Wednesday, February 27, 2019

J/Newsletter- February 27th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The seventh J/70 Midwinters took place this past week on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay.  Fifty teams from five countries participated in what many described as near postcard-perfect sailing conditions for all three days, giving sailors the pantheon of downwind sailing modes (displacement, wing & wing, planing) to test their skills against the world’s best sailors.

In the J/Community section below, read about how the past two J/70 World Champions have been awarded the ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Award. In 2017, it was Peter Duncan from Rye, New York (for winning the J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia) and this year’s award goes to Jud Smith from Marblehead, MA, winning the Worlds in his home waters.

Then, sadly, we honor the passing of J/U.K.’s founder and leader- Paul Heys of Southampton, England- a J/Boats enthusiast that loved being on the water, sailing with customers on the Solent for over 25 years.

J/24 Midwinters startJ/24 Midwinters XXXXI Championship Preview
(Tampa, FL)- The 41st J/24 Midwinter Championship is being hosted from March 1st to 3rd, 2019 by Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida.  The thirty-two boat fleet comes from across the USA, Canada, and Japan.

After hosting the three event J/70 Winter Series, the DIYC Race Committee and PRO have become a well-oiled machine, providing good start lines, effective courses, and a fast pace to keep the sailors busy. The J/24s can expect more of their good race management this coming weekend and sail up to four, or even five, races per day given the flat water of upper Tampa Bay and shifty winds.

J/24 sailing team off MiamiSeveral World, North American, and Midwinter Champions will be using the Midwinters as their first major training regatta for 2019.  Many of the seasoned veterans are sailing in this year’s J/24 World Championship that will be held at Coral Reef YC and raced on Biscayne Bay in late October. Those teams include Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA; Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Al Constants’ BLITZ from Seawanhaka YC in New York; Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR from Port Credit YC in Mississauga, Ontario; John Mollicone and Tim Healey’s HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from Rochester YC in New York; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME; Todd Fedyszyn’s SPOONY TACTICS from St Petersburg, FL; and Carter White’s YouREGATTA from Portland, ME.  For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information

J/122 sailing Heineken St Maarten RegattaHeineken St Maarten Regatta Preview
(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- Over 110 yachts from thirty-five countries will compete in the 39th Heineken St Maarten Regatta. A key event on the Caribbean race schedule, the regatta attracts some of the world’s elite sailors and crews, with fast and furious racing in monohulls, maxis and multihulls.

Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. And with Heineken as title sponsor, the racing days blend seamlessly into four nights of exceptional parties. The event is a bucket list must-do! The Serious Fun goes for four days, from February 28 – March 3, 2019!

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten RegattaThe St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is as famous for its parties as it is for its racing. Over four nights, some of the world’s top artists take to the stage and ensure that each day of racing starts as well as it ends with the festivities continuing long into the night. So far, Alison Hinds, The Jacksons (originally the Jackson Five), Shermanology and Fatman Scoop have been confirmed with more party announcements to follow.

Looking forward to enjoying all the Serious Fun are a several J/Crews from the USA, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.  In the CSA 2 Racing class, Roger Gatewood’s team on his J/145 KATARA have already sailed 600nm two weeks ago, having participated in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race that started and finished off English Harbour, Antigua.  Joining them in the class will be Emilio Torres-Requena’s J/130 MAZU from Puerto Rico.

J/122 sailing Heineken St Maarten RegattaAs has happened multiple times in the past, the two famous, colorful J/122s that live in the Caribbean will be going at it again in CSA 3 Racing class.  The protagonists are Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID (including her international crew of Julian White, Matt Kasorzycki, and Sil Grijpma) and Bob Hillier’s EL OCASO.  Both boats have won many of the top Caribbean events, so watch for this battle royale to drive both boats to the top of the podium!

Similarly, the trio of J/105s in CSA 4 Racing class push each other hard and such tight racing keeps the scores very close.  Those J/105s include WHISTLER (Peter Lewis from Barbados), SOLSTICE (Jordan Mindich from Long Island, New York), and SUNBELT REALTY JENK (Remco van Dortmondt from Curacao). Joining them this year will be the J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE, sailed by Tanner & Shari from Antigua and Barbuda. Sailing photo credits- Loren Morels. For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information

J/145 sailing Banderas Bay RegattaBanderas Bay Regatta XXVII Preview
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- In 1524, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Cortés de Buenaventura arrived on the coast of this beautiful bay known today as "Bahias de Banderas". Legends say that 20,000 warriors came down from the mountains above and assembled in the lush valley, into his path. Their bows, decorated with banners in a rainbow of colors, were so impressive that the Bay became known as the “Bay of Flags,” or Bahía de Banderas.

Today the bay is sanctuary to sea life including giant manta rays, sea bass, red snapper, sailfish, marlin, dorado, dolphins and more. Humpback whales come each winter to birth their young, and Olive Ridley sea turtles return each year to the nesting grounds along its shores. In addition, the bay is ringed by mountains and a river valley that is adjacent to the town of Puerto Vallarta; that geography creates a fantastic sea breeze on sunny days, where the wind flows in from the west at 10-17 kts.

J/80 sailing Banderas Bay RegattaAfter sailors discovered this sunny paradise, it did not take long to attract cruising sailors from around the world.  In addition, because of the amazing sea breezes, it has also attracted racing sailors. This year marks the 27th time the Banderas Bay Regatta will be sailed on the spectacular waters off Puerto Vallarta. The emphasis has always been on having a fun and friendly series of races that take place in a serious, professional format.

Hosting the regatta from March 5th to 9th is Vallarta YC that is situated in the northeastern part of the bay called Nuevo Vallarta.  They will provide five full days of racing with up to two races per day.  Some races are windward leeward and others are fun, random leg affairs that take your for a tour around the picturesque bay.

Joining in the fun is a number of J sailors from Mexico and the USA.

J/130 Sirocco sailing Banderas Bay RegattaParticipating for at least the third years in a row in the Big Boat PHRF division are Mike Seth’s J/145 DOUBLE TAKE from Vallarta YC in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico and Lee Pryor’s J/130 SCIROCCO from Oceanside YC in Oceanside, CA.  One of their eager competitors in class will be a 54 footer called “Mermaid Magnet”!  LOL!

In the smaller boat PHRF division, there are at least two J/80s participating.  A veteran of the BBR happens to be Wayne Zittel from San Francisco YC in San Francisco, CA; he runs the J/World Sailing programs based in San Diego, CA and also Berkeley, CA on San Francisco Bay. Wayne is racing, appropriately enough, J-WORLD 3.  On the beautifully maintained J/80 SHIVA, Rush Faville from Vallarta YC and Bucerias, Mexico will be hoping to give Wayne and crew a run-for-the-money at the top of the leaderboard.

The final day for all sailors, March 9th, will be a full day; no rest for the weary at the end of the regatta! It will start with the final day of racing and end with the fabulous Awards Beach Party. In addition to the presentation of awards to the winners, live music by “Luna Rumba” will accompany dinner and after-dinner dancing. The Italian buffet under the stars has been brought back by popular demand. The evening will end with a bang, as fireworks will mark the end of the amazing week! The Beach Party is open to competitors, crew, and anyone else who likes a great tropical beach party.  For more Banderas Bay XXVII sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/70 Relative Obscurity win MidwintersDuncan Dominates J/70 Midwinters VII
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Fifty J/70s enjoyed postcard-perfect Biscayne Bay conditions for three days, with breeze on from the southeast to south in the 8 to 17 kts range and sunny most of the time! The regatta was hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL, and was a qualifier for the 2020 World Championship to be hosted by California Yacht Club (2 Open berths and 1 Corinthian berth).

One team enjoyed the conditions much more than anyone else in the fleet; winning by an amazing 16 pts over the star-studded fleet was J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan and his incredibly talented crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY; sailing with Peter were two-time J/70 World Champion crew Bill Hardesty and Willem Van Waay from San Diego, CA, along with ace bowman Will Felder.  This quartet of rock stars started off winning the first two races and never looked back, counting five 1sts in their eight-race scoreline for a total of just 18 net points!

In the Corinthians Division, it was the Argentinean team on JUICY that won by just 3.8 pts in a closely fought battle with two other boats- DONKEY McFLY and RIP RULLAH.  JUICY was skippered by Francisco Van Avermaete, with crew of Carlos Lacchini, Galvan Geronimo, and Rafael De Martis.  Here is how it all went down over the three gorgeous days of sailing.

J/70 Midwinters start off MiamiDay 1- Sunny and breezy
The anxious fleet of J/70s reveled in gorgeous Biscayne Bay conditions on Friday as the J/70 Midwinter Championship got underway with three races.  Miami delivered its renowned weather with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 80s and winds between 8-14 knots.

Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY laid its claim to the top spot by knocking out two straight bullets and adding a fourth for only 6 points so far. Following Duncan, Bruce Golison’ MIDLIFE CRISIS and Brian Keane’s SAVASANA were locked in a tie for second and third places at 15 points each. Scott Sellers’ DONKEY McFLY started off atop the Corinthian division with an enormous lead.

The day’s overall top three were the same group leading the way in the Championship’s opening battle: Duncan, Keane and Golison. Trailing Duncan in race two were Kevin Downey’s Mr. PITIFUL and John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA. Golison earned the victory in the final contest, ahead of Heaton and Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.

J70s sailing downwind off MiamiDay 2- More Sun, More Breeze!
A fresh breeze in the mid-teens on Biscayne Bay made for an exciting day for fleet, with plenty of planing rides all over the race track. Three more races were completed, bringing the total to six, five of which were won by Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY.

Now able to drop a fourth, the Rye, NY-based skipper counted five bullets for a mere 5 net points. Keane’s SAVASANA moved solidly into second place with 19 points, following consecutive second-place finishes today and discarding an eight. Three points back was Heaton’s EMPEIRIA that earned redress points in the opening race and followed with a 7-3 to sit in third.

