Sunday, June 26, 2016

J/100 Daysailing San Francisco Bay!

J/100 sailing San Francisco Bay(San Francisco, CA)- J/100’s continue to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of San Francisco Bay.   

Jack Mithun from Santa Barbara, CA sent us this sweet note about his J/100 experiences:

“I have crewed  here in Santa Barbara a few times,  but now I'm mostly active with my J/100 EGRET on San Francisco Bay. The boat is easy to handle single-handed and does well (with reefed sails) on fog on San Francisco Baythe windy Bay.   The boat has sailed the waters of the Bay for over 10 years and seems to be right at home there.

The J/100 was advertised as a day-sailor, and it does that job perfectly!  The cockpit is large enough to have several guests on board. It's always fun for out-of-towners to go for a ride on the famous and beautiful Bay.  It's always fun to take EGRET for a turn on the water.  I keep her in the Sausalito Yacht Harbor and commute there by ferry from San Francisco. That is always a pleasure ride in itself.”

J/34 IOR Sailing to Cleveland Offshore Champs!

J/34 IOR sailing Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)- The classic old IOR beauty, the J/34 IOR design by Rod Johnstone back in the early 1980s can be found in a number of places still racing today. 

In the Cleveland, OH offshore circles on Lake Erie, the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP is J/34 IOR ownersback at it again, taking 2nd in class and 6th overall in the famous  Mills Trophy Race at Toledo Yacht Club last weekend in Lake Erie.   

Her owners are Katie and Brett Langolf, seen here at the awards at Put-in-Bay Yacht Club.  Next up for them is Cleveland Race week where 2 J/34 IOR designs will go head to head!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Australian J/130 Winning Sailing Tradition!

J/130 sailing Australia (Sydney, Australia)- The J/130 RAGTIME continues to enjoy her current home in Australia!  According to her proud owners, Chris & Bernadette Morgan, RAGTIME was imported into Australia in 1994.  And, she has continued to outperform her peers in cruiser-racer categories in offshore events wJ/130 Australia winning creway Down Under!

Said Chris, “we had a great season winning the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Division 1 Season Points and Squadron Championships (IRC, ORIC, & PBH).  The best trophy we got was a half model of "Ragtime" presented to myself and my wife, Bernadette, by the crew!

Another Fun-Filled AYC Race Week!

J/70s sailing Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis YC’s annual race weekend continues to be a popular event at the beginning of the Chesapeake Bay summer sailing season.  This year’s event was incredibly well-attended across the board in both offshore PHRF handicap divisions as well as in the one-design fleets for J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s and J/105s.

The J/22s were won by Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY with straight bullets, followed by Jason Ipe’s EKAS with straight seconds and Gunnar Gode’s USA 977 with straight thirds.  So, only one guess as to what the records were for fourth and fifth place?!  Ya’got the theme here?  Sure enough, Scott Gelo’s VENTUS took straight fourths and Jason Goscha’s CALIENTE BILLETE took straight fifths.  Wonder what the odds were at Ladbroke’s in the UK on that outcome??

In the J/70s, things were a bit more mixed up in the leaderboard, with Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE emerging victorious over Peter Firey’s PHOENIX in second and Gregg Zurmuhlen’s SPORT in third.  The balance of the top five saw the trio of Todd Olds/ Tom Iseler/ Preben Ostberg take fourth in TSUNAMI and Will Keyworth’s PAPA WHEELIE finish in fifth place.

J/80s sailing AnnapolisThe J/80s had a nice turnout, but they also saw a clean sweep of the races by David Andril’s VAYU.  However, the competition for the balance of the top five was simply ferocious and the finish order in the last race determined the outcome for the standings!  Yet, another unusual wrinkle in this regatta!  Second was Rick Harrison’s SOME RESPECT with 11 pts, third Alex Kraus’ COOL J with 12 pts, fourth Jim Praley’s GROMIT with 13 pts.  Then, fifth place determined by a three-way tie-breaker with Derick Lynch’s OUTLAWS, Bert Carp’s USA 11, and Tom Walsh/ John Potvin’s WINDRIDER all sitting on 16 pts each!  The OUTLAWS got the nod on that one.

It was the mighty RAG DOLL skippered by Rob & Beth Lundahl that took home the gold in the J/30 class.   Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP took second, followed by Ron Anderson’s INSATIABLE in third.

