Friday, June 30, 2017

Women's World Keelboat Championship "Welcom" Video

J/women sailors (Valle de Braco, Mexico)- Here is a nice "Welcome" video from the Mexican J/70 Class and Club de Vela La Pena to the women sailing in the International Women's Keelboat Championship in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. 

Please share it with your friends!

J/111 DJINN Wins RORC East Coast Race

J/111 DJINN wins RORC Race (Harwich, United Kingdom)- Here is the report from Sébastien de Liedekerke, owner of the J/111 DJINNN about their recent experience sailing the RORC East Coast Race:

“The RORC East Coast Race 2017 was the third offshore race of the season for DJINN and her crew, starting from Burnham-on-Crouch near Harwich (Thames Estuary) and finishing in Oostende (Belgium), for a good 130 nautical miles of zig-zagging between the wind farms of the Southern North Sea.

DJINN had a good downwind start, crossing the line ahead of the IRC 1-2 fleet. The first three hours of racing, extracting ourselves progressively from River Crouch in very fluky winds and strong currents, were especially challenging and, as we missed a few gusts, two of our IRC 2 competitors managed to build a nice half-mile lead on us.

J/111 DJINN crewAs wind conditions stabilized, we started catching up on them and by midnight we were in the lead again. With light Westerlies of 5-13kt, flat water and a 100% reaching and broad-reaching course, the conditions were ideal for DJINN and her crew to build progressively a significant gap with key competitors and to finish largely ahead of the pack in Oostende after 20 hours and 26 minutes of racing and despite dying winds again...

This was supposed to be "just" another Fastnet qualifier for our crew, with no one expecting anything special from it in terms of results, and yet... we ended up coming back home with some silverware ... a lot of silverware actually!
  • Ailish Salver trophy for 1st yacht home (line honours)
  • Blackwater Cup for 1st yacht in IRC 1-2 class
  • Bob Stewart Trophy for 1st yacht in IRC overall
J/111 sailing at sunsetFellow J/Boats crew in the Race included the J/120 MAVERICK (Chris Schram, 7th overall) sailing two-handed and the J/120 JAMEERAH (Simon Ruffles, 8th overall) sailing fully crewed and preparing for Rolex Fastnet Race as well.

A big thanks and congratulations to the DJINN crew (Sebastien de Liedekerke, Sylvain Duprey, Andy Hoefig, Bertrand Lefebvre and Florence Hubert) for a wonderful three days of sailing to the UK & back! We cannot wait to gather again with the rest of the Fastnet gang (Sandra Gottcheiner, Yan Trouwen and Thibaud de Fraipont) for the RORC Channel Race in July, our next offshore challenge - and last preparatory race before Rolex Fastnet Race in August! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bermuda One-Two- J/133 and J/35 Triumphant

J/133 sailing offshore (Newport, RI)- Over the past fortnight or so, a small fleet of intrepid adventurers partook in the 635nm Bermuda One-Two Race, an event that starts in Newport off Fort Adams, finishes off St David’s Head Lighthouse in Bermuda, then returns to Newport. The first leg out to Bermuda is singlehanded and the return trip is doublehanded.

The two J/teams that took place in this year’s event both placed in their respective divisions.  Clay Burkhalter and Rod Johnstone sailed the J/133 J-HAWK to a 2-4 record for 6 pts ended up third place in Class 1.

Meanwhile, Paul Grimes sailed the J/35 BREAKAWAY to a 1-2 tally for 3 pts for first place in Class 2!

Here is the report on how the second leg of the Bermuda One-Two race took place, as observed by Rod Johnstone on the J/133 J-HAWK:

“The doublehanded leg was a great ride during which we took an early lead in fleet by heading NNE on port tack to get to the frontal easterly breeze first. We slowly got ground down on day two by the water ballasted Class 40s and the daggerboard and canting keeled Elliot 35 once the breezy easterly kicked in. At one point, we were leading the fleet by over five miles late the first night.

J/35 - Paul GrimesStarting Friday night, we sailed bare-headed for twenty hours after wrapping our chute tight around the genoa. We used all our spare halyards to wrap up all the air bubbles in 20 knot winds and big choppy seas. We were Main only for twenty hours, it was too dangerous to fix the problem sooner. Then, we ran under barepoles downwind for over half an hour late Saturday afternoon, while I hoisted Clay aloft to retrieve the halyard off the top of the wrapped A-sail. The YB tracker shows how slow we were going bare-headed. I figured we lost over two knots on average when we only had the main up. That would be about fifty miles or more counting the final three hours of the race where we probably lost more. Would that have been enough to win our class, fleet, and the whole thing? Maybe not, but it would have been close.

We then hoisted our big reacher A-sail and flew it as tight as we could for over 24 hours in a SW wind for over 200 miles directly for Newport. 23 miles from the finish going 10-14 knots we realized we would not fetch. So we doused the A-sail, headed up, and slogged to the finish in the fog for the next three hours at about seven knots.

On the bright side, we never had to go upwind without a headsail in light air. We would probably still be out there flipping to see who would get to eat the last pretzels!

I had a great time doing this race with Clay, as I always have sailing with him on many occasions in the last 53 years!”  For more Bermuda One-Two Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Crews Dominate Doublehanded Farallones Race!