Sellers’ DONKEY McFLY continued to hold the top spot in the Corinthian division and was in 20th overall in the Open Division.

Duncan’s team appeared untouchable after two days of racing, hanging on to a comfortable 14-point lead. Looking ahead at them in the day’s first race were Ryan McKillen’s SURGE and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT. The trailing teams in the middle duel were Keane’s SAVASANA and Michael Goldfarb’s WAR CANOE. And completing the top three to end the day were SAVASANA and EMPEIRIA.

J/70 sailing fast off Miami, FLDay 3- Wash, Rinse, Repeat! More windy fun in the sun!
After posting a 2-7 on the final day, Duncan’s crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY sealed the deal to win the seventh J/70 Midwinters and simply sailed for home, while the rest of the 49-boat fleet sailed one beautiful final race.  Meanwhile, Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS finally got their “mojo” going. His crew (Steve Hunt, Erik Shampain, and Jeff Reynolds) crushed the final day with three bullets, hurdling them up the leaderboard into second place overall with 34 points. Keane’s SAVASANA team (Tom Barrows, Chuck Swanson, and Mack Bryant) placed third with 46 points. Rounding top five were Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT (Victor Diaz de Leon, Patrick Wilson and Chris Stocke) and Heaton’s EMPEIRIA team (Zach Mason, Joe Morris, and Ian Barrows), fourth and fifth, respectively.

“It’s really all the practice and all the little things that make the big difference,” Duncan summarized regards their team effort on RELATIVE OBSCURITY. “You have to do those very repetitively, and it becomes second nature. So, when you have to make big decisions, it’s easy.”

Duncan explained the team’s conservative approach, saying, “we came off the middle of the line, went straight as far as we could go. If we could hold our lane, it was very positive.” While 2017 J/70 World Champion Duncan excels in a variety of conditions, they do like more breeze. “These boats are great to sail, and when there’s 50 boats or more, it’s very exciting!”

Winning the Corinthians Division was Van Avermaete’s JUICY team from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Second was Seller’s DONKEY McFLY crew (Polk Wagner, Harrison Turner, and Owen Beckley) and third went to Willis’ RIP RULLAH team (Mike Whitford, Matt Clark, and Pat Hitchins).

Since the event was a US qualifier for the 2020 World Championship to be hosted by California YC, the two Open berths were awarded to Bruce Golison and John Heaton, and the one Corinthian berth went to Scott Sellers.  For more J/70 Midwinters VII sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Jud Smith wins Rolex Yachtsman of Year Congratulations to Jud Smith! He was named 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year!

J/70 World Champion Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) was selected as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his sailing performances in 2018.  He follows another J/70 World Champion receiving the award in 2017- Peter Duncan.

The selection follows the announcement in January of the three men who were shortlisted for these prestigious awards and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing.

The slate of finalists, nominated by members of US Sailing and determined by US Sailing, was presented to a panel of 28 accomplished sailing media professionals and past winners of the awards, who analyzed the merits of each finalist and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners using a weighted point system (1st place vote – 5 points; 2nd place vote – 3 points; 3rd place vote – 1 point).

Rolex Yachtsman of Year leadersFor the first time ever, it was an all J/Boats slate for the final trio: Jud Smith tallied 116 points, including 20 first place votes. Placing second was 2018 J/22 World Champion, Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Md.), with 86 points and seven first place votes. Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.), 2018 J/24 World Champion, finished third with 50 points and one first place vote.

Smith will be honored on February 28 at the Rolex YoY Awards Ceremony hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where he will be celebrated by family and friends, teammates and crew, past winners, 2018 finalists, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex.

He will also be presented with specially engraved Rolex timepieces and designed picture frames of the winners commemorating their outstanding 2018 accomplishments.

J/70 Africa- Jud Smith winning WorldsAt the age of 62, Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.), becomes the oldest winner of this esteemed award. He was 61 at the time of his team’s win at the 2018 J/70 World Championship. Smith is now a two-time winner of the award, earning his first Yachtsman of the Year award in 2006.

“I do consider my age as my biggest challenge,” said Smith. “However, I just have to work on my fitness and health much more than in years’ past. Instead of worrying if I’m good enough to be competitive, I worry if I am fit enough to be competitive. I now spend much more time in the gym, since that’s my limiting factor. Mentally, the game is less daunting than when I was younger.”

Smith continued his assessment of where he is in his competitive sailing career and how it remains, more than ever, a team sport to him. “To be competitive at the top level requires sailing with the best young sailors in the world. There a lot of 25 to 50-year-old talented sailors that make it possible for my generation to continue to compete. It’s a pleasure to be able to race with such a talented and committed group of young sailors. If it wasn’t for them, we’d be playing shuffleboard.”

The win at J/70 Worlds in 2018 was his second consecutive win at this highly competitive regatta. In 2017, Smith won the J/70 Worlds as crew for Peter Duncan, who went on to win Yachtsman of the Year honors in 2017.

“I had the opportunity to campaign in 2017 with Peter Duncan, along with Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz for the J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo (Italy). It was not only a privilege, but a daily clinic with such a talented team, and it served as an ideal vantage point to know how to prepare my own team and boat for the 2018 Worlds at my home club.”

The 2018 J/70 Worlds, once again, featured a deep fleet, including 91 teams from 18 countries. On the final day of the event, the wind failed to deliver sufficient breeze and the standings were deemed official. The top three teams in the final standings were separated by only three points through 11 races.

J/70 sailor Jud Smith and Worlds crewConsistency truly paid off for Smith and his crew aboard AFRICA. They didn’t win any races, but they placed in the top 10 in five races and top five in two. Smith edged Bruno Pasquinelli by one point and Jack Franco by three. Duncan, last year’s winning skipper, placed fourth overall.

“We have the utmost respect for all of the other teams,” said Smith. “Anybody could have won this regatta, and we respected that. I would like to thank my team. We have worked really hard, training for this event all year long, and we have been together through thick and thin. It was a real privilege to race with such a talented group of sailors in a World Championship at my home club for an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Smith posted podium results at other top J/70 events in 2018, including first place out of 57 boats at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Marblehead, MA; second place out of 47 boats at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami, FL; and third place out of 27 boats at the Newport Regatta in Newport, RI.

Sailing has always played an important role Smith’s life. He grew up in Marblehead, Mass. and started sailing with his father, David Smith, at a young age. David was also an accomplished racing sailor. He won an Olympic Gold Medal at the Rome 1960 Games in the 5.5 meter event as crew.

“Sailing was such a big part of my life growing up at Pleon Junior Yacht Club during the summers and frostbiting Interclub dinghies in the winters,” added Smith. “I met my wife, Cindy, frostbiting in Marblehead. She’s a very good sailor herself and serves as our J/70 fleet secretary.”

“We continue to race the J/70 together in Marblehead every chance we get. Massachusetts Bay and Salem Sound is still my favorite place to sail, where no two days are the same. There’s always a new wrinkle to work out, which makes it challenging.”

Previous J/Sailors that have won the award since the 1977 introduction of the J/24 include, Dave Curtis, Ken Read, Ed Adams, Betsy Gelenitis (Allison), Bonnie Shore, Susan Dierdorff Taylor, John Kostecki, Lynne Jewell, Allison Jolly, Larry Klein, Jim Brady, Kevin Mahaney, Cam Lewis, Ed Baird, Dave Ullman, Augie Diaz, Hannah Swett, Sally Barkow, Kevin Burnham, Bill Hardesty, Brian Porter, Terry Hutchinson, Stephanie Roble, and Annie Haeger.  Not bad company to keep for Mr Smith!! Sailing photo credits- Tim Alan Clark-

J/UK founder Paul Heys* We are deeply sorry to share the devastating news that long-time friend and colleague Paul Heys of J/UK passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 25th, 2019, while on vacation in the Caribbean with his wife Marie-Claude.

It would be impossible to put into words just how much Paul will be missed and how much our hearts and prayers go out to Marie-Claude, Gemma, Paul’s family, and everyone at J/UK.

Paul’s lifelong devotion and passion for sailing is second to none, and his legacy will live on through everyone who knew and loved him, the numerous J/one-design fleets and annual J/Cup regatta he founded, and the many other thousands of sailors he inspired.

J/105 guide for speed, boathandling, etc* Going down to the J/105 Midwinters soon?  Here is a good compendium of speed tips, tricks, and how to sail faster from the North Sails J/105 team.  It is a good “pre-season” primer and reference to get you and your team going in the right direction and faster, sooner!  Most of the ideas are quite practical and apply to whatever sails you may have.  Read more here.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

J/Newsletter- February 20th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There was plenty of winter series action taking place in Europe last week, with one series hosting their finale and the other hosting their penultimate event. On the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Vigo, Spain, the Bosch Systems J/70 Winter Series wrapped up their three-regatta series, hosted by Real Club Nautico Vigo.  On the opposite coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona hosted their 4th of five events for both J/70s and J/80s in the Barcelona Winter Series; the last event is mid-March.

In the Americas, the first of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas took place in St Petersburg, Florida.  St Petersburg YC on Tampa Bay hosted the regatta for fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s and a PHRF fleet. Then, out West on the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach YC and San Diego YC hosted their 10th annual Islands Race for offshore racers. This year it was an abbreviated affair due to U.S. military exclusion zones for exercises west of San Clemente Island, the usual westernmost mark of the course.  Instead, the fleet rounded Catalina Island to port and headed south to the finish line off Point Loma, San Diego, CA; it was a successful outing for a J/124 and J/44.

