Monday, August 19, 2019

Beautiful J/Fest New England Regatta

J/99 sailing off Newport, RI
(Newport, RI)- The 2019 edition of the J/Fest New England Regatta, hosted by Sail Newport at the fabulous Fort Adams facility, had great racing for a fleet that included a J/PHRF fleet as well as the 2019 East Coast Championships for both the J/80 and J/109 classes.

The eight-boat J/80 fleet had a number of very strong teams representing each of the major fleets on the East Coast, including North American and Key West Champions. In the end, it was quite clear which team outclassed the fleet; winning with straight bullets in five races and crowned as 2019 J/80 East Coast Champions was Will & Marie Crump and Thomas Klok’s R80 from Annapolis YC in Annapolis, MD. A distant second place went to Conor Hayes’ MORE GOSTOSA with 11 pts, and rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER with 17 pts.

The seven-boat J/109 class was also loaded with past North American, East Coast, and New England Champions. However, it was not one of the dominant New England teams that won. Instead, it was a cast of characters from Houston, TX that spoiled the party, with Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE winning with all podium finishes (three 1sts, two 2nds, one 3rd) for just 10 pts. While LEADING EDGE set the pace, it was a full-blown battle for second place between Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING and Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA. The outcome literally came down to the last race. Holding on to 2nd place going into the last day, Mastrorio’s team just had to maintain their consistent performance to stay on the podium. However, her team nearly blew it on the first race on Sunday, posting an uncharacteristic 7th place. Regrouping after that shocking outcome, Brooke got her team motivated and posted a deuce to take the silver. Had she posted a 1st, she would have won the regatta; nevertheless, she still got on the podium with a bronze medal.

Winning the J/PHRF class of seven-boats was Joe Brito’s J/121 INCOGNITO with an unassailable record of four bullets and a deuce for 6 pts total! Second was the new J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster- AGENT 99 skippered by Jeff Johnstone with an impressive tally of one 1st, two 2nds, and two 3rds for 11 pts. Just behind the two leaders, it was Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY that fortunately survived an unfortunate dismasting to take the bronze. For J/Fest New England overall results.  For more J/Fest New England sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Fantastic J/70 Fall Package Special!

J/70 Fleet Special (Newport, RI)- There is no hotter class in the new millennium than the J/70.  With 1,500 boats sailing in 25+ countries, the worldwide growth of J/Boats’ first ramp-launchable keelboat has been remarkable.

The owner-run J/70 Class is thriving with events for all ages and levels, youth and women’s championships, and includes upcoming World Championships in Torbay, England (2019), Marina del Rey, CA (2020), Monte Carlo, Monaco (2021), and Newport, Rhode Island (2022). 

More than just a world-class one-design, the J/70 is FUN to sail, easy-to-own, and easy-to-trailer for that next family adventure.   And now, it’s never been easier to get started!  From today until October 15, 2019, J/Boats is offering a special North American J/70 sail-away package.

J/70 Fall Package Special:
  • 2020 Model J/70 with standard equipment
  • Selden carbon mast and boom
  • Harken Snubbair low-profile winches
  • Cross-sheet jib cleats and vang cheek blocks
  • Galvanized, single-axle, float off/lift off trailer
  • One-Design Class Sails – mainsail, 100% jib and A2 class spinnaker with class sail tags.
  • Companionway spinnaker bag.
  • Safety Gear – anchor, chain & rode, bucket, bilge pump, first aid kit, two fenders, two dock lines.
The Package Special is $49,900 (Bristol, RI) for orders placed prior to October 15, 2019.  Please contact your local J/Dealer or J/Boats for more information.  Learn more about the world’s most successful sportboat- the International J/70 here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Eight Bells- Mike Bruno

J/88 WINGS(Rye, New York)- American Yacht Club Commodore Mike Bruno, 63, passed away suddenly early on the morning of August 13 at home in Armonk, NY.  Great friend William Sandberg had this to say about Mike:

“Mike was a very lucky man and knew it. He had a beautiful wife (Meg) and three wonderful kids (Mike, Russell and Price) he adored and more friends and admirers than one could ever imagine.

He had a successful business career. After receiving his MBA from Columbia Business School in 1981, he joined Solomon Brothers where he rose to become Vice President of the Mergers and Acquisitions Group within the Finance Department. He joined Stonebridge Partners in 1987, becoming the Managing Partner in 1989.

He was an accomplished and avid J/Boats sailor. Mike had a series of J/Boats he named WINGS- a J/124, J/122, and most recently a J/88.

Ironically, 2019 may have been his most successful year— winning the J/88 class at J/Fest St Petersburg, winning Charleston Race Week and dominating Storm Trysail Block Island Week.

