Friday, February 28, 2014

Porter Wins Triple Cup Scappino

(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Over this past weekend, the large fleet of J/24s sailing on Valle de Bravo enjoyed a nice weekend of sailing in the “Triple Cup Scappino”.  For many in the eighteen boat fleet, it served as a “warm-up” and training program for their crews as the focus on the J/24 North Americans being held in the middle of March in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Club Náutico Valle de Bravo hosted and organized the Triple Cup Scappino.  They were blessed with decent weather conditions on the the lake with winds between 6-7 knots, gusting 10 to 14 knots for most of the weekend.

Taking the overall win was a familiar team at the head of the pack, TEAM S, with skipper Kenneth Porter and crew of Kenneth Porter Jr., Gerrit Gentry, Luis Vázquez Mota and Luis Vázquez Mota Jr.  Giving them strong competition both days was the second place team on TA’LENTO, helmed by Luis Alvarez and sailing with his mostly family crew of Sharon Alvarez, Patricio Alvarez, Walter Porter and Andrew Alvarado.  Taking the last spot on the podium was TRINQUETTE sailed by Javier Velásquez, Mirsha Herrera, Emigdio Jimenez, Genaro Ozuna and Infanzón Ramirez.

The Valle de Bravo J/24 fleet also was to “congratulate” and “welcome back” Hugo Martínez, Rafael Villasante , Alfonso and Victor Serrano and Victor to the fleet!   For more Mexican J/24 sailing information

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Club J/80 Promotes Chennai Sailing Festival

J/80 sailng off Chennai, India (Chennai, India)- Located in Chennai, the Royal Madras Yacht Club (RMYC) was the first sailing Club in the South of India. It was founded in 1911 by the then Chairman of The Madras Port Trust– Mr. Francis Spring. Now, a century later, you will find that RMYC is still pursuing the ideals laid down at the very beginning. The Club’s primary purpose is “to promote the sport of sailing” in all its aspects. The RMYC members pride themselves in being an active, inclusive and family-friendly Sailing Club, working together to encourage participation in the sport— old or young, experienced or novice they welcome all those whose aim is to have “fun” on the waters.

J/80 sailing off Chennai, India at sunsetRecently, members of RMYC created CLUB J/80 and put on a show with the Indian Coast Guard Service and the Tamilnadu Marine Police during the Chennai Waterfront Festival.  The messaging was- to promote sailing as an “eco-friendly, green boating activity”.

Each of the J/80s participating took up to ten people aboard, including family and friends.  There were thousands lined up on the marina beach to enjoy the spectacular J/80s sailing back and forth on 16th Jan 2014.

These are some of the pictures taken from a helicopter hovering around the J 80s, with the setting sun and the city in the background.

The report from the Hindu follows:
“On Thursday, as people thronged the beach, some may have noticed a number of specks on the sea, close yet far out of reach.

J/80 sailing enthusiasts- Chennai, IndiaA chopper circled overhead, a hovercraft periodically went up and down the sea, and a couple of sailboats and Coast Guard boats bobbed on the waves, keeping watch on the bay. There were also a few divers on the shore waiting to grab that errant person who managed to venture into the sea through the makeshift barricades.

The Coast Guard began its vigil of the coast a little after mid-day and continued until midnight, along the Marina and Elliot’s beaches in Chennai.  Smaller boats patrolled the sea in Puducherry, Karaikkal, Tuticorin and Mandapam,” said S.P. Sharma, Commander, Indian Coast Guard (east).

The Coast Guard’s patrol boats sliced through the waves, while two J/80 class sailboats with Coast Guard and RMYC (Royal Madras Yacht Club) logo’s printed on the sail propagated the Coast Guard motto: “To maintain a pollution-free, green ocean.”

Mr. Sharma said, “The seeds were sown on February 1, 1977, when the Coast Guard began policing the sea. Their association with RMYC would help build the character of the youth when they sailed the seas and understand its behavior,” he said.

“The State, with its well-prepared Coast Guard patrol team, had not lost any fisherman to the spate of cyclones that rocked it last year,” said Mr. Sharma.

Recently, the Coast Guard added two more Dornier aircraft to the existing three. The State government had also allocated 50 acres to create an air station for the Coast Guard with the aim of making it easy to patrol the northern parts of the Indian Ocean.

The Coast Guard is in the process of acquiring the land. “When that happens, we will be able to reach the Gulf of Mannar (region) faster. It now takes a long time to reach from Chennai,” he said.

“The water-jet-propelled patrol boat, AADESH, which was recently commissioned at Cochin shipyard is expected to arrive soon and will be stationed in Tuticorin to patrol the Gulf of Mannar,” said Mr. Sharma.  Thanks for contribution from “The Hindu”.

For more information about sailing J/80s in India as well as the Royal Madras YC sailing program (, please contact- Sunil Lobo-

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

CATAPULT Launched @ ST Pete NOOD

J70 Catapult team BUCKAROO Kicks J/24s, J/29s Sweep PHRF 2
(St Petersburg, FL)- The sailors at this year’s Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta were blessed with good sailing conditions for two of the three days on Tampa Bay.  Over the long Valentine’s Day to President’s Day weekend, the forty-five J’s sailing were treated to a well-run regatta by host St Petersburg YC. After an on-shore postponement the first day, the breeze picked up for a nice afternoon of sailing.  Breezy, shifty conditions made for a great second day on the water on the Bay.  Unfortunately, the third day was a total “glass-out” all day.

