Friday, August 17, 2018

Ida Lewis Distance Race Preview

J/109 sailing Ida Lewis Race (Newport, RI)- Over fifty teams are counting down the day for the 14th annual Ida Lewis Distance Race which gets underway August 17th, Friday noon, between Fort Adams and Rose Island in Newport, RI. Prior to the gun, Ida Lewis Yacht Club’s Race Committee will decide (based on weather forecasts and sea conditions) which of four courses will be used in this 2018 edition of the yearly round-trip offshore adventure.

Ida Lewis Distance Race course map“The courses range from 112nm to 169nm and incorporate such iconic waypoints as Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard, and Buzzards Tower,” said Race Chairman Pat Kennedy. “They are chosen with the best intention of having the fleet finish within 18-24 hours.”

Twenty teams hail from Rhode Island along with out-of-town entries from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and as far away as Ohio, Florida, and Louisiana.  Eleven of the fifty-one teams (22% of the fleet) entered are J/Crews from across the Northeast. Four of the brand-new J/121 offshore speedsters are entered across the spectrum of handicap racing and double-handed classes.  In the IRC Class is Don Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO, winner of the Gibbs Lighthouse Division in the Newport to Bermuda Race in 2018.  Then, in PHRF Spinnaker are two more sisterships- Chris Brito’s INCOGNITO and Greg Manning’s SARAH (their inaugural offshore race in the 121). Finally, in the PHRF Doublehanded Division is David Southwell’s ALCHEMY.

J/105 Young American sailing Ida Lewis raceOther J/Teams participating include seven teams in the PHRF Spinnaker Division; such as the famous J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, sailed by the American YC’s Young American Youth Sailing Academy from Rye, New York- they are past winners of their class!  In addition, two J/109s will be on the starting line- Sam Goldblatt’s MARQUISSE II and Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE from Newport.  Other J/teams include Greg Slamowitz’s J/111 MANITOU, Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE, EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT, and Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY (another class winner).

Representing the Young American Sailing Academy of Rye, NY as a Youth Entry in the 27-boat PHRF division, will be the J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN, the team won its class in 2017. “We had a great time despite the fact it was really windy,” said Young American YCC’s coach Peter Becker. “The kids loved it and have sea stories to tell about surfing right through the lee of boats significantly larger than us.”

Portsmouth, RI’s Paul Grimes, who has sailed the event four times on his J/35 BREAKAWAY, hasn’t officially entered as a Collegiate Entry in PHRF division, but he’ll definitely be bringing along some local-area college sailing ringers, including his son Alden Grimes (Bowdoin College), Adrian van der Wal (Northeastern), Victoria Boatwright (Georgetown), and Collin Moffet (Princeton).

Newport’s Bill Kneller has skippered in the race every year since 2015 on his J/109 VENTO SOLARE, with friends who sail with him regularly in the Tuesday night Jamestown Yacht Club race series. “We haven’t made the podium, yet, but are getting better each year,” he said. “Last year we were one of twenty boats that endured the weather and finished the race!”

In the four-boat Doublehanded division, David Southwell (Chestnut Hill, MA) will be sailing the race for the first time in ALCHEMY, a J/121 that is new to him this year. His teammate (Stuart MacNeil) has never sailed a doublehanded race before and this will only be Southwell’s second time to do so. “I’m preparing for the Bermuda One-Two next year by doing shorthanded and solo races and deliveries. We’re really looking forward to this,” commented Southwell.  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

BABY DOE J/22 Leaps Ahead @ Dillon Open

J24 sailing Dillon Open- Lake Dillon, Colorado THE DUMPSTER Trashes J/24 Fleet
(Lake Dillon, CO)- At 9,022 feet (2,750 meters or over a mile-and-a-half straight up into the stratosphere), there is no question that Dillon YC’s annual “Dillon Open” that is sailed on the Dillon Reservoir high up in Rocky Mountains is the longest-running, highest altitude regatta in the world.  It’s a gorgeous area to sail; just SSE is the fabulous Keystone Resort & Spa- the top of Keystone Mountain is 12,408 ft (3,782m, or over 2 miles up into the sky- the air does get a bit thin up there!)-

Yet again, a great fleet sailors on J/22s and J/24s had to contend with incredibly challenging sailing conditions.  On Sunday, there was an amazing photo taken of Greg & Susan Johnson’s J/24 PINOTAGE rounding the windward mark, spinnaker up, then gets flattened by a 50mph hail-infested vertical micro-burst from the sky; shredding their spinnaker and jib all at once!  That is what happens when it blows over 100 mph just a few thousand feet above the tall 10-14,000 foot snow-capped peaks that surround Lake Dillon. The winds are often capricious and unpredictable, making for tough, tactical windward-leeward races.

