Sunday, October 13, 2019

J/Fest Southwest Regatta 10th Anniversary!

J/122s sailing on Galveston Bay, Texas
(Lakewood, TX)- The 10th annual edition of the J/Fest Southwest Regatta will feature many of the exciting and fun events that J/Sailors have enjoyed over the past decade. This year’s event will feature live music, a shrimp boil dinner, free beer, spectator boats (for family and friends), and lots of J/Sailors having a lot of fun! Hosting the event at their expansive facilities on Galveston Bay is the incredibly accommodating Lakewood Yacht Club. Participating are one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and an ORC handicap class.

For the thirteen-boat J/70 fleet, the regatta serves as a 2020 J/70 Worlds qualifier that will be held in Marina del Rey, CA at California Yacht Club. Despite the relatively small size of the fleet, it is bursting with talent from many top southwest sailing teams. Watch for these teams to be factors on the leaderboard; such as Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Mallory & Andrew Loe’s DIME from Seattle, WA, Glenn Darden’s HOSS, Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, Al Poindexter’s USA 241, and Jay Lutz & Doug Strebel’s ZOUNDS.  Fun and games for that fleet!

The eleven-boat J/24 fleet also features a number of leading crews in the southwest.  Chief amongst them is Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, plus Stu Juengst’s VANG GO, Andrew Theismann’s YOUNG’UNS, and Gerald Rademaker’s YIKES!

The fourteen-boat J/22 fleet has a number of amusing teams participating. Who’s on first in this fleet? Who knows. But, it could be Casey Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING, Jeff Jones’ GAS STATION SUSHI, Dan Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Gary Thies’ STUDENT DRIVER, or Kevin Orff’s TROUBLEMAKER. Wow, sounds like a bunch of refugees from the local mental asylum… anyone want to race against that crazy crew? For sure, they will have a lot of fun.

The J/105s have seven teams participating from around Galveston Bay. Based on their performance at the recent J/105 North American Championship, there is no question the outright favorite has to be Ken Horne’s FINAL FINAL team (the infamous boat with class illegal “no windows”). Who will challenge them? Perhaps John Barnett’s PESTO, Brad Robbins’ RUMPUS, Dennis Kokkinis’ SPITFIRE, or Albert Shannon’s WIKI WIKI V.

In the J/ORC Division are six teams that will be pointing their bows across the starting line. Those teams include the brand new J/99 USA 007 (another Agent 99!), Albrecht Goethe’s J/46 HAMBURG II, Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY, J.D. Hills’ J/122 SECOND STAR, Jim Demarest’s J/46 SODALIS III, and George Cushing’s J/92 77. Included in this group is Richard Bell’s J/97E VESPER.  For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

More Fun Sailing on Lake Erie!

J/34 Knee Deep sailing Mac Race
Here’s a report from the fun-loving sailing family- the Langolf’s from Cleveland, Ohio:

“Fresh off a 3rd Place finish in the Bayview Mackinac Race, the Langolf family crew got our J/34 IOR boat called KNEE DEEP off the trailer and back in the water. Now, it was time to coordinate our next adventures.

J/34 Knee Deep sailing upwindWe put the mast back up, dialed in the rig to our settings and coordinated with the crew to see how we could tackle the end of summer. In a five-week span, we were full-on weekend warriors. We took 4 kids (and 3 wives!) on their first overnight race (drifter!) aboard KNEE DEEP (taking 3rd). We cleaned up the boat by sunrise and fired up the diesel for a Sunday Funday Race in the Bay, victory again!

The next weekend was a wild ride in six-foot waves and #3 jib to a top-five finish at the annual Labor Day pursuit race; the 20 mile delivery home was even more fun.

The family then packed up the gear and headed east the following weekend to race with our friends on the J/105 FALL LINE. Winning the overall Cleveland Cup on Saturday, we also helped the FALL LINE team win the J/105 Boat of the Year on Lake Erie. We had a convincing J/105 class win around the buoys on Sunday. Better yet, the race was in the books before kick-off for the Cleveland Browns NFL football game!
J/105 young girl skipper
The next weekend, the regatta was canceled due to weather. However, that didn't stop us! We loaded five kids on our boat and took two other families sailing for the day.

J/24 sailing on Lake Erie
J/Boat September ended at the J/24 District Championships. Our family chaired the regatta and we jumped aboard BOOYAH! to take a second-place finish. We had two great days of racing in Sandusky Bay (host for the 2022 J/24 North Americans). Amusingly enough, most of our KNEE DEEP crew were dispersed among the top 5 boats!

