Wednesday, July 29, 2015

L’ELAGAIN Wins J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Act III

J/70s sailing off Italy (Cervia, Italy)- L’ELAGAIN owned by Franco Solerio, along with assistance from Daniele Cassinari on tactics, took overall victory in the third leg of the J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy held in Cervia from 12th to 14th June. The event organized by the local Yacht Club in collaboration with the J/70 Italian Class saw the national fleet and Mikael Lindqvist’s ROCAD RACING from Sweden completing 9 windward-leeward races over three days. The water off the pleasant Adriatic coastal resort served up near perfect conditions with Southerly breeze ranging from 12 to 16 knots.

J/70 fleet sailing off ItalyFranco Solerio on L’ELAGAIN finished first and second in eight of 9 races, claiming his second stage victory one day in advance. Second Place went to CALVI NETWORK owned by Carlo Alberini, tied with equal points in third with Pietro Saccomanni’s SPIN ONE.

Consistent performances over each of the three legs have left Solerio at the top of the overall classification after 23 races sailed for the national title and with a final stage due to be held in September on the famous Lago di Garda in northeastern Italy. Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM dropped from first to second place overall and the Swedish ROCAD RACING is in third, followed by Alessio Marinelli’s UJI UJI.   For more J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy sailing information

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fun Larchmont Race Week!

J/105s sailing Long Island Sound SLINKY (J/70) & LOU LOU (J/105) Triumph!
(Larchmont, NY)- Larchmont Race Week got underway on July 11-12 with the second half held July 18-19 to complete the 117th edition. Returning this weekend were the racer/cruiser division and the one-designs. All fleets enjoyed the continuation of competitive racing in a 3-5 knot southwesterly breeze on Saturday and a late-filling 6-12 knot southwesterly on Sunday. Thirty boats sailed on the cruising course with 18 in the PHRF spinnaker division and 12 in the non-spinnaker group. Three races were completed in each fleet. This weekend also included a distance race around Execution Light on Sunday, an event new to the Race Week format.

"The addition of the distance race to the Race Week format added some fun and variety," noted Cruising circle PRO Jed Kelly. One-design PRO Nick Langone was able to run seven races for the fleets.

Winning the nine-boat J/105 fleet was Paul Beaudin from Harlem Yacht Club on LOU LOU. Jeremy Henderson and Harald Edegran's CONUNDRUM and the American YC Jr. Big Boat Team's YOUNG AMERICAN rounded out the top three. Fourth was George & Alex Wilbanks REVELATION and fifth was the Larchmont YC Jr Offshore Team on PRIVATEER.  At this rate of development, it may not be long before the two junior offshore teams will be consistent “players” for the podium in the future!

Scott Bursor’s SLINKY overcame a slow start in the thirteen-boat J/70 fleet to win by a comfortable margin.  Sailing faster and smarter all the time are the two Ploch sisters (Madelyn & Megan) on SUGAR DADDY; after winning the first race they hung on to grab the silver.  Third was Ernest Bourassa’s ALTHEA followed by Dave Florence’s BUZZ in fourth and Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA in fifth.

In the PHRF handicap division, the J/120 SUNSET CHILD skippered by Marcus Cholerton-Brown took third place in PHRF Racing Class.  And, after having to count a DNC in the first race, Carl Olsson’s J/109 MORNING GLORY booked a 3-2 to secure 5th overall for the series.  Taking sixth was Chris Clarke’s J/32 QUEST.

The J/cruisers enjoyed their outings in PHRF Non-Spinnaker class with Robert Taylor’s J/34 MINX placing third and Chris Roe’s J/32 ECLIPSE securing fourth in class.  For more Larchmont Race Week sailing information

ZIG ZAG Crowned J/109 Eastern Champ

J/109 East Coast winners STRATOS Takes J/105 Easterns
(Perth Amboy, NJ)- The Raritan Yacht Club of Perth Amboy, NJ hosted their 69th annual Red Grant Regatta on July 11-12 as part of the yacht club's 150th anniversary celebration. The regatta hosted 56 boats including nine J/105s and nine J/109s, along with several PHRF spinnaker/non spinnaker and cruiser classes. The weather was typical summer conditions for Lower NY Harbor/Raritan Bay with warm temperatures and light breezes of 5-8 knots.

