Wednesday, August 23, 2017

J/111 World Championship Preview

J/111 World Championships (San Francisco, CA)- Every team’s journey to a starting line is a tale of organization, crew alignment, vessel preparation and practice. Add in international travel, and the complexity snowballs. Then, weave in the pressures and prestige of a World Championship— in this case the 2017 J/111 World Championships (August 23-27, 2017), hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California— and the situation compounds. The emphasis on organization and practice is a constant, but the logistics escalate the farther afield you venture.

But, what if the crew is (mostly) from Australia, the regatta is in San Francisco, and the boat is one that no one on the team has sailed? For skipper Rod Warren (AUS) and his crew, the rhumbline to the 2017 J/111 Worlds hasn’t been simple. While Warren has owned and raced his J/111 JOUST (AUS 1110) for the last four years in J/111 sailors- Rod Warren from Australia (on right)Melbourne, Australia, bringing her to the USA was a bridge too far. With transpacific vessel shipping off the table, he said “the hardest thing was finding a charter boat and a good owner.” When these efforts came up shy, Warren got creative.

One of Warren’s Aussie mates, Phil Simpfendorfer, was shopping for a J/111 and found one in the Bay Area (Rob Theis’s former Aeolus). Phone calls and discussions ensued, and— to cut a long, dead-downwind leg short— Simpfendorfer generously offered Warren and crew (including Bay Area locals Chris Watts and Jennifer Canestra) a crack at the World Championship title using his boat before she gets shipped back to Australia.

“It's a lucky break and an incredibly generous friend,” said Warren, who is now busily preparing for San Francisco conditions. “We love the wind and are used to big seas. Recently, we’ve been sailing in heavier winds, perfecting some new techniques. Time will tell if they work.”

The St. Francis YC is no stranger to hosting international teams for World Championship events, or to welcoming sailors to San Francisco Bay’s gorgeous natural amphitheater. “My event co-chair Susan Ruhne and I are looking forward to welcoming competitors and their families to the Club,” said Gerard Sheridan, co-chair of the 2017 J/111 Worlds. “We love sharing the St. Francis YC experience with visitors, many who will be here for the first time.”

In addition, for some sailors first experiencing St. Francis YC and the Bay through this regatta, this will be the first time the J/111 Class (established 2012) will host an international championship on the West Coast, as their previous two World Championships were in the United Kingdom (2014 and 2016) and Newport, Rhode Island (2015).

“With our typical August conditions here on the Bay, a fleet of local and visiting J/111s will be a sight to behold, planing downwind in the afternoon breeze,” said Sheridan.

Of the ten teams currently registered, four are from the Bay Area while the other six, including Warren’s JOUST crew, are from elsewhere. “Local knowledge is almost always a factor at most racing venues,” said Sheridan. “However, I find most good visiting teams to the Bay quickly get the big picture of our current patterns, tidal cycles, and rules of thumb that locals are happy to share.”

Sheridan suggested that visiting teams consider arriving a week early and competing in the Aldo Alessio and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta (August 19-21).  He also advised that St. Francis YC’s world-famous Rolex Big Boat Series (September 14-17) unfurls a few weeks later and could be a consideration for teams that mastered the Bay during the J/111 Worlds.

No matter your plotted rhumbline to this World Championship, you can bet your last shackle that St. Francis YC’s seasoned Race Committee will deliver world-class racecourse management and the Club’s shoreside volunteers and staff will ensure welcoming après-sailing activities.  For more J/111 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

German NRV Team Win SAILING Champions League- Act 1!

J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia (St Petersburg, Russia)- A thrilling climax saw the regatta come down to the final race to decide Act 1 of the SAILING Champions League. The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg won the decisive race in St. Petersburg.

The NRV managed to handle the difficult conditions best with shifty, weak winds on the Neva River in the city center of St. Petersburg. On Sunday, the north Germans won four out of three qualifying races and managed to keep up their performance from the previous days.

“We were of course hoping to reach the podium. During the qualifying races we became more and more relaxed and stayed confident even in these difficult currents,” said helmsman Johannes Polgar.

J/70 SAILING Champions League winnersWith this victory during the SAILING Champions League in St. Petersburg, Johannes Polgar proved that he is still fully motivated to work on his 2020 Olympic campaign.

Frederikshavn Sejlklub from Denmark finished second ahead of the hosts, Saint Petersburg YC.

The Frederikshavn Sejlklub (FS) from Denmark lost their overnight lead to the NRV. Helmsman Kris Houmann commented, “In the decisive race unfortunately the NRV overtook us and due to the wind shifts, we could not control them anymore. We are still very happy with second place and are looking forward to come to St. Petersburg again.”

The last race of the event was extremely thrilling as the hosts from Saint Petersburg YC (SPBYC) sealed the final podium spot.