With a round dozen boats, the J/105 had the largest class in the event and it produced several surprises in the leaderboard.  Winning was the Lewis/Salvesen team on MIRAGE with straight bullets, much to everyone’s amazement!  Second was another upstart, John White’s ONE LESS BAD PERSON.  Third was a familiar local team, Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV.  Slotting into fourth was Mark Elert’s WIND RIVER, another top five newcomer.  Then, fifth was assumed by class veterans, Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS.

In the PHRF handicap offshore racing world, there were several good performances by J/crews.  Winning PHRF A1 Class was Stephen McManus’ J/120 SAYKADOO.  In PHRF A2 Class, Bill Walczak’s J/88 HORNET took a fifth place. In PHRF Shorthanded Spinnaker, J sailors swept the class, with David Powell’s J/100 LA FORTUNA winning, followed by Ramzi Bannura’s J/80 STACKED DECK in second and Dan Leonard’s J/100 FLASHPOINT in third!  The PHRF Cruising Spinnaker Class saw the modified J/30 HURON skippered by Karl von Schwarz take fourth.   For more Annapolis YC Regatta sailing information

Long Beach Race Week Preview

J/120s sailing Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) – There are many reasons Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) is the “best in the west” each year; this sailing season opener draws racers from San Diego to San Francisco (and even a few renegades from as far as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Seattle) for three days of hot racing, cool parties, and warm hospitality.

This year’s LBRW, running from June 24th to 26th to 26, 2016, will be no exception, as roughly 150 entrants compete in windward-leeward or random leg courses, in both one-design and PHRF classes, on lively ocean and outer harbor courses.

Now in its third decade, the popular LBRW counts toward the Southern California High Point Series for J/70, J/109 and J/120 fleets. Plus, racers vie for the Satariano Boat of the Week and PHRF Boat of the Week; Kent Golison Family Trophy; Travel Trophy; and coveted Yacht Club Challenge.

J/70s sailing Long BeachThe social side of the event is shared by the two leading clubs in Long Beach.  For starters, Friday’s classic Alamitos Bay Yacht Club After-Race Party features a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar!  Then, there is Saturday’s legendary Mt Gay Rum After-Race Party at Long Beach Yacht Club, also featuring a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar.  If that was not enough opportunity for socializing with family and friends, there is always Sunday’s prize-giving, with more free food and no-host bar!! YowZAH!!  Plus, new this year is the “Buzz Bar” catered coffee bistro, hosted by US Sailing; and a pre-regatta Welcome Party at “Boathouse-on-the-Bay on Thursday night. Race all day, party all night!  For four days?  By Sunday, it is likely many at the Buzz Bar will be contemplating taking a vacation from their LBRW sailing weekend!

Initial forecasts are for a hot weekend, with temperatures into the 80s and idyllic 10-knot breezes.  In fact, there are “heat warnings” forecast just inland; a good thing for sailors since the hot air rises fast and creates nice cool 10-15 kt sea breezes along the coast.

J/70 Bruce Golison sailing Long BeachBruce Golison won the Overall LBRW title last year, and returns as defending champion aboard MIDLIFE CRISIS in the larger-than-ever J/70 fleet with twenty-five boats!  Joining Bruce for some fun & frolic on the rolling Pacific Ocean swells are an amazing assembly of West Coast sailing talent, such as Bruce Cooper/ Shawn Bennet’s USA 32, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT, Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Tracy & Kristy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, Chris Raab/ Dale Williams’ SUGOI, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE, Chris Snow/ John Bridgen’s COOL STORY BRO, and Pat Toole’s MONKEY HOUSE.  Facing this seriously fast crowd will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team from Wayzata, Minnesota.

The J/120 SoCal fleet is showing up in full force and the crews on the seven boats will most assuredly have a good time!  Most of the headliners from the past will be hoping to make their mark again this coming weekend.  Legendary match-ups in this class include John Laun’s CAPER and Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, plus John Snook’s JIM and Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.  ADIOS (Peter Bretschger), PRIVATE RESIDENCE (Rich Festa) and HASL FREE (Rudolph Hasl) will be doing their best to upset everyone else’s apple cart along the way!

In addition to the two one-design fleets, there will be intense PHRF racing on both windward/leeward and random leg courses.  In PHRF Random Leg A division, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER will be up against seriously big boats like SC 52s and SC 70s.  In PHRF Sportboat division is Scott McDaniel’s J/105 OFF THE PORCH and Curt Johnson’s champion crew on the J/80 AVET.

