Tuesday, July 31, 2018

SERIOUS FUN Is J/70 U.K. National Champion

J/70 sailing UK Nationals (Hamble, United Kingdom)- Mark Lees' SERIOUS FUN (Royal Southern YC) is the 2018 Open J/70 UK National Champion. Doug Struth's DSP (Royal Southern YC) is the 2018 Corinthian J/70 UK National Champion.

Glorious conditions prevailed over three days of racing in the Solent, typically a gentle start built during the day with afternoon sea breeze piping up the wind speed to 17 knots by the final race.

Mark Lees' young team (Toby Mumford, Annabel Vose, Hannah Peters), racing SERIOUS FUN, only splashed their brand new boat on the first day of the championship with virtually no pre-regatta preparation. The Serious Fun J/70 winnersteam scored four wins out of ten races 'straight out of the bubble wrap, to claim the National Open Title. In a fleet of 35 boats including sailors from the Olympics, America's Cup, and World Champions, the young team took a victory that they will always remember.

“A big thank you to Stu Childerley and his race team for organizing ten really good races, and to Robert Vose and the team at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, for hosting such a lovely regatta. And, finally, thank you to my team, it is rare to get to sail with some of my very favourite people, we had so much fun,” commented SERIOUS FUN’s Mark Lees.

Doug Struth's DSP Corinthians J/70 winnersDoug Struth's DSP (Royal Southern YC), helmed by Geoff Carveth with crew of Christian Birrell, Dan Schieber, Lauren Mead, were the top Corinthian team, winning the 2018 Corinthian J/70 UK National title.

“Really good racing - a fantastic weekend,” commented Doug Struth. “All of our races went very well except one, so we are happy with our consistency, and we sailed the best on the last day, which was a great way to finish the championship.”

“As a team we have definitely made some progress,” commented Geoff Carveth. “The UK Class still has some way to go to beat the top teams from Italy and America but this championship has put us closer to our goal of getting on the podium for the Worlds at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in 2019.”

Martin Dent's JELVIS (Island SC) scored a bullet in the last race to take second in the Open Class, having been seventh overnight. DSP was third in the Open Class. The 2017 Open J/70 UK National Champions, Ian Wilson & Marshall King's SOAK RACING (Royal Southern YC) was fourth, and Calascione & Ripard's CALYPSO (Royal Yacht Squadron) was fifth.

Second in the Corinthian Class was SOAK RACING. Fiona Hampshire's ELIZABETH (Royal Thames YC) was third. The 2017 Corinthian J/70 UK National Champion, Patrick Liardet's COSMIC (Royal Southern YC) was fourth, and Jack Davies YETI (Royal Solent YC) was fifth. J/70 UK Nationals sailing video highlights For more J/70 U.K. Nationals sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Teams Love Chicago Mackinac Race

J/145 sailing Mac RaceJ/105 & J/122 Get “Mac Double”, J/111 Two-peats!
(Chicago, IL)- This year’s 110th edition of the Chicago to Mackinac Race was truly the “Tale of Two Cities”, the beginning and the end. The Chicago YC warned the sailors to play it safe off the Chicago city-front starting line as the fleet took off in 20-30 kt northerly winds and steep 5-9 foot “breaking chop” (no such thing as “waves” in the traditional sense of the word). It was boat-breaking and people-breaking stuff as the boats pounded to weather off the starting line. Virtually 100% of the fleet took off on port tack headed out into the middle of southern Lake Michigan in a NNW winds, it was the closest tack to the rhumbline of 19 degrees. By early light on Sunday morning, the wind had moved into the NNE quadrant, prompting most of the fleet, again, to tack nearly in unison onto starboard as closest fetch to Point Betsie. Thereafter, the most successful strategy was continuing to tack on the shifts up the middle of the lake. Perversely, by the time the teams hit Point Betsie late Sunday, they continued to sail to windward through the Manitou Passage to Grey’s Reef, albeit in 8-14 kts of breeze. Even then, there was no reprieve as the wind kept swinging East and the boats that rounded the reef were sailing with wind on the nose!!

J/111 sailing Mac RaceThe huge eighteen-boat J/111 class saw, yet again, Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE win class by nearly 45 minutes over the second place ROWDY skippered by Rich Witzel. Third was a newcomer on the Chicago-Mac J/111 podium, Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK. Rounding out the top five were John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA in fourth and Len Siegel’s LUCKY DUBIE in 5th place.

There was a relative newcomer that stood atop the podium in the nine-boat J/120 class; winning was Mike Fozo & Robin Kendrick’s PROOF from Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. A familiar team took the silver, Chuck Hess’ FUNTECH Racing, and in third place was John Harvey & Rick Titsworth’s SLEEPING TIGER. The balance of the top five was Curtis Kime’s VICTRIX in 4th and long-time class leaders, Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET in 5th position

Racing in the J/109 has often produced some of the closest racing the Chicago-Mackinac Race sees year to year. This year was no exception. After nearly sixty-hours of sailing, the top five boats finished only 20 minutes apart- in other words, they could all see each other! Winning by a mere 43 seconds (!!) was Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO over Jim Murray’s CALLISTO. These two teams have been going at it “hammer & tong” for the last two years, trading off the top spots. Just 8min 40sec later, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR took the third spot. Another 1min 40sec back in fourth place was Chuck Schroder’s CHASE. Then, just 7min 38sec further back in fifth place was Chris Mallet’s SYNCHRONICITY!

J/105 sailing Mac RaceThe fourteen-boats in the J/105 class saw one of those rare events in long-distance races, back-to-back wins in both Mackinac Races in the same year (Bayview and Chicago)! That honor goes to Mark Symonds’ famous PTERODACTYL, clawing their way north like a raptor for 48 hours upwind and persevering until the end! Congratulations, an amazing achievement in yacht racing! A half-hour behind them at the finish was Clark Pellet’s SEALARK to take the silver and the bronze spot on the podium went to another familiar crew- Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS. The rest of the top five included Ross & Judith McLean’s ESPRIT d’ECOSSE in 4th and Mark Gannon’s GANGBUSTERS in 5th place.

