Sunday, April 30, 2017

Epic Fleet for Antigua Sailing Week

J/122 El Ocaso sailing Antigua (English Harbour, Antigua) – A staggering number of sailors from around the world are descending on the Caribbean island of Antigua to celebrate the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week. Over 150 teams racing on a huge variety of yachts will make this year’s event the biggest for many years. After the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race on Friday, April 28 and Saturday’s Peters & May Round Antigua Race, Antigua Sailing Week will begin on Sunday April 30.

About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world-class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters & May Round Antigua Race. Thousands more will join in the party celebrations, with seven beach days and party nights, including internationally acclaimed Damian Marley heading an all-star line-up for “Reggae in the Park” in the historic Nelson’s Dockyard.

Antigua sailing weekFor five days crews are challenged with a variety of coastal race courses (54 choices in all!) that encourage tacking duels around the buoys – all in the picture-perfect setting of the deep blue Caribbean Sea off Antigua’s south coast with the ever-present trade winds. The idyllic racing is enhanced by sailors retiring to Antigua Yacht Club for passionate post-race analysis and daily prize-givings that carry on into the evening.

152 teams from 28 nations are racing at Antigua Sailing Week from around the world.  Fourteen European countries are well-represented, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland.  At least ten Caribbean island nations will be on the starting line, including Antigua, Saint Maarten, St Barths, Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Jamaica.  And, from the “America’s”, there are teams from Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina.

J/Teams have a United Nations flavor to them, with ten J’s (about 11% of the 94 CSA Class keelboats) hailing from Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean!

J/122 Liquid sailing AntiguaIn the fourteen-boat CSA 4 Class, the on-going battle between the fleet-leading J/122s will continue- a drama-filled experience for both Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID from Jolly Harbour YC in St Johns, Antigua and for Bob Hiller’s crew on EL OCASO from Lake Geneva YC in the American Midwest.  In their last encounter, Baldwin’s LIQUID team got the upper hand on EL OCASO, taking 2nd in Les Voiles de St Barths with EL OCASO 3rd.  Their biggest threat comes from a “new kid on the block”, an insanely experienced team on David Ballantyne’s J/133 JINGS/ JINGAROOS, a crew that hails from Cowes, England and have a lot of RORC offshore racing and Solent around-the-cans experience.  Fighting to stay in the hunt will be two J/120s, Ben Jelic’s JAGUAR from St Maarten and Tom Hawker’s SUNSET from Royal Victoria YC in British Columbia, Canada.

The ten-boat CSA 6 Class has two J/109s sailing that had flashes of brilliance at Les Voiles de St Barths.  Both boats are from St Barths, Sophie Olivaud’s ALBACOR IV and David Cullen’s POCKET ROCKET.  They will be up against a hot local J/105 from Barbados YC, Peter Lewis’ WHISTLER.

J/39 99 sailing AntiguaThe J/39 MICRON 99 OSSENFEFFER, sailed by Robbie Ferron from St Maarten YC, will be taking on the eight-boat CSA 7 fleet.  And, a famous Antiguan team lead by Tanner Jones from Jolly Harbour YC will be racing their equally famous J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE against a dozen boats in CSA 8 class.

Interestingly, many sailors making a long journey to the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week will be from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The ten Australian crew racing the J/133, JINGS/ JINGAROOS have notched up 22 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races between them!!

“We are coming to Antigua to redeem the most coveted item on our collective sailing bucket list – Antigua Sailing Week!” explains ‘Aussie Jings’ Headsail Trimmer, Jasmine Hogg. “It is everyone’s first time here and I had no problem in persuading the motley crew to make the trip for my big birthday. We are all absolutely thrilled to be taking part.”

With Antigua Sailing Week celebrating 50 years, it is also of great importance to be looking forward, as well as remembering the past, hence this year’s mantra: Old Traditions, New Ways. Sailing is now a part of the school curriculum in Antigua & Barbuda and many young Antiguan sailors will be participating this year, racing with their heroes, but also learning how to win by themselves.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more Antigua Sailing Week information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Learn to Sail @ Mystic Seaport!

Mystic JY 15s (Mystic, CT)-  Come celebrate the start of summer with the opening of the Mystic Seaport Sailing Center on Saturday, May 13. From 10 am to 2 pm, we’ll have a barbeque and a “meet and greet” with our staff. If the wind is good, we’ll even have some boats out on the water to sail!

Mystic Seaport’s summer Community Sailing classes will begin June 19th. With options for adults, women, and children ages 8 and up, the classes are the perfect way to introduce new sailors to the fundamentals of the sport while fostering a love for time on the water. The JY-15 is the core instructional boat of our Community Sailing fleet, and all instructors are U.S. Sailing Certified.

You can register for any of the Museum’s sailing classes by visiting our website.

Finally, visitors to Mystic Seaport this summer will have a new way to connect with America’s maritime heritage. Beginning June 28th, visitors to the Museum on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (5:30 pm – 7:30 pm), will have the opportunity to sail a JY 15 or Dyer Dhow belonging to the Museum’s Community Sailing Center. At $10 per family per session, it’s the best way to enjoy sunset on the Mystic River. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The infamous Post-Nup Cup San Francisco!

J/120 Post Nup Cup (San Francisco, CA)- Ashley Perrin and Merfyn Owen celebrated their marriage with their very own “Post-Nup Cup” a week ago on Friday sailing on J/120s on San Francisco Bay.  The casual “regatta” took place before the official wedding reception on Saturday.

J/120 Post Nup Cup 2Crewed by friends from around the globe and facilitated by the San Francisco YC and PRO Jeff Zarwell, everyone was treated to a beautiful day of sailing on San Francisco Bay. Racing was quite close at times, but luckily, they ended the series tied at 2-2!!

