Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Belvidere Cup Report

J/80s sailing Belvedere Cup on Queen Mary Reservoir (London, England)- The Royal Thames Yacht Club ran the Belvidere Cup on Saturday 14th November at Queen Mary Sailing Club at Ashford Middlesex- it is a match racing regatta sailed in J/80s provided by the RTYC.

There were four teams participating- Old Abingdonians, Old Radleians, Old Wellingtonians and a Royal Thames Academy team consisting of three girls and a token fella. The regatta consisted of two round robins followed by a final and petit final.

At the end of the round robin stage the RTYC Academy had 6 wins, Abingdon 3, Radley 2 and Wellington 1. The final was fought out between Abingdon and the RTYC Academy.  The Academy had so far been unbeaten and were odds on favorites to win. However, Abingdon won the first match by a whisker, the second match was won easily by the Academy.

Everything rested on the last match's result. The Academy was leading passed the last rounding of the windward mark, but Abingdon's crew had a more than 50% weight advantage over the girls who were disadvantaged by the strong gusts. In the end, Abingdon passed the Academy boat, winning by a few seconds and taking the match and the trophy.

The conditions were contrary to forecast, the wind was SSW varying between 6-10 knots during the round robin stage. The wind during the finals backed as the stronger breezes came in with gusts of 20 knots plus. Congratulations to Ben Clothier and his crew.  Thanks for the report from Alexis Dogilewski.  For more Belvidere Cup sailing information

The “Big Sail” = A Big Blast!

J/22s sailing The Big Sail on San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- It came down to the last race. Stanford and Cal were tied 1-1 in a best of three competition sailing the St Francis YC matched J/22s. As both teams prepared to start just yards off the front of the StFYC’s race committee deck, the spectators went wild. The marching bands roared, the cheerleaders flew around and the live commentary rang out.  No, this was not a football game; it was “The Big Sail,” an intercollegiate regatta between Stanford and UC Berkeley, (“Cal”) on San Francisco Bay.

If you are looking for a new kind of regatta that will inject pure fun back into the sport of sailing, take notes.

“We keep having fun with this event, because, how can we not?” said Big Sail Co-founder and live-race commentator, Ron Young. “People always consider how to win the game of sailing. But it’s also important to think about how the game can win. And that’s what The Big Sail does, by bringing in fans and fun to the sport of sailing.”

Cal and Stanford sailors- in The Big SailNow in its 12th year, The Big Sail takes place each November on the Tuesday before “The Big Game”, Cal and Stanford’s 123-year-old college football rivalry. The Big Sail features four divisions: Varsity, Young Alum, Masters, and Grandmasters, and is raced in a fleet of one-design J/22s provided by St. Francis Yacht Club. Each division match-races on short 300-yard courses for the best two out of three races. Should each school win two of the four divisions, Varsity is the tiebreaker.

This year, Stanford won the Varsity Division and Cal won Young Alum and Masters. Each school won one race of Grandmasters, which meant the third race would determine it all.

Cal won the start, but Stanford had a good first upwind leg. They opted for the northern side of the course, which was favored, and gained four boat lengths on Cal. At the windward mark, a starboard-tack Stanford narrowly crossed Cal, and even though they had to tack twice to make the weather mark, they rounded ahead, executed a quick jibe set, and never looked back.

Stanford and Cal cheerleaders- at The Big SailMeanwhile, on the RC deck at the club, the crowd went wild. Both school’s marching bands played fight songs while the mascots wove in and out of the crowds. The dining room and the audience were decked out in red & white for Stanford or blue & gold for Cal; nearly everyone was an alumni or family of one of the Bay Area rival schools.

“My Co-founders Jaren Leet, Jim Mullen, and I believe this is the only intercollegiate sailing competition in the country like this,” explained Young. “It incorporates marching bands, cheerleaders and mascots while capitalizing on a vibrant rivalry.”

Marching bands, cheerleaders, mascots and- - - sailboat racing? It was even more fun than it sounds.

The regatta has spent a decade perfecting the schedule: first gun sounded at noon and last race finished no later than 1350 hours so competitors could accept their awards in front of a live and enthused audience.

It was easy to watch—short courses immediately in front of the Club so that, as Young said, “even the oldest grandmother in the room doesn’t have to turn more than 60 degrees side-to-side to see all the action.” It was also easy to follow, as the live commentary rang out from both levels of the Club—sailors on the water could hear just as well as spectators in the clubhouse.

The Big Sail posterRivalry was a big draw. Yacht designer Alan Andrews (’77) flew in to race for Stanford. Cal performed the perfect collegiate caper by covertly delivering a 500-pound (immovable without a folk-lift) wooden statue of “Oski the Bear” to the Yacht Club’s lobby on the eve of the Big Sail. Stanford, the gauntlet has been thrown for next year!

