Sunday, September 30, 2012

J/70 Demos "Big D"-> Dallas!

J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing off Newport, RI (Dallas, Texas)- For this coming weekend, J sailors and enthusiasts in the southern part of America can enjoy demonstration sails on the J/70 speedster at Dallas Corinthian YC on Lewisville Lake just north of the Dallas/ Ft Worth corridor.  No shoot-out at this OK Corral, just lots of fun people two-stepping around for a famous Texas hoe-down on the water sailing J/70s.  Beer. Brats. Chips. Tacos. Salsa. JalapeƱos. Chocolate chip cookies and peppermint ice-cream for the kiddies.  Mom's would LOVE this place.  Head on down to DCYC and enjoy a ride on the J/70 to get hooked on sailing for life!  Make sure you let Scott Spurlin and crew know you're headed there! Scott- phone# 512-423-2179 or email-  For more J/70 sailing information

J/70, J/97 & J/111 @ Grand Pavois Show

J/70 one-design sailboat- sailing off Newport(La Rochelle, France)- The Grand Pavois, International sailboat show will be held from the 25th to 30th September 2012 at the "Port des Minimes", La Rochelle. The new J/70 speedster will make its debut for the French sailing market at this show!  In addition, the family-friendly, fast, J/97 cruiser/racer will be featured and the J/111 one-design speedster will be on display for its passionate enthusiasts.  Learn more about the enormous impacts the J/97 and J/111 have been having in offshore sailing circles throughout Europe in 2012.  Both boats have been IRC Offshore champions both in fully-crewed events as well as in double-handed competitions-- their versatility is un-matched.  The J/111's growing one-design presence in Europe at major race weeks like SPI Ouest France, Cowes Week, J/Cup and others assures 111 owners there is a lot to look forward on the 2013 sailing circuit.  For more Grand Pavois sailboat show information

Saturday, September 29, 2012

J/111 BLAST Nova Scotia Update

J/111 BLAST sailing team- Halifax, Nova Scotia(Halifax, Nova Scotia)- After a remarkable season of sailing in the Nova Scotia offshore circuit, the BLAST team from Halifax are still celebrating.  We also got a nice update from BLAST owner Mark Surrette-

"BLAST started the 2012 season with the objective of having a winning season while having a lot of fun. We put together a crew that was a composite of youth and veterans. We decided that having a pedigree in dinghy sailing was critical if one was to sail the J/111 to its potential. We put one of Canada's best Finn sailors on the helm and beside him an outstanding Laser/Byte sailor trimming main.  In the cockpit we had a couple of veteran big boat sailors along with a strapping 20 year old for power and the panel.  On the bow we had a veteran of dozens of big boat campaigns matched with an outstanding mastman from a Swan 56.  Navigation and tactics were handled by a couple of old veterans and we added in guests from Farr 40's and Soto 33's when we needed extra talent.  Without a doubt the crew was the highlight of the year and they galvanized into a cohesive group with great mutual respect very quickly.

The entire crew loved sailing the 111.  Responsive, quick, nimble with lots of gears and potential. Not much more to ask for.  One big learning we had was our ability to tweak the rig far more than we had thought.  We found a significant number of gears through rig tune and were able to turbo the boat for most any wind condition.

Our competitors during the season included another J/111, Soto 40, Farr 40, Farr 11, Mumm 30's, ID 35, C&C 115's, Tripp 40, J/120's, J/109, and a variety of other boats.  On each occasion we either won the race or had the ability to win.  The boat always performed. If we lost a race it was usually due to tactical decisions.

Our year unfolded much better than we had even hoped. BLAST won the RNSYS Opening Regatta, Chester Race Week and most importantly the Prince of Wales Regatta.  The Prince of Wales is the oldest trophy in North America--- even older than the America's Cup!

As our season grows to a close we are looking at what's next...?  Maybe Key West, Charleston, Block Island?  For sure the Halifax Race is on the agenda.  Alas, the winter planning begins as we look forward to some exciting J/111 class racing!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Read Brothers Receive RIMTA Award

J/24 World Champions- Brad and Ken Read(Newport, RI) - The two ex-J/24 World Champions were awarded for their contribution to sailing in Rhode Island.  Newport's sibling sailing luminaries, Ken and Brad Read, were honored this past Sunday by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association with the organizations inaugural "Anchor Award".

It's been a busy year for the two brothers, who grew up in Seekonk, Massachusetts and learned to sail at the Barrington YC.  Ken Read, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, five-time J/24 World Champion and former America's Cup helmsman sailing on Dennis Conner's STARS & STRIPES Team, recently returned home to Rhode Island after skippering PUMA Ocean Racing's MAR MOSTRO to a third place overall and to a first in the Inshore Series of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Not to be outdone, Brad Read, the Executive Director of SailNewport, also a two-time J/24 World Champion, led the state's effort to host the recent America's Cup World Series as the Chair of the state's America's Cup World Series Host Committee.

Both brothers, who were standouts at Boston University where they earned "College Sailor of the Year" Awards, were lauded for their respective contributions to the state's marine industry.

The J125 Double Trouble Dynamic Duo

Andy Costello (left) and Peter Kreuger (right)- co-owners of J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE(San Francisco, CA)- the inside story on how two guys "doubled" up their efforts to campaign the famous J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE and take the Pacific offshore and round-the-buoys circuit by storm.  Apparently, it all started on San Francisco Bay.  As young kids, both Andy Costello (left) and Peter Krueger (right) grew up as classic Bay area kids with a love for the water and dreaming about what it would be like to sail a boat on the Bay.

While Andy continued to grow up and learn how to sail on the Bay along its eastern shores, Peter got married and started spending a lot of time in Reno, Nevada and going to Lake Tahoe on weekends to sail Thistles with his father-in-law.  Later, Peter and family started sailing Catalina's on the lake.  Not soon after, Peter then got into the Air Force and stopped sailing for awhile.  After his tour of duty, Peter ended up buying a Beneteau First 36.7 to sail on San Francisco Bay.  The racing bug bit him hard and, as part of his training, Peter visited the J/World San Diego Sailing School to learn how to sail better on J/24s.

Over the course of the next few years, Peter kept coming up against another guy named Andy Costello who'd also bought and was racing a First 36.7 on the Bay.  After meeting each other, they became friends.  Both decided to trade-in their 36.7s and bought Sydney 38s, racing them for awhile on the Bay.  But, as Peter said, "we were having a tough time with them on the Bay and couldn't compete against some of the other boats".  As a result, Andy sold the Syd 38 and bought the 1D35 DOUBLE TROUBLE and raced it in the Big Boat Series.  After knocking heads with some of the Bay areas top boats, Andy then turned to Peter and said "let's get together and instead of chasing each other around the bay, let's get a J/125".  The rest is history.

