Wednesday, April 18, 2018

J/Newsletter- April 18th, 2018

J/70 corinthian sailingJ/70 Corinthian Nationals Preview
(Fort Worth, Texas)- The Fort Worth Boat Club is hosting the 2018 J/70 Corinthian National Championship from April 25th through April 29th.  This will be the third time this event has been held and will be a World Qualifier!

The Fort Worth Boat Club on Eagle Mountain Lake was chosen because of the excellent weather and sailing in late April and its proximity to Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico- they are hosting the J/70 North American Championship two weeks later from May 14th to 20th.  

As a Corinthian event, all competitors (owner, driver, crew) must have World Sailing Group 1 classification.

In addition to three great days of racing, the goal is to make the regatta an opportunity for all competitors to improve their performance and great amounts of information will be shared with top pro coaches on-site.   Furthermore, long-time Fort Worth BC friend and sailor- Bruce Golison- will be the Race Committee’s PRO.

So far, sixteen teams have registered for the event. There are many new faces in the crowd as well as several prominent J/70 class veterans in the mix.  Perhaps the most prominent of those teams is a past J/80 World Champion, J/105 North American Champion- Glenn Darden sailing HOSS from the host club.  In addition, the 2017 Quantum J/70 Midwinter Series Champion- Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE- will also be sailing for his host club.  A top J/105 champion sailor will be trying his hand in the class- Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS.  The lone woman skipper is Liz Barker’s YOUR MOM’S A HOOLIGAN from Vermillion Boat Club in Rocky River, OH.   For all scoring and registration information   For more J/70 Corinthian Nationals sailing information

J/125 sailing off California71st Newport to Ensenada Race Preview
(Newport Beach, CA)- The Southern California offshore season continues to ramp up in the later stages of spring.  After the famous San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race that took place a few weeks ago, it’s now time for the Newport to Ensenada Race- still one of the world’s largest international yacht races, with a legendary 125nm course that starts off the piers at Newport Beach, CA and heads south down the California coastline to a finish inside Toto Santos Bay off the lovely Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada.

Starting on April 27th, the fleet of 180+ boats will look forward to their 71st annual edition of the race.  Answering that seductive call to the sea- the “song of the sirens”- are nearly a dozen J/crews from the Southern California region.

J/124 sailing Ensenada RaceThe majestic queen of the PHRF A fleet will be the J/65 GOOD CALL, sailed by Tom Barker from the Cortez Racing Association.  Two of the insanely fast J/125 offshore speedsters will be participating- TIMESHAVER (Viggo Torbensen from Dana Point YC) and WARRIOR (Dr Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara YC).

In the next PHRF B class will be Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL sailing for the Cortez Racing Association.  However, he will have to contend with two strong J/120 offshore crews- POLE DANCER (Terri Manok from OYC) and HASL FREE (Rudolph Hasl from San Diego YC).

Sailing PHRF C will be the J/105 ROCINANTE sailed by Juan Lois from SBYRC and the J/35 MACS skippered by Eric McClure from Alamitos Bay YC.  Then in PHRF D is the J/92 DOUBLE DOWN helmed by Brian Kerr from SMW YC.

Finally, sailing the “short course” to Dana Point YC will be the J/22 TEKEELA led by Jock McGraw from DWYC.  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/80 sailing Western ChampionshipsJ/80 Westerns & PSSR Preview
(Seattle, WA)- It is that time of year in the Pacific Northwest! Yes, it is the annual Puget Sound Spring Regatta that is hosted by the Corinthian YC Seattle for both offshore PHRF racers as well as one-design classes of J/109s, J/105s, and J/80s.  In fact, for the J/80s it will be their first J/80 Westerns ever, sailed from April 21st to 22nd on Puget Sound.

There is no question there is a passionate group of Pacific Northwest J/sailors that continues to grow organically every year.  The original nexus of hard-core J/24 sailors over 30 years ago has evolved into a contingent of sailors involved at all levels of business (Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, etc) and in local sailing circles from the original J/24s up to J/145s and J/160.

This particular weekend will see the inaugural J/80 Westerns with eight boats participating.  Familiar crews will be there to help new fleet members, such as Bryan Rhodes CRAZY IVAN, Kevin Callahan’s NAMASTE and David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL.

In the half-dozen boat J/105 fleet, the usual suspects will be engaged to determine who wins bragging rights that weekend; such as Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Jerry Diercks DELIRIUM, Chris Phoenix’s JADED or Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE.

So far, the J/109s have several class leaders participating- Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA, and Tolga Cezik’s LODOS.  For more Puget Sound Spring Series and J/80 Westerns sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the Americas, the famous Charleston Race Week took place on Charleston Harbor, hosted by the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mount Pleasant, SC. J/Crews were there by tens of dozens for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and ORC fleets.  The fleets enjoyed beautiful sailing the first two days and only the big boats got to enjoy the pending arrival of a massive storm and leaden grey skies on the final day. Meanwhile, out west, the SSS Round the Rocks Race hosted a fleet of 100+ boats for their annual doublehanded and singlehanded dash around three “rocks” in San Francisco Bay.  While it was light, it was pretty and sunny and J/Teams on everything from J/24s, J/70s up to J/111s and J/120s had a fun time, winning some silverware, too!

Over in the Caribbean, the second to last major sailing week in the winter circuit took place off the picturesque, mountainous island of Saint Barthelemy.  It was the 9th edition of the famous Les Voiles de Saint Barth, sailed out of Gustavia Harbor; a J/122, J/111, J/105 and J/120 had a fun time racing in what may have been the best sailing conditions yet in the 2018 Caribbean winter circuit- winds up to 30 kts and sunny!!

Across the Atlantic, there was a hotbed of activity in the numerous J/70 sailing leagues taking place across the Continent.  Enjoying their first regattas of the season were the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League- Act I- taking place off Almere on the Weerwater and the Swiss J/70 Sailing Super League- Act I- racing off Locarno on the northern end of Lago Maggiore.  Further east, twenty-seven clubs enjoyed windy conditions on the Baltic Sea sailing the Russian J/70 Sailing League- Act II- off Sochi, Russia.

Finally, in the United Kingdom, the third weekend of sailing produced more light airs for the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, hosted by the Warsash Sailing Club with racing taking place on the infamous Solent.  Fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/109s and three IRC classes managed to get in two races on Sunday to catch up from previous missed weekends.

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:

Apr 21-22- J/80 West Coast Championship- Seattle, WA
Apr 21-22- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 27-29- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 28-May 1- Grand Prix de Saint Cast- Saint Cast, France
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 2-6- J/24 North American Championship- Charleston, SC
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 4-6- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 8-12- J/22 European Championship- Laveoc, France
May 11-13- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- Porto Ercole, Italy
May 14-19- J/70 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
May 18-20- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, The Netherlands
May 24-28- J/Cup United Kingdom- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 25-28- The FIGAWI Race- Hyannisport, MA
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Offshore Race- Belvedere, CA
May 26-28- Swiftsure International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 26-28- U.K. J/24 National Championship- Poole, England
May 28-29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
May 31- SoCal 300 Race- San Diego, CA

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

J/70s sailing Charleston Race WeekChallenging Charleston Race Week
J/70 Wins Charleston Race Week Cup
(Charleston, SC)- The 2018 edition of the Sperry Charleston Race Week will be remembered for its first two days of great weather for a vast majority of the fleet.  On Sunday, forecasts indicated a massive front moving in across the harbor by the afternoon, producing a line of thunderstorms, squalls, and possible tornados.  As a result, only the big offshore boats in ORC 1, ORC 2, and J/105s sailed early on Sunday before the storms hit.  Crowned as overall winner of the top one-design fleet was Peter Duncan’s J/70 RELATIVE OBSCURITY from American YC in Rye, New York. Here is how it all went down over the course of the three-day event.

J/24s sailing CharlestonDay 1- Friday
Mother Nature delivered in a big way on the first day of Sperry Charleston Race Week with action getting underway in strong winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures. J/24 skipper Tony Parker called it “champagne conditions” and it would be hard to argue with that assessment.

Ten of the 11 classes competing on the four inshore circles were able to complete four races in winds that ranged from 12 to 16 knots and swung from south to slightly southwest. The lone exception was the highly competitive J/70 class, which did three races at the request of the sailors.

Because there are 66 boats in J/70, the class is so large that it is split for re-seeding after each day of racing. Class organizers felt three races would make for better round-robin competition.

Winds were lighter for the five classes racing on Circle 5 and Course 6 outside the jetties on the Atlantic. ORC A and B along with the J/105 one-design fleet all finished two races.

“What a wonderful day for sailing. You really could not ask for better conditions,” proclaimed Parker, who took the early lead in J/24 class. “It was challenging enough to make things really interesting. I think the combination of changing current and shifting winds made for really tight racing.”

Parker and his crew aboard the J/24 BANGOR PACKET sandwiched a couple bullets inside a pair of seconds to close the day with a low score of six points– two better than runner-up ANGEL OF HARLEM (Robby Brown, St. Petersburg, FL).

“We had good starts and solid upwind speed so we were basically able to dictate where we wanted to go,” said Parker, a seasoned J/24 sailor who resides in Washington, D.C. “We were first at every weather mark in three straight races to start the day, which was nice.”

North Sails pro Will Bomar is calling tactics for Parker, who is coming off a tough season in which he was runner-up at the J/24 Worlds, East Coasts and Midwinters. James Niblock is trimming the headsails and Martha Parker from TEAM ONE NEWPORT in Newport, RI was working the bow on BANGOR PACKET.

J/70 sailing Charleston harborDay 2- Saturday
As the skies darkened over Charleston Harbor Saturday evening, the leaders had to feel good about their position while the followers were hoping for an opportunity to change the final standings.

“We’re still in the hunt. Hopefully, we’ll get two or three more races tomorrow and be able to improve our position,” said SAVASANA skipper Brian Keane, who holds fourth place in J/70 class.

Plans had called for the J/70 fleet to conduct three races per day, but the prospect of thunderstorms on Sunday prompted the class leadership to ask regatta organizers to run four on Saturday while the weather was clear and the wind was blowing between 8 and 15 knots.

Peter Duncan and his crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY had another solid day on the water and were able to maintain their lead. RELATIVE OBSCURITY finished 10th in Race 4, but came back with results of 1-3-4 and had a low score of 22 points. John Brim’s RIMETTE team was seven points behind Duncan and two points ahead of Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew.

A strong ebb tide pushed a bunch of boats over the start line and caused two general recalls for J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 68 boats. It took a while to finish four races as a result and the fleet did not return to the docks at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina until 5 p.m.

“They’re worried about the weather so they wanted to do four races, which makes sense,” Keane said. “It was a really tough day out there because the combination of the sea breeze and gradient. The wind was all over the place.”

