Monday, October 31, 2011

Grow Grass-roots One-Design Sailing

US Sailing One-Design sailing symposium for sailing teams US SAILING One-Design Symposium @ Bay Head YC
(Bay Head, NJ)- If you have any interest in one-design sailing and growing your local fleets, perhaps it would be fun to hop on down to Bay Head, NY, centrally located in the huge sailing region of Northeast America!  Hosted at Bay Head YC November 12-13, this premier event for one-design class racing brings together one-design leaders and racing standouts for a great exchange of ideas and information.

This year's keynote speakers include US SAILING President Gary Jobson, Greg Fisher, Fried Elliott, Hank Stuart and Nick Turney. Other presenters include Carol Cronin, Joel Hanneman, Dave Rosekrans and Ken Taylor. Enjoy more than 25 panel discussions, workshops and breakout sessions. Two days of "Go Fast" Workshops featuring industry experts and class champions share their expertise on how to get around the course in less time and distance-- amazing, you can learn how to be a better sailor, too!

Visit the US ODSS website for registration details, travel and accommodations, a full schedule of events, agenda topics, speakers and presentation previews.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend, from your Opti Fleet Captain in elementary school to Jaba the Huts' star-sailors on Tatooine!  Note- this also includes all J/22, J/24, J/80, J/27, J/29, J/30, J/100, J/35, J/105, J/109, J/44 and J/122 fleet captains.
  

J/120s Smash Gear Buster Race

J/120 offshore racer cruiser sailboat- sailing offshore (Greenwich, CT)- Get the bit in her teeth and she'll still show her transom to a lot of boats blasting down the race track.  That's the story of the J/120s sailing in Indian Harbor YC's fall classic called, appropriately, the Gear Buster Race.  Why the  name?  Basically, because it's the last offshore race of the fall season, so gotta for broke-- as they say in San Francisco, "Go Big or Go Home"!  Plus, it almost always nukes in the fall on Long Island Sound when the fast-moving cold fronts go ripping through the Northeastern coast of America and it blows for days at a time 15-30 kts (or more) out of the Northwest.

Reveling in this year's conditions, the J/120s won both PHRF Doublehanded Division and PHRF Spinnaker Division.  In the Double group, it was Gardner Grant on ALIBI that took home the Gold not only in class, but won PHRF Overall!  Other J's that had a respectable showing in the same division were Hewitt Gaynor's J/120 MIREILLE in 5th and Greg Imbruce's J/109 JOYRIDE in sixth.

In the PHRF Spinnaker Division, Barry John's J/120 NO ESCAPE took home the bacon (and the pickle dish) in a big, big way, winning by over one hour forty minutes on corrected and securing 3rd in PHRF Fleet Overall, too!  A gaggle of other J/120s sailed well, with Joe Healey's SOULMATE finishing 3rd and Brian Spears' MADISON getting 4th.  Just behind them was John Pearson's J/109 BLUE SKY in 5th.

Finishing 2nd in the PHRF Non-spinnaker division was Ken Hall's beautiful J/100 NEVERMORE, just missing out winning his class by only 40 seconds!  You can just hear Ken asking himself, "now, why didn't I wing out that jib faster?"  Next time, we hope.

John Towers pretty J/37 RIPPLE sailed a challenging race to beat out an old Maxi World Champion aboard BOOMERANG, Jeff Neuberth and friends on the Farr 11s STRAY DOG.  However, they were no match for the fast Santa Cruz 52 MAGIC, with RIPPLE having to settle for 2nd overall in IRC Division.  For more Indian Harbor YC Gear Buster sailing results
  

BRAZIL Golden @ J/24 Pan Am Games

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Pan Am Games (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The final day of the sailing on the gorgeous Bahia de Banderas bay at the Pan American Games regatta saw each of the nine classes hold the double points medal race for the top five in each class to decide the medalists.

Emerging from the smoke on the battlefield, like an apparition out of the fog, was yet again Brazil's J/24 ace Mauricio Santa Cruz at the top of the leader-board.  Mauricio and crew took home the Gold by one point after a battle in the final race with the American team of John Mollicone.  Taking the Bronze Medal on the podium was Matias Sequel from Chile, fourth was Luis Alcese from Peru and fifth was Francisco Van Avermaete from Argentina.   Sixth from the host country Mexico was Jorge Murrietta.

Sailing onboard the American J/24 at the Pan Am Games in Puerto Vallarta was Dan Rabin.  Dan's amusing commentary about their Silver Medal winning experience was posted on Sailing World blogs:   "Security has increased significantly since we first arrived. Getting into the hotel or the yacht club is like going through security at the airport. In addition, the Mexican Navy is patrolling the coast of our hotel and the sailing area - wow!

I feel like karma should be on our side. The Canadian team's jib got lost in transport, so we gave them our practice jib which only has a few days on it. Otherwise, they would have been sailing with a jib that looks older than the kids I coach at Brown.

We had a nice cross-class dinner after the first day of sailing with the Lightning team and Clay Johnson. I learned that Farrah Hall, the U.S. boardsailor went for a run while waiting for her redress hearing. Boardsailing must be one of the most intense physical activities on the planet, and Farrah goes for a run to cool down! I explained to Jay Lutz that if I ran from our dinner table to the restaurant door I would probably go into cardiac arrest. I guess I'm getting old, or maybe I'm flat-out already there, but being on the water for 6 hours in 90+ degrees takes a lot out of me.

Another competition going on in the midst of the Pan Am Games is the country pins. All of the athletes are given about 20 pins which have a national team decal. The idea is that you exchange pins with athletes from other countries. I am failing miserably on this front. I imagine that the pin exchange is a great introduction to meet people if you are single. I am not single, and I'm a bit shy by nature. So far, I have a couple of Mexican pins that I got from one of their American coaches I was already friends with - pathetic, I know. I gave a pin to a waiter today just for getting me some parmesan cheese, and I gave another pin to a waiter with the promise of a Puerto Rican pin in exchange tomorrow.

What's the sailing like, you might ask?  Well, it looks like champagne sailing, but it's mighty hot on the water off Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay. And the pressure in only increasing as the medal race approaches.

We were rewarded with a day off on Thursday because the regatta is on schedule with six races completed. Wednesday was the lightest breeze of the regatta. The puffs were very narrow, making for some challenging racing. With the breeze so light, the heat felt even more extreme. Puerto Vallarta travel tip: no need to bring sailing gear here. If I wore a spray top, I would be unconscious by the leeward gate. We pulled a horizon job the first race and managed a 3rd in the next race. After beating the Brazilians both races, we are leading by 1 point with a throw out.

