Saturday, May 15, 2021


 Isler Weather Academy

So many models - so little time! Marine Weather University announces an upcoming course in these ubiquitous forecasting tools. Taught by renowned sailing meteorologist Chris Bedford along with 2x America's Cup winning navigator, Peter Isler, this class will explore these powerful forecast guides. Students will learn:

* How to determine which model(s) to use for a specific application
* What high resolution models are available in your location 
* The differences in the various models
* Professional techniques to avoid being overwhelmed with too much data and too many choices
* Where to find models in graphic and GRIB form
* Best practices for the display, interpretation and use of various weather models
* Individual models strengths and weaknesses

Weather Models 201 will feature two lectures - first offered as live webinars May 18 & 20 @ 5:00pm Pacific time. All course content and the lectures will be posted online for 24/7 on demand access. Attendance to the live webinars is not required.  Sign up here to register for the event at Isler Academy


 J/70 sailing on Solent, England

(Warsash, England)- Twenty-three teams competed in Round One of the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series. The event was organized by the Warsash Sailing Club as part of the Warsash Spring Championships 2021.

Calascione & Peters racing CALYPSO took the first victory in the seven-event series, scoring three wins out of seven races held in brisk and beautiful conditions on The Solent.

Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (still the defending J/70 World Champion) recovered from a Black Flag DSQ to post consistent results, but fell short by a single point to finish second. Nick Phillips’ CHAOTIC scored a hat trick of bullets in the final three races snatching third place, ahead of Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER and Martin Dent’s JELVIS (a J/111 World Champion).

J/70s sailing on Solent
Notable performances included Simon Patterson’s STANDFAST, Jonnie Goodwin’s HARLEQUIN and Charles Thompson’s BRUTUS. The mid-fleet peloton is always a competitive arena in the J/70 Class with three teams tied on points after seven races. Duncan McCarthy’s team came out on top on countback from J/70 stalwart Patrick Liardet, racing COSMIC, and a new team in the J/70 Class, Tony Dickin’s EXCESS.
For more United Kingdom J/70 Class sailing information

Friday, May 14, 2021


 J/70s sailing Italy

(Marina de Nettuno, Italy)- The first event of the 2021 J/Cup Italy took place off Anzio and Nettuno, a pretty seaside town southwest of Rome. The regatta was hosted by Marina de Nettuno and Yacht Club Anzio-Nettuno for the fleet of three-dozen teams from across Italy. The teams were treated to strong breezes for the three-day event, so strong in fact, that the third and final day had to be canceled due to enormous seas breaking at the entrance to the marina.  

After a seven-race series, it was Massimo Rama's JENIALE EUROSYSTEM that took the class honors against some of the best-known European teams from the past four years. Rama commented, "we're so excited about this early season result, probably the result of the many winter training sessions in the waters of Genoa, which helped us greatly improve as a crew. It is precisely thanks to the excellent on-board synergies that we have managed to be consistent in the regatta this weekend and to achieve this important result that I really want to thank my crew for. The J/70 proved to be a fun boat once again and the fleet level is growing from stage to stage. At the next stage in Rimini, we hope to continue doing well!" 

J/70 sailing Italy
Sailing in his home waters, Luca Domenici's NOTARO Team finished in second place. His team included tactician Diego Negri, a famous sailor in Italy as a champion in multiple classes. Domenici commented, "what a fantastic day in the waters of Anzio and Nettuno, where I was born and raised. And, how nice it is to win three such challenging races on a day where marine weather conditions left all the participants heavily challenged. Afterwards, the greatest emotion was celebrating these victories with my family; I'm thankful they were here supporting me during the regatta. It was an incredible day for our NOTARO Team, we can't wait to get back on the water for the next act of the J/70 Cup 2021."

The bronze medal went to the young ANIENE YOUNG crew of Luca Tubaro, also winner of the Corinthian category. In fact, rounding out the Corinthians Division behind Tubaro was Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA-SUMUS CAPITAL and Mauro Brescacin's LA FEME TERRIBLE. 

J/Cup Italy winners
The next Italian J/70 Cup regatta is scheduled for the weekend from June 11 to June 13 in Rimini. The main sponsor of the J/70 Cup 2021 is Lincoln International. The official clothing partner Sail Racing, official sport nutrition partner Alphazer, official timekeeper Garmin, technical partners Armare, Savona Shipyard, Remigo, Quantum Sails and official supplier Girmi and Serena Wines.

