Wednesday, October 31, 2018

J/Newsletter- October 31st, 2018

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week in Europe, the inaugural Swiss J/70 Women’s Sailing League took place in Tenero, Switzerland on Lago Maggiore for fifteen women’s teams from across their Alpine nation. It was close quarters racing for the women and the leading teams both came from Lake Zurich.

Then, from way “Down Under”, we get two reports on J/Team activities in the southern hemisphere. The Australian J/111 Class has seen great racing in Melbourne and a J/109 has been enjoying great racing in Sydney Harbour.

Over in the America’s, the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup took place San Diego, CA, with twelve yacht clubs from across the country competing in J/105s for the honors of winning the prestigious west coast trophy.  In addition, out west, the Richmond YC hosted their annual Halloween festival- the Great Pumpkin Regatta on the northeastern parts of San Francisco Bay for one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and a PHRF Pursuit fleet that included J/111s, J/125, J/109s, and so forth.  Finally, out east, Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD on the Chesapeake Bay hosted the J/24 and J/22 East Coast Championships.  Simultaneously, the J/105s and J/35s were holding their storm-tossed Fall Championship on Chesapeake Bay, hosted by the Annapolis YC.

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 page  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Nov 1-4- French J/80 National Championship- Pornic, France
Nov 1-4- Russian J/70 Sailing League- Sevastopol, Russia
Nov 2- Hong Kong to Hainan Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 3- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 11- Around Hong Kong Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 13- The BIG Sail- San Francisco, CA
Nov 17- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Nov 30- Wirth Munroe Memorial Race- Palm Beach, FL
Dec 1- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France

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

J/105 sailing Lipton CupSan Diego YC Repeats J/105 Lipton Cup Win
(San Diego, CA)- There were a dozen teams from across California (9) and from outside of California (3) that participated in the 104th edition of the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup sailed in a fleet of matched J/105 one-design sailboats supplied by incredibly generous owners from the local J/105 fleet.

As anticipated, the protagonists were going to be all Californian.  In the end, the duel saw a few changes, with the primary actors this time being the local heroes (the San Diego YC team) pitted against a surprising newcomer at the top of this year’s leaderboard- the Long Beach YC team.  In the end, it was a wild finish to the three-day series. Here is how it all played out.

J/105s sailng Lipton CupDay One
Southern California’s home teams showed true perseverance on the first day. Five Southern California yacht clubs dominated the top of the fleet, despite some critical challenges on the course. With tight competition and teams finishing all over the score sheet, there’s no predicting the end of this regatta.

The conditions on the beautiful, city front course in San Diego Bay were favorable. Light, easterly winds started off the regatta but the breeze quickly increased between 8-10 knots for the rest of the day. Sunny skies and flat waters made for a smooth day of sailing.

Currently standing in first place is San Diego Yacht Club (15 points), followed by Long Beach Yacht Club in second (20 points) and Coronado Yacht Club (24 points) in third.

Skipper Tyler Sinks was once again representing the San Diego Yacht Club. The team proved their experience in the regatta with a bullet in race one and race five. In addition to their first place finishes, SDYC stayed consistent at the top of the fleet for the entire day. Team SDYC is the current defender of the Lipton Cup trophy, having won last year’s event.

Sinks explains his success in day one. “We had good speed and really good team work. In sticky situations, we were able to dig our way out. We’re happy to have a good start but we know we’re a long way away from the finish line. We’re going to continue to stay aggressive, keep pushing and get a little bit better tomorrow.”

Although SDYC showed an impressive skill set today, they had real competition against second place team, Long Beach Yacht Club. LBYC, skippered by Shane Young, had remarkable scores across the board starting the day with a bullet and a second, and finishing in third place in race four and five. The team would have finished first overall for day one if it wasn’t for a critical error in race three.

“We averaged under fifth place, which was a goal of ours. I just had one incident resulting in a foul at the top mark that made it pretty difficult for us to recover. We had to do a couple spins to put us back. Other than that, we’re trying not to do anything too aggressive. We want to stay conservative and get off the line,” said Young.

J/105 California YC- Allie BlecherDay Two
It was a busy day on San Diego Bay for day two. With a 580’ Bulk Carrier anchored directly in the middle of the course, U.S. Navy ships making their way in and out of the channel and the CRA Halloween Regatta interweaving, navigating through the course was nothing short of exciting. San Diego Bay was a spectator’s paradise.  For the sailors, it was absolutely chaotic!

The regatta started out under postponement due to fluky and light breezes. Around 1 pm, the breeze picked up to about 8-10 knots and stayed consistent enough to hold four races. Traffic on the Bay made for choppy conditions and many race course obstacles, testing the skills of our twelve Lipton Cup teams.

Race Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges that come with choppy conditions. “It makes it really hard for the competitors when the water is choppy like it was today. They’re constantly having to put the boat in acceleration mode. The sails are full, the bow is down and you’re driving it really hard. It can be tough to execute your strategy.”

“It becomes a safety issue as well. When there are a variety of boats on the course, crossing in each other’s paths, their unpredictable maneuvers make it hard for the boats racing to react. Today, we had to shorten the course, which gives the boat less time to separate and causes a crowd at the marks, making them more likely to collide,” Johnson continued.

The current overall standings show Long Beach Yacht Club (32 points) in first, San Diego Yacht Club (35 points) in second and California Yacht Club (54 points) in third. Race finishes remained inconsistent all over the board with the exception of Long Beach Yacht Club who maintained their position in each race at the top of the fleet.

Series race six started off with San Diego Yacht Club and California Yacht Club holding their positions at the top of the fleet at each mark rounding. Race seven saw two completely different teams take the lead, with Long Beach Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Club dominating the majority of the race. Southwestern joined in the competition leading at every mark rounding alongside Balboa Yacht Club in race eight.  With the exception of SDYC ahead of the fleet by a minute and a half in race nine, every mark rounding saw a new team on the quest for first.

LBYC Skipper Shane Young talked about his success finishing first in day two. “It was all about staying in tune with your trimmers today. John Busch trimming jib was super communicative, talking a lot to me and keeping the boat up to speed through all the chop. The last three races saw breeze all over the map. Hitting shifts and keeping the boat moving through the chop and traffic was super important.” LBYC has stayed in the top of the fleet the entire regatta with an exception of a penalty in race three.

California Yacht Club saw an impressive climb up the score sheet today, finishing the day in third place. Skipper Allie Blecher is a Lipton Cup veteran and was the first female skipper sent by CYC to the regatta. “We have the most amount of girls on board in the fleet and it’s really working out well for us. We’ve been spending as much time as we can out on the water together practicing.” Time in the boat has paid off for the California Yacht Club, who started the day with a second and finished with a third.

J/105 Lipton Cup winners- San Diego YCDay Three
The final day of the Lipton Cup started with gloomy skies and cool breezes around two knots resulting in postponement. Traffic in San Diego Bay was limited, allowing for a wide-open course and minimal wake. Once the breeze picked up to over eight knots, the teams were ready to compete in their final day of races. The sun broke through the clouds and spectator boats surrounded the course in anticipation of the final results. With only three races left to pull to the top of the score sheet, stakes were high on two teams in particular, San Diego Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club.

LBYC started off day three in first with 32 points followed closely by SDYC’s 35 points. Little did they know those three points would follow them to the last race of the day. Interestingly enough, neither team saw particularly great races today. SDYC’s third place in race 11 was the highest placement for either team all day. However, with incredible races on days one and two, the teams were able to hold their positions at the top of the fleet. The real race today was a match race between LBYC and SDYC.

SDYC went into the final race of the day, race 12, with 48 points, three points behind LBYC. Crowds cheered the sidelines of the final race, watching both boats compete at the back of the fleet. SDYC finished in ninth place only beating LBYC by three boats. That was enough for the two teams to end the day in a tie at 57 points. Four bullets for SDYC determined that the tie breaker go to the home team.

“It was a close race. Kudos to those guys for sailing a hell of a regatta. It could have easily been the other way around. It was high stress but we’ve been in these situations before and the guys were cool, calm and collected,” explained Sinks.

LBYC Skipper Shane Young described the races behind the tiebreaker. “There were three races left and we knew we were tight with San Diego. It came down to one point over the whole regatta and losing the tiebreaker. It came down to the last leg and there were three boats in between us, giving them the points they needed. Congrats to them and hats off! Hopefully we can come back next year and we’ll be ready to rock and roll with you guys [SDYC]”.

The overall first place winner was San Diego Yacht Club, followed by Long Beach Yacht Club in second and California Yacht Club in third.

A notable connection between the two teams were their crews. San Diego Yacht Club brothers John and Chris Busch raced head to head on opposing teams, SDYC (Chris) and LBYC (John). The brothers have been racing together for 45 years. They typically sail against each other in long distance races, but this weekend the two saw a friendly family rivalry.

“We started out crewing in my father’s boat and eventually started sailing other boats. Chris went the professional route and I went to work, but still play on the weekends and have a great time. It’s really good seeing Chris do as well as he is throughout his professional sailing career. It’s a fun family rivalry and we’re still going to talk at Thanksgiving and Christmas!” John joked. John and Chris will be sailing against each other again in the 2019 Transpac.  For more J/105 Sir Thomas Lipton Cup sailing information

J/111 AustraliaJ/111’s Sailing FUN Down Under!
(Melbourne, Australia)- Rod Warren, the owner of the J/111 JOUST in Melbourne, Australia, provided this report on the Australian J/111 Class activity.

“We started our season with a regatta held at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron. Five boats, JAKE, JOUST, PLAYLIST, SCARLET RUNNER and VELOCE, competed in the 42 km passage race, followed by four windward-leewards held in medium to heavy conditions over three days.

The first day of the regatta was a passage race beginning in light winds from Sandringham Yacht Club to Blairgowrie. Each boat led at different stages, with VELOCE heading a long way to the right, so far, that we thought they had the course wrong, only to find a shift in breeze and come in 30 seconds ahead of JOUST after six and a half hours of sailing.  SCARLET RUNNER was close behind, followed by JAKE and PLAYLIST.

J/111 Playlist- AustraliaThe Saturday began with fresh breeze and two windward-leewards were held in 20-30 knot breezes. This gave an opportunity for downwind planing and exciting sailing.  VELOCE led JOUST on the first lap but a close gybing contest on the downwind run in 20 knots resulted in a victory to JOUST just ahead of VELOCE and SCARLET RUNNER.

The second race was held in even heavier conditions and, not surprisingly, carnage followed. Every boat had its issues. JAKE blew a spinnaker. VELOCE dropped one over the side and SCARLET RUNNER had an impressive broach. The halyard stripped on JOUST and despite knifing the halyard and dropping the spinnaker, JOUST was able to finish on main alone to win that race with PLAYLIST second and SCARLET RUNNER third.

Australia J/111 Jake crewAfter a terrific regatta dinner on Saturday night at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, hosted by Robert Date (owner of SCARLET RUNNER), the final day of windward-leewards began in 10-15 knots. The first heat saw JOUST lead and extend to get their third heat win. In the second race, a very close start saw all boats vying for position. After an unexpected crash tack, JOUST was back in last position by several hundred metres, with SCARLET RUNNER leading, followed by PLAYLIST, VELOCE and JAKE. A good downwind shift allowed JOUST back into third place, but the heat win went to SCARLET RUNNER, with PLAYLIST a half-boat length ahead of JOUST in second.

The final regatta standings saw JOUST first, SCARLET RUNNER second and PLAYLIST third. This will become an annual event. The five owners of the J/111 are great friends and excellent companions.  This class will surely grow and there is increasing interest around Port Phillip Bay, with a close racing, excellent performance, reasonable budget and great camaraderie.”

J/24s sailing on Chesapeake BayHONEYBADGER Tops J/24 East Coasts
HOT TODDY Crowned J/22 East Coast Champs
(Eastport, MD)- It was another fantastic fall weekend of racing in Annapolis for the J/24 & J/22 East Coast Championship. Teams traveled from across the northeast & mid-Atlantic to join in on the fun this weekend and for the top competition in both classes. 26 J/24 teams raced Friday – Sunday, joined by 13 J/22 teams Saturday & Sunday.

On Land Festivities
We’ll get to the action on the water in a moment – the highlight on land was the Saturday evening regatta & costume party! Over 170 J sailors enjoyed dinner under the tent and shortly afterward, the DJ started pumping the tunes and the costumes came out. The crowd even demanded the annual flip-up challenge between the 24s and 22s before dessert! We were too busy dancing under the tent to even hold the costume contest, but we’ve decided that the “Party Patrol” placed 3rd, George Washington placed 2nd, and the entire cast from Gilligan’s Island, aka the Blo’viate team, was the 1st place winner!

Prior to the party North Sails Zeke Horowitz and Will Welles led the Saturday dock talk, which focused on big air techniques both upwind & down. The breeze was in the high teens, so the focus was on de-powering upwind & weight placement down wind.

