Wednesday, January 26, 2011

J/105s Donated to the Waterfront Center

* David Waldo, manager of The Waterfront Center sent J/Boats a nice note regarding their efforts to build up their offshore sailing program and recent donation of J/105 ANDIAMO:  "The WaterFront Center is excited to announce the addition of a new boat! Thank you to J/Boats, J/News and the J/105 Class website and many unmentioned individuals for your help in our search and purchase; without it an announcement adding a J/105 to our fleet would not have been possible. After many months of research, an even longer search, and some anxious moments, a J/105 - Andiamo (‘Let’s Go’ in Italian) owned by a local racer was generous to partially donate her to the WaterFront Center (WFC) at the end of 2010. Andiamo brings with her a whole new category of sailing to the WFC and a lot of excitement!  The J/105 class was introduced to sailors around the world in 1992 as the first modern day keelboat with bow sprit and asymmetric spinnaker. Today, the J/105 is the most successful one-design keelboat class over 30' in the USA. It is a forgiving performance boat that is easy to sail, with a simple layout, great performance, a large cockpit, and predictable handling characteristics. This boat is fun and fast! With the addition of Andiamo the WFC is excited to have the opportunity to develop upon our current offerings to youths and adults. We are going to increase offerings for overnight cruises to neighboring harbors, learn-to-sail basics on larger keelboats, and other adventures of all types and sizes. As a completely fresh offering, giving the WFC greater exposure to the sailing community, Andiamo is available as a racing charter to sailors competing in regattas near and far. We are excited about the demand already shown for these programs and we now have a chance to fill that need with an exceptional boat!  WFC’s 2011 sailing season is already off to a great start. Who wants to go sailing, now!?"  You can reach David at ph# 516-922-7245 or learn more about their program at http://www.TheWaterFrontCenter.org   

J/24 Key West HQ- Schooner Wharf!

J/24 sailing by Eva Worthington at Key West* J/24 sailor Evalena Worthington- Key West co-owner of the famous Schooner Wharf- is hoping more J/24 sailors and friends show up next year!  The Schooner Wharf has always been one of the most popular hangouts for sailors participating in the annual race week off Key West. Walk the dock in front of the Schooner Wharf around 4 p.m. any day this week and you will a rainbow of colors as the place is packed with crew members sporting their various team uniforms.

That is the type of scene Evalena Worthington envisioned when she sailed into Key West aboard an 83-foot wooden schooner named Defiance. Worthington and future husband Paul met while delivering schooners and decided to settle in the Conch Republic and open a bar.

Worthington, a native of Sweden, is competing in Key West 2011 aboard the J/24 FREYA. She has sailed in the regatta many times before, but is skippering an entry for the first time in three years.

“I love race week and having all the sailors in town,” Worthington told the Key West Citizen. “I love to sail, love to race and it’s just fun to participate in an international event.”

Worthington and her four-member crew of Key West locals performed well this year in PHRF 3. Like so many other competitors at Key West 2011, Worthington’s team heads straight to the Schooner Wharf after a long day of racing to enjoy green bottled beer, blender drinks, Mount Gay rum and live acoustical music.

“It’s fun to be part of this event and have Schooner Wharf be part of the camaraderie that race week brings to Key West. I like having the sailors at the bar sharing the stories of the day.”   

J/24s at Audi Victoria Week

J/24 Pacemaker winning Audi Victoria Week J/24 classPACEMAKER Claims Top Prize
(Geelong, Vic, Australia)- David Suda and his PACEMAKER crew proved too good for all the Sandringham Yacht Club entries they faced in the J24 competition at Audi Victoria Week, winning the week of sailing with a score card that included five wins in the nine race series.

With the pressure well and truly off, Suda finished a great week of sailing on Corio Bay with a pair of second places today to win the series from Hugo Ottoway’s VICE VERSA by a handy six points.

"I thought on Sunday ‘we’re not going to win this’, but then we turned the corner and got three wins, so that helped us a lot," an incredibly happy David Suda said on realizing he’d won.

J/24 support team at Audi Victoria WeekSuda told how he and Ottoway could not make it to the J/24 Nationals, so both were determined not to miss Audi Victoria Week. "I really wanted to win against him (Ottoway) in Geelong, so it’s pleasing for my crew to do that," he said. (Note- we can see why, here's his support team to the right!).

Suda, who has been at Audi Victoria Week for the past eight years, said today, "we’ll definitely be back and we’ll be encouraging a few more J’s to come."

Simon Grain (MAKE MY JAY) finished third overall with a win in Race 8, four points behind Ottoway, while Kirsty Harris steered HYPERACTIVE to a win in the final race for fourth overall.

J/24s sailing in Geelong, Vic, Australia at Audi Victoria WeekThe competition was always going to be rife, but it was not unexpected to find David Suda (PACEMAKER) and Hugo Ottoway (VICE VERSA) at the top end of the fleet.

Today’s conditions on flat-water Corio Bay emulated those of two days ago; light and shifty 7-9 knot breezes initially from the north, but moving more around to the east throughout the day in the Royal Geelong Yacht Club series.

Beating Suda’s five wins from seven races, with a worst score of third place coming into today’s races, was always going to be a big ask. Suda set a high bar with his well-named PACEMAKER, even for Ottoway, who has had to play bridesmaid all week, apart from taking out the opening race.  Full sailing results for Audi Victoria Week     Audi Vic Week video- see Geelong Highlights with interview of David Suda, J/24 class winner on PACEMAKER.  

For more J/24 one-design sailboat information.   

J/120 Wins Boat of the Year

J/120 sailing upwind(Charleston, SC)- John Keenan reports that after a long, hard fought campaign all year in 2010, their well-prepared, beautiful J/120 ILLYRIA managed to win a number of major races in the Charleston Ocean Racing Association and win the coveted Boat of the Year honors.  The two major events they won overall were first, the Offshore Challenge Series and, secondly, the PHRF Championship Series.  Congratulations to John and crew on a job well done!  Keep up the great sailing for next year!  You can see more results and information about Charleston Sailing here.   Sailing photo credit- Priscilla Parker
More J/120 cruiser-racer sailboat information here.   

DEATHSTAR Wins J/24 Australian Nationals

J/24s sailing upwind in Sydney, Australia(Sydney, Australia)- A strong turnout of sixteen J/24s were hosted by Middle Harbour YC in a wide variety of sailing conditions for this year's J/24 Nationals Down Under.  It was very competitive.

The first day was a challenging one for most of the fleet, especially interstate boats who aren’t used to the 2m swell and shifty light winds. Race 1 was convincingly won by Nev Wittey on SAILPAC who led from start to finish, closely followed by John Crawfords’ INNAMINKA, skippered by his nephew, Robert Crawford and third place went to DEATHSTAR skippered by Sean Kirkjian. Defending National champion, Sean Wallis came 4th on LUNATIC ASYLUM. Race 2 saw Neville Wittey win again, very closely followed by Sean Kirkjian with Sean Wallis only 9 seconds further back. The third race of the day was  abandoned after a wind shift and was then re-run, this time seeing Sean Wallis take honours over Neville Wittey and Ace, sailed by David West coming third.

The second day started with similar wind conditions to  Day 1 – flukey 15 knots easterlies, tending north for the third race of the day produced difficult helming conditions for skippers.  Nev Wittey took out race 4 from Sean Kirkjian, with a convincing two and a half minute win. Robert Crawford sailing INNAMINKA came in a close third after DEATHSTAR.

