Friday, January 19, 2018

Monaco J/70 Winter Sportboat Series Overview

J/70 Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Kicking off the 2018 J/70 regatta circuit in Europe will be the incredibly popular YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.  Attracting three dozen crews from across Europe (Monaco, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria) the event always promises top-level competition for all participants.

Act IV of this series takes place from January 19th to 20th.  Will Russia’s top woman keelboat sailor maintain her extraordinary advantage?  Valeriya Kovalenko’s crew on ARTTUBE from Moscow has an almost unassailable advantage to become the first “two-peat” winner of the event.  Nevertheless, stranger things have happened in the capricious waters of the Bay of Hercules off the picturesque waterfront in front of what may be the world’s most famous casino in Monte Carlo.   J/70 YC Monaco Winter Series highlights video

J/70 Primo Cup MonacoPrimo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse Update
Since 1985, top European one-design sailors are to be found in Monaco at the beginning of February to compete in this first event on the Mediterranean circuit. The J/70 sailors that have been competing in YC Monaco’s Sportsboat Winter Series will have a distinct advantage, since they have been training in those waters since December 2017!

The Primo Cup- Trophy Credit Suisse takes place from February 8th to 11th.  With 800 sailors from 15 nationalities taking part, the event is unusual in that top European teams are competing on the same race area as enthusiastic amateurs. By far the largest class in the last few years has been the International J/70 Class.  Meteoric in its ascendancy to the top of the world’s sportboat classes, the YC Monaco’s embrace of the J/70 class has created a strong following not only amongst the cognoscenti of Monaco’s top sailors, but an enthusiastic group of participants from across Europe and, indeed, from across the world.  For example, participants in the J/70 class at the Primo Cup include a team from Brazil that the 4-times J/24 World Champion- Mauricio Santa Cruz from Rio de Janeiro.    YC Monaco Primo Cup sailing video Teaser   For more YC Monaco Sportsboat series J/70 sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

J/Fest St Pete Preview

J/70s sailing St Petersburg and Tampa, Florida (St Petersburg, FL)- The inaugural J/Fest St Pete 2018 will be sailed on Tampa Bay from January 19th to 21st and is being hosted by the historic and famous St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Florida.  Three fleets are participating, J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s.  For the J/88s, it represents their 2018 Midwinter Championship.

Without a Key West Race Week, it was readily apparent the active J/111 owners were looking for another outlet to escape the crazy winter weather in the north and enjoy a nice sunny, warm break in sunny southern Florida.  An excellent contingent of a half-dozen boats is participating from across the Northeast, the Midwest, and California- all are championship-caliber crews.

The current J/111 World Champion, Peter Wagner and his crew on SKELETON KEY from St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA will be hoping to continue their good performances in this highly competitive fleet.  Past J/111 Midwinter Champion and Key West Race Week winner, Rob Ruhlman and his team on SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Cleveland, OH are anticipating they will be in the hunt and giving Wagner’s crew a run-for-the-money.  Chesapeake Bay Champion, Chicago NOOD Champion and perennial contender in the North Americans, Marty Roesch on VELOCITY, is hoping his Annapolis YC crew will enjoy the Tampa Bay conditions, a body of water quite similar to their home base- the Chesapeake Bay.  Other well-sailed Midwest teams include Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from the Cleveland Yachting Club in Ohio and Brad Faber’s UTAH from Macatawa Bay YC in Michigan.  From New England is Doug Curtiss’ crew on the famous WICKED 2.0, a boat as famous for its cool paint job as for being the New England Champion, Block Island Race Week Champion, Buzzards Bay Regatta Champion and Martha’s Vineyard Round Island winner.  The 111’s should enjoy very tight racing all weekend.

The J/88’s are looking forward to compete for the title of “Midwinter Champion” on the choppy waters of the bay.  Two past Key West Race Week and J/88 Midwinter Champions will be in attendance, J/88 Class President Iris Vogel and her crew on DEVIATION from Huguenot YC in New York and Mike Bruno’s WINGS team from American YC in Rye, New York.  Top Chicago boat EXILE, sailed by Andy Graff from Chicago Corinthian YC in Chicago, Illinois, will be getting another taste of high-level competition.  And, Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS crew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin is anticipating improving their performance after lessons learned at the 88 NA’s in Youngstown, New York last summer.

Finally, the J/70s have a half-dozen boats that will promise a wide-open race-track and plenty of opportunities to have passing lanes upwind and downwind.  As a result, it makes for a dangerous race course, no matter who is leading the race.  Watch out for one of Italy’s top international sailors sailing the event as a warm-up for the J/70 Midwinters and Bacardi Cup J/70 Regatta later in March- Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO team are a formidable bunch, having won World Championships in Farr 40s, M32s, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and recognized as YC Monaco’s Yachtsman of the Year in 2016.
For more J/Fest St Pete sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

J/32 COURAGE- the passage was cool!

J/32 Courage in Caribbean(Sakonnet River, Rhode Island, United States of America)-  Bob Kowalski- proud owner of the J/32 COURAGE provided us a quick synopsis of his “courageous” passage down to the islands (Caribbean) in the fall of 2017.  Here is Bob’s commentary:

“So, I soloed COURAGE, my lovely J/32, from Sakonnet Point (the east side of Aquidneck Island/ Newport, RI) to Brewers Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands through two storms; yeah, two of them!

