Thursday, April 19, 2018

Wild & Crazy J/Fest San Francisco

J/105s sailing San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- “In the face of a challenging weather forecast, the St Francis Yacht Club held its annual J/Fest last weekend, with J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s competing.

Rain? Low Clouds, Wind? Sun? Well, parts of all of the above; it all turned into a glorious weekend. The tide charts professed that we would have an ebb tide but the starting line had strong flood currents going well into the early afternoon, making "local knowledge" all the more important,” commented photographer Chris Ray.

In each race, around 20 of the 27 J/105 teams tried to start at the signal boat, tack to port and foot out to the late ebb in the middle of San Francisco Bay.  Those who were pinned off the line on starboard, going southerly toward the shore into more flood, even for just 1 minute, quickly found themselves a quarter mile behind any who escaped to the North into the westerly river, swollen by recent heavy rains.  Those in the river found themselves sliding sideways, at several knots, upwind toward the starboard lay-line, accomplishing impressive VMGs up to 9.5 knots due to both the favorable tide and the enhanced apparent wind.

J/105s sailing at J/FestDespite being in some second or third row starts, Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s ARBIRTAGE and others were still able to tack around the signal boat, and go bow down on port, reaching out to the river and catching up to anyone in the peloton sailing their boats normally upwind on a beat.

Nevertheless, there are always exceptions to the rule and in one start, ARBITRAGE spotted a left shift before the gun and boogied down to the tidally-unfavored pin end, starting on port and crossing the entire fleet, then footing back out to the ebb.

The regatta was initially dominated by new owner Tim Russell and the talented team on NE*NE that scored two bullets and two 5ths, leading ARBITRAGE by 3 points going into the last race.  However, just before arriving at the three boat length circle around the last leeward mark, NE*NE violently luffed ARBITRAGE sharply and caused a collision.  After untangling themselves, both boats passed several others on the remaining two legs, with NE*NE finishing that race in 2nd and ARBITRAGE 3rd, while securing 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the regatta. However, after a long evening in the protest room, NE*NE was DSQ’d and ARBITRAGE moved up to the top spot on the podium.  Ryan Simmons on BLACKHAWK took second, Phillip Laby on GODOT third, Ian Charles on MAVERICK fourth, and Jeff Littfin’s MOJO in fifth position.

J/70s sailing at J/FestAccording to Christy Usher, skipper on the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN and also the local San Francisco Bay Fleet Captain, “the Pineapple Express late-season weather system finished its 24+ hours of rain just in time for J/Fest 2018! Sufficient sun, adequate breeze and San Francisco currents greeted the 48 boats in five classes. The 27 boats in the J/105 fleet made for challenging starts with everyone angling for the "ebb elevator" in the middle of the bay. 

With the top three contenders in the J/70 fleet swapping firsts, seconds and thirds across five races, it was SFYC’s Chris Kostanecki on JENNIFER who ultimately bested StFYC’s 1FA and CHRISTINE ROBINE, helmed by Scott Sellers and Tracy Usher, respectively. Taking fourth was Justin Foox’s FLOTEK and fifth was Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE.

After three races on Saturday, competitors enjoyed a taco buffet, Mt. Gay cocktails, Stephanie Teel's awesome band and the eternally amusing and rowdy J/Fest Raffle, thanks to our supportive sponsors. The two looming Sunday races ensured everyone stayed upright after the party and the next morning lined up for clearer skies and ample wind. Thank you to the Race Committee and Protest Committee (who were busy all weekend).”

J/88s sailing J/FestThe J/88 class saw Marc McMorris’ crew on M-SQUARED from San Diego YC overcome all the “local knowledge” teams to win counting just 1sts and 2nds in the scoreline, finishing with 7 pts total.  Ironically, counting just 2nds and 3rds and taking second overall with a dozen points was Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG from Stamford YC, yet another “alien” visiting San Francisco Bay!  Third was top St Francis YC team COURAGEOUS, skippered by Donald Payan.  Rounding out the top five was Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY in fourth and Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE fifth.

In the J/111 class, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN just missed an “all bullets” regatta, winning with just 6 pts total.  Second was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and third was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG.

The usual battle for J/24 supremacy had the usual protagonists slugging it out all weekend-long.  In the end, it was the EVIL OCTOPUS from Richmond YC, skippered by Jasper Van Vliet, that posted a scoreline of 2-1-1-2-4 for 10 pts to win.  Second was good friend Paul Van Ravenswaay on FERAL ROOSTER with a record of 5-2-2-1-3 for 13 pts.  Sailing was much tighter than meets the eye on the scoring.  As such, third place was determined by a tie-breaker between DOWNTOWN UPROAR and Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE, both with 14 pts each and just one point in arrears of FERAL ROOSTER.  On countback, it was DOWNTOWN UPROAR getting the nod for third place.  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship Announcement

Women's J/109 team in England (Hamble, England)- The Women's Open Keelboat Championship (WOKC) will be returning to Hamble for its 10th anniversary edition in 2018.  This year the event, hosted once again by Hamble River Sailing Club, is being held on the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. The volunteer team which organizes WOKC is delighted that Dubarry has agreed to return as title sponsor, having been a generous supporter of the championships since their inception in 2008 and having been the title sponsor for the last seven events. This means there will be some fantastic Dubarry prizes up for grabs, yet again!

