Saturday, September 16, 2017

Blustery Conanicut YC Round Island Race

J/121 sailing Jamestown Round Island Race
J/29 Dominates Class B, J’s Sweep Class G!
(Jamestown, RI)- Sunday dawned with a rather intimidating forecast.  The remnants of Hurricane Harvey that left a catastrophe in its wake across the Texas Gulf Coast had moved northeast and was rolling over New England on Sunday morning.  Strong rains and wind gusting 15-30 kts greeted the sailors ready to participate in the 90th Annual Around The Island Race- an end of summer tradition for most active sailors on Narragansett Bay.  This year, an enormous fleet of 101 boats were registered, 23 of them J/Crews (about 23% of the fleet) in various classes!

J/121 sailing off Beavertail PointThe Conanicut YC Race Committee wisely postponed the start of the race for nearly two hours to let the strong easterly winds abate into the 15-25 kts range.  By noon, the small boats took off on a shortened course going north up Bay towards Prudence Island, rounding the green buoy and heading back down beneath Newport Bridge for a fast, safe race.  Offshore, the storm swells were hitting upwards of 10 to 12 ft at the traditional turning point off the southern end of the island- Beavertail Point bell.  The big boats- the last four divisions to start, did sail the traditional race, but also heading counter-clockwise, going north beneath Newport Bridge, leaving the green bell and green can at the northern end of the island to port, back south through Jamestown Bridge, around Beavertail Point bell to port, back up the Bay past Castle Hill Lighthouse, leaving Clingstone Rocks to port and into the finish line at Jamestown.

With a strong ESE breeze, it was a quick race for the two race tracks as it was essentially a “fetch” in all directions to each turning point.  In the small boat fleets, the race was less than two hours elapsed.

In Class B Spinnaker, it was Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX that won their class quite handily.  Then in Class D, the two J/24s that raced could still hold their own in the demanding conditions, with Mike Hill’s OBSTREPROUS finishing 3rd and Rob Lambert’s BARFLY taking 4th in class.  Similarly, in Class E, the two J/30s both finished in the top five, with Chris Tate’s BLITZ finishing 4th and Daniel Borsutsky’s FLYING HIGH taking 5th place.

For the larger boats that actually did race around the island, it was Classes G, H, J & K- four classes in total.  Class G saw a clean sweep of the podium by J crews, with Sean Doyle’s J/105 KESTREL winning, followed by Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY just over 3 minutes back on corrected to take 2nd.  Third position went to Doug Newhouse’s J/88 YONDER, just 40 second back corrected.  Fourth was Dawson & Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE another minute back and in 5th was EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

J/121 sailing aroud island raceFinally, in the “J” class, appropriately enough, it was the first shakedown race for the new J/121 INCOGNITO co-skippered by Joe Brito and Jeff Johnstone. INCOGNITO led the class off the start and through Newport Bridge on a close fetch with the J1 sheeted to the rail. Half way to the north end as the reaching angle broadened, three smaller sport boats in the class leap-frogged ahead with early Code 0 sets. INCOGNITO eventually followed with a Code 0 and by the north turn, the four had stretched out from the rest of the class. Then the J/121 crew proved their mettle and ground down all but one sport boat on the port tack fetch to the Beavertail, rounding that mark 2nd before heading back to the finish under J1 jib trimmed to the rail to Clingstone Rock bell, then popping an A4 kite for the short burst to the finish for second on elapsed and third on corrected. The J/122 TARAHUMARA sailed by Jack Gregg from Corinthian YC of Philadelphia, took 5th in class, correcting our 4 minutes behind the J/121. All in all, it was a fun day for the INCOGNITO team who has their sights set on the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Conanicut YC Around Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, September 15, 2017

J/88s & J/111s Dominate Chicago Bi-State

J/88 sailing offshore Fast Ride for J/105 Class!
(Chicago, IL)- The Bi-State and the Tri-State is a multi-leg offshore race held over Labor Day Weekend on the southern parts of Lake Michigan. Chicago to St. Joseph, MI is the first leg of the race. More than 100 boats departed Friday evening for a fast sprint of 50.5 NM across the lake, most boats finishing early Saturday morning.

For most, Saturday was a day of rest in St. Joseph with the Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament and live entertainment at the St. Joseph River YC. Then, on Sunday morning, racers chose whether to continue to Michigan City, IN as part of the traditional Tri-State or head back to Chicago for the Bi-State leg of the race.  Most chose the latter based on the forecasted light winds down the Michigan shoreline.

The first leg of the event saw 104 boats starting, 24 of them J/teams from across the spectrum (about 23% of all entries).  The J/105s raced as a one-design class, with eight crews vying for control.  Winning the leg across was Mike Hettel’s GLOBAL NOMADS.  Then, on the Bi-State leg back to Chicago, Kris Reichert’s ANGRY SLOTH won.  As a result, the combined scores saw Hettel’s GLOBAL NOMADS win with a 1-3 for 4 pt, followed by a rare three-way tie for 2nd place!  Winning that on countback was Reichert’s ANGRY SLOTH with a 5-1 for 6 pts. Third went to ESPRIT D’ECOSSE (Judith & Ross McLean) with a 4-2 for 6 pts and fourth position went to SEALAKR (Clark Pellet) with a 2-4 for 6 pts.