Now, it’s time for a couple of October sails to the famous Cedar Point Amusement Park; over a half-dozen of the world’s largest and fastest roller-coasters are on the island. Let's hope the kid's lifejackets fit over their Halloween costumes.”  Thanks for this contribution from father Brett Langolf.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

J/99 & J/97E @ Annapolis Sailboat Show!

J/99 sailing off Newport
(Newport, RI)- It is that time of year, again! Time to plan a visit to one of the exciting sailboat shows in  the USA - the U.S. International Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD.

J99 European Yacht of the YearJ/99- the seriously fast, comfortable, offshore shorthanded speedster
Making her Annapolis debut, the J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew, and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World champion J/112E. The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker. Plus, the J/99 has been nominated for European Yacht of the Year Award. For more J/99 sailboat information.

J/97E- the perfect dual-purpose family cruiser racer
The J/97E was the first J in over two decades under 32’ to combine headroom and family cruising accommodations in a high performance, easily-driven hull. With the handling ease of an asymmetric spinnaker and non-overlapping headsails, the J/97E has proven to be the most versatile design yet under 35’ to fit the needs of today’s sailing families, both young and old alike-- the ultimate combination of sailing performance and creature comforts for all!  For more J/97E sailboat information.

Come join us at the Annapolis Sailboat Show- the J/99, J/97E, and J/70 will be on display; from October 10th to 14th at Annapolis Cityfront MarinaFor more information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Gorgeous Sailing for ONE OCEAN MBA'S Regatta & Conference

(Porto Cervo, Italy)-  The 16th edition of the One Ocean MBA's Regatta & Conference, organized by SDA Bocconi School of Management and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) with the partnership of the One Ocean Foundation (OOF), enjoyed two great days of sailing for the 400 students and alumni from the world's most prestigious business schools. The B-school teams experienced three days dedicated to sailing and environmental sustainability.

More than 50 teams representing their respective business schools had two gorgeous days of racing. The Open J/24 Class had 14 teams complete two windward-leeward races daily on board International J/24 one-design class sailboats. Those teams were competing for the MBA's Cup Challenge Trophy.

The business schools taking part in the event were: Cambridge Judge Business School, Chicago Booth School of Business, Columbia Business School, ESADE Business School, GOETHE Business School, Harvard Business School, HEC, IE, IESE Business School, IMD, INSEAD, London Business School Simon Male, Manchester Business School, MIP School of Management, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Sauder School of Business, Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School, Univ. of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Yale’s School of Management and SDA BOCCONI School of Management.

J/24 sailing off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy
The Open J/24 Class was won by the MIP School of Management, winning two of the races. They were followed by the teams from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, in second and third places respectively.

Why Future Leaders Need to Face Sustainability Challenges
On Sunday, the event's final day, the Conference “Why Future Leaders Need to Face Sustainability Challenges” was held at the Colonna Resort. Speakers were Andrea Illy, President of illycaffè, and the One Ocean Ambassadors Paul Rose, the explorer, and Maria Cristina Finucci, the artist who founded the Garbage Patch State in 2013.

Giuseppe Soda, Dean of SDA Bocconi, had these words: "I think that this event offers an excellent opportunity for learning because it gives students from the world’s top business schools an occasion for networking. Many of the participants will probably be in top positions in the future and they will have to make decisions that will have to do with environmental sustainability. We have to remember that 'There is no Planet B' and I really believe that events like the One Ocean MBA's Conference and Regatta can offer a framework for making responsible and informed decisions in the participants' private and professional lives."

Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the YCCS and Executive Vice President of the One Ocean Foundation said: "My congratulations go to the winners of this event and to everyone who participated. I hope that you enjoyed the YCCS hospitality. I think that the location for this event, held for the first time in Costa Smeralda, shows just how important this mission is for us and proves that it's fundamental to promote a culture of environmental sustainability. There is no better audience than the world’s top MBA’s who were here for this event, the potential leaders of tomorrow. I want to thank the SDA Bocconi Business School for supporting the One Ocean Foundation right from the start, ever since the Forum organized in 2017. We are now working together to make a new generation aware of the urgency of protecting our planet."

OneOcean MBA J/24 Regatta
At the Conference from the left: Maria Cristina Finucci, Paul Rose, Andrea Illy and the moderator Prof. Maurizio Dallocchio, One Ocean MBA's Conference & Regatta 2019.