UK Women's Keelboat Championship"The Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championships is an event that Dubarry has been involved with for the past seven years. The camaraderie both on and off the water drives the growth and popularity of this event each year and we thoroughly enjoy sponsoring this wonderfully talented group of sailors. The WOKC event is now bigger than ever due to its excellent organization, complimented by eager participants and organizers and Dubarry is delighted to be associated with this event and wish everyone a successful and enjoyable weekend on the water,” said Marketing Director, Michael Walsh.

The organizers are looking forward to offering two days of fun and competitive racing on the water along with some great social events ashore (the frocks and flip-flops party is unmissable), with funds being raised for the event's two charities- “Breast Cancer Care” and the “Hamble Lifeboat Trust.” The racing format will focus on IRC racing and, after last year's record entry of twenty boats and the return of the J/80 class, the WOKC is anticipating the 10th anniversary edition will be the biggest and best yet.

J/111 women's sailing team"We are thrilled that Dubarry have once again agreed to be our title sponsor," commented Jen Smyth, one of the organizers of the Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship 2018. "With their continued support we have seen entries increase steadily and, we hope, this 10th anniversary edition will see even more ladies on the water. It's a pleasure to be working with the team from HRSC again and we are all looking forward to putting on a competitive regatta and a top notch party for all the teams and supporters."

Entries are now open and early entry is advised to take advantage of the early-bird booking fee of £75, available until 17:00 on Friday 25 May. After that date, entry fee will increase to £95. Boat entry is available from HRSC either online or via the admin team on +44-2380-452070.  Follow Hamble River SC here on Facebook  For more Dubarry Women’s Open Keelboat Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

ENFANT TERRIBLE Triumphs @ Italian J/70 Cup I

J/70s sailing off ItalyThe famous Italian Rossi yachting family makes history!
(Sanremo, Italy- The first Italian J/70 Cup saw epic sailing for the fleet of fifty-nine boats from eight countries across Europe sailing off the “Garden City” of Sanremo and hosted by YC Sanremo.  The fleet was treated to steadily building winds over the three days, culminating with cancellation of all racing on Sunday due to the Mistral blowing in excess of forty knots!  In the end, a famous, familiar name in Italian yachting circles stood atop the podium after five races, Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES, a name most often associated with winning multiple Farr 40 World Championships.  There’s was not an easy win as a rogue’s gallery of Italy’s top sailors were fighting hard to be atop the leaderboard.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay One- Light and Shifty
The first day started under light wind conditions and the YC Sanremo RC and PRO managed to get two races off for the very aggressive fleet.

Chaired by Fulvio Parodi, the YC Sanremo Race Committee promptly started the fleet at 1230 hrs in the “levante” breeze of 8-10 kts, a breeze that ultimately kept decreasing all afternoon.

Leading after the first day was Gianfranco Noe skippering CALVI NETWORK- LIGHTBAY SAILING TEAM, their 1-2 score gave them a three point lead.  Sitting in second place was Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team with a 2-4 for six points.  Winning the second race was Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team from Moscow (Taganrog), Russia; they were sitting in the third position with a 12-1 for 13 pts.

Rounding out the very talented top five was Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN Italian crew with a 4-10 (they are two-time winners of the Italian J/70 Cup) in fourth place and the fast Polish crew of MAG EWA with Krzysztof Krempec as skipper posted a 5-8 to secure fifth.

The Corinthians Division saw Gianluca Lamaro’s JERIATRIA leading (12th overall), following by Paolo Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTICO GRIGNANO and Alessandro Zampori’s BOBERASCO.

J/70s sailing upwind off Sanremo, ItalyDay Two- Strong Winds, Big Waves
In the morning, the fleet was greeted by 15+ kt winds and enormous waves rolling into the bay.  By the time the racing started just before midday, the breeze kept building with gusts over 22 kts.  Fortunately, three more races were added to the overall scoreline and crews could now discard their worst race for their total “net scores.”

Relishing the big breeze and big waves was none other than Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team, posting a 1-1-3 to dominate the day’s standings and, as a result, win the coveted GARMIN CUP- a special trophy given for Saturday’s racing.  Holding on to second place was Noe’s CALVI NETWORK with their 3-2-BFD, throwing out their BFD to sit just one point back from ENFANT TERRIBLE.

J/70 winner- Alberto Rossi- Enfant TerribleRossi commented, “I am extremely pleased with today's outcome, as well as yesterday's. The crew is new, compared to last year, and things on board are going well. Today's conditions, though very wet, have been extremely fun. I also want to thank and give recognition to the YC Sanremo Race Committee that produced great racing today in strong winds to bring home three races on a beautiful day of sailing.  Another reason for my satisfaction today is the amazing series of top three races by my daughter- Claudia and her crew on PETITE TERRIBLE! It brings me great pride to see she found her rhythm, knowing how to recover and get back in the game.”

J/70 women skipper- Claudia RossiThe third victory of the day went to Claudia’s PETITE TERRIBLE Sailing Team.  Her 2-3-1 scores were added to her 9-29 from day one to give her 15 pts net and the bronze position on the podium!

