Sunday, February 11, 2018

Eight Bells: Warren Miller- a great J/Boats sailor

(Newport Beach, CA)- Eight Bells: Warren Miller- a great J/Boats sailor in Southern California.

Warren Miller, the iconic and beloved filmmaker who introduced generations to the thrills and freedom of skiing and outdoor adventures (e.g. sailing), passed away at the age of 93 on Wednesday evening, January 24th. He died peacefully of natural causes at his home on Orcas Island, WA.

Miller earned global acclaim and a passionate, multi-generational following for his annual ski feature films, which kicked off the ski season for more than 60 years, showing in hundreds of cities across the U.S. and around the world. Packed with adventure and exotic travel, Miller’s distinct, droll narration and humorous hijinks on the slopes highlighted his films.

Beyond his ski films, there are legions of sailing enthusiasts that knew Miller for how his films captured their sport. A sailor himself, Miller was active in the P-Cat, J/24 and Tornado with his son Kurt. Their highlight was finishing third in the 1981 J/24 Worlds in Sydney, Australia.

“Nothing got my dad more excited than having our boat well prepared, sailing out to the start line, and the excitement of racing around the buoys with friends,” remarked Kurt.

Miller used his template of blending action, adventure, youth, light hearted moments and his engaging dialogue to entertain yacht club audiences and millions of television viewers. In all, there were over 20 sailing films including “Hot Yachts, Cold Water”, “High Performance Sailing” and “Gold Medal Sailors”.

Many iconic manufactures used the Warren Miller films to launch their brands including Windsurfer, J/24, Hobie 33, and Laser. Overall, Miller produced more than 500 films that primarily covered outdoor pursuits. As an artist, cartoonist, and author, he wrote some 1,200 columns and 11 books.

In retirement, he turned to destination motor boating in his 70s and 80s, exploring the Northwest and Alaska from his home on Orcas Island. During his 80s and 90s, Miller’s philanthropic efforts provided entrepreneurial training to thousands of youth nationwide, emphasizing hard work, ingenuity, and creativity.

Perhaps one of his most cited quotes provides some insight as to how Miller packed so much into one lifetime: “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

Miller is survived by his wife Laurie; by his sons Scott (Melissa) and Kurt (Ali); by his daughter, Chris (David Lucero); and by his stepson, Colin Kaufmann; three granddaughters (Valeska, Kasimira, and Jenna) and two grandsons (Alexander and Ryan).  A detailed look at Warren’s incredible life is available here: Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Promoting Offshore Sailing for Women

(Larchmont, New York)- The Storm Trysail Club, which is working on an initiative to encourage more women sailors to experience sailing offshore, has produced WOMEN OFFSHORE, a new video in which ten highly experienced women sailors share helpful ways to get more women on the water. Here is a 3-minute trailer of WOMEN OFFSHORE.

WOMEN OFFSHORE is being offered to yacht clubs and sailing organizations wishing to present this important video to their memberships. Free downloads of WOMEN OFFSHORE can be requested by contacting Storm Trysail Club member Charles “Butch” Ulmer- email-  butch@uksailmakers.com.

WOMEN OFFSHORE is the latest addition to the Storm Trysail Video Library. In addition to this new program, this collection offers a range of videos covering specific safety-at-sea best practices. By making these informative videos available, Storm Trysail seeks to encourage more women to safely participate in offshore sailing. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Three Bridge Fiasco Lives Up To Its Name

J/24 sailing San Francisco Three Bridge Fiasco(San Francisco, CA)- The 2018 Three Bridge Fiasco on January 28 lived up to its name, with a number of adjectives that can be tossed in for good measure, such as chaos, anchoring, ripping ebb, light air and determination. This was classic winter sailing on San Francisco Bay.

For many, it was the impromptu voyage out under the Golden Gate Bridge when the currents overwhelmed hull speed after rounding Blackaller and attempting to cross the river. For others, it was a day of setting the hook and waiting; either for stronger wind or less current. Or both.

But, the one thing this edition will be remembered for is the extremely small percentage of finishers, just four boats out of the 359 registered singlehanded and doublehanded teams managed to get around the course before the 7:00 PM witching hour bell struck!! A record that hopefully won’t be repeated again!

3BR- Three Bridge Fiasco courseThe 21.67 nm course is defined by the Golden Gate, Richmond, and Bay Bridges, with adjacent marks that the fleet must round, but in any order and direction.  The three course marks are: 
  • YRA 16 (“Blackaller” a yellow cylinder 0.2 nm east of Fort Point),
  • Red Rock, and
  • Yerba Buena Island.
Boats shall round all three marks in any order and in either direction they wish.

The counter-clockwise course was predestined for the winners, finding enough wind to clear the starting line and made tracks for the west edge of Treasure Island, where they found a nice counter current allowing them to make progress upstream until just under the bridge where the wind died and the current was relentless.

There they played the puffs, advancing the anchor when possible then holding till the next round. Said the winners, “we set the hook 3 times and moved maybe 50 feet in between each set!”

A miracle, short term switch in wind direction allowed the duo to escape the Yerba Buena wind hole and work their way back up the east side with kite pulling them all the way to the north end of Treasure Island.

The wind would subside, die, then refill and allow them to work their way up to Red Rock in a NW wind that they rounded about 3:00 PM, set the kite and rode her back to Raccoon Strait.

“The wind backed off there, but we were able to ride the current to Pt Stuart and then found some westerly, enough to make progress against the building flood to Blackaller, where the wind switched south and eased.” They managed to finish in daylight at 17:25:30.