Ron Thomson sailing KICKING BOTTOM had his best race of the series so far, with an impressive 4th, just 6th seconds behind INNAMINKA.  Race 5 produced an exciting finish between Sean Kirkjian and David West with only 1 second separating first and second.  Robert Crawford scored another third, only 10 seconds behind the winner.  Peter Stevens on CODE VIOLATION had his best race so far, to finish fourth.  Race 6 was a black flag start after a general recall, unfortunately seeing series leader Nev Wittey over the line, as well as MADDER N BADDER.  The two Seans, Kirkjian and  Wallis battled for first and second throughout the race.  Simon Grain helming  MAKE MY JAY finished third -their best race so far!  Today’s black flag has caused major change in overall placings in the regatta with yesterdays series leader, Nev Wittey dropping back to third and Sean Kirkjian moving up the placings to first.

The third day started with similar conditions to the last 2 days and race 7 saw a fine downwind tussle between Sean Wallis on LUNATIC ASYLUM and Neville Wittey on SAILPAC on the last leg – with Sean Wallis just taking the honours by centimeters.  Sean Kirkjian followed with third on DEATHSTAR.  Race 8 saw a slight wind increase and some boats changing down to jibs for the first upwind leg.  This time Sean Kirkjian finished first with a nice lead, after using his genoa for the whole race. SAILPAC came in 2nd again, followed by Sean Wallis in third.  The top 3 boats all scored 4 points each today.  It appears that the championship is between Sean Kirkjian and Neville Wittey but we will see what day 4 brings.  INNAMINKA, steered by Robert Crawford, first time sailing on a J/24 took 2 fourth places today and are running 4th overall after a consistently good week.

The fourth and last day was breezier than the rest of the week, with all boats carrying jibs today!  Race 9 saw Sean Kirkjian come out early and take the lead, with Sean Wallis in second and Nev Wittey in third.  Race 10 saw the same result, leaving no doubt that Sean Kirkjian was the first person to win his fourth J/24 Nationals – DEATHSTAR was hard to beat this week and out of 10 races, had 5 wins.

Congratulations to all competitors for some great racing this week, and for the efforts of 5 interstate boats making the trek to Sydney.  Thanks to MHYC for hosting a great regatta and for all those involved in making  this event a huge success.  Please also support Nicole at www.sailingimages.net   – she did a great job catching all the action on camera this week.   Full J/24 Australian Nationsl race results are available here.  For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information.  For more J/24 one-design sailboat information.   

J/95s Shine At Key West

J/95 sailing at Key West with Trudie Hicks at helm(Key West, FL)- For the first time ever, a group of J/95s gathered together to go out and have some fun bashing and crashing "around the cans" in a regatta.  The three J/95s decided to participate in PHRF 2 and had an entertaining series sailing against each other and the rest of their PHRF competitors.  What was most interesting was to see the enthusiasm these sailors had for sailing their boats in windward-leeward races in a boat that was originally designed to be a shoal-draft performance sailing boat!  The J/95s performance was quite remarkable considering the conditions at Key West are way, way less than ideal for a keel-centerboard boat.  In fact, conventional wisdom says that a sailboat in this configuration is not supposed to go upwind in a steep, in-your-face 2-3 foot chop where the bow gets tossed around often times violently by cross-chop.  All three PHRF boats that beat them were all deep, narrow keel boats (Cape Fear 38, C&C 37, Ben First 42), and next in line in the standings were the three J/95s!  Pretty remarkable performance for a shoal-draft performance cruising boat!

J/95 shoal performance cruiser sailing Key WestLeading the charge amongst the J/95s was veteran Key West sailor Ed Palm from Naples/Detroit sailing his STILL CRAZY to a 4-3-5-4-4-5-5-6-2 record for 38 points; proving in the last race with a 2nd place that a well-sailed J/95 can even beat deep-keel boats given half a chance!  Second in the J/95s was Terry Mckenna who brought his boat down from CANADA to sail FINN to a 7-8-4-3-5-4-4-3-3 record for 41 points; were it not for their slow start (due to teething problems), Terry and crew may have been top J/95 and their record amongst the fleet, again, proves it's possible to take a great keel-centerboard design and give the deep keelers on a windward-leeward course a run for the money!  Third was Trudie Ficks from Naples, FL sailing her lovely boat SEVENTH HEAVEN to a 6-4-7-5-6-7-6-5-7 score for 53 points.  It may be a toss-up as to who had the most fun sailing their J/95 at Key West, but our betting is on Trudie for  having a ball, "thanking heaven" that she had the time and opportunity to sail Key West for the first time in her life and be "blessed" with a wonderful crew and warm weather!  Sailing photo credit- Tim Wilkes.   For more J/95 sailing information.   

J Sailors Love Sailing Key West

J/111 Kontiki V crew- winning Key West Race WeekJ/111 KONTIKI V Wins Class
(Key West, FL)- A large contingent of J sailors certainly had a wonderful time sailing in this year's Key West Race Week.  With great turnouts in the two strong J one-design classes, the J/80s and the J/105s, everyone was sure to have a wonderful time in nearly perfect Key West conditions.  The six J/24s that showed up in PHRF 3 were wondering where the rest of their buddies were from points north, east and west were hiding! Next time, come on down all!

The sailing was simply wonderful, hard to believe it's possible for the Caribbean trade winds and weather patterns to serve up five straight days of nearly postcard, chamber of commerce conditions when the rest of the world is getting blasted by massive snow storms and extreme cold.  Competitors may have wished for some days of more epic winds, bashing and crashing into ginormous waves, but one can hardly argue with benign 5-18 knot breezes from the ESE to SSW quadrants with plenty of sun!  We even had FOG one morning down in the Keys-- how weird is that?

J/105 winner- Brian Keane from Boston, MAFor the J/105s sailing their J/105 Midwinter Championship, it was obvious Brian Keane's team on SAVASANA were not only dialed up for speed for the week but were dialed into the wind as well.  Sailing to double bullets (for total of six!) on Friday simply sealed the deal for Brian's team to win by 15 points with a 1-6-8-1-1-2-4-1-1-1 tally over second place finisher Damian Emery's ECLIPSE with a 4-8-1-4-5-1-7-3-5-3 record; it was perhaps one of the largest margins of victory ever in a Key West J/105 class win. Third was WASABI sailed by Adam Rosen and Jeff Marks with 55 points with a 3-3-9-3-3-9-10-6-7-2; they started strongly but the "wheels fell off the shopping trolley", as they say, to fall back from an early series lead.  Fourth was four time Key West J/105 class winner Tom Coates on MASQUERADE just one point back with a 2-1-2-10-13-13-2-5-3-5 for 56 points; another early regatta leader that crashed mid-week.  Fifth was Gerrit Schulze sailing very well on MAX POWER with 58 points, their 10-4-7-2-4-7-1-8-11-4 was inconsistent but showed flashes of brilliance!!  Overall, it was a close finish and great regatta for the top five boats overall.

J/105 one-design fleet racing at Key West 2011For you sailing and racing fans, you can track and review each race to see who and made what decisions going around the race course by looking at KATTACK Tracking System, you can rehash it all on their archives at http://www.kattack.com.

For example, in Race 10, why would WASABI ever give up the right in the last 400 yards into the first windward mark and lose their first place!!  Watch it here-- awesome lesson in what happens on the race course, no "sea stories" and "hand waving tactics" here!