To complicate matters, the tide changed from ebb to flood late in the afternoon. Keane sailed SAVASANA to victory in Race 6 after posting a third in Race 5. Those results came between a 7th and a 10th and left the Massachusetts entry with 34 points, just five points out of second place.

“We had two very good races and two decent ones,” said Keane, runner-up at the 2018 J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Italy. “We had a couple good starts and were able to get over to the lifted tack on the first windward leg.”

Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris, who represented the United States in 49er class at the 2016 Summer Olympics, are aboard SAVASANA as tactician and jib trimmer, respectively. Veteran bowman Ron Weed rounds out the team.

Skipper Bruce Golison had MIDLIFE CRISIS in second place after taking second in the opening race on Saturday. The Long Beach resident had an impressive 1-7-2-2 score line at that point. Double-digit results in the other three races on Saturday dropped Golison to 10th overall.

“This is one of the trickiest venues in the world and it’s easy to have one of those days,” Golison said. “We got fouled and lost a lot of boats in the third race today.”

Golison enjoyed considerable success in the J/24 and Etchells classes before buying a J/70 three years ago. The 61-year-old loves racing a sportboat and competing against some of the finest sailors in the world.

“It keeps me young,” Golison said. “I’ve never won a world championship and that is still my goal. I came close in the J/24 and the Etchells. We’ll see if I can get it done in the J/70.”

J/22's sailing Charleston Race WeekThere are 11 boats in J/22 class and seven are being sailed by Warrior Sailing teams. Skipper Scott Ford is skippering the lone Warrior entry that is racing with a spinnaker and doing extremely well. Ford is trimming the mainsail, Sammy Lugo is trimming the jib and Josh Agripino is driving USA 1367, which won Race 3 and has taken third in five other starts.

“We had a lot of fun today. Conditions were great and the racing was exciting,” said Ford, a former construction mechanic in the U.S. Navy who is blind. “We’re really enjoying competing against the College of Charleston students and feel pretty good about the results we’ve put up.”

Agripino served in the Marine Corps and sustained severe injuries to his lower legs and feet while also losing sight in one eye. Lugo, who worked in civil affairs for the Army, had his right leg amputated just below the knee.

J/22 class grew from three boats last year to 11 this year due to the strong participation of members from the Warrior Sailing program along with the generosity of the College of Charleston, which donated all the boats. Ford was pleased that several of the Warrior teams are learning how to fly a spinnaker and hope to do so at Charleston Race Week 2019.

VELOCIDAD took over the lead in the J/24 class as skipper Chris Stone got the gun in two of three races held on Saturday. The New Jersey entry was winning by tiebreaker over ANGEL OF HARLEM (Robby Brown, St. Petersburg, FL), meanwhile Day 1 leader BANGOR PACKET (Tony Parker, Washington, D.C.) dropped to third.

There is good action in J/88 class where Tim Finkle has skippered SEAWEED to the top of the standings on the strength of four bullets. Tactician Kris Werner, owner of the Quantum Sails loft in Rochester, helped Finkle close out Saturday with back-to-back wins to gain eight points of separation from Deviation (Iris Vogel, New Rochelle, NY) and Spaceman Spiff (Rob Ruhlman, Cleveland, OH).

“We’ve had really tight racing and it’s still anyone’s game,” said Werner, who works for the J/Boat dealership in the Buffalo area. “We’re racing in fairly close quarters near Fort Sumter and there is not much of a runway, which puts a premium on starts and boathandling.”

J/105 sailing Charleston Race WeekTaran Teague, principal race officer on Circle 5, followed a windward-leeward race with an 11-nautical mile distance race that finished in Charleston Harbor. Mount Pleasant local Robert Scribner steered his J/105 JOYRIDE to victory in all four races held over two days and had a comfortable 10-point lead in J/105 class.

Scribner made his Charleston Race Week debut last year and finished fourth out of five boats in J/105. The 72-year-old skipper was determined to do better this year and took steps to make that happen.

“We did a lot of preparation in the offseason. We paid more attention to tuning the boat, got some new sails and developed a disciplined, committed crew. That has proven a winning formula,” Scribner said. “We were not very competitive last year so my crew chief (Maarten Zonjee) and I decided to put in the effort to reverse that result.”

TEAMWORK, the highly successful J/122 owned by four-time Palmetto Cup winner Robin Team, had its moment in the sun on Saturday by winning the distance race.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Charleston Race WeekDay Three- Sunday
There was an interesting dynamic taking place on the docks of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Sunday morning. Some of the boats competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were getting ready to go racing with sailors pulling on foul weather gear in anticipation of heavy air and rough seas. Meanwhile, a bunch of other boats were in breakdown mode with sailors packing up gear and carrying sails down the dock.

That unique dichotomy was the result of a split decision by event organizers in response to a severe storm that was due to hit Charleston this afternoon. After carefully reviewing weather reports and consulting with overall principal race officer Hank Stuart, event director Randy Draftz decided to conduct racing for certain classes while cancelling the final day of action for others.

Sperry Charleston Race Week organizers announced in the morning that competition would be canceled in nine of the 10 one-design classes along with ORC C, which is comprised of smaller sportboats. Meanwhile, Stuart and his team elected to allow the two Pursuit Race classes to complete a condensed course out into the Atlantic Ocean and back. Meanwhile, the three classes on Circle 5 (J/105, ORC A, ORC B) came into Charleston Harbor for a windward-leeward course.

Draftz said the main reason for cancelling competition for the smaller boats was concern about the haul out process. Draftz had to consider the possibility of a severe thunderstorm hitting Charleston just as boats were beginning to be lifted out of the water and put onto trailers.

“I’ve been watching the forecast all morning and the breeze is just going to escalate. We could get one race in, but afterward we would have to pull all the boats out of the water,” Draftz said. “It was just not a prudent thing to do. We have 200 boats that have to get hauled out. You have to error on the side of caution. We know it’s coming, we just don’t know exactly when. Better to have cranes pulling boats out now as opposed to 2 or 3 in the afternoon.”

With the entire fleet safely out of the water by early afternoon, the final awards party on the beach at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina was moved up to 3 p.m. Overall winner of Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were the J/70 RELATIVE OBSCURITY.

Skipper Peter Duncan and his crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY won three races and finished fourth or better in three others to capture the J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 68 boats. Duncan received the Charleston Race Week Cup for best overall performance by a one-design.

“Oh my God, it’s kind of off-the-charts. You read about people winning trophies like this and you never think it could happen to you. It’s a very, very cool honor,” Duncan said of capturing the Charleston Race Week Cup.

This marked the first Sperry Charleston Race Week for Duncan, the reigning J/70 World Champion. He came away completely sold on the regatta and cannot wait to come back.

“It’s just a wonderful event with really great competition. It was terrific to sail in this venue for the first time. Charleston is very tricky with lots of shifts, lots of current. I just think it’s a really well-run event and it was a pleasure to participate.”

Victor Diaz de Leon served as tactician and trimmed the main for Duncan, who took the lead on Day 1 and never looked back. Willem Van Waay trimmed the headsails aboard Relative Obscurity, which finished seven points clear of runner-up Rimette (John Brim, Palm Beach, FL).

“I think the best thing we did was we went after the first day really hard. We had a really good first day and that gave us a little latitude on the second day,” said Duncan, a resident of Rye, N.Y. “Actually, perhaps the most important thing was that we were really deep in two races on the second day and came back. We fought really hard and battled back to get a 10th and a third. To me, that was the key to winning the regatta.”

Brim’s RIMETTE crew (which included Taylor Canfield as mainsheet/tactician, a World Match Race and Congressional Cup Champion) secured the silver.  Meanwhile, Ronning’s CATAPULT crew (which included John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup winner) finished two points back to take the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were Brian Keane’s SAVASANA in 4th and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES in 5th place.

Winning J/70 Corinthians Division was Andrew & Mallory Loe’s DIME from Seattle, WA with a total of 68 pts and also finishing 15th in the Open division.  Second was Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL with 86 pts and third was Jack & Vivien Wallace’s SELKIE, their best performance in a major J/70 event for a team that sails on Lake Champlain and hail from Burlington, Vermont.

Skipper Chris Stone steered VELOCIDAD to victory in the J/24 class, winning three races and taking third in three others. VELOCIDAD finished equal on points with Robby Brown (St. Petersburg, FL), but won the tiebreaker based on posting one more bullet and Stone earned his first class championship at Sperry Charleston Race Week.

“Well the starts, particularly with the current running out fast, were very challenging. I’ve never been so far from a starting line with one minute to go in my life. So timing was critical,” said Stone, from Middletown, N.J. “We were very fortunate to come out on top in a very tough fleet.”

J/88 Seaweed sailing Charleston Race WeekSkipper Tim Finkle led SEAWEED to the win in the J/88 class, getting the gun in four of eight races in posting a low score of 16 points. It was tightly bunched behind Seaweed with four boats finishing with either 24 or 25 points.

“We had a really good team that put a lot of effort into preparation and that paid off,” said Finkle, a J/Boat dealer in Buffalo who credited tactician Kris Werner for repeatedly putting the boat in good spots. “We got a bunch of good starts, which was huge because you had to get to one side of the course quickly because the current was such a huge factor.”

Leading the regatta after the first day, Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew from Rye, NY enjoyed a 3 pt lead on the closely packed fleet. During Saturday’s racing, their first two results of a 3-3 matched the second place team, Finkle’s SEAWEED, leaving the gap the same and WINGS hanging on to the lead.  However, after two gorgeous races, the Circle 3 RC/ PRO team took nearly three hours to change the course to match the winds.  By late afternoon when the third race of the day started after 1530 hrs, the wind had gone quite light due to the low-flying cloud cover rolling in from the ocean.  Liking the “lake-like” conditions, SEAWEED posted a 1-1 in the final two races to take the win.  Meanwhile, Bruno’s WINGS had issues with speed and executing on the corners of the course, registering a 7-8 to lose the lead. After tossing out their 8th place, the WINGS crew ended up one point off a three-way tie for 2nd place, having to settle for 4th.  Meanwhile, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF both ended tied on points at 24 pts for second place, with the tiebreak going in favor DEVIATION.

The J/22s saw Ryan Davidson’s INVISIBLE BOATMOBILE and David Buckley’s MAGIC 8 BALL close the regatta tied on points at 9 apiece for first place.  Winning that countback was Davidson’s team.  Comfortably securing the bronze on the podium was Scott Ford’s WARRIO SAILING with 16 pts net.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2108 closed with a distance race for the Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker classes on the Pursuit Race course along with a windward-leeward course in Charleston Harbor for the ORC A, ORC B and J/105 classes.

