Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hot Sailors + Hot Bands + Cold Waters = The Big Sail

The Big Sail on J/22s at St Francis YC (San Francisco, CA)- The weekend of Thanksgiving in America has become what is known as “Rivalry Week” in American college football.  Over time, many events have been created that augment the gathering together of the “tribes” that support each university, whether competing schools have fun in tug-of-wars, go-kart racing, battle of the bands, chili cook-offs, or bocce ball.  All in the name of fun and, for the most part, engaging in a friendly reparte’ with the opposing team and alumni.

J/22 sailing the Big Sail on San Francisco BayIn California, the San Francisco Bay region enjoys two of the more prestigious universities in the world- University of California- Berkeley (a.k.a. “Cal”) and Stanford University.  Alumni from both schools, many of whom are members of St Francis YC, decided it would be fun to have an informal, off-beat, regatta at StFYC prior to “the game”.  In recent years, it has been a fun event sailed on StFYC’s J/22’s literally right off the clubs extended waterfront decks. This year, the club hosted the 14th edition of the “Big Sail” with Paul Heineken as chief on-water commentator.

The shoreside entertainment has sometimes eclipsed the hot and heavy action on the water.  As it turns out, this year that was the case.  The “battle of the bands” and the “battle of the cheerleaders” all drew a lot more attention than the “drift-a-thon” that was occurring just off the waterfront.  Watch the entertaining video here- The Pac-12 TV Network showed up for the event and produced a nice highlight of Pac 12 TV highlights of Big Sail on J/22sall the hot and heavy action- particularly on shore.

Nevertheless, the sailing still took place.  The two schools fielded teams in all four categories- Varsity, Young Alumni, Masters Alumni, and Grandmasters Alumni.  Due to the insanely light conditions on a perfectly sunny day, a most unusual scenario for sunny, windy San Francisco Bay, each division was only able to sail one race.  After winning three of the four divisions, Stanford was declared the 2017 winner of the Big Sail with a 3-1 record.  For more Big Sail event and sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

2018 SAILING Champions League Announcement

J/70 Sailing Champions League (Hamburg, Germany)- There are still a few months to go before the first event of the SAILING Champions League 2018 in Porto Cervo, Italy (31 May – 3 June), but the preparations are already in progress. As in 2017, the first four clubs from every nation qualify for Act 1 and Act 2, where they will compete for their places in the SAILING Champion League Finale.

J/70 SAILING Champions League sailorsThese are the teams that are eligible for the two qualifier events in Porto Cervo and St Petersburg:
  • Austria- Burgenländischer Yacht Club, SCTWV Achensee, Union Yacht Club Wolfgangsee, Yacht Club Bregenz
  • Czech Republik- ICZ RODOP, TJ LS Brno, JK Truc Plzeň, YC Neratovice
  • Denmark: Frederikshavn Sejlklub, Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, Kerteminde Sejlklub, Hellerup Sejlklub
  • Finland: Åländska Segelsällskapet, Nyländska Jaktklubben, Mariehamns Seglarförening, Brändö Segalare
  • France: tbd
  • Germany: Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club, Segel- und Motorboot Club Überlingen, Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen
  • Italy: Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Yacht Club Adriano, Circolo della Vela Bari, Società Canottieri Garda Salò
  • Lithuania: tbd
  • Netherlands: WV Almere Centraal, Jachtclub Scheveningen, WSV Giesbeek, VWDTP Groningen
  • Norway: Moss Seilforening, Åsgårdstrand Seilforening, Ran Seilforening, Trønsberg Seilforening
  • Poland: Jacht Klub Kamień Pomorski, Yacht Club Sopot, MOS IIawa, Olsztynski Klub Zeglarski
  • Russia: Lord of the Sail – Asia, Navigator Sailing Team, Lord of the Sail – Europe, PIRogovo
  • Slovenia: tbd
  • Sweden: Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Cape Crow Yacht Club, Hjuviks BK, Malmö Segelsällskapet
  • Switzerland: Regattaclub Bodensee, Regattaclub Oberhofen, Société Nautique de Genève, Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen
  • United Kingdom: Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Wessex Sailing Club, Port Edgar Yacht Club
  • USA: Winner of Women’s Worlds in Mexico and Winner of US Sailing Mallory Trophy
In the qualifier events for Act 1 (Porto Cervo) and Act 2 (St. Petersburg), the top four ranked clubs from sixteen National Sailing Leagues compete against each other to win a ticket for the 2018 Grand Finale in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

J/70 SAILING Champions League teams 2018The principal upcoming events for the 2018 SAILING Champions League are:
  • Act I: May 31 to June 6- Porto Cervo, Italy- Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
  • Act II: tbd- St. Petersburg, Russia- St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  • Final: August 30 to September 2nd- St. Moritz, Switzerland- Segelclub St. Moritz
2018 SAILING Champions League sailing video overview  For more SAILING Champions League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Top Russian Woman Sailor Honored

Russian J/70 women sailor- Valerya Kovalenko- winner ProYachting(Moscow, Russia)- Top Russian woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, was honored this past week for her performance in the PRO-Yachting series hosted by The Royal YC in Moscow, Russia.

On November 14, in the private club “SPY Moscow,” an awesome celebration and awards ceremony took place for the PRO-Yachting 2017 Ulysse Nardin Summer Series.  The event was attended by well over 300 people and was presided over by Ekaterina Skudina, a famous Russian woman Olympic dinghy sailor and Maxim Andrianov, the Managing Director of Ulysse Nardin Russia.

The culmination of the evening was the awarding Wednesday Night Race series winners, whose participants fought for the whole summer season for the possession of the gorgeous (and wildly expensive) Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph watch.  In the end, it was Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, that led her Team SSA-9 (Valeriya Kovalenko, Alexey Tarasov, Nikolay Chernikov, and Sergey Avdonin) to victory in the summer-long series.

