Wednesday, October 25, 2017

J/Newsletter- October 25th, 2017

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

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

J/105 sailing Houston North AmericansJ/105 North Americans Preview
(Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club, in co-operation with the J/105 International Class Association, is hosting the 2017 J/105 North American Championship regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams have entered, nineteen of which hail from Texas, while the other three teams come from California (2) and Bermuda.

The weather forecast promises a warm, sunny day on Thursday with seabreeze conditions from the SSE up to 10 kts, a dark & stormy Friday with showers and thunderstorms with the wind clocking fast into the NNW as the frontal system passes, then a rapid cool-down overnight with northerly winds Saturday and Sunday with dramatically colder weather- e.g. 40s F in the morning warming to low 60s F by midday! In the fall, such weather patterns are pretty normal as low-pressure systems roll across the Great Plains of America, completely unobstructed to any geographical resistance, and the hot waters (85 F) of the Gulf of Mexico feed cold fronts- producing nasty things like tornados! The conditions will make for tough, challenging racing as the fleet will be presented with a wide variety of wind and sea states- particularly on Saturday/ Sunday when the winds will be very shifty and streaky.

Amongst the local “homeboys” hoping to make their mark on this year’s J/105 NA’s will be hot teams like J.B. Bednar’s STINGER, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO, Mark Smith’s EAU LA LA, Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, and Josh Richline’s VELOCE.  Teamwork, consistent starts, and boat speed will be the most critical issues for these boats as they face a formidable array of “outsiders” coming in from afar.

The three boats visiting and racing in Texas for their first times are no spring chickens, that is for sure!  For starters, Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from San Francisco, CA will be racing with a hyper-active, smart crew; as past Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week Champions, Rolex Big Boat Series Champions, and J/105 North American Champions, they are likely the odds-on favorite to be at the top of the leaderboard.  Next up is Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego, California, yet another crew of rock stars that have won the San Diego NOOD, silver at Rolex Big Boat Series, and top five at past J/105 North Americans, plus they won last weekend’s J/Fest Southwest Regatta.  Finally, the Bermuda J/105 Champion from the Royal Bermuda YC, James McDonald on DISTANT PASSION, have a lot of J/105 mileage under their belts, having been a top five contender in events on the Chesapeake Bay, Block Island, and Marblehead.  To get current J/105 North American results, click here.  For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information

J/105 sailing San DiegoJ/105 Lipton Cup Preview
(San Diego, CA)- Racing for one of the most coveted trophies on the West Coast, the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup will be sailed on October 27-29, 2017 on a fleet of matched J/105 one-design class sailboats.

Named after Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, The Lipton Cup is San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta. This year twelve teams representing yacht clubs from across the country will race for the chance to win the prestigious trophy and determine which club's team is the “best of the best” of the invited teams (note- it’s an invitation-only event, not based on national qualifiers).

Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the downtown waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round-robin format using equalized J/105s, provided by owners of local Southern California boats.

The twelve teams competing this year are: Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club won the 2016 Lipton Cup under the leadership of skipper Jon Pinckney. Previously, Newport Harbor Yacht Club had not won the event since 1980. Winners in the past five years have been San Diego Yacht Club (2015, 2013, 2011), St. Francis Yacht Club (2014), and California Yacht Club (2012). Chicago Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

Jon Pinckney will return to the San Diego waters to defend the trophy on behalf of Newport Harbor Yacht Club.  Jon commented on this year’s event, “There can be a lot of pressure to win this regatta and you only get so many chances before your club replaces you, so it was a huge relief to win on our third attempt, and an incredible achievement at the same time. By equalizing the fleet of J/105’s, and implementing a round-robin format, SDYC has truly created a level playing field where everyone's speed is the same. Success is determined by execution of fundamentals like starting, decision-making, and consistency. Three years ago we surprisingly found no correlation between our practices and overall results, so we conveniently no longer practice ahead of the event."

Pinckney also shares the challenges behind implementing a winning strategy, “As long as you can get the sails up and down on a J/105, your only focus is to be the most fundamentally sound team for three days. It’s the most basic life-long strategy, and at the same time, the most difficult to execute. Because, eleven other outstanding teams all share the same game plan! Any team can win, and everyone experiences pain and adversity. No throw-outs and it always comes down to the last race. We would love to win again, but you just never know. Welcome to the Lipton Cup!"

The 2017 Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests- often a fun-loving “roast” of friendly competitors from decades of sailing in many classes around America. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

Event Co-Chair Tim Fuller shares that view, "Things are shaping up nicely for a great Lipton Cup Regatta. Many thanks to all of our volunteers and SDYC staff for helping organize the event. We encourage you to come on down to the bay to check-out the action."

The 2017 San Diego Yacht Club Commodore, John Reiter, summarizes the reputation of the event; “since a forward thinking group helped us reinvigorate this regatta back during 2011, SDYC has run six incredible competitive and fully subscribed events. With equalized J/105 class sailboats all using the same suits of sails designed and used specifically for the regatta, it has become one of the few 'must sail' events among the most competitive clubs in the U.S.A.  We are proud to host the sailors from competing clubs across the country.  In addition, we would like to thank our event sponsors: Helly Hansen and Cutwater Spirits.”
For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

J/24 East Coasts AnnapolisJ/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, the Severn Sailing Association is holding its annual pre-Halloween bash for the J/22 and J/24 classes on Chesapeake Bay.  Always a popular event for the past few decades, the event marks the end of the fall season in the northeast (along with the famous Lake George Regatta) and provides teams an opportunity to catch up before heading south for Midwinter regattas in Florida.

The J/24s will be enjoying their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship, celebrating 40 years of J/Boats, too!  The magic number seems to be twenty-four!  For, that many boats have registered to race in this year’s event!  Teams are coming from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet.

For starters, famous Portland, Maine transplant, Tony Parker, will be sailing his BANGOR PACKET as a member of Annapolis YC. Recently, they just finished 1 pt out of first place at the recent J/24 World Championship in Toronto, Ontario; Tony’s crew will be hoping to close the season with a solid performance.  Another long-time class veteran, Al Constants from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC in Oyster Bay, NY will be sailing with a fast crew.  Then, long-time Bermuda class champion, Trevor Boyce will be sailing NO SKIRT REQUIRED for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.  Another “Maine-iac”, top woman J/24 skipper Erica Beck-Spencer will be guiding the SEA BAGS WOMENS SAILING TEAM around the track with an all-women’s crew.  Another veteran crew is Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER team from Rochester YC in Rochester, NY.  Finally, the fun-loving crew on Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED from Royal Halifax Yacht Squadron will be looking forward to a good racing before winter closes in on them up in Halifax!  For all the J/24 crews, what is also on the line are qualifying slots for the 2018 J/24 World Championship.

The J/22s will be sailing their Mid-Atlantic Championship on the same race track as the J/24s. The twenty-one boat fleet is quite talented with World and North American Champions in the mix.  Locally, the hot teams are hoping to be a factor on the leaderboard; such as Chris Wilson’s LIL PUFFY, Brad Julian’s USA 677, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, Kevin Doyle’s ZOEY, Sandy Adzick’s HOT TICKET, and Chris Junge’s CORNER OF SANITY & HELL.  Top visiting crews include Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Newport, RI and Cory Sertl’s LUCY from Jamestown, RI and Rochester YC.

For more regatta information, please contact Pat FitzGerald at or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

J/24 sailing BostonJ/24 Frostbite Racing Announcement
(Boston Harbor, MA)- The Boston Sailing Center is kicking off their 26th year of Frostbite Racing J/24s in Boston Harbor! With an anticipated seventeen J/24’s on the line again this season, there is space for a new team in this often sold out program. BSC supplies the J/24’s, so all racers have to do is supply the crew!

Fleet racing begins on Saturday, November 4th and runs until March 24th, and includes two days of match racing at the end of the season. The post-race gathering back at the Riverboat features video highlights and a debrief of the day's racing, along with hot, spicy chili to warm you up after a long day of racing. A great way to keep your sailing skills sharp over the winter!

There are always opportunities to crew, so let BSC know if you’re looking to get a spot on a team, or just sail for a Saturday or two. BSC maintains an extensive crew list to help fill in spots for this long sailing season.  For more information, call the office at 617-227-4198 or email
More details on the Frostbite Program including pricing, please click here

Round Key Biscayne Island Race51st Round Key Biscayne Race Announcement
(Key Biscayne, FL)- Started in 1966, the race has been held in memory of Past Commodore Ed Willman of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club. The Round the Island Race is a fun, competitive event that engages sailboats of all sizes in a race from the waters of Biscayne Bay in front of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club, south through the Stiltsville featherbeds and past Cape Florida, north along the Atlantic coast of Key Biscayne, around a mark at the opening of Bear Cut at the north of the island, and back around to the Key Biscayne Yacht Club.

Key Biscayne YC wants to invite sailors from all over the world to participate in this regatta.  If you don’t have a boat, let us know, we’ll find you one!  For registration and sailing information for the Round Island Race

J/70s sailing Miami Biscayne Bay
J/70 Florida Winter Sailing!
Join Fleet #28 in Miami!
(Coconut Grove, Florida)- Local J/70 racing is coming to Biscayne Bay! Seven owners have formed J/70 Fleet #28, and Biscayne Bay Yacht Racing Association (BBYRA) has committed to having a separate start for the J/70 class beginning with races this fall.

To find out more about this exciting new class, you can talk to one of the new owners: Phil Haegler, Brian Kamilar, Val Schestopalov, Joe Kolisch, Tiani Hausen or John Logue.

The new fleet captain and J/70 owner, Pamala Rose, will also be happy to answer any questions. To contact Pamela call her cell at (312) 835-2111 or email-

PC Performance Boats has a brand new J/70 on a trailer in Miami ready for anyone who wants to join the fleet!  Please contact Mark Pincus by calling (305) 915-1438 or email-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The penultimate week of October is seeing fall weather kicking in with a rather dramatic flair depending on which part of the northern hemisphere you are.  In Europe, a strange pattern of near hurricane force depressions have been rolling off the North Atlantic and slamming into the U.K. and islands to the west, but then rolling over continental Europe and producing mistrals on the Mediterranean.  As a result, virtually every event was affected in the European region.  The Rolex Middle Sea Race had three J/133s and six J/122s sailing, but only two boats finished!  The new J/122E and a Russian doublehanded J/122 both collected silverware for their hard-won efforts.  Then, the Solent in England also had a similar issue; the Hamble Winter Series- for IRC classes 1-3 and J/88s- was a dark and stormy affair with Saturday getting blown out but Sunday OK.  Similarly, the first act of the YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series for J/70s, held off Monte Carlo, Monaco, was a windy series.  Then, the Dutch J/70 Nationals took place in The Netherlands for a big fleet of twenty-one boats!  Further south in Italy, the Italian J/24 circuit completed two more regattas in their series at Cervia, Sardinia and also Genoa/ Portofino.

Over in the Americas, some wild storm fronts rolled through Texas.  These had a direct affect on the J/Fest Southwest regatta at Seabrook, TX and hosted by Lakewood YC; they provided one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122.  Just across the Gulf of Mexico, the New Orleans YC in New Orleans, LA, hosted the J/30 North Americans sponsored by Sugar Bowl Committee.  The J/30s enjoyed tight racing on the choppy waters of Lake Ponchartrain.  Out west, the San Diego YC hosted the International Masters Regatta with a completely new slate of masters sailors (skippers over 60+) using the help of their amazing local J/105 fleet.  Finally, out east, the Manhasset YC completed their Manhasset Fall Series for a one-design J/105 class and PHRF classes that saw J/92, J/111, & J/88 winners.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

J/70 Monaco winnersARTTUBE Dominates Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Act I
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The first Act of the 2017/2018 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series got off to a cracking start, with winds up to 20-knots for the first two days, allowing the Race Committee to whet the appetites of the 80+ sailors on the water with six races.

Consistency paid off for the Russians on ARTTUBE who handled the conditions to perfection, winning five of the six races in the J/70 class. Winners last season, the team led by Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper- Valeria Kovalenko- set the pace from the start, taking the opportunity to widen their lead with each race.  The team for this event consisted of Denis Rozhkov, Alex Bozhkov, Egor Ignatenko, & Alex Emsov.  They finished a clear 12 points ahead of newcomers to this Series, OMAN SAIL 1.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoDespite their best efforts, and having at the helm Stevie Morrison, 5th in the 49er class at the London Olympics, the Omanis were not able to overtake ARTTUBE on the race track- finishing in 2nd with 17 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Italian skipper Germano Scarpa, leading his crew on SPORT CUBE to a total of 19 pts.