That last race proved decisive in the Spinnaker Pursuit class, as skipper Rick Moore steered the J/120 MOOSE DOWN to line honors. Chessie Racing, the Tripp 62 owned by George Collins, finished fifth and that four-point swing enabled MOOSE DOWN to secure the overall victory.

“Actually, the key to the whole thing was our crew just keeping the boat moving forward at all times, particularly on Friday when it was very light and sloppy,” said Moore, a Charleston local.

“Today we were fully-loaded and totally dialed in. We stayed on target, watched where we were going and used the currents. We’re extremely thankful for the outcome. It was a great day of racing and we had a blast in the Pursuit fleet. It’s a challenge when you see the boats coming up behind you and you have to work to stay in front of them.”

Tied for 3rd behind them in class was Bob Musor’s J/130 SCEPTRE from Charleston, SC; having to settle for 4th on the tiebreaker countback.

Then, in the ORC A class, Robin Team’s TEAMWORK won the last inside-the-harbor, storm-tossed race, to hold on to third overall.  In the ORC B class, Willy Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW won their last two races to take second. John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA liked the breezy last race, posting a 2nd to finish fourth overall.

In the Pursuit Non-Spin class, Bill Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN brought home the silver after winning their last two races, just one point shy of the lead!

Finally, the J/105s saw Bob Scribner’s JOYRIDE win counting all bullets. They were followed by Joe Highsmith’s DEAD ON ARRIVAL in second and the trio of Smith/ Seif/ Jacques on RUCKUS win the last race to leap into third position.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

J/122 sailing Voiles St Barth regattaGorgeous Voiles de Saint Barth IX Regatta
(Gustavia, St Barth)- The ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille started with a splash on Monday, April 9th, welcoming 53 teams in the regatta’s seven classes. The entire fleet enjoyed the first day’s racing in perfect easterly trade winds between 15 to 20 knots and big swell on the coastal courses – between 28 and 29 nautical miles – with a start and finish right outside of Gustavia port.

After an epic start off the Port of Gustavia for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille, the fleet went on a wild ride up the southeast coast.  With winds gusting upward of 25 knots, the fleet of 53 teams battled it out in frantic surf. At the end of the day’s races, which included a 23-mile course for the CSA 3 Classes, a 32-mile loop for the CSA 1 and 2 Classes and then a 39-mile course forJ/120 sailing Voiles St Barth regatta the Maxi 1, Maxi 2, OMA and CSA Multihull, the fatigue was evident.

“The conditions were fantastic today!” Richard Eames on board the J/105 WHISTLER in CSA 3. The WHISTLER team was sitting in third place and optimistic about making the podium in their fifth Les Voiles de Saint Barth. “We had to be very focused on the attitude of the boat, especially downwind but it made the navigation very exciting. Downwind we were flying at unbelievable speeds.“

Jimmy Buffett Surprise Concert
The sailors quickly forgot their aches and pains after a hard day of hiking in the big waves once singer Jimmy Buffett announced a surprise concert on Tuesday evening. Buffett, this year’s US ambassador, treated the regatta to live music dockside in the Race Village.

Sailing around St BarthelemyPostcard conditions continued on Friday as competition resumed for the seven fleets after Les Voiles’ signature Day Off on Thursday and lots of fun and games at the infamous NIKI BEACH cafe and bar.  On the menu were 18-22 knot breezes.  The PRO set a 22-mile course for CSA 1 and 2 and an 18-mile loop for CSA 3. As in previous days, the conditions were ideal and the fight was intense.

On Saturday’s final act for Les Voiles, the fabulous 25–27 knot winds with gusts in the low 30s and big seas, took their place on center stage to create a spectacular finish for the 9th edition.

In the CSA 2 Division, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua sailed a consistent six-race series to finish 4th, just two points from taking the bronze position on the podium.  In fact, a fifth race OCS dropped them out of contention for the podium. Then, Sacha Daunar’s J/120 PAULISTA from Guadeloupe took 5th place behind them.

In CSA 3 Division, Peter Lewis’ crew on the J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados could not have sailed a more consistent series, posting six 3rds to secure the bronze on the podium!   Sailing photo credits- Christophe Jounay   Follow Les Voiles de St Barth on Facebook here   For more Les Voiles de St Barth sailing information

J/109 sailing Warsash seriesMore Light Winds @ Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series
(Warsash, England)- Success in the second day of racing in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Sunday 15th April went to those skippers who played the strong tides in the Solent and managed to stay in breeze.

Having lost two Sunday's of racing due to the weather, the race committee was keen to get racing going. Despite the breeze not reaching the numbers forecast, it managed to run two races for the Black Group and the usual three races for White Group.

J/70s sailing Warsash Helly Hansen spring seriesBlack Group's two starts were near Robin Culpan buoy in the Solent, with courses running towards East Bramble and Goodall Roofing; upwind against the building tide, and downwind with it. Most boats chose to stay offshore in the steadier breeze rather than seeking less tide inshore.

IRC 1 class saw Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB post a 4th to move themselves up to 5th overall. In IRC 2 class in the first race, Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES won their second race and now leading the class in the series.  In IRC 3 class, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO continue to sail consistently and are sitting in 3rd for the series.

The winners in the two races for the J/109 class were JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) and JUST SO (David McGough).  As a result, JIRAFFE leads with 5 pts, while JUST SO and Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO are tied on 10 pts each.

J/88's sailing Warsash Spring seriesWinning both races in the J/88 class was Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR to take the class lead with 4 pts.  Posting two 2nds to hold on to second place was Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 5 pts.  Currently sitting in third position is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL with 11 pts.

The White Group was started with a tight beat near the mainland shore and a light Southerly breeze that then started flicking more Easterly. The first start was against the tide, which helped ensure no premature starters.

The committee boat moved more offshore for race 2 and again everyone was well behaved and got away cleanly. In race 3, there was one boat over the line and a collision (!), and the windward mark had to be moved for subsequent laps as the breeze swung.

Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER is currently leading the J/70 class with three bullets in their scoreline.  However, tied on points with them is Doug Struth’s DSP counting all 1sts and 2nds.  Sitting in third is Jon Powell’s PEGGY. Closing with three bullets last weekend, Mike Lewis’ JESTER leads the J/80 class.  For more Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/70s sailing Swiss Super LeagueSV Kreuzlingen Leads J/70 Swiss Super League
(Locarno, Switzerland)- The first Act of the season-long Swiss J/70 Sailing Super League just took place on Lago Maggiore, the large pretty lake bordered on the north by Switzerland and the south by Italy. While the weather was sunny and spectacular, the fleet of the best twelve sailing clubs in Switzerland were only able to sail fourteen races in the classic “Inverna” wind conditions (the southerly thermal breeze) on Saturday-only.

The favorites sailed away in the opening round to the Swiss National J/70 Sailing League. The Segler Verein Kreuzlingen team, with skipper Tom Rüegge, dominated the regatta with five race wins. They were closely followed by the Société Nautique de Genève with Youth America's Cup tactician Guillaume Rigot at the helm.

J/70s sailing Swiss Super League - Locarno- Lake MaggioreThe sailing level in the Super League is higher than ever. Only meters separated the boats at the finish line. Even the smallest mistake costs precious places. This made the J/70 Swiss Sailing Super League more exciting than ever. Although the favorites are again in the lead this year, their pursuers are hot on the trail and have proven they can beat them on the race track.

Guillaume Rigot and the Société Nautique de Genève have clear goals- to qualify again for the Sailing Champions League and the Swiss Championship. However, he is not alone with this goal- the defending champion Regattaclub Bodensee did everything to win the Cup for the third time in a row. Olympian and SV Kreuzlingen skipper Tom Rüegge is pleased with the inaugural victory of his team, but is aware that the season is a total of 5 events and the Cup will probably be awarded in the challenging finale in October in Versoix.   Sailing photo credits- Claudia Somm   Follow Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 sailing Dutch J/70 Sailing League- Almere, NetherlandsWV Almere Centraal Tops Dutch J/70 Sailing League Act I
(Almere, The Netherlands)- Fifteen teams started the coveted Dutch National J/70 Sailing League against the skyline of Almere.  In total, no less than twenty-seven races were sailed during the first round of the Eredivisie Sailing 2018. At the end, the WV Almere Centraal Team fought off two very tough crews to mark their first win of the season.

Day One- Friday
After a day's sailing one thing became clear, the battle for the title was going to be incredibly exciting with the top three teams all within two points of each other.

J/70 Netherlands sailing league off AlmereIt was early in the morning when the participating teams gathered at the Weerwater in Almere. Race Officer Alex Hoeve expected a very exciting season. "The level is getting higher and the differences between them are getting smaller. The Dutch teams have also come along well on an international level. Our challenge as an organization is to get even more teams excited for this great competition!”

After an early morning postponement, the participants started racing at 1300 hrs. The light, shifty winds made it a challenge for both sailors and the committee.

WV Almere takes a strong start
The reigning national champion, WV Almere Centraal started strong on their home waters. To the question of whether the competition has gotten closer, John den Engelsman, the WVAC skipper, confidently answered, "Based on what I have seen today, not yet!” They closed their the first day at the top of the ranking.

JC Scheveningen
One of the challengers this year was Jachtclub Scheveningen. In the very first race of the season, they immediately put everyone on notice of their ambition for the rest of the season, by convincingly sailing to victory. The rest of the day showed that the club from South Holland was a formidable competitor.

J/70 SHE SAILS- all women's sailing teamSHE SAILS Team
One of the eye-catchers of the field is, just like last year, the YC Amsterdam team- SHE SAILS. This year they are sailing with five ladies in the boat, versus four last year.

"Last year we sailed with five women during the large J/70 class races. However, during the Eredivisie we had a woman shortage in the boat, that affected some of our boat-handling maneuvers. With five ladies here, that issue has now been resolved." The ladies do everything to stand out and promote their program, this year they can be recognized by their gloves with floral prints. “They’re from IKEA, they are so nice and wrong!”

Day 2- Saturday
Large differences in pressure and wind directions marked sailing on Saturday. The variable conditions made the tactics difficult for many of the sailing teams. Mistakes were expensive, but this had no effect on the top three teams.

J/70s sailing off Almere, NetherlandsThe regatta leader, skipper Marco de Klerk of WV Almere Centraal, was satisfied with their performance. "We started well and the pace was right. In total, we sailed four flights with a total of 12 races over a period of three and a half hours. There were many interesting duels for the jury to judge. Unfortunately, even a few collisions and some damage."

Despite the shifty, streaky winds, WV Almere Centraal remained consistently at the top with 17 points. They were followed closely by RR&ZV Maas & Roer Team and the Jachtclub Scheveningen Team, both only one point away from each other. WV de Meeuwen, KZ & RV Muiden and WV Brassermermeer shared 4th to 6th places with 24 points each, which shows the high level of competition- no one is giving a millimeter!