J/122 WingsIn addition to this year, he was a two-time winner of the J/122 North Americans, New York YC Race Week winner, and 2016 Key West Race Week J/88 class winner. Along with American Yacht Club, he was a member of New York Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club.

Most of all he was, perhaps, the most generous person I have ever known. Need a house in Florida to use an auction item to raise money for the US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams? You got it. A spectator boat for viewing? Of course. Rooms for wounded vets to attend a regatta? Done. And, the list goes on.

As Commodore of American YC, he played host to the US Sailing Disabled Championships in 2008. When approached about hosting a disabled regatta in the future, not surprisingly Mike quickly made it happen. Thus, was born the Robbie Pierce One-Design Disabled Regatta, where Mike even served on the Race Committee.

J/122 Wings crew at Block IslandMost recently, he served on the Board and twice chaired the annual fundraiser for Freedom Waters Foundation in Naples, FL, which enhances lives of individuals with special needs and veterans by providing therapeutic boating experiences.

A memorial service will be held at American YC in Rye at 1400 hours, Friday, August 16.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mike’s name to:

Pediatric Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Attention: Rachel Flannery
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Office of Development
P.O. Box 27106
New York, NY 10087
Or online at

I will miss Mikey terribly, as will many others. You were a very special man, Mike Bruno. Sail fast.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

J/24 Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team Win Marblehead NOOD

The J/24 SEA BAGS WOMEN”S Sailing Team won the J/24 Class at this year’s Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta- a first for their team.  
J/24 Women's Sea Bags Sailing Team at Marblehead NOOD
Here is an account of their adventures and exploits in Marblehead from Hillary Noble (tactician) and Erica Beck Spencer (skipper and ring leader).

In most sports, two teams compete against each other and only one can win. In sailing regattas, only one of many teams can win. Winning in sailing is the goal but it’s rare, especially when we are racing against ten, twenty, and even up to eighty teams at a time. At most big events we find ourselves competing against full time professional sailors.

The Helly Hansen National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) Regatta at Marblehead Race Week presented us with a different outlook. None of the five teams racing in our J/24 class had professional sailors on board. Going into the event we wondered if we could win the whole thing.

The NOOD Regattas are held across the country every year and the Boston Yacht Club hosted the Regatta at Marblehead July 25-28. Our small fleet of J/24s joined 12 other fleets and some 170 teams for intense racing in ocean waters off Marblehead. Three of five J/24s were all-women teams, which is unheard of in most fleets in the country.

Our starting area had four fleets: the Vipers, the J/80s, the Comets and us. The Vipers, a high-performance dinghy went first each race, so we were able to watch to try to see which side of the course was favored. We then would watch the J/80s get off the line, followed by our fleet of J/24s and then Comets. The race committee did a fantastic job spacing out the racing so that we were not on top of each other and got off eight solid races.
J/24 Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
Wind conditions varied throughout the three days and a current up to 1.5-knots ripped across the course every single race, varying in strength and direction. We watched the lobster buoys to learn as much as we could to use the current to our advantage. Many fleets had trouble crossing the line.

On Sunday, three fleets in a row had the left-most boat hit the pin, and most struggled to cross the line on starboard. At the beginning of the day, the current ran right to left, making layline calls relevant. The key to a successful beat was short tacking the port layline. As the current flooded, speed and time off the line became critical. The starts were the most crucial part of the race, as the fleet was tiny and the competition was tight, getting ahead early made it easier on the crew moral.

On days one and three when the wind was lighter, we found it paid off more to be in pressure than on the lifted tack. When it paid off, gains were made by managing the fleet, and sailing on a header to match the other boats. Trying to stay on the tack pointed directly at the mark (or jibe) also benefited us. Downwind laylines were just as crucial as upwind. Not jibing too early helped defeat the light air and strong current pushing us away from the gate since the course was quite skewed. Coming in with speed and rounding the mark that had most pressure while still sending us in the correct direction kept us ahead and clear of any potential traffic. Even if the port end of the line was favored, it paid to come in further up the line on starboard with speed in order to maintain momentum.
J/24 Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team
By using the current to our advantage and thinking two steps ahead, we were able to establish and maintain our lead. Regular communication throughout the race, and keeping an eye on the compass, whether we were lifted or headed, made a huge difference. We won day one with a second and two bullets. We won day two with a second and two bullets. Day three was our worst day of sailing, but going in with a big lead allowed us to maintain our lead on our competitors and win the regatta.

Our core team has learned a ton sailing together as often as we have. We are more patient and better communicators. It’s easier to set up for success when you know what is possible and what we can and cannot do in close racing quarters. Although it was a very small fleet of boats, the racing was unbelievably close all three days. Appreciation and respect for each other was unflappable during and after every race.

The 2019 Marblehead NOOD Regatta ended for us at the Boston Yacht Club for the awards ceremony, where all J/24 teams were recognized. When we walked forward to receive our first-place trophies, Josh Toso from Shifty gave us the biggest high fives making the moment even more special!

