Wednesday, April 24, 2019

J/Newsletter- April 24th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

A lot of sailing activity was taking place this past week in Europe. For starters, the largest annual offshore keelboat regatta in France kicked off the summer sailing season in La Trinite sur Mer, France- the famous, fabulous, huge, SPI OUEST France Regatta. The regatta is a magnet for everyone in the French sailing community, from one-design keelboats to the largest offshore IRC handicap racers. As usual, the J/80s had the biggest fleet, with J/70s growing quickly, and the French offshore establishment witnessed the successful debut of the evolutionary, fast, short-handed speedster- the new J/99. Off to the north, the Dutch sailors also enjoyed their huge season-opening event; the Van Uden Recco Regatta sailed off Stellendam, The Netherlands.

Then, down in the Caribbean, the penultimate event of their winter circuit was the Les Voiles de St Barths sailed out of Gustavia Harbour. A duel of J/122s led to rather amazing results overall.

J/120 sailboatNewport to Ensenada Race Preview
(Newport Beach, CA)- Southern California offshore sailing teams are looking forward to their second major event of the season.  After the famous (and light) Cabo San Lucas race, the fleet is expecting “fast forward” downwind sleigh rides in this year’s Newport to Ensenada Race- one of the world’s largest international yacht races, with a legendary 125nm course that starts off the piers at Newport Beach, CA and heads south down the California coastline to a finish inside Toto Santos Bay off the lovely Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada.

Starting on April 26th, the fleet of 180+ boats will look forward to their 72nd annual edition of the race.  Answering that seductive call to the sea- the “song of the sirens”- are nearly a dozen J/crews from the Southern California region.

Rudolph Hasl’s crew have “up-scaled” their ride for his race; leaping from their J/120 HASL FREE to the J/145 PALAEMON in the PHF ULDB A Class.  Sailing in the PHRF ULDB B Class will be Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUEFLASH and Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER; that will be an interesting duel to watch!  Then, in PHRF ULDB C Class, Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL will be up against Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA. Finally, in PHRF ULDB D Class, Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN will do battle with two J/105s (Juan Lois’ ROCINANTE and Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN).

The PHRF A fleet will see two J/120s dueling for class honors; Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER and Jack Rose’s PRIVATEER II.  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/105s  sailing 
American YC Spring Series Preview
(Rye, NY)- Spring sailing in the northeast of America is always a fickle thing; just ask those Solent sailors in the U.K. that are on the receiving end of the goofy weather patterns experienced over North America that happen to make their way across the North Atlantic in due course and slam into Scotland, Ireland, and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Remarkably, the forecast for the first of two weekend’s of sailing in American Yacht Club’s annual Spring Series Regatta looks reasonably good for two solid days of sailing.

There are a total of seventy-five entries overall in the event in One-Design and PHRF fleets. Six boats are racing IRC (obviously, not popular in the USA). Eighteen boats are racing PHRF; not exactly a ringing endorsement of YRA Long Island Sound PHRF is it?

What is remarkable, is that fifty-six participants in the AYC Spring Series are J/Crews- 75% of the fleet are racing one-design! Those classes include One-Design classes for J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s.

Starting with the “big boat” J/44 One-Design Class, we find New York Yacht Club Commodore Bill Ketcham racing MAXINE with his family crew.  They are hoping to lead some old familiar names, as well as new ones, in what could be called the “Gold Digger Division” (in honor of the late Jim Bishop whom pioneered the development of the J/44 class). Chasing Bill will be none other than Len Sitar’s VAMP, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, and class newcomers like Bill Mooney’s KATANA, June & Amanda Kendrick’s PALANTIR 5, and Tom Blackwell’s BREAKAWAY.

The ten-boat J/109 class will see their usual suspects of class leaders on a national level participating in their first major regatta of the season. The real question will be “who’s showing up on first base” with a well-oiled machine? Likely, no one.  However, all will be focused on fine-tuning their teamwork and boatspeed for their J/109 North Americans later in the year. Notable leading teams should include Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Jon Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, David Rosow’s LOKI, and Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS. OK, well that is half the fleet! Well, that is often the case in the J/109 class; anyone can win given that magic combination of starts, speed, and crew work!

As the largest class in the regatta, the fourteen J/105s are certain to see great competition as the event will mark the first regatta on the road to the J/105 North American Championship to be held by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA this coming September 2019. Watch for an eclectic selection of crews to be amongst the leaderboard; such as Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, John Koten’s GRAY MATTER, Jeremy Henderson & Harald Edegran’s CONUNDRUM, the kids on the YOUNG AMERICAN, and Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA.

The seven-boat J/88 class will be HOT off the trails of the recent Charleston Race Week that took place two weeks ago in Charleston, SC.  There, Mike Bruno’s team on WINGS won a very closely fought battle over Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS, with Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION just off the pace in fourth.  Watch for the same trio to have another dust-up over the next two weekends on Long Island Sound.

The octet of J/70s will be enjoying fun, fast racing on their near-shore race course. Familiar names that will factor into the leaderboard will be Marshall Saffer’s LET IT RIP, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Alex Meleney’s TRUCKIN, and the White Rhino Racing team on J-RHINO!

A half-dozen J/80s will be participating with various crews from the Hudson River Community Sailing program. The lone private boat will be Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER from Huguenot YC.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, there are three divisions.  In PHRF A Class, the Kings Point US Merchant Marine Academy is sailing the J/111 BLACK DIAMOND; Scott Devine is skippering the J/112E REVIVER, and Ron Richman will be helming the J/133 ANTIDOTE. Then, in the PHRF Cruising division, Charles Taus is sailing his J/33 SIRIUS. And, in the PHRF Plus-ONE Division is Steven Levy’s J/121 EAGLE from Indian Harbor Yacht Club.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information

J/122s sailing AntiguaAntigua Sailing Week Preview
(English Harbour, Antigua)- More than 100 boats are registered from 30 countries worldwide and crews from many more will be taking part in a nine-day festival of racing and shoreside events that is Antigua Sailing Week, the Caribbean’s longest running regatta.

Fifty-four yachts will be racing in the CSA Racing Classes and winning skippers will be competing for the famous Lord Nelson Trophy.

The CSA racing fleet has a huge variety of professional and Corinthian sailors, young and old. Of those, six are J/Crews from across the constellation of experience. Those teams include Ben Jelic’s J/120 JAGUAR from St Maarten; Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua’s Jolly Harbour (the recent winner of her class at Voiles de St Barths); a Peruvian crew on the J/122 INKA TEAM/ EL OCASO skippered by Diego Aguirre from Lima, Peru; Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL; Tanner Jones’ J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE from Jolly Harbour, Antigua; and Jonty & Vicky Layfield’s J/11S SLEEPER from St Phillips Bay, Antigua.

Racing kicks off with the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race, followed by six days of Antigua Sailing Week. While racing always comes first at Antigua Sailing Week, the shoreside fun is very much part of the regatta.

Competitors gather after racing for the daily prize giving each day, with featured rock & roll and reggae artists each evening. The Final Awards Ceremony & Party is always a memorable occasion and the fun doesn’t stop there, with Dockyard Days and the Dickenson Bay Beach Bash closing the regatta.  For more Antigua Sailing Week sailing information

J/122 sailing offshore 
Inviting J/Sailors to Marblehead-Halifax Race
(Marblehead, MA)- Plans are moving ahead, and registrations are already building for the 38th biennial Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race on Sunday July 7. The 363.0nm international ocean race will leave Marblehead on July 7 headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“With sixty boats signed up, we have a strong early enrollment and expect to have 80 boats on the starting line," said Vice Commodore David Bows, of the Boston Yacht Club, who is Co-Chairman of the event.

To date fourteen J/Boats (already 25% of the fleet) have signed up to compete and more are expected. “We have always had a strong showing from the J/Boat fleet,” says Tom Mager, Rear Commodore of Boston YC. Mager has entered his J/122 GIGI in this year’s race. It will be his first Halifax Race.

First sailed in 1905, the Marblehead to Halifax Race is the premier ocean race in the northeast. It is co-sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. Sailors from the United States and Canada will converge on Marblehead over the Fourth of July for a round of social events highlighting the summer racing season.

Race Directors Anne Coulombe and Richard Hinterhoeller plan to configure the starting line so that spectators can view the start of the race from such vantage points as Castle Rock and Crocker Park.  “It worked well in recent years, so we’re hoping the weather will cooperate and we can do it again this year”, they said.  For more Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race sailing information

J/24s sailing off Greece 
Exciting J/24 European Champs In The Making!
(Patra, Greece)- There are almost fifteen days left before the first official race of the J/24 Class European Championship, organized by the Sailing Club of Patra, in collaboration with the Hellenic and International J/24 Class and the Hellenic Sailing Federation.

Some 175 sailors and thirty-five crews from all around Europe have already arrived or are expected to arrive in the city of Patra, the third largest city of Greece. Patra is well known for its annual carnival and is surrounded by some of the most magnificent, well-known archaeological sites of Greece.

Preparations are well on the way, with official races commencing on May 7th. Prior to that, measurements, registration and a practice race will be held from the 4th to the 6th of May 2019. All boats will moor at the pier of Agios Nikolaos in the old northern harbor of the city.  Racing will be taking place just outside of the harbor, providing spectators with the possibility to observe a magnificent view of all J/24’s racing around the course. Besides the sailing, the Sailing Club of Patra has planned an exciting program of social events for all the participants.

Following a very successful J/24 World Championship in Italy with ninety participants, the city of Patra is ready to host another exciting event for the world’s largest keelboat class. The European J/24 Championship is open to anyone; and last minute registrations are welcome! We have a few more J/24 charter boats available for these last minute crews who would like to participate. Follow the J/24 European Championship on Facebook here  For more J/24 European Championship sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Mar 17- Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
Apr 26-28- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
Apr 28- May 3- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 3-5- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
May 4-10- J/24 European Championship- Patras, Greece
May 4- RORC Cervantes Cup Race- Cowes, England
May 9-12- SAILING Champions League- Palma Mallorca, Spain
May 10-12- Grand Prix de St Cast- St Cast, France
May 10-12- RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup- Cowes, England

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

J/99 sailing SPI Ouest France 
J/99s Debut @ SPI Ouest France Regatta
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- Last weekend, the Societe Nautique de La Trinite sur Mer hosted their annual SPI Ouest France Regatta.  The event was simply huge and, as anticipated prior to the regatta, the competition was fierce in certain classes in what was predominantly a very light air regatta- far, far lighter than what has been the historical average for this Easter Weekend regatta.