The rough and tumble seventeen-boat PHRF 4 handicap class had a quartet of J/88’s dueling for class honors.  Amongst the J/88s, taking first was EXILE (Andy Graff) with a 2-1 for 3 pts.  Second was SLOT MACHINE (Boyd Jarrell) with a 4-3 for 7 pts, winning the tie-breaker based on “who-beat-who-last” over RAMBLER (Ben Wilson) with a 3-4 for 7 pts.  Rounding out the J/88s in 4th place was HOKEY SMOKE (Rich Stearns) with an 8-2 for 10 pts.

With eighteen boats, the PHRF 2 class was the largest in the event.  In short, J’s took 3 of the top 4 spots in the Bi-State event.  Winning easily was the J/111 PURA VIDA (John Kalanik) with a 1-2 for 3 pts.  Third in class was the J/111 WARLOCK (Tom Dickson) with a 6-1 for 7 pts and sitting in 4th was the J/120 JAHAZI (Frank Giampoli) with a 5-4 for 9 pts.

Finally, in PHRF 1 class, carrying the J/banner all alone was Tom Papoutsis’ J/133 RENEGADE, sailing in a class with an eclectic mixture of much larger offshore racing machines- like an Andrews 77 and a TP52! In the end, they took a commendable 4th place in the Bi-State with a 5-4 for 9 pts.

Find all the YachtScoring information here
Chicago to St Joe- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4306
St Joe to Michigan City- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4333
St Joe to Chicago- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4332
Michigan City to Chicago- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4334
For more Columbia YC Bi-State & Tri-State Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

J/133 Leads @ RORC Offshore Season Series!

J/133 sailing RORC Cherbourg Race2nd @ Cherbourg Race Clinches Overall!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Yacht Club de Cherbourg, and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the 75nm Cherbourg Race stared on Friday at 1850 and sent the fleet off on a straight shot across “La Manche” to Cherbourg, France.

The RORC Cherbourg Race is the penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, between the record-breaking entry for the Rolex Fastnet Race, and the highly acclaimed Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 75nm “sprint race” from Cowes to Cherbourg is the last of the UK-based races for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, and for many teams this was the swan-song for their 2017 racing season.

The 75-mile race featured a tight reach west out of the Solent, followed by a moonlit downwind sprint to Cherbourg across the English Channel.  The wind speed was up to about 20 knots from the northwest, boats were surfing towards a rising moon on starboard tack, just classic offshore racing. During the night, the wind speed decreased, and with a westerly going tide, the teams had to be careful not to heat up too much in the quest for speed, and end up too high at the finish.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 PINTIA, secured class victory for the season, which was decided by the best five results. Gilles Fournier is full of praise for their rivals: “Having such close racing with ‘Lisa’, has definitely improved our performance, and we have enjoyed every battle in every race. After the Fastnet, we met for lunch, and we both worked out the same mathematics.”  In the end, PINTIA beat their rival in all five of their highest scoring races- Cervantes, Myth of Malham, Cowes Dinard St Malo, Channel Race, & Fastnet Race. Finishing third place for the season was Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W.  And, 5th place was Chris Daniel’s new J/122E JUNO! Not far off the pace was Chris Schram’s J/120 MAVERICK from The Netherlands, finishing 8th place.

At the Prize Giving held at the YC de Cherbourg, RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd, spoke on behalf of the competitors, thanking the club for their generous hospitality. The President of the YCC, Jean Le Carpentier, and RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott, officiated at the awards ceremony.  For more RORC Cherbourg Race & Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 World Championship Preview

J/24 Worlds sailing Toronto, Canada (Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- The Port Credit YC of Mississauga, Canada, will be hosting the 2017 driveHG.ca J/24 World Championship. The J/24 is an international One-Design keelboat class and the most popular racing keelboat in the world with over 5,480 boats built and being sailed in 165 fleets and 110 countries.

Over 400 yachtsmen and women on sixty-nine boats will be participating in this year’s Worlds representing ten countries- Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the USA.

The opening day of the 2017 Worlds at Port Credit YC will feature 3-time J/24 North American Champion and World Champion Will Welles of North Sails, speaking at 5 pm about performance racing, along with fellow J/24 World Champion Tim Healy, the North Sails One-Design President.

The host country is showing a bit of resurgence in J/24 activity, with twenty teams participating in this year’s event on Lake Ontario.  Top crews include Canadian Champion Rossi Milev steering CLEAR AIR, as a member of PCYC, clearly the hometown favorite.  Joining is Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, and Katie Coleman Nicoll’s QUICK NICK also from PCYC.

