Friday, May 27, 2011

New J/70 Speedster Sails 2012

J/70 speedster- the ultimate sailboat for sailing fanatics
(Newport, RI)- A new 7 meter J speedster will be hatching this fall.  Easily trailerable.  Ramp-launchable.  Light.  Fun.  Fast.

Be the first to learn more and tell your friends about it.  Watch this space-

Or, call your local J Dealer for more J/70 speedster information.

J/Fun @ Seattle NOOD Regatta

(Seattle, WA)- The fourth of nine events in the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD series was sailed this past Friday-Saturday-Sunday in Seattle, Washington. More than 150 teams in 22 divisions raced on Puget Sound.  Leaders from past regattas faired well and not so well, such is the nature of racing sailboats in Seattle's capricious waters surrounded by the spectacular, majestic Cascade mountain ranges that form the western ridge of the America's Rocky Mountains.

Last year's overall champion sailing J/24s, Michael Johnson, returned with HOT PURSUIT but could only manage a third overall in the J/24 class.  Winning was SELF ABUSE skippered by Harry Dursch from Corinthian YC in Seattle and second was fellow CYC member Scott Milnes sailing TREMENDOUS SLOUCH. 

Within the J/80 fleet, it was Chris White's CRAZY IVAN that ran away with fleet honors after winning the first race.  Second was Bill McKinnon's SKYE ROCKET and third was Joel Shapiro's HEART ATTACK.

In a strong upswing from last year's event, Lorenzo Migliorini's J/105 ALLEGRO VIVACE from CYC was not only dueling for the top spots in the regatta for J/105 class supremacy, they sailed a very strong series to end up winning by three points after 9 races, with a 3-2-1-2-4-4-1-1-1.  Their string of firsts at the end sealing the fate of their contender, Jerr Diercks on DELIRIUM with 22 points.  Third was Erik Kristen on JUBILEE with a 4-1-4-3-3-1-5-4-3 tally.

The J/109s in Seattle continue to have fun racing with one another and the spirited competition is interesting to follow as each team goes up and down the standings. Not easy to place in this fleet as the boats are so evenly matched.  Nevertheless, Stu Burnell's team on TANTIVY won with a 14 point score.  They were followed by Jack Christiansen on JEOPARDY with 26 points, narrowly squeezing ahead of Dave MacLean's well-campaigned ILLUSIONIST.

"The NOOD team and co-hosts Seattle YC & Corinthian YC did a great job organizing and showing once again that this is one regatta not to be missed," said Jack Christiansen of North's Seattle loft.  For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Sailing information  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes Photography


GUMPTION 3 Wins Manhattan YC J/105 Regatta

J/105s sailing off Manhattan and Statue of Liberty
(New York, NY)- The idea for a regatta in New York Harbor had been fomenting for some time among several J-105 owners in New York City. “The waterways around Manhattan see a lot of racing, but this is the first one-design regatta in some time actually in New York Harbor,” said David Spence, one of the organizers behind the event, and a member of both Fleet 10 and Manhattan Sailing Club.

And who wouldn’t love the chance to race in the shadow of the burgeoning Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island? Not to mention the thrill of navigating alongside barges, the Staten Island Ferry, and the occasional cruise ship; add to that a two knot current on the Hudson and you have the makings for some interesting starts and mark roundings. As Paul Zajac, Fleet 10 president and skipper of Skal, said, “There’s just so much geometry to racing in these waters!”

J/105s sailing off New York city, NYSeven J-105s hailing from Long Island Sound, Raritan Bay, and New York Harbor took up the challenge and were at the start for the inaugural Manhattan Regatta held May 14 and 15, one of the few relatively rain-free weekends the region has seen this Spring. Never far from the shores of either New York or New Jersey, the race provided spectators, tourists, and ordinary New Yorkers alike with the sight of big-boat racing.  The first day had winds of 10-12 kts, enough to slice through the strong river current. Second day not so much luck, under 8kts of breeze.  Nevertheless, the competitors all had a great time and the sailing made for some pretty surreal photos, as you can see here.

J/105 Gumption- sailing off Manhattan and Statue of LibertyIn the end, Kevin Grainger's well-traveled, successful GUMPTION 3 was the overall winner, posting finishes of 1-1-1-2 in the four-race series. FAIRHOPE, skippered by Gareth Gaston, gave Kevin and crew a serious run for the roses, but just came up short, scoring a 2-2-2-1 to take second in the event.  Third was Dave Spence skippering SYNERGY to a 3-4-4-3.

