Wednesday, May 30, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 30th, 2018

J/121 sailing CaribbeanJ/121 Racing Update
(Newport, RI)- This past weekend, it was a beehive of activity for newly launched J/121s.  All are preparing for the upcoming Newport to Bermuda Race. Joe Brito’s team on INCOGNITO did their first offshore “shakedown” cruise, going around an offshore mark 60nm SSE of Brenton Reef, sailing in up to 40 kts of wind!  Yet another- Steve Levy’s EAGLE- was sailing in the Storm Trysail Club’s famous Block Island Race, a 186nm “practice race” for Bermuda- a great training exercise.  And, one more- David Southwell’s ALCHEMY- was sailing the fun-loving 30nm FIGAWI Race from Hyannis to Nantucket on a random leg course.

For current and prospective J/121 owners, here is an updated schedule of events many J/121 teams are focused on for summer 2018, the fall, and, in particular, the Winter Circuit in 2019.

Follow the J/121 Class on Facebook here  For more J/121 offshore speedster sailing information

J/70 Sailing Champions League- Porto Cervo, SardiniaSAILING Champions League- Porto Cervo Preview
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The SAILING Champions League 2018 kicks off on Thursday with a semifinal contest in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Teams from twenty-four clubs representing thirteen nations will be competing in Porto Cervo (31 May to 3 June) for one of fifteen spots for the big SAILING Champions League Final in St. Moritz, Switzerland, at the end of August.

Teams are coming from all corners of Europe, including Slovenia for the first time. There will be a strong contingent from the Nordic and central European countries.

Among the strongest contenders with a proven track record in Porto Cervo is the club from Switzerland, Regattaclub Bodensee;  runner-up at the SAILING Champions League Final last season. Former Olympic 470 sailor Julian Flessati brings a strong crew to see if they can win this time on the gorgeous azure waters surrounding Sardinia.

J/70s sailing Sardinia, ItalyAmong those taking part in SAILING Champions League for the first time are the Royal Yacht Club Monaco, which is putting out an extremely accomplished team skippered by François Brenac, whose CV is peppered with victories in major championships. The three-time Olympic campaigner for France has won world titles in the J/22 and J/80 keelboats and two campaigns for France in the America’s Cup. The front of his boat is no less impressive, including two of France’s greatest 49er Olympic skiff competitors, Stephane Christidis on tactics and Yann Rocherieux on mainsail trim. Newcomers they may be, but a crew of this pedigree has every chance of winning on its first attempt.

Representing Norway is Moss Seilforening, with accomplished multihull sailor, Formula 18 competitor Karl-Einar Jensen; proving in recent years that he’s also very well adapted to the short-course keelboat competition format of League sailing.  In addition, Finland’s Åländska Segelsällskapet is a serious contender for victory in Sardinia. Among Daniel Mattsson’s Finnish crew is Staffan Lindberg, one of the best match racers in the world and well-qualified to call tactics for the Finnish team.

According to Edoardo Recchi, Sports Director from the YC Costa Smeralda, “there are no secret ingredients to success in the SAILING Champions League. Just a lot of training and good teamwork. One of the most important things is starting at full throttle. You have to be awake from the very start and be ready to win the moment the first gun sounds. Since the beginning, the YCCS has been a big supporter of SAILING Champions League and the league concept. We organized the SAILING Champions League event in Italy in 2015 because we believe in the format. We felt that a serious challenge between clubs from all over the world was missing from our calendar at that time”.

The YCCS regatta is the first of two semifinals, with the second semifinal due to be hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Russia from August 3rd to 6th, just a few weeks before the 2018 Finale, which will be hosted for the first time by Segel-Club St. Moritz, high up in the Swiss Alps from 30th August to 2nd September.

LIVE broadcasting by SAP
As with all SAILING Champions League events, the semifinal in Porto Cervo will be “live” broadcasted by SAP and SailTracks for the final two days of competition. You can follow the racing live on Saturday and Sunday at 12:00hrs (CEST) on The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media like GPS tracking, real-time analysis, live leaderboard combined with 3D visualization. You find all results on!   SAILING Champions League Promo video on Facebook   For more SAILING Champions League regatta information

Women's J/70 sailing leagueWomen's SAILING Champions League Update
(Kiel, Germany)- The preparations for the first Women’s SAILING Champions League are in full swing. From June 16 to 18, the best women European sailing teams will compete at Kiel Week in Germany. A number of women’s teams representing clubs from across Europe have already registered.

At this innovative sailing event presented by Audi, each National Sailing League can appoint two clubs that will be invited to the event. Additionally, there will be wild cards for other yacht clubs assigned by the SAILING Champions League Steering Committee.

Laura Fischer, member of the Deutscher Touring Yacht Club from Germany, told us how excited their team is to sail at this special event:

“We are happy to be part of the first-ever Women’s SAILING Champions League. With Anna Seidl, Mareike Weber, Monika Linder, Linda Weber, and myself, we put together a young, but at the same time very experienced team. We are curious about the other women crews from our European competitors and we are looking forward to exciting races in Kiel!”

Each team will compete with a four to five-person crew. The event will be sailed in matched J/70 one-design sailboats and the racing area will be in the famous Kiel Bay in the Baltic Sea.

For fans without the opportunity to visit the event, there will be a livestream for one whole day of racing available on Facebook, YouTube, and also here on our website.  For more Women’s SAILING Champions League regatta information

J/70 Youngsters Denmark sailing campDanish YOUNGSTERS J/70 Sailing Camp Launched!
(Horsens Havn, Denmark)- Sailing, big smiles and lots of community! With over 70 youngsters sailing on ten J/70s!  Add in expert coaching on land and sea and there was something for everyone!

Horsens Sailing Club held the first YOUNGSTERS sailing camp for 15-23 year old kids from April 27-29 in a supplied fleet of ten matched J/70 one-design sailboats.  The event was an incredible success and the kids learned how to sail the J/70s quickly, thanks to the experts guiding them on sail trim, tuning, and boathandling.

J/70 Denmark- Youngsters sailing camp"We had great participation from youth sailors across Denmark, in fact a full camp! We can be satisfied with the fact that exploring new and unknown territory with the YOUNGSTERS program paid off tremendously. The kids were incredibly enthusiastic and want to continue participating in more camps this summer,” says YOUNGSTERS Project Manager Peter Wolsing.

The focus of the YOUNGSTERS program is to create experiences, learning, and social networks that can fill the young people with new inspiration and enthusiasm when they go back to their home clubs.

J/70 Youth sailing team- DenmarkWolsing continued to elaborate, "For us, it's about breaking down barriers and opening new opportunities for youth sailors. We need more young people to sail, we need to think in new and creative ways to engage the youth and get them on the water. We believe that YOUNGSTERS sailing on J/70s can be one of those outlets.  The kids loved the J/70s, it was easy for them to handle in all winds, and it’s fun and social for them to have five kids on board.”

Wolsing also mentioned that one of the big carrots is that two YOUNGSTERS teams will be selected, sponsored, and be allowed to participate in the Danish J/70 Sailing League Second Division this summer!
Sailing photos credit- Per Heegaard

Youth J/70 sailorsWatch and “share” these videos of happy kids having fun sailing J/70s in Denmark!

