Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Frank Kern's J/120 CARINTHIA Blog

J/120 Carinthia- winning Chicago-Mac Race team* Frank Kern's J/120 CARINTHIA keeps an on-going blog of their sailing experiences and regattas.  After seeing them win the Chicago-Mackinac Race the week before, it's clear why they have enjoyed a lot of fun sailing with one another over the years-- they have fun and make sure those around them are also having fun.  Kudo's to Frank and the gang for making "sailing fun" and always reaching out to the kids in their Bayview YC youth program, family and friends to bring them along.  Enjoy reading some of CARINTHIA's blogs over the years since 2000!

111 Triple Threat

J/111 one-design sailboat at factory

(Newport, RI)- The J/111 is ready to blast out of the starting blocks on three continents (Americas, Europe and Asia).  The J/111 speedster can count on dozens of passionate J aficionados around the world to tear up the track leaving nothing but steaming bubbles in its flat wake.  The J/111 launches this weekend and will undergo its commissioning and sailing trials next week.  Congratulations to the CCF Composites team (pictured here) for producing a beautiful, fair hull; a functional, well-laid out deck and cockpit; and a gorgeous, well-fitted, interior.  The schedule for demo sails is rapidly filling up.  Please make sure to contact your J/Dealer now to jump aboard for a thrilling ride on Narragansett Bay during August and September.   For more J/111 sailing information

Cowes Week Preview

J/97 sailing Cowes, Solent, England

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Since 1826 Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK’s longest running and most successful sporting events. It now stages up to 40 daily races for over 1,000 boats and is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

Cowes Week is a fusion of many exciting elements, with its great mix of competitive sailing and social activities. The 8,500 competitors range from Olympic and world class professionals to weekend sailors.  In excess of 100,000 spectators come to watch the sailing, enjoy the parties and live entertainment, and to experience the unique atmosphere. It is genuinely a one-of-a-kind event!

This Saturday the largest sailing regatta of its kind, Cowes Week, kicks off for its 184th year. Again, J's will have a strong showing, led this year by a competitive contingent in IRC 1 Class with the J/125 STRAIT DEALER sailed by David Franks and a fleet of J/133s, including Julian James' JERONIMO, Ian Dewhirst' JUMP, Yves Grosjean's JIVARO from France, Herman Bergshaven's SOLNESS III and Fiona and Malcom Thorpes' KING LOUIE.

IRC 2 Class has a lone J/133, Angus Bates' ASSARAIN IV, who will have to contend with a very tenacious group of J/122s, including David Hunt's JACOB'S LADDER, David Richards' JOLLY, Robin Myerscough's MINT JULEP, Ian Matthews' champion JINJA and Rodolphe Marchais' JOLLY JOKER from France.

IRC 5 Class will have the new J/97s racing, including Mike & Jamie Holme's JIKA JIKA, Grant Gordon's FEVER and Jim Dick's JACKAROO.

J/109 one-design sailing in EnglandIn the one-design world, there will be large, competitive classes of J/109s, J/105s and J/80s.  With 35 boats entered, the J/109s will have all the usual suspects and cast of characters showing up including some new teams to stir the pot.  The British Police will be racing against the RAF Red Arrows! Who wins that protest, the military or the "bobbies"?  Many previous winners of J/109 Europeans and UK Championships are in attendance as well as a host of teams practicing for the Rolex Commodore's Cup.  The J/109s are the largest offshore one-design keelboat class at Cowes Week, proving yet again, like their "cross-pond" friends sailing in the American Great Lakes and East Coast, that the J/109 is not only fun to race, but a very popular and enjoyable family boat, too.

The J/80s will have a 19 boat class led by some of the class leaders, such as Thor Askeland's ELLE S'APPELLE, Jon Cooper's OI! and Simon Ling skippering Team Spitfire's SPITFIRE.

For the J/92s, eight boats have entered in what promises to be close-quarters racing amongst the leaders.  Based on Warsash Spring Series results, it will be interesting to see who gets the best of who on the capricious Solent waters between JAMMIN, J'RONIMO, NEILSON REDEYE and JUST IN TIME.  For more Cowes Week sailing information.

J's @ Southampton Boatshow

(Southampton, England)-  From September 10th to 19th, Key Yachting/ J-UK will be exhibiting at Southampton Boat Show on marina berths 343 to 347. Most importantly, for those who wish to have a high-performance boat that can sail in just 3.5 feet of water, the J/95 will be on the "Try A Boat" docks.  J/UK will also be exhibiting the J/97, the J/80 and the J/122. Please contact Becci Eplett for a personal tour-  For more J/UK boatshow information.

J/122s Dominate Chicago-Mackinac Race

J/122 sailing upwind offshore- one-design sailboat- cruiser- racer

Three-Peat For SKYE, FLYING JENNY VI Romps Again

(Chicago, IL)- The Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac (aka 'The Mac') is unquestionably the world's pre-eminent freshwater distance race. Boats travel from near and far (this year's globe-trotting award goes to BEAU GESTE, a well-campaigned Farr 80 hailing from Hong Kong) for this storied race, which just completed its 102nd running.  With a dramatic starting line off of downtown Chicago, its Gothic-inspired architecture and soaring skyline providing the backdrop, to the race's decidedly bucolic finish at lovely Mackinac Island, a place where cars are banned, horses and bikes rule the roost and fudge is the local currency. The Mac is full-on sailing for its 333 miles.

"This was a fantastic race with our second largest fleet, and every kind of sailing imaginable -- calms with flies to 25 knots on the nose," summed up Greg Freeman, Mackinac Committee Chair. "These conditions rewarded well rounded boats that were well sailed," said Ron White, Chief Measurer. "The physical conditions were also spectacular. We saw a full moonrise with a simultaneous sunset in the Manitous."

In a demanding, challenging race, it took well-sailed boats that could sail easily in a wide variety of wind and wave conditions to win- indeed, weather that was well-suited to J's of all sizes in all classes.  There was an impressive line-up of J's sailing the race, 69 of 355 boats, nearly 20% of the fleet and certainly the largest single brand participating as a whole.  The range of J's included the new J/97 HIT GIRL to the offshore speedsters like the J/145s MAIN STREET and VORTICES. In between were highly competitive fleets of J/105s, J/109s and J/120s pushing one another hard for every last boat-length.  Tossed into the mix fighting for every inch against their stablemates were J/30s, J/35s, J/122s, J/130s, a J/124, J/125, J/44 and J/92.

The J's had an impressive showing.  Winning 3 of 5 major trophies for the race! A feat unequaled by any major sailboat brand in the history of the Chicago-Mac Race.  As they say, "veni, vedi, vici"- they came, they saw, they conquered.  The only two J/122s sailing in this year's "Mac" trounced all comers, from the maxi 80 BEAU GESTE to last year's IRC National Champion, the 52 foot VINCITORE.  In fact, J/122s have won their division in "the Mac Races" five-for-five times!  Fresh off winning not just the IRC C Class in the Bayview Mackinac Race, but first in class in the IRC Great Lakes Championship was David Askew's J/122 FLYING JENNY VI (Annapolis, MD), winning both their section as well as the Mackinac Cup trophy (overall winner) over 152 Boats.  In fact, J’s took 15 of the top 33 slots (45%) overall!

Coming back for a very rare "three-peat" was the J/122 SKYE, duplicating their Mac Double-handed Race win last year, it extended their streak to a third win in a row (having won class/fleet the previous year with a full crew).  Richie Stearns and Bill Zeiler (Wilmette, IL) sailed fast, made few mistakes and won by hours over their tough double-handed competition. Interestingly, of 13 Boats racing in the Double-handed division, J’s took 5 of top 10 (50%) overall!  In fact, SKYE sailing doublehanded would have finished 10th on corrected time behind her J/122 sistership among the 152 boats in the fully crewed Mackinac Cup.

The third major trophy winner was Mike Stewart's (Muskegon, MI) J/110 LADY K, winning the Chicago-Mackinac Trophy over 137 Boats overall and winning Section 7 class. In fact, in this division as well, J’s took 12 of the top 30 slots (40%) overall!  Quite a remarkable demonstration of the importance of designing easy-to-sail, easy-to-handle sailboats that can excel in all conditions on all points of sail.

J/120 sailboat starting Chicago-Mac Race off Chicago- sailing with spinnakerIn the other handicap divisions, the two J/145s reveled in the conditions and sailed well to get 4th and 5th in Section 1/ Mac Cup with Chris Saxton's VORTICES (Plymouth, MI) beating past Mac Race winner Bill Schanen's MAIN STREET (Port Washington, WI).  Tom and Beth Ann Papoutsis (Winnetka, IL) sailed their J/133 RENEGADE to Section 2/ Mac Cup class win, beating a slew of custom racers and the hard-charging  group of Farr 40s and also getting 6th overall!  Mitch Padnos' J/124 SUFFICIENT REASON (Holland, MI), finished second in class to Askew's J/122 FLYING JENNY VI and was 4th overall!  In the Section 6/ Chicago-Mac "J/35" division, Bruce Metcalf's BOZOS CIRCUS (Burr Ridge, IL) led all J/35s, getting 2nd in class.  Following them in 3rd was Bill Newman's AFTERSHOCK (Muskegon, MI) and 5th was Tim Kent and Dana Felton's NEMESIS (Elm Grove, WI).  In Section 8/ Chicago-Mac division, the new J/97 HIT GIRL sailed by first-time Mac racer Paul Stahlberg and Dana Underwood finished second and was 14th overall!  Good show for a "virgin" Mac sailor!  In Section 9/ Chicago-Mac division, the J/30 FALCON sailed by Greg and Stephanie Moll finished third.

