Tuesday, July 28, 2009

J/95 Northeast Tour

(Stonington, CT)- The tour'd'J/95 is shaping up to be a fun one! J designer Rod Johnstone is taking his boat BANJO on a tour to various ports in the CT, NY, NJ sailing regions for sails with local dealers. The itinerary includes the following:

July 25-30 - On display and demos at McMichael Yachts in Mamaroneck.
July 31 - Rod sails from Mamaroneck to Bay Head, NJ Yacht Club for the weekend.
August 1 & 2 - Regatta on the weekend.
August 3-4 - Rod demos at Bay Head, NJ including Tuesday night Race.
August 5 - Bay Head to Stonington via Mamaroneck, or via the South Shore of Long Island

Please contact J/Boats to join Rodney for the trips from Mamaroneck to Bay Head or Bay Head back to Stonington (or somewhere in between in LIS or the South shore of LIS).

For the NJ Tour, please contact Burt Geiges at Custom Offshore – 856-764-8181. The J/95 will race in the Squan Tri-Sail Regatta in Bay Head NJ on August 1st and 2nd. The boat will remain in Bay Head for the following Monday August 3rd and Tuesday August 4th for demo/test sails.

J/Teams Dominate Chicago-Mac Race Double-Handed

J/122 SKYE, J/35 CHAS and J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS Finish 1-2-3!
(Chicago, IL- July 19-21)- The J/Team does it again. Proof positive that J's are easy to sail boats and that all types of sailors can race them competitively, from women to couples to kids (OSTAR) to experienced offshore veterans.

This year's 101st running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac was a real challenge with lots of sail changes and a burning need to maintain apparent wind angle to get good boat speed. In these types of conditions, J's shine as being easy boats to sail and keep the "edge" on competitors. This is particularly important for sailing singlehanded or short-handed. The less stress put on the crew, the better the overall performance since better decisions are generally made over the course of a long race.

This year's sixteen boats in the Doublehanded Division were all competitively sailed. It is a testimony to the preparation not only of themselves as sailors, but of the boats, too, that the top three boats in the Doublehanded Division in the Chicago-Mac were all J's. Most interestingly, they were of all vintages, too, from some of the oldest to the newest. Bill Zeiler and Richie Stearns won on their J/122 SKYE. Remarkably, SKYE won Section 3 in last year's Chicago-Mac with a full crew!

The second boat in the Doublehanded division was the J/35 CHAS, sailed by Jeff Roney and Chris Wells from Thunder Bay YC, Ontario, Canada. They double-handed their delivery down from Lake Ontario, across Lake Huron and all the way down Lake Michigan!! What a remarkable team to have essentially "practiced" for over 1,000 miles prior to the start of the Chicago-Mac Race! Talk about determination! Congratulations to Jeff and Chris, especially to be rewarded for their perseverance.

Perhaps the long-time loyalist award must go to George and Kim Petritz sailing into third place their J/29 called TFWB RELENTLESS. They hail from Grand Traverse Yacht Club and Beulah, MI. For more info.

101st Chicago-Mackinac Race

J/105 ASYLUM And Inmates Win Mac Cup!
(Chicago, IL- July 19-21)- The J/Team does it again. The 101st Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac may go down in the history books as a record slow race-- thanks to the renowned phenomenon known as global warming, right? As one crew member put it during the Saturday morning start, 'It's always a crap shoot.' Nevertheless, the inmates were truly running the J/105 ASYLUM and the wily veterans aboard the J/122 SKYE shot for the moon and won, too.

The official count for the fleet is 337 boats, among 21 different sections. The debut of the new Double-Handed Division brought additional excitement as several veterans of past Mac Races were on hand to compete for top prizes. .

Jon Weglarz on J/105 ASYLUM not only won the Mackinac Cup Division, but also netted the fastest corrected time of the five division winners! Awesome job guys!! The J/105 ASYLUM's elapsed time was just under 62 hours and with handicap adjustments, the boat's finishing time was 54 hours 35 minutes 39 seconds--- hours faster than the next nearest competitor! Fifteen J/105s competed in the annual event, which is being described as the "flukiest" ever. Following Weglarz in the J/105 top three were Clark Pellet on SEALARK and Peter Fray on PRONTO II.