In the Corinthians Division, the leader after the first day, Lamaro’s JERIATRIA, slipped to fourth place after posting 45-45-49 for a total of 110 pts.  After a slow start, Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTIC GRIGNANO posted good scores of 15-16-12 to leap into the lead with 51 pts net.  Similarly, Edoardo Meroni’s GIJETTA added a 27-13-19 to take over the silver position on the podium with 89 pts net.  Then, sliding into the bronze slot was Marco Schirato’s JOSETTE with a 15-50-17-26-18 tally for 94 pts net.

On Saturday evening, during the cocktail hosted by Royal Hotel Sanremo, the crew of ENFANT TERRIBLE was awarded the Garmin Trophy and a Garmin Quatix 5 smartwatch.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay 3- Game Over
As the sailors woke up on Sunday morning, they were greeted by the spectacular view of monstrous waves rolling in from offshore, crashing on the beaches and breakwater, tops getting blown off in 40+ kt gusts.  Needless to say, it was not unexpected as the mistral kicked into high gear, forcing cancellation of the days racing.  As a result, the leaders after day two did not change.

What is notable about the regatta was the phenomenal comeback by Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE team on Saturday.  It may be the first time in one-design yachting history that father & daughter skippers lead their teams onto the podium (1st and 3rd) in any ISAF/ World Sailing one-design class!

“It is always a pleasure to host the huge J/70 fleet at our yacht club. With these five races at the beginning of season, we hope to have satisfied your hunger for sailing after the long winter break.  We wish you fair winds and God Speed for the rest of the season.  We hope to be able to host you again in Sanremo in 2019,” commented Beppe Zaoli, President of YC Sanremo, during the award ceremony.

Next, after the Sanremo event, will be the Italian J/70 Cup Act II in Porto Ercole, hosted by YC Argentino from May 11th to 13th.  Facebook sailing video- Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE off San Remo  For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, April 16, 2018

J/121 Spring Tune-Up & Open Course Racing

J/121 sailing offshore (Newport, RI)- J/Boats will be hosting the first J/121 Spring Tune-Up on May 11-12 for recently launched boats in Narragansett Bay, RI.  The event will be based out of Newport Shipyard, and up to five boats are expected.   With the support of major sailmakers (including North Sails, Quantum Sails, Doyle Sails, UK Sails), a two-day coaching and training session will focus on getting teams up to speed fast, with an emphasis on tuning, sail trim, sail selection & changes, and boathandling.

The program will be especially beneficial for crews that will be participating in the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race, hosted by the CCA (Cruising Club of America) that starts on June 15th.  The format will include on-board coaching both days and video debriefs after sailing each.  As an added benefit, each boat will have a app collecting real-time GPS speed, course, heel, and implied wind direction for analysis post-sailing (broadcast LIVE here on

Friday at 1230 hrs is registration and a welcome briefing.  At 1330 hrs, the teams rendezvous off Fort Adams for boat-on-boat testing for speed, trim and tuning all afternoon.  A few boathandling maneuvers will be evaluated and coaching will be done via “open mike” on VHF so that all teams can learn from each other.  Sailing is followed by debrief and refreshments at Newport Shipyard.

On Saturday, the teams will gather at 0930 hrs for a skippers meeting, followed by a 1030 hrs warm up race. Then, an “open course” race will be started by 1200 hrs, again with on-water and on-boat coaching, followed by post-race debrief and refreshments.

Post-race analytics will be displayed by and the Open Course scoring will be evaluated for the following:
  • Overall winner- speed and time
  • Winner of each leg- base on average speeds
  • Fastest speed on any leg
As part of the discussions over the weekend will be 2018 J/121 Open Course Circuit schedule for the northeast region.  Currently, the proposed schedule follows:
  • Jun 1-2- Leukemia Cup- Newport, RI
  • Jun 9-10- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
  • Jun 15th- CCA Newport to Bermuda Race- Newport, RI
  • Jul 17-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
  • Aug 17th- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
  • Aug 31st- STC Stamford Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
Learn more about the J/121 Offshore Speedster here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Blakely Rock Benefit Race Report

Blakely Rock Benefit Race (Seattle, WA)- The race is dedicated to the loving memory of Carol Pearl.  Carol was a Sloop Tavern YC member for 39 years.  She was a two-term past Commodore, a very active board member, the club historian, champion, mentor, friend and she was involved in organizing the Blakely Rock Benefit Race for as long as anyone can remember.

Many sailing teams from across the northwest participated in the event, many of them being J/Boats owners. In the PHRF Class 5, Mike Poole’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN took second place, while Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD took the bronze. Even better yet, Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE landed the fourth position and Dennis Clark’s J/27 “63” was fifth.

In Class 7, Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW, a long-time winner in her class in the Pacific NW, took the silver.  Class 8 was dominated by the J/105s.  Winning was Tom Kerr’s CORVO, followed by Chuck Stephens’ PANIC in second and Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO and Jon Aitcheson’s MOOSE UNKNOWN tied for 5th place.

Class 9 saw Natalie Pryde’s J/92S take fourth place. Then, in Class 11, it was Don & George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH that took 2nd and Kirk & Nill Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE took fourth.