Then, champion oyster shucker George Hastings shucked 400 local Delaware Bay oysters during Oyster Happy Hour before the Low Country Boil, prepared by Bread & Butter Kitchen.

Friday evening, Quantum Sails’ Travis Odenbach led a great dock talk and was joined by Mike Marshall, Ian Coleman and Quinn Schwenker. Afterward, the crowed enjoyed local Maryland and cream of crab soups, sandwiches and snacks, before heading out to the Boatyard Bar & Grill’s Full Moon Party!

On The Water Recap by Quantum Sails’ Travis Odenbach
Friday’s weather was what you might expect for fall sailing – misty, chilly and a little bit of everything in terms of breeze – very light with winds out of the east at 4 to 6 knots and lots of current. In the easterly breeze with an ebb tide, the place to be on the race course was the left side! You get up current first and into less current than the right side of the race course. Unfortunately, for Friday there was only one race, but with the rest of the weekend looking like breeze-on, the race committee stayed patient and sent us in to warm up for Saturday.

J/22 sailing offshoreSaturday brought rain and big winds early in the morning, but at 12:00 the rain lessened and the wind moderated. With the wind direction mostly out of the NW and the breeze at 12 to 18 knots, the J/24’s & J/22’s were eager to get started. The racing was very tricky with a starting line pin-favored and the current pushing out, it was hard to make the line. Starting at the pin-third was a must and getting on to port quickly was a good call. This is sometimes the hardest move in sailing. To be on the line at the start with a tide against you, and to be able to tack and clear the fleet, is tough. Although it was not critical to tack right away, teams were certainly looking to tack early. Something I have learned when this scenario presents itself is to try to be reaching on or just below the line with about 20 seconds to go and then when the gun goes off you can turn up quickly and look to tack. Sounds easy, right? The breeze held on all day and we were able to get three in on this amazing day of racing.

On the way out to the race course Sunday for a 1000 warning we had about 10 knots – then the skies cleared, the sun came out and the breeze picked up once again 12 to 18 knots out of the WNW. These were tricky conditions as the breeze was coming from the land and the Severn River. There were plenty of shifts to catch and with the tide starting to come in the fleets became mixed up as everyone tried to regain their bearings. The tide was different than the prior two days and the wind was shifting 20 degrees. The J/24 fleet had a bit of alphabet soup on the menu for the day – I believe one race had 14 or so Z flags handed out and that meant the scores were shuffling!

All in all, it was a beautiful, sunny, fall day in Annapolis and I would not have rather been sailing anywhere else! By regattas end, we had sailed 7 races and only one in breeze under 10 knots. Annapolis delivers in the fall once again!

Thank you again to all who helped put on this event and to all that travelled & participated! Everyone had a part in making this event the perfect regatta and I hope to see everyone next year!

J/24 Results
Now, on to the best part…the awards! Veteran J/24 class sailor Mark Hillman and his team captured 5th place with 53 points. Regatta Co-Chair Jim Bonham and his team on SISU captured the top Corinthian Award with a strong 4th place finish and 52 points.

North Sails’ Mike Marshall & the Bogus team finished 3rd. Tony Parker and his team on Bangor Packet finished 2nd with 41 points.

Finally, congratulations to our 2018 J/24 East Coast Champions — Travis Odenbach, Ian Colman, Geoff Ewenson, Collin Kirby and Monica Morgan on Honeybadger!

J/22 Results
Local J/22 sailor Ian Jones placed third with a total of 18 points. In second place, Jacob Doyle finished with a total of 12 points. And, our 2018 J/22 East Coast Champions are Jeff Todd and his crew on Hot Toddy, Chris Ryan and Chip Carr, finishing with a total of 12 points!

New this year – Drone Footage from Sam Greenfield
Drone Videographer Sam Greenfield, fresh off the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race, joined us in Annapolis for the J/24 & J/22 East Coast Championship! Sam hosted a presentation on Thursday night to discuss the use of drone video in sailing, and other topics including equipment, safety, and more. Sam filmed racing, in addition to SSA’s Carlos Linares, and we’ll post highlight reels from Friday and Sunday available for viewing soon.

Thank You Sponsors, Volunteers & RC!
A big thank you to our Platinum Sponsor, The Rigging Company for their financial support, in-kind donations and staff support throughout the regatta. Year after year, thank you to Tony Parker and Parker Tide for their Gold Sponsorship. And our Bronze sponsors included Boatyard Bar & Grill, and FitzGerald Design Build. Thank you to North Sails, Quantum Sails, APS for their generous in-kind contributions once again to the regatta. And last, but obviously not least a big thank-you to the race committee, headed-up by PRO Juliet Thompson and to the many volunteers that helped make this regatta a great one.  For more J/24 East Coast Championship sailing information

Swiss J/70 Women's Sailing League winnersM.NIL Club Wins Inaugural Swiss J/70 Women’s Cup
(Tenero, Switzerland)- The newly-created Swiss Sailing League Women's Cup was hosted by the National Youth Spot Center Tenero and the YC Locarno this past weekend on Lago Maggiore, Switzerland.  The fifteen women’s teams from across Switzerland enjoyed a total of eighteen races over the two days of racing in highly variable wind and weather conditions.  While the first day was partly sunny with good winds, Sunday turned into a fiasco with little wind and lots of rain. In the end, it was Team M. NIL from Zurich, skippered by Nathalie Winiger and crew of Meret Gebistorf, Irina Hotz, and Livia Naef that won with three 1sts, two 2nds and a 3rd.

Swiss J70 women sailors on Lago MaggioreDay One
After 15 races with winds ranging from 4 to 10 kts, the SC Thalwil Team, skippered by Mara Bezel with crew of Giulia Corelli, Fiona Müdespacher and Alexa Bezel were leading the Women's Cup on Lake Maggiore. The racing was tight and exciting. In fact, so close that SC Thalwil was leading on a tiebreaker over Team M. Nil skippered by Nathalie Winiger.  Then, just one point back was the Zurich SC Team with Armei Keller, Franziska Gluer, Olga Henneberg, Zoé Straub, and Karin Nordstrom.

The YC Locarno PRO and RC team were lucky to get in so many races considering the weather forecasts.  The initial expectation was for continuous rain and just 1-5 kts of wind from the south.  However, apart from two rain showers, the sailors stayed dry and the atmosphere was excellent.  From 1000 to 1600 hrs, the regatta PRO managed to run 15 races and 5 flights for each of the 15 women’s teams, so each team could sail 5 races.

The racing was fast and thrilling and the lead changed constantly. In addition to the top three teams, Team CER, Société Nautique de Genève, Regattaclub Oberhofen and Thunersee Yachtclub all celebrated chances for victory in at least one race. The sailors from Club de Voile de Lausanne showed their potential with 2 race wins, but were thrown back to seventh place by a premature start.

Swiss J/70 Women's Sailing League- Lago MaggioreDay Two
The one and only flight determined the outcome for the Women’s Cup for the day.  That meant that all fifteen teams could sail just one race in the final showdown due to the terrible weather.  The day dawned with continuous rain and very light winds from the north.  After an initial postponement, the YC Locarno PRO sent the teams out for a “drift-a-thon” with northerly whispers of breeze of 3-6 kts max.

Team M. NIL and SN Geneve each won races, as did Thunersee YC. However, SC Thalwil had a disastrous 4th place.  As a result of those performances, Nathalie Winiger’s crew on Team M. NIL won the regatta with 10 pts total.  However, the balance of the podium and the top five were determined by tiebreakers!  At 12 pts each, Zurich SC took the silver with a 2-1-5-1-1-2 tally over Team SN Geneve (Laurane METTRAUX, Nathalie BRUGGER, Elodie-Jane METTRAUX, Marie van der KLINK, Coraline JONET) that had a 1-3-3-1-3-1 record. Then, the battle for fourth saw a tie-breaker on 13 pts each, with Team SC Thalwil (Mara BEZEL, Giulia CORBELLI, Alexa BEZEL, Fiona MÜDESPACHER) taking the 4th with a 1-2-4-1-1-4 scoreline over Team Thunersee YC (Sophie MOSEGAARD, Fiona SCHÄRFER, Maya SIEGENTHALER, Linda FAHRNI, Monika MEIER) that had a 2-2-2-2-4-1 tally for 5th place.  Of the fifteen teams, it was readily apparent that the top five crews were all highly competitive and it only took one bad race to drop them out of contention for the gold.  Each of those teams had a least one Olympic sailor, a World circumnavigator, World Match Race sailor, or a Swiss champion on board!  For more Swiss Women’s J/70 Sailing League information

AYC regatta winnerStormy Chesapeake Champs for J/105s & J/35s
(Annapolis, MD)- On the Chesapeake Bay, “weekend” racing does not stop until mid-December when the first half of Frostbite Season ends.  However, the slate of annually run regattas wrapped up with J/105s competing for their Chesapeake Bay Championship and J/35s gunning for a Mid-Atlantic Championship title. Here is the report on the stormy weekend.

“With a nor’easter bearing down on us, Race Chair Sandy Grosvenor and Event PRO Steve Kling made the decision to postpone Saturday’s first warning by two hours to allow the sea state to settle in and the predicted 30-40kt gusts to continue northward.

The official announcement was posted online and presented to a grateful group of competitors, who were able to bring their crew up to speed in a timely manner. At 1300 the first race of the day kicked off in 20+ kts and 2-3’ swells, but considering how many days we lost of racing this year due to no wind, the conditions were perfect, if not challenging, for a mid-fall championship weekend.

The Race Committee ran two races on Day 1 including a five-leg course for race 2, which put the tired, cold, and wet competitors closer to home at the finish line.

Day 2, Sunday, kicked off 30 minutes earlier than initially planned to give the Committee a good chance of fitting in three races in a timely manner before sending crews ashore to warm up in the Skipjack for the trophy presentation. With the sun out and the breeze in the mid to high teens, the 1030 warning sent the J/35s and J/105s off on the first of two 4-legged races before wrapping up Race 5 for the regatta with 5-legs and very happy sailors.

Topping the podium in the J/35 class was long time fleet member Aunt Jean with Jim Sagerholm and Jerry Christofel. In second place, local J/35 Fleet Captain, Roger Lant on Abientot. Wrapping up the trophy recipient list for the class was member Bruce Artman on T-Bone with Brian Wiersema trimming headsails. To no one’s surprise, Cedric Lewis and Fredrik Salvesen with their long time crew on Mirage once again found themselves on the trophy list for the J/105 class, picking up 1st place for the regatta. In 2nd place, John White sailing with Shane Zwingelberg and Sarah Russell. In 3rd place, Andrew Kennedy’s team on Bat IV.

Closing out the presentation was the most meaningful award for local J/105 sailors, as a trophy lost in the fire was adopted by member Andrew Kennedy, Bat IV, and Andy & Leslie Skibo, former owners of Plum Crazy, and presented for the first time since its loss. The Steve Gale Memorial Award was awarded to Mirage’s Greg Larcher. Gale, who passed away in 2010, was a long time bowman for both Plum Crazy and Bat IV, and the trophy was created to recognize the bowman for the top place boat in the fleet’s fall championship. The trophy is now on display in the Clubhouse and will be updated with the winners’ names since its origination.”  For more Chesapeake Bay Championship sailing information

J/109 Blue Sky- Sydney, AustraliaJ/109 BLUE SKY Sailing Fast in Sydney Harbour Racing
(Sydney Harbour, Australia)- The Blues Point Hotel and Blues Point YC hosted the annual Balmain Pub Challenge last Sunday. It was a handicap pursuit race sailed in the western end of Sydney Harbour.  Here’s the report from J/109 BLUE SKY owner Carl Braden:

“G'Day from Down Under! We raced our J/109 BLUE SKY in the Balmain Pub Challenge against a strong fleet of fast well-sailed boats.  We were beaten by a DK46 to secure second. This race showed again what a great performer the J/109 continues to be! We love the boat!”

J/111 sailing Great Pumpkin RaceJ/Crews Enjoy The Great Pumpkin Race!
(Richmond, CA)- Over the Halloween weekend, the Richmond YC hosts their annual Great Pumpkin Regatta over two days in the northeastern part of San Francisco Bay.  It is a wildly popular event, with costume parties, Halloween parties, and plenty of revelry all weekend long as it also marks the calendar as one of the premiere end-of-season sailing regattas.  The event featured one-design classes for J/70s, J/24s, J/105s, and a PHRF Pursuit fleet that included J/111s, J/120s, J/105s and so forth.

In the J/70 Class, it was Mark Thomas’ KANGAROO JOCKEY that won with all bullets, with Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE in second and Jim Diepenbrock’s WINGMAN RACING in third.

Similarly, the J/105 class also saw a clean sweep, with Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE winning handily, followed by Chris Kim’s VUJA STAR in second and Larry Levit’s ARCHIMEDES in third.