“I think we showed that through the cooperation of the New York/New Jersey sailing community, we can bring J-105 racing to the Harbor,” said Spence, adding, “Our goal was to begin a tradition of offering challenging racing against the backdrop of the City, with all of the amenities it has to offer both on and off the water.”

Celebrating after the racing on Sunday in Manhattan Sailing Club’s North Cove marina, participants were already looking forward to Manhattan Regatta 2012, offering suggestions as to how to grow the event for next year.   Sailing photo credits- Pim Van Hemen   For more Manhattan Yacht Club sailing information.


Xiamen University Wins College Regatta

J/80 China sailing teams in Xiamen
(Xiamen, China- Apr 4-6)- The Xiamen Sailing Club hosted the first ever China College J/80 Regatta over the weekend of April 4th to 6th.  The regatta played host to college sailing teams from Xiamen Universities and Taiwan Universities.

Seven races were held over three days, including two distance races to Kinman Island, Taiwan lying just offshore from Xiamen, China.  Nineteen teams participated, including a team that had the Vice Mayor of Xiamen as an honorary crew-member participating in the race over to Kinman Island.

J/80 sailboats- sailing off Xiamen, ChinaPerhaps one of the most fascinating elements of this regatta was how well coordinated the "diplomatic exchange" of sailors took place, on the fly, on the water, in real-time as the teams sailed across from Chinese water to Taiwanese waters!  The Chinese Coast Guard and Taiwan Coast Guards were very supportive, handling escort across the borders to allow this event to happen seamlessly and with extraordinary decorum. It was remarkable to see the two "Coast Guards" line up in a line on either side of a "GPS line" in the water to show both respect for each other, but also to fly signal flags and exchange pleasantries as each boat sailed across into another country.  Cool stuff!

J/80 "boat captains" at Chinese sailing regattasAfter the three days of sailing, Xiamen University came out on top.  Perhaps it was not by chance, since the two teams from Xiamen University consistently participated in the J/80 Winter Series held this past winter in J/80's every Sunday.  Practice does make perfect.  It showed, they won with ease.  But, it was not without irony that the other universities then requested to get more practice time on the J/80s for their next season!  Perhaps it didn't hurt that "boat captains" like those pictured here helped tend to  lines and fenders when the J/80s went sailing.

Events like this are fantastic for promoting the sport of sailing in Asia and China.  J/Boats Asia and Hudson Yacht and Marine supplied a brand new fleet of boats for the event.  To promote diplomacy and good will between China and Taiwan and get more students sailing is well worth the time, said Jim Johnstone from J/Boats Asia.

Watch this space!  In July, the Xiamen Sailing Club of J/80s will be hosting the Chinese National College Sailing Championships in the same fleet of J/80's!


Veraar Wins J/22 Spring Cup

J/22 Netherlands class President
(Medemblik, Netherlands)- In Medemblik, the Dutch Mecca of sailing, the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia hosted nineteen J/22s for the annual Spring Cup. The regatta was blessed with good breeze and good weather for the two days.  On the first day, the fleet saw winds form the west at Force 5 to 7!!  Holy smokes, that's honking, baby!  On Sunday, the wind shifted to the northwest with winds still in the Force 5 to 7 scale, with enormous wind shifts to punish the fleet mercilessly!  Needless to say, there were a LOT of sore muscles after this series of six races!

J/22 sailboats- sailing the J/22 Spring Cup in Medemblik, NetherlandsThe team of Ronald Veraar sailed a strong series to win by only one point over the team of Eelco Blok.  Ronald's scores of 2-2-1-1-4-2 were just good enough to beat Eelco's strong start of a 1-1-2-2-6-1 for 13 points.  Wouter Kollman sailed consistently but had to withstand a challenge from Murt Almat to finish third. Wouter's 4-4-3-5-3-3 scoreline for 22 pts was more consistent than Murat's scores of 5-5-7-4-2-4 for 27 points who finished fourth.  Fifth was Misja Adamczyk with a score of 8-6-15-6-1-6 for 47 points.

On Saturday night, the J/22 teams were treated to a wonderful evening of food, drink, and music.  Perhaps more importantly, during this evening by Floris Toetenel passed the gavel of J/22 Netherlands leadership to Diana Kroo, the new "boss" of J/22s in the Netherlands (pictured here).  For more J/22 Netherlands sailing information


Interface Concept J/80 Cup

(Vallée des Fous, France)- This year's Interface Concept J/80 Cup, was won by the crew of the boat INTERFACE CONCEPT 2, skippered by Eric Brézellec and sponsored by the CEO of this company, Bruno Rolland. Jean Michel Lucas, President of the Club de la Vallée des Fous was the organizer of the event. About 130 competitors participated during the three days event which was attended by 25 J/80s from across from the western coast of France, from Cherbourg to La Rochelle. The whole idea behind the regata in the "valley of fools" is to have fun and enjoy sailing with friends.