Rounding out the top ten in the Doublehanded Division, Brendon Docherty's J/105 OCH! was fourth, George and Kimberly Petirtz's J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS was fifth, John Hoskin's J/30 MADCAP was seventh, and Anton Devcic's J/105 ADRIA was tenth.

The J/105s had a very competitive fleet, with only 3 minutes separating the leaders.  Winning the J/105s was Mark Nichols (Lake City, MN) on CERTARE.  Second was Clark Pellett (Chicago, IL) sailing SEALARK.  And, third was Tomas Petkus' (Chicago, IL) VYTIS.  

J/120 Carinthia racing offshoreWith nearly a similar sized fleet, the J/109s with fourteen boats had an incredibly competitive race once the third "parking lot" compressed the top seven boats abeam of Beaver Island in the middle of the Manitous late Sunday night, early Monday morning.  After ghosting by early race leader VALOR (sailed by previous year's Overall Mac Winners George Miz, Peter Dreher and Mark Hatfield), Len Siegal and Don Cameron sailed LUCKY DUBIE 2 to a well-deserved, hard-fought win.  After a gybing duel in Grey's Reef Passage slowed down both VALOR and MERENGUE, Jim Murray's CALLISTO slipped by to finish second.  Third and fourth, respectively, were Jack Dau's and David Southwell's MERENGUE followed by VALOR. 

The J/120s again had a strong class showing with nine boats from both the Chicago and Detroit fleets.  This time, the Detroit boys showed their colleagues how to get it done.  Class leader Frank Kern from Detroit sailed hard and fast in the difficult conditions to win aboard his highly traveled J/120 CARINTHIA (pictured above).  Bill Bresser's green FLYIN IRISH was second and David Sandin's JAY HAWKER was third.  For more Chicago-Mackinac Race Sailing information.

Coors Light Island Double

sailboat sailing around Needles, Isle of Wight, England

J/133 JAMMY DODGER Leads Fleet Home

(Southampton, England)- It's 30 years since Neil Cox of Solent Rigging organised the first Double Handed racing at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club. Since then the series has continued without a break and grown in popularity.  And, it has to be one of the most challenging of the famous "around island" races anywhere in the world, especially shorthanded.

The tides for this year's Coors light Island Double were more suited to the east-about circumnavigation of the Island instead of the more usual west-about course - If only the boats had enough wind to get over the line. The forecast, and the actual conditions were very light but the Race Committee made the right call by getting the boats away, some of whom were swept OCS by the tide. The fleet of over 100 boats flying spinnakers of all descriptions made a great sight as they ran, slowly, down towards the forts in the bright morning sunshine.

All tactics were used to get down to Bembridge with some boats following the mainland shore and taking a long, wide sweep east and others hugging the Island shore and sometimes getting caught in wind holes from where they watched others further north overtake them.

Once at Bembbridge the very light wind slowly picked up but immediately became so flukey that it was hard to know which sail to hoist or which tack to take. Eventually the conditions settled down with the earlier boats taking full advantage of the favourable tide to make the Needles in two tacks. The later boats were robbed of that option and had to take the inshore route but at least then found the tide in their favour in the Needles Channel.

The western Solent delivered winds that hadn't appeared on any of Friday's forecasts and strengthened the nearer the boats got to the finish where the Race Committee were on station to the south-east of Williams Shipping buoy, setting a line that was a near straight run from Sconce. From there the main question then became, if we raise the kite will we get it down again? The hardy souls that took that risk had an exhilarating, surfing run to line.

Here is Neil Martin's and Deb Fish's report from the J/133 JAMMY DODGER:  "With just over an hour of flood tide left, the race committee sent the fleet East down the Solent for a clockwise circumnavigation. Neil got us a good start at the Squadron end of the line, where we could stem the lighter tide until it was time to turn for the line. Seconds before the start we hoisted the light runner and set off in the forecast light NWly winds. We gybed all down the Solent, generally staying away from the lighter winds on the Island shore and gybing between mid channel and the mainland. The patchy wind became a bit steadier and we found ourselves leading the fleet by some margin by the time we reached the forts. We crept inside No Mans Land fort, deep inshore to get out of the foul tide, and the wind died before shifting dramatically. Fortunately the fleet of Redwings racing off Bembridge allowed Neil to anticipate the new wind, and we soon had the kite down and were beating to Bembridge Ledge.

The wind soon shifted to the SW and built to 17 knots, and we tacked along the middle of the course to Dunnose, trying to keep out of the bays and in the stronger tide, but stay right in anticipation of the wind veering. (At least, we think it was stronger tide - having tossed Winning Tides overboard in the spinnaker drop at Bembridge, we were relying on the tide atlases in the Almanac...) By St Cats the wind had veered and we could just lay the Needles on port tack. Visibility was amazing - halfway between St Cats and the Needles, both looked just a couple of miles away, and we could see Anvil Point and Portland Bill really clearly. The sea had built with wind over tide, so I was in for a soaking on the bow to clip the spinnaker on. I managed to cut my finger, covering the deck with blood - unbelievable how such a tiny cut can cause so much mess. We passed the wreck, bore away and hoisted the kite in 20 knots of breeze. Gybing the light runner on the J133 down the Needles Channel then the Solent double-handed was hard work, with the boat on the edge, but we managed to avoid wraps and stay in control somehow. We still led the fleet around the Needles, but the two multihulls that had been drawing ever closer finally overtook us in the Needles channel.

Conscious of stemming the strong tide in the middle of the Solent, we gybed in to the mainland shore, but I had failed to notice the shallow waters further along our gybe out on the small screen on the hand-held chart plotter and we held our breath as the depth decreased to 0.0m and we touched the bottom with full main and spinnaker up doing 10 knots. Mercifully we got through the shallow patch and out of the other side.

The final drama was finding the finish buoy just upwind of the Bramble bank and getting the kite down quickly (listening at the race committee's urgent calls to one of the following boats to beware the Bramble bank!)."

Besides winning elapsed time overall, JAMMY DODGER also managed to finish fourth in Class 1 on corrected time behind the two well-sailed J/109s.  Finishing second was the J/109 JAGERBOMB sailed by the team of Paul and Mark Griffiths, just missing first place by 52 seconds on corrected time!  Ouch, now how many places were there on the race you could make up 52 seconds?  Just off their pace was the J/109 JANGADA TOO, well-sailed by the team of Richard Palmer and Jeremy Waitt to get third in class.  Finishing ninth was the OSTAR class winner (and nearly overall), the J/122 JBELLINO, ably sailed by experienced offshore sailing veteran Rob Craigie with Charles Allen as part of his team.  For more Island Double sailing informationSailing Photo Credit- Paul Wyeth

J/122 2nd In RORC Channel Race

(Cowes, England)- This year's Channel Race was blessed with good breeze around the 130 mile course with sunshine during the day and warm air temperature at night.  Missing the overall win and IRC One class win by just under three minutes on corrected time was Neil Kipling's J/122 JOOPSTER. Next on their agenda will be a mixture of inshore and offshore races for the Rolex Commodores' Cup.  For more RORC Channel Race sailing information

Marblehead SW NOOD Regatta


(Marblehead, MA)- The three clubs in Marblehead Harbor (Boston, Corinthian and Eastern) combined to put on yet another good event on their notoriously fickle summer sailing conditions.  While two good days of racing provided great competition, the last day proved to be a burn-out-- too much sun and no wind.  Nevertheless, the Sperry Topsider Marblehead NOOD event was lots of fun, especially because the local clubs roll-out the red carpet and ensure that all competitors in all fleets enjoy their social festivities after the racing.

On the “Outside Line”, the race committee attempted a J/105 start on Sunday in the early stages of the sea breeze but had to abandon mid-way through, leaving the standings as they were on Saturday. The no-race day left Peter and Doug Morgan’s J/105 STEELAWAY as the class winner over twenty-two other J/105s, a finish they were perfectly happy to take after having won four straight NOOD regattas before failing to do so last year.  “It’s good to be back,” says Doug Morgan. “These were not typical conditions this week, and local knowledge really helped. We are very fortunate to win, but the truth is we’ve got a great crew with five great guys that have sailed together now for a long time.”  Finishing second was Fred DeNapoli's ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA, just edging out by one point Kevin Colcord's CERCES CUP team for third. 

In the J/30s, Luke Buxton's EVELYN won with four firsts and a second, dominating their class.  Ken Deyett's JEROBOAM was second with four seconds and a first.  Third was John McArthur's SMILES.  The J/30 class are warming up for their J/30 North American Championship coming up later this summer.

J/24s as usual had a very competitive class with fourteen boats dueling it out with some of the top sailors in the J/24 class.  In the end, Tim Healy's WATERLINE SYSTEMS managed to pull off just three firsts and undoubtedly would've had more had they not been OCS's in the first race, winning by three points.  Second winning on a tie-breaker was John Denman sailing AIRODOODLE, they started off strongly with a 1-2-3 record, but fell off the cliff later in the series.  In third losing the tie-breaker was John Surguy sailing VANISHING ACT.

There was some interesting video shot at the event, you can check some of them out at the YouTube links below.
- A J/24 and Sonar sail into each other?
- J/30s at a breezy gybe mark.
- The J/105 Dark Horse celebrates winning a race.