J/70 ProYachting winner- Team ss9- Valerya Kovalenko“Thanks to PROyachting, there is always wonderful organization and a wonderful atmosphere. It seems to me this is the best place in Moscow to spend an evening sailing and watch absolutely incredible sunsets,” commented Ms Kovalenko. "I would like to wish everyone who are starting to get involved in sailing great success, to find their place in the boat where they feel most comfortable, find their place in sailing where they enjoy friends and competition, and choose those classes and regattas they like most.” NOTE- she and many other top women and youth sailors in Russia have chosen the J/70 class!

Second place in the series was taken by the NO PASARAN Team (Mikhail Loskov- skipper, Nikolai Khlystov, Valentin Uvarkin, Ekaterina Sychev, and Igor Manshin).

Third place overall was taken by Team ULYSSE NARDIN (Maxim Andrianov- skipper, Denis Trynin, Jonas Gigon, Victoria Chelnokova, Arman Chobanyan, and Egor Zuev).

Maxim Andrianov, the ULYSSE NARDIN team captain said, “although we did not aspire to do this well, we honestly worked and trained hard to improve each race, we are quite happy to have achieved this result!”

The Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series was won by the Team MOSCOW 24 (Denis Elahovsky- skipper, Anna Semkina, Ivan Lozovoy, Svetlana Zaboleva, and Valentin Uvarkin).

Note that the troika of winners of the Tuesday series of regattas finished the season with a minimum separation from each other. "It was a constant stress, constant nerves, it was very competitive.  At some point I realized that I was tired, but when it was all over, I began to regret that now I will have to wait for May," commented Denis Elahovsky, team captain of MOSCOW 24.

Second place went to the Team HURRICANE (Elena Buyanova- skipper, Alexey Sekirin, Pavel Ovanesyan, and Pavel Kirilyuk). Then, third position was Team BIG FISH (Inna Ozhogina- skipper, Olga Selezneva, Ivan Bodyagin, Stanislav Melinger, and Igor Puzanov). Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Mexico J/70 Valle Week!

J/70 North Americans MexicoGet Ready for 2018 J70 North Americans!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Sailing has never been as exciting in Valle de Bravo as it is with the amazing J/70´s. J/70 fever hit the lake in 2014, and only a couple of years later the fleet was already 29 strong.  Hosting the 2018 North American Championship will definitely boost local enthusiasm, and having amongst the best J/70 sailors on the continent in our home waters as our distinguished guests will make it the hottest ticket yet. 

We are very eager to put together "J/70 Valle Sailing Week 2018".  A week to devote to sailing and friendship.  A week to remember for many years to come.  A grown up "Sailing Disney trip" if you will.  The regatta is being hosted by Club de Vela La Peña and the J/70 Mexican Class Association from May 12th to 19th, 2018 on their gorgeous mountain lake.

The venue and its warm collaborators make the Valle sailing experience entirely pleasant.  No early wake up calls, hour-long motor trips to the course, heavy foul weather gear and cold water.  Only sailing under the sunny Mexican sky and being greeted with cold margaritas at the dock as soon racing is over and your boat is put away for you.  Hollywood sailing, Mexican style.

The Race Management will be top level.  With the formidable Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas as the regatta PRO and the legendary Willii Gohl as Chief Judge, nothing can go wrong!

So, brace yourselves and stay tuned, for we have all the ingredients for an unforgettable Sailing Festival.  All we are missing is you, and our daily breeze, of course!  Call us now for local charter boats!

You may contact the Regatta Chairman Roberto Escalante at email- or mobile# +51 55 4181 4016.   For more J/70 North Americans sailing and registration information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sails Up 4 Cancer #GivingTuesday

SailsUp 4 Cancer Tuesday#GivingTuesday #SailsUp4Cancer
(Mystic, CT)- #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaborative efforts. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. This November 28th, join the movement and give.  Your contribution to SailsUp 4 Cancer will fund research, prevention & care.

SailsUp 4 CancerSailsUp 4 Cancer is extremely proud of its Spinnaker Fund.  This Fund has been specifically tailored to individuals and families who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the loss of income due to their struggles with cancer. SailsUp realizes that the last thing a cancer patient needs is additional stress.
“The SU4C board has saved my life in more ways than one. I can’t say thank you enough. You are true angels and your generosity has made life a little less stressful and that means so much.” Sincerely forever, B.D.

“There are not enough words to express my thanks for the Spinnaker Fund Grant I received from you. I put it toward paying my mortgage.”  Warmly, B.F

“I am writing on behalf of my father, L.P., who unfortunately is suffering from metastatic liver cancer. Your organization brightened his day when he received your letter containing the generous spinnaker fund grant that your organization provided. Your contribution clearly will help with the cost and more importantly, brightened his day knowing that others are helping him though this difficult time.”  Sincerely, K.W.

"SailsUp 4 Cancer is a wonderful local charity that assists people dealing with a cancer diagnosis. They have assisted many of my customers at The Pink Mermaid that are dealing with cancer & lymphedema. The group is devoted to their cause and I wish them blessings of every type! When you see their many events advertised you should attend! The concerts are soooo much fun and such a worthy cause!!"  ~ C.R.
Please make any donation here and learn more about SailsUp 4 Cancer. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Crews Dominate Dutch Doublehanded Awards

J/122E doublehanded champion (The Hague, The Netherlands)- At the season-ending awards banquet hosted by the Dutch Noordzeeclub, J/Boat teams swept all three season-series spots in the highly competitive doublehanded class, and picked up another season trophy in the fully crewed IRC classes.