In the ten boat PHRF A division that will be sailing W/L courses are two J/111s- Glen Griley’s STAMPEDE and Doug Jorgensen’s PICOSA- and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS.  Then, PHRF B will have to contend with a quartet of bloodthirsty J/109s that include past multiple LBRW winners Tom Brott on ELECTRA, Steve Carter’s GERONIMO, Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR, and Peter Nelson’s SPRAY.  A very well-sailed J/35 will be joining the fun for J/team dominance- David Boatner’s RIVAL from Ventura YC.  Sailing photo credits-  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information

J/42 Wins Annapolis Bermuda Race

J/42 Schematic wins Annapolis Bermuda race(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The “longest” Bermuda Race- 753nm- that takes place on a biennial basis seems to be the Annapolis to Bermuda Race, and is hosted by the Eastport YC and the Royal Hamilton Dinghy Club in Bermuda.  You start in Annapolis, sail down the length of the Chesapeake, then sail straight across the Gulf Stream to Bermuda in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; that’s farther than either the Newport Bermuda or Charleston Bermuda Races that are just a straight shot across the ocean to St David’s Lighthouse on the northern shore of Bermuda.  The A2B was an epic race for most of the fleet with a broad range of conditions- mini-gales to flat calms and thunder squalls in the Gulf Stream to mix things up a bit.  After the fleet exited the Chesapeake Bay around Sunday afternoon and evening, the weather conditions changed dramatically!

The Monday 4pm update from Brian Barone: “the fleet check in this morning seems to show that everyone got walloped for about 3 hours last night with gale force winds from 30 to 40 knots. Those conditions while bashing to windward would have made for a supremely uncomfortable night. Those conditions are a real test of the drivers because if they fail to take the right path though the waves, pretty much everyone knows about it right away with a heck of a bang. Imagine your bed being dropped onto concrete from 5 feet up. Tough on the boats and tough on the people.”

The Tuesday 8am update from Sr Barone continued to offer good perspective: “The forecast in Grid E is showing that the fleet has experienced diminishing wind today after a hammering last night. Winds should drop and range from 13 to 18 knots. That is a huge range of course, but those grids are big after all. They jump back to about 22 knots sustained building into tomorrow midday. However, remember, the gusts can be much higher as evidenced last evening when 40 knots was reported in places.

Fleet positions show the pack is spreading out and they must be seeing much lighter air or some strong counter currents because boatspeeds have dropped off dramatically. 8s and 9s are now 5s, 6s and 7s.

Most of the fleet is a little better than halfway, with leaders more than 3/4 of the way to the palm trees and Painkillers. No major changes in fleet standing.

So good night to these little boats on a big big ocean at the end of the fourth evening. For the family and friends we leave you with some famous words to ponder. The reasons we sail are varied and wide and in the end are all the same. John Masefield said it best, and every now and again, it bears repeating...

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
the wheel’s kick, the wind’s song, and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”

Ultimately, finding some fair winds and collecting more pickle dishes for the trophy cabinets were familiar boats from the Chesapeake fleet of J/teams.

The PHRF Spinnaker 1 division saw James Whited’s J/111 BAD CAT finish 5th in class.  Then, in PHRF Spinnaker 2 Class, the J/42 SCHEMATIC skippered by Robert Fox won her class followed by Lynn McClaskey’s J/110 CIMARRON in second.  Congratulations to these teams for persevering in the difficult conditions to collect some well-earned hardware!   For more Annapolis Bermuda Race sailing information

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shelter Island Race Week Announcement!

Shelter Island Race Weekend (Shelter Island, NY)- Brendan Brownyard, the regatta chair for the Shelter Island Race Week, has announced “that Shelter Island Yacht Club is hosting our new Race Week and it will be the premier Regatta on the eastern end of Long Island Sound.  We are the J/70s from Boston/ Marblehead, Cape Cod, Narragansett Bay, and Long Island Sound to come join us!  We are also inviting J/24s from across the Northeast to participate as well.  There will be many other J/Boats in the PHRF handicap divisions!”

For more Shelter Island Race Week sailing information, please contact Brendan Brownyard at ph# 631-666-5050, Ext 102 or at email-

Beautiful, Benign Farallones Race

the Farallones rock (Belvedere, CA)- Amazingly, the 2016 edition of the fully-crewed Farallones Race hosted by San Francisco YC will go down in the books as not the fastest nor the must brutal.  Instead, it will go down as one of the most beautiful experiences of sailing offshore of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, past the infamous Potato Patch and around the foreboding pile of stinky rock islands known as “the Farallones”.  The race is 58nm from inside the San Francisco Bay, around the rocks and back into the Bay.

