Saturday, December 16, 2017

Russian Woman Sailing Photographer Honored

Russian Sailor of Year Awards winner- Elena Otekina (Moscow,  Russia)- At the 2017 Russian Sailor of the Year Awards in Moscow, Russia, Elena Otekina was awarded “Best Sailing Media” due to her amazing coverage of the 2017 J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy and also for her coverage of numerous Russian J/70 Sailing League events during the course of the year.

“Congratulations” to Elena for her contribution to both growing and bringing awareness of the sport of sailing to the public, not just in Russia, but worldwide. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

J/24 FIVE FOR FIGHTING Wins Autumn Championship

J/24 sailing off Italy's Carrara marble mountains (Marina di Carrara, Italy)- The 2017 Autumn Championship for the Gulf of Poets J/24 Fleet took place over two weekends and was organized by the Club Nautica Marina di Carrara in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa.  The region is not necessarily famous for its amazing sailing conditions, since the rest of the world knows it for something decorating many upscale households and offices- their renowned “Carrara marble”!  The mountainsides gleam white in the day and glow orange at sunset- an astonishing view!

Italy's Carrara mountain rangeIn total, ten races were run over the two weekends.  A victory in the last race simply confirmed the crushing win the young crew on ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING put on the dozen-boat fleet.  The team was led by owner/skipper Eugenia De Giacomo with crew of Nicola and Matilde Pitanti, Lorenzo Cusimano and Bruna Marco.

The sailing was characterized by sun and perfect wind, about 10-15 knots from the northeast on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, two more races in similar conditions to count five for the weekend.  There were four different winners of the races, including FIVE FOR FIGHTING (race 6 and 10), Riccardo Pacini’s COCCOE, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY-HO (skippered by Luca Macchiarini), and Giuseppe Simonelli’s RAZOR BILL (skippered by Davide Sampiero).

J/24 sailing off Carrara marble mountains in ItalyAt the end of racing on Sunday, F4F had five 1sts and three 2nds in their ten-race tally to win with 16 pts net- a huge margin over the second place team.  That boat was Pacini’s COCCOE with 25 pts net. Third and fourth places were determined by a tie-breaker between Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA and Macchiarini’s TALLY-HO, with the former getting the benefit of count back to round out the podium. Fifth place went to Simonelli’s RAZOR BILL.

"They were beautiful regattas, very fun and very competitive,” commented Pietro Diamanti. "I am satisfied with this edition of the Autumn Championship and the victory of a crew made up of determined and very good youngsters like Five for Fighting, always ready to go down into the water and to commit to the maximum. Congratulations also to Riccardo Pacini, a great return with a super crew formed by my brother Giuseppe, Fabio Apollonio and Renzo Marini and Tommy Fusato."  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

J/46 BRAVO World Cruising Update

J/46 Bravo sailing Caribbean(English Harbour, Antigua)- “The J/46 BRAVO has done it again,” says proud and happy owner Tom Babbit from Portland, Maine. “We now have three Maine to Caribbean passages under our belts, the first, nearly 30 years ago on our J/40 with 7 and 10 year old daughters as our only crew. 

As we’ve aged a bit, we have gone longer [46‘) and gradually transitioned crew from family to great and very experienced friends. 

This year’s voyage was a nonstop (hopefully) from Camden to Antigua. The crew was Galen Todd (J/42 Tango) with whom I have several thousand passage, cruising, and racing miles, and Paul Rogers, (J/42 Canty) who has a transatlantic (on Canty) and ten years or so cruising Scandinavia and the Med - so far) plus a house full of trophies.

We delayed our Camden departure to Tuesday, Oct. 31 (Halloween), due to 60-knot winds on Monday in Camden. Our first afternoon and evening were “sporty” going to weather in 25 to 30 TWS with large seas and of course lobster pots to dodge while we had daylight. Things moderated for day two and then we entered the Gulf Stream, with 25 to 30 against the flow. 12 to 14 knots SOG was fun for a while, but the sea state was a bit of a challenge...especially when the tanker Alexia suggested we head up into the mountainous seas and pass astern! A firm negative response from Bravo to that suggestion saw us both agree to alter course hard to starboard and pass port-to-port, nary a mile between us. 

