Monday, October 31, 2016

Hamble Winter Series Report

J/111 sailing Solent (Hamble, Great Britain)- The annual fall offshore classic on the Solent has been taking place over the past few weekend.  The Hamble River Sailing Club is hosting its 35th Hamble Winter Series and, to date, they have been blessed with three mostly sunny weekends for the hardy sailing teams.  The fleet is split into IRC handicap divisions as well as one-design racing for J/70s, J/80s, J/88s and J/109s.  Here are the reports from each weekend- courtesy of Louay Habib.

WEEK 1
A chilly start greeted competitors on the first day, but the sun soon warmed up the Solent to deliver an enjoyable day on the water in bright sunshine.

J/97E sailing on the SolentOut on the race area, the wind settled to a shifty 6 knot northerly at start time – but despite the strong tides, there was enough wind to get a race in. This year's series sees a strong entry of winter series stalwarts but also lots of new boats – leaving the podium very much up for grabs in all classes.

To give all fleets a chance to get ashore in good time, the race committee had advised they may reverse the starting order on occasion this year - and thus it was the smaller end of the fleet, IRC 4, that was the first to start.

In all classes, the fleet soon split up the first beat, and a left shift near the top mark lifted those who had chosen that side onto the layline.

The wind eased during the race, but filled in in patches to make for a classic game of snakes and ladders, with gains there for the taking for boats that could take advantage of the wind and tide.

In IRC 3, the J/92S UPSTART (Robin Stevenson) took the second spot.  The J/109s dominated the IRC2 class in terms of numbers – and it was JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) and JAGO (Mike Yates) that took the two top slots.

Paul Ward and crew on the J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEART kicked their series off to a good start by taking the top spot in the J/88 class. TGIRS (Gavin Howe) and J-DREAM (Richard and Kirsty Apthorp) completed the podium.

J/88s sailing on the SolentCommenting on the day's racing, Paul Ward, secretary of the J/88 Class said: "What a great way to get a busy autumn's sailing off to a good start with a sunny day on the water and good class racing for the J/88 fleet. Thanks to the race team for a great day"

With one race completed, the easing wind and building tide led principal race officer Stuart Childerley to hoist AP over A and send the assembled fleet home for the day – giving crews the opportunity to enjoy the food and drink on offer at HRSC and discuss tactics overlooking the water from the sunny Clubhouse terrace.

PRO Stuart Childerley, commented: "Two new daily prizes have been introduced for this year's series: the ‘Best Start’ of the day, chosen by the race committee, and the 'Top Dog' prize for the best performance, worked out based on the best corrected time over distance sailed totaled over all races of the day."

The “Best Start” was won by Chris Burleigh’s J/109 JYBE TALKIN and the “Top Dog” was another J/109- JIRAFFE (Simon Perry).

J/109 sailing off Cowes on the SolentWEEK 2
Sunday saw the second race day of the Winter Series– which, after a changeable forecast, delivered some champagne sailing conditions– albeit with some choice shifts to stir up the fleets a little. PRO Stuart Childerley managed to fit two races in from a startline in the vicinity of North Ryde Middle buoy. Two races on and in some fleets the pecking order was beginning to show in the overall results. Top photographer Paul Wyeth was afloat snapping away, and more shots will be available on his website, www.pwpictures.com

IRC 2 saw Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE took a first, leaving them only point in the lead.

In IRC 3, Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART added two bullets to their score, taking them comfortably clear at the top overall. Meanwhile, with Jonathan Stevens' J/97 WINDJAMMER took second in the final race of the day.

In the J/88 class, the Apthorp's J-DREAM improved on last week's third place, scoring two firsts to take them straight to the top of the overall standings. Dirk van Beek's SABRIEL JR scored two second places, with Howe's TIGRIS banking two third places.

Competitors swapped tall tales back at the HRSC clubhouse, where the day sponsor, The Bugle pub, was providing the prizes.

PRO, Stuart Childerley announced the special prize winners- one of them was Simon Cavey’s JUST-4-PLAY who was sailing in the Hamble One-Design Championship.

J/92 Upstart sailing off Cowes, EnglandHamble One Design Championships
A chilly northeasterly breeze, accompanied by beautiful sunshine provided near-perfect conditions for the racing in the first weekend of the Hamble One Design Championships, which featured racing for J/70 and J/80 classes. Kathy Smalley, CRO Hamble One Design Championships, commented: 'The lighter winds on Saturday resulted in shifty conditions at the top end of the course- as would be expected from that direction - meaning the top marks were moved constantly to compensate for that and the increasing tides. The stronger wind on Sunday was much more steady.'

The J/70s are a very competitive, yet friendly, class with 11 boats finishing within a minute in one race. The starts were equally competitive and in race 6 a sudden gust of wind at 30 seconds to go resulted in everybody being early and a general recall. The prompt use of the U-flag brought the fleet back under control, and for race 7 the competitors were back to their normal good behavior.

The competitors were undecided on which way to go on the beats and runs, with splits on every race. In race 1 everybody wanted to go up-tide and so chose the right hand mark at the gate, but a quick tweak meant that the fleet were spread for the rest of the weekend.

The course ended with a reach to the finish and with a building wind there were whoops of delight as the winners flew across the finish line.

In the 12-strong J/70 class, four different boats took bullets– but after 7 races it was Mark Lees' JUST-4-SALE that was topping the class, a healthy eight points clear of two boats. Patrick Liardet's COSMIC and Simon Cavey's JUST-4-PLAY were tied on points, with COSMIC just edging ahead on countback– which should ensure some close racing in the second half of the Championships in two weeks' time.

The 8-boat J/80 fleet also had a good weekend of sailing. At the halfway stage, the class was being led by Jon Powell's BETTY - a stalwart of the fleet. But, they didn't have it all their own way. Bullets were also recorded by AQUA J, owned by Terence O'Neil, sitting in 2nd overall, and Michael Lewis' JESTER, who took 3rd for the weekend.

Hamble Big Boat Championships
The first of two weekends of racing in the Hamble Big Boat Championships kicked off this weekend.

IRC 1 also saw some extremely close racing, with boats switching positions all around the race course. After 6 races, it was Simon Bamford's J/111 KESTREL sitting in 2nd place.

J/88 sailing off Cowes, EnglandWEEK 3
Despite a pessimistic forecast, oilskin-swaddled crews enjoyed a day of champagne sailing – with only a few rain squalls to remind them that Autumn is setting in.