A trio of boats, including the J/24 FLIGHT, with Randall Rasicot & Rosanne Scholl, all worked their way towards Red Rock well in advance of the rest of the fleet. And, things looked remarkably in their favor. Until the wind died. The light westerly they had enjoyed from 11:00 am on, took a 1:30 pm siesta before staging a northerly comeback, where it jumped to 10-plus knots for an hour and 1/2, allowing them, and a handful of Raccoon Strait Refugees a shot of getting around Red Rock, set kites and boogie towards Treasure Island/ Yerba Buena.  They were the only other finishers.

The fleet included large one-design double-handed fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s.  Thanks to Erik Simonson from Pressure-drop.us for story and images. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, February 9, 2018

France Expands Sailing League 2018

J/80s training off La Rochelle, France(La Rochelle, France)- Launched in 2016, the French National Sailing League (LN VOILE), the only 100% inter-club competition in France, will pass a new stage this year.  For 2018, the clubs will compete for the first time in a championship format that includes two events sailing in J/70s and J/80s. The first event is in Brest (June 29 - July 1), organized by the Union of Brest clubs (USAM, SR Brest, Crocodiles Elorn). And, the second will be in La Rochelle (October 19 to 21), organized by the Société des Régates Rochelaises.

Who will succeed in 2018? Will it be the Sailing Club of Saint Quentin (first winner of the LN Voile) or the Saint Aubin-Elbeuf Sailing Club that won in 2017?

After two single editions in La Rochelle (SRR) in 2016 and Le Havre (SRH) in 2017, this year's LN Voile will move to a championship format. This expansion of the event permits more clubs to sail and it increases the participation by more club members for each time- a much better dynamic overall for the LN VOILE.

Ed Russo, President of LN Voile Commission, commented, "I am pleased that LN Voile 2018 is taking place in a two-step format. This will allow clubs to put in place a real internal dynamic around this project. In Germany, they are on a 5-step format, which strengthens the program within the clubs. And, more importantly, that sportingly permits each club to have dozens of members participate in a summer season long championship.  That remains a goal for us."

J/80 league training off FranceThe experience of the past two years has shown that the LN Voile project can be approached differently depending on the club. Between those who sign up for a performance goal in order to qualify for the European semi-finals, those who take the opportunity to discover a great national competition to their members, or those who select their representatives after an internal selection, all the formulas work and enable clubs to participate in the scenario that suits them best.

League Training Programs
Since the start of the year, a number of clubs have already organized themselves and are having training events in J/70s and J/80s.  For example, last weekend there were very good conditions for their training for two days. Between four boats on Saturday, and seven on Sunday, the fleet sailed on a “banana courses” near the West Minimes of La Rochelle.  Crews worked a lot on tacking and gybing.  After an intense day on the water, a debriefing was organized at the clubhouse of Société des Régates Rochelaises, with a video analysis of Sunday maneuvers.  The next training weekend is again at Societe des Regate Rochelaises over the February 3rd to 4th weekend. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

SDYC’s Islands Race- Kick-Off for SoCal Season

J/125 Timeshaver offshore (San Diego, CA)- Back for its ninth year, San Diego Yacht Club will host the 130nm Islands Race on February 16-17, 2018. The Islands Race is one of SDYC’s signature offshore races, and the first of the 2018 racing calendar for most boats. Following the Islands Race will be the Puerto Vallarta Race in March, the SoCal 300 in May, and the Rum Runner Race in October.

The Islands Race brings San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club together when the race starts in Long Beach Harbor. From there, competitors will head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands before finishing in Point Loma. This scenic course showcases Southern California’s gratifying sea breezes and profound ocean swells.

J/124 Marisol offshoreWith registration now open, a fleet of over 25 boats is expected to compete in 2018, similar to past years. In 2017, the smallest boat entered was a 33 footer, while the largest boat entered was Roy Disney’s 70 ft Pyewacket.  A number of J/Crews are already registered, including Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC, Tom Barker’s J/65 GOOD CALL from Cortez Racing Association, Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from SDYC, Seth Hall’s gorgeous flag-blue J/124 MARISOL, and Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC. 

SDYC Staff Commodore Wayne Terry and Daniel Giessmann from NHYC will again co-chair the 2018 running of the event. For those sailors who enjoy an assortment of conditions within 130nm of offshore racing, Giessmann recommends you register.

“The Islands Race is great because it gives sailors a real taste of what offshore racing is like in Southern California. For some racers this may be the longest offshore race they do and for others it is a great tune-up for the PV or Cabo races that follow. Being early in the season also allows for a wide variety of weather scenarios to keep navigators busy. I enjoy being the chair to help promote and grow west coast offshore racing.”

Additionally, Terry provides a summary of the 2017 Islands Race and what to expect in 2018.  “The normally well-attended Islands Race, co-sponsored by the San Diego and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs, will soon enjoy the 9th year of this annual event. The race normally draws 25+ competitors, many of whom will use it as a tune-up to SDYC’s semi-annual running of the Puerto Vallarta Race, which is scheduled to commence on March 2nd. Over the years, the Islands Race has experienced weather conditions ranging from mild to extreme, while usually fun and always challenging. The Islands Race is one of those many events where the respective sailing offices do most of the work, and deserve a big thank you for doing so. On behalf of the organizing authority, we hope everyone participating in this year’s event has a fun, fast and most importantly, safe race to San Diego. As always, refreshments will be on the front deck awaiting your arrival at the prize giving ceremony.”

