Thursday, February 14, 2019

WINGS Rises to New Heights at J/88 Midwinters

J/88 Wings sailing off St Petersburg, Florida 
Five Bullets Guarantees The Title in St. Pete
(St Petersburg, FL)- Taking on a new sailing challenge is nothing new for Mike Bruno. Through nearly three decades of racing he and his team have raced, and succeeded, in several different boats. So, when the J/88 launched onto the scene, Mike jumped in and the Wings program had a new sailing challenge to conquer.

Fresh of their recent win at J/Fest in St. Petersburg, the North Sails Team wanted to know more about the Wings team and their thoughts on their 3Di sails.

NORTH: Mike, first of congratulations to you and your team on Wings for your continued success in the J/88. Can you share with us a little bit about your sailing background and how long have you been sailing in the J/88 class?

BRUNO: Thanks! We are having fun with Wings and continue to learn more and more about sailing the J/88 fast. Insofar as how we got this far, I started out as casual cruising sailor and began racing about 25 years ago. I would say that in the past 15 years or so we have gotten fairly serious about racing and being competitive. We had a Jonmeri 40 named Karjala that I raced for many years, then a series of “Wings”.

First was a J/124 I raced for two years. It was a nice boat, but we found it to have a tough rating to sail to, so we traded it for a J/122.

The J/122 really was a great step and I successfully campaigned that boat, with a few partners, for eight years as a one-design. The J/122 program brought us some great results, including winning the North American title twice and a Rolex award at a New York YC regatta. That brought us to the current Wings, the J/88, which I bought the 3 years ago. We have really enjoyed this program and had great wins including the inaugural J/88 North Americans as well as a big J/88 class win at Key West Race Week.

J/88 Wings setting spinnaker at J/Fest St Pete
NORTH: The pictures from the J/Fest Regatta in St. Petersburg made it appear that you had good breeze for the event. Did the conditions match up with the pictures throughout the championship?

BRUNO: St. Petersburg Yacht Club runs excellent events and Tampa Bay can be a bit “challenging”, so you really never know what you will get on any given day, especially in the winter. That said, the sailing conditions at the J/Fest were certainly fair. Across the entire event, I’d say the breeze ranged from 8-20 knots. I think the cooler conditions (locals may call it “unseasonable”) played a role in how much pressure we had throughout the weekend. Also, Tampa Bay is quite shallow so there was a reasonable amount of sea state but the very steady breeze overall and significant shifts kept every team on their toes and working hard looking for opportunities to be gained via tactics and gear changing.

NORTH: Can you tell us a little bit about your team, who does what, and how long have you all been together?

BRUNO: The team is really made up of a large group of great friends and awesome sailors and, like many others, we find we are rotating in and jumbling pieces for any particular event to make sure we, not only do well, but have fun.

For J/Fest Midwinters I helmed and had Chris Morgan, a local Floridian, trim main and work with me on our overall speed. Stu Johnstone was our tactician and he really had a great feel for the bay the entire weekend. Tim Randall ran the pit for us while Mike Booker did all the headsail trimming and Stephen Yip ran the bow.

NORTH: Looking back through the weekend what were the keys to your success at the Midwinters?

BRUNO: It’s a great question, as it forces me to look back and try to pinpoint a few things I think we did really well.

1. The biggest thing was we were just able to sail a bit higher and faster than the fleet much of the time. A lot goes into that for sure. The team really worked hard on proper rig tune and working the sails and trim constantly to maximize the boats potential but our new sails were probably the most significant difference in our ability to make that happen. 

2. Our crew work was excellent! As a skipper knowing that your team can execute any maneuver at a seconds notice and pull it off without a hitch is a huge confidence builder for the entire boat. It seems that at almost every mark rounding we seemed to gain 1-3 boat lengths.