Starting with the world of sailing classic J/24s, the twelve boat fleet saw extremely competitive racing with a surprising outcome from the perspective of the local hotshots— the sailors “who came in from the cold” of the Great North trumped highly regarded American J/24 teams!

J70s sailing off St PetersburgWhile many expected the pre-regatta favorite Robby Brown on USA 799 to be one of the top boats overall, not many were expecting “the Canadians” to thaw out quick enough and sail hot and fast in sunny southern Florida.  After winning three of five races, compiling a record of 3-1-1-4-1 for 10 pts, Dave Odgen and his merry bandits from Toronto, Ontario aboard BUCKAROO certainly deserved their win.  Brown’s team from St Petersburg, FL sailed well, perhaps a bit shell-shocked by the Canadian’s performance, and managed to amass a 4-2-3-1-3 tally for 13 pts, good enough for second overall.  Taking third was another Canadian team, this time from one of the eastern provinces.  Ben Maloney’s crew on LIFTED, hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, started off fast with a bullet, then sailed consistently to capture the last spot on the podium with a 1-7-4-2-5 record for 19 pts.  The balance of the top five was Tom Kane’s Chicago, IL crew on HONEY BADGER taking fourth on a tie-breaker over Dave Mendelblatt’s team on FAT LADY from St Petersburg, FL.

In the PHRF handicap arena, the trio of J/29s swept their class, dueling for class supremacy all weekend long.  Ray Mannix on SEMPER FI from Largo, FL took the honors with a stunning five straight bullets!  Just behind them it was a battle for second and third overall for the other two J/29s, both with all finishes in the top three!  The Mui/ Kennalley/ Davies trio from Chicago, IL on MEATLOAF/ FAMILY CIRCUS outlasted their colleagues, taking the silver with a 3-2-2-3-2 record for 12 pts.  On the losing end of the fight was local Tampa Bay guru Harvey Ford sailing WILDKAT to a 2-3-3-2-3 scoreline for 13 pts.

J/70 sailing on Tampa BayA fleet of twenty-eight J/70s participated in this year’s ST PETE NOOD, a collection of teams that have sailed both the Key West J/70 Midwinters and the Quantum Winter Series at Davis Island YC just across Tampa Bay.  The J/70 class emerged as this year’s most competitive by far. The 28-boat fleet was the regatta’s largest and saw dramatic jockeying atop the leader board. The day began with Jud Smith and crew aboard AFRICA leading the class, however three consecutive first-place finishes to start Friday’s racing launched Minneapolis-based skipper Joel Ronning into the lead. Ronning and crew, on the aptly-named Catapult, sprung into the class’s top-spot by making quick, tactical decisions and flawlessly executing their sailing strategies in choppy waters.

After the dust settled, it was pretty obvious that Joel Ronning’s team on CATAPULT had not only another gear upwind and downwind to sail fast, but they used that ability to get themselves out of trouble to win the regatta by ten points.  Ronning’s crew amassed a 2-1-1-1-2 record for 7 pts; they were followed by Jud Smith’s AFRICA in second with a 1-2-6-2-6 score for 17 pts and third was Mark Ploch’s SUGAR DADDY with a steady 3-3-3-3-8 line for 20 pts.  Will Welles’s RASCAL was fourth and Martie Kullmans’ TOUCH2PLAY was fifth.

Sailing aboard Ronning’s team was a crew that consisted of Bill Hardesty calling tactics, Willem van Waay as cockpit and “guest star” Meredith Powlison from SAILING WORLD magazine.  Meredith was a last minute recruit and wrote a blog report about her experience and “lessons learned” on the winning boat.  She provided some good insight on what it took win the regatta.

Here’s Meredith’s report on Day One:

“‘I’d rather work on boats peed than takedowns,’ Bill Hardesty says the day before racing. ‘If you’re ahead of everyone, the takedown will just happen.’

We’re talking about our plan for the day ahead at the 2014 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta. A few hours earlier, Hardesty and Joel Ronning pulled me aside at registration and asked if I could sail for the weekend on Ronning’s J/70 Catapult, as winter storm Pax has cancelled the flight of their fourth crew.

So we sort out the specifics of the day ahead, and how to get me up to speed fast in a boat I’ve never spent significant time in.

J/70 sailing fast downwind- spinnakerBut Hardesty’s words ring true when the AP is lowered the following day, in mid-afternoon, and we head out to the course for the one and only race of the day. The breeze builds to 5-10 knots as we get out to our circle, and the guys take the time to sail upwind as Willem van Waay locks in our rig tune. We discuss the jib car location and then spin back down to grab our starting sequence.

With a clean lane and our bow out off the start, we find our boat speed and get far away enough from traffic to play the shifts. We round the windward mark in the top five, and then take starboard jibe out to the leeward layline. With a good header, we jibe, round the favored gate, and head back upwind.

The leader’s too far ahead to catch, but we make our move to solidify second place by playing the righthand side of the course.

It’s a nice calm race to start the regatta with, and a good reminder that no matter who you’re sailing with, if you can get around the course faster than the other boats, you’re set up for success.”

For Day Two, Meredith exclaimed, “patience was a virtue in St Pete”:

“As we reached a lull on the right side of the course, with most of the fleet to weather and lifted, our race looked grim. We wondered whether the left shift was persistent, whether we’d missed our chance and would be putting more points on the board than we’d have liked to.

In the 28-boat J/70 fleet at the Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD, consistency was paying off. Joel, Bill, Willem, and I posted three first-places finishes on this second day of racing. Boat speed, good starts, and staying in phase in the shifty, puffy 10-15 knot conditions were key.