J/80 winners Glenn Darden and crew at Key West 2011For the J/80s sailing their J/80 Midwinter Championship, it was another strong fleet with some excellent competitors, it took that magic combination of keeping your starts clean, getting an early clear lane, avoiding the corners on the first beat and playing the packs to your advantage.  There was no question that Glenn Darden and his team sailing LE TIGRE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas were in a class by themselves, winning 2 of the last three races (5 total 1sts!) and taking home the big glass crown without a challenge from any of the other teams, winning the J/80 class by 11 points with a 1-1-2-1-2-2-1-1-12/zfp for 23 points.  Second was Jeff Brown's team from San Diego's J/WORLD SAN DIEGO TEAM, showing their tail-feathers to the rest of the J/80 fleet, getting two seconds in the last two races and posting a score of 6-3-5-6-3-3-3-2-2 for 33 points, nearly as consistent on the leader board as Darden's team. Sailing one of their best regattas in awhile was Mike Sudofsky on BOB DYLAN third with a 7-8-3-5-5-1-7-5-1 for 42 points, fourth was Chris Bulger on GOOSE from Buzzards Bay sailing to a 2-2-10-4-6-7-9-3-6/zfp for 49 points and fifth was Nigel Brownett and Ron Buzil on VAYU 2 posting a 5-6-1-8-1-5-4-6-14/zfp for 50 points.

J/44 White Gold rounding windward mark at Key WestFor Division 1 course, IRC 2 Class saw an enormous fight for who would get the podium honors for third place.  At the end, it was Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD finishing fifth after getting an uncharacteristic score of 5-8 on the last day, sailing to a 3-2-2-2-8-6-3-6-5-8 for 45 points, just 3 disappointing points from third overall!  Peter Cunningham from Cayman Islands Sailing Club seemed to finish on a happy, strong note, getting a 2-4 on the last day to finish 6th sailing the chartered J/122 GAMBLER/ POWERPLAY to a 2-5-7-4-6-5-8-4-2-4 for 47 points, just 5 devilish points from third (other than the overall winner, the J/122 had the best record over the last 3 races amongst their whole fleet).

J/111 Kontiki V sailing upwind at Key West Race WeekThe PHRF A Class was an extremely competitive regatta throughout the entire week, easily the closest "delta" for any of the fleets sailing off Key West, with many races for win/place/show determined by mere seconds amongst the top five.  Tied going into the second to last race were the new J/111 KONTIKI V sailed by Jim Sminchak's SAIL Best Around Buoys winners from Cleveland and Bill Sweetser's famous J/109 RUSH.  The last race was certainly a cliff-hanger, made even more so when KONTIKI V snagged a crab pot and stopped (!!), then crossed tacks with RUSH within 100 yards of the weather mark and in a cross-tacking J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser sailing downwindsituation, took advantage of it to jump into the regatta lead.  KONTIKI V stretched into a comfortable lead to get a 2nd to RUSH's 5th.  Jim's team sailed a smart, conservative regatta to get a very consistent 2-2-3-2-1-2-5-3-2 record for 22 points.  Not to be outdone at all, the champion RUSH team sailed a very strong regatta to get 2nd overall with a 1-1-2-4-4-3-4-1-5 score for 25 points.  Fourth was Doug Curtiss's beautiful J/124 WICKED sailed by Rodney and Alan Johnstone on the team to a 4-4-5-3-2-4-2-4-4 tally for 32 points.

J/24 sailboats- the ultimate one-design sailing boatThe J/24s still rule! 35+ years and going strong. It was pretty clear this fleet of six hard-care J/24 sailors were going to have a lot of fun.  Yes, they had a small fleet this year sailing within PHRF 3, but who cares? It's Key West, you can't not have fun sailing in clear baby blue-green water, 72 degree temps and clear blue skies and 5-18 knot winds and enjoying the amazing night life!  And, a fun time this group had, made even more so by a wonderful host and lover of sailing in general, a beautiful blond Swede gal called Evalena, more about her in a second.  In the racing category, BLAH BLAH BLAH sailed by Mark Milnes won the J/24 "class" with a 3-3-3-3-3-2-3-3-4 record for 27 points.  They were followed by Evalena Worthington on FREYA in second who sailed to a 6-4-4-4-5-4-5-4-5 score for 43 points.  Rounding out the podium in third was Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP, getting a 4-5-6-6-4-6-4-5-3 tally for 54 points.  OK, now for Evalena.  She and her husband came across the Atlantic many blue moons ago on a schooner to Key West. But, they never left! Then, they decided to open a bar?  You may all know it well-- the very popular Schooner Wharf Restaurant & Bar where the Farr 40 class normally parks themselves in front of every year!  Next year, Evalena wants to extend a special invitation to ALL J/24s to show up and be guests of The Schooner Wharf- "A Last Little Piece of Old Key West"- and determine the J/24 "Knot & Shot Contest Winners" (who can resist that invitation?!).  Learn more about  Eva and Schooner Wharf here.  Read more about her story below in the J/Community section. Sailing photo credit- Tim Wilkes.

For more Key West Race Week sailing results.  For more of the SAIL Magazine J/111 BAB Team and Adam Cort's coverage and blog.    One of KONTIKI V's crew, Nick Turney from North Sails, wrote a blog of his experience at Sailing World.

Finally, "friend of J/Boats", Doug Moy from New York and Manhattan YC member, applied his videography and editing skills to a series of daily videos, you can see them at these YouTube links.  Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4.   

J/111- "Sleek, Slippery, Sexy Style"

J/111- the ultimate sailng boat- racing at Key West (London, England)- That's a delicious description of a boat, isn't it?  According to Toby Hodges at Yachting World during his recent video boat test review of the J/111, Toby described the 111 as "sleek, slippery, sexy style" unequalled in any boat her size range.  He and Paul Heys further described it as "the turbo-charged 2011 version of the J/105- the first keelboat to start the modern trend in 1991 to sport an easy-to-use fractional rig, sprit pole and spinnakers with the ability to plane". Toby's video boat test is on Yachting World's boat test site.  He also did a great interview of J/UK Dealer Paul Heys, commenting on the development of the 111, its meaning to the UK and European markets and its potential for strong one-design fleet development. Enthusiasm continues to build with over 60+ boats sold and one-design fleets forming on the Solent and in France.   J/111 YW boat test- Toby Hodges      J/111 Interview- Paul Heys   Sailing photo credit- Tim Wilkes.  More J/111 sailboat information here.
  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Key West- Day Five- A Classic Fifth Day!

J/111 ultimate one-design sailing boat at Key West



















J/111 KONTIKI V Wins!(Key West, FL)- Yes, it is possible for the Caribbean trade winds to serve up a fifth (or ninth if you include practice days) straight day of nearly postcard, chamber of commerce conditions.  Competitors certainly wished there may be more breeze, but one can hardly argue with a benign 6-11 knots of breeze from the SSW getting fed by an impending cold front from the NW coming across the Gulf of Mexico.

fog Key WestWith an early harbor start (8:15am!!), the fleet headed out to their respective three race courses to find a nice, gentle southwest breeze awaiting them with not a cloud in the sky and the sun beating down on everyone for over a week.  SPF 99.999??  Don't know if there's anything near as strong as anyone wanted for sun protection, but anything other than clay or  white paste may not have been enough for some fair-skinned sailors.  In fact, we observed several Canadian sailors/ photographers who were a bit "red", nearly lobster-like cooked but clearly having a great time (we're betting that pain-killers worked great for them)!  Fog early did not help, of course.

The sailing Friday was not unlike any of the other days the past week.  While the wind was persistently shifting right and oscillating, hitting the right or left corners was not going to work--e.g. not a good "play".  Large streaks worked their way down the course, middle left or middle right and if you hooked into them you'd experience significant gains on anyone off into a corner. Classic day, classic sailing and even more fun as the breeze started to feed a front that was starting to come in from the NW.

For Division 1 course, IRC 1 Class saw Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD finish fifth after getting an uncharacteristic score of 5-8 on the last day.  Peter Cunningham finished strong with a 2-4 with his Cayman Islands team aboard the J/122 GAMBLER/ POWERPLAY to end up just behind Jim's WHITE GOLD for a sixth overall.

