Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Arendals Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League- Act III

Moss Seilforening Leads Overall Series
(Larvik, Norway)- The first division of the Norwegian Sailing League sailed their third act at the picturesque seaside town of Larvik, at the base of one of Norway’s many gorgeous fjords.  After sailing just eleven races, is was the Arendals SF that easily won by virtue of winning 8 of their 11 races.

J/70 Norwegian Sailing League winnersIn behind them, a lot was at stake for the overall series lead between Moss SF and KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening).  Both teams started the regatta in 1st and 2nd place for the series and both desperately wanted to defend their positions heading into the crucial final series being sailed at Moss on September 8th to 9th.  Moss managed to sail well and took 2nd in the Larvik event. Meanwhile, KNS had a disastrous time sailing in Larvik, virtually finishing last, taking a 13th place.

As a result of the weekend’s final standings, Moss SF continues to lead the overall series with a 1st in Oslo, 1st in Sandefjord, and a 2nd in Larvik for 4 pts total.  Jumping into second place for the series is Asgardstrand SF with a 6-3-4 record in the three venues for 13 pt total.  Dropping fast like a rock in the standings was KNS, now sitting with a series scoreline of 2-2-13 for 17 pts total.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SAVASANA Crowned Corinthian J/70 Champion

J/70s sailing Corinthian Nationals (South Dartmouth, MA)- New Bedford Yacht Club is hosting the 45th edition of the late summer classic, the quintessential “Buzzards Bay Regatta.”  As part of that program, they also hosted the second Corinthian J/70 USA National Championship. The fleet of 30 teams was treated to a wide variety of weather conditions over the three-day regatta.  On the first day, it was somewhat classic Buzzards Bay conditions, light winds building up to 9-13 kt winds with heavy chop, particularly on starboard tack.  Then, on Saturday, a front was scheduled to pass through with heavy showers, thunderstorms and winds gusting to 35 kts.  Fortunately, as the front hit the Atlantic Ocean, it fizzled out and the J/70s saw more southeasterly breezes with winds in the 8-12 kt range and for a brief period of time, gusts up to 20 kts.  Sunday dawned J/70s sailing Corinthian Nationalswith a gorgeous sunrise and the wind blowing 15-20 kts from the Northwest; racing commence under clear sunny skies and the teams enjoyed very shifty, streaky winds.

Excelling in the broad spectrum of weather conditions was the local hotshot, Brian Keane and his SAVASANA team from Marion, MA, winning the regatta by just two points.  Taking 2nd was Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE, sailing with the two “Stu’s”- Johnstone and Saffer.  Third place went to Glenn Darden’s HOSS with Reese Hillard as rock-star bow dude and man about town.  Fourth went to Ray and Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY and fifth place was Hannah Swett’s all-women crew on SPARKLE.
For more Corinthian J/70 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Glorious, Stormy Cowes Race Week

J/112E sailing Cowes Week (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Yet again, the Cowes Combined Clubs had another amazing, diverse week of sailing during their famous LENDY Cowes Week Regatta, sailed from July 29th to August 5th on the Solent- famous for crazy currents and often very shifty breezes.  Overall, J/Crews had a great time sailing in light airs to more than epic, “fresh to frightening” conditions all week.  Here is how it all went down for the intrepid J/sailors on the Solent.

Day 1- Shifty winds
The opening day of Lendy Cowes Week dawned with bright sunny spells and a westerly breeze of around 10-15 knots. However, a weather front that gave rain to most of southern England moved across the race area at lunchtime, depressing the wind strength. The result was intensely tactical racing with persistence, along with good – and occasionally brave – decisions needed to achieve top results.

J/111 sailing Cowes WeekBy the time of the first start, for the 31-strong J/70 class, the breeze close inshore under the Royal Yacht Squadron had reduced to 10 knots. With a strong east-going stream running, the most aggressive starters held up as close to the line as possible before the gun. A pair of the Royal Thames YC’s boats started on port tack in the better tide close inshore and initially led the fleet away from the line, despite having less wind than the boats further offshore.

However, they soon fell into a wind hole and four minutes into the race crossed tacks a few lengths astern of a group of three boats – Ali Hall’s SCEPTRE, Vilija Velyvyte, Sophie Sheldon and Will Jackson’s AURORA, and Guy Stephen’s BABY J – as the fleet made their way towards their first mark. Hall took the winner’s gun in a tight race that saw the first three boats cross the line 16 seconds apart. Nick Phillip’s CHAOTIC took second place and Paul Childs’ F’in MAGIC 2 third.