J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia“It was an incredible race. After our terrible start, I never thought we would win this race. A huge thanks to my wonderful team,” commented a relieved Anna Basalkina, skipper of the SPYC team. The Russian Olympic sailor from 2000 in Sydney surely deserved to reach third place overall and her place on the podium after such a herculean recovery!

Twenty-one teams from all over Europe were trying to qualify for the finale of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The races in St. Petersburg on the one-designs J/70’s were extremely short and close to the audience on-shore.

The SAILING Champions League will continue in September in Switzerland. Act 2 of the SAILING Champions League will take place from September 1st to 3rd in St. Moritz. Then, the second group of the best international sail clubs will fight to qualify for the final of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Italy.

J/70s sailing in St Petersburg, RussiaIn Porto Cervo, the best teams from Act 1 and Act 2 will fight for the title “Best European Sail Club” and for the beautiful silver bowl by Robbe and Berking.

As a technology partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP is providing professional livestream coverage with expert commentary along with live results of the events.  SAP SAILING Champions League results are here

The primary regatta sponsor is GAZPROM- a global energy company. Being a socially responsible company, GAZPROM is supporting Russian sports at all levels. As a general partner of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club since 2013, GAZPROM devotes much attention towards the development of sailing in the Northern Capital and Russia at large. Supporting different local and international events, the St. Petersburg YC and GAZPROM aim at establishing St. Petersburg among the top sailing cities of Europe.

From 2017, the St. Petersburg YC and GAZPROM, together with its subsidiary NordStream Company, became partners of the National Sailing Leagues of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany as well as of Act 1 of the European SAILING Champions League in St. Petersburg in August.   Sailing video teaser- by GAZPROM for the SAILING Champions League   For more SAILING Champions League sailing information here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

AUDI J/70 Worlds Update

J/70 Worlds- Porto Cervo, Sardinia (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Every year sailors from all over the world check out Porto Cervo’s ideal sailing conditions characterized by prevailing northwesterly breezes which make it an outstanding place to sail in crystal clear, emerald-colored sea.  The Italian J/70 Class is going full steam ahead to make sure to provide J/70 sailors with the best possible experience on and off the water for what is going to be a great event: a mix of very competitive racing, steady breeze, emerald water, warm weather and the worlds’ best after sail parties where you'll feast on fantastic Italian food and wine.

Now, there is just one month to go for the first start of the most awaited one-design keelboat event of 2017, the Audi J/70 World Championship, thta will be hosted in the facilities of YC Costa Smeralda from September 12th to 16th.

Porto Cervo, SardiniaRegistrations, which had to be closed more than two months before the start of the event, reached the record the record of one hundred and seventy-five participants representing twenty-four nations: numbers that make the Audi J/70 World Championship one of the most populous events ever with one-design keelboats.

Among the entries, the Americans aboard CATAPULT will arrive in Italy to defend the title won last year: the owner and helmsman Joel Ronning will be assisted in tactical choices by John Kostecki.

In the large group of American boats, SAVASANA is also to be kept in the spotlight: owner Brian Keane, eighth in the San Francisco World Championship of 2016 and winner of the 2017 USA Corinthian J/70 Nationals, will be entrusted with Stu McNay’s tactical calls- McNay is a 470 sailor for the US Olympic team and won the M24 World title in 2016.

Then, the three crews on the podium at the recent J/70 European Championship will also be in attendance- 1st- Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE (now a two-times continental champion), assisted on tactics by Olympian athlete Michele Paoletti; 2nd- Josè Maria Torcida’s Spanish crew on NOTICIA and 3rd- Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from America. The American entry came to Italy for the last event of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP season and promptly won the event!  They aspire to do the same in the World Championship.

The Italian fleet will be the most represented with thirty-seven boats, followed closely by the German teams, with thirty-one crews in the entry list.

Among the Italians, in addition to the already mentioned PETITE TERRIBLE, there will also be the winners of the 2017 ALCATEL J/70 CUP circuit on board Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK, as well as the champions of the 2015 and 2016 editions of the same circuit, with L’ELAGAIN skippered by Franco Solerio.

The battle will also be tough in the Corinthian category, reserved for non-professionals: eighty crews will be in play to find out who will succeed Shawn Bennett, winner of the 2016 Corinthians.  Among the favorites, there is also an Italian boat, WHITE HAWK skippered by Gianfranco Noè- they won Corinthians in every event of the 2017 season for the ALCATEL J/70 CUP.

For the members and sailors of YCCS, it will be a September to remember!  Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, they are also hosting the ROLEX Maxi 72 Worlds, many with top J/70 sailors/ tacticians on board!

The YCCS 50th Anniversary Regatta will be held between these two events, on 10th September, and will be open to all yachts of over 20 feet with an ORC or IRC measurement certificate. Given the large numbers of J/70s, the fleet will have a separate start and real-time scoring. This will be a unique opportunity for racing and cruising boats to take part in the celebrations to mark a significant anniversary in Italian and international yachting.