However, on the morning of registration, the organizers learned of the death of Hubert Desjoyeaux, the elder brother of Michael who was sailing in the J/80 regatta. A great sailor in his own right in his young years and the leading composite race-boats builder in France for 27 years, Hubert Desjoyeaux passed away yesterday at 52, following a several months battle with cancer.  The early Formula 40 tris, Sport Elec (Jules Verne holder), several ORMA 60s, Vendee globe winners PRB, Foncia and other IM0CAs, more recently BP V and the first two MOD 70's have set his yard at the very top, and will carry his legacy.  On Sunday morning, everyone wanted to show their affection to Hubert Desjoyeaux and relatives accompanying the boat carrying the ashes were scattered behind Penfret, to Glénan. An emotional moment before the last two races played out on Sunday.

While Eric and his team sailed to a convincing win with a 12-1-2-4-bfd-4-1-2-1-1 with 16 points after two throw-outs, it was anything but an easy battle for the next two spots on the podium.  The next four boats fought like valiant knights for the top three and none of the 2 through 5 positions were determined until the final race!  What a finish for this competitive fleet!  And, perhaps of some significance was the girls are going for it and getting it!  Second was Maxime Rousseaux's team on CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTE with a slow start, but strong finish scoreline of 11-10-1-8-4-3-3-1-4-4 for 28 points after two toss races.  Third only one point back was Patrick Bot's team on ECOLE NAVALE CG 29 with a 6-4-7-6-1-1-2-bfd-2-19 for 29 points.  Fourth was Christine Briand, she sailed a very consistent score of 2-2-6-3-5-20-4-5-3-10 for 30 points, had it not been for a 10th in the last race she could easily have finished second in the regatta!  Fifth was Simon Moriceau on INTERFACE CONCEPT with a 4-5-3-2-2-16-9-6-5-13 for 36 points.   For more J/80 France sailing information


Thursday, May 26, 2011

KSSS Saltsjöbad J/80 Regatta

(Stockholm, Sweden)- This year, the Saltsjöbad Regatta was sailed in good conditions hosted by the Royal Swedish YC- KSSS. Lots of sun, wind and a race committee which did a superb job. They got in six races! The Sundstedt team won but not without a good fight from the rest of the fleet!

Ingemar Sundstedt will compete for the J/80 World Cup in Copenhagen this year. While some other famous J/80s like KISSER showed up on the starting line with Jim Rotsman and Daniel Winberg in control; their guest performance on Saturday was amazing and they sailed as good as usual.  We look forward to seeing more of them on the water!

Lars Gellerhed's MK PRODUCTS team continues to show off, they gave Sundstedt a real match for the winner's circle and finished second in the regatta with a 4-1-3-1-2-2 record for 9 points (1 toss). In third place was HAPPY sailed by Johnannes Bergh with a 2-5-6-5-4-3 for 19 points.

The racing was incredibly close, rarely more than boat length difference between 1st and 6th boats!!  Really fun racing on the bay.  On Sunday it was behaving quite decent, but on Saturday was a whirlwind and the wind fluctuated between 2 and 9 m/s.   The sailing over the weekend gave everyone very good training-- light, medium and strong wind.

An extra big "Thank You" to Jenny who had a tough year starting on Sunday-- they had a crash and ended up in the mound of stones at the pier. Bruised and stiff they sailed both races on Sunday and despite 70 kg underweight they sailed very well.   For more J/80 Sweden sailing information.


"GREAT SAILING" Wins J/80 Grand Prix Iberdrola

J/80 sailboats- Spain Iberdrola Cup winning sailing team
(Barcelona, Spain)- The Real Club Nautico de Barcelona hosts what has become a fantastic fixture in the Spanish J/80 sailing spring circuit each year, the Grand Prix Iberdrola.  A first-class event, the RCNB was blessed with remarkably good weather conditions this year for the entire regatta.