One was real fun, and I did over 200 miles in a day going 10+ knots for a good amount of time until a lower started to fray. Amazing boat, yup, she’s ‘just a cruiser’, says your Uncle Rod. Not! She flies!

The other storm, not so fun!  Heaved-to for over 24 hours.  I call it “the magic storm”.  With every wave, a thousand bucks disappeared off the deck!!  OMFG, it was crazy.  Never seen ‘nuthin like it!

But, I’m thinking that I am feeling pretty good about myself, almost beating my chest. Pulled into Nanny Cay to do the repairs next to a J/35 called SUNDAY.  Very nice Dutch couple.  They have sailed around the world on SUNDAY; done two Atlantic crossings and their boat survived Hurricane Irma. But, she looks PERFECT!  I’m humbled. Can learn a lot from this Dutch couple on their J/35, so cool!

Oh, BTW, I did the trip- 1,500+ nautical miles- in 10 days. I’m wondering, do I get a “throw-out” for the 24 hours when I heaved-to?  Can I subtract that and call it 9 days for my passage?  Haha!

Thought you guys would like to hear about it.  Amazing boat!  Awesome cruiser!  Thank you Al and Rod, keep up the great work!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Monaco 2K Team Race Report

J/70s sailing 2x2 team race Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Nine teams went to Monaco for 2K Tour grand finale. The 2K Tour comprises seven events in England, Italy, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands. Targeted at young sailors aged 20-25 from major yacht clubs, this is a team race two-against-two format with races every 15 minutes and no spinnakers allowed. It’s not about speed, but mastering tactics and techniques that requires total concentration by competitors who must avoid coming last at all costs in each round robin.

This is the second time the Yacht Club de Monaco has hosted the season’s final event, making its facilities and J/70 fleet available to participants. This year the Principality was represented by François Brenac and Pierrik Devic.

J/70s sailing off MonacoThe racing took place from the 15th to 17th of December 2017. Eighteen mixed teams representing nine yacht clubs made the trip to the YC Monaco.

A steady 15-knot southwesterly kept up the pressure and pace with a total of 44 races completed over the weekend. With fewer than 20 minutes for each two-on-two match race, consistency was key. Every 4th place is synonymous with defeat as it’s impossible to recover in the rankings. With sailors ready to pounce, it was clear this was going to be a closely fought battle.

Newcomers to the circuit, the Monegasques led by Pierrik Devic and Francois Brenac held their own, making life difficult for the top teams. Every maneuver was a match-racing demo as competitors strived to exploit leeward positions to push opponents offside and maintain their boat’s priority position to the finish. This year’s finale went down to the wire with the British crew from the Royal Thames Yacht Club nipping the Nautico di Roma team to win the 2K Tour Grand Finale.  For more 2K Tour Grand Finale sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Charter The World’s Coolest J/122?

J/122 EL OCASO sailing Caribbean Why Not! WIN Silverware for the Trophy Room!
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Caribbean Yacht Racing was founded on the idea to make racing in the Caribbean on a truly race-ready yacht a reality and a really, really fun time.

The goal is to make your experience not only fun, but to offer you a proven yacht to truly compete in some of the best yacht racing venues in the world!

Caribbean Yacht Racing offers the world-famous, race-ready, J/122 EL OCASO for J/Boats’ aficionados.

EL OCASO is one of the most consistent podium-finishing racing yachts on the Caribbean Sailing circuit and is a past winner of the Caribbean 600, Antigua Sailing Week, St. Thomas, BVI Regatta, and Heineken-St Maarten Regattas.

Why? Because Caribbean racing has random-leg courses that requires a boat that can race successfully on every point of sail- upwind, downwind, reaching from light to medium to heavy airs.  No wonder smart sailors in the Caribbean have chosen versatile boats like the J/122 to excel, have fun, and get their fair share of silverware!

CYR is a boutique charter business and caters to teams that want to experience a Caribbean regatta, but also want to race in a very competitive class and have a yacht that is truly race-ready.  The KEY-> have FUN and WIN some SILVER ‘mon!

EL OCASO is setup to race and offers charter customers the absolute best chance to be successful from the moment they leave the dock. Charters are available for 2018 and the CYR team can assist with everything from travel logistics to lodging & food.  Visit the website: http://www.caribbeanyachtracing.com or email Bob Hillier- bob@caribbeanyachtracing.com Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

J/90 HOT TODDY Wins F.O.R.C.

J/90 Hot Toddy wins Pensacola, FL offshore (Pensacola, FL)- The 43rd West Florida Ocean Racing Circuit, held at Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC), provided a good variety of wind conditions for the three-day series. This factor was appreciated by both local and out-of-town competitors who were all too weary of this year's active hurricane season—including Hurricane Nate, whose Oct. 8 landfall near Biloxi, MS, also caused damage to PYC's marina.

Fortunately, PYC's dockmaster, Greg Spitzer, had matters well in hand before WFORC began. A widely distributed email reassured everyone that necessary repairs were made, and along with the club's bulkhead space, three-ton hoist, and newly widened boat ramp, the regatta would start as scheduled.