Bengt Johansson and the crew from ZIG ZAG won a very tightly contested J/109 East Coast Championship.  Nine boats from New England, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake and New Jersey raced in the regatta.

Both days had a light Southeast breeze in a strong cross current. After about an hour postponement on Saturday the race committee managed to get two races off before the wind dropped below 3 knots. Racing was very tight with Rosalita, Mad Dogs and Zig Zag tied for first and Morning Glory and Emoticon tied for fourth after the first day.

Sunday the postponement was a bit longer before the breeze settled in at about 5 knots. Racing was again very tight with several boats leading at some point. At the second windward mark the wind got very light and the leader Rosalita briefly got stuck in a hole and got passed by Cosmo, Morning Glory and Zig Zag.  This enabled the set up for Zig Zag to win the regatta with Rosalita second and Morning Glory third.

The Zig Zag crew included the entire Johansson family- including Bengt & Marie with sons Oscar & Victor and four other friends.

The East Coast Championship was the third event in the 2015 East Coast Regatta series that included the mandatory National Championship at Block Island Race Week, the 2015 NOOD Regatta at Annapolis YC, and the 2015 East Coast Championship at Raritan YC. This trophy was awarded to Bill Sweetser and his Rush crew for capturing first place at the NOOD Regatta and second place at the 2015 J/109 North American Championship.

In the very competitive J/105 fleet, Marcus Wunderlich's STRATOS edged out Paul Zajac's SKAL in the last reach of the last race to win the race and take home the regatta trophy by a point over Ann & Gary Myer's MAGIC. MAGIC was unbeatable the first day of the regatta, taking all the bullets. SKAL took third overall.

Over on Circle A, the PHRF Racing classes were sailing all together.  In PHRF A1, four J/29s were sailing against a J/92— about the same length boat!  Prevailing amongst the J/crews was Jim Mackevich’s J/29 FOR SAIL, finishing 4th in class.  Just behind in 5th place was Tom & Julie Sinatra’s J/29 SMOKIN J and in 7th position was Sandra Gray’s J/29 MOJO.

The PHRF A2 racing class had eight J/Boats teams in a fleet of eleven boats!  As a result, those J crews took 6 of the top 7 places.  Steve Buzbee’s classic J/30 BLUE MEANIE took 2nd in class.  Just behind them, a tie-breaker determined the outcome for two J/24s with Dan Busch’s BUSCHWHACKER taking 3rd while Doug Olsen’s OUTER LIMITS took 4th.  Next was Tim Mahoney’s J/80 CANNONBALL in 5th

In the PHRF Day Cruiser race, it was Donna Paganos’ J/35 TEN YEARS AFTER that managed a relaxed 7th place in class.

The regatta benefitted the charity Easter Seals of New Jersey and had the lead sponsor of Goslings.
For more Red Grant Regatta sailing information

Sydney Boat Show Features J/70, J/88, J/111!

J/111 sailing off Sydney, Australia(Sydney, Australia)- While it may be technically called “winter” in Sydney, it’s still warm, sunny and breezy outside most days (at least compared to their over the top friends in Eurasia and North America!).  It is also a great time to visit Sydney and go to the Sydney International Boat Show- the largest recreational marine event in the southern hemisphere.

The show is located at two great waterfront sites on Sydney Harbour: the in-water exhibits are in Cockle Bay Marina in Darling Harbour and the undercover exhibits are at the fabulous Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.  A free ferry service operates between the two locations and the journey on beautiful Sydney Harbour takes on average 25 minutes to complete.

The local J/Dealer, Yachtspot, will be displaying a J/70, J/88 and J/111 during the show that runs from 30th July to 3rd August.  Come on down to the show and find out what Australians are already learning about why the International J/70 Class has been growing by leaps and bounds and is gaining momentum across Australia.  Also, discover why the J/111 continues to go from strength-to-strength in Sydney and Melbourne offshore racing circles.  Plus, get a chance to hop aboard the J/88 and be prepared for “shock & awe” as you hear about it’s serious turn-of-performance in the light stuff as well as its ability to “getup on the step” and simply send it downhill over 15 kts with the big A2 kite.

To make an appointment or learn more about the show, please contact Ray Entwistle @ on mobile-  +61-0406-562262 or email-    For more Sydney International Boat Show information

Monday, July 27, 2015

Argentina Gold @ Pan Am Games J/24 Class!