J/88 sailing Great Pumpkin RaceThe J/24s had tight racing for the top five with everything depending on the outcome of the last race.  Winning was Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR with 5 pts, followed by Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS in 2nd with 7 pts.  Third was determined by a tiebreaker on 10 pts each, with Paul Ravenswaay’s FERAL ROOSTER taking the bronze on countback over Val Lulevich’s infamous SHUT UP & DRIVE!  Fifth was Richard Stockdale’s FROG LIPS.

In the Sunday Pursuit Race, Zach Anderson’s J/125 VELVET HAMMER took the silver, followed by Reuben Rocci’s J/111 SWIFT NESS in third. Peter Cameron’s J/70 KANGAROO JOCKEY took 10th as the top small boat and Dave Britt’s J/88 SPLIT WATER placed 12th; a great showing for these four boats in a fleet of 138 boats!  For more The Great Pumpkin Regatta sailing information
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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

J/Newsletter- October 24th, 2018

J/24s sailing regattaJ/24 East Coast Championship Preview
(Eastport, MD)- The Severn Sailing Association will be hosting its annual J/24 East Coast Championship this coming weekend in Eastport, MD.  Twenty-six teams are participating and the crews will be sailing on the choppy, current-laden waters of the northern Chesapeake Bay.

Several past World, North American, and East Coast Champions will be present, hoping to add yet another title to their trophy shelves.  Those teams include Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Al Constants’ BLITZ from New York, NY; Trevor Boyce’s NO SKIRT REQUIRED from Hamilton, Bermuda; Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME; Mark Hillman’s crew from Bethesda, MD; Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from Rochester, NY; and Mike Marshall’s BOGUS from Jamestown, RI.  For more J/24 East Coast Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the European world, it was a busy week of sailing league finales in France, Switzerland, and Germany. On Lago Maggiore, the Tenero YC hosted twenty-one youth teams at Tenero, Switzerland.  Then, the French J/80 Sailing League Finale took place at La Rochelle, France, hosted by Société des Régates Rochelaises for eighteen teams.  Finally, the German J/70 Sailing League Champions were determined in a finale at Hamburg, Germany and sailed on the famously gorgeous Alster Lake; the regatta was hosted by the Hamburg SC for the eighteen teams.  While the sailing league teams were spinning around 2nm courses in 15 minutes, the largest offshore event of the year in the Mediterranean took place- the Royal Malta YC hosted their 50th Anniversary 606nm Rolex Middle Sea Race.  As usual, the fleet of fifty-five boats was presented with drifting calms and 40 kt squalls.

Over in America, two events took place on the east coast, the Annapolis Fall Regatta hosted by the Storm Trysail Club and the J/70 Fall Brawl hosted by Eastport YC for the fleet of 18 boats.  Then, out west the San Diego YC hosted another entertaining edition of International Masters Regatta, sailed in San Diego’s South Bay for a fleet of a dozen masters from America and Canada.

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 page  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 26-28- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 26-28- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 27-28- Swiss J/70 Women’s Cup- Tenero, Switzerland
Oct 27-28- J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 27-28- The Great Pumpkin Regatta- Richmond, CA
Nov 1-4- French J/80 National Championship- Pornic, France

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

J/122 sailing Middle Sea Race off MaltaStormy, Gear-buster Rolex Middle Sea Race
(Gzira, Malta)- The 50th Anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race will go down in history as yet another stormy, challenging race.  While not nearly as strong as last year’s mistral that clobbered the fleet with up to 45 kt winds and enormous 10-15 ft seas, this year’s 606nm blast around Sicily and the islands was no picnic.  The fifty-five boat fleet started off Malta last Saturday and most of the fleet was finished in five days. 

Countries represented in the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race included Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. Amongst the fleet of nine J/Teams, eight countries were represented!

The J/109 Jarhead Young Sailors Malta rounded Favignana on the fourth day of the race, with 250 miles to go, the crew of teenagers backed by the Jarhead Young Sailors Foundation- a Maltese non-profit organization with the principal purpose of educating youth in the sport of sailing- was making the most of their testing experience. “Happy to be round Favignana.... And heading for home!” blogged Jarhead. “It has been a tough 36 hours, but the young guys are doing well and in high spirits, now we are blast reaching south!” 

J/133 Jivaro sailing off MaltaYves Grosjean’s J/133 JIVARO called in while passing the island, 185 miles from the finish: “We are tired, but our spirit is good. Every year we do this race, it is never the same. We love coming back because it is a well-organized, magnificent race, with a beautiful course, which is always mysterious.”

Then, George David on the Maxi RAMBLER 88 reports, “this was a challenging race. There were a couple of notable points including a big squall north-west of Trapani, about 40 knots for us, and a bunch of park ups when we were ahead of everybody. The summary for the race is zero knots to 40 knots and winds from east, west and north, but no south! South was the one direction we didn’t see on the compass rose this time!”

In the ORC 4 Division, Yves Grosjean’s J/133 JIVARO finished 4th on handicap scoring, followed by Matt Stokes’ Canadian team on the J/133 BLUE JAY III in 6th position, and then Andrew Hall’s British team on the J/121 JACKHAMMER took 7th.

Sicily volcano- during Rolex Middle Sea RaceIn the ORC 5 Division, Nicolas Ibanez Scott’s J/122E ANITA took 3rd on the podium, followed by Cascino Giuseppe’s Italian team on the J/122 JOY RC YACHTING in 5th place. 

In the IRC 5 division, Ibanez-Scott’s J/122E ANITA took 5th place, while Grosjean’s J/133 JIVARO placed 7th.

Then, in the IRC Doublehanded Division, the J/109 2HARD took the silver, sailed by the Austrian pair of Hartl & Wolf.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

Dave Perry wins J/105 MastersPerry Crowned 2018 J/105 Masters Champion
(San Diego, CA)- A dozen international masters skippers from America and Canada assembled on the green lawn between San Diego YC and the Malin Burnham Sailing Center to pick up their spinnakers and get their boat rotation sheets for the first day of racing on the fleet of matched, one-design J/105s. The sailors were looking forward to three gorgeous days of sailing on San Diego’s South Bay- an oasis of perfectly flat water ringed by a barrier island on one side and miles of US Navy dock yards on the other.  The weather forecasts held true to form in classic S.D. fashion, “marine layer/ fog” in the mornings, clearing by midday, with sea breezes building in from the southwest and varying from 6 to 13 kts. In the end, Dave Perry from Pequot YC won the day with a crew “borrowed” from Dennis Case’s old J/105 WINGS championship team in San Diego.  Here is how it all went down to determine the 2018 International Masters Champion.

J/105s sailing Masters off San DiegoDay One
Light winds in the morning resulted in a 30-minute postponement, but the wind peaked at 12 knots by midday with temperatures in the low 80s. Cloudless skies and flat water made for ideal racing on the windward leeward course on beautiful south San Diego Bay.

Dave Perry and Tad Lacey, both International Masters Regatta veterans, held their position in the front of the fleet and finished with a tie of 12 points. However, Perry’s win in Race Three was a crucial element to his standing, moving him into first place and putting Lacey in second. Holding the third place position was John Andron, winner of Race Two.

Perry explained how he feels about coming in first on Day One. “It’s fun to be racing with really good people, not only my crew, but the other competitors on the course. Everyone on the boat knows the game and is always doing their job.”

SDYC Member John Reiter sailed onboard with Perry today. “Several of us have sailed together in this regatta on these boats five times. This year we put back together the old band, added Alex Camet, who sailed with us last year, and got together a great crew. Dave does not have to worry at all about what’s happening on the boat. It’s easy for him to just relax and sail.”

“There was more current than everyone thought. The boats that went out of the current were always gaining from the left. We remembered that eventually and did well. We had no real mistakes today,” he continued.

Newcomer Julian Bingham from Mobile, AL made an impressive comeback today winning Race Four after finishing towards the bottom of the fleet for the first three races. “The competition is extremely tough here and it really makes for nice sailing. We seemed to get going reasonably well at times, but the racing was so close, the mark roundings were difficult to manage and we lost a few boats… It takes a little while to get a feel for the boat, the guys were trimming a little better and everything started to go well for us in Race Four. Hopefully one time wasn’t luck!”

J/105s sailing off San Diego, CADay Two
There’s an old adage in sailing: If you’re not over early every once in a while, you’re not pushing hard enough. Day Two was full of action, particularly at the start line. A handful of boats jumped the gun and were penalized with OCSs. At this point in the regatta, the Masters are looking to put points on their competitors by getting a good start and an early lead. But, this strategy took a toll on second place sailor, Tad Lacey.

Conditions for Day Two were variable compared to Day One. The races started on a course axis of about 250 degrees. The wind steadily backed 50 degrees to the left throughout the day with numerous mark changes. The Race Committee adjusted the weather mark three times before the start of Series Race Eight. By the end of the day, the breeze faded from a peak of 9 knots to an average of about 6 knots for the final race.

Dave Perry and his crew sailed competitive races, coming in first during Series Race Six and second in Series Race Eight. Perry continued to hold his first place standing at the end of Day Two with 26 points. Tad Lacey was in second with 38 points and Andy Roy was in third place with 44 points.

Watching from the sidelines was San Diego Race Director Jeff Johnson. “It’s really important at this point in a three day regatta to make moves on your competitors. With Perry and Lacey tied for first at the finish of yesterday, Lacey needed to gain points on Perry. The best way for him to have done that would be to get a good start and dominate the first leg. Unfortunately for Lacey, he pulled the trigger too early 50% of the time today. It’s really hard to come back from that.”

Another standout in the results was a three-way tie for third between Andy Roy, Bill Menninger and Jon Andron, all finishing the day with 44 points. Roy won the tie breaker by taking second place in Series Race Seven.

Bill Menninger, winner of the 2016 International Masters Regatta, explained how he was going to get pull ahead of the tie on Sunday. “The competition is getting stiffer every year… We’re going for all firsts tomorrow and with that we might have a chance to win. Our only strategy is to sail fast!”

After the races, the sailors enjoyed the famous SDYC Banquet on Saturday evening. Race Chair Alli Bell talked about the traditions of the Banquet, “every year at the Banquet we hold a roast between all of the Masters. All of these competitors have known each other for so long. It’s fun for them to come and reminisce about old times in a way that sometimes is a little teasing. Plus, you learn a lot about them that you didn’t know before!”

J/105s sailing Masters in San Diego, CADay Three
The breeze for Day Three started off similar to Days One and Two with light winds from the south. The morning’s foggy skies burnt off just in time for the regatta, but made for some unique photo opportunities on the way out to the course. The wind picked up and peaked at 9 knots midday, again making for ideal racing conditions on South Bay.

Two new sailors to the International Masters Regatta also proved themselves with smart, intense sailing this weekend. Andy Roy, coming from Royal Canadian Yacht Club, started off Day One in fourth place and moved one step up the ladder each day, finishing in second place and earning his spot on the podium. California Yacht Club’s Bill Peterson saw a similar climb finishing in third place by the end of the regatta. Both sailors were new to the J/105.

Roy returned to the docks after the races thrilled with his position. “We’re really blown away. I’ve never been in a J/105 until the regatta. I owe this success to the crew, these guys are really good and they made it all happen. It was a bit of a learning curve for me. I learned a lot the first day about handling the boat and picked it up the second day. If I get invited again, I’ll absolutely be back.”

The real win here at the 2018 International Masters Regatta was watching old friends sail and race against each other in friendly competition. In a SDYC Sailcast episode with Dave Perry a few weeks prior to the Masters, he touched on the event. “It’s all about people who have played the sport intensely in their youth. We all have families and businesses now, and this Masters event helps us all come back together. It’s like we’re all twenty again. We go out there, bash heads and sail hard. We’re all kids again, but we have a lot more stories to tell.”

After the final race, all twelve J/105s motor-sailed back to the Club to clean up before the Awards Ceremony where Commodore Dorgan presented the trophy. “The regatta was fantastic. It’s an honor to have twelve incredible sailors join us for this prestigious event at the San Diego Yacht Club. The volunteers around the Club made for a seamless weekend and the shore side crew did a fantastic job equalizing all the J/105s. Thank you to the owners of the Tug Tussler and the Dock Crew who managed the floating dock allowing for quick, easy rotations in between races.”

Five-time U.S. Match Racing Champion Dave Perry started the regatta off strong and in the lead on Day One. Then, on Day Two, Perry never let the momentum die. Numerous sailors jumped the gun and were forced to restart while Perry’s seasoned skillset and stacked San Diego crew got off the line clean and kept Perry at the top of the score sheet.

Dave Perry interviewWhen asked about the most important aspect of his win, Perry responded, “The day I put together my crew.” Perry had several local SDYC members return from last year and added previous friends he has sailed with in the past. “When they all said yes was the best day of the regatta,” he continued.