SDYC will host the award ceremony on the clubhouse main deck on Saturday, February 17 with food and drinks for competitors beginning at 3pm or later depending on when the majority of boats complete the race.  Friends, family, and the sailing community can follow the race by tuning in to the YB Tracking website. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Heineken St Maarten- Sailing Competition HOT’ing Up!

J/122 sailing Heineken St MaartenWorld famous “Shaggy” Doing Benefit Concert 
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- With less than 50 days before the start of the 38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 1-4), the entry list continues to grow, 45 teams representing 13 countries are signed up to compete. The regatta has been a key event on the Caribbean race schedule since its inception in 1980, attracting world-class sailors– racing monohulls, maxis and multihulls – to the island of Saint Martin for four days of serious fun, both on and off the water.

“Our registration numbers are tracking close to last year at this time, which is great news,” said Regatta Race Director Paul Miller, adding that despite Hurricane Irma hitting Saint Martin this past September, the island is recovering in short order. “We have another great year of racing ahead and are seeing a lot of enthusiasm from local and international sailors alike.”

Coming from the United Kingdom is Chris Body and his team on the 40-foot J/122 EL OCASO. The boat won its class last year with a Michigan-based team onboard.

J/122 sailing off St Maarten Heineken regatta“The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta puts on some really good racing, and it’s easy for a team to come in from Europe or the U.S. and charter a boat to compete,” said EL OCASO Captain Bob Hillier, a regatta veteran who will be returning as the team’s tactician this year. “This will be my tenth St. Maarten Heineken Regatta with EL OCASO. The J/122 class is the premier racing boat class in the Caribbean and typically the largest class at the regatta. The CSA ratings are so close that you are finishing within seconds of each other.”

A longtime goal for organizers has been reached this year with the addition of a “Regatta Village” located at Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino and the Yacht Club at Port de Plaisance (across from race host St. Maarten Yacht Club). The venue, on the Dutch side of the island of Saint Martin in Cole Bay, will bring all the regatta essentials together: housing registration, shore-side entertainment, regatta offices, docking, food stands and beer tents. In addition, The Yacht Club Port de Plaisance will be offering free dockage in their South Basin for competitors as their way of saying thanks for supporting the regatta this year.

reggae pop star- Shaggy- from JamaicaShaggy To Headline the "Legendary Night" Concert
There are promises of a “Legendary Night” to close off the final evening on Sunday. Organizers are proud to announce the return of “Mr. Boombastic” – international recording superstar: Shaggy – who will be the headline act for the evening of March 4th at Port de Plaisance. Shaggy is a multi-Grammy Award winning artist from Jamaica, and is the only "Certified Diamond-selling Dance hall Reggae Artist."

Since exploding on the music scene, Shaggy's several gold and multi-platinum selling albums have won him a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Reggae Album, 5 Grammy nominations, and topped an impressive chart list that included the Top 40 Rhythmic charts, Hot 100, Billboard 200, among others. Shaggy’s illustrious career has seen the international superstar perform alongside some of the biggest names in all genres of music, notably he recently collaborated with his longtime friend and producer Costi, as Shaggy joined Afro Pop artist Mohombi and Australian singer Faydee on the recently released vibrant and catchy single, "I Need Your Love.”

Shaggy's I need your love music videoJohn Leone of International Liquor & Tobacco Trading Ltd. states “We are extremely excited to bring Shaggy back to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Shaggy has been a great supporter of the island and has offered to perform to support fundraising efforts for hurricane relief. We are extremely excited about having him back on stage again for this truly unique edition of the Regatta. It’s time for some Serious Fun!”

Entrance to the performance on Sunday night will have a $25.00 USD admission fee for the general public, with $5.00 USD of each ticket going to the Charity Fund.

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regattaRegatta Format
The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, March 1, 2018 with the Gill Commodore’s Cup. The optional event is separately scored and followed by an evening prize giving where winners are awarded Gill gear. On Friday, the fleet embarks on the event’s 26 nautical mile Around the Island Race before taking on a series of windward-leeward races on Saturday and a single coastal race on Sunday. Each day of racing is rounded out with serious shore-side entertainment, including concerts and parties (see above!). 

In addition to the British team sailing the J/122 EL OCASO, a number of J/sailors across the spectrum have also registered for the regatta, such as Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua, Tanner & Shari’s J/30 CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE from Antigua, Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE from New York, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE from British Virgin Islands, and Remco van Dortmondt’s J/105 JENK from The Netherlands.  For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

J/111 VELOCE Triumphs @ Festival of Sails Regatta

J/111s sailing off Geelong, Melbourne, Australia111s Sweep Podium in Super 11s Class Too!
(Geelong, Australia)- It is always on everyone’s calendars in eastern Australia to make sure that you have enough time with family and friends to enjoy the “Festival of Sails” off Geelong, an amazing event hosted by the Royal Geelong YC. More importantly, it was the 175th annual celebration of sailing in this beautiful corner of Australia on the long holiday weekend known as “Australia Day”!

Participating in this year’s regatta was the Super 11s class and the J/111 one-design class.  After a seven-race series, there was no question who was the dominant team in the J/111 class- Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE with a 4-2-2-1-1-2-1 tally for 9 pts net (after toss race).  Keeping pace most of the time was Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER 11 with their tally of 1-3-3-2-2-1-2 for 11 pts net.  Then, rounding out the top three in class was Rod Warren’s team on JOUST with a 3-1-1-3-3-4-3 record for 14 pts net. 

