Friday, May 31, 2013

THREE BIG DOGS Snatches Cinco de Mayo Regatta

J/24 sailing off Santa Barbara, CA in Cinco de Mayo Regatta (Santa Barbara, CA)- One of the highlights of the Santa Barbara sailing season is always the Cinco de Mayo celebration.  The event always attracts a good fleet of one-design classes.  In fact, Cinco de Mayo and the Fiesta Cup celebrated later in July are the highlights of the summertime sailing season for locals due to the enormous influx of sailors looking forward to the time-honored celebrations associated with each event.

Host of the Cinco de Mayo Regatta is the Santa Barbara Sailing Club, a wonderful "home-grown" sailing organization dedicated to promote primarily one-design class sailboat racing in the Santa Barbara area. Perhaps most importantly, it primary objective has been to provide affordable access to the sport of sailboat racing for the general sailing public.

J/24 sailing upwind offshore Santa Barbara, CA in Cinco de Mayo RegattaAttending this year's event was one of the strongest J/24 one-design turnouts in quite some time.  Sailing were a dozen J/24s with hot competition, especially for the top of the leaderboard.  Past J/24 North American Champion, Pat Toole and crew on THREE BIG DOGS, just barely managed to hang on to win the J/24 crown on a tie-breaker with identical scores!  The 3BD crew took a 3-1-1-3-2-2-1-2-1 scoreline for nine races to win. Giving them a serious run for the money was Klatt's JADED with a 1-2-3-1-4-1-2-1-2 tally for equal 13.0 pts for their eight counter races.  How was the tie-breaker broken?  Well after identical counts for 1st, 2nd and 3rds, it goes to who-beat-who in the last race!  Great racing to all!  Taking third overall while watching the histrionics taking place in front was Zimmerman sailing the mighty SVENJA. Fourth was Baurley's CRITTER and fifth was Susan Taylor's TAKE FIVE.   For more Cinco de Mayo Regatta sailing information

Gorgeous Sailing For Aldo Alessio Regatta

J/105s sailing on San francisco bayJ/111 MADMEN Debuts First Regatta
(San Francisco, CA)- It was nearly perfect, classic San Francisco Bay sailing conditions for the weekend.  A bit of fog in the morning, clearing soon after everyone had their first cup of coffee, then turning into gorgeous sunny weather with a solid westerly blowing through Golden Gate Bridge!  A recipe that many sailors love and will never tire from-- it has to be one of the world's most reliable "thermal breeze engines" (50 deg bay waters + 100 deg valley desert = 20-30 kts!).

With the largest fleet in the regatta, the eighteen J/105s had some spirited competition.  The winner, Bruce Stone on ARBITRAGE, sailed a constant series with a 3-1-6-5-1 record for 16 pts.  Adam Spiegel's JAM SESSION was second with a 4-3-2-6-3 for 18 pts.  Third was Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK with 5-4-rdg-1-5 for 19.5 pts.  Fourth was Jason Woodley and Scott Whitney on RISK and fifth was the DONKEY JACK trio- Shannon Ryan, Rolk Kaiser, Steve Kleha (might've been regatta winners had they not taken a dive down the rabbit hole in race 2 with an 11th).  Here's the report from the front of the pack- Bruce Stone on ARBITRAGE:

J/105 champions- N Breault and B Stone on Arbitrage- San Francisco Bay"Despite it being among the lightest ebbs of the month, the Aldo Alessio course was heavily tidal influenced, with typical city front conditions on Saturday.  There was a pronounced counter-clockwise favored course - go outside upwind in the stronger ebb and hug the city front downwind in less ebb.  You needed a good start and then tack immediately to get out the stronger ebb outside.  There were significant passing opportunities downwind as some folks stayed tight inshore and missed shots of extra breeze just a bit out, while others jibed out for that breeze, missed it and ended up sliding back in the ebb - the typical arbitrage of wind and tide!

On Sunday, the RC set up a Big Boat Series-type course with a starting line on the face of Treasure Island, exposing the fleet to an ebb running northerly along the line from the pin to the committee boat. This race course made more work for the tacticians, with the winners legging over toward downtown where the river running from south bay would then curve to the northwest into the channel between Alcatraz and the city front.  Those who spent time on port tack rode the ebb toward Angel Island probably hooked into a stronger ebb on the north side of Alcatraz, but in planning the day we felt the "lefty-lifty" conditions as one passed the south side of Alcatraz would trump the better ebb on the north side. And, anyone going right for more tide would then be coming back on a header to the windward marks at Presidio Shoal.

J/111 sailing San Francisco BayIt was also a great day for active trimming because the ebb made for choppy conditions as the wind built into the low 20's.  Nicole was constantly easing and trimming the main going upwind, and since we cross-sheet, she has the jib sheet on the winch right next to her and can do the final trim when we get up to speed from tacks, and ease when we encounter a particularly nasty wave set from the ferries.  Downwind there were gainers from catching waves through coordinated work on spin and mainsheet.  It was an exhausting weekend for the crew as everyone worked hard to get every extra bit out of the boat.  Second place Jam Session sailed an excellent regatta with some great starts and competitive tactics."

