Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cleveland 216 Regatta Preview

J/22s sailing Great Lakes(Cleveland, OH)- On Lake Erie, the season-ending finale has symbolically become the Cleveland 216 Regatta hosted by the Edgewater YC for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/70s, and J/105s.

All fleets are about a half-dozen strong.  In the J/70s, expect to see Tod Sackett’s FM and Lee Sackett’s AQUA DUMP defending the host clubs’ honors.

In the J/22s, watch out for Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA from Buffalo YC hoping to overcome the hometown boys from EYC led by quartet of crews- Tim Roberts’ DEUCE, Rick Raymond’s LONDON FOG, Jim Latham’s RAMBLE ON, and Mike Meaney’s MEANIAC.

Similarly, the trio in J/105s from EYC hope have a least a representative or two on the podium between Jim Uhlier’s TRIO, Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION, and Robert Mock’s DARK HORSE.  For more Cleveland 216 Regatta sailing information

Friday, September 29, 2017

Caribbean Regattas Support- Help Them Recover- Go Sailing!

Caribbean Offshore Racing circuit(Lymington, England)-Said SEAHORSE’s publisher/ editor, Andrew Hurst (a J/80 owner in Lymington, UK)- “We’ve managed to remain in close touch with our friends in the Caribbean Sailing Association throughout their recent and dreadful experiences – offering by comparison minuscule but still sincere support wherever it can be of any use whatsoever.
We were thrilled– and surprised– by the inspiring stated ambition to run their scheduled regattas for the coming 2018 Caribbean season. We at Seahorse will be digging deep and stretching ourselves a little thin, but we are committing now to having people at all the events we possibly can and we very much encourage the entire sailing community to do the same.

Nikki Beach party- Voiles de St BarthThe Caribbean regatta circuit plays a huge role in supporting the local economies of many of the islands that were just ravaged by Hurricane Irma (and, lately Maria)– islands and communities that have been incredibly welcoming to us all in the past.

Now it’s our turn. As racing sailors, if ever you had an interest in visiting or revisiting a Caribbean Regatta then early 2018 is the best– and most public spirited– opportunity (hopefully) any of us will have in our lifetimes.

St Barth, Gustavia, CaribbeanThe following article (which was written pre-Irma) maps out the CSA’s key events – we urge you to commit to one or more today, notify the organisers of your intention to take part and support wonderful communities that are at this moment working desperately hard to provide their families with something approaching normal living in the most adverse and dispiriting of conditions.”

Caribbean Regattas on track for 2018
The Caribbean Sailing Association announced its five-year Winter Series International Race Calendar with events starting as early as November and the CSA website lists many additional events. Most of our member nations from the islands affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma have checked in and confirmed that planning continues for the coming season and we are confident that regattas and sailing events will proceed without interruption, even in the most severely affected islands. CSA members and friends are working together with those islands to assist in the recovery process.
J/88 sailing Voiles de St Barth regatta
Want to help? You can make donations and send aid for those in need (see below), but one of the most helpful things you can do is proceed with your plans to visit our shores, participate in our regattas and recommend to your friends and peers that they do the same. Don’t delay until next season. Tourism is the life blood of Caribbean economies and they need your continued support to ensure they recover and those hit hardest bounce back quickly.

President of the Caribbean Sailing Association, Kathy Lammers, encourages you to proceed with your plans for the coming season: “Our hearts go out to our friends, neighbors and colleagues who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Irma (and Maria) and we wish you a full and speedy recovery. The CSA is confident that our regattas and events will go on so please proceed with your plans to visit us this season and submit your online entries early. The sun still shines, the water is still warm and the ever-present trade winds won’t let you down.”

Caribbean 2018 Regatta Circuit Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Frederikshavn SC Two-Peats Danish J/70 Sailing League!

J/70s sailing Danish J/70 Sailing League (Skovshoved, Denmark)- The grand finale for the 2017 Danish J/70 Sailing League took place from September 15th to 17th at Skovshoved, Denmark. In the end, it was the Frederikshavn SC that was declared Denmark's best sailing club for the second consecutive year! Despite pressure going into the final event, the North Jutland team managed to keep the competitors away, as the year's sailing league ended Sunday in Skovshoved.

The regatta had its tense and anxious moments for the Frederikshavn Sejklub team.  After twelve races in Skovshoved, they had a solid lead over KDY in the overall standings.  However, in the thirteenth flight, Frederikshavn scored a 6th place (last in their race) that threatened to drop them lower in the standings for the regatta, and thus the series lead.  It was tight racing for 3rd through 8th place in the event, with just four points separating all of them!

J/70 Danish Sailing League winnersIn the penultimate race, both KDY’s skipper Henrik Jensen and Frederikshavn’s skipper Kris Houmann were racing in the same flight, with KDY taking 2nd and Frederikshavn 3rd— keeping them in the lead.  Then, in the last race, KDY started their flight first and posted a 4th place, effectively handing the overall series lead on a silver platter to Frederikshavn.  As a result, the Frederikshavn team could cheer on the dock before they even went out to sail the last race of the regatta.