Follow the J/70 Youngsters on Instagram or Facebook.
For more Danish J/70 YOUNGSTERS sailing program information

J/88 Chicago-Mackinac Singlehanded RaceRace for Prostate Cancer Awareness!
Come'on Man, Help Fellow Sailors!
(Chicago, IL)- It’s the thing guys don’t talk about but, 1-in-9 men will get prostate cancer and 1-in-40 will die from it! Most men don’t even know what the prostate does. This is not just a sailboat race, but a race for you! Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in America behind lung cancer!

Richie Stearns, the Chicago/ Midwest J/Boats dealer commented on his personal experience:

“Two years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I would have thought there were only one or two options for treatment when you are diagnosed. Well, it turns out there are all kinds of options available and no one seems to know which is best. It ends up being a very personal decision, on which treatment is right for you. I went to University of Chicago on the recommendation of a fellow sailor.

J/88 sailing singlehanded offshoreI am doing this race to raise funds so the University of Chicago can better explain the options available to you if it happens to you or a loved one. In addition, after the treatment or surgery there is very little information on what to expect and what to do to get back to normal. I have struggled with what to do post-surgery and have done all kinds of research on my own. It is disheartening when much of the information is old, and not just old, but plainly wrong. I hope we can raise funds so more men can understand options available to them and what they can or have to do to live a normal life.

This sailing event will raise money so you will be able to get the knowledge you will need if it happens to you. Cancer is not something that always happens to someone else.

Please give so we can help everyone make knowledgeable decisions that will affect their future.”

Please donate here on University of Chicago/ Medicine & Biological Sciences site-

Richie is racing the J/88 HOLY SMOKES in the 22nd running of the Solo Chicago Mackinac Challenge that starts on June 22, 2018.  It is a 289nm non-stop race across Lake Michigan, from Chicago to Mackinac Island.  It usually takes between 55 and 80 hours of racing for the twenty-seven boats currently registered.  If you wish to contact Rich Stearns about the race or his experience- cell# 847-404-2209 or email-   Learn more about Richie’s Prostate Cancer Race challenge here
For more Single-handed Chicago to Mackinac Island race information, sponsored by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The Memorial Day Weekend in America is a celebration to honor those that served in the military and are no longer with us.  In addition, for the sailing community it was also a time to celebrate what amounts to the official start of the summer sailing season.  A number of major offshore races from the east coast to the west coast and even in the southeast took place that saw some amazing outcomes, and cause for major celebrations, by many J/Crews!

For starters, on the East Coast, there were three events.  The “big one” was the classic 186nm Block Island Race run by the Storm Trysail Club, with J/Teams sailing everything from J/30s up to J/122s and J/133s took part and collected lots of silver.  Adding to the trophy shelf were several J’s in the equally famous “race to the party”, the fabled FIGAWI Race from Hyannis, MA to Nantucket Island. Dozens of J/teams took part, including a fast J/121.  Down in the southeast, the biennial 226nm Gulf Streamer Race was sailed from Daytona Beach, FL to Charleston, SC- it was an epic storm-tossed race with a fast J/120 involved, the event was hosted by the Halifax River YC and Charleston YC.

Off to the west coast, lots of racing was taking place along the Pacific coastline.  Up in the northwest, it was the famous, classic Swiftsure International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Victoria YC in Victoria, BC, Canada.  A fleet of J’s had a remarkable outcome in the popular Cape Flattery Race (101.9nm), there was a J/160 in the Hein Bank Race  (118.1nm), and J/30s and J/35s in the Juan de Fuca Race (78.7nm).  South of them, a dozen J’s sailed in the start of the California Offshore series, it was the Spinnaker Cup Race- an 88.0nm sprint from San Francisco Bay down the Pacific coast to Monterey Bay.

Hopping across the “big pond”, the holiday weekend marked the occasion for the wonderfully popular J/CUP Regatta hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, England, with racing taking place on the magnificent, enigmatic, perplexing Solent. The regatta served as the National Championship for J/88s, J/97s, J/109s, and J/111s and also included an IRC handicap class. Further down the coast to the west country, it was a great weekend for the annual Poole Regatta, hosted by Poole YC; the event was also classified as the UK J/24 Nationals, a strong 21-boat fleet endured three gorgeous days of racing.

Over the ditch and on to Continental Europe, we find Danish sailors loving sailing the first event in the Danish J/70 Sailing League in Frederikshavn, Denmark hosted by the Frederikshavn Sailing Club for eighteen teams, racing six boats. Jumping across the Baltic Sea to the north, the Norwegian sailors also had a blast racing in the first Norwegian J/70 Sailing League event in Bodø, Norway for fifteen teams on six boats, hosted by the Bodø Sailing Association.

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

Regatta & Show Schedules:

May 31-Jun 3- SAILING Champions League- Act I- Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
May 31-Jun 3- Southern Bay Race Week- Hampton, VA
Jun 1-3- J/30 North American Championship- Westport, CT
Jun 1-3- Bayview One-Design Regatta- Detroit, MI
Jun 1-3- J/80 Open La Rochelle- La Rochelle, France
Jun 1-3- Spanish J/70 National Championship- Vigo, Spain
Jun 1-3- Susan Hood Trophy Race- Port Credit, Ontario
Jun 2-3- Cedar Point One-Design Regatta- Westport, CT
Jun 2-3- COLORS Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 2- Delta Ditch Run- Stockton, CA
Jun 8-10- Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago- Chicago, IL
Jun 8-16- IRC European Championship- Cowes, England
Jun 8-10- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 9-10- Australian J/24 Midwinter Championship- Cronulla, NSW, Australia
Jun 9- Farallones Islands Race- Belvedere, CA
Jun 9-16- J/70 European Championship- Vigo, Spain
Jun 15-17- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 15- Newport to Bermuda Race- Newport, RI
Jun 16-24- Kiel Week/ Kieler Woche- Kiel, Germany
Jun 16-18- Women’s SAILING Champions League- Kiel, Germany
Jun 16-17- Three Buoy Fiasco- Seattle, WA
Jun 17-22- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 20-23- J/22 North American Championship- Wayzata, MN
Jun 22-24- J/FEST Seattle- Seattle, WA
Jun 22- RORC Morgan Cup Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jun 22-24- Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA
Jun 23-25- J/70 EURO CUP V- Riva del Garda, Italy
Jun 28- Jul 1- Norwegian J/70 National Championship- Hanko, Norway
Jun 29- Jul 1- New York YC One-Design Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 30- Vic-Maui International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
Jul 7-14- J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d’Olonne, France
Jul 7- Round the Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 7-8- Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI

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

J/44 Kenai- Houston, TXJ/Crews Dominate STC Block Island Race
J/44 KENAI Tops IRC, J/105 & J/120 Top PHRF Classes
(Larchmont, NY)- The Memorial Day classic for Long Island Sound sailors, the 186nm Block Island Race, started on Friday afternoon with a parade of spinnakers off the starting line in a fresh 15-20 kts southwest breeze.  Hosted by the Storm Trysail Club, the event drew eighty-five boats, seventeen of them J/Crews (20% of the fleet) from New York, Connecticut, Texas, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

It was a dominating performance for some of the J/teams entered in the race.  First J/Boat to finish was Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI at 16:06:30 Saturday afternoon, not only winning IRC 3 Class, but being awarded the Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy for the “Best Overall Performance” by the Storm Trysail Club Flag and Race officers.  Their team led a near sweep of the top five in class.  Following them in third was Jack Gregg’s J/122 TARAHUMARA, fourth was Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP, and fifth was John Donovan’s J/111 LIBERTAS.