The half-dozen J/120s have historically had very tight racing, with no team simply dominating the events they sail together.  However, this may haven the first time in recent memory where that did happen! First was Barry Lewis's CHANCE with a strong three 1sts and two 2nds scoreline for 7 pts.  Second was Dick Swanson's GRACE DANCES with a 2-3-1-3-2 for 11 pts.  Third was John Wimer's DESDEMONA with a very consistent 3-4-3-2-3 for 15 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Steve Madeira's MR MAGOO in fourth and Timo Bruck's TWIST in fifth.

The IRC Class saw the debut of the J/111 MADMEN sailed by Dorian McKelvy.  Even with their "non-IRC optimized" rating, they sailed very well to score 3-3-3-6-6-6 for 27 pts and place 4th overall.  The wind was right in the 14-17 kts range, not enough wind to send the J/111 down the Bay in a full-on plane.  Nevertheless, post-race analysis shows that MADMEN's team did a great job sailing and using a "standard UK/French IRC certificate" for J/111s, it's clear the J/111 would've won IRC Class!   Sailing photo credits- Pressure-Drop.us   For more Aldo Alessio sailing information

Thursday, May 30, 2013

J's Sweep Oregon Offshore Race

J/122 Anam Cara sailing on Oregon Offshore raceJ/122 ANAM CARA Wins Class + Overall!
(Portland, Oregon)- It was a "Banner Year" for the 35th Edition of the Oregon Offshore Race.  Twenty seven entries, the most in over a decade or two.  The event has been a classic "feeder" taking enthusiastic offshore sailors from the friendly confines of Portland, Oregon up to the Seattle/ Victoria, BC region for some excellent sailing in the summers-- e.g. Vic-Maui, Seattle NOOD, Swiftsure Race and so forth.

J/46 RIVA crew showing how to get'er done offshore!The Oregon Offshore can be challenging, especially the long stretch from the start to the first turn at Cape Flattery.  The race goes 193 nm race, starting off Astoria, Oregon at the mouth of the famous Columbia River, then head north up around Cape Flattery at the opening of the Juan de Fuca Straits, then down ESE to the finish line at Victoria, BC, Canada.

Veterans of the race continue to demonstrate their knowledge of the capricious conditions that can confound the "newbies" who've not experienced the vagaries of storms, calms, whirlpools, massive eddies and currents and which shore to pick going down the Straits of Juan de Fuca!

J/42 sailing fast in cruising mode off Portland, OregonFor this year's edition, Tom Kelly's beautiful navy-blue hulled J/122 ANAM CARA swept the entire race, taking both A2 Class honors as well as 1st Overall!  Second in class and third overall was Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA (crew seen above relishing their amazing performance).  And, completing the sweep of A2 class was the J/42 VELOCITY sailed by Tom Keffer from Hood River, OR (seen here to right practicing "fast cruising").

Taking B Class honors was the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP.  She was 1st in Class and 5th overall sailed by the trio of Portland, OR co-owners Doug Schenk, Matt Davis and Eric Hopper.  Congratulations to all, fantastic performance in this challenging race!   For more Oregon Offshore sailing information

J/80s & J/70s Challenge Lidingo Runt Race

J/80s finishing LidingoRunt race off Sweden (Lidingo, Sweden)- The Around Lidingo Island Race was first organized by the Lidingo YC in 1949 as a small competition amongst friends to have some fun in the early part of the Swedish summertime.  The start is below Foresta / Millesgarden and the finish is at Old Torsviks lighthouse, north of Lidingobron.

For the first few years around fifty or so boats sailed, but the numbers began to increase quite rapidly. During the 2000s, the race had about 400 to 450 participating boats. The event is the start of the season for many East Coast sailors in Sweden.  In fact, the race has grown in such popularity that even Super Maxi 100 footers, Open 60s and 80 ft trimarans have participated for honors of "first around Lidingo"!

This year, a modest fleet of 280+ boats registered to sail the event, including a very strong class of a dozen J/80s sailing one design.  It also marked the debut of the first J/70 to participate in this famous "round island" race.

The J/80s saw the event as the first part of their training program to get teams ready to sail the J/80 Worlds in Marseilles, France as well as the J/80 Europeans.  Leading the pack home were the HAPPY team led by Johannnes Bergh.  Second was the DYNAMANT Consulting team with skipper Anders Rosenberg several minutes behind.  Third was MK-PRODUKTER sailed by Lars Gellerhed. Fourth was the HEAVY DUTY crew doing heavy duty work for skipper Pontus Tornlund. Rounding out the top five was TEAM SEGER led by Andreas Seger.