McLaughlin family sailing J/24 off Toronto (Toronto, ONT, Canada)- After six days of intense competition, the highly anticipated sailing finals took place in the inner harbour in front of downtown Toronto’s most popular urban beaches— Sugar Beach. Set against Toronto’s skyline, spectators cheered in particular for their hometown favorite, Terry McLaughlin, who was sailing in the J/24 class series.  In the end, McLaughlin’s fourth in the J-24 medal race Sunday enabled his team to claim the silver medal on the final day of the sailing regatta at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto.

J/24 Team Canada at Pan Am GamesSailing off the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, McLaughlin, a graduate of Queen’s University and silver medalist in Flying Dutchman class at the 1984 Olympics, ended the 13-race competition with 39 points, 12 points behind gold medalist Matias Pereira of Argentina.  The Argentineans’ gold-medal winning team consisted of the skipper Pereira, Guillermo Bellinotto, Federico Ambrus and Juan Pereyra.

Pereira, who won half of the 12 races in the preliminary series, was third in Sunday’s final race, which was won by Brazil’s John Spear King. It was the only win of the regatta for Spear King, who finished fifth overall.

Matias Seguel of Chile, who closed to within striking distance of McLaughlin with four consecutive top-two finishes on Thursday and Friday, was fifth Sunday to maintain his position for the bronze medal.

McLaughlin’s crew consisted of David Jarvis, David Ogden and Sandy Andrews.  "It's great to sail in Toronto," said McLaughlin. "I live on Toronto Island, I rode my bike over every day! I felt like it was just another finals in the York Cup, which is a match race and regatta here. It felt very normal for me."  For more J/24 Pan Am Games sailing information

Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Preview

J/122 sailing Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary regatta (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- This year the Royal Yacht Squadron, founded in 1815, achieves its bicentenary. To mark the occasion, the Squadron is hosting an invitational regatta to bring together as many clubs and friends as possible from around the globe, who share their common interests and love of sailing.  The event takes place from the 25th - 31st July.

The RYS has planned a week of challenging on the water activities and numerous spectacular social gatherings to complement them. These will take place in the evenings after the sailing has finished both at the Castle and other notable venues nearby. There are different sailing events planned to both attract and test the many disciplines enjoyed by sailors.

Twenty-five yacht clubs have been invited to take part and will join the Royal Yacht Squadron for five days of spectacular racing in a 200-strong fleet, including modern and classic boats racing under IRC, J/70s, and up to five J-Class yachts.

“Our aim is to make sure owners and crews will leave at the end of the event with many happy memories. Participation in the International Bicentennial Regatta will help forge stronger ties between our clubs,” commented Chris Sharples, the RYS Commodore.

Founded on June 1st 1815 at the Thatched House Tavern in St James Street London, the Squadron was originally called “The Yacht Club”. It attracted royal patronage in 1817 when the Prince Regent, later King George IV, became a member. In 1833, King William IV renamed the club “The Royal Yacht Squadron” (R.Y.S.) declaring his “gracious approval of an institution of such national utility” for its role in supporting the Royal Navy and the maritime trades of Britain.

Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert became Patron of the R.Y.S, and his son, the Prince of Wales, was Commodore for 18 years (1882-1900). King George V, also a keen yachtsman, was Admiral of the Squadron throughout his reign. The present Admiral, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, was Commodore from 1961 to 1968.

Throughout its 200 years, the Squadron’s contribution to yachting has been unique, starting with its role as the leading club in the establishment of sailing as a sport in the years 1815-1850. The 1851 race for the 100 Sovereign Cup– later renamed the “America’s Cup”– was organized by the Squadron, as were several later challenges. The Squadron, through its affiliate Royal Yacht Squadron Racing Ltd, is making a new attempt to win the cup in 2017 with a team led by Sir Ben Ainslie.

In the 19th century, Cowes became a “home” of the British sport of sailing (like Lords, Wimbledon, Newmarket or Henley). It was also the center of the European social world during regatta week, particularly in the years 1850-1914. The RYS continues to play a leading role in Cowes Week and other local regattas that make a much needed financial contribution to the Isle of Wight economy.