After the opening greetings, Maria Cristina Finucci spoke at the Conference about her personal professional experience and about her most recent work including her initiative titled “HELP”. She underlined how communicating through emotions is key to sensitizing people regarding pollution and environmental themes.

Paul Rose, the explorer famous for his work with National Geographic, spoke about his passion for nature and for science. "When I was young I thought that the ocean's water could wash away anything as if by magic," he said referring to a time when pollution in the oceans had a different awareness. "But, today we are all more or less aware of pollution and its consequences, we hear talk every day about environmental and ecological disasters and we all are more attuned to the problem. Change is happening. For example, fighting illegal fishing or the establishment of protected marine areas. Personally, I'm an optimist and I think that the changes that are being implemented to preserve nature will help future generations to form an innovative and not old-fashioned outlook towards nature and that outlook will help them make strategic decisions in the years to come."

Andrea Illy, President of illycaffè, presented his company's "Virtuosagricoltura" project that aims at reducing its CO2 emissions. "This project's goal is to make our company completely carbon-free. Step-by-step, within the year 2020 we will develop this research project that we will implement in 2021. We are fooling around with the resources that the planet has given us and it's now time to look for avant-garde solutions that will allow us to make healthy products that are good both for the planet and for the end consumer."

"Knowledge generates change" were the words that the Conference's moderator, the Professor Maurizio Dallocchio, used to close the talks as he underlined the fundamental role that information plays in decision making. In this case, in decision making that has an impact on environmental sustainability.

The MBA's Conference & Regatta is an international sailing event created 16 years ago by the Sailing Club of the SDA Bocconi School of Management. More than 4,000 students and alumni of the Masters in Business Administration have participated in the event to date.  For more MBA Conference & Regatta sailing information

Friday, October 4, 2019

J/Crews Sweep Awesome Dobson Cup Regatta

J/109 sailing Dobson Cup at Apostle Islands, WI
(Bayfield, WI)- When you sail on Lake Superior, on the northwest shoreline of Wisconsin, you are always grateful for reasonable sailing conditions on one of the coldest sailing lakes on the Planet Earth- it is not unusual to see water temps in the forties (Fahrenheit) as you are beating upwind in 20-35 kts from the west/northwest (your typical breeze when monster fronts blow in from the Arctic Circle and sweep across the northern parts of North America).

Nevertheless, Lake Superior sailors are the hardiest bunch of sailors you can imagine. When the weather is beautiful, they enjoy one of the prettiest archipelago of islands and shorefront in the world… which is, perhaps, why the keep coming back to Bayfield, Wisconsin. The spectacular, pristine waters of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is simply stunning… for those of you wishing to add a “bucket list” place to go sail!!

At the end of summer, Ken Dobson’s Black Hawk Boatyard has sponsored a two-day, season-ending, regatta in Bayfield for the past six years. The regatta is run by the Apostles Island Station of the Wayzata Yacht Club and takes place on the pristine waters of Lake Superior. The regatta brings all of the area's racers together, windward-leeward and random-leg focused, in an incredibly fun weekend of racing around spectacular, picturesque islands and marks. It is a very challenging test of boat speed, navigation, tactics and crew work.

J/120 sailing Dobson Cup off Bayfield, WI and Apostle IslandsThe first day was the 22.0nm Around Oak Island race. Starting in 1-2 knots of a drifting breeze, the fleet ultimate saw over 25 knots, from several angles, as the day progressed.

The second day was a 17.0nm journey. The RC set a nice upwind start, followed by a close reach to Grant's Point, a broad reach around Basswood Island, and then upwind to the finish. A wide variety of sailing conditions in nice winds. Reefs were put in and taken out, peels occurred and sail inventories were well-explored!

In the end, three J/Teams swept the podium because of the wide variety of weather conditions; light to heavy, beating to reaching and running. The catch? Four boats were tied for first place! What was the mathematical probability of that happening? Perhaps in the “millions to one”. Winning was Jim Vaudreuil’s J/109 ZIGZAG with 5-1 scorecard for 6.0 pts. Losing on that countback was Rich Baker’s J/120 BLACK SWAN with a 4-2 to take the silver, and then Charlie Schroeder’s J/109 CHASE took the bronze with a 2-4! Close, to be sure. Nevertheless, unimaginably tighter than anyone might have expected!