J/105 Savasana winning J/105sFor the J/105s, it was pretty clear that Brian Keane's team on SAVASANA were not only dialed up for speed but were dialed into the wind as well.  Sailing to double bullets on Friday simply sealed the deal for Brian's team to win by 15 points over Damian Emery's ECLIPSE, perhaps one of the largest margins anyone has ever won a Key West J/105 class win. Third was WASABI sailed by Adam Rosen and Jeff Marks with 55 points.  Fourth was Tom Coates on MASQUERADE just one point back and fifth was Gerrit Schulze on MAX POWER with 58 points!!  Close finish and great regatta for the top five boats overall.

J/80 one-design sailboat at windward markWho would ever guess that another baby-boomer (like Brian above) would seriously kick some big booty in a one-design keelboat class and do so in the most gracious, yachtsman-like manner possible.  No question that Glenn Darden and his team from Texas were in a class by themselves, winning 2 of the last three races and taking home the bacon without a challenge from any of the other teams, winning the J/80 class by 11 points.  Second was a real donnybrook and Jeff Brown's team from San Diego's J/WORLD SAN DIEGO TEAM showed their tail-feathers to the rest of the J/80 fleet, getting two seconds in the last two races. Sailing one of their best regattas in awhile was Mike Sudofsky on BOB DYLAN third, fourth was Chris Bulger on GOOSE from Buzzards Bay and fifth was Nigel Brownett and Ron Buzil on VAYU 2.

J111 SAIL BAB Cleveland Team led by Jim SminchakThe PHRF A Class was an extremely competitive regatta, easily the closest "delta" for the any of the fleets sailing off Key West.  At the end of the last race it was still anyone's guess who would win overall.  After a very even start, the fleet took off and seemingly everyone "shadowed" each other around the race track.  In the first windward leg of the last race (when it all counts, of course) the great yacht KONTIKI V, the J/111 sailed by Jim Sminchak's team from Cleveland, OH, somehow managed to find a "crab pot", catch it, stop, go head to wind, tack, go backwards, yet still round the first windward mark just in front of their nemesis, the J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser.  It was a crazy day.  It was a goofy day, perhaps for many.  Nevertheless, the 111 managed to sail cleanly for the  balance of the race, stretched out in front of their competitors and win the regatta with a 2-3 on the last day. Bill's team on the J/109 RUSH sailed a great regatta to get second, fourth was Doug Curtiss's beautiful J/124 WICKED sailed by Rodney and Alan Johnstone on the team.

The J/95s in PHRF 2 had a fun series.  At the end, Ed Palm and his Detroit (Day'twah, as they say) team on STILL CRAZY won with Terry McKenna on FINN in second and Trudie Ficks on SEVENTH HEAVEN in third.

The J/24s RULE!! 35 years and going strong. What a great time they had.  Small fleet?  Sure.  Nevertheless they had a ball cruising around the race track and had a lot of good races with eachother.  BLAH BLAH BLAH sailed by Mark Milnes won to be the top J/24 followed by Evalena Worthington on FREYA and third was Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP.

Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- www.timwilkes.com and Billy Black- www.billyblack.com and Sharon Green- UltimateSailing.com

For more Key West Race Week sailing results:
http://www.premiere-racing.com   

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Key West- Day Four- Lazy, Hazy, Foggy Day

J/111 winners in PHRF Key West
(Key West, FL)- January 20th-  As usual, Key West is a study in contrasts.  One day, epic wind and waves.  Next day postcard perfect. Next day flat calm.  Next day fog??  If the past few days were an exercise in patience and enjoying gorgeous days, Thursday was nowhere near anyone's expectations for weather.  An inversion in the atmosphere put the Keys in fog!  Not a typ0.  Fog.  Racing was wisely postponed by an hour by the PRO's on all three courses to let Maine/English-style fog burn off from the early morning hours-- a very surreal and unusual situation to be in or the Florida Keys!!  The voyage out to the race course for many crews was amusing, some boats ending up in places they hadn't planned to (GPS anyone?). Nevertheless, everything got squared away and by noon all three race courses got off their first starts of the day.  The fog postponement was a wise decision and the fleet was treated to a gentle ESE breeze that gradually built during the day.

To get a better flavor of what has been happening on the race course for the past three days, please take a look at Doug Moy's AV productions done in conjunciton with Josh Adams and Adam Cort at SAIL Magazine:

Monday Jan 17
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XLFvhjCtqc

Tuesday Jan 18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew-auSbTlvE

Wednesday Jan 19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3BCGkjr4yU

J/124 and J/111 approach windward markFor Division 1 course, IRC 1 Class saw the fleet start to consolidate their positions in the fickle breezes.  Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD is now in third with a consistent 3-2-2-2-8-6-3 score and is hoping to stay in the top three for the class.  Peter Cunningham from Cayman Islands Sailing Club sailing the J/122 GAMBLER/ POWERPLAY had a slow day and is still in sixth overall due to a 5-8 finish today.

Similarly, the J/105s are also seeing the leaders begin to consolidate their positions.  Brian Keane on SAVASANA is leading with a 1-6-8-1-1-2-4 with 23 points.  Behind him with nearly as consistent a day is Damian Emery on ECLIPSE in second overall with a 4-8-1-4-5-1-7 record for 30 points.  Hanging touch is Gerrit Schulze in third place on MAX POWER with a 10-4-7-2-4-7-1 score, coming on strong in the last race with first.  Adam Rosen and Jeff Markes on WASABI have dropped to 4th based on their 9-10 scores today. Tom Coates on MASQUERADE started slowly with a 13th and had a comeback 2nd to stay in fourth.  Carter Williams on CREATIVE DESTRUCTION has climbed into the top five hunt with a 10-5.

J/80s sailing upwind at Key West Race Week 2011Continuing their domination of the J/80 class on Course 3 is Texan Glenn Darden.  With a 1-1-2-1-2-2-1 record for 10 points, Glenn's EL TIGRE continues to go in the right direction most times to beat the fleet.  Behind Glenn is a tight fleet, but Jeff Brown sailing J/WORLD SAN DIEGO is now lying second after a consistent 3-3 today with 29 points.  Just behind them with a 5-4 is Ron Buzil/ Nigel Brownett on VAYU 2.  In fourth is Mike Sudofsky with 36 points on BOB DYLAN and fifth is Steve Wyman on NUHUNU.

J/105s at weather mark- Key West Race WeekThe PHRF A Class continues to be a donnybrook amongst the top six teams.  Still leading after a 2-4 is Jim Sminchak's Cleveland team on the J/111 KONTIKI V.  It was not an easy day for the SAIL BAB team.  But, the light air and flat water were a good recipe to have the 111 stay in contention for the lead in their class.  In both races, the J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser sailed well but were just out of touch with the leaders in both races. The 111 KONTIKI V is leading with 17 points followed by Bill's 109 RUSH with 19 points.

The J/95s in PHRF 2 continue to have a competitive series.  Nevertheless, experience counts and veteran Key West sailor Ed Palm is leading on STILL CRAZY with a 4-3-5-4-4-5-5 score.  Terry McKenna on FINN is second with a 7-8-4-3-5-4-4 just five points back.  Third is Trudie Ficks on SEVENTH HEAVEN with a 6-4-7-5-6-7-6.

The J/24s have seen no change.  BLAH BLAH BLAH sailed by Mark Milnes continues to be the top J/24 with a string of six thirds and 2nd in class!  Hanging in there is Evalena Worthington on FREYA and third is Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP.

Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- www.timwilkes.com

For more Key West Race Week sailing results:
http://www.premiere-racing.com   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Key West- Day Three- Light, Flat, Weedy Day

J/111 Kontiki V winning crew
(Key West, FL)- January 19th, 2011-- If Tuesday was nearly perfect, the prognosis for Wednesday wasn't the greatest. SSW winds light with little chance of getting above eight knots with a large flat High pressure system sitting over the region.  Nevertheless, there is a benefit of being on the edge of the Caribbean trade winds, no matter how "flat" the weather systems look with isobars a million miles apart, Key West always gets a breeze. Sure enough, King Neptune and fellow weather Gods served up a nice day of mild breeze, warm temperatures and crystal clear skies.  All PRO's on all three courses delayed for 15-30 minutes to get their first races off due to an oscillating, building breeze.  With the start sequences set to start rolling at 1030 hours for the first classes, it was a good call.  The fleets were treated to a breeze that settled into the 200 degree range from the southwest, full of holes, streaks and waters still strewn with an extraordinary amount of weed patches that were often up to two feet thick and could literally stop a boat dead in its tracks.

J/122 Gambler/ PowerPlay at Key WestIn general, it was clear that Wednesday's sailing conditions were pretty challenging, especially sailing on starboard tack upwind into a fairly steep chop.  Port tack was much easier sailing since the boats were broadside to the swells rolling in from the distant Gulf Stream.  The goal was to be on port tack in the lulls "surfing" upwind and on starboard tack in the puffs to punch through a very nasty chop.  Furthermore, avoiding the ginormous weed patches was always a good thing and staying in the streaks paid off handsomely for the winning boats-- going hard right or hard left were not good "plays" at all.  Sailing conservatively for streaks was very fast and those who weren't in them could see boat speed differences upwards of a knot or more between competitors upwind and downwind.

On the Division 1 course, IRC 1 Class saw the light airs and streaky breezes tighten up the top five overall.  Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD is still in second with a very consistent 3-2-2-2-8 score and is hoping to stay in the top three for the class.  Peter Cunningham from Cayman Islands Sailing Club is sailing the J/122 GAMBLER/ POWERPLAY and dropped to sixth overall due to a 6th today in the lighter stuff...but just six points out of second!  In this class, time and consistency will tell who ends up on the podium.

J/105 start at Key West on third dayThe J/105s continue to fight for the top five and the scores are very close, the standings often changing from race to race.  At this stage, Brian Keane on SAVASANA is leading with a 1-6-8-1-1 with 17 points.  Just behind him is nearly a five way tie for second.  Adam Rosen/ Jeff Marks WASABI are in second with a 3-3-9-3-3 for 21 points, a very consistent team.  Damian Emery on ECLIPSE has jumped into third overall with a 4-8-1-4-5 tally with 22 points, just one point back from second.  Fourth is Gerrit Schulze on MAX POWER with a 10-4-7-2-4, coming on strong in the last two races with a 27 point total.  Tom Coates who had been winning quite handily, had two slow races and now has a 2-1-2-10-13 for 28 points to be in 5th.  Only one point back is Travis Weisleder on LUCKY DOG.

Tearing up the J/80 class on Course 3 is Texan Glenn Darden.  With a 1-1-2-1-2 record for 7 points, Glenn's EL TIGRE is seemingly unstoppable upwind and downwind.  Behind Glenn is a group of five boats that are neck-in-neck for the top five. Sailing well is Ron Buzil's and Nigel Brownett's VAYU 2 with a 5-6-1-8-1 for 21 points in second place. Lying third is Jeff Brown on J/WORLD SAN DIEGO with a 6-3-5-6-3 to consistently hang in there in the top five.  Chris Bulger's GOOSE is only one point back with a 2-2-10-4-6 for 24 points, Steve Wyman's NUHUNU is tied for 5th with Mike Sudofsky's BOB DYLAN with 28 points.

J/109 RUSH downwind at Key WestThe PHRF A Class continued to see strong competition from six very well sailed boats.  Sitting atop the pack is the J/111 KONTIKI V sailed by Jim Sminchak and crew from Cleveland with a very strong sailed, consistent record of 2-2-3-2-2 for 11 points. It was a tough race to sail well.  Rounding the first mark in fourth place, KONTIKI V had to stay in contact and not get too far behind the large Beneteau 44.7 GALILEE sailed by a good Canadian crew, pass the 1D-35 REVOLUTION and the champion J/109 RUSH sailed by Bill Sweetser and not lose contact with the J/124 WICKED sailed by Rod and Alan Johnstone.  A strong downwind run enabled KONTIKI V to round 3rd boat-for-boat and, ultimately, catch up to the J/124 WICKED to finish just off their transom by the finish.  Bill Sweetser's J/109 was caught in a dying breeze going into the finish and ended up getting a 5th, to have a tally of 1-1-2-4-5 for 13 points.

J/95 sailing at Key WestThe J/95s sailing in PHRF 2 continue to enjoy themselves in the sunny conditions.  Veteran Key West sailor, Ed Palm continues to lead the 95 crew on STILL CRAZY with a 4-3-5-4-4 score puts them in first amongst the 95s.  After today's racing, Terry McKenna on FINN is now second with a 7-8-4-3-5 to strongly finish amongst the 95s and earn second.  Third is now Trudie Ficks on SEVENTH HEAVEN with a 6-4-7-5-6.

FOR the J/24s, BLAH BLAH BLAH sailed by Mark Milnes continues to be the top J/24 with a string of five thirds in class!  Hanging in there is Evalena Worthington on FREYA and third is Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP.

Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- www.timwilkes.com

For more Key West Race Week sailing results:
http://www.premiere-racing.com   

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Key West- Day Two- More Classic, Post-Card Conditions

J44 sailboat ultimate cruiser
(Key West, FL)- January 18th, 2011-  Hard to imagine the Keys would offer up a duplicate day for the second day of racing.   But that's exactly what happened.  Forecast breeze of 180 to 195 TWA.  Perhaps 6 to 12 knots if the forecasters were correct.  The best part is that a serving of 100% SUN, no clouds, and a challenging conditions for winds would keep everyone on there toes. Go left?  Maybe.  Go right?  No guarantees.   Go to either corner at your peril and watch the world pass you by. That was the story across all three courses today.

On the Division 1 course, IRC 1 Class has the J/44 WHITE GOLD and the J/122 POWER PLAY dueling for class leadership against a very strong eight boat fleet.  Currently, Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD is in second with a very consistent 3-2-2-2 score and are vying for the lead in class.  Peter Cunningham from Cayman Islands Sailing Club is sailing the J/122 GAMBLER/ POWERPLAY and is currently in 4th just 4 points back from third.  As Pete said before, "we're having fun and anything goes in the top three is good for us.!"

J/105 ultimate sailboat- sailing in Key WestThe J/105s continue to provide extraordinary competition amongst one another.   Leading the pack is Tom Coates's MASQUERADE with a 2-1-2-10 with 15 points.  However, just off the pace are Brian Keane's SAVASANA with a 1-6-8-1 for sixteen points in second; Damian Emery's ECLIPSE with a 4-8-1-4 for seventeen points in third; Adam Rosen and Jeff Marks' WASABI in fourth with a very consistent 3-3-9-3; and Travis Wiesleder's LUCKY DOG just off the pace with an 8-2-6-6 for 2 points.  Perhaps the strongest move of the day came from Carter William's CREATIVE DESTRUCTION with a 3-8 ; Bill Zartler's SOLARIS with a 4-7; and John Gottwald's EAGLES WINGS 5-5.  All three rocketed up the standings based on these strong races.

The J/80s continue to be a lesson in not hitting corners, sailing conservative and sailing smart.  Glenn Darden and crew aboard LE TIGRE continue to be the poster children on how to do it best.  LE TIGRE's 1-1-2-1 is dominating the the fleet for a 5 point total.  Chris Bulger's crew on GOOSE is lying second with a 2-2-10-4 tally and the team of Ron Buzil and Nigel Brownett on VAYU 2 are third with a 5-6-1-8.  Fourth is Jeff Brown with a 6-3-5-6 on J/World San Diego and fifth is Steve Wyman on NUHUNU with a 3-11-4-3, coming on strong today to leap into the top five.