The class’s second race of the day was over a windward/leeward course, starting from a committee boat stationed near Hill Head on the north shore of the Solent. This was won by a clear margin by Swiss entry Lorenz Mueller’s YCB Team ahead of John Greenland’s JUMBO and F’in MAGIC 2.

After the first two races in their eight-race mini series that’s taking place over the first four days of the regatta, YCB Team is leading the fleet with a score of five points.

“Although I have sailed at Cowes Week many times before, this is the first time in the J/70,” said Mueller. “We qualified within the Swiss sailing league to compete here and the team’s very happy with our performance. Today’s win was all about playing the shifts – I think we tacked on every shift, and it seemed to pay. We’re really enjoying our time here and are looking forward to the next two races tomorrow.”

J/111s planing downwind off Cowes, EnglandDay 2- Wild, blustery, sunny!
Competitors enjoyed a bright and sunny day with challenging, but exhilarating, racing in a gusty west south-westerly wind in which the gusts topped 25 knots. Many of the larger Black Group yachts finishing on the Royal Yacht Squadron line experienced multiple broaches and spinnaker wraps, much to the delight of the throngs of spectators lining the shore.

The blustery conditions also took their toll of boats across the fleet, with most classes seeing multiple retirements, with reasons including rig damage, groundings and collisions.

Most of the White Group dayboats, starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line, had to contend with a strong adverse tide. In the J/80 class Chris Body’s MOCKINGJAY and yesterday’s winner, Jon Powell’s BETTY, were closest to the line at the start, with Powell having the benefit of being in weaker tide close inshore. He quickly sealed this advantage with a neatly executed early tack onto port in a favorable wind shift, with Barney Dykes’ JANE following suit just behind.

For the first couple of minutes of their first half-mile long windward leg to Kingston Marine Services buoy these two boats looked as though they were extending away from the bulk of the fleet further offshore. However, JANE stayed on the offshore tack for too long, standing out into the stronger stream offshore and handing second place at this stage back to MOCKINGJAY. BETTY finished unusually far down the fleet, leaving MOCKINGJAY to take first place exactly five minutes ahead of Terence O’Neill’s AQUA J. Felix Trattner’s UKSA 3 took third place.

J/109 sailing Cowes WeekBy the time of the IRC Class 1 start at 1030 the wind was already gusting above 20 knots at it wasn’t long before the gusts in the central Solent were topping 25 knots. The fleet was more spread out along the line than the earlier classes, with boats jockeying more for clear air than a specific end of the line. Marco van Driel’s Dutch J/111 SWEENY attempted to cross the fleet on port tack, but failed and had to tack under a group of second-row starters.

The preference in this fleet was for earlier tacks towards the north shore than the two faster classes that started earlier. It was not long before the fleet was short tacking in the shallow water to the east of Lepe Spit.

By the time of their finish, just before 1430, the wind had backed further into the southwest and moderated slightly, with the maximum gusts down to 22-23 knots. Nevertheless, the light displacement asymmetric yachts reveled in the conditions, planing at speeds well into double digits as they sped to the finish.

The top boats enjoyed a close, planing-mode finish, including Tony Mack’s J/111 McFLY that took third on corrected time.

J/80s sailing Cowes WeekDay 3- Sun, Wind, Perfection
The Solent magically delivered yet more racing in blazing sun and a perfect southwesterly breeze of 12-16 knots that gradually built to a peak of 20 knots by the end of the afternoon. It was a day of intensely close racing for many competitors, with numerous podium places decided by only a handful of seconds after more than three hours of racing.

It was also the Cowes Week “Charity Day”, supporting the Andrew Simpson Foundation. Inspired by Bart’s Bash, the annual international day of racing for which an overall winner is calculated

Day 4- Gorgeous, classic conditions
A ridge of high pressure over the English Channel brought more bright and sunny weather, with a classic southwesterly breeze, to day four.  The first start was for the big yachts in the Sevenstar Triple Crown fleet that are competing some of event’s biggest trophies, including the historic gold Queen’s Cup.

J/70 sailing Cowes WeekIRC Class 2 also had a clean start, with Nick Southward and John Scott’s J/122 Team WHISKEY JACK making a perfectly timed start, hitting the southern end of the Bramble line at speed.