3. I mentioned earlier that Stu Johnstone called tactics for the weekend; he was really on tactically this regatta, just incredible! Stu didn’t miss anything, which also gave us terrific confidence. We did make a few mistakes in the event, including being over early at the start in two races. In the last race, we were over (again) and we re-started, probably, 300 yards behind fleet. But, Stu got us back in the game, and we kept using our boat speed and crew work to do all we could to gain distance. Remarkably, we still nearly won the race- just a 1/4 boat length off! I guess maybe the new saying is “When you have a great team and fast sails it’s never over until it’s over!”

NORTH: What are your 2019 sailing plans for the J/88?

BRUNO: Wings has a very full 2019 sailing calendar. We have already done the Egmont Key Race and St. Pete J/Fest. Up next in February is the St Pete NOODs, and then we head up to Charleston Race Week in April. From there the team will go back north for the American Yacht Club Spring and Fall Series, Cedar Point One Design Regatta, Block Island Race Week, possibly the New York Yacht Club 175th Regatta, as well as J/Fest in Newport, with a focus on the J/88 North Americans in mid-October at Larchmont YC.

NORTH: Thanks Mike and congratulations, again. Sounds like you have a full schedule set with an awesome team. Good luck the rest of the year, have fun and sail fast!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Casales Leads Sardinia J/24 Winter Series

J/24 Italy off Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy (Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)- In the waters of the Golfo di Poetto, the Windsurfing Club Cagliari hosted the first event of their winter series on the beautiful waters off Sardinia for a fleet of ten boats. Prior to the start of the series, mistral-like conditions buffeted the island with steady 30 knots of winds, gusting to 45 knots.  However, by the weekend, the Race Committee of the WCC, chaired by Betty Lai, managed to run three races on Saturday.

The starts were close, tightly packed, and the first windward legs were, in particular, very shifty, making it hard for boats to remain consistent race to race. The one exception appeared to be Andrea Casale, an Italian J/24 Champion and also two-time J/24 World Champion. His team managed to round all marks in the lead and start out the series in first place.

J/24 Italy fleet sailing off Sardinia, ItalyBehind Casales’ team on ARIA DELLA LNI OLBIA in the first race was Aurelio Bini’s VIGNE SURRAU in second and Giuseppe Taras’ DOLPHINS in third. In the second race, DOLPHINS took second followed by Sergio Contu’s NEW MOLLICA in third place.  In the last and final race of the weekend, NEW MOLLICA took second in a close duel with Casales, with VIGNE SURRAU taking third.

At the end of the racing, the J/24 crews met to talk with the Genovese champion- Casales- who, in addition to describing the sails he represents, gave excellent advice on the boat's handling and on the tactical choices to be competitive in conditions like those on the weekend. The arrival of pasta and delicious Sardinian wine offered by the WCC gave the right conclusion to a beautiful day at sea and sport.

The overall standings (after the first 5 races) have ITA 443 ARIA DELLA LNI OLBIA leading with a 6-2-1-1-1 record, followed by ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from the Circolo Nautico Arzachena with a 3-1-2-9-3 tally in second, then Giuseppe Taras’ ITA 401 DOLPHINS sitting in third with a 2-6-3-2-5 scoreline.

The next event for the Sardinian J/24 fleet is scheduled for February 16th and 17th.  For more Sardinia J/24 fleet sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

J/133 JACANA Wins off Cape Town

J/133 sailing off Cape Town, South Africa
(Table Bay, Cape Town, South Africa)- In the southern hemisphere, most sailors are familiar with the extensive one-design and offshore racing taking place in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay) and the Antipodes (Australia and New Zealand). However, an active offshore fleet continues to enjoy the often-spectacular conditions sailors experience off the famous landmark known as the Cape of Good Hope. In fact, there are more than a dozen J/teams sailing those waters ranging from J/24s to J/27s, J/30s to J/105s, and even a J/133.