J/24s sailing World ChampionshipThe largest, and arguably most talented, contingent comes from the USA, with thirty-four teams lining up on the starting line.  In that line-up are several past J/24 World Champions, European Champions and North American Champions.  An impressive group, to say the least.  Heading up that group are John Mollicone’s Newport team on HELLY HANSEN, with fellow World Champion Tim Healy on board.  Fellow Newport colleague Will Welles will be racing his familiar BOGUS.  Then, yet another J/24 World Champion, Mike Ingham’s crew from Rochester Canoe Club in New York will be racing USA 5443.  J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall will be racing with his Newport-based crew on PIPE DREAM.  Tony Parker’s famous BANGOR PACKET should be in the hunt with his talented crew, so will be Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH for Seattle, WA, Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC, Al Constants’ BLITZ from Long Island Sound, Todd Fedyszyn’s SPOONY TACTICS from St Petersburg, FL, Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME, Carter White’s YOU REGATTA from Portland, ME, and Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA.

The top South American crews include the entire trio from Argentina- Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE, Matias Pereira’s CARRERA and Nick Cubria’s ELVIS- all from Buenos Aires and Club Nautico Olivos- all Argentinian or South American Champions.  Joining them is Mexico’s National Champion- Ken Porter on MONSTER FISH from Club Nautico Valle de Bravo.  In addition, are two Peruvian Champions- Luis Olcese’s SCARAMOUSH and Javier Arribas’ WAYRA.

From Europe are a number of competitive women's teams, including Ann Taylor’s ROCKELY WATERSPORTS from Parkstone YC in England, Ann-Kathrin Frank’s Hamburg, Germany crew sailing JUELSSAND and Lizzy McDowell’s’ Howth YC team from Dublin, Ireland sailing SCANDAL.

Finally, a substantial Asian contingent is looking forward to sailing on Lake Ontario’s “sweet water”.  Four Japanese teams are on hand, including Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA and Tokuma Takesue’s GEKKO.  Plus, Gyeongwon Jo’s crew from Korea will be sailing KOR 7777 SUMMER SANTA!  Follow J/24 Worlds on Facebook here  For more drive.hg J/24 World Championship sailing information a data-flip-widget="flipit" href="https://flipboard.com">Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rolex Big Boat Series Preview

J/105 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- When it comes to determining the fastest guns in the west, Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by the venerable St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC), has long served as the left coast’s pivotal proving ground. Of the 40 regattas StFYC hosts each year, Rolex Big Boat Series is the signature event and enjoys a proud 52-year history of testing competitors’ skills in the demanding, rewarding conditions of San Francisco Bay.

"Rolex Big Boat Series draws the top skippers and crew from around the U.S. and abroad, who should be prepared for four days of racing in challenging conditions," said Dennis George, Rolex Big Boat Series regatta co-chair. "While the fleets vary in size, the competition in every fleet is fierce."

Racing is anticipated to take place in nine classes including robust fleets of J/70s, J/105s, J/111s, J/120s, and ORR handicap class.

All told, this year’s fleet will be competing for six perpetual trophies, accompanied by a Swiss-made Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date Timepiece, as well as additional take-home trophies.

“September is the sweet spot for weather,” said Jim Kiriakis, Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club, who added that while it can get breezy in the afternoon, the Bay rarely delivers “nuclear” conditions in September. “The day develops from morning’s tranquility into a dynamic breeze often in the 15-25 kts range that provides great competition.”

J/70s sailing San FranciscoDespite the fact the AUDI J/70 World Championship is taking place simultaneously half a world away on the Mediterranean, a great fleet of thirteen J/70s are looking forward to yet another four-days of awesome competition on the Bay.  The event has become popular with the J/70s since it offers a wide-range of sailing conditions as well as “random-leg” racing.  Often the first race in the morning is a Windward-Leeward race starting off either the face of Alcatraz Island or down in the infamous Berkeley Circle.  Then, if it’s breeze-on early, a second W/L takes place before the afternoon race- designed to get all boats racing back to finish off the line in front of St Francis YC.  Then, of course, is the famous “Around the Bay Race” that traditionally takes place on Sunday- a.k.a.- the “Bay Tour” that can be from 18 to 25nm in length.  Ironically, even for J/70s, those can turn out to be “short races”, especially if it is an “ebb tide” event, which it will be for 2017.  Those conditions permit J/70s to sail at 6-7 kts VMG upwind while planing downwind at speeds averaging 13 kts in full-on planing-mode conditions.

Looking forward to that challenge are a number of West Coast’s top J/70 crews, such as the Snow/ Brigden team on COOL STORY BRO, Pat Toole’s famous 3 BIG DOGS crew from Santa Barbara YC, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Scott Sellers’ 1FA, David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET, and Peter Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER.  Joining them from Amagasaki, Japan is Akinori Takezawa’s crew on PETIT STAR.

