Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Doran Smokes J/24 Great Lakes Championship

J/24 sailboats rounding a mark (Sandusky, OH)- A good turnout of eleven J/24s participated in the 2018 J/24 Great Lakes Championship, hosted by the Sandusky Sailing Club, and sailed on the choppy, puffy waters of Lake Erie.  What may be the most entertaining aspect of this particular regatta were the usual “off-the-wall” and quite goofy names that are attributed to various boats in the fleet.  The winning boat was called OSWEGO NY (no kidding), then others were FUGUE STATE, FOR SALE: $5000 (seriously?), NO B.S., HALL PASS, SUICIDE BLONDE, ORANGE WHIP, GREEN HORNET, and WIND MONKEY(?).  Too amusing for words.

At the end of five races over two days in a one-throwout series, it was Tom Doran’s OSWEGO NY team that quite literally ran the table and smoked the fleet with four straight bullets, dropping a second, for a total of 4 pts net.  Kevin O’Brien’s FUGUE STATE had mostly seconds, winning the last race, dropping a 3rd, to take the silver with 7 pts net.  Rounding out the podium was a tie-breaker on 15 pts net each, believe it or not. On countback, the bronze went to Ryan Lashaway’s FOR SALE: $5000 (does he really want to sell it?).  Losing the battle was Park McRitchie’s NO B.S.  Rounding out the top five was Mike Palmer’s BOOYAH, taking that position based on yet another tie-breaker at 19 pts net each.  For more J/24 Great Lakes Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

San Diego J/Fest is Back!

J/105s sailing off San Diego, CA in J/FEST (San Diego, CA)- J/Boat owners and sailors are invited from up and down the West Coast!  And all you J/sailors from San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura Counties have no excuse- just a daysail away (or less) to come enjoy the camaraderie of sailing and socializing with fellow J/Lovers!

The following one-design fleets are invited to participate- J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109, and J/120.  Plus, there will also be a J/PHRF fleet. Each of these classes is extremely well-established in the region and offers sailors some of the most elite yacht racing in Southern California.

Racing will take place from September 29th to 30th, either on San Diego Bay or on the Pacific Ocean (depending on the class breaks).

Join us after racing each day for social events- a fun BBQ J/Fest party on Saturday evening, and the awards party on Sunday afternoon. All events are hosted at San Diego Yacht Club’s fabulous waterfront facilities.  For more San Diego J/Fest sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

KSSS King of Swedish J/70 Sailing League

J/70s sailing Swedish league (Gottskär, Sweden)- The KSSS (Royal Swedish Sailing Club) team of Patrik Forsberg, Sandra Sandqvist, Lukas Bergman and Anders Mårtensson took home the Gold Medal on Sunday afternoon, winning the Allsvenskan (Swedish J/70 Sailing League) on the windy waters off Gottskär, Sweden. Their record was Malmo- 2nd, Ekero- 1st, Örnsköldsvik- 1st, Gottskär- 7th for a total of 11 pts, 6 pts clear of the second place team GKSS.

"One of our strengths is that we have a good and broad squad. In total, we have used seventeen sailors this year and no one has sailed more than one round. Certainly, we have an advantage in being a big club. But, we take Allsvenskan seriously and always send good teams. We always want to fight hard and well," said Niklas Edler, Captain for the KSSS team.

Swedish J/70 Sailing League winnersThe weekend in Gottskär had tough conditions that tested the sailors and equipment. Friday provided winds around 10 to 17 kts.  But, on Saturday it was really windy. In the morning, a round was run, but then the boats began to break in the hard wind. When the wind rose to closer to 20 to 30 kts, sailing was canceled for the day.  On Sunday, the wind was still strong, but manageable. Nevertheless, the PRO made the decision to sail main & jib only, no spinnakers.  As a result, that changed the strategy a bit for the best crews on the water.

Those who mastered the toughest conditions were Malmö SS; their team included Martin Starnberg, Johan Lindell, Björn Jönsson and Alexandra Wikström. They were extremely stable, fast, and had excellent boat-handling.  In twelve races, they finished 1st or 2nd in eleven of them! Theirs was a very impressive performance for the very windy weekend to win the weekend at Gottskär!

J/70s sailing off Sweden"It has been a tough weekend. It was swiftly completed in Gottskär, thanks to the big winds and excellent RC team.  There were many islands on the race track (meaning boats broached on their sides) we had to avoid, especially for a bunch of Öresund sailors like us! But, we enjoyed the hard wind and our strength is the start and planing downwind- which we love,” says Malmö SS skipper Martin Starnberg.  Sailing photo credits- Daniel Stenholm   Follow Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

GUT FEELING Cruises J/109 East Coast Championship

J/109 sailboat (Newport, RI)- After a long summer of racing up and down the eastern seaboard, the J/109 Northeastern fleet gathered together for their 2018 East Coast Championship, hosted by Ida Lewis YC, in Newport, RI.  The fleet of nine boats enjoyed six races over their two days of racing from September 8th to 9th, 2018.

After starting off with three bullets, the question was whether Ted Herlihy’s North American Championship winning crew on GUT FEELING from Buzzards Bay could repeat as the 2018 East Coast Champion? The answer was quickly forthcoming, in the form of a 2-1-3 closing tally to toss a podium 3rd place finish to end with just 6 pts net.  Domination?  A “schooling”?  Perhaps.  Nevertheless, it was an eye-opener for the balance of the J/109 teams that were assembled for their end-of-season finale.

Giving their all in a run for the gold was Tom Sutton’s Houston, TX crew aboard their bright-red LEADING EDGE, posting a steady 3-4-3-1-3-1 for 11 pts net. Closing out the podium, and also winning the Corinthians Division, was Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG with a 2-2-4-3-5-8 scoreline for 16 pts net.  Top woman skipper was Brook Mastrorio’s URSA in 4th place.  Past regatta winner, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY YCC crew took 5th position.  For more J/109 East Coast Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, September 17, 2018

ANGELS Soar To USA J/24 National Championship

J/24 USA Nationals winners (Falmouth Foreside, ME)- This year’s J/24 U.S. National Championship, hosted by Portland Yacht Club in Falmouth, ME, saw a very strong and competitive fleet of forty-eight teams assembled from across the USA and South America (Argentina).  Starting off slowly, but closing fast in the final race, it was Robby Brown’s ANGELS OF HARLEM that snagged the 2018 USA J/24 title.  Here is how it all went down over the three days of the regatta.

Day One
It was worth the wait for the anxious fleet. After several hours of anticipating the wind to settle, it came in at 6-8 knots, and then increased to 8-10, allowing two long races to go in the books on Casco Bay.

At the close of the day, two races were held, and two teams were tied at 5 points each- Nicolas Cubria’s ELVIS from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET (a long-time “local” in these Portland waters). Cubria registered a 4-1, while Parker took a 3-2. Local Carter White’s YOUREGATTA.COM held the third spot with 11 points.

Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES (a top woman J/24 helm) commenced the Championship with the opening bullet, in advance of White and Parker. Cubria then took line honors in the second race, as Parker moved up to second and Aidan Glackin’s Mental Floss made the top three.

Day Two
Along with the wind being shifty on Saturday, so were the standings. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET claimed the overall advantage after posting a pair of thirds, giving him a consistent record of 3-2-3-3 in the four races thus far (11 points). Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM shot up to second place with 20 points after rocking a 1-2 amongst the 48-boat fleet. Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS cracked the top three with 38 points.
J24 startFickle winds around 6-8 knots made for a long day on Casco Bay. Brown started his leap up the leaderboard with a bullet in race three, trailed by Matt Coughlin’s FUDGIE and Parker. Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED earned the next victory with Brown and Parker again in the top three.

Day Three- Finale
By way of a second-place finish in Sunday’s final, and only, race, Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM clinched his first J/24 US National Championship. The Florida-based skipper came into Sunday nine points behind Parker’s BANGOR PACKET, but Brown’s second, paired with Parker’s 12, gave him the Championship by a single point over Parker in the five-race series.

Breeze on Casco Bay looked promising at the start of the day, but lightened throughout. The Race Committee waited two hours in hopes of starting a sixth race, but the wind Godz did not cooperate. Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS took the bronze spot on the podium with 42 points.

Joining Brown on the ANGEL OF HARLEM crew were Mark Liebel, Ron Hyatt, Arthur Blodgett and Brian Simkins. Liebel shared that the team prefers light air, which the Championship saw plenty of. Regarding Sunday’s race, Liebel summarized, “We had a very good start at the boat and tacked right away into the current. We played the current, instead of the shifts, both upwind and downwind. We sailed our race, and the end result worked out!”

Rounding out the top five were Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES (the USA Women’s J/24 Champion) in fourth place and Petley-Jones’ LIFTED took fifth.  For more USA J/24 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

ARTTUBE Wins Italian J/70 Cup- Trieste

J/70 winners Italy circuitCALVI NETWORK Crowned Series Champion
(Trieste, Italy)- The fourth act of the Italian J/70 Cup series took place off the beautiful, exotic eastern Italian Riviera on the Adriatic Sea off the port of Trieste, Italy. Hosting the twenty-boat, four nations fleet (Italy, Poland, Russia, & Switzerland) fleet was the YC Trieste based at Portopiccolo.  The weather Godz were not cooperating at all for this season-ending finale, with just four races counting for the regatta and series totals.

Winning the final event was the Russian team on ARTTUBE RUS-1, skippered by the famous Russian woman helm- Valeria Kovalenko from the Taganrog Sailing Club. Considering the high-level of competition, she posted a remarkably steady scoreline of 1-5-5-2 for 13 pts total.  Taking second was Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM with a 4-4-2-6 tally for 16 pts.  Third was Mauro Brescacin’s SOCIETE NAUTICA GIGNANO with a 15-2-1-3 for 21 pts total.  In fact, tied on points at 21 with Brescacin’s team was the Russian crew of Dmitriy Shunin on GOLDEN WING, the Konakovo River Club team settling for 4th after countback.  Fifth went to Gianfranco Noe’s CALVI NETWORK with a 12-10-4-1 tally for 27 pts.

J/70s sailing ItalyThe final results for the season series (Sanremo, Porto Ercole, Malcesine and Portopiccolo) show that it was the crew of CALVI NETWORK (Gianfranco Noè, Karlo Hmeljak, Giulio Desiderato, Irene Bezzi, Sergio Blosi) that won the 2018 Italian J/70 Cup- a 4 event, 26 race series, for the second consecutive year!

Gianfranco Noè, owner and driver of CALVI NETWORK, commented, "We could not hope for a better result: when at the beginning of the season we started planning, we said it would have been fantastic to put the seal on the circuit also winning the act of Trieste: this event was in fact particularly important for me because these are the waters where I was born and grew up as a sailor. It was a pity that there was no Enfant Terrible to duel with us until the end, because at the beginning of this leg, after twenty-two races, we were only divided by 5 points in the seasonal ranking".

Taking second overall for the series was the two-time European Champion, Claudia Rossi of PETITE TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES.

J/70 Italy Corinthians winnersThe European Champions on ENFANT TERRIBLE-ADRIA FERRIES, led by skipper/ owner Alberto Rossi, did not participate in the last act of the circuit, but nevertheless closed the season in third position, thanks to the excellent placings scored during the season, including the victories in Sanremo and Porto Ercole.

LA FEMME TERRIBLE, with co-owners Paolo Tomsic and Mauro Brescacin, and crew of Emanuele Noè, Giuliano Chiandrussi and Francesca Pagan, won the Italian J/70 Cup Corinthians Division.  The silver medal went to NOBERASCO DAS skippered by Alessandro Zampori and third place went to WHY NOT- #SLAM sailed by Alessio Zucchi.  Sailing photo credits- Zerogradinord   Follow Italian J/70 Cup on Facebook here  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

J/88 Planing mode- Sweden’s Tjörn Runt Regatta

J/88 Planing mode in Sweden’s famous annual Tjörn Runt Regatta on the Swedish west coast.
Blowing 20-30 kts with A3 reaching kite up!  Thanks for video from J/88.SE and the crew of Jocke Cordaly, Mans Lundberg, Carl Fjallman, Johannes Tegern, Fredrik Eliasson, and Jonas Dyberg.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkiteyy80P8
Flip

“The Joy of Sailing a J”- by Gaston Moonen

Gaston Moonen sailing his J/145 offshoreGaston Moonen- is a current owner of a J/27 and J/145 in The Netherlands and his family has a J/120, too. 

Enjoy Gaston’s story about how they fell in love with sailing a long line of J’s over time.

“If there is anything that got my family and me into fast cruising it is J/Boats. I started sailing at the age of nine when my father, an agricultural entrepreneur in the most land-locked province in the Netherlands, took his family– with five children- on a two-week sailing course. A few weeks after, he purchased two dinghies and the subsequent winter he ordered his first yacht, a Van der Stadt Design.

My mother, not feeling comfortable on any boat, showed greatness in allowing this, something she has continued doing until the present day, including never lacking interest in the tales of sailing adventures we bring home.

I got to know J/Boats when I was studying at the University of Minnesota and saw J/22s competing against each other on Lake Minnetonka in 1990. I have never lost that image!

That same summer of 1990, my father, my brother Martien and I test-sailed several sailing boats of different makes in the Netherlands. This included the J/35, which a dealer had just brought to Dutch waters as an example of J/Boats’ bigger models.

