Saturday, December 15, 2018

J/122 Dominates Perth Offshore

J/122 sailing off Perth, Australia (Perth, Western Australia)- More “Thunder from Down Under!” Ian Clyne’s J/122 JOSS recently won the 140.0nm 2018 West Coaster Ocean Race off Perth, Western Australia.  Here is the report from Tony Bewsher, crewing aboard the J/122 JOSS.

“A very competitive fleet took part in the West Coaster 140nm overnight race on the weekend of the 24/25 November, including our J/122 JOSS.

The course was westerly from Fremantle, around Cape Vlamingh (the western end of Rottnest Island), then a 65.0nm northwards leg to a virtual mark set just of the historic coastal fishing town of Lancelin, and finally back south to the finish in Fremantle.

The race started in 8-10 knots SSW winds with the fleet jostling for position on the 1.0nm upwind beat to the first mark. JOSS rounded in 3rd position behind “Dirty Deeds” & “Weapon of Choice”, then the fleet sailed off on a broad reach out to the Western Windmills Fairway mark off the SE corner of Rottnest Island followed by an upwind beat in a dropping breeze along the south side of the island to Cape Vlamingh (the most westerly tip of the island and extremely exposed to the full forces of the Indian Ocean).

J/122 sailing off Perth, AustraliaAs the fleet approached Cape Vlamingh, the winds almost dropped out completely, making the rounding a slow frustrating affair. With an ever-growing cloud line slowly building on the horizon, the fleet edged westwards in our search for stronger more consistent breeze.

Big Sails help win big races, and as the clouds built overhead, the wind grew sufficiently for everyone to hoist their biggest spinnakers.

JOSS hoisted our big “Bright Green” A1.5 Spinnaker for this 65.0nm downwind run. The wind built steadily throughout the afternoon to 15-18 knots. We found ourselves dueling all the way to the Lancelin mark with “Obsession” (Mat1180) and “Weapon of Choice” (FB35). We even managed to pass these higher IRC rated boats midway along the track, only to have them battle back to lead us by a few hundred metres around the virtual top mark off Lancelin at approx. 2100 hrs Saturday night.

With a stunning full moon lighting up the ocean, we sailed for Fremantle in a more moderate breeze, maintaining contact with the 4 faster & lighter Div 1 yachts ahead of us. At sunrise we witnessed a beautiful Western Australian dawn with JOSS leading the fleet in both IRC & YAH, and eventually crossing the finish line at Fremantle at 0700 hrs Sunday morning in a time of 21:35:37.

Our winning margin on IRC was an impressive 27 minutes to the second placed boat “Obsession”, and 45 minutes to the 3rd placed boat “Alfresco”.

J/122 happy owner in Perth, AustraliaIt was 22 hours of perfect sailing conditions for JOSS with fluctuating winds between 8-18 knots and moving from an early light southerly on Saturday morning, swinging west and building until sunset throughout Saturday, then moderating over night to finish in an easterly land breeze.

The 140nm “WestCoaster” was a much more enjoyable sail compared to the recent similar distance overnight race, the “3 Ports Race” being knocked down 3 times during the night by 60-70 knot winds!!!

In sailing, winning is often a combination of great sailing by the boat & crew, and an equal measure of the “sea gods smiling on you”. There were many smiles over this weekend.

“Joss” has started the 2018/19 ORWA Offshore Season in strong form with 2 wins in Div 1 IRC, a 2nd, & a 5th, and 3 wins in Div 1 YAH & a 5th place.

With the lowest rating in the Div 1 Fleet in Western Australia, JOSS is proving how competitive J/Boats are against a very competitive fleet of top teams here in the West.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Wirth Munroe Memorial Race Preview

Wirth Munro Race course (Palm Beach, FL)- The Wirth M. Munroe Memorial Yacht Race (a.k.a. the “Race to the Buffet”) is held on the first Friday in December. First sailed in 1957, the race begins the winter ocean racing circuit in South Florida. The course presents challenging conditions, as yachts must consider the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and the passing of the season’s first frontal systems.

In 1957, members of the Florida Station of the Cruising Club of America, led by Dick Bertram (famous as founder of Bertram Yachts), decided to sponsor a race from Miami to Palm Beach and to hold it in early December as racing yachts from the north had arrived by then in preparation for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference held in January and February.

In the 1960’s the Sailfish Club of Florida became a co-sponsor of the race and now hosts the well-known awards party following the finish- e.g. the “race to the buffet”- upon finishing the race, there is dockside cocktails and live music. Racers finish the evening with a world-class awards banquet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

In 2016, the Club partnered with the Storm Trysail Club and decided to extend the course back to the Miami, FL. This year’s race will see the addition of a second course, from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach, catering to racer-cruisers, cruisers, and smaller racing yachts. The new course, called “The Sprint”, will be 40.0nm, and will complement the existing 60.0nm Miami to Palm Beach track, known as “The Classic”.

There are several J/Crews that have taken up the challenge for this year’s event, about 4x the number that had participated in the previous years. In the ORC Class are the J/109 HARM’s WAY (Andy Wescoat from Houston, TX), the J/92 HILLBILLY (Brad Stowers from Melbourne, FL), and the well-traveled J/44 KENAI (Chris Lewis from Seabrook, TX).  Then, in the PHRF Class will be the J/88 LOOSE CANNON (John Kearns from Jupiter, FL).

The forecast for ESE winds in the 10-20 kts range promises a fast race for all boats and both courses; a fast reach off into the Gulf Stream flowing north at 3-5 kts, then giant A2 spinnakers to fly north up the Stream to the Palm Beach finish line.  For more Wirth Munroe Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Big Battle @ Chilean J/24 Nationals

J/24 sailing off Valparaiso (Bio Bio), Chile (Bio Bio, Chile)- The Chilean J/24 National Championship was sailed on the waters of the Bay of Concepción, based on Quiriquina Island. A beautiful location to host such an important regatta for the dozen J/24 teams that participated from across the world’s “longest” country (north and south).