J/125 sailboat- sailing fast on reach in San FranciscoAt that point, they went in search of the red J/125 sold by Pat Nolan, from SailCalifornia, a boat they were most impressed by when she was racing on the Bay, often streaking by them with the big asymmetric spinnaker flying in clouds of spray.  It turns out the boat had gone to Baltimore and was sailing on the Chesapeake and been re-named "Narrow Escape".  After a bit of negotiating, Andy and Peter bought it, shipped it back to the West Coast and began the process of continuous improvement to her.  Said Peter, "it was a natural move and it was significant move-up in speed and performance.  Andy's done most of the maintenance and crew organization.  Plus, he really loves all the carbon stuff, so we keep replacing SS stuff with carbon here and there!  Even the swim ladder!  We dry-sail the boat to keep it light and fast."

"The partnership with Andy has been great", says Peter.  "I love buoy racing and Andy loves to do the offshore stuff.  He's got an amazing crew sailing with him, including Trevor Bayliss and other skiff guys. The amazing part about them was that after the Pacific Cup, we got the boat just one week before Big Boat Series, in fact it was around Thursday 8 am the delivery crew brought her into San Francisco.  By Saturday morning were out practicing and re-tuned the rig and got her out of 'offshore-mode' and into 'buoy-racing mode'.  After hauling on Monday, we got it ready to sail again and sailed throughout the end of the week and weekend.  Jeff Madrigali ("Madro") was a huge help!"

"Our biggest dilemma was how to tune the rig right for the regatta," commented Peter. "It's mostly light in the mornings, then increases velocity quickly.  We'd start at 11 am, but we'd get off the line around 11:30 am as third class to start.  The breeze would usually be up by then, enough to use the new #2 North 3DI jib.  This sail was amazing, it allowed us to point higher and go fast.  Conditions never got nasty-- just 22-23 kts of breeze tops.  In the afternoon races, we usually switched from the #2 to a new Quantum #3, that happened for 3-4 races.  By the way, I picked up the North 3DI's (new main and the #2) right from their Reno, NV plant- what an amazing facility- very technologically advanced!"

J/125 Double Trouble sailing Rolex Big Boat seriesWhen asked what were some of the most memorable events of this year's Big Boat Series, Peter said "wind conditions were just enough for our new North 3Di #2, too light for a #3 and too much for a #1.  That plus using the staysail meant we were incredibly fast.  Tim Fuller on the other J/125 RESOLUTE took two days to figure out how to tune for the conditions, but got really fast quickly.  RESOLUTE had a new huge North kite, so by Friday were equally as fast as us.  The fun and excitement really came from the three J/125s duking it out racing around the Bay.  We were over early in race #4, so now had to restart and catch up, slog it out with a lot of upwind work.  We were able to win that race!  We first had to focus on knocking off Richard Ferris' J/125 AUGUST ICE, then Fuller's RESOLUTE after 2-3 legs.  Then, we stuck to it, focused and ground down Bernie's Farr 400 ROCK & ROLL to win!"

Peter continued to say that, "it was mostly an ebb-tide regatta.  The Bay Tour on the last day was really exciting.  Nothing like reaching with the J/125, over 17 kts flying down the bay, waves and water spraying everywhere. Great regatta. Winning the event was a tremendous feeling."

"The RC boats and RC management overall did a wonderful job, especially after coming off helping out the America's Cup", commented Peter. "The mark boat people get the least recognition, but had to work the hardest-- they were great! I can't even imagine having to 'draw' the Boston Whaler duty as the port pin boat and be bounced around all day long!"

Are there plans for a "three-peat" in 2013 for Big Boat?  "Yes, absolutely" says Peter. "We have a very full race schedule for 2013, including Big Boat and Andy doing the TransPac Race".

With Andy looking after his BMW Marin County dealership and Peter looking after special interests as a lobbyist in Reno, Nevada, they will be keeping busy balancing out work & play!  Nevertheless, "I love to head down for weekends to hang out on the 125 in Richmond", said Peter, "it gives me time to catch up with Andy and hang out with the boys.  It's a nice break to have once in awhile between regattas."  We wish them well on their racing in 2013-- God Speed to the DT gang!   Sailing photo credits- Rolex/Daniel ForsterSharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tulloch Wins US Women's J/22 Match Racing

J/22s sailing women match racing- Genny Tulloch(San Francisco, California)- For four days, the top women's match racing teams in America battled for supremacy on the spectacular waters of San Francisco Bay, home appropriately enough for the next America's Cup in September 2013.  Set against the backdrop of the City of San Francisco, the women's teams fought in elimination rounds over three days that saw the two most experienced teams ultimately rise to the top.

By Saturday afternoon, the culmination of the racing decided who would reach the Finals of the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Genny Tulloch and Nicole Breault would square off in Sunday’s Final series. A win for Tulloch would mark her third Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy.

Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), a two-time U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champion, had been sailing during the week with Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) and US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider teammates Jennifer Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.) and Steph Roble (East Troy, Wis.). They had yet to lose a race all week. They won the final flight today and swept their Semifinal series, 3-0, over Shala Lawrence (San Diego, Calif.) to advance to Sunday’s Finals. Team Tulloch was 15-0 in Round Robin action.

J/22 sailing women's match racing- Nicole BreaultNicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.) advanced to the Finals with a 3-1 win over Andrea Cabito (Alameda, Calif.) in Saturday's Semifinals. Breault’s crew consisted of Evan Brown (San Francisco, Calif.), Casey Williams (Belmont, Mass.), and Julie Servais (San Diego, Calif.). They were 11-4 in Round Robin play; however, three of those losses came against Tulloch.

In the final analysis, those three losses would come home to haunt Nicole's team.  For the third time in four years, Genny Tulloch won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. Tulloch and her crew were dominant by winning all 21 matches they raced. They put the finishing touches on this fantastic four-day event by winning 3-0 over Nicole Breault in the finals.

Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.) was challenged in today’s first race. Breault had a lead early and was in control. However, Breault lost her lead when she over shot the first mark, picked up a foul, and took extra tacks. Tulloch went on to win by a couple boat lengths.

