Wednesday, February 5, 2020

J/Newsletter- February 5th, 2020

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The final week of January saw two seminal events take place on nearly opposite sides of the world. For starters, the Australians "Down Under" celebrated their annual Festival of Sails in Geelong, Australia, a pretty suburb along the sea coast southwest of Melbourne, Victoria. The event was host to the 2020 Australian J/111 Championship; the fleet saw three hotly competitive days of action in their inshore around-the-cans racing. Then, the first major yachting competition of the 2020 Caribbean offshore sailing season took place off Grenada. Sailed out the cozy harbor in St. Georges, the fleet of offshore racers included a J/121, J/122, and a one-design class of J/24s. The racers enjoyed five absolutely amazing days of racing and the J/24 sailors nearly got dizzy after EIGHTEEN hard-fought races just off the waterfront in a "stadium-style" race course... fun was had by all!

J/111 Australian Championship at Geelong
VELOCE Crowned 2020 Australian J/111 Champion

(Geelong, Australia)- The 2020 Australian J/111 Championships were held over the ‘Australia Day’ long weekend as part of Festival of Sails in Geelong, Victoria. The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 300 yacht entries and 3,000 competitors annually taking part in the event. First held in 1844, the Festival of Sails Regatta is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events and has evolved over many years culminating in its current format as Australia’s foremost keelboat regatta.

The program consisted of a 30.0nm passage race on Saturday 25th January, followed by five windward-leeward races in Geelong’s inner harbour on Sunday and Monday. Here is the report from Rob Date, owner/ skipper of SCARLET RUNNER, from the Victorian J/111 fleet.

"The passage race from St Kilda to Geelong was won by SCARLET RUNNER, again showing her skills in the light and variable conditions, finishing a few minutes ahead of Matt Powell’s PLAYLIST. Stu Lyon’s JAKE showed moments of brilliance but fell away towards the latter stages.

Australian J/111 Championship- close finish!
Sunday’s racing was a variable affair with the pressure up and down and left and right, but mostly in the 12-15 knot range. Racing was very close with fractions of seconds deciding one result. Phil Simpendorfer’s VELOCE proved superior on the day.

The final result would be decided on Monday, the last day of racing, with both Rod Warren’s JOUST and SCARLET RUNNER capable of winning the Championship.

Light winds greeted us at the start of the day, but many shifts and pressure changes saw Simpendorfer’s VELOCE the eventual winner from Warren's JOUST in second, with SCARLET RUNNER third.

Reflecting on the weekend, it was a great close regatta and an enjoyable sail home back to Sandringham (a 30-mile power reach home in 20 knots of pressure!)." For more J/111 One-Design Class association information.    For more J/111 one-design sailboat information

J/121 sailing Grenada
J/122 Sets High Bar @ Grenada Sailing Week

(St Georges, Grenada, West Indies)- Racing for the international fleet at Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week started last Monday 27 January and completed this past weekend. Grenada delivered nearly perfect conditions for the four days of racing with trade winds predominantly from the southeast in the 10 to 18 kts range. The regatta featured enthusiastic fleets of CSA Handicap classes and a very hot fleet of J/24s.

J/122 Liquid sailing Grenada
In the huge and competitive fourteen-boat CSA 1 Class, Pamala Baldwin's J/122 LIQUID team from Antigua was the overall winner of the class (pictured above).  The young team led by Pamala scored podium finishes in all ten races, including scoring five bullets!

J/121 Liquid winners
"This is a great start to our season," commented Baldwin. "Our consistency comes from great preparation from the team and the ability to minimize the effect of problems when they occur. The team is also very fit and when you are competing in up to three races a day, fatigue is a big factor in the last race because it can effect concentration which can cause errors."

Peter Lewis's J/121 WHISTLER from Barbados finished the regatta in style taking the win in the last race and finishing just "out of the chocolates", 2.5 pts from third place on the podium. There's was the story of getting their new J/121 dialed-in for tuning and boatspeed, refining and optimizing their teamwork, and getting out of the starting blocks in better position while minimizing down-the-race-track tactics and strategies.