As usual, the J/105 class turns out in droves for this event, being one of their most popular regattas all season-long. Two-dozen J/105s will be lining up on the starting line. Leading the cumulative standings for the J/105 season series are BLACKHAWK, followed by GODOT, ARBITRAGE and DONKEY JACK. The fleet is deeply talented, including numerous RBBS Rolex watch winners to J/105 North American Champions to Block Island Race Week Rolex watch champions!  Sure to be on the leaderboard over the four days will be crews like Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, Shannon Ryan & Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, Chris & Phil Perkins’ GOOD TIMIN’, Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Rick Goebel’s SANITY from San Diego, CA, and Jeff Littfin’s MOJO.

The J/120s have always loved the event and virtually every team on the Bay is in attendance.  Who will it be this time in this incredibly tight-knit fleet?  Seemingly, one boat seems to hit the “easy button” and just powers away, for no apparent reason.  And, each year its been different teams!  In any event, the players are Barry Lewis’ CHANCE, Tom Grennan’s KOOKABURRA, Timo Bruck’s TWIST, Steve Madeira’s MIST MAGOO, and Dave Halliwill’s PEREGRINE.

In the PHRF Sportboat class, three J/88s are taking on all comers in their seven-boat class.  Hoping to grab silver are Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS, Jeremy Moncada’s JUNO, or Marc McMorris’ M-SQUARED.

Finally, the 23-boat ORR class has a very wide-range of boats and may get broken up into two divisions.  Nevertheless, five J/111s that are fresh off sailing for five days in their recent J/111 World Championship will be out for blood, yet again.  With all that “training” against a very tough fleet of one-design crews, they will be formidable sailing in the ORR handicap division; those crews include J/111 World Champion Peter Wagner and his SKELETON KEY team, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT, Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and Doug & Jack Jorgenson’s PICOSA crew for Los Angeles (2nd in the Worlds).  Fighting them tooth and nail will be two of the famous J/125s- Richard Ferris’ AUGUST ICE for Lake Tahoe YC and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER for Dana Point YC south of L.A.  Finally, two J/44s will be right in there, Paul Stemler’s PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC and Jack Clapper’s PHANTOM from Mill Valley, CA.  Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.com. For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information a data-flip-widget="flipit" href="https://flipboard.com">Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Crews Sweep Vineyard Race Divisions!

Vineyard Cup Race trophy (Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race was a classic. This 238-mile course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of The Race, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.  This year, a massive offshore Low was spinning away, producing strong Northerly winds that ultimately swung East as the fleet rounded Buzzards Bay Tower.  Needless to say, under such idyllic conditions, several records were broken.

J/88 sailing Vineyard RaceThe race had many J/teams from J/97s up to J/160s.  Of the 103 keelboats registered to sail this weekend, twenty-six were J/crews (representing one-quarter of the fleet)!  The race has expanded its format to include three races being run simultaneously.  The “classic” is the “round Buzzards Bay Tower” and back.  The two additions are the Cornfield Point Course (the shortest) and the Seaflower Reef Course (middle distance).  Remarkably, J/crews won virtually every division they were sailing in on every single race track!

Winning the PHRF 2 class in the Cornfield Point course was John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II from Stamford, CT.

Winning the PHRF 3 Doublehanded class in the Seaflower Reef course was Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE.  On the same track, sweeping the top six in PHRF 4 class were all J/crews- 1st was Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR, 2nd Al Minella’s J/88 ALBONDIGAS, 3rd Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION, 4th John Pearson’s J/88 RED SKY, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN, and 6th Ken & Drew Hall’s J/88 NEVERMORE.

J/120 Ailibi sailing doublehandedOn the “classic” Vineyard Race track, Gardner Grant’s famous J/120 ALIBI crushed it in IRC 5 Doublehanded class.

In PHRF Class 7, American YC’s Young American Jr Big Boat Team, took 2nd place racing their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN!

Then, in PHRF 8 class Chris Nicholls’ J/109 RHIANNON took 4th, Jim Farrell’s J/35 SAPPHIRE 5th, and Mike Greene’s J/35 LOBLOLLY 6th place!

J/120 sailing Vineyard RacePHRF 9 class saw J/crews sweep the top two spots and take 6 of the top 8!  Winning was Greg Leonard’s J/120 HERON, 2nd was William Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE.  Fourth was Brian Spears’ J/120 MADISON, 5th John Greifzu’s J/109 GROWTH SPURT, 6th the Young American Jr Big Boat crew on the J/120 VAREKAI, and 8th was Steven Levy’s J/120 EAGLE.

Winning PHRF 10 class MaryEllen Tortorello’s J/111 PARTNERSHIP, followed by John Donovan’s J/111 LIBERTAS in 3rd place, Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 4th and Kevin Kelley’s J/122 SUMMER GRACE in 5th place.

