Wednesday, May 23, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 23rd, 2018

J/121 debut in Block Island RaceStorm Trysail Block Island Race Preview
(Larchmont, NY)- If it's Memorial Day, that must mean its time for two all-time classic events in the northeast, the Storm Trysail Club’s annual Block Island Race and the Hyannis YC and Nantucket YC’s annual FIGAWI Bash!

Starting on May 25th, the STC BI Race begins in the afternoon on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend – it is a 186nm race from Stamford, CT down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, RI and back to Stamford. A shorter, 125nm inside-the-Sound course to Plum Island for smaller/slower boats is offered as well.

For many racing yachts and crews, the race is an annual rite of passage. For Newport Bermuda Race years (such as this one), it’s a perfect tune-up opportunity for crews to work out the kinks in their watch systems, reacquaint themselves with night racing, shake-down the rigging and learn how best to trim new (or old!) sails.  Generally, most of the fleet finishes late Saturday night or the early hours of Sunday morning.  But, of course, that all depends on the wind, the currents, the weather and the crew.

The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and it is a qualifier for the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound and the 'Tuna' Trophy for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40%) and the Block Island Race (60%).

Last year, sixty-one boats finished the course which started in a light but building breeze. Despite the “nattering nabobs of negativism”, regarding forecasted wind speed, the race turned into a fairly quick and quite pleasant event.

This year’s entry list is up quite dramatically, with eighty-five boats registered; seventeen of them are J/Crews (20% of the fleet).  Leading the charge in IRC 1 Doublehanded class is Gardner Grant’s well-traveled J/120 ALIBI from Westport, CT.

In the nine-boat PHRF 3 Class, vying for class supremacy will be a four J/crews, Fred Allardyce’s J/40 MISTY, Carl Olsson’s J/109 MORNING GLORY, and two J/105s- Hobie Ponting’s PRIVATEER and Frank Conway’s RAPTOR.

Three J/Crews will be gunning for the podium in PHRF 5 Class.  Two J/120s will duel (Brian Spears’ MADISON and Rick Oricchio’s ROCKET SCIENCE) with a J/124 (Bill Ingraham’s TENEBRAE from Larchmont YC.

IRC 3 Class has five J/teams participating in what appears to be a quite competitive ten-boat fleet.  Two every experienced J/44s (Chris Lewis’ KENIA and Len Sitar’s VAMP) will fight with two fast J/122s (David Cielusniak’s J-CURVE and Jack Gregg’s TARAHUMARA) and hope the lightning quick J/111 (John Donovan’s LIBERTAS) from Southport, CT doesn’t upset their larger brethren.

The first major race for Steve Levy’s brand new J/121 EAGLE will be in eight-boat IRC 4 Class.  They are up against a host of the top boats on Long Island Sound, including Dale & Mike McIvor’s J/133 MATADOR.

Finally, the lone wolf flying the J/flag in IRC 5 Class will be Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE from Branford YC in East Haven, CT.  For more Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race sailing information

Nantucket Harbor lighthouse finish lineThe FIGAWI Race Preview
(Hyannisport, MA)- The other annual right of spring for sailors in the northeast is the amazingly fabulous and fun-loving pursuit race called “the FIGAWI”.  It is serious fun, camaraderie, sailing, and most of all, charity… that is what FIGAWI is all about.

The Race attracts over 150 boats each year. Thousands of sailors convene for the New England’s first major regatta to kickoff summer. The Figawi Charity Race is recognized as a premier sailing event not only on the east coast but is known nationally as well as internationally. The Charity Ball is held the weekend before the race. A premier event featuring a live band, great DJ, a sampling from eleven local restaurants, and a fabulous silent auction and raffle.

Figawi race courseThe race starts on Saturday morning, May 26th, just outside of Hyannis Port harbor mouth.   The fleet of 180 sailboats (of which 20 are J/teams’s) will all have a pursuit-style start, meaning the first boat (with the slowest rated PHRF handicap) takes off promptly at 0900 hrs and about three hours after that, the last and fastest boat starts.  In years past, J/Crews have had more than their fair share of silverware in this race.  It often can be a wild and woolly fast 23.5nm reach (~ 155 deg heading) across Vineyard Sound to the finish line at the picturesque lighthouse at the opening of Nantucket Harbor.

Eight of the ten boats in PHRF S1 Division are J/crews.  Four J/120s will be taking on their J/colleagues- Dave Follett’s GLORY, Rich Pierce’s MOOSE, Mark Verville’s ISURUS, and Coleman Brown’s RUCKUS.  Their three larger, faster members of the J/sable include Jimmy Maseiro’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS, Dave Southwell’s brand new J/121 ALCHEMY (her inaugural race!), and Chris Lund’s J/133 JUMP.

J/105 sailing Figawi RaceThe same scenario holds true for PHRF S2 Division, with six of seven boats being J/crews!  Five J/105s will be going across the starting line at the same time (!), including Joe Lloyd’s Nantucket High School Sailing Team on PRIMA, Andrew Reservitz’s DARK’N’STORMY, Mary Schmitt’s HARDTACK, Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF, and Francis Dougherty’s LYRIC.  Fighting them off from crossing before them will be Andrew Meincke’s J/97 ADRENALINE (they will start with only a 4.75 minutes advantage).

In the “big boat” PHRF A Division will be Dick Egan’s beautiful (and successful) J/46 WINGS.  In PHRF B Division is Mike Hersey’s J/35 RESILIENCE.  PHRF Division C will have to contend with the classic offshore speedster- Ira Perry’s J/29 masthead called SEEFEST (a past race winner).  Racing a bunch of other cruisers in PHRF G Division will be Bill Jones’ J/40 SMITTEN from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA. Tom Ellis’ J/34C COVERAGE will be cruising fast in PHRF H Division.  Mark Barrett’s J/30 MOJO is hoping to terrorize PHRF M Division.  For more Figawi Race sailing information

J/125 sailing Spinnaker cupSpinnaker Cup Offshore Race Preview
(Belvedere, CA)- This weekend, the 3rd running of the California Offshore Race Week will start the first of the three leg California Offshore Race Week.  The Spinnaker Cup, an 88nm sprint from San Francisco to Monterey departs May 26. Then, boats will embark on Monday May 28th for the 204nm gear busting Big Sur Tour, a.k.a. Coastal Cup that takes the fleet to Santa Barbara YC where they will relax for a short stay. The event concludes with the 245nm SoCal 300 that will lead them through the Channel Islands and down to San Diego, beginning on Thursday May 31.

J/111 rounding Golden Gate Bridge- San Francisco, CASince the CORW is comprised of 3 offshore legs with an evening beer-can race tossed in at Santa Barbara YC, the majority of the entrants will participate in just one or two of the legs. In fact, there are eight J/Teams all sailing in just the Spinnaker Cup Offshore race from San Francisco Bay down to Monterey Bay.

Sailing in PHRF D Division will be Richard Pipkin’s J/125 CAN’T TOUCH THIS.  Sailing in PHRF E Division are Jeff Thorpe’s J/111 MAD MEN, Tracy Rogers’ J/120 HOKULANI and Timo Bruck’s J/120 TWIST.  Finally, in PHRF F Division, two J/105s (Sergei Podshivalov’s JAVELIN and Chris Kim’s VUJA STAR) will be competing with Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG and Kevin Mills’ J/36 DAWNS EARLY LIGHT for class bragging rights.  Thanks for contribution from Erik Simonson  For more California Offshore Race Week sailing information

J/160 sailing Swiftsure RaceSwiftsure International Yacht Race Preview
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- The third Memorial Day classic has to be the premiere offshore race in the Pacific Northwest- the world-famous Swiftsure International Yacht Race!  Starting on May 26th off the waterfront park in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, 171 yachts will be doing their best to achieve fame and fortune on one of the three races- the classic Swiftsure Lightship Race of 138.2nm, the Hein Bank Race of 118.1nm, the Cape Flattery Race of 101.9nm, and the Juan de Fuca Race of 78.7nm.

Cape Flattery Race
By far the most popular choice for the thirty-five J/crews participating (20% of the fleet) in the overall event is the Cape Flattery Race, twenty-six in total going the 101nm sprint around the Juan de Fuca Straits!  Six of them are J/105s, with most of the top teams sailing, such as Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT, Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP, Chuck Stephens’ PANIC, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Chris Phoenix’s JADED, and the 2017 Fleet Champion- Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE.

Swiftsure race coursesSimilarly, there are five J/109s racing, including Mike Picco’s WILD BLUE, Jim Prentice’s DIVA, Tolga Cezik’s LODOS, Mark Hansen’s MOJO and Tom Sitar’s SERENDIPITY.

Sailing in one big division will be some very experienced offshore crews, such as Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II, three J/120s (Bob Brunius’ famous TIME BANDIT, Justin Wolfe’s SHEARWWATER, & Chris Johnson’s WITH GRACE), two J/122’s (Tom Kelly’s ANAM CARA & John Murkowski’s JOY RIDE), Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION, and Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA. 

J/120 sailing Swiftsure RaceFinally, in this race will be a fleet of classic J’s, including three J/35s (George Leighton’s TAHLEQUAH, Jason Vannice’s ALTAIR, & Andrei Vassilenko’s AORANGI), Willie Wong’s J/36 HARWAR, Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY, Ron MacKenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE, and Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF.

Hein Bank Race
There is only one J/team that will be participating in the second longest race, the 118.1nm Hein Bank Race; that is the famous navy-blue J/160 JAM sailed by John McPhail’s race-winning crew from Seattle and Gig Harbor YC.

Juan de Fuca Race
There will be four J/crews sailing in the 78.7nm Juan de Fuca Race.  Two of them are J/30s (John Collins’ SPUD and Colin Bishop’s REDUX) and others are Adrian King-Harris’ J/33 “J” and Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL.

Inshore Racing
Finally, in what amounts to some fun and frolic along the buoys that skirt the pretty Victoria Harbor waterfront will be three J/teams; Tom Kerr’s J/105 CORVO, Ed Pinkham’s J/109 JEOPARDY, and Bart Blainey’s J/30 LIMELIGHT.  For more Swiftsure Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It was a busy week for both offshore and one-design round the cans J/sailors in Europe and in the Americas.  Starting in the United Kingdom, the RORC’s Vice Admiral’s Cup took place last weekend off its Cowes, Isle of Wight, clubhouse.  Sailing on the fabled Solent, one-design classes of J/109s and J/111s enjoyed three days of very competitive sailing.  Just west of London, the Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup, a biennial event sailed in J/80s on the Queen Mary Reservoir next to the famous Heathrow International Airport, finally came to a conclusion; the event was hosted by the Queen Mary Sailing Club- a 2-on-2 team racing event that took place for four days. Just across the English Channel (La Manche), the North Sea Regatta, hosted by the Jachtclub Scheveningen and the RORC was sailed for ORC/IRC handicap fleets that included J/105, J/109s, J/122s and also one-design classes for J/22s and J/80s. Further northeast from there, the Swedish J/70 Sailing League (Allsvenskan) had eighteen teams sailing in a fleet of ten J/70s off Malmo, Sweden.  Heading further east, we find the Russian J/70 Sailing League had twenty-seven teams from all over Russia sailing off the beautiful Konakovo River Club northwest of Moscow.

