Thursday, June 23, 2011

SW NOOD Chicago- 111 Video

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing around windward mark (Chicago, IL)- The Sailing World gang produced a nice video on the J/111 one-design class that was sailing in this past weekend's Sperry Topsider Chicago NOOD Regatta.  Learn more about what makes this such a fun, one-design sailboat to compete on with family and friends.  Fast, easy-to-handle around the race-track by a family crew, the J/111 is proving that sailors from J/24s to J/105s and J/125s to J/145s can compete successfully across a wide-range of conditions.  Check out this YouTube video on the J/111.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

J/109 Crushes Van-Isle 360

J/109 crew winners on Van Isle 360 race (Victoria, BC, Canada)- No matter how many times teams have sailed the Around Vancouver Isle race, they know they can expect at least one or two epic passages on one of the nine legs and most of the time that would be on the desolate western coast offshore into the Pacific.  This year's Leg Eight-  from Winter Harbour to Ucluelet - is a 138 miler that can make or break the entire event for some boats. It can best be summed up as epic.  It was a very hard leg.  One sailor stated, "it was the toughest race I have ever been in."   Seasickness was rampant in the fleet leaving many crews shorthanded to deal with the tough conditions.  With wind in the high 20's and square confused waves, the consensus was it was the waves and not the wind that made the leg so miserable.   All but the first few boats made an immediate transition from SE to NW winds as they got down the course and most finished under spinnaker.  Nevertheless, after surviving the leg, the awards ceremony held at the new community center in Ucluelet was a huge success.  The fleet raised over $8500.00 for the Coast Guard Aux. Unit 38, who stood by all day and night to escort the boats into Ucluelets' inner harbour.  A salmon BBQ was enjoyed as the stories from this leg grew and the waves got bigger!

Vancouver Isle race startJ/109- Team Mojo account of this epic leg:  "The west coast of Vancouver Island is a graveyard to boats and beside the other boats competing in this race, a very lonely place. There is nothing else out there but whales and big rocks until the end of this leg.  By 2300, we were thirty miles offshore, beating into a gale.  We were fully powered up with a double reefed main, traveller down and a small no.3 jib. Seas were 2-3 meters.  Going out, we would hit the waves and slam very hard from time to time.  Every wave you smash into sends a wall of water and spray at the guys on the rail and over the boat and slows you down.  At times you think the boat will break in half.  At 1800 I decided to go down and start to get dinner ready to feed the guys.  I lashed myself to the stove in order not to get sent flying across the cabin, boiled water and poured it into those adventure meal packs.  I managed to do all seven meals without injury and without getting sea sick. Being down below for an hour in those conditions is tough.  I am quite happy to say we managed to do the race without anybody getting sick.  Many boats were not so lucky and some had most of the crew incapacitated."

"We accelerated with each wave and it felt like we were flying.  It was dark so visibility was poor since it was raining, but we were going like hell. The next 5 hours were just insane.  I would rotate two guys to rest and warm up down below.  Per and I have developed a little system for driving Mojo hard in breeze so we stayed together till morning, keeping Mojo upright and watching the speedo hit 9 knots as we seemingly launched off the waves in the dark.  From time to time, I would doze off to be awakened by the lurching motion as we launched yet again off another ramp.  So that's what we did until sunrise.  It was a cold, wet, and difficult night.  I just wanted to go to sleep so bad, but had to keep fighting to stay awake and warm. It's not natural! You have to stay awake, you cannot leave and go hide in a warm spot. Just 4 more hours...just two more...the sun will come up in one hour... And then it's light and your body chemistry comes back to normal.  You are tired, but the struggle is over.  That is the nature of night racing."

"The front had also passed in the night and all of a sudden we went from sailing upwind to sailing downwind. The guys were tired but after a terrible attempt to put up our spinnaker, which ended up in the water, we finally got it up and managed to sail down wind the next 65 miles. The sea state was very confused for the first two hours because of the change in wind direction 180 degrees but we finally got Mojo going and racing to the finish.  What a leg to be remembered."

For the final Leg Nine headed back to Victoria, the long awaited westerly breeze finally showed up, in spades.  A solid 20 knots and big swells on the start line at Amphitrite point made for perfect surfing conditions as the 38 boats remaining in the race headed for home.

For Division 2, Jim Prentice on his J/109 DIVA won their class overall and another J/109 ASTRAL PLANE sailed by Adam Corbin finished third.  For more Vancouver Isle 360 sailing results


Ken Read's MAR MARSTRO Supporting Local Charities

PUMA Volvo 70 sailboat- sailing upwind(Newport, RI)-  Ken Read's Mar Mostro is getting fine-tuned for their mad-dash around the globe for a few dozen miles.  Not only were they sailing last week's New York YC 157th Annual Regatta, they were also taking numerous local Rhode Islanders out for a sail as part of their community-building efforts to support sailing for dis-advantaged kids, women and noble sailing programs-- auctioning off rides on Mar Mostro to help support SailNewport, local charities and St. Michael's School.


J-Class Adopts J-Sprit style gybes

J-Class 130 footer* The J-Class had a few good days of sailing with many J sailors amongst the crew of only 30+ people that were man-handling these 140 foot giants around the race-track.  What's interesting is that the big J-Class sailboats have taken a page out of the asymmetric crowd and have started to use the asymmetric gybe, tacking one corner of the chute to the bow and simply doing an outside sheet gybe (where the sheet is led in front of the boat), therefore making it a much safer and easily controlled gybe-- the loads on these 300,000 lb boats are only a few dozen tons or more--- so avoiding any sudden loadings are a good thing.