Friday, August 16, 2019

J/112E Leading ORC Europeans

J/112E Matilda 4 at ORC Europeans
(Oxelsund, Sweden)- The 2019 ORC European Championship is currently under way with sailing taking place off Oxelsund, Sweden on the Baltic Sea.  Racing in the ORC C Class of forty-one boats (by far the largest in the regatta) is the J/112E MATILDA 4, owned by Kodutarve Ou from Estonia and skippered by Joachim Aschenbrenner.

As of Thursday, after two around-the-cans races and the 58.8nm Distance Race, MATILDA 4 is currently leading the ORC C fleet with a scoreline of 1-1-5 for 7 pts. There are two more days of windward-leeward course racing left for the fleet. The fleet has been blessed with good sailing weather so far, with plenty of breeze on the first day (puffy, shifty, 17-22 kt winds) and steady southwest 10-15 kt winds for the distance race. The reigning ORC World Class C Champion Italia 9.98- SUGAR- and the reigning ORC European Class C Champion Arcona 340- KATARIINA II- are being crushed by the J/112E MATILDA 4.
Follow the ORC European Championship on Facebook here  For more 2019 ORC European Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Fun-Loving Buzzards Bay Race Week

J/80 sailing Buzzards Bay (New Bedford, MA)- The 47th annual Buzzards Bay Regatta was jointly-held by New Bedford YC and Beverly YC for both PHRF handicap racers and one-design classes, including J/80s. The sailors on Buzzards Bay ultimately enjoyed reliable summertime breezes, permitting up to eight races to be held for some classes.

Winning the J/80 class was Dan Cooney’s AMERICAN PRAYER with a scoreline that only included top four finishes; it was Cooney’s best BBR regatta ever. Second was Jack Gierhart’s AEGIR with all top six finishes. Then, third on the podium went to Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER from New York’s Huguenot YC.

Counting all bullets in PHRF Racing 1 Class was Mark Verville’s J/120 ISURUS from the host club Beverly YC. Taking the bronze was Mark Nannini’s J/120 SALACIA, while Corey Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM took fourth.

In the PHRF 2 Racing division, again it was Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST that led the J/Crews on the podium, taking the silver medal.  For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

J/Crews Crush Spectacular Down The Sound Race

Down the Sound Race course (Seattle, WA)- One of the most popular offshore races in the Puget Sound summer series is hosted by the infamous and fun-loving members of Sloop Tavern Yacht Club. Their “Down The Sound Race” is a double-handed overnight rally race. The race goes from Seattle up to Gig Harbor on Saturday. Then after overnight festivities, race back on Sunday.

The sailors enjoyed postcard perfect weather conditions all weekend; 80 degrees, blue skies both days, 10 to 15 kts out of the north. It doesn’t get much better for double-handed racing than that!

Tom Kerr had a J/33 named CORVO for years and upgraded to the J/105 two years ago. “I should have done this years ago,” commented Tom after he purchased her and started racing in the Seattle J/105 one-design class.

The downwind run Sunday was so good that the first ten finishers beat the Sloop Tavern RC boat to the finish! As a result, the boat that finished first- the J/120 GREY WOLF- set the line and took people’s finishes down until the committee boat made it!

Double Handed Flying Sails Classes
The J/109 LAPA- owned and skippered by Michael Campbell- took second place in the PHRF Class 2 Double Handed Non-Flying sails division.
J/27 sailing Seattle
In Class 5 Double Handed Flying Sails division, Leo Morales’ J/27 got the bronze.  Meanwhile, their stablemate Ulf George Gwildis’s J/30 IMPULSIVE took fourth just 3 minutes in arrears on corrected time after two days of sailing.

Jessica & John Aguilar-Kazaras’ J/29 RUBY crushed it in Class 6 Double Handed Flying Sails division, winning by over 13 minutes.

Class 7 was the J/80 division.  Winning was Phil Dean’s RUSH, followed by Taylor Joosten’s CRAZY IVAN in second and Richard Demmler’s TASTES LIKE CHICKEN in third position.
J/105 Corvo105 winning Down the Sound Race
The J/105’s swept Class 8 Double Handed Flying Sails.  Winning was Tom Kerr & Serhad’s CORVO 105, followed by Steve Summers’ PUFF in second and Sara Billey’s PEER GYNT in third.

