Wednesday, February 28, 2018

J/111 PICOSA Wins Islands Race Class

J/111 sailing offshoreJ/124 MARISOL Dominates Cruisers
(San Diego, CA)- The 130 nm Islands Race drew 26 teams for the ninth edition of this Southern Californian offshore contest on February 16-17, 2018. Starting in Long Beach Harbor, the course headed west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands before finishing in San Diego.

Many of the teams were competing to prepare for the 1000nm Puerto Vallarta Race in March.

While the history of the race has seen some gear-busters, this year’s race fell on the lighter side, with the wind speed never exceeding 10 knots. In addition, with just a sliver moon, sailors were missing one of their favorite features- moonlight!

“This year was a little bit light and slow, but not bad. Surprisingly, there was a little bit of glass off to the west end of Catalina at 4pm on Friday which should be the windiest part of the day, so that was frustrating. Coming in it was light from San Clemente Island to San Diego and then the wind filled in and the big boats finished on a nice breeze out of an unusual direction, a northeast wind (050-070), which is not a direction we see very often,” said Ben Mitchell, navigator on one of the 70 footers.

A number of J/Crews started Friday evening.  In the end, it was Doug & Jack Jorgensens’s J/111 PICOSA that dominated their ORR 4 Division fleet of super high-performance modified custom boats that consisted of “jacked-up” 1D35s and an Andrews 40.

In the ORR 6 Division, it was Seth Hall’s gorgeous flag-blue J/124 MARISOL that took their division by several hours.  For more Islands Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/88 North Americans & Great Lakes Announcement

J/88 sailing off St Pete (Chicago, IL)- The J/88 class continues to enjoy excellent one-design racing in various regional venues around the USA.  The recent events in St Petersburg, FL for the J/Fest Midwinters and the St Pete NOOD Regatta underscore how close the racing can be.  Notably, five of the six boats all posted top three finishes during the seven race series and, were it not for a crazy last chute set at the last windward mark in race 7, all six boats would have had top three finishes.  That is the sign of a healthy class when all boats get a shot at the podium.

Continuing on that momentum, several boats are planning to sail Charleston Race Week, the New York YC Annual Regatta, then head to the Midwest for the Great Lakes J/88 Championship in Youngstown, NY.  That event is held in conjunction with the CanAm Regatta at Youngstown YC, with sailing taking place just up river from the famous Niagara Falls on Lake Ontario.  The event will serve as a fantastic “tune-up” event for the J/88 North Americans later in August in Chicago.

The J/88 Great Lakes will take place from July 27th to 29th.  Expect three good days of racing with expert YYC PRO Wayne Bretsch.  There will be race debriefs and parties every night.

For logistics, there will be free mast step and unstep, free launch and haul, free docking or mooring and FREE storage until the J/88 North Americans in Chicago!  Yes, you read that right.  FREE storage, leave your boat at RCR Yachts between the two events!  For more information, please contact Tim Finkle for questions, or 860-917-5416.  Register now for the J/88 Great Lakes Championship.

J/88 North Americans
From the 9th to 12th of August, the Chicago Yacht Club is proud to host the J/88 North American Championship on the lovely waters of Lake Michigan.  Racing will take place off the spectacular Chicago waterfront and the J/88 sailors will benefit from having CYC’s best RC crew running their event.  Concurrently, the Verve Cup Offshore Regatta will be taking place, so there will not be a lack of fun and entertainment ashore, in addition to enjoying the many sights and sounds and restaurants offered by the Windy City.  For more J/88 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tough, Challenging RORC Caribbean 600 Race

J/122 Liquid sailing RORC 600 race (Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)- Eighty-seven yachts started the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 it was a record fleet that saw new elapsed time records broken, too. With strong 20-25 kts tradewinds that endured for the entire race, it also saw a record number of teams drop out due to the grueling conditions going upwind against 8-12 foot breaking rollers for hours on end.  Most boats spent a vast majority of the race under #4 jibs and reefed mains.

The 600nm race around the central Caribbean includes three French islands as marks of the course; Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.  The weather forecast was surprisingly accurate, most northeast winds ranging from 15 to 25 kts, making for a very fast, “reachy” race track for the top boats. As a result, RAMBLER 88 set a new course record with a mostly all New England/ Newport team.