A wind direction of around 215 degrees with big gusts under ominous clouds allowed the race team to send the assembled fleets on a course that led them to the north side of the Bramble Bank. Kathy Smalley, assistant race officer, said 'We had a really good day on the water and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to send everyone to a bit of the Solent they don't normally get to sail in – with the Calshot shoreline and Bramble Bank to add some tactical challenges to the race course!'

There was some close racing in all classes – with some split-second finishes. In the J/88s, there was an even closer finish, with Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL and J-DREAM crossing the line exactly abreast for an equal fourth place!

In IRC 1, the fleet was extremely close, and despite two boats over the line in the second race the fleet fought all the way to a very tight finish, with only 4 seconds separating 3rd and 5th.

After a close and busy day on the water, it was Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO that moved up the leaderboard with a 3rd in the first race and a comfortable win in the second race.

In IRC 2, Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE scored a second and a third apiece, leaving them in second overall for the series so far.

J/88 sailing SolentIRC 3 leaders, Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART, scored a 3rd and a 4th this week and Andy Howe's J/97 BLACKJACK II won a race. Meanwhile, David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO filled in the gaps with two solid second places.  As a result, UPSTART still leads the series with the J/92 J’RONIMO in 4th place, the J/97 BLACKJACK II in 5th position and the J/97 WINDJAMMER in 6th.

In the one-design J/88 class, experience paid off for Paul and Marie-Claude Heys' JENGA as they scored two comfortable first places – which moves them closer to the top of the leaderboard. Class captain Paul Ward and crew on EAT SLEEP J REPEART and the Apthorp’s J-DREAM scored a second place each.  Consequently, J-DREAM has climbed atop the leaderboard for the series followed by EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, TIGRIS, JENGA and RAGING BULL.

The J/109 class continues to see Perry’s JIRAFFE leading with Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN second, Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN in third, Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW fourth and Mike Yates’ JAGO in fifth.

At a packed prize-giving in the HRSC clubhouse, supported by Wadsworth, Stuart Childerley announced the day's special prizes.  The “Best Start” this week went to the Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL! “They had a perfect time on distance run and nailed the first start, bang on the line,” said Stuart.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ pwpictures.com and Hamo Thornycroft.   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

NEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Update!

J/121 offshore speedster(Newport, RI)- It has been an exciting two weeks at J/Boats since announcing the newest 40’ J/121 concept.  Response from sailors around the globe has been tremendous, validating the need for a 40 footer that can be adventure-raced with half the normal size crew.   We’re pleased to confirm that hull plug construction commences in a few short weeks at Symmetrix Composites in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Symettrix 3D CNC machineSymmetrix is the most advanced precision tooling company in New England and will machine both the J/121 hull and deck plugs using the state-of-the-art CMS Poseidon 5-axis CNC bay.  Symmetrix engineers analyze final 3D design models provided by J/Boats using Siemens NX11 CAD/CAM software and will run a series of simulations to arrive at final machining instructions for the 5-axis milling machine. Then the exciting part starts.  First the steel backbone frame with foam blocking is milled to within an inch of the final plug surface and then an epoxy milling paste is applied over the glass covered plug.  The part returns to the milling machine for a second and final precision machining operation to take it to the final surface.  Hand-sanding to 800 grit and buffing to a mirror shine then completes the effort.

From initial steel framing construction, to precision milling operations, to the final polishing the process to build a complete mirror finish hull plug/pattern will take just 7 short weeks.  Production molds will then be constructed in January at CCFC and from there J/121 project development will accelerate through the winter and into spring.  What a great way to kick off the New Year in 2017!

Stay tuned for progress photos and more info about the new J/121 in future J/News issues and at our website.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Growing the J/22 Fleet! Youth Fun!

J/22 sailing one design (Annapolis, MD)- This year, the US J/22 Class Association awarded its first annual scholarship boat to Patrick Shanahan of the Brown University Sailing Team, which earned his team a fully outfitted J/22 and trailer. The team of six members competed on the J/22 circuit this summer that led up to J/22 Worlds in Kingston, Ontario in late August.

What are you learning about keelboat fleet racing as opposed to match racing you often do?
For me personally, I have never really sailed anything but dinghies, and this summer began match racing and fleet racing keelboats. It has been a huge aid to have the other members of the team who have an extensive background in keelboats crewing and helping me learn quickly.

The two aspects of racing, whether it is match or fleet racing, are so different but so similar at the same time. One thing we really focus on when sailing the J/22 is to keep it simple. We don’t know the boat very well, but we know if we do the basics like focus on the shifts and breeze and keep the boat moving as best we can, we will get a good result. Once we start overthinking everything and focusing on all the little details, we will forget the basics and perform worse.

Being new to the J/22 Class this summer, how would you characterize the fleet?
The fleet has exceeded every single one of our expectations; everyone has been nothing but kind and friendly. Whenever we didn’t know how to do something or needed help, every single person has been willing to help and assist us. It has been the best experience to sail against such a kind and driven fleet because it is so intense and competitive, but everyone is so sportsmanlike and welcoming. We all want to find a way to remain a part of the Class.

There are many statistics about the drop-off in sailing participation post-college. What can be done to keep young people interested in the sport at that age?
Giving grants and scholarships like the J/22 Class Association has done is the best way to keep post-college sailors interested and able to sail. It doesn’t always have to be giving away a boat for the year either, it can be any sort of grant or help. Even if it is just a certain amount of money to aid in the costs of sailing or hardware for their old boat.

The biggest problem with continuing sailing after college is the cost of participating. Most of the time, recent graduates have to pay for their accommodations, car, food, etc. That leaves them with not enough money to continue to sail. With grants that help any little bit, this allows these recent grads to be able to continue to sail and remain competitive in the sport.

J/22 & J/24 East Coasts Preview

J/24 sailing off Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)- The annual fall J/24 classic will be taking place this weekend on the Chesapeake Bay from October 28th to 30th.  Host for the J/24 East Coast Championship is the Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD.  An enormous fleet of twenty-six J/24s are registered with teams coming from all over the eastern seaboard.  Joining them are seventeen J/22’s sailing their Fall Championship.

