Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gale-force Mistral Decimates Middle Sea Race

gale force mistral hits Middle Sea Race J/122 Wins IRC Doublehanded, J/122E 3rd IRC 5 Class!
(Valetta, Malta)- As can be the case in the infamous Rolex Middle Sea Race, forecasts can be either “spot-on” or simply way off the mark.  The 2017 edition had one of the simplest forecasts ever, light airs 3-8 kts from the east-southeast at the start, dying off by midnight, then a building mistral from the WNW increasing to 30-45 kts by midday Sunday.  The only boat to make it through the Straits of Messina between the island of Sicily and Messina on the mainland was the 88 ft super-maxi RAMBLER 88.  The rest of the fleet was kicked, literally, straight in the teeth by a fierce mistral sweeping across the long fetch of the Mediterranean, kicking up 15-20 ft seas in the form of a vicious “chop”- the breaking seas were making life miserable for the crews.  Over 70% of the fleet of eighty-five boats retired at some port or harbor along the spectacular shoreline of Sicily- many boats did not even make it to the Straits, simply stopping before they got there.

sunset on Malta raceThe Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), certainly bore all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race- tough, challenging, pushing the levels of human endurance to the absolute limits of sanity. The 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, proved to be too much for the vast majority of the fleet.

In the ultimate test of seamanship and living up to the challenge of the sea, just two of the six J/122s completed the course and the other three J/133s all retired.  As a result, winning the IRC Doublehanded Class was the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM, sailed by the incredible tough Russian duo of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin.  They proved to be fast learners and up to the challenge, taking class honors as the ultimate survivors of the race!

J/122E Anita sailing Middle Sea RaceThen, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions the IRC 5 Division saw the only other J/team to complete the race.  Not soon after taking delivery of their brand-new J/122E called ANITA, the Chilean team of owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells, had to take her on a “shakedown cruise” and sail the qualifier race to be permitted to participate.  In the end, the Chileans were up to the challenge, guiding their newly-tuned J/122E to a bronze on the podium in their first ever attempt at the Rolex Middle Sea Race.  Interestingly, the J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM placed just behind them in 4th place in the fully-crewed division!  Congratulations to both teams for their formidable performance under incredibly tough sailing conditions. Sailing photo credits- Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo.
For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Gear Holiday Special!

J/Gear items for the holidaysA Holiday Special for all J/Boat owners, crews, and sailing friends!  Lots of great gift ideas & clothing for everyone!

Please go shopping EARLY for your custom J/GEAR to ensure delivery in time for the holidays!  You can get a 20% discount if you enter this code- JBH2017xm- when you are ready to check out and pay for your items.  This offer is good until November 19th, 2017 (note- half-models and JBoats custom prints are not included in this offer).  Visit the J/Gear store now-  http://jgear.vsport.biz Add to Flipboard Magazine.

TEAM PLAJ Eclipses Dutch J/70 Nationals

J/70 Dutch champions (The Hague, The Netherlands)- Eighteen J/70 teams from The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium participated in the 2017 Dutch Open J/70 Nationals.

In the end, it was past J/22 World Champion Wouter Kollman and his crew on TEAM PLAJ from WSV Almere Haven that took class honors after the ten race series with three 1sts and three 2nds in their tally to easily win the championship.

J/70s sailing Netherlands NationalsIt was a very talented fleet, all things considered. Taking second was a top German J/70 team, Team GIESBEEK GER 775 that was sailed by Bocholt-Peter Wanders.  Then, third was TEAM HENRI LLOYD- John Den Engelsman- also from the same home club as Kollmann’s- WSV Almere Centraal.  Rounding out the top five were Team Giesbeek 2 from WSV Giesbeek and in 5th place was Team KWS from KWS Sneek. Sailing Photo Credits: Michael Hilliges — at Sociëteit der KNZ&RV.  For more Dutch J/70 Open Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Campbell Crushes J/105 Masters Regatta

J/105 sailing Masters San Diego (San Diego, CA)- The 2017 edition of the J/105 International Masters Regatta produced nearly an entirely fresh new slate of masters skippers from around the USA and Caribbean.  The twelve seasoned skippers had their hands full also sailing in an entirely new location- south of the Coronado Bridge in the wide-open South Bay.  It was a refreshing change for those who had sailed in the past in the corner of San Diego Harbor- defined by the USS Midway on the city-front, one of the big 1,200 ft nuclear carriers docked at North Island, and the Sheraton Airport Hotels to the north; it was riddled with huge current issues and even worse boat traffic and wackier wind shifts.

Demonstrating that he had not lost his touch over time, native southern Californian Bill Campbell simply smoked the fleet of past offshore and dinghy champions; compiling five 1st, four 2nds in eleven races to take the crown of Chief Master with just 24 pts total, easily the lowest average score in Master racing history.  Here is how it all unfolding over the course of three days.

J/105s sailing Mastes RegattaDay One- Friday
It was a long day of sailing on the first day of the event.  Four races were completed after an initial postponement.  Competitors were eager to get going, however, racing was delayed due to a J/105 breakdown on the way out to the race course. Luckily, a replacement boat came quickly and Race Committee was able to start race one at 12:30pm. With some slight changes, Race Committee ran course 4 throughout the day in mostly 10 knots of wind and flat water.

According to PRO Susi Graff, "We had a great day today because there was a lot of wind, and at one point we saw 18 knots of breeze. The wind direction kept swinging from 250 to 280, but we were able to basically put the course where we wanted to. I think the racers had a good time. They were fast!"

Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Santa Barbara Yacht Club), the only female skipper in this year's Masters Regatta, said she experienced a bit of a learning curve on the first day of racing. "These guys are formidable and I better have a bigger breakfast tomorrow. I'm not used to the J/105s, they are a completely different animal to me, but I sure liked when the wind came up. When I heel, I'm happy!"

David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) traveled to San Diego all the way from Michigan to compete in the Masters Regatta, and is keeping a positive attitude after day one. "Today had its moments. We had some good results, good performances, and some disappointments. We're doing a lot better than last year though and we enjoyed a good, long day of racing."

Though racing was tight, local Bill Campbell (SDYC) was undoubtedly the star of the day, winning three out of four races. Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club) was the only skipper able to beat Campbell, though Campbell remained close behind him and ultimately finished that race in second place.

Perry recounted the day and what happened in race three, his winning race. "Today was perfect racing conditions with a lot of close competition. For race three, we were in an orange boat and that boat was sailing really nicely. We had a good start, went out to the left, rounded the mark behind Doug Rastello's team, passed them right before the gate, and never looked back."

The provisional leaderboard after four races had Campbell on top, followed by John Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and Doug Rastello (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) in third.

J/105 Masters participantsDay Two- Commodore Swimming Day
Saturday’s racing started out with a lot less breeze.  With the wind at a light 5 knots, the Race Committee PRO started the first race on time at 11:30am. By race two, the wind was up to about 10 knots, a speed that continued throughout the rest of the day for the most part, similar to Friday. Luckily, the weather worked out largely as forecasted this weekend; the breeze filled in from the left and SDYC RC got one race in at 250 deg. before the breeze moved to the right.  Four races were run for the day, all windward-leeward, with the final race a course “3” so the windward finish was much closer to home.  Competitors were back to the dock by 4:30pm to get ready for the anticipated Saturday night regatta banquet.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson commented that, “Race Committee has been thrilled to run these races in San Diego South Bay. Having a full race track is awesome. We think it keeps the boats from collisions that they have been plagued by in the past.”

Saturday was full of surprises, mainly during race 6 which featured an epic comeback from Bill Campbell (SDYC), and a start that landed the SDYC Commodore in the water. Yes, you read that correctly. The SDYC Commodore John Reiter, crewing for Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club), and the boat rep on board both visited the Masters "dunk tank" during race 6!!

Dave Perry sailing J/105 MastersReiter told the soon-to-be-classic tale back at the dock after sailing. “After the start we tacked immediately on to port. We got going and we were cruising along and the next thing you know there was a puff and Dave yelled at us to hike hard. I leaned out over the lifeline, it snapped, and the boat rep and I just went straight in the water! I was holding on to the cushion that goes over the wire so I just started using it as a pool noodle until we were able to get back on the boat!”

Once back on board, both sailors dried off in the wind while continuing to sail. Perry ended up finishing 11th that race, and went on to win race 8 later in the day.

Meanwhile, defending Champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) noticed a pattern in the results between the 2016 and 2017 running of the regatta.

"We had a better day than yesterday, but it has been very similar to last year. We were seventh on Friday last year, then fourth on Saturday, and we finished today in fourth. All Bill Campbell has to do tomorrow is get three 10th places and then we will be right there!"

Joking aside, Menninger learned a lot yesterday, which he was able to apply to today to help him move up a few spots. "We did a little better today and went a little faster. We learned from what other boats were doing yesterday, basically pulling the jib in tighter and that helps an awful lot. So, our boat speed was much better and we got off the line faster.”

Bill Campbell proved that his performance on Friday was not a fluke, and he won races 5 and 7 on Saturday. In race 6 he rounded the first weather mark at the back of the fleet and worked his way up to second by the last leg, ultimately finishing second. Campbell is still in the lead by 20 points after day 2, with Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) in third.

J/105s sailing Masters in South Bay San DiegoDay Three- Campbell Dominates Finale
The final day could not have been a more picturesque day out on the water. Under the bright sun in South San Diego Bay, the twelve sailors (some not so bright & bushy-tailed after Saturday night’s bacchanalian dinner) completed the last three races.

The one weather complaint today was lack of wind at the scheduled start time. The SDYC RC postponed racing for an hour until the breeze came up to 5 knots and they were able to start the first race. There was a huge wind shift to the right at the end of the first race, so Race Committee re-set everything for the second and third races. Due to timing, Race Committee made the call to only run 11 races total, and they sent competitors on a long three-legged race for race 11 in order to get back to SDYC for the awards ceremony.

By day three of racing, Bill Campbell (SDYC) and Jon Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) were pretty much locked in for first and second places. However, it was incredibly tight between third through fifth places going into the last race. Tad Lacey (San Francisco Yacht Club) placed fourth in race 11 which solidified his third place podium finish, just one point over defending champion Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club).

This is Lacey's first time racing the International Masters Regatta as a skipper, though he has crewed it several times before. "We had great races today. We went from 7th place last night to 3rd place overall by the end of today and I owe it all to my crew. They did a fabulous job on the course, calling the wind, trim, tactics, everything. It was a great day."

Andron placed second overall and was the winner of race 10 today. "We had a fun weekend, but we were all racing for second place. Bill Campbell is a well-deserved champion and he sailed beautifully. My favorite race was the race we won. It was puffy and streaky and we were able to be in the right place at the right time."

With five bullets over three days, Bill Campbell was a powerhouse this weekend, earning his first place finish by 23 points. In addition to Lacey, this was also Bill's first time skippering the Masters Regatta, though he crewed for Richard du Moulin last year and for Malin Burnham a few years back.