The first beat of this fourth and final race of the day was not ideal. We’d started near the boat and tacked onto port, the lifted tack, soon after. As the fleet to weather of us tacked and continued to be lifted, however, we held on to the right and continued to work to find the next shift.

As the breeze started to oscillate and head us farther up the course, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. “I wasn’t going to tack and go behind 15 boats,” says Hardesty.

It paid off to stick to our guns and stay in phase, looking upwind for the next shift.

By the top of the beat, we’d caught up to second place and held that position to the end. Even though our race was looking ugly, it paid off to stick to our guns and stay in phase, looking upwind for the next shift.”

After the final day of racing, Meredith asked Hardesty for their Five Key’s to success at St Pete:

“As we waited for breeze that never filled in on the third day at the 2014 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD, I took the opportunity to consider what made our weekend so successful on board the J/70 Catapult. Skipper Joel Ronning, Bill Hardesty, Willem van Waay, and I sailed a consistent, smart regatta that led to a win for the weekend. With Hardesty’s help, I came up with five keys to success in the 28-boat fleet in yesterday’s puffy 10-15 knot conditions.

Keep it boring: Communicate your plan clearly and early. From picking which side of the course you want in the pre-start, to deciding on a gate, to knowing whether to launch the spinnaker at the windward mark or offset, make it clear so there are no surprises. As Hardesty says, “Keep it boring.”

Options off the line: After the start, we always had the ability to either hold our lane and continue on starboard, or tack if we wanted to, rather than having others dictate the first portion of the beat. We never tried to win an end of the starting line but instead found clean lanes toward the end that was favored. With our options open, we could head toward the favored side and start to leg out with speed--watch the video from our second race for more:

Choosing modes downwind: With puffy, shifty conditions on the second day, we alternated between planing and displacement mode. In the puffs, we’d be hiking with the jib out. In the lulls, we’d move forward and to leeward, and furl the jib up. Whenever conditions were on the edge, we discussed what the best mode would be and then committed to that.

Communicate the big picture: Hardesty asked van Waay and I to give big-picture input to him and Ronning whenever we could— things like: “Three minutes to the next wind line.” In addition to our calls on puffs, chop, and boat speed, these big-picture items ensure that everyone’s on the same page, and that you won’t tack short of the next pressure line.

Boat speed first: This tip is so crucial that it bears repeating. As Hardesty said the day before the regatta, “I’d rather work on boat speed than takedowns. If you’re ahead of everyone, the takedown will just happen.” We made sure our settings were just right before the race and then used our speed to get away from the pack and sail our own race. While Ronning, Hardesty, and van Waay were dialed in with the crew mechanics, I was learning on the fly for my first J/70 regatta. Pulling away from the fleet gave us that extra wiggle room to ensure that no major errors were made around the marks.”

Here is a sailing video of CATAPULT from race 2- it’s a great sequence of teamwork at the start, windward mark, chute set, gybe, take-down, and final mark-rounding.   Sailing Photo credits- Daniela Clark-  For more Sperry Top-sider St Pete NOOD sailing information

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FATS Crushes J/22 Midwinters

J/22 sailing upwind off New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)- The famous and extremely gracious hosts at Southern YC really did provide the J/22 sailors with classic, southern-style, red-carpet treatment.  Ordering up a bit of sun for all three days along with reasonable breezes, the 22 sailors couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Sailed over the Valentine’s Day weekend, from February 14th to 16th, the Wells Fargo Advisors J/22 Midwinters saw some great racing amongst the fleet of twenty-six teams from across America.  And, as anticipated, several teams with championship pedigree ruled the roost.

J/22 one-design sailboats- sailing downwindSnagging the lead on Day One and, seemingly, never looking back, was local hotshot Benz Faget sailing FATS (e.g. the short name for world-famous New Orleans jazz musician- “Fats Domino”) with crew Devon Sweeney (cockpit) and Randall Richmond (bow).  They must’ve been blessed by Fats himself since they could do no wrong, sailing to top four finishes in all four races on the first day and continuing an excellent performance to be crowned the 2014 J/22 Midwinter Champion.

J/22 one-design sailboats- sailing off start in LAOn the first day, the teams took to the waters of Lake Pontchartrain in puffy breezes that began around 10 knots and increased throughout the day to 18. Competitors experienced 10 degree shifts, ratcheting to the right. Faget’s team on FATS recorded a line of 3-2-4-1 for 10 points. Terry Flynn’s TEJAS also kept their scores in the top four with a tally of 2-4-2-4 for 12 points, and Chris Doyle’s “THE JUG 4 1” was just one point behind in third place with 13 points.

J/22 one design sailboats- on Lake Ponchartrain, New Orleans, LAThe top three in Friday’s races were constantly shifting among the same few boats. Chris Doyle started the regatta with a win, followed by Flynn and Faget. Chris Doyle took another bullet in race two, with Faget in second and Kevin Doyle in third. It was Chris Doyle again winning race three with Flynn in second and Chris Wientjes in third. Faget moved to the top spot in the day’s final contest, trailed by Canada’s Ron Harris and Kevin Doyle.

On the second day of racing, the FATS boys retained their lead after some tough sailing.  Winds began at 10-12 knots, but slowly declined over the next few hours to 4-6 kts. The Race Committee attempted to start a third race, but were forced to abandon as the wind died, sending teams to shore in advance of the competitors’ evening party in the truly infamous “French Quarter” in downtown New Orleans.