Mackinac Cup Division
Section 2 saw the famous bright-red J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen’s family from Port Washington, WI race to a fourth place in a very tough big-boat class.

The fourteen-boat Section 3 saw great performances from two J/133s; Bob Klairmont’s SIROCCO 3 from Lake Forest, IL took the silver while Tom & Beth-Ann Papoutsis’ RENEGADE took the bronze! Doug Petter’s J/130 WILLIE J finished sixth.

The performance by J/teams in Section 4 was simply a tour’d’force! It was a sweep of the Top Five! Leading the way were three J/122s dominating the podium. Yet another “Mac Double” was recorded, with Matt Schaedler’s BLITZKRIEG again blitzing their second Mac Race for a win (the first was Bayview-Mac class & overall win). The silver went to Bob Mampe’s GOTTA WANTA and the bronze went to Matt Songer’s EVVAI. Fourth was the J/44 CHEEP’N’DEEP II sailed by Randy Kuhn & Jim Richter from Lake Forest, IL. Fifth went to Bruce Pierce’s J/122 HOLLIGAN II from Toronto, Ontario. In short, all five J’s sailing in the section cleaned house!

Chicago Mackinac Trophy Division
Last year’s Section 7 class winner and Overall Chicago Mackinac Trophy winner sailed fast and smart, yet again, but this year it was not enough. A bit of luck may have helped their good fortunes in this year’s tough race, but Jim Mitchell & Bruce Danly’s J/109 TOA had to settle for the silver in class this year.

Like their colleagues in Section 4, nine J/crews (three J/88s and six J/35s) nearly swept their podium, too, taking four of the top five. Second went to Ricky, Bobby, & Kelly Jean Reed on their J/35 OB LA DI; third was Ben & Mandy Wilson’s J/88 RAMBLER, fourth was Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG, and fifth went to Mitch Weisman & Vanessa Gates’ J/35 THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER.

Finally, in Section 9, David Hughes’ J/100 BARRACUDA from Chicago, IL took fourth place.

Sailing on the J/109 TOA was Richie Stearns from Chicago, IL. Here is Richie’s dramatic report on what happened in this year’s Mac Race.

“The flags on Mackinac Island are at half-mast again. Another sailor has died from the fury of Lake Michigan. Five years ago, a squall packing winds over 100 knots ripped though the fleet, killing two sailors. This time it was just the raw power of Lake Michigan.

There are so many ways to enjoy the sport of sailboat racing. Big boat, little boat, Buoy racing and more. Unlike many sports that want to tell everyone they are extreme, sailing is just the opposite. We revel in the beauty of working with and against Mother Nature and marveling of the beauty of it all. Sailing is often a serene, almost boring sport. But, distance racing always has the possibility of being one of the most extreme sports in the world. The fact that you don’t know exactly when it is going to turn extreme compounds the danger.

The forecast for the race was rough. The Coast Guard and weather people at the skippers meeting warned that conditions were bad and suggested it may be worth each boat considering if it would be too much for their boat and crew. Many people in the world and even the U.S. don’t understand how big the Great Lakes are and how violent the lakes can be. It is hard for many to imagine a fresh water lake such as Lake Michigan that is over 300 miles long, 90 miles wide, and a thousand feet deep in some areas, with 1,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in it (that is 1 quadrillion gallons). Shipping gets shut down in the winter partly by ice, but partly because of the rough conditions.

To attest to the fury they can bring, there are thousands of sunken ships scattered in the bottom of the Great Lakes. A 12-foot wave on the ocean is big, but they are spread apart, they are swells. On the lake, the 12-foot waves come at you and they are spaced roughly 100 to 120 feet apart. They were not all 12 to 15 feet, but they were relentless. Remember, the 730-foot Edmond Fitzgerald got broken in half by Lake Superior.

On Saturday morning, the gale was building and near gale force winds would continue for 18 hours and even when it dropped to below 20 knots the next day, the conditions were tough and 18 knots seemed light.

I sailed a modified J/109 “TOA” for the second year. Last year we were the overall winner of the race. We started with a reefed main and a #3 jib. Our start was at noon; it was a beat with port tack favored and the fleet headed Northeast towards the Michigan shore. The rhumbline is 200 miles at 18 degrees to Point Betsie on the Michigan shore. Then, you continue to the Manitou passage. We had three crew that got sick for a while and one that would stay sick for the next 48 hours. However, other boats had many more. I estimate 1/2 of the sailors got sea sick of varying severity and over 60 boats dropped out. The wind was over 20 Knots at the start and the 109 did very well in the waves. Every so often, a good load of blue water would pound he boat and soak the crew, but the water was warm and, of course, being fresh made it slightly less miserable. There was intermittent rain just to make sure we didn’t get too comfy.

By nightfall, we were in first place in our section and 3rd overall. By that time we were over half way across the lake, there was a small wind shift, so boats started tacking to starboard into the middle towards the Wisconsin shore. With all the crew on the rail (less one) we pounded our way north. At night, it is easy to go slow and not realize it. In those conditions, you are reefed and the jib is on an outboard lead to keep the helm under control. It is hard enough to sail in big seas, but at night with 30 knots and rain and no boats to steer off in front, it is easy to sail the boat slow. When I sailed it was useful to light up the tell tale on the stay to make sure I didn’t steer way to low. When you steer high you luff, but steering too low, you don’t get the power sensation since you are so de-powered. We did not have good apparent wind numbers and that could have been our downfall.

Sometime during the night, we lost our 2-mile lead and lost another 3 miles. In hindsight, we sailed a persistent knock for too long and missed a 15-degree wind shift. We sailed the starboard tack until 4:30 in the morning. Then, we tacked towards the Michigan shore again. By watching the tracker, something happened around sunrise. TOA had a big lead and started pointing 5 to 10 degrees lower than Mad Cap the second-place boat. New driver? Bad trim? We will never know, but for 6 ours we lost a lot of ground and by 10 in the morning, our 2-mile lead was now 3 miles behind.