Finally, winning IRC 11 class Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP followed by SUNY Maritime’s CHARLIE V in 4th place..
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Monday, September 11, 2017

AUDI J/70 World Championship Preview

J/70 sailing Worlds (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The 2017 AUDI J/70 World Championship may go down in history as the class’ largest event ever- with 175 boats registered.  Hosted by YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, it can be said there are few yacht club and marina facilities in the world that can handle such an enormous fleet of very talented sailors from across the world.

The regatta format has been updated twice because of the record number of entries. The YCCS PRO for the event will be Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC in Texas- one of the survivors of the recent catastrophe caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico.  Foster has significant experience with big fleets, including acting as the St Francis YC’s PRO for the 2016 J/70 Worlds that had 83 boats on a single starting line.  The fleet will be split randomly into four “flights” and the goal is to have a double-round robin consisting of six races for each flight to determine a Gold and Silver Fleet.  Thereafter, the Gold fleet will consist of 85 boats racing for the World Championship with up to nine races scheduled over the three remaining days.  The start line will consist of three boats, including a mid-line signal boat.

J/70 Petite Terrible- Claudi RossiTwenty-four nations are represented in the fleet with sixteen European countries, four North American countries, three South American countries and Australia.  By far the largest contingent is from the greater European continental region.  As the host nation, Italy has thirty-nine teams registered, including all of the top names and teams that just completed their ALCATEL J/70 Cup on Lago Maggiore- emblematic of their Italian J/70 National Championship series.  Amongst those teams are two-time J/70 European Champion- Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE, Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK (2x J/70 Midwinter Champion and 2017 ALCATEL J/70 Cup winner), Gianfranco Noe’s WHITE HAWK (the 2017 ALCATEL J/70 Cup Corinthians champion), and Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN (a multi-regatta winner in the ALCATEL J/70 Cups over the past two years).

In addition to these top teams, there is also strong family participation in the Italian J/70 class.  Claudia’s father- Alberto Rossi- is sailing ENFANT TERRIBLE (he’s also a Farr 40 World Champion).  The famous fashion and sailing family- the Loro Piana’s also will have father and sons racing- brothers Giacomo & Pietro sailing on CU-J and father Pier Luigi sailing on MY SONG.  Similarly, another past Farr 40 and M32 World Champion, Vincenzo Onorato will be sailing MASCALZONE LATINO with Cameron Appleton as his tactician, while his son Achille Onorato will be sailing MASCALZONE LATINO JR with Francesco Bruni on board as tactician- a formidable pair those two!

J/70 sailing Germany leagueJust behind the large Italian group is an entire German armada of thirty-two teams heading south to take over Porto Cervo!  Clearly, their famous Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga is having an impact on sailing all across Germany, and Europe, for that matter!  Most all of the top German J/70 teams will be present, such as the uber-fast combo of Pit Finis and World Champion match-racer from Poland- Karol Jablonski- sailing on DRALION.DE for Dusseldorf YC. Other German colleagues should be in the hunt, such as Phil Mecklenburg’s HANDWERKER (with brothers Lukas & Tobias Feuerherdt aboard), Klaus Dieche’s LED ZEPPELIN, Martin Christiansen’s MARE-Z, Bjorn Bielken’s PROCEDES DIVA, Margale Rudiger’s REALITY DISTORTION FIELD, Jurgen Waldheim’s ROSAROTER PENGUIN and Christian Soyka’s VOICE OF ITZEHOE. An all-women’s crew from YC Langenargen will be sailing LADY LIKE- Anica Rimmele, Lina & Rosanna Schentz, Anne Winkelhausen, and Carla Rau.
  
The next largest contingent is, surprisingly, the Swiss mountain lakes teams, with thirteen teams making the trek south for fun in the Mediterranean sun! Leading teams from their highly popular sailing leagues include the SN Geneva crew on Cde.CH- Nicolas Anklin, Fredrik Hedluns’ Buchillon YC crew on AGERA 3, Vieter Casas’ SN Geneva team on CER 1 APROTEC, Thomas Studer’s SC Enge crew on JEAN, and Alain Stettler’s team from Regattaclub Oberhofen on QUARTER-2-ELEVEN.   

With a dozen crew making the migration across the English Channel and the Moby Lines Ferry ride out to Olbia, Sardinia, no question the teams from Great Britain will have had a lot of practice in a wide range of wind and sea conditions- all good for the waters off Porto Cervo.  Those leading teams include Allan Higgs’ ESF ENERGY, Dan Schieber’s HELLY HANSEN, Martin Dent’s JELVI 8, and Jeremy Thorp’s PHAN.  Amongst their crews are also a top women’s team- Suzy Russell and Hannah Peters’ HANZY.