J/120 sailing Farallones Race(San Francisco, CA)- The famous Farallones Islands Race, the often brutal 58nm course that goes from inside San Francisco Bay, out around the Farallones Island to port and back to the finish line on the San Francisco city waterfront saw some great performances by J/Crews this past weekend.  This year there were seventy keelboat teams participating, fifteen of which were J/crews (21% of the fleet)!

In the twelve-boat Doublehanded Class, sweeping the top two spots were Sean & Jeff Mulvihill’s J/120 JAMANI in first place, followed by David Morris and Neal Barth’s J/90 RAGTIME in second place!

In the large PHRF 2 Class, a fully-crewed division, it was Doug Bailey’s J/105 AKULA that placed 2nd, with crew of Caspian Bailey, Lyndon Bailey, Collin Breakstone, Les Yamamoto, and Roberto Giramonti.  Then, in PHRF 1 Class, taking 8th was Tracy Rogers’ J/120 HOKULANI and in 10th was Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION.  For more Farallones Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Risor SF Leads Norwegian J/70 Sailing League

J/70 winners in Norway (Sandefjord, Norway)- There was a hard fight for the top of the leaderboard in Sandefjord this past weekend. But in the end, Bundefjorden SF had to be beat by Risør SF in the final race to win the regatta.  In the end, it was hard to overcome the formidable team from Risor, they also won in Oslo.  There were fourteen teams participating with a total of 42 races between the 15 teams.

The sailors in the 2nd Division in the Seilsports League got great weather for the weekend. A pretty and relatively stable breeze filled the Sandefjord both days, and it was perfect for tanning and for close and sunny sailing.

"It was windy or it simply disappeared in the last race, and luckily, it went our way," said a satisfied Morten Røisland, skipper from Risør SF.

Askøy Sailing Association took an honorable third place in the weekend's racing - only three points behind the second place. The home-team Sandefjord SF also sailed well to take fourth place.  Fifth position went to Alesunds SF.

After two regattas in the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League, Risør SF has a clear leadership with a 1-1 tally for 2 pts.  Askøy SF, is second with two 3rd places.  Meanwhile, to balance of the top five is up for grabs between the next few teams.  Bundefjorden SF took a jump in the standings up to third overall by virtue of an 8-2 record for 10 pts.  They are tied with Alesunds that have a 5-5 tally for ten points, but lose the tiebreak on countback.  Then Hurum SF is sitting in fifth place with a 2-9 for 11 pts after their disappointing weekend's performance.  More drama is sure to come with these teams in their upcoming events as they explore how to get off the proverbial monster roller-coaster scorelines!  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Team VOLVO Wins Chile J/70 South Americans Qualifiers

J/70s sailing off Chile (Algarrobo, Chile)- The third and final leg of the Chile J/70 Class qualifiers for the 2017 J/70 South American Championship that will be taking place from October 27th to November 1st was just completed.  Host for both events was Cofradía Nautica in Algarrobo.  The conditions for the weekend event were excellent, with moderate breezes on Saturday and 12-17 kts on Sunday in reasonably cool fall sailing conditions on the Pacific Ocean in Algarrobo Bay.  While there has been great skiing this fall just 150 miles away in the Andes Mountains, a group of fifteen boats were having an excellent time racing.  The courses were long, cold and choppy, so the crews need to manage the wave patterns, especially on port tack getting to the weather mark.  The wind was sometimes shifting right and sometimes shifting left at the very end of the course in the left corner, mostly close to the shore- very challenging for all crews, to say the least!

Going into the final weekend qualifier event, Matías Seguel’s VOLVO team had already a good lead over BLACK SAILS (Per Von Appen) and SENSEI (Carlos Vergara), but they wanted to further increase their lead.  Plus, the fleet saw the participation of Tito González (5 times Lightning World Champion and top J/24 sailor) at the helm of WILD SAILS, so it was a like mini-South Americans with most of the best skippers and crews of Chile sailing together.

Seguel’s VOLVO Team had a good performance on Saturday, but managed to close with a 2-2-1 on Sunday to win the regatta as well as the overall qualifying series.  Vergara’s SENSEI very talented team sailed well to take 2nd place over BLACK SAILS that was skippered by Dag Von Appen (he replace his brother who was sick). In 4th place was LEXUS skippered by Felipe Robles and fifth went to Pablo Amunategui and crew onboard BLACK JACK.

The next regatta for the Chilean J/70 fleet takes place on August 26 and 27 at the Cofradía Nautica Anniversary Regatta. What is exciting is the fleet in Chile is now composed by 27 boats and there are 4 on there way to Chile, so we expect to have 31 boats by the middle of July and hope we can get to 20 boats at the starting line on August 26th!  Then, everyone will be looking forward to the next regatta- the J/70 South American Championship held by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico (October 27th to November 1st)! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

YC Furesoen Win Danish J/70 Sailing League Act II

J/70 sailing off Denmark (Brejning, Denmark)- The Yacht Club Furesøen’s “Red Stars” took the competition by storm and came from a 14th place in the first regatta to become the winner of Brejning event!  The wind was very varied and at times it was difficult for the sailors (and event leader) to see the exact wind conditions. It blew up late for the finale on Sunday, and it gave the last few races a little extra thrill to the public.