J/105s sailing spinnakers South Bay San DiegoCampbell has been sailing J/105s for a while now, but attributes his success in this regatta to his crew. "We were fortunate and lucky in many respects. I had a great crew: Al Pleskus on the bow, Chuck Sinks and Andy La Dow trimming, Dwight Allgood in the pit, and Vince Brun as tactician and helping in the back of the boat steering. It's easy when you have a bunch of great guys working for you. We had a wonderful time and we were fortunate to have a couple of great starts and races. We were able not to lose boats, but always to gain boats if we had to."

Interestingly enough, Bill was not the only talented Campbell out on the San Diego Bay this weekend. Bill's son Andrew, the 2008 Olympian and Team Oracle USA America’s Cup sailor, was racing the Extreme Sailing Series for Team Extreme San Diego. Luckily, the Extreme Sailing Series was just up the bay off Harbor Island and Bill's wife Sherri was able to split time on a spectator boat between events to be able to watch her husband and son!

Event organizers would like to thank everyone involved in this year's International Masters Regatta for all of their hard work on and off the water.  The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its event sponsors: Helly Hansen, SD Boatworks, and Cutwater Spirits.   Follow the J/105 Masters Regatta on Facebook   For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

ARTTUBE Dominates Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Act I

J/70 Monaco winners (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The first Act of the 2017/2018 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series got off to a cracking start, with winds up to 20-knots for the first two days, allowing the Race Committee to whet the appetites of the 80+ sailors on the water with six races.

Consistency paid off for the Russians on ARTTUBE who handled the conditions to perfection, winning five of the six races in the J/70 class. Winners last season, the team led by Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper- Valeria Kovalenko- set the pace from the start, taking the opportunity to widen their lead with each race.  The team for this event consisted of Denis Rozhkov, Alex Bozhkov, Egor Ignatenko, & Alex Emsov.  They finished a clear 12 points ahead of newcomers to this Series, OMAN SAIL 1.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoDespite their best efforts, and having at the helm Stevie Morrison, 5th in the 49er class at the London Olympics, the Omanis were not able to overtake ARTTUBE on the race track- finishing in 2nd with 17 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Italian skipper Germano Scarpa, leading his crew on SPORT CUBE to a total of 19 pts.

Among the Monegasques, Cesare Gabasio’s TINN J/70 came 4th. Congratulations also to a fine 10th place and first prize in the amateur category for Remi Piazza (Levante), a youngster from the YCM’s Sports Section.

“It is important to encourage amateurs to sail and thereby attract more enthusiasts,” believes Michel Boussard, President of the Monaco J/70 Class Association.  Boussard also express his delight to see that 20-plus J/70 teams are already signed up for the next meeting in November of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2017-2018.

J/70s sailing off MonacoCome racing all winter!
Organized once a month from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier, SLAM, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series has proved a huge success since it launched in 2013. As evidenced by the presence of two Omani teams, these regattas for the J/70 and one-design classes continue to attract newcomers keen to prepare for the season ahead.  The regatta schedule of five Acts include:
  • Act 2: 10-12 November 2017
  • Act 3: 8-10 December 2017
  • Act 4: 19-21 January 2018
  • Act 5: 9-11 March 2018
For more Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

J/80s Sailing Strong In Hong Kong!

J/80s in Hong Kong, China (Hong Kong, China)-  A member of the Royal Hong Kong YC J/80 fleet, Jason Keg, sent us this note recently:

“We thought you might like the attached picture of the J/80 fleet in Hong Kong.  It's not very often that the entire J/80 fleet from Royal Hong Kong YC and neighboring clubs is moored in the water at the same time.  This occurred due to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club hosting the recent Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championships 2017 at the Middle Island Clubhouse, with the fleet vacating the hardstands to make space for the competitors ashore.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Preview

J/24 East Coasts Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, the Severn Sailing Association is holding its annual pre-Halloween bash for the J/22 and J/24 classes on Chesapeake Bay.  Always a popular event for the past few decades, the event marks the end of the fall season in the northeast (along with the famous Lake George Regatta) and provides teams an opportunity to catch up before heading south for Midwinter regattas in Florida.

The J/24s will be enjoying their 39th J/24 East Coast Championship, celebrating 40 years of J/Boats, too!  The magic number seems to be twenty-four!  For, that many boats have registered to race in this year’s event!  Teams are coming from as far away as Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Florida, Maine, New York and the usual suspects from the local Chesapeake Bay fleet.

For starters, famous Portland, Maine transplant, Tony Parker, will be sailing his BANGOR PACKET as a member of Annapolis YC. Recently, they just finished 1 pt out of first place at the recent J/24 World Championship in Toronto, Ontario; Tony’s crew will be hoping to close the season with a solid performance.  Another long-time class veteran, Al Constants from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC in Oyster Bay, NY will be sailing with a fast crew.  Then, long-time Bermuda class champion, Trevor Boyce will be sailing NO SKIRT REQUIRED for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.  Another “Maine-iac”, top woman J/24 skipper Erica Beck-Spencer will be guiding the SEA BAGS WOMENS SAILING TEAM around the track with an all-women’s crew.  Another veteran crew is Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER team from Rochester YC in Rochester, NY.  Finally, the fun-loving crew on Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED from Royal Halifax Yacht Squadron will be looking forward to a good racing before winter closes in on them up in Halifax!  For all the J/24 crews, what is also on the line are qualifying slots for the 2018 J/24 World Championship.

