sportive that were crowned with the most coveted sportboat title in all of France, that of French J/80 National Champion.

Once again, the French J/80 Nationals were blessed with good weather and a very high level of competition. After three days of sailing, the top three boats were separated by a mere 7 pts.  Berthet’s ARMEN HABITAT led the way with 31 points. Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE from Societe Regate Rochelaises from La Rochelle were second with 35 points. And, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE from Virtual Regatta YC had 38 points.

On the last day, Berthet’s ARMEN HABITAT consolidated their lead with two bullets to win with just 33 pts in 10 races!  Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE also closed out their series with all top five finishes to take the silver on the podium with 45 pts net, 12 pts back from the leader Berthet.  Then, rounding out the podium was Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE in the bronze position, suffering from a closing 3-21-7 to finish with 62 pts total.

The balance of the top five was Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPPE JEUNE MIXTE in fourth from APCC Voile Sportive with 76 pts.  Just two points back in fifth place was Theo Carayon’s VITEL SAILING Team from E.V. Trebeurden with 78 pts.  For more French J/80 National Championship sailing information

J/125 sailing Hot Rum seriesClassic Opening For Hot Rum Series!
(San Diego, CA)- Every year, many sailors in southern California look forward to what may be one of the most popular SoCal offshore keelboat classics of all time- the infamous “Hot Rum Series” run by San Diego YC in November and December.  It is popular because it is, essentially, a “no brainer” from a racing standpoint. It is a “pursuit race”, so you start at an appointed time pre-determined by the SDYC PRO and PHRF calculators, and where you finish is how you actually finished in the race!  Doh! Yeah.  That simple.  Go home knowing you could have gone from zero to hero in one day! For the most part, the 100+ boats and nearly 1,000 competitors simply love the spectacle and the fact they are participating on yet another beautiful, fall, outrageously spectacular day off “Sunny Diego’s” majestic Point Loma peninsula. 

The event is a favorite amongst many J/sailors in the region.  Not surprisingly, many of them do quite well and earn more than their fair share of silverware, plates, pickle-dishes, salad bowls, photos, and what not.

J/120 sailing San Diego Hot Rum seriesThis past weekend’s race was quite typical of the Hot Rum series.  The first starters saw light breezes from the northwest, building as the afternoon progressed up to 8-10 kts.  In such scenarios, it is often the little boats that start first with the lowest ratings that get the short-end of the straw.  Meanwhile, the big fast 50 to 70 footers in the back of the pack roar off the start line in 10-15 kts winds and smoke the little boats by the time everyone converges on the finish line just off Shelter Island inside San Diego Harbor.

However, this past weekend, it was not so.  Little boats did OK.  An infamous Ericson 35 Mk XXX with a crazy rating took overall honors, yet again.  But, the Gomez-Ibarra crew on he J/70 VAGAZO got 4th overall and first in their class.  Then, Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER took 7th overall and fourth in their class.  And, Dag Fish’s J/105 VIGGEN took 8th overall and first in their PHRF 3 class.  Not a bad showing for this trio of J/Boats!

On a class basis, Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE took 5th in PHRF Class 1. And, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER placed 7th. In PHRF Class 2, Laun’s J/120 CAPER was 6th behind Nichols’ CC RIDER.

The J/70s just about cleaned house in PHRF 4 class.  Behind VAGAZO, it was Wyman’s NUNUHUNU in 2nd and Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in 4th.

Finally, in PHRF 5 class, the Case’s J/22 ZO ZO took third place, followed by Lynch’s J/30 RUFFIAN in 8th and Dave Cattle’s J/27 BLACKADDER in 9th position. Sailing photo credits- SDYC/ Cynthia Sinclair.  For more Hot Rum Series sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/36 Paladin in St Croix, USVI* Wish to DONATE your J/105 to a great cause?  Support youth development and youth sailing in St Croix, US Virgin Islands?

The U.S. Virgin Islands got hammered by Hurricane Irma.  And, the J/36 the high school youth were sailing got destroyed and sank.  Here is the story from her owner, Stan Joines from Christiansted, St Croix:

“My J/36 #53 called PALADIN was destroyed in Hurricane Irma.  She was anchored in Charlotte Amalie Harbor.  We were dismasted in the 2016 St. Thomas regatta.  Without an engine, I had to leave her over there.  That summer, I found a J/35 mast on a partially sunken boat and raised it.  However, a masthead rig wouldn't work on the J/36.  This summer, I went up to the USA mainland and found one from a boat wrecked in Hurricane Iris in Pensacola, FL.  After arranging for three different trucking companies to carry it for different legs, it was to be shipped from Miami the very day Hurricane Irma hit St. Thomas.

A friend called on his SAT phone at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday after Hurricane Irma hit; at that time, it had backed off to a tropical storm.  He said that he had to call and let me know that PALADIN was the only boat floating in the harbor, and he was amazed, although she was very low in the water.  Debris from the island had filled her cockpit and it was not draining.  He called back at 5:30 to say that he had watched her sink.  I immediately began making plans to get over and raise her, as soon as humanitarian relief efforts had been put together first.  Two weeks later, I had my team together, kids who had grown up racing on the boat.  It took me four days with ten neighbors to dig out of the bush to the main road in St Croix.  We all helped rebuild roofs, clear brush, and cheer each other.  This weekend, the team was together, and we went to St. Thomas to raise PALADIN.

J/36 sailing with St Croix high school kidsWe made a grid of 500 yards in any direction from where she went down, and started at the center, working our way out.  Though originally in 12 feet of water, she had dragged her anchors into 35 ft deep water.  The harbor was pea soup, from all of the rain.  A fishing boat used its fish finding sonar to find bumps.  We dragged a weight across the bottom towards the bump until we hooked it, and then we took turns diving.   You could not see your elbow in front of your face; it was really spooky, pieces of old boats or lionfish looming out of the gloom right in front of your face.  In three days, we covered the grid but did not find PALADIN, much to our dismay.

We all had to return to St. Croix for work and families, but made plans to return to St. Thomas next weekend.  We got a ride to the ferry dock, and as we were walking from the terminal to the ferry, we passed a seven-foot section of PALADIN’s deck leaning against the fence!  The ferry dock is a mile from where she sank off Yacht Haven Grande! It was a very sad moment for all of us who had loved her and sailed her for nearly a decade.

J/36 sailing with St Croix high school kidsThe privilege of being able to take kids out and win was awesome.  They learned that through regular and focused practice they could win.  The electricity of regattas, meeting sailors from all over the world, night crossings under the stars, all made for great memories.  Most importantly, they not only learned teamwork, they grew into young, mature, responsible adults, excited about taking on the world and challenges in their future.  We miss that camaraderie.  Nevertheless, we are hoping to find a ‘new” PALADIN to replace her.”  Thanks to Stan for his perspectives on this sad loss.