It did not take us too long to decide in favour of a brand new J/35, Then, and actually for every subsequent boat purchase, we used three main selection criteria: first, the boat had to be fast - no speed, no fun. Second, it had to be rock solid, both in build and equipment. And third: when, after a weekend’s sailing, you took a last look at the boat, the boat should make you think, each and every time: ‘What a beauty!’ Although we did not know it then, this last criteria is very much in line with what I once heard in person from Rodney Johnstone, saying: ‘Half the joy of owning a boat is looking at it.’

Moonen's J/35 Jam SessionFast cruising is what we mainly did with our J/35 Jam Session. This ranged from trips to Normandy, including the Channel Islands, to fjords in Norway and also doing a ’Round Britain,’ but then in cruising mode, enjoying the shore’s great beauty. Most often we shared, meaning that one crew would do the first half of the trip, another crew the other half, always with at least a few family members on board. We truly loved our J/35, and not only because we were overtaking boats that were much bigger. We loved it also because it was such a comfortable boat to sail, which may come as a surprise to those who have only seen a J/35 and not sailed it. There was comfort in its stability, comfort in its straightforward set-up, also on the inside, and comfort in its ruggedness. While we pushed it hard occasionally, nothing broke, everything did what it was supposed to do. It had the finger-tip control in combination with thrilling responsiveness to wind and sea conditions that we knew from dinghy sailing.

While fast cruising was its main destiny, we occasionally raced. I really got to know how much fun this was when I studied and worked in Manhattan in the early nineties and was a crew member sailing in Long Island Sound with skipper Dominique. Great fun, on a J/35 in a one-design fleet of about 20 boats. That’s where I got hooked on one-design racing, truly boat-to-boat racing. On my return to the Netherlands, this translated into the purchase of a J/22 and taking part more and more often, together with my wife Anne Marie and two friends, in J/22 one-design races, culminating in joining the 1995 J/22 Worlds in the Netherlands. While our results were poor, the fun we had and our learning curve were steep.

Moonen's J/120 sailboatHaving started families of our own, we decided it was time for something bigger and time to join the J/sprit revolution that J/Boats triggered in the nineties. As a sailing family we looked for a boat with ease of sail handling downwind, while still applying the other three criteria mentioned above, the first one having become even more nuanced, i.e. we were not only seeking passage-making speed but also excellent performance in upwind conditions. Our experience had shown that when sailing on the North Sea, beating against the wind somehow occurred more often than sailing downwind, and that pointing high was so much fun when gaining on other boats while enabling you to keep your engine hours low. So early this century we roamed boat shows and all the family members involved came to the same conclusion: it had to be a J/120. To get a good idea of the details of our newly-ordered J/120 we visited the J/Composites shipyard in Les Sable d’Olonne in France, just as we had visited the TPI shipyard on Rhode Island for our J/35 in the nineties. Besides the warm welcome we received from the Johnstone’s and others, this gave us amazing insights into how J/Boats is able to blend innovative new techniques with solid craftsmanship.

What makes sailing on a "J "so typically "J"? A few reasons that leap to mind are:
  • ‘Feeling’ the wind through your boat: every puff is translated into speed and/or higher pointing;
  • Staying in touch with the elements: the low freeboard/topsides at cockpit level contribute tremendously to sailing, feeling close to the water, yet remaining dry;
  • Walking on the deck of any J you feel the solid ‘build’ of the boat;
  • The set-up of things, be it on the deck or inside, makes sense. One quickly relates to this ‘common sense,’ reflected in design and execution, built on experience. This common sense approach is also the stepping stone for innovation, the Johnstone family not only thinking about changing a product but how people relate to sailing, how that changes and what this requires to optimize the joy of sailing;
  • Whenever I see a J it is a joy for the eye and it gives you a great feeling to sail on one of these gems yourself! After all, who wants to sail on an ugly boat?
Moonen's J/145 and J/27 in The NetherlandsStill today, our J/120 does what we bought it for: providing many enjoyable family sailing hours across generations, with my father at the age of 85 still sailing on it, or my brothers and sisters, and our children, cousins or the like-minded, joining in. And every trip is a new adventure.

Probably my wife and I are the worst infected by the J-fever, having bought a J/27, called Jiggy, in 2004. We use Jiggy both as ‘get away from work’ on a nearby lake and as a pocket racer in winter race series in the Netherlands, leading to pleasant podium ascents with a boat of 35 years in mint condition.

For a good two years now, my wife and I and our three children are also the proud owners of the J/145 Ilderim, the fifth J in the family of J/boats we have sailed extensively. While providing more space, more speed, and also more draft, our J/145 ticks by far all the boxes we are looking for in a sailing boat - and even more, providing a fast, robust and comfortable yacht of timeless and striking beauty that offers an excellent and safe basis for memorable family fun sailing adventures.

From the very beginning, the Johnstone family has understood what it takes to make this happen for our family, and many others. Enjoy your J!”

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Big Boat Series Preview

J/105s sailing Rolex Big Boat Series (San Francisco, CA)- If it’s the third week of September, it must be that time of year for the bucket-list worthy, most famous, Rolex Big Boat Series sailing on San Francisco Bay from September 12th to 16th!  Will it “blow dogs off chains” or will it be a benign cruise around the Bay?! Whatever the case, the St Francis YC’s PRO and RC teams will ensure the big fleet will have a most excellent time racing on the Berkeley Circle in the east Bay as well as offer epic battles up and down the amazing San Francisco waterfront, as teams try to buck the powerful tides rolling in and out of the Bay at speeds up to 5 kts!

Not surprisingly, the J/105s have by far the largest fleet in the regatta, with twenty-eight boats the J/105 Fleet #1 has become the veritable “backbone” of the regatta, without which there may not be a Rolex Big Boat Series! All of the top teams will be prepared to do battle along the spectacular San Francisco city waterfront in the afternoon races and down in the Berkeley Circle for their morning races.  The teams that should feature at the top of the leaderboard include Doug Bailey’s AKULA, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ryan Simmons BLACKHAWK, Rolf Kaiser & Shannon Ryan’s DONKEY JACK, Phi Laby’s GODOT, Chris & Phil Perkins’ GOOD TIMIN, Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Ian Charles’ MAVERICK, Jeff Litfin’s MOJO, and Tim Russell’s NE*NE.

Sporting their biggest attendance yet in the RBBS are the J/88s on San Francisco Bay.  Eight teams will be competing for class honors on the same race tracks as the J/105 fleet. Fresh off his 4th place at the J/80 North Americans on Buzzards Bay is Gary Panariello, sailing his COURAGEOUS with a crew of local hotshots that have won their class before at RBBS.  Challenging them will be crews like Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY, Marc McMorris’ M-SQUARED, Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE, and Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG.

In the ORR handicap world, J/crews will be sailing in two classes.  In ORR B are a trio of J/111s and a trio of J/125s, should be a fascinating dogfight between those teams on handicap time! The J/111s include Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN, and Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS.  The J/125s have Richard Ferris’ AUGUST ICE, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER, and Zach Anderson’s VELVET HAMMER.  At the end of the day, the Las Vegas odds in this class favor a J/111 or J/125 to win class, if not a complete class sweep, such is the talent in this offshore fleet!

