Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rochester J/24 Sailor- Scott Snyder Interview

J/24 one-design sailboat- Bermuda Race Week winners sailing from Rochester, NYScott Snyder- Winner of the J/24 Class at Bermuda Race Week- has an interesting interview about sailing his first regatta in Bermuda: "Being invited to Bermuda International Invitational Race Week is a tremendous honor as the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club truly knows how to organize a world class international event.  What we've learned from previous visits as both crew and captain is that the week-long regatta guarantees to dish up a wide range of conditions, competition and unfamiliar water that will challenge the metal of even the most seasoned team.  With that in mind, we approached this year's invitation by assembling a team that would first be lots of fun to sail with, and second, included crew with great versatility and experience.  I wanted to put together a team that was unselfish on the water, and fun off the water.

Having discussed this regatta for some time with my good friend and world-class sailing Photographer, Tim Wilkes of Rochester, NY, together we put a team together that consisted of Brian Simkins of Long Island, NY, Michael Dannecker of Denver, CO and Greg Schertz of Denver, CO.  Interestingly enough, all five team members are great drivers in their own right.

Despite our attempts to get a practice regatta in a month prior to the regatta, knee surgery for Brian Simkins kept him on crutches until just a week before the regatta.  It's also cementing his role as driver for the week as we had originally planned to co-helm the regatta.  It's a decision that paid off immediately as everyone on the crew really focused on their role for the week.  Even our practice day before the regatta was blown out due to winds in excess of 40 knots.  We dedicated a few hours the evening before the regatta to verbally review roles and team work process verbally before heading out to the course on the first day of the regatta without ever taking a single tack together as a team.

I've never been a part of such an unselfish team before.  The entire week was full of great communication, clear lines of decision-making, proactive crew work, and great fun.  As our victory was such a great team effort, we've decided to participate in this interview as a team as well."    Read more about their team's sailing experience here.  

Argentinean J/24 sailor- Fernando Gwozdz Interview

J/24 one-design sailboat- Argentinean sailing team sailing in Seattle, WAArgentinean J/24 sailor Fernando Gwozdz- Fernando's five-man J/24 team from Buenos Aires was among the competitors in the J/24 North American Championships in Seattle, hoping to land one of their nation's spots in the 2011 Pan-Am Games while encouraging sailors to join them in Argentina for the 2011 J/24 Worlds. The team, three of whose members sailed a J/24 to a second-place finish in the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, sailed well in this year's regatta.  Here's an interview of Fernando just  before the start of the J/24 NA's:

"We think it's going to be pretty hard,"said Fernando Gwozdz, the helmsman, who has finished his degree in business management and currently coaches sailing, mainly 470 sailors, in Argentina. "I am new to the team, but our trimmer has done a few regattas already and knows some of these guys, so we expect the fleet to be pretty competitive." Other members of the team are tactician Sebastian Peri Brusa, who is studying meteorology and sails 49ers, trimmer Gustavo Gonzalez, a builder, owner Sergio Armesto, a lawyer, and bowman Joaquin Duarte, who is studying naval architecture and spends a lot of time in sailboats.

They have nothing but good things to say so far about the sailing venue at Shilshole Bay Marina and on Puget Sound.  "We love it," Gwozdz said. "The setting is beautiful, the mountains are fantastic, and the hospitality is great as well. The people from the club have given us a hand with what we needed so we were impressed in a good way. The facilities are good as well. This club has everything you really need to sail."

Their home club is Yacht Club Argentino, which will host the World Championships for the J/24 class next year. The top four finishers in Seattle will qualify. The Seattle event will produce two qualifiers for the Pan-Am Games.  "Our venue is great, the Rio de la Plata is a great place to sail," Gwozdz said.  

California J/24 Blind Sailing Regatta

Sailing in the dark (e.g. sailing blind)- "Up two degrees ... hold it there," says tactician Al Spector to Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, steering a J24 race boat sailing a beeline toward another boat.  "Tack on a long count. Three... two... one... tack!"  "Good call," says Danette Davis.  "Good call to avoid collision?" answers Al. "Right. Hiro, beautiful  driving."

It sounds like typical regatta chatter. But these tactical calls are especially important. Iwamoto is blind. That boat they just missed - with four other boats bearing down? All driven by blind crew members.

J/24 Blind Sailing Regatta in San Francisco, CAThe event was the first California Invitational Blind Sailing Regatta, organized on the Oakland-Alameda Estuary by the Marin Sailing School and Island Yacht Club. Teams represented Boston, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors and Iwamoto's team, called California 1.

Under international blind-regatta rules, the person at the helm is blind. A second blind or vision-impaired person handles the mainsail. There's a fully sighted tactician and a fully sighted crew member handling the foresail, but neither can't touch any other controls except in an emergency.

Crew members build a mental map of the boat with a systematic, hands-on tour, and they race on virtually identical boats loaned for the occasion. They turn their heads to feel the air on their nose and ears to tell them which way the wind is blowing. Despite maneuvers just feet apart, collisions are rare. There's not even extra insurance required, though the boat owner or a rep was allowed aboard for this regatta. -- SF Chronicle, read on here.  

Bernie Girod New J/105 Class President

J/105 Rock & Roll- Bernie Girod- sailing off Santa Barbara- 20+ knots planingSanta Barbara J/105 owner, Bernie Girod, owner/skipper  of ROCK & ROLL, has recently been named President of the J/105 Class. Bernie has been a very active in both California J/105 sailing (the SoCal circuit and St Francis YC's Big Boat Series) as well as on a National level racing J/105s, including the most recent Key West Race Week.  Last weekend, Bernie and crew on ROCK & ROLL were sailing on Sunday off Santa Barbara in a 20-30 knot wind, gusting 35+ kts.  They happily report they made it safely downwind with no broaches and pushing nearly 20+ knots planing downwind on some huge waves.  Rock on amigos!  For you J/105  sailors, check out the SBYC's Fiesta Cup- they have an amazing cook-out on the beach celebrating with tasty Mexican tortillas, enchiladas, tacos with gallons of genuine Margaritas and a great band-- you really shouldn't miss it!  More Fiesta Cup sailing information here at SBYC.   

J/160 SALACIA Cruising Chronicles

J/160 Salacia- offshore cruising racing sailboat- sailing to AustraliaSALACIA, the J/160 owned by the Australian couple, Stephen and Cyndy Everett, have embarked on their life long dream of sailing from San Diego (USA) to Brisbane (Australia).  They started initially from San Diego and headed down to Puerto Vallarta by racing in the Puerto Vallarta Race earlier this year.  SALACIA had "local" Jeff Brown on board from San Diego's JK3 Yachts to help guide them down to PV, competing with great aplomb and in the best of the corinthian spirit-- JB said the food and drink were "simply remarkable".  Just yesterday, the Everett's caught their first wahoo fishing off the back of the boat!  Check out SALACIA's sailing and cruising blog here.   

Race For The TWO Cases of Rum!

DOUBLE VISION = Double Case!

(Lloyd Harbor, NY- May 22-23)-  Leave it up to the creative characters at Lloyd Harbor YC on Long Island to come up with a "down island" themed regatta and, with pirates lair, gear and all start their summer sailing season with the annual "Race for the Case".  A nice fleet of 24+ boats showed up for the event with ten J's represented, ranging from the J/80 and J/105 one-design classes to the PHRF handicap division that saw J's range from the J/24 to the J/44! 

Winner of the "Double Case" was DOUBLE VISION, for this J/24 had two owners that sounded like your regular high street law firm- Walters & Suss.  Their record of 1-1-3-1-1 was sufficient to beat out Don and Rick Rave sailing their beautiful J/44 RESOLUTE with a 2-2-1-2-3 tally.  Rounding out this PHRF Spinnaker racing division were the US Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Team racing their J/35 HYPNOS, tied for third with nineteen points, but winning the tie-breaker over Bill Maher's J/29 RIFT.

In the cruising canvas division, Daniel Montero's pretty J/34c BODACIOUS took third overall on a tie-breaker with another boat.

In the one-design classes, John Storck, Jr along with Mom and the gang won the J/80 class, sailing their well-traveled RUMOR to a four firsts and one second.  An outstanding performance!  Second was Richard Rubel's SOUL REBEEL with a 2-1-2-2-3 score, followed by Ansgar Chorhumnel sailing KIA ORA to third with a 3-3-3-4-2 record.   In the J/105 class, the master campaigner himself, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE, sailed to an unbeatable perfect score of five firsts!  Second was Jordan Mindich sailing SHAKEDOWN.  For more Race for The Case sailing results and information.  

J/130 ORIZABA Wins Oregon Offshore

J/130 offshore racer cruiser sailboat- sailing the Oregon Offshore Race course

Prelude to Swiftsure Offshore Classic

(Victoria, BC, Canada- May 13-16)- The J/130 ORIZABA sailed a great race and repeated her 1998 performance as she won first in Class A and the Overall trophy for the Oregon Offshore Race, the traditional "feeder race" for the renowned NW offshore classic-- the Swiftsure Race.  The first-to-finish boat was the ULDB WYLIE 70 called RAGE, finishing the course in 1 day, 13 hours, 19 minutes and 6 seconds, followed by the ORIZABA, John Hanna's J/133 from Portland, Oregon finishing at 2:30 am, just three hours behind RAGE.