Sailing in by far one of the largest classes in the fleet was J/70 JULIA!  With next to no practice and little knowledge of how to make the J/70 go fast, it was amazing the Jan Nillson managed to skipper the J/70 to a third overall in their SRS-1 Handicap class against 23 other competitors.  For more Lidingo Runt sailing information

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Classic Cool Seattle NOOD

J/24 one-design sailing- Seattle NOOD regattaJ/24, J/80 & J/105s Sailed Dozen+ Races!
(Seattle, WA)- Yes, it was an amazing fact.  Long known for its famous late spring monsoon season with next to no wind, the Pacific Northwest version of the Sperry Topsider NOOD regattas can also produce some spectacular sailing conditions with the mighty, snow-capped Cascades Mountain range in the background.  While perhaps not postcard perfect sailing conditions, the sailors didn't care (see J/24 team at right)!  Wind was all that mattered, not the wet & wild variety, but just good breezes; the type of conditions that permitted the PRO's on the various course to seriously crank out some fast turn-arounds and dozens of starts. For the J/24s that meant an exhausting sixteen races and for the J/80s and J/105s a dozen races!

J/24s starting at Seattle NOOD RegattaAs anticipated, some of the top local J/24 teams managed to sail solid, consistent series to lead the pack of eighteen J/24s-- the largest fleet at the regatta.  Scott Milne's TREMENDOUS SLOUCH fired plenty of finishes into the top three to secure the top spot with 56 pts.  Mike Johnson's PEARL closed rapidly on the leaders after a slow start, counting 1-1-1-2-1 for his last five races to snag second overall with 62 pts.  Mark Laura's and Craig Suhrbier's BABA LOUIE were sailing the roller-coaster version of the top two leaders, winning some races, getting top three's, then bombing a race or two.  Net, net, BABA LOUIE's veterans hung tough and fought off challenges from others down the ladder to get the bronze on the podium with 81 pts. Fourth was Brad Miller's HAIR OF THE DOG and fifth was Jeff Bond's JOYRIDE.

The J/80s saw two veterans dueling for the top prize in their fleet, Bill McKinnon's SKYE ROCKET and Dave Schutte's TAJ MAHAL. However, even after closing the last six races with three 1sts and three 2nds, the TAJ gang couldn't muster enough momentum to overcome their early deficit.  Consequently, SKYE ROCKET took the win with 21 pts with TAJ in second with 23 pts.  Third went to Bryan Rhodes's CRAZY IVAN with 33 pts.

J/105s sailing Seattle NOOD RegattaWhat appeared to be the only "schooling" taking place at this regatta was the fact that Jerry Diercks's DELIRIUM team sailed deliriously well-- smacking their J/105 classmates with all finishes in the top three for 19 pts in 12 races.  Starting off with three bullets must've been a bit mind-numbing for their fellow J/105 sailors.  Nevertheless, taking a beating early but closing with a vengeance in the last six races as Erik Kristen's JUBILEE, snapping off four 1sts and two 3rd in the end to score 29 pts total to take a solid second overall.  Third was Eric Hopper's FREE BOWL OF SOUP, fresh off their most excellent performance in the Oregon Offshore Race.  The balance of the top five included Jim Geros's LAST TANGO in fourth and Lorenzo Migliorini's ALLEGRO VIVACE in fifth.   Sailing Photo credits- TimWilkes.com.  For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Regatta sailing information

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

J/80 ELECTRA Electrifies Grand Prix du Crouesty

J/80s sailing in French regatta at Crouesty ArzonJ/111 J-LANCE VIII Scores in IRC
(Crouesty Arzon, France)- One of the classic late spring, early summer events on the French sailing calendar is the Grand Prix du Crouesty sailed in southern Brittany. It's traditionally been a very strong one-design regatta with additions of handicap fleets over the years.  The GPEN is hosted by Yacht Club Crouesty Arzon and sponsored by the Yacht Club de France. The event is always sailed the weekend of Pentecost on the beautiful bay bordered by Presque'Ile Rhuys and the islands of Houat Hoedic called Mor Braz.

With over 130 boats and 600 sailors competing for three days literally just off the beaches and cliffs, the general public have an exceptional view of Petit Mont on the Bay of Mor Braz.  And, with magnificent conditions blessing the fleet for most of the weekend, the sailors got in some fantastic sailing and some spirited competition.

J/80s sailing downwind- Grand Prix Crouesty, FranceLike the first major J/80 event, this one also produced yet another "new kid on the block" at the top of the fleet. After sailing eight races, Quentin Ponroy's team on ELECTRA never finished out of the top five, scoring three 1sts and three 3rds to win with 12 pts net, a clear 16 pt margin of victory.  Sailing nearly as smart and fast was Simon Moriceau's INTERFACE CONCEPT, however, two "soon-to-be-forgotten" finishes of 12-18 in races 6 & 7 damaged their efforts to finish atop the podium, settling for second overall with 28 pts net.  Third was Nicolas Lunven on GENERALI, suffering a similar fate as Moriceau, having to face a 17-13-13 score mid-series to otherwise enable them at shot at the top, too.  Fourth was Phillipe Guigene on FAIS TOI PLAISIR MARINE LORIENT and fifth was the familiar team on Luc Nadal's GAN'JA.