Finally, down in the Caribbean, the first event was just completed in the season long Offshore Points Series for the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the United Kingdom.  The spectacular RORC Caribbean 600 Race started and finished off English Harbour, Antigua for dozens of sailing yachts that went around 11 islands between Guadeloupe (southeast) and St Maarten (northwest); a J/122 and J/145 enjoyed their adventures sailing around a spectacular group of islands in what many consider to be one of the pre-eminent “new” offshore bucket races.

J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster 
Market Disrupter- the NEW J/99 Offshore Doublehanded Speedster
(Lymington, England)- The new J/99 is featured in the latest issue of Seahorse Magazine, just hitting the news stands now. Here is an excerpt of their review…

“The new J/99, built by J/Composites in France, is J/Boats’ answer to extensive customer demand for a smaller ‘adventure racer.’ True to this globally successful brand’s fundamental philosophy, it has an all-round performance hull, rather than a boxy, hard-chined body with squat, open-style stern sections, like so many boats on the race course today.

The 32.6' J/99 is equipped with a powerful, easily controlled keel-stepped rig, which optimizes the boat’s reaching and downwind sail configurations. As a result, the J/99 is designed to plane in 17+ knots of breeze, but won’t drag extra wetted surface in light airs. It is designed to be IRC/ORC rating friendly, not too far from the successful J/97, but longer on the waterline with less overhang. The trial certificate for boat number one, which we sailed at the turn of the year on the Solent in seven to 10 knots of chilly breeze, comes in at 1.015, comparing favorably in between the JPK 1010 (about 1.006) and the Jeanneau SunFast 3600 (around 1.040)….read more below.  Here is a link to the article posted online.

J/70s sailing off Miami, FloridaJ/70 Midwinters VII Preview
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Since the first J/70 Midwinters in 2013 down at Key West Race Week, the class has continued to attract sailors from across the spectrum of experience, club sailors with family aboard up to world-class programs with some of the world’s top sailing pros on board.  What continues to be a unique experience for the class is the extraordinary degree of “freely-exchanged” information regards what each team believes is working for them, from tuning numbers to tactics to general boat-handling.

The Davis Island YC Winter Series was, essentially, three weekends and nine days of “sail training” for anyone that wished to participate in the Q&A with the sailmakers (Doyle, North, Quantum, Ullman) and the leading sailors like Willem van Waay, Victor Diaz de Leon, Thomas Barrows, Jonathan McKee, Bill Hardesty, and so forth.

Continuing in that tradition of camaraderie and close competition, fifty-six boats are headed to the beautiful azure waters of Biscayne Bay to sail the 7th J/70 Midwinter Championship, hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Florida. In addition to many top American teams, there will be crews from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile), Mexico, United Kingdom, and Germany.

Fresh off the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series win will be Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and also fresh off last weekend’s Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Overall win will be Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER.  Both teams will have their hands full with a rogue’s gallery of European, U.K., Midwinter, North American and World Champions from recent years.

Watch out for these crews to be serious contenders on the leaderboard; Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Lake Minnetonka, MN; Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Martin Dent’s JELVIS from Cowes, England; Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Harm Muller Speer’s PLATOON from Hamburg, Germany; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from Rye, NY; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX.  Anyone of these teams are capable of podium finishes throughout the regatta, the question will be, which ones put it together for consistent results! Sailing photo credits- Tim  For more J/70 Midwinters VII sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
Mar 14-17- J/22 Midwinter Championship- Fort Walton Beach, FL
Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/70s sailing at St Pete NOOD regattaJ/Sailors Love St Petersburg NOOD Regatta!
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta took place from February 15th to 17th, hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club. This year’s event may go down in history as one of the best three days of sailing ever on Tampa Bay!  Epic conditions every day, with sunny warm weather (70s F), and fresh southeast to southwest breezes ranging from 6 to 17 kts- in other words, true “Chamber of Commerce” conditions with shorts, t-shirts, and shades being the wardrobe of the weekend.

Thirty-seven of the 106 keelboats participating were J/Boats crews (34%). Those 250+ J sailor certainly had a rocking good time, making the most of the spring-like weather to enjoy the famous “Tiki Bar” on the second floor of St Petersburg YC’s terrace.  Participating teams included one-design fleets for J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s and a few J/crews sailing PHRF handicap, too! Again, it was another “de facto” J/Fest for J enthusiasts across America.

J/111 Spaceman SpiffFabulous Friday
The first day of the regatta dawned with a sunny day and a harbor postponement. That was a good thing.  Since virtually all weather forecasts and GRIB files showed the seabreeze starting to roll in before noontime and increasing into the 8-12 kts range by late afternoon.  It turned out to be a good call, as the fleet left the docks at 11:30am to head out to the race course for three good races in SE to SW winds of 6 to 12 kts.  It was great sailing for all the one-design fleets on all four circles and the competition was tough!

The competition was not lost on Maddy Ploch sailing on the J/70 circle. The high school student jumped into the boat for the first time in over a year and a half. Despite shaking off rust today she and her crew- including her father (Mark Ploch) as tactician- finished the day in third overall.

"You look over your shoulder for one second and you already lose two boat lengths looking at the guy next to you," Ploch says. "It’s really good competition here and I am actually really excited to come back again tomorrow and use some of the information I got today and apply it for every race that comes after."

Ploch's forte is offshore long-distance racing - she has a few thousand miles under her belt from racing to Bermuda twice and doing boat deliveries - but she is no stranger to NOOD regattas having competed in her first one when she was 12 years old.

"It's very different racing, you have to be in a different mindset," she says. "The start is one third of the race on a short course. It's always about boat speed, tactics and strategy - when to cut your losses and when to duck and bite the bullet. I was glad to have some light wind today to get my bearings straight and remember the feel of the boat. But, it would great to have more breeze in the coming days to keep things exciting and sail the regatta in all conditions."

Leading the J/70s after the first day was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, followed by Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER in second.

Fast out of the blocks in the J/24 class was Carter White’s YouREGATTA, scoring a 1-2-3 to lead with 6 pts.  Following them were Mike Quaid’s ICE CUBE in second and Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM in third.

The J/88s had very closely fought racing.  After three races, Bill Purdy’s WHIRLWIND was leading with 9 pts, followed by Mike Bruno’s WINGS and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE tied at 10 pts each.

Similarly, the J/111s were all essentially tied up.  The leaders were tied at 6 pts each, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF and Ian Hill’s SITELLA. Just one point back was Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK.

J/111 Wicked 2.0Spectacular Saturday
The second day of racing started off with a good breeze out of the south that, ultimately, swung into the southwest and increased to 10-15 kts for most circles. All circles got in at least four races and the sailors were sent home at 2:30pm in the afternoon!

White’s YouREGATTA continued to lead the J/24s, but the rest of the podium saw changes. David Ogden’s BUCKAROO crew from Toronto, Canada leapt into the second spot with a 3-1-2-1 for 17 pts, while Quaid’s ICE CUBE dropped to third with a 4-3-3-2 for 21 pts.

Similar movement was seen in the J/88 class. Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION team managed a 2-1-1-3 to lead with 17 pts, followed by John & Jordan Leahey’s DUTCH team from Denver, Colorado that had 21 pts.  One point back was Bruno’s WINGS with 22 pts.

The J/70s saw their standings shuffle dramatically amongst the leaders. Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER crew knocked it out of the park on Saturday; they were now leading after blowing off their erstwhile competitors with straight bullets to lead with just 12 pts. Second was now occupied by Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 6-2-6-4 tally on the day for a 22 pts total. Third was still the young Ms. Ploch on USA 88 with 23 pts.

Beginning to pull ahead in the J/111 class was the Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, posting a scorchingly hot tally of 1-3-1-1 for a total of 12 pts on the day! Ouch, that’s putting the big hurt on the fleet! Then, Hill’s SITELLA hung on to second with a 2-2-3-3 for 16 pts and Davis’ SHAMROCK remained in the third position with a 3-1-4-2 for 17 pts.

Meanwhile, in PHRF 2 Racing Spinnakers, sitting in second after five races was Ray Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI with George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE in third, just a scant point in arrears.

J/88 Deviation winnerSupercalifragilistic Sunday
It was another beautiful sunny day for the final day of racing. Once the sea breeze patiently filled in by noontime, it built quickly into the 8-12 kts range from the S to SW. Racing got underway and most classes completed two races for a regatta total of eight to nine races by the 1400 hrs time limit.

At each Helly Hansen NOOD regatta, organizers select one team from among its class winners to challenge the 2018 Caribbean NOOD Championship winner. This year’s winner in St. Petersburg was the J/70 class winner, Travis Odenbach, skipper of HONEYBADGER. He and his crew earned a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October 2019.

This was a particularly sweet win for the Pittsford, New York, native and his team that won their class by 15 points. Previously, Odenbach was the regatta’s overall winner, but was unable to attend the Caribbean Championship due to a conflict with the J/24 North Americans.

"I have been doing the NOOD since then trying to redeem myself and my crew won’t sail with me if I skip it again," said Odenbach. "We tried pretty hard to win and this is a gift. We are really excited and we are not going to skip this year!!”

"With 75 degree temperatures and 10 to 12 knots of breeze, it's been one of the best years that I have been in the NOOD here," continued Odenbach. Odenbach, a successful J/24 racer, is relatively new to the J/70 and attributes his success to his crew who is enjoying the boat and also some lessons on the water over the weekend.

J/70 Overall winners- Honeybadger- Travis Odenbach"One of the things I learned was how to drive through waves and understand that the boat doesn't go any faster or slower if you go really low through the waves.  So, we powered up, crashed on through, and it seemed to really work out going upwind," he said. “Good starts, getting off the line clean, and letting the crew do the rest was our recipe to success.” Crew members on HONEYBADGER included Ian Coleman, Patrick Wilson and Brendan Feeney.