Doublehanded racing is the fastest growing discipline in the Dutch racing circuit, with over 120 boats taking part in at least one of the season series and 30 boats competing in multiple events.

J/120 Maverick- doublehanded championThis season three J/crews took the top honors with the J-109 FIRESTORM, crewed by Wim Van Slooten and Jochem Heemstra, completing the season series in third place and the well campaigned J-120 MAVERICK, crewed by Chris Schram and Raymond Roesink, added to their 6th place finish in the RORC 2-handed class and 2017 EAORA Doublehanded Trophy with a second place finish for the season. 

Overall, the competition was dominated by the shorthanded-optimized J-122E AJETO, crewed by John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef, winning five of the six events they entered.  John and Robin also took their top form abroad this season with an impressive second place finish in the IRC Double-handed class in the famously tough 635nm RORC Fastnet Race.

Finally, Alain Bornet’s J-109 JAI ALAI earned a third place trophy for the season in the fully-crewed IRC 2 Class, highlighted by a second place class finish in the North Sea Regatta inshore series.  For more Dutch Offshore sailing season information at Noordzeeclub Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Bromby/Murphy Three-peat Bermuda J/105 Regatta

J/105s sailing Bermuda (Hamilton, Bermuda)- The Royal Bermuda YC and the sponsor/partner Bacardi host their annual Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Invitational every year just prior to Thanksgiving weekend.  For three days, one-design fleets of J/105s, IOD’s and Etchells 22s are treated to spectacular sailing on the Great Sound, the recent site of the America’s Cup.

For the J/105 fleet, the format is designed to be fun and inclusive of J/105 sailors around the world.  The local fleet provides their boats and three crew and invite three “international” sailors (e.g. non-Bermudian) to race with them.  In the past, the international crews have come from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.  The racing format is all short-course W-4’s, the Bermudians race against each on odd-numbered races, the International skippers on even-numbered races.

For the first time in the event’s history, one team has posted a “three-peat” performance.  The local hero and Star World Champion Peter Bromby from Warwick, Bermuda partnered with Kevin Murphy from the USA to dominate this year’s series with three bullets and two deuces in their six-race tally to win with just 12 pts.

While the Bromby/Murphy team may have sailed away with the event, it was nothing like that taking place for the balance of the podium.  After six races, three boats finished 3 pts apart.  A 5th in their last race nearly “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat” for the trio of Trevor Boyce/ Mike Neff from Bermuda and Stew Neff from Marblehead, MA, USA.  Onboard their team was the third Neff, brother Terry from Wisconsin.  While posting top three finishes in 3 races, a last in race #2 and a 5th in the last race gave the trio 20 pts, just enough to hang on for the silver. Hot on their heels with a nearly identical scoreline was the duo of James Macdonald from Smiths, Bermuda and Bill Lackenmacher from Seabrook, Texas in the USA.  Their last two races were a mirror of the Boyce/ Neff record of 2-5, posting a 5-2 to finish with 21 pts to close out the podium.  Dropping out of contention completely for silverware was Keith Chiappa’s team on BER 535, a last place on the last race torpedoed all hopes of a top three finish.
Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing video- leeward gate roundings   Follow the J/105 Bermuda keelboat event here on Facebook   For more Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Happy Holidays! Order Your 2018 J/Calendar!

J/Boats Sailing Wall Calendar
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew. For 2018, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2018 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, Russia, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the 2018 J/Calendar photo gallery and order here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

J/Crew’s Chillin’ in Frisco

J/70 Christine Robin- women's sailing crew! (Sausalito, CA)- The annual San Francisco Bay One Design Winter Series kicked off last weekend thanks to Jeff Zarwell's REGATTA-PRO race management and Sausalito Yacht Club. The local San Francisco Bay fleet of J/70s, J/120s and J/105s enjoyed sunshine and mild breeze on the first race day of the weekend series that sails on the second Saturday of each month- from November thru February.  The San Francisco Bay summer wind and fog machine has turned off for the winter and unless it's a storm front, conditions on the Bay can be delightfully balmy on the Berkeley Circle as they were this past weekend. Jeff provided this report on the first weekend of racing:

“It was typical fall weather, the forecast was for no wind in the circle until 12:30-1:00 when a westerly was to come in with 12-15 kts of breeze.  So, it was no surprise at 11:00 that an un-forecasted northerly (310 at 4-5 kts) was coming down San Pablo Bay, unforeseen by meteorologists.

The RC was in a quandary as to what to do.  With a westerly forecast in an hour and a half, there was good reason to believe any race started at 11:30am could very well end up abandoned as the northerly typically shuts down before the westerly comes in.

In postponement, Zarwell was driving around the bay looking for signs of a westerly developing ANYWHERE.  At the same time, everyone seemed to be sailing well in the light northerly with almost no current.  Looking up San Pablo Bay there were no signs of the northerly breaking down any time soon either.

J/70 women's sailing team- San Francisco, CARealizing the natives might be getting restless, the RC decided to roll the dice and get everyone sailing in the northerly, with expectations of having a 90 degree course change at some point during race 1.  All the fleets were started and the breeze was still holding.

Ultimately all six fleets had two challenging, yet pretty fair races with a northerly that never broke down.  That is until 3:30, well after the last boat had finished.  At that point, it did not shut down; rather it made a graceful swing over to the west.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, reasonably warm, flat water and that fall lighting that lets you know summer is over.

Looking forward to the next race in the series on December 9th. Let’s see if we can get more of you out there in December for some challenging light air racing!  It’s the best time to train new crew and keep you on your game during the winter months.”

According to Christy Usher, skipper of the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN, “two of the five J/70s that signed up for the series raced this past Saturday. As a result, it was a fun match-race between Tom Thayer's RAMPAGE versus my all-women crew on CHRISTINE ROBIN (Terre Layton, Dana Riley and Jessica Chase).  After sailing a few short races, both teams traded wins in the light and tricky conditions.”