There is a bit of a distance-racing lesson here. Make sure your instruments show apparent wind angle and know what your target speed is. If you don’t have that apparent wind at night, you need a telltale on the stay illuminated to make sure you are in the ball game. Also, when you change helmsman, sit with the new person for a while to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Twenty-four hours into the race, it was still a beat. We were on the Michigan shore near Big Sable point and we had dropped to third. The reef was out, it seemed like we were sailing well, but we were falling further behind the two leaders. Winds continued to diminish throughout the night, but we remained on a beat. We were treated to a spectacular rainbow/moon combination before sunset, which lasted for over an hour before the sun finally disappeared.

At 2:30 am Monday, we entered the Manitou Passage. By that time, the wind had lightened up considerably to around 13 knots. We were still on a beat and in the passage, but you are well protected from the waves by the Manitou Islands. Earlier in the race, we knew we were behind because we had had cell phone coverage. We were able to check again and found out we were back in second.

It is about 80 miles from the entrance of the Manitou Passage to Grey’s Reef lighthouse. Given the change in angle of the course we thought we might have more of a reach. Sadly, the wind shifted and we were still on a beat. The winds continued to lighten as we approached daybreak. We were entertained by a spectacular fog show. The fog just rolled in near land and as we left it, you could see tops of the sails of our competitors above it looking like shark fins.

By the time we got to the lighthouse at Grey’s Reef, the wind had died. We had a Code 0 up to “beat” to the lighthouse. In the Grey’s Reef passage, you have Islands to port and Michigan to starboard. It opens up to fairly big area maybe 15 miles wide. It would just be our luck to have the light air turn into a beat to get around “can 3” which is a few miles up the reef. After the can, you take a 90-degree turn into the Straights of Mackinac. Once again, the wind shifted and it turned into a light air beat. The straights are 20 miles to the Mackinac Bridge. It was light and boats played both shorelines. We chose the North side, it turned out a northerly came in, and we could put a spinnaker up and creep to the Bridge. With a mile to go to the bridge, the wind stopped again, and we used the wind seeker to get under the bridge. The wind seeker is a cool sail, it goes up the forestay and is super light, and it is fully battened with really light battens. It is amazing how well it takes shape in no air. The beating continued under the bridge to the finish line. After 60 hours, the race was over.

There were parties and seeing friends at the bars, but the fact a fellow sailor had died in the race, and the flags were at half-mast, subdued the celebration, as we all realized it could have been any of us.”
For more Chicago-Mackinac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, July 30, 2018

J/109 RUSH Wins @ NYYC Race Week

J/109s sailing NYYC Race WeekJ/121 Third in PHRF Navigators
(Newport, RI)- On the eve of the 11th edition of Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, J/109 RUSH skipper Bill Sweetser was faced with a tough decision. It wasn't about how to tune his rig or organize his crew. But, it nonetheless would have a huge impact on his regatta. He'd entered his boat, a popular one-design in the Northeast, to race under IRC. But, he also had the option of racing one-design in class built by class president Bill Kneller.

"I’ve come to at least six or seven Race Weeks since I've had the 109 and I’ve mostly raced IRC and we've done pretty darn well," he says, "[NYYC sailing director] Lynn Lynch mentioned to me a day or two before the race that I should consider changing [to a one-design class]. I’m so glad that we did class racing, because we had some of the best competition we’ve ever had in the J/109 fleet. The people out there know how to sail the boat and they kept us on our toes."

J/121 sailing New York YC Race WeekThe New York Yacht Club’s Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex was first run in 1998, and took place this year from July 17 to 21 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport. R.I. The biennial summer classic has established itself as one of the premier summer race weeks in the Northeast thanks to its attractive combination of great racing conditions off Newport and the superlative shoreside hospitality at the Club’s waterfront Clubhouse overlooking Newport Harbor. Partners for the 2018 edition of Race Week at Newport include presenting sponsor Rolex, regatta sponsor BMW and regatta supporter Helly Hansen.

In fact, the competition in the J/109 class was so tough that halfway through the regatta, Sweetser's team on RUSH was looking like they'd be lucky to break into the top three. They'd won the first race, but also had two sixths, in an eight-boat fleet, in the first four races.

"It was a lot of little things," he said. "We had a lot of discussion about it. Sometimes we didn’t catch the wind shifts our competitors caught. Sometimes we weren't sure our rig tune was where it should've been, so we made some adjustments. Sometimes I didn’t drive as effectively as I could have.

"By the middle of the third day we were feeling that if we put ourselves in the right place [we could do well]. We knew we had the boat speed."

J/109 RUSH- Bill Sweetser- winners NYYC Race WeekSweetser and his crew won all three races on the third day of the event to move into contention. But they still needed to make up four points in the final two races to overtake Albrecht Goethe's HAMBURG, which had displayed remarkable consistency to that point in the regatta, finishing eight of 10 races in either second or third. RUSH picked up one point in Race 11, then went on to a comfortable win in Race 12. When HAMBURG struggled to its worst score of the regatta, a sixth, Sweetser and his crew earned the overall victory and one of three Rolex timepieces being awarded at the regatta.

"After the first couple of days, we weren’t sure we’d even end up in the top three," he says. "Winning the three races on Friday gave us a lot of confidence. With the winds today, we had a lot more confidence. It’s just like any sport; luck has something to do with it. I’d like to say it was all skill. But we did happen to be in the right place at the right time today."

In the end, behind RUSH and HAMBURG, it was Tom Sutton’s bright red LEADING EDGE from Houston, TX that took bronze to round out the podium

In the IRC 4 Class, the Queen’s Cup winner, Bill Ketcham’s J/44 MAXINE, took more even more silverware, winning the bronze; an elated Ketcham, Vice Commodore of New York YC, was pleased with their good fortune and taking silver in both events!