The locals excelled in Saturday’s first race, as Dwight Leblanc’s DL III took top honors, with Zak Fanberg’s WILD TCHOUPITOULAS and David Loeb’s LA JOLIE VIE rounding out the top three. Faget captured victory in the day’s only other contest. Kevin Doyle’s MO’MONEY placed second, and Leblanc third.

J/22 sailing upwind at Midwinters- New OrleansFaget’s FATS placed eighth in race five, but was able to toss that score. He won race six, leaving him with a line of 3-2-4-1-1 for 11 points, three ahead of second-place Chris Doyle’s “THE JUG 4 1”. Terry Flynn’s TEJAS dropped to third with 24 points.

For the last day of racing on Sunday, the conditions on Lake Pontchartrain on Sunday featured light breezes, between 5-6 knots. The local competitors ruled the day, as David Loeb’s LA JOLIE VIE took victory in Sunday’s first race. Richard Heausler’s FAST COMPANY was second, and Faget third. Chip Carpenter’s WIZARD snagged the win in the next contest, trailed by Faget and Dwight Leblanc’s DL III. Faget closed out the championship with a bullet, as Dale Currie’s SUPPER CLUB and Fanberg followed.

In the end, Faget said about his championship performance, “these guys are a good team together and there’s nothing like sailing in your own backyard!” He also attributed their consistent performance to more time on the boat, including last year’s J/22 World Championship in Newport, RI.

Behind FATS in the overall standings was Chris Doyle’s “The Jug 4 1” from Youngstown, NY and another New Orleans local, Zak Fanberg, sailed well to grab the bronze with his team on WILD TCHOUPITOULAS.  Rounding out the top five were Kevin Doyle (49 pts) and Terry Flynn (50 pts).  For more J/22 Midwinters sailing information

Monday, February 24, 2014

RORC 600 vs J/374- Caribbean Sailing At Its Best!

J/145 sailing offshore in Caribbean (English Harbour, Antigua)- The sixth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 may be proving irresistible to yacht racing teams from all over the world as they head to the starting line on Monday, February 24th. With 65 entries, a record entry for this “young” event, the fleet has an excellent combination of characters and deeply talented sailors partaking in what may become one of the “new” classics of offshore sailing.

Amongst the fleet of boats flying the flags from at least eleven different countries are 374 meters of J/Boats that will be sailing against some of the worlds best super-yachts, Mini-Maxis, and good Lord knows what else, all crewed by passionate amateurs and world-famous sailors.

J/Class teams sailing AntiguaThe northern hemisphere is currently experiencing some of the worst winter weather on record but well over 500 sailors are rubbing their hands together, relishing the prospect of racing around 11 Caribbean islands against highly competitive opposition.

The Caribbean is, without doubt, one of yacht racing's most exhilarating playgrounds as warm trade winds and Caribbean swell provide superb sailing conditions. The RORC Caribbean 600 course, starting and finishing in Antigua, is designed to provide a challenging, high speed racetrack and its popularity has grown, year on year, since 2009.  And, three J/Teams are ready to “throw down the gauntlet” and enjoy sailing around one of the most gorgeous race-tracks on the planet.  Can’t beat taking in some of the world’s most poshest “play-pens” as marks of the course!

J/120 El Ocaso sailing CaribbeanLeading the assault on division and overall honors may be Chris Dowling’s J/145 ACE, she was last seen taking silverware with designer Rod Johnstone aboard during the PalmaVela Regatta in Palma Mallorca, Spain a few years back.

J/109 French women's sailing teamWhile she may have changed hands from that famous gang from Miami, the J/120 EL OCASO is going to be sailed by the “600nm Club” which, as mysterious as they wish to be, will be unveiled soon!  They are a crew not to be short-changed at Ladbroke’s Betting Parlour on this race.

Finally, the proverbial “sleeper” in this race could easily be the highly regarded French team of women sailors led by the avant-garde captain, Sophie Olivaud, on her J/109 ALBACOR IV.  As a double-handed team, Sophie has won numerous offshore contests in France and the Caribbean and she’s determined to demonstrate her crew are up to the task of “the 600”, too!  For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The NOT Three Bridge Fiasco!

J/22 sailing in Three Bridge Fiasco regatta in San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- The fleet of 357 single and doublehanded boats set out on January 25 for a 21 nm tour of San Francisco Bay– it’s called the “Three Bridge Fiasco”. The 2014 edition of the Singlehanded Sailing Society’s annual race is one which will go down in infamy. Not because of crappy weather, freezing temperatures, pouring rain, hail or sleet. Not because of too much wind or that it was too cold. None of those. It was the wind. Or the lack there of.

With many boats circling the starting area off the Golden Gate YC in the pre-race hours before the 1st gun and first boat to leave at the 9:00am start enjoying a nice 8-10 knot easterly moving quite nicely in the building ebb, all looked well.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge- during Three Bridge Fiasco regattaThe early birds, which got the proverbial worm and the most breeze, had the best choices, and the wisest of them all were to cross the ebb of the Central Bay first and utilize what wind there was and try to get to the tide relief of the Berkeley shoals and then get up to Red Rocks and hopefully get some of the forecast NW winds before the tide got to strong.

However, it was all for naught.  There were dozens of J/Teams sailing including a fleet of 10 J-22’s, a half-dozen J/70’s, loads of J/24’s, J/29’s, J/30’s, J/105’s, J/120’s, and so on, but only one boat finished— minutes before the official deadline with the sun setting and most other boats already motored or towed in!  Read more of Erik Simonson’s PRESSURE-DROP blog about the experience here.

Inter-Collegiate Sailing Worlds- J/80s France!