Rounding out the top three in the J/70s were Maddy Ploch’s USA 88 crew taking home the silver, while Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE picked up the bronze.

Top marks in the J/88 fleet went to Iris Vogel and the crew of DEVIATION, who struggled with shifty conditions and battled through a four-way tie for second place on the first day of racing. The team found its groove over the next two days and focused on boatspeed.

"In this fleet, we just had to be fast," says Vogel. "Everyone is so close and so good. One mistake and you go from first to fifth. Our goal was to get a good start, and go as fast as we can, and hold on to it."

The balance of the podium went to the Leahey’s DUTCH in second place and Bill Purdy’s WHIRLWIND in third position.

White’s YouREGATTA split 1st and 2nd in the last two races with Ogden’s BUCKAROO to maintain their lead in the J/24 class.  Behind Ogden was Quaid’s ICE CUBE in third.

The J/111s saw the Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF hang on to their lead to take the class win.  Behind them, it was an anxiety-ridden last two races, culminating in a tie-breaker.  Such is the scenario for the incredibly tight racing in the class.  Winning the tie-break on 21 pts each was Davis’ SHAMROCK over Hill’s SITELLA.

Finally, PHRF 2 Racing Spinnaker class saw Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI get on the podium, again, for what seemed like the dozenth time in the St Pete NOOD Regatta!  His crew from Largo, Florida took home the silver. They were followed by Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE in third position.  Watch the interview of the Overall Winner- Travis Odenbach and HONEYBADGER team

Sailing video highlights
For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/122 Liquid- sailing CaribbeanJ/122 Bronze @ RORC Caribbean 600 Race
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Seventy-eight yachts entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, where in excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations competed in what became a record-setting race around 11 Caribbean islands.

Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID, with Julian White from the United Kingdom as skipper, sailed for their third time in this “bucket list” race.

Yet again, her team proved they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium!

On the final leg home from Redonda Island to the finish line off English Harbour, Antigua, a distance of 35.0nm, her team sailed a brilliant last upwind leg, powering their way back into contention to take the bronze on the IRC 2 Class podium! Congrats to Pamala, Julian, and their crew as they crossed the finish line at 19:31 hours Antigua time on Thursday, February 21st, for a total time of 3d 11h 31m 11s and a total distance of 627.0nm! YB Tracking link to replay the race  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information and tracking.

Islands Race course mapJ/Crews Prevail in Fast, Shortened Islands Race X
J/44 and J/124 Garner Silver!
(San Diego, CA)- The 10th annual Islands Race attracted 26 teams on February 15 for a Southern California offshore course from Long Beach Harbor, around Santa Catalina and finishing in San Diego, CA. The standard 134.0nm course, which generally includes rounding San Clemente Island to port, was shortened to 80.0nm when the island mark was removed due to a military exclusion zone!

As anticipated by the sailors, the teams took awhile to head offshore to pick up the west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. With the shortened course, the crews went around Catalina Island, turned left, set spinnakers, sailed down inside San Clemente Island to the Point Loma finish line off San Diego. It was a quick race in the 10-17 kts WNW winds offshore, with most boats finishing in less than 13 hours of sailing!

Taking up the challenge were two J/crews with lots of blue-water pedigree. In ORR 3 Division, it was Seth Hall’s famous navy blue J/124 MARISOL from Newport Beach, CA that captured the bronze in a class littered with custom carbon offshore speedsters.  Hall’s crew were elated to beat some of Southern California’s more notorious offshore racers, just missing the silver by a mere 47 seconds!!

Similarly, in ORR 4 Division, it was Paul Stemler’s pretty J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC that took on all comers with speed, grace, comfort, and elegance, winning their division by 12 minutes corrected time!  For more Islands Race sailing information

J/70 sailing off Vigo, SpainNOTICIA V Wins Vigo J/70 Winter Series IV
LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA Crowned Winter Series Champions
(Vigo, Spain)- The Trofeo Bosch Service Solutions J/70 Winter Series, hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Vigo, brought together the best sailors from across Spain to race in the spectacular waters of the Vigo estuary.

This past weekend, the fourth and final event of the winter long series 2018/2019, saw the two-time J/80 World Champion and runner-up in the 2018 J/70 Europeans- Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida- take the win against some of the toughest competition he has faced in years. Torcida’s Real Club Maritimo Santander team on NOTICIA V was as formidable as it gets, his crew consisted of Pablo Santurde del Arco, Luis Martin Cabiedes, and none other than Rayco Tabares (himself a J/80 World Champion from the Canary Islands).

On Saturday, with a spectacular sun and temperature, the “virazón” (an onshore thermal wind from the West) arrived punctually after finishing a duel with the early morning "bocana-terral" (Northeast winds) that lasted longer than normal. As a result, the RCN Vigo PRO managed to run three good races in the classic and stable virazón.

J/70 Sogacsa team sailing off Vigo, SpainLeading after the first day was the SOGACSA team (Pablo Iglesias, Sancho Paramo, Javier Porto, and Iago Carrera); they posted a consistent 3-5-2 for 10 pts. Two teams were tied for second; the series leader LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA (Alfredo Gonzalez and Gonzalo Araujo) posting a 11-1-1 and Torcida’s NOTICIA team with a 1-6-6, for 13 pts each.

On Sunday, it took a long time for the south wind to gain sufficient strength for racing; it finally filled in around 1200 hrs.  However, due to the 1400 hrs time limit, only two more races were completed.  Splitting the two races, each with a 1-2, were Torcida’s NOTICIA and Enrique Freire and Manuel Cunha’s MARNATURA (with crew of Gerardo Prego Menor, Luis Bugallo Arriola, Alberto Basadre López, Jorge Lorenzo Roman).  As a result, NOTICA won the fourth event with just 16 pts after five races, followed by SOGACSA in 2nd with 19 pts and MARNATURA in 3rd with 21 pts.

The balance of the top five was determined on a tie-breaker between LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA and PAZO DE CEA (Pablo Martinez Abad, Ramón Ojea, Guago Mosquera, Rodrigo Ojea, Pancho Tourón, & Ángel Tourón).  Winning that countback was L&M.

J/70s sailing off Vigo, SpainThe results of the final weekend showed that LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA was the great dominator, winning the 21 race Trofeo Bosch Services Solutions Winter Series Regatta by an enormous margin of 42 points! The series consisted of four weekends, one per month, from November to February.  Completing the podium in 2nd was ABRIL VERDE (Luis Perez Canal, Carlos San Martin, Juan De Cominges Carvallo, Rafael Martínez-Almeida, & Edu Reguera) and in 3rd was SOGACSA. It was an impressive showing for the local hosts, as the top three teams were all from RCN Vigo, a proud moment for their club members!

Rounding out the top five was Torcida’s NOTICIA in 4th place (having missed the first regatta in November) and Luis Albert Solano’s PATAKIN in 5th place from Club Maritimo Mallorca.  For more Trofeo Bosch Service Solutions J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/80 Bribon Movistar- winning regatta off SpainCompetitive Barcelona Winter J/70 and J/80 Series
(Barcelona, Spain)- While there was good racing on the Atlantic Ocean off Vigo for their winter J/70 series on Spain’s western coastline, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona was hosting its Barcelona Winters Series for J/70s and J/80s on the sunny, warm Mediterranean.

Eighteen J/70s from Spain, Germany, Cyprus, Russia, Poland, Norway, Italy, and the United Kingdom have been thrashing around the Barcelona waterfront for five events so far.  Just one final weekend is left on March 16th and 17th.  After a total of fifteen races, the leading team is a bunch of Russians sailing out of Cyprus YC; their fearless leader on AMAIZ SAILING TEAM- Sergei Dobrovolski- has guided them to six race wins and look tough to beat with just 35 pts. Only a colossal miscalculation will prevent them from winning the overall series.

J/70s sailing off Barcelona, SpainHowever, with one regatta to go, it is a battle royale for the balance of the podium and the top five spots.  Currently sitting in second is the duo of Tony Hayward and Mark Lees from Great Britain, sailing with their Royal Thames YC team on SERIOUS FUN. They haven’t done themselves any favors by having to count a DSQ/19 in race 8 and a 15th in race 15; consequently, their 57 pts is just two shy from the third place team.  That crew is the Spaniard Luis Martinez Doreste; he’s skippering FORTY FIVE and his Real Club Nautico de Grand Canaria team is capable of winning races (three so far).  Then, sitting three points behind FORTY FIVE is Pablo Garriba’s RCN Barcelona crew on TENAZ with a total of 62 pts  And, only one point in arrears of them is Gerard Marin’s CLUB NAUTIC L’ESCALA with 63 pts.  The grand finale is going to be thriller and a nightmare for the tacticians as all four boats easily have a mathematical chance of getting onto the podium.

Spoiler alert! Of note, the top five crews are likely happy that the duo of Spanish Olympic Gold Medallist Hugo Rocha and Russian Alexey Semenov on NEW TERRITORIES missed the first three events, as they are averaging a 3rd in their last seven races, including two bullets and two deuces!

J/70's sailing off Barcelona, SpainMeanwhile, the nine-boat J/80 fleet had their hands full dealing with past J/80 World Champion Marc de Antonio on his familiar boat named BRIBON-MOVISTAR.

Marc’s RCN Barcelona team have sailed all fifteen races, won six of them and placed in the top three twelve times; their points total is just 26! Comfortable in their second position is Agusti Altadil on NACEX with 32 pts overall.

