Wednesday, November 24, 2010

J/111 Wins SAIL's 2011 Best Boats Award

J/111 offshore one-design sailboat- sailing downwindCommand A Rocketship with Finger-tip Control!
(Boston, MA)- "There’s a lot to like about the new J/111— an aggressive rig, racy good looks, a hull form that loves to be driven- and tying it all together is one of the best production-boat cockpits we’ve seen. J/Boats has had decades to improve on the simple trench it carved out of the aft deck of the J/24, and it hit the ball out of the park on this one."  And, "to those lucky sailors who will have the opportunity to crew aboard a J/111 in the years to come: have fun, and make sure you get a chance to drive this beauty. It’s an experience not to be missed." Contact your J/Dealer for more information or a demo today.  Out West, Jeff Brown at JK3 Yachts in San Diego or Norm Davant at Sail California in San Francisco have 111s in the water for those who dare venture into the twilight zone of joy, happiness and peace-of-mind at 20+ knots surfing offshore.  Contact Jeff at (SoCal) or Norm at (NorCal).   Read more about SAIL's Best Boat Awards selection of the J/111

Hamble Winter Series 6th Weekend

J/109 one-design, cruising, racing, sailboat- sailing upwind in England
JIKA-JIKA and J-DREAM Bidding for Overall Title!
(Hamble, England)-   With two more weekends to go in the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series most classes will be fighting it out all the way, but in the IRC3 and J/109 classes two boats are  dominating. With another win on Sunday Mike and Jamie Holmes’ J/97 JIKA-JIKA looks set to clinch their points series, as does David and Kirsty Apthorp's J-DREAM in the J/109s. If this form can be maintained they should both be strong contenders for the "Garmin Yacht of the Series" award for the best overall performance of all Black Fleet classes!

12-18 knots of cold north to north-easterly breeze coupled with a strong west-going tide made it a challenging day for both competitors and the race committees. The Black Fleet courses were cascaded down tide across the entire width of the Solent from a start on the Ryde Middle, while inshore the White Group was set a full trapezoidal course with a separate finishing boat, to cycle the three races with minimum delays.

The White Fleet points battle resumed after last week’s abandoned racing, with a small but keen fleet of J/80s braving another cold day.   The J/80s continued to have a competitive series.  Through race 14, the leader continues to be OI! sailed by John Cooper with 16 points after winning two more races.  Second is AQUA-J skippered by Patrick Liardet with 26 points after getting two 2nds.  Just 4 points shy is Gordon Craigen's SWALLOW with 30 points.  The Royal Air Force team on SPITFIRE are lying fourth with 58 points. Mike Lewis' JESTER is hanging in fifth with 78 points.

In race 10 of the J/109s, J-DREAM skippered by Kirsty and David Apthorp reaffirmed their leadership at the top of the standings with a convincing win.  Second was OUTRAJEOUS sailed by Richard and Valerie Griffith and third was ARIA sailed by Luca Rubinelli.  Overall, the Apthorp's J-DREAM continues to strengthen lead with just 9 points followed in 2nd by Dave McLeman's OFFBEAT with 24 points, 3rd is OUTRAJEOUS sailed by the Griffiths with 29 pts, 4th is ARIA led by Luca Rubinelli with 32 pts and 5th AUDAJIOUS skippered by David Jobson with 45 pts.

In IRC Class 3 the J/97 JIKA-JIKA sailed by Mike and Jamie Holmes again crushed the competition and grabbed another victory over tough competition.  Currently, the Holmes' J/97 has only 10 points for the series and leads by 12 points over the next closest boat.  Hanging onto 4th place is Ed Holton's J/110 SHADES OF BLUE.

The series continues on November 28th with one race for the Black Fleet classes, while three races are scheduled for the sportsboats in the White Fleet.  Report contributions from Jontey Sherwill.  Full
sailing details of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.  Photo courtesy- Tim Wright-

Japan Wins Gold Match-racing J/80s

J/80 fleet for Asian Games- ready to go sailing in match racing
(Guangzhou, China/ Shanwei Sailing Center- Nov. 20th)- Japan won the Gold Medal in Open Match Racing of Sailing at the 16th Asian Games in co-host city Shanwei. This is a tribute to the long-term focus of the Japanese Sailing Team in the match-racing arena, no doubt helped by the presence of Peter Gilmour and his influence on the Japanese America's Cup programs over time. A surprise Silver Medalist was the Indian team skipper by Balraj Balraj.  Third was Korea getting the bronze led by Sungmin Cho.  Here are the standings for the Asian Games Sailing medalists and their crew:

1. Gold- Japan- OKAMOTO Yasuhiro- skipper, SAKAMOTO Wataru, WADA Daichi, YOSHIFUJI Hiroaki

2. Silver- India- BALRAJ Balraj- skipper, HELEGAONKAR Trunal, SINHA Atool, TARAPORE Farokh Fa, YADAV Shekhar Sing

3. Bronze- Korea- CHO Sungmin- skipper, KIM Sungwok, LEE Dongwoo, NAM Yongjin, PARK Gunwoo

Read more about their in the Sailing section here on the Asia Games 2010 site.   

Rough and Tumble Hot Rum Series

J's sailing San Diego Hot Rum regatta series in the harbor.
J's Hanging Tough On Nasty Saturday
(San Diego, CA- Nov. 20th)- Saturday dawned grey, cool, hazy and wet.  Intermittent showers and a nasty WNW wind gusting from 8 to 25 knots was the order of the day.  San Diego postcard sailing weather?  Not. More like what Seattle's Puget Sound is renowned for with grey days and frenetic breeze.  With a ginormous swell pounding the surf beaches around Point Loma, the SDYC PRO wisely kept the fleet "inside".  For the uninitiated, that simply means blasting around the inner San Diego Harbor, getting huge wind bends (or mind bends), massive hell-holes created by monster cruise ships and even more massive US Navy aircraft carriers and avoiding a strong outbound ebb current up to 1.5 knots to further spice things up a bit.  Sounds like fun?  Sure, for those not intimidated by a 1,001 port starboard situations and moving packs (sidewalks) of spinnakers entangled en'masse downwind squeezed along the shoreline trying to stay out of the current.

After two races, the J/105s again proved they're hard to beat in these crazy "pursuit-style" races, where the slowest start first and the fastest last.  First boat across wins.  By virtue of where they start, the J/105s often get "launched" on the rest of the fleet and this is reflected in their consistent placings near the top of the fleet.  Overall J's have 8 of top 15 spots.  The J/105s are 3rd, 5th, 7th and 11th.  J/120s are 6th and 13th.  And the J/125 9th and J/111 10th so far.  Leading the J/105s in Class 3 is WINGS sailed by Dennis and Sharon Case.  Second in J/105s is Dave Vieregg's TRIPLE PLAY and third BLINK! sailed by Steve and Lucy Howell.  In Class 2, the J/120 CC RIDER sailed by Chuck Nichols is leading Jeff Brown's J/111 by 2 points.  Class 1 has the J/145 BAD PAK and a bunch of J/125s battling it out in the top 10.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information.

Bacardi National Keelboat Championship

J/105 MAYHEM Repeat Winners
(Bermuda- Nov. 22nd)-  The Bacardi National Keelboat Championship was completed this past weekend for the J/105 class. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was the host club for the annual Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) event. Winds eased throughout the day on Saturday forcing the sailors to continue to change gears and adjust equipment to deal with the constantly changing conditions. Defending National Champion Jon Corless and the crew of MAYHEM prevailed by a slim margin and were re-crowned National Champions. Sailing with Corless were Jen Quinn, Rebecca Roberts, Craig Scott, Jeff Roach and Jordan Smith. All six of Bermuda's fleet of J/105s made it out to the Great Sound. MAYHEM edged out her nearest rivals by two points, leaving a tie-breaker to determine second place. James Macdonald's PASSION ended up taking second while Chuck Millican and his crew onboard ELUSIVE were third.  For more J/105 Bermuda Fleet sailing information.   

