Wednesday, September 29, 2010

J/111 SAIL Video

J/111 SAIL magazine video
(Boston, MA)-  Adam Cort and crew go out on the J/111 for a complete test and evaluation of how she sails.  Take a look at the four minute video sailing on Narragansett Bay detailing how the boat functions on deck as well as a tour of the interior.  Included are some great perspectives from designer Alan Johnstone on what makes J/111 so appealing to the broad spectrum of people who've sailed her to date.  Click photo to right to see the video.Be sure to visit the J/111 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show next weekend!  Call J/Boats +1-401-846-8410, email- or call your nearest J Dealer for an appointment!

J/80 Worlds Start In Newport

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind on port tack
(Newport, RI)- Be sure to follow what's happening with your favorite J/80 teams this coming week.  Sixty-two teams are competing in Rhode Island Sound for what promises to be one of the most competitive J/80 Worlds to date. Teams from nine countries are currently registered including boats from Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and USA. Six past World Champions are participating; including 2001 Newport, RI- Kerry Klingler; 2003 Fort Worth, TX- Jay Lutz; 2006 Corpus Christi, TX- Glenn Darden; 2007    La Trinite, France- Jose Maria Torcida (ESP); 2008 Kiel, Germany- Ignacio Camino Rodrigues (ESP); and 2009 Santander, Spain- Rayco Tabares (ESP).  The last event in Santander had one of the largest ISAF International keelboat class fleets ever assembled, 133 boats!

Rayco Tabares- current J/80 World Champion- from Canary Islands, SpainThe reigning champion, Rayco Tabares from Islas Canarias (pictured here), will be racing HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA- CANARY ISLANDS.  Rayco's preparations for this year's Worlds included racing La Coruna Cup, the Spanish Championship.  Rayco said. "We could not attend the J/80 Europeans and the reasons were economic, instead focusing all the resources we had to sure to be present at the Worlds in Newport."  In the Spanish Championship in early July, Tabares had to fight some rivals that will be in the Worlds.  As Rayco exclaims,  "The level was very strong, three world champions in the class and prestigious sailors like Gonzalo Araujo and Chuni Bermudez.  It was a pity that we could not do more races for lack of wind.  With the best there, we would have loved more tests to measure ourselves against them." Rayco also wanted to speak to the current level of the Spanish fleet, not only of the representatives who will be in Newport, but also of his rivals at the international level. "The Spanish fleet is a world power and there are many boats that have chances of winning the World Cup. I believe that our fleet is the best in the world.  Nevertheless, I have many friends in the American fleet, they are good, so we focus on our work and hopefully keep up with them! I have hope, and believe, that some Spanish team will again win the J/80 Worlds, however we have to prove again to the Americans who've spent many years practicing that the Spanish J/80 fleet has world-class sailors!"  Follow all the action, photos and results for the J/80 Worlds.

J/122 East Coasts Preview

J/122 one-design sailboat sailing around windward mark
(Rye, NY)- American Yacht Club is hosting the J/122 East Coast Championship this weekend in Western Long Island Sound.  With a forecast for sunny skies and solid breezes over the weekend following the passage of a large tropical depression Friday the racing promises to be tight and very exciting.  So closely matched are the J/122s that a blown tack, slow spinnaker hoist, or bad mark rounding can gain or lose you boat lengths, enough to change you several positions in the race. Many of the top teams will be attending, including the winner of the J/122 North Americans recently held in Newport, RI, Mike Bruno, Jim Callahan and Tom Boyle's WINGS.  The other podium finishers at the NA's will also be battling it out for line honors, including David Murphy's PUGWASH and Andrew Weiss' CHRISTOPHER DRAGON.  Last weekend's 122 leader in the IRC 40 Class was David and Mary-Ellen Tortorello's PARTNERSHIP, showing good speed and sailing well enough to win three races in a row at one point!  Sure to be contenders during the series will be Steve Furnary's PATRIOT (with Sandy Weill directing "traffic") and Georg Mark's GEORGETOWN III.  For more J/122 East Coasts sailing information

J/24 Velas Pan-Americana

J/24s rounding windward mark- sailing Bahia de Banderas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- In 2011, Mexico will be the Host of the Pan-American Games - from the Arctic Circle in Canada down to the tip of South America near the Antarctic Circle and across the Central States to the Caribbean, athletes will arrive to compete with the best of the best.  The beautiful Bahia de Banderas will be the location of the Sailing events.

From October 20th to 24th,  Bahia de Banderas off the Mexican Riviera City of Puerto Vallarta is again going to be awash with flotillas of dinghies and keelboats plying the seas alongside whales and dolphins as sailors aim to become qualifiers for next years 2011 Pan-American Sailing Games being hosted by Vallarta YC.  Yet again, the Mexican Sailing Federation will be rolling out the red carpet for sailors around the Americas.  You gotta see it to believe it!  The Copa Mexico was a sailing extravaganza beyond belief.  Even if you don't sail, you'd want to represent any nation in the Americas to go!

This regatta will allow competitors to become familiar with the waters of Banderas Bay, where winds typically range from 12 - 20 knots during the afternoon to provide near perfect sailing conditions.   This provides an opportunity for competitors to race in the same racing grounds, understand the tides and winds, and be prepared for the "big" games in 2011; an unparalleled  venue for competitive sailing on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

The Vallarta Yacht Club is the Host for this sailing Event, and headquarters are at the Paradise Village Resort and Marina.  The facilities for berthing and staging provide the perfect venue for this large scale event.  Situated in Nuevo Vallarta directly at the channel entrance, this modern marina features 200 slips from 20 to 240 ft.  This luxury marina plays host to small daysailors as well as ginormous mega yachts.The Vallarta YC is an experienced host to many international competitions, including the J/24 World Championships, Copa Mexico, the biannual MEXORC Series, Banderas Bay Regatta, and other world class championships.    For more Pan-Am Sailing Games Qualifier info.

J Sailors Lovin AYC Fall Series

J/122 one-design offshore racing cruising sailboat
(Rye, NY)- With fall weather quickly gathering steam in the northeast, J sailors on western Long Island Sound are enjoying the changes in the weather patterns that often generate powerful fronts with strong, shifty West/ Northwesters or wet and wild North Easterlies on the back side of large offshore Lows.  No glassy summer calms for the troops this past weekend!  Saturday dawned beautifully, with partly cloudy skies and a strong westerly that kept shifting between 250 to 280 degrees all day with large, well-defined streaks of breeze in the 10-20 knot range.  By Sunday, the fronts moved on, greeting the fleet with a cooler, wet, grey day typical of a lingering northeaster with winds vacillating in the 45 to 80 degree range at 10-15 knots.  No one was complaining about the conditions, that's for sure.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing around race markFor the one-design classes, the weekend was especially challenging as tight fleet racing often brought about large changes in positions at each mark rounding.  Nevertheless, in the twenty boat J/105 class, the class leaders emerged with a only two points separating Joerg Esdorn's KINCSEM in first from Damian Emery's ECLIPSE.  Lying third is Paul Strauch's ANDIAMO.  The J/44s have a great turnout of eight boats all sailing with class sails.  While the ubiquitous turquoise-green boat, Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER, was having difficulties divining what the wind Gods had in store for them, it was Jeff Willis' CHALLENGE IV that threw down the gauntlet and established a very slim lead in this fun, but very competitive, class.  Sailing a great series so far is Bill Ketcham's MAXINE in second, one of their best regattas in awhile.  And, Don and Dick Rave are in third with RESOLUTE.  Only four points separate the top three boats after seven races!  Gotta hand it to Jim, his vision for one-design class sailing in big boats continues to be a formula for long-term success-- still the largest one-design class to sail to Bermuda for over 15 years!