Many luminaries of the J/24 class who have participated for years are looking forward to three days of racing on the Bay, enjoying the gorgeous fall colors off Easton’s Point.  Those teams include Erica Beck Spencer’s all-women crew- SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland YC in Maine.  Other leading teams include Chris Clancy’s LITTLE MARTHA, Will Davenport’s JABB, Pete Kassal’s SPACEMAN SPIFF, Kevin O’Brien’s FUGUE STATE, Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER, Tony Parker’s famous BANGOR PACKET, and Al Constants’ BLITZ.

There are a number of new faces in the J/22 crowd, such as Brady Stagg, JR Maxwell, Kira Munger, Lorenzo Carrera and Gunnar Gode.  Veterans sure to give everyone a run-for-the-money are Chris Wilson, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, Todd Salzman, Trevor Perkins and Zeke Horowitz.  For more J/24 and J/22 fall championship sailing information

A Family Goes Racing J/70s In San Francisco

J/70 sailing San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- The husband and wife team of Tracy and Christy Usher bought their J/70 sailboat CHRISTINE ROBIN one year ago setting their sights on sailing in the 2016 Alcatel World Championships in San Francisco, just six months from their first major regatta. Here, Christy tells their story and explains why buying the J/70 was the best decision they ever made.

“My first year sailing in the J/70 Class has been one of the most exhilarating and by far one of the best years of my life—culminating just recently with the Alcatel J/70 World Championship hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC). Almost exactly one year ago to the start of the Worlds, my husband Tracy and I bought our J/70 sailboat. Buying the J/70 has proven to be the best decision we’ve made together.

My husband and I had been looking for the right sailboat for us as a family for over a decade. Tracy had been content competing on the Laser Master circuit, so for many years we sailed Lasers “together separately.” He sailed the Laser Standard Masters while I sailed in the Laser Radial Masters. As much as I enjoyed sailing in the Laser Class, I aspired for a sailboat we could race and sail together.

J/70 with UshersOur first introduction to the J/70 was in Newport, RI, in Fall 2012. StFYC sent a team that included my husband and Peter Vessella to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) for a regatta, which was to be sailed in J/Boats’ latest speedster, the J/70. Peter Vessella was rightfully and quickly smitten with the boat and purchased one soon after.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later after seeing several J/70s on display at the Monaco Yacht Club that I started to take notice of this sporty, sleek, and fast-looking yacht. The next time Tracy mentioned Peter Vessella’s J/70 program, Running Wild, I suggested we consider getting a J/70 of our own, and the rest is history.

We took delivery of our boat in September 2015, which my husband named Christine Robin (my first and middle names), splashed and christened her for the first time in Sausalito, and then spent the winter months getting her race ready. By spring we were off to the races—literally. The National Offshore One Design (NOOD) regatta in San Diego was our first major regatta, followed by the J/70 North Americans in Texas, and Long Beach Race Week in Southern California. Some epic summer sailing on the San Francisco Bay followed, including the Pacific Coast Champs, Summer Keel, and Rolex Big Boat Series, all of which would culminate with the World Championships the end of September. We had set our sights on sailing well at the Worlds, which would be hosted by StFYC, and we knew we had a lot to learn in a short amount of time to make our little boat go fast.

Teamwork makes the dream work. Buoyed by a great team of talented sailors, my husband Tracy Usher and I participated in the Corinthian class of the 2016 J/70 Worlds. Mike Bishop and Jon Andron joined Tracy and I as trimmer and bowman respectively.

J/70 with Ushers sailingMike was the staple of our J/70 program. He kept his composure on the boat all season long while the rest of us each lost it at one time or another, cursing like pirates, and sometimes at each other. Mike always remained so calm and focused onboard, and he dedicated so much of his personal time to training with us—I can’t thank him enough.

Jon was so very gracious and flexible switching positions with me from mainsail trimmer to bowman. Half way through the season we came to the realization that due to my size, I wouldn’t be able to douse the spinnaker in the big breeze on the Bay: Instead of me pulling the spinnaker in the boat, the spinnaker was pulling me off the boat! Jon now gets a lot more wet and cold sitting first on the rail as bowman, but has taken it all in stride. “Just another sail on Moonlight Bay,” he often jokes after a massive wave breaks over on him on the bow.

Sailboat racing is an emotional and physical test on so many levels. Sharing that intensity as a team is both the biggest reward and the biggest challenge. Crew bonds are the best. You become family in so many ways, sharing a closeness literally and figuratively that compares to nothing else. Those good times and great laughs we had all season long as a team will stay with me always.

J/70 crew positions and duties are somewhat formulaic, though with four positions and lots to do there are a variety of ways to delegate who does what. Size me up in person and you might rightly conclude I have limited strength to offer, and indeed this true. I often get asked about my role on the boat, especially from other female sailors who would like to sail on the J/70 but find themselves overlooked in favor of stronger, typically male counterparts. Often, though, having at least one lightweight crewmember is an advantage. I trim the main downwind, which is by far the most fun job on the boat; having the throttle on a ripping reach is the best assignment any sailor could ask for! I also play the backstay, “jump” the jib sheets for final trim, adjust the traveller, and finish packing the spinnaker in the bag after we have rounded the downwind mark.

J/70s sailing San FranciscoTo give ourselves the best chance of being competitive, and perhaps even take home the Corinthian World Championship title at the J/70 Worlds, we splurged on a lot of high-level training and coaching sessions with some of the best pro sailors in the business, including Willem Van Waay, Victor Diaz de Leon, and Steve Bourdow. With Victor trimming the main, we cut across the Bay like a knife through butter in over 25 knots. That day with Victor was one I will never forget because our boat reached speeds we hadn’t imagined were possible. Experiencing just how far the boat could be pushed gave us a “no fear” attitude to “breeze on” conditions, which served us well on those windy reaches during the World Championships.

Steve has an uncanny ability for comparisons when it comes to sail trim and rig set up, and his daily debriefs during the Worlds were invaluable to our team. We were also lucky enough to have Willem with us for several training sessions. Over the course of the summer, he completely overhauled everything about our program, including sails, rig, settings, markings, lines—I mean everything! And after extracting and stripping everything non-essential or “cute” off our boat (including my missing flip-flop) he had us doing Zambookas (jibe set drills) in our sleep.

In the days prior to racing, during hull and sail measurement and inspection, the anticipation in the air at StFYC was palpable. I was excited to see how the top Italian teams would pace against some of the top teams we had been sailing with all season.