J111 sailing in Key West launching chuteThe duel between the J/111 and the J/109 sister 35 footers continues to be a dead heat.  Jim Sminchak's crew on the new J/111 KONTIKI V continue to hang in with the best teams that Key West has to offer, with a 2-2-3-2 score to be only one point behind the J/109 champion team led by Bill Sweetser on the J/109 RUSH with a 1-1-2-4 tally.

The J/95s sailing in PHRF 2 are having a lot of fun.  As a veteran Key West sailor, Ed Palm continues to lead the 95 crew.  A 4-3-5-4 score puts them in first amongst the 95s.  After today's racing, Terry is now second with a 7-8-4-3 to strongly finish amongst the 95s and earn second.  Third is now Trudie Ficks with a 6-4-7-5.

Amongst the J/24s, BLAH BLAH BLAH sailed by Mark Milnes continues to be the top J/24.  Screaming up the ladder is Evanlena Worthington with a 6-4-4-4 to ace out fellow 24 sailor Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP with a 4-5-6-6.

Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- www.timwilkes.com

For more Key West Race Week sailing results:
http://www.premiere-racing.com   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Key West- Day One- Classic, Post-Card Conditions

J/111 one-design sailboat- the ultimate performance sailing boat
(Key West, FL)- For two days prior to the start of the 24th edition of Key West Race Week, the teams practicing were treated to nearly perfect, classical Key West sailing conditions- ENE breezes blowing 10-18 knots in clear blue azure waters with temps in the 70s in the day and 50s at night.  Postcard perfect, chamber of commerce weather that you can only imagine in one's most wonderful sailing dreams.  Monday's weather forecast was nearly as good, with the wind predicted to keep oscillating further southeast in the 8-12 knots range.  However, a cold front roaring in from the WNW  was forecast to arrive later in the day or evening and throw in a few blast fronts of wind, water spouts and even tornados! Fun stuff!  Extreme perhaps?  What else is new for weather in the Keys in the middle of winter, some years its hit temperatures in the 40s blowing 25 knots on the race course!

J/124 sailboat at Key WestDespite the fact an early "pulse" from the front moved through early Monday morning around 3 am and doused Key West with an inch of rain in about a half hour, the first day's racing dawned with a good breeze and stiff chop from the ENE across all three division courses.  The breeze started in the 175 to 180 degree range and slowly moved further SE during the course of the day to the 185-195 degree range.  The progression meant that tacticians had to take into account the breeze was veering constantly, but could also generate solid wind streaks from the left in an oscillating-persistent shift scenario.  In other words, hitting the right corner every time was not going to be a good "play" to win races.  The teams that faired the best watched the oscillations, kept them in synch and stayed in contact with their competitors without hitting any corners. Furthermore, perhaps the greatest issue for anyone on the course today was "weeds"-- lots of it in huge patches up to 200-300 yards long with no escape!  Sailing through it was painful and slow, resembling massive patches of straw and bamboo strewn across the water.

On the Division 1 course, IRC 1 Class has the J/44 WHITE GOLD and the J/122 POWER PLAY dueling for class leadership against a very strong eight boat fleet.  Currently, Jim Bishop's WHITE GOLD is in second with a 3-2 and Peter Cunningham from Cayman Islands Sailing Club racing his first Key West regatta lies tied for third with a 2-5.  Said Peter after the race, "trailing weed is slow"....they were winning the second race quite handily until they got caught in an enormous weed patch and sailed slow for over half the race.

After taking a hiatus from competition due to family and business priorities, Tom Coates (4 times Key West Champion) sailed his renowned J/105 MASQUERADE to a 2-1 to be leading the 14 boat J/105 class.  Just off the pace is Adam Rosen and Jeff Marks on WASABI with a 3-3 in second place and past Key West Champion Brian Keane on the well-traveled SAVASANA is lying third with a 1-6.  Fourth is Travis Weisleder with an 8-2 on LUCKY DOG and fifth is 105 Class champion Damian Emery's ECLIPSE with a 4-8.

J/80 one-design class sailboatThe J/80 class has a very competitive sixteen boat class.  Star for the day was past World/ North American / Key West Champion Glenn Darden sailing EL TIGRE to double bullets, winning both races convincingly over Chris Bulger's GOOSE with a 2-2.  Lying third is San Diego sailor Jeff Brown with a 6-3 on J-WORLD SAN DIEGO.  Fourth is Bruno Pasquinelli on TIAMO with a 4-5 and fifth is Ron Buzil/ Nigel Brownett on EMOTIONAL RESCUE with a 5-6.

The anticipated duel between the J/111 and the J/109 sister 35 footers is currently a dead heat.  Jim Sminchak, the SAIL Magazine Best Around Buoys winners from Cleveland, OH, is tied for first with a 2-1 record for three points sailing the brand new J/111 KONTIKI V/IT.  Bill Sweetser's champion J/109 RUSH has a 1-2 (redress).  Unfortunately, Bill's RUSH had a minor collision prior to the start of the second race, hurting their chances to score better.  Just off the pace is Doug Curtiss's J/124 beautifully painted WICKED in fourth place.

J/95 ultimate shoal draft performance sailboat- sailing Key WestThe J/95s are sailing in PHRF 2 as a group and having a lot of fun.  Ed Palm is a veteran Key West sailor and has raced a number of J's, including most recently his J/105.  Ed is sailing his J/95 STILL CRAZY to a 4-3 tally so far for seven points and is leading the J/95s.  Second is Trudie Ficks SEVENTH HEAVEN with a 6-4, a great start for Trudie who has dreamed of sailing in Key West for years and after buying her seventh (7th!!) J Boat over time she decided that she better take her gang down for a spin around the race course and beautiful waters off Key West.  Hanging in there in third amongst the J/95s is Terry McKenna's FINN with a 7-8.

As mentioned earlier, one of the heart-warming stories of this year's Key West regatta is the resurgent J/24 class participation with a fleet of J/24s participating within PHRF 3, literally a "class within a class".  Leading the J/24s in PHRF 3 is Mark Milnes on BLAH BLAH BLAH with a 3-3, followed by Matt Mullan on FLYING WASP with a 4-5 and Evalena Worthington on FREYA with a 6-5.

Amongst the notables at the event is Russell Coutts from Oracle Racing (4x America's Cup winner), a former One-design I-14, J/105 and J/44 racer in various regattas over time.  Said Russ, "It is great to be back in Key West. It's good to take a week out of the calendar and enjoy the regatta in a relaxed atmosphere. Premiere Racing does a great job, and creates a very social regatta. The whole atmosphere is very laid back, and it is a great regatta. The racing is always great, and very challenging." Among the notable owners entered in Key West is Vincenzo Onorato, whose Mascalzone Latino syndicate is the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup-- Vincenzo is a former J/24 and J/39 sailor/ owner from Italy.  Photo credits- Tim Wilkes- www.timwilkes.com

For more Key West Race Week sailing results:
http://www.premiere-racing.com
  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

J/22 Sailor Matt Princing- on "Putting the Family Back into Sailing"

J/22 family sailing boat- the ultimate little sailboat for kids, girls, boys, parents* Featured in Scuttlebutt this past week was a wonderful article by J/22 owner Matthew Princing called, "Putting the Family Back In Sailing".  As Matt begins describing his experiences in sailing, "There are many articles and books floating around about the state of sailing today. They discuss the decline in our sport by various demographics and point towards influences like the economy, access to sailing and perception.

