Wednesday, July 11, 2018

J/Newsletter- July 11th, 2018

J/121 sailing off SwedenJ/121 Flies on Baltic Sea: 
Marstand -> Malmo Delivery
(Gothenburg, Sweden)- “It was a really nice experience sailing her downwind in 17-20 kts of breeze on a 160nm delivery trip from Marstrand to Falsterbo (Malmo). We had Peter Gustafsson of BLUR.SE sailing fame onboard for the first leg down to southern Sweden. There is also a fun video from the downwind ride,” reports Fredrik Rydin, the proud new owner of the J/121 JOLENE.  Here is Peter’s report below.

“I have been intrigued with Fredrik Rydin’s process of bringing his new J/121 up to speed in Marstrand. His focus is on shorthanded racing and the appropriate sail wardrobe, instrumentation and systems to make sailing shorthanded effective- in fact, many of those elements are similar to my J/111 BLUR.SE.

It has been hectic to get everything done, so there was no traditional testing of everything before the delivery from Marstrand to Stockholm.  The plan was for Fredrik and his father Axel to do the delivery/sail to Stockholm and it was possible for me to join them on the first stage. It was especially exciting for me, since the weather forecast for the Marstrand-Malmö route promised a windspeed of 8-10 meters per second (about 16-21 kts).

When I landed in Marstrand, it was still a full-on commissioning process! Sikaflex and cartons everywhere! But, somewhere one has to draw a line, and it felt like order was necessary to get the ball rolling. It is easy under estimating how much work it takes to get a bigger boat commissioned and how many things can go wrong.  So, it felt like Fredrik and Axel were happy to finally get away sailing on their new ocean greyhound!

Morning coffee- flying downwind on J/121!Once out of the pretty harbor of Marstrand, we hoisted the main, then went straight to the A3 asymmetric! But, we soon switched soon to an A2! Bigger, faster! Time to celebrate with morning coffee (see Fredrik here).

Even though the boat is only meter longer than the J/111, it feels like a much bigger boat. For better or worse, everything gets a bit heavier, but the sailing becomes a bit more comfortable.

So, when the wind pressed at 9-11 m/s (~17-22 kts), we completely trucked downwind!  We were doing a steady 12-13-14 kts with tops of 18-19 kts on the knotmeter. The boat has very responsive steering, despite two steering wheels.  And, no trouble placing the boat right where you wanted it in the waves. She also felt stiffer than J/111 and, in places where BLUR probably would broach, one could easily get back to onto course and dive down the next wave.

After sailing both the 88 and 111, and now the 121, I think the VMG downwind planing threshold is moved slightly up the wind scale relative to her smaller sisterships. If the 88 planes at 7-8 m/s (13.5-15.5 kts), Blur at 9-10 m/s (17.5-19.5 kts), you'll really like 10-11 m/s (19-22 kts) on the 121 to make it really fun! But, then it will go really fast, “sending it downhill” so to speak!

There were no good polars yet for the boat (the only one that it had was the ORC polar chart from ORC for the J/121 JACKHAMMER from the United Kingdom, which has a different configuration).  So, we drove using BLUR’s numbers downwind. TWA seemed about right, and in conditions where the 111 was always on a plane, we were steady at 100% planing on the 121. Fun for BLUR ... but, as I said, a little more wind, the 121 will simply fly away- you could tell going down the waves, the 121 is a reaching/ running speedster, hitting 19 kts was not hard for this boat- effortless, in fact. This boat will surprise a lot of sailors at its ability to go fast offshore- a reaching machine that can still go upwind like its legendary predescessors.

J/121 cockpit
The cockpit is incredibly comfortable. Easy to get around and good ergonomics for both skipper and the trimmer, who can sit in front of the steering wheel and have good contact with the skipper without being in the way. All fittings are where they should be, although there are clearly some adjustments needed to be made for how Fredrik wants to sail the boat.

We dropped past Vinga and down towards Nidingen. Perfect conditions and steady 10-13 knots boatspeed (planing mode, obviously) with sporadic bursts of 16-17 kts. The route took us far west, but we chose to drive safe.

J/121 Jolene enjoying sunset sailWe experienced another gorgeous sunset. I estimated that this was the eighth full night sail this year, which feels very good. Swedish summer nights out on the wild blue sea are something special. It is twilight all night long!

The last gasp of breeze was at Gilleleje, before the wind turned southeast and dropped to 2-3 m/s (3.5-5.8 kts) at Höganäs. Pretty much as the weather routing had predicted.

After a little motoring at Helsingør, we could sail on a reach in the light wind down towards Ven. We tested the water ballast (small windward heel effect in the light wind) and compared the performance between jib and J0 (a big jib or small code that is rolled out flying from the top of the mast and end of the sprit pole). Useful data collection, and we were able to work around the sail chart and the experience we have on BLUR.

Here is what the white sail wardrobe looks like: a 104% Jib LM (40 m2), a J0 (JIB ZERO 61 m2) and a heavy air #4 set on its own inside of the foretriangle (30 m2).

Here is what the North Sails sail selection chart looks like for the J/121 JOLENE.
J/121 sail chart selection
So, the sail chart is very close to what we have on BLUR. But, on J/121, you've been thinking right from the start. One big difference is that J0 is placed on the end of the sprit and masthead and stretched tight with a 3:1 ratio; that gives good sail shape and enables 55 TWA sailing upwind in light airs- a big advantage!

The interior has the same layout as the J/109, the "owners cabin" on the port side aft and a giant head and storage locker on the starboard side. There is a great forepeak dedicated to sail handling, but can also accommodate two pipe berths.
J/121 interior
The interior is perfect for single or doublehanded racing.  But, offshore you should not sail more than six to be comfortable in the two main cabin settees and swing up bunks. But, with water ballast it should be just right to sail with six.

Well, it was now time to find the dock in Malmo after the Öresund Bridge. We then started the autopilot, which required a little change of settings and will need adjustments in further "sea trials". Many things to be adjusted on a new boat!
J/121 twin wheels- twin B&G Zeus 3'sFredrik has the same setup as BLUR (see here). The only difference is that you have two B&G Zeus 3’s, one for each wheel!

J/121 Jolene at Channel dockWe finally make it to the dock in the Falsterbok channel. Many “thanks” to Fredrik for letting me go. And, congratulations on a beautiful boat!

How does it compare to a J/111? It is the same concept, but with a clearer focus on offshore racing. This boat is best for stretching its legs out at sea. To Bermuda, Hawaii or a quick Gotland Runt Race. It does not feel as sporty (powered up) as a J/111, or even a J/88.  But, in offshore weather and waves like we experienced, you will reel off the miles offshore without getting tired- it is a very comfortable boat! And, with a smaller crew.

Right now Fredrik & Axel are in Kalmarsund. They drove with the A2 asymmetric spinnaker from the canal to the cutout and got the chance to pump in 400 liters of water into the water tanks; they were sailing with a TWA 135 at 7-9 m/s (13.5-17.0 kts). There is no question, the water ballast definitely makes a difference. We wish them a nice trip!”
Fun J/121 downwind sailing video- 13 kts average, burst to 19 kts!
Watch the J/121 downwind sailing video here   Thanks for this contribution from Peter Gustafsson at BLUR.SE

J/112E sailing Offshore Worlds 
Offshore World Championship Preview
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship is in final preparation for the fleet of 90 yachts from 15 nations to start the event. The fleet represents a diverse cross section of teams from around the world comprised of seasoned champions, newcomers and older production cruiser/racers, as well as brand new custom racing designs being sailed by professional crews and Corinthian amateurs.

“It’s this rich diversity that makes this a truly World Championship that appeals to all offshore sailors,” said Bruno Finzi, a member of the International Jury for the event and Chairman of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). For the first time, both ORC’s rating system and IRC, the system used by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and its French counterpart UNCL, will be used for scoring in this event. As a result, all entries were required to be measured to have certificates from both systems. Use of these systems allows for boats of different types to race against each other under handicap in a week-long format of both offshore and inshore racing.

The first offshore race starts on Sunday, July 15th. The length of this race will vary depending on the weather, but the first teams are expected to finish on Monday 16 July.
J/112e interior
On Tuesday 17 July, either offshore racing will resume, or the start of windward/leeward course racing will begin on two designated course areas off the beach at Scheveningen, with inshore racing to continue daily through Friday 20 July. A total of nine races are scheduled, two offshore and seven inshore. The teams with the lowest combined scores using ORC and IRC ratings in each of three classes (A, B, C) will be crowned the new 2018 World Champions, with prizes also awarded to teams with all Corinthian (amateur) crew.

Sailing in the twenty-seven boat Class B are primarily custom and semi-custom production boats.  Joining that fray will be a standard J/111 RED HERRING, sailed by Gerwin Janssen from The Netherlands- hopefully, his “home field” advantage will helpful through the course of nine races.
Class C has fifty-three boats from twelve nations across Europe; it’s by far the largest class in the event and starting so many big boats on one starting line will prove to be a formidable task! Some speculate the line will be from 1/4 to 1/3 nm in length!  Like the other classes, there are a number of new and current custom boats racing against standard production boats.  Leading the charge for the five J/Teams will be the current IRC European Champion- Fred Bouvier & Didier LeMoal’s J/112E J-LANCE 12.  Also, participating from Ireland is a past United Kingdom IRC Class Champion- the J/35 BENGAL MAGIC sailed by Jim Chalmers.  Finally, there are three J/109s hoping to get their shot at some silver as well; including MAJIC (Arnout Joorritsma), VRIJGEZEILIG (Michel Heidweiller), and JAI ALAI (Alain Bornet).  For more Offshore World Championship sailing information

Bayview Mackinac RaceBayview-Mackinac Race Preview
(Port Huron, MI)- One hundred ninety teams are confirmed for the 2018 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, scheduled for July 14.  With 93 years of tradition behind it, this unique distance race, with two courses (204 or 259 nm) that start on lower Lake Huron and finish at Mackinac Island, has a knack for bringing back regulars and reeling in newcomers, each year weaving new interesting stories into its tapestry of racing fun.  One of the largest brand contingents happens to be J/sailors from across the Great Lakes- thirty-three crews in total.

Bayview Mackinac coursesDivision I- Cove Island Course
Not surprisingly, one entire class of thirteen-boats is comprised of all J/Teams- Class D that has only J/111s and J/120s.  The four J/111s are CAPERS (Don Hudak), FREEDOM (Jim Cooper), SHMOKIN JOE (Jeff Schaefer), and UNPLUGGED (Tim Clayson).  There are nine J/120s that will be battling for class honors as well; including Charlie Hess’ FUNTECH RACING, Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, the trio on J-HAWKER (Dave Sandlin, Ken Brown, Mark Pikula), and Henry Mistele’s NIGHT MOVES.

Sailing in the eleven-boat Class E are seven J/Teams, including Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG, Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, Bill Hamilton’s J/109 PHOENIX, and four J/105s (Mark Denuyl’s GOOD LOOKIN, Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL, Matt Haglund’s RAMPAGE, & Jim Murphy’s WINDSHADOW).

J/111 sailing Bayview Mackinac RaceThe dozen-boat Class G is considered the “Level 35” class with ten J/35s headed to the starting line and their North American Championship two weeks later!  Those teams include Bill Wildner’s MR BILL’S WILD RIDE (of course!), Tim & Amie Ross’ BLACKHAWK, Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON, and Greg Whipple’s WHIPLASH.

The Class I Cruising fleet includes Gary Gonzalez’s J/42 DOS MAS and the J/35 DYNOMYTE skippered by Gary Warner.

Division II- Shore Course
Sailing in the fourteen-boat Class M fleet will be a previous class winner, the infamous J/34 IOR classic called KNEE DEEP and sailed by Brett & Katie Langolf from Deadman’s Flat YC.  For more Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

J/35 North AmericansJ/35 North Americans Update
(Muskegon, MI)- Has it really been thirty-five ears of instant gratification in an offshore handicap racer and one-design sailboat?

The North Star Sail Club, The City of Cheboygan, MI and the J/35 Class Association are proud to announce the 35th Anniversary of the J/35 National Championship, July 26 – 29, 2018.