J/111 winners at Geelong Festival of SailsWhat is remarkable about these results is the fact that top Australian sailors on J/111s are advancing the ball quite rapidly in terms of overall performance.  Why?  Because, JOUST’s crew recently sailed the J/111 World Championship in San Francisco, CA and finished 3rd, just 2 pts off the lead!  Good news for the Australian J/111 contingent!

While the J/111s were competing for one-design honours, they were also competing for handicap honours in their “Super 11s” handicap class.  Guess what?  The J/111s swept the podium as well!  Same cast of characters- 1-2-3 in handicap class as well, with Simpfendorfer’s crew on VELOCE collecting all the silverware. 

J/111 & Super 11 honours to VELOCE
https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/videos/2028022773891614/
https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/videos/2027874367239788/

Sports boats class on last day- “a glam day”
https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/videos/2028166730543885/

Festival of Sails FB page
https://www.facebook.com/Festival.of.Sails/?ref=stream

For more Festival of Sails sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Peter Duncan named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year!

(New York, NY)- A seasoned veteran, the 2017 J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan (Rye, New York) was selected as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his remarkable sailing performances in 2017.

The selection follows the announcement in December of the six men and eight women who were shortlisted for these prestigious awards and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing.

A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, was presented to a panel of accomplished sailing media professionals, who together discussed the merits of each nominee and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners.

Duncan will be honored on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, where he will be celebrated by family and friends, team mates and crew, past winners, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex. He will also be presented with a specially-engraved Rolex timepiece.

Peter is a life-long one-design sailor and proud member of the American Yacht Club, and was at the top of his game in 2017 at the highest-levels of international competition and in a variety of sailboat classes. He received this honorable distinction for first time in his illustrious career.

“I was just honored to be nominated for the award,” said Duncan. “When I found out I won, I was just stunned. It is just so humbling to be associated with so many great sailors who have won this award. It’s an honor of a lifetime.”

“With all the racing and training we did in 2017, I was actually on the water for 110 days last year, which is absolutely extraordinary. That’s what you have to do to accomplish what we did last year.”

His year was highlighted with a win at the ultra-competitive Audi J/70 World Championship in September off the waters of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy. Duncan and his talented crew including Jud Smith, Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay, won the 161-boat World Championship by a 15-point margin over contender Brian Keene. Duncan’s Relative Obscurity was dominant through six races. They placed in the top three in each race, including three wins.

“You can’t find a better crew to sail with as far as I’m concerned,” added Duncan. “We got there early to practice and we spent a great deal of time preparing ourselves for this event. It was a serious venture.”

One member of the selection panel noted that “to win first place so convincingly in a highly-talented and large fleet at the J/70 World Championship in Italy is a testament to Peter’s abilities and preparation.”

He won four other J/70 regattas in 2017, including the Italian National Championships (Alcatel Cup), New England Championships, Bacardi Cup and Sail Newport Regatta. His team placed second out of 58 at the J/70 North American Championship in Rye, New York and third at the European J/70 Championship.

“We won the Italian Nationals on the last race of the last day,” explained Duncan. “We got there early and were hopeful to learn a lot about the competition. We knew that the Italian fleet was going to be very strong and it was a very deep fleet. It was really close racing. And again, we got what we put into it. We worked hard and got the result in the end.”

Duncan participated in multiple classes throughout 2017, including the Etchells, Melges 20 and Melges 24. His Etchells team took home first place honors at the Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta featuring 45 competing boats last January in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Duncan has been sailing for about as long as he can remember. He started sailing with his parents on the weekends at American Yacht Club in their 210 sailboat.

“I love the competition and I enjoy racing in large fleets. That to me is wildly exciting. But it’s also about all the camaraderie and the people that you meet and the places you go. Luckily, the fleets we compete in are generally the same, so whatever issues you might have had out on the water are usually left on the water and it’s really a great group of people to spend time with.”  For more information about the ROLEX Sailor of the Year Awards Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Exciting Chiloe Santander Regatta in Chile

J/105 HDI Seguros women's sailing team(Puerto Montt, Chile)- The archipelago of Chiloé in the southern region of Chile known famously as “Patagonia”, has been the site of the extraordinary event called the “Regata de Chiloe” (Chiloe Regatta) that takes place every two years.  The boats and crews all convene in Puerto Montt, then head south towards the archipelago, one of the most unique places to sail in the world- imagine spectacular snow-capped Andes Mountains mixed with the Swedish archipelago off Stockholm- truly a mind-bending spectacle of nature in its most raw, unspoiled form.

Chiloe regatta courseIt's a wonderful stage and a very complicated one to sail. For a week, more than 800 sailors gather together for lots of sailing and socializing.  There are more than 200 miles (370 kilometers) of racing in eight legs, where winds and strong currents can be a problem even for the most seasoned navigators.

One of those teams this year were a 100% all-women’s crew on the J/105 HDI SEGUROS.  The group of eight women between 18 and 49 years old sailed well and certainly had their moments of glory!

Paula Herman (18), Carmina Malsch (19), Roberta Herman (19), Sofia Middleton (24), Renatta Parodi (20), Amelia Zulueta (33), Valeria Vila (49), and skipper Aurelia Zulueta (35) were well-prepared to face the top competition in the J/105 class.