In IRC 4 Class, Dale and Mike McIvor’s J/133 MATADOR finished fifth.  And, in IRC 5 Class, Brian Prinz’s J/125 SPECTRE took fourth.

In PHRF 3 and PHRF 5 classes, Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE both won their respective classes and also finished 1-2 overall!  Then, in PHRF 5 Class, Brian Spears’ J/120 MADISON took third and Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE finished fourth.

J/44 winner- KenaiAt the prize-giving, hosted by Storm Trysail Club at Stamford YC, Commodore Len Sitar (J/44 sailor) held a moment of silence in remembrance of America’s fallen heroes who fought for the freedoms Americans now enjoy. Afterwards, Chris Lewis (owner of the J/44 KENAI) explained how they achieved their epic performance:

“This was our earliest finish ever. We are used to creeping in at night with no breeze. Generally, the rich got richer in this race as the fastest boats finished in pressure; especially the TP52 Spookie that finished at 9:05 am. We had 15 miles of very light pressure to the finish line in the late afternoon.

The race started in a fresh southwest breeze blowing 15-20 kts. The broad reach turned into a power reach halfway to The Race at the eastern end of Long Island Sound. We went from the A2 to A3 asymmetric. Some went to their Code Zeros or flying jibs.

We exited at the southern edge of the Races in a strong ebb tide, hitting 12-15 knots under A3 and staysail at 130 TWA and 18-24 TWS.

After a run to the “1-BI” red bell turning mark off the northern end of Block Island in 8-12 knots and sloppy seas, the tough part of the race began. 25 knots from the SW was reported at the Block Island airstrip, so we set a heavy #1 and soon saw cold 20 knot blasts. After a bare-headed change to a #3 and reefed main (still managing 9 kts under main only with 6 crew on the bow), we executed well around the south side of the island with all crew on the rail until we got back into the Sound through Plum Gut. With the J/125 SCEPTRE next to us and the J/133 MATADOR behind, we worked the Long Island shore, passing an XP44 (the Bermuda Race winner) with a light #1 and finally crossing Long Island Sound during midday to the Connecticut shore to pick up any afternoon thermal breeze.

For us, the key to race was the power of a modified J/44 (1.5m fixed sprit) with a 144 sq. meter 1.3oz A3 for the last 20 miles before exiting the Sound. Then, we had excellent crew work to change gears on the backside of Block Island. We were overtaking faster over canvassed boats in 20-25 knots of breeze on the wind. Finally, the 145% light #1 gave us the power needed coming up the Sound that other boats didn’t seem to have- - remember, we do have to move a lot of furniture on our J/44!!”
For more Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race sailing information

J/70 sailing J/Cup Regatta UKBrilliant Landsail Tyres J/CUP Regatta!
J/111 SWEENY Awarded J/CUP for Best Performance
(Cowes, IOW, England)- The 19th edition of the ever popular J-Boats festival- the Landsail Tyres J/CUP Regatta- was hosted and organized by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, England.  The regatta featured handicap racing for eleven different models in the J/range and also four National Championships for the J/88, J/97, J/109 and J/111 Classes. For the two-day weekend, the action was exciting and highly competitive, racing on tight Solent courses with lots of the legendary 1 to 4 kts of current.

J/109 sailing J/Cup UKDay One- Scorching Fast, Hot Racing
For the first day of racing, a light northeasterly breeze built during the day to provide surfing conditions for the high performance classes in the fleet. The 66 strong J-Boat armada enjoyed three races in every class, save the J/70 fleet, which got an extra helping with Race 4. The Central and Eastern Solent was a magnificent sight, blooming with the many colors of the competing J-Boats, crewed by nearly 400 sailors from all over Europe.

In the IRC Fleet, defending J-Cup winner, Chaz Ivill's J/112 DAVANTI TYRES, scored three straight bullets, but it was far from easy. “After time correction it was seconds that counted,” commented Ivill. “One poor gybe or bad decision is all it takes to drop down the fleet. There are some very good boats and teams in this class.” Mike & Sarah Wallis' well-sailed J/122 JAHMALI was second and the smallest boat at the regatta, Mike Lewis' J/80 Jester was third.

The J/109 National Championship produced extremely close racing, with four teams vying for the lead. Simon Perry's JIRAFFE scored a bullet in Race 2 to finish the day in fourth position. John Smart's JUKEBOX scored three podium finishes to claim third. Joe Henry's JOLLY JACK TAR won the last race of the day, but it wasn't enough to take the lead. Neil Angel's DIAMOND JEM won the first race of the day, and followed that with a 2-3 to lead the J/109 Fleet after three races.

J/97E sailing fast on SolentMichiel van der Meulen's Swiss J/111 LALLEKONIG scored two race wins and led the class after three races. J/111 Class President, Chris Jones on JOURNEYMAKER II, had an excellent day on the water, scoring a race win and two third places to finish the day second, to lead the class for the UK National Title. Paul van Driel & Hans Zwijnenburg's Dutch team racing SWEENY finished the day in third. The J/111 Northern European Class has enjoyed great racing this season, and with 11 teams on the start line, it has provided a tremendous regatta for the J/111 fleet.

“It was really close right through the fleet, very competitive starts and mark roundings, and by the third race, we were planing downwind, just amazing racing,” commented Chris Jones. “We have a young team on Journeymaker and they put in a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Just three points separate the top three, so tomorrow, we will have to be top of our game to stand a chance of winning.”

J/70s sailing of Cowes, England- Paul Wyeth/ Photoaction.comIn the 22-strong J/70 Class, five teams made the podium in the four races held. Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER scored a 2-4-3-1 to lead a class, bristling with talent. Rob Larke at the helm of MJOLNIR finished the day on a high, surfing downwind to a second place, and second for the regatta. Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT scored a fist-pumping win in Race 3, but finished the day in third after getting caught in the crush at a mark rounding. Doug Struth's DSP with Geoff Carveth on the stick, had a great day on the water, but a poor result in the last race put the team down to fourth. Clive Bush's DARCEY flew out of the blocks winning the first to races but an OCS in Race 3 dropped the team to fifth.

“We managed to hold it together today,” explained J/70 Class leader Graham Clapp. “We had our moments when things didn't go according to plan, as did lots of people, but we managed to limit the damage, and then come back to take a few places to get a decent result. In the last race, Ben Saxton made a great call to stay left, which got us the win.”

The J/88 National Championship produced an epic battle between the top contenders, Kirsty & David Apthorp's J-DREAM led on countback after three races from Gavin Howe's TIGRIS. Tim Tolcher's RAGING BULL was third. In two of day’s races, TIGRIS and RAGING BULL had a photo-finish for the line. Dirk and Dianne van Beek's SABRIEL JR finished the day in style, taking a second in the last race.