In the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Divsion, WILLIE J, a J/130 sailed by Robert Vander Weele & Doug Petter finished 4th overall and 3rd in Section 2! Good on ya WILLIE J for a strong performance in such vexating conditions!

The strong J/109 contingent saw REALT NA MARA raced by Tom and Joe Londrigan win J/109 Class Honors as well as garner a 7th overall in the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division! 2nd in J/109s was ZEITGEIST raced by Robert T and Dr Cornelia Zerban and 3rd was K III raced by Irv Kerbel.
For more info.

J/105 JADED Wins Marblehead to Halifax Race Double

What Fun! Fog, Glassy Calms, Mist, Gentle Swells
(Marblehead, MA- July 22nd)- A 360 nm screaming reach? That's always the wish. But, who's complaining? Despite yet another light wind classic drifting match to Halifax, Peter Rugg's J/105 JADED wins the PHRF Doublehanded Competition.

The running of the 2009 Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race (MHOR) is preceded by a long and prestigious history. The race began in 1905 as an informal competition among sailors from the Boston, Eastern, and New York Yacht Clubs. The race was run sporadically until 1939, when the Boston Yacht Club (BYC) joined with the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) to formalize a biennial event. Since that time, the Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race has run regularly on alternate years from the Newport Bermuda Race, as one of the pre-eminent ocean races of the North Atlantic.

In PHRF 2, Eberle's J/130 CELISTA was second by only twenty five minutes corrected time. And, in PHRF 3 Petley-Jones's J/35 HARRIER won by a convincing two hour corrected time margin and the J/109 HEATWAVE raced by Weisberg cruised into fourth place a bit off the pace of the winners. For more info.

J/22 Eastern Great Lakes Championship

Doyle Reigns Supreme Again
(Buffalo, NY- July 18-19)- Chris Doyle of Kenmore, NY excelled in the wind and waves at the 2009 J/22 Eastern Great Lakes Championship at the Buffalo Yacht Club. In breeze of 15-25 knots and waves up to eight feet, team SOLID LAYER bested 42 other teams over eight races. Following Chris Doyle were Jim Barnash on THUNDER CHICKEN (Rochester, NY) and local Kevin Doyle on MO'MONEY. The event also featured the popular Raw Bar on Saturday night. Don't forget, the Buffalo Yacht Club is hosting the 2010 North American Championship!
For complete results:

J/92 U.K. Nationals

Neilson Redeye Take the Title
(Hamble, So'ton, England- July 13th)- This year's J/92 UK National Championships were based at the Royal Airforce Sailing Club on the Hamble River and racing was in the northern Solent.

The regatta started in the usual fashion with too many beers and a curry on the Friday night – crew house for the weekend was Compass Point – a great little B&B in the heart of Hamble Village. Mike, the landlord, really looks after the crews when they race in the area, so big hearty breakfasts each day served them well for a days racing.

It had been a great regatta with some great good-natured racing – everyone obeyed the rules, there were no protests and over half the fleet had podium finishes – and it was tight to the finish. The J/92 JIT, last year's victors, won the last day with 3 wins and a 6th but when combined with the previous day's results the J/92 NEILSON REDEYE took the overall Championship by just 2.5 points-- with JUST IN TIME in second and WHO'S TO KNOW taking the third overall slot but best in class for the J/92.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HYS J/80 UK National Championships

JANE'S SISTER Led the Fleet Home
(Hamble, England- June 10-13)- The HYS J/80 UK National Championships were held in the Solent under the burgee of the Royal Southern Yacht Club. A sportsboat sailor himself, the PRO for the event was Nick Hollamby. The series consisted of eight races each for the J/80s, which were sailed in a variety of conditions from five to twenty-eight knots over the course of the three days.

Ultimately it was Kevin Sproul and his team on JANE'S SISTER who took home the National Championship title for the J/80 Class. No one would deny that Sproul and the team on JANE'S SISTER sailed an A1 series, never dropping a result out of the top five, but here again, the on-track leaders were just too close to call on many occasions during the racing.