Competing in the northern waters of Lake Huron between Cheboygan and Mackinac Island, the J/35 National Championship brings a competitive fleet of one-design sailors in a boat that brought dazzling offshore performance to sailors of varying experience and ability.

This year’s competition celebrates the innovation and joy of competitive sailing that is still going strong after thirty-five years. Honoring thirty-five years and presenting the awards will be one of the designers of the J/35, Rod Johnstone.

In the spring of 1983, after coming out a recession, the was boat designed with a conscientious disregard for any handicap rule and, today, is one of the most successful handicap racing boats ever.

Join the members of North Star Sail Club and the City of Cheboygan in celebrating the historic event. Awards will be presented by Rod Johnstone on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 PM in the historic City Opera House, downtown Cheboygan, MI.

J/109 sailing off Rhode IslandNYYC Race Week Preview
(Newport, RI)- The New York YC Race Week will be taking place from July 16th to 21st, 2018 on the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for a fleet of thirty-five modern keelboats, of which eleven (33% of the fleet) are J’s. The J/109s will be sailing as a one-design class and the other J/crews will be participating in the IRC and PHRF Navigator classes.

The half-dozen boat J/109 class includes some of the best East Coast boats on the summer regatta circuits.  Those teams include Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG from Lakewood YC, Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING from New Bedford YC, Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE from Lakewood YC, Bill Sweetser’s RUSH from Annapolis YC, and Bill Kneller’s VOLARE from Coasters Harbor Navy YC.

In the twenty-one boat IRC Class, sailing offshore will be Sedgwick & Andrew Ward’s J/111 BRAVO from Shelter Island YC, Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION, and NYYC Vice Commodore Bill Ketcham’s J/44 MAXINE.

Sailing in the PHRF Navigator class will be Tom Wacker’s J/105 TRADING PLACES from Old Cove YC in Brooklyn, New York.  For more New York YC Race Week sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There were many exciting, big events taking place last week in Europe and also offshore on the Pacific Ocean.  The biggest by far was the Island Sailing Club’s famous Round Island Race that took place last Saturday, with over 1,000 boats starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line off Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.  It was a west-about counter-clockwise race in relatively light airs. Yet another fabulous performance by a J/112E and the new J/121 also had a good outing.  Then, just about due south of the Isle of Wight, England, the J/80 World Championship is being sailed at Les Sables d’Olonne, France with seventy teams from nine countries, hosted by Sports Nautiques Sablais YC.  It is a battle between the top Spanish and French teams so far, with racing completing this Friday. Then, two more J/70 sailing league events took place.  The Italian J/70 Sailing League raced on gorgeous Lake Garda off Malcesine, Italy, hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine for eighteen teams from across Italy. Then, the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League just completed Act III at Aalsmeer, a pretty lake in the middle of the country for the fifteen Dutch sailing club teams. This year’s RORC Morgan Cup was a bit of a “drift-a-thon” (or, “kedge-a-thon”, depending on your perspective). Nevertheless, there were some good performances by various J/teams.

Hopping over the Big Pond to America, on the New England coast, we find that SAIL Newport hosted “The Newport Regatta” for a fleet of two-dozen J/70s, with sailing taking place out in Rhode Island Sound in atypical light airs for this time of year.  Out West, two huge offshore races are heading to Hawaii.  For the Pacific Northwest contingent, a J/122E is sailing the Vic-Maui Race from Victoria, British Columbia 2,300+nm to Maui, Hawaii- they are ten days into it already, updates are below.  Then, in fresh conditions, the biennial 2,275nm Pacific Cup Race started from San Francisco, CA to Oahu, Hawaii, for a fleet of J/crews (two J/120s, J/35, J/92, & J/105).

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:

Jun 30- Vic-Maui International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
Jul 7-14- J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d’Olonne, France
Jul 12-15- Italian J/70 Cup- Malcesine, Italy
Jul 12-14- Canadian J/70 National Championship- Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Jul 12-20- Offshore Sailing Worlds- The Hague, The Netherlands
Jul 12-15- Vineyard Cup- Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 13- Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jul 13- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- St Malo, France
Jul 14- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 16-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
Jul 19-20- Edgartown Race Week- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 19-22- Whidbey Island Race Week- Whidbey Island, WA
Jul 20-29- Travemunde Race Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 21- Chicago to Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 21- Edgartown Round Island Race- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 21-22- Fiesta Cup- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-28- J/24 European Championship- Glucksburg, Germany
Jul 26-29- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 26-29- J/35 North American Championship- Cheboygan, MI
Jul 27-29- J/88 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY
Jul 27- New England Solo-Twin- Newport, RI
Jul 27- Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 27-29- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 28-29- CanAm Regatta- Youngstown, NY
Jul 28- RORC Channel Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

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

J/80s sailing World ChampionshipJ/80 World Champs Update
Spanish Dominate Podium So Far
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The Sports Nautiques Sablais YC is hosting the J/80 World Championship from the 9th to the 13th July.  So far, they’ve been blessed with good sailing conditions on the bay for the seventy-boat fleet.

As anticipated, the J/80 World Championship has turned into a full-on battle between the top French and Spanish teams at the top of the leaderboard.

Women J/80 sailors at WorldsAfter three days of sailing with eight races completed, occupying the top three spots on the podium are Spanish teams- Iker Almondoz’s GARATU, Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, and Juan Luis Paez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA.  The top French teams are sitting in 4th- Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, 6th- Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS, 7th- Vianney Guilbaud’s AG+ SPARS, and 9th- Gwendal Nael’s EJP 10.  The top Russian team is Alexei Semenov’s NEW TERRITORIES in 5th place.  Patrick O’Neill’s Irish crew on MOJO are 8th.  And, rounding out the top ten is the Spanish crew of Javier Chacartegui’s IBO.ES.  The top British boat is Jon Powell’s BETTY in 11th position.

Two French women skippers are in the top 15- Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTQUE in 12th and Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES in 13th- just three points separate them.   Follow the J/80 World Championships on Facebook here.   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/122E sailing Round Island Race- Cowes, UKJ’s Dominate Round the Island Race
Win, Place or Show in SEVEN Classes!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As usual, it was another challenging 60nm offshore adventure for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Over one thousand boats began starting at 0630 hrs.  First off was the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the beautiful morning light.  On Saturday, the High pressure system produced a light NE breeze to start, veering SE-SW during J/97 sailing Round Island Racethe afternoon depending where you were. It was a hot & sunny, very tactical, long day of sailing- even the TP52’s took 10-11 hours to complete the course!

The general lack of wind and seabreeze that failed to materialise, left hundreds of teams struggling to reach the Needles before the tidal gate slammed shut in the early part of the race. Those who sneaked through had little option other than to soldier on and endure a slow, challenging, and extremely hot rounding.

Up for that challenge was the J/Navy sailing across the spectrum of classes.  It was a dominating performance for many J/Crews!

J/88 rounding The Needles- Round Island RaceThe highlight was yet another fantastic performance by a J/112E!  This time, it was DAVANTI TYRES (Chaz Ivill & Paul Heys) that won the Owen Parker Memorial Trophy- First Overall in IRC Group 1 and they were also first in IRC 1C Division!

Following them in IRC 1A Class were the following teams: 2nd the J/111 JOURNEYMAKER, 4th the J/120 HANNAM & PARTNERS Team, 5th the J/122 JAHMALI, 6th the J/111 JITTERBUG, 7th the J/122 KAYA, 10th the J/111 KESTREL, and 11th the J/133 ASSARAIN IV.

Sailing in IRC 2A Class were twelve J/109s and, not surprisingly, they led a clean sweep of the podium! First was JUBILEE, second DIAMOND JEM, and third JAGO!

J/109 sailing Round Island RaceThen, in IRC 2B Class were seven J/105s and six J/109s that also dominated, taking six of the top eight places! Winning was the J/105 JOS OF HAMBLE, 4th the J/105 JIN & TONIC, 5th the J/109 JURA, 6th the J/105 TYREFIX UK, 7th the J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS, and 8th the J/105 JIGSAW.

Holding their own in IRC 2C Class was the J/92S UPSTART, taking the third position on the podium.

IRC 2D Class had four J/92’s and five J/97’s, also with an outstanding set of results (five of the top ten).  Winning was the J/97 JAYWALKER, followed in 3rd by the J/97 JET, 5th the J/97 JUMBLESAIL II, 9th the J/97 HIGHJINKS, and 10th the J/92 JABBERWOCK.

Taking half of the top six in IRC 3A Class were the following J/Teams; winning was the J/92 SAMURAI J, 4th the J/92 NIGHTJAR, and 6th the J/97 BLACKJACK.

J/24 sailing 1,000th Round Island RaceIn the world of Island Sailing Club handicap rules (ISC), there were a number of J/crews participating.  The highlights were the J/100 TIDERACE taking 2nd place in 5B Class.  And, last but not least were the venerable J/24s!  In 6C Class taking 2nd was the J/24 J-RIDER and in 6th was J/24 TEAM IMPACT RACING.

In addition to the handicap classes, there are also one-design classes for the Round Island Race!

This year’s J/70 Class was won by MJOLNIR, followed by JENGA 8 in second, and the ROYAL SOUTHERN GBR 101 team in third.

J/88 sailing Round Island RaceIn the J/88s, first across the line was TIGRIS, followed by David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM, and Mister 88’s JONGLEUR in third place.

The J/105 class had quite the battle all the way around the island, which is not unusual for this closely-fought class.  Winning the battle this year was JOS OF HAMBLE, second was JIN TONIC and third TYREFIX UK.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for all the J/sailors was how well the J/109s did as a class as well as overall.  Winning was JUBILEE, followed by DIAMOND JEM taking silver and JAGO the bronze.

J/97 sailing Round Island RaceHowever, when you look at the J/Boats Class Trophy (overall IRC- 56 boats total), here is how the top five panned out:
1st J/109 JUBILEE
4th J/109 SAMURAI J

For more Round the Island Race sailing information

J/70s sailing the Newport Regatta off Newport, RIDuncan Tops J/70s @ SAIL NEWPORT Regatta
(Newport, RI)-  “THE Newport Regatta”, hosted by SAIL NEWPORT, in conjunction with its supporters- New York YC, Ida Lewis YC, and Newport YC- was held over a gorgeous July 7th and 8th weekend.  While the days were sunny and relatively cool at mid-70s F, the winds were anything but cooperative for the huge J/70 class sailing offshore on Rhode Island Sound.

While Regatta Manager Matt Duggan and Event Manager Emily Greagori were hoping for real Chamber of Commerce weather conditions for all, only those that were racing inside Narragansett Bay had any meaningful winds for proper round-the-cans racing.  Outside, the winds were wildly erratic on Saturday; forcing postponements, course re-alignments, and cancellations of starts. With winds swinging through 35-45 degree arcs and fluctuating from 2 kts up to a blistering 5 kts (the J/70 class minimum), it was apparent that PRO Peter “Luigi” Reggio (yes, the man, the myth, the legend of the America’s Cup R.C. PRO world) was going to have his hands full getting any racing in whatsoever.  Nevertheless, patience brought enough winds to complete three races on Saturday by 1700 hrs, with most boats getting in around 1800 hrs- an exhausting, long day on the water.

J/70 Newport women's team- Sparkle- Hannah Swett and Martha ParkerSunday had a similar forecast, but with winds building late in the day according to most weather “grib” files.  The morning dawned with a nice cool breeze from the WNW that ultimately swung into the southeast by 1000 hrs at 3-4 kts.  Another postponement ensued as the normally steady seabreeze, yet again, continued to swing erratically all over the map.  However, this time the breeze built up to a somewhat steadier 4-8 kts by the time the last race was completed, with over 35 degree windshifts/ wind streaks rolling across the race track.  After three mercifully short races (just 0.75nm windward legs), the fleet headed back home late again to lick their wounds.

It was a deeply talented J/70 fleet; with over a dozen teams capable of top ten finishes in any J/70 Worlds.  And, the results reflected that fact, as virtually all boats in the top ten had one or more double-digit finishes in their scorelines.  For many, the saving grace was that after six races completed, they could discard their worst race. And many of the top USA J/70 teams had surprisingly deep scores to toss out!

J/70s sailing Newport RegattaWithout throw-outs, Martie Kullman’s HYDRA would have won by two points over Jud Smith’s AFRICA, with Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY in third position.