PYC also offered visiting competitors' boats and trailers storage for up to one week prior to and after the regatta without any storage charge.

Last year, 30 boats competed, including five that participated concurrently in the first WFORC Ocean Race.

For 2017, the fleet totaled 14, including three who did just the Ocean Race. It is opined that the recent storms had impacted many along the Gulf Coast who normally participate in this highly competitive event.

PYC's fleet captain, John D. (Dave) Oerting, had established the Ocean Race in his desire to be all-inclusive and offer something for everyone. "It provides an option for those who aren't equipped for three days of racing; for those who don't perform well in W-L buoy races, and for those who harken back to the earlier WFORC days when the series actually included offshore racing," Oerting explained.

Clinton Edwards (Gulfport), the Gulf Yachting Association's Race Management Committee chair, was Principal Race Officer (PRO) for Friday's three races. PRO for Saturday's distance Ocean Race and the final two races on Sunday was PYC's Richard Brent.

With six races completed, competitors were allowed to drop one race score.

Class awards for first place were presented after Day 1 and Day 2. On Sunday, class awards were awarded for first, second, and third overall. However, a familiar name was called to accept the coveted Dr. Lindsay Riddle Trophy for the most competitive PHRF class. John Guy of Saint Andrews Bay YC, skippering his J/90 HOT TODDY, accepted the perpetual trophy for a record seven times!! And, for the first time, he also won the Commodore Ronald F. Richards Memorial Trophy for overall winner, Spinnaker Class A, corrected time.

Guy was understandably a little overwhelmed. He told the crowd that he considers Pensacola his second home and vacations here every year in anticipation of WFORC. He graciously thanked long-time Pensacola sailors Hunter Riddle (son of the late Dr. Riddle) and Rick Zern for having "taught me how to sail."

But, the real kudos went to his crew. "This sport, he said, "runs on people and money. The better people you have, the better you can do."

2017 WFORC overall winning crew. From left: Dan Peckham, Jupiter, FL; Rives Allen, Mandeville, LA; PYC's Vice Commodore Linda Brent; skipper John Guy, Thomasville, GA/Panama City, FL; Billy Ross, Mandeville, LA; James "Pee Wee" Chason, Pensacola, FL; John Tribaldos, Panama City, FL; and Alex Johnson, Panama City, FL.  Photo by Julie B. Connerley Add to Flipboard Magazine.

VOLVO Wins J/70 Chile Nationals

J/70 sailing Chile Nationals (Algarrobo, Chile)- In the third week of December, the Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico hosted the 2017 J/70 Chilean Nationals off Algarrobo, Chile.  The fleet of fourteen boats was blessed with great conditions all weekend, with sunny skies and 8-12 kts on the first day and a much windier, sunny day on Sunday with 14-20 kts.  An enormous swell was hitting the coastline, a result of a huge storm offshore in the Pacific Ocean, making for fantastic long surfs on the first day, with high double-digit planing conditions on the second.  A total of six races were completed for the championship.

J/70 sailing off Algarrobo, ChileIn the end, it was a former J/24 South American Champion, Matias Seguel on VOLVO, that was crowned as the 2017 Chilean J/70 National Champion.  After winning five races, it was clear they had mastered the J/70 quickly and won with just 7 pts total.

Meanwhile, it was a tight series for the next three teams and a real battle for the next two spots on the podium.  Winning that battle was Andres Ducasse skippering TSUNAMI, compiling a 4-4-3-2-3-5 tally for 21 pts to take the silver.  Just one point back taking the bronze was Pablo Amunategui’s KENMORE with a 5-3-6-3-2-3 record for 22 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Juan Eduardo Reid’s WINDMADE sailing J/70 #1 (yes, that’s true!) into 4th position with 28 pts, followed by Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI in 5th place with 37 pts.  For more Chile J/70 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CACIQUE Dominates PIMMS Cup

J/24 PIMMS Cup Buenos Aires, Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- In mid-December, the Club Nautico Olivos just north of Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted the COPA PIMMS on the Rio de la Plata for the J/24 class.  The weather was not the best as only three races could be held over the two-day event for the nine-boat J/24 fleet.

Club Nautico Olivos hosts the Pimms Cup as their traditional closing of the racing season. They provide a very, very relaxed atmosphere after Saturday's racing. The sailors have a great time, there is lots of camaraderie, music, good food and abundant drink based on the classic English liquor with soda, strawberries, and mint.  The “bartender” is famous for this concoction, and many sailors got the complete recipe from Ken Johnson! Finally, in a simple ceremony, after the regattas on Sunday, the CNO organizes a very nice award ceremony to end the 2017 regatta season.