J/24s off Grenada
The overall lead in the J/24 Class changed every day of the regatta, such had been the intensity of the competition. After 18 hard-fought races (16 counting after 2 discards), Robbie Yearwood's DIE HARD from Grenada came back off the ropes to win by a single point from Nick Forsberg's JABAL from Santa Lucia. Gus Reader's FADEAWAY from Barbados won the last race of the regatta but finished third just three points behind the winner.

J/24 winners in Grenada
"We are called Die Hard because we never give up," smiled Robbie Yearwood. "We are level-headed, never get twisted, and don't harbor bad thoughts when things go wrong. That's history, we look forward not behind. The J/24 Class is one-design, so it is very, very close. After 18 races, it could not have been a tighter or harder fought battle on a tactical basis.  We often crossed the finish line overlapped with 2 to3 boats! Socially, we get together after racing, we help each other fix the boats, and we have a couple of beers together. We had an additional bet between us, so we have a great bottle of rum to enjoy!"

The Prize Giving for Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week was headlined by the "Mount Gay Rum Red Cap Party" at The Aquarium Restaurant on Magazine Beach. Guest of Honor was Brenda Hood, Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority, who congratulated the winners, sponsors and organizers of Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week. Brian Sylvester represented Mount Gay Rum livened up the proceedings before DJ King Turbo and Solid the Band, played a spectacular live set. The Aquarium is one of Grenada's finest restaurants, established in 1996 by Ulli Khun, it has a long history of hosting the awards ceremony for the regatta and that has now returned to its roots!   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/   For Grenada Sailing Week scores   For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Feb 7-9- J/70 Davis Island Winter Series III-Tampa, FL
Feb 14-16- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 20-23- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Feb 28- Mar 1- J/24 Midwinter Championship- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Mar 4-7- J/70 Bacardi Cup- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten
Mar 5- Puerto Vallarta Race- San Diego, CA
Mar 6-8- St. Croix International Regatta- Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI
Mar 10- SORC Miami to Eleuthera Race- Miami, FL
Mar 17-21- St. Augustine Race Week- St. Augustine, FL
Mar 19-22- J/22 Midwinter Championship- New Orleans, LA
Mar 20-22- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 26-29- St. Thomas International Regatta- St. Thomas, USVI
Mar 30- Apr1- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Apr 12-18- Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 17-25- EDHEC J/80 Sailing Cup Regatta- Port du Crouesty, Arzon, France
Apr 23-26- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies
May 1-3- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 27-31- J/24 North American Championship- Blue Point, NY
Jun 11-14- Helga Cup Ladies J/70 Regatta- Hamburg, Germany
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-21- J/70 East Coast Championship- Cape May, NJ
Jul 26-Aug 1- J/70 World Championship- Marina del Rey, CA

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

doublehanded J/88 offshore speedster for Olympics 2024 
J/88 Selected for Mixed Offshore USA World Team Worlds Qualifier
(Chicago, IL)- The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac® presented by Wintrust (CYCRTM) is excited to announce the event has been selected by US Sailing as the Double-Handed Worlds Qualifier in preparation for the 2024 Olympics. The boat selected for the US qualifier is the J/88, and the CYCRTM plans to host a special division for the Mixed Offshore Double-handed discipline, for both a one-design fleet as well as a rated ORC fleet in J/88s, in the 112th running of the race this summer.

"This is an exciting time for the USA and a great opportunity to race an Olympic class offshore boat," says Jay Kehoe, Sailing Director at the Chicago Yacht Club. "Non-mixed double-handed teams will also be able to participate, but will have to adhere to the sail rules and safety equipment, and are not eligible for the 2020 Offshore World Championships."

There will be six (6) boats available for charter and a partial inventory of safety equipment, thanks to the generosity of the local J/88 fleet. Teams chartering or bringing their own J/88 are also encouraged to participate. However, there will be restricted sail choices and specialized safety equipment that will apply to all competitors in the class.

The Team USA entry to the 2020 Offshore World Championships will be selected from one of the eligible teams competing in the Mixed Two Person division of the CYCRTM.