The Oregon Offshore was first run in 1976 as a result of a challenge set forth by Jack Gainer (Raindrop) and Richard Kipp (Vagabundo) to all the Portland area sailors. They wanted an event that would put the Oregon racing community into "offshore" racing rivaling Seattle, British Columbia and even California. The first race was from Astoria south to Newport. It started at buoy "2" off the entrance to the Columbia River and went to buoy "Y" at Newport, Oregon. The distance was 100 miles.  Over the years, the course has changed to the present one which takes you from the channel buoy off Cape Disappointment, Portland, north to buoy "2", off the treacherous Cape Flattery at the tip of the remarkable Olympic Peninsula (home of the infamous "Sasquatch"), then southeast down the Straits of Juan De Fuca to Duntze Rock buoy then into Victoria, BC for a course of 193 nautical miles..  More Oregon Offshore Race and sailing information here.  

Odenbach Dominates J/22 Jack Rabbit Regatta

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing on New York's Canandaigua Lake

(Canandaigua, NY- May 15-16)- Great news from one the pretty Finger Lakes in upstate New York this past weekend. 25 boats sailed in the Jack Rabbit regatta in varied conditions.  Travis Odenbach and his team won with four firsts in six races!

Will Harris reports: "The inaugural Waterline Systems Great Lakes J/22 Circuit event was the Jack Rabbit Regatta, hosted by the Canandaigua Yacht Club.  The weather was great; sunny with breeze ranging from really light, to pretty windy.  Typical for a Finger Lake, the wind direction varied from really shifty to psychotically shifty.

The racing was extremely close, the shifts lead to plenty of position changes.  No lead was safe, especially if Travis was lurking anywhere near it.  Travis and his team of John Newell and Billy Farmer sailed a great regatta, winning 4 of the 6 races sailed.  They didn't win the races by a lot, but they won a lot of races!

Jimmy Barnash sailing with Gunnar Richardson and Mark Sertl aboard were 2nd.  Vic Snyder, Kevin Doyle and Marcie Lake on Mo' Money completed the podium.  Sarah Enwright's team took home the wine and rum awarded to the mid-fleet finisher.

25 Teams from nine different clubs made it to the regatta.  Special mention should go to Hudson Yacht Club in Montreal.  3 teams from their new fleet made it down and were very competitive.  CYC did their usual great job, the courses and hospitality were all first-rate.

Bully Hill Vineyards was the presenting sponsor.  Admiral Nelson Rum and Waterline Systems also supported the event.  Wine, Rum and boat service... should be easy to support the sponsors!   For more J/22 Jack Rabbit sailing info.  See more commentary from Will Harris at North One-Design.  

J/80s Racing Santa Margherita

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Portofino, Italy


(Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy)-  It was a busy weekend for the J/80 class in Santa Margherita, with the final races of the Winter Championship Trophy and the Trofeo Grand Hotel Miramare being sailed in the azure Mediterranean waters just off the beautiful harbor and delicious cafes of Portofino.

The Italian Navy League of Santa Margherita were the perfect hosts, who are committed for five years to an event that keeps growing every year and is becoming a favorite of sailors in the region.  Two races were completed on Saturday with some difficulties due to the lack of wind; forcing the committee to shorten the courses both times.  However, on Sunday a strong ENE wind veered into the SSE gusting to 16-18 knots with beautiful white-capped waves.  As a result, everyone had tremendous fun surfing down the waves and sailing two challenging races.

On Saturday, JENIALE sailed to a 1-2, convincingly winning the J/80 Winter Championship.  Second was BEAR J GUZZI and third was OLD SPIRIT sailed by Hatamuri Rajola.  Sunday was a completely different story racing for the Trofeo Grand Hotel Miramare.  After sailing to a 1-1, JENIALE later found out that one of their firsts was an OCS premature start, dropping them down in the standings to second.  Instead, the final results of the Trophy Grand Hotel Miramare are then: first BEAR J GUZZI, second JENIALE and third JOCONDA MIRELLA ARATA.   If you get a chance, please check out the NEW J/80 Italy website!  Amici, buon lavoro!   

Whitmore Wins J/80 Saltsjobad Regatta

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Stockholm, Sweden

(Saltsjobad, Sweden- May 25th)- The J/80s are warming up in Sweden with some of the leaders of this fleet aiming to get in enough sailing to perform well at this year's J/80 World Championships in Newport, RI.  One crew in particular that is hoping to sail in Newport is Tom Whitmore's on HUNDEN sailing for KSSS.   They've started off their 2010 Dynamant Cup season long championship very strongly, leading this series by winning the Saltsjobad Regatta with a 2-5-1-6-1-2 score.  In second for the regatta was Christer Faith-Ell, sailing brilliantly at times and at others seemingly having the wheels fall off the shopping trolley.  Christer's 1-1-8-1-4-5 for 20 points was insufficient to overcome Tom's more consistent sailing.  Third was Viking Kjellstrom racing VADERLEK to a 5-2-3-3-6-3 record for 22 points, just beating out by one point the team of HEAVY DUTY sailed by Pontus Tornlund.  Fifth was Jonas Dannaeus sailing A2.

In the J/80 Dynamant Cup 2010 season series, Lars Gellerhed on MK-PRODUCKTER has dropped to second overall behind Whitmore's HUNDEN and Pontus Tornlund's HEAVY DUTY has ascended into third overall.  For more J/80 Sweden sailing info.  

J/80s Racing "Sail-East" Regattas

(West Mersea, England)-  The first of the season's five Hutton Construction and HCC Insurance International sponsored Sail-East Regattas took place on the River Blackwater estuary over the weekend of 15th and 16th May.

The event organised by West Mersea's Dabchicks Sailing Club. 26 yachts from around the region took part, with Saturday's first race sailed in a light breeze, before the strong tide and fickle air in the second race made for extremely testing conditions. The wind then increased to a steady force three for Sunday's race, which blew away hangovers from Saturday evening's traditional party and ceiling walking festivities (Michael Jackson "moon-walking" upside down??).

Taking the top position in the J/80 class was home club skipper Nick Glanvill sailing his newly acquired J/80 JALFREZI, which had race placings of second, twelfth and fourth.  Typifying the usual closeness of Sail East inshore yacht racing, only two minutes covered the top eight positions in the final race of nearly two hours.

Sail-East now looks forward to the second event of the season, the Felixstowe Regatta on 3rd and 4th July, when two days of sharp racing round windward/leeward courses is promised.   For more Sail East regatta and sailing information.  

3 BIG DOGS Win J/24 North Americans

J/24 one-design sailboat- Pat Toole sailing North Americans on 3 Big Dogs

Invasion By Santa Barbarians Successful!

(Seattle, WA - May 23) - Thirty-five teams competed in the BITBURGER J/24 North Americans hosted by Seattle's Corinthian Yacht Club. It took solid, consistent sailing to finish well in this year's event sailed on the tricky waters of Puget Sound with lots of shifty winds and plenty of current to contend with over the course of the three days of racing.  The ultimate winner, Pat Toole's 3 BIG DOGS, were sailing well enough on Sunday to win over local Seattle favorite Keith Whittemore sailing TUNDRA ROSE.  It was the first victory in a major regatta for "The Dogs" who sail out of Santa Barbara Yacht Club.
J/24 one-design
sailboat- sailing North Americans at Seattle, WA
"It was a great day of sailing, it's our best ever," Pat said after the win on Sunday.  What was the key for 3 BIG DOGS? "It wasn't our starts", Pat said, "In fact, the last start was horrible. But even when we got bad starts, we were able to duck sterns and get in phase with the wind shifts right away and sail a long, correct board. That was it."  The 3 BIG DOGS finished the regatta with a total of 27 points in 10 races sailed over three days. His finishes were 3, 1, 4, 5, (15), 1, 3, 1, 5, 4. Finishing second was Keith Whittemore of Seattle and his crew on TUNDRA ROSE with 33 points, third was local Scot Milne sailing TREMENDOUS SLOUCH, fourth was Argentinean Fernando Gnozdz skippering LUCA, fifth was Mike Ingham sailing BRAIN CRAMP.  What was nice to see was Japan's Hideyuki Miyagawa have his practice pay off from sailing the weekend before in the J/24 NW Regionals, they finished 8th overall!

Both Scot Milne on TREMENDOUS SLOUCH and Keith on TUNDRA ROSE were in the hunt going into the racing on Sunday.  In fact, Milne and team on TREMENDOUS SLOUCH were leading going into the races on Sunday after winning all three races on Saturday.  However, both teams hurt their chances by getting out of phase with the wind shifts and the current on Sunday and bombing a few races to drop out of contention.  The wind Sunday was from the south and shifty at 8 to 15 knots. 

