Monday, April 30, 2018

A Spring-like Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series?

J/111 sailing Warsash series on Solent (Warsash, England)- Who knew?! There really is a “spring” on the seasonal calendar.  Given the fact that northern Europe and the upper half of North America have all experienced an extraordinarily cold and dreary early spring, one can be forgiven for jumping for joy like kids when the sun pops out, nice warm winds caress our faces, and shorts can be worn for once!

Yes, spring finally did arrive for the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.  The great weather on Sunday also produced some of the best racing on the water.

The White Group had a light shifty SW breeze of 5 to 6 knots that eventually settled into 13 knots. The “U” flag (no boats permitted in the start line windward mark triangle in the last minute of start sequence) was used for the three J/70 starts, which all got away cleanly with most competitors within half a boat length of the start.

J/70s sailing Warsash series on SolentThe number of J/70 entries was boosted by those boats in the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship which runs over the two weekends 21/22 and 28/29 April, and the quality of racing was excellent. The White Group J/70 fleet leader in the series is DSP (Douglas Struth) with JEEPSTER (Graham Clapp) in second position and PEGGY (Jon Powell) in third.

In the Spring Championship, after seven races, it is Jon Calascione’s CALYPSO leading with just 14 pts, with Marshall King’s SOAK RACING from Ireland in second with 19 pts and Philip Rees Bryn in third with 33 pts.  Rounding out the top five is Laurie Smith’s ALFIE in 4th and Martin Dent’s JELVIS in 5th.

Black Group Series
Black Group had two races on Sunday with mainly windward-leeward courses using fixed and laid marks. The wind was generally about 240 to 250 degrees and between 7 and 9 knots, but it did drop to 2 to 4 knots for a while during the first race, which meant the bigger deeper draft yachts who couldn't do as much tide dodging, came to a near standstill for a while. Tidal tactics were vital as the beats were quite long against the tide on the southern edge of the Brambles plateau and the breeze was unreliable.  The second race was a short and sharp one as the breeze picked up and the racecourse was busy and lively.

In IRC 1 Class race 4, Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO took second, while in race 5, Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II took the second. As a result, tied on third @ 8 pts for best records of the day were the J/122 JUNO and also Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG.

J/112E sailing Warsash series on SolentIRC2 is led overall by Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES with a first and third on Sunday to retain their lead with a total of 6 pts net in five races (four counted).

In IRC3, Rachel, David & Robert Hunt’s J/97 JUMBLESAL 2 has climbed onto the provisional podium by scoring two 2nds o the date, sitting just one point in arrears of the silver with one weekend to go!  Just three points back from them is a perennial contender in the class, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

The J/109 fleet saw Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE go over the line early in the first race and, after restarting last, was able to overtake the boats ahead in breeze and held on to win! Thereafter, Robert Stiles’ DIAMOND JEM won race 5. Consequently, JIRAFFE holds a healthy lead in the J/109 class overall, tossing a 2nd to count just 1sts and 2nds for 6 pts net.  Sitting in second is Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO with 13 pts net and third id David McGough’s JUST SO with 16 pts.

J/88 sailing Warsash series on SolentIn the J/88 fleet, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM had a dominant day with two wins.  However, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS continues to lead the class overall by just a point over Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR.  Holding comfortably onto third is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL.

Black Championship
After the first weekend of sailing the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship, the IRC 1 Class sees groups of boats clumped together just one point shy of the podium, that is how close sailing has been in this tight fleet.  Cornell Riklin’s J/111 JTTERBUG is tied for 4th with 20 pts, only 1 pt away from the bronze. Her stablemates are just behind them, Daniel’s J/122 JUNO in 6th and Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II in 7th.

The beautifully restored J/35 BENGAL MAGIC/ KNIGHT BUILD LTD is winning the class after closing with two bullets in the final two races for a total of just 9 pts in six races (5 counted).

J/111 sailing Warsash series on SolentThen, in IRC 3 Class, Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II sits in second place with 9 pts, just one point off the lead.  And, Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER is third with 10 pts and Jack Banks’ J/92 NIGHTJAR is fourth.

Finally, leading the J/109 fleet in this event also happens to be Perry’s JIRAFFE.  Second is John Smart & Chris Copeland’s JUKEBOX and third is Chris Preston’s JUBILEE.

Peter Bateson, Series Chairman "Good luck to everyone for next Sunday 29th April, the final day of racing in this year's Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.”

The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Helly Hansen @HellyHansen #feelalive and organized and run by the Warsash Sailing Club. It is supported by race partners Crewsaver and Doyle Sails.   Sailing photo credits- Closed Hauled Photography   Follow the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Antigua Sailing Week Preview

J/122 Liquid from Antigua(Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)- More than 100 boats registered from 30 countries worldwide and crews from many more will be taking part in a nine-day festival of racing and shoreside events that is Antigua Sailing Week 2018, the Caribbean’s longest running regatta.

“The DNA of Antigua Sailing Week is professional race management and fun ashore after racing,” commented Commercial Director of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams. “Last year we celebrated 50 years of Antigua Sailing Week and this year we see as the start of the next half century.

“We have a great format with 3 to 4 hours of racing each day off the South-East coast of Antigua. Once competitors get ashore, they experience fantastic events suitable for everyone. We have tried hard to listen to what the competitors want and also provide a great environment for non-racing friends and family.”

Over 70 yachts will be racing in the CSA Classes and winning skippers of the famous Lord Nelson Trophy will be competing.

Antigua Sailing Week beach partyThe CSA racing fleet has a huge variety of professional and Corinthian sailors, young and old. In the CSA Racing Class, there will be a trio of J/122s going for the gold, such as hometown hero Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID, Victor Vasiliou’s NOISY OYSTER from France, and Kym Kapalla’s EL OCASO from Roadtown BVI.  The J/120 JAGUAR, skippered by Ben Jelic from St Maarten and another local hero, Tanner Jones’ J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE, will join them.

Racing kicks off with the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race on Saturday April 28 followed by six days of Antigua Sailing Week from April 29 to May 4. While racing always comes first at Antigua Sailing Week, the shoreside fun is very much part of the regatta.

Competitors gather after racing for the daily prize giving. On May 1, internationally acclaimed reggae artiste, Tarrus Riley is set to headline at Reggae in the Park along with DJ Puffy and Private Ryan, one of the most highly anticipated events on the Antigua Sailing Week Party Calendar. After the big party night, the Wadadli Lay Day Beach Party on May 2 will this year include fun dinghy and SUP racing and zany beach games along with a line-up of seven DJs.