With throw-outs, Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY won with 17 pts, with Kullman’s HYDRA and Smith’s AFRICA tied at 19 pts each, with the tie-breaker going to HYDRA.  The balance of the top five included Glenn Darden’s HOSS in 4th and Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS in 5th.  The two other World Champions were 6th and 7th, respectively- Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT and Tim Healey’s USA 2.

The top three women’s skippers were Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE (an all-women’s team), Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, and Heather Gregg’s MUSE.  For more THE Newport Regatta at SAIL Newport sailing information.

J/70 sailing on Lake Garda, ItalySocieta Canottieri Garda Salò Tops Italian J/70 Sailing League- Act II
(Malcesine, Italy)- The Fraglia Vela Malcesine welcomed the second act of the Italian Sailing League, on the splendid setting of Lake Garda.

“With 18 crews at the start, many of them with great ambitions, we opened the second seasonal selection of LIV tonight,” said Roberto Emanuele de Felice, President of the Italian Sailing League.  “Thanks to the Fraglia Vela of Malcesine for their hospitality and the organization of an event that takes place in an exceptional setting.  The weather conditions of Lake Garda will allow the crews to express themselves at their best. 45 races are expected in three days of racing. We know that the goal is the selection of the top Italian teams for the SAILING Champions League to be held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia later in September."

The first day of racing after eight long hours on the water produced twenty-four races.  The day started at 0800 hrs for the first flight of teams (after the morning briefing at 0700 hrs!) and ended at 1600 hrs. It was only possible to get in so many races because the strong Pelèr breeze was blowing up to 20 knots early in the morning!

J/70s sailing on Lake Garda, ItalyIn fact, the Pelèr winds were way above the average; it blew well beyond midday, making the race course perfect and extremely tactical- lots of puffs and wind streaks roaring down the lake from the Italian Alps!

Then, at 1300 hrs, the Pelèr stopped and, immediately, the Ora came in from the south!  Crazy weather conditions on such a beautiful sunny, clear day! The new race course was so close to land that many swimmers and tourists were intrigued by the tight maneuvering of the boats right along the shoreline!

Winning the day easily was Societa Canottieri Garda Salò six 1sts, a 2nd and 3rd.  Six points behind was Circolo Canottieri Aniene with three 1sts and four 2nds in the scoreline.

Then, tied for third on 20 pts each were three teams- Compagnia Della Vela of Venice, the YC Gaeta and Circolo Della Vela Bellano

J/70 sailing on Lake Garda, ItalyThe secret of success, according to the Società Canottieri Garda Salò, was getting good clean starts.

"These are short races,” explains Enrico Fonda, “our goal in every race was to start fast and lead at the top mark.  However, sometimes it does not always work that way!” (he said laughing).

The Società Canottieri Garda Salò has a team composed of ten sailors that rotate into the various regattas to represent the club.

"We did not train a lot together, but we are all expert sailors and we know the J/70’s well. Plus, Lago di Garda is perfect for racing, and the Pelèr, which is shiftier and puffier, is much more tactical, something I prefer to beat our opponents!”

On the final day, nine more races were sailed to complete the regatta.  In the morning, the Pelèr did not show up! But around midday, the Ora blew in from the south around 10 kts for a fun and exciting finale for the regatta.

Italian J/70 Sailing League- Malcesine, Italy winners podiumThe Società Canottieri Garda Salò team (Pietro Corbucci, Stefano Raggi, Diego Franchini, & Enrico Fonda) won the Act 2 in Malcesine.  Second place was Circolo Canottieri Aniene (Luca Tubaro, Simone Spangaro, Matteo Mason, & Davide Tizzano- who was Olympic Gold for rowing). Third place went to Compagnia Della Vela of Venice (Paolo Acinapura, Salvatore Eulisse, Alessandro Banci, Andrea Tedesco, & Jacopo Paier).

"Our victory”, commented Enrico Fonda, “came thanks to a fantastic and prepared team. We had a goal, to always start well and win, and we were always focused to achieve it, this was the key to guaranteeing the consistency of content necessary to conclude in first place.”

"The second stage of Lega Italiano Vela selection,” commented President Roberto Emanuele de Felice, “goes into the history books after a set of extremely closely fought races, perhaps the hardest battles in the history of LIV. We have experienced challenging conditions, fast racing, and choppy waves- fantastic sailing!”  Follow the Italian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook, watch sailing video highlight here   For more Italian J/70 Sailing League sailing information

J/70 woman crew on Dutch sailing league teamVW De Twee Provincien Wins @ Aalsmeer
WV Almere Centraal Leads Dutch J/70 Sailing League Series
(Aalsmeer, Netherlands)- On the Westeinderplassen in Aalsmeer, the third act of the Eredivisie Sailing (the Dutch J/70 National Sailing League) took place over a gorgeous summer weekend of sailing on the lake for the fifteen teams from across the Netherlands. Mother nature did not make it easy for them; a variable wind forced the Race Committee to change the course in almost every race to make a fair race possible. And, that is how it went for the rest of the weekend.  Light and variable in the morning and hoping the afternoon seabreeze would kick in faster.

J/70 Dutch women sailing league off Aalsmeer, NetherlandsLeading after the first day with three straight bullets was WV Almere Centraal. Willem Jan van Dort, skipper of WV Almere Centraal explains, "These are difficult conditions today, with many unexpected wind shifts on the track. We realize that you could literally win or lose a race in the last few meters before the finish, because of the many williwaws on the track. We made reasonable good starts, but were not always the best. Then, it is a nice battle to continue to sail forward in the field. But, good defense is also important, because today the difference is made on a tactical level. Tomorrow will not be different, as they again predict light weather, so it will be exciting again!"

Day two was set to start on time at 0900 hours, however sailing was postponed due to a lack of wind.  By midday, the breeze filled in and the race committee managed to run twelve more races on Saturday, bringing the total number of races to twenty-one.

It was an exciting day on the water. For a long time WV Almere Centraal seemed to hold their lead firmly in their hands, but in the last race they finished last and eventually fell to second place on the leaderboard. Jachtclub Scheveningen managed to pass the reigning champion with a few victories and a second place.

Women sailing J/70s in The NetherlandsTom Kerkhof from Jachtclub Scheveningen explains their position enthusiastically, "We are happy to be in first place. We had a good start today with two first places. Then, we suddenly finished last, which shows that you should never think you are too confident. Fortunately, we were able to finish with a 2nd place in the last race and, thus, take the lead in the rankings. We look forward to tomorrow!"

Jachtclub Scheveningen battled hard and took over the lead from WV Almere Centraal, sitting atop the leaderboard with 15 points total. Behind them, three teams were tied on 16 pts each- WV Almere Centraal, RR&ZV Maas & Roer (Roermond), and the women’s SHE SAILS team sailing for the International Yacht Club Amsterdam.

The last day was epic, battles all over the race course and it was never clear until the last flight and set of races when the winner was determined.  And, to keep everyone breathless with anticipation until the end, the winners and the balance of the top five were determined on tie-breakers!  Talk about an anxiety-ridden day!  Every tack, every gybe, every spinnaker set and takedown was crucial to extract every millimeter of advantage to get consistent scores.

Women J/70 SHE SAILS sailing teamSunday started just like the previous two days: a weak variable wind that forced the 15 sailing teams to wait for the side. Race leader Alex Hoeve had already put everything in position to be able to sail immediately as soon as the wind allowed. Around 11:30 the first race could be started and it soon became clear that the wind attracted a lot and a sailing spectacle could be expected. Nine races were squeezed out on Sunday, where sailing team VWDTP managed to win three times in a row in their races. The Amsterdam ladies were on the same course, but left precious points in their last race and thus lost the highest step on the podium. Almere Central managed to keep up after a restless Saturday with varying results and eventually became overall third.

Skipper of the winning VWDTP team- Arthur Kluppel- said enthusiastically: "It feels fan-tas-tic to win this event! It has been a real reward for working. Friday we started too cautiously and at that moment were leaving points in the light weather. As a team, we then agreed to take more risks at the start and in the runway. From that moment on, we sailed no fewer than 6 first places! Laying down after a start is disastrous, you will no longer make up for that because of the high level of the sailing teams. In the results, you see that well back, the points are awfully close together. Until the last moment, it was the bottom pinching for us. The Amsterdam ladies could still pass us in the overall ranking if they had finished their last race just a bit better! "

Women sailing J/70s in The NetherlandsThe Groningers and Almere Centraal will sail the 2nd semi-final of the Sailing Champions League from 3 to 6 August against the best international teams from the comparable international competition. "We are curious how we can relate to this force field, we are going to see it! But winning this round of games in Aalsmeer on the way to the semi-finals gives a lot of confidence. We will train for another weekend and then do our utmost in Russia! "

Perhaps the most notable performance of the entire weekend was the women’s SHE SAILS team sailing for International Yacht Club Amsterdam.  The nailed four 1sts in a row and nearly pulled off the overall win, much to the delight of their wildly cheering fans!

J/70 Netherlands winners podium“We were right there! But, it just did not turn out for us at the last minute! But, we finally succeeded in getting onto the podium! We had good boat handling and tactics this weekend and the team also managed to switch well and anticipate the circumstances. At the beginning of the weekend, our results were also somewhat variable, but we started to sail more consistently, with a few nice victories. Unfortunately, we did not cash in on the gold medal during the last race. We were in a huge fight with WV De Meeuwen on the water in the last race. If we had not had this battle, we might have ended up a place higher and won the regatta.  However, we are very happy with our 2nd place,” commented a happy and smiling Fettje Osinga.

Women's SHE SAILS sailing team- 2nd in Aalsmeer, NetherlandsThe women’s SHE SAILS teams ended up tied on points at 21 pts each with VW De Twee Provincien, losing the tie-breaker on the countback based on most 1sts.  Third place went to the defending Dutch J/70 Sailing League champions- WV Almere Centraal with 22 points.  The balance of the top five was also determined on a tie-breaker on 23 pts each, with WV De Meeuwen (Leeuwarden) taking 4th and Jachtclub Scheveningen finishing 5th.

As a result of the Aalsmeer regatta, WV Almere Centraal continues to lead the overall standings after three events with a total of 56 pts (low point scoring, all races count).  Just one point back in 2nd is RR&ZV Maas & Roermond and sitting in 3rd is Jachtclub Scheveningen with 58 pts.  Never has one regatta and the overall standings been so close in the history of the Dutch J/70 Sailing League- it’s exciting, close racing as all the teams have raised their game to a much higher, and more consistent, level.   Watch the interview of the SHE SAILS Women’s team on Facebook here   Sailing photo credits- Jasper van Staveren
For more Dutch J/70 Sailing League information

Solent light airsRORC Morgan Cup Becomes Drift-A-Thon!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Although light winds were predicted for the race, the fleet experienced the remnants of a westerly sea breeze for the Squadron Line start, lasting long enough for a twilight exit from the Solent. Calms and complex local effects during the night, made observation and experience of light airs racing paramount. As night fell, the breeze dropped significantly resulting in somewhat of a park up off Portland Bill, giving an advantage to the higher rated IRC boats that had made the tidal gate. However, close to Midsummer the night was short, dawn broke before 5 a.m. and the lower IRC rated yachts enjoyed longer daylight racing with enhanced breeze. For many of the top boats, after passing Portland Bill, those that stayed offshore found more breeze than the inshore boats.

In the IRC 1 division, Nick Angel’s J/121 ROCK LOBSTER finished fourth in an elapsed time of 23:24:29- nearly a full 24 hour day for such a short race! Many boats reported kedging to not lose distance to the finish using 300 feet of anchor line!

In IRC 2 division, Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W placed 4th and the famous French J/133 PINTIA, sailed by Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine, took fifth!  A tough race indeed for such a crackerjack crew!

Then, the J/109s had an equally challenging time in IRC 3 division, Chris Preston’s JUBILEE taking 4th and Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN happy to get 5th in the painfully slow drift-a-thon.  For more RORC Morgan Cup Race sailing information

J/122E Joyride sailing to HawaiiVic-Maui Race Underway
J/122E JOYRIDE Amongst The Leaders!
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)- The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, got underway July 1st. The 2,308nm course goes from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

The lone J/Crew sailing the race is the gorgeous J/122E JOYRIDE from Seattle, WA skippered by her owner- John Murkowski. They are one of the most successful offshore racing teams in the Pacific Northwest. Here are the latest updates below.