The major pressure on JANE'S SISTER was from Victoria Gregory and Rob Larke’s JOYSTICK and Ian Atkin’s Boats.com. After two races on the final day JOYSTICK had secured her second place overall and had just pushed Boats.com into second place by just two points. In fourth place overall was Charles Somerset and his boys on board LOUDWATER. These guys are relative newcomers to the J/80 Class and charge at their racing; their results are impressive. Tom Phipps of Plymouth University also slotted in a great result of fifth overall and this is his first J/80 UK Nationals.

J/Fest Northwest

Burnell's J/109 TANTIVY Wins
(Seattle, WA- June 20-21)- Corithian YC member Stuart Burnell and the crew of his J/109 TANTIVY took top honors in the annual J-Fest regatta, winning the Francis LeSourd Trophy. The regatta was held on Puget Sound off the Shilshole Bay Marina.

Overall it was a well attended J/Fest NW with thirty-nine boats racing in seven fleets, two as PHRF handicap and five as one-designs- the J/24, J/30, J/35, J/105 and J/109s.

In the PHRF handicap classes, the J/100 TOURIST won the only PHRF Class 1 race they could fire off due to extenuating circumstances. The J/46 CLAYMORE and the J/35 BLUE STREAK finished second and third, respectively. The PHRF Class 6 managed to get in four races and the team of Moynihan/Conway simply put the rest of their fleet into a clinic of how to race around the track, garnering four first in their J/29 WINGS. The lone J/60 SKYE ROCKET raced by Mckinnon was second and Schutte's J/80 TAJ MAHAL was third.

For the one-designs, the J/109 TANTIVY raced by Stu Brunell sailed an almost perfect series, too, garnering four firsts in six races to win by seven points over Greene's IT'S ONLY ROCK'N'ROLL, Woodfield's SHADA slipped into third by one point after not covering the ROCK'N'ROLL team well enough. In the J/35s, White's GRACE E sailed in a very competitive class to just beat out Deyo's DIVERSION by three points, who in turn won on a tie-breaker over Berge's THE BOSS. In the J/105s, the largest and most competitive fleet with ten boats, Schlitz's MONEY SHOT won on a nail-biting finish based on results of the last race...they had to at least tie or beat by one boat over Diercks' DELIRIUM in order to win. Finishing third just off the pace but coming on strong in the last four races was Kristen's JUBILEE only three points back. The J/30s had a fun time racing around the track themselves with the team of Gardner/Adair sailing ROUNDER atop the leader board with Bottles' CELEBRATION two points back in second and the team of Marsden/Geck racing BOB (what about Bob??) in third. The J/24 class saw Milne's TREMENDOUS SLOUCH beat out Brown's MOUSE TRAP and Mason's RYLAH to win all the marbles in this classic class.

Bob Ross and his staff at Sail Northwest organize the popular event for J Boats and use the Corinthian YC race committee and clubhouse to support it. The Francis LeSourd Trophy is named for the sixth commodore of CYC. It was donated by his law firm as the J-Fest best-performance trophy in 1998, when the firm sponsored the regatta.

"Breast Cancer Care" Women's Open Keelboat Championship

J/109 J-DREAM Wins Class
(Hamble, England- July 4-5)- The second Women's Open Keelboat Championship on the weekend of 4th and 5th July proved as exciting as the inaugural event last year. The J/109 J-DREAM came second overall and first in J/109 Class and the J/97 J/UK/ COFFIN MEW was third overall and second IRC Class. The event was again hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble.

140 women crewed at WOKC this year, including Marie-Claude Heys, Lucy Burn, Colette Blair, Charlotte Lawrence, Liz Savage, Sarah Allan, Ursula Bagnall and, of course, Louise Morton. Of the seventeen boats represented in this wonderful event, it was apparent the J Owners in the UK are incredibly supportive of such programs helping women-- fully 50% of the fifteen boat fleet was J's- seven J/109 One-Designs and one J/97 taking 4 of top 5 spots!

Competitors were set imaginative and challenging courses mainly windward / leeward in nature. The final race encompassed a windward mark rounding of West Knoll buoy close to the Brambles bank down tide at low water, encouraging navigational and tactical decisions. Conditions were consistently light for the first day providing an agreeable introduction for the relatively light crews with the wind between 6 and 11 knots whereas on the second day the wind rose up to 17 knots. 6 races were completed in 2 days.