Watch video by Zerogradinord for the J/70 Italian Class.  For more Italian J/70 Cup series sailing information

Thursday, May 13, 2021


 J/22 match racing

(San Francisco, CA)- St Francis Yacht Club members are witness to a remarkable variety of sail racing, but there is one type of sail racing that is distinct even to the casual observer - the intense head-to-head battle of match racing – right outside the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows of the famous Grill Room and its commanding views over San Francisco Bay. 

By way of background, US Sailing will hold its Match Racing Championship in Long Beach in October, after a series of seven qualifiers around the country.  On May 1-2, 2021, the St. Francis hosted the NorCal qualifier in its fleet of evenly matched J/22s, sailed by teams of four. With identical boats, this was a test of the tactical acumen of the skippers and the boat handling skills of the crew, sorely tested in the high winds of last weekend, gusting over 30 kt.  In fact, crew went overboard on both days during fast maneuvering or in broaches due to the high winds. The bosun boat was busy assisting with equipment repair or replacement, and swapped out one boat due to collision, a reflection of the speed and intensity of match racing on SF Bay.

J/22s match racing San Francisco
Over the two days of round-robins, for a total of 12 matches, Team Toole and Team Breault came to the forefront and seemed evenly matched. In the end, Oliver Toole (StFYC) took a one-point victory over Nicole Breault (StFYC), finishing 11-1 compared to her 10-2.  When racing head-to-head they split, with Breault beating Toole on Saturday and the reverse on Sunday. The difference, in the end, was when Jack Barton (representing San Francisco YC) topped Nicole on Saturday.

The big story is that Toole, a two-time All-American sailor from Stanford and a team racing champion, came into the event without match racing experience. However, he and his wife Kelly have sailed together for over ten years and are quite familiar with the City Front and J/22s, having practiced team racing there many times and successfully represented the Club at the Baldwin Cup and Morgan Cup.  In addition to their brother-in-law Jack Ortell at bow, they were bolstered by Olympian Craig Healy on board as trimmer and tactician.  

J/22s sailing San Francisco Bay
“Though I graduated from Stanford in 2014, our team has stuck together. We were quite comfortable in the breeze, since our St. Francis group has practiced 4x4 team racing here in these conditions many times in recent years before we left to race elsewhere.  It was terrific having Craig on board with his immense match racing talent, and of course super fun to qualify for the national championship. We’re looking forward to expanding our circle with the right team for Long Beach’s Catalina 37’s, obviously a much bigger boat requiring different skills and some large people.”

Breault commented that, “we had some fresh new faces in this regatta and that bodes well for the match racing scene in California. Quite a few skippers asked me afterwards to set up some sparring sessions so we can keep playing the game and honing our skills!”  Her team consisted of Maggie Bacon (bow), Karen Loutzenheiser (trim), and Molly Carapiet (main/tactics).  

Brock Paquin, representing Cal Maritime, finished third, with crew of Justin Zimna, Kyle Collins, Lukas Kraak.


 J/109 racing on Solent, UK

J/109 Wins RORC Doublehanded Offshore, J/120 Screams to a Win!

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Solent was buzzing with activity over the May Bank Holiday with well over one hundred keel boats taking part in racing. Inshore and offshore races organized the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Junior Offshore Group (JOG), attracted no less than 27 J/Boats, and they were very much in the chocolates.

RORC Doublehanded Offshore
The RORC ran their first overnight doublehanded race this year, a 91-mile marathon which was to last over 17 hours. Starting from the Squadron Line the fleet raced upwind to the east. After exiting The Solent, they were off the breeze for a spinnaker run along the South Coast of the Isle of Wight. After passing The Needles, a broad reach into Poole Bay was followed by a harden up to finish at North Head.

Mike Yates’ J/109 JAGO, racing with Eivind Boymo-Malm, was the winner, beating Sam White & Sam North racing Mzungu by just 12 seconds after time correction! RORC Yacht of the Year for 2021 Jangada was third. The big win was made even more special by the fact that of the 29 teams taking part, the competition included Solo Round the World sailors, Figarist, Olympic Medallist and World Champions.