Day 5
Day 5 Roll Call finds the boats generally about 550 miles west of the Oregon/California border and the leaders are now about 1500 miles from Hawaii. But the winds are easing. This is definitely the Middle Sea and the most difficult part of the race to figure out. The fleet continues to chase the sweet spot between the Pacific High and Low Pressure trough well west of the Rhumb Line; with most boats 75 miles west of the direct route and Anjo and Serenite another 75 miles west of that.

The wind was generally strong overnight after the trough passed and most boats were beam-reaching speeds of 8 kts or more. But the wind has now abated with most boats seeing wind from the NW about 15 kts, and speeds have slowed accordingly. JOY RIDE is still vying for the lead for line honors, while winning on handicap.

Day 6
Day 6 Roll Call finds the fleet well offshore and now about 750 miles off Cape Mendocino and still sailing west of the direct route to Maui.  But this morning’s Weather Eye lays out the myriad of issues facing the fleet as all boats look to pick the right weather route, with choosing the wrong window likely to be costly.

Boats are reporting sailing in lighter conditions that yesterday. But, more importantly, the “Tuna Challenge” was issued yesterday by Oxomoxo, and it was answered on JOY RIDE within minutes of putting out the lure. No word on how bloody the decks got. Also, reporting tuna on board are Turnagain and Kraken again.

Day 7
This afternoon, the fleet looks to be sailing on starboard tack with W-NW winds in the 7-13 knot range.  Barometric pressures reportedly range from 1022 – 1025, with some dubious outlier readings from boats whose barometer calibrations may have fallen off the pre-start job list.  All the boats appear to be navigating a fine line to avoid light air on their left (to the East) and to stay in pressure either ahead or to their right, on the slope of the High (to the West).

Conditions onboard the boats are reported as warmer and drier, with a more-than-faint whiff of tuna on some boats and gray whales near other boats.  It looks like tomorrow will be the half way mark for a number of boats; traditionally there are some wild and wacky celebrations that are sometimes akin to a sailor’s traditional equatorial crossing.  With the magic of modern wireless communications, photographs, including drone images, and stories have been coming ashore from the boats and appearing on blogs and social media including the Vic-Maui Facebook group at

Day 8
Most of the fleet reached the halfway point in last 24 hours, or will shortly. It is certainly a time for celebrations aboard (and perhaps the first shower in a week). But it is also time to contemplate how far the boats are from anything - nearest land is over 1000 miles away. But from now on, the nearest land will be Hawaii – how good is that?

The weather seems to have improved and with boats now at the latitude of Carmel, it is certainly warmer and most boats report that the foulies are finally starting to come off. There are some complaints about the lack of spinnaker sailing (as promised in the brochure) with boats reporting they are close reaching with Code 0 sails in 10-15 kts of wind. And they could use more wind.

The trade winds and the promised spinnaker run to Hawaii are out there, but there is still a zone of changeable winds ahead that needs to be navigated. This race to Maui will be determined by who gets to those trade winds and hoist the spinnaker first.

Day 9
The trade wind run under spinnaker to Hawaii beckons, but more changeable winds are still in the way of the Vic-Maui fleet. The boats are stuck in a form of purgatory close reaching in wind speeds are fluctuating from non-existent to 12 kts – not exactly prime conditions for an ocean race. And the boats are soooo tired of seeing the white sails hoisted on a perpetual starboard tack and are getting frustrated by the time it is taking to make southing to the trade wind latitudes. And they are getting nervous, as everyone has now figured out that the boat that finds the right path to the trades will likely win the race.

And they are now clearly in the North Pacific Gyre (aka the Garbage Patch) with JOY RIDE quite surprised by the amount of plastic garbage floating by. With Salient also report seeing lots of whales, you have to wonder how our leviathan friends are faring in a sea of fish nets, plastic cups and other urban detritus.  And, JOY RIDE is about 923nm away from Hawaii.

Day 10
Day 10 finds the boats doing everything to eek out a mile and get closer to the promised trade winds. At one time this morning, the three leading boats were all pointed to Baja, doing 1 kt with an ETA sometime next year! LOL!

As the Weather Eye said this morning, "the cookie will crumble based on hard work, skill, and luck".   Follow the Vic-Maui Race here on Facebook  Watch “live” real-time YB Tracker of the fleet here   For more Vic-Maui Offshore Race sailing information

J/35 sailing Pacific CupPacific Cup Starts in Big Breeze
(San Francisco, CA)- Fresh winds, reported by weather authorities as sustained in the high 20s on the beam made for a demanding first night for the 29 original starters of the Pacific Cup to Hawaii- a.k.a. the “fun race to Hawaii”! Race veterans compare last night’s conditions to the 2002 and 2016 races that were marked by unusually stiff breezes.

Following the four starts on Tuesday, there are 30 more teams that will get underway during the three more additional start days on July 11th, 12th, and 13th.

J/92 sailing Pacific Cup raceIn the DH2 Mount Gay Rum doublehanded division, Sean and Kim Mulvihill on their J/120 JAMANI are certainly on the right horse for the course in the early stages of this race, with their J/120 effectively leading the doublehanded division. The J/105 ABSTRACT sailed by Doug Pihlaja and Mary Hartel is not that far beyond, loving the heavy reaching conditions as well.

There are J/crews in three more classes that will be starting soon.  PHRF Class B (Weems & Plath) has Karl Haflinger’s J/35 SHEARWATER racing with his crew of Jim Ianelli (Navigator), Stewart Putnam, David Smullin, and Alan Johnson.

PHRF Class C (Alaska Airlines) has Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF racing with his Canadian crew of Kieran Horsburgh (Watch Captain), Ansel Koehn (Foredeck), and Paul Mais (Navigator).

And, ORR Class D (Pasha Hawaiian) has Tracy Rogers’ J/120 HOKULANI sailing with his crew of John Dillow (Navigator), Cris Sena, and Mike Mahoney.   Follow them all on the YB Tracker here  And, follow the news on the Pacific Cup Facebook page here.  For more Pacific Cup Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Youth J/70 sailing teams* Ten Socio-Emotional Benefits of Sailing- by Samantha Yom, Singapore Sailing

There’s something about sailing that makes it quite unlike other sports. More than just skill and strategy, it teaches certain values that shape sailors into the unique athletes that they are.

Yet, we’re often so focused on the physical aspects of sailing that we forget how much we stand to gain from the sport – both socially and emotionally. So here’s a list of the top 10 socio-emotional benefits of sailing.

1. Grit & Determination
You could say that just about any sport offers a lesson on resilience, but sailing is a sport that demands an inner strength far greater than most.

In this sport, it’s sailor versus the elements. Whether you’re a novice experiencing strong winds for the first time or a national sailor met with three-meter high waves in foreign waters, you learn to keep fighting – no matter how uncomfortable it is. Capsize? Just upright your boat and keep sailing.

2. Confidence
Most sailors’ foray into the sport begins with the Optimist. It’s a single-handed boat, which means it’s controlled by a sole sailor. Alone on the boat, sailors – as young as six or seven – are constantly required to make their own decisions. They don’t always make the right ones, but the opportunity to think for themselves helps them grow in self-confidence.  Once you’ve conquered three-meter high waves, you can do almost anything.

J/70 Youth sailing team3. Teamwork
Though they sail individually, sailors are forced to work together from day one. After all, no one sailor can lift his or her Optimist boat alone. Over time, sailors gradually realize that working together not only helps speed things up, but also allows them to learn more from one another.

4. Friendship
Perhaps one of the most valuable takeaways from sailing is the friendships forged. It’s inevitable that sailors bond with one another during windless days and scary storms. You also get to make new friends with international sailors as well, especially during those international regattas.

5. Sportsmanship
Touched a mark without anyone catching you in the act? Complete your penalty anyway. Sailing is a self-governing sport, which means it’s completely up to sailors to abide by the rules and uphold the fairness of racing. It’s a matter of integrity and sailors learn the importance of playing fair and respecting the rules of the game.
J/70 youth sailing team------------------------
6. Learning to Lose
In sailing, the conditions are ever-changing. Regattas are held over a few days and every day presents a different sailing condition. As a result, positions are always changing during a regatta – and even during a race itself. Unpredictable conditions also mean that you could go from leading a race to coming in dead last.

You can’t win every single race in sailing, so sailors learn to accept defeat and move on – a particularly important skill since races are held back-to-back.

7. Patience
Whether it’s mastering a sailing maneuver or waiting for the next wind shift, sailing is a test of patience. Sailing maneuvers are so complex that it could take weeks of practice to execute them well, consistently.

J/70 Santa Barbara YC Youth Sailing Team8. Responsibility
Sailing is a sport that requires a fair bit of equipment. From bringing your sunglasses, gloves and wind indicator to cleaning your boat before a regatta – sailors learn to take ownership of their equipment from the very start of their sailing journey. They learn to be responsible for their decisions as well – be it a bad tactical decision or a sail setting.

9. Managing Emotions
As we’ve mentioned previously, sailing conditions can be quite unpredictable. It is through experiences of winning and losing that sailors gradually learn to control their emotions. They find ways to deal with their feelings when they’re alone on the boat – the joy, frustration, et cetera. At the end of the day, the best sailors are the ones who are able to best manage their emotions and prevent them from affecting their performance.

10. Discipline
Due to its nature, sailing can be quite a time-consuming sport. It takes up a significant amount of time on the weekends too – precious time that could be spent on school work or with friends. That being said, it builds a sense of discipline in sailors, as they learn to prioritize the little time they have and stay focused.

And with that, we realize how sailing is not just a sport that keeps you fit, but also one that develops you into a well-rounded individual – something far more important than winning medals.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

J/Newsletter- July 4th, 2018

J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d'Olonne, FranceJ/80 World Championship Preview
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- “Being a serial pioneer of nautical events, eager to innovate and energize the sailing community, as well as our Vendée territory, the Sports Nautiques Sablais YC has the immense pleasure of welcoming the J/80 World Championship from the 7th to the 18th July 2018 in the home port of the 'Vendée Globe Challenge’!

It is a great privilege for us to host a seventy-boat fleet crewed by more than 400 sailors, from nine nations that will be racing for five days in the bay of Les Sables d'Olonne.

I am delighted and thankful to Ludovic Gilet, Chairman of the French J/80 Class. And, I would also like to thank all those who support us in this adventure: WORLD SAILING and the French Sailing Federation (FFV), our institutional and corporate partners. I cannot fail to mention the organizing committee, led by Bernard Devy, our honorary president and friend. And … let the best team win,” commented Michel Poitevineau, Commodore of SNSYC.

J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d'Olonne, FranceThe J/80 World Championship will be an all-out battle between the top French and Spanish teams that have been at the top of the J/80 class for quite some time.  In addition, there are top British and Dutch teams that are hoping to tip that balance in their favor by the end of the regatta. The nations that are represented include France (59), Spain (6), Netherlands (3), Russia (1), Belgium (2), Oman (2), Ireland (1), Portugal (1), and Great Britain (4)- missing are the top teams from the USA, Germany, and Scandinavia.

Watch for these teams to be a factor in the overall regatta leaderboard. The top French crews hoping to defend their home town honors should be Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG 29, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS, and Ludovic Gilets’ FRA 797.

J/80s sailing World ChampionshipChallenging the local French teams will be Great Britain (Nick & Annie Haigh’s SLIGHTLY STEAMY & Jon Powell’s BETTY); Spain (Inigo Jauregui’s GARATU, Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA, & Javier Chacartegui’s IBO.ES); Netherland’s Otte Jan Golverdingen’s LED2LEASE; Ireland’s Patrick O’Neill on MOJO; Russia’s Alexei Semenov racing NEW TERRITORIES; and OMAN SAIL’s team of Helena Lucas.

There is a very strong contingent of women skippers participating; Julie Simon’s CDV 22- IMAGO; Clara & Lucie Scheiwiller’s CLICK & BOAT- LADIES NORMANDIE; Corentin Kieffer’s CN SAINT CAST CDV 22; Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES; Elodie Bonafous’ ECOLE NAVALE CDV 29; Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS; Elisabeth Cabus Bordron’s IFI DEVELOPMENT OUEST; Isabelle Maggiar’s LES MISSMERS DE L’OUEST; Stephanie Puyraud’s MODERN BALEINE; Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE; and Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN.