The economy is certainly and issue, especially in the Midwest where my family lives and sails. We are somewhat challenged by the fact that we are a blue collar area and we have lost a record number of well paying jobs which limit our spendable income. Boats unfortunately are quiet easy to put on the back burner and become deemed not a priority (this is blasphemy to a true sailor but it happens). Our sailing clubs in turn suffer due to lack of members and income coming in that drives our sailing programs so access to sailing suffers. There is a whole generation of kids out there that haven't had the chance to try sailing; to me that is a shame.

Perception of sailing has never really been stellar. Many uneducated journalists have mistakenly reported that sailing is a sport of the rich, the elite. This of course couldn't be farther from the truth. Are there wealthy sailors, yes there are but on the same side of things there are many more middle class sailors and quite a few that would be considered poor by many standards. You certainly don't have to be wealthy to afford a very nice sailboat.

My belief is that we need to put the fun and the family back into sailing. It starts with me. I will do what I can. These two go hand in hand and we can raise the next generation of sailing families.

I grew up the son of a power boater, floating condo kind of situation. We were a very small minority at a predominantly sailing club. It wasn't long before my brother and I were sailing and soon the whole family.

I bought my first boat about a month before I graduated college. I was bitten by the Lightning (www.lightningclass.org) bug by a family friend that let me sail an old woodie off his beach. I bought the first of four Lightning's (so far) that spring and joined the local fleet in Bay City, MI. That was 1991, I am still there. Why? Friends and family. We have fun. The Lightning class is very family oriented as are other classes we participate in like the J/22 Class (www.j22usa.com). We have made lifelong friends in both classes and plan our schedules to meet up with our friends somewhere on the regatta scene or at fleet races.

I wasn't the "family" sailor though; I was probably part of the problem. I drove my family away from sailing early on due to a competitive streak that was relentless and perhaps a short fuse. Age has mellowed me but also increased my desire to sail and be surrounded by my family."   Read more about Matthew's experiences here.   Learn more about the J/22 sailboat.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (J/100, J/105, J/125 Owner) Shares Offshore Experiences


Dr Laura- famous radio talk show psychologist- sailing J/100, J/125 and J/105J/125, J/105 and J/100 owner Dr. Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara, CA shared some of here experiences with Newport Harbor YC this past week as a participant in the 2011 Cabo Race. Dr. Laura Schlessinger - who is based in Santa Barbara, CA - might be best known as a nationally syndicated American talk radio host. However, she has the sailing bug big time.  While having been largely committed to buoy racing, she first ventured offshore nearly a year ago in a similar race to Cabo on her J-125 (Warrior), winning overall in both ORR and PHRF. Here she comments on the experience:
" I did the Cabo race purely for the adventure. I had never been out on the open ocean and simply wanted the experience. By the end of the first day and one-half, I was cold, damp, exhausted and generally miserable. I clicked my heels but couldn't get back to Santa Barbara. Then, on the second and one-half day I got with the rhythm of it and can't tell you enough how much I absolutely loved it: huge turtles, whales, dolphin, the horizon with no land and no other boats - it was just amazing!

We followed the progress of all the boats on the computer and we were well behind our competition for most of the race. Ultimately - I didn't care that much because we all were having such a fun time with each other and with the elements. I would guess that if the amount of laughter aboard a boat won a trophy - we'd get it. On the last day I woke up from my four hour down-time to find zero wind. I did see a shark fin and wouldn't let anyone swim! We'd gone way out to sea and were totally becalmed. I decided I was the "wind witch" and would bring wind any moment now. They all scoffed at me - until I pointed to some tiny cat paws on the surface of the water growing larger in diameter. Suddenly, we started to take off.

The best part of the entire experience was that night when we were coming into Cabo. I was driving (that's my job) through the moonshine on the water.  It was so beautiful I was crying. Believe it or not, I turned to my crew and suggested we forget the finish line and just keep sailing. I meant it - as strange as that may sound. I got voted down, so over the finish line we came. From the day I suggested we do that Cabo race, I never considered the possibility of winning. I just wanted the adventure. And this year, we are doing the Cabo race to qualify for Transpac-- talk about an adventure!"  Read more about Dr. Laura's experiences here.   Learn more about the J/105 sailboat, the J/100 sailboat or the J/125 sailboat.

J/30 FRICTION LOSS Pacific Cup Video

J/30 sailing in Pacific Cup offshore sailboat race* J/30 FRICTION LOSS sailed last year's Pacific Cup 2010- a 2,000nm+ dash from San Francisco to Hawaii.  Three friends. Nice shots.  J/30 surfing all the way home to Diamond Head and Waikiki doing 10 to 15 knots the whole way under spinnaker, gybing on the shifts....way cool.
One noteworthy accomplishment was that they were second in class- again, belated congratulations to Shawn Ivie and crew aboard their J/30 FRICTION LOSS.  View their Pacific Cup video here.   

J/30 Class 2010 Video Summary

J/30 one-desing offshore cruiser racer off New Orleans on Gulf of Mexico* J/30 Class Co-President Dave Erwin produced a beautiful video summarizing the joy, fun and great sailing experiences he's had with family and friends aboard their J/30-- see it here.  Nicely done!  And, full-on testimonial to the fact that "class" is all about people and sharing those experiences together in a way in which everyone is having a ball, not the few.  J/30s continue to attract more newcomers into their class, pretty awesome for "son of J/24 #2"!!  We can only say, keep up the good work Dave and Bill Kneller- Co-Presidents of the J/30 Class.  Check out some of the latest happenings in the J/30 class and their forums.   http://j30.us/blog/   

J/80 OLJ SPIRIT-HATAMURI Winning Italian Winter Championships

J/80 one-design sailing in Italy(Tigullio, Italy)- The J/80 Italian class continues to grow and enjoy racing on their spectacular lakes as well as in gorgeous offshore venues like Sardinia and San Remo.  This year's Winter Championship is taking place in the Gulf of Tigullio.

"Today the wind conditions have enabled the smooth running of two races really exciting, we are very happy with the technical level achieved.  We're also assured all 39 boats are happy with the racing and the quality of the course. What will happen in the next three days? Who knows, we expect potentially six more races with the possibility of other movements in the championship," commented Franco Noceti.

After the first weekend, the J/80 OLJ SPIRIT-HATAMURI is in first, skippered by Federico Raiola.  Currently, they are followed by JOCONDE'S Massimo Zunino in second and in third is JENIALE, sailed by the Extreme Sailing Team.

The last three events of the Gulf of Tigullio Winter Championship will be Sunday, Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20.  For more J/80 Winter Championship sailing information.  For more J/80 one-design sailboat information.   

J/80 ECC VIVIENDAS Wins ImpreDigital Trophy

J/80 Spain- one-design trophy winners(Santander, Spain)- Ending the year in 2010 for the final race, the local J/80 fleet in Santander races a fun regatta that basically takes them up and down the beautiful Santander waterfront, using government marks and set marks to keep the fleet moving up and down the coastline in full view of spectators walking along the waterfront and the gorgeous beaches.

The start and finish of the event is run by the RCMS, they set up the windward mark off to the southwest. The J/80 fleet made two very entertaining laps of the course, with the fleet very tight and position changes all the way past the mark set off the steps of beacon. The closeness of the race course along the coast of the Cantabrian bay enabled many walkers to enjoy the spectacle of the race, with more than 25 boats and 100 sailors competing. The snow-capped green peaks south of the bay, matched by the white sails of the J/80s on the sparkling blue-green water, simply added a spectacular touch to the extraordinary afternoon.

