Friday, October 31, 2014

J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga Finals Preview

J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-bundesliga (Hamburg, Germany)- This coming weekend, October 31st to November 2nd, eighteen clubs will be sailing the grand finale of the 2014 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga series sailed in J/70s on Hamburg’s Alster Lake.  As the host for this incredibly successful regatta, the HSC (Hamburg Segler-Club) hopes that it’s “home town” team, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) continue their winning ways and are crowned champion for the 2014 series.  While NRV may be leading the event by a substantial lead of 18 pts, it’s mathematically possible for three teams in positions 2nd to 4th to take it all overall; those favorites include Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee (2nd place, 70 points), Deutscher Touring YC (3rd place, 67 points) and the Württemberg YC (4th place, 62 points).

While there may be serious amounts of drama and competition for the podium in the grand finale, there are six other sailing clubs that are on the “hot seat” with regards to qualifying for the “premiere” league, and therefore, also have a chance at participating in the 2015 SAILING Champions League.  Those six clubs include Berliner YC, Bayerischer C, Dusseldorf YC, Segelkameradschaft “Wappen Von Bremen”, Schweriner YC and Muhlenberger Segel-club.  Those teams that finish 13th to 15th will sail in next weeks qualifier on the same Alster Lake and the top six teams from that event will sail in the 2015 Premiere league against the top 12 teams from the 2014 season.  The bottom three clubs from next week’s event have to compete in Bundesliga #2 for 2015.

J/70s sailing German Sailing LeagueOne of the exciting elements of this year’s finale is the entire event will be broadcast from the SAP Live-Center on Alster Lake for public viewing at HanseBoot (Hall B3 upstairs at the boat show in Hamburg) and across the Internet.  In addition, to the usual live broadcast with moderator and sailing expert Matthias Bohn, Europe’s largest sailing publication, the YACHT (, the Segel-Bundesliga ( website, and Sportsdeutschland.TV will also carry the live feed. A unique new angle will be available from a camera from the roof of the Hotel "Le Meridien Hamburg".

The German Olympic Sports Confederation launched "Sportdeutschland.TV" in August 2014 with the mission of showing German sports in all its diversity. With “Discover sports, Experience sports" as the motto, the platform offers video content from a variety of sports as a live stream or on-demand videos. The broadcasts include both national and international events as well as various national league highlights, summaries and background reports on sport, sporting achievements and the people and stories behind it.  As THE transmitter for minority sports in Germany, Sportdeutschland.TV wants to establish itself in the German media and sports scene. "Our goal is to show all the amazing performances, great decisions and moving moments in sports that have been missing to a lot of sports fans in the traditional media.  We are working together with sports federations and league operators," explains Oliver Beyer, CEO of the German Olympic Sports Confederation New Media GmbH, which operates Sportdeutschland.TV.  For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105s sailing off San Diego (San Diego, CA)- “It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,” said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. For the Commodores of these Yacht Clubs, winning the Lipton Cup for their club is often considered the highest accolade they can accomplish.

Current SDYC Commodore Chuck Sinks noted, “The field for this historic regatta is truly representative of the finest yacht clubs and the finest sailors in the country. This regatta is a true test of each crew’s skill, coordination, communication and cooperation. It is going to be fantastic to watch. I wish I was sailing.”

This year marks the 100th challenge for the Lipton Cup, named after tea baron and decorated sailor Sir Thomas Lipton. In 1903, Lucien Blochman, the Commodore of what later became known as the San Diego Yacht Club wrote to Sir Thomas Lipton asking if he would lend his name to a West Coast yacht race. Lipton happily agreed and had a trophy sent to the club for the first ever Lipton Cup in 1904.

Since then, the race has served as a competition between the best of the best in West Coast sailing, although recently Yacht Clubs from across the country have been invited to participate. As the SDYC skipper responsible for winning the cup in 2013, Brad Rodi knows just what it takes to keep the trophy in San Diego. Rodi will need to leverage his experience with the regatta against the intense pressure coming from other clubs, each hoping to engrave their names next to the title of 2014 champions.

J/105 sailing on San Diego BayAlso competing against the host club and defending champion San Diego Yacht Club are 7 past Lipton Cup champions with a rogue’s roost of top skippers and world-class tacticians ready to lift the big silver trophy off its pedestal from SDYC.  Those teams include California YC (Alan Field), Coronado YC (Rick Harris), Newport Harbor YC (Jon Pinckney with Mike Menninger and father Bill Menninger), Southwestern YC (Ian Trotter), Long Beach YC (Dustin Durant & Erik Shampain & Keith Magnussen), St. Francis YC (Chris Raab with Russ Silvestri), and San Francisco YC (The Perkins Brothers, led by Chris with Phil and Jon aboard along with Paul Cayard and Craig Healy as trimmers/ tacticians!).

Additionally, four clubs are looking to add their name to the Cup for the first time: New York YC (Ken Colburn with Bill Lynn), Kaneohe YC (Eric Aakhus with Jesse Andrews tactician from Hawaii), Seattle YC (Jay Renehan and Brian Ledbetter) and Cortez Racing Association (Rick Goebel and Greg Tawastjerna, who as a team recently took 2nd at the 2014 J/105 North Americans!).  To say the deck is stacked against the SDYC defending team would not even begin to describe the coming nuclear winter if the host team loses!

The race will be sailed on chartered J/105s, with each club stopping at a floating dock in San Diego Bay and switching boats between races to ensure that the only advantage on the water is having the best sailors competing. The race will be held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in front of the beautiful San Diego city front.

Spectators wishing to view the regatta’s final day of racing from the water can make reservations online to attend the Sunday Tea Party about the beautiful yacht America. Racing is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm each day. Otherwise, shore side viewing is available from the Embarcadero or Harbor Island.  Furthermore, watch the event "live" on the Internet on, the world's coolest tracking/ analysis app for iPhones and Android phones!  From Friday to Sunday, watch "live" J/105s sailing San Diego Bay on

Thanks to supporting sponsors Sunroad Resort Maria, San Diego Boat Show, JK3 Yachts, Ballast Point Brewing, Jackson Design & Remodeling, Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers, Jones Lumber, North Sails One Design. And special thanks to the local J/105 owners lending their boats to make this regatta possible.  For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information

Swedish J/111 Sailing’s Last Blast!

(Marstrand, Sweden)- Peter Gustafsson’s J/111 BLUR in Sweden recently reported (and recorded) their “last blast” of the 2014 sailing season.  They sailed 107nm from Helsingborg to Gothenburg, a northerly routing, in a SSE 16-22 kts TWS breeze.  According to Peter, not the best direction for nice big surfing waves, but nevertheless a fun escapade for the crew!

