Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Garcia Crowned ROLEX Circuito Atlantico Sur J/70 Champion

J/70s sailing Punta del Este, Uruguary
(Punta del Este, Uruguay)- The 2018 edition of the South Atlantic Rolex Circuit was held this past weekend, an event organized by the Yacht Club Argentino, the Olivos Yacht Club, the Punta del Este Yacht Club and the Uruguayan Yacht Club and sponsored by the prestigious firm Rolex.

Twenty of the exciting J/70 sportboats participated in the three-day event and within the ORC Club class were J/24s and a J/92. The teams came from Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Day One
Racing began on Monday, January 15th for the enthusiastic fleet of J/70s.  Two races were held in a southerly 18 kts breeze.  Pedro Garra’s PLAN B led the fleet at the end of the day with a 2-1 for 3 pts. They were followed by Francisco Van Aermaete’s SI QUERIDA with a 1-5 for 6 pts.  Completing the podium after the first day was Ricardo Umpierre’s XTREME 4U with a 3-3 for 6 pts.

J/70s sailing off Punta del EsteDay Two
For the second day of racing, the J/70 sailors were treated to a radiant sun and with ESE winds that grew from 12 to 17 knots. The J/70s managed to complete three more races and the “planing mode” conditions created a dramatic turnover in the standings.

As a result, it was Diego Garcia’s CHAPULIN from YC Punta del Este that flew up the standings and won the regatta with 17 total points. Holding their own was SI QUERIDA, holding on for the silver with 20 pts total.  However, it was Pedro Garra’s PLAN B that dropped off the pace a bit and survived to get the bronze to round out the podium.  The balance of the top five included Aldo Centanaro’s PURA JODA in 4th with 38 pts and in fifth place was Juan Pablo Fregonese’s BUTANTAN with 41 pts (of note- he was top dog in a three-way tie count-back scenario with Ricardo Umpierre’s XTREME 4U and Sebastian Rana’s BANQUITOS.

Grand finale- Vuelte (Round) Gorriti Island Race
In this fun, classic race that closes out the Rolex Circuito Atlantico Sur 2018, the “round island” race of Gorriti is enjoyed by all.  In the J/70s, winning was Fregonese’s BUTANTAN with Rana’s BANQUITOS in 2nd, Centanaro’s PURA JODA in 3rd, Garra’s PLAN B 4th and Nicolas Goulu’s CHISPITA in 5th place.

Winning ORC B Class was Marcelo Alzola’s J/24 BLUECROSS & BLUESHIELD.  Sitting in 5th position was Guani/ Arocena’s J/92 JUPITER.  Follow the Rolex Circuito Atlantico Sur on Facebook here   For more Rolex Circuito Atlantico Sur sailing information and results  Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Block Island Race Week 2018- It’s On!

Block Island Race Week (Block Island, RI)- The Duck Island Yacht Club in Westbrook, Connecticut and the Block Island Yacht Club have teamed up to co-host Block Island Race Week 2018. The event will feature five days of racing on Block Island Sound June 17-22. The 2018 event will feature a whole host of unique events including:

  • One Design racing for all classes that can participate.
  • Mixed fleet racing under the PHRF, ORC, and IRC rating rules.
  • A first time participant’s class with video debriefing and coaching each day.
  • Classics and multihull racing
  • A cruising class holding one race each day starting at 2pm.
Daily shore side activities will be offered to friends and family who are not out on the water. Dinghy races and an island tour are just a few of the things we are planning: details will be available soon.  At the conclusion of the week champions will be crowned for best performance overall.

Follow us on Facebook-  Enter now here-   For more 2018 Block Island Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Light Airs J/Fest St Pete Regatta

J/111s sailing J/Fest St PeteJ/88 WINGS Crowned Midwinter Champion
(St Petersburg, FL)- The inaugural J/Fest St Pete Regatta took place this past weekend on Tampa Bay.  Host St Petersburg YC and its RC Committee, PRO and volunteers made a valiant effort to get in as many races as they could considering the cards they had been dealt- essentially no, or very little, wind for all three days.

The weather prognosticators were, unfortunately, more accurate than normal for Tampa Bay.  An enormous High pressure system had parked itself north of Florida over Georgia and nothing moved it for well over four days- an unusual phenomenon, especially this winter where storms have been ravaging the North American continent about once per week and wrecking havoc everywhere.  The flip side of that coin was that it warmed up fast all three days of sailing and the sunny days and warm 70 deg days were a welcome reprieve for many sailing teams that had migrated down to Florida from the north.

J/111 winners- ShamrockThe largest class in the regatta were the J/111s.  Winning was a relative class newcomer, Jeff Davis and his team on SHAMROCK from the Midwest rode a 1-2-2 record to handily win the class.  Another Midwest crew accustomed to light airs racing took second place, Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.  They had by far the most consistent record of any boat in the regatta- a 3-3-3 for 9 pts total.  The bronze was secured by Peter Wagner’s World Championship crew on SKELETON KEY.  While they had a 1-2 in their scoreline, they suffered the ignominy of missing the time limit in the second race and had to score a TLE/ DNF, a score that would torpedo their chances of an overall win.

J/88 winners- WINGSThe J/88s had a real battle going by the end of the second day.  The top two boats were tied on points with a 1-2 for each team.  Mike Bruno’s WINGS from New York and Long Island Sound were even with Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago and Lake Michigan. Both were experienced in light airs sailing on those two bodies of water.  With just one race to go, the last race was won by Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION to secure third place on the podium.  However, Graff’s EXILE crew misjudged the adverse current and got hung up on the anchorline of the RC boat at the start; as a result they scored a 4th and barely held on to second place for the regatta.  Winning the regatta and crowned as J/88 Midwinter Champion with a 1-2-2 scoreline for 5 pts was Bruno’s crew on WINGS.

In the J/70s, there was also a similar battle taking place.  After two days and two races, two teams had 1-2 scores- Gary Weisberg’s AFRICA and Connor Mraz’s VAMOS!!  On the last day, Weisberg’s AFRICA took the class crown by winning the race, with VAMOS in 2nd.  Third for the regatta was Dan Gross & Danette Szakaly’s D2 RACING.  For more J/Fest St Pete Regatta sailing information
   Add to Flipboard Magazine.

U.S. J/70 Youth Championship Announcement!