Love Wins J/22 Ontario Champs

(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- The 2011 J/22 Ontario Championships were held at National Yacht Club during the Toronto Area Hospice Regatta.  The TAHR is a one-design regatta to benefit Perram House, one of the few true hospice facilities in Toronto.  As part of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, there is a chance that the regatta winner will be invited to the Hospice National Championship.

Clearly, it was a tennis-like 6-Love game for the team on STAMPEDE sailed by Jeff Love- winning with 4 firsts and 2 seconds to win by five points after six races.  Second was Stephen Jones sailing THE BOAT, starting out strongly with 2 firsts, then ending up with a 2-3-4-2 to finish with 13 points.  Third was Paul Davignon's THREE'S COMPANY with a 5-8-4-2-2-4 for 25 points.

For more J/22 Ontario Championships sailing information.


Monday, June 20, 2011

IYAC Newport Cup- Saturday, July 2nd- J/80s and all!

(Newport, RI)- Come on down and join us all for the IYAC's annual Newport Cup.  A mad-dash around one of the world's more beautiful and challenging "Around Island Races"- Jamestown/ Conanicut Island in the middle of picturesque Narragansett Bay.

So far, looks like several J's will be sailing including J/22s, J/24s, J/105s and a fleet of J/80s.

Everyone and anything that floats is welcome, just make sure you have some kind of verifiable PHRF number that PHRF-NB knows about.  Last year a Shields just lost out to the mighty 90 ft RAMBLER by mere minutes for the overall Newport Cup Trophy.  Dust off the old sails, clean the bottom, fill-up the cooler and head down to the IYAC at 536 Thames St. for the 8:30 AM Skipper's Meeting on Saturday, July 2nd.  First start is 1100 hours!

The IYAC Newport Cup NOR is attached here as a PDF file.

New J/70 Speedster Sails 2012

J/70 speedster- the ultimate one-design sailboat 
(Newport, RI)- The J/70 speedster (22.75 feet) is J Boats' first ramp-launchable keelboat - designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy-to-own, high performance one-design that is exciting to sail, stable enough for the family, and built to last.   J/70 is sea-trialing fall 2011 with new boat deliveries available in 2012.

Features include:
- Large comfortable cockpit with open transom
- Deck-stepped carbon mast with single spreaders
- Three sail inventory with masthead A-Sail
- Vertical lifting bulb keel
- Small cabin for storage and personal privacy
- In-cockpit stowage of outboard engine
- Easy to trailer and ramp launch

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


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Piris Is J/80 Champion of Spain

J/80 saliboat- sailing Spanish regatta with Tonio Piris (Santander, Spain)-  The fifth edition of the J/80 Championship of Spain was quite the epic affair.  Multiple J/80 World Champions and Olympic Medallists dueling for the honor being the top one-design keelboat sailor in a country that has produced an extraordinary number of champions in sailing over the last decade.

J/80 Spanish champions- Tonio Piris and teamThe host was the renowned Real Club Marítimo de Santander, hosting the forty-five teams in the same venue that had a 100+ boat fleet sail the J/80 Worlds a few years earlier.  After the first day of racing, the current World Champion, Pichu Torcida with ECC VIVIENDAS was leading.  Interestingly, a recent Around World sailor, Tonio Piris was second on GO-FIT/ YATES & COSAS, proving he had not lost his touch sailing J/80s after being on a 60 foot IMOCA boat for a few months.  And third Tono Gorostegui with CINCO SOLUCIONES.  Fourth was Carlos Martinez on MAPFRE and fifth was Toni's brother Jaime Piris on FONESTAR!

By the last day of sailing the Cantabrian team (pictued above) of Jaime Piris, Alfredo Portilla, Bryan Lopez and Jesus Gonzalez, with his boat FONESTAR overtook all their famous, highly decorated competitors and were crowned the new champions of Spain in the J/80 class due to their remarkably consistent scores over the three day event.  The leader of the first two days, Pichu Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS had to settle for second place overall with Jose Maria van der Ploeg finishing third on GREAT SAILING.  Ignacio Caminos had to drop to fourth on NEXTEL ENGINEERING and Tonio Piris finished a very respectable fifth on GO-FIT/ YATES & COSAS.  Sailing photo credits- RCMS   For more J/80 Spanish Championships sailing information

J/80 YouTube sailing video- J/80 Spanish ChampionshipPerhaps one of the best outcomes of the event was the "media publishing" by friends of the J/80 fleet.  You can check out each day's video summary here in these links:

Day 1-
Day 2-
Day 3-


Rolex New York YC Regatta

J/111 sailboats- sailing upwind off Newport, RI (Newport, RI) – With 135 boats competing (nearly one-third were J/Boats), the New York Yacht Club’s 157th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, held June 10-12, broke all of its past attendance records, and with winds whipping into the high teens for buoy racing over the weekend, it certainly is in line for being the most memorable Annual Regatta in recent history.

The oldest regatta in the country kicked off with an optional 18-nautical mile Around the Island Race on Friday that saw the IRC 3 class led home by George Shaw's J/122 TUMBLEWEED from Marblehead, MA, only to lose on handicap to a sistership Andrew Weiss' J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON for first overall.  Third was the J/122 WINGS sailed by the very capable Bruno/ Callahan/ Boyle team.

Saturday and Sunday saw unusually windy conditions relative to what was forecasted by the NOAA Met office for the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.  Saturday was especially windy and rough with winds blowing in from the ENE at 15 to 22 knots with a huge quartering swell on starboard tack rolling in from the SW.  Sunday's racing for J's occurred up the Bay in the area north of Newport Bridge, nearby to the Quonset Naval Airbase.