J/24s sailing ArgentinaThe winner of the 2017 COPA PIMMS was Santiago Doval’s crew on CACIQUE with the unassailable record of three bullets for 3 pts total! However, behind him the standings were about as clear as the muddy waters of the Rio Plata! And, it was a seesaw battle until the very end.  Winning the fight was Nicolas Cubria’s RINA ALAGUA with a consistent 4-3-3 tally for 10 pts.  Only one point back was Andres Guerra’s CARRERA with a 2-5-4 record for 11 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Rodrigo Benedetto’s HAIK-THOMSON REUTERS with 13 pts to take 4th place and lying in 5th position was Gonzalo Nandin’s NOCTURNO with 17 pts.  For more Argentina J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CATAPULT Vaults To J/70 Winter Series Win

J/70s sailing Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL)– Fifty-three J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the middle weekend of the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series. Chilly, but sunny conditions, greeted the crews, with winds that ranged from 8-10 knot breezes on Saturday to 16+ knots on Sunday.  The DIYC PRO/ RC team, yet again, did wonderful job to complete three races each day… much to the delight of all the sailors on the water seeking to escape the deep freeze, sub-zero temperatures not that far north of the race course!

Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT topped the fleet with 9 net points, dropping a fifth in Saturday’s last contest and otherwise keeping all top three finishes. Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE took second place with 20 points. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, who won the first weekend of the Series in December, was just one point back in third.

No question, this event marked the beginning for a number of teams as their “training regattas” leading up to the 2018 J/70 World Championship that will be sailed in Marblehead, MA, hosted by Eastern YC in September 2018.  For example, Ronning’s team included his 2016 World Championship tactician- John “JK” Kostecki from San Francisco, CA.  John is a past J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup tactician- considered one of the world’s best.  That’s for starters.

J/70s sailing Tampa BayGiven that SAVASANA’s Brian Keane, himself a College All-American, College Singlehanded Champion, J/80 & J/105 Champion, and has America’s top USA Olympic 49er skipper Stu McNay as his mainsheet/ tactician, it’s not surprising the competition is tough.

But, who is “Mr Pitiful”??  Seriously, a wildcard from the Northwest?? NOT!! Such is the talent in the Pacific Northwest.  Brothers Jonathan and Charlie McKee, both World Champions and Olympic Medallists in their own right in various classes, have often gotten blown-out in local racing by such local Seattle talents like Kevin Downey and friends such as the Buchan family (John, Carl, etc).

Yes, it is a remarkably smart and talented group of sailors in Puget Sound. J/24 sailors can reference world-class talents like Mark Laura (a USA J/24 National Champion) and Keith Whittemore- the 2017 European Champion on Lake Balaton in Hungary! In other words, despite sailing in flat water, no wind, and eternal mists gently wafting over Puget Sound or Lake Washington, they are not hacks.  Quite the contrary, easily some of the world's most formidable competitors!

J/70s sailing Tampa BayOf note, rounding out the top five in this event was Peter Cunningham from the Cayman Islands, sailing POWERPLAY RACING team into a strong close of a 9-4-5 in the 53-boat fleet. Not bad for a 70+ year old skipper amongst some of the world’s best sailors!

The 22-boat Corinthian division was topped by Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH.  As a result of winning race 2, they held on to that euphoric finish position in this talented fleet to finish 10th overall.  Second was Nancy Glover’s crew on WINTER WIND, skippered by a good friend of hers, the famous Corpus Christi sailor- Mark Foster. Third in the division was Frank McNamara’s ever-consistent CHINOOK.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 and North U combined forces for the “Porch Series” to offer practice races and coaching. Racing concludes at Davis Island Yacht Club on February 9-11. For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Dreaming of Summer? Winter Boat Shows Update!

J/70s sailing full moon Scandinavia(Newport, RI)- With winter reaching out to make life miserable in the northern hemispheres, it’s a great time to dive indoors to a large, warm, exhibition hall and visit J/Boats dealers participating in winter 2018 boat shows to get the latest information and scoop on the newest offerings from J/Boats.  Here is a list of them to add to your future travel plans!

J/121 SAIL Best Boats winnerJanuary 20th to 28th- boot Dusseldorf Show
On Display are J/97E, J/112E, and New J/121
With over 300 sailboat related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.  Das boot, the boat show in Dusseldorf, Germany, takes place from January 20th to 28th, 2018.

On display in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be three choices for J/Tribe aficionados.  For those into performance, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making her European boat show debut; learn why she was chosen SAIL Best Boat- Performance Over 30 feet Award and SAILING WORLD’s Boat of the Year- Best Crossover Award.

And, check out those new fast, comfortable sport cruisers- the J/97E and the J/112E. The next-generation sport-cruisers, the “E” series of the J/97E and J/112E, are proving to be quite popular in Europe.  At the Paris Boat Show, the J/112E had an enthusiastic reception with sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with lots of expansive comfort on deck and down below in the sunny interior.   For more Boot Dusseldorf show information.

J/97E sport cruiser sailing fastJanuary 26th to February 3rd- Seattle Show
For a week, you get a chance to escape the lovely grey, drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest and pretend it is always sunny, warm, and pleasant by going inside the pavilion at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Visit Booth WEST 4 to see the easy-to-sail 31 foot sport cruiser that has been taking the European offshore buoy events by storm- the lovely and incredibly roomy J/97E.  On hand to help you chat about the 97E and the latest in the J/Boats range (like the new J/121 Offshore Speedster) will be the team from SAIL Northwest. For an appointment, please call Bob Ross at SAIL NORTHWEST- ph (206) 286-1004 or email- bob@sailnorthwest.com.  For more Seattle Boat Show information

Sunday, January 14, 2018

3 BIG DOGS Top SBYC Holiday Regatta

J/70 offshore (Santa Barbara, CA)- Just before Christmas, the Santa Barbara YC in Santa Barbara, California hosts their annual SBYC Holiday Regatta.  The sailors have a wonderful time, often dress up in Christmas themes (like Santa, elves, etc.), and look forward to an awesome holiday party at the club on Saturday evening.  The turn-out for the event this year was higher than previous years with a very competitive J/70 fleet in attendance.