J/109 sailing upwind at American YC Fall seriesOver in the IRC/ PHRF handicap world, Rick Lyall's very successful J/109 STORM is in fourth in IRC 35 Class after six races, just eight points behind the leaders.  In the IRC 40 Class, David and Mary Ellen Tortorello's J/122 PARTNERSHIP is in second and Tom Boyle and Jim Callahan's WINGS is in fourth in a very tightly contested series.  This weekend was essentially a warm-up for next weekends' J/122 East Coast Championship that will have at least six boats vying for one-design/ handicap honors.  In the IRC 45 Class, Ron Richman's J/133 ANTIDOTE is winning on a tie-breaker over Tom Carroll's J/133 SIREN SONG.  Finally, the irrepressible HUSTLER, John and Tony Esposito's masthead J/29, continues to dominate their PHRF division, rattling off five 1sts in six races to simply vaporize (or atomize?) their competition.  For more American YC Fall Series Regatta sailing information

J/Fest Newport Beach

J/Frest trophy winners JIM Wins 120 Class
(Newport Beach, CA)- Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach played host to this year's J/Fest Newport Beach.  And, what a fantastic time was had by all in truly classic Southern California sailing conditions.  Sun.  Wind.  Beautiful days in the 70s.  Can't beat it.  Just wear SPF 1,000...scares away melanoma, even if you have it.

Lucky J/Fest winners at Balboa Yacht Club
In the PHRF Handicap division, it turned out that the littlest J, Mark Hunter's J/80 IN APPROPRIATE, took all the marbles, sailing to a 2-1-3-2-2 score to win by 14 points.  However, not without a bit of controversy, Seth Hall's gorgeous J/124 MARISOL scored a 9 (RAF)-2-1-1-1 to finish with 14 points.  Without the RAF, Seth's crew would've taken the top of the podium.  Just behind was Charlie Underwood's J/92 STING only one point back. In one-design world, Mark Wyland's LUCKY STAR was top J/105 with a strong score of 1-1-4-2-1 for nine points.  Chuck Spear's TWELVE BAR BLUES strummed up a 2-2-3-1-3 for eleven points.  The AQUABELLA crew skippered by Dan McGanty managed a healthy 3-5-5-3-2 for eighteen points to just beat rivals OFF THE PORCH for the bronze.

The J/109s had a good, competitive fleet as well, with the results in doubt until the last two races.  Bryce Benjamin's PERSISTENCE sailed off with the silverware with a 2-2-1-4-1 score.  Heinz Butner's RAPTOR took second just 3 points back and Chris Mewes SHADOWFAX simply sailed to straight 3rds to get 3rd!! How unusual is that for a tally?

J/120 racing cruising sailboat- sailling off Newport Beach, CA in J/Fest
The J/120s strong showing of ten boats meant that top three was going to be tough going for anyone wishing for any kind of silverware.  Nevertheless, despite the not so easy conditions, John Snook's team on JIM simply walked off with the 120 fleet trophy, getting a 2-1-1-2-4 to win by an incredible ten points over some very strong teams.  The fight for 2 thru 5 placings were very close, indeed.  Second was past champion Chuck Nichols on CC RIDER with 20 points.  Just behind him was a nearly 4-way tie for third.  Third on a tie-breaker was Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS, just beating Shew/Durant's VIVA LA VIDA in fourth. Fifth was Mike Hatch on J ALMIGHTY only two points further back!  For more J/Fest sailing information

MR. BILL Gives AUNT JEAN A Wild Ride!

J/35 racing cruising sailboats- sailing Nationals at Gibson Island, Chesapeake Bay
No Worries, Just The J/35 North American Championship
(Gibson Island, MD)- What is there not to like about the remarkable J/35?  At the time of its inception, it became one of the most popular offshore/racing/one-designs in the 80s.  Today, it's still hard to find any boat anywhere near its performance in a wide variety of conditions.  Old school?  Perhaps.  Large genoas.  Big chutes.  Still very manageable under just main and jib. Hard to beat, period.  Witness recent successes in the Bermuda Doublehanded division-- a full on match race between two well sailed J/35s over 635 miles in one of the world's toughest ocean races.  Flash to the past? Yes, it's happened before!  J/35s finish 1-2 to Bermuda, won the Chicago-Mac Double, won the Stamforf-Vineyard Double, too.  Not too mention a few hundred other races around the world like OSTAR's, Round Britain's, Round Island's, Cowes, notwithstanding.What makes the boat so attractive today is that it's fun, affordable, easy to sail and given an equal chance to go rockin' around the buoys, you simply cannot beat it (although it's J/36 brethren may have an argument against us here).  In that spirit, the J/35 Class continues to have a great time.

J/35 cruising racing sailboat- rounding windward mark sailing downwind Recently, the J/35 North American Championship was held at Gibson Island Yacht Club in the Chesapeake Bay.  Twelve boats participated to have a great time bashing and crashing around the buoys and enjoy what many know to be a fun boat to sail. After the smoke cleared, a famous J/35 called AUNT JEAN (what hasn't it won?) simply pulled it off again to win by just two points over an equally famous J/35 called MR BILL'S WILD RIDE!  Jim Sagerholm's crew on AUNT JEAN had a great time, sailing to a 2-1-3-1-2-2 record.  Bill Wildner's team on MR BILL took awhile to get rolling, but once they did, rattled off a 3-3-1-2-3-1 score to nearly take the big silver from Jimmie-boy.  Third was Peter Scheidt's gang racing MAGGIE (no relation to Ken Read's multiple J/24 World Champion boat).

J/35 cruising racing sailboat- starting upwind at Nationals on Chesapeake Bay
Thanks to PRO Terry May and crew from Gibson Island for hosting a fantastic event, running some great races and making sure the crews all had a great time...few went home without having left it all not only on the race course, but also at the party Saturday night! So, who has more fun? J/30s or J/35s? The debate may never end.  You can be certain the J/24 gang still claim to be "kings of the hill" (hard to argue when you have to fight 1000s of them worldwide, though the J/22s and J/80s aren't far behind)!   For more J/35 North Americans sailing information.

All Ireland Sailing Championship

J/80 one-design sailboat- in peaceful anchorage in Cork, Ireland
(Cork, Ireland)- This weekend, the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, Cork was host to the ISA All Ireland Sailing Championships, an event for the best of the Juniors and Seniors in the country sailing on their fleet of J/80s.

While the Juniors managed to get there racing schedule completed in difficult sailing conditions unfortunately the Seniors did not - PRO David O'Brien was forced to cancel the final flight and decider for the Senior All Ireland Championship due to lack of wind. The final 5 race flight is to be scheduled for a later date: those 8 helms and teams will be Anthony O’Leary, Neil Kenefick, Nicholas O’Leary, Garrett May, Niall Henry, James Espey, Nick Walsh, Ewen Barry. Philip Doran from Courtown SC was crowned ISA All Ireland Junior Champion 2010.  Thanks to Irish Sailing Anarchist-  Brian Carlin from Cube Images.  See more of Brian's spectacular sailing photography here.