For J/105 owners, if you have an opportunity to donate your boat to a fantastic cause, please contact Stan Joines directly- email-

Stan has a fiduciary account with the “St. Croix Foundation for Community Development”- donors can use their 501(c)3 status as a tax donation.  For reference, here is their website- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 1st, 2017

J/Gear items for the holidaysJ/Gear Holiday Special!
A Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-

Bacardi Sailing Week J/70 fleetBacardi Cup J/70 Announcement
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Bacardi USA is pleased to announce a new format in 2018 for the 91st anniversary of the world-famous Bacardi Cup, sailed on the emerald-green waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Started as a regatta for Star boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927, the Bacardi Cup has continued to evolve and change with the times, giving it continued growth and popularity in a sport that has seen numerous regattas come and go.

In 1962, the series moved to Biscayne Bay and in 2010 the event expanded to include other classes in addition to the Stars. Known since 2013 as Bacardi/Miami Sailing week, recent classes have included J70’s, J80’s, and other sportboats from 18 to 24 feet.

J/70s sailing Bacardi Miami Sailing WeekFor 2018, the organizing committee has decided to refocus the series on the original idea of an invitation-only regatta where the best small-boat sailors in the world come together to compete in tight, competitive, thrilling racing with the emphasis on quality instead of quantity. Still sponsored by the venerable Bacardi Rum brand and the Bacardi family, who have been active patrons since the beginning, the series in 2018 will be called the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta.

The Star class as always will have a single race per day on long, demanding legs rarely seen in today’s short course era. Only one other one-design class has been invited to the regatta in 2018: the J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design sportboat fleet in the world.

As always, days on the water will be followed by hospitality and outdoor parties that only Bacardi can deliver, with great food, tropical music and an open bar with plenty of Bacardi rum.

The Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta will be held March 4-10, 2018 and is being run by a new management company, Twelve MKTG, headed by Sara Zanobini, well-known to competitors in past years as the driving force behind the scenes of the event. She is joined by Miami native Mark Pincus, a US Sailing-certified PRO who is organizing the on-water racing program as he has done in past Bacardi regattas.

For more information about the Bacardi Invitational Regatta, contact Sara:, (305) 510-7024, or Mark:, (305) 915-1438.   For more Bacardi Cup Invitational sailing and registration information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The Halloween weekend provided many sailors the opportunity to explore the wilder sides of their sailing personalities.  In particular, some events centered around the “Best Dressed” boat or crew “treating” themselves to lots of laughter, fun, zaniness, and a few “refreshments” along the way.  Some of the best examples bringing friends, family, and kids together was the Witches Brew Race held by Charleston YC in Charleston, SC- it was a women’s-only skipper race with contests for Best Dressed Boat and Crew! The entire program was managed and organized by CORA (the Charleston Offshore Racing Association)- needless to say, they know how to have fun!  Then, out West, it was the occasion for the Great Pumpkin Regatta for one-design classes of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and PHRF boats; Richmond YC in Richmond, CA on northern San Francisco Bay hosted the weekend regatta- they, too, had a Best Dressed Crew at the amazing Saturday night party.  On the more serious side of sailing, Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX hosted the J/105 North American Championship on Galveston Bay.  Out west, the San Diego YC hosted an extremely competitive invitation-only club event on their local fleet of J/105s- the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup.  Out east, three regattas were taking place simultaneously in the northern Chesapeake Bay off Annapolis, MD: the J/24 East Coasts and J/22 Mid-Atlantics hosted by Severn Sailing Association and the J/105 East Coasts hosted by Annapolis YC.

Hopping across the big pond to Europe, we find the various J/70 sailing leagues in The Netherlands, Finland, and Italy all completing their summer-long season championships.  The only one left is Germany- hosting their finale in Hamburg next week in their J/70s.  The Dutch sailed their finale off The Hague, The Netherlands.  The Finnish J/70 league finale took place in Helsinki, Finland off Lauttasaari.  The Italians actually ran two events concurrently on the beautiful bay off Crotone, Italy.  First, was the finale hosted by Club Velico Crotone.  Then, following the example of their German colleagues to the north, the “LegaVela Italia” held their kick-off event in J/70s for an Under-19 Sailing League at the same venue- it was a wildly popular event for the youth teams!

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

J/105s sailing Galveston BayMOJO Smokes J/105 North Americans
(Seabrook, TX)- The 2017 edition of the J/105 North American Championship certainly had its fair share of surprises.  For starters, the weather in the fall in Texas can be fraught with weather fronts moving like freight trains across the prairies, mowing down everything in their path, yet the next day there can be no wind!

What was the first big surprise?  Plenty of wind for three of the four days!  And, the second one shocked most veteran J/105 sailors- what no one expected was the locals would lead a clean sweep of the podium after ten races run in four days!

Lakewood Yacht Club hosted this year’s regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams participated, nineteen of which hailed from Texas, while the other three very fast, championship winning teams came from California (2) and Bermuda.

In the end, it was Steve Rhyne’s local heroes from Lakewood YC that demonstrated a lot of chutzpah, guiding their appropriately named MOJO around the race track to six 1sts in the ten races sailed to win with a total of 23 pts, 26 pts clear of the next boat!  Crowned as the 2017 J/105 N.A. Champions, it is likely that no one has ever taken the title by such a significant margin.  Here is what happened on the mysterious, muddy waters of Galveston Bay.

J/105 MOJO winning North AmericansDay One
Under sunny skies and with breeze at 10-15 knots, the teams completed four races on the first day. Local Steve Rhyne’s MOJO grabbed the early advantage with scores of 4-1-1-2 for 8 points. Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO put together a solid day with a line of 1-3-4-4 for 12 points and second place. Rick Goebel’s SANIT from San Diego held the third position with 21 points.

Winds began at 10 knots, when Zartler kicked off the regatta with a victory, ahead of two Class Presidents (Past President James Macdonald’s DISTANT PASSION and current President Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE). The breeze built throughout the day to 15 knots. Rhyne earned bullets in races two and three, ahead of Osmond Young and Zartler in the second meeting and in front of two Californians in the third (Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE and Goebel’s SANITY). Goebel took the final win of the day, as Rhyne and Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE rounded out the top three.

J/105 sailing Seabrook Galveston BayDay Two
As the spotlight shined on the Houston Astros for Major League Baseball’s World Series, so did the focus on Galveston Bay.  The locals, MOJO and DEJA VOODOO, continued to dominate the fleet, as seven races were now in the books of the no-throw-out series.