“We gybed 12 times on the way north to Gothenburg.  We had 4 people as the total crew, it was perfect to keep weight down but still push hard.  We blew the A2 kite halfway there (3 years of hard racing took it’s toll) but the A5 was just as fast when the wind was over 20 knots.  With all the gybes and some extra distance, we averaged 11.78 knots during 10.5 hours and topped 20.64 kts!  WOW! Pretty good way to end a great season of sailing!”  Thanks for Peter’s report; they have big plans already for their 2015 sailing season!  Watch the J/111 BLUR sailing video here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bright & Breezy Hamble Winter Series #3

(Hamble, England)- All last week the forecasts agreed that this weekend was to be a brutal one. But contrary to the expectations of most of the fleet, the weather gods allowed the race team to fit in one race on this, the third Sunday of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series – but it was in conditions that put boats and their crews to the test.

As boats motored out of the Hamble in the early morning, conditions seemed mild, with a light breeze from the South-south east. But as they cleared the lee of Calshot Spit, it built to around 18-20 knots. With the wind forecast to increase further throughout the day, the race committee broadcast their intention to sail only one race, which was gladly received by the fleet.

By 1200 the wind had built to 25 knots, which combined with bright sunshine provided some stunning sailing for the 70-odd competing yachts – along with the odd impressive wipeout. The starting line was near Royal Southern buoy, with a cascading course up to marks near the Bramble Bank for most classes.

In IRC 0 Class Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II took second and her sistership, the J/111 ICARUS sailed by Chris Body took third in class.  Both boats seemed to revel in the tough conditions and at this stage are sitting in 2nd and 3rd overall after four races. Fourth is Martin Dent’s J/111 JELVIS.

The four J/88s that are sailing IRC 2 Class are all taking their turns at posting awesome performances on the water.  At this stage, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT is lying 2nd overall with Ivan Trotman’s JOJO in 4th, Stew Hawthorn’s JIFI in 6th and Dirk Van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in 8th.

In IRC 3 Class, the J/97 BLACKJACK came in second, at the head of a trio of J/97s for their sole race.  As a result, Andy Howe’s BLACKJACK crew continue to lead the series with a scant 6 pts, but closely followed by Charles Ivill’s J/97 ETB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT in second with 8 pts!

The J/109 one-design fleet saw Adrian Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR beat Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX to take the top spot. The series leader continues to be Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR with 6 pts, followed by Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN, in 2nd & 3rd, respectively.

Back at the club, the day sponsor was Key Yachting, which provided Champagne and other prizes to the winners in each class.

Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships
This weekend also hosted the second of two Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships. Racing on both Saturday and Sunday, the J/70, J/80 and J/109 classes enjoyed some thrilling, close racing in exciting conditions over the weekend.

Over the two weekends, the J/109s fitted in 9 races. This class was won by Tony Dickin’s JUBILEE, tied on points but edging ahead of Iain MacKinnon’s TIGHT SOLIUS II on countback. Steven Tapper’s STALKER was in third place.

In the White fleet, the thirteen boat J/70 class was racing for a place at their 2015 J/70 World Championships. Over 10 races, it was David Atkinson’s JAWBREAKER that topped the fleet, finishing 9 points clear of Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY. Nick Munday’s J7T was third.  TEAM RAFBF SPITFIRE skippered by Capt Simon Ling is sitting on 4th and 5th is Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8.

The thirteen-boat fleet of J/80s was won by Douglas Struth and crew in DSP. They finished eight points ahead of second-placed Brian Denney’s JALAPENO, with Yannig Loyer’s J/OUT-OF-THE-BOX in third place.  Stu Southan’s JOYEUSE took 4th and Patrick Liardet’s AQUA-J placed 5th.

Thanks to all competitors and to the volunteers and race officers for their help in making the Doyle Sails Hamble One Design Championships possible.

Next weekend sees the return of the MDL Hamble Big Boat Championships and the fourth weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series, for which the day sponsor is the Impala 28 class, this year celebrating its 35th Anniversary.  Thanks for report contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Hamo Thornycroft and Bertrand Malas   For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hong Kong J/80 Class Championship

J/80s sailing Hong Kong, China (Hong Kong, China)- The fifth Hong Kong J/80 Class Championships will be held on the 1st & 2nd of November.  The event is organized by the Royal Hong Kong YC, one of the oldest sailing clubs in Asia with a history dating back as far as 1890.  Expected to be the biggest international J/80 event in Asia thus far, over twenty J/80's are planning to participate with some of the high profile sailors from the region.  This year a number of visiting teams will travel down from Mainland China to test their skills against the local fleet.

The regatta will be sailed off the southern tip of Lamma island, in open waters.  November typically offers optimal sailing conditions; East-North Easterly breezes of between 12 and 18 knots, a light swell and clear blue skies.  Add in local hospitality, stunning location and facilities of the host- the Royal Hong Kong YC- and its no wonder this event is growing in popularity.  For more J/80 Hong Kong Championship sailing information

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NRV Wins Deutsche Segel Bundesliga #5

Three Regatta Wins Gives NRV Commanding Series Lead
(Friedrichshafen, Germany)- “As you were” may have been the stand-down phrase after “colors” were struck at sunset for the past five stages in this year’s Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga.  After all, it’s not often that the first event in a summer-long series of events becomes the prognosticator of the ultimate outcome after sailing hundreds of races.  However, that was indeed the case once the top three teams on the podium completed their first regatta in Starnberg; with NRV (Norddeutscher Regatta Verein) in 1st, VSW (Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee) in 2nd and DTYC (Deutscher Touring YC) in 3rd!  Consistency paid off for these teams with steady crews and, for the most part, avoiding massive pitfalls along the way.  NRV’s series-long scoreline is impressive, Starnberg 1st, Travemunde 1st, Berlin 2nd, Kiel 2nd and Friedrichshafen 1st.  Their collective total of 88 high points for the series gives them a very comfortable 18 pt lead over the next closest team.