J/35 Wins MAYOR'S CUP In Boston

J/35 offshore racing cruising sailboat- sailing Boston Mayor's Cup Regatta
(Boston, MA)- Jeff Kent sailed his Class D J/35 BLACK SEAL to an impressive 4:08 overall win over Ralph DiMattia’s NM 40 Shamrock Sensation in the non-spinnaker fleet of the Boston Harbor Islands Regatta to win the Mayor’s Cup for best performance. This is a popular 12 mile, figure-8 pursuit race around the islands that benefits the Harbor Islands National Park. 98 boats participated in what can be a model for cities around the country. The idea is to get everyone out! Half the boats don’t have current PHRF certificates and there was everything from a Cape Dory Typhoon rating PHRF 294 to the NM 70 Denali at -69.

The event was sailed in a 10-20 knot, warm, dry offshore southwesterly breeze.  Chris Zibailo’s  J/109 SUPERSTITION was the overall winner of the spinnaker fleet, nipping Barry Bessette’s well-sailed Class C S2 7.9 Club Car from Hyannis by only 2 feet at the finish. The S2 had started 20 minutes earlier.  Other class winners were: (B) Bob Cunningham’s J/30 RUFFIAN (E) Richard Tubman’s O’Day 31 Charisma; (F) Ralph Vinciguerra’s Pearson Vanguard Blue Angel; (G) Ed Marcus in a Courageous Sailing Club J/22. Constitution YC won the Yacht Club Challenge.  Top Female Trophies went to Elizabeth Lamb in her Aphrodite 101 and to Linda Hoskings in her C&C 40.  Top Masters were Chet Osborne in a Melges 24 and Ralph DiMattia in his NM 40.  The Jody Grauls won the all-family crew award in a Sabre 36.  Top community sailing trophy when to the Boston Sailing Center.  Full story and sailing results of Boston Mayor's Cup Regatta.

J/125s Fly At Sportboat Anarchy Festival

J/125 team winning sailing anarchy sportboat regatta
(San Diego, CA)- This past weekend the Sailing Anarchy team hosted their annual ISAF- International Sportboat Anarchy Festival, much to the delight and glee of "fast sailing boat" enthusiasts.  As SA columnist Alan Block explains, "I  didn't realize that working with Scot and the CYC would be such a big job this weekend, but we have to admit that every minute was worth it after an awesome three days of racing in near-perfect summer conditions out of Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego's South Bay.

70-odd boats from Weta trimarans through J/125s had an absolute blast, with 10 races from Friday to Sunday, racing like boats on short courses for constant action and adrenaline from start til finish."Alan goes on to say, "We had beautiful sailing conditions - 10-12 knots, 80 degrees temps for the races. The large fleet on two courses kept things busy in San Diego's South Bay today, but the low-key attitude and great weather made it all just fine at the Sailing Anarchy ISAF World Championship of the World regatta."

Leading the charge for the "big sportboats" were the J/125s.  Tim Fuller's RESOLUTE from San Diego YC finished just out of the money to get second overall in Sportboat A Division (photo above of RESOLUTE Team getting awards from Scot and Trophy Girl).  Just a bit off the pace, perhaps because Tim kept match-racing them back into the tank, was Mark Surber's DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC getting a 5th in the 20+ boat class...still a good showing racing against a bunch of pesky 26-33 foot over-canvassed sportboats.  For more information on the SA ISAF World Worlds, please visit  Sailing Anarchy.

More J/24 Australia Tidbits

The Bob Ross 1982 Bethwaite Interview
(Sydney, Australia)- Some really interesting tidbits of sailing information came from Bob Ross's interviews and discussions with Australian J/24 sailors at the time. In particular, certain Bethwaite family members..."In winning the J/24 worlds, Mark Bethwaite and his Soling crew Ian MacDiarmid and Glen Read brought a fresh approach to tuning and equipment detailing that cut across much of the conventional wisdom in the class.The Australian champion Soling crew, plus John Diacopolous who worked forward and owner Bunker Snyder, put together in BANDIT a successful cam­paign that was largely outside the mainstream of competition in the Sydney fleet.Bethwaite lives in Melbourne, has a demanding job, and used some of the weekends he commuted to Sydney earlier in the season to put in some time on the Soling. They were unable to sail regularly in J/24 races before the series.Much of the tuning load fell on MacDiarmid, who is a sailmaker – production manager at North’s Sydney loft. He sailed in the all important trimming spot on the boat, working mainsheet as well as tailing and trimming genoa sheets through tacks.At a time when extremely high shroud tensions were becoming fashionable in the class, BANDIT went the other way with caps just firm and lowers quite loose. MacDiarmid explained: “We sailed with not a lot of shroud tension but were using the vang to flatten the mainsail and not much backstay. Sailing to windward, the leeward cap was slack and the lower very slack.”  Read more about Bethwaites'/ MacDiarmid's radical J/24 tuning in the J/24 Stone Ages.

Ken Read & Jerry Kirby Join OLIVER HAZARD PERRY Tall Ship Team

Ken Read and Jerry Kirby- PUMA Volvo 70 sailing teamRepresenting a vote of confidence from the sailing world, Ken Read and Jerry Kirby (both of Newport, R.I.) have joined the Board of Advisors for Rhode Island’s education at sea tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry.  Read and Kirby, considered two of the world’s most accomplished American sailors, believe in the significant impact the school ship will have on generations of young people as it continues to build over the next few years and then sails as a 207-foot three-masted, square rigger--the largest, privately owned, active tall ship in America.“The Oliver Hazard Perry project is quite simply something that Rhode Island desperately needs,” said Read, who has sailed in two Volvo Ocean Races (steering Team Puma to second in the 2008/2009 event) and is a veteran of three America’s Cups, twice a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (1985, 1995) and has over 40 World, North American and National Championships to his credit in a variety of classes, including the J/24 and Etchells 22.  “It is a living, breathing education program focused on the oceans of the world. I will work to bring some experience to the project based on my years of sailing and working in the marine industry.”Kirby (pictured right sailing offshore), who crewed for Read aboard Team PUMA and has sailed in six America’s Cups, three around-the-world races, at least a dozen Bermuda Races, and more than a half-dozen Transpac races, added, “It speaks volumes to the maritime heritage here in Rhode Island and gives us a platform to develop unique educational experiences for school kids.”Bart Dunbar, Chair of Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI), re-iterated that it is only with the help of OHPRI supporters and a multitude of marine trades businesses that the hull of the ship, which is currently at Promet Marine Services in Providence, R.I., will be modified and a deck, masts, rigging, sails and electronics added.  “The success of the education at sea tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry relies on the generosity and enthusiasm of hundreds of individuals and businesses. Having Ken and Jerry aboard gives us a link to the world of sailors who know what the programs on the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry can do for Rhode Island schools and their students.”The ship is named for Newport's War of 1812 naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Once completed in 2012, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be owned and operated for the people of Rhode Island by OHPRI. She will be based in Newport, serve America and sail the world as an ambassador of Rhode Island.For more information or to contribute to the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry project, please visit or contact Vice-Chair Perry Lewis at OHPRI headquarters in Newport, RI, phone- 401-841-0080.