By way of a 1-5-1 on Friday, Rhyne held a nine-point advantage over Zartler (MOJO tallies 15 points to DEJA VOODOO’s 24). Fellow Lakewood Yacht Club member Bill Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE moved up to third overall with 35 points.

It was another solid day on the racecourse with winds between 12-16 knots and puffs into the 20s. Rhyne earned his first of two bullets in the initial contest, trailed by Zartler and Goebel’s SANITY. Stone’s GOOD TRADE seized the win in Friday’s middle battle, as Josh Richline’s VELOCE from Corpus Christi YC and Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE made the top three. The familiar Rhyne and Zartler were the one/two punch in the last race, followed by Lakenmacher.

J/105 GOOD TRADE sailing NA's Seabrook TexasDay Three
Rhyne’s appropriately named MOJO continued to cast a spell on the fleet on Saturday. Winds at 12-14 knots allowed an additional three races to be completed for a total of 10 so far, with one more on the docket for Sunday.

Rhyne and crew posted another two race wins and added a rare sixth to give the local helmsman 23 points total. With a 26-point advantage, Rhyne had already secured the Championship in a no-throw out regatta!! An extraordinary scenario, to say the least! Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO scored 4-10-11, but maintained a hold on second place with 49 points. Lakenmacher’s RADIANCE stumbled in race 9 with a 15th place, but recovered with a bullet to retain the third position overall with 57 points. Rhyne and Goebel’s SANITY locked in the gold and silver spots in Saturday’s first two contests, followed initially by Osmond Young and then by Stone’s GOOD TRADE. Lakenmacher ended the day on a positive note, as did James Macdonald’s DISTANT PASSION from Royal Bermuda YC in Hamilton, Bermuda and Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY in the top trio.

J/105 MOJO- winners NA'sDay Four
No races took place Sunday due to lack of wind, but it would not have mattered for Rhyne, who had already wrapped up the Championship.  His crew consisted of Brian Shores, Jake Scott, Joe Taylor, Alan Woodyard and Ryan Glaze. Fellow LYC members Bill Zartler on DEJA VOODOO and Bill Lakenmacher on RADIANCE completed the podium as 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Rhyne only bought his J/105 in the past year, lured by the strong Fleet 17 in Galveston Bay as well as this Championship at his own club. The conditions did not disappoint over the three sailing days of competition, as winds held in the teens for the duration.

“These were physical conditions, but not unmanageable,” summarized Rhyne. “After we got the lead on day one, we went into conservative mode. We felt we had speed, so we just could not do anything stupid with a no throw-out series. It was about points management.” Rhyne gave all the credit to his team, saying, “Crew is everything on any boat. I think my crew could’ve stepped on any boat and won.”   Follow the J/105 Class on Facebook here   For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing Dutch Sailing League 
WSV Almere Centraal Crowned Dutch League Champs
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- The Dutch J/70 National Sailing League- “Eredivisie Zeilen”- had yet another successful year with record participation and an amazing increase in the level of competition.

The leaders of the “EZ” league, Alex Hoeve and Marco de Klerk, had this to say at the finale in Monnickendam;

Dutch J/70 women's sailing team"Throughout the season, we have been able to get high quality sailing amongst our sailing club teams. We have seen the level of competition increase dramatically this year. This is a good development, as we can now sail in heavier wind conditions at any event, thanks to the much-improved sailing experience of the sailors. Most importantly, we see more and more youthful participants joining the “old guard”; this trend is important and fits into the philosophy of the Eredivisie Zeilen!”

In the end, it was the WSV Almere Centraal team that took 4th in the finale to “seal the deal” and clinch the overall title after sailing the five events (Almere, Aalsmeer, Scheveningen, Veere, Monnickendam) with a low point total of 108 pts.  Ironically, there’s was not an easy win since only 11 pts separated them from the 2nd place finishers in the end- Jachtclub Scheveningen.

J/70 Dutch Sailing LeagueFor the first day of sailing on the Gouwzee, the fleet was greeted by a tough breeze blowing an average of 24 kts. Spice it up with lulls and torrential downpours on occasion and you get the picture.  It was very challenging for both the sailors as well as the race committee.  Three complete flights were run.  With such a strong breeze, the big issue was (ironically) the teams maintaining (and anticipating) big puffs with tactical situations. For example, VWDTP had a collision with the SheSails Ladies from Amsterdam. Artur Knuppel said, “it was an unfortunate collision. We tried to dive below SheSails, but a big puff hit us as we bore off. So, we hit them amidships, making considerable damage, we feel so badly for this incident."

The WV Almere Centraal skipper said, “the team is able to make the difference mainly on 'boat handling' and experience. They have been sailing in this event for three years now, and they benefit from it. The plan is to further build the lead, but we can not make mistakes!"

J/70s sailing Dutch Sailing LeagueSitting in second after the first day, Jachtclub Scheveningen’s Tom Kerkhof commented, “it's a lot of fun sailing! We have a 1st place in the first race and a third place in the second race. In our first race today we could benefit from a mistake by WV Almere Centraal, which we caught in the last leg. We kept the boat going hard and played the wind shifts as best we could."

The second day of sailing on Saturday was completely blown out, with winds hitting Force 6 & 7- 40+ knots!  So, the race committee wisely canceled races for the day after an initial postponement to 1400 hours.

For the Sunday finale, only nine points separated WSV Almere Centraal and Jachtclub Scheveningen after 147 races in the course of the 2017 season!  Everyone’s patience was being tested all weekend-long on the Gouwzee- with puffs hitting 32 kts on Friday, 28 kts on Saturday, everyone was hoping Sunday would provide a fair test of the teams. As it turns out, the conditions on Sunday were considerably quieter than the previous days, making it a tactical game in 5-7 knots of wind. Eventually, 24 races were sailed for the weekend.

J/70 Dutch Sailing League winners- WSV CentraalWSV Almere Centraal was hoping to win another title. Team captain John Engelsman said, "Our ambition was to win another title. We also wanted to get the final stage in Monnickendam, but unfortunately, it just did not work. At the beginning of this season, we added four new members to our team. All experienced racing sailors, but every round was another challenge to set up the right team. Until this weekend, we managed to win three rounds, although the margins of winning are significantly smaller compared to 2016.  Even for the Sailing Champions League that we sailed, the margins were quite small between the 36 best clubs in Europe; we finished 9th overall and the podium had a four point spread from 1st to 3rd- amazing!”