J/44 Spice sailing RORC 600 raceIn CSA 2 and IRC Two were two J/122s that were ready for this challenging race course.  In fact, it was a perfect challenge for them, including a grueling 70nm beat against big winds and big seas along the south coast of Guadeloupe from the rocks of La Grande Anse northeast to the next turn off La Desirade. This leg was tailor-made for the strong all-around offshore design that is the J/122.

Going into that leg, Pamala Baldwin's LIQUID from Antigua and the classic offshore J/44 cruiser/racer, Kevin McLaughlin’s SPICE with a largely New England team, were dueling for a podium finish in their respective classes.

However, after rounding La Desirade, the J/44 took off on a powerful fast reach, as did the J/122.  In the end, the J/44 SPICE took 16th overall IRC, third IRC 1 Class.  Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID took 18th overall IRC, fourth IRC 2 and then in CSA took 9th Overall and 4th in CSA 2 Class.  A good showing in a very, very tough race.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Barcelona J/70 Winter Series Report

J/70s sailing off Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)- The Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (RCNB) just completed the 5th weekend of their 2017- 2018 Barcelona Winter Series for J/70s and J/80s off their beautiful city waterfront of Barcelona.  The Mediterranean offered picturesque blue seas, plenty of sunshine, and good southeast breezes to permit the RCNB PRO to run two more races on Sunday, bringing the series totals up to 24 races, permitting teams to discard their four worst races.

With five weekends of racing under their belts, the J/70 PATAKIN sailed by Luis Albert from Club de Mar Palma Mallorca is leading the series with 44 pts net, counting all his scores in the top four!  Amazing!  Sitting in second for the series is Massimo Rama’s Italian crew on JENIALE EUROSYSTEM from RCN Barcelona with 52 pts net.  Rounding out the top three on the provisional podium is David Marco’s REBUFF from RCN Barcelona with 75 pts net.

J/80 sailing off BarcelonaIn the J/80 fleet, it is past World Champion Marc de Antonio from RCN Barcelona leading the series on his famous BRIBON MOVISTAR with 28 pts net.  Holding on for second place is Silvia Ravetllat’s AKEWELE from Club Nautico El Balis with 46 pts net.  Then, sitting in the provisional third position is Rosa Artigas’ MIKAKU with 56 pts net.

The sixth and last regatta of the Barcelona Winter Series takes place next month!  For more Barcelona Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Gorgeous St Pete NOOD Regatta

J/111 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaJ/Sailors Enjoy Sunny Seabreezes on Tampa Bay
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2018 edition of the Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD saw “classic” Tampa Bay weather conditions in late winter along the Gulf of Mexico.  As winter weather slides into spring-time weather, the near record warmth produced beautiful sea-breezes on Friday and Saturday for most race courses to sail seven races.  Sunday produced similar conditions, but the familiar easterly gradient dying into a westerly sea-breeze materialized too late for all race courses, forcing an AP over A to end the day and the regatta.  However, no one appeared disappointed after getting in fantastic racing over the first two days, with everyone enjoying the amazing hospitality always on offer at St Petersburg Yacht and the support of major sponsors like Mount Gay Rum.

The J/tribe saw great racing for three one-design classes- J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s.  In addition, there were excellent outcomes for J/crews in PHRF handicap racing.

J/70 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaWhile many of Pamela Rose’s thirty-eight competitors have raced sailboats most of their lives, the J/70 class winner onboard her ROSEBUD took home her first major regatta win this weekend— and qualified for the J/70 World Championship— only two years after taking up the sport. A self-proclaimed “serious boater,” Rose said she didn’t expect to enjoy sailing so much when she bought ROSEBUD, looking for a new challenge three years ago.

After taking sixth place last year at the St Pete NOOD, Rose gathered a crew of top-notch talent– Morgan Reeser, Charlie Smythe, and Willem Van Waay– to help accelerate her success this year.

“The goal for me was to win a qualifying seat [for Worlds],” Rose said. “I’ve been working really hard. I was thrilled to have this amazing team— they are very experienced, very calm. I call them the dream team.”

Rose said she will plan her summer schedule around training, including an entry into the Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD in July, to get a test run in the same venue that the 2018 J/70 World Championships will be held in September.