The spectators at Brejning Lystbådehavn got a rare experience when some of Denmark's best sailors in the J/70 class, several of them Olympic sailors, participated in the Danish Championship for sailing clubs at Brejning. In fact, the possibility of getting so close to the racing was precisely why Brejning Marina had been chosen in front of Vejle Harbor according to Danish Sailing Sport League director Nynne Mortensen.

"We want to have the audience as close as possible. It has been an issue for sailing; it's simply too far away that people cannot see what's going on. So, when we visited the harbor in Brejning half a year ago, we said that an extra dock and public places should be built if the competition should be here. And so, they built it, it's absolutely exceptional,” said Ms. Mortensen.

Danish J/70 winnersAs something new, the audience was treated to a famous local personality who has been active at the Brejning Båtklub since the 1970s.  Wearing his straw hat and standing in the small gazebo on the end of the pier, Steffen Bøllund provided live commentary over the local radio and loudspeakers so that people could understand what was going on out on the water.

Winning five of the 12 races sailed, the Yachtklubben Furesoen won the regatta quite easily.  Taking second in a battle for a top five position was Frederikshavn Sejklub with 31 pts.  Just one point back was Skovshoved Sejlklub with 32 pts.  Then, rounding out the top five was Kertemeinde Sejlklub with 35 pts.  It was very close sailing for all the clubs and that produced some changes in the overall leader standings for the series.

The series standings after the Struer and Brejning events sees Frederikshavn Sejlklub still leading with a 1-2 for 3 pts total. Second is Kerteminde Sejlkliub with a 2-4 series score for 6 pts.  In this is Skovshoved Sejlklub with a 4-3 for 7 pts.  The rest of the top five includes KDY in fourth place with a 3-5 score 8 pts and in fifth position is Kalovig Badelaug with a 5-7 for 12 pts.  Follow the Danish J/70 sailing league on Facebook here  For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sproul Crowned British J/80 National Champion

J/80s sailing offshore (Southampton, England)- Over the June 17-18 weekend, the Royal Southern Yacht Club, in conjunction with the UK J/80 Class Association, welcomed nineteen teams for their U.K. J/80 Nationals. The event was good training program to tune up boats, sails, and teamwork in preparation for the J/80 World Championship the second week of July that will be held at the same venue (
After a full-on schedule of nine races, it was Great Britain’s own Kevin Sproul on J.A.T. that won the UK National Champion title with his crew of Helen Yates, Adrian Gray, and Chris Fisher. In fact, British teams swept the top five in what bodes well for a strong British performance at the upcoming World Championship.

Kevin Sproul- J/80 UK ChampionFor the balance of the podium, it was a battle for 2nd place with just one point separating the two teams.  Starting out slowly, but closing with three bullets in a row in the last three races was Luke Patience’s RYOKO MEKA.  However, that was still not enough to overcome the more consistent Jon Powell on the famous BETTY that took the silver.  Rounding out the top five were Chris Body’s MOCKING JAY in 4th place and Nick Haigh’s SLIGHTLY STEAM in 5th position.   For more UK J/80 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, June 26, 2017

NRV Lead J/70 German Sailing League Act III

J/70 sailing off Germany (Kiel, Germany)- After a slow start in the first event and beginning to pick up steam after their second event in the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) team with the former Olympic sailor Tobias Schadewaldt on board managed to hang on to win their first event of the 2017 season!  Their team of Tobias Schadewaldt, Daniel Reichart, Florian Weser, and Klaas Höpcke sailed constantly to the front of the fleet in different wind conditions. But, not everything was perfect with the NRV team. "Although we made too many mistakes at the start, we were able to make good use of our chances in the race course," explained a visibly pleased Tobias Schadewaldt. There’s was not an easy win over the fleet.

J/70 Germany winnersThe second place team was Segelkameradschaft “Wappen von Bremen” (SWB) that consisted of Gordon Nickel, Thomas Dehler, Klaas Simon, and Morten Nickel. There were just 2.6 points back from the NRV all-stars. According to Morten Nickel, "We had hoped for a podium spot on the Kiel Fjord. It was a big surprise for us to take second place!”

The team from the Berliner Yacht Club (Philipp Bruhns, Valentin Gebhardt, Maximilian Nickel, Max Wohlfeil) finished third with 41 points. Then, rounding out the top five was determined by a tie-breaker on 44 pts each between Lubecker YC and Bayerischer YC, with LYC winning the count-back.

As a result, after three events in the DSBL (Prien/ Lindau/ Kiel), the NRV had found themselves back on top of the leaderboards with a 10-2-1 record for 13 pts!  Even they were shocked by the turn-about of events after this past weekend.  Second is now Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen with a 1-4-10 tally for 15 pts, dropping down from the top of the leaderboard in dramatic fashion.  Then, third is currently determined on a tie-break between Berliner YC and Deutscher Touring YC at 16 pts each, with the nod going to BYC.  Sitting in fifth place is Bayerischer YC with 18 pts.   Follow the J/70 Deutsche Segelbundesliga on Facebook here.  For more J/70 German Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Golison Wins J/70s @ Cleveland Race Week

J/70 sailing Long Beach MO’MONEY Tops J/22 Great Lakes Championship
(Cleveland, OH)- In one of the largest Cleveland Race Week events ever, 138 one-design boats were welcomed at Edgewater Yacht Club for the 37th annual Cleveland Race Week One-Design Weekend from June 15th to 18th. One-design fleets that participate include J/22, J/70, J/24, and J/105 classes.  And, the PHRF Division has nine racing divisions and three JAM divisions.  This year’s event is also the Great Lakes Championship for J/22s and J/70s.