Rounding out the top three in the Dutch J/70 National Sailing League was Jachtclub Scheveningen in second place with 119 pts and WSV Giesbeek in third place with 128 pts.   Follow the Dutch J/70 National Sailing League Facebook page   For more Dutch J/70 National Sailing League information

Finnish J/70 sailing league off Helsinki, FinlandÅländska SS Take Finnish J/70 Sailing League Series  
(Helsinki (Lauttasaari), Finland)- The Finnish J/70 Sailing League completed their final event in Lauttasaari, just off the mouth of Helsinki harbor.  Going into the finale, the top team was Åländska Segelsällskapet's first team; they had a solid five-point lead over Mariehamns Seglarförening (MSF), who in turn was just one point ahead of Helsinki's Brändö Seglarea.  However, because of the racing has been so close by the top teams, it was believed by many that it would be hard to displace any of the top three from the podium.

Finnish J/70 sailing league teamThere was no question that Åländska SS crew were confident.  “Our goal is to win the last race. Our team is in really a good mood and the training has gone well. We hope windy weather, because it's our strength,” said MSF Captain Henrik Lundberg.  No question, those were prophetic words for them.

The regatta culminated with the Åländska SS First team taking the overall championship.  Second, was the women’s team from Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) and taking third because of a strong performance in the last event was Mariehamns Seglarförening (MSF).

Finnish J/70 sailing league winnersThe teams consisted of four-man crew, whose configurations were different in different races. In the competition, Åländska SS's top team was Daniel Mattsson, Mathias Dahlman, Isak Nordlund and Staffan Lindberg.

Thanks to its victory, Åländska Segelsällskapet will be able to sail to the Nord Stream Race offshore competition in 2018. In addition, the top teams will be able to compete in the 2018 Sailing Champions League qualifying rounds.   Follow the Finnish J/70 Sailing League Facebook page here   For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 Italian sailing league off Crotone, ItalyC.C.A. Dominates Italian J/70 Sailing League Finale
CCA Also Crowned the 2017 Italian League Champion
(Crotone, Italy)- Twenty teams gathered together on the beautiful bay off Crotone, Italy to sail their third and final event of their 2017 Lega Italiano Vela (the Italian J/70 sailing league).  The Club Velico Crotone organized the event.      

Il Circolo Canottieri Aniene was the winner of the 2017 season of the Italian Sailing League. With a flawless series, built with four first, one second and one third in the six races, the CCA team (Lorenzo Bressani, Luca Tubaro, Matteo Mason and Umberto Molineris) dominated the league’s finale.

Italian J/70 sailing league off Crotone, ItalyIt was an extremely tactical first day, with a wildly shifting wind.  The second day had strong winds, challenging the crews, particularly on their boat-handling and planing mode angles downwind.  On the final day, it was a steady, but streaky breeze of 11 to 15 kts. It was readily apparent to everyone on the race track, the CCA team had it nailed all weekend long.

"This season we have rallied hard several times, and we have been able to think about the best strategies and tactics.  We changed Matteo Mason's role, adding to jib trim the role of tactician, too.  It was a winning choice, a necessary one for the high level of this finale, which was well above last year,“ commented Lorenzo Bressani- skipper of the CCA team.

J/70s sailing Italian leagueIn addition, as it always happens in high-level one-design regattas, the training and crew make the difference; as was evident by the performance of the next two teams on the podium. Second place went to the Yacht Club Adriaco- represented by the victorious J/70 Worlds Corinthian crew (Gianfranco Noè, Emanuele Noè, Andrea Micalli and Samuele Maria Semi). Then, placing third was the Circolo della Vela Bari with crew of Simone Ferrarese, Michele Lecce, Corrado Capece Minutolo, and Gianmaria Foglia.

Italian J/70 sailing league- winners"We have an exceptional field of racing sailors,” commented the LegaVela President Roberto Emanuele de Felice.  “It was a perfect venue for racing. A thank you to President Verri and his team- Crotone really did their best to host a wonderful event. Congratulations to the Circolo Canottieri Aniene, which in this finale embodied great spirit and tremendous talent needed. The LIV Formula is outstanding, and it is clear the level of J/70 racing by all clubs is getting much higher."

“Remarkably, 11 teams had at least a first place,” said LIV Executive Vice President Alessandro Maria Rinaldi.  “This shows the top level talent of all crews! It was clear that CCA had talent and experience, the Club has trained more this year by taking part in the selections at St. Petersburg's Sailing Champions League and at the SAILING Champions final in Porto Cervo. The competitive level was also very high for the other Clubs and for that reason Legavela Servizi will set up a special 2018 bid for sailing clubs that want to train and participate in 2018. A warm and hearty 'Thank You' goes to all the yacht club staff that enabled this event to take place. Thanks Crotone and goodbye to next year!"   Italian J/70 Sailing League video summary   Follow Italian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Italian J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 Under 19 youth sailing leagueClub Velico Crotone Tops Italian U-19 J/70 Sailing League Kick-off
(Crotone, Italy)- On October 30, the Kick-off for the Club Under 19 Championship, the junior version of the Legavela Championship, took place at Crotone and also hosted by Club Velico Crotone. The program for the seven competing teams included a full day of training on Monday by Italy’s top J/70 sailors for the youth teams.  Then, the teams sailed a round-robin format of racing over two days, just like the adult sailing league.  This is the report on how it all took place.

Day 1
Fifteen races were sailed in over 12 knots on the first day. The young sailors aboard the new J/70 one-design sailboats welcomed the Legavela format with great enthusiasm and had a true battle in fifteen races.

At the top of the leaderboard after the first day were the hosts of the Velico Crotone Club (captain Matteo Verri, skipper Demetrio Sposato, Gaia Verri, Mattia La Greca, and Beatrice Sposato), thanks to winning seven of fifteen races, they had a 40 pt lead. Sitting in second with 55 pts was Centro Velico 3V (captain Alessandro Franzì, skipper Riccardo Sepe, Gabriele Centrone, Alice Tamburini, and Paolo Iacchia).  Then, sitting in third with 60 pts was Societa Velica di Barcola e Grignano (captain/skipper Maria Vittoria Marchesini, Matthias Menis, Zeno Tarlao, Alice Linussi, and Nicolas Starc).

Italian Under 19 youth sailing league winnersDay 2
On the race course, the Club Velico Crotone youth crew repeated their excellent performance on the first day. Comfortable with the sustained strong winds, they kept the results constant- mostly first places! As a result, the CVC youth U-19 team won the first Italian U-19 J/70 kick-off sailing league event.

Ironically, despite the ups and downs on the results ladder, the top three teams did not change at the conclusion of the regatta.  Second was Centro Velico 3V and holding on to third place was Societa Velica di Barcola e Grignano.