IRC Class 3 also had a clean start. However, the pin end of the line was favored in terms of tide, as boats starting there would emerge more quickly into the strongest favorable tide. Chris Ivill’s new J/112E DAVANTI TYRES took 2nd place, losing by a margin of just four seconds!

This day also marked the end of the eight-race mini-series for the J/70 class that had been taking place for the first four days of the regatta. Subject to protest, Paul Childs’ F’in MAGIC 2 was winner of the J/70 series, on 16 points. Ali Hall’s SCEPTRE was second on 24 points, just ahead of Jack Davies’ YETI, on 24.5 points.

J/70s sailing off Cowes, EnglanDay 5- Windy, blustery, epic day!
There was a lot of fast and furious action on the Solent, with winds hitting 25+ kts again. “On the way out to the start it looked like the Apocalypse was coming, and with a short course, there were a lot of corners coming up really fast,”

In IRC Class 5, Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE was sitting in 2nd place and was hoping to catch the leader. In turn, he had a 3.5 point cushion on another J/97, Bob and John Baker’s JAYWALKER in third overall.

As it turned out, Mike Sellers and Chris Miles’ J/97 JET got a third for the day. A closely fought match for fourth place saw four boats separated by only 50 seconds. They were led by another J/97, James and John Owen’s JET, while INDULJENCE suffered her worst result so far in sixth place.

Youth Day
Lendy Cowes Week actively supports and encourages the next generation of sailors, as do many of the classes that actively encourage, support and coach young sailors, including J/70s and J/80s. The fifth day also marked the regatta’s Youth Day, which highlights the success of the many young sailors at the event.

This year there are 29 teams in which the entire crew is under 25. In the rankings for the Under 25 trophy, last year’s winner, Jack Davies’ J/70 YETI took fourth place.

J/70s sailing upwind off CowesDay 6- Squally day
The Solent delivered big winds to the big boats at their start. A shower, with gusts close to 35 knots, blasted across the start area at the warning signal for the race, creating a bit of chaos, to say the least.

As a result, conditions were declared too severe for the other classes to race, so the day’s racing was canceled.

Day 7- Sunny shorts and shades!
Day Seven dawned sunny and bright and in 10-15 kt winds, the fleet enjoyed a classic gorgeous Solent day on the water.

Day 8- Squally Saturday
The final day dawned bright and sunny, with a west northwesterly breeze of 7-10 knots. All starts took place from the Royal Yacht Squadron’s inner line, with an accelerated starting sequence for the reduced number of entries in Black Group, which finished their points series yesterday.

J/70s sailing off CowesThe forecast included a low risk of the showers that were predicted further north on the mainland also affecting the race area. The cloud built over the mainland shore during the morning, as predicted, but by the time of the first start at 1215 hrs a powerful squall line could also be seen working its way up the western Solent.

The postponement signal went up at 1218 for the remaining three starts, with the starting area now pummeled with driving rain and gusts above 25 knots. Many of the dayboats preparing for their starts scurried back into the shelter of the River Medina, while one of the big Cowes Harbormaster’s RIBs was towing in a stricken cruising yacht.

J/122E sailing Cowes WeekWith the rain blowing horizontally through the RYS starting platform, any race officials that could be spared scurried off to shelter, leaving a skeleton crew at the leeward end of the shelter. The lone figure of Cowes Radio’s Simon Vigar was left facing the onslaught, while valiantly continuing to broadcast from the weather end of the platform.

The sun was back 10 minutes later and the postponement signal came down at 1229. A stream of boats headed back to Cowes having retired, some with no visible damage, but others with headsails in tatters, plus a Redwing with a broken mast that was towed back by a RIB from the RYS.

The winner of the J/88 class was clearly David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM, winning five of the six races sailed.  Taking second was Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT and fourth was SABRIEL JR.

In the J/70 class, a win for Jack Davies’ YETI, by just one second over Robbie King’s THE JANITOR cemented Davies’ overall win for the week.  They finished ahead of Lorenz Mueller’s Swiss YCB-Team and Paul Childs’ F’in MAJIC 2.

J/80s sailing off Cowes, EnglandJon Powell’s BETTY finished the week on just six points in the J/80 class, winning the series three points ahead of Chris Body’s MOCKINGJAY. Terence O’Neill’s AQUA J was a further 10 points further back in third overall.