The J/22s will be sailing their Mid-Atlantic Championship on the same race track as the J/24s. The twenty-one boat fleet is quite talented with World and North American Champions in the mix.  Locally, the hot teams are hoping to be a factor on the leaderboard; such as Chris Wilson’s LIL PUFFY, Brad Julian’s USA 677, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, Kevin Doyle’s ZOEY, Sandy Adzick’s HOT TICKET, and Chris Junge’s CORNER OF SANITY & HELL.  Top visiting crews include Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Newport, RI and Cory Sertl’s LUCY from Jamestown, RI and Rochester YC.

For more regatta information, please contact Pat FitzGerald at pfitzgerald@comcast.net or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing- Charlie Enright

Charlie Enright- Team Vestas(Newport, RI)- Team VESTAS includes as its leader a J/24 World Champion Charlie Enright. Furthermore, he is joined by friend Mark Towill, both avid sailors and racers since they were little kids growing up on Narragansett Bay, sailing out of the Bristol YC on Sunfishes, J/24s, J/35s, J/105s and even the new J/121 recently.

Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they've teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more, and now they're back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

The team's partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best to respect them.

Joining Towill and Enright in the team's high command is Simon 'SiFi' Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's win in 2014-15 from the navigation station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA's Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer, all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders. Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crew member, then there are the team's under-30 crew members, bursting with enthusiasm and talent. Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark's Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds, Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016. Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America's Cup.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they've been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.

Follow these guys as the go around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race website (great tracker, too!).

J/105 North Americans Preview

J/105 sailing Houston North Americans (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club, in co-operation with the J/105 International Class Association, is hosting the 2017 J/105 North American Championship regatta at Seabrook, Texas from October 25-29, 2017.  Twenty-two teams have entered, nineteen of which hail from Texas, while the other three teams come from California (2) and Bermuda.

The weather forecast promises a warm, sunny day on Thursday with seabreeze conditions from the SSE up to 10 kts, a dark & stormy Friday with showers and thunderstorms with the wind clocking fast into the NNW as the frontal system passes, then a rapid cool-down overnight with northerly winds Saturday and Sunday with dramatically colder weather- e.g. 40s F in the morning warming to low 60s F by midday! In the fall, such weather patterns are pretty normal as low-pressure systems roll across the Great Plains of America, completely unobstructed to any geographical resistance, and the hot waters (85 F) of the Gulf of Mexico feed cold fronts- producing nasty things like tornados! The conditions will make for tough, challenging racing as the fleet will be presented with a wide variety of wind and sea states- particularly on Saturday/ Sunday when the winds will be very shifty and streaky.

Amongst the local “homeboys” hoping to make their mark on this year’s J/105 NA’s will be hot teams like J.B. Bednar’s STINGER, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO, Mark Smith’s EAU LA LA, Rick Schaffer’s DOUBLE DARE, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, and Josh Richline’s VELOCE.  Teamwork, consistent starts, and boat speed will be the most critical issues for these boats as they face a formidable array of “outsiders” coming in from afar.

The three boats visiting and racing in Texas for their first times are no spring chickens, that is for sure!  For starters, Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from San Francisco, CA will be racing with a hyper-active, smart crew; as past Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week Champions, Rolex Big Boat Series Champions, and J/105 North American Champions, they are likely the odds-on favorite to be at the top of the leaderboard.  Next up is Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego, California, yet another crew of rock stars that have won the San Diego NOOD, silver at Rolex Big Boat Series, and top five at past J/105 North Americans, plus they won last weekend’s J/Fest Southwest Regatta.  Finally, the Bermuda J/105 Champion from the Royal Bermuda YC, James McDonald on DISTANT PASSION, have a lot of J/105 mileage under their belts, having been a top five contender in events on the Chesapeake Bay, Block Island, and Marblehead.  To get current J/105 North American results, click here.  For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Terry Hutchinson- America's Cup Perspective

Terry Hutchinson- J/24 World Champion (Newport, RI)- Terry Hutchinson has accrued a track record of being a winner. He gets involved in big-time keelboat racing programs and makes them better. However, the basis for what he does today is deeply rooted in extremely tough one-design racing at a world-class level.

After sailing FJ’s and 420’s in college and became a College Sailor of the Year, Terry competed in J/24s for a long time, ultimately winning the J/24 World Championship.  Like other J/24 World Champions, such as his colleague Ken Read at North Sails (now its President), Terry also capitalized on his know-how on what it takes to win and proceeded to help Quantum Sails Racing program, first in one-designs, then later in big boats.

It is now through his work as tactician for Hap Fauth’s Maxi72 Bella Mente and Doug DeVos’s TP52 Quantum Racing that Terry has brought these two successful owners together, alongside New York Yacht Club, to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. Here Terry discusses this new campaign.

CL: Let’s start with some background.
TH: It’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. I’m incredibly mindful of the history and the tradition that the New York Yacht Club has for the event, and so from the team side, it’s an honor to be a part of New York’s effort in this 36th America’s Cup.

This campaign probably started five years ago with Doug, and three years ago with Hap, as our sailing relationships have evolved over that period of time. When it became obvious that Team New Zealand was going to win, and after having discussions with them and their Challenger of Record where they indicated what they were going to do with the boat, it seemed like an opportunity to at least sit down and discuss if this was a challenge we wanted to take on.

The more myself, and Doug, and Hap talked about it, the more it became apparent how our goals were aligned in what we wanted to do, what we wanted the team to look like, and if we’re fortunate enough to be successful partnering with New York, to make the next match another step towards what we feel is represented in the sport. To get to this point has been about six month’s worth of work and it’s just on the front side of a lot more.

But I think when I look at our team and where we’re at, we have a lot of great sailing infrastructure already in place, and that component of the program has been operating at a reasonably high level for just over the better part of five years.