After that, there was only one more sporty night well south of Bermuda (where we stopped for a few hours to top fuel off). After three days of motoring, the trades filled and we were off on moonlit nights arriving in 10.5 days at first light on 11 November.  Except for two shredded jib sheets in the Gulf Stream, zero damage to BRAVO, and a happy landing in Paradise! What a great boat and crew!”  Thanks for this contribution from Tom Babbitt. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

J/30 PAPARAZZI Two-Peats The “Buffet Race”

J/30 Wirth Munroe winners- Paparazzi! (Palm Beach, FL)- Nicknamed “the buffet race,” the 61st Annual Wirth M. Munroe Race commenced December 1st for the 60nm course from Miami to Palm Beach. Aside from a short-lived rainstorm, the 22 teams enjoyed sunny conditions with breeze in the teens before arriving to rum drinks and the infamous seafood buffet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

This year’s race was a bit more challenging than last year and that one was tough enough. The boats that did well sailed 11-12 miles offshore, first on a port tack, to go “Gulf Stream hunting”- finding the hot 88 F water flowing at 4.5+ kts north over the bottom!

Donald Lasky’s J/30 PAPARAZZI won PHRF B for the 2nd year in a row and was 2nd overall. PAPARAZZI is very well sailed and the crew were really tired when they reached the Sailfish Club- most of the crew are in their 60’s or 70’s!  For more Wirth M. Munroe Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, December 11, 2017

J/70s Sweep SDYC Hot Rum Series Class!

J/70 sailing and winning San Diego YC Hot Rum Series (San Diego, CA)- Originated in 1957, the annual Sinnhoffer Hot Rum Series completed its three race schedule (Nov. 4, 18, Dec. 2) under sunny skies and light to moderate winds in San Diego, CA. With a pursuit start and an 11.9 nm random leg course for the 140 teams, the course setup again favored the big boats powering through the fleet of smaller boats that had started in much lighter winds.

J/125 sailing San Diego YC Hot Rum seriesThe J/125s had a rough go of it this year in PHRF 1 class.  In the end, they ended up separated by three points, with Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER edging out Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE, taking 7th and 8th in class, respectively.  Both boats had solid finishes, mostly top ten, but not enough to overcome the big tall rigs of the TP52’s and larger boats.

PHRF Class 2 was shaping up to be quite a pitched battle between two J/120s and the famous America’s Cup helmsman- Dennis Conner on his appropriately named MENACE.  Going into the last race, the J/120s were 1st and 3rd but could not hold on to those positions.  In a light air reaching drag race, the J/120s were a little out-classed.  John Laun’s CAPER finished on the podium in 3rd place while his friend Chuck Nichols on CC RIDER settled for 4th place.

J/105 Blink sailing Hot Rum SeriesUsually the domain of the J/105 class, PHRF 3 Class saw a strong performance from Dagfish’s VIGGEN to take home the silver with all top five scores.  Then, Scheel’s SUN PUFFIN took 7th, Rick Goebel’s SANITY posted a DNC-2-2 to crush the last two races but was only good enough for the 8th spot. Howell’s fun-loving holiday-trimmed BLINK took 9th and Sanford’s CREATIVE placed 11th.

The big winners in PHRF Class 4 were the trio of J/70s.  Winning on a tie-breaker at 10 pts each was Fabian Gomez-Ibarra’s VAGAZO, getting the short end of that stick was Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.  Then, only one point back was Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR.

Finally, in PHRF 5 class, The Case’s sailed one of San Diego YC’s J/22s called ZO ZO to 4th place.
For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

J/34 Knee Deep- Summer 2017 Video

J/34 IOR Knee Deep sailing Lake Erie (Sandusky, Ohio)-  From Brett Langolf, owner of the classic J/34 IOR boat called KNEE DEEP, yet another awesome compilation of sailing their beloved boat on Lake Erie.  Said Brett, “we won some, lost some, got wet, went fast & drank out of trophies. Cheers to family & friends for a great season!”