Thanks to our sponsors, volunteers and, of course, the competitors!” Thanks for this contribution from Bill Hooper. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

International J/105 Masters Regatta Preview

J/105 sailing Masters Regatta in San Diego, CA
(San Diego, CA)– One of San Diego Yacht Club’s most prized regattas returns to South San Diego Bay from October 18th to 20th- the International J/105 Masters Regatta. An invited, legendary group of eleven Master sailors from around the world come for a three-day battle in a rotation of J/105s.

The title of the event originates from the rule that participating skippers must be over the age of 60. For those on the cusp, the International Masters Regatta can be seen as a rite of passage after their long, hard-working sailing careers. This year, the entry list features some of the most accomplished sailors in the sport, some returning to the competition from previous years. Returning skippers from 2018 include American’s David Gould, Tad Lacey, William Petersen and Canada’s Andy Roy.

The competitors for the 2019 edition include the following invited skippers: Mary Brigden Snow, Scott Harris, David Gould, Gary Jobson, Tad Lacey, Scott Mason, William Petersen, Andy Roy, Chuck Sinks, Terry Timm, and Don Trask (the founder of the original Masters Regatta sailed in J/24s at St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA).

The winner of the 2018 IMR was Dave Perry. Following closely behind were returning skippers Andy Roy (2nd) and William Peterson (3rd) – back to claim their name on the trophy. Roy plans to come back with the same crew, which seems like the right decision based on his results.

“We have the same crew as last year, all old sailing buddies from Toronto. Of particular note is our main trimmer, Scott “Scooter” Collinson. We’ve done many miles on the water together including: America's Cup trials, Admiral's Cup, Canada's Cup, multiple Farr 30 Worlds, and a host of other regattas. Also on the crew is David Jarvis- former Volvo Ocean Race crew. Fraser Howell, Rob Emery and Andrew Van Nostrand have raced competitively for many years and are all very good sailors,” Roy explained.

J/105 sailing Masters Regatta off San Diego, CA
New to the Masters Regatta are skippers Terry Timm, Chuck Sinks, Scott Mason, Scott Harris, and Mary Brigden Snow (the only female skipper in the regatta).

Timm expresses his excitement in anticipation of the Masters, “sailing has been my passion ever since being exposed to the sport on an E Scow on Torch Lake in Northern Michigan while attending Camp Hayo Went Ha. The thrill of leaving port sailing to the starting line or cruising in the Caribbean never ceases. Being invited to sail in the SDYC International Masters Regatta is very special and much appreciated. Many of my best friends are San Diego sailors that get to enjoy a world class sailing venue every day of the year.”

The International Masters Regatta, while known for its competitive sailing, is also known for its fun atmosphere and camaraderie. Regatta Chair Tim Fuller talks about the event. “The camaraderie between the skippers and crews is really fun that weekend. The overall sailing ability out on the course is always impressive and the races are always very close.”

“One of the best traditions of the weekend is the post-race social ‘Roast’ on Saturday night. The skippers introduce their crews and poke some fun with their friends on the other teams. It’s high-spirited and fun to be a part of,” said Fuller.

J/105s sailing off San Diego, CA
Anyone interested in watching the races can find them in San Diego Bay. The schedule of events for the sailors begins on Friday with breakfast, followed with racing and a dockside social in the evening. After Saturday racing, there will be a regatta banquet for participants and after racing on Sunday, the awards will be presented.

In 2013, the perpetual trophy for the International Masters Regatta was gifted and dedicated by Malin and Roberta Burnham at the regatta banquet. The trophy is a beautiful original art piece created by Don Freedman of Nantucket Island and features a nautical inspired clock detailed with ships’ instruments.

A huge “Thank You” to the local J/105 owners for lending their boats to make the International Masters Regatta and the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Challenge happen. Follow the J/105 Masters Regatta here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Old J/22 Dogs Learn New Tricks

J/22 Tawas Bay winners
(East Tawas, MI)- “In a testament to how great a boat the J/22 is and how even they are across their lifespan, the oldest active boat in Tawas Bay J/22 Fleet #44 dominated the racing in 2019. HOGTIDE is Hull #121 and is owned by Father/Son duo Dennis and Matt Princing.

Dennis will turn 83 this December and still can be found sailing on her. Matt, his second favorite son, has crewed her up with different people each week, but they kept consistent scores to win the season championship. Dennis’s wife Nancy, who just turned 84, is the current Commodore of Tawas Bay Yacht Club and this caps off a pretty great year for Dennis and Nancy.