How sweet is that idea!?  The J/Community wishes them fair winds and a fun voyage together forever!   Sailing photo credits- Leslie Richter/ Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Women's Ensenada Race Team- Paying it Forward!

J/120 Pole Dancer women's crew (Newport Beach, CA)- Skipper Terri Manok and her J/120 Pole Dancer return to the annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race April 28 in hopes of scoring another win for Oceanside Yacht Club, but in an N2E first, she’s bringing a trophy to the race. What?

Manok and crew won the prestigious Caroline Starr Trophy for being the fastest all-women crew in PHRF last year. With trophy in hand, the team reviewed names of the inspirational women sailors who preceded them and a discussion began. What would it take for more all-women teams to compete, Manok and team wondered. In part, they felt that there needed to be more encouragement for women just starting to race and not quite ready for flying a spinnaker and PHRF class racing.

So, what if there was a trophy for women sailing in the cruising class? That would offer them another competitive opportunity to sail together while building skills and confidence along the way, thought Manok.

Over the past year, Manok and her friend/ crewmate Judy Rae Karlsen flushed out the idea and presented the option to the Newport Ocean Sailing Association board. NOSA, host of the iconic race, agreed and worked with her on the Deed of Gift for new Nauti Chicas All-Female Crew Cruising Class Non-Spinnaker Trophy. “It’s given with hopes that it will serve as motivation for women who are not quite ready to enter the PHRF spinnaker classes, yet have the desire to compete and be competitive in N2E,” she said. Manok and Karlsen, who met years ago sailing with a local all-women’s group called the Nauti Chicas, donated the trophy in honor of the former team and the women who have sailed in it.

“In terms of sailing goals, at this time in my life it’s about giving back to the sport that has given me so much joy,” said Manok. She discovered sailing, particularly racing, as an adult. “I’ve been fortunate to have had amazing male and female mentors that accelerated my learning curve.” She acknowledged her appreciation for Cindy Wynne, a multi-time winner of the Caroline Starr Trophy, for being a star mentor. In fact, it was aboard Wynne’s boat Sol Mate that Manok first raced N2E.

J/120 Pole Dancer sailing offshore“I am so very grateful that they chose to share their knowledge, so I try to do the same these days and in particular with other women sailors who have a desire to race.”

“Terri’s gracious donation is so very much appreciated,” said Daniel Hodge, Vice Commodore of NOSA. “We are grateful for the opportunity to offer a trophy that will empower women sailboat racers and hopefully even attract more women to N2E.”

As for her strategy for a repeat win on N2E’s 70th Anniversary is simple: have fun, sail safe and sail fast!

“The best part of N2E is that every year is a little different,” Manok said. “There’s last year with great wind; fast race, and then there’s the drifting off the Coronado’s through the night with not a stitch of wind for hours. It’s like a box of chocolates.”  Sailing photo credit- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing

Admittedly, the crew is key to their success and keeps Pole Dancer in the race. “I’m blessed to have them not only as crew but great friends as well,” she said. Her amazing N2E crew is comprised of long-term friendships and very talented sailors. “I’d go anywhere in any conditions with these ladies,” Manok said. “And we’ve been through a few gnarly seas and weather together in the past for sure.”

Building this team started about 16 years ago when Denise Eldredge, great spin trimmer and all around sailor, asked Manok to work bow on her J/24. She met Betsy Crowfoot and Sharie Sneddon, both very experienced sailors, via their mutual friend Sue Senescu. The following year, Manok had the privilege of being invited to join the Nauti Chicas crew that Senescu led. Senescu and Manok co-skippered Predator, her J/35, to her first Caroline Starr Trophy win in 2008.

J/120 Pole Dancer- women's crewAt the time we met, it was difficult for women to get a spot on a race boat; “It was a real ‘chicken or egg’ dilemma,” said Crowfoot. “No one wanted you as crew unless you had experience, but how could you get experience if no-one invited you aboard?” Women had to create their own opportunities, so organizations like WORSA were formed to help get them out on the water to cultivate their skills. “Over time, scores of women have proven themselves on the race course, and now gals are more integrated into racing in general,” Crowfoot added. “But it is still the most fun to go out sailing with your girlfriends.” She applauded the new Nauti Chicas All Female Crew Cruising Class Non-Spinnaker Trophy as a way to motivate novice women into offshore racing.

Also on Manok’s team is Lesley McDonald; bow gal extraordinaire, who she met when coaching for the Sea Gals program in Long Beach. Angela McDowell has just a few years’ experience yet Manok says she’s a natural sailor and a great main trimmer. Kaci Yachecak, an avid J/24 racer from Montana, joins the team this year. They met while sailing at a women’s regatta in Puerto Vallarta several years ago. And Terrie Canon is a local sailor who owns her own Catalina and has been racing on various boats for many years.

Manok reports that Pole Dancer is an absolute dream to sail. “J/Boats got this one right for sure,” she said. The boat, named for how the spinnaker looks dancing off the pole, sails well to its rating, is fast yet offers nice creature comforts, is well balanced; and easy at the helm.

What races to do each year has become somewhat of a tradition at her house.  She and her husband sit down every New Year’s Day and go over the upcoming race calendar.

This year, they’re focused on one-design and playing with the strong J/120 fleet in various venues (Yachting Cup, NOOD, Newport and Long Point.) Previously, they focused on supporting their home club, OYC, in local races. Other years they make a point of competing in the more challenging, long distance (Santa Barbara to King Harbor, Newport to Cabo, Newport Ensenada, etc.,) events.