However, the balance of the podium is sure to be a full-on battle in the March event between MIKAKU (Rosa Artigas and Luis Corbella) and AKEWUELE (Silvia Ravetllat and Joan Salame). Both women skippers are quite talented and have sharpened their skills over the course of the winter series. In particular, Silvia Ravetllat has seven top three scores and, other than her OCS/10 in Race 14, she would have had a chance at the silver.  Instead, Silvia’s AKEWUELE team sits in 4th place with 44 pts, three points in arrears of Rosa’s MIKAKU crew that have 41 pts.  Follow the Spanish J/70 teams here on Facebook  For more Barcelona J/70 & J/80 Winter Series sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22 women's regatta- San Diego, California “Mimosas, Massages, & Memories.  Women go sailing J/22s in San Diego!”  
When Kim Couranz first suggested we represent Severn Sailing Association at San Diego Yacht Club’s Women’s Winter Invite on February 16-17, I was excited to get “the band” back together again. It had been almost a decade since Kim and Margaret Podlich and I had sailed together, but we still remembered how much fun we had.

A “girls’ weekend” that included racing (and an escape from real winter, back east to San Diego, CA) was definitely worth traveling cross-country.

I can’t speak for why so many others traveled similar distances—there was even a team from Mexico—but I’m pretty sure everyone went home happy. What’s not to like about yoga, mimosas, massages, sunshine, great breeze, and fast-paced competition from several generations of sailors?

Here’s how the racing worked: Twenty teams sailed ten J/22s, rotating after every race on a dock only a few minutes from the race course. La Playa is a small basin that (on this particular weekend) was filled with anchored boats, all taking shelter behind the high ridge of Point Loma from a series of winter low pressure systems.

J/22 women sailors off San Diego, CARegardless of whether the left or right breeze won at any given moment, there were plenty of obstructions on the three-minute legs—and no lead was safe.

Between races, we socialized. The dockside SDYC RC boat ‘Corinthian’ hosted self-serve food and drink, while two masseuses were kept busy working on tight muscles. While cheering on lead changes and overlapped finishes, we made some new friends and caught up with old ones.

With the likely exception of massages, all of what I’ve described so far could’ve happened at any regatta. Three major differences made this event particularly special:

1. Starting off the day with a yogi-led group stretch. Loosening up joints and muscles surrounded by a roomful of competitors put the whole regatta thing into perspective. When else do we prepare for a day’s racing by channeling gratitude rather than grit and determination?

2. A competitor age range of close to forty years. There were teams who could’ve been my kids, others that I’d raced against “back in the day,” and several sailors I knew only by reputation. It was definitely not the “same old crowd,” for anybody.

3. “Sail with the Commodore.” Each rotation, SDYC Commodore Jerelyn Biehl took out women who’d never raced before— and her teams won two of the 46 races. Her real win was exposing more yacht club members to small boat sailing and its unique camaraderie.

J/22 women's sailing team at San Diego, CaliforniaAfter racing each day, we retreated to hot tub or bar (or both) for more socializing over more food and drink. SDYC was as welcoming as always, and even the fork and knife crowd didn’t seem to mind a handful of lifejacketed ladies wandering through.

And yes, my team achieved our original mission; get the band back together, and laugh a lot. After observing the three of us finishing each others’ sentences the first morning, one of the younger skippers observed, “You guys must’ve spent a lot of time together.”

Guilty as charged, and long may it continue.  Thanks to all the organizers for making this happen, and please sign us up for next year!”

In the end, it was top Olympian sailor Allie Blecher from California Yacht Club that won the regatta with a 1.20 race average.  Jenny Swett, a native of Newport and Jamestown J/24 Fleet 50 days, appeared like she had not lost her touch, taking 2nd with a 1.40 avg.  Third was author Carol Cronin’s crew from Annapolis, MD with a 1.71 avg. Fourth was Liz Baylis from San Francisco with a 1.83 avg.  Then, fifth place was determined on a tie-breaker with a 2.00 avg between Emily Maxwell from New York YC and Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, with Maxwell getting the nod on countback.  Sailing Photo Credits- San Diego YC/ Bob Betancourt  Thanks for the contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing and Carol Cronin  For more Women’s J/22 Winter Invitational Regatta sailing information
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

J/Newsletter- February 13th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

A lot of sailing took place on four separate continents over the past few weeks.  Beginning with South America, Chilean sailors are enjoying the precursor to a glorious “Indian Summer” in the southern parts of the 2,700 mile long country. Down near Puerto Montt, a fleet of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/105s enjoyed the Semana de Vela Santander Regatta, hosted by Cofradia Nautica de Frutillar on Lake Llanquihue, a spectacular large lake at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountain range, with three enormous snow-capped volcanic mountains ringing the eastern side of the lake.

Also taking place down in the Southern Hemisphere, there has been plenty of activity in Australia.  Queensland Cruising YC hosted their annual 95.0nm Surf to City Race, the fleet sailed in the Pacific Ocean waters off Brisbane, South Australia; a J/122 and J/130 managed to add some silverware to their trophy shelves.  Then, not far away in another part of South Australia, the 2019 J/24 Australian National Championship was sailed off Adelaide, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.

Up in the Northern Hemisphere, an enormous contingent of European, South American, and Russian sailors enjoyed what many consider to be the premiere opening regatta of the European summer sailing season; the famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse that is hosted by the Yacht Club de Monaco off Monte Carlo, Monaco, with sailing taking place on Hercules Bay. With YC Monaco hosting the 2022 J/70 World Championship, a significant fleet of fifty-one boats enjoyed the three days of sailing in the always-challenging conditions on the Mediterranean. Further north on the Continent, the Grevelingen Cup Winter Series sailed its fourth weekend off Port Zeelande for a fleet of IRC/ ORC boats that included a J/109, J/111, and J/122.

Finally, in North America, the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series sailed the third and final regatta of the series in what many thought was the “best weekend ever” sailing in northern Tampa Bay.  As usual, the volunteers at Davis Island YC rolled out their proverbial red carpet and welcomed the fleet of fifty-four boats with open arms and put on a great show, running seven races over two sunny days with good breezes from the N-NE.

J/70 sailboats offshoreJ/70 @ Austrian Boat Show- BOOT TULLN
(Tulln, Austria)- The Austrian Boat Show– BOOT TULLN- continues its success story! The biggest and most comprehensive boat and water sports trade fair in Central and Eastern Europe, the show takes place from March 7th to 10th, 2019.

The trade fair city Tulln on the Danube River has been presenting the Austrian Boat Show for 45 years. More than 45,000 visitors with substantial purchasing power come each year from Austria and abroad to enjoy the attractions of the trade fair and its host city.

On display will be Europe’s most popular sportboat- the internationally famous J/70 one-design sailboat.  The class has truly taken over Europe by storm, with nearly 1,000 boats on the Continent.  That activity has been driven by the famous SAILING Champions League, in which 20 nations are taking part from across Europe in the incredibly popular sailing league programs that has mostly standardized on J/70 sailboats. Austria has been an active participant in that growth for “club sailing”, bringing aboard most all of Austria’s top sailing clubs. Come on down and learn more about the J/70 in Austria and how you can participate in European J/70 events.  For more BOOT TULLN show information

To meet J/Boats Austrian representative Richard Gebetsroither-Haslinger from Yachtservice Gebetsroither GesmbH, please contact them at mobile +43 664 211 68 33/ email- or web-

J/70 sailing off Tampa BayHelly Hansen St Pete NOOD Regatta Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta will be taking place from February 15th to 17th, hosted by St Petersburg Yacht Club, with sailing on Tampa Bay. Continuing the trend from past years, the J/family of sailors continues to grow across the spectrum of experience and competition.  Of the 162 boats registered, 106 are keelboats, and of that 34% (or 36 boats) are J/Boats crews.  In terms of “sailor participants”, the J/crews number over 50% of the regatta, at least 250 sailors that are on J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/111s, & J/PHRF teams!  Yet another “de facto” J/Fest for enthusiasts across America.

Fresh off their last weekend in the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series are fourteen J/70 crews from Canada (Port Credit, ONT), Maryland, Florida, Minnesota, Georgia, New York, and Connecticut. Watch out for Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER crew form Rochester YC in New York as well as Maddy Ploch’s team on USA 88 from the greater Tampa Bay area (includes her Dad- Mark Ploch, first time J/24 Midwinter Champion in 1978)!

The half-dozen J/88s will square off again after their Midwinter Championship over two weeks ago.  Will Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew duplicate their remarkable feat of five bullets?  Or, will Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE exact revenge and turn the tables on everyone? That outcome may be “condition-specific” as certain teams have proven to be faster in some conditions versus others and, as a result, may become a war of attrition to the very end!

The J/111 class will see the addition of the popular WICKED 2.0 crew, skippered by Doug Curtiss from New Bedford YC in South Dartmouth, MA.  Their pretty black and green boat will be put to the test by the previous J/111 Midwinters leaders- Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Chesapeake, VA; Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from Cleveland, OH: and Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY.

The octet of J/24s will enjoy good racing, as they usually do in the friendly confines of Tampa Bay. Do not be surprised if the top of the leaderboard sees Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from Davis Island YC dueling for class honors with Carter White’s YOUREGATTA from Portland, Maine.

The PHRF 1 Racing division has grown, yet again, with 25 boats on what could be a very scary starting line. This year, two J/105s will be on hand- George Cussins’ FIRE & ICE from Apollo Beach, FL and David Arata’s J-HAWK from St Petersburg YC.  Joining them in the fray will be Ray Mannix’s J/29 SEMPER FI, a past class winner!

Finally, the NORTH SAILS RALLY for Racer Cruisers includes David Mendelblatt’s J/24 USA 4159 from St Petersburg YC, going for a “family cruise” with the hopes of collecting some silverware along the way.
Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/   For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/122 sailing in CaribbeanRORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Seventy-eight yachts have entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, where in excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations will compete in the thrilling race around 11 Caribbean islands starting on Monday 18th February. Winners from the Olympic Games, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and multiple world champions have gathered in Antigua and will be competing alongside passionate Corinthian sailors, both young and old.