Perry came to the San Diego Yacht Club this weekend from Connecticut where he sails at Pequot Yacht Club. He is known all around the country as an expert on the racing rules of sailing and as a Match Racing guru. Perry is a member of the Sailing World Hall of Fame and has dedicated much of his career volunteering with US Sailing, currently serving on its Board of Directors. He is a true ambassador for the sport of sailing.

“I’m at the [San Diego Yacht] Club a lot, but I’m usually here to teach, not to race. Similar to match racing, there were so many situations just one-on-one in this regatta, like coming into the start and coming into the windward mark. If you teach something, you’re always thinking about it. I have a good visual image of the race course,” Perry explained.

Race Chair Alli Bell worked behind the scenes all weekend to put together an outstanding weekend for the visiting Masters and thought the entire weekend was phenomenal. “It’s pretty cool to see a home town crew win. Dave came pretty close last year and had an unfortunate breakdown in one of the races, taking him out of the top three. I think this is some really good vindication for him and I’m really happy to see someone who’s a big contributor to the sport of sailing do so well this weekend.”   Interview with Dave Perry    Sailing video highlights of Race 11   Follow the J/105 Masters Regatta on Facebook here   For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information

Robin Team's crew on J/122 TEAMWORKJ/122 Dominates Annapolis Fall Regatta
(Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis Fall Regatta has developed into a Chesapeake Bay tradition since the Storm Trysail Club- Chesapeake Station founded the regatta in 2002.

Longtime Storm Trysail Club member Dick Neville served as principal race officer. The Annapolis resident is widely recognized as one of the best in the business, having served as on-water chairman for Block Island Race Week and Key West Race Week among many major regattas.

Neville sent the fleet on a nice tour of the Chesapeake Bay during the Friday distance race, which will be divided into two parts. The distance race started off Greenbury Point, with a scoring gate at the mid-point, providing competitors with an opportunity to recover from a poor start or bad leg to still earn a placement. “Effectively, it was two races, a fun formula for the sailors,” Neville said.

Then, Neville managed to run three more races (for five total) off Thomas Point Lighthouse to complete the regatta. In the end, it was Robin Team’s famous J/122 TEAMWORK that virtually ran the table on the fleet, scoring a 1-1.5-2-1-1 for just 6.5 pts in the five races to win the ORC Division; no one else was even close.

Robin Team has fond memories of the annual regatta organized by the Storm Trysail Club and held each October. The North Carolina skipper entered the 2008 edition and placed second in class, making the maiden competition for his J/122 a rousing success.

“I will always remember that regatta because it started the current TEAMWORK career 10 years ago,” said Team, a resident of Lexington, N.C. “The boat was commissioned there in Annapolis and we entered that regatta to get a feel for how she sails.”

TEAMWORK has made a name for itself up and down the East Coast in the decade since, capturing the prestigious Palmetto Cup as overall winner of Charleston Race Week four times and securing class championships at Key West Race Week four times. Most recently, TEAMWORK topped its class at Block Island Race Week in 2017.

Team came back to the Chesapeake Bay for the first time since making his debut, hoping to add the Annapolis Fall Regatta to his long list of accomplishments- they succeeded in spades.

“We love Annapolis and racing on the Chesapeake Bay is pretty good during that time of the year,” Team said.

TEAMWORK is a family-based program with Robin sailing alongside his brother Adam and sons Alston and Coleman. Bill Fuqua, who has been best friends with Robin Team since they met at Camp Seagull as youngsters, might as well be family.

Truth be told, three Annapolis-area sailors are also adopted Team family members after racing aboard Teamwork for almost 15 years, dating back to when Robin owned a J/120 that earned PHRF Boat of the Week honors at Key West.

North Sails- Chesapeake professional Jonathan Bartlett is the long-time tactician aboard TEAMWORK while Kevin Ryman is the mainsail trimmer and Jeff Reidle the headsail trimmer.

“Jonathan, Kevin and Jeff have been integral parts of our program and we would love to come up there and win that regatta in their hometown,” Team said.

Jabin's once again served as home base with Storm Trysail Club- Chesapeake Station serving drinks and appetizers in the gazebo following Saturday’s action.  For more Storm Trysail Annapolis Fall Regatta sailing information

German J/70 Youth sailing league- Hamburg, GermanyNRV Crowned German J/70 Sailing League Champions
(Hamburg, Germany)- The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg were crowned as Champions for the 2018 German J/70 Sailing League for the fourth time!  After their title wins in 2013, 2014 and 2017, the Hamburg team kept their nerves in front of the home crowd, defend their championship title and collecting the fourth star for their jersey.

"The event here in Hamburg, as well as the whole season, was nerve-racking and every time a tough fight. Everything can happen and, therefore, it was exciting to the last second. But, that's what's special about the league. In the end, it went perfectly for us and we are super happy and satisfied," explains Tobias Schadewaldt (helmsman).  His NRV teammates included Johann Kohlhoff, Klaas Höpcke and Malte Päsler.

German J/70 Youth winnersThe NRV team record was Friedrichshafen (1st), Tutzing (8th), Travemunde (1st), Berlin (1st), Kiel (5th) and Hamburg (1st) for a total of just 17 pts in those six events.  Another 8 pts back, taking the silver on the podium was Bayerischer YC with 25 pts total and the bronze went to Wurttembergischer YC with 34 pts.  The balance of the top five included Wassersport-Verein Hemeligen in fourth with 34 pts and Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee in fifth with 40 pts.

SAILING Champions League
In addition, the final regatta in 2018 was also about qualifying for the SAILING Champions League. The four best clubs get hold of a starting place in the SAILING Champion League Semifinals for the 2019: Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Bayerischer YC, Wurttembergischer YC, and Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee.

A big thank you to KRAFTWERK, Audi, SAP, Gazprom, Nord Stream, Marinepool, BAY, Dusseldorf, FSE Robline, Budweiser Budvar, North Sails and Mittelmann's shipyard. The sixth season of the German Sailing Bundesliga would not have been possible without the support of these strong partners.  For more German J/70 Sailing League information

France J/80 Sailing League- La Rochelle, FranceCVSAE Win French J/80 Sailing League Finale
(La Rochelle, France)- Three and a half months after the first stage in Brest, the eighteen sailing clubs gathered in La Rochelle for the 3rd edition of the French National Sailing League, sailing in a fleet of matched J/80 one-design class sailboats.  Host for the regatta was the Société des Régates Rochelaises.

After the Brest regatta, it was the APCC Voile Sportive Team from Nantes that was leading, just ahead of the Normans of the CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf (CVSAE). The teams were recruiting top talent to help them improve their performance, including such French sailing superstars like Kévin Péponnet (470 World Champion), Maxime Mesnil (3rd in the European Open Match-Racing Championship), and Pauline Courtois (World No. 1 in Women’s Match-Racing)!

French J/80 Sailing LeagueDay 1- Friday
Racing started as scheduled at 12:30pm sharp in ideal conditions, with an East/ Northeast breeze of 10-15 knots and great sun.

The racing took place at the foot of the Dike du Nouveau Monde Port des Minimes of La Rochelle. The Normans of CV Saint-Aubin Elbeuf (led by Cédric Chateau and Pauline Courtois) took the best start, with 3 victories in 4 contests. But, the Nantais of the APCC Voile Sportive and the Parisians of the CV Saint-Quentin were close behind in a formidable battle for the podium.

J/80's sailing off La Rochelle, FranceDay 2- Saturday
As yesterday, the weather conditions were perfect, with a 15- 20 knots blowing from the northeast. The leaders from the first day- APCC Nantes, CVSAE and CVSQ took control of the day.

The Nantais of the APCC sailed well in the morning, by winning this first big meeting against the CVSQ and the CVSAE. But, the Normans, led by Cédric Chateau had the answer, with 4 more victories in 5 races thereafter. It was a performance that propelled them to the top of the standings on equal points with, amazingly enough, the APCC! At home, with their Olympic duo of Mathilde de Kérangat & Kévin Péponnet, the crew of the Société des Régats Rochelaises was very consistent throughout the day, and they just behind the APCC and the CVSAE after the day’s racing.

French J/80 Sailing League winnersDay 3- Sunday
After six more races were sailed for each team on Sunday, it was clear the trio leading the regatta were not going to let up in their battle against each other.  Each of the teams continued to score top three tallies, with CVSAE closing out the series with two bullets to wrap up their win in La Rochelle as well as for the overall series win on a tie-breaker over APCC Voile Sportive Nantes.  Sailing well to take third was SR Rochelaises in La Rochelle, but ended up in 4th for the overall title.  CV Saint Quentin finished 4th in the regatta and, thus, took 3rd in the overall series.

Day 1 highlights-
Day 2 highlights-
Day 3 highlights-

French Sailing League- Q&A interview of top teams (in French)   For more French J/80 Sailing League information

Swiss J/70 Sailing League- on Lake Maggiore, SwitzerlandYC Bielersee Tops Swiss Youth J/70 League
(Tenero, Switzerland)- Twenty-one Swiss sailing clubs sailed their first ever Swiss Sailing League Youth Cup on Lago Maggiore. The host was the Locarno Yacht Club together with the Tenero National Youth Sport Center (CST). The teams sailed with a crew of five teenagers on the matched fleet of J/70 one-design sailboats.

In dreamlike conditions, the Swiss Sailing League Youth Cup was launched on Lake Maggiore. With southerly winds of 8-12 kts, the fleet enjoyed nine races on the first day racing. After the first day of the Swiss J/70 Sailing League winnersregatta, the Bielersee YC was leading the fleet by just one point ahead of the Regattaclub Oberhofen, 3rd place was the Zurich Sailing Club.

In excellent wind conditions, the fleet had a great set of races on the last day of the competition.  With five victories and a second place, the YC Bielersee won the regatta; their team included Damian Suri, Alissia Mueller, Chantal Suri, Léo Chassot and Florian Geissbühler. Taking second was the Zurich YC team led by skipper Lukas Looser and third place went to Regattaclub Oberhofen with helmsman Nick Zeltner.  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/70s sailing off Annapolis, MDJOINT CUSTODY Dominates J/70 Fall Brawl
(Annapolis, MD)- The Eastport YC hosted the annual J/70 Fall Brawl for a fleet of eighteen boats on the Chesapeake Bay.  The fleet was treated to a total of five races in nice sailing conditions.

Winning the regatta with four deuces and a bullet was Ray Wulff’s crew on JOINT CUSTODY for a total of 9 pts.  Taking second was Henry Filter’s team on WILD CHILD with a 6-5-3-3-3 for 20 pts. Third was Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA with a tally of 3-6-4-7-7 for 27 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Peter Firey’s PHOENIX in 4th and Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE in 5th place.  For more J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

J/Newsletter- October 17, 2018

J/97E sailing off & 48 North Reviews of J/97E
(Seattle, WA)- In the past month or so, readers in both Germany and the USA’s Pacific Northwest have had a chance to learn more about the dynamic, easy-to-sail J/97E sport cruiser.

In Germany, the YACHT magazine took the opportunity to compare/ contrast four current performance-cruisers of the ten-meter class: the J/97E, the Dehler 34, the Diva 34 and the Elan S4. Their hope was to find out if they were cozy or sporty or even better- both.

The four boats were sailed out of Neustadt, Germany and testing took place on the Baltic Sea.

In the first part of the test, the YACHT test crew was mainly concerned with the sailing characteristics of the yachts. In addition to evaluating their performance, it was also about the layouts on deck with all the advantages and disadvantages of handling in a maneuver. There are comparative comments on the equipment on deck and on the quality of the attachments. And the YACHT testers also dealt with the maneuverability under power in the harbor.

J/97E interiorThe second part of the test was about the interiors and comfort. Which of the performance cruisers score in terms of comfort and storage options? The focus of the test was all about cruising. The YACHT test crew also examined the quality of construction and interior design. In the end, part 2 deals with the burning question of whether the bottom line can lead to a clear winner. Not surprisingly, the J/97E not only scored well on the “performance” test, but also was rated highly for its interior creature comforts by the YACHT testers.  If you can listen to German, check out these videos on YouTube here. sailing review video interior review video  Sailing photo credit- Nico Krauss

In Seattle, WA in the Pacific Northwest, there is also a lot of racing on Puget Sound as well as cruising in the gorgeous San Juan Islands. Joe Cline, Editor of 48° North, took a new J/97E through its paces and here is his commentary below.

J/97E sailing under spinnaker“The J/97, in some form, has actually been on the market since the first hull was finished in 2008. It was built to prioritize ease and versatility while maximizing performance under the IRC racing rule. It did so beautifully, with many early wins, and a great deal of positive response from cruising and racing sailors alike, as well as critics (it won Sailing World’s Boat of the Year for Best Club Racer in 2010). Since that time, the boat has gotten a primarily cosmetic design update and is now called the J/97E, but the broad appeal remains. New boats have been selling in the Pacific Northwest, including the one that belongs to Scott McConnell, who is a terrific guy and who took some of the 48° North crew sailing recently on a stunning September day.

