Sunday, May 21, 2017

Youth J/70 Sailors Sailing Fast Offshore!

J/70 youth team off Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach, California)- Tom Garrett reported, “it was a fun J/70 day of racing here in SoCal. Robert Garrett, my son, and his team on Saturday beat a varied fleet of 23 other boats by a wide margin (about 2.5+ miles!).”  Here is their report:

“Newport Harbor Yacht Club on Saturday May 6th held its annual Opening Day Race over a 16 mile course that after a short upwind leg of about 2 miles, from lower Alamitos Bay to the west end light of the Long Beach breakwater, takes the racing fleet homeward to the finish off of the Newport Beach pier. The race conditions were pre-frontal with a gale blowing 40 knots plus 50 miles offshore that resulted in a Catalina Eddy with good pressure on shore. At the time of the starts for the pursuit race the wind was 14 – 16 knots from the WSW and this held down the course with left hand puffs coming in in the 16 – 18 knot range. The angle and velocity proved ideal for a J/70. Robert Garrett and his five man youth team (two of whom were part of his crew in winning this year High School Keelboat Championship in J70s, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club last November) came out on top by a wide margin.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

USA J/24 Class Enabling Young Sailors!

J/24 youth sailing team (St Petersburg, FL)- The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the first-annual “Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Scholarship Boat” to students from the University of South Florida Sailing Team.

The crew members— Brendan Feeney (helm), Sean Cornell (tactician), Mikey Treblecock (primary trimmer/alternate skipper), Scott Ewing (primary trimmer), Orrin Starr (secondary trimmer/pit), Andrew “Ty” Baird (bow) and Alex Smith (bow)—will be campaigning the boat in 2017 through early 2018.

The program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

The program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the first boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world.

This summer, the program recipients will be racing at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, where they plan to participate in club and fleet events. During the school months, the boat will be located at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL. They will consistently train during the week, as SPYC is only a few minutes from their USF campus, and they will practice during the Club’s Friday Night Series and local regatta circuit.

Feeney and his crew have an ambitious projected regatta schedule, including the J/24 North American Championship, Mayors Cup/Valcour Race, J/24 Northeast Championship, Marblehead NOOD, CamAm Challenge, East Coast Championship and more in early 2018.

The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail director@j24class.org.

The application process for the 2018/ 2019 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in February 2018.  Here are the 2017 Scholarship Boat member biographies:

Brendan Feeney- from Jacksonville, FL, is a junior majoring in Finance. He is a starting member of the University of South Florida nationally ranked Coed Sailing Team and a member of the school’s #1 nationally ranked offshore team. Feeney had the honor of representing Team USA last year at the 2016 Western Hemisphere and Orient Championships in Cabo Frio, Brazil. He recently began training in the 470 Olympic Class, placing second at the 2016 470 Nationals, as well as finishing as the third US team at the 2017 ISAF World Sailing Miami (US Sailing Team Sperry Selection Trials).

Sean Cornell- from Centerport, NY, is a sophomore at USF and a member of the Coed Sailing Team. He began sailing Optimists at age seven and also has competitive youth sailing experience in 420s. Cornell later transitioned beyond dinghy sailing into numerous Classes and boats, focusing specifically on small keelboat fleet and match racing. He has experience at the helm, but also excels as tactician. Cornell was elected as an underclassman captain during his freshman year, and this year stepped into a role as the team’s A-Skipper. His college sailing goals include: the All-American award and a Match Racing National Championship.

Mikey Treblecock- from Cleveland, OH, is a senior and co-captain on the USF dinghy and offshore sailing teams. He developed the offshore sailing team in the fall of 2015, which has grown to compete in every collegiate offshore regatta throughout the year. The USF Offshore Team completed the 2016 season by winning the Kennedy Cup, awarded annually to the collegiate keelboat national champions. Treblecock is predominantly at the helm for the college offshore events, however most of his sailing experience has involved crew positions.

Scott Ewing- from Miami, FL, is a member of the USF Sailing team in St. Petersburg, FL. As an engineering major, he regularly finds himself on the USF Tampa Campus. He grew up sailing Optimists out of Coral Reef Yacht Club, one of the top youth teams in the country. After a successful youth career, he transitioned into the Skiff Class. Here he found himself as one of the top 49er sailors in the world, representing the US on a number of occasions. Ewing is a 49er National Champion and North American Champion. This summer, he will be representing Oracle’s Team USA Youth Program at the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Orrin Starr- from Block Island, RI, is a sophomore at USF. He sails dinghies most of the time with USF, and has also been a significant part of developing the school’s offshore team into being the current #1 ranked offshore team in the country. Starr has become heavily involved in the J/70 Class, regularly competing as a trimmer on the circuit, including a Worlds campaign as shore crew.

Andrew “Ty” Baird- from St. Petersburg, FL, has been a life-long sailor, involved in the sport on many different levels. Baird has competed in anything from an Optimist to a 49er and many other boats like the Melges 32 or the Navy 44. He looks forward to getting more involved with keelboats.

Alex Smith- from Sayville, NY, started sailing at the age of six pulling in the backstays and barber haulers for his father. He began sailing 420s, Vanguard 15s and Lasers on Long Island’s junior sailing circuit, and soon began running the pit on a Melges 24 when he was 17. Smith has continued to grow in the successful Melges 24 program as the spinnaker trimmer for the previous two seasons. In college, he has been a four-year member of the varsity team competing at venues throughout the eastern seaboard. Smith served as a student-athlete mentor and a two-year co-captain of the team. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

VINCITORE Wins Mexico J/70 Nationals

J/70s sailing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- On May 5th to 7th, the 5th Mexico J/70 National Championship was held in Puerto Vallarta, the fabulous coastal resort town on the western (Pacific) side of the country. It is now the fourth site the Mexican Nationals have been held; the others were Valle de Bravo twice, Acapulco, Cancun and now Vallarta.  A total of twenty teams attended and were graciously hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Puerto Vallarta in May is a perfect choice as you are 99% sure you will get the thermal sea breeze, permitting the first start of the day at 13:00 hrs with 10-12 knots, building up to 18-20 knots everyday! The J/70 teams that participated in the event were looking forward to the “postcard” sailing weather, teams came from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta including a youth team sponsored by the BBB Sailing Program.

J/70 sailing off Mexico at NationalsWith three days of racing and 11 races scheduled, the VYC PRO and Committee were punctual and efficient, waiting patiently for the seabreeze to start at midday and, like clockwork, they could set the starting line and the marks, much to the delight of the happy fleet!

The first day of racing ended with Ignacio Perez Moret ZAQUERO in 1st place, tied on points with VINCITORE sailed by the Brockmann brothers and former World Champion Julian Fernandez in 3rd place sailing the familiar FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.