And, Tom Thayer had this to say about the day’s racing:

“The day started out cool and over cast with a discouraging glassy look to the water.  So, after we rigged the boat, we got at the Torqeedo and slowly headed toward the racing area.  Our conversation on board was mostly jokes about the lack of wind.  But half way out the wind started to fill in, building to about 8 knots allowing us to practice our jibes and wind-on-wings on the way.  The racing was on!

Once we got to the race area, we searched for other J/70s, but could not find any.  So now, the jokes were about finishing first and last at the same time, port tacking the fleet, and general recalls. Fortunately, Christine Robin made an appearance just before the scheduled 11:30 first gun.  While it would have been great to have more boats, with two boats we could use the races to continue to refine our rig tune, trim settings, weight placement and driving technique in the light air.

The Regatta Pro/ Sausalito YC team, under the direction of Jeff Zarwell, did their usual great job of setting up a course.  Given the light air, we were given ¾ mile legs.  But the short legs allowed for more boat handling with course 4 (double sausages) for each of the two races.

J/105s sailing San Francisco BayRampage got a good start in the first race.  We were able to use a high mode to force Christine Robin to tack for clear air.  But that was a mistake on our part because as soon as they were free to sail their own race.  Christy Usher and her crew found a fast, high mode that was devastating.  They went on to win the race by a large margin.

But we continued tweaking or boat, going to a sloppy loose rig setting for the second race as the wind died down.  We also got more power from the jib with a little less halyard tension.  And, we got even more aggressive with our weight placement.

The result of all of this was that we could come closer to hanging with Christine Robin in the second race.  They still beat us around the first windward mark, but we were closer.  They jibed soon after the mark rounding.  By doing so, we thought they were going the wrong way.  Despite our intent of staying with them to maximize the opportunity for two boat testing, we couldn’t resist the temptation to separate on starboard.  By the time we reached the leeward gate, we had made a substantial gain, that we were able to hold onto for the rest of the race.

So a successful day for both boats.  Christy had little experience at the helm before, and had to have gained considerable confidence with the excellent way she had the boat performing.  Rampage was able to continue up the light air learning curve, especially with our weight placement and luff tension adjustment.  And both boats ended up with a 1st and 2nd place finish (or is that first and last?)!”

The J/105s have the largest fleet registered with sixteen teams.  Leading after the first weekend was the duo of Colin Miller and Peter Baldwin on BIG BUOYS  with a 2-2 tally for 4 pts.  Sitting in second with a 1-6 for 7 pts is Sergey Lubarsky’s RUSSIAN ROULETTE.  Then, rounding out the top of the leaderboard is Phil Laby’s GODOT with a 7-3 for 10 pts.

Like the J/70s, there are five J/120s registered, but only two showed up for the first weekend.  It was a match race between Steve Madeira’s big green machine- the mighty MR MAGOO- and Timo Bruck’s white wonder- TWIST.  After two races, the Magoo Maulers took two bullets to start off their series well.

Similarly, the J/24s had a match race scenario between Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS and Richard Stockdale’s FROGLIPS.  It seemed the Froggers kept leaping ahead of the twisted up Octopus, taking two bullets to start their series.  For more San Francisco Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sarasota J/95's Gathering Silverware!

J/95 cruising(Sarasota, FL)-J/95 (hull no. 15) owned by Paul Eckel has won both the Bird Key Yacht Club and Sarasota Yacht Club first in class and first overall trophies. Continuing a string of victories, "Encore" sailed by Doug Fisher and Paul Eckel took home the Sarasota Bay Cup by finishing first in class and first overall racing in the Mote Marine Laboratory Regatta in April.

Last week the J/95 Encore finished first in class and first overall to take the Sarasota Yacht Club 2017 Invitational and is now inscribed on the perpetual trophies in both clubs. Thanks for this contribution from J/95 owner Al Agachinsky from Sarasota, FL. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Teams Cruise Seattle’s Round the County Race

J/120 sailing off Seattle (Seattle, WA)- The Orcas Island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing Club their 30th annual “Round the County” sailboat race this past weekend on November  11th & 12th. As usual, it provides the sailors with spectacular views of the enormous snow-capped mountains surrounding the challenging waters of San Juan County Washington. The race is approximately 76 miles with an overnight stop in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. Due to the great venue, the better winds of November, and the overnight stop in Roche Harbor, the race has become one of the more popular events in the Pacific Northwest.  And, for the dozen-plus J/crews participating, it provided yet another great experience and an opportunity to close out the 2017 season with a few more “pickle dishes & silver” for the “man cave” and trophy room in the basement.

One boat, in particular, celebrated their 20th Round the County Race this year- Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT.  The “banditos” have won their class multiple times (2006, 2009, 2015, 2017) and placed 2nd three times!  Here is Bob’s account of their experience winning this year’s race in PHRF 1 division:

“While many of the regattas in the Pacific Northwest have been seeing a gradual decline in participation over the years, the Round the County has been growing since it's humble beginnings 30 years ago. The race was the concept of local marina owner and past Orcas Island Yacht Club Commodore Betsy Wareham.  This year the race had 123 participants enter. What makes the race unique is the two starts - one on Saturday and one on Sunday with an overnight at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island.  The race finishes on Sunday afternoon at the same place it started on Saturday morning and it runs clockwise around San Juan County on even years and counterclockwise on odd years.