J/80s sailing college EDHEC Regatta in France(Les Sables d'Olonne, France)-  Inter-collegiate regatta seeks to broaden the sport of sailing!  As the U.S. collegiate racing season approaches its spring national championships this year, two of its prominent schools - Tufts and Georgetown - will be sending teams to the 2014 EDHEC Sailing Cup on April 25 to May 3 in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

This annual keelboat event is totally organized by students for students. It's also on a mission to help sailing. Here's a report by French student Nicolas Degroote:

“The EDHEC Sailing Cup in Les Sables d’Olonne, France is the leading student sporting event in Europe. Year after year, the aim of the event remained the same: broaden the sport of sailing.

For a long time, sailing and especially keelboat sailing, has been associated with elitism. Several reasons can explain it. First of all, sailing is associated with elitism because it is a sport hard to understand and especially how a regatta works. Sailing is not attractive for non-sailors; even just for watch.

Then, sailing can be associated with elitism because the sailing world is a closed world. It is a world composed of passionate people and professional sailors, with a technical jargon. In short, it is not always a welcoming world at first sight. Finally, sailing is also a sport with many techniques and know how. Technical skills can reject beginners or non-sailors that may have been interested.

However, some organizations are trying to break this image of elitism and broaden the sport of sailing. Among them is the EDHEC Sailing Cup - the leading student sporting event in Europe. Now celebrating its 46th year anniversary, the event in part as it has always pursued the same goal: broaden the sport of sailing. To achieve that goal, the EDHEC Sailing Cup is trying to limit the reasons of the elitism vision of sailing.

First, the organization authorizes student crews to compete with the help of professional skippers to help beginners to take part in the regatta. Every year, a lot of students coming from all around the world sail for the first time in this international competition, thus discovering the world of sailing.

For instance, last year a Belarussian crew got on a boat just before the regatta for the first time of their life, and successfully competed in the event. During the event, total beginners can live the same experience as professional sailors and have a first glimpse of the sailing world from the inside, and make a breakthrough in this “closed” world.

To enable as many persons as possible to discover the sailing world, the EDHEC Sailing Cup also organizes other sporting competitions such as the Land Trophy (a multi-sport raid) and the Air Trophy (a windsurf and Kitesurf contest). All the competitors are gathered on the same village of 12,000 square meters. During the week of competition they share unforgettable moments with the participants of the Sea Trophy (the regatta) and can get a foothold in the sailing world.” The International J/80 One-design class is supporting this event with twenty-seven boats— available for charter for 3,450 Euros!  Check it out here-

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ken Read- US Sailing Leadership Forum Intro

Ken Read at US Sailing Leadership Forum- San Diego 2014(Newport, RI)- Ken Read, President of North Sails Group, six-times J/24 World Champion amongst other notable sailing achievements (like Etchells 22 World Champion and being a brides-maid in the Volvo Ocean Race), gave the introductory talk for the forum that saw nearly 600 attendees from all segments of the marine industry and sailing world participate in a three-day series of seminars that discussed all aspects of how to "grow sailing" amongst a few dozen other amazingly important and timely topics that are confronting the sport of sailing today on a worldwide basis.

Ken Read and sailing aficionados at US Sailing Leadership Forum in San DiegoHere’s the YouTube US Sailing video of Ken’s “chat” about “how & why” he got into sailing, what it has meant for him, what the future of sailing may be all about, why he’s about to go sailing with Jim Clark on a new VPLP 100 ft canting keeler (Jim was co-founder of NETSCAPE Communications with Mark Andreassen and Eric Bina from the University of Illinois- Champaign-Urbana along with Tom Perkin’s colleague John Doer- a fellow partner at Kleiner-Perkins-Caulfied-Byer Venture Capital Group).

Learn more about why & what was so fascinating about Ken's presentation and why some gorgeous, talented, fun-loving sailors seen here with rock-star Ken were also in attendance (Sharon Green of Ultimate fame and  renown for her Ultimate Sailing Calendar (in middle) is with her good friend (on right) Betsy Crowfoot, a Contributing Editor to SAILING Magazine, Cruising World magazine, Latitude 38 magazine and SAIL magazine).

Get Ready for Spring Boat Shows!

(Newport, RI)- There are a number of boat shows to visit in the northern hemisphere that can provide you not only a break from the crazy weather that has been criss-crossing the Americas, UK & Europe, but also an opportunity to “talk shop”, dream about sailing on sunny, warm days, and learn about some of the latest offerings from the J/Boats design team.

J/88 @ Boston Boat Show
Boston J/Dealer Hill & Lowden will be displaying the new, award-winning, J/88 at the New England Boat Show that is held along the Boston’s SE waterfront at the Convention & civic center.  The J/88 will be on display from February 22nd to March 2nd at Booth# 1838.   Please be sure to contact George Lowden at cell# 617-678-8164 or visit their website at  For more New England Boat Show news and information

J/70 @ Stockholm Show
Peter Johansson and the Marstrand Yachts team will be attending the Stockholm Boat Show with the new J/70 on display from March 1st to 9th. For more information on the J/70, please be sure to contact Peter Johansson at ph# +46 (0)735 430 800 or email- or Skype: peter.r.johansson.  For more Stockholm Boat Show news and information

Friday, February 21, 2014

J/Teams @ Border Run Party!

J105 sailing offshore in California (Newport Beach, CA)- Starting on February 22, the “come one, come all” Border Run Race is the first, point to point, international ocean race of the 2014 Southern California offshore yachting season. Part of the Ullman Offshore Series, the Border Run is for experts and beginners alike. With three courses to choose from, starting from Newport and sailing to Dana Point or San Diego, the Border Run offers sailors of all skill levels a great time. The Border Run has always been about inclusion, fun and competition.