On the second day, consistency was the key and VINCITORE posted a 2-1-2-1 to move into the lead after eight races. After a 10th place in the lighter air first race of the day, ZAQUERO recovered with three great races (a 2-1-2), but now basically used their drop race. A solid day for Yon Belausteguigoitia´s team LA BALA (a 3-3-6-3) put them in 4th place; this team had a tremendous amount of talent onboard with countless World Championship and Olympic regattas on their CV’s and not to mention an easy 217 years of age between the 4 of them!! Eduardo Porter’s GOLDO’s was also having consistent results (a 4-4-4-5) and was now in 5th place.

On the final day, three races were scheduled. VINCITORE had to be careful with ZAQUERO and FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (who needed a perfect day to have a chance for the win).  The first race saw VINCITORE in 4th with ZAQUERO 3rd, FLOJITO 2nd and LA BALA in 1st place. VINCITORE went on to win the next two races as the sea breeze increased into the high teens.

J/70 sailing at Puerto Vallarta Nationals- MexicoDefinitely enjoying the event and conditions to win the National Championship was the crew of VINCITORE- Ricky Brockmann was skipper, Erik Brockmann (Ricky’s brother) was calling tactics, Jeronimo Mariscal was trimmer, and Diego Velasco was bowman. Second place went to Ignacio Perez Moret and team on ZAQUERO; they also won the Corinthians Division! Julian Fernandez ended in 3rd place with FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.  Rounding out the top five were LA BALA in 4th and Porter’s GOLDO’S in 5th place.

According to Rod (“Caracas”) Favela, who was sailing in the regatta, “family and friends had a great time sailing in the gorgeous weather of the Pacific coast off Mexico, Bahia de Banderas is a beautiful place to sail!!  Great winds!

The most common, and probably most important phenomenon, I noticed was how many crews were families: Mom, Dad and the kids, and they were fast, talented crews that will get to the top without much difficulty.  No wonder why the class is growing so quickly in Mexico, as it allows a great family and social platform to be very competitive and fun!

I cannot say enough about the Mexican hospitality- great food, good laughs and very good quality racing, all happening under the umbrella of a top-of-the line Race Committee from Vallarta YC who ran perfect courses for all 11 races of the week! I want to go back already!!”  For more Mexico J/70 Nationals sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Italian J/24 Report- Week 18

J/24 sailing off Italy (Rome, Italy)- This past weekend marked the second stage of the Sardinia J/24 fleet spring series, completing their spring series.  The fleet is now focused on the Open J/24 National Championship that will be sailed in La Maddalena.

Arzachena/ Palau
The spring series in Sardinia finished with a total of nine races.  For the finale, three races were sailed on Saturday, but Sunday’s racing was canceled due to extreme winds.

As usual, Sardinia J/24 Fleet Captain, Marco Frullio, described how it all went down for the weekend. "On Saturday, there were three races with a cool fresh grecce wind. The first race was won by our team- ITA 443 ARIA.  Second was ITA 497 BOOMERANG skippered by Enrico Strazzera, and third was ITA 4121 SANTA LUCIA helmed by Lucio Balzano.

J/24s sailing off Sardinia, ItalyIn the second race of the day, ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from CN Arzachena took off and won easily over ITA 443 ARIA.  Third was ITA 318 NORD OESTE skippered by Salvatore Orecchioni and Tonino Chessa.

The last race saw the wind change to the expected western quadrant. The “dancer's wind” caused a shortening of the final race.  The shift rewarded the ever-attentive ITA 406 BOTTA DRITTA sailed by the proven duo of Mariolino Di Fraia/ Luca Montella.

As a result of the weekend’s racing, VIGNE SURRAU with 15 pts net, followed by SANTA LUCIA with 20 pts in second place, and BOTTA DRITTA in third place with 23 pts.

CNA President- Pietrino Demuro- awarded the crews at Hotel la Vecchia Fonte; the crews all tasting delicious local red wines and incredibly delicious spaghettata.  For more Italian J/24 fleet information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Climactic Antigua Sailing Week!

J/39 sailing Antigua Sailing WeekJ/39 Sir LORD JIM Crowned “Big Banana”!
(English Harbour, Antigua) – The penultimate day of racing at the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week was held in near perfect conditions off the south coast of Antigua. The Caribbean surf and sea state had moderated in comparison to the start of the regatta, but the strength of the competition was undiminished. Apart from the Club Class, all classes have now completed six races or more, kicking in the discard rule which has caused yet another shuffle in the overall standings. The intensity of the racing at Antigua Sailing Week is confirmed by a single fact; in CSA 7, Sir Bobby Velasquez’s L’Esperance and Byerley & Sir Robbie Ferron’s J/39 LORD JIM/ MICRON 99, both from St. Maarten, will settle the duel on the regattas finale.

Cary Lee Byerley, co-skipper of the J/39 LORD JIM/ MICRON 99 reported: “It was a long sail out to Standfast, where Bobby (Velasquez) and Carlo (Falcone) got away from us. We caught back up on the reach and looked like we were back in the game for the first part of the downwind leg, but it was not to be as Bobby got the win and we got second. So now, our trusty knights have to battle it out in the final race. Sir Bobby has 8 points, while Sir Robbie has 9.5. Wish us luck; we need it if we are going to beat Bobby as his boat is very fast.”

Antigua Sailing WeekAfter a great day on the water, there was plenty going on for teams once ashore. During a lively daily prize-giving held at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, a press conference was taking place for visiting international and local media at the beautifully restored 1783 Clarence House, just across the water. Callaloo Cay announced they are donning a prestigious new brand name – the Waldorf Astoria– for their next chapter as a premier luxury destination.

Later in the evening at Clarence House, competitors and some of the legendary Antigua Sailing Week veteran sailors were invited to celebrate the next 50 years of Antigua Sailing Week at a very special function sponsored by Callaloo Cay – The Lord Nelson Cocktail & Party.

The finale for the 50th Antigua Sailing Week produced absolutely classic trade wind conditions, serving up one last helping of awesome yacht racing. There were some shocking results.  In CSA 7, Ferron & Byerley’s J/39 Micron 99 Lord Jim needed to make up a 1.5 point deficit to Sir Bobbie Velasquez’s L’Esperance to win CSA 7. Effectively, Micron 99 Lord Jim had to win the last race and hope L’Esperance was third or lower – and their dreams came true!! Micron 99 Lord Jim won the last race by just two seconds with L’Esperance third by just 24 seconds!!  Wow, what a cliff-hanger to the very, very end of the regatta!

Winning the “Big Banana Trophy” for Best Caribbean Yacht and the “Grant Thornton Trophy” for Best Boat Overall in CSA 7-9 was Cary Byerley and Sir Robbie Ferron’s J/39 Micron 99 Lord Jim from St. Maarten. The team had to overcome a 1.5 point deficit in the last race to their long-term rivals, Sir Bobby Velasquez and his St. Maarten team racing L’Esperance. They went on to achieve victory by just two seconds!