J/97 sailing J/Cup - Solent- CowesFour teams in the J/97 National Championship made the podium on the first day of racing. Defending J/97 National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's BLACKJACK II won the first race. Bob and Jon Baker's JAYWALKER the second and Mike Sellers & Chris Miles' HIGH JINKS the third. Robert & Rachel Hunt's JUMBLESAIL 2 scored three podium finishes to end the day in third. BLACKJACK II was second, but a 2-1-1 from JAYWALKER had the team leading the class for the championship.

“Really close exciting racing,” commented JAYWALKER’s tactician Roger Barber. “We have had some great racing in recent years and tomorrow to get a good performance, we will have to sail really well.”

In the J/92 Class, Robin Stevenson's UPSTART scored a 2-1-2 to take the lead by a single point from David Greenhalgh's J’RONIMO. Jack Bank's JABBERWOCK started the day with a race win, and two further podium results puts his team in third. “We take a little while to get going!” smiled David Greenhalgh. “We won the last race, so we will continue that tomorrow!”

After racing the North Sails Video debrief was well attended by a captivated audience. Frank Gerber, Jeremy Smart, Dave Swete, and Charlie Cumbley were present from North Sails, giving tips and advice to the J-Boat fleet, using drone footage from the day's action. After the North Sails Daily Prize Giving, a crew supper was held at the Island Sailing Club.

Day 2- Dramatic, Anxiety-ridden Finales!
On the last day of the regatta, no one expected the standings to be so jumbled in the various fleets. In fact, in all four of the championships, the ultimate winners were decided in the very last race.

J/111 Sweeny winnersPaul van Driel & Hans Zwijnenburg's Dutch J/111 SWEENY was awarded the J-Cup, the first overseas team to win the overall prize in the history of the event. SWEENY also won the 11-strong J/111 Class, winning the last two races, to come from behind.

“Winning the J-Cup comes as quite a surprise,” smiled Paul van Driel at the Final Prize Giving. “I would really like to thank the organizers, they did a really good job, producing outstanding racing. We love coming to this event because we get such a warm welcome and everybody is so helpful, especially the Key Yachting team led by Paul Heys. We love racing in the J-Cup and that is why we will definitely come back.”   Sailing Video Action from the 2018 Landsail Tyres J-Cup

J/97s sailing J/Cup on SolentJ/97 National Champion – Bob & Jon Baker’s JAYWALKER
JAYWALKER won the last race of the series to clinch the title, just a point ahead of 2017 National Champions; Annie and Andy Howe's BLACKJACK II. Mike Sellars & Chris Miles' HIGH JINKS was third. Rachel & Robert Hunt's JUMBLESAIL II made the podium in three races to finish fourth.

“Really close exciting racing,” commented JAYWALKER’s tactician Roger Barber. “We have had some great racing in recent years, to get a good performance in this class, we have had to sail really well.”

J/88 winners- J-DREAMJ/88 National Champion– Kirsty & David Apthorp's J-DREAM
The J/88s produced a photo finish with J-DREAM winning on countback from Gavin Howe's TIGRIS. Tim Tolcher's RAGING BULL was third, and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR made the podium in two races to finish fourth.

“We have been second a couple of times, and we really should have won last year.  So, it feels good to finally win it after knocking on the door,” commented David Apthorp. “This regatta has been really good, with close racing and pretty much the whole fleet at the same boat speed. Winning races comes down to tactics and boat handling. It would be nice to have more teams racing in the class, but of all the classes we have raced in, the J/88 is probably the most competitive, and consistency has been the key.”

J/109 winners- J/CupJ/109 National Champion – Joe Henry's JOLLY JACK TAR
Five teams made the podium in the J/109 championship, won by JOLLY JACK TAR in the final leg of the final race. John Smart's JUKEBOX made the podium in every race to finish a worthy runner-up, and Neil Angel's DIAMOND JEM was third, just two points ahead of Simon Perry's JIRAFE. Chris Preston's JUBILEE scored a podium finish to end the regatta in fifth.

“This is a different team from 2016, just two of us remain,” commented Joe Henry. “Never give up; perseverance is the key to winning. Going into the last race, we were about fourth in the last 100 metres, and we managed to squeeze in and take second, which was just enough to win the championship!”

J/111 U.K. Nationals winnersJ/111 National Champion – Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II
SWEENY was top of the podium for the J/111 Class, but the Dutch team is not eligible for the UK National Championship. JOURNEYMAKER II was the top UK boat, finishing in second place for the class, with Sjaak Haakman's Dutch team on RED HERRING claiming third, just a point ahead of Michiel v/d Meulen's Swiss LALLEKONIG. Sebastian de Liedekerke's DJINN and Paul Griffiths' JAGERBOMB also scored podium race finishes.

“Wasn't that great?  We are very happy,” smiled Chris Jones. “This has been a fantastic regatta, and most of all, we are delighted with the number of teams that travelled over from Northern Europe. I guess they want to test themselves before the J/111 Worlds this September, and the fleet for this regatta has been awesome.”

J/70 sailing J/Cup off Cowes, EnglandJ/70 Class Winner – Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER
The 20-strong J/70 Class was hotly contested with seven teams making the podium over the six race series; it also marked the third event of the J/70 Grand Slam Series.

Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER scored two race wins and discarded a fourth. Consistency was the name of the game, aided by world-class talent including NACRA 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, and Olympic 49er sailor Sophie Ainsworth. Geoff Carveth & Doug Struth's DSP was second, and Clive Bush's DARCEY was third (with 49er sailor John Pink calling tactics). Patrick Liardet's COSMIC finished the regatta with a 2-2 to place fourth and Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT scored a race win to finish fifth.

“For years I was a 'trailer-dad' to my children Max and Sally, and 20 years after racing Darts, my wife told me I needed to get out of the garage, so she asked Max which boat to buy and he said a J/70,” commented Graham Clapp. “The team for this weekend have been coaching or racing with my children for many years, so we already have a good relationship. We made a few errors which did not cost us too badly, but to win in this field was amazing.”

“We didn't have a very good first day, the top mark was very busy and, like other teams, we got caught in the pile up and in our discard race we didn't get a good start,” admitted Cosmic's Patrick Liardet. “The last day was really good with two second places, which we are very pleased with. Setting up the boat and how you steer it is very important and that takes lots of practice and application. The other element is trying to sail with the same crew to minimize mistakes, as the worst result tends to determine the outcome of a series.  Myself, Andy Page and Mike Johnson have been sailing together since 2010 in the J/80 and J/70 Class. Joining us this season is Billy Venniss-Ozanne, from Hill Head, who won the 2017 UK 29er Nationals, and has been sailing in the 49er with Olympic ambitions. I think it is great that the J/70 Class is attracting sailors like Billy.”  For more information about the J/70 UK Class.   Follow the J/70 UK Class on Facebook here  J/70 UK Sailing highlights here on YouTtube.

J/112E sailing off EnglandIRC Class Winner – Chaz Ivill's J/112 DAVANTI TYRES
DAVANTI TYRES won the class for the second year in a row but was pushed hard all the way by Mike & Sarah Wallis' J/122 JAHMALI, which won the last two races of the series to come runner-up. Mike Lewis' J/80 JESTER was on the podium for all but one race, to finish the regatta in third, and Angus Bates J/133 ASSARAIN IV also made the podium. Piotr Nahajski’s J/95 JOLLITY was fifth.