J/70s sailing St Pete NOOD regattaWinning after the first day was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Marblehead, MA.  However, they could not hold off the veteran crew on Rose’s ROSEBUD to take second overall with 28 pts.  Winning the last race, Bennet Greenwald’s crew on PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA managed to just make the podium with 34 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Josh Goldman’s BUILDING A with 35 pts and Travis Odenbach’s USA 40 with 36 pts, 4th & 5th, respectively.

In the J/70 Corinthians, it was Mark Hillmans’ crew from Annapolis, MD winning with 80 pts total. They were followed by Nancy Glover/ Mark Foster’s WINTERWIND from Marblehead, MA in second; Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE in third; David Mendelblatt’s USA 39 in fourth; and Lily Flack’s MUSTO YOUTH TEAM in fifth place.

J/111s sailing St Pete NOOD regattaThe half-dozen J/88s enjoyed spirited racing over the first two days of sailing.  Leading after the first day was J/88 Midwinter Champion Mike Bruno’s WINGS from New York. However, on the second day of racing, it was Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS from Milwaukee, WI that ran the table with straight bullets to win the regatta with just 11 pts total.  Second was Bruno’s WINGS crew with 18 pts.  Then, taking the bronze on the podium was Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago with 24 pts.

The J/111s also had a half-dozen boats sailing. The outcome for the first two boats was a near repeat of the 2017 J/111 World Championship, with Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY taking the class win with 8 pts, followed by Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND in second with 11 pts.  Rounding out the top three was Rob/ Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF with 14 pts.

J/88 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaFor J/Sailors in the PHRF world, it was, essentially, a sweep of division wins across the board.  In PHRF 2 class, George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE won.  David Arata’s J/105 J-HAWK was third. And, the J/42 SHAZAAM, skippered by Roger Gatewood, was fourth.

PHRF 3 Class was crushed by the masthead J/29 called SEMPER FI sailed by Ray Manix from St Petersburg Sailing Association— straight bullets over five races!  At the other end of the spectrum the little J/22 MOJO skippered by Bob Touton from Davis Island YC took fourth place.

For the one-day North Sails Rally- Cruiser Division, Jose Suarez-Hoyos from Davis Island YC won the class sailing his J/35 NO WAY JOSE!  For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Défi Voile Etudiant Won by YC Monaco

J80 student sailors
Défi Voile Etudiant– Pornichet, France- report from YC Monaco.

A steady 10-15 knots all weekend blessed the 25th Défi Voile Etudiant (sailing regatta for students) in Pornichet, Brittany. A total of eighteen teams on J/80s made the trip, including one from the engineering college at the University of Nantes, led by Nicolas Bouchet from the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Throughout the races, he maintained his leading position before finally conceding victory to the Western Brittany University team in the sixth and final race of the event.
J/80s students sailing off France, Pornichet
It was a promising result for the YC Monaco helmsman.  Bouchet commented, “I felt like I really improved my racing techniques over these two days and loved being at the helm especially on the downwind legs.”

Nicolas Bouchet sailed aboard the J/70 PONANT at this past weekend’s Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, finishing a remarkable 4th place and winning the Corinthians division with the YC Monaco Youth Team. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

J/70 Midwinter Championship V Preview

J70 sailing off Florida(Miami, FL)- Since its inception, the extraordinarily popular J/70 class had hosted its Midwinter Championship concurrent with Key West Race Week off Key West, FL- the first event taking place in January 2013.  For the first time, the class will be holding its fifth edition of the Midwinters on Biscayne Bay, hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, FL.  A very competitive 64-boat fleet has registered with sailors attending from across the world, including Brazil, Turkey, Canada, and Monaco.

Headlining the event will be the two protagonists that have won the past two J/70 World Championships, Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from Rye, NY and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN.  Both men are in their mid-60s and are living proof that you can be competitive at any age in the world’s toughest one-design class. They will be having to contend with a number of crews that have maintained a high-level of consistency, like Brian Keane’s SAVASANA that was not only 2nd in the 2017 J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, but recently won the Quantum J/70 Winter Series held on Tampa Bay, Florida.  In fact, Keane was second to another contender, the winner of the recent Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta in the J/70 Class, Pamela Rose’s ROSEBUD from Chicago with Morgan Reeser aboard for sail trim and tactics.  Throw in two more past winners of the J/70 Winter Series- Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, TX and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES and it looks like you may have a hard time handicapping this horse race. Plus, one cannot forget other world champion-level contenders like Jud Smith’s AFRICA from Marblehead, MA; Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; and Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT (another 2018 winter series winner).