J/22 sailing women's match race san franciscoAfter a compelling pre-start in race two, Breault made a mistake by not turning back earlier in the box to lead back in light air against current.  As a result, Tulloch approached the starting line in control by exposing Breault to bad air and forcing her back, deeper in the box. Tulloch took a two boat length lead off the line and never looked back. Tulloch won race two by eight boat lengths.

Breault notched another penalty on the pre-start of race three. Tulloch took a three boat length lead early and eventually won by 10 boat lengths to clinch the championship.

“It feels amazing to win this championship in my home waters,” said Tulloch. “It was really cool for us to join forces this week. Everyone did a great job and proud of this team for how they all came together.”
Sailing Photo credits- Chris Ray Photography.  For more US Women's Match Racing sailing information

FALCON Wins J/35 North Americans

J/35 one-design offshore sailboats- sailing upwind(Erie, PA)- This past weekend, the J/35s held their North American Championships at Erie Yacht Club on Lake Erie.  The simple report from Aaron Hertel sailing his boat MAGIC was the following: "Eleven races!! Awesome regatta, 8 boats from Buffalo, Port Dover, Erie, Toledo, and Detroit. FALCON best sailed boat, RITUAL and MAGIC battled it out for 2nd and 3rd. 15+ kts breeze every day, got 11 races in 3 days! Great RC, great entertainment including live band, steak dinners, silent auction, J-70 rides from RCR yachts."

As for the racing and how it all broke down, it was pretty clear the regatta leader from day one was the team of Ed Bayer, John Bayer and Jim Barnes on FALCON.  Starting off with a 2-1-2-1 they were never going to be swayed from being at or near the top of the leader board for the balance of the regatta.  A fast, fun crew they were.  They finished off the event with four 1sts and two 3rds to "seal the deal" and put the rest of the fleet behind them in their "afterburners".  The FALCON team are well-deserving of the tile of J/35 North American Champion 2012!

The battle for the balance of the podium was anything but a "sealed deal" for Aaron's team on MAGIC and John Valle's team on RITUAL.  After five races, the two teams were in a virtual tie.  Were it not for a "stumble" in race 7 where MAGIC's team notched a 7th place, a bit uncharacteristic for them, the final results would've been even tighter.  Nevertheless, Vallee's team on RITUAL took a 1-2-3-2-1-2-1-2-3-2-2 record to close out the event with 18 pts total.  The MAGIC team took home a 3-3-1-3-2-3-7-3-2-3-1 for a total of 24 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Bob Gordenker's TIME MACHINE with 43 pts in fourth and Tom Tepas' SISTER finishing with 53 pts for fifth overall.  For more J/35 North Americans sailing information

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sailing Shootout @ IRC Champs

J/109s sailing on Long Island SoundJ/122 & J/35 Win Class, J/105 Wins PHRF Classic
(Greenwich, CT)- The sailors on Long Island Sound were blessed by remarkably spectacular sailing conditions this past weekend.  With the passage of a monster front, the backside of the Low produced two straight days of North-Northwest winds in the 5-20 kts range with mostly flat waters and just local motorboat chop to contend with across the course.  With temps in the low 70s, puffy white clouds scudding across the skies, there was a lot to be grateful for amongst the hardened veterans of Western Long Island Sound sailing.  Why?  Pure & simple.  The twin developments of global warming and lots of concrete and real estate development along both shores of Long Island, New York along the south and NY/CT on the north means that Long Island Sound often turns into a "parking lot" for sailboats having to deal with the dual, competing sea breezes trying to form on both shores! That's a lot of roof-tops and black-topped roads to compete with for wind!  In the last decade, Long Island Sound sailors have been suffering the same fate as their friends in the Chesapeake Bay and Tampa Bay far to the south.

The thirty-three boats that showed up for the US-IRC Championship of Long Island Sound and PHRF Fall Classic hosted by Riverside YC were incredibly appreciate of what Mother Nature had to offer for their weekend of sailing.  In the PHRF Classic Racing Division, the J/105 STRANGE BREW sailed by Randy Bourne walked away with class and overall honors with a 1-1 for just 2.0 pts!  That's a clean sweep, eh?  Ken Hall's J/100 NEVERMORE sailed well to grab 5th and fellow J Sailor Brian Warner raced his J/35 IMPROMPTU to 6th in class.

Over in IRC 4 Class a true "storm" was brewing.  In the end, Mark Parry's & Lawrence McGrath's J/35 BLUE MOUSE sailed a solid series and won class with three 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 7 pts.  However, arch-rival Rick Lyall and crew on the champion J/109 STORM was badly damaged by an out-of-control Express 37 DRACO that lost steerage while ducking and slammed into the port quarter, creating a massive hole, taking out the stern pulpit and damaging the wheel.  Fortunately, no one was hurt other than some bruised egos.

In IRC 2 Jim Bishop's J/44 IRC Modified speedster sailed a very strong series but suffered a somewhat similar fate as their classmate in IRC 4- STORM.  After compiling a 2-2-3-3 and easily in contention for 2nd, Jim's team managed to foul (or get fouled) by a competitor in their class at the start of the last race and, as a result of boat damage, had to take an RAF immediately after the start.  As a result, they finished third in class, still respectable considering the consequences.

J/111 Partnership- sailing around markThe biggest battle for the weekend happened to be in the IRC 3 class with a bunch of "hot" boats sailing for honors of "big dog on campus" in the mud-puddle known as Long Island Sound- it consisted of two J/122s, a J/111, a Summit 35 and two well-sailed Farr 30s.  From the beginning, it was clear the two J/122s were going for class supremacy from the starting gun of the first race.  Imagine this, two J/122 Champion teams dueling "mano-a-mano" for LIS IRC Champion.  One is the Bermuda Race Champion, Block Island Champion, Vineyard Race Champion (CHRISTOPHER DRAGON) and the other is J/122 North American Champion, Block Island Race Week Champion, and New York YC Annual Regatta Champion (WINGS).  It was a battle of the gladiators of offshore and course-racing in the J/122 world.  On WINGS was Tom Boyle and Mark Ploch and on CHRISTOPHER DRAGON was Andrew Weiss and Butch Ulmer-- an all-time classic match-up.  Then, as spoiler was the J/111 PARTNERSHIP sailed by yet another champion J/122 team (offshore champions, too) led by David & Maryellen Tortorello and David Hirsch.  The sailing results don't spell-out how close the actual racing was amongst these three boats.  In short, the first day's sailing in 12-19 kts of NNW breeze was much to the liking of the J/122s.  But, a miscalculated bottom mark rounding by the J/111 PARTNERSHIP in Race #3 could easily have changed the results-- since PARTNERSHIP rounded the mark in first boat-for-boat but hit the mark and performed a poor penalty turn.  Sunday's racing was full of drama, starting with the J/111 winning the first race on elapsed and IRC handicap, then nearly pulling it off again with a dramatic comeback to win  on elapsed again but losing IRC handicap by mere boat-lengths. Kudos to Tom Boyle and the WINGS team for winning with a steady 1-1-2-2-2 for 8 pts total. Second was Andrew Weiss's veteran campaigners on CHRIS DRAGON with a 2-2-1-4-1 tally for 10 pts.  And, third was the Tortorello's PARTNERSHIP with a 4-3-3-1-3 score to complete the J/Team's sweep of IRC 3.  For more Long Island IRC Championship & PHRF Classic sailing information