In addition, there are two “Youth Under 25” teams that include Theo Carayon’s VITEL COTES D’ARMOR SAILING TEAM and Laure Buffiere’s TEAM VENDEE.    Follow the J/80 World Championships on Facebook here   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

Dawn start for UK's Round Island Race off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Round the Island Race Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- If it is the first weekend in July, it must be time for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The challenging 60nm race that goes around the Isle of Wight is by far the most popular race on any sailor’s social calendar all year long in the U.K.; particularly for those that love to get thrashed and challenged by the intricacies of the Solent.

As has been the case for over a decade, over a thousand boats will begin starting at 0630 hrs.  First off is the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the summer morning soft orange light.  It should be absolutely gorgeous for the thousands of sailors aboard all the teams making their annual, epic adventure around the Isle of Wight.

On Saturday, the High pressure system should be over the center of the U.K., with a light NE to start, veering SE or even S during the afternoon depending where you are. It will be hot & sunny, so apart from the sunburn danger, thermal effects and possible sea breeze cell developments, it will be a very tactical day. In other words, no chance of any records getting broken from a sailing standpoint, more like a recipe for maximum sunburn/ tanning opportunities.

Taking on the challenge will be a veritable J/Navy sailing across the spectrum of classes.  In the world of IRC handicap classes, here are some of the notable teams to watch.
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight
In the 25-boat IRC 0 Class will be the J/121 ROCK LOBSTER. Following them is IRC 1A comprised of mostly J/111s and J/122s.  Those teams are the following, J/111’s (JITTERBUG, JOURNEYMAKER II, KESTREL, & SNOW LEOPARD), J/122’s (JAHMALI, JOLLY JELLYFISH, KAYA, R&W, & JANGLE), the J/133 ASSARAIN IV, and the J/120 HANNAM & PARTNERS TEAM 3.

Sailing in IRC 1B Class is the new J/122E JIB & TONIC. The dominating J/112E DAVANTI TYRES is sailing in IRC 1C.

Sailing in IRC 2A Class are twelve J/109s- including JIRAFFE, JASSY JELLYFISH, JUKE BOX, and JUMPING JELLYFISH.

Then, in IRC 2B Class are seven J/105s and six J/109s. J/105’s (JIN TONIC, JELLY BABY, JOS OF HAMBE, MOSTLY HARMLESS, REDEYE) and J/109’s (JINKS & JYBE TALKIN).

Holding their own in IRC 2C Class is the J/92S UPSTART.  And, in the IRC 2D Class is the J/92 JABBERWOCK and the J/97’s (HIGH JINKS, JAYWALKER JET, & JUMBLESAIL 2).

Planning to sail fast and stealthily in IRC 3A Class are the J/32 DOMAINE, J/92S’s (J’RONIMO, JACKDAW, LUNA, NIGHTJAR, SAMURAI J, & VAGABOND), the J/95 JUST IS, and two J/97’s (BLACKJACK II & JURA GB).
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
In the world of Island Sailing Club handicap rules (ISC), there are a number of J/crews participating.  In ISC 4A Class is the J/109 SQUIBS, in 4B Class is the J/92 JUST IN TIME, in 5B Class is the J/100 TIDERACE, and in the 6C Class are several J/24s (J-RIDER, JOBS FOR THE BUOYS, TEAM IMPACT RACING).

In addition to the handicap classes, there are also one-design classes for the Round Island Race!

In the J/88s you will fined top teams like J/DREAM, JONGLERU, RAGING BULL, SABRIEL JR, & TIGRIS.  In the J/80s there are JUMPIN JACK FLASH, JUNO, and JUSTIFY.  And, in the J/70s there are JENGA 8, JACKAL, RITA, JACKATOO, JINX, and a number of Royal Southern/ Royal Thames YC teams.  For more Round the Island Race sailing information

J/70s sailing upwindSAIL NEWPORT Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- For many sailors throughout the Northeastern seaboard, the best multi-class regatta of the season is “THE Newport Regatta”, hosted by SAIL NEWPORT, in conjunction with its supporters- New York YC, Ida Lewis YC, and Newport YC.

There is no question the regatta’s motto is an enticing, fun-loving promotion for sailors of all stars and stripes- "Fast Racing, Cold Beer”!  As it has for the past three decades, it will continue in 2018!

Shoreside after-race socials are planned for both Saturday and Sunday. On July 7th, you will be able to make your own custom taco at the famous “Taco Bar!”  Enjoy Heineken beer, Mt. Gay Rum, and Whispering Angel wine and live music. Sunday's awards party will include food, drinks, and prizes.

Regatta Manager Matt Duggan and Event Manager Emily Greagori are also hosting the first annual Sail Newport Corn Hole Championship (SNCHC) on Saturday, July 7 at the tent. Start training now!!  All parties will be at the new building this year!!

The J/70s will be repeating as the largest one-design class by far in Newport for the past two weekends.  Last week, the occasion was the New York YC One-Design Regatta.  This week, it’s another two-dozen boats that are racing as part of their pre-J/70 Worlds preparations that will be taking place in September off Marblehead, MA.

Incredibly, there are at least a baker’s dozen teams that are all capable of top ten finishes in any J/70 Worlds that are participating this coming weekend. Three J/70 World Champions- Tim Healy’s USA 2, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, and Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  That is for starters.  The other top teams include, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA (2nd in 2017 Worlds), Jud Smith’s AFRICA (World Champion crew), Glenn Darden’s HOSS, Martie Kullman’s HYDRA, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS (West Coast Champion), Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE (first J/70 NA Champion and 1st World’s Corinthian Champion- tied 4th overall), Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, John Brim’s RIMETTE, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, and Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE (a Women’s World Champion). Watch the leaderboard this weekend!  For more Newport Regatta at SAIL Newport sailing information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The first week of July always seems to be a cause for celebration somewhere around the world.  For the American’s, of course, the huge holiday week/ weekend celebrates Independence Day on July 4th with massive fireworks displays and all kinds of parades.  New York’s fireworks are easily the largest in America, with well over 75,000 shells blowing up in the span of an hour or so, all choreographed to music.  Canada celebrated its Canada Day/ Dominion Day on the 1st. Other notable celebrations include World UFO Day on the 2nd, World Bikini Day on the 5th, International Kissing Day on the 6th, Chocolate Day on the 7th, and, of course, the French celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th- “Vive La France”!

Speaking about the French and Europeans, there was much to celebrate for the first French J/80 Sailing League event in Brest, France.  The regatta provided two qualifiers to the SAILING Champions League Finals in St. Moritz, Switzerland and two qualifiers to the SAILING Champions League Semi-Finals in St Petersburg, Russia (both sailed on fleets of twelve J/70s). Then, up north in Scandinavia, the Norwegian J/70 Nationals took place in the gorgeous seaside resort village of Hanko, Norway; hosts were the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and Hankø Yacht Club.

Over in the Americas, we got the report from Rich Stearns on sailing the J/88 in the Mackinac Solo Challenge race, 289nm from Chicago, IL to Mackinac Island, MI on Lake Michigan- a race he did to raise Prostate Cancer Awareness. In Newport, RI, the New York YC One-Design Regatta included a very competitive fleet of thirty-seven J/70s, a light air event to say the least- a wind average of around 4.0 kts! Out West, the Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, got underway July 1st. The 2,308nm course goes from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

Then, down in South America, the Chilean J/70 Autumn Championship Circuit qualified their three teams for sailing in the 2018 WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA, hosted by Eastern YC.  Their third and final event took place off Algarrobo, Chile, hosted by the Cofradía Nautica del Algarrobo.

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:

Jun 30- Vic-Maui International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
Jul 7-14- J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d’Olonne, France
Jul 7- Round the Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 7-8- Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 12-15- Italian J/70 Cup- Malcesine, Italy
Jul 12-14- Canadian J/70 National Championship- Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Jul 12-20- Offshore Sailing Worlds- The Hague, The Netherlands
Jul 12-15- Vineyard Cup- Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 13- Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jul 13- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- St Malo, France
Jul 14- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 16-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
Jul 19-20- Edgartown Race Week- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 19-22- Whidbey Island Race Week- Whidbey Island, WA
Jul 20-29- Travemunde Race Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 21- Chicago to Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 21- Edgartown Round Island Race- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 21-22- Fiesta Cup- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-28- J/24 European Championship- Glucksburg, Germany
Jul 26-29- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 26-29- J/35 North American Championship- Cheboygan, MI
Jul 27-29- J/88 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY
Jul 27- New England Solo-Twin- Newport, RI
Jul 27- Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 27-29- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 28-29- CanAm Regatta- Youngstown, NY
Jul 28- RORC Channel Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

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

J/88 Hokey Smokes skipper- Richie StearnsJ/88 Wins Mackinac Solo Challenge
Racing to Raise Funds for Prostate Awareness
(Mackinac Island, MI)- Recently, Richie Stearns sailed his J/88 HOKEY SMOKES in the annual Mackinac Solo Challenge, a 289nm adventure starting off Chicago, IL and sailed north up Lake Michigan to that famous jewel of horses and fudge residing in gorgeous azure blue waters between two Great Lakes (Michigan and Huron)- Mackinac Island.

For many sailors in the Midwest, the races to Mackinac have a disarming allure, as if there is an invisible magnetic pull that weighs on your conscience, as sailors migrate almost “zombie-like” towards the island for a good dose of rest and relaxation on an island where time has seemingly stood still- just bikes and The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Islandhorse-drawn carriages to get you around the island.  And, of course, the majestic landmark that stands out like a white beacon on its southern cliffs, welcoming sailors from afar- the gorgeous Grand Hotel.  Stepping foot on the island is as close to anyone gets to take a walk back in time.  Here is Richie’s story about his solo racing experience in this year’s Mackinac Solo Challenge, winning his class and 5th overall:

“Solo sailing has never been on my bucket list. I have sailed buoy races all my life.  I’ve been on an America’s Cup campaign and tried out for the Olympics.  I’ve done two double-handed Mackinac races and 44 crewed Mac races. I sailed with Buddy Melges for years and when asked why he doesn’t sail singlehanded or long-distance races, his reply always was “why would I want to sail overnight with a bunch of guys when I can go home to a warm bed and my wife Gloria?” That always seemed like good advice.

Horse drawn carraiges on Mackinac Island at Grand HotelHowever, after a bout with prostate cancer, I thought it might help survivors to see someone doing crazy things, and show them that Prostate cancer is not the end of the world. So, I decided to undertake the challenge to raise money for Prostate cancer awareness and information.

One of the cool things about sailing in general, is there are so many ways to enjoy it. Cruising, racing, single-handed, double-handed and sailing with crew all lead to great times and memories.

You would think solo sailing would be for people who want to get away from it all. That is not exactly true, the Great Lakes Single-handed Society is a group of passionate sailors who use solo sailing as a shared passion. They are there for the challenge, but they also sail to be “with” the other competitors. They talk to each other on their VHF radios to make sure they are OK, or just to find out if there is any wind, or how they are feeling. After the race, everyone helps put the boats away and everyone comes to the parties to talk sailing and about the experience. It is similar to a fleet or a class that promotes camaraderie, except there seems to be more pride in the accomplishment of doing it solo (and rightly so!).

J/88 Hokey Smokes leads Mackinac Solo ChallengeThe conditions were perfect for a J/88 at the 0900 hrs start on Saturday. With light air and the Code 0 up, all but one boat was out of sight behind “Hokey Smoke” after a few hours. Boats started to drop out early, either with electrical issues or Autohelm issues (code for “this race will take too long…I’m dropping out").

The first night brought cold air and fog. I have no idea what the temperature was, but 40 F. to 50 F. is my guess. The wind built all night to 15 to 20 kts on the nose, sailing straight upwind to Point Betsie (the first major turning point). As the waves grew to 3-4 ft+, I realized I had never used the tiller pilot to steer the boat in those conditions. These are short steep Lake Michigan waves, not long ocean waves. I am sure there is a way to calibrate it, but it was too late for me. The steering system just could not compensate for the waves and over corrected until it just auto-tacked the boat. An auto-tack while singlehanding in waves catches you off guard. Getting things back under control is tough enough rested, but without sleep and at 10:00 am and 25 hours into the race it makes you think twice about what you are doing.