Their team is based out of Deadman's Flat Yacht Club & Sandusky Sailing Club.  Here is KNEE DEEP’s website-

This video, without question, is the very essence of what this sport is all about! Fun, family, perhaps some adult libations (okay, a lot of those), and just getting out there and doing it you’re own way.  Watch J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailing video compilation here of their 2017 sailing season Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Sailors Leading Sweep of Volvo Ocean Race?

Team Vestas 11th Hour sailing Volvo race (Capetown, South Africa)- J/sailors leading sweep of Volvo Ocean Race after two legs? The skippers with extensive J/one-design experience were 1st- J/80, 2nd- J/24, 3rd- J/80, or in other words- MAPFRE, VESTAS 11th HOUR RACING, and DONGFENG Race Team. Yes, indeed, knowing how to cut your teeth on the knife-edge against one-design world champions hones your instincts to sail fast, consistently 24x7, and continually tweak the boat and sails to gain tenths of a knot, here and there.

The Spanish flagged MAPFRE team won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race on November 24, the 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

“It’s amazing, we’re super-happy. We came here in one piece and in front of the others, we can’t ask for more,” said skipper Xabi Fernández (a long-time champion J/80 sailor in Spain). “This is what we will see all the way around the world. Super-tight racing, everyone has good speed and small mistakes are very expensive. This time we were luck to do the least mistakes and that’s why we won.”

MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south, but last weekend, 14 days into the leg and after crossing the Doldrums, navigator Juan Vila (another J/24 and J/80 sailor) and skipper Xabi Fernández put in a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn’t match. It turned out to be a winning move; within hours the Spanish team had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly found itself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to an inspiring fight-back. Over the final days, Dongfeng clawed its way back into a well-deserved second place.

“A good second place,” said Caudrelier (who selected and trained many crew on J/80s in China). “For sure, at one moment we were hoping for better, but a few days ago it was much worse and we made a fantastic comeback. Well done to MAPFRE, they made fewer mistakes than us, but we never gave up, the crew never complained, they just worked on the comeback… We have amazing speed in strong winds, we’ve worked on that a lot, and it was unbelievable, we were nearly a knot faster sometimes.”

Charlie Enright- skipper of Team Vestas 11th Hour in Volvo raceCompleting the podium was Vestas 11th Hour Racing, the winner of Leg 1. Skipper Charlie Enright’s team (long-time J/24 sailor and World Champion) was always in the mix with the leaders on this leg, but couldn’t find a way to slip into the lead.

“We’re happy with a podium result against a lot of good teams,” Enright said, dockside in Cape Town. “We’re not satisfied yet with how we’re sailing the boat, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we’ll keep chipping away. We’re still trying to get faster through the water and streamline our decision-making, but it’s a long race. We have time.”

MAPRFE won Leg 2 and now takes the overall lead. For Leg 2, MAPFRE sailed 7,886.5 nautical miles over the ground at an average speed of 17.3 knots!

The teams will now prepare for the In-Port Race on December 8 before the 6,500nm Leg 3 from Cape Town, South Africa to Melbourne, Australia that starts on December 10.  Follow these three teams on the Volvo Ocean Race here- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

ARC Rallies- Caribbean 1500 & Atlantic Update

Sailing the ARC Atlantic rally (Grand Canary, Spain)- “World Cruising”, the organization that created a number of “cruising rallies” called “ARC” (originally, Atlantic Rally Cruising), has seen its first major event finish in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, while the second event, ARC Atlantic, is still taking place having started on November 19th.

The longest-running ocean crossing rally in North America, the “1500” is a must-do for many cruisers. The ARC Caribbean 1500 fleet sails from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The start port and dates make the most of the available weather to maximize your Caribbean sailing, and the week-long pre-departure program will get you relaxed and ready for cruising.

Without a doubt, the most difficult part of getting to the Caribbean is timing the weather window before departure. Fall on the East Coast is squeezed between late summer hurricane season and early winter gale season. By joining the 1500, cruisers can rest assured that the “experts” are there to take the pressure off that decision. The support team consists of professional ocean sailors working closely with weather forecasters at WRI to ensure the fleet makes it across the Gulf Stream and into warmer waters in the best possible conditions.