The month concludes with the third edition of the AUDI SAILING Champions League (22nd to 24th September) sailing on the YCCS fleet of a dozen J/70s.  It is the finale for teams from top yacht clubs around Europe having qualified through their individual national leagues. Winning in 2016 was the team representing the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club and more than 30 teams will fight it out in a series of flights on board the YCCS J/70 fleet.

With the sporting events taken care of, the YC Costa Smeralda's activities then move to Milan where the One Ocean Forum will take place on 3rd and 4th October. The event is supported by UNESCO and the SDA Bocconi Sustainability Lab. Advocated by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, President of the YCCS Board of Directors, this will be the first Italian forum addressing the theme of sustainability relating to marine and coastal environments. The initiative, which will become a recurring appointment, and will be the highlight of the activities to celebrate the YC Costa Smeralda's 50th anniversary.  For more YC Costa Smeralda club information  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Santa Barbara YC Crowned U.S. J/70 Youth Champions!

J/70s sailing Youth Champs
SBYC Wins FREE Use of a J/70 for 12 months!
(Newport, RI)- The inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship had its fair share of drama after two days of sailing.  Tight racing.  Teams pushing the envelope tactically all weekend long.  Close-quarters racing producing dramatic turn-arounds at each corner of the course. As each race unfolded, yet another wind shift and puff pushed another group of boats past leaders in front of them.  To say the least, it was about as atypical weather conditions anyone could imagine from a “locals” point of view in Newport.

Ultimately, winning and demonstrating good tactical decision-making capability, extraordinary boat-handling, and a steady boat-speed advantage through-out the regatta was the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team- skippered by Lucas Pierce with an excellent crew of Ryan Eastwood, Chris Kayda, Payne Donaldson, and Kris Ozolins.  It was a remarkable performance, especially considering the wildly fluctuating and variable wind conditions every team had to contend with over the three-day regatta.
J/70 Mudratz Sailing Club- Youth Champs
The sailing conditions delivered by the weather Gods surely contributed to the drama and anxiety experienced by the various teams.  On Friday, it was a cruise ship floating around the bay off Newport that kept winds fluctuating from the SSE to SSW direction.  Then, on Saturday, after a long weather delay/ postponement, an ornery passage of a weather front ultimately produced a heavy gray mist and a good breeze from the south to finish a second round of nine races by early evening.  Sunday’s finale was no different, fog, then sun, then good breeze, then a thermal breeze shutdown by a front with high-level northwesterly breezes!

All things considered, the regatta format permitted good teams to rise to the top given enough opportunities to get there!  In the Sunday morning “repechage” round that consisted of four races on Sunday morning, the top three teams were Annapolis YC, Little Traverse YC and Coral Reef YC.  They joined the double-round-robin leaders- Santa Barbara YC, Sail Newport and Severn Sailing Association.
J/70s sailing Youth Champs
The finale started just after noon time. Winning the first race was Sail Newport’s team led by Brendan Read.  Then, in the second race, Annapolis YC (skippered by Porter Kavle) won by a large margin.  Then, in the third race, Sail Newport Youth Team won again.  There was no question the Santa Barbara YC crew were feeling the heat, especially from the local youth team from Sail Newport.

In the fourth race, the wind went crazy, going light and mixing cat’s-paws with small streaks and shifting at least 50 degrees.  Two boats shot into a leg and half lead, in second was Santa Barbara, having seen the first streak and shot right to grab it and take off around the windward mark.  Sail Newport went left and missed it, bobbing in the powerboat chop. The race was ultimately canceled due to the time limit, much to everyone’s delight!  As a result, with no visible wind in sight and less than forty minutes to the regatta time limit, PRO Dooley wisely decided it was time to call it a day and fired off three guns to mark the end of racing.

As a result, winning the regatta by ten points was the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team.  Second was the SAIL NEWPORT Youth Team comprised of Brendan Read, Andrew Sherrin, Kate Nota, and Ted Bjerregaard.  Third was Annapolis YC Youth Team comprised of Porter Kavle, Will Comerford, Benjamin Podlich, and Jake Viskers.  Rounding out the top five was Severn Sailing Association Youth Team in 4th and Coral Reef YC in 5th place.
J/70 Youth Champs winners- Santa Barbara YC
At the awards ceremony, the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team (pictured here) was presented not just with their keeper trophies, but also the FREE J/70 their club gets to use for twelve months!  The SBYC Vice Commodore Scott Deardorff, himself a J/70 sailor, is looking forward to utilizing their FREE J/70 (complete with a brand new suit of North Sails and Triad Trailer) for club events, youth keelboat development and, perhaps, even women’s keelboat development!

Regatta Chairman- Stu Johnstone- remarked, “it was amazing to see the high-level of competitiveness by all nine teams.  Having sailed against some of them in past J/70 events, it was evident most could compete in the top ten in any major J/70 regatta, that is how much they had improved over the course of the year.  I also wanted to thank all the boat owners who donated their boats for the event- SAIL 22 (Ed & Becky Furry), Tim Healy, Henry Brauer, and Juan Reid from Chile- without them there would be no regatta!”