In the IRC 4 IRC/ ORC Combined scores class, Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION grabbed third place.

Finally, in the PHRF Navigator Class that was sailing random-leg courses inside Narragansett Bay, it was Chris Brito’s J/121 INCOGNITO also taking the bronze, winning their last race around the island with an emphatic 1st place win! Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/Daniel Forster For more New York YC Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NEW! J/99 Short-handed Offshore Speedster!

(Newport, RI)- J/Boats and J/Composites are pleased to announce the new J/99, a 9.9 meter (32.6’) crew-friendly, offshore-capable speedster currently under development at J/Composites in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

J/99 interiorThe J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew, and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World champion J/112E. The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker.

Now more than ever, sailors are attracted to adventure-filled, signature events (Fastnet, Middle Sea, Chicago-Mac, etc.) where straight-line speed, sail handling, strategy and weather routing are all equally put to the test. The J/99 is designed to excel in these events (both fully crewed and short-handed) while delivering the exhilarating, family-friendly experience the J Sport range is known for.

“The J/99 opens up a wide range of sailing possibilities,” commented designer Alan Johnstone. “The versatile sail plan, balanced hull form and efficient cockpit will work as well for short-handed offshore sailing as for weekend sailing with friends. The J/99 packs a lot of performance and versatility into a manageable size and budget.” For more J/99 Offshore Speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

J/88 Great Lakes & CanAm Regatta Preview

J/88 sailing off Youngstown, NY (Youngstown, NY)- The Youngstown YC will be again hosting one of the most enjoyable regattas in western Lake Ontario. The fun and games include an “impromptu” (but, very serious) hockey game along the waterfront parking lot between Canadian and American sailing teams; bragging rights for North American supremacy in this department has flipped back and forth over time. Nevertheless, the sailing offshore just east of the famous Niagara Falls is every bit as intense and, perhaps even more fun on the water!

The event features the J/88 Great Lakes Championship as well as one-design classes for J/22s, J/70s, and a fleet of PHRF handicap racing sailboats.

The seven boat J/88 Great Lakes includes an unprecedented three woman skippers leading top teams that could easily sweep the leaderboard, which is how good their performances have been in the past. In no particular order, those woman skippers include Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Laura Weyler’s HIJINKS, and Cindy Goodin’s QUIXY.

J/22 sailing at CanAm RegattaWith a half-dozen boats in the J/22 class, the racing will be tight, but watch for the leaderboard to include Mark Sertl’s MONEY FOR NOTHING and Vic Snyder’s MO’MONEY.

The largest fleet in the event is the dozen boats sailing the J/70 class. For sure the leading crews include the famous Travis Odenbach leading his USA 40 crew as well as Tod Sackett’s FM. There will be four Canadians taking on the Americans, hoping to bring on an upset of epic proportions; such as Rick Veale’s EL JEFE, Rich Jones’ MAVERICK, and Mark Wolff’s JAM.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, the PHRF Spinnaker division includes two of those potent PHRF weapons- the J/35s CRIME SCENE (Paul Angus Bark) and LOYALIST (Andrew Koolman). They will be joined by the J/124 FUTURES (John Reinhold), the J/80 LIFTED (Ed Berkhout), and the J/24 SQUIRMY (Alex O’Brien). In addition, the PHRF Non-Spinnaker division includes the J/35C ROGUE WAVE (Doug Clarke) and the J/34 SOUND WAVE (Fred White). For more J/88 Great Lakes and CanAm Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Ugotta Regatta Preview

J/70s sailing Little Traverse Bay (Harbor Springs, MI)- The most popular sailing event to attend on an annual basis has to be Little Traverse YC’s famous “Ugotta Regatta” that is sailed on the pristine Caribbean-blue Little Traverse Bay on the upper northwest part of the Michigan peninsula. The regatta is host to a J/70 fleet (popular with the local youth sailors) as well as fleets of offshore boats sailing ORR and PHRF that have been refugees and survivors from the two equally famous Mackinac Races that took place in the previous three weeks (Bayview and Chicago). The regatta takes place from July 27th to 29th and features a combination of round-the-cans as well as random-leg courses for the fleets. Not surprisingly, the most popular one is the “Round the Bay Race”.

Sailing in the nine-boat ORR C fleet are five J’s, including Jack & Jim Toliver’s J/109 VANDA III, Geoff Brieden & Jeff Clark’s J/120 SCOUT (recent Mac Race winner), Matt Songer’s J/122 EVVAI, Bob Mampe’s J/122 GOTTA WANTA, and Bob Klairmont’s J/133 SCIROCCO 3.

J/70s sailing off Harbor Springs, MIThere are six J/crews sailing in the eleven-boat PHRF B fleet, including four J/88s (Andy Graff’s EXILE, Rich Stearns’ HOKEY SMOKE, Scott & Jim Sorbie’s LEGACY, & Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER). In addition, they will be up against the famous long-distance cruising couple and local hotshots- Bill & Judy Stellin- on their J/42 JAYWALKER and Gary & Susan Stewart’s J/32 ZONE.

By far the largest fleet in the regatta is the popular J/70 class, with twenty-one boats having made the trek from across the Midwest and farther; in fact, as far as Chicago, IL; Kansas City, KS; Atlanta, GA; and Larkspur, CA! Several boats should be near the top of the leaderboard, such as Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP from Chicago, IL; Bill McKinley’s DENALI 0.5 from Harbor Springs, MI; Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS from Larkspur, CA; and Dick Lehmann’s WIND CZAR from Paradise Valley, AZ.

Finally, a very talented fleet of five J/111s is racing as a one-design class, including the Chicago-Mackinac Race class winner- local hero Dave Irish and his team on NO SURPRISE. In addition, attending are past J/111 Great Lakes Champions- KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, & Mike Mayer). For more LTYC Ugotta Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race Preview

J/70s sailing off Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)- The 2018 edition of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is shaping up to be another notable event in the southern California offshore season. With eighty-nine boats registered in the giant PHRF division, it will be a “who’s who” of the SoCal offshore fraternity that will be vying for both class and overall honors. Hosted by Santa Barbara YC as the starting point and the King Harbor YC as the finishing point off the gorgeous Point Loma peninsula off Los Angeles, the fleet will always be engaged in the classic elemental battle of how to win, what appears on paper, to be a very simple race.