"We had a race where we finished last today. That put us in a bad mood and added a lot of pressure. But, we tried to focus on finding things that we know we can do right.  And, as we have shown at the other competitions this season, we managed to pull it off," explained Søren Steen, about the crucial moments on Sunday, where the title defense was suddenly endangered.

Frederikshavn could "endure" seventh place at the competition and still win the Danish J/70 League overall. In the end, the team finished sixth, enough for the Championship title with a score card of 1-2-2-6 for 11 pts over the four regattas (Struer, Brejning, Aarhus, Skovshoved).

"It was a lot of joy and redemption for us. We knew well before the competition and that it was only us who could lose the title on the race track. It was exciting, but eventually we did it,” said Captain Kris Houmann of Frederikshavn Sejklub.

Danish J/70 Sailing League winnersFrederikshavn Sejklub Chairman- Helmuth Melsen- was pleased to see their team take home the championship trophy to Frederikshavn, where it has adorned the wall of the clubhouse for the last year.

"It is indescribable and wonderful for our club to have this great crew. They are a fantastic four- a lucky four-leaf clover! Since we won the title the first time a year ago, the club has received a lot of local attention in the press, which we did not experience before.  We hope to get a league match to Frederikshavn in 2018. So, winning the Sailing League has really meant a lot for our club," said a proud Mr Melsen.

KDY secured this year's Danish Sailing League silver. KDY's crew in Skovshoved consisted of Niels Gramkow, Thomas Hartvig, Henning Lambertsen and Skipper Henrik Jensen.  KDY also finished second in the league debut in 2014.

That same year in 2014, Kerteminde Sailing Club took the bronze. This year, again, Kerteminde took the bronze with their well-matched top crew- Thomas Møhl, Magnus Jung Johansen, Yann le Helleix and Skipper Jørgen Mohr Ernst.

For Hellerup Sailing Club, 2017 was the club's weakest performance in the league so far. Without podium placements at any of the first three competitions, they were determined to redeem themselves in the final league event.  And, that they did! In Skovshoved, Hellerup was in the front all the way from beginning to end.  They won 8 of 15 races and ran the table completely in the last four races!  Q.E.D.!!  Hellerup's team in Skovshoved was Peter Wibroe, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Kristian Kvid Sørensen, and skipper Trine Abrahamsen.  Camilla Hylleberg Photography   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Claudia Rossi- VANITY FAIR Girl Sailing Amongst Giants!

Vanity Fair- Claudia RossiClaudia Rossi- J/70 sailor extraordinaireRossi Led Many Top Women Teams Sailing the Worlds
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- No question, for a 25 year old girl growing up in Italy, Claudia Rossi has earned her fair share of accolades "sailing amongst the giants" of the sport- not just in Europe, but also worldwide.

This month's Italian VANITY FAIR edition not only features Angelina Jolie on the cover, but also features Claudia as a woman that can compete on the world stage, a supremely talented sailor forging new levels of competition for women in sailing around the world.  She proved it, yet again, sailling her PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI into 4th place overall and was top women helm.

Russian woman skipper- Valerya KovalenkoSimilarly, the second women helm at the J/70 Worlds was the 2017 Monaco Winter Series Champion, the top Russian women skipper- Valerya Kovalenko from Moscow, Russia.  Her team on ARTTUBE is often at the top of the Russian J/70 Sailing League and will, again, be sailing the Monaco Winter Series starting in mid-December 2017; a five regatta series that ends with the Primo Cup Credit Suisse at YC Monaco in March 2018.

British woman Olympic Gold Medallist- Hannah MillsAt the J/70 Worlds were several all-womens teams, too.  One was the United Kingdom's Hannah Mills, an Olympic 470 Gold Medallist, sailing with five other women on her team, including Suzy Russell and Hanna Peters.  Hannah was third woman helm at the AUDI J/70 Worlds.

The Dutch all-women's crew was part of the "She Sails" team that have been competing all summer, including the J/70 Europeans sailed on the Solent and hosted by Royal Southern YC in Hamble, England. The crew on WATERLAND MONNICKENDAM included Rikst Dijkstra, Sanno Crum, Fettje Osinga, Milah WoutersGerman women's J/70 team- Lady Like, and Nova Huppess from Amterdam, The Netherlands.

Then, there was an all-women's team from Germany that had been sailing on Lake Constance and were participants all year long in the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga that saw racing all over Germany, from the south to the north- Travemunda, Kiel, Lake Constance, Alster Lake in Hamburg, and so forth.  The "YC Langenargen Team" team sailed LADY LIKE, skippered by Anica Rimmele with crew of Lina & Rosanna Schnetz (sisters), Carla Rau, and Anne Winkelhausen. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Epic Rolex Big Boat Series!