J/105s sailing Fiesta Cup in Santa Barbara, CA

(Santa Barbara, CA)- This past weekend, the Santa Barbara YC hosted yet another fun event for the J/105s as part of the city's local Spanish celebrations.  They host a great beach party with good band (The Spencer Gardner Band) and free beer, food and Mai Tai's after Saturday's racing.  What's wrong with that picture?  Can't imagine why they didn't get more J/105s this year!

Saturday had a slow start in light air but the breeze continued to build all day. Because of the fickle conditions off the yacht club, the whole course was moved up by the point were there was better wind.  Steve Howell's BLINK from San Diego DYC had a great day in the J/105 class with 8 points followed by 3 Santa Barbara boats with 10 points each. Not an ideal racing day but the RC did a great job of shifting marks with the shifts.

By Sunday, after the breeze settled in, the standings flip-flopped with Steve's BLINK taking a beating, getting a 7-8-6 to drop down to sixth overall.  The locals ran the table, with the Santa Barbarians taking the top three positions on the podium.  Last year's winner, Rasmussen's FREE ENTERPRISE nearly pulled off a repeat of last year's win.  However, two sixths mid-series hurt FREE ENTERPRISE's chances (with a 4-1-6-6-1-2 record), losing by a point to Larry Harteck's REPEAT OFFENDER which managed to get a more consistent tally of 5-4-1-2-4-3 for nineteen points.  Third was J/105 Class President, Bernie Girod, sailing his well-traveled ROCK & ROLL to a 1-2-7-4-7-1 record, winning both first and last races to happily finish off a well-sailed series.  For more Fiesta Cup sailing information.

USVI Sailor- John Holmberg- Caribbean Games Report

* A report from John Holmberg, St. Thomas, VI regards the Central American & Caribbean Games (CAC)- "On day four of the CAC being sailed in Boqueron (Puerto Rico), a full moon over the Western point of this usually quiet town brings us to another day of sailing. J/24s have a strong contingent of sailors racing for "island honors". The beaches are quiet as we leave for the tow out and packed to the brim when we return. Christmas in July ends today (Tuesday) and the crowds of well wishing party families will be missed tomorrow on our lay day. Winds had been consistent as they build on the daily thermal on the SW tip of Puerto Rico and Monday they teased us out to the water and away from the beach goers with their portable "reggaeton" blasters the size of a cooler and mounted on wheels... only to disappoint us by either not showing up or swinging all over the place. Lay day scheduled Wednesday and final day of racing on Thursday July 29."  For Central American & Caribbean Games sailing results

The Benj- Steve Benjamin Interview on Cancer

* The Benj (a.k.a. Steve Benjamin)- friend of the Editor since 1977 when both sailed in college at Tufts and Yale, respectively, has undertaken a new mission after a bout with prostate cancer. To see Benj and his wife Heidi (another college sailor) continue to enjoy sailing today is both heart-warming and an inspiration for all generations of sailors; a wonderful example that demonstrates the human spirit is paramount in our life, that no matter what obstacles life throws in front of you, that sailing is a life-long sport to be shared with all (young and old alike).  Here is Benj's story:  "Surviving Cancer to Sail Again- Why an Olympic Medalist Dedicates Around Long Island Race to Live-Saving Doctor."

At the starting line for this week's Around Long Island Regatta, many of the participating sailors will be thankful to take part in one of New York's favorite distance sailboat races. One sailor who may be the most grateful is Steve Benjamin (South Norwalk, Conn.), who underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer less than six months ago.  An Olympic Silver Medalist (1984 in 470s), and lead salesman with North Sails, Benjamin is known fondly throughout the sailing community as "Benj". This month he has re-dedicated his 41 foot sloop as ROBOTIC ONCOLOGY in tribute to the life-saving skills of Dr. David B. Samadi, Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mount Sinai in New York, N.Y., and will compete in the 190-mile race with an eye on winning the title.

"I made Dr. Samadi a promise that if he could cure me, then I would take him sailing," said Benjamin about re-naming his boat which, until this point, was known as HIGH NOON.  "My wife Heidi and I have been campaigning HIGH NOON since 2005.  In addition to winning races, one of our missions is to help introduce juniors and new sailors to the sport.  We are always training new crew and getting people sailing as much as possible.  With the ROBOTIC ONCOLOGY campaign I saw the possibility to help raise awareness of prostate cancer, and to let everyone know that the disease can be overcome."

Anyone familiar with prostate surgery would say, "Surgery six months ago and he's out sailing!" And anyone familiar with Benjamin would say, "That guy has the most positive attitude!" The successful return to the helm of a racing boat is largely credited to positive thinking by the patient and to robotic rather than "open" surgery where the recovery time is lessened.

"No question that the personal spirit and the approach of positive thinking combined with a good surgeon is going to win," said Samadi. "To me prostate cancer is very personal, and I always want to win. I perform the surgery from beginning to end, and I've done over 3000 surgeries." He went on to explain that robotic prostate surgery is not just about the technology of robotics, but it is really the experience of the surgeon that counts just like a very experienced sailor.

When asked to compare the competitive nature of sailboat racing to performing life-saving surgery, Dr. Samadi said: "The trophies for the patients are their lives and their children. Just like in sailing, you can't do part of the race. You have to do the entire surgery. Thankfully, we have 3,000 friends and families doing well today."

According to the American Cancer Society, about one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and more than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. More than 200,000 new cases and about 30,000 deaths are attributed to prostate cancer each year in the U.S.

J/Cruising Community- Update

J/160 sailing- cruising anchorage in French Polynesia

* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* Prolific publisher, Bill and Judy Stellin, sailed their J/42 JAYWALKER around the Mediterranean and Europe and back across the Atlantic for nearly three years.  Their blogs/journals can be found at-  The earlier journals have been compiled into two self published books which can be found at:  Search for "SEATREK: A Passion for Sailing" by Bill Stellin or William Stellin."  Fun reading when rocking back in a chair watching your storm-lashed windows take a beating in the gale roaring outside and listening to the crackle of a roaring fire.  It is winter "down under" you know.  The Argentineans are freezing.

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary will have just finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam. Read the latest news at

* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).  SALACIA, the J/160 owned by Stephen and Cyndy Everett has an on-going blog describing some of their more amusing experiences (  Susan Grun and her husband on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicago-Mackinac Race Preview

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing Chicago Mackinac Race

(Chicago, IL)- Sailors from around the world are congregating for the world's oldest annual, and most competitive, freshwater race that starts on July 24th off the spectacular Chicago waterfront.  If you doubt the races' pre-eminence amongst experienced offshore sailors, then why's Royal Hong Kong YC's Karl Kwok and his Farr 80 BEAU GESTE and the Amway boy's (Devos'- aka owners of Quantum Sails) z86 WINDQUEST tipping the big boat scales to determine who beats yet another West Coast luminary's record, the late Roy Disney's 90 foot PYEWACKET record of 23+ hours for the race (with our buddy Stan Honey as guiding light, guru, navigator?).  A race record that even eludes Larry Ellison's 85 foot maxi USA 17 SAYONARA (still parked in Muskegon, MI!).  And, a race that even the venerable Ted Turner called "the toughest ocean race in the world" (Fastnet 1979 was easy by comparison in Ted's view)!  Again, with all those world-renowned characters who drive the headlines (and were J sailors at some point in their lives), it's no wonder that 70 J's are racing amongst the fleet of 350+ entrants, a few will be sure to leave their mark on the race and take home some silverware!

Coming back for a very rare "three-peat" is the J/122 SKYE, hoping to not only duplicate their Mac Double-handed Race win last year, but also extend their streak to a third win (having won class/fleet the previous year with a full crew).  Richie Stearns and Bill Zeiler are well-prepared, have made a few improvements to the boat and sail-handling systems and hope they can be successful again this year.  Another J/122, sailing in the ORC division will be David Askew's J/122 FLYING JENNY IV, fresh from having won IRC C Class in the Bayview Mackinac Race.

J/120 racing cruising sailboat- sailing Mackinac RaceThe J/105s, again, will be one of the largest one-design classes sailing the Mac Race with nineteen of them vying for class honors alongside class veteran Tom Petkus on VYTIS.   With nearly a similar sized fleet are the J/109s with fourteen boats in what promises to be hot competition for not just one-design class, but overall Mac Race ORC honors, too.  Thrown into the fray will be last year's overall Mac Race winners, George Miz, Peter Dreher, Mark Hatfield and crew sailing the J/109 VALOR.  The J/120s will have a strong class led by class leader Frank Kern from Detroit on his J/120 CARINTHIA.  Still sailing strong after 30 years are the J/35s, with a great turnout of seven boats sailing this year's Mac.  Furthermore, four J/130s are racing along with three J/30s! Watch this space...all these sailors are wiley as coyotes and can win the whole enchilada!

Other J's that will be competitive in their respective classes will the the J/124 SUFFICIENT REASON sailed by Mitch Padnos, the J/130 RENEGADE sailed by Thomas and Beth Ann Papoutsis, the J/125 JEANNINE III raced by Jack Roeser (can he repeat the success of his West Coast contemporaries?) and the two J/145s- Bill Schanen's MAIN STREET and Chris Saxton's VORTICES (which just finished the Bermuda Race!).  Also, look for the J/44 SAGITTA to do well with veterans like past Bayview YC Commodore's Jon Somes and Larry Oswald applying their collective 75+ years worth of Mac wisdom and experience to the test.  Finally, the two 30ish footers, the J/92 CYCLONE sailed by John Maddey and the newly introduced J/97 HIT GIRL sailed by Paul Stahlberg and Nikki Sullivan could be significant factors, and spoilers for overall honors, in the race if it's a "smallboat race".    You can follow every boat as they will be tracked by GPS transponder. This technology enables friends, families, and armchair sailors to follow the race as it unfolds on the web.