The standard “formula”, if there is one, breaks down into four basic strategies: (1) sail the first part from Santa Barbara to the Anacapa Passage as low as possible on starboard tack, as the wind that funnels down Santa Cruz Island from the northwest favors those coming in “hot” from further east/ southeast; a distance of roughly 30.0nm at 154 degrees. (2) rounding Anacapa Island is always a challenge, the decision to go offshore vs. inshore causes all kinds of anxiety and consternation for any navigator/ tactician. In short, the goal is to get around it as efficiently as possible and if often includes elements of both. (3) Anacapa Island to Point Dume on the Malibu Riviera is the “classic play”, a distance of 32.0nm at 92 degrees. The reason why it “works” is because any northwesterly flow of any type down the Santa Barbara Channel at all accelerates like crazy against the 3,000 ft tall mountains just inshore and then gets curved around the point. However, the effect lasts for about 10.0nm going into Point Dume on port tack, then as the NW flows gets “bent” around the headland, it’s often best to simply head straight for the King Harbor entrance on starboard tack about 26.0nm distant at a bearing of 113 degrees. Why? Because, for most boats that get to Point Dume before sunset, the thermal onshore breezes are still strong that are getting sucked into the greater Los Angeles regional basin off to the east (with 5,000 ft mountains still hot and drawing in the cool ocean breeze late into the night). This year’s will be light, so those effects coming into the L.A. Basin may be even more pronounced than in past races.

Starting on July 27th will be a strong fleet of J/crews, representing most of the top sailing clubs across the Southern California region. Those teams include twin J/125s (Dr Laura Schlessinger’s WARRIOR and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER); Glenn Griley’s J/122 TKO; three J/111s (Bernie Girod’s ROCK & ROLL, Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s PICOSA, & Ken Kieding/ John Vincent’s ARGO 3); two J/120s (Tom & Teri Manok’s POLE DANCER & Jack Rose’s PRIVATEER); two J/124s (Seth Hall’s MARISOL & Scott Torrance’s FORGIVENESS); Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR; David Gorney’s J/105 NO COMPROMISE; Eric & Steve McClure’s J/35 MACS; Doug Stelck’s J/100 JIB & TONIC; Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s J/33 TIGGER; two more J/105s (Chuck Spear’s TWELVE BAR BLUES & Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN); Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN; and Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT. That is quite the J/Tribe headed down the SoCal coast from Santa Barbara to LA! For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Round The Island Memories- How to Win It!

Round the Island Race start(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Memories were strong for a number of J/Boats owners after their fantastic success in the recent 60nm-long Round Island Race; that fabulously popular blast around the Isle of Wight with 1,000+ boats sailing. 

Here are some descriptions of their sailing experiences on the J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, the J/109 JUBILEE, and J/97 JAYWALKER.

Victoria Preston’s J/109 JUBILEE were the winners of IRC2A, the fifteen strong J/109 class, and the extracted J Boats results. Victoria said “The Jubilee team with Bill Edgerton on helm, Felix Trattner on trim and myself on nav, sailing with a crew of family and friends, were delighted with our victory in a long and exciting race, despite periods of little wind. Overcoming a slow start, the crew kept J/109 Jubilee- Round Island Race class winnerfocused and were rewarded with the J-trophy for fastest J/J109 and the Yeoman Bowl for best in IRC Class 2."

Bob Baker, owner of J/97 Jaywalker who won the IRC2D class, described the tough conditions; "It was a good race, I think it would’ve been even better if we hadn’t sailed into two horrible wind holes. One just before the Bembridge ledge buoy trapped a few yachts ahead of us and then completely stopped almost all the IRC2 class, we went left and finally managed to escape quicker than the rest. The second lasted 30 or 40 minutes. Again we went left and had slightly favourable drifting tide. As the sea breeze restarted we were drifting over the edge of Ryde sand with about 0.2 m clearance! But this position left us well ahead of the rest of IRC2, except for the two fastest J/109s who presumably went round just before either wind hole opened. It was really great to win the group, and the crew, boat, and new sails performed very well."

J/111 Journeymaker II- Makin & JonesJ/111 JOURNEYMAKER II
The J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II sailed by Chris Jones and Louise Makin was the 10th boat overall out of a fleet of 1,200+ boats across the finish line in the recent Round Island Race, hosted by the Island Sailing Club- it’s a 60nm adventure around the famous Isle of Wight, with an early morning start in the Solent on the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line.

Tenth in a fleet of 1,200+ sailboats up to 100 feet long is an extraordinary achievement, especially for a J/111- just a 36 foot long boat!  Here is the story from Chris Jones on how they managed their amazing feat!

“For a slow race it went pretty quickly. The start was not too crazy; at 07:30 it only meant we had to be off the dock at 06:30. Plenty of time to make the bacon baguettes that we would need to maintain morale down to the Needles. The early wind was Southwest, so we were looking at a light wind beat with up to 6 knots of tide underneath us.

As always, the strongest tide was close in to the Island shore at the start line, but with the light wind we had to trade off the normal short tacking route staying in the stream with the loss of speed on every maneuver. We got a good gap on the line and with a long fetch we only had to do one tack off the Island shore. By the time we reached the entrance to Beaulieu River (on the north side of the Solent) we were already getting into the back of the fleet in front.

The Needles- famous west end of Isle of WightWe had class zero, all the multihulls, the Open 40’s and the entire Sunsail fleet starting in front of us. We wanted to get through the Sunsail fleet before The Needles as they can become a bit of a roadblock when they all converge and luckily, we were clear of them by Yarmouth. The optimum route from Hurst Castle to the Needles is along the north side of the channel by the Shingles Bank. Always spooky to see the water swirling around invisible underwater obstructions at 4 to 6 knots, often it is the lumpy bits where it is deep and safe and the tempting glassy flat bits are where danger lies!