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

J/70 Yachts & Yachting Test

J/70 one-design speedster- world one-design sailboat(London, England)- Andi Robertson, Y&Y Test Editor, came to Newport to cover the MOD 70s super-fast carbon trimarans in town for the next leg of their trans-Atlantic Regatta; cover the America's Cup World Series being sailed in the AC45 cats; and, most importantly, get a chance to get the scoop on the new J/70 one-design speedster on a perfect weekend of sailing.  As Andi said of his experience, "The abiding memory of the J/70 was of enough space for all, of easy loads and a very easily worked boat."

Andi then had this to say about the 70s dramatic popularity, "Despite only being a few months old the J/70 is already topping the best- seller lists – J-Boats knows it has hit the mark with this simple, exciting  new one design pocket racer. In the USA and Europe it has sold like no other ‘off plan’ (meaning- off boat drawings), and that is just the start."  Furthermore, Andi adds that, "complete simplicity is the key throughout the boat with easy, proven, refined systems which also, of course, maintain a very even one design."

Reflecting on Y&Y's role with the famous J/24, Andi says, "it would be nice to think that Y&Y might play some role contributing to the future success of the J/70, bearing in mind that the J/24 really took off all those years ago when Jack Knights described it as a ‘Laser with a lid’ on these pages. For the record more than 5,300 J/24’s have been built since 1977."

J/70 Yachts & Yachting Review & boat testWhat were Andi's impressions under sail?  "We were just left wanting more", said Andi.  "More time to sail, a chance to line up in a big fleet in 20kts of breeze and sunshine, a chance to sail it with the kids on a summer afternoon, a chance to stay on for the Newport YC’s Wednesday night racing."  Andi goes on to say, "Reaching was pure joy. The big asymmetric launched and retrieved from the companionway was pretty straightforward. It planes flat and fast, rewarding the harmonious work of the trimmer and the helm to keep her lit up. She feels light without being skittery; stiff and firm when you come up and build the apparent but swift in terms of acceleration. It is not as harum-scarum or physical as the Melges and you feel like you are pushing less water than her big sister, the J/80."  You can read the entire four-page article in print (Y&Y on news-stands now) or Y& on-line

Sunday, September 23, 2012

J/24 Worlds Update

J/24s sailing World Championships 
Brazilians Dominating, Americans In Catch-up Mode
(Rochester, NY)-  Ninety-six teams from 12 countries have converged on Rochester, New York for the 2012 J/24 World Championship. Represented at the championship are Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Peru and the United States. Racing started on Monday, September 17 and continues through Friday, September 21. Even after 35+ years, the J/24 is STILL proving it's one of the world's MOST competitive classes to race in-- top teams read like a "who's who" of top one-design sailors from around the world.

After the first day of sailing, Brazilian Mauricio Santa Cruz sailed BRUSCHETTA to the top of the leader board.  With the entire fleet competing together, Bruschetta scored a 2-6 on a day when Lake Ontario started at 4-6 knots and got as high as 10 knots during Race 2 before subsiding. The conditions then turned too unstable for the Race Committee to complete a third race. To give you a reference point on how competitive the regatta is to date, past Moth World Champion and Key West Melges 24 Champion Bora Gulari is tactician on-board Kevin O'Brien's FUGUE STATE from Detroit and are lying 7th after the first day.  Past NA Champion 3 BIG DOGS sailed by Pat Toole from Santa Barbara is in 10th.  Past World Champion helm/tactician Tim Healy on John Mollicone's 11th HOUR RACING are in 10th and 2nd team in the 2011 Worlds in Buenos Aires, Argentina is Luis Olcese's team on SCARAMOUSH.

J/24 Sailors for the Sea- sailing World ChampionshipMauricio on BRUSCHETTA held his spot on the top of the leader board on day 2, scoring a 9 and a 1 on Tuesday for a total of 18 points after two days racing. Luis Olcese on SCARAMOUSH from Peru stayed in second overall with 41 points, and Frithjof Schade on JJone from Germany had 43 points in third place.  In the day's first race, Mike Marshall on TBD claimed the top spot, followed by Tony Parker on Bangor Packet and Paul Scalisi on Rabit Cson Duck Cson. In Race 2 Mauricio Santa Cruz on Bruschetta of Brazil crossed the finish line first. Rossi Milev on Clear Air was second and Matias Seguel on Guru trailed him.  Conditions on Lake Ontario started at 4-6 knots and settled in at 10 to 12 for race two and as high as 18 to 20 knots for a short time in a squall at the end of Race 2.

J/24 sailboats- sailing upwind after starting lineAfter the third day, Mauricio's Brazilian team have taken dominant control of the 96-boat fleet. Team Bruschetta has held the lead on each day of the event so far, and has now opened up a 41-point advantage with just three races to go. A throw-out took effect on Wednesday, and Santa Cruz dropped a 13, leaving him with all top 10 finishes in the seven races thus far. Following him in the standings to date are American Mike Ingham who shot into second place, and a tie for third between Frithjof Schade's JJone (Germany) and Rossi Milev's Clear Air (Canada) with 67 points each.  In the day's first race, Ingham took top honors on 11th Hour Racing, with Nicolas Cubria's Elvis of Argentina second and Pat Toole's 3 Big Dogs of the USA in third. Race 2 saw another American in first- Will Welles's COUGAR. Matias Seguel's GURU of Chile and Ignazio Bonanno's LA SUPERBA of Italy trailed Welles. In the third race of the day, Mauricio Santa Cruz ended the day on a positive note taking another 1st, as did Americans' Ingham in second and Darby Smith in third.  Winds on Lake Ontario started at 12-14 knots, then built to 18 for most of Race 1, decreased slightly in Race 2, then dropped to 5-7 knots in the final race. Swells lingered from the previous night's storm throughout the day.