Among the Monegasques, Cesare Gabasio’s TINN J/70 came 4th. Congratulations also to a fine 10th place and first prize in the amateur category for Remi Piazza (Levante), a youngster from the YCM’s Sports Section.

“It is important to encourage amateurs to sail and thereby attract more enthusiasts,” believes Michel Boussard, President of the Monaco J/70 Class Association.  Boussard also express his delight to see that 20-plus J/70 teams are already signed up for the next meeting in November of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2017-2018.

J/70s sailing off MonacoCome racing all winter!
Organized once a month from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier, SLAM, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series has proved a huge success since it launched in 2013. As evidenced by the presence of two Omani teams, these regattas for the J/70 and one-design classes continue to attract newcomers keen to prepare for the season ahead.  The regatta schedule of five Acts include:
  • Act 2: 10-12 November 2017
  • Act 3: 8-10 December 2017
  • Act 4: 19-21 January 2018
  • Act 5: 9-11 March 2018
For more Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/70 Dutch championsTEAM PLAJ Eclipses Dutch J/70 Nationals
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- Eighteen J/70 teams from The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium participated in the 2017 Dutch Open J/70 Nationals.

In the end, it was past J/22 World Champion Wouter Kollman and his crew on TEAM PLAJ from WSV Almere Haven that took class honors after the ten race series with three 1sts and three 2nds in their tally to easily win the championship.

J/70s sailing Netherlands NationalsIt was a very talented fleet, all things considered. Taking second was a top German J/70 team, Team GIESBEEK GER 775 that was sailed by Bocholt-Peter Wanders.  Then, third was TEAM HENRI LLOYD- John Den Engelsman- also from the same home club as Kollmann’s- WSV Almere Centraal.  Rounding out the top five were Team Giesbeek 2 from WSV Giesbeek and in 5th place was Team KWS from KWS Sneek. Sailing Photo Credits: Michael Hilliges — at Sociëteit der KNZ&RV.  For more Dutch J/70 Open Nationals sailing information

J/105s sailing Galveston Bay, Houston TXAwesome, Stormy J/Fest Southwest Regatta
(Seabrook, TX)- This past weekend, the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta took place on Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members. The event featured the “Legends Regatta” on Friday afternoon, much to the delight of the spectators onshore and those at Barge 295.  Thereafter, it was full-on for trying to get in as many races as possible despite the somewhat crazy weather pattern that had setup over the Gulf of Mexico and the southern plains just to the west of Galveston Bay.

The event featured one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!  In the end, the seventy boat fleet managed to get in four races and also enjoy the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment.

The fifteen-boat J/22 fleet saw a tight battle for the top four crews.  Kevin Hayes’ HAYES RIGGING won with a 5-1-4-2 for 12 pts.  The results did come down to the last race, and Vincent Ruder’s USA 365 won that last race, but Hayes crew hung tough to preserve their lead.  Consequently, Ruder’s crew took 2nd with 13 pts.  Similarly, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE was in a battle with Kalyn Lundemo’s YER MUM for the final position on the podium.  By taking 4th to Kalyn’s 6th, Stu’s crew on the BELLE took the bronze, 16 pts to Kalyn’s 17 pts.

J/105s sailing off Houston/ Seabrook, TXA round dozen boats took part in the J/24 class and no one expected a roundhouse punch from the MISS CONDUCT team skippered by Jim Freedman from Dallas Corinthian YC- an “outsider” for sure those Houstonians!  Nevertheless, Freedman’s crew smoked the fleet with four straight bullets to take the class title.  Behind them, it was tight racing for the next four spots.  Top woman J/24 helm, Natalie Harden, and her crew on GIGGLES from Austin YC took the silver with a steady 3-3-2-4 for 12 pts.  Third was Barry Bailey’s TRICK BAG with an 8-2-4-2 for 16 pts.

The fifteen boats sailing the J/70 class saw duals taking place for both Open and Corinthians division leadership.  In the Open class, two old J/24 class veterans used to dueling with one another over time dominated the top two spots.  Winning was Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club over local rock star Jay Lutz driving ZOUNDS HEARING from Lakewood YC.  Third was Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO from Lakewood YC and also the Corinthians division winner.  Fourth overall was Al Poindexter’s USA 241, and also second by 2 pts to MOJITO in the Corinthians.

Utilizing the regatta as their “training session” prior to the upcoming J/105 NA’s, the eighteen-boat J/105 class had spirited competition amongst the top three boats.  Winning was Rick Goebel’s SANITY team from San Diego YC with a 1-4-2-1 tally for 8 pts.  Behind them, it was a battle until the final leg of the 4th race, where two boats ended in a tie for 2nd place with 11 pts each.  Winning that tussle was Osmond Young’s NE*NE with a 2-5-1-3 over Ryan Glaze’s MOJO from Rush Creek YC with a 4-1-4-2.

The four-boat J/109 class had the “shoot-out at the OK Corral” that was forecast ahead of time.  All boats were fast; it was going to come down to which had the crew to make it happen for the regatta.  Trading places all four races were HAMBURG, AIRBORNE and LEADING EDGE.  All three boats won a race, and all had a 2nd and 3rd in their final tallies!  The winners by a whisker were Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG with a 1-2-1-3 for 7 pts.  One point back was David Christensen’s AIRBORNE with a 3-1-2-2 for 8 pts.  Taking the bronze was Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE with a 2-3-3-1 for 9 pts!  Close, but not close enough.

PHRF World saw several interesting outcomes.  Because of the weather and the courses, there was some degree of fleet stratification.  In the J/PHRF Asym class, the long beats played well to JD Hill’s beautiful J/122 SECOND STAR, winning with straight bullets.  Second in class was Scott Spurlin’s FIORNA-J with just about all seconds. And, third was Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE.

In the PHRF “Classic” Class of Symmetric spinnakers (yes, those things you put out on mast-mounted spinnaker pole!), it was Glen Stromme’s insanely fast J/29 PRESS TO MECO that won with a 1-1-2-1 tally for 5 pts.  Pressing them hard was Gary Trinklein’s almost as fast J/27 TOCCATA with a 2-2-1-2 for 7 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Beverly Caldwell’s pretty J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED.  Follow J/Fest Southwest Facebook page here.  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing Masters San DiegoCampbell Crushes J/105 Masters Regatta
(San Diego, CA)- The 2017 edition of the J/105 International Masters Regatta produced nearly an entirely fresh new slate of masters skippers from around the USA and Caribbean.  The twelve seasoned skippers had their hands full also sailing in an entirely new location- south of the Coronado Bridge in the wide-open South Bay.  It was a refreshing change for those who had sailed in the past in the corner of San Diego Harbor- defined by the USS Midway on the city-front, one of the big 1,200 ft nuclear carriers docked at North Island, and the Sheraton Airport Hotels to the north; it was riddled with huge current issues and even worse boat traffic and wackier wind shifts.

Demonstrating that he had not lost his touch over time, native southern Californian Bill Campbell simply smoked the fleet of past offshore and dinghy champions; compiling five 1st, four 2nds in eleven races to take the crown of Chief Master with just 24 pts total, easily the lowest average score in Master racing history.  Here is how it all unfolding over the course of three days.

J/105s sailing Mastes RegattaDay One- Friday
It was a long day of sailing on the first day of the event.  Four races were completed after an initial postponement.  Competitors were eager to get going, however, racing was delayed due to a J/105 breakdown on the way out to the race course. Luckily, a replacement boat came quickly and Race Committee was able to start race one at 12:30pm. With some slight changes, Race Committee ran course 4 throughout the day in mostly 10 knots of wind and flat water.

According to PRO Susi Graff, "We had a great day today because there was a lot of wind, and at one point we saw 18 knots of breeze. The wind direction kept swinging from 250 to 280, but we were able to basically put the course where we wanted to. I think the racers had a good time. They were fast!"

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Santa Barbara Yacht Club), the only female skipper in this year's Masters Regatta, said she experienced a bit of a learning curve on the first day of racing. "These guys are formidable and I better have a bigger breakfast tomorrow. I'm not used to the J/105s, they are a completely different animal to me, but I sure liked when the wind came up. When I heel, I'm happy!"

David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) traveled to San Diego all the way from Michigan to compete in the Masters Regatta, and is keeping a positive attitude after day one. "Today had its moments. We had some good results, good performances, and some disappointments. We're doing a lot better than last year though and we enjoyed a good, long day of racing."

Though racing was tight, local Bill Campbell (SDYC) was undoubtedly the star of the day, winning three out of four races. Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club) was the only skipper able to beat Campbell, though Campbell remained close behind him and ultimately finished that race in second place.

Perry recounted the day and what happened in race three, his winning race. "Today was perfect racing conditions with a lot of close competition. For race three, we were in an orange boat and that boat was sailing really nicely. We had a good start, went out to the left, rounded the mark behind Doug Rastello's team, passed them right before the gate, and never looked back."

The provisional leaderboard after four races had Campbell on top, followed by John Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and Doug Rastello (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) in third.

J/105 Masters participantsDay Two- Commodore Swimming Day
Saturday’s racing started out with a lot less breeze.  With the wind at a light 5 knots, the Race Committee PRO started the first race on time at 11:30am. By race two, the wind was up to about 10 knots, a speed that continued throughout the rest of the day for the most part, similar to Friday. Luckily, the weather worked out largely as forecasted this weekend; the breeze filled in from the left and SDYC RC got one race in at 250 deg. before the breeze moved to the right.  Four races were run for the day, all windward-leeward, with the final race a course “3” so the windward finish was much closer to home.  Competitors were back to the dock by 4:30pm to get ready for the anticipated Saturday night regatta banquet.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson commented that, “Race Committee has been thrilled to run these races in San Diego South Bay. Having a full race track is awesome. We think it keeps the boats from collisions that they have been plagued by in the past.”

Saturday was full of surprises, mainly during race 6 which featured an epic comeback from Bill Campbell (SDYC), and a start that landed the SDYC Commodore in the water. Yes, you read that correctly. The SDYC Commodore John Reiter, crewing for Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club), and the boat rep on board both visited the Masters "dunk tank" during race 6!!

Dave Perry sailing J/105 MastersReiter told the soon-to-be-classic tale back at the dock after sailing. “After the start we tacked immediately on to port. We got going and we were cruising along and the next thing you know there was a puff and Dave yelled at us to hike hard. I leaned out over the lifeline, it snapped, and the boat rep and I just went straight in the water! I was holding on to the cushion that goes over the wire so I just started using it as a pool noodle until we were able to get back on the boat!”

Once back on board, both sailors dried off in the wind while continuing to sail. Perry ended up finishing 11th that race, and went on to win race 8 later in the day.

Meanwhile, defending Champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) noticed a pattern in the results between the 2016 and 2017 running of the regatta.

"We had a better day than yesterday, but it has been very similar to last year. We were seventh on Friday last year, then fourth on Saturday, and we finished today in fourth. All Bill Campbell has to do tomorrow is get three 10th places and then we will be right there!"

Joking aside, Menninger learned a lot yesterday, which he was able to apply to today to help him move up a few spots. "We did a little better today and went a little faster. We learned from what other boats were doing yesterday, basically pulling the jib in tighter and that helps an awful lot. So, our boat speed was much better and we got off the line faster.”

Bill Campbell proved that his performance on Friday was not a fluke, and he won races 5 and 7 on Saturday. In race 6 he rounded the first weather mark at the back of the fleet and worked his way up to second by the last leg, ultimately finishing second. Campbell is still in the lead by 20 points after day 2, with Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) in third.

J/105s sailing Masters in South Bay San DiegoDay Three- Campbell Dominates Finale
The final day could not have been a more picturesque day out on the water. Under the bright sun in South San Diego Bay, the twelve sailors (some not so bright & bushy-tailed after Saturday night’s bacchanalian dinner) completed the last three races.

The one weather complaint today was lack of wind at the scheduled start time. The SDYC RC postponed racing for an hour until the breeze came up to 5 knots and they were able to start the first race. There was a huge wind shift to the right at the end of the first race, so Race Committee re-set everything for the second and third races. Due to timing, Race Committee made the call to only run 11 races total, and they sent competitors on a long three-legged race for race 11 in order to get back to SDYC for the awards ceremony.

By day three of racing, Bill Campbell (SDYC) and Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) were pretty much locked in for first and second places. However, it was incredibly tight between third through fifth places going into the last race. Tad Lacey (San Francisco Yacht Club) placed fourth in race 11 which solidified his third place podium finish, just one point over defending champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club).