J70 sailing Grand Prix Crouesty, FranceIn the Monotype Division, the combination of J/22s, J/24s and J/70s made for some interesting racing as the scoring was based on handicap.  While the J/70s were miles ahead crossing the line on elapsed times, they could only wait until they got to the dock at the end of the day to know how they performed on corrected.  Nevertheless, the J/22s swept the division based on handicap.  More importantly, on a class-by-class basis there were clear leaders as described below.

For the J/22s, top dog was Patrick Huet's EUROPEAN HOMES sailing to nearly straight firsts amongst J/22s.  Second was Charles Michaux's JAZZY and third was Claire Pouteau's SOFFE.

J/24s sailing Grand Prix Crouesty- FranceThe J/70s were led by Gerard Chapelot sailing ALBERTO sailing very consistently.  Second was Luc Lajoye's EXIUM and in third was Jean-Marc Gosset's VOILERIE SAILS CONCEPT.

In J/24s, the leader was Aorelian Garcia's INSULARIS followed by Charles Gury's JINETTE.

The IRC handicap division saw Didier Le Moal's J/111 J/LANCE VIII take third on the podium despite having a very slow start to finish with a 3-1-4-3 for 23 pts net.   For more Grand Prix du Crouesty sailing information

Fun Sailing North Sea Week

J/22s sailing one-design off The NetherlandsJ/22, J/24, J/109s Enjoy Close Racing
(The Hague, Netherlands)- The major summer regatta in the Netherlands, Delta Lloyd North Sea Week, saw some great competition, nice weather and one of their best turn-outs for participation in recent years.  Teams from all over Europe migrated down to the beautiful seashore off the Hague, including the J/22, J/24 and J/109 one-design classes.

J/22s sailing the Netherlands around markThe J/22s saw some new faces at the top of the podium this past week, a refreshing change in this ever evolving fun class in the Netherlands, Germany and France.  Sailing an amazing series and counting only top three finishes after ten races was the FRAPORITA team led by Jean-Michel Lautier, Giuseppe D'Aquino and Denis Neve-- 13 pts net for 10 races!  Showing flashes of brilliance with three bullets in their shoreline was the all-women XJE team led by Misja Adamczyk, Lilith Michaelis and Marion de Ha.  Starting out in the lead after four races, the girls faded in their last four, never finishing higher than fourth.  Nevertheless, they maintained their composure and with 22 net pts secured second overall.  Third overall on the podium was JABBADABBADOO sailed by Stan Heltzel, Nadine Fritz and Audrey Paterson with 23 net pts.  The balance of the top five was Sander Brinkhuis's DJINN in fourth and fifth was Ivo Jeaukens's DE KANTOORBUTLER.

The half-dozen J/24s sailing saw NED 49 take the silverware by a significant point margin. The team of Erik Jeuring, Calijn Muller, Jeroen Horts and Merk Meester ran away with the regatta counting straight firsts in eight races!  Second was NED 51- DE JANS sailed by Nils Jannichsen, Nina Hagoort and Peter Jannichsen followed by BED 68- AS IS helmed by Dirk de Brouwere.

With nine boats sailing, the J/109s had some awesome one-design racing.  Like some of his fellow J sailing colleagues in other fleets, Tom van der Vecht's EXPECTO nearly swept the class counting eight 1sts in ten races to be crowned North Sea Week J/109 Champion.  Second was A van Leeuwen's JOULE finishing second overall with 16 pts.  Third was Niels Groothuizen's TAXATION with 19 pts.  Fourth was BIG TIME (Rein Bakker) and fifth was the offshore veteran sailing team on YETI (Paul van der Pol).

In IRC Class, an initial contender was the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER sailed by John van de Starre and Robin Verhoef.  After flirting with the lead sailing a 2-2 on the first day, their hopes vanished for a podium finish after struggling to regain their "mojo" and momentum, ending up an uncharacteristic 5th in their class.  For more Delta Lloyd North Sea week sailing information

Monday, May 27, 2013

J/24 German Open Success!

J/24 German Open- girls rule!Top German Women's Team Take Silver
(Gl├╝cksburg, Germany)- The J/24 class in Germany continues to have fun sailing competitive regattas across the many inland lakes as well as on the Baltic or North Seas.  Recently, their J/24 German Open Regatta was hosted by Flensburger Segel-Club sailed in the Flensburg Fjord on the Baltic Sea, a beautiful and challenging place to sail for anyone.

A fleet of 28 J/24s showed up en masse to enjoy the event.  Despite difficult weather conditions for the weekend of sailing, the PRO managed to conduct four races for the fleet of the nine that were planned.

J/24 German women's team leading sailing on Baltic Sea!In the end, the team of GER 5420 took first place by the narrowest of margins.  With Simon Grorteluschen as skipper and crew of Justus Kellner, Tobias Peters, Jan-Marc Ulrich and Mattias Wallentin, their team started slowly and finished with a flourish, scoring 8-6-2-3 for 19 pts to take the regatta by one point.