J-DREAM sailed by Kirsty Apthorp and Lucy Burn dominated the J/109 fleet from the start despite the slight hindrance of hot, hot pink tutus and legwarmers as their chosen crew uniform! They won 4 out of 6 races and therefore the overall class by 7 points from their nearest competitor. Further down the class Gillian Ross's boat Team Breast Cancer Care had a scratch crew some of whom joined only 12 hours before racing began. Gillian took home the fantastic Dubarry of Ireland bronze boot as winner of the Spirit of the Event Award. Gillian's boat was branded for Breast Cancer Care and her efforts in supporting the event, giving women new to sailing a chance to compete, and fundraising for the chosen charity were all well recognised.

In the IRC fleet the J/97 J-UK/COFFIN MEW presented the ultimate winner, ESPADA, with cause for concern as the races went on, so that by the penultimate race the J/97 was less than one minute behind Espada on corrected time and on the last race Marie-Claude Heys and Sally Pike raced J-UK/COFFIN MEW to only 30 seconds behind on corrected time. Had there been a third day's racing, Marie-Claude and crew might have been knocked off their first place spot.

J/97 in UK Women's Open Keelboat Championship

J-UK/ COFFIN MEW Supporting Breast Cancer Care in England
(Solent, England- July 4-5)- The second Women's Open Keelboat Championship proved as exciting as the inaugural event last year. The event was again hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble. The regatta committee set windward/leeward courses that were quite manageable on the first day (6-12 knot winds) and more challenging on the second day with 17 knot breezes, sunny and gorgeous! In the IRC fleet, the J/97 was sponsored for this wonderful women's event by COFFIN MEW, J/UK and STARSPRAY. The J/97 was sailed quite competitively by Marie-Claude Heys and Sally Pike and by the last race on Sunday were only seconds behind the leader.

J/109 East Coast Championships

Strong Fleet Taken By STORM
(Block Island, RI- June 22-26)- A well sailed fleet of thirteen J/109s showed up to contend for East Coast Champs silverware. For Rick Lyall (Wilton, Conn.), skipper of STORM in the J/109 class, sailing "clean and competitively"- and winning Friday's race -- was the key to securing his Block Island victory and the 2009 J/109 East Coast Championship title. "It was very exciting, sailing in 18-19 knots today," he said. "The boat was prepared and performing tremendously; we were spot on with our navigation and tactics, and we're just thrilled with the victory." CAMINOS, skippered by Donald Filippelli, (Amagansett, N.Y.) was the only boat that could mathematically beat STORM today, and that's who Lyall defended against initially. After CAMINOS made the "mistake" of going to the right gate, however, STORM was free to establish its lead on the second downwind leg, and the rest was history.

Finishing second after a strong finish towards the end of the week was Donal Fillipelli from Amagansett, NY racing CAMINOS. Just off the pace eleven points back was Ted Herlihy of South Dartmouth, MA racing GUT FEELING.

J/122 North Americans

GAMBLER Rolls the Dice and Wins!
(Block Island, RI- June 22-26)- Ten J/122s showed up at Block Island Race Week to compete for the inaugural J/122 North American Championship, hosted by Storm Trysail Club's Race Committee on the White Course. An enormous variety of wind conditions both challenged and bedeviled the competitors over the five day event-- everything from 15-30 knot winds and towering breaking waves to flat water and light to moderate breezes. Certainly, whomever triumphed over the others would get a well-deserved wind considering the extraordinary variety of wind, waves, current thrown at them. In the end, Doug Shaffer and crew from Bayview, TX on-board GAMBLER threw down the gauntlet and with a bit of lady luck, took all the marbles home with them. Coming up short on the last two races were David Askew's FLYING JENNY VI from Annapolis, MD, missing the top of the podium by only three points after a disappointing fourth and eighth at the end. Just off the pace was Bill Coates and crew from Bellaire, TX on OTRA VEZ finishing third.