The Autohelm is the driver, but you are the only crew. I had done quite a few sail changes early on in the race and found running around on a 29-foot boat in 4-foot + waves gets a bit tiring.

The J/88 is a fantastic boat in light air, but with the breeze on and going upwind, it definitely needs crew weight on the rail.

With the tiller pilot problem, I had already lost my lead. By later afternoon Sunday, the big heavy boats were quickly catching me. I had to get out of the waves and hope the autopilot would work in order for me to get some rest. It took hours to get to the eastern shore and out of the big waves. There were fewer waves there, but almost no wind. I could tell by the conversation on the radio and the call-in positions that a few of the big boats had gotten by me.

J/88 sailing to Mackinac Soleo- full moon!At this point, about 150 miles into the race I kept hearing more boats drop out. It is an appealing idea when you have sailed for 40 hours on a heavy beat and are only halfway there.  Once I got closer to shore, the waves were less and the tiller pilot worked again.  I set my course and went to sleep for an hour or so.  I may have lost additional ground to the others, but I needed the sleep more!

By late on Sunday (36 hours into the race), I had passed Point Betsie and I was entering the Manitou Passage.  Once you get into the passage, you are surrounded by islands and the sea conditions are no longer a problem.

There was not a boat in sight.  The lead two boats were 10 miles ahead and the others were 10 miles behind me. With smooth water, I was able to get more rest. Probably, too much rest, but the tiller pilot steered fine and the day was beautiful. Just setting the course from one side of the straights to the other with long two-hour tacks made for a great day…and it was warm and dry (the dodger was a life-saver on this race)!

Going into the third night on Monday, it was cold again, but the air was dry, making life on deck much nicer.

I suppose this is what singlehanded sailors come out for. A steady breeze of 8 to 10 knots, fairly smooth water and a full moon. Yes, it is time to reflect how nice things are, how good life is and how much fresh water is in this darn lake? I was close enough to land to use my cell phone and used Google to found out there is 1,000,000,000,000,000 gallons (one quadrillion) of fresh water in the lake.  Lake Michigan does seem big when you are alone on a 29-foot boat.

J/88 sunrise at Mackinac Island BridgeThrough the night I was able to get updated on my position.  The boats from behind were catching me and I was catching the boats in front. I had already halved their lead after rounding Can 3 at Grays Reef, which is a mark of the course before you head east down the Straits of Mackinac to Mackinac Island. You would think when you take an 80 degree turn you would be on a reach, but it was my luck to get a shift to the east and, instead, got more beating into the wind! The J/88 was performing great with 8 to 10 knots of breeze and smooth water the boat just flew along. I was treated with the sunrise of a lifetime when I got to the Mackinac Bridge and made my last tack to the finish line.

When you are alone the work isn’t over at the finish. Someone still has to put things away and that person was me. In an early morning blur, and after over 70 hours of sailing, the main gets flaked and the jib gets rolled up.  Fenders and dock lines are put out. It is over.

J/88 sailing at sunriseIt’s just after dawn and onshore people are just getting up.  However, my wife Lori has been there waiting so I have someone to help dock the boat. Then, it’s straight to sleep for a few hours followed by my first hot meal in days.

I sailed Stearns Boating’s stock J/88 to Mackinac Island. I had a main, one jib (light medium), and two spinnakers (Code 0 and a regular spinnaker). The J/88 proved to be a great boat to sail singlehanded in all conditions. It is easy-to-handle and fairly comfortable. It is very dry, and in most conditions might be the boat of choice for singlehanded sailing. Having one jib was a blessing in that I did not have to change sails, however J/88’s are much faster with their smaller #4 jib up. I reefed the boat quite a bit and the reef really helped. Upwind with a tiller pilot the boat has to be trimmed/ balanced perfectly, then the tiller pilot does well. If the boat is not balanced, the tiller pilot has a hard time steering straight.

I finished the race and raised over $10,000 for Prostate Cancer awareness, you can still help!  Please help more men understand prostate cancer!”   To learn more about Prostate cancer awareness, please go here.   Please make a donation here- University of Chicago/ Medicine & Biological Sciences   Kattack tracker for the J/88 HOKEY SMOKES in the Mackinac Solo Challenge.

J/70s off Hanko, NorwayNORWEGIAN STEAM Smokes Norwegian J/70 Nationals
(Hanko, Norway)- GRUNDIG Hankø Race Week is one of Norway's most famous annual regattas, and one of the summer's absolute highlights for sailing in Eastern Norway. Hankø is renowned for its good sailing conditions and location, and has been a focal point for sailors from home and abroad for more than a hundred years. The Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) collaborates with Hankø Yacht Club, founded by a bunch of adult sailors from KNS in 1954. Idyllic Hankø Yacht Club (HYC) is well protected from wind and on the other side of the bay lays the guest harbor and the royal Norwegian family cottage- “Bloksberg”.

Perhaps more importantly, Hankø's climate made the island attractive for summer holidays in the 20th century, and laid the foundation for what is today the Hankø spa hotel.  The venue is famous in Scandinavia for hosting numerous World Cup, Nordic Championship and National Norwegian Championships.

For 2018, the KNS hosted the J/70 Norwegian Championship, the world’s fastest growing, and leading sportsboat class.  For the first Norwegian Nationals, a baker’s dozen boats participated to compete for the nation’s bragging rights as top team.

In the end, it was the most experienced J/70 team in Norway, Eivind Astrup’s NORWEGIAN STEAM, that was crowned Norwegian J/70 Champion after posting a very consistent scoreline of 2-4-1-2-2-2-1-3-1 for 14 pts net. Giving them a run-for-the-money with near identical scores was Jorn-Erik Ruud’s NOR 1242 from Moss Seilforening Club with a tally of 3-1-3-1-1-3-4-2-2 for 16 pts net.  Rounding out the podium was Magne Klann’s VIEW SOFTWARE from Soon Seilforening with a record of 1-3-2-3-5-4-8-4-3 for 25 pts net.
For more Norwegian J/70 Nationals sailing information

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, ChileSANTANDER Wins Tiebreaker @ Algarrobo
WINDMADE Crowned Chilean J/70 Autumn Circuit Champion
(Algarrobo, Chile)- In the last weekend of June, six races were sailed for the Autumn Championship, hosted by Cofradía Náutica Algarrobo, off the Pacific Coast of Chile.

Seventeen J/70 showed up at the starting line, thanks to the delay of the incoming winter and the lack of snow in the Andes Mountains ski resorts. It is true, many J/70 sailors are also snow skiing fans but the fun-in-the-sun on the ocean was far more appealing!

As the sun rays dawned over the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains to the east on Saturday morning, it was clear the wind was a “no show” for the first part of the day, leading to a postponement until the early afternoon.  Nevertheless, a cold and nice breeze from the west started blowing around 2:30pm.  Three races were sailed with winds ranging from 10 to 13 knots.  It could have been a cold winter day of sailing, but the nice winter sun and the tight racing made the atmosphere warmer than expected.

From the beginning, the battle between Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER and Juan Reid’s WINDMADE started in the first race. In the first beet, WINDMADE (J/70 hull #001) managed to get in front after SANTANDER tried (and failed) to do lee bow getting to the 1st weather mark. On the 2nd beat, SANTANDER chose the left, tacking immediately after rounding the leeward gate.  A good left line of breeze gave them the advantage on the second windward leg. The final result of the 1st race- 1st SANTANDER and 2nd WINDMADE.  In short, that was the summary of the close racing between these two boats all weekend.

The conditions for sailing were very nice.  In general, the left side is favored in the westerly winds, but that was not the case this weekend.  As a result, the fleet could spread out and play windshifts and breeze lines across the race course.

J/70s sailing on Pacific Ocean off ChileThe second race of the day was a lot more complicated for SANTANDER, finishing 13th while WINDMADE finished 5th.  First was Pedro Cabezón (Corinthians and very new skipper in the class!!) and second, again, was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSEI.

For the third race of the day, Reid’s WINDMADE won handily, followed Cristobal Molina’s LEXUS in second and Matias Seguel’s VOLVO in third.  The day closed with WINDMADE leading, followed by SENSEI in second and VOLVO in third place.

The weather forecast for Sunday was complicated, some rain during the morning, but the day continued to get better than expected. The breeze start blowing from the north at 8-12 kts, with tricky, choppy seas (north seas comes directly from offshore) and that made for a challenging race course with difference in pressure and direction.  The seas were very difficult to steer on starboard tack, as you were going perpendicular to the wave train!

It was close racing all day long Sunday. Pablo Amunategui & Rodrigo Guzman’s SANTANDER sailed clean, posting a 1-3-2. With three great starts and perfect tactics/ strategy, they deserved their excellent results.

Meanwhile, WINDMADE struggled a bit on the last day, with finishes of 7-1-3.  In fact, in the last race, Reid’s WINDMADE had a bad start and made an amazing recovery (thanks to great tactics from Rodrigo Amunátegui) to get the third place.

J/70s racing off Algarrobo, ChileWith six races, one discard race came into play.  On total points, WINDMADE won, but with discards, both WINDMADE and SANTANDER were tied with identical records of 1-1-2-3-5 at 12 pts each.  Amazing! Shocking! In any event, “c’est la vie, c’est la guerre”!  It came down to “who-beat-who” in the last race, tipping that advantage to SANTANDER over WINDMADE. Rounding out the podium was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSIE with 14 pts- the most consistent boat in the regatta, throwing out a 5th place and on straight points/ no throw-outs had won the regatta!  Tight racing to say the least for this trio.  The balance of the top five included Seguel’s VOLVO in 4th and Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI in 5th position.

In the Corinthians division, there was just about a three-way tie for first!  Two cousins, and both Lightning skippers, Cristóbal Pérez on TRILOGIA and Francisco Pérez on ELEANOR RYGBY, both finished with 46 pts! That tiebreaker went in favor of TRILOGIA.  Just one point back with 47 pts was Paolo Molina’s ALBATROSS.

After the Algarrobo event, the eighteen-race Chilean J/70 Autumn series concluded, with two discards permitted for overall results.  Crowned as champion was Juan Reid’s WINDMADE with 49 pts total. The silver went to Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI with 62 pts and the bronze to Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER with 67 pts.

In the Corinthians Division, winning the Autumn Series was Pablo Cisternas’ UROBORO with 153 pts. Second was José Antonio Jiménez onboard JUMENEZ with 170 pts and third was Francisco Pérez skippering ELEANOR RYGBY scoring 183 pts.

The Chilean J/70 class begins their Spring series on September 8th and 9th with one regatta per month until the middle of December (when the Summer Series commences). Twenty boats are expected for the Spring series.

In the meantime, three teams are preparing to sail the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA (Boston)- WINDMADE, TSUNAMI, and BLACK SAILS.

French J/80 National Sailing LeagueAPCC Voiles Sportive Top French J/80 Sailing League
Moriceau’s Team The Best in Brest Big Time!
(Brest, France)- Eighteen sailing club teams from across France participated in the first of three events in the 2018 French National Sailing League, supported by the F.I.V. (French National Sailing Federation).  The first regatta was hosted by USAM Brest, the next in La Rochelle by Societe Regate La Rochelle, and the third the SAILING Champions League qualifier in St. Petersburg, Russia from August 3rd to 6th.

Of the eighteen sailing clubs from across France, the three principal Brest clubs were participating- Societe Regate Brest, Crocs L'Elorn and USAM Brest.  Five teams were from Normandy- Club Voiles Saint Aubin- Elbeuf, YC Granville, YC Cherbourg, and the two Le Havre clubs- Societe Regate Le Havre and the Societe Nautique Pointe Le Havre.  Interestingly, five of the clubs are from the inland lakes, such as Club Voiles Saint Aubin-Elbeuf.

Day 1- Friday
It was around 12:30pm that the first race was launched under the beautiful sun off Brest. Picture perfect conditions awaited the eighteen crews in the northeasterly winds of more than 10 knots.