Regatta sponsors included North Sails (providing 6 brand new suits of sails), Harken (promoting their “Blockheads” project), MJM Yachts’ Bob Johnstone (who also donated the free J/70), Sail Newport (Brad Read and Vinnie Pattavina), and SAIL 22 (especially, the help of Sam House- as the regatta bosun).

Finally, kudos to the Regatta PRO Kevin Dooley, the Offshore Racing Coach from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy- amazing job for running 25 races in crazy weather conditions!  And, thanks to his supporting  cast on the Race Committee- Bill Canfield, Oakley Jones, Paul Hazlett, Bob Spagnolo, Richard Barker, Jack Fisher, and Macken Offspring!  Follow U.S. J/70 Youth Championships on Facebook here.   Sailing photo credits- Matthew Cohen   For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information and results Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, August 21, 2017

AUDI Hamilton Race Week Preview

Audi Hamilton Race Week (Hamilton Island, Australia)- AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival. Every August, spectators and yachties from around the globe sail to Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta.

Audi Hamilton Race Week socialPerfectly situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, amongst Queensland's 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.

This year, the regatta is taking place from the 19th to 26th of August.  Participating this year is a select group of top J/crews sailing their larger boats.  The biggest J/team as the event is the J/160 SALACIA, sailed by Stephen Everett and his wife, family and friends.  Stephen bought the boat in America, and sailed her across from California, then Mexico, then across the Pacific to Australia!  An epic cruise it was! Now the Everett’s are enjoying their boat in the gorgeous waters of the Whitsundays!

J/160 sailing AUDI Hamilton Island Race WeekThen, a similar story holds true for the J/130 RAGTIME.  Chris & Bernadette Morgan acquired her in 2012 and brought her across the Pacific to Australia. Based at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, RAGTIME has been actively racing in Queensland events. RAGTIME’s major win so far was the 2014 Brisbane to Keppel Race!

Finally, the J/122 JAVELIN was recently purchased in May 2017 by skipper James Crowley.  Her first regatta success was the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta, skippered by Sally Crowley, taking EHC Division 1 1st!  They are aiming for a full racing program in 2017/18 commencing with the Brisbane to Keppel Race and Hamilton Island Race Week.  For more AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/121 Offshore Speedster Decked!

New J/121 Offshore speedster
Launch Week of August 21st!
(Newport, RI)- The amazing new J/121 Offshore short-handed speedster is coming together, in more ways than one.  She is looking fast, sleek and powerful- an offshore reaching machine!

Just this past week, after all systems had been installed for engine, power-train, steering, plumbing, electrical and the water-ballast distribution pumps and manifolds, the deck was fitted and installed!

Exciting times for the J/Design team and the team at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI!  Yet another “All-American” design, engineering, and build program is now coming to fruition and it is expected the J/121 will ultimately make its maiden voyage down Narragansett Bay to be in Newport for the boat show.
For more J/121 Offshore Short-handed Speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

J/35 Cruising Alaska?

(Juneau, Alaska)-  For sure!  It can be an amazing experience sailing the wild and un-explored waters of the mountainous Alaskan coastline.  We recently got a great report on that experience from Krista Howell:

“Early August finds us back in our home port of Valdez, AK after our summer cruise. This is our second summer of cruising our J/35 and it has confirmed our decision that it is an excellent boat for us. When we started boat shopping, we wanted a boat that would be fun to sail, capable of working into a headwind and seaworthy enough for some ocean passages including safely crossing the Gulf of Alaska.

We bought our J/35 VENTURE in the Seattle, WA area. She had been used for local racing and day sailing. In the Seattle area we made a few changes that would allow us to move her up the inside passage to AK. A Monitor Wind Vane and anchoring gear were the first two additions. We mounted the primary anchor on the bow with 300 ft of chain that leads back to the windless that is mounted on the cabin top aft of the V-birth hatch so that chain drops down into a chain locker we built in front of the mast, to reduce the weight in the bow. A secondary anchor was added to a holder on the stern. A solar panel, inflatable dinghy, epirb and life raft were also added. A local sail loft changed our racing sails from foil to hank ons. Leaving Seattle, we were a bit worried about how we would actually like cruising a J/35. We had a wonderful first trip north.

In Valdez, we have continued to make more cruising modifications. We live aboard so additional storage down below was needed. We changed the settees in the main cabin by building in cupboards on both sides that matched the width of the shelf that was there. We also modified the storage under the quarter-berths and V-berth to create smaller compartments. A set of three shelves were also added to the corner of the port quarter-birth just aft of the galley for increased galley storage. We have an ice box but do not have any refrigeration. During the summer a cooler fits behind the ladder, between the quarter-births. In the winter, the cooler is moved to the cockpit and a wood box fits in that area. We have a small electronic heater that runs when we are in the harbor but we also have a small Dickinson woodstove that is mounted to the bulkhead at the end of the starboard settee. In this winter climate we fight condensation. The wood stove provides very dry heat and we have a stackrobber mounted on the stove pipe with a small fan that flows warm air into the V-birth. During the winter, we put up large canvas covers that help shed the significant amount of snow that Valdez receives each winter, but are also easy to take down for the wind storms that blow through the harbor each winter.