The 2019 edition had 398 keelboats on the water, of which 98 were a veritable navy of J’s (25% of the total fleet) that included J/70s, J/80s, J/92s, J/97s, J/99s, J/105s, J/109, J/111, J/120 and J/122E.

The most exciting news for J/sailors was watching the debut of the quartet of new J/99s racing in their first major event since launching the first boat early March in the United Kingdom.  In short, despite having virtually zero time to tune-up, debug, fine-tune rig settings, adjust sails, and train the crew, the J/99s in both the IRC B Class and the IRC Doublehanded class closed the regatta on the final day with podium finishes or outright dominant victories!

We received a report and commentary from Fred Bouvier fresh after the awards ceremony on Monday:

“We launched J-LANCE 14 just two weeks before SPI Ouest and Olivier Grassi’s boat was launched just 48 hours before the regatta and managed to sail just four hours prior to the first day of racing!

There were four J/99s participating in the regatta, three were in IRC B class and one in the IRC Double class. Two boats had double rudders and the other two had single rudders.  All boats had symmetric spinnakers, ‘short’ bowsprits with long spinnaker poles, and flat keels for optimized IRC rating trim. The three boats in IRC B class had carbon rigs, only the IRC Doublehanded class boat had the standard aluminum mast.

It was very difficult sailing for the regatta. It was very light winds all four days- ranging from 4.0 to 8.0 kts. Plus, we were fighting moon tides that were producing very strong currents.

Perhaps the most important lessons learned were that each boat did better race after race; everyone was learning how to tune the rig, then set the sails better, and the crew work and racing tactics/ strategies improved, too.

What we discovered is that the J/99 is very fast downwind, as fast or faster, than most 11 to 12 meter boats in class (36 to 40 footers). Perhaps the most enlightening aspect of the boat is that it is very stiff; we were very fast upwind.

Our biggest issue in the windward-leeward races was that we were stuck in a 26-boat class that had a good half-dozen very well sailed 36 to 41 footers; so keeping clear from their bad winds was of paramount importance.
J/99 sailing off France
In the third coastal race around buoys and islands, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for us on J-LANCE 14!  We had a bad start, bad tuning, bad tactics, and sailed into several holes. It was definitely a ‘big boat’ race, but our mistakes killed us.

However, by the last race, we got it all together and finished right on the transom of the J/122E MUSIX that got on the podium with the bronze medal! We were quite happy with that outcome! Similarly, Olivier Grassi in the IRC Doublehanded Class not only beat most of the 52-boat class overall on elapsed time, beating many bigger boats, but won by a lot on handicap time! A great way to finish the regatta for both boats!

When we discussed how the boat sailed with the various skippers, it was pretty clear that for the longer reaching legs, the twin rudders were better, it had lighter feel on the helm offshore. However, if sailing W/L courses most of the time, it appeared the single rudder may be better for both VMG upwind, but more importantly, for VMG downwind.
J/99 offshore
We are also pleased to report that of all the new 28 to 32 footers introduced at SPI Ouest, the J/99 was viewed as the most comfortable and versatile as a weekend family cruiser, too! All other competitive boats (like the JPK 1010, 1030, 1080, Sunfast 3200, 3300, 3600) were seen as simply race boats only, with no room or comforts down below.

With a little more time to fine-tune the rigging settings, the sail trim, and sail selection choices, we believe we will have a good showing at an overnight double-handed event in La Rochelle in two weeks.”

In the end, it was Phillipp Baetz’s J/122E MUSIX from the host club SN Trinite sur Mer that took the bronze in IRC B class with a 5-12-3-6-7 record for 21 pts net.  Just one point back was Didier LeMoal’s J/99 J-LANCE 14 with a 8-7-18-4-3 tally for 22 pts net. Notably, in the last race, the two J/99s (Andrew Algeo’s Irish team on JUGGERKNOT 2 and the French J-LANCE 14) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, on handicap time and also beat all but one of the 35 to 40 footers in the entire class boat-for-boat! And, that included crushing two very famous French offshore teams; the JPK 1080 RAGING BEE and the JPK 1010 FOGGY DEW (the overall RORC Fastnet Race winners)!

The 50-boat IRC Doublehanded division was considered to have some of the fiercest offshore competition in the regatta, with many French solo/double stars sprinkled amongst the various boats; many of which are full-time professional sailors.  Up against such a formidable contingent of French superstars, Olivier Grassi’s J/99 GRASSI BATEAUX started off slowly but steadily improved every race, posting a 11-5-5-1 scoreline to secure the bronze, just 2 pts from the silver and 3 pts from the gold!  An amazing performance for a boat that was just “float-tested” less than 48 hours before their first start!

In their fourth and final race, GRASSI BATEAUX felt they were finally getting a good feel for their boat. After a nearly three hour race, they were third boat across the line on elapsed time, just 1 min 30 sec behind a 34 footer and ahead of all the 36 to 40 footers; an astonishing achievement in a brand new boat (literally!), all things considered in such a hot, competitive fleet. The rest of the fleet was a who’s who of the French offshore shorthanded establishment; all sailing in these boats- Sunfast 3600 (9), Sunfast 3200 (9), Sunfast 40 (1), JPK 1080 (6), JPK 1010 (8), and A35 (4).

Racing in the thirteen-boat IRC A class was Patrice Vidon’s J/111 J4F from Societe Nautique Baie St Malo. In the end, their 8-6-7-9-4 tally for 25 pts net was good enough for 6th overall, just 7 pts from a podium finish.

In the twenty-five-boat IRC C class, the two J/92s sailed well.  Matthieu Visbecq’s NAVARCHSOFT took sixth place while Thierry Bidon’s DR JEKYLL from CN Lorient placed eighth.

The French version of the American PHRF class is called the Osiris Habitable handicap rule. In the OSH 2 Class, Samuel Blevin’s J/109 JOKE sailed a very nice regatta and their crew hopped onto the podium in the bronze position.

J/70 sailing
The seventeen-boat J/70 class saw very competitive racing for most of the top ten, except the winner!  Walking off with the convincing class win was Russian Alexei Semenov’s NEW TERRITORIES team (including Spanish Olympic Medallist Hugo Rocha as trim/ tactics); they essentially crushed the fleet with five 1sts and three 2nds in ten races to win by a twenty-point margin! Taking the silver was Frenchman Laurent Sambron racing HEMO-CAMUS with a 37 pts net total.  Third was Damian Michelier’s SAGE ENGINEERING SAILING TEAM with 42 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Francois Lenart’s MECENAT CHIRURGIE CARDIAQUE in 4th an Phillippe Guigne’s VIRTUAL REGATTA 70 in 5th position.
J/80s rounding a mark
With sixty-six boats, the J/80 class was, again, by far the largest class at SPI Ouest France for at least ten years in a row, maybe more. The regatta produced a few surprise results due to the very light air conditions.  Winning was Frenchman Pierre Laouenan on COURRIER ECOLE NAVALE, producing an astonishing tally of 15-1-3-2-1-1 for 8 pts net to win by a large margin.  Taking second was another surprise fleet leader, the Spanish crew of Almandoz Iker sailing GRUPO GARATU with a 1-4-4-4-2-19 record for 15 pts net. Third was a familiar face on the podium, Frenchman Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS with a 4-35-2-1-8-11 scoreline for 26 pts. net. Rounding out the top five in this tough class was Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA in 4th and Corentin Kieffer’s GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES in 5th place.
J/80 women sailors
Here is an interview with the winner- Pierre Laouenan.

SPI: Pierre, what memory will you keep from this 41st Spi Ouest-France?

PL: Obviously a very good memory, since we win! Overall, we showed a good level, we were fairly regular. It was a recovery for this crew; it was two years since we had not done a J/80. We also discovered the Courrier École Navale boat. Our goal is the world championship, this year in Bilbao, in July. It was therefore important for us to make a good recovery, to take the boat in hand.

SPI: You had a complicated departure ...

PL: Yes, we start with our worst race, taking the fifteenth place. Then, we go on the podiums: three races being first, another being second and finally a third place. It is a real satisfaction, there was also a strong competition.

SPI: You are not at your first attempt on the Spi Ouest-France?

PL: No, I do not count the number of Spi Ouest-France I made, but it is my third victory in J/80, and the fourth SPI Ouest I win in all. It is always a nice race, especially when you run with nice conditions like that, with sun and a little wind.

SPI: The wind was still a little slow?

PL: Over the last two days it was very soft it is true, but we still managed to sail, the committee was doing well and we could all run a few runs even if it was not always easy. There were also strong currents, and therefore an important part of strategy in navigation. We managed not to make too many mistakes, and we are really satisfied with this edition. Sailing photo credits- Jean-Marie Liot  For more SPI Ouest France sailing information

J/122 Liquid from Antigua 
J/122 LIQUID Crushes LVSB X Edition
(Gustavia Harbor, St Barths)- Pamala Baldwin, owner of the J/122 LIQUID from Antigua, frequently races the Caribbean circuit, but until this regatta, she and her young Skipper Jules White hadn't quite cracked the top of the podium.

She added Mike Giles as tactician and coach to complement the young talented team, and according to Baldwin, “it was the final piece we needed to complete the winning puzzle. My heart is filled with joy!”

LIQUID’s skipper, Julian White, age 25 of Lymington, England is also the racing yacht's manager and according to Baldwin, "Jules is someone the racing world needs to keep an eye on...he maneuvered LIQUID through this entire season. We competed in every Caribbean Regatta, including the RORC Caribbean 600, with consistent podium results."