As usual, the foreign contingent has a few solid teams in the mix.  YC Monaco’s 2017 Sailor of the Year, Vincenzo Onorato, will be racing his famously-named MASCALZONE LATINO (e.g. “latin rascal”); Ahmet Eker from Istanbul, Turkey is sailing EKER KAYMAK; and from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is Flavio Andrade’s CARURU.

In the Corinthians Division, look for Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY team from Annapolis, MD to be at the top of the leaderboard. Plus, other crews like Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from Greenwich, CT; Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK from Boston, MA; Jim Cunningham’s LIFTED team from San Francisco, CA (he was Etchells 22 Midwinter Champion); Ed Keller/ Billy Lynn on USA 28 from Marblehead, MA; Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD from Annapolis, MD; and Nancy Glover/ Mark Foster on WINTERWIND from Marblehead, MA.  For more J/70 Midwinters V sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Italy J/24 Winter Series Championship Report

J/24 sailing off ItalyPELLE NERA Leading Series, NUVOLA Atop Trofeo Lozzi Regatta
(Anzio-Nettuno, Italy)- The 43rd Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno is off to a great start for the Roman J/24 fleet in Italy.  After two full weekends of sailing, the weather has cooperated beyond anyone’s expectations, producing eleven races for the Winter Series and seven races for the Trofeo Lozzi Memorial Trophy series.

Winter Series
In the winter series, it is Paolo Cecamore’s crew on PELLE NERA that is benefitting from having the Hungarian Farkas Litkey at the helm; Litkey is a former Soling World Champion- a bit like throwing a wolf amongst the innocent little lambs! The team is sailing fast and smart and has posted nine top three finishes, including five bullets for a total of 15 pts net!

Climbing the standings quickly in the series has been none other than perhaps the most famous Italian J/24 sailor in recent history.  Ignazio Bonanno’s LA SUPERBA is now renamed NUVOLA and instead of sailing for the Italian Navy College, he is racing for the Centro Sportivo Agonistic.  While having bad luck in the first three races (a DNC-20-DNC), they can now throw out two bad scores.  The NUVOLA team now has eight scores in the top three, with four bullets and are sitting on 34 pts net.  Things could get interesting very fast if their consistency over the next two weekends begins to force PELLE NERA’s hand. NUVOLA has the best record in the last five races by far with a 1-1-1-2-2.

Sitting in third for the series is Gianni Riccobono’s PELLE ROSSA from the host Nettuno YC.  They, too, had a rough start in the first weekend.  However, since then, they have managed to pop scores like a 1-2-3-3 in the last seven races to swiftly race up the standings.  They now sit just two pts back from NUVOLA, with just 36 pts net.

Trofeo Lozzi
This event is in commemoration of a long-time J/24 aficionado in Italy- Sr Lozzi- that passed away at far too early an age.  Currently, the team leading this series is also a past winning skipper- Ignazio Bonanno.  He is now skippering NUVOLA and, after not sailing the first two races, they have posted five straight bullets to be winning by 1.5 pts after a throw-out.  Sitting in second place is Luca Silvestri’s ENJOY 2 for 24 pts net; third is Marco D’Alosio’s DON J with 25 pts net; fourth is Paolo Cecamore’s PELLE NERA with 33 pts net; and rounding out the top five is Fabrizio Sabatini’s DAIQUIRI with 43 pts net.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, February 23, 2018

J/80s Dominate Vuelta al Lago Regatta

J/80 sailing Chile (Frutillar, Lago Llanquihue, Chile)- The Vuelta al Lago Regatta is raced every year on Llanquihue Lake in southern Chile; it is the premiere fall regatta for local sailors. The regatta is comprised of three or four legs that vary from 15 to 25nm, criss-crossing the enormous 21nm long lake.  The regatta is open to all sailboats that wish to enjoy a “port-to-port” event to the many fun, cool, towns and villages that dot the verdant green, spectacular shorelines of a lake ringed by numerous famous volcanic peaks- like Osorno.