J/109 sailing doublehanded in England
“It was a very complex race, with many sail changes and tactical decisions from beginning to end,” commented JAGO's Mike Yates. “A big cloud at the Nab Tower caused a split in the fleet and we just managed to hold our kite. Our jib top was very effective on the southside of the island and the decision to go offshore at St Catherines worked well with a breeze filling in from the southwest. We also just made several tidal gates in the latter part of the race. We are delighted to win and all credit to Elvind, two-handed racing is heavily reliant on teamwork, so he deserves just as much praise.”

RORC Inshore Race
The RORC fully-crewed inshore race was essentially a 24-mile windward-leeward from the Squadron Line to Bembridge Ledge and back. The impressive fleet included professionally sailed FAST40+ yachts and an IRC optimized TP52 plus an array of performance race boats, built for the IRC rule. However, the breeze built during the latter part of the race, giving an advantage to the smaller boats. Ross Bowdler’s J/80 JUSTIFY, was second in an impressive fleet.

“A big thank you to the RORC for the race,” commented J/80 JUSTIFY’s Bowdler. “It is so cool to race against the big boats and get a great result.” JUSTIFY will be at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup confirmed Ross. “We did our first J-Cup last year and really loved it. The atmosphere is just great because we get to race against other J/Boats. This year it looks like we will be able to party, and I can tell you we have no problem with our rating in that department!”

JOG Sopranino Race
Fourteen J/Boats took part in Salcombe Gin Sopranino Race on Saturday May 1st organized by JOG (Junior Offshore Group). The 48-mile course was also essentially a windward-leeward from Cowes to Owers and return. 

J/120 sailing on Solent, England
Stuart Lawrence’s J/120 SCREAM 2 took Line Honours in the 58-boat fleet winning IRC One and placing second overall. IRC Class Two was dominated by J/Teams, with the top six teams all racing models of the J/Family. IRC 2 was won by David McGough’s J/109 JUST SO. Second was Chris Burleigh’s J/109 JYBE TALKIN' and third was Gordon Craigen’s J/105 JACANA. Tom Hayhoe and Natalie Jobling, racing J/105 MOSTLY HARMLESS was third in the Doublehanded Class.

A substantial number of J/Crews will be racing in the first big regatta of the season for the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The May Regatta will be held this weekend, 8-9 May. 26 J's have already entered including ten J/70s for a new style Sprint Series. An armada of J/Teams is expected for the Landsail Tyres J-Cup which will be held 24-26 June. Online entry is open and, with the planned relaxation in restrictions, the band is booked for the first big party of the summer!  For more RORC offshore sailing information


 J/88 Australia

(Port Stephens, NSW, Australia)- The Sail Port Stephens 2021 Regatta was held 19-25 April with the Port Stephens Trophy Event held 23-25 April with 130 keelboats and 50 trailerables and off-the-beach classes enjoying the mild-Autumn conditions. 

Sail Port Stephens goal is to give competitors the best possible on and off water regatta experience in one of the east coast’s finest sailing destinations, a little over 2 hours north of Sydney by car or an easy 90.0nm day sail.  The Port Stephens slogan is "Incredible By Nature"! And, if you love pristine beaches, crystal blue waters, spectacular sunsets over the nearby ranges and great sailing conditions then this is the place to be.

Two particularly outstanding results for the three-day event were the J/88 JOJI and J/122 JACKPOT, both winning their class convincingly.  Mark Wharton’s J/88 JOJI winning 1-1-2 in their 26 boat Division 3 fleet.  Rob Hale’s J/122 JACKPOT with 12-2-2 scores in their 22 boat Division 1 fleet.

Friday, the fleet looked spectacular as they headed offshore from Port Stephens under spinnaker, rounded the offshore islands then headed to the mark off Fingal Bay’s white sandy beach. A westerly of around 12-14 knots stayed for their course.  Saturday was the Broughton Island Passage Race with light and variable breezes and a few DNF’s, but there was no stopping the J’s.  Sunday, the South Westerly breeze returned for the final day of the regatta being an inshore W/L race.  Reports from Mark (J/88 JOJI) and Rob (J/122 JACKPOT) are below:

J/88 JOJI:
“It was J/88 JOJI’s second Sail Port Stephens Regatta, its first in 2019 when the fleets got smashed by a 40-knot southerly squall in the last race. Not a fun moment or one to repeat. So this year’s breeze and weather conditions were just what the race organizers  ordered. It was a record fleet of 130 boats spread across a number of varied divisions. The racing was serious but lots of fun too with some close quarter starts and tense top mark roundings.