Multi-generational loyalty also fueled the excitement. With sailors ranging from college freshmen to the class of ‘67, the event appealed to generations of friends, fans, and fraternity brothers. Many of the young alums remember racing against each other as Varsity sailors. “The older folks get to remember their college days and the younger kids realize you can sail your whole life,” said Young.

In the end, Stanford won by a hair, but everyone celebrated. Next year, Young plans to add a fifth division— a Women’s Division— to get more female sailors out on the race course.

Following the awards, Young said, “People sometimes question how important yacht clubs are, but look around! What’s more important than happiness? Yacht Clubs enable us to have fun together. Outside there is a demonstration of skill; inside there are smiles and loads of laughter.”  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray   For more Big Sail sailing information

J/70 Norway + GRUNDIG Sailing Cup!

J/70 Norway class with Grundig sponsorship (Oslo, Norway)- Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS- the Royal Norwegian YC) recently announced a new sponsor for their J/70 Class initiative- GRUNDIG- one of Europe’s leading hifi and electronics companies.

“We will help to establish the rapidly growing J/70 class in Norway together with the Royal Norwegian YC. Through active cooperation with KNS we will strengthen our commitment to young sailors, as well as contribute to the J/70 as the leading sailboat class,” says Per-Kristian Ervik, CEO of GRUNDIG Nordic.  “The cooperation agreement between GRUNDIG and Royal Norwegian YC runs for three years and means that the company is funding two new J/70 boats to be used by the association. In addition, GRUNDIG will sponsor three regattas, one in Oslo in connection with Færder-week, one with the Hankø Regatta in August and one on the west coast later in the autumn.”

J/70 Norway and Grundig partnership“The J/70 represents the most important initiative to revitalize our sailing with faster boats that can be enjoyed by families and youth in the sailing scene. The long-term cooperation with Grundig helps us provide boats for training and for the exciting Grundig Sailing Cup next year. The Grundig Sailing Cup complements a need for competition and bringing together sailing athletes. Now everything is set for yachting enthusiasts that can buy boats and become part of an active and growing sailing class,” says Anders Kristensen, Secretary General, Royal Norwegian Yacht Club.  “With the new J/70 boats that KNS will provide to members, that means members in the club will be able to enjoy midweek regattas, match-race sailing and participation in the Grundig Cup. At KNS, sailors can participate by paying a fixed annual sum for an established sharing model.”

“The basic values and the important initiative made by the Royal Norwegian YC is very helpful to revitalize the sport of sailing in Scandinavia, coinciding with Grundig brand philosophy and our position in the market,” says Bård Nordhagen, Nordic Marketing Manager at Grundig Nordic.

J/70 Norway youth teamThe KNS is an active supporter of youth sailing.  In 2015 alone, the club sent two teams and eight sailors to Newport for an international youth regatta supported by SailNewport and New York YC.  One of the team members, Tobias Tjome, commented: “On Thursday, we sailed the regatta in beautiful wind conditions, 6-12 kts of breeze from the southwest.  Our KNS team sailed well and in the six races we managed to win the last race of the day. KNS was second overall, right behind the winning team- the Royal Finnish YC.  The Finnish sailors had already trained in J/22s before they arrived, so it was not quite "fair". But, all sailors had a wonderful stay, made new friends, and gained great sailing experiences in Newport!   Watch the Royal Norwegian YC sailing video here   The Royal Norwegian YC Facebook page is here.  For more J/70 & Royal Norwegian YC sailing information

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Olcese Leading J/24 Copa LEXUS Regatta

J/24s sailing Pacific Ocean off Peru (Chorillos, Peru)- Leading up to the Peruvian J/24 Nationals are a series of regattas off Peru’s Pacific coast.  The most recent was the Copa LEXUS held off Chorrillos in the second weekend of November.  An excellent turnout was anticipated and the fleet of eight boats was quite competitive.

One of Peru’s top sailors, Luis Olcese, was crowned the victor after posting straight bullets on his renowned SCARAMOUCH.  Behind his team, it was a real dogfight for the next few places, all finishing within one point of each other.  Taking second was Javier Arribas’ WAYRA with a 5-2-2 record for 9 pts, it was a quick recovery after a nearly disastrous first race.  Lucas Peshiera’s crew on TIAMAT had a similar scenario, scoring a first race “digger”, followed by a string of good races.  TIAMAT’s 4-3-3 for 10 pts was good enough for third position on the podium.  Rounding out the top five were Rafael Verand’s NAMOYOC in 4th place and Javier Arribas’ HAWKY in 5th.  For more Peruvian J/24 sailing information

Holsboer Wins J/80 Frostbite Cup

J/80s sailing in the Netherlands (Naarden, Netherlands)- During the first weekend in November, the J/80 fleet in the Netherlands held their Frostbite Cup off Naarden, hosted by the Rowing & Sailing Club of Naarden. For the first time in years, a near record fleet of thirteen J/80's appeared on the starting line. After three races in 8-12 kt winds, Bernard Holsboer’s team on JUUL won with a 3-2-2 record.