In IRC Class 1, Mack’s J/111 McFLY took third, followed by Martin Dent’s J/111 JELVIS in 5th.  That same finish order applied to the J/111 class- McFLY 1st, JELVIS 2nd and SWEENY third.

In IRC 3 Class, the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES ended up in 4th place in a closely fought series. In the IRC 5 Class, the two J/97’s finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, INDULJENCE & JAYWALKER.  Taking 5th was the Greenough family’s J/92 J’RONIMO and sixth place went to another J/97- HIGH JINKS.  For the J/97 Class, the placings were the same for 1-2-3.

The huge eighteen boat J/109 class saw a command performance by JACK RABBIT, scoring three 1sts and two 2nds on their way to an 11-point margin of victory.  After posting a 1-3 in the final two races, DIAMOND JEM took over second place.  Then, JUKEBOX continued to sail consistently to take third overall.  For more LENDY Cowes Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Verve Cup Offshore Regatta Preview

J/105s sailing Verve Cup Chicago (Chicago, IL)- On Friday through Sunday, August 11 to 13, the Chicago YC will host the 25th annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta. This event will feature three days of offshore buoy racing and a separate one-day distance race. Annually, this event hosts over 100 yachts ranging in size from 25-70 feet, and carry crews from 4-20 racers. During this regatta, the Chicago Yacht Club looks forward to welcoming more than 2,000 racers, family members and friends to its award-winning lakefront Monroe Station Clubhouse.

For this three-day regatta, boats will sail either in a handicap section or in a one-design section. Brag flags and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each section. The winner in what is determined to be the most competitive section by formula will be awarded the perpetual Verve Cup Trophy. The Verve Cup trophy dates back to 1893 and is the Chicago Yacht Club’s oldest trophy.

Likewise, for the Saturday, August 12, 2017, Distance Race, brag flags and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in each of the four handicap sections and the first place winner in the fleet determined by handicap will be awarded the 8 Mile Buoy Trophy.

The Verve Cup Distance Race Awards will be given out during the Saturday Sundowner Party, and the three day Verve Cup Regatta Awards, including the Verve Cup Overall winner, will be given out during the Sunday Awards Party.

Thirty of the ninety-five boats racing (about 33% of the fleet) are J/crews.  Four one-design classes are sailing- J/88s, J/105s, J109s, and J/111s.

The J/88 class has been enjoying close competition all year, including the recent Chicago to Mackinac Race.  Sailing in the regatta are Andy Graff’s EXILE, Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER, and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG.

The J/105s have most of their top Chicago area crews participating, such as Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, and Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS.

The seven-boat J/109 class has the Chicago to Mackinac Race winner sailing- Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO.  He will be up against strong around-the-cans teams, such as Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, Jim Mitchell & Bruce Danly’s TOA (the Overall ORR Chicago Mackinac Race winner), and Jack Toliver’s VANDA III (also a past Chicago Mackinac Race winner)!  Tough fleet!

Finally, the J/111s will have all of their top teams racing, past Mackinac Race winners, Verve Cup winners, Chicago NOOD winners and so forth.  The racing promises to be fast and fun!  Several teams have the potential to be at the top of the leaderboard, like the trio on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, & Mike Mayer), Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi’s MOMENTUS, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER and Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK.

The sole J carrying the flag in the ORR Division is Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY. For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg Preview

J/70s sailing St Petersburg, Russia (St Petersburg, Russia)- From a field of more than 200 sailing clubs all over Europe, 50 clubs from 13 different countries have qualified for the SAILING Champions League (SCL) 2017. The top clubs will sail in two events (Act 1 – St. Petersburg and Act 2 – St. Moritz) going for the much sought-after start places in the final in Port Cervo. The regattas are fleet racing competitions, sailed in eight boats, all of the one-design J/70 class. Today Act 1 starts in St. Petersburg.

Sailing Champions League21 of the qualified clubs from all over Europe will be attending this weekend (11 – 13 August) at the hosting club, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. The top clubs will compete in the final, sailed in the very center of St. Petersburg, right in front of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Among the participants are teams such as the Cape Crow Yacht Club (Swedish Champions 2016), Frederikshavn Sejklub (Danish Champions 2016) and Lord of the Sail– Europe (Russian Champions 2016). Some top sailors will be there, including Johannes Polgar, competitor at the 2008 Olympics in Xingdao, who is representing one of the two German teams (Norddeutscher Regatta Verein). Short races in identical J/70’s over a standard course are sure to provide the tightest competition and plenty of excitement for spectators.