The ORR C class includes a trio of J/120s, most of whom have won their one-design class in the past.  Those teams are Barry Lewis’ CHANCE, Steve Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO, and David Halliwill’s PEREGRINE. Despite sailing on ORR handicap, do not be surprised this trio of J/120s sweep their class.
Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/ Daniel Forster. For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

What it takes to win the J/111 Worlds

J/111 World Championship winner- Martin Dent's JELVIS It was a repeat win for Martin Dent’s JELVIS from Cowes, England.

Twelve teams battled throughout the weeklong J/111 Worlds in Breskens, Netherlands, where big-breeze speed was the key to success. Martin Dent and his team on JELVIS scored nine straight bullets and a second out of 12 races, an impressive scoreline!

North Sails expert Ruairidh “Rory” Scott , main trimmer and crew captain onboard JELVIS, says the team did a great job with boat handling.

 “Our crew made sure our hoists, spinnaker jibes and douses were on time and very tidy. This resulted in huge gains and the ability to overtake boats when the pressure was on.”

They also matched headsail choice and mode to the conditions, Rory continues. “Most of the races were on the crossover between the J2 and J3. As the waves got bigger, we felt more comfortable on the J3 as a wider range of steering angles was possible. On Friday, the waves were a little smaller and so we went back to the J2, which allowed us to sail a little higher at the same speed.”

Downwind, it was important to sail the correct mode. “We were usually the first boat to sail a higher angle, which was faster downwind. The crossover was around 17 knots, and we also kept the jib up to maximize efficiency. As soon as the wind dropped below 16 for any length of time we would drop the jib and put the bow down.”

North Sails expert Jeremy Smart helped Tony Mack’s McFly finish second overall and kept an eye on JElvis, noticing all the things they were doing right. “Their speed was unmatched as the breeze came up, when boat handling became crucial.”

“The biggest gains were made downwind,” Jeremy continued. “They were able to sail hotter angles to extend, leaving their jib up and maintaining control while planing. Surfing waves was really helpful, which they were very good at, making them unbelievably fast.”

    “3Di has a great edge in breeze because it holds its shape very well,” Jeremy added. “Since it doesn’t stretch, the power that is put into the sail is transferred straight into the performance of the boat. The speed is unparalleled.”

JElvis used North Sails standard sail designs for the 2018 Worlds. For more information on our World Championship-winning sails, please contact a North J/111 class expert.

Gorgeous J/122E @ Southampton Boat Show!

J/122e sport cruiser (Southampton, England)- J/Boats United Kingdom dealer- Key Yachting Ltd- will be exhibiting the gorgeous J/122E cruiser-racer at the Southampton Boat Show from 14th September to Sunday, the 23rd. Step aboard at their exhibit on marina berths M427-433.

The winner of IRC1 at last week's Dartmouth regatta, the J/122E is a versatile 40 foot cruiser-racer, with comfortable live-aboard accommodation, a refined deck layout, low VCG keel with a moderate 7.2' draft. The hull & deck are built using superior infusion molding technology to maximize durability and long-term value.

An IRC-friendly cruiser/racer, the J/122E offers a completely furnished interior, a simple to manage balanced sail plan, head turning sailing performance and great looks; perhaps the ultimate 40' day sailing, weekending, racing and cruising sailboat?

The J/122e on display at the show is a pre-owned model, currently listed for sale with Key Yachting. Learn more about the J/122E here.   For more Southampton Boat Show information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken Jr., and Terry Hutchinson?

J/24 and J/70 sailor- Terry HutchinsonHmmm.  Good guys, all.

Bill Wagner from The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD had an interesting chat with Terry Hutchinson recently. 

For the un-initiated, Terry was a 2x College Sailor of the Year at Old Dominion University, a J/24 World Champion, a J/70 East Coast Champion, and a great family guy.  That he's won the Farr 40, TP 52, and Maxi 72 Worlds with other teams is merely an asterisk to his J/24 accomplishments (the foundation of many of the world's best sailors worldwide).

As a kid growing up in Maryland, Terry Hutchinson couldn’t wait until weekends. Most Saturdays and Sundays were spent on the West River where his father Phil berthed a Concordia Yawl at Hartge Yacht Harbor in Galesville.

“We would go down there on the weekends and I would always beg my dad to rig up the dinghy so I could go sailing,” Hutchinson recalled. “I’d spend all day out on the water. It felt like my own little place of freedom.”

That love and passion for sailing that was instilled at a young age would become a guiding force in Hutchinson’s life. He attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia primarily because it boasted a strong sailing team.

Hutchinson was named College Sailor of the Year in 1989 and 1990, establishing a reputation that would lead to a career he never envisioned. He graduated from Old Dominion with an education degree, but wound up working for Ed Reynolds out of a Shore Sails loft in Traverse City, Michigan.

“My job was as much about promoting the product as selling,” Hutchinson said. “The J/24 class was wildly popular at the time and was a target market for our loft.”

Hutchinson sailing J/24So Hutchinson hit the J/24 circuit and quickly ascended to the top, reaching the pinnacle by capturing the 1998 world championship off San Francisco.

Twenty years later, Hutchinson is still competing at the highest level of the sport. Last month, the veteran professional led Quantum Racing to the TP52 World Championship out of Cascais, Portugal.

That was just the latest in a long line of significant accomplishments for Hutchinson, who ranks among the greatest sailors in the long history of the sport. The 1986 St. Mary’s High graduate has been part of five America’s Cup campaigns and has been named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year twice (2008, 2014). He has claimed a total of 15 world championships in five different classes as either a skipper or tactician.

Hutchinson’s legendary career as a professional sailor was recognized when it was recently announced he was a member of the 2018 induction class into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame. The Harwood native becomes just the second sailor ever selected for the state shrine, joining Annapolis resident Gary Jobson (2016 inductee).

Hutchinson on J/70 in Annapolis, MD“When you look at all the notable people who are members of the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame it is really humbling. I don’t look at myself in the same manner as someone like Cal Ripken,” Hutchinson said. “To be considered on par with so many great athletes is a tremendous honor.”

Hutchinson was particularly proud to represent the sport of sailing and happy the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee gave it equal consideration to more mainstream pursuits such as football, basketball, baseball, golf and tennis.

Hutchinson’s professional career is far from complete and he is still chasing the one dream he’s held since boyhood. The 50-year-old is serving as skipper and CEO of American Magic, the New York Yacht Club’s challenger for the 36th America’s Cup.

Hutchinson came close to hoisting the Auld Mug in 2007 as tactician for Team New Zealand, which reached the finals of the 32nd America’s Cup. It was one of the greatest matches in America’s Cup history with Switzerland-based Alinghi Racing beating Team New Zealand 5-2.