We got a good line down to the Needles with a little bit in hand and sailed over a few more boats as we slowly freed up on starboard and the boats close in to the Island shore ran out of wind. Then the tricky decision, inside or outside of “the wreck?”

J/111 Journeymaker II- Makin & JonesAs we were now able to get the A2 up, we decided on a low risk loop around the outside of the wreck that worked well and we kept the kite full. The next leg to St Catherines Point is against the tide (the southwestern-most point of the island. The tactical choice is how far inshore to go given the light onshore breeze was lifting off the sea to go over the land. Watching our SOG closely to try to judge how much tide to avoid, we worked our way down to St Cats. It did look like there were not many boats in front of us, but we assumed at this stage that the early starters must have just got away on the last of the gradient wind and we were not going to see them.

The usual route at St Cats is as close inshore as you dare, as there is significant adverse tide. However, there was a large shiny patch extending up to a mile offshore, no apparent explanation, but we had seen a couple of boats flirt with it and stop dead. The bulk of the fleet went for speed and headed out into the channel on starboard. As we approached, it looked like the shiny patch was reducing and we decided to gybe early, just skirt the shiny patch and try to get the inshore tide relief. It turned out we were luckier than we could imagine. Not only did we manage to keep moving in the right direction, but the boats that went offshore found there was never a good route back towards land and were stuck on a long track all the way to Bembridge Ledge buoy on the eastern end of the island.

the forts at eastern end of SolentAs we passed along the south coast of the island, we alternated between the Southwest sea breeze and the building Southeasterly. Each time they clashed, there was a 1/4-mille dead patch to try to cross. There were several kite up, kite down, kite up events with out any change in heading.

By the time we rounded Bembridge Ledge, we were in a steady Southeast breeze and still with the A2 up, we gybed up the eastern shore of the island. There are several traps for the unwary here, especially as everyone is a bit jaded by this point.

There are a series of Napoleonic Forts, circular structures built in the water, and now converted into exclusive hotels. These “guard” the entrance to the Solent, but there is a small gap in the underwater wall connecting Horse Sand fort to the island marked by a red post. (We are not red right returning here!). There is just enough water to sneak through and minimize the tide, and then you have to avoid Ryde Sands along the northeastern shore of the island.

The SE breeze was still with us until we passed Ryde. We could see that the breeze had held for a Class 40 that took a route close inshore all the way to Osbourne Bay and we wanted to go that way, but there were some bigger boats that we could not afford to get to leeward of and so worked our way down the shallow water to the north of the island without getting too far inshore. By now, the more westerly weather stations in the Solent were showing 10-15 kts of wind from the west, while we were in 2-5 kts of SE. Some of the fleet headed north to try to reach the new wind first, but they struggled to get through the boundary shut down and had a lot of adverse tide.

We stayed with the boats on the Island side, hoping that we would be able to get through the 100m or so of absolute flat calm in reasonable time. We could see the new wind coming and had watched it develop for nearly an hour. When the change came, we barely had time to get the kite off deck and wished we had been braver to call for the J2 rather than leave the J1 rigged. We only had a couple of miles to go to the finish by now and figured we would make the best of it.

We lost out to a Class 40 and a Class 0 boat that had taken a more northerly route on the finish line, missing 8th place by only a few seconds. However 10th over the line in the largest yacht race in the world is a once in a life time moment!!

The bacon baguettes went down really well; wrapped in foil in a thermal bag they kept nicely warm for a couple of hours. The new A0/3 is still in its bag! We sailed 3 sides of the island with the A2 spinnaker, never done that before! But, there is no substitute for looking for the good breeze and a nice helping of good luck.”

Friday, July 27, 2018

UK J/80 National Championships Update!

J/80s sailing with spinnakers (Lymington, United Kingdom)- The U.K. J/80 Nationals will be hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club from Saturday, August 18th to Monday 20th August. Preparation work for the event has entered its final stage and generous sponsorship has allowed the organizers to offer competitors an excellent on the water and social program.

The Club looks forward to welcoming back the J/80s to compete in Christchurch Bay, one of the finest race venues in the UK. To celebrate their return to Lymington after a hugely successful 2016 Nationals, the Club will offer competitors the fabulous local Ringwood beer at just £1 a pint!!

Lymington’s twenty-two strong J/80 fleet has been practicing hard for the J/80 Nationals- eighteen have competed in the summer-long weekly race series, with 12-14 boats routinely on the starting line.  Never to late to join in on the fun!  On-line entry, event information and tickets for social events can be found on the Club’s website. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/35 North American Championship Preview

J/35 sailing offshore (Cheboygan, MI)- The North Star Sail Club in Cheboygan, MI will be hosting the fifteen-boat J/35 fleet for their 2018 North American Championship on the beautiful northeast shores of Michigan on the verdant green waters of Lake Huron. From July 27th to 29th, the racing promises to be extremely competitive as many teams have had a chance to fine tune their crews in the two classic Great Lakes offshore races- the Bayview Mackinac Race and the Chicago Mackinac Race over the past three weeks- both amongst the most popular offshore events in the worlds.

Past winners of the J/35 N.A.’s that are participating this year, include such Midwest legends like “Wild Bill” (Bill Wildner) sailing his MR BILL’S WILD RIDE from Detroit, MI; Bruce, Eric & Chris Metcalf’s BOZO’S CIRCUS from Chicago, IL; and Larry Schell’s TOUCH OF GREY from Chicago, IL.