Kenny Read- SW October- "Life Offshore"

* Kenny Read also reflects on how life has changed being part of the PUMA Volvo 70 Race project.  Check out the latest Sailing World, October issue.  Kenny's article on the Volvo 70 PUMA campaign is particularly enlightening.  He describes how different the world is sailing offshore for days and weeks at a time versus his earlier experiences racing around the cans in J/24s and other boats.  No fresh water shower and an ice cold beer after the end of each day for these guys!  Photo at right shows how wet it can be--- for days at a time you, too, could be taking an ice cold salt water shower (a.k.a. "the fire hose").  More information at Sailing World-

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2010 J/80 Worlds Preview

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing downwind off Santander, Spain
The Spanish Armada Are Coming!
(Newport, RI)- The 2010 J/80 World Championships, hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and Sail Newport, promises to be one of the most competitive J/80 events to date.  66+ boats from nine countries are currently registered including boats from Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and USA. Seven past World Champions are participating.

Outside of a strong US contingent, the Spanish J/80 Class is showing up in force with ten sailing teams.  Amongst them are 2010 J/80 European Champion Carlos Martinez sailing PERALEJA GOLF from Santiago, past World Champions Jose Maria Torcida sailing Team ECC VIVIENDAS from Cantabria, Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESSA YAIZA from Las Palmas, and Ignacio Camino Rodriguez on NEXTEL ENGINEERING from Cantabria.  In fact six of the top ten teams at the 2010 Europeans (Lake Garda, Italy) are competing. Other top European teams include Tom Whitmore (the J/80 Swedish Champion), Federico Rajolas of Italy, Thomas Klok of Denmark, Jurgen Waldeim of Germany and Bruno Trouble from France.

The American fleet is the deepest it's ever been and well tuned up after a busy nine month USA Tour including the recent North American Championship. Teams from 12 different states are represented.  While all eyes will be on past World and North American Champions Jay Lutz/Gary Kamins (Houston, TX), Glenn Darden (Ft Worth, TX), and Kerry Klingler (Larchmont, NY), they will be pushed hard by other top ranked teams including John Storck on RUMOR (2010 North American Champion), Terry Flynn & Scott Young (Annapolis NOOD Champion), Chip Johns (Marion, MA), Allan Terhune (Arnold, MD) and Bruno Pasquinelli (Dallas, TX).  For more J/80 Worlds sailing informationSailing photo credit- ChapiFoto

CONVEXITY Dominates Blustery J/105 North Americans

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing off the city front
(Chicago, IL)- Don Wilson on CONVEXITY never gave up his hold on first place through four days and eight races at the J/105 North American Championship. Sailing with Nathan Hollerbach, Milosz Mogilnicki, Hans Pusch, Mauro Matias and Tod Reynolds at the Chicago Yacht Club, Wilson concluded the event with five bullets, two second-place finishes, and a ninth for a total score of 18 points.

Following CONVEXITY in the overall standings are David Wagner on GIGI (26 points) and Jim Rathbun on HEY JUDE (2nd in last year's J/105 NA's in Larchmont, NY with 35 points). Twenty boats competed. The regatta saw a wide variety of conditions, starting with strong winds up to 30 knots and large waves on day one, and concluding with a light day Sunday with breeze mostly 5-8 knots and flatter seas. As the event came to a close, local Clark Pellett won the day's first race, trailed by Rathbun's Hey Jude and Bernie Girod's ROCK & ROLL on the come-back trail for redemption. In the closing match, Wagner's GIGI took the top spot, with Wilson's CONVEXITY and Girod's ROCK & ROLL in second and third respectively. Current J/105 Class President Bernie Girod had a tough go of it this year, suffering a breakdown and some difficulties on the windy day (an account from one of Bernie's crew on ROCK & ROLL is below).  The top five overall all are: Don Wilson sailing CONVEXITY (18 points), David Wagner skippering GIGI (26), Jim Rathbun racing HEY JUDE (35), Carter Williams on CREATIVE DESTRUCTION (60), and Blane Shea skippering STRIKING (67).

J/105 Rock & Roll- Santa Barbara, CA- sailing North Americans in Chicago, ILFor those of you who sailed, you'll appreciate a report from the Santa Barbara, CA ROCK & ROLL crew (pictured here) on sailing the J/105 NA's in Chicago- "Crazy day on the water. Forecasts came true - we had over 30 before the first start and 20 - 25 for the first race. Second race (which was abandoned by RC just as we were getting to the weather mark) had us in 17 - 20 most of the way and the third race (which became the second race officially) had us in 20 - 25 knots of breeze.

Our first race (10th place finish) was a good one except for the first takedown (two lap race) which we left too late and lost several boats as we floundered about. Picked up a couple of those that passed us and would have probably been top five with a good takedown.  The cancelled race was looking good for us and we figure we were in 4th when it was called.

The last race was really good for us. Two lapper with us in second ahead of CONVEXITY at the first gate rounding. Unfortunately, our spin halyard box pulled out of the mast somewhere on the run and we couldn't get the chute down. Ran off deep and with three of us pulling on the kite we finally managed to get the sail in the hole. Debated continuing to race but figured we'd need the time at the dock to get the mast fixed and we were five miles out from the harbor. Came in and began working on things. Hit the dock about 3:30 and finally got things fixed up by about 7:30.  Fortunately, our breakdown was the final blow for the RC and they didn't hold the scheduled 3rd race of the day. Instead of only 8 races left for the regatta we have 9.

We may have had a chance for a top 5 result before the breakage but now it's probably not in the cards. We've been fast both up and down wind as especially down. Been fun and is supposed to go light tomorrow and then be an even heavier day on Saturday than today was.
Nice to come in on a windy, rough day and not be caked with salt.  105 N.A.s are now over for 2010. Interesting event with a myriad of conditions and challenging racing.  Huge thanks to the Chicago Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club, J/105 Fleet 5 and the RC team. Excellent event, good racing, super parties and very warm and friendly people.  We had a terrific time.
I love Chicago.  We saw a wide range of water and wind conditions, hot sunny days to (Santa Barbara like) cold and overcast.  Competition from Chicago, Canada, Texas, Missouri and (of course) us from California.  We ended strong with two third places and pulled ourselves up from 15th after a very difficult Saturday to an overall 9th when Sunday closed the event."  For more J/105 North Americans sailing information 

J/105 ARBITRAGE Wins Rolex Big Boat

Rolex J/105 winners- Arbitrage- Bruce Stone and crew
J/120 DAYENU and J/109 ELECTRA Win, Too
(San Francisco, CA)- As San Francisco awaits the verdict on whether or not the next America’s Cup will be held on its shores, the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Rolex Big Boat Series, in its 46th year, has been reminding the sailing world why the city’s namesake bay is the perfect arena for world-class racing. Sunday's “Bay Tour” race sent 98 teams on a picturesque circuit around San Francisco Bay. It included legs that featured Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge as iconic backdrops and a downwind finish set directly in front of St. Francis Yacht Club, which allowed a parade of spinnakers to pass within shouting distance of the seawall. This was the fourth and final day of the event, which has become a hallmark of racing excellence and awarded perpetual trophies as well as Rolex Oyster Perpetual Stainless Steel Submariners to winners in six of the nine classes competing.  And, with a huge turnout of J's, including the two J/125s AUGUST ICE and DOUBLE TROUBLE, the J/109 ELEKTRA and the 105/120 classes, meant the 36 J's competing in this year's RBBS comprised nearly 40% of the fleet!