In the America’s, the J/70 North American Championship was held “south of the border” for the first time ever, sailed on a gorgeous mountain lake and hosted at Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico for a fleet of thirty-two boats. Out West on the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara YC and Pierpont YC (Ventura) held their Hardway Race, a 47nm sprint from Santa Barbara, around Anacapa Island and finish off Ventura Pier; sailing were a pair of J/111s, J/125, J/30, a pair of J/100s, and a pair of J/24s.  North of them in San Francisco Bay, it was another epic “blowing dogs off chains” weekend for the Elite Keel Regatta at San Francisco YC for J/70s and J/105s and at the J/22 U.S. Match Race Qualifier for seven teams at St Francis YC.

Down in South America, we get a report from Chile regarding how the newly organized J/80 fleet enjoyed the “Frutillar Cup” sailed on Llanquihue Lake high in the Andes Mountains off Frutillar, Chile.

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:

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/111 Jelvis sailing RORC Vice Admirals cupChallenging RORC Vice Admirals Cup
JELVIS Jams J/111s, JIRAFFE Jumps J/109s
(Cowes, IOW, England)- The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s first round-the-cans event each spring is the Vice Admiral’s Cup.  Hosted by their RORC Cowes clubhouse, the sailing takes place on the sunny, ferocious Solent waters, notorious for fickle winds and outrageous 2-4.5 knot currents just off the equally famous “the Castle” (home of the Royal Yacht Squadron).  This year, the J/109 and J/111 classes were invited to participate, with both showing up with strong fleets. Here is how it all went down over the three-day bank holiday weekend in England.

J/109s sailing RORC Vice Admirals CupDay One
A long wait for a sea breeze gave way to a glorious afternoon of racing in sparkling sun for the opening day of the Vice Admiral’s Cup.

It was a day of super-close racing, especially for the smaller boats. Racing for the seven classes was run from two committee boats in the central Solent. For the faster boats, PRO Stuart Childerley set windward/leeward courses starting on the southern edge of the Hill Head plateau, initially in a west southwesterly breeze of 10 knots that built to give gusts in the mid-teens.

The second start, for the two one-design J/Classes, had the potential to be more congested, but many were line shy in the strong ebb stream that was carrying the fleet over the line. Tony Mack’s McFLY led the J/111 fleet into the first windward mark, 27 seconds ahead of Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II, who lost out through over-standing the layline. Hans Zwijnenburg’s Dutch crew on SWEENY rounded third, barely a length behind JOURNEYMAKER, neatly gybe-setting to head towards tidal relief in the shallow water of the Bramble Bank.

While the leading group of Performance 40s judged the tricky cross-tide layline into the leeward gate accurately, the J/111s found it more difficult. McFLY again led into the mark, but approached against the tide at a low angle, giving scope for JOURNEYMAKER and SWEENY to eat into the leader’s advantage.

By the end of the race Martin Dent’s JELVIS prevailed, ahead of SWEENY and McFLY. Dent also won the second race, ahead of Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG and SWEENY.

The J/109 fleet saw, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE win both races, with Christopher Preston’s JUBILEE second in both and David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH third.

J/111's off Cowes, EnglandDay Two
After a relaxed start, the second day delivered yet more top-notch racing in bright, sunny weather. With a light east-south-easterly sea breeze established by lunchtime, the first of the day’s races got away just after 1300 hrs.

The day was characterized by short, sharp races that proved a thorough test of both tactics and boat handling. Tight mark roundings and close finishes, including exact ties, were the order of the day.

The J/109 fleet saw boats yo-yoing up and down the standings. In the first start Christopher Preston’s JUBILEE was well-placed mid-line, while David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH and John Smart’s JUKEBOX were closer to the committee boat, with JELLYFISH hitting the line with speed and popping out ahead in clean air.

Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, which won all three races yesterday, was buried and tacked away onto port. Royal Navy Sailing Association’s JOLLY JACK TAR rounded the windward mark first, along with a gaggle of back markers in the J/111 fleet, with JUBILEE following close behind and JIRAFFE some six lengths back in third place. Perry continued to climb the fleet on the next lap of the course, to pull out a big lead on JOLLY TACK TAR by the second windward mark to win by an impressive margin. John Smart’s JUKEBOX took third place to gain his first podium finish of the event.

In the next race, which was shortened at the leeward gate as the wind swung towards the south-west, saw Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR 2 take the winner’s gun, fractionally ahead of JUBILEE, with JUMPING JELLYFISH taking another third.

JIRAFFE went on to win the fifth race of the series, but at the start of the longer final race, much of the fleet misjudged the strength of the building ebb tide, with the result that a slew of boats, including JIRAFFE, were called OCS. Perry was able to discard his fourth in this race, but a win for Christopher Preston’s JUBILLE put the two boats only two points apart going into the final day. Speaking from a buoyant after-race party on the dock Preston said, “We had great racing today, in brilliant conditions,” and thanked the race team an excellent job in getting the racing away cleanly on both days.

Martin Dent’s JELVIS, the 2016 J/111 World Champion, had a commanding start to the regatta, winning both races on the first day. Not everything went his way today, but he was generally at the front of the fleet when it mattered, winning three races and taking a second in the other. Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY held a comfortable second place, with a seven-point margin on Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II.

J/109s sailing off Cowes, EnglandDay Three
The Vice Admiral’s Cup has a long-standing reputation for providing exceptionally close competition. The final day of racing this year saw further intense racing, with most classes going to the wire, in a building southeasterly sea breeze.

In the J/109 class Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE dominated the early part of the regatta, winning the first three races. However, Chris Preston’s JUBILEE led a strong challenge on the second day, leaving the leaders just two points apart at the start of the final day. In the first race, JUBILEE started with the upper hand and still held the lead at the end of the first lap. However, she lacked pace downwind and slipped to fifth on the final lap. JIRAFFE then went on to win the last race, finishing the series on nine points, with JUBILEE second on 15 and David Richards’ JUMPING JELLLYFISH third on 23 points.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend in a very competitive, but friendly, fleet,” said Perry. “We first started racing against JUBILEE in Lendy Cowes Week last year– they are very quick, but we managed to stay ahead of them today, although they worried us this morning. We’ve got the boat going well, especially downwind, where we are deeper and faster. We also have a balanced crew that have sailed together for some time, which means the mechanics of maneuvers have been working really well.”

Anyone looking at the overall results might assume that Martin Dent’s J/111 JELVIS had an easy ride to victory, thanks to his six race wins. However, the scoreboard belies the effort that went into those results. “Many of the races had multiple lead changes,” he said, “and we rounded almost every mark in company, which was really exciting. It’s a competitive fleet, with good sailors and well set-up boats, so you have to fight for every inch.  We’ve had a really enjoyable Vice Admiral’s Cup. It’s a key event in the J/111 calendar, with good courses for one-designs and great race management. They did a fantastic job in getting all eight races away with no wasted time, despite a minimal pressure gradient and spring tides.”  For more RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup sailing information

J/122E AJETO crew- John van der Starre and Robin VerhoefJ/Doublehanded Crews Sweep North Sea Regatta!
Elsink Dominates J/80s, Holtrop Tops J/22s
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- The North Sea Regatta completed the “inshore” portion of its ten-day long event.  Hosted by the Jachtclub Scheveningen, the North Sea Regatta is the largest event hosted in the Netherlands each year for a host of one-design classes (like J/22s and J/80s) and offshore ORC/IRC classes.

The event kicked off on May 8th with the Vuurschepen Race, a North Sea Regatta Feeder Race that goes from the starting line off The Hague (Scheveningen) and goes across the North Sea to Harwich in the United Kingdom.  After a two-day layover, the fleet raced back in the RORC North Sea Race from Harwich to The Hague.  After a short breather, all keelboats including the J/22 and J/80 classes sailed from May 18th to 20th, Friday to Sunday on all inshore, round-the-buoy courses.

J/122E Ajeto winning North Sea RaceDay One- May 18th
It was a nice first race day today. The wind was stable with 10 to 12 knots. Three beautiful races could be sailed. With 60 boats on course A divided into 4 classes and 60 boats on course B also divided into 4 classes, it was great racing for all.

Starting the 4 classes directly after each other, occasionally a general recall in between, the sailors had to pay attention not to miss their class’s turn to start. With a current that ran from North to South and the wind coming from the North, it was difficult to exactly time the starting line. In the first race of the event, all the teams had to get used to the circumstances. By the second race, you already notice that it was going a lot better, and the third it was like you had never done otherwise.

J/109 sailing North Sea RaceDay Two- May 19th
The starting boat for course A left the harbor early to get into position and to assess offshore conditions. The weather was a little gray and little wind, too little to start well and be able to lay out a good race course. The postponement flag (answering pennant) was hoisted. The first start was planned at 10:00. After a long hour of waiting, there was enough wind for to start. The IRC/ORC Two Handed Class started at 11:30 with a coastal race.

Day Three- May 20th
Waking up you had to check whether the boat next to you was still there because of the thick fog, usually a sign of little wind. The starting boat of course A quickly powered outside into the thick fog to assess whether the sailing yachts should go out for the races. Offshore it seemed good, but once all boats were out, it was difficult for the starting boat to find them. After an hour of waiting, a nice coastal course for J/109 sailing North Sea Regattathe IRC/ORC Two-handed Class was laid out and their fleet started at 1100 hrs sharp.  Thereafter, it was impossible to start the other classes since you could not see the finish marks!  So, racing was canceled for the day.

In the ORC/IRC Two-handed Class, it was a sweep of the podium by the leading all-star J/crews!  Winning class was none other than the most famous Dutch two-handed team; Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s J/122E AJETO. Their sistership took the silver, Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE/ RAYMARINE.  Completing the sweep in the bronze position was Wim van Slooten & Jochem Hamstra’s J/109 FIRESTORM!

Afterwards, Robin Verhoef from the J/122E AJETO commented, “A wonderful closure of two weeks great sailing in the North Sea Regatta! For us, it was the 3rd time in a row to win the Dutch Two-handed Championship! In spite of today's fog, we still managed to J/22 sailing North Sea regattafind all the marks and our fifth race in a row! AJETO is amazing, a great boat!”

In the ORC/IRC 2 Class, it was Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI that took second place.  And, in the ORC Sportboats, Rikst Dijkstra’s J/70 NED 964 placed third in their fifteen-boat class.

In the world of one-designs, it was Auke Holtrop’s NED 1223 that won the J/22 class with crew of Lotte Brasser, Sipke de Man, and Janneke Kampherbeek.  Second was NED 1514, skippered by Jesper Overbeeke with crew of Christiaan Feij, and Michelle Koopmans; it was a struggle for them to overcome a DNF and DSQ.  Third, just one point back, was NED 1295, J/80 sailing North Sea regattahelmed by Dirk Jan Verdoorn with crew of Rosemarijn Verdoorn, Liselotte Verdoorn, and Kim Bos.

It was Nick Elsink’s J/80 NED 1137 that dominated their class with his crew of Jildau Horst, Pascal Meijer, and Wouter Toornstra.  Second place saw Otte Jan Golverdingen’s NED 838 crew of PP de Vries, Yves de Block, and Hans Edwin de Bruin win a tie-breaker on 17 pts each over Gerwin Jansen’s NED 8905 team of Douwe Broekens, Jolbert van Dijk, and Wouter Sonnema.  Sailing photo credits- Sander van der Borsch
Follow the North Sea Regatta on Facebook here  For more North Sea Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing Valle de Bravo, MexicoREACH AROUND Crowned J/70 N.A. Champion!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Thirty-two teams gathered for the J/70 North American Championship at Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. After four races on a spectacular first day, three American teams topped the leaderboard, commanded by Thomas Bowen’s REACH AROUND with 10 points after posting a 4-1-2-3 (onboard was 4x World Champion and College Sailor of the Year Bill Hardesty as tactician- a.k.a. the Dos Equis “world’s most interesting man”) . Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE held second place with 20 points, followed by Chris Snow’s MEXIGENICS with 23. Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO had the advantage in the Corinthian division.