JOJI went into all races knowing who the local boats were, as local knowledge was key to master the currents and breeze shifts. The size of JOJI relative to the Division 3 fleet meant that it was essential to get a clear air start. Lucky for us, all three starts were good and so we managed to break away from the main fleet to chase down the fast locals.

J/88 winners
The first 2 races were passage races out offshore around the Islands and made for terrific asymmetrical spinnaker sailing. The 3rd race, an up and down with two marks top and bottom to give the 60 or so boats room at either end.

JOJI’s handicap wins in the first two races didn’t separate the field very much “points wise” and going into the last race four boats were within a couple of points of each other. The pressure was on.

The 3rd race started in similar fashion, close quarters, downwind start, gybing onto port on the line and positioning for clear air again. And, also keeping the local gun boat within reach. JOJI’s superior speed upwind along with some great crew work on the tacks meant we knocked off the “boat to beat” and he eventually got buried in amongst the bigger boats. JOJI maintained its clear air lead and took line honors and 2nd on handicap and winning the series by a clear 16 points.

A great result for JOJI and its crew!“

J/122 sailing Australia
Sydney-based J/122 JACKPOT lived up to her name again with a convincing win at Sail Port Stephens regatta over the weekend. The result is even more impressive as this is the first time JACKPOT has competed in the ever-growing Sail Port Stephens regatta. 

“It’s a very different sailing area to our beloved harbor, with much more navigational effort required for the shallows, channel markers, wind shifts, and tidal effects than we are used to,” said Rob.  

At 40ft, JACKPOT was at the smaller end of the impressive 22 boat competitive fleet including Farr 52, Dehler 46, First45’s, McConaghy 47, first 47’s, and an X43 to name a few.

Rob Hale commented, “the first race was very light with plenty of shifts and tidal influence, we were a bit rusty, but still managed a 12th. Being one of the smallest boats in the fleet, we had to re-think our start line tactics which helped us come back with vengeance in race 2 with a hard fought second place. Race three was inshore, but again we managed a second place totaling 16 points for this three-race regatta, a clear 4 points ahead of our closest competitor.

J/122 Jackpot team
It’s such a good feeling when you know you are at the smaller end of the fleet, but finish with the top four boats crossing the line and look back thinking that was another great race.

Port Stephens is a beautiful and scenic place to race, and we will be back to defend our title in 2022. We would like to thank our competitors for keeping us on our toes, Port Stephens Race organizers, and of course, our trusty crew for a great event.”

Sailing Photo Credits: J/122 Jackpot photos by D Edmiston.  J/88 Joji photos by Sail Port Stephens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


 J/105 sailing Yachting Cup

(San Diego, CA)- The 2021 Yachting Cup, one of San Diego Yacht Club’s most popular signature regattas, was a little smaller in size this year, but it certainly matched the on-the-water spirit of Yachting Cup’s past. While normally hosting nearly 100 boats, the 2021 regatta hosted forty-eight teams, all eager to race and itching for good competition. J/Crews sailed quite well in conditions that varied from postcard-perfect Saturday to a stormy Sunday.  

J/145 sailing off San Diego, CA

Day 1- Gorgeous "Shorts & Shades" Sailing

On Saturday, the conditions on both the “far” and “near” ocean courses were shifty at about 225 degrees, seeing sporadic puffs from 5 to 11 knots. The day started with a short postponement while the breeze filled in. 

The conditions were described as perfect for Ed Sanford’s J/111 CREATIVE that finished first in the PHRF-C class at the end of the day. “The conditions were perfect for our 111, especially when it hit around 8-10 knots. However, we did have to steer through the waves, and it was challenging going upwind on port tack,” commented Sanford.

J/111 sailing off San Diego, CA
The third race for the PHRF classes finished with a 6-mile race home. “The first and third race for us were pretty much flawless. Coming down the channel in the last race was challenging, but perfect once we got past Ballast Point. The kite was pulling like you couldn’t believe and we just started gaining distance boats in front of us,” said Sanford. 