This summer, we stayed out in the Gulf of Alaska from Prince William Sound to the north end of Prince of Wales Island. From there we traveled down the inside passage as far south as Shearwater, BC. Heading north, we have stayed in the inside passage to visit many small towns, scenic anchorages and natural hot springs in SE Alaska including Glacier Bay National Park before leaving the shelter of the inside passage to cross the Gulf again on our way back to Valdez. We have found our J/35 VENTURE to be well-suited to this type of cruising. When we left Valdez May first, the Gulf of Alaska was filled with series of low pressures that sent gale after gale from the SE moving along the coast. There are a number of bays that we could slip into and wait for the next small weather window before heading south again. The advances in communication now make it easy to get update weather reports even in remote locations. The J/35 design allowed us to easily and safely handle the offshore conditions with two people. Even when sailing her conservatively, she easily glides through the water making good time in offshore conditions handling the large swell and waves that can build in the Gulf of AK. The inside passage is known for shifting and varying wind conditions. SV Venture is fun to sail in these conditions because she sails so well to windward. In the course of the typical day, we alternated between working to windward and downwind sailing as the winds funnel around the islands and through the channels that did required frequent sail changes. Several days we were able to fly the spinnaker for hours at a time. We were able to sail most of the trip with very little motoring.

Back home and preparing to return to work for the winter, we are already starting to plan next summers destinations. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sanford Comments on Transpac J/105 Experience

J/105s sailing San Diego(Honolulu, Hawaii)- Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE sailed this year’s Transpac Race- 2,225nm of full-on downwind racing for most of the time.

Ed & Team Creative have sailed over 10,000 miles offshore, and we believe are the first J/105 to reach the Transpac podium and the first to do three Transpac races in a J/105.  Bravo!

Here is what Ed had to say about their experience:

“I have had a interesting progression in life!

In 2013, my wife’s response regarding Transpac was, “I vote no.”

In 2015, my wife’s response this time was, “so, when are you going?”

Then, in 2017, my wife said, “I suppose Andrew is going, too?”  Andrew is my son.

I think what I’m trying to say is I think I got a little better bit better each time and she knew I was happier for it.

This year’s race was a priceless journey and one we will remember when I’m two feet from the grave!

My son and I did every off-watch schedule together for the 12 days 19 hours! And, now he is off to college in 2 weeks. He was driving the boat in 20-plus kts with the 110 square meter kite up!

4 hours on 4 hours off during the day, and 3 hours on and 3 hours off at night. I was particularly impressed on him getting out of his bunk with 15 min to go every time to get ready to go on deck!!  Amazing, not bad for a teenager!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Awesome Sailing @ Dillon Open Regatta

J/24 women sailors on Lake DillonCAMP ROBBER Steals J/22s, THE DUMPSTER Trashes J/24s, HENDRIX Sings @ J/80s
(Lake Dillon, CO)- Racing on beautiful Lake Dillon in Dillon, Colorado has to be one of sailing’s most amazing experiences.  Sunny days on a crystal clear lake, fed by mountain streams, and surrounded by 12,000 ft high snow-capped Rocky Mountains is simply a spectacular, visual feast for the eyes.  Plus, the cool, clear mountain air simply enhances the sensory experience.

The regatta is hosted by Dillon YC, the nation’s highest yacht club at 9,017 feet above sea level, located just west of the Continental Divide, a 70-mile drive from downtown Denver.

As usual, the DYC offers a great schedule of racing, entertainment, food and other special events that makes if fun for all participants and their families.

J/22s sailing Dillon OpenAfter five races, it was a clear-cut victory in the J/22 Class for the appropriately named CAMP ROBBER! Stealing the show was skipper Bill Darling’s team, posting an almost perfect score of 2-1-2-1 for 6 pts total to win by an enormous margin of 10 pts.  However, behind them it was a full-on dogfight for the balance of the podium.  Ultimately, winning that battle was Keith Lawrence’s SHAMELESS with a 1-9-3-3 record for 16 pts.  Although he beat SHAMELESS in the last race, it was not enough for Mike Kline’s NAUTI MOOSE to overtake them, finishing with a 6-5-4-2 tally for 17 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Cameron & Cooper Robinson’s USA 720 in 4th place with 18 pts and in 5th place was Peter Fornell’s MAYBE LATER with 23 pts.

In the J/80 Class, two boats ended up with identical records of two 1sts and two 2nds for 6 pts total- winning on who won last was Kurt Vanderwall’s HENDRIX.  Getting the short-end of that stick was Heath Bowden’s RAKALI.  Taking third was Keith Tayman’s GOOSE.