A select group of famous South American J/24 sailors were invited to participate as crew aboard various boats. Chief amongst them was the famous Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz, multiple World and South American Champion. In addition, the Argentine Matias Pereira, multiple South American champion, Pan-American champion and multiple Argentine champion was crew.  And, finally Nicolas Cubria, former Argentine champion also sailed as crew. Each one of them sailed as crew with a top Chilean helmsman.

Positioning themselves comfortably in first place on the first day of racing was the Chilean Del Castillo and his crew (totally local); they won 3 of the 4 races!

In the first two days, the winds were mild. But, as the racing progressed and the wind increased, it was a classic trade-off in the J/24 class- top end genoa or go for the jib. A true test of offshore sailors, ironically enough!!

At the end of the last race, the teams of E. Fernandez and N. Cubría with the crew of Carlos del Solar and Mauricio Santa Cruz were tied in points.

As in the last regatta, Del Castillo won; he qualified as Chilean 2018 J/24 Champion. Second was Carlos del Solar with Mauricio Santa Cruz. Third was Patricio Rodriguez's team with Matias Pereira.  And, fourth was Raúl del Castillo.  For more Chilean J/24 class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

J/88 MAI TAI Swedish Delivery- 865nm!

(Gothenburg, Sweden)- In a bit of a “Throwback Thursday”, the J/88 MAI TAI (now J88.SE) was bought by two Swedes in the Hamble, England in August 2017.  The two excited owners, Jonas Dyberg and Roger Ohlsson, decided they would do a doublehanded delivery back to Goteborg; it was an 865nm delivery in eleven days!

J/88.SE sailing delivery Hamble to GothenburgIt was an epic adventure. Their delivery track took them from Hamble, across the English Channel to the Netherlands, then up the coast to the opening of the Elbe River in Brunsbuttel, Germany.  Then, they motored up the Nord See Kanal to Kiel, Germany, and then a straight shot north up the Baltic Sea to Gothenburg, Sweden! It was an epic journey and here are the videos to prove it! Top speed was 18.6 kts on their delivery cruise!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_PSCQnqDVo

J/88.SE speed adventures off SwedenThen, if that wasn’t an adventure enough, Jonas and Roger took their friend Peter Gustafsson from BLUR.SE fame on board to see if they could establish a “speed run” on the windy wavy Baltic Sea in October 9th, 2017!  It was a gorgeous sunny day, with a northerly breeze of 20-30 kts off Vinga, Sweden.  Here is how they went.

https://youtu.be/9nHglNNWM4Y

Davis Island J/70 Winter Series Preview

J/70s sailing on Tampa Bay
(Tampa, FL)- Like its counterpart in Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Davis Island YC has been running its winter series since the inception of the International J/70 class.  It has been a popular series from the beginning for J/70 sailors across America; this year at least 50 entries will be participating in one of the three events.

One of the most popular elements of the regatta is that all sailors are treated to an on-going “seminar/ training” program every day, held Friday afternoon before the regatta starts.  As an “upside down” club, the coolest part of DIYC is the fleet congregates upstairs around a massive central bar that is surrounded by an enormous covered porch.  With giant 60” plus TV screens everywhere in the ceilings, it is a multimedia extravaganza that is all turned over to sailing when needed (of course, football takes precedence at certain times of the day!). Many famous sailmakers from DOYLE, NORTH, QUANTUM and ULMAN Sails have contributed to the post-race de-briefs that include white board sessions as well as video/ photo analysis.

Not surprisingly, many J/70 crews look forward to participating in the DIYC J/70 Winter Series because it is a great training program for the skippers and crews. There are many top J/70 teams from across the country that are participating again this year. Some of those teams include; Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Texas, Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from New York, Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from Tampa, Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, Will Welles’ NEW WAVE from Florida, Doug Clark’s POLAR for US Coast Guard, Bill Draheim from Texas, and Kevin Morgan’s WILD CARD from Rochester. Notably, there is a well-attended fleet of thirteen Corinthians teams.

The one major variable for the weekend’s racing will be Winter Storm Grace that is battering the USA’s West Coast on Thursday and is due to swing south across the Texas Panhandle region and across the top of the Gulf of Mexico Saturday evening and Sunday midday. Forecasts for Friday and Saturday show great breezes from the ESE feeding that frontal system; but Sunday may see anywhere from 15 to 35 knot winds from 6am to 1pm. Sailing on Sunday T.B.D.  For more Davis Island YC J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Love @ Väter­chen Frost Regatta

J/70s on Lake Alster, Germany (Hamburg, Germany)- It may not rank as the world’s most notable “local” regatta, if there can be such a thing. However, it certainly ranks amongst the most competitive, picturesque regattas held on a lake in the middle of a major city in Europe. That is what the Hamburger Segel-Club was hosting this past weekend for a fleet of fifteen J/70s, nineteen J/24s, and eight J/22s that LOVE sailing on the gorgeous Alster Lake in front of the Hamburg city waterfront.

J/70 winners- Hamburg, GermanyKlaus Brinkbäumer, winner of the J/70 class had this to say about their experience:

"Father Frost Regatta is becoming Father Late Summer! LOL. It was warm, and the moderate winds over the Alster Lake were spectacular. The wind was good, from the east, gusty and with many shifts, but that's how we know and like our lake.

J/24s on Lake Alster, GermanyWe (tactician Carsten Kemmling, trimmer David Heitzig, bowman Florian Thoelen- all from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein) got off to a great start with our team on GER 958 BROOKLYN. It was a scramble at the start boat in the first race. We were over early, so had to restart. But, the races were long. Four laps. So, we were able to work our way up to third place. Then, we managed to get a 2nd and 1st, a perfect first day for us!