The forecast was a bit frightening and, in fact, convinced some sailors to abandon the start.  The original forecast was for 30 mph wind at 1500 hrs - about the time many boats would be reaching the Island. Combined with high swells, this is a gear-busting forecast. Although there's danger on any sail around the Farallones, conditions like this make it even more so.

Farallones IslandsAccording to one veteran Farallones racer, the strategies for rounding the rocks are fairly sensible, “the counterclockwise route takes you along the North side of the island. You need to watch for the large break on the NW corner. If conditions are rough, you can see it from far away. Stay North of anything that looks like breaking water- that means staying away from the island (North) on the approach and until you are past the breaking seas. It's hard to get North of the off-island break if you're too close. Sometimes it looks like there's a calm path between the open water break and where the swells are breaking 60 feet up on the Island's cliffs, but that choice cost multiple lives a few years ago. In rough conditions, if you're not frightened when you round the NW corner, then I don't think you should be out there.

Once you are clear of the island and the breaking seas, you need to decide where to jibe. Jibe too early and you can't clear the South side. Consider how to jibe in high wind and sometimes breaking seas. If the wind is NW you won't be able to get into the lee of the Island for the jibe.”

J/109 Junkyard Dog sailing Farallones RaceThe crew on the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG said, “It was near perfect conditions, such a great day! We had decent position in the fleet rounding the island, saw a boat ahead of us round up, saw Javelin blow up a kite behind us which threw me into a cold sweat since we just blew up 2 kites during the Spinnaker Cup a couple weeks ago. Although we knew there would be a lift closer to SF we weren't convinced it would be enough so we held high for a while with white sails on the way back before setting the kite. One of those things where it seemed like a great idea until it turned into a terrible idea! You guys all really smoked us by going south, congrats and very well done! Live and learn I guess. We'll be back next year and, hopefully, give everyone a little more competition then. Post mortem autopsy of the Dog Pound's Farallones race on Junkyard Dog here if you're interested.”   J/109 JUNKYARD DOG sailing video recap of the Farallones Race.

According to another J/crew member, “The race around the stinky rocks was a great one! We kept a wary eye out for big wind and/or swell but none of it materialized for the Adrenalin Junkies. We even used the Middle Farallones as a sneaker wave indicator.  We saw whales (who, thankfully, did not do a "Horizon job" on us), silly sunfish, sea lions, sea birds, and sunshine. It was definitely feeding time out there.  The biggest swell we saw was around 8 feet and the wind hit around 15 knots.  Smiles were had by all.”

A report from one of the southern-tracking sailors was, “that race was fun! Thankfully the forecast of 20-30 kts with big seas was a bit over blown (no pun intended).  We clocked a 29-knot gust at some point during the day, probably just after we rounded the island and put up the 3/4 kite, and probably while we were falling off a swell that could have tainted the speed. When we put up the relatively light kite we were instantly doing 11's and about a minute later dropped the kite bald headed and went for a 1.5 shy kite which we carried all the way to mile rock on a head stay reach, where the lift we expected was actually in force. There was a weird wind shift near Bonita/mile rock and we did a peel back to the 3/4. A jibe on the Marin side and back on a head stay reach on the other side with wind in the mid teens all the way to the finish. 9-hour race, in the car in Berkeley by sunset, it does not get much better than that. We guessed the biggest seas we saw were 10-12 ft combined and as expected was right by the island. We took a very conservative line with a minimum depth of about 75'.  All in all a delightful day, I'm glad the brochure (forecast) was wrong.”

The various J/teams enjoyed the race and collected some silverware along the way.  In PHRF 1A class, the J/125 CANT TOUCH THIS skippered by Rich Pipkin took third in class with Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION in seventh and Bill Williams’ J/44 VIAJANTE in ninth.

In PHRF 1B class, Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 RAGTIME took second place, missing the class win by a mere 31 seconds!  Ah, to think of having to surf just one faster wave on that rip-roaring slender rocketship!

Finally, in PHRF 1C class, the J/105s cleaned house with Doug Bailey’s AKULA winning class and classmate Sergei Podshivalov’s JAVELIN in second just 2 minutes behind on corrected time. Jim Goldberg’s J/109 JUNKYARD DOG took sixth in class.   For more Farallones Race sailing information

J/133 PINTIA Three-Peats- Wins RORC Morgan Cup!

J/105 sailing RORC Morgan Cup race (Cowes, IOW, England)- The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship continued this past weekend with the prestigious Morgan Cup Race, which finished in Dieppe for the first time since 2013. The 130-150 mile race marks the halfway stage in the championship. Dieppe is the mostly easterly destination of any of the RORC races starting from Cowes, with stronger tides adding an additional flavor to the strategic mix.