Recently, the J/133 Team HOLLARD JACANA (owned by the trio of David Munro, Patrick Holloway, and Neil Gregory) was the overall winner of the Class 1 Division in the 2019 Fling Regatta, the first amateur team to win in five years.
J/133 Jacana winning crew
Patrick commented on their performance, “racing was incredibly close, as was the overall result. Our crew had one 1st, three 2nds, a 3rd and a 4th in the six-race regatta, for a total of 10 points, after a one-race discard. The regatta was sailed in Table Bay over the weekend of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd February 2019.

The event was the third and penultimate round of the Western Province Inshore Championships, which the team continues to lead. Previously, we won the False Bay Spring Regatta (September 2018) and finished 2nd in Table Bay Race Week (December 2018) by the narrowest of margins on a tie break.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Grenada Sailing Week Report

J/24s sailing Grenada Sailing WeekJ/24 Fun, J/122 Offshore Success
(St Georges, Grenada)- Long-time J/sailor, Hilary Noble, has been on the pointy end of many top teams over the years in J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/88s.  This past week, she was down in the Caribbean sailing in the first major event of the winter season “down island”- Grenada Sailing Week.  Here is her report on the proceedings.

“The Caribbean racing season is now underway with the 6th edition of Grenada Sailing Week that was held from January 28th to February 1st.

A record fleet of 40 boats gathered at Port Louis Marina, and it being my first year racing in this event, I was really excited to see what this so-called “friendly island” was all about. Just as I expected, the competitors brought their A-game and race officials and volunteers had one goal in mind: great racing, hospitality, and tons of fun!

Racing began on Monday, on the south end of the island just west of the airport, off the pristine Grand Anse beach. Local knowledge played a key role in staying in pressure and setting up for what new pressure was to come. Most of the local teams played the shoreline often, giving them the famous “elevator lifts” to easily one-tack the top end of the race course.

If you could break away from the pack and get into the pressure first, you had a great chance of leading around the windward mark. The wind was pretty shoddy on the south end, with the land breeze mixing with sea breeze funneling over the huge mountainous terrain.

This created huge puffs and huge holes, something to really keep an eye out for! We dug into a lot of puffs, but we may have found a hole where it seemed like our world stopped, while the rest of the world kept spinning. Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones to find it.

Day two was very similar, presenting puffy conditions that made the racing fun and unpredictable. It reminded me of college sailing, with the auto-tacks and huge lifts that would give you 30-degrees more point than the boat just to leeward of you.

The last race on day two was a 12-mile race and a downwind start. We checked our angles to assure that our starting line plan would be successful – and boy was it ever! Instead of leading our fleet in, we tailed the competition and right as we started we executed a perfect jibe-set, hoisting our code zero.

Being one of the last boats to enter the starting area by the RC end allowed us to fulfill our higher angle with ease after our set, while some boats chose to use their A2, making it impossible to get to us. At that point, it was full-steam ahead.

As we approached the tip of the runway, a massive JetBlue airliner came in hot, landing right over us.  That was exhilarating and got my adrenaline pumping for the next leg. At that point, you could see the land clearing ahead where our next mark was for us to honor and head upwind.

There was a 10-knot increase around the end out in the open on the east end of the island that made for the freshest upwind leg we had yet. We had a last minute call to change our headsail, we had 30 seconds to plug and hoist before we could get our code down.

We had one hell of an epic takedown with the wind howling and waves crashing on our port side, we got her in and we were headed uphill, keeping an eye out for the next mark. We hadn’t seen the other end of the island yet and WOW, she was beautiful. Finishing off the point of Prickly Bay, I thought to myself, after the salt water shot under my sunglasses, this just doesn’t get any better!

On our lay day, we left our Port Louis and stopped just outside to snorkel the underwater sculptures. We headed over to the beach after that and went ashore to the spice market and had lunch. After loading up on some local fare, we casted off and motored around the point to relocate our mother ship, a 50-foot catamaran to the east end of the island in Secret Harbour where racing would commence the remainder the week.