“People come from all over the world to sail in this event, because it’s one of the most challenging sailing venues on the planet,” said Event Chairman Norman Davant (and the J/Boats Northern California dealer- Sail California). High winds prevailed on day one but dwindled progressively over subsequent days. Thankfully, so dwindled heavy fog, but its benefit was that it added great drama to the racing.  “We sailed in fog like I’ve never sailed in for 25 years here,” said Norman, “and there were weather systems that don’t normally happen at this time of year. A lot of local-knowledge guys were scratching their heads, but it just added to the technical challenges that inspire the top people in our sport to show up and race here.”

J/105 one-design sailboats- sailing Rolex Big Boat off Alcatraz, San Francisco, CAThe twenty four strong fleet of J/105s were racing for a Rolex Submariner watch and the StFYC Atlantic Perpetual Trophy.  After having a rudder bearing fail (and ultimately become irreparable) on the first day, Bruce Stone (San Francisco), skippering ARBITRAGE, still managed a victory in the first race of his seven-race series, albeit with great difficulty steering. He went on to finish out the next three days with a borrowed boat from a friend (Tom Coates' successful MASQUERADE) and finished consistently enough to lead his 24-boat fleet at the end of every day. “We transferred sails, tuned the rig and kept racing,” said Stone, who has further distinguished himself this year by winning J/105 fleet series (Fleet 24 in San Francisco and Fleet 14 in Newport, R.I.) on both coasts this year. “Even though we switched to a boat we’d never sailed before, we managed to make it go fast.” TEAM ARBITRAGE finished the series with 27 points to Scooter Simmons’s (Belvedere, Calif.) 33 accumulated aboard BLACKHAWK.  The balance of the top five included Jeff Littfin and John Case sailing a very nice series on MOJO to finish third, Chris Perkin's GOOD TIMIN finished fourth and Rolf Kaiser's DONKEY JACK was fifth.

J/109 one-design-cruising sailboat- sailing Rolex Big Boat in San FranciscoThe IRC D division was also racing for a Rolex Submariner watch and the StFYC Keefe-Kilborn Perpetual Trophy.  Tom Brott’s (Cypress, Calif.) J/109 ELECTRA knocked Gerard Sheridan’s (San Francisco) Tupelo Honey out of first place today in IRC D (seven boats) by finishing second to Tuplelo Honey’s fifth in the last race. “We just had to put a boat between us and Tupelo, which we did when we got an advantage on them at the start,” said ELECTRA's tactician Harry Pattison (Laguna Niguel, Calif.). “Then they had trouble with their spinnaker set and jibed, taking a gamble that didn’t pay.” He described the first race of the series, a bad one for them right off the bat, with a jib halyard problem before the start that made it impossible to sail. “With a DNF that first race, we were coming from behind the whole regatta,” added Tom Brott, “but it was having a great crew and being able to concentrate on driving that did it.”

J/120  one-design- offshore- cruising sailboat- Dayenu winning Rolex Big BoatWith a strong local showing of eight boats in the J/120 class, it was a tough go to stay amongst the leaders.  However, with three victories in his score line, Donald Payan (Hillsborough, Calif.), skippering DAYENU,  maintained his early class lead to top the eight-boat J 120 class. “Usually at this regatta it’s a nail biter going into the last leg, but going into today, we knew we could win it, since we had had fantastic boat speed,” said Payan. “The trick was execution, and it’s the old paradigm of teamwork: everybody had to be in sync.”  Second overall was past winner Steve Madeira's MR MAGOO and third was John Wimer's DESDEMONA (also a past Rolex BBS winner!).  BTW, the J/120's are the J/Calendar's 2010 Rolex BBS September "poster childs" (see

J/125 Double Trouble sailing Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, CAIn IRC C, the two J/125s competing had a fantastic time racing each other.  Flying upwind and downwind and seemingly racing amongst themselves, attached to each other by a shoe-string.  In the end, Lake Tahoe sailors aboard Rick Ferris' AUGUST ICE just nipped local San Francisco favorites, Andy Costello and Peter Krueger's fire-engine red DOUBLE TROUBLE, to finish 2nd and 3rd in class.  Next year they hope to get the other five or so J/125s showing up from "down the coast" to sail the Bay!


Welles Takes J/24 US Nationals

J/24 US Nationals winners- Will Welles from North Sailes
(Marblehead, MA) - The three day J/24 U.S. National Championship was hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club, with a very strong fleet of 48 boats competing in eight races. After the seventh race, the teams led by Jens Hookanson on SALSA (2004 World Champion) and Will Welles on FAWN LEIBOWITZ were the only boats to still hold all top ten scores, and fittingly were tied on points with one race to go. But it was Welles who had the hot hand on the final day, rolling a 2-3 to take the title with Hookanson finishing second and Carter White winning the final race to move into third.

A wide range of conditions from 17 knots and waves to 6 knots and flat water provided a perfect playing field for the 48 boats at this years championship.  Day one included a 17 knot north easterly breeze with chop and swells, making getting off the line challenging, that diminished to 10 knots by the end of the day.  Three long championship length races ranging from 1.7 mile legs to 1.4 mile legs were run. Tim Healy and crew fresh off their win a J/24 Worlds came out strong posting a 1, 3, 3 to post an early lead but just ahead of Jens Hookanson by a point and Will Wells by three points.

On day two the swell and chop calmed down a bit but not completely.  A light easterly wind with large oscillations from northeast to east and major pressure differences from the left and right sides of the course provided difficult choices to make upwind and down for the competitors.  Jens Hookanson and team on SALSA had the best strategy and amazing speed posting an awesome 1,2,1 to claim the lead after day two.

Day three brought a decent southwest breeze and a bit of lump from the previous two days of easterly type winds.  However three quarters into the first race the southwest breeze died and a southeast sea breeze started to build.  During the wind shift a few boats got caught in a hole and missed the time limit as TEAM MOOKIE with Pete Levesque had legged out to a convincing and fast win. Will Wells and crew on FAWN LEIBOWITZ were the most consistent on day three posting a 2nd and 3rd to win the regatta by four points.

Final results saw the Welles team eking out a win over Hookanson.  Carter White finished third overall, finishing the regatta with a first in the 8th race.  Fourth was Levesque and 5th was Mark Hillman.  Current J/24 World Champion Tim Healy couldn't maintain their first day's performance, not making sense of the shifty, streaky Marblehead  breezes to finish 6th-- fame is fleeting, as they say!  For more J/24 US Nationals sailing information.  Team sailing photo credit- Leighton O'Connor.


JAVA TEAM GILL Smoke J/105 UK Nationals

(Darmouth, England)- The J/105 class’s UK National Championships was held concurrently with the 166th Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta.  Local boats Mary Sturgess’ JALDI and David Sheehan / Peter Sandover’s JACANA welcomed the Solent fleet for the a series of 8 windward-leeward courses in the Western end of Start Bay, and a coastal race.
Racing commenced in the traditional way for a bank holiday weekend with grey skies, rain and a blustery 12-20 kts from the North East, and after a long day on the water Class Captain Chris Jones in JOURNEYMAKER 5 showed the best form with 2 wins out of 3.
Day 2 bought the coastal race, variously viewed as either an opportunity for a shorter day and an early return to the hospitality of RDYC, or an eccentric intrusion on the normally ordered world of the one designs.  Shifty and gusty conditions again from an unstable northerly airstream gave plenty of opportunities for gains and losses, but after almost 3 hours of racing James Heald in FLAWLESS J took the gun by 3 seconds to JOURNEYMAKER 5, putting JOURNEYMAKER 5 in front of the series with only 4 points separating the top 4 boats for the start of Day 3.