The Final Awards Ceremony & Party is always a memorable occasion and the fun doesn’t stop there, with Dockyard Day and the Inet Dickenson Bay Beach Bash closing the 2018 regatta on May 6th.   Follow Antigua Sailing Week on Facebook   For more Antigua Sailing Week information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Creating that buzz for after racing

Ed Baird- World Champion- J/22 Pro-Am announcer( San Diego, CA)- Regattas offer us that occasional test of skill, with the most skilled enjoying the sweet taste of the front of the fleet, and the trophy winners gaining the extra boost of ego nourishment. There are the haves, and the have nots.

But the best regattas offer more than just racing. They deliver that inviting atmosphere onshore where competitors can tell lies about the day and otherwise enjoy a social environment. It is where we come together, away from the pecking order.

For the second year running, Charleston Race Week (April 13-15) has organized entertainment after racing on Saturday in the hopes of filling that time slot from docking to dinner. The vision last year was to gather up some of the notable skippers, put them on J/22s, and have some races within sight of the cocktail gripping crowd and allow the heckling to ensue. The Pro-Am J/22 Regatta was born.

Apparently, it worked well enough that it is on again this year, with America’s Cup winning skipper Ed Baird doing play-by-play and the races live streamed on a Jumbotron in the Regatta Village. Not unlike a baseball game, where cups are filled and bladders emptied between innings, spectating will require strategy during this series of short races.

New this year is how each boat will have two high school aged crew, providing them valued exposure to the approach of seasoned sailors, or at least learn how cuss words contribute to competitiveness. Also onboard will be a student from the College of Charleston to ensure these “expert” sailors don’t screw up the school’s boats.

For the skippers, it’s an opportunity to give back to the sport, but with the risk that racing with a pick-up team, in an unfamiliar boat, could lead to poor finishes and reputation scars. Nobody wants to get last, which was the fate of Allan Terhune in 2017.

For someone who has notched up eleven continental championships (in the Lightning, Flying Scot and Thistle Classes) and was crowned the 2013 J/22 World Champion, getting DFL for Allan was unfamiliar territory.

But he’s returning to make amends in 2018, and he just needs to beat one person to pass on the baton. In his way will be Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin, US Sailing President Bruce Burton, Rio 2016 Olympian Paris Henken, multiple World Champion Steve Hunt, J/Boat expert Travis Odenbach, the king of Gill North America David Pritchard, and defending champion Christophe Killian from the College of Charleston sailing team.

And one more… me.

The event did not award Allan with his rightfully earned perpetual, so I am going to source a memento for the last placed skipper this year…just in case.  Thanks for this contribution from Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt News. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/22 Youth Team- Encouraging Talented Youth Sailors

J/22 Youth team sailing (Newport, RI)- The United States J/22 Class Association has announced that Patrick Isherwood and his team have been awarded the annual J/22 Scholarship Boat. Isherwood was selected from several extremely qualified candidates from the nation’s top-ranked university sailing teams.

Isherwood, and his teammates Jack Hurley, Peter Girard, Dakota Northrup and Marina Barzaghi, will be campaigning the scholarship sailboat during the summer. Possessing high-performance records in a variety of dinghies and keelboats, the team plans to compete in several J/22 regattas, including the 2018 J/22 World Championship at Annapolis Yacht Club in September.

The J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program was designed to encourage talented youth sailors to experience the J/22 Class’s tremendous community of one-design sailors – at virtually no cost. The goal of the program is to escalate the scholarship team’s experience and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world. The scholarship program is funded through generous contributions from North Sails and members of the J/22 Class Association.

“North Sails is proud to provide sails for this excellent youth sailing opportunity in the J/22 Class,” said Mike Marshall, sail designer/design services for North Sails. “We are excited to work with a new youth team that is energized about sailing J/22 sailboats. We want to provide them with the opportunity to race at the highest possible level. The more we can help this program succeed, the stronger the J/22 Class and quality of racing becomes.”

To learn more about the J/22 Youth Scholarship Boat Program, visit To track the progress of the 2018 scholarship boat team, visit

2017 Scholarship Boat Member Biographies:

J/22- Patrick IsherwoodPatrick Isherwood is a junior ocean engineering student at the University of Rhode Island where he sails as part of the sailing team. He grew up sailing C420s in local Narragansett and Buzzards Bay events. As a freshman, Isherwood sailed for the University of Rhode Island under coach Skip Whyte. His collegiate major successes include winning A division at the 2016 Boston University Trophy and the 77th Schell Trophy at MIT. His first exposure to keelboat sailing was trimming main on a J/35— a boat he still races. More recently, Isherwood has begun racing J/22s with Matt Dunbar and Bill Porter. In 2016, he had the chance to compete in the J/22 Worlds—jump starting his exposure to J/22 sailing. This inspired Isherwood to sail weekly J/22 events—most recently skippering in the 2017 J/Fest. He has sailed on many different boats in various crew positions, including a J/111, J/30, Aerodyne and 210.

J/22 Youth- Jack HurleyJack Hurley is sailing for the University of Rhode Island . He views the J/22 Scholarship Boat grant as an opportunity to broaden his sailing experience. Hurley has been sailing all his life in many different regattas. Most recently, he competed in the Around Long Island Regatta. During this regatta, Hurley was the foredeck on a Farr 395. He has also sailed J/22s, most notably at the 2017 Annapolis NOOD Regatta. These were both amazing experiences where Hurley expanded his skills and further developed as a sailor. He participated in high school and college sailing. While on the high school team, Hurley competed and placed at multiple state- and divisional-level events and became captain of the team his senior year. Currently, he is sailing for the University of Rhode Island. Hurley has sailed with Pat Isherwood for two years. Isherwood and Harley have been successful racing in multiple regattas.

J/22 Youth- Peter GirardPeter Girard is a senior ocean engineering student at the University of Rhode Island. Girard competes as a skipper on the University of Rhode Island sailing team. Sailing has been a central part of his life since he began sailing at Community Boating Incorporated on the Charles River. Girard was on the junior program race team, competing in youth events in Boston. He sailed throughout high school, where he was captain during his senior year and competed in events as part of the New England Schools Sailing Association (NESSA). His desire to participate in its highly active sailing team was a crucial aspect of his decision to attend the University of Rhode Island. He has placed in high-level college sailing events throughout the east coast.