After four races were held on the second day of the regatta, CROCS sailed by Javier Aguado was leading, followed by GREAT SAILING's  Jose Maria van der Ploeg, and in third was FORTY FIVE sailed by Roman Solete Turro.  Challenging this trio was the fact that on Sunday, two more races were held in a a solid 15-18 knot breeze to determine the ultimate champion.  After the smoke cleared in two intensely fought races, it was Jose Maria van der Ploeg on GREAT SAILING that won, followed by CROCS skippered by Javier Aguado and TURISMO DO ALGARVE sailed by Hugo Rocha.  Remember these guys?  They all sailed in the regatta in Palma Mallorca the previous weekend.  Said Jose from Yacht Club Balís -  "We are very pleased to have competed in the Grand Prix Iberdrola, and win. It is our fourth race in J/80. The first three were in Palma Mallorca and we were excited to come to Barcelona, ​​where my son for eleven years has been part of the crew!"   For more J/80 Barcelona sailing information


Ingham Wins J/24 J-Daze

J/24 sailboat- sailing in mountain lakes worldwide
(Canandaigua, NY)- Canandaigua Yacht Club is a member owned sailing club located on Canandaigua Lake in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State-- it's dedicated to sailing, sailboat racing and social activities for its members.  This year CYC hosted the 22nd Annual Spring Invitational Regatta which is open to all J-24 class boats. Participants came from all over the Eastern USA and Canada.  Can you say "partaayyy?"  The CYC always hosts a fantastic event and along with their fall counter-part on Lake George, it's hard to imagine what's not to like about sailing in the spring or fall on some of New York's gorgeous mountain lakes (though the mountains may not be as big as these shown here).

This year, the J-Daze Regatta saw a venerable J/24 class champion show back up after years of enforced self-retirement from the racing game.  After a great showing in the Charleston Race Week event, Mike Ingham on BRAIN CRAMP showed he was no fluke and managed to sail to a strong 2-4-3-3-2-1-1 scoreline for 16 points to win the regatta by nearly 20 points!  Second was the Reynolds team on OKIE-BOATING sailing to a 1-8-8-1-9-5-4 score for 36 pts.  Third was the Merchant crew on WITCH WAY with a tally of 6-10-2-11-3-12-2 roller-coaster point total of 46 pts.   For more J-Daze Regatta sailing information.


J/22 France Open NN Erdre

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing in France
(Erdre, France)- In a thrilling finale, Jean Francois Guionet and his crew of Yannick Souron and Thierry Picault from Nantes, France sailing their J/22 PAPY J managed to win on a tie-breaker over Patrick Huet's team on EUROPEAN HOMES.  Sailing to a 1-2-6-1-3-1 score for 8 points (including a throw-out race), Guionet's team just outlasted Huet's tally of 2-1-5-2-1-2 for 8 points as well.  In third Phillipe Thome's team on JULIE sailing to a 6-4-1-3-2-3 score for 13 points.   For more J/22 France sailing results


J/105 INFINITY Wins "The Shoe"

J/24 Wins on Triple-tie for First!
(Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club held its 29th annual Shoe Regatta on May 21-22. Five J/105s, nine J/22s, seven J/80s and seven other J's sailing PHRF competed in 15-25 knot winds over the two-day affair. Competition was tight with lots of close finishes.

In the J/105 Class, Uzi Ozero sailing INFINITY dominated their class, "schooling" their fellow 105 sailors on how to sail fast in a breeze, getting a 2-2-1-1-1-1 for six points, tossing out a second!  Mark Masur sailing TWO  FEATHERS started strongly with two first, but then fell off the pace a bit to take three 3rds and a second to secure second overall with 10 points.  Lying third was Bee Bednar on STINGER with fourteen points.

The J/22s had a strong turnout with nine boats having a blast sailing in the big breeze. However, like the J/105s, the J/22s also saw one boat loving the conditions and simply "schooled" their class pretty badly, Brant Koepke's FLOSSIE won with straight firsts, tossing a first to win with 6 points.  Second was Anna Willits, presumably practicing for the Rolex Women's Worlds in Rochester, NY later this year.  She and her team sailed incredibly well, just beating out Richard Voyles on MUST GO by one point, to finish second.

Sailing in the J/80s was past J/22 World Champion Terry Flynn, racing his J/22 QUANTUM RACING to a first place overall with nearly as dominating a series as the leaders in the J/22s and J/105s.  Terry's team scored a 2-1-1-1-1-1-dnc to win with 7 points.  Second was Bill Rose on KICKS with a  1-2-2-2-2-2-1 for 10 points.  Third was Paul Parsons sailing the musically sensitive PARSONS PROJECT to a 6-3-5-3-3-3-4 for 21 points.