The race is long enough to let the fastest boats in the area stretch their legs and still let the slower rated boats finish the full course most years. With 8 divisions, the rating spread is tight and the fleet sizes are big. The venue is really beautiful and boats often get an escort of Dall's porpoise - or on other occasions kelp! Playing the tidal current is a big part of the strategy and can favor those with lots of RTC experience, or the lucky.  Early November is a bit of the sweet spot on the calendar between the doldrums of summer and the frequent storms of December and January. It all adds up to make a very popular event. Results are based on combined times from Saturday and Sunday.

This marked the 20th year that Barb and Bob Brunius raced their J/120 TIME BANDIT in the event. Most of the boat's race crew are in their second decade of racing the boat and they do understand how to make it go. They were tickled to place 1st in DIV I and 6th overall in the 100 boat PHRF fleet. HINZITE, also a J/120 sailed by Jim Hinz & Peter Dorcey, finished right on the Bandito's heels both days and only 20 seconds behind on combined time!

Our J/120 is still the consummate race boat. TIME BANDIT has been spending more time carrying kayaks and cruising the waters of the PNW in recent years! The design does well at both duties.”  Thanks to Bob for this report.

J/29 sailing Seattle fast!Furthermore, we have a great report from the RTC team from Orcas Island YC and Friday Harbor SC:

“Round the County – America’s Greatest Sailboat Race – yeah, you know, it probably is America’s greatest sailboat race.  There are some cool ones out there that bring in the numbers, the Mac, or the races to Mexico and Hawaii and I’m sure some others as well but as an admittedly biased Pacific Northwest Sailor there is just something special about braving the short days of November to tackle the challenging current riddled swirly wind waters around the San Juan Islands at a time of year most people in America are hunkering down for winter or waxing up their snowboards and making plans for their winter trip.

118 boats were entered by race day and something like 100 of em’ were signed up within 72 hours of registration opening.  So there I am thinking about this, stuck in Everett traffic on Friday heading up to A-town.  My eyes drift up and I’m looking at the bow of my boat in the rear-view mirror and pondering about all the boats delivering to the San Juan’s from every direction imaginable – on their keels and on trailers – from the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Hood River, the Great Lakes and more. The draw for this race is amazingly diverse.  Top level sailors on stripped out high performance rockets on down the line to family and friends on heavy cruising boats to old wooden schooners and crazy fast multihulls; Round the County brings em all out, and you know what, depending on how the conditions align, each type of boat has a chance at the podium.

In years past the party was Saturday night in Roche Harbor but as the entry list has increased and the party wore out its welcome in the now posh marina of Roche Harbor, the revelry seems to have switched to Friday night leaving everyone especially chipper and ready to race come dock call Saturday morning – for many it’s shoving off at 6am to make it to Lydia Shoals for the 8:30 start.

This year’s forecast was for an OK Southeasterly on Saturday with the currents looking like they will line up well and a bit more breeze forecast for Sunday.  So there we are, ready for the start with our bow pointed 180 degrees from the start line, nose into the current waiting to jibe around at just the right moment and swing up across the line on the moderate Southeasterly.  Two minutes, wait for it, 1:45, 1:30…Ok, helms over, jibe around and come up directly into the new Northeasterly breeze!  That’s how it works back there around Orcas Island, one minute a southerly and the next a northerly…it’s all about the timing.

J/92 sailing off Seattle, WAOff everyone went, to weather now in a light northeasterly, the current behind us – mostly – running the front of the flood past the Peapods and off towards the Sisters and Clark Island.  Little elevators of flooding current pushing random groups of boats out into the lead until the big fast ORC boats began working through the fleet of early starters moving so fast that they sucked the wind along behind them and pulled the southeasterly back onto the race course and the pretty colored sails popped up across the bay.  Boats lined up across the waters from Clements Reef out towards the mainland looking for wind and positive current to give them that simple little edge on their competition.

As we came into Patos Island, now sitting somewhere mid-fleet, we watched the Santa Cruz 33 Muffin do a crazy round up away from the island with their chute flying high at the end of their sheets.  When we arrived at the same spot we noticed the depth coming up and saw the rocks over the side in the clear water – so this is why they rounded up!  Up and around it we went, no issues for us, but later, after the race, I learned that Muffin wasn’t as lucky and had actually hit the rock hard causing the roundup and had quickly found themselves scrambling towards safe harbor to deal with and assess the damage.

Rounding the halfway point at Patos Island brought everyone into Boundary Pass and what looked to be a nice little drag race to Turn point. Pole forward, wind over the port beam at 6 knots, fire up the bbq and have some lunch type of drag race.  But that’s not how the San Juan’s work.  About halfway down Boundary with the upwelling’s of the new ebbing current starting up the winds decided to crap out and we were back to the light weird winds and current elevators that had boats 100 yards from you shooting forward down the course – sometimes on both sides!

The fleet then stacked up again around Turn Point and it was decision time for everyone. Tack over and get into the bay towards Danger Shoal or lay hard on the starboard bow and hold out into Haro Strait and hope for the building ebb to push you along.  Of course by this time the big fast boats had been tied up for an hour or so while their crews were enjoying the hot tub but us common folk were still out there trying to figure out how in the heck to get to the finish line inside Battleship Island with the building ebb on the nose coming out of Spieden Channel.  Many worked up towards Danger Shoals in the now dying southeasterly while a smaller group sailed down Haro to Henry Island before tacking back in along the island and working the eddy and small puffs back North towards Battleship Island, shooting the gap between McCraken Point and Battleship then sneaking across the line in the now surprisingly strong ebbing current.

A bunch of boats made this work well.  Stories went around Saturday night of attacking botmarks, finishing in the wrong direction and dodging current line debris but at the end of everything the days challenges left a smile on most everyone’s faces (except the poor Muffin’ers) as they dropped their heads on their pillows wherever they were staying on San Juan Island.