For our day off, we managed to find the only place hotter than a J/24 deck downwind: the beach volleyball court. The U.S. men's and women's teams had matches, so most of the sailors went down to cheer them on. During the men’s match, a group of 30 Mexican elementary school students were cheering “Los Estados Unidos”, so I’m thinking that NAFTA thing has worked out pretty well. The women faced off against Mexico, though, and the stadium was going crazy after every Mexican point. Unfortunately, both U.S. teams lost. I saw the women’s team at dinner and they were in good spirits. I’m glad we were on hand to be part of their small group of supporters in the stands.

We have four more races scheduled over the next two days, and then a medal race on Sunday for the top five boats. In the medal race, the points are double whatever the finish position is, and it cannot be discarded. It’s starting to look like it could come down to us and Brazil as there’s a bit of a gap to 3rd place, so there should be some interesting tactical situations and exciting face offs. A seven-boat regatta has a very different dynamic than the typical big-fleet racing events I sail. For instance, if you’re sailing a 40 boat event, you could round the leeward gate in 18th, and grind back to a top 10 over the next 2 legs. Here, if you round the gate in third, it’s incredibly difficult to pass even one boat. So while every point matters in a typical event, every point is absolutely precious here. If you lose them, it’s really hard to get them back.

Fun fact: I speak a little bit of broken Spanish but Jay Lutz speaks a little bit of fluent Spanish, mostly related to ordering food and beer (cervezas!)-- I'm learning fast!

I mentioned in my last post that the points were shaping up such that we could see some interesting scenarios, and that was certainly the case. On Thursday, we went after Brazil in the pre-start in race 8. Since we had a better drop race than them, we could extend our lead if we forced them into another bad race. We had a great start to windward of them and were able to pin them out to the un-favored side. At one point, we were winning while they were in 6th, but things change quite a bit over the length of a 6 leg, 80 minute race. We had to shift gears again and tack on them relentlessly up the last beat. We were successful, though, and after 8 races we had our biggest lead of the regatta— a whopping 3 points.

On Saturday we were in full match race mode with Brazil, so the pre-starts were pretty intense. We ended up even on the day, still with a 3-points lead, but we had one especially exciting exchange to maintain that lead. Going down the last run of the 2nd race were about 3 boat lengths behind Brazil. We soaked low on them and then jibed right on top of them.  We began to roll them and then jibed back at them with the starboard advantage. We pinned them past lay line and then jibed back with the pole on the head stay and went on for a hard-earned 2nd.

The medal races on Sunday were only half the length of the normal races for most of the fleets. The Lightnings started before us and we were able to watch their entire race before our start. The RC had to do this format because they had to use the same three umpire boats for each race. That’s right, medal races were umpired and if you got a penalty, you had to do a 360 immediately.

For our medal race, we became engaged with Brazil even before the 5-minute warning went off (is that legal? who knows, umpires didn't seem to care).  At less than a minute to the start, we gained an advantage and drew a windward-leeward foul. Brazil had to spin and we continued to slow them down after they came out of their penalty turn. Meanwhile, the other 3 boats were sailing off at least a minute in front of us, duking it out for the bronze. We had a few tacking exchanges with Brazil, and on the last one, they were able to draw a foul on us. We had to spin, but even though we were in last and Brazil was now fourth, it looked like we might have created enough of a gap to the fleet that they would not be able to put the boat in between us that they needed for the gold. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the first run, Peru and Argentina got in a luffing match and Brazil closed the gap. Up the 2nd beat, Brazil passed Argentina. We were just too far behind to do anything and we had to watch as Brazil crossed the finish in third. It was heartbreaking.

I ran into Jody Lutz from the Lightning team at out hotel and he was experiencing similar feelings. We both recognized the achievement of winning a silver medal here, but were very disappointed at coming so close to the gold and watching it slip away. The medal ceremony on the water in downtown Puerto Vallarta helped cushion the blow a bit—the typical awards banquet doesn’t come close to this experience. I’ll always remember Geoff posing for a picture with his two young boys holding his medal – they looked very proud of Dad.

The Pan American Games was like no other regatta I’ve ever sailed. An outsider might look at it and see there are only 7 boats, and think, "That can’t be nearly as hard as a Worlds or North Americans.”  The comparison is pointless. They’re so completely different that it’s not really the same game.

On behalf of USA 5235, I’d like to give a huge thanks to the US SAILING and U.S. Olympic Committee staff for all of their work here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed following along, and a few years from now, will consider lacing it up and competing in your class’s trials for a chance to represent the U.S. at this great event."  Courtesy of Dan Rabin and Sailing World- http://www.sailingworld.com/blogs   For more Pan Am Games sailing information.
  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

FLAWLESS J Wins INEOS Solent Circuit

J/109 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing downwind (Lymington, England)- Following the previous week's abandoned races due to lack of wind, the third weekend of the Lymington Town Sailing Club INEOS Solent Circuit saw plenty of wind to keep competitors on their toes. True to the forecast, a steady 18 to 20 knots SSE breeze, with gusts to 28 knots greeted the fleet in the West Solent on Sunday morning.

All classes were set courses taking them to the Island shore, where they experienced lulls in the wind and considerable wind shifts, only to sail out of the lee of the Island into some significant gusts. For Class 1 the race committee set a course of 15 nautical miles. FLAWLESS J, James Heald's J/105, sailed a "flawless" race, making the most of the reaching legs with her big, black asymmetric spinnaker to take line honours and first place on handicap.  Not far off the pace was Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE securing third place.

In the time-honored tradition of fall Solent sailing in its westernmost reaches, the fleet felt the steadily building breeze and choppy conditions were "getting a bit much", so the fleet headed back to the river and welcome refreshments in Lymington Town Sailing Club's Solent Room.  There was much ribbing and chatter about the day's sailing in "almost nuclear" conditions of the "blowing dogs off chains" variety.  The real question of the day was how did a half-tonner lose its mast due to someone else's navigational error!?  Or, was it "the ferry's fault"?  As usual, time will tell in such things.  For more INESO Solent Circuit sailing information
  

J/24 Octopussy Graphic Option?