Happiness Is The J/24 Circus Regatta

J/24s racing in Texas J/24 Circuit
(New Braunfels, Texas- Nov. 19-21)- The last stop of the Texas Circuit took place on November 19-21, 2010 at Lake Canyon Yacht Club in Canyon Lake. It was a triumphant win for the "happy" gang on-board Bob Harden's MR. HAPPY.  They not only won the last regatta, they won the whole bloody season and join the ranks of other famous Texas sailors like John Kolius, Scott Young, Jay Lutz who've preceded them as winners of this epic, season long series held at some of the best watering holes in Texas.  Ever popular, this year's J/24 Texas Circuit continues to see strong, competitive fleets and rarely does the same boat win successive events-- must be too much tequila and salsa during the previous victory celebration that might have something to do with that issue.

While Bob and crew won, it was not without a strong challenge from Bryan and Vicki Dyer on RUMLINE.  They started out strong with a 1-2-4, throwing down the challenge to the others to match them.  However, they could not keep up the pace, falling off the proverbial cliff in the last two races with a 5-3 to drop them out of content for the series against the HAPPY crowd.  Third overall was Stuart Lindow racing TROPICAL AGGRESSION, finishing strong with a 2-2 to cement their claim to the bronze.  Fourth was Doug Weakley sailing AMBASSADOR with 26 points and fifth was J/24 Southwest Champion Kelly Holmes-Moon racing BADMOON with 32 points.   For more J/24 Texas Circus Regatta sailing information.   

Cleveland SAIL Team Ready for Key West.

J/105 SAIL BAB team racing off Cleveland , OH* The Cleveland SAIL BAB Team Ready To Roll at KWRW 2011- Skipper Jim Sminchak of Cleveland’s Lakeside Yacht Club and the crew of his J/105 IT prevailed over a strong field in SAIL’s 2010 Best Around the Buoys (BAB) contest and will be heading to Florida in January to take part in 2011 Key West Race Week.

Team IT received the nod based on its outstanding performance this past year in a number of regattas on the Lake Erie, including the Mentor Harbor Yachting Club Regatta; the Lakeside Yacht Club Regatta; the 73rd Annual Falcon Cup, organized by the Mentor Harbor and Cleveland yacht clubs; and the offshore portion of Edgewater Yacht Club’s Cleveland Race Week. In each case, it took first place in its PHRF division and, in all but Cleveland Race Week, won first overall as well.  The crew also competed in a number of one-design events, including ILYA Bay Week and the Detroit NOOD regatta. In both cases, it took first.

According to SAIL publisher Josh Adams, the crew of it won out over the other 70 entries in this year’s BAB due to a combination of its performance on their local racecourse and its cohesion over the years. “With Best Around the Buoys, we aimed to reward a team for its local PHRF racing performance with a berth on the national stage at Key West Race Week,” Adams said. “Jim Sminchak and crew stood out as a winning team committed to performing around the buoys in their region. Their success and the impressive volume and quality of entries to BAB serve as a testament that PHRF racing is alive and well across the United States.”

Adams added that the BAB selection panel was particularly impressed by the team’s involvement and success in a wide range of events, including handicap racing, one-design racing and point-to-point races. Over the year’s, team it has also competed aboard a number of different boats, including a Tartan Ten, a J/22 and a Farr 30. Sminchak said his crew’s wins are no accident, but come as a result of “countless hours of practice, boat preparation and team bonding. Our training has us ready to compete at any regatta”.

Sminchak said he’s been sailing on Lake Erie all his life, after being introduced to the sport by his parents. He added that he and his crew are doing the same with their kids to keep the tradition alive. “Most of the crew has been sailing with us for more years than I can think of. We think of our group as family and we are competitive, love to sail and most importantly like having fun,” Sminchak said. “We take our kids or other young sailors along as much as possible, as we do believe that we need to show or teach them the world of keelboat sailing.”  As for Key West, Sminchak said he and his crew are looking forward to the opportunity, but know they have a lot of work to do. “We will get to grips with [the regatta] in the next couple of weeks when I know of all the plans. With the J/111 being so new, we will have a hill to climb in learning what will make it go,” he said.  Photo courtesy of David Mathias.   For more information on the SAIL BAB winner.

Ken Read, Russell Coutts at Bitter End Pro-Am

J/24 sailors Ken Read and Tom Leweck interview* Ken Read, Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard, Tom Leweck and participants in the Bitter End YC's annual Pro-Am Regatta always have a good time.  A fascinating element of the event is to listen to what the top sailors have to say about many facets of the sport of sailing.  Tom Leweck has attended for years, as has Rodney Johnstone from nearly the beginning of the event on J/24s over 25+ years ago.  This year Tom had some rather interesting interviews.  This interview is led by Ken and Russell with audience participation- interesting YouTube video to watch.

Nevin Sayre Promoting Youth Sailing

* The Editor's Tufts Jumbo Sailing Team classmate, Nevin Sayre, has long promoted the need to grow youth sailing and broadening the scope of those youth programs.  Nevin not only understands the competitive side of sailing, he understands that competition isn't what sailing is all about.

So it is no shock to him that the sport in the U.S. is struggling to turn youth sailors into life sailors, because the focus in most junior programs is to turn youth sailors into youth racers. From his position with BIC Sports, Nevin provides his observations in the second half of this two part  series:

Sailing could learn a lot from the history of the snow industry. There was a time when archaic long skis were strapped on to a kid's boots and he/she was shown primarily one option. If they made it through basic training, most kids were introduced to gates and racing was the one game to play. Snow sports at that time were on the fringe. Then came a revolutionary new era in
the mountain industry, inspired by snowboarding, technology, innovation, and new materials. A combination of modern equipment, new formats, and style made snow sports (boarding and modern skiing alike) attractive to kids. The gear and culture was COOL and junior programs started to offer new alternatives for free riding, freestyle, etc for the kids who weren't inspired by the same one format their parents were weaned on.

And you know what? There was still probably the same number of racers, but snow sports became attractive to "other kids", and participation numbers went through the roof! Would the explosion of snow sports have happened if kids were introduced to skiing with gear from 50 years ago and racing gates was the only focus of every junior program?

So why is sailing so popular in, say, a country like France? One of the reasons has got to be that kids in France are as likely to learn to sail on a windsurfer or multihull or skiff as they are in an old school dinghy. Kids are given modern gear and can choose alternative formats that they find attractive. More kids become passionate about sailing.

The U.S. has been particularly slow in changing its one-dimensional thinking, but it is encouraging to see more junior programs are finding new alternatives that strike a chord with the "other kids". More and more programs now offer windsurfing and recreational "Reachers" programs with low emphasis on race results and a stronger focus on sailing a variety of different modern boats. Instead of going around buoys until the kids are dizzy, on a given day they might borrow a big boat, try windsurfing, practice freestyle sailing, or "adventure sail" to a different harbor for ice cream. They are getting a wide range of valuable sailing skills, and, like at the mountain, the experience is more about hanging with their buds - doing the sport with each other and not always against each other. -- Read more about Nevin's interview on Scuttlebutt here.

Vincenzo Onorator- ex-J/24 & J/39 sailor competes for America's Cup

J/24 and J/39 sailor- Vincenzo Onorato sailing Americas Cup 34* Vincenzo Onorato- another former J/24 and J/39 sailor from Italy (and leader of the famous MOBY Lines providing ferry service to the islands of Elba, Corsica and Sardinia)- is now the leader of the MASCALZONE LATINO AC34 Challenge.  Vincenzo was a good sailor when he was racing his J/24 and J/39 and was always an honorable and fun-loving person that loved the sport of sailing and, most importantly, included many of his friends and family.  Recently he wrote Michele Tognozzi, editor of FareVela (a leading Italian sailing publication):  "Dear Michele,  I read Fare Vela Online with interest, every day. I have also read the criticism leveled at my club, seen as a sleeping partner of the Defender rather than a Challenger of Record worthy of its name. I partly feel responsible for these opinions as a direct result of our scant communication on the work we are carrying out. Oracle and Mascalzone, and their respective yachts clubs, inherited a disastrous Cup in terms of image, a result of the long and, I point out, legitimate litigation with Bertarelli. Russell and I meet almost every week and our teams are in daily contact.