Giles has raced almost every Les Voiles in the Maxi class, and really enjoyed his time in the smaller CSA 4 fleet. ”In this fleet there are no ‘gimmies’, it's an incredibly competitive class with close racing," the native South African said. "The racing is just as tough, if not harder, than when I'm sailing in the Maxis."
J/122 Liquid sailing off St Barths
Baldwin remarked, “my entire crew of ten are under age 30, competing against seasoned pro’s. You have no idea of my pride, knowing LIQUID is providing a platform for their future racing careers! Challenging and exhausting, but to sweep the entire CSA classes during Les Voiles 10th prestigious regatta with bullet after bullet is as exhilarating, as it is rewarding! It doesn't get better than this!”

Enjoying the conditions equally as well was Chris Body’s J/122 EL OCASO, posting a 3-5-3-2-4-2 for 19 pts to take the bronze, just missing a podium 1-2 sweep of the CSA 4 Class by the J/122s.

The tenth edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth provided the fleet of fifty-five offshore racing thoroughbreds a remarkable week of racing. “Sailing in St. Barth’s is never easy,” said Luc Poupon, Race Organizer. “There is much to navigate around with the rocks and it’s not as simple as it seems to negotiate. Clearly, knowing the nuances of sailing around St. Barth helps, and every day the competitors had to deal with the multiple wind shifts.”  For more Les Voiles de Saint Barth sailing information

J/111 sailing NetherlandsJ/Crews Dominate Battles @ Van Uden Ecco Regatta
(Stellendam, Netherlands)- The first major offshore regatta of the Dutch offshore sailing season took place this past weekend off Stellendam, The Netherlands on the North Sea. In general, J/Teams did quite well across the board in the challenging, somewhat light to medium sailing conditions (the same massive High pressure system that caused the cancellation of the RORC’s Easter Regatta off Cowes, England).

The first of the season-long Dutch Doublehanded Series started with this event. Not surprisingly, the top Dutch crew of John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef started off the 2019 season in first place on their J/122E AJETO.  In fact, J/Teams nearly dominated the top five. Taking third was Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE, followed by Michel Hof’s J/122 AMBITION in fourth place and Ad Lagendijk’s J/109 IMAJINE in 5th place.

In the ORC 1 Class, it was Paul van Driel’s J/111 SWEENY that posted a 5-3-3-1-1 to take the silver with 8 pts, just one point shy of first overall!

In the ORC 2 Class, the J/109s occupied half of the top seven. Taking fourth was Rutger Krijger’s JACK RABBIT, followed by Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI in 5th, and Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE in seventh position.

In the one-design world, the J/70 class has grown considerably in the Netherlands. This year’s regatta saw the fleet double in size from last year. Winning this year’s event was Wouter Kollmann’s PLA J with a 1-2-3-1-1-1 for 6 pts net.  Grabbing the silver was John den Engelsman’s MR HENRI with a 3-5-1-2-3-3 for 12 pts net.  Then, Jan Wanders’ KIND OF MAGIC took the bronze with a 2-3-2-6-2-5 for 14 pts net.

The J/22 class was won by the French crew on JAZZY, led by Reiner Brockerhoff; it was a “nip & tuck” fierce fight all weekend with Dirk Jan Ver Doorn’s Netherlands team on JUT EN JUL. The JAZZY team took it all in the last race, ending up with a 1-2-1-5-4-1 for 9 pts net. Losing that proposition was JUT EN JUL with a 2-1-2-1-9-4 for 10 pts net. Rounding out the top three was Melina Dinter’s JAG’D from Germany with a 7-3-4-2-1-3 for 13 pts net. For more Van Uden Reco Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/80 sailing on Frutillar Juan Reid from J/Boats Chile provided this report regarding a recent J/80 clinic on Lago Llanquihue (a lake just north of Puerto Montt,  about 900 miles south of the capital of Santiago):

“Sixteen people from Frutillar and Puerto Varas meet at Cofradía Náutica de Frutillar on March 30th for a J/80 clinic that was led by Stu Johnstone from J/Boats in Newport.

The J/80 class has four active boats on Lago Llanquihue. It is a very enthusiastic fleet that participates in many regattas; such as the non-stop around Lago Llanquihue race (e.g. “Vuelta al Lago”) and also the Semana de La Vela races from 19 to 26th of January.

We met at 10:00 AM for a theoretical tuning discussion and then the group split onto the two J/80’s that were available- "Cumberland Yacht Charter" and "Domingo Siete".

The weather could not have been more spectacular and beautiful. It was a sunny day, light winds of 5 to 8 kts from the south. We had great views of the three famous volcanos across the lake (Osorno, Puntiagudo and Calbuco). It was simply perfect scenery for our sailing clinic.

We ran several windward-leeward legs for the two teams. Stu J and I were on a RIB giving instructions to the two teams regards sail trim, boat trim, and boat-handling maneuvers.

After three hours of sailing, the sailors headed back to the yacht club to enjoy lunch (awesome BBQ and local wines) and a good conversation about the lessons on the water.

The clinic was great input for the J/80 class on Lago Llanquihue. They need as much knowledge as possible!”
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

J/Newsletter- April 17th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

One of the most amazing events that took place this past week was World Sailing’s NATIONS CUP Regatta on San Francisco Bay for nearly a week of competition. Sailed on their matched fleet of J/22 one-design sailboats, the St Francis Yacht Club held a five-day regatta that included both “Open” and “Women” divisions for world-class match-racing. Notably, the French swept the event, despite prognostications to the contrary (a bright spot for their nation, despite the tragic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral). Going from the “left coast” to the “right coast”, the largest sailing regatta in America took place in Charleston, South Carolina. That event- the SPERRY Charleston Race Week- has grown considerably over time and, in its latest incarnation, had nearly 50% J/Teams participation (about 75% of all sailors).

Over in the United Kingdom, the Warsash Spring Series held their fifth weekend of sailing activity.  This past weekend marked the start of their Black Championship Regatta, a special “within a series” regatta that takes place over two weekends.  The competition continued to be ferocious, especially for the large fleet of J/70s that are beginning their ramp-up/ tune-up for the 2019 J/70 World Championship in Torquay, England.

Meanwhile, down in the Caribbean, the Les Voiles de St Barths Regatta continues to progress this week. They have completed three days of racing, starting on Monday. On Thursday, the fleet was relaxing and enjoying a sybaritic day on the infamous Nikki Beach party.

In the J/Community, there are several entertaining profiles and insights on “veteran” sailors as well as “youth” sailors. For example, one J/35 sailor has sailed all 24 Charleston Race Weeks. Then, a group of youth sailors on a J/70 described their experience sailing in Charleston Race Week. Similarly, we have a parent/ family sailing video perspective on kids sailing on their J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP off Cleveland, OH on Lake Erie.  Finally, the J/121 EAGLE had an early spring tuning session with triple-slotting as part of their training program- fascinating photos!

J/80s sailing SPI Ouest France 
SPI Ouest France Regatta Preview
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- If it’s Easter Bank Holiday, it must be time for the largest regatta in France to usher in the new sailing season! Yes, it is that time again, from April 18th to 22nd, the Societe Nautique de La Trinite sur Mer hosts their annual SPI Ouest France Regatta.

The event is simply huge and is also an important gathering place for all sailors, professionals, and marine industry people.  The 2019 edition will have 398 keelboats on the water, of which 98 are a veritable navy of J’s (25% of the total fleet) that include J/70s, J/80s, J/92s, J/97s, J/99s, J/105s, J/109, J/111, J/120 and J/122E.

The leading contenders in the IRC Divisions will include the trio of the brand new J/99’s making their first major regatta debut. The stakes could not get any higher than the largest regatta in France run each year! Leading that charge in the IRC B fleet may be Didier LeMoal’s latest J-LANCE 14 from Societe Regate Rochelaises. Then, Olivier Grassi’s J/99 GRASSI BATEAUX is sailing in the IRC Double class against a formidable contingent of top French offshore doublehanded sailing teams.

Racing in the IRC A class will be P. Vidon’s J/111 J4F from Societe Nautique Baie St Malo.  Joining the J/99s in IRC B are H. Mehu’s J/109 JACKPOT, P. Girardin’s J/120 HEY JUDE, and P. Baetz’s J/122E MUSIX; all three teams are from the host club- SN Trinite sur Mer. In IRC C class will be two J/92s- M. Visbecq’s NAVARCHSOFT and T. Bidon’s DR JEKYLL from CN Lorient.

The French version of the American PHRF class is called the Osiris Habitable handicap rule.  There are nine J/Teams participating in OSH 1 Division, including four J/105s, S. Blevin’s J/109 JOKE, two J/97s (O. Kayser’s NUAGE II and P. Mabo’s HALIOTIS), and a lone J/24 (A. Garcia’s JERONIMO).

Yet again, the largest class in the biggest regatta in France happens to be the sixty-four boat J/80 class, with representatives from Belgium, Spain, Great Britain and Ireland. The top French teams include Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS, Luc Nadal’s GANJA, Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J, and Laurent Verdier’s HIP HOP. The top visiting teams include Kevin Sproul’s ULTIMATE SAILS/ J.A.T. from Great Britain and J. O’Dowd’s JABS from Ireland.

The seventeen-boat J/70 class continues to grow its participation in the SPI Ouest Regatta, and the competition is getting stronger as well, with representatives from three nations- France, Russia, and the USA.  The top French crews are Luc Sambron’s HEMON CAMUS, Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE/ JIBESET.  The top visitors include the American B. Vibert on APOLLO J and the Russian/ Spanish team on NEW TERRITORIES, led by Alex Semenov from Moscow with Olympic Medallist Hugo Rocha as trim/ tactics.  For more SPI Ouest France sailing information

J/109 sailing RORC Easter Challenge 
RORC Easter Challenge Preview
(Cowes, England)- You can pay for new sails. You can pay for keel fairing and a good bottom job. You can pay a specialist to try to optimize your IRC rating. Any of the above will help you to get around the race track faster in a more successful manner.

However, none if them address the real issue- that boat speed gains, ultimately translating into performance on the race course- can come just as readily if you spend time not money on yourself. You can change the set-up and trim of your boat, and spend time on the water testing that while practicing to improve your crew’s skill-sets, boat handling and techniques.

The fast track way to do this is by employing a coach– the reason why Olympic sailors and America’s Cup teams have them full time. However, competitors at the RORC Easter Challenge (Friday 19th-Sunday 21st April)- be they RORC members or no – will receive coaching for FREE from some of the top names in British sailing.