J/122 sailing Antigua Sailing Week“Two seconds and half a point; shockingly dramatic,” commented Sir Robbie Ferron. “I could never believe it would be that close. In all my years, I have never won a regatta like that and I doubt if anyone else has. For the last three years, I have been racing against Bobbie in many regattas and we have always just missed out. I have great respect for him so we have a great respect for one another. Reflecting on how Antigua Sailing Week had evolved, this regatta has done the right things for the competitors, and it is getting the appropriate response. Sailors are enjoying the experience and that is why it has such a great turnout and I believe that the momentum will continue beyond the 50th regatta.”

In CSA 4 Racing Class, local knowledge was playing itself out amongst the many top crews in the hotly contested class.  Many top boats accustomed to garnering top three podium finishes in prior Caribbean regattas were noticeably absent; such was “the locals factor”.  Nevertheless, Doug Ayres’ charted the famous J/122 EL OCASO and his Team Skylark sailed a very consistent series to pull off a 4th place.  Next best J/crew were the UK/Australian crew on the J/133 JINGS with David Ballantyne, finishing 9th in class.

Similarly, in CSA 6 Racing class, the top J/crews could only muster a 5th (Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados) and a 6th (David Cullen’s J/109 POCKET ROCKET from St Barths).

And then, the final party was played out by the amazing Antiguan band, Asher Otto & Itchy Feet.  In the end, 152 teams from 28 nations sailed the 50th Antigua Sailing Week from around the world.  Fourteen European countries were represented, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland.  At least ten Caribbean island nations participated, including Antigua, Saint Maarten, St Barths, Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Jamaica.  And, from the “America’s”, there were teams from Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ Photoaction.com
For more Antigua Sailing Week information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, May 19, 2017

California Offshore Race Week Returns!

J/125 sailing off Pacific shore (San Diego, CA)- The California Offshore Race Week will return for its second year featuring the combined efforts of Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club. From May 27 to June 3, these five clubs will join forces to produce a week-long schedule of races in a tour from Northern California to Southern California with stops in Monterey and Santa Barbara. Participants will have time along the coast to relax and meet up with friends and family.

The 2017 California Offshore Race Week will bring together the Spinnaker Cup, the Coastal Cup and the third running of the SoCal 300. This race week is unique because competitors have the option of completing the entire week or they can choose to participate in singular races. There are currently seven boats registered for all three legs of the race week, with additional boats doing individual segments.

Ready to compete in the full California Offshore Race Week is Mark Surber on his J/125 DERIVATIVE from Coronado Yacht Club. Surber has raced in many offshore races in Southern California, but this will be his first time racing the SoCal 300.

“Southern California has some of the best sailing, with the greatest conditions being offshore on a South longitude from Point Conception. The SoCal 300 is one of few events that takes us there. We can't wait for the fantastic Santa Barbara hospitality and challenging offshore racing!”

Also for the second year, the SoCal 300 will partner with SailOnline, an online simulation of the race using the polar of a Santa Cruz 52. Participants will navigate a virtualized course with start times and waypoints that imitate the real race. There were 205 people representing 35 nations that participated in the 2016 virtual SoCal 300 from the comfort of their own homes. Competing online is great way for sailors to sharpen their skills for real life sailing.  The fee for entering the race increases after Friday, May 19. ENTER NOW and learn more about the CORW series here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Glorious AYC Spring Series Finale!

J/70s sailing American YC Spring series (Rye, NY)- Seventy boats ranging from 50 footers in the IRC class to the ever popular J/70 class competed over the course of two weekends in the 38th Annual American YC Spring Series Regatta. This year was no disappointment as the final weekend brought breezes and sunny skies to challenge racers as they prepare their boats and crew for another summer sailing season in the Northeast.

Virtually all fleets managed to sail 10 or 11 races.  The one-design fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s were spread across two racing circles, each bringing with it unique challenges regarding how to play the current and wind bends flowing off the shore.

In the J/44 class, CHALLENGE IV, owned by Jeffrey W. Willis, sailed consistently to take class honors, while Len Sitar’s VAMP and Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE followed for second and third respectively.

J/105 Young American team sailing AYC Spring seriesOver on the South course, David Rosow of Southport, CT and his LOKI won the J/109 class. Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON and Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT took second and third, respectively.

Paul Beaudin's LOU LOU walked away with the J/105 class victory at 14 points keeping Thom Hering and his TRIFECTA at a safe distance in second. Third place was hotly contested as three boats posted 38 points each. The Junior Sailors of American Yacht Club, however, topped the group by winning two races during the series. The junior team, made up of high school age 420 sailors, began their keelboat racing experience led by US Sailing's "Volunteer Coach of the Year," Peter Becker.

The largest fleet of the AYC Spring Series was the J/70 class with 16 boats. In preparation for the J/70 North American Championship, which will be held at American Yacht Club October 9th to 15th of this year, Scott and Alex Furnary on ANY COLOUR won not only the fleet but also the “Reggie Imamura Family Sailing Trophy.” The trophy is awarded annually by J/70 Fleet 15 to a family of 2 or more sailing together on Long Island Sound.  LOCOMOTION skippered by Dan Goedkoop took a close second only two points behind. Third place went to Carrie and Ed Austin on CHINOOK. The balance of the top five included Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA in 4th and Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED in 5th place.

In an equally competitive J/88 fleet, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION crew won the event with 23 points while only 1 point separated second place NEVERMORE (Ken & Drew Hall), third place WINGS (Mike Bruno), and fourth place ESCAPE (Elizabeth Barry). Rounding out the top five was Doug McKeige’s JAZZ.

Finally, the well-attended eight boat PHRF 1 class saw good competition.  After starting out with a DNC, it was Paul Strauch’s crew from Manhasset Bay YC that sailed their J/111 ANDIAMO onto the podium, taking the bronze for the two-weekend series. Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Crews Score Big @ Race 2 Straits Regatta

(Seattle, WA)- The 16th annual Race to the Straits Regatta sailed in the Pacific Northwest had unusually nice weather for a spring-time event- sunny, northwest winds in the 12-18 kts range!  The R2TS regatta is a doublehanded and singlehanded “classic” that marks the start of the Triple Sound Series (R2TS, Down the Sound, J & J Race) hosted by one of Seattle’s most famous sailing clubs- the Sloop Tavern YC.

The course is a simple one, from Shilshole Bay to Port Townsend, WA and return. The course length is 30.036 nautical miles each day.  Saturday’s race will be from Shilshole Bay to Point Hudson keeping the Double Bluff Buoy to port. Sunday’s race will be from Point Hudson to Shilshole Bay keeping the Double Bluff Buoy to starboard.

The race attracts its fair share of J aficionados joining the fun times and the traditional post-race “debrief” conducted over barbecue, beer, brats, and other stuff (“mile high” Colorado sailors know about it, especially on Lake Dillon!).  J/Crews overall did extremely well.

Starting with Class 1 Singlehanded, it was Evan Walker’s J/29 WINGS that took class honors by over 15 minutes corrected.  Third in class was Kevin Callahan’s J/80 NAMASTE.

A similar scenario took place in Class 2 Singlehanded, with Dan Wieman’s J/35 GREAT WHITE winning their class by nearly an hour corrected time!