With sunny skies, warm temperatures and breeze around 8 knots, Ricardo Brockmann’s VINCITORRE opened the Championship with a victory, ahead of Yon Belausteguigoitia’s BULLET and Sebastian Halpern’s 707. Winds increased to about 11 knots in the next contest, when Bowen took the bullet, and Brockmann and Perez completed the top trio. Ander Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA earned the race three victory as the breeze amped up again to 13 knots. Bowen and Snow followed.  Lorentzen ended the day on a positive note, while Snow and Bowen flopped second and third.

J/70s sailing pretty lake in MexicoDay Two- Another Glam Day
It was another stellar day for Bowen’s REACH AROUND; following three consecutive bullets Thursday, Bowen added a 2-3 on Friday for a dominating 25-point lead heading into the final two races of the regatta. Bowen counts only scores in the top four of the 32-boat fleet, able to drop an eight, leaving him with 18 net points in 10 races so far. Lorentzen’s NINE maintained the silver position with 43 points, ahead of third place Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA who had 55 points. Now leading the Corinthian division was Hector Guzman Gonzalez’s ESCIPION.

Valle de Bravo delivered winds at a steady 10-14 knots and gusts to 17, with puffs and shifts keeping teams on their toes. Belausteguigoitia’s BULLET lived up to its name in the opening contest, trailed by Bowen and Diego Berho’s BBB. Fernando Stephan Gutierrez snagged the next win, with Snow’s MEXIGENICS and Bowen following.

J/70s sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico Day Three- Yawn! Picture Perfect, Again!
The daily leader never changed over four days and twelve races. Bowen’s REACH AROUND commanded the 32-boat fleet and earned the privilege of returning to host Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo Mexico to watch the final race from ashore! With crew Jacolyn Wetmore, Alec Anderson and Bill Hardesty, Bowen won a third of the races and didn’t record a finish lower than 8 to end with 30 net points (discarding a DNC in race 12).

Fellow American Lorentzen’s NINE sailed a solid series, but settled for second place with 46 points. Belausteguigoitia’s BANDOOLA displaced Snow’s MEXIGENICS to snag third place with 71 points.

Winning the Corinthian division was Hector Guzman Gonzalez’s ESCIPION.  It was an all-Mexican affair for the podium in this division, with Perez’s ZAQUERO taking second and Manuel Vazquez’s CHAVORUCOS getting the bronze.

Picture perfect conditions again greeted competitors on Saturday with winds at 10-14 knots. Fernando Stephan Gutierrez seized the first win of the day, with Lorentzen and Diego Berho’s BBB behind him. Lorentzen concluded the Championship on a high note winning the final race, followed by Chris Snow’s MEXIGENICS and Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO.  As a result, rounding out the top five on a tie-breaker at 83 pts each were Gutierrez taking the 4th on countback and Snow dropping ignominiously to 5th.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information and results

J/70 sailing off Malmo, SwedenCape Crow YC Leads Swedish J/70 Sailing League
(Malmo, Sweden)- The Swedish J/70 Sailing League's seasonal premiere took place in Malmö from the 18th to 20th of May. Eighteen teams from across Sweden participated in the event, the first of four competitions that include 1-3 June in Jungfrusund on Ekerö, outside of Stockholm (from June 1st to 3rd); then Örnsköldsvik from August 24th to 26th, and concluding at Gottskär (outside Gothenburg) from September 7th to 9th. The goal was to have a total of 45 races, which meant each club would sail 15 races on the water.

KSSS (Royal Swedish YC) won the 2017 league.  However, their nemesis for the past four years has been Cape Crow YC. "Our ambition is, of course, to be on top this year again. But, we have new crews at every event this year and we are bringing in new, young talented girls onto the team. Of the 16 sailors we have been in this year, more than half have never sailed in the J/70 sailing league events,” said Niklas Edler, captain of the KSSS team.

Cape Crow YC wins J/70 Sweden leagueAs was anticipated, the two protagonists were at it “hammer & tong” yet again for the 2018 season.  The first round of Allsvenskan was settled in Malmö between the two who dominated the Swedish league in recent years- KSSS (2015 & 2017) and Cape Crow YC (2016). This time, it was Cape Crow YC from Gothenburg that won with the team of Patrik Sturesson, Erik Malmberg, Herman Andersson and Elin Sturesson.

"We have sailed really well and we are, of course, happy with the victory. We are especially pleased with Friday and Saturday sailing. On Sunday, it was a bit difficult, with a lot of shifts and reversals. So, we were sailing a little bit silly, you might say,” commented Patrik Sturesson, skipper of the CCYC team.

Malmö offered glorious summer weather. Before the last race, Cape Crow's crew sat in the sunshine on land to see how the final round would be settled. If the KSSS were to be 1st or 2nd in that race, the victory would have gone to them.

J/70s sailing Swedish Sailing league- Malmo, Sweden“It was incredibly exciting. We thought that KSSS would handle their last race, no problem.  But then, we saw that they started badly, and then we realized we could win,” said Sturesson from CCYC!

In total, there were 15 races for each of the eighteen clubs. Cape Crow won five and was on the podium in a total of 13 out of 15 races, indicating an amazing consistency.

KSSS finished second, while Särö Boat Club came third. And, despite the miss in the last race that cost the KSSS victory, the skipper Niklas Edler was pleased, "It has been a brilliant regatta in amazing conditions, with incredibly smooth and tight races. We sailed basically, very consistent, but with a few bad bumps in our record. We had a short lead before the final race and the total victory had been ours, if we were at worst second in the last race. Such is yacht racing!”  Follow the Swedish J/70 sailing league on Facebook here  For more Swedish J/70 sailing league information

J/70s sailing Russia leagueROCKNROLLA Team Wins J/70 Russia league Act III
(Moscow/ Konakovo, Russia)- The third act of the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place at the gorgeous, modern facilities of the Konakovo River Club on the northwest side of Moscow for the twenty-seven teams that are participating in the 2018 season series.  After a very competitive series with one of Russia’s top J/70 teams (Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS1 sailing team) it was Andrei Kirilyuk’s talented crew on ROCKNROLLA Team that won the honors at Konakovo with his supremely talented crew of Dustin Baldeiva, Alina Dotsenko and Alexei Bushuev.

Russian J/70 sailors having funDay One
On the first day of the competition, the Race Committee managed to run only nine races, which meant that each team had only three races to sail on the day. As has been the case for the two events that were held in Sochi on the Black Sea earlier in Acts I & II, there were some pleasant surprises in the standings.  In the top six after the first day, the leading crews were ROCKNROLLA Sailing Team, DC TEAM, Black Sea Team, Konakovo River Club, Region-23 and Sail Lord-Europe.

Day Two
On the second day, the Race Committee crew managed to run fifteen more races for the 27 teams. At the end of the day, there were 24 races in total for eight teams. The first day leader- ROCKNROLLA Sailing Team continued sail well and confidently. Their skipper- Andrei Kirilyuk- now had 20 points (four 1sts, two 2nds, one 3rd, and 9th place).

Day Three
On the final day, the Race Committee managed to run twelve more races, for a regatta total of 36 races! An amazing achievement considering the tough (e.g. light) weather conditions they had to contend with.  However, only 19 teams had 12 races for the regatta. Therefore, eight teams were not lucky, and had to have an average added to their team scores.

Russian J/70 RocknRolla team win Konakovo regattaAs a result, the “rock stars” on the ROCKNROLLA Sailing Team won- skipper Andrey Kirilyuk, Dustin Baldeiva, Alina Dotsenko and Alexei Bushuev carried the lead from start to finish. Literally - from start to finish! The team won the first race of the regatta and won its final race- a total of six 1sts! Bravo!

In the fight for the podium, there was no question who would get the silver (as they were just two good races shy of winning!).  Valeria Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS1 team of Alexandra Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Denis Rozhkov sailed “lights-out” on the last day. On the decisive day, they showed calmness and composure, collecting a 1-2-1-4 to nearly pull-off an overall win. Their silver only confirmed the championship level of the team and, of course, strengthened their leadership in the overall standings of the 2018 season. In the first three regattas, ARTTUBE RUS1 has finished second each time, amazing consistency, and hard to beat!

Russia's J/70 ARTTUBE team- Valerya KovalenkoFinishing third in the Konakovo event was the NAVIGATOR Sailing Team, skippered by Igor Rytov with crew of Anton Sergeev, Konstantin Besputin and Vyacheslav Martynov. It should be noted that the team spent the starting day of the regatta as they were in a coma; an 8-8-3-6 was nothing to write home about, as they say!  However, after that they “woke up” and accumulated five 1sts, a 2nd, and 3rd enroute to a meteoric, phoenix-like rise up the standings from 21st place to third overall in the final tally!  “Holy moon-shot,” said Robin to Batman, “where did those guys come from?!”

Rounding out the top five only one point behind on a tie-breaker at 42 pts each were LEVIATHAN TEAM, skippered by Maxim Titarenko with crew of Vadim Yahinson, Michael and Maxim Sheremetyev and PIROGOVO Team skippered by Yezhkov, the countback going to LEVIATHAN.  Just 0.5 points back was REGION 23 Team skippered by Eugene Nikiforov.  Some great highlight videos from the Russian J/70 Sailing League marketing team on Facebook  YouTube sailing videos-  and   Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League here on Facebook.  For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

J/80 sailing Llanquihue Lake off Frutillar, ChileJ/80’s Loving Chile’s Frutillar Cup!
(Frutillar, Chile)- The longest running “offshore” race for keelboats on the absolutely spectacular Lago Llanquihue is the Frutillar Cup.  The regatta is sailed with handicaps and a combination of around the buoy races and random leg races up and down the gorgeous lakefront.

Frutillar is a city in southern Chile's Lake District, with views of Osorno Volcano. It sits on the western edge of vast Llanquihue Lake, and has black sand beaches. German-style wooden buildings characterize J/80 sailors celebrate- Frutillar, Chilethe town, reflecting its colonial past. The German Colonial Museum explores this history and has a 19th-century mill. Ringed by five towering volcanic mountains that range from 10,000 to 14,000 ft, the lake waters are deep (up to 5,000 ft), and is 21 miles long and at least 20 miles at its widest points.

The Frutillar YC hosted the regatta that included both J/80s and J/24s. After six races over three days, taking 2nd was Ezequias Allende’s J/24 PELICANO with a tally of 4-4-2-2-1-1 for 10 pts net.  Third was Gabriel Jordan’s J/80 BUCEFALO with a 3-3-4-4-2-2 for 14 pts net.  Fourth was yet another J/80, Alejandro Caroca’s DOMINGO 7 with a 2-2-5-5-4-4 record for 17 pts net.  And rounding out the top five was Cesar Contreras’ J/24 DRAKE with a 6-6-3-3-3-3 for 18 pts net.