This is Lacey's first time racing the International Masters Regatta as a skipper, though he has crewed it several times before. "We had great races today. We went from 7th place last night to 3rd place overall by the end of today and I owe it all to my crew. They did a fabulous job on the course, calling the wind, trim, tactics, everything. It was a great day."

Andron placed second overall and was the winner of race 10 today. "We had a fun weekend, but we were all racing for second place. Bill Campbell is a well-deserved champion and he sailed beautifully. My favorite race was the race we won. It was puffy and streaky and we were able to be in the right place at the right time."

With five bullets over three days, Bill Campbell was a powerhouse this weekend, earning his first place finish by 23 points. In addition to Lacey, this was also Bill's first time skippering the Masters Regatta, though he crewed for Richard du Moulin last year and for Malin Burnham a few years back.

J/105s sailing spinnakers South Bay San DiegoCampbell has been sailing J/105s for a while now, but attributes his success in this regatta to his crew. "We were fortunate and lucky in many respects. I had a great crew: Al Pleskus on the bow, Chuck Sinks and Andy La Dow trimming, Dwight Allgood in the pit, and Vince Brun as tactician and helping in the back of the boat steering. It's easy when you have a bunch of great guys working for you. We had a wonderful time and we were fortunate to have a couple of great starts and races. We were able not to lose boats, but always to gain boats if we had to."

Interestingly enough, Bill was not the only talented Campbell out on the San Diego Bay this weekend. Bill's son Andrew, the 2008 Olympian and Team Oracle USA America’s Cup sailor, was racing the Extreme Sailing Series for Team Extreme San Diego. Luckily, the Extreme Sailing Series was just up the bay off Harbor Island and Bill's wife Sherri was able to split time on a spectator boat between events to be able to watch her husband and son!

Event organizers would like to thank everyone involved in this year's International Masters Regatta for all of their hard work on and off the water.  The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its event sponsors: Helly Hansen, SD Boatworks, and Cutwater Spirits.   Follow the J/105 Masters Regatta on Facebook   For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information

gale force mistral hits Middle Sea RaceGale-force Mistral Decimates Middle Sea Race
J/122 Wins IRC Doublehanded, J/122E 3rd IRC 5 Class!
(Gzira, Malta)- As can be the case in the infamous Rolex Middle Sea Race, forecasts can be either “spot-on” or simply way off the mark.  The 2017 edition had one of the simplest forecasts ever, light airs 3-8 kts from the east-southeast at the start, dying off by midnight, then a building mistral from the WNW increasing to 30-45 kts by midday Sunday.  The only boat to make it through the Straits of Messina between the island of Sicily and Messina on the mainland was the 88 ft super-maxi RAMBLER 88.  The rest of the fleet was kicked, literally, straight in the teeth by a fierce mistral sweeping across the long fetch of the Mediterranean, kicking up 15-20 ft seas in the form of a vicious “chop”- the breaking seas were making life miserable for the crews.  Over 70% of the fleet of eighty-five boats retired at some port or harbor along the spectacular shoreline of Sicily- many boats did not even make it to the Straits, simply stopping before they got there.

sunset on Malta raceThe Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), certainly bore all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race- tough, challenging, pushing the levels of human endurance to the absolute limits of sanity. The 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, proved to be too much for the vast majority of the fleet.

In the ultimate test of seamanship and living up to the challenge of the sea, just two of the six J/122s completed the course and the other three J/133s all retired.  As a result, winning the IRC Doublehanded Class was the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM, sailed by the incredible tough Russian duo of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin.  They proved to be fast learners and up to the challenge, taking class honors as the ultimate survivors of the race!

J/122E Anita sailing Middle Sea RaceThen, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions the IRC 5 Division saw the only other J/team to complete the race.  Not soon after taking delivery of their brand-new J/122E called ANITA, the Chilean team of owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells, had to take her on a “shakedown cruise” and sail the qualifier race to be permitted to participate.  In the end, the Chileans were up to the challenge, guiding their newly-tuned J/122E to a bronze on the podium in their first ever attempt at the Rolex Middle Sea Race.  Interestingly, the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM placed just behind them in 4th place in the fully-crewed division!  Congratulations to both teams for their formidable performance under incredibly tough sailing conditions.
For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

J/30 North American winnersZEPHYR Zooms Thru J/30 North American’s
(New Orleans, LA)- The 2017 J/30 North American Championship was hosted by New Orleans Yacht Club and J/30 Gulf Coast District fleet from October 19th through 22nd.  It was a great experience for all competitors and the eight boats that made it to the starting line were given the red-carpet “southern” treatment by their gracious hosts at NOYC.

Lake Pontchartrain always provides challenging race conditions and for those that couldn’t figure it out, they could rely on evening visits to the historic New Orleans’ French Quarter and the infamous Bourbon Street to drown their sorrows and, hopefully, live to tell their tales another day.

Sponsored by The Sugar Bowl Committee, the event certainly had their cheerleaders and supporters from not just the club, but from their local Chamber of Commerce.  After three days of sailing on the lake, Team ZEPHYR won the 2017 J/30 North American Championship; it was their 7th National Championship since winning the first, circa 2001 in Chicago!  The crew included Scott Tonguis, Dan Mather, Whitney Kent, Dani McNeil, RJ Trejo and Jessica Oswalt.  This team of “ringers” zoomed to six straight 1sts in seven races for a total of 12 pts.

However, behind the Zephyrites, it was quite another story altogether.  It took all seven races to figure out the rest of the podium and the top five, that’s how close it was amongst the next three boats.  By finishing with a flourish in the last two races with a 2-1 tally, Ken Buhler’s hot crew on JALAPENO closed the deal to grab the silver with 20 pts total.  Just three points back, fighting hard the entire way, was Russ Atkinson’s WILDCAT from North Cape YC with 23 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Dan Mather’s CRUSADER team from Oswego YC in New York in 4th and Carl Sherter’s FAT CITY gangster from Cedar Point YC in Connecticut in 5th place.  For more Sugar Bowl J/30 North American Championship sailing information

stormy weather on solent, englandHamble Winter Series- Week 5- Dark'n'Stormy!
(Hamble, England)- The fifth weekend of sailing had nearly a full-blown gale all weekend long.  The remnants of a Caribbean hurricane decided to take a right turn into the North Atlantic Ocean and headed right for Scotland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  The storm thrashed the western coasts of the islands with 60-80 kts winds- basically a hurricane by any other definition.  But, in the U.K. Met offices jargon, a “major depression”.  Sure.  Just like “Fastnet Force 10” many blue moons ago.  As a result, Saturday’s racing was canceled on the Solent due to sustained winds of 25-30 kts gusting to 45+ kts, as some wags put it in The Bugle in the Hamble, a “bit of a dust-up” on the Solent.  Then, on Sunday the winds moderated enough for the IRC classes and the J/88s to go racing in something less than 25 kts of wind.

In the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued their blistering pace, adding another 1st to their series tally to be leading the fleet with 8 pts net and a clear 7 pt lead on the fleet.

The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is still Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE in third place.  Then, Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew got a 3rd on the weekend and leaped into 4th on the series leaderboard.

Continuing their strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts net in seven races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts net.

Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R piled on yet another bullet to their tally, further strengthening their firm grip at the top of the class with just 6 pts net.  Sitting 7 pts back is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 13 pts net, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts net, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough, no one is giving one centimeter (or, is it a double pfennig) to each other as they fight tooth and nail around the race track. Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth.  Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page  For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information.

J92 Thinman code zeroJ’s Cruise Manhasset Fall Series
(Manhasset, New York)- The 39th annual Manhasset Fall Series took place over October 14th, 15th and 21st, a classic fall series event.  The event was blessed with an incredible variety of conditions over the two weekends, from near gales one day, to sunny and not much winds another day- true shorts & shades conditions.  Such is sailing on the western end of Long Island Sound in the fall- it can be literally any weather condition you can imagine- some year’s it’s even snowed!

Thankfully, the Manhasset YC Race Committee crew and volunteers did a wonderful job to knock-out a six-race series for most of the classes.  The fleets included three PHRF classes and a J/105 one-design fleet.

The eight-boat J/105 fleet saw one of the regatta’s perennial winners yet again establish hegemony over the fleet; Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE collected four 1sts enroute to a dominating win with just 6 pts in seven races.  Frank Latawiec’s ATARAXIS was actually winning the regatta after the first three races with a 2-1-3.  However, that staying power did not last long; dropping a 3-6-3 to close out the series with 12 pts net.  Taking third in class was Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA with 18 pts net.

J/92 Thinman- Todd Aven- rockstar!!!In PHRF 1 class, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE crew won two races of the seven and was winning class after six races.  However, in race 7 they took a DNC/8 points as their throw-out race, dropping to 3rd overall.  Finishing 4th was Paul Strauch’s J/111 crew and 5th place went to Bob Schwartz’s J/109 NORDLYS.

One of the fastest woman skippers in the J/88 class, Iris Vogel, guided her DEVIATION crew to a win in the PHRF 2 class, taking three bullets and three deuces to win class.  Third place went to another J/88, Peter Chirlian’s ONE TOO MANY.

Finally, it was a sweep of the top two spots in PHRF 4 class.  Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN took class honors with an amazing four 1sts and two 2nds to close the regatta with 6 pts net.  Second was Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER with a perfect mirror of THIN MAN’s record- two 1sts and four 2nds for 8 pts net.  For Manhasset YC Fall series results   For more Manhasset YC Fall Series sailing information

J/24 ItalyJ/24 Italy National Circuit- October Report
(Genoa, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continues to complete a combination of their summer series and upcoming fall events.  Here are the latest reports from the Cervia Fleet in Sardinia and from the Genovese fleet sailing their annual “Lantern Regatta”.

For the fifth leg of the Italian J/24 National Circuit, the Race Committee and PRO at Circolo Nautico de Cervia managed to provide the twenty-three J/24 teams with six races over the two-day weekend.

Thanks to a very steady series scoreline of 5-3-2-2-3-3, J-OC sailed by Fabio Apollonio ended up winning the Cervia stage of the National J/24 Circuit with 13 pts total.  Just off the pace behind them and taking 2nd place was Italian J/24 Class President, Pietro Diamanti, racing his famous ITA 212 JAMAICA to a record of 4-1-5-3-1-2 for 15 pts.  Rounding out the podium was ITA 424 KISMET owned by Francesca Focardi and skippered by Dario Luciani, with a record of 10-2-1-6-4-9 for 22 pts.

For the balance of the top five, it was ITA 505 JORE owned by Alessandro Errani and helmed by Marco Pantano that took 4th place.  Then, unceremoniously finishing in 5th place was past Italian J/24 Champion Ignacio Bonanno and his Italian Navy crew on the famous ITA 416 LA SUPERBA; they got DSQ’d in two races and had to count them!

The Cervia event also qualified another boat for the 2018 World Championship that will take place in Riva del Garda at the end of August 2018- this time it was ITA 424 KISMET that won that slot.

J/24 Italy winners"We were very pleased with the fact that we had envisaged the participation of more than twenty boats," explained Guido Guadagni, Cervia’s Fleet Captain and co-owner of CAPTAIN NEMO. “We were pleased to see that many of our top local boats ended up on the podium.  Everyone is looking forward to the next stage in the Italian J/24 National circuit in two weeks at Interlaghi, the sixth and final stage of the 2017 series, hosted by Canottieri Lecco.”

As a result of this regatta, the National Circuit series continues to be led by Diamanti’s JAMAICA, followed by ITA 473 MAGIC FAIRY sailed by Massimo Frigerio in 2nd and ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING J sits in 3rd, sailed by the young Eugenia De Giacomo.

GENOA/ PORTOFINO- Campionato Della Lanterna
Over the past weekend, the Marina Genova Airport Nautical Club (, completed the second and third events of the Campionato Della Lanterna for the fleet of eight J/24s.

The fleet had to contend with uncertain weather on Saturday, almost a “glass-out” in the morning, but followed up with a southwest breeze of 5-7 kts in the afternoon, enough to get in two races.  Then, Sunday’s racing was defined by a “sirocco” (e.g. a mistral) of 15-18 kts with a short, steep chop.  It was close racing for everyone over the weekend.

In the end, it was JAWS that won the regatta, followed by JUST A JOKE in second, FINALLY in third, FOR FIVE (A. Criscuolo - P. Ghibaudi) in fourth, and LANDFALL (Simone and Andrea Moretti) in fifth.

"I am very happy with the way this championship is going," Sr Buffa explained. “Above all, it is the rebirth and the fervor of our Fleet of Portofino/ Genoa, constantly searching for new J/24 owners who wish to join us."