The regatta took place on December 2nd and 3rd.  Those were happy times.  Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS crew finally got their “mojo” going and won two races in the four races sailed, but only won by one point!  With a winning tally of 1-2-2 after three races, all Scott and Leslie Deardorff’s crew on CAKE had to do was sail in the same waters as the “big doggers” and win the regatta.  However, that didn’t happen, with the CAKE crew “eating crow” instead, posting a 5th in the final race to disappointingly drop to second for the regatta with 10 pts total.  Third for the event was Tom Tunberg’s NAMASTE with a 4-1-3-6 record for 14 pts.  The J/70 sailors celebrated the fun weekend of racing and the awards afterwards on the beautiful deck of Santa Barbara YC overlooking the Pacific Ocean sunset.  Those celebrations were short-lived.

Santa Barbara Thomas FireWhat no one ever anticipated, of course, was that only one day later- December 4th, the so-called “Thomas Fire” would start and end up blazing out of control due to powerful “Santa Ana” winds that blow hot, dry air offshore.  The Thomas Fire would end up burning 273,400 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, causing traffic disruptions, school closures, hazardous air conditions, and power outages.  As 2018 started, California firefighters were still fighting the Thomas Fire, the single largest wildfire in California history.

Then, this past week, a massive “pineapple express” weather scenario descended upon the region, not a good thing. An enormous Pacific depression swept south from the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, pulling in huge amounts of moisture from as far away as Hawaii (e.g. the pineapple express source), creating a deluge of rain, falling in massive amounts in a few short hours as it hit the coasts.

Exacerbating the scenario were the high (up to 4,000 ft) mountain ranges along the Southern California coastline northwest of Los Angeles, the tall peaks creating a “compression” that simply squeezes more rain out of the systems.

J/70 CAKE in Santa Barbara, CAThe net result was that mountainsides de-nuded of any brush or trees from the wildfires simply produced landslides and huge mudslides that swept down valleys and to the ocean, creating walls of mud up to 4 feet high (1.25 meters) racing downhill, crushing anything in its path- houses, fences, trees, cars, boats, bridges, and sadly people, too.  Over ten miles of Route 101 highway along the Pacific Coast were closed from Ventura west to the Santa Barbara; some parts of the highway are under 10 feet of mud and debris.

Incredibly, Scott and Leslie Deardorff’s J/70 CAKE survived one of those massive mudslides, but one of their buildings didn’t, nor did a car, but thankfully their family is OK and so is their main house.  The photos here don’t do it justice, nor indicate how frightening it was.  According to Scott, “it sounded like a freight train coming down the hill at us”.  For more Santa Barbara YC J/70 fleet sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

StFYC Yachtsman of the Year- Nicole Breault!!

Nicole Breault- St Francis YC Yachtsmen of the Year(San Francisco, CA)- St Francis YC Names “Yachtswomen of the Year”!  

Nicole Breault awarded the Jerome B White Trophy, awarded annually, for St Francis YC’s “Yachtsman of the Year”! 

There are many famous yachtsmen that have been awarded that trophy- such as Tom Blackaller, to name one. Nicole is the first woman, ever, to have a plaque on the trophy.

Nicole Breault has been an important role model in motivating women to improve their skills and lose their fear of taking responsibility on board. She created and coached the immensely successful women’s Learn to Sail program in the spring, the women’s Learn to Match Race program in the summer, and was an on-going supporter and leader of the Wednesday night J/22 program, which has attracted younger people to join the Club and has enabled many regular members to come out of retirement and go sailing.

In addition to coaching, she was either skipper or main/tactician winning nine major regattas this year on both coasts:
  • St. Francis YC Spring One Design (main/tactician)
  • San Francisco J/Fest (main/tactician)
  • San Francisco YC Resin Regatta (main/tactician)
  • Cedar Point YC One Design Regatta (main/tactician)
  • Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week (main/tactician)
  • Hinman Grand Masters Team Race (skipper)
  • Buzzards Bay Regatta (skipper)
  • Storm Trysail Ted Hood Regatta (skipper)
  • American Yacht Club Fall Series (skipper)
She also serves as national grading secretary for US Match Racing, a time-consuming job given the numerous events around the country, is an active participant on the US Match Racing Committee where she chairs the Women’s Match Racing Subcommittee and is the top-ranked woman’s match racer in the U.S.A. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 12, 2018

J/88 One-Design Report

J/88 sailing Solent (Rye, New York)- The J/88 USA Class President, Iris Vogel (owner of DEVIATION), provided a highlight of J/88 class activity in the USA for 2017 and an overview of what will be happening in 2018.