Behind them, it was not so clear what the outcome was going to be headed into the Friedrichshafen regatta, sailed on Lake Constance and hosted by Württembergischer YC.  The next four teams all had their “snakes & ladders” experiences over the previous four meetings.  DTYC was 2nd going into Kiel, but had a bad outing and dropped to 3rd overall.  VSW sailed well to hop in the second spot in the series after Kiel.  The WYC (Württembergischer YC) and SVI (Segler Vereinigung Itzehoe) were fighting for their lives to remain in contention for the top three.  On the last weekend, WYC redeemed themselves well and collected a 2nd at Friedrichshafen.  But, SVI and DTYC faltered a bit,  Here’s how it all happened for the three-day event sailed on beautiful Lake Constance (a.k.a. Bodensee).

The first day started out slowly for the 38 teams assembled on the Bodensee.  After a gray, foggy start to the day, the breeze slowly filled in by 1400 hrs and the sun popped out, too! Friedrichshafen showed up with fantastic weather at its best!  The catch was that the wind was slow in coming.  Consequently, despite the PRO’s best efforts, only two races were sailed on the first day of the 45 scheduled!

The second day of sailing started off on-time and the fleet sailed a full schedule of races all the way until sunset!  It was a very, very long day; with a good wind forecast the first set of races were completed by 8:30am! Steady winds helped the sailors to a successful day of racing— 25 races in total for the Premiere division!

At this time, NRV was already leading the last event.  But, the “local heroes” were clearly WYC, winning four of their first eight races and matching NRV with number of 1sts!  That was quite a turnaround performance compared to their last outing in Kiel where they had some bad races and ended up mid-fleet!

The final day was unusual in that it was the first time that teams that had been sailing in the Premiere League and the Standard League would end up meeting one another.  There were a total of 144 sailors from 36 sailing clubs that, ultimately, sailed a total of 66 of 90 schedule races on Lake Constance!  

"It was a bit lucky for us to win today as well. It is a nice feeling and we now stand firm as the winner of the 2014 Segel-Bundesliga. The victory was only possible because we had such a great team," said helmsman Carsten Kemmling of NRV.

As a result of the Standard League also completing their events, it was now clear who were going to be the top qualifiers to start racing in Hamburg for the start of the 2014/2015 season on November 7-9!  For this group, it was a weekend of extreme tension, because of light winds and lots of launch delays, so every point counted. At the end, the top qualifiers were Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen (WVH), Segelklub Bayer-Uerdingen (SKBU), Münchner Yacht-Club (MYC), Hamburger Segel-Club (HSC), Potsdamer Yacht Club (PYC) and Segel-und-Motorboot Club Überlingen  (SMCU)

"After a bad race this morning, we had almost written off the qualification into the Premiere League in Hamburg. That we had performed so well during the afternoon was very surprising. We need a lot more training opportunities to be able to participate at the top level in the Premiere League," said Wilhelm von Weyne from WVH.

The grand finale, the sixth and last event, of the 2014 Deutsche Segel Bundesliga takes place in J/70s at Hamburg, Germany on Alster Lake, concurrent with the Hamburg Boat Show that also takes place from October 30th to November 2nd.  Coincidentally, this may put even more pressure on the host NRV team (the “home-boys”) to sail well on their home waters!   For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

Monday, October 27, 2014

Denmark Wins SAILING Champions League

J/70 SAILING Champion League winners- KDY(Copenhagen, Denmark) – Twenty-three clubs from fourteen nations competed over three days (October 17-19) off the spectacular Copenhagen city waterfront.  The sailing featured incredibly tight-racing at a world-class level, boats rapidly changing positions from mark-to-mark as wind-shifts and tactics came into play on the tight 10-13 minute race course.  While the premiere of the SAILING Champions League may have ended on a cloudy, drizzly day, the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant amongst the teams competing in fleet of identically-matched J/70s. In total, 45 races were sailed over the long weekend.  Fortunately, there was good breeze each day and the spectators in front of the world-famous “Little Mermaid” were treated to front-row seats in a true “stadium-sailing” format, the boats were often tacking just 20-30 feet off the seawalls!  No wonder, among the 92 sailors were more than 22 Olympic sailing medalists, multiple World Champions from various classes and even Volvo Ocean Race winners!

J70s sailing the SAILING Champions League off Copenhagen, DenmarkThe sought-after silver bowl from Robbe & Berking will stay with the hosts from the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in Copenhagen, it was their KDY Team in the end that won by a mere 0.5 points difference over the second place team- Circolo Canottiere Aniene (Italy). Third was the Oman Sail Team that notably sailed in the top three virtually all three days!

In the “Sail for Charity” campaign, where technology partner SAP donated 25,000 Euro to the World Childhood Foundation, it was the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Team (Germany) that won that “charity race”, raising the most money of any of the teams participating.

The final outcome of the regatta was not settled amongst the top three clubs until the very last race. At the end, the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (KDY) with helmsman Michael Hestbæk (participant at the Olympics in the Star 2012 in London), Joachim Aschenbrenner, Lucas Lier and Frederik Berg took the lead with their J/70 and made their mark in the history books by winning the first SAILING Champions League.

“It feels fantastic to win on home waters. We felt the pressure before the last race. We had a little advantage at the start and it worked out for us”, explained a very happy Michael Hestbæk after his arrival ashore. Their team was excited to lift the five kilogram silver bowl from Robbe & Berking – the Robbe & Berking SAILING Champions League Trophy – into the air (fortunately, no one went swimming, as is the tradition after winning regattas).

The Italian team from Circolo Canottiere Aniene in Rome (consisting of pro-sailor Lorenzo Bressani, Offshore World Champions Matteo Mason and Samuele Nicolettis and Michele Paoletti) started off the series with an astounding record of six 1sts and two 2nds in their first nine races!  But then, the “wheels went flying off their shopping trolley” in the 10th race on the second day.  Whatever “magic dust” they were using seemingly disappeared.  As the winds went more west and the fleet could sail longer courses, it seems the Italians kept “jogging right” when everyone else was “going left”.  Posting a second to last in that last race clearly killed their momentum and confidence.  During the grand finale Sunday, the CCA team struggled to finish mid-fleet in the championship round of all the top teams.  In the last race, KDY finished 4th while CCA took a 5th, just enough for KDY to take the championship.

In the “Sail for Charity” campaign, fans of the 23 international clubs helped “vote” for the favorite teams; as a result, technology partner SAP donated 25,000 Euros to the World Childhood Foundation (Childhood) founded by the Sweden’s Queen Silvia.  “SAP is very happy to collaborate with Childhood. It’s an honor to help Childhood to do great things,” said Sofia Hesselkilde, Senior Marketing Manager of SAP Denmark. Susanne Labonde, Executive Director of the World Childhood Foundation in Germany adds, “I’m excited to be here at this great regatta. Special thanks to SAP for the donation and to all the supporters, who voted for their club. The journey will go on in 2015 and I’m looking forward to it.”