J/24 one-design sailboat- Tremendous Slouch sailing North
Americans at Seattle, WAWhittemore congratulated 3 BIG DOGS for their victory and said the competition was tough throughout the regatta.  "At the top of the fleet, getting by people was almost impossible," he said.  "You had to have a good start and go the right way, and if you didn't do that you were back a ways. The three leaders were all up and down, but the 3 DOGS guys sailed the most consistent series."

Tom Niccoli, TREMENDOUS SLOUCH trimmer (rounding the mark at right), said the of the racing: "It was phenomenal. I thought we did well, but it was harder today (Sunday) to get the settings right. It was up and down and there was a lot more wave action that made it harder for us to find a groove and get settled in. The DOGS were always going the right way with great boat speed and great sailing."

Toole's previous high finishes in big J/24 regattas included a third in the 2008 North Americans in Marina Del Ray and a third in the Nationals last year on San Francisco Bay.  His crew included Les Wolff (bow), Chris Stankevitz (mast), George Witter (pit), and Dale Turley (trimmer-tactician).  "This yacht club and these volunteers did a spectacular job," Toole said. "It takes a lot of work to put on an event like this."

J/24 one-design sailboat- 3 Big Dogs- North American ChampionsThe top three finishers in the regatta win spots in the 2011 World Championships in Buenos Aires.  Bitburger, one of Germany's largest brewers, which wants to expand its U.S. market share, was the title sponsor of the J/24 North American Championship. Other sponsors include Fat Bastard wine, Kvichak Marine Industries, Northwest Yachting Magazine, Quantum Sails, Cheap Diver, Shilshole Bay Marina, Skyweb Express, Harken, Team McLube, North Sails, Web 1 Marketing, CSR Marine and Seattle Yacht Club.

In this picture at right during the awards ceremony- from left-to-right- regatta director Joy Okazaki, Jim Florio of Click Wholesale Distributing (representing title sponsor Bitburger Beer), the crew of 3 Big Dogs, George Witter (tactics), Les Wolff (bow), Chris Stankevitz (mast), Pat Toole (helm) and Dale Turley (trimmer), and regatta racing director John Mason.   For more J/24 North Americans sailing results and information.  

J/22 Great Lakes Trophies

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing in New York-Great Lakes

Waterline Systems Great Lakes is pleased to announce they will be sponsoring two perpetual trophies honoring the individual and fleet season champions in the Great Lakes J/22 Fleet. The Waterline Systems Great Lakes J/22 Circuit for 2010 will consist of 6 regattas contested on 4 lakes, in two countries, over a period of 6 months.

From the opening event on Canandaigua Lake, to the closing event in Rochester, teams will need to overcome a wide variety of sailing conditions; from the big water sailing of Lakes Ontario and Erie, to the crazy shifts of Lake George and Canandaigua Lake.  Additional hazards to master will range from the blender storm in Cleveland, to a semi-formal dinner at Lake George.  The winners of these prizes will be pretty well-rounded.

The purpose of these awards is to promote and encourage J/22 teams to travel and enjoy the hospitality and camaraderie of our regional J/22 fleets.  WLSGL hopes that the establishment of a regional circuit will help regatta organizers promote their events to the region.  Waterline Systems is also committed to assisting regatta organizers and competitors through sponsorship and participating in or organizing pre-regatta clinics.

The US Watercraft Top Boat Perpetual Trophy will be awarded to the boat with the lowest cumulative score using the final individual regatta rankings. A regatta win is worth 1 point, 12th in a regatta is worth 12.

The Waterline Systems Top Fleet Perpetual Trophy is designed with two goals in mind; to get fleets to encourage their members to travel, and for the fleets to help their members get better. Scoring is the same as in the individual trophy, but the top three scores of the fleet count. It does not need to be the Same 3 boats at each event... just the top three.

The Waterline Systems Trophy will display the names of all the boats that scored points for the winning team.  You can take pride in winning the team trophy and tell some amazing sea stories about how you overcame the Loch Ness Monster ("Missy"(?)) and other such extraordinary tales of bravery and seamanship on your way to the season championship.  For more information on the Waterline Systems Great lakes J/22 Circuit contact:  Will Harris,, 716-531-6088   

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

J/122 Offshore/ One-Design Performer

J/122 Teamwork sailing upwind at Key West Race Week

(Newport, RI)- With strong showings across a wide variety of venues and sailing conditions in 2010, the J/122 continues to demonstrate its versatility and ease-of-sailing by a wide variety of sailors.  Designed to be fun, fast and serve a dual purpose as a family racer-cruiser, J/122s skippered by their owner-drivers have raced offshore and around-the-cans to great success.

Perhaps the ultimate example of sailing a boat that is easy-to-handle, forgiving and fast are the shorthanded races.  Recently, J/122s sailing in England as part of the SORC (Solo Offshore Racing Club) finished 1-2 in IRC during the Solent-Plymouth and back weekend, with OSTAR veteran and class winner JBELLINO sailed by Rob Craigie setting the pace and just behind was David Cule's MINT JULIP.  And, in the 55th edition of the EDLU Race/ Double-handed PHRF class, Sandy Weill's PATRIOT won in demanding gale-force conditions.

Offshore good, solid all-around boats win.  J/122s such as Robin Team's TEAMWORK won the Ft. Lauderdale-Key West Race;  Marc Glimcher's J/122 CATAPULT was winning the RORC Caribbean 600 until the wind shut down; and Ray and Sandra Entwistle’s J/122 JACKPOT won the 2009/10 Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Short Ocean Pointscore Series in IRC racing off Sydney Heads in winds ranging from naught to 35+ knots and seas in excess of 4 meters (aka "condo jumping")!

Around the cans, J/122s sailed one-design at American YC Spring Series on New York/Connecticut's Long Island Sound; Warsash Spring Series saw Ian Matthew's JINJA finish 2nd in IRC1 sailing on the Solent, England; Robin Team's TEAMWORK sailed to 3rd in IRC class at Charleston Race Week sailing on the Atlantic off Charleston, SC; at the SNIM Race Week J LANCE IV sailed by George Asperti finished 3rd in IRC2 sailing off Marseilles, France; James Dobbs' LOST HORIZON won Spinnaker Racing/Cruising Class at the International Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas, USVI and got 3rd at St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.  Come join the fun and learn more about this beautiful, versatile one-design/ offshore performer.  A northeast circuit for J/122s includes:

May 28          Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Stamford, CT
June 11-13    NYYC Spring Regatta- Newport, RI
July 16-19     J/122 North Americans at Rolex NYYC Race Week- Newport, RI
Sept 11-12    Larchmont SW NOOD Regatta- Larchmont, NY

Learn more about the J/122 or contact J/Boats (

Good Guys Do Finish First- J/24 Skipper Michael Johnson

J/24 sailor Mike Johnson winning Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD RegattaJ/24 Skipper Michael Johnson along with crew (left to right) Joy Okazaki, Bob Pistay, Peg Pritchard, and Justin Fallstrom won overall honors at the 2010 Sperry Top-Sider Seattle NOOD Regatta racing their J/24.  Organizing a major championship is often a thankless job. And to add insult to injury, the distraction of wondering whether everything is going according to plan rarely helps on the racecourse. But Michael Johnson and wife Joy Okazaki, who have critical roles in the J/24 North American Championship this coming weekend, were able to shake off any effects of a lot of short nights and long days of late and sail HOT PURSUIT to the win in the 21-boat J/24 class at the 2010 Sperry Top-Sider Seattle NOOD Regatta. Depth was a hallmark of this fleet, which featured top competitors from Japan, Canada, and up and down the West Coast of the United States. Ten boats won at least one of the 14 races; going into the final race the top three boats were within two points of each other.  The win netted Johnson the J/24 Northwest Regional Championship and a chance to compete against the top boats from the other eight NOOD regattas this coming November in the B.V.I. in identical charter boats provided by Sunsail.  Read more about Stuart Streuli's interview at SW.

Blustery Stone Cup Regatta

J/120 one-design offshore cruising sailboat- sailing upwind at Stone Cup in San Francisco


(San Francisco, CA)- Under grey skies and blustery winds the St. Francis Yacht Club's Stone Cup event was held this past weekend of May 15-16. The racing was tight in each of the J one-design divisions.  Typical San Francisco Bay weather greeted the Stone Cup sailors for two days of racing hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club. The Marine Layer that had been missing all year showed its presence over the weekend ensuring the fleets would have plenty of wind for racing. With a strong flood tide providing flat water, at least flat by San Francisco standards, and 15-25 mph of wind from the first gun, each day of racing would have been perfect it wasn't so darn cold!

The 16 boat J/105 class was missing local scratch boat GOOD TIMIN' but the competition was still fierce in this hotly contested one design class. Three different boats each won one of the four races held, but it was Adam Spiegel's JAM SESSION that came out on top. Bruce Stone's ARBITRAGE took second and Scooter Simmons on BLACKHAWK took third. Each of these two boats also won races individually with BLACKHAWK winning race 2 and 4 and ARBITRAGE winning race three. Simmons probably has a story to tell about his 10th place finish in race one. With a 10-1-3-1 scoring line something dramatic happened, gone shrimping?