Second overall was the top women's German team that sailed extremely well in the event (pictured above).  GER 513 skipper by Ragna Thonnessen with crew of Laura Hatje, Ann-Kathrin Frank, Lisa Raschdorf, Janne Hopken and Venita Damm sailed to a 3-1-9-7 for 20 points.  Sadly, they started fast out of the blocks leading the regatta but couldn't hang in there for the overall win.

J/24 German Open winners on podium!Taking the third position on the podium was GER 5281 skippered by Jan Kahler.  His crew of Roland Bohm, Tim Becker, Olaf Zeitz and Ole Harder sailed the best last three races for the entire fleet! However, their first race killed their chances for the top of the podium.  They scored a 12-4-1-4 for 21 pts, to narrowly miss out taking the regatta overall.

Rounding out the top five finishes are the GER 4230 team lead by Peer Kock in fourth and GER 5440 skippered by Matthias Garzmann in fifth.  Congratulations to all for such a great turnout!  Sailing photos- Ingvild Buchholz and Hajo Andresen.   For more J/24 German Open sailing information

SHMOKIN & JELLYFISH Top Vice Admirals Cup Regatta

J/111 sailing upwind on Solent off Cowes, England (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club recently hosted the ninth Vice Admiral’s Cup Regatta with MUSTO as its principal sponsor.  Since its introduction the Vice Admiral Cup has gone from strength to strength with it’s close racing format and fun social programme making it enjoyable for all the competitors.  Strong turnouts of J/111s and J/109s made for fantastic racing across a broad spectrum of conditions-- shorts & shades to something "good for ducks on a cool, damp day".

On the first day, with four frenetic races there was plenty of action for the competitors taking part in the opening round of the 2013 Musto Vice Admiral's Cup.  Race Officers Bob Milner, officiating for the bigger boats, and Robert Lamb, on the small boat course, kept their customer's good and busy with some great windward leeward racing on Central Solent courses in a variable 8-15 knots from the north east. The smaller boats managed three races whilst the larger boats pushed through and went for a fourth.

J/111s starting off line in Vice Commodores Cup- Cowes, EnglandClass 2s six J/111s proved to be a three way battle between James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE, David and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM and Duncan McDonald & Phil Thomas's SHMOKIN' JOE. The only boat that was able to challenge the trio all day was Tony Mack's MCFLY who made the podium twice with a second in race two and a third in race four, which put them into fourth overall at the end of the day. With a 1-3-3-1 scoreline it was JEEZ LOUISE that took J/111 of the day by a single point from J-DREAM. SHMOKIN' JOE showed great speed, but a lost protest in the fourth race, which means that although they still hold onto fourth place they are now four points behind J-DREAM and only a single point ahead of MCFLY.

What the fleets on the small boat course lack in size they more than make up for in numbers. Class 3 featured thirteen J/109s with a different winner for each of their three races. First to show was David Richard's JUMPING JELLYFISH who claimed race one and went on to add a third and a fourth to their scoreline to take the overall lead with eight points. Andy Johns and David Rolfe's SHADOWFAX got her regatta off to a slightly wobbly start with a seventh place but won race two and took third in race three to claim second place overall on eleven points. Just one point behind them was Steve and Jody Maine's J2EAU who won the final race of the day.

The second day of racing brought a mixed bag of weather. Morning saw very light airs and weak sunshine forcing the race committee to postpone. After an hour's delay racing began under steely skies in a shifty and patchy breeze of circa five knots from the west-south-west. As the day wore on the wind built slowly, maxing out at around ten to twelve knots by mid afternoon, and the sun eventually put in a most welcome late appearance.

With the Solent jam packed with dozens of events and classes, Bob Milner elected to take the big boats west for clear air and set up shop off the entrance to Beaulieu River. Meanwhile Robert Lamb managed to find a nice corridor for the small boat fleet up and down the Bramble Bank. Both fleets completed three races today.

James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE hung onto the overall lead in J/111s by the skin of his teeth. He went into the day with a single point lead and added a pair of seconds and a bullet to his score so now counts 10 points overall. Top performer of the day was Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas's SHMOKIN' JOE with a pair of first followed by a second, which jumps them up for third overall into second on count back sharing equal points with JEEZ LOUISE. David and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM had a mixed day with a third and fourth followed by a did not finish and they drop down from second overall to third, six points behind the leaders.

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind at Vice Commodore's Cup- Cowes, EnglandDavid Richards' JUMPING JELLYFISH put in another very conservative day with a four, two, four score and continues to lead the J/109s in Class 3 with a seven point margin. Paul James's JIGSAW turned the tables after yesterday's mediocre performance and jumped from ninth overall to second with the help of a pair of wins and a sixth place. Tony Dickin, helming JUBILEE, moved up from fourth to third and is now tied on equal points with JIGSAW. Last night's second placed SHADOWFAX, owned by Andy Johns and David Rolfe, struggled in the light airs finishing ninth and tenth before recovering with a second in the windier last race. As a result they drop down from third to fourth overall, but are only one point behind JIGSAW and JUBILEE. Top J/109 performer today was FARDONYX, helmed by William Edwards, with a pair of thirds and a first, however they were unable to sail yesterday so currently lie ninth overall.