This year, the 2018 15th edition of the “Vuelta al Lago” (round-the-lake race) consisted of three legs:
  • Frutillar-Puerto Varas
  • Puerto Varas- Puerto Oscuro
  • Puerto Oscuro- Frutillar
This year’s racing was marked by plenty of breeze, sunny days, cloudy days, storms sometimes, and often big, enormous chop (e.g. waves) in the middle of the lake that would grow so fast your head would spin!  Such is the nature of sailing on a mountain lake next to 12,000 ft peaks that can create their own localized storm/ squall systems!

After three days of long-distance racing, the J/teams dominated overall.  The J/80 CANDIDO with Mario Moure on the helm won with 9pts total.  Taking second place was the J/24 PELICANO with 10 pts.  Then, settling into third place was the J/80 BUCEFALO with 14 pts.

The most exciting development is that Llanquihue Lake will have four J/80s by March 2018. One boat is coming from Spain and two boats are coming from Canada, according to local J/Boats Chile distributor- Juan Eduardo Reid. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Gear Winter-Spring Special- 20% Off!

J/gear special
(Newport, RI)- J/Boats’ sailing gear licensee V-Sport is pleased to offer all J/Boats owners and crew their 2018 Winter-Spring Special.

The Special Offer is good from now until April 4th, 2018 (please not 1/2 models, J/Photo Prints and J/Battleflags are excluded from the offer).

To place your order and enter the 20% discount code- “JB2018SP”- please visit the J/Gear website. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

MINOR THREAT Wins J/70s @ SCYA Midwinters

J/70s southern California(Marina del Rey, CA)- California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey hosted the 2018 Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) annual “Midwinters” regatta for J/70s.  Fourteen boats turned out on the starting line to enjoy the first regatta of the season.  The CYC PRO managed to run five races offshore in the big rolling swells of the Pacific Ocean, running double windward-leewards.

After the first three races on Saturday, Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara YC was leading with a 3-2-4 for 9 pts and enjoyed some celebratory “brew-skies” on the dock after racing.  Riding the big roller coaster of pain were Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT from Cal YC with a 7-3-1 score sheet for 11 pts, good enough for second place, and Tony Collins’ FLY from Kings Harbor YC with a 2—9-2 for 13 pts.

As Sunday dawned, the big question was whether any of the top three teams could maintain any degree of consistency to stay at the top of the leaderboard.  Such was the tightness and competitiveness of the fleet that, despite being just fourteen boats on the course, not one team could post all top five finishes.  However, the standings did experience a bit of a juggling of positions.  The “Big Doggers” may have had too much fun celebrating their good luck on the huge Saturday dinner and band at the club; their final two races of 5-6 dropped them to third in the final standings.  By closing with a 2-3, Janov’s MINOR THREAT won the regatta with 16 pts total and taking second was Collins’ FLY with 18 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Chris Snow’s San Diego YC crew on COOL STORY BRO in fourth place and in fifth was Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY from Kings Harbor YC.  For more SCYA Midwinters J/70 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

USA J/70 Youth Championship Update

J/70 Youths (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 thirteen 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 thirteen (13) Youth Teams will compete on ten J/70 Class sailboats with class sails (main, jib, spinnaker).  The 2018 qualifiers are:

Feb 15-18    Helly Hansen St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Mar 7-11     Bacardi J/70 Invitational- Miami, FL
Mar 16-18    Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD- San Diego, CA
Apr 12-15    Sperry Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
May 04-06   Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD- Annapolis, MD
Jun 2-3       Cedar Point YC One-Design Regatta- Cedar Point, CT
Jun 08-10    Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD- Chicago, IL
Jun 15-17    Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jul 06-08    The Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 15-16    St. Francis Sportboat Regatta- San Francisco, CA
Jul 26-29    Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 26-29    Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD- Marblehead, MA

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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

GURU-SIRTECOM Tops Chilean Navy J/24 Regatta

J/24 Chile(Puerto Montt, Chile)- This past weekend the twentieth edition of the Chilean Navy Regatta Frutillar was held on the spectacular waters of Lake Llanquihue and organized jointly by the Chilean Navy and the Cofradía Náutica de Frutillar Yacht Club.

