Monday, May 20, 2019

Thrills for Two, The Clever New J/99

J//99 Yachting World boat test review (Hamble, England)- According to Yachting World’s Pip Hare, “the J/99 is all thrills, no frills on board the versatile 32 foot offshore speedster.” She continued to explain her feelings and perspective in this in-depth test of the J/99 sailing in the Solent in southern England:

“We ghosted down the Hamble River under mainsail alone, the water slipping silently past our red hull in the grainy half-light of a winter morning. We’d hoisted the mainsail in our marina berth, then sailed out into the river, the engine left in tick-over for less than two minutes almost as a token gesture. I felt like a naughty kid, slipping out, while the rest of the world was still waking up; going to make some trouble.

I had come to test the new J/99, sailing double-handed with the British J/Boats importer J/U.K. on a chilly, blustery January morning. Within ten minutes our demure departure was all but forgotten as we came bursting out of Southampton Water, our senses assaulted from all angles by the bitter north wind and our 100m2 day-glo spinnaker. As the sun rose, everything about the day and this little powerhouse of a boat became bright, sharp and dynamic. I don’t know what the rest of the world was doing at 0800 on that January morning, but we were having a blast.

The eagerly awaited J/99 directly targets a growing demographic of sailors who enjoy the fantastic short-handed racing scene available all across Europe. Of the 50+ orders already confirmed, over half of the new owners intend to race short-handed and it was with this type of sailing in mind I arrived to make the test.
J/99 sailing under spinnaker
The new design incorporates some interesting changes for J/Boats, which bring the J/99 into line with its closest rivals in this area of the market. Gone is the retractable bowsprit and furling jib, which have been the stalwarts of J/Boat design for close to 20 years, making way for a beamier shape, a fixed bowsprit and a hank-on jib. It’s different, but despite the new features, this still remains resolutely ‘J’ in its appearance and feel.

From the first moment I stepped into the cockpit, this boat struck me with its no-nonsense approach. Sail handling is simple, the cockpit clean and well laid-out, the helm dynamic and responsive. Just cruising down the river, the boat felt light and seemed to directly translate every puff of wind into increased speed. Compared to the Class 40s I have spent much of the last two years racing, the J/99 felt like a go-cart – a promising combination of agility and power.”   Read the rest of her in-depth review of the J/99 on Yachting World here.   For more J/99 Offshore Speedster sailboat information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Open House! See the NEW J/99 Offshore Speedster

J/99 offshore speedster
Newport - Houston - San Francisco!
(Newport, RI)- Treat yourself to a visit to take a tour of the new boat that is taking over Europe by storm (50+ boats) and is turning heads everywhere it goes around the world! The new J/99 shorthanded offshore J/99 buttocks- firm and fast!speedster will have an Open House on Saturday, June 1st at three different locations nationwide- Newport, RI / Houston (Seabrook), TX / San Francisco (Alameda), CA.

If you wish to see the J/99 firsthand, please fill out the online webform here to get an invitation and more details.

For more J/99 Shorthanded Offshore Speedster information
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Blustery American YC Spring Series Finale

J/44s sailing American YC Spring Series
(Rye, NY)- The second and final weekend of the 40th Annual American Yacht Club Spring Series Regatta concluded this past weekend in the same way it started on April 27-28; with challenging weather that included little wind on Saturday and heavy rain and 30 kt gusts on Sunday.

However, this didn’t prevent excellent performances, as determined sailors on over 70 boats in nine separate boat classes – IRC, PHRF, J/44, J/109, J/88, J/105, J/70, and J/80- toughed it out and got in good racing on western Long Island Sound.

With two races on Sunday, Mike Bruno’s WINGS placed first in the J/88 division and continued building on a hot streak that dates back to January with a win at the J/88 Midwinter Championship in St. Petersburg, FL. Elizabeth Barry’s team on ESCAPE had sailed strongly the previous weekend, but had a rough time in the rough weather and her 4th place finish in her last race dropped her into a tie with WINGS with 6 pts each, but lost the tie-breaker on most 1sts.  Taking third was Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY.