All decisions taken are thoroughly discussed and thought through. It is also true we are going through an international economic environment, to say the least disastrous, and this is a further incentive to act with utmost care and caution. My silence doesn't mean I'm not doing anything,  but that we are humbly working, among other things, on carrying water to our mill. I'm Italian and my mill is called Italy, I would like to take to our country a series of events of the next Cup, just like I did last summer in La Maddalena.  A Jesuit priest that taught me in school used to say: Look at the substance of things, not their form. That's what I'm doing.  Your faithful and devoted reader, Vincenzo Onorato".  Full story can be read on Scuttlebutt USA here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Team IT Are SAIL "Best Around Buoys" Winners

J/111 offshore one-design sailboat- sailing downwind
A Rainbow Coalition of Sailors in Cleveland Having Fun- Ready to Race New J/111!

(Newport, RI)- The "Best Around the Buoys" Competition is SAIL's grass-roots initiative to reward PHRF sailors for their team's performance at the local racing level and encourage racers to set a goal of sailing on the national level at events like Key West Race Week.

The catalyst of the idea was rooted in a discussion with Nicholas Hayes, renowned for his "Saving Sailing" book that was published recently.  In it, Nick's call to action to all those involved in sailing-- whether they may be individuals, organizations, communities, boat builders, internet newsletters, websites, forums or publishers and NGOs-- to recognize that all organizations need a constant assessment and re-thinking of their model that contributes to the development of the recreation and sport of sailing.  For those involved at the "main street" level, this means considering things like shared fleets designed for inter-generational use (7 to 70), schedules that can fit into a family’s complicated schedule and a social network so parents can start developing colleagues and support networks and understand that they’re not the only ones out there (e.g. mentoring).  See the recent article by SAIL Interviews with Nicholas Hayes on Saving Sailing-  or just get Nick's book to begin to appreciate the challenges we all face as sailors to both maintain and grow the activity we love.

SAIL magazine best around the buoys sailing project- contestAnswering this call, the team at SAIL led by Josh Adams created the SAIL Best Around the Buoys program designed to encourage "community-level" local and regional sailors to compete for a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to jump aboard a hot race boat and show the world they can be competitive and have fun with a good "club team" at an event like Key West Race Week. The Best Around the Buoys Highlights for that one lucky team are as follows:

    * The winning team earns regatta entry, housing, dockage and entry in Key West Race Week
    * A new J/111 speedster, well-equipped by industry partners, as their rocketship around the cans
    * A new suit of North Sails racing sails to turbo-charge the 111.
    * A go-fast bottom job supplied by Pettit Marine paints
    * Hardware and sailing gear by Harken Yacht Equipment 

The 70+ entries came from across literally every corner of America.  Name it and you can come close to having an entry from that mud puddle, bay, lake or famous sailing harbor somewhere near you- desert, mountain, ocean or elsewhere.  The stories crossed the spectrum of human experience (and tragedy), many were heart-warming and emotional, some both extraordinary and unbelievable, others mind-blowing, some saddening but inspirational.  In all, it would be hard to say there were really any losers, because in the eyes of those who've lived similar experiences, they were all winners in both life and in the game of sailing.

In the end, the most difficult part was up to SAIL's selection panel which was comprised of experienced, knowledgeable sailors, each with at least 25+ years of sailing/ racing experience.  However, one team seemed to epitomize the essence of what the competition was all about- team spirit, having fun with family and friends, engaging local sailors to join them and learn about sailing, including kids and women in all facets of their sailing program to enjoy sailing in their community.  Plus, it helped that a strong track record (despite sailing with a cast of thousands) ensured the "rainbow coalition" of sailors on TEAM IT, Jim Sminchak and crew, were the ultimate winners sailing on the waters of Lake Erie off Cleveland, Ohio.  Congratulations to Jim and his team!  More SAIL Best Around Buoys information here.

Hamble Winter Series 5th Weekend

J/109 one-design, cruising, racing, sailboat- sailing upwind in England
J/109 OFFBEAT Wins on Remembrance Day
(Hamble, England)- A cold calm morning marked the restart of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series with a two-hour wait for racing to get underway.  This long postponement was broken at its halfway point by two guns, these marking either end of the two-minute silence to observe Remembrance Sunday.  

By midday the expected breeze filled in from the north, and with seven Black Fleet classes to start these were combined into three groups to shorten the sequence. A single course was set for all classes, with the Fastnet Insurance and North Ryde Middle buoys as the first two marks of a six-mile course, with East Bramble as the finish. As the shifting breeze steadily backed and built to over 20 knots by the finish what had been conceived as a windward leeward course soon turned into power reaches and provided some exciting moments for the concentrated fleet.

Despite the challenging conditions most of the front-runners maintained their form, with David McLeman's J/109 OFFBEAT taking their first win with the all-conquering J-DREAM slipping to 9th in class and in IRC Class 3 the J/97 JIKA-JIKA sailed by the corinthian team led by Mike and Jamie Holmes again crushed the competition and grabbed yet another victory over Kevin Sproul's professional team on the Beneteau First 30.  The J/97 JIKA-JIKA is proving time and again that a solid all-round design will always beat purpose-built "wedges of cheese" around the track- anywhere.  Currently, the Holmes' J/97 JIKA-JIKA has 9 points for the series and leads by 11 points over the next closest boat.

The J/80s continued to have a competitive series.  Through race 11, the leader continues to be OI! sailed by John Cooper with 14 points.  Second is AQUA-J skippered by Patrick Liardet with 23 points.  Just 3 points shy is Gordon Craigen's SWALLOW with 26 points.  The Royal Air Force team on SPITFIRE seem to be lacking in the "gatling gun" department, pulling up a bit short on their ability to decimate the competition, lying fourth with 58 points.  Ian Atkins' is hanging in fifth with 69 points.

The J/109s continue to set the pace for large offshore one-designs in England.  It's not coincidental that certain teams continue to hang in the top five despite what are obviously challenging conditions.  A good measure of fleet depth but also the capabilities of certain teams.  Near the top in most events happens to be J-DREAM, Kirsty and Dave Apthorp's team are clearly not relying on "bangers and mash and Guinness" to power them to victory.  "Pasties" for sure are not part of their lexicon.  Nevertheless, there's is a story of remarkable consistency over the course of time.  This past weekend was an exception, finishing 9th and staring at a few transoms they've never seen before-- "who are those blokes?" was a refrain overhead a few times.

In race 9 of the J/109s, Dave McLeman's team on OFFBEAT sailed well to claim the coveted winner's thorny wreath to wear down at the pub after the races.  Second was J2EAU sailed by Steve and Jody Maine, third ME JULIE raced by Dom Monkhouse, fourth was AUDAJIOUS captained by David Jobson and fifth was DESIGNSTAR skippered by Roger Phillips.  Overall, the Apthorp's J-DREAM continues to lead with just 8 points followed in 2nd by Dave's OFFBEAT, 3rd is OUTRAJEOUS sailed by Richard and Valerie Griffith with 27 pts, 4th is ARIA led by Luca Rubinelli with 29 pts and 5th AUDAJIOUS skippered by David Jobson with 37 pts.  The series continues on November 21st with one race for the Black Fleet classes, while three races are scheduled for the sportsboats in the White Fleet.  For more sailing information of the 2010 Garmin Hamble Winter Series.   

J/80 FUNDESO Charity Regatta

J/80 Fundeso Charity regatta
(Bilbao, Spain- 13th Nov)- A wonderful charity regatta was recently hosted at Real Club Maritimo de Abra in Bilbao, Spain.  However, this year after waiting for more than two hours on land the committee decided to suspend sailing for the day because of wind gusts up to 45 knots.  A wise decision despite the fact that a number of J/80 World Champions in attendance said they had just sailed in conditions nearly as severe in Newport a month earlier!

Nevertheless, the Spanish J/80 sailors fun-loving approach to life and sailing were not going to hold them back.  Salsa and flamenco dancing on tables anyone?  Another rendition of Frank Sinatra for the ladies?  Or, something more sublime like a seminar about tactics, strategies, how to sail better and tuning?  The latter did take place during the day and some of the other happened to take place in the night as a show of solidarity to those supporting FUNDESO! 