The last two days were just fantastic. Excellent racing, fun courses, and stiff competition. The courses were interesting and kept it fun and exciting for the pointy end. Our team vibe was great all week long and we all had a blast racing together.

The Caribbean circuit is unlike any other racing circuit in the world. Sailors from all over the world come to experience new cultures, taste the amazing food, and make new connections. For most, it’s a vacation in itself. Living in Rhode Island these days, I appreciate the aspects of warm-weather sailing more than I ever have before.

For this event, I had the pleasure of making new friends and teammates. A few of the crew I’ve known for years and have spent a lot of time on the water racing and some were new crew to the program that meshed really well with the team and were fun to sail with. This regatta was a great experience and I highly recommended it to those who want to escape the winter and get a taste of some really fantastic sailing. I can’t wait to sail in Grenada again!”

Living it up and enjoying their entire week was a well-known crew from Antigua, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID.  Sailing in the largest class of the event, the thirteen-boat CSA Racing Division, Pamala and her crew sailed by far the most consistent series of any boat on the water.  LIQUID’s worst race was a 4th (their toss race) and all the rest were 1st, 2nd, and 3rds, finishing on the podium to take the silver in their first outing in the Caribbean winter circuit!

Meanwhile, one wonders if it was a case of sheer joy or pure exhaustion for the half-dozen J/24s that sailed off St Georges for the entire regatta.  After eighteen races (!) it was quite apparent that the top of the leaderboard was going to be determined by a “war of attrition”.  In the end, Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE from St Lucia never broke down, never lost focus, and never finished worse than 4th place! Amazing! Consequently, ATTITUDE maintained the pressure on the fleet after winning the first three races to take the J/24 crown. Second was Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD from Grenada; posting nearly as many 1sts, 2nds, 3rds as Sweeney’s crew, but not nearly enough, settling for the silver.  Rounding out the podium was Stephen Bushe’s HAWKEYE from Trinidad, taking the bronze- a truly international podium.  Thanks for contributions from Hilary Noble and Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter.  Follow Grenada Sailing Week on Facebook here   For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

US J/24 Class Awards Third Annual Boat Grant

J/24s sailing off Miami, Biscayne Bay(Apollo Beach, FL)- The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the third annual Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant to Matt Miranda from Ronkonkoma, New York. The Program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

For the 2019 season, the boat will see weekly action at Sayville Yacht Club with J/24 Fleet 182. The Boat Grant team plans to participate in a number of events including the US Nationals in Rochester, NY, Changing of the Colors Regatta in Lake George, NY, Charleston Race Week in Charleston, SC, and they are applying to be the Under-25 team at the World Championship in Miami, FL. Class members will mentor the young team, as well as the other individuals who applied for the Program.

Matt has more than a decade of J/24 experience, having crewed on multiple World Championship campaigns, numerous District and national events, and has skippered at US Nationals and local Fleet 182 series racing. His team will consist of a mix of younger J/24 sailors and seasoned veterans, who will surely help them grow over the next year. “I am incredibly honored to receive the grant boat this year! Excited to see some new faces, and some old, as we travel around to our nine or more scheduled events. 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 a lifelong dream.”

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 director@j24class.org. 

The application process for the 2020/2021 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in the fall of 2019. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Davis Island J/70 Winter Series III Preview

J/70 sailing Tampa Davis Island series (Tampa, FL)- In the third and final regatta of the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series, fifty-five J/70 teams are hoping to sail in the forecasted winds of 10-20 kts from the northeast this coming weekend. Should that happen, that would more than make up for the fact that in the two previous events there was only one good day of racing both times; ironically both on Saturday, with Sunday being washouts for either no wind or storms.

Who will ultimately triumph in the 2018-2019 edition of the DIYC J/70 series?  It is all up for grabs, that is for certain.  Teams only have to count all races in their two best regattas.  Given the somewhat “yo-yo” scorelines for most teams in the first two events, virtually anything can happen for the overall standings.  Current leaders include Travis Odenbach’s B-SQUARED team; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, TX; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; and local Tampa rock stars on Greiner Hobbs’ DARK HORSE.