Joel Ronning’s Catapult had unrivaled speed at the Pacific Coast Championships in July and Julian Fernandez Neckelmann’s Flojito y Cooperando had been on an impressive winning streak all year long, winning every regatta they entered, with the exception of Key West Race Week. At Key West, Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network won the regatta with five bullets in 10 races.

How Claudia Rossi’s formidable Petite Terrible would stack up seemed like a complete wild card since neither Catapult nor Flojito had lined up with them yet. It was a sailing soap opera of sorts and I couldn’t wait for the racing to get started!

It was clear at the end of the first day of racing that any of five top teams seemed worthy of the World Champion title. The 2016 Alcatel Worlds was going to be nothing short of a nail biter, and even with a throw-out, every race and every point, was going to count.

What is great about the J/70 Class is that it “brings together the sailing legends with the weekend warriors,” said Karlo Hmeljat, main trimmer on Calvi Network. I couldn’t agree more. From what I’ve seen so far, the professional sailors enhance the racing both on and off the water. Nonetheless, there is a clear distinction between the professional and Corinthian (or amateur) sailors, and I am more concerned that some teams that clearly belong in the former (pro) category somehow qualify for the latter (Corinthian) classification.

It was very inspiring for me to meet so many incredibly talented and skilled top female sailors. Meeting the current European J/70 Champion Claudia Rossi of Petite Terrible, former North American J/70 Champion Heather Gregg of Muse, and Irene Bezzi, a former champion J/70 mainsail trimmer and coach with Calvi Network, as well as Laser Master Champion Guilia Albuzio, was one of the highlights of the regatta for me. These women have style and strength, and I admire them greatly as role models on and off the water.

It was a surreal experience to find myself sailing on the San Francisco Bay with the world’s top professional and Corinthian J/70 teams. After following these teams for many months, not only to see them here sailing on my home waters but also to find myself on the same starting line and sailing the same racecourse with them was an indescribable experience and the privilege of a lifetime. And just when things couldn’t get more surreal, a helicopter packed with photographers hovered over our race course on day four.

 “It was a gathering of eagles. You could not have gone anywhere on the planet that week and found a comparable assemblage of talent,” StFYC Commodore Kimball Livingston told Sail Couture.

Some of the world-class tacticians included: John Kostecki (Catapult), the only sailor to have ever won an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, 11-time World Champion, Olympic Silver medalist, two-time Rolex US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, winner of Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup; Bill Hardesty (Flojito y Cooperando) former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year winner, Melges World Champion, Match Race World Champion and Paul Cayard (Calvi Network) former US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, 7-time America’s Cup competitor, first American to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, two-time Olympian, US Sailing Hall of Fame inductee and Rolex Yachtsman of the year. These in addition to a bevy of former J/70 world, European and national champions.

The racing conditions during the Worlds were challenging for our team. The breeze and the infamous tides that enter and exit through the narrow opening at the Golden Gate were different and difficult to predict every day. For better or worse, there was a wide range of wind conditions. In most races we saw up to 25 knots of breeze, but some races were sailed in less than 10 knots.

Sailing in a large fleet of nearly 70 sailboats posed additional tactical challenges with respect to managing our position relative to the rest of the fleet on the upwind and downwind legs, as well, as navigating often crowded mark roundings.

Getting a clear lane off the starting line was critical. The fleet was aggressive on the line from the very first day and as a result, the race committee didn’t hesitate to deploy various penalty flags throughout the week to discourage boats from being over early. With only one race discard for the entire regatta, avoiding a penalty at the start was critical for all of the competitors but especially the top teams vying for the title.

“We set the race course in the East Bay, in the Olympic Circle, out of the shipping lanes and out of the worst of the tides, but over the week of racing we gave the competitors the full gamut of conditions: Warm mild days in the beginning of the week and toward the end they got the full San Francisco bear. By the time the regatta was over, they knew they had sailed on San Francisco Bay,” said Livingston.

The racecourse was located on the Berkeley Circle some six nautical miles from the St. Francis Yacht Club. Either by tow or by sail, it was a long way home at the end of the day.

Congratulations to the new J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning, owner and driver of Catapult, their friendly coach “Fuzz,” and the rest of the team for raising the bar and showing us their world-class speed and consistency on the race course. It is a well-deserved win after their yearlong training effort on the San Francisco Bay.

Taking home the top Corinthian honor was Ullman Sails Newport Beach’s USA-32 skippered by Shawn Bennett. Bennet together with his crew of Craig Healy, Jon Perkins and Eric Baumhoff claimed the World Championship Corinthian title.  Racing against the highly competitive professional sailing teams, USA-32 finished ahead of 53 boats and 15th overall in the open division.

“It’s easily the best regatta we’ve ever done and we’ve done a lot [of regattas],” Simon Ling of Great Britain’s Team RAF Benevolent Fund told Sail Couture. “The venue, the race organization, the hosting by StFYC, all together was excellent, a winning recipe.”

For me, sailboat racing is about more than sailboat racing. After a day on the water, the highlight for me is often hanging out with all the sailors while we try to figure out how to make our boats go faster tomorrow. The StFYC provided the perfect post-racing atmosphere during the Worlds including a California wine tasting, hot toddies at the World’s Fair outdoor carnival, and Aperol Spritz cocktails on Italian night while we all dreamt of sailing in Porto Cervo, Italy, where the J/70 Worlds will be held in 2017.

Sailboat racing is dopamine, regattas are a rush, and a weeklong high comes with a great crash. These weeks following the end of the J/70 Alcatel Worlds and our 2016 sailing season have been tough for me. I miss that collective passion for sailing buzzing between my fellow competitors, coaches, and teammates. Set in the iconic City by the Bay, the Worlds delivered more than results. It was about friendships, family, and memories fueled by wind, water, and teamwork that keep us all coming back regatta after regatta. I think all of the J/70 sailors left a little piece of their heart in San Francisco. I know I did.”
http://sailcouture.com/j70-worlds-delivers-results/

The Great Pumpkin Regatta Preview

J/24 sailing San Francisco (Richmond, CA)- Richmond Yacht Clubs’ Great Pumpkin Regatta, entering it’s 31st year, will be hosted from their newly remodeled and expanded Club House.  The regatta format is unique on San Francisco Bay.  On Saturday, they will have 3 well-run racecourses, and then on Sunday they have their highly popular PHRF Pursuit Race (where slowest boats start first and everyone else chases them down to cross the line first).