In order to ensure that all members of the family, from the sailors to kids and friends alike, are having a wonderful time, the BRR makes every effort to be inclusive of everyone ashore, too!  Three Parties are an integral part of the camaraderie of the event: the Newport Send-Off Party; the Dana Point Trophy Party; and the San Diego Trophy Party.

While sailing and having fun is the underlying theme, there is a “higher calling” for those sailors so inclined during this event for “matters of the heart”.  In the last three years, the sailors of the Border Run have raised over $75,000 for LLS, City2Sea and the Craig Williams Memorial Fund. This year the teams will be helping to raise money to help another worthy cause!

J/Teams are participating in two of the three courses on offer to the sailors.  On the San Diego course there are 50 boats sailing including the following J sailors:

In PHRF Light B Division, competing for silver are the J/111 STAMPEDE sailed by Glenn Griley from King Harbor YC and the J/133 FORGIVENESS skippered by Joe Simpkins.  In the PHRF Light C Division, there are two J/124s dueling for class honors include Seth Hall’s famous MARISOL and Tim Harmon’s CIRRUS.

Taking the Dana Point course with 42 other boats is the J/120 ADIOS sailed by Peter Bretschger.  Everyone is hoping the “Pineapple Express” weather systems that have started to bedevil the West Coast don’t materialize with big breeze and tropical downpours of blinding rain! For more Border Run International Race sailing information

J/80 Worlds Registration Open!

2014 J80 worlds in annapolis, md (Annapolis, MD)- The USA J/80 Class has announced they've opened for registration the 2014 J/80 World Championship being held September 28th to October 4th, 2014 at Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD.  More J/80 Worlds information and the registration link can be found on the J/80 Worlds website.

Furthermore, the USA J/80 Class has outlined a 2014 J/80 World Circuit for you J/80 enthusiasts and believe they have a great slate of events, especially with a few events being held at the Worlds venue, to promote practice and familiarization of the sailing area.  The 2014 J/80 Worlds Circuit is as follows:
  • Jan 19-24- Key West Race Week & J/80 Midwinters- Key West, FL
  • Mar 21-23- Davis Island Yacht Club Regatta- Tampa, FL
  • Apr 10-13- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
  • May 3-5- Annapolis NOODs- Annapolis, MD
  • May 30- Jun 1- J/Jamboree, May 30- Annapolis, MD
  • Aug 30- Sep 1- J/80 East Coasts- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 10-14- J/80 North Americans- Annapolis YC- Annapolis, MD
  • Sep 28 - Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Eastport YC- Annapolis, MD
There will be an Overall Circuit Champion and Runner-Up Award. Boats need to compete in at least 50% of the races to qualify. Finishes will be weighted in accordance with regatta class size to keep it fair using a “high point” system for each race.

Chris Chadwick, J/80 USA Class Secretary (owner of USA 59 “CHURCH KEY”) commented, “Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the water!”  Chris can be reached @ email- or you can contact other USA J/80 Class Officers here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ronstan's Murray- The Alphabet List For Sailing

Ronstan CEO Alistair Murray on growing sailing(Sydney, Australia)- One of the more inspirational people in sailing may be Ronstan’s CEO Alistair Murray.  As a life-long sailor from way “Down Under”,  Alistair provides some of his perspectives of what  “The Alphabet″ list might look like for "what’s great about sailing":
  • It is always an Adventure, whether participating in adrenaline filled racing or being independent in a quiet cove.
  • It is Beautiful in every respect; boats, places and people.
  • Craftsmanship skills are developed; it is a hands on activity.
  • People with Disabilities can sail …. and win gold medals even.
  • It is Environmentally friendly.
  • Fresh air, Freedom, Families and Fun.
  • Generations can sail together, including grand parents and grand children.
  • Humility. Nature is more powerful than we are.
  • It is Inexpensive if you want it to be.
  • It is Joyful.
  • You develop your Knowledge of such topics as weather, navigation, charts, tactics, etc.
  • You develop Leadership skills.
  • It tests you Mentally; a thinking person’s game with a lot of strategy.
  • You meet New and interesting people, all the time.
  • Organizations are there to support you, such as yacht clubs.
  • It is Physical. Great exercise. Or, can be if you want it to be.
  • You spend Quality time with family and friends.
  • You can go Racing, or cruising, or whatever.
  • It is Safe. I have had a lot more injuries bike riding than sailing!
  • It Takes you outside your comfort zone. We all need that.
  • You Unwind, relax, recharge your batteries.
  • There is such a Variety of boats, places, people, ages, skill levels.
  • It opens up the World to you.
  • It has that X factor!
  • Young kids can do it, and so can old kids.
  • Zzzzzzzzz. You enjoy a great sleep after a big day on the water!

Learn more about Alistair and his crew at Ronstan here.

Bacardi J/24 Midwinters Preview

J/24s sailing under spinnaker (Coconut Grove, FL)- The XXXVI J/24 Midwinters is taking place from February 21st to 23rd at the legendary warm and friendly confines of Coral Reef YC on Biscayne Bay.  Long regarded as one the best clubs to visit in the middle of winter, its sailors are renown in the world of yachting (Stars and Snipes, in particular) and its gracious hospitality and facilities are second to none— Regatta Chairman Mark Pincus has promised as such.  J/24 sailors will be the beneficiary of their largesse and expertise for the 15th time, and counting!