Rolex NYYC Race Week

J/122 one-design cruising racing sailboat- WINGS sailing in New York YC Race Week

WINGS Hat Trick Leads to Win

(Newport, RI)- The forecast was promising for the first half of this year's Rolex NYYC Race Week.  Sunny days, southwest winds, nearly postcard perfect conditions for the fleet of 100+ boats sailing in a variety of classes, punctuated by the J/122s and J/109s sailing their North American Championships and the J/105s sailing their East Coast Championship.

For the first day of racing, it was a busy day on Narragansett Bay when hundreds of athletes swam across it in the early morning, then 1,200 more plied its waters from mid-morning to afternoon.  While the annual early-morning 'Save the Bay' swim finished, 100+ boats left their berths in Newport Harbor to converge on three race circles: two 'outside' on Rhode Island Sound and one 'up the Bay,' or north of the iconic Pell Newport Bridge, which serves as gateway to historic Newport and frames the sweeping view of the city from Harbour Court, where host New York Yacht Club has its on-water clubhouse.  "It was everything you could hope for in a day of sailing," said NYYC Race Committee Chair John "Tinker" Miles, noting sunshine and warm temperatures cooled by manageable 12-15 knot breezes from the Southwest.

J/105 one-design sailboat- sailing New York YC Race WeekFor leaders in seven of the 12 classes, when it was good it was very good. The conditions enabled them to post nothing but first-place finishes in multiple races. What was the common denominator for many of them?  The experience of sailing in highly competitive J one-design classes to hone their competitive edge.  Mike Bruno/ Tom Boyle’s (Rye, NY) WINGS was three-for-three in the tight J/122 fleet, but it was only because it had the "slightest edge" on speed over David Murphy’s (Westport, CT) PUGWASH, which finished right behind in every race. "We’d come off the starting line and two miles later we were only two boat lengths ahead," said Mark Ploch (City Island, NY) whose job it is to concentrate on boat speed. "With the boats all stacked together, I’d say it was a combination of things that kept us ahead, great teamwork, Stu Johnstone's (Newport, RI) remarkable tactical calls and Mike's and Tom’s ability to concentrate on the long beats."  Regatta favorite Andrew Weiss sailed a solid three races but could not crack the top 2, getting a 3-4-3 to take third position after the first day. 

A former J/105 champion, Phil Lotz (Newport, RI) sailing ARETHUSA posted three bullets in as many races in the 15-boat NYYC Swan 42 class, further attributing his stellar performance to "essentially good starts and speed, and conservative plays, which were more or less up the middle of the course." Another J/80 and J/105 champion, Glenn Darden (Houston, TX) was second in the same class sailing HOSS. In fact, Glenn was fresh off a win the previous weekend in the SailNewport Regatta sailing his J/80 EL TIGRE against an impressive fleet of former J/80 North American and World Champions.

Other leaders with perfect scores over the three races on Saturday included Bob Armstrong (St. Croix) on the J/100 GOOD GIRL in the PHRF 1 class. Bob had this to say about his two J/100s, "Good Girls get to live in Newport, Bad Girls get to live in the Caribbean".  And a "good girl" she was, simply eviscerating their PHRF 1 contemporaries with a 1-1-1 record.

J/105 Power Play sailing in New York YC Race WeekThe other common theme on the first day of sailing was "defending champions"- most of them emerged to maintain leadership in their respective J/105 and J/109 classes.  Defending Race Week champion Damian Emery (Shoreham, Ny) won two of three races on ECLIPSE in the J/105 class, sailing for its East Coast championship and the largest at the event with 20 boats.  Chasing Damian hard on the first day was class veteran Joerg Esdorn (Katanah, NY) sailing to a 6-2-1 record and just behind was another class champion/ veteran Brian Keane (Marblehead, MA) sailing SAVASANA to a 3-3-5 tally to be just two point back.

The J/109s, which were fighting for their North American title, were led Saturday by defending Race Week champion Ted Herlihy (South Darmouth, MA) after he posted a 2-1-1 with GUT FEELING.  Just behind them was David Filippelli's (Amagansett, NY) CAMINOS with a 3-2-2 score and in third was GOSSIP, sailed by Steve Kenny & Greg Ames (Wainscott, NY) with a 1-3-4 record.

J/109 one-design sailboat fleet- sailing in storm at New York YC race weekOn Sunday, Newport served up three more races in dazzling conditions that were similar to Saturday's sailing. By the conclusion of Sunday's racing, it was clear that competitors were aware of the early leaders and ensured that none of them could repeat their performances of the previous other words, no one had perfect records the second day.  Perhaps the only near exception was the Boyle/Bruno team on the J/122 WINGS, which nearly pulled off a "hat-trick" again with a 2-1-1 score Sunday. 

As it turns out the six races sailed on Saturday and Sunday were the final results for the event.  Monday dawned with a terrible forecast, light southerlies with a front pushing in from the west that could swing the wind WNW and throw in a few hailstorms, thunderstorms and heavy showers for good measure.  The NOAA forecast was not wrong.  Both courses canceled all races Monday as the front pushed in with winds gusting over thirty knots with lightning bolts spraying all over the race course and curtains of rain hiding the entire fleet from one another, hiding some of the typical damage like torn sails, huge broaches with bruised egos, busted vangs and the sort.

In the end, the Boyle/Bruno team on WINGS won the J/122 North American Championship with a remarkable record of five firsts and a second.  In behind them was a vastly improved team on PUGWASH, led by skipper/owner David Murphy and a crackerjack team of sailors giving the WINGS team a serious run for the money (including an 8 tack tacking-duel in one race) to count five seconds and a first.  Third was the always well-sailed CHRISTOPHER DRAGON led by Andrew Weiss, proving yet again a well-honed family team can be very competitive, sailing into third with five thirds and a fourth.

J/109 one-design cruising sailboat- GUT Feeling sailing New York YC race weekThe J/109s saw a repeat winner for their J/109 North Americans.  Ted Herlihy's GUT FEELING is overall champion with three firsts, two seconds and a fourth.  Second was Dave Filippelli's CAMINOS with three seconds and three thirds.  Third was Steve Kenny and Greg Ames' GOSSIP with a 1-3-4-2-3 score.  As it is in many one-design events, consistency, speed and the ability to recover paid off big in the J/109 class.  At times, any one of the top three boats looked like it was "toast", but a bit of serendipity, perseverance and the right shift/ tactical move paid off big to keep them in the hunt.

A previous winner of the J/105 East Coast Championship, Damian Emery's ECLIPSE, seemingly found another gear after their lackluster performance the week before at the SailNewport regatta.  ECLIPSE won by 14 points with a 1-1-4-1-3-1 record.  Never far off the pace was another J/105 class champion, Joerg Esdorn's KINCSEM, with a 6-2-1-4-5-7 score.  Rounding out the stellar cast of characters (champions, too) on the podium was another J/105 North American champ, Brian Keane's SAVASANA with a 3-3-5-12-1-5 tally.  The J/105 Class is wishing Brian's J/80 SAVASANA team "good luck" in the upcoming J/80 North Americans and Worlds this fall.

Bob Armstrong and the "good guys and good girls" team sailed their fire-engine red J/100 GOOD GIRL to a PHRF 1 dominating performance, racking up an enviable 1-1-1-2-2-1 record for 8 points to dominate some well-known local boats like SETTLER and ACT ONE.  Bob- whatever happened in those two second places? 

Finally, it's worth mentioning that J class one-design champions who've cut their teeth racing J/24s, J/80s, J/105s and so forth swept the NYYC Swan 42 class- with Phil Lotz's ARETHUSA winning, followed by Glenn Darden's HOSS and John Hele's DARING.  In other words, you can never go wrong starting with strong J one-design classes to learn what it takes to win in larger one-design keelboats (some are still learning- Larry and Ernesto sound familiar?)!   For more Rolex NYYC Race Week sailing information

BLUEJAY Wins J/109 Europeans

J/109 one-design cruising racing sailboat- sailing European Championship in Cork, Ireland

Costa del Sol Cork A Donnybrook

(Cork, Ireland)- Magically, the "almost Mediterranean" weather combined with some classic Irish wind/weather thrown into the mix to make this years CORK Week another memorable one. All classes had great racing and on the last day of racing you could feel the tension on the dock, with virtually all the classes still to be decided, as the yachts motored out to the demilitarized combat zone along the narrow confines of Cork River. The conditions had eased from the previous day's maelstrom, but this was a day where smart sailing put boats in winning positions.  Watery sunshine, 15 knots from the northwest were to provide some tricky conditions for all classes. Cork Harbour and the surrounding area have huge land effects on the wind and, especially on the last day, the gradient made for constant changes which drove tacticians crazy.

For the J/109 European Championships it was hard to hold back the well-oiled machine on BLUEJAY.  As Greg Burgess's J/109 BLUEJAY took the gun on the first race of last day, the crew punched the air with delight, knowing they'd taken first overall.  Brian Moreton's JUKE BOX was second overall and Ian Nagle and Paul O'Malley's JELLY BABY, snatched third place on the last day from Robert O'Leary's JEROBOAM. If you recall, of the eighteen J/109s (ten from England and eight from Ireland) competing it was JEROBOAM blasting out of the starting gate in the first race to throw down the gauntlet and win the race by over two minutes!  Sadly, on day three with big breeze, waves and blustery conditions, title contender JEROBOAM was flying downwind when the pole failed to take the strain and buckled under load, forcing them to retire.  As a result, the failure pushed them down to fourth overall with two high scores in races 6 and 7 that hurt their chances to score a podium finish.