J/80s sailing Queen Mary Reservoir- EnglandThe Host Crushes J/80 Cumberland Cup
(London, England)- Yacht clubs from around the world were invited to the Royal Thames YC’s biennial inter-club team racing challenge; the only international yachting event held in the Capital. Teams of eight sailors sailed matched J/80 keelboats in exciting 2 Boat Team Racing for the chance of winning the Cumberland Cup. Racing took place at the Queen Mary Sailing Club from Wednesday 9th May to Saturday 12th May.

This year’s regatta was comprised of seven teams and their guests from across the globe- RTYC, Eastern YC (Marblehead, MA), Gamla Stans Yacht Sallskap, New York YC (Newport, RI), Royal Perth YC (Perth, Australia), Southern YC (New Orleans, LA), and Yale Corinthian YC (Branford, CT).

J/80s sailing Cumberland CupPerhaps the biggest draw for the event is the famous, and very extensive, social program; a Reception at the RTYC London Clubhouse, drinks and tours of the Houses of Parliament and the Gala Dinner and Prize Giving in the Coffee Room overlooking Hyde Park!  Such an experience made for many memorable moments for the teams as they explored the city and one of the oldest seats of government in the world.

As for the racing, the sailors experienced a good variety of winds, from less than zero to over 15 kts, making for challenging racing in the cramped quarters of the reservoir.

Royal Thames YC win Cumberland Cup on J/80sNot surprisingly, when one looks at the outcome after eighteen races sailed for each team, it appeared it was the host inviting the lambs to the slaughter by the wily coyotes of the RTYC Team Racing crew!  RTYC won sixteen of those eighteen races to win by a comfortable margin.  Behind them, it was a tie on points between NYYC and YCYC, with the tie going to who-beat-who most; giving the silver to New York and the bronze to Yale Corinthian YC.   Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup Facebook page here   Summary of the results here   For more Royal Thames YC Cumberland Cup sailing information

J/22 winner- Nicole BreaultNicole Breault Wins US Match Race Qualifier
(San Francisco, CA)- It was a weekend of high winds and high wins for St. Francis Yacht Club’s Nicole Breault, who won six out of seven matches at the US Match Racing Championship Qualifier at the St. Francis Yacht Club on May 19-20, 2018. Breault and her crew of Dana Riley, Karen Loutzenheiser, and Molly Carapiet will advance to the US Match Racing Championship in Chicago this October.

San Francisco Bay breezed on strong, producing delays as well as some of the season’s most exciting racing to date. The eight competitors, which included four skippers from StFYC, two from San Diego, one from Alameda CA and one from Boston
MA ventured out in J/22s on Saturday morning with wind speeds already in the high teens and building, accompanied by a steep two to three-foot chop driven by a strong ebb. Match racing, involving tight, rapid maneuvers, has lower limits on wind and wave conditions than fleet racing, and Race Director Jenn Lancaster and Chief Umpire Doug Sloan elected to delay the start. Flood tide diminished the wave height, however wind speeds continued to climb into the high 20s and touched 30 knots. At 3:00pm racing was called off and the sailors had to make do with dinner and libations in the Chart Room.

Sunday’s forecast called for more of the same, so Lancaster set an 8:30am start, at which time winds were already in the mid-teens. The race committee adjusted the start/finish line and weather mark to accommodate the tide, while deciding for each flight whether to permit spinnakers. The sailors did their part by handling the challenging conditions with just a few knockdowns and collisions. The result was a full round-robin with each team racing every other team to determine the overall winner.

The Qualifier was one of seven being held in the run-up to the Championship at Chicago Yacht Club in October 19-21. Though an Open competition, Breault had an all-women crew of Molly Carapiet, Dana Riley and Karen Loutzenheiser, and was the only female skipper in the event. Breault is a highly experienced match racer, as repeat winner of the US Women’s Championship title from 2016, and also having won the Women’s division of the Nations’ Cup in 2015.  In January, she was also named the St. Francis Yachtsman of the Year for 2017, the first time in the Club’s 91-year history that this has been awarded to a female sailor.

When asked her thoughts about the event, Nicole commented, “This qualifier was definitely a test of boat control. Kudos to all of the teams- they played the match racing game quite well and worked hard to tame the J/22s in high winds and ebb-induced chop. My team, Molly, Karen and Dana, were rock solid and very much the reason we came out on top.”

Race Coordinator Graham Biehl also had his work cut out to sort out the rest of the teams, as three were tied for second and another three for fifth, an indication of just how well-matched these racers were. In the end, the results were as follows, 1st Nicole Breault, 2nd Jeff Petersen and 3rd Domenic Bove. Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more St Francis YC J/22 sailing information

J/105 sailing San Francisco BayEpic Elite Keel Regatta
(San Francisco, CA)- Sailing in similar windy, gusty weather as the J/22s along the San Francisco waterfront, the San Francisco YC hosted their annual Elite Keel Regatta along the northern side of the Bay near Sausalito for J/70s and J/105s.  The crews reveled in the epic, “blowing dogs off chains” weather, making for mind-blowing, fast rides with spray flying everywhere on the downwind legs- full-on planing mode it was, especially for the J/70s!

Loving the breeze-on conditions was Chris Kostanecki’s San Francisco YC crew on the J/70 JENNIFER, winning the regatta with three bullets in five races!  Second was the trio of Scott Sellers, Geoff McDonald, and Harrison TU on St Francis YC-based 1FA with a 2-2-2-1-4 tally for 11 pts.  Third was Bob Milligan’s RAMPAGE team from Richmond YC.  Rounding out the top five were David Schuman’s San Francisco YC crew on BOTTLE ROCKET and Pete Woodhouse’s ZED team, 4th and 5th, respectively.

In the eighteen-boat J/105 class, it was the first big regatta win for Tim Russell’s NE*NE, posting a 1-4-1-1-4 tally for 11 pts.  Taking the silver was Doug Bailey’s AKULA with a 4-3-3-4-1 score for 15 pts.  Third was Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION with a very roller-coaster scoreline of 2-1-12-6-3 for 24 pts.  The balance of the top five included Eric Stang’s JUJU in 4th and Pat Benedict’s ADVANTAGE 3 in 5th.
For more SFYC Elite Keel Regatta sailing information

J/125 Warrior sailing off Santa BarbaraJ/Crews Sweep Santa Barbara Hardway Race
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The Nineteenth Annual Island Series just completed the first of the three race series- The Hardway Race on May 19th.  Santa Barbara YC in Santa Barbara, CA and Pierpont Bay YC in Ventura, CA hosted the event.  This year the fleet did not go around Santa Cruz Island and instead the fleet was sent down the “Coastwise Spinnaker Course”- from the start line off Santa Barbara, leave Anacapa Island to port, leave the R2 Ventura entrance buoy to starboard, and finish in the Ventura Harbor entrance channel- a 47 nm course length.

In the two Coastwise PHRF spinnaker divisions, J/Crews simply crushed the fleet, finding the fast-reaching conditions offshore in the big Pacific Ocean swells rolling down the Santa Barbara Channel much to their liking.

In the seven-boat PHRF A class, the J/teams swept the podium.  Winning was Bernie Girod’s J/111 ROCK & ROLL, followed by Kenny Kieding’s J/111 ARGO 3, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s J/125 WARRIOR in third.

PHRF B had an eight-boat class that was topped by Mike Leary’s J/30 PANGEA, winning by over 10 minutes on corrected time.  Third was Nick Nidzienko’s J/24 YOUNG FOOLS, fifth was Doug Steick’s J/100 JIB & TONIC, 6th Vincente Saborio’s J/24 PI, and 7th another J/100, George Brown’s SKOOKUM.  For more Hardway Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24 SeaBags Women's sailing team* “Lessons Learned from a J/24 North American Champion”- Erica Beck Spencer has been sailing J/24s for a long time with her Portland, Maine based team on Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team.  She offers her thoughts here on how she has continued to improve their performance over time.

“Mike Ingham and his team just won the J/24 North American 2018 Championship. Mike is one of our mentors and we couldn’t be more proud of his team. In our 3.5 year tenure as an all-women’s team he has stood out as someone who always takes the time to lend advice and answer our many questions. For example, on day one of my first world championship as the skipper for a team at the 2017 Worlds in Toronto Canada, I questioned if I belonged at this event. I felt serious butterflies. He was the mentor I wanted to talk to. After I found him, he took time out of his pre-worlds’-morning routine to ask me just the right questions and to evaluate my nervousness. He convinced me that everyone is feeling some level of nerves and that the expert athlete needs to figure out how to compete at the highest level with those nervous feelings. Sometimes that means talking to teammates about how you’re feeling and to ask for what you need from them, sometimes that means just getting comfortable with that jittery feeling, breathing through it, and knowing what it is like to compete with them.

J/24 champion- Mike InghamAt every event we’re both at, we find him and ask him questions. Inevitably paper and pens come out and we draw things and describe what we’d see on the water or boat in order to really learn—he doesn’t just answer our questions, he makes sure we understand the answers to our questions. My notebook has many “Mike Ingham Originals” as he often grabs it and draws sails, local conditions, or tactical situations. At the NA’s, Mike met with us for ten minutes as his team waited to leave for dinner, to talk about local knowledge. Currents coming through the race course from three different outlets heavily influenced local conditions—he reviewed all of this. After a thorough local knowledge talk, he challenged us with a question and didn’t give us the answer. In fact, he said, “Don’t answer now, walk away, think about it, and text me later.”

The question was a starting line situation. He asked, if the line is square to the wind, and the wind is equal across the line, but the current is coming across the line from the boat end to the pin end, which end of the line is favored?  I’m not going to answer the question which we eventually got to, but I will say that we walked away thinking about it, talked to friends, and around 10pm we texted him our best answer. He responded with another question when we got it wrong.  (In Mike Ingham fashion, I ask you to put your answers to the question on the Facebook post in the comments and we’ll see what happens. Have fun!)

J/24 champion crewMy point in sharing all of this is to say that people like Mike are so good at this sport that they can teach you everything they know and still beat you the majority of the time on the race course. Perhaps karma played into his victory, I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s got a lot of it.  But to watch a mentor win the whole darn thing and to still have made time to share his expertise throughout the event—well that just is the true definition of sportsmanship.

Congrats to you and your team Mike! Job well done! Thanks for being someone to emulate!”

Stay tuned to this blog. As requested, this self-proclaimed (and competitor confirmed) regatta nerd and blogger will be digging into her notebook to share some of our biggest take aways from our fellow competitors as well as from the Quantum and North dock talks.

Erica Beck Spencer is the skipper for the all-women's J/24 team sponsored by Sea Bags, a wonderful business recycling old sails into lovely bags and other products. She's a wanna-be rock star, learning everything she can about making these boats go as fast as possible. As a full-time working mother of two, she blogs when she can find time about all that she is learning to share with others.  Find and read her articles here  Or, follow the Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team Facebook page

J/70 at Fox News New York* The Chesapeake Bay J/70 was invited to Times Square as part of a “summer highlights” special with Fox News’s FOX & FRIENDS show in the early morning!  Here is the story by the owner of the J/70 Don DeLoatch:

“A welcome two-week break from racing sent my wife Molly and me to a quiet cabin in rural Virginia with our dogs. With spotty cell service, I did catch a call from our friends at asking if the Vortex crew could get our J/70 named to Fox Studios in New York city next week for a promotional spot on summer activities to include sailing on the popular Fox & Friends show airing on May 13th.