In Class 6 Doublehanded, taking 3rd and 4th, respectively, were two J/24s- Mark Daniel’s ROSHAMBO and Scott Galbraith’s FLYER.  Sixth was Egor Klevak’s J/22 FREEDOM.

It was a clean sweep of the top six by J/Crews in Class 10 Doublehanded! First was Dennis’ J/27 LXIII, followed by Zuzana Culakova’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN, Lek Dimarucot’s J/80 UNDERDOG, Theo’s J/30 TAKU, Wolf’s J/30 CONRAD J, and Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE that rounded out the top six!

In Class 11 Doublehanded, Tom Mitchell’s J/35C WILDFLOWER took home the silver, followed by Paul Hanson’s J/29 PLAN R in third and David & Kathleen Jade’s J/35C SHADOWFAX in 4th place.

The pretty J/100 SELAH, skippered by Tad Fairbank, brought home the gold in Class 12 Doublehanded division by nearly 20 minutes corrected.

Class 14 Doublehanded division was comprised of the J/105 class.  Eight boats provided tough, even-handed, clean fun.  In the end, it was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE that won, followed by David Cohen’s INCONCEIVABLE in 2nd, Matt & Tessa Gardner-Brown’s DULCINEA in 3rd, Paul Henderson & Ramona Barber’s DELIRIUM in 4th and Madeline John’s REBOOT taking 5th.

J’s also dominated Class 15 Doublehanded.  First was taken by the famous J/109 TANTIVY, skippered by Stu Burnell. Third was Karl Haflinger’s J/35 SHEARWATER, 4th was Reed Bernahard’s J/109 MOUNTAIN, and 5th place went to Mehmet Tolga Cezik’s J/109 LODOS.

In Class 17 Doublehanded, the J/122 GRACE, sailed by Andy & Jaime Mack, took fourth place in their division.

Finally, in Class 18 Doublehanded (the “maxi class”), it was the J/125 HAMACHI, sailed by Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews, that ran off with the silver and just missed the class win by a mere 1 min 30 sec!  Here is J/125 HAMACHI’s account of the R2TS event:

J/125 race 2 straits course“What a beautiful weekend for our sixth consecutive Race To The Straits, put on by the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club.  R2TS (as its known) starts in Seattle off Shilshole on Saturday and ends at Port Townsend, approximately 30 nm to the north.  Everyone overnights and we race home the next day.  It’s a reverse start based on PHRF rating, which makes it a great pursuit race.  It has been a cold wet winter in the PNW but the skies cleared for a glorious weekend.  The remnants of a cold front on Friday had everyone starting under spinnaker with a 10 kt southerly, with the forecast for a shift to a northerly mid to late morning that would persist for the rest of the weekend.

125 boats registered and over 100 started.  The first start was at 7:47 am for Ruby Louise, a Santana 22 with a PHRF of 276.  Hamachi, with a PHRF of -3, started at 10:06 am and we only had two boats that started behind us.  It’s quite a feeling to look down the course and see over 100 boats in front of you and know that technically we had a chance to catch all of them.  Team Hamachi split up for RTTS.  Shawn and Jason sailed Hamachi (J/125) while Alyosha sailed on Kahuna (Aerodyne 38), Lucas was on Square One (Farr 30) and Chris was on Reboot (J/105).  For Jason and Shawn, this was their first time double handing Hamachi.  In the quick four months since we’ve owned her we’ve been out on the water less than ten times, and nearly all of that was fully crewed racing where everyone had a role and knew their part of the boat.  Suddenly we had to pull it all together in a real time racing environment.  To complicate things further, in typical fashion we showed up on the course late and had barely 15 minutes to set our sails before the start.  This lead to a small oversight that had disastrous consequences.

Saturday was not a great day, and it all began as we left the dock and discovered that we had four bananas aboard.  We hit the start box late and managed to get the main up just a few minutes before our allotted start time.  We positioned the boat for our downwind start and launched the A1.5 spinnaker.  As the kite started to fill in the 10 kts of wind the tack went shooting out (we overlooked locking it down in our rush) until the martin breaker tripped the clip, releasing the tack, and the spinnaker started flogging in the wind.  Oh shit… We grabbed the lazy sheet and started hauling in the clew.  Shawn came forward and pulled the foot of the sail, including the tack, on board.  We weren’t sure what to do because the forward hatch was locked and we had too much sail and wind to bring it down on deck shorthanded.  Jason grabbed the tack and released the clew and dragged it forward to secure the second tack, only to have it slip out of his hand (it was hard to hold the spinnaker in one and the tack in the other…).  Shawn came forward again and we somehow retrieved the tack and secured it.  We hauled it in just enough so that it wouldn’t re-release, and slowly got the situation under control.  This was all caught on GoPro…watch the outtakes.

Once settled we worked up the course and started catching boats.  We struggled to find our line and the wind but eventually settled in working the western shoreline.  The projected northerly was descending and a wind hole had formed in front of us at Point No Point.  We pushed up behind these boats and started drifting as well, while we watched the few boats behind us reconnect.  The boats that started much earlier in the morning enjoy several hours of the southerly, as well as a nice ebb tide, to carry them north and across the wind hole.  We started just as the tide turned so at Point No Point all we could do is sit there and watch them sail away.  Eventually the wind line descended to us and we transitioned to the Lt/Med #1 and sailed across to Whidbey Island and the only mark at Double Bluff.  Once there we tacked into Mutiny Bay pointing high and fast, putting the hurt on a lot of boats.  Tacking out of Mutiny Bay the wind continued to build and we were over powered.  We debated between the Heavy #1 or #3.  We pulled the Heavy #1 on deck and into position, only to see 15-16 kts.  It looked to be building further so we chose to instead put up the #3, only to have the wind back off.  Rapid double handed headsail changes on a J/125 is an exhausting endeavor.  We tried to see if the #3 would hold, but started to quickly lose ground to the fleet.  As a result, we dragged the Heavy #1 back up on deck and executed a second peel.  Now we were back in our groove in 12-15 kts of wind, but had given up valuable ground to Laffite’s Kyrnos, a custom 53 in our class, which in those wind conditions was flying.  We tried to reel her in but couldn’t and finished Day #1 exhausted and in 2nd place in our class.  Further, it was a day for the early boats, and we finished #42 overall.  That evening we went over to have cocktails on Kyrnos, and left our bananas on their boat...