The most competitive division happened to be IRC 4 that had J/111s, J/122s and J/44s all competing against one another.  It was a very tough class.  After the dust settled amongst this group, whoever got a "lane" to keep the boat going fast until the first shift had a huge advantage.  Top dog amongst this trio of boats was Bruno/ Boyle/ Callahan racing their veteran champion J/122 WINGS to second place.  Third was Bill Ketcham's well-sailed J/44 MAXINE.  Fourth was Annapolis-Newport winner Andrew Weiss' CHRISTOPHER DRAGON and fifth was the J/111 ANDIAMO sailed by Jeff Johnstone.

Having an equally competitive regattas as the tough IRC 4 group was the J/109 gang sailing against one another in IRC 6.  As has been the case many times over the years, it was going to be a fight between the two top J/109s- Sweetser's RUSH and Lyall's STORM.  And sure enough, it was another shoot-out at the "OK Corral".  This time it was RUSH that got the upper hand to finish second overall with STORM coming in third by only one point, the last race determining the ultimate finish position.

Amongst the J/105s were a bunch of class heavyweights jousting for leadership in the regatta.  After the smoke cleared, it was Brian Keane's SAVASANA that won by just four points over Bruce Stone's JOUSTER.  Third was Mark Lindquist's STERLING, fourth was Mark and Jolene Masur's TWO FEATHERS and fifth was Chris Beane's VIXEN.

In PHRF 2 were five J's, with top dog going to John Lanvin's J/29 DIRTY HARRY, finishing second in class.  Just one point back was the J/24 NIGHTHAWK sailed by Mike Ryan and Richard Barker.  The J/33 and J/100s didn't fair so well, not keeping themselves out of foul trouble of some sorts or another.  For more Rolex New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information


Sproul Wins Epic J/80 UK Nationals

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Dartmouth, England
(Dartmouth, England)-  The Tacktick J/80 National Championship 2011 in Association with Baltic Wharf was hosted by the Royal Dart Yacht Club from the 7th to 10th June. The twenty-six boat fleet reveled in a variety of conditions across the eight race championship series from full on a full on thirty knot foam-up on the first day through to a much more ten to twelve knots on the final Friday. The fleet fell in love with Dartmouth during the course of the Nationals and in return, Dartmouth delivered the some of the most exciting racing coupled with the warmest welcome that the J/80 Class has experienced in recent years: a super precedent for the 2012 J/80 World Championship which is scheduled to be held in the port a year from now.

J/80 one-design sailboat- high-performance sailing off EnglandThe last two races of the series were scheduled on Friday morning, and precisely as you would expect, every single boat on the track, irrespective of their position on the leader-board, arrived in the starting area with a job to do, a specific set of personal goals to achieve results-wise and a ‘target’ finishing position. No real surprise then that this jittery bunch pushed a general recall on the first start of the day and the deployment of the black flag thereafter, catching a few out and only serving to add to the tension. Rob Larke won the first race of the day in J2X but this was not enough to significantly narrow the points gap between his boat and Kevin Sproul. A win for Sproul in the final race confirmed the series victory and the Tacktick J/80 UK National Championship title for the crew of J.A.T: Kevin Sproul, Adrian Gray, Phil Taylor and Chris Taylor.

The Prize-giving Dinner took place at the RDYC on Friday night, and duly kicked off with music dancing and much J/80 mayhem, but not before Sproul delivered his thanks to his crew, the Royal Dart Yacht Club and all of the event sponsors: Tacktick, Baltic Wharf, Darthaven Marina, Henri Lloyd, North Sails, Rockfish, Scanstrut and Dart Sail and Cover.

Sproul reiterated the thoughts of all of the competitors when he said ‘Dartmouth is an amazing place. The hospitality we have received here is second to none and we, the J/80 Class have made many new friends in this port. The 2012 World Championship is going to be an awesome event and not to be missed’.  For more J/80 UK Nationals sailing information


J-DREAM Crowned J/109 UK Champion

J/109 sailing team- J-Dream from England
(Weymouth, England)- Sunshine met the fleet on the first day.  And on the final day of racing at the Tacktick J/109 UK National Championship, the fleet arrived on the dock to find gusts of mid 20s in the marina. The PRO took the sensible decision to postpone for one hour to see if the wind would settle as there were gusts of 30+ out in the bay. For some this was a welcome rest as three races the day before had been tough on everyone.

The first start saw the J/109 fleet underestimate the tide taking them across the line and the restart was a black flag. Again some of the fleet had to be called back. VELVET ELVIS and J-DREAM arrived at the windward mark so close that J-DREAM could not pull her pole out to hoist the spinnaker. The run saw these two boats battle for the lead as the wind built to 28 knots. When both boats gybed simultaneously for the leeward gate, a luffing match ensued before J-DREAM got a perfectly timed puff and wave and moved ahead.

The final run saw the majority of the fleet choose not to fly spinnakers as the wind was now 32 knots. VELVET ELVIS, BLUEJAY and STALKER flew the spinnaker but it was not enough to beat those who sailed dead downwind.  JYNNAN TONNYX (Owain Franks) had their fourth top ten position of the regatta which gave them equal points with J2EAU (Steve & Jodie Maine) and moved them into 11th overall. JEEZ LOISE (Jamie Arnell) had her best race of the series (6th) give them equal overall points with JAZZY JELLYFISH (David Richards).  As the fleet finished gusts of mid 30s were seen and the PRO decided that there would be no more racing. This was a sensible call as many boats got caught out dropping their sails as the mid/high 30knot gusts swept across Weymouth Bay.

Pre-dinner drinks saw the fleet exchanging their excited tales and the pros and cons of hoisting spinnakers for a straight run, before they enjoyed an excellent dinner and the prize-giving. In addition to the Perpetual Trophy there were keeper trophies made by Tide Designs which attracted much admiration together with three Suunto watches. Sebago had kindly donated pairs of Wave Extreme shoes and these were awarded to DESIGNSTAR 2 (Roger Phillips), AUDAJIOUS (David Jobson), OUTRAJEOUS (Richard & Valerie Griffiths) and HIGH TENSION (Andrew Given) for their support and dedication to the Class.