J/105 women's sailing team in ChileThe team trained hard for months prior to the competition; they knew that it was not an easy mission to race against Chile’s top offshore sailors. But, they were competitive, relying on their experience (6 of them had already sailed the 2016 edition of Chiloe), teamwork, and determination.  Sofia Middleton commented, "Our performance was quite good, the fact that we are women does not scare us.  The funny thing is that we are a team competing in a category that is characterized by people who have been sailing a long time together, and despite that fact, we have been in the fight for the whole regatta! Thanks to our supporters- our families and HDI SEGUROS that helped sponsor our team!”

This year’s event was not without some hiccups, as twenty-eight J/Boats showed up for the 2018 edition of the Regata de Chiloé, in the Southern part of Chile, that took place from January 20 to 27.  For those “in the know”, this event truly ranks as one of the most awesome “bucket list” events you should sail anywhere around the world- the vistas are truly eye-opening!

J/105 sailing Chiloe RegattaThis year, the regatta started in Castro, the main island in the Chiloe archipelago.  Then, for seven days the sailing teams and their “mother ships” meandered through the channels, straits and fiords that give form to the Chiloé Archipelago.  The point-to-point coastal racing saw the boats visit gorgeous anchorages and harbors in Dalcahue, Mechuque, Hornopirén and Calbuco and finished in Puerto Montt, where two windward-leeward buoy races where scheduled.

Logistics posed a challenge to the enthusiastic captains, since the nearest marina with lift services was in Puerto Montt.  That meant a 650 mile trip trailering boats from their base in the ports near Santiago and then a two-day delivery trip crossing the Ancud Gulf and down south through several straits just to be on the starting line at Castro.

J/105 in ditch in ChileOf all the hiccups some boats suffered, perhaps the J/105 TRICALMA had the “closest near miss’ (like total loss) halfway down the Pan-Americana Sur highway.  The boat and trailer ended up off the road with minor scratches after crossing a four feet wide ditch on a US-made Triad trailer that kept it safe.  However, the SUV towing it had a far worse outcome, while the driver was OK, the truck was declared a total loss!

Another J/105, RECLUTA, also faced difficulties.  While they were repairing their broken down trailer in Temuco on the side of the highway, they could see a huge logging truck flying down the highway towards them on the same side of the road.  Unfortunately, the truck driver misjudged his distance while passing, leaving an enormous gash 12 feet long and 1-2” inches deep along the side of the hull!  After emergency repairs J/88 sailing off Chilein Puerto Montt, RECLUTA made it to the start.

On the water, Chiloé gave the fleet all the expected challenges. In an abnormally sunny week, the crews had to deal with 90º wind shifts, calms, 30 knots gusts crossing the gulf (that made the boats plane along at 15+ knots), tide currents and shallow sea obstacles.

According to Juan Reid, the twenty-seven one-design J/Boats (J/24, J/70, J/105) and the one J/88 sailing IRC Class constituted nearly 50% of the sixty-boat fleet. 

J/105s reaching in Chiloe regatta in ChileSaid Juan, “the most spectacular day was the Mechuque to Hornopirén leg with 30nm of sailing and winds up to 25 kts crossing the huge gulf.  That produced large, choppy seas with a TWA of 135 to 150 degree.  The J/70s and J/24s started first, with the J/70s basically planing the entire 30nm up to 16 kts of boatspeed, and averaging well over 14 kts the whole way!  In fact, the only boats in the entire fleet of 60 to beat the J/70s to the finish line was just one of the Soto 40s that started only a half-hour later!

In the same conditions, the dozen J/105s also had a fast ride, though they could not keep up with the J/70s that kept sailing away.  Even then, the J/105s were going downwind at speeds of 12-15 kts. 

But, the best J/Boat performance of the day may have been the J/88, hitting top speeds of 18.5 to 19.0 kts constantly and, a result, won the leg on corrected time in the IRC Class!”

J/105 Grand Slam off ChileFrom day one, the J/105 fleet saw GRAND SLAM, with Patricio Seguel at the helm, take a comfortable lead.  Then, with three 1sts in the five coastal races they finished with just 6 pts net (including one toss race).  The silver went to Rufino Melero’s RUFIAN with a 4-1-8-3-4 record for 12 pts net.  Then, rounding out the podium with the bronze was the broken/ repaired TRICALMA skippered by Claudio Leon, accumulating a 3-5-3-8-3 tally for 14 pts net. Rounding out the top five for the J/105s were Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA in 4th place and Jose Manuel Ligarte’s SCIMITAR in 5th position. 

J/70 sailing off ChileThe seven-boat J/70 class saw a similar scenario play out like the J/105s.  In this case, it was Carlos Kuhlental’s CHUCRU that aced the first three races and took home a 1-1-1-6-2 record for a mere 5 pts net. However, behind them it was a real dogfight all week long between four boats- Marcos Fuentes’ COMAU, Javier Melero’s PEGASUS, Vernon Robert’s MORENITA and Carlos Vergara’s COLUMBIA- SENSEI.  At one point or another over the five races, each team held a podium position!  In the end, Fuentes’ COMAU closed with a 2-1 to secure the silver with a record of 3-6-5-2-1 for 11 pts net.  A bad last race dropped Melero’s PEGASUS to third place, winning a tie-breaker, after posting a record of 2-7-3-1-6 for 12 pts net.  Losing that tie-breaker was Robert’s MORENITA with a 5-2-2-4-4 tally also sitting on 12 pts net.  Then, taking 5th place only one point back was Vergara’s COLUMBIA-SENSEI with a very steady record of 4-3-4-3-3 for 13 pts net.