Iris commented, “2017 has been an amazing year for the J/88 class.  We had more than ten one-design events in Long Island Sound and all over the country.  Here is the list of each event and number of boats in attendance:
  • Key West Race Week- Key West, FL- seven boats
  • Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC- five boats
  • American YC Spring Series- Rye, NY- seven boats
  • Larchmont YC Edlu Distance Race- Larchmont, NY- five boats
  • Cedar Point One Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT- nine boats
  • East Coast Championship/ Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI- seven boats
  • J/88 North American Championship- Youngstown, NY- twelve boats
  • YRA LIS Championships- Riverside, CT- five boats
  • Storm Trysail Club Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT- four boats
  • Storm Trysail Club Championships- Riverside, CT- seven boats
  • American YC Fall Series- Rye, NY- nine boats
Congratulations to the winners! But, most of all to everyone who participated and helped the class to grow.  We will have new boats joining the fleet and a great schedule for 2018, see the website (http://www.J88class.org) for a complete listing of one design events.

There is still time to enter the J/Fest in St. Petersburg, FL on Jan 19-21; St Pete NOOD on February 16-18; and Charleston Race Week April 12-15.  The DEVIATION crew is also doing the J-Cup in Cowes, England on May 25-27; we expect that should be great fun!!

The great thing about a J/88 is the travel regattas that you can attend, the boat is incredibly easy to rig up/ take down, trailer anywhere, and launch using most yacht club 3-ton cranes.  So, if you need help with boat deliveries or logistics, contact me and I will make it happen!

Wishing you and your families all the best for the Holidays and New Year!”  Cheers, Iris Vogel

For more J/88 family speedster/ one-design sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

New York YC Awards Feature J/70 Sailors!

J/70 woman skipper- Heather Gregg of MUSE(New York, NY)-  The top Corinthians sailors at the recent J/70 North Americans included Heather Gregg’s MUSE and Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY; both received awards from NYYC Commodore Phil Lotz.  In addition, current J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan received the Mosbacher Trophy.

What do the current J/70, Etchells and Farr 40 World Champions have in common? They're all members of the New York Yacht Club. The competition for the Club's 2017 Mosbacher Trophy, the Club's “Sailor of the Year Award”, couldn't have been closer.

Peter Duncan- Skipper Relative ObscurityAs impressive as it was, Peter Duncan's win in September's 162-boat J/70 World Championship merely earned him a seat at the finalists' table. What tipped things in his favor was a track record of strong finishes in two other classes. Duncan also had a strong year in the Etchells, including a third in the Atlantic Coast Championships and a third overall in the 2016- '17 Biscayne Bay Winter Series, and he was sixth in the Melges 24 National Championships.  Here is Stu Streuli’s interview with Peter after the celebration at the 44th Street club event.

Reportedly, you attended the awards under a misapprehension? Did you really not know you were up for the Mosbacher?
I knew a little bit before it was announced. I was thinking that I was going to watch my sister, Peggy Comfort, receive an award. That's why I was going here. But I figured it out when I realized she was getting on a plane to go to Europe.

What's your reaction to winning the award, especially since you do so much sailing in western Long Island Sound, where Bus Mosbacher forged his legend more than half a century ago?
He was one of the greatest sailors who ever lived, and this is just an incredible honor. It's truly a hell of an accomplishment. To see the quality of the other nominees this year; it's unbelievable what the membership did this year. I'm still in a little bit of shock that I received the award. I'm most appreciative.

Did you ever meet him (Bus)?
I did when I was much younger, at an event at American Yacht Club. I don't remember an awful lot. But I was in awe. He was of a different era, a tremendous success on the water and in the business world. That's been a great example for me to live by.

Your capstone achievement was a win in the J/70 Worlds in Sardinia, where you beat 161 boats. How do you go best that large a fleet?
The fleet was split into four different groups, and in the qualifier series we raced against each of the other groups, so you only had 80 boats on the staring line. I enjoy sailing in big fleets and starting on big starting lines. It was very exciting, and you can get buried rapidly if you make a mistake.

Why are you so comfortable in such big fleets?
Because I've raced Etchells for a number of years. I think the most Etchells we ever had on a starting line was 103 up in Marblehead, back in '98, which we did really well in. I'm kind of used to it. Now the J/70 class is getting very large numbers on the line. Earlier last year, we did a Melges 24 regatta that had about 85 boats on the starting line. In addition to the size of the fleet, the weather played a role, with mistral conditions cancelling the first two days of a four-day event, leaving just one day for qualifying and one day for the finals. It worked out well for us because it was a little more compact and we came out of the blocks as quickly as we did. You had to be on your toes in all moments in that event.

What have you found to be the secrets to success in the J/70?
You've got to work the boat all the time; you have to be very active. The helm is very neutral, so they're sometimes very hard to steer. It's just a matter of really working the boat always. That was something that we tried to excel in last year.

Does cross training really benefit you in sailing?
So many sailors specialize in one class at a time. I think it's always good to sail against different people and in different classes to get a general sense of how other people look at things. [The Etchells and J/70] in particular are different. We also sailed the Melges 24 Worlds and Nationals last year, which were a great help as well. The more sailing you can do, the better off you are. We took it to the extreme last year; we were on the water a lot

Any particular reason you were able to sail so much in 2017?
It was due to a confluence of things working out, and having a really nice family that afforded me the opportunity to take that much time off.