In the Corinthians Division, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY and Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH appear to be significant players to remain at the top of the leaderboard after the battlefields clear over the weekend.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse Preview

J/70s sailing off Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The premiere offshore one-design keelboat event of the spring, the very popular Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse, will be taking place this weekend for a huge fleet of fifty-four highly competitive J/70s from across Europe and other parts of the world. Those teams hail from Monaco (14), Switzerland (11), France (6), Germany (7), Italy (6), Russia (5), Ireland (2), Brazil (1), Great Britain (1), Finland (1), Ukraine (1), and Sweden (1).

As they have for years, the Yacht Club Monaco is welcoming the enormous fleet with their extraordinary red carpet treatment, welcoming all sailors to their gorgeous setting on Hercules Bay.  The tempo and the competitiveness level of the J/70 fleet continues to increase as many teams are increasingly focused on the fact that YC Monaco will be hosting the 2022 J/70 World Championship.

Based on what happened in Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series for J/70s two weekends ago, most competitors will be wondering if the theme of “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming” will repeat itself in the face of heightened competition.  Surely, the winner of both the Open and Corinthian Divisions, the Russian Andreï Malygin skippering MARIA, will be doubling down their efforts to stay atop the leaderboard.

And, the balance of the top five that included two YC Monaco crews (Loïc Pompée’s ALLO III and Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE), two Swiss crews (Florian Geissbuehler’s ATTAQUE and Laurane Mettraux’s CER APROTEC VILLE DE GENEVE), and the top Irish team (Marshall King’s SOAK RACING) will all battle hard to remain in the top five.  For more J/70 Primo Cup Trophee Credit-Suisse sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

LA SUPERBA Leads Italian J/24 Winter Series

Italian J/24s racing off Rome, ItalyAMERICAN PASSAGE Leading the Lozzi Trophy
(Anzio & Nettuno, Rome, Italy)- With two beautiful days of sailing with moderate breezes, the Roman J/24 fleet enjoyed great racing on the Gulf of Anzio southwest of Rome.  The fleet was sailing for the Lozzi Trophy on Saturday and the Anzio & Nettuno Winter Series on Sunday.

Shifty Saturday @ Lozzi Trophy
Saturday’s sailing was marked by partly cloudy skies, plenty of sun, and very shifty offshore winds for the ten-boat fleet.  Three races were completed by the end of the day. Victories went to ITA 458 ENJOY 2 sailed by Luca Silvestri, ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE skippered by Paolo Rinaldi and to ITA 36 FLETCHER LYN sailed by Stefano Renoglio.

As a result of Saturday’s racing, leading after six races in the overall Lozzi Trophy standings is AMERICAN PASSAGE with a 4-3-1-2-1-2 scoreline for 9 pts.  The balance of the top three overall includes ENJOY 2 in second with scores of 3-2-2-1-2-4 for 10 pts and, in third place, is FLETCHER LYNN with a tally of 2-5-3-5-5-1 for 16 pts.

J/24 sailing off Rome, ItalyPretty Sunday for Winter Series
The second day of sailing produced three more races for the twenty-one J/24s on the Gulf of Anzio.  The day started off spectacularly, but menacing black clouds loomed on the horizon as the fleet, again, sailed in easterly winds of 10-13 kts.

Winners on Sunday were determined by who completed the podium behind the domination of ITA 416 LA SUPERBA; their performance was unstoppable, posting three straight bullets! Skipper Ignazio Bonanno from the Italian Navy and his crew of Vincenzo Vano, Francesco Picaro, Alfredo Branciforte and Francesco Linares were delighted with the outcome, further lengthening their already insurmountable lead in the overall Winter Series- now counting 9 bullets!