J/80 ECC Viviendas- one-design is ultimate sailing- the winning sailboat in SpainThe race itself was very close.  In the end, Pichu Torcida sailing ECC VIVIENDAS won with a total of 6 pts.  Second was yet another World Champion, Ignacio Camino and Armando Gutierrez on NEXTEL ENGINEERING with 8 pts. Third was Alberto Padron and Jose Miguel Oriol on MABLE with 9 pts.  Rounding out the top five was SLAM RACING sailed by Tony Diaz-Alejandro in fourth with 10 pts and fifth was renowned sailor Jaime Piris on FONESTAR.  All agreed it was a great way to end the year for the 28 J/80s racing the final regatta of the year.    For more J/80 Spain ImpreDigital Trophy sailing information.  For more J/80 one-design sailboat information.   

J/109 ELECTRA 2nd In Two Gates Invite

J/109 racer cruiser sailboat- sailing off Long Beach, CA(Long Beach, CA)- The Two Gates Invitational was held last Sunday under sunny skies with temperatures in the high 50s while the top East Coast sailing venues are dealing with snow, ice and highs in the low to mid twenties. Not necessarily considered warm, but balmy weather compared to the rest of the country.

Over the 13.2-nautical mile course Tom Brott from Seal Beach YC and his crew aboard the J/109 ELECTRA ended up second in PHRF B Class.  More than 25 skippers brought their boats and crew out for this traditional race that gets its name from the course they sail. Beginning inside Long Beach Harbor, the boats exit the harbor through the Port of Long Beach entrance known as Queens Gate. They sail outside the breakwater up to Angels Gate, the Port of Los Angeles entrance, and enter Los Angeles Harbor. From, there they sail back down to weave in and out of the breakwater finishing back in Long Beach.
For more J/109 sailboat information.   

HUET Wins J/22 NOEL Cup

J/22s one-design sailing- racing offshore France in wind(Nantes, France)- Just before the Christmas Holidays, the J/22 class in France has a wonderful event where any kids participating get a chance to meet St. Nicholas in the evening.  Fun time, sweet event.  On the water, the winner was Patrick Huet, sailing his J/22 EUROPEAN HOMES (yes, same company that sponsors Pichu Torcida's J/80 s ECC VIVIENDAS in Spain).  Second was Clair Pouteau's SOFFE, third was Emmannuel Bollore's DELFINA, fourth Fabrice Chaierc's J'M and rounding out the top five was Vincent Goeusbet's JROUETTE.  More J/22 NOEL Cup sailing results.
For more J/22 sailboat information.   

J/105 WINGS Wins New Year's Regatta

J/105 ulitmate sailing one-design boat off San Diego, CA(San Diego, CA)- Over the New Year's weekend, San Diego hosted their annual New Year's Day Regatta, a fun, easy-going event to usher in the New Year off the sunny, southern California coast.  Managing to avoid the big crushes at the starts and the numerous mark-roundings, Dennis and Sharon Case racing their J/105 WINGS  won Division 3, beating 17 boats competing in their division, including J/80s, Etchells, Olson 34s and Columbia 50s.  Finishing third was Fisher/ Dagostino's J/105 VIGGEN and fifth was Larry Boline's and Bob Kyle's J/105 JET STREAM.

In Division 4, the J/27 BLACKADDER sailed by David Cattle finished second just behind a Star boat sailed by World Champion George Szabo!  Not too far off the pace was Bob Noe's J/30 MAD HATTER in sixth.

In Division 2, Kenyon Martin and crew were having fun enjoying one of their first sails on the new J/111 "THREE", finishing sixth and just behind them in ninth was John Laun's CAPER.  For more New Year's San Diego sailing information.  For more J/105 sailboat information.
Sailing photo credit- Dennis St. Onge/ dawoody.com   

SAILPAC Leading J/24 Australian Nationals

J/24 sailing school in Australia(Sydney, Australia)- A strong turnout of sixteen J/24s are being hosted by Middle Harbour YC in a wide variety of sailing conditions.  So far, the racing amongst the top three has been very competitive.

On the first day, January 10th, the fleet was sailing in very challenging conditions, especially out-of-town boats who aren’t used to the 2m swell and shifty light winds. Race 1 was convincingly won by Nev Wittey on SAILPAC who led from start to finish, closely followed by John Crawfords’ INNAMINKA, skippered by his nephew, Robert Crawford and third place went to DEATHSTAR skippered by Sean Kirkjian.  Defending National champion, Sean Wallis came 4th on LUNATIC ASYLUM.  Of note, the crew of three Pacific Sailing School boats that are sailing in this years Nationals include SAILPAC, STARPAC and PACATACK (picture above).

On Day 2 the fleet started with similar wind conditions to Day 1 – flukey 15 knots easterlies, tending north for the third race of the day produced difficult helming conditions for skippers.  Nev Wittey took out race 4 from Sean Kirkjian, with a convincing two and a half minute win. Robert Crawford sailing INNAMINKA came in a close third after DEATHSTAR.  Ron Thomson sailing KICKING BOTTOM had his best race of the series so far, with an impressive 4th, just 6th seconds behind INNAMINKA.

At this stage after day 2, the fleet leaders are SAILPAC's Neville Wittey with a 1-1-2 record for 4 points in first.  Second on a rebound roll is Sean Wallis' LUNATIC ASYLUM with a 1-3-4 score for 8 pts.  Third is DEATHSTAR sailed by Sean Kirkjian with a 4-2-3 tally for 9 pts.  Lying fourth is ACE skippered by Dave West with a 3-6-9 for 18 pts.  And rounding out the top five is WAVECUTER II's Graeme Thorburn with a 5-8-6 scorecard for 19 pts.  For more J/24 Australian Nationals sailing information.  For more J/24 sailboat information.   

J/105 Wins Key West Race!

J/105 ultimate one-design sailing family boat sailng to Key WestBond's LOKI Flies Around the Keys!
(Key West, FL)- The 36th Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race was another classic, fast race; taking advantage of a strong front blowing east over the Bahamas Banks leaving in its wake a strong NNE wind flow.  David Bond's J/105 LOKI made the most of it to win PHRF A and 4th in PHRF Fleet Overall.

Started on Wednesday, January 12th, the international fleet of 29 boats had teams hailing from Hong Kong, Greece, the Netherlands, Canada, and several states outside of Florida.  Amongst them were a smattering of fun-loving J sailors who happen to love this mad dash around the edge of the Keys against the fast-flowing Gulf Stream.  Included were Frank Kern's (a.k.a. "the commodore") famous J/120 CARINTHIA from Bayview YC, Grosse Pointe Park, MI; another J/120 TAMPA GIRL sailed by Bill Terry from Davis Island YC, Tampa, FL; and local favorites from Miami, FL, David Bond sailing his J/105 LOKI.

The early indicators were for a powerful cold front to wash over Florida and leave trailing in its wake a powerful Northeaster of 20-25 knots blowing the fleet down around the Keys to Key West.  It was not to be.  Dawn on Wednesday greeted the fleet with a beautiful NNE breeze that slowly clocked Eastward in the 10-15 knot range and built back up again towards Wednesday night/ Thursday morning for a fast dash into Key West.  No records were broken despite earlier lofty expectations.  While the big boats finished the course in just over 11 hours, well shy of the 10 hour record, the middle of the fleet benefitted from solid breeze and better wind angles to take all top overall spots.  As expected, most of the fleet hugged the Florida coastline and the Keys to stay out of the fast-flowing, northbound Gulf Stream current.  Hot gybing angles were the rule of the day and those who played them smartly did well.

In addition to the J/105 LOKI winning class, Frank Kern's J/120 CARINTHIA sailed another solid race to get 4th in PHRF Class A and 12th overall.   Sailing photo credits- William Spruance.  For more Lauderdale-Key West Sailing results.  For more J/105 sailboat information.