J-DREAM was crowned Tacktick UK National Champion 2011. Her helm, David Apthorp said, "We are exhausted but absolutely delighted to have achieved this for the second time. The entire fleet has enjoyed close and competitive racing and the hospitality of WPNSA has been second to none. Now it is time to party!"  Second overall was VELVET ELVIS (Adam and Helen Wright), third Steven Tapper's STALKER, fourth Matt Boyle's SHIVA and fifth Mike and Sarah Wallis' JAHMALI. The J/109 UK Class Association would like to thank their sponsors-- Tacktick Wireless powered by Suunto and Sebago for their support and generosity, and to WPNSA staff and volunteers who ensured that the J/109 fleet had one of their best regattas ever.   For more J/109 UK Nationals sailing information


Friday, June 17, 2011

Rolex STC Block Island Week Preview

J/44s sailing at Block Island Race Week
(Block Island, RI)- For many summer starts in New England with the biennial summer-time classic, Storm Trysail's Rolex Block Island Race Week.  With wonderful sponsors like Mount Gay Rum and Rolex, it's hard not to like the fact that if you happen to win some races, you not only get some Mount Gay Rum to share with crew, family and friends, you could walk off with the ultimate prize of the week- a shiny new stainless steel Rolex Submariner watch.  135 competitors will be fighting for all that hardware.  Again, J's will be by far the largest brand represented at the Rolex BIRW with 41 boats sailing, about 1/3 of the fleet.

The premiere fleet will be the J/44 and J/122 classes racing together for both class and one-design honors.  Amongst the J/122s, past NA Champion Mike Bruno/ Tom Boyle/ Jim Callahan from American Yacht Club will be hoping to extend their winning streak.  And in the J/44s, there will be some tough going with class leaders like Jeff Willis on CHALLENGE IV, Jim Bishop sailing GOLD DIGGER and Bill Ketcham racing MAXINE scraping for every inch of space on the starting lines and mark roundings.  This will be a very interesting class to watch.

Sailing PHRF 1 will be a fleet of J/111s vying for both one-design and class honors for the first time in New England. Paul Strauch from Manhasset Bay YC will be sailing ANDIAMO, Sedgewick Ward from Shelter Island YC will be racing BRAVO, David and MaryEllen Tortorello from Cedar Point YC will be sailing PARTNERSHIP and Doug Curtiss from New Bedford YC will be steering the new WICKED 2.0.  Into this mix of sea wolves will be thrown a lone J/120, Peter Hein's VAREKAI.

J/109 sailboat- sailing Around Block Island RaceThe J/109s will be having one of their strongest fleets ever, having assembled fifteen boats for their J/109 North American Championships.  For this assemblage of talent, anything goes.  Nevertheless, counting amongst the leaders could be past champions like Bill Sweetser from Annapolis YC on RUSH, Rick Lyall from Cedar Point YC on STORM and Ted Herlihy from New Bedford YC sailing GUT FEELING.  Look for some strong sailing coming from teams like Don Fillipeli's CAMINOS from Devon YC and Paul Milo's VENTO SOLARE from Annapolis YC.

The J/105s continue to have a strong showing at Rolex BIRW, a popular destination event for this class.  Top contenders sure to factor into the podium equation will be past North American Champion Bruce Stone/ Julian Croxall's JOUSTER from St Francis YC, Nelson Wiederman's KIMA from Wickford YC, Damian Emery's ECLIPSE from Shoreham, NY and Andrew Kennedy's BAT IV from Annapolis YC.

This year five J/29s will be dueling it out for class honors in PHRF 3, including past champions MIGHTY PUFFIN sailed by Steve Thurston from Bristol, RI and HUSTLER sailed by the two gentlemen from City Island, NY, John and Tony Esposito. In PHRF 4 will be the lone J/80 RUMOUR sailed by that family of champion sailors, the Storcks from Huntington, NY.    For more Rolex Block Island Race Week sailing information


J/80 Worlds Preview

J/80 World Champion saliboat- Hotel Princessa Yaiza
(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The fleet for this year's 2011 J/80 Worlds is looking about as strong as ever with multiple World Champions again seeking dominance in the world of J/80s.  So far, seventy boats are attending and are looking forward to sail the challenging waters of the Baltic Sea from July 3rd to 8th, in the same area that the famous Danish Olympian, Paul Elvstrom, learned how to sail so long ago on the famous Fireflies.

The Royal Danish Yacht Club is hosting the event based in the idyllic harbour of Dragor.  For "pre-Worlds practice", some sailors are planning on participating in the J/80 Swedish Championship held in Malmö, only a couple of hours sailing from Dragor across the Baltic Sea, from 29 June to 1 July.

Eleven countries are participating, including past World Champion Glenn Darden from the Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, TX, the only American sailing; one boat from the Netherlands; four from Italy including Massimo Rama; eleven boats from Germany including Jochen Schmidt; eleven boats from the United Kingdom including UK champion Ian Atkins; six boats from France including French champions Luc Nadal and Eric Brezzellec; twelve boats from Sweden; one boat from Finland; one from Estonia; fourteen boats from Denmark including Tom Klok with sister Marie Klok-Crump and brother-in-law  Will Crump; and finally eight boats from Spain including multiple champions like Carlos Martinez, past World Champion Ignacio Camino on NEXTEL ENGINEERING, Olympic Medallist and Cantabrian sailor Jose Maria van deer Ploeg on GREAT SAILING and World Champion Rayco Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESSA GRAND CANARIAS.  For more J/80 Worlds sailing information


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

J/111s Celebrate Chicago NOODs

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing off Chicago (Chicago, IL)- The annual Chicago Sperry Top Sider NOOD Regatta continues to be one of the pinnacle events on the Chicago summer sailing schedule every year.  Attending this year's events were one-design fleets of J/111s, J/109s and J/105s.  Included in the mix were J's sailing PHRF 3 and PHRF 4 divisions.