"Good weather for ducks" is probably the best way to describe conditions on the final day of sailing where grey was the predominant color and oilskins were the preferred attire (good news for sponsor Musto!). Fortunately nothing could dampen the spirits of the competing teams who took on two final races to decide this hugely competitive series. Winds were predominantly from the northeast, but with some very big shifts and velocity ranging from sub five to around ten knots the tacticians and trimmers certainly got a strenuous workout. Once again Rob Lamb took the small boat fleet onto the Bramble Bank and Bob Milner returned to the Ryde Bank area with the big boats.

The final result of the J/111s went down to a protest between Duncan McDonald and Phil Thomas's SHMOKIN' JOE and Tony Mack's MCFLY regarding a pair of incidents on the run into and rounding of the leeward mark in the final race. The Protest Committee elected to hear both protests together and ultimately found that SHMOKIN' JOE had not infringed. A very relieved SHMOKIN' JOE were delighted to claim overall victory in the class from James Arnell's JEEZ LOUISE. Having had to pull out of yesterday's race seven David and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM was back in the hunt today and a third and fourth place put them into third overall, just one point ahead of MCFLY.

J/109s sailing off start- Vice Commodores Cup- Cowes, EnglandIn the J/109s, William Edwards' FARDONYX and David Richard's JUMPING JELLYFISH battled it out for supremacy with each boat adding a second and a first to their totals. For JUMPING JELLYFISH the hard work paid off with overall victory by a confident twelve-point margin, but FARDONYX had to settle for fifth overall having been unable to compete on the opening day. The battle for second and third was incredibly close with half a dozen boats in contention for a podium place going into the day. Paul James of Jigsaw had held second place on count back from Tony Dickin aboard JUBILEE, but just couldn't seem to find traction in the difficult conditions and after two disastrous results dropped down into sixth. JUBILEE meanwhile played it conservatively taking a third and fifth and put themselves onto the second step of the podium. Thanks to a third place in the final race Steve and Jody Maine's J2EAU snatched third overall, just one point ahead of Andy Johns and David Rolfe's SHADOWFAX.  Thanks for contribution from Fiona Brown.   For more Vice Admiral's Cup sailing information

Sunday, May 26, 2013

J/125 Takes Big Daddy!

J/125 sailing on San Francisco Bay (Richmond, CA)- One of the first major regattas of the summer sailing season on San Francisco Bay is generally Richmond YC's Big Daddy Regatta.  Richmond is home to the famous J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE, sailed by co-owners Peter Kreuger and Andy Costello.

Their boat has a full summer program, including Bay inshore regattas as well as offshore classics like the Spinnaker Cup (a race from San Francisco down the coastline to Monterey Bay) and the Santa Barbara- King Harbor Race (a race from Santa Barbara, out around the Channel Islands and down to King Harbor off southwest Los Angeles).

J/125 Double Trouble- co-owners Andy Costello (L) and Peter Kreuger (R)DOUBLE TROUBLE started her inshore series this past weekend with a "bang". With Peter Kreuger at the helm and his DOUBLE TROUBLE Big Boat Series 2012 winning crew all aboard, including tactician Jeff "Madro" Madrigali. DT was blazing fast using her new North 3DI Inshore sail Inventory.

The team had great boat speed and solid boat-handling.  Along with Madro's tactics their excellent team effort put them in the top spot with 6 points in the best of 3 series.  They held off some other great teams, including the new MC 38 Whiplash and Big boat series winner from 2012 IRC B- TNT, the custom Tripp 43.  For more on the J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE's sailing escapades

J/97 Sailing Hudson River New York Having Fun!

J/97 sailing on Hudson River, New York- family offshore cruiser-racer sailboat
* J/97 offshore cruiser-racer endorsements continue to stream in from across the world of sailing (see photos above). This time, CC Dwyer from Hudson, New York, one of J/97's first women owners had some choice comments for her fellow J/Sailing enthusiasts regarding launching her J/97 for the 2013 sailing season-- "She's been in for a couple of weeks. The boat is SO MUCH FUN I can't begin to tell you. We are so in LOVE! I've attached a couple of photos for you. She looks so cool!!"   Sailing photo credits- Ginger Weismantel

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Porter Leads J/24 Mexico Series

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The active, fun and highly competitive J/24 class in Mexico continue to attract a strong following across their country, particularly at Valle de Bravo (a gorgeous mountain lake west of Mexico City) and at Puerto Vallarta (the renown resort along the Pacific Coast) where they sail on the picturesque Bahia de Banderas.