This coaching is provided by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to improve general sailing skills, and thus, the tightness of the racing, both in its own fleets and more broadly. Many crews use the event effectively to kick start their new season, to make both themselves and their boat race-ready after the winter break.

While the coaching may be FREE, it comes from top sailors, notably ‘the guru’ Jim Saltonstall, whose influence helped drive many of the top names in British yacht racing, like Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Chris Draper, on their way to their present success. Another integral part of the coaching effort is Eddie Warden Owen. He may spend more time in a suit these days as the RORC CEO, but he has been one of the UK’s top sailors and also has a long CV coaching, including America’s Cup teams such as Team New Zealand and Desafio Espanol. They are assisted by professional keelboat coach Mason King.

Once again, North Sails is a partner of the RORC Easter Challenge and various sailmakers from the Gosport loft will be both helping with the on-the-water coaching, while others will be sailing on key boats in the fleet.

“For RORC Easter Challenge competitors, the coaching is optional,” says RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. “You can just pitch up and treat it as a normal yacht race. Or, you can ask the coaches to come over and look at something when you’re out on the water. But better still, before the event let us know if there is anything specific you’d like the coaches to look at.” This is could be seeing how well a change in trim is working or a new technique for maneuvers, or checking new sails.

For those unfamiliar with the event, the coaching comes in two significant parts. On the water, the event is unique in having RRS 41 “Outside Help” relaxed. This permits coaches to climb onboard to demonstrate something and/or the crew can step off on to a coaching RIB to check trim mid-race! A very valuable process for any sailing team!

Post-racing on the Friday and Saturday nights at the RORC’s Cowes Clubhouse, the coaching team will examine lessons learned during the day, backed up with video from the race course. New for 2019 is that due to the breadth of the fleet and the introduction of a doublehanded class, the debrief session for the whole group will be followed by sessions for smaller groups, with, for example, Nikki Curwen (top woman J/105 sailor) leading the one for Doublehanders.

A repeat visitor is the J/109 MOJO RISIN’, campaigned by Rob Cotterill with a crew, largely from London Business School Sailing Club. The boat is heavily campaigned and she managed to finish 16th among almost 400 boats in last year’s RORC Season’s Points Championship.

“It is a great regatta,” says Cotterill of the RORC Easter Challenge. “We treat it like a mini Cowes Week and spend a lot of time on the debriefs, which are really useful. We’ll also be trying to get attention from the coaching boats. Last year they were able to compare how we were sailing against another J/109 JUBILEE, looking at the trim differences, etc; that was really useful. We are all amateur sailors and this helps us to learn fast. The more help we can get, the better.”

As usual the RORC Easter Challenge will conclude with a prize-giving mid-afternoon on Easter Sunday, where chocolate eggs in extreme quantities will be given out among the prizes!  For more RORC Easter Challenge sailing information

J/24 Lady  Liberty Cup regattaJ/24 Lady Liberty Cup Announcement
(New York, NY)- The Manhattan Yacht Club is proud to host the 20th edition of the Lady Liberty Cup to be sailed June 8th and 9th in New York Harbor. Sponsored by the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation, the purpose of the event is to support and promote amateur women’s sailing in the United States by bringing together top women sailors. The regatta will be raced on identical J/24 sailboats provided by Manhattan Yacht Club with races taking place under the watchful gaze of the Statue of Liberty herself!

All races start and finish from the Honorable William Wall, Manhattan Yacht Club’s floating clubhouse anchored in the harbor. This means races can start upwind or downwind, depending on weather and current conditions.
J/24 Lady Liberty Cup regatta off New York, NY
Participating teams are encouraged to start sailing on Friday June 7th, the boats will be available for a practice day from 1000 to 1600 hours and a practice race will be taking place at 1600 hrs.

Any team of U.S. women sailors can apply to participate. To be considered for an invitation, please email “”. The entry fee is $350 that covers the cost of the boat charter. The damage deposit is $500.  Please note the deadline for entry is May 15.
J/24s sailing Lady Liberty Cup regatta off Statue of Liberty
 If you have any questions, please contact the Manhattan Yacht Club at 212-786-3323. For more information and to request entry go to  For more Manhattan YC Lady Liberty Cup sailing information

Oregon Offshore Yacht Race 
Oregon Offshore Race Announcement!
(Portland, OR)- The 43rd Annual Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race, sponsored by Schooner Creek Boatworks, is scheduled to start on May 9th, 2019.  This 193-mile race starts at Buoy 2 off the Columbia River entrance and finishes at the entrance to Victoria, BC harbor.

So far, there are twenty participants and Corinthian YC Portland is expecting a few more sign-ups. The entrants so far are the usual who’s who of the Portland sailing community, with some very welcome participants coming from out of the area.  A top local boat includes Scott Campbell’s beautiful new RIVA, a state of the art J/121, crewed by the usual group of local rock stars.
J/121 sailing off Portland, OR
In addition to other local regulars, there is Phillip Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF RACING, the J/40 VELOCITY skippered by Thomas Keffer, and the Portland J/105 Fleet has a one-design start with three entrants (ABSTRACT, Dennis Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST, and of course FREE BOWL OF SOUP (their 6th time!)!
J/92S ZAFF sailing Oregon Offshore race
This year, in conjunction with the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, the event is featuring the First Annual Cascadia Cup, which will award a trophy to the competitor with the lowest combined time in the Oregon Offshore and qualifying races of the Swiftsure event.

The Oregon Offshore skippers meeting and raffle will be held at the Rogue Brew Pub in Astoria, Oregon on May 8th starting at 6 pm.  The race will start in the morning of May 9th just off Astoria at the opening of the Columbia River. This will be another great race in the long history of the Oregon Offshore. For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing information

J/111 Wicked 2.0 sailing Edgartown Calling All J/Crews- Edgartown Race Week & Round Island Beckons!
(Edgartown, MA)— J/Boat teams are always a big part of the action at Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend, and this year organizers are putting out an “A.P.B.” to all J/Fest participants and others who own J/Boats, inviting them to join the fun on Martha’s Vineyard over July 25th to 27th, 2019.

The three-day competition starts on Thursday with two days of ’Round-the-Buoys (’RTB) racing and finishes on Saturday with a choice of distance races: the traditional 56 nautical-mile ’Round-the-Island (’RTI) race and, introduced last year, the 20 nm ’Round-the-Sound (’RTS) race.

Sailors can choose to sail on all three days or just in one or the other of the distance races. Either way, there’s something for everyone and something extra for J/Boat teams in the ‘RTI race. A three-boat team, representing any given yacht club and with PHRF-NE rated entries in more than one division, qualifies for first-, second-, and third-place trophies based on best-corrected times. As well, there are top-three prizes for the best individual corrected time out of all J/Boats in the ’RTI.

As one of the smallest boats in the fleet last year, Ira Perry’s (Padanaram, Mass.) J/29 SEEFEST won the best-corrected-time J/Boat trophy in the ’RTI and finished second in his class. Perry has won the race a handful of times since he first sailed it in 2001 and has only missed a few years of competing here.

“It’s just spectacular scenery, some of the most beautiful in the area,” said Perry, “and the race is always tactically challenging, especially in light air when you need to concentrate on keeping the boat moving, but last year there was plenty of wind, and we were in by 4 p.m.”

Perry added that, as always is the case, the weekend will double as a getaway with his wife and kids, and this year he’s considering joining the ’Round-the-Buoys racing if his crew can come in early.

“Edgartown Yacht Club runs a great regatta, and they work hard to make the experience the best it can possibly be,” said Perry. “The organizers are very accommodating, and they ask for and listen to feedback, making changes according to it. You don’t see that happening too often with other regattas.”

Other J/Boat skippers signed up for the ’RTI are Edgartown Race Weekend veterans and past winners Ed Dailey and Richard Egan, entered, respectively, with the J/109 RAPTOR and the J/46 WINGS.

J/122 sailing Edgartown Race Week
Brand new to the event will be Daniel Heun (Franklin, Mass.) skippering his J/122 MOXIEE in both the ’Round-the-Buoys races and the ’Round-the-Sound race. Huen has had his boat since 2014, having progressed from owning and racing a J/24, to a J/29, and then a J/105.

“When you want a new boat it usually is bigger than the last one,” said Heun, “and this one (hull #85 at 40 feet) is fit for cruising, with cherry joinery below, a refrigerator, etc., so the first couple of nights we’ll stay on it on the mooring, and then I’ll move ashore when my wife and daughter come in on Friday.”

Heun, a veteran of the Chicago to Mackinac Race, Newport to Bermuda Race, Block Island Race Week and other “racer’s races”, says he and his crew try to choose at least one weekend regatta each season where the families can be part of the fun.

“Edgartown Race Weekend is perfect, because it’s a long weekend instead of a week, and it’s in July, so it’s warm,” said Heun. “We’re planning on having good days of racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday while our families enjoy the beaches and shopping, and then we’ll have good dinners ashore with them each evening. We debated doing the ’RTI, but with the ’RTS we’re assured of getting back by late afternoon, and we’ll still be able to enjoy Edgartown after racing.”

Edgartown Race Weekend divisions are for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), Classic, One-Design, Multihull and Doublehanded boats. ’RTI/’RTS and ‘RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

Registration deadline for the ’Round-the-Island and ’Round-the Sound races is Wednesday, July 24, 2019.  (Registration deadline for team sign-up is Monday, July 22.) The entry fee for ’RTS is $125 ($150 after July 6). The fee for the ’RTI is $250.00 ($325 after July 5, 2019).

Registration deadline for the ’Round-the-Buoy races is Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The entry fee for ’RTB is $50 each day.

A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 26), and awards on both Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (July 28), round out the full social schedule.