I must admit my mind raced to the memory of Michael Douglas in the movie “Romancing the Stone”- a blockbuster movie (1984), pulling his sailboat down the streets of Manhattan to end the movie and get the girl. In my mind, I knew this had to happen so I put out feelers to the crew, Ryan Kozoriz our team manager was quick to volunteer for this wild and unforgettable experience. My wife had grown up outside of New York in a town called Mountain Lakes, and we had spent some time in the city over the years. As a southern boy, I was always impressed by the sheer volume of everything New York.

J/70 on Fox News- Fox & Friends morning showAs manager of the Vortex team, we know and use the GETMYBOAT app and thought this promotion would be helpful to many Bay sailors and powerboaters who may want to use the app as we have. I mentioned the quiet cabin I stayed at, this cabin was on the banks of a large lake, and I found a kayak rental on the GetMyBoat app, incredibly it was that easy. Several years back, our team planned to race the Rolex Big Boat in San Francisco on our J/105. This trip was at least a year in the making, and in our planning we found a J/105 charter available through the GETMYBOAT app that saved our team two-thirds the transportation cost and a considerable amount of time to pack and ready our boat, saving many man days of work.

GETMYBOAT has helped our team get to many far off experiences, but driving through Times Square with our race boat was not expected. Somewhere on 49th street a cabbie pulled up revved his engine and asked, “where’s the start area?”

Many eyes turned to gaze at the sparkling clean and sexy racer sliding down the busy streets of Manhattan. I was issued a parking permit in advance from the New York City Mayor’s office so I felt like a VIP. At Fox Studios, they treated us like VIPs. Fox Studios had a crew ready to help us move the boat onto the set. Also on the set, a fantastic Airstream camper and a vacation photographer who specializes in documenting your vacation for you-- no more selfies!

All in all, it was a great experience for Ryan and me to share our love of sailing with a national audience in a way that may help some people get on the water more often. The Fox people knew a little about race boats, and I think they did an excellent job with the piece and several teasers featuring our J/70. I have also learned that GETMYBOAT was pleased and saw an increase in activity on the site.

I think sailing is a great motivator to get off the couch, meet people, and maybe take your friends on a wild ride like we have been enjoying. Get out and sail; it will make a difference in you!”

J/80 Kopp-Out at Annapolis NOOD* Detroit sailors having some fun in Naptown!  According to J/34 IOR owner of KNEE DEEP, Brett Langolf, “a group of us sailors from Detroit represented Bayview Yacht Club at the Annapolis NOODs. We competed in the competitive 23-boat J/80 Fleet on the boat KOPP-OUT. The group of four had never sailed together, but knew each other from their hometown (Port Huron) and college (Michigan State). This was the owner/skipper’s (Tom Kopp) second regatta and, amazingly, our team took 2nd Place, one 1 point out of 1st after 8 races (3 days)!! We lost out to some local Pro’s that know the Bay waters well. They also led the fleet with three 1st place finishes throughout the weekend. Kudos to our crew- CJ Ruffing, Steve Young, and Tom Kopp!  We had a blast!”

J/22 MetLife veterans race- Sail Newport Volvo Ocean Race* METLIFE Veterans J/22 Regatta brings together Service Members at the SAIL NEWPORT Volvo Ocean Race stopover!

The MetLife Veterans Regatta, a therapeutic event for veterans of active service duty, brought together 12 veterans from around the country for training and racing at the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover on Monday and Tuesday- May 14 & 15. Racing in Sail Newport's fleet of J/22 sailboats, the veterans' crews also included a representative of race teams Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Brunel, Dongfeng Race Team, AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Inaugurated during the 2014-’15 Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover, it is the second time that MetLife and Sail Newport have partnered to host the regatta. Warrior Sailing, a program of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation led by Ralf Steitz, Corey Kapes and Ben Poucher was also involved in recruiting and training sailors for the event.

“MetLife is proud to work with Sail Newport to bring this exciting event to our veterans’ community,” said Kishore Ponnavolu, President, MetLife Auto & Home. “MetLife has a long legacy of supporting the veterans’ community through various programs and initiatives and we were happy to help make this racing experience truly memorable.”

J/22 Metlife veterans regatta- Sail Newport Volvo Ocean RaceNearly all veterans suffer some form of post-traumatic stress disorder that, in the worst cases, can lead to the veteran withdrawing from society. The Warrior Sailing program offers great opportunities for the veterans to experience life on the water despite their injuries.

Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking addressed the veterans before racing and stressed the importance of teamwork. Bekking said that his father fought for the Dutch during the Indonesian National Revolution in the late 1940s and also volunteered during the Korean Conflict. Bekking said that teamwork was as necessary for his father in conflict as it was for him as skipper of a round-the-world racing yacht.

“That part of his life was so important to him, especially his mates and friends,” said Bekking, whose father passed away last fall. “Sailing is based on teamwork. Without the team you can’t perform.”

“You have to stay in shape to a certain degree,” says Steitz, a co-founder of Warrior Sailing. “If you let your body go and you become a slave of your body, that’s a bad thing. The couch is not your friend.”

The Warrior Sailing Program has graduated more than 250 veterans since its first Basic Sailing Program in 2013. Two of them, Dan Brown and Brian Stewart, took part in today’s regatta. The electricity in their eyes and the wide smiles on their faces after a day of challenging Mother Nature and their fellow veterans illustrates how well sailing works as an active sports therapy.

Brown, 33, of Dallas, Texas, was a special ops medic with the 1st Marines Raider Battalion. Three years removed from active duty, he suffers brain trauma from repeated concussions. He had never sailed before joining Warrior Sailing, but now has a goal of completing a trans-oceanic passage.

“I love the water. I love Warrior Sailing,” said Brown. “Due to my concussions I lose my train of thought easily if I’m reading. But, with sailing there are so many tactile functions, like grinding winches and pulling lines, that I’m able to focus. It’s great brain exercise!”

Stewart, 36, of Boston, Mass., is a veteran of the Navy who’s been discharged since 2013. He found out about the Warrior program from Corey Kapes, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist who joined Warrior Sailing after working with the VA. Stewart and Kapes were on a skiing trip when Kapes mentioned that he was transitioning to Warrior Sailing. Stewart had never been sailing before, but he immediately said, “I’ll try that.”

Stewart has found sailing to be exhilarating and likes that he’s expanding his horizons. “I love the water. I like extreme weather. I love it when the boat heels over. I like learning and moving forward. It’s very aspirational.”

Adapting to sailing is easy for the veterans because of the teamwork required for success. The old adage in sailing “you’re only as good as the guy behind you” holds true in combat. It’s that camaraderie that is especially appealing to the veterans.

“This group learns faster than any other group,” says Hugh Freund, a 30-year-old coach of the Warrior Sailing Program. Freund was diagnosed with bone cancer and lost his leg while still a student. He competed in the 2016 Paralympic Games and won a silver medal as crew with Rick Doerr in the Sonar class.

“The veterans are used to working in small teams,” says Freund. “They are used to problem solving and take accountability for their actions. We go out and practice for one day, come in, discuss what can be done better and the next day they go out and do it. It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Freund and Brown were part of the winning crew along with veteran Nick Trado and Ruben Donne, a project coordinator for the Volvo Ocean Race. There were no losers on the day, however, and with events such as the MetLife Veterans Regatta, group therapy in a sporting contest goes a long way towards healing the men and women who sacrifice their lives for their country.

J/34 IOR- Knee Deep ready for summer* Brett Langolf, owner of the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP has created another inspirational, entertaining sailing video for his family and friends that sail on their boat all summer.  Says Brett,

“Happy Spring! For us sailors in the North and Midwest, we have a crazy long wait until we get above 50 degrees (you know, for all the chemicals to work)!  Then, we go like hell for 6 months and sail all over the place! The prep is intense and all hands on deck. It's May..... 'tis the season to start sailing!”
Watch the May 18th edition of Brett’s “’tis the season” sailing video here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 16th, 2018

J/121s sailing off NewportSuccessful Spring Tune-Up for J/121 Speedsters!
(Newport, RI)- With most boatyards and boats still under shrink-wrap, and the Volvo Ocean Race just into town, J/121 owners gathered for the first J/121 Spring Tune-Up at the Newport Shipyard.  Eight owners from as far as England, Japan and Oregon sailed on four locally launched boats and enjoyed two days of coaching to kick off the 2018 sailing season. Friday afternoon’s session was led by Kimo Worthington and Chuck Allen of North Sails and included onboard coaches Alan Terhune, Reed Baldridge, Jack Orr, Kerry Klingler (Quantum Sails) and Wayne Zittel (J/World).

As this was the first time two or more J/121's has had sailed alongside each other, the learning curve was steep.  Hulls #1 (INCOGNITO) and #2 (APOLLO) showed early speed thanks to previous time in the boat, but as the session went on hull #4 (ALCHEMY) and #6 (EAGLE) dialed right in.

J/121 sailing off Newport with code zeroThe on-the-water tuning session was followed up with refreshments and a debrief back at the dock, with each team sharing their 2-3 top take-aways.

Watch this video of the simply “beautiful day” of sailing Friday afternoon in a classic, sunny, Narragansett Bay seabreeze from the southeast.

Saturday’s forecast was for wet weather and variable winds – perfect for Open Course round the island style racing!    From the comforts of the MJM 50z  “ZING” (captained by Bob Johnstone), the race committee sent the fleet clockwise around Conanicut Island (a 20 mile track) with the course divided into 6 individual legs (to be scored separately as well as overall).

In true distance race fashion, the starting line was set up square to the first mark (Beavertail Point) in an easterly wind, meaning the boats would start on a close reach on port tack. 

J/121s Apollo and Eagle trainingDavid Southwell’s ALCHEMY nailed the start at the committee boat with the big A2 kite trimmed tightly in the 8 knot wind, with INCOGNITO close behind with main and jib.   APOLLO opted for the Code 0, and once things cleared, INCOGNITO unrolled the Code 0 and EAGLE hoisted the A2.   It became clear a few minutes into the race that the A2 could be carried, and with its bigger size (155m2 vs. 104m2), was a speed advantage that allowed both ALCHEMY and EAGLE to surge ahead and round Beavertail comfortably ahead.  The fleet jibed at Beavertail and proceeded north against the current on a tight starboard tack reach.   With lighter breeze in the bay, the leaders slowed, and thanks to carrying a Code 0 closer to shore, APOLLO was able to pass the leaders and win the second leg, which was shortened at the Red Bell south of Dutch Island. 

Thanks to the flexible nature of the event, and the ability of the race committee to “reset the fleet” after any given leg, the teams were instructed to take a lunch break and proceed under engine to the northern end of the island where a steadier southeasterly was filling in. 

MJM Yachts 50z ZING as Race Committe boatTaking advantage of the MJM Yachts 50z ZING’s ability to hover in place on a precise GPS coordinate, a starting line was set up in seconds using a government marker as the port end, and the fleet was sent off on a short windward sprint to the northeast corner of Conanicut, followed by a long port tack favored beat to the Newport Bridge (featuring lots of tacking along the shore to keep out of the building flood current), and finally to the finish line just off the Volvo Race village at Fort Adams.  INCOGNITO got the early jump to win the first windward leg (Leg 3), and then after 8 miles of short tacking the Conanicut shoreline, ALCHEMY came through to win the final two legs and the first ever J/121 fleet event.  Three of the four boats won an individual leg (measured by elapsed time).  EAGLE came within 10 seconds of winning a leg, and notably finished 2nd on three out of the five legs.