The Marina Genova Airport Nautical Club was born in 2012 with the aim of organizing and promoting sailing activities and events and spreading the values of “sailing & the sea”, with a sporting footprint and aimed at creating opportunities for encounters among all enthusiasts.  President of the club is Ernesto Moresino; an ocean navigator with 30 years of racing offshore and more than ten years as an instructor and skipper; of particular historical significance is that he was also founder in 1994 and president for 4 years of the Mini 6.50 class!  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/90 PHRF winners* John Guy has been sailing one of the rare J/90’s produced by J/Boats many moons ago.  He passed along his recent experience having a great time with this early J/Boats speedster:

“I just wanted to share with you our recent win in J/90 #6 at the West Florida Ocean Racing Conference in Pensacola, FL. The regatta consisted of five windward/leeward races and one ocean race over three days ending October 15th. We won Class A with scores of 1-2-1-2 (ocean race)-1-1.

In addition, Class A was declared to be the most competitive class, so we won the overall regatta and the Riddle Cup (so named after a prominent sailboat racing family in Pensacola).

The picture shows a large silver tray for winning Class A, a wooden ship's wheel for winning Class A, a glass keeper Riddle Cup trophy vase held by John, the perpetual silver Riddle Cup trophy, and small silver trays for the winning crew!”  Thanks John for this heart-warming report!

J/70 crew sailing evening series* Building Your Sailing Tribe-  by Deborah Bennett Elfers
"I’ve written before about fleet building, and what I’ve found to be the most important strategies in being able to be successful in that work. But it wasn’t until I read Seth Godin’s book, Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us, that I could envision a compelling and simple way to communicate to others what has helped my fleet grow and thrive. And so, because of Seth’s book, I’m hereafter choosing to refer to the work we do as “Building Your Sailing Tribe.” You’ll soon see why.

To begin, Seth believes that here are just two simple things one needs in order to create a tribe:

1. A shared interest, and
2. A way to communicate.

If you have both of these, you’re well on your way to launching your sailing tribe. Obviously, the shared interest in this case is sailing, so that’s a given. Half of your work is done for you before you even start! But what is often missing is the second requirement: an effective way for the sailing tribe to communicate — and without the connections that this communication affords, your tribe won’t be able to flourish.

But you can’t stop there, because there’s another important ingredient you need, as well: a leader. Here’s what Seth thinks about tribe leadership, and why a good leader is essential:

• A leader can transform the tribe’s shared interest into a passionate goal,
• Provide effective communications tools for its members, and
• Leverage the success of the tribe to help it grow and attract new members.

German J/70 women's team at J/70 Worlds Sardinia, ItalyLet’s look further at these recommendations, and at how they might be applied to doing the work of building a fleet. What are the things we can do to plant the seeds, and nurture them, so that our sailing tribe can succeed and grow? Here are some strategies I’ve found to be effective:

• A regular newsletter during the sailing season, and others sprinkled throughout the year with tips and tricks for getting ready for the season ahead.
• Gathering the tribe after racing, for kudos on a job well done, a debrief for “on-the-water” happenings and rules learning, and just plain getting to know one another.
• Building a shared passion around things like getting ready together to participate in a National Championship or area regatta – everyone helps each other to be as successful as they can be, because it benefits the tribe (not to mention making the fleet’s racing that much more satisfying).
• Connect and inspire your tribe members – through one-on-one conversations, and leading by example. Tribe members will follow your lead and take on some of this work themselves. It takes a village, as they say.
• Create pride and enthusiasm among the fleet for contributing to the success of the sailing tribe – this is what leveraging the success of your tribe looks like. People want to be part of a successful team, and new members will want to join the tribe you’ve built.
• Create the culture you want and stick to the messaging – in a sailing tribe, this is especially important in a sport where self-policing and sportsmanship are expected. Understand what you can’t compromise on.
• Believe in your sailing tribe, and, as the leader, never fail to demonstrate your commitment to the tribe and its mission.
• Be ready when it comes time to let others lead and innovate – no one can stay at the helm too long; new ideas and outlooks are what keep things fresh and exciting.

Every single one of these strategies will positively influence your tribe, and, taken together they will have a huge impact on its growth and connectivity. None of them is especially difficult, though they do require a consistent dose of time and commitment. Start small and branch out – it’s a lot of these smaller actions, accomplished over time, that will provide your tribe with the big pay-off.

As I write this, I’ve recently handed off the leadership of our fleet to two wonderful new leaders, and I know that their ideas and excitement are going to benefit us all. It’s been my absolute joy to do this work, and to have helped people come together to build our amazing community of sailors. Our sailing tribe remains in good hands – and I, for one, can’t wait to see what great things will happen!"

Author: Deborah Bennett Elfers was practically born on a boat, though on a working lobster boat rather than a sailboat. But now she is all about sailing and shares her random musings about things like falling in love with a boat, building a fleet, learning to become a winner, and the beauty of sailing classic boats on legendary Buzzards Bay on her blog – Take the Tiller.

J/24 tillers & kites team* J/24 Tiller & Kites Program @ Lake Pleasant, Arizona- a new sailing program as described by Juan Mari.

“Based on our commitment to be your direct access to sailing solutions and with the goal of providing the highest level of customer support, MAURI PRO SAILING is pleased to announce that it has selected Tiller and Kites as it representative and On-The-Water technical support for Lake Pleasant and other areas in Arizona.

Tiller & Kites will be operating under the umbrella of Mauri Pro Sailing as ‘Mauri Pro Sailing– Arizona’ while remaining as an independent International Yacht Training accredited sailing school and a sailboat services, repair and reconditioning facility for the Phoenix area.

This new partnership will allow us to provide Arizona sailors with a more personalized service and technical support, as well as a physical location where to go and discuss about how to improve your deck layout, better tune your rig, or simply talk all about sailboats; in addition to picking up all your purchases if needed.

Victor Felice, Juan Mauri and all the Mauri Pro Sailing team are excited to start this road together and to provide unique consumer experience, both online and directly at your boat.”

About Mauri Pro Sailing: it is an international group of companies dedicated to provide sailing technical support and to supply sailboat parts and sailing clothing to sailors around the world. With offices in 5 different countries and an infrastructure for global logistics, Mauri Pro Sailing drives on, becoming the global and sailor’s sailing store.  For more Tiller & Kites Program sailing information

For more information, please contact Victor Felice/ Tiller and Kites at or website-  Also, you can contact Juan Mauri/ Mauri Pro Sailing at email- or website-

J/80s in Hong Kong, China* J/80s Sailing Strong In Hong Kong!  A member of the Royal Hong Kong YC J/80 fleet, Jason Keg, sent us this note recently:

“We thought you might like the attached picture of the J/80 fleet in Hong Kong.  It's not very often that the entire J/80 fleet from Royal Hong Kong YC and neighboring clubs is moored in the water at the same time.  This occurred due to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club hosting the recent Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championships 2017 at the Middle Island Clubhouse, with the fleet vacating the hardstands to make space for the competitors ashore.”
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

J/Newsletter- October 18th, 2017

J/121 sailing under spinnaker
J/121 Boat Show & Offshore Test Update
(Annapolis to Newport)- The debut of the new J/121 Offshore Speedster in the Newport and Annapolis Sailboat Shows was welcomed by enthusiastic J/sailors from across the spectrum of experience.  Long-distance offshore cruisers, one-design offshore racers, and a number of performance-oriented couples that enjoy coastal cruising without having to turn on the “iron genny”, were all quite passionate about what the J/121 had to offer to them.

J/121 offshore speedster- Annapolis docksWhile the overall response to the 1-2-1 at the shows was fantastically positive, what we had yet to learn about the boat in all sea-trials to date was how would she perform offshore in the conditions she was designed for.  On the first delivery from Newport to Annapolis, the remnants of a hurricane delayed the departure date, and created difficult conditions for delivering a brand new boat.  As a result, it was mostly motoring under the J4 jib or motoring period.  However, after a fantastic reception at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, it was clear that after the three days of media reviews, testing, and demos, the weather window might permit an excellent chance to determine how the 1-2-1 behaved in reaching conditions offshore.  Here is Clay Burkhalter’s report delivering the J/121 from Annapolis to Newport:

“On Saturday October 14th, Andy Williams, Arturo Pilar and I moved the new J/121, INCOGNITO, from Annapolis to Newport. I have been delivering boats for 38 years, and despite being a partner in two restaurants, I still manage to do 5 or 6 offshore trips each year. To the extent that I still do any racing, it is almost exclusively offshore… the Mini Transat 10 years ago, numerous Newport to Bermuda races and the occasional Bermuda 1-2, including the 2017 race in which I competed on a J/133. So it was with great anticipation that we’d be testing out the J/121 in the 20-25 knot southwest breeze predicted offshore between Cape May and Montauk, starting on Sunday morning.

J/121 offshore speedsterAfter motoring north up the Chesapeake in no wind, we passed through the C&D canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware Bay, across the top of the state of Delaware.  We continued to motor south in Delaware Bay and rounded Cape May about 0600 on Sunday, heading northeast, still motoring in no wind.  At 1100, the breeze started to fill in and within 30 minutes, it was blowing 15 knots. By sunset, the winds would build to 25 knots with seas of four to six feet.

Typically, on deliveries, I am cautious about sail choice, often reefing early and rarely using spinnakers. The risk of damage to sails, rigging, and steering increases dramatically when pushing a boat with too much sail up. It’s one thing to have a problem on your own boat, but entirely different when you have to explain to an owner that the sails are now ready to donate to the folks who make fashion bags from sail material.

However, I knew the J/121 had yet to be sailed in the offshore conditions it was designed for, and since Al and Jeff Johnstone are my cousins, I figured they might be more understanding if we dialed the boat up a bit and see what she could do… so after a lame attempt at sailing deep with the main and the jib (Montauk was almost dead downwind, 200 miles away), we hoisted the A4 heavy weather spinnaker, and bang, we were off and running. It was an exciting moment for us as the boat instantly accelerated to double-digit speeds.

J/121 offshore speedster- going fastThere was a leftover east-southeast swell combining with a new southwest wind wave; which made for challenging steering at the outset.  We then filled the starboard water-ballast tank to about 65%; and instantly the motion on-board smoothed out and INCOGNITO began to slide through the waves like she was on rails. Speeds became more consistent and steering was effortless.  We also soon realized, that despite the occasional roll at the bottom of a wave, combined with a puff, and perhaps a momentary lapse in steering concentration, if the boat got to 100 degrees APA (apparent wind angle) and wanted to keep going, it was easy to steer her back to our course average of 120 degrees AWA . . . no blowing the vang, easing the main sheet or releasing the spinnaker sheet. After the first hour, we sailed with those controls cleated and simply steered to the kite, it was that easy to steer. With three crew, one could rest below, while the other two maintained watch.

The ease at which the boat accelerated and sustained its speed was incredible. In 18 kts TWS (true wind speed) we were averaging 10.5 and surfing at 13 to 14 kts. In 22 kts TWS, we were doing a steady 12-13 kts and surfing for sustained periods at 14-16 kts, running up and over waves ahead.  And in 24-25 kts TWS, we were doing 13.5 to 14 kts consistently and surfing at 16 to 18.5 kts quite easily.  Needless to say, for all those who steered her in these conditions, it left everyone with a big grin on their face!

I often reach a point on a boat where I say to myself, I don’t want to go this fast. . it could be the keel and rudder vibrating excessively, the bow submarining in waves, steering on the edge of control, and so forth.  Not once did we have a panicked feeling on board the 1-2-1, and not once in seven hours did someone have to lunge for a sail control to put the brakes on an incredible ride!!  Ease-of-handling is great no matter how many crew are on-board, but it’s especially critical when you’re out there way offshore, short-handed, tired, and steering for hours-on-end, or when the autopilot is running the show. The easier the boat steers in demanding conditions, the less fatigue and also the less drain on your batteries when you’re on autopilot!!

J/121 sailing at sunsetAt sunset, the delivery side of my persona kicked in. knowing that the chances for problems ramp up significantly after dark, so we snuffed the spinnaker and put it below decks.

We then sailed with mainsail-only Sunday evening and Monday morning at 160 degrees AWA, heading for Block Island, averaging 9.5 knots in 25 knots of wind.