In the J/105 one-design class, Stewart Cannon’s J-OK stood first with a 2-1-1 tally. Cannon has owned his J/105 J-OK for over 20 years. His crew has been sailing together for some time and they all rely on a full team effort for success. “We really enjoyed ourselves out there,” stated Cannon, while his team chimed in. Crew Ryan Lorence added, “We spent all day going the way we thought it was going to go, and it went the opposite, but luckily we were able to get through. We had to switch gears and change some jibs, but we had a pretty good day.”

Post-racing, competitors were invited to take "to-go" cocktails back to their boats and enjoy live music by Stylus Overhaul. 

J/125 sailing off San Diego, CA

Day 2- Tempestuous Finale

It wasn’t exactly a day of smooth sailing on day two. With misty weather and large, choppy ocean swells, teams used to sailing in champagne San Diego were in for a bit of a challenge, especially compared to the previous day's conditions. It seemed while most boats were up to it, a handful were not able to look past the waves and towards success on the horizon by the final race.

Overall 2021 Yachting Cup winner, J-OK, was one of the boats that embraced the ocean and saw the regatta the whole way through. The crew attributes their success this weekend to working together as a team.

“We put together a good team and we have a good boat,” said J-OK Crew Jim Dorsey. “It’s one hundred percent teamwork. It was very tough steering conditions today, and Stewart (Cannon) did an excellent job. Between Jim and Stewart, they really worked it,” added Julie Mitchell, the J-OK Tactician.

Rounding out the J/105 leaderboard was George Scheel's SUN PUFFIN in second, Steve & Lucy Howell's BLINK! in third, Donica & Scott Ryder's SANITY in fourth, and Rich Bergmann's ZUNI BEAR in fifth position.

J/120 sailing off San Diego, CA
In the PHRF C division, John Laun’s J/120 CAPER did not give up against Ed Sanford’s J/111 CREATIVE in any of the day's races, earning three bullets and putting them ahead by one point.

“It was a fun day with challenging conditions. The boat was set up well for it, and we had more breeze, so it was a little quicker. Our boat really likes 15 knots or more,” started Laun. “The first race stood out the most and set the tone for the day. It showed us that our set up was right. In between the first and second race, we switched jibs to match the wind,” he finished.

Behind the J/120 and J/111 sweeping the top spots in PHRF C division was Chuck Nichols' J/120 CC RIDER in fifth place. 

In the ORC Division scoring, Sanford's J/111 CREATIVE won quite handily, posting five bullets on their way to a runaway victory. 

The PHRF B division saw a few big J's participating. Taking second was Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON, followed by Ernie Pennell's J/145 MORE MADNESS in fifth and Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID in sixth place. 

PRO Summer Greene explains Sunday's sailing, “we were averaging about 15 knots the whole day, but the sea state was really bad and made it hard on all the teams. There were a lot of kite catastrophes and messy mark roundings. We were still able to get in three races. About a third of the boats dropped out before the last race, but the lead boats were still there, their boat handling was a bit better, and we thought it was important to get that last race in for them.”

Due to State and County protocols, there was no formal award ceremony. After the racing, awards were announced, and competitors were invited to pick them up at their convenience. 

"Congratulations to all of our first-place finishers. San Diego Yacht Club is proud this year to be able to host our premier regatta of the season: Yachting Cup. A special thanks goes out to the Race Committee for all their hard work, especially on rough days like today. It feels good, during these crazy times, to be back on the water sailing and being able to participate in something that feels fairly normal. We hope everyone will be return for the 2022 Yachting Cup so we can continue to grow this event into something bigger and better,” concluded Chair Patrick Murray.  Sailing photo credits- Mark Albertazzi  For more Yachting Cup sailing information

J/70 North American Championship Preview

J/70s sailing off Annapolis, MD- Chesapeake Bay
(Annapolis, MD)- A preview of the 2021 J/70 North American Championship took place last weekend during the Annapolis NOOD Regatta, sailing on the choppy, cols waters of Chesapeake Bay.  While nowhere near the sixty boats entered for this weekend's event, it will be interesting to see how last week's leaderboard fair against a deeply talent-laden fleet. Having "practiced" well last weekend, the host Annapolis Yacht Club will be looking forward to providing a solid four-days of sailing with up to a dozen races sailed. 