This season we were able to get 19 races in which saw us lose 2 race dates due to weather and use one makeup date. We had multiple kids sailing with Izzy, Hannah and Jenna logging the most boat time and we had plenty of new comers joining us for multiple dates like Brenna, Teresa, Brooklyn….  We even had an appearance by the Carroll family with Derek, Riley, Jacoby and Tristan sailing the fleet boat on two occasions!

The weather was strange; with early season being cold. Then, we got a nice six-week pattern to the middle of the summer and then right into fall by mid-August. Most sailing was done in the sunshine, with only a few raindrops hitting us this year, and no real breezy days. In fact, I would say most sailing was only two-up this year.

The final day saw three races in 8-10 knots of breeze from almost due south. It seems left early was a good place to be, but upper right proved advantageous once or twice. Port tack was tough going into the chop and starboard tack seemed easy. Downwind was all about riding a puff and staying in them. Racing was very good and very close and that speaks volumes to how the fleet is growing in their skills.

When the dust cleared, it was USA 121, HOGTIDE taking the season championship. Congrats to them and all the sailors who got to sail on the J/22’s this season!” Thanks for this contribution from Chris Princing. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

TOTALED MAYHEM Crowned J/30 N.A. Champion

J/30s sailing on Chesapeake Bay
(Annapolis, MD)- The 2019 J/30 North American Championship regatta was hosted by the Chesapeake J/30 fleet with the Annapolis Yacht Club as their co-host partner. The regatta was sailed from September 20th thru 22nd. A near record fifteen teams participated in the regatta, with a total of seven races run over the three days.

J/30s starting on Chesapeake Bay
It was a wild and woolly regatta for many of the participants, particularly for the three teams at the top of the leaderboard. Leading after the five races by a significant margin was Russ Atkinson’s WILDCAT; posting a 4-3-1-1-1. However, a sixth race 13th torpedoed their stellar performance and their chances to win the regatta overall. Thereafter, despite winning the final seventh race, Atkinson’s WILDCAT team could not overcome their sixth race debacle. Winning in the end was Doug & Amy Stryker’s TOTALED MAYHEM with a 6-1-3-4-5-1-2 tally for 22 pts total. WILDCAT ended up taking the silver, while Doug Wallop’s CANNONBALL 2.0 sailed to a 3-5-4-8-2-2-4 for a total of 28 pts to take the bronze.  For more photos on regatta sponsor SPINSHEET, please go here  For more J/30 North Americans sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

U.S. Naval Academy Wins Great Lakes Intercollegiate Regatta

J/105s sailing off Chicago
(Chicago, IL)– The 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta was hosted by the Chicago Corinthian YC in Chicago, IL for a fleet of twenty-two college teams from across the Midwest. The fleet was treated to solid breezes for the two-day weekend regatta. The fleet was split into J/105s and T-10s.

On Saturday, the racing started off in 20-25 kts breezes from the southwest with a very shifty wind off the towering Chicago lakefront. On Sunday, the fleet endured another round of challenging conditions. With the wind out of the west, the breeze started in the 20-25 kts range, but by midday was gusting into the 35 kts range. As a result, only one race was sailed on Sunday.

J/105s sailing college regatta off Chicago
For the racing on Saturday, the CCYC PRO did not fly flag “K” (which indicates spinnakers not allowed) and instead left that decision up to crews and boat owners. That decision worked well, as competitors collaborated with boat owners and learned about making decisions around how to sail their boats better and safely in strong breezes.

“It was not only an exciting heavy breeze day on the water, but a big learning experience for all who many have never sailed in truly difficult offshore conditions,” said Regatta Co-Chairman Nick Zomer.

In the J/105 fleet, three teams dominated the leaderboard on the first day. Leading the way as the US Naval Academy Team with a 1-3-1-3-1 tally for just 9 pts total. Sailing very consistently with all podium finishes was the University of Michigan “Big Blue” Team with a 2-2-3-1-3 record for 11 pts.  However, they were tied on points with the University of Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” Team. The Fighting Irish rallied the troops and posted a 4-1-2-2-2 tally for 11 pts; that meant they were behind on the countback tie-breaker.

US Naval Academy J/105 winners
With just one race sailed on Sunday, due to the near-gale weather conditions, the final standings were going to be determined by the final race. In the end, the USNA Midshipmen were unstoppable, posting yet another bullet to take the regatta win. By virtue of their second place, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame took the silver, while the Big Blue team of Michigan took home the bronze with their 3rd place finish.  Follow the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta on Facebook Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Champagne Conditions @ J/80 China Cup

J/80s sailing China Cup off Xiamen
(Xiamen, China)- The China Club Challenge Match, founded in 2005, sailed its 15th edition in the waters off Xiamen, China. The thirty-eight teams that sailed in the event, once again, were participants in the largest one-design keelboat regatta in all of Asia, sailing in a fleet of International J/80 one-design class sailboats.