Aside from the Worlds, is there anything else that stands out?
The thing that really got us very jazzed up what when we won the Italian J/70 Nationals in late July. We sailed against a lot of the top boats that were going to sail in the J/70 Worlds, and we won the last race on the last day and that was very satisfying.

After this year, with the J/70 World title and the Mosbacher, has your sailing bucket list gotten any shorter?
I'm not sure. We're going to be out there pounding away again. Just to let everybody know that we're still around. We're going to be doing a significant amount of both Etchells and J/70 sailing this year, just like we did last year, and focusing on the Worlds like we did in each of the classes. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Winter J/80 Cyprus Sailing Announcement

J/80 sailing Cyprus (Limassol, Cyprus)- The winter J/80 Cyprus Championship is an annual series of regattas hosted by SailFirst Sailing Club at St Raphael Marina in Limassol, Cyprus. Participation is open for both experienced sailors and novices as existing crews or individuals.  Teams have often come from Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine and across Europe as this gorgeous “destination resort” is popular amongst eastern Europeans.

The regatta is run in three “acts” from January to March using the club’s fleet of a dozen J/80 one-design sailboats.  The first event is January 21st, the second is February 18th, and the third is March 25th. All events have intermediate “training days” available for individuals or crews.  The costs for sailing in this eastern Mediterranean resort are incredible reasonable- 350 EUR for an entire crew or just 70 EUR for each person on a boat for each stage.  All-in for all three events is only 1,050 EUR for a crew or 210 EUR for a single crew person.  NOTE- this is far less cost than chartering a J/22, J/24, J/70, or J/80 in any event in the USA or Europe.

J/80 sailing Cyprus, LimassolThe fees include two training days, all racing and coaching, referees on the water and all boat maintenance.

The St Raphael Marina is an official port of entry for Cyprus.  It’s located at the eastern edge of Limassol on the south coast of the island of Cyprus. St Raphael Marina has long been a recognized landmark in the town’s history and is located close to the major inter-city highway network, linking St Raphael Marina to both Larnaca and Pafos international Airports.  For more information, please contact SailFirst Sailing Club- ph# +357 7000240/ email- info@sailfirst.com

Watch this AnyWayAnyDay Cup Cyprus sailing video here to get a flavor of what it’s like to sail off Cyprus in the eastern Med.  To learn more about Cyprus as a resort destination, watch this video here to get an understanding of the extraordinary beauty of this island nation.  Learn more about J/80 Cyprus Championship here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PELLE NERA Leads Anzio Nettuno Winter Series- Act V

J/24 sailing Italy (Anzio & Nettuno, Italy)- On a day characterized by weak and variable winds coming from the North and large residual waves from the storm of the previous day; the sailing conditions put a strain on tactics and helmsmen. The fifth round of the 43rd J/24 Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno took place with twenty-two crews of the Roman J/24 fleet.

The fifth regatta was won by ITA 416 NUVOLA skippered by Ignazio Bonanno from the Italian Navy. In second place was ITA 40 ALBA CHIARA skippered by Stefano Venturi, followed in third by ITA 447 PELLE NERA owned by Paolo Cecamore and skippered by the Hungarian J/24 Champion Farkas Litkey, now at home in the waters of Anzio.

As a result of the final event in 2017, PELLE NERA from Nettuno YC is leading the Winter series with just 6 pts in the provisional standings.  They are followed in second ITA 210 CESARE JULIO skippered by Pietro Massimo Meriggi sitting on 15 pts total.  Then, in third position with 19 pts is ITA 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE sailed by Paolo Rinaldi. Rounding out the provisional top five are ITA 428 REDS (Gianni Riccobono) and ITA 358 ARPIIONE (Michele Potenza) in 4th and 5th, respectively.

The second part of the Roman Anzio & Nettuno Winter Series will take place on January 14th & 28th, February 11th & 25th,  and will end on Sunday March 11th.  For more Italian J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.
women's J/70 sailorsSAILING Champions League Launches Youth & Women’s Divisions!
(Hamburg, Germany/ Paris, France)- Less than four years ago, the SAILING Champions League was little more than an idea.  But, since then the inter-club competition format has taken off like wildfire. In early December, the International Sailing League Association (ISLA) met in Paris where representatives of 12 of the 17 member nations gathered to make ambitious plans for expansion into even more territories for the coming year.

In 2017, Sailing League events took place in 17 countries. For 2018, the goal is for 20 countries. President of ISLA, Peter Wolsing, is looking forward to expanding the format and creating special Leagues to attract more youth and women participation. “As an umbrella organization of the national Sailing League, it is our job to promote the exchange and experience of league sailing between countries and to develop new, innovative formats along with the SAILING Champions League.  In 2018, we are launching the Youth SAILING Champions League and the Women SAILING Champions League.  Together, these initiatives are another big step towards bringing league sailing to a wider group of sailors.  In addition, it also makes the SAILING Champions League events more attractive and inclusive for our sponsors.”

The meeting in Paris was an opportunity to share ideas, from country to country, and to cross-fertilize the best of those ideas so they can be adopted throughout the Sailing League world. Founder of the SAILING Champions League, Oliver Schwall, commented, “The SAILING Champions League and ISLA has proven to be an excellent innovation in the world of sailing. In the past year, 17 nations and 300 yacht clubs followed the format and enjoyed great success in their respective regions. However, the next step in securing the future of League sailing is to bring more standardization of the format, unified rules, and guidelines for optimal logistics.”

