Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Brezellec Tops J/80 J-Cast Cup

J/80 one-design sailboats off France (Saint Cast, France)- The season-long J/80 Coupe de France had their next event sailed off the city of Saint Cast, the J-Cast Cup.  The event was organized by the Centre Nautique de Saint Cast from the 19th to 21st of September.  The J/80 sailors were treated to excellent racing and, after eight solid races on Friday afternoon and Saturday, the fleet sailed two races on Sunday (for 10 total races) in northerly, clear breezes of 10-20 kts, enabling the teams to get into “planing mode” for most of the day, blasting downwind under spinnaker!  It was a wonderful way to close the regatta for all.

After a slow start to the season, it was clear that Eric Brezellec’s crew on COURIER JUNIOR were starting to get their teamwork better organized and improving on their overall tactics and strategies.   Their hard work paid off with a win at the J-Cast Cup.  Sailing with Brezellec were Nicolas Richard, Julie Richeux, Morgan Riou, Damien Dayot Corentin Kieffer and Camille Jondeau.

Taking second was CN ST CAST GRAND WEST LABELS skippered by Clement Commagnac and crewed by Yann Hamon-Pol, Matthieu Legrand and Alexis Aveline.

Then, long-time archrival for Brezellec, Simon Moriceau, managed to sail yet another good regatta to continue to lead the Coupe de France series standings.  Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT SCHOOL NAVAL team included Jean Hugo Kerhascoet, Hervé Pierree, and Corlay Laouenan.

The French J/80 Class wishes to “thank” CN Saint Cast Race Committee and Jury (Annick Martin, Patrick Brehier, Bernard Richomme, and Loic Durand), and all of their volunteers, who without them this race would not have been as successful! Sailing report contributed by Maxime Rousseaux.  For more J/80 France J-Cast Cup sailing information

Annapolis Boat Show Preview

J/70 sailing big boat series(Annapolis, MD)- With fall now officially upon us, having just passed the Autumnal Equinox on Tuesday, it’s high time to get your ducks in a row with family and friends and march on down to the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, running from October 9th to 13th along the downtown City Docks.

There will an exciting range of J’s on display at the traditional J/Boats location directly facing the Marriot Hotel & Pusser’s Rum Bar.  Featured will be the International J/70 One-design, the world’s fastest growing sportboat and keelboat class ever since the famous J/24! Learn more about the fun-times everyone had at the J/70 World Championship in Newport from many of the world’s top sailmakers that will be on-hand from North Sails, Quantum Sails, Doyle Sails and Ullman Sails, to name a few.

J88 sailing fast downwindThe “big brother” to the J/70 is the J/88 family speedster.  And, this boat is proving to be a rocketship, having sailed major events on virtually every coast (West, Gulf, Great Lakes, Chesapeake and East Coasts) and won or placed in various major offshore events.  Easy-to-handle by a family crew, goes like the greased lightning off-the-wind, stiff, stable and with a comfy weekending interior, it’s an awfully hard combination to beat. Plus, the simple “single-point lift” on a standard yacht club hoist (and simple, hinge-up ultra-light carbon mast) means you can trailer behind a mid-size SUV anywhere in the world.  In fact, Rich Stearns from Chicago calls it “my perfect boat!”  Find out more from Rich why he thinks so at the Annapolis Show.

J/95 shoal draft performance cruiser day sailorNext in line is the J/95, the quintessential all-around shoal-draft, performance cruising boat.  Perhaps one of the most versatile boats to ever come out of the J/Design office, the J/95 draws just “waist-deep” water, only 3.25 feet, enabling sailors to daysail/ cruise anywhere in Florida, the Bahamas, the Chesapeake or shoal bays in Maine or lakes in the Midwest!  Plus, it’s perhaps one of the most amazing “camper/ cruisers” you can buy!  Throw it behind a truck and take it anywhere for your vacation needs— a portable “caravan” that can sail anywhere with that legendary J/Performance!  Imagine this, sail all of America’s most awesome lakes, at least one per state. That’s the challenge, anyone ready to take it?