Saturday bought fine weather at last and an oscillating North-Westerly 15-20 kts, which rewarded boats that found space to use the shifts.  Lymington-based reigning National champion William Newton in JELLY BABY found consistency with two 2nds, but was thwarted by an OCS in the last race.  It was Hamble based Warsash Spring Series and J/Cup winners Rob Dornton-Duff’s JAVA TEAM GILL, however, that found pace and took 3 wins and the series lead overnight.  That evening the class hosted other Dartmouth Sailing Week J teams on a party boat on the River Dart, for dinner and a prime viewing location for the regatta fireworks.

Sunday dawned with similar conditions to the previous day and the top place still open.  A 2nd place by JAVA TEAM GILL however sealed their win, and left JELLY BABY, FLAWLESS J and JOURNEYMAKER 5 to fight out 2nd and 3rd.  A tightly fought final race between JAVE and JELLY BABY gave JAVA TEAM GILL its 5th win of the series, JELLY BABY overall runner up and FLAWLESS J 3rd.  Rounding out the top five were JOURNEYMAKER 5 in 4th and Ivan Trotman's JOLENE in 5th.  For more information about J/105 UK sailing.



J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing downwind in Nextel Engineering Trophy
(Santander, Spain)- The J/80 fall racing season for the Real Club Maritimo de Santander recently started with competition for the Trophy Nextel Engineering, a series of races held over several weekends.  

As one might expect from one of the world's more competitive J/80 fleets, the class leaders were out in force as early training for their participation in the upcoming J/80 Worlds in Newport, RI.  After two days of racing with very close situations creating a lot of passing amongst the top five boats, it was MABLE-EDICIONES ENCUENTRO sailed by Jose Miguel Oriol and Alberto Padron as the early leader in the series.  

A total of sixteen J/80s are competing.   Pichu Torcida's team on ECC VIVIENDAS is doing well, as is Herreria's team on Groupe Rhine.    Currently, MABLE leads with 4 points followed by GROUPE RHINE with 5 points, ECC VIVIENDAS with 7 points and NEXTEL ENGINEERING with 8 points!  Next weekend promises to be a very good test of these teams, the last before they many fly over to America to sail the J/80 Worlds.   For more J/80 Spain sailing information.

J/22 Netherlands Nationals

J/22 one-design sailing on Brassermeer in The Netherlands
Quantum Racing Repeats World's Win
(The Hague, Netherlands- Sep 17-19)-  Quantum Racing Team NED 1364 sailed by Nic Bol is not only the World Champion, but now the Dutch Champion!

It was exciting race this past weekend sailing in front of The Hague, a monumental and historical waterfront city.  Autumn often means lots of wind, rain and cold in the area.  No one was disappointed by the forecast- winds of 20 knots and gusting above 25 knots all day.  Three races were held in these demanding conditions.  There were many tough stories about planing, broaching equipment failure in conversations at the Restaurant Ektaboer over many a pint and a few suffering from bruises.

Saturday started with more wind and rain, but by the start of the first day's racing, it was fantastically beautiful autumn weather with sunshine and a nice breeze, so the less experienced sailors J/22 could compete more favorably and still have fun.
Although the top three teams after the first day didn't change, the battle at the top was very exciting. After the first day, first was MOJO sailed by Roy Heiner with 4 points on top, followed by Team KESBEKE and third was Quantum Racing Team. After two days of racing, these top three teams had equal points!  Talk about a "horse race"!  

On the last day of racing, the brand new World Champion, Nic Bol and his team Quantum Racing, sailed the most steady series and avoided the many dangers on the race course to win overall.  Second place was Team KESBEKE sailed by Eelco Blok, Bart Fast and Niels Blok.  THird was Team MOJO sailed by Roy Heiner, Ronald Veraar, Robert Janssen and Joost Brouwer.  For more J/22 Netherlands Nationals sailing information.

Jaffrezic Wins J/22 French Nationals

J/22 one-design sailboat- Team France sailing French Nationals
(Nantes, France)- Over the weekend of September 4th and 5th, the French J/22 class held their Nationals, competing for the Trophy Dominique Doucet.  The setting was gorgeous and the sixteen boat fleet took full advantage of the beautiful conditions to get in six races over the two days.  

In an unusual scoring scenario, the regatta had a two throw-out six race series! As a result, the scoring was extremely close for the top three spots as it was difficult to compute who was going to win until the last leg of the last race-- even then some of the sailors simply threw away their calculators and just sailed around the race course, praying for the right combinations to win.
After sailing in 3-6 knots south-southeast winds all weekend, it was the team of APCC2 sailed by Jean Yves Jaffrezic that took the top step on the podium, winning with a counting score of 1-3-3-1, throwing out two 4ths.  Jean Yves was the only team to score all top five scores in the regatta.  Benefitting from the high throw-out count was Frederick Mouchet, tossing a 16-9 and counting a 2-2-1-4 for nine points, just one point from first.  Third was early regatta leader Jean-Francois Guionet, starting strongly with a 3-5-2-1 and tossing an 11-7.  The local Nantes-based J/22 teams dominated the top five.  For more J/22 French Nationals sailing information.


RELOADED Ices J/24 UK Nationals

(Cornwall, England- A strong turnout of twenty-two J/24s showed up the the classic Autumn Cup Championship in Falmouth, doubling as the J/24 UK Nationals 2010.  A few class stalwarts attended, including long-time class champion Stu Jardine racing the latest incarnation of STOUCHE.  

The Royal Cornwall YC were wonderful hosts, ensuring the sailors had plenty of food, drink and racing, though not necessarily in that order!  The RCYC PRO conducted an fantastic series, getting in ten races over three days of racing off the gorgeous, undulating  green coastline of Cornwall.  Good breeze, reasonable seas made for good close racing.  

Nevertheless, it was G Watson's team on RELOADED that showed top UK 24 sailors how it's done, starting off the first day with three straight bullets and picking up two more on the second day to lead the regatta by a comfortable margin.  In fact, RELOADED didn't sail the last race on Saturday as they'd won the regatta by race 9.  

Not to be denied from a strong podium showing was Stu Jardine sailing STOUCHE, himself a multiple J/24 UK Champion.  After sailing a solid series in races 1 thru 7 and leading the regatta, Stu and crew took an unfortunate nose-dive in race 8 (getting a 16th) and after a 5th in race 9 couldn't recover enough to win the event, finishing second just three points shy of first.  Third was Roger Morris sailing the well-known JOLLY ROGER.  Fourth, Duncan McCarthy on MADELINE and fifth Nick McDonald on LEAGEL ALIEN.  For more J/24 UK Nationals sailing information


FUNHOUSE Wins J/22 East Coast Championships

J/22 one-designs racing downwind
(Annapolis, MD)- Fall is in the air and down in the Chesapeake Bay that means the fall sailing season is kicking into high gear.  With its gorgeous tree-lined shores turning brilliant colors of flaming red, burnt orange and screaming yellow, it has to be one of the world's more beautiful places to sail, especially in a "clear as a bell" puffy northwester.

The J/22s enjoyed the first of the fall sailing weather this past weekend racing their East Coast Championship, though this year it was a bit more painful.  The last time AYC was due to host this event, it was postponed due to an impending Tropical Storm that was working its way up the Coast.  