As a technology partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP is providing professional livestream coverage with expert commentary. On Saturday and Sunday, the races will be shown live on the Internet from 12:00 local time (12:00 GMT+3) onwards: www.sailing-championsleague.com. International sports reporters and sailing pros will comment live on the races, using SAP’s Sailtracks tracking technology, graphics and analytics to make the racing easily accessible to everyone, sailors and general viewers alike. All results are available at www.sapsailing.com.

J/70s sailing St Petersburg, RussiaThe primary regatta sponsor is Gazprom- a global energy company focused on geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and sales of gas, gas condensate and oil, sales of gas as a vehicle fuel, as well as production and marketing of heat and electric power.

Being a socially responsible company Gazprom is supporting Russian sports at all levels. As a general partner of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club since 2013, Gazprom devotes much attention towards the development of sailing in the Northern Capital and Russia at large. Supporting different local and international events, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Gazprom aim at establishing St. Petersburg among the top sailing cities of Europe.

From 2017, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Gazprom together with its subsidiary, Nord Stream company, become partners of the National Sailing Leagues of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany as well as of Act 1 of the European SAILING Champions League in St. Petersburg in August. Sailing video teaser- by Gazprom for SAILING Champions League  For more SAILING Champions League regatta information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

SAILING Champions League- St Moritz Preview

J/70s sailing league- St Mortiz, Switzerland(St Moritz, Switzerland)- From September 1st to 3rd, the leading sailing clubs in Europe from sixteen countries will compete on the Lake of St. Moritz to qualify for the SAILING Champions League final in Porto Cervo on September 22nd to 24th at YC Costa Smeralda.  The host will be the famous Segel-Club St. Moritz.

Some places on earth are simply unlike anywhere else. The mere mention of their name is strangely compelling and brings to mind all manner of stunning imagery. St. Moritz is one such place. And, that’s not just because this is where James Bond dashed down the ski slopes in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” For it was here, 1,856 metres above sea level, in the heart of the spectacular Upper Engadin lakes district, that the notion of winter holidays and present-day winter sports were born, and where Olympic Winter Games were held on two occasions. The first electric light, the first skiing school, and Switzerland’s first electric tram are among the pioneering feats in St. Moritz’s long list of achievements. And yet, St. Moritz originally rose to prominence due its mineral springs, which have been attracting visitors for more than 3,000 years, and lay the foundation for its spa tradition, and interest in water sports- like sailing!

Today, St. Moritz is the number one alpine holiday destination. The sun-kissed Alpine metropolis on the south-facing flank of the Alps boasts an airport, the Engadin Airport, and it is the terminus of both the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express– two names that stand for quintessential classic train travelling. When UNESCO bestowed the accolade of “World Heritage Site” on the Rhaetian Railway’s Albula and Bernina train lines in 2008, St. Moritz became the only destination in the world to unite both the Olympic Games and the UNESCO labels.

J/70s sailing St Moritz, SwitzerlandThe “Via Serlas” is to St. Moritz what the “Rodeo Drive” is to Los Angeles. Just a bit more condensed. High-end art galleries round off the exclusive shopping opportunities in the town center. The Segantini Museum is internationally renown, and the St. Moritz Casino caters for entertainment late into the night. Those inclined to be sporty will be thrilled by the Olympic Bobsled Run St. Moritz–Celerina and the Cresta Run, two legendary bobsled and skeleton institutions. Other legendary Lake St. Moritz winter events include the “White Turf horse races” and the “Snow Polo World Cup”. They have long become the extravagant social highlights in St. Moritz’s remarkable calendar of events that so far counted five Alpine World Ski Championships.  And now, a new one- the SAILING Champions League high in the Swiss Alps!

The SAILING Champions League continues its success. Apart from St. Petersburg and Porto Cervo, this year St. Moritz is part of the qualifiers for the ultimate SAILING Champions League finale in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy on September 22nd to 24th.

St Moritz- top of the world sailing!The best European sailing clubs will be demonstrating their skills at this exceptional sailing rendezvous in St. Moritz. The lake is only 600 metres wide, so fast-turning maneuvers with excellent tactics and perfect boat-handling are indispensable. As in many international sailing league events, the teams will be sailing International J/70 class sailboats. Over three days, sailing will take place at an altitude of 1,768 metres above sea level (about 5,700 ft or over 1.0 statue mile). Welcome to Europe’s highest altitude regatta in St. Moritz- simply “ON TOP OF THE WORLD!”  For Americans, do note that Lake Dillon’s regattas in Colorado are a touch higher- at 9,017 feet above sea-level (2,802 metres), but not J/70s— yet!