J/70s started their Great Lakes Championship on Friday with sixteen boats. After seven races in three days, Bruce Golison and his crew out of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club on the J/70 MIDLIFE CRISIS, went home with the title and 17 points. Trey Sheehan and his crew on HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING placed second with 24 points, Dave Koski on SOUL came in third with 33 points, in fourth place was James Prendergast on USA 167 with 36 points, Lee Sackett on USA 364 placed fifth with 37 points and in sixth was Tod Sackett’s FM with 39 points. Sheehan and Koski qualified for open berths and both Sackett teams, as Corinthians, to the J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA next fall. Additionally, Trey Sheehan, from the ILYA Area E, earned a berth for the Mallory Cup in St. Petersburg, FL this November.

J/70 sailing Long Beach startThe eleven-boat J/22 fleet from across five states in the northeast and midwest saw Victor Snyder and Kevin Doyle on MO’ MONEY out of Youngstown Yacht Club take the overall title, winning four of six races.  Second was Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA with 19 pts, third was John Huebschmann’s ESCAPE with 23 pts, fourth was David McBrier’s VAMANOS/ HARDWARECHIMP.COM with 26 pts, and fifth was Scott Gelo’s VENTUS with 28 pts.

The J/105s had five local boats, and Chip Schaffner and team on FALL LINE placed first in class with 12 points after seven races and taking four 1sts along the way.  Taking the silver was Robert Mock’s UNBRIDLED and sitting in the bronze position on the podium were the Uhlir Brothers on TRIO.

The nine-boat J/24 class has incredibly spirited competition.  Winning his class with three bullets in six races was Ryan Lashaway’s ESCAPE PLAN on an equal points tiebreaker over John O’Brien’s FLY BY.  Third on the podium was Park McRitchie’s NO B.S. with 18 pts.

Following racing each day, competitors were greeted with live music, food trucks and cocktails. The Race Committee did an outstanding job on all four courses and in all weather conditions. Following two days off, Cleveland Race Week starts up again with the Junior Day on Wednesday, and Women’s, Doublehanded and RC Boat Racing Wednesday evening. Offshore Racing will begin on Thursday evening and continue through the weekend.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Van Isle 360 Race Midway Regatta Report

J/122E JOYRIDE sailing off Seattle, WA(Vancouver, BC, Canada)- Taking place from June 10th to 24th has been the famous Pacific Northwest truly massive “Round Island Race”, one of the world’s longest at 600nm+ (only Round Britain & Ireland is longer!).  In this year’s event, there have been thirty keelboats participating in the infamous race, of which seven of them are J/teams (23% of the fleet!).  There are nine individual point-to-point races that comprise the entire score for the Van Isle 360, your basic circumnavigation of Vancouver Island!  Here is the breakdown for each leg:
  • Date    Start    Finish    NM
  • 10-Jun    Nanaimo    Comox    37.4nm
  • 11-Jun    Comox    Campbell River    27.6nm
  • 12-Jun    Deepwater Bay    Hardwicke Island    24.2nm
  • 13-Jun    Hardwicke Island    Telegraph Cove    41.0nm
  • 15-Jun    Telegraph Cove    Port Hardy    28.7nm
  • 16-Jun    Port Hardy    Winter Harbour    69.1nm
  • 18-Jun    Winter Harbour    Ucluelet    138.1nm
  • 21-Jun    Ucluelet    Victoria    98.2nm
  • 23-Jun    Victoria    Nanaimo    59.9nm
To give you a taste of what it has been like to sail the event, here is a description from one crew’s blog of what has been happening to the fleet:
J/133 Constellation offshore“Day 6 - Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy: Winds up to 40 knots, 10 foot rolling waves, hail and rain, multiple blown spinnakers, round ups, a blown main, a lost rudder, broken spreaders, bent spinnaker poles... and a quick trip to Port Hardy for most! It was sketchy out there to say the least, but everyone made it back to port safe! Resting in Port Hardy till tomorrow's race to Winter Harbour!

Day 7 & 8 - Port Hardy to Winter Harbour: Just about every type of wind condition you can get, ruled this 80 nm race. Started off slow, some nice winds before hitting Nahwitti Bar and a nice run until winds died again at the finish. We had amazing sunset, despite the challenging conditions!

Day 9 & 10 - Winter Harbour to Ucluelet: That was a brutal leg. Winds starting in the 30 knots, waves up to 12 feet tall... crazy cold and bumpy, 138nm race took us over 33 hours to complete. Winds and surf lightened up towards the finish. Thank the universe I can fall asleep anywhere, or I'm not sure how I'd make it through that leg of the race!”

So far, the John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE ( has been leading her fleet.  However, the duo of Jason Andrews & Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI ( have been catching up fast on the “ocean” legs versus the “straits legs” that JOY RIDE seemed to enjoy!  Through leg six, JOY RIDE was leading, with Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION in third and HAMACHI in fourth place overall in the entire fleet.