Shortly after the start of the 2017 edition of the “1500”, one boat sent out an update over satellite email explaining, “it is an absolutely gorgeous day here in the North Atlantic. We are currently 640 nm off the coast of Georgia.  Last night was equally stunning. We were treated to a blaze orange moonrise followed by a moonlit night that danced on the water. The winds were favorable and we were cruising along comfortably at 11 knots or so.”

It did not take the fleet very long this year to make the 1,500nm crossing to Nanny Cay in Tortola, BVI.  In fact, Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho, sailed his J/42 MERLIN so fast that he ended up 2nd Overall and 2nd in Cruising A Class!  Now, that’s a nice way to celebrate the start of the 2017/ 2018 winter Caribbean sailing season!  For more Caribbean 1500 sailing information

J/133 sailing ARC Atlantic RallyARC ATLANTIC
The 2017 edition of the ARC Atlantic attracted nearly 200 boats and 1,200 people to sail 2,700nm across the Atlantic from Gran Canary Island (Spain) to Saint Lucia situated in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.

This year’s “cruising rally” attracted a broad cross-section of sailors; families with children, tough offshore racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. Many are already looking forward to their arrival in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer after two weeks at sea!

After starting November 19th, Sunday, the fleet is making good progress towards St Lucia, and the crews are celebrating and enjoying the Atlantic crossing on board their yachts in many different ways. For some it’s flying a spinnaker, others it’s catching a fish or practicing celestial navigation.

The lone J/crew participating in this year’s event is the J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema from The Netherlands.  Currently, as of 1500 hrs, November 30th, they are lying 4th in Cruising D, but on a significantly better, faster track to St Lucia than her erstwhile classmates.  They are approximately 1,500nm from landfall in the Caribbean.  For more ARC Atlantic sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta Preview

J/22 sailing Jammin Jamaica Regatta (Montego Bay, Jamaica)- This coming weekend, the famous Jammin’ J/22 Jamaica Regatta is taking place, hosted by the incredibly gracious members of Montego Bay YC.  You cannot beat the setting- warm weather, trade winds of 15-20 kts, sunny, and the nicest people you can imagine, sailing on a one-design fleet of J/22s.

A special feature of this year’s event is that North Sails’ Mike Marshall, the 2016 J/22 World Champion, will be providing a weekend-long J/22 North U “go-fast” clinic and on-the-water coaching for everyone!

The format is designed to encourage foreign sailors (to Jamaica) to visit as duets or entire crews of 3-4 people.  Of the fifteen-odd boats on the island, three are reserved for Kingston teams and three reserved for Mo’Bay teams- that selection is based on qualifiers.  Those boats are Peter Harper’s ZIPPER, Richard Hamilton’s RENEGADE, and Mike Morse’s AYAHSO from Mo’Bay.  Hailing from Kingston are Cooke’s J/22 random draw girlsGERONIMO and Gibson’s TSUNAMI.

As for the rest of the boats, the infamous “honest john boat draw” took place.  Video footage will show that an honest draw was made of this year’s visitors and available boats using completely random toilet paper squares.  Impartial by-standers were dragged from the massive crowds at Mo’Bay YC to pull the toilet paper squares and match boats with a skipper.  Thanks to Charlotte and Luna Marr for their unbiased assistance (pictured here)! Cute, eh??

Ten boats will be on the starting line this year for more fun in the Jamaican sun; three teams from Cayman Islands, one from Canada, and one from the USA.  For more Jammin J/22 Jamaica Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70s World Sailing Show Video

J/70 World Sailing show(London, England)- The World Sailing Show- is a highlights video produced by the “World Sailing” organization in London, England. The November highlights reel talks about the radical new America’s Cup class design. Then, they discuss why winning an Olympic medal doesn’t get you a head start, especially if you’re embarking on a 7,000nm race offshore (however, having one-design experience in strong one-design classes like J/24s, J/80s and J/70s does). Finally, they have a nice segment about the massive turnout for the AUDI J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy hosted by YC Costa Smeralda.  The event started with controversy and ended with spectacular racing in the biggest one-design sportsboat fleet ever seen in history.   Watch this J/70 Worlds segment at 09:38 in the World Sailing video Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Quantum J/70 Winter Series Regattas Preview