J/22 Youth- MarinaMarina Barzaghi is a freshman skipper at the University of South Florida pursuing a major in nursing and a minor in psychology. Barzaghi raced C420s in the New England summer circuit for four years and crewed on a boat that achieved 25th place out of 173 participating boats at the 2016 Buzzards Bay Regatta. She also won A division at the NESSA women’s championship her junior and senior years. As a freshman in college, Barzaghi placed second out of 16 competitors in B division at Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth College. She also skippered in A division at the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship. She has keelboat racing experience on Narragansett Bay aboard J/22s, J/24s and Shields. Barzaghi delivered a Swan 56 from Bermuda to Newport in 2016 and raced the same boat in the 2016 and 2017 NYYC Annual Cruise. This summer, she will compete in the Newport to Bermuda Race on a Swan 56 and will continue to be involved in keelboat competition throughout New England.

J/22 Youth- DakotaDakota Northrup is a student at the University of Rhode Island. Northrup started sailing at the age of 13. He competed at NBYA events on C420s when he was 15 years old. Northrup has competed at events outside of Narragansett Bay and has participated in the Brooke E. Gonzalez Advance Race Clinic. He also raced in the Buzzard Bay, New Bedford, Hyannis and Falmouth Regattas. Northrup is part of the University of Rhode Island sailing team, coached by Skip Whyte. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, April 27, 2018

71st Newport to Ensenada Race Preview

J/125 sailing off California (Newport Beach, CA)- The Southern California offshore season continues to ramp up in the later stages of spring.  After the famous San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race that took place a few weeks ago, it’s now time for the Newport to Ensenada Race- still one of the world’s largest international yacht races, with a legendary 125nm course that starts off the piers at Newport Beach, CA and heads south down the California coastline to a finish inside Toto Santos Bay off the lovely Hotel Coral & Marina in Ensenada.

Starting on April 27th, the fleet of 180+ boats will look forward to their 71st annual edition of the race.  Answering that seductive call to the sea- the “song of the sirens”- are nearly a dozen J/crews from the Southern California region.

J/124 sailing Ensenada RaceThe majestic queen of the PHRF A fleet will be the J/65 GOOD CALL, sailed by Tom Barker from the Cortez Racing Association.  Two of the insanely fast J/125 offshore speedsters will be participating- TIMESHAVER (Viggo Torbensen from Dana Point YC) and WARRIOR (Dr Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara YC).

In the next PHRF B class will be Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL sailing for the Cortez Racing Association.  However, he will have to contend with two strong J/120 offshore crews- POLE DANCER (Terri Manok from OYC) and HASL FREE (Rudolph Hasl from San Diego YC).

Sailing PHRF C will be the J/105 ROCINANTE sailed by Juan Lois from SBYRC and the J/35 MACS skippered by Eric McClure from Alamitos Bay YC.  Then in PHRF D is the J/92 DOUBLE DOWN helmed by Brian Kerr from SMW YC.

Finally, sailing the “short course” to Dana Point YC will be the J/22 TEKEELA led by Jock McGraw from DWYC.  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Light, Sunny SSS Round the Rocks Race

J/105 sailing SSS Round the Rocks Race (San Francisco, CA)- An even 100 shorthanded crews signed up for the Single Handed Sailing Society's "Round The Rocks" race on Saturday. A 19.3 nm jaunt from the Berkeley Circle, up and over "The Rock" of Alcatraz, and up to Harding Rock and then north to "the Brothers rocks," leaving all to starboard, then back south leaving Red Rock to port and finishing in the Potrero Reach at the RYC Race Platform.

Conditions were as expected, light to medium at start with winds in the 8-10 knot range with slack water changing towards an ebb made for a fast ride to the west from the flats towards the gate, and just enough south in breeze for boats carrying kites to set them after rounding Harding. Nary a boat we saw headed towards Point Blunt, instead Raccoon Strait was the route d'jour. Though winds were lighter in the strait for the front-runners, it was still enough for decent VMG through and out towards the North Bay.

The one caveat for the fleet was the sneaky mud bank that lives between Elephant Rock and Bluff Point on the north side of the strait. Some boats managed to hit it!

The winds started off light, but late in the race, a sudden increase in the breeze gave the boats in the back a healthy dose of “hallelujahs” and the crew working the finish line got a big shot of "Yikes, they are all coming at once!!”

Overall, the vast majority of the boats finished in a window between 15:15:00 and 15:40:00 in the afternoon on what was an absolutely gorgeous day for the short-handed crews sailing around San Francisco Bay.  J/Crews had a fun time and even managed to collect some silverware for their trophy shelves.

In PHRF 6 Doublehanded Spin class, Jeremy Moncada & Richard Craig’s J/88 JUNO took 2nd in class.  In addition, classmates Eric Patterson & Tim Russell on their J/105 NENE finished 5th place. Not that far off the pace, and hurt by the fleet closing from behind, were Ludovic & Delphine Milin’s J/120 SAETTA in 10th and Richard Leute & Ken Grayson’s J/44 ACEY DEUCY in 11th.

In the PHRF 7 Doublehanded Spin class, Luther Izmirian & Ken Brown’s J/32 PARADIGM secured 4th place just six minutes in arrears on corrected time from first place!

The J/109 LINDO skippered by singlehanded sailor John Kalucki took third place in the PHRF 13 Singlehanded Non-Spin division.  Thanks for photos and contribution from Chris Ray’s PRESSURE-DROP.US  For more SSS Round the Rocks Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CALIPSO Wins Russian J/70 Sailing League- Act II

J/70 ARTTUBE RUS1 sailing Russia Sailing League (Sochi, Russia)- Over the April 13th to 15th weekend, the second stage of the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place in Sochi, Russia, racing just offshore on the rough and tumble Black Sea for the twenty-seven teams participating in the regatta. In the end, another new leader emerged from the ranks of Russia’s top sailors- Maxim Taranov’s team on CALIPSO from Tuapse, Russia.

J/70s sailing Russian National Sailing League off SochiDay One- Friday
On the first day of competition, fifteen races were held. Each of the teams sailed five races, with several unexpected, if not sensational, outcomes in the standings!