J/80 sailing off Spain's Bilbao coast.During the evening in the halls of RCMA and CSR the "III Dinner FUNDESO" brought together supporters, friends and supporters of this humanitarian organization to the delight of many.  "The foundation works to build a more just and more humane society through development programs involving comprehensive and sustainable strengthening of civil society in Latin America, Africa and Asia. FUNDESO also carries out projects to raise awareness to Spanish society of inequalities in life around the world. FUNDESO was founded in 1995 by Rafael Guardans Cambo after years of pursuing such endeavors himself." 

How seriously do the Spanish sailors take such humane efforts?  Well, in their act of solidarity to those in need, several World Champions and Olympic Medallists in sailing co-signed and dedicated a photo for auction for FUNDESO- including Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, Gold and Silver in Athens and Beijing, triple World Champion and three-time European Champion in the 49er Class; Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida, the two-time J/80 World champion; and the indefatigable Peter Rossi, the 2009 TP-52 World Champion and 2010 runner-up on MATADOR and winner of Copa del Rey in 2009 and 2010.  The J/80 Bilbao fleet thanks everyone for their generous collaboration and contributions!  You can learn more about them and why the Spanish J/80 teams support them at http://www.fundeso.orgFor more J/80 Bilbao sailing information.   

Italian J/80 Winter Championship XV

J/80 one-design sailboat- sailing on Lake Garda, Italy
(Tigullio, Italy)- The fourteenth of November.  1400 hours. On a lake in Italy.  Mediterranean climate.  Warm. Sunny. Gentle warm breeze. Anything wrong with this picture?  Not if you live in Italy.  Or, you live someplace else driving a desk and wish you could be there!

The beginning of the Winter Championships in Tigullio started this past weekend in Italy.  For those of you so inclined, they still have room on some of their boats for refugees from America and northern Europe to join them for the next few weekends!  They promise an enormous amount of generous, warm-hearted, real-Italian hospitality, fabulous food, extraordinary wines, delectable truffles, deliciously yummy breads and tasty cheeses and a lot of love to spread around to any fun-loving J/80 sailors!

J/80 Italian sailing team- sailing around markThe PRO managed to run two splendid races on the first day.  Only a mild "scirocco" with 10-12 knots, warm, mild, dry air gracing one's skin, beautifully replenishing the strains of a weeks worth of abuse driving a desk at the office.  As our Italian friends say, the Tigullio is no longer the "Gulf of Nesci" and continues to give an "elixir" for anyone taking days of sailing and racing for the benefit of their well-being.  Out on the water it just so happens that JENIALE crushed the faithful with MONTPRES in second and OLD SPIRIT third.  In the second race, JENIALE walked away again (next time feed them more red wine at dinner!), second was J'BES and third OLD SPIRIT.  While these are just the first rounds of sailing, the next are on November 28.  Still time to book Alitalia or British Airways and join them!  Sailing Photos by F. Prandini.  For more J/80 Italian Winter Series sailing information.   

Asian Games J/80 Tour de Force

China hosting Asian Games for sailing in Guangzhou(Guangzhou, China)- South China's host city of the Asian Games is one of the top ten cities in China.  For most Westerners this may mean nothing.  However, taken in the context of most cities around the world, Guangzhou is in the world's top 20!  Or, perhaps for many of you, a more sobering thought taken in the context of history, over half of the world's top 20 cities are in China-- and Beijing is not the biggest! 

Taking place on the water off the Shanwei Water Sports Centre is a remarkably well-organized and efficiently run regatta with a fabulous technical tour'de'force of media employing every imaginable means of technology to bring it home to the Chinese masses- live on-water video, helicopters, remote control drones doing live video and so forth.  Nothing is spared to ensure the event is brought to the living rooms of those in the Asian/ Middle Eastern World.  Remember, the "Golden Triangle" comprised of Japan to China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and points in between comprise over $20 trillion USD in GDP today....hmmm, a bit more than America.

J/80 fleet for Asian Games- ready to go sailing in match racingSailing in this event are an Olympic cross-section of classes, including Lasers, Optimists, and Hobie 16s.  Plus, J/80s for match racing.  So far, the Malaysian Team is doing quite well in the J/80s match racing.  Not far off the pace are the Singapore and Chinese teams.  The list of teams competing in the event include China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Bahrain, Singapore, Malaysia and India. According to Jim Johnstone in Xiamen, China "we got the J/80s ready for the Asian Games this past week.  The list of countries participating in the event will someday read like a "who's who" for top Asian sailors.  The event so far has been very good, the area that they are sailing in is quite windy this time of the year.  Best compared to American sites like Corpus Christi, Texas where it blows 20+ knots each day and it's relatively warm.  The teams have had two brand new 3/4 oz conventional spinnakers blow-up and one T-bone, but we are dealing with those things. Since there are only 8 teams it is not hard to pull two boats out of the rotation and switch on the dock." 

J/80s sailing at Asian Games in Guangzhou, ChinaThe 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, opened in dramatic style with a ceremony which drew on Guangzhou's rich maritime history, held in a purpose built arena, located on a small island on the Pearl River. Sailing is one of the 42 sports in this multi-sport event, held every four years in Asia, allowing athletes from all over the Asian continent to compete.

Perhaps most remarkable about this event is the degree to which national sailing authorities (NGO's) in Asian nations take national pride and success in such endeavors as seriously as they do.  It does not take one to scratch the tablets of world history very deeply to appreciate their perspectives in the age of discovery and exploration in the 16th century onwards.  Asia was at the cross-roads of powerful commercial interests and sailing ships, captains, navigators, navies were integral to their successes or failures over the course of time.  Seems to many that they're learning from such experiences fast and accelerating quickly past many of their friendly Western friends not only in the sport of sailing, but in business and culture, too.

Indicative of this change is how sailing is perceived by leaders in the Middle East and Asia and how strongly, in fact, they support sailing as a sport and activity for their growing middle classes.  Leading up to the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, a number of sailors and their sponsors in these countries issued some very interesting statements supporting such endeavors.  Read more about their sailing initiatives in the Sailing section here on the Asia Games 2010 site.   

Round the County Race

J/109 one-design cruising racing sailboat- sailing in Seattle on Puget Sound
Showdown at Peapod Rocks
(Seattle, WA- Nov. 19)- In 1790, Francisco Eliza, captain of the 16-gun Spanish pacqueboat, Saint Carlos, sailed around a complex of islands in what was to become Washington State, naming the islands the ‘San Juan Archipelago’.  197 years later, the Orcas Island Yacht Club took the same approach as Captain Eliza, sailing around the archipelago— now San Juan County— and called it the Round the County Regatta. In its 23rd running, Round the County has become one of the most popular end-of-the season races in the Pacific Northwest.

Round the County starts at Lydia Shoal off Obstruction Pass, which separates Obstruction and Orcas Islands, two of the fabled San Juan islands. This year the race went clockwise; other years it has gone counterclockwise. Either way, the racers overnight at Roche Harbor, once the home of a limekiln, which supplied that key ingredient for tons of cement, used to rebuild San Francisco following the big one of 1906. After a quiet night at the now posh Roche Harbor, the fleet sails around the other half of the County, finishing at Lydia Shoals.

The race always falls on the first or second weekend in November. The day temperature in early November is in the low to mid 50s (Fahrenheit) and the winds can be light and variable to howling. The race also highlights the Northwest’s long-standing allegiance to the PHRF handicap.

73 boats registered for this year’s race despite a forecast for the weekend for - yes, rain (what else would you expect?)- but also light and variable southerly wind. Predicting the weather in the Pacific Northwest is difficult. Much changes as the Pacific fronts collide with the mountainous terrain of western Washington State and the long rocky shore of Canada’s Vancouver Island. This Round the County proved that point.

Three starts were scheduled at Lydia Shoal in Rosario Strait between the sprawling, mountainous Cypress Island to the east and Orcas and Blakely Island to the west. Rain seemed written on the underside of the solid blanket of low hanging gray. Strong current ebbed south through Rosario. The wind was, as predicted, an underwhelming two knots from the southeast.