J/105s sailing Rolex Big Boat Series (San Francisco, CA)- Burgees fluttered and spectra halyards slapped against carbon-fiber and aluminum masts on 89 highly tuned race boats assembled at the St. Francis Yacht Club for the 53rd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 13-17, 2017). The event is the West Coast’s premier regatta and one of the international sailing circuit’s most celebrated and anticipated Grand Prix events. There was a crackle of excitement in the late summer air as crews completed their final pre-race preparations for the four-day regatta.

The StFYC Race Committee split the impressive entry list into eleven classes consisting of six one-design fleets (11 J/70s, 24 J/105s, five J/120s, Farr 40s, Express 37s and Pac52s), three ORR fleets (nine ORR-A entrants, nine ORR-B boats and five ORR-C entrants), a six-strong PHRF sportboat class and a multihull class.  Here is how it all went down over the course of the four days.

J/111s sailing Rolex Big Boat SeriesDay One- Thursday
While it’s tough to win a high-level regatta on Day One of racing, it’s possible to lose the series right away, especially in a highly competitive fleet racing on a challenging body of water.

Throughout the two races, all 89 teams battled for strong leaderboard positions to set themselves up for the rest of the week’s racing. Fortunately, the Bay played nicely, at least at first, delivering five-to-eight-knot winds at the Treasure Island starting area. By the start of the second race, however, the breeze had built to a solid 20-plus knots, with a strong flood tide, as the sun marched west.

J/105s sailing San Francisco BayDay Two- Friday
Good wind is almost never in short supply on San Francisco Bay during the Rolex Big Boat Series, and day two of racing was no exception, even if it required a one-hour shore-side postponement to allow the breeze to build. But, once the starting signals began sounding, the air pressure gathered with the steepening seas, delivering what the 89 registrants came here for: full-on San Francisco Bay conditions that tested each team’s boathandling skills and endurance levels during two races stretching into the late afternoon. And, while the wind speed kept ratcheting upwards as the day progressed, so too did racecourse competition levels, especially given the fact there are no discarded races at the Rolex Big Boat Series, meaning that everyone is sailing for keeps.

“Unlike short-course windward-leeward racing, the Rolex Big Boat Series uses longer courses that cover diverse parts of the Bay, which makes it possible to make significant navigational gains or losses—where a good move can reap large dividends or an error can prevent you from being able to dig back in by catching a shift,” said Bruce Stone, co-skipper of the J/105 ARBITRAGE (USA 116). “As a no throw-out regatta, you can’t take fliers or make large mistakes, but good straight-line boat speed is rewarded on the long legs, and any of the top boats who had a bad start will generally be able to make their way back at least to the middle of the pack and can still win the regatta.”

After four races, Chris & Phil Perkins’ GOOD TIMIN’ was topping the J/105 leaderboard, followed by Phillip Laby’s GODOT and Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION.

J/120 sailing Rolex Big Boat SeriesSkipper David Halliwill and his PEREGRINE team won the past three editions of the J/120 class at Rolex Big Boat Series, and after four races the StFYC-flagged team is again topping the leaderboard, followed by Barry Lewis’s CHANCE and Stephen Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO. “The crew is mostly small boat and dinghy sailors that have been sailing together for decades in large competitive fleets,” said Halliwill of his talented crew.

As for the gravity that keeps drawing the PEREGRINE crew back to this regatta each year, Halliwill echoed the entire regatta’s sentiment: “The high level of competition, the big-breeze and strong-current racing conditions, the camaraderie, and the StFYC and their volunteers—they consistently deliver the best experience in the world.” And, added the skipper with a fine collection of Rolex Big Boat Series trophy hardware, “Winning is fun.” Amen!

J/88 sailing Rolex Big Boat SeriesDay Three- Saturday
When it comes to natural sailing amphitheaters, San Francisco Bay is virtually impossible to beat. Not only does the Bay present great geographical features for sailors to race around, but the late-September winds have a reputation for greeting each day with relatively calm velocities that climb into the high-teens to mid-20s as the racing unfurls. Best of all, the breeze hits a high note during the final finishes of each day, delivering a postcard-perfect experience for the crowds gathered on StFYC’s Race Deck. Day three of this exciting, every-race-counts regatta was no exception.

“We started with a moderate breeze that filled in as the day progressed, allowing us to get off two great races that challenged crews sailing ability as well as endurance, especially later in the afternoon,” said Jenn Lancaster, StFYC’s Race Director. “After six races, the leaders are consolidating their positions going into tomorrow, which is their final chance to improve their standings."

The ORR-B class is comprised of nine boats that range in vintage from a pair of J/44s (including Paul Stemler’s PATRIOT), to five J/111s, including Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY, which was fresh off of winning the 2017 J/111 World Championships. ORR-B began their day on the Treasure Island starting area on a long windward-leeward twice-around affair that included a final kite run along the city front as a San Francisco Fire Department fireboat arched its four water cannons high into the midday sky.