On Sunday, we made it exciting for us! We were a little early on the layline on the first windward mark. I misjudged it, and wrapped our keel on the anchor line! That was our discard race! Thankfully, we won the last race!”

J/22s sailing on Lake Alster, GermanyTaking second behind them was Ulf Plessmann’s crew of Katrin Jahncke, Ohle Vollmer, and Anreas Benkert on GER 966 with a tally of 1-6-4-1-4 for 10 pts net.  Third was the top woman skipper, Johanna Meier’s crew of Heinrich Hader, Matthias Rummel, and Milena Muller with a 7-1-7-2-5 record for 15 pts net.

In the J/24 class, it was a “Tale of Two Cities”. The leaders and the almost leaders.  In a battle of “not torpedoing ourselves” were Fabian Damm’s GER 5316 and Frank Schoenfeldt’s GER 5412.  Both teams were experiencing an amazing roller-coaster ride all the way to the final finish.  Winning that battle was Damm’s crew on GER 5316 (Jannik Duehren, Moritz Boeoek, Jonas Lyssewski, Jan Eike Sihdiz) with a 1-6-1-8-1 for 9 pts net.  Wishing for a better outcome in their last race was Schoenfeldt’s crew on GER 5412.  In the end, their tally was the most consistent on the leaderboard, with a 5-1-2-3-4 for 10 pts net.  Taking the bronze was Stefan Karsunke’s team of Lina Nagel, Lars Hager, Lars Gibbe, and David Thompson.   Sailing photo credits- Johann Nikolaus Andreae  For more Väter­chen Frost Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Fall Italian J/24 Class Report

J/24s sailing on Lake Como, Italy (Lecco, Italy)- The Italian J/24 Class continues to see good participation in many of its fall/ winter series championships across the country.  In particular, some of the fleet locations, like Lecco, Marina di Carrara, and Taranto, have been blessed with nice sailing conditions, from the Lakes District north down to the warm, sunny Mediterranean.  Here is one of those reports from Lecco.

Lecco (Lake Como)
ITA 499 Kong Griffin II, skippered by Marco Stefanoni, ended up winning the famous Interlaghi- Trofeo Canottieri Lecco- with a score of 1-3-1-2.  The regatta is a classic for the end of the season in the lakes district north of Milano, the first edition of the regatta started back in 1980 for the J/24 class.

Taking second place was ITA 476 DEJA VU, skippered by Ruggero Spreafico, posting a 4-4-2-1.  And, rounding out the podium was ITA 498 NOTIFYME-PILGRIM sailed by the fleet champion Lario Mauro Benfatto.

Five races were held over the weekend. On the first day, rain and bad weather did not stop the crews from racing.  Faced with a strong wind from the South that, at times, reached 16 to 20 knots, the fleet completed four races in about six hours on the water. At the end of a full and tiring day, the delicious aperitif in Canottieri, prepared by chef Alberto Galbani, was welcomed and inhaled in minutes by the hungry crews!

On Sunday, it was a completely different story.  The first race was held in very strong gusty winds from the North that were already hitting 20-plus knots, with big rain showers rolling across the race course.  However, as the winds built in squalls up to 25-plus knots, the Race Committee was forced to cancel the second race for safety reasons.

In addition to the winner of the regatta, a very special award was handed out- the Gino Cicardi Trophy (reserved for the oldest sailor). This year, it was awarded to Sergio Agostoni (born in 1938), helmsman and owner of the J/24 ITA 469 Bruschetta Guastafeste, fourth in the overall classification J24.  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Stanford Dominates The BIG Sail Regatta!

J/22 Big Sail- Stanford versus UC Berkeley (San Francisco, CA)- In anticipation of the college football rivalry game on November 17 between the Stanford University Cardinals and the University of California- Berkeley Bears, the 15th annual The BIG Sail was held between the schools on San Francisco Bay. With five divisions competing on a slalom course in J/22s, Stanford took the title by winning four of the five matches. Hosting the event in their matched fleet of J/22s was the St Francis YC.

In the Varsity Division (e.g. “pro’s”), it was a nip and tuck battle.  Each school taking a win in the first two races. However, in the “rubber match” in race 3, it was Stanford all the way home to the finish line to take the victory in this prestigious division.

In the Women’s Alumni Division, it was not the “cat fight” that everyone imagined it might be between two very well-sailed all-women’s teams.  It was all Stanford, taking the division with a 2-0 record.

The Young Alumni Division was no different than the Women’s group. Stanford ran the table on U-Cal again with a 2-0 record.

It was a different story in the Master Alumni Division. This was the only “shining path” to victory seen by the rocket scientists at U-Cal Berkeley, taking their Stanford luddites to task with a 2-0 pasting.

In the end, it was all up to the Grandmasters Alumni Division to determine if U-Cal could save face, the northerners versus the southerners on San Francisco Bay.  It might as well be called “the Civil War”!  As some of these old guys may be old enough to remember what Grandpa told them about those crazy colonialists in the East.  Nevertheless, it was the Stanford Cardinals senior AARP cardholders and collectors of Medicare/ Medicaid that took home all the marbles in this division. Perhaps something to be said for living and going to school in warm, farm country down in south Bay!  For more The BIG Sail regatta information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Dutch J/22 Winter Series I Report

J/22 Dutch regatta winter series (Brassermermeer, The Netherlands)- The J/22 class in Europe has exhibited an extraordinary perseverance to hang tough and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with sailing a fun boat that is easy to trailer around the continent.

By far, the most popular J/22 series is hosted by the Dutch J/22 class on the famous Brassermermeer Lake.  Ten boats from France, Germany, and the Netherlands are participating in the 2018/ 2019 Winter Series.

In the first regatta, it was FRA 1444 (Brockerhoof, Michaux, Declercq) that are leading the series on a tie-breaker over the Dutch team of NED 1295 (Liselotte Verdoorn, Jan Dirk, Anneloes Rosemarijn).  Remarkably, these two teams are dominating the top of the leaderboard with a combined six 1sts, six 2nds, and four 3rds.