In the wildly disparate Class 12, Ken Jones’ J/120 WITH GRACE took 2nd, while Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE placed third. Finally, in Class 13, Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI won her class over many of the Pacific Northwest’s best offshore teams.  For more Blakely Rock Benefit Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sperry Charleston Race Week Preview

J/70s sailing Charleston (Charleston, SC)- Why do sailboat racers throughout the country return to Sperry Charleston Race Week year after year?  According to Randy Draftz, now in his 14th year as the event director, “Our focus on first-class customer service has produced remarkable loyalty and transformed the regatta into one of the premier events of its kind. What started in 1996 as a regional gathering has steadily grown into the largest keelboat regatta in North and South America. We feel we have found a formula that resonates with the sailors and we are constantly working to refine what we are offering.”

Draftz said the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, organizing authority and owner of event, hit a home run when it landed Sperry as title sponsor. Sperry’s involvement has been a driving force behind the remarkable development of Charleston Race Week, helping take the event to another level in terms of quality and prestige.

“Sperry is more than just our title sponsor, they are a true partner,” Draftz said. “As a company, Sperry is fully invested in Charleston Race Week and brings incredible value that makes the event better.”

Sperry Charleston Race Week is also fortunate to have the continued support of three critical corporate sponsors in Quantum Sails, Gosling’s Rum and Vineyard Vines. West Marine has been added to the lineup of corporate sponsors with the world’s premier retailer of boating, fishing and paddling gear announcing it will give away up to $30,000 in gift cards.

Sailors from all over the United States and beyond are gearing up for the 23rd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week, being held April 12-15 out of the famous South Carolina port. Nearly 250 boats in 16 classes are slated to compete in the three-day regatta, which combines one-design and handicap racing along with inshore and offshore courses.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 will feature eight returning champions, including the top two award winners. Skipper Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew will be back to defend the Charleston Race Week Cup after capturing the highly-competitive J/70 class last year.

J/88 sailing CharlestonThat prestigious perpetual trophy is presented for the best overall performance by a one-design entry. J/70, which is once again the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 72 entries, will certainly contend for the Charleston Race Week Cup as racing figures to be fierce in a fleet comprised of numerous class champions.

All the elements that have made Sperry Charleston Race Week so popular remain in place, starting with the sheer beauty and elegant atmosphere of the historic host city. Factor in world-class accommodations along with top-notch facilities and you immediately have the makings of a big-time regatta.

Draftz and his team have steadily built on the basic template to enhance the event and every year brings further improvements. One major development in 2018 is the addition of the Columbus Street Terminal as a new facility for boat storage, launching and hauling.

Organizers of Sperry Charleston Race Week have made arrangements with the South Carolina Port Authority to facilitate launch, haul and trailer storage service at this spacious facility, which is conveniently located almost directly across the Cooper River from the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for allowing the regatta to utilize their superb facility. This is a much-needed service and the Port Authority has been very gracious to offer the services of its equipment and staff,” Draftz said.

J/24s sailing off CharlestonCollege of Charleston, which has historically provided considerable support to the regatta, will be docking numerous boats at its J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center. Many of those boats are affiliated with the school’s sailing program, including four that will be crewed by members of the College of Charleston intercollegiate dinghy or offshore teams.

Volunteer coach Chuck Coyer will lead one team onboard the J/36 SOUL in ORC B. Members of the College of Charleston Development Team will race a pair of J/22 entries.

“We’re really excited that our team performs well on the collegiate scene, but we’re also extremely proud that they do a lot of sailing outside that realm,” said Greg Fisher, Director of Sailing for the College of Charleston. “We want our sailors to enjoy the sport of sailing and take advantage of all it offers. There is no better way for them to gain tremendous experience and learn a different aspect of the sport than by competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week.”

College of Charleston has been dedicated to supporting adaptive sailing and recently hosted a clinic with Warrior Sailing. Fisher is thrilled that six teams from Warrior Sailing will compete in Sperry Charleston Race Week aboard J/22s provided by the college.

As always, all shoreside activity will be based at the fabulous Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, largest in the state of South Carolina with 459 slips. Sperry Charleston Race Week is renowned for its nightly beach party featuring the Gosling’s Rum Bar and live music.

Seventeen South is scheduled to perform on Thursday while Chewbacky will be onstage Friday with tickets available online or at the gate. An Event Pass for all four days of race week can be purchased for $85 while daily tickets will also be sold.

J/70s sailing off CharlestonQuantum Sails returns as a corporate sponsor and will present the very informative daily dock talks and video debriefs featuring accomplished professional Ed Baird. A veteran of multiple America’s Cup campaigns and a champion match racer, Baird will deliver his “Applying the Forecast to the Race Course” presentations twice each morning – once for the offshore and pursuit classes then later for the inshore classes.

During the beach party each evening, Baird will utilize the Jumbotron to conduct Daily Debrief sessions specific to each circle by utilizing on-course video action provided by Keith Brash. College of Charleston assistant coach Mitch Hall will assist Baird with opening remarks about the local conditions in Charleston Harbor following the initial competitors meeting on Thursday.

An important hallmark of Sperry Charleston Race Week involves expert race management provided by a dedicated team of US Sailing certified volunteers. Hank Stuart returns as the overall Principal Race Officer and will lead a contingent of vastly experienced volunteers.

Back by popular demand for the second straight year is the Pro-Am regatta, being held on Saturday night using J/22 sloops donated by College of Charleston. Racing will be held off A Dock at the south end of the marina with Ed Baird providing commentary to a live stream of the action on the Jumbotron.