J/70s sailing Tampa, FL Quantum Series (Tampa, FL)- The 2017/ 2018 edition of the fourth Quantum J/70 Winter Series continues to be a popular choice for J/70 sailors from across America, Canada, and even the Caribbean!  The “sailingest yacht club in the south”, the Davis Island YC, is again proud to host the enormous contingent of J/sailors descending upon them for racing the weekend of December 9th to 10th.  The maximum number of entries permitted has been reached, with fifty-six entries ready to do battle on Tampa Bay, with fifteen Corinthian crews.

There is no question the “snow birds” heading south must be excited about Tampa Bay’s forecast- sunny, warm, low 60s F, northerly at 10-15 kts on Saturday and more sun with lighter northerly winds of 7-12 kts on Sunday!

The Corinthians division continues to have excellent competition.  Returning are two past champions- Robb Britts’ HOT MESS from the host DIYC and Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from American YC in Rye, NY. Some of the top crews challenging this formidable duo include Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL (2nd in Corinthians at J/70 North Americans); Mallory & Andrew Loe’s DIME from Seattle YC in Seattle, WA; Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH from Chicago, IL; and Al Poindexter’s USA 241 from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX.

J/70 Vineyard Vines sailing Quantum Winter seriesWith the 2018 edition of the J/70 World Championship taking place in Marblehead, MA, there is no question there are a number of teams that will be using this year’s winter J/70 circuit to dial in their boat-handling, boatspeed, and tactics with their teams.  The Open division will have a number of top crews that should be near the top of the leaderboard for the series. Amongst those crews should be Darby Smith’s AFRICA from DIYC in Tampa, FL; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX; past J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning sailing CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in Excelsior, MN; John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA from Chicago YC; class newcomer Kevin Downey on MR. PITIFUL from Seattle YC; Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from Greenwich, CT; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY from the Cayman Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fishers Island YC in New York; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly, MA; Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI; and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX.

SAIL22 J/70 “Porch Series” with North U
SAIL22 and North U are combining forces to get you up to speed and at the front of the fleet. The “Porch Series” will occur on each Friday of the J/70 Winter Series, starting Friday, December 8th.

To kick off the fun regatta weekend, a dock talk by Chuck Allen and Ed Furry will begin at 12:00 PM to discuss boat setup and tuning, followed by on-the-water coaching with North U at 1:00 PM. Practice races will run by J/WORLD from 2:00 until 4:00 PM, with a debrief immediately after sailing with North U and J/World.

To make it more interesting and exciting, Ed Furry from SAIL22 will emcee play-by-play action from the Porch at Davis Island YC, a drone will be shooting live footage online so sailors can join in the fun from home. In addition, the racing will feature the new MarkSETBot, the GPS moving mark that can be set from a mobile phone app to keep the races going!   For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Italian J/24 Winter Sailing Series Report

J/24 Italy winning sailing team (Cagliari, Italy)- The final event in 2017 for the Italian J/24 Winter series took place off Cagliari this past weekend; one that not only had a new winner for the regatta, but also confirmed the series leader of the regional series- a six event program that takes place during the fall 2017 and winter 2018.

The weather conditions were not favorable for the two-day event in Cagliari. There was little wind on Saturday and way too much wind on Sunday.  So, the RC Chairman of Société Canottieri Ichnusa, Tanni Spanedda, wisely called off racing on Sunday.  As a result, there was nothing left to do but enjoy the hospitality of the club and enjoy a fabulous Saturday evening dinner that was augmented by very tasty local wines.

Winning the regatta was ITA 460 BOTTA DRITTA sailed by Mariolino Di Fraia, with his crew of Luca Montella, Ezio Diana, Andrea Tirotto and Gianluca Cataldi. They sailed fast in all six short-course races on Saturday to celebrate their good fortune that evening.