Lake Dillon reservoir in ColoradoGreg Schertz, the PRO for the Dillon Yacht Club running the races took this shot- he was blown away! “Yes, we have challenging sailing sometimes at the nation’s highest sailing club,” remarked Schertz.

Despite the crazy weather, Mateo & Tito Vargas talent-laden crew on BABY DOE took J/22 class honors with a remarkably steady 2-1-1-2-1-1 for 8 pts total. Reed Baldridge’s crew from the College of Charleston YC in Charleston, SC sailed fast to post a 4-3-3-1-3-4 for 18 pts to take the silver.  Rounding out the podium was Mike Kline’s NAUTI-MOOSE with a 1-5-4-5-2-3 for 20 pts.

Sailing with past J/24 World and Etchells-22 World Champion Vince Brun on board, Frank & Vivian Keesling’s THE DUMPSTER won their class only after the Johnson’s PINOTAGE got trashed by the hail-infused microburst.  THE DUMPSTER’s posted a 1-1-3-3-2-2-3 for 15 pts total.  The Johnson’s PINOTAGE had an equally impressive scoreline of 3-2-1-2-3-1-5 for 17 pts total.  Closing out the podium was Josh Bowens-Rubin’s ZERO GRAVITY with a 4-5-2-1-1-4-4 tally for 21 pts total.  For more Dillon Open sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

J/111 New England PHRF Champion @ Buzzards Bay

J/111 Wicked 2.0 winning Buzzards New England PHRF championship (South Dartmouth, MA)- The Beverly Yacht Club and New Bedford Yacht Club hosted their annual Buzzards Bay Regatta this past weekend with 13 fleets of boats on 7 circles, over 200 boats and 1,000+ sailors!

Winning the seven-boat J/80 Class was Dan Cooney’s AMERICAN PRAYER with six bullets in their seven-race scoreline.  However, behind them it was a real battle all weekend-long between Peter d’Anjou’s LE TIGRE and Jim Shachoy’s PEARLY BAKER.  That fight for the silver came down to the final race, with LE TIGRE holding on to a 3rd place, while Shachoy’s crew finished 4th; LE TIGRE taking the silver by 1.5 pts.

Winning the PHRF New England Racing A division was Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0, counting an impressive record of five 1sts for a total of 5 pts net.  Two J/109s finished 4th and 5th, respectively, Cory Eaves’ FREEDOM and Dan Boyd’s WILD THING.

J/Crews led a near sweep of the PHRF NE Racing B Division.  Winning was Mark Lindquist’s J/105 STERLING with 6 pts in five races.  Second was Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST with 8 pts, fourth was Mary Schmitt’s J/105 HARDTACK with 14.5 pts, and fifth position went to Massachusetts Maritimes J/105 BOUNTY with 18 pts.

In the PHRF New England Championship- Cruising Division- Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA took the silver with a consistent scoreline of 2-4-2-3-3 for 10 pts net.  For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NE*NE Tops J/105s @ Summer Keelboat Regatta

J/105s sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- In the summertime, San Francisco Bay is famous for its thumping seabreezes that often start out light in the morning with streaks of fog filtering through the grand twin towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.  However, my midday the breezes from the west are well into the mid-teens and in the more extreme scenarios, gusts can hit the high 20s/ low 30s.

The local J/105 fleet revels in the big Bay breezes.  A fleet of twenty-three boats was engaged in battle over the weekend for San Francisco YC’s annual Summer Keelboat Regatta.  After five races in two days, it was Tim Russell’s NE*NE winning by a whisker over Ian Charles’ MAVERICK.  J/105 #3 NE*NE (Lowell North’s original “superboat”) posted a 9-1-1-7-1 tally for 19 pts, while MAVERICK had a 4-9-3-1-3 record for 20 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK with a 3-11-2-2-4 scoreline fro 22 pts.  The balance of the top five includes Doug Bailey’s AKULA in 4th place just one more point back and Phil Laby’s GODOT in 5th with 27 pts.  For more SFYC Summer Keelboat Regatta sailing results Flip

German Crews Blitzkrieg SAILING Champions League Semi-Finals!