Third is another Dutch crew on NED 1223, led by woman helm Suzanne van Iterson, with crew of Frans, Suzanne, and Anne. They won the first race, but followed it with a 4-3-2-2-3-5-4 in eight races scored so far.    For more Dutch J/22 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 U.K. 2018 National Rankings Update

J/24s sailing off Poole, England (Poole, United Kingdom)- The United Kingdom J/24 Class continues to enjoy good participation in its regional events this year and a total of twenty-three teams participated in the five U.K. events and twelve of those participated in the 2018 J/24 World Championship recently sailed on Lake Garda, Italy.

After eight events that include regattas in Fowey, Dartmouth, Poole & Saltash in the U.K., plus Kieler Woche and the J/24 Europeans in Germany, plus the Lake Garda Worlds, the leading team appears to be David Cooper’s JAWBREAKER from Royal Western YC with a Best of 4 total of 127 points (a high points total).  Sitting just five points back is Nick McDonald’s MOJOSI from Royal Western YC and then just arrears of them in third position is James Torr’s MAJIC from Saltash Sailing Club.

At this stage, the UK J/24 Rankings are important as they serve as the UK qualifiers for the 2019 J/24 World Championship being sailed in Miami, Florida and hosted by the Coral Reef YC. The UK can qualify six teams for that event.  So, in addition to JAWBREAKER, MOJOSI, and MAJIC, the next three teams are Duncan McCarthy’s MADELEINE from Parkstone YC, Iles Kysyk’s TEAM IMPACT (an Under 25 crew) from Parkstone YC, and Austen Davies’ JAM TOO from Royal Western YC.  For more J/24 U.K. Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

BRIBON MOVISTAR Wins J/80 Catalonia Championship

J/80 Spain- Catalonia Championship winners- Bribon Movistar (Barcelona, Spain)- The 2018 J/80 Catalonia Championship was hosted by Real Club Nautico Barcelona over the past weekend for a fleet of twenty-one teams from across the region. A total of five races were held over the two days in relatively light winds, very unsteady in direction, and with quite a swell rolling across the race track. As a result, it meant a tough test for skippers, tacticians and crew that had to work hard in each of the races to stay in contention for the regatta.

Winning the regatta was past J/80 World Champion Marc de Antonia; his BRIBON MOVISTAR team posted a 1-6-1-3-3 for 8 pts net.  After a brilliant last day of racing with two bullets nearly allowed Jose Maria Pujol’s DECKMETAL to pull off a surprise win.  However, it was his first three races that prevented the dream from occurring, recording a 7-2-6-1-1 for 10 pts net.  Finally, it was Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU that took the bronze on the podium with a fairly steady tally of 2-5-3-5-2 for 12 pts net.  For more J/80 Barcelona Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Hamble Winter Series- Week 6 Report

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter Series- England (Hamble, England)- Week six of the HYS Hamble Winter Series dawned with blue skies, beautiful sunshine, and a forecast for some breeze, though nowhere near as much as the two previous weeks. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turned out, the Committee Boat, Jabberwock, refused to start and an urgent message was sent ashore. With Andy and the River Taxi alongside, the combined brainpower ascertained that it was not a loose wire, or a faulty starter battery, but that the house battery bank was to blame. With that turned off, the little 75amp hour starter battery kicked the engine into life and all was well.

J/109s sailing Hamble Series- EnglandWith the battery bank now slowly charging, the Committee Boat headed for East Knoll and the Race Team WhatsApp'd the fleet with their intentions. The forecast was for the wind to go to the East but it was 060 when they arrived on station and it never went past 070. With that direction and the forecast in mind, PRO Kathy Smalley decided on courses containing triangles, sausages and beats. The number of triangles and sausages depended on the size of the boats. Class 1 and 2 would in fact go to Royal Thames twice whereas Class 3 & 4 would not. All classes finished with a spinnaker reach to the hamblewinterseries.com buoy.

There was significant, though neap, tide crossing the start line and this made the decision on where to go interesting. Most teams in Class 1 decided to hog the boat end, which led to a number of performance enhancing expletives being heard. With a large NKY Lines container ship in the Thorn Channel, the PRO was relieved to see that the fleet knew that they had no rights whatsoever, and that they all behaved impeccably.

J/112E Davanti Tyres- Cowes,EnglandThe J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, sailed by Chaz Ivill and Paul Heyes, once again won on handicap in IRC 1 Class. As a result, after tossing out their first two “practice” races of a 3-6, they are the only team in the fifteen-boat IRC 1 Class to have posted a podium finishes; in fact, three 1sts and four 2nds.  They are leading the class by just two points, so they will have to be vigilant in their final weekends.

In IRC 2 Class, it continues to be a battle of the J/Teams.  The J/109 JAGO (Mike & Susie Yates_ was keen to keep tabs on the J/109 JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) as they are the two leaders of the series.  JAGO was OCS, despite what Mike Yates said later in the bar, they spent the race "clawing their way back into second place,” as Susie put it. JAGO went left up the second beat and put herself back in contention.

J/88s sailing Hamble Series- EnglandMeanwhile, the J/88s have been dueling it out for the balance of the podium in IRC 2 Class, as well as fighting for the lead in the J/88 One-Design class honors.  At this stage, it’s a “dead heat”, a horse race of epic proportions developing between Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS and David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM. To add to that anxiety, both boats have had their “send it down the mine shaft” type scores; TIGRIS with a 7-12 and J-DREAM with a 7-11 as their current discards.  At the moment, TIGRIS leads by one point over J-DREAM in the IRC 2 scoring.  Those two are also leading the J/88 One-design scoring, followed by Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in third.
  