"We are excited about this event, which closes a great week of sailing, beautifully organized by Club Velico Crotone," said the executive vice president of LIV Alessandro Maria Rinaldi. “The young sailors have done their best and have proven to be perfectly capable of handling the J/70s in the sailing league format. The experiment has been successful, and now we are ready to build a circuit for next season, dedicated to mature young people rising to the top of Italian sailing."   Follow the Italian U-19 J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Italian J/70 Sailing League information

J/105 Lipton Cup winners- San Diego YCSan Diego YC Tops J/105 Lipton Cup Challenge
(San Diego, CA)- The 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup hosted by San Diego Yacht Club invited twelve yacht club teams from California, New York, and Illinois.  After three days of racing, it was “clear as mud” which team was going to walk away with the coveted Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, a massively beautiful piece of silverware donated for this event by the famous “tea baron” from the United Kingdom.  In the end, proving their resiliency yet again in very tough, tactical conditions, it was the young Tyler Sinks leading the host team- the San Diego YC crew- to the overall victory on the last day over their arch-rivals, and nemesis, the 2016 victors Newport Harbor YC skippered by Jon Pinckney.  In this regatta, it has held true that “the opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings”; any one of three teams could have won going into the last race.

All races were sailed on the San Diego fleet of J/105s in North Bay on the normal venue…bordered by downtown San Diego and the U.S.S. Midway to the east, to the south the US Navy’s North Island (without a 1,200 ft carrier this year), and to the north by Harbor Island with the Sheraton Hotels at San Diego Airport.  Typically, with the breeze in the Southwest to Northwest quadrants, the ship channel next to the North Island Navy base is a significant factor for current, mostly westerly flowing at up to a full knot.

This year, the conditions were pretty basic San Diego, light, sunny... 6-10kts from the northwest for the first two days.  The last day was from the south, very puffy, streaky and shifty, and made for some fun shorter legs with up to three laps! Here is how it all went down. 

Day One- Light stuff
Racing in the northern part of San Diego harbor, the SDYC RC/ PRO team managed to run the first four races.  It was certainly a light day with the breeze hanging around 5-6 knots all day. The heaviest air that Race Committee saw was 8 knots, but unfortunately it did not stay for long and competitors were mostly battling in light air with some current. Because of the light air, Race Committee shortened the course during races 1, 2, and 3. Race 4 was not shortened, but the wind was shifting to the right for a large portion of the race.

The sailing was hugely variable because of the fact that almost every team in the event was in the top 3 boats at any given mark rounding throughout the afternoon!

There were four different race winners on this day.  Race 1 went to Commodore Phil Lotz from New York Yacht Club.  Race 2 went to Shane Young from Long Beach Yacht Club.  Race 3 to Chris Perkins from San Francisco Yacht Club.  And, race 4 to Jon Pinckney from Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

At the end of the day, only four points separated positions one through three. Interestingly enough, the top three teams after day one are the only non-California teams participating!  That was another historical “first” for the Lipton Cup!

The top three teams after day one were Chicago Yacht Club with the young Will Holz as skipper in first place; the New York Yacht Club led by Commodore Lotz in second; and Larchmont Yacht Club’s Danny Pletsch in third. Notably, all three of these teams were vying for their first win of the Lipton Cup trophy.

Back at SDYC's guest dock after racing, Chicago Yacht Club skipper Will Holz shared his successful strategy for the day.  "Today it was all about grinding back from bad situations. If I found myself in 9th or 10th at a mark rounding, I tried to grind one boat at a time to get rid of those double-digit races. We focused on our starts for the most part; if you had a good start, you were likely rounding top 6. Other than that, we just tried to stay fast and I tried to let my crew run the boat while I steered. We have a lot of talented sailors on board, so I tried to put ourselves in a position to let them rumble."

Philip Lotz, skipper and 2017 Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, shared what it was like to win the first of the twelve scheduled races for the three-day regatta.  "Race one was the first race out of the shoot for us. We had a clean start, we got going a little to the left, and we actually stayed in the middle of the race course on the first leg, trying to connect the dots on the breeze lines. We were one of the first boats at the weather mark and we got to the downwind left on the spinnaker run. We got lucky there with more breeze, came in first at the gate, and held that lead for the rest of the race."

The team from Larchmont Yacht Club, skippered by Danny Pletsch, had some challenges today, but is still third going into Saturday. "Overall, we did well today although we made a few different mistakes that got the umpire involved. Aside from that, we feel that we sailed really well and we feel good. Right now we are in the power of 3s- we got 7th the first year and 4th last year so now it's win or go home. We're pumped for tomorrow."

Day Two- Roller-coaster Scorelines
The second day started out similarly to the previous day’s conditions. The marine layer burned off by 10:00 am and wind at 3-5 knots greeted the racers heading out to the course by 11:00 am. The race committee worked hard, managing a very busy San Diego Bay and was able to get five races off, completing Race 9 around 5:00 pm.

With clear skies and a clear start, the first race of the day got underway and Long Beach YC was ahead right off the line. The team was able to maintain their lead the entire race and secured the top spot. Competitors learned early on that the left side of the course was paying as they followed the leader on the second beat. Long Beach skipper Shane Young said of their victory, “Our game plan was to keep it clean, minimize mistakes, get off the line and we did exactly what we planned.” Meanwhile, San Diego YC continued where they left off yesterday finishing second and Newport Harbor YC got into a consistent groove finishing third and decided that was as low as they were going to go the rest of the day!

Race 6 began with another clear start and Southwestern YC found themselves second row off the line and threw in a tack briefly before returning to join the rest of the fleet on the left side once again. San Francisco YC and San Diego YC had an excellent match race starting at the first weather mark rounding. At the leeward gate, both boats rounded simultaneously and tried to make gains on their second upwind leg. San Diego YC took the win and got their first taste of the top spot in the 2017 regatta.

Balboa YC, eager to improve their streak of ninths, had an aggressive start and was OCS for Race 7; but, was able to make it up and finish third. St. Francis YC also managed to improve their score for the third race of the day. During a flurry of protests at the second windward mark rounding, St. Francis YC was able to stay focused, with clean maneuvers and round the mark in second before setting off for their final run to the finish. They crossed the line in second to secure their best race of the regatta so far. Newport Harbor YC also capitalized at the second windward mark rounding while their fellow competitors were making penalty turns and they took first for race seven. Skipper Jon Pinckney said, “With everyone slowing down, it opened up the lead for us... we were the benefactor of a huge pile up at the weather mark. Sometimes the luck goes your way in the Lipton Cup.” Surely, the Newport Harbor team hopes that luck continues into the final day!

Racers had some external challenges in Race 8 with some major shipping traffic; thankfully, all boats were able to maintain their course. SDYC jumped ahead and Coronado YC got in the game for a top three spot. After the first weather mark rounding, all teams stayed to the left side of the course and Coronado YC decided to go right. Three year veteran Lipton Cup skipper Patrick Powell later said, “I think this was the first race you had to go right a little bit and we played the shifts really well.”