“We had some really good teams to race against, and the variety of conditions and courses kept us on our toes the whole regatta,” commented Chaz Ivill. “I have hardly ever missed a J-Cup, because it is an outstanding event, and really well organized, which attracts a great bunch of people to come and race their team. Racing with lots of boats on the race course, was a great experience, and good practice for Cowes Week.”

J/92 winners at J/CupJ/92 Class Winner - Robin Stevenson's UPSTART
UPSTART held on to win the class by a single point from Jack Banks' NIGHTJAR. David Greenhalgh's J’RONIMO was always in contention but an OCS in Race 4 proved costly, with the team finishing third for the regatta. Guy Stansell's CAPTAIN SCARLETT and Ralph Mason's JABBERWOCK tied after time correction in Race 4, demonstrating the intensity of the racing in the J/92 Class.

“You turn up, you give it a go and see what drops out the bottom, and fortunately for us we were the winners, so we are really pleased,” commented Robin Stevenson. “There is always great racing when the J/92s get together, they are not all the same but IRC tends to iron out the differences. I have to say that especially J’Ronimo and Nightjar sailed extremely well, it came down to one race in the end, and fortunately the win came our way.”

The Regatta Supper and Final Prize Giving at the Cowes Event Centre was a fitting occasion to bring the 2018 Landsail Tyres J-Cup to a close. Key Yachting's Paul Heys was the Master of Ceremonies, and as winners came up for their prize, they were cheered on by the J-Boats family.  Party band “Groovejuice” played live on the main stage, the dance floor was spinning to tunes from the 60s right through to 2018, with some unorthodox maneuvers at the prize giving, which was a sell-out.”

“The J-Cup is a marvelous way to enjoy very competitive racing with a lively crowd, and we always like a good knees-up after we pack the boats away,” commented Paul Heys. “Many of the teams come back year after year, and their enthusiasm is infectious with more teams joining us every year on their recommendation.”

With thanks to the sponsors; Landsail Tyres, North Sails, B&G, Fusion, Fastnet Insurance, Grapefruit Graphics, Rigit, Harken, Wight Vodka, Dolphin Covers, Liquimoly, Frontline Image and MMC Divers.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/   For more Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information

Figawi Race partyFast, Windy FIGAWI Race
J/121 ALCHEMY Takes the Silver!
(Hyannisport, MA)- On Saturday morning, the 500+ sailors on the 180 boats participating in the 2018 edition of the FIGAWI Race were greeted by a solid 15-20 southwest breeze, making for a mostly starboard close reach/ fetch from Hyannis, MA on Cape Cod down to Nantucket Harbor.  The smaller boats did the “straight shot” course of 23nm and the big boats did the “long course” around enough buoys to make it 30+nm and included beats and reaching under spinnakers.  As has been tradition, a fair number of J/Teams collected some silverware in the famously huge prize-giving gala presentation on Sunday that seemingly takes all afternoon!

The largest fleet of “J’s” were sailing PHRF Division S1; eight of the ten boats were J/Crews!  Loving the conditions was the newly launched J/121 ALCHEMY sailed by David Southwell; their team took 2nd place behind a TP52.  Here’s what David had to say about their experience:

J/121 Alchemy sailing offshore“The Figawi race from Hyannis to Nantucket was ALCHEMY’s first race to prepare for the Newport-Bermuda race, in fog and 15-20 knots of wind from the southwest.  Normally this would favor heavier boats, but ALCHEMY tracked beautifully both upwind for most of the race, and on the downwind leg using our A2/A4.  We took advantage of the rating benefit of not using the water ballast, and she handled well with eight crew.  After a good start using the pursuit format of Figawi, we kept overtaking the boats that had started before us, and finished second in class, out of 11.  ALCHEMY is almost dialed-in for Bermuda now, and we look forward to racing against our sisterships in two weeks!”

ALCHEMY finished just 2:05 behind the TP52.  Taking third was Mark Verville’s J/120 ISURUS another 3:18 behind the J/121.  Fifth was Jimmy Masiero’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS another 4:20 behind them.

The PHRF S2 Division was essentially a J/105 one-design class with three other boats mixed in for good measure.  Not surprisingly, the J/105s swept the top five!  Winning was Andrew Reservitz’s DARK’N’STORMY, second Mary Schmitt’s HARDTACK, third Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF, fourth Joe Lloyd’s Nantucket High School Sailing Team on PRIMA, and fifth was Francis Dougherty’s LYRIC.

In PHRF B Division, Kirk Brown’s J/40 JAZZ finished in fifth.  In PHRF C Division, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST got the bronze. Finally, in PHRF G Division, Bill Jones’ J/40 SMITTEN took a bronze, as well.  For more Figawi Race sailing information

J/111 Mad Men sailing Spinnaker Cup RaceSuper Fast Spinnaker Cup
J/111 and J/105s Planing Downhill to Monterey!
(Belvedere, CA)- Saturday’s 88.0nm race from San Francisco to Monterey witnessed 44 boats in 6 divisions, dancing out The Gate in heavy overcast, light winds and ample ebb. With a 40-minute delay for the 1st starters, while RC juggled a cavalcade of issues, including attempting to get the Yellow Brick Trackers to all the boats, squaring the line, and sharing the start area with a bundle of halibut fishermen hoping for fresh fish tacos to start their Memorial Day Weekend.

When the 1st start commenced, the smaller boats with the higher ratings led the parade out of the bay and onto the brisk and lumpy Pacific. Early forecasts had insinuated steady winds in the 25+ knot range, so it appeared that the 2018 edition could be a fast one!

For years, the Spinnaker Cup was started on a Friday to give crews ample time to enjoy the Monterey Bay and ease back into reality at a more civilized pace. In order to compress the California Offshore Race Week into a manageable 8-day affair, the Spinnaker Cup was pushed up a day and Saturday starts are the new norm. So, a quick jaunt down is just what the doctor ordered, and to help facilitate that, the tedious ride out the shipping channel to entrance Buoy 8 (Course 2) was discarded for the more direct course 1.

Diners with window seats at the Cliff House and Beach Chalet were provided a bonus visual treat as the fleet hugged the coast around Seal Rocks, and sailed just outside the surf zone all along SF’s Ocean Beach before moving a tad offshore to clear the Montara Mountain dead air zone and setting kites off Half Moon Bay.

Division E quickly became a dogfight with Jeff Thorpe’s J/111 MAD MEN matching jibes and tactics with the Azzura 310 Outsider, the Columbia 32 Six Brothers, and the C&C 30 Don’t Panic, the last 3 mentioned shadowing one another until a split at Pigeon Point where 6 Bros stayed offshore with Outsider and Don’t Panic chasing Velvet Hammer towards the shore seeking the increased pressure created by the Santa Cruz mountain ranges proximity to the shoreline.

The forecast looked great going into the race, with all the models indicating that boats would set spins/ asyms past Mile Rock, gybe into Davenport, and depending on the time of day and cloud conditions, either take another hitch into Half Moon Bay, or go for the outside lane and gybe on the lay line to finish.