Also, getting a near identical score to the other class winners in the J/24 Class was Frank Keesling’s THE DUMPSTER, posting a 1-1-2-1 for 5 pts total.  Josh Bowens-Rubin’s ZERO GRAVITY took 2nd with a 2-2-1-2 tally for 7 pts.  Then, taking third was Frank Kelble’s BANANA PANTS with a 3-4-3-3 record for 13 pts.
For more Dillon Open sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Landsail Tyres J/CUP U.K. Preview

J/70s sailing J/Cup U.K. (Torquay, United Kingdom)- The thrill and fun of the J-Cup, celebrating its 18th birthday at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, South Devon, England, will be running this coming weekend from 17th to 19th August.

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G, has eight races scheduled over three days of highly competitive racing, with excellent facilities ashore and a great social program.

The regatta features four UK National Championships for the J/111, J/109, J/88 & J/97 Classes, and other J/Boats are also racing under IRC handicap classes.

“The first J-CUP was in 2000, and it has proved to be a fantastic get together for the J/Clan,” commented Paul Heys from Key Yachting, the exclusive agent for J/Boats in the UK and Ireland.

J/88s sailing J/Cup UK“Every Fastnet year, it makes sense for the regatta to be based in the West Country, and the dates are chosen to fit after the Fastnet finish, and before Torbay and Dartmouth Royal Regattas. We have been to Torbay Yacht Club twice before, and the club is so keen to have us back, plus the facilities are excellent with a superb marina and a lovely bay to sail in, which is easy to reach from the Fastnet finish at Plymouth, just 50 miles away.

The J-CUP is not a rally, it is a very competitive regatta, and the motto of the event is to ‘race hard and play hard’. So once the final race is finished, we have a big hoedown on the Saturday night, with a grand prize giving, and live music from the sensational soul, rock and funk band- Joey the Lips.”   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ photoaction.com   Follow the J/CUP U.K. on Facebook here   For more J/CUP U.K. sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ida Lewis Distance Race Preview

J/120 sailing Ida Lewis Distance Race (Newport, RI)- The list of registrants for the annual Ida Lewis Distance Race is growing daily.  Currently, 42 teams are signed up for the event’s 13th edition, scheduled for Friday, August 18. Ida Lewis Yacht Club has been hosting and running sailboat races all summer long, but this is its signature regatta, much adored by local sailors as well as those who travel here from across the region and the continent to compete.

“It’s always nice to do a short offshore race,” said John Gowell. “This one is not too intense, it’s overnight, and it covers beautiful sailing grounds. The logistics are also easy; that’s a big attraction.”

With turning marks at Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Tower, the race course for the Ida Lewis Distance Race can be anywhere from 107 to 169 miles. The course is chosen on the day of the start and driven by the forecast conditions.

Ida Lewis Yacht Club- Newport, RIThe race’s – and club’s – namesake is the heroic lighthouse keeper who saved many a life during her tenure at “Lime Rock” upon which Ida Lewis Yacht Club is famously perched in Newport Harbor. Ida Lewis often rowed a dory to rescue soldiers in peril on the water between the “rock” and the hard place of Fort Adams. Off Fort Adams is where the start is planned on Friday at 12:30, so spectators can take a lunch-hour break to catch the action.  The Double-Handed Fleet starts first, followed by Multihulls at 12:45, PHRF Class at 1:00 and IRC Class at 1:15.)

The finish is off the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, anywhere from 18 to 29 hours later, depending on the weather.

A total of 10 J/Boats are sailing in the event after Ida Lewis organizers reached out to participants competing in J/Fest New England, which precedes the distance race on Aug. 11-13; that’s about 25% of the 40-boat fleet.

IRC class will host an interesting mix of boats.  Three J/122s – MOXIEE (Daniel Heun, Franklin, Mass.), ORION (Paul Milo, Leesburg, Virginia) and TARAHUMARA (Jack Gregg, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) – will make it interesting with their equally matched hulls.

PHRF Spinnaker Class has five J’s in the field, including two J/105s (Charles Stoddard’s FALCON 2.0 and the Young American Junior Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICAN), Bill Kneller’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE, Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE, and EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

In the PHRF Doublehanded Class, Dwight McMillan’s J/109 AVIATO will be taking on four other classmates for line and handicap honors.

The Ida Lewis Distance Race includes Youth and Collegiate Challenges and is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF) and the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC). Top Trophies are The Russell L. Hoyt Memorial Trophy for best elapsed time in IRC division; The Commodore’s Trophy for best-corrected time in IRC division; The Lois J. Muessel Memorial Trophy for best elapsed time in PHRF division; and The Lime Rock Trophy for best-corrected time in PHRF division.