WINGS skipper Mike Bruno commented, “it was pretty brutal, rain, low 50s air temp, 44 degree water temp, gusting to 25 kts plus or more in the last race was tough on everyone. One of our competitors pulled their jib cars off the deck, and the Canadians just called it a day, not surprised. We were happy, grateful, to get around the track in the last race to win and also get the series win.”

In the J/109 Class, Rosow’s LOKI continued their dominating performance, posting a 2nd on the last day to win with just 4 pts net!  By winning the last race, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT leapt into the silver spot, while Robert Schwartz’s NORDLYS placed 4th in the finale to drop into third place. .

Continuing their amazing string of 2nds was Paul Beaudin’s J/105 LOU LOU. With yet another two 2nds, LOU LOU won with just 7 pts net. John Koten’s GRAY MATTER posted a 6-1 to jump up the leaderboard to grab the silver medal.  Meanwhile, “the kids” on YOUNG AMERICAN dropped off the pace, posting an 11-3 to fall to fifth in the challenging conditions.  Then, David Greenhouse’s SKIPPERDEE had an outstanding day with a 3-4 to grab the bronze position.  Rounding out the top five was David Willis’ SOLUTION in 4th and YOUNG AMERICAN 5th.

In the J/70s, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA barely held on to their lead to win by a point.  It was the hard-charging duo of Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK that posted double bullets to nearly pull off a surprise win on Sunday.  Third was J-RHINO.

The East Course saw Commodore Ketcham maintain their lead in the J/44 fleet to take the class win with 8 pts net. Reveling in the rough conditions was Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, firing on all cylinders to post a 1-2-1 scoreline Sunday and grab the silver. Just behind them was Len Sitar’s VAMP in third position.

In the PHRF Racing division, Scott Devine’s brand new J/112E REVIVER closed with a smoking hot 2-2 as they prepared for their summer season of racing.  Meanwhile, Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE closed the regatta in fourth place. Finally, in the PHRF Plus One division, Steven Levy’s J/121 EAGLE took second place.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Pretty, Challenging Race to the Straits

J/35 sailing off Seattle, WA 
(Seattle, WA)- “This past weekend’s Sloop Tavern YC “Race to the Straits” was yet another not-to-be missed event- it is all singlehanded or doublehanded teams. Saturday’s leg to Port Townsend was a light wind, current-plagued challenge, with a lot of did not finishes. Sunday’s leg back was with plenty of breeze from the north, spinnakers flying and smiles all around,” said Kurt Hoehne from

“Of all the great aspects of this race,” continued Hoehne, ”my favorite is that it draws a whole lot of boats that “don’t” race out to race. There are couples, dogs, kids, cruisers and sails of every imaginable and unimaginable condition. Win or lose, it always appears to be a good time. And, with the staggered start (figuring handicaps into the start time) it seems to make the whole thing about results more palatable. It is what racing should be. On Saturday, it was a day for concentration and a lot of tacks. One skipper estimated he did 60 tacks! On Sunday, the boats with big spinnakers and long waterlines reveled.”
J/100 sailing off Seattle, WA
A number of J/Teams love doing this event since it is so, sooo laid back. Winning the PHRF Class 4 Singlehanded Flying Sails Division was the J/35 GREAT WHITE sailed by Dan Wierman. Meanwhile, Kevin Callahan’s J/80 NAMASTE took third despite having to take a DNF in Saturday’s race. In PHRF Class 6 Doublehanded division, Scott Galbraith’s J/24 FLYER took fourth. Ulg Georg Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE also took a fourth in PHRF 8 Class. The two J/27s in PHRF 9 Class both podiumed, Dennis Clark’s LXIII getting silver while Leo Morales’ WIZARD took the bronze.

In the J/80 one-design class, seven doublehanded teams started but not many finished due to the light airs on Saturday.  Ultimately, David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL won, followed by Morris Lowitz’s UPROAR in second and Lek Dimarucot’s UNDERDOG in third.