“I don’t really want to sit back and reflect on my career right now because I haven’t achieved the greatest goal I set for myself,” Hutchinson said. “I want to become an America’s Cup champion, so there is still work to be done.”

The induction ceremony will be on Nov. 8, 2018.  As J/Boats, we always wish him well! :)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Inaugural J/80 Asian Championship Announcement!

Asian J/80 Championship- Xiamen, China (Xiamen, China)- J/80 production in China started in 2008. Since that time hundreds of J/80’s have been built in China and supplied around Asia and many into new Chinese fleets. This year production has been steady at 1 1/2 boats per week, non-stop.

New fleets have developed in Qingdao, Sanya and Suzhou in 2018. The J/80 Chinese Class has been established and is now the only class in China that is working with a complete set of World Sailing class rules; including boat weight equalization, sail measurements, safety gear checks and crew weight limits being enforced.

This year’s J/80 Asian Championship will be raced out of Wuan Bay in Xiamen, from December 4th to 10th, 2018. The class anticipates the fleet will be 40-65 boats with teams from around Asia.

The first twenty new charter boats will be pre-checked on boat weight and safety gear. Sails and the safety gear list will be checked prior to registration. Three days planned for checking boats and practice. Priority will be given to international teams not based in China up until October 1st.

The racing area is not far from the docking areas and the plan is for two to 4 races per day over four days of racing. This will be an open J/80 event, so no issues on professional sailors in the class rules. Each driver will need to be a member of either the international or national class association. This can be done at registration.

If you or your team are interested in participating this December please contact- Jim Johnstone at J/Boats China- email- jimjboats@icloud.com Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/111 North American Championship Preview

J/111s sailing offshore(Macatawa Bay, MI)- Hosted by Macatawa Bay YC, the 2018 edition of the J/111 North American Championship will be taking place from September 18th to 21st, Tuesday to Friday, on the beautiful, but capricious blue waters of Lake Michigan.  An excellent turnout of sixteen teams are participating that includes past World, North American, Midwinter, Chicago-Mackinac, Bayview-Mackinac, and Chicago NOOD class champions- a remarkable collection of talent for just 16 boats!

Hoping to lead that charge will be World Champion Peter Wagner with his San Francisco-based crew on SKELETON KEY.  Two Midwinter and Key West Champions from the Cleveland, OH and Lake Erie circuit will be up to the challenge of squaring off with the top West Coast team, they are Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF and Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK.

The local Chicago/ Midwest superstar teams include the trio on KASHMIR (Brummel, Henderson, Mayer), Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi on MOMENTUS, John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY and Brad Faber’s UTAH.  From the East Coast are two strong teams, Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND from Annapolis, MD and Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY.  For more J/111 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

J’s Sweep Seaflower Reef Race

J/92 Thin Man - winner Vineyard/ Seaflower Reef Race (Stamford, CT)- New England's classic Labor Day weekend offshore race has to be Stamford YC’s annual Vineyard Race.  The 238 nautical-mile adventure starts off Stamford Harbor, and takes racers down the length of Long Island Sound to Buzzard's Bay Light Tower (passing it to starboard), then back to Block Island (also passing it to starboard) before again sailing the length of Long Island Sound, back to the finish just inside the harbor. The Stamford YC race committee also starts the 143 nautical mile Seaflower Reef Course that includes two PHRF Divisions.  Both races are popular with J/Crews from all over the northeastern seaboard.

However, this year’s race may go down in history as one of the longest ever. Winning PHRF Class 11 and Overall PHRF was Bill & Jackie Baxter’s J/111 FIREBALL; their victory took just under 48 hours to complete the course- an average 4.95 kts over 238nm!  Ouch!  Second in their class was another J/111, Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA.

Taking 2nd PHRF Overall and winning PHRF Class 9 was Dan Nash’s J/109 MISTRAL.  They led a sweep of their class by other J/teams; 2nd was Don Dwyer’s J/109 GUARDIAN J, 3rd Mike Greene’s J/35 LOBLOLLY, and 4th was Cao Deambrosio & Chris Nicholls’ J/109 RHIANNON III.

Winning PHRF Class 10 was Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE, with John Greifzu’s J/109 GROWTH SPURT in 3rd place.  Then, showing their class, commitment, and perseverance was the J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN (sailed by the Young American Youth Sailing Academy Team from Rye, NY), taking a 4th in PHRF Class 8.

In the IRC Class 12, the J/44s have done it again, with Len Sitar’s VAMP winning class with Chris Lewis’ Texas crew on KENAI taking fourth place.

J/109 sailing Vineyard RaceSimilar to the dominant performances of J/crews in the Vineyard Race PHRF divisions, the same scenario played out in the 143nm Seaflower Reef course that takes place all inside Long Island Sound.  Sailing their 10th anniversary race was Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN, celebrating appropriately by winning both PHRF Class 5 and also PHRF Overall- being awarded the Cotton Blossom Performance Trophy.

Here was Todd’s commentary on their race:

“That was definitely one for the history books! We had a great start in very lumpy conditions... Easterly wind at about 15 knots. The wind increased, the wind decreased, it shifted left, and it shifted right. We started with a full main and the #2 jib. When it got windier, we put in a reef. When it got lighter, we shook out the reef. When it got lighter still, we changed (bare-headed) to the #1 jib. Then, the wind started building again. Time to put the reef back in, but only temporarily since the wind is going to drop soon (right?).  At 22kts, we decided enough abuse for the #1 and switched to the #3 (bare-headed). That was good for a while, but then, the wind did drop and we switched back to the #1.

With the Easterly wind, the waves were pretty big and we were getting plenty of water over the deck. Then, the instruments shut off completely! It's really hard to drive in waves without a boat speed reading. I found a couple of bad connections right away, one of which was for the automatic bilge pump. That helped, since it now pumped some of the water out of the cabin, but still no instruments. Since it wasn't an easy fix, I went back to driving (without instruments) for an hour or two. Then, I went back to working on the instruments and got the wiring problem fixed.

The race was tough, a windward beat directly into the waves for most of the day, followed by some close tacking near the Connecticut shore in the night approaching Seaflower Reef. Once around the mark, we set the spinnaker and it was a gorgeous sleigh-ride all the way home.

When I got my "new" J/92 THIN MAN in 2007, I immediately set my sights on the Vineyard Race.  I didn't know the boat well enough the first year to be comfortable jumping in right away, so we devoted ourselves to sprucing her up for 2008.  Incredibly, we started off with a fleet and class win that year.  Here is how we’ve done ever since:

  • 2008 - Cornfield Point - 1st in class, 1st in fleet
  • 2010 - Cornfield Point - 1st in class, 1st in fleet (and boat speed record of 21 knots)
  • 2011 - Seaflower Reef - 1st in class, 1st in fleet
  • 2012 - Seaflower Reef - 2nd in class
  • 2013 - Vineyard Double-Handed - 4th in class
  • 2014 - Seaflower Reef - 1st in class
  • 2015 - Seaflower Reef - 1st in class
  • 2016 - Seaflower Reef - 1st in class, 1st in fleet
  • 2017 - Seaflower Reef - 5th in class
  • 2018 - Seaflower Reef - 1st in class, 1st in fleet
Every time is different, and every time is GREAT!  Thank you to everyone  on our crew, you are the ones that makes it so much fun and so memorable!”