In recent years, the Squadron has placed greater emphasis on encouraging younger sailors through its April Training Week in J/109s for those aged 16 to 20 and the RYS Sailing Academy program for those aged up to 30 using the new fleet of J/70s. To create a lasting legacy as part of the bicentenary celebrations in 2015, the Squadron members are contributing to a new charity, The RYS Isle of Wight Foundation. The charity will provide financial assistance to educate and train young individuals who live on the Isle of Wight and seek a career connected with the marine industry.

As part of the Bicentenary Regatta, the fleet of new J/70s will be used for 2-on-2 team racing- a very exciting form of team racing since “last loses” every time.  The confirmed list of entries in this particular event include the host RYS team, the New York YC, Germany’s Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Royal Southern YC, the Royal Thames YC, St Francis YC from San Francisco, CA, the YC Costa Smeralda from Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the YC de France and also Oxford University.

On the IRC fleet racing side of things, there are 35 boats representing the 25 invited clubs.  The Royal Hong Kong YC entry is the chartered J/122 JACOBS LADDER sailed by a team of RHKYC members.  They are led by J/109 WHISKEY JACK owner Nick Southward, a boat with a reputation as a strong competitor in regattas and races in the waters off Hong Kong and Southern China and in the South China Sea.

Back in Hong Kong, Southward’s WHISKEY JACK has had recent notable achievements including winning the IRC division of the 2015 San Fernando Race, the 2014 China Cup International Regatta, and placing second in the 2014 China Coast Regatta. He says "The Regatta provides an exceptional occasion for the skipper and crew to represent the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club at this major international competition in waters that hold fond memories for a number of those aboard. We are looking forward to experiencing sailing together in the tough conditions of the Solent against stiff competition from around the world, and equally to enjoying the celebratory atmosphere of the event."  For more Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Regatta sailing information

J/70 Eurocup Announcement

J/70s sailing in ItalyJ/70 Europeans @ YC Monaco!
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- Ever since the J/70 made its European debut at the 2013 Eurocup - held on gorgeous Lake Garda in Italy - the event has become increasingly popular not only with the local fleet, but also with a growing number of boats from all around Europe.  You could say, the Garda "wind farm" is getting ready for the final act of J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy!

The 2015 edition will take place from 9th to 12th September at Fraglia Vela Riva, the first Italian yacht club to believe in the great new J sportboat, designed by Alan Johnstone.  Right from the beginning, Fraglia Vela Riva introduced the J/70 class to an international event on its calendar over the past two years.  As a result, that means J/70s are destined to become THE European one-design sportboat of the current millennium!

Now, Lake Garda gets ready for the third edition of the J/70 international regatta.  Indeed, following the success of last year’s J/70 European Championship on Lake Garda, this year many entries are expected with top Olympic & World Champion sailors participating from France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, Slovenia, Monaco and Italy to challenge for the overall spot of the event that marks the final act of the circuit J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy. You can find the EuroCup NOR/ Registration here.

After the EuroCup, many of the teams will head across the top of Italy to the westernmost edge of the Italian Riviera along the Mediterranean to sail the J/70 Europeans at YC Monaco’s spectacular facilities in Monte Carlo.  Jacopo Carrain, President of the Monaco J/70 Class, is expecting more than 50+ boats for the event.  They, too, are looking forward to rolling out the red carpet for J/70 teams from across the continent.  Mark your calendars now for this event being held from 12th to 17th October, about one month after the Lake Garda event.  For more J/70 EuroCup sailing information   For more J/70 European Championship sailing information

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tres Amigos Sailing Australia- Sail to Noumea!

Australian J sailors at end of Noumea Race (Noumea, New Caledonia, South Pacific)- Here’s a picture of happiness.  Three happy J/Boat owners at the end of a hard, on-the-wind, slog from Brisbane to Noumea in the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron & Cercle Nautique Caledonien "Sail Noumea 2015" race that started on 20th June.  Left to right are: Chris Morgan- J/130 RAGTIME; Stephen Everett- J/160 SALACIA; Tony Love- J/133 PATRIOT.

