Monday, July 28, 2014

Win A J/70 One-design Speedster!

J/70 Raffle (Jamestown, RI)- The Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation (CISF) and East Coast Yacht Sales are conducting a raffle for a J/70. The raffle will be held at CISF's annual auction on August 30th at Conanicut YC in Jamestown, RI.

Only 650 tickets will be sold at $100.00 USD each- in other words the “odds” are incredibly good!  CISF is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization promoting marine access and education and has teamed up with East Coast Yacht Sales to raffle a brand-new J/70 sailboat complete with trailer, valued at over $47,000!  Note- you do not have to be present to “win the J/70” at the raffle!

For more “Win a J/70 Raffle” information, please contact Suzy Leech at cell# 860-995-4300 or email-   For more information and how to buy raffle tickets- please see the J/70 Raffle website. Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal Photography

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stephanie Roble wins U.S. Women’s Match Racing

Step Roble and the EPIC Race Team- winning match race (Long Island Sound, NY)-  Having sailed a diversity of boats in the past few years, especially J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/80s in various one-design fleet and match-racing regattas, Steph has applied her extraordinary ability to adapt to different boats to go fast and win!

Having just come off an excellent performance in the recent ISAF Women’s Match Race Worlds sailed on J/80s in Ireland, Steph added yet another feather in her distinguished list of accomplishments by defeating another long-time J sailor (J/22s, J/24s, J/80s, J/105s), Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, 2-0 in Sunday’s final series to win the 2014 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing.

The win for Roble marks her first U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship title in five attempts. Roble receives an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed October 3-5, 2014 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif. She also receives an invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan (Wis.) on September 23-28, 2014. The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee will be providing travel grants to the team for both events.

Crewing for Roble’s Epic Racing Team this week was Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.), Jane Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), Martha Pitt (Newport, R.I.), Hollister Poole (Falmouth, Maine), Elizabeth Shaw (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

An exuberant Roble explained her team’s success this week: “We expected light air this weekend and we got a wide range of conditions, including heavy breeze today. We did a great job getting in good position for the finals. We had our hands full in the finals with Nicole’s team. They led us along the track, but we were able to get some lead changes. I thought we had great boat handling and Maggie did an amazing job downwind on the kite, which is where we made most of our moves.”

Roble advanced to the Finals with a 2-0 series win over Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) in the morning semifinals. Breault also advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.).

“We learned a lot this week in the Swedish Match 40s,” said Breault. “At times we felt like we were in control and other times it got hectic. Our hats off to Stephanie’s team. In more breeze they were able to handle their chute better. We are looking forward to our next chance to race at this championship.

Roble placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in June at Cork, Ireland. Roble is the third ranked women’s match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She also won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women’s Trophy. She returned to the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship after placing second last year in Chicago.   For more US Sailing Match Race sailing information

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CanAm Challenge Regatta Preview

J/88 sailing downwind (Youngstown, NY)- For decades the Youngstown YC has run many popular regattas on Lake Ontario, inviting everyone and virtually any boat that floats to its beautiful location in Youngstown, NY at the western end of the lake, not far from the famous Niagara Falls.  In keeping with their one-design traditions, the club created a new event called the CanAm Challenge that was focused primarily on popular one-design classes in their region and, in addition, created a fun “pursuit-style” race for PHRF sailors.

Due to their tremendous group of enthusiastic volunteers, great reputation for hosting social events each day and, perhaps important to some, the fact that Youngstown YC has an excellent Race Committee and PRO’s running the various courses, the sailors look forward to lots of good sailing and camaraderie ashore.

This new event features FIVE J/Classes, including the J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s and J/105s.  In the J/22s, it looks like PROST (Darcy Fuller), RAISED J (Michele Cimon), RUFUS (David Krystaf), THREE’s COMPANY (Paul Davignon), TRAINWRECK (Adam Masters) will all have fun determining bragging rights for their new event.

It also looks like the J/24 class will have an equally challenging time figuring out who’s going to be top dog with teams like A1 (Tom Taylor), HANG LOOSE (Gabriel Lewis), IN THE MOMENT (Rick Sherk), J-TRIPPER (Tom Raes), and Skylar Munger flying around the race track.