Day 3- Sunday
With 4 to 6 knots of wind, the teams all started on-time, first thing in the morning. Shortly after the finish of the first flights, the wind suddenly disappeared and the postponement flag was hoisted immediately.

After half an hour, it was decided to send the boats back to the shore, hoping for the return of the wind. Despite strong attempts to complete a full series of three races, the weather Gods were not favorable to the sailors on Sunday. As a result, the only race on Sunday morning did not count for the rankings.  Therefore, the scores at the end of Saturday’s racing became the final results for the first Act in Almere.

WV Almere Centraal sailing team- winners J/70 Dutch sailing league act 1WV Almere Centraal achieves objective
"The weekend sailing in familiar territory has paid off. Our goal was to win this weekend and we succeeded! Admittedly, with a minimum margin, because it was very close racing. Three teams shared fourth place, so we are still getting strong competition this season. In any case, it was a fun and a great round to sail,“ said team captain John den Engelsman.

Team RR&ZV Maas & Roer happily surprised
The tone was set with the final result of round 1, winning their last two races. The minimal difference in points between the top three (just 2 pts) shows the competitive level is quite high. By performing well and consistently, RR&ZV Maas & Roer hoped to earn a star certificate for the prestigious Sailing Champions League later this year.

"This weekend, we unexpectedly had a different team composition and we were forced to sail with an inexperienced combination.  Nevertheless, we sailed well and the new members did a great job! It went smoothly with smooth communication on board. We are very satisfied and look forward to the next round of play, where we hopefully have the home advantage,” commented their team captain.

The next round of the Eredivisie Sailing will take place in Roermond, where RR&ZV Maas & Roer believe it can make the difference.  For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 ARTTUBE RUS1 sailing Russia Sailing LeagueCALIPSO Wins Russian J/70 Sailing League- Act II
(Sochi, Russia)- Over the April 13th to 15th weekend, the second stage of the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place in Sochi, Russia, racing just offshore on the rough and tumble Black Sea for the twenty-seven teams participating in the regatta. In the end, another new leader emerged from the ranks of Russia’s top sailors- Maxim Taranov’s team on CALIPSO from Tuapse, Russia.

J/70s sailing Russian National Sailing League off SochiDay One- Friday
On the first day of competition, fifteen races were held. Each of the teams sailed five races, with several unexpected, if not sensational, outcomes in the standings!

Topping the leaderboard with 8 points was the BLACK SEA Team with skipper Oleg Kuzmin from the host city- Sochi. Then, 2nd and 3rd place was surprisingly shared by KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Dmitry Shunin from Moscow and LEVIATHAN’s Vadim Yahinson from St Petersburg, both sitting with 14 points each. One point behind them was CALIPSO’s Maxim Taranov, and then one more point back was ARTTUBE RUS1’s Valeria Kovalenko crew from Taganrog (Moscow).

J/70s sailing off Sochi, Russia on Black SeaDay Two- Saturday
The second day of competition produced more surprises, again!  Eleven more races were sailed, bringing the total to twenty-six.  Nine teams had sailed 8 races, eighteen teams a total of 9 races.

Saturday's races did not change the composition of the top five, but it did change the team standings on the leaderboard.  Taranov’s CALIPSO now led, followed by Kuzmin, Kovalenko, Yakhinson and Shunin.

Note, that the winner of the first Act in Sochi- NAVIGATOR Sailing Team with Igor Rytov as skipper- was now in the 12th position, an indication of how tough the competition had become since the first regatta.

The main questions for the regatta was- will the debutantes at the top of the standings be able to defend their positions and climb onto the podium? Why is it so tough?  Make note of the fact that this event had many of Russia’s top Olympic sailing athletes on various teams- famous names in Europe such as Sergey Komissarov, Denis Gribanov, Jan Chekh, Ivan Zotov, Christian Chekh, Vladimir Chaus, Boris Kucherenko, and Pavel Karachov, to name a few!

Winners of J/70 Russian Sailing League- Sochi, RussiaDay Three- Sunday
The third day of competition saw more good sailing conditions and the regatta PRO managed to knock out ten more races, for a total of 36 races completed!  In the end, each of the teams sailed a total of twelve races.

Sailing in their first Russian National J/70 Sailing League regatta, it was Maxim Taranov’s crew on CALIPSO that won by just 3 pts, with 30 total.  His crew consisted of Vladimir Shishkin, Nikolai Kryuchkov, Egor Zuev and Ilya Polishchuk; like ARTTUBE RUS1, this team had only two finishes off the podium in twelve races- a superior result for the debutante of the Higher Division!

Taking second place, not surprisingly for many familiar with top Russian J/70 teams, was Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS team; consisting of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko, and Denis Rozhkov. The team had a rough start, scoring a 5-2-8 in their first three races, but they got their “mojo” going and came roaring back, posting two 1sts and five 2nds enroute to racing up the leaderboard to take the silver. As a result, their two 2nd places in the first two events gives them a strong lead for the overall series.

In the third place were KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Dmitry Shunin, Artem Basalkin, Artem Markov and Ivan Kolinko. This finish, coupled with a fourth in the first event, has moved them up into second place behind Kovalenko’s team for the overall series.

J/70 Russian Sailing League highlights off Sochi, RussiaFacebook sailing video highlights

Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

J/105 sailing SSS Round the Rocks RaceLight, Sunny SSS Round the Rocks Race
(San Francisco, CA)- An even 100 shorthanded crews signed up for the Single Handed Sailing Society's "Round The Rocks" race on Saturday. A 19.3 nm jaunt from the Berkeley Circle, up and over "The Rock" of Alcatraz, and up to Harding Rock and then north to "the Brothers rocks," leaving all to starboard, then back south leaving Red Rock to port and finishing in the Potrero Reach at the RYC Race Platform.

Conditions were as expected, light to medium at start with winds in the 8-10 knot range with slack water changing towards an ebb made for a fast ride to the west from the flats towards the gate, and just enough south in breeze for boats carrying kites to set them after rounding Harding. Nary a boat we saw headed towards Point Blunt, instead Raccoon Strait was the route d'jour. Though winds were lighter in the strait for the front-runners, it was still enough for decent VMG through and out towards the North Bay.

The one caveat for the fleet was the sneaky mud bank that lives between Elephant Rock and Bluff Point on the north side of the strait. Some boats managed to hit it!

The winds started off light, but late in the race, a sudden increase in the breeze gave the boats in the back a healthy dose of “hallelujahs” and the crew working the finish line got a big shot of "Yikes, they are all coming at once!!”

Overall, the vast majority of the boats finished in a window between 15:15:00 and 15:40:00 in the afternoon on what was an absolutely gorgeous day for the short-handed crews sailing around San Francisco Bay.  J/Crews had a fun time and even managed to collect some silverware for their trophy shelves.

In PHRF 6 Doublehanded Spin class, Jeremy Moncada & Richard Craig’s J/88 JUNO took 2nd in class.  In addition, classmates Eric Patterson & Tim Russell on their J/105 NENE finished 5th place. Not that far off the pace, and hurt by the fleet closing from behind, were Ludovic & Delphine Milin’s J/120 SAETTA in 10th and Richard Leute & Ken Grayson’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY in 11th.

In the PHRF 7 Doublehanded Spin class, Luther Izmirian & Ken Brown’s J/32 PARADIGM secured 4th place just six minutes in arrears on corrected time from first place!

The J/109 LINDO skippered by singlehanded sailor John Kalucki took third place in the PHRF 13 Singlehanded Non-Spin division.  Thanks for photos and contribution from Chris Ray’s PRESSURE-DROP.US  For more SSS Round the Rocks Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Family Bonding at Charleston Race Week!?
If there has been one constant about Sperry Charleston Race Week over the years it’s the family dynamic that has become a hallmark of the regatta. The event and venue, with all the onshore fun, attracts sailors to combine high-level racing with quality family time.

As usual, there were plenty of family programs competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018. In fact, family members comprise the entire crew of the J/70 Old School with Brandon Flack sailing with his wife, 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.
Brandon Flack family sailing J/70s at Charleston
Brandon Flack and his family, from left to right, wife Cindy, son Dylan, daughter Lily and Brandon. Photo by Larry Monteith.

“It couldn’t be better when you can mix sailing at a great regatta like this and being with your family,” Flack said. “I was so psyched coming down here because I couldn’t imagine a more fun thing to do.”

The Flack family hails from Stonington, Connecticut. They travel to major regattas to compete in the J/70 class and Brandon borrows a friend’s boat for Sperry Charleston Race Week. “We’ve been sailing the J/70 for almost five years as a family team so we’ve kind of grown up with the boat,” he said.

Lily Flack, an accomplished Club 420 sailor, steers the boat upwind. Dylan Flack, described by his father as a retired Optimist racer, is a “gentleman” sailor who only likes to drive downwind. Brandon trims the headsails and keeps the middle sorted while Cindy works the bow.

“We just piece it together and have a blast,” Brandon said. “Sometimes we have good races and sometimes we have bad ones. I’d rather have a bad race with these guys than with a bunch of rock stars.”

While Brandon Flack may be listed as skipper on the scratch sheet, he made it clear that his wife is really the one in charge. “Cindy makes all the big decisions. She keeps us all on point,” said Brandon, a marine manufacturer’s representative for Samson Rope, Musto foul weather gear and Torqeedo outboard motors among other products.

For instance, Cindy declared that Old School would skip the third race on Thursday when the wind gusted into the mid-teens. Nobody had a problem with that call as the family spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool. Nights are spent hanging out and hosting friends in the recreation vehicle the family has parked just outside the Charleston Harbor Marina and Resort.

Serious sailboat racing can get crazy at times and Brandon Flack admitted that it’s not all smiles and niceties onboard. At stressful times there can be yelling and harsh words exchanged. “It’s not easy. There are moments when we think we might need to call social services. There are definitely some family dynamics onboard,” Brandon said with a laugh.

Spaceman Spiff has been a family-based program for years now as Rob and Abby Ruhlman brought their two children aboard as crew when both were young. Ryan and Maegan Ruhlman are all grown up with families of their own now, but the family team continues.
Rob Ruhlman's family sailing J/88 at Charleston
Ruhlman family photo. From left to right, Maegan, Ryan, Abby, Doug Moose, Rob. Photo by Larry Monteith

Rob steers and Abby works the pit while Ryan has developed into a top-notch tactician and Maegan Cross does a superb job of trimming the main. Ryan’s wife Tesse has joined the crew as jib trimmer while bowman Doug Moose is jokingly referred to as a “cousin.”

“We’re just real fortunate to be able to sail together as a family,” Rob Ruhlman said. “Abby and I have been sailing together for more than 40 years. Ryan and Maegan grew up racing on big boats. I brought Abby into sailing just like Ryan has brought his wife into it.”