In the 40ft J/120 class DESDEMONA owned by John Wimer took the victory while MR. MAGOO helmed by Steve Madeira from Northeast Harbor, ME took second. The podium was rounded out by DAYENU in third but only by the narrowest of margins did the Donald Payan boat miss second place. It went down to the last race in which MR MAGOO took the bullet and put two boats between himself and DAYENU (fourth) and even then it went to a tiebreaker with MR MAGOO taking second by virtue of that low score first place finish.  For more St. FYC Stone Cup sailing information     Photo credits- Erik Simonson  

Stormy Sailing For Shoe Regatta

Zartler's J-TEEZ Triumphant

(Houston, TX)  The Lakewood Yacht Club in Houston, TX hosts this annual even that is heavily attended by the regional one-design classes...the winners all get "sailin' shoes for the crew" (these are no Tod's nor Manolo's, bet the girls wished they were)!  This year, heavy thunderstorms, wind and rain caused abandonment of Saturday's racing, while light air and high temperatures made for some brutal conditions on Sunday.   Over sixty sailboats participated, including one-deSIgn classes for J/22s, J/80s, J/105s and J/109s. 

The J/105 class, along with a set of shoes, was won by Bill Zartler and crew on J-TEEZ with 5 points. Bee Bednar and crew on STINGER squeezed out a second with 7 points. Malcolm Bremer and crew on BABE finished third with 8 points. The most interesting race had all the J/105s crossing the finish line within seconds of each other.

In the J/22 class, Steve and Anna Willits from Lakewood YC were first with ten points, solidifying their lead in the last two races with two bullets.  Vincent Ruder was second after torpedoing their early regatta lead with a 6-3 in the last two races. Ruthie Lambert from GBCA was third racing her J/22 OUT OF SIGHT, winning on a tie-breaker over Richard Volyes' MUST GO FASTER with thirteen points each.

The J/80s had a nice turnout with some very competitive racing.  Winning on a tie-breaker at six points a piece was Bob McMahan from Lakewood YC winning on his J/80 KAOS with a 3-1-2.  Losing the tie-breaker with an identical record of 1-2-3 was Forbes Durdin also from LYC finishing second sailing MOJITO.  Third was Bill Rose from GBCA on KICKS sailing to a 2-3-4 record for nine points.

The J/109 class had a great turnout for this versatile offshore/ one-design racer.  Most of the Houston area J/109 contingent showed up in full force to race for their share of the shoe inventory (that's a lot of them for a 9+ person J/109 crew)!  The winner was John Mather from GBCA sailing FRENCH CONNECTION to win with five points.  LYC's Albrecht Goethe sailed HAMBURG to second with seven points and Mark Smith showed up from Ft Worth Boat Club sailing HARM'S WAY to third place, just one point back from HAMBURG.  For more Shoe Regatta sailing and results information

J/22 German Inshore Series

J/22 Germany women sailors

Annka Duebbers's Womens' Team Screams Away!

(Haltern an See, Germany)- The conditions before the regatta were not good. For days before it was 8 degree centigrade, rain and no wind.  But then just before the regatta started, the skies parted, the sun showed up and the wind came in!  Magical, a glam regatta for some glam girls, too! 

After the first days of racing, sitting with a 1-3-1 were the girls racing JETSCREAM, skippered by Annka Duebbers and her merry crew of Falko Braun, Nadine Settele and Gina Heb.  On Saturday evening, there was nothing that Ulrich Wens' team could do (including his crew Christian Raschke) to get Annka's team to have too much fun enjoying the African live music, stage show and gambling.  The girls  kept their composure, went home and showed up the next day ready for action.

J/22 sailboat- sailing on German lakeOn Sunday, the JETSCREAM team sailed strongly, despite starting off with a fourth place.  They managed to beat Ulrich's team in the last race to secure first place for the regatta.

The Race Committee should be commended for setting a variety of interesting courses, including a very challenging Olympic Course that sailed so many reaches, runs and beats that the crews appeared dizzy after one seventeen leg race!  See more results and photos on the J/22 Germany site.   For more J/22 Germany sailing info.  

J/22 French Nationals

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing French Nationals at Brest, France


(Brest, France)- Ten boats made the trip to Lanvéoc off the River Alders, including three crew who sailed their first J/22 regatta outside of Nantes, France.  A special thank you to Philippe who made his J/22 JULIE available  to the youth team of Erick and Pierre Philippe and Jean Pierre.  Like the J/80s, the J/22s sailed as part of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale in Brest.

The sailing was magnificent, with flat seas, large stretches of green, undeveloped coastline and gorgeous vistas. In typical Breton weather, four races were run on Friday at a steady pace and by 1500 hours all boats were in port.  After the first day, EUROPEAN HOMES  was dominating with three firsts and a third (after hitting a buoy and re-rounding while in the lead!).  On Saturday, the standings tightened up with various leaders making some mistakes, but EUROPEAN HOMES maintained their leading position.  On Sunday, the course was shifted eastwards towards the River Alders.  Two races were sailed on the final day. As usual EH stayed in front, not having to sail the last race.  In the end, the final standings were European Homes (13), Soffe (20), Delfina (30), Majic (34), J'rouette (52), Jazzy (56), Ener'J (57), Julie (61), Papy'J (65) and Beasties' Boys (68).   For more French J/22 sailing information     Sailing Photo credits- Ecole Navale Brest

Brezellec Wins J/80 French Nationals

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing French Nationals at Brest, France

(Brest, France)- Sailing as part of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale in Brest, the large forty-nine boat J/80 class conducted their 2010 French Nationals.  Eric Brezellec and his crew won. And how! At the end of the ten races run off Brest in the Grand Prix Ecole Navale, Eric's J/80 JACCUZZI / GOLD SAILING finished 33 points ahead of second, never finishing below 6th place. Undeniable victory as they say!

Sylvain Pellissier and Dominic Vittet on VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE finished second, as they did at SPI OUEST France earlier in the spring. They take a serious hold to the lead for the J/80 Coupe de France 2010 series as a result of this finish.  Finally, Jean-Charles Moriceau and his team on INTERFACE CONCEPT 1 complete this superb podium, getting third overall.

Eric Brezellec said, "We're really pleased, especially since we sailed together for the first time. But the crew were all Brestois ... this helped because here the wind shifted a lot and the waters are very complex. It's very hard for the nerves. We wish to thank the organization for very nice event and congratulate the excellent race committee who handled the conditions brilliantly. "  For more J/80 France sailing information  

Gale Force J/22 South African Nationals

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing off False Bay, South Africa

Mark Sadler's ORION Wins

(False Bay YC, South Africa)- Who ever said the J/22s weren't stout little boats!  The South Africans had a spectacular series of racing hosted in gorgeous sunny conditions, huge winds and ginormous waves in False Bay.  The PRO at False Bay YC should be commended for running a wonderful regatta.

Sixteen J/22s showed up for this years' 2010 J/22 South African Championships.  Six of the boats sailing in the Nationals were ready to practice the day before the regatta started.  ORION skippered by Mark Sadler, JUMP'N'JIVE skippered by Dale Kushner, MINI BILLY skippered by Peter Hill, BABY J skippered J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing downwind on False Bay, South
Africaby Markus Progli, GREENLIGHT skippered by Dave Hudson, and JENDES skippered by Manuel Mendes.  However, with 30-40 knots gusting to 50+ knots in False Bay, even the bravest of souls thought prudence the better part of valor and all stayed ashore. 

Nevertheless, the sailing for the championship was spectacular as the gales eased off to 15-25 knots, making for excellent racing. Race Officer John Spillhaus managed to get in five great races, with J/22s leaping off giant wave-tops upwind and experiencing long surfs on the Atlantic swells downwind under spinnaker. Exciting Racing! The pics show it all.  Congratulations to Mark Sadler, Simon Eatwell and Gerrie Hegie for taking 1st place with ORION, Markus and Crew for 2nd on BABY J and Dale and crew for 3rd on JUMP'N'JIVE. For more South African Championship sailing information  

Royal St. George Win Cumberland Cup in J/80s

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing at Queen Mary Reservoir in England

(London, England) - With a close to perfect score, Andrew Fowler's team of Sam Hurst, Brendan Fafliani, John Sheehy, Nick Smyth, Guy O'Leary, Peter Bailey and Phil Lawton from Royal St George YC in Dublin, Ireland, won the 2010 Royal Thames Cumberland Cup from Ian Ilsley's team from Yacht Club de Monaco.  Firm friend and arch-rival were the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans that  finished third, claiming by dint of that result the Bourgne Cup, contested on each and every occasion the clubs meet.

The seven teams sailed a total of 54 races over three days at Queen Mary Water hard by Heathrow airport.  A classic bright scarlet Routemaster double-decker omnibus, that iconic symbol of London,  ferried the crews to and from the RTYC's Knightsbridge clubhouse.