IRC Class Zero had exceptionally close racing and Neil Martin's J/133 JAMMY DODGER managed to crack the top ten to get seventh overall. Their slow start in the first four races hampered their chances for a top three finish.  Of note, the Sisk Trophy for best Corinthian Yacht went to Neil Martin's J/133 JAMMY DODGER (e.g. a "No-Pro First")!!

IRC Class One had very tight racing for the top three spots.  However, Sheila and James Tyrerell's J/122 AQUELINA had difficulty finding second gear to stay in the hunt and avoid some tight spots.  Nevertheless, many felt they won the party and class overall!

IRC Class Three started as a donnybrook between two J/35s and an X332 in the first four races.  After the smoke cleared, and a few hundred pints later, it was John Moorehead and Chris Ferres' J/35 BENGAL MAGIC that simply "ran the table" and notched five firsts and a second to dominate their class!  Congratulations to the BENGAL MAGIC team for such a stunning performance.  Sadly, the other J/35, MUMBO sailed by Dermot Cronin, sailed incredibly well until the last two races, taking to DNS's after some equipment trouble in the 5th race...otherwise they looked to be second overall for the series!

IRC Class Six had the J/24s sailing and Flor O'Driscoll's J/24 HARD ON PORT finished in second with straight second places!  Full results CORK Race Week Sailing Results.      Photo credits: Tim Wright/

J/122 & J/35 Smoke Bayview Mac

J/35 sailing Bayview Mackinac Race

J's Prevail In Stormy Race To Mackinac Island

(Port Huron, MI)- A total of 206 sailboats in 22 classes raced in the 2010 Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race that started under blue skies and a light 12 knot breeze and ended with a rainstorm and 20-knot gusts on Saturday in Lake Huron.  A storm swept in with rain and 20-knot winds for the last two starts of the largest boats around 1:40 p.m. and managed to hit most of the fleet. The Mackinac racing boats, ranging in size from 28 to 86-feet in length with approximately 2,500 sailors, set sail on two separate courses from Port Huron to Mackinac Island.

J/44 one-design cruising offshore sailboat- Sagitta sailing Mac RaceAmongst the bigger J's sailing the race were a J/145, a J/122 and a J/44.  In IRC B class, Chris Saxton's J/145 VORTICES, fresh from sailing the Bermuda Race (3rd in class), managed to get a fifth in class in this freshwater classic.  In IRC C class were David Askew's J/122 FLYING JENNY IV (from Chesapeake Bay) and Commodores Larry Oswald and Jon Somes sailing the J/44 SAGITTA (these guys have won their division five times in the Mac!).  After a fast start, both boats sailed solid races to get 1st and 5th in IRC C class, respectively.

The J/120s sailed as a class and David Hudak's CAPERS won, with Bill Bresser's FLYIN IRISH second and Bob Kirman's HOT TICKET in third.  For most of the race, the J/120s were always racing within sight of one another as if strung out on a string together!

Sailing an impressive race were two very experienced "Mac Racers", the J/35s FALCON and MR. BILL'S WILD RIDE.  In fact, the J/35s nearly eclipsed the entire IRC fleet in overall handicap honors, attaining 6th, 7th and 9th overall!  In their J/35-T35 Class, Bayers and Barne's FALCON was first, but only by beating Bill Wildner's MR BILL'S WILD RIDE by just seven minutes!  FALCON is owned by Ed (42 Macs) and John J/34 IOR sailboat sailing Mac RaceBayer (36 Macs) and brother-in-law Jim Barnes. All 4 Bayer children are involved. Mary Allen, the main trimmer, is Ed and John's sister and their other sister, Linda Barnes, is the wife of Jim Barnes, a co-owner and active participant. They dedicate this and all future races to their father Edwin A. Bayer Jr. who passed away three years ago at the age of 85. Ed was a proud "Old Goat" who taught his entire family to race and has been an inspiration to all!  Interestingly, both FALCON and MBWR have won five J/35 North American Championships combined!  No wonder they know how to get to Mackinac Island fast.....with a few old goats to lead the way.  :)

Rounding out other J's sailing the race were the father-son team of Dick and Dan Synowiec sailing their J/33 SHENANIGAN, getting a 3rd in IRC E class. Gary Gonzalez's J/42 DOS MAS got a 3rd in Cruising A.  Dean Balcirak and Tom Burleson's venerable light-air flyer, the J/34 IOR SEA FEVER was second in the large PHRF A class-- this was Dean's 47th Mackinac and Tom's 34th. It is sailed by a crew of family and close friends.

Finally, David and Lyndon Lattie sailed Doublehanded Division and got 3rd overall in their J/29 PATRIOT.   For more Bayview Mackinac Race information.

Stormy Lake Ontario 300 Race

J's sailing off Toronto on Lake Ontario 300 race

(Port Credit, Ontario)- Does this sound like a familiar refrain this past weekend, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Northeast Coast of America? Doohhh, let's get the crap kicked out of us after the start...and then continue sailing?  Only hours after the start on Saturday, July 17th of the Lake Ontario 300 from Port Credit, ONT, the skies darkened and a squall hit the 198 entrants, sending them scattering to the winds. Reported gusts of over 40 knots were accompanied by heavy rain and hail, leading to a very challenging 6 to 8 hours of very unstable weather, followed by total absence of breeze along the south shore half-way through the race. Fifty-three boats are recorded as having dropped out of the race.

Competitors from over fifty different yacht clubs representing the northern and southern shores of the lake from Hamilton to Quebec in Canada and Ohio to Rochester in the United States sailed this year's challenging race.  The Lake Ontario 300 yacht race course is a circumnavigation of the lake that starts at Port Credit Yacht Club, heads east and rounds Main Duck Island, then heads south to Oswego NY where it turns east along the south shore to the Niagara River mark before heading to the finish line at Port Credit Yacht Club. The race is a test of preparation, teamwork, navigation and perseverance-- all of it was pushed to the extreme this year.

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario, CanadaDespite the challenging conditions, the large contingent of J's sailing were well-represented on the leader-boards in a wide variety of classes:

In the IRC 2 Divisions, Bob Eckersley's J/109 BLUE STREAK was third overall, just edging out by eleven minutes corrected time over Sheila Smith's J/109 PHOENIX that finished in 4th.

The PHRF classes were substantial in size.  Leading the fleet home in PHRF 1 were two J/35s!  Repeat offenders? Leszek Sieks' J/35 JAEGER was first followed by Mike Pietz's J/35 SHORTHANDED in second-- a clean sweep!  In PHRF 2, Paul Martini's J/105 ENDEAVOUR was 2nd and John Trumpener's J/105 THE USUAL SUSPECTS was fourth.  For more Lake Ontario 300 Sailing info.

J's Enjoy Pacific Cup

Sunset off a J sailing in Pacific


(San Francisco-Oahu- July 5th)- From the very first day of sailing, it was clear that Shawn Ivie's J/30 FRICTION LOSS was going to be a contender in their class blowing across the Pacific Ocean at breakneck speed to prove the venerable J/30 does indeed have the ability to surf all day long across enormous Pacific swells and be a contender.  In the end, trading off an early lead ultimately led to a well-deserved second in class.  The real surprise, perhaps, was the performance of Jim Brainerd's J/35c BRAINWAVES, getting a very hard-earned fourth in class! One has to remember, while the SC50s/52s swept the top spots, perhaps as well they should since they were purpose-built to be offshore sleds.  The J/30 and J/35c were never designed to spend 100% of the time sliding downhill, instead proving yet again that a solid, all-round boat that can go uphill as well as downhill can still remain competitive after years of offshore sailing.

In the J/42 "legend that continues to grow" category, Scott Dickinson's J/42 TIKI J also managed a 4th in his class, not bad for a non-TransPac lead-sled!  Meanwhile, having a tough go "sledding" against the reaching/ running machines were Sean Mulvihill's J/120 JAMANI (7th in class), Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA ( 4th in class!) and John Macphail's J/160 JAM (6th in class)...all respectable finishes for true racer-cruisers.  For more Pacific Cup sailing and tracking info.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

J/111 Ready To Launch

J/111  one-design sailboat- bow perspective

(Newport, RI)- Sitting on the shop floor in Bristol like a powerful jungle cat stalking its prey, the J/111 is getting ready to unleash its power and go for some thrilling rides on Narragansett Bay.  Please be sure to speak to your J Dealer now about scheduling a visit to take her for an eye-opening sailing experience during August and September when the J/111 is still in Newport, RI. 

J/111 Hall Spars-  carbon nano-tubeThe new J/111 mast is a single-piece seamless tube from Hall Spars constructed using carbon epoxy pre-preg laminate technology.  Ben Hall's commentary: "Our carbon pre-preg fabrics are made to our specifications just for the J/111 project. During our autoclave-curing process, the infused high-strength epoxy resin is heated until it becomes liquid, at which point it completely surrounds the carbon fibers.  At 250 psi and vacuum pressure of at least 5 atmospheres and baked at 200 degrees centigrade, we ensure the J/111 mast is light, strong and meets our Grand Prix specifications. The tall, powerful sail plan of the exciting new J/111 is the perfect platform for this technology."  For more J/111 one-design sailboat information

Rolex NYYC Race Week Preview

J/100 Good/Bad Girl sailing upwind

(Newport, RI)- The annual race week hosted by New York YC and its' sponsor ROLEX promises to have great racing in both Narragansett Bay and offshore south of Brenton Point.  Over 112 boats are entered with strong fleets of J/122s, J/109s, J/105s and J/80s.  The week starts with racing Sat/Sun/Mon for the one-design fleets and with a break for a day followed by IRC handicap racing for the US IRC Nationals.