While the Ruhlman family hails from Cleveland, Ohio, it has a strong connection to Charleston. Ryan and Maegan both attended the College of Charleston and were members of the sailing team. “We all have a lot of friends here so we really enjoy coming back each year,” Rob said.

Rob Ruhlman was proud that Spaceman Spiff passed four boats during the final downwind leg and wound up finishing third in Race 7. “I think this crew does a great job of staying focused and keeping their heads in the game,” said Rob, who also steered Spaceman Spiff to victory in Race 2 and third place overall in J/88 class.

The whole Ruhlman family, which now includes some grandchildren for Rob and Abby, is staying at The Cottages on Charleston Harbor – turning this regatta into a family vacation. After so many years of racing together, the communication on Spaceman Spiff is extremely strong.

“We really do have good chemistry aboard the boat. We’re intense competitors, but we’re pretty relaxed about it,” Rob said. “I think because we’re family we’re all sort of pulling the same direction, which makes things a little easier.”

There are too many other examples of family-oriented programs at Sperry Charleston Race Week to mention them all. Teamwork, the J/122 that is the only four-time winner of the prestigious Palmetto Trophy, is led by skipper Robin Team and includes his brother Adam and sons Alston and Coleman.  Thanks for contribution- Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt

* Jenn & Ray Wulff – How they make “JOINT CUSTODY” work
Here is an entertaining and educational interview with the 2018 Corinthian J/70 Midwinters Champions.
Wulff family sailing J/70
If you have sailed a J/70 and have not run into (figuratively, not literally) Jenn and Ray Wulff then you need to get out to more regattas! This Annapolis based couple runs the fun, “family-centric”, goal-oriented program that is “Joint Custody”. Their Corinthian program has earned them a place on everyone’s “who are the boats to beat” list at every major event. Coming off their win as the Top Corinthian team at the 2018 Midwinters, Ray and Jenn share their thoughts on the importance of practice, the goal of developing a team and having a “deep bench” along with their 3 top tips for the approaching summer season.

What was it that first attracted you to the J/70 class?

Ray: Jenn was racing in Key West on a big boat and saw the J/70s planing around the race course. Within a day of returning to Annapolis, Jenn let me know that we were going to sell our current boat, we were buying a boat, and she asked my help in her getting back into driving as the J/70 seemed like a boat where anyone could drive or crew, regardless of physical size or age (Jenn is 5’2”. She had been crewing for me & sailing with other teams for years in J/22s, Mumm 30s, Farr 40s and other boats. She hadn’t driven since junior sailing and wanted to get back on the tiller). Additionally, we were looking for a one-design sport boat where we didn’t need a crane or a gin pole to go sailing and that had a good group of people. The J/70 seemed like a strong fit.
Jenn & Ray Wulff sailing J/70s
What is it that you enjoy most about racing in this class?

Ray: Definitely, the people! It is an awesome fleet with every level from rank beginner to World champion and everyone in between. The boat is super accessible in that anyone can drive & crew – no matter size or age. There’s also a lot of camaraderie in the class. Everyone shares with each other what they are working on getting sorted which is great.

Jenn: We are ALWAYS learning!! It is very easy to sail the 70 well. There is enough information provided by sailmakers, experts, and videos to get you up to speed. That being said, to sail the boat at a very high level, you always have to be learning. The evolution of the class, how to sail the boat, and sail design is constantly evolving for the better. It’s fun to always be learning & having the opportunity to train with others & develop together.

You’ve spent a lot of time sailing Corinthian against all the top teams in the World, what is your mindset going into a regatta where all the “top dogs” are there?

Ray: I think we try to focus on our process and adjust as we see the top teams improving theirs. Jenn has drilled this into our brains, “Trust the process.” What I mean by that is to have a plan for the season, regatta, day, and race. Having this mindset lets you focus on YOUR race, and not get to distracted by the players in the fleet. We also seek to learn from the pros and top teams. We view it as them raising the bar makes us all better.

How do you prioritize your time preparing for events? Do you practice? Do you do local events? Do you select a certain number of “priority events” at the beginning of a year?

Jenn: Good question. The biggest adjustment is planning our schedule long in advance for the regattas that require days off. With everyone working, having that schedule out early lets people plan their schedules, see what they can commit to, and plan logistics.

Ray: When the class schedule comes out, we try to scope four major events a year and see how we can have the same crew for those. Interspersed are local events and possible practice regattas that can benefit the majors. We also try to build a deep bench of crew knowing that everyone has jobs with limited time off, it’s important to be able to have consistent crew across a variety of events.
Jenn & Ray Wulff sail J/70 Joint Custody
You have sailed with a number of different crew over the last few years, but the two of you are the staple on “Joint Custody.” How do you delegate the roles and divvy up jobs when adding new crew?

Jenn: I think it depends on the regatta. If we have our regular main trimmer on board, we try to fit new crew into other roles. If our regular main trimmer isn’t there, I slide back to that role and work with the team we have. We try to keep people as consistent as possible and focus on our consistent process, but also recognize that everyone have jobs and can’t be available for every event. We line up crew well in advance and try to have a few core folks for each position. Ray provides great consistency as he’s the tactician and can also be a main or jib trimmer when needed.

Ray: We had a crew have to bow out due to illness for the Midwinters. Beforehand we asked her to write up what her roles and responsibilities were and we provided that to our fill in. It really helped that person get up to speed and let us know all the things they were.

What are 3 tips you would give to any J/70 team when approaching a season?

1. Have a large bench and always grow it. Everyone has busy lives so there is no way you will have the same crew every regatta so make sure you have a large bench to choose from. Schedule out the season early and reach out to your “A-Team” to see their availability. (Can I emphasize early!). From there, you can see what holes you may need to fill.

2. Value your crew’s time. They are taking time away from their families, jobs, and other hobbies. Have the boat, sails, and equipment ready to go. Make sure housing, travel, and logistics are sorted out. Respecting the crew’s time is paramount in building a strong Corinthian team. And, remember to have fun!
3. Develop your goals for the season & for each regatta. Have a plan & stick to it & always reach out to the top teams and pros/sailmakers to ask questions & for help. We’ve progressed a lot by asking others for tips & having a tuning partner at each regatta.  A huge thank you to Jenn and Ray! And for the story by Zeke Horowitz

Ed Baird- World Champion- J/22 Pro-Am announcer* Creating that buzz for after racing
Regattas offer us that occasional test of skill, with the most skilled enjoying the sweet taste of the front of the fleet, and the trophy winners gaining the extra boost of ego nourishment. There are the haves, and the have nots.

But the best regattas offer more than just racing. They deliver that inviting atmosphere onshore where competitors can tell lies about the day and otherwise enjoy a social environment. It is where we come together, away from the pecking order.

For the second year running, Charleston Race Week (April 13-15) has organized entertainment after racing on Saturday in the hopes of filling that time slot from docking to dinner. The vision last year was to gather up some of the notable skippers, put them on J/22s, and have some races within sight of the cocktail gripping crowd and allow the heckling to ensue. The Pro-Am J/22 Regatta was born.

Apparently, it worked well enough that it is on again this year, with America’s Cup winning skipper Ed Baird doing play-by-play and the races live streamed on a Jumbotron in the Regatta Village. Not unlike a baseball game, where cups are filled and bladders emptied between innings, spectating will require strategy during this series of short races.

New this year is how each boat will have two high school aged crew, providing them valued exposure to the approach of seasoned sailors, or at least learn how cuss words contribute to competitiveness. Also onboard will be a student from the College of Charleston to ensure these “expert” sailors don’t screw up the school’s boats.

For the skippers, it’s an opportunity to give back to the sport, but with the risk that racing with a pick-up team, in an unfamiliar boat, could lead to poor finishes and reputation scars. Nobody wants to get last, which was the fate of Allan Terhune in 2017.

For someone who has notched up eleven continental championships (in the Lightning, Flying Scot and Thistle Classes) and was crowned the 2013 J/22 World Champion, getting DFL for Allan was unfamiliar territory.

But he’s returning to make amends in 2018, and he just needs to beat one person to pass on the baton. In his way will be Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin, US Sailing President Bruce Burton, Rio 2016 Olympian Paris Henken, multiple World Champion Steve Hunt, J/Boat expert Travis Odenbach, the king of Gill North America David Pritchard, and defending champion Christophe Killian from the College of Charleston sailing team.

And one more… me.

The event did not award Allan with his rightfully earned perpetual, so I am going to source a memento for the last placed skipper this year…just in case.  Thanks for this contribution from Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt News.

J/22 Youth team sailing* J/22 Youth Team- Encouraging Talented Youth Sailors
The United States J/22 Class Association has announced that Patrick Isherwood and his team have been awarded the annual J/22 Scholarship Boat. Isherwood was selected from several extremely qualified candidates from the nation’s top-ranked university sailing teams.

Isherwood, and his teammates Jack Hurley, Peter Girard, Dakota Northrup and Marina Barzaghi, will be campaigning the scholarship sailboat during the summer. Possessing high-performance records in a variety of dinghies and keelboats, the team plans to compete in several J/22 regattas, including the 2018 J/22 World Championship at Annapolis Yacht Club in September.

The J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program was designed to encourage talented youth sailors to experience the J/22 Class’s tremendous community of one-design sailors – at virtually no cost. The goal of the program is to escalate the scholarship team’s experience and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. The scholarship program is funded through generous contributions from North Sails and members of the J/22 Class Association.

“North Sails is proud to provide sails for this excellent youth sailing opportunity in the J/22 Class,” said Mike Marshall, sail designer/design services for North Sails. “We are excited to work with a new youth team that is energized about sailing J/22 sailboats. We want to provide them with the opportunity to race at the highest possible level. The more we can help this program succeed, the stronger the J/22 Class and quality of racing becomes.”

To learn more about the J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program, visit To track the progress of the 2018 scholarship boat team, visit

2017 Scholarship Boat Member Biographies:

J/22- Patrick IsherwoodPatrick Isherwood is a junior ocean engineering student at the University of Rhode Island where he sails as part of the sailing team. He grew up sailing C420s in local Narragansett and Buzzards Bay events. As a freshman, Isherwood sailed for the University of Rhode Island under coach Skip Whyte. His collegiate major successes include winning A division at the 2016 Boston University Trophy and the 77th Schell Trophy at MIT. His first exposure to keelboat sailing was trimming main on a J/35— a boat he still races. More recently, Isherwood has begun racing J/22s with Matt Dunbar and Bill Porter. In 2016, he had the chance to compete in the J/22 Worlds—jump starting his exposure to J/22 sailing. This inspired Isherwood to sail weekly J/22 events—most recently skippering in the 2017 J/Fest. He has sailed on many different boats in various crew positions, including a J/111, J/30, Aerodyne and 210.