J/111 sailing upwind at WorldsHaving just experienced the inaugural J/111 World Championship in Cowes, England, the J/111 class continues to experience solid class growth in some of the world’s hot spots for offshore and buoy racing.  With growing fleets in Europe (UK, France, Benelux) and in the Americas (the Great Lakes, San Francisco/ West Coast, Northeast (Chesapeake to Boston)) and an upcoming 2015 J/111 Worlds in Newport, RI from June 17-21, interest is high for both one-design and offshore racing.  In fact, J/111s are expecting a one-design class start at Quantum Key West Race Week this coming January 2015!   For more US Sailboat Show information.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Record Entries @ J/70 SAILING Champions League

J/70 Sailing league (Copenhagen, Denmark)- For the premiere of the SAILING Champions League (SCL) from 17th to 19th October 2014 in Copenhagen, the number of entries is growing. 23 clubs have already registered. They will be sailing at this international event to gain the title of the best sailing club on the pan-European continent.

When the new SAILING Champions League was announced six weeks ago, the news was quickly spread among sailors across Europe and the rest of the world.  As of this week, Konzeptwerft in Hamburg has received registrations from 23 sailing clubs from 16 nations in total. "We are expecting 25 clubs from at least 17 nations", said Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the SAILING Champions League.

In the SAILING Champions League, the participating clubs are sailing according to the format of the national sailing leagues in Germany and Denmark on International J/70 One-Design sailboats. In Copenhagen, 45 races are planned in three days, each of the races lasting between twelve and fifteen minutes.

All invited nations can send two representatives to the SCL. The countries with existing national sailing leagues are sending their top three from their premiere year. The Danish are sending the top three from 2014 and the Germans those from the 2013 championship. "We are overwhelmed from the positive feedback", says Hans Natorp, President of the Danish Sailing Association, "when leading yacht clubs of Europe and across the world are showing such a big interest.  We are convinced that our idea about national and international sailing leagues has a great future ahead."

Hosts of the SAILING Champions League are the German and Danish league as well as the Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY). Patron of the event is the European Sailing Federation (EUROSAF). The first 23 participants of the SAILING Champions League in Copenhagen include the following clubs so far: Austria (Union-Yacht-Club & YC Bregenz), Czech Republic (YC Cere), Denmark (Hellerup Sejlklub, Kerteminde Sejlklub, Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub), France (Sport Nautique de l'Ouest), Germany (Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, Württembergischer YC), Great Britain (Royal Thames YC), Italy (Circolo Cannottieri Aniene & YC Costa Smeralda), Monaco (YC de Monaco), Norway (Royal Norwegian YC), Oman (Oman Sail), Poland (Chojnicki Klub Żeglarski), Russia (Royal YC Moscow & St Petersburg YC), Spain (Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria), Sweden (Royal Gothenburg YC), and Switzerland (Thunersee YC).

For more SAILING Champions League information, please contact Sophie-Karolin Wehner, Tel. +49 40 226 316 4-63 or EMail- or Web:  See SAILING Champions League Facebook page-

Monday, September 29, 2014

J/111 BLUR Wins Silver Rudder Challenge

J/111 skipper- Peter Gustafsson(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The Silver Rudder Challenge of the Sea- is an annual single-handed regatta, that took place on the 19th of September in Svendborg on the island of Funen (Fyn), Denmark.  It has become the world’s biggest single-handed offshore race, with almost 200 boats participating in the 134nm race around Funen Island.  Like similar races in America (e.g. think Three Bridge Fiasco in San Francisco Bay), you get to choose which way you get around the island, its rocks, its islets and channels!  A challenge for even the best navigators, much less trying to do it all by yourself!