J/24 sailing off ChileThe J/24 class had a great turn-out with a total of eight teams from across the Andes Mountains and coastlines.  Dominating the proceedings was the Chilean Naval Academy’s QUIQUE with a record of four 1sts and a 4th for a 4 pts net tally!  A distant second was yet another Chilean Naval Academy team on TRIUNFANTE with a 2-2-1-5-DNF for 10 pts net.  Third was another school team, the Grumetes College sailing MARISCAL to a 3-5-2-4-4 record for 13 pts net. 

Remarkably, no class or right-of-way protests were filed by anyone in the entire regatta.  After the racing was completed, all captains, crew, family and friends left the water and the support vessels and met inland at the neighbor city of Puerto Varas to celebrate the regatta and the winners.

Watch some nicely composed Facebook videos of the Chiloe Regatta here
Day 2- https://www.facebook.com/cnochile/videos/841142692736107/
Day 3- https://www.facebook.com/cnochile/videos/842829339234109/
Day 3- https://www.facebook.com/cnochile/videos/842895409227502/
Day 4- https://www.facebook.com/cnochile/videos/843423692508007/
Day 6- https://www.facebook.com/cnochile/videos/844544245729285/

For more Santander Bank Regatta Chiloe sailing information
   Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

“Wonder Women” Lead California Dreamin’ Series

J/22 Match Race- St Francis YC women's team(San Diego, CA)- The 2018 California Dreamin’ Series got underway with the first of its three match race events that will advance the overall winner to the 2018 Ficker Cup, held April 13-15 in Long Beach, which is a qualifier for the Grade 1 2018 Congressional Cup in Long Beach.

Using J/22s in San Diego on January 27-28, Nicole Breault (second from left) and her all-women's match racing team of “wonder women” edged out Charlie Welsh in a tie-breaker with Bruce Stone in third.

The series continues with J/22s at the second stop in San Francisco on March 10-11 before sailors return to Southern California to compete in the final leg of the California Dreamin’ Series, this time going at it on 37 foot keelboats on April 7-8 in Long Beach. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/sailor Nicole Breault Awarded Jerome B. White Yachtsman of the Year at St Francis YC!

Nicole Breault- Yachtsman of the Year- St Francis YC(San Francisco, CA)- In a male dominated sport, opportunities for women have not always come easily. Change is not always swift, but one Northern California club is now shattering the ceiling with two hallmark movements.

At the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the membership of the St. Francis Yacht Club, as the club welcomed in its first female Commodore, it also awarded Nicole Breault with the Club’s highest honor – the Jerome B. White Yachtsman of the Year – which recognizes the member who has made the greatest contribution to the sport of yachting during the preceding year.

Breault, whose contributions to the sport of yachting ran the gamut from competitor to coach to volunteer, reflects on the achievement:

I am blown away by the notion that my name joins such a weighty list of names in the club’s history, and many with great fame in the sailing world. I am deeply moved by this acknowledgement of my racing and contributions to the club, even more so by the symbolic gesture to grant a woman the rank of yachtsman.

I hold a deep respect for the women in competitive sailing who have preceded me with successful racing careers, as well as for the female competitors who have challenged me on the water and have helped make me the competitor I am today. All of these tenacious women have had to struggle against the inertial forces of a sport historically enjoyed by men alone, and by doing so they carved a sphere of accomplishment within the wider field.

When a woman achieves distinction as “yachtswoman,” the recognition is loaded with gender-specific importance, and the title is loaded with the legacy of women in the sport. Kudos to those leading ladies of the sailing world, and especially to rock star foiling kite world champion Daniela Moroz, US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for 2016 and repeat StFYC Yachtswoman of the Year for 2017.

Whether intended or not, in naming me the StFYC Yachtsman of the Year for 2017, the club has made a huge statement to neutralize the gender qualification of this top award. Perhaps the name of this honor should change to “yachtsperson,” and yet in delaying such a change while awarding it to me, we see the cultural paradigm of our past and its sticky influence on gender disparity in sailing laid bare.

Over time, the courage of female sailors and their male advocates has eroded the rules of exclusivity, and using me as an example, the StFYC has made a bold move naming me their 2017 Yachtsman of the Year. Were that merely for a successful racing record, it would be significant enough.

However, the club also focused attention on my efforts to bring more women into sailing and create opportunities to advance their skills, thus amplifying the message and mission of inclusiveness going forward.

I’ve been racing all my life and I’ve only ever wanted to be among the best of the best and earn their respect by winning on the water. I’ve always put my best out on the water and I try to not make it about gender. I thank all with whom I’ve done battle with out on the water and those who I hope to do battle with in the future Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Diamanti Crowned Francesco Ciccolo Trophy Winner!

J/24s sailing off Italy (Marina di Carrara, Italy)- The 2017 Italian J/24 Championship sailing season ended in December and saw two quite familiar faces from the Italians J/24 class at the top of the standings for each category.

Winning the Francesco Ciccolo Trophy, emblematic of the best owner-helmsman (ranking based on the best four scores achieved in seven regattas all season), was once again ITA 212 JAMAICA sailed by Pietro Diamanti. Rounding out the top five in the category were ITA 489 VALHALLA HOTEL VERONA sailed by Fabio de Rossi in 2nd, ITA 427 MAGICA FATA sailed by Massimo Frigerio in 3rd, ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING skippered by Eugenia De Giacomo in 4th, and ITA 106 JOC helmed by Fabio Apollonio.