J/122 Christopher Dragon sailing upwindThe J/122s are hosting their North Americans and have a solid turnout with past East Coast and North American Champions attending.  Look again on the leader-board for the well-sailed family crew led by Andrew Weiss on CHRISTOPHER DRAGON.  Contending for honors as well will be Jim Callahan and Mike Bruno on-board WINGS, plus offshore champions like the Tortorello's PARTNERSHIP and David Murphy's PUGWASH rapidly climbing the learning-curve will be in the hunt, too.  With all eight boats being well-sailed and fast, there will be a heavy burden placed on each team's crew to execute in such tight quarters racing and, most importantly, for the tacticians to go in the right direction and keep their boats out of trouble.

J/109 RUSH sailing downwind The J/109 class is holding its North American championship and have thirteen boats on the starting line to challenge defending champion STORM, owned by Rick Lyall (Wilton, Conn.) and 2008 champion GUT FEELING, owned by Ted Herlihy (South Dartmouth, Mass.).  Like the J/122s, there are many boats that have the capability to take the top three spots.   Amongst those that should be vying for contention will be Bill Sweetser's RUSH, the Filipelli's CAMINOS and Rob Salks' PICANTE.  As part of the J/109s East Coast Tour, it's currently RUSH and STORM dueling it out for a "case of xxx (t.b.d.)" and taking the trophy off (or defending it from going off) the wall at Annapolis YC!

With twenty-two boats, the J/105s are by far the largest one-design class at the Rolex NYYC Race Week.  And, the competition will certainly be hot as this event marks the second regatta to score for the J/105 Narragansett Bay Championship.  With such a diverse group all loaded with plenty of local knowledge and talent, it's hard to determine who will be near the top of the leader-board.  Nevertheless, look for class champions like Damian Emery on ECLIPSE, Joerg Esdorn on KINCSEM, Brian Keane on SAVASANA, Henry Brauer/ Stew Neff on SCIMITAR, Bruce Stone on POWER PLAY and Chris and Carolyn Groobey on JAVA to be dueling for the silverware.

For the second half of the event, NYYC is hosting the US IRC Nationals.  J's participating in this event include the Torterello's J/122 PARTNERSHIP, Andrew Weiss's J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON, Jim Bishop's J/44 WHITE GOLD, Schulman's J/44 CHARLIE V, Bob Armstrong's notoriously fun and fast J/100 GOOD GIRL (where's the "bad girl"?) and a fleet of J/109s including class leaders Rick Lyall's STORM, Bill Sweetser's RUSH, the Kenny/Ames team sailing GOSSIP, Schwartz's NORDLYS and the Kamisher's BLUE RIDER.  They will be up against some formidable IRC-optimized competition, so it will be a good test of boats and crew.   For more Rolex NYYC Race Week sailing information

J/22s In California Dreamin' Series

J/22 match racing and team racing at St Francis YC in San Francisco

(San Francisco, CA)-  West coast clubs have created a new match racing series titled, appropriately- "California Dreamin' Series".  It's a new set of match racing events that has been created for the spring of 2011 in which skippers will have the opportunity to compete in three consecutive weekends of ISAF Grade 3 match racing.

The west coast series begins at St. Francis Yacht Club sailing their new fleet of J/22s on February 26-27. The series then migrates to Long Beach Yacht Club’s Butler Cup, March 5-6 and winds up with at San Diego Yacht Club’s event March 12-13.

The new series is truly a dream come true for skippers who are trying to crack their way into top-drawer world events but are still in the process of accumulating the necessary points to qualify for an invitation.

The California Dreamin’ Tour events coupled with the August 2010 Trifecta match racing series of the Chicago Cup, the Detroit Cup and the Knickerbocker Cup, in which the series winner receives an invitation to compete in the Grade 1 Congressional Cup in March 2011, are a big shot in the arm for the growth of match racing in America.

These changes and more are all part of the newly created North American Match Race Series made up events organized by Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit, Mich.; Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Port Washington, N.Y.; Chicago Match Race Center, Chicago, Ill.; Long Beach Yacht Club, Long Beach, Calif.; San Diego Yacht Club, San Diego, Calif. and St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif.

These six clubs have dedicated themselves to promoting and developing high-level match racing countrywide and are on the forefront of bringing U.S match racing to the attention of the international sailing community.    For more California Dreamin' Series Sailing information.

J/80 Spanish Championship

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind off Spain

Defending World Champion Rayco Tabares Wins!

(La Coruna, Spain- Jul 12)-  So, what's wrong with this picture.  The Spanish J/80 Armada rules, right?  Three J/80 World Champions show up for the Spanish J/80 National Championships and ONE of them has to win.  Too bad they couldn't all win?  After all, three extraordinary sailors, three amazing teams, something had to give.  After the smoke cleared on the battlefield and fog settled in it was..... Rayco, triumphant again!  For one of the few fleets on the planet Earth where the local fleet racing is as good as World Championships (e.g. Newport J/24 Fleet, Newport Shields fleet, San Francisco J/105 fleet, Annapolis J/22 fleet, to name a few) the Spanish sure have an extraordinary tour'de'force.  The Spanish Armada reborn again, except this time, with gunships and "ships of the main" much better armed to the teeth with great sailors who can equally sail a J/80 to a World Championship as commandeer an IMOCA 60 and crush the competition.  Perhaps the French have taken notice and are stepping up their J/80 programs?  The British sure have, starting them young in RYA programs with "old guard" support..some nice guy called Ben seems to do OK.  America, of course, is still learning from the R.O.W. (e.g. row, row, row your boat).

Rayco Tabares and his team from Islas Canarias sailed their J/80 BIGBOY NAUTICA, representing both the Real Club Náutico de La Coruña - Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, to the overall win of the fourth Spanish National Championship.  It was not an easy task to overcome many compatriots who were equally up to the task of taking the overall crown.  Second went to TURISMO DE ALGARVE, sailed by yet another champion, Gonzalo Araujo of Vigo and the Portuguese Hugo Rocha, who sailed for the Yacht Club de Marina Arenys.  Finishing out the podium was guess who(?), but none other than ECC VIVIENDAS sailed by Pichu Torcida representing the Real Club Marítimo de Santander.

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing upwind off start line in SpainHow important is the sport of sailing to Spain?   Well, "futbol" (aka American soccer) is about equal.  The President of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, Gerardo Pombo, was present to award to Rayco Tabares as one of their "Champions of Spain 2010". At the awards ceremony, also attending was Pumariega Suárez-Germain, President of The Yacht magazine; the Harbour Master of La Coruna, Gustavo Ortega; the President of the Galician Federation of Vela, Jose Angel Rodriguez; CEO of EuroPublicis (a famous PR/marketing firm), Maximino Yanez; and the Royal Yacht Club Commodore, Jorge Etcheverría.  No wonder Spain is beginning to dominate certain parts of the sailing world. Throw in a few extraordinary photo/journalists to document the proceedings like Jesus Renedo and it will hard to stem the inexorable tide of Spanish success washing across oceans around the world.

Other than all the platitudes, what happened on the water and how in the heck did Rayco overcome such a talented fleet yet again??  Few in other ISAF one-design keelboat classes of recent memory (J/24, J/80, J/22, Melges 24, Etchells 22, Star, etc) have achieved so much in so little time against such indisputable talent.  In short, here's a synopsis of the regatta reports:

Day One- with three world champions of the J/80 class (2007, 2008, 2009) having confirmed their presence in the city of La Coruna, everyone knew the gauntlet laid down was to determine the "Intergalactic Champion", not just the Spanish Champion.  In the first two Spanish Champions, Ignacio Camino and Pichu Torcida sailing NEXTEL ENGINEERING and ECC VIVIENDAS, respectively, it was going to be tough fight to start with.  With Rayco Tabares entering the fray, who won last year in the 2009 Santander J/80 Worlds with PRINCESS YAIZA, the competition spun into the stratosphere and his new sponsor BIGBOY NAUTICA was hopeful they would be successful.  Tabares didn't disappoint his friends, supporters and followers, by winning the first race and getting a third in the 2nd race.  By the end of the day, Tabares's BIGBOY NAUTICA was in first with four points, followed by two boats with seven points each, Pablo Chavert's MARINA CORUNA and Gonzalo Araujo's TURISMO DE ALGARVE. 

Day Two- with nearly identical weather to the first day of racing, the fleet waited until the dense fog blew away.  By 1500 hours (late in the day) the J/80 teams were sent out to sea.  With the wind out of the North at seven knots, it was clear the left side of the course was correct for most teams.  Of the top teams, only Araujo's team on TURISMO DE ALGARVE managed a top three finish, getting a second in the first race.  However, the tables turned for race two of the day, with the leaders coming to the front of the fleet.  Torcidas' ECC VIVIENDAS won with Tabares' BIGBOY NAUTICA in second and Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING in third.

And, that was the end of racing.  For a sticky fog settled in for Sunday's racing and would not lift to allow the high calibre teams to race at least one more set of races to determine the Spanish Intergalactic Champions.  So it was, Tabares won with BIGBOY NAUTICA, followed by Araujo's TURISMO DE ALGARVE and third was Torcida's ECC VIVIENDAS.  Fourth was Camino's NEXTEL ENGINEERING and fifth was Chavert Paul's MARINA CORUNA.    For more J/80 Spanish Championship sailing information.   Sailing Photo credits- Jesus Renedo.