For the J/111s, this was their first NOOD regatta as a class and the second weekend in a row that Chicago 111s have sailed against one another.  It's clear the learning curve is high and the teams are learning how to sail the boats consistently faster all the time.  As an illustration of this development, Sailing World's Mike Lovett shares an interesting interview with the MISTY J/111 team sailed by Tom and Carol McIntosh- "For Tom and Carol, as it is for so many Chicago racers, the highlight of the sailing season is the annual Chicago YC Race to Mackinac. They've been doing the 333-mile race for years, and this year, they'll be doing it on their dream Mac boat— the J/111.

"Because we do the Mac every year," says Misty skipper Tom McIntosh, "we wanted a boat that would be faster for us to come home on, and would be more fun to sail. Carol and I sail doublehanded back from Mackinac Island, and when we went out and sailed [the J/111] last summer, we said, 'Oh boy. With the roller furler—and we can use an asymmetrical when it's light—we'll make so much better time than we did before.

"It's a really simple boat," continues McIntosh. "We went with the Antal sail slides, which makes it really simple to go out sailing. And, you can go pretty fast. Last weekend, we did 11 knots downwind, right alongside the Farr 40s."

There are six J/111s competing here at the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD, making this the largest gathering in the class' short history. The 36-footer won "Best One-Design Keelboat" in Sailing World's 2011 Boat of the Year Contest. Apparently, Midwestern sailors agree with SW's BOTY judges, as they've been quick to embrace the new one-design. Racing the J/111 KONTIKI V, Jim Sminchack's Cleveland-based team won the PHRF 1 division at 2011 Key West Race Week. There are three J/111s in Detroit, and there will be as many as eight racing at the Ugotta Regatta in Harbor Springs, Michigan in July.

J/111  MISTY team from ChicagoLocal J-Dealer Rich Stearns has been instrumental in getting Chicago's J/111 fleet off the ground. At last weekend's Colors Regatta, hosted by Columbia YC, Stearns and a local sailmaker went boat to boat helping his clients get up to speed. MISTY's main trimmer, Jorgen Johnson, found the sessions to be incredibly valuable— a shortcut to success. "They showed us what the boat likes," says Johnson. "That makes the learning process a lot quicker than if we had to learn it ourselves. They were telling us, 'Do this, do that. Here's the basics. Work with this, and then fine tune.' That was really, really helpful.  "We're learning," continues Johnson. "But we're getting there quickly. That's what's interesting with this fleet. All the boats are very close, and they're all going very fast!"

In the photo are the crew of the J/111 MISTY (left to right): bowman Mike Gallo, main trimmer Jorgen Johnson, mast-man John Johnson, trimmer Dave Michaels, pit/co-owner Carol McIntosh, skipper/co-owner Tom McIntosh, floater Morgan Gates, tactician Ian Gates, Gerry Gherardini.

On the race course, it was the KASHMIR team comprised of Henderson, Mayer and Brummel that led the way to the top of the podium, securing five 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd to win by five points.  It's clear this team has taken their training seriously and have learned how to  make the 111 go well both upwind and downwind-- particularly with ace spinnaker trimmer Karen Gottwald- a 25 year Chicago-Mac veteran and member of the "Goat's Society".  Also moving up the learning curve fast is Paul Stahlberg sailing the spectacularly colored red-hulled MENTAL into second with finishes of 1-2-4-2-2-1-3 for 15 pts-- by the way the graphics are awesome!  Stephen Dabrowski sailing NIGHT HAWK finished third amassing a 3-3-2-4-3-2-2 record for 19 pts.  In fourth was Tom and Carol McIntosh on MISTY and fifth was George Miz sailing his first one-design event in the J/111 on-board IMPULSE.

Making good of his practice and training the previous weekend in Columbia YC's Colors Regatta was Kevin Saedi sailing his J/109 MOMENTUS to a convincing win in the J/109 class.  Kevin and his crew managed to win with five firsts, a 3rd and a 4th for 12 pts!  Eight points back was Irv Kerbel's K-III sailing to a 1-2-3-7-2-3-2 for 20 pts.  Dueling it out for second all regatta long was past class champion Len Siegal sailing his famous LUCKY DUBIE 2 to a 4-3-2-3-3-2-4 for 21 pts, just one point from getting the silver.  Fourth was Don Meyer sailing CERTAINLY with 28 pts and fifth was Peter Priede racing FULL TILT to 32 pts.

J/105 sailboat- sailing upwind off Chicago ILThe J/105s saw some new names at the top of the fleet involved in a real dog-fight all regatta long for the top three.  It was anyone's guess how it was all going to play out in the end, but the survivor of the duel only won by one point, narrowly "snatching victory from the jaws of defeat" in the last race!  Nevertheless, in the appropriately named MESSY JESSY, Dorin Candea managed to avoid making a mess of it all and won with a 5-2-3-2-1-1-2-5 to win with 21 pts.  Nearly beating him to the top of the podium was Blane Shea sailing STRIKING to a 4-1-1-1-3-6-5-1 for 22 pts.  Third, and sailing stronger nearly every race, was Clark Pellett on SEALARK to a 6-6-2-3-5-3-1-2 record for 28 pts-- quite a nice comeback!  Fourth was past champion Tom Petkus on VYTIS with 35 pts and fifth was the "inmates running the asylum", Anthony Bowker's THE ASYLUM with 40 pts.