Doug Shaffer's GAMBLER had three points to make up on Thursday's leader FLYING JENNY VI, skippered by David Askew. GAMBLER accomplished that at the first weather mark when all the boats converged at the same time. "Everybody was ducking boats; we were in fifth place and jibed out to the left and picked up three boats (to finish second)," said Shaffer. "That was the regatta right there. FLYING JENNY had to take more boats at that mark (and finished eighth for second overall)." Shaffer, who has owned a number of different J boats over the years, says this is the first time he has won a regatta on a national level and gave credit to his crew, which included co-helmsman Eric Olving (Long Branch, N.J.) and tactician Jay Lutz (Seabrook, Texas).

Mike Bruno's Report on the eve of the final races Friday: "1st place and 3rd place will be hotly contested today—1st is between FLYING JENNY (great people from Annapolis—next to us on dock) and GAMBLER (nice folks as well from Houston)—both boats are extremely well sailed, and 3rd between the other Texas boat, OTRA VEZ, and WINGS. We have sailed well but did not deserve to place above FLYING JENNY or GAMBLER—both boats have been sailed flawlessly all week by extremely talented folks— quite impressive. Racing has been excellent and the fleet is pretty darn strong. Pete Dupont’s new boat is fast and very well sailed. The newest J/122, PUGWASH, with Larry Leonard aboard is improving daily and will ultimately be very well sailed, ditto PLUM CRAZY from Annapolis— a strong J/105 sailor previously. The J/122 owners are all quite enthused about their boats and we are getting pretty big press here. The J/122 is clearly considered one of the hottest one-designs out there at Block Island Race Week—many questions and much praise from the crowd about the boats—a lot of folks want one."

STC Block Island Race Week

J/105 POWER PLAY Gets Hat Trick
(Block Island, RI- June 22-26) - A single race today decided the fate of 153 boats entered in the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week XXIII presented by Rolex. The event, which began Monday, hosted 1500 sailors on the tiny land mass of Block Island, which for five days in every odd-numbered year becomes the epicenter for sailing in New England. Of the seventeen victors named in as many classes today, three were new leaders since Thursday, illustrating best how the tough got going when the going got tough. The event had several large one-design classes for the J's, including the J/105s, J/29, J/44s, J/122s and J/109s. In addition there was also a strong contingent of J's in the PHRF handicap classes.

In the biggest class at BIRW, the J/105 one-designs, Bruce Stone and Scott DeWeese (San Francisco, Calif.) drove POWER PLAY to overall victory with a third Friday in a photo-finish with second-place SAVASANA, skippered by Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.). Stone said his biggest drama this week, however, was that his team sailed Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco and still made it here for Monday's start. "We traveled by plane, taxi and sportsfishing boat to get to our borrowed boat here with seconds to spare." Stone, originally from Providence, R.I., says he loves Block Island Race Week, where the race management is superb and the venue is beautiful. "Ours was a tough class," he added. Behind POWER PLAY and SAVASANA was Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes from Katonah, NY racing KINCSEM.

Continuing their winning ways over the past few years, John and Tony Esposito from Mohegan Lake, NY dashed off six firsts to dominate the J/29 class sailing their venerable HUSTLER. Running in second were Bijan Rasadi from Groton, CT sailing SHOWDOWN. Only one point back was MIGHT PUFFIN raced by Steve Thurston from Bristol, RI.

In the J/44 One-Design class, six boats competed with their one-design class sails, making for very close racing. The final tally went down to the wire for the two leaders, Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV from Huntington, NY and Jim Bishop's renowned GOLD DIGGER from New York, NY. Both boats ended up tied with sixteen points a piece at the end of Friday's racing with CHALLENGE IV ultimately prevailing on having more first place finishes. Don and Rick Rave on RESOLUTE from Huntington Bay, NY sailed well, improved all week and ultimately won two races to finish third overall.

In the PHRF handicap divisions, the Storck family Huntington, NY again led their nine boat PHRF 3 Class to victory sailing their J/80 RUMOR. In PHRF 4, Kyle Fast from Noank , CT sailed his J/24 ALOHOMORA to second overall.