In Class 3, no one was surprised to see the Greenhalgh family effort (Dad- David and daughter Libby) on their J/92 J’RONIMO leapfrog into third position on the podium once the two discards took effect after eleven races.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/88 Fleet #2 Schedule Announcement

J/88s sailing One-Design racing (Rye, New York)- After the J/88 Annual Meeting, and many long, productive discussions on coordinating with other fleets for a series of strong one-design J/88 events, the J/88 Fleet #2 is excited to announce their 2019 J/88 One-design schedule.

J/88 FLEET 2 SCHEDULE 2019:
  • Jan 24-27- St Petersburg J/Fest- St Petersburg, FL- 6 entries
  • Feb 15-17- St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL- 6 entries
  • Apr 11-14- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC- 8 entries/ 10 committed
  • Apr 27-28- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
  • May 4-5- American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
  • Jun 1-2- Cedar Point One Design- Riverside, CT- 8 committed
  • Jun 23-28- East Coast Championship- Block Island, RI- 3 entered/ 6 committed
  • Jul 15-18- NYYC 175th Anniversary Race Week- Newport, RI- 3 committed
  • Aug 3-4- RYC YRALIS Championships- Riverside, CT- 8 committed
  • Aug 10-11- New England J/Fest- Newport, RI
  • Sep 21-22- STC LIS Championship- Larchmont, NY- 9 committed
  • Sep 28-29- American YC Fall Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
  • Oct 5-6- American YC Fall Series- Rye, NY- 9 committed
  • Oct 17-20- J/88 North American Championship- Larchmont, NY- 8 committed
Please note- that in addition to the One-Design schedule, there are a number of distance races that are well attended by J/88s and, often, the J/88’s get their own section.

DISTANCE RACES
  • May 11- LYC Edlu
  • May 18- IHYC Gear Tester
  • Jun 29- RYC Stratford Shoal Race
  • Aug 29- SYC Vineyard Race
  • Oct 5- IHYC Gear Buster
For more J/88 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

AIRFORCE Three-Peats J/105 Bermuda Challenge Cup

J/105s sailing Bermuda Great Sound (Hamilton, Bermuda)- Every November, for three days, the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta is held in Bermuda. Racing is held primarily for one-design boats such as Etchells, J/105s, and International One Designs. The J/105 fleet is an invitational-only event, as they race with a combined Bermuda and International crew to compete for three awards- Bermuda and International Divisions and the Overall AXA XL International Challenge Cup series.

This year’s event ran from Thursday November 15 to Saturday, November 17 with a fabulous opening reception held at Bacardi World Headquarters in Hamilton on Wednesday November 14, 2018. Bacardi was once again the title sponsor with Bermuda Tourism Authority as a supporting sponsor.

A spokesperson from Bacardi stated: “Bacardi has always been a strong supporter of sports and in particular sailing, both in Bermuda and internationally, and is very pleased to once again support this event.  The international flavor of sailing competition and the natural camaraderie that goes with it resonates with Bacardi’s values. We wish all the competitors three days of great sailing in the pristine waters of Bermuda.”

In addition to Bacardi’s sponsorship, the J/105’s were competing for the AXA XL International Challenge Cup, a sponsorship supported by one of Bermuda’s largest re-insurance companies (their Managing Director is an active J/105 sailor in the local fleet).

J/105 sailing Bermuda's Great SoundThe J/105 fleet fielded its usual strong contingent of competitors with international helmsmen and crew hailing from the US and the UK, paired with an equal compliment of local Bermuda sailors onboard each boat. Most have participated in the event several times over the years, annually yielding one of the strongest gatherings of amateur sailors in Bermuda.

The AIRFORCE Team were the local favorites, having won it twice before.  But, the racing again proved to be very tight. There were seven J/105s competing this year in a Bermuda Series where the Bermuda skipper drives, alternating races with the international skipper for the International Series, and combined results for the AXA XL Overall Trophy.

The first day of racing produced a gorgeous sunny day of 10-20 kts with four races counting, two for the Bermudian skippers and two for the International skippers. The second day was blown-out, with winds topping 40+ kts. Fortunately, the huge North Atlantic storm passed quickly, producing another day of 10-20 kts of breeze that permitted four more races to determine the winner of the AXA XL J/105 International Challenge Cup.

As anticipated, it was the team of Bermudian Peter Bromby and Peter Snelling on AIRFORCE that ultimately won the regatta.  However, it was a rocky road to the top of the leaderboard for the AIRFORCE crew.  After four races on day one, they were sitting in third place.  Then, on the closing day they had to contend with a DSQ in Race 6 that nearly torpedoed their chances for their three-peat win.

Leading after the first day of racing with a 1-2-3-2 were the duo of Bermudian Trevor Boyce and American Stew Neff sailing YABSTA.  While sailing fast and smart on the first day helped their performance, that was not to be repeated on the closing day. The YABSTA crew could not find good pace the last four races, closing with a 6-3-4-6 to miss the win by just 2 pts and settle for the silver.

American Mike Riley and Bermudian Ed Faries on BACK IN BLACK also experienced a roller-coaster scoreline.  Closing with a 1-2-1 tally on the last day to rocket up the leaderboard from mid-fleet, taking the tie-breaker at 28 pts each over MAYHEM (American Jason Owen and Bermudian Jon Corless). Rounding out the top five was the PASSION Team (Bermudian James MacDonald and Texan Bill Lakenmacher).

For the Bermuda Division, winning was Peter Bromby, followed by Jon Corless in second and James MacDonald in third.

In the International Division, winning was Mike Riley, with Stew Neff second and Bill Lakenmacher in third position.  For all scoring of the J/105 AXA XL International Challenge Cup   Follow the Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Regatta on Facebook here  For more Royal Bermuda YC Bacardi Keelboat Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/121 Northeast Sailing Calendar 2019 Update

J/121's sailing off Newport, RI (Newport, RI)- The J/121 fleet continues to grow and next season, nearly one third of all the boats worldwide will be sailing in the New England area for the summer. Kicking off the season will be the 2nd Annual J/121 Spring Tune-up hosted by J/Boats and the Newport Shipyard. The great line-up of events continues, highlighted by Block Island Race Week, the NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta and J/Fest New England. Let the fun begin! Here is the list of the events and links.