For many of the top boats, offshore (8 miles or so) they found very steady winds, slowly building to about 23 knots with a moderate sea state. That made for great spinnaker conditions, with a fair amount of surfing under A2 and A4.  Towards late evening, after a few hours of sun, the wind began to wane, making for a more civilized approach to Monterey.  The wind began to die in earnest as the slower boats approached the finish.

Sailing in PHRF E Division was Jeff Thorpe’s J/111 MAD MEN, enjoying a fast and very challenging race!  In the end, after sailing 88nm in blast reaching/ running conditions, the MAD MEN took the silver in by far the most competitive class in the race and 5th overall in fleet.  Their 9:55:36 elapsed time worked out to an 8.8 kts plus average over the race track!

The duels in PHRF F Class were between a fleet of J/105s and Express 37s.  In the end, the Sergei Podshivalov’s J/105 JAVELIN took the bronze on the podium, just 19 minutes off winning it all!  Amazing for being the first modern asymmetric keelboat designed in 1992- 26 years ago! Classmate Chris Kim’s J/105 VUJA STAR was 4th just over 1:30 minutes behind, and Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG was 5th another 8+ minutes back.  This group of boats covered the 88nm course at a 7.3 kts-plus average.   Thanks for contribution from Erik Simonson at   For more California Offshore Race Week sailing information

Swiftsure start off Victoria, BCJ/Crews Sweep Swiftsure Race Divisions!
75% of Top Sixteen- Cape Flattery Overall!
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- Mother Nature denied spectators a spinnaker start, but it was otherwise a picture-perfect start to the 75th annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

“It’s a westerly wind, so they’re going to sail into the wind. You don’t do that with a spinnaker,” explained announcer Michael Nussbaum over the radio and loudspeakers on shore.

Hundreds of spectators gathered at Clover Point and along Dallas Road Saturday morning — some cozied up under blankets in lawn chairs, others armed with tripods supporting cameras or holding binoculars, and still others standing to watch the starts of the different races involving 198 sailboats.

While some were regulars, others just stumbled upon the event.

Fairfield residents Bob and Lynne McPherson, enjoying the pancake breakfast put on by the Central Saanich Lions, were simply out on their morning walk when they noticed the activity.

“We saw the frigate out front, then we saw the trailers and decided this must be the Swiftsure. We hadn’t seen it for about 20 years, so we came down,” Bob McPherson said.

Nussbaum said Swiftsure is a great race from a sailor’s perspective.

Victoria, BC“It’s very challenging— tides, currents, winds, the courses— something you don’t get on other races,” said Nussbaum, who has long volunteered with the Swiftsure committee and sailed it several times. “The other thing is that Victoria puts on a heck of a party and the social part of it is very, very strong.”

While very different from three decades ago, when more than 400 boats would enter, the race still has almost a magical ability to draw crowds to the waterfront.

“When I moved here in the ‘70s it was the thing to do on the Memorial Day weekend. Victoria didn’t have a lot of major events … so this was it,” Nussbaum said.

“But, it still is the biggest weekend in Victoria. It’s the biggest tourist weekend. It’s the No. 1 weekend for the summer!! Swiftsure is a big part of that, but there’s lots of other things going on, too.”

The races start with sailboats crossing an invisible line marked by orange flags raised on shore and on HMCS Nanaimo.

“They want to be going full speed as they hit the line when the gun goes, without going over,” Nusbaum told spectators, adding that in a long race, the start is for the crowd.

“In a 100-mile race, the start is actually a really small piece. It’s great for spectators. You want to do your best, but at the end of the day, it’s really going to be your tactics out there that are going to matter.”

Swiftsure Race- Victoria HarbourThe Swiftsure International Yacht Race was first held in 1930 and featured only six boats. Save for a few halts for world events, the Great Depression and the Second World War, the race has continued.

The first Swiftsure Lightship Classic was named for a lightship, a floating lighthouse once anchored by the U.S. Coast Guard at Swiftsure Bank to mark the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait.

The lightship was a convenient marker for yachts to use as turn-around point. That light is especially important, as the sailboat racers would be out on the Pacific after dark. The lightship has long been retired, but this year, the spot was marked by HMCS Nanaimo.

The strait has always provided interesting winds and challenges. Pacific winds are funneled, compressed and speeded up as they move between the Olympic Mountains to the South and Vancouver Island to the north.

Those land formations create unique thermal winds. The sun heats up the land on other side of the strait, causing air to rise and create a breeze. But Swiftsure is an overnight event, so when the sun goes down, those thermal breezes slack off and sails sag.

J/160 JAM sailing Swiftsure RaceAnother frequent challenge arises when the boats sailing in the Lightship Classic leave Juan de Fuca Strait and venture upon the Pacific Ocean. Instead of encountering breezes sped up by the geographic tunnel effect, boats must deal with those over the sea. Sails often sag and flutter.

Then again, maybe neither funneled winds nor thermal breezes arise, whatever the time of day. Some years, the wind just never comes, and resulting contests have been dubbed “the Driftsure.”

Vern Burkhardt, Swiftsure event chairman, said race organizers never stopped re-examining the event and devising new challenges. Burkhardt said the first to come was the Cape Flattery Race, followed by others.

Three years ago, the Hein Bank event was devised. It gives enough distance to offer racers some significant navigation challenges, but deletes the tricky sojourn onto the open Pacific.

This year’s 75th edition started on May 26th off the waterfront park in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Several J/Crews ventured forth and came home with arms loaded with silverware to show for their hard work offshore.  Here is what happened in each of the races.

J/122 sailing Cape Flattery Race- 101.9nm
By far the largest contingent of J/Crews was in this race- thirty-five J/crews participating (20% of the fleet)!  The outcome for that J/Armada was no less than spectacular, as well.  Out of the top sixteen boats Overall, twelve were J’s (75%) from across the spectrum of time and design- J/35 and J/105 to J/111 and J/122E.  A remarkable performance by the crews.  Here are the Overall Cape Flattery Race results:
  • 2nd- Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA
  • 3rd- Christina Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER
  • 4th- John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE
  • 5th- Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II
  • 8th- Jim Geros’ J/105 LAST TANGO
  • 9th- Don Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH
  • 10th- Chuck Stephens’ J/105 PANIC
  • 11th- Doug Schenk’s J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP
  • 12th- Chris Phoenix’s J/105 JADED
  • 13th- Jim Prentice’s J/109 DIVA
  • 15th- Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY
  • 16th- Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO
J/109 racing a container shipBreaking down the various performances by division in the Cape Flattery Race, it was basically clean sweeps of L1, L2, L3 Divisions across the board, an unprecedented performance by a wide variety of boats and crews, including a “first ever” performance by a woman owner/ skipper against the top offshore teams in the Pacific Northwest!
  • H1 Division
  • 2nd- Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA
  • 6th- Ron MacKenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE
  • 8th- Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY
  • L1 Division
  • 1st- Christina Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER- first woman owner/skipper to win
  • 2nd- John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE
  • 3rd- Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II
  • 7th- Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE
  • 8th- Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT
  • 9th- Mike Picco’s J/120 WILD BLUE
  • 11th- Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION
  • 12th- Tom Kelly’s ANAM CARA
  • L2 Division
  • 1st- Don Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH
  • 2nd- Jim Prentice’s J/109 DIVA
  • 4th- Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY
  • 5th- Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO
  • 6th- Jason Vannice’s ALTAIR
  • L3 Division- J/105s
  • 1st- Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO
  • 2nd- Chuck Stephen’s PANIC
  • 3rd- Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP
  • 4th- Chris Phoenix’s JADED
  • 5th- Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT
J/160 JAM sailing Swiftsure RaceHein Bank Race- 118.1nm
Only one J/team sailed the second longest race; that is the famous navy-blue J/160 JAM sailed by John McPhail’s race-winning crew from Seattle and Gig Harbor YC.  Grinding it out with TP52’s, they were 2nd on provisional handicap time at the first turning mark 51.65nm into the race- primarily upwind.  Then, the turbo’d TP52s took off downwind.  Despite their enormous off-wind advantage, JAM still took a 4th in class, less than 1.5 hours corrected time from the silver!  Amazing, considering all the furniture and comforts they were hauling around the course!  Note- the J/160 has a gorgeous varnished teak interior, Ultrasuede cushions, heaters, wine bar/cooler, stove/oven, two enclosed heads the envy of multi-million dollar mansions, a navigation station worthy of some superyachts, an ice-maker that can feed an army of thirsty crew hell-bent on making gallons of The Oar’s famous top-shelf “mudslide”.  The TP52’s?  Hmmm.  Carbon bunks, carbon toilet (e.g. bucket), bunsen burner, no heat, no ice, no headroom, carbon weave bunks, what nav station? Pick your poison; no wonder McPhail has no problem getting enthusiastic, talented crew on the J/160 JAM; especially in the Pacific Northwest’s notoriously cool, misty, energy-robbing conditions offshore.