Gold sponsors for the 2017 Ida Lewis Distance Race are New England Boatworks and City of Newport. Silver sponsors are Bluewater Technologies, Helly Hansen, and Newport Shipyard; Bronze sponsors are North Sails, Rig Pro Southern Spars, and Stella Artois. Contributing Sponsors are DYT Yacht Transport, Flint Audio & Video, Goslings Rum, Mac Designs, Toni Mills Graphic Design, and Triton Insurance.  Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Challenging Buzzards Bay Regatta

J/105s sailing Buzzards BayGOOD TRADE Smokes J/105!
(New Bedford, MA)- The 45th edition of the late summer classic known as the Buzzards Bay Regatta was an exciting event for the J/105 class as well as the big boat PHRF classes.

Perhaps Nicole Breault’s J/105 GOOD TRADE put up the most stunning performance of the regatta.  Virtually leading at every single mark in every race, she posted ten 1sts and had to toss out a 1st for 9 pts net!  Ouch!  That is a spanking of the J/105 fleet.  Second with nearly all 2nds and 3rds, was Mark Lindquist’s STERLING.  Then, taking third place was Matt & Lisa Schmitt’s HARDTACK.

In the PHRF Spinnaker division, 7 of 10 boats are all J/crews!!  Winning the PHRF 1 Class was Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0, followed by Mark Verville’s J/120 ISURUS in second, Ted Herlihy’s J/109 GUT FEELING in 3rd, Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM in 4th and Dan Boyd’s J/109 WILD THING in 5th place.

PHRF 2 class saw Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST continue their great performances offshore, taking the silver in their class.  They were followed by Tom Sutton’s long-distance traveling J/35 LEADING EDGE- winner of last year’s New York YC Annual Regatta.

The PHRF Non-Spinnaker class had Ken van Colen’s J/30 MOODY BLUE taking a third in class.  For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nijdam Wins J/22 SNEEK Week Drama

J/22 sailing off Netherlands (Sneek, The Netherlands)- Over the previous weekend, the famous Netherlands regatta held in Sneek, played host to a fleet of J/22s.  The event was hosted by Koninkliejke Watersport Vereniging.  Due to the highly variable weather conditions, only two races were completed over the three-day event!

Winning the J/22s was NED 1365 sailed by woman helm Lisanne Nijdam and her crew of Bern Laninga and Susanne Taekema.  Finishing second was NED 1514 skippered by Maarten Berendschot with crew of Jesper Overbeeke and Thom van der Starre.  Rounding out the podium was NED 1224 helmed by Kim Bos with crew of Pam Rierink and Bas Hemmes.   For more SNEEK Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Arendals Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League- Act III

Moss Seilforening Leads Overall Series
(Larvik, Norway)- The first division of the Norwegian Sailing League sailed their third act at the picturesque seaside town of Larvik, at the base of one of Norway’s many gorgeous fjords.  After sailing just eleven races, is was the Arendals SF that easily won by virtue of winning 8 of their 11 races.

J/70 Norwegian Sailing League winnersIn behind them, a lot was at stake for the overall series lead between Moss SF and KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening).  Both teams started the regatta in 1st and 2nd place for the series and both desperately wanted to defend their positions heading into the crucial final series being sailed at Moss on September 8th to 9th.  Moss managed to sail well and took 2nd in the Larvik event. Meanwhile, KNS had a disastrous time sailing in Larvik, virtually finishing last, taking a 13th place.

As a result of the weekend’s final standings, Moss SF continues to lead the overall series with a 1st in Oslo, 1st in Sandefjord, and a 2nd in Larvik for 4 pts total.  Jumping into second place for the series is Asgardstrand SF with a 6-3-4 record in the three venues for 13 pt total.  Dropping fast like a rock in the standings was KNS, now sitting with a series scoreline of 2-2-13 for 17 pts total.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Women’s Keelboat Worlds Preview

J/70 sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico- Women's Keelboat Worlds (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- “There is a precise word to describe how we feel regarding your visit- honored.  Honored that you have chosen our little oasis as the venue for your prestigious championship. The peña that backs our club house and watches over the lake has witnessed four generations of friends become family.

From the days in the late 50´s when our grandparents sailed Lido fourteens, to the days in the 80´s and 90´s when our parents enthusiastically made sailors of us on the Optimists, sailing has been the core of our story of affection.  Out of it we have harvested many gifts, perhaps the most meaningful is the understanding of sportsmanship.

J/70 Women's World Championships- Valle de Bravo, MexicoNo matter how feisty a race might become, the victory has always been rejoicing over a petroleo* chased by a beer at the club bar.  The “petroleo”- a traditional Mexican tequila-based cocktail, and staple at the club´s bar.

Another facet that has enhanced this tale has been the camaraderie developed among the sailors of the several clubs in Valle de Bravo.  Thus, sailing has been the basis of our Valle community.

Once more, sailing is the basis of an even greater community that transcends borders with your visit. The passion that we all share for the telltales flying and the waves splashing creates an immediate connection of a brethren kind that we are certain you will feel as soon as we embrace you in a welcoming hug.