In the handicap world, four J's sailed PHRF A Spinnakers and three J's sailed PHRF B Spinnakers.  Doug Shaffer's majestic J/122 GAMBLER finished third in PHRF A with a 2-4-3-3-5-1 scoreline for 13 points.  Fourth was Albrecht Goethe's J/109 HAMBURG, fifth was Mark Smith's J/109 HARMS WAY and sixth was Scott Spurlin's J/111 007.  In PHRF B, Stu Lindow's J/24 TROPICAL AGGRESSION won a triple tie-breaker for first overall!  Wow, so cool to see such a competitive class.  Stu's team got a 1-4-1-4-1-4 for 11 points, winning the tie-break on total firsts.  Third in the tie-break was Tom Sutton's J/35 LEADING EDGE with a tally of 3-1-2-2-4-3 for 11 points.  Only one point back from this trio was Dov Kivlovitz's J/24 NO NAME.  For more Shoe Regatta sailing information.


Leading J's In Swiftsure Lightship Classic

Majestic mountains form the canvas for sailing photos on Swiftsure Race
15 J's Challenge Notorious Juan de Fuca Straits
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- While Storm Trysail is hosting the east coast spring classic offshore race on the "right coast", on the "left coast" the Royal Victoria Yacht club in Victoria, British Columbia is hosting the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere Yacht Race-- the 68th running of their spring classic- the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race.  As one of the oldest long-distance races in North America, starting in 1930, the Swiftsure has always been a test of seamanship and tactical skill.  The spring weather in the Straits can turn fast and stir up viciously steep chop and blow a gale, and then some.  Last year's event saw "the pots, the pans and the kitchen sink" all thrown at them over the course of the race-- Mother Nature was at her usual capricious self.

J/122 sailing Swiftsure Lightship Classic race off Vancouver/ Victoria, BCThe racers have a choice of 3 races to sail, the "Swiftsure Lightship Classic" that's 137 miles, the "Juan de Fuca Race" that's only 76 miles and the "Cape Flattery Race" that's 100 miles in length.  All racing yachts will have a tracker system using Globalstar’s SPOT technology- locations are updated every 10 minutes, of every boat on the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, Cape Flattery, and Juan de Fuca race courses.

The sixteen J's sailing in the three races include the gorgeous J/160 JAM sailed by John McPhail-- the only J doing the 137 nm Swiftsure Lightship Classic race.  In the other two races, there are two J/109s sailing, including Dave McLean's ILLUSIONIST (CFR) and Peter McComb's TIPPY (JDFR).  Also sailing are the J/122 ANAM CARA sailed by Tom Kelly (CFR), Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA (CFR), four J/35s, three J/30s, a J/42, a J/105 and a J/33.   Sailing photo credits- R Beberidge/   For more Swiftsure Race sailing information.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Alice Leahey steers J/105 GRACE O'MALLEY

J/105 sailor Alice sailing wet wednesday night series in California*  Sudsy Nights In California- Herb McCormick, SAILING WORLD roving-reporter reports.  Pictured here, you see Alice Leahey steers her J/105 GRACE O'MALLEY towards the finish line during a California YC Wednesday- night race off Marina del Rey.  And, here's what Herb had to say about WET and WILD WEDNESDAY's off LA, CA.

"As a native New Englander, I always feel a bit adrift when visiting California. It's so big! And kooky! But seriously: Like Texas or Alaska, California is essentially a nation unto itself, vast and limitless, with an in-grown culture (and economy, though that's not so hot at the moment) that's all its own. Still, the three great California cities-San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco- couldn't be more different. From the general vibe to the specific geography, each place is unique and iconic. You often meet folks who reside in one of the sprawling metropolises who would never, ever consider moving to either of the other two. The three bustling cities are Golden State subsets, independent spokes in the ever-rolling wheel.  Except, that is, when it comes to sailboat racing.

At least that's what I came away thinking after a big drive up I-5 in early May from San Diego to Seattle, with stops in L.A. and 'Frisco. Unfortunately, I was a little too early for the beginning of the San Diego Yacht Club's summer series, but on a Wednesday off Marina del Rey, and two nights later, on San Francisco Bay, I had the chance to race like the locals do, and it was a terrific, eye-opening experience.

Beer-can racing is a summer ritual on both coasts and on select lakes and rivers across the land. In my hometown of Newport, RI, you can literally race every weeknight from June through August, and I've watched many a fine sunset on a Shields or a J-24 while sipping a cold one after a spin around the buoys.

So I felt right at home walking down the docks at Marina del Rey's California Yacht Club to hop aboard Alice Leahey's J-105 Grace O'Malley for the club's appropriately named Sunset Series that runs from April through September. Old pal Tom Leweck, of Scuttlebutt fame, had invited me to spend a night at his home in Venice Beach, and since my timing brought me through on a Wednesday he leaned on his neighbor, Alice, to take me for a ride."  Read more about Herb's and Alice's adventure on a Wet Wednesday night off Marina Del Rey.