“Lago Llanquihue” is the largest lake in Chile, just north of Puerto Montt along the Pacific coastline. It is located at the start of the “Patagonia Verde” and is the most beautiful landscape in the country, with enormous fjords, dozens of glaciers, spring waters, and immense rainforests.  Plus, the wildlife is off the charts with seals, dolphins, whales, albatross, salmon, hawks, you name it.

The lake is in southern Chile's Lake District. It's known for its vast waters and black-sand shores. It is 860 sq. km. (330 sq. mi.), 21.75 miles long, with waters that exceed 1,000 ft (rumored to be as much as 6,000 ft in places).
Puerto Varas, Chile
To the east, the 12,000 ft high snow-capped Osorno Volcano that borders the lake has enormous ice caves. Nearby are Petrohué Falls, flowing down chutes etched by lava. On the lake's southwest edge, is the old town of Puerto Varas- famous for its German-style buildings and a red & white, 3-towered church. North of Puerto Varas, is the peninsula of Frutillar, famous for its glass-fronted “Teatro del Lago” that hosts concerts all year long in a most spectacular waterfront setting. In the northeast part of the lake is Puerto Oscuro, known locally as the “Riviera” of Chile for its benign, quiet, gorgeous surroundings along the lakeshore.

In the 1850s, Vicente Perez Rosales made a huge contribution to the region and organized the colonization by Germans and Chileans of the Llanquihue area.  He made an agreement with the German government to bring German families, giving them 1 hectare (100 acres or 10 sq. km.) of land to settle and develop a zone that at that time was full of rainforest, lakes and beauty, but no infrastructure at all. The sole inhabitants at the time were just brave Araucanian Indians.

That initiative was a great success, and many Germans settled in the region in the second half of 19th century, developing its incredibly rich resources for agriculture, sheep/wool production, liquor distilleries, wine vineyards, granaries, and also commercial ferry services for many lakes, especially Lago Llanquihue.

The Chilean Navy’s Cofradía Náutica Regatta remembers those brave colonizers; many lost their lives (entire families, in fact) in the challenging weather, but their efforts enabled the few small communities to survive.
J24s on Llanquihue Lake
A strong fleet of a dozen J/24s and a handicap fleet that included J/80s participated in the multi-fleet event that took place over three days. The fleet experienced eight races with very shifty winds, with the velocity ranging at least 8-15 kts over the course of each day.

The J/24 fleet included eight boats from Talcahuano; Raul del Castillo from Algarrobo; and Tomas Detri from Villa La Angostura, Argentina. The regatta PRO was setting marks in about 300 to 600 ft of water!  Imagine that, as bad as Hawaii or Lago Panguipulli!  A rock, some string, chuck it over the side, time it (literally), and the mark is set!

J/24 at Frutillar, ChileThe ultimate winner was GURU-SIRTECOM, with Nicolas Cubria from Argentina on helm.  They finally won the title after sailing in a more protected area of the bay that produced 10-30 degree windshifts. In the end, the podium was rounded out by Raúl del Castillo’s LA BANCA in second place and the duo of Andrés Menta/ Carlos Lucero on VIKING in third position.

In the Handicap class, the J/80 DOMINGO SIETE sailed by Alejandro Caroca lead in a one-on-one battle against the other J/80 PUERTO VIEJOR, sailed by the Surazo Sailing Club member from Puerto Varas- Rodrigo Carrasco.

Surazo SC is a group of 10-15 boats that sail the whole year on Llanquihue Lake from their homeport of Puerto Varas.  The town is an important residential town for most of the professionals of the salmon fishing industry that work in Puerto Montt. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Lease a J/70 Today. Build Your Fleet!

J/70 youth sailors in Michigan
(Newport, RI)- J/Boats and Docklines Leasing 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.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

SAVASANA Wins Quantum J/70 Winter Series

J/70 Savasana- brian keane
FLOJITO 3JT Wins Finale
(Tampa, FL)- Fifty-nine J/70 teams qualified to win the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida by competing in at least two of the three weekends with the same boat and skipper. The popular Quantum J/70 Winter Series spans three weekends of racing between early December and February, allowing participants to store their boats onsite for a reasonable fee. Additionally, on each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 and North U combined forces for the so-called “Porch Series” to offer practice races and coaching immediately off the beach in front of the club.