As we slid by Block Island, we considered continuing on, over the horizon. . thinking maybe we could send a note to Jeff to let him know that the son of a deceased Nigerian King would be wiring money to the J/Boats account. . he would just need to send along his bank account details.”  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/133 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceROLEX Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- Starting and finishing in Malta, an island often referred to as the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean’, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. The proof lies in the numbers. Registrations for this year’s 38th edition come from yachts representing 30 different countries. The expected number of race starters from Valletta’s Grand Harbour on Saturday 21 October is on course to challenge the record of 122 yachts set in 2014.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), bears all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race. Its 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, is tactically and navigationally challenging. Frequent corners lead into different geographical segments and expose the fleet to changing weather patterns. With most crews expected to spend at least five nights at sea, it is an exacting test of resources, requiring mental fortitude, excellent preparation and shrewd anticipation, as well as an ability to make precise decisions in a pressured environment. Teamwork and seamanship are vital to succeed.

Rolex Middle Sea Race courseThe Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed counter-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets’ port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.

Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.

Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

There is no doubt that Maltese skippers are competitive and have a long and proud participation in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Malta has produced overall race winners on seven occasions, most recently in 2014. Crews regularly feature on the Class podiums.

This year the Maltese flag will be flown by several boats, including the J/122 OTRA VEZ, a boat with a strong association with the race. This year there is a twist, with the J/122 entrusted to Sean Arrigo and Brian Flahive who will be flying the Maltese flag in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

J/122 Otra Vez sailing Middle Sea RaceSean Arrigo is looking forward to another adventure, “having decided to go doublehanded for this year’s race brought some anxiety, but most of all, excitement, and the urge to do well. Preparations are well-advanced, with some final touches and tweaks to lines and hardware. We also feel that we’re well-prepared mentally and physically, thanks to dedicated training, something quite new to us, but very effective! Finally and above all, we want to enjoy ourselves.”

In addition to OTRA VEZ, a Russian team on yet another J/122 will be joining them in the IRC Double-handed Class.  Calling themselves STELLAR RACING TEAM, the Russian crew of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin have become students of the race, are fast learners, very tough, and don’t be surprised if they are contending at the end for class honors.

Then, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions there are also a number of very-well sailed J/crews; totaling three J/133s and, remarkably, FOUR more J/122s!  That’s a total of SIX J/122s vying for the overall prize.

In the IRC 4 Division are the two J/133s.  The Canadian team on BLUE JAY III consists of Matthew Stokes and crew of Todd Rutter, Andrew Childs, Allan MacDonald, Peter Sargeant, Hugh Goodday, Crosby Johnson, and John Simpkin- the boat is from Edmonton, Alberta and calls Bras d’Or YC home.  They will have a tough fight on their hand with a British crew on board JINGS!, one of the top U.K. J/133s, having won a number of RORC offshores in the past.  Owner David Ballantyne has a full crew that includes Nicola Ballantyne, Nicky Vella, Lydia Coffey, Bernard Hilli, Jonathan & Chris Mckay, Albrecht Seer, James Alviles, Kelly Alviles, Charlotte Vella, and Marianna Kozlova.

J/133 Jings sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceArguably, one of the toughest, and largest, fleet in the race is IRC 5 Division; the class has routinely produced the overall race winner and often several boats in the top ten.  The lone J/133 in the class from France is famous in French offshore circles. JIVARO will be sailed by Yves GROSJEAN and crew of Goulven Royer, Jean-Paul Mallet, Séverin Richter, Jean-Michel Diemer, Patrick Paris, Julien Orus, Marie Chabanel, Julien Herve, and Zasika Musdi.  Arrayed against them are a formidable group of J/122s.  From Chile is the brand new J/122E ANITA- with owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells.  A Russian team is sailing the J/122 JOLOU- Sergey Senchenko is sailing with a crew consisting of Serguei Chevtsov, Alexander Agafonov, Dmitry Piskovatskov, Natalia Agafonova, Elena Strelina, Nikolay Sbitnev, Pavel Popov, Roman Medvedev, and Igor Skalin.  Then, there are two Italian teams both sailing J/122s- DAMACLE RC BROKER (Roy Caramagno and crew of Domenico Campo, Moreno Boldini, Giuseppe Fazio, Francesco Merluzzo, Giuseppe Boscarello, Remon Sant Hill, Daniel Bartolo, Enrico Civello) and JOY (giuseppe Cascino and crew of Carlo Brenco,  Duccio Colombi, Carlo Bellanca, Vittorio Ruffolo, Giuseppe Sferruzza, Tom Alessi, Conrad Muscat, and Fabio Galea.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

J/80s sailing in sunlightJ/80 North Americans Preview
J/70 Fall Brawl Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, there is no question the Eastport YC will have their hands full hosting two of the more aggressive one-design classes in the world- the J/70s and J/80s.  For the J/80s, they are hosting their 2017 North American Championship, while the J/70s are sailing their annual Fall Brawl.

J/80 North American Championship
The J/80 class on the Chesapeake Bay, New Hampshire, Toronto, and Buzzards Bay continue to have excellent one-design class racing.  For this year’s North Americans, a talented fleet of twenty-one crews have come from nearly all four corners of the continental USA to participate, with twenty-one teams representing five states.  In the mix are several leading contenders, including past N.A. Champions like Kerry Klinger on LIFTED from Cedar Point YC and Will and Marie Crump on R80 from New York YC. They will be challenged hard by teams that have also won Key West Race Week in the past, like Bill & Shannon Lockwood on SHENANIGANS from the local club as well as Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from Sausalito, California.  Plus, there are top crews like Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI and Ken Mangano’s MANGO that have proven they can dish out top five results.  Most interestingly, the entire top three from the previous weekend’s AYC Fall Series will be raring to go to battle against these top crews that had not shown up for that event; those crews include John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB, Alex Kraus’ COOL J, and David Andril’s VAYU.

J/70 sailing offwindJ/70 Fall Brawl
The 2017 edition of the Fall Brawl should be an interesting mix of teams that have just come off sailing the highly competitive and challenging J/70 North American Championship sailed at American YC in Rye, New York.  A top five finisher overall was Marty Mckenna, though sailing a different boat called RARITY this weekend.  Then, you have the Corinthians Division winner, Jenn & Ray Wulff sailing JOINT CUSTODY.  Joining them in the hunt to be Chief Brawler are fast teams like Mark Hillman’s SIX, Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR from Youngstown YC in New York, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE, Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.  Should be fun racing for this group!  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes Media.  For more J/80 North Americans & J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information & results

J/105 sailing Galveston BayJ/Fest Southwest Preview
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats!
(Seabrook, TX)- This coming weekend, the waters of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay will come alive again with dozens of J/sailors competing for honors in the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members.  The event features one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s (who are also using it as a tune-up/ training regatta for the upcoming J/105 North Americans), J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!

As part of celebrating J/Boats’ 40th Anniversary, the kick-off event for the regatta will be the “spectator-friendly” LEGENDS RACE sailed on Friday afternoon on Clear Lake, literally right in front of Lakewood YC!  The event can be viewed from Barge 295 (formerly, The Turtle Club).  The participating “Legends” are:  Scott Young, Farley Fontenot, Jay Lutz, and Jeff Johnstone (President of J/Boats).  The sailors will be racing borrowed J/24s from the Houston J/24 Fleet.  And, spectators can follow the “live” video broadcast on Barge 295’s Facebook page for a live feed of the event.

Seventy boats have signed up which will make the event truly EPIC! No one will believe a hurricane had just ravaged the Houston/ Galveston Bay coastline; such is the amazing turnout of volunteers and support from friends across the nation.  The 330+ sailors will be looking forward to the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment, it starts with pool-side talent when the racers return from the course on Saturday, followed by a great dinner and then more live music in the evening! Pretend like you’re 35 again, stick around, and have fun!

The biggest class at the regatta is the J/105s, most of whom are also participating in the J/105 North Americans the following week, also hosted by Lakewood YC.  Many strong local crews have upped the ante and have great crews; such as Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from LYC, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY from LYC, JB Bednar’s STINGER from LYC, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE from LYC.    Visiting crews include some of the top crews in the J/105 class, such as J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from St. Francis YC and Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego YC- a winner of the San Diego NOOD Regatta.

The J/70s are bringing their best local heroes to the event, and at fifteen boats the next largest fleet in the regatta. Perhaps top seed goes to past J/80 World Champion Glenn Darden and crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club, on-board as tactician is Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician.  Giving them a serious run-for-the-roses will be other top traveling teams like Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, also from Ft Worth BC, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, and Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING.

At a round dozen boats and fielding the third largest fleet of sailors in the event are the J/24 teams!  Featured are top local crews like Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, one of the top women skippers in the class; Chris Holmes’ BADMOON from Dallas Corinthian YC; Stu Juengst’s VANG GO from Austin YC; and Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN 2.0 from Dallas Corinthian YC.

Fielding a fleet of fifteen boats and fourth largest fleet (in terms of number of sailors) are the J/22s.  Hard to handicap this group, nevertheless several teams have done well in regional events in the past, like Chris Moran’s TILT, Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE, Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951, and Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE.

Sailing as a four-boat class will be the largest big-boat one-design- the J/109s.  The frightful thing about this class is they are all about dead even.  In short, it’s whom they bring to the table in their crews that may make the difference between “lights-out” over the horizon, or shrimping the spinnaker at the leeward mark.  While no one ever expects the latter, most are banking on the horizon job scenario; teams like Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBUG (a past winner), David Christensen’s AIRBORNE (another winner); Andy Wescoat’s HARM’S WAY (another winner) and Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE (yet, another winner).  So, will be interesting to see how the cards are played in this quartet!

Finally, in the J/PHRF world, the big boat class in PHRF A (Asym chutes), led by JD & Susan Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR.  They will be chased hard on handicap by Scott Spurlin’s J/88 FIORNA-J, Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE, and Dan Kelsey’s J/80 HARMATTAN (who hails from Dillon YC in Colorado and Puerto Vallarta YC in Mexico).   PHRF B class (Sym chutes), will be led by Beverly Caldwell’s J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, with two J/29s in hot pursuit (John McCuthen’s SUPERGIRL and Glenn Stromme’s PRESS TO MECO), and Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA hoping to be in the same zip code when the bigger boats finish (as a result, he’s win!).  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

J/80 Spain sailing off BarcelonaSpanish Winter Sailing J/70s & J/80s
Come Join the Barcelona or Vigo Winter Series!!
(Barcelona, Spain)- Over the October 21st and 22nd weekend, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona held the first stage of the Barcelona Winter Series (BWS) for J/70s and J/80s.

The seven J/70’s and seven J/80’s competed in three races every day.  It marked the inaugural event for J/70’s in Barcelona, with more J/70 teams planning to arrive when winter freezes northern Europe!!

The first provisional leaders of the series after six races were NOTICIA in J/70s and AKEWUELE in J/80s.  The fleets are quite competitive, with several J/80 World Champions and Olympic class medal winners sailing in both classes- it makes for great “tuning” and “training” over the winter in preparation for the 2018 sailing season!

Barcelona is a great place to sail in the winter to prepare for the J/70 Europeans in Vigo, Spain and the J/80 Worlds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France for 2018, so don’t hesitate to come down with your J/teams for a great winter sailing!

The sailing conditions in Barcelona during the winter are gorgeous.  It’s warm weather on the Mediterranean, with mostly thermal sea breezes every day from 6 to 13 kts, nice temperatures and sunny!!  Our friends in northern Europe and Scandinavia who are no longer experiencing “the land of the midnight sun”, should join us for lots of “fun-in-the-sun” on the gorgeous Spanish Riviera!

The Barcelona Winter Series will be held one weekend every month from October 2017 through March 2018, with very professional sailing management by RC Nautico de Barcelona.  For more RCNB Winter Series sailing information

J/70 Spain Vigo winter seriesVIGO WINTER SERIES
While Barcelona is in northeastern Spain in the beautiful Catalonia province, essentially the Spanish Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea, Vigo is on the opposite coast on the Atlantic, in northwestern Spain.

Real Club Náutico De Vigo invites teams to participate in their winter series. They promise a warm welcome, wind, races on Saturdays and Sundays.  The most significant attraction for J/70 sailors is that RC Nautico De Vigo will be the host for the 2018 J/70 European Championship, running from June 12th to 16th, 2018.  Here are their dates for the 2017/ 2018 Winter Series:

- October 28-29th
- November 18-19th
- December 16-17th
- January 13-14th
- February 3-4th
- February 24-25th
- March 17-18

Please note, it is possible to rent boats for individual events for the complete series in Vigo. It's not too late to order a new boat that will be waiting for your team at the yacht club!  J/70 Spain Facebook page

J24 sailing East Coast regattaJ/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Championship Update
(Annapolis, MD)- Join us for the 39th J/24 East Coast Championship October 27th to 29th and the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship October 28th & 29th at Severn Sailing Association! Late October in Annapolis boasts great fall sailing conditions and a regatta you don't want to miss!!