J/125 Hamachi- off Seattle, WAThe HAMACHI blog commented on their experiences so far: “we just crushed Leg 5 of the Van Isle 360. Winds were 30 plus kts at the start and averaged 15 to 25 with peak of 35 kts. We started under reefed main and J4, and then set the A3. We covered 29 nm in 2.5 hours taking line honors for the fleet (ahead of Smoke who split their main at the start) and allegedly set a course record. We saw 20.5 kts of boat speed and averaged high teens. The boat beautifully handled 4-6 ft seas. We could do this every race!  It was a great couple of days racing around the north end of Vancouver Island and through the Johnstone Strait. Beautiful vistas, fast currents (5-6 kts helping and hurting) and good fleet. Its been all upwind so far in 4-20 kts and Hamachi has held her own, although we don’t understand ORC scoring. Hamachi took division line honors on Day 4.

The two J/109’s (Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY and Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO) were 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in ORC 2 division after six legs.  And, Mardy Grossman & Scott Shaw-MacLaren’s J/30 NATURAL HIGH that have been sailing Doublehanded Division and were in first at the sixth leg point in the race. In other words, an amazing performance by the intrepid adventurers aboard the J/Boats in this tough, but spectacular event.  For more Van Isle 360 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Long Beach Race Week Preview

J/70 sailing Long Beach Race Week (Long Beach, CA)- Co-hosted by Alamitos Bay YC and Long Beach YC, the Long Beach Race Week encompasses a combination of One-design and around the buoys/ random-leg racing in PHRF handicap classes all over San Pedro Bay using fixed navigational points, providing a variety of beating, reaching, and running.

The largest class at the event is the J/70s, with twenty-eight entrants vying for J/70 World’s qualifying spots for the 2018 event in Marblehead, MA.  Teams from all over the West Coast and Mexico will be on the starting line.  Notable teams include Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT sailing with Bill Hardesty as tactician, Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO, Chris Raab’s SUGOI, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT, Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Steve Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE, Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS, Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01, and Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE.  The leading Mexican teams present include Ignacio Perez’s ZAGUERO and Luis Barrios’ ZUMBALE.

The J/120 fleet has five incredibly evenly matched teams participating, all of whom had won some event in J/120s over the years.  The impossible to predict racing form includes John Laun’s CAPER, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE and John Snook’s JIM.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, the PHRF Racing fleet includes David Boatner’s J/35 RIVAL and in the PHRF Random Leg fleet are Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL, Glenn Griley’s J/122 TKO, Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR, and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS.   Sailing photo credits- Dave McBridge  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, June 23, 2017

J/80 Pornic Cup Preview

J/80 Pornic Cup sailing(Pornic, France)- The third event of the J/80 Coupe de France will be held in Pornic, France.  Thirty boats are expected for the event, a popular one for the French J/80 fleet since it is a beautiful summer setting, the races are always perfectly run, and the hosts are impeccably gracious and welcoming of all the sailors.

Not surprisingly, the top J/80 teams in the 2017 J/80 circuit are participating, including most of all the top boats from the last event, the Grand Prix Ecole del Navale in Camaret-sur-Mer, France.  The top of the leaderboard should see teams like Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Eric Brezellec’s COURRIER JUNIOR, Capucine Vitel’s VITEL SAILING TEAM, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, and Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG 29.  For more J/80 Pornic Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Alcatel J/70 Cup Act III Preview

J/70 sailing Italy (Riva del Garda, Italy)- The second Lake Garda event for the ALCATEL J/70 CUP takes place this weekend with a record-setting seventy-two boats registered. The host club, Fraglia Vela Riva, is looking forward to hosting the world championship caliber fleet; the Regatta Committee is chaired by Fabrizio Donato with PRO Fausto Maroni.

Hoping to “three-peat” the event is the winner of the past two editions, Franco Solerio's L’ELAGAIN. However, there are many top teams from sixteen nations (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey) participating in the regatta, many of whom are world championship caliber teams. The local Italian fleet has virtually all their top teams present, including newly crowned J/70 European Champion Claudia Rossi and her PETITE TERRIBLE crew, Vittorio di Mauro’s TCL SAILING TEAM, Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM, and Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK.

The “foreign contingent” that will be doing their best to match the top Italian crews include Klaus Diem’s PFANDER from Austria, Patrick van Heurck’s JAXX from Belgium, Mauricio Santa Cruz’s MANDA CHUVA from Brazil, Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY from Cayman Islands, Jose Maria Torcida and Luis Martin Cabiedes sailing NOTICIA from Spain (2nd in the J/70 Europeans in the U.K.), Marco Schirato’s JAWS TOO from France, Jeremy Thorps PHAN from the U.K., Tobias Feuerherdt’s HANDWERKER from Germany, Sebastian Ripard’s CALYPSO from Malta, Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO and Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA from Monaco, Wouter Kollmann’s PLAY from The Netherlands, Krzysztof Krempec’s EWA from Poland, Valeriya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE and Dmitri Shunin’s GOLDEN WING from Russia, Julian Flessati’s JILL from Switzerland, and Emir Icgoren’s AMEERA JET from Turkey!  For more Alcatel J/70 Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

J/122 JAVELIN wins Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta

J/122 Australian women's team (Melbourne, Australia)- The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) is an annual regatta hosted by Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Australia held on the long weekend in June. It is the only “all women” regatta in Australia and this year attracted 25 boats. The regatta is run over three days and consists of six races that form a series of mostly windward-leeward races.  Here is the story from Sally Crowley, she sailed the event as skipper on her J/122 JAVELIN with an all-women’s crew:

“I had hoped to participate in the regatta for 2 years and decided that 2017 was the year. Meanwhile, my husband and I had been looking for a J/122 for some time when ‘Javelin’ came up for sale. The J/122’s size, layout and pedigree was very appealing for the type of bay and offshore racing we are keen to pursue in Queensland, so we flew to Melbourne for a test sail and knew straight away this was the boat for us!