J/24 one-design sailboat- with SLAM and Octopus graphic Holy Monster Tentacles! Canadian J/24 Class President Dale Robertson recently made a splash in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he took advantage of a Hip Hop festival organized by the City of Halifax. "Live Art" is a component of the hip hop culture and the organizers were looking for a boat to paint. World renowned artist Aaron Li-Hill, from Toronto, was flown in for this event and Dale's boat became his canvas at the Nova Scotia Art Museum in September, and then the next day at the Halifax Commons. Thousands of people witnessed Aaron and local Halifax artist Christian Toth, also well known, turned the J24 into the remarkable artwork that can be seen in these photos. Dale then had Luke Porter, a local boat repair expert, paint a clear coat of urethane over the art to protect it. Dale's boat is now an attraction at Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, both on and off the water. Photos courtesy of Billy, and thanks to Greg B for the story in Sailing Anarchy/ Home page- http://www.sailinganarchy.com
  

J/105 Lego sailboat on a trailer for Christmas?

J/105 Lego sailboat model on trailer with truck Sure, if you ask young Hunter Morisette to make you a custom one!  This picture of a Lego model of a J/105 on her trailer being pulled by a pickup truck is a representation of his parent's J/105  that they sail on quite regularly (his Super Cool Mom is called "Barbara").  Whaddaya think everyone?  Pretty awesome, eh?  Perhaps you can get the "Octopussy Graphic" option above with this J/105 Lego sailboat??  Would look pretty radical. Plus, you can even order ANY color you want since Lego happens to have about 4 dozen colors for these blocks!
  

VOR 70s & J/24 Style Decks!?

Volvo 70 Puma Mar Mastro sailing off Newport, RI- Ken Read skipper (Alicante, Spain)- Yes, according to Ken Read (he would know, of course)!  And, there are significant design differences, too.  Ken Read (USA), skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing, provides his observations of the fleet-

"One of the best parts of participating in a development class is when the boats break out of the shed and you see all of the parts and pieces that others have thought of…and they in turn see what you have done. We went with as low a CG as possible with our entire program. Deck and cabin house design were done to get the weight low and to make sure we kept the all up boat weight at or below the minimum. A couple of the new boats went with "J-24" style decks with no cabin house for a lower windage look. It is all a wash probably, but we like where we ended up.

Abu Dhabi also went with an open cockpit design to get their sail stack lower. We think that the new rules concerning less sails and the lack of being able to fill the very aft compartment in the boat with gear in heavy downwind conditions dissuaded us from going open cockpit. We felt we needed the stacking area downstairs, area that an open cockpit wouldn't give you.

Camper's adjustable headstay system has been a major topic. While the rest of the fleet pinned their headstay at one length, Camper has a hydraulic ram to adjust the rake of the mast in different conditions. For sure the rest of the fleet read the rule in a way that you couldn't do this, but the rules makers had a different idea.

The Camper boat is also different with the daggerboards behind the keel and mast. The rest of the fleet has gone in the other direction. Our daggerboards are actually further forward than even Ericsson 4 had last race - the winning Juan K design. All the Juan K-designed boats - us, Telefonica and Groupama - have negative dihedrals on the daggerboards, also a new look for the class (bottom of board angles toward each other).

The hull shapes have all gone fuller forward. The three Juan K boats are noticeably fuller forward than even Ericsson 4. A very flat forward section underwater with a distinct forward rocker is clearly there to try and get the bow out of the water at pace. Abu Dhabi is even more extreme as their huge bow section is certainly designed for "bow up" sailing, although they
seem to have less transom immersion than the Juan K boats. Camper on the other hand seems to be a bit of a development from our old PUMA boat with some new fullness forward, but not nearly where the other boats have gone.

Look for each boat to have their condition, including Sanya who may "own" light air in this fleet.  The die is cast. This is going to be a serious boat race with a ton of lead changes depending on the conditions."

Good Luck, Ken!  Fair Winds, Fast Sailing! The J/Community will channel positive energy to the PUMA MAR MASTRO gang around the globe!
  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Johnston Wins J/22 Worlds

J/22 Worlds- sailing  around mark (New Orleans, LA)- Rob Johnston of Heath, TX won the Allstate Sugar Bowl J/22 World Championship by six points over Jim Barnash of Rochester, NY with a fifth-place finish on the last race of the regatta. Racing hull #203, team DIESELSNACK sailed a consistent regatta with all top 20 tallies, dropping a 19 in race 3. Sixty-four boats competed in the event in New Orleans, LA, and 12 races were completed.

Barnash went into the last day of the four-day regatta in the lead but finished 26th to Johnston’s third in the first race. He came back strong, however, with a win in the second race while Johnston finished 12th bringing the championship into play on the last race. Johnston’s fifth place in the last race of the regatta was enough to earn him the winner’s trophy.

Allan Terhune from Arnold, MD rounded out the top three with 103 points overall, including two firsts in the last two races Friday. Saturday’s race winners were Zak Fanberg, Barnash and J. Dwight LeBlanc, III.

On the first day, competitors were postponed on shore due to a lack of wind, and the first gun was rescheduled for 11:55 a.m. CT out of Southern Yacht Club. During the day’s races, breeze started at 5-8 knots but decreased throughout the afternoon, with sunny skies and temperatures around 80 degrees.

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing at WorldsLocal Benz Faget scored two bullets and a sixth-place tally to lead the fleet.  With crew Randall Richmond and Thomas Sweeney, Fats stood with a solid lead of 8 points.  Jim Barnash, helming his Rochester, NY team, had 14 points in second place; Fred Hunger from Cleveland, OH was in third with 23 points.  Faget opened the regatta with a victory in Race 1, trailed by a fellow New Orleans boat skippered by Zak Fanberg in second and Barnash in third. Race 2 saw another local winner in Richard “Boo” Heausler, followed by Hunger and then Southern Yacht Club commodore J. Dwight LeBlanc, III. In the day’s final, race, Faget took the victory again, with Brant Koepke (Texas) in second and Nick Turney (Ohio) in third.

On the second day of racing, competitors enjoyed a gorgeous day of racing on Lake Pontchartrain with breeze at 10-15 knots, brilliant sunshine and temperatures staying around 80 degrees.  It seemed the "playbook" again favored New Orleans native Benz Faget, who held on to his first-place position. With consistent finishes in the top 12 (dropping the 12), Team Fats tallied just 26 points over the first seven races of the regatta. With crew Randall Richmond and Thomas Sweeney, Faget was four points ahead of Texan Terry Flynn who registered consistent scores of 3, 5, 5, 1 (with a drop from day 1 of 18 points).  Max Scott opened day two with a victory in Race 4, pursued by Chris Doyle in second and Flynn in third. Race 5 was won by Travis Odenbach, with Faget and Chad Wilson in the next two slots. Rob Johnston took the top position in Race 6, trailed by Chris Doyle and Dave Kerr, who just returned to the race course after a repair needed from an incident in the day’s first race. In Thursday’s fourth and final contest, Flynn nailed first place, and Zak Fanberg and Mike Farrington followed.