Race 9 got off to a rocky start with a postponement followed by a general recall. Once the boats were off the line, they were ready to sail fast. Cal YC was first to the windward mark on the first beat and held the number one spot until the finish. Newport Harbor YC landed in second and Larchmont YC improved from placing fifth in Race 8 to third in the final race of the day.

Day Three- Dramatic Finale
The final day began with a postponement while breeze filled in from the South. The SDYC Race Committee was able to get the first race off at 1:45pm setting a shorter, 3-lap course across the bay that was key in achieving all 3 races needed to complete the regatta.

The sun was just breaking through the clouds at the start of Race 10. Chicago YC was OCS, St. Francis YC won the boat end, and Larchmont YC had a great start at the pin; but was soon rolled by San Diego YC. Chicago YC recovered from their start moving into third at the first windward mark rounding. With lots of lead changes throughout the 6-leg course, it was anybody’s race. Cal YC found themselves in great pressure sailing deep on the second run. They were able to keep that momentum and secure the top seat in the first race of the last day. Larchmont had an impressive race as well, finishing second, their best race of the regatta. This morning, main trimmer, Chad Corning, talked about going into the final day, “It’s a hard regatta, the Lipton Cup, to stay consistent. So, today we just want to get some good starts.”

Consistency came into play in Race 11, as there were not nearly as many lead changes throughout the race. The fleet stayed in the middle to right on the course and there was a change of course to the right for the 3rd leg. At the finish, the results were completely shaken up from Race 10 as Cal YC went from first to twelfth and Coronado came up to take the top spot. Balboa YC also made a big leap to second whereas they finished eleventh in the previous race. Meanwhile San Diego YC and Newport Harbor YC earned a fourth and a sixth respectively for both Race 10 and 11, fighting their point battle further back in the fleet.

At the start of the dramatic 12th and final race of the series, San Diego YC was sitting in first place overall with 47 points, Newport Harbor YC in second with 48 points, and San Francisco YC in third with 55 points. And in the event of a tiebreaker, Newport Harbor YC would have had the edge.

It was very quiet as the Race Committee sent the boats on their way up the course. The fleet was even off the line and New York YC was in the lead at the first windward mark rounding. Newport Harbor YC made their way through the fleet on the first three legs and approaching the second windward mark rounding were in the lead, but were just under the layline. As they stalled and slowly managed to get around the mark, Chicago YC and San Diego YC were able to pass by. Chicago YC lead the pack for a little while until Coronado YC sailed in front on the last run of the regatta getting another first. San Diego YC came in at seventh and Newport Harbor YC in tenth resulting in a 4 point overall win for the San Diego team as they won the regatta and brought the Lipton Cup trophy back home to SDYC.

San Diego YC had a tough first day of the regatta but improved throughout, seeing their best scores Saturday, which put them neck and neck with Newport Harbor YC, the defending 2016 Lipton Cup champs. After the victory, San Diego YC skipper, Tyler Sinks, said, “It feels like redemption. Having won and lost once before – it’s definitely more fun to win than to lose.”

SDYC Commodore John Reiter talked about the win and regatta. “The future of the sport is in provided boats. We had visionaries back in 2010 that helped to make this event one of the best of the best. The 2017 Lipton Cup win was a great way to cap off a strong year.”  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

J/24 East Coast Championship off AnnapolisSISU Wins 39th Annual J/24 East Coasts!
Julian Tops J/22 Mid-Atlantics
(Annapolis, MD)- Over the “pre-Halloween” weekend, the Severn Sailing Association held its 39th annual J/24 East Coast Championship.  Simultaneously, they also hosted the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship.  Off the mouth of the Severn River on Chesapeake Bay, both fleets enjoyed a lot of racing over the weekend, with J/24s sailing nine races and the J/22s seven races.

What was not surprising was who won the J/22 class, a long-time leader, Brad Julian from Youngstown YC in Youngstown, NY.  What surprised most everyone in the J/24 class was to see James Bonham’s SISU defeat several J/24 class championship teams (of note- Bonham did have two-time J/70 World Champion crew Willem van Waay in the cockpit and past J/24 East Coast Champion skipper Todd Hillman as “rail meat”).

J/24s sailing off Annapolis, MDThe J/24s had twenty-five boats registered for their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship; a terrific turnout considering the class was also celebrating 40 years of J/Boats (e.g. J/24s), too! The teams came from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet.  It was not an easy win by any stretch of the imagination for Bonham’s SISU crew; in fact, it was a three-way battle for at least the first six races.  After the first six races, SISU’s tally of 3-2-1-1-2-1 for 10 pts was just four points in front of perennial J/24 class champion, Tony Parker and the infamous BANGOR PACKET crew.  Parker’s tally was an equally impressive 1-1-3-3-3-3 for 14 pts.  And, just as good in those six races was Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER with a 4-3-2-2-1-2 tally for 14 pts.  However, thereafter, the “wheels fell off the shopping trolley” for Parker and Odenbach.  Parker’s crew misfired in race 7, adding a 7th to their scoreline, while Odenbach’s crew “sent it down the mineshaft” in race 8, adding a 9th to their scorecard.  In the end, consistency paid off for Bonham’s all-star cast on SISU, closing with a 1-2-5 to win by five points.  Second was Parker’s BANGOR PACKET and third was Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER.

J/22s sailing off Annapolis, MDUnlike the J/24s, the top three J/22 teams on the leaderboard were all very close until the last race.  In fact, the final race for the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship determined the ultimate outcome.  Going into that race, Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS was leading with 18 pts, followed by Brad Julian’s USA 677 with 19 pts and Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY next with 20 pts.  By winning the last race, Julian’s USA 677 crew snatched the title away from Marshall’s BAD NEWS, who scored a 4th in the last race to drop to 2nd.  Todd’s final race 3rd place kept them in 3rd overall.  Sailing photo credits- Sarah Parker.   For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

J/105s sailing regattaAnother “White Out” @ J/105 East Coast Champs!
(Annapolis, MD)- Over the 28th to 29th October weekend, seventeen J/105s took to the line to battle for honors as the 2017 J/105 East Coast Champion.  The host Annapolis YC and its amazing volunteers put on another great weekend of sailing, managing to get in five races for the fleet.