J/70s sailing SAILING Champions League- Copenhagen, DenmarkThe KDY raised the bar quite high for clubs hosting the event in the future. Ashore and on the water, sixty volunteers arranged a perfectly organized event.  “I am proud that we hosted the premiere of the SAILING Champions League here in Copenhagen. To be honest, I didn’t think that it is possible in such a short period of time. We are ready for next year and hope to be part of the SCL again,” said Lars Ive, Vice Commodore of the KDY.

The organizers of the SAILING Champions League– the German “Segel-Bundesliga”, the Danish “Sejlsportsligaen” and the Royal Danish Yacht Club– did an extraordinary job managing the entire program of 45 races (15 for each club).  After experiencing close racing in a spectator-friendly format, it was clear the sailing “Bundesliga” has caught fire and a number of other countries will soon be copying the format and introducing their national sailing leagues in the near future.  For more SAILING Champions League regatta information

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rolex Middle Sea Race Update

J/122 Otra Vez sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race (Gzira, Malta)- As of late Tuesday afternoon, it appears the two leading J/122 teams from Malta, ARTIE and OTRA VEZ, are leading the race both IRC Overall and IRC Class 4!  The teams are about halfway around the spectacular 608nm course– a rigorous anti-clockwise loop around Sicily that introduces numerous “corners” that present challenging and complex meteorological shifts. The route includes passing by the Aeolian and Egadi Islands, as well as Pantelleria and Lampedusa Islands. One of the most stunning vistas is Stromboli, the active volcano that is a course mark.  Here are the latest reports from the Rolex Middle Sea Race website.

DAY 3 PM Update 1700 CET Analysis
By Midnight, virtually the entire fleet racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race had passed through the Straits of Messina, heading for Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly part of the 608 mile course. As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed.

After two nights at sea, the crew may well be at their lowest energy level for the whole race. The rhythm of offshore life has not been established and the ever changing wind saps energy through numerous sail changes. Concentration also becomes difficult. After the excitement of the start, adrenalin levels are now lower and keeping alert is not as easy. In light airs, losing focus on the helm, or on the sail trim, can be very costly and stalling the boat in little wind makes it difficult to get going again.

Half of this race takes place in the hours of darkness. When the crews are deprived of the sense of sight, spotting changes in the wind on the water becomes difficult but other senses tend to make up for this deficiency. Feeling the breeze on your cheek, sensing the heel of the boat, hearing the sails flap or the bigger wavelets tapping at the hull, these become the prime indicators. The first two days and nights of the Rolex Middle Sea race have not been about surfing down big seas with the salt spray hissing past the wheel, but racing well in light airs is a dark art, and there are plenty of magicians out there.

At Stromboli two Maltese yachts in IRC Class 4, OTRA VEZ and ARTIE were first and second in IRC over the whole fleet. Aaron Gatt Floridia's Maltese J/122 OTRA VEZ was leading the class at Stromboli after time correction and immediately headed south towards the Aeolian Islands. At 0900 CET OTRA VEZ was sailing almost two knots quicker than their Maltese rival, the J/122 ARTIE skippered by Lee Satariano.

Frustrating as it may be for the crews racing on the slower yachts, time is not standing still. In fact, the lack of breeze should be very encouraging.  The overall winner of the race could easily be decided by the current weather conditions, a slow start for over half the race with a fast finish for the smaller boats.

DAY 4 AM Update 0900 CET Analysis
The fleet continues to battle the light winds but are making significantly better progress.  Boats that have taken a more northern route after passing Stromboli appear to be benefitting from slightly more breeze than those boats along the shore of Sicily.

Floridia's OTRA VEZ may no longer be the overall leader of the race.  Their local rivals, Satariano’s J/122 ARTIE, had a very good night. ARTIE passed OTRA VEZ around midnight. OTRA VEZ tacked south and ARTIE covered them from in front and both yachts are now heading for the Sicilian coast, presumably looking to benefit from more wind as the land heats up during today.  But for the moment, it looks as though ARTIE has the upper hand.

Perhaps the biggest movers overnight include the other J/122 DAMACLE (skippered by the Italian Roy Caramagno), not more than 10nm behind her sisterships, and the J/133 OILTANKING JUNO (helmed by David Anastasi) and the J/109 JARHEAD (sailed by Greg Nasmyth from Great Britain).  Amazingly, all three J/122s are in front of the Volvo 70 MONSTER PROJECT that appears to be stuck along the Sicilian coastline!  And, two fast TP52s are all of 30nm in front of them (e.g. getting smoked on IRC handicap time). 

DAY 5 AM UPDATE 09:00 CET Analysis
92 yachts are still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. The Race Committee has received no reports of any injuries to crew from the fleet.

The yachts still racing cracked sheets last night, hitting the turbo, flying downwind at incredible speeds. It will be a blast on board, surfing down waves with the salt spray hissing at the rail and warm water breaking over the bows and cascading down the deck. This speed comes with a price, if the boat loses control or accelerates into the waves too fast, the loads involved can be too much resulting in damage. The saying; 'To finish first, first you must finish.' will be very much the mantra.

IRC 4 Class:  By morning, only two yachts in the class had passed Pantelleria, Lee Satariano's J/122, Artie was nearly four hours ahead of Aaron Gatt Floridia's J/122, Otra Vez. Artie is now the clear favorite to win the class and have a real chance of winning the race overall. The majority of the fleet is close to Pantelleria experiencing storm force conditions.

Ross Applebey, co-skipper on a 48-footer called in by satellite phone this morning. “We have two reefs in the main and the storm jib up, we saw 48 knots of wind and we have seen waves of over 20 feet. It is pretty nasty out here and we are most definitely concentrating on keeping everyone safe on board rather than boat speed. However, we surfed down a wave and it was too much for the rudder. It was a sickening sight as half of it appeared out of the back of the boat and for us the race is now over. Although Pantelleria is only a short distance away, we cannot steer towards the harbour there, so we are making are way towards Mazara del Vallo on the Sicilian coast and should be their tonight – absolutely gutted would be an understatement.”

DAY 5 PM UPDATE 1500 CET Analysis
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122 ARTIE has emerged as the hot favorite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. On board Artie, Sebastian Ripard spoke to the media team earlier today.