To request a mooring, contact Clare Sullivan at Follow Edgartown Yacht Club Racing on Facebook here.  For more information Edgartown Race Week sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Mar 17- Apr 28- Warsash Spring Series- Warsash, England
Apr 14-20- Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St. Barth
Apr 18-22- SPI Ouest France Regatta- La Trinite sur Mer, France
Apr 20-21- J/22 Van Uden Ecco Regatta- Stellendam, Netherlands
Apr 26-28- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY
Apr 28- May 3- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 3-5- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 3-5- Yachting Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
May 4-10- J/24 European Championship- Patras, Greece
May 4- RORC Cervantes Cup Race- Cowes, England
May 9-12- SAILING Champions League- Palma Mallorca, Spain
May 10-12- Grand Prix de St Cast- St Cast, France
May 10-12- RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup- Cowes, England

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

J/70s sailing Charleston Race Week 
Blustery, Sunny SPERRY Charleston Race Week
(Charleston, SC)- No question, there is no more picturesque sight than Charleston Harbor during the SPERRY Charleston Race Week regatta that brings international recognition to the historic city. A fleet of almost 260 sailboats in 18 different classes took over almost every inch of the Cooper River and was truly a sight to behold all weekend-long. With seven different race courses set in various pockets of Charleston Harbor, a spectator viewing from land could see colorful billowing sails everywhere they looked!  And, what a spectacle it was for three straight days of sailing.

It is not hard to see why over 115 J/Teams enjoyed their annual spring pilgrimage down to this jewel in the deep South.  No one could complain, three straight days of good weather, good breezes, plenty of sun, and random squalls on Sunday to spice things up a bit!

The regatta featured six one-design J/Classes, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/105s.  In addition, there were two “Pursuit-style” sailing divisions for both PHRF and ORC handicap rated boats that includes a J/30, J/35, J/109s, J/111s, J/120s and a J/122.
J/88 WINGS- winner - sailing Charleston, SC
Day 1- Beautiful Southeasters!
The weekend got off to a rip-roaring start with south-southeasterly winds ranging from 10 to 20 knots, allowing organizers to complete four races for most of the classes doing windward-leeward courses.

There was some great action on the inside courses with the wind shifting wildly at times and a short squall wreaking some havoc then causing conditions to change significantly.

Class newcomer Buddy Cribb sailed VICTORY into the early lead in the J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 56 boats. Barr Batzer was aboard as tactician while Scott Ewing (headsail trimmer) and Chris Manson-Hing (bow) completed the crew as VICTORY posted a solid score line of 1-3-4.

“We got good starts, we went the right way and we went fast. We also didn’t do anything too risky,” said Cribb, a resident of Jupiter, Florida.

Cribb had been sailing in the Etchells class for 15 years and suddenly decided to “give something different a try.” The Coral Reef Yacht Club member has about nine regattas under his belt and has clearly climbed the learning curve quite quickly.

J/70 class leaders have requested just three races per day and VICTORY holds a two-point lead over Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT team going into Saturday’s action.

“This is a really tough fleet, so we’ll see if we can keep it going,” said Cribb, whose last appearance at Sperry Charleston Race Week came about eight years ago with the Etchells.

Mike Bruno has been bringing his J/88 WINGS to Sperry Charleston Race Week for several years and has never come away victorious– not even a runner-up finish or, for that matter, anywhere near the podium! The Armonk, New York native is hoping his team’s success on Friday is a good omen as WINGS began the regatta with results of 2-2-1 before a blown-out spinnaker led to a fifth in Race 4.

“We had really good starts and really good boat speed,” Bruno said. “Our boat tends to be quicker in a breeze so we were glad to see the velocity increase as the day went along.”

Bruno said Wings was overlapped with EXILE and SPACEMAN SPIFF at the finish of the two races it placed second. “For some reasons I’ve been jinxed in this regatta. Hopefully, things will finally come together this year,” he said.

Warrior Sailing 1, skippered by Sammy Hodges, grabbed the early lead in the J/22 class after winning two races and placing second in two others. Navy veteran Ruben Munoz (jib) and Army veteran Troy Rasmussen (main) are the warriors aboard the boat.

“This is my first time competing here at Charleston and it was really cool out there,” Munoz said. “We worked really well together as a team, which was great to see.”

College of Charleston sailor Carson Shields worked the bow aboard Warrior Sailing 1, which benefitted from doing two practice sessions on Thursday. “I’m so impressed with the improvement Ruben and Troy made in the span of just one day on the boat,” Hodges said.

On the offshore Hybrid Pursuit classes, the ORC Class A, B and C entries had a light start to the day– taking more than three hours to complete the 7.4-mile out-bound course due to the flood current and light air under eight knots.

Despite the light air and challenging conditions, the Pursuit Race concept seemed to work across the wide variety of boat types in this division– ranging from Victor Wild’s speedy TP52 Fox to Miles Martschink’s J/105– because the racing in corrected time was also close with the top eight places in Race 1 within one minute.

Robin Team, a multi-time Palmetto Trophy winner, led the J/122 TEAMWORK to victory in both races on Friday. Team said the return race into Charleston Harbor, which began with a fleet start, was approximately 9 ½ miles due to a windward jaunt to a drop mark.

“We’re primarily accustomed to doing windward-leeward courses around the buoys so this point-to-point racing was a little different for us, but a fun challenge for our crew,” Team said.

Team credited tactician Jonathan Bartlett with making some “extraordinary calls” during the Pursuit Race into the Atlantic Ocean. “That, coupled with Kevin Ryman’s great navigation, gave us a leg up on the race out,” said Team, who praised his brother Adam for doing an “incredible job” of trimming the spinnaker during the race back into the harbor, which was primarily a downwind affair.
J/70s sailing Charleston Race Week
Day 2- Sunny, Breezy Southerly, Again?!
Charleston Harbor was pretty much becalmed as sailors made their way to the docks on Saturday morning. Some of the professional tacticians encouraged event director Randy Draftz to post an onshore postponement in order to give the sea breeze time to fill in.

However, Draftz has been running Sperry Charleston Race Week for a long time and knows the conditions here better than anyone. He decided to send the 257-boat fleet out on time, but instructed principal race officers on all seven circles to error on the side of caution. “We’d rather have one good race than three bad ones,” Draftz said.

It turns out concerns about the wind velocity were unfounded. In typical Charleston fashion, the breeze built throughout the day and organizers got in four races again on Saturday- two light air starts in the morning followed by two medium breeze starts in the afternoon. Most importantly, all the racing was fair and gave the sailors quality racing in the challenging venue.

“It was a very challenging day on the water,” said Pamela Rose, skipper of the J/70 ROSEBUD. “I give my crew a lot of credit for having the ability to tune the boat accurately for the changing conditions.”

Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew had a dominant day within the J/70 fleet. Ronning steered CATAPULT to victory in all four races, an extremely difficult accomplishment considering the caliber of competition.

“It was a really fun day to say the least,” said Ronning, who went right back on the water for an evening sail with his daughter and girlfriend.

Class veteran Victor Diaz De Leon was calling tactics on CATAPULT with Charleston local Patrick Wilson trimming the headsails and Christopher Stocke working the bow. Factor in a win to close out Friday’s action and Catapult has posted five straight bullets en route to a low score of 14 points.

“One thing about this team is that we have a tremendous amount of fun together. It’s a very harmonious group,” said Ronning, who captured J/70 class and earned the Charleston Race Week Cup in 2017. “Victor Diaz is a brilliant tactician and the communication on the boat is tremendous. Patrick and Christopher are fantastic about feeding information to Victor.”

ROSEBUD held second place in J/70 class, 19 points behind CATAPULT and six ahead of VICTORY (Buddy Cribb). This was Rose’s third time at Sperry Charleston Race Week and this is the highest she has been in J/70 class.

“I love coming to Charleston because it’s such a dynamite venue. This is by far the best results I’ve had in this regatta and it’s because I have such a great crew,” Rose said.

Lucas Calabrese, part of the 2018 J/70 World Championship crew, is calling tactics for the Chicago & Florida owner along with Jud Smith (the 2018 J/70 World Champion skipper). “It’s really tough out there, so you have to keep your head out of the boat and work hard to stay in phase,” Calabrese said.

SHENANIGANS, sailed by the husband and wife tandem of Bill and Shannon Lockwood, had set a strong pace in J/80 class- getting the gun in five of eight starts. The Annapolis boat has a couple seconds and a third for a low score of nine points, but was still just three clear of the second place boat. ELEVEN, another Annapolis entry skippered by Bert Carp, had also posted a steady string of top three finishes highlighted by three bullets.

Carter White and his crew on YouREGATTA had put forth a masterful performance in J/24 class, winning six straight races after beginning the regatta with a second. White, who hails from Portland, Maine, had built an eight-point lead on LEVEL PELICAN (Crisp McDonald).
J/88s sailing Charleston Harbor
Day 3-  Spectacular, Blustery Finale
The regatta concluded in spectacular fashion with strong winds producing exciting action and several classes being decided during the last race.

The J/88 class saw the battle go right down to the wire in the final race. Mike Bruno said following Friday’s racing that he’d been jinxed at Sperry Charleston Race Week, suffering problems that prevented podium finishes in 2018 and 2017. He thought his bad luck would be extended when WINGS was ruled on-course-side in Race 9 and had to restart.

“We came into the day saying we were going to be conservative and not make any mistakes. Then, we got tangled up with another boat at the start and right out of the gate we were over early,” said Bruno, who did manage to battle back to finish sixth in the 10-boat fleet. “We were pretty glum going into the last race. I thought we’d blown it again.”  At that point, Bruno’s WINGS team had dropped into 2nd place, two points back from the lead.

However, there was a happy ending as WINGS redeemed itself big-time in Race 10, which was held in 20-25 knot south-southwesterly winds with gusts approaching 30 kts. WINGS basically had to win the race and hope for the best, letting the chips fall where they may. After rough going on the first weather leg, WINGS rounded the first weather mark in sixth, then moved up a couple places by the downwind rounding. Bruno and crew turned it on from there, passing the remaining three boats to get the gun in a cloud of spray on the final, full-on, planing-mode run into the downwind finish line.

That victory in the final start of the three-day regatta gave WINGS a two-point victory over ALBONDINGAS (Justin Scagnelli, West Nyack, NY), leading Bruno to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Third was Rob Ruhlman’s family crew on SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.

“What an exciting way to win a regatta. To come from behind like that was thrilling and I feel fantastic,” Bruno said. “We like heavy air, so we were really happy when the breeze really came on for that last race. It was really exhilarating blasting downwind in planing mode and passing boat after boat.”