J/70 off St Petersburg, Russia- Sailing Champions League (St Petersburg, Russia)– Norddeutscher Regatta Verein has won the second Semifinal of the SAILING Champions League 2018 in St Petersburg, Russia after four days of challenging racing. Norddeutscher Regatta Verein only just beat fellow Germans Deutscher Touring Yacht Club by 2.8 points, with Russia’s Navigator Sailing Team in third overall. Now, 32 clubs from 12 nations are qualified for the big Final of SAILING Champions League in St. Moritz from 30 August to 2 September.

J/70 Sailing Champions League winners- St Petersburg, RussiaThe Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) team (Florian Haufe, David & Dorian Heitzig, & Miklas Meyer) mastered the most challenging of river-racing conditions in St Petersburg to win the 24-team Semifinal #2 of the SAILING Champions League 2018. It’s a repeat victory for the German club that won in Russia a year ago. The Deutscher Touring YC team (Julian Stuckl, Patrick Follmann, Jonas Vogt, & Tobias Bolduan) never let them get too far into the lead, in fact, coming very close to pulling off an upset at the very end.  Across the four days of competition, the Russian Navigator Sailing Team (Igor Rytov, Igor Lisovenko, Viacheslav Martynov, & Alexander Bozhko) won six of their 16 races, an impressive number of bullets. However, no one could match the consistency of NRV that scored five bullets, but also never scored worse than 5th in any of the races, each of which was an eight-boat short-course windward-leeward contest.

J70s sailing off St Petersburg, RussiaFlorian Haufe, helmsman of NRV, commented: "We are very happy to have qualified for the final in St. Moritz and even more with the overall win here in St Petersburg. Today, every single maneuver counted. We made a few mistakes less than the other teams. With the 3-knot current, we tried to sail a bit more conservative than normally. It worked, we played our cards well.”

While last year’s wind came from every quarter and every day brought a very different race course, 2018 was blessed with four days of westerly winds. Two days with lighter winds, two days with stronger winds, but always sun and the summer conditions drew big crowds of spectators to the banks of the river where they enjoyed world-class racing right in front of the historic Peter and Paul Fortress.

Boathandling was critical on the final day, with the winds gusting close to 30 knots and many crews unable to control the boats through maneuvers, often resulting in some spectacular wipeouts and broaches. The shoreside spectators loved the show, as did those who tuned in from around the world to enjoy the live broadcast by SAP.

J/70 sailing in St Petersburg, RussiaIn total, 16 of the 24 teams in St Petersburg have qualified for the SAILING Champions League Final in St Moritz a few weeks from now. The 16 clubs from Russia will join the final’s host club Segel-Club St. Moritz, the SCL champion from 2017 Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the 14 clubs who qualified from Semifinal #1 in Porto Cervo back in June, making it
32 international clubs from 12 nations who will be competing high up in the Swiss Alps for the title of “Best Sailing Club of the Year” from 30 August to 2 September.

The sailors were full of praise for the host organization, St Petersburg Yacht Club, who was supported by its main partner Gazprom. Elena Solovyeva, project manager of SPBYC, explains: “One of the goals of St. Petersburg Yacht Club is the organization of sailing events in our city, our country and it’s impossible to do it better than hosting an event right in the heart of our amazing city. Citizens and visitors of our city are able to see this level of sailing. We had three days of perfect weather, wind, sun and almost no rain. We are very happy and I think it’s the best solution for events like SAILING Champions League having venues like this sailing stadium.“

J/70 sailing champions league- st petersburg, russiaLive broadcasting by SAP
Did you miss the races of SAILING Champions League? Just visit and click through the SAP Sailing Analytics for replays of all races and different and interesting statistics about the action on water. You find the overall results on!

SAILING Champions League sailing video highlights:
Day 1-
Day 2-
Day 3-
Day 4 Finale-

Sailing photo credits- Anya Semenyk and Andrei Sheremetov  SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia Introduction video  For more SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg- sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SEAWOLF Leads Argentina J/24 Winter Series

J/24s sailing in Cordoba, Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The Central Republic J/24 fleet in Argentina completed the first of their Winter Series on their beautiful Cordovan lake- Lago Salinas Grandes- for a very competitive sixteen-boat fleet.