There are many aspirants to the N.A. Champion throne, including Rick Stage’s ALPHA PUPPY from Chicago, IL; Larry Taunt’s BAD DOG from Muskegon, MI; Mitch Weisman’s successful FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER from Chicago, IL; and Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST from East Tawas, MI. Should be incredibly fun and close racing amongst this “glitterati illuminati” of the Great Lakes J/35 world. For more J/35 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Marblehead NOOD Regatta Preview

J/70 sailing off Marblehead, MA (Marblehead, MA)- The 2018 Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta is being hosted by the famous triumvirate of yacht clubs in the area- Boston YC, Corinthian YC, and Eastern YC. Primarily hosted on the grounds of EYC as “base camp”, hundreds of sailors will yet again enjoy the tremendously warm reception provided by the membership of the three clubs. The forecast looks promising, with mostly southerly winds in the 8-12 kts range from Thursday through Saturday. Then, a potential front flowing through Saturday night that produces a northwesterly flow that is light in the morning and switching at some point midday to an onshore seabreeze from the southeast in the 5-8 kts range.

Dozens of J/Sailors enjoy this very popular regatta from up and down the New England & Atlantic coast, from Maine down to South Carolina. There are one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s.

An enormous, record-breaking J/70 fleet of fifty-six boats has registered for this year’s event. No doubt, with several foreign entries participating, many in the fleet are sailing as part of their training program for the upcoming J/70 World Championship that will be hosted by Eastern YC in September 2018.

Many of the top teams that have led the fleet in the past few regattas will be testing their crews and latest sail designs. Amongst those teams are Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, Jud Smith’s AFRICA, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, Glenn Darden’s HOSS, Ray & Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS, Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE, Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, Will Welles’ SCAMP, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES, and Tim Healey’s USA 2; just to name a few of the top boats!

A number of leading foreign teams are showing up, including the 2nd place team in last week’s United Kingdom J/70 Nationals- Martin Dent’s JELVIS (also a J/111 World Champion). In addition, there is Brazil’s Selmo Nissenbaum sailing HIGHLANDERS, Argentina’s Geronimo Galvan skippering JUICY, and Switzerland’s Massimo Soriano.

The dozen-boat J/105 class has amongst its constituency several notable local crews that have led past NOODs. Those teams include Charlie Garrard’s MERLIN, Steve Hollis’ SIROCCO, Mark Lindquist’s STERLING, Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS, and Peter Isaacson’s UPROAR.

Finally, in the nine-boat J/24 class, there will be several top teams from past Marblehead NOODs. Those teams include John Denman’s AIRODOODLE, Chris Clancy’s LITTLE MARTHA and John Wells’ SHELDON J. In addition, the J/24 Class Youth Team will be sailing USA 423, skippered by Kira Munger from Newport, NY.
For more Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

J/122E JOYRIDE Eclipses Vic-Maui Race!

J/122E Joyride wins Vic-Maui Race (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)- The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, got underway July 1st. The 2,308nm course went from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

The lone J/Crew sailing the race was the gorgeous J/122E JOYRIDE from Seattle, WA skippered by her owner- John Murkowski from Seattle YC. They are one of the most successful offshore racing teams in the Pacific Northwest.

In the end, JOYRIDE took not only Class I honors, but she also won the Vic-Maui Race Overall.  JOYRIDE finished at 0959 hrs in the morning of July 14th- Saturday; completing the course in 13d 2h 59m and corrected out ahead by 3h 6m. This was JOYRIDE’s first Vic-Maui and adds more silver to the trophy room after winning the Round Saltspring Race earlier this year!

J/122E Joyride crew swim celebrationIt was a gorgeous morning in Lahaina, and after hitting the dock to the traditional call of the conch shell and the welcome of their families.  The JOY RIDE crew then celebrated with a swim off the transom. It was all fun until one of the family threw in a bar of soap as a reminder!

“The trip of a lifetime and everything that was promised” is how John, navigator Bron Miller, and Alex Fox all described their first adventure across the Pacific.

The only negative came from Bron, who described the plastic littering the ocean as more intense than he remembers from past trips- a sad reminder to us all.   Follow the Vic-Maui Race here on Facebook  Watch “live” real-time tracker of the fleet here   For more Vic-Maui Offshore Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Teams Win Round Ireland Race!

J/122 wins Round Ireland J/122 Leads IRC 2, J/109 Tops IRC 3!
(Wicklow, Ireland)- July has brought sizzling good fortune to J/Teams in the United Kingdom & Ireland, with tremendous success in the granddaddy of all offshore races on the Irish sailing calendar- in fact, the longest competed for on a regular basis.

"A hidden gem and a perfect fit for the island nation."  That’s how the 700nm Volvo Round Ireland Race can be summed up by veterans and newcomers alike.  Far from the popular image of blazered “yachties” Round Ireland race track maplolling aimlessly around the marina, this is a tough challenge involving few creature-comforts and plenty of rigor for the best part of a week at sea. But, the upsides are worth it and even if only one boat can win, judging by the celebrations in Wicklow Sailing Club at the end of previous races, just completing the course is considered a huge achievement.

This year’s event was one of the more remarkable on record.  Why? Because the fact was, that this crazy event- dominated weather-wise by unprecedented High pressure over the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean- went along its 700-mile course, there were times when the pundit’s predictions seemed woefully off the mark, as in completely askew!

Mostly northeast winds dominated the early part of the event, sometimes with very considerable strength, becoming nor’westerly and then southeasterly at the end.

Irish coastlineSoutheast of the line from Fair Head to Mizen Head, the conditions made for reasonably fair and manageable racing. But northwest of that line, out along the Wild Atlantic Way, it was unfair in every way.  It was a slogging match in which whoever could slog the hardest and the mostest and the fastest and in the best direction was ultimately going to come out top. Because, that meant they were soonest back into reasonable conditions where they could make sailing hay and live again.

It meant that at different stages, many boats had their moment in the sun of success in addition to being in sun-factor-50 conditions of bright, if hazy ultra-sun from dawn to dusk.

Eight J’s entered the bi-annual Volvo Round Ireland Race, where the rule is simply to leave Ireland and her islands to starboard.