Several special awards were given to various J sailors. For best overall performance on their respective race circles, the skippers of the J/29 HUSTLER (winner of PHRF 2 class, skippered by John & Tony Esposito, Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and POWER PLAY each received a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepiece. The Everett B. Morris Memorial Trophy for Best Overall Performance went to POWER PLAY (making it the third part of their hat trick!). In addition to the J/105 Class Trophy, POWER PLAY also picked up the Justin Wasley Memorial Trophy for the overall winner of the one-design class with the largest number of entries.

RORC Morgan Cup

J/133 BATFISH III Third in IRC Zero
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England- June 26th)- Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the Yacht Club de Cherbourg and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Morgan Cup race goes from RYS Cowes to the East, then 95 miles across The Channel (La Manche) to Cherbourg, France. The course to Cherbourg was a good test of the fleet's ability to race at different wind angles and their ability to call tactics using the tidal effects of the English Channel to speed their passage to France.

One hundred and seven yachts entered the RORC Morgan Cup Race. This is the third RORC offshore race this season where the number of yachts racing has exceeded a hundred, an unprecedented level of participation in the history of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Overall, the J's sailing this race had good showings in three IRC classes. In IRC Class Zero, Bill Blain's well-campaigned J/133, BATFISH III, was third. David Richard's J/122, JOLLY JELLYFISH, was third in IRC Class One. In the IRC Double-Handed Division Nick Martin's J/105, DIABLO J, finished second.

Chicago-Waukegan Race Weekend

J's Dominate Waukegan Race!
(Chicago, IL- June 26-27)- A large turn-out of boats for this perennial classic that takes the fleet for a sprint up the Illinois lakefront from Chicago up to Waukegan and return- a distance of about 50 miles. The J contingent had a very strong showing overall winning every big boat section. And, the J/105 class had a strong turnout of nine boats for what is almost always a fun, reaching race.

First in Section 1 was the J/133 RENEGADE. First in Section 2 was the J/120 JAHAZI. First and second in Section 3 were the two J/109s CERTAINLY and NORTHSTAR, respectively. In the J/105s, STRIKING won...the same boat that will be competing in the Double-handed Chicago-Mackinac Race coming up shortly.

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week

Wind Lovers Rule in 20 knots of Long Beach Breeze
(Long Beach, CA- June 22-26)- The last anybody checked, fun had not been outlawed during a recession---after all, wind is free and there was plenty of it Friday, and a thousand or so mostly working class sailors are making the most of it during Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. Sailors from these parts will tell you that San Diego 100 miles to the south is not the windiest venue on the West Coast. "That's why we enjoy coming up here," said Chuck Nichols, owner of J/120 CC RIDER. Few complaints about the weather conditions were heard from the 135 boats competing in 18 classes on three race courses inside and outside the Long Beach outer harbor. Only 8 knots of wind was forecast for the first day of the West's largest keelboat regatta, and that's what everyone saw through the first race in early afternoon. But by Race 2 the southwest breeze had started to build and the better sailors went with it, bringing smiles to the faces of the volunteers from Alamitos Bay and Long Beach Yacht Clubs who are running the traditional event on and off the water. By Sunday, it was so windy that even the local Alamitos Bay and Long Beach Yacht Clubs that organized the event were impressed by the benevolence of nature that blessed the West Coast's largest keelboat regatta.

Ultimately, Chuck Nichols, Chris Snow and Mark Surber came on strong in the last two races Sunday to win, respectively, the J/120, J/24 and PHRF-1 classes, reveling in winds of 15 to 20 knots. Running away from their classes in the J/109s and J/105s were Tom Brott and Gary Mozer, respectively.

The ten boat J/120 Class were looking forward to the carpet of whitecaps as they sailed out of the Alamitos Bay jetty on Sunday. "We don't get this much in San Diego," said Nichols, racing his J/120 CC RIDER. "But we've had the same crew [of 10] for seven or eight years and our average age is over 50, so it's good to know we can still sail in heavy air." While other boats were rounding up or spinning out here and there, Nichols said, "I think we were the only one in our class that didn't wipe out. We have really good communication for trimming and adjusting and keeping the boat sailing under us." Rounding out the leaders of the ten boat J/120 class were John Laun aboard CAPER in second by only one point and eight points back was Jed Olenick's DOCTOR NO.