Christine Nelson’s J/29 SLICK sailed fast, narrowly missing the PHRF 11 Doublehanded Class win by just six minutes after 12 hours of sailing time!  She took the silver quite comfortably.
J/120 sailing off Seattle, WA
The six-boat J/105 doublehanded class always has pretty close racing, even on the point-to-point events.  This time, it was John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN that took class honors, followed by Matthew Gardner-Brown’s DULCINEA in second and Sara Billey’s PEER GYNET in third.

J/crews smoked the PHRF 15 Doublehanded class.  Winning was Kirk Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE, with Tad Fairbank’s J/100 SELAH in second, Tyson Varosyan’s J/35 SOLUTION in third, Stu Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY in fourth, and Tolga Cezik’s J/109 LODOS in seventh.

Finally, in PHRF 16 Doublehanded class it was Chris & Justin Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER that placed 2nd while the Hinze/ Butler duo on the J/120 HINZITE took fourth position.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ Janpix  Follow the Sloop Tavern YC’s sailing events on Facebook here  For more Sloop Tavern YC sailing information

J/121 Spring Tune-Up Regatta

J/121's sailing Spring Tune-up Regatta(Newport, RI)- For the second year in a row, J/Boats is hosting the J/121 Spring Tune-up Regatta at Newport Shipyard on the famous Newport Harbor. The event is open to all J/121s and is free.  For any J/Sailors interested in checking out J/121s, please come on down to the docks and take a peek!

The schedule starts Friday, May 17th at 1230 hrs for the Welcome and check-in.  Then, there will be on-the-water training on Narragansett Bay in the afternoon.  Afterwards, there is a debrief session with munchies and refreshments.

On Saturday, there will be a skipper’s briefing at 0930 hrs and, thereafter, there is starting drills and short-course racing with on-the-water coaching until 1600 hrs. Again, a debrief with refreshments at Newport Shipyard will conclude the event.  To learn more about the J/121 offshore speedster Add to Flipboard Magazine.

MERCURY Wins J/80 Cantabrian Championship

J/80 Cantabrian champion- Mercury Marine Engines
(Santander, Spain)- The Real Club Nautico Santander hosted the 2019 Cantabrian J/80 Championship off their beautiful northern shores of Spain.  There was two great days of sailing in the fabulously beautiful Sardinero Bay. On Saturday it blew from the northwest (300 deg) about 10 knots with a very flat sea. Sunday dawned with a fresh easterly wind with even flatter waters (since it was blowing offshore) and the wind never dropped below 18 kts!

Many of the famous Spanish J/80 champion sailors were in attendance, such as multiple World Champion- Pichu Torcida.

After a closely fought six-race series where the top five boats were only separated by six points in the end, it was Jaime Piris’ MERCURY that was declared the Cantabrian J/80 Champion with a total of 12 pts net. Taking second was none other than Ignacio Camino, himself a J/80 World Champion. Then, third was CASTELAR BUILDING, owned by Daniel de la Pedraia, and skippered by Diego Botin (yes, a member of that famous sailing family that is Botin Naval Architects).  Rounding out the top five was Angel Herrerias in fourth and yet another J/80 World Chammpion in 5th place- Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida.

Julia Casanueva’s CENTRAL OPTICA, with Eva Gonzalez at the helm, were the Women Champions (they finished 10th overall in the Open Division).  For more J/80 Cantabrian Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

LA SUPERBA Crowned J/24 European Champion!

J/24 Europeans- Patras, Greece
(Patras, Greece)- This past week the Sailing Club of Patras hosted 175+ sailors and thirty-five crews from all around Europe for the 2019 J/24 European Championship. Participating teams came from Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Italy.  In the end, it was Italy's Ignazio Bonanno skippering LA SUPERBA with his Italian Navy crew, that were declared 2019 J/24 European Champions; winning with a day to spare!
J/24s off Patras, Greece
Day 1- Spectacular Windy Day
Thirty J/24s vied in three races in winds of 15-25 knots to open to 2019 J/24 European Championship, hosted by the Sailing Club of Patras in Greece. Four different nations comprise the top four: Stefan Karsunke’s SCHWERE JUNGS of Germany (5 points), Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA of Italy (8 points), Miklos Rauschenberger’s EL NINO of Hungary and Anthimos Nikolaidis’ EVNIKI of Greece (17 points).

Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA opened the Championship successfully as the breeze started in the mid-teens. Karsunke’s SCHWERE JUNGS and Rauschenberger’s El Nino followed. Nikolaidis’ EVNIKI won race two when the winds began piping up, and both Karsunke and Bonanno kept their claim at the front end of the fleet. Karsunke capped a nearly perfect day with a bullet, ahead of Panagiotis Kampouridis’ JMania and Alexandros Tagaropoulos’ HELLENIC POLICE in Tuesday’s last race.
J/24 crew at Patras, Greece
Day 2- A Pretty Day on The Med
Six races have been completed so far. Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA of Italy has jumped into first place. With scores of 3,2,3 on Wednesday, and factoring in the discard race (a fourth for them), LA SUPERBA tallies just 12 net points. Anthimos Nikolaidis’ EVNIKI of Greece moved up a spot to second overall (17 points), and fellow countryman Alexandros Tagaropoulos’ HELLENIC POLICE can now be found in third (25 points).

Winds began at 5-8 knots under blue skies and increased to 10-12 by day’s end for the 30 J/24s.

Nikolaidis rattled off two bullets in the first two races on Wednesday, shadowed initially by Tagaropoulos and Bonanno, and then again by Bonanno and Dave Hale’s CACOON of Great Britain. Two German teams rocked the day’s final and windiest battle: Lynn Wolgast’s all-women's crew on DERBE KERLE won the race (photo below of bow #19) and Thomas Cramer’s JUX & DOLLEREI took second place. Bonanno placed third.
J/24 women's team at Europeans in Patras, Greece
Day 3- More Breeze, More Sun!
In nine of 10 scheduled races at the J/24 European Championship, Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA consistently placed in the top four. Factoring in one discard for the Series, that left the Italian team as the J/24 European Champions for the second time (they also won in 2012 in their home country), with one race to spare. Retaining scores of only firsts, seconds and thirds, LA SUPERBA scored just 18 pts net!

Teams battling for the balance of the podium are over 18 points in arrears. Those teams include Anthimos Nikolaidis’ EVNIKI, Alexandros Tagaropoulos’ HELLENIC POLICE, Panagiotis Kampouridis’ J-MANIA and Stefan Karsunke’s SCHWERE JUNGS. The other thirty J/24s conclude racing Friday, with just one race scheduled.

The top Women’s J/24 European Champion contender is Lynn Wolgast’s German all-women crew from the Muhlenberger Segel-Club sailing on DERBE KERLE; she sits in 9th place with 70 pts net.
J/24 European winners- La Superba
Conditions were perfect again on Thursday, with breeze at 10-15 knots, sunny skies and warmer temperatures. Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA notched their second bullet of the series to start the day, tailed by two German teams— Stephan Mais’ RUNNINGMEN and Karsunke’s SCHWERE JUNGS. Kampouridis’ J-MANIA of Greece snagged the win in the day’s middle battle, while Bonanno settled for second and Nikolaidis’ EVNIKI third. Then Kampouridis’ J-MANIA went back-to-back with another victory, ahead of Karsunke and Bonanno. Sailing photo credits: Batistatos Spyros/ Chris Howell   Follow the J/24 European Championship on Facebook here  For more J/24 European Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Cold, Windy MAIOR Cup Regatta

J/70s off Kiel, Germany
(Kiel, Germany)- Hosted by Kieler YC in Kiel-Schilksee, Germany, the MAIOR CUP Regatta took place from May 3rd to 5th in similar cold, wet, windy sailing conditions as did the Bundesliga down in southern Germany. The one-design fleets of J/70s and J/80s were participating in their first major regatta of the season and they were certainly put to the test, straining both boats and humans to the brink of exhaustion.