This year they could have used a bit of that blustery weather!  Three races were held on Saturday with the first two in trying conditions with major wind shifts which in the light air proved frustrating for RC and competitors alike.  With the chance of a 3rd race seeming bleak, PRO Mark Murphy patiently waited for even the slightest sea breeze and was rewarded with a comfortable, steady breeze and the best sailing of the day to round out the first day or racing.  On Sunday, the RC posted the AP Flag and kept everyone ashore hoping that once again there would be a light at the end of the tunnel but it wasn’t to be.  

In the end, it was a "foreigner" from way south of the Mason-Dixon line that strode into town and demonstrated to everyone who was the new posse in town.  Collin Linehan's FUNHOUSE MIRROR took the top spot, winning the racing with a 2-1-3 record to just beat out local Annapolis sailor, Brad Julian, sailing JULIAN ASSOCIATES to a 3-2-2 tally.  The regatta came down to the last race and if Brad could push the FUNHOUSE gang further down the ladder and place a boat in between them they'd take home the gold.  However, it was not to be.  Finishing third overall was a local Annapolis favorite, Jeff Todd racing the famous HOT TODDY, garnering a 5-3-1 score.  For more J/22 East Coast Championship sailing informationSailing photo credit- Tim Wilke

Eight Bells- Dave Kirby- J/122 TKO

J/122 TKO at Rolex Big Boat- sailing downwindThe J Community is sorry to hear about the recent passing of Dave Kirby, owner of J/122 TKO in California. Dave, who won his class in the St. Francis Big Boat series two years in a row with his J-122 TKO (see here at right), died on Saturday after a long battle with prostate cancer. He had just turned 56. Dave was president of The Kirby Organization Dave Kirby sailing- doing what he loved best on his J/122 TKO(TKO), one of the most successful band booking agencies in the world, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, he grew up racing International 14s and then Lasers at the Britannia Yacht Club. When he moved to the U.S. and worked in New York he raced on Long Island Sound and cruised in his 35-foot Nightwind. The music agency business took him to Los Angeles where he immediately became a force to contend with in Southern California racing. He leaves two teen-aged sons, his wife Christine, his mother Betty and three sisters. His father, also David Kirby, one of North America's finest International 14 sailors of the 50s and 60s, died in 1970 at the age of 42 of melanoma. Dave was the nephew of Laser designer Bruce Kirby.


Australian 2010 J/24 Worlds Report

You have to read this report from an Australian crew that sailed the recent J/24 World's in Malmo, Sweden.  If you thought Moose's accounts were fun and informative, Hugo's account is simply hilarious-- particularly for any of you that have traveled to foreign events and chartered boats.  Here's his account:

Part one – pre regatta.  Our 2010 Worlds campaign started 12 months ago, this included organizing a crew who would sail in the 2010 Nationals and commit to the worlds. We had all won nationals and competed in many world championships.

With this depth of experience the work required to prepare for a worlds was spread amongst all the crew. This involved finding a good boat, sail design that was suitable for the Swedish conditions and covering every issue that can and has impacted on past campaigns. We seriously looked at all the things that had worked or failed in previous campaigns.
We included a Danish sailor in our crew who sailed in Malmo Sweden in J’s and is regarded as one of Denmark’s finest.  Our Danish crew assisted with local logistics, finding bikes, driving us around to get sails repaired, hotels and advising on the local conditions which included a current that changed direction during each day.

We discussed our sail design with local Olympic sailor from North Sails who discussed the best designs with his counterpart from North Sails one design in San Diego. We ordered the latest Kevlar Genoa and spinnaker from North’s which was made by the One design loft in U.K.  We shipped an equipment box to Sweden which had spare parts, sheets, blocks and sails. Our accommodation and flights were secured 6 months prior to leaving. Our “Special” Charter boat was investigated and secured early in the charter pool.

When we arrived and inspected our charter boat, we discovered that our boat which had great results under its previous Italian owner, had a "very special custom" set up.  After sailing in so many J regatta’s I had never sailed a “special J/24″, and as such didn’t understand what “Special”(in the European context) meant.

I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the story here--- too funny to be true-- especially the account of one boat getting into a collision and also losing two outboard engines overboard!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tough J Racing in Rolex Big Boat- Day One

(San Francisco, CA)-  The Bay served up a classic September day.  With a forecast of patchy fog, cool temps and a 10-20 knot breeze from the southwest it was going to be a combination of both tactical as well as navigational skills.   Nevertheless, the weather certainly didn't dampen the spirit of competition as teams fought hard for position to stay ahead.

The "one-design" group at the Rolex Big Boat Series includes the J/120s and the large J/105 class.  The first race for this group was on the North Course, while the IRC Handicap racers started along the City Front Course area.  The North Course PRO, Hank Stuart from Rochester, NY (no stranger to the Bay area) elected to set a course deep into the Berkeley Circle for the simple reason that it had less current effect and there was less fog.  A half hour start delay occurred because a number of the Melges 32s had minimal navigation equipment and got lost!!  That's the Bay for you, can't imagine why anyone would think anything different--- yes, San Francisco Bay does get FOG in case anyone doesn't know already!

The first race saw sunny and foggy patches that had strong effects on the breeze.  Nevertheless, due to the delayed starting sequence, the current effects started to kick in such that in the classic ebb current scenario, you always have to be mindful of the right side of the course.  Basically, "a river runs through it", as the saying goes, so don't hit the left corner when the guys in kayaks are paddling faster upwind under Angel Island than you can sail upwind.  For all fleets, you had to play the shifts middle right in order to win the race.  Clearly, Bruce Stone's J/105 ARBITRAGE team figured this out as well as Don Wieneke's team aboard the remarkable LULU.  Behind them were Peter Wagner's SLEIGHRIDE.  For the J/120s, John Wimer's DESDEMONA took the gun with Chris Chamberlins' JOLLY MON getting a well-deserved second.  Third was Don Payan's DAYENU.

For the first race on the City Front Course for the IRC C Class, the Fast Boat Class, Andy Costello and Peter Krueger's J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE took a second and Richard Ferris' J/125 AUGUST ICE was fifth.

The second race of the day proved to be even more of a navigational challenge than the first.  Patchy fog evolved into a blanket of fog across the race course.  Where's Alcatraz and the cone?  Who knew if you didn't have a good GPS chart plotter.  The more the wind blew, the more fog got blown under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Puffs were exceeding 23 knots at times.  But the holes were even bigger, dropping to 8 knots at the most inopportune times.  Classic SF Bay seabreeze conditions.  The two courses flip-flopped, so the IRC handicap guys end up on the North Course and the One-Design guys end up on the City Front Course.  The J/120s saw Don's DAYENU walk off after the start to win the race, followed by past RBBS winner Steve Madeira in second sailing MR MAGOO.  Third was Dick Swanson's GRACE DANCES.  The J/105s had a donnybrook of a race with the leaders playing "chutes and ladders" with each other most of the race.  "The cone, the cone" was the mantra.  Play it and win when it floods!  Simple math, one might imagine.  But many got it wrong.  At the end, Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK played the first leg the best to lead the 105s home.  Second was Jeff Littfin and John Case on MOJO and third Don Weineke again on LULU. 