J/111 blur silver rudder challenge courseIn 2012, the race was launched and attracted 15 tough contestants. In 2013, 100 contestants signed up, among them sailors from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Denmark. Silver Rudder 2013 was the biggest international offshore singlehanded regatta in world for that year.  In the end of May 2014, nearly 170 were enlisted for the 2014 edition, which meant this year’s Silver Rudder Challenge would be the largest non-stop singlehanded offshore race ever.  By August, the entrants reached the maximum of 200 participants!

As the number of contestants increased, the competition was also getting tougher. But the challenge was still the same- 134nm around Funen – only you and your boat and your way to choose to go around!

So, who won this epic challenge?  None other than Peter Gustafsson on the J/111  Peter not only recorded the fastest circumnavigation yet for the Large Keelboat Class, but he eclipsed all other keelboats and was only beaten boat-for-boat by a powerful trimaran!

The early weather forecasts indicated there would be a period of high pressure and easterly winds. If this weather pattern stayed put, the race would most likely be sailed for the first time ever leaving Funen Island to starboard and going “clockwise” around, instead of the traditional strategy of “leave it to port” counter-clockwise. The reason is that the sailors will try to avoid upwind sailing during the starts and in the most narrow and tricky part of the Sound of Svendborg.

Silver rudder challenge trophyOut of seven classes, there were only three Danish winners in this year's regatta. In the Large Keelboat Class (35-40 ft), it was Peter Gustafsson’s J/11 BLUR.SE that took overall winners with a time of 29:11:05, to win by well over 55 minutes over his next closest competitor. Gustafsson is known among many Scandinavian sailors for his website with the same name as his boat, but not many people were aware of how good he sailor he is!!  He led the race from the Great Belt Bridge to out of Langeland, in which the front flerskrogbåd was passed by.  Then with only 0.5 miles to the finish line, Gustafsson managed to overtake Andraz Mehilin in Svendborgsund where both skippers had frequent sail changes. A spinnaker sock made the difference when it jammed a headsail change for Mehilin on his IMX 40. The old truth that one can sail a small boat closer to 100% singlehanded over a larger boat turned out to be true. Despite the extremely difficult conditions and long periods without wind, Gustafsson’s BLUR.SE managed to outdo William Friis-Møller's IMX-40 elapsed record time of 2012; that resulted in a shift of Silver Rudder Challenge Trophy from Denmark to Sweden.  Plus, BLUR.SE was also the fastest overall keelboat in the Silver Rudder Challenge 2014!!

As Gustafsson explained, “For me it was 29 hours of hard work - but I won the class and was the fastest monohull around the course!!  BLUR.SE also set the new record for Keelboat Large Class, beating the old time of 31:28:55 set by an IMX 40 with the new time of 29:11:05!

This year we’ve won the biggest races in three different categories with our J/111 BLUR.SE (fully crewed, double-handed and solo) in three different countries- Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  I LOVE this boat!!”

Behind Peter G, in the Keelboat Small division, the J/80 CLEAN eMARINE took 5th in class.  Plus, in the Keelboat Medium class, the J/105 JAVELIN took 4th in class.  A great showing by J/Teams in tough, mentally-taxing conditions!  Yet again, a demonstration of why J/Teams are always so successful offshore against other brands & designs— J’s are simply easier to sail, faster, nearly 100% of the time, while their competitors struggle to even keep sailing their boats in a straight course!   See the Silver Rudder Challenge Facebook page here.   For more Silver Rudder Challenge sailing information

J/80 World Championship Preview

J/80s sailing World championship (Annapolis, MD)- The upcoming J/80 World Championship, to be sailed from September 28th to October 5th, will be hosted by Eastport YC on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.  The 33 boats will be treated to a top notch Race Committee led by Principal Race Officer Sharon Hadsell, an International Jury with Charlotte Greppe (Sweden) as Chief Judge, and a professional staff and volunteers experienced with running large scale world-class events.