Winning the regatta handily with two 1sts and a trio of 2nds was John White’s team on USA 113, with a total of just 8 pts.  Working hard to stay with them all weekend was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting yet another amazing record of 4-1-2-1-3 for 11 pts total.  Then, rounding out the podium was Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV, winning a tie-breaker on 21 pts each with Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS.  Andrew had this to say about the event, “Thanks to our awesome crew- Jenny Holzer, Christina Mayor, Terry Reese, James Beatty, and, particularly, all-star tactician Ray Wulff- for a great event.”  For more J/105 East Coast Championship sailing information

J/105 sailing Great Pumpkin RegattaJ/Wildness @ Great Pumpkin Regatta
(Richmond, CA)- Richmond Yacht Clubs’ Great Pumpkin Regatta, entering it’s 32nd year, is a bit of a mini-Woodstock for the San Francisco Bay area.  For starters, it is celebrating Halloween and what is there not to like about Halloween in the Bay area for its extraordinary, eclectic collection of people that often have an “alternative” viewpoint on the world- like, “yes, aliens do exist!”  Secondly, the Bay in the fall can also have wildly bizarre weather as it transcends from its legendary nuclear-winds sailing conditions in mid-summer, to light airs/ no winds in the winter and pouring a gazillion gallons of water per second from the heavens.

The 32nd Great Pumpkin Regatta had a bit of a mix of all the fall weather you can imagine.  Not much sun, that is for sure. Mostly grey, leaden skies, with generally light airs, but some occasions enough breeze for J/70s to plane a little bit on tighter reaches.   On Saturday, the fleet enjoyed three well-run races in classic “around the cans” scenarios in the fabled “Berzerk-ely” Circle. More importantly, the Saturday party was replete with great food, great band, and some equally outrageous costumes.

Summer of Love sailing off Richmond, CAIronically, this year marked the 50th Anniversary of the “Summer of Love” edition (remember Woodstock??) of the Great Pumpkin Regatta, just as the region’s Indian Summer came to an abrupt end. Days of highs in the 80's on the San Francisco Bay with light tranquil winds were replaced with a stout, cold onshore wind, ushered in by a very dense fog bank, causing many to reach in the their closets for the heavy foul weather gear not worn in months.

Enjoying the racing and the awesome “après-race” festivities were a range of J/sailors from across the Bay area- J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and sailing PHRF classes- J/80 and J/30.

In the seven-boat J/70 class, it was David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC truly blasted-off to the front of the fleet; posting straight bullets for an easy win.  Similarly, Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE from Richmond YC dropped all deuces to complete the day in second place.  Then, amazingly, it was Mark Thomas’ USA 29 from Richmond YC that posted all thirds to round out the podium.

The J/24s were a bit less stratified than the J/70s.  In fact, it was a bit of a donnybrook for the top three boats.  After the smoke cleared, it was rockin’ woman skipper Val Lulevich and her crew on SHUT UP & DRIVE that won with a 3-1-1 tally for 5 pts.  The boys behind her ended up tied for the silver at 8 pts apiece.  Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR posted a 1-4-3, good enough on count-back to overcome Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS with a 2-2-4 scoreline.

Amazingly enough, the J/105 class had a virtual identical scenario play out as the J/24s.  Winning was Ian Charles’ MAVERICK with a 1-1-2 for 4 pts.  However, tied at 8 pts each was Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE/ RACEQS.COM and Jamie Isbester’s ENERGY on 8 pts each.  The Russians won that tie-breaker.

In the SF-30 Class, Tony Castruccio’s J/30 WIND SPEED was sailing fast, had a shot at winning, but did not sail the last race and settled for the bronze in their class.  Then, in PHRF E class, Tim Stapleton’s J/80 PK beat just about every crazy sportboat one could put on the starting line, Open 5.7, Ultimate 24, M20, Rondar K6, etc.     Thanks for contribution and sailng photos from Erik Simonson  For more Great Pumpkin Regatta sailing information

J/120 Emocean celebrating Witches Brew race on HalloweenWitches Brew Race- Dress for Success!
(Charleston, SC)- Every Halloween weekend, the Charleston Ocean Racing Association hosts its annual “Witches Brew Race”.  This year, it took place on October 29 in Charleston Harbor in a for-fun, random-leg race around various government markers.  The regatta rules stipulate- “all helms-persons shall be female.  Boats without female helms-persons shall be disqualified.”

In addition to the highly competitive harbor course racing, there was a costume contest adjudicated by the Race Committee (note- the Race Committee does not take candy for bribes, just rum!).  Special prizes were awarded to the top three “Best Dressed Boats” and “Best Dressed Crew.”

J/105 enjoying Witches Brew Halloween raceThe start time at 1300 off the Carolina YC dock saw the PHRF A fleet take off in good breeze.  Ten minutes later both PHRF C and PHRF D classes were also on the track, the first two fleets sailing Course 7 (longer) and Class D sailing Course 1

The conditions for the race were a bit rough on the women skippers and mostly women crews!  In the end, they held their composure in the 15 to 30 kts winds at the top mark!

In the PHRF A class, the Self’s J/105 RUCKUS took the silver.  Then, in the PHRF D class, the Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN also took silver, followed by the Swatta’s J/30 LAS BRISAS in third place.

However, the most important trophy for most boats was the Costume Contest for “Best Dressed Crew & Boat”.  By popular vote, it was a tie for second place between the “Astronauts” (on the J/105 RUCKUS) and the “Wonder Women” (on the J/120 EMOCEAN).  A great time was certainly had by all afterwards with copious amounts of Halloween food and refreshments for all.  Sailing Photo Credits- Priscilla Parker    Follow CORA’s Facebook page here   For more CORA Witches Brew Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/145 owners in Seattle, WA* We recently received a report regarding how a J/145 is fairing in its current home in the Pacific Northwest- Seattle, Washington area.  Here is the sweet note from Edie & John Tenneson, owners of the J/145 JEDI:

“We wanted to give you an update on our J/145 JEDI.  We have had her for five years, having brought her up from San Diego in October 2012 (formerly "Rain Cloud"). We have enjoyed racing in the Pacific Northwest doing longer distance races such as Swiftsure and Round the County, local mid-distance series such as the SYC Tri-Island series, and competing in buoy racing in PSSR (Puget Sound Summer Regatta) and PSSC (Puget Sound Spring Championship).

J/145 JEDI sailing Puget Sound off Seattle, WAWe just finished fourth in the Seattle YC invitational Grand Prix this past weekend, holding our own against two TP52s and a RP55.

We now race in the ORC division. New sails, constant learning, and great teamwork have lead to many successes.

Our 2001 J/145 is a powerful, all-around cruiser and racer that is a thrill to sail.  She is now the only J/145 in the PNW, and we are proud to have her and be part of the J/Boat family!

Note- our boat name may have its inspiration in the famous characters of Star Wars, but it’s also a conjugation of our names “John + Edie = Jedi”.

We hope you enjoy some recent photos of her in Puget Sound, thanks to our friend and amazing photographer- Jan Anderson from Seattle.  All the Best, Edie and John Tenneson”

J/70 sailing league and MarkSETBot* J/70 Sailing League using MarkSETBot for automated race course management!