Leading the J/105 standings after the first day is Bruce Stone's team on ARBITRAGE with a 1-4, followed by a three-way tie for second with Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK (a 5-1), Jeff and John on MOJO (4-2) and Don on LULU (3-3).  In the J/120s, Don on DAYENU is leading with a 3-1, followed by John Wimer on DESDEMONA  (1-5) and Barry Lewis in third with a 4-4!    The J/125s are hanging tough in IRC C Fast Boat Class with Andy and Peter's DOUBLE TROUBLE in second with a 2-2 and Rick Ferris' AUGUST ICE from Lake Tahoe in third with a 5-3.

For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing info and results

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rolex Big Boat Series Preview

J/125 August Ice rounding Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA
(San Francisco, CA)- With racing set to start this weekend, the 46th annual Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by California’s St. Francis Yacht Club, is playing host to 97 boats, including 26 IRC entrants.  An innovative twist will be the inclusion of an IRC light displacement--read super-fast--sport boat class-- like the notorious J/125s! The balance of the fleet is comprised of one-designs with J's representing two of the larger classes- the J/105 class with 24 entrants followed by J/120s with 8 entrants.  Total J's participating, including the two J/125s AUGUST ICE and DOUBLE TROUBLE, means 36 J's of 98 boats entered in this year's RBBS- nearly 40% of the fleet!

J/120 sailing in San Francisco Bay Rolex Big Boat SeriesFor the J/120 class, one of the expected leaders may be Barry Lewis's CHANCE, last year's winner of the Rolex BBS.  But, CHANCE will most certainly be challenged by John Wimer's DESDEMONA from Half Moon Bay, California.  Last year, the outcome of the last race determined the overall winner of this very competitive class.  2008's winner MISTER MAGOO sailed by Steve Madeira will surely be a contender as will Don Payan's DAYENU that finished third last year.  BTW, the J/120's are the J/Calendar's 2010 Rolex BBS September "poster childs" (see

Returning to defend their title in the J/105 class will be Chris Perkins' GOOD TIMIN.  Also contending for the top spot will be 2009 J/105 North American Champion Bruce Stone sailing ARBITRAGE (2nd in RBBS 2009).  Both of these class leaders will be challenged by other podium finishers in past RBBS's, including, Jeff Littfin's and John Case's MOJO, Rolf Kaiser's DONKEY JACK, Scooter Simmons BLACKHAWK, the Spiegel's JAM SESSION and the Laby/Pipkin team on board RACER-X.  For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information.


J/105 North Americans Preview

J/105 one-design sailboats rounding windward mark
(Chicago, IL)- Over twenty J/105s are conducting their final preparations at the Chicago Yacht Club for this year's J/105 North American Championship. Teams from throughout the U.S. and Canada will compete Thursday through Sunday with three races planned each day.

Competitors traveled from as far as Santa Barbara, CA and Dallas, TX. Two teams also came south from Canada. The PRO is Vickie Matthews.  Local favorites include Don Wilson, founder of the Chicago Match Race Center, racing CONVEXITY; Tom Petkus on VYTIS and Dorin Candea on MESSY JESSY--- notably all were in the top three in the SW NOODS Chicago in June.  Also a factor will be Carter Williams on CREATIVE DESTRUCTION; Canadian Jim Rathbun on HEY JUDE! (second in the 2009 J/105 NA's); a couple of warhorses from Fort Worth, TX in the form of Lee Smith and Ken Young on JOKER; and J/105 Class President Bernie Girod on ROCK & ROLL from Santa Barbara, CA.  For more J/105 North Americans sailing information


J/95 Key West Available To Race!

J/95 shoal-draft cruising sailboat under spinnaker

(Key West, FL)- The perfect holiday present -- race ready, willing and able -- J/95 number one is seriously for sale and committed for delivery to Miami by year end for sailors wanting to make her the fifth boat planning to attend the first J/95 one-design gathering this January at Key West Race Week. 

The most extensively equipped J/95 built, she is capable of kicked back shoal draft daysailing or happily, quickly romping around the buoys. 

Please contact Craig Crossley at 401-330-6135, for more information.

J/111 TriState Race Debut

J/111 one-design sailboat- flying downwind under spinnaker
(Chicago, IL)- With great anticipation a crowd gathered around the dock at Chicago YC on Friday afternoon September 6th to take their first peek at the recently arrived J/111.  Like a powerful stallion pulling at its reins in nervous anticipation of a quick trip around the race track, the J/111 was waiting to gives its crew a fast flight across the fresh water of Lake Michigan.
Expectations were not unfounded. After the first leg of the Tri-State Offshore race was canceled due to gale force winds, the J/111 instead went sailing on Saturday with a number of prospective 111 one-design fleet owners.  In the puffy westerly winds blowing 10-22 knots and a large swell running in a southerly direction, the stage was set to test the performance of the 111 in Lake Michigan's notorious chop.  The boat left the dock, set the smaller 111m2 asymmetric spinnaker and took off on a couple of 18+ knot puffs.  By the afternoon, with a number of skeptics on board loaded with handheld GPS's, there was no question the 111 was easily planing off the wind and hitting 16+ knots in 22 knots of wind.  One owner was told by a crew member that he better wipe the smile off his face or it would kill him!
Sunday's racing dawned with a forecast for 10-20 knot winds from the S-SW for the 35 mile leg from Chicago to Michigan City, IN-- basically a drag race under spinnaker headed at Michigan City's power plant stacks.  The 111 started with the large 130m2 kite, sailed off below its competitors and established a lead less than three miles after the start over a Grand Soleil 44 IMS/IRC racer, Mumm/Farr 36s, J/120s, J/109s and a Sydney 38. The wind varied from 85 to 110 apparent with the large A-sail for half the race. The wind moved further south and increased slightly in velocity into the 15+ knot range, moving the apparent wind to 65-90 degrees, necessitating a change to the smaller 111m2 kite.  The tighter reach also proved to the liking of the boat and by race end, the J/111 crossed the line 4th boat for boat, behind a RP 66, a TP 52 and an RP 46 and winning on corrected time.
Labor Day Monday dawned grey and cool with a brisk breeze blowing in from the S-SW 10-20 knots with a short, steep nasty chop.  Like the day before, the forecast suggested a rhumbline route, a drag race for 35 miles pointing at Chicago's Sears Tower from the Michigan City's starting line just off the long jetty.  The leg was a 32 mile "power beat" with jib just inside or just over the lifelines.  Only in the last 3 miles did the bigger boats have the wind temporarily free-up to set code zero's or spinnakers.  The 111 started at the RC boat end, to leeward of all competitors.  Stacked to windward basically dead even were the two J/120s, two Mumm/Farr 36s, the Grand Soleil 44 and the Sydney 38.  What surprised everyone was the fact that the 111 managed to just stay ahead of the 36-41 footers in these conditions, slicing into the waves, accelerating rapidly off wave-tops and rarely ever pounding.  Even in these conditions, the 111 was hitting 7.7 to 8.5 knots "power beating".  The GS-44 is a powerful boat and as expected, powered away from the fleet to win boat-for-boat on what was essentially a "waterline" race.  With good management of their sail selection and better playing of the late race wind shift, the J/120 and the Sydney 38 caught the 111 in the last five miles of the race.  As a result, the 111 finished 4th on elapsed and 2nd on corrected, the J/120 winning the class on this leg.  Overall, the J/111's 1-2 for the weekend meant that she "unofficially" won her class for the shortened "Bi-State Race".  For more J/111 sailing news and information.