Either way, Terri still likes to go sailing - on her boat or someone else’s, at least twice a month. This of course is how one gets the experience and skills to be a competitive sailor and earn your place - twice now - a trophy won previously by some of Southern California’s most talented and successful women racers.

All told, she has competed in 8 N2E’s. Three were on other boats and 5 have been on the J/35 or Pole Dancer. She thinks the number of times might pale in comparison with some who have done the race for 40+ years, but she hopes to compete in another 10 or so.

Team NOSA says they look forward to seeing her and Pole Dancer in N2E 80!

The inscription on the trophy reads:

In dedication to the women
who cast off the lines
and venture away from shore.
It's a symbol of strength and perseverance.
It's a symbol of love of the sea
and the joy that is found in sailing.
It's a symbol of women with a sense of adventure
that can only be found on the water
and among friends.

As a recipient of this award it is your obligation
to continue the journey and
share your experience and knowledge
of sailing with others.

Thanks for contribution from Laurie Morrison Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The Making of Sailing Legends! How To... (San Francisco, CA)- The Making of the Legends of Sailing Regatta in J/22 one-design class sailboats??

We are big fans of club events that activate the membership, and of events that enlighten youth sailors about life beyond youth sailing. Russ Silvestri has hit both of these targets with a new event at St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Here is his report:

“An all-new event on April 21 will bridge the gap between our Club’s Legends by celebrating those who have been Legends, those competing who hope to become Legends, and our youth that dream to one day be a Legend.

The regatta is known as the Legends of Sailing. My idea (as a 40-year loyal servant of the kingdom of St. Francis) behind it was to create a Club championship showcasing the most members putting skin in the game, and to provide an opportunity to back it up.

The Legends were determined at the discretion of Commodore Kiriakis; he exerted his commodorial influence, waved his wand, and said it was so. The thought is that the Legends are like NFL team owners, in charge of fielding a team and managing their play on the field.

However, unlike the NFL’s 32 teams, we only have ten because, let’s face it, we are more selective than the NFL. The ten chosen Legends have been tasked with putting together the best team they can muster, prepared to fight for the honor of the Club.

I have discovered all of the Legends “believe” they have the skills to compete in the arena until they hear of the competition. Most have not chosen a martyrdom and have passed the baton to a skipper willing to suffer for the Glory of the Legend. The skippers/jockeys will be riding the horse (read: one-design J/22s) provided to them by their Legend.

On the sidelines in the realm of “Skin in the Game”, Club members will be able to show their support by taking a line on any team in the Calcutta Pool, managed by Staff Commodore Rick Pfaff. Legends are encouraged to bring an entourage dressed in their team’s colors because shoreside spirit earns points (the largest entourage saves 2 points on that team’s score).

As for the Legends of the Future, this event is our opportunity to inspire our youth by showing them the depth of legendary sailors that exists at their Club. The sailing rosters are still being finalized, but we have Olympians, World Champions and US Sailing Yachtsmen of the Year signed up to sail. I want our youth to know the power within the Club and the resources this Club has to build champions and teach life’s lessons on the water.

Where else will you find Cinde Delmas building a mighty all-women’s team to challenge Staff Commodore Doug Holm with his skipper Paul Cayard? Will Sean Svendsen prove he is a Legend or go down a martyr? What happens when you match Knarr sailors against foiling kiteboarders? Or Commodores against a Chairman of the Board? The answer, my friends, will be blowing in the wind at the Legends Regatta!!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

American YC Spring Series Preview

J/44s sailing one-design on Long Island Sound (Rye, NY)- Starting this coming weekend, the annual Long Island Sound offshore sailing season begins with the American Yacht Club’s Spring Series.  This annual rite of spring ensures that passionate sailors around the Sound get themselves organized, clean up their boats, refresh paint jobs, and check out their new sails in time to sail this weekend.

On Saturday morning, it is an amazing phenomenon to experience as boats from seemingly every corner of western Long Island Sound materialize- from the East River’s King Point and SUNY Maritime Academies, from Harlem YC, Huguenot YC, Hempstead Harbor YC, Huntington YC, Sea Cliff YC, Larchmont YC, Indian Harbor YC and so forth on either shoreline of Connecticut and New York’s Long Island.  Sixty-nine boats in all (47 J’s are 68% of the fleet!!) are participating in a two weekend series that can see up to four races per day in ideal conditions and up to 12+ races if all things go well for the RC PRO’s and the racers (hopefully, not too many General Recalls!).

The forecast for the weekend shows the potential for SW 15-25 kt winds on Saturday and SE 8-15 kt winds on Sunday; a recipe for great sailing.  However, the “fly in the ointment” may be the “extreme tides” forecasted by NOAA, with 8.5 foot tides producing massive currents and whirlpool-like tide lines- low tide around 0830 hrs and high tides around 1500 hrs could wreck havoc for navigator/tacticians around the race track.

In the world of one-design racing, there are fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s that will be spread across two racing circles.

The fifteen-boat J/70 fleet is enjoying a great turnout for the start of their season on the Sound.  Many familiar faces that have been sailing the J/70 winter circuit are in attendance, mostly all local boats from local yacht clubs.  J/70 Corinthians Midwinters winners, Andrew & Melissa Fisher and “the twins”, are racing BUTTON FLY and hope to maintain their edge developed over the winter regattas.  They will be hard-pressed by crews like Scot & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, Marshal Saffer’s LET IT RIP, Andrew Shea’s SHAKE’N’BAKE, and Madelyn & Megan Ploch’s USA 88.