J/105 sailing in Puget sound near Seattle and VancouverThe small boats were away at 0840 hours. They hugged the steep-sided, Blakely Island shore. Chris White’s blue-hulled J-80 CRAZY IVAN took the early lead ghosting under a big asymmetric chute, white against the dark green mass of Douglas Fir blanketing the steep hillside. Mid-sized boats were off at 0850 hours, with the majority on port tack. A few spoilers, coming in on starboard, caused mayhem at the committee-boat end, forcing a phalanx of port-tackers to go wide, with some having to tack to starboard in the light air.  The boats fanned out across the current driven waters of Rosario Strait. Fingers of wind reached into the jumbled fleet beckoning, with the fickleness of a wickedly beautiful woman, first one boat forward only to drop it in favor of another. The rain did not fall. After the first hour, the maddening fingers of southerly breeze settled into a slowly building southeasterly. The current was with the fleet, adding about 2.5-3.0 knots of VMG to a boat’s hull speed.

The first turn for the fleet is Davidson Rock, situated at the southeastern tip of Lopez. This is the point where the race turns west, out the Straits of Juan de Fuca, keeping the shores of Lopez and San Juan Islands to starboard as it steadily arcs toward the north where San Juan Island becomes the eastern shore of Haro Strait.

The wind held steady from the southeast. Strategy and tactics began to play out on the chess board of Juan de Fuca Strait. Some boats turned west not long after passing Davidson Rock, but others carried straight south seeking stronger wind and a gybe angle to keep them off the islands’ lee shores. With eight knots of southeasterly breeze, and favorable tide, the fleet makes the half way point Salomon Bank Buoy with ease. A race committee boat noted times in case the race had to be called before its 1800 hours limit.

Not long after Salmon Bank, the steady southerly—quickly and unpredictably—swung round to the northwest. Poled-out spinnakers were suddenly against the forestay. Jibs and genoas went up as spinnakers were snuffed below. Tacking up the shore became the strategy, although constant care was needed to avoid perilous wind holes or tangles with the kelp.  That's how it ended for the first day of racing on Saturday.

For Saturday night, the fleet stayed at Roche Harbor, which had plenty of open slips this time of year to dock the fleet. Overnight a 35-knot front blew through, but the morning dawned clear. Sun sparkled the water as the fleet checked in for the start of racing on Sunday. The wind was light; the tide ebbed in Spiden Channel as the boats reach across toward Stuart Island’s aptly named Turn Point, home to one of the most beautiful lighthouse settings in the San Juans. The southerly breeze continued to build as the fleet rounded Turn Point heading northeast up Boundary Pass, Canada is on the port side. The big boats legged-out as the breeze rose to 14 knots.  At 19 knots of true wind, at least one spinnaker was turned to long, ineffective ribbons. The sun was warm. White caps pocked the sea, and the air was clear and clean as only it can be in the Northwest. Alden Light, on Patos Island, was the halfway mark and the turning point to the southeast for the day’s 34 mile leg.  To escape the hard current, a number of boats tucked behind Patos popping into the current at the last moment as they rounded rocky Alden Point.

The real showdown came at Peapod Rocks just off the east shore of Orcas not far from the fleet’s southerly turn around the island’s eastern most Point Lawrence. The current was pounding north up Rosario Strait. The old adage warns never go inside Peapod, but the tack carrying a boat beyond Peapod put her broadside to the sweeping current with little breeze apparent all across the Strait. A few brave tacticians venture across the flooding tide while the majority of boats tack the eastern shore of Orcas, inside Peapod Rocks, working hard to keep out of the current,

The wind was fading as boats, having pealed down to light number ones, broke from the Orcas shore on their last tack out toward the Lydia Shoal line. Only then did they witness those boats that went wide of Peapod Rocks, mad with delight, on a steady southeasterly lifting right to the Lydia Shoal Buoy.

A number of J's took part in this classic Northwest event, savoring the gorgeous scenery and the extraordinary camaraderie that is unique to sailors in this part of the world.  In Division 0, Bob Brunius's J/120 TIME BANDIT took 5th and Lynn Adkins J/124 TINETTE sailed nicely to stay out of trouble and get 8th.  In Division I, the J/109s were seemingly match racing around the track both days.  In the end Adam Korbin's J/109 ASTRAL PLANE finished 2nd and Dave MacLean's J/109 ILLUSIONIST was 3rd.  Like the J/109s, there were to well-sailed J/33s in Division II that are strong competitors in the light conditions often seen in the Sound and Straits. Todd Koetje's J/33 HRAVN finished 4th and not too far behind, other than a few tactical errors, was Tom Kerr's J/33 CORVO in 7th.  Early race leader in this division,  Chris White's J/80 CRAZY IVAN, ended up struggling in some of the lighter patches against the bigger boats and finished  8th.  Finally, in Division III, Jim Bottles beautifully maintained J/30 CELEBRATION sailed strongly to get a 4th!  Article contributed by Stephen Orsini.  For complete Round The County sailing results.   

J/24 Crew Goes Swimming?

J/24 sailboat- sailing in New South Wales, Australia*  What do you do when you are near the finish line and a crew member falls overboard?  Tell them to hang on and keep racing!! Ouch! Can't imagine J/24 racing in New South Wales, Australia is that competitive?!  In Saturdays fantastic MHYC Race on 13th November, the J fleet comments are that a lot of fun was had – blue skies, good solid breezes, dolphins on the start line, shrimp on the barbie, lots of cold tinnies.  However, probably not so much fun for the wet crew member off the J/24 J-SPOT!!  Post race comments from Skipper Adam were along the lines of telling him they were only 20 miles from the finish line so he better hang on!  Tall story for sure--- eye witnesses report it was more like 150 meters.  The picture says it all.  Photo courtesy of Nicole Scott- for more pics go to  More interesting J/24 tidbits below, though one hopes many kept their crews on board most of the time!   

Mike Ingham- new J/24 North Guru

* A long-time J/24 ace and supporter of the class, Mike Ingham, recently joined North Sails to help them on their one-design programs in general.  Mike is a past J/24 North American and National Champion. In addition to his North American and National titles in the J/24 class, he has placed second in the J/24 World Championship and is an East Coast and Great Lakes Champion. Mike will continue working out of his home in Rochester, NY, where he lives with his wife and three children.  Another long-time J/24 expert and champion, Vince Brun (btw he sailed in the first J/24 Midwinters in 1978 in Key West!!), had this to say about Mike, “he will be a wonderful addition to our team of J/24 class experts and will give us the opportunity to reach out to even more J/24 sailors nationwide.” In addition to many victories on the race course, Mike has coached at Cornell University, the University of Rhode Island and Yale University. He has been a personal coach and training partner for many successful sailors and has won numerous awards and including being named an All-American at Cornell University in 1986.  Photo is J/24 North American Champion, Pat O'Toole using North Sails.   

Kerry Klingler- J/Design @ Quantum

J/80 sailing with Quantum Sails at J/80 Worlds* An avid supporter and sailor in the J/80 class, Kerry Klingler, was recently appointed J/Boat Team director at Quantum Sails.  Kerry is a past J/80 World and North American Champion. Quantum Sail Design Group has established a new J/Boat Division, which will focus on expanding the company’s line of J/Boat sails and providing support for J sailors worldwide (photo here of Nextel Spanish World Champion team). Another expert J/24 and J/Boat sailor, Ed Reynolds, President of Quantum Sail Design Group says the focus reflects the company’s commitment to serving one of the largest and most active sailing communities in the world. “We recognize the loyalty J/Boat owners have for their brand and their interest in high-performance sails backed by the greatest level of expertise and support. We believe J/Boat owners deserve this level of dedication to their sailing needs and with our already strong track record we are uniquely positioned to provide it.”   Noting Klingler’s experience in sail design for J Boats, Reynolds adds, “Kerry’s designs have been very well received and highly successful; he will be bringing this expertise to the Quantum family, helping us expand our product offering. We already have an incredibly talented J/Boat team with reps who are very active and successful in the J/Boat one-design classes. This year, Quantum sails have won the J/22, J/24 and J/80 World Championships. Under Kerry’s leadership, we will have even more product depth, a stronger support focus and a greater presence on the water.”   In addition to Klingler, this Division includes Terry Flynn (Quantum Seabrook), Tim Healy (Quantum Newport) Scott Nixon (Quantum Atlantic) and Nic Bol (Quantum Holland), all winners of multiple J Boat National and World Championships. Klingler says he’s excited about the opportunity to collaborate with this team of J/Boat experts noting,  “Quantum has assembled an accomplished group of J Boat sailors and has great technological resources." Klingler’s J/80 sails have won three of the last four North American Championships. Klingler’s sail designs in the J/105, J/109 and J/122 classes have also enjoyed great success including the J/109 North American Championship, the J/122 IRC National Championship and top finishes in seven major J/105 regattas this season.   