In the first race, behind LA SUPERBA was ITA 428 PELLE ROSSA sailed by Gianni Riccobono and ITA 447 PELLE NERA helmed by Paolo Cecamore, second and third, respectively.  In the following race, it was AMERICAN PASSAGE and ENJOY 2 in 2nd and 3rd.

After ten races in the overall Winter Series, LA SUPERBA continues to lead by a substantial margin. However, the balance of the podium is currently tied between two boats at 43 pts each; ITA 385 J ARMED JUDGE (Riccardo Aleandri, Antimo Bruno, Fulvio Marchionni, Fabio Di Bartolomeo, Vito Esposito and Fabiana Onori) and Luca Silvestri’s ENJOY 2.

Sunday ended with the traditional pasta and wine party on the terrace of the Circolo Della Vela, a celebration greatly appreciated by all twenty-one teams!  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, February 8, 2019

M*SAILING TEAM Leads Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League

Russian J/70 Sailing League winners at Sochi (Sochi, Russia)- The 2019 Russian J/70 Winter Sailing League has been racing off Sochi, Russia (site of the 2014 Winter Olympics) with sailing taking place in the eastern parts of the Black Sea.  A huge summer resort, Sochi has continued to grow as a base for lots of winter activities in the mountains north of the city. A fleet of a dozen J/70s are based at the Sochi Sailing Center, managed by FGBU “Yug Sport”, so that the thirteen teams from across the far reaches of Russia can compete on the water and sail a lot of waters in a short amount of time. 

Russian J/70s sailing off Sochi NSL Winter Series III
Ten teams took part in the third event from January 12th to 13th. The fleet was not blessed with good weather conditions. In fact, it was downright miserable.  The yachtsmen were met with cold, torrential rain and just moderate winds.  On the first day of racing, all sailing was canceled after just two races due to a lack of breeze.  However, despite more rain on Sunday, there was more than enough breeze to hold up to six more races for each of the crews.

“The New Year threw us a monkey wrench,” joked the Chief Judge of the competition, Nikolai Yushkov. “But, in principle, everyone was happy. True, on the first day we barely managed to hold two races. Although it was pouring rain, the wind was only good for two races. But, it all worked out on the second day, when a very good wind was blowing- up to 30 knots in the bigger gusts! Well done to all the participants, they all coped with the challenges on Sunday. The only damages we could see may have been a few egos! There were no crashes, no protests, either.  Amazing! The teams sailed well, it was wet and wild for them!”

The third stage of the NSL series was the most difficult so far of the three events. A number of boats suffered some severe broaches, but survived to tell the tale; most importantly, with no ripped spinnakers. Others managed to “submarine” up to the mast in the steep, choppy waves off the Sochi waterfront!

The crew of the M*SAILNG Team XO saw a new crew member for the regatta- Mikhail Poslamovsky.  He took third place in the first stage of the series as part of the M*SAILING Team, but took on a new role for himself, this time as skipper. Despite the difficult weather conditions in which the regatta took place, he considered the experience a success; the results speak for themselves. In the last three races, his team had two 2nds a 3rd.

"I felt great, even comfortable! I would like to sail another couple of races in order to improve my result," said Poslamovsky. “Our team has already improved, we feel that we are ready to go further. Compared to other big boats, the J/70 seems much better, much more comfortable. It is more maneuverable, it accelerates faster. It is much more interesting to race the J/70 than other racing yachts! In general, there is no comparison! We plan to continue to race in the Winter Series, then hopefully go to the Premier Division and win!”

The winner of the stage was again the “leading” crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team. This was not surprising, considering their record of three 1st, three 2nds, and one 3rd for a total of only 12 pts in 7 races! According to the team members, their performance was a result of constant training.