The weekend kicks off with Friday night's Family Pumpkin Carving and Pasta Feed.  On Saturday is the famous Halloween Party with great food, great drink, great band and outrageous costumes.  Then, it all ends with trophy presentation and free pu-pus after the conclusion of racing on Sunday.

J/24 off San FranciscoLooking forward to this bacchanalian festival are dozens of members of the J/tribe on San Francisco Bay.  First up is a fleet of J/24s with several famous local teams ready to do battle!  Who will win their perennial fight this time?  Who knows?  But, it’s certain that one of these three teams will sit atop the leaderboard by the end of the weekend- Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS, Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE or Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, in the fifty-six boat PHRF Racing class is Richard Pipkin’s J/125 CAN’T TOUCH THIS, Bill Mohr’s J/124 SPIRIT OF FREEDOM, Nesrin Basoz’s J/111 SWIFTNESS, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s J/111 DOUBLE DIGIT, Bob George’s J/35 KIRI, George Sirogiannis’ J/35 MOJO, four J/105s (David Gross’ NIRVANA, Sergey Lubarsky’s RACE QS/ RUSSIAN ROULETTE, Charlie Abraham’s JAVELIN, Simon James & John Robison’s LIGHTWAVE), two J/88s (Gary Panariello & Ryan Simmons’ COURAGEOUS & Steven Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE), and two J/70s (Mark Thomas’ PRIME NUMBER & Steve Cameron’s 6-PACK).  Hoping to do some damage in the SF-30 class will be Anthony Castruccio’s J/30 WINDSPEED.
For more Great Pumpkin Regatta sailing information

Saturday, October 29, 2016

J/Fest Southwest Preview

JFest Southwest(Lakewood, TX)- This year’s turnout for J/Fest Southwest has been nothing short of spectacular!  According to Scott Spurlin, J/Boats Southwest dealer, “the J/24’s are leading the way with eighteen boats signed up - all of which are respecting Kelly Holmes-Moon (who recently passed away) in the best way possible.  It is an amazing group of close-knit sailors this J/24 group!  Plus, the J/22’s have thirteen boats signed up!  The J/105’s will have ten on the line with at least four from out of town! Now that is commitment, traveling with a large oversized boat!  And, the J/70’s will have nine boats, which is a nice fun fleet size- a Kansas City boat is making the trip to join us!”

Host for this year’s J/Fest Southwest is Lakewood YC, a beautiful suburb just south of Houston located on the always-challenging Galveston Bay- famous for chop and warm sea breezes.  The one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s will also be joined by PHRF handicap classes with J/130, J/122, J/109s, J/92s, J/29s and J/27s.

J/22 sailing J/Fest SouthwestThe J/22 class has some great sailors coming from across the great plains of Texas!  Locals Casey Lambert on BLACKBURN MARINE RACING will be up against some good’ole boys like Terry Flynn on TEJAS (a J/22 NA and World Champion), and Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC on PRESSURE DROP (a J/24 NA Champion), amongst others.  Watch out for the girls from Fort Worth!  They area sailing FORGET ME NOT from Ft Worth Boat Club, with skipper Nataleigh Perez, Wendy Roach, Lynette Edenfield and “rail meat” Nick Perez (the token male, chief chef, and beer server for the gurlz!).

The J/24s are showing up in force with several notable crews from Austin, Forth Worth, Dallas, Houston and Corpus, plus Colorado!  In honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, it will be Chris Holmes sailing TEAM BAD MOON from Dallas Corinthian YC.  Joining him on the race track will be Jason Seibert’s RODEO CLOWN, Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES, Josh Bowens-Rubin’s ZERO GRAVITY, Jorge Martin-de-Nicolas’ SRAY DOG, and Tim Johnson’s GRAY WOLF.

The J/70s have a small but very talented fleet.  Top crews include Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO, Alfred Poindexter’s crew from Lakewood YC, and Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING.

The large PHRF Asym class includes Chris Waters’ J/130 SECOND WIND, JD Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR, four J/109s (Dave Christensen’s AIRBORNE, Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG, Andy Wescoat’s HARM’s WAY & Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE) and two J/92’s (Dan Sullivan’s LITTLE JOE & George Cushing’s 77).  The PHRF Spin class includes Ray Bentele’s J/29 PRSS TO MECO and Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA.  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105s sailing Lipton Cup (San Diego, CA)- The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, will be sailed on October 28-30, 2016. Named for the historic yachtsman and tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, the Lipton Cup allows yacht clubs’ teams to face off to determine who is the best of the best. It has been the most prestigious trophy contested in Southern California and one of the most coveted on the West Coast since 1903.

Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round robin format using equalized J/105s provided by owners of local Southern California boats. There will be a practice day on Thursday, October 27.

Twelve teams from around the country will compete in this year’s regatta.  Representing the California contingent are Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.  Representing the East Coast are Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, and New York Yacht Club.

J/105 sailing Lipton CupHost San Diego Yacht Club won last year’s Lipton Cup while St. Francis Yacht Club and California Yacht Club have also won within the past 5 years. Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

Returning SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks is confident that the skills of the 2016 team will help them win the trophy again. Going into the Lipton Cup weekend, Team SDYC will concentrate on sailing well and keeping their heads in their own boat.  "Sailing well is only thing we can control and if we can do that, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win," explains Sinks.

Despite the confidence exhibited by the “locals”, there is no question there are fairly strong teams taking aim at collecting the coveted silver trophy to toss onto their trophy shelves instead!  Leading that charge will be St Francis YC’s Chris Raab with Russ Silvestri as tactician, the winning combination two years ago.  Also in the hunt will be Newport Harbor YC’s Jon Pinckney with Bill (and son Mike) Menninger as co-tacticians (Mike won the J/105 Masters Regatta as skipper last weekend with Pinckney as tactician)- this NHYC duo are formidable talents and nearly won the regatta last year, save for a not highly recommended “left tack” into the channel!!  Two of the eastern sailing clubs also have very competitive teams:  Eastern YC has Bill Lynn skippering with Henry Brauer, Alden Reid and Bob Campbell as their afterguard- all top J/105 sailing talent from Marblehead, MA; and New York YC has Brian Keane as skipper with Stu Johnstone as tactician.

This year's Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests after racing. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

Event co-chair, Joanne O’Dea, explains the spirit of the weekend. "Lipton Cup is a fun event because its three days of intense competition on the water — matched with equal enthusiasm for the camaraderie off the water. San Diego Yacht Club is proud to host this event every year and is excited to welcome the visiting teams to our bay."