With a great big blue sky, the theme for the day could have been “Tropical Brest sailing” for the entire day. Twelve races were sailed, divided into four “flights”, each of the crews sailed four races.

French woman skipper at J/80 Sailing LeagueLast year, both sailing clubs from Le Havre (SNPH and the SRH) ended up tied at the end of the sailing league series, with NHP finishing in fourth place ahead of their rival club. This year, nothing has changed except the regatta location! Even far from their homeport, the two Le Havre clubs put on a good show and this time it was the crew of the SRH that took the lead with an amazing 1-2-1-2! Incredibly, behind them it was three-way tie on 7 pts each for second place between APCC Voiles Sportive Nantes (1-1-2-3), CV St Aubin- Elbeuf (2-2-1-2), and SNP Le Havre (1-1-3-2).

The Daily ”SAP" Statistic
121 meters. That was the distance where APCC Voile Sportive- Nantes team beat their closest opponent to the finish of the second flight of Flight 1. A considerable difference, when we know that the courses are rather short! Clearly, the people of Nantes are in Brest to get the win!

The Tactical Maneuver of the Day
That award goes to the young crew of YC Mauguio Carnon. Despite their fatigue, they arrived at 5am in Brest after more than 10 hours of driving on Friday to get to Brest! And, lack of experience in the J/80, the southerners made their talent speak for themselves, especially during a very nice maneuver during the 2nd race of the 1st Flight.

5th at the 1st mark, the crew of YC Mauguio Carnon managed to "slip under the buoy" to take the inside and pass three competitors. Then, by managing to slide below them on the starboard gybe, they managed to prevent them from being able to gybe as leeward boat. Holding them past the layline to the leeward mark gates, they gybed first and forced their opponents to gybe after them and, thus, to line up behind them. As a result, they took 2nd in the race!

Dolphin checking out J/80 sailing off Brest, FranceDay 2- Saturday
After an idyllic first day with perfect conditions in the Brest Bay, the 18 teams were back on the race track for another day of near perfect sailing conditions.  The goal was six races for each team!

At the end of the day, a big sun and a gorgeous northeasterly wind between 10 and 15 knots permitted the six races per team and a total of 18 races!

In the lead after the first day, the SRH's Le Havre fell behind on the rankings. On the contrary, their rivals at CV Saint-Aubin Elbeuf had a hot start with three bullets in three races!

Last night's arrival of Pauline Courtois, just off her podium at the Finnish WIM Series stage, was good for the CVSAE crew! But, despite this perfect morning, the CVSAE has the same number of points as APCC Voile Sportive.

Total suspense at the top of the rankings! The SNPH from Le Havre just one small point behind the leading duo, and just two points ahead of the crew from CV Saint-Quentin.

The Daily ”SAP" Statistic
31 seconds. During Flight 8 Race 2 was particularly tight. The 6 boats arrived almost at the same time and only 31 seconds separated the winner, the APCC Voile Sportive de Nantes, the 6th, USAM Brest. For comparison, during the same Flight, in the other 2 races, the gaps between the 1st and the 2nd were 51 and 52 seconds!

J/80 sailing league- Brest, FranceThe Tactical Maneuver of the Day
Flight 5, race 1. In regattas, it is often said that a good start is 50% of the job done.

The crew of CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf was able to prove it in the first race of the day. At 50 seconds before the start, the positioning of the boats suggested that the line was favorable to the right. At 30 seconds from the start, the CVSAE luffs to slow down, and not to arrive too early on the line. This maneuver forces the boat of the CV Saint-Quentin to luff too to not be penalized (the leeward boat being a priority over the windward one).

By a sort of "domino effect”, the crew of SR Brest is obliged to luff, too, and must wait for the boats to sink downwind. Priority, is therefore, the CVSAE that can afford to "trigger" its maneuver at the appropriate time. This is what the crew does 5 seconds before the start. They leave with more speed than the others and with two competitors in their backwind. A high-class departure!

J/80 sailing off Brest, FranceDay 3- Sunday
The third and final day of competition started off with a postponement on another beautiful day, but no wind!

Sitting ashore, here was an interview with regatta leaders- Edouard Champault (APCC Voile Sportive - Nantes):

What was your feeling about yesterday's conditions?

EC: Good races yesterday with still very good conditions. A little less wind than the first day, but the sun and no rain was great. It is very satisfying for us to be in the lead overall. The wind was there, too, so it was perfect!

How do you approach the last day of racing today?

EC: Today, it's much softer in the wind, so we'll see. Otherwise, no particular strategies.  The goal being to finish in front of as much as possible and look for the points!

J/80 woman crew hiking hard- Brest, FranceLike the previous two days, the sun showed brightly in the morning. But, the wind was again a “no show”- a complete “glass out” across the bay.

However, by 12:15pm a light breeze blew into the Brest Bay and allowed the Race Committee to launch two more flights and a total of six races.

In the light airs, the Nantais team from APCC Voile Sportive, led by Simon Moriceau and Pierre-Loïc Berthet, worked miracles and benefited from a poor performance by the crew of the CVSAE during Flight 11 (3rd place) to take the lead in the overall standings before the last race of the weekend.

It was a happy coincidence that both boats were in the same race during the 12th and final flight, which obviously gave a superb show on the water!

The Normans tried "to get" their rivals in the starting procedure (see "The Maneuver of the Day below), but the Nantes managed to get off the start, win the last race and first place overall!

French J/80 National Sailing League winnersAs a result of this regatta, APCC Voile Sportive Nantes and CV St Aubin-Eleuf have qualified for the SAILING Champions League Finale in in St. Moritz, Switzerland. In addition, SNPH (Le Havre) and the CVSQ (Saint-Quentin en Yvelines) have qualified for the second semifinal of the SAILING Champions League, scheduled from 3 to 6 August in St. Petersburg, Russia.  If these two teams finish 1st and 2nd, they also qualify to go sail the SCL Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland!  “Vive La France”!

The Tactical Maneuver of the Day
Last Flight, Race 1. The most anticipated race of the weekend. One of the few battles between the two regatta leaders and, most importantly, making for a dramatic finish to the regatta!

Sitting just two points back in second place, the Normans of the CVSAE knew they had to put one or two boats between them and their rivals- the Nantais of APCC Voile Sportive.

Their goal was to “destroy” the start of their opponents. At 1:30 from the start, the CVSAE were “hunting” the APCC and made a 180 turn to put themselves in front of their bow. Cédric Château, the CVSAE helmsman, then managed to pass under his opponent, who then found himself in a delicate position, because the Normans then have the opportunity to “close the door” by putting their bow next to the stern of the RC boat. The APCC must wait until the Normans bear-off to start their race. But, just as Cédric Château turns to cut speed and cut-off APCC at the line, two other boats are battling in the immediate vicinity of the RC boat! He found himself obliged to pass under these boats. The APCC used that opportunity to slip through a mouse hole near the RC boat and to jump across the starting line at the gun and enjoyed a clear air start!  Luck?  Skill?  Perhaps.   At the first crossing between the two boats, it was the Nantes APCC team that had the advantage and who, in turn, "scored” a direct attack on their opponent, tacking on top of them with no escape! Real match-racing!

Not surprisingly, the winning team included a French J/80 Champion sailor as its skipper- Simon Moriceau.  His team members for APCC Voile Sportive were Simon Bertheau, Paul Medinger, and Pierre-loic Berthet.   Watch the French J/80 Sailing League video highlights on Facebook here.   Follow the French J/80 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more French J/80 Sailing League information

J/122E Joy Ride sailing Vic-Maui RaceVic-Maui Race Underway
J/122E JOYRIDE Amongst The Leaders!
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)- The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, got underway July 1st. The 2,308nm course goes from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

The lone J/Crew sailing the race is the gorgeous J/122E JOYRIDE from Seattle, WA skippered by her owner- John Murkowski. They are one of the most successful offshore racing teams in the Pacific Northwest.

Day 1- The Start
And they’re off! At 10:00 am Pacific Time, the 2018 Vic-Maui fleet sailed through the start line outside Victoria Harbour, tacking into a stiff, building westerly breeze.

In the days leading up to the start, the sun broke out just in time for the fleet Send-off Party that rocked the Wharf Street docks on June 29. Transient orcas (killer whales) patrolled the entrance to Victoria’s Harbour on a damp June 30.

Today, July 1st (Canada Day) dawned sunny, breezy, and warm (if not exactly tropical).  The Race Committee vessel hung on a tenuous anchor off Brotchie Ledge, while the spectator boat fleet circled and a drone flew overhead.  The VIP spectator boat Midnight Sun elegantly patrolled the spectator boat zone.  

After the start, the J/122E JOY RIDE pressed hard going west into the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Eight hours into the race, the fleet was working its way towards the big left turn at Cape Flattery, and the open Pacific Ocean, where the adventure truly begins.  Weather systems including the North Pacific High, and a developing Low pressure trough, lie ahead in wait.

Cape Flattery, WADay 2- Past Cape Flattery and Onto the Rhumb Line
After a great run down Strait of Juan de Fuca, most of the fleet rounded Cape Flattery before the sun set and got to see a sight that most people never get to. Cape Flattery is the very northwest corner of the lower 48 states and a major landmark. But, it is very remote by land and very few sailors venture out into the open Pacific.

After rounding Cape Flattery, the fleet starts sailing down the rhumb line, more or less, depending on breeze strength and direction around the notoriously wobbly Pacific High. Roll Call happens at 1200 hrs Hawaiian Time (1500 hrs Pacific Time). Today the fleet is relatively close together about 160 miles offshore of Ocean Park, Washington on Willapa Bay.

The weather pattern is setting up for boats to ride a path between the Pacific High hovering to the northwest of its usual location, and a Low pressure zone along the Washington Coast that caused the cool weather and rain before the start. If this weather pattern holds, it may result in a short, sweet, fast ride to Hawaii. But, the only thing constant about weather is change and the sailors will need to put the beautiful sight of Cape Flattery behind them and focus on figuring out what their weather crystal ball is telling them.

The match race between the two leading boats in Racing 1 is a tight one. Firefly and the J/122E JOY RIDE are taking turns with the lead. At roll call, it was Firefly with a 10nm lead. But, leads are fleeting, and it remains to be determined which has the right weather track.

Weather strategy- VicMaui RaceDay 2- Weather strategy update
Here is a quick primer on weather systems in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, between Cape Flattery and Hawaii (courtesy of David Sutcliffe).

1) The dominant summer pattern in the Northeast Pacific Ocean is usually the North Pacific High.  Winds blow in a clockwise rotation around the High that is usually centered somewhere North of Hawaii and West of the US West Coast, say about 40N – 150W.  The High usually spreads over a very large area of the ocean and wobbles around, expanding and contracting, usually without the center moving too far.  Sunny and warm!

2) Temperate zone low pressure weather systems travel from West to East in the temperate zone which technically is between about 23 degrees and 66 degrees North latitude.  Put another way, this zone is roughly between the Southern tip of Baja Mexico and the Bering Strait off Alaska.  In summer, the lows usually travel in the higher or more Northern areas of this zone, and are usually deflected above the High.  Winds blow in a counter clockwise direction around the lows.  Cloudy and rainy!

3) In summer, the High usually deflects Low pressure systems up into the Gulf of Alaska, keeping nice summer conditions over the West Coast of North America.  When a high and a low system press against each other, there is usually a squeeze zone with stronger winds between the two systems.  Breezy and lumpy!

4) Trade winds usually blow from the Northeast or East between about 30 degrees and 5 degrees North latitude.  This band is roughly between the USA-Mexico border and just North of the Equator.  Trade winds usually blow steadily, but El Nino and La Nina cycles affect them, and there will usually be some squalls.  The bottom of the High and the North edge of the trade winds blend together over the ocean.  Champagne sailing!

5) Tropical Low pressure systems usually develop off the coast of Central America, and some strengthen to tropical storm or hurricane strength.  As with other lows, the wind blows counter clockwise around these lows.  These systems usually move Northwest to the open ocean area West of Baja Mexico before weakening and dissipating far from land.  Sometimes, they curve North and East to make landfall in Mexico, and occasionally they travel West towards or all the way to Hawaii.  Pay attention!