Russian J/70s sailing off Sochi in league regatta“Before this stage, Andrei Malygin and I worked out here on the Laser,” said Alexey Borisov, the Captain/ Coach of the M*SAILNG Team. “We had a training program, we worked hard. And, we wanted to learn more about the winds in Sochi.  Andrei has a good understanding of the wind, an understanding of how the boat goes and everything else. At the present stage, I have him focusing only on tactics, not just boat speed. The training we did gave us a lot experience. And, of course, for this regatta, we do not exclude an element of luck; it is always present in sailing. We are lucky again. We plan to continue to increase the pace; it is good to complete the NSL Winter Series and the J/70 Winter Series in Monaco. In general, we have ambitious plans. We want to work harder, we strive to win, and I think everything will work out.”

Second place in the January regatta went to the crew of WILD DIVISION, skippered by Alexander Bozhko, representing the Chechen Republic. The team, which debuted in the series at the last stage and took second place, again lost only to the winners of the regatta. This time, the crew was strengthened by the President of the Chechen Sailing Federation- Hasan Khadzhiev.

“This was not our first time on the J/70.  Both myself and crew have trained on them.  However, this was our first time in such crazy, cold, rainy, windy conditions,” said Khadzhiev. Laughing, he said, “I promised my crew sun and fun in Sochi and a nice warm beach with beautiful women! But, it turned out the opposite- cold, rain and no sand, no women anywhere! Hahaha. In general, it was a test of myself and the crew. We did a good job on the coordination of our team for our upcoming regattas in the National Sailing League.”

Khadzhiev continued to explain, “the Federation of Sailing Sports of the Chechen Republic has only existed since December 2016.  Since that time, we have not just entered sailing, we have burst onto it! We have won prizes in both Russian and international competitions.  When they announced our team for this Russian J/70 National Sailing League as "the team of the Chechen Republic", people no longer have a panic in their eyes! Instead, they say, it’s amazing they came here to sail, and they look at us as genuine rivals on the race course! Of course, none of this would happen without the support of the President of our Chechen Republic- Ramzan Kadyrov. He has drawn attention to our sport, is promoting it in our republic, and helped us develop the sailing program. Now, our main task is to pay attention to sailing within the republic itself. Until we have children on the water, until we have our own sailing school, it’s difficult to talk about the future of the sailing federation. Nevertheless, we will grow sailing for everyone!”

The bronze medals were won by the crew of THREE 2 Sailing Team, skippered by Alexandra Peterson. Their team won the first stage of the NSL Winter Series, but unfortunately, missed the second. However, another successful performance in Sochi gives them a good chance to fight for the overall victory in the series.

Russian J/70 sailing off Sochi setting spinnakerNSL Winter Series IV
The fourth stage of the Russian J/70 Winter Series was, again, sailed in Sochi and hosted by FGBU “Yug Sport”.  Thirteen teams attended the event.

For the first time in four stages, the crews did not have to freeze and soak in the rain. Optimism abounded across the fleet as a great breeze filled in for the first day of racing on Saturday. The sailing was so good, the organizers managed to hold eight races. The participants of the Winter Series also pinned great hopes on Sunday, but the weather again brought a surprise.

“On the second day, we decided to start the race earlier,” said Nikolai Yushkov, the main judge of the competition. “However, the start had to be postponed from 1030 hrs to almost 1200 hrs.  The morning wind died.  Then it went into a 360 and it was very, very difficult to catch at least some stretch of wind so that you could carry out a race. As a result, we miraculously managed to hold four races, and the fifth had to be canceled because it shifted and died again.”

In the fourth stage, the struggle for victory in the series reached a new level. Many teams decided to strengthen their line-ups and trained with special diligence- everyone wanted to beat the crew from Rostov-on-Don, the M*SAILING Team that was in the lead after three stages. And, the efforts actually bore fruit for some team. For example, the East-West team, which was eighth in the last regatta, dramatically improved its position this time, taking fifth place.

“For us, this was actually a great result,” commented Andrei Zuev of the EAST-WEST team. “To bypass such pre-eminent and famous teams- it's great! It was possible to achieve success through training with an experienced and famous yachtsman- Konstantin Besputin. Before, we did a lot of things a little bit wrong. Kostya made fine-tuning a focus of our team. And, the results were fantastic. We got two 1sts in eight races- for us it's just super! We will definitely improve further, train further. We hope that in the final we will not look bad.”