J/111 sailing San Francisco BayThe ORR-B class’s second race unfurled on the Alcatraz starting area on a course that brought the fleet out and under the Golden Gate Bridge for a taste of classic northern California sailboat racing. After six completed races, Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA was sitting in 2nd place with Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY in third.

The crews aboard the 11-strong J/70 fleet also spent their day keeping their core temperatures warm as the building winds tested their foul-weather gear and their boathandling skills. “Geoff McDonald and I own the boat together, and we’ve been sailing together since 1991 when we were both on the Stanford sailing team,” said Scott Sellers, co-skipper of the J/70 1FA. As for the boat’s somewhat odd moniker, Sellers was circumspect: “That’s a secret among the crew,” he said. “I’ve had a series of boats with donkey-related names, including Swamp Donkey, Donkey Jack and Tres Burritos, and this one is no exception.”

After six races, Chris Snow and John Brigden’s Cool Story Bro. (USA 369) was in first place, followed by Sellers’s 1FA in second and Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara, CA in third position.

J/105s sailing Rolex Big Boat Series- St Francis YCDay Four- Sunday Finale
While the first three days featured long-course windward-leeward racing, the final day of racing sent competitors on the infamous “Bay Tour” courses with a finishing line directly in front of the StFYC clubhouse, providing onshore spectators a fine view of this year’s warhorses as they paraded past the Club’s stunning Race Deck.

One-design sailing has always been a core component of the St Francis YC’s Rolex Big Boat Series, and this year the Commodore’s Cup— awarded to the winner of the regatta’s largest one-design class— went to brothers Chris and Phil Perkins and their J/105 GOOD TIMIN’.  They were followed by Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION in second place.  Then, third and fourth place were determined by a tie-breaker at 34 pts each, with Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE beating Jeff Littfin’s MOJO on count-back.  Fifth place went to Phil Laby’s GODOT.

J/70s sailing San Francisco BayScott Sellers and his 1FA crew won the 11-boat J/70 class, followed by Chris Snow and John Brigden’s COOL STORY BRO, and Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS in third place.

David Halliwill and his PEREGRINE crew put in a strong showing to win the J/120 class with five 1sts and two 2nd to win by a large margin.  They were followed by Barry Lewis’s CHANCE in second and Stephen Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO in third. Impressively, this was Halliwill’s fourth straight J/120 class win at the Rolex Big Boat Series.

The ORR-A Class was dominated by big boats. However, the two smallest boats in the class- J/125’s- faired well considering the circumstances. Taking 4th was Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER and 6th was Richard Ferris’ AUGUST ICE from Lake Tahoe, NV.

In ORR-B Class, Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA (USA 120) took 2nd place, with Peter Wagner’s J/111 SKELETON KEY taking 4th, Dick Swanson’s J/111 BAD DOG in 5th, Jack Clapper’s J/44 PHANTOM in 6th, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s J/111 DOUBLE DIGIT in 7th and Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIO in 8th.

Getting better each race, Marc McMorris’s team on the J/88 M-SQUARED nearly pulled off the silver in the PHRF Sportboat Division, settling for third on the podium.  Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS finished in 5th overall.
Sailing photo credits- Rolex / Daniel Forster  Chris Ray   Tom Walker   Kara Hugglestone/ SAILCouture     Leslie Richter-   Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing   For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, September 25, 2017

USA’s Duncan Crowned AUDI J/70 World Champion!

J/70 Peter Duncan Relative Obscurity- World ChampionsItaly’s Noe' Tops Corinthians Division
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- In more ways than one, the 2017 edition of the AUDI J/70 World Championship, hosted by YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, will go down in history as one of the most memorable.  For starters, it was the largest fleet of sportboats ever assembled for a World Championship- 163 boats ultimately sailed, with 175 boats initially registered from 24 nations.  Then, over three days of measurement, seven boats were rejected and another six boats simply disappeared and withdrew from the regatta.  As the teaYCCS deck- 60+ knots!ms started to practice on Sunday, it was evident the forecasted “mistral” was going to be much stronger than expected; by Sunday evening winds were a steady 20-30 kts, gusting to 40 kts from the West.  The mistral was the central theme for the next three days, blowing out Monday’s practice race with 62 kts in the harbor and 85 kts in the Straits of Bonifacio (between the southern cape of Corsica and the northern points of Sardinia), then steady 30 to 45 kts for what was supposed to be qualifying races on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Overcoming a wide-variety of challenging weather conditions for the next three days was none other than the American team led by Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  Peter’s crew of Jud Smith, Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz de Leon, simply showed their transom to the fleet more often than not for the six races sailed, compiling an amazing record of 3-1-1-2-1-3 for 8 pts net to easily win Peter’s first J/70 World Championship.