J/24 sailboats tracking on Kattack screenAlso sailing amongst the crowd of J/24 sailors are a team from Newport's Fleet #50 that are comprised of a bunch of characters from SAILING WORLD Magazine.  Here's their latest report to date on what it's like to sail this year's J/24 Worlds from SW's Editor's perspective (Dave Reed) from the "front of the bus":

"OK, we got schooled, again!  Imagine trying to pick your lanes through this mess of a 96-boat fleet. Race 1 winner Saramouche had a terrible start, tacked at the race committee boat, dug hard into the bottom right corner, tacked once and led all the way around.

Sailing World editor Stuart Streuli and I are at the 2012 J/24 Worlds in Rochester this week, which started today (Monday) with two incredibly tough and shifty races. There were 96 boats on the racecourse, so it was nearly impossible to keep track of who was winning, who was losing, and who was gaining on one beat or the next, and what was really working at any given moment. Every time I looked across the racecourse, bows were pointed every which way.

Trust me, I was perfectly happy with my job on the bow. Stu, however, had the hot seat calling tactics, as he normally does on Ian Scott's Crack of Noon, and he had one hell of day trying to make sense of which shifts would come and when. I have habit of chirping in his ear (I'm a self-admitted backseat tactician, and not a good one at that), but I was perfectly happy keeping my "suggestions" to myself today and let him figure it out. He made some great calls, and it was interesting to see how they played out on the replay of the Kattack Race Player.

J/24s sailing upwind off starting lineThe conditions were a light southerly that came straight off Rochester shoreline. In the first race, a big right shift right off the start launched anyone on that side immediately, and in the second, it was the left that rewarded those who got off the line best, tacked (or started) on the big left shift, and got away. No surprise there, but what was surprising was watching the Kattack tracks and noticing in each race, the boat that won hit its side and tacked only once or twice. Our tracks had five or as many as eight tacks on the first beat, some of which were to clear lanes and to take advantage of shifts, but where it was hard work for us, the two race winners made it look easy. Fun, frustrating stuff, and we're at least in the top half (43rd), with a lot more racing to come."  Look for more updates from Dave, Stu and crew at  Sailing Photo credits- Tim Wilkes.   For more J/24 Worlds sailing information and results

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sailing and Teamwork in Business

J/145 Sweet Lorraine- sailing fast with great teamwork!(Stamford, CT)- After the Stamford-Vineyard Race, it was quite clear an interesting discussion was taking place aboard the class-winning J/145 SWEET LORRAINE, owned by Mark Hansen from Larchmont YC.  On board were a cast of characters, including J/109 STORM owner Rick Lyall, Quantum Sails Kerry Klingler, a J/42 and a J/100 owner and some other smart guys, including occasional sailor Albert Wenger.

Albert Wenger graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. He also occasionally sails, and based on his comparison of boating and business, we might all want to tune up our resume.  Here's Albert's account of the race and some thoughtful perspectives on sailing, team-work and business management:

"Last Friday to Saturday I had the good fortune of being invited to crew on my friend Mark Hansen's boat Sweet Lorraine (a beautiful J-145) in the 2012 Vineyard race. The course starts near the Stamford Harbor, goes up to the Buzzard's Bay Light Tower and then returns south of Block Island all the way to Stamford for a total length of about 238 nautical miles.

The crew consisted of extremely experienced and successful sailors including several national/world champions in their respective boat classes. I on the other hand have very little race experience and even my total sailing experience was a tiny fraction of that of the rest of the crew. Everyone on board was super generous explaining things to me and being patient when I took a bit longer to get the hang of something or outright screwed up (e.g., over-trimming the spinnaker). As a result I learned a ton! I also really came to appreciate the many lessons about team work from sailing with such a great group.

First, it is tremendously useful to check your ego at the gate (the opening in the lifelines for getting aboard). Despite their tremendous individual accomplishments everyone did whatever was needed at the moment to help move the boat forward. On a boat that often includes cleanup, such as coiling lines so that they don't obstruct movement and also can run out easily when needed. High performing teams at work take a similar approach where every team member takes responsibility for the quality of the operation (and isn't above picking up trash in the office when that's needed).

Second, a clear division of labor makes everyone on the team effective. On a crew everyone has a position at any one time (positions may rotate). The responsibilities for each position are well defined. I have encountered many teams in the workplace where people were not sure what they should be working on which results either in duplication or in gaps with work that doesn't get done.

Third, communication is the lifeblood of a team. There is a nearly constant flow of information on the boat that enables team members to make the right local decisions. For instance at one point the wind was quite gusty and one team member announced incoming gusts letting both the helm and the sail trimmers adjust accordingly. I think too often in work teams there is an assumption that others have the information already when that's not in fact the case. -- Read on:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Doyle Wins J/22 North Americans

J/22 sailboats- sailing upwind on Lake Michigan(East Tawas, MI)- The 31-boat fleet that sailed in this year's J/22 North American Championship at Tawas Bay Yacht Club in Michigan were in for an unexpected treat- fabulous sailing on the gorgeous Carribean-blue waters of Lake Erie!  The sailing conditions were quite a bit better than initially forecast, especially because the Midwest has been living with in sufferable heat and light winds all summer long.

J/22 sailboat fleet- sailing fast off starting lineAfter the first day of racing, Lee Sackett of Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, OH held the lead. Winds started light and shifty, but increased during each race to around 12 knots in Race 3. Sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees made for a gorgeous day on the bay. Three races were completed with Lee scoring a consistent line of 2,3,5 for 10 points, and Allan Terhune of Arnold, MD and Terry Flynn of League City, TX were tied for the next position with 12 points.  In the day's first race, Richard Hallagan of Canandaigua Yacht Club took top honors, followed by two teams from the Cleveland area- Lee Sackett in second and his father Tod in third. In Race 2, Brad Julian of Severn Sailing Association grabbed first, with Chris Doyle of New York and Lee Sackett next. Terhune rounded out the day with a victory. Chris Doyle trailed in second, and Flynn in third.

Chris Doyle took over the lead on day 2. With stellar scores on Tuesday of 1,2,1, the team launched into first after Race 6 when the throw-out took effect and they dropped their 22 from Race 1.  Chris Doyle had 8 points heading into the final day of the regatta.  Allan Terhune trailed in second with 16 points, and Terry Flynn was just one point behind him.  The J/22 teams reveled in the Tawas Bay wind and waves throughout Tuesday, with breezes between 10-18 knots and surf-able waves.