Changes occurred in the crew of MATRYOSHKA. For the first time, Leonid Tarasov acted as a helmsman. And, the team immediately took seventh place- beating many experienced teams.

Russian J/70s sailing downwind under spinnaker“Wonderful training programs helped us,” said Leonid Tarasov. “But, of course, we still have to learn a lot more. The first time we race, we tanked and it sucked for us. Now, we were absolutely delighted with our improvements. The steering is cool. Of course, I want to continue skippering and learning how to go faster. It is good if we manage to keep the lineup that we had here, along with our coaches- Musikhin and Yuri Popov. I feel comfortable with them, they seem to be happy with me, too. The result is, of course, from a lot of hard work. And, I understand that I will try to improve our performance, somehow. Everything was very calm. Once there was a false start, but that race was canceled!  Thank goodness. And so, for us, a wonderful stage! We loved Sochi- cool weather, much better than all three previous stages. We will participate in the following regattas and develop!”

To develop and train is what both Rostov crews are set up for. And the plans and ambitions of Rostovites are very serious; already they plan to take part in the Premier Division of the National Sailing League and win. The fact that these are not just words, but a specific task is indicated by the serious progress of the teams in the NSL Winter Series. The debutante of the last stage- the crew of the M*SAILING XO Team- has already managed to bypass ten strong teams in their second event to take the third place.

“We trained a lot and prepared for this stage. And, most importantly, we were mentally/ psychologically tuned,” said Mikhail Poslamovsky, the helmsman of M*SAILING XO.  “It was mentally difficult, it is very hard to sail calmly and focused when rivals are near you, for me at least. I want to do more driving, to learn how to go fast, stay calm, and get ahead. But, in general, everything was very positive. I treat this as a workout, adjusting myself so as not to get upset. Well, it turns out to be happy sometimes. My team is on fire. We will further develop, train and achieve results. To more victories!"

Russian J/70 sailing upwindThe silver medals of the stage were won by the crew of BATTLESHIP I with Vladimir Lyubomirov on the steering wheel. Their tally of five 2nds and three 3rds was by far the most consistent of any team in the regatta.  Only a disastrous Race 7 where they posted a 7th ruined their chances for the overall regatta win.

Winning only two races, but keeping very steady top three race results, were the ultimate winners for the third regatta in row- the M*SAILING Team from Rostov-on-Don.

“Probably, it is lady luck or dumb luck, that we manage to win everything,” commented skipper Andrei Malygin, laughing at himself. “We try to stay out of trouble and, hopefully, we try to win further. The next stage of the Winter Series will be missed because we are going to the J/70 races in Monaco- to participate in the famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse. In Sochi, there will be only one of our crew - M*SAILING Team XO.”

The absence of a three-time winner of the NSL Winter Series stages at the next regatta will give opponents a chance to close the gap on the leaders.  Sailing photo credits- Elena Razin  Russian J/70 Sailing League information   Follow Russian J/70 Class here on Facebook   Follow Russian Yachting Federation here on Facebook   Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

J/Models For Awards, Home/ Office!

(Annapolis, MD)- For years, the Abordage.com family has produced amazing half-hull and full-hull models of J/Boats down in the Dominican Republic for J/enthusiasts around the world.

Despite several extraordinarily destructive Caribbean hurricanes, the family-owned business has endured, and they continue to maintain their amazing high-levels of craftsmanship.

Abordage.com clients include America’s Cup sponsors like ORACLE and dozens of J/Boat owners everywhere around the world.  Here are a few recent examples for J/owners and J/regattas.
J/Boats custom models
For more information, please contact Denis Cartier at Email- abordage@abordage.com / Tel: +1-809-528-1992 ext: 503 / Web: http://www.abordage.com Add to Flipboard Magazine.