Also headed to Sardinia are several formidable Spanish teams; amongst the dozen crews are Olympic Medallists and multiple J/80 World Championships.  Not surprisingly, the first time these teams appeared at the J/70 Europeans in the United Kingdom, they had a very strong showing- at one point holding 2 of the top 5 places in the regatta!  While not well-known yet, they will be serious contenders for the top ten overall. Their top crews include NOTICIA from RCM Santander (“Pichu” Torcida and Rayco Tabares), PETITE PALACE HOTELS (Laureano Wizner), FERMAX (Gustavo Martinez) and the Canal brothers sailing on separate boats- ABRIL ROJO (Jorge Perez Canal) and ABRIL VERDE (Luis Perez Canal).

Familiar with the local waters and certain to have teams at the top of the leaderboard will be the nine crews attending from YC Monaco.  Those crews include Pierrik Devic’s FRASER YACHTS, Ludovic Fassitelli’s JUNDA-BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA (with United Kingdom’s Olympian Chris Grube aboard) and Maiano Herve’s SOPWITH CAMEL.

J/70 sailing league- Russia- Valeriya KAlso showing up with a strong contingent that has been doing a lot of racing and practicing in Monaco are the nine Russian crews.  Their top teams include Valeria Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE, Daniel Odintsoy’s GOLDEN WING, Peter Nosov’s JESSIE TANTA, Aleksander Generalow’s JANE, and Alex Semenov & Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES- a Russian & Spanish combined team.

Similarly, the seven French teams have top J/80 sailors amongst them- including a French National Champion.  Those crews are Laurent Sambron’s EJP 14 and Elizabeth Valliant’s TRISKELL from SN Marseilles.

Five teams are sailing from The Netherlands, including J/22 European Champion Wouter Kollmann sailing PLAJ and Rikst Dijkstra’s WATERLAND MONNICKENDAM.
  
Other top crews from across Europe include Poland’s Krzytof Krempec skippering ENA, Norway’s Eivind Astrup sailing NORWEGIAN STEAM, Sweden’s Magnus Tyreman sailing TYRA with the American Jay Lutz onboard, Turkey’s Emir Icogoren racing AMEERA JET, Austria’s Klaus Diem skippering PFANDER, Croatia’s Pavel Kostov steering MINI NAHITA, and Malta’s Ripard brothers (Sebastian & John) sailing CALYPSO with Jon Calascione.
  
J/70 Worlds San FranciscoThe North American contingent is certainly the most deeply talented in the fleet- perhaps the “dirty dozen”- armed and dangerous and all fast.  Amazingly, all dozen teams have finished in the top three in large J/70 regattas in both the “open” and “Corinthians” divisions, including the Midwinters, Sailing World NOOD Regattas, Great Lakes Championship and the past three World Championships. Hoping to defend his World Championship title will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT crew that includes John Kostecki (himself a J/24 World Champion).  Chasing them hard will be teams like Glenn Darden & Reese Hillard’s HOSS with Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee on tactics; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew (2nd in the J/70 Europeans and won the final ALCATEL J/70 Cup in Italy against all top European teams) that includes Victor Diaz de Leon from Venezuela and Willem Van Waay from San Diego; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team (winner of the 2017 Corinthian Nationals) that includes US Olympic Medallist Stu McNay; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew that has Australia’s Champion skipper Jeremy Wilmot; and Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER team from St Francis YC that includes none other than the famous Paul Cayard (Star World Champion and Volvo/Whitbread Race Champion) calling tactics!

Other top crews from across the America’s and the Caribbean include Peter Cunningham’s POWER PLAY from the Cayman Island Sailing Club (with top Argentinean Olympic sailor Lucas Calabrese calling tactics); the Weakley brothers (Scott & Dave) from Toronto, ONT Canada sailing REX; Mauricio Santa Cruz from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sailing MANDACHUVA (a four-time J/24 World Champion); Chilean J/24 Champion Victor Lobos and the Molina brothers (Cristobal & Benjamin) sailing LEXUS CHILE; Argentinean J/24 Champions Sebastian Halpern and the Despontin brothers (Pablo & Ezequiel) racing CEBOLLITA; and the Perez brother trio (Ignacio, Juan & Santiago) from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico sailing ADRENALINE.

The lone crew from way, way Down Under is Reg Lord’s team from the Cruising YC of Australia racing JUNO!  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information a data-flip-widget="flipit" href="https://flipboard.com">Add to Flipboard Magazine.

SC Mattsee Wins J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Moritz

J/70 Austrian team winning St Moritz (St Moritz, Switzerland)- This year the best European Clubs sailed the SAILING Champions League in two different events (Act 1 - St. Petersburg (August) and Act 2 - St. Moritz (September)) to snatch one of the much sought-after starts for the grand finale in Porto Cervo (September) where Europe´s best sailing club will be crowned. The races take place in fleet-race-mode on one-design-J/70 class sailboats.

24 sailing teams from 12 nations defied freezing temperatures and weak wind conditions in 24 exciting races in front of the fabulous alpine backdrop of St Moritz and the Engadin valley. On the third and last day of the SAILING Champions League Act 2, Segelclub Mattsee from Austria defended its lead to finish at top of the regatta. Second was Hellerup Sejlklub of Denmark, followed by the Seglerhaus am Wannsee from Germany in third place.