After a great evening in Port Townsend, we hit the water Sunday with glorious conditions.  The wind was 10kts from the north and projected to build towards 15 kts, ideal Hamachi conditions.  We had a great start and successful spinnaker hoist.  This time we chose to fly the A2.0.  Being one of the last to start we had a full flood pushing us south, so sailed past Marrowstone Lighthouse to get the current push, and then out into the channel where we had great wind.  We crossed over to Bush Point fairly early to catch the rip up the shore and bombed past Bush Point.  We stayed wide of Mutiny Bay as it looked like lighter air, and passed a lot of boats on our way down and around Double Bluff.  By this point the wind had backed off to 7-8 kts (unfortunately), but we were making the right tactical moves on the fleet.  We worked the currents around Point No Point and stayed slightly wide as we continued south.  We were enjoying better breeze on the outside and passing boats, with most of our competition on the inside.  North of Apple Tree Point we had a decision: continue in and go head to head or stay outside and hope for more breeze.  The wind was coming down from the north and we thought we had better pressure and speed on the outside, so we made a few jibes to stay in the middle of the course, only to have it fade again.  Further, we watched our competition, who we had reeled in, slip away on a completely different Race 2 Straits sailing videowind along the western shore.  While the boats in the middle continued east, we jibed back west to catch the shift.  This paid off as we put the hammer down on everyone, but our move was too late to catch the lead boats that had already slipped away.  We finished Day #2 first in class, finishing over 20 minutes ahead of our closest competitor.  However, our decision to stay outside cost us finishing in the top tier, but we still placed #21 overall.”   Watch this folksy home made sailing video here, it gives you an idea of the “laid back vibe” of the race.  For more Race to the Straits sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/105 SANITY Wins Yachting Cup Overall!

J/105 Sanity crew- winners Yachting Cup









J/Crews Sweep PHRF Classes!
(San Diego, CA)- The breeze was on for the 2017 Yachting Cup! It was a busy and challenging weekend of racing, with almost 100 boats competing on three courses in the ocean. The host San Diego YC and its extraordinary army of volunteers yet again tossed out the red carpet (despite the rain) and made all sailors warm and welcome at their magnificent facility inside of Shelter Island Harbor.  They played host to three one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s.  In addition, a number of J/teams sailed in PHRF A, B and D classes, collecting most of the silverware.

Saturday’s racing saw the breeze hovering around 15-20 knots, it was certainly a windy day on the San Diego ocean. Coupled with 3-5 foot swells that were frequent and close together, it was a lumpy and bumpy ride outside. And if that was not enough, there was a sprinkling of rain showers every so often just to keep the sailors on their toes. Several competitors claimed the conditions reminded them of a typical day of sailing in San Francisco Bay.

J/120 sailing Yachting Cup“It was a challenging day,” noted 2010 Yachting Cup winner Chuck Nichols on his J/120 CC Rider. “Not only did we have the breeze that kept building but the sea state was tough. There were a lot of square waves and we were knocked around a lot. Our crew was really exhausted and we were using our biggest head sails. Tacks were difficult for people because we had a long grind.”

Nichols had a good day despite the challenges. “We were ahead in every race and had reasonable boat speed, plus S/C Kyle Clark was making good tactical calls. We only race for fun and it’s not fun to lose!”

The regatta finale on Sunday dawned cloudy and breezy again! The Race Committee decided early in the morning to change all classes from the ocean to the shelter of San Diego Bay.

All of the boats that sailed in Saturday’s Near Roads course sailed in the South Bay and all the boats that sailed in the Middle and Far Roads courses sailed in the North Bay.

After an hour delay, the first races started at 12:30pm in a steady drizzle with wind speeds reaching 14+ knots in certain parts of the course.  The Race Committee on the South Bay course was able to complete two races, but the North Bay course was not as lucky. Shortly after 2:00pm, when Race Committee on the North Bay started the second race, a line of massive squalls came in with heavy rain and wind, forcing Race Committee to abandon the second race in the North Bay.

J/125 Resolute sailing Yachting Cup San DiegoThrough these undesirable conditions, Tim Fuller on the J/125 Resolute had a strong weekend and finished Sunday as the PHRF Division A winner.

“The day was wet! The conditions were very shifty and the rain made it very challenging, but it worked out well for us. It was saner today than yesterday. We did well this weekend because we had clean starts and focused on maintaining a balance between speed and point.”

Fuller, no stranger to this event, was the Yachting Cup overall winner in 2013. “This race is the premiere race in Southern California for PHRF Handicap sailing. I’d say it’s equal to the Big Boat Series in San Francisco.”

Behind Fuller’s crew, it was Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE taking the silver position with straight seconds, completing the sweep of PHRF A class by the two J/125s!

John Laun, another former Yachting Cup overall winner, placed second in the J/120 class this year on Caper. “We saw a little bit of everything this weekend, with the worst of it on Saturday. We broke a halyard which led to some drama, but we survived it and won that race which was a testament to the crew being ready to do nonstandard stuff quickly. They really came through in a clutch.”
With tight competition at the top of the J/120 fleet, CC Rider pulled off the win, but Laun still had a positive outlook on the day. “It was a fun race and the breeze held. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as the second race which wasn’t finished because a squall came through. It was just heinous for a while and then there was no wind.”

Behind the Nichols and Laun crews, it was Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE that took third in class, followed by Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN i 4th and Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY in 5th place.

Though all the sailors out there can confirm that conditions were insane for San Diego, that didn’t stop Rick Goebel and his crew on SANITY from winning the J/105 class and the Overall regatta. In addition to winning every race this weekend, Goebel was also named the Yachting Cup Overall winner in 2014.

“We really had a great regatta, especially in the heavy air. We go up to the Big Boat Series every three or four years so we are really set up for heavy air and we have a great heavy air crew. Only two of the crew members have changed since we last won Yachting Cup, so we are basically the same group. This year was really tough, but to win it this year was fantastic.”

A distant second in J/105s was Chuck Driscoll’s JUICED, finishing with 15 pts net.  Just one point back in third place was Ed Sanford’s long-distance traveling CREATIVE.  Three points further back was Steve Howell’s BLINK in 4th and in 5th was Scott McDaniel’s OFF THE PORCH.

J/35 Rival sailing Yachting Cup regattaPHRC C class was just about overrun by J/crews.  Leading the way was David Boatner’s J/35 RIVAL with a convincing all bullet scoreline to win by a landslide.  Third was Chuck Sinks newly restored J/35 Z-FORCE, losing a tie-breaker on 9 pts for 2nd place. Taking 5th place was Gene Pitkin’s J/109 GERONIMO.

The extremely tight competition in the J/70 class went right down to the wire; the last race determined the final outcome for the entire podium!  Winning by just one point was Jay Janov’s MINOR THREAT, with Bruce Cooper’s USA 32 in second and Chris Raab’s SUGOI in third; all boats separated by just two points.  Rounding out the top five were Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in 4th and David Hochart’s USA 540 in fifth place.

Completing the sweep of PHRF classes in which J/crews sailed were the trio of J/80s in PHRF D Class.  Winning by the convincing record of straight 1sts (and discarding a 1st!) was Curt Johnson’s AVET.  Third was Paul Martson’s J-WORLD 2 and fourth was Patrick Farrell’s J-WORLD I!

Big kudos go to the Race Committee for spending three days bouncing around on rough seas and keeping the racing going during uncomfortable conditions, especially PROs Susi Graff, Ken Bertino and Becky Ashburn!! And thank you to the 2017 Yachting Cup Co-Chairs, Joanne O'Dea and Karen Busch, for all of their hard work!!