Topping the leaderboard with 8 points was the BLACK SEA Team with skipper Oleg Kuzmin from the host city- Sochi. Then, 2nd and 3rd place was surprisingly shared by KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Dmitry Shunin from Moscow and LEVIATHAN’s Vadim Yahinson from St Petersburg, both sitting with 14 points each. One point behind them was CALIPSO’s Maxim Taranov, and then one more point back was ARTTUBE RUS1’s Valeria Kovalenko crew from Taganrog (Moscow).

J/70s sailing off Sochi, Russia on Black SeaDay Two- Saturday
The second day of competition produced more surprises, again!  Eleven more races were sailed, bringing the total to twenty-six.  Nine teams had sailed 8 races, eighteen teams a total of 9 races.

Saturday's races did not change the composition of the top five, but it did change the team standings on the leaderboard.  Taranov’s CALIPSO now led, followed by Kuzmin, Kovalenko, Yakhinson and Shunin.

Note, that the winner of the first Act in Sochi- NAVIGATOR Sailing Team with Igor Rytov as skipper- was now in the 12th position, an indication of how tough the competition had become since the first regatta.

The main questions for the regatta was- will the debutantes at the top of the standings be able to defend their positions and climb onto the podium? Why is it so tough?  Make note of the fact that this event had many of Russia’s top Olympic sailing athletes on various teams- famous names in Europe such as Sergey Komissarov, Denis Gribanov, Jan Chekh, Ivan Zotov, Christian Chekh, Vladimir Chaus, Boris Kucherenko, and Pavel Karachov, to name a few!

Winners of J/70 Russian Sailing League- Sochi, RussiaDay Three- Sunday
The third day of competition saw more good sailing conditions and the regatta PRO managed to knock out ten more races, for a total of 36 races completed!  In the end, each of the teams sailed a total of twelve races.

Sailing in their first Russian National J/70 Sailing League regatta, it was Maxim Taranov’s crew on CALIPSO that won by just 3 pts, with 30 total.  His crew consisted of Vladimir Shishkin, Nikolai Kryuchkov, Egor Zuev and Ilya Polishchuk; like ARTTUBE RUS1, this team had only two finishes off the podium in twelve races- a superior result for the debutante of the Higher Division!

Taking second place, not surprisingly for many familiar with top Russian J/70 teams, was Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS team; consisting of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko, and Denis Rozhkov. The team had a rough start, scoring a 5-2-8 in their first three races, but they got their “mojo” going and came roaring back, posting two 1sts and five 2nds enroute to racing up the leaderboard to take the silver. As a result, their two 2nd places in the first two events gives them a strong lead for the overall series.

In the third place were KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Dmitry Shunin, Artem Basalkin, Artem Markov and Ivan Kolinko. This finish, coupled with a fourth in the first event, has moved them up into second place behind Kovalenko’s team for the overall series.

J/70 Russian Sailing League highlights off Sochi, RussiaFacebook sailing video highlights

Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

J/70 Corinthian Nationals Preview

J/70 corinthian sailing (Fort Worth, Texas)- The Fort Worth Boat Club is hosting the 2018 J/70 Corinthian National Championship from April 25th through April 29th.  This will be the third time this event has been held and will be a World Qualifier!

The Fort Worth Boat Club on Eagle Mountain Lake was chosen because of the excellent weather and sailing in late April and its proximity to Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico- they are hosting the J/70 North American Championship two weeks later from May 14th to 20th.  

As a Corinthian event, all competitors (owner, driver, crew) must have World Sailing Group 1 classification.

In addition to three great days of racing, the goal is to make the regatta an opportunity for all competitors to improve their performance and great amounts of information will be shared with top pro coaches on-site.   Furthermore, long-time Fort Worth BC friend and sailor- Bruce Golison- will be the Race Committee’s PRO.

So far, sixteen teams have registered for the event. There are many new faces in the crowd as well as several prominent J/70 class veterans in the mix.  Perhaps the most prominent of those teams is a past J/80 World Champion, J/105 North American Champion- Glenn Darden sailing HOSS from the host club.  In addition, the 2017 Quantum J/70 Midwinter Series Champion- Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE- will also be sailing for his host club.  A top J/105 champion sailor will be trying his hand in the class- Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS.  The lone woman skipper is Liz Barker’s YOUR MOM’S A HOOLIGAN from Vermillion Boat Club in Rocky River, OH.   For all scoring and registration information   For more J/70 Corinthian Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

More Light Winds @ Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series

J/109 sailing Warsash series (Warsash, England)- Success in the second day of racing in the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Sunday 15th April went to those skippers who played the strong tides in the Solent and managed to stay in breeze.

Having lost two Sunday's of racing due to the weather, the race committee was keen to get racing going. Despite the breeze not reaching the numbers forecast, it managed to run two races for the Black Group and the usual three races for White Group.

J/70s sailing Warsash Helly Hansen spring seriesBlack Group's two starts were near Robin Culpan buoy in the Solent, with courses running towards East Bramble and Goodall Roofing; upwind against the building tide, and downwind with it. Most boats chose to stay offshore in the steadier breeze rather than seeking less tide inshore.

IRC 1 class saw Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB post a 4th to move themselves up to 5th overall. In IRC 2 class in the first race, Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES won their second race and now leading the class in the series.  In IRC 3 class, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO continue to sail consistently and are sitting in 3rd for the series.

The winners in the two races for the J/109 class were JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) and JUST SO (David McGough).  As a result, JIRAFFE leads with 5 pts, while JUST SO and Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO are tied on 10 pts each.

J/88's sailing Warsash Spring seriesWinning both races in the J/88 class was Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR to take the class lead with 4 pts.  Posting two 2nds to hold on to second place was Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 5 pts.  Currently sitting in third position is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL with 11 pts.

The White Group was started with a tight beat near the mainland shore and a light Southerly breeze that then started flicking more Easterly. The first start was against the tide, which helped ensure no premature starters.

The committee boat moved more offshore for race 2 and again everyone was well behaved and got away cleanly. In race 3, there was one boat over the line and a collision (!), and the windward mark had to be moved for subsequent laps as the breeze swung.

Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER is currently leading the J/70 class with three bullets in their scoreline.  However, tied on points with them is Doug Struth’s DSP counting all 1sts and 2nds.  Sitting in third is Jon Powell’s PEGGY. Closing with three bullets last weekend, Mike Lewis’ JESTER leads the J/80 class.  For more Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

WV Almere Centraal Tops Dutch J/70 Sailing League Act I

J/70 sailing Dutch J/70 Sailing League- Almere, Netherlands (Almere, The Netherlands)- Fifteen teams started the coveted Dutch National J/70 Sailing League against the skyline of Almere.  In total, no less than twenty-seven races were sailed during the first round of the Eredivisie Sailing 2018. At the end, the WV Almere Centraal Team fought off two very tough crews to mark their first win of the season.

Day One- Friday
After a day's sailing one thing became clear, the battle for the title was going to be incredibly exciting with the top three teams all within two points of each other.

J/70 Netherlands sailing league off AlmereIt was early in the morning when the participating teams gathered at the Weerwater in Almere. Race Officer Alex Hoeve expected a very exciting season. "The level is getting higher and the differences between them are getting smaller. The Dutch teams have also come along well on an international level. Our challenge as an organization is to get even more teams excited for this great competition!”

After an early morning postponement, the participants started racing at 1300 hrs. The light, shifty winds made it a challenge for both sailors and the committee.

WV Almere takes a strong start
The reigning national champion, WV Almere Centraal started strong on their home waters. To the question of whether the competition has gotten closer, John den Engelsman, the WVAC skipper, confidently answered, "Based on what I have seen today, not yet!” They closed their the first day at the top of the ranking.

JC Scheveningen
One of the challengers this year was Jachtclub Scheveningen. In the very first race of the season, they immediately put everyone on notice of their ambition for the rest of the season, by convincingly sailing to victory. The rest of the day showed that the club from South Holland was a formidable competitor.

J/70 SHE SAILS- all women's sailing teamSHE SAILS Team
One of the eye-catchers of the field is, just like last year, the YC Amsterdam team- SHE SAILS. This year they are sailing with five ladies in the boat, versus four last year.

"Last year we sailed with five women during the large J/70 class races. However, during the Eredivisie we had a woman shortage in the boat, that affected some of our boat-handling maneuvers. With five ladies here, that issue has now been resolved." The ladies do everything to stand out and promote their program, this year they can be recognized by their gloves with floral prints. “They’re from IKEA, they are so nice and wrong!”

Day 2- Saturday
Large differences in pressure and wind directions marked sailing on Saturday. The variable conditions made the tactics difficult for many of the sailing teams. Mistakes were expensive, but this had no effect on the top three teams.

J/70s sailing off Almere, NetherlandsThe regatta leader, skipper Marco de Klerk of WV Almere Centraal, was satisfied with their performance. "We started well and the pace was right. In total, we sailed four flights with a total of 12 races over a period of three and a half hours. There were many interesting duels for the jury to judge. Unfortunately, even a few collisions and some damage."

Despite the shifty, streaky winds, WV Almere Centraal remained consistently at the top with 17 points. They were followed closely by RR&ZV Maas & Roer Team and the Jachtclub Scheveningen Team, both only one point away from each other. WV de Meeuwen, KZ & RV Muiden and WV Brassermermeer shared 4th to 6th places with 24 points each, which shows the high level of competition- no one is giving a millimeter!

Day 3- Sunday
With 4 to 6 knots of wind, the teams all started on-time, first thing in the morning. Shortly after the finish of the first flights, the wind suddenly disappeared and the postponement flag was hoisted immediately.

After half an hour, it was decided to send the boats back to the shore, hoping for the return of the wind. Despite strong attempts to complete a full series of three races, the weather Gods were not favorable to the sailors on Sunday. As a result, the only race on Sunday morning did not count for the rankings.  Therefore, the scores at the end of Saturday’s racing became the final results for the first Act in Almere.

WV Almere Centraal sailing team- winners J/70 Dutch sailing league act 1WV Almere Centraal achieves objective
"The weekend sailing in familiar territory has paid off. Our goal was to win this weekend and we succeeded! Admittedly, with a minimum margin, because it was very close racing. Three teams shared fourth place, so we are still getting strong competition this season. In any case, it was a fun and a great round to sail,“ said team captain John den Engelsman.

Team RR&ZV Maas & Roer happily surprised
The tone was set with the final result of round 1, winning their last two races. The minimal difference in points between the top three (just 2 pts) shows the competitive level is quite high. By performing well and consistently, RR&ZV Maas & Roer hoped to earn a star certificate for the prestigious Sailing Champions League later this year.

"This weekend, we unexpectedly had a different team composition and we were forced to sail with an inexperienced combination.  Nevertheless, we sailed well and the new members did a great job! It went smoothly with smooth communication on board. We are very satisfied and look forward to the next round of play, where we hopefully have the home advantage,” commented their team captain.

The next round of the Eredivisie Sailing will take place in Roermond, where RR&ZV Maas & Roer believe it can make the difference.  For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Gorgeous Voiles de Saint Barth IX Regatta

J/122 sailing Voiles St Barth regatta (Gustavia, St Barth)- The ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille started with a splash on Monday, April 9th, welcoming 53 teams in the regatta’s seven classes. The entire fleet enjoyed the first day’s racing in perfect easterly trade winds between 15 to 20 knots and big swell on the coastal courses – between 28 and 29 nautical miles – with a start and finish right outside of Gustavia port.

After an epic start off the Port of Gustavia for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth Richard Mille, the fleet went on a wild ride up the southeast coast.  With winds gusting upward of 25 knots, the fleet of 53 teams battled it out in frantic surf. At the end of the day’s races, which included a 23-mile course for the CSA 3 Classes, a 32-mile loop for the CSA 1 and 2 Classes and then a 39-mile course forJ/120 sailing Voiles St Barth regatta the Maxi 1, Maxi 2, OMA and CSA Multihull, the fatigue was evident.

“The conditions were fantastic today!” Richard Eames on board the J/105 WHISTLER in CSA 3. The WHISTLER team was sitting in third place and optimistic about making the podium in their fifth Les Voiles de Saint Barth. “We had to be very focused on the attitude of the boat, especially downwind but it made the navigation very exciting. Downwind we were flying at unbelievable speeds.“

Jimmy Buffett Surprise Concert
The sailors quickly forgot their aches and pains after a hard day of hiking in the big waves once singer Jimmy Buffett announced a surprise concert on Tuesday evening. Buffett, this year’s US ambassador, treated the regatta to live music dockside in the Race Village.