J/22 Youth- Jack HurleyJack Hurley is sailing for the University of Rhode Island . He views the J/22 Scholarship Boat grant as an opportunity to broaden his sailing experience. Hurley has been sailing all his life in many different regattas. Most recently, he competed in the Around Long Island Regatta. During this regatta, Hurley was the foredeck on a Farr 395. He has also sailed J/22s, most notably at the 2017 Annapolis NOOD Regatta. These were both amazing experiences where Hurley expanded his skills and further developed as a sailor. He participated in high school and college sailing. While on the high school team, Hurley competed and placed at multiple state- and divisional-level events and became captain of the team his senior year. Currently, he is sailing for the University of Rhode Island. Hurley has sailed with Pat Isherwood for two years. Isherwood and Harley have been successful racing in multiple regattas.

J/22 Youth- Peter GirardPeter Girard is a senior ocean engineering student at the University of Rhode Island. Girard competes as a skipper on the University of Rhode Island sailing team. Sailing has been a central part of his life since he began sailing at Community Boating Incorporated on the Charles River. Girard was on the junior program race team, competing in youth events in Boston. He sailed throughout high school, where he was captain during his senior year and competed in events as part of the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA). His desire to participate in its highly active sailing team was a crucial aspect of his decision to attend the University of Rhode Island. He has placed in high-level college sailing events throughout the east coast.

J/22 Youth- MarinaMarina Barzaghi is a freshman skipper at the University of South Florida pursuing a major in nursing and a minor in psychology. Barzaghi raced C420s in the New England summer circuit for four years and crewed on a boat that achieved 25th place out of 173 participating boats at the 2016 Buzzards Bay Regatta. She also won A division at the NESSA women’s championship her junior and senior years. As a freshman in college, Barzaghi placed second out of 16 competitors in B division at Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth College. She also skippered in A division at the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship. She has keelboat racing experience on Narragansett Bay aboard J/22s, J/24s and Shields. Barzaghi delivered a Swan 56 from Bermuda to Newport in 2016 and raced the same boat in the 2016 and 2017 NYYC Annual Cruise. This summer, she will compete in the Newport to Bermuda Race on a Swan 56 and will continue to be involved in keelboat competition throughout New England.

J/22 Youth- DakotaDakota Northrup is a student at the University of Rhode Island. Northrup started sailing at the age of 13. He competed at NBYA events on C420s when he was 15 years old. Northrup has competed at events outside of Narragansett Bay and has participated in the Brooke E. Gonzalez Advance Race Clinic. He also raced in the Buzzard Bay, New Bedford, Hyannis and Falmouth Regattas. Northrup is part of the University of Rhode Island sailing team, coached by Skip Whyte. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J/Newsletter- April 11th, 2018

J/121 sailing offshoreJ/121 Spring Tune-Up & Open Course Racing
(Newport, RI)- J/Boats will be hosting the first J/121 Spring Tune-Up on May 11-12 for recently launched boats in Narragansett Bay, RI.  The event will be based out of Newport Shipyard, and up to five boats are expected.   With the support of major sailmakers (including North Sails, Quantum Sails, Doyle Sails, UK Sails), a two-day coaching and training session will focus on getting teams up to speed fast, with an emphasis on tuning, sail trim, sail selection & changes, and boathandling.

The program will be especially beneficial for crews that will be participating in the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race, hosted by the CCA (Cruising Club of America) that starts on June 15th.  The format will include on-board coaching both days and video debriefs after sailing each.  As an added benefit, each boat will have a app collecting real-time GPS speed, course, heel, and implied wind direction for analysis post-sailing (broadcast LIVE here on

Friday at 1230 hrs is registration and a welcome briefing.  At 1330 hrs, the teams rendezvous off Fort Adams for boat-on-boat testing for speed, trim and tuning all afternoon.  A few boathandling maneuvers will be evaluated and coaching will be done via “open mike” on VHF so that all teams can learn from each other.  Sailing is followed by debrief and refreshments at Newport Shipyard.

On Saturday, the teams will gather at 0930 hrs for a skippers meeting, followed by a 1030 hrs warm up race. Then, an “open course” race will be started by 1200 hrs, again with on-water and on-boat coaching, followed by post-race debrief and refreshments.

Post-race analytics will be displayed by and the Open Course scoring will be evaluated for the following:
  • Overall winner- speed and time
  • Winner of each leg- base on average speeds
  • Fastest speed on any leg
As part of the discussions over the weekend will be 2018 J/121 Open Course Circuit schedule for the northeast region.  Currently, the proposed schedule follows:
  • Jun 1-2- Leukemia Cup- Newport, RI
  • Jun 9-10- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
  • Jun 15th- CCA Newport to Bermuda Race- Newport, RI
  • Jul 17-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
  • Aug 17th- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
  • Aug 31st- STC Stamford Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
Learn more about the J/121 Offshore Speedster here

J/70s sailing CharlestonSperry Charleston Race Week Preview
(Charleston, SC)- Why do sailboat racers throughout the country return to Sperry Charleston Race Week year after year?  According to Randy Draftz, now in his 14th year as the event director, “Our focus on first-class customer service has produced remarkable loyalty and transformed the regatta into one of the premier events of its kind. What started in 1996 as a regional gathering has steadily grown into the largest keelboat regatta in North and South America. We feel we have found a formula that resonates with the sailors and we are constantly working to refine what we are offering.”

Draftz said the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, organizing authority and owner of event, hit a home run when it landed Sperry as title sponsor. Sperry’s involvement has been a driving force behind the remarkable development of Charleston Race Week, helping take the event to another level in terms of quality and prestige.

“Sperry is more than just our title sponsor, they are a true partner,” Draftz said. “As a company, Sperry is fully invested in Charleston Race Week and brings incredible value that makes the event better.”

Sperry Charleston Race Week is also fortunate to have the continued support of three critical corporate sponsors in Quantum Sails, Gosling’s Rum and Vineyard Vines. West Marine has been added to the lineup of corporate sponsors with the world’s premier retailer of boating, fishing and paddling gear announcing it will give away up to $30,000 in gift cards.

Sailors from all over the United States and beyond are gearing up for the 23rd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week, being held April 12-15 out of the famous South Carolina port. Nearly 250 boats in 16 classes are slated to compete in the three-day regatta, which combines one-design and handicap racing along with inshore and offshore courses.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 will feature eight returning champions, including the top two award winners. Skipper Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew will be back to defend the Charleston Race Week Cup after capturing the highly-competitive J/70 class last year.

J/88 sailing CharlestonThat prestigious perpetual trophy is presented for the best overall performance by a one-design entry. J/70, which is once again the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 72 entries, will certainly contend for the Charleston Race Week Cup as racing figures to be fierce in a fleet comprised of numerous class champions.

All the elements that have made Sperry Charleston Race Week so popular remain in place, starting with the sheer beauty and elegant atmosphere of the historic host city. Factor in world-class accommodations along with top-notch facilities and you immediately have the makings of a big-time regatta.

Draftz and his team have steadily built on the basic template to enhance the event and every year brings further improvements. One major development in 2018 is the addition of the Columbus Street Terminal as a new facility for boat storage, launching and hauling.

Organizers of Sperry Charleston Race Week have made arrangements with the South Carolina Port Authority to facilitate launch, haul and trailer storage service at this spacious facility, which is conveniently located almost directly across the Cooper River from the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for allowing the regatta to utilize their superb facility. This is a much-needed service and the Port Authority has been very gracious to offer the services of its equipment and staff,” Draftz said.

J/24s sailing off CharlestonCollege of Charleston, which has historically provided considerable support to the regatta, will be docking numerous boats at its J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center. Many of those boats are affiliated with the school’s sailing program, including four that will be crewed by members of the College of Charleston intercollegiate dinghy or offshore teams.

Volunteer coach Chuck Coyer will lead one team onboard the J/36 SOUL in ORC B. Members of the College of Charleston Development Team will race a pair of J/22 entries.

“We’re really excited that our team performs well on the collegiate scene, but we’re also extremely proud that they do a lot of sailing outside that realm,” said Greg Fisher, Director of Sailing for the College of Charleston. “We want our sailors to enjoy the sport of sailing and take advantage of all it offers. There is no better way for them to gain tremendous experience and learn a different aspect of the sport than by competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week.”

College of Charleston has been dedicated to supporting adaptive sailing and recently hosted a clinic with Warrior Sailing. Fisher is thrilled that six teams from Warrior Sailing will compete in Sperry Charleston Race Week aboard J/22s provided by the college.

As always, all shoreside activity will be based at the fabulous Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, largest in the state of South Carolina with 459 slips. Sperry Charleston Race Week is renowned for its nightly beach party featuring the Gosling’s Rum Bar and live music.

Seventeen South is scheduled to perform on Thursday while Chewbacky will be onstage Friday with tickets available online or at the gate. An Event Pass for all four days of race week can be purchased for $85 while daily tickets will also be sold.

J/70s sailing off CharlestonQuantum Sails returns as a corporate sponsor and will present the very informative daily dock talks and video debriefs featuring accomplished professional Ed Baird. A veteran of multiple America’s Cup campaigns and a champion match racer, Baird will deliver his “Applying the Forecast to the Race Course” presentations twice each morning – once for the offshore and pursuit classes then later for the inshore classes.

During the beach party each evening, Baird will utilize the Jumbotron to conduct Daily Debrief sessions specific to each circle by utilizing on-course video action provided by Keith Brash. College of Charleston assistant coach Mitch Hall will assist Baird with opening remarks about the local conditions in Charleston Harbor following the initial competitors meeting on Thursday.

An important hallmark of Sperry Charleston Race Week involves expert race management provided by a dedicated team of US Sailing certified volunteers. Hank Stuart returns as the overall Principal Race Officer and will lead a contingent of vastly experienced volunteers.

Back by popular demand for the second straight year is the Pro-Am regatta, being held on Saturday night using J/22 sloops donated by College of Charleston. Racing will be held off A Dock at the south end of the marina with Ed Baird providing commentary to a live stream of the action on the Jumbotron.

Past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin and former Olympian Paris Henken headline the list of professionals participating. US Sailing president Bruce Burton and Gill North America president Dave Pritchard bring further prestige to the Pro-Am, which will also feature Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck, North Sails professional Allan Terhune and one-design standout Travis Odenbach.

College of Charleston senior sailor Christophe Killian is the defending champion and will be joined this year by women’s team member Paris Henken, who represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in 49erFX class.

Mau, an employment agency based in the Charleston, is sponsoring the Pro-Am Regatta. Two high school sailors from the seven teams in the Charleston area will serve as crew members aboard the nine boats competing.