Best Fall Sailing Around!
- Twenty-three J/24s & thirteen J/22s already registered- Tip-Top Competition!
- 2018 Qualifier for J/24 World Championship!
- Free Housing & Boat Storage Available
- The Rigging Co. will put up your rig - first come, first served!
- Dock Talks & Weather Briefs with your favorite pros

On-Shore Fun - All Included With Entry!
- Beers & Snacks After Racing Friday
- Saturday Night Regatta Party with Live Band- “The Shatners”. Dinner for 5 & Dancing Under the Tent!
- Post-Race Burgers 'n' Brats Sunday afternoon

Please contact Pat FitzGerald at or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past fortnight was busy with many fall regattas in the northern hemisphere and a significant one in the southern hemisphere, many of them including the hyperactive active J/70 fleets around the world.

Starting Down Under, Australia is moving into their springtime and, therefore, into the world’s longest sailing summertime!  No wonder so many Australians know how to sail well, nearly nine months of perfect summer sailing weather.  And, what better way to kick it off than have the famous Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Sydney host the 2017 Australian J/70 Nationals!  Great turnout and fantastic racing!

Flipping ourselves up over the Equator to Europe and Asia, we find Russian J/70 sailors completing two significant regatta series.  For starters, the Russian Sailing Federation supports the Russian J/70 National Sailing League, a series of six events that start in May in Sochi (site of the Winter Olympics) and ends in Sochi in October.  Just this past weekend, a fleet of 24 teams sailed J/70s in the Grand Finale at Sochi; some familiar faces to sailors on the European J/70 circuit finished on the leaderboard.  Then, PROyachting with partner ULYSSE NARDIN, completed their summer-long weekly regatta series sailed on J/70s and hosted by the Royal YC in Moscow in an amazing “stadium sailing” venue.

Off to the west in Europe/ UK, we find the French J/80 sailors sail a tricky weekend series in the Crouesty J/Cup, hosted by YC Crouesty-Arzon, in Crouesty, France. Then, just across “La Manche”, the  Hamble Winter Series completed their third weekend, hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club in Hamble, Southampton, England for IRC fleets and the J/88 class.  Still further west, we get a report from the Lough Erne J/24 fleet sailing their Autumn Series at Lough Erne YC in Ireland- they sure know how to have fun!

Hopping west across the Atlantic, a fleet of 53 teams assembled at American YC in Rye, New York to compete for the 2017 J/70 North American Championship; it was a deeply talented fleet, including two World Champions and three North American Champions.  Finally, we get a report from the fun and entertaining Annapolis YC Fall Series, in Annapolis, Maryland, for ORC/ PHRF handicap fleets and one-design classes of J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, and J/105s.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 19-22- J/30 North American Championship- New Orleans, LA
Oct 20-22- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 21-22- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
Oct 21- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Valleta, Malta
Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

Joel Ronning's J/70 Catapult wins North AmericansCATAPULT Swings to Victory @ J/70 North Americans!
(Rye, NY)- It was an epic regatta in more ways than one.  Fifty-three boats from thirteen States and two Canadian Provinces participated in the 2017 J/70 North American Championship presented by Domaine Chandon, hosted by American YC in Rye, New York.  There was no question the AYC volunteers, Race Committee and mark boat team, the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the entire AYC shore team made a magnificent effort to ensure everyone in the event were treated as “family” all weekend long- it is not often that an entire club rallies from members to volunteers to their shore teams to make everyone feel welcome- it was greatly appreciated by all the J/70 teams in attendance!

The sailing itself was challenging with winds, waves, and current literally coming from every quadrant on the compass.  Plus, the fleet was incredibly talented and very deep, with many champions of many different sailing classes pushing the starting line hard all weekend- reflected in the number of general recalls and U-flag/Black-flag starts. AYC’s “homie” and Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY were pre-regatta favorites, having just won the AUDI J/70 World Championship off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy at YC Costa Smeralda.  However, success can be fleeting and it’s hard to maintain 100% perfection, even on your home waters.  In the end, with Duncan’s team leading the regatta going into the last day, it was the 2016 J/70 World Champion at San Francisco, California that prevailed; Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT, including J/24 World Champion John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, were declared the 2017 J/70 North American Champions!  Here is how it all took place over the course of four days.

J/70 sailing North AmericansDay One- Blow-Out Thursday!
With sustained winds over 25 kts and gusts breaking 30 kts, the race committee spared the sailors of the difficulties of broken boats and risk of injury. As result, a number of crews went exploring; which meant a quick visit to New York City to see the “bright lights and big city” that it can be on such a gorgeous day.  For the rest, the regatta hosts and sponsors did not disappoint. Thanks to the sponsors, Greatest Blaze & Co. and Watson's Catering, a barbeque of grilled delights calmed the nerves of the sailors eagerly awaiting the start of the Championship. Fine slices of filet mignon, mini-Reuben sandwiches, Kobe beef mini hot dogs, and skewered shrimp ... what a spread! Such a great party kept everyone engaged for the rest of the evening.

The raging Long Island Sound, only suitable for windsurfers and kite-boarders on Thursday, was expected to settle down to a perfect 10-15 kts on Wednesday from the east with huge waves, setting the stage for a fun and competitive day on the water.

J/70 North Americans - fleet reachingDay Two- Blustery, Head-banging Friday!
The morning weather conditions arrived as expected, though a bit misty, chilly and grey with the forecast predicting partly sunny, warmer weather later in the afternoon. The wind had been mostly out of the East all week, blowing across the longest fetch of Long Island Sound, creating nasty, steep 4-5 ft waves in a tight frequency; somewhat reminiscent of Lake Michigan “chop” off the Chicago lakefront.

The AYC Race Committee was able to pull off four action-packed races by 1700 hrs- a long day for the exhausted sailors! The entire fleet was very competitive with the top four boats earning a bullet each. Current J/70 World Champion, Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY was in first, but Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew were right on his heels only two points back. The MIDLIFE CRISIS team from Long Beach, California, led by Bruce Golison, held third, and only a few points separated them from the next two boats.

Sarah Renz from the Chicago Yacht Club, sailing BERTEAU GROUP, led the Corinthians Division, only one point ahead of Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE and yet another point back was Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY.

J/70 sailor enjoying refreshmentUpon reaching the docks after racing by 1730 hrs, the tired and satisfied sailors were treated to fine sparkling wine given out with white glove treatment, thanks to main sponsors- Domaine Chandon. Domaine Chandon is from California's famed Napa Valley region and uses the same three noble grape varietals as used in French Champagne.

The American Yacht Club put on a wonderful feast to accompany the bubbly, while Tanqueray gin provided fine spirits. The evening was topped off with a generous quantity of great raffle prizes provided by Eric Magnuson and Patrick Aylward's Landfall Navigation, specializing in gear for the adventurous.

J/70s sailing on SaturdayDay Three- Saturday Glass-out!
Many throw-outs were likely used on the only race that was sailed on Saturday, as the breeze lightened and began to turn southeast and die across the Sound- a familiar scenario for many Long Island Sound sailors!  However, AYC past Commodore, Peter Duncan, managed to stay consistent with a 6th place in the lone race. Ronning's CATAPULT, currently 2nd, did not fare so well, finishing in 18th place- that's a number that would likely remain a throw-out for them, leaving no room for error on the final day.

Victor Diaz de Leon, sailing with Peter Duncan said, "today we tried to focus on minimizing maneuvers. When we did t, to tack or jibe, we did it in a puff because that makes it so much less painful."

An impressive light-air performance was delivered by John and Molly Baxter, sailing Team VINEYARD VINES to a 1st today, moving them up to 9th overall. Current 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place boats all posted big numbers making their final day a challenge.

J/70 MUSE sailing past markMeanwhile, competition for the Corinthian crown had become fierce. The Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY was now equal on points with Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP. Gregg/ Bardenheier’s MUSE was holding on just one point behind. The stage is set for a critical final day where the breeze will be back but from another new direction- the southwest. Anything can happen on the race course Sunday, as the southwester will inevitably throw a few curve-balls at the fleet, a very tricky direction based on current and winds coming off the high-bluffs of Long Island to the south.

On land, the hospitality at AYC remained consistent all week- superb!  Saturday evening, the sailors settled in with chili, clam chowder and a fantastic drink selection. The finest Scotch whiskeys Johnny Walker has to offer were on display for tasting. Aficionados be jealous! Sailors were able to come off the water and enjoy several blends including the 18-year-old Platinum Label blend. All of these fine delectables led the sailors into our second Doyle Sailmakers debrief. Tony Rey guided the discussion and called upon several top pro sailors to give their thoughts and opinions on sail trim and boat-handling techniques. Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay shared their secrets on how they make the J/70 go fast, while Judd Smith shed some light on how to deal with the tough sea state while on the helm.

J/70s sailing SundayDay Four- The Dramatic, Tricky Finale
Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY team controlled this regatta from day one. Not surprisingly, coming off a J/70 World Championship title, his crew was at the top of their game. But, there was a twist to the plot. Ronning's CATAPULT never fell very far behind in points, always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. And, pounce they did in the final race; a bullet in the final race by CATAPULT, coupled with a 10th place finish by RELATIVE OBSCURITY, was enough to push them ahead with a 3 point cushion.

Sunday’s conditions were challenging. A new wind direction with varying intensity made for a tactician's nightmare. Credit to Bruce Golison for staying in the hunt and finishing 3rd overall with line honors in race seven. This was not an easy task with Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Mary Kullman’s NEW WAVE right on his heels, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

Joint Custody- J/70 Corinthians NA winnersThe Corinthian title was no easy achievement either. The lead swapped multiple times throughout the day.  After race 6, Gregg’s MUSE crew was leading the division on a tiebreaker.  After the 7th race, Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP was leading by one pt. But, with a 7th in the 8th and final race, Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY managed to win in the end. BERTEAU GROUP and MUSE held their top three spots, finishing in that order. What is remarkable about that outcome was that it was the first time in J/70 class history that three women skippers swept the Corinthians Division!  Notably, women crews were also present on the next two boats- Mallory Loe on DIME in 4th and Melissa Fisher on BUTTON FLY in 5th place!

Ashore after the racing and the frenetic process of hauling and preparing boats for traveling home, the AYC Team hosted a wonderful awards presentation with crystal and framed photographs as prizes. Tanqueray took center stage in relaxing the tired sailors with their signature gin & tonic for any and all in attendance- it was a warmly received and generous effort by the Domaine Chandon team and their team of hostesses to look after the sailors!

What a fantastic regatta it was. In addition, it would not have been possible without the generosity of the sponsors of the event:
  • Presenting sponsor Domaine Chandon and their portfolio of fine spirit brands - Lead Sponsor Doyle Sailmakers who generously shared their knowledge and expertise in sailor with all the competitors
  • Lead Sponsor Tanqueray traditional gins and cocktails
  • Supporting Sponsor Landfall Navigation - "Your journey starts here…”
  • Supporting Sponsor Greatest Blaze Co.- offering exotic kiln dried wood, fire pits, and 41 sorts of grilling essentials
  • Supporting Sponsor Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, second to none in outfitting sailors
  • Supporting Sponsor Sail 22, the premier sailing concierge service providing all of your campaign management needs.
Additional Sponsors included: Captain Lawrence, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Bulleit Bourbon, Watson's Catering, Summerties, Anne Arundel Dive Services, and Poland Spring.

Sailing photo & video credits- Tim Wilkes Media Productions  American YC Promotions Team- Donavan McSorley/ Steffie Pomp

J/70 NA’s Facebook sailing videos
Day 1   Day 2 first day racing   Day 3- second day racing   Day 4- third day racing   American YC Facebook page   For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and scoring information

Australian J/70 Nationals winners- JUNOJUNO Tops Australian J/70 Nationals
(Sydney, Australia)- The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturday’s breeze was forecast for 25 kts, but abated to 15-20 kts providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sunday’s winds softened to 10-12 kts from the southeast.

First place with 6 bullets was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on JUNO from the CYCA.  A thrilled Reg said, “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and boat-handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable.” Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168-boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sportboat event ever.

In 2nd place, also from the CYCA were Tim Ryan and crew on JAMES. Third place was tightly contested and ultimately went to JACKAL team from Royal Sydney YS.

It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.

Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.  Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.

J/70s sailing off Sydney, AustraliaThe J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three-generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.

Nick Rozenauers, sailing THE JACKAL with brother Alex, Dad, Peter, and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80 minutes and four of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing!”  New to the J/70, Andrew from JABBERWOCKY said, “it was a great learning experience for the crew, but good fun!”