Following the first two breezy, cold regattas, conditions this past Saturday and Sunday were characterized by sunshine, record high temperatures and light winds on Tampa Bay. In fact, conditions were such that only one race was held on Saturday morning before it turned into a “glass out”. The racing was then postponed ashore, with crews sitting on the beach or on the huge porch on the second floor, awaiting for breeze. Sadly, it never happened, leading to an “AP over A” cancellation of racing for the day.  Wisely, the DIYC PRO moved the start time an hour earlier on Sunday to take advantage of the wind forecasts; a good move since the sailors enjoyed three solid races for the day.
Jack Franco's J/70 crew
After four races were completed, Jack Franco’s considerably talented crew on FLOJITO 3JT won the final segment of the Series with a blistering scoreline of 7-1-1-5 for 14 pts.  This was Franco’s first major regatta win with Bill Hardesty (main/tactics) and Al Terhune (jib/spin) on the crew (note to self- both guys are World Champions).  Taking second for the regatta was San Diego’s Bennet Greenwald, steering PERSEVERANCE to their best performance in recent months, posting a steady 3-3-9-4 for 19 pts.  Just one point back in third place with another steady tally of 5-6-6-3 for 20 pts was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA.

As a result of the finishes in the finale, Keane’s SAVASANA earned the overall Quantum J/70 Winter Series victory by virtue of a tie-breaker at 4 pts each with Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE.  The countback saw SAVASANA’s best 2-of-3 counters of 1-3 beat PERSEVERANCE’s 2-2. Similarly, there was a 3-way tie-break at 9 pts each for the final spot on the podium between Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING, and Jack Franco’s FLOJITO #JT.  STAMPEDE took that count-back with a 3-6 over POWERPLAY’s 4-5 and Franco’s 8-1.
Sarah Renz's Berteau Group crew from Chicago
For the Corinthians Division, it was clear the refugees from the frozen tundras of Chicago could not wait to head south and set a blistering pace in the hot waters of Tampa Bay (well, hotter than Lake Michigan, for sure!).  Handily winning the final event was Sarah Renz’s team on BERTEAU GROUP, posting a 10-22-10-8 to close out with 50 pts, and, as a result, winning the coveted Quantum J/70 Winter Series Corinthians Division.  Second in the division was Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH with 62 pts and rounding out the podium in third was Nancy Glover’s WINTERWIND with Mark Foster on the helm.  Ironically, the finish positions in the final regatta also reflected the overall winter series results.  For more Quantum J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Swiss Triumph @ Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse

J/70 Monaco Youth team at Primo Cup

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Over the weekend of February 9th to 11th, some 300 hundred sailors descended upon the famous Principality of Monaco for the Primo Cup- Trophée Credit Suisse, organized in collaboration with SLAM.

With 12 nations represented on 80 boats, there was no downtime for the sailors on Hercules Bay off Monaco. In fact, the fleets were blessed with some of the best sailing conditions the regatta has seen in years, with enough sun, wind, and warm weather to complete eight races for the J/70 class!

For Yacht Club de Monaco General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandro, there was great satisfaction, “it’s amazing to see how this regatta has not aged; that it continues to attract a new generation of sailors, as evidenced by the five Corinthian teams among the top 10 in the J/70 class fleet of 41 entrants!”

This 34th edition delighted competitors, including the 2008 Laser Olympic champion Paul Goodison.  He commented, “it’s great to be able to come here in the middle of winter and enjoy back-to-back races in ideal conditions against a high-level field in the J/70 fleet.”
J/70 sailing off Monaco
In this flagship class of the Yacht Club de Monaco, which boasts the biggest concentration of J/70s in the Mediterranean with 20 boats, the competition doubled its efforts to overtake last year’s Primo Cup winner- the Brazilians on MANDACHUVA.