J80 sailing videoTaking second overall for the regatta was Nick Elsink’s J’ZUS with a steadily improving 4-3-1 tally for 8 pts.  This was Roel Wever’s JOYRIDE, posting a 2-4-5 for 11 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Bram Adema’s nJORD in 4th place and Jilko Andringa’s OANT sJEN in 5th position.   Watch the J/80 Frostbite Cup sailing video here  For more J/80 Netherlands sailing information

SAIL Best Boats Winner- J/88 Oceanvolt!

J/88 Oceanvolt with solar power(Boston, MA)- Few builders are consistently willing to push the technology envelope and accept the risks that entails.  Remember 1991 and the world’s first sprit boat- the J/105?  This fall saw the introduction of the world’s ground-breaking Oceanvolt electric saildrive on the enormously innovative, all-electric J/88 from J/Boats.

TheJ/88 SAIL Best Boats winner Achilles heel of electric propulsion in boats is the high level of energy it takes to power at cruising speeds since large battery banks are required for any kind of substantial range.  However, the J/88 Oceanvolt model is impervious to this in as much as the propulsion system is needed only to maneuver in and out of slips, after which the boat is sailed.

The Valence batteries are lightweight lithium-ion manganese-phosphate (the world’s safest version of this leading edge technology). Although Oceanvolt saildrives have folding propellers, Oceanvolt has found an innovative way to use the folding propeller to stay open and freewheel when so desired, with the electric motor now being driven as a generator to recharge the batteries. The J/88 Oceanvolt also flies a SolarCloth main from UK Sailmakers, which includes a number of integrated solar panels to further top of its battery banks by generating electricity from the sun.  For more J/88 Oceanvolt SAIL Best Boats information

Monday, November 23, 2015

J/122 LITHIUM Dominates Coventry Reef Race

J/122 Lithium sailing doublehanded race in Australia (Fremantle, Australia)- Double-handed racing in Western Australia continues to grow in popularity.  This past weekend, a large fleet of double-handers took off the starting line at Fremantle for the 48nm Coventry Reef Race.

Participating in the event was the J/122 LITHIUM sailed by the father and son team of Graeme and Sam Monkhouse.  LITHIUM has a double-handed IRC rating of 1.050 based on only one jib (J4) and one spinnaker (A5 on a top down furler).  The go-to sail in light air is the Code Zero which can be carried to about 65 degrees true wind angle.

LITHIUM was first to the day buoy and hoisted the A5 for the 6 mile reach out to the Western South Passage Lead marker.  The breeze started to lighten and clock left.  With one mile to go LITHIUM was forced to furl the A5 and unfurl the J4.  A frustrating 30 minutes followed with the breeze around 4 knots on the nose and a never ending stream of power boats crossing to Rottnest Island.  The ensuring wash made it very difficult to keep the sails filled.

After rounding the western point in the lead, the Code Zero was hoisted and the speed increased to a respectable 6 knots in 8 knots of wind.  The next leg was 19 mile due south to Coventry Reef– a semi-submerged rock approximately 3 miles offshore.  With the wind continuing to clock left LITHIUM held onto the Code Zero up to Garden Island.  With the wind now at about 220 degrees and dropping LITHIUM was forced to furl the Zero and try to get some speed from the J4.  With more pressure offshore LITHIUM tacked out and sailed the remaining 10 miles down to Coventry.   Great clumps of seaweed were a continuing obstacle for all yachts and I am sure the hockey stick keel on the JBoats was a significant advantage over a T-bulb of some of her competitors.

After rounding Coventry, the A5 was unfurled and LITHIUM ran 12 miles downwind to a shortened finish off the southern end of Garden Island.  The wind had now backed to 170 degrees and a final gybe saw LITHIUM cross the finish line 7 hours and 54 minutes after starting.  As a result, LITHIUM won on IRC by 64 minutes over the second placed yacht.  Congrats to the Monkhouse’s on their stunning performance!

RAISIN’ CANE In The SORC Nassau Cup!