J/35 sailing in Pacific NorthwestJuan de Fuca Race- 78.7nm
This race had some of the J/classics from the beginning of time back in the early 1980’s- J/30s and J/35s.  In the end, they all had solid performances across the board.  In L1 Division, taking 3rd was Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL. And, in the L2 Division, 3rd was Colin Bishop’s J/30 REDUX and 7th was John Collins’ J/30 SPUD.

Here is an amusing sailing video of a J/105 rounding the Neah Bay marker- the HMSC NANAIMO.  IMHO, shouldn’t they have launched the spinnaker on starboard tack, then done a gybe around the big ship?? Just sayin’.  A useful training video on how to do mark roundings better.   Sailing photo credits- John Clarke and Jan Anderson/ JanPix   Thanks for contribution from the Victoria Times Colonist- photos by Darren Stone and story by Richard Watts   For more Swiftsure International Yacht Race sailing information

J/70s sailing NorwayBrevik SC Leads Norwegian J/70 Sailing League
(Bodø, Norway)- "The best games ever," Juan Antonio Samaranch, said after the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994 hosted in Norway. The same words lay on many lips after the elite racing round in Bodø, Norway.

"The cooperation with Bodø Sailing Association was a delight," says Magnus Hedemark, league manager at SailLogic.  "They really took the event's intention seriously and engaged local business, the audience and the local press. They had a huge cadre of volunteers. Wherever you turned, you saw an orange vest with Bodø Seilforening. It was simply impressive to see what they had done to support the regatta. It was fun to come to Bodø, to get involved,” Hedemark says.

J/70 Norway big screenThe Bodø organizers had a stadium-sized big screen down at the harbor where live broadcasts were broadcast and where SAP's graphics were displayed. In the same place, the business community had cars, banking services and samplings of local seafood- fabulous and delicious!

"We had a lot of people that attended, good wind for the sailors and cool temperatures. The best part was that the sailboats were visible right in front of the waterfront.  And, when the Bodø Sailing team was on fire over the weekend, the audience enjoyed it," said Remi Rasmussen from Bodø Seilforening.

After a dozen races for each of the fifteen teams participating, it was apparent that consistency was necessary to break into the top five, a mistake here or there for just one or two boats was going to be very costly for the top teams.

In the end, it was the Brevik Seilforening team of Dag Usterud, Nils Petter Hovemoen, Oscar Widestam, Ole Martin, and Lunde Lidal that topped the leaderboard by a mere point over their nemesis- RAN Seilforening.  Finishing in third was the Tønsberg Seilforening with 25 pts.

J/70 Norway winners"There is no doubt that the level has been higher and more consistent than last year, something that Åsgårdstrand and Moss, the two dominant associations in 2017, proved to be. Now, those top two teams from last year only managed 5th and 6th place this regatta,” says Magnus Hedemark.

The winning skipper, Dag Usterud, was particularly impressed with the youngsters from Tønsberg and Risør that finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.

"It was fun to see how good the young sailors from Tønsberg and Risør have become. It's been a long time since I've met such good young sailors out on the track like them!  We hope to see more of them, they learn fast!  We need to support them and help them grow faster as sailors,” he said.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League here on Facebook  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League scoring information on SAP  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information

J/70s sailing of DenmarkFrederikshavn Leads Danish J/70 Sailing League
(Frederikshavn, Denmark)- The 2018 Danish J/70 Sailing League kicked off last weekend in Frederikshavn.  The local Frederikshavn Sailing Club hosted the event over the May 26-27 weekend for eighteen teams from across Denmark.  The fleet was treated to two good days of sailing, enabling them to complete eleven races for the two days in the fleet of six boats, with teams rotating for every race.

The pre-regatta favorites included the Royal Danish YC KDY Team with four-time Olympic legend Michael Hestbæk as skipper. Hestbæk had previously sailed- and won- the Champions League with KDY, but this was his first time skippering.  The Horsens Sailing Club crew was also formidable last season and their team this year was Jakob Nicolajsen, Jeppe Bregendahl, Mikkel Hougaard and Andreas Skjerning.  Then, the host club's own team were defending two-time Danish J/70 Sailing League champions; their team this year was comprised of Rasmus Damsgaard, Søren Steen, Rasmus Melsen and Captain Kris Houmann.

J/70s sailing off DenmarkAfter the eleven races were completed, it was apparent the epic duel brewing between KDY and Frederikshavn Sejklub would continue to grow in intensity from the very first race of the first day.  Both clubs won virtually all their races in their heats during the rotations.  Frederikshavn won seven races, took two 2nd and two 3rds, and won the event with just 17 pts total.  Not lacking for competitiveness, the KDY SHARKS won their last two races to add to their three 1sts to take second on the podium with 20 pts total.  Finally, the SEAHORSENS finished in third with 26 pts total.

"A fantastic event and great support from our home town club members! The event has lived up to everything we could hope for and we are thankful for achieving victory at sea, at home! Amazing!,” said Rasmus Melson, crew member for Frederikshavn Sailing Club.

J/70 sailing league supportersNew record- fifth league victory!
It was the fifth time in the league history that Frederikshavn won a competition in the Sailing League. No one has performed better- Hellerup Sailing Club comes closest with four wins.

KDY’s famous Danish skipper- Michael Hestbæk- sailed fast and smart but two fourth places in earlier flights ultimately cost them crucial points in their bid to overtake Frederikshavn.