J/22 winning team- Chris Doyle and gangAfter the racing completed on day 3 Wednesday, it was pretty clear that Doyle's team had finally gotten their boat in gear and were sailing both smart and fast. With crew Will Harris and Adam Burns, the team ended the nine-race regatta with just 16 points, after dropping a 22 from Race 1. During the other eight races, they had all top three tallies. Behind Chris Doyle was Brad Julian of Annapolis, MD with 28 points and Terry Flynn of League City, TX with 29 points. Tod Sackett of Edgewater Yacht J/22 top women sailors- sailing team at North AmericansClub in Cleveland, OH got the day started off with a victory, with Julian and Chris Doyle behind. In the next race, Allan Terhune of Arnold, MD earned the win, Chris Doyle second and Julian third. Flynn ended the regatta with a victory, ahead of Julian and Chris Doyle. Conditions were ideal again on Tawas Bay with breeze between 8 knots at the beginning of the day, and building to 16 with gusts to 18 by the last race with 2-4 foot waves. The top 10: Chris Doyle (16 points), Brad Julian (28), Terry Flynn (29), Allan Terhune (31), Lee Sackett (38), Marvin Beckmann (43), Chris Wientjes (54), Tod Sackett (65), Jeffrey Todd (69), Nick Turney (86).   For more J/22 North Americans sailing information

PIKE Dominates J/80 German Open

J/80 sailboat "PIKE" from Germany sailing fast(Flensburg, Germany)- This past weekend nineteen J/80s from Germany, Denmark and Poland sailed in the J/80 GERMAN OPEN 2012 off Flensburg, Germany. The GER-614 "PIKE" with helmsman Martin Menzner celebrated an outstanding title defense- with 6 bullets in 8 races (3-1-1-1-1-1-7-1 = 9 pts net)!  This performance equalled their triumphant victory in Kieler Woche earlier this season.  PIKE was the leader for all 3 days of the J/80 German Open championship, dominating in all conditions from 4 to 22 kts of breeze.  With this win the team continues to maintain their #1 position for J/80s in Germany.  So far, PIKE has enjoyed an excellent record sailing in the J/80 German sailing circuit, in six years of campaigning their J/80, they've won four German Opens and five Kiel Week titles!

Giving PIKE tough competition all year long were the second placed PROCEDES DIVA (1-2-2-10-2-4-5-4 = 20 pts net) and CAMPAIGN (4-5-5-2-DNF-2-1-8 = 27 pts net).   For more J/80 German Open sailing information

Thursday, September 20, 2012

J/111 BLAST Wins Sailing Tri-fecta

J/111 BLAST winning crew
(Halifax, Nova Scotia)- Hat's off to Mark Surrette's J/111 "Blast" for their remarkable season sailing in Nova Scotia's major offshore regattas this summer.  BLAST completed the perfect "tri-fecta" by winning the Prince of Wales trophy on Saturday at Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (this trophy is older than the America's Cup trophy) and by placing second on Sunday they won the weekend.

Some of their competition included Farr 11's, a Soto 40, a J/120, 3 C&C 115's, a J/109 and 2 Mumm 30's.  All well-sailed boats and tough competition for the J/111.

Of note, Mark's team on BLAST also won Chester Race Week Alpha 1 class and the RNSYS Opener in June!

J2X Wins J/80 UK Nationals

J/80 J2X sailing team- winners of J/80 UK Nationals (Hamble, England)-  Following on from the very successful J/80 World Championship held in Dartmouth this June, the J/80 fleet returned to the Solent on the weekend of the 8th September for the The MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 National Championship. Hosted by Hamble’s Royal Southern Yacht Club, the event was included in the final weekend of their summer series. Sponsors MIQ Logistics, SLAM clothing and Coast Graphics continued their support from the World Championship.

The fleet of 27 boats was just one less than the previous highest total for the UK Championship. There was a very broad speed of ages competing, from the hugely experienced senior statesmen through to a handful of boats being sailed by students and other young teams. The generosity of owners who had loaned their boats had facilitated this.

J/80s racing off Hamble on SolentDay one dawned with a lack of wind in the morning increasing to 8-10 knots in the afternoon.  Race officer Dermod O’Malley made the wise decision to postpone ashore for two hours.  The program got under way just before 1pm in a 6-8 easterly, in flat water conditions and warm sunshine. The hottest helm on day one was Rob Larke sailing J2X. Rob and his team achieved a perfect score of three bullets which converted into a six point overnight lead. Second best for the day was Nick Haigh sailing Slightly Steamy, a  very tidy two seconds and a fifth were the proof that Nick’s transition from his last boat, a 46 footer, had been a success.  The late start, combined with a breeze that softened as the ebb tide increased, saw the third race shortened and the fleet sent home at 5 o’clock. Allan Higgs’s Juicy completed the podium on the first day.

Saturday night saw the liveliest of the fleet mixing with the rest of the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s September regatta sailors, at the appropriately titled "Best of the Eighties Party".

A further three races were scheduled for Sunday. With the easterly breeze once again established, the program got under way on time and finally saw J2 X beaten as Stuart Hawthorn’s J’ai Deux Amours struck gold in race four. Second was Mark Baskerville’s Mistral, third place went to Jon Powell’s Betty.  The race team now signalled a postponement prior to race five, the easterly was waning and intelligence from the West of the race course indicated a new weather system was about to arrive.  Sure enough after an hour a nice South Westerly of 10 knots kicked in, which built to a solid 20 throughout the afternoon. Race five saw the fleet in full planing mode and if this was to be the last big event of the summer it truly was a great day to remember. Rob Larke managed to claw back the lead from Patrick Liardet’s Aqua J to score his fourth bullet. Aqua J followed home in second with Mark Lees’ in third.  In the sixth and final race J2X achieved an incredible fifth bullet. took second and J.A.T took their second bronze of the weekend.

At the prize-giving, Rob Larke’s J2X was crowned the MIQ Logistics 2012 J/80 National Champion. Nick Haigh’s Slightly Steamy took a very solid second, Jon Powell’s Betty was third. A stellar performance from the team of 420 sailors on Chris Taylor’s J.A.T saw them sweep fourth.

Next year the National Championship is bound for England ’s East Coast for the first time in the class’ 15 year history. The 2012 J/80 World Championship will be held in Marseille, France in June with a forecast 150 boat entry, this will eclipse the previous record of 131 in Santander, Spain!  For more J/80 UK Nationals sailing information

J/111 Dutch IRC 2 Champion!