An impressively talented fleet of twenty-four boats have assembled to dual for the coveted crown of being J/24 Midwinter Champion.  Of note, it’s one of the few J/24 events 5-time J/24 World Champion Ken Read never won.  Last year’s champion, John Mollicone, will be back for another go at retaining his crown and will be teaming up with his friend Tim Healy aboard HELLY HANSEN (can they repeat their remarkable performance winning the 2014 J/70 Midwinters in Key West recently?).

Some of the other sailing stars who have already registered include Skip Dieball sailing GILL RACE TEAM with Geoff Ewenson aboard calling tactics; 2011/ 2012 winner Peter Bream skippering TEAM TARHEEL; Robby Brown on USA 799; Travis Odenbach on HONEY BADGER with Canadian tactician Rossi Milev; as well as top local sailors like Gary Sprague sailing SCOUT’S PRIDE.  Participating in the Midwinters as part of their practice for the J/24 Worlds in September is the Japanese team on SOKOKUMARU led by skipper Sumio Shimoyama.

So far, the weather looks promising for this intrepid crew of J/24 sailors.  Forecasts are indicating 70s and 80s for temps with generally SSE breezes in the 7-15 kts range.  Let’s hope that’s the case!  For more Bacardi J/24 Midwinters sailing information

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paul deNapoli- Long-time J Sailor Memorium

Mr deNapoli sailing- which he loved so much to do! (Marblehead, MA)- For many J/Sailors and friends in the New England area, we offer our “best wishes” & condolences to those who knew Paul deNapoli well. A life-long sailor from Marblehead, MA, Paul passed away in his sleep on 15 February, 2014 due to complications from Alzheimer's, at the age of 89. Beloved husband of the late Phyllis C. deNapoli, and the late Katherine V. deNapoli, Paul leaves behind his son Paul (“Fred”) deNapoli, his daughter Dyan deNapoli, his sister Ann Regan, his loving companion Ann Hawthorn-Bouras, along with dozens of nieces and nephews. A veteran of World War II, Paul served in an Army Air Force Combat Cargo unit operating in India and Burma, maintaining aircraft flying over the infamous “hump” of the Himalayan Mountains.  He graduated from Northeastern in engineering and quickly rose to prominence, being promoted to chief engineer at Hayden Harding & Buchanan at a very young age.  He went on to found Costello Lamasney & deNapoli in Manchester, N.H., where he collected several Engineering Achievement of the Year Awards.

Outside of work, Paul was an accomplished sailor with an extensive resume of both blue water and one design racing.  He was instrumental in the founding of Marblehead’s Ensign, Soling, and Etchells classes, very nearly winning the J/30 North American championships, raced to Bermuda and Halifax, worked as a professional instructor for both Colgate and J/World sailing schools, coached blind sailors at the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown, taught celestial navigation at local community colleges, and served as Commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead.

Paul was an equally accomplished skier. He cut his teeth on Cannon Mountain, working as a volunteer running races on the Taft Trail in the late 30’s. He went on to ski most areas in New England as well as Colorado, Utah, and Switzerland, turning the boards until he was well into his 80’s.  A memorial service will be conducted at the Old North Church, Washington Street, Marblehead, at 1pm on Sunday, 16 March, followed by a reception at the Boston Yacht Club, Front Street, Marblehead.

J/105 SCIMITAR Wins Chiloe VTR Regatta

J/105 sailing off Chiloe, Chile - Puerto Montt
(Puerto Montt, Chile)- Chiloe Island Regatta is the most famous and competitive regatta in Chile. It runs every two years around Chiloé Island, 650 miles south from Santiago and after the first version in 1990, twenty-three editions have been organized since. The regatta is mainly long distance races of 12 to 30 miles plus some windward-leeward courses during a seven day program with one day off in the middle. The main challenges are tides (up to 3 knots), the kelp “forest”, salmon-fishing plants and shallow waters (to avoid tide or to sail the shortest distance to the next island). The other big challenge is the windshifts along the different channels and accelerating off the very mountainous landscape.  As a result, the Chiloe regatta is a big tactical and strategic headache for all sailors and requires the best source of creativity and skills to succeed. Logistics are another part of the challenge and all crew try to make an effort to rest well and sail the boats as light as possible.

J/105 sailing off Puerto Montt, ChileDespite the enormous variety of sailing conditions, Chiloe is renown for its spectacular, natural attractions: amazing landscape, rain forest and vegetation, sea food, cultural arts & crafts, sunsets and its nice and friendly people. Also, there are a number of 18th century wooden catholic churches, part of the Spanish legacy and UNESCO Declared Universal Patrimoni. Chiloé was the favorite area for the Spanish colonists in South America, and consequently was one of the latest areas to become part of the “new” Chilean Republic. Puerto Montt (the main city in the area) was officially founded in 1853 well after Chilean independence in 1810.

Founded at the end of 2010, the J/105 class in Chile has grown rapidly thanks to the concept of having an amateur and family focus for class management. In three years, more than twenty boats have arrived from America and currently the class has 27 boats  mainly in the central part of Chile.

The 2014 Chiloé Regatta was the second year of participation for the J/105 class.  With fourteen boats attending, the J/105s are by far the biggest and most successful one-design yacht in Chile and represented 22% of the total fleet (J/Boats represented 1/3 overall)!