Corinthians winner- Giancfranco Noe- WhitehawkAnother impressive performance was the Corinthians Division winner- Italy’s Gianfranco Noe sailing WHITE HAWK, sailing with his son- Emmanuele and crew of Giuliano Chiandrussi, and Samuele Semi.  Their scorecard of 22-2-3-13-14-16 not only earned an easy Corinthians win, but also placed them 10th overall in the Open division!

Day 3- Thursday
After three days of mistral, the fleet was quite anxious to go sailing. After the mandatory 0930 hrs skipper’s briefing run by the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC in Texas, the teams briskly walked down to their boats and headed out of the gorgeous Porto Cervo harbor into the big seas and big breezes that lay in wait offshore under spectacular sunny blue skies with torn cotton clouds racing across the horizon.  It was a magnificent start for the fleet.  A total of six races were run in 15-22 kts from the remnants of the westerly flowing mistral.  More often than not, the left hand side of the course was better than the right, due to the known geographical shift that would often show up in the top one-third of the race course.

J/70s sailing off Porto Cervo, SardiniaAfter the one-day, three-race qualifying series, Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY led with a 3-1-1 tally for 5 pts; followed in second place by Claudia Rossi’s Italian team on PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI with a 1-4-1 scoreline for 6 pts; and yet another Italian team, Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN, sitting in third place with a 2-2-7 for 11 pts.

The top Corinthians Division leaders were Noe’s WHITEHAWK with a 22-2-3 record for 27 pts in first place; Follin Robin’s GIVE ME FIVE from France with an 8-29-14 for 41 pts in second; and Luis Bugallo’s MARNATURA from Spain with a 23-20-11 for 54 pts in third position.

J/70 Worlds starting line off Porto Cervo, SardiniaDay 4- Friday
On Friday, the regatta moved up a gear, as the fleets were split into Gold and Silver Fleets. The early morning westerly Mistral wind, unexpectedly piped up to over 20 knots before the start of racing.  However, by the end of the day, a southerly wind caused the second race to be abandoned, and racing was shortly called to a halt. Four races had now been held, offically constituting a series, with one day to go.

Following on their amazing performance on the first day of racing, Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew grew their lead to 10 pts by scoring a 2nd in the only race of the day.  Meanwhile, Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI team scored a 9th to drop into third place.  Leapfrogging her into second place by taking a 4th in the race was the Spanish FERMAX team, skippered by Gustavo Martinez Doreste.

Audi J/70 Worlds - Porto Cervo, Sardinia- YC Costa SmeraldaMeanwhile, Noe’s WHITE HAWK continued to lead the Corinthians Division, followed by the Mexican Ignacio Perez skippering ADRENALINE in second place and Bugallo’s MARNATURA in third.

In the Silver fleet, it was Norway’s Eivind Astrup that was leading on NORWEGIAN STEAM and the Silver Corinthians leader was Alessandro Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS from Italy.

The top three for Friday’s Gold Fleet race was all American; Peter Cunningham's POWER PLAY won in shifty conditions with an enormous lead of well over a minute. Despite not getting a great start, Cunningham's team, with Argentinian Lucas Calabrese calling tactics, came back to cross the finish line in first position. Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY was second, scoring their fourth podium in the regatta and Brian Keane's SAVASANA made it a 1-2-3 for the American teams.

"We still had the Mistral wind today, but it was much lighter,” commented Relative Obscurity's Jud Smith. "We thought the right would pay and it did, we rounded the top mark in second. In all my years, I have never been in a keelboat fleet this big. However, now we are in a fleet of about 80 boats, that is similar to last year's Worlds in San Francisco. I guess the popularity is down to the fact that the J/70 is a great boat, and it suits people of different sizes, gender, and ages, and its great to see a lot of young people at the regatta!”

J/70s flying down reach at J/70 Worlds- Porto Cervo, SardiniaDay 5- Epic Saturday Finale
With numerous General Recalls, a Black Flag in play, and a full on foam-up, the Worlds had a thrilling climax to remember for years to come. With sparkling sunshine, a significant sea state, and a warm westerly breeze, piping up to a ballistic 30 knots, the world's largest championship sportsboat fleet enjoyed a fantastic finale.

After a stunning performance, scoring podium finishes in every race, including three race wins, the runaway winner of the regatta was America’s Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY. Another American team, Brian Keane's SAVASANA (with crew of Stu McNay, Tom Barrows, Ron Weed) scored a second in the final race, moving up to runner-up for the championship. Italian Luca Domenici on NOTARO TEAM (with crew of Diego Negri, Stefano Orlandi, Piero Vigo) moved up to third place after posting a BFD-5 in the last two races!  After posting a 9-BFD, Claudia Rossi's attempt to become the first lady helm to win the title was ended, her PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI team settling for 4th place just 4 pts back from 3rd.  Then, only 1 pt behind her in 5th place was another Italian crew, Mauro Roversi’s JCURVE.