Terry Hutchinson & Ed Baird- Quantum Evolution

Ed Baird- J/24 world champion- Alinghi skipper- Quantum Racing skipper
* What do Ed Baird and Terry Hutchinson have in common with Mike Ingham, Ken Read, Chris Larson and several other noteworthy (perhaps famous) sailors?  A J/24 World Championship.  Not to beat their drum for any particular reason, but Quantum seems to be targeting a lot of good talent that are coming out of the world's largest offshore one-design keelboat classes- the J/22, J/24 and J/80s.  Recently, Terry is taking a deep breath and jumping in with both feet to be Captain Fantastic (e.g. helmsman) aboard the great yacht ARTEMIS in the America's Cup 34th rendition, sailing super-fast, incredibly dangerous 72 foot carbon fiber catamarans powered by enormous carbon wing-sails.  As a result, Terry is leaving his duties as helmsman aboard the TP-52 QUANTUM RACING.  Jumping into the driver's seat is yet another J/24 ace, Ed Baird, formerly skipper of ALINGHI in AC33 in Valencia, Spain!  Ed Reynolds, President of Quantum, says Baird’s expertise as both a sailor and coach make him a great fit for the team, which clinched the Audi MedCup TP-52 World Championship title earlier this month. "Ed is an 11-time world champion, has sailed with many of the guys on our team and is very much committed to our program, which is as much about product development as it is winning races. Ed’s accomplishments both on and off the water are impressive and his analytical approach to sailing is a real asset. We’re very excited to bring him on board and will value his expertise as we work to put a new boat, rig and sails on the water."   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Introducing J/108- A 35' Shoal-draft Performance Cruiser

J/108 shoal-draft performance cruising- day sailing sailboat cabin(Les Sables D'Olonne, France)- Imagine, comfortable cruising on a 35 footer with legendary J performance to go sailing just about anywhere on 98% of the Earth's surface-- anywhere you have 4 feet of water.  Does that "float your boat"?  Four feet is all it takes, in the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, English Isles, Bahamas, or the Normandy coast.  With it's twin rudders and J/95-type centerboard, you get extraordinary sailing performance upwind, delightful speed off the wind, and the joy of sailing when others are resorting to the "iron genny".  Just launched on the Brittany coast of France by JB Composites, the first J/108 will be in Florida and Key West during Race Week at the Galleon Resort.  Learn more about it now, contact your local J Dealer or J/Boats- ph# 401-846-8410 or  For more J/108 information.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Girl Wins It All On J/30

J/30 girl sailors from Milwaukee What? Offshore? Great Lakes? Yes, you're not dyslexic.  Milwaukee area sailors gathered last Saturday to collect awards for the summer of 2010 and to crown their season champion. And a kid, a teenage girl, won it all!  Awesome story, read on.

Indeed, Whitney Kent, skipper of the J-30 RAFIKI and a senior in high school, collected the SSYC Corinthian Yacht of the Year award. Whitney and her team, sister Alison, Mom Cheri, step-dad Eric and friends, out-sailed the adults on Milwaukee Bay. Whitney had the helm in every race. But this award isn’t just for scoring well in races. Bay-area skippers vote for the recipient of this award based on both on- and off-the-water leadership. Whitney was the clear winner.

Consider that the J/30 RAFIKI just hit the water this summer, having sat neglected in a yard for many years. Whitney’s family made a low ball offer and spent most of last winter and spring rebuilding the boat. Whitney missed most of the spring youth sailing season so that she could spend more time in the boat yard sanding and painting.

J/30 RAFIKI sailing off Milwaukee South Shore YCNobody expected the boat to get to the starting line. Then RAFIKI won the PHRF Section 3 season series even though they missed the first two regattas readying the boat.  And while Whitney led her inter-generational RAFIKI team to the series title, she demonstrated sailing leadership in many other ways:

1) Whitney trounced the adult sailors, winning the double-handed series with her sister Alison (17) and daughter Kate (16) as alternating crew.

2) Whitney led an all-kids team to an 8th place among 70 division boats in Louie’s Last Regatta while raising money for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. And they took 2nd in the costumes competition by wearing those goofy footy-pajamas under lifejackets (in October on Lake Michigan- cute picture, eh?).

3) A special, all-girls, all-teens RAFIKI J/30 team is the one to beat in Division 2 in the Milwaukee Bay Women’s Sailing Series.

If you are lucky to meet Whitney, she’ll help you if you need it. She’ll work as hard as anyone on the team. She’ll smile into the teeth of a storm. She oozes contagious, authentic enthusiasm for sailing.  Congratulations to Whitney Kent and the family and friends who make up the RAFIKI J/30 Team, and more importantly, for reminding us why sailing isn’t just for adults. Or kids. It’s for both adults and kids.  Contributed by Nicholas Hayes, Author of Saving Sailing on Sailing Anarchy.   

J/133 PATRIOT Sailing Rolex Sydney-Hobart

PATRIOT was purchased by owner, Tony Love in February this year, having previously been campaigned on the Great Lakes of USA. She is the second US built J/133 to be imported into Australia. A number of her European sisters have performed successfully in RORC races and the Fastnet Race. She will be sailed competitively by an experienced crew and, with a favorable rating a top result is possible, given the right conditions. Applications to enter this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have officially closed with 102 yachts nominated for the great race south and a thrilling battle for overall honours on the cards.  Organising club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, and sponsor Rolex are delighted with the roll-call which includes numerous legends and luminaries and plenty of newcomers as well as the regulars now synonymous with the legendary blue water race.  The CYCA anticipates a final tally of 90-95 yachts will be on the dual Sydney Harbour start line at 1pm on December 26 with the largest in the fleet launching off the front row and the rest from the second line, allowing all boats clear passage to Sydney Heads before crews knuckle down for the tough 628 nautical mile passage to Hobart.  For you armchair J Sailors, be sure to bookmark this link and cheer on PATRIOT past the heads, past the extraordinary "Hornpipes" formation off Taz Heads to the finish-   

J/120s Place In ORR Great Lakes Series

J/120s sailing Chicago Mackinac Race on Lake Michigan(Detroit, MI)- This past week, the ORR Owners Association announced the winners of the 2010 ORROA Great Lakes Championship Series.  Amongst J/Owners, congratulations to Ken Brown and his J/120 JAY HAWKER Team that finished in third place overall for the season!  Furthermore, credit must be given to Frank Kern, ex-Commodore of Bayview YC, leader and catalyst to spearhead this inaugural series on the Great Lakes.  For those of you with short memories, Frank's the fun-loving, highly successful skipper of the beloved J/120 CARINTHIA from Detroit.

This racing series was open to yachts holding a valid 2010 ORR certificate that entered in a minimum of 2 of the following races:  Queen’s Cup, Lake Huron International, Bayview Mackinac Race, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Race, Little Traverse Yacht Club 50th Annual Regatta, and Sheldon Clark Regatta.  In addition, each yacht must have competed in one of the Mackinac races in order to qualify.  Races in which the ORR rule was used, those results were used with the yacht entering the ORR class.  One design yachts competed in their own class.  In races where the ORR rule was not used, an ORR overlay was used with yachts entering those races under their NOR.51 yachts were entered in the series.