Enjoying the cool atmosphere on St. Moritz’s lake will be a fleet of twelve J/70s with two dozen teams from across Europe.  This event is part of two qualifiers for the SAILING Champions League Finale that takes place rom September 22nd to 24th in Porto Cervo, Italy at the YC Costa Smeralda on the island of Sardinia.  The other qualifier takes place from August 11th to 13th at St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Russia.  For more SAILING CHAMPIONS League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

U.S. J/70 Youth Championship Preview

J/70 Youth Championship- Newport, RI
(Newport, RI)- The inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship will be taking place this weekend from August 10th to 13th, hosted by the amazing team at SAIL NEWPORT at their extraordinary Fort Adams Sailing Facility in Newport, RI.

Nine teams are participating from across the country, including teams from California to Maine, and from northern Michigan down to southern Florida.  The teams qualified by sailing in major regattas across the country, including many of Sailing World’s famous NOOD Regattas- San Diego, Annapolis, Chicago, and Marblehead.  What was notable about many of the youth teams were their remarkable performances against some of the top J/70 teams across America, many finishing in the top half of large “open” J/70 events that included some of the world’s top professional sailors in the J/70 class (many of them Olympic Medallists and World Champions in various classes).

The teams qualified for their sailing clubs in the hopes of winning one of the most unique prizes in the world of sailing- FREE use of a J/70 for your sailing club for an entire twelve (12) months!  FREE to use for the youth keelboat program, for members to race in J/70 events, to introduce women sailors to the easy-to-sail J/70, and so forth- in other words, the only limitation for using the J/70 is your imagination!

From the West Coast, the sole representative is the Santa Barbara YC from Santa Barbara, CA.  From the Midwest is the Little Traverse YC from Harbor Springs, MI.  There are two teams from Florida, the St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL and the Coral Reef YC from Miami, FL.  From the Chesapeake Bay are two teams, the Annapolis YC from Annapolis, MD and the Severn Sailing Association from Eastport, MD. Finally, from the northeast are three more teams, Eastern YC from Marblehead, MA, MudRatz Sailing Club from Stonington, CT, and Sail Newport from Newport, RI.

The teams are looking forward to a short-course, college-style racing format- “stadium sailing” at its best right off Newport Harbor, between Goat Island and Rose Island just south of Newport Bridge.  On-shore at Goat Island is an enormous, New England-style, open-air pavilion to watch the racing taking place in front on Narragansett Bay.  Up to 27 races are planned for the nine teams, so it will be “thrill-a-minute” racing, each one taking just 15-20 minutes each.

On Thursday, Tim Healy and Will Welles from North Sails provided an on-the-water clinic for the J/70 Youth teams.  It was time well-spent for many, as the youth teams grilled both Tim and Will (each J/24 World Champions and Tim the first J/70 World Champion) about nuances in boat-handling and trimming.

The weather forecast is promising, with mostly southerly winds, sunny skies, and between 8-15 kt winds each day!  The Sail Newport PRO will be Kevin Dooley, the Offshore Racing Coach for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  Kevin is the principal PRO for all major USCGA events- like the famous Danmark Trophy, all J/70 events on the river, all team racing events (where 60+ races a weekend are not uncommon), and all offshore events for the big boats.

This event can only happen with the help of some amazing people and sponsors.  For starters, “thanks” to Bob Johnstone’s MJM Yachts for providing the winning prize- the J/70 for FREE use by a sailing club for 12 months.  If some sailors might recall, Bob J. was responsible for starting the first U.S. Youth Championships in Wilmette, IL back in 1973 in both 470s and Lasers.  Many of the world’s top sailors today were participants in those first three years in Wilmette- including Augie Diaz, Carl Buchan, and Peter Commette.  In addition, Peter and Olaf Harken from HARKEN in Pewaukee, WI are significant contributors to the “youth movement”, promoting their “Blockheads” sailing program for youth teams.  North Sails is providing sails for the event, thanks to past 5x J/24 World Champion Ken Read, President of North Sails and Tim Healy, Chief of the One-Design Division.  Ed & Becky Furry’s SAIL22 is providing regatta support as well as their J/70 as one of the provided boats for the regatta.  Ben Klatzka’s PREMIERE SAILING LEAGUE is a supporter and has promoted J/70 sailing league programs in the USA, including Grosse Pointe YC’s “stadium sailing” events in 2017.  For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information