Texas J/30 sailor- Paul Magnini- Talks about J/30 Sailing

J/30 sailing Corpus Christi, Texas with spinnaker* A Texas J/30 sailor, Paul Magnini, "new" owner of hull #312 had this to say recently on the J/30 blog:  "I bought J/30 #312 three years ago.... I bought new main and genoa two years ago and a new jib this past winter. I had a bottom job done three years ago... The boat has improved its performance a lot I am now equal to the other 2 J30′s in Corpus Christi, TX. I just completed my second Harvest Moon Regatta.  Galveston to Port Aransas, TX just out side Corpus Christi Bay. The race is 160 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The boat is good and solid.... I find the boat very comfortable and seaworthy..... All in all I am very pleased with the construction of the J/30..... Just a note, in Corpus Christi Bay the normal winds are 12 to 25 mph. We race with winds up to 35 mph. The boat is very comfortable in the conditions.  Regards,  Paul Magnini”   Read more about J/30 experiences here-


The GREEN Revolution- Ed Baird- ex-J/24 World Champ

J/24 World Champion- Ed Baird skippering TP52 Quantum Racing Crushes TP52 Medcup in Cascais, Portugal- A new chapter of Quantum's "green revolution" was completed on the fierce blue waters of the Atlantic off Cascais, Portugal when Quantum Racing won the Cascais Trophy for the TP52, the opening event of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.  Green flashed hulls and sails are not the only common theme which the winning crews have in common.  For Quantum Racing, who won five races from nine starts, it is the first victory in the class for the America's Cup winner Ed Baird and for a brand new Botin Partners designed boat which is a successor to their 2008 circuit winner.  Quantum Racing came into the regatta well behind their desired schedule but were soon able to reveal excellent upwind speed in the brisk winds which prevailed through the nine races.  For more info-


STC Block Island Race Preview

(Stamford, CT)- A spring classic since 1946, the 66th running of the Block Island Race is an annual rite of passage for many racing yachts.  It's a 185 mile distance race from Stamford, CT eastward across Long Island Sound, around Block Island, RI to port and back to Stamford.  Sixty-one boats will be vying for class and handicap honors, including seventeen J's ranging in size  from 35 ft to 45 feet.

Today, many racing yachts mark the beginning of their northeast summer sailing season by participating in this challenging race.  While seemingly an easy dash east round Block Island and back to the start/finish line, it's infinitely more challenging than what most people expect.  The classic choices of going down the middle of the Sound or hugging either the CT J/44 sailing in Block Island Soundor the Long Island shore is dependent on wind forecasts and tides.  How to get through the notorious "Race", where the eastern part of Long Island Sound literally opens up to the sea over a large undersea cliff, is perhaps one of the most critical tactical and navigational challenges in the race.  With enormous whirlpools and massive amounts of current running up to five knots creating some of the most treacherous, massive square waves in the world, it's the one part of the race where the race is won and lost fast.  Whether to go inside Plum Island through Plum Gut or through the main channel inside Gull Island is a critical decision for the race for any navigator.

A large contingent of J's are racing this year, making up a significant portion of the fleet.  In the Double-handed IRC class alone there are six J's sailing in an 11 boat class.  Amongst the participants are two J/120s, Gardner Grant's ALIBI and Hewitt Gaynor's MIRELLE.  Two J/109s are also sailing, Adrian Begley's MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN and Andrew Berdon's STRIDER.  Two "classic" 35 foot J's are racing, both successfully over the years, one is Peter Rugg's J/105 JADED and the other is Jason Richter's J/35 PALADIN.

In PHRF2, two J/120s are sailing, Steve Levy's EAGLE and Joe Healey's SOULMATE.  In the IRC 40 class, seven of the ten boats are J's in the 40-45 foot range.  A trio of J/44s include Phil Gutin's BEAGLE, Norm Schulman's CHARLIE V and Len Sitar's VAMP.  Two more J/120s are sailing including George Petrides' AVRA and Rick Oricchio's ROCKET SCIENCE.  Two very well-sailed J/122s will be competing for line and handicap honors in this class, previous winner Andrew Weiss' CHRISTOPHER DRAGON and George Marks' GEORGETOWN III.  In the IRC 45 class, Colin McGranahan's J/130 DRAGONFLY will be up against two Swan 42s and an IMX-45.  Finally, in IRC Zero will be the debut of the J/111 PARTNERSHIP sailed by David and Maryellen Tortorello.  For more Storm Trysail Block Island Race sailing information.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

J/111 One-Design Summer

J/111 one-design sailboat- the ultimate day-sailing, racing, weekender
Join Us In Great Lakes or Northeast!
(Newport, RI)- With sufficient J/111's delivered for fleet racing, J/111 One-Design activity will commence in several significant events coming up on the 2011 summer sailing calendar.  For starters, J/111 Fleet #1 has been awarded to the Chicago fleet.  And, they will be sailing their first one-design event June 4-5 out of Columbia YC.  A J/111 start in Columbia YC's "Colors Regatta" for the six boats sailing on Lake Michigan will be an exciting milestone for the 111 class.  A 111 one-design "launch party" will be held at Richie Stearns home Friday evening, June 3rd.