As a result of the weekend series, ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from Club Nautico Arzachena, skippered by Aurelio Bini, leads after 27 races sailed in three events. Then, sitting in 2nd place is Davide Gorgerino's ITA 431 LNI CARLOFORTE-PUNTO A and then in 3rd place is ITA 396 MOLARA sailed by Federico Manconi.

The next regatta on the circuit does not take place until Sunday, January 21,2018.  For more Italian J/24 Fleet sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show - J/112E!

J/112E cruising interior
This Gorgeous “Living Room” Can Surf To 18+ kts??
(Paris, France)- On display at the Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show from December 2nd to 10th is the fabulous new 36 footer from the J/Design team- the J/112E Sport Cruiser.  The show takes place at the Parc de Exposition at Port de Versailles, Paris and the 112E will be on display at Pavilion 1/ Stand J/112E sport cruiser- Sailing World Best Crossover cruiser1-G-355.

The J/112E was presented with SAIL Magazine’s Best Boat Award in the “Best Performance Boat Over 30 ft” category in 2017.  And, she was also presented with the SAILING WORLD Boat of the Year Award for "Best Crossover" cruiser-racer.  She is the latest addition to the J/Boats “E” Series of versatile performance sailing yachts. And, her racing record in 2017 was impressive, including an emphatic win of IRC 1 Class at the famous Hamble Winter Series over outright IRC rule-bending machines, not bad for a well-outfitted sport cruiser like you see in the photo here!

A welcome 36 feet in length, she features a spacious two-cabin accommodation plan and a comfortable, ergonomic cockpit. The J/112E is as well suited for the annual family cruise as she is racing in the local club regatta or short-handing through rough weather.  Take the opportunity to view this gorgeous sailing yacht in Paris!  For more Salon Nautique/ Paris Boat Show information   Read more about SAIL magazine’s J/112E review in the Best Boats 2017 article here.   Read more about the J/112E Sport Cruiser here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

2018 J/24 Worlds Announcement

J/24s sailing Worlds off Newport, RI (Lake Garda, Italy)- The J/24 World Council Meeting, held at the historic site of Fraglia Vela Riva, has announced that the 2018 J/24 World Championship will take place in Riva del Garda from 24th to 31st August, 2018.

“It is a pleasure to once again host the J/24 fleet for its major events- the Italian Championship in May and the Worlds at the end of August,” stated the Fraglia Vela Riva’s President, Giancarlo Mirandola.  He added, “this class is part of sailing history, in fact celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and it continues to be healthy and actively sailed worldwide. After having hosted the 1999 and 2009 Italian Nationals here in Riva del Garda, it is a great honor to organize and host the 2018 J/24 Worlds.”

The regatta will consist of ten races, for which many talented teams are expected to sail being attracted not only by the magnificent race course, but also by the natural beauties of Garda Trentino and the renowned hosts at Fraglia Vela Riva.

After a tour of the club, the participants of the J/24 World Council Meeting acknowledged the suitability of the facilities and appreciated the professional competence of Fraglia Vela Riva in running world-class events. Moreover, it was decreed the World Championship would be limited to 80 boats. The Italian fleet, as hosting nation, has the right to enter 24 pre-selected boats and one boat for the former World Champion, one for the 2017 Italian Champion, one female team, one youth team (under 25) and two boats from the organizing club.  For more J/24 class and World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

J’ZUSTER Leads J/80 Frostbite Cup

J/80 sailing Netherlands Frostbite Cup (Naarden, The Netherlands)- The J/80 fleet in the Netherlands is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, like a “phoenix rising from the ashes”, to again blossom with enthusiastic sailors from across the spectrum of the sport.  Twenty-four teams are participating in the 2017 edition of the classic Frostbite Cup that has been taking place for nearly decades… a tradition of sorts for the “old guard” in the Dutch J/80 fleet.

R&ZV Naarden hosted this year’s event and the Race Committee and PRO team pulled off a great event, running six races over two days, much to the delight of the two dozen teams!  There were many new teams at the front of the fleet, as well as a number of veteran crews familiar to all.