The J/22 Class extends appreciation to PRO Hank Stuart and his Race Committee, the staff of Southern Yacht Club and all sponsors including the title sponsor Allstate Sugar Bowl.  For more J/22 Worlds sailing information
  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

GUT FEELING Wins J/109 North Americans

J/109 one-design racer cruiser sailboat- sailing in Annapolis, MD (Annapolis, MD)-  The forecast this past weekend for any sailor north of Cape Hatteras along the northeastern seaboard of America was simply this- "fresh to frightening" weather conditions, winds 15-30 knots (thereabouts) and, depending on "fetch", seas could be huge (e.g. ginormous).  Fortunately, the J/109 competitors sailing off Annapolis only had to worry about a 1-2 nm "fetch" from the SSW and waves under 3-5 feet, not bad considering what fishermen were facing offshore-- nearly four days of gale force 25-45 knots winds and massive seas.

As expected, the extraordinarily competitive East Coasts during Rolex Block Island Race Week were a precursor for this year's J/109 NA's.  The host Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD did a remarkable job to fire-off eight races over the weekend in the challenging conditions.

J/109s sailing one-design- a racer cruiser sailboatIn the end, it was Ted Herlihy's GUT FEELING team (pictured above) from New Bedford YC that showed remarkable consistency, garnering a 1-2-2-4-5-2-1-8 for 25 pts to win the regatta by 12 points.  Past champion Rick Lyall on STORM from Cedar Point YC was sailing a solid series and were an easy contender for the championship until they had to retire in race 5, their 4-5-3-1-16/DNF-1-5-2 for 37 points was strong enough to finish second.  The dark horse amongst this year's event had to be CAMINOS, Don and Cristina Fillipelli's crew from Devon YC.  Somewhat like Lyall's STORM team, the CAMINOS team were also strong contenders with a solid 3-1-1-3-3-8-3-16/DSQ, but their last race DSQ knocked them off the top of the podium, finishing just one point back from second with 38 pts.  Other than a 10th and 9th in races 5 and 7, Bill Sweetser's Annapolis YC team on RUSH were also in the hunt with a record of 2-4-8-7-10-3-9-1 for 44 pts.  Craig Wright's AFTERTHOUGHT sailed a very steady regatta to accumulate a 6-6-4-6-1-4-6-14 for 47 pts.   For more J/109 North Americans sailing informationSailing photo credits- Dan Phelps.
  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Smashing Day for J/97s

J/80s one-design sailing on Solent, Hamble, England Hamble Winter Series Update
(Hamble, England)-  After the first weekend's boisterous conditions, light winds saw in the 2nd weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, with the conditions giving all classes some sparkling sailing and nail-bitingly close racing.

This weekend featured the Hamble Big Boat Series on both days, with top-class racing for everyone. Thanks to Rule 26 who sponsored the event. Saturday dawned with 8-12 knots of breeze from the east, expected to shift to the right during the day. Four races were run, with a windward-leeward course set across the North Channel from a committee boat at East Knoll

By contrast, Sunday morning saw thick fog, with ships sounding their way slowly up Southampton water with foghorns blaring. PRO Jamie Wilkinson set an hour's postponement to let the fog clear, later postponed by a further hour when ABP, backed up by a competitor in a RIB reported that the Southampton Water was impassable. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and this wasn't an unpopular move as it allowed competitors to watch the end of the rugby.

By 1000 the fog began to clear to reveal a millpond, with zero wind – but by 1230 a light breeze had built from the WSW and the race committee hurriedly set a course for all classes, with starts combined to get racing underway as soon as possible.

After a false start, the wind built to 10 knots during the race, which meant that all classes converged on the leeward mark at once, with large gains for the taking for those with an inside overlap.

IRC 3 was dominated by J/Boats, the top five slots all being held by Js! The J/97s JIKA JIKA and INDULJENCE were first and second respectively whilst David Greenhalgh and John Taylor's J/92 J-RONIMO was third. Fourth was Tony Mack's J/97 McFLY and fifth was Andy Howe & Annie Kelly's J/92s BLACKJACK.  Special mention should go to J/97 INDULJENCE which was out for the second time with new owners, Nick and Adam Munday.  Adam helmed his Dad’s new boat and he’s a fab sailor. At the age of only 19, Adam comes from good J sailing pedigree, having been part of the J/109 European Champ winning crew on Dave and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM.  So far, the J/97 JIKA-JIKA is dominating the proceedings with three straight bullets and the J/97 INDULJENCE is just off the pace only one point out of second!

Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB won the J/109 class with David McLeman’s OFFBEAT in second and Richard and Valerie Griffith’s OUTRAJEOUS took third in Class.  Overall standings so far continue to see OUTRAJEOUS in first with a 1-1-4 record for 6 pts; David and Mary McGough's JUST SO in second with a 5-2-3 record for 10 pts; and JAGERBOMB just one point back from them.

In IRC 1 Class, the good Doctor Ivan Trotman continues to be a force amongst the leaders on his J/122 JOLOU with his 1-4-5 record to be currently lying 2nd in class.  Ken Lowes J/122 GHOST is showing improvement every race  and with his current progress may be winning by next week!  So far GHOSTS record of 9-8-4 for 21 pts is promising.  The big curve that got thrown at the IRC 1 Class was a the presence of the J/111 JENGA VI being sailed by Chaz Ivill, scoring 2nd in their first race.  David and Kirsty Apthorp also started  sailing their new J/111 J-DREAM and are working on their speed and crew work.  More good things to come next week!

In IRC 0 Class, racing the Black Fleet are four J/133s with the top J/133 being Jackie and Robert Dodson's JERONIMO, followed by Neil Martin's JAMMY DODGER second, Dave Ballantyne's JINGS third and Ian Dewhirt's JUMP in fourth.  In IRC handicap, the Dobson's JERONIMO is lying in fifth just 9 pts back from second overall.

Next weekend sees the second Autumn Championships weekend, with racing for J/109 and J/80 one design classes on both days, plus the third Winter Series race day on Sunday.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information
  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Australian J/111 JAKE Proves Good Design Matters

J/111 sailboat- sailing Sydney Harbour, Australia (Sydney, Australia)-  In what many sailors were reporting as a frustrating day on the race course with light winds and lumpy seas off Sydney’s North Head, Ray Entwistle’s new J/111 JAKE had a tremendous day out sailing. Here is Ray's report:

"Granted it was a light fickle day, with the wind swinging from north east to north west from 2 to 8 knots and a very lumpy seaway with 1.5 knots of current running south 3 miles offshore.  Despite the J/111 being one of the smallest boats in the 19 boat division you just know you are going to have a good day when you leave the Sydney Harbour start line in Watson's Bay and go around the top mark 4 miles offshore not far behind the TP 52 and just behind the new Ker 40 and Sydney Ker 43. The J/111 just sliced through the choppy water and pointed high!