The Hinz/ Butler duo on the J/120 HINZITE pulled off the silver in their Class 9 Doublehanded Flying Sails division, missing the class win by a mere 2 minutes after seven hours of sailing over two days.
J/120 sailing Seattle, WA
Doublehanded Flying Sails Overall
J/Crews took 7 of top 10 overall in the Double Handed Flying Sails division, nearly sweeping the podium. Winning was the Kerr/Serhad duo on the J/105 CORVO 105. Third was the J/120 HINZITE, fourth the J/105 PUFF, fifth the J/105 PEER GYNT, sixth Tad Fairbank’s J/100 SELAH, eighth the J/80 RUSH, and ninth the J/80 CRAZY IVAN! Congratulations to all, fantastic performance!

Jack & Jill Division
There was another prize for the top man/woman “Jack’n’Jill” team for the two 21.667nm races on Saturday and Sunday. Winning was Summers’ J/105 PUFF!  For more Down The Sound Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

GRUPO GARATU Triumphs @ Copa del Rey

J/80 sailing Copa del Rey
(Palma Mallorca, Spain)- A class win at the famous Copa del Rey MAPFRE, the Mediterranean’s annual summer showcase regatta, can elude even some of sailing’s top teams for many years. Others seem able to impose themselves year on year in their chosen classes. Nevertheless, the 132 boat, 11 division, 38th Copa del Rey MAPFRE closed today with the battles finally settled for the ultra-competitive J/80 one-design class.

Following the recent J/80 World Championship that took place on Spain’s northwest resort in Getxo (Bilbao), the Herbalife J/80 fleet were more than prepared to compete in the 38th Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Coming back to Palma to race were several J/80 World Champions in the gorgeous waters and Bay of Palma.

"The Copa del Rey MAPFRE and the J/80 World Championship are the two big events on our sailing calendar,” explains Iker Almandoz, skipper of GRUPO GARATU. “The J/80 World Championship was tough, but for this event, we are going to make a few modifications that we believe can greatly improve our performance. I will be handing over helm to Eric Brezellec (third in the World Championship with COURRIER ECOLE NAVALE) and I will be tactician on board.” That team turned out to be the winning combination for the regatta.
J/80 sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain
As defenders of the Copa del Rey MAPFRE title, Marc de Antonio’s crew on BRIBON MOVISTAR were fully aware that a third consecutive victory would be no easy task.

Similarly, José Arqueta’s BIOBIZZ returned to the Mediterranean regatta after a well-earned fifth place in the J/80 World Championship, alongside Ignacio Camino’s SOLINTAL team who were sixth. In short, for such a small fleet, the competition was truly world-class.
J/80 sailing off Palma Mallorca, Spain
After six races, it was Juan Vasquez’s GRUPO GARATU that took the J/80 class win with all podium finishes. In fact, they won with three 1sts and three 2nds for a remarkably dominating win over other J/80 World Champions.  Second was another J/80 World Champions- Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON MOVISTAR with a tally of three 2nds and three 3rds! Remarkable that synchronicity between the top two boats. In a full-on battle for the final spot on the podium were two formidable competitors; Ignacio Camino and Armando Gutierrez’s SOLINTAL and Russia’s Alexei Semenov and Spain’s Toni Cruz on NEW TERRITORIES. In the end, it was SOLITAL’s crew that sealed the deal in the final race.

The 38th Copa del Rey MAPFRE was organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Real Federación Española de Vela (Spanish Royal Sailing Federation), and was sponsored by MAPFRE.  For more MAPFRE Copa del Rey Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Fast Rolex Fastnet Race

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse
(Cowes, England)- The 605.0nm Rolex Fastnet Race, one of the most famous offshore races in the world, saw 340 teams take off from the equally famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line to begin their epic adventure, fantastic voyage out around the iconic Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.

For all J/Crews, the big decision everyone had been strategizing for days was whether to go inshore or offshore. The debate raged, but very experienced offshore veterans of the race saw it quite clearly and, remarkably, were quite prescient in their forecasting.

Fastnet Race meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh (part of the famous Greenhalgh family that also sails and races the J/92 J'RONIMO) spelled out the options for everyone the afternoon before the start; it turned out she absolutely nailed it. “Over the first night, the crews will have to negotiate a ‘transition zone’ that will see the wind drop before filling in from the southwest. It appears the best option is to go offshore and south (to get to the new gradient pressure first), as always, also dependent on the state of the tide. Faster boats will tend to dig further south towards the Casquets TSS (Transportation Separation Scheme- a ‘no-go’ zone) and will be the most southerly,” continued Greenhalgh. “For everyone else it will be of more rhumb line or just south of the rhumb line route. The good news is that after that scenario unfolds, it becomes straightforward, with a reach across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock. Heading back to the Scilly Isles, it will be southwesterly or WSWerly winds and in pressure that will vary between 15-25 knots according to the timing.”
The Needles at Fastnet Race start
Even IRC Doublehanded navigator, Henry Bomby, was “spot-on” for the overall race strategy. “I did quite a bit of pre-race analysis and whenever an IRC Three or Four boat does well it is because they just make it through the tidal gate at Portland Bill,” said Bomby. “Normally you are upwind through there, but we’ll be straight line sailing. There appears to be more wind in the south where the transition is also shorter, but then you end up more upwind anyway. So, our route will take us quite close to the Casquets and we’ll be offshore for the transition, then tacking and getting lifted. After the transition, we’ll be fully upwind, pointing at Penzance, but then eventually getting lifted. That will be quite a tricky thing– when you start getting the new breeze filling in. The more west you get, the quicker you’ll get through it, but the chance of sailing extra miles because you overlay is quite high. That will be a critical part of the race. For boats in this size range the crossing of the Celtic Sea will still be a reach but in a more moderate 12-14 knots.”
Sunset in Fastnet Race
In the final analysis, the biggest issue the navigators/ strategists faced was, in fact, the transition zone. Those further south and west faired much better than those north. In fact, the further south and west you got, the greater the gain. The winners were all well south of rhumbline when the WSW’er filled in.