Sunday dawned much simpler for everyone.  The delivery to the starting area is minimal, the winds looked to be a solid 20 knots out of the Southeast and all everyone has to do is find a lane out of the wind shadowed starting area and push their boats hard around the south end of the islands before popping the chute for the epic run up Rosario to the finish.  Sounds perfect right?  What are odds this will happen in the San Juan’s?

So, off we went with the fleet taking two distinct tactics as they worked south into the building flood current.  Most chose to short tack along San Juan Island in the eddies, tough work with all the traffic but I’m sure it kept the crew warm and excited.  A few in the fleet decided to take it easy and lay on port tack from the starting line until they had to decide between tea at the Empress or tacking over to starboard towards the halfway finish line and on toward Iceberg Point.  Did you catch that – one tack after the start at Snug Harbor and then lay Iceberg Point on the south end of Lopez.  Now those crews were sitting there cold, legs falling asleep, minds and conversations drifting off towards work and that summer vacation they had in Mexico but you know what?  That was the right way to go.  As the legendary Master Bezwick is fond of saying “It ain’t a flyer if it’s the right way to go.”

Catch the last of the ebb on the Canadian side of Haro Strait and then turn left into the eastward flooding current of the Straits of Juan De Fuca.  There they were, this little red Chicken Coup Special Blade Runner, sailing out where they shouldn’t otherwise be – ahead of some much bigger and faster boats.  Yet like everything else in San Juan Island racing it’s all about the timing.  The J/120’s were able to run this move all the way to podium finishes while other boats made it just as far as Lydia Shoals before the wind crapped out and they waited, waited, and waited…  Changed sails, changed again, changed back, waited, found the current building against them and then see a little red chicken coup special ghost in behind them – crap – then look up and see a damned Moore 24 reaching in towards the pin from the right and with their momentum coast in around the pin, jibe and sail off into the building darkness of the east literally hours after they had arrived at the finish area.  The emotions, the challenges, the ups and downs, the friends and foes, the conditions at 48 degrees North in November – put it all together and you have the Greatest Race in America.

Thank you Orcas Island Yacht Club for coming up with this crazy idea of racing around the Islands in November and then actually doing it and sticking with it over all these years.  Each year is different, each year is challenging, each year a different boat has the conditions they need to step up on the podium.  See you all next year.”

With regards to the class results, the top J in ORC Division was the J/160 JAM in 4th place. Taking 6th place in PHRF Division 0 was the J/122 GRACE.  The J/120s went 1-2 in the PHRF Division 1, TIME BANDIT and HINZITE, respectively. The Petersen’s J/109 LEGACY took fourth in the same division.  In PHRF Division 2, the J/35 ALTAIR took 7th place.  The PHRF Division 3 saw a clean sweep by J/crews, led by the J/105 JADED, with the J/92 ZAFF in 2nd and the J/105 LAST TANGO in 3rd place.  The J/33 KEET took 5th place in the same class.  J/29s faired well in PHRF Division 4, with HERE & NOW taking a 2nd and CRAZY SALSA placing 4th.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson-   Follow Round County Facebook page here   For more Round County Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, November 24, 2017

ARC Caribbean Sailing Update

J/122 sailing upwind(Lanzarote, Canary Islands)- Each year at this time a mass migration of boats from the continental USA and Europe heads to the Caribbean through numerous rallies and races for sailors that seek a warmer climate.

The two largest events are the “ARC” races (really cruises in company) that are organized by World Cruising.  One leaves the USA from Portsmouth, VA and heads to Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands.  The other event, the “granddaddy” of them all is the ARC Europe rally that leaves from the Canary Islands and heads to St Lucia.

ARC Caribbean 1500
The ARC Caribbean 1500 began on November 5th from Portsmouth, VA at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay with eighteen boats sailing 1,500nm to Nanny Cay in Tortola, British Virgin Island.  Included in that fleet is the J/42 MERLIN sailed by Pete Watkins from Boise, Idaho.

The ARC Europe
The ARC + Cape Verdes left Gran Canaria on November 5 and the ARC direct to St. Lucia leaves Las Palmas on the November 19. In all, nearly 200 boats will join the fleet.

The ARC is a ‘must do’ for many sailors, and attracts over 200 boats and 1,200 people every year to sail 2,700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia.

The ARC is for everyone; families with children, tough racers, cruising couples, big boats and modest boats. Crossing the Atlantic together, but having their own adventures. More than just a boat race, the ARC is about friendships made ashore in the two weeks of pre-departure activities continued over the radio net at sea. It’s about arriving in Saint Lucia to be met on the dock with a rum punch and a chilled beer, knowing you have achieved something fantastic - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat.  Participating in this year’s event is the Dutch J/133 JACKY X owned and skippered by Gerard Feenema.  For more ARC Rally sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

ARTTUBE Leading Monaco J/70 Winter Series

J/70 sailing off Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series attracts sailors from very diverse circuits and backgrounds. This weekend the J/70 class had several star-studded sailors in their midst.  Olympic champion and three-time Laser World Champion Paul Goodison was on Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO, while the recently crowned European Vice-Champion in the Star class, Diego Negri, was also present in his capacity as coach. Other well-known names such as Sébastien Col, Match Racing and America’s Cup expert, who has done two seasons on the GC32 Malizia helmed by Pierre Casiraghi (HRH Prince Albert’s brother-in-law), was also in the Principality for the occasion.

However, in the end, no amount of super-star power on any of the J/70 teams could overcome the quick hand and fast sailing by Russia’s top woman keelboat sailor- Valerya Kovalenko skippering ARTTUBE.  She not only won her second regatta in a row, she now has a commanding lead in the overall Monaco Sportboat Winter Series.  Here is how it all happened off Monte Carlo in Hercules Bay.