The race started on the Thursday for the Cruising boats with the "Division Two" boats starting on the Friday and "Division One" boats starting on the Saturday with 12 starters in Div 1 &  2 and 4 starters in the Cruise Division. Brisbane to Noumea is a distance of 840nm- see their website-

Here is Chris Morgan’s report from RAGTIME:

“Ragtime had a bad start spending time on a sand bank just after dark going out of the bay whilst giving a big ship room to navigate the channel then by the time we got to the turning mark off Caloundra to head out to Noumea the wind had come in from the Southeast at 20 to 30 knots forward of beam and was to remain like that for the rest of the race.

The first night out was shocking as we were concerned that we may have some damage from the grounding and the sea was very confused with lots of water over the deck and the majority of us were sea sick. At one stage we backed right off just sailing on No 3 headsail and checking the boat over thoroughly. Early in the evening we passed two of the "Big Boys' "Alive" and the Volvo 70 "Mates for Mates" returning to Brisbane with gear failure.

By 6.00 am we had two reefs in the main. No 3 headsail and a small staysail up punching into big seas at 45 to 50 apparent at 9 to 10 knots - Great sailing and we then settled into a routine for the next four days going from one reef to two and back.

Sail to Noumea race courseThe boat handled it very well and down below off watch it was very comfortable and warm the only issues being that we were taking water in through the prodder opening and chain locker. As the boat was leaning over to port the water would not drain to the keel to be handled by the pump so it accumulated under the nav table and we had to constantly sponge it up at about a bucket an hour all the way.

We also broke the toilet seat, the toilet door and two spokes off the wheel. Just getting wet weather gear on and of was a big exercise when the boat is at a 30 to 40 degree angle in big seas.

About a day and a half from Noumea we started the motor to charge the power up and realized that we were not getting any charge from the alternator (Water under the nav table had got to the charger box) so we ran that night in "stealth mode" to conserve power with a torch light over the compass. Very pleasant sailing without the distraction of the instruments.

As darkness fell on the fourth day we spotted "Amedee Light" which marks the entrance to the reef off Noumea and we were able to use the lap top and "Expedition" to navigate. About this time the wind picked up - Not sure to what as we had the instruments off but guess about 40 K and very shifty and heading us so we had to put in a few tacks to get lined up with the Amedee Light leads loosing about 2 hours (If only we had stayed further south on the last day we would have been in 2 hours earlier and perhaps we would not have had to give "Patriot" a bottle of "Skippers Quality Rum").

The lead lights were vey good but even with the confidence of the computer it was a bit nerve racking running in at a reef with a 750 meter entrance in the dark at 12 + knots. Once in it was a nice run following the greens down the channel to the finish just before midnight.

Upon arrival, we were meet by a large group and our "God Father" presented us with a basket of bread, Cheese, French wine and Beer.  The Party was still going when the sun came up!

Ragtime's position was 8th over the line, 6th IRC, 5th ORCi, 9th PHS  Time (4 days 11 hours 54 minutes)
Patriot's  position was 4th over the line, 4th IRC, 3rd ORCi, 5th PHS   Time ( 4 days 7 hours 25 minutes )
Salacia - Cruising. Time (Aprox 4.5 days)

Our "God Father" and the CNC were great and organized for the wheel to go off to the welders and had an electrician on the boat within hours of or arrival who replaced the charger unit and the alternator.

All boats were in the same position requiring some sort of repair but nothing was too much trouble to the CNC club members getting all our boats seaworthy again within a few days.

Now for our next challenge "Hamilton Island Race Week & the IRC Nationals" in August!!”

J/160 Salacia sailing off AustraliaHere is Stephen Everett’s report from SALACIA (see their blog, too-

“Day 1-  Departed Raby Bay 0915 in clear skies and sunshine following a streamlined clearance from friendly Customs and Border Control staff who kindly came to the Everett residence to clear all crew for departure – what an efficient service!

Salacia, Skipper and crew left the home shores, waved onwards by family and friends on Cleveland Point. With little wind around, an excited crew hoisted the Mainsail and the journey began with motor sailing towards Moreton Island with pods of dolphins happily swimming along side to take us out to the North East Channel.

We cleared NE Marker 2 at 1400 then turned towards Noumea with another pod of speckled dolphins swimming off our bow and leading us into the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Following a superb dinner of chicken and mushrooms, compliments of Di, and with crystal clear blue water beneath us, a WSW wind of 10-15 knots filling the Main and poled Jib we happily sailed into the night with a blanket of stars above us – spectacular!