Stormy, Hot, Light SailNewport Regatta

J/80 one-design class champion- Glenn Darden


(Newport, RI)- J sailors all seemingly had an incredibly fun time participating in this year's Coastal Living SailNewport Regatta.  However, even with best laid plans, the weather Gods simply didn't cooperate, throwing huge swells with little wind offshore and flat waters and not enough wind up Narragansett Bay...a very rare occurrence.  Saturday saw a huge front pass over late in the afternoon that shifted the breeze from a light-moderate southerly to NW, canceling the last races of the day.  By Sunday, an enormous High pressure system overlaid the New England region combined with a Low offshore spinning up monster swells to make everyone feel a bit "green" on the offshore courses and wishing for more wind everywhere else.

Despite the daunting conditions the regatta manager, Brad Read (SailNewport Director), and the PROs on all three courses, including the redoubtable Robin Wallace and Kenny Legler, did an admirable job of pulling off a good set of races on Saturday, but had to live with canceled races on Sunday due to boiling hot conditions, billiard-table flat waters and a huge ebb tide flushing everyone out of the Bay and offshore.

J/105 PowerPlay sailing downwind fastPerhaps most impacted by the difficult conditions were the J/105s sailing the first of three events in their Narragansett Bay Championship Tour.  Only two races were conducted on Saturday with Bruce Stone and Scott DeWeese's champion POWER PLAY (pictured here) from San Francisco, CA and Wickford, RI winning with a 2-2 record.  Second was Chris and Carolyn Groobey's JAVA from Annapolis, MD with a 4-1 tally.  Winning third in a three-way tie-breaker was local hero Nelson Weiderman from Wakefield, RI sailing KIMA to a 6-3 record; they beat Harald Edegran and Jeremy Henderson on CONUNDRUM from Ossining, NY with a 3-6 record and Joerg Esdorn and Duncan Hennes' KINSCEM from Katonah, NY with a 5-4 record for 4th and 5th, respectively.

The 80s, too, only had two races and were suffering the "green" conditions offshore along with the J/24s.  Not unexpectedly, the winner of the twenty-three boat J/80 class was a past North American and World Champion Glenn Darden racing EL TIGRE (pictured above) with a 1-2.  Second was Kerry Klingler and Bob Miller sailing USA352 (another World Champion) with a 6-1.  And, third was Will Welles sailing RASCAL with a 5-3 record.   Rounding out the top five were Jeff Johnstone and Tom Kirk sailing LITTLE FEAT in fourth with a 3-7 and fifth was class aristocrat John Storck and family sailing RUMOR to a 7-4.

As predicted, sailing the J/24s is always a good test of going fast, mixed in with a bit of perseverance and a little lady-luck.  While class leaders like Peter Levesque on MOOKIE, Charlie Enright on WATERLINE SYSTEMS and Tim Healey on QUANTUM NEWPORT having their fair share of ups-and-downs, Jens Hookanson sailed SALSA to a consistent 4-1 record to lead the pack.  Staying out of trouble and getting second as their reward was Ted Winston sailing PASSAGE EAST to a 10-2 record, winning a tie-breaker with Mike Ingham on BRAIN CRAMP with an 8-4 tally.  For more Coastal Living SailNewport Regatta sailing info.

Costa Del Sol Cork

J/109 one-design cruising sailboat- sailing CORK Race Week

J/109 BLUEJAY Winning Nationals

(Cork, Ireland)- As if by magic, sublime, almost Mediterranean weather, arrived for the first day of Cork Week 2010. Sunshine and a moderate breeze of 10-15 knots from the southeast, gave competitors a day to remember. Racing for all classes commenced with few delays and there were some happy sailors returning to the dock this afternoon, having had a spectacular day on the water.

Eighteen J/109s are competing at Cork Week for the J/109 European Championship and they enjoyed some fantastic racing so far.  On the first day, Robert O'Leary, steering JEROBOAM, got a cracking start, right under Weavers Point, they went on to win the race by over two minutes. Steven Tapper's STALKER was second and Jonathan & Andrea Tithecott's JUDGEMENT DAY taking third.  To date, the top three is tight with Greg Burgess's BLUEJAY is winning with a 4-2-1 record, leading Rob O'Leary's JEROBOAM by just two points with a 1-3-5 tally and Brian Moreton's JUKE BOX by two more points with a 7-1-3 score.

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing off Cork, Ireland in CORK Race WeekIRC Class Zero has some exceptionally close racing and hanging out in the top ten are the two J/133s sailing the event against a hot class of IRC specialists.  Neil Martin's J/133 JAMMY DODGER and Jackie and Robert Dodson's JERONIMO are in contention with at least three races to go...and anything goes in this class so far with boats racing up and down the standings daily.

IRC Class One has a tight race for the top three and with a few good races left, Sheila and James Tyrerell's J/122 AQUELINA is in the hunt to garner a top five finish.

IRC Class Three has a donnybrook shaping up between two J/35s and an X332.  John Moorehead and Chris Ferres are racing their J/35 BENGAL MAGIC incredibly well and are leading the fleet with a fleet dominating three firsts!  Lying third at the moment a scant half point off second is the other J/35, Dermot Cronin's MUMBO.  With three races to go, perhaps BENGAL MAGIC will throw down the gauntlet, bet a few more pints of tasty Irish ale (or whiskey?) and see whether or not they can run the table with straight firsts!

IRC Class Six has the J/24s participating and Flor O'Driscoll's J/24 HARD ON PORT is currently second with a 2-2-3-2 record.

Catch up with us next week to get a summary of the results, see if the J/122s, J/133s or J/35s prevailed in the "new" Costa del Sol Cork Race Week and to figure out who rose above the ashes and wreckage of the battle field to be crowned J/109 European Champion.   For more CORK Week sailing results.        Sailing Photo credits: Tim Wright/

J/80s Win Gotland Runt Race

Swedish women's sailing team- J/24s, J/80s

(Stockholm, Sweden)- By all accounts, the 2010 Eurocard Gotland Runt was a successful regatta. Approximately 2,000 sailors participated on 238 boats, divided into nine classes on three different courses of varied length.  The largest boats sailed 460 nm while the smallest ones completed 310 nm, which is the shortest way to round Gotland from Sandhamn and back. The intention was to complete any course in 48 hours, which many of the sailors did.  The race was completed in excellent weather conditions. Bright sun and enough wind to keep the doldrums away (can't go wrong when the sun sets at 11 pm and rises at 2 am!). The different classes attracted cruising boats as well as advanced, world-class racing machines.

Sailing ORCi Alpha class was Juha Korhonen's J/35 JUMPIN JACK FLASH sailing the intermediate length course.  After all these years, the venerable J/35 continues to sail successfully in offshore handicap racing, proving yet again as they did in the Bermuda Race Doublehanded Class that it's hard to hold back a well-sailed J offshore...whatever its permutation. Juha's JUMPIN JACK FLASH managed a 5th in a very competitive class.

J/109 one-design sailboat- sailing with spinnaker in Gotland Runt RacePerhaps the most remarkable performance came from the twin J/80s racing in the SRS Alfa 2 Class.  Winning the class was MK-PRODUKTER, Lars Gellerhed'S J/80 and finishing just out of second, getting third overall in class was BJORNSABBEN, Broderna Wennerstrom's tough as nails J/80 crew.

For more insight on the race, you can also check out Peter Gustaffson's blog at, for some great info.  In fact, according to Peter, "The most interesting reporting from Gotland Runt? It comes from my trimmer from the J/109 BLUR, Fredrik Roos (see photo), who runs the trim onboard the J/109 MATADOR. Driving hard!"     Complete Gotland Runt sailing results.      Sailing Photo credits- Oskar Kihlborg

J's Racing Pacific Cup- Update

Fun sailing on Pacific Cup

(San Francisco-Oahu- July 5th)- Based on latest tracking info (Thursday 0900), Shawn Ivie's J/30 FRICTION LOSS is currently 2nd in class and Jim Brainerd's J/35c BRAINWAVES is fifth! Scott Dickinson's J/42 TIKI J is 4th in his class, not bad for a non-TransPac sled!  Meanwhile, having early tough "sledding" are the reaching machines like Sean Mulvihill's J/120 JAMANI (about 7th in class), Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA (now 3rd in class!) and John Macphail's J/160 JAM (about 5th in class and 5th in fleet!). However, the last half of the race is often where the real "sleds" simply take off, watch out to see how the J/120, the J/46 and the J/160 start to roll on this part of the race.  Follow them on the tracking page at the event site.

Sometime Tuesday afternoon half the 2010 Pacific Cup boats passed the halfway-to-Hawaii mark. "Hapa" means half in Hawaiian, so we can call this hapa-hapa day.  This leads, of course, to the traditional "halfway-hijinx".  Boat parties, a rare taste of alcohol, and general frivolity are the order of the day. Halfway parties can feature costumes, songs, gifts, or perhaps a fresh can of tuna. As one of the sailor's said: "We just had our halfway party! Much frivolity and gift-opening, the Tiki God was very pleased. Rum for Poseidon."   For more Pacific Cup sailing and tracking info.