J/70 Youths at St Pete YC
(St Petersburg, FL)- The second annual U.S. J/70 Youth Championship will take place in St Petersburg, Florida on Tampa Bay from November 16-18, 2018.  The event will be hosted by the St Petersburg Yacht Club in its fleet of club-owned matched one-design J/70’s.

The U.S. J/70 Youth Championship (USJYC) is open to twelve Youth Teams representing US Sailing recognized Sailing Clubs or Organizations.  Sailing clubs may enter more than one youth team per event, but may only qualify one team for the USJYC championship in Newport, RI. The twelve (12) Youth Teams will compete on ten J/70 Class sailboats with class sails (main, jib, spinnaker).

The 2018 qualifiers are: 
Here is the USJYC Notice of Race( 

For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship information, please contact J/Boats at “” or refer to the USJCA website ( Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Russians Crush Monaco Sportsboat Series..Again!

Russian ARTTUBE crew (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Having won two of the three regattas to date, Russia’s top woman sportsboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, is making a big impression on the J/70 fleet. Her crew on ARTTUBE outwitted the competition and she has all the resources required to make this top-step podium finish at the YC Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.

Thirty-three boats, including 11 Monegasque entries, lined up on the start of this penultimate Act.  However, the suspense is over for everyone. The “tsarina” of Russia has done it again! Dreams of a podium finish receded for some, but came true for others like Valerya Kovalenko at the helm of ARTTUBE with her talented crew of Igor Lisovenko, Alex Bozhko, and Denis Rozhkov.  Again, ARTUBE was the undisputed leader of the regatta.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoThe results speak for themselves with three wins out of four races that counted. The Russian team proved surprisingly consistent and in full control of their boat. Although rarely in the vanguard during starts, they worked their way steadily back up the fleet, nibbling away at the lost meters until the finish. Their strong point: the downwind legs, tackled with skill and every wave perfectly negotiated. 

The competition has no hope of overtaking her now. Despite their best efforts, the Germans on PAINT IT BLACK led by Carsten Kemmling were 2nd just ahead of the YC Monaco’s Stefano Roberti on PICCININA.  Roberti pulled out all the stops to keep his ambitions alive, coming in the top six in every race. At the end of racing on Sunday, he now lies 2nd in the provisional overall ranking after four Acts, behind Valerya Kovalenko.

J/70 Corinthians winners- YC MonacoA Breath of fresh air blows through J/70 class
As part of the YCM’s coaching policy, two teams from the Club’s Sports Section are now competing in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, with youngsters like Rémi Piazza.  A newcomer to the J/70 class he embodies the new generation of racers keen to shine in the keelboat categories. He finished 17th this weekend and 3rd in the owner category. Also competing was Leonardo Bonelli, a YC Monaco Optimist sailor who at the age of just 12 was racing on a J/70 for the first time!

The J/70s will be back on the water for the 34th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, 9-11 February 2018 that gathers the cream of one-design sailors in the J/70 class from across Europe.

Behind Russia’s Kovalenko and Monaco’s Roberti in the provisional series ranking overall is Italy’s Germano Scarpa on SPORTCUBE. There is one grand finale at the end of February for this winter-long series.  For more YC Monaco J/70 Sportsboat Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Lease a J/70 Today. Build Your Fleet!

J/70s for lease (Newport, RI)- J/Boats and Dockline are pleased to announce the first-of-its-kind lease program for J/70s.

Lease a J/70 today, starting at $799/month* for 36 months! Boat, trailer and sails are included.

Leasing, as an alternative to purchasing, has been popular in other industries for years and is booming in the automobile and RV markets, thanks to a whole new generation coming of age with purchasing power. It’s this generation that’s leading the charge in the new shared economy, and this generation that’s actively seeking alternatives to buying big-ticket items.

Leasing is the perfect fit. There’s no large upfront expense, no long-term commitment, and at the end of 36 months, you turn in the keys with no resale headaches.

To learn more about the J/70 Leasing program, please contact your local J/Boats dealer. *Please note the price of $799/month excludes tax, title and delivery. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

10th Conch Republic Cup Preview!

J/130 sailing- cruiser racer sailboat (Key West, Florida)– Welcome to the 10th edition of the Conch Republic Cup! We will welcome the fleet of competitors this year with our traditional Skipper’s meeting and Welcome party in Key West at the Schooner Wharf Bar and Grill January 26th.

We are pleased and excited to join with Evalena and her crew at Schooner’s to host the Key West events this year (note- Evalena is a local J/24 owner/ fanatic and loves sailing!). Schooner Wharf Bar and Grill has long been seen as “The” sailor’s bar in Key West and has a very long and storied history. As you may know, they host the Wrecker’s Race Series, an “all-in-fun” race series that recalls the tradition of the wreckers in the Key West of the 1800’s.

Once the sailors arrive in Hemingway Marina and grab some well-deserved rest they will be treated to the sights and sounds of Cuba with the traditional pig roast at the Hemingway International Yacht Club, thanks to Commodore Escrich- our gracious host in Cuba.

After a day of recuperation, we will be racing against Cuban sailors in this year’s Torreon de la Chorrera Buoy Race that runs the length of the Malecón. Competitors will sail by the US Embassy and along the famous Havana skyline. The start is located at the entry buoy to Havana Harbor under the shadow of Castillo del Morro, the famous cliff side fortress, and runs to the Torreon de la Chorrera, another famous Cuban Fortress, at the mouth of the Almendares River.

The third leg of this race series will bring the competitors back to Key West to celebrate the completion of Conch Republic Cup 2018 with the awards banquet at Schooner Wharf on February 3rd.

We look forward to sharing this cultural exchange through sport that highlights the love, friendship and cooperation with our Cuban neighbors as we celebrate the 10th edition of the Conch Republic Cup Regatta.

Looking forward to participating in the circle of love from Key West to Havana is Emilio Torres-Requena’s J/130 MAZU from Somerville, MA (e.g. near Boston).  They will be sailing the entire event in PHRF Spinnaker Class.  For more Conch Republic Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 Texas Circuit Announcement!

J/24s sailing(Houston, TX)- Ye Old “vente quatro” is seeing lots of love in parts down south. Check out their latest efforts here on -

Trust us….the Texas J/24 Circuit is a “lifetime”, “gotta do”, “bucket list” program…. IF you don’t do it, you are missing the world’s best BEANS, beer, tacos, ribs, beer, sailing, beer, quesadillas, beer, steaks, beer, pulled pork, beer, and… damn, what are we forgetting?? Yay— beer! NOTE- some of the best Texas microbreweries now are some of the worlds’ best down there.