J/88 sailing at Charleston Race WeekIn addition to Ronning’s CATAPULT returning to defend his title, a veritable armada of top-flight J/70 teams will be challenging them for class supremacy.  Right at the top will be J/70 Midwinter Champion, Jack Franco and his all-star crew on 3 BALL JT (with multi-class World Champions Bill Hardesty and Allen Terhune as tactician and sail trim) and 2017 World Champion Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew from Rye, NY.  In addition, look for these teams to be at the top of the leaderboard, Travis Odenbach’s USA 40 from Rochester, NY; Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO from YC Monaco, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from Caymans Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Beverly, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT.

The J/88 class has assembled a strong contingent of eight boats from across the country; a boat as simple to rig and launch as a J/70!  Towable by an SUV and launchable off a 3-ton yacht club crane, it’s a matter of minutes to swing it off the trailer into the water and hoist the mast up on its deck-stepped mast base!  Looking forward to the weekend competition are a number of leaders in the class.  Recent J/88 Midwinter Champions, Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS from Milwaukee, WI will be hoping they can maintain their momentum.  J/88 North American Champion Laura Weyler and her HIJINKS crew from Youngstown YC will also be testing their 2018 setup to see if they are still in the hunt with boats that had sailed throughout the winter.  The same holds true for teams like Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL; Brian O’Malley’s BLUE from Charlotte, NC; Mike Bruno’s WING from American YC; Tim Finkle’s SEAWEED from Youngstown YC; and Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.

As mentioned above, the dozen boat J/22 fleet features seven teams from the WARRIOR SAILING PROGRAM, including the following skippers- Scott Ford, Rachelle Pontes, Tyra Moore, Michaela Dahlke, Nick Trado, Keith Moore, and Ramesh Haytasingh.  The two College of Charleston teams include skippers Jon Noyes and Sylvia Skerry.  And, the three private boats include Ryan Davidson’s INVISIBLE BOATMOBILE from Balboa, CA; David Buckley’s MAGIC 8 BALL from Charleston, SC; and Pat Isherwood’s SPIFFY from Barrington, RI.

Always a huge supporter of the regatta from its inception, the fourteen-boat J/24 class features some of its class veterans and champions from across the spectrum of decades.  Top bananas should be Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; and the young hot crew from Miami, FL- Patricio Sly’s MUY MUY.

Returning as a one-design class for the first time in years are the half-dozen J/105s.  The all South Carolina contingent include Joe Highsmith’s DEAD ON ARRIVAL, Gebel Seese’s HIGH VISIBILITY, Robert Scribner’s JOYRIDE, Paul Jacques’ RUCKUS, Fred Martschink/ Bill McKenzie’s RUM FRONT, and Miles Martschink/ Ben Hagood’s SKIMMER.

Sailing in the offshore ORC classes are a dominant slate of top J/crews from across the region.  In ORC A is Robin Team’s championship crew on his J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC; he may his hands full taking on Steve Benjamin’s fast TP 52 SPOOKIE.  Then, in ORC B class, is John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC; Willy Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW from Charleston, SC; and the College of Charleston’s J/36 SOUL.

For Saturday’s PHRF Pursuit Race, there are 36 boats evenly split between Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker.  This element of the regatta has continued to grow consistently year over year.  In the PHRF Spin division are Rick Moore’s J/120 MOOSE DOWN and Bob Musor’s J/130 SCEPTRE.  Then, in PHRF Non-spin are Bill Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN and Mark Swatta’s J/30 LAS BRISAS.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

Women's J/109 team in EnglandDubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship Announcement
(Hamble, England)- The Women's Open Keelboat Championship (WOKC) will be returning to Hamble for its 10th anniversary edition in 2018.  This year the event, hosted once again by Hamble River Sailing Club, is being held on the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. The volunteer team which organizes WOKC is delighted that Dubarry has agreed to return as title sponsor, having been a generous supporter of the championships since their inception in 2008 and having been the title sponsor for the last seven events. This means there will be some fantastic Dubarry prizes up for grabs, yet again!

UK Women's Keelboat Championship"The Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championships is an event that Dubarry has been involved with for the past seven years. The camaraderie both on and off the water drives the growth and popularity of this event each year and we thoroughly enjoy sponsoring this wonderfully talented group of sailors. The WOKC event is now bigger than ever due to its excellent organization, complimented by eager participants and organizers and Dubarry is delighted to be associated with this event and wish everyone a successful and enjoyable weekend on the water,” said Marketing Director, Michael Walsh.

The organizers are looking forward to offering two days of fun and competitive racing on the water along with some great social events ashore (the frocks and flip-flops party is unmissable), with funds being raised for the event's two charities- “Breast Cancer Care” and the “Hamble Lifeboat Trust.” The racing format will focus on IRC racing and, after last year's record entry of twenty boats and the return of the J/80 class, the WOKC is anticipating the 10th anniversary edition will be the biggest and best yet.

J/111 women's sailing team"We are thrilled that Dubarry have once again agreed to be our title sponsor", commented Jen Smyth, one of the organizers of the Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship 2018. "With their continued support we have seen entries increase steadily and, we hope, this 10th anniversary edition will see even more ladies on the water. It's a pleasure to be working with the team from HRSC again and we are all looking forward to putting on a competitive regatta and a top notch party for all the teams and supporters."

Entries are now open and early entry is advised to take advantage of the early-bird booking fee of £75, available until 17:00 on Friday 25 May. After that date, entry fee will increase to £95. Boat entry is available from HRSC either online or via the admin team on +44-2380-452070.  Follow Hamble River SC here on Facebook  For more Dubarry Women’s Open Keelboat Championship sailing information

J/80 sailing off EnglandJ/80 UK Nationals Return To Lymington!
(Lymington, England)- The Royal Lymington Yacht Club has published its Notice of Race for this year’s J/80 Nationals, to be held Saturday 18th to Monday 20th August.

The dates for the Nationals dovetail well with Cowes Week, which finishes on Saturday 11th August. The short gap is convenient for teams entering both events, especially those not based in the Solent and having to transport their boats by road.

The Championship was last held at Lymington in 2016, when 26 boats competed in what was universally agreed to be a hugely successful and entertaining event. The race report and video from 2016 can viewed on Royal Lymington’s web page.

The team responsible for the 2016 event has re-assembled to anchor this year’s Nationals. Arrangements largely replicate 2016’s; Berthon Marina is providing a comprehensive berthing package, race management and protest / umpire teams will be international standard and, weather permitting, racing will be in Christchurch Bay, one of the country’s finest race areas.

The event has already attracted generous support from a range of companies; Solent Projects Ltd, North Sails, Berthon Marina, Harken and Nick Cox Chandlery.

So what are you waiting for? Use this wet weekend to get your entry in for the J/80 event of the year! On-line entry is now open, with incentives available for early entrants.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In Europe, the J/70 season is starting to get underway in earnest with summer long series in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and elsewhere.  This past weekend marked the beginning of the Italian J/70 Cup series, with their first regatta taking place in the gorgeous “city of flowers”- Sanremo, Italy- in what is known as the “Italian Riviera”.  The event was the first of five events that lead up to the conclusion in Trieste on the far eastern part of Italy on the northern part of the Adriatic Sea.

Over in the Americas, the annual J/Fest San Francisco took place on the infamous San Francisco Bay and hosted by St Francis YC.  One-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s had a challenging time fighting remarkably strong flood tide vs ebb tide scenarios.

In the Pacific Northwest, the annual Blakely Rock Benefit Race was sailed on Puget Sound with a number of J/crews enjoying success on the race track and collecting a few more “pickle dishes”.

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:

Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 21-22- J/80 West Coast Championship- Seattle, WA
Apr 21-22- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 27-29- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 28-May 1- Grand Prix de Saint Cast- Saint Cast, France
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 2-6- J/24 North American Championship- Charleston, SC
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 4-6- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 8-12- J/22 European Championship- Laveoc, France
May 11-13- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- Porto Ercole, Italy
May 14-19- J/70 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
May 18-20- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, The Netherlands
May 24-28- J/Cup United Kingdom- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 25-28- The FIGAWI Race- Hyannisport, MA
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Offshore Race- Belvedere, CA
May 26-28- Swiftsure International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 26-28- U.K. J/24 National Championship- Poole, England
May 28-29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
May 31- SoCal 300 Race- San Diego, CA

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

J/70s sailing off ItalyENFANT TERRIBLE Triumphs @ Italian J/70 Cup I
The famous Italian Rossi yachting family makes history!
(Sanremo, Italy- The first Italian J/70 Cup saw epic sailing for the fleet of fifty-nine boats from eight countries across Europe sailing off the “Garden City” of Sanremo and hosted by YC Sanremo.  The fleet was treated to steadily building winds over the three days, culminating with cancellation of all racing on Sunday due to the Mistral blowing in excess of forty knots!  In the end, a famous, familiar name in Italian yachting circles stood atop the podium after five races, Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES, a name most often associated with winning multiple Farr 40 World Championships.  There’s was not an easy win as a rogue’s gallery of Italy’s top sailors were fighting hard to be atop the leaderboard.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay One- Light and Shifty
The first day started under light wind conditions and the YC Sanremo RC and PRO managed to get two races off for the very aggressive fleet.

Chaired by Fulvio Parodi, the YC Sanremo Race Committee promptly started the fleet at 1230 hrs in the “levante” breeze of 8-10 kts, a breeze that ultimately kept decreasing all afternoon.

Leading after the first day was Gianfranco Noe skippering CALVI NETWORK- LIGHTBAY SAILING TEAM, their 1-2 score gave them a three point lead.  Sitting in second place was Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team with a 2-4 for six points.  Winning the second race was Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team from Moscow (Taganrog), Russia; they were sitting in the third position with a 12-1 for 13 pts.

Rounding out the very talented top five was Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN Italian crew with a 4-10 (they are two-time winners of the Italian J/70 Cup) in fourth place and the fast Polish crew of MAG EWA with Krzysztof Krempec as skipper posted a 5-8 to secure fifth.

The Corinthians Division saw Gianluca Lamaro’s JERIATRIA leading (12th overall), following by Paolo Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTICO GRIGNANO and Alessandro Zampori’s BOBERASCO.

J/70s sailing upwind off Sanremo, ItalyDay Two- Strong Winds, Big Waves
In the morning, the fleet was greeted by 15+ kt winds and enormous waves rolling into the bay.  By the time the racing started just before midday, the breeze kept building with gusts over 22 kts.  Fortunately, three more races were added to the overall scoreline and crews could now discard their worst race for their total “net scores.”

Relishing the big breeze and big waves was none other than Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team, posting a 1-1-3 to dominate the day’s standings and, as a result, win the coveted GARMIN CUP- a special trophy given for Saturday’s racing.  Holding on to second place was Noe’s CALVI NETWORK with their 3-2-BFD, throwing out their BFD to sit just one point back from ENFANT TERRIBLE.