After the first lap of the windward leeward course we were already leaving 44.7s, DK43s, First 40s and 45’s, A40’s, Cookson 12s, and large X yachts a long way behind.  We, like most, were hoping for a shortened course on the second lap as we could the see TP52 extending on every leg. However, unbeknown to us (due a last minute change of support boats because of a mechanical issue) the replacement support boat did not have an ‘S’ flag to shorten the course so the full 3 lap course had to be sailed.

On the last beat we heard the retirements coming in over the VHF radio as the boats a long way back began to realize they would time out and not finish the course.  We were surprised as some of the 38 to 45 footers behind us started to call it day....we were going to make it with ease. On the last rounding of the top mark, spinnaker flying and crew calling the angles perfectly to enter Sydney Harbour we still had many things to smile about. As we passed the bottom mark (which was no longer part of the course for us as we were on our way back to Watson's Bay and the finish line) we actually lapped a First 40 and an Archambault 40. Not surprisingly, they called it a day and followed us back into the harbour.

The J/111 finished 5th on the water and 2nd on IRC beating the new Sydney Ker 43 and Ker 40 by 7 and 8 minutes and a racing carbon/kevlar 51 footer by an astonishing 26 minutes.

We would like to thank our crew for their constant perseverance and Ian Short for yet another superb set of sails which have been devastatingly quick in all conditions, and of course to all the Johnstone’s for another stunningly designed boat!  Thanks, Ray"
  

J/Teams Win Silver in RORC Season Championships

J/111 one-design sailboat- sailing past Fastnet Rock- in RORC's Rolex Fastnet Race (London, England)- It was a tough year.  It was a Fastnet year.  And, an RORC 600 year.  It was not going to be easy for any boat participating in this years RORC Seasons Points Championships to easily walk off with all the silverware and pickle-dishes.  Nevertheless, some J/Teams prevailed despite some harsh and very, very challenging conditions offshore- some absolutely not within the "wheelhouse" of where these J/Teams can succeed, if not dominate offshore.  Again, this year's series points to the fact that a good all-around design is critical to offshore success-- too "type-formed" and you win big in one event and get crushed in the next.  Such was the case this year.

In the IRC Classes the best five offshore races are counted towards the RORC Season's Points Championship. These were heavily contested and in some of the classes, the results were undecided until after the Cherbourg Race, the last race of the season.  For the J/Teams, "Congratulations" are in order for those that persevered and prevailed against the best offshore sailors from Western Europe.  Here's the scoreline for these J/Teams:
- Alan Paul Trophy - Consistent High Performance in IRC Overall: ARABELLA- J/111 - Niall Dowling (GBR)
- Emily Verger Plate - IRC Two Overall-  JOOPSTER- J/122 - Neil Kipling (GBR) and in the same division Niall's team on ARABELLA finished 5th overall.

In addition to the winners, special mention should be made of the following performances:
- IRC Overall- the J/111 ARABELLA sailed by Niall Dowling was 2nd overall behind the custom Ker 46 Tonnere- the overall winner.  Just behind them was the J/122 sailed by Neil Kipling.
- In IRC One- the J/133 JINGS sailed by David Ballantyne was 5th overall, just 40 points from first overall.  In other words, a top ten finish in any of two more races would have put them in contention for top two overall!
- In IRC Three- J Teams took 50% of the top 10!  They included Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR in 3rd, Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J in 4th, Tor McLarens' J/109 INSPARA in 6th, Greg Nasmyth's J/109 JARHEAD in 7th and Robin Taunt's J/109 JIBE in 9th.  Good show by all!
- In IRC Doublehanded- the series could've gone anywhere in the last two races.  In the end, Nick Martin's J/105 DIABLO-J nipped Nikki Curwen's J/105 VOADOR for 5th and 6th, respectively.  It was a "nip-and-tuck" battle until the end of the series for the thirty-plus hardy group of souls and sailors in this fleet.

The net, net of the 2011 RORC summer sailing season is that it takes solid, easy-to-sail, all-around boats to succeed in the RORC events.  Again, with primarily all amateur/ corinthian teams, the fleet of J sailors not only had fun but won their fair share of silverware, too.  Nothing like adding a few more pickle-dishes to the serving inventory at home!  For more RORC Offshore Season sailing information.
  

HAPPY wins J/80 Dynamant Cup

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm, Sweden)- It was in brilliant sunshine and winds of 4-6 metres/second for the last and final J/80 regatta of the year.  A total of nine J/80's were on the starting line at 10am for the first start.  What followed was a brisk tempo with short and quick races for everyone. Many boats were leading the various races with many changes at the top due to the premium put on not only boatspeed off the starting line but good boat-handling as well!

The winner was TEAM HAPPY with John Berg at the helm with 53 points.  John became the proud winner of the gift card for 6,000 kronor (sponsored by the I.T. company DYNAMANT)!!  Before this last regatta, the Dynamant Summer Series was evenly matched between the teams DYNAMANT and HEAVY DUTY, with the outcome of the last regatta determining who would get 2nd and 3rd.  In the end, DYNAMANT's solid, consistent sailing decided the outcome, giving them second oval with 48 points and a giftcard of 3,000 kronor!  Finishing third was HEVY DUTY with 46 points.

This year's "Rookie of the Year" was awarded to TEAM VICTORY, which debuted in mid-season and finished well in the last few regattas. That bodes well for next season!

At the Awards Presentation, prizes were also awarded to the three boats who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to sailing the Dynamant Cup Series-- those teams were  PARBELU, HEAVY DUTY and HAPPY-- none of them have missed a regatta!  Their hard work and perseverance was rewarded handsomely, each team were given HUGE, well-filled bags of chocolate and coffee from Marabou and Gevalia.  Yummy!  For more "Happy" Dynamant Cup sailing results
  

BUBBLES Wins Ugotta Regatta Wayzata!

J/24 Bubbles sailing team- win Ugotta Regatta Wayzata (Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota)- J/24 Fleet #1 is the first and oldest J/24 fleet in the world. They held their Ugotta Regatta last week at Wayzata Yacht Club, one of the oldest clubs in Minnesota.  Chairman Josh Bone sent in his report of the event.