Past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin and former Olympian Paris Henken headline the list of professionals participating. US Sailing president Bruce Burton and Gill North America president Dave Pritchard bring further prestige to the Pro-Am, which will also feature Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck, North Sails professional Allan Terhune and one-design standout Travis Odenbach.

College of Charleston senior sailor Christophe Killian is the defending champion and will be joined this year by women’s team member Paris Henken, who represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in 49erFX class.

Mau, an employment agency based in the Charleston, is sponsoring the Pro-Am Regatta. Two high school sailors from the seven teams in the Charleston area will serve as crew members aboard the nine boats competing.

J/88 sailing at Charleston Race WeekIn addition to Ronning’s CATAPULT returning to defend his title, a veritable armada of top-flight J/70 teams will be challenging them for class supremacy.  Right at the top will be J/70 Midwinter Champion, Jack Franco and his all-star crew on 3 BALL JT (with multi-class World Champions Bill Hardesty and Allen Terhune as tactician and sail trim) and 2017 World Champion Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew from Rye, NY.  In addition, look for these teams to be at the top of the leaderboard, Travis Odenbach’s USA 40 from Rochester, NY; Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO from YC Monaco, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from Caymans Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Beverly, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT.

The J/88 class has assembled a strong contingent of eight boats from across the country; a boat as simple to rig and launch as a J/70!  Towable by an SUV and launchable off a 3-ton yacht club crane, it’s a matter of minutes to swing it off the trailer into the water and hoist the mast up on its deck-stepped mast base!  Looking forward to the weekend competition are a number of leaders in the class.  Recent J/88 Midwinter Champions, Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS from Milwaukee, WI will be hoping they can maintain their momentum.  J/88 North American Champion Laura Weyler and her HIJINKS crew from Youngstown YC will also be testing their 2018 setup to see if they are still in the hunt with boats that had sailed throughout the winter.  The same holds true for teams like Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL; Brian O’Malley’s BLUE from Charlotte, NC; Mike Bruno’s WING from American YC; Tim Finkle’s SEAWEED from Youngstown YC; and Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.

As mentioned above, the dozen boat J/22 fleet features seven teams from the WARRIOR SAILING PROGRAM, including the following skippers- Scott Ford, Rachelle Pontes, Tyra Moore, Michaela Dahlke, Nick Trado, Keith Moore, and Ramesh Haytasingh.  The two College of Charleston teams include skippers Jon Noyes and Sylvia Skerry.  And, the three private boats include Ryan Davidson’s INVISIBLE BOATMOBILE from Balboa, CA; David Buckley’s MAGIC 8 BALL from Charleston, SC; and Pat Isherwood’s SPIFFY from Barrington, RI.

Always a huge supporter of the regatta from its inception, the fourteen-boat J/24 class features some of its class veterans and champions from across the spectrum of decades.  Top bananas should be Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; and the young hot crew from Miami, FL- Patricio Sly’s MUY MUY.

Returning as a one-design class for the first time in years are the half-dozen J/105s.  The all South Carolina contingent include Joe Highsmith’s DEAD ON ARRIVAL, Gebel Seese’s HIGH VISIBILITY, Robert Scribner’s JOYRIDE, Paul Jacques’ RUCKUS, Fred Martschink/ Bill McKenzie’s RUM FRONT, and Miles Martschink/ Ben Hagood’s SKIMMER.

Sailing in the offshore ORC classes are a dominant slate of top J/crews from across the region.  In ORC A is Robin Team’s championship crew on his J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC; he may his hands full taking on Steve Benjamin’s fast TP 52 SPOOKIE.  Then, in ORC B class, is John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC; Willy Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW from Charleston, SC; and the College of Charleston’s J/36 SOUL.

For Saturday’s PHRF Pursuit Race, there are 36 boats evenly split between Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker.  This element of the regatta has continued to grow consistently year over year.  In the PHRF Spin division are Rick Moore’s J/120 MOOSE DOWN and Bob Musor’s J/130 SCEPTRE.  Then, in PHRF Non-spin are Bill Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN and Mark Swatta’s J/30 LAS BRISAS.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Why J/105s Are Thriving in Seattle

J/105 sailng off Seattle(Seattle, WA)- Jim Geros, proud owner of the J/105 LAST TANGO from Seattle, WA, provided his insights into why the Pacific Northwest J/105 fleet continues to have fun after nearly two decades of sailing on Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

“The PNW J/105 Fleet is active and building over that past few years. The fleet is composed of fourteen Seattle-based boats and four Portland-based boats. Each of these home bases has active sailing races during the year with a mix of formal competitive buoy and distance races, as well as local evening "beer can" racing, both PHRF and one-design. There are regularly 7-13 boats on the line for key races. In the Seattle area, turnout for J/105s includes 18 major races, 22 Wednesday evening one-design buoy races and 15 Monday evening PHRF distance races. In these races, the J/105 fleet gets its own class and start when turnout is five or more boats, which is regularly the case.

J/105 sailing off SeattleThe Fleet maintains an active Facebook group page with key events and race outcomes during the year.  The J/105 Fleet is becoming more competitive every year as the new owners get to know how to make their boats go fast and rise in the standings. Many times, the top J/105 boats in the fleet seem to have results where order can be random as to leadership outcome; it is true one-design racing.