Two offshore thoroughbreds from the “J” stable will be participating in the event in the IRC Division.  Sailing for the first time will be Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from the USA; given the right conditions, her enormous asymmetric sails and her ability to excel in a long upwind slog (154 degree for 190.0nm) from the northeastern point of Saint Maarten (Ile Tintamarre) to the southeastern tip of Guadeloupe (Iles de Saintes). Similarly, Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID will be participating for the third time in this “bucket list” race; her team has proven time and again they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium!  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information and tracking

Islands Race off San Diego, CAIslands Race X Preview
(San Diego, CA)- The San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club are celebrating the 10th annual Islands Race on February 15-16, 2019. The decade old, 134.0nm race is a signature SDYC offshore regatta co-hosted with Newport Harbor Yacht Club. An expected 25+ boats will start from Long Beach Harbor, make way around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands and finish in Point Loma.

As the first race of the 2019 Southern California Offshore Racing Calendar, many competitors will be using this event to prepare for the NHYC Cabo Race later in the Spring. The NHYC Cabo Race is an 800.0nm, 3-4 day, intense offshore competition. The Islands Race, involving only a single overnight at sea with various offshore wind and sea conditions, is a good opportunity for sailors to get ocean experience while still remaining relatively coastal.

Islands Race CourseCompetitors in the Islands Race will head offshore in west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. Boats will typically encounter better sailing winds in the evening as they get further into the trades, and round Catalina and San Clemente islands. However, as they pass to windward of these islands, they are exposing themselves to larger swells and wind waves that are not blocked by the islands.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges with these offshore winds. “As the winds flow down the coast, they continue south even as the coastal shoreline recedes to the east. This creates a gap between those trade winds and the coastline, over most of Southern California. During the day, the thermal effect pulls those offshore winds into the coast. But, at night, coastal waters are largely calm. However, the trade winds continue to flow, just further out to sea. The Islands Race course places competitors among those night-time winds and gives them valuable night-time offshore sailing experience.

Taking up that challenge in the ORR 1 Class are Seth Hall’s famous navy blue J/124 MARISOL, with crew from Newport Beach, CA.  In addition, Viggo Torbensen’s race-winning J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC will be hoping to set the pace offshore and overcome notorious competitors like the SC 52 Horizon.

In the ORR EZ5 Class, Paul Stemler’s pretty J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC will be taking on all comers with speed, grace, comfort, and elegance.  Sailing photo credit-  For more Islands Race sailing information

J/22 Youth sailorsJ/22 U.S. Youth Match Racing Announcement
(San Diego, CA)- Come one, come all!  All youth sailors between 16 and 20 years old are invited to apply for the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship (“USYMRC”) to be sailed in matched J/22 one-design sailboats from June 26th to 30th, hosted by San Diego YC in San Diego, CA!

The “USYMRC” for the Rose Cup is an invitational event. The Championship features world-class coaching and race management and serves as an outstanding training ground for young sailors who are passionate about match racing and focused on competing at the next level.

The online form to request an invitation to the 2019 USYMRC is now available to prospective sailors. Requests for invitations received by April 1, 2019, will receive preference, and selected skippers will be notified by April 7, 2019.  If you wish to participate, please go to the online application here.

Please note- competitors must have reached their 16th birthday, but not their 21st birthday during the calendar year in which the event is held. Teams will consist of crews of four (4), with at least one male and one female, and a maximum crew weight of 680 lbs.  The event is expected to be a World Sailing Grade 3 Event. Teams may be composed of members from other yacht clubs or sailing associations.

Championship History
The Rose Cup started as an invitational youth match racing event in 2010. It was founded by members of Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach, California, and the Newport-Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association (“NBSSA”). Its mission is to assist in the promotion of youth match racing in the United States and improve the quality of US competitors in national and international competition. Thanks primarily to the efforts of US Sailing Match Racing Committee Vice-Chair and five-time US Match Racing Champion, Dave Perry, US Sailing made the event one of its three match racing championships, and it officially became the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship in 2015.  For more J/22 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Mar 6-9- Bacardi Cup- J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
Mar 7-10- J/105 Midwinter Championship- Fort Worth, TX
Mar 12-16- Miami to Havana Race- Havana, Cuba
Mar 14-17- J/70 Monaco Winter Series V- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Mar 15-17- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-24- St Thomas International Regatta- St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29-31- BVI Spring Regatta- Roadtown, Tortola, BVI
Mar 30- Apr 5- J/24 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 28- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/80s sailing off ChileFabulous Semana de Vela Santander Regatta
Gorgeous Sailing for J/One-Designs on Lago Llanquihue
(Frutillar, Chile)- From January 19th to 26th, the Semana de Vela Santander took place on Lago Llanquihue, the second largest lake in Chile, for fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, and IRC handicap boats.  The event was hosted by Club Nautico Oceanico, the Chilean Navy, and Cofradía Náutica Frutillar; it was the first time in the history of Chilean sailing that a fleet of forty-three keelboats have ever assembled together for a week-long event on the lake.

Lago Llanquihue and the Valdivia villages were first settled by German colonialists in the 1850’s, led by Manuel Mont, and supported by then Chilean President Pérez Rosales. The principal strategy was to settle the area by giving away 2 hectares to each family to farm and make a home in a region that was sparsely populated.  However, due to the heavy rains and dense rain forest during the winters, the best mode of transportation by far was using boats on the lake!  Even to this day, there are many ferries that run back and forth between the coastal towns as principal commercial service on what is also one of the deepest lakes in all of South America (1,500 ft)!

The opening ceremony of the regatta took place at the famous “Teatro del Lago”, one of the most important public theaters in all of South America, located literally on the Frutillar shorefront. In the background of the 300 sailors attending the festivities were the famous “tres-amigos”- the enormous 12,000 ft-plus volcanic, snow-capped mountains of Osorno, Puntiagudo and Calbuco.

J/105s sailing in ChileThe sailing conditions started out a little light in the beginning of the week. For the long distance race between Frutillar, Puerto Octay and return to Frutillar, it was longer than what most anticipated.  After a one-day break, the fourth day of racing was the 18.0nm distance race from Frutillar down south to Puerto Varas, a long slog to windward for the entire fleet!

The last three days of the regatta were in Puerto Varas at the southern end of Lago Llanquihue.  The southerly offshore winds were shifty, puffy, and made it difficult on the tacticians to decide where to go for the next wind shift.

The J/24 class was dominated by Team VALDIVIESO, sailed by Felipe Molina and Fernando Gonzales, posting nine 1sts in eleven races to win with just 12 pts total.  Second was Team GUAMBLIN, sailed by the Escuela de Grumetes I team and taking the bronze on the podium was Team MARISCAL sailed by the Escuela de Grumetes crew.

J/70 and J/80  in ChileFor the J/70s, it was a battle royale to the finish line. In the end, it was Manuel Urzua’s crew on PATIO LV that took the title with 18 pts, followed by their erstwhile competitor, Francisca Cisterna’s UROBORO with 19 pts total. Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Paulo Molina’s ALBATROSS with 28 pts total.

Like their compadres in the J/24 class, the J/80s were treated to another near “white-washing” of the class.  Ezequias Alliende and Alfredo Valdes had one bad blemish on their record of near all first places, posting a DSQ in race 3, to finish with just 14 pts.  Taking the silver was Anton Felmer’s COSACO with 22 pts, followed by Gabriel Jordan’s CUMBERLAND YACHT CHARTER with 26 pts.

Finally, the J/105s had quite close racing over the course of the week. In fact, their class had the closest racing of any of the handicap or offshore classes. Wining the event with just three 1st places was Jose Tomas Errazuriz Grez on WICHITA 4 with 26 pts total.  In a nose-to-nose horse race to the finish line were four other boats, anyone of which could have take the silver based on their final race positions! Taking the silver on a tie-breaker at 35 pts each was Jorge Gonzalez Correa’s PLAN B over Patricio Seguel’s GRAND SLAM.  Fourth was Daniel Gonzalez and Claudio Leon’s TRICALMA just one point back with 36 pts.  And, yet only three points in arrears to claim 5th place was Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA with 39 pts.  Fantastic racing for all J/105 crews over the course of the week’s racing!  For Semana de Vela Santander Regatta photos  More photos on Semana de Vela Santander Regatta on Facebook   For Semana de Vela Santander Regatta Results

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoFassitelli Crowned J/70 Primo Cup Champion
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Over 400 sailors on ninety-three one-design sailboats in five classes made the trip to Monaco for a long weekend of racing in the 35th Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse, from February 7th to 10th.

Launched in 1985, at the instigation of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, a year after becoming the Yacht Club de Monaco’s President, the Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse has established itself as the principal meeting that opens the yachting season in the Mediterranean for Europe’s one-design elite.  It’s no wonder that “Albert” loves to support one-design sailboat racing, for nearly two dozen years, he loved racing his favorite J/24 in the local Monaco fleet amongst “friends and family” in the Mediterranean.

With eight races completed in the J/70 class, the 35th edition lived up to its reputation as a demanding, high quality event that every year draws sailors from all over the world to kick-off the season. With the J/70 World Championship set to descend on the Principality in October 2021, nearly sixty teams turned out for the Primo Cup. In fact, the huge fleet of fifty-four highly competitive J/70s from across Europe and other parts of the worlds included; Monaco (14), Switzerland (11), France (6), Germany (7), Italy (6), Russia (5), Ireland (2), Brazil (1), Great Britain (1), Finland (1), Ukraine (1), and Sweden (1).

J/70 sailing off MonacoTo say the outcome would have been pre-ordained amongst this incredibly competitive group would be considered an oversight.  Anyone could have won the event in the top ten, which is how close the racing was going into the last day.