Having taken delivery of ‘Javelin’ at the end of April, I formed a crew of 9 from various Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron boats, including 3 crew from the J/130 ‘Ragtime’, skippered by Chris Morgan. Chris kindly allowed us to train on Ragtime to become familiar with the “J” layout prior to the regatta. The crew and I also flew to Melbourne for a training weekend in mid-May knowing our next trip down would be for the AWKR.

J/122 women's Australia teamJune 8th saw our arrival for the regatta where we were greeted with light winds that stayed for the whole regatta. Besides being my first regatta as skipper, our biggest challenge was to keep the boat moving to compete against many smaller and lighter boats.  Out came our largest sails, the number 2 headsail and the A3 spinnaker for the whole regatta. Day one saw a call for 3 races from the RO placing us 1st overall on EHC Div-1 and 3rd on IRC Div-1. Day 2 more light winds and a longer course on Race 5, it was a long day but we managed to keep ‘Javelin’ moving by keeping the crew forward and leeward on the downwind legs and bunched up amidships and leeward on the windward legs. We finished the day 2nd overall on EHC by 1 point and 3rd overall in IRC. Day 3 and a 10-15kts westerly greeted us 20 minutes before the start and the boat livened up ready for a great J/Boat day. This breeze was short lived and we then faced a final 6th race with sub 5 kts and a need to make sure we finished at least 2 places ahead of the Melges 32 ‘Envyus’. The final downwind run saw the best crew work of the regatta with an almost 180 degree wind shift, a challenging spinnaker drop in 14 kts of breeze TWA of 45 degrees to turn the downwind run to the finish into a shy J/122 sailing Australian Women's Keelboatreach. Finally, ‘Javelin’ was able to come into her own, landing us in 1st position to take out the EHC Div-1 trophy for the regatta and 3rd overall on IRC Div-1!

It was a pleasure to skipper such a wonderful group of women ranging in experience from 6 months to decades and thanks go to Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron members and staff who supported our campaign and the generous advice of our more experienced crew members who helped us win.

Delivery of ‘Javelin’ to her new home at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is planned in the coming week (approx. 1,000nm).  Next splashes out are the Brisbane to Keppel Cat-2 race in August followed by Hamilton Island Race week, with 3 J/Boats already entered in IRC Passage.”  Sailing photo credits- Bruno Cocozza Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

J’s Sweep Epic Chicago NOOD Regatta

J/111s sailing in Chicago (Chicago, IL)- “If there ever was a perfect weekend for sailing in the world, it was in Chicago for the NOOD regatta! Nearly half the boats entered were J/Boats. And, if there was a J/Boat in a section, the J/Boat won. Day One saw shifting conditions with wind 6-12 kts, sunny, warm, and a bit of fresh water spray just a bit refreshing. The Southwest breeze shifted to North, but the timing on the shifts was such that for many of the classes it came between races. Day Two was a windy day, 20-30 kts out of the Southwest. The offshore, gusty breeze was just fun to sail in. Then, Day Three, it was back to moderate Southwest breezes of 8-14 kts on a perfectly sunny day on Lake Michigan,” reported Richie Stearns.

The HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta, presented by SAILING WORLD magazine, featured over 140 boats and at least 1,000+ sailors that raced on four racing “circles” across the magnificent Chicago waterfront, the site of the 2016 America’s Cup AC45 Regatta series.  Fifty-seven J/Crews (about 43% of the fleet) reveled in the fabulous sailing conditions all weekend-long.

J/70s sailing off ChicagoIn the twenty-boat J/70 class, it was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE team that compiled an incredible record of 5 bullets in seven races to win by just two points over Bob Hughes’ HEARTBREAKER team. Third place went to Martin Johnsson’s crew on AQUAHOLIKS and they were first place as well in the Corinthians Division. Rounding out the top five were John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA in 4th and Mark Teborek’s NORBY in 5th position (and 2nd in Corinthians).

The J/70 Corinthians Division was rounded out by Dave Dennison’s PIRANHA in third, Ian Beckley’s youth team from Little Traverse YC in fourth, and Adam Bowen’s BLACK PEARL in fifth place.  Here is a summary of the sailing from Corinthians top dog, Martin Johnsson:

“For the regatta, our pre-game strategy was simply to avoid mistakes; over early, caught outside in roundings, protests, going for too much leverage, etc.  In hindsight, this proved to be an effective strategy.

On Friday, we set up for a conservative midline start as we are confident in our speed and point in light to mid-range breeze.  For Saturday, we were a bit off the pace, but with height, and tried to maintain position upwind.  We were able to make gains downwind.  This worked well in race 3 and 4, however, in race 5 our spin halyard slipped on two separate occasions that caused an "auto-broach”!!  That proved to be quite costly.  On Sunday, we were very aggressive in the start and felt fast.  By sailing to reduce risk we made gains on each leg and took a bullet in race 6 and a 3rd in race 7. It was a tricky regatta considering the range in conditions.  A key point for me is that we stayed calm and talked through our boat-handling and speed concerns or positioning.  That calmness is what I attribute our ability to make the podium.”