Bruno noted the average age of his crew is 60, with bow man Jonathan Asch checking in at 66. Stuart Johnstone called tactics, Chris Morgan trimmed the main, while Steve Lopez and Tim Randall teamed to trim the headsails aboard Wings.
Charleston Race Week docks and sailors
TEAMWORK, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, North Carolina, earned the Palmetto Trophy for the fifth time at Sperry Charleston Race Week! Jonathan Bartlett called tactics on TEAMWORK, which won all six races in ORC B class on the Hybrid Pursuit course.

“We’ve been coming to Charleston for a long time and we absolutely love this regatta,” said Team, whose previous Palmetto Trophy wins were as top PHRF entry. Now TEAMWORK has another one for their trophy shelf for best performance among ORC entries after duking it out with the J/111 SITELLA (Ian Hill, Chesapeake, VA).

“We had a great time mixing it up with Sitella, which is always well-sailed,” Team said. “We had the boat well-prepped and dialed in from the beginning, while our crew work was incredible once again.”

Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew secured a surprisingly convincing victory in J/70 class. Victor Diaz De Leon served as tactician on CATAPULT, which won six of nine races in posting a low score of 20 points– 20 better than runner-up ROSEBUD (Pamela Rose, Aventura, FL).  Third went to Cribb’s VICTORY, fourth to Henry Brauer’s RASCAL and fifth to John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES.

“We had some really fortunate breaks this week. There is nothing like having luck on your side. Sometimes the karma is with you and this is one of those instances,” said Ronning, a resident of Excelsior, Minnesota. “I’ve always loved sailing in Charleston and this year’s regatta was an awful lot of fun.”

Diaz De Leon joined the team about six months ago and Ronning has been impressed by the way he’s blended in with holdovers Christopher Stocke (bow) and Patrick Wilson (headsail trimmer).

“Our team communication is the strongest I’ve ever seen on a boat. We’ve been clicking really well together and the chemistry is the best it’s ever been on the boat,” Ronning said. “Victor was getting great information from Chris and Patrick and was really on fire this week in terms of making the calls.”

J/24s sailing Charleston Harbor, SCCarter White skippered YouREGATTA to the most dominant victory of 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week, winning seven straight races in J/24 class after placing second in Friday’s opener. YouREGATTA did not start Race 9 and still finished 12 points clear of Level Pelican (Crisp McDonald (Charleston, S.C.). Third was Cameron Rylance’s THAT’LL DO PIG.

Molly White worked the bow for her husband, who has been racing a J/24 for more than two decades. Michael McAllister called tactics, Ted Wiedeke trimmed the spinnaker while Chris Lombardo trimmed the genoa.

“It’s really about our team. We’ve been sailing together for four years and do five to six major regattas a year,” said White, who hails from Portland, Maine. “We have a routine that really works and puts us in a different league. Our consistency and ability to adapt to changing conditions is crucial. We had to shift gears constantly and our crew is capable of doing that.”
J/80s sailing Charleston Race Week, SC
SHENANIGANS came away as winner of J/80 class following a tight three-way battle with fellow Annapolis entry ELEVEN (Bert Carp). Shannon Lockwood steered while her father Bill trimmed the main. Jeff Todd handled headsails while his daughter Cassie worked the bow.

“We had a great battle with Bert, who we race against on Thursday nights in Annapolis,” said Shannon Lockwood, who was a member of the keelboat team at St. Mary’s College. “I thought our team handled the boat well and paid attention to the puffy and shifty conditions. We were also conservative and smart with our maneuvers. It’s always cool to win, especially at such a major regatta like Charleston so we’re super psyched.”

Warrior Sailing 1, skippered by Sammy Hodges, led from start to finish in J/22 class – winning five races and having the luxury of skipping the last. Navy veteran Ruben Munoz (jib) and Army veteran Troy Rasmussen (main) were the warriors aboard the boat. “Tiger Woods won the Masters today, but that doesn’t even compare to what we did,” Munoz said proudly. “We came here to have fun and learn so winning is icing on the cake.”

This was the first sailing experience for Rasmussen, who gave credit to Hodges for helming and coaching at the same time. “Sammy was awesome about keeping us on point and teaching all the little nuances,” he said.

Finally on the last day of competition the wind gods permitted the ORC Hybrid Pursuit entries to enjoy the intended three-race daily format: a morning pursuit distance race from the harbor to the offshore course area, followed by a windward-leeward buoy race, and ending with another distance race to the harbor.

“This Hybrid Pursuit style was well received by all the boats and we enjoyed it,” Team said.

Principal race officer added a second windward-leeward race to make up for the fact Saturday’s Hybrid Pursuit was abandoned. ORC D was won by SKIMMER, a locally-based J/105 team led by Miles Martschink and Ben Hagood.

“This was our first experience with ORC racing,” said Tucker, “and with some more measurements we probably could have optimized our rating a little better. Yet on the whole we thought the ratings were fair.”

A pair of Charleston entries came out on top on the regular Pursuit Race courses with Wadmalaw Island resident Bill Hanckel skippering his J/120 EMOCEAN to a two-point victory in Spinnaker PHRF A. Third were “the kids”, the College of Charleston Sailing Team racing the beautifully restored J/36 SOUL. Sailing photo credits- Nancy Bloom / Priscilla Parker / / Clark.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

J/122 Liquid sailing Voiles de St Barths 
Les Voiles de St Barths X Edition Update
(Gustavia Harbor, St Barths)- The tenth edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth started on Monday this past week.  A fleet of fifty-five offshore racing thoroughbreds has enjoyed the spectacular aquamarine waters around St Barths for the past three days.  Thursday is the infamous “Nikki Beach Club” day-off, where teams party and play, eat lots of “sushi boats” and consume copious quantities of the famous “pink rose’” wine from jeroboam bottles.  Racing continues on Friday and Saturday.

The third day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth sent the fleets on the Round the Island race in which local knowledge paid off with few surprises in the results.

The race veterans knew how to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities on the 24–32 nautical mile courses around St. Barth’s rocky cliffs and surrounding volcanic rock landmarks. The 12 to 15 knots and northeast direction also provided 30-degree wind shifts to further challenge the nine classes.

“Sailing in St. Barth’s is never easy,” said Luc Poupon, Race Organizer. “There is much to navigate around with the rocks and it’s not as simple as it seems to negotiate. Clearly, knowing the nuances of sailing around St. Barth helps, and today is a perfect example, especially, as competitors had to deal with the large wind shifts.”

After posting a 2-1-1, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua holds a strong lead in CSA 4 Racing class. Meanwhile, Chris Body’s United Kingdom team has posted a 3-5-3 and is now sitting in 4th place and is within striking distance of a podium finish for both J/122s!   For more Les Voiles de Saint Barth sailing information

J/22s sailing Nations Cup Regatta on San Francisco Bay 
French Dominate World Sailing Nations Cup
(San Francisco, CA)- The 2019 edition of the World Sailing Nations Cup was sailed on a fleet of matched J/22s on San Francisco Bay, hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club.  The event is emblematic of the world sailing championship for Open and Women’s match racing teams.  In the end, the French dominated nearly from beginning to end, despite the best efforts of truly world-class American teams like StFYC’s own Nicole Breault!  Here is what took place day-to-day in this remarkable event.
J/22 sailor Nicole Breault sailing fast
Day 1- All Bullets for American Breault and the French (Courtois and Mesnil)
It was picket fences for both French teams– top-ranked Women’s skipper Pauline Courtois and Open Division skipper Maxime Mesnil, as well as defending Nations Cup Women’s Champion Nicole Breault (USA) after the first day of racing.

Competition commenced with 10 women’s division teams from around the world facing off in round robin format on two east-west race courses. Ripples of current snaking across the courses made for challenging conditions for first-timers to San Francisco Bay sailing. “It was really difficult with the current, but my team did a really good job,” said Courtois, of her Match in Pink Normandy Elite Team of Maelenn Lemaitre, Loise Acker and Sophie Faguet. “We had really good, close matches in difficult conditions. There were no surprises, but it is important to keep focused and watch the water and the current.”

Anna Östling (SWE) currently in third place with three wins echoed the sentiment to stay focused: “Our first race with [Juliana] Senfft (BRA) we had a penalty at the start and were able to wipe it and give her one right at the finish line. It was one of those races where you think, think, think and finally get the win.”

“It was a really fun start to the event,” she added. “This is the kind of sailing we love.”

Defending Women’s Champion, and Bay local, Nicole Breault, raved about the caliber and tightness of competition. “You have to capitalize on their mistakes, because they’re capitalizing on yours.”

Asked if she had any unforgettable moments on the racecourse today, she recalled her match against fellow USA skipper, Allie Blecher.

“We were trailing around the leeward mark, but really close. We rolled into a tack, got our bow forward and I realized we’d rolled over our spinnaker sheets.” With the drag of the sheets slowing them down during the short second beat, Breault’s bow Hannah Burroughs was all over the deck recovering and retying them. “We rounded, tucked to the inside, got control of them, and had the most perfect spinnaker set. We ended up passing them and winning the race.”

The morning’s light northerly winds eventually clocked to the west and built to the high teens delivering more robust afternoon conditions for the nine Open Division teams. The tail end of a strong flood tide pushed competitors close to shore seeking relief and moments of lift in reversing ebb. This made for fantastic viewing from StFYC’s clubhouse of a series of dial-downs between David Rae (RSA) and Henrique Haddad (BRA) in a match ultimately won by Haddad. By day’s end, the ebb had shortened the average match times from 16 minutes to 11, noted World Sailing’s Technical Director and PRO David Campbell-James.

“We had a very nice day,” said Maxime Mesnil (FRA), sailing with Match In Black Normandy Elite Team members Hugo Feydit, Yann Chateau and Yves-Marie Pilon. “Last week we were at Congressional Cup and today we had more wins than all of last week. It was a very good start to the event.” A neck-and-neck match against Pearson Potts (USA) had spectators out of their seats as the two boats rounded the windward mark, raised their chutes for the downwind with Mesnil quickly luffing Potts to the north, their hulls careening wildly in the building seas. “I thought I had a penalty,” Mesnil explained, “So I was trying to penalize him, but my team said no, we are fine.” Eventually bearing off, Mesnil sent it for the finish line and squeaked out the win.