Nevertheless, lying in third place after the first day, Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA- BANCA SEMPIONE generated the surprise outcome for the event; taking the top step of the podium, without having won a race, but having been the most consistent overall.

“I am delighted for two reasons.  First, because I had the chance to race with fantastic friends, and secondly, what a joy to win at home,” said Ludovico Fassitelli.

Taking second was the Irishman and J/70 International Class President- Ian Wilson (SOAK SAILING), with the Swiss Thomas Studer (JERRY) in third place.

Rounding out the top five were two former winners of the YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series; Andrei Malygin’s Russian crew on MARIA RUS 1405 and Nico Poons’ CHARISMA MON 730, finishing 4th and 5th, respectively. As a result, for the first time in Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing history, there were six nations in the top ten (Monaco, Ireland, Switzerland, Russia, Brazil, & Italy)!  Sailing photo credits- YC Monaco- Stefano Gattini/ Carlo Borlenghi  Follow Yacht Club de Monaco on Facebook here  For more J/70 Primo Cup Trophee Credit-Suisse sailing information

J/130 sailing off AustraliaJ/Teams Dominate the Surf to City Race
(Brisbane, Australia)- Recently, the J/122 JAVELIN and the J/130 RAGTIME competed in the Offshore division of the 26th Queensland Cruising YC Surf to City Race last weekend. The unique race starts at Southport Yacht Club and finishes just off Shorncliffe Pier in Brisbane.

Two fleets competed in the event, with the smaller boats took a 50.0nm route inshore of the Stradbroke Islands, while the bigger yachts took a 95.0nm Offshore course around the outside of the Stradbroke and Moreton Islands, then back across Moreton Bay to the finish. 101 boats participated in total, with 36 taking the offshore course and 65 on the inshore route.

After fifteen hours of racing, Chris Morgan’s J/130 RAGTIME won IRC Division 2 and James and Sally Crowley’s J/122 JAVELIN took 2nd in IRC Division 2 and 2nd in ORCi Overall.

Here is James and Sally’s report:

“The race started off the Gold Coast seaway at 10:00 hrs in 1-3 kts NNE. RAGTIME got an early break with some favorable pressure and their large #1 headsail giving significant advantage. JAVELIN was penned in by a Marten-49 and surrounded by other 40 footers.

As pressure built during the morning to 10-12 kts, the wind rotated to the north, and a tacking duel with a Sydney-39 and First-40 up the coast of Stradbroke island ensued. JAVELIN and the others went tack-for-tack into the surf zone in 5.0 meters of water with 1-2.0 meter swell, then back out to 20.0 meters of water.

As the wind built to 12-14kts and rotated more northerly, JAVELIN changed to #2 headsail and, slowly but surely, overtook the competition. By Point Lookout at the NE tip of Stradbroke Island, JAVELIN had established a small lead on their key competitors.

Going from Point Lookout to Cape Moreton, as the sun was setting over the islands, the wind continued to build to 15-18 kts and the leg was made on a single tack in the growing darkness.

Cape Moreton was made at 19:00 hrs and the 15 deg bear-away to a shy reach gave JAVELIN her legs and by NE2 at the entry to Moreton Bay JAVELIN had established a 30-minute lead on her competitors. By this stage, the wind had died to 8-10 kts due north, and the shallow water in the channel combined with the swell and dead-aft wind made for uncomfortable downwind sailing in the dark, requiring numerous gybes to keep pressure in the A2 kite for the 8.0nm leg.

Our saving grace was the incoming tide giving 1.5 kts assist. Past Tangalooma to the turn off at Cowan-Cowan, the seabreeze became extremely fluky and died before rotating around. As the wind became established off the shore in the NW, the A2 wasn’t able to hold at 90 deg AWA and 12 kts of breeze, so the Code-0 was deployed for the final run to the finish, crossing the line at 01:14 AM.”

J/70 SavasavaSAVASANA Wins Davis Island J/70 Finale & Overall Series
(Tampa, FL)- Forty-nine J/70 teams qualified to win the 2018-2019 J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club by competing with the same boat and skipper in at least two of the three events in Tampa, Florida.  Brian Keane’s SAVASANA repeated as Series Champion, including a commanding performance at the final stage February 9-10 with four bullets in seven races. The finale for the Corinthian division was narrowly won by Eddie Keller’s team on KEY PLAYER, nipping Bob Willis’s RIP RULLAH (by one point).

Gorgeous Act III Weekend
The weather for the weekend was considered by many Davis Island Winter series veterans as perhaps the “best ever”.  Saturday’s racing started off virtually on-time on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day, with winds of 13-20 kts out of the NNE (30-40 deg). It was apparent the shifty, offshore breezes often favored playing the fleet left of middle and, in particular, staying left at the top of the course. Quickly figuring out that formula was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team that included College Sailor of the Year Thomas Barrows as his tactician.  SAVASANA won the first three races, leaving the fleet in their dust as they planed away downwind in a cloud of spray.  However, by the fourth race of the day, most of the top crews had seen what they were doing tactically and strategically, and SAVASANA had to claw their way back into 6th place to be the leader at the conclusion of racing on Saturday; they were the only boat to post all single digit scores in four races.  Hot on their heels all day were Will Welles’ NEW WAVE from Newport, RI and Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA.

Sunday dawned with great promise, but as the “locals” all know, any frontal weather system generating northeasterly winds on sunny days often dies out quickly on the second or third day. The forecast was for 10-15 kt winds from the ENE (65-90 deg.), it didn’t last long.  While the first race was fun and exciting, including a combination of planing puffs, wing-on-wing VMG’ing, and even light VMG modes, the next two races started to see massive holes materialize in the middle of the course.  Starting out where they left off on the first day, Keane’s SAVASANA won the first race, then closed with a 6-5 to win Act III of the DIYC Winter Series and also take the Overall Prize for winning the series.

Behind Keane, it was a battle for the balance of the podium between Downey’s MR PITIFUL and Welles’ NEW WAVE.  However, it appeared the “die was cast” after the first race of the day when Welles posted an 8th to Downey’s 22nd.  Then, Welles closed with two bullets to cement their hold on second place, while Downey’s crew posted a 2-3 to also secure the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA from Wilmette, IL in fourth place, sailing with North Sails’ Tim Healey, and Doug Clark’s POLAR from the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT sailing his best regatta of the series by taking 5th place.

In the Corinthians Division, Keller’s KEY PLAYER won, followed by Willis’ RIP RULLAH in second, and the Mexican team from Puerto Vallarta taking third- Fernando Perez’s BLACK MAMBA.

Close Battle for Overall Championship Series
In the Overall “Open” Division, SAVASANA won with a 3-1 tally for 4 pts. However, the balance of the podium was determined on a tie-breaker at 7 points each, with local DIYC sailor Greiner Hobbs posting a 2-5 to win the tie-break over Downey’s MR PITIFUL that had scored a 4-3!  Taking fourth was Welles’ NEW WAVE with a 6-2 for 8 pts, while Clark’s POLAR scored a 5-5 for 10 pts to take fifth position.

In the Corinthians Overall Championship, Willis’ RIP RULLAH won by a small margin, posting a 6-8 for 14 pts.  Keller’s KEY PLAYER had an 11-7 tally for 18 pts to take the silver, while Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE posted 29-17 for 46 pts to take the bronze.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information

J/24 AustraliaBYE THE LEE Crowned J/24 Australian Champion
(North Haven, Adelaide, SA, Australia)- Brendan Lee and his crew on BYE THE LEE won the 2019 Australian J/24 Nationals that was ailed off Adelaide, Australia.  Here is Brendan’s perspective on their experience winning the Nationals for the first time.

“After some confusion as to whether the 2019 J24 National Championships would be held in Adelaide or not, the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia got behind the J24 class and hosted the championships from the 3rd to the 6th of January 2019.

Whilst down on entrants from previous years the competition was just as fierce. A special thank you to the 10 crews that travelled from NSW and Victoria.

Twelve races were scheduled over 4 days of racing with the first discard coming in after race 8 and the second after race 10.

Day 1 and with a forecast top of 41 degrees, race management decided to put up the “AP” and keep the fleet in the shade until the sea breeze kicked in. Race 1 eventually got underway in about 6 knots of wind with the official sea breeze announcing itself part way up the 3rd leg with a massive starboard lift. Those that decided to go to the left gate and out to sea prospered. Those that did not, paid a hefty price, except for “Team El Fideldo” who charged out to sea and picked up the generous lift to record a bullet in Race 1.

If anyone was watching from the shore they would have been curious as to why there was often someone hanging over the back of the boats. This was to rid seagrass from the rudder. Unfortunately, arms were not long enough so it was just a case of putting up with it and assuming that everyone was “in the same boat”, so to speak. As for the keel, well there was little that could be done other than sailing backwards which would not only have been costly but likely pointless as it would have just been a matter of time until more accumulated. I understand “Wildfire” did in fact execute the backwards move mid race. The following morning a number of brooms showed up on various boats with “Vice Versa” and “By The Lee” targeting the same Bunnings at the same time.

With the first race out of the way and, hopefully, an early discard, the hammer went down and “By The Lee” picked up Race 2.

Race 3 and it was “Stamped Urgent” recording the win, successfully defending off “By The Lee” which at times were just 4cm behind and doing everything possible to get by. A shoulda-coulda moment for sure.

By the end of Day 1 and with 3 races sailed it was “Stamped Urgent” showing the way on 7 points with “Tinto” and “Two Dogs” on 10 points and “By The Lee” lying 4th on 11 points.

Following the day’s racing, it was the usual stories and banter about what coulda and shoulda been enjoyed over a BBQ put on by the South Australian Association. Thank you to Jim and Robyn for bringing it all together and Andrew and others for doing the cooking in almost 40-degree heat.