Day 2-  After an uneventful night at the helm for all of the shifts the happy crew gathered in the cockpit to watch the glorious sunrise of a new day over a hot, fresh coffee and a quick debrief before some headed to bed, some to shower and others on watch again.  Salacia’s routine for the crew for the duration of the crossing had begun and all aboard had settled into the first 24 hours very well.

A magnificent, sparkly day in front of us with pods of dolphins welcoming us into this new day and their Pacific home.

We continued the sail rig with gusts up to 23 knots and good boat speed between 9-12 knots and variable currents after strong southerly current off the east coast.

Salacia performing beautifully  - we are sailing the blue waters and no land to see!  Yah!!

Day 3-  The glorious break of day greets the contented crew.  All had some rest during the night thanks in part to the lightening of weather conditions overnight easing to 10-15 knots and moving SSW.

This was followed by a hearty brunch of eye fillet sandwiches, with brandy and cream sauce – well Salacia is “dry” for the crossing so a little tempting taste of what we can have when we arrive in Noumea, a wee tipple or two, keeps the Skipper and crew amused and content to wait for the arrival in Noumea!   Sure all the livers aboard are happy they too are enjoying a holiday of fresh air and water!?

In the midst of the female crew, busy with rags polishing the cockpit, comes excitement down below: “time to raise the Spinnaker”!  All hands on deck and up she goes!  A few hours later, the wind drops out again and down she comes, fun while it lasted!

Not long before the setting of the sun on another glorious day and we are thrilled by the sighting of a migrating whale to our port side as we come over the sea mount of Capel Bank, only 50 metres of water below us after over 5,000 metres of deep water…. the trawling line just may go out as we go over the Bank!

J/160 Salacia crewDay 4-  Finishing the 0200 shift on deck the fortunate crew hit the pillows with the sound of rain falling on deck and the next round of crew dealing with mild conditions and rain.  Oh well, Salacia had a wash down too!

The early morning greeted crew with fluffy clouds over the far eastern horizon hiding the break of day however a low flying albatross swooped and dived over the stunning deep violet blue waves and flew alongside Salacia enjoying the company, but perhaps more the thought of catching the spectacular silver and blue flying fish coming out of the big southern swells. It was another glorious start to the day for all on board.

The southerly arrived and with it some great winds giving Salacia her task to ride the great southern swells and 15-20 knot winds.  Great helming by Skipper, Ross and Ron and superb sail trimming, ensured we made great miles today – well done boys!

The swells and wind created a washing machine feel in the galley and caused some trials and tribulations, not to be outdone the galley girls proceeded with the menu of French scrambled eggs on home made toast with grilled organic bacon and oven baked, vine ripened tomatoes with balsamic vinegar … sound good enough to eat for a hungry crew?

Well Salacia thought so too!  A rogue wave hit the starboard side just as the 14 or so organic eggs and half litre of cream were all whipped and ready for the pan! The bowl remained in the sink; the egg mixture flew over the entire fridge, freezer and louvered timber doors! The expletives just may have been heard in Brisbane!  The helmsman got the message and lightened off the mainsail and from the remaining egg cache the mixture had to be re-done to ensure a great brunch could be enjoyed by all …. sorry to say Noumea customs we will have no eggs to pass in!!   Credit where credit is due the great helmsman of the moment spent over an hour emptying fridge, freezer and cupboards for the mammoth clean up!

A stunning day finished off with Sand Crab Lasagna compliments of Cherie who is on a holiday of her own in USA!   No hiccups in the galley tonight!

Day 5- Strong breezes afforded a very fast sail overnight with two sail reaching and the first sight this morning was not a whale, dolphins or an albatross but alas Beau Geste around 5 nautical miles to our port side and passing us doing at least 20 knots!  What a sight…she will achieve line honours at the very least and perhaps race record, well earned and well sailed!

With only 100 nautical miles to go all crew are enthusiastic about arriving into safe harbor later this evening and passing the finishing line that has been marked on the electronic chart with a blue cocktail glass!  Think the Skipper is pre warning all what may lay ahead after a dry crossing!

Around 70 nautical miles from the finish line and the Pacific Ocean gave us a taste of what it is capable of - big solid swells and 32 plus knot winds!  Salacia sailed through with great helmsman ship from the Skipper, Ross & Ron …. well done boys you rose to the challenge!