Besides, the J/92 THIN MAN winning PHRF Class 5, Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR took the bronze, Ken & Drew Hall’s J/88 NEVERMORE took 4th, and Justin Scagnelli’s J/88 ALBONDIGAS place 6th.

In addition, winning the PHRF Class 4 Doublehanded was Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE.

A great showing overall for the J/Tribe in the various Vineyard Race events!  Follow the SYC Vineyard Race on Facebook here   For more Vineyard Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/22 Worlds Update

J/22 Worlds Annapolis, MD (Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis YC is hosting the 2018 edition of the J/22 World Championship from September 9th to 14th on the Chesapeake Bay, for a fleet of sixty-five entries from the USA, Canada, South Africa, and The Netherlands. Here is what is happening since it started on Tuesday.

Day 1- Thunderous Start for Thunder Chicken!
It was a foggy morning on the Chesapeake Bay for the opening day. But, patience prevailed to allow for four races to be completed, with Allan Terhune dominating the day.

It was a solid day for the locals as all four races were won by Annapolis teams, led by 2013 J/22 World Champion Terhune with crew Skip Dieball and Cate Muller as the Thunder Chicken team recorded scores of 4,6,1,2 for 13 points.

2016 J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall’s Bad News started with a 13 but added a solid 3,4,3 to claim second place with 23 points. Zeke Horowitz’s Uncle Fluffy’s 11th in today’s final contest added to a count of 6,1,6 for 24 points and third position.

Following a postponement while the fog subsided on the Chesapeake Bay, racing got underway in 6-8 knots as local Jeffrey Todd’s Hot Toddy opened the Championship with a win. Travis Odenbach’s HoneyBadger and Christopher Doyle’s The Jug 4 1 followed in the top three. Horowitz gained the second victory, pursued by Pat Curran’s Alzo and Marshall.

While winds worked their way up to about 10 knots, Terhune earned the next bullet, chased by fellow Annapolis YC member J.R. Maxwell’s Scooby and Odenbach. Brad Julian’s USA677 was able to lead the fleet back to shore after race four, with Terhune and Marshall.

With 11 races scheduled, it was a solid start as the threat of Hurricane Florence approaches the region.

Day One Results (Top 5 of 64; 4 races)
1. Allan Terhune, USA - 4 -6 -1 -2, 13
2. Mike Marshall, USA - 13 -3 -4 -3, 23
3. Zeke Horowitz, USA - 6 -1 -6 -11, 24
4. Pat Curran, USA - 7 -2 -5 -21, 35
5. Brad Julian, USA - 10 -19 -10 -1, 40

J/22 Worlds Annapolis, MDDay 2- Thunder Chicken Still Flying Fast
Terhune’s Thunder Chicken has been putting his local knowledge to good use. While many teams have struggled with the strong current and light air, Terhune strengthened his first-place advantage during Wednesday’s two races.

With the benefit of a discard after the sixth race, Thunder Chicken is able to toss an 18, leaving them with net scores of 4,6,1,2,2 for 15 points. That’s nine points better than fellow local- Zeke Horowitz’s Uncle Fluffy, who moved up a spot to second with a 5,6 today for 24 net points. Michael Marshall’s Bad News placed 35th in race five, and even with this being their throw-out, dropped to third place with 35 points.

Sunshine returned to the Chesapeake Bay, but the breeze stayed calm at about 6 knots. The day’s opening match saw some new names at the top: Chris Wientjes’ Us, Cory Sertl’s Lucy and Kevin Doyle’s Mo’ Money. Kevin’s son Jake Doyle on Zesty Enterprise took the next contest, shadowed by Terhune and David Waiting’s Solstice.

With locally heavy flooding predicted as part of Hurricane Florence hitting the USA East Coast in the Carolinas, the Annapolis YC PRO and Committee have elected to run at least three more races on Thursday and close the regatta one day early. So, it’s all to play for Thursday with a good breeze forecasted to power the fleet around the racetrack.

Day Two Results (6 races, 1 discard)
1. Thunder Chicken, Allan Terhune, USA - 4 -6 -1 -2 -[18] -2; 15
2. Uncle Fluffy, Zeke Horowitz, USA - 6 -1 -6 -[11] -5 -6; 24
3. Bad News, Mike Marshall, USA - 13 -3 -4 -3 -[35] -12; 35
4. US, Chris Wientjes, USA - 23 -[30] -9 -6 -1 -8; 47
5. Scooby, J.R. Maxwell, USA - 18 -5 -2 -[31] -15 -9; 49

For more J/22 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/FEST Southwest Announcement!

J/122 at J/Fest Southwest in Houston, TX (Houston, TX)- This year’s J/FEST Southwest Regatta will be taking place from October 12th to 14th, hosted by Lakewood YC on Clear Lake and on Galveston Bay.  Again, all J/Owners are invited to participate and the hope is that several one-design fleets will have starts, including J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s at a minimum!  Plus, there will be PHRF racing for the larger J’s. Come one, come all!  Never too late to head south and enjoy some fun in the Texas sun, great beer, and awesome TexMex food!

Since it was such a HUGE hit last year, the “LEGENDS RACE” will take place on Clear Lake, right in front of the club.  This year, it will be a fleet of J/22s and J/24s, with live commentary on-site and on Facebook Live off the patio of the “party-barge” called BARGE 295.  There will be five (5) video cameras recording the live action!  It will be a blast for everyone!

IF you have any questions at all, please contact Scott Spurlin at mobile- 512-423-2179 or email- scott@jboatssouthwest.com  Watch the J/FEST Southwest promo highlights video here.  For more J/FEST Southwest sailing and registration information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Newport Boat Show- See the J/112E, J/121 & J/70!

Women J/80 team celebrating a win(Newport, RI)- The Newport Boat Show is open from September 13th to 16th, Thursday to Sunday, from 10:00am to 6:00pm at the Newport Yachting Center in downtown Newport, off the famous America’s Cup Avenue.

On display will be three exciting models in the J/Boats line up- the World Sailing Offshore Champion- the J/112E sport cruiser; the Bermuda Race St David’s Lighthouse Division Champion- the new J/121 shorthanded offshore speedster; and the world’s most popular one-design sportboat- the famous J/70 speedster!

J/112E sport cruiser world championFor starters, the most decorated J/Boat in recent months will amaze people with its family-friendly “cruising” features as well as its extraordinary performance in European regattas.