Who's the odds-on favorite to be one of those at the top of the leaderboard? None other than a local "home-boy", past J/24 World Champion and America's Cup Champion Terry Hutchinson from Annapolis, MD. Last weekend, Terry, co-owner Jenn Norwood, tactician Scott Nixon, Gil Hackel, and Dan Morris sailed USA 419 in challenging weather conditions, with massive breezes and currents, and they managed to eclipse many top J/70 teams...much to their surprise.  

However, as experienced sailors as they are, Hutchinson/ Norwood are under no illusions the J/70 N.A.'s will see the competitiveness level rise several notches. Needless to say, it's truly a "rogue's roost" of Olympic, World, and European champions taking aim at their competitors to be "top dog" by the time the dust clears on the racetrack. A highlight of those teams may include John Evans' AIRPLANE, Josh Becker's AWKWARD TURTLE, Dan Goldberg's BAZINGA, Joel Ronning's CATAPULT, John Brigden's COOL STORY BRO, John Heaton's EMPEIRIA, Doug Rastello's GOOD TO GO, Travis Odenbach's HONEYBADGER, Trey Sheehan's HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING, Chris Kostanecki's JENNIFER, Alex McPhail's NESSUNA, Steve Benjamin's REGGAE SHARK, Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY, Peter Barrett's RESET, Rich Witzel's ROWDY, John Brim's RIMETTE, Brian Keane's SAVASANA, Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE, Ryan McKillen's SURGE, Bruce Golison's  TEN, Dave Jannetti's VERY ODD, Buddy Cribb's VICTORY, and Mike Goldfarb's WAR CANOE.

Racing starts on Wednesday of next week and concludes on Saturday, with up to three races per day scheduled.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


 J/22 Scooby Overall Champion

J/22 SCOOBY Crowned as Overall Winner!

(Annapolis, MD)- J.R. Maxwell and the crew of the Annapolis-based J/22 SCOOBY were happy with their results Saturday in the big breeze of the 2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis; consistency being the key in the highly tightly competitive 15-boat fleet.

J/22s sailing on Chesapeake Bay
J/22 Overall Winner
And after winning Sunday’s first two races, they were well on their way to winning the regatta. Until the final race. With an over-early start, they were recalled to the line, restarted, and looked up the course to see the work ahead.

“We had to grind back from being second-to-last and finished fifth in that race,” Maxwell says. “Today was all about the puffy conditions so you had to stay in the puffs and that wasn’t always intuitive of where that was going to happen. We figured that over time.”

Like most sailors Maxwell and his team have had limited time sailing over the duration of the pandemic, but were happy to back on the water and racing again together.

“We’re super happy with the win this year,” Maxwell says. “We’ve been sailing this regatta for the better part of a decade and we were ready to get this one this time. We had a regatta last weekend that we won so we were feeling good coming into this weekend.”

With Maxwell on SCOOBY was crew Jim Schmicker and Matt Spencer (with Bryan Pryor sailing on Saturday only) and as winner of the J/22 class they were also selected as the overall winner, earning a berth to compete in the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship in October.

Rounding out the top spots in the J/22s were Brad Julian's YARD SAIL in second, Jeff Todd's HOT TODDY in third, Aden King's RIDING DIRTY fourth, and Jake Doyle's ZESTY ENTERPRISE in fifth position. 

J/35s sailing off Annapolis
J/35 Nail-biter Finale
The J/35s are one of the few legacy classes of the Annapolis NOOD, which has been hosted for more than 30 years by the Annapolis YC (with race committee support by Eastport YC and the Severn Sailing Association) and while the J/35s were smaller in numbers, the battle of the top of the fleet was a big one, with Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT winning the tiebreaker over the perennial champions on James Sagerholm’s AUNT JEAN.

“They are very, very fast upwind so if you let them get away it’s a tough battle after that, so we worked on a strategy to deal with them on the starting line,” said Lant. “We carried out our plan and it went well.”

What was that plan?

“The boat that won the start won the race. They were looking for space on the starting line and we were looking to engage, so yesterday we engaged them fairly hard.”