Sailing in a fleet of eight carefully-matched J/80s, the competition began with a two-day double round-robin in which each team raced each other team twice. St George topped the league, winning 11 out of their 12 matches and losing only to the hosts and current holders, Royal Thames, and thus apparently setting the scene for the finals. It was a scene dramatically re-shaped by the winner-take-all nature of the Cumberland Cup's competition structure.

With teams traveling from across the globe to compete in this regatta, the organizers deliberately eschew a competition format that eliminates teams early from the competition, espousing instead a format that keeps every team sailing into the final round. The result is The Ladder. On The Ladder, a win carries the double bonus of promotion to the next rung - but every loss earns the double-penalty of relegation. On The Ladder, it is just possible by dint of really good sailing to redeem a disappointing result in the round-robin and climb all the way to the top - as did the Monegasques - while the series leaders - in this case the Irish - must not put a foot wrong if they are to retain their fingertip grip on the crown. -- Malcolm McKeag   For more Cumberland Cup J/80 sailing / regatta information  

J/Fleet Enjoys NW NOOD Regatta

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing in Seattle, WA at NOOD Regatta

J/24 HOT PURSUIT Wins Overall

(Seattle, WA)- Sun, wind, one-design racing. Who could ask for anything more sailing in the Pacific Northwest? That would be awesome, but that's rare in Seattle!  Organizers of the third annual Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD regatta got more than what they wished for-- beautiful weather.  Regatta Chief George Brengle's praying were answered in spades (what vintage wine was offered to Neptune and the weather Gods?).   The J fleet certainly took advantage of this year's conditions, especially the J/24 fleet whom were sailing their Northwest Championships and were also preparing for their upcoming J/24 North Americans this coming weekend.

J/24 one-design sailboat- sailing with spinnakers off Seattle, WAWinning the J/24 class was HOT PURSUIT, well sailed by skipper Mike Johnson from Corinthian YC in Seattle (see his story below in J/Community).  With the exception of a 15th and Z flag  penalty in races 3 and 5, Mike's team basically sailed an extremely consistent series finishing mostly in the top three, setting the tone and pace for this weekend's J/24 North American Championships.  As expected, Pat Toole from Santa Barbara YC sailed his THREE BIG DOGS into second place just ten points back.  Third was Team SELF ABUSE skippered by Harry Dursch from Corinthian YC in Seattle.  The big surprise for the regatta was the strength of the performance from Wakayama Sailing Club's Hidetuki Miyagawa, from Wakayama, Japan, sailing SIESTA to fourth place even after having to score two DNFs in races 1 and 6.  Had Hidetuki-san maintained his pace in these two races, his WSC team was easily on contention for a podium finish-- we wish him better luck in the J/24 NA's!  Rounding out the top five was another anticipated top finisher, TMC RACING skippered by Mike Whitfield from Berkeley YC on San Francisco Bay.

J/109 one-design offshore cruising sailboat- sailing with asymmetric spinnakers in Seattle, WAThe J/105s saw a closely fought run for the gold between JADED and LAST TANGO withe outcome going up for grabs in the last race.  Nevertheless, Gerald Hirschler's JADED from Corinthian YC won by a slim one point margin over JP Petersen's LAST TANGO, also from CYC.  Lying third was Erik Kristen's JUBILEE from CYC, fourth was Robert Blaylock's USAWI from SBYC and fifth was Lorenzo Migliorini's ALLEGRO VIVACE from CYC.

It was only rockin' and rollin' in the J/109 class and after the dust cleared in the fourteenth (!!) race, it was Bob Arney's IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL from CYC that won with thirty-two points, winning the last three races to seal the deal!  Second was David MacLean's ILLUSIONIST sailing from CYC and third was J-TRIPPER sailed by the Nordquists from Seattle YC.   Photo credits- Tim Wilkes Sailing Photography

For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Regatta Sailing and Results info.

Spectacular Vice Admiral's Cup

J/109 one-design offshore cruising sailboat- sailing on Solent, England

J/109 VELVET ELVIS Puts the Velvet Hammer Down!

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Three days of outstanding Solent racing ensured that the 2010 edition of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club's Vice Admiral's Cup Regatta was a roaring success.  Conditions ranged from light airs up to ten knots on Friday, through the mid range at 15 knots on Saturday and finally a heavier airs day on the Sunday building to around 20 knots. With nine races completed it was a tight series for all four classes competing.

Class 3 (the J-109 one-design class) was dominated by Adam Wright's VELVET ELVIS who were in the enviable position of discarding a second place to win the regatta by ten points.  With VELVET ELVIS placing their stamp on the regatta from the outset the big battle in this class was to be for second place.  Going into the final day David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM had already begun to get the upper hand and a pair of second places were more than enough to secure them the second podium position.  The fight for the final podium spot went all the way and was only decided on the finish line of the final race where Matthew Boyle in SHIVA just managed to slip into third place on the water ahead of Gill Ross and Richard Sainsbury's JAMBHALA and Richard Griffith's OUTRAJEOUS.  Once the points had been tallied SHIVA had claimed third place by just one point from OUTRAJEOUS's with JAMBHALA in fifth.  A delighted Adam Wright commented "We've had a bit of a build up to this weekend, over the last two or three weekends we've got some reasonable results and the crew have been pretty well prepped so this is a bit of a culmination for us before the J-CUP in two weeks time.  We've had a great result and we're very pleased."

At the final prize giving Louise Morton paid special tribute to the Race Management team for their excellent work and thanked the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for once again ensuring that the Vice Admiral's Cup combined top level racing with wonderful inter-fleet camaraderie and an excellent social program.  Special thanks go to Musto who provided fantastic prizes and to North Sails who distributed bottles of Mount Gay in North Sails holders to all the boats represented at the prize giving.  Both organizers and competitors very much appreciates their support, which is integral to the success of the Vice Admiral's Cup.   For more Vice Admiral Cup regatta results and sailing info     Sailing photo credits- Fiona Brown

Rolex Women's Regatta September 2011

J/22 Rolex Womens Keelboat World Championship

(Rochester, NY)- Who today would think it daring to declare that female athletes should be mainstreamed into big-boat sailing? That was the general attitude in 1985 until US Sailing and Rolex collaborated to create the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC).  Twenty-five years later 'The Rolex Women’s' – as competitors fondly call it – stands as a testament to the huge strides made in women’s sailing. This biennial event regularly attracts both the Who’s Who and the up-and-coming of women’s sailing. The 14th running is scheduled for August 29 – September 1, 2011 at the Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, N.Y.), and utilizes the International J/22 class keelboat, suitable for four-person teams. A Preliminary Notice of Race will be posted in June, 2010 on US Sailing.

Rolex Yachtswoman Anna Tunnicliffe- Rolex Woman's Keelboat Champion on J/22sThe current champion and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), recently received US Sailing’s highest honor as the 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year based in part on her accomplishment of winning the 2009 Rolex IWKC. 'Since US Sailing and Rolex created the Rolex IWKC in 1985, many accomplished women sailors have been part of this regatta’s 25-year history,' said Taran Teague (Annapolis, Md.), chair of US Sailing’s International Women’s Keelboat steering committee. 'In fact, since its founding, this regatta has hosted more than 2,500 women representing 23 countries.'

Part of US Sailing’s Championships calendar, the regatta provides women sailors of all ability levels with high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete against top national and international sailors. Opportunities for skills development are available through nationwide Road to Rolex clinics, as well as mentoring to young women through the Next Step to Rolex program and the Junior Road to Rolex clinic.

Inaugurated in 1985 with J/24s in Newport, RI, the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship quickly became the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event now sailed in J/22s provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. The Houston Yacht Club in LaPorte, Texas hosted the event in 2007; the Annapolis Yacht Club, in Annapolis, Md., hosted the event from 2001 through 2005; and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, R.I. hosted the event between 1985 and 1999. The regatta is popular with women sailors because it has pioneered a fun, competitive, but relaxed atmosphere sailing the easy-to-handle International J/22 and it's open to any women's team from around the world.  40 to 50 teams regularly participate from up to 12 countries; anyone is welcome, team  housing is provided by request to competitors; daily dockside "happy hours" contribute to camaraderie and "winner's roast"; and the winners get a gorgeous Rolex watch!  How cool is that!  Start your campaign now, get your girls organized and start sailing this summer!    Photo credits- Rolex/ Dan Nerney

For more information about the 2011 Rolex IWKC contact US SAILING’s IWKC Committee Chair Taran Teague at or RYC’s Event Chair Chris Dorsey at  

San Diego J/Fleet Having Fun!