So under Hap’s and Doug’s leadership, they’re helping us get the business infrastructure in place and I think Hap summed it up best when he said, “Being successful in the America’s Cup is as much of a sailing venture, as it is a business venture,” and so it’s going to take an absolute team effort from all of us to be successful.

CL: Any particular vision for the team?
TH: For starters, we have two great principals. We have Doug and Hap. Then we have a third partner with the New York Yacht Club. But we are going to need to continue to find commercial and private funding to help support this challenge. Additionally, an important point to make is how this is going to be a US team. It’s a US flag team.

When you travel and you race the 52s or the 72s, you realize there is a massive gap in sailors from my generation, or slightly behind, to people in their early twenties. So as a team, we want to return the America’s Cup back to the base of our sport and garner support in that manner. In all of our minds, we want to represent the United States in the manner we feel is appropriate and do it through hard work and good results on the race course.

Is the team going to be 100% American? Probably not, but again, it’s going to be born and bred here. The way the Protocol is written right now, the sailing team must be comprised of 20% nationals and 80% have to be residents. I’m expecting the residency clause to be a pretty difficult to achieve by bringing in outsiders, so our goal is to have a team that is US based and using and developing sailors in our country.

When you talk about winning and then defending in the grand scheme of things, if we’re successful enough on the water this is time around, the goal would be to have developed a team of younger sailors that can then defend it. If you think about it in the big picture world, if it’s a nine-year cycle, I will have probably aged out of it by then. And that’s why we have to do a good enough job developing the younger generation.

That’ll likely be a combination of American sailors and international sailors, but as the skipper of the team and as an American, my feelings and thoughts are in this is going to be an American team. Is every single person going to be an American citizen? Probably not, but we’re going to definitely wave the flag proudly.

CL: Any details at this time about team members?
TH: It’s a bit too soon for specifics but I will say that my role is team skipper and not helm…. though in the America’s Cup you never say never. If you break down the timeline, and start working backwards from when the actual match, there’s not a lot of sailing time in the boat itself. But there’s some great young American sailors right now pursuing various avenues, so there’s a lot of talent that we have to go and cultivate and see who is going to be the right fit for this campaign.

It’s pretty simple when the underlying agenda is winning, which it is, and then doing it in a manner that’s going to make us all proud. When you work backwards from there then the cream will rise to the top. We just have to make sure that we then have a structure in place that allows us to pick the best sailors and execute on the day.

Terry Hutchinson sailing J/70sCL: What do we know about the boat?
TH: In all the discussions that we’ve had with the defender, we have a sense of the direction but it’s premature to know the full scope as there are a lot of variables that need to get addressed. The challenge for the organizers is how they want to make sure they have a great event that has participation and that brings people to New Zealand, and that brings the event back to where the base of the sport feels like it should be. Within all that the America’s Cup needs to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the sport.

So this is a tricky challenge. They want participants, they need to control the costs so it doesn’t become a ridiculous arm’s race, yet it needs to be the pinnacle of our sport. Having been in the loop of the conversations and email exchanges with Grant Dalton, I see clearly how he’s in a tough spot. While he’s in a great spot because he just won the thing, but he has got a great responsibility as well. I know they’re not taking any of it lightly.

CL: What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned in the past that are now directing you out of the blocks?
TH: With regard to the game itself, you can make extremely complicated, so lesson number one is to seek simplicity and focus on the priorities which is to design a fast boat and race it well with good people. If you keep those principles you can make it an easier game.

Significant to keeping it simple is getting the right people for the job. As I’ve evolved in my sailing, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be tactician for some really great teams, and what you learn in those experiences in how vital it is to have the right people for the jobs ashore and on the water. So we will be focused on bringing together those people.

One of the strengths for Bella Mente and Quantum Racing programs is to have great teams from bow to stern, where everybody works hard and respects the process that’s in place. We have a great system sailing where we evaluate our performance each day and we critique it and we go back out and we do the same thing the next day. We look forward to continuing this approach with this new campaign.

When the club announced this challenge, Hap made mention to how the event would now embody “a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar…” Does this infer the America’s Cup got off track with the previous few additions?

I wouldn’t say it went off track. In fact, I’d say there was some great things as a show. The last America’s Cup, as a visual spectator, was pretty darn impressive. The organization did a really good job of producing a broadcast product that was pretty exciting to watch.

However, I’m not sure it’s the vision I would’ve followed but that’s not really my position to say because we weren’t in their situation. They followed what they thought was a correct vision to take sailing to a different part of the sport. And that’s what they did. Team New Zealand has won it now and as competitors we follow their vision.

Four years from now, if we’re fortunate enough to be the defender, our vision will likely be a variation of several of the recent America’s Cup. But without question, the vision going forward is to do what we can to broaden our sport.”  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter for this contribution.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lough Erne YC Autumn J/24 Series Report

J/24s sailing Ireland (Lough Erne, Ireland)- Lough Erne YC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday series got underway a week late on Sunday, 17 September.  The previous Sunday’s racing had been cancelled with a gale forecast. Race Officer, JP McCaldin, did very well to manage three races for the fleet in sunny light winds with calms that provoked the tense tussle pictured above to gain and retain momentum downwind to finish.

Barry’s TJ with crew of Martyn, Philomena and Deidre, scored 2-2-3 for 7 pts to place 2nd overall.  Nipping at their heels was Michael’s JERIATRIX with crew of Sheila, Karen and Lisa with a 3-3-2 for 8 pts, securing third position.

Finbarr in JELIGNITE won all three races for a 3 point total, with top deck crew June and James. And Finbarr even had time after finishing to take these pictures. Thanks!