The 2018 Texas J/24 Circuit includes the following events: 
  • March 24-25 ~ Corpus Christi Yacht Club
  • April 21-22 ~ Fort Worth Boat Club (SW Championship & Annual Regatta)
  • May 19-20 ~ Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club (J/24 Corinthian Cup & Heritage Regatta)
  • June 9-10 ~ Austin Yacht Club (J/24 Texas Championship)
  • September 22-23 ~ Houston Yacht Club (HOOD Regatta)
  • October 13-14 ~ Lakewood Yacht Club (J/Fest Southwest)
  • November 17-18 ~ Canyon Lake Yacht Club (tentative)
If you got any questions, you need to talk to this wonderful J/24 “Wonder Woman”- Tonja.  Note- her philosophy on life is simple- "It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But, life at sea is better!!”  Gotta LOVE her for that, you know what I mean??

To discuss your philosophy on sailing, call- Tonja E. (Sanchez) Holmes-Moon
J/24 Texas Circuit Representative / J/24 District 14 Governor & J/24 Class Measurer
phone# 940.808.6477 / email- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

J/70 “Fast Lane” Tips from Tim Healy

J/70s sailing Quantum J/70 Winter Series in Tampa Bay(Newport, RI)-  J/70 “Fast Lane” Tips from Tim Healy- J/70 World and Midwinter Champion.

The North Sails one-design roster boasts impressive credentials; Olympic medalists, World, European, South American, and North American champions. Fortunately, for any J/70 sailor, their One-Design experts are big fans of sharing their tricks and tips to get around the race track.

J/70 World Champion Tim Healy has been sailing in the Davis Island Winter Series and wrote-up his expert advice for maximizing crew technique in flat-water marginal planing conditions.

The J/70 Class came back for the action at event #2 of the Davis Island Winter Series in Tampa, Florida. Starting the event off with a bullet, Joel Ronning’s Catapult was ready to take on the 52-boat fleet. A cold front kept things on the chilly side, but with a nice 12-18 knot breeze out of the NE and flat seas, ideal conditions for all teams would be presented for the weekend. The competition was as high as usual. Sailors were eager to get off the line in a clear lane so they could choose their own destiny. After six races, Catapult lived up to their name and stayed clear of the fleet, scoring a total of nine points after one discard. Still having no races out of the top five the entire weekend, they were untouchable and had unbelievable speed. The XCS-1 mainsail, the J-6 jib and AP-1 spinnaker was a common weapon of choice for J/70 teams in the top ten.

Tim Healy and North Sails team seminarAs always, teams had their share of tricks to get them around the race course. North Sails Tim Healy joined John Heaton’s Chicago YC-based team EMPEIRIA for the weekend and shared some tips with everyone afterward. Here is what he had to say about maximizing crew technique in flat-water marginal planing conditions.

Tips for Marginal Planing Conditions in 12-18 knots, flat water

At the top of the beat, it is important to recognize what side of the course has best pressure.

Plan A: If no jibe is the call, then complete a normal set and quickly determine if you are in a planing puff or not, keeping in mind that you still have to protect your lane to weather.

Plan B:  If you decide on a quick jibe, set up on the offset leg so you won’t get overlapped to windward with any boat. It is also important to sail higher, early in the offset leg, so the spinnaker can be set before the offset mark and fill as early as possible. This will allow a jibe at the offset mark to ensure no one will jibe inside you.

If you are in a planing puff, leave the jib out. Once you get planing get more vang on to maximize your power by keeping the main leech from spilling open. You should notice your leech telltales starting to stall then ease off a bit. This will give more power once you are up on a plane, allow you to sail lower while planing and will keep you planing longer as the wind fades off.

J/70 in planing modeThings to keep in mind on crew weight placement:

In marginal or ”lazy” planing conditions, keep crew weight forward. The three forward crew should only move fore and aft in the cockpit section in front of the winch. Helmsman should be hip up to winch to-two feet behind it. The less wind the farther forward the entire crew needs to move.

As your planing puff dies, turn up gradually to maintain power and heel angle. If puff continues to die and you need to start searching up for pressure/power, look upwind and determine if there is another puff coming quickly that you can connect with. If a puff is not coming your way, then quickly go into displacement mode.

  • Furl jib
  • Bear away to max downwind angle
  • Ease main out and adjust vang for proper twist
  • Weight in for a flat boat and weight max forward
  • Make sure your backstay is fully eased
When your are in displacement mode, it might be a good time to think about going wing-on-wing. This will allow you to ride the 8-13 knot puff back down to the center of the course and away from the pack. It works well in these marginal planing conditions because it allows you to separate from other boats that may be searching too high to stay on a plane. You will be sailing close to DDW, while they are sailing high (on a reach) searching for the next planing puff. This is an opportunity to gain a lot of distance from your closest competitors.

Once the next puff is identified as a ‘planing puff’, wait until it hits then it’s time to take immediate action:
  • Unfurl jib (under trim till planing to keep it from disturbing the air flow around spinnaker).
  • Turn boat up to get planing at the same time all the crew weight is moved to the weather rail.
  • Find the correct heading based on heel angle. No more than 12 degrees of heel when puff hits then less than 10 degrees to get planing. Keep in mind that a planing boat should be flat and have no more than 10 degrees of heel.
  • Spin can be eased to see curl when puff first hits. When planing trim in to eliminate that curl. Only test curl from time to time. This keeps the spin leech from twisting too far open and de-powering.
  • Once planing, trim vang on and trim in the jib, being careful not to over-trim.
Here is the article from the North Sails One-Design website Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Sail J/24s Off Yucatan!

J/24s off Yucatan, MexicoGulf Stream Sailing with Dolphins, Whales, & Sunfish!
(Yucatan, Mexico)- Two years ago, Jorge Ojeda grew weary of racing mis-matched boats with handicaps. He said to his friends, we should all sail the same boat!

Many amigos were hesitant, but, equally weary of the lack of competition in Yucatán. The small group of sailors believes it was one of their British grandfathers that first brought recreational sailing to Yucatan.  So, los amigos wanted to grow racing, while older members of the yacht club (Club de Yates y Vela de Yucatán) saw no reason.