Sailing Anarchy's Scot Tempesta sailing in San Diego CRA Race Sailing Anarchy's Scot Tempesta continues his efforts to grow and "save sailing" in the SoCal 'hood.  Here's a quickie on what they've done with the local "paper" yacht club- Cortez Racing Association- to enjoy the gorgeous conditions often found off San Diego.  Says Scot, "We haven't done a local knowledge piece from here in Dago for a long time, and here's one about the Cortez Racing Association's Opening Day race. CRA is a 'paper club' that has been running fun, mostly bay races here and on ANARCHY, we have sailed a bunch of their races this (and last) year, because they, maybe more than any other SD club, have the fun factor nailed down.  This race was a 53 boat, 12 mile mostly light air bay/ocean pursuit start that was a kick because it had a little of everything long beats, J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing CRA Race off San Diego, CAlong runs, actual need to navigate and the fun of passing boats all race long. (Is passing boats never not fun?).  As much as the multi-day, 5 or 7 race series are challenging, the CRA races are for us, just more fun and that's why we race sailboats, isn't it? It would be great to get more of the sporty-type boats out for their races - just six showed up for this one... In addition to their fun Beercan series starting May 26, there is the West Marine Challenged America - a great cause if there ever was one.  So this is the call out to get as many SD boats, sporties and otherwise, out for this event. No excuses. Sign up, be a part of a worthwhile event, and have some fun! Photo credits- Dennis St. Onge (Da-Woody) and story here.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lady's Sailing Team- France J/80

J/80 French Ladies Sailing Team- one-design sailing
You have to check out this cute blog from a remarkable group of women sailing in France.  This year, this "Lady's Sailing Team" fielded three entries for the 32nd SPI OUEST France! They certainly enjoyed the sailing and the camaraderie socializing with many new friends J/80 French Ladies Team- one-design women's sailing in Francein La Trinite Sur Mer, the beautiful seaside town that hosts this enormous regatta.  In this photo are- Moana, Pauline, Tara,  Allyson, Cecil-- these gals all raced in the 2010 SPI OUEST J/80 class.  Based on this level of enthusiasm racing their J/80s, it's no wonder French women are the leaders in the ISAF Women's Match Race rankings. Read more about their team and approach to sailing here (all French, but Google Translate does an OK translation).   Lady's Sailing Team- SPI OUEST report.      Lady's Sailing Team Blog.  

J/22 Trophee Grimaudiere BP4

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind in France

(Erdre, France)- This year, the nine boat J/22 fleet was treated to beautiful spring weather in the Banque Populaire Trophee Grimaudiere. The race committee managed to dash off three races on the river with a warm, soft breeze averaging nine knots from the southwest. 

At the end of the day, the spoils of victory go to the team of Jean-François Guionet, Paola Guionet and Thierry Picault, just eclipsing the teams aboard EUROPEAN HOMES in second and JULIE in third.

Finally, a heartfelt "Thanks" must go to the attendance of Norman and his friends who does not hesitate to travel to each event on the Erdre and emphasize the motivation of young sailors who will put their energy into going to the next regatta-- remember, the next stop is the J/22 Championship of France in Brest!  Then, to the Worlds in Netherlands!   For more J/22 France sailing information.

Santander J/80 Maqueche Trophy

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing off Santander, Spain

Piris' FONESTAR Beats the House!

(Santander, Spain)- The Spanish teams continue to build on their competitiveness in the J/80 class.  A strong fleet assembled for Santander's Maqueche Trophy sailed off Isla Santa Marina, with Real Club Marítimo de Santander playing host. 

Few could imagine that after scoring four straight wins in the first half of the regatta that FONESTAR could lose the top spot, but that's the way it is in the Santander J/80 fleet. After sailing ECC VIVIENDAS to a sensational series of 1-1-1-2 in the second half of the regatta, the crew of Pichu Torcida and Juan Gonzalez were just a single point away from overall victory.  On the last leg of the last race, Jaime Piris sailed FONESTAR back into contention to just hold on to their tenuous lead in this highly competitive fleet.

If the fight for the lead was creating a lot of anxiety between Piris' and Torcida's crew, there was even more emotion as to who would take the third overall- a virtual three-way tie going into the last race.  In the end, David Madrazo's LUPA won the tie-breaker and took third overall with thirty points.  Tono Gorostegui sailed FUNDESTIC well, but not enough to overcome some bad scores to finish fourth on the tie-breaker.  Alberto Padron's MABLE got the short end of the stick on a few tactical calls and hung in there to finish fifth overall.   For more Spanish J/80 sailing info

J's Racing Solo Offshore English Series

J/122 JBellino- sailing solo offshore England

J/122s and J/105 Lead First Event!

(Hamble, England)- Irish skipper Paddy Cronin sailing Rod Knowles's J/105 JULIETTE won the out and return races respectively with port hoist spinnakers the whole way from Solent to Poole and a beat from start to finish on the return to be leading IRC2 Class.  In fact, JULIETTE won the IRC Overall in the Solent to Poole leg. 

Seemingly becoming another top choice of short-handed sailors is the J/122.  The near-winner of last years 2009 OSTAR, Rob Craigie's J/122 JBELLINO, was first boat to finish on both legs, setting the pace and beating out a well-sailed open Class 40 called Sunguard Front Arena both times.  JBELLINO garnered a 1-1 score to be leading IRC1 Class and just behind her is David Cule's J/122 MINT JULIP with a 2-3 tally to be second in IRC1.

The Coastal series is a brand new event for the Solo Offshore Racing Club and the first two races to Poole to Solent and back were specifically designed to attract new skippers and give the more experienced shorter races to hone their techniques early in the season.

Nineteen spinnakers set off from Royal Thames towards Poole at 0830 on Saturday 8 May in an eight knot northeasterly breeze. Most of the fleet took the North Channel and rhumb line straight to the finish off Poole, a shy reach only easing for the last mile. The tighter angle from Hurst to the finishing line suited the asymmetric boats, especially Cronin's J/105 JULIETTE and the two J/122s, JBELLINO and MINT JULIP.

Tides meant a welcome late start at 1130 on Sunday into ten knots northeasterly for the return beat to windward.  At the start, the majority of the fleet struggled to cross the line on starboard. Tidal atlas said less tide inshore so some boats went up the shore, but the main fleet was tacking up the rhumb line.  About half way up to Hurst the wind backed for quite some time which lifted the boats further offshore on to a lay line for Hurst and meant the inshore boats had to free off.  Through Hurst Castle "straits" the two J/122s were in the top three and when the wind increased to 14+ knots Rob Craigie's JBELLINO powered ahead and took line honors again as she did Saturday.  Their next race is to Weymouth and back 9 & 11 July.    For more Solo Offshore Racing information  

J's Dominate Edlu Distance Race

J/133 Siren Song- offshore cruising racing sailboat- sailing across finish

J/133 SIREN SONG and J/122 PATRIOT Crush Fleet

(Larchmont, NY)- It was a not the best of forecasts for this past weekend's Edlu Distance Race on Long Island Sound.  Cool temperatures, rain, fog, clearing then blowing a gale.  Not your typical glam day on the Sound.  Nevertheless, the forecast didn't deter the enthusiastic fleet from getting out to the starting line early in fog and rain to get down the track in this 64 mile race.  At it turns out, the fleet was severely tested when the forecasters were right (for once) and the weather magically transformed into a 30-40 knot gale with plenty of sun and spray-- "jumping condo's on Long Island  Sound" with single/double-reefed mains and small jibs?  It really did turn into a glam day, a challenging one at that!

In IRC1, the J/133s dominated their class, taking 1-2-3 overall.  First was Tom Carroll's well-sailed SIREN SONG, followed by Ron Richman's ANTIDOTE and Jan Smeets' BACCHANAL. These three boats were virtually unstoppable as they powered to windward in the big breeze and waves to punish the rest of their competitors.

J/122 Patriot- offshore double-handed sailing- winning Edlu RaceIn the Double-handed PHRF class, Sandy Weill's J/122 PATRIOT won in pretty convincing fashion in the blustery conditions.  Just behind him were two J/105s, Kevin Grainger's GUMPTION3 in third and Peter Rugg's beautiful green JADED in fourth- both managed to beat home a lot of larger boats.  Both sailboats, the J/105 and the J/122 are proving to be hard sailboats to beat when racing short-handed-- as sailors in the UK and Europe learned a long time ago sailing various J's offshore, the forgiving nature of their hull shapes and the fact that you can sail them "in the groove" longer than most sailboats means you're always going fast no matter what the conditions on all points of sail- uphill or downhill.