J/24 Autumn Sunday Series - Programme
Repeating what worked well in 2015 and 2016, LEYC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday Series plans 20 races, 4 on each of 5 Sundays (10) 17, 24 September and 8, 15, and 22 October. Crew gather 1100 hrs, tea/coffee, boat preparation, registration 1130 hrs, Briefing 1200 hrs, first of four races on simple windward/leeward courses, at 1300 hrs, ashore before 1700 hrs for BBQ (own food) and Bar! Prize Giving on final Sunday afternoon.

Many LEYC sailors have raced in International J/24 events. Nearly all our boats have been at international events: notably JIGALO, winning boat in two J/24 World Championships, with Tim Rippey’s name on the placards.

Crew Needed & Welcome: Expert & Novice
On Sunday, second time sailing, Karen steered J/24 JERIATRIX downwind as the owner trimmed spinnaker.  They got 4th overall, best race was a 2nd place! Amazingly, they did it in an old Westerly and they challenged the fleet’s three better modern J/24s! Dockside preparation included sharing out crew amongst boats that needed crew. Brenna, for example, went from TJ to JIGALO, as did Michael from INDIGO KISS to JERIATRIX.

This is the core spirit of our Autumn J/24 Series, enjoying ancient sport and bringing new folk into it, for the sailing and companionship. Seeking this opportunity? Come crew in races in October!  More news to follow at the end of our Autumn event! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/105 Lipton Cup Preview

J/105 sailing San Diego (San Diego, CA)- Racing for one of the most coveted trophies on the West Coast, the 103rd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup will be sailed on October 27-29, 2017 on a fleet of matched J/105 one-design class sailboats.

Named after Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, The Lipton Cup is San Diego Yacht Club’s signature fall regatta. This year twelve teams representing yacht clubs from across the country will race for the chance to win the prestigious trophy and determine which club's team is the “best of the best” of the invited teams (note- it’s an invitation-only event, not based on national qualifiers).

Racers will compete in San Diego Bay, allowing plenty of viewing opportunities for friends and family along the downtown waterfront. To ensure fairness, the regatta will be held in a round-robin format using equalized J/105s, provided by owners of local Southern California boats.

The twelve teams competing this year are: Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Southwestern Yacht Club, and St. Francis Yacht Club.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club won the 2016 Lipton Cup under the leadership of skipper Jon Pinckney. Previously, Newport Harbor Yacht Club had not won the event since 1980. Winners in the past five years have been San Diego Yacht Club (2015, 2013, 2011), St. Francis Yacht Club (2014), and California Yacht Club (2012). Chicago Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club will be vying for their first win of the trophy, while San Francisco Yacht Club’s last win was back in 1916.

Jon Pinckney will return to the San Diego waters to defend the trophy on behalf of Newport Harbor Yacht Club.  Jon commented on this year’s event, “There can be a lot of pressure to win this regatta and you only get so many chances before your club replaces you, so it was a huge relief to win on our third attempt, and an incredible achievement at the same time. By equalizing the fleet of J/105’s, and implementing a round-robin format, SDYC has truly created a level playing field where everyone's speed is the same. Success is determined by execution of fundamentals like starting, decision-making, and consistency. Three years ago we surprisingly found no correlation between our practices and overall results, so we conveniently no longer practice ahead of the event."

Pinckney also shares the challenges behind implementing a winning strategy, “As long as you can get the sails up and down on a J/105, your only focus is to be the most fundamentally sound team for three days. It’s the most basic life-long strategy, and at the same time, the most difficult to execute. Because, eleven other outstanding teams all share the same game plan! Any team can win, and everyone experiences pain and adversity. No throw-outs and it always comes down to the last race. We would love to win again, but you just never know. Welcome to the Lipton Cup!"

The 2017 Lipton Cup will feature three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday, and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests- often a fun-loving “roast” of friendly competitors from decades of sailing in many classes around America. The awards party will take place on Sunday after racing.

Event Co-Chair Tim Fuller shares that view, "Things are shaping up nicely for a great Lipton Cup Regatta. Many thanks to all of our volunteers and SDYC staff for helping organize the event. We encourage you to come on down to the bay to check-out the action."

The 2017 San Diego Yacht Club Commodore, John Reiter, summarizes the reputation of the event; “since a forward thinking group helped us reinvigorate this regatta back during 2011, SDYC has run six incredible competitive and fully subscribed events. With equalized J/105 class sailboats all using the same suits of sails designed and used specifically for the regatta, it has become one of the few 'must sail' events among the most competitive clubs in the U.S.A.  We are proud to host the sailors from competing clubs across the country.  In addition, we would like to thank our event sponsors: Helly Hansen and Cutwater Spirits.”
For more J/105 Lipton Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Riveting Annapolis YC Fall Series

J/70s sailing off Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spanish Winter Sailing J/70s & J/80s

J/80 Spain sailing off Barcelona Come Join the Barcelona or Vigo Winter Series!!
(Barcelona, Spain)- Over the October 21st and 22nd weekend, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona held the first stage of the Barcelona Winter Series (BWS) for J/70s and J/80s.

The seven J/70’s and seven J/80’s competed in three races every day.  It marked the inaugural event for J/70’s in Barcelona, with more J/70 teams planning to arrive when winter freezes northern Europe!!

The first provisional leaders of the series after six races were NOTICIA in J/70s and AKEWUELE in J/80s.  The fleets are quite competitive, with several J/80 World Champions and Olympic class medal winners sailing in both classes- it makes for great “tuning” and “training” over the winter in preparation for the 2018 sailing season!