Sailing with new boat owners has become a real joy for me; it is so fun to get to know why someone makes the big decision to buy a new boat. In Scott’s case, he’s started in a San Juan 24 before moving into larger cruising boats. Now he’s excited to downsize, and says that having a boat he really wanted to go sailing on – something fast, fun, and easy – was his biggest motivator to choose J/97E. Unlike his other boats, he’s keeping the boat nearer to his home instead of closer to the islands, and he’s LOVING it, sailing more often than he even hoped.

I had a chance to explore the J/97E at the Seattle Boat Show and was truly eager to see her in action. Honestly, of all the boats I’ve tested, the J/97E might be the boat that best suits my personal sailing desires, with its simplicity, speed, and ability to race or cruise, all in a midsize package. I’ll try to keep any personal bias in check.

J/97E sailing upwindThe J/97E is a very sharp design, and approaching the boat from the dock, she really looks quick. I didn’t notice it from the dock view, but once I stepped on deck, I felt the beam. An 11’ beam is not enormous, but it’s quite a lot for a 31’ boat, regardless of its intended use. It’s also somewhat reminiscent of certain J/Boats of old (11’ is the beam measurement of the J/29, and the J/30 is 11.18’). The last sail test I did on a J/Boat was on the J/88, a boat with a clearly different design purpose and a beam of 9.5’. Nonetheless, I found the J/97E notably beamier that the J/88 on deck, in the cabin, and under sail.

The beam on the J/97E is likely a result of the desire to maximize both interior space and rating under the IRC rule. The interior has an efficient and comfortable layout for cruising, which I’ll discuss a bit more later. In addition to the beam, the IRC maximization also can be found in the way the knuckle at the plumb bow sits out of the water, shortening the waterline measurement, but leaving it functionally long when you’re underway. In addition to the beam and the bow design, the boat is also fairly heavy for its length, another design element likely aimed at IRC.

I toured the whole deck layout, and it is really beautiful in it simplicity. Moving around the boat was easy from stem to stern with ample side-deck and room to get under the outboard-set shrouds. I am a huge fan of the J/97E’s cockpit layout, with bench seating forward of the traveler and the more wide-open design aft with dual foot pushes. Since this is a tiller driven boat, the cockpit felt particularly spacious without a wheel pedestal. Different than the original J/97, the J/97E has the traveler on the cockpit floor, which makes movement fore and aft seamless. And with the beam, that bar is LONG! I asked Scott whether they ever use its full length, and he said they tend to keep the car in the middle 75% of the bar, but it’s nice to have options. I agree!

I noted the cleverly rigged in-haulers for the jib. Since the boat has a one-design sail plan with a non-overlapping 105% jib, those in-haulers will be an important device for getting the most out of the boat in lighter breeze. The in-haulers are permanently rigged, and Scott mentioned using them a lot, even while cruising and day sailing. A lot of production boats have moved to non-overlapping sails in a way that leaves many of them wanting power with the stock sail plan, the J/97E will not suffer in the same way.

J/97E sailing upwindWe headed out sailing with a 12-14 knot northerly… we really couldn’t have asked for better. The size of the boat makes the sail setting easy – nothing is too loaded. In the conditions we had, we were quickly into de-powering mode, putting something extra on the halyards, moving cars aft, and pulling on backstay to reduce headstay sag. I found myself wondering about rig tension for the fractional, swept-two-spreader mast – should we have had more, and is this a boat on which owners will want to adjust their shroud tension as the conditions change?

As we set off upwind, I was immediately aware that I could feel when the boat was lit-up and moving, and when it was choked or needed to be powered back up. I love that kind of feel. That said, I found it a somewhat challenging balance, because pushing the boat to feel powered up and fast led us to sail with more heel than was probably efficient. It’s the kind of thing that owners of these boats probably dial in quickly, but it wasn’t super intuitive for me.

I loved playing with the jib set-up. It is so adjustable, and the controls allow for beautiful shape. We didn’t need much in-hauler in the breeze we had, but I’d estimate that you could get at least six inches of play inboard/outboard, which is a lot.

Sailing upwind, I felt the beam again. Compared to the narrower J/Boats designs that I have more experience with (J/105, J/80), I felt like the groove going to weather, at least in our conditions that day, was a bit narrow. It can be attributed most to sailing too heeled, but we actually overpowered the rudder several times going upwind. In spite of those moments, the boat felt maneuverable, and the tiller was never unwieldy. Even if the groove was a little narrow for our set-up, when you were dialed, it was fingertip-control on the tiller.

One of the great things about the hull shape is how good it felt going through the waves. It’s motion was smooth, likely a product of her 8,600 pound displacement. And its way through the water seemed particularly buoyant – the bow stayed high and the deck stayed dry. This is a boat that already has an impressive offshore resume, and this sense of buoyancy would be confidence inspiring in swell.

The J/97E is definitely fast. The boat’s instruments were yet to be calibrated, but our handheld GPS showed us beating well above six knots.

After an hour or so of exciting, blissful upwind sailing, we rigged the monstrous asymmetrical that sets off the six-foot telescoping bowsprit made of carbon fiber. We set methodically, trying not to light the boat up until we were ready. Once the kite was up and sorted, then… “everybody ready?” We turned up a few degrees and we were off. The boat felt incredible under spinnaker. On this point of sail, I was in love with the beam. It felt fast and stable. The GPS climbed above seven knots, above eight – easy, under control, and fun! We trimmed by hand except when we really heated up to a reach. Scott and his wife sail the spinnaker double handed, and I can see how that would be no problem.

I was impressed by the minimal stern wave we were creating– our way through the water was smooth. This is important, because the J/97E is not a boat likely to plane. Surf? Sure. But, if a boat is going to displace 8,600 lbs of water, to do so efficiently is a true success. While you’re not likely to spend time on a plane, the boat is certainly still performance-oriented. And remember, this is a cruising boat too!

Speaking of cruising, that interior is perfect for a couple or a family. The beam is a big benefit to the cabin, and it’s really an elegant use of the space. There is 6’ headroom and accommodations for a comfortable cruise. It sleeps six, but that would be cozy. There’s a private double berth aft, and a spacious v-berth that is open to the main salon. The galley is small, but has all the basics: stove, oven, refrigerator, storage. There’s a nice, double-sided seating area in the salon. It has an enclosed head with shower to starboard, opposite the aft cabin.

Scott had just completed a week cruising the islands– they hosted friends overnight, and had a group of six for dinner. He loved it. While it’s not a huge interior by any stretch, it suited them perfectly. When they were cruising, they sailed a lot, taking advantage of the boat’s performance capabilities. In his own words, “We had so much fun!”

In my own words, the J97E boat is pretty awesome. It’s a very attractive boat that is genuinely versatile. It feels powerful, is really fun to sail, and its accommodations are really impressive for a boat of this size and performance pedigree. I couldn’t help thinking that with all of its fun and functionality to go along with the simple sail plan, a crew of four, five, or even six could do something like Van Isle 360 unsupported on this boat and absolutely have the time of their lives.  In short…I want one!!”  The 48 North J/97E boat test story   For more J/97E sport cruiser sailboat information

J/133 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceRolex Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- Malta has often been described as the ‘crossroads of the Mediterranean’. The fleet gathering for the 50th Anniversary Rolex Middle Sea Race may well help change that description to the ‘crossroads of the world’, certainly the sailing world. Some 55 yachts, representing 25 countries from as far afield as Australia, Canada, Chile, The Philippines, and the United States, have entered to date. There is nothing unusual in this spread of nations. The race, which this year starts on 20th October, has always attracted a polyglot fleet and a walk along the dock is a cultural affair.  

J/121 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceNicholas Ibañez Scott, skipper of the Chilean entry ANITA, a J/112E, is returning to the race for a second time having made his debut in the tough conditions of 2017. ANITA was one of only 35 yachts out of 104 starters to complete the 606nm last year. Testament to high quality and construction of the J/112E and the tough streak running through a crew used to the southern straits of Patagonia. One of the elements that struck Scott the most about their first encounter with the race was a sense of belonging. “We feel very much at home here,” he said before the start, putting this down to the warmth and professionalism of the Royal Malta Yacht Club along with the attitude and quality of the competing sailors.

Countries represented in the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race so far include: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States. Amongst the fleet of nine J/Teams, eight countries are represented!

J/122 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceIn the IRC Class 4/ ORC 4 Division, three teams are sailing, including the J/133 BLUE JAY III sailed by Matt Stokes from Canada, the J/121 JACKHAMMER sailed by Andrew Hall from the United Kingdom, and the J/133 JIVARO sailed by Yves Grosjean and his French team (note- this boat has been an RORC Offshore Season winners and also Fastnet Race class winner).

In the past, the IRC 5/ ORC 5 division has twice been won by J/122s that have also won the Rolex Middle Sea Race as Overall Champions.  This year’s group includes the J/122 JOLOU sailed by Sergey Senchenko from Russia (double-handed winners in 2017), the J/122 JOY sailed by Cascino Giuseppe from Italy, the J/122 OTRA VEZ sailed by Sean Arrigo from Malta, and the J/112E ANITA sailing with a Chilean team led by Nicolas Ibanez Scott.

Then, in the IRC 6 Class, there are two J/109s vying for class honors; 2HARD is also sailing in IRC Doublehanded class with Martin Hartl from Austria on the helm and JARHEAD YOUNG SAILORS MALTA is a group of youth sailors from the local hosts- the Royal Maltese YC.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

J/105s sailing Lipton CupJ/105 Lipton Cup Challenge Regatta Preview
(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club will host the 104th annual Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup on October 26-28, 2018. Twelve teams from the U.S. and Canada will battle for the coveted Cup in a rotation of matched J/105s in a stadium sailing format on San Diego Bay. After each race, competitors rotate boats, allowing for each team to have balanced boat conditions throughout the regatta.

The 12 teams competing this year are: Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club.

The San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup dates back to the early days of yachting on the Pacific Ocean, circa 1900. Sir Lipton Thomas, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, requested that a trophy be created in his name for West Coast yacht racing excellence.

The Lipton Cup trophy can be found at San Diego Yacht Club, won in 2017 by SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks, a now four year Lipton Cup veteran. Sinks explains what he has learned from his years participating in the regatta. “It's a marathon, not a sprint. It's really all about peaking at the right time and trying to improve each and every race.”

J/105s sailing Lipton Cup“The win last year was special because of our loss in 2016. The team was hungry for a shot at redemption and we got it. It's always easier to play the underdog. This year, we're the defending champions, so there's probably some expectations that come with that. Fortunately, we're bringing back the all-star team from last year, plus we've added US Sailing Team Member Nevin Snow, who is stepping in for Erik Shampain. Nevin has won on many levels, including being named the two-time College Sailor of the Year while at Georgetown. We're psyched to have Nevin on board,” Tyler continued.

Lipton Cup Co-Chair Alli Bell states, “The San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup is a unique regatta that pulls together some of the best sailors from California, the rest of the country, and this year Canada for a weekend of competitive racing. As fierce competitors as these sailors are, we also have a lot of fun off the water. It’s great to see the camaraderie and friendships at the social events.”

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson expresses SDYC’s pride in the event. “The legion of people that loan their boats, others who gather them, clean them, service them, tune them, rig them, and care for them during the regatta is remarkable. The helpers that just run out on the floating docks anchored in the Bay and hold dock lines and fenders to protect the boats from getting scratched is extraordinary and not like any other event we host during the year. Hats off to their efforts!”

The regatta will feature three days of competitive racing, along with a social event on Friday evening, Saturday night banquet and awards to follow Sunday’s races. The Lipton Cup’s Saturday Night dinner has been known as a “don’t-miss” event for shenanigans and good-natured ribbing between the different clubs in light of the competition.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup Challenge Regatta sailing information

J/120s sailing Halifax RaceMarblehead to Halifax Race 2019 Announcement
(Marblehead, MA)- Plans are well underway for the biennial Marblehead-to-Halifax ocean race with less than a year to go.  The Race will begin on Sunday, July 7, 2019. The committee is working hard to attract another exceptional fleet like the one that set new records a year ago.

Anne Coulombe of the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead and Richard Hinterholler of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron will return as Race Directors. Rear Commodore David Bows of the BYC and Michael Simms of the RNSYS will co-chair next year’s event.

“At the moment there are no significant changes to the race format,” Coulombe says. “But it is always important to follow our communications for any changes that may impact the race.”

Steele Auto Group, the prominent Atlantic Canadian company, is the 2019 title sponsor for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race.  Steele Auto Group is based in Halifax and owns 29 dealerships in the region.  "We're thrilled to be a supporter of such a prestigious sailing event here in Halifax,” stated CEO Rob Steele, a member of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, co-sponsor of the MHOR with the Boston Yacht Club. 