Similar to the J/70s, two J/88 teams that have experienced Key West, St Petersburg, and Charleston during the winter months are primed to apply their consistent form to their first event on the Sound in the seven-boat J/88 class.  Those crews, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Mike Bruno’s WINGS, will have their hands full with local teams like Doug McKeige’s JAZZ, Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, John Pearson’s new RED SKY, and Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY.

J/105s sailing Long Island SoundLeaders of the eight-boat J/105 class will all depend on who’s got their crew organized and minimize their boat-handing errors.  Such is the closeness of the teams, that if any one boat gets it all together, they can easily dominate the first weekend.  However, as history shows, the winner of the first weekend often does not have the ability to maintain that pace on the second weekend!  Time will tell, of course!  Nevertheless, in that group vying for the leaderboard should be Duncan Hennes teamed with Za & Lib Jeliffe on ARETE, Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA, Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION and the biggest “wild card”- the Young American Jr Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICA!

With their pending J/109 North Americans just around the proverbial corner- being held at Block Island Race Week- the nine-boat strong J/109 class will be learning quickly “who’s on first” in the pecking order.  Some boats will already be quite well-prepared, others will still be cleaning out the leaves in their cockpits and oil in their bilges as they head to the starting line on Saturday.  Although there are a number of new faces in the crowd, it’s likely the veteran campaigners will rule the roost, at least on the first weekend in good breezes.  Look for these teams to be a factor in the top five; Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, David Rosow’s LOKI, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY and Robert Schwartz’s NORDLYS.

The grand-daddy of the offshore J one-design classes, the J/44s, have a nice turnout of five boats itching to get out on the water and tackle a new season of 44 sailing in the northeast.  Many of the boats are looking at this first weekend as trial runs to determine how and where they can improve their teams as they head for the J/44 North Americans at Block Island Race Week later in June. It is a formidable group of teams as most have, over the course of time, won and placed in both top offshore events  (like the Bermuda Race) and in class events.  Those teams include Jeff Willis’ CHALLENGE IV, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE, Bob & June Kendrick’s PALANTIR 5, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE and Len Sitar’s VAMP.

In the PHRF handicap world, PHRF 1 sees Paul Strauch’s J/111 ANDIAMO and Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE taking on all comers in their seven-boat class.  And, in PHRF 2, Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER will be looking to do just that, upset their class of six boats.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Promoting Women’s Match Racing

J/22s sailing San Francisco match race (San Francisco, CA)- The US Sailing Match Racing Committee has put together a “Women in Match Racing” working group and Liz Baylis has been asked to lead it.  The group has been tasked with “promoting women in match racing and creating and inspiring programs to increase the number of women participating in match racing in the U.S. and raising the level of all women who match race.”

As a working group, Liz and crew are brainstorming and gathering ideas on how best to accomplish this.  Please do not hesitate to drop them an email to share your ideas, let them know about existing programs, and help them identify contacts at clubs or sailing centers that might be interested in hosting clinics or starting new match racing programs.  One of the first events they wish to promote is taking place on J/22s at St Francis YC- July 7th to 9th on San Francisco Bay.  The Clinic is from July 7-8 and they will host a Grade 5 Regatta on July 9th.

The program will be run by an all-star cast of women’s match racers- Nicole Breault, Molly Carapiet, Karen Loutzenheiser, and Hannah Burroughs.  They will coach sailors on nine matched J/22’s supplied by St Francis YC.  The event is for experienced women sailors who want to learn to match race.   Sailors can sign up as individuals ($95) or as a team ($380).   More sailing information and the event NOR can be found here.   Contact Nicole Breault ( with any questions.  Nicole is the 2nd ranked U.S. Women’s match racer and 6th in the World, plus she’s the only woman ranked in the Open (including men’s) Ranking- 5th in USA and 29th in the World (a remarkable achievement that is)! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

INDIGO Wins Campeonato Centro Republica!

J/24s sailing Lago San Roque, ArgentinaPereira’s CARRERA Becomes Triple Crown Winner!
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)- The Argentinean J/24 class hosts what may be one of the most picturesque regatta series in the world of sailing.  Every year, they host the Triple Corona (triple crown), an event that encompasses three regattas starting in Buenos Aires/Rio de la Plata, then transitioning to the beautiful mountain lakes in the foothills of the towering Andes mountain range- where snow-capped volcanic peaks often hit 12 to 14,000 feet (Lago Potrerillos/ Mendoza and Lago San Roque/ Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba)!  It makes for truly breathtaking sailing, especially when the breezes howl from the west down the slopes and hit the lake with a ferocity that would surprise anyone- whipping up 20-30 kt “helicopter puffs” that cause knockdowns even upwind!

J/24s sailing ArgentinaThis year saw twenty-seven boats participate in the complete series; it truly is a favorite of Argentine sailors as it is family-oriented and, in the evenings, the social festivities ashore are second to none.  Imagine ending sailing on a sunny day, then one family (of many that own famous Malbec vineyards in the region) pop open several cases of vintage Malbec red wine and it’s shared with everyone at sunset! Locally made cheeses and fruits of various sorts are laid out in a big spread for everyone to enjoy!  Yes, put this one on your “bucket list”- the days are still warm, more importantly, the lakes are still somewhat warm (although it’s all snow-capped, crystal clear water from the mountain-tops).

The third and final regatta in the “triple crown” recently took place on Lago San Roque at Villa Carlos Paz- the Campeonato Centro de Republica.  The event produced dramatic changes in the overall series standings. By winning the final regatta, Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO from Club Nautico Cordoba and his crew of Martin Costa, Marcelo Freytes, Franca Pesci, and Carolina Lorenzon, managed to leap up the standings in the overall series- taking 2nd for the Triple Crown!