"We had a great showing of out-of-town boats and regatta participation was up 30% over last year for the Ugotta on October 7-9. A special thank you to: 2XS, MIJAH, STRANGE CREW, CONTEXT, “2”, U-LA-LA and INSATIABLE. Boats came from Duluth, Chicago, and other parts of the Midwest. One skipper came from Florida, another from Chicago and there was even one crew member from Spain! We even have our very own Olympic Medalist racing out there, Billy Allen. This is THE place to be. While Scows are known here, there is also a great keelboat scene. We also have the only real racers’ party of the year up here (I say that to challenge others to step up their game!).  We do a full bar (out of an old E-Scow, no less!), sponsored beer and a community shrimp boil, no fancy tablecloths for us, and all for 10 bucks per person.

The J/24 district qualifier for the 2012 J/24 Worlds had 20 competitors and excellent race management from our inspiring PRO Blake Middleton – a true racers’ PRO. Blake had been on a whirlwind tour of the globe just before the event, and we were lucky to have him back on Lake Minnetonka.

Our Race Committee and competitors raced 5 races on Saturday in winds from 7kts to 17kts. Sunday was very light in the morning. The call was made to wait. The wind came in with 10 minutes to spare on the limit. The race was won by Terry Neff and his crew aboard "BUBBLES". Job well done Terry! It was in the 80's both days.

This race was also a true tiebreaker between BUBBLES and ZOOM. Zoom had some issues with the pin due to an unforeseen additional left shift. It was awful to see them get tangled with the mark in such an important race. Terry was above him. Terry bought the left side big, followed closely by John Heaton on USA 592 Mijah. Motorhome went right, or really just on port because the left was really big for a long time. Bubbles rounded in first, Motorhome in 2nd, Mijah in 3rd. Zoom was really deep, but blasting thru the fleet, always a contender. Motorhome was passed by Mijah at the first leeward gate. Bubbles had launched, at one point I couldn't see them. Then we saw them on the 2nd downwind leg, 250 yards ahead of us. We started to open a delicious Surly Furious, when a puff nearly knocked us over. The wind had gone very hard to the right, 25 - 30 degrees. Bubbles rounded the right gate in first, Mijah followed in second, and Motorhome went to the left gate. It was a thrilling race. At the final cross Bubbles crossed Motorhome by only 2 boat lengths. Motorhome cheered for them when the gun went off, continued to hike for a 2nd place in the race. Mijah was 3rd. Guess who was 4th? ZOOM!

BUBBLES won the regatta by 2 points. Picture is attached of them with their trophy full of delicious Surly Brewing Co.'s amazing product.  The "Spanking Award" went to co-winners Mark Soya and Dave DeSanto (they were very bad boys)!

"We were fortunate to have good wind and the boat was set up for it. And we had the benefit of sailing districts in Maine (40+ boats) a few weeks before. I got the bad starts out of my system. You need to have things go your way. And that's what happened." - Terry Neff (Owner and Helmsman of BUBBLES). BUBBLES crew was: Terry Neff, Sean Delaney, Paula Neff, Mark Oppen and Paul "Jake" Jacobs.

WYC hopes to see you all again next year. They also welcome you to the 2013 J/24 National Championship!  Thanks for contribution from Sailing Anarchy-  Photos from Mark Puariea
  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Team PIKE Wins German J/80 Open

J/80 sailboat- sailing Flensburg, Germany (Flensburg, Germany)- Flensburg Sailing Club hosts the annual Flensburg Sailing Week every autumn and for the last few years has also hosted the FSC Deutsche Open for the J/80 class.

Over the three days in mid-September, sixteen J/80s managed to get in some great sailing with the weather, in general, cooperating nicely for the three days.

Day 1 - The first two races were sailed at about 8 knots of wind, with PROCEEDS DIVA winning the first two. In the third race of the day the wind was barely strong enough for a race, this nerve-sapping race could ultimately decide the leaders for the first day.  At the end of the day, PROCEEDS DIVA was first, just two points behind them were the past winner of the regatta- Team PIKE- and third was Gordon Nickel skippering ANEGADA from Bremen.

Day 2 - At 2-6 knots, the two races on Saturday were long, long races with many exciting changes in positions.  After several hours of postponement the fleet sailed what some sailors thought were "lottery" races.  Nevertheless, Team PIKE took advantage and won two races, moving themselves into first overall. Behind him was a complete turnover in the standings.  Lying 2nd was Sven Vagt sailing CAMPAIGN and third was Kiel sailor Martin Menzer.  PROCEEDS DIVA and ANEGADA dropped to 4th and 5th, respectively.

Day 3 Final Day- On Sunday morning the teams were excited about the great sailing weather for the last three races: a constant WNW wind around 10 knots with brilliant sunshine.  Team PIKE took a 1st and 2nd in the first two races and didn't have to sail the race last.  PROCEEDS DIVA sailed to a 3-1-1 to secure 2nd overall, ANEGADA persevered and took third overall and the surprise was the strong showing of the Polish team MOONRAKER, snagging 4th place in from of Team CAMPAIGN that finished 5th.

In conclusion, it was an exciting event for all and some great sailing.  It was also the third title for Team PIKE, having regained their former performance from previous seasons.  For more German Open J/80 sailing information
  

J/80 Wins Dollorso Open Cup

J/80 sailboat- sailing off Chiavari, Italy (Chiavari, Italy)-  This past weekend, the Yacht Club Chiavari hosted their annual Dollorso Open Cup with over seventy boats participating in ORC, IRC and Multihull classes.

With refreshments and award ceremony in the presence of the Family Dollorso, Aldermen of the City of Chiavari and Mr. Segalerba Rombolini and representatives of TCI, it was the J/80 JENIALE! sailed by Massimo Rama from YC Chiavari that won the huge Open Class!  Massimo receive the much revered trophy, the Silver Plaque Nicholas Dollorso.

The first day of racing took place on Saturday in sunny weather, calm seas and extremely variable breeze. The second day of racing, the return in Chiavari, took place on Sunday, in a beautiful summer day, with calm seas and gentle breezes-- as a result, not many boats finished within the time limit.  For more Copa Dollorso sailing information
  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

J/24 Pan Am Games Update

J/24s one-design sailboats- starting line (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- USA team Manager Dave Johnson provided this recent update on the American sailing team and, specifically, the American J/24 Team.  By the way, the USA Pan Am Games team is packed with current/ former J/24 sailors, including Augie Diaz (Snipe), Lutz Brothers from Texas (Lightning), Foerster (Sunfish), so are the other Pan Am Teams!

Said Dave, "Today was a great start to the Pan Am Games for Team USA. All three courses sailed today in 6-12 kts breeze and lots of sun. On the far course Charlie (J/24, Lightning, Snipe) got the first race off with consistently more breeze. The J/24 team of Mollicone, Rabin, Becker, and Abdullah went 1-1 as their boat speed proved superior on the long course.