But after AUNT JEAN won the day’s first two races, Lant had only one option- to win the final race!

“We knew we had to control him at the start, but we also had to win the start, get ahead and get clear. They are such a fast boat upwind, especially in conditions where the racecourse is even like it was today.”

But still, to win also requires good crew work under pressure.

“As skipper, I’m the most fortunate skipper on the course,” Lant says. “I have a core crew that has been sailing together for three year and the skills keep building and today we had some of the most fabulous crew work I’ve ever seen on the boat. Exceptional.”

The balance of the podium and top five included Jim McNeely's MAGGIE in third, Mike Wood's VALHALLA in fourth, and Masci McGonigle's WINDEPENDENT in fifth place. 

J/80s sailing on Chesapeake Bay
J/80 Cliff-hanger Finale
Conor Hayes and Jeff Kirchhoff’s J/80 MORE GOSTOSA, also contributed their win to the flawless crew work of their team, which has had limited sailing over the past years. More than once, says Hayes, it helped them get back places that ultimately impacted the final outcome—they won by a single point.

“The wind was pretty spotty, so it was about finding the pressure and staying in it on the runs,” Hayes says. “It was surprising the current was flooding all day and that was a big factor.”

After the winning the second to last race of the day, Hayes knew the points were extremely close between his team and runner-up Daniel Wittig’s TURBO SLOTH, but he had no idea how close. All he could do for the last race was keep TURBO SLOTH in his wake. That didn’t happen, and it almost went worse.

“We had a tough start in that last race,” Hayes says. “We wanted to start at the pin but got shut out. We were able to tack out immediately onto port and were in phase [with the windshifts] and from there it was a matter of just staying in more wind. It helps to have boatspeed and good crew to be able to get out of bad situations like that.”

The balance of the top five included Tom & Jennifer Kopp's KOPP-OUT (aka The Lasso Way) in third, Mike Hobson's MELTEMI in fourth, and Sarah Alexander's MORE COWBELL in fifth.

J/70s sailing Chesapeake Bay
J/70 Mind-blowing Finish
Terry Hutchinson, skipper of the winning J/70 USA 419 he co-owns with Jennifer Norwood, had a similar starting experience in the first race of the day and he, too, almost lost the regatta. They were buried in the start and immediately found an escape route.

“We didn’t trust the Velocitek [a GPS-based starting device],” Hutchinson says. “We were poked [close to the line] and I didn’t pull the trigger. The boat on our leebow was about a boat length ahead of us at the start, unfortunately. It was a rookie mistake. When we set up at 40 seconds we were in a good spot, but I felt exposed.”

With the focus of his crew, Scott Nixon, Dan Morris, Gil Hackel, and Jennifer Norwood, they clawed their way back to an eight-place finish in the 40-boat fleet— no small feat— which Hutchinson says ultimately won the regatta for them. Although, they did win the next race and finished second in the last to secure the win by 7 points over John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA.

“Yesterday was a lot of fun because it was breezy,” Hutchinson says. “We weren’t fast in the first race and then when it lightened up, our limited time in the boat didn’t bite us as hard and we were more competitive.

J/70 winner- Terry Hutchinson
“We were much better today and it’s amazing how hard this racecourse is in Annapolis. The course location was hard because the current was good on the right, but there was pressure [more wind] and shift on the left so you had to balance the two.

“You did not want to be in the middle. In the first race the leader came out of the right, and in the second, the leader came out of the left. Each leg was unique to itself, which kept us on our toes.”

Behind the Hutchinson/Norwood team was John Heaton's EMPEIRIA in second, Rich Witzel's ROWDY third, Doug Rastello's GOOD TO GO fourth, and Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY in fifth place. 

Winning the J/70 Corinthians Division was James Gary's AVACUCHO, followed by Mike McNamara's TEA DANCE SNAKE in second, and Kelly McGlynn's BEARNARCHY in third. 

How did things go down in the other classes?  

North Sails Doublehanded ORC division
Richard Born's J/120 WINDBORN took the bronze, with John Bell's J/100 HIWASSEE taking eighth place. 