“In every yacht club there are two yacht clubs,” said Pedro Gianotti. “I know this to be true. In the best scenarios, the groups overlap energies. But, there are the racers and the cruisers, and beyond, the hammock sitters.  And even others, the knife & forkers, and the powerboat guys, and even the fishermen!”

Jorge was determined to change the sailing climate in Yucatán.

That’s when Nacho Cruiser Manzanilla, the club’s Commodore and a locally influential man, stepped in. Nacho and Jorge set a date. They would buy their first J/24 on February 10, 2015!  Together, no less!

J/24s sailing in Yucatan, MexicoThe fleet would grow from there to a dozen boats in two years. While Jorge builds J/24 Yucatan racing, Nacho is working to build a yacht club. Until now, the club would meet in borrowed locations throughout Progreso, the seaside town 30 miles outside of the thriving city of Mérida.

So, by December 2017, I caught wind of Jorge’s invitation to the Regata de Amigos, an annual series of 13 regattas, one held each month, consisting of two or three windward/leeward races.

I flew into Mérida for two days of exploring, a spectacular city for it, and two days of on the water.

Pedro Gianotti, the Argentinian-born UK Sailmaker down from Houston for the weekend, spent Saturday giving a seminar and measuring boats. Saturday night, Nacho organized a holiday boat parade of lights. Pedro spent Sunday coaching the J/24 Yucatan sailors through the Regatta Los Amigos, the 13th and final installment of 2017. After the regatta, the annual award was given to Tomas Dutton and the crew of CARISMA.

Our fearless leader, Jorge, has assumed the responsibilities of his passion, the kind of natural paternity that shines without requiring translation. Gregarious and expressive, when I asked him about the seminar and measurements, he said simply that he was pleased, his fleet having grown [developed] a lot this weekend.

J/24 Yucatan sailorsIt was Jorge who coordinated Pedro’s visit, and who along with his wife and crew, an attractive woman named Mercedes, ushered my own visit. One of four female J24 sailors in the fleet, Mercedes would ask questions during Pedro’s seminar, take notes on the boat’s new list of needs as he measured, and use oil and acrylics to paint the Regatta de Amigos annual trophy, a sunset sailboat scene on a flat cut of oak!

Were it not for their hospitality that brought me there, much of what is special about Yucatán and its sailors would have been beyond my reach. Pedro’s seminar was in Spanish, so for two hours I sat mostly trying to guess the topics with my elementary vocabulary. It turns out I was not alone in translating the words. While South American countries and Spain use Spanish words for the various parts of a boat, Yucatán and Mexican sailors tend to use English words!! How amusing! So, in fact many of the club’s questions for Pedro involved translating his Spanish to their Spanish!

At the Christmas boat parade of lights that followed Saturday’s seminar, Pedro mentioned sailing in a championship regatta once in which he and his three other crew spoke four different languages. When the sail went flapping, a cacophony of words erupted all at once!

J/24 Yucatan Mexico launching tractorOne sailor, who goes so far as to have the definition of the name of his J/24 elegantly strewn down the hull, is French born, Yucatán married, and with American in-laws. He and most my amigos for the weekend moved between English for me as needed, but there were still many more jokes I failed to grasp than those I understood. Instead, I smiled a lot! Moreover, as my skipper Mike Dutton yelled the Mexican-Spanish word for “Hike on Jorge’s boat, Pedro struggled to get his crew to understand the same command in Argentine-Spanish! Needless to say, I was reminded that sailing has but one language.

In sailing as in life, it is all understood through analogy. Mike referred to an electric guitar during the tuning seminar, insisting his boat worked the same way.  In addition, at one point, Tomas shared a story about the race to create a pen that would work in space. If you recall, the crazy American’s at NASA spent tons of money investing in research to make that space pen; meanwhile the Russians simply used a pencil!! Haha! The moral? Do not let the language stop you from accepting Jorge and Los Amigos de Yucatán invitation to race. They are ready, and at 6.5 km, the port of Progreso is the world’s longest, offering a warm bathtub about nine feet deep and averaging 20 knots of perfect regatta time!
For more Yucatan J/24 Fleet sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ottoway Clinches Australian J/24 Nationals!

J/24 Australian Nationals(Melbourne, New South Wales, Australia)- Congratulations to Hugo Ottaway and his crew, Paulina Mattila, Gareth Evans, James Tarode and Megan Aulich sailing BRUSCHETTA VI, the new Australian National J/24 Class Champions for 2018.  Here is a great play-by-play account of how it wall went down in the waters of Sandringham Bay off Melbourne, hosted by the Royal Sandringham YC.

DAY ONE- "Glam" Conditions
Racing got underway in “glam” conditions, sunshine and light southerlies. Race’s one and two were light and then in a building, but shifty breeze.  The fleet sailed another two races, making it four total for the day, with the last race sailed in a perfect 15 -16-knot breeze.

Dave West sailing Arthur Crothers’ KAOTIC jumped out of the box in race one for a win from local sailor Simon Grain in JET, with Jeanette Syme in WILDFIRE from the South Sydney Fleet taking out third.

Race two saw Sandringham’s “Mr J24” Hugo Ottaway in BRUSCHETTA VI take the gun from JET again, with Ron Thomson in KICKING third.

As the breeze built in the race, the placings started to change around. Local class President, John Neville, put in a solid performance to take the gun from Jordan Sunkel-Lozell and Kirsty Harris in HYPERACTIVE. Jordan was sailing the Sandringham J/24 Fleet Youth boat SIDETRACKED like a champ.

Race four, the race management team sensibly got ahead of the program with a questionable weather forecast for Saturday. The local J/24 Worlds aspirant Brendan Lee, sailing BY THE LEE, took the gun from Hugo and Steve Wright sailing TINTO, the latest addition to the Australian fleet from Germany.

So, the top five crews after day one were all basically tied!  Leading was Ottoway’s BRUSCHETTA VI with a 2-7-1-10 for 20 pts.  Behind on the tie-breaker was Wright’s TINTO with a 3-4-8-5 on 20 pts.  Then, third was a tie-break on 21 pts with Simon Grain’s JET with a 6-11-2-2 with Harris’ HYPERACITVE with a 9-3-5-4.  One point back in fifth was West’s KAOTIC with a 4-13-4-1 for 22 pts.

That’s what the results say, so what really happened??

JET looked great after the first two races, then faded. But, in a gentlemen’s agreement with John Neville, is one jug up!