The Corinthians Division was easily won by Noe’s WHITE HAWK.  Second, was Bugallo’s MARNATURA and third was Follin’s GIVE ME FIVE.

The overall winner of the Silver Fleet and also the Silver Corinthians winner was Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS from Italy. They were followed in second place by Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA from YC Monaco in Monte Carlo and in third place was Russia’s Dmitry Shunin from Moscow, Russia sailing GOLDEN WING. Rounding out the top five were Michael Grau’s German crew on PAINT IT BLACK in 4th and Horacio & Nicolas Carabelli’s Brazilian team on URUBU taking 5th place.

In the Silver Corinthians Division, taking second place was America’s Henry Brauer sailing RASCAL from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA (host of the 2018 J/70 World Championship).  Third place went to Pawel Tarnowski’s APOTEX team from Poland.

Peter Duncan- J/70 World Champion"Awesome! Top of the world,” exclaimed Peter Duncan dockside at the YC Costa Smeralda. "It is a great feeling, I have sailed with some great guys, we had a great event, and everything seemed to go our way, it was just one of those weeks. It is hard to put into words how I feel like now, but this was just exceptional. This fleet has some really great talent, and the organizers, and the yacht club have done such an amazing job. Most of all I want to credit the crew, Victor, Jud, Willem, they have been just fantastic."

Runner-up was Savasana (USA) Brian Keane. "We chartered the J/70, so we are really pleased to have come second in the championship. I have been racing in the class since the beginning, and now that we have fleets racing J/70s all over the world, the standard is just amazing, and so is this regatta. A world record keelboat fleet in superb surroundings."

Claudia Rossi- Top Women Helm- Helen Johnstone TrophyTop team for the host club, YC Costa Smeralda, and first team with a Lady Helm (winning the Helen C Johnstone Memorial Trophy), was Petite Terrible (ITA) Claudia Rossi. "Peter Duncan is a worthy World Champion, his team sailed the best this week. Our fourth position is better than fifth in the last World Championship, so maybe I will not win for three years,” laughed Claudia. "However, I will be in Marblehead for the 2018 J/70 World Championship!”

The Closing Ceremony and Awards for the Audi J/70 World Championship was held at the Piazza Azzurra. YCCS Commodore, Riccardo Bonadeo, spoke about the event before presenting prizes to the winners.

"Congratulations to all of the winners at the Audi J/70 World Championship. This is a special year for the YCCS, as we are celebrating our 50th anniversary, over the years we have hosted many world championships. However, this is the largest world championship fleet hosted by the Club in all of those years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to welcome over 160 teams from 25 different countries, to enjoy the fantastic sailing grounds of the Costa Smeralda, and the Clubhouse at the YCCS. I would like to thank Audi the Title sponsor of this event, and our partner for a long time, which supports us in so many of these new challenges. I also want to thank the J/70 International and Italian Classes, the owners, their crews, the Race Committee, the International Jury and all the YCCS staff. We hope that all of the competitors will come and race again with the Club in the very near future."

The 2018 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Massachusetts USA from 22nd to 29th September 2018.  Follow the AUDI J/70 Worlds on Facebook here

AUDI J/70 Worlds Summary video
Day 3-
Day 4-
Day 5- Finale-

Facebook Video interviews of J/70 Worlds winners here:
Champion Peter Duncan-
Corinthian winner- Gianfranco Noe-
1st Woman helm- Claudia Rossi-
2nd Woman helm- Lera Kovalenko-
3rd Woman helm- Hannah Mills-

Video Highlights
Final race of Gold-
Final race of Silver-

Sponsor- Quantum Sails
Time-lapse video-
Day 5 Gold fleet-

Sailing photo credits- Pierrick Contin, Max Ranchi & Kurt Arrigo  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Who Will be Europe’s "Best Sailing Club“ 2017?

J/70 Sailing Champions League(Hamburg, Germany/ Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- This weekend the best sailing clubs from all over Europe will gather together for the finale of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. For three days, 32 clubs will battle for the title “Best Sailing Club” in front of the fantastic scenery of the hosting club, the YC Costa Smeralda (yes, the same club that just hosted two major regattas in a row- Maxi 72/ Maxi-yacht Worlds and the AUDI J/70 Worlds)!

A maximum of 48 races will be sailed in fleet-race-mode on eight one-design J/70 boats on the northeastern coast of Sardinia. First practice-races on Wednesday will help the teams to get familiar with the sailing area before the races will take place Friday to Sunday. The weather forecast promises light winds with summer-time temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius.

Audi J/70 Sailing Champions LeagueThe favorites are the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg who won Act 1 in St. Petersburg, the Segelclub Mattsee (SCM) from Austria, winner of Act 2 in St. Moritz, and certainly the Deutsche Touring YC (DTYC) from Bavaria. The defending champions from 2016 just participated successfully in the Nord Stream Race and are placed at the top of the German Sailing Bundesliga.