J/105s reaching under spinnaker off Puerto Montt, ChileThere where many “family” boats sailing: SCIMITAR (with 3 adults and 6 children of both co-owners Toti Ugarte and Maceta Fuentes), PLAN B with Patricio Seguel’s family, TRICALMA with Daniel Gonzalez’s family, EUREKA chartered by Pablo Cisternas & his family, SCOTCH ROCKS with Carlos Perez and his sons, and ALLEGRO with  Cristobal Lira’s all children family team!

The competition between SCIMITAR and RECLUTA was tough from the beginning.  RECLUTA was the top J/105 in the previous edition, so they were hopping to continue the tradition and started off on a good track. During the week these guys from Valparaiso had many good races, so they managed to stretch into a little the lead for the final day. But, in Chiloe, any position is uncertain until the very end and the very shifty 18 to 20 kt breezes  the last day broke-down the tradition. RECLUTA had a bad result in the first of two windward-leeward races, losing the lead to SCIMITAR.  After the first race, the conditions in Puerto Montt Bay were very tricky with 50 degree wind shifts, lots of rain and current. So, when the RC at 16:15 communicated to the fleet that there wouldn’t be more races, the championship was complete.  SCIMITAR’s young crew, that had been under the deck staying somewhat dry and warm from the heavy rain, were about to explode!! They jumped on deck and started taking off their clothes and were getting ready to jump into the 14 degrees (Celsius) water in the rain!  But, before they managed to leap, both fathers Toti and Maceta and Carola (Maceta's wife) managed to control the kids exuberance and kept them aboard! Their crew of nine managed to get back to the yacht club and have a dry celebration!

For more information about the J/105 “family fleet” in Chile, please be sure to contact Juan Eduardo Reid @ email-

J/70 European Circuit Update

J/70 european circuit 2014 (Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The European J/70 National class associations have updated their J/70 European circuit and proposed European 2014 ranking.  At this time, over 200 J/70s are sold in Europe and J/Composites in France will be delivering 15 boats per month to fulfill the demand.  The primary countries generating such enormous enthusiasm are Germany followed by Great Britain, France and Switzerland.

The 2014 European ranking system has been established as follows: each race of each event will be considered in the overall formula.  The points will be based on a “high point” scenario, with first equalling the number of starters for each race, second is -1, third is -2, etc.  On the basis of an average of 6 races per event, you can discard 10% of the races when more than 18 races have been achieved and 20% when 32 races have been achieved.  The major events include the following dates:
  • Feb 7-9- Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse- Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Apr 18-21- SPI Ouest France- La Trinite sur Mer, France
  • Jun 6-9- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, Netherlands
  • Jun 21-29- Kiel Week- Kiel, Germany
  • Aug 2-5- Cowes Race Week- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
  • Sep 23-27- J/70 EuroCup/ Europeans- Lake Garda, Italy
At this stage, the current report from the various J/70 Class associations are that Kieler Woche will see at least 25+ boats from Germany and that 15+ boats from Lake Constance will participate in the EuroCup on Lago di Garda.  The German J/70 Nationals will be held on Lake Constance (the Bodensee) just before the EuroCup.

The Netherlands J/70 Class reports they’re already approaching a dozen boats.  One of their top sailors, Wouter Kollman sailing HENRI LLOYD will be sailing the North Sea Regatta at The Hague, Kieler Woche, Cowes Week and Lago di Garda for the EuroCup.  They expect at least 6 Dutch boats at North Sea Week, 3 at Kieler Woche, 2 at Cowes and 4-5 teams at EuroCup.  The Dutch J/70 sailors are also offering to other J/70 teams “free storage” after North Sea Week so that you can easily sail Kiel, saving a lot of travel time for some teams!

Both the Italian and French J/70 Class associations are indicating at least as many boats as the Dutch teams traveling to the same events.  For more information on the J/70 European Circuit, please contact Fred Bouvier-

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Charleston Race Week Awarded US Sailing One-Design Regatta Award

Charleston Race Week- US Sailing One Design Regatta of 2014(Charleston, SC)- Yes, indeed, the Charleston Race Week was awarded the US Sailing One-Design Regatta Award, annually awarded to the best One-Design Regatta in the nation! Well deserved it was!  Event Director Randy Draftz accepted the award on behalf at the US SAILING Leadership Forum in San Diego, CA.

Said Randy, “On behalf of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, I want to thank US Sailing for this honor. CORA started Charleston Race Week nineteen years ago (notably by Bob Johnstone and Brad Van Liew), and like most great things, it has taken time to evolve. It also takes great sponsors, hundreds of dedicated volunteers, an amazing venue, great race management (thanks again US Sailing), and last but by no means least, enthusiastic sailors. Without the sailors who have supported us over the years, we certainly would not be here today accepting this important award.

I want you to know that we've begun using a tagline for the event. We now refer to it as 'a regatta unlike any other.' If you don't know what that means, well, I invite you to come see for yourself April 10th through the 13th. Check out Charleston and have a Dark & Stormy with us. Thank you.”  Learn more about Charleston Race Week here.

J/70 Sweden Boat of the Year!

J/70 Swedish Boat of the Year(Stockholm, Sweden)- The J/70 continues to garner accolades from knowledgeable sailors around the world.  In particular, Europe is seeing a significant uptick in one-design J/70 activity with more countries and more fleets developing across the Continent.

This past month the Swedish yachting press selected the J/70 as Sweden’s Boat of the Year, citing its scintillating performance, family-friendly boat-handling characteristics, easy transportability and extraordinary value relative to all other sportboats in the market today.

Here is J/Dealer Peter Johansson from Marstrand Yachts accepting the award at the boat show in Sweden. For reference, here’s the original article written in Swedish about the J/70’s qualities (translated into English).  For more J/70 sailboat information