Most remarkable of all?  Due to the extremely high level of the class, the J/105s also rank high in the standings against other PNW PHRF non-J/105s in offshore handicap races!

In 2017, one boat consistently took home bullets throughout the year— J/105 #114, MORE JUBILEE owned and skippered by Erik Kristen. Erik has consistently been in the top rankings for many years.

J/105 awards in SeattleMORE JUBILEE was honored with the prestigious Corinthian YC Seattle “2017 Boat of the Year Award” in a ceremony held January 2018.  Erik had firsts at Scatchet Head, Three Tree Point, Puget Sound Sailing Regatta, Puget Sound Sailing Championship, Puget Sound One-Design, all four Wednesday night series, Tri-Island Short Course, winner of the Northwest Challenge Cup and seconds at Grand Prix and Doublehanded Race to the Straits. Erik's consistent racing results won out over other nominated finalists; those CYC member boats included a Melges 32, Fan 39ML, Farr 30, J/29 and a Wauqeuiez Centurion 40. This was the second year in a row that a J/105 won this CYC award (last year's 2016 winner was LAST TANGO).

48° North magazine each year recognizes the high level of racing in the Pacific Northwest. Tracking the racing results of selected series from Olympia, Washington to Vancouver, B.C., this Top 25 rewards not just the occasional bullet, but participation and consistent, top-notch sailing. With a mix of distance and multi-race regattas, the 12 races in the region used for scoring make for a good representation of Northwest racing.

J/105 spinnakers off Seattle, WAThis year, Erik Kristen's J/105 MORE JUBILEE #114, took the coveted first place spot in the Top 25 list! Congratulations to Erik and his crew for having a 100% perfect race result for the scored races. This was also an impressive outcome for the J/105 fleet with three in the Top 10 and six in the Top 25 with 1st MORE JUBILEE #114, 4th LAST TANGO #212, 9th JADED #299, 11th INCONCEIVABLE #403, 21st DELIRIUM #272, and 25th MOOSE UNKNOWN #89.

MORE JUBILEE with Erik Kristen also capped off his performance with being awarded the Fleet 20 PNW J/105 Championship Trophy for 2017!

PNW J/105s participate in many of the Seattle racing events. There were 13 boats out for the past two years at Whidbey Island Race Week (, eight boats at Swiftsure International Yacht Race (, three boats for Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race ( and five boats at Round the County (, just to name a few.

J/105 crewThe Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland, has had a few J/105s competing over the years, but 2017 was the first year that sufficient number of J/105s registered to have their own class. This distance race starts outside the Columbia River in the Pacific and runs north along the Washington coast, turns into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and finishes in Victoria Canada.

Finishing order in the J/105 class was Free Bowl of Soup #519, Abstract #459 and Escape Artist #372. This year, Free Bowl of Soup had the honor of taking the prestigious trophy for winning first Overall PHRF in the Oregon Offshore. This trophy will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year— Doug Schenk, Erik Hopper and Matt Davis. The trio sailed their J/105 Free Bowl of Soup to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. Congratulations to that boat and crew! (

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is hosted by the Victoria Yacht Club of Canada. 2017 was the first year we had seven boats (four from Seattle and three up from Portland, Oregon) as a one-design division for the 102nm Cape Flattery Race. We needed to have five or more J/105s turn out and that happened in 2017 (currently five are registered for 2018). It's a great race with a great host city, lots of boats from all over and competitive camaraderie. Top three finishers were Last Tango #212, Jaded #299 and Panic #482.

Big time congratulations to the committed and consistent competitors that make our PNW J/105 Fleet racing fun and competitive. And every bit as important, thanks to everybody who takes to the water to be a part of the racing community, whether the races are long or short, serious or casual, fully-crewed or short-handed, and everything in between! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, April 13, 2018

J/Fest San Francisco Preview

J/105 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- This coming weekend, the St Francis YC will be hosting their annual J/Fest San Francisco Regatta for a fleet of forty-five boats and over 275 fire-breathing, wide-eyed, passionate J/sailors ready to do battle to be crowned “King of J/Fest” in their respective classes.  Participating this year are one-design fleets of J/111s, J/105s, J/88s, J/70s, and J/24s.

The largest class at the event will be the twenty-four J/105s.  The fleet continues to maintain its momentum and several new (used) boats and faces have joined what is arguably the most competitive 35 foot one-design offshore keelboat local class in the world.  For over two decades, J/105 Fleet #1 on San Francisco Bay has regularly seen at least two-dozen boats compete in most major events on the Bay.  Leading contenders for class honors will be a mix of veterans and “newbies” to the fleet, such as Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ian Charles’ MAVERICK, Jeff Litfin’s MOJO, Phil Laby’s GODOT, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, Shannon Ryan & Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, and Tim Russell’s NE*NE.

J/70s sailing San Francisco BayWith eight boats, the J/70 fleet continues to grow its presence on the Bay.  Led by their capable Fleet Captain- Tracy Usher- the 70s depth of talent is ever increasing.  It’s hard to handicap this group since there are several new teams in the fleet. Local contenders certainly include the Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER and Scott Seller’s 1FA.  Joining them from Santa Cruz for a blast around the Bay is Pete Woodhouse’s ZED.