Tomorrow, he’ll be up against Haddad, who also had a strong day, and Ettore Botticini (ITA) who’s hoping for more wins than he scored during his first day sailing in San Francisco. “Today was hard. We lost, not the most important matches, but the ones we wanted to win,” he said. “We improved a lot through the day, but tomorrow we need to do better.”
J/22s sailing Nations Cup match race off St Francis Yacht Club
Day 2- Mesnil Leads Open Division, Breault Undefeated in Women’s
Maxime Mesnil (FRA) dominated the Open Division during the second day of racing. In the Women’s Division Nicole Breault (USA) and Pauline Courtois (FRA) continued to rack up wins through the afternoon, sailing into a late afternoon face-off with seven wins each; the eighth was Breault’s.

Mesnil opened the day winning a tight race against Henrique Haddad (BRA), who’s standing at second place after completing Stage 1 of the round robin. In a morning plagued by a delayed start, fluky wind and unpredictable current on the Cityfront course at St. Francis Yacht Club, Mesnil went on to display smooth, economic boat handling skills as he battled with Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZ) and Ettore Botticini (ITA). Mesnil won against the Kiwis, but stalled out in a twist of luck against Botticini, who managed to hang onto the edge of a wind line and finish first, keeping him in the running as they head into day three of racing.

“We had a very good day and we sailed fast,” said Mesnil. “We lost that match, but we won the stage.”

Haddad, who hasn’t match raced since the 2013 Nations Cup and is sailing with a tactician, Leonardo Lombardi, who’s never match raced in his life, said the opportunity to sail on San Francisco Bay outweighed the uncertainty of how they might do. “We’re very pleased with our performance,” he said, adding, “It’s not done yet.”

James Hodgson (AUS), now sitting at third place, opened the day with a loss to David Rae (RSA) followed by two wins, one against his Kiwi neighbors. “They beat us at our last event, the Hardy Cup in Sydney, so it was definitely good to get one up on them,” said Hodgson, who noted that the racing has been consistently close, “which you expect at an event like this. No race is easy. Usually we have a couple where we can keep it simple and win on speed. No one here is taking it easy.”

Breault went into the day knowing she’d be up against the top-ranked skippers at the competition and was hoping to lock in at least two wins. “We raced Anna Östling in the second match and I knew it was going to be huge. It was getting windy. We were able to luff her in the pre-start and timed it perfectly, holding it just long enough so she had to peel off to port and we were able to start ahead. On that upwind, we felt ready for the breeze. We were hiking really hard, trimming in sync and we felt really fast,” recounted Breault, who’s defending her Nations Cup title against women she emphasizes are just plain good. “The boat handling and pre-start action has been phenomenal.”

Up against Courtois, Breault said, “Pauline had control of us in the beginning,” but, “we had an awesome set, shot downwind, no engagement and it turned into a drag race.”

Courtois went on to win her remaining matches and sits at second place. Östling, poised at third place and one win up on Allie Blecher (USA) and Juliana Senfft (BRA), said, “We need to stay on our toes.”
J/22 sailing on San Francisco Bay
Day 3- Courtois Leads Women, Anyone’s Game in the Open Division
Pauline Courtois (FRA) ran a picket fence during Day 3 of racing. Nicole Breault (USA), went into the day’s racing undefeated, but suffered a loss to Anna Östling (SWE) in the first match, going on to win against Allie Blecher (USA), Juliana Senfft (BRA) and Clare Costanzo (AUS). The two leaders then faced off in the day’s final flight, with Courtois besting Breault.

In the Open Division, Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and James Hodgson (AUS) each have a 3-1 score line, but it remains anyone’s game as racing continues in the double round robin tomorrow.

Day 3 dawned with a repechage for four Open Division teams and five Women’s teams, all competing for the chance to continue racing in Stage 3. Those two coveted spots were taken by Costanzo in the Women’s Division and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZ) in the Open Division.

As a testament to just how close the sailing has been, the Women’s Division teams from Australia, Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Great Britain swapped wins and losses, resulting in an unbreakable three-way tie. Stage 1 standings came into play, allowing Costanzo to advance and leaving Johanna Bergqvist and Marinella Laaksonen on the sidelines for the remainder of racing at St. Francis Yacht Club.

“It finally feels like we got things under control and now it’s not enough,” said Bergqvist, who lost her first race of the day then had a fantastic comeback in a match against Laaksonen in which they battled tack for tack to the windward mark, rounding and setting in sync. Bergqvist, slightly behind and to port, was able to push Laaksonen off to the north enough to come ahead in the gybe and lay the finish in a beautiful bit of boat handling.

Bergqvist, Costanzo and Laaksonen with three wins each, all went on to win one against each other, creating an unbreakable tie settled in favor of Costanzo due to her higher ranking from Stage 1.

Excited to have the opportunity to continue competing, Costanzo called the next stage a “redemption round,” saying that she’d had close races with all the top women she would now face again.

“This morning, it was everything to lose and now it’s everything to win,” said her sister, Juliet Costanzo, who sails with her.

The Open Division raced a knock-out round, with Ettore Botticini (ITA) beating Kohei Ichikawa (JPN) 2-1 and Egnot-Johnson beating David Rae (RSA) 2-0, then going on to nab two more bullets against Botticini to advance to Stage 3.

Egnot-Johnson echoed the sentiment that the racing has been incredibly even and close. “Anyone could win this regatta,” he said. With minimal experience racing J/22s in the breeze-on conditions of San Francisco Bay, during Stage 3 he managed to score wins against front-runner Mesnil and Pearson Potts (USA). Potts had a string of losses but scored one against Open Division defending champion Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS), who had a sluggish day on the water with just one win against Henrique Haddad (BRA). 
J/22s match race sailing Nations Cup San Francisco
Day 4- French Sweep Nations Cup Grand Final
Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA) took top honors respectively in the Women’s and Open Divisions at World Sailing’s Nations Cup Grand Final, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA.

Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team of Maelenn Lemaitre, Loise Acker and Sophie Faguet opened the day with a 2-0 lead over Anna Östling (SWE). Östling scored a crucial point in their first match and kept the pressure on Courtois, but in their fourth and final race, Courtois was able to pour on enough speed to clear a penalty just before crossing the finish line a few boat lengths ahead of Östling.

Meanwhile, Nicole Breault (USA) sailed two strong races with commanding leads against Juliana Senfft (BRA) earning her spot in the final.
French men's team- Open winners
Close racing ruled the Open Division from the end of the semifinals all the way through the last match of the day. Mesnil’s Match in Black by Normandy Elite Team of Hugo Feydit, Yann Chateau, Yves-Marie Pilon scored two against Pearson Potts (USA), getting back in the game after two early losses in the semifinals. James Hodgson (AUS) locked in an early win versus Henrique Haddad (BRA) and the two went into their second race of the day neck and neck around the course, sailing cleaner than the previous day. On the second downwind leg, Hodgson had a smoother set to the chute and galloped into the lead, but Haddad managed to close the gap. Both gybed solidly to lay a photo finish, with the point going to Haddad. The four Open Division teams sailed a fifth flight, tucking tightly to shore along the south end of the course to seek relief from the strong flood current. Mesnil and Haddad both managed to gain control and hold it steady during the downwind legs to cross first ahead of Potts and Hodgson, respectively.

In the Final Round Mesnil bested Haddad 3-1. Courtois kept up the speed in her battles with Breault, who tore a spinnaker in a very close first match giving Courtois the opportunity to attack from leeward, luff her and offset a penalty she’d picked up earlier. Breault was never able to scratch ahead enough to score a point and Courtois won it 3-0. 

“It was a good fight. We didn’t make it easy, but they owned us,” said Breault, who was racing with the same Team Vela members Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser and Hannah Burroughs from 2015 Nations Cup, defending their Women’s Championship title. “The losses live with you, but we can’t wait to do battle again,” she said.
French women's sailing team- winners
Courtois had only praise for her rival, Breault, recalling that “four years ago we were in the Nations Cup Final in Vladivostok, Russia against them, and we lost 3-1; so to win these three races today was incredible,” she said. “It’s an amazing place to sail.”

Mesnil said the matches against Haddad were tricky, but the elevated wind conditions helped put his team on the podium, which he’s delighted to be sharing with “the women’s team, who are our training partners.”

“A nation wins the Nations Cup,” said Michael O’Connor, Nations Cup Working Party Chair in World Sailing. “Many of the countries who came are emerging nations in match racing- we want to build a platform for it.”

Haddad concurred that the event helps the sport in general. “We started in match racing 12 years ago because we had the Nations Cup in Brazil,” he said, thanking his team for coming together to compete once again.

Östling and Senfft finished third and fourth respectively, with Östling scoring two points in quick succession during the petit-finals. Hodgson and Potts battled for a medal in the Open Division, with Hodgson beating him 2-0 to finish third overall.

“Brazil sailed better than us and deserved the spot,” said Hodgson. “We’re super happy with how we sailed today. These were the most fun matches of the regatta for us, my crew was really on and we’re grateful to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia for supporting us and St. Francis Yacht Club for hosting us.”

“We’re pleased with how racing played out and entertained viewers in and around the club. What was unique about the venue was the public had commanding view of the racing – all the tactics and execution were visible to everybody, whether you were a junior or a match race champion, you could learn from watching,” said Regatta Chair Bruce Stone. “One of the challenges of the final day of racing was the current and who could get in to the rocks first. The tide charts were not accurate due to snowmelt from the Sierra Mountains and outflow from Oroville Dam. While we short-tack the shore often here, I’ve never seen it done so tightly in all my years here."

Photos by Chris Ray – team photos, videos from drone, and all days up to Saturday:

Photos by Leslie Richter from Sunday, the final day of racing:

Photos by Gerard Sheridan of awards ceremony:

Photos and video by Gerard Sheridan of each day of racing:

For more J/22 World Sailing Nations Cup sailing information

J/70 sailing on Solent 
Warsash Spring Series- Weekend V Report
(Warsash, England)- Ian Wilson & Marshall King's SOAK RACING started the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series in style, winning the opening round of the nine-regatta Grand Slam Series. SOAK RACING scored five bullets out of eight races over the two days, including a hat trick on the last day. Second was Doug Struth's DSP, who scored two races wins, as well as two second places. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep. J, Repeat was third, just one point ahead of Phil Rees racing Bryn. Ten teams made the top five over the course of the weekend.