The J/112E was the 2018 IRC European Overall Champion and was also the World Sailing Offshore Champion in Class 3 (the largest by far in the regatta with 50+ boats on the starting line). Learn more about the J/112E sport cruiser here.

J/121 sailing offshore in CaribbeanNext, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster continues to gather steam, with class wins in the Newport to Bermuda Race (Gibbs Hill Lighthouse “professional” division), the Doublehanded Class winner in the Ida Lewis Distance Race, second in class at Heineken St Maarten Regatta, and first in class in the recent Conanicut Round Island Race on Narragansett Bay.

Take a tour to discover how this “water-ballasted” speedster is turning heads and helping to re-define fast, short-handed, offshore sailing- remember, a J/24, J/70 or J/80 crew are all it needs to get around the race track! Learn more about the J/121 Offshore Speedster here.

WOW- women on water- J/70 teamFinally, the world’s most popular sportboat- the famous International J/70 One-Design Class sailboat- continues to grow around the world, with fleets developing in all corners of Planet Earth and on every one of the Seven Seas!

Hop aboard and discover why W.O.W. (Women On Water) in Denmark and other parts of Europe (and the Americas) are rapidly adopting the J/70 as their one-design keelboat class of choice to encourage more women sailors to have fun and compete on the world stage! Learn more about the women & youth friendly J/70 class here.   For more Newport Boat Show information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sunny, Fast Conanicut Round Island

J/121 Crescent IV winning classJ/121 CRESCENT IV Takes 1st Class, 2nd Overall!
(Jamestown, RI)- Under sunny skies and a building sea breeze, one hundred yachts ranging from 80 to 22 feet sailed 18 miles around the small island of Conanicut nestled in the middle of Narragansett Bay on Sunday afternoon. One of the oldest races in North America, the race marks the end of the summer sailing season in the coastal region.

“Some sailors come out for the trophy or just bragging rights, while others are simply on a family picnic sail,” said Race Chair Alan Baines. “The best part about this race that there is something for everyone and it's truly a celebration of another summer coming to end.”

The triple-digit fleet represented 25% of all race boats registered on Narragansett Bay, making it one of the largest CYC Around the Island Races in recent history. Plagued by Hurricane forecasts the last two years, organizers- who have been planning since January- were very happy both the weather and competitors turned out for the event.

“We want to keep it fun above all else,” said Principal Race Officer Mark Grosby of Jamestown. “Fair racing, a scenic course, and a great party afterward are what keeps everyone coming back year after year.”

Separated into 11 divisions and staggering starts by 6 minutes, the slower boats started at 11:00 am on Sunday in 8 knots from the south. It was around Beavertail Lighthouse on the southern tip on Conanicut that the fleets began to converge as they set their spinnakers for a nine-mile downwind run along the western side of the island.

J/105 sailing Conanicut YC Round Island RaceThere were plenty of winners amongst the more than 800 sailors (for full results go to conanicutyachtclub.com/ATI) but the residents of Jamestown also received a special treat watching the spectacular race from the shore. Jane Miner commented on the Race’s Facebook Page: “Loved that I could use KATTACK [tracking website] to see when they would be coming by my house, and then the scratch sheet to know who was who when I saw them with my binoculars from my terrace! So glad the breeze came in, too!!”

In every division that included J/crews, they either won or placed on the podium- there was a LOT of silverware to give out!  Starting with PHRF B Class, Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX took third.  In PHRF C Class of mostly J/22s and J/24s, taking 2nd was Cory Sertl’s J/22 LUCY, 4th was Kira Munger’s J/24 Youth Grant Boat, and 5th was Henry Lane’s J/24 FAST LANE.

Then, in PHRF D Class, 3rd was Dexter Hoag’s J/30 ALTAIR while a sistership placed 4th- Chris Tate’s J/30 BLITZ. The same happened in the PHRF E Class, with Sean & Susan Doyle’s J/105 KESTREL in 2nd with their sistership- Matt Schmitt’s J/105 HARDTACK- taking 3rd on the podium.

In PHRF F Class, a perennial winner had to settle for silver this time around- Paul Grimes’ J/353 BREAKAWAY.  5th place went to Dawson & Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE.

The PHRF G Class consisted of just one-design J/109s.  Winning the internecine battle was Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE, joined on the podium by Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING in 2nd and John Sahagian’s PICANTE in third.

Finally, the “big boat J class” was PHRF H Class.  Not surprisingly, it was a battle of the 40-plus footers, with a Japanese crew taking the class honors!  Winning was Akimitu Hirai’s brand new J/121 CRESCENT IV from Hayama Marina YC in Japan- not only 1st in class, but 2nd in fleet PHRF Overall by a mere 18 seconds!  Third was Greg Manning’s J/121 SARAH and fifth went to Jack Gregg’s J/122 TARAHUMARA. Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown   For more Conanicut Round Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Gold For Australia & France @ World University Championship

J/80s sailing World University Championship off France (Cherbourg, France)- The 2018 edition of the World University Sailing Championship took place from August 30th to September 6th on the inner harbor of Cherbourg, France. The event was sailed in a matched-fleet of J/80 one-design class sailboats and was hosted by YC de Cherbourg. In the end, the YC Cherbourg PROs- Roland Galliot & Jean Paul Mauduit from France- managed to run a total of 21 qualifying races over three days for the nineteen teams participating from ten nations, then 8 more Championship races for the top 11 teams.

Winning the overall World University Sailing Championship was the AUSTRALIA 2 TEAM comprised of Thomas Grimes, Nicholas Rozenauers, Mitch Evans, and Jessica Grimes.  And, winning the Women’s World University Sailing Championship title was the FRANCE 3 TEAM that also took the bronze overall; their team included skipper Elodie Bonafous, Morgane Keramphele, Anne Guillou, Anna Kerdraon, and Louise Acker.

J/80s sailing World University Sailing ChampionshipOpening Day
It was under the radiant sunset on a Friday night, on “the Green Beach” of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, that the Opening ceremony of the 2018 World University Sailing Championship took place. The lively ceremony was marked by the presence of an unexpected and distinguished guest.

After each of the 10 delegations marched at the parade of nations, in the presence of 300 spectators and guests, former French Prime Minister and also former Mayor of Cherbourg- Bernard Cazeneuve- made his appearance while the French national anthem played across the sea and sky of Normandy.

Mr. Cazeneuve took the opportunity to thank the founders of the event, Olivier Gosselin and Eric Le Roi, two professors of physical education of the Cherbourg University campus.

Then, French Navy Admiral- Pascal Ausser- officially declared the World Championship “open”.  Thereafter, the festivities include an artistic performance by the students from the University of Normandy.

J/80 at World University Sailing ChampionshipDay 1- Spain takes lead
The regatta started on Saturday September 1st with almost ideal summer sailing conditions in the natural harbour of Cherbourg.

In spite of a good first round of races launched at 10:00am, the wind played on tricks on the competitors throughout the day.  The teams had to be patient since the 19 teams had to wait for their turn in the rotation of thirteen boats to compete on the water.