Barcelona is a great place to sail in the winter to prepare for the J/70 Europeans in Vigo, Spain and the J/80 Worlds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France for 2018, so don’t hesitate to come down with your J/teams for a great winter sailing!

The sailing conditions in Barcelona during the winter are gorgeous.  It’s warm weather on the Mediterranean, with mostly thermal sea breezes every day from 6 to 13 kts, nice temperatures and sunny!!  Our friends in northern Europe and Scandinavia who are no longer experiencing “the land of the midnight sun”, should join us for lots of “fun-in-the-sun” on the gorgeous Spanish Riviera!

The Barcelona Winter Series will be held one weekend every month from October 2017 through March 2018, with very professional sailing management by RC Nautico de Barcelona.  For more RCNB Winter Series sailing information

J/70 Spain Vigo winter seriesVIGO WINTER SERIES
While Barcelona is in northeastern Spain in the beautiful Catalonia province, essentially the Spanish Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea, Vigo is on the opposite coast on the Atlantic, in northwestern Spain.

Real Club Náutico De Vigo invites teams to participate in their winter series. They promise a warm welcome, wind, races on Saturdays and Sundays.  The most significant attraction for J/70 sailors is that RC Nautico De Vigo will be the host for the 2018 J/70 European Championship, running from June 12th to 16th, 2018.  Here are their dates for the 2017/ 2018 Winter Series:

- October 28-29th
- November 18-19th
- December 16-17th
- January 13-14th
- February 3-4th
- February 24-25th
- March 17-18

Please note, it is possible to rent boats for individual events for the complete series in Vigo. It's not too late to order a new boat that will be waiting for your team at the yacht club!  J/70 Spain Facebook page Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Gorgeous Moscow J/70 ULYSSE NARDIN Finale

J/70s sailing evening race off Moscow Kovalenko’s SSA-9 wins coveted ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph!
(Moscow, Russia)- In 2017, two series of summer racing took place on a fleet of matched J/70 one-design class sailboats at Royal YC Moscow: the Tuesday Warm-Up Races and the Wednesday Night Races. PROyachting managed the regatta schedule and the teams and the principal partner was the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.

Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series
For the Tuesday Warm-Up Races, a total of thirty-five teams competed! All teams were made up of people that work and sail in the greater region surrounding Moscow.  Winning the Tuesday series was MOSCOW-24, a team comprised of young professionals with a woman skipper; they never missed a single race all season-long!  Taking second place was Team HURRICANE and, finally, taking the bronze was Team BIG FISH!

Throughout the entire yachting season, the teams were very close in the provisional rankings, with at least four different teams leading the season and changes taking place virtually every Tuesday.

J/70s sailing upwind off Royal YC MoscowWednesday Night Race Series- Sponsored by ULYSSE NARDIN

While the Tuesday races were oriented to sailors with little or no experience and included a lot of training on the water for them, the Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin races were focused primarily on more advanced sailors that had experience in regional, national, or European regattas.  Forty-two teams participated in the 2017 season.  Guess who won??

The winner and winner of the main prize for the season- the ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph- was Team SSA-9 skippered by Valerya Kovalenko. The NO PASARAN Team took second place and third place went to Team ULYSSE NARDIN.

Valeria Kovalenko, the woman skipper of SSA-9, commented:  "I sailed this summer series for the first time in the summer of 2015 and I fell in love with incredible pink sunsets! In the 2016 season, we formed a team of my fellow students at the Startup Academy of Skolkovo and began to participate in the series Tuesday Warm-Up Race, where we took second place. The guys from the first regatta liked everything: the opportunity to race right in the city, a soulful atmosphere, strong rivals, a clear organization, and wonderful prizes! Therefore, for the 2017 season, we prepared in advance and formed a large and strong team. I really believe the series of summer evening regattas created by PROyachting and hosted by Royal YC Moscow is the best way for a relaxing and fun evening of sailing with friends!!"

J/70 sailing Ulysse Nardin summer series off MoscowMaxim Andrianov, CEO of ULYSSE NARDIN Russia, summed up the 2017 yachting season 2017 with the following words: "First of all, I want to thank PROyachting for the great opportunity to go sailing each week! Three years ago, I could not even imagine that I would sail and participate in competitions. This applies not only to me, but also to other regatta participants in Moscow and Sochi. And this is the main merit of PROyachting. I want to note the increased level of the organization and the participants themselves. This is a very serious level- imagine that, seventy-two teams from around Moscow were racing every evening this summer! Many youth take part in the National Sailing League and international competitions sail J/70s, and it all started here at the Water Stadium west of Moscow on a matched fleet of J/70s- perfect! I will tell you a secret that I also thought about developing in this direction. It is a pity that the season is over, but we will wait for the start of new season in 2018 and, of course, I will go to Sochi to support the National Sailing League and the 24 teams competing on the famous J/70 class sailboats! Thank you, PROyachting, you are good fellows!"

For more PROyachting sailing event information, please contact PROyachting at ph- +7 499 393 31 33 (Moscow), +7 988 143 17 57 (Sochi) or email- info@pro-yachting.ru. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hamble Winter Series- Week 3 Report

J/92 sailing Hamble winter series (Hamble, England)- The third weekend of sailing took place last weekend for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 kts range.

Nevertheless, in spite of the conditions, the hotly contested racing continued unabated with some boats beginning to consolidate their positions atop the leaderboard while others were still getting a handle on why they were seemingly signed up for the “Magical Mystery Tour” on some yellow bus that careened frenetically around the race track!