The biggest one-design fleet in the regatta happens to be the fifteen boat J/70 class, an exceptional attendance record for this new class.  The fleet is deeply talented and boats to watch for amongst the leaders include HONEY BADGER (Travis Odenbach), JUNIOR (Tim Finkle), LATE LIFE CRISIS (Corbo Corbishley), RARITY (Marty McKenna), RISK (Gary Tisdale/ Adam Burns), SUPERFECTA (Kris Werner) and two Canadian teams- REX (Scott Weakly) and HONGI HIKA (Mark Bird).

The newest of the fleets surely must be the debut of the new J/88 one-design fleet- the first regatta in the world for J/88s!  The fleet of five boats includes NIGHT OWL (Rick Lohr), RUMBLE BEE (John Frank), SEAWEED (Don Finkle), SQUIRMY (Joe O’Brien) and USA 2 (Joe Pawlowski).  It will be quite interesting to see what these teams learn about making J88s go fast around a one-design windward-leeward “sausage course”.

The J/105s are hanging in with a trio of good teams from Canada sailing in preparation for their J/105 North Americans in Toronto, Ontario in early October.  Those teams include ALI-KAT (Ed Berkhout), LIVE EDGE (Mike Mountford), and TRIDENT (Jenny Farrand).

An innovative addition to the regatta is the PHRF Pursuit Class style format (where slowest boats start first and fastest go last, whoever crosses the line first wins).  Sailing in that division are two super-fast J’s, the J/111 LAKE EFFECT skippered by Bob Hesse and the J/92 J-HAWK helmed by Eric Herbert.   For more CanAm Challenge Regatta sailing information.

Team Alvemedica Training Update

Charlie Enright and Team Alvemedica- sailing Volvo Race (Newport, RI)- The Volvo Ocean Race may not officially start until October, but this isn't stopping Team Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing from engaging in a 'friendly delivery' thanks to some special permission from the race organizers. According to reports, the two teams organized a 'promotional start' out of Newport, Rhode Island on Wednesday that was enjoyed by hundreds of spectators. Both boats are bound for the UK, with Team Alvimedica destined for Southampton and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing bound for Gosport.

“It's not easy to leave friends and family behind but it is time to get out and go sailing,” said Charlie Enright, skipper of Team Alvimedica (a champion Newport J/24 sailor).  “While we have achieved a lot in our month here in Newport, we now need to maximize our time at sea together as a team.”

The next time that either Team Alvimedica or Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sail into Newport Harbor will be during the actual Volvo Ocean Race stopover, so this was obviously a big moment for both teams, especially the American- and Turkish-flagged Team Alvimedica, whose skipper is a proud Newport-area local.

Marblehead NOOD Regatta Preview

J/70s sailing around mark (Marblehead, MA)- The upcoming Sperry Top Sider Marblehead NOOD Regatta also marks the 125th time the event has been held in Marblehead, MA with its three leading clubs (Eastern YC, Corinthian YC and Boston YC) playing hosts to the event for a wide variety of local one-design classes.  This year’s primary host will be Corinthian YC and the event is expecting as strong a turnout as it has seen in recent years.  Featured amongst the J/Classes will be J/24s, J/70s and J/105s.

The J/24s have a solid eight boat turnout featuring many new faces in the crowd along with class stalwarts from the area.  Notable teams that have participated actively in Marblehead events include AIRODOODLE (John Denman), GRACE UNDER PRESSURE (Greg Williams) and SHELDON J (John Wells).  Looking to make their mark this year could be ASTERI (George Aangnostopoulos), BLACKFIN (Mike Lachmayr), LITTLE MARTHA (Chris Clancy) and XINGU (Mike Taber).

The J/70 class has an excellent fleet of sixteen boats registered and many in the fleet will be competing for some of the last slots to qualify for the 2014 J/70 Worlds in Newport this coming September.  While some experienced teams like Jud & Cindy Smith’s AFRICA, Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Will Welles’s RASCAL, Dave Franzel’s SPRING are already qualified for the Worlds, other new teams with top talent could be in the hunt.  Some of the new teams include ASTERIA (Holly Fabyan), HALF FULL (Marc Poirier), HURRICANE (Alex & Ian Cook), JOUST (Tim Molony), SCAMP (Bill Lynn & Matt Hooks) and WINTER WIND (Nancy Glover).