Potrerillos Lake, Argentina- J/24 regattaAfter winning the Potrerillos event in Mendoza, Javier Moyano’s GRAN CARAJO from Club Nautico Cordoba was hoping to post high enough finishes to get onto the series podium.  His crew of Francisco Agusti, Pablo Avila Gray and Adrian Berelejis sailed well, but not well enough to overcome the fact they did not sail the first event at CUBA in Buenos Aires.  Nevertheless, they won two races in the finale and took the silver in the Lago San Roque event.

In a similar situation as GRAN CARAJO, Sebastien Halpern’s team on BELUGA (Federico Roser, Franco Monetti, and Yael Malem) sailed the last two regattas well, taking the bronze in the San Roque event with most finishes in the top five.

After winning Buenos Aires, Matias Pereira’s crew on CARRERA (Andres Guerra, Guillermo Bellinotto, and Emilliano Homps) started off by winning the first two races at Lago San Roque, then managed to nearly throw away the entire Triple Crown series with a number of double-digit finishes and an OCS (28) pts in the last race.  Despite their hair-raising final regatta, CARRERA held on for a 5th place finish on Lago San Roque, enough for them to be declared the overall Triple Crown Winner!

Nicolas Cubria’s crew from Club Nautico Olivos (Mario Cubria, Gonzalo Frejenal, and Fernando Bertrand) had also gather enough points in the first two events so their 6th place finish on Lago San Roque was good enough for them to earn the bronze for the Triple Crown. Although they had a tough series with mediocre results sailing their boat ALAGUA RINA, winning the final race of the entire series in style lifted their spirits!  For more Argentina J/24 sailing information

Friday, April 28, 2017

Newport to Ensenada Race Preview!

Sunset on Newport to Ensenada Race (Newport Beach, CA)- Starting on April 28th around midday Pacific time, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association will be starting the fleet of 150 offshore keelboats in the famous Newport to Ensenada Race!  This 176nm Southern California classic starts just off the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, CA, leaves San Clemente Island to port, and finishes at the Hotel Coral Marina, Ensenada, Mexico, just outside the harbor entrance.

A dozen J/Teams are participating, some with aspirations to head to Honolulu this summer in the biennial classic called the Transpac Race, this “sprint” will serve to further train their crews and help optimize their sail selections for their mid-summer 2,225nm adventure to Diamond Head.  The forecast for Friday’s start looks promising with Westerly winds gusting to 20 kts in the afternoon, shifting NW 10-20 kts gusting to 25 kts overnight.  Then, sometime by morning the breeze shifts into the NE 10 kts and become variable less than 10 kts.  Given that most boats are averaging well in excess of 8 kts on broad reaching points of sail, most of the larger J’s should be into the marina by sunrise…at least that’s the plan!

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Newport Ensenada raceChief amongst those boats that should finish in the midnight hours are the two speedsters in PHRF A, Paul Margis’ J/160 INDIGO and Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC.  Not far off their pace should be Lee Pryor’s J/130 SIROCCO in PHRF B class.

Class bragging rights for PHRF C almost always comes down to a recurring battle between the top J/120s, including Rudy Hasl’s HASL FREE, Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY, and Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER.  Of note, POLE DANCER is sailing with an all-women’s crew- please read her story below in the J/Community section about their program!

The mid-size J contingent hopes to finish by noon-time on Saturday before the winds “go AWOL- e.g. variable”!  In PHRF D, Ed Sanford’s well-equipped J/105 CREATIVE will be aiming to keep on handicap pace with their colleagues on Seth Hall’s gorgeous navy-blue J/124 MARISOL.  In PHRF E, Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR hopes to grab silverware in their class.  Meanwhile, in PHRF F Mark Weinberger’s J/33 PRIMA and Juan Lois’ one-design configured J/105 ROCINANTE vie for their class awards.  Finally, in PHRF I, Scott McKenney’s pretty little J/32 BETTY is looking forward to the experience and the awards party afterwards!  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Edgartown Race Weekend Update!

J/120 Apres off Marthas Vineyard (Edgartown, MA)- The Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend isn’t your typical regatta. For starters, it has two parts: one for the much revered and time-tested (79 years old) 60nm distance race around Martha’s Vineyard and another for two days of short-course racing (added in 2012) in Edgartown’s Outer Harbor. And no need to fret if you can’t do it all. Only the Round-the-Island Race (RTI) on Saturday, July 22 requires an entry fee, and to boot, each day of the ’Round-the-Buoy Races (‘RTB) are scored separately, so if you can make one day and not the other, you can still win silverware in your class!

“Some years I did the buoy racing in addition to the Round-the-Island and some years I did just the RTI,” said Stephen Besse (Guilford, Conn.), skipper of the J/120 APRES. “I have a lot of family for crew, so it all depends on where my son is, where my daughter is!! For this year, I haven’t yet decided whether to do both or not. The boat serves the family, rather than the other way around!  We love doing it all, if possible!”

Besse has raced in the event on at least five different kinds of boats, and he has done the RTI every year since he has owned the J/120 (2009.) He Lives on Martha’s Vineyard half the year, sails out of Vineyard Haven, and takes APRES across the Sound to Falmouth each year to put her up in winter storage.

J/120 skipper BesseThough he considers himself to be “basically a local racer,” Besse broke the pattern last year and competed in the Newport to Bermuda Race. He and his APRES team wound up winning the J/120 class!

That bodes well for this year’s Round-the-Island Race. Since J/Boat participation in the RTI is typically robust (16 boats in 2016), event organizers have, for a second year, decided to expand the awards to recognize first- through third-place finishers, on corrected time, among all J/Boats in all classes.