In the IRC 1B division, Nick Angel’s J/121 ROCK LOBSTER managed a 7th in class despite not being one of the more southwesterly boats in their division.  The J/121 excelled in the fast, hard-reaching conditions from Fastnet Rock back to the Scilly Isles, past the TSS zones, and into the finish at Plymouth.
J/133 Pintia sailing Fastnet Race
Not surprisingly, it was the dynamic French duo of Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine on their J/133 PINTIA that pulled off a very respectable fourth place in IRC 2A division. Frenchman Yves Grosjean’s J/133 JIVARO took 7th, Englishman Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO took eighth, and the French duet of Alain & Marie Catherineau sailed their J/122 LORELEI to ninth place. Notably, the J/133s were the top production cruiser/racers in the most competitive class.
J/122 sailing Fastnet Race
The twin “flying Dutchmen” produced excellent results in IRC 2B division. The two J/122 teams are archrivals, great friends, and are extremely experienced offshore doublehanded racing teams.  The first doublehanded IRC team around Fastnet Rock was the infamous duo of Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre on their J/122E AJETO! They battled on to take second place and add yet more silver to their Fastnet Race trophy collection (having won their class in the past with their J/111!). Finishing close behind them were their friends Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker on their J/11 JUNIQUE/ RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, taking fourth place!  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Cowes Race Week Preview

J/109s sailing Cowes Race Week
(Cowes, England)- Cowes Week is one of the United Kingdom’s longest running and most successful sporting events and is a key highlight of the British sporting summer. It has been held in early August every year since 1826, except during the two world wars.

Traditionally, Cowes Week takes place after “Glorious Goodwood” and before the “Glorious Twelfth” (the first day of the grouse shooting season). Over the years, the event has attracted British and foreign royalty, and many famous faces in the sailing world. And, for the first time in years, it is also taking place after the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Slingsby Gin sponsorsThis year, Harrogate-based premium Gin brand- “Slingsby”- partnered as the Official Gin supplier for the regatta and headline sponsor of Ladies Day. On-lookers will should spot a ‘Slingsby Ladies Day’ flag flying proudly on all boats that have female sailors- many of which are women J/Crews!

As has been the tradition of J/Crews for the past few decades since 1979, a large fun-loving contingent of J’s will be participating in Cowes Week festivities all week-long! The largest concentration of J/sailors will be in the two one-design classes- J/70s and J/109s.

J/70s sailing Cowes WeekThe huge thirty-five boat J/70 class is gearing up in their final major regatta before sailing the J/70 World Championship in the “west country” at Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay. Many of the top teams will be working on refining their boatspeed, boat-handling, and tactics during the event.  Those crews are Terence O’Neill’s AQUA J, Tom Ripard’s CALYPSO, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Fiona Hampshire’s ELIZABETH (a top woman skipper), Martin Dent’s JELVIS, Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8, Simon Cavey’s JUST, Jeremy Thorp’s PHAN, Marshall King’s SOAK RACING, Tilly Harrison’s SORCHA J (another top woman helm), and Jack Davies’ YETI.

J/109s sailing Cowes WeekWith seventeen entries, the J/109s will always be a competitive class in any race week.  Cowes happens to bring out strong family crews as well as a few “ringers” that hop on certain boats to help them on “go fast” techniques and, most importantly, classic Solent strategies to overcome the massive currents flowing up and down “the river”.  Top crews include Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR 2, Christopher Sharples & Richard Acland’s JAZZY JELLYFISH, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, Arjen van Leeuwen’s Dutch crew on JOULE, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, David Richard’s JUMPING JELLYFISH, Rob Cotterill’s MOJO RISIN, and Nick Southward & John Scott’s Hong Kong crew on WHISKEY JEDI,

In the seventeen-boat IRC 2 Class are a raft-up of leading J/111 teams, such as Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Tony Mack’s McFLY, Hans Zwijnenburg & Martin Worseling’s SWEENY, Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO, Bernard de Smet’s J/122 ZUMEX, Performance Yacht Racing’s J/120 PYR-SUNSET, and K Coster’s J/122 SAILMON.