May 17-18    J/121 Spring Tune-up/ Newport Shipyard, Newport, RI – a combination J/121 clinic/regatta with onboard coaching and daily recaps– a great way to get up to speed within weeks of spring launching. Four boats and seven owners participated in 2018 and as many as eight teams are expected for 2019.

J/121 and Storm Trysail ClubMay 24    Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race (Stamford, CT) – this 186 miler is the first offshore distance race of the season and a great shakedown for teams planning on more offshore racing during the year. It’s a commitment to get the boat down to Stamford, CT and back after the race. But, worth the effort if you want an early season challenge and some potential speed-record setting legs.
 
June 7-9    New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Newport, RI)– this is the big season opener in Newport with usually 150+ boats participating and a variety of courses. Friday is the classic round-the-island race – tailor made for the J/121.  The weekend is a choice of buoy racing or mid-distance open, course style – a great tune-up for Block Island Race Week.

Storm Trysail Block Island Race WeekJune 23-28    Block Island Race Week (Block Island, RI) – this biannual classic attracts teams from all over the east coast for five days of spectacular racing.  Storm Trysail Club will provide the J/121s (with at least 6 boats) with a class start and the ability to sail Round-the-Island type courses, which Block Island is most famous for.

July 7    Marblehead to Halifax Race (Marblehead, MA) - the principal offshore race of northern New England, this 363 mile race goes from Marblehead, MA to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

July 15-20    New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta (Newport, RI) – New York Yacht Club’s anniversary regatta only comes around every 25 years, so this is a must-attend event!  The NOR indicated that entrants must be members of NYYC or three specific guest clubs, but one can also apply to the sailing office.  With several J/121 owners being NYYC members, there’s an excellent chance for a class start.

August 10-11    J/121 Open Course Rally @ J/Fest New England (Newport, RI) – J/Boat owners from around New England will rendezvous for a fun weekend of racing and socials.

August 16    Ida Lewis Distance Race (Newport, RI) – the 15th edition of this 120nm to 165nm overnight race that starts off Fort Adams State Park and finishes inside Newport Harbor with a bottle of champagne awaiting every finisher.

August 30    Stamford-Vineyard Race (Stamford, CT) - This 238-mile course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of Plum Gut past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard on route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.

September 1    Conanicut Round the Island Race (Jamestown, RI) – the oldest continuous yacht race on Narragansett Bay, this event drew 100 boats in 2018 with the J/121 CRESCENT winning its class and finishing 2nd overall. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, December 3, 2018

CARRERA Wins 6th Argentine J/24 Title

J/24 Argentina sailing off Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The most famous J/24 fleet in Argentina may be the one situated on the Rio de La Plata, just north of downtown Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Club Nautico Olivos and their local J/24 fleet hosted the event. Sixteen competitors participated to determine the final winner of the COPA PIMMS Argentine J/24 Championship (note- this “local” fleet includes World Champions). Winning the event for the sixth time (a new record) was Matias Pereira’s team on CARRERA (A. Guerra, F. Scarpatti & J. Delgado). Here is what took place over the three-day weekend from November 16th to 19th.

Friday- Windy & Wavy
With a good 20-plus kts wind from the East Southeast, big waves and cool weather, the CN Olivos RC Team managed to complete three good races on the first day; participating were teams from Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, and an enthusiastic female crew from Uruguay!

Fast out of the box and putting establishing a firm hand on the top spot was Pereira’s CARRERA team, posting three straight bullets to lead by a wide margin.  Also enjoying the windy, wavy conditions were Sebastien Halpern’s crew on MORRUCHO (G. Mirralles, F. Monetti, and E. Despontin), posting a 5-2-2 for 9 pts.  Just behind them, it was a tie at 11 pts for third place between the SEA WOLF crew (P. Senestrari, M. Halac, P. Despontin, & skipper Guillermo Parada) and the U2 Team (G. Aporszegi, M. Ferrero, F. Ambrus & E. Pittaluga).

Saturday- Canceled
Sadly, the day dawned bright and beautiful, but the forecasted wind never materialized as the J/24s were slowly drifting down current on the Rio de La Plata headed for Antarctica!  Wisely, it was best to cancel the day’s sailing activities not long after noontime. In fact, for most teams, it was time to “party” in the Saturday evening cocktails & dinner that seemed to start much earlier than most expected!

Sunday- Gusty Shifty Northerly
The final day started with a good strong wind in the 20-plus knots range from the Northwest and, as the day progressed, it kept rotating (veering) into the NNE quadrants and slowly diminishing in pressure. Despite the difficult conditions to keep resetting marks for the Race Committee and mark boats, they managed to pull off running four races! That meant all the teams could enjoy one discard race for the final results.

In these very challenging weather conditions, it was clear the top two teams were CARRERA and SEA WOLF.  Posting their worst result of the regatta on the opening race (a 4th), the CARRERA team closed with a commanding tally of 3-1-1 to wind the regatta with just 8 pts net.  The SEA WOLF crew was hopeful that winning the first race of the day portended even better things for the next three races.  However, that was not the case.  Like the phoenix rising too close to the sun, they burned their feathers and came crashing to Earth, closing the regatta with a 6-2-3 to take the silver with 17 pts net.  With a bit more consistency, the MORRUCHO crew may have had a chance at the silver.  But, a 3-10-3-6 scoreline on the final day blew them out of contention, having to settle for third place on a 21 pts tie-breaker over RINA-ALAGUA (a famous team led by Nicolas Cubria and crew of M. Cubria, F. Bertrand, & J. Filidoro).
For more Argentina J/24 Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NEW Doublehanded Class Debuts @ Antigua Sailing Week 2019

J/121 sailing Doublehanded (English Harbour, Antigua)- In view of the ever growing demand for double-handed racing, the organizers of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) are pleased to announce 2019 will benefit from the addition of a new Doublehanded class.