Among the participants are further top-class teams like Cape Crow YC, Swedish Champions and winner of the Nord Stream Race 2017, the Royal Norwegian YC, winner of the SAILING Champions League in 2015 and the famous YC Costa Smeralda.

As the technological partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP will provide spectators worldwide with a professional livestream. Races will be commentated and explained for everyone by sailing experts and sailing reporters. All races will be broadcast live via the internet Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm CEST. Results and live stream can be found here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

American YC Fall Series Preview

J/105 sailing American YC Fall Series (Rye, NY)- Starting this weekend, the American YC will be hosting the first of its two-weekend Fall Series Regatta for a range of IRC/PHRF handicap classes as well as one-design classes for J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s and J/44s.

For the J/70s, it will represent the first of three-plus weekends of sailing that lead into the J/70 North American Championship hosted by American YC.  In the fourteen-boat fleet for the AYC series will be notable teams such as Scott & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK and Mike Zupon’s LOKI.

The J/88s have a robust turnout of nine boats, many of whom have been class leaders in the past two years on the 88 class circuit.  Incredibly, virtually all teams have posted at least a podium finish in a J/88 related event over the past 24 months.  Handicapping this event would be as effective as posting odds for the next 7.0 earthquake on the San Andreas fault- e.g. it’s not happening anytime soon!  Those crews participating include Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY, Doug Newhouse’s YONDER, Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, John Pearson’s RED SKY, Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE, Doug McKeige’s JAZZ, and Mike Bruno’s WINGS.

The thirteen-boat J/105 class features last year’s winners- the dynamic duo of Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault on the mighty GOOD TRADE. Chasing them hard will be American YC’s Junior Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICAN, Duncan Hennes & Za/Lib Jelliffe on ARETE, Paul Beaudin’s LOU LOU, and Richie Palmer’s TOLO.

The octet of J/109s includes the usual suspects of top teams from this past summer, such as Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT, and Jonathan Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON.

With seven J/44s on the line, things will always be close amongst the evenly matched boats all sporting identical class-supplied sails.  As a result, “who’s on first” is always a great discussion, as it all comes down to which crews are dialed into the conditions for the day (or weekend).  Like other J/classes, the 44’s have most teams taking a “win-place-show” in some event in the past year or so.  Such teams include Len Sitar’s VAMP, the US Coast Guard Academy’s GLORY, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER, and Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE.

In PHRF 1 class, two veteran J/111 campaigners will be fighting hard for class supremacy- David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP and Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO.  They will be challenged by Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE and Neil Hindle’s J/145 MUSKOKA.

The ten-boat strong PHRF 2 class will see Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKULA dueling with Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER for class honors.

Finally, the Leukemia Cup Navigators Course has two J/crews on the race track, including John & Corinne Forster’s J/92 SALTIRE and Jim Wilson’s J/100 LIBERTY.  For more American YC Fall Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Sailor Claudia Rossi Inspires On and Off the Water.

Claudi Rossi with father Alberto(Porto Cervo, Italy)-  Kara Hugglestone from SAIL Couture had a chance to catch up with Claudia prior to her competing in this year’s AUDI J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.  Here is Kara’s story:

The one to watch is PETITE TERRIBLE helmed by the brilliant young Claudia Rossi who, at just 24, is a two-time J/70 European Champion, as well as the youngest skipper ever and first female to hold the title. And, she just started sailing in college—four years ago!

I had the pleasure of meeting Claudia at last year’s J/70 World’s in San Francisco. I was as taken by the Italian sailor’s beauty, sparkling eyes, and infectious laugh as I was by her impressive sailing skills. She was relentless on the racecourse, although in the end, it was not to be her regatta. She is out to right that wrong on the water in Sardinia.

J/70 woman sailor- Claudia Rossi wins Europeans“I still have a bit bitter taste in my mouth from the San Francisco World Championship last year, but I­ won’t let that get in the way. It will be difficult this year because there are 175 boats and the best sailors in the world. Petite will do as much as ever. We never give up,” Claudia told Sail Couture.

One could say her fighting spirit is a family trait; her father is the skipper of the famous Farr 40 Enfant Terrible. Claudia enjoys navigating for her father, but true competitors they are, they also compete against one another in the J/70 and Farr 40 classes. Indeed, last July, she became the Farr 40 Worlds Corinthian Champion (fourth overall) at the helm of Pierluigi Bresciani’s Pazza Idea; her father was second in the overall standings.

Claudia says she chose the J/70 class because of its size and the skill level. Indeed, at 1,300 strong, the J/70 fleet is the fastest growing fleet worldwide and has attracted many of the world’s top professional and Corinthian sailors.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth and Rick Tomlinson  Follow Claudia’s PETITE TERRIBLE J/70 team on Facebook here  Full article from Kara Hugglestone here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, September 22, 2017

J/FEST San Diego Announcement

J/Fest San Diego
“Sending it back to ’77!”
(San Diego, CA)- If you have ever sailed on, owned, raced on, cruised on, loved a J/Boat, you will not want to miss any of the special events of this celebration of all things J/Boats!