The 2010 Great Lakes Championship Series was the inaugural year AND inaugural series for the newly created Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association.  ORROA, in cooperation with the Offshore Racing Association (ORA) and Offshore Racing Rule (ORR), developed this series for Great Lakes sailors and hopes to offer more racing series in other parts of the USA in 2011.  The organization welcomes sailors and race organizers interested in giving boat owners of all types a fair and level playing-field. ORROA hopes that by encouraging the use of a common, objective rule, participation in regattas will increase across the country.  For more information, please contact: Frank Kern, Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association, Ph: 248-210-3150,, or go to   

BAD MOON Rising Wins J/24 Southwest Championship

J/24 Southwest Champs- Dallas Corinthian YC, Dallas, TX(Dallas, TX)- Congratulations to Kelly Holmes-Moon and Team BAD MOON crew members Chris Rousseau, David Haslip, Phillip Carroll and Dana Marxen for winning the Southwest Championship at Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club.  Their win qualifies them to compete in the J/24 Worlds taking place November 11-19th, 2011 at the Yacht Club Argentino, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The BAD MOON gang sure didn't shoot straight in the first race.  The crew on RUMLINE, sailed by Bryan Dyer, took off from the fleet and won the first race, while the BAD MOON gang was sucking on their exhaust pipe, finishing 5th.  MR HAPPY sailed by Bob Harden got a 2nd and 3rd was Stu Lindlow's TROPICAL AGGRESSION.  From there on end, the BAD MOON band got its act going and tore off a few bullets to bring home the bacon.  However, the last race turned into duel match races, one for first and one for third overall.  Winning by just one point over the hard-charging MR HAPPY team steered by Captain Bob was Kelly's BAD MOON. In the other pairing, Bryan's RUMLINE crew settled for third overall 5 points back, just one point ahead of Stu's TROPICAL AGGRESSION.  Watching all the histrionics and fireworks from the cheap seats was Jim Mitchell's FLYING CIRCUS, collecting 35 points for 5th place.    More sailing info at J/24 Texas Circuit site.   

SAILPAC Wins J/24s At Balmain Regatta

(Sydney, Australia- Oct 30-31)-  The Balmain Regatta is one of Sydney’s oldest sporting events, and has a long history with our waterways. It was first held in 1849 and continued until 1934, when sadly it was discontinued. It was revived in 1994 by the Wooden Boat Association, and Balmain Sailing Club participated in the Balmain Regatta in 1995 and 1996 as one of its Spring Series races.

In 1997, it was run as a separate event, jointly organised by the Balmain Sailing Club and the Wooden Boat Association. Today it is run by Balmain Sailing Club, in association with other sailing clubs and community organizations, and is a real celebration of Balmain, the harbour and our maritime heritage. The event attracts over 150 vessels on the water, making it one of the great annual spectacles around Balmain.

A couple of months ago Simon Grain was contacted by Neil Hamilton from the Race Committee and asked if they could get  a J/24 fleet together as they would like to give them their own division – after a lot of phone calls there's a fleet of 6,  enough to race!  Wildfire’s Brett Hudson is always keen to race, as is KAOTIC – both sailing down from Middle Harbour. FUN, newly owned by Paul Baker and David Lamb will just be wherever you tell them to be, MADDER'N'BADDER have the one design racing bug since coming to the NSW State Championship and local entry MARITIME TRAINING SCHOOL made up the fleet, joined by the new crew on SAILPAC.

A Spinnaker start in a 10-15 Northeasterly winds soon splits the fleet with MADDER'N'BADDER getting away, KAOTIC not far behind them and then a match race for the next 20 mins between SAILPAC and WILDFIRE.  FUN and MARITIME TRAINING SCHOOL not far behind!   Shifty winds and shadows from all the islands and headlands around make it a tactical race with a mix of works, kite runs and reaches.

Tim Briggs, steering SAILPAC in only his fourth race is going well. Further around the course, we see Janette, steering Arthur Crothers’ KAOTIC, sail into a hole and as we come around Goat Island – with only MADDER'N'BADDER in front of us a shy kite gets us where we want to be – in the lead.   Holding that lead is the key, and finishing in front of KAOTIC and MADDER'N'BADDER, it was an absolute joy to see Tim steer a J over the line first – a huge confidence boost for a new owner!

Balmain Sailing Club doesn’t disappoint, with fun and festivities on the water front – a great regatta atmosphere, life raft demos, rowing, BBQ and raffles.  A few wines later…the only thing sending people home on a glorious Sunday afternoon was the 6pm tropical downpour – a delightful days racing.  We were also definitely in good company, hearing J/24 Legends Gary Geitz and Ian Bashfords names dropped in post racing story telling!! Well done BSC!  Hopefully with a larger fleet, we will definitely be there next year.  Overall the finishes were first, SAILPAC (Tim Briggs), second KAOTIV (Janette Syme) and third MADDER'N'BADDER (Chris O'Neill).   For more Balmain J/24 Regatta sailing information.   

J/24 Australia Yachties

J/24 Australia sailors at Geelong, Victoria Race Week.Gotta Go To Geelong- Vic Race Week!
(Geelong, Victoria, Australia)- The boyz and gurlz Down Under as usual are having a ball on their J/24s going to some cool events, Simon Grain again has a bloody amusing report about an upcoming event that all J "Yachties" ought to know about (in case any of you are so inclined after freezing your buns off up North).  "The annual Geelong Audi Victoria Week regatta over the Australia Day weekend is amazing! And, what a glam regatta it will be, again."

In the past, we had Terry Wise down from Sydney, Karl Chappell from Adelaide, both of whom are keen to come back. Call them and ask them about what a good time they had!  Hmmmm, maybe that had a lot to do with all those girls on my boat (see photo)?!  Actually, there is lots of everything. Lots of boats– around 600, lots of yachties– around 3,000, lots of cool refreshing drink (didn’t count), lots of bands playing lots of music (more than I could listen too) and, well, lots of girls, the sailing ones too!  I guess I should point out to the sailing girls– there are lots of guys too, but you knew that already. In fact, if you can’t get a sail and a cool drink in Geelong then you are definitely not trying. Its one giant party and it’s been going for 166 years.

Last year there were around 25,000 people that visited the annual Geelong Week Regatta and Festival (yes, it is that big), it turns Geelong inside out. The weather was great and, of course, will be again.  The Melbourne J/24 fleet is planning to make a big showing this season at Geelong and negotiations are underway to have our own division and prizes.

The week is ideally placed after our Nationals at the end of January and usually involves a race down the bay to Geelong and then a couple of days of round the buoys racing in mixed fleets at Geelong followed by a relaxing sail home to Sandy. Let me say it is a big event and you will feel like you have been through the wringer by the end of it but you won’t want to miss the next one once you have discovered what a blast it is. This is like no other regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.

For boats returning to Adelaide after the Nationals (or, coming from Sydney) – bring your boats back through Melbourne and we will store them for you and then launch them at Sandy before the racing. If you want to borrow or charter a boat from our fleet – get in early as there may not be many available, my guess is most will be going to the party. Or, maybe you just want to fly in and be a ROCKSTAR– do it, but get a crew spot early!

So the racing will be hot and if you’re coming from interstate, you will be racing against the likes of Dave Suda and Hugo Ottaway, or relative newcomers like Ron Thomson and Adam Evans, skippers that are dying to knock the best off their pedestals. Of course, you will have to race with the rest of the fleet too, now around 13 boats.

So this is a party not to be missed and you need to plan ahead. If you want to talk to us in Melbourne about sailing to Geelong then give us a call.  Call Luke Mathews on 0403 233 589 or the other bloke Simon Grain on 0413 870 046.   For more information on Audi Victoria Week    Also, more information on J/24 Australia Class site


San Diego Hot Rum Series

J/111 sailing upwind off San Diego waterfrontDozens of J's Ready to Roll
(San Diego, CA)- The first weekend of the four weekend infamous Hot Rum Series, hosted by San Diego YC, started up last weekend in typical San Diego conditions, although with a few wrinkles thrown in on the race course to throw a few locals into confusion.  There's a large turnout of J's for the event, with a J/24, J/27, J/29, J/30, J/32, J/35, J/80, J/111, J/124, J/145, two J/125s, eleven J/105s, three J/109s, and seven J/120s.

In Class I, featuring twenty boats rating from -114 to 21 PHRF, there's a 135 second differential from top to bottom in the class- offshore 70 foot sleds down to Farr 40s.  Thrown into the mix are the J/145 and J/125s.  The J/125 RESOLUTE sailed by Tim Fuller managed a 5th.  The J/145 BAD PAK sailed by Tom Holthus and Pittman/ Engles' J/125 WARRIOR both got OCS's to start off the series a bit slow.

In Class II, it's a closely fought group of thirty-eight boats, ranging from 27 to 69 PHRF.  Thrown into this mix are the J/120s, J/111, J/109 and J/124.  The J/120s sailed by Chuck Nichols on CC RIDER and Peter Zarcades on MELTEMI sailed well to get 2nd and 3rd, respectively, followed by Jeff Brown on the J/111 getting 5th. 