Wally Cross has seen the future and wants to share the view. Here he reports on what may be the next big thing in our sport.  Wally comments on this evolutionary product:

“Three automated buoys from MarkSETBot, two operators and one RIB – that’s all you need to run a regatta with a true course every time. The MarkSETBot buoy is changing the management side of yacht racing.

Despite heavy reliance on volunteers, many yacht races have significant expenses that are making the events cost prohibitive.

When I read in Scuttlebutt about the village needed to run the Etchells Worlds, the PRO/organizer was appropriately proud of all the help which made the regatta a success, but when you consider the cost of travel, hotel and food for more than 20 RC people, the event budget quickly swells, and the expense even exceeds the cost of purchasing these automated buoys.

Key West was one of my favorite regattas until it became too expensive to run. Block Island also is one of my must sail events. However, according to Dick Neville, the cost of volunteer help to run all the courses is over $100,000.

Not only is the traditional way of running a regatta expensive, it also is slow and rarely perfect. Another drawback is the downtime between races, waiting for courses to be set and reset. When on the water, sailors would rather be racing.

J/70 sailor Wally Cross- Grosse Pointe YC sailing directorI recently ran a J/70 Stadium Sailing event at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (Detroit, MI) in partnership with Benjamin Klatzka, USA president of the Premiere Sailing League (PSL). We teamed up with Kevin Morin, inventor of the MarkSETBot, and ran an all-automated race course using three mobile MarkSETBot marks. PSL intends to use MarkSETBot at all future stadium sailing events.

Three moveable marks can make a windward leeward course complete. The self-propelled MarkSETBot buoy is approximately 6 feet by 4 feet in size and motors at four knots. The mark’s standard battery has an average life of eight hours, with larger battery options available.

Controlled by a smartphone, the buoys move independently, in pairs, or as a group. A course is set by simply pointing the connected phone at the wind or by using wind instruments on the mark to research trends and then set a bearing based on the data. Once set, the MarkSETBot locks on a GPS location and holds position.

We held 18 races at the J/70 Stadium Sailing event with 12 teams in less than three hours. With only a five-minute crash course on using the MarkSETBot app, Benjamin controlled the setting of the marks using a smartphone, moving them independently and as a group. The starting line easily became gates, transitioned to a finish line and then moved back to the starting line for the next race.

The MarkSETBot were put to good use with constant changes to the course based on wind speed and changing wind direction. Just prior to one start, the wind shifted 90 degrees. With a conventional race course, it would have taken up to half an hour to adjust the marks. With MarkSETBot, Benjamin was able to instruct all marks on the course to shift 90 degrees. The complete course was changed in under 60 seconds, and we were ready to race again.

How can you run a regatta with only three marks, two people and one boat? Here’s how:
  • Three MarkSetBots are needed. One MarkSetBot acts as the windward mark and the other two act as the start/gate/finish.
  • Two people manage the racing: one is responsible for scoring and controlling the marks and the other is the PRO.
  • One RIB is needed for on-the-water judging and sighting start and finish lines. In the future, this could be done via drone without the need for a RIB.
How is this better than traditional mark set boats?
  • Fewer RC boats and people required
  • Faster course changes – rapid changing of course direction with no effort, leading to a more precise course
  • Fewer marks necessary – start marks can be repurposed to become gates and finish marks in under 30 seconds with the tap of a button
  • More accurate and easier deep water mark setting
  • Better wind information – displays current and past wind readings without having to radio to the mark set boat
If you are interested in the history behind MarkSetBot, Kevin Morin conceptualized the automated buoys while racing on Cass Lake at the Pontiac Yacht Club. This inland lake is shifty to say the least, and race committee work is a nonstop job. Often, courses are set less than perfect just to get races going.

This new technology eliminates some of the challenges faced by race committees in locations where the wind is shifty, volunteers are scarce, or the water is too deep to set an anchor. These issues often force them to set a course that is less than ideal or, sometimes, cancel racing entirely.

Our world is changing fast with new innovations. Just as cars will soon be able to drive without a person steering, buoys for sailboat races can be autonomous too. I’m thrilled about this new technology that will result in better races and eliminate the waste of both money and time. “  Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

Team Vestas- winners Volvo Ocean Race- Leg 1* Congrats to Newport sailing duo Charlie Enright and Mark Towill and the rest of the VESTAS 11th Hour Racing crew (including Newport Shipyard’s Nick Dana, son of Charlie Dana- owner of the yard) on their first leg win in the Volvo Ocean Race!

VESTAS 11th Hour Racing won Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line in the River Tagus in Lisbon, Portugal with a 2.5 hour time cushion over the second place boat.

It’s a tremendous victory for American skipper Charlie Enright and his team, who earn 8 points for their efforts (including a one point ‘bonus’ for winning the leg).

It wasn’t easy. The wind shut down on the final approach, and an early morning lead of 34-nautical miles over second-placed MAPFRE was whittled down to 10-miles, with the finish in sight.

Nevertheless, the crew on the VESTAS 11TH Hour held their nerve; tacking and zigzagging towards the line, into agonizingly light headwinds, and finally securing victory.

“It’s incredible,” said Mark Towill, Team Director, from on board the boat moments before the finish.  “What a way to kick off the event. it’s been an incredible performance for the team… It’s been a challenging leg. We still have a lot to improve and long way to go… Today is our day, we’ll enjoy it, but then we have to get back to work and focus on the next leg.”

J/24 Champion Charlie Enright skippering Team VestasCharlie Enright is the third American skipper to win Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The others were John Kostecki, on illbruck in 2001-02, and Paul Cayard on EF Language in 1997-98. Both of those teams went on to an overall victory – so the omens for Charlie Enright are certainly good.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing – which carries US and Danish flags – are the first American flagged team to win Leg 1. They are also the first Danish team to win a leg.

“We have a long way to go certainly, but this was a good way to start,” said skipper Charlie Enright. “SiFi (navigator Simon Fisher) did a great job. He didn’t really make any missteps. But every sked is nerve-wracking, especially when you’re stuck in a river going backwards!

Team Vestas 11th Hour Racing sailing Volvo race“But we pride ourselves on not getting too high or too low and I think we executed that on this leg. It’s about having confidence in ourselves and committing to the process and now we’re starting to see the results of that.”

From a J/Boats sailor perspective, it’s interesting to note the top three boats were all led by very experienced J/sailors.  Charlie Enright was a J/24 World champion; the second place skipper- Xabi Fernández of MAPFRE and the third place skipper- Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Racing Team- both have had extensive experience sailing J/80s at a National and European level.

The next leg, a 7,000 nm course from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa, starts November 5th, 2017.  For more Volvo Ocean Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.