The Yachting Cup would also like to thank its sponsors: Helly Hansen, Pantaenius, Lars Remodeling, Bay City Brewing Company, North Sails, Rigworks, Mount Gay Rum, Lemon & Line, Bare Republic, and Pirates Lair.  For more San Diego Yachting Cup sailing information

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer Begins @ Long Beach Race Week

J/70s sailing Long Beach Race Week(Newport Beach, CA)- Over 150 boats are expected to turn out for the 2017 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week on June 23 to 25. For J/70, J/80, J/109 and J/120 racers it’s part of the Southern California High Point Series.  Other one-design fleets expected include J/24s and J/105s, for windward-leeward racing on both ocean and outer harbor courses; as well as random leg courses for PHRF and ORCA.

Vie for honors in the Yacht Club Challenge, plus prizes for the fastest, the furthest, the “family-est” racers. There are so many ways to win, and have fun, at Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week.

Enter on or before June 5 and get $50 off. Fees cover race entry, Friday’s Post-Race Party at co-host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, and Saturday’s Post-Race Party at co-host Long Beach Yacht Club – with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, music, and cash bar at both.

Start your morning with gourmet coffee on-the-house at LBYC daily, and end your weekend with free appetizers at Sunday’s Trophy Presentation and Party too: all as part of your entry fee!
Register now and get more information from Long Beach Race Week website Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/97E Crushes PalmaVela Regatta

J/97E sailing PalmaVela, Palma Mallorca, Spain J/80 Youth Teams Love Sailing Palma!
(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- About 130 boats filled the bay to sail PalmaVela off the fabulous island of Palma Mallorca.  Unique for this year’s event was the introduction of two youth sailing teams that were participating in the J/80 class.  The host club, Real Club Nautica Palma, and fleet sponsors provided two J/80s for their RCNP Youth Sailing program.  The teams were coached by the club’s sailing director.

On the first day of sailing, the wind was slow to settle down, but it allowed sailing for all classes.  The fleet was blessed with nice sailing conditions all day long, with sunny skies and nice onshore breezes.  In the J/80s, the initial leader after posting a 3-1-1 tally was the local youth crew on OPERA SEASON, coached by Pedro Marí.

J/80 women's Palma Mallorca teamMari was coaching both youth teams- OPERA SEASON and TEAM RCNP, the only female team in the entire regatta. All of them are sailors of the Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP) and have experience in national, European or world sailing dinghy. Their sporting commitments in their respective classes prevent them from participating in offshore keelboat competitions, except when the PalmaVela arrives and the opportunity arises to join the team!

The J/80 OPERA SEASON was provided by club partner Thomas Bscher, owner of the Wally 100 "Open Season" and the other J/80 was provided by RCNP partner Martín Aizcorbe; both gentlemen were thrilled to help with the training of young talents within RCNP on one-design offshore keelboats.

J/80 women sailing in SpainThe crew of OPERA SEASON included Jordi Lladó (Optimist), Ramiro Foguet (Laser), Sion Rosselló and Arturo Madero (420). The Team RCNP crew had several outstanding women sailing athletes, including Maria Bover, Lala Akrich, Giulietta Lang, Tess Provenzal and Mar Ferragut; all of them are top 420 class skippers and crews!

Manu Fraga, sporting director of the Real Club Nautico de Palma, explains that the aim of both projects is to bring the offshore keelboat racing to the young sailors of the team, so that they know what it is like to sail aboard larger boats where, as a minimum, they are required to have four crew members.

"Although it is all still the same sport of sailing, there are dramatically different experiences and it is important the club offers these opportunities to our youth sailors! We are fortunate to have two generous supporters, Thomas Bscher and Martin Aizcorbe, to provide us their J/80 class sailboats," explains Mr Fraga.

J/80 youth team sailing PalmaVela, SpainPedro Marí, coach of 420s at RCNP and coach of "Opera Season", has already been in charge of several of these projects. All his youth sailors, except Ramiro Foguet, are new. "We try to make the sailors rotate, to try different positions and roles in each race, they are fast learners on how to make the J/80 sail better,“ says Marí.

The second day of competition provided excellent conditions that allowed the fleet to complete the planned sailing schedule for all fleets. In the J/80 fleet, the day’s sailing produced a new leader in the form of the CODE ZERO team; they had a perfect day of 1-1-1!  Notably, in ORC 2 Class, Scott Beattie’s J/97E was easily leading their class after two days of racing.

The last day of competition of at PalmaVela was intense and even dramatic, with victories (and defeats) decided in-extremis in several classes. Five of them were played on a single card in a coastal format, while the rest took the time to play two or even three windward-leeward types.  In the ORC 2 Class, it was the J/97E JUST SO, sailed by Scott Beattie, which won counting all 1sts for a dramatic win in one of the toughest ORC classes at PalmaVela!

J/80 sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain in PalmaVelaBeattie commented on their performance, “we have a good crew, a good boat and it is a credit to everyone on team, plus we had a bit of luck. If we do not do it right, it's our fault. We have won here twice, and we are looking forward to the Copa del Rey. The boat is rated as the slowest in the fleet, going well at 8-12 knots and flat sea, but when it blows more than 15 knots, the big boats begin to perform a little better."

The J/80 class saw Thomas Rudewald's CODE ZERO with seven 1sts in nine races!  Taking third was the RCNP Youth team coached by Pedro Mai.  Third was Gerhard Henssen and Braunschmidt Inken’s JOTA JUERGA.  Rounding out the top five was Miquel Pujadas and Miquel Corro’s ATILA in 4th and the all-women’s crew on TEAM RCNP skippered by Maria Bover Guerrero took 5th place (just 4 pts out of 3rd!).  A great showing for the women’s team comprised of 420 sailors!   Youth J/80 sailing videos at Palma Vela   For more Palma Vela Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

USA J/24 Nationals Preview

J/24 USA Nationals (Seattle, WA)- The Corinthian YC of Seattle YC is celebrating its 125th Anniversary and as part of that program, they are hosting the USA J/24 Nationals on Puget Sound.  An excellent, and quite talented, fleet of 27 boats from across America will be vying for the championship title starting on May 17th and ending on May 21st.

Perhaps the strongest group of sailors will be comprised of those Washington teams that have both North American and International experience.  It would not be surprising to see several of these teams at the top of the leaderboard, such as Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE, Keith Whittemore’s TUNDRA ROSE, Mark Ross’ ATOM ANT, Richard Bustamante’s HABANERO, and Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH.

Joining them from all points of the compass rose are top crews like Will Welles’ COUGAR USA 5208 from Portsmouth, RI, Wayne Pignolet’s JOYRIDE from Sandpoint, ID, and Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA from Wakayama, Japan.  For more USA J/24 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tall Cactus Regatta Announcement!