So it’s all very simple, or maybe not!  A dozen mentions of "usually".  Now, imagine being the navigator onboard an ocean racing boat, sleep-deprived, peering at a laptop screen below-deck at “oh-dark-hundred” (0200 hrs local time) while the boat rolls, pitches and heaves.  Your information is limited to weather forecasts and observations that can be obtained over a very low-bandwidth and sometimes expensive communications link using either marine radio or satellite systems.  Nothing is certain, and reality often doesn’t look like the textbook said it would.  The rest of the crew each have their own opinions (of course!), and then there are the armchair quarterbacks back home on dry land, cozy, warm and dry, sipping their coffees.  Which way to go?  What to worry about?  How best to get to Hawaii safely and fast? One eye to weather!

Day 3- Weather update
Ocean weather, never a dry topic, is getting more interesting - we have a High, we have a Low, which way to go, don’t you know?   "Green eggs and ham, Sam I am" (Dr Seuss, of course).

The North Pacific High is established and centered at about 43N 155W. It’s strong – about 1036mb – which is good, and about 600-800nm in diameter. There is a Low developing about 500nm West of Vancouver Island.  A squeeze zone should develop between the High and the Low.  Interesting!

Tue Jul 3, 0800PDT
The High is forecast to drift West while the Low is forecast to move SE and should be affecting the fleet from about Tuesday evening (tonight) through to Thursday morning.  Most boats should see sustained wind speeds in the 15-25 knot range, while some may see up to 30 knots, bordering on gale force.  Wind angles will change as the Low crosses the track, leading to a flurry of sail changes, and once settled the angles should be behind the beam and very favorable for fast sailing. Hopefully, fast!

The fleet is currently sailing very close to the rhumb line, the shortest route to Hawaii.  Shortest, but not necessarily the fastest.  The High is likely to move farther West than usual, and combined with the Low it will be very attractive for the fleet to sail West of the rhumb line. Might be a risky move!

VicMaui Race trackerWed Jul 4, 1600PDT
This is not the textbook route to Hawaii!  The risk of being West of the rhumb line is getting swallowed up into the middle of the High if/when it comes back to its usual position.  There is little to no wind in the middle of a High.  On the other hand, trying to go East of the rhumbline means beating into the Low and possible light and variable winds when it dissipates.  So, the navigators will be thinking this routing decision out carefully.  And, there is always the possibility, or probability, that the actual weather will be different from the expected weather.  A conservative strategy might be to sail on the favorable side of the Low, stay as close to the rhumb line as practical, sail less distance, stay in the squeeze breeze, and take less risk of getting becalmed.  Sounds easy!

Beyond the next few days and the passage of the Low, the trade winds ahead are looking good.  Off to the southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio strengthening and forecast to dissipate before affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii.    

Day 3- Who Stole the Wind?
After a day and half of blast reaching in conditions best described as “not martini weather”, the fleet has hit the wall. A Low pressure zone (described above) moved over the fleet, substantially altering the weather and putting the brakes on the wind and boat speed.

The relief from turbulent seas and stress on the boat is welcome. One boat reports that everyone is eating again and, for a lucky few, the daily constitutional has resumed. But, having to fight their way through a region of relative calm is not.

At Roll Call, the boats are generally about 270 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon.  The leaders in Racing 1 have slowed from 8 kts to 5 kts and the boats in Racing 2 who are 40 miles behind have put the brakes on slowing to less than 2 kts. Ouch!

In Racing 1, Murkowski's J/122E JOY RIDE sits in second just 16nm back. The boats in Racing 2 are essentially in a dead-heat with all within a few miles of each other.

The next trick will be who is best positioned to get the wind first as the Low pressure system moves toward the east and the prospect of wind filling in behind it. Will that be Firefly who are positioned a bit to the east, or will it be JOY RIDE and the other Division 2 boats positioned well to the west of the rhumb line. And for the armchair sailors taking bets, it would be wise to consider that multiple winning navigator Brad Baker is calling the weather shots on Firefly.

The over-arching concern is what happens next with the experienced veterans knowing that the fastest route to Maui is not usually the straight line.

Oh and did we mention Hurricane Fabio? Fabio (who makes up these names?) is churning away well south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and is forecast to dissipate well before the fleet arrives. But, big Low pressure systems coming from the south usually disrupt the trade winds.

Whatever happens, the navigators and weather dudes aboard the boats are going to earn their keep this year.

Day 4- Three Big Things to Think About
This is not a textbook year!  The weather situation for this Vic-Maui is developing into a true ocean racer’s challenge, where seemingly small decisions and a few miles one way or the other early in the race could make for big gains and losses.  That doesn’t mean it’s all on the navigators, who do have their work seriously cut out for them, as it’s also on the whole team who will have to sail the boat very well and work hard with sail changes, trim and transitions to get ahead or stay ahead. Here are three scenarios:

1. Wednesday & Thursday
The near term weather is all about getting past the Low that is currently (0900 PDT) centered about 42N 133W.
- All of the boats appear to be going over the Low, varying distances West of the rhumb line.
- There is a squeeze zone with strong winds, possibly to gale force, predicted.  Careful!
- Leaders Firefly and JOY RIDE appear to be splitting this morning, with Firefly making a move further West and JOY RIDE staying the course.  With over twenty miles of lateral separation, and the passage of the Low to be threaded, the risk/reward is likely to be significant for both boats.  If one does a better job of passing the Low, they could stretch that into a very significant lead for the next stage of the race.
- The Low may drift North, back across the fleet’s track, potentially catching the tail-runners in lighter, variable winds.  Sailing fast, now, is especially important for these boats.

2. Thursday & Friday
After navigating the Low, the teams will move on to sailing around the High and setting up for crossing the ridge which typically extends to the SE from the center of the High.  The models show a significant “plateau” developing on that ridge, and winds would typically be much lighter in such a feature.  Once again, teams will have to evaluate the risk/return on miles sailed vs. wind speed/angle, and decide where to go to avoid the plateau and to stay in good breeze.  Having parked on a similar plateau (making just 65 miles in 24 hours) in 2006, and had boats pass us on both sides (ouch!), I am going to watch this potential trap with great interest.

3. Saturday
The fleet should still be sailing around the High that should be centered about 40N 165W.  It is predicted to continue to be strong at about 1036mb.  One strategy could be to sail an isobar contour line around the high, say at about 1026-1028mb, to stay away from the center, sail in good pressure, and be closer to the rhumb line.  All the while not getting stuck on any “flat” spots.  Lead boats should be looking ahead to curve around the bottom right hand shoulder of the high and set up for calling the port gybe lay line to Maui.  Calling a layline from 800 to 1,000nm out!

Beyond the One-Two-Three scenarios above, the trade winds ahead are looking good.  Champagne sailing ahead!  Off to the Southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio forecast to peak and then dissipate without significantly affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii.   

Going out on the proverbial limb, I would say the first finishers could arrive in Maui on July 12 or 13.  Or not.  Time will tell. More news to come!    Follow the Vic-Maui Race here on Facebook.  Watch “live” real-time tracker of the fleet here-   For more Vic-Maui Offshore Race sailing information

J/70 New York YC One-Design winners- Vineyard VinesVINEYARD VINES Wins NYYC One-Design Regatta
(Newport, RI)- Thirty-sevens J/70s sailed in the second annual New York YC One-Design Regatta.  The fleet was comprised of numerous one-design class National, North American, and World Champions, most of whom are sailing the regatta as part of their training programs leading up to the WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship, hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA later in September 2018.

A bad start in light air in a 37-boat fleet can be fatal. If you let it be. Skipper John Baxter and his team on the J/70 Team VINEYARD VINES were determined not to let a mistake at the outset of the first race define their regatta. So instead, they got to work, found the advantageous puffs and shifts, and battled through a fleet of top amateur and professional sailors to an 11th in the only race on the first day of the second annual New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, which was sailed Saturday and Sunday out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was enough to keep them in the hunt.

On the finale on Sunday, in virtually identical conditions, Baxter and his team (wife Molly, Jake LaDow and Ben Lamb), were nearly unbeatable, winning two races and placing third in the final race to secure a seven-point win in the regatta's biggest class.

"Yesterday we didn’t start very well; we were real deep and then we ground back to an OK finish," said John Baxter, from Riverside, N.Y. "Today, we started better and were able to use our speed to get out of some sticky situations. The goal was really to minimize the bad starts, because a lot of the teams go the same speed. You’ve got to have a front-row start and just go fast."

Second was World Champion Tim Healy on USA 2 with a 1-9-3-10 tally for 23 pts.  Third was Ryan McKillen’s SURGE (with Mark Mendelblatt as main/ tactician) with a 5-6-11-1 for 23 pts, losing the tiebreaker.  Fourth was John Brim’s RIMETTE (with Taylor Canfield as main/ tactician) with a score of 3-2-4-20 fort 20 pts.  Fifth was the top Japanese team- Eichiro Hamazaki’s THE SLED with a tally of 2-5-5-18 for 30 pts.  For more New York YC One-Design Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 Windshear sailing off Spain* Hans Mulder, the Dutch owner of the J/105 WINDSHEAR, recently sailed a 35nm doublehanded race in L’Escala Spain.  Here is the report from Hans and the Club Nautic L’Escala.

“The J/105 WINDSHEAR from Club de Vela Golfus is the winner of the IX Commodore’s Cup- Jotun Grand Prix, that brought together a total of 20 doublehanded racers to the starting line. The long distance regatta began at 1105 hrs and was the second sporting event in the calendar of activities that the Club Nàutic L'Escala has prepared to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

J/105 Windshear sailing off SpainThe Dutchman sailing the J/105 WINDSHEAR- Hans Peter Mulder- took the absolute class and overall victory after being one of the few boats that managed to finish the race in the established time. The northeast wind, between four and eight knots at the start, began to diminish when the fleet began to reach Messina Island.  As a result, many boats did not finish within the time limit for the race.

WINDSHEAR was also the first boat to arrive at 22:37:36 hours after racing for a total of 11 hours, 32 minutes and 36 seconds to complete the 35.5nm course. With departure from L'Escala, the route made the fleet navigate to a virtual buoy, the Medes Islands, and the island of Messina before returning to the starting point.”

J/70 Youth team* How Youth Sailing Programs are Failing, and Ways to Fix Them.
There is no doubt that competitive pressure on kids is resulting in the decline of sailing in some youth sailing programs.  However, this trend can be reversed.

Twenty years ago, our club established a sailing camp.  In the early years, we had about ten kids, but sixteen years later, we hit a peak of 92 with ten on the waiting list.  This was about 10% of all the school-aged children in town.

We supplement our racing program with a set of skill-building games.

By far the most popular game is “pirates”.  The kids are divided into teams of five - a merchant captain, two coastguardsmen, and two pirates.  The activity is so popular that we tell the kids they cannot play it until they sail expertly, which usually happens about the middle of the summer.

The second most-liked game is “sailing Frisbee”.  It uses a start/finish line, a race course and Frisbee or aerobie for each team.  A boat cannot tack while in possession of her Frisbee.  The Frisbee must go around the course, no shortcuts!

J/70 youth teamNext is “sail-ball”, a field/team sport for sailors, like football, lacrosse, soccer, etc.  There are two goals and two teams.   Like soccer, play is continuous, with teams throwing the ball to each other to get it in the goal (usually a floating water polo net).  Within the three-boat length circle around the goal, defense has the right of way, otherwise racing rules apply.

“Cheaters race” is always a winner on light days.  Setup a small race course- about 100 yards.  Ooching, pumping, skulling, etc., are all allowed.  Even swimming!

We invented more than fifty games and add more each year.  Most games are fun, competitive, but low pressure.

In addition to having a good time all summer, some youngsters become local regatta champions.

So take heart, there are ways to get kids passionate about our sport.  And, ours is not the only approach.”

Videos of some games can be viewed at  And for written rules, visit  Thanks for this wonderful contribution from Jay Eveleth and Scuttlebutt USA

J/34 KNEE DEEP sailing women's team off Cleveland, OH* Katie Langolf led the effort to assemble an all Mother-Daughter Crew for the Cleveland Race Week Women's Regatta aboard the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP.

Four Moms, five daughters (ages 8-13), and their coach raced an offshore course with plenty of laughs and maybe a glass of wine after!

Cheers Ladies!
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