Ottoway started badly with a 10th, but won the day, on a count back from Steve Wright– not exactly creaming the day but 1 point ahead of JET and HYPERACTIVE. And, KAOTIC with mixed performances is a further point back.

Looks like Simon likes the light, but Hugo likes the mid-breezes.

Back in the fleet, Chris Ravesi in SANGUINE had an altercation with newcomer Patricio Sepulveda in BAILE de LUNA. Jordan in SIDETRACKED busted a lower shroud when doing rather well near the top mark.

J/24s sailing off Melbourne, AustraliaDAY TWO- It's Never Like This!
Yes, It’s Melbourne and, as always, it is never like this!  But, friends, it is what it was!

The day’s weather was an even better re-run of Day One.  Warm sunny and with 7-12 knot southerly breezes and flat water, the stay at homers will be wishing they weren’t.

A little point to note from John Neville’s briefing – he/she who wins the first race of the day commits them and their crew to cooking the evening BBQ at the Ken King Centre.

Yesterday’s problems are all fixed, SIDETRACKED got new lower shrouds, SANGUINE had its bow fixed and BAILE De LUNA was replaced with SCRUMPY, thanks to our very generous Leigh MacLeod.

So it was in Race 5 today that Brendan Lee put his hand up to cook the BBQ with a good win from Steve Wright in TINTO and John Neville in VICE VERSA.

Race Six and Sandy’s ex-President, Newsletter Editor in Chief, resident Scotsman and all round keenest skipper, yelled ‘Och aye the noo’, freely translated this means ‘just now I won me first Nationals race’ and let me tell you folks if it wasn’t for being a Scotsman, the credit card would be out and the bartender shouted “free drinks” on Doug! Well done, Doug!

In a race of upsets, Jeanette Syme in WILDFIRE had a well-deserved second and Warren Campbell screamed into third. Wow!

An amazing thing so far is that no boat is a stand out, every boat in the top half of the fleet has had a shocker and with only one drop in this 12 race series, some of these are going to count. Consistency is the key.

Speaking of that. Brendan Lee has now had two wins and a few shockers– here is one of them, ouch!

But, it could be any one of us trying just a bit too hard. Brendan spent the race outside the course looking at this very same video immediately placed on the Vic J/24 FB site by the amazing Craig Wiley on the start boat. I’m told he looked at it over 20 times just to make sure. What I haven’t told you is that we are all under ‘U’ flag in this start. Bye Bye!

Race Seven and ‘Mr J24’ Hugo Ottaway sailed away from the fleet – and John Neville in second to lead around every mark, Dave West in KAOTIC took third in a long battle from Simon Grain in JET.

In the almost as important Thommo Cup, Jeanette is creaming Ron by 4 points. Jack Fullerton, Sandy’s ‘replaced with new’ man is finally putting it together with a solid 10th place – nice shirts too, Jack. Dave McKay from the South Sydney Fleet is back in 11th, but here and sailing, he tells me he left Sydney with just one crew and put the rest together on the drive down! Well done Dave! By the way, has he told you he was World Moth Champion and Australian Sailor of the Year in 1969– buy him two beers and he will tell you about it! We love you in the class Magoo!

So, you would think that Hugo would be looking pretty good at the end of Day Two. And, he is, but not quite as good as John Neville, sitting just one point above him on 23 points. Dave West is third on 25 points and Simon Grain is fourth on 29 points, clearly the results are close and with 5 races still to go, the result is far from settled.

Well how does it all look? Lets ask Brendan.

Back in the pack, the new members of our Sandy group are finding out what bigger one design fleet racing is all about. It’s hard racing, but it’s fun and everyone is thrilled you guys have joined us! Stick with it, we are better for your participation by far. Robin and Jim Townsend from SA have made the trip over and are, as ever, ardent supporters of the class and the regatta circuit. Next year is your turn and we’ll be there.

J/24 sailing off AustraliaDAY 3- Shifty, Hot & Nuking!
Day three turned most things right around. Gone is the light to medium Southerly, in is the 42 C degree (HOT!) and a 20–25 knot Northerly. Jibs for everyone and for the first time in years, code flag  – life jackets today!

Initially felt with some foreboding by some, the hot Northerly belted the fleet all day. But, it wasn’t the boat and crew crusher some expected.

Kirsty Harris sailing HYPERACTIVE cleaned up the first two races.  They had a very, very close win from Simon Grain in JET and Brendan Lee in BY THE LEE in the first race.  Then, they had a convincing win in the second from Hugo Ottaway in BRUSCHETTA VI and Ron Thomson in KICKING.

A little further back, places 5-8 finished in line abreast with a spread of only 5 seconds (on the score sheet – I would have thought it was less than that). It was another great example of the close racing the class is providing. Thanks Craig!

Race Ten was taken out in grand and exciting style by class National President, Ron Thomson, skippering KICKING.

Filling the minor placings in Race Ten were Brendan Lee and Simon Grain.

In any windy day, there are things that just happen. Three people that I know of went into the water, but hung on to be pulled back on board. Steve Wright in TINTO had his bowman and kite pole go over– the pole didn’t come back!

Starting in the strong winds, where you might expect things to get a bit more ragged, it was quite the opposite for most competitors (not all) with no U flag today.

So, what happened on the result sheet? Well, quite a few changes. Sadly for John Neville, yesterday’s regatta leader, a less than a glam day, resulting in a fall from first to third behind new leader Hugo Ottaway and in second place Simon Grain. Still wide open, the first 6 places cover only 10 points and tomorrow sees some serious work still to be done for the title of National Champion 2018.

By the way, what a fantastic job the whole race management team is doing. The racing has been handled brilliantly with fair start lines and a mix of course length and structure. The protest committee has been busy with a few meetings over the last few days. From us to you– well done!! Thanks Guys and Girls of the Sandy team!!

Australian J/24 champsDAY FOUR- Battle of the Century!
Day four was a battle for first between Hugo and Simon right to the very end, with both finishing the last race in the same order as they finished the regatta.

HYPERACTIVE and VICE VERSA both finished on 58 points for fourth and fifth, respectively, an indication of the close racing throughout the regatta.