“The waves have been as high as 30 feet and the wind speed often gusting above 40 knots, it has been a really wild ride.” Commented Sebastian. “With the full main and jib top sail, we have been flying along. The game plan has been a mixture of pushing as hard as we can but also protecting the boat, so we have been taking it a bit easier in the big gusts of over 40 knots and then going for it when the wind speed drops a little.  All the way to Lampedusa we have been VMG running but when we turn the corner, ARTIE will be on a beam reach and we expect the waves to be crashing into the cockpit. Everybody will be on the rail, head down, hiking out for the final 100 miles. We expect to finish the race late this evening at around midnight.”   Find Rolex Middle Sea Race on Facebook   For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

Seattle Grand Prix Preview

(Seattle, WA)- Fun in the sun!  What everyone imagines when they think of the Seattle Yacht Clubs annual Grand Prix Invitational, right?  Following the most beautiful 70 degree fall weekend and falling on the heels of the well attended (if lightly sailed) Puget Sound Sailing Championships the Seattle Yacht Club Grand Prix invites boats from around the PNW that have won or podium finished in every type of race imaginable.  From distance races like Swiftsure and the Tri-Island Series to the mid-distance PNW races like the South Sound Series and Center Sound Series, to weekend rally races like Round the County, to shorthanded races like Northern Century and Race to the Straits and with a few buoy weekends and round the cans thrown in for good measure.  Grand Prix brings in racers off the podium of more races than you can count from a vast area of racing with over 500 different yachts competing over the year.

The IRC system is beginning to take a foothold in the PNW with a good showing from the big boat fleet and will hopefully, soon, trickle on down into the large group of Performance Cruisers that ply the waters of the Salish Sea both on the race course and through our amazing cruising waters.  But for now it’s just the big boats enjoying the IRC rating system and sporting some amazing diversity across the 6 boat fleet.  There is the all carbon J/145 performance cruiser JEDI, the radical TP52 Glory, and two “Fast is Fun” Santa Cruz 70’s Westerly & Neptune’s Car.  Who will take this class after battling it out over the 3 days of racing? That will be a tough call; Westerly’s been upgraded and training over the past year, Glory is back and running hard, Flash has that amazing crew work, JEDI has that huge asymmetrical spinnaker, and Neptune’s Car is always a contender.  The outcome will largely be dependent on the weather conditions and the course lengths and some seriously good tactical calls to take this pickle dish home.

The Seattle Yacht Club always encourages the one design fleets to sign up for Grand Prix, but this difficult move has been traditionally hampered by the invitational nature of the event.  But, try they do and with the tremendous turn-out over the year by the J/105 fleet, they may have a chance come race day, but if not it will be some great PHRF racing with the J/109’s, J/105’s, and J/80’s joining in with the other well sailed PHRF boats to create some solid racing divisions.  Now picking which boats will go in which class is difficult at this early date and, as expected, how do you pick who is going to stand out in a group invited to race because they stood out!  Unquestionably, the J/105’s are always competitive around the buoys but what if conditions warrant a mid-distance course? Then, all bets are off on that score!

Seattle Yacht Club also invites boats that have competed and won in cruising class races and so far, 5 boats have signed up for what’s traditionally been called a “White Sails” class.  Already signed up for this fleet is the J/133 CONSTELLATION. It is hard to imagine which way it will go.  Hopefully, a few more boats join the fray so the “White Sails” class can continue to grow in popularity.   For more Seattle Grand Prix Regatta sailing information

Saturday, October 25, 2014

(Annapolis, MD)- The 3rd annual J/70 Fall Brawl will be taking place from October 25th to 26th on the Chesapeake Bay, hosted by Eastport YC.  Thirty-one teams are currently registered, many of whom are participating in the regatta as their first trip headed south to Florida for the J/70 Midwinters in Key West and the Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL.

The regatta promises gorgeous weather and excellent competition with many top open and corinthian teams in the mix from the recent J/70 Worlds as well as some “newcomers” to the regatta.  Amongst the local Napolitan veterans will be Jenn & Ray Wulff on JOINT CUSTODY, Chris & Carolyn Groobey on JUNGLELAND, Peter McChesney on TROUBLE and Henry Filter on WILD CHILD.  Top visiting teams include Tim Finkle from Youngstown YC sailing JUNIOR, Marty McKenna on RARITY also from Youngstown, Joel Ronning on CATAPULT from Minneapolis, MN, Alex Meleny on LAYLA from Vineyard Haven YC and Dan Goldberg on BAZINGA from Mamaroneck, NY. The most significant “newbie” in the regatta may well be the “elephant in the room”, none other than Terry Hutchinson- Quantum Sails EVP, a past J/24 World Champion, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, and recent Farr 40 World Champion tactician.  Sailing photo credits- Tim   For more J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information

J/105 Masters Preview

J/105 sailboats- sailing off San Diego(San Diego, CA)- The International Masters Regatta was established in 1975 by St. Francis Yacht Club Member, Don Trask. For years, the worldʼs greatest master sailors such as Elvstrom, Buchan, Burnham, Tillman, Trask, Irish, Harken, North, Holland, Hinman and Dickson have competed in this prestigious international sailing event on the San Francisco Bay. The San Diego Yacht Club is proud to host the event for the third time in 2014. The competition always attracts some of the world’s best master sailors on an “invitation-only” basis.

The regatta is sailed in J/105 one-design and will include buoy-racing inside the beautiful bay alongside San Diegoʼs gorgeous waterfront.  In the gentile sea breezes of 8-15 kts, the starts are often right up against the enormous USS MIDWAY, a US Navy aircraft carrier that saw duty in World War II.  To make matters more interesting, the fleet often sails long starboard tacks alongside the newest US Navy nuclear carriers, like the USS NIMITZ, with the fleet playing the shift and compression puff along their 1,200 foot length and 20-story tall topsides.  Calling for “room to tack” is often a hot topic amongst the cagey’ole master skippers and tacticians!

This year’s class of masters includes last year’s winner, Chuck Nichols, plus the regatta’s founder Don Trask (with Russ Silvestri and Chris Snow in his crew).  In addition, there are a number of World Champions and world-class sailors participating, like Augie Diaz from Miami, FL, Bruce Munro (with Annie Gardner, Paul Heineken & Chris Perkins in his crew), Dick Enersen (photographer extraordinaire from San Francisco), Tom Ehman (America’s Cup veteran with Larry Ellison’s ORACLE and Vice Commodore of Golden Gate YC, also a long-time J/24 sailor in Newport, RI), Dennis Durgan (with Bill Menninger aboard), Bob Fisher (famous yachting journalist from Great Britain and author of many famous yachting books), Jon Andron (with Benny Mitchell in his crew), Don Martin, Gary Jobson (with Jud Smith and Bill Campbell aboard) and, finally, Jon Wright (with an America’s Cup quality crew of Scotty Vogel, Billy Trenkle, Vince Brun, John Maccausland, and Peter Isler!).  It should be fun racing and many a tall tale will be shared amongst this cast of characters!  For more J/105 Masters sailing information

J/120 Over The Moon @ Harvest Moon!