The 112th CYCRTM will take place July 17th and 18th, 2020. The inspection, measurement and equalization process for all boats, sails and the complete list of required safety equipment will be specified in the Notice of Race of the Chicago-Mackinac Mixed Two Person division, which will be issued later this month. Please email if you are interested in applying for a charter boat, or if you have any other questions on this process. To learn more about the Mixed Offshore, please visit US Sailing’s website that details all of the qualifiers for the World Team.  Learn more about the U.S. Sailing Olympics 2024 Doublehanded Mixed Offshore Program here.

About the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac®: "America’s Offshore Challenge™
The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac® presented by Wintrust is one of the world’s largest annual offshore races, drawing top-notch sailing talent from around America and the world.  Known as ‘The Mac’ to everyone in the region, the ultimate test of Great Lakes navigation starts each July just off Chicago’s Navy Pier. Passing through some of the most beautiful coastal waters in the world on the 333-statute mile (289nm) race route, the fleet faces the storms, reefs, calms and competition that truly make it "America’s Offshore Challenge."

From Friday’s Cruising and Saturday’s Racing starting cannons to the finish line just on the other side of the iconic Mackinac Bridge, fans can follow every racer via the live Race Tracker, while keeping tabs on their favorites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information

About the J/88 Offshore Speedster
Introduced in 2013, the J/88 is 29’ mid-size family speedster with stability, style and sailing comfort. Design highlights include a high-aspect, non-overlapping sail plan (no genoas) with a carbon fiber, double-spreader mast - deck stepped for easy rigging, tuning and keeping the main cabin dry.  With more than 100+ boats worldwide and a growing fleet on Lake Michigan, the design has been extremely successful for inshore racing, family day sailing, as well as offshore shorthanded sailing.  For more J/88 offshore speedster sailing information  

J/70s sailing off Marina del Rey, CA 
SCYA Midwinter Regatta Preview
(Marina del Rey, CA)- The annual Southern California Yachting Association Midwinters Regatta will be taking place this upcoming weekend. The event is hosted by multiple clubs across the SoCal region, spanning from southern San Diego north to Santa Barbara. The most watched event will likely be the dozen J/70s that are sailing off Marina del Rey, hosted by California Yacht Club. As host for the 2020 J/70 World Championship, the J/70 teams will be looking to test, in particular, their boat tuning and boat speed settings for the traditional light to moderate sea breezes that often develop just offshore the zillion miles of beaches stretching down the coastline.

Many of the top J/70 teams from the West Coast will be on hand testing their settings.  Such teams include Curt Johnson's AVET 2.01, Steve Wyman's NUNUHUNU, Craig Tallman's JAYA, Thomas Tunberg's NAMASTE, Chris Raab's SUGOI, Jim Murrell's HUCKLEBERRY, and Patrick Danly's BOONDOGGLE. The long-distance traveling awards certainly go to Seattle YC's Mike Breivik’s USA 49 team and St Francis YC's Wendi Vandermeer's USA 614.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.  For more SCYA Midwinters 2020 sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24 Youth teams sailing* The U.S. J/24 Class Association Awarded their Fourth Annual Boat Grant to Erica Trejo from Chicago!

The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the fourth annual Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant to Erica Trejo from Chicago, IL. The Program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as U.S. Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

For the 2020 season, the boat will see weekly action at Wilmette Harbor with J/24 Fleet 100. The Boat Grant team plans to participate in a number of events including the Midwinter Championship in Melbourne, FL, Cleveland Race Week in Cleveland, OH, the Great Lakes Championship in Chicago, IL, and working to attend the District 15 Championship in Madison, WI. Mark Soya, with the help of other Class members, will mentor the young team, as well as the other individuals who applied for the Program.

Erica has been sailing and racing her whole life, but has only a few years of J/24 experience. She has already seen how much fun the Class is and how competitive it is too. In the past two years, she has been pleasantly surprised at how many boats were in attendance at each regatta. She loves how everyone is so welcoming, and she is excited to be a part of the J/24 family. She looks forward to learning more about the boats while on this year’s journey and the challenge of racing against so many good sailors in the Class. Her team will consist of a mix of younger J/24 sailors and seasoned veterans, which will surely help them grow over the next year. She said, “I am incredibly excited to receive the boat grant this year! I am excited for this year’s journey. Come say ‘Hi’ if you see us. I would like to thank the US J/24 Class and the Boat Grant Committee for making this possible and for helping me achieve this great honor.”

The Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail 

J/99 Quantum team tuning off Newport
* Getting Excited About Optimizing the J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster
The new J/99 is a hot topic in the offshore sailing community, especially amongst the double-handed racers and even cruising couples around the world. The J/99 is an exciting addition to the J/Boat lineup that is filling a growing demand for short-handed racer/cruiser platforms that perform buoy racing as well as they do offshore.

As part of maximizing the J/99's full potential for performance upwind, reaching, and downwind, sailmakers around the world have had their top teams working 24x7 on optimizing their offerings. One of these has been the Quantum Sailmakers team. Here is a summary of the continual process they go through.

"Quantum designers focused on creating high-performing and versatile sail-plans that bridge the gap between competitive racing and cruising in comfort. Quantum's J/Boat sail designer Kerry Klingler and sail consultant Kris Werner worked with J/Boats Dealer RCR Yachts to create a fast set of sails with a "racing-first" focus that can easily transition into a performance cruising setup. They focused on using sail fabrics that give the sails an added level of structural durability that will ensure fast, repeatable shapes.

Quantum class experts worked directly with clients to develop the best sail plan possible, designing every sail on the J/99 to fit the individual needs of the owner, be it racing, cruising, or something in-between. A sail with perfect shape on the first hoist that retains shape after repeated hoists was a testament to Quantum's design process and product.

"We designed the sails to be versatile, easy to trim, and structured for a long life," explained Klingler about his approach with RCR Yachts. "One of the keys to our business is an understanding that sails need to be adjusted for each client's needs and wishes," he adds.

Kris Werner reinforced their customer-centric approach, "we discussed and researched all the best possible options, while keeping some level of cost and investment in mind. This is the type of detailed service and support that we intend for every client at Quantum."

Werner, a former broker at RCR Yachts, appreciates the continued relationship that his position as a sail consultant affords. "Supporting and working with RCR Yachts is a true pleasure," he says. "We at Quantum Sails Rochester do everything we can for them, and the enthusiasm the RCR team shows for our sport is closely matched to the customer-focused ideals of Quantum Sails. Our relationship is about helping customers get more enjoyment out of sailing and less about promoting one company over the other."

Watch this short sailing video from the Quantum team that was taken during their initial performance testing program in Newport, RI.

J/99 sailing video

* Offshore Distance Racing "How-To" Series
Distance sailboat racing is a growing segment of sailing. Offering new and different challenges, distance races around the world have attracted sailors with various degrees of offshore experience.

In particular, offshore shorthanded and doublehanded sailing continues to grow participation the fastest across the USA and Europe.  Adding fuel to that fire was the recent announcement by World Sailing and the Olympics 2024 Committee that a new sailing medal competition will be held for a Doublehanded Mixed Offshore Keelboat Race during the Olympics 2024 in France.

The concept is a simple one, a male/female team sailing a 28-foot offshore sailboat start on the first day of the Olympic Games and sail for 40 to 60 hours over an approximate 250 to 300 nm offshore race course, starting and finishing off the Mediterranean port of Marseille, France. The entire experience will be televised globally and followed online via blogging and social media.

As noted above, US Sailing selected the J/88 class as the boat for the Chicago-Mackinac Race qualifying event for the 2020 World Doublehanded Mixed Offshore Championship being held in late summer/ early fall on the Mediterranean.

As part of an offshore team's preparation for the 2020 sailing season, here is a short three-part series with some essential tips-and-tricks for the novice distance racer and reminders for those salty offshore veterans. The Quantum Team teamed up with offshore expert Dave Gerber for these critical on-board processes and maneuvers:
  • PART 1: Four simple on-board optimizations
  • PART 2: Reefing your mainsail
  • PART 3: Mastering Headsail Changes
Watch the helpful "how-to" instructional sailing videos here

Offshore racing How To VIdeo series
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