The sailing was close for the first part of the J/24 Mexican National series, with two dozen races divided into five events over the course of time.  So far, 39 different J/24 teams have sailed in regattas.  The first series ended on an upbeat note, with a gorgeous day and onshore breezes of a steady 10-14 knots, gusting 16-18 knots.

Congratulations to the winners of the 1st part of the series, sailing the mighty yacht "S", with skipper Kenneth Porter leading the charge with his crew Gerrit Gentry, Kenneth Porter Galindo, Gerrit Gentry Homes and Leopoldo Farias.  Second overall went to Miguel Arroyo's team on CHILE MANZANO, his crew included Alan Benitez, Tito Benitez, Manuel Benitez and Javier Benitez.  Third was skipper  Javier Velasquez along with his crew Ricardo Robledo, Emigdio, and Erick Gonzalez Feliciano White.  Rounding out the top five were  Eduardo Porter's CHARISMA and in fifth place was Peter Wiegandt's BRUSCHETTA.
For more J/24 Mexico National Championship series information

FIGAWI Race Preview

J/105s sailing FIGAWI Race(Nantucket, MA)- The 42nd Annual Figawi Race Weekend is recognized as a top sailing event not only on the east coast but is known worldwide. Figawi Race Weekend kicks off the the Cape Cod and Nantucket summer season. Participating this year are 210 boats with over 3,000 sailors and friends attending the event, one of the world's largest "pursuit-style" races.

The folklore associated with this race is legendary-- far too too many stories, many that will remain buried forever, while others thrive and are retold hundreds of times.  Needless to say, the race had its origins as a friendly competition with a few sailors from Hyannis and Nantucket.  A long time ago, four sailors started out from Baxter's Boathouse in Hyannis to race their sailboats to Nantucket.  That race would be the first of the Figawi Race Weekends, and the beginning of what has become a Cape Cod tradition.  And, an enormous Memorial Day Weekend party celebration for dozens of notable charities.

Whether it was the charm of a race to Nantucket, or maybe just the personal appeal of the early founders is really not clear, but Figawi began to grow by leaps and bounds.  In the early eighties, some notable skippers calling the Cape their summer home-- names like Kennedy and Koch-- began to sail with the fleet and spread the Figawi news all around New England, indeed across the world.

Figawi Charity Ball- NantucketIn 1987 the Figawi organizers decided they wanted to create a means of giving back to their home communities and what better way than to develop a charity ball. So they invited sailors, local businessmen, and friends to the first Figawi Ball. With around a seven hundred guests, money was raised with the commitment to support only local charities.  Over the last twenty years the Figawi Charity Ball has become the largest single night of fund raising for local charities. Now each year, "THE BALL" attracts 1,200 passionate supporters and is considered to be the premier social event of the season. It's not only famous as a great night out (no need to elaborate here), but thanks to the generosity of sponsors and proceeds from raffles and the silent auction, Figawi Charities generates nearly $200,000 each year and has provided over $2.2 million in support to local organizations who would otherwise go without.

This year, the weekend begins with a "Kickoff Party" at Hyannis Yacht Club on Friday, May 24th, 2013.  It's for competitors, friends, family, and Figawi fans. Beginning at 3 pm, there is a cash bar, coveted Figawi merchandise for sale and great entertainment.

Early Saturday morning, crews begin gathering. Skippers and boat owners prepare their boats, gather their crews, and head out to the start line. The first boat (the slowest from a PHRF rating standpoint) officially begins at 10 am off the Hyannis Port Jetty and by noon, when the fastest boats finally start, there are 13 divisions sailing majestically across Nantucket Sound.

Depending on the course conditions, the theory of the Pursuit Race format is that all competitors should reach the Nantucket Harbor buoy at around the same time. Over the years, there have been in fact rather remarkable finishes with enormous clumps of boats in all size ranges flying past the finish line (out West, the San Diego and Santa Barbara sailors have their Hot Rum Series and the San Francisco sailors have their Three Bridge Fiasco-- all the same basic idea).

After the Saturday evening Competitors Party and general R&R on Sunday, the afternoon Awards Ceremony Party is then followed by the Charity Ball. For those still capable of sailing, Monday has the "Redux" race back Hyannis. The gathering at Hyannis YC in the afternoon includes entertainment and one last time to enjoy the Figawi camaraderie until next year.