After racing, the teams were greeted dockside at Newport Shipyard with trays of Dark & Stormy’s followed by a race debrief and awards. 

J/121's tuning and training togetherComing up next, four J/121’s will be sailing in the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race starting June 15th and a total of five boats will be actively sailing in the New England area this summer.

All four boats had mobile phones equipped with the tracking app that were used for both days to analyze the differences in performance.  And, on Saturday’s “open course” races, it also reflected how the teams chose sails and tactics as the fleet went around Jamestown Island.  Here are the 3D replay links below.
Narragansett Bay chartThe “open course” race was defined for the following legs, which you can see on the 3D replay:
  • Leg 1- Dumplings to Beavertail Bell
  • Leg 2- Beavertail Bell to Dutch Harbor Bell
  • Leg 3- Red Nun to Red Bell- top of Jamestown
  • Leg 4- Red Bell (NE Jamestown) to Newport Bridge
  • Leg 5- Newport Bridge to Red Nun (Fort Adams)
For more J/121 offshore speedster sailing information

J/70s sailing on the SolentJ/CUP Regatta Preview
(Cowes, IOW, England)- The Island Sailing Club will be hosting the annual J/CUP U.K. this coming weekend for an amazing fleet of fifty-eight boats from eight countries (United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Wales, France, Ireland).  There will be One-design racing for J/70s, J/88s, J/92s, J/97s, J/109s, J/111s, and an IRC handicap class.

Sailing will take place on the infamous Solent, where tidal current tactics matter at least as much as playing windshifts and wind streaks on what many consider to be one of the trickiest bodies of water to sail on in the world.  In short, it’s a river that shifts tidally up to 4.5 kts with powerful wind-bending attributes off the highlands surrounding the Solent.

J/70s sailing Solent- Cowes, EnglandAs the largest class, the seventeen-boat J/70 fleet will have most of the top U.K. contenders present as they continue to marshal their resources with a view to a strong showing in the 2019 J/70 Worlds held in Weymouth, UK.  The leading contenders should be Terry O’Neill’s AQUA-J, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, Geoff Carveth & Doug Struth’s DSP, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8, Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER, David McLeman’s OFFBEAT, and Marshall King’s SOAK RACING.

J/88 sailing J/Cup in Great BritainWith four teams, the J/88 class will have fierce competition amongst crews that have all won major events of one form or another over time.  The betting form on this group won’t make any sense, since they are all capable of winning.  The real question is, who’s got the complete team to make it happen for starts, tactics, and boathandling?  The contenders are David & Kirsty Apthorp’s familiar J-DREAM, Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR, Dirk & Diane van Beek’s SABRIEL JR, and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS.

The six-boat J/92 class will be their largest gathering in years.  Watch for class veteran David Greenhalgh’s family on J’RONIMO to set the standard for this grouping.

Similar to their J/88 class colleagues, there is no question that Ladbroke’s betting parlor would have a helluva hard time laying betting odds on each team in the five-boat J/97 class.  Each of the teams is formidable; it all depends on the crew/ tactics and staying out of trouble.  As such, those crews are Andy & Annie Howe’s BLACKJACK II, Mike Sellers & Chris Miles’ HIGH JINKS, Bob & Jon Baker’s JAYWALKER, Bob Hunt’s JUMBLESAIL 2, and the French crew from La Trinite sur Mer, Yann Gindre’s L’OPALE.

With eight-boats, the J/109s are looking forward to their annual get-together at the J-CUP.  Look for these teams to factor on the leaderboard, Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN.

J/111 sailing the SolentAs part of the J/111 Northern European Championship Series, the J/CUP was considered key, “not to miss” regatta, in the whole circuit.  With eleven boats in attendance, virtually all of the top crews of a very European contingent are participating from the U.K. (Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Louise Makin/ Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II, Tony Mack’s McFLY, and Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG), Belgium (Sebastian de Liederkeke’s DJINN), Netherlands (Sjaak Haakman’s RED HERRING & Paul van Driel & Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY), Germany (Norbert Burkert’s TOP JOB), and Switzerland (Michiel van de Meulen’s LALLEKONIG).

In the IRC handicap division are Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, Mike & Sarah Wallis’ J/122 JAHMALI, Angus Bates’ J/133 ASSARAIN IV, and Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER.  For more J/CUP Regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing on SolentRORC Vice Admirals Cup Preview
(Cowes, IOW, England)- This Solent-based inshore regatta is primarily for one-design classes or similar style of boats to enjoy three days of intense racing.  After each day's racing, competitors can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and socials in the RORC Cowes Clubhouse.

The regatta takes place from Friday, May 18th to Sunday, May 20th.  A mixture of windward/ leeward and “random leg” round-the-cans races are planned for the fleet with up to four races per day!

There are over a dozen J/crews sailing the event, with a J/109 class of seven boats, a J/111 class of seven boats, and the sole J/team in IRC 1 class is Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO.

The J/111s include the 2016 J/111 World Champion, Martin Dent’s JELVIS, along with a cadre of top U.K. crews like Chris Jones/ Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Tony Mack’s McFLY, Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG, and the top Dutch Team- Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY.

The top J/109 crews include Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, Dave Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, and Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR 2.  For more RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The action was flying thick and fast at a number of regattas in Europe.  For starters, fifty J/70s were doing battle in the second act of the Italian J/70 Cup in Porto Ercole, Italy.  There was more J/70 action up in Scandinavia. Hosted by Halmstad Segelsallskap in Halmstad, Sweden, it was the Swedish J/70 International Regatta that hosted thirty boats from Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Then, down in central Europe, the North Sea Regatta completed the first two legs of that event with the offshore races- the Vuurschepen Race and RORC North Sea Race.  Next on the agenda for them are the one-design and inshore races.  Finally, on the Bay of Biscay, the Grand Prix Ecole de Navale was held off Brest/ Laveoc, France in Brittany for the J/80s Championnat de France and also the J/22 European Championship.

Over in the Americas, the Corinthian YC of Portland held its annual offshore classic that acts as a feeder race to the Swiftsure International Race, the 183nm Oregon Offshore Race from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to Victoria, BC in Canada.  Then, south of the border in Mexico, the J/70 NA’s are taking place on the pretty mountain lake of Valle de Bravo, hosted by Club Vela de la Pena.

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:

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/70 Enfant Terrible- Italy winnerENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES Two-Peats!
Win Italian J/70 Cup Act II- Porto Ercole
(Porto Ercole, Italy)- A battle for the podium until the last gybe characterized the finale of the J/70 Cup in Porto Ercole, the second act of the Open Italian J/70 Circuit. The event consisted of three-days of racing, with eight races completed in wonderful sunny conditions and with moderate breeze up to 18 kts for the fleet of fifty-one crews racing from nine countries (Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Switzerland).

On the last day, going into the last race, a six points gap separated the fleet leader, Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES from Gianfranco Noe’s CALVI NETWORK, and Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE (a family affair, as she is Alberto’s daughter); a race where there was a potential for a drastic change in team placements on the final podium.

J/70s sailing off Porto Ercole, ItalyThe first boat to cross the finish line for the leading trio in the final run to the finish was CALVI NETWORK in 8th position, four boats ahead of ENFANT TERRIBLE. But, the gap was not enough to gain the overall lead, despite a disastrous 24th in race 7 for Alberto Rossi’s crew that included Branko Brcin, Andrea Felci, Stefano Rizzi and Bianca Crugnola. As a result, ENFANT TERRIBLE took the gold with 33 pts net, Noe’s CALVI NETWORK just two points back to take second with 35 pts net.  Then, with an easy shot at the lead, Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE crew could not crack the top ten in the last race, posting a 15th to remain in third overall with 41 pts net.

J/70 Petite Terrible- Claudia RossiEnjoy a cool sailing video of PETITE TERRIBLE sailing team (Claudia Rossi, Michele Paoletti, Simone Spangaro, Gaia Ciacchi, & Matteo Mason) here.

Rounding out the top five in the open division was Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN in 4th and Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM LEGGI D’ITALIA in 5th.

In the Corinthian division, the winners were Alessio Marinelli’s UJI UJI, who managed to overtake Paolo Tomsic’s LA FEMME TERRIBLE, leader of their division for the first two days of racing. Second place went to Alessandro Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS who maintained their position at the end of the races of Saturday.  Third place went to LA FEMME TERRIBLE after disastrous last day finishes of 13-39.

J/70s having fun sailing off ItalyIn the last day of racing, the two races were won by Valerya Kovalenko’s Russian crew on ARTTUBE and Germany’s Markus Wieser on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

Maurizio Belloni, Vice-President of CNV Argentario, commented, "We are honored that J/70 Italian Class chose Porto Ercole as the location of its regatta and we were blessed with great weather conditions and the excellent work of the Race Committee.”

Leaving Porto Ercole, some of the fleet will head to Vigo, Spain, where from June 12th to 16th many crews will take part in the J/70 European Championship, sailing on the open waters of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Among these, Claudia Rossi on board PETITE TERRIBLE will be there to defend her title earned in the last two years.  However, this year may be her most challenging event yet.  Also competing will be ENFANT TERRIBLE, JENIALE EUROSYSTEM, LA FEMME TERRIBLE, NOBERASCO DAS and many other top European teams.

The next event organized by Italian J/70 Class will be the third act of the Italian J/70 Cup in Malcesine, hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine on the fabulous Lago di Garda from July 12th to 15th.  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information

J/70s off Halmstad, SwedenMattson Takes Swedish J/70 Nationals By A Whisker!
(Halmstad, Sweden)- Twenty-nine boats from across Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway) participated in the J/70 International Swedish Championship, hosted by Halmstad Segelsallskap.  The racing was fast and furious and produced a lot of close racing, with every team in the top five having to discard huge double-digit finishes after seven races and not one team counted all top ten scores!

Last year's Scandinavian Champion, Oscar Lundqvist, crewed for his brother and friends on HILDA.  Their team consisted of Jacob Lundqvist, Erik Skoting, Pelle Vickberg, and Oliver Österberg.  After missing an opportunity to win the regatta for the second straight year in a row by posting a disastrous last race 20th, Oscar commented on why they enjoy racing J/70s in Europe, "I do not think there is any class in the Nordic countries that can collect an even start-up field where all participants are well placed to win. We have also shown that the boat can sail at all ages, young and old. From our side we would have liked to see more young teams on the track. With a little will and hard work you can get a boat and get started with good conditions. When we were in Denmark recently, about half the field consisted of young crews, which was encouraging. Hopefully, this may happen here at home in Sweden as well, and in view of all the clubs that are now around the country, the conditions have never been better. Just jumping into a boat and driving is easy!”

Swedish J/70 Dynamant Racing team sailing SwedenAfter the first day's four races, Mikael Lindqvist’s DYNAMANT RACING from KSSS was the leader with a 14-1-2-16!  Second was Martin Fridh’s ISBAR crew (Ylva Hofvander Trulsson, Jakob Reuterskold, Jan-Erik Jonsson) with an equally scary tally of 16-6-7-2!  Then, even more eye-opening was the third place scores for Daniel Mattson’s Finish crew from Ålandske Segelsällskapet (Mathias Dahlman, Johan Nystrom, Staffan Lindberg), with an eye-popping 2-14-15-1!