In the PHRF handicap classes, Mitch Padnos' beautiful J/124 SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC narrowly missed winning the entire PHRF 3 Class, but unfortunately, while finishing three points from getting the gold, lost a tie-breaker and ended up third!  In the Offshore PHRF Distance race, the J's had a good showing with Ken Ganch's J/105 GONZO finishing third, Pete and Sue Stott's J/130 SALSA finishing fourth and Frank Giampoli's J/120 JAHAZI getting fifth.  For more Chicago Sperry Top Sider NOOD sailing information


J/80s & J/24s Grand Prix du Crouesty

J/80 one-design performance sailboat- sailing off France
(Crouesty Arzon, France)- It was a busy day for the 113 competitors in the Grand Prix when they started the regatta, nearly 50% of the fleet were J's- 42 J/80s, 7 J/24s, the J/97 J-LANCE in IRC 4, 3 J/109s in IRC 3 and the J/122 JOLLY JOKER in IRC 1.  "We are satisfied with the number of boats. We have very high quality sailors here, the best are present in J/80 and with 42 boats it should be very good racing," said Jacques Fily, President of YCCA.

The weather was absolutely perfect for the sailors.  Saturday, there were 3 races that were contested in a wind of ten knots and under a bright sun. The race committee abandoned late in the day the fourth race due to an unstable breeze.  For Sunday, there were 3 races also in a wind of between 15 to 25 knots and large seas, offering magnificent surfing downwind.  By Monday, there were two more races to settle out the winners in the Grand Prix, sailing in winds of 8-10 knots, a masterful job running the races by PRO Jean-Paul Vallegand.

J/80 one-design performance sailboat- sailing in waves off FranceFor the J/80s, it was clear the fleet was decidedly too eager to do battle on Saturday. First start was a general recall, then black flag with eight competitors having to pay the cost, including Eric Brezellec's Interface Concept 2.  Under these competitive conditions, consistency is an important asset and it is no surprise that Voilerie All Purpose, led by local Sylvain Pelissier was the winner of the first day with two second places and one fourth place. They were followed by Atlantis (Laurent Sambron).

By Sunday, it was clear that Pelissier's team were not going to easily sail away with the gold medal.  Laurent Sambron sailing ATLANTIS sailed beautifully on the windy Sunday to tie Pelissier with 12 pts after six races.  Lying with striking distance of these two was Eric Brezzellec on INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 with 9 pts.

J/80 one-design performance sailboat- sailing past French markHowever, on Monday the VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE team skippered by Sylvain Pelissier with crew Sébastien Simon, Damien Changey and Joris Cocaud were going to win by sailing so consistently compared to their competitors.  The ATLANTIS crew of Laurent Sambron and INTERFACE CONCEPT 2 sailed by Eric Brezellec completed the podium.  "For us it is a fantastic opportunity to sail with Sylvain, he teaches us so much each year," said the crew made up of youth aged 20 to 21, who usually sail F18, 420 and match racing . "We won only one race, but it pays to be consistent," says Sylvain, who won only  b a little bit, but fully enjoying the pleasure of beating the invincible Eric Brezellec, the early favorite to win the regatta.

In the J/24s, is became a "jackpot for MARTA".  At the beginning, MAJIC sailed by François de Herce was an early contender for the lead, having won a race on Saturday.  However, Pierre-Antoine Lemaistre and his classmates sailing MARTA were eager to get going on Sunday morning to enjoy the big breeze and big waves.  Sure enough, they won three straight races. With big smiles on their faces, Pierre-Antoine commented, "We had top speeds of 12 knots, we were never getting in trouble at the roundings. First race? Impeccable. Second race? Impeccable. Third race? Impeccable! Yes, it was an impeccable day! For us, it's conditions we dreamed about! The race committee was really great, we wish to take our hats off, it was just a fine day!"  After that extraordinary day of sailing, MARTA ended up winning the J/24s in "grand prix style".

Also sailing impeccably was Didier Le Moal on-board his SPI Ouest-France winning J/97 J-LANCE-R.  Didier's team started out winning the first race on Saturday and never looked back.  J-LANCE-R won their IRC Class 4 in "grand prix style" as well, winning their class by a large margin.   For more Grand Prix Crouesty sailing information


J/22s Love North Sea Regatta

J/22 one-design sailboat- spinnake sailing downwind
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- Popular with the German and Netherlands J/22 teams and highlight of the summer sailing season is the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta.  It's a huge event and popular with one-design sailors throughout Europe.  Boats range from Lasers and 420s and 49ers to Tornados and F-18s to large IRC offshore racer-cruisers.

The J/22s showed up in force with sixteen boats participating this year in reasonably nice sailing conditions.  This year there was a dominating performance registered by Ron Veraar on NDED 1450.  Ron's team simply sailed away from the competition after getting two early bad races, a 6th and an OCS in race 3.  Nevertheless, Veraar ended up with a nine race record of 2-6-ocs-1-2-1-1-1-2 for 10 pts (two toss races).  Second was Eelco Blok,  although winning after the first day of racing, sailed a very consistent series with a 1-ocs-1-4-1-2-2-3-6 for 14 pts.   Third was Menno Bron who lost a tie-breaker with Blok, sailing to a 5-1-2-2-3-3-3-2-1 for 14 pts, without toss races, Menno easily had won the regatta due to getting no OCS's and having to only toss a 5th and a 3rd!    For more J/22 Delta-Lloyd North Sea Regatta sailing information