Another fleet that is developing nicely is the J/88s, with five teams sailing one-design for the first time in J/Fest.  Fleet Captain Gary Panariello has his friend Don Payan sailing his boat COURAGEOUS.  Other Bay area teams include Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY, Marc McMorris’ M-SQUARED, Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG, and Steven Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE.

J/24s sailing San FranciscoAmazingly, five J/24s are taking to the cool waters and even cooler breezes the Bay is famous for! These Bay stalwarts include teams that “never say die!”  For decades, it has been a friendly rivalry amongst these teams; familiar ones to many, such as Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS, Val Lulevich’s notorious SHUT UP & DRIVE, Darren Cunningham’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR, Paul Van Ravenswaay’s FERAL ROOSTER, and Randy Rasicot’s FLIGHT.

Finally, there will be a trio of J/111s headed to the start off the face of Alcatraz Island.  The fleet will be missing its 2017 J/111 World Champion since SKELETON KEY was shipped east for the winter/summer circuit.  Nevertheless, the three teams (Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS) are looking forward to a three-way dogfight for the podium.  In such a fleet, it will certainly drive the tacticians mad (if not to drink, quickly) since it’s quite easy to go from 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 1st on successive legs!  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

TEAM TARHEEL Crushes Easter J/24 Regatta

J/24 Easter Regatta (Columbia, SC)- Sailed in J/24s since 1987, THE Easter Regatta has been one of the world’s most popular and enduring J/24 events. This year, no one was disappointed by the first-class, red carpet treatment rolled out by the always-fabulous host- the Columbia Sailing Club. As always, everyone appreciated the awesome Bath House at the beach and camping area, especially the campers! The “never-leave-the-club option” was just freakin-awesome, said many! The club offers FREE camping (first-come, first-served), meals every day, and parties GALORE!! The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provided that unparalleled camping experience that everyone that sails the Easter J/24 Regatta have come to know and love.

Looking forward to that amazing Southern hospitality were nineteen J/24s from across the universe.  What no one expected was a “schooling” put on by one of the J/24 class veterans.  Who knew!? This early in the season to be smoking white hot, lights out, shake my booty at everyone all weekend long??

J/24 sailing Easter Regatta on Lake Murray, SCSure enough, that’s what can happen sometimes. Paul Abdullah’s TEAM TARHEEL won the regatta with five 1sts and three 2nds in 9 races to win with just 11 pts!  Yikes.  Wow, just slap us across our collectives faces why don’t ya! Simply put, it was a beat down no one saw coming.  Perhaps, we can get a story for next week’s J/News on how Abdullah pulled it all off!?

Behind the TARHEEL team, it was pretty rough sledding for most as it was a combo of getting off the starts, hitting shifts, moving sails up and down at the corners of the race track, like all the stuff that matters and can kill you if it don’t go right.  In that category was second place finisher, Steve Shaw’s ULLMAN SAILS, closing the deal with 28 pts.  Only four points back to take third was James Howard’s CLASSIC with 32 pts total.  Rounding out the top five was Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD with 37 pts in fourth and Ron Medlin’s BASH with 44 pts in fifth position.  Follow J/24 Easter Regatta on Facebook here   For more J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League Announcement

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League (Hamburg, Germany)- The new 2018 Youth SAILING Champions League kicks off from July 27 to 29 during Travemünde Week. Travemünde is an international top venue that has hosted numerous international youth championships over the years. Hence, the championship for the best youth club teams fits perfectly into the event’s strategy.  The teams will compete in a fleet of matched J/70 one-design sailboats supplied by the organizers.

J/70s sailing Travemunde WeekAt the end of July, up to 28 teams from more than 17 nations will compete in the first event of the Youth SAILING Champions League in Travemünde at the Baltic Sea in Germany. Each National Sailing League gets the chance to send up to two club teams to the event. The organizing authorities, ISLA and SAILING Champions League GmbH, leave the decision to the national leagues as to which clubs to nominate for the event. Additional spots will be granted as wild cards by ISLA and SCL.

Each club sends a team of four to five youth sailors under the age of 21 (born in 1997 or later) to Travemünde. The familiar format with six to eight J/70 boats, a pairing list and short, spectator and media-friendly races will be used. SailTracks provides the live broadcasting on behalf of SAP as “Official Technology Partner” of Travemünde Week.

Oliver Schwall, CEO of SAILING Champions League commented, “Looking back, we are super thrilled and proud of what the German ‘Segel-Bundesliga’ and SAILING Champions League add to the world of sailing. 17 countries, more than 300 sailing clubs and more than 3,000 sailors are competing in this beloved and innovative format. It’s great that two of Germany’s top sailing venues are taking the lead for Women’s SAILING Champions League (Kiel) and Youth SAILING Champions League (Travemunde).”

The hosting club is Lübecker Yacht-Club, the principal organizer of Travemünde Week, in close cooperation with Travemünder Woche GmbH.  Sailing photo credit- Sven Jürgensen  Further information about Travemünde Week here  For more SAILING Champions Youth League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

J/70 Texas Circuit Announcement!