Additional Fleet #1 activities on Lake Michigan include eight boats racing as a class in the famous Chicago YC Chicago-Mackinac Race, a 289 nm blast north up Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island- famous for horses, fudge, bikes and the "Pink Pony".  After the Mac Race, the J/111 Fleet will gather in Harbor Springs, MI for the "Ugotta Regatta", with a one-design start in one of the most beautiful bodies of water to sail on the planet.

In the Northeast, a trio of J/111s will be participating in the New York YC Annual Regatta June 10-12 in Newport, RI sailing in Rhode Island Sound southwest of Castle Hill Light.  Then, six or more J/111s will sail one-design as a sub-class in PHRF at the Rolex Storm Try Block Island Race Week from June 19-24.  A week's worth of fleet racing on the J/111 will be a lot of fun.  Everyone will have steep learning curves as matched boats learn how to tweak sails and rigs to go faster.  Recognizing its speed potential off-the-wind, many of the teams can't wait to sail the J/111 in the famous Around Block Island Race, about 29 nm around the navigation buoys ringing the island.  For more J/111 one-design sailboat informationSailing photo credit- Billy Black


J/111 "Walk-through"- Insider's View

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing with spinnaker
(Charleston, SC)- For those of you who have not seen the interior and exterior features of the J/111, we took the opportunity during Charleston Race Week to have Alan Block of Sailing Anarchy's OTWA to do a "walk-through" of the J/111 with one of our J/Boats representatives. Take a "wander" throughout the J/111 with Alan and crew and learn a few more things about this wonderful boat and find out why 111's current owners are so excited about sailing their boats.   Please watch this sailing video from BlockSail Productions.


Brazil Wins J/24 US Nationals

J/24 Bruschetta from Brazil wins J/24 Nationals
The Famous BRUSCHETTA Wins By A Nose
(Dallas, TX)- The crews that showed up for this year's version of the J/24 Layline US Nationals were in for an experience no one bargained for.  As the fleet assembled at Dallas Corinthian YC, Mother Nature was brewing a storm of simply epic proportions off to the West.  By Wednesday, it was clear there was going to be no sailing.  It was blowing so hard with thunderstorms, line squalls and God's lightning bolts spraying everywhere, that people's shows were getting blown across the parking lot!  Forget about "dogs blowing off chains", this was human stuff flying everywhere!  By Thursday it was clear it was going to be just as crazy, so not much happened in the way of racing.  However, Friday worked out nicely and the fleet were treated to some terrific sailing.  By Saturday, the weather was nearly post-card, chamber of commerce perfect, with strong, shifty breezes and sunny skies.

J/24 US Nationals- Dallas, Tx- sailing under spinnakerPerhaps the story of the regatta was how a nice Brazilian guy named Mauricio Santa Cruz could show up on a lake in Texas, figure it out, then squeak by at the end, on the last day, to win the US J/24 Nationals by one point!  Must've been a cliff-hanger for the entire top five going into the last two races of the regatta.  Literally, anyone could've won!  Competing for those five spots were Mauricio on BRUSCHETTA, Bob Harden on MR HAPPY, Roger Harden on NEW RULES, Dave Irwin on IBAJ 2 and Jorge Murrieta on BMW/ SCAPPINO from Valle de Bravo, Mexico.  By winning the last two races, however, Mauricio and his Brazilian crew took the regata from Bob Harden on MR HAPPY.  In fact, it was Bob's regatta to lose, as leader of the J/24 pack at the beginning of the day.  Brazilian fan club watching sailboats- sailing awayIn the end BRUSCHETTA had 28 points, Bob's HAPPY gang had 29 points due to a 7-9 for their last two races.  Third was Roger Harden on NEW RULES, sailing to a 2-5 to end up with 30 points.  Fourth was Dave Irwin's IBAJ 2 sailing to a 3-8 to get 31 points.  And, Jorge's BMW/ SCAPPINO finished fifth due to a 5-2 for a total of 35 points.  Imagine that, only seven points separated the entire top five!  Just  a wee bit of anxiety for the tacticians and even a few catatonic skippers wondering how they'd been beaten and twisted to a pulp to end up where they did!  Great racing and good times for the J/24 sailors in Dallas.  Pictured above was Mauricio's fan club from Brazil!  As usual, the DCYC hosts were simply fantastic.   For more Layline J/24 USA Nationals sailing information   Sailing photo credits- McDonald Photos of Dallas, Texas.