The 363 nautical mile Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race began in 1905. It has been held every other year, except during war time. It caps a full weekend of Independence Day festivities in Marblehead which includes 4th of July fireworks, the Marblehead Arts Festival and the harbor illumination.

The MHOR website is active at Or, you can contact the Race Director at email- or contact Ed Bell, BYC P.R. Chair at email-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The second week of October saw a lot of sailing activity taking place across the USA from east to west and points in between.  For starters, on the east coast, the 2018 J/109 North American Championship was sailed on western Long Island Sound for the fleet of twenty boats, the event was hosted by the Larchmont YC over four days. Sailing in the same waters, Indian Harbor YC’s annual “Gearbuster Race” was sailed from Greenwich, CT to Stratford Shoal and back for a fleet of PHRF teams, including a J/88, J/120, J/100. South of them, the Annapolis Fall Series held on the Chesapeake Bay over the course of three weekends, including the NSSA Annapolis to Oxford Race, the AYC Race to Oxford, and the AYC Race to Solomons.  The series offered great racing, in particular for a J/88!

Down south along the Gulf of Mexico, this year’s J/FEST Southwest was one of the best ever; with sixty-two boats participating in one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s and the J/PHRF classes had a J/46, J/122, J/109, J/95 and a J/29 racing. Fun for all!

Heading out west, the J/125s had a field day sailing in this year’s “Little Ensenada Race”, hosted by Southwestern YC; it was a quick blast from San Diego, CA to Ensenada, Mexico. Then, up in the Pacific Northwest, the J/24 District 19 Championship hosted by Corinthian YC Seattle and raced on Puget Sound. Simultaneously, the Puget Sound Sailing Championship for J/80s, J/105s and PHRF teams like J/109s, hosted by Corinthian YC Seattle on Puget Sound.

Over in Europe, the German J/70 Youth Sailing League concluded their season finale in Attendorn, Germany with sailing taking place on the Biggesee and hosted by the Flensburger Sailing Club. Over in the United Kingdom, the Hamble Winter Series had a wet, cold second weekend for the IRC fleets racing on the Southampton Water and the Solent.  The one-design J/70 fleet had strong participation as the Hamble One-Design Championship serves as a qualifier for the 2019 J/70 Worlds that will be sailed in Torquay, England.  In the IRC classes, it was close racing for J/88s, J/109s, J/112E, and J/111s.

Finally, over in the Asia-Pacific region, the report from Australia shows that the J/121, J/112E, and J/122 owners are having a wonderful time with their boats collecting an amazing amount of silverware on both coasts.  In short, virtually every single boat won their offshore season openers at their respective sailing clubs. Then, the Royal Hong Kong YC hosted their annual China Coast Race Week with some of the best sailing conditions they have experienced in years on the crazy Hong Kong Harbor.  The regatta was enjoyed by a fast J/111 and a very competitive J/109.

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 page  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 19-21- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 19-21- Swiss Youth J/70 League- Tenero, Switzerland
Oct 20-21- J/70 Fall Brawl- Annapolis, MD
Oct 20-21- Puget Sound Fall Regatta- Seattle, WA
Oct 20- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Gzira, Malta
Oct 26-28- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 26-28- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 27-28- Swiss J/70 Women’s Cup- Tenero, Switzerland
Oct 27-28- J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 27-28- The Great Pumpkin Regatta- Richmond, CA
Nov 1-4- French J/80 National Championship- Pornic, France

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

J/109 LOKI NA winnerLOKI Three-Peats J/109 N.A. Championship!
(Larchmont, NY)- The Larchmont YC hosted the 2018 J/109 North American Championship for a very competitive twenty-boat fleet on western Long Island Sound.  Sailing from October 11th to 14th, the fleet was treated to a very wide range of racing conditions over the span of ten races!  In the end, it was David Rosow’s LOKI team from New York that won the coveted title for the third time in a row!  Rosow’s crew included Adam Klyver, Brian Comfort, Kerry Klingler, Larry Huibers, Ryan Young, and Alexander Quintner.  Winning the Corinthians Division was John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT.

In the Open Division, Rosow’s crew from Pequot YC in Fairfield, CT started off with triple bullets; setting such a high standard of performance and tactics that no one else was even close.  They maintained that ferocious pace, scoring two more bullets and two seconds in their scoreline to win with just 40 pts in ten races, not even sailing the last race to win by over 20 pts.

J/109 PartnershipHowever, behind them the story was dramatically different, with the balance of the podium and, indeed, the entire top five, determined in the final race on the last day.  The silver and bronze awards came down to a tie-breaker on 62 pts each between Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT and David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP 3 from Black Rock YC in CT.  On countback, it was GROWTH SPURT that took the silver, with the Tortorello’s settling for the bronze.  The balance of the top five included Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX in fourth place and Bill Sweetser’s RUSH from Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD in fifth position.

In the Corinthians Division, behind GROWTH SPURT on the podium were Goethe’s HAMBURG in second and Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING in third sailing with a family crew from New Bedford YC in South Dartmouth, MA.  For more J/109 North American Championship sailing information

J/122 JOSSJ/Thunder "Down Under"  Winning Offshore Australia!
(Sydney, Australia)- The latest report from way “Down Under” is full of great news from many happy owners racing their boats on the east coast of Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane) and the west coast of Australia (Perth, Freemantle). Here is the report from Ray and Sandy Entwistle from Sydney.

“One of the joys of living ‘Down Under’ is that we get to sail all year round. This past week has seen the end of our Winter Series racing, and commencement of Spring/Summer Series with some great results from our J/Owners from around the country.

J/121 JAVELIN winning Australian offshore eventsJ/121 JAVELIN Wins 2018 Winter Series hosted by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, Australia
The ORCV Winter Series is a series of 5 passage races of varying distances, from medium distance races around fixed marks at the top end of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne to several longer distance passage races to popular destinations for warm hospitality from host clubs, at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron (BYS), Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), and Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club (HBYC).

Race 5 was to be a Navigators Overnight Challenge where teams were to create their own course by selecting various legs between fixed marks all over the Bay, with the intention of sailing as far as possible in the time allocated, and arrive at the finish line in Hobson’s Bay as close as possible to the finish time of 9:00am on Sunday morning.

The JAVELIN crew was all prepared and had moved the J/121 on Friday to the optimal starting point. However, racing was then abandoned due to gale force conditions on Port Phillip Bay. Owner Mark commented he was, “relieved, though at the same time a little disappointed, as we had spent quite a bit of time getting prepared. However, it was 5 degrees C on the night, so it would have been a pretty freezing overnight session.”

After four races, J/121 JAVELIN was the series winner of the AMS division, winning the Lord Warden’s Trophy. They scored an impressive 8.0 points across the four races. The races were competed in a variety of wind and sea conditions from 5 knots to 25 and flat water to the very choppy, steep waves Port Phillip Bay has to offer. It was a very competitive mixed fleet including an Elliot 15.5, Rachael Pugh 46, Beneteau 47.7, Beneteau 45s, Archambault 40 to name a few.

Owner Mark noted “The J/121 performed strongly in all conditions and, as one would expect, really excelled in the broad reaching winds that prevailed for one of the races.  It’s great getting to know the new boat. There are many sail selection and trimming combinations, so we’re learning something new in every race.”  Congratulations to Mark and his team.

J/122 JOSS wins “George Law Trophy”
On the West coast, the J/122 JOSS commenced the season in fine form winning the “George Law Trophy”.

The first Offshore Racing WA (ORWA) race of the 2018/19 season, the “George Law” was sailed in beautiful sunny fluctuating conditions. 29 yachts were a magnificent sight racing from North Fremantle down the channel towards Rockingham/along the beach to Jarvis Bay & then home to Fremantle.

The J/122 JOSS, simply put, had a “great” day battling on the water with Chris Highman on ‘Argo’, Hugh Warner’s ‘Ocean Ranger’ and the Bishop Boys new yacht to WA Offshore Racing ‘Checkmate’.

JOSS took home Gold winning IRC Division 1 and 1st in YAH Division 1.

A very happy owner- Ian- commented, “congratulations to the crew for the fantastic effort, especially Rees Howell our new Boat Captain.”

happy Australian J/CrewJ/112E ZEST Wins Sydney Harbour Race
 On the East Coast, the J/112E ZEST won her inaugural race in Sydney.

The Sydney sailing season started with cool overcast conditions (well, cool for us at 15C), and winds about 15kn SSW.

Ray and Sandra from J/Boats Australia joined new J/112E owner Stephen and crew for their inaugural harbour race from Sydney Amateurs Sailing Club.

J/112E ZEST was launched just a few weeks ago and Stephen is busy learning the ropes on his new toy.  The inaugural race was held with a mix of yachts in the 26ft to 40ft range, and with the winds being from the SSW meant the course was a zigzag across and up the harbour.

An overjoyed Stephen was very pleased with the result. There are now four J/112E’s on Sydney Harbour, with plans to get together for some fun ‘one-design’ racing over the summer months.

more happy J/sailors in AustraliaJ/122 JAVELIN Tops Queensland Season Opener
Finally, in sunny Queensland, just like their colleagues around Australia, the J/122 JAVELIN also won their season opening race.

On a beautiful Queensland day, blowing 12 to 14 knots from the southeast with a calm sea state, Sally and James’ J/122 JAVELIN powered home to take 1st place on IRC and 2nd on the local PHRF system, against a competitive mixed fleet of yachts ranging from HH42, Kerr 50, Archambault 40’s to Sydney 36’s and Farr 38 to name a few.  A great start to the season for them!”

J/70s sailing Hamble seriesBrilliant, Wet, Cold Hamble Winter Series- Week 2
(Hamble, England)- Anyone who doubted that the wonderful summer of 2018 was at an end has had it confirmed during the first two weeks of the HYS Hamble Winter Series. Rain and plenty of wind from the North has had competitors digging out the layers and the waterproofs.

Saturday saw the start of the Hamble One Design Championships for the J/70 fleet. The forecasts during the week promised average wind speeds of 20 kts with gusts in the region of 30 kts. In order to give the crews as much advanced notice as possible, PRO Roger Wilson and the team met on Friday night to reach a decision. The outcome was that racing would go ahead, but with a delay of one hour to give crews time to launch their boats and make it to the East Knoll starting area.

Racing got underway at the amended, appointed time with twenty-one J70s braving the conditions. All seemed well until a Cowes based yacht club decided to lay a windward gate inside the HODC windward gate causing some confusion at the top of the course. Race Abandoned! Negotiations with the Cowes based club as to where their buoys should be placed allowed Race 1 to go again. This time, despite two disqualifications under the U flag, all went well. The race team managed to get two more short races in and so at the end of Day one everything was back on track. In the J/70s, Clive Bush’s DARCY was in first place with two seconds and third place, followed by Martin Dent’s JELVIS and Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.

J/88s enjoying Hamble Winter seriesSunday brought the IRC yachts to the Race Course for week two of the HYS Hamble Winter Series. As happens from time to time in the Solent, there was a distinct lack of water for Race Teams to run racing. The One Designs once again hogged the area around East Knoll, which meant PRO Kathy Smalley had to disappear to Ryde Bank to give the main winter series boats a decent course in the northerly winds and rain. Fortunately, the committee vessel this week had both gas and sugar to keep Kathy and the team going in the appalling conditions.

As ardent TV viewers will know, Orange is the new Black, and so it became on the start line when PRO Kathy Smalley, with a sugar rush, announced the pin to be Orange, when of course, everyone could see it was black. The color was corrected and racing began. To everyone's delight Class 1 got away cleanly for both starts, there being no appetite for an AP in the conditions. The J/112E DAVANTI TYRES sailed by Chaz Ivill and Paul Heys scored a first and second in the two races and is now sitting in second for both the Big Boat Championship and the Winter Series leaderboards.

J/70s sailing Hamble Winter SeriesClass 2 had a contested start in the first race and there was a huge windshift to the left in the second race that many boats missed. Reveling in the conditions was Mike & Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO, handily winning both races to be leading the Winter Series by 9 pts!  After posting a 6-7 for the day, Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS is sitting in third overall for the series, just one point off second place.  The balance of the top five includes David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/88 J-DREAM in 4th and Rob Cotterill’s J/109 MOJO RISIN in 5th. 

The One-Designs were also experiencing the big shifts associated with a northerly in the Solent. The second race had a 40-degree shift just as the boats arrived at the windward mark, which led to a straight-line spinnaker reach down to the leeward mark. This was not tactically taxing, but the serious grins on the crew's faces downwind said it all. In the J/70 fleet, which is also using the event as a World Qualifier, Clive Bush’s DARCY had three first on the day to finish top overall. Wards’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT and Dent’s JELVIS were second and third on the day.