JARANA- J/42 Sailing South Pacific sailing blog

J/42 cruising sailboat JARANA sailing in South Pacific* Another J/42 in the South Pacific?  Can't be.  Me thinks they're multiplying like rabbits.  Is boat-cloning permitted in Micronesia?  We've discovered yet another J/42 roaming the South Pacific; Bill and Kathy Cuffel's JARANA.  Here's the Cuffel's report:  "July 3rd we finally left after two beautiful weeks on the north shore of Moorea (French Polynesia)/ Tahiti area).  After waiting out a several days of 20-30 kt winds, we headed back to Papeete.  It took a couple tacks in 10-12 kt winds and lumpy seas to reach the pass into Arue to moor at Tahiti Yacht Club, arriving around 1330.  That was the perfect time for the C-Map chip to crash our both plotters!  Doh!

Usually you radio TYC and they send a dinghy out to guide you in.  (Some of the inner marks are a little off,)  But the manager was busy and didn't hear our hail.  Our friends on Capaz and Blue Bottle also didn't hear us (we wanted to ask the pass coordinates, because the GPS still worked).  We rummaged around for the paper chart (among the dozens on board).  But we didn't find that particular chart.  Our French cruising guide has a detail of the bay, but it's cut off right at the entrance pass...Great!"  Read more about their sailing adventures:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

J/65 BRAND NEW DAY- Perspectives on Bermuda Race

J/65 offshore racing cruising sailboat- sailing to BermudaJim Madden, owner/skipper of the J/65 BRAND NEW DAY, had some interesting insights as to the challenges and experiences of sailing to Bermuda-- one might call it "The Joy of Proper Yachting":  "The Newport to Bermuda Race was an exciting and challenging event.  For most of the fleet, the 635 miles was a fetch / beat through winds varying from 'triple 0s' to gusts well over 30 knots. Other than a Code 0, very few boats saw spinnakers.

This year's Gulfstream added some serious challenges to navigators. Several meanders and eddies along the stream's path proved quite difficult to locate and when found, often created surprising results - quite the opposite of those expected.

Thought the race is officially scored under ORR by the Cruising Club of America ('CCA') and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club ('RBYC'), the number of entries with IRC certificates increased substantially from the 2008 event.

In fact among most of the large boat Divisions, virtually all boats produced IRC certificates and chose for dual scoring. The biggest, fastest boats in the race were an impressive group of mostly IRC racers including 'Speed Boat', a Volvo 70, 'Rambler', 'Bella Mente', 'Genuine Risk', 'Titan', 'Ran', and 'Vanquish'. Though no records were set in 2010, the big fastest boats all arrived in less than 48 hours.

In the St. David's Lighthouse ('SDL') Division eight, all 12 big boats had IRC, and the results between ORR and IRC were quite consistent with only one two boats swapping second and third under each rule. Division eight was the big boat class in the amateur division ('SDL') and had some dramatic differences in size and type of Boats.

The Class ranged from a classic McCurdy & Rhodes 69 to a Custom 40 footer, and it included boats as diverse as a Reichel Pugh 66' racer, a Swan 601, a J65, and a Santa Cruz 70. 'Gracie', the McCurdy & Rhodes 69, and perhaps the oldest boat in the Class, was the class winner under both ORR and IRC proving that older big boats can be quite competitive under IRC.

For the J/65, 'Brand New Day' ('BND'), it was a relatively short three-day event - finishing on Monday, June 21st at 8:24pm ET. For most of the race, 'BND' and 'Gracie' were within ten miles of each other. Scoring under IRC, BND took a second, and a third under ORR. BND and Gracie managed to beat all the big, fast racers under IRC.

The ride to Bermuda on the J/65 was a very comfortable venture. The air conditioning in each of the cabins, heads, galley and salon kept the interior of the boat at a constant 68 degrees. This made for some strange, but very satisfying, sensations when coming off watch from the hot stickiness of Gulf Stream weather to a chilled interior. Hors d’ouevres were served promptly each evening at 5pm. The cooked dinners of lasagna, pork, and chicken were accompanied by white and red wine.

One of the most interesting highlights of the trip was post race - motoring through the North Channel in Bermuda after finishing. This is a very narrow, jagged channel from St. George's (east end of Bermuda) to Hamilton.

Boats were advised to stay overnight in St. George's and only continue to Hamilton during daylight hours. Ignoring the recommendation, BND did the 16 miles overnight in calm seas with three navigating below, and all others on deck. No problems, but many scenes reminiscent of 'The Hunt for Red October'.

BND is now back in Newport, Rhode Island, awaiting some serious cruising this summer and a few more races under IRC."  For more information on sailing the J/65.

J's Racing Pacific Cup

Js sailing Pacific Cup- start under Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

(San Francisco-Oahu- July 5th)- Distance racing West Coast style means either going north-south up and down the California, Oregon and Washington coasts or going east-west from those states to that beautiful island chain known as the Hawaiian Islands.  Every area has its classic distance race: On the east coast of America, the storied Newport-Bermuda commands the loftiest perch of all American offshore races; England has its Rolex Fastnet Race; the Med has the Rolex Middle Sea or Giraglia Cup races; Australia its Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race; but on the West Coast there are offshore racing traditions as well. Being shy of an island that's "only" 635 nautical miles offshore, left-coast sailors have to race a bit further, but when the destination is Hawaii, it's hard to complain.

J/160 JAM crew ready for Pacific CupAs far as Hawaiian races go, the biennial Transpacific Yacht Race (held on odd years) may be the most prestigious, but two other races, each held on even years, also vie for participants- the Pacific Cup (from San Francisco) and the Vic-Maui Race (from Victoria, BC).  The 2,070 nautical mile Pacific Cup (San Francisco to Hawaii) draws boats that are based up north, or that are interested in a friendlier, fun-focused race.  The Pacific Cup started on July 5 from San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club, and while these sailors historically take less of an upwind drubbing, they too are no doubt preparing for a few days of serious upwind sailing.  But once the kites come on deck, the party starts--- it immediately becomes obvious why west coast sailors enjoy prolonged surfing and planing for days on end.

Sailing in this year's Pacific Cup are Shawn Ivie's J/30 FRICTION LOSS (currently in 1st), Jim Brainerd's J/35c BRAINWAVES, Sean Mulvihill's J/120 JAMANI, Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA, Scott Dickinson's J/42 TIKI J, and John Macphail's J/160 JAM (the team pictured here). We wish them fair winds and fair weather.  Follow them on the tracking page at the event site.    For more Pacific Cup sailing and tracking infoPhoto credit- Erik Simonson-

J's Racing Lake Ontario 300

J's sailing Lake Ontario regatta towards Toronto, Ontario

(Port Credit, Ontario, Canada)- The Lake Ontario 300 is nearing capacity again this year as over 189 boats have already registered. Demand for offshore racing in Lake Ontario continues to grow with record participation in The Susan Hood Race and LOSHRS shorthanded racing. There is a large contingent of J's sailing.  The winner of the Susan Hood Trophy Race, Murray Gainer's J/109 LIVELY (which won IRC Fleet overall), Bob Eckersley's J/109 BLUE STREAK (third overall in IRC Fleet), and John Trumpener's J/105 THE USUAL SUSPECTS (second in PHRF Fleet overall) will be joined by Malcolm Little's J/92s LITTLE PENGUIN, Geoff Clarke's J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE, Mike Pietz's J/35 SHORTHANDED, Paul Martini's J/105 ENDEAVOUR, Leszek Sieks' J/35 JAEGER, Sheila Smith's J/109 PHOENIX and Richard Huczek's J/92s MAX SAND to vie for class and overall honors.

Competitors from over fifty different yacht clubs representing the northern and southern shores of the lake from Hamilton to Quebec in Canada and Ohio to Rochester in the United States will converge at Port Credit Yacht Club on July 17th for the start of the race.  The Lake Ontario 300 yacht race course is a circumnavigation of the lake that starts at Port Credit Yacht Club, heads east and rounds Main Duck Island, then heads south to Oswego NY where it turns east along the south shore to the Niagara River mark before heading to the finish line at Port Credit Yacht Club. The race is a test of preparation, teamwork, navigation and perseverance.  This year’s race will feature new tracking technology from Kattack.  Go to the event website to see how they're doing.  For more Lake Ontario 300 Sailing and tracking info.

Large J Turnout for SailNewport Regatta

J/80 one-design class champion- Glenn Darden

(Newport, RI)- A large contingent of J one-design sailors are showing up at the Coastal Living SailNewport Regatta for key events in their summer sailing "tours".

For the J/105s, this regatta marks the beginning of the three-event Narragansett Bay Championship Tour which culminates in the West Passage Regatta in Wickford on August 7-8.  Past J/105 class leaders and champions like Joerg Esdorn on KINCSEM, Damian Emery on ECLIPSE, and current J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone on POWER PLAY will be vying for honor along with fifteen other boats.

In the twenty-three boat J/80 class, multiple North American and World Champions will be competing for the honors of winning the USA Tour, including Kerry Klingler, Jay Lutz on FIRED UP, Glenn Darden on EL TIGRE (pictured above winning at Key West), John Storck on RUMOR and class newcomer Brian Keane (J/105 NA Champ) on SAVASANA.  The event also provides an opportunity for many of the top USA boats to practice for the upcoming J/80 Worlds in Newport later in October.

Not to be outdone by anyone is the powerful Newport J/24 class, with eighteen boats showing up to fight tooth and nail for all the silverware.  Sprinkled amongst the fleet are several J/24 World and North American champions, including Charlie Enright on WATERLINE SYSTEMS, Tim Healey, Jens Hookanson on SALSA and Peter Levesque on MOOKIE (World Team Race Champion), to name a few veteran one-design gladiators.  Take that one-design sailors!  Still one of the strongest one-design classes in existence worldwide.  For more Coastal Living SailNewport Regatta sailing info.