The Lipton Cup Regatta and San Diego Yacht Club would like to thank its sponsors: Ballast Point, Helly Hansen, North Sails, Pacific Gate San Diego & Zeal Optics.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

J/24 Italy Report

J/24 sailing Italy (Anzio Nettuno, Italy)- Over the weekend, the 42nd Winter Championship of Anzio and Nettuno had twenty-one J/24 crews take to the water.  It was a tight battle between the protagonists of the last edition, LA SUPERBA skippered by Ignazio Bonanno BLACK LEATHER sailed Paul Cecamore and skippered by the 2014 Soling World Champion- the Hungarian Farkas Litkey.

"It’s been a good start for the regatta,” commented SUPERBA’s skipper Bonanno.  “In the opening race, won by Farkas Litkey and Paul Cecamore, we finished in second place because of a slight collision with the J/24 skippered by Federico Miccio (Ita 216 Jumpin'jack Flash).  “In the second race, however, we won with a good gap from the second place boat, Black Leather.  For this regatta, the J/24 Fleet was a little less numerous than recent years, but the competition was always on a good level."

The provisional rankings has LA SUPERBA in first, followed by BLACK LEATHER in second, DAIQUIRI in third (with skipper Fabrizio Sabatini), AMERICAN PASSAGE in fourth (with Paul Rinaldi as skipper/ owner), and GREEN RAY in fifth (with Carmelo Savastano as skipper).   For more Italian J/24 sailing information

Friday, October 28, 2016

J/22 Cooling Down Regatta Report

J/22 sailing Netherlands (Braassermermeer, The Netherlands)- No one could complain last weekend, to have such a beautiful day in October is rare. So, with 23 boats lining up for four races, it was beautiful sailing under a clear blue sky, a lovely temperature and a steady wind from a direction the fleet does not often experience on the Braassermermeer.

Leading the event after four races is NED 1295 with a 4-1-1-2 record for 8 pts.  Sitting in second is Anne van der Beek’s NED 1152 with a 6-2-3-1 for 12 pts.  And, holding onto third place is NED 1514 sailed by Thom van der Starr, Cedric Willekens, Jesper Overbeeke, and Maarten Beerendschot with a 2-3-4-5 for 14 pts.

The Winter training series will continue until next month!  It has been a great turnout for J/22 sailors, please invite more to join us!  For more J/22 Cooling Down/ Training sailing information

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gorgeous Cleveland (216) Regatta!

J/111 sailing Cleveland 216 regatta (Cleveland, OH)- Warm weather and chamber of commerce breeze welcomed seven J/22s, thirteen J/70s and six J/105s this weekend for the second annual Cleveland (216) Regatta. Four races were completed on a bright and sunny Saturday in varying breeze, flat water and 8-15 knots out of the south. All fleets were extremely competitive with aggressive starts and close finishes.

After day one, Mark Stuhlmiller on Eudaimonia was leading the J/22 fleet by 1 point over Adam Masters' Trainwreck, both out of Buffalo Yacht Club and Tim Roberts' MD Deuce, out of Edgewater Yacht Club, closely following. Tick Tock Croc, driven by Richard Nesbett out of Edgewater Yacht Club, had six points on a tiebreaker between Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind, also out of EYC, and Mark Allen's Macro Connect out of Pontiac Yacht Club. In the J/105 fleet, Chip Schaffner's Fall Line, out of Cleveland Yachting Club, was leading with four bullets and Robert Mock's Limousine Liberals, from Edgewater Yacht Club, was following with all second place finishes.

J/105s sailing ClevelandDay two started off cloudy, but with more breeze out of the southwest at 15-22 knots, gusting over 25 and nearing eighty degree temperatures. All fleets were again aggressive getting off the starting line and competitive at each mark rounding battling for podium finishes. After three races on Sunday, Mark Stuhlmiller on Eudaimonia placed first in the J/22 fleet with thirteen points, local Tim Roberts on MD Deuce had fourteen points, and Adam Masters on Trainwreck had nineteen points in third place. Richard Nesbett's Tick Tock Croc held onto the lead in the J/70 fleet with twenty points, followed by Lee Sackett's Breaking Wind with twenty eight points and Mark Allen's Macro Connect with thirty one points in third. Chip Schaffner's Fall Line won the J/105 fleet with straight bullets followed by Robert Mock's Limousine Liberals in second and Stephen Mitcham's Breezin' Bayou in third.

Many thanks to the sponsors: Quantum Sails Cleveland, Sailing Inc., Tito's Vodka, Boston Beer Co., Mapleside Farms and APS, as well as the families who were so generous to host visiting teams. Bobbi and Bruce Sundman pulled off a traditional Southern boil on Saturday evening and Quantum Sails sponsored the tailgate party on Sunday during the awards ceremony. PRO Mike Vining put together a flawless Race Committee and great fun was had by all! The third annual Cleveland (216) Regatta will be held in early October 2017 and we hope to see you there!  For Cleveland (216) Regatta sailing information

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105s sailing Lipton Cup in San Diego, CA (San Diego, CA) – The 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta, will be sailed over the Halloween weekend on October 28-30, 2016. Named for the historic yachtsman and tea baron, Sir Thomas Lipton, the Lipton Cup will host twelve yacht club teams from across the USA.

Teams will compete in a round robin format using equalized J/105s provided by owners of local Southern California boats. With the course within San Diego Bay, the tight confines keep the racing close and the action within sight of shoreside spectators.

Competing in 2016 will be Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club (San Pedro, CA), California Yacht Club (Marina del Rey, CA), Coronado Yacht Club (Coronado, CA), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, MA), Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, NY), Long Beach Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA), New York Yacht Club (New York, NY), Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, CA), San Diego Yacht Club (San Diego, CA), San Francisco Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA), Southwestern Yacht Club (San Diego, CA), and St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA).

Host San Diego Yacht Club won last year’s Lipton Cup, but will be pressed by recent winners St. Francis Yacht Club (2014) and California Yacht Club (2012). Eastern Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

SDYC skipper Tyler Sinks likes their chances. “Sailing well is the only thing we can control and if we can do that, we’ll put ourselves in a position to win.”

Event co-chair, Joanne O’Dea, explains the spirit of the weekend, “Lipton Cup is a fun event because its three days of intense competition on the water — matched with equal enthusiasm for the camaraderie off the water. San Diego Yacht Club is proud to host this event every year and is excited to welcome the visiting teams to our bay.”