Sponsors “Dog Ridge Wines” joined the party by giving away 60 bottles of Rosé to be handed out to the top 3 places on ‘One Design’ and ‘PHS’ for each race and a new Genoa from Peter Stevens, representing a new Chinese Manufacturer “Loong Sails” for the median placed PHS boat overall.

Day 2 and the forecast Strong Wind Warning was spot on. St Vincent’s Gulf was recording in excess of 25 knots. With no wind abatement in sight, race management called off the day and after just 3 races the fleet was rewarded with a lay day. Some chose to go to the wineries and others decided to race go-carts to blow off the adrenaline built up from Day 1. All in all, it was in fact a great J/24 community day with many teams coming together and having fun.

Day 3 and the wind had moderated to 12-15 knots. Race 4 was set in at 0.6nm, however I think the race officer underestimated the speed of a J/24 and subsequently set Race 5 at 0.8nm and Race 6 & 7 at 1.0nm. With a big incoming tide the upwind legs on the last race was seriously hard work.

Race 4 and 6 were taken out by “By The Lee” with “Stamped Urgent” picking up Race 5 and their second win.

Onto race 7 and the final race of the day and it was a new boat at the top “Wildfire”, which I think started a few minutes ahead of the rest, as this is how it ended up. I think Ron and the team were in the bar by the time the second boat crossed the line. Well done!

So, at the end of Day 3 it was “By The Lee” and “Tinto” at the top on 20 points with “Stamped Urgent” just 6 points behind.

With Day 2 being blown out, race management decided to get things underway an hour early on the final day so the stage was set for a 10am start and up to 4 races scheduled. The championship was far from decided.

Day 4 and “By The Lee” knew what they needed to do, stay ahead of “Tinto” in every race. Race 8 got underway in about 8 knots of breeze it was “By The Lee” rounding the top mark in first place with “Tinto” a few places back. However, in true Steve Wright style the competition was picked apart and in the end it was “By The Lee” followed by “Tinto” in second. With 8 races sailed, the first discard came into play, and the finishing positions were starting to take shape with “Stamped Urgent”, “Wildfire” and “Two Dogs” all eyeing out a podium finish.

Race 9 and it was “By The Lee” first at the top mark, however, this was short lived after a massive spinnaker wrap which took a full 3 minutes to come free, allowed “Tinto” and “Vice Versa” to sail through. With “By The Lee” going toe to toe with “Tinto” for the entire regatta any placings between the two was huge, so in this case it was +2 to “Tinto”.

Race 10 and “By The Lee” had “Tinto” sucking dirty air off the line. However, a short tack out to sea and back over to starboard, saw “Tinto” cross the fleet, which left “By The Lee” wondering what the hell just happened. “Tinto” recorded their second win and once again, the gap narrowed by a further 2 points with “By The Lee” coming home in 3rd.

With 10 races sailed and the second discard now in place, it was a showdown in the last race with just a two-point spread between first and second place. A good upwind leg on Race 11 saw “By The Lee” round the top mark first with “Wildfire” hot on their heals. “Tinto” was a bit further back, but again this was short lived. Another less than ideal spinnaker launch saw “Wildfire” sail over “By The Lee”.

With a close eye on “Tinto”, defensive mode kicked in. “Wildfire” extended their lead and the fleet closed in on “By The Lee” with both “Tinto” and “Stamped Urgent” getting past. Provided the gap was no more than 3 placings and a result of 5th or better, “By The Lee” was okay.
The next thing I saw was “Tinto” doing a gybe upwind which I later understood was as a result of contact being made with “Stamped Urgent”.

With a generous port lift, “By The Lee” crossed ahead of “Stamped Urgent” and, as a result of the penalty, “Tinto” was back in 6th.

At the end it was “Wildfire” recording their second win, “By The Lee” coming home in second place and securing the championship with “Stamped Urgent” crossing the line in 3rd which also resulted in being awarded 3rd overall by one point over “Wildfire”. A very consistent effort across the 11 races saw “Tinto” drop their 6th place, finishing second just 3 points behind “By The Lee”.

And, so it was.  On to the prize giving with a traditional dinner overlooking the beautiful North Haven Marina. The last few bottles of Rosé were handed out and the winner of the Genoa was awarded to Jack Fullerton on “Two Dogs” who sailed an excellent regatta finishing 5th overall, just five points off the podium.

After seven attempts, it was Brendan Lee, Rory Groves, Dan Cave, Peter Lee and Keren Reynolds on “By The Lee” picking up their first Australian J/24 National Championship!

In usual J/24 style, the night went on with plenty of laughter and cheer. The 2019 championship was a great success. A special thank you to the CYCSA, J/24 SA organizers and volunteers and to the sponsors “Dog Ridge Wines” and “Loong Sails” for their support.

We look forward to seeing you at the Victorian Championships regatta in Victoria being held on the 30th and 31st of March 2019.”  Thanks to Brendan Lee for his story.  For more Australian J/24 Nationals sailing information

J/109 sailing off NetherlandsJ/Crews Dominating Top Five @ Grevelingen Cup Series
(Port Zeelande, The Netherlands)- Over the past four weekends in the Netherlands, there is no question that Marjolein Swiebel and crew keep pushing their J/111 MAJIC in the Grevelingencup Winterseries at Port Zelande.  After a slow start (an 8th), they have won all three races since and are now sitting just one point from first overall.

Sailing an incredibly consistent series has been GGPM van Beers on his J/122 JAM SESSION.  After four races, their 3-5-4-3 tally gives them 15 pts total for a 3.75 race average and are sitting in fourth overall, just 3 pts shy of a podium spot.

Then, while they are currently sitting in fifth place, Martijn Graafmans’ J/109 EAU-J had a very slow start, posting a 9-9.  However, they have now come into their own in the last two races and are finally showing signs of life and a competitive spirit, scoring a 3-5 to race up the standings from the bottom of the fleet!

With at least three more races to go, there is still a good mathematical chance that all three J/crews end up on the podium together!  Follow the Grevelingen Cup Winter Series on Facebook here   For more Grevelingen Cup Winter Series sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 Voador- Nikki Curwen United Kingdom Doublehanded Woman Offshore Star to lead RORC training program- Nikki Curwen from J/105 VOADOR fame!

While mixed two-handed offshore racing is set to be a new Olympic discipline for Paris 2024, closer to home and more immediately, the Royal Ocean Racing Club continues to see a surge in doublehanded participation in its events. Last month entries opened for the club's pinnacle event, the Rolex Fastnet Race and the maximum limit of 340 slots sold out in just four minutes 37 seconds. Of these, 68 are currently entered in the IRC Two-Handed class, a significant step-up from the 57 that competed in 2017.

To acknowledge this trend, the RORC has introduced, via the Royal Yachting Association, specialist two handed coaching for its RORC Easter Challenge training regatta over 19-21 April.

"In the past two-handed crews haven't been able to get involved and we are well aware how important our two handed fleet is," says RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. "So we are offering them coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge for the first time."

Open to all (not just RORC members), the RORC's first race of the domestic season makes coaching uniquely possible as the racing rules of sailing covering 'outside assistance' are relaxed for it. This permits coaches not only to offer advice from their RIBs, but to come on board or for crews to step off their boat and on to a coach RIB to check trim, sail shape, etc -during races.

As ever, the RORC coaching team will be led by the 'legend' in this field Jim Saltonstall, ably assisted by Mason King and former America's Cup coach and sailmaker, Eddie Warden Owen, now RORC CEO, plus the talented staff from North Sails UK.

"A training regatta is the ultimate pre-season warm-up," continues Stone. "It is the opportunity where everyone gets to test their skills out, have them reviewed and look at what changes can be made as they go into the season ahead. Best of all is that it is done in a racing format and we allow our coaches to follow boats and make comments about things to improve. It is more of a relaxed racing environment with a view to coaching and people getting the most out of it while they can, in a racing situation."

In addition to Saltonstall's team, specialist two handed coaching will be provided for the first time, both on the water and in the classroom, by Nikki Curwen.

Curwen was weaned in two-handed offshore race by her father Simon (still Britain's highest-placed Mini Transat sailor) on board the family J/105 Voador. Father and daughter raced extensively in both RORC and Royal Southampton Yacht Club doublehanded events, including the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race. Two years later Nikki won the two handed Figaro class in the Rolex Fastnet Race with top French skipper Charlie Dalin. She has also raced extensively both solo and doublehanded in the Mini class, completing the famed Mini Transat in the footsteps of her father in 2015.

"The two handed fleet is pretty good already, but the coaching will include some of the 'secret little tips'," explains Curwen. Coaching at the RORC Easter Challenge is a mix of generic to all and specific for individual boats (all competitors are encouraged to request specific coaching from the coaches and this can be done by contacting the RORC in advance), so is designed to be equally relevant for newbies to the highly experienced. All can learn.

"For new people coming in it might be breaking down maneuvers, thinking about things early on, pre-planning, etc," says Curwen. "A common mistake is running constantly back and forth between the foredeck and the cockpit. So we'll look at hoisting kites from cockpits. There might be tiny little things like throwing the halyard out the back, which slows the drop down so you don't have to be so quick with your hands. And communication - it is quite different when there's two of you on board to when you are used to having seven or eight."

While the majority of the RORC's two handed racing is in its extensive offshore program, it also organizes the IRC Double Handed National Championship, the first part of which will take place this year on the Solent over 14-15 September. At the RORC Easter Challenge, competitors in this and also the Rolex Fastnet Race have the opportunity to learn valuable skills thereby enhancing their performance.

As usual, the Club's Race Team will set a variety of courses around the Solent and will lay on practice starts and the opportunity for much mark rounding practice and speed testing. The three-day event will conclude on Easter Sunday with a prize giving at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where the silverware is usually overwhelmed by the hundredweight of Easter eggs that are liberally given out as prizes.
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