Salacia and her crew sailed across the finish line at 2304 Australian Eastern Standard time and were greeted by a Zodiac with officials from Cercle Nautique Caledonien/Noumea Yacht Club.  They kindly escorted us to our protected berth and we welcomed aboard the Race Officials and members of the Club who handed us a huge bag filled with French fare including but not limited to baguettes, cheeses, salamis, Bordeaux wines and French beer…what an incredible welcome at the early hours of the morning!

The entire crew sat in the cockpit hugging and congratulating each other for a fantastic passage and safe journey to calm waters and of course toasted with French beer, Australian red wine and finished off with Guatemala Ron Zacapa (for the uninitiated that is a liqueur type rum) and deemed nectar of the gods…we all agreed and had another toast and then crashed to our respective cabins for a peaceful, calm sleep!”

CanAm Challenge Preview

J/70s sailing off Youngstown, NY in Can Am Challenge (Youngstown, NY)- The Youngstown Yacht Club will be hosting the 2nd Annual CanAm Challenge July 25 & 26th.  The regatta is open to all boats.  Any class that has 5 registered boats will compete as a One Design Class, and boats without a One Design Class will compete in a series of 2 Pursuit Races.

The CanAm Challenge is a competition of the boats individually but also to defend their nation.  In 2014, Canada was victorious, but 2015 is a whole new year.  Who will win? On shore, activities will include live music, a street hockey competition, and a chicken dinner for competitors!

The regatta has strengthened considerably and grown tremendously in the past year since the inaugural event in 2014.  The event now features one-design classes of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/27s, J/88s and J/105s. For the latter two, it’s the Great Lakes Championships for both the J/88 and the J/105.

J/88 fleet sailing Can Am Challenge off Youngstown, NYThe J/88 class will see its largest gathering of boats in a one-design event to date with eight boats on the starting line.  In their on-going duel that started in Key West and continued in Charleston Race Week, we find Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION crew from Huguenot YC up against Rob & Sandy Butler’s pink & grey themed TOUCH2PLAY RACING from Hamilton Harbor YC in Hamilton, Ontario.  They are facing a number of new and veteran teams such as Laura Weyler’s DEBUT 88, Joe & Jeff Pawlowski’s EASY EIGHTS, Rich Lohr’s NIGHT OWL, John Frank’s RUMBLE BEE, Don Finkle’s SEAWEED and Joe O’Brien’s SQUIRMY.

With nineteen boats, the J/70s are easily the largest class at the regatta with a nice mix of familiar veterans coming up against new teams.  Tim Finkle’s Junior, Corbo Corbishley’s LATE LIFE CRISIS, Morgan Paxhia’s PENNY PINCHER, Marty McKenna’s RARITY, Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND, Scott Weakley’s REX and Kristofer Werner’s SUPERFECTA should be on fire somewhere near the front of the fleet.  Teams have come from as far as San Francisco, CA; Vienna, VA; Charleston, SC and Stonington, CT to enjoy the pretty sailing at the western end of Lake Ontario (right next to Niagara Falls!).

J/22s sailing Youngstown, NY in Can Am ChallengeAs a J/22 stronghold for decades, it’s not surprising to see a very competitive turnout of thirteen J/22s for the regatta.  While missing one of the Doyle clan to the J/22 Worlds about to start in Travemunde, Germany, none other than Travis Odenbach from Rochester YC will be sailing QUANTUM SAILS ROCHESTER.  Stiff competition should come from Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA, Vic Snyder’s MO’MONEY, Trevor Collins’ ALTERNATIVE GIRLFRIEND and Ron Harris’ BROOMSTICK.

Also with a good showing is the dozen-boat J/105 fleet with just about all Royal Canadian YC teams.  The local American street hockey guys better watch out for these loonies, half of them used to play Senior A or pro hockey!  Fresh off his J/24 Silver Medal at the Pan Am Games will be Terry McLaughlin’s crew on MANDATE (they’re also the J/105 North American Champions in 2014).  Giving them a fierce dogfight is always Jim Rathbun’s HEY JUDE (another J/105 NA Champion in Annapolis, MD).  In the hunt will be Peter Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY and THE USUAL SUSPECTS.