Highly changeable weather was forecast for the early part of the race, with a fresh westerly breeze anticipated in the latter. Competitors were looking forward to a warm welcome at the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe (CVD) and Dieppe; a port well known for its superb seafood restaurants and the 17th century Chateau de Dieppe, now a museum with a strong maritime collection.

Racing under the IRC Rating System, a wide variety of yachts raced from Great Britain, France and the Netherlands.

In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 PINTIA continued their impressive form for the season by winning class for a third race in a row and placing third overall for the Morgan Cup Race. Christopher Daniel's British J/122E JUNO was second in class.

In IRC Four, nine teams competed, including second overall for the RORC Season's Points Championship, Rob Nelson's British J/105 BIGFOOT.  In the race, Nelson took home the silver, further strengthening his position in the class and, as a result, also took a fourth in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues with Volvo Round Ireland Race, which starts on Saturday 18 June. Organized by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Irish Yacht Club.  At this stage, the Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT is putting their big fat toehold onto the overall season points championship, currently winning the series overall, the Two-Handed series overall, and IRC 4 class overall— an amazing “first” for a J/Team in RORC Seasons Points Championship history!  Fifth is Fournier’s J/133 PINTIA with BRITISH SOLDIER in 9th place.  In the Two-Handed series overall, Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J is lying 5th.  In IRC 2 Overall, the J/111 BRITISH SOLDIER is leading with the J/133 PINTIA in second.   For more RORC Offshore sailing information

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cape Crow YC Wins Tie-break In Swedish J/70 League Act II

J/70 sailing Swedish Sailing League (Ekerö, Stockholm, Sweden)- It was not easy sailing on Lake Malaren. The regatta was sailed in the country near Stockholm and the wind was very shifty and very puffy- ranging between three and eight m/s. At times the sun shone generously on Jungfrusund Marina that was hosting the event.  Thanks to the organizers, they had created a great setting and Jungfrusund Marina reminded one of a Volvo Ocean Race stop in miniature- with eateries, exhibitions and shopping. All credit to Ekerö Boat Club and Jungfrusund Race Week.

On the final leg of the Grand Finale race, the Cape Crow YC from Gothenburg salvaged victory from the jaws of defeat and, by beating KSSS (the Royal Swedish YC) by one point, managed to tie them on points for the overall regatta and win the tie-breaker!

J/70 sailing Swedish LeagueOn Friday, the Swedish J/70 Sailing League kicked off with great sailing- getting in eight races for each club.  The best team on Friday were the dinghy sailors from JKV (Kapp Västerås) with a 2-1-1 record.  Sailing an identical record was the Cape Crow YC team with a 1-2-1 to hold on to second on a tie-break at the end of the first day.

On Saturday, Ekerö continued to deliver good races with tough sailing and shifting winds. Saturday offered many races and happy sailors and organizers. At the end of the day, Cape Crow YC was leading KSSS by just two points.

“After a rough start on Saturday, with a false start and trawling the gennaker, we pulled off three bullets in a row. Now we are second overall and just two points behind the leader Cape Crow,” said KSSS skipper Niklas Edler.

On Sunday, more good breeze and very tight, tactical racing.  At the end of the preliminary rounds, it was KSSS in the lead by followed by Cape Crow YC.  “We are pleased with the race, it has proceeded well and we have gotten to know the J/70 better and better,” said Patrik Sturesson skipper for Cape Crow YC.  He continued to explain, “the Final race was exciting, we knew we were in with a good score and we could not lose second place, so it's nice to utilize our match racing skills. It was very fun!”

J/70s sailing Swedis leagueReal fun as it was for CCYC, it was not for the Royal Swedish Yacht Club - which, however, was satisfied with their weekend.  “We made a mistake at the start of the last race and had to catch up during the race to try to get to past our competitors. But, we did not, unfortunately, get past Cape Crow and, thus, we finished second on the tie-breaker them,” said KSSS skipper Niklas Edler.

At this stage, Cape Crow YC leads the overall series with a 1-2, followed by KSSS with a 3-2, in third is Segelsällskapet Kaparen with a 6-4, fourth is Ekolns Segelklubb with a 4-6 and fifth is Kullaviks Canoe & Sailing Club with a 1-12!

The Swedish J/70 League now takes a summer break and the two remaining races will be sailed in Malmö (12-14 August) before finishing in Gothenburg (2-4 September).   Sailing photo credits- Tommi Rotonen   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information