The last day started slowly with a 12-15 knot southerly, cloudy skies and much cooler temperatures (to everyone’s relief after the very draining 42 degree Saturday). With a shifty wind, a couple of generals and an exemplary attitude from the race committee, after one and a half hours and seven start sequences we finally got away. Jordan, skippering the Sandy Youth boat SIDETRACKED, had an absolute blinder of a race, finishing out front only to suffer the pain of finding he was OCS on a black flag race.

Australian J/24 winnersSteve Wright in TINTO took the gun, with JET just pipping BRUSCHETTA VI right on the line. Race 12 had BRUSCHETTA VI taking out the race from JET and HYPERACTIVE.

The Performance Handicap was won by Robin Townsend in WITCHES THIMBLE from Jack Fullerton in TWO DOGS and Ron Thomson in KICKING.

In the very popular Thommo Cup, once again Ron took the honours from Jeanette 7 – 5. Although, he tells me he got a real scare in the middle of the regatta when it was 4 all!

There are stories too many to mention from the fleet. The standard of racing is awesome, it doesn’t matter where in the fleet, from front to back the competition is full on. And everyone is loving it.

Our Sandy Race Management Team did a fantastic job in sometimes trying conditions. I heard no grumbles, only praise for their very professional work.

Australian J/24 Race CommitteeA comment from Peter Edwards from Cronulla regarding the Race Committee, “For the next three days I got to experience the most proficient, organized, and skilled Race Committee I have ever been involved with. From the top, Graeme Watt and Peter Taylor empower all their team with a cool calm and sense of importance that make you proud to be involved with them.  My thanks go to all the team for allowing me to be part of your team.
Sandringham Race Committee are as good as it gets, if not better, and I had so much enjoyment in being part of it, I really didn’t want to leave!!”

The Vic J/24 fleet did a fantastic job organizing the regatta. President John Neville and the committee put in huge hours, effort and energy into making these Nationals one of the best anyone can remember.

The presentation was held in the Sandy Harbourview restaurant, another very successful evening with El Presidente, master MC and funnyman John Neville.  He lamented that the regatta had not ended when he was winning, but doing a sterling job presenting trophies, cracking jokes and keeping us all in laughter.

Sailing photo credits- Luis Ferreiro- contact him- PH: 0439 353 865 or website-  And, you can see more fantastic pics of the action here-    For more Australian J/24 Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

35th Anniversary J/35 Nationals Announcement

J/35 sailing offshore (Cheboygan, MI)- All J/35 sailors are cordially invited to compete in the 35th Anniversary J/35 National Championship. This year’s championship regatta will be held July 26 through 29, 2018 in Cheboygan, Michigan. North Star Sail Club, Harrison Twp. Michigan is delighted to host this year’s regatta.

Cheboygan Michigan offers a unique opportunity to J/35 sailors to compete in some of the best fresh water sailing in the United States. It also provides you, your crew and your family the ability to take in and see historic Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw Bridge, just a short drive from Cheboygan. You will also be close to of some of the best vineyards and microbreweries in the state.

The city of Cheboygan provides great harbor facilities and a city park with excellent picnic facilities and live entertainment in the evening.

Come and participate in an established / competitive one design series and take in Pure Michigan. For the first time in the 35 years of this competition, Rod Johnstone, the designer of the J/35 and J-Boats founder will be attending.

As a side note to all J/35 owners, the two weeks preceding the North American Championship are the Bayview Mackinac Race and the Chicago Mackinac Race. Two of the best long distance fresh water races anywhere in the world. For more info on these and  For J/35 Nationals registration information

For any questions, please contact North Star Sail Club’s Race Officer- Tony Schornak- email- or cell# 586-201-9574.  Please also visit North Star Sail Club’s website- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dreaming of Summer? Winter Boat Shows Update!

J/121 offshore speedster
By Stuart Johnstone
(Newport, RI)- With winter reaching out to make life miserable in the northern hemispheres, it’s a great time to dive indoors to a large, warm, exhibition hall and visit J/Boats dealers participating in winter 2018 boat shows to get the latest information and scoop on the newest offerings from J/Boats.  Here is a list of them to add to your future travel plans!

January 20th to 28th- boot Dusseldorf Show
On Display are J/97E, J/112E, and New J/121
With over 300 sailboat related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.  Das boot, the boat show in Dusseldorf, Germany, takes place from January 20th to 28th, 2018.

On display in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be three choices for J/Tribe aficionados.  For those into performance, the new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making her European boat show debut; learn why she was chosen SAIL Best Boat- Performance Over 30 feet Award and SAILING WORLD’s Boat of the Year- Best Crossover Award.

And, check out those new fast, comfortable sport cruisers- the J/97E and the J/112E. The next-generation sport-cruisers, the “E” series of the J/97E and J/112E, are proving to be quite popular in Europe.  At the Paris Boat Show, the J/112E had an enthusiastic reception with sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with lots of expansive comfort on deck and down below in the sunny interior.   For more Boot Dusseldorf show information.

J/97E sport cruiser sailing fastJanuary 26th to February 3rd- Seattle Show
For a week, you get a chance to escape the lovely grey, drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest and pretend it is always sunny, warm, and pleasant by going inside the pavilion at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Visit Booth WEST 4 to see the easy-to-sail 31 foot sport cruiser that has been taking the European offshore buoy events by storm- the lovely and incredibly roomy J/97E.  On hand to help you chat about the 97E and the latest in the J/Boats range (like the new J/121 Offshore Speedster) will be the team from SAIL Northwest. For an appointment, please call Bob Ross at SAIL NORTHWEST- ph (206) 286-1004 or email-  For more Seattle Boat Show information.

J/Fest Northwest, Seattle, WashingtonJ/FEST Northwest Announcement
Sail Northwest invites you to join them for the comeback of the original J/FEST Northwest! For 26 years, the event produced some of the best racing and after race socializing available on the planet. This two-day regatta (with a Friday night PHRF fun race) is open to all J/Boats owners and crew. Starts will be provided for ONE DESIGN, PHRF AND CRUISING classes. The on the water activities are hosted by Sail Northwest and crew.  Shoreside activities will be in the Courtyard west of the main building on Friday night and at the Corinthian YC Shilshole clubhouse Saturday and Sunday.

Remember, Saturday evening’s dinner and door prize extravaganza, is always a sellout.  So head on down and join them for what Northwest Yachting Magazine called “the most looked forward to regatta of the year,” J/FEST Northwest.