J/Teams have done quite well in the event, often winning class and on several occasions winning the entire race boat-for-boat overall!  The J's range in size from J/24s up to the gorgeous J/160.  Sailing this year are two J/24s- MUTINOUS DOGS (Marc Holdaway), DRAGIN-Z-BALZ (Jon Wenderoth); the J/29 SEEFEST (Ira Perry); six J/105s including PRIMA sailed by the Nantucket High School Sailing Team; two J/109s including SPITFIRE (Dan Grossman) and DEJRA VU (Jim Bello); two J/111s including PRAVDA 2 (Ed Kaye) and EAGLES DARE (Mike Piper); the J/37 DUCK SOUP (Stephen Lipman); two J/40s- JAZZ (Kirk Brown) and SMITTEN (Bill Jones); two J/120s- M-SQUARED (Bill Mack) and GLORY (Dave Follett); the J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS (Jim Masiero); the J/44- BEAGLE (Phil Gutin); and the J/160 AVATAR (Alan Fougere).
For more FIGAWI Race sailing information

Swiftsure Race Preview

J/120 sailboat- sailing the Swiftsure Race(Victoria, BC, Canada)- For Pacific Northwest sailors the start of their offshore sailing summer is marked by the rituals associated with preparing for the premiere offshore race, "the Swiftsure."  Hosted by Royal Victoria YC, the race takes place over the Memorial Day Weekend, starting May 25th and finishing May 27th.

The Swiftsure's a rugged, exacting, colorful, and international competition. Or, it can be quite the boring "Driftsure," sometimes accompanied by fog and drizzle.  Every year, the Swiftsure becomes a major community event and is the premiere long distance sailing race in the Canadian/ American Pacific Northwest. It's a race in which yachts, both racing and cruising, and crews capable of adventure in exposed waters are encouraged to compete and test their skills. Swiftsure has drawn boats and sailors from California, Hawaii, New Zealand and even Russia.

J/122 sailing Swiftsure Race- Straits of Juan de FucaThe nature of the course and the potential variety of sailing conditions are a significant test of good seamanship. Swiftsure is now actually five different races over three separate courses, plus an inshore regatta. The "classic" Swiftsure Lightship Classic course goes out to Swiftsure Bank and return for 139nm.  The Cape Flattery Race goes to Neah Bay and return for 103nm and the Juan de Fuca Race sails to Clallam Bay and return for 80nm.  The inshore race courses are determined based on wind/ weather conditions the day of the race.

Leading the J's into the Straits may be John McPhail's J/160 JAM in the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Division, the only J/Team participating in that division.  And, nipping at their heels sailing the Cape Flattery Unlimited Class will be Tom Huseby's J/145 DOUBLE TAKE.

J/105 sailing offshore in Swiftsure RaceIn the Cape Flattery Division, it will be a duel for line honors with Tom Kelly's J/122 ANAM CARA, Lynn Adkins J/111 ADALGISA and Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA.  Giving them a run for the money on handicap honors will be the J/120 TIME BANDIT (Bob Brunius), the J/109 ILLUSIONIST (Dave MacLean), the J/35 TAHLEQUAH (Don Leighton), the J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE (Ron Mackenzie), the J/42 VELOCITY (Tom Keffer) and two J/105s-  ALLEGRO VIVACE (Lorenzo Migliorini) and FREE BOWL OF SOUP (Doug Schenk & Eric Hopper).

Sailing the Juan de Fuca Race will be the J/109 TIPPY (Peter McComb) and two J/30s- CONRAD J (Geoffrey Wolf) and IMPULSIVE (Ulf-Georg Gwildis.

Finally, doing the day-sailing portion of the event, the Inshore Flying Sails Division will be the J/35 INTREPID skippered by Bob McClinton and the J/33 CORVO sailed by Tom Kerr.  Sailing photo credits- Brenda Jacques (bjart@shaw.ca)/ Andrew Madding (bowshot@shaw.ca).  For more Swiftsure Yacht Race sailing information

J/Cup Awards Hosted @ UK's National Marine Aquarium!

(Plymouth, England)- The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth will host the final prize-giving ceremony for the 2013 J-Cup hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club, August 21st-24th. Though not the first time the annual regatta has visited the West Country, this will be the first time that the spectacular marine facility will feature in the regatta programme.

The National Marine Aquarium is the largest of its kind in the UK, with over 70 sharks and varieties of exhibits. Centrally located and a must-visit for tourists to the maritime city, the glass-fronted aquarium boasts superb views of the Barbican and Plymouth Sound, where some of the J-Cup racing will take place. As well as a tourist attraction, the Aquarium is also a registered charity, committed to promoting a sympathetic understanding of the sea through programmes of education, conservation and research.

J-Cup competitors will have exclusive use of the entire aquarium and its gardens for the prize-giving, which will take place on the final night of the regatta; Saturday 24th August. Sailors will enjoy a locally sourced "Best of the West" supper, followed by dancing in the Upper Gallery, against a backdrop of Plymouth Sound.

The J-Cup is an annual regatta exclusively for boats of the J/Boats brand, and all J/Boats models are eligible to compete. The 2013 event will debut the J/70 class- the exciting little 7m sportsboat which boasts 20knots+ of downwind boat speed. The J-Cup will also feature UK National Championships for the J/97 and J/109 and the J/97 EuroCup.

Paul Heys of Key Yachting, the distributor for J/Boats in the UK and the company who organize the J/Cup said, "We are delighted to be heading back down West where many of our owners sail and are looking forward to a prize-giving party unlike any we’ve had before!’   For more J/Cup sailing information.