J/125 sailing Nassau Cup (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- This year’s SORC Nassau Cup Race had all the makings of a “fast drifter”, with the forecast calling for winds in the lighter end of the spectrum at the start and providing just moderate gradient flow for the crews as they cross the ubiquitous, cobalt blue Gulf Stream, then bending around the island chain back down into the Nassau finish line off their signature candy-cane striped lighthouse at the end of the point at the harbor entrance.

After a very slow Gulf Stream crossing, the fleet made its way between Great Isaac Cay and Great Stirrup Cay with the J/125 RAISIN’ CANE, sailed by Frank Atkinson and crew from Coconut Grove Sailing Club and West Palm Beach, FL sailing neck and neck with a Carkeek 40 called Decision.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Nassau CupBy Saturday late morning, Decision and RAISIN’ CANE had rounded the corner at Great Stirrup and was making nice progress toward the finish in Nassau, currently along the coast of Little Harbour Cay, home to the famous Flo's Conch Bar and Chester's famous Rum Punch—  which must be as tempting as sirens' song to the sailors as they slide past in the light afternoon breeze.

Ultimately, the PHRF Division was won by the J/125 RAISIN’ CANE helmed by Frank Atkinson.  Taking third overall was the famous J/120 CARINTHIA skippered by Frank Kern from Bayview YC in Detroit, MI.  Along the way, the beautiful (but light) sailing conditions enabled Frank himself to catch on video a school of dolphins playing in front of their bow during the race.  Watch some of that sweet playfulness here on YouTube.

In the meantime, the IRC Division saw a real tussle between the Carkeek 40 and the J/122 TEAMWORK sailed by Robin Team from Lexington, NC. In the end, Robin’s TEAMWORK took 2nd overall, just 22 minutes corrected behind the overall winner.   For more Nassau Cup Race sailing information

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Le J/111 JBOSS Eclipses Guadeloupe Sailing Regatta!

J/111 JBoss sailing off Pointe-a-pitre, Guadeloupe(Pointe-a-pitre, Guadeloupe)- A follow-up from our friends in the Caribbean sailing the J/111 JBOSS in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Here’s the report from the local French newspaper/ website on Guadeloupe:

“The second edition of the Jeff Campana Cup (formerly the Triskell Cup) saw the victory of Martinique sailor Eddy Chalono, whose crew won many races over the three-day weekend.

Twenty-three teams raced for the Jeff Campana Cup and all had a chance to win it in both categories- CSA Racing 1 or CSA Racing 2. However, Eddy Chalono’s J/111 JBOSS and its crew of nine members had won five races! An excellent ratio that ensures the ultimate success!

Victor Jean-Noël, one of the members of that impregnable fortress describes life on board the winner; "It's a great competition and it is with pleasure that I respond to the invitation of my friends in Martinique. We have a fast boat and smart sailors who came from France, too. They brought us real added value; particularly in boatspeed! We have handled our boat well and we had really good technical and strategic analysis for each race. This allowed us to have good cohesion on board with specialists in each position. So, this is an excellent result!  And on Sunday, the conditions were very good."

The last word comes back to Jean-Michel Marziou, the Jeff Campana Cup event organizer. "The number of vessels was not significant, but it was the quality of sailing on the water; especially with the presence of boats from St. Maarten, Antigua and a large fleet that came from Martinique.   Even if the number of boats participating has decreased in recent years, the competition is still very popular with sailing enthusiasts! Thank you to everyone for sailing in this year’s Jeff Campana Cup and also to our wonderful sponsors- Primea Hotels, Atran Antilles, Capes Dole, and OnDeck.”  For more Jeff Campana Cup sailing information.

Australia's J/111 JOUST Update

J/111 JOUST sailing off Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne, Australia)- From way, way Down Under, it’s clear our comrades-in-arms racing J’s all over eastern and western Australia, Tasmania as well as Auckland, New Zealand are having a wonderful time rolling from spring-time sailing into summer-time sailing conditions.  No more winter gales!

Racing in Port Phillip Bay from Melbourne is the J/111 JOUST.  Sailed by Sandringham YC member Rod Warren and crew, they continue to gather pickle dishes and random silverware for their trophy cupboards.  However, according to Mike, a crew on JOUST, apparently “Mum wishes we would win some pickling jars for our jam or, better yet, a bathtub beer-making kit for the crew!”  He goes on to say that, “we just wanted to let you know that on the other side of the world, the weather is perfect for keelboat racing!  Over 16 knots in a very shifty breeze here, but it’s warm, too! Rip off the foulies and come join us, there are two J/111's at Sandringham Yacht Club havin a rollickin’ good time and havin a go at each other!”  Cheers, Mike Harrison