Winning the first regatta was one of the newest boats in the fleet- Pablo Senestrari’s SEAWOLF. After six races, their 3-1-1-3-3-15 tally was good for 11 pts net.  However, they only won the tiebreaker based on most 1sts over Adrian Bongianni’s team sailing ON LINE, which had a 2-3-6-1-2-3 tally.  The final spot on the podium was also determined by a tiebreaker on 26 pts each!  Winning that countback was Javier “Caraca” Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO over Carlos Trigo’s PURA VIDA.  Finally, rounding out the top five was Julian Dadone’s SIROCCO with 30 pts net.  For more Argentinean J/24 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race Preview

Fastnet Rock (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The 2018 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is set to start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at noon on Sunday 12th August, directly after Lendy Cowes Week. The 1,805 nautical mile race around Britain and Ireland is organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club every four years and is considered to be one of the toughest challenges in the sport of yacht racing.

For the 2018 race, 31 teams with close to 200 professional and corinthian sailors will be competing. For the past two editions, the weather has been so rough that the RORC has reversed the route to protect the fleet from a potential battering.

J/122s sailing Round Britain Ireland RaceAfter a momentous start at the Royal Yacht Squadron line, the fleet will race through the Solent then past the famous headlands of the South West of England. The epic adventure continues into the Celtic Sea, past the Fastnet Rock and Mizzen Head onto the wild west coast of Ireland. The Atlantic racing continues past St Kilda, up to the most northerly point of the course, Muckle Flugga on the 61st parallel. Then, turning south through the infamous North Sea, the fleet will have turned their bows for home. The English Channel and Solent form the final stages of the marathon race.

Solent to Land's End- Approx. 180 nm
Getting a good start will depend upon using the best of the wind and tides to exit the Solent. The race starts to the east leaving the Isle of Wight to starboard. There are four major headlands which form tidal gates along the South Coast of England; Portland Bill, Start Point, The Lizard and Land's End. Deciding whether to go inshore or offshore at each of these headlands will depend on the wind speed, the direction and the tidal flow.

J/122 sailing offshoreLand's End to Mizzen Head- Approx. 210 nm
 The Celtic Sea forms part of the North Atlantic Ocean and the seabed is part of the Continental Shelf of Europe, which is relatively shallow at 100 metres. The fleet will get a real taste of Atlantic weather that can produce a significant and confused sea state as the ocean waves rear up in the shallows. The boats will pass the famous Fastnet Lighthouse along the way, but the significant waypoint is nine miles further west at Mizzen Head when the fleet will turn north to race along the wild West Coast of Ireland.

Mizzen Head to Black Rock- Approx. 170 nm
 Bull Rock, Great Skelling and Tearaght Island must be rounded to starboard, but it is highly likely that the fleet will give them a good offing, as there are outlying rocks that should be avoided. The coastline features bold mountainous peninsulas with deeply indented bays. Taking the full violence of the North Atlantic's prevailing gales it is subject to heavy seas and swell.

Black Rock to Muckle Flugga- Approx. 530 nm
 Having rounded Black Rock, it is unlikely that the fleet will see land again for over 200 miles of Atlantic Ocean Racing. As the fleet head further north, the air and sea temperature will begin to fall. The fleet will round St Kilda, which is an archipelago of islands in the Outer Hebrides. Hirta is the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago with cliffs rising 430 metres sheer out of deep water. On to Sula Sgeir, that is a small, uninhabited island 40 miles into the North Atlantic from mainland Scotland. Muckle Flugga, Shetland Islands is the most northerly part of the course on the 61st parallel. The J/122 Round Britain Ireland racefleet will be as far north as Alaska, which will deliver cold conditions, even in August. The teams will have now travelled over 1,000 nautical miles and over the halfway point in the race as they turn their bows south towards the finish.

Muckle Flugga to Ramsgate- Approx. 580 nm
 The fleet may be heading south and away from the effects of the Atlantic Ocean, but the North Sea can be just as difficult to navigate and to avoid hazards. The North Sea is one of the world's most important shipping lanes as well as a major fishery, and in recent years has seen the developments of wind and wave farms. The approach to Felixstowe is also complicated by a myriad of sandbanks and tidal rips are notorious.