“I’m fascinated with sailing around the island,” said Besse, who first circumnavigated Martha’s Vineyard in a Rhodes 19 at age 17 (he will be 68 in June). “It’s breathtakingly beautiful, particularly around Squibnocket Point, which you see when you go between No Man’s Land, south of the Vineyard, and the Vineyard itself. It’s sand dunes on top of cliffs.”

Besse also appreciates the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque as well as the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah. “It’s one of the few races where I don’t have any trouble getting crew,” he said. “In fact, I’m usually oversubscribed for crew when it comes to the RTI!!”

Regularly attracting entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend delivers exceptional racing opportunities for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic.

A Welcome Reception on Wednesday night (July 19); a Mount Gay-sponsored “jump-up” party on Friday night; and prize giving’s on both Friday and Sunday (July 23) round out the schedule for competitors who are entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday, July 19 for the Round-the-Buoy Races and Friday, July 21 for the Round-the-Island Race.  For more Edgartown Race Weekend sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Yachting Cup Countdown!

J/120s sailing Yachting Cup (San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring event, the Yachting Cup regatta, returns on May 5-7, 2017 for the 45th year. Over 80 entries are expected for this year’s regatta from numerous yacht clubs around Southern California as well as international yacht clubs from Canada, Uruguay, and Bermuda.

The 2017 Yachting Cup will feature racing on Saturday and Sunday with two venues out on the Pacific Ocean and one in San Diego Bay. Each day will feature post-race activities and parties back at SDYC after racing.

So far, some of the largest classes entered are the J/105s and J/70s. The J/120 class will also be well represented with 2010 Yachting Cup winner Chuck Nichols’ boat CC Rider on the entry list. Among other accomplishments, Nichols has won the J/120 North American Championship three times and has been the runner-up twice on CC Rider, but Yachting Cup remains one of his favorite races to participate in.

“Yachting Cup is one of the premiere events that we try to sail every year. Entries are always high in our class and the competition is fierce. It gets tougher to win it every year. SDYC does a great job both on land and on the water, so racers can be assured of fun parties and fair racing.”

Early entries for the 2017 race include all of the past overall winners since 2010, including the most recent winner, David Boatner, who won the 2016 Yachting Cup on his J/35 RIVAL. The entry list also includes several class winners from previous Yachting Cups, raising the stakes for competitors throughout the weekend.

Yachting Cup is a great opportunity for handicap fleet racing. Handicap racing is significant because it provides an opportunity for diverse boats to race, ranging from recreational weekend sailors to those with the most updated designs and seasoned crews.

The Organizing Authority is inviting the participants of the Newport to Ensenada Race to plan on stopping in San Diego on their return trip north to sail in the Yachting Cup.  The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 7 where prizes will be awarded by class.

The Yachting Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Pantaenius, Lars Remodeling, Bay City Brewing Company, North Sails, Rigworks, Mount Gay Rum, Lemon & Line, and Bare Republic.  For more San Diego YC Yachting Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wild Outcome @ Benelux Open J/80 Champs

J/80 Netherlands sailing (Naarden, The Netherlands)- This year’s Benelux Open J/80 Championship was hosted by R&ZV Naarden from April 15th to 16th.  The outcome was all but determined after the first day of racing.  The team of Jilko & Sybren on OANT S’JEN were in their element and were simply unstoppable, they were way too fast for any other team on the race course, no matter what the conditions were.

After two days of racing with eight races sailed and one discard for all teams, the Jilko/Sybren crew kept winning races to easily take top honors for the event with a tally of 2-3-2-1-2-1-1-1 for about a 1st average with 10 pts net! Doh! Hard to beat that number, right? Sailing their hearts out and hoping to forestall the inevitable was Bernard Holsboer’s crew on JUUL. Despite tossing a 4th place, JUUL’s crew still could not match the blistering pace set by the Jilko/Sybren crew, happily settling for the silver.  Zeroing in for the bronze position was Jorrit Beekman’s JSB with 23 pts net. Rounding out the top five was OJ Golverdingen’s LED2LEASE with 27 pts net in 4th place and in 5th place was Bart van Breeschoten & Michel van der Stelt’s DEEP with 33 pts net.  For more J/80 Netherlands sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 Girls RULE @ WISC Regatta

Australia J/24 women's team (Port Phillip Bay, Australia)- Hugo Ottaway, a.k.a. ‘“Mr J/24”, and long-time champion of introducing women to sailing on J/24s, in particular, put a team together on his own J/24 recently to compete in the Women In Sailing Regatta held at Sandringham Yacht Club.  Here is Hugo’s report on the proceedings:

“Despite only one J/24 entry in the Sandringham YC Women In Sailing regatta 2017, the result sheet was full of our ‘J/Girls’ winning every division and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Doris Little Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Amongst the entries were Krystal Weir, dual Olympic representative, Kirsty Harris, competitor at the 2013 J/24 World Championship in Sweden and Sophie Cisek, Volvo Round the World competitor and 2016 Victorian Female Sailor of the Year.

The regatta was sailed over 4 heats on Port Phillip Bay in ideal conditions with sunny skies and a breeze that freshened to 12 knots. J/24 BRUSCHETTA VI won the AMS division and placed 3rd in the Doris Little PHS trophy sailed by a mixture of girls from our Sandy J/24 fleet, skipper- Madeline Linton (Jet), Trim- Paulina Mattila (Bruschetta VI), Kirby O’Brien, and Maria Vasardani (both from Kicking).

Kirsty Harris and her crew from J/24 HYPERACTIVE sailed a modified Adams 10 to win IRC and come second in the Doris Little PHS trophy and Janet Dean, Past Commodore of RMYS and owner of Adams 10 ‘Jungle Juice’ and crew member on J/24 Kicking, winner of the Doris Little perpetual trophy and PHS division. There were also many other women J/24 sailors amongst the competitors.