Day One- Cold, Wet & Wild
On the first day, it was cold in the Kiel Fjord and it blew hard- 20 to 25 kts all day with big seas. As the offshore crews struggled on the long haul outside course, the J/70 and J/80 classes fought close to land.

"Turning right in front of the harbor entrance was quite unusual," said J/80 skipper Martin Menzner. “As a result, we were so far inside, we had smoother water than the guys outside.”

After three races, Menzner’s PIKE crew had a 1-2-1 to be one point ahead of Arne Wilcken’s DIVA. Menzner joked, “Arne is the reason why I've exchanged half of my crew for this year! Thank goodness for my new crew members- Lars Keilwitz and Hannes Renzsch- they worked well with me and our other crew- Nils Berltermann!”

In the J/70 class, Charlotte Braun-Dullaeus’ crew on JINTO (Tobias Strenge, Florian Herrmann, Terje Klockemann) sailed fast and furious, winning the first race and ending the day with a 3-2 to lead the regatta by a point.  Just behind her was Gerd Knospe’s SANNA R in second and Hauke Thilow’s GER 1079 in third.
J/80s sailing off Kiel, Germany
Day Two- More Demanding Conditions
Although the wind had slowed slightly compared to the start on Friday, the wind was shiftier and puffier, more extreme in fact. Again, the J/70s and J/80s had their course tucked in close to land in flatter water, but the puffs were more extreme!

“Of course, it was important to be in the right place at the right time," said Nils Beltermann, a crewman on Menzner’s PIKE. "We have done well today and are leading, but only by three points!  Our friend DIVA is fast and does not give up!”

In the J/70 class, Charlotte Braun-Dullaeus drove JINTO fast and on to the top of the leaderboard with a strong series of races for the day- a 1-4-2-1-2. She displaced the Berlin crew on SANNA R, dropping them into second.  The big move of the day was Tania Tammling’s all-women crew from Hamburg that sailed ALBIS into third place by the end of the day with a blazing hot 4-2-3-2! Her crew consisted of Kristin Mertner, Carlotta Meewes, Ragna Thonnessen, and Franziska Wilckens.
J/70 women's sailing team- Kiel, Germany
Day 3- Blessed Sun Shines
Sunday provided the perfect atmosphere for the final day of the regatta; sun, moderate breeze, clear skies, and much warmer temperatures. Smiles all around the docks as people hopped aboard their boats for just two more races to complete the regatta.

"It was very tricky on Sunday," said J/80 class winning skipper Martin Menzner. “We are thankful that we had three very good days of sailing, we sailed well, no dramas, and finished well. My new team was good all-around!“  Taking second in the J/80s was Arne Wilcken’s DIVA and third was Hauke Kruss’ TAK FOR TUREN.

There was a lot of drama in the J/70 class.  Having scored four 1sts in the first eight races, it was anyone’s guess that Knospe’s SANNA R crew could repeat those performances on the final day. In the first race, SANNA R did just that, winning it while JINTO took third, closing to within one point of Charlotte’s team.  However, in the last race, Charlotte sailed fast, stayed out of trouble, and scored a deuce, while SANNA R finished right behind them. As a result, Charlotte and her crew on JINTO jumped for joy, breathing a sigh of relief as they won the regatta with 17 pts net. Knospe’s SANNA R took second with 19 pts net and Tammling’s all-women team on ALBIS took the bronze (also winning the Helga Cup Special Award for best women’s team).

"That was very exciting and close. We actually had a plan to decide what we would do in the penultimate race, but that did not work," said JINTO’s skipper Charlotte Braun-Dullaeus. "Our advantage was that we sailed very consistently, even on Sunday, which was probably the most demanding sailing day. It was really hard to judge some things, especially crossing situations upwind. We’re happy to win and thank my amazing crew!”  Watch a nice sailing highlights video of the MAIOR CUP Regatta here  For more MAIOR CUP Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Spirited Yachting Cup Regatta

J/105 sailing Yachting Cup
(San Diego, CA)- There were plenty of high-fives, handshakes and celebratory cheers back on the docks after the final day of the San Diego Yacht Club’s Yachting Cup. Congratulations were exchanged and camaraderie was shared by all.