The J/105 class has seen one of its best turnouts this year with eighteen teams competing from the New England region. Expect to see local hotshots like Fred deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA, Marty Galligan’s ATALANTA, Ric Dexter’s CIRCE’s CUP, Steve Hollis’s SIROCCO, Mark Lindquist’s STERLING ben amongst the leaders.  In addition, a Dallas, Texas crew led by Mark & Jolene Masur sailing the well-traveled TWO FEATHERS will always be a factor amongst the top crews.   For more Marblehead NOOD sailing information.

J’s Reign Supreme In LO 300 Race

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario 300 Challenge race J/133 HOT WATER Tops IRC, J/35 SHORTHANDED Tops PHRF
(Mississauga, Ontario)- The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge always provides a challenging circumnavigation of Lake Ontario.  Co-hosted by Oakville Yacht Squadron and the Port Credit Yacht Club.  Teams have the option of two courses, the Main Duck Island course of 300nm and the shorter Scotch Bonnet Island course of 190nm.  Both courses start and finish at Port Credit YC.

On the longer MDI course it was John McLeod’s J/133 HOT WATER sail a fantastic race to take IRC Overall honors.  Not far behind on handicap time was Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY in fourth place (a past overall winner of the race).

In PHRF A division, Mike Pietz’s J/35 SHORTHANDED grabbed the top honors followed by Graham Toms’s J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK in 3rd place, Bob Hesse’s J/111 LAKE EFFECT in 5th place, Geoff Clarke’s J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE in 6th, then Geoff Roulet’s J/35 JEANNIE in 7th and Paul-Angus Bark’s J/35 CRIME SCENE.

In the Scotch Bonnet Race, the PHRF “white sail” class saw Bonnie Reib’s J/33 DAYBREAK sail a beautiful race to take 2nd and Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER finish 3rd.   For more Lake Ontario 300 Challenge sailing information

Friday, July 25, 2014

SB-King Harbor Race Preview

(Santa Barbara, CA)- One of the most popular mid-summer offshore races in Southern California is the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race.  The race has been a tradition for 42 years and this year’s 94 boats is one of the largest in decades; a notable increase in the fleet size is attributable to the seventeen fun-loving J/Teams spanning three divisions (18% of the fleet).  It’s no wonder, the race is one of the premier distance races, its part of the Wilson Offshore Series, and the teams love the legendary hospitality of the co—hosts- Santa Barbara and King Harbor YC’s- famous for their pre-race party and the giant crab & beer awards luncheon.

The PHRF Sprit Division might as well be called the “J-Sprit” class, as 11 of 16 boats are all J/teams.  Amongst those participating are two J/133s- Joe Simpkins’s FORGIVENESS and Roy Jones’s TANGO.  Joining them are two J/111s, Bill Webster & Mike Moorhead’s JATO (2nd in class for 2013) and Glenn Griley’s STAMPEDE, both from King Harbor YC.  Giving those two a run-for-the-money is Tom & Terri Manok’s J/120 POLE DANCER.  The race will feature the debut of the J/88 CRAZY 88 sailed by Dr Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara YC.  A trio of J/109s will be tackling the course that includes Tom Brott’s well-known, Long Beach Race Week winning ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC, Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR, and Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE from Cal YC.  Chasing them will be Tom Bollay’s J/105 ARMIDA from Santa Barbara YC as well as Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN also from SBYC.

The PHRF Sprit ULDB Class is loaded with many of the top California offshore speedsters and the top carbon-flyers from the J design team.  At the head of the J class is Carolyn Park’s J/145, the beautiful red RADIO FLYER from Santa Barbara.  She will have to contend with a duo of J/125s that include Viggo Torbensen’s Dana Point Offshore series winner TIMESHAVER as well as Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC.  One of the 125 teams, TIMESHAVER, was recently out testing some ideas, here’s commentary from Keith Magnussen on their progress: “We are continuing to improve our speed and understanding of the J-125 and part of our learning process is testing sails.  Here is a short video of what that looks like.  I know it seems like all we do is have fun but trust me we are working hard at almost 15kts (see ‘Rinsed Lifestyle’ sailing video-”

In the huge 34 boat PHRF Racing class, there are two J/33s sailing including Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s TIGGER from King Harbor YC and Mark Weinberger’s PRIMA from San Diego’s Cortez Racing Association.  They will be up against Shawn Ivie’s J/30 FRICTION LOSS from the Santa Barbara Yacht Racing Club.  For more Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race sailing information