J70 Monaco winnersDay One
Forty crews returned to the heart of the Principality this past Friday to kickoff the second act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series. Like the first meeting of the 2017/2018 season, the huge, competitive J/70 fleet was again in the spotlight over the weekend.

In contrast to the first act dominated by Russian crews, this second meeting took place under the sign of change with the presence of a large number of Monegasque crews on the water. The cards were re-distributed after the three races; a day largely characterized by light to medium winds and a short chop on top of a rolling sea.

On board Vincenzo Onorato’s J/70 MASCALZONE LATINO, the British sailor Paul Goodison, Gold Medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games and triple Laser World Champion, was among the forces involved pointing them in the right direction as mainsheet trimmer and tactician. At the end of the day’s racing, there were in first place out of 27 competitors. They were followed by the infamous Russians on ARTTUBE skippered by Valerya Kovalenko, winner of the first Act.  Just behind them in third was Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio skippering G-SPOTTINO from the host club YC Monaco.

j70 sailing off MonacoDay Two
It went down to the wire for the top three on the last day in the enormously talented J/70 fleet. The leader after the first day, YCM’s Onorato on MASCALZONE LATINO had to concede victory to his closest rival, the tenacious team on ARTTUBE, helmed by their very talented skipper- Valerya Kovalenko.

The Russians from Moscow won the previous Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series and have now gotten off to a good start this season by winning Act 1. Peter Harrison from the United Kingdom, skippering SORCHA J, completed the trio at the top, clinching 3rd place. Enjoying the SSW winds that blew 10-12 knots all three days, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s crew on G-SPOTINO was consistent throughout the regatta to finish 4th, just three points adrift of a podium finish.

At the end of two regattas and after 14 total races, Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE tops the leader board for the 2017/2018 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, a full 43 points ahead of the Italians on SPORT CUBE, followed by YC Monaco member Stefano Roberti on PICCININA.

The next regatta for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series is December 8th to 10th.  For more J/70 YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

More Winter Sailing @ HWS

J/97E sailing on Solent (Hamble, England)- Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails.

In IRC One, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES scored their fifth bullet of the series, and was yet again the fastest boat around the track in any class after IRC time correction. They are now leading their class by the considerable margin of ten points.

In the J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s team are sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series.  They, too, are leading their class by an enormous margin of ten points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to 2nd place with 16 pts net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE continues to sail fast and consistent.  Despite missing three races, their blistering pace of three 1sts and a 2-3 have them now sitting in third place just 2.5 pts away from the silver.

In IRC Three, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II have two drop scores after ten races sailed, giving them a comfortable leading margin of 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 16 pts net.

Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #seven on Sunday 19th November.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

St Thomas Regatta Update

J/122 sailing CaribbeanBYOB – Bring Your Own Boat! Or, charter!
(St Thomas, US Virgin Islands)- Registration is open and a number of good teams are already signing up for one of the all-time “classic” regattas in the Caribbean, St. Thomas International Regatta, March 23-25, 2018, held in Cowpet Bay off the eastern tip of St Thomas.  It is no wonder it is a popular regatta, St Thomas YC truly rolls out the red carpet treatment, making you feel like family, and offer simply gorgeous yachting offshore in their emerald green/ turquoise waters between Cowpet Bay and St John island across the channel. It is an idyllic sailing venue that is easy to get to and also easy to find comfortable places to stay.

If you can’t bring your own boat, charter! The St. Thomas Sailing Center is making repairs to its IC24 fleet and these highly-competitive one-design keelboats (based on the original J/24) are available for teams to charter. In addition, if you want to up your racing game, the Center is holding two North U Racing Clinics – January 31- February 4 and February 28- March 4. Condos and villas are available nearby at the Anchorage, Cowpet Bay and Elysian on “” or “”

Or, check out the charter operators in the Caribbean and Europe that have some swift-sailing vessels available. For example, “Caribbean Races” in St. Maarten offer their J/120 JAGUAR.

Or, you could sail NOISY OYSTER, a highly competitive J/122 offered by Swiss-based J/122 Experience.  And, if needed she’s available with a First Mate that knows how to sail her fast!

Finally, Caribbean Yacht Racing in the U.S. and St. Maarten has its J/122, the very famous EL OCASO for charter- that boat with the amazing NASCAR-like paint job of turquoise blue and flowing racing stripes of orange & yellow down the topsides. Any more J/122’s? Three or more entries can get their own one-design class!

Register now! Pay only US $250 for entries received and paid in full by 5 p.m. AST on January 31, 2018. From February 1 to March 20, the entry fee is US $400.  Questions?  You may contact them directly at email- or or call- +1 (340) 642-3204.  For more St Thomas International Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

European Winter Boat Show Time!

J/121 offshore speedster off Newport
On display, latest J/Cruisers and J/Racers!
(Newport, RI)- With the holidays arriving over the next few weeks, now is the time to be thinking about visiting very cool cities in Europe and checking out some of the latest thinking from the J/Design team!