French Win J/80 WMRT #1

J/80 sailing World Match Race Tour in Marseiles, France
(Marseilles, France)- Damien Iehl and his French Match Racing Team made the perfect start to their World Match Racing Tour season after defeating Bertrand Pace's Aleph Sailing Team in an all French Final at Match Race France in Marseille. Surprised?  Most French sailors in J/80s wouldn't be.  After all, only 107 J/80s recently sailed Spi Ouest-France.  Many French sailors are fast in J/80s.

J/80s sailing downwind at World Match Race Tour- Marseilles, franceThis was Iehl's second ever victory on the World Match Racing Tour following his win at Match Race Germany in 2008 (also in J/80s) and his early justification for being awarded a Tour Card for the 2011 season. The victory caps a week in which the Frenchman has been in majestic form, firstly by Qualifying in second position, then defeating the 2003 Tour Champion Jesper Radich (DEN) 3-1 in the Semi-Finals and finally Pace in the first all French Final on the Tour since 2007.  Sailing Photo by Nico Martinez/   Sailing Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Match Race France


Friday, May 20, 2011

J/97 JACKAROO Wins Kip Regatta

J/97 Jackaroo - racer cruiser sailboat- sailing downwind
(Glasgow, Scotland)- The report from the northern parts of the UK are encouraging.  Seems that distant Scottish relatives of the Johnstone clan are doing well, despite not wearing their lucky "kilts" during their races offshore in the cool weather.  Nevertheless, J/97 UK Class Chair, Jim Dick and his crew on the J/97 JACKAROO just won their class and the overall prize at the Kip Regatta in Glasgow.  Jim was sailing with Pete Cameron who runs Key Yachting Scotland in Kip Marina. This was the warm-up event for the crew in advance of the much larger Bell Lawrie Scottish Series which takes place over the next Bank Holiday weekend.  Pete's report follows:

J/97 Jackaroo crew winners!"Day one race one mixed bag of weather from the North West mostly moderate 10-16knots with occasional showers.  Bit of ping pong with an A31 ‘Imadginn’ beat us over finish line by 3 seconds but murdered him on corrected time giving us our first first. For race two still NW slightly less wind 8-12 knots.  Out of there like we stole something leg ahead by second beat when wind was sucked off the race course we were just in the new breeze at windward side of course nearing the weather mark rest off fleet becalmed and unable to round the previous lee-ward mark when committee got trigger happy and abandoned the race. (at least 20 minute lead on fleet at this stage would have been another bullet) but hey ho moral victory.  For the third race of the day, wind back up 14-16 knots, more wet stuff also still NW.  Good start achieved some separation race stayed that way till finish commanding lead first over water and solid first. Two out of two on race day one.

Day two race one weather 20-25 knots SW and raining on biblical proportions (proper Ark weather Noah could have competed for this one).  Good start from the Captain out to left of course from pin end first tack 10 boat lengths ahead of A31 and pulling out further every minute. The A31 then ducks out of the regatta. Held lead for rest of race over water and another solid first.  Just one more race for this day!  Last race SW 22-27 knots and I can’t use the language required to express the rain in front of a Lady like yourself--- even the fish had umbrellas!!

Had what we thought was a good start again to the side of the course fleet split and we pushed our bow out front on the left side fleet sadly the gain was to the right side of the course out in the wind and tide at weather mark a Sigma 38 ‘Enigma’ an Elan 333 ‘hoo haa’ and ‘Jaywalker’ were 10 boat lengths ahead of us picked off the Elan by bottom mark and closed the gap on Jaywalker and Sigma 38. Captain not so happy though on the next beat we pulled gap back to a matter of a boat length on Jaywalker just nailing him at the tack onto weather mark. Captain got the red mist now big a sail on last downwind plenty of double figure surfing a very neat dual with Sigma 38 and we took an overlap into bottom mark rounded first onto last beat and pulled our time out on the leg to the finish first over water and first on time.  For the prize giving, first in class and first overall discarding a first. All in all a good weekend at the coal face.  Regards- Peter"    For more J/97 sailboat information.