After the penultimate day of racing, it was evident the champion was going to be determined between a hot trio of boats; Guillaume Girod’s CDE.CH from Societe Nautique de Geneve in Switzerland, Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO from YC Monaco/ Italy; and Mario Soerensen-Garcia’s MANDACHUVA from Brazil- about as international a group of sailors you could possibly find!  The Swiss CDE.CH had been performing like clockwork; compiling all top five finishes and were leading the regatta.  However, there was still a window of opportunity for the “Latin Rascals” and the Brazilians.
J/70 Loro Piana
As it turns out, the last day and the last two races proved the undoing of many teams in the regatta, with many posting high double-digit finishes that had to be used as their “toss races”.  The Swiss maintained their composure and closed with a 7-9 to win the regatta with 24 pts net.  The balance of the podium and, indeed, the top five were playing a wild game of “snakes & ladders”.  Surviving with a BFD-3 to take the silver was Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO’s very talented team with a total of 38 pts net.  Six points back were the Brazilians on MANDACHUVA sitting on 42 pts net.  Then, the balance of the top five saw the YC Monaco Youth Team on PONANTE, skippered by Nicholas Bouchet, take a surprising 4th place and in 5th was yet another Swiss crew- Emanuel Muller’s ATTAQUE.  Of note, by far the best scores in those last two races happened to be Giacomo Loro Piana’s Italian crew on CUJ from YC Costa Smeralda- a 3-6!
J/70 Primo Cup winners
In the Corinthians Division, the winner happened to be the YC Monaco Youth Team sailing on PONANTE with young Nicolas Bouchet on the helm.  The crew has been very well coached by the YC Monaco Sports Group (note- ready story below about their European college regatta).  Rounding out the podium for the Corinthians were Emanuel Muller’s Swiss crew on ATTAQUE with 47 pts and Amaury Berger’s YC Monaco team on SCIROCO with 52 pts.

The next regatta in Monaco is the final Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, 9-11 March.  Sailing highlights video on YouTube.  For more Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing information

Saturday, February 17, 2018

RORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview

J/122 El Ocaso sailing Caribbean
(Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)- With 87 yachts registered, the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will have another record fleet. Teams from at least 22 nations have entered the Caribbean's most famous offshore race.

Since 2009, yachts from Great Britain and America have made up the majority of the fleet, and this year is no different with the two countries accounting for over 30 entries. For the 10th edition however, a significant number of entries from France will be on the start line on Monday 19th February in Antigua. The thrilling 600nm race around the central Caribbean includes three French islands as marks of the course; Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

While last year saw very bizarre, very “un-Caribbean” like weather, with light westerlies, rain, northerlies, and the classic easterlies all affecting different parts of the course, the “locals” believe this year’s event will see more “classic” conditions.  The ideal scenario (and the reason why the course designed) is fresh easterlies with occasional overnight squally clouds punctuating the race track; that makes for a very fun, fast race.

For the most part, if the breezes remain in the ENE quadrants, it’s a very “reachy” race, with a few small beats interspersed (Saba to St Barth, around St Maarten, Les Saintes to Les Desirade, and Redonda to the Antigua finish).  If the breeze turns more ESE, instead it can produce one long 183nm windward beat into big seas from the most northern part of the course- Tintamarre- on a SSE 152 degree heading to Les Saintes Rock off the southwest corner of Guadeloupe. Even then, the fleet has often encountered a windward beat for 57nm between Les Saints and Les Desirade across the southeastern shoreline of Guadeloupe.  In short, good strategy, solid navigation, and a bit of luck is necessary to succeed on this race.
J/122 sailing Caribbean
Half of the fleet is under 50 feet.  And, in IRC Two, the three J/122s are all up to the task of taking on this challenging race course because it requires a strong all-around design like the 122.

Last year's winner and sixth overall, was the famous EL OCASO with captain Bob Hillier on board.  They will be up against Pamala Baldwin's LIQUID from Antigua and the fast French crew sailing Olivier Parchet & Bernard McGranaghan's NOISY OYSTER.

“It's exciting, exhilarating, exhausting and filled with the spirit of adventure. We are brave-hearts with a mission- to dig deep and give it our best. We learn to expect the unexpected. We bond and make lifelong friends and cherish priceless memories," says Ms Baldwin, owner of J/122 LIQUID.

Also, entered in the IRC 2 Class is the classic offshore J/44 cruiser/ racer- Kevin McLaughlin’s with a largely New England team. Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.