Your visit is very meaningful to us.  It will rejuvenate the sailor´s blood in our community and inspire us to pass on the joy of sailing to our children.  For this and much more, we are thankful.

Mexican women J/70s team at WorldsMy most heartfelt gratitude to the members and employees of our club, the J/70 class, the sponsors, and US Sailing for your generosity and support.  Please feel most welcome!”  Those are the kind, welcoming words from Roberto “Pollo” Escalante, the Vice Commodore of Club de Vela La Peña and also the Chair of the 2017 IWKC in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

The summer is Valle de Bravo´s rainy season.  A typical summer day begins with a sunny morning.  It develops the thermal breeze that comes in between 11 am and 12 pm.  Then the breeze holds until 3-4 pm, when the traditional afternoon shower comes in. Sometimes the rain comes in earlier, sometimes later, and sometimes it does not rain at all.  The temperature will range from low 60´s to mid 70´s.  Very temperate.  However, as many J/24 and J/70 sailors will tell you, NEVER trust local weather forecasts, since there are no stations at Valle, forecasts are often wrong!

A very competitive contingent of women’s J/70 teams have assembled for the event.  Here are the individual team biographies:

American women's J/70 teamAmerican Teams:
- Team Despacito Senoritas- Vivien Allan is our main trimmer/tactician, Amy Clark is our jib/kite trimmer and Lindsay Benton is our bow gal.  Don’t be fooled by the direct translation of our team moniker Despacito (Slowly) Señoritas; instead, like us, it is inspired by the very popular, super fun, sassy, sexy, Spanish/English song Despacito by artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
- Team BAAM!- Allie Blecher, Beka Schiff, Molly Noble, and Ali Blumenthal
- Team Seattle- Kathryn Meyer, Ramona Barber, Melanie Edwards, Nikki Daniel
- Team Your “Mom”- Team "Your Mom" is very excited to sail in the 2017 IKWC. All four of sailors grew up sailing on Lake Erie in Ohio. Liz Barker, Taylor Robinson, Megan Riddle, Audrey Sheehan
- TEAM ‘MER- Megan Ploch (skipper), Erin Dubinski (main), Alix Hahn (tactics/jib), Carolyn Russell (kite trim and bow), representing American Yacht Club in Rye, NY,
American women J/70 sailing team at Women's Worlds- Mexico- Team Scooter- Liz Hjorth, Stine Cacavas, Karyn Jones, and (inset) Jennifer Arrington
- Team CJ Racing- Team CJ Racing is comprised of Emily Maxwell, Elizabeth Dudley, Avery Field and Katy Nastro. Emily and Avery are cousins and grew up competing against one another in Optimists
- Team SDYC- The team is made up of San Diego Yacht Club sailors – Giselle Camet Nyenhuis, Betty Sherman, Stacey Szabo, and Alexa Cavalieri.

Mexican Teams:
- Team Racing Comadres- Eliane Fierro, Margarita Pazos, Caty Pi-Suñer, Valeria Pi-Suñer
- Team Chiquitas Pero Picosas- The Flores sisters (Manuela, Casilda, & Camila) and the Sole sisters (Ana Clare & Sophia)

The Valle de Bravo “Weather Report” on YouTube.   Follow the J/70 Women’s Keelboat World’s here  For more International J/70 Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SAVASANA Crowned Corinthian J/70 Champion

J/70s sailing Corinthian Nationals (South Dartmouth, MA)- New Bedford Yacht Club is hosting the 45th edition of the late summer classic, the quintessential “Buzzards Bay Regatta.”  As part of that program, they also hosted the second Corinthian J/70 USA National Championship. The fleet of 30 teams was treated to a wide variety of weather conditions over the three-day regatta.  On the first day, it was somewhat classic Buzzards Bay conditions, light winds building up to 9-13 kt winds with heavy chop, particularly on starboard tack.  Then, on Saturday, a front was scheduled to pass through with heavy showers, thunderstorms and winds gusting to 35 kts.  Fortunately, as the front hit the Atlantic Ocean, it fizzled out and the J/70s saw more southeasterly breezes with winds in the 8-12 kt range and for a brief period of time, gusts up to 20 kts.  Sunday dawned J/70s sailing Corinthian Nationalswith a gorgeous sunrise and the wind blowing 15-20 kts from the Northwest; racing commence under clear sunny skies and the teams enjoyed very shifty, streaky winds.

Excelling in the broad spectrum of weather conditions was the local hotshot, Brian Keane and his SAVASANA team from Marion, MA, winning the regatta by just two points.  Taking 2nd was Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE, sailing with the two “Stu’s”- Johnstone and Saffer.  Third place went to Glenn Darden’s HOSS with Reese Hillard as rock-star bow dude and man about town.  Fourth went to Ray and Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY and fifth place was Hannah Swett’s all-women crew on SPARKLE.
For more Corinthian J/70 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.