All competitors were keen to congratulate the Race Team for operating in the foul conditions and special praise must go to the RIB mark-laying crews that somehow kept going all weekend.

Next week sees the final weekend of the Hamble One Design Championship, the final Sunday of the Hamble Big Boat Championship and week three of the HYS Hamble Winter Series.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.

Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  Follow the HYS Hamble Winter Series on Facebook here  For HYS Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/70s sailing J/Fest SouthwestSpectacular J/Fest Southwest!
(Houston, TX)- J/Fest Southwest was a spectacular success this year! Sixty-two boats total; the J/22’s and J/24’s really came out in force! The sailors were treated to awesome sailing conditions both days; in particular, it was windy on Saturday with gusts in the high 20’s, which was tough on humans, sails, and boats.  Reported Scott Spurlin- J/Boats Southwest dealer- “we had a nice sustained downhill ride on the J/88!  Held 17.2kts for a loong time.  Crew was hooting and hollering!”

The J/FEST Southwest Regatta took place from October 12th to 14th, hosted by Lakewood YC.  The event started out with the newly famous “LEGENDS RACE” that was sailed in a “stadium-sailing” scenario right off BARge 295 on Clear Lake, right in front of the club. Five (5) video cameras recorded the live action, broadcast worldwide on YouTube!

As for the sailing, it was Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY crew that won the fifteen-boat J/22 class by a Texas mile- winning six of seven races.  Taking second was Casey Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING with 22 pts and third was David Bethancourt’s USA 1271 with 27 pts.  The balance of the top five was Farley Fontenot and son’s USA 707 in 4th and Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951 in 5th position.

The seventeen-boat J/24 also saw a near clean sweep take place.  Certainly, the first four races looked like a runaway for Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT crew, posting four bullets in a row.  Thereafter, they stepped off the gas a bit and closed the regatta with a 3-2 to win with just 9 pts. Sitting 7 pts back was woman skipper Natalie Harden and her crew on GIGGLES with a near reciprocal scoreline to MISS CONDUCT, posting a 3-2-6-3-1-1 to close the regatta with 16 pts total.  Taking the bronze was Frank Keesling’s THE DUMPSTER from Dillon YC in Dillon, CO. The balance of the top five was Josh Bowens-Rubin’s ZERO GRAVITY in 4th and David Broadway’s SUPERMAN in 5th place.

Winning the J/70s was not easy for Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS team.  They were involved in a dogfight with Forbes Durdin MOJITO.  In the end, they both had all top four finishes and dominated the top of the leaderboard.  However, ZOUNDS had an amazingly consistent tally of 1-2-2-2-1-3-3 top score the gold, while the MOJITO boys popped for a 3-4-1-1-2-2-4 for 17 pts to take the silver. Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE started strong with a 2-1-5-3-, but lost their “mojo” on the last day, dropping 5-8-5 to settle for third with 29 pts.

For the nine-boat J/105 class, it followed a similar story to the J/22s and J/24s, a near blitzkrieg for the top team.  In this case, it was John Barnett’s PESTO that started off with a 1-1-1-1, then forgot how to sail in race #5 and score a 2nd, then closed with a 1-1 to win with 8 pts total.  That was an extraordinary performance in what is normally a very tight, close-racing class on Galveston Bay. Taking the silver was Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY with 19 pts and third was Dennis Kokkinis’ SPITFIRE with 24 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Brad Robbins’ RUMPUS in 4th and Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE in 5th position.

Taking a page out of their J/one-design colleagues success was Jim Demarest’s J/46 SODALIS II. His team of Tom Johnston, Terrill Munkres, Don Lemire, Pedro Gianotti, Sally Thurner, & Scott Demarest won their J/PHRF Class with five bullets in seven races!  Second was JD Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR and third was Dave Christensen’s J/109 AIRBORNE.

In the random-leg J/PHRF Distance division, Alan Bates’ J/105 ZIPPITY took class honors, followed by Doug Love’s J/95 UP TEMPO in second and John McCutchen’s J/29 SUPERGIRL in third.

Watch the J/FEST Southwest highlights video here:

For more J/FEST Southwest sailing and registration information

J/125 sailing offshoreJ/125s Crush Little Ensenada Race
(San Diego, CA)- Hosted by Southwestern YC in San Diego, CA, the “Little Ensenada Race” famously starts off the gorgeous Point Loma promontory and sends the fleet off to that famously fun-loving seaport called Ensenada in Mexico.  It is a fun, fast, easy race for the entire fleet since it amounts to a long day on the water of four 2x windward-leeward races of 1.5nm legs.

Zipping down the shoreline to take class honors in the PHRF 1 Class were the top two J/125s in Southern California- Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER winning by just six minutes-plus over Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE.

In PHRF 4 Class, it was David Cattle’s gorgeous J/27 BLACKADDER that won her class by 6 minutes corrected.

J/111 sailing off Hong KongFabulous China Coast Race Week
(Hong Kong, China)- The 26th Edition of the China Coast Regatta saw thirty-five yachts compete across seven divisions.  The racing took place in the waters to the east and south of Hong Kong Island, with some islands courses extending into the waters to the east of Sai Kung. The regatta host was, as usual, the extraordinary Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

Day One
There were perfect conditions across the race track with blue skies and a 10 to 15kts northeasterly breeze. 28 boats took to the race track, which was located southeast of Hong Kong’s Lamma Island.  All IRC racing divisions sailed one windward / leeward and an islands course.

J/111 sailing off Hong KongThe first race of the day saw many competitors get a feel for the conditions, with sailors tightening up their drops by the end of the race. For Race 2, sailors were sent on 19 to 32nm course depending on their division. Given the wind direction, sending yachts from Yuen Kok in the direction of the Ninepin Islands made for a giant windward/ leeward with a few obstacles in the way– just islands!

Day Two
The breeze picked up for the second day.  A 20-25kts northeasterly breeze greeted the sailors as they reached the race track, which was located to the southeast of Lamma Island. The IRC Racer classes sailed three windward/ leewards and had four retirements in the first race of the day, which looked to mostly be spinnaker-related issues.  IRC Premier Cruiser sailed two islands courses and HKPN were given one windward/ leeward and an island course.

As the day progressed, the breeze moderated to around 15kts and the sunshine came out making for the best sailing conditions Hong Kong has to offer. In IRC 2 Class, Richard Van Den Berg’s J/111 JUGGERKNOT was tied for first place.

J/109 sailing Hong Kong regattaDay Three
Another superb day of excellent conditions; 15kts, sunshine and blue skies.  Racing got away smoothly with all IRC Racer and HKPN divisions sailing one windward/ leeward and one islands course ranging in distance from 10 to 16.5nm. The islands course took the fleet on a beat towards a windward mark and reaching to an ocean mark before rounding Beaufort or Sung Kong and finishing off Bluff Head near Stanley.

In the end, the J/111 JUGGERKNOT skippered by Richard Van Den Berg took second place in IRC 2 Class.  Meanwhile, over in IRC 3 Class, the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward also took the silver in IRC 3 Class with his crew of Peter Albert Baer, Nigel James Clark, Joakim Josef Gip, Sam Johnathon Phillips, Nicholas Johan Southward, and Alec Peter Tracy.  Congratulations to all!  For more China Coast Race Week sailing information

German J/70 Youth Sailing LeagueBayerischer YC Top German J/70 Youth League
(Attendorn, Germany)- Over the past weekend, the Yacht-Club Lister, hosted the finale for the German J/70 Youth League on the Biggesee in Attendorn, Germany for twenty-two teams from across the country.  Winning the finale was Flensburger SC, but winning the overall youth J/70 league series was Bayerischer YC 2 team.

Going into the final regatta, it was going to be a battle for the top three spots.  It was the BYC Team’s regatta to lose, based on their initial performances leading the fleet with a tally of 6-2-4 in the first three events.

Nevertheless, it was Muncher YC’s strong youth crew that overcame a 10th in their first series to post a 1-5-2 to nearly topple their rivals from the top of the podium in the overall youth championship series.  The MYC crew ended up in a tie for the series silver position with VS Wansee 1 Team on 18 pts each, with MYC winning the tie-breaker and VSW taking the bronze.  Rounding out the podium were Bodensee YC Uberlingen in 4th with 22 pts and Flensburger SC in 5th for the series with 24 pts.  For more German J/70 Youth League sailing information

J/105s sailing on Puget SoundBlustery Puget Sound Sailing Championship
(Seattle, WA)- The Saturday of CYC-Seattle’s PSSC regatta this past weekend was one for the ages– 18-22 knot winds, big waves, bright sun, grins galore, and at least one tragedy averted.

When Stuart Burnell J/109 TANTIVY realized crew member Brian Perry fell overboard, into the spinnaker, there was a moment of panic. “Where in the hell is Brian?” he thought. “If he’s wrapped in the chute, in the water,. . .” It was one of the those sailing moments that gets etched in a skipper’s mind, even skippers just reading this. What had started as an irritating, slow chore of clearing a wrap in a spinnaker after a gybe gone wrong, became a potential tragedy.

Brian, it turned out, was sitting in the spinnaker in the water after the boat apparently rolled. A few seconds later he squirted out from the spinnaker behind the boat, relatively unharmed. But that wasn’t quite the end of it. It turns out that as a member of the cockpit crew on the J/109, Brian wasn’t wearing a PFD. He’d come forward to help clear the wrap. And TANTIVY wasn’t exactly set up for a quick takedown and man overboard retrieval, with the spinnaker half down and the crew all out of position.

Enter Scott Malone. Malone, who makes a habit of heading out when it’s blowing hard, was out bombing around in his 13′ RS Aero, enjoying blasting around among the big boats. He was near TANTIVY as they rounded the weather mark and thought he would make a go of keeping up with them. They started to scoot away, but wrapped their chute in a gybe, and he thought he saw his chance to catch up. Instead he saw a head pop out of the water.

J/105s sailing off Seattle, WA“I took a land sight behind him and went over. But I actually lost sight of him. It’s amazing how hard it is to see a guy in the water.” When he located the MOB again, Perry waved him to sail in and help. Brian hung on to the side of the Aero until TANTIVY, now under power, and a CYC Whaler, turned after about 5-10 minutes. Perry wasn’t eager to let go of Malone’s Aero, but eventually made it to TANTIVY where he was retrieved.

Burnell, who wrote about a previous man overboard recovery a couple years ago here on Sailish, said, “we are re-thinking TANTIVY’s life jacket policy!!!” And Malone, who’s crossed oceans singlehanded, came away struck by how difficult it is to actually see a person in the water. There was at least one other MOB, ironically on the other J/109 SHADA.

This all seems like a great reminder how important it is to wear a life jacket in gnarly conditions and how vital it is to do regular MOB drills. And it doesn’t hurt to have a skilled dinghy sailor trailing right behind you.

Once in a while, not nearly often enough, Seattle comes through with Saturday’s conditions. Puget Sound was carpeted with whitecaps, and you can see from Jan Anderson’s photos the day made for some great sailing. A total of 56 boats actually sailed the event, with three PHRF classes and five one-design classes, four of which made up the south course right off Shilshole Bay Marina. Once again, CYC somehow set the courses in the deep water and waves and got in 9-11 races for all the fleets. Kudos.

If Saturday was a day for the boats that could plane, Sunday was sailed in equally perfect, if somewhat more sedate sunny conditions. The 9-boat J/105 fleet reveled in the conditions, with Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE team winning easily.  Second was John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN and third was Chris Phoenix’s JADED.  Rounding out the top five were Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM and Jeff Pace and Philiippe Le Mouel’s LIFTOFF in 4th and 5th, respectively.

The increasingly active J/80 fleet saw John Sezer’s RECKLESS win the class with seven bullets in his 11-race scoreline!  Second was Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN and third was Mike Gridley’s RAVEN.

In the PHRF handicap racing world, Stu Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY managed a 4th in PHRF 3 class and Pat Denney’s J/29 HERE & NOW virtually eclipsed PHRF 5 class with seven bullets in 11-races to take the win.  For more Puget Sound Series Sailing information

J/88 sailing off Annapolis, MDJ/88 Wins Annapolis Fall Series
(Annapolis, MD)- The Chesapeake Bay comes alive in the fall when the weather gets a little cooler, weather fronts start moving in faster from the west, and the winds increase significantly.  For Chesapeake sailors, it is their favorite time of year to sail on the Bay, often with warm waters and big breeze.

We got a report from J/88 owner Bill Walczak, sailing on his beloved HORNET.  Bill commented, “in the last four races, we got three 1sts and a 2nd. We had up to twenty-four boats racing in PHRF A2 class.  HORNET stung them all!  The J/88 is a really fun PHRF platform!  Here is what happened in each race.

Annapolis to Oxford: we had 18-23 kts downwind for 16 miles then reach with 3 mile upwind, 30 miles. That race was a scream, nearly a full-on plane for most of the race!