Sailing offshore Harvest Moon Regatta- Gulf of Mexico (Galveston Bay, Texas)- Hosted by Lakewood YC in Houston, Texas, the 2014 Harvest Moon Regatta was another success.  The annual regatta is one of our favorites so check out Keith Magnussen's report from the race on board James Liston's J-120 Aeolus.

“The annual Harvest Moon Regatta (HMR) is my annual trek to the great big state of Texas.  In the past, this race has thrown some very challenging and interesting weather my way and this year was no exception.

If you are unfamiliar with the HMR then let's get you informed.  If you know about the HMR skip to the next paragraph.  The HMR is a 150-mile race from Galveston to Port Aransas Texas.  The coastline is littered with oil rigs, unlight platforms, oyster beds, shrimpers and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Galveston is a beach community close to Houston and Port Aransas is a spring break town close to Corpus Christie.

Crew sailing J/120 on Harvest Moon RaceAfter meeting up with my fellow crew members at Houston Yacht Club we headed down to James Liston's J-120 Aeolus.  James has been a great customer and friend and I always enjoy sailing on his boat.  This year we were sporting a brand new Code-0, Carbon GPL Genoa and an AIRX Code 1A spinnaker.  We felt we had a pretty good arsenal to compliment the 3A, Max class running spinnaker and spinnaker staysail.  Mark Michelson from Dry-UV not only supplied some fantastic crew shirts he also supplied us with a weather routing synopsis.  Not sure it would benefit my good friends on the Viper 640, they were looking at a wet ride!
Viper 830

HMR starts of the Galveston pier and our class was due to start at 3pm.  We handily won the start as we jumped out to an early lead.  The Santa Cruz 50 quickly passed us on the tight jib reach that she is essentially made for.  We held off the J-122 for a bit as we traded off lanes looking for clear air.  We ended up with the low road and Rebecca (the other J-120) took the high.  Low road was not the way to go as we ended up fighting for clear air with the smaller boats we were all passing.  Our speed was great as we pushed 10kts of boat speed right on rhumb line.

The low road was truly not stellar as I "think" there was a bit more pressure above.  As we made the correction and neared the Freeport buoy, it became clear that we would be just behind the J-122 and J-120.  We really wanted to get the Code-0 up and we eventually did just that as the wind clocked to around 135 and gave us the angle we needed.  As soon as we got it up, we started to move on the boats above us.  Only downside was the wind did not cooperate and we had to switch to the jib top.

Unfortunately for us, we had some issues on our headsail changes and ended up losing a lot of time.  Won't go into details but having the right set up for the bowman to work at night is crucial to success on overnight races.  Eventually we had to switch to the number 3 as the wind went more forward and strengthened.

Back to the race!  I forgot to mention the beautiful sunset.  Sunsets on the water are exceptional.  The colors, anticipation of night sailing and promise for some adventure make this time of day very special.

J/120 sailing at sunset on Harvest Moon RaceWe were plugging along in around 15kts of wind (I think, as our TWS was way off most of the time).  The wind was steady and some of the crew (no names) were getting a little seasick.  One in particular had an unfortunate incident and slipped down below hurting his shoulder and rendering him incapacitated.  Sort of dropping like flies, which put more pressure on the guys on deck.

Around 2am (I think) the fun really started.  In came two squalls for some excitement.  The first one was relatively tame with rain and wind in the 20's.  The second one... well that’s the one to talk about.  Full on downpour, rain going sideways, 30+kts of wind, visibility 5 yards, rain hurting your face means it is about time to reef the main.  Job well done on this one!

After the squalls passed the real breeze settled back in.  It must have been over 25 at times because we had to flog the main, which was reefed, and only had a #3 headsail up.  If you sail J-120's then you know how much breeze it takes to do this.

Morning arrived and we zeroed in on the Port Aransas turning buoy.  It always seems to blow hard here and this was no exception.  Big swells and big wind, fun times.  Plan was to turn the buoy, pop the 3A, shake the reef and have the best sailing of the race (for the last 2 miles).  It was pretty clear that no one in front of us was putting spinnakers up as we could hear the delta between rounding and finishing.  The 3A was a good call because the channel is really narrow and a tanker was coming out.  The 3A is a great sail in 25kts as it does not hide behind the main and allows us to maneuver relatively fast.  Our thoughts were that this is a chance to make some time back and have a bunch of fun!

J/120 YouTube sailing video of Harvest Moon raceFun it was!  16kt top speed with an average of around 13 made this the best sailing of the race!  We finished the race, put the boat away, rented a golf cart (seems to be the cool thing to do) and checked the Texas waves for a surf session.  All in all it was another amazing experience and even though we did not finish where we like it was a learning and bonding experience.”   J/120 Harvest Moon sailing YouTube video
Harvest Moon Sailing Regatta on Facebook   For more Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information

Friday, October 24, 2014

J/Teams Love Sailing College Big Boats!

J/105 sailing at Storm Trysail IOR regatta (Larchmont, New York)- Over 430 college sailors raced on 52 owner-coached keel-boats over Columbus Day Weekend (October 11-12) in the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) sailed in Western Long Island Sound. The event is organized by the Storm Trysail Foundation (STF) and the Larchmont Yacht Club and this year was led by Regatta Chairman Barry Gold. The goal of the IOR is to introduce dinghy sailors to the fun and teamwork of big boat racing, which is a new aspect of the sport to many dinghy sailors. It also gives college sailors with big boat skills a chance to compete in some of the best-prepared boats around. The 52-boat fleet was divided up into five classes: 12 IRC 32’-43’ boats, five J/44s, 13 J/109s, 12 J/105s and 10 PHRF boats.

A team from the US Naval Academy won the IRC Class sailing Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE. After 6 races, their score line read 1-1-1-2-1-4 for a scorching 10 pts. Finishing fourth in class was Mike Bruno’s J/122 WINGS sailed by Bucknell University.

The five boat J/44 one-design class was won by the University of Michigan sailing Phil Gutin’s BEAGLE, followed by the US Merchant Marine Academy sailing Joerg Esdorn & Duncan Hennes’ KINCSEM in second.  Taking third was Mass Maritime Academy onboard Len Sitar’s VAMP.