Horsens Sailing Club team improved their overall performance quite dramatically. Skipper Peter Warrer commented that their club’s recent purchase of three J/70s made an enormous difference in the team’s preparation and training for the first event of the 2018 season.   Singing Cheerleaders on-shore at Danish J/70 Sailing League!   Sailing Highlights League promo video for 2018   Follow the Danish J/70 Sailing League here on Facebook   For Danish J/70 Sailing League scores on SAP Sailing site   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

J/24s sailing UK Nationals off Poole, EnglandCHAOTIC Crowned British J/24 Champion
(Poole, United Kingdom)- An enthusiastic and incredibly strong fleet of twenty-one J/24 teams showed up at the Poole Regatta to sail for their 2018 U.K. National Championship.  The crew at Poole YC did a magnificent job of running nine races over the three days in absolutely stunning weather conditions- sun and good breeze!

The regatta went down to the wire for the duel that started right out of the gate on the first day.  The two protagonists were Nick Phillips CHAOTIC and Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE, both hailing from the same Parkstone YC!  McCarthy’s MADELEINE threw down the gauntlet first, winning the first race, with CHAOTIC taking 2nd.  Then, as if sharpening their swords a bit more, CHAOTIC won the next two races in succession, with MADELEINE getting the short end of that stick with their two 2nds.  Then, things got interesting between these dueling Parkstoners for the next few races.  In the fourth race, McCarthy got black-flagged, then snapped back in ensuing races 5 to 8 with a 4-1-4-4 tally to be leading with 18 pts with a toss race (his BFD).  Meanwhile, Phillips’ crew on CHAOTIC started sailing erratically and J/24s sailing British Nationalschaotically, posting a 4-9-7-2-5 for those same five races to drop to 2nd place with 22 pts (including tossing the 9th). As a result, the final race was going to determine everything between these two teams, not the least bragging rights back at the Parkstone YC bar afterwards!  Both teams had their daggers out for each other, with Phillips’ CHAOTIC crew rising to the occasion to score an 11th (their toss race) versus McCarthy’s MADELEINE getting DSQ’d (their earlier BFD/20 pts being their toss).  CHAOTIC won with 31 pts net to MADELEINE’s 32 pts net.

Watching this duel with breathless anticipation was Jim Torr’s MAJIC team from Saltash Sailing Club, hoping the two regatta leaders would simply self-destruct.  Amazingly, after getting only two podium finishes, the MAJIC crew leapt onto the podium, happy as can be, with 43 pts net.  Not loving that outcome was Giles Kuzyk’s crew on TEAM IMPACT U25, an under 25 yrs old youth team. They were fast, but quite erratic, posting a roller-coaster scoreline of 8-10-10-1-1-6-8-2-10 for 46 pts net- the last race knocking them out of contention for the podium, but having to settle for 4th place.  Nevertheless, there’s clearly talent on their team and they have a bright future for their sailing this summer.  Rounding out the top five was Shane Hewlett’s MOJOSI with 52 pts net.  For more UK J/24 Nationals sailing information

GulfStreamer Race startJ/120 ILLYRIA Flies in Epic Gulfstreamer Race
(Daytona Beach, FL to Charleston, SC)- Hosted and organized by the Halifax River YC in Daytona Beach, FL, the 11th Biennial Gulfstreamer Offshore Challenge took place on Memorial Day weekend. The race, from Daytona Beach to Charleston, SC, covers 226 miles, and has been recognized as the most prestigious offshore sailing event in Central Florida and the Southeastern Atlantic Coast. What is unusual about it’s format is that it is characterized by the “Race within a Race” concept and its long range tactical difficulties.  The race from Ponce Inlet to the Main Street pier is 10nm long, the sprint “race within a race” portion, gives every crew two chances at winning.

The weekend started off on Thursday, May 24 with the traditional Rum Party- it is a wildly popular event for the crews, according to many sailors that survived to tell the tale. It might as well been described as the Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto Party!

NOAA Gulfstreamer weather forecastThe race itself started on Friday, May 25 and ended up being a fast race due to the forecasted near-gale-force winds from the southeast. NOAA’s predictions were for widespread showers and squalls on Friday, winds from the ESE to SE 19-27 kts, gusting to 40 kts.  By nightfall and going into Saturday, the winds would diminish somewhat and veer from SE to SW as a result of Alberto’s movements NNE, blowing 20-26 kts, gusting to 35 kts, with scattered showers and squalls.

The weather was tailor-made for John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA from Charleston, SC.  While taking a 3rd on the short 10nm sprint to the inlet, they simply knocked it out of the park on the offshore 216nm leg, the J/120 reveling in the rough, windy, gigantic waves, posting a corrected time of 24:02:06 to win that leg and the race overall! 

The ILLYRIA crew led a fun and raucous awards ceremony and celebration at the Charleston Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations to Keenan and crew for a job well done in challenging weather conditions.  For more Gulfstreamer Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/109 Junkyard Dog sailing off San Francisco* The J/109 JUNKYARD DOG and her Dog Pound crew have another sailing video of their experience in the Spinnaker Cup Race from San Francisco Bay to Monterey Bay offshore.

According to JUNKYARD DOG’s owner, Jim Goldberg, “It was a very pleasant & casual trip down the Pacific coast this year, with enough wind and swell to make things fun and interesting, but never too much.  Unfortunately, that doesn't offer up a whole lot of crash and burn video footage!

We had a strong start, but dropped the ball when we choose the A6 asym spinnaker over the A4 asym spinnaker as the winds shifted aft.  Besides, it being slower than the A4, I think there just wasn't enough wind to carry the chicken chute deep enough.  I'm still recovering from my SF Bay induced PTSD where it's never a question of "if" it will blow 30+, but "when".  Our area has a way of keeping even the bravest sailors quite humble.  We had a brand new 20-minute-old kite evaporate into thin air at the end of last year’s season on the Bay when a 40-knot gust pinned us on our ear! Ouch!!  There must be some sort of support group in SF Bay for similar sailors suffering from SF Bay induced PTSD, I just need to find them! Races like this are also very good for the soul and confidence!"

Enjoy the J/109 sailing video here on YouTube

J/44 Gold Digger - Jim Bishop's team off Key West Race Week* Jim Bishop, owner of the famous, Caribbean-green J/44 GOLD DIGGER passed away this week.  The Commodore of American Yacht Club, home for Jim’s fleet of boats, offered their condolences to the Bishop family and friends:

“It is with deep sadness that I inform you Jim Bishop Sr. passed away peacefully with his family at his side Thursday, May 24th. Racing his IOD “Makai,” his J/44 “Gold Digger,” and spending time with family and friends on the “Coastal Queen” out of American YC were some of the things he cherished most. Even during his last weeks, he was looking forward to this summer’s racing, and God Willing- the Bermuda Race on his lovingly maintained J/44 GOLD DIGGER. We will all remember him for his generous spirit, perpetual storytelling and that twinkle in his eye.”

Jim was a big fan of the J/Boats team, having worked with Bob Johnstone, in particular, on creating, fostering, and supporting the J/44 One-Design Class; it was modeled on the same principals as the International One-Design class, another fleet that he enjoyed sailing since his youth.  The concept met with great success and the multitude of J/44 owners and the J/Boats team will greatly miss Jim’s enthusiasm and support of the J/44 class.  May his spirit live on sailing the great Gold Digger in the sky.
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