AYC race to Oxford: it was light; we had 3-6 kts abeam and downwind. We were 4 miles ahead of 14 boats in class when the RC abandoned the race, such a bummer! We were 1/4 mile from the shortened finish! That was our first ultralight air race and were all surprised how well our J/88 HORNET performed.

AYC race to Solomons: it was another windy race. We had 20 kts plus for 40 miles downwind, then we reached across the bay to the Pax river and finished. We won by 5 seconds corrected for the Overall win and crushed our A2 Class.

We have been lucky with downwind planning conditions, but other planning boats have not kept pace with us.

Last year race to Oxford we had 17 miles upwind and struggled against the Navy 44s.  However, once we turned the mark to reach off with a code zero, we simply took off and finished first by 6 seconds overall and won class. Very fun boat! Love it!!”  Thanks to Bill for his enthusiastic report from his experiences sailing on the Bay!

J/88 sailing GearbusterJ/88 Wins IHYC Gearbuster
(Greenwich, CT)- One of the more popular end-of-season offshore races on Long Island Sound is the Indian Harbor YC’s infamous “Gearbuster Race”.  The race sounds easy, just a 46.0nm course eastward down the Sound from Greenwich, CT to Stratford Shoal and return.  Some years, the fleet can take a beating on swift-moving storm fronts.  This year, it was pretty benign and very quick for some boats.

The report from Drew Hall’s J/88 NEVERMORE was similar to their colleagues on HORNET.  Said Drew, “we had a scream in the IHYC Gearbuster on our J/88. We were 1st in PHRF 3 Class beating 49-foot boats and were 11th overall.

We sailed very fast to Stratford Shoal and back. The wind was 8-14 knots with flat water. We were using a small flat Code 0 for 90% of the race with angles 45-75 AWA. Kerry Klingler from Quantum Sails designed the sail for us, my goodness it was quick! We wanted something to fill the gap when you are cracked off with the jib and not into the larger code sails. Worked like a charm!  Especially when we could double-slot with our jib, too!”

In addition to the J/88, other J/crews had a great race.  In the PHRF Doublehanded Class, Barry Purcell’s J/27 LUCIDA won their fleet of eleven boats. Then, in PHRF 2 Class, Brian Spears’ J/120 MADISON took the bronze on the podium.

J/24s sailing off Seattle, WASauer Tops J/24 Seattle District 19 Regatta
(Seattle, WA)- The J/24s continue to have fun up in the Pacific Northwest.  In this year’s District 19 Championships sailed on Puget Sound and hosted by Corinthian YC Seattle, the twenty-boat J/24 class had a blast cruising around the race track as part of the CYC Seattle’s Puget Sound Sailing Championship.

Here is the report from Jakob Lichtenberg who was sailing on HAIR OF THE DOG.
“The regatta, the venue and the time of year offers a fantastic framework for an epic “end of year” one design competition. With good reason to expect breeze of varying strength, oscillations and a bit of tide. All of this with the expectation of a dash of October Pacific Northwest rain and a cold beer from the club house after racing.

Twenty J/24s signed up for the event, and at stake was the championship as well as a World qualifier spot for next year’s 2019 World Championship in Miami, FL. Friday night offered extra focus on preparation, inspections of boats and rigorous review of eligibility of boat (class certificates and a ton of other stuff that we tend to forget in between these big regattas). Good news! We now all have tight lifelines and paper work on file with the club.

The day started out with breeze and we all had to feather a bit to hold the boat flat.  We got three good races in and as expected had to balance our strategy: On the inside we found a bit more tide relief, but the pressure on the outside was just a bit better overall. Over the day, the breeze died down and at the 4th race we ran out of wind and had to abandon after a 45 minute upwind. Dinner and drinks at the clubhouse was great. Pete Sauer won the day in borrowed boat Self Abuse with a solid 1st, 2nd, 1st.  Michael Johnson in Pearl was 2nd and finally Mark Laura’s Baba Louie in third.

J/24 winnerSunday
Again good breeze.  Everyone wearing their best genoas and fully hiked. Lots of races and lots of drama with tons of boats called back for OCS (the “around the ends” rule became routine for the day), and the usual compression at both windward and leeward marks leading to even more drama. And finally, the tugboat that decided to run a 600 ft floating dock over the top mark. The competition remained tight and before the last race Pete in Self Abuse found himself ahead by just one point to Scott Milne’s Tremendous Slouch and the boats in 3rd, 4th and 5th were all within striking distance of the trophy – which lead to a dramatic last race!

In the end, Team SELF ABUSE won, skippered by Sauer with crew of Key Jeffcock, Alex Simanis, Joe Greiser and Joe Wilderman.  Second was Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH just two points behind and in the process secured themselves a berth for Worlds in Miami (as Pete already had a berth from earlier in the year winning Western Regionals). Then, third was Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE.

From our perspective on HAIR OF THE DOG, it was just a fantastic weekend. It was a privilege to race against a number of the top J/24 boats. Boats that have not just participated, but done well at Worlds.

Here is what we learned.  First, it sucks to rig a boat in the rain. The hoist is still out to get our Windex. Port gives way for starboard, unless port is absolutely dead in the water and on the mark.  Also, it is cheaper to hit an inflatable mark than a fellow J/24.  It sucks to have to return under spinnaker to restart under an OCS recall a good minute up the first leg. That a full day of sailing, followed by a haul of the boat, and de-rigging makes for an exhausting day.

Thank you everyone for a great weekend. To the traveling boats that made it to Seattle. To the strong class measurers and registration team Michael, Noel, Christa, Kelly, Alice, and Melanie. The entire CYC organizing authority lead by Matthew Wood. And of course the on-the-water RC team lead by Geoff Pease that got a ton of races thru in tricky conditions (with lots of sailors him offering “advice”).  A personal thank you to the protest committee that twice listened to our ranting and correctly (and mostly gently) explained why our cause did not ‘stand up in court’.”

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/70 sailing worlds* The J/70 WORLDS debrief from NORTH SAILS offers many lessons learned from what may have been the toughest regatta ever sailed by most teams.

Eastern Yacht Club welcomed 91 teams from 18 different countries, and sailors had an exciting variety of conditions for the eleven races in four days. The allure of such an event was too much to pass up, and more than a dozen North Sails experts were on the starting line. Whether crewing for clients and friends or organizing their own team, the depth and expertise of our J/70 experts was on full display with many on the podium and even more in the top 10.

NORTH SAILS asked some of the sailors in the event to share both their impressions and lessons from the J/70 Worlds.

STAMPEDE- Max Skelley- 2nd overall

NORTH: Managing that many boats and keeping top finishes throughout the event is an impressive feat. What were the key things that you attribute the consistency Stampede was able to deliver?

MAX: We knew going into the event that we had really good upwind speed. Having Tim Healy as our tuning partner throughout the summer was a big help with narrowing down rig tune/sail trim settings. Being able to use our speed to dig our way out of tough spots began to dictate our tactics . We always tried to start in low density areas somewhere near the middle of the favored half of the line, not being so leveraged to one side that we couldn’t dig our way out if the shift didn’t go our way.

On race five we were persuaded to start at the windward end because the two previous races, hard right was really paying. We were able to win the start at the windward end and were first boat to tack to port, which was the race-winning move in the two previous races. Unfortunately, the left came in hard on the first beat and we rounded in the 50’s. We were able to fight back to the low thirties but the race still ended up being our drop race. We learned a lesson about risk / reward and stayed away from the ends for the remaining of the event using patience and speed to consistently get to the front of the fleet.

STAMPEDE- Eric Doyle- 2nd place

NORTH: You are a boat speed guy. What were the keys to helping keep the boat going fast?

ERIC: We had worked hard all summer on our rig settings, we had confidence of when to change the rig tension for the wind strength. I was trimming the jib and one interesting trim technique that we started during the worlds was that we rarely moved the jib lead. It lived in the #6 hole 95% of the time and we just used the halyard to adjust and jib sheet tension to fine tune the jib.

In the heavy air races, when a lot more halyard was required, we had to ease the sheet about an inch and use the appropriate amount of in-hauler, less in the big puffs and more in the flatter, lighter spots. When it was lighter and we eased the halyard to make the jib fuller overall, it lowered the clew, effectively moving the lead aft, so we trimmed about an inch harder on the sheet and used more in-hauler. It seemed to work better as it is impossible to change the lead without tacking, but the halyard and sheet are readily accessible at all times.

NORTH: How important was it to make sure your tuning was spot on and was there ever a time where the conditions didn’t match your setup and, if so, what effect did that have?

ERIC: We always looked to set the boat up to be fast for the first half of the first beat so that we could hold a lane and get to the first weather mark in good shape. Most of the time it worked out but on the 4th day with all the rain squalls coming through and huge changes in velocity, after the first race we just went with a slightly tighter rig from base, +4 and +3, and used the backstay, traveler and boom vang much more aggressively. When the boat felt bad for Bruno, we made sure to remind him that we were out of tune and that he just had to deal with it! In the big fleet with lots of chop, in general it was better to get caught a little on the loose side than too tight.

Team 3 BALL JT- 3rd place Allan Terhune

NORTH: After four days of racing and 11 races the top three teams all had over 100 points and were within three points of each other. Your team had some big scores early in the event. What turned the week around for your team to get back to the top of the leaderboard?

ALLAN: For sure the regatta didn’t start as we hoped. The big thing for us was not to panic and to take a look at everything to see where we could improve. We talked to our training partners and other folks and realized we had to be more drastic in our rig adjustments for the waves and wind. It was a hard event. It was not easy to get finishes in the 20’s.

The regatta was a good lesson in the fighting until the end and that the event is never over, till it’s over. If you would have told me that we would start with 18,22,25 and go into the last day three points out of the lead, I would have said you are nuts. It proved that World Championships are marathons and you have to keep pushing. Our team did that well. We always kept adapting and trying new things.

We were one of the few teams to use the North J-6 jib, and I think it was the right choice for us for sure. We found it gave us more range for the conditions there. It was a sail we were very comfortable with and we were glad we chose in the end.

TEAM ANY COLOUR- Zeke Horowitz

NORTH: Crewing for your friends, the Furnary Brothers, what setup did you find worked best to help them get in the groove to be consistently fast?

ZEKE: We used the XCS-2 Mainsail and we busted out a J-2 High Clew for the first time at this regatta. We were extremely happy to find the transition to the J-2 High Clew to be quite easy. It’s a beautiful, forgiving sail with all the modes you need. We stuck pretty close to the North Tuning Guide and found the setup to have the power we needed to fight through the big waves and chop while being easy enough to de-power and keep the groove nice and wide for Scott on the helm.

In the higher winds, we made sure to fine-tune our lowers so that there was no mast sag at the spreaders and if anything, a hint of poke to weather. This helped us achieve maximum head stay tension even when the main sheet had to be eased. Keeping the boat flat (both upwind and downwind) was HUGE.

NORTH: The J/70 Worlds was a challenging regatta. What did your team do so well to get a top 10 finish and what needs work for next time so you don’t “leave any points on the water”?

ZEKE: For sure this has to be the most challenging regatta I’ve ever competed in. The depth of talent was insane and the sheer number of boats made it all the more difficult. Not to mention some pretty wild conditions! I think every single team felt that they left a myriad of points on the table – I know we did.

One thing we talked about as team before the regatta is that we wanted to play every decision in the race as if we were trying to just be top 20. We knew that if we averaged somewhere in the top 20, we’d be very happy with the result. So all our big picture game plans, tactical decisions, and boat handling maneuvers were made with conservative strategies, (except for the time we crashed into Tim Healy at the weather mark-Sorry, Boss). Scott and Evan Aras (main trimmer) did a fantastic job with starting and we knew that if we could be punched off the line, that would most likely get rid of about 50 boats that had bad starts.

From there it was really just about lane management and looking for opportunities to put the boat in places where we could make gains.

One thing that would really help us next time is continuing to improve on downwind modes. There are so many different modes to consider off the breeze and it’s amazing how much can be gained and lost by doing it correctly.


NORTH: What did you learn about North’s standard J/70 designs this week that J/70 sailors should know when thinking about investing in new sails?

TIM: We used the XCS-2 mainsail, J-2 High Clew jib and the AP-1 spinnaker. I chose them because I believe they are the fastest and most user friendly sails available. They allow for the power and speed to acceleration of the line in choppy conditions and to power up quickly out of tacks. The J-2 High Clew is slightly fuller than the J-6 and is less weather sheet dependent which, I feel, makes getting “top speed” trim correct more quickly and easily. It was used on many of the top ten boats. The J-6 is also an excellent sail finishing 1 point out of 1st in second and 3 points out of first in 3rd! The J-6 can create the same power as the J-2 High Clew with slightly more weather sheet.

My recommendation to someone ready for a new set is to go with the J-2 High Clew for a more user friendly sail and the J-6 if you like to be more active with weather sheeting. Add to Flipboard Magazine.