Class III is simply dominated by the 35 foot J's with the J/105s and J/35s taking the top nine of the top 11 spots.  Leading the way home were three J/105s, Steve and Lucy Howell's BLINK!, then Bill Logan's PHOLLY, then Rick Goebel's SANITY to sweep the top three spots.

The smaller offshore boats were having fun in Class IV, with the J/80, J/27 and J/32 fighting it out with an eclectic group of boats.  John Steen's UNDERDOG managed to claw there way back into 5th for the first race, the other guys got buried and never made it back into contention.

The stalwarts of the J range, the J/24 and J/30 were battling in Class V for all the gold.  Robert Noe's J/30 MAD HATTER got a fourth while one of the J/24s hung in there for sixth, Jasson Hemmi from SWYC.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing info.   

J/80 BMW Sailing Cup Finals

J/80 BMW Match Race- Hamburg, Germany- sailing on the bayGermans Compete For Match Race Supremacy In Hamburg
(Hamburg, Germany- Nov. 6-7)- How's this for a headlin
er- "BMW Yachtsport 2010.  BMW ORACLE Racing wins the America's Cup, while the BMW Sailing Cup, the largest international amateur regatta series, enters its fifth season".  The BMW Sailing Cup has evolved over the past 5 years, according to BMW Yachtsport, into "the biggest amateur sailing event in the world. A sporting challenge, team spirit and joy in sailing are just a few reasons why the BMW Sailing Cup is enjoying increasing popularity.  Six J/80 sailing yachts are made available to amateur crews and each event can take up to 90 sailors in 18 equal strength teams for each regatta on the circuit."  Add in world famous, gorgeous, sexy, Der Spiegel tabloid star and Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Katarina Witt, and you have an amazing feast for the eyes to savor over a few days of sailing on the famous Hamburg harbor.

J/80 BMW Match Race- Katarina Witt sailing in Hamburg, GermanyBefore the Germany Final got underway on Friday, Hamburg was visited by several celebrities and professional yachtsmen. After three races, TEAM NORD with Ulrike Schumann, Niko Mittelmeier and Phillip Buhl were able to celebrate their victory over Markus Weiser while stars like ultra-hot ice-skater Katarina Witt were enjoying their first experience out on the un-frozen water. The biggest winners, however, were the children-- 10,000 Euros were raised for the World Childhood Foundation!  That's a cause for celebration and kudos to BMW Yachtsport Team for supporting such an wonderful program!

A noteworthy prelude to this event was Germany's Championship of Champions held the week before, the winner was-  Markus Wieser.  Germany's sailing elite met in Hamburg the previous weekend for the 31st Championship of Champions. Only German, European and world champions in Olympic and international classes are invited to this exclusive and historically unique regatta. European Dragon champion Markus Wieser and his crew of Matti Paschen and Eberhard Magg defeated 35 other teams on Hamburg's Alster to win the Championship of Champions for the first time.

J/80 BMW match race- sailing around mark in Hamburg, GermanyIn the finale, which featured the top three teams, the BMW Yachtsport Ambassador (Markus Weiser) and his crew produced two immaculate races to leave the opposition in their wake: second place went to the team skippered by Denmark's Sten Mohr, who was part of the afterguard in the BMW ORACLE Racing team for the 32nd America's Cup and was at the helm of the then Challenger of Record in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup. German match race champion Stefan Meister came third.

"It is fantastic to win this important regatta for the first time," said Wieser. "We produced the best sailing in difficult conditions and with little wind, and were deserved winners. We won all the starts and always led coming to the first buoy. The fact that our crew is used to sailing in various boat classes, as well as in match and fleet races, really paid off. This versatility was the key to our success."  Despite their good performance in Berlin, Wieser ran into the chainsaw of a top-class field in Hamburg; the most important sailing regatta in the capital region all year.  For more BMW Yachtsport German sailing information      English version of BMW Yachtsport.   

Superb J/80 Pornichet French National Series

J/80 France Pornic Cup winners- one-design sailboat(Nantes, France- Oct 30-31)- With sixty-six participants, under optimal conditions, perfect organization both on water and on land, a good atmosphere and sailors thrilled to be racing, what more could one ask for in the penultimate event of the French National J/80 Series. Great sailing for the large fleet and challenging conditions all four days.

The crew of ATLANTIS, skippered by Laurent Sambron was untouchable for four days. Their composure and consistency enabled them to climb the top of the podium for the third time (they're winners in 2006, 2007).  One notable performance was that of the SPANISH GOLD Sailing crew, comprised of Almandaz Iker, Sanchez Inigo, Borja Ponte, Jaunegi Inigo-- their long journey was rewarded with a second overall! They are part of the top 5 best teams in Spain (the other four went to America to show Americans how to sail J/80s downwind).  Third was INTERFACE CONCEPT II sailed by Yannick Le Clech, Xavier Haiz, Gildas Mahe and Ronan Dreano.

J/80 Coyote- Jurassic Park- Bruno Trouble of Louis Vuitton fame- sailing off NewportOn the last day of racing, the whims of the wind Gods forced a delay for the race committee. Originally scheduled for 10 am, the racing didn't start until 11 am.  Even then, with wind oscillations of 45 degrees every fifteen minutes, the PRO was having a difficult time setting a good course.  Nevertheless, a race was launched at 11:30am with a change of course during the race. The "traditional" general recall, the black flag, had to be used on the aggressive fleet. It's almost a custom for the J/80 class!  But again, it was a very good race under a bright sun and mild temperatures for the season. No one was arguing since it was such a gorgeous day.  After the races, everyone went home happily, feeling it was one of the best regattas all year in the French National Series. It's worthwhile to note the excellent job performed by the race committee team and the PRO from the Metropolitan Club Nantes- Saint Nazaire (APCC).  M.I.A. was dear friend Bruno Trouble on COYOTE/ JURASSIC PARK, perhaps still nursing some strained muscles and some good vintage California (and Newport) wines after the J/80 Worlds (seen here to the right having a ball off Newport!)-- the Clarke Cooke House Candy Store evening after the J/80 Worlds Awards was lots of fun!  For more French J/80 sailing results.  Photo courtesy of Paul Todd/ Outside Images.   

J/122 OZ Style- Winning Again!

J/122 Jackpot sailing off Sydney Harbour, Australia(Sydney, Australia)-  The Australian J/122 JACKPOT continues to lead Sydney’s Short Ocean Pointscore Series amongst a seriously big boat Division 1 Fleet.  A David amongst Goliaths.  Seems to be the J/122 story.  In the Chicago-Mac Race, both J/122s reported sailing past Santa Cruz 70s in 3-5 knot winds while using their Code Zeros.  Then, in long beats to windward, while many modern 50 footers with table-tennis wide transoms are struggling in 4-8 foot chop where "square waves" are common (e.g. not a wave) and most boats simply stop, the J/122 simply behaves like the notorious Energizer Bunny and just keeps on knifing through the maelstrom known as "hell" at a ferocious pace.

"In a dying ESE breeze and a very lumpy seaway it was always going to be a big boat race today", said Ray Entwistle, skipper of JACKPOT.  Furthermore, he said "The J/122 finished second on IRC to the Swan 60 helmed by a ringer-of-a-skipper, the world famous Gordon Maguire from the motherland known as England. The only other 2 boats that finished ahead of us on the water were also much bigger. However, when we looked back and saw what we had beaten on the water its still incredibly impressive. JACKPOT is a standard alloy-rigged J/122 with some cruising options added, so when you see boats like DK 46s, DK 42s, Ben. 44.7s, X-442’s,  King 40s, Cookson 12s, stripped out Ker 11.3 behind us on the water its hard not to fully appreciate just how good the J/122 is. Her performance across the full spectrum of wind and sea conditions is outstanding. For the last 2 seasons the boat has never been out of the top three and continues to consistently impress."  What are you waiting for?  Style, comfort, speed, trophy winner anywhere you go.  A boat the entire family can enjoy.  Shorthanded.  Fully-crewed.  Read some more news about what makes the J/122 a special boat for those who love its multiple-personalities.  For more J/122 Sailing News and Information.