Sailing around St BarthelemyPostcard conditions continued on Friday as competition resumed for the seven fleets after Les Voiles’ signature Day Off on Thursday and lots of fun and games at the infamous NIKI BEACH cafe and bar.  On the menu were 18-22 knot breezes.  The PRO set a 22-mile course for CSA 1 and 2 and an 18-mile loop for CSA 3. As in previous days, the conditions were ideal and the fight was intense.

On Saturday’s final act for Les Voiles, the fabulous 25–27 knot winds with gusts in the low 30s and big seas, took their place on center stage to create a spectacular finish for the 9th edition.

In the CSA 2 Division, Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua sailed a consistent six-race series to finish 4th, just two points from taking the bronze position on the podium.  In fact, a fifth race OCS dropped them out of contention for the podium. Then, Sacha Daunar’s J/120 PAULISTA from Guadeloupe took 5th place behind them.

In CSA 3 Division, Peter Lewis’ crew on the J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados could not have sailed a more consistent series, posting six 3rds to secure the bronze on the podium!   Sailing photo credits- Christophe Jounay   Follow Les Voiles de St Barth on Facebook here   For more Les Voiles de St Barth sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, April 23, 2018

SV Kreuzlingen Leads J/70 Swiss Super League

J/70s sailing Swiss Super League (Locarno, Switzerland)- The first Act of the season-long Swiss J/70 Sailing Super League just took place on Lago Maggiore, the large pretty lake bordered on the north by Switzerland and the south by Italy. While the weather was sunny and spectacular, the fleet of the best twelve sailing clubs in Switzerland were only able to sail fourteen races in the classic “Inverna” wind conditions (the southerly thermal breeze) on Saturday-only.

The favorites sailed away in the opening round to the Swiss National J/70 Sailing League. The Segler Verein Kreuzlingen team, with skipper Tom Rüegge, dominated the regatta with five race wins. They were closely followed by the Société Nautique de Genève with Youth America's Cup tactician Guillaume Rigot at the helm.

J/70s sailing Swiss Super League - Locarno- Lake MaggioreThe sailing level in the Super League is higher than ever. Only meters separated the boats at the finish line. Even the smallest mistake costs precious places. This made the J/70 Swiss Sailing Super League more exciting than ever. Although the favorites are again in the lead this year, their pursuers are hot on the trail and have proven they can beat them on the race track.

Guillaume Rigot and the Société Nautique de Genève have clear goals- to qualify again for the Sailing Champions League and the Swiss Championship. However, he is not alone with this goal- the defending champion Regattaclub Bodensee did everything to win the Cup for the third time in a row. Olympian and SV Kreuzlingen skipper Tom Rüegge is pleased with the inaugural victory of his team, but is aware that the season is a total of 5 events and the Cup will probably be awarded in the challenging finale in October in Versoix.   Sailing photo credits- Claudia Somm   Follow Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Challenging Charleston Race Week

J/70s sailing Charleston Race WeekJ/70 Wins Charleston Race Week Cup
(Charleston, SC)- The 2018 edition of the Sperry Charleston Race Week will be remembered for its first two days of great weather for a vast majority of the fleet.  On Sunday, forecasts indicated a massive front moving in across the harbor by the afternoon, producing a line of thunderstorms, squalls, and possible tornados.  As a result, only the big offshore boats in ORC 1, ORC 2, and J/105s sailed early on Sunday before the storms hit.  Crowned as overall winner of the top one-design fleet was Peter Duncan’s J/70 RELATIVE OBSCURITY from American YC in Rye, New York. Here is how it all went down over the course of the three-day event.

J/24s sailing CharlestonDay 1- Friday
Mother Nature delivered in a big way on the first day of Sperry Charleston Race Week with action getting underway in strong winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures. J/24 skipper Tony Parker called it “champagne conditions” and it would be hard to argue with that assessment.

Ten of the 11 classes competing on the four inshore circles were able to complete four races in winds that ranged from 12 to 16 knots and swung from south to slightly southwest. The lone exception was the highly competitive J/70 class, which did three races at the request of the sailors.

Because there are 66 boats in J/70, the class is so large that it is split for re-seeding after each day of racing. Class organizers felt three races would make for better round-robin competition.

Winds were lighter for the five classes racing on Circle 5 and Course 6 outside the jetties on the Atlantic. ORC A and B along with the J/105 one-design fleet all finished two races.

“What a wonderful day for sailing. You really could not ask for better conditions,” proclaimed Parker, who took the early lead in J/24 class. “It was challenging enough to make things really interesting. I think the combination of changing current and shifting winds made for really tight racing.”

Parker and his crew aboard the J/24 BANGOR PACKET sandwiched a couple bullets inside a pair of seconds to close the day with a low score of six points– two better than runner-up ANGEL OF HARLEM (Robby Brown, St. Petersburg, FL).

“We had good starts and solid upwind speed so we were basically able to dictate where we wanted to go,” said Parker, a seasoned J/24 sailor who resides in Washington, D.C. “We were first at every weather mark in three straight races to start the day, which was nice.”

North Sails pro Will Bomar is calling tactics for Parker, who is coming off a tough season in which he was runner-up at the J/24 Worlds, East Coasts and Midwinters. James Niblock is trimming the headsails and Martha Parker from TEAM ONE NEWPORT in Newport, RI was working the bow on BANGOR PACKET.

J/70 sailing Charleston harborDay 2- Saturday
As the skies darkened over Charleston Harbor Saturday evening, the leaders had to feel good about their position while the followers were hoping for an opportunity to change the final standings.

“We’re still in the hunt. Hopefully, we’ll get two or three more races tomorrow and be able to improve our position,” said SAVASANA skipper Brian Keane, who holds fourth place in J/70 class.

Plans had called for the J/70 fleet to conduct three races per day, but the prospect of thunderstorms on Sunday prompted the class leadership to ask regatta organizers to run four on Saturday while the weather was clear and the wind was blowing between 8 and 15 knots.

Peter Duncan and his crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY had another solid day on the water and were able to maintain their lead. RELATIVE OBSCURITY finished 10th in Race 4, but came back with results of 1-3-4 and had a low score of 22 points. John Brim’s RIMETTE team was seven points behind Duncan and two points ahead of Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew.