Please contact Bob Ross or Ben Braden with any questions about the weekend’s festivities, sponsorship and racing questions. Phone- 206-286-1004 or email-  They will be at the boat show, visit them to catch up for the new year! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 22, 2018

“A Single-purpose, Tightly-Focused, Mile-Cruncher- the J/121!”

J/121 Seahorse magazine preview(Lymington, England)- The new J/121 has been created to allow fast, simple sailing for those who want to spend their time tackling classic ocean races (quickly) as well as local beer can races… and not chasing down a large crew.

Four decades ago a sleek, flush-deck keel boat appeared in the summer race circuits around New England and turned heads with both its looks and its speed around the race courses. Fractional-rigged with a large genoa and balanced sailplan, the J/24 was an instant hit; within a few short years fleets were appearing all over the US and elsewhere, with the top names in the sport enhancing the competition among rival sailmakers fighting for their share of a fast-growing new market for sails.

The newest offering from J/Boats, the J/121, is both a logical extension of other performance designs they have built over the years but also a significant departure for the company. The J/120 brought sprit-boat sailing to the 40ft range two decades ago, and more recently the J/122 brought a more modern and IRC-friendly design to the same size range. Both, however, assumed a full crew of 8-10 people would race onboard, with the sailing systems and interior accommodation arranged accordingly.

While many of us remember the J/24 era clearly, and are still struck by how many J/24s are still out there racing, what people may not remember is that designer Rod Johnstone was not just interested in performance when he drew and built his iconic little design, but also had in mind that this was a boat that could help encourage family sailing. Yes, the J/24 was envisioned to get the family out together on the water, even sleep aboard with its modest but livable accommodation. It was not uncommon in these early days to have crew staying aboard while racing at class regattas…

Times may have changed, but the J/Boats philosophy has not, which is why literally thousands of boats across dozens of different models have been sold under the family brand name – always with one overriding consideration in every design: will this boat be suitable for sailing with family and friends?

“Whether it’s day sailing, buoy racing, long-distance cruising or offshore racing, the family fun characteristic is very much in the J/Boat DNA,” said Jeff Johnstone, company president. He should know: Jeff is one of several second generation Johnstone’s to carry on the family business. Rod’s son Alan has taken on the designing of J/Boats, including the J/121, and Jeff and Alan’s cousin Stuart is active in marketing and also publishes the weekly  J/Newsletter.

Like other global brands, J/Boats’ success is founded on staying in close touch with their customers as they move through the sport. The product line has therefore evolved to remain relevant to their large, well-documented customer base, as well as attracting newcomers with the company’s latest ideas……  Read the rest of the article here at Seahorse magazine website. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Helping move young sailors forward- 40+ years?

J/24 youth sailor (Newport, RI)- Finn Hadlock was just 24 years old when he led his young team from Maine to compete in the 2017 J/24 World Championship in Toronto, Canada. There were many steps between when he first bought the boat to fulfilling this goal, and has provided this report in hopes that other young adults looking to start their own team can learn from his two-year odyssey.

There were many factors that initially led to buying a J/24. The first was that there was a local fleet in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Although not a very large fleet, at anywhere from 9 to 13 boats, the local “knucklehead” fleet seemed perfect. The second draw was the high level of racing at a regional level.

The J/24 class is still one of, if not the most, competitive one-design classes in the New England area. With over 5,100 boats built, the J/24 has a long history of being a great one-design keelboat. Lastly, J/24s are a great value. I went through about every forum and listings page I could find and there were a lot of great boats in the $4,000 to $10,000 range.

My first big break was buying a $5,000 boat from a guy named Joe. Throughout this search process, I knew I needed a boat that was race ready, had a good trailer, and a measurement certificate. You will see the term “Race Ready” on many boat listings. I think the easiest way to validate this is to simply research how much racing the boat has done.

The boat I bought, BOREAS, had a good track record and documentation from Waterline Systems of a bottom and keel job. In addition, she had relatively new winches, a Tacktick compass, carbon pole, and a very decent set of sails. These all would have made retrofitting a slightly less expensive boat more expensive.

J/24 YOUTH sailorsAfter I bought the boat there were many things I would have liked to upgrade, but financially just buying the boat was a big stretch at the time. I was just starting to figure out all the expenses involved – joining the local fleet, registering the boat, get a mooring, having a dinghy slip, etc. Things were adding up in a hurry.

With bills mounting, this was when I decided to end my housing lease and live on my J/24. This sounds crazy, and it was, but after exhausting every resource I had in the area, I ended up on a mooring for free. I then joined a local yacht club as suggested by a longtime friend Vince. It was a great deal because I could join and have my small inflatable tied up for $500. Most importantly, the club had a shower.

Living on a J/24 is a lot like camping. There isn’t space for anything and it’s relatively damp. I had a small assortment of cooking essentials, a boom tent, and a well-stocked cooler. In order to save hauling everything to and from the boat, I bought plastic drawers for the back of my car to hold my clothes.

To be competitive for local fleet racing I would pack everything in two plastic bins and put them into the dinghy to reduce weight. For those three months, I had the best commute to work anyone could ask for. Although it felt a little tight at times, I would highly suggest it.

A huge resource was my dad, Parker, who owned and raced J/24s back in the 1980s. Although a lot has changed on the boat, having someone who could feel the boat and know the roles of the team helped immensely. The other set of eyes helping was a GoPro mounted on the stern.

J/24 youth sailing teamThat summer I filmed every race and then watched it the following night to note how we could get better. I would freeze the video, look at my heel, sail trim, and look up the tensioning from my log and compare it to the tuning guide to see what we needed to change.

Speed is king in the J/24 class, and most of the major controls are controlled by the skipper when going up wind. Reading, watching videos, and getting help from people who know the boat helped us improve every time we went out on the water. I became addicted to the process of becoming faster.

At our first regatta, we expected some challenges…but nothing quite like your jib trimmer getting kidney stones the first morning. We saw every end of the fleet at the Downeast Regatta but came out knowing we could compete. We also got to meet Molly and Carter White. Molly told me about the youth team (under 25) bid for the 2017 Toronto World Championship.

Like many other one design classes, in order to go the J/24 Worlds you have to qualify through different events or be accepted based on previous results, and two of these spots were reserved for youth teams. The goal of making it to Toronto for Worlds was set into motion after we had a successful event at the Changing of the Colors Regatta.