Day One
On the first day, the fleet was treated to genuine “champagne sailing” conditions, with winds ranging from 8-15 knots throughout the day with relatively flat waters and a burning sun out all day long. This was a little bit unusual, as the tropical depression to the east of Taiwan moving towards Korea, should have sucked all the air out… but, no one was complaining. Conditions were so good that the regatta PRO decided to go for the extra race beyond the standard three, a move that was to prove invaluable later in the regatta.

The racing was close, especially on the start line with thirty-eight boats on the water. The on the water judging team of John Rountree, Wayne Boberg and Roger Purdy (all NZL) and Alistair Skinner (GBR) were kept busy, primarily with ‘early prods’ at the top mark, with some teams launching their bowsprit well in advance of any gennaker hoisting activity.

The one dark cloud of day one was a port starboard incident in race 3 that left the team from Xiamen City Career University (the innocent party) with a sizable hole close enough to the waterline to make their boat unsafe to sail for the balance of the regatta. With the RRS not permitting redress beyond that of their first two races in a 12-race regatta there was little the judges could do to ease their situation. Having said that, their positions in those first two races was not lining them up for qualification for the later match racing.

J/80s sailing China Cup off Xiamen, China
Day Two
Friday produced more of the same along with the second general recall of the event with the, now flooding, tide swept not just a few, but close to most, of the competitors into an OCS situation… too many to identify. However, such was the patience of the PRO that the Black Flag stayed firmly in the flag roll, but the rest of the regatta was firmly placed under “I” flag starts.

One or two teams were starting to stretch ahead on the leaderboard. Why? Principally, because those teams chose to start in clear air rather than join the big fight for the favored end of the line.

Day Three
By Saturday, the weather system off to the west was starting to make itself felt; not with strong winds but a light gradient breeze. As a result, that meant that later in the day, the racing had to be cancelled as the opposing, light sea breeze cancelled out the offshore, diminishing, gradient winds.

China's Pink Dolphins
As the boats were being towed back in to the hard, several boats noticed huge masses of fish boiling near the surface. It turns out, it was a small family group of Chinese White Dolphins (sometimes known as “Pink Dolphins”) that were forming their amazing “bubble nets” to herd the fish, and were then surging vertically up through them to feed.

To put things in perspective, estimates put their total population at about 10% of the iconic Giant Panda with less than 100 in the Taiwan Straits area and another 200 or so in the Pearl River Delta. Therefore, to spot them at all was a rare privilege. The fact that so much fuss is made of the Panda, and so little of these beautiful creatures, is indicative of how little attention is paid to our oceans.

Day Four
For the final day, looking out over the water didn’t produce a lot of hope as the fleet headed slowly out towards the racing area. So, it proved to be, with the boats drifting further and further down the, still ebbing, tide instead of staying close to the committee boat.

The PRO tried to get a race off, but with less than half the fleet crossing the starting line before the 4 minute cut off it was going to have a dramatic effect on the results with a “fleet +1” staring many teams in the face. Thankfully, the gradient breeze shut down completely, with those boats that had actually made the start with them virtually parking up only 1/3 of the way up the first beat and with no chance to make the 1st mark time limit. Three toots and an ‘N’ Flag brought proceedings to a halt.

Then, there was an agonizing wait of almost exactly 3 hours in a baking sun, as the clock ticked down towards the time limit at 1400 hours. The breeze finally kicked in at 1330 hrs, building to 10-12 kts, with little phasing and almost directly down tide. With little time left to re-set the course, there was fair amount of committee boat bias (starboard end), resulting in a couple of teams doing turns. It proved to be worth the wait, with one of the best races of the regatta to round things off for the enthusiastic sailors.

However, it isn’t just the racing with this regatta that makes the China Cup so popular. The social event side of it is simply epic! Three of the four evenings are well-organized with great food, wine & beer, capped off with the prize-giving for each day’s winners.

In the end, the three teams that emerged at the top of the leaderboard were, as follows; 1st- Shanghai Noah’s Sailing Club, 2nd- Xiamen Hai Yang Xue Yuan/Daren Sailing, and 3rd- Wan Hang Sailing. Add to Flipboard Magazine.