"We really used speed to our advantage," said John Mollicone, skipper for the J/24. "The races are really long, even longer than Worlds."  With a much smaller fleet of boats in the Pan Am Games, John pointed out that keeping your competition in check is critical in the long races.

And what John said makes sense because one boat going out on a flyer could be a hero or a zero, as they say. In their 7-boat fleet, one boat is nearly 15% of the fleet.

Our Lightning Team of the Lutz brothers (Jody - skipper, Jay - crew) and Greg Thomas also sailed a top performance today, going 1-3 and tied for the lead with Brazil. They too had long races today but their fleet was intense. With teams not leaving any good 'lanes' open, having clear air and a clean lane is important.

Other good performances include four-time Olympian, Paul Foerster, sitting atop the Sunfish fleet with a 1-2. Augie Diaz and Kathleen Tocke finished 2-4 in the Snipe class while Paige Railey went 5-1 in the Radial.

For more USA sailing team information:
USA team: http://tinyurl.com/USSTAG-Pan-Am-2011
Event website: http://www.guadalajara2011.org.mx/ENG/01_inicio
Results: http://tinyurl.com/PAG-2011-results
  

J/105s Sweep Greenport Ocean Race

J's sailing Greenport Ocean Race (Greenport, New York)- The Greenport Ocean Race is held every year in the fall as the final offshore event for Long Island Sound racers on the eastern end of Long Island.  It's hosted by the Chinese YC and the Old Cove YC.

This year's event was about as "epic" an event as many have recalled, with winds blowing 15-30 knots for basically four straight days.  When the racing started on Saturday, the PRO on the RC wisely decided to shorten course and keep the fleet inside Long Island Sound instead of sending them into 15 foot crashing waves not the far offshore from the infamous "Race"- that body of water with 4-6 knot currents against 15-30 kt winds is no picnic!

Reveling in the heavy going were the J/105s.  Again, Mike LaChance and the crew of DARK'N'STORMY (appropriately named, I might add) led the sweep of PHRF 3 with the other J/105s.  Second was Tim O'Brien on the J/105 ROPEBURN and third was the J/105 ALLIANCE sailed by Steve Guyer.  As a result, the oval Brooklyn Ocean Challenge Cup was awarded to Team  DARN'N'STORMY for the fourth year in a row!

In PHRF 2, Jason Richter's much-traveled J/35 PALADIN finished second and just behind in third was Jim Vos' J/109 SKOOT and fourth was Steve Kenny's GOSSIP.  In PHRF 1, the J/111 BRAVO sailed by Sedgiwck Ward finished just out of the money in fifth.  For more Greenport Ocean Race sailing results
  

Friday, October 21, 2011

J's Cruise Harvest Moon Regatta

Dolphins, sailing the ultimate offshore race in Texas under harvest moon (Houston, TX)-  The annual fall "big boat" regatta in Houston, the Harvest Moon Regatta, is hosted by one of the Houston area's famously gracious yacht clubs, the Lakewood YC on Galveston Bay.  The HMR event has attracted a loyal following over its 25 year history and this year was no exception.  Great sailing weather (generally) and awesome hospitality (always!) makes for a fun event.  The race is basically sailing from the Galveston jetties to Port Isabel for race #1, then back up the coast to Port Aransas (Port A) as race #2. Then there was Port Aransas to inside the Galveston jetties for race #3 and on to the Seabrook marker two for race #4.

In the huge PHRF Bacardi Racing fleet, thirty-one boats showed up for local bragging rights in the offshore racing community.  In the end, the J/120 AEOLUS sailed by Jim Liston was the top dog in the J sailing clan, getting third overall.  JB Bednar's J/105 STINGER stuck it in the top ten, snagging a fifth overall.  Albrecht Goethe's J/109 HAMBURG was sixth.

The "cruising boat" divisions are even "huger".   The Non-Spinnaker class had 108 boats.  The Cruising Spinnaker class had 30 boats.  Right at the top was Walter Caldwell's J/40 shoal-draft special called SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, getting a respectable second overall.  For more 25th Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information.
  

J/24 "The Situation" Pioneers New Electronics

J/24 sailing gadgets* "Yo, it's the situation, dude!"  Jah, mon!  Cool story, about the resurrection of a really OLD (a.k.a. "classic") J/24.  Skipper David Heisserer and accomplice Dillon Hodapp sail the J/24 THE SITUATION, hull #15 built in 1977 (the math means it's 34 years old!), and race in J/24 Fleet #1. She has picked up the infamous nickname “Red Boat” - strangely fitting for the Russian components on-board.

Skipper David and accomplice Dillon have designed and built a digital compass that uses nixi tubes - a cold war era vacuum tube that produces a glowing number. Inside they use an extremely precise J/24 one-design sailboat number 15!  Sailing Lake MinnetonkaHoneywell two axis digital compass chip. The precision is on par with high end sailing compasses on the market. The compass displays lifts and headers by displaying a plus or minus and the degree on each board. The windows are laser cut with a J/24 polar diagram on Starboard and a map of Lake Minnetonka on Port.

“We were looking for an outrageous aesthetic without sacrificing function.”

The boat is back from the dead after 20 years of neglect, every part of the project has been DIY. THE SITUATION  races at WYC in Minnesota and is creeping up from the back of the fleet. The club will be hosting the 2013 J/24 Nationals where they hope to make an appearance.

David an artist/designer and Dillon a mechanical engineer, are recent winners of Red Bull Creation an invention contest in New York this summer. Their company Mixed Media Engineering does product design and experiential marketing pushing always for artistic and unbelievable builds.  They have been featured on CNN money, are in the November issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine, and have been featured on psfk.com, techcrunch.com and coolthings.com for their creations.
Thanks for contribution from Sailing Anarchy home page.
  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rolex Middle Sea Race Preview

J/122 ARTIE sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race (Gzira, Malta)- The 32nd edition of the 606-nautical mile Rolex Middle Sea Race begins this Saturday, 22 October from Grand Harbour in Malta. Currently, there are 80 boats entered from 18 countries.  The RMSR is easily one of the most challenging offshore races on the international racing calendar.  Asked whether there is anything about the race in particular that drives sailors to participate over the years, one sailor said, “I don’t think there is one thing-- there are several things. Getting through the Strait of Messina is always a challenge (a.k.a. "the around boot challenge"), you are always relieved to get through it. Next on the way is Stromboli, a volcano that erupts about every 20 minutes or so. For people that haven’t seen it before it is an amazing sight. From there it remains interesting all the way through to the finish, turning left around two enormous rock precipices jutting out from the ocean, and right up to the line in Marsamxett Harbour where the wind is fickle and you are not finished until you are over the line.”