J/111 speedster sailboat- sailing in the NetherlandsJ/33 QUANTUM RACING Wins IRC 3
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- It was a banner year for the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER sailing in a combination of RORC Offshore events in the RORC season series as well as sailing the top IRC events in the Netherlands.  In the end, the hard work and effort paid off in a victory for the J/111 in the IRC Dutch Championships.  Here's the report from the J/Benelux Team that included Robin Verhoff and the tactician John van der Starre:

"It is supposed to be the top-regatta of the year and so we looked very much forward  to it. The ONK  (open Dutch Championship)  IRC, also the final race for the overall Dutch Championship of the year in IRC 2. After winning the same series with our J/109 Xcentric Ripper in 2010 and a third place with our new J/111 last year, we were very keen on revenge  and victory.

During our preparations we did everything to avoid unpleasant mistakes. So after the Commodores’ Cup, the boat went straight on its cradle in order to improve some details as fairing the keel and super polishing the hull, keel and rudder. Some sails needed adaption and experience picked up during the Commodores’ was applied.

Being a tactician, you try to get a full picture of depth, current and possible courses. So I have been putting all possible buoys in our tactical program Expedition and I made a mini plastic current view of the region “Vlakte van de Raan”  so we could use it during the race on deck. The weather predictions showed various conditions, neither one was to be sure. Sure, in the previous week we had a look at the weather forecast every day and had a look at the entries. We were happy that two other J/ 111’s  enlisted. This could become a small one design race.

J/111 sailboat- sailing fast under spinnaker in NetherlandsFriday morning, this first day, all hell broke lose. The meteo predicted 40 kts + winds with 3.5 – 4 m swell outside in the starting area. Starting there would be no option. During the briefing at 09.00, Roy van Aller confirmed this and he choose for a middle long inshore course, 2 rounds around the Westerschelde banks. This would appear to be a sensible decision. Everybody could sail a nice race in heavy air, without too much chance on damage.

For us, the race developed very favorable, a good downwind start. We hoisted the A5 straight away and planed away from the field. A gennaker drop in a very narrow channel is very awkward, because you don’t have the space to go down, but we managed. Upwind and against the tide, we kept staying ahead by tacking in shallow waters close to the banks. By the time we got into the second round, our positions was so solid, we decided to go into a tactical safe mode. Tactics during a long distance race is always different to the normal up-wind  down-wind races. It is not distractible and gives more weight in points, so there is much more impact on the scoring. Very happy with our first place, we headed back to port.

J/111 Xcentric Ripper sailing in NetherlandsOn Saturday, the second day, it was a very different story. Expected winds 7-10 kts, so light settings on mast and rig trim. Though we were very excited, had most of us had a restless night, we realized that today was the day to make our point. Ok, boat handling is faultless, everybody is focused and we all want one thing and that is winning the race. The first race we had a reasonable start, we took no big risks. I preferred the right side of the course because of the current and the to the right veering wind. So after the start we tacked to the right. We had to go behind some starboard sailing boats, but deliberately took this loss to go to the right. This payed out well and went around the upwind mark in first position. Downwind we had to find gusts, pressure was everything! The lead on the French A35 “Dunquerke Plaissance” did not appear to be enough at the finish and we became 2 nd on corrected time by 11 seconds. Race 2 and 3 were excellent on boat handling, speed, tactics, all went as it should go.

Sometimes there are those days that everything matches, well; Saturday was one of those days. Two first places in these two races with more than 5 minutes left on corrected time, were the result.

On Sunday, the last day, Roy arranged some nice winds, 13/14 kts, so we got all condition on a plate this weekend. Mast and rigging were set on “base” and in a good spirit we went to the starting area. Our lead on number two, Dunquerke Plaissance, was 11 points with a second place as a worst. Normally spoken you cannot give victory away with only 2 races left. Maybe because of that, we started a bit reckless on the first race of the day. At the start we were not in the most optimal position and were forced to the starting line a bit too early. After the starting signal, we were not sure of having started too early together with the field. Were we too early or not? We decided to continue sailing and wait for the committee to call the early starters through the VHF. It took at least 45 seconds before the committee started this and finally after 6 boats being mentioned, we were the last one. A quick gibe and back to the starting line. This seemed to take ages against the current. Would this cost us the championship? Then a catching-up race. The field was half way the up-wind buoy. We decided for an extreme tack to the right to keep free winds and shallow waters and to get favored by the early tidal change. All or nothing! At the up-wind mark, we caught up some boats and looked for freedom after a gibe set. Eventually, we finished 3 rd, but became 10 th on corrected time. Pfff, nice unnecessary  set- back. Another one like that and we are dead.

J/111 Xcentric Ripper winning sailing teamIn the final race we try to get our focus back and make no stupid mistakes. Fortunately for us, at the end of this up-wind down-wind race there was a nice desert for us, finishing at Breskens.  The course from the committee vessel to the finish looks like a nice reach course, ideal for a J/111. Here we can build distance to the field. For me the tactical aim is to go into this reach first and then take profit on the rest in minutes. Good start, nice tacks to the up-wind mark, getting around first.” Havoc” follows second and appeared to go very fast downwind today. With their symmetrical spinnaker they could go much deeper and had lots of advantage with the current. Near the bottom mark, being the committee boat Barracuda, they came very close. We could position ourselves as the inner yacht in the rounding and gibe, so we could go into the reach freely. Immediate we hoisted the stay-sail for more power. What we hoped for happened, the distance to “Havoc” became bigger, and our little boat went like hell!

Finally we had a 1.45 minute lead at the finish, enough for the first place. We could distract the sour 10 th place and became Dutch Champion. “Dunquerke Plaissance” became a very good 2nd and “Havoc” 3rd in our class, IRC 2.

Of note, the J/33 QUANTUM RACING sailed by Jeroen van der Velden took first place in IRC 3!  Congratulations to all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LARCHMONT Wins USQS Sailing J/70s

J/70 sailing New York YC USQS off NewportEpic Final Race In J/70s
(Newport, RI)- After a seeding series on Wednesday and Thursday advanced the top twelve teams to the Gold Flight of the U.S. Qualifying Series, this group was now being thoroughly vetted in the new J/70s to see who would be among top three teams to advance to the amateur 2013 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, hosted next year by NYYC in Newport.

After seven races on Friday, the final day on Saturday delivered 12-17-knots, setting the landscape for a litany of some "crash & burns" for some teams and plenty of penalty turns for those squeezing into places they shouldn't be going into! In the end, the last qualifier for the Gold fleet, Larchmont Yacht Club, climbed to the top as Seattle and San Francisco yacht clubs held on to gain the final two spots and berths for next year's event.