The talent amongst our J/24 female sailors has risen to a point where they have repeatedly won almost all the Women’s sailing events in Victoria over the past few years.  The number of women sailing J’s has risen to 30% + of our overall crew group, with the class focused hard on fostering growth in this area. These results are a reminder of the strength and depth of talent of our female J/24 sailors!  Well done girls, you make us proud!!”  For more J/24 Girls Rule sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Newport to Ensenada Race Update!

J/125 sailing Ensenada (Newport Beach, CA)- Members of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association are thrilled to announce the Kick-Off Party on Sunday, April 23, will be held at Marina Park, the City’s extraordinary waterfront sailing and community center. The public celebration will take place from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

The 10.5 acre park that opened December 2015 is operated by the City’s Recreation & Senior Services Department. The party will celebrate the 70th running of the iconic Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race - that is now less than seven weeks away - and its relationship to its host city, its residents and sailing partnerships.

“I’m pleased that the Newport Ocean Sailing Association chose to have the kickoff event at the City’s Marina Park. It was recently built as a “window to the bay” for our residents and visitors to enjoy so it’s the perfect location to bring people together to celebrate this year’s race,” said Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon.

At the new docks, guests can tour two participating race boats or watch juniors compete in a demonstration regatta. The University of California, Irvine’s Campus Recreation Department that runs year-round sailing programs at the facility for residents and students will offer basic sailing instruction, including a sail and will rent out paddle boards and sailboats throughout the day. Children’s activities will include rides on a Coast Guard boat.

If you’re nostalgic, there will be a 6-vehicle display of Woodies, the old-time beach cruising cars from the 50s and 60s. If you like to go fast in the latest street machines, Sterling BMW will have several of its new cars on display. Sponsors tents will be set up for browsing, representatives from the Mexican and Ensenada Tourist Boards will be in attendance.

Upstairs in the open community center, guests can visit with competitors; racers can pick up their official race packets and everyone can enjoy the Stella Artois beer garden and entertainment while ogling a selection of beautiful N2E trophies that will be vied for in the race that starts Friday, April 28, off the Balboa Pier.

“The Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race has been a Newport Beach tradition for seven decades and is woven into our city’s nautical heritage,” Muldoon said. “Each year, it draws sailors and spectators to the coastline to watch as hundreds of boats line up for the start of the race. It’s a spectacular sight.”

So far, with over 150 keelboats racing in the event, including a dozen J/Teams, they will be looking forward to the pre-race festivities!  More news next week once the fleet is finalized for the start on April 28th!  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Easter J/Bunny Visits Sailing Regatta

J/Easter bunny (Columbia, SC)- Being one of the most popular J/24 regatta's since 1988, the J/24 Easter Regatta brings a mix of excellent shore side events with world class sailing. The competition can vary from an amateur crew at their first regatta, to sailing against professional skippers such as Tim Healy, Mike Ingham, and Tony Parker.

One of the many perks of attending the Easter Regatta is the sailing club facility. With a recently rebuilt clubhouse, the shore-side events are better than ever. The Columbia Sailing Club offers FREE camping to all competitors that attend the regatta. The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provide an excellent camping experience for families and friends.

Since its humble beginnings, the sailors in Columbia have now expanded their interest to the J/70 class as well. Two years ago, the class was invited to participate and the growing interest (it’s still VERY top secret) is reflected by their fun-loving presence.  For those “in the know”, it is an incredibly fun, casual regatta that is focused less on the competition and more on learning from each other and the amazing shore-side festivities for all!

J/24s sailing Easter Regatta- Lake Murray, SCThis year’s regatta saw nearly two dozen J/24s participate from across the spectrum of experience, and the same can be said for the J/70 class, too.

The sailors were greeted by a wide variety of weather that was punctuated by a gorgeous day of sailing on Easter Sunday, a suitable day for Easter Bunny sightings and awesome Easter Egg Hunts for the kiddies.

In the end, the leaders in each class had an enjoyable time helping out their colleagues on the nuances of sailing their boats over a few brewskies.  It helps that everyone ends the day of racing at the moorings/ docks and all the socials are taking place right there at the beautiful facilities provided by the host- Columbia Sailing Club.  Their staff and volunteers are second to none and provide good’ole down-home southern-style hospitality.

In the J/24 class, top crew was Daniel Borrer’s JESUS LIZARD in 1st with a 1-4-7 tally for 12 pts.  Taking 2nd was a famous J/24 champion sailor- Mike Ingham’s USA 5443 from Rochester Canoe Club with a 3-9-3 record for 15 pts.  Taking home the bronze was James Howard’s CLASSIC with an astonishing roller coaster line of 2-14-1 for 17 pts.  The balance of the top five included Ron Medlin’s BASH in 4th and Roger Dougal’s TUTAKRNAUT in 5th place.

J/70s sailing Easter RegattaOver in the J/70s, it was San Francisco “transplant”, Don Trask, that showed some of his hidden light-air, flat-water skills to win the regatta with all bullets on the suitably named SMOKIN’J- not often an 80+ year old can apply a scorched Earth policy to the millennials and baby boomers in the fleet! Behind that blitzkrieg score line, it was an evolving battle for the remainder of the podium.  In the end, Jay Greenfield’s TBD took 2nd with a 2-3-2 tally for 7 pts. Just 2 pts back in third place was Hunter C Davidson’s LOONATICTU with a 3-2-4 score for 9 pts.  The rest of the top five include David Betts’ INSTANT KARMA in 4th place and Steve Kiemele’s WHITE RABBIT in 5th.  Follow on Easter Regatta Facebook page here.   For more J/70 & J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Encouraging Talented Young Sailors!!