Surber's DERIVATIVE, a J/125 racing PHRF Class 1, finished fourth and sixth in the early light-air races Friday and Saturday but ran off two seconds and three firsts in the windiest races over three days. "The windier it is the better it is for us," said Surber, a Coronado YC member. "It's what makes Long Beach a great event. We just kept driving as hard as we could thinking that sooner or later something may come our way." Lorenzo Berho's gorgeous J/145 RAINCLOUD finished seventh but reveled in the windy conditions of the last day.

Only two of the seven J/24s raced Friday, leaving Susan Taylor's TAKE FIVE with an early 1-1 lead and everybody else with a steep hill to climb. Like Surber, Snow's BOGUS started slowly with a fourth place in Saturday's first race, but then hooked into the big breeze to run off four consecutive wins to match Taylor in points and edge her on a tiebreaker---his four first places. Rounding out the top three was Pat Toole's team aboard 3 BIG DOGS, finishing a scant one point behind Taylor and Snow on their tie-breaker....almost the bridesmaid, almost the winner, too!!

In the J/105 class, Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION sailed away from all their competitors with a fairly dominating performance, garnering five firsts in seven races to win by thirteen points over Doug and Pam Werner's JAVELIN. In third was Bill Logan's PHOLLY eight points further back.

The J/109s saw a similar, electrifying performance to Mozer's with Thomas Brott flying around the course in ELECTRA to win by eight points counting five firsts and two seconds-- yikes, an average of first! Well, kind of. Still a dominating performance over Steve Crooke's SUGAR and Chris Mewes' SHADOWFAX, second and third respectively. We are certain by now that the others are probing Brott for some of his speed secrets by now!

The West Coast Championship was the main event for the five boat J/29 class. Bruce Lotz aboard SEDONA showed the fleet how to get it done and with four first places managed to win by just three points over Larry Leveille's RUSH STREET. Bob Lenard averaged third to get third overall.

The J/80 class was perhaps the closest racing fleet other than the J/24s. Gary Kamins's FIRED UP was crowned champion with Gregg Kelly's MERKIN and John Steen's UNDERDOG finishing second and third, respectively.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chicago SW NOOD

J/105 VYTIS Wins Overall Title
(Chicago, IL- June 19-21)- Tom Petkus and the crew of the J/105 VYTIS were selected as the overall champions of the 2009 Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD. 186 entrants competed amid 17 classes, with Petkus besting 16 other teams to earn the title.

Michael Lovett, of Sailing World, interviewed the team- "When I spoke with the crew of the J/105 Vytis on Saturday night (of the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD), the team stood in fifth place, 8 points out of first. In the blare of the regatta tent, downing Mount Gays and chewing on a dinner roll, crewmember Keith Krause made a hopeful declaration. "We're still in the hunt," he said. "That's all that matters." I nodded my head and wished him luck, but I must admit I never expected Vytis to post two bullets on Sunday and vault to the top of the standings, unseating fellow Chicago boat and perennial rival, Messy Jessy, earning first place overall at the 2009 Sperry-Top Sider Chicago NOOD, and winning a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the NOOD Championships this November.

In the highly competitive J/105 fleet, in which seven boats had a legitimate shot a victory on Sunday morning, holding a lead was no simple task. "With all the great local sailors and the boats that come in from all over the country, who are you going to cover?" says Petkus. "The thing about this regatta was the conditions were very trying. We were constantly changing gears. And in this fleet, if you fail to adjust your jib car before the other boat does, that could be the difference between first and fifth place."

A few years back, when organizers of the Chicago-Mac were considering implementing a new weight limit for the J/105 class that would break up the Vytis crew, Petkus responded that he would sooner race PHRF than give the flick to one of his family members. The solidarity of the team is so great, competitors have a running joke that Petkus must have a 401K plan in place for his crew.

On the other courses and fleets, Dan Pesch’s J/100 Remedy won PHRF section 4. Eleven J/109s battled for NOOD honors, but Rob Zerban's ZEITGEIST wins again. And in the J/35’s Larry Taunt’s BAD DOG wins.