"We struggled in the qualifying round, but really started to feel comfortable finally today," said Danny Pletsch, skipper for Larchmont. "The left side of the course was heavily favored today so we started there, then began starting at the boat to be more conservative near the end."

J/70 sailboats- sailing downwind off NewportFor the top three in the Gold fleet, preparing for the Invitational Cup is potentially more intimidating than facing the tooth-and-nail racing each day this week. "They'll probably be shocked to find out we qualified," said Shawn Bennett, skipper of third place San Francisco Yacht Club. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for the club." Bennett, who has experience preparing for national and world championships, said that he is sure the members will step up the training for next year's event.

On Day 1, the sailing had a fast start but ended with a whisper of breeze. What started with 15-18-knot planing conditions for the quick J/70s came to an end when the final rain squall killed the breeze by mid-afternoon. What did not change throughout the day at the U.S. Qualifying Series was Newport Harbor Yacht Club's grasp on the top spot of the red fleet.  One point ahead of San Francisco and Seattle yacht clubs, Payson Infelise and his crew of Chris Raab and John Fuller have put up nearly all top-five finishes save a ninth in the sixth and final race of the day. The red fleet started the day in Sonars and swapped with the blue fleet after four races to end the day in the J/70s.

One of the most impressive performances of the day was given by the gentlemen from Jacksonville and the Florida Yacht Club. Posting a 3,2,6,2,2,1, skipper Greg Griffin and teammates Andy Culver, Will Newton and David de Camp were fast in both fleets of boats. Two points behind is the team from Indian Harbor Yacht Club.

J/70s sailing upwind off Newport"The first half of the day we just played the pressure on the left," said red-fleet leader Payson Infelise of Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Defending that side allowed them to stay in the top five until a focus on current caused them to falter in the last race.  Infelise's tactician added that their ninth place in race six reminded him that they can't be too confident. "You should never be a frontrunner in this event," said Chris Raab, referring to US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari and his Bayview Yacht Clubs fall from grace after dominating the first half of the 2010 Qualifier Series. "Anything can happen. We're happy we had a good day today."

After the end of the second day of racing, the Championship Series teams were selected. The story of day two was not the dominant performances put in by The Florida Yacht Club and Seattle Yacht Club but more the way the last Championship series qualifiers clawed their way back from poor starts and bad breaks to maintain a chance at attending the 2013 Invitational Cup.

Today's results split the fleet into a Championship and Consolation series. When protests were resolved after sunset, the scores showed two points separating fourth through sixth in the red fleet. A third place in the last race of the day allowed Larchmont squeak into the Championship series after a day that typified the tooth-and-nail competition seen throughout both fleets.

"Half way down the run of race 10 we were pretty depressed thinking we were in the consolation series," said Larchmont tactician Clay Bischoff. He said that the team needed the first day to get used to their individual roles on the boat. And though they had few shifts go their way, the team is working to keep their confidence after the last race. "We were over-thinking it yesterday," said Cardwell Potts, "and today we just kept things simple."

The race committee waited until a seven-knot, shifty sea-breeze filled in at 2 p.m. to start the first race of the day. As it turned out, shifts did go some teams' way. Florida was over the line in a race, came back, had to make a penalty circle and wound up second. Youngstown Yacht Club, a team that narrowly missed qualifying for the Championship series, was over in two races in a row and ended up with a 1,2 score line.

Pequot Yacht Club ended up four points out of qualifying but their coach, two-time Olympian Stuart McNay, testified to the complexity of the race course on Narragansett Bay. "The breeze was very uncertain today," he said, adding that that the shifts were rarely seen on the water. The strong current going upwind and shallows on both sides of the course added to the challenge, but McNay said that the competition was top notch. "Everyone was sailing as hard as they could and it was fun to watch."

In the blue fleet, Fort Worth Boat Club made a run after a last in the first race today with a series of top three finishes to move up one place to fourth overall, two points ahead of Indian Harbor Yacht Club. A highlight of the day for spectators was watching the other position changes around Fort Worth live on the online TracTrac while the racing was unfolding on the water.

J/70 sailboat- one-design sailing off NewportThe third day was simply spectacular racing for the first round of Championship series sailing in the equally matched colorful fleet of new J/70s.  After seven races in a brilliant sunlit sea breeze, preliminary scores show little light between the top seven teams in the Gold fleet vying for three Invitational Cup slots. Though Seattle and San Francisco yacht clubs had been distancing themselves from the group in the first five races, each swallowed a bottom half score in the last two races to allow the fleet to catch up. St. Francis had been tied for second until a DSQ in race five dropped them to fourth.

Beneficiaries of the top group's misfortune were Larchmont, the winners of the final race of the day moving them into third, and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, a team that was finally on the positive side of the subtle shifts and strong current lines on Narragansett Bay Course ending with a 1,5,5 score line. There is no throwout for the Gold and Silver series, putting more pressure on each race.

For fellow Texans in the Gold fleet, Fort Worth Boat Club, just one too many bottom half places put them at the bottom of the fleet despite several top five finishes. Only ten points separated them and the next four places, roughly the same difference between first and seventh.  "It's a very tight fleet and you can't make any mistakes," said Fort Worth skipper Glenn Darden after the long day of racing. "They're all good and somebody is going to get a twelfth in each race."

The last day of sailing dawned clear and windy with predictions for breezes to hit 20-25 kts in front of an impending Low blowing in from the West.  If the previous days of sailing were any indication, all the skippers knew Saturday was going to be the toughest day. With a perfect 12-17-kt sea breeze punctuated by puffs in excess of 23 kts, the top seeded Gold fleet teams faltered from broaches (boat-handling mistakes) and penalties allowing hope for the lurking pack close behind. In the end, the last qualifier for the Gold fleet, Larchmont, climbed to the top as Seattle and San Francisco yacht clubs held on to gain the final two spots and berths in the 2013 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

J/70 Larchmont YC winning teamLarchmont is in the enviable position of being the first name on the Resolute Cup, a re-dedicated New York Yacht Club trophy that dates back to 1915.  U.S. Yacht Clubs represented this week include American Yacht Club, Bay Head Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Carolina Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Edgartown Yacht Club, Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Florida Yacht Club, Fort Worth Boat Club, Grand Maumelle Sailing Club, Grand Traverse Yacht Club, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Little Traverse Yacht Club, Nantucket Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Pequot Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Seattle Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club and Youngstown Yacht Club.  For more New York YC USQS sailing information