SALON NAUTIC- Paris, France
Starting in the first week of December, from December 2nd to 10th, 2017, J/Composites will have on display in their booth (Pavilion 1/ Stand 1-G-35) the amazingly fast and competitive J/112E Grand Prix- the latest sport-cruiser from the J/Boats design team.  This latest evolution of the very fast J/112 hull is the one that eclipsed a number of regattas in Europe this past season and is currently running away with the overall lead in IRC 1 class in the famous Hamble Winter series.  Learn more what makes her so fast and so incredibly comfortable at the same time, her finely appointed interior is an eye-opener!  For more Salon Nautic Paris show & ticket information  For more J/112E sport cruiser information

J/112E sport cruiserBOOT DUSSELDORF- Dusseldorf, Germany
At the end of January, from January 20th to 28th, 2018, J/Composites and J/European dealers will have on display the J/97E, the J/112E, and the new J/121 offshore speedster at their booth (Hall- 15 / Stand- B21).  In addition to the J/112E sport cruiser, her smaller sistership, the J/97E will amaze you with her new spacious cockpit (about as large as the 112E’s), large diameter wheel for finger-tip steering response, and her luxurious, open, airy interior that will keep you family and friends coming back for more après-sailing parties on your mini-yacht!   For more J/97E sport cruiser information

Then, be one of the first in Europe to see first-hand the new J/121 offshore speedster- one of the most innovative offshore racing yachts ever in the famous line of J/performance yachts. Her rakish looks, her enormous cockpit, the twin carbon wheels, the novel water-ballast system, all evoke a feeling of “Performance & Speed!”

In fact, on her last offshore voyage from Annapolis to Newport, double-handed by two experienced offshore sailors, she exceeded 18 kts quite easily with her full main and A4 asymmetric spinnaker in up to 23 kts of wind- and she was averaging 14 kts, that’s cruising!   Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside  For more J/121 offshore speedster information  For more BOOT Dusseldorf show & ticket information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, November 20, 2017

SAIL MAINE Crowned Mallory Cup Champion!

J/70 mallory cup winners (St Petersburg, FL)- The action was fast and furious on Tampa Bay this past week. Twelve teams in J/70s representing their respective Regional Sailing Associations (RSA) across America enjoyed the speedy and highly entertaining racing format, as well as the spectacular weather and racing conditions at the 2017 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions throughout the week, including light air and sunshine to big breeze and rain. Thirty-eight races were completed throughout the weekend.

Sailors were greeted with rain, wind and waves for the final day of racing at the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship for the Mallory Trophy. Seven races were completed to round off the championship series. Great work by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s waterfront team who were quick on their feet to repair breakdowns throughout the weekend and keep sailors racing.

In the end, it was Carter White (Portland, Maine) and his team composed of sailors from Sail Maine representing the Northeast Sailing Association, who came out on top in an exciting finish on Sunday. White’s team included Michael McAllister (Portland, Maine), Henry Cole (Freeport, Maine) and Fiona Gordon (Portland, Maine).

Carter and company were ranked fifth after two round robins. They avoided the qualifying repechage round by one spot, as the bottom six teams dueled it out over four races with the top six teams advancing to the championship round and the last two teams being eliminated from contention. The Sail Maine team saved their best for Sunday afternoon as they dominated the 10-team championship round and won by 11 points through 10 races.

“We sailed almost 40 races over four days. It’s pretty crazy,” said White. “I had never skippered a J/70 before so it was a lot of fun. The four of us have never sailed before as a team. Mike and I sail a lot together on the J/24.”

“We had a lot of breeze today, at times, and changing conditions throughout the event from 6 knots to 20 knots. There was a little bit of everything for everyone and the race committee did an excellent job.”

The win for White and his team earns them an entry to represent the U.S. at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier.

David Loring’s team from Charleston, S.C. representing the South Atlantic YRA placed second. This team featured Jeff Woodard, Amy Woodard and Patrick Wilson.  Finishing third was Trey Sheehan (Chagrin Fall, Ohio), Wilson Stout (Annapolis, Md.), Brad Boston (Sarnia, Ontario, Canada), and Curtis Florence (Lakewood, Ohio). They represented the Inland Lake Yachting Association.

The Championship got underway on Thursday under light breeze. Most of the day was spent under postponement. Racers experienced a Northwest building breeze at 5 to 8 knots later in the afternoon and the fleet managed to complete two races in the first round robin series. Local knowledge paid off for skipper David Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla./Florida Sailing Association) who won both races to take an early lead.

Friday’s conditions were improved, as sailors experienced a Northeast breeze of 6 to 10 knots. The fleet tallied 16 races. Chris Raab (Huntington Beach, Calif./YRU of Southern California) took command of the leaderboard on Friday and had a six point lead through the first round robin and a five point lead through six races of the second round robin series.

On Saturday, sailors finished the second round robin, completed four races in the repechage round and the top ten teams sailed three races in the championship round. Sailors enjoyed a variety of conditions from medium breeze to start the day, to lighter breezes mid-day and ideal conditions for the start of the championship round. Raab and crew maintained a five point lead over Pat Toole (Santa Barbara, Calif./Southern California YRA) through the second round robin.

Teams qualified by competing at a high level in their respective RSA events. Teams consisted of both men and women sailors.

The league racing format offered sailors quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing opportunity for spectators. Every race counted, so consistency was a major factor. Races were approximately 15 minutes in duration. Some of the competitors have likened the format to college sailing in big boats.

First place team was presented the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy and received entry as the U.S. representative at the Sailing Champions League World Qualifier. The top three teams received US Sailing medals – Gold, Silver, Bronze. Teams representing the Southern Yacht Club, Edgewater Yacht Club, and James Island Yacht Club earned the Staton J. Peele, Jr. Trophy for sportsmanship.

Sportsmanship Notes:
  • Southern Yacht Club: Following racing Thursday evening, members of the Southern Yacht Club team de-rigged their J/70 and then assisted the St. Petersburg Yacht Club junior sailors by hauling 20+ Optimist prams out of the water.
  • James Island Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the James Island Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round.
  • Edgewater Yacht Club: Thank you to the sailors from the Edgewater Yacht Club for assisting in the measuring and tuning of the J/70s Saturday afternoon, prior to the start of the championship round. In addition, on Sunday sailors from the team came in off the water to assist in the replacement of a forestay; they even offered their personal forestay to the event.
For more U.S. Adult Sailing Championship/ Mallory Cup Trophy sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.