The J/70 is a dream to sail.  Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does.  This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack of other sportboats and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.

Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the four short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.

The J/70 fleet thanks Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year.  Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their on-going support of the J/70 Australian Class.

J/70 ARTTUBE team- Valerya Kovalenko skipperARTTUBE Wins Sochi J/70 Sailing League Finale!
LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA Crowned Russian National League Champions!
(Sochi, Russia)- After sailing six events all season, it can be said the twenty-four teams in the Russian J/70 Sailing League were easily the most-traveled J/70 crews in the world; having to crisscross the vast expanse of Russia, from as far east as Sochi, the resort on the Black Sea that hosted the Winter Olympics, to the far west to St. Petersburg, on the eastern end of the Baltic Sea!  The logistics sound intimidating, but the Russian Sailing Federation worked hard to include sailing teams from every part of Russia to participate in the summer-long series over a period of nearly six months.

Russian J/70 National Sailing LeagueThe season started and ended in Sochi.  So, at the start of the decisive regatta season these were the twenty-four teams: LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA (skipper Sergei Musikhin); LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE (Vyacheslav Ermolenko); KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB (Mark Kagansky); NAVIGATOR Sailing Team (Igor Rytov), ROCK’N’ROLLA Sailing Team (Alisa Kirilyuk); PIROGOVO TEAM (Yuri Morozov); ARTTUBE RUS7-2 (Valeria Kovalenko); ST. PETERSBURG YC SAILING ACADEMY (Anna Basalkina); LEVIATHAN TEAM (Vadim Yakhinson); DC TEAM (Denis Cherevatenko); X-FIT SPORTS (Vladimir Silk); NAVIGATOR NEXT (Irina Sorokina); REGION 23 TEAM (Evgeny Nikiforov), USC TEAM (Dmitry Sharubin); M1-CLOUD TEAM (Alexey Danilyants); PARMA LUKOMORYE (Vitaly Tarakanov); VOS TEAM (Yevgeny Anishev); FPS SOCHI-YUG SPORT (Oleg Kuzmin); KOMATEK (Yuri Kryuchenkov); SPORTTECH TEAM (Andrei Nikolaev); RUS7 TEAM (Anatoly Arnautov); CSKA TEAM (Darya Ivanova); SKOLKOVO SAILING TEAM (Andrey Davidyuk); and the ROYAL YC TEAM (Sergey Peshkov).

In the Grand Finale, it was great racing all three days right on the Sochi waterfront.  Every team had a chance to sail in a wide variety of wind and sea conditions.  Showing that her experience in winning the YC Monaco Winter Series in the J/70 class was no fluke, Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE with crew of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Egor Ignatenko, simply showed their tail-feathers to the fleet for most of the regatta, winning most races and never finishing out of the top three to win by a commanding margin.

As a result of the Sochi regatta, Sergei Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA team managed to sail a solid regatta to claim the ultimate sailing prize in Russia- to be crowned Russia’s Best Sailing Team- winning the Russian J/70 National Sailing League for 2017!  Here is how it all took place off Sochi.

J/70 sailing Russian National Sailing LeagueDay One- Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE Leads
On Friday, twelve races took place, each team had 4 starts.

It was an excellent beginning for ARTTUBE RUS7-2 and their skipper Valeriya Kovalenko- one of Russia’s top women sailors and skippers.  Her team produced two 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 6 pts to easily lead the regatta.  Next came PIROGOVO’s Morozov and NAVIGATOR SAILING TEAM’s Rytov tied on 8 point each.  Rounding out the top five were LORD OF SAIL- ASIA’s Musikhin sitting on 10 pts in fourth.  Then, 5th place had a three-way tie at 12 pts each between KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Kagansky, ST PETERSBURG YC ACADEMY SAILING TEAM’s Basalkina, and LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Ermolenko.

J/70s and super yachts- a natural combinationDay Two- ARTTUBE Maintains Furious Pace!
The penultimate day of racing had some seriously crazy, unpredictable weather patterns.  The weather on Saturday was a struggle for all teams: in the morning, Sochi was covered by a torrential rainstorm; then the sun came out and a stable wind of 12-14 knots appeared for awhile; and then at the end of the day, arrived a big frontal system with winds of 25+ kts and sheets of rain again!  Yes, the weather Godz must be crazy!

Despite the difficult weather, the Race Committee and the race judges managed to ensure a good pace of the competition; fourteen races were held, for a total of twenty-six races run by the close of Saturday.

Continuing to demonstrate their outstanding performance was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS7-2, adding three 1sts and a 5th to their dominant scorecard for a total of 14 pts in eight races!  Seven points back was Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, having clawed there way back onto the leaderboard after a disappointing start on the first day. Lying in third new was Morozov's PIROGOVO.

J/70s sailing Russian National Sailing LeagueOn Saturday evening, the Russian J/70 sailing teams celebrated a tradition for Sochi, launching 350 balloons into the sky in honor of the 350th anniversary of Russian shipbuilding and the 10th anniversary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The volunteers of the “World Festival of Youth” and “Students 2017” launched the balloons. As part of the celebration, a race was held for guests and partners of the League, as well as volunteers of the World Festival of Youth and Students-2017.

Day Three- ARTTUBE wins finale!
On the final day for the Grand Finale of the summer-long series, six more races were completed to determine the winner of the Sochi Regatta, but also the overall champion for the Russian J/70 National Sailing League.  After thirty-two races, the winner of the "big finale" of the season was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team, sporting a scorecard that had only one race outside the top three, including six 1sts in ten races!

J/70 Russian Sochi finale winnersSecond place went to yet another woman skipper- Anna Basalkina from the ST PETERSBURG ACADEMY SAILING TEAM!  There is no question that would a “first ever” scenario in the history of Russian sailing that two women skippers swept the top two spots in a major national sailing championship!

Finally, taking the bronze on the podium was Igor Rytov’s NAVIGATOR Sailing Team.

The Grand Finale in Sochi also produced the Russian J/70 National Sailing League Champions- that crowned was award to LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, with skipper Sergei Musikhin and crew of Pavel Trofimchuk, Denis Tyurikov and Mikhail Korznikov.  Their fourth place in the Grand Finale earned them their hard-won championship title.

J/70 Russian National Sailing League winnersThe overall series silver was awarded to NAVIGATOR Sailing Team and rounding out the podium with the bronze was LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Vyacheslav Ermolenko and crew.

The success of the 2017 Russian J/70 National Sailing League could have happened without the generous support of its partners and sponsors.  “Thank You” to the following:
  • General partner- JSC "United Shipbuilding"
  • Official partners- GAZPROM and NORD STREAM AG
  • Financial partner- ALFA Private
  • Fitness partner- X-FIT fitness clubs across the federation
  • Sochi Regatta partner- SOCHI GRAND MARINA by Burevestnik group
  • Technological Partner- INTERPROCOM provided tracking
  • Radio communication partner- COMPASS-R.
  • Sport media partner- TV channel “MATCH!”
  • Radio partner- radio station MAXIMUM.
  • General media partners- the newspaper SOVETSKY SPORT, MAXIM magazine, FORBES.LIFE, Sport FM, YACHTING magazine.
Russian J/70 Sailing League video highlights:
Day 3 Highlights     Day 2 Highlights    Day 1 Highlights
Grand Finale on Russian Sports TV News- MATCH:
Day 3    Day 2    Day 1
For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

J/92 sailing Hamble winter seriesHamble Winter Series- Week 3 Report
(Hamble, England)- The third weekend of sailing took place last weekend for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 kts range.

Nevertheless, in spite of the conditions, the hotly contested racing continued unabated with some boats beginning to consolidate their positions atop the leaderboard while others were still getting a handle on why they were seemingly signed up for the “Magical Mystery Tour” on some yellow bus that careened frenetically around the race track!

J/97 sailing Hamble winter seriesIn the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued to set the pace, adding a 3-1 to the tally to be leading the fleet by one point.  The next J/team is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL sitting in 7th place.

The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, posting three straight bullets since showing their faces on the racetrack on October 1st.  While three 1sts does not create a lead, at the pace they are going, the discard races will start to kick in and they should fault towards the top of the standings; currently they sit in 3rd place.  In 5th place is Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew and in 6th is Roger Phillips DESIGNSTAR 2.

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter seriesCurrently having a strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts in six races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts.

Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by an extraordinarily comfortable margin- 3 bullets and a 3rd give them 8 pts in six races.  The next three teams are all very tight on points.  Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 pts, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough and they are having great sailing on the Solent!   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing off starting linePellissier Tops Crouesty J/80 Regatta
(Crouesty Arzon, France)- The Crouesty J/Cup could have been nicknamed the "Crouesty-tricks Cup” this year, in view of the crazy weather the YC Crouesty- Arzon Race Committee and the crews had to contend with over the weekend.  Nevertheless, in the tricky conditions, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE and his crew (Mathieu Durand, Edouard Gendreau, & Gabriel Couronne) sailed their J/80 smartly and conservatively to win the regatta.

On the first day of sailing Friday afternoon, there was barely ripple on the water, with a very light easterly wind of 3-5 knots. Fortunately, on this flat sea, the J/80s moved nicely and the YCCA Race Committee (bravo!) was in an opportunistic mode and made the most of the light air/ glass-out conditions. Two races were run, both won quite easily by Sylvain Pelissier's VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, obviously very comfortable on this playing field.

J/80s sailing downwindSaturday’s weather was more in line with the forecasts, moderate winds at best. Forgot the surfing and planing at 18 knots like last year, this year it was necessary to finesse the boat in a light to moderate south-east breeze between 5 and 10 knots. Luc Nadal’s GANJA, that had started modestly the first day, returns to the forefront with 2 victories over the 5 races. Despite a modest fleet of thirteen teams, the races were very close, with no less than 4 different winners in the 5 races of the day. With two 2nd and one 3rd, Pellesier’s VOILERIE AP was still doing very well and kept a comfortable points lead.

Sunday’s racing was wild and different!  With a good 15+ kts forecast by midday, the crews tightened their rigging in anticipation of a good breeze. Strangely, it was the fog, and not the wind, that dominated this day’s one and only race! 10 minutes after the start, you could not see more than 50m! Over the VHF radio, the YCCA RC strongly urged the sailors not to lose sight of the nearest competitor, not just to avoid his wind! Luc Nadal, in the lead, was the leader of the expedition. A 1st place well deserved! But, GANJA’s efforts were not enough to displace Pélissier’s crew.  GANJA’s crew (Luc Nadal, Pierre Mousselon, Yvon Goude, David Nadal) finished two points back after their discard race to finish with 21 pts.  Third was a local YCCA crew, that of Gaétan Le Guil sailing GUESS WHO’S BACK with crew of Brice Menay, Pierre Hervet-Cozette, and Quentin Le Saout.

Congratulations to the YCCA Race Committee chaired by Marc Eymond, who did everything humanly possible to make a regatta work in light winds ... and fog and run eight races against seemingly insurmountable odds!  Applause also for the YCCA volunteers who have provided a benevolent and warm welcome in the very quaint club house.

The Coupe de France rankings are determined by the seven race series sailed from the spring to the fall.  Starting with SPI Ouest France in April (La Trinite sur Mer), the fleet then went to GPEN in March (Brest Lanveoc), then Pornic J/Cup in June (Pornic), then Obelix Trophy in August (Benodet), then Atlantique Telegramme in September (Lorient), then Crouesty J/Cup in October (Crouesty), and finishes with the French J/80 Nationals in first weekend of November in Port Haliguen over the Halloween weekend!

With more than 100 points ahead of his pursuers, Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT is guaranteed to win the Coupe de France J/80 for 2017. On the other hand, the fight for the podium promises to be exciting between five teams: Nadal, Pélissier, Guilhot, Bot and Le Guil.

The Masters J/80 title will be played out between Patrick Bot and Luc Nadal, provided each have a sufficiently senior crew (> 40 years on average). There are four contenders for the third step of the podium with a short lead for Xavier Tinel.

Top women’s teams are Elodie Bonafous’s BAIE DE MORLAIZ, Christelle Phillipe’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE I and Margot Riou’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE II.  For more French J/80 Coupe de France sailing information

J/70s sailing evening race off MoscowGorgeous Moscow J/70 ULYSSE NARDIN Finale
Kovalenko’s SSA-9 wins coveted ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph!
(Moscow, Russia)- In 2017, two series of summer racing took place on a fleet of matched J/70 one-design class sailboats at Royal YC Moscow: the Tuesday Warm-Up Races and the Wednesday Night Races. PROyachting managed the regatta schedule and the teams and the principal partner was the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.

Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series
For the Tuesday Warm-Up Races, a total of thirty-five teams competed! All teams were made up of people that work and sail in the greater region surrounding Moscow.  Winning the Tuesday series was MOSCOW-24, a team comprised of young professionals with a woman skipper; they never missed a single race all season-long!  Taking second place was Team HURRICANE and, finally, taking the bronze was Team BIG FISH!

Throughout the entire yachting season, the teams were very close in the provisional rankings, with at least four different teams leading the season and changes taking place virtually every Tuesday.

J/70s sailing upwind off Royal YC MoscowWednesday Night Race Series- Sponsored by ULYSSE NARDIN

While the Tuesday races were oriented to sailors with little or no experience and included a lot of training on the water for them, the Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin races were focused primarily on more advanced sailors that had experience in regional, national, or European regattas.  Forty-two teams participated in the 2017 season.  Guess who won??

The winner and winner of the main prize for the season- the ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph- was Team SSA-9 skippered by Valerya Kovalenko. The NO PASARAN Team took second place and third place went to Team ULYSSE NARDIN.

Valeria Kovalenko, the woman skipper of SSA-9, commented:  "I sailed this summer series for the first time in the summer of 2015 and I fell in love with incredible pink sunsets! In the 2016 season, we formed a team of my fellow students at the Startup Academy of Skolkovo and began to participate in the series Tuesday Warm-Up Race, where we took second place. The guys from the first regatta liked everything: the opportunity to race right in the city, a soulful atmosphere, strong rivals, a clear organization, and wonderful prizes! Therefore, for the 2017 season, we prepared in advance and formed a large and strong team. I really believe the series of summer evening regattas created by PROyachting and hosted by Royal YC Moscow is the best way for a relaxing and fun evening of sailing with friends!!"

J/70 sailing Ulysse Nardin summer series off MoscowMaxim Andrianov, CEO of ULYSSE NARDIN Russia, summed up the 2017 yachting season 2017 with the following words: "First of all, I want to thank PROyachting for the great opportunity to go sailing each week! Three years ago, I could not even imagine that I would sail and participate in competitions. This applies not only to me, but also to other regatta participants in Moscow and Sochi. And this is the main merit of PROyachting. I want to note the increased level of the organization and the participants themselves. This is a very serious level- imagine that, seventy-two teams from around Moscow were racing every evening this summer! Many youth take part in the National Sailing League and international competitions sail J/70s, and it all started here at the Water Stadium west of Moscow on a matched fleet of J/70s- perfect! I will tell you a secret that I also thought about developing in this direction. It is a pity that the season is over, but we will wait for the start of new season in 2018 and, of course, I will go to Sochi to support the National Sailing League and the 24 teams competing on the famous J/70 class sailboats! Thank you, PROyachting, you are good fellows!"

For more PROyachting sailing event information, please contact PROyachting at ph- +7 499 393 31 33 (Moscow), +7 988 143 17 57 (Sochi) or email-

J/24s sailing IrelandLough Erne YC Autumn J/24 Series Report
(Lough Erne, Ireland)- Lough Erne YC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday series got underway a week late on Sunday, 17 September.  The previous Sunday’s racing had been cancelled with a gale forecast. Race Officer, JP McCaldin, did very well to manage three races for the fleet in sunny light winds with calms that provoked the tense tussle pictured above to gain and retain momentum downwind to finish.

Barry’s TJ with crew of Martyn, Philomena and Deidre, scored 2-2-3 for 7 pts to place 2nd overall.  Nipping at their heels was Michael’s JERIATRIX with crew of Sheila, Karen and Lisa with a 3-3-2 for 8 pts, securing third position.

Finbarr in JELIGNITE won all three races for a 3 point total, with top deck crew June and James. And Finbarr even had time after finishing to take these pictures. Thanks!

J/24 Autumn Sunday Series - Programme
Repeating what worked well in 2015 and 2016, LEYC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday Series plans 20 races, 4 on each of 5 Sundays (10) 17, 24 September and 8, 15, and 22 October. Crew gather 1100 hrs, tea/coffee, boat preparation, registration 1130 hrs, Briefing 1200 hrs, first of four races on simple windward/leeward courses, at 1300 hrs, ashore before 1700 hrs for BBQ (own food) and Bar! Prize Giving on final Sunday afternoon.

Many LEYC sailors have raced in International J/24 events. Nearly all our boats have been at international events: notably JIGALO, winning boat in two J/24 World Championships, with Tim Rippey’s name on the placards.

Crew Needed & Welcome: Expert & Novice
On Sunday, second time sailing, Karen steered J/24 JERIATRIX downwind as the owner trimmed spinnaker.  They got 4th overall, best race was a 2nd place! Amazingly, they did it in an old Westerly and they challenged the fleet’s three better modern J/24s! Dockside preparation included sharing out crew amongst boats that needed crew. Brenna, for example, went from TJ to JIGALO, as did Michael from INDIGO KISS to JERIATRIX.

This is the core spirit of our Autumn J/24 Series, enjoying ancient sport and bringing new folk into it, for the sailing and companionship. Seeking this opportunity? Come crew in races in October!  More news to follow at the end of our Autumn event!

J/70s sailing off AnnapolisRiveting Annapolis YC Fall Series
(Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Terry Hutchinson- J/24 World Champion* Terry Hutchinson has accrued a track record of being a winner. He gets involved in big-time keelboat racing programs and makes them better. However, the basis for what he does today is deeply rooted in extremely tough one-design racing at a world-class level.  After sailing FJ’s and 420’s in college and became a College Sailor of the Year, Terry competed in J/24s for a long time, ultimately winning the J/24 World Championship.  Like other J/24 World Champions, such as his colleague Ken Read at North Sails (now its President), Terry also capitalized on his know-how on what it takes to win and proceeded to help Quantum Sails Racing program, first in one-designs, then later in big boats.

It is now through his work as tactician for Hap Fauth’s Maxi72 Bella Mente and Doug DeVos’s TP52 Quantum Racing that Terry has brought these two successful owners together, alongside New York Yacht Cup, to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. Here Terry discusses this new campaign.

CL: Let’s start with some background.
TH: It’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. I’m incredibly mindful of the history and the tradition that the New York Yacht Club has for the event, and so from the team side, it’s an honor to be a part of New York’s effort in this 36th America’s Cup.

This campaign probably started five years ago with Doug, and three years ago with Hap, as our sailing relationships have evolved over that period of time. When it became obvious that Team New Zealand was going to win, and after having discussions with them and their Challenger of Record where they indicated what they were going to do with the boat, it seemed like an opportunity to at least sit down and discuss if this was a challenge we wanted to take on.

The more myself, and Doug, and Hap talked about it, the more it became apparent how our goals were aligned in what we wanted to do, what we wanted the team to look like, and if we’re fortunate enough to be successful partnering with New York, to make the next match another step towards what we feel is represented in the sport. To get to this point has been about six month’s worth of work and it’s just on the front side of a lot more.

But I think when I look at our team and where we’re at, we have a lot of great sailing infrastructure already in place, and that component of the program has been operating at a reasonably high level for just over the better part of five years.

So under Hap’s and Doug’s leadership, they’re helping us get the business infrastructure in place and I think Hap summed it up best when he said, “Being successful in the America’s Cup is as much of a sailing venture, as it is a business venture,” and so it’s going to take an absolute team effort from all of us to be successful.

CL: Any particular vision for the team?
TH: For starters, we have two great principals. We have Doug and Hap. Then we have a third partner with the New York Yacht Club. But we are going to need to continue to find commercial and private funding to help support this challenge. Additionally, an important point to make is how this is going to be a US team. It’s a US flag team.

When you travel and you race the 52s or the 72s, you realize there is a massive gap in sailors from my generation, or slightly behind, to people in their early twenties. So as a team, we want to return the America’s Cup back to the base of our sport and garner support in that manner. In all of our minds, we want to represent the United States in the manner we feel is appropriate and do it through hard work and good results on the race course.

Is the team going to be 100% American? Probably not, but again, it’s going to be born and bred here. The way the Protocol is written right now, the sailing team must be comprised of 20% nationals and 80% have to be residents. I’m expecting the residency clause to be a pretty difficult to achieve by bringing in outsiders, so our goal is to have a team that is US based and using and developing sailors in our country.

When you talk about winning and then defending in the grand scheme of things, if we’re successful enough on the water this is time around, the goal would be to have developed a team of younger sailors that can then defend it. If you think about it in the big picture world, if it’s a nine-year cycle, I will have probably aged out of it by then. And that’s why we have to do a good enough job developing the younger generation.

That’ll likely be a combination of American sailors and international sailors, but as the skipper of the team and as an American, my feelings and thoughts are in this is going to be an American team. Is every single person going to be an American citizen? Probably not, but we’re going to definitely wave the flag proudly.

CL: Any details at this time about team members?
TH: It’s a bit too soon for specifics but I will say that my role is team skipper and not helm…. though in the America’s Cup you never say never. If you break down the timeline, and start working backwards from when the actual match, there’s not a lot of sailing time in the boat itself. But there’s some great young American sailors right now pursuing various avenues, so there’s a lot of talent that we have to go and cultivate and see who is going to be the right fit for this campaign.

It’s pretty simple when the underlying agenda is winning, which it is, and then doing it in a manner that’s going to make us all proud. When you work backwards from there then the cream will rise to the top. We just have to make sure that we then have a structure in place that allows us to pick the best sailors and execute on the day.

Terry Hutchinson sailing J/70sCL: What do we know about the boat?
TH: In all the discussions that we’ve had with the defender, we have a sense of the direction but it’s premature to know the full scope as there are a lot of variables that need to get addressed. The challenge for the organizers is how they want to make sure they have a great event that has participation and that brings people to New Zealand, and that brings the event back to where the base of the sport feels like it should be. Within all that the America’s Cup needs to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the sport.

So this is a tricky challenge. They want participants, they need to control the costs so it doesn’t become a ridiculous arm’s race, yet it needs to be the pinnacle of our sport. Having been in the loop of the conversations and email exchanges with Grant Dalton, I see clearly how he’s in a tough spot. While he’s in a great spot because he just won the thing, but he has got a great responsibility as well. I know they’re not taking any of it lightly.

CL: What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned in the past that are now directing you out of the blocks?
TH: With regard to the game itself, you can make extremely complicated, so lesson number one is to seek simplicity and focus on the priorities which is to design a fast boat and race it well with good people. If you keep those principles you can make it an easier game.

Significant to keeping it simple is getting the right people for the job. As I’ve evolved in my sailing, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be tactician for some really great teams, and what you learn in those experiences in how vital it is to have the right people for the jobs ashore and on the water. So we will be focused on bringing together those people.

One of the strengths for Bella Mente and Quantum Racing programs is to have great teams from bow to stern, where everybody works hard and respects the process that’s in place. We have a great system sailing where we evaluate our performance each day and we critique it and we go back out and we do the same thing the next day. We look forward to continuing this approach with this new campaign.

When the club announced this challenge, Hap made mention to how the event would now embody “a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar…” Does this infer the America’s Cup got off track with the previous few additions?

I wouldn’t say it went off track. In fact, I’d say there was some great things as a show. The last America’s Cup, as a visual spectator, was pretty darn impressive. The organization did a really good job of producing a broadcast product that was pretty exciting to watch.

However, I’m not sure it’s the vision I would’ve followed but that’s not really my position to say because we weren’t in their situation. They followed what they thought was a correct vision to take sailing to a different part of the sport. And that’s what they did. Team New Zealand has won it now and as competitors we follow their vision.

Four years from now, if we’re fortunate enough to be the defender, our vision will likely be a variation of several of the recent America’s Cup. But without question, the vision going forward is to do what we can to broaden our sport.”  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter for this contribution.

Charlie Enright- Team Vestas* Volvo Ocean Race: Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team that includes as its leader the J/24 World Champion Charlie Enright.  Furthermore, he is joined by friend Mark Towill, both avid sailors and racers since they were little kids growing up on Narragansett Bay, sailing out of the Bristol YC on Sunfishes, J/24s, J/35s, J/105s and even the new J/121 recently.

Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they've teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more, and now they're back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

The team's partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best to respect them.

Joining Towill and Enright in the team's high command is Simon 'SiFi' Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's win in 2014-15 from the navigation station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA's Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer, all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders. Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crew member, then there are the team's under-30 crew members, bursting with enthusiasm and talent. Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark's Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds, Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016. Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America's Cup.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they've been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.

Follow these guys as the go around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race website (great tracker, too!). Add to Flipboard Magazine.