On a rebound for the past few years is the local Lake Ontario J/27 fleet.  This year nearly a half-dozen boats will be on the line.  Past class champions like Andrew Riem’s CURVED AIR, Mike Seitz’s NORTHERN SEITZ and Andre Beese’s MESSING ABOUT will be duking it out for the gold.

The J/24s will feature a 2-on-1 bout between two American teams- Gabe Lewis’ HANG LOOSE & Dave Stoller’s TBD up against the Canadian Rick Sherk on BAD HABIT from Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario.

Finally, the PHRF Pursuit races have Robert Hesse’s J/111 LAKE EFFECT, Denys Jones’ J/109 CARPE VENTUS, Paul-Angus Bark’s J/35 CRIME SCENE, John Reinhold’s J/124 FUTURES and Doug Clarke’s J/35c ROGUE WAVE all hoping to cross the finish line at the same time! Well, maybe not.  But, that’s the idea!
Sailing photo credits- TIm  For more CanAm Challenge sailing information

The Road to the Little J

J/70 Team GRUN sailing for Germany off YC Monaco- Primo Cup (Berlin, Germany)- Enjoy this heart-warming story of how the J/70 GRÜN Sailing Team came to be for a closely-knit group of friends since childhood.  It’s called, “The Road to the Little J”.

“Everything began in dinghies when we were kids ... regattas at local and district level from Opti’s up to 420’s.  Most of our team members already sailed against each other, then later on, together as a team. After schools and studies were completed, well all went to work at various places.  But, we all wanted to sail intensively again.  Somehow.  Somewhere. On some kind of boat that we could all sail on.

We decided we would start with a One-Tonner.  Call us crazy, but we did.  For several years we sailed our 40 foot One-Ton boat.  However, we soon realized that rating system sailing was not really our thing.  In fact, we didn’t like it at all, too many games played by all the owners and rules-makers.

There had to be a one-design boat we could sail instead. Soon, the choice fell to getting a Platu 25.  We trial sailed it in November 2003 in Berlin and, without further ado, we also bought one!

It was a very ambitious boat for us.  More importantly, it was somewhat sensible and we could move it from regatta to regatta.  We sailed better and better over the years and were among the top three in the Platu 25 rankings for the past five years.  Not bad for a bunch of amateurs.

In 10 years of racing the Platu 25, we have gained a lot of experience during Worlds, Europeans and as well at local and foreign class regattas. Our crew is still completely the same, only the place of residences have changed for some. So, we have to travel to the events starting from Ulm, Rostock, Berlin and Hamburg, which means a considerable logistic effort, and also makes training with the core crew almost impossible.

Also, the selection of our boat has changed.  We followed with great interest the development of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga and the J/70 - amazing to watch the growth of the J/70 class and the enthusiastic participation of German yacht clubs and sailing clubs in the Bundesliga.  So, instead of accepting ever lower number of entries, we decided to sell the Platu 25 and to buy a J/70!!

That was the right decision!! Thanks to Bo Teichmann from Mittelmann’s Werft, we could purchase a J/70 from the 2014 Bundesliga series.

Our sponsors were also very convinced by this idea.  Thankfully, we could continue to count on the support of our long-term sponsorship partners. As a result, we could start well-prepared in our first season sailing the J/70s.

Starting in February 2015, we sailed for the first time on GER468 at the Primo Cup in Monaco. For us, it was also our entire crew’s introduction to a boat with an asymmetric spinnaker!!

Thirty-two boats on the starting line!  Wow, this rarely happened in the last few years on the Platu 25, really rare!  At the end of the Primo Cup, after sailing the J/70 for the first time we had a good ending- 11th place!  Sailing the J/70 is fun, plus it’s a very nice boat!  Great competition, too!

The balance of our 2015 sailing season has a busy schedule- MaiOR, Lake Wannsee Race, Kiel Week and J/70 Challenge.  These will be followed by the European Championship at Yacht Club Monaco in October. And then, also still more training sessions are planned.  Much to learn yet!

Our GRÜN Sailing Team GER 468 is comprised of the following crew: Jens Ahlgrimm, Carsten Wernecke, Mathias Gedrange and Stephan Mölle.  We look forward to seeing all of you on the race track soon! Perhaps, tip a few good pints of German beer with you as well!  Here’s our website-