The 55th edition of the Edlu Race has a history of adopting to the times.  As Rick Lyall, owner of the J/109 STORM said last year, "it's our first big event.  The Edlu is a short distance race of approximately 32 miles from Larchmont to 11B north of Eatons Neck and back, and does not require the intense crew work of around-the-buoys regattas. It's just the right length for a fun day on the water." To further develop the race, many sailors wanted to include double-handed racing.  Rich du Moulin said, "double-handed racing is growing in popularity. When the U.S went into IRC, we convinced the IRC leaders to allow an owner to hold two certificates at one time on the same IRC boat with the second certificate dedicated to double-handed racing. On my boat, that certificate can only be used for double-handing. The rating is based on a smaller jib and that makes the boat easier to handle. One of our goals is to encourage people to come out and race whether they want to double-hand or sail fully crewed, or go back and forth between the two as I do."  Yet another good idea for expanding participation in the sport of sailing.   For more Edlu Race information     For more photos of the race- Alan  Photo credits above:  Howie McMichael   

J/80 UK National Championship

J/80 UK Nationals- Ian Atkins-

Ian Atkins' BOATS.COM Triumphant

(Cardiff, Wales, UK)-  The Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship was hosted by the Cardiff Bay Yacht Club and was presided over by PRO David Cairncross. The fleet were greeted by more breeze on Saturday morning than they had enjoyed over the previous two days of the Championship; a blustery 15 to 23 knots blowing from the cold North East. Going in to the final day only seven points separated the top three at the Championship; BOATS.COM, ELLE S'APPELLE and PURPLE HAZE.

Race Seven was won by JUST DO IT, helmed by Terry Palmer. Having mastered their downwind big breeze sailing at the Spi Ouest Regatta at Easter (alongside 92 other J/80s) the JUST DO IT squad had been hoping for something a little more fruity than on the previous two days, and were duly rewarded. Tom Phipps and Kelvin Matthews sailing for the British Keelboat Academy finished second and Ian Atkins took third place in BOATS.COM.

J/80 UK Nationals- sailing Toe in the Water- one-design sailboatHaving had a couple of frustrating days at the Championship, Kelvin Matthews, sailing with Tom Phipps for the British Keelboat Academy, went on the record on Friday when he said 'We've not yet put in our best performance at this event'. Delighting in the heavier breeze, British Keelboat Academy duly went out on Saturday morning and nailed the second race, Race Eight of the series. In second place was STEP TOE (one of the four boats entered by the charity Toe in The Water) and Ian Atkins settled for a safe third, enough to win him and his team from BOATS.COM the Tacktick Suunto J/80 UK National Championship with a race to spare. Nice one all; Ian Atkins on Helm, Rob Lark on Tactics, Dan Brown on Trim and Karen Schwerdt on 'Pit and making everything happen'.  The final race of the championship, Race Nine, was also won by BOATS.COM; a fitting finish to a consistent and impressive campaign.  The final results saw Ian Atkins team on BOATS.COM sailing to only sixteen points, followed by Thor Askeland's ELLE S'APPELLE with twenty five points and lying third was Scott Cole sailing PURPLE HAZE just eight points back.

It was heartwarming to see the teams sailing for TOE IN THE WATER charity do so well, with three of the four teams finishing in the top ten.  The TITW charity aims to encourage and rehabilitate injured servicemen and women through the sport of sailing.  The "top Toe" was STEP TOE in sixth, followed by LITTLE TOE in eighth and TIP TOE in ninth-- good show there gang!   For J/80 UK Nationals info      Photo credits- Tim Wright  

Royal Thames YC's Cumberland Cup Race J/80s

J/80 team race- match race- one-design sailboat

(London, England) The international battle for the honour of winning the world's oldest yachting trophy - dating back to 1775 and established some 76 years before the America's Cup - will be hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club on May 12-16.  The Cumberland Cup is the UK's only regularly-held international two-boat team racing event in keelboats, and the only event to take place in the capital-- sailing on J/80s!  Team racing with four boats, two-on-two, makes for some spectacular  sailing-- last place loses!

This year the event is supported by the Royal Thames Yacht Club corporate partner, the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet, and has attracted entries from clubs as far afield as Australia, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, New Zealand, USA as well as the UK.

Held every two years, the 2010 race takes place at Queen Mary Sailing Club, which is situated on one of London's largest reservoirs, conveniently close to London's Heathrow Airport for the arrival of the international crews.

The eight teams - representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club of Western Australia; a combined Norddeutsche Regatta Verein & Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee representing Germany; Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club of New Zealand; Royal St George Yacht Club, Ireland; Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans, USA; Yacht Club de Monaco, as well as a team from the host club, Royal Thames Yacht Club - will battle for the honour of winning the Cumberland Cup in the Royal Thames Yacht Club's fleet of identical J/80 One-Design sailboats- Europe's fastest growing one-design keelboat.

The Cumberland Cup was established in 1775 when the Duke of Cumberland, brother of George III, put up a silver cup for a race on the River Thames and formed the Cumberland Fleet.  This remains the alternative name for the Royal Thames Yacht Club, which is based at Knightsbridge.  For more Cumberland Cup sailing / regatta information  

Gorgeous Sailing World Seattle NOOD Regatta!

J/109 racing in Seattle

J/24, J/105 & J/109 One-Designs Racing

Organizers of the third annual Seattle NOOD regatta are hoping this year's event differs from last year's in one key way - more wind. Last year's National Offshore One-Design Regatta (NOOD) in Seattle was hampered by light winds over three days of racing, prompting some races to be canceled. This year's  NOOD is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, May 14 to 16, on Shilshole Bay. "I'm praying for more wind than what we had last year", regatta chief George Brengle said on Monday. "I'm looking at the forecast and it looks like a carbon copy of last year's".

Northwest racers, familiar with the regions variable conditions, simply take it all in stride.  As many of them say, "if it ain't happenin' on the water, there's always the beer tent-- why do you think we have the world's best micro-breweries?!"  Enough said.  J/24s area gearing up for their North American Championships next week at Seattle's Corinthian YC.  A strong contingent of experienced J/24 sailors have assembled to sail their J/24 Western Regional Championship.  Amongst the teams sailing are Mike Whitfield on TMC RACING from San Francisco, CA, Scott Milne from Seattle, WA on TREMENDOUS SLOUCH, and Pat Toole on THREE BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara, CA.  It's already clear who'll win the Long-Distance Award, Hidetuki Miyagawa from the Wakayama Sailing Club in Wakayama, Japan-- they're taking this regatta seriously!  Other J One-Design classes have a good turnout, including seven J/105s and six J/109s.   For more Sperry Topsider Seattle NOOD Regatta infoPhoto credit- Tim Wilkes.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Preview- Girls Rule!

J/22 one-design sailboat- women 
sailing Santa Maria Cup

(Eastport, MD)- Eastport Yacht Club and BoatUS will host a slate of the world-class female sailors on June 2-5 in Annapolis, Maryland, at the 2010 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup racing aboard the local fleet of matched J/22s. The roster is comprised of many of the top-ranked international skippers, including three teams representing France, four teams from the USA, two Brazilian entries and a Canadian team. All competitors are campaigning for spots on 2012 Olympic teams and the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup is part of the training and ranking process.  For more Santa Maria Cup sailing information.

Team captains and their home country are:
- Claire Leroy (France): Ranked 1st in the world and defending champion and two-time match racing World Champion (2007 and 2008).
- Anne-Claire Le Berre (France): Ranked 6th in the world.
- Julie Bossard (France): Ranked 7th in the world.
- Anna Tunnicliffe (USA): Ranked 10th in the world, Tunnicliffe is an Olympic gold medalist (Beijing 2008) and 2009 International Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
- Genny Tulloch (USA): Ranked 14th in the world and three-time collegiate all-American, Tulloch was selected in 2007 as the only female team member of MORNING LIGHT, the boat featured in the Roy Disney sponsored documentary film.
- Sally Barkow (USA): Ranked 17th in the world and an Olympian (Beijing 2008), Barkow is past Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and three-time winner of the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup.
- Juliana Senfft (Brazil): Ranked 25th in the world.
- Maegan Ruhlman (USA): Ranked 60th in the world and winner of the 2010 Sundance Cup, Ruhlman is a local 'Naptown favorite.
- Sarah Bury (Canada): Ranked 68th in the world.
- Raquelhora Aimone (Brazil): Ranked 79th in the world.  

Bermuda Race Week- High School J/24 Team

one-design sailboat- sailing on Bermuda Great Sound* Lance Fraser - Bermuda J/24 sailor, aspiring 16 year old racer still in high school, wrote an entertaining blog during Bermuda Race Week (note to Ken Read- he wants to race on PUMA!):

"We went into the week with a goal of top 3, but after the first day, we realized we could win the J/24 fleet.  Everything had fallen into place leading up to Race Week and we couldn’t wait to start sailing Sunday morning.

Thanks to RBYC, RHADC and BJCA our entry fee was covered as we are a group of students, all 16 years of age. Trevor Boyce (New Wave) lent us some sails and Jorge Chiapparro helped us get spoRHADiC race- ready.

Day one started with a bang. Erin (Tim Lynch) had an amazing first upwind leg and took a huge lead around the first mark. We passed them on the next upwind leg and continued to duke it out right until the finish with only a couple of feet between us, with Erin coming out on top. It was a tough loss for us.

The second race was also very close as we finished in second just ahead of Erin. We ended the day tied for 1st place with 4 points.

Monday was tougher and we ended the day with a 2nd, 3rd, and a 7th leaving us in second place. In the last race we had our only horrible start and could not recover. This is evidence of the top-rate competition we faced throughout the week; one mistake and you’re out of it. Our crew work and chemistry was great - when we were doing well; but when we got 7th there were a lot of unhappy people onboard, including myself.  It was a long sail back to the club.