Conditions varied dramatically over the two days, with medium wind on the first day, followed by a full-on foam-up of 20 knots plus on the second day. Air and sea temperature was also a factor, as mid-April is about as cold as the water gets in the Solent, added to a bitter easterly breeze, it was a weekend for wrapping up and keeping warm.

“The first day was all about keeping your head out of the boat with lots of gear changing, and the last race the following day, we had 25 knots of brutally cold easterly wind, I think we pulled 19.8 knots out of the boat downwind,” commented Ian Wilson. “The first day was really hard work, trying to spot what was coming next, and getting the right side of the shifts. Downwind, we were switching from planing to low mode, maybe changing mode up to five times. The last day was tough sailing, fresh to frightening, the day started in 16 knots and it built from there, to 20 knots in the second race, and the last race was filled with aggression. To be honest there were a few boats on the ears, beginning to struggle with the conditions, and the freezing conditions were like being slapped in the face with a plate glass – it was sharp, brutal even, when ever a wave came over the boat. It was great for us to have done all that training in Monaco during the winter, but with the best J/70 sailors coming to Torbay for the worlds later this year, we know that on current performance, we would struggle to make the top 20. A great start to the season but we have a lot to do.”
J/111 McFly sailing on Solent
Black Championship Report
In the IRC 1 Class, Tony Mack’s J/111 McFLY is sitting in third place in the two weekend series. The J/109s are doing well in IRC 2 Class, with Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE in 2nd and Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO in 4th. In the J/109 Class, Perry’s JIRAFFE leads, followed by the Yates’ JAGO in 2nd and David Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH in third position.
J/109 Jybe Talkin sailing on Solent
Black Group Report
In IRC 2 Class, Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE continues to hold on to 2nd place.  But, with toss races getting factored in, it is Charles Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES that has raced up the ladder to now sit in the bronze position.

Despite not having sailed races 3 & 4, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO is now sitting in fourth place in IRC 3 class.

With six races, the J/88 Class continues to see Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS topping the class with all bullets for 5 pts. Now that “toss races” are factored in, Dirk & Dianne Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR still hold on to 2nd place, while Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR hangs on to third position.

The J/109s have six races counting. Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE continues to lead with 7 pts, winning their fourth race last weekend. Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN stays in second with 18 pts, third is Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN with 20 pts.  The balance of the top five is John Smart’s JUKE BOX in 4th and the Royal Air Force Sailing Association’s RED ARROW in 5th position.

The J-Sprit class still sees Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS leading.  In fact, J/88s occupy the entire top five! SABRIEL JR is 2nd,  Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J/88 J-DREAM is 3rd, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL is 4th, and Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR is 5th.  Sailing photo credits- Andrew Adams/ CloseHauled Photography
Follow the Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/35 sailor- Dr Willy* Dr. Willy Schwenzfeier: the only sailor to compete in all 24 Charleston Race Weeks

When Willy Schwenzfeier first competed in Sperry Charleston Race Week, there were about 15 boats entered and nightly awards parties were held at Carolina Yacht Club.

It was 1996 and Schwenzfeier, as one of the original members of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA), played a role in establishing the fledgling regatta.

Schwenzfeier has watched the event grow and develop significantly since then and has been a loyal supporter throughout. The longtime Charleston resident has competed in all 24 editions of Sperry Charleston Race Week, the only boat owner to do so.

“I remember the very first year there was this new sport-boat called a Melges 24 and it raced in PHRF and the skipper had to put a bow pulpit on it,” Schwenzfeier said with a laugh.

Schwenzfeier has always campaigned a J/35 named Arrow and has done quite well in Sperry Charleston Race Week over the years, capturing class honors numerous times and finishing on the podium more often than he can count. Perhaps his most notable victory came onshore.

“Beneteau sponsored Charleston Race Week during the early years and held a raffle for a five-day, four-night trip to Nautic Paris Boat Show,” Schwenzfeier said. “My wife bought the winning ticket and we got to go to Paris for a great vacation courtesy of Beneteau.”

Dr. William Schwenzfeier originally came to Charleston in 1977 while serving as an ear, nose and throat specialist for the United States Navy. He was stationed at the Navy Regional Medical Center in the Holy City and enjoyed living here so much he stayed. Schwenzfeier ran a thriving practice known as Charleston ENT & Allergy up until his retirement six months ago. He also served as chairman of the ENT Department at Roper/St. Francis Hospitals.

Schwenzfeier and his wife Caroline, who he met while attending college in Baltimore, live on James Island and berth their boat at Harborage on the Ashley River.

Schwenzfeier played basketball at Johns Hopkins University while earning a degree in biology then attended medical school at the University of Florida. He bought the first J/35 in 1984 from renowned racer Charlie Scott, who owns a marina on Whitehall Creek in Annapolis.

“I sailed the boat all the way from Annapolis to Charleston. It was an interesting trip,” Schwenzfeier said.
J/35 sailing Charleston Harbor during Race Week
Arrow actively participated in various offshore events organized by CORA and other organizations over the years. “We used to race up and down the coast all the time, but I don’t do overnights anymore,” Schwenzfeier said.

Schwenzfeier has been blessed with a loyal and dedicated crew with five members having raced aboard the boat for 25 years or more. Topping the list is Jules Ivester, who is considered the co-skipper.

“The joke is that it’s both of our boat, but I pay all the bills,” Schwenzfeier said with a chuckle.

Ivester is an anesthesiologist and initially met Schwenzfeier in an operating room during a surgery. They hit it off over their mutual love of sailing and have been racing together since 1985.

Ivester grew up in Charleston and has been sailing since the age of 12, enjoying considerable success in the Laser class. Schwenzfeier started sailing at the age of six and was once the Ohio national champion in Interlake class.

Schwenzfeier names the other longtime sailors aboard Arrow along with their crew position and occupation. There’s Tom Weir (bowman and dentist), Sam Furr (starboard trimmer, architect), Cale Martin (mast, head of physics at Porter), Katherine Purcell (main, English teacher).

“I have the best crew a skipper could possibly want,” Schwenzfeier said. “They’re all great people and outstanding sailors. We get along great and have been sailing the boat so long that very little needs to be said when doing maneuvers.”

Schwenzfeier is both impressed and amazed that Charleston Race Week has grown into one of the largest regattas in the world, attracting almost 260 boats in 18 classes this year. He applauds event director Randy Draftz for his leadership in transforming the event into a civic treasure.

“Randy has done a phenomenal job of shepherding this regatta. I can’t imagine anyone doing this any better than Randy,” he said. “What I love most about Sperry Charleston Race Week is that it has the right temperament. People come here to have fun and enjoy sailboat racing in its purest form. There is a great vibe about the regatta and everyone gets along great.”

Arrow may be a 34-year-old boat, but it still performs extremely well, winning the last two races en route to a runner-up finish in ORC B class last year. Schwenzfeier is looking forward to the 25th anniversary of Sperry Charleston Race Week and plans on competing here for the foreseeable future.

“I’m 74 years old, but I don’t know it,” said Schwenzfeier, who kindly donates his 25-foot Bertram for use as a race committee asset.

“Willy Schwenzfeier is what Sperry Charleston Race Week is all about – just a real gentleman and a true Corinthian sailor,” said Draftz. “Willy has always been a tremendous supporter of this event and a great resource for information. We’re always looking for feedback from participants and he is very helpful in that regard.”

J/70 Youth Team- Lily Flack
* Public Service Announcement from a kid- by Lily Flack and friends on a J/70 that sailed in Charleston Race Week. Watch sailing video above for fun and games from the kids in Charleston

Sailing is the most varied and diverse sport, offering something for everyone to enjoy. But for youth sailors, their involvement is often limited to age-based boats and competitions. While these provide tremendous experiences, if that is all they know, it isn’t enough to fully grasp the sport. Or worse, it doesn’t connect with them and they move on.

Sixteen year old Lily Flack has a message for her age group, but first she has a story to share…

"It was the final J/70 race on the last day of Charleston Race Week, and our youth team was on the last downwind leg. We all knew we were towards the front of the fleet, thinking we were maybe top 10 at best.

We gybed out early around the windward mark to clear our breeze from the boats behind us, and while we were still in displacement mode, we saw some big pressure coming up from behind us. I took a look over my shoulder to see the puff was coming fast, prompting the call for Lucas Masciello, our floater, to get the jib out.

I started to count down in my head. Once it got closer, I yelled 3… 2… 1… and had timed the puff perfectly. We were immediately up on a plane and our skipper Gannon Troutman called for weight back to keep the bow out of the water. Jack Solway, our bowman, ran to the back of the boat (while recording the whole thing) to keep us cruising along. Peter Cronin, our spinnaker trimmer, needed an extra hand on the sheet so I jumped on and helped him out.

All of our eyes were locked on the speedometer to watch the numbers climb… 10 knots, 12 knots, 14 knots. At this point, we were all screaming and having such a blast that only one of us realized we had topped out at 16.5 knots in boat speed.

None of us knew a J/70 could go that fast, until then. We later declared after watching the video below that explicit language is allowed over 15 knots of boat speed. Overall, we steadily improved our boat handling and tactical calls throughout the regatta to secure a 5th place finish in the last race of the event. We hope to see more kids join us on the race course for the next J/70 regatta!” Thanks for story from Scuttlebutt

J/34 Knee Deep kids and family sailing video
* Speaking of kids, the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP, sailed by a family in Cleveland, OH, is up to their usual fun and games. And, the kids are important participants on their family sailing team!  Enjoy their latest “pre-season” video from owner Brett Langolf

J/121 EAGLE sailing on the Sound
* J/121 EAGLE tuning and testing on Long Island Sound- Steven Levy from New York said,
"It was a remarkable afternoon. What the picture does not tell you, is that there was 12-13 knots of breeze just above the surface. With the 3 headsails triple-slotting, we were sailing at 8.8 to 9.5 knots on glass-like water, ideal for water skiing! Spectacular sailing!" Add to Flipboard Magazine.