HEAVY DUTY J/80 Sandhamn Open

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Stockholm, Sweden
(Sandhamn, Sweden)- As part of their preparation for the J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Swedish J/80 teams have spent a lot of time training since the winter/ spring sailing season.  One of these events was the recent Sandhamn Open.  Leading the way home was Pontus Tornlund's team sailing HEAVY DUTY to just beat Johannes Bergh's HAPPY team by one point, the final race determining the outcome of the regatta!  Tornlund's team earned a 1-4-2-3-5-1 for 11 pts (with toss).  Second was Bergh's team with a 4-2-1-5-1-4 for 12 pts.  Third was Jonas Danneaues' team on A2, compiling a "roller-coaster" record of 6-1-4-1-6-6 for 18 pts.  Look for some of these teams to sail well in the upcoming J/80 Swedish Championships in Malmo, Sweden and also compete in the J/80 Worlds in Copenhagen in July.  For more Sandhamn Open sailing information


Tribute to Walter Fischer- Long-time J/24 Sailor and Rolex CEO

St Thomas Yacht Club during Rolex Cup- green J/24 in front* The sailing world lost a great friend the night of June 13. Surrounded by his family, long-time J/24 sailor Walter Fischer passed away peacefully in his sleep after a 2 year battle with cancer.  Walter joined luxury retailer Little Switzerland in St Thomas in 1961. Starting as a watchmaker, he rose to become President and CEO. In 1989, he joined Rolex as head of sales for the Caribbean and Latin America. In 1999, he was named President and CEO of Rolex Watch USA. While in St Thomas, Walter was responsible for the creation of the International Rolex Regatta in 1972. It has long been known as the "Jewel of the Caribbean." in the early 80s, Walter and a group of friends brought the first J/24 to the Caribbean. He also served as the head of the Race Committee and Commodore of St.Thomas YC. Walter sailed all kinds of boats from steering his famous J/24 called STING to grinding winches on a maxi.

J/24s saling off St Thomas- the beloved fleet Walter Fischer startedAs President of Rolex US, Walter expanded the company's relationship with the New York YC, of which he was a proud member; many aspects of US SAILING, including sailors with disabilities; Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week and Collegiate Regatta; the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta; and the Rolex Big Boat Series at St. Thomas YC. Perhaps Walter's greatest joy was watching his 8 year old granddaughter, Caroline, sail her Opti off the beach at the St. Thomas YC.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the St. Thomas YC Junior Sailing program. Donations should be made out to the St. Thomas YC, with the notation "Walter Fischer Junior Sailing Fund" and mailed to Bill Canfield, St. Thomas YC, 8-58, 6624 Estate Nazareth, St. Thomas, USVI 00802.

Sleep well, Walter. Your many friends miss you already. Our hearts go out to Walter's wife Jill, son Greg, daughter Stefanie and his four grandchildren.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

J/111 One-design Sailing- Colors Regatta 2011

J/111 one-design sailboat- racer cruiser sailing off Chicago
J/105s & J/109 Close Racing
(Chicago, IL)- The first ever J/111 One-Design regatta was held on the beautiful, azure blue waters of Lake Michigan just off the spectacular city-skyline of Chicago.  The fleet was blessed with variable conditions both Saturday and Sunday morning but by midday the wind had settled into a N/NE direction with 5-12 knot breezes, gusting to 15-17 knots at times.

Sailing the J/111s for the first time as a fleet meant that many teams were searching for the "magic dust", that secret combination of factors that get the boat going faster and faster both upwind and downwind.  The fleet wisely took the approach to make it a "training weekend", with coaching coming from seasoned one-design sailors on each boat.  Enormous leaps of performance were being made as each boat learned how to "dial-in" better speeds around the race track.  What was abundantly clear was the fact that J/111 can tack upwards of 80 degrees or less upwind, depending on wind and wave conditions.  And downwind, the Farr 40 fleet was pretty impressed at how quickly a J/111 can slide downhill VMG'ing towards the mark in just 5-8 knots TWS.

J/111 one-design sailboat- high performance racer cruiser sailing downwindLeading the charge amongst the J/111s was the team aboard KASHMIR- Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer.  They sailed nicely to get a 1-2-3-1-1 for 8 pts.  Their margin of victory was far, far closer than the scores suggest as two wins were overlapped scenarios where the victory could've gone either way depending on the last puff or wave.  Second was NIGHT HAWK sailed by Tom Edman & Steve Dabrowski, getting a  2-3-1-3-3 for 12 pts.  Third was a newcomer to sailing, the gang on MENTAL sailed by Paul Stahlberg to a 4-1-2-4-2 for 13 pts, narrowly missing second place due to their last race third.  Finally, in fourth was MISTY sailed by Tom & Carol McIntosh- 3-4-4-2-4 for 17 pts- they had the benefit of "local" Randy Draftz on-board (Chairman of the Charleston Race Week regatta and also creator of the Colors Regatta with Columbia YC).

Amongst the J/109s, it was the team of KIII sailed by Irving Kerbel to a 1-3-2-1-4 for 11 pts to barely hang in there for the win.  Nipping at their heels all regatta long was MOMENTUS skippered by Kevin Saedi, starting slowly with a sixth place, but rattling off a steady 2-1-2-1 for 12 pts to nearly grab the win on the last race.  Third was Jack Toliver's VANDA III with a 5-1-4-4-2  for 16 pts.

Local J/105 hotshot, Tom Petkus sailing VYTIS, won the first three races in a row and added a 5-3 on the last day to hang on for the win with  11 pts.  Hopefully, the inmates were not running the asylum on Tony Bowker's THE ASYLUM.  Nevertheless, whether or not they were, they managed to pull off a 2-4-4-3-2 for 15 pts to narrowly secure second by one point over the SEALARK sailed by Clark Pellett (they had 6-3-2-1-4 for 16 pts).