J/109 sailing Storm Trysail Club college big boat IOR regattaThe College of Charleston won the thirteen-boat J/109 class sailing Bob Siegel’s PAX 3 with a blistering hot scoreline of 4-1-1-1-2 for just 9 pts.  Not far behind in 2nd place was Mass Maritime Academy’s Team #2 sailing aboard Rick Lyall’s STORM.  The past EDHEC Sailing Cup winners, Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, took third sailing Jack Forehand’s STRATEGERY- this French team was the best result of all foreign entries.  Fourth was University of Rhode Island aboard Jonathan Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON and in fifth was the other French entry, the EDHEC Business School sailing on Bob Schwartz’s NORDLYS.

Roger Williams University won the twelve-boat J/105 class sailing Jeremy Henderson’s CONUNDRUM that also posted to a white-hot tally of 1-2-2-3-1 for a mere 9 pts.  Second was Boston University aboard Rob Alexander’s YOUNG AMERICAN and in third was the University of Wisconsin racing Josh Burack’s PEREGRINA.  In this highly competitive fleet, Princeton University took fourth on Gary Myer’s MAGIC and rounding out the top five was US Naval Academy 2 onboard Za Jelliffe’s ARETE.

In PHRF Class, Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION was sailed by SUNY Maritime College into 4th overall and Rick Oricchio’s J/120 ROCKET SCIENCE saw St Mary’s College of Maryland take 5th.  The overall winner came from this class, the University of Toledo onboard TROUBADOR.

J/44s sailing Storm Trysail Club college bit boat IOR regattaInterestingly, while your high point score divided by most points possible in your class currently determines the “overall winner”, it does nothing to eliminate the “skew” inherent in less competitive classes with greater disparity between the boats.  It was heard over the jungle telegraph that by far the most competitive classes were the one-design fleets of J/105s, J/109s and J/44s. It also stands to reason these one-design classes are also the most closely “optimized” in terms of relative speeds (ratings notwithstanding).  On the statistical premise that the top 50% of any fleet is a good measure of “fleet competitiveness”, it’s interesting to see the J/105 and J/109 classes, in particular, score very high on that index (an average of the top 50% efficiency scores).  On that basis, the overall winner by the narrowest of margins was Roger Williams University on the J/105 CONUNDRUM followed by the College of Charleston on the J/109 PAX 3!!

Rick Lyall, the owner of the J/109 STORM, which was sailed by Mass Maritime said, “Over the years I have watched the talent level of the sailors grow. This year the top three J/109 teams were unbelievably well-sailed. The College of Charleston team was not only flawless in their boat handling, but also superior in their tactics. It seemed like every time our boat and their boat came together, the Charleston team had the advantage. They definitely deserved to win the biggest class of the regatta.”

The J/109 class had the most international entries, which included three of the four Canadian teams and two teams from France. Finishing third in the J/109 class was the team from Arts et Métiers from Paris. As the winners of the 46th EDHEC Sailing Cup raced last April in Les Sables-d’Olonne France, their team won an all expense paid trip (except for air fare) to the IOR thanks to the joint venture between the STF and the EDHEC Sailing Cup.

The EDHEC Sailing Cup is the world’s biggest college sailing regatta that draws over 1,500 sailors and 180 boats and the joint venture with the STF is designed to bring the top college sailors in the world together. As a result of being the overall winner of the IOR, the team from the University of Toledo has won an all expenses paid (except for air fare) to the 47th EDHEC Sailing Cup in La Rochelle, France to be sailed from April 24th to May 2nd 2015. All US collegiate teams are welcome.

The IOR is extremely popular with both the sailors and boat owners. An example comes from Bob Schwartz, owner of the J/109 NORDLYS who wrote, “The regatta was a great, as well as, an important event as usual. The nicest part is that you immediately realize that college age sailors are the most wonderful kids you would ever want to meet. Smart, polite, capable, etc. Our sport attracts the best and we have to keep them involved.”   Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael  Storm Trysail College Big Boat Sailing on Facebook  For more STC International Offshore Regatta sailing information

Thursday, October 23, 2014

J/80 Eclipse Sailing Over Lorient?

J/80 Interface Concept sailing Lorient, FranceINTERFACE CONCEPT Flies Over Moon!
(Lorient, France)- This year’s Lorient J/80 Open was an epic on more than two elements, the weather and the winner!  To begin with, the thirty-four J/80 teams from across France could not have been more delighted with the sailing conditions on Friday and Saturday, it was near “picture-perfect” Indian Summer sailing with warms breezes from the SSW blowing from 10 to 15 kts each day.  Despite a front rolling in on Sunday, the sailors were treated to a solid 10-20 kts NE breeze that enabled the teams to “get up on the step” and hop into planing mode downwind for last and final race of the regatta.

The other epic element was the sheer dominance of Simon Moriceau’s well-practiced team on INTERFACE CONCEPT.  Talk about an eclipse of the harvest moon?  You might as well have talked about Moriceau’s eclipse of the J/80 teams at this year’s Lorient J/80 Open.  Sailing to five straight bullets in a row, then backing off the gas to post a 5th, the INTERFACE CONCEPT team (Moriceau plus Christian Ponthieu, Jean Queveau, Hugo Kerhascoet and Herve Corlay) counted only 10 pts in 6 races for an equally impressive 1.66 average score!

J/80 sailing off Lorient, FranceIt all started on Friday in the 12 kts SW breeze.  The first start had multiple general recalls, including a black flag start.  Right out of the starting gate, Moriceau’s team took a first, followed by SAFRAN (Morgan Lagravière) in second then CHARIOT PLUS/ VANNES UTILITAIRE (Matthew Solomon/ Quentin Delapierre) in third. The start of the second race of the day went off without a hitch, with teams following the lighter breeze off to the left.  Behind Moriceau’s transom disappearing into the mist beyond, was Frederic Hauville’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 team in second, followed by Alice Metais’ crew on CHARLY in third.

At this point, with Moriceau’s INTERFACE CONCEPT leading with a 1-1, it was Morgan Lagravière’s SAFRAN that was hanging close by in second with a 2-4, followed by top woman skipper Alice Métais’ CHARLY (daughter of the famous Pierre Metais) in third sitting on a 6-3.