J/112E sailing Cowes WeekThe seventeen-boat IRC 4 Class includes four of the new J/112E’s- Team Knight Build’s HAPPY DAIZE, David Franks’ LEON, B Huber’s XANABOO, and Marie Claude Heys’ DAVANTI TYRES. Joining them are Stuart Lawrence’s J/120 SCREAM 2 and Alain Bornet’s Dutch team on the J/109 JAI ALAI.

The huge thirty-five boat IRC 5 Class has over a dozen J/Teams participating. Six J/92s are looking forward to quasi-one-design racing, including Andy Knowles & Alan Macleod’s SAMURAI J, the trio Banks, Overstall & Searle on NIGHTJAR, Mark Waddington’s VAGABOND, Rob Salter’s JACKDAW, Brian Malone’s BLUE DIAMOND DODJER, and the famous J’RONIMO sailed by David Greenhalgh and the rest of the Greenhalgh sailing family.  Joining them are two J/97s- the Hunt family’s (Rachel, Robert, & David) JUMBLESAIL2 and Bob & Jon Baker’s JAYWALKER.  Two J/105s are sailing- Richard Kerns’ FLAWLESS J and Professor Roger Williams’ JOS OF HAMBLE.  Finally, James & John Owen’s J/99 JET, Dianne & Dirk Van Beek’s J/88 SABRIEL JR and the Royal Lancer’s Sailing Team’s J/019 AJAX will working hard to get in front of their stablemates.

The smallest J’s are sailing in IRC 7 Class; one is Craig & Emma Dymock’s J/22 LA VIE EN ROSE and the other is Edmund Gatehouse’s J/24 JUPITER.  For more Lendy Cowes Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Great Lakes J/24 Championship Preview

J/24s sailing off starting line (Oswego, NY)- The Oswego YC in upstate New York is hosting the 2019 Great Lakes J/24 Championship for a star-studded fleet of eighteen boats. The sailors are looking forward to sailing on one of the prettiest parts of eastern Lake Ontraio. The region is famous for having extensive summer activities for family’s and friends that have been visiting for generations.  And, it has dozens of beautiful vineyard to visit and savor a variety of wines..

This time around, the Oswego YC J/24 fleet is looking forward to the Great Lakes J/24 Championship for their first time in the forty-plus years of the J/24 class. Many top teams are sailing, including Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from Rochester YC, Lee Ann Zaretsky’s LADY MINX from Rochester YC, Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC, and Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED from Port Credit YC in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.  For more J/24 Great Lakes Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

J/Fest New England Preview

J/24 Ragtime sailing J/Fest
(Newport, RI)- The 2019 edition of the J/Fest New England Regatta, hosted by Sail Newport at the fabulous Fort Adams facility, will include a J/PHRF fleet as well as the 2019 East Coast Championships for both the J/80 and J/109 classes.

The eight-boat J/80 fleet has strong teams representing each of the major fleets on the East Coast, from the Chesapeake Bay up to Buzzards Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee. The principal teams include Peter McCarthy’s EAGLE, Peter d’Anjou’s LE TIGRE, Conor Hayes’ MORE GOTOSA, Will & Marie Crump and Thomas Klok’s R80, Bill & Shannon Lockwood’s SHENANIGANS, and Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER.

Remarkably, the eight-boat J/109 class is loaded with past North American, East Coast, and New England Champions. The J/109 continues to attract competitive, talented family teams from up and down the Eastern seaboard; that is not surprising since the J/109 does a very nice job of being both a family cruiser as well as fun one-design racing boat. Leading crews include Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING, Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE, Cory Eaves’ FREEDOM, John Sahagian’s PICANTE, Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE, and top woman helm Brooke Mastrorio on her URSA.

The J/PHRF contingent of seven-boats should be an interesting match-up across the spectrum of 23 to 40 feet! At the top end of the scale is Joe Brito’s J/121 INCOGNITO. The J/121 will be working hard to overcome a few fast smaller boats, such as Jeff Johnstone’s J/99 AGENT 99, Chuck Stoddard’s J/105 FALCON 2.0, Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY, EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT, and two J/70s (Brendon Scanlon’s HIGH TENSILE RIGGING and Scott Dinse’s MARGARITAVILLE).  For more J/Fest New England sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Corinthian National Championship Preview

J/70s sailing Harbor Springs, MI (Harbor Springs, MI)- Thirty-nine amateur crews will be sailing the 2019 J/70 Corinthian National Championship in Harbor Springs, MI from August 8th to 11th.  Hosting the regatta will be Little Traverse Yacht Club, fresh off another fun and successful Ugotta Regatta they ran three weeks earlier.