J/24s sailing Lake Pleasant, ArizonaPretty-in-Pink J/24s Challenge U 2 Join Us!
(Lake Pleasant, Arizona)- The final event of the Arizona YC sailing year is the Tall Cactus Regatta, which will be sailed on Saturday, May 20, at Lake Pleasant, Arizona. This is a long-distance race that delivers a final fancy belt buckle to the winner!  Yes, indeed!  The boat with the best-corrected time wins the final Tall Cactus Regatta Rodeo Buckle!  And, the dirt-cheap $25.00 USD entry also gets you an overwhelming amount of FREE wine and cheese and crackers at the season-ending party at Spinnaker Point after the Regatta!!

How can anyone resist!  Remember, Arizona weather is incredibly good for your health, wealth, and path to ultimate happiness!! It’s dry, none of that pollen stuff you get in the spring elsewhere, plus the rattlesnakes are asleep, the scorpions are all hiding under rocks, and most importantly, you get to watch the two most rockin’ women’s teams sailing hot pink J/24s for an all-out shoot-out at the OK Corral for season’s honors!

While the rest of the county is celebrating their season openings, Arizona is closing for the summer. The AYC season ends with one last hurrah – the traditional long(er) distance TALL CACTUS Regatta. Lake Pleasant, about 30 minutes north of Phoenix is a spectacular venue with stunning desert scenery, winds that defy logic, temperatures that range from dry freeze to instant shake-and-bake and, of course, is home to the shocking pink “Tiller & Kite” J/24 “Mermaid” boats.

For the 2017 regatta, Tiller and Kites has entered both J/24s with all women crew. Without a doubt, these are the finest and most competitive women sailors in Arizona, and although they insist on the psych-out mantra “no matter what, let’s go out and have fun”, I have seen them sail and know better! Also, the trophy is an amazing custom Rodeo Buckle instead of a pickle dish.

Women's J/24 teams“Tiller & Kites” is a US Sailing accredited sailing school in Phoenix that uses the two J/24s as the primary learning and training boats. We do have other pink boats in the fleet, but nothing beats the J’s when teaching safety, sailing competence and confidence.  Here are the two women’s teams:

MERMAID RESCUE
  • Wendy Larsen- The club PRO and former J/24 owner. Besides knowing the rules and the boat, Wendy and her husband built an Open 6.50 from scratch and appropriately named “Dog Year”.
  • Lalaine Dowell- Usually on the bow of a Hobie 33, Lalaine is following her skipper who finished the spring season on Mermaid Rescue after the boom broke on the H33 in the N2E race.
  • Diana Andress- Skipper an owner of ‘Hot Flash’ a Santana 20, Diana and her all women team are a perennial competitors. Dianna’s husband Bruce is part of T and K and together they own more boats than one can count without taking ones shoes off!
  • Michelle Herridge Bailey- Michelle joins the team from the Tucson Sailing Club. Michelle was the only Laser sailor in the recent Leukemia Cup Regatta and was doing incredibly well … till the capsize. Usually not a big deal – till she got run over by a Viper and ended up with a broken wrist!
MERMAID REVOLUTION
  • Stacey Loula- If it floats and has sails, Stacey has probably sailed it in San Francisco or Phoenix. Stacey is a sailing and SUP instructor and owner of Black Sails Soap Company (official supplier to T and K)!
  • Ellen Wesley- After racing mainly on J105s in Chicago and New York, Ellen now races on Mermaid Rescue in Phoenix. Other claims to fame include being a seatmate with Stu Johnstone on a flight from Chicago to New York.
  • Monique Palermo- Together with her husband Jim, the first sailors on Mermaid Rescue when she first came to AZ. Monique also owns a Catalina 20, a SolCat, two sunfish and very entertaining Chihuahuas.
  • Susan Pew- After building seven boats from plans, Susan was one of the first Tiller and Kites students. (The plans did not include sailing instructions!). Susan and Mermaid Revolution quickly became BFFs.
For more information about Arizona sailing, there is no better person to chat with than Victor Felice, Vice Commodore, Arizona Yacht Club- ph# +1-480-577-4007 or email- victor.felice@mermaidrescue.us  For more Arizona YC and Tall Cactus Regatta sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

J/133 PINTIA Retains RORC Cervantes Trophy

J/133 Pintia sailing RORC (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The European season of offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Club started with 100 yachts competing for the Cervantes Trophy race organized in association with the UNCL and the destination yacht club Société des Regates du Havre. The 160nm race started on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line to the east. Leaving Owers to port, Rustington to starboard, A5 then General Metzinger to port and finish.

Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott reported: “The start was delayed by ten minutes due to a container ship going through then they all got away. A southerly wind of ten knots increased to about 15 knots giving a fast passage to Owers. As the fleet passed Owers the wind began to fade before building to 20 knots from the east.”

It was Gilles Fournier's J/133 PINTIA that took IRC Class 2 line honours and was the class and overall winner of the Cervantes Trophy on corrected time. Gilles races with a crew of family and friends based in Le Havre so the Cervantes Trophy Race is a firm favourite and as ever they proved most popular winners in their home club. Having won the class trophy 3 times, Gilles joked with the RORC Commodore at the prize-giving about how many times he would have to win the trophy before he could keep it! Taking 5th in IRC Class 2 was Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W.  For more RORC Offshore Season points championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

A Tie Determines German J/70 Sailing League

J/70 sailing league Germany (Prien/ Chiemsee, Germany)- The first event for the 2017 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing season saw a total of thirty-six sailing clubs from across Germany challenged by a wild weather scenario that could only be produced by sailing in the spring in the foothills of the European Alps mountain range that surround their gorgeous lakes.  Imagine this- - snow + woolies + sun + shirts-n-shades??

J/70 winners Deutsche Segel-bundesligaNo question, it was an insane start to the incredible, wildly popular DSBL season.  The racing started on Friday with snow and 10-15 kt breezes, ending on Sunday with bright sunshine, warm weather and constant east wind with 6-8 kt winds. It was an ideal start, ironically, for all participating clubs as everyone had an opportunity to work out any kinks in their armor and resolve how to improve over the course of fifteen races sailed by each team.  To say the regatta was “tight” is a mere understatement.  The top German sailing clubs are learning how to sail faster and faster all the time.  Plus, they are learning how important it is to have their boat-handling perfectly choreographed to take advantage of every centimeter given to them by opposing teams.  That discipline is not only reflected in their scores at sailing league regattas, but at how German J/70 teams compete at a world-class level when they engage in European events.

J/70s sailing Chiemsee in Deutsche Segel-BundesligaHow close was the first regatta for the top ten teams?  The top five was separated by a mere five points, the winners being determined by a near three-way tie for first!  The top ten by just fourteen points.  Each team had their up’s and down’s and run of good races. In other words, like the top American collegiate sailing regattas, there is near “parity” amongst the top teams and the results are determined by precise boat-handling, boat speed acceleration, starts, good spinnaker sets and take-downs, and conservative tactics.

In the end, the surprise winner for the first event was Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen from Lake Constance.  Who? A motorboat and sailing club in a little village called Uberlingen on a big lake in the middle of Europe.  Basically, they crushed the creme-de-la-creme of Germany’s top sailing clubs and their elite sailors.  After posting a 4-2 in their first two races, they blew everyone away with five straight bullets enroute to their surprising win on a tie-breaker over Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen from Bremen.  The WVH team themselves were an “underdog” before the regatta, too.  