J/24s sailing on Chesapeake Bay
J/24's Experience a Good'ole Fashioned Butt-whippin'
The ten-boat class may have been a bit surprised that class octogenarian Tony Parker would wake up after his Rip Van Winkle-esque pandemic experience and still remember how to sail a J/24. Well, for those in the know, racing a J/24 for Tony is a bit like riding a bike, having been racing the class since inception in 1978 out of Portland, Maine. Now based in Washington, DC, Parker and his BANGOR PACKET team demonstrated near-perfection, winning all eight of their races.  Having a similar score of mostly seconds, Pete Kassal's SPACEMAN SPIFF team sailed home to an 18 pts tally. They were followed by Pat Fitzgerald's RUSH HOUR in third with 25 pts total. 

J/105s sailing off Annapolis, MD
Shoot-out at Houston's OK Corral for J/105s
The huge, competitive J/105 fleet didn't disappoint with regards to close competition like their colleagues in other classes. However, it was not the home boys that were showing everyone their transom going home. Instead, it was a pair of Texans hailing from Houston's Galveston Bay that topped the leaderboard in a "mano-a-mano" fight to the end.  In the end, Bill Zartler's DEJA VOODOO led fellow Texan Ken Horne's FINAL FINAL by closing with a 2-2 to win with 27 pts. Third was Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen's MIRAGE with 32 pts, fourth Hugh Bethell's JESTER with 35 pts (winning the last two races somewhat convincingly), and fifth Doug & Amy Stryker's MAYHEM. 

J/30s sailing Chesapeake Bay
J/30 Triad Trade Podium Finishes To the End
Perhaps the most interesting battle in the one-design classes was amongst the passionate J/30 owners. No one would've guessed beforehand that a trio of boats would monopolize the podium finishes in every race! In short, the main issue was the trade-off of covering one competitor while another "escaped" to do their own thing...often times it was the "escapee" that won the race and beat the other two in their own duel! After six races, it was clear that Bob Rutsch & Mike Costello's BEPOP had a slight edge to win class with a 1-3-1-2-1-2 tally for 10 pts. Taking the silver was Bruce Irvin's SHAMROCK with a 2-1-3-3-2-1 record for 12 pts. Earning a well-deserved bronze medal was Tristan Keen's INFECTIOUS SMILE with a 3-2-2-1-3-3 scoreline for 14 pts!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta sailing information

Monday, May 10, 2021


 J/70s sailing off Buenos Aires, Argentina

(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- One of the most important regattas on the evolving Argentinean J/70 regatta calendar is the San Isidro Labrador Trophy hosted by Club Nautico San Isidro along the Rio de La Plata. Such was the passion and desire of the Argentinean sailors to get rolling on the waters again within the state's pandemic guidelines that twenty-eight boats registered to participate in the event- a record turnout for any J/70 regatta in Argentina!  

Over the course of the weekend regatta, the two protagonists that battled for class supremacy ended up with a fearsome battle in the last race to determine who would beat who. In a classic regatta scenario, Paolo Cosentino's NEGRONI team from Yacht Club Argentino (P. Pruden, P. Consentino, and L. Carissimi) won the first race and posted a 6-4-1 in the next three races to be the leader without throw-outs, but a loser with a throwout. With one more race in the cards, Alejandro Irigoyen's BUTANTAN team (J. Fregonese, L. Cerrato, and G. Martinez) had a disastrous first race 14th, but managed to get their act together and reeled off a 1-1-2 in the next three races. As a result, with a good fifth and final race, they could toss their 14th to win the regatta.  As one might expect, the scenario was not lost on Cosentino's NEGRONI team. With a fifth race started on Sunday, the NEGRONI team simply match-raced BUTANTAN into the bottom of the fleet, forcing them into an 11th place finish. As a result, NEGRONI won with 12 net points with BUTANTAN having to settle for second place with 15 pts net. 

J/70 Argentina
While the top two teams were dueling for supremacy on the high seas, the battle for the final step on the podium, in fact for the top five, was nothing short of an epic 15-round battle in the boxing ring. Emerging from that four-boat, wildly swinging, race-to-race fortunes was the Silva family's aptly named MERCENARIO 6, skippered by top woman helm Martina Silva. They took the bronze medal on the podium on a count-back tiebreaker at 25 pts each over Van Avermaete’s SI QUERIDA. One point back was the Gwozdz & Herman-Suarez's BACHAJO in fifth place.  For more Argentina J/70 Class sailing information