The line-up of teams is pretty impressive for a “corinthian” event, with teams attending from fourteen states from across America- from “sea to shining sea”- from California to Massachusetts and from Minnesota to Florida/ Texas. In addition, there are teams from Canada and Brazil. Sure to be “in the hunt” at the top of the leaderboard should be crews like AMERICAN FLYER (Steve Knoop, Patrick Rice, Richard Martin, & Annie Baumann), AQUAHOLIKS (Martin & Jorgen Johnsson, August & Lindsay Hernandez), B-SQUARED (Bryan & Daniel Cameron, Phil Peterson, & Steve Thomas), BERTEAU GROUP (Sarah & Mark Renz, Matt Clark, & Will Holz), CATAPULT (an all-women’s team comprised of Nicolle Hendrickson, Mary Foster, Wendy Helberg, & Deb Hazelett), JENNIFER (Chris Kostanecki, Matt Sessions, Carlos Robles, & Scott Kozinchik) SISTERSHIP (Peter Vessella, Tracy & Christy Usher, & Mike Bishop), TEA DANCE SNAKE (Peter Bowe, Mike McNamara, Todd Jenner, & Matt Alisch), TRES BURRITOS (the Sellers family- Scott, Hannah, & Merritt, Owen Beckley, & Holt Condon), USA 241 (Dr. Al Poindexter, Blake Caskey, Kevin Orff, & Doug Strebel), and finally WILD CHILD (Henry Filter, Alex Stout, Will Wagner, & Jen Sturmer).  For more J/70 Corinthian National Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Verve Offshore Cup Preview

J/111s sailing Verve Cup Regatta (Chicago, IL)- The third and final “big boat” regatta of the summer sailing season for Lake Michigan sailors will be taking place this weekend off the picturesque Chicago waterfront. After the Chicago NOOD Regatta, the Chicago Mac/ Ugotta Regatta, the Verve Cup Offshore marks the last big event for both ORR Offshore and one-design offshore keelboats.  The Chicago Yacht Club hosts the event off both their facilities on the Chicago downtown waterfront- Belmont Station and the Monroe Street Station.  Sailing are one-design fleets of J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/111s, plus a few J’s in ORR handicap.

Many of the seven J/88s will be using the regatta as part of the training programs leading up to the J/88 North Americans that is being sailed at American Yacht Club in October. Some of those teams include Ben Marden’s BANTER, Tod Patton’s BLONDIE 2, John & Jordan Leahey’s DUTCH, and Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE.

J/105s sailing Verve Cup RegattaThe half-dozen boats sailing the J/105 class may seem a little shy on numbers, but it belies the fact that most of the top teams in Chicago are racing. Those crews include Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PIG, Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, Mike & Kathie Newman’s VALHALLA, Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS, and Judith & Ross McLean’s ESPRIT d’ECOSSE.

Similarly, the nine-boat J/109 class is loaded with talent from across Lake Michigan. Notable crews include Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Rob Evans’ GOAT RODEO (the Mackinac Race champions), David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, the quartet on SMEE AGAIN (Miz/ Dreher/ Hatfield/ Neenan), and Jack & Jim Toliver’s VANDA III.

The large and insanely competitive eighteen-boat J/111 class is sailing this weekend as the J/111 Pre-Worlds (the J/111 World Championship is the following week in the same place). Handicapping this fleet would certainly be a “fool’s errand” as so many of the top teams have not had a chance to race against each other all season.  The top non-USA team is Jorg Sigg’s LALLEKONIG from Zurcher Segel Club in Zurich, Switzerland.  The leading USA crews include KASHMIR (Mayer/ Henderson), LUCKY DUBIE (Len Siegal), MOMENTUS (Saedi/ Yousefi), ROWDY (Rich Witzel), SHAMROCK (Jeff Davis), SKELETON KEY (Peter Wagner), SKULL CRACKER (Dan Kitchens), SPACEMAN SPIFF (Rob Ruhlman & family), UTAH (Brad Faber), VELOCITY (Marty Roesch), and WICKED 2.0 (Doug Curtiss).

The sole participant in the eight-boat ORR 3 handicap class is Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY.  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/125 HAMACHI Transpac Strategy Review

J/125 Hamachi sailing / race strategy- Transpac Race
* J/125 HAMACHI Strategy Review with SEAHORSE editor/contributor Dobbs Davis and HAMACHI’s navigation/ strategy team.  Again, many great “lesson’s learned” for offshore racers in any event.  This segue’s to the pre-race review with Stan Honey below- fascinating stuff for any offshore racing strategists and navigators.  Watch this!