Roesch's J/111 Velocity crew- winnersIt was epic racing for the fourteen crews in the J/111 class.  For the first time, an “outsider” from the Great Lakes won a regatta on Lake Michigan!  Kudos go to Martie Roesch’s fast crew from Annapolis, MD sailing their familiar VELOCITY; posting a two bullets in their seven-race tally to win with 16 pts.  Not surprisingly, their battles came from leading Chicago area teams in the form of Brad Faber’s UTHA and the three musketeers on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer).  Faber’s crew sailed consistently, winning three races themselves to post 24 pts and take the silver.  Rounding out the podium was KASHMIR, also winning two races, but suffering a DSQ in race two in a tussle with SHAMROCK, to toss out the door their chances for the overall lead. The balance of the top five was Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK in 4th and John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA in 5th.

Here is the report on the J/109 class from the perspective of Peter Priede’s winning crew on FULL TILT:
“The Chicago NOOD regatta had an incredibly close J/109 fleet this year.  Friday was a perfect sailing day. 6 to 12 knots wind but big shifts all day that kept everyone on their toes. It was easy to slip from first to forth on any given leg. After 3 races Jim Mitchel and Bruce Danly’s TOA had a one point lead over us and Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR. Day two brought on the big breeze, 18 to 30 all day on the southern course but the 109’s seem to be made for the wind and all spinnakers up except the last run of the day when the wind topped 30, only half the fleet set. The final day saw moderate winds and a perfect sailing day. NORTHSTAR and TOA got tangled up on the first start and were over the line. NORTHSTAR was thrown out and TOA didn’t realize they were over and got a OCS.”

FULL TILT sailed away with the regatta scoring two first on the final day for 18 pts total. The silver went to the Danly/Mitchell duo on TOA and the bronze to Gustman’s NORTHSTAR.  Fourth was Keith Eickenberg’s BLACKFIN and fifth Jim Murray’s CALLISTO.

J/88 sailing Chicago NOODThe J/88 Chicago fleet report contribution comes from Andy Graff on EXILE:
“Five J/88s raced at the Chicago NOODs, including Ben Wilson's RAMBLER, which took first place in a the 15-boat distance racing section. Three J/88s competed all three days in a 10-boat PHRF section for course racing. On Friday, J/88s EXILE and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG ended the day in the top two spots after two races in medium-light, shifty breeze. Saturday was a completely different story, with steady breeze building to 30 knots by the end of racing. At 29 feet, the J/88s were five feet shorter than anyone else in the fleet and lost a bit of ground upwind, but not so much as to fall out of contention. Tod Patton's BLONDIE 2 had the best boat speed uphill in the higher winds and improved their standing with a 4-4-3. EXILE was the only boat to fly a running kite in the last race and promptly broached a few times after the set in 27 knots. However, this proved to be worth the risk as EXILE still made large gains on the downwind despite the delay and ended the day with a 3-3-2. Sunday featured some match racing at the start between EXILE and the J/35 NOMATA, which entered the day with a two-point lead. NOMATA went on to win the regatta, while the J/88s EXILE, WINDSONG and BLONDIE 2 took 2nd, 3rd and 5th, respectively.”

Ben Wilson’s report about their adventures offshore on the J/88 RAMBLER indicated they had a scream racing in the EPIC sailing conditions on Saturday:
“RAMBLER had another fun day in big-breeze racing in the ORR 2 Section of the NOOD Distance Race. Conditions were nice for the Blue Course of roughly 32 miles in SSW breezes of 25-30 knots. Staying patient in the first 17 miles upwind, it came time for the 15-mile downwind leg bearing 349 degrees to the Wilson Intake Crib. RAMBLER followed the polar chart that had them hoisting the Doyle A3 Spinnaker. After popping the A3 kit, RAMBLER was sending it at 16.5 knots boat speed virtually the entire leg!! And like that…RAMBLER was gone!! Never saw anyone again!!  Team RAMBLER MVP was 12 year old Danielle Ewing, a student at Columbia Yacht Club Sailing School- Danielle enjoyed the big breeze, the excitement of ripping along at 16 knots, and the experience of winning her first bullet in a J/88!”

J/105 Striking- sailed by woman skipper Vanessa GatesThe J/105 class saw near total domination take place in their fleet of eight boats.  In other words, a “schooling” on how to sail consistent, fast, with few mistakes.  That would be the SEALARK crew, skippered by Clark Pellet, posting three bullets in a row and coasting to the class win with 16 pts.  Second was Mark Gurney’s BUZZ with 21 pts and third was Chicago class stalwart Gyt Petkus on VYTIS.  The rest of the top five included Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING in 4th (a first for her crew to finish in the top five!) and Robert Amos’ SOUTHBOUND in 5th.

Finally, to round out the clean sweep of every single class that had a J/Boats participating, it was Arne Fliflet’s J/120 MAZAL TOV that won PHRF NS Rally Offshore class.  Similarly, it was Jay Burler’s J/44 CHEEP’N’DEEP 2 that took class honors in the ORR 1 Offshore class. That rounds out a most amazing weekend for J/Crews on the Chicago waterfront!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/
For more Chicago NOOD sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CV Saint-Aubin-Elbeuf Win French J/80 Sailing League

French J/80 sailing league winners (Le Havre, France)- After La Rochelle last year, it was Le Havre that hosted, from 8 to 11 June, fourteen French clubs for the 2nd edition of the National Sailing League. This unique event was created to determine which French clubs would qualify for the Sailing Champions League semi-final event that will be sailing J/70s in St Petersburg, Russia. The top 50% of the teams at St Petersburg will qualify to participate in the Sailing Champions League finals in Porto Cervo, Sardinia at YC Costa Smeralda.