J/24 sailing off Rome, ItalyIn the “open division” for “skippers not boat owners”, the runaway winner was, as usual Ignacio Bonanno’s crew from the Italian Navy sailing LA SUPERBA. They were followed by ITA 432 KASTER in 2nd, ITA 499 KONG GRIFFIN in 3rd, ITA 501 AVOLTORE (skippered by Francesco Cruciani) in 4th, and ITA 202 TALLY I skippered by Luca Macchiarini in 5th place.

The awards ceremony will take place, as has been customary each year, during the closing ceremony of the 38th Open J/24 National Championship that is organized by the Fraglia Della Vela Riva del Garda (www.fragliavelariva.it).  That event runs from 30 May to 3 June 2018 on Lago di Garda.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Record Setting Barbados Sailing Week!

J/105 sailing Barbados Sailing Week (Bridgetown, Barbados)- The beginning of the Caribbean winter sailing season was marked by the fun and games that are had by all on the wonderful island nation of Barbados.  The famous Barbados Sailing Week, hosted by the Barbados Cruising Club off their enormous harbor in Bridgetown, had another epic of week of sailing; including one for the record books!

There are two events in the schedule; starting first with Barbados Sailing Week from the 17th to 20th of January and closing with their epic finale- the Round Island Race on the 21st of January.  In the end, J/sailors on J/105s and J/24s did well across the board.  Here is how it all happened.

Day 1- Caribbean season launched in Barbados
Barbados Sailing Week 2018 got underway today to launch the Caribbean regatta season with a week of seriously fun racing and partying.

Glorious conditions with winds up to 18kts and a swell from the east were on offer for a 11-12nm course from Carlisle Bay for a fleet that ranged from windsurfers and an International Moth to the 65ft Alfred Mylne classic, The Blue Peter.

In CSA Racing Class, the super-tuned crew on Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER fought hard to earn their first top spot of the week. After what was probably the best start of the day, team WHISTLER sailed well in the tricky conditions and although they seemed to struggle with speed on the first downwind leg, they were able to comfortably hold off The Blue Peter, who had to settle for second place in class.

J/105 sailing reach at Barbados sailing weekDay 2- Grub crawl at Barbados Sailing Week
With winds up to 17kts, day two of Barbados Sailing Week was the penultimate day of the Coastal Series, traditionally known as the “Two Restaurants Race.”

The 22nm course offered spectacular sheltered flat water/ fast reaching conditions on the leg to and from the northern-most mark at Holetown just off The Beach House restaurant. On the southern part of the course to the Tapas Restaurant mark, the more lively conditions in the stunning, vibrant turquoise waters gave competitors a real taste of Caribbean sailing at its best.

A processional it may have seemed, but the long west coast leg from Carlisle Bay to Holetown provided plenty of opportunity for tactical racing.

In CSA Racing, Peter Lewis’ team on the J/105 WHISTLER demonstrated its skill by managing to hold its kite for the duration of the leg (there and back), despite a few debatable moments when the reach looked almost too tight. It paid off, however, and this local team of hotshots maintained pace throughout and managed to keep the ever-threatening team on the TP52 Conviction in second place.

“We thought we may have just beat them [Whistler] today, but not quite,” Staples commented. “We had a great day and I have to say that of all my 40 years of sailing here, today was what I regard as classic West Indies sailing conditions; good breeze and enough sea to remind you that you are sailing on an ocean. I was also impressed with the team today they worked well and there were plenty of smiling faces, which is what it is all about.”

J/24s sailing off BarbadosDay 3- Wind Gods love Barbados Sailing Week
The hugely competitive local J/24 fleet enjoyed the first of its new two-day race series at Barbados Sailing Week, while today was also the final day of the Coastal Series.

The launch of the J/24 race series attracted quality competition and, with four races, on short windward/leeward-style courses in Carlisle Bay, there was barely time to draw breath. The variable shifty winds up to 17kts also kept the racing exciting and close, which resulted in different winner in each race.

Gregory Webster and team on the 1981-built PHOENIX started the day on a good note with an impressive bit of sailing off the line with a port tack start. Risky as it may have been, this well-tuned local team sailed fast, high and, by playing the shifts and taking the favored right-hand side of the course, they led and went on to win the first race of the day. They then finished second to Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD in race two.

Neil Burke and team on IMPULSE claimed the win in race three, while Cyril Lecrenay and team on BUNGA BUNGA took the final win of the day in race four after a intense covering match with DIE HARD on the approach to the finish line.

“It was a tough one and, at one point, I thought we’d lost it but it was just a matter of keeping cover on DIE HARD and finally finding a good line to the finish,” Lecrenay commented. “I think it was tip top crew work that really counted today and, because we have sailed together for three years constantly we barely have to say anything to each other because everything on the boat runs smoothly.”

As well as good team work, it was also consistency that paid, which means that with a win and two second places to count, Yearwood and team from Grenada on DIE HARD lead the series by two points from BUNGA BUNGA with four races to go.

“Putting our lack of preparation, and confusion in the first race to one side, we put our heads down, focused on our strengths with the aim to live up to our name – DIE HARD,” said Yearwood. “Thankfully it worked and we made a comeback. A two-point lead, however, is not a comfortable margin at all so anything can happen tomorrow. But we have good speed so we plan to continue what we are doing.”

Elsewhere the final day of Coastal Racing was reaching its crescendo with fleets battling it out for all-important overall points. Although the well-sailed J/105 WHISTLER with Peter Lewis and his seasoned team had already secured the overall win going into the final race, the challenge was on to make it a hat-trick.