Race manager Lorna Saunders says, “This will add an exciting new dimension to ASW. Safety being paramount, the Doublehanded class will have its own start and courses will be carefully planned to accommodate doublehanded participants. The courses will be a mix of round the cans, with slightly longer legs and some days a coastal race. We look forward to thrilling, competitive sailing.”

Antigua Sailing Week takes place from 28 April to 3 May and the Notice of Race is now available.  An optional Round Antigua Race takes place on the 27 April, which will also offer a doublehanded class, and is the perfect warm-up event prior to the five challenging days of Antigua Sailing Week where everyone is invited to race, chase and celebrate.

The professional race management team will continue to offer exciting racing for participants who range from fully professional campaigns to crews of family and friends.

Post-race prize-giving ceremony at the Antigua Yacht Club.
Post-race daily prize-givings and an exciting week-long social calendar, including the 10th edition of Reggae in the Park, the mid-week Lay Day Beach Party and the prestigious Final Awards Ceremony, are key events on the “must-do list” during the week.

But first, experience all of the action from our 2018 event in this fantastic recap. To get a flavor of the scenes at Antigua Sailing Week watch this highlight video here.

For any questions, please contact Lorna Saunders, Race Manager, Antigua Sailing Week- phone +1-268-717-9619 or email- Lorna@sailingweek.com   Register to join Antigua Sailing Week for 2019 here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

J/121 Nominated @ British Yachting Awards

J/121 British Yachting AwardsPerformance Yacht of the Year Category (London, United Kingdom)- The J/121 offshore speedster has been shortlisted in The British Yachting Awards 2018 Performance Yacht of the Year category.

For the first time, the established and influential Yachts and Yachting Awards and Sailing Today Awards have been combined as the British Yachting Awards. This a new event draws upon the very best boats, sailing gear, sailors, achievements, destinations, and events from the past year, placing the spotlight onto the finest of both the racing and cruising worlds.

The winners will be announced at a champagne reception from 6.30pm to 10.30pm on Tuesday, 11th December at the prestigious Royal Thames Yacht Club headquarters in Knightsbridge, London.

The winners will be published in the January 2019 issue of Yachts & Yachting and the February 2019 issue of Sailing Today, on newsstands by Friday 14 December and Friday 28 December, respectively.  A full list of Performance Yacht of the Year nominees can be found here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Bacardi J/70 Winter Series- Act I Preview

J/70s sailing offshore (Miami, FL)- The first Bacardi Invitational Winter Series will take place December 1-2, 2018, this coming weekend, on the sparkling aqua-blue waters of Biscayne Bay. Hosting the event will be Shake-A-Leg Foundation in Coconut Grove, just south of the completely refurbished Monty Trainer’s Bar and Cafe on the waterfront.

An incredibly talented fleet of eighteen boats has assembled to begin their bids to improve their performance for the 2019 sailing season.  In fact, the first major J/70 event will be the J/70 Midwinter Championship in late February 2019 that will also be sailed in the same waters of Biscayne Bay.

Leading contenders for the start of this winter series will be teams like Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT (1st 2016 J/70 Worlds), Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN- FLAT STANLEY RACING, Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE (2nd in 2018 J/70 Worlds).

The series consists of three events, the next two are scheduled as follows:
Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
Mar 6-9- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series III- Miami, FL
For more Bacardi Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Seabags Women's Sailing Team- interview of Mike Ingham

J/24 Seabags Women's Sailing Team (Portland, ME)- The SEABAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM continued to have fun racing their J/24 during the 2018 sailing season.  Their all-women crew had more than a dozen women crew cross the decks over the course of the season.  Their skipper, Erica Beck Spencer, is also the team leader, keeps the women organized, and often leads them on training weekends to keep their skills sharp. She also works closely with World-class coaches, such as Mike Ingham from the North Sails One-Design Team.

Here is Erica’s recent interview with Mike at a recent regatta:

“I love dock talks at regattas. I sit in the front row, my trusty notebook open, scratching down everything I can (because that is how I remember things best), and am never short on questions to ask the pros.  I’m a regatta nerd. Everything I learn at each dock talk and more goes in that notebook and on more than one occasion someone has approached me to say,  “I want your notebook!”

So, we’re changing the title of this blog to The Dock Talk and the Sea Bags Women’s Sailing Team hopes to share with you lessons from dock talks, insights we glean from the experts, or learnings from our own experience at regattas.

J/24 woman skipper- Eric Beck-SpencerWhile dock talks offer a wealth of information to any sailor, they do pose a challenge for even the most seasoned. The answers to questions presented at dock talks are usually just sound bites—a short answer given to maintain the attention of the audience. Responses are not usually detailed enough to change someone’s strategy or sailing practice. To that end, I am thrilled to share something new we’re going to try. Mike Ingham, US Sailing Coach of the year in 2017 and 2018 J24 North American Champion has agreed to do a question-and-answer column with us.  We plan to feature Mike regularly, so we hope you’ll check back often. For today, let’s kick off our first Q&A.

Erica: The pros all seem to be able to point higher than me and most of my fellow J24 Corinthians. I've been told it is all about flow over the keel and you can't start pointing higher until you have enough flow. I know a zillion factors affect this pointing ability, but let's talk about the big ones. And for simplification let's say that the breeze is about 8-11 knots (everyone's on the rail but we’re not overpowered.)

Mike: Let’s focus on pointing higher than VMG (Velocity Made Good: practically put VMG= optimum height/ speed angle for making progress upwind) for tactical reasons.  The range between VMG and pointing artificially high is maybe 4 degrees.  Higher than that and the speed drops off way too drastically.  So hopefully that frames the discussion.