Transpac Weather Guru- Stan Honey- tactics & strategy

Stan Honey Transpac Race tactics and strategy
Transpac Race: Tactics and Strategy as described by multiple Transpac Race winning navigator- Stan Honey.  

Stan was the Maxi 100 footer COMANCHE navigator in this year’s edition of the race. Before the race started, Stan offered tips to help the record 100-boat fleet in the 50th edition. Bookmark these links in your “pre-race strategy” briefings for future Transpac’s! Incredibly helpful and informative for any offshore racing.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Fabulous Fun @ Ugotta Regatta

Ugotta Regata pancake breakfast
(Harbor Springs, MI)- The Little Traverse Yacht Club hosted its 59th Annual “Ugotta Regatta” this past weekend. The event went from Friday, July 26th and ran through Sunday, July 28th. Start times were at 12:00 pm daily. Most one-design fleets enjoyed three days of windward-leeward racing, while the rest of the Divisions sailed the traditional “Tour of the Bay” races Saturday and Sunday.

The one-design fleets on Friday included J/70s and J/105s. The largest Fleet with nineteen-boats competing was the J/70 Fleet. Nine of the 19 J/70’s registered were local boats hailing from Little Traverse YC. Many J/70’s used the Regatta as a tune-up race as they will be back competing in the J/70 Corinthian National Championships hosted by LTYC from August 8th to 11th. Currently there are 43 J/70’s signed up for this major amateur championship event.

J/70s sailing Ugotta RegattaThe J/70’s continued with one-design, windward-leeward racing Saturday and Sunday. The J/105’s joined the rest of the divisions and raced the traditional and ever popular “Tour of the Bay” race format on Saturday and Sunday. This was a combination of windward-leeward legs, and reaching legs using the fixed racing buoys located around Little Traverse Bay.

After three days of racing in the J/70 class, winning was Ryan McKillen’s SURGE with an amazing scoreline of all podium finishes- five 1sts and a 2-3 in seven races counted- to win with 10 pts. Despite their dominating performance, it was a three-way battle between three Corinthians teams for the balance of the podium. Winning the Corinthians and taking the silver on a tie-breaker at 33 pts each was Scott Seller’s TRES BURRITOS. Losing the countback and taking the bronze was Jake Christy’s PALE HORSE. Fourth just four points back was Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH and fifth place went to John Evans’ AIRPLANE.

In the PHRF A Class, sweeping the top two spots were J/111s.  Winning was Brad Faber’s UTAH, followed by Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE.

Finally, in PHRF B Class, Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL achieved the “impossible dream”- to podium in all three major offshore events of the “Mac Race Trifecta” (Chicago, Bayview, Harbor Springs). PTERODACTYL won their first race, but took 5th in the second “bay tour” to take the bronze, just 2 pts off first place. An amazing achievement and “congratulations” to his weary crew!

“In all there were 81 boats competing, making it exciting to watch from on the water or around the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay. This Regatta featured boats from 23 to 70 feet in length, all competing for line honors and bragging rights” said Tom Trautman, Vice Commodore and Chairman of the 59th Annual LTYC Regatta. “It was once again a fabulous three days of sailing for the sailors. Mother Nature didn’t disappoint and we had varying wind conditions all three days to challenge the sailors and keep them on their toes” said Trautman. “There were 8 classes competing on 2 circles and a lot of close sailing. There were a few classes where it came down to the final race on the final day to decide the winner”.
J/Flag as band back drop
The Regatta brings to Harbor Springs hundreds of crew members, their families, and friends from across the Midwest and beyond. The town was bustling and the shops and restaurants were busy entertaining our guests. With a noon starting time each day, it gave everyone time in the morning to explore the town of Harbor Springs and get their boats prepped for the afternoon. It also gave everyone time to enjoy the Little Traverse Sailors Famous Pancake Breakfast! On both Saturday and Sunday morning from 8:00 to 11:00 am, the Yacht Club hosted the LTS Pancake Breakfast. This was an important fundraiser for the LTS program and was open to the racers and the public alike. LTS reported a record year in pancake sales and wanted to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the pancakes and support their program.

There were many shore-side activities scheduled around the Regatta. Friday night kicked off with a Ugotta Regatta Party for the competitors, volunteers and sponsors at Irish Boat Shop. After racing on Saturday, the Club hosted a party for the competitors featuring the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. The race weekend ended on Sunday evening as the Club hosted a final Regatta Party and awards presentation.

“It took incredible teamwork and a village to run a Regatta of this size and we couldn’t have done it without our 100+ volunteers,” said Trautman. “We express our deepest appreciation to all who helped support this event. The Ugotta Regatta rules state no coats, no ties, no socks - no problem! Just great racing on the pristine waters of Little Traverse Bay, a chance for some relaxation in beautiful Harbor Springs, and a guaranteed good time”.  For more Ugotta Regatta sailing information