J/97 sailing Hamble winter seriesIn the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued to set the pace, adding a 3-1 to the tally to be leading the fleet by one point.  The next J/team is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL sitting in 7th place.

The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, posting three straight bullets since showing their faces on the racetrack on October 1st.  While three 1sts does not create a lead, at the pace they are going, the discard races will start to kick in and they should fault towards the top of the standings; currently they sit in 3rd place.  In 5th place is Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew and in 6th is Roger Phillips DESIGNSTAR 2.

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter seriesCurrently having a strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts in six races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts.

Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by an extraordinarily comfortable margin- 3 bullets and a 3rd give them 8 pts in six races.  The next three teams are all very tight on points.  Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 pts, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough and they are having great sailing on the Solent!   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

JUNO Tops Australian J/70 Nationals

Australian J/70 Nationals winners- JUNO (Sydney, Australia)- The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturday’s breeze was forecast for 25 kts, but abated to 15-20 kts providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sunday’s winds softened to 10-12 kts from the southeast.

First place with 6 bullets was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on JUNO from the CYCA.  A thrilled Reg said, “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and boat-handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable.” Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168-boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sportboat event ever.

In 2nd place, also from the CYCA were Tim Ryan and crew on JAMES. Third place was tightly contested and ultimately went to JACKAL team from Royal Sydney YS.

It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.

Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.  Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.

J/70s sailing off Sydney, AustraliaThe J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three-generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.

Nick Rozenauers, sailing THE JACKAL with brother Alex, Dad, Peter, and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80 minutes and four of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing!”  New to the J/70, Andrew from JABBERWOCKY said, “it was a great learning experience for the crew, but good fun!”

The J/70 is a dream to sail.  Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does.  This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack of other sportboats and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.

Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the four short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.

The J/70 fleet thanks Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year.  Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their on-going support of the J/70 Australian Class. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pellissier Tops Crouesty J/80 Regatta

J/80s sailing off starting line (Crouesty Arzon, France)- The Crouesty J/Cup could have been nicknamed the "Crouesty-tricks Cup” this year, in view of the crazy weather the YC Crouesty- Arzon Race Committee and the crews had to contend with over the weekend.  Nevertheless, in the tricky conditions, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE and his crew (Mathieu Durand, Edouard Gendreau, & Gabriel Couronne) sailed their J/80 smartly and conservatively to win the regatta.

On the first day of sailing Friday afternoon, there was barely ripple on the water, with a very light easterly wind of 3-5 knots. Fortunately, on this flat sea, the J/80s moved nicely and the YCCA Race Committee (bravo!) was in an opportunistic mode and made the most of the light air/ glass-out conditions. Two races were run, both won quite easily by Sylvain Pelissier's VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, obviously very comfortable on this playing field.

J/80s sailing downwindSaturday’s weather was more in line with the forecasts, moderate winds at best. Forgot the surfing and planing at 18 knots like last year, this year it was necessary to finesse the boat in a light to moderate south-east breeze between 5 and 10 knots. Luc Nadal’s GANJA, that had started modestly the first day, returns to the forefront with 2 victories over the 5 races. Despite a modest fleet of thirteen teams, the races were very close, with no less than 4 different winners in the 5 races of the day. With two 2nd and one 3rd, Pellesier’s VOILERIE AP was still doing very well and kept a comfortable points lead.

Sunday’s racing was wild and different!  With a good 15+ kts forecast by midday, the crews tightened their rigging in anticipation of a good breeze. Strangely, it was the fog, and not the wind, that dominated this day’s one and only race! 10 minutes after the start, you could not see more than 50m! Over the VHF radio, the YCCA RC strongly urged the sailors not to lose sight of the nearest competitor, not just to avoid his wind! Luc Nadal, in the lead, was the leader of the expedition. A 1st place well deserved! But, GANJA’s efforts were not enough to displace Pélissier’s crew.  GANJA’s crew (Luc Nadal, Pierre Mousselon, Yvon Goude, David Nadal) finished two points back after their discard race to finish with 21 pts.  Third was a local YCCA crew, that of Gaétan Le Guil sailing GUESS WHO’S BACK with crew of Brice Menay, Pierre Hervet-Cozette, and Quentin Le Saout.

Congratulations to the YCCA Race Committee chaired by Marc Eymond, who did everything humanly possible to make a regatta work in light winds ... and fog and run eight races against seemingly insurmountable odds!  Applause also for the YCCA volunteers who have provided a benevolent and warm welcome in the very quaint club house.

The Coupe de France rankings are determined by the seven race series sailed from the spring to the fall.  Starting with SPI Ouest France in April (La Trinite sur Mer), the fleet then went to GPEN in March (Brest Lanveoc), then Pornic J/Cup in June (Pornic), then Obelix Trophy in August (Benodet), then Atlantique Telegramme in September (Lorient), then Crouesty J/Cup in October (Crouesty), and finishes with the French J/80 Nationals in first weekend of November in Port Haliguen over the Halloween weekend!

With more than 100 points ahead of his pursuers, Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT is guaranteed to win the Coupe de France J/80 for 2017. On the other hand, the fight for the podium promises to be exciting between five teams: Nadal, Pélissier, Guilhot, Bot and Le Guil.

The Masters J/80 title will be played out between Patrick Bot and Luc Nadal, provided each have a sufficiently senior crew (> 40 years on average). There are four contenders for the third step of the podium with a short lead for Xavier Tinel.

Top women’s teams are Elodie Bonafous’s BAIE DE MORLAIZ, Christelle Phillipe’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE I and Margot Riou’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE II.  For more French J/80 Coupe de France sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.