One such example of standardization is to develop a “Call Book” for race management and umpires, and create this in conjunction with World Sailing.

At the same time, ISLA recognizes that different nations have different sailing cultures and what works for one region may need to be tailored and altered for another. Not all countries move at the same speed, but it’s clear that the League concept has captured the imagination of sailors and sailing clubs around the world. Oliver Schwall concluded,  “This movement has the potential to create a long-lasting transformation in our sport of sailing.”

The ISLA - Facts & Figures
  • 17 nations represented in 2017
  • Most countries have more than 5 Sailing League events per year.
  • Between 12 to 20 clubs take part in league sailing in each country, and usually they have a team of 10 +/- people involved in their club sailing project.
  • 4 countries have more than 36 clubs participating in their national league.
  • All ISLA nations are very active on social media.
For more information about the SAILING Champions League and ISLA Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sea of Dreams: 2017 Audi J/70 World Championship

J/70 women's sailors from GermanyFeatured in The Virginia Sportsman Magazine
(Alexandria, Virginia)- As part of the 2017 AUDI J/70 World Championship hosted by YC Costa Smeralda off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, the renowned yachting journalist, Louay Habib from the United Kingdom, wrote an article about the experience and how various Virginia yachtsmen/ sportsmen featured in the event.

To read this most excellent article in The Virginia Sportsman, please click here and open up the Acrobat PDF file. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Winter Boat Show 2018 Calendar!

J/70s sailing full moon ScandinaviaDreaming About Summer Moonlight Sailing? Visit Winter Boat Shows!
(Newport, RI)- With old man winter rearing his ugly head after the holidays, the USA/Canada and Europe are beset by a series of ferocious winter storms.  It’s a great time to dive indoors to a large, warm, exhibition hall and visit J/Boats dealers participating in winter 2018 boat shows to get the latest information and scoop on the newest offerings from J/Boats.  Here is a list of them to add to your future travel plans!

January 10 to 14- London EXCEL Boat Show
For next week, take the opportunity to swing by the London Boat Show at the EXCEL Center and get a chance to speak to J/UK representatives about the exciting new, revolutionary J/121 Offshore Speedster.  And, get the inside story on the evolution of the new “E” series of sport cruisers- the J/97E, J/112E, and J/122E.  J/UK team members were on the winning J/112E DAVANTI TYRES in the Hamble Winter Series- also crowned the “Yacht of the Series”.  Also, on display will be the world famous J/70 one-design speedster (http://www.jboats.com/j70).  The show takes place from 10th to 14th January 2018 (the J/Owners party is Thursday, 11th January).  For an appointment, please contact Paul Heys at mobile# +44 7802 264141 or email- paul@keyyachting.com  J/UK & Key Yachting will have their display at Stand LD100 at the EXCEL LONDON Pavilion.  For more show information- https://www.londonboatshow.com/exhibitors/key-yachting

January 10 to 14- Chicago Sailboat Show
From January 10th to 14th, Chicago and Midwest J/dealer Richie Stearns from Stearns Boating will be on-site in Booth S2021 to talk about 2018 summer sailing season plans on Lake Michigan.  Chat with him about prospects for the J/121 offshore speedster on the Great Lakes and the development of several one-design classes locally- like the J/70, J/88 and J/111.  For an appointment, contact Richie at ph# (312) 994-9153 or email- rich@stearnsboating.com.  For more Chicago Boat Show information- http://www.chicagoboatshow.com/

January 20th to 28th- boot Dusseldorf Boat Show
On Display are J/97E, J/112E, and New J/121
With over 300 sailboat related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.  Das boot, the boat show in Dusseldorf, Germany, takes place from January 20th to 28th, 2018.

On display in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be three choices for J/Tribe aficionados.  For those into performance, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making her European boat show debut; learn why she was chosen SAIL Best Boat- Performance Over 30 feet Award and SAILING WORLD’s Boat of the Year- Best Crossover Award.

And, check out those new fast, comfortable sport cruisers- the J/97E and the J/112E. The next-generation sport-cruisers, the “E” series of the J/97E and J/112E, are proving to be quite popular in Europe.  At the Paris Boat Show, the J/112E had an enthusiastic reception with sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with lots of expansive comfort on deck and down below in the sunny interior.   For more Boot Dusseldorf show information.

January 26th to February 3rd- Seattle Boat Show
For a week, you get a chance to escape the lovely grey, drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest and pretend it is always sunny, warm, and pleasant by going inside the pavilion at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Visit Booth WEST 4 to see the easy-to-sail 31 foot sport cruiser that has been taking the European offshore buoy events by storm- the lovely and incredibly roomy J/97E.  On hand to help you chat about the 97E and the latest in the J/Boats range (like the new J/121 Offshore Speedster) will be the team from SAIL Northwest. For an appointment, please call Bob Ross at SAIL NORTHWEST- ph (206) 286-1004 or email- bob@sailnorthwest.com.  For more Seattle Boat Show information Add to Flipboard Magazine.