San Diego YC is inviting all J/Boats from all over SoCal to participate in fall sailing in San Diego from September 23rd to 24th.  Most importantly, it will be a weekend to celebrate 40 years of sailing J/Boats!

J/70s sailing off San DiegoOne-design fleets slated for J/Fest include the fast growing, super hot J/70 fleet as well as J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105, J/109, and J/120 fleets. Any J/Boat is eligible to participate, and all are welcome to race in One-design or J/PHRF classes.

The weekend starts off on Friday with the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats Celebration in San Diego YC’s “Frost Room” from 1800 to 2030 hours, with hosted wine and pupu’s.  Jeff Johnstone (President @ J/Boats) will be presenting a “J/Boats 40 Years Past, Present and Future.”

According to Jeff; ”the story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: with a small investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod & his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That was 1977. Now, that boat (the J/24), has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world. Not only that, but the waters of SoCal have produced several J/24 Champions, including Vince Brun and Chris Snow. The Johnstone family has made an undeniable mark on the sailing world. In addition to the 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves, there are over 7,000 more J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65, that sailing enthusiasts have enjoyed over the last 40 years.”

Then, on Saturday, there will be a J/22 Clinic starting at 1000 hrs with on-water coaching.  Then, after racing that starts around noon, there will be a “J/Fest Regatta Party” on the Sailwash Lawn.  Join the J/Boat sailors for a fun throw-back to 1977! In other words, a “70’s Party!”  There will be fun competitions among the crews, including “Best Vintage J/Fest T-shirt”, “Best Dressed for the Disco”, and more surprises! Giveaways, 70’s band, and much more!  For more J/FEST San Diego sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Moss SF Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League

J/70 Norwegian Sailing League (Moss, Norway)- For the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League finale, both the 1st and 2nd Divisions sailed over the course of an extended weekend of sailing.  At the end of the day, Moss SF won the 1st Division despite a poor performance in their fourth event in the series.  And, Risor SF ended up winning the 2nd Division by closing with a strong performance in the finale.

The 1st Division finale was not without its drama for the top two teams- Moss Sf and Asgardstrand SF.  Starting out the regatta, Moss SF had an enormous lead on the fleet.  However, by having one of their worst regattas of the season, their OCS in race 6 simply amplified the hard times they had to stay in hunt on their home waters! Their final result of 8th place was just sufficient enough for them to retain the overall series lead with a 1-1-2-8 for 12 pts. Taking second for the series was Asgardstrand SF with a 6-3-4-2 for 15 pts- a steady progression up the leaderboard. Then, RAN SF won the final regatta to jump on to the podium for the season series to secure the bronze with a 7-6-6-1 for 20 pts.  Notably, third in the Moss event was Grimstad SF, just one point behind Asgardstrand with 18 pts.

In the 2nd Division, Bundefjord SF put their stamp on the results in Moss, winning with five 1sts and three 2nds to win, incredibly enough by just one point!  A complete mirror of their results was posted by Risor Sf to conclude the regatta with 12 pts.  Third was Bodø SF with 16 pts, counting four 1sts in their totals.

For the season series in the 2nd Division, Risør SF wins the gold; the silver goes to Askøy SF and the bronze to Bundefjorden SF. Together with Hurum SF, these four clubs move to the 1st division in 2018.
Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information.Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SAILING Champions League Preview

J/70 sailing off Sardinia (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Europe ́s top sailing clubs will compete in the final of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia from 22nd to 24th September. The aim is to win the sought-after silver trophy by Robbe & Berking and earn the title of Europe ́s “Best Sailing Club”.  The teams will be sailing a matched-fleet of J/70 One-designs.

The teams competing in the grand final in Sardinia are the top clubs of the qualification events in St. Petersburg (August 2017) and St. Moritz (September 2017). Here are the 32 clubs that qualified: Ost-Legal Sailing, Åländska Segelsällskapet, Cape Crow YC, Circolo Canottieri Aniene, CV St Quentin, Deutscher Touring YC (SCL Champion 2016), Ekolns Segelklubb, Frederikshavn Sejklub, Hellerup Sejlklub, Jachtclub Scheveningen, Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, Kongelig Norsk Seilforening, Kullaviks Kanot och Kappseglingsklubb, Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Lindauer Seglerclub, Lord of the Sail– Europe, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Nyländska Jaktklubben, Port Edgar YC, Regattaclub Bodensee, SCTWV Achensee, Segelclub Mattsee, Société des Régates d’Antibes, Société Nautique de Genève, St. Petersburg YC, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, Wasa Segelförening, WV Almere Centraal, YC APCC Voile Sportive, YC Bregenz, YC Costa Smeralda, and YC Sopot.  Follow the SAILING Champions League on Facebook here.  For more SAILING Champions League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.