One tends to forget about Trevor Boyce, Bermuda’s top J/24 sailor, when he’s not dominant. When I was asked how Trevor did on the second day, I responded, “not that good. He didn’t have a good day, again.’ Well, looking at the results, he got a 1st, 3rd, and 4th. I would happily have traded my results with his that day! And day three he returned with 3 bullets! He was unbeatable and I have to give him and his crew credit for working very hard and going incredibly fast in the heavier wind. We just couldn’t keep up. A 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, were good enough to keep us in the hunt going into the lay day.

On Wednesday we had to go to school and there were a lot of people rubbing it in our faces Tuesday night at the party.

Thursday we came back rested and ready to go. The first race we took 2nd to Trevor, which was not quite what we wanted. We were also protested by the Canadian boat. Thanks to the advice received from seasoned Bermudians in other fleets and the fact that we were right, we came out of the protest victorious and kept the 2nd. The second race of the day was the biggest eye sore of our entire week. We went around the first leeward mark in first, and the next mark in last! I had tried to cover the entire fleet and of course, it didn’t work. I got caught in the middle and watched everyone sail by me. I was not at all happy with myself when we finished in 7th and I had only myself to blame. We rebounded in the next race with a convincing bullet, our first of race week, which provided a big boost for us mentally. We had led four of the first five races at one point or another and until now had not yet finished first.

That put us tied for second, 3 points out of first. With Trevor 3 points ahead of us, and the wind blowing about 15 knots, it was not easy to come back. Unfortunately, Tim Lynch (Erin) was unable to skipper the final day and was replaced by Rickki Hornet. I knew I had to put a boat between us and Trevor in both of the last two races to win the regatta. In the first race I had Trevor beaten, but there was no other boat between us. I also couldn’t let Erin pass us.  I gambled and let Trevor go to the right, and myself to the ‘Lucky Left.’  Not so lucky this time.  Trevor passed us and we settled for a third in the race and second in the regatta.

Going into the final race, we had 1 point on Erin, and New Wave had deservedly won the regatta. We had a little fun on the downwind with Erin, securing 2nd place in the regatta, a finish with which we were extremely pleased.

There are so many people to thank for putting this regatta together. Jay Hooper and his team ran a fabulous regatta on the water. Of all the race committee’s I’ve seen locally and internationally, Jay runs the best; Race Week was no different.

In addition to those already mentioned, I wish to thank our coach Luis Chiapparro, who sadly is no longer on the island, for teaching us how to sail and race. He was the biggest and best role model for me, and there’s no way I would be where I am today without him.  Also, full credit is due my crew, James Anfossi, Jason and Jordan Saints and Catalina Sposato.

Whoever picked up our spinnaker pole out of the water in the last race, THANK YOU, too!"  Read more about Bermuda Race Week events.  

J/80 SW NOOD Champion- Terry Flynn Interview

J/22 and J/80 sailor- Terry Flynn sailing
 SW NOOD Annapolis* Terry Flynn- a past J/80 World Champion had a great time in the recent SW Annapolis NOOD Regatta, in particular since he had long-time Texas friend Mark Foster sailing with him (a former 470 Champion with Mark Ploch and J/24 Champion, too).  Sailing World's Mike Lovett interviewed Terry, read on below:

With a first-time crew, Terry Flynn won the J/80 class—and the overall prize—at the 2010 Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD.  As the J/80 freight train rolls northward on its USA Tour, bound for the World Championships in Newport, R.I., in October, the class just keeps picking up steam. The 36-boat fleet at the 2010 Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD was the largest of the regatta's 16 divisions, and, arguably, the most competitive.

Over the course of eight races, four boats posted first-place finishes; Houston native Terry Flynn had just one bullet in his scoreline, but his team sailed with enough consistency to win both the division and the overall prize, which includes an invitation to compete in the NOOD Championship in the B.V.I. in November.

The Annapolis NOOD was the first time Flynn had sailed with his crew of David Whelan, Mark Foster, and Charlie Snyder, but the Quantum sailmaker had no trouble getting everyone on the same page. "Too many times, when it's your first time sailing together as a crew, everybody's real quiet the first race of the regatta, and you do terrible," says Flynn. "We made an effort to say, 'You start giving input, and if we don't want to hear it, we'll tell you."

With Foster and Snyder feeding information to Whelan, the tactician, Flynn was able to concentrate on steering the boat through the light wind and mixed-up chop on Chesapeake Bay. "I didn't do anything but drive," he says. "I put my head down, concentrated on keeping the boat moving, and listened to what they wanted me to do. I very rarely got involved in the tactical end of things. I'm pretty good at listening, and they're pretty good a putting me where we need to be.

"It's important for everyone on board to give feedback," continues Flynn. "I've been on boats where the tactician doesn't really share the information, he just kind of tells the skipper when to tack. But I think it's important that the skipper know the thought process. That way, it's not like, 'Why are we doing this?'"

Refined communication, uncharacteristically good starts—"I historically have terrible starts," says Flynn—and close attention to changes in wind speed propelled Flynn's team to victory. And, apparently, word is spreading that the affable Texan is a fun guy with whom to sail. "I've already had a few people come up and tell me they want to go to the B.V.I. to crew with me," he says.

Between now and November, Flynn will be competing in the J/80 North American Championships, the aforementioned Worlds, and the J/22 North American Championship. So there's a good chance that, by the time he hops aboard that Sunsail 39 in Tortola, Flynn could have a few more feathers in his cap—and a few more eager crew members.   More SW NOOD Regatta coverage.  

J/24 Champion Ed Baird Skippering LUNA ROSSA

J/24 sailor- Ed Baird- 
Americas Cup 34- sailing Luna Rossa- Alinghi* Ed Baird - Back on the helm with LUNA ROSSA for AC34? Like the Ken Read's, Terry Hutchinson's, Chris Larson's, Dave Curtis', Maurizio Santa Cruz's of the world, winning the World Championship in a one-design class like the J/24 is terrific training for sailors wishing to succeed at world-class levels offshore and around the cans.  There is NO substitute for starting with world-class one-design dinghy sailing, then jumping into world-class one-design keelboat sailing to learn what it takes to prepare boats, fine-tune the sails, practice perfect boat-handling and motivate the crew to work as a cohesive team with the ultimate goal in mind of sailing to win.  Few practicioners know how to do it well consistently.  Ben Ainslie comes to mind as a good example of a next generation sailor that is learning the art and science of it quite well.  Amongst the "old guard", Ed Baird is certainly amongst the best.  Ed was at the helm when the Alinghi team won the 32nd America's Cup in 2007, which led to him being honored that year as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Last week it was announced that the Italian fashion house PRADA was returning to the America's Cup scene, where team owner Patrizio Bertelli - a three-time America's Cup campaigner - had reassembled the LUNA ROSSA team for the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta in La Maddalena, Sardinia next month.  Read more about Ed's interview and current sailing plans on Scuttlebutt.  

J/133 Wins Singlehanded Guadalupe Island Race

J/133 offshore racer cruiser sailboat- singlehanded

(Marina del Rey, CA)- Gil Maguire sailed his J/133 TENACITY singlehanded on the 600 mile Guadalupe Island Race.  Here is a good long look at one man's perspective on some shorthanded offshore racing...

"The Guadalupe Island Race is run every other year in late March by the Pacific Singlehanded Sailing Association, and has both single and doublehanded classes. The race is about 600 miles long and goes from Marina del Rey, past Catalina Island, past San Clemente Island, 300 miles due south to and around Mexico’s Guadalupe Island which is about 125 miles west of the Baja peninsula, and then back, 300 miles uphill, slogging to windward, to the finish line at Catalina Harbor on Catalina Island. Guadalupe Island is about 22 miles long and quite high (4500 feet or so). It is known for its elephant seal colonies and as a breeding ground for great white sharks. Most of the great white footage you see on TV is shot off of Guadalupe’s eastern shore.

The race is mostly outside the protection of the Southern California bight so it can get very windy with gales and very large seas not unusual at this time of the year. So you can have a great run down to the island but a brutal beat back. Unlike the other, longer Mexico races, the Guadalupe Island race requires participants to race back, against the wind and swells. To that extent, it is a more complete test of a boat and its crew’s seamanship skills, requiring vessels and crews to demonstrate their ability to windward as well as their downwind sled capabilities. While the slog back can be uncomfortable, it is tactically and physically challenging and has the advantage of finishing the race at or near one’s home port without the need to feed and house crew in Cabo or Puerto Vallarta, or pay for a delivery crew to get the boat home, often several weeks later.

I tried to do the race singlehanded two years ago in Tenacity, our J/133, but had to drop out when I lost my autopilot and electronics about halfway down to the island. I was looking forward to doing it this year before my advancing age began to take a bigger toll."  Read more about Gil's sailing experience on Sailing Anarchy.