The principal foreign team is Sophie Faguet’s French team (Benoit Charon, Maxime Mesnil, Noemie Bessec) sailing WHITE LIGHTNING from YC de Cherbourg.  They will be challenged by many of America’s top J/80 teams, including past champions like Terry Flynn’s QUANTUM RACING (current 2014 NA Champion) from Houston, Texas; Glenn Darden’s LE TIGRE crew from Fort Worth Boat Club in Forth Worth, Texas; Kerry Klingler’s LIFTED crew from Norwalk, CT; Les Beckwith’s FKA from Lake Winnipesaukee, NH; Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI from Annapolis, MD; Paul Parsons PARSONS PROJECT from Houston, TX; Will & Marie Crump & Tom Klok’s R80 from Annapolis (2013 J/80 NA Champion); John Storck Jr and John Storck III from Huntington, NY (2010 J/80 NA Champion), Brian Keane’s SAVASANA (J/80 Key West Midwinter Champion); and Curt Johnson sailing AVET from Los Angeles, California (West Coast Champion).   For more J/80 Worlds sailing information

Sunday, September 28, 2014

J/36 JAZZ Cruising Corfu- Sailing Greek Islands!

J/36 JAZZ- sailed by Norm Curnow(Corfu, Greece)- The J/36 JAZZ has been sailing thousands of miles between the UK and the Mediterranean over the past decade by a  salty dog named Norman Curnow.  He loves his boat, originally owned by designer Rod Johnstone in Stonington, CT.  Here’s Norm’s latest update:

“Hi JAZZ here!  After Corfu we went on to Preveza.  There is a large lake there, where Linda and I used the car to go to Koransia- a narrow peninsula of land about 2 miles long just about a road width wide! On the end, there is a marina and few cafes & bars.  We stopped for a meal and had a great day! On to Lefkes Canal where I touched the bottom, silting is a big thing there. They’re always dredging and entry is difficult, since the sands are always on the move!

Next we had to wait for the large swing bridge to open, swear to God its chipmunks on a treadmill opening it, it takes sooo long!  Anyhow, down the canal we went to Tranquil Bay were I saw my pal Annie on board a Nicholson 43- she lives on board, she set sail back in 2011 and loves living in Tranquil Bay!  Who can blame her, pretty place and nice locals! More to come-  Norman”

J/80 Italian Nationals Preview

J/80 sailboat rounding mark (Loano, Italy)- Big names in international sailing are going to take part in the J/80 Italian National Championship, being held in Loano from 25th to 28th September.  The regatta is organized by YC Marina di Loano in collaboration with Blueproject, the J/80 Italian Class, and Marina di Loano.  The program includes three days of racing for a total of eight races.

Fifteen teams are already registered; most of them are Italian boats and some foreign crews.  Among the Italian crews there will be some famous sailors such as Tommaso Chieffi (offshore & one-design champion), Francesco de Angelis (past J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup champion), Simone Ferrarese, Lorenzo Bressani, Francesco Ivaldi, Fabio Ascoli, Giorgio Benussi, Anne-Soiciz Bertin, Massimo Rama (past J/80 National Champion), Paul Montedonico, Stefano Ferraro and Taito Sanchez. This group of sailors assures the fleet of a very high level of competition.

Expert sailors participating for the first time in the class include: Edoardo Lupi, Michele Galli, James Loro Piana (of the famous fashion house- Loro Piana), Alberto Signorini, David Albertini Petroni, Stefano Polti, and Santiago Cow.  On the Blue Project Team is the Match Race Champion Anne-Soiciz Bertin with Andrea Trani, Martino Tortarolo, Mattia Capurso, and Fausto Surini.

Blue Project is partners for the event with its nine J/80s all equipped with brand-new sails by North Sails. Michele Rayneri from Blue Project commented: "Our company was specifically founded with the aim to supply the top racers with the best equipment possible. Our philosophy is excellence and technological leadership in sailing. We believe in the J/80 class and we want to develop it in Italy. That's why we chose to equip our International J/80 class boats with the best sails by North Sails, the worldwide leader in sailmaking."  For more J/80 Italian Nationals sailing information