A strong ebb tide pushed a bunch of boats over the start line and caused two general recalls for J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 68 boats. It took a while to finish four races as a result and the fleet did not return to the docks at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina until 5 p.m.

“They’re worried about the weather so they wanted to do four races, which makes sense,” Keane said. “It was a really tough day out there because the combination of the sea breeze and gradient. The wind was all over the place.”

To complicate matters, the tide changed from ebb to flood late in the afternoon. Keane sailed SAVASANA to victory in Race 6 after posting a third in Race 5. Those results came between a 7th and a 10th and left the Massachusetts entry with 34 points, just five points out of second place.

“We had two very good races and two decent ones,” said Keane, runner-up at the 2018 J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Italy. “We had a couple good starts and were able to get over to the lifted tack on the first windward leg.”

Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris, who represented the United States in 49er class at the 2016 Summer Olympics, are aboard SAVASANA as tactician and jib trimmer, respectively. Veteran bowman Ron Weed rounds out the team.

Skipper Bruce Golison had MIDLIFE CRISIS in second place after taking second in the opening race on Saturday. The Long Beach resident had an impressive 1-7-2-2 score line at that point. Double-digit results in the other three races on Saturday dropped Golison to 10th overall.

“This is one of the trickiest venues in the world and it’s easy to have one of those days,” Golison said. “We got fouled and lost a lot of boats in the third race today.”

Golison enjoyed considerable success in the J/24 and Etchells classes before buying a J/70 three years ago. The 61-year-old loves racing a sportboat and competing against some of the finest sailors in the world.

“It keeps me young,” Golison said. “I’ve never won a world championship and that is still my goal. I came close in the J/24 and the Etchells. We’ll see if I can get it done in the J/70.”

J/22's sailing Charleston Race WeekThere are 11 boats in J/22 class and seven are being sailed by Warrior Sailing teams. Skipper Scott Ford is skippering the lone Warrior entry that is racing with a spinnaker and doing extremely well. Ford is trimming the mainsail, Sammy Lugo is trimming the jib and Josh Agripino is driving USA 1367, which won Race 3 and has taken third in five other starts.

“We had a lot of fun today. Conditions were great and the racing was exciting,” said Ford, a former construction mechanic in the U.S. Navy who is blind. “We’re really enjoying competing against the College of Charleston students and feel pretty good about the results we’ve put up.”

Agripino served in the Marine Corps and sustained severe injuries to his lower legs and feet while also losing sight in one eye. Lugo, who worked in civil affairs for the Army, had his right leg amputated just below the knee.

J/22 class grew from three boats last year to 11 this year due to the strong participation of members from the Warrior Sailing program along with the generosity of the College of Charleston, which donated all the boats. Ford was pleased that several of the Warrior teams are learning how to fly a spinnaker and hope to do so at Charleston Race Week 2019.

VELOCIDAD took over the lead in the J/24 class as skipper Chris Stone got the gun in two of three races held on Saturday. The New Jersey entry was winning by tiebreaker over ANGEL OF HARLEM (Robby Brown, St. Petersburg, FL), meanwhile Day 1 leader BANGOR PACKET (Tony Parker, Washington, D.C.) dropped to third.

There is good action in J/88 class where Tim Finkle has skippered SEAWEED to the top of the standings on the strength of four bullets. Tactician Kris Werner, owner of the Quantum Sails loft in Rochester, helped Finkle close out Saturday with back-to-back wins to gain eight points of separation from Deviation (Iris Vogel, New Rochelle, NY) and Spaceman Spiff (Rob Ruhlman, Cleveland, OH).

“We’ve had really tight racing and it’s still anyone’s game,” said Werner, who works for the J/Boat dealership in the Buffalo area. “We’re racing in fairly close quarters near Fort Sumter and there is not much of a runway, which puts a premium on starts and boathandling.”

J/105 sailing Charleston Race WeekTaran Teague, principal race officer on Circle 5, followed a windward-leeward race with an 11-nautical mile distance race that finished in Charleston Harbor. Mount Pleasant local Robert Scribner steered his J/105 JOYRIDE to victory in all four races held over two days and had a comfortable 10-point lead in J/105 class.

Scribner made his Charleston Race Week debut last year and finished fourth out of five boats in J/105. The 72-year-old skipper was determined to do better this year and took steps to make that happen.

“We did a lot of preparation in the offseason. We paid more attention to tuning the boat, got some new sails and developed a disciplined, committed crew. That has proven a winning formula,” Scribner said. “We were not very competitive last year so my crew chief (Maarten Zonjee) and I decided to put in the effort to reverse that result.”

TEAMWORK, the highly successful J/122 owned by four-time Palmetto Cup winner Robin Team, had its moment in the sun on Saturday by winning the distance race.

J/122 Teamwork sailing Charleston Race WeekDay Three- Sunday
There was an interesting dynamic taking place on the docks of Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Sunday morning. Some of the boats competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were getting ready to go racing with sailors pulling on foul weather gear in anticipation of heavy air and rough seas. Meanwhile, a bunch of other boats were in breakdown mode with sailors packing up gear and carrying sails down the dock.

That unique dichotomy was the result of a split decision by event organizers in response to a severe storm that was due to hit Charleston this afternoon. After carefully reviewing weather reports and consulting with overall principal race officer Hank Stuart, event director Randy Draftz decided to conduct racing for certain classes while cancelling the final day of action for others.

Sperry Charleston Race Week organizers announced in the morning that competition would be canceled in nine of the 10 one-design classes along with ORC C, which is comprised of smaller sportboats. Meanwhile, Stuart and his team elected to allow the two Pursuit Race classes to complete a condensed course out into the Atlantic Ocean and back. Meanwhile, the three classes on Circle 5 (J/105, ORC A, ORC B) came into Charleston Harbor for a windward-leeward course.

Draftz said the main reason for cancelling competition for the smaller boats was concern about the haul out process. Draftz had to consider the possibility of a severe thunderstorm hitting Charleston just as boats were beginning to be lifted out of the water and put onto trailers.

“I’ve been watching the forecast all morning and the breeze is just going to escalate. We could get one race in, but afterward we would have to pull all the boats out of the water,” Draftz said. “It was just not a prudent thing to do. We have 200 boats that have to get hauled out. You have to error on the side of caution. We know it’s coming, we just don’t know exactly when. Better to have cranes pulling boats out now as opposed to 2 or 3 in the afternoon.”