Saturday saw another extraordinary day of racing, with four additional races scored for the fleet!  More Indian Summer sailing!  The breeze was a steady 10-15 kts, but very shifty compared to the previous day. Again, Moriceau sailed off with a 1-1-1-5 to establish a dominant lead over the fleet.  At this stage, it was a battle for second between CHARLY, CHARIOT PLUS/ VANNES UTILITAIRE, SAFRAN and Eric Brezellec’s COURIER JUNIOR.

J/80 sailing upwind off Lorient, FranceWith just one race left for Sunday, it was a battle for the remaining podium spots.  Moriceau OCS’d the start and simply left the course since they had won anyways.  Behind them, Salomon & Delapierre took the bullet to secured second overall and Brezellec finally got back on form to take a second in the race and third overall.  Dropping out of contention with a strong chance for a top three finish was Alice Metais’ crew on CHARLY, accumulating a 21-5 in her last two races to drop into fourth (but still winning the Top Woman’s Skipper award!).  Taking fifth was Lagraviere’s SAFRAN, closing with satisfying scores of 1-4 in the last two races.

Everyone greatly enjoyed the social festivities as well as the wonderful hosts, CNPL (Centre Nautique du Pays de Lorient). The racing conducted by PRO Jean Coadou was met with great applause by all participants!

For the overall J/80 Coupe de France, Moriceau’s on INTERFACE CONCEPT/ CV ECOLE NAVALE has strongly increased their overall series leadership. Can anyone catch them?  Perhaps not.

The women’s teams sailing J/80s in France are sailing extremely well.  In addition to Metais’ 4th overall and 1st women’s position, taking 2nd in Women’s division was Maxime Rousseaux skippering ST-CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES and 3rd was Pauline Chalaux driving PRINCE DE BRETAGNE.  For more J/80 Open Lorient Regatta sailing information

Myrgren Is J/70 Swedish Sailing Master!

J/70 Swedish Master of Masters winners (Bastad, Sweden)- The London 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist in the Laser class, Rasmus Myrgren, sailed to victory in the Swedish Master of Masters Regatta with his team of Thomas Rahm, Rahm Axel and Carl Sylvan.  Over the two-day event held on October 11th and 12th, 39 teams participated (all champions of one class or another), sailing 25 races in the 8-boat fleet of evenly-matched J/70s.

According to Myrgren, “I had a good crew with me in the boat and we coordinated nicely in all the races. We focus really hard when it comes boatspeed and worked hard to choose our own path through the fleet.”

J/70s sailing Swedish Master of Masters RegattaFor the ninth year, the top Swedish champions selected each year in different sailing classes gathered for the Master of Masters Championship. The two-day event in Bastad today is one of the most prestigious in Swedish sailing. This year 34 Swedish champions and five wild card entries approached the starting line, ready to take to the sea and figure out who is the best of the best; who is the master's master! The courses were short and concentrated, tactics and maneuvers must be in top form and mistakes were very costly.  The format was a round-robin on Saturday followed by two-semifinals Sunday morning; with the top three of each semi going into the final championship round at 1400 hrs Sunday afternoon.

“It's a special feeling to win the Masters championship, where most of Sweden's best sailors are competing - and it feels fantastic! The whole event is like a big party for us sailors. We have a chance to talk about past seasons and experiences, making new friends and enjoying the camaraderie,” continued Myrgren, who also won the Swedish Master of Masters Championship in 2012 with essentially the same crew!

Stefan Rahm, Swedish Sailing Federation's Sports Director, was very pleased with this year's races and believes that the final round was the tightest and most exciting seen over the past few years. He said, “the races have ended perfectly and we are excited about how the weather has shifted in a favorable way during the pasta few days. First, a little more sunshine sailing in relatively light winds, and now during the final day with better winds and shifts, which meant that the sailors got a bigger challenge. In addition, our live streaming on the web, where this year we invested even more than in previous years, has exceeded expectations. It is a successful venture and a way for us to spread the sport of sailing to more and more people. Sailing is an exciting sport and the champions have a national audience (both on live TV and live on the webcast).  This was a fantastic opportunity to follow the races and learn from the commentators.”

Finishing behind Myrgren’s GKSS team in second was the KSSS team (Royal Swedish YC) that included Anton Dahlberg, Victor Cuikerman, Per Thorsell and Nils Dahlberg.  Taking third from Stockholm YC was the team of Johan Qviberg, Jakob Gustafsson and Martin Nilsson.   For more J/70 Swedish Master of Masters Regatta sailing information

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

J/111 & J/109 Dominate China Coast Regatta

J/111 Mojito sailing Hong Kong China Coast regatta (Daya Bay, Shenzen, China)- Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s flagship China Coast Regatta took place from 10 to 12 October this year, following a tried and tested three-day format that offered competitors a variety of windward/ leeward and islands courses in the waters to the south of Hong Kong Island and west of Lamma Island.

Headlined by Audi for the first time since its inception in 1993, the regatta attracted nearly 40 competitors in four classes and seven divisions, with the majority of entrants sailing IRC Racing class. In the most competitive class in the entire event, the IRC 2 Division, the J/111 MOJITO skippered by Simon Blore handily won their nine-boat class with a very consistent 4-8-1-4-1-2-1 for 13 pts net.

J/109 Whiskey Jack sailing Hong Kong China Coast regattaTaking second in IRC 2 was a perennial top performer on the Hong Kong offshore racing circuit, the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward.  The “Jack” started off strongly, leading their class up until race five, but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging crew aboard MOJITO.  In the end, WHISKEY JACK’s scores of 2-3-3-1-7-1-5 for 15 pts net secured their team a solid second place performance.  In fact, Southward’s team may have benefitted from their early “practice race”, the newly created Audi Hong Kong Kettle race- a new team racing competition that included an “Around Hong Kong Islands Race” the day preceding the China Coast Regatta.  The timing offered entrants the double benefit of an extra day’s acclimatization to the region’s sailing conditions, coupled with a great opportunity to see the wilder parts of Hong Kong.  The Hong Kong Kettle Race Chairman, Drew Taylor, explained the rationale of the Kettle event schedule, saying “Hong Kong in October provides very good sailing conditions with breeze typically in the high teens, temperatures in the high 20’s and a great combination of geometric and island courses.”  In the end, the J/109 WHISKEY JACK sailed by Nick Southward took advantage of the opportunity, took in some fabulous views of Hong Kong Island, and won the inaugural Team 3 Race Class in the Kettle Race!     China Coast Sailing Regatta on Facebook  Sailing photo credits- Guy Nowell/ RHKYC
For more China Coast Regatta sailing information