J/22s sailing downwind (Jacksonville, FL)- The USA J/22 Class Association has awarded the second-annual Scholarship Boat to students from Jacksonville University Sailing Team. The enthusiastic crew members— Alfonso Garcia Bringas, Andre Guaragna, Jack Gower and David Hein— will be campaigning the boat in 2017. Their goal is to become the top youth team at the 2018 J/22 World Championship in Annapolis, MD.

This summer, the Scholarship Boat Program members will be racing the sailboat with J/22 Fleet 20 at Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, OH. During the school year, they will be sailing at Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville. Helmsman Alfonso Garcia Bringas and crew have an ambitious regatta schedule, including the Annapolis NOOD, Chicago NOOD, Cleveland Race Week, J/22 North American Championship, CanAm Challenge and J/Fest.

The J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/22 Class of one-design sailors at virtually no cost. Scholarship recipients receive a fully outfitted J/22 sailboat and trailer for one season. Generous contributions from members of the J/22 Class Association make this program possible.

To learn more about the J/22 Scholarship Boat Program, how to donate, or how to apply for the 2018 scholarship.  Here are the 2017 Scholarship Boat Member Biographies:

BringasAlfonso Garcia Bringas, from Mexico City, Mexico, has experience racing as skipper and crew in several sailboat classes throughout the world. Bringas finished in first place in several national championships in Mexico and a regional regatta in Canada. He finished second in numerous regattas throughout North America and participated in the IODA World Championship events in New Zealand and Dominican Republic. Majoring in mechanical engineering, his goal is to gain experience and become a top-ranking international sailor.

GuaragnaAndre Guaragna, from Miami, FL, has diverse crew position and helm experience on a multitude of sailboats. Guaragna won many Snipe regattas throughout the nation and has competed with impressive results in international Snipe events. He also received first place at the 2016 Melges 32 Lauderdale Cup and third in the 2014 LYC Laser Commodores. Guaragna is starting a campaign for the next Red Bull Youth Americas Cup at Lauderdale Yacht Club. He is earning a degree in mechanical engineering.

GowerJack Gower, from North Fort Myers, FL, was the head instructor for Edison Sailing Center Sailing Summer Camp from 2010 to 2016. In addition, Gower was the green fleet coach for the 2015/2016 school year at Edison Sailing Center. The 2014 winner of Sail Fest Laser radial class, he has sailed Optimists, Laser and 420s. Gower also has several second- and third-place results in radial class Laser regattas. He is currently a freshman at Jacksonville University majoring in business.

HeinDavid Alan Hein, from South Miami, FL, has been a competitive international sailor since the age of eight. Hein conducted an Olympic sailing campaign from 2011 to 2016 and qualified for the US Olympic Sailing Development Team from 2013 to 2014. In addition to rigorous training on the water and in the gym, Hein promoted and raised funds for his Olympic sailing campaign. He competed in both youth and adult Championships in the F16 and the Olympic NACRA17 classes of sailboats. He has coached youth and adult sailors. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Italy J/24 Report- Sailing Week 16

J/24s sailing Italy's lakes (Rome, Italy)- This past weekend saw sailing activity taking place in two of the Italian peninsula’s signature resort/ yachting destinations.  One was on the alpine lake of Lago di Caldonazzo in the north and the other was off Arzachena on the island of Sardinia.

Lago di Caldonazzo/ Valcanover
They were two beautiful sailing days for the dozen J/24s that were sailing on Lake Caldonazzo for the Trofeo Autopergine.   The Associazione Velica Trentino hosted the event.

Commented Ale Ferrara from the host club, “As usual, after Saturday's races, there was a big party where all the sailors share their ‘war stories’ from their day of sailing on the water.  Fine wines augmented the conversations and an equally excellent dinner offered by the club, thanks to the excellent catering offered by the Hotel Valcanover next door.  The sailors clearly enjoyed the entire evening!”

After posting a record of two 1sts and three 2nds in six races, it was an easy victory for Dario Cattarozzi’s crew on ITA 182 J-JAM, claiming the title for the Trofeo Autopergine. In second and third place, respectively, was Giuliano Cattarozzi on ITA 432 KASTER with 11 pts and Giuseppe De Mori on ITA 49 EOS with 14 pts.

J/24 sailing off Sardinia, ItalyArzachena/ Palau
The Club Nautico Arzachena (, situated on the beautiful harbor of Palau, played host to the talented fleet of local crews.

"After the customary preparations, the boats were heading towards the sailing area located between the islands of La Maddalena, Spargi and Santa Maria,” explained Fleet Captain Marco Whirring.  “The light wind from the northeast permitted three races to take place on the first day. There was no favored side of the course due to the tremendous wind shifts.  As a result, three races produced three different winners!  The RC Chairman, Sandro Ricetto and his team (Giovanni Porcu, Karin Paternost, Francesca Campus and Salvatore Corda) waited patiently for all boats to finish each race, made quick adjustments, then fired off another race quickly!  They are to be commended for their first-class management of the races!”

The star of the weekend was Davide Gorgerion’s ITA 431 LIN CARLISLE with just 8 pts. Second was ITA 318 NORTEOESTE with 10 pts and third was Lucio Balzano’s ITA 4 SAINT LUCIA with 12 pts. Just behind them in fourth and fifth, respectively, were ITA 405 SURRAU VIGNE and ITA 460 BOTTA LIGNE.

The second stage of the Sardinia J/24 series continues on Sunday, April 23 and will conclude May 7. Every Sunday, at the end of the event, there will be a pasta party for all participants along with great vino!  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.