Sunday’s three races produced even more extraordinary roller-coaster rides for everyone in the top ten.  The only boat to avoid a double-digit score was the ultimate regatta winner- Mattson’s FIN 673, posted a blistering record of 7-1-2 for a total score of 27 pts net.  The Swedish Lundqvist brothers on HILDA started the day with a 2-2 and were leading the regatta going into the final race. However, an unfortunate “digger” of a last race- a 20th- became their discard and they had to settle for the silver with 37 pts net.  Coming on strong in the last two races with a 4-3 was Henrik Lundberg’s Finish crew on ALMACO, finishing with 41 pts net.

Rounding out the top five were Anders Kemmler’s Swedish crew on DYNAMANT RACING in 4th and Jan Nilsson’s hometown Swedish crew on NN in 5th.  The top Norwegian boat was Eivind Astrup’s NORWEGIAN STEAM in 15th place.

A big “Thank You” to everyone in the HASS club that hosted and ran a great regatta! From the kitchen, to the secretary, and to the volunteers on the race track. Amazingly good work everyone!  Sailing photo credits- Daniel Stenholm  For more Swedish J/70 Nationals sailing information

J/22 Europeans sailing under spinnakerTU DELFT BROACH Wins J/22 Europeans
Moriceau Crushes J/80 French Championship
(Laveoc, France)- The Grand Prix Ecole de Navale in Brest/ Laveoc, France hosted their annual GPEN Championnat de France from May 10th to 12th on the choppy, windy waters of the Bay of Biscay- it’s one of Europe’s largest one-design events.  The event also marked the 2018 J/22 European Championship, where eleven teams from the Netherlands, Canada, France, and Germany managed to sail eleven races.  Concurrently, a forty-two boat J/80 class enjoyed the third event in their France J/80 Cup- a season-long series of eight regattas.

Women crew sailing fast on J/22sThursday- Gorgeous Spring Sailing
The fleet was blessed beautiful, mild weather conditions on the first day sailing off the tip of Brittany.  The J/22s and J/80s both enjoyed three races in a weakening northwest breeze that started early in the day at 12-18 kts and slowly diminished to 8-13 kts by late afternoon.

It was the Canadian team of Johann Koppernaes on RAISED J (Michele Cimon, Mike Marshall, Adrienne White) that took the lead in the J/22 Europeans after a 3-2-1 score for 6 pts. Perhaps the Dutch and French teams were surprised, but it certainly helped to have J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall from North Sails on board as trim/ tactician! Second on the day was Jesper Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH with a 1-3-4 for 8 pts.  Sitting in third was Patrick Huet’s French crew on EUROPEAN HOMES, one of the pre-regatta favorites that managed a consistent 2-5-2 for 9 pts.

Over on the J/80 course, the forty-two boats were creating havoc, getting off the starting line was difficult and it was hard to recover if any of the top boats were deep early.  Nevertheless, avoiding those pitfalls and winning the first two races were Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, finishing with a scoreline of 1-1-4 and 6 pts for the day.  Second after posting a steadily improving tally of 12-2-1 for 15 pts was another top crew, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA.  Rounding out the top three were Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 with a 4-8-5 score for 17 pts.

J/80s sailing off Brest, FranceFriday- Grey, Chilly, Windy!
After enjoying a lovely day of sailing to start out the regatta, everyone knew the forecast was going to change dramatically for the second day, with grey skies, cold temperatures and 15-25 kt southwest winds producing big seas.

Four boats stand out overall after 6 races in the J/80 class. Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT dominated the first day but still managed to post all top five races of 3-5-5 to end the day at the top of the leaderboard.  Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA also posted good scores of 2-9-2 to hang on to his second place from day one.  However, below them it was chaos.  Leaping up the standings was Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS with a white-hot tally of 1-3-1 to snatch the bronze position.

Simon Moriceau from APCC Sports Sailing commented on their performance, "It was a harder day for us today. We lost some points to our opponents. We were more in trouble off the line today. We have a new crew, two of the crew members had some boathandling issues- but, fixed now! Tomorrow, it will be a battle, we will have to be focused and watch our opponents."

Luc Nadal from NDCV Angers said, “We were very happy to sail fast and smarter today. We have sailed several times in the GPEN regatta and we dreamed of having a great day in Crozon-Morgat. And, finally, we did! We are now in second and happy with our place, despite two or three little issues slowing us down. Tomorrow will be a decisive day, if we do three races, the top five is still totally open."

Patrick Bot from CV Ecole Navale offered his perspective, "This day went well for us. There was a lot of wind and waves, so it was fast and exciting! We are quite happy with ourselves, our speed and our sails. Yes, we dropped to fourth place with a 4-7-3, but tomorrow we will fight to be on the podium!”

The J/22s also had four good races in the big seas and big breeze. No one was going to slow down the dominance of Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH.  Loving the big stuff, they smoked the competition with a 1-3-1-1 to easily take over the lead for the title of European Champion.  Dropping to second place were the Canadians on RAISED J with four 2nds!  And, moving into third was Auke Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE with a 5-1-3-3.

J/80s sailing GPEN in FranceSaturday- Grey & Cool & Light
After an exhausting wet and windy day on Friday, the sailors appreciated sailing more benign weather conditions. Though still grey and cool, the wind had moderated to 8-12 kts from the west.

The battle for the title of J/22 European Champion was not decided until the end. With four more races scheduled and completed, it was anyone’s guess how the cards would drop on the table for the top three boats. In the third race of the day, the regatta leader TU DELFT BROACH got DSQ’d, adding 12 pts to their scoreline and potentially torpedoing their chances of winning.  Meanwhile, Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE posted a sizzling 2-2-1 with a chance to win the crown!  Furthermore, the Canadians on RAISED J slipped a little with their 3-5-4 scores.

As a result, the three boats were essentially tied, with the outcome riding on the final race.  It must have been a wake-up call for Overbeeke’s crew to get tossed in race 10, as they simply sailed fast and smart to win the last race and be crowned the 2018 J/22 European Champions by just 3 pts!  Doing their best to close the gap, but never quite succeeding was Holtrop’s crew, taking 2nd in the finale to grasp the silver.  Meanwhile, the Canadian’s on RAISED J slipped yet again, finishing with a 6th to hold on for the bronze.

The rest of the top five had Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES in 4th and Annefleur De Zeeuw’s DJINN HISTOS in 5th place (she was also top women’s skipper).

In the J/80s, Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT started the day with their worst score of the regatta, a 12th.  Then, followed it up with a 7th and closed with a 2nd for the third and finale race of the day. While not their best outing, it was enough to be take the title of “J/80 Championnat de France Monotype Habitable.”  Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 stayed mostly out of trouble and finished the event with a 7-4-4 to take second.  Like Moriceau, Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS crew started off with a horrendous 18th (their toss race) and then closed with a vengeance, smoking the fleet for two bullets to take third place.

The balance of the top five was Nadal’s GAN’JA in 4th and Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE in 5th (she was also top women’s skipper).  Second women’s skipper was Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES (7th overall) and third was Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS (8th overall). It was a fantastic showing for these three women skippers to crack the top ten and between them win two races and get seven podium finishes!

No question, the competition is getting hotter in the Open and Women’s divisions as the J/80 teams are preparing for their J/80 World Championship that will be sailed at Les Sables d'Olonne, France, also on the Bay of Biscay in very similar wind/wave conditions.

After winning, Simon Moriceau (Armen Habitat) commented, "It was very tight, as we were only two points ahead this morning. It was hot! The first race of the day, we gained control over the next three boats, despite our 12th place! It was not necessarily obvious what to do, because at that time, the wind was moving in all directions.  But, we always had an eye on our competitors and didn’t lose them. Without a bad race this morning, it would have been much easier. We had a new crew that responded very well, we had a good cohesion in the team.  I am really happy to win my third title of Championnat de France!  With a wind like today, it was very shifty, adding a little spice and challenge to the regatta! Thank You to GPEN for a great event!”  For more J/80 GPEN and J/22 Europeans sailing information

J/109 sailing North Sea RaceJ/Crews Leading North Sea Regatta
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- Hosted by the Jachtclub Scheveningen, the North Sea Regatta is the largest event hosted in the Netherlands each year for a host of one-design classes (dinghies, cats, and keelboats like J/22s and J/80s) and offshore ORC/IRC classes.

The event kicked off on May 8th with the Vuurschepen Race, a North Sea Regatta Feeder Race that goes from the starting line off The Hague (Scheveningen) and takes a 3 mark course of 130nm across the North Sea to Harwich in the United Kingdom.  Several J/teams were sailing and almost all had podium finishes!

The “J/All-stars” were in the ORC Two-Handed division.  Winning was Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s J/122E AJETO.  Taking the silver was Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE/ RAYMARINE and 4th was Wim van Slooten & Jochem Hamstra’s J/109 FIRESTORM.

In the ORC 2 division, taking 3rd was Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI and 4th Arjen van Leeuwen’s J/109 JOULE.

J/122E AJETO winning North Sea RaceAfter a two-day layover, on the 11th of May, teams representing Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands entered the 181nm North Sea Race; the start was off Harwich, England and finished in Scheveningen, The Netherlands. The race was organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association, and the Yacht Club Scheveningen.

“The race was mostly upwind and reaching, with very few teams getting their spinnakers out of the bag,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone. “Conditions conspired to favor the smaller yachts, as the faster boats did not get the breeze that arrived later in the race. Over the course of the season, favorable conditions will average out through the fleet. Well done to the teams that did well, even when the conditions are right for your team, you still have to put in a top performance to win your class, and have a chance of the overall win.”

Women's J/105 double handed team- Panther- NetherlandsIn the IRC Two-Handed Class, Robin Verhoef & John Van Der Starre's Dutch J/122e AJETO was second, and Wim van Slooten's Dutch J/109 FIRESTORM was third.  Then, 4th were the amazing women duo of Edith Voskamp & Yvonne Beusker’s J/105 PANTHER, finishing 5th behind them were Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE.

“We are very please with our result, as Two-handed racing in Holland has become very popular and very competitive.” commented AJETO’s Robin Verhoef. “Our J/122e was specially built for Two-handed sailing, and we love to sail that way because we don't need any more crew or all the additional equipment and provisions required when more people are on board. We do have systems designed for two-handed racing, and our preparation is always a big part of producing the best performance.”

As a result, the three teams that are dominating the podium for the overall regatta in the ORC Two-handed Division are AJETO on top, followed by JUNIQUE and FIRESTORM.

On the return trip to the Netherlands, the ORC 2 division J/crews had a rough time.  Settling for 5th was Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI (currently sitting 2nd in class for the overall regatta) and ending up in 9th was Arjen van Leeuwen’s J/109 JOULE.   Follow the North Sea Regatta on Facebook here   For more North Sea Regatta sailing information   RORC North Sea Race information

J/46 Oregon Offshore RaceJ/46, J/105, J/30 Top Oregon Offshore Race
(Portland, OR)- The 42nd annual Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race was held this past weekend. The race started on May 10, 2018. The starting line was off the mouth of the Columbia River.  The boats then proceeded north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and finished at Victoria, British Columbia, inside the harbor entrance. The course distance is 193 miles; twenty-two boats entered the race (six of them J/teams) while fourteen boats finished.

From the start and going up the coast, it appeared the boats that worked offshore had better winds.  However, once turning the tip of the Olympic Peninsula to head back southeast down the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the big battle became the flood turning to ebb and which side to pick?  Canadian (north shore) or Washington (south shore- USA)?  Virtually all boats chose the northern shore to escape current and for more breeze.