2018 J/80 Worlds video- Les Sables'de'Olonne, FranceAfter six races, it was Nick Elsink’s crew on J’ZUSTER that won with three 1sts in their scoreline for a cumulative total of 19 pts.  Clearly breathing down their necks the entire time and giving them a great battle was Ottejan Golverdingen’s crew on LED2LEASE; never winning a race, but the only boat in the regatta to post all top six finishes and take a well-deserved second overall.  Rounding out the podium in this watershed event was yet another crew that was new to the top of the standings- the duo of Jilko & Sybren on OANT St JEN.  What may have been a shocking revelation to many at this event was the fact that this crew had the best first two and best last two races of everyone- a 2-1 then a 1-2. Wow! Imagine if they only knew how to sail consistently??   Watch a nice Frostbite Cup sailing highlights video here
 2018 J/80 World Championshp teaser announcement- Les Sables’d’Olonne, France Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CHAOTIC Crushes J/24 Autumn Cup

J/24 sailing Autumn Cup in Parkstone, England (Parkstone, England)- The fun-loving crews in the J/24 class in southwest England continue to have a great time, welcoming “newbies” amongst the veterans like they were long-lost friends from years ago.  Nowhere was that more evident than this year’s Autumn Cup hosted by the cozy, warm confines of the Parkstone YC in the “south” of England.  As usual, the Parkstone members welcomed J/24 sailors with open arms as one might expect from a decades long family reunion.  A dozen J/24 crews from across the southern parts of the U.K. answered the call to having fun at PYC.  Herewith the report from the folks down yonder…

“Saturday brought a light south-westerly breeze with four races being sailed out of a scheduled five. Apart from race one, won by Roger Morris' JOLLY ROGER, Nick Philips and his team on CHAOTIC could not put a foot wrong, winning the remaining three races of the day, with the rest of the fleet having a mixed day.

JOLLY ROGER was the overnight leader before the discard kicked in. Sunday morning's start of race five at 09.30 saw most of the fleet changing to jibs minutes before the start as the breeze built - only for a number of the fleet to do a headsail change back to genoas on the first downwind leg.

Duncan McCarthy on MADELEINE was first to finish, only to find out that they had been disqualified by the 'U' Flag Rule, within one minute of the start (along with TEAM IMPACT and FLYING COLOURS), thus handing the lead to Nick McDonald's CACOON.

Race six and all the fleet were back on genoas with Mark Lewers' HIJINKS quick out of the blocks - finding the left hand side of the beat to be favored and never challenged once they reached the windward mark of lap one.

Race seven was won by MADELEINE and Race eight by Andy Taylor's PHOENIX. However, consistency paid and the CHAOTIC team are worthy winners of this year's Autumn Cup.

Of note is the ever-improving youth team on TEAM IMPACT that regularly pushed at the top of the fleet, perhaps not surprising with the Kuzyk brothers on board- past Topper World, European and National Champions. Also, Jack Butters, ex-Spitfire National Champion was sailing with his brothers Pete and Steve, and their father Dave on CRACKERJACK.

At the prize giving, CHAOTIC’S Nick Phillips thanked the race officer, Bryan Drake, and his team for an excellent regatta, managing to get in all eight races in what were sometimes tricky conditions.

Rounding out the top five were Andy Taylor’s PHOENIX in 2nd, Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE 3rd, Roger Morris’ JOLLY ROGER 4th, and George Kennedy’s TEAM IMPACT 5th.  For more British J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Heineken St Maarten Regatta Update

Heineken St Maarten RegattaFree Concierge Service Assures Smooth Sailing
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- Another year of serious fun and serious racing is on tap for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and the entire island of Saint Martin is working in overdrive to prepare for the event’s 38th edition, scheduled for March 1-4, 2018. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, organizers are encouraging participants to utilize the event’s free concierge service for assistance with everything from travel and on-site logistics to charter options and beyond.

J/122 El Ocaso sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“We have been attracting local and international talent to this regatta since 1980 with an epic experience both on and off the water for maxi, monohull and performance multihull classes,” said Regatta Director Michelle van der Werff. “We plan to continue in that spirit to make everyone’s experience next year as seamless as possible when it comes to logistics. The progress of rebuilding following Hurricane Irma has been impressive, and we are confident that the island of Saint Martin will be fully prepared to welcome sailors in March. In the meantime, competitors can visit the regatta website for the most up-to-date news on what hotels, restaurants and marinas are open and taking reservations. We also urge everyone to reach out for any assistance or questions that they may have.”