Friday, August 11, 2017

J/FEST New England Regatta Preview

J/105s sailing J/Fest (Newport, RI)- The 2nd annual J/Fest New England Regatta is taking place in the waters of southern Narragansett Bay; the entire SAIL NEWPORT organization is turning out in full force to support this years event in Newport, RI!  Following in the footsteps of the fun-loving event held last year in the northern bay by Bristol YC, in partnership with Barrington YC, local J/sailors are looking forward to another fun event on the Bay!

With Newport now enjoying a “real summer”, hot days/ cool nights, and great sea breezes, J/Sailors have responded in droves, with 55 boats participating! On Friday is the celebratory J/24 40th Anniversary Round Island Race with twenty-one entries!  Then, on Saturday and Sunday there are the combined one-design classes for J/22s, J/24s, J/30s, J/105s, J/70s, J/109s, and PHRF handicap racing.

In the J/22 class, a half-dozen boats are registered with some hot talent on the line; like Peter Levesque’s DUSTY from Bristol, RI and Cory Sertl’s WHARF RAT from Conanicut YC in Jamestown, RI.

After celebrating their 40th Anniversary Around Jamestown Island Race, the J/24s will be looking forward to good around-the-cans racing. Top crews include Steve Kirkpatrick’s BUCKSHOT, Tim Corbett’s ESKIMO SISTERS, Ken Porter’s crew from Valle de Bravo, Mexico on MONSTER FISH, Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM, Steve Wood’s TASMANIAN DEVIL, and Dave Coppe & Jeff Johnstone’s USA 5283.

The small fleet of J/30s includes Chris Tate’s BLITZ, John Howell’s GOOD NEWS and Jim Hilton’s KAOS.  Sailing J/70s includes current World Champion Joel Ronning from Wayzata, MN, Rachel Bryler’s JUNKANOO, and Chris Murray’s LUCKY.

The fleet of J/105s includes the Buzzards Bay J/105 Champion, Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE from St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA and Fred Darlington’s TONTO from East Greenwich YC.

The J/109s have a good fleet of nine boats, including Jon Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON from Montclair, NJ; Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING from New Bedford, MA; Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY from Larchmont, NY; Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE from Newport, RI; and Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA from Mattapoisett, MA.

In the PHRF world, the J-Asym class includes Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY, Bill & Shannon Lockwood’s J/80 SHENANIGANS, EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT, and Peter Colby’s J/92S STING.  In the J-Sym class is Steve Lipman’s J/37C DUCK SOUP.  For more J/Fest New England sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

VINEYARD VINES Wins Marblehead NOOD Overall!

J/70 Vineyard Vines winners J/105 MERLIN Wins Boat of the Day!
(Marblehead, MA)- After the final day of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta at Marblehead Race Week today, J/70 class winners John and Molly Baxter on VINEYARD VINES took home the overall prize. In addition to new gear from Helly Hansen, the VINEYARD VINES crew (ironically) earned a berth in the final NOOD championship regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands Oct. 22-29.

The Riverside, Conn.-based couple is fairly new to J/70s, having owned their boat for less than two years. They decided to compete in the Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD to train for the class world championship, which will be held in Marblehead in 2018 and which they officially qualified for by winning this event.

“We wanted to check out the spot, and we heard there were a lot of good teams out here,” John Baxter said. “It was fun. We definitely got the lay of the land.”

The Baxter’s, along with crew members Jake LaDow and Luke Lawrence, held strong at the top of the fleet from the very beginning, winning two of three races on the first day. From there, it was all about consistency, good starts and conservative sailing, according to John Baxter.

J/70 Vineyard Vines sailing Marblehead NOODWhile Baxter said the team’s biggest takeaway was figuring out how to balance the boat going upwind, Lawrence, the tactician, went on to say that the team is making huge strides in their training program for the Worlds in Marblehead.

“There’s a big checklist to make sure that you’re set up to be able to go out there and have a shot,” Lawrence said. “To come here to a venue like this early on and to excel against a majority of our good competition in the USA, I mean – it’s nice. But along with everything that comes with that, we’ve learned ten-fold how to come in to the next event.”