J/70 German Sailing League winnersTino Mittelmeier from the Segel-und Motorboot Club Überlingen had this to say about their performance, "We had not really anticipated doing well before the start of the regatta, but after the great start in the races, we fought confidently to the end." Steiner’s crew included Franziska Bäurle, Alexander Gaiser and Henrik Schaal.

Behind these top two teams were a number of the 2016 champion sailing clubs.  Taking third was Chiemsee YC just one point back with 42 pts total. Remarkably, fourth place was determined by yet another tie-breaker, a sure sign that things are getting tight at the top in this year’s DSBL standings! At 46 pts each were two-time winner Deutscher Touring YC and Berliner J/70 German sailing league videoYC, with the tie-break going to DTYC.  The statistics are rather sobering for the teams; the winners averaged 2.73 pts per race, while 5th place had a 3.06 average!  All DSBL results are available here.

Watch these exciting DSBL sailing video summaries:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVYfIFvx87M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3KZtdTKuc

For more Sailing Champions League information and the complete schedule for dates and locations across Europe, please click here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stormy, Windy Annapolis NOOD Regatta!

J/70s sailing Annapolis NOOD J/80 MORE GOSTOSA Wins Overall Award!
(Annapolis, MD)- After inclement weather on Friday prevented racing, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta kicked into full gear on Saturday as 220 teams in 17 classes battled the elements on the Chesapeake Bay.  Then, blessed with a powerful front moving across the region, the fleet enjoyed partly sunny skies, 51 F temperatures, and westerly breezes blowing 12 to 32 kts plus on Sunday to close out the regatta— fresh to frightening conditions for many!

While the NOOD Regatta series has been a springtime fixture in Annapolis for nearly 20 years, it is the first time the regatta had a single brand completely dominate the event. Amazingly, 158 J/crews registered (72% of the fleet!) to contest for many coveted prizes; the eight J/classes represented include J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s J/35s, J/105s, J/111s, and a J/42 in the PHRF North Sails Rally class.

J/80 More Gostosa team“The weekend was pretty wild,” said Conor Hayes, skipper of the J/80 MORE GOSTOSA and Overall Winner of the regatta. “Yesterday was great breeze, really shifty, and today was off the hook. Breeze on the whole time.”

Organizers select the overall winner based on the weekend’s most competitive fleet, and Hayes said the conditions made for exciting challenges on the water for the J/80s. The Gilford, N.H., native attributed his success to the quick, precise maneuvering of his crew, which included his father Kevin Hayes, cousin Dan Jolda and friend Graham Philpot.

“We’ve been together for years and years, which was huge today. That’s the difference-maker when you’re sailing in big conditions, where you have no margin of error for mistakes. Sometimes you have to throw pretty risky maneuvers in, but I was not at all concerned because the crew work was on point all day.”

As the Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD’s overall winner, team More Gostosa will compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship Regatta, presented by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

J/22s sailing Annapolis NOODWhile Hayes has never been a winning skipper at a NOOD Regatta, the weekend proved successful for a couple of previous Overall Winners. The 2016 Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD champion, Terry Flynn, once again won the J/22 class.

In the J/70 class, Bruce Golison followed up his win at the 2016 Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD with another first-place finish. Still new to the class, this event was the Midlife Crisis crew’s opportunity to make strides in the direction of future championships.

“We were able to qualify here for the 2018 Worlds, and that was important to us,” said Golison. “It was a good regatta and a good learning experience, and kept us going on our way to what we want to accomplish.”

Behind Flynn in the J/22 class was Zeke Horowitz’s UNCLE FLUFFY taking the silver with 24 pts, third was Jake Doyle’s USA 789 taking a tie-breaker over Vic Snyder/ Kevin Doyle’s MO’MONEY at 30 pts each.  Closing out the top five was JR Maxwell’s SCOOBY.

While Golison took a well-deserved win in the J/70 class, he was challenged hard by the consistent crew on SAVASANA, skippered by Brian Keane.  On the last day, Keane’s crew closed with a 5-1 to take the silver.  Third was Martie Kullman’s NEW WAVE with 29 pts, fourth Will Welles’ SCAMP with 34 pts and fifth Allan Terhune’s DAZZLER with 35 pts (note- they crushed the last day with a 1-2 tally to rocket up the leaderboard!).
J/70 MUSE sailing Annapolis NOOD
In the J/70 Corinthians class, winning their first ever event was Jay Greenfield’s PINCH & ROLL.  Second were class veterans Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE, followed by Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE in third, Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE in fourth and Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY in fifth place.

J/24 sailing Annapolis NOODWinning the J/24 class was Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET with essentially straight firsts!  Just behind them in a virtual tie-breaker was Peter Rich’s BUXTON taking second with 12 pts and Pete Kassal’s SPACEMAN SPIFF securing the bronze with 13 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Allan Vanderheyden’s WHO-WA in 4th and Jim Bonham’s SISU in 5th position.

The massive fourteen-boat J/30 class saw a spoiler blow up the traditional top of the leaderboard.  Doug & Amy Stryker’s TOTALED MAYHEM won the class on a tie-breaker over past Annapolis NOOD winner, Steve Buzbee’s BLUE MEANIE.  Taking third was Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, fourth was Sumner Parker’s BLUEJACKET and fifth was Bruce Irvin’s SHAMROCK.

The overall regatta winner came out of the tightly fought J/80 class that has 20 boats on the starting line.  Behind Hayes’ MORE GOSTOSA was John White’s USA 1162 in 2nd, Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS in 3rd, David Andril’s VAYU in 4th and Vince Kalish’s WHITE LIGHTNIN’ in 5th place.

In the “Big Boat” division over on course 4, it was a wet, wild, and shifty course to sail.  Sadly, only three races were completed on Saturday and none on Sunday since the Race Committee could not figure out how to secure the race course marks in 15-32 kts winds!  Bummer.  Nevertheless, in the J/35s, a familiar face won- Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel’s AUNT JEAN won with just 4 pts, followed by Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT in second, Chuck Kohlerman’s MEDICINE MAN in third, Bruce Artman’s T-BONE in 4th, and Ben Travis/ Scott Steele’s B-ZING in 5th place.

The healthy, highly competitive seventeen-boat J/105 class saw a Canadian team top the standings- Mike Mountford’s LIVE EDGE from the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario.  Second was local hero Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV, followed by the Lewis/Salvesen duo on MIRAGE in third, Hugh Bethell’s JESTER in 4th and Arthur Libby & Tom Carter’s DOGHOUSE in 5th place.

The J/111s saw a “whitewash” take place, with Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY win with straight bullets. Second was local hotshot, Martie Roesch’s VELOCITY crew, taking the silver.  Third was Long Island Sound rock-star, Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO, closely followed by Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK in 4th and Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND in 5th place. Sailing photo credits- Dan Phelps/ Spinsheet.com.  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.