In light and shifty winds, the team from Mattsee upheld good rankings over the entire weekend on the Lake of St. Moritz. In particular, the relatively low weight of this crew of four (Stefan Scharnagl, Anna Scharnagl, Lisa Leimgruber and Hanna Ziegler) paid off under such wind conditions.

"We are overjoyed to have defended our lead from yesterday. We certainly didn't expect this victory, and are, of course, very happy about it“, says helmsman Stefan Scharnagl. The coveted trophy from the presenting partner JUVIA was handed over by Judith Dommermuth, founder and proprietor of the renowned fashion brand.

J/70 Segelclub Matsee sailing team at St Moritz, SwitzerlandWith this overall win in Act 2 of the SAILING Champions League in St. Moritz, Red Bull Youth-America’s Cup helmsman Stefan Scharnagl and his team demonstrated their potential. At the Grand Finale in Porto Cervo on September 22-24, they aim to confirm it by winning the "Best Sailing Club“ trophy.

Hellerup Sejlklub from Denmark again put pressure on the club from Mattsee on the last day with three wins out of four races. But, that was still not enough to overtake the Austrians. In the end, this team had to make do with second place. Runner-up in third place after a wonderful third day of racing was the German team, Seglerhaus am Wannsee, who won two of the last three races to gain a place on the podium.

In these short close-to-the-shore “stadium races”, held in front of the fabulous alpine backdrop on the St. Moritzersee, the 24 teams rotated into eight J/70 one-design class keelboats over the three days.  It was classic “mountain lake sailing”, with very streaky, shifty winds- putting a premium on boat-handling and acceleration in the fickle breezes.

As a result of the completion of this event in St Moritz, the top sixteen teams are qualified to sail in the SAILING Champions League finale hosted by YC Costa Smeralda, in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. They include two German teams (Seglerhaus am Wannsee and Lindauer Segelclub) and a Swiss team (Societe Nautique de Geneve).  The SAP Sailing results can be found here   For more SAILING Champions League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

J/Sailors Ruling J/Class!

J/Class yachts in Newport, RI for Worlds(Newport, RI)- The first ever J/Class World Championship took place this past week in Newport, RI and was hosted by the New York YC Harbour Court. Six of the 140 foot (~ 43 meter) sailing yachts participated in the five day event that saw racing take place on Tuesday in a “Navigators Race” inside Narragansett Bay and the next four days offshore in Rhode Island Sound about 4nm southwest of Castle Hill point.

Not surprisingly, literally every single boat had local talent and local knowledge on board as strategists/ tacticians- virtually all of them were top J/Boats sailors.

Foremost in everyone’s minds were the two brothers aboard Jim Clark’s HANUMAN- Ken Read (steering) and Brad Read (tactician)- if there was ever a combination of sailors that knows the Bay and the Sound well, it would be them- needless to say both are multiple J/24 World Champions. Their world-famous navigator was none other than Stan Honey- he and his wife Sally have also raced J/105s on the West Coast. They also had Chuck Brown on runners, a Caribbean Champion and raced J/24s and J/30s for years- winning a few Rolex St Thomas Regattas along the way.  Despite all the talent on board, they could only muster a second place.

J/class Lionheart- Anthony Kouton skipperOn the winning boat- LIONHEART- they, too, had a Newporter on-board that was also a J/24 World Champion- Anthony Kouton- feeling perhaps a bit out of his element as a Moth World Champion (foiler), too! Plus, they had aboard Bouwwe Beking from the Netherlands- himself having raced on J/105s and J/109s in the Netherlands.

As for the third place boat TOPAZ, they “only” had Tony Rey, Scotty Vogel and Peter Holmberg aboard taking up most of their afterguard, plus running the boat as “Crew Boss” (Scotty).  Peter is from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has raced J/24s, IC/24s, and J/105s over the years as Caribbean and CORT Champion- in addition to being an expert match-racer.  Tony Rey is from Newport and has also raced at World Championship levels on J/24s, J/70s, J/122s, J/105s and others.  Scotty has also raced a wide variety of boats, including J/24s, J/35s, J/105s, J/109s and J/111s.

RANGER had aboard Andrew Cape from the U.K.- a famous Volvo Ocean Race navigator and also guides the mighty RAMBLER 88 for George David.  He is a two-time Round Island (Isle of Wight) Doublehanded winner on a J/44 sailing on Stu Johnstone's J-HAWK, plus he’s raced quite a few J/24s, J/105s and J/109s in the U.K. over time.

J/Class yachts sailing Worlds off NewportVELSHEDA had some veteran offshore and match-racing team members on board that have raced J/105s and J/80s in various events, such as Tom Dodson, Campbell Field and Don Cowie.