J/24s sailing downwind off Barbados sailing weekDay 4- J-DAY is Lay-day at Barbados Sailing Week
While final preparations were underway for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race tomorrow, the J/24 fleet crowned its winner in the closely contested final showdown in the J/24 Coastal Racing Series at Barbados Sailing Week.

J/24 racing in Barbados never fails to attract a quality fleet, so it was no surprise that competition at the two-day J/24 series was hot & heavy both days. The overnight leader, Robbie Yearwood from Grenada and his team on DIE HARD, continued their form with wins in the two opening races.

However, a shredded jib halyard and spinnaker halyard in race three, while leading, almost cost them the series.  But, they still managed fourth place in that race. Thankfully, they had done enough to secure the series with a race to spare, leaving Cyril Lecrenay and BUNGA BUNGA in second place just two points adrift.

“It was a tough day having to contend with gear problems but we gathered ourselves together and got it sorted,” said Yearwood. “It was a bit of a disaster not being able to take down the jib because we couldn’t have re-hoisted it, so we had to sail with it all the time plus we had to use jam cleats on the spinnaker halyard and tie it.

“There was so much tension that when we went to take the spinnaker down it at the end of the run when we were leading, it jammed and we sailed right past the mark. Funnily enough we didn’t actually have to sail the final race but we weren’t sure about our maths so we did it anyway, and really enjoyed it.”

Yearwood is now preparing the boat for the 134nm sail back to Grenada tomorrow. “Going home is easy because it’s all downwind but it will still take 24 hours to get there.”

J/105 sailing off BarbadosDay 5- The Round Island- Stormy, Fast, & Fun
Squally winds reaching 30 knots from the northeast made for magical sleigh-ride and record-breaking conditions in the 82nd Mount Gay Round Barbados Race.

While the lively conditions in big seas proved too much for many of the 34 entries in the 60nm sprint around the Island of Barbados, for others it couldn’t have been more thrilling. In total seven records were broken – the largest ever number of records broken in the history of the event.

Among the young sailors taking on the challenging course today was Jason Tindale (27 years old) in the J/24 COLLEGE FUNDS. He and his team from Barbados Yacht Club once again demonstrated their skill by sailing a tactically sound race. Having established the J/24 record in 2015 and bettered their time in 2016; they’ve done it again with a time of 8h 18m 9s!!

Commenting on his epic sail, Tindale said: “It was, without doubt, the worst conditions I have ever seen at North Point. We had squalls of 30+ knots with gusts but by they we had no option other than to carry on. I think the most wonderful part was sailing on one tack down the east coast. Basically, you can’t get much better than that. It was, to coin a much-used phrase ‘Champagne sailing’. I think we also had a bit of luck today because, on the approach to the finish line the eyelets pulled out of the spinnaker pole. Had that happened further up the coast we would have lost the record for sure because we would have been under jib only.”

Crushing it in the 35 & Under Class was the J/105 WHISTLER, going around faster than most other larger boats. In fact, only four boats beat them on elapsed, a 100 footer, a 70 footer, a TP52 and a 50 foot racer!   Sailing photos credits- Peter O’Donnell Marshall  For more Barbados Sailing Week sailing information  Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Barcelona Winter Series Hotting Up!

J/70 Russian New Territories (Barcelona, Spain)- This past weekend, the fourth Act of the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona Winter Series saw cool waters, brisk winds, and hot action across the water of the Olympics sailing venue.  In the J/70s, winning Act IV was the Russian Sergey Semenov’s NEW TERRITORIEs, while Luis Albert Solana’s PATAKIN sailed well enough to maintain their overall series lead over Massimo Rama’s JENIALE EUROSYSTEM.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s sailing was canceled after several fruitless starts with an “AP over A” to mark the end of day for all racers.  However, on Sunday the sailors were greeted by spectacular sailing conditions; so good that both J/70 and J/80 classes were able to post a total of four races.

J/70s sailing Barcelona SpainIn the J/70s, there were many changes in the standings.  On Sunday, the fleet was completely dominated by the Russian Sergey Semenov, sailing his NEW TERRITORIES that represents the Nautical Club of Saint Petersburg in Russia. Three 1sts and one 5th pretty much crushed the competition for the weekend.  JENIALE’s Massimo Rama won the only other race that the Russians left open, the third race.

For Luis Albert Solana, owner of PATAKIN, the day was fantastic.  Luis commented, “of those who make a hobby of sailing, it was fabulous. Perfect wind and they treated us terrific!! I love surfing with Alex Muscat; Finn's Spanish champion- a luxury!"

Spanish sailing super-star Hugo Rocha, who has sailed on the Russian crew on NEW TERRITORIES, commented that, “everything has gone very well for us. With a very windy sea breeze, the wind was great for us, and therefore, more fun. Thanks to the Race Committee that has done a good job!”

J/80 sailing Barcelona Spain winter seriesFor the weekend, behind PATAKIN and JENIALE EUROSYSTEM, it was David Marco’s REBUFF that is now sitting in third for the overall provisional series.

The J/80s had a bit of an upset for the weekend.  It was an excellent day for AKEWELE sailed by woman skipper Silvia Ravetllat.  They won two of the four races in a hard fight with Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON-MOVISTAR (a J/80 World Champion, no less).  Taking third for the weekend was the Polish crew on MOONRAKER sailed by Pawel Boksa. 

As a result, for the season series, BRIBON-MOVISTAR maintains a comfortable lead of ten points over AKEWELE. In turn, Silvia’s crew are just seven point up on Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU.  For more Barcelona Winter J/70 & J/80 Series sailing information  Add to Flipboard Magazine.