Nicolas Hénard, President of the French Sailing Federation (FFV), commented that, “the concept of the National Sailing League brings a new dynamic in the way we must consider and design our competitions. The Test Event in La Rochelle last year made it possible to validate the concept and we are delighted that Le Havre hosted the 2017 edition. It was a great occasion to discuss our work in progress and understand their expectations vis-à-vis the FFVoile and how we can expand the exciting National Sailing League throughout France.”

Edward Russo, President of the French National Sailing League Committee, said, "La Rochelle was a great success, it allowed us to select the four sailing clubs for the 2017 Sailing Champions League. The Le Havre event promised an exciting competition between the clubs from all across France, and SR Le Havre delivered.“

J/80 women's sailing team at French Sailing LeagueAs host of this year’s event, Société des Régates du Havre provided a fleet of matched J/80 one-design class sailboats for the fourteen teams. What distinguished the 2017 edition from last year is that eleven different provinces in France were represented, from the “Maritimes” on the north, west and south coasts as well as sailing clubs from the lakes in the French Alps!  It was truly the first national sailing club championship ever held in the history of French sailing!  The supporting partners in the event included MARINEPOOL (the global clothing brand), SAP (the global leader in enterprise technology) and the City of Le Havre.

The hard work put in by the FFV and the French National Sailing League committee paid off in big dividends in terms of the high-quality teams they attracted.  World Champions, Olympic Medallists, European Champions, offshore champions in IMOCA 60s/ Mini 6.5s, all were present!  For example, there was a 100% all women team from CNTL Marseille! Team tactician Marie Duvignac explained their mission, “we are proud to be the only all-women crew in the event. We compete as sailors, not girls, so although there may be some disadvantages in terms of strength, the wonderful part about sailing is that it is mostly skill and brains!  We have plenty of that on our team!  And, we’re not afraid to take on the world’s best, we know the J/80 sailboat quite well.”

J/80 sailing league off Le Havre, FranceOther top French Olympic sailors were also present.  Sofian Bouvet sailed with SR Antibes; he was European champion in 470s in 2013 and 2016 with Jérémie Mion, bronze medalist in 470 at the 2016 World Championships and 7th at the Rio Olympic Games. In addition, Camille Lecointre sailed with SR Brest; he was bronze medalist at the Rio Olympic Games in 470s!  Talk about hauling in “the ringers” to help your club sail fast!  That ain’t whistling Dixie!

How did the winners of this event- CV Saint-Aubin-Elbeuf overcome all this talent and, on top of that, call their home a tiny lake in the French Alps??  Here is how it all went down.

Day One- Friday
The first day saw seven races completed for the fleet.  It was a very intense day for all the teammates who had to work on their maneuvers on the short courses set by the Race Committee. The standings at the end of the day saw SR Antibes in the lead, followed by CVSAE and APCC Nantes.

Day Two- Saturday
The wind conditions on the Le Havre bay did not allow the organizing team to launch as many races as the program foresaw. In the morning, only one race per crew could be completed. It was not until around 5 pm, after a return to shore for the whole fleet, that the crews were able to return to the water to compete for one or two more races.

On the eve of the final day, the podium was identical to the ranking on Friday. But, thanks to their victory in the last race of the day, the CVSAE was tied on equal points with SR Antibes. A duel that was reminiscent of that of last year in La Rochelle between the CVSQ and the CVSAE. In third place, was APCC Nantes and hot on their heels giving them a lot of pressure was the crew from Granville.

French J/80 sailing league winnersDay Three- Sunday
While the first day of racing on Friday took place with 12 knots of wind, then all but disappeared on Saturday, but fortunately, returned on Sunday with 4 to 8 kt winds.  As a result, sail handling and boat handling were at a premium as one meter lost was a hard meter to earn back!  It was incredibly tight competition.  Starting off the day, the two leaders were tied on points, so it was “all or nothing” for them to win the regatta between Antibes Regatta Society (SR Antibes) and the lakes sailors from CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf.  The delicious irony for the team on CVSAE was that Sunday’s conditions exactly mirrored the type of conditions they see on their lake, flat waters, light streaky breezes; it was clear they felt more at home in these conditions than many of the other teams.

The battle on the high seas was intense.  Nevertheless, in the final tally it was CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf that was crowned regatta winners.  That means the final four qualifiers from France to go to the Sailing Champions League in either St Petersburg, Russia or St Moritz, Switzerland will be CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf, SR Antibes, APCC Voiles Sportive Nantes and CV Saint Quentin.

The winning skipper on CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf, Cédric Château, said, "It was a bit complicated this morning because we did not sail very well, we had our three worst races of the regatta. Then we had a little debrief and we recovered ourselves. We were able to get back into the game and it ended rather well for us! We are very pleased, we were sailing against many of the best sailors in France, so we are very proud of this victory.”  Follow the French National Sailing League on Facebook here   For more French National Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.