Associated with the Colors Regatta was an Offshore Distance race.  It is about a 25 nm race around various government marks and "cribs" (water intake stations for the City of Chicago). It was nearly a clean sweep by J-owners.  In first was the J/133 RENEGADE sailed by Larry Kwait.  Second was the J/130 SALSA sailed by Pete Stott, 4th the J/120 JAHAZI sailed by Frank and Lori Giampoli and 5th was the J/105 TRINITY sailed by Tom O'Grady.   For more Colors Regatta sailing results


J/133 & J/109s Win RORC North Sea Race

Tough Beat to Scheveningen Decimates Fleet
(The Hague, The Netherlands)-  The 2011 North Sea Race had more wind than had been forecast and turned into a tough cold beat to Scheveningen, The Netherlands. Race veteran Radboud Crul said "I have done this race 24 times and I think this one was the hardest. It was a beat for most of the way and cold as well as wet with 25-30 knots of wind".  The race committee had difficulty in anchoring the principal committee boat at the start which led to a ten minute postponement. RORC Racing Manager Ian Loffhagen explained: "having dragged the anchor twice the skipper of the Haven Hornbill, the oil spill platform kindly loaned by Harwich Haven Authority, assured me that he could hold the vessel within 10m of the required position. We decided to avoid further delay and go with this, so the postponement was only ten minutes".  Despite the challenging conditions, fifty-three yachts crossed the starting line hoping to finish on the far side of "La Manche" in one piece.  Only after rounding the MSP buoy off the Ijmuiden coast, could any boat hoist their spinnakers for the last miles to the finish.

In IRC 2 Angus Bates' J/133 ASSARIAN IV triumphed over a fleet of fifteen competitors to win class and finish 6th overall.  Niall Dowling's J/111 hung tough to finish 4th in class.   What is interesting is that for the RORC Season Championship IRC Overall, Niall's J/111 is second, but not having sailed the RORC 600, would be in a position to be within 4.6 points of the lead, a mathematical "dead heat" for the RORC Season Offshore Championship with the Piet Vroon's custom Ker 46-- not bad for the J/111 speedster that never had the IRC rule in mind when it was designed!  For IRC Two Overall- J/111 ARABELLA is still in first with the Rolex Fastnet Race and a few others left to go.

In IRC 3 the J/109 JETI, owned by Paul van der Pol, beat sister ship CAPTAIN JACK in second, sailed by Bert Visser. Both J/109s finished 11th and 13th overall, respectively .  Finishing fourth was Stan Fenton's J/105 FAY J, a great performance considering the less than ideal conditions for this veteran offshore campaigner.  Sailing both IRC 3 and Double-handed was the J/105 DIABLO-J sailed by Rear Commodore of RORC Neil Martin, finishing 6th in IRC 3 and  first overall in IRC Double-handed!  For the RORC Season Offshore Championship, Neil'S J/105 DIABLO-J is winning both IRC 3 and Double-handed Divisions overall!

In the ORC Division, the J/33 QUANTUM RACING sailed by Jerooen van der Velden finished third in ORC 2 and fourth overall.  Fourth in ORC 3 was Jaap Broek van Den sailing his J/92 JUMP OF JOY.    For more RORC North Sea sailing information


The DRAGON Devours Annapolis-Newport Race

J/122 sailboat- sailing downwind
PALADIN Dominates Double-handers
(Annapolis, MD)- With one of the biggest turnouts in 28 years, the J Team contingent were certain to factor in amongst the leaders of the PHRF and IRC classes racing this year. The race course runs south on the Chesapeake Bay for 120 miles to the Bay Bridge Tunnel, then 20 miles out into the Atlantic to the Chesapeake Light Tower and finally up the coast to Newport for a total of 473 miles.

In the PHRF Division I, it was pretty clear the J/120s were going to be the class to beat.  In the end, the Annapolis J/120s took 4 of the top 5!  Leading the pack was Greg Alden's IRIE, finishing second in class.  Third was Richard Born's WINDBORN, fourth Greg Leonard's HERON and fifth to round out the top five was Jim Praley's SHINNECOCK.  This was quite a showing for this group of long-distance offshore sailors from the Chesapeake.  Bill Fields' J/160 CONDOR from Galesville, MD lead the J/fleet home in PHRF and was second J across the line on elapsed just behind the Weiss' J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON.  Finally, in PHRF II, perennial offshore competitor Bob Fox's J/42 SCHEMATIC from Annapolis, MD finished fourth.

The IRC Division III saw Andrew Weiss's J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON from Larchmont, NY and American YC finish first, winning by five hours corrected over the famous Bermuda Race winning 48 footer, CARINA sailed by NYYC Rear Commodore Rives Potts, in second.  Third was Paul Milo's determined crew aboard their J/109 VENTO SOLARE from Leesburg, VA just off the pace enough to, in fact, miss winning overall.  Just 24 hours out from the finish, it was a nearly a boat-for-boat dead heat between VENTO SOLARE and CARINA as to who would get to the finish first.

J/35 double-handed sailboat- sailing to NewportIn the Doublehanded IRC Division Jason Richter's famous J/35 PALADIN from Port Jefferson, NY pulled it off again, winning the Double-handed class by over two hours corrected time and eclipsing the recent Class 40 champion called DRAGON.  Never count this highly successful double-handed team out of the running, it's like the American TV ad, the "Energizer bunny", the battery that just keeps on ticking!

Finally, the J/Family wishes Jim Muldoon and friends on his maxi-sled DONNYBROOK a speedy recovery from bumps and bruises sustained while pulverizing an uncharted rock-pile just off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.    For more Annapolis-Newport sailing and tracking information