Finally, Tom Siebel’s crew was practically 100% managed by top J sailors from all parts of the world. Growing up in Wilmette, IL, Tom himself sailed J/24s and out West has owned and race J/105s and J/125s on San Francisco Bay! His navigator was Peter Isler- a regular on the SC 70 PYEWACKET for Roy Disney Jr and has raced J/24s, J/80s, J/105s and J/44s.  Tom Whidden was his strategist, the former President of North Sails, a person that has raced on practically all of the earlier J/Boats, including J/24s, J/29s, J/35s, J/41s, J/105s, J/44s, J/160s, etc.  Francesco de’Angelis from Italy was serving as coach, and raced J/24s and recently J/70s for years- including winning a J/24 World Championship in Capri.  Steve Calder from North Sails Canada has also been J/24 Canadian Champion and has raced J/105s, J/109s, J/35s, J/70s in Canada and the USA.  Vince Brun from North Sails San Diego is a J/24 Champion, West Coast J/70 Champion and has raced just about everything in the J/range including J/105s and J/109s. Sailing photo credits- Onne Van der wal/ Sharon Green- Ultimate Sailing/ Carlo Borlenghi. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sail Newport Christens New Sailing Center!

Sail Newport(Newport, RI)- Sail Newport, along with a slate of dignitaries, officials and supporters, celebrated the opening of its new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center today.  Over 200 people joined Executive Director Brad Read for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Director Janet Coit, former Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, Representative Marvin Abney and Rob MacMillan, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing among other city and state leaders.

"This is a center truly worthy of the Ocean State," Raimondo said. "The state-of-the-art sustainable design will allow Sail Newport to bring the magical experience of being out on the water to more Rhode Islanders. In particular, the center will teach our younger generation that these natural resources are gifts we must protect and preserve for the future."

The 8,500 square foot LEED-compliant building located in Fort Adams State Park was conceived, designed, engineered and built with support and guidance from the State of Rhode Island and many construction and sustainability partners.

In addition to sustainably-resourced materials and a flood-resilient design, the new center operates with energy-efficient heating and cooling, solar power, and a rainwater harvesting system for irrigation, boat wash and restroom water.

Sail Newport center- ribbon cutting ceremony"I am thrilled to celebrate the completion of the Mid-Park Education and Recreation Center at historic Fort Adams State Park - a place of profound beauty and culture and home to exceptional recreation, facilities, and marquee events," says Coit. "Beautiful waters and green-spaces, breathtaking vistas, and world-class boating - all of which surround you at Fort Adams- are hallmarks of Rhode Island. They are an intrinsic part of life here. And they attract streams of people and opportunity for our state," she adds.

"Kudos to Sail Newport and all partners involved in making this project a reality and continuing to enhance and promote Fort Adams as a destination. I look forward to the many public programs and opportunities Mid-Park will offer- and the love of sailing and enjoyment of our parks that it will help inspire," Coit adds.

The growth and progress of Sail Newport, which was founded in 1983 after the loss of the America's Cup, prompted the organization's leaders to set a goal five years ago to expand their public access sailing programs and marine education for the community. The new center was designed to facilitate more education with year-round classrooms and restrooms and an upgraded facility in order to offer more public sailing programs and more access to the water for all ages.

"The State of Rhode Island, DEM and many generous donors have brought us to this day," Read says.  "Not only do we now have a sustainable headquarters, this new center will serve the community with more public access sailing programs and access to Narragansett Bay," he adds.

Read notes that the first program to use the new center will be a fourth-grade learn-to-sail educational initiative with the Pell Elementary School which starts on September 18.  The program was developed by Sail Newport and Donna Kelly, a Newport Public School teacher and former board member of Sail Newport, and Superintendent of Schools- Colleen Burns Jermain.

The unique program will align with the public school's fourth-grade core curriculum in the areas of math, science, social studies and art.  In addition to the on-the-water classroom of sailing instruction, the new indoor classrooms will house students for the land-based curriculum portions.

Sail Newport also partnered with 11th Hour Racing for the design of the building to include sustainability at the heart of its sailing center operation and green events and programs. It was announced almost a year ago that 11th Hour Racing granted $1.0 million towards costs for the new center.

11th Hour Racing’s Director MacMillan commented, ”We are thrilled to see the grant that 11th Hour Racing awarded to Sail Newport in 2016 come to fruition, with the new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center ready to welcome and expand Sail Newport's educational programs, while integrating the message of preservation and maintenance of our ocean and shoreline. Since 2010, 11th Hour Racing has been harnessing the power of sport with an innovative and comprehensive approach, and this new sustainable headquarters is a testament to our core values centered around environmental and social responsibility.”

MacMillan adds, "We exist to provide public access sailing programs and services. The new center will have a positive impact on all of our community-based programs that we provide at low cost or no cost to other non-profit organizations. He adds, "Most importantly," he says, "we hope to inspire all sailors as to the importance of preserving and maintaining our ocean and shoreline." Learn more about Sail Newport here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.