Already many shops, restaurants and hotels are open and bustling on the island, particularly in the Simpson Bay area where the regatta is hosted. The Princess Juliana International Airport reopened in October and welcomes more flights each day.

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regatta“The Heineken Regatta is one of our largest events of the year on the island,” said May-Ling Chun, general manager of the Commodore Suites, which is within walking distance of the St. Maarten Yacht Club, which serves as regatta host. “And although the regatta may not be exactly the same as it has been in the past, I strongly believe that our island is ready to host again.

“All 17 of our hotel’s units are in perfect shape and already booking guests. The hotel is also preparing for an expansion, with more units being added to the second floor, which will also be available in time for the regatta. We are ready and will provide all the services and amenities needed.”

Chun, who also acted as St. Martin’s Director of Tourism from 2011-2012, added that the regatta would be the first major event to take place since the hurricane. “We have something to work toward and St. Maarten is up to the challenge. It is all about the logistics and what we can offer the visitors."

The "Heineken" will host world-class competitors for the perfect mix of lively shoreside entertainment and rigorous racing- it is a favorite of J/Boats sailors from around the world!

For free concierge service, please contact, phone +1 721 544 2079.  To register for the 2018 event, please visit   For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Barbados J/24 Champions- BUNGA BUNGA!

Barbados J/24 sailing champions (Barbados, Caribbean)- After a year long trial by fire, the 2017 Barbados J/24 Champions are Team BUNGA BUNGA- BAR 2420.  The crew consists of Raphaël Grisoni, Cyril Lecrenay, Roderick Mascoll and Jason Trotter.

That’s all we know so far and hope we can get a much more detailed report sometime soon!  We know their competitors include Neil Burke’s IMPULSE, Robert Povey’s HAWKEYE, Webster’s THE PHOENIX, Tindale’s COLLEGE FUND$, Gus Reader’s GLORY DAZE, Paul Johnson’s FLY RACING Team, and “the kidz”- with K Hinds as the skipper on UNDERCOVER JUNIORS.  For more Barbados J/24 Sailing fun, follow them on Facebook here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

GUNTER Leading Barcelona J/70 Winter Series

J/70 Gunter leads Barcelona Spain winter series(Barcelona, Spain)- The leader of the Barcelona J/70 Winter Series comes from a most unlikely background, a top Dragon sailor in Europe.  The renowned master of the Dragon class in Europe, Javier Scherk, chartered the well-known J/70 NOTICIAS from Luis Martín Cabiedes and, suitably, renamed it after all his boats- GUNTER.

J/70 Italy team sailing Barcelona, SpainIt is quite evident that Scherk and his crew on GUNTER have familiarized themselves amazingly quickly to the J/70.  After their first day of sailing, they had posted a 1-2 to be the leader of the fleet, followed by Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN in second place.  The scuttlebutt onshore was Scherk’s crew would have to figure out how to sail “planing mode” on Sunday versus the lightish winds they sailed on the first day.  Time would soon tell!

What no one expected was for a Dragon sailor to continue to excel in the J/70 class.  It was a fantastic day for sailing on Sunday, with a strong northwest wind of a steady 15 kts, gusting higher into the upper teens.

J/70s sailing off Barcelona, SpainScherk’s GUNTER crew continued to show their overwhelming superiority throughout the two days, closing out the weekend with four 1sts for a record that left practically no option for their competitors to pass them in the series.  Only Luís Albert Solana’s PATAKIN could beat them in one race; and they are laying second overall. Sitting in third place overall is the Italian team of Massimo Rama sailing JENIALE EUROSYSTEM; their best results include two 2nds against this very talented fleet.

For Javier Scherk the J/70 seems to him, "A fantastic boat! What more do you want!! I find it more fun than other sportboats and it is cheaper to maintain, easier to trailer..just a great boat all-around!”   For more Barcelona J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.