J/111 J-STORM sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaLooking forward to their first tour in the RMSR are two new J owners, one sailing the J/111 and the other in a J/122.  Said J/Boats Italy's Paolo Boido- "The first J/111 J-STORM just delivered to owner Massimo Colosimo will race the Middle Sea Race.  They just called me now (Wednesday night), on their way to Malta, reaching with full main and Code 0 in medium/heavy SW at the remarkable average speed of 18 knots!"  Sure sounds like that Italian crew are going to have a fun, challenging time racing around the track.  If there was a race ever purpose-built for any one boat, the J/111 sailed conservatively should do just fine (avoid the corners, my friends!).  In addition, a new J/122 added to the local fleet is OTRA VEZ sailed by Aaron Gatt Floridia / Edward Gatt Floridia from Malta, sailing in IRC 4.

J/122 finishing Rolex Middle Sea Race off MaltaJoining these two "newbies" in the RMSR are perhaps the craftiest and smartest Maltese yachtsmen, the teams on JUNO and ARTIE, both of whom have either won the RMSR overall on handicap and/or won their classes over many, many years.  Leading the charge at least boat-for-boat will be the J/133 JUNO sailed by David Anastasi racing in IRC 3.  Nipping at their heels like a mad hound-dog will be that tenacious team on the J/122 ARTIE, led by renowned Maltese sailors Lee Satariano and Christian Ripard, dueling it out not just for IRC 4 Class honors but for overall honors as well.  If J/News readers recall, in last year's 2010 RMSR, both JUNO and ARTIE were not only class leaders, but overall RMSR IRC leaders literally up to the final 5 miles in the harbor-- which, as everyone knows, can be the "heartbreaker" for many well-sailed, tenacious teams.

Starting Saturday afternoon UTC time, you can track these teams as they make their way around this epic race course.  Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Carlo Borlenghi.  Please take a look at the official Rolex Middle Sea Race website.
  

Halloween J/24 East Coasts Preview

J24s sailing one-design regatta (Annapolis, MD)- The 2011 HCM (Hillman Capital Management) J/24 East Coast Championship will be a 21st Century Event like you cannot imagine-- Halloween costumes included!  This Fall Classic will be better than ever. Live race video and commentary on the web, coaching on the water and debriefing (with cocktails) on-shore are part of this year's event.

Nearly SIXTY boats are competing and the entry list keeps growing like kudzu weed every day.  At the moment, forgetting the fact that Ken Read, Brad Read, Terry Hutchinson and Ed Baird, amongst others, are a bit busy with some other sailing events, this year's J/24 East Coasts reads like a "who's who" of current class leaders-- all capable of winning since amongst them are World Champions, North American Champions, Midwinter Champions and Champion of Champions-- did we miss anything here?

In completely random order are teams that you've got to watch out for on the leader-board since they can all wreak havoc at a moments notice.  Amongst them, look for some characters on the yacht called COUGAR with Will Welles and Chuckie Allen brokering traffic behind them.  Class stalwart on BANGOR PACKET, Tony Parker, is working with friend Geoff Ewenson to keep them out of the corners.  Some guy named Tim Healy skippering SAILORS FOR THE SEA hopes to ensure his World's credentials aren't resigned to the ash-heap of history.  Keeping everyone in check at the start line and, most certainly, at the corners of the course are World Team Race Champions and another J/24 not-so-newb sailing WEST MARINE RIGGING- do both Peter and Carol Levesque and Charlie Enright ring a bell (is that fair?)?  Then, don't forget some old characters who are a throwback to the past in the J/24 class (like Mr Parker) but may be far, far more dangerous than ANY scorpion bite you've ever encountered-- a pilot/trainer for Alaska Airlines called Mark Laura may have your number far faster than you can snap themselves into a seat-belt, plus he's got MIT Master of the Universe Number Cruncher Steve Cucchiaro calling statistical analyses and tactical arbitration on every puff and wind shift.  If that weren't enough, fellow Bostonian Mark Hillman (yeah, the regatta sponsor) on WIP has a helluva strong team, so does Dave Van Cleef on CAROLINA GIRL.  Nameless on their boats, but absolutely not nameless in their track records are Mike Ingham (doh, another J/24 Champion?) from Rochester, NY and Mike Hobson (Ultimate Yacht Race Champion) from Annapolis, MD simply making sure the younger kids on the block don't get too uppity.

So, why such a stellar group of J/24 sailors thrashing around the buoys in Annapolis in late October masquerading in all kinds of Halloween costumes trying to remain un-noticed in the parking lots, chain hoists and the yacht club bar?  Well, next year's J/24 Worlds in Rochester, NY are an "open" J/24 Worlds, the first ever.  And, this event in Annapolis is one of the last "district" events you have to sail in to qualify to sail next year's 2012 J/24 Worlds!  That also explains why the "long distance" traveler award can already be named! TEAM SOKOKUMARU with Satoshi Kume from Tokyo, Japan at the helm-- now's never too late to get some practice in for next year!  For more J/24 HCM East Coast Championships sailing information
  

BMW Berlin Match Race Preview

BMW J/80s sailing match race cup Berlin, Germany (Berlin, Germany)- What do Jochen Schumann, Markus Wieser, and Bjorn Hansen - the match race world elite have in common?  They're guests competing in Wannsee on J/80s soon!  These World class sailors will participate in the 20th edition of the Berlin Match Race, that was initiated by prominent members of both organizing clubs, Achim Kadelbach (VSaW) and Peter Barnikow (BYC).

Markus Wieser, multiple World, and European Champion is looking forward to challenging his adversary of last year in the finals, Bj√∂rn Hansen from Sweden, who won the 19th Berlin Match Race and currently is 4th in the world ranking list. Mads Ebler, the Danish European match race champion in 2010, will also be fighting for every inch of the race. Undoubtedly the helmsmen William Tiller (New Zealand) and Keith Swinton (Australia) and their crews have had the longest journey to Berlin. Having travelled all the way around the world, returning empty handed is not an option for them. In the fight for the title Markus Wieser will be challenged by the top German sailor Jochen Schumann, twice winner of the America´s Cup and Olympic Games, who would also like to reclaim the victory and prize money (totaling about 20,000 Euro)!  The race will be sailed on J 80 class boats from 2nd to 6th November.  For more BMW Berlin Match Race sailing information, please visit the BMW Sailing site