At the end of the first day, the SPAIN 2 TEAM (skippered by Alberto Basadre Lopez) was leading, followed by FRANCE 2 (skipper Pierrick Letouze) in second and the Australians on AUSTRALIA 2 in third place (skipper Tom Grimes).

”This day was difficult, because of the very unstable wind and the very good level of the other competitors. The championship lasts several days, this is why our objective was to start strong the race for the title,” commented Alberto Basadre Lopez, skipper of the SPAIN 2 team.

”We got organized and psyched up, that gave us confidence quickly, but we cannot lose any momentum, because it is a tightly-packed fleet. You should miss nothing, because otherwise we pay the price in boats lost! And, with the changes of wind, the waiting onshore between the two rotations was favorable for us,” explained Pierrick Letouzé, skipper of the crew FRANCE 2.

J/80s sailing off Normandy, FranceDay 2- Leaders confirm their position
The second day produced another gorgeous day of sailing, sunny, windy, and lots of races run for the enthusiastic university sailors.

On the water, the Spanish crew of SPAIN 2 again showed their domination by winning two races, allowing them to keep their leadership position. The Australians on AUSTRALIA 2 were not to be outdone, because they jumped into second place, followed closely by the French crew on FRANCE 2 and the French women’s team on FRANCE 3 (skipper Elodie Bonafous).

“It was a beautiful day for us, especially at the end when the wind increased in strength. We were able to adapt our tactics and learn from our errors from the day before. Little by little, we hoped to be the top qualifier for the Championship series, said Tom Grimes of AUSTRALIA 2.

“We are satisfied by our performance, especially with the 11th race. Our tactics and strategy was much better in the afternoon, thanks to a more stable and more regular wind that helped us sail faster!” commented Elodie Bonafous, skipper of women’s crew on FRANCE 3.

Day 3- Money time! Last day to qualify!
The third day of the regatta was the last day to qualify.  And, it turned out to be the windiest so far, with 9 races being run for the fleet.

Winning the qualifiers was Grimes’ AUSTRALIA 2 team, followed by Bonafous’ all-women FRANCE 2 team in second, Lopez’s SPAIN 2 team in third, Letouze’s FRANCE 2 crew in fourth, and Jonathan Yeo’s SINGAPORE 1 crew in fifth (the top Asian boat).

The Championship round then took place over the next two days, with all teams starting from scratch with zero points.  So, for many teams that presented an excellent opportunity to take lessons learned and experiences from the qualifying round for another chance to get on the podium!

French women- sailing J/80 in World University ChampionshipDay 4– The French Vikings Prevail!
After five races run in 10-12 knots of wind, there was no question which team was in command of the fleet- the French Vikings from Normandy on FRANCE 2; skipper Pierrick Letouze won three race to take the early lead in the Championship round.

Following them were the two Australian teams, Grimes’ AUSTRALIA 2 in second with a 1-2-3-6-5 tally and Ethan Pierto-Low’s AUSTRALIA 1 in third with a 2-8-5-2-2 record.  Settling into fourth position with a 3-5-7-9-3 scoreline was none other than Bonafous’ all-women Brittany crew on FRANCE 3. Rounding out the top five was the top Chinese crew, CHINA 1 skippered by Chuancheng Zhou with a respectable tally of 6-4-1-7-9.

”We had an performance in our qualifying round, but we recovered well and analyzed our errors. Then, there was a great alchemy with our team and we felt comfortable in the harbor, improving our speed and tactics. We are going to give everything tomorrow!” said skipper Letouzé on FRANCE 2.

”We have tried our best since the beginning of the competition, but the level of the other competitors is rather high. We are satisfied by our place in the general ranking, because we do not have much experience at this level of competition. Today, we took time to understand and adapt to the shifty winds in the harbor and to the weather report; that helped us a lot! Plus, we won a race, a minor victory perhaps, but very encouraging for us!” commented Chuancheng ZHOU, skipper of CHINA 1.

Australians- winners of J/80 World University ChampionshipDay 5- Thrilling Finale- Gold for Australia and France!
The final day was a bit like Muhammad Ali’s “Thrilla from Manila” fight for the World Boxing Championship belt many blue moons ago. However, this times it was the “Wonders from Down Under” that delivered the final hammer blow by winning the final race to take the title!  It was AUSTRALIA 2, skippered by Tom Grimes, that closed the last three races with a 1-6-1 to repeat as World University Champions (last won in 2016)!

Starting out the day with a 7-point lead over the Australians, it was FRANCE 2’s regatta to lose over three races.  In short, that is exactly what they did.  Under tremendous pressure to defend their “home court” advantage, Letouze’s Normandy team (Paul Cousin, Marie Zugolaro, Arthur Richer, & Swann Pain) just could not put it together on the last day, opening with a 6th and closing with two 4ths to take the silver medal, two points behind the Australians.

”We are really happy to win in Cherbourg! The level of the championship was very high, we were very happy to be here, and the French teams sailed very well. We had to fight hard all the way up to the end. Bravo to them, too!” said Jessica Grimes, crew on AUSTRALIA 2.

Women J/80 World University Sailing ChampionsThe surprising, and quite heart-warming, performance arose in the form of five French women! Bonafous’ all-women team from Normandy tied the AUSTRALIA 2 team for 2nd best record on the final day!  Their 3-3-2 was good enough to earn them the Bronze in the Open Division and the Gold for the Women’s Division!

“It was a great championship, with an excellent atmosphere, with a high level of competition on the water, and perfect conditions. It was fantastic to meet other crews, which come from everywhere, and the organization was really at the top!” commented Morgane Kéramphèle, crew on FRANCE 3.

Chinese women sailors- World University Sailing ChampionshipRounding out the top five were two more performances that are notable.  Having barely qualified in the first round, Aoi Makino’s crew on JAPAN 1 knew they had their work cut out for them to post a respectable regatta and be proud of the outcome.  After opening with a sub-par performance in the first 5 races (4-7-8-5-11), Makino’s crew (Shunsuke Mori, Kamikaze Takasaki, Tatsuya Takayama, & Daiki Tomita) finally figured it all out on the last day, closing with the best record for the day- a 4-1-3!  As a result, they leapt into 4th place, winning the tiebreaker on 39 pts each!

Taking 5th place on the tie-breaker countback was the Dutch crew on NETHERLANDS 1, skippered by Jelmer Van Beek with crew of Wietse Pijlman, Jorden Van Rooijen, & Ruger Vos.

The next World University Sailing Championship will take place at Lago di Ledro, Italy, in 2020!

Watch YouTube sailing videos here
Preparation- https://youtu.be/hE0yz3o9VfM
Day 2 highlights- https://youtu.be/TjKgNhqZJOI
For more FISU World University Sailing Championship information Add to Flipboard Magazine.