J/70 Texas Circuit (Austin, TX)- Huge news, cause for celebration!  After much debate, consternation, cogitating, planning, pleading, and brainstorming, the Texas fleet captains have created the J/70 Texas Circuit, sponsored by Parkway Chevrolet and J/Boats Southwest!  Please mark your calendars and go J/70 one-design racing all over Texas! Here are the dates and locations for each event:
  • Apr 20-22- Fort Worth Boat Club- Annual Regatta
  • May 19-20- Lakewood Yacht Club- Shoe Regatta
  • Sep 22-23- Houston Yacht Club- One Design Regatta
  • Oct 13-14- Lakewood Yacht Club- J/Fest Southwest
  • Nov 2-4- Fort Worth Boat Club- Ol’ Man of the Sea Regatta
For more J/70 Texas Circuit sailing information, please contact Scott Spurlin at Mobile# 512-423-2179 or email- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/122E JOYRIDE Wins Three Tree Point Race

J/122E Joyride sailing off SeattleJ/122E, J/29, J/105 MORE JUBILEE Top Classes in Center Sound Series
(Seattle, WA)- Corinthian YC’s Center Sound predictably kicks off the central Puget Sound racing season with three medium distance, one buoy rounding, 20-30 mile races. And, it seems usually, one race ends up a drifter and one a gear buster. 2018 had some different things in mind. Saturday’s Three Tree Point Race, which usually takes the fleet from Shilshole to Des Moines and back, was re-routed back and forth and up and down the central Sound so that it could be easily shortened if the wind died.

The course took the fleet to Blakely Rocks, across to Duwamish Head, to a temporary mark off Edmonds, back to West Point and finish for a total of nearly 27 miles. According to Cahill and others, the most interesting thing was reaching across the Sound. “The reaches were fun,” Cahill said. “It was marginal between going with a spinnaker or headsail.”

J/92 sailing off SeattleIn Class 3, there’s not a lot of room for error. It is arguably the most competitive, closely rated and fun handicap class in the Seattle scene right now. Gaucho, Here & Now, Kiwi Express and Madame Pele were neck and neck for the whole series. They’re all racer-cruisers, and while they are all different, they have basic performance parameters in the same ballpark. It harkens back to the day when performance curves weren’t so dissimilar and the racing that much closer on the water.

Class 7 saw an epic battle between the J/122E JOY RIDE and Madrona with Absolutely not far behind. Fittingly, in the end it was John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE breaking the tie for the class win, but Carl Buchan’s Madrona taking the overall top boat spot. JOY RIDE was second in fleet.

CYC’s Race Fleet Captain Matt Wood was happy, particularly with the turnout. “Over 80 boats total in ORC, Casual and PHRF classes entered the series, easily the most participants the event has seen in several years.” He did admit to some glitches along the way but was pleased with how the races were managed in light of the ominous weather forecasts.”  Thanks for this contribution from Kurt Hoehne from

As for the rest of the J/Teams, here is what happened class-by-class.  In the fifteen boat PHRF Class 2, John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS took 5th, while Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD took 6th and the J/80 TAJ MAHAL finished 7th. 3D replayWinning the PHRF Class 3 was Pat Denney’s J/29 HERE & NOW by a comfortable margin after placing 1-1-2, respectively, in the Blakely Rock, Scatchet Head, and Three Tree Point races. Watch a 3D replay of their 3-Tree Pt Race- it can be seen here

The ten-boat J/105 class, one of the largest in years, had close racing amongst the top three boats.  In the end, it was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE taking class honors with an unassailable 2-1-1.  After winning the first race, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO could not find that gear again, posting a follow-on 4-4 to hang on for second.  Chris Phoenix has JADED sailed a solid, consistent series to post a 4-3-4 to take the bronze.

In the fourteen-boat PHRF 6 Class, Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE finished 3rd, just ahead of two J/109s- Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY in 4th and Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA in 5th position.

As mentioned above, winning PHRF Class 7 was Murkowski’s J/122E JOYRIDE with a 2-4-1 tally.  Finishing in 5th was the duo of Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews on their J/125 HAMACHI.  For more Corinthian YC Seattle Center Sound Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The Exciting J/88 @ Pacific Sail Boat Show

J/88 sailing upwind (Richmond, CA)- The 2018 Pacific Sailboat Show will be held from April 19-22 at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor on 1340 Marina Way South in Richmond, CA.  Click here for more boat show information

SAIL California, the J/Boats San Francisco dealer, will have a J/88 in the water at their dock/ booth.  The J/88 hits the sweet spot in J/Boat’s performance sprit range. This mid-size 29 foot family speedster is fast, fun and stable with the security and comfort of a sit-in cockpit, inboard diesel, weekending interior and onboard head. She is small enough to be single-point lifted without having to rely on the boat yard.

Furthermore, J/88 one-design activity continues to blossom across America.  In fact, at Charleston Race Week, nine (9) J/88s will be sailing inside the famous Charleston Harbor, with the equally infamous Fort Sumter as a backdrop (site of the start of the America Civil War) on the fringes of Course Area 3.  Then, later in the summer, the Great Lakes Championship will be from July 28-29 in Youngstown, NY and then two weeks later the J/88 North American Championship will be held from August 10th to 12th at Chicago Yacht Club!

Learn more here about the J/88 one-design class and you can contact the San Francisco Bay Fleet 3 Fleet Captain (Gary Panariello) via email-

Please feel free to contact SAIL California’s Norm Davant for more boat show information or an appointment to talk about all things J/Boats- Mobile- 510-685-7453 or email- Add to Flipboard Magazine.