Looking ahead, the crew plans to return to Marblehead next summer leading into the World Championship after training their way down to Florida and back.

Regatta organizers determine the overall winner based on the strongest individual finish in the most competitive class. The J/70 fleet was the largest of the weekend and completed seven races in three days.

J/70 Marblehead Junior crewAlso in the J/70 class, the Helly Hansen Junior Crew— a team of five local youth sailors specially selected to compete in the regatta— finished 12th of 30 boats. Their crew consisted of Clark Uhl, Rachel Foster, Katharine Bowman, Kate O'Donnell and Garrett McKinnon.

The balance of the podium behind the Baxter’s included Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE in 2nd place with tactician Jeremy Wilmot (Australia) on board and Brian Keane’s SAVASANA in 3rd place with USA Olympian Stu McNay as mainsheet/ tactician.

In the J/70 Corinthians Division, winning was Duncan Swain’s CLOWN CAR, following in 2nd was Henry Brauer’s RASCAL crew of Newporters and San Diegans, and in third was Stein Skaane’s SHRED.

Charlie Garrard, skipper of the J/105 MERLIN, was also the recipient of Sunday’s North Sails Boat of the Day and the Cressy Award said the key to his success this weekend was having his teenage kids, Emily (pit) and Jack (bow), onboard.  “Without them it wouldn’t happen,” Garrard said. “Together, we make it work.”

Behind Garrard’s crew were past multiple Marblehead NOOD winners, Fred de Napoli’s ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA with 12 pts, and in third was Steve Goldberg’s AIR EXPRESS with 15 pts.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.com   For more Marblehead NOOD sailing regatta information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

GOLD SAILING Triumphs @ J/70 Coupe de France

J/70 sailing La Rochelle, France (La Rochelle, France)- Hosted by Societe de Regate Rochelais (SSR) in La Rochelle, France, fifteen teams competed in the J/70 Coupe de France Regatta.  The fleet was met by very challenging conditions all weekend long, mostly windy, showers, clouds and very uncharacteristic La Rochelle bay conditions!  In the end, after three days of racing and seven races completed, it was the Spanish team of GOLD SAILING that won the regatta by just one point!

On Friday, the first day of racing, it was heavy winds, big winds and grey skies.  The conditions favored the heavier crews.  Winning the first race was Herve Leduc’s JIBE SET with crew of Fabian Pic, Stephane Barraux and Mikael Garrett. Second was Bruno James’ French crew on LE McDONALDS CHERBOURG and third was Iker & Almandoz Ortiglia’s GOLD SAILING from Spain.  While the Race Committee at SSR was preparing to run the second race, the winds rapidly increased to 25 to 30 kts plus, so wisely canceled racing for the rest of the day.

J/70s sailing off La Rochelle, FranceFor the second day of racing, it was more clouds, but this time it was an onshore breeze of 12 kts that gradually increased to 20 kts by the end of the day.  It was great sailing for everyone, with four races being run, much to the delight of all the crews.  McDONALDS CHERBOURG won the first race, then Leduc’s JIBE SET won the second and third races, then GOLD SAILING won the fourth race of the day.  The racing was very tight amongst the top five boats.

On the final day, more good breezes.  By winning the first race, GOLD SAILING Spanish crew (Iker and Ortigala Almandoz, Borja Sumalac, and Iraeta Sanhez) won the event since they could now include a toss-race in their scores.  Taking second for the event was Leduc’s JIBE SET crew (Fabian Pic, Stephane Barraux, Mikael Garrett) just one point back.  Third was McDONALDS CHERBOURG led by Bruno James and crew (Sebastien Metivier, Christian Potier, & Hugues Dorriere) with 19 pts.  The balance of the top five included Laurent Sambron’s crew on HEMON CAMUS (Jean-Yves Jaffrezic, Benjamin Diouris, Pierre-Yves Tinel, & Brewal Nael) with 22 pts in 4th place and Cyrille Teston’s J BEC.RE crew (Jean Francios Nevo, Didier Le Moal, & Bruno Gandolphe) in 5th position.

Top woman skipper was Maxime Baudry’s crew on TEAM WINDS LA ROCHELLE (Etienne Mabit, Frederic Bouvier, Jean Francois Cruette, & Clara Fortin) in 6th position overall.   J/70 sailing photo gallery here- credits- Antoine Brule   For more J/70 Coupe de France sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.