Sinks is also looking forward to the event. “The Club does such a great job with the regatta and so many club members come out to watch the sailing, hopefully the weather will cooperate and we’ll be able to give them some exciting racing.”   For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

J/Crews Sweep Harvest Moon Regatta

J/105 sailing Houston (Seabrook, TX)- Perhaps one of the most beautiful experiences any offshore sailor can have is to take off from Galveston Bay on an afternoon start, sail out into the Gulf of Mexico and turn left down the shoreline to Port Aransas about 50 nm down the coastline.  In most years, it’s a gentle cruise down the coast under spinnaker with a massive “fall harvest moon” slowly emerging over the ESE horizon, seemingly ready to engulf the entire Earth in its glow.  For those who have sailed this race over the years, it is a mind-bending experience to see the Moon refracting so that it looks like it is the Second Coming of Christ- or some other out-of-body scenario.  Blood orange, giant, and melting across the horizon on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s no wonder that so many people keep coming back for more!

This year, a good weather forecast meant that teams turned out “en’masse” to enjoy the gorgeous overnight sail.  In ORC Spinnaker classes, it was remarkable that both “A” and “B” classes saw total “clean sweeps” by J/Crews!

In ORC Class A, 1st was Jim Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS from Houston YC, 2nd was Albrecht Goethe’s J/46 HAMBURG II from Lakewood YC, 3rd was JD Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR from Lakewood YC and 6th was Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’s WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association!

The scenario was the same for ORC Class B.  But, in this case, it was a sweep of the top five!  1st was John Barnett’s J/105 VICI from Lakewood YC, 2nd was Josh Richline’s J/105 VELOCE from Corpus Christi YC, 3rd was JB Bednar’s J/105 STINGER from Lakewood YC, 4th was John Bell’s J/105 KINDERSPIEL 2 from Corpus Christi YC, and 5th was Jeff Progelhof’s J/36 SENOR MOMENT for Houston YC! An amazing accomplishment for all J/Sailors across the board!  For more Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information

GAN’JA Tops Crouesty J/80 Coupe de France

J/80 sailing off France (Arzon, France)- Eighteen teams enjoyed the 2016 edition of the Crouesty J/Cup. It was an incredibly challenging regatta, starting on Friday in light to moderate winds and ending up with mind-blowing 20-35 kts winds on the final day of racing on Sunday.  Winning four races to take the title was Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA from NDCV Angers with a scoreline of 3-1-6-1-12-1-1-2-3 for 18 pts net.

The event started Friday with three general recalls in the first race alone! Two more races were sailed that day and leading after the first day’s racing was Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE with a 6-2-1 record for 9 pts. Second on the day was Nadal’s GAN’JA with a 3-1-6 for 10 pts and third was top female skipper- Capucine Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM with a 1-3-7 for 11 pts.

On Saturday, three more races were sailed in a wind that gradually freshened from 8 to 25 knots.  Three different teams won races- VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, DONGFENG, and GAN’JA.  It was clear that DONGFENG’s crew (Charles Caudrelier, Marie Riou, Pascal Bid├ęgorry, Thomas Rouxel) were obviously at ease in the breeze.

J/80s sailing off FranceSunday was altogether different for everyone.  With 35 knots of breeze (a small gale, by most measures) on the south Bay of Quiberon, a J/80, even without spinnaker, is mind-blowing!!  But, with a spinnaker, and the DONGFENG team skippered by Charles Caudrelier, it was the exceptional. Indeed, the third and final race of the day started in a good 22 knots and at the end of the first run, it was gusting over 35 knots- - that destroyed a main and some spinnakers.

After all the carnage on Sunday, GAN’JA’s Nadal emerged the overall winner. They were followed by Pellissier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE in second with Caudrelier’s DONGFENG in third.  Rounding out the top five was Ms Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM in 4th and Charles le guil Gaetan’s 3D PAYSAGES in fifth place.

A big congratulations to the race committee for its effectiveness throughout the three days of racing and thank you to the volunteers of YCCA for their warm welcome.  For more J/80 Crouesty de Arzon sailing information

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

J/World Sailing Program- Winter 2017

J/80 and J/70s sailing J/World (Annapolis, MD)- This year, J/World coaches will be participating in the Quantum J/70 Winter Series.  They will have spaces available for sailors onboard their J/70's for anyone who is interested in upping their sailing game, gaining experience sailing in a big one design fleet or exploring the shear joy of the easy speed of the J/70.  Space fills fast, but there are three opening spaces for our programs in both December and January.  Like all of the programs, clients will get to do it all, including driving, trimming and calling the shots on the race course.

For J/70 owners who are traveling to these events, there is a great opportunity to join in the structured drills and daily organized debriefs that take place during the practice days.  Any team that is interested in joining us for an organized practice session should contact us to find out how we can provide low cost support prior to the event.

Finally, J/World have experienced racing coaches who are available to support newer J/70 owners at these events.  Let’s face it- a 50 boat fleet of the best sailors in the world tuned up to race the hottest boat on the market can be a little intimidating. We've been there and done that, and would love to help any interested team get up to speed in any capacity that makes sense.  In this capacity, J/World will be at these events:
  • Davis Island #1
  • Davis Island #2
  • Key West Race Week
  • Davis Island #3
  • St. Pete NOODs
  • J/70 Midwinters
  • Miami Bacardi Cup
  • Charleston Race Week
  • Annapolis NOOD
Please note- J/World has space open on the J/88 for the famous Fort Lauderdale- Key West Race.  Their annual "Rocket Round The Reef" event is the most exciting adventure race for J/Boat sailors.  We prepare with three days of intense training before the overnight sprint to Key West.  This year, there will be two other 88's racing and for any J/Boat sailor who can't commit to Key West Race week or is considering moving into an offshore style boat like the new J/121 - this is the training event for them.  Space is very limited and we do ask to review a sailing resume before we book the client.

For more information on J/World’s J/70 and J/88 training programs, please contact Kristen Berry- work- 410-280-2040/  cell- 410-599-3542/ email- kristen@jworldannapolis.com/ website.

Silvestri Wins Mallory Cup (US Adult Sailing Championship)

J/22 Mallory Cup in San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- Quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing experience of the fleet racing for everyone involved, proved to be the key recipe for a successful 2016 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship held October 12-15 in San Francisco, CA.

Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay, this US Sailing National Championship truly challenged the ten teams competing in equalized J/22 one-design keelboats. In the end it was the experience, local knowledge and preparation of the team representing the Northern California Yachting Association/ St. Francis Yacht Club who came out on top.  The fleet tallied eight races on Wednesday; six races on Thursday; two on Friday, and four on Saturday.

J/22 Russ Silvestri at Mallory CupRuss Silvestri (San Francisco, Calif.), John Collins (Mill Valley, Calif.), Mario Yovkov (San Francisco, Calif.), and Maggie Bacon (San Francisco, Calif.) won by 13 points over 20 races. The team representing Southern California Yachting Association/San Diego Yacht Club, led by Tyler Sinks (San Diego, Calif.), placed second overall. Sinks was joined by crew mates Jake La Dow (San Diego, Calif.), Jake Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.), and Max Hutcheson (San Diego, Calif.).

Despite the close races throughout the four-day event, this championship was a two-team duel from start to finish. Silvestri won nine races and placed second nine times. Sinks won eight races and had a lead through most of Wednesday.

Silvestri led by nine points entering Saturday’s racing and his team continued to post consistent results (4-1-2-1) to seal the championship and the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.

“We knew from the start that Tyler Sinks was going to be the guy to beat,” said Silvestri. “They went after us in the starts today, but with a nine point lead, we wanted to stay close with them and not make any mistakes. We had the benefit of the local knowledge and confidence in our boat speed and how to set up our boat every day.”

“Today, we started races on the north side of Alcatraz with the wind coming from the south,” Silvestri continued. “Usually we are closer to Alcatraz, so that was different. There were storms coming through, so it was shifty at times. At the start of the tide, the wind was coming in and at the end it was going out, so just racing here all the time you have a sense of that and it helped us.”

Silvestri was also impressed with the new racing format, “I love the on-the-water umpiring. They are in the right position 99 percent of the time. You finish the race and there is no protest. It’s infinitely better.  It couldn’t be a better regatta to come to. The boats are prepared. It’s a $350 USD entry fee. You get all your food. It’s a great deal.  St. Francis YC did a great job running the event. It was great having the umpires out there and the race committee work was good in a challenging environment with the cross current and deep water. Getting the marks in the right spot was not easy.”  For more Mallory Cup/ US Adult Sailing Championship information

Monday, October 24, 2016

Classic Manhasset Bay Fall Series

J/105 Manhasset winners (Manhasset, Long Island, NY)- The Manhasset Bay YC has for decades hosted what is the grand finale to the western Long Island Sound sailing season.  Massively popular for years, it has now become the final event for masses of J/105s, J/109s and several offshore J/crews.  This year, Chamber of Commerce fall weather greeted sailors with temps in the low-mid 60's and winds in the 4-8 kt range Saturday and 14-18 kts on Sunday, offering a chance for the fleets to test out both light air and medium-heavy air skills and settings.

Out-of-towners dominated the J/105 fleet at the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, a precursor to the J/105 NA's being held later this week in the same waters. Team MANDATE from Toronto, sailed by Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer, won in convincing fashion, posting a 2-1-2-1-1-1 for six points net, followed by San Franciscans Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault on GOOD TRADE with 15 points, winning the tie-breaker over Fred deNapoli's gang from Marblehead on ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  The photo below shows the winners (Left to right)- Terry McLaughlin, Bruce Stone, Fred de Napoli.

J/105 top three- Manhasset BayThe John B. Thomson, Sr. trophy was awarded to the Canadian team on the J/105 MANDATE (skipper Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer) as having the best overall performance in one design racing!

In the PHRF 1 Class, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE crushed it on the last day, closing out their series with a 2-1-1 to nearly take the overall class win.  Instead, they settled for a well-deserved silver in a class full of wildly disparate boats (Melges 32, Custom 40 ft sled, Tripp 40 and IMX-45).

In PHRF 2 Class, it was a battle of the J/Crews.  Winning was Carl Olsson’s bright red J/109 MORNING GLORY with an amazing 2-1-1-1.5-2-1 record for 6.5 pts net.  Second was Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION, she sailed fast and like her J/109 stablemate, posted all top three finishes.  Fourth was Bob Schwartz’s navy-blue J/109 NORDLYS, winning the tie-breaker over Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN at 21 pts each.  Sixth was Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER with 26 pts.  For more Manhasset Bay Fall Series sailing information

St. Francis YC Hosting 2017 J/111 Worlds

J/111 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- The 2017 J/111 Worlds will be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) in San Francisco, CA from August 23–27, 2017. This will be the fourth World Championship for this competitive one-design class and its first on the U.S. West Coast. Regatta chairman Gerard Sheridan is anticipating a strong turnout with a diverse entry list. Says Sheridan, “We’re expecting boats from the West Coast, the Midwest and the East Coast as well as a solid turnout from Europe and abroad.”

This announcement comes at the conclusion of an impressive 2016 racing season at St. Francis Yacht Club, in which the club hosted multiple consecutive championships and international regattas including Hydrofoil Worlds, International Knarr Championship, Rolex Big Boat Series (the largest in history), Alcatel J/70 Worlds and the US Sailing Adult Championship. “The club has proven itself time and again as one of the most desired regatta hosts in the country,” says Sheridan. “Our race staff and volunteer race committee have earned their reputation for organizing top-flight regattas; our clubhouse wows visitors with every amenity; and our natural venue is second to none.”

The J/111 has been in production for six years now. Introduced in August 2010, there are now about 130 J/111s racing in over a dozen countries. San Francisco sailor Rob Theis has been racing J/111s since 2014 and won the J/111 class in both the 2014 and 2015 Rolex Big Boat Series. “This is a very active boat,” says Theis. “It will plane at 12 knots. It goes 18-20 knots downwind. It’s not technically a sportboat, but it can sure feel like one.”

Recognizing that San Francisco can be a trek for many sailors, St. Francis Yacht Club has organized a 2017 regatta schedule around the J/111 Worlds to accommodate multiple races for visiting sailors. The Aldo Alessio/ Swiftsure Regatta will take place in August and the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series is scheduled for the 2nd week of September. “If you visit St. Francis Yacht Club in 2017, you’ll be visiting a world-class city and sailing in up to three great regattas,” says Sheridan. Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.  For more 2017 J/111 Worlds sailing information