In PHRF A1 Division, it was Scott Campbell’s beautiful flag blue J/46 RIVA that took second in her class, followed by Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY in fourth position.  Then, in PHRF A2 Division, it was Doug Pihlaja’s J/105 ABSTRACT that won class honors.  Finally, in PHRF C Division, Theo Singelis’s J/30 TAKU took class honors, too!

Next up for these intrepid adventurers is the annual Pacific Northwest offshore classic- the Swiftsure International Race in a few weeks time.  For Oregon Offshore Race sailing & tracking information

J/70 MexicoJ/70 N.A. Championship Update
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- It has been a busy week in Mexico’s Valle de Bravo.  This past weekend, Club Vela la Pena hosted the J/70 Mexican National Championship, and after a brief respite, the J/70 North American Championship began Wednesday morning this week.  Here is Aly Di Nas’ report as bow girl on XPRESS (thanks to Sailing

“I am thrilled to be sailing for my first time ever in Mexico! The 32 teams competing represent both coasts of the USA, Argentina, and many of Mexico’s main racing towns – Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and locals from Valle.

This mountain lake venue is a challenge for anyone, but especially those of us visiting for the first time. The prevailing breeze is a thermal that fills over the mountains like clockwork at noon daily, only to be fought back by a cool southern breeze and thunderstorms from the west a few hours later.

Conditions are shifty and puffy, but as the lone Gringa on a team of locals aboard Luis Barrios’ XPRESS, I seem to be assimilating quickly.  After two days of racing in the Mexican Nationals, our team slid into First Corinthian by just two points! (We can add a few style points for the already-outdated Anarchy III flat brim, which made the pilgrimage with me south of the border). The overall national champion was Javier Navarro’s BANDOOLA Racing.

Numerous tequila shots later, we are back into it as of Wednesday morning, with four races completed on the first day of NA’s. The results of day 1 have three American teams in podium position, with the Argentines close on their heels. Racing continues through Saturday.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information and results

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24 World Champion, Volvo Ocean Race leader- Charlie Enright* What is the common denominator of the top three Volvo Ocean Race boats finishing in Newport on Leg 8 and also the top three teams in the VOR overall??  All have championship J/Sailors on their teams- in key roles.

MAPFRE- Xabi (skipper) and his brother Iker Fernandez sailed J/80s for years in Spain and sharpened their offshore keelboat skills in perhaps the world’s toughest one-design fleet in Spain- producers of SEVEN J/80 World Champions. Another Spanish sailor with extensive J/80 experience in Barcelona is Juan Vilar, their famous navigator (a multi-America’s Cup winner).  Where “giving an inch, means taking a mile” is the sword you live and die by in one-design events, it’s no surprise they dug deep to go from 5th to 1st on the Itajai, Brazil to Newport, RI leg and lead the standings overall.

Andrew CapeBRUNEL- Bouwe Bekking (skipper) and Andrew Cape (navigator) are no strangers to racing at the top of the game, both one-design and offshore.  Bouwe cut his teeth early in life racing J/24s as well as J/109s later with friends offshore in the Netherlands.  “Capey” sailed numerous J/Boats over times, including sailing with Stu Johnstone on his J/44 J-HAWK in the Island Double Race hosted by the Royal Southampton YC- which they won together and awarded the coveted blue & white towel! In addition, they have Rome Kirby aboard; he and his father Jerry Kirby have sailed on many J’s over time in both local J/24 racing and PHRF handicap racing offshore. If that wasn’t enough one-design experience and toughness, one of America’s top women’s match racers, sailing coach and has raced extensively on J/22s and J/80s is none other than Wisconsin’s Sally Barkow.

VESTAS- Charlie Enright (skipper) and Mark Towill (captain) have grown up around J’s their entire lives.  Charlie was a J/24 World Champion and both have sailed with the Commodore of Bristol YC and others on J/24s, J/109s and the new J/121 offshore speedster all over Narragansett Bay- no wonder they made huge gains in the last five miles of the race from Itajai to Newport- cannot get much better “local knowledge” than those two!

Dong Feng racing teamDONG FENG- Charles Caudrelier (skipper) grew up in France and has extensive experience sailing the incredibly hot and competitive J/80 class in France.  Like Xabi on MAPRE, the J/80 one-design experience in Europe taught them the value of extracting every ounce of performance from their boats, never settling for second best.  In fact, when “testing” Chinese candidates for crew in China, Charles used J/80s to determine the best sailors and used them to practice hard to “sensitize” the sailors to small changes in tune/trim for superior performance.

Needless to say, it is not surprising that top three crews in the Volvo Ocean Race have extensive J/Boats experience on their resumes.  If you want to learn how to get to the top of the sailboat racing game, hop into any one of the world’s most popular one-design offshore keelboat classes- J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/88, J/105, J/109, J/111 (and soon- the new J/121 offshore speedster!).

Read the fascinating analysis of how these champions tackled the final part of the Itajai-Newport leg here.

J/121 Jackhammer* The J/121 JACKHAMMER was sail-testing and training off Newport, RI the past two weeks; newly launched off Bristol, RI by her owner Andrew Hall from the United Kingdom.

“We have been working hard on this project for many months this winter,” explains Barry Hayes of UK Sailmakers Ireland. “We are very excited to see JACKHAMMER in the water and out sailing. JACKHAMMER’s owner (Andrew Hall) has put a lot of work into this project and we are delighted to be involved. Our goal was to provide a turnkey sail package for Andrew. He was able to step aboard, throw off the lines, and go fast straight away– goal achieved.”

JACKHAMMER was built in the US, the sails were designed in Ireland, built in our production facility in Hong Kong, and then fitted and tested in Newport– such is the global reach and expertise of the UK Sailmakers Group.

JACKHAMMER is powered by Uni-Titanium upwind and an extensive downwind wardrobe consisting of Matrix spinnakers and Top Down furling Code Zero and Flying Jib.

The J/121 is designed with ease of use in mind – as such, all fore sails are set on furlers. The J1 and J2 jibs work on a Selden Furling unit with the J3 Staysail working on an Ubi-Maior furling unit. The J3 is hoisted to a halyard lock and tensioned using a 3:1 purchase tack line– this enables it to be cleared off the bow when not in use but deployed with ease and speed when needed.

In addition to her A2 and A3 downwind Matrix Asymmetric spinnakers, JACKHAMMER is also equipped with a top down furling Code Zero, direct furling Flying Jib and heavy weather direct furling A5 Asymmetric spinnaker.

This setup is versatile and enables the power output of the sailplan to be managed very effectively, especially offshore. In our sailing video you will see the Flying Jib set on a small bowsprit and used in conjunction with the J3 Staysail. Also shown is her Top Down Furling Code Zero and her J2 and full mainsail configuration.  J/121 UK Sails Ireland sailing video.

J/70 eSailing World Championship* VIRTUAL Regatta has announced the “eSailing World Championship” in conjunction with the World Sailing association and it features the J/70 one-design as the primary “virtual” racing sailboat for the finale.

World Sailing is launching into the digital world as it announced that the Official eSailing World Championship starts May 10th; the game is now available online for millions worldwide to play and enjoy for free. Learn more here.

The launch of the eSailing World Championship takes sailing into a brave new world, where the core skills of sailing remain, but the constraints of venue and equipment are removed. Sailing demands constant inputs and an acquired skillset to manage the relationship between the boat and the forces of nature.

These unique qualities are all captured accurately in this virtual world and will provide sailors onshore, and fans without access to sailing equipment, to become engaged and inspired by the excitement of sailing.

In partnership with Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, the eSailing World Championship will be comprised of a series of weekly Challenges and Play-Offs, with the boat types and venues changing on a regular basis. The series will culminate in a Live Arena Final to be held in Sarasota, Florida on the 30th of October- the boat of choice will be the J/70!

Governed by the Virtual Racing Rules of Sailing, the 2018 eSailing World Championship open access game will start on May 10 and run through to the start of September. Each Challenge will be graded based on the importance of the Challenge with Players earning Ranking points. The top five Players from each weekly Challenge will automatically qualify to the Play-Offs.

The Play-Offs will bring together the pre-qualifiers and the top ranked Players from the eSailing World Championship World Rankings, until a quota of 1,000 is reached. The Play-Offs will be an online virtual regatta and will last up to 14 days in September.

J/70 virtual regattaThe top four ranked women and top four men from the Play-Offs will qualify for the eSailing World Championship Final. They will be invited on a full expenses paid trip to compete against the best eSailors in the world. It will be held in front of a live crowd on October 30th 2018 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, USA, and streamed worldwide on a range of Internet channels from Twitch to Facebook Live.

Each Challenge will be held in boats that are internationally recognized with the intricate details that make them challenging to sail on the water, seamlessly incorporated into the game. Players will be able to race on a variety of boats.  However, the eSailing World Championship will be raced using the J/70 and its well-known polars- the world’s most popular one-design sportboat.

Alongside the announcement of the launch, World Sailing welcomes North Sails, a worldwide leader in sailmaking, as an Official Technical Partner for the eSailing World Championship.

Speaking at the launch event, World Sailing President Kim Andersen stated, “Sailing as a sport is constantly pushing the boundaries of human innovation and engineering and today, World Sailing is entering a brave new world that is going to revolutionize our sport.

As the world governing body, World Sailing has a duty to develop and promote the popularity of the sport. We are moving the sport into an exciting new future that will inspire millions more to fall in love with a sport that so many of us here hold dear to them.

Aimed at everyone from expert sailors to sports gamers, the eSailing World Championship will enable sailors on shore and fans without access to sailing equipment or facilities to become engaged and inspired by the excitement of sailing.”

Philippe Guigne, Founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta said, “It’s a very big day for Virtual Regatta. We are launching the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken and we are proud to be partnering with World Sailing who have become one of the first international sports federations to enter this industry.”

The game can be played on desktop PCs/ MacBooks and via your mobile devices (iOS and Android) by following the link here.

J/109 sailing offshore*  Jim Goldberg, owner of the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG has another video out of a recent ocean race outside of San Francisco.

As Jim says, “This was another wild one, bad, big swells and big winds.  Truth in advertising, we didn't catch any of the spinnaker run on video, too busy trying to the keep the boat sunny side up so I forgot to turn the camera on.  Still some decent footage though! Enjoy!”   Watch the JUNKYARD DOG sailing video here on YouTube.

Julie- J/24 sailor* Eight Bells: Julie Goetschius- A long time member of the J/22 fleet, she passed away in Houston, Texas on May 6, 2018 at the age of 63. Julie led the J/22 Fleet 6 as Fleet Captain for many years, chaired countless events, and never missed the opportunity to teach new sailors.

She was the first woman to hold the title of Houston Yacht Club Champion in 2013, competed in the Adams Cup finals 4 times, the J/22 Worlds in Holland, the Harvest Moon Regatta (winner of the Luna Trophy in 2006), the US Sailing Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, and many other circuit and national events.

Julie always included new sailors in her crew, no matter how big the event, and always gave back to the sport through supporting the fleet, coaching the Special Olympics Sailing Team at HYC, and being part of the local sailing community.

She was a counselor at Houston Yacht Club’s Windward Bound Women’s Sailing Camp every year, and so many women across Texas took the helm or flew a spinnaker for the first time on Julie’s boat, CRAYOLA. In 2017, she won HYC’s Fairfax Moody Women’s trophy with, as always, a new sailor as crew.

Julie’s love for the sport and mischievous sense of humor will be missed on Galveston Bay.  Thanks to Marie Wise for this tribute.
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