We ended up in third place in a relatively competitive fleet, but more importantly, we had shown ourselves we could improve. The new sails we got from Quantum’s Travis Odenbach certainly helped. We finished the year with a strong last race at the East Coast Championship and sent in our resume to the USA J/24 Class Association for the youth team bid at Worlds. Throughout these events, we got to meet some great people and even developed some fun rivalries with other boats.

I was ecstatic when I found out we were selected as the youth team for Worlds, but I also recognized we had a long way to go before we’d be ready. The backbone of our team was two Yarmouth High School students – Griffin (17) trimming the spinnaker and Anna (18) on the bow – though we had no twing or jib trimmer locked in. To add another challenge to the mix, I was relocated to Houston, Texas, for work.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to sail with Carter White’s team in Houston for a weekend regatta. Having only skippered the boat up to that point, I had not been able to focus on the other positions on the boat. Carter is extremely good at simplifying the systems on the boat. I had been following the tuning guide and feeling my way through each individual situation. Coming out of that event, I realized in order to continue to get better, I needed to be more systematic in my approach.

Being more systematic applied off the water too. When I asked someone to sail with me, I feel it is important to be upfront about my expectations. I’d provide lunch on the water (most likely PB&Js) and sleeping arrangements. I also like to take everyone out for a team dinner on one of the first nights of the event. Most importantly, I would send my team our schedule and two or three goals for the event.

After arriving to the Sail Newport Regatta with my lifting bar forgotten back in Texas, we became more systematic in our rigging and de-rigging of the boat. Creating a set place for everything to go, including tools, reduces stress and helps speed up the packing process. We’re definitely still working on this organization, but it is significantly better compared to when we were in Newport.

Everything started coming together quickly at the Downeast Regatta, a week before Worlds. Our team was topped off with two very experienced J/24 sailors named Matt (23) and Emmet (22). Matt was brought on board through our mutual connection, Molly White. Emmet was an old family friend and foe from racing in Portsmouth. This experience helped us immensely. We finished the regatta in 3rd place, and were one of the fastest boats all weekend.

Finally, we made it to Worlds. The 12 hour drive there was a lot like a long drive to an interview for a job you don’t know you’re qualified for. We certainly did not feel qualified after opening the regatta with 50th place. But, much like the last two years, we learned from our mistakes and relied on the process that got us there. We ended up 28th overall and winning the U-25 Turner Trophy.

I am very grateful for all the help we had to get our program up and running. I know that through the Boat Grant Program, youth bids for Worlds, and a great community of sailors, the J/24 class will continue to help move young sailors forward.

If you have any questions about the BOREAS team, please feel free to contact me-

You can continue to follow our racing on Instagram: Boreas_USA2736 or at

Also, if you’re interested in applying for the boat grant, go here: http://J/

Lessons from the Winter J/70 Circuit

J/70s sailing Tampa Bay winter series(Youngstown, NY/ Tampa, FL)- Tim Finkle from RCR Yacht had some great perspectives on what it takes to compete in th J/70 winter series
The growth of winter racing for one-design classes in Florida has helped to extend the sailing season for northern competitors, but doing well in these events means overcoming new obstacles. Along with additional travel logistics, the body and mind must be transitioned from snow shoveling to race ready. Not always easy.

Tim  is competing in the three-event Quantum J/70 Winter Series with weekend racing in December, January, and February in Tampa, FL. After his result in the January event came a bit short of his goal, here are some of the lessons he hopes to apply at the final event next month.  Here is his commentary:

“Practice is important. Almost all of the teams went out at some point on Friday and had some tuning, practice starts, or just boat handling practice. We did not, and with a new team, that was a mistake. But, we all have jobs and other commitments, so that is the case sometimes.

Don’t start in traffic. With 53 boats on the line, it is tough, but the line was long enough so it was possible to find low-density areas. We didn’t always do that and it made it tough to live in tight lanes off the start. In a big fleet, it is about being free off the line to get to the side you want or being free to tack on the first big shift to cross a big pack of boats. We could never really do that and when you fall back into the middle of the fleet, it is hard to work out of because you don’t have clear air.

Start in the front row. In a fleet that uses Velocitek ProStarts that produces time and distance readings, everyone knows where the line is. It’s not okay to be a few meters off as that will result in being spit out the back. You have to be on or even over in some cases, especially if you have some boats around you for cover. We found that even just a few feet back was not good enough.

Don’t be afraid of the Black Flag. They use it a lot in the J/70 fleet to avoid general recalls. The U-Flag is also used, which is the same as a black flag but that you can restart in a general recall. This event did not have any black flag penalties, which surprised me when looking at the results. The RC was using the U or Black every single race. That either means that it worked and the boats all laid back (I doubt it) or they weren’t calling the line that closely. My take away is that I was too hesitant and didn’t push the line hard enough.

Have a pre-start routine and don’t get lazy. The RC did not waste a lot of time between starts, so that made it even more critical to get your stuff in order between races. There was not a lot of time to drink water or go to the bathroom and sail off the starting area. You had to get back into your routine, checking the line, pinging the ends, looking for wind, tuning the rig, etc. If you were not ready, the 5 minutes goes by very quickly and you will find yourself wishing you had done more prep before the start. Missing a shift and being on the wrong end of the line is very hard to dig out of.

Take what is given. There were times when we had a game plan but did not execute. We may have wanted to get to one side or another but couldn’t get there or worse, chased across the middle of the course to get to the side. Sometimes you need to sail the side you are on and do you best to stay on lifted tack and use what is given to get to where you want to go. It’s not always easy especially if you don’t have good lanes to do it, but chasing something and going for leverage for a big gainer doesn’t work that often.

Trim settings. We did not keep good records from the last regatta and sort of had to start over on that with a new trimmer. We should have made better notes so that when a new trimmer comes aboard, we can hand them the notes so they know what marks to trim to, where to set the jib cars, how much to in-haul, etc. in different conditions. This is not a knock on our trimmer, who is excellent, but it’s just hard to expect someone to step in and know the best settings if they have not trimmed the sails on this boat before; that’s unrealistic.

Work hard to the end. This is an area where we did well this weekend. When we found ourselves deep in a race, we did not quit and kept working at it, trying to make gains until the finish. We caught a lot of boats by communicating and working the boat. I was proud of the guys for keeping it positive and working together. You can’t control everything around you, but you can control your own boat, so it’s important to focus on what you can control and make the best of it.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.