J/70 winner- Alberto Rossi- Enfant TerribleRossi commented, “I am extremely pleased with today's outcome, as well as yesterday's. The crew is new, compared to last year, and things on board are going well. Today's conditions, though very wet, have been extremely fun. I also want to thank and give recognition to the YC Sanremo Race Committee that produced great racing today in strong winds to bring home three races on a beautiful day of sailing.  Another reason for my satisfaction today is the amazing series of top three races by my daughter- Claudia and her crew on PETITE TERRIBLE! It brings me great pride to see she found her rhythm, knowing how to recover and get back in the game.”

J/70 women skipper- Claudia RossiThe third victory of the day went to Claudia’s PETITE TERRIBLE Sailing Team.  Her 2-3-1 scores were added to her 9-29 from day one to give her 15 pts net and the bronze position on the podium!

In the Corinthians Division, the leader after the first day, Lamaro’s JERIATRIA, slipped to fourth place after posting 45-45-49 for a total of 110 pts.  After a slow start, Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTIC GRIGNANO posted good scores of 15-16-12 to leap into the lead with 51 pts net.  Similarly, Edoardo Meroni’s GIJETTA added a 27-13-19 to take over the silver position on the podium with 89 pts net.  Then, sliding into the bronze slot was Marco Schirato’s JOSETTE with a 15-50-17-26-18 tally for 94 pts net.

On Saturday evening, during the cocktail hosted by Royal Hotel Sanremo, the crew of ENFANT TERRIBLE was awarded the Garmin Trophy and a Garmin Quatix 5 smartwatch.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay 3- Game Over
As the sailors woke up on Sunday morning, they were greeted by the spectacular view of monstrous waves rolling in from offshore, crashing on the beaches and breakwater, tops getting blown off in 40+ kt gusts.  Needless to say, it was not unexpected as the mistral kicked into high gear, forcing cancellation of the days racing.  As a result, the leaders after day two did not change.

What is notable about the regatta was the phenomenal comeback by Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE team on Saturday.  It may be the first time in one-design yachting history that father & daughter skippers lead their teams onto the podium (1st and 3rd) in any ISAF/ World Sailing one-design class!

“It is always a pleasure to host the huge J/70 fleet at our yacht club. With these five races at the beginning of season, we hope to have satisfied your hunger for sailing after the long winter break.  We wish you fair winds and God Speed for the rest of the season.  We hope to be able to host you again in Sanremo in 2019,” commented Beppe Zaoli, President of YC Sanremo, during the award ceremony.

Next, after the Sanremo event, will be the Italian J/70 Cup Act II in Porto Ercole, hosted by YC Argentino from May 11th to 13th.  Facebook sailing video- Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE off San Remo  For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information

J/105s sailing San FranciscoWild & Crazy J/Fest San Francisco
(San Francisco, CA)- “In the face of a challenging weather forecast, the St Francis Yacht Club held its annual J/Fest last weekend, with J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s competing.

Rain? Low Clouds, Wind? Sun? Well, parts of all of the above; it all turned into a glorious weekend. The tide charts professed that we would have an ebb tide but the starting line had strong flood currents going well into the early afternoon, making "local knowledge" all the more important,” commented photographer Chris Ray.

In each race, around 20 of the 27 J/105 teams tried to start at the signal boat, tack to port and foot out to the late ebb in the middle of San Francisco Bay.  Those who were pinned off the line on starboard, going southerly toward the shore into more flood, even for just 1 minute, quickly found themselves a quarter mile behind any who escaped to the North into the westerly river, swollen by recent heavy rains.  Those in the river found themselves sliding sideways, at several knots, upwind toward the starboard lay-line, accomplishing impressive VMGs up to 9.5 knots due to both the favorable tide and the enhanced apparent wind.

J/105s sailing at J/FestDespite being in some second or third row starts, Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s ARBIRTAGE and others were still able to tack around the signal boat, and go bow down on port, reaching out to the river and catching up to anyone in the peloton sailing their boats normally upwind on a beat.

Nevertheless, there are always exceptions to the rule and in one start, ARBITRAGE spotted a left shift before the gun and boogied down to the tidally-unfavored pin end, starting on port and crossing the entire fleet, then footing back out to the ebb.

The regatta was initially dominated by new owner Tim Russell and the talented team on NE*NE that scored two bullets and two 5ths, leading ARBITRAGE by 3 points going into the last race.  However, just before arriving at the three boat length circle around the last leeward mark, NE*NE violently luffed ARBITRAGE sharply and caused a collision.  After untangling themselves, both boats passed several others on the remaining two legs, with NE*NE finishing that race in 2nd and ARBITRAGE 3rd, while securing 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the regatta. However, after a long evening in the protest room, NE*NE was DSQ’d and ARBITRAGE moved up to the top spot on the podium.  Ryan Simmons on BLACKHAWK took second, Phillip Laby on GODOT third, Ian Charles on MAVERICK fourth, and Jeff Littfin’s MOJO in fifth position.

J/70s sailing at J/FestAccording to Christy Usher, skipper on the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN and also the local San Francisco Bay Fleet Captain, “the Pineapple Express late-season weather system finished its 24+ hours of rain just in time for J/Fest 2018! Sufficient sun, adequate breeze and San Francisco currents greeted the 48 boats in five classes. The 27 boats in the J/105 fleet made for challenging starts with everyone angling for the "ebb elevator" in the middle of the bay. 

With the top three contenders in the J/70 fleet swapping firsts, seconds and thirds across five races, it was SFYC’s Chris Kostanecki on JENNIFER who ultimately bested StFYC’s 1FA and CHRISTINE ROBINE, helmed by Scott Sellers and Tracy Usher, respectively. Taking fourth was Justin Foox’s FLOTEK and fifth was Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE.

After three races on Saturday, competitors enjoyed a taco buffet, Mt. Gay cocktails, Stephanie Teel's awesome band and the eternally amusing and rowdy J/Fest Raffle, thanks to our supportive sponsors. The two looming Sunday races ensured everyone stayed upright after the party and the next morning lined up for clearer skies and ample wind. Thank you to the Race Committee and Protest Committee (who were busy all weekend).”

J/88s sailing J/FestThe J/88 class saw Marc McMorris’ crew on M-SQUARED from San Diego YC overcome all the “local knowledge” teams to win counting just 1sts and 2nds in the scoreline, finishing with 7 pts total.  Ironically, counting just 2nds and 3rds and taking second overall with a dozen points was Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG from Stamford YC, yet another “alien” visiting San Francisco Bay!  Third was top St Francis YC team COURAGEOUS, skippered by Donald Payan.  Rounding out the top five was Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY in fourth and Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE fifth.

In the J/111 class, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN just missed an “all bullets” regatta, winning with just 6 pts total.  Second was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and third was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG.

The usual battle for J/24 supremacy had the usual protagonists slugging it out all weekend-long.  In the end, it was the EVIL OCTOPUS from Richmond YC, skippered by Jasper Van Vliet, that posted a scoreline of 2-1-1-2-4 for 10 pts to win.  Second was good friend Paul Van Ravenswaay on FERAL ROOSTER with a record of 5-2-2-1-3 for 13 pts.  Sailing was much tighter than meets the eye on the scoring.  As such, third place was determined by a tie-breaker between DOWNTOWN UPROAR and Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE, both with 14 pts each and just one point in arrears of FERAL ROOSTER.  On countback, it was DOWNTOWN UPROAR getting the nod for third place.  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

Blakely Rock Benefit RaceBlakely Rock Benefit Race Report
(Seattle, WA)- The race is dedicated to the loving memory of Carol Pearl.  Carol was a Sloop Tavern YC member for 39 years.  She was a two-term past Commodore, a very active board member, the club historian, champion, mentor, friend and she was involved in organizing the Blakely Rock Benefit Race for as long as anyone can remember.

Many sailing teams from across the northwest participated in the event, many of them being J/Boats owners. In the PHRF Class 5, Mike Poole’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN took second place, while Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD took the bronze. Even better yet, Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE landed the fourth position and Dennis Clark’s J/27 “63” was fifth.

In Class 7, Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW, a long-time winner in her class in the Pacific NW, took the silver.  Class 8 was dominated by the J/105s.  Winning was Tom Kerr’s CORVO, followed by Chuck Stephens’ PANIC in second and Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO and Jon Aitcheson’s MOOSE UNKNOWN tied for 5th place.

Class 9 saw Natalie Pryde’s J/92S take fourth place. Then, in Class 11, it was Don & George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH that took 2nd and Kirk & Nill Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE took fourth.

In the wildly disparate Class 12, Ken Jones’ J/120 WITH GRACE took 2nd, while Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE placed third. Finally, in Class 13, Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI won her class over many of the Pacific Northwest’s best offshore teams.  For more Blakely Rock Benefit Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 women's German team LadyLike* The J/70 TEAM LADYLIKE have been sailing on Lake Constance, training for the Helga Cup in Hamburg, Germany- an all women’s regatta for the top women’s keelboat teams in Germany.

For the first time in March, the LADYLIKE Team was on the water on Lake Constance training against another women’s team Team WYC-Südseeperlen. With Coach Jochen, the team worked on boat speed, boat handling and maneuvers with potential new crew members.

The current Helga Cup 2018 team includes: Anica Rimmele, Rosanna Schentz, Carla Rau und Anne Winkelhausen

J/70 Women's German team trainingThen, last weekend, the crew spent a weekend training on Lago di Garda in Italy.  As explained by Carla Rau, “we're back from Lake Garda! The winds were a little unusual, and we were able to train every wind condition you could imagine in the five days we were there. As always, we learned a lot! Thanks to the Württembergischer Yacht-Club for the great organization!”  Learn more about the J/70 TEAM LADYLIKE project here

* Sir Ernest Shackleton conquered the Antarctica against impossible odds. Learn how and why on May 10th, Thursday at 1730 hrs at the Casino Theater in Newport, RI.  

There will be a presentation by internationally renowned explorer Tim Jarvis, including clips from his PBS documentary, “Chasing Shackleton.”

Live & silent auction featuring truly unique Shackleton-related items, to benefit The Shackleton Climate Project including an exploration of Antarctica, a one of a kind Newport sailing adventure on the Alexandra Shackleton, first batch whiskey and original expedition paintings, photographs and memorabilia.

In January 2013, explorer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis led a team that was the first to successfully retrace the 1916 Antarctic journey of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton- a journey described by many as “the greatest survival journey of all time”.

Using the same rudimentary equipment, period clothing and technology as Shackleton, his team sailed 800nm in an exact replica of the wooden lifeboat “James Caird”, now “Alexandra Shackleton”, from Elephant Island, Antarctica to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, followed by a dangerous climb over South Georgia’s treacherous mountains. Tim will provide a gripping, first-hand account of the challenges he faced in achieving the impossible— prepare to be inspired!
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