The Yachting Cup perpetual trophy for the J/120 class is covered with winning plaques over the years for Chuck Nichol’s CC RIDER and John Laun’s CAPER. So, it was no surprise to see SDYC Staff Commodore’s John Laun and Chuck Nichols back at the top of the standings battling for another tally on the trophy. This year it was CAPER’s turn, as they won the first three races on their way to the win. Taking third was Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN.

“It was a lot of fun. We were able to get good breeze both days up to 11 and 12 knots. We were in the Far Ocean course. It was very shifty and challenging at times, but it worked out well. We’re lucky to come out first in our class,” said Bill Campbell, tactician on CAPER.

“The first race yesterday [Saturday] stood out to us the most. We got on the water, hit our stride early on, and Bill and John nailed the start. We extended our lead the whole race, and it was really fun,” added Alli Bell, trimmer on CAPER.

SDYC relies heavily on the local J/105 class to support its signature fall regattas, the International Masters and Lipton Cup regattas. Many of the J/105s used to run those events competed in this year’s Yachting Cup with fleet captain Stewart Cannon’s J-OK finishing on top while winning the final three races of the weekend.  Second was the duo of Driscoll & Hurlburt on the bright orange JUICED and third was Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK.

Jeff Janov’s J/70 MINOR TRHEAT used wins in the last two races to take the class win over Tony Collins’ FLY in a competitive seven race series for the J/70s.  Third was Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU, fourth Bruce Cooper’s USA 32 and fifth Kim Kundrak’s USA 206 (she was also the Corinthian division winner).

David Boatner’s J/35 RIVAL, who was an overall winner at the 2016 Yachting Cup, narrowly won the PHRF C Class with four bullets and two deuces for 8 pts net.  Sailing Photo credits- Mark Albertazzi   For more Yachting Cup San Diego sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Stormy German J/70 Sailing League- Act I

J/70 German Sailing League- Starnberg, Germany
(Starnberg, Germany)- The 2019 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga started off its season in Starnberg, Germany, on a beautiful Alpine mountain lake in the southern part of the country- the Starnberger See. Thirty-six sailing clubs from across the country participated in somewhat hellish sailing conditions from May 3rd to May 5th. The fleet showed their fighting spirit, having to stave off cold, wet weather (2.0 deg C/ 35 F!) and extreme hailstorms.

Winning the 1st Bundesliga Division was the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (VSaW) from Berlin and winning the 2nd League was the Blankeneser Segel-Club (BSC) from Hamburg.

"It was hard! The cold, the hail, and the storm- these were three really exhausting days, because staying power was needed! We are all the more proud, of course, to be able to win the first match of the season! That's what we hope to do again at the next event in Konstanz,” says Jasper Wagner, helmsman of VSaW. Sailing with him as his crew were Felix Bergmann, Elias Rothe and Max Salzwedel.

After a very close fight to the last race of the event, the Chiemsee Yacht Club and the Bavarian Yacht Club took 2nd and 3rd on the podium, respectively.
J/70 Deutsche Segel-bundesliga winners- Starnberg
"It was an exciting battle! We trained relatively little, but we improved a lot over the four days and gave it everything we could!,” said the helmsman from Lake Chiemsee, Leopold Fricke.  His team included Moritz Fricke, Lorenz Huber and Simon Tripp.

In the 2nd Bundesliga Division, the team from Blankeneser Segel-Club prevailed against tough competition. Their winning crew consisted of Claas Lehmann, Florian Dzsiesiaty, Justus Kellner and Valentin Zeller. Second place went to the Hamburg Segel-Club with the only all-women’s crew in event, and then taking third place was the Potsdam Yacht Club.

In two weeks (May 17 to 19, 2018), the next event of the 1st and 2nd sailing Bundesliga will take place on Lake Constance, hosted by the Konstanzer Yacht Club.  Watch exciting sailing highlights of the Starnberg J/70 event here  For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.