Ramsgate to Finish- Approx. 130 nm
 The English Channel with its busy shipping routes and tidal streams forms the last open water leg of the marathon before the teams enter the Solent to finish the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. For many teams they will have been at sea for up to 14 days, catching a few hours of sleep and dining on snacks and freeze-dried fare. The Royal Ocean Racing Club will welcome each team after they cross the finish line with a warm handshake and cold beer.

Two J/Teams are taking on the challenge. Racing in the IRC 2 Class are two J/122s.  Sailing with a full crew is Andy Theobald’s R&W from the United Kingdom.  Then, the Dutch duo on JUNIQUE RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM (Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker) will be scored in both IRC 2 as well as IRC Doublehanded Class!   For more Round Britain & Ireland Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, August 13, 2018

J/99 Short-handed Offshore Speedster Hatched!

New J/99 hull flying out of new molds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France
(Les Sables d'Olonne, France)- Fresh out of the box! The first J/99 offshore speedster is well on its way for future offshore stardom and is getting ready to fly across oceans and Great Lakes!

As the newest addition to the J/Sport range, the J/99 features powerful righting moment and the proven streamlined reaching shape that will enable her to surf and plane offshore in reaching/ broad reaching conditions like her offshore speedster sisterships- the J/88, J/111, and J/121.  And, when the winds go forward of the beam, the J/99 has the power and pointing ability to decimate the competition.

Now more than ever, sailors are attracted to adventure-filled, signature events (Fastnet, Middle Sea, Chicago-Mac, etc.) where straight-line speed, sail handling, strategy and weather routing are all equally put to the test. The J/99 is designed to excel in these events (both fully crewed and short-handed) while delivering the exhilarating, family-friendly experience the J/Sport range is known for.  For more J/99 Shorthanded Offshore Speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

40th J/24 Canadian Nationals Preview

J/24s sailing race (Kingston, ONT, Canada)- The 2018 Canadian J/24 Nationals are being held in conjunction with CORK/ Sail Kingston Regatta in that famously windy (mostly) location at the far eastern end of Lake Ontario.  Since 1979, the J/24s have been sailing on Lake Ontario and across all parts of Canada for over 40 years, this year marking the 40th time Canadians have sailed their National Championship in J/24s!  The lake is a perfect venue for the event, as the classic seabreezes start out light in the mornings from the SSW, then slowly build from 6-10 kts into the 12-18 kts range by late afternoon.

The thirteen boats sailing in this year’s event has a dozen Canadian teams and one American (a woman skipper- Kira Munger from Fair Haven, New York sailing USA 423).  The Montreal crews include Stephan Blais CAN 3366, Fred Deom CAN 4019, & Brian Morris CAN 3782.    The Ottawa fleet (the Canadian capitol) sailors include Jean Levac CAN 5254 and Richard Tanguay CAN 2594. The Toronto crews include Dave Ogden’s CAN 5235 and Ed Rees’ CAN 3729.  For more Canadian J/24 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Verve Cup Offshore Regatta Preview

J/111 sailing offshore 
J/111 Great Lakes Championship Preview
(Chicago, IL)- From Friday, August 10, through Sunday, August 12, 2018, the Chicago Yacht Club will host the 27th 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 to 70 feet, and carry crews from 4 to 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 overall 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 11, 2018, 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 nine-boat J/105 class includes most leading local teams, like Clark Pellett’s SEALARK (winner of combined J/105 NAs & J/105 Chicago-Mac Race trophy), Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM and Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS.

The five-boat J/109 class has Jim Murray’s CALLISTO (Mac Race winner), Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO (2017 Mac Race winner), and Jack & Jim Tolliver’s VANDA III (also a Mac Race winner); this will be a very tough fleet considering the number of boats racing.

Sailing the 2018 J/111 Great Lakes Championship are eleven boats from across the country.  Current J/111 World Champion- Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY- will be vying for class honors against the top local boats.  The winner of the Ugotta Regatta- KASHMIR- hopes to maintain their winning streak in around-the-cans racing. However, both boats know there are several spoilers in this fast fleet; such as John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER, Brad Faber’s UTAH, and Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK.

In the ORR Distance Race division in Saturday, there are two J/crews participating- Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI and Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information