With the entire fleet safely out of the water by early afternoon, the final awards party on the beach at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina was moved up to 3 p.m. Overall winner of Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 were the J/70 RELATIVE OBSCURITY.

Skipper Peter Duncan and his crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY won three races and finished fourth or better in three others to capture the J/70 class, largest of the regatta with 68 boats. Duncan received the Charleston Race Week Cup for best overall performance by a one-design.

“Oh my God, it’s kind of off-the-charts. You read about people winning trophies like this and you never think it could happen to you. It’s a very, very cool honor,” Duncan said of capturing the Charleston Race Week Cup.

This marked the first Sperry Charleston Race Week for Duncan, the reigning J/70 World Champion. He came away completely sold on the regatta and cannot wait to come back.

“It’s just a wonderful event with really great competition. It was terrific to sail in this venue for the first time. Charleston is very tricky with lots of shifts, lots of current. I just think it’s a really well-run event and it was a pleasure to participate.”

Victor Diaz de Leon served as tactician and trimmed the main for Duncan, who took the lead on Day 1 and never looked back. Willem Van Waay trimmed the headsails aboard Relative Obscurity, which finished seven points clear of runner-up Rimette (John Brim, Palm Beach, FL).

“I think the best thing we did was we went after the first day really hard. We had a really good first day and that gave us a little latitude on the second day,” said Duncan, a resident of Rye, N.Y. “Actually, perhaps the most important thing was that we were really deep in two races on the second day and came back. We fought really hard and battled back to get a 10th and a third. To me, that was the key to winning the regatta.”

Brim’s RIMETTE crew (which included Taylor Canfield as mainsheet/tactician, a World Match Race and Congressional Cup Champion) secured the silver.  Meanwhile, Ronning’s CATAPULT crew (which included John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup winner) finished two points back to take the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were Brian Keane’s SAVASANA in 4th and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES in 5th place.

Winning J/70 Corinthians Division was Andrew & Mallory Loe’s DIME from Seattle, WA with a total of 68 pts and also finishing 15th in the Open division.  Second was Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL with 86 pts and third was Jack & Vivien Wallace’s SELKIE, their best performance in a major J/70 event for a team that sails on Lake Champlain and hail from Burlington, Vermont.

Skipper Chris Stone steered VELOCIDAD to victory in the J/24 class, winning three races and taking third in three others. VELOCIDAD finished equal on points with Robby Brown (St. Petersburg, FL), but won the tiebreaker based on posting one more bullet and Stone earned his first class championship at Sperry Charleston Race Week.

“Well the starts, particularly with the current running out fast, were very challenging. I’ve never been so far from a starting line with one minute to go in my life. So timing was critical,” said Stone, from Middletown, N.J. “We were very fortunate to come out on top in a very tough fleet.”

J/88 Seaweed sailing Charleston Race WeekSkipper Tim Finkle led SEAWEED to the win in the J/88 class, getting the gun in four of eight races in posting a low score of 16 points. It was tightly bunched behind Seaweed with four boats finishing with either 24 or 25 points.

“We had a really good team that put a lot of effort into preparation and that paid off,” said Finkle, a J/Boat dealer in Buffalo who credited tactician Kris Werner for repeatedly putting the boat in good spots. “We got a bunch of good starts, which was huge because you had to get to one side of the course quickly because the current was such a huge factor.”

Leading the regatta after the first day, Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew from Rye, NY enjoyed a 3 pt lead on the closely packed fleet. During Saturday’s racing, their first two results of a 3-3 matched the second place team, Finkle’s SEAWEED, leaving the gap the same and WINGS hanging on to the lead.  However, after two gorgeous races, the Circle 3 RC/ PRO team took nearly three hours to change the course to match the winds.  By late afternoon when the third race of the day started after 1530 hrs, the wind had gone quite light due to the low-flying cloud cover rolling in from the ocean.  Liking the “lake-like” conditions, SEAWEED posted a 1-1 in the final two races to take the win.  Meanwhile, Bruno’s WINGS had issues with speed and executing on the corners of the course, registering a 7-8 to lose the lead. After tossing out their 8th place, the WINGS crew ended up one point off a three-way tie for 2nd place, having to settle for 4th.  Meanwhile, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION and Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF both ended tied on points at 24 pts for second place, with the tiebreak going in favor DEVIATION.

The J/22s saw Ryan Davidson’s INVISIBLE BOATMOBILE and David Buckley’s MAGIC 8 BALL close the regatta tied on points at 9 apiece for first place.  Winning that countback was Davidson’s team.  Comfortably securing the bronze on the podium was Scott Ford’s WARRIO SAILING with 16 pts net.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2108 closed with a distance race for the Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker classes on the Pursuit Race course along with a windward-leeward course in Charleston Harbor for the ORC A, ORC B and J/105 classes.

That last race proved decisive in the Spinnaker Pursuit class, as skipper Rick Moore steered the J/120 MOOSE DOWN to line honors. Chessie Racing, the Tripp 62 owned by George Collins, finished fifth and that four-point swing enabled MOOSE DOWN to secure the overall victory.

“Actually, the key to the whole thing was our crew just keeping the boat moving forward at all times, particularly on Friday when it was very light and sloppy,” said Moore, a Charleston local.

“Today we were fully-loaded and totally dialed in. We stayed on target, watched where we were going and used the currents. We’re extremely thankful for the outcome. It was a great day of racing and we had a blast in the Pursuit fleet. It’s a challenge when you see the boats coming up behind you and you have to work to stay in front of them.”

Tied for 3rd behind them in class was Bob Musor’s J/130 SCEPTRE from Charleston, SC; having to settle for 4th on the tiebreaker countback.

Then, in the ORC A class, Robin Team’s TEAMWORK won the last inside-the-harbor, storm-tossed race, to hold on to third overall.  In the ORC B class, Willy Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW won their last two races to take second. John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA liked the breezy last race, posting a 2nd to finish fourth overall.

In the Pursuit Non-Spin class, Bill Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN brought home the silver after winning their last two races, just one point shy of the lead!

Finally, the J/105s saw Bob Scribner’s JOYRIDE win counting all bullets. They were followed by Joe Highsmith’s DEAD ON ARRIVAL in second and the trio of Smith/ Seif/ Jacques on RUCKUS win the last race to leap into third position.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.