Erica:  OK great, so how do you go about pointing high?

Mike: First off, don’t overdo it or it will backfire.  Ease into pointing by gaining speed first.  If someone is right below you (like at a start), you still can’t stick it high too quickly because until flow gets going on your foils (keel and rudder) you will just slide sideways and although your bow will be pointing high, you will go really slow and slide sideways –the worst of both!  I see many people try to point by trimming in their jib hard and although tempting, over-trimming the jib is not the way to point. When pointing considerably higher, especially in lighter winds, the pressure on jib will decrease (think the extreme of luffing) and the jib may get tighter in the leach and we may actually need to ease it.  If trying to point higher by heading up, and your jib leech telltale stalls, you need to ease.

Erica: Sounds slow. I can picture my team getting frustrated with me…

Mike: You mostly get point by simply heading up a little and paying attention to the leech of the main –you get height from over-trimming the main and thus hooking leech. I look at the top leech tale and see what % it is flowing.  If in VMG mode, I might have it stalling 50% of the time.  Then in point mode I would trim it in so it is now stalling 70-80% of the time. Over trimming the main will give you more hook.  If it comes easy with main trim, then great!  But if the hook is hard to come by, ease backstay and possibly vang. Each will straighten the mast and that makes the leech tighter.  Easing cunningham, and outhaul also add some return (hook) and thus leech tension.

Erica: What percentage of your time are you looking at the leech of the main versus the luff of the genoa?

Mike: Even though main trim is super important, I spend most of my time looking at those jib tales and just glance up and read the % stall on the main.  The important tale is the one on the biggest/ most hooked part of the roach. -if you have more than one, it’s the one that stalls first. That leech tale will alternate between flowing and stalling over a few seconds. For example, it may flow for a second, then stall for 2 seconds and translates to around 60-70% stall. I will be watching the jib tales for maybe 15 seconds then I will glance up for those 3 seconds to understand my main trim then go back to looking at the jib tales for 15 seconds and so on. In addition to that, I adjust the main trim whenever there is wind change. For example, if my target is 70% stall, and last I checked I was spot on, but then I get a lull, I will ease main and then look up and fine tune to get it back to 70%.  To circle back and relate this to pointing high, I will do this regardless of pointing, VMG, or footing, but the target stall time is what changes.
J/24 Seabags Women's Sailing Team
Erica:  We talked steering angle, jib, and main trim, what about the other controls?

Mike: Less important for sure, but worth a discussion:

  • Traveler: Pull the traveler up so the boom is just above centerline.
  • Heel: Over-flatten the boat.  You need the blades more vertical than usual to get the most lift off your blades.  It’s just a few degrees more than normal.  If you are sailing a round bottom dinghy and sailing with just 2 degrees of heel, then sail absolutely flat A keelboat you might be sailing with 6 degrees, notch that down to 4 degrees.
  • More on heel: Flattening the boat also has the added bonus of getting your sail area a bit to windward to help if the reason you are pointing is to get away from the boat to leeward
  • Controls: I don’t change a lot of the controls.  If I think I will be in point mode for a while, I might fluff up the jib halyard a little and ease the ham.
Erica: Did you just say “fluff up the jib halyard and ease the ham?” Making sure I’m paying attention?

Mike:  Ha, yeah “fluff up” is not a technical term, it means ease the halyard.  Easing the main cunningham “ham” loosens the luff and easing the jib halyard loosens the jib luff.

Erica:  All that discussion was for “ideal” 10kt conditions.  How does all that change when we are overpowered?

Mike: Once overpowered, it’s more about sailing really flat and pinching.  When overpowered the main is already eased so the top tale is always flowing.  You will still need to trim in your main when pointing, but instead of trimming to the main leech tale, you trim to keep the boat at the correct heel.   I rarely look up, instead I focus on the heel, puffs, lulls and waves.

In all conditions, you need a human speedo.  Even if you have some instruments, you still need someone on board to gauge your height/speed ratio.  They should know if you are too high and losing too much speed to make it worth it.  There is such a fine line and for sure you do have to feel it, but your human speedo will give you a visual comparing other boats to give you a sanity check.
J/24 Seabags Women's Sailing Team- Newport, RI
Erica: Sometimes I feel I can point for a while but then the wheels fall off.  What’s going on?

Mike: I find pointing a little high (1-4 deg) is ok, but pointing really high (5+deg) is unsustainable. If I really need height for some tactical reason, I look at pointing high as cyclical.   In all conditions, I will overtrim and pinch until I feel the boat start to slow then put the bow down and get speed again and so on.  It’s walking a knife’s edge and if you get it wrong by staying high too long it is a disaster!

Erica: In all conditions? Even at the start where every second counts?

Mike: Well, in short, yes, especially in a situation like the start.  But don’t confuse weather conditions with a segment of the race.  When I say “all conditions” I mean all wind conditions. There is always a VMG heading for all wind conditions and I can really get some extra height relative to that but if I go really high I can only hold it for so long before I start to slow.  Racing with waves is a different story, so I guess I did not really mean “all conditions”.

Erica: So, tell me more about height in waves.

Mike: Getting height in waves is super tricky. If you go high at the wrong time, a wave will kill all your speed.  I focus much of my attention at the upcoming waves, but I find it super helpful to have a teammate call flat spots so I know when I can point.  I often can see waves just fine and can deal with them, what I can’t see is a nice flat spot, so I often prefer my teammate calling flat spots and really bad waves, but not all the little waves.

Erica: This is brilliant Mike, thank you so much. I know I learned a lot and hope others will too.  I learn best when I have easy slogans to remind myself of key points. Some of my Mike Ingham takeaways are:
  • To point gain speed first
  • Point off the leech of the main
  • A flat boat moves sails to windward
  • Call flat spots
Follow the SEABAGS Women’s Sailing Team on Facebook here Add to Flipboard Magazine.