J/122 winners of Round Ireland RaceFirst J/crew into the finish line off Wicklow Harbour after the brutally demanding race, like punching upwind in 45 kts and 10 foot seas off the rugged northwest coast of Ireland, was Chris & Pat-Anne Power Smith’s J/122 AURELIA from Royal St George YC.  As a result of their tremendous crew, they pulled off a win in IRC 2 class and took third in IRC Overall!

Chris commented, “A class win was our strong ambition against very experienced and tough competition, including the X41 and the JPK 10.80.  After five strenuous days and nights of relentless close quarters sailing over the 704nm course, we finally managed to cross the line 150 meters ahead of the higher rated X41 for the Class win. The icing on the cake was that we won top ISORA boat of 18 starters, and third overall in the 52 boat IRC Fleet. The J/122 performed flawlessly and comfortably on all points of sail in winds from near calm to over 25 knots.”

J/109 winners of Round Island RaceFor the J/109 teams, as ever, there was much at stake. Ireland’s Defence Forces were represented by Commandant Barry Byrne (originally from Wicklow) and navigator Mick Liddy with the J/109 JOKER II. Like every other boat in this demanding 700-mile race, JOKER II has had her moments of glory and her times of frustration. But, as they approached the finish line off Wicklow in the late afternoon, the dying seabreeze wasn’t helping them much. JOKER II slowly crawled to the finish to win the Services Trophy Overall, take 1st in IRC 3 Class, and the silver in IRC Overall!  A fantastic performance for the Irish Defence Forces team!  For more Volvo Round Ireland sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/105 North American Championship Preview

J/105s sailing downwind (Harbor Springs, MI)- From the 26th to 29th of July, the J/105 North American Championship will be hosted by Little Traverse Bay YC in Harbor Springs Michigan. The fifteen-boat fleet will be part of their famous Ugotta Regatta that has taken place for over a decade in the spectacular Caribbean-blue-green Little Traverse Bay on the northwest side of the Michigan peninsula. The J/105 teams that are participating from across the USA and Canada and will feature most of the top teams from the past five years.

Two-time J/105 North American Champion, the Canadians Terry McLaughlin & Tod Wilmer, from the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario will be hoping to continue their string of winning in their last two events they participated in- Toronto and New York. Furthermore, hoping to upset their goal is also a two-time J/105 North American Champion is Bruce Stone’s GRYPHON from St Francis YC in San Francisco, CA. As usual, it should be an epic battle between the two teams. In addition, after winning their class in the past two Mackinac Races (Bayview and Chicago), Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL will shift from offshore mode to round-the-buoys mode and test their skills against some of the world’s best J/105 sailors. For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

J/122 BLITZKRIEG Blitzes Bayview-Mackinac!

J/122E Blitzkrieg- winners Bayview Mackinac Race (Port Huron, MI)- The “slowest race in decades” implies and defines the light winds that plagued the 2018 edition of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which began on Saturday, July 14. Over fifty boats had dropped out of the race, many due to the consideration they wanted to complete the delivery all the way to Chicago for the start of the Chicago-Mackinac Race!

199 boats started the 93-year-old race. The largest brand represented in the fleet was J/sailors from across the Great Lakes- thirty-three crews in total; virtually all of them sailed the 259nm Cove Island Course.

The Overall winner and Class E winner was Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKREIG from Tecumseh, MI.  His crew included Zack Rush, Mike & Chris Cyrul, Terry Reid, Brian Goldberg, Rick Rothenbuhler, Bruce Huddleston, Paul Healy, and Chris Edwards.

J/109 Callisto- winner- Bayview Mackinac RaceSchaedler commented on their performance, “We got the boat this spring. It’s phenomenal, a great sailing boat, comfortable and fast. We sailed with 10 people.  Great race, fast crew, we were in the right place at the right time. We sailed down the rhumbline, either stopped or going slow all the time. We did 31 headsail changes, but kept going and never let up, always looking for wind. We’d see it and got to it, that’s what made the difference for us.”

Taking seventh Overall and the J/105 One-Design class win was Mark Symond’s PTERODACTYL, with crew of Matthew Morin, Arthur Rose, John Quinlan, Kevin & Mike Morin, Thac Nguyen, and Duane Rose.

Then, in ninth Overall and the J/109 One-Design class win was Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, with crew of Juan Lois, Brad Stocker, Douglas Wolfe, Katie & John Davis, Sam Kashy, and Rob Evans.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mackinac raceDivision I- Cove Island Course
Class D was comprised of only J/111s and J/120s, fourteen-boats in all.  In the end, it was the J/120s that won bragging rights this time around.  The J/120s swept the podium- winning was Geoff Brieden & Jeff Clark’s SCOUT, followed by Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, and J-HAWKER (Dave Sandlin, Ken Brown, Mark Pikula).

Sailing in the eleven-boat Class E were seven J/Teams. It was yet another sweep by J/teams.  Winning, of course, was Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG.  They were followed by Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL and Jim Murray’s J/109 CALLISTO.

The dozen-boat Class G (the “Level 35” class) had ten J/35s.  The top J/35s were Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST in second and Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON in third (btw, a team with 200+ years of Bayview-Mac experience on board, having won class 3x and the J/35 NA’s 5x!).

Perhaps the most amusing (or scary, depending on your point of view) element of this year’s race was the “Special Notice” that was posted on the Notice Board for all competitors.  In short, it read:

J/105 sailing Bayview Mackinac Race“We have been notified by the United States Air Force that a special training mission will be taking place on Monday, July 16th after 1400 hrs. in the special military training box noted on Lake Huron chart #14860 that lies 13 miles east of Thunder Bay. This exercise will involve dropping inert bombs from very high altitude B-52 aircraft (e.g. from 30-45,000 feet high).

Any BBBMR racing boat that is in that box after 1400 hrs on Monday will be escorted out of the box by the USCG cutter Bristol Bay. Failure to obey the USCG, US Air Force, or any other military or law enforcement representatives may result in those persons and vessel being taken into custody and/or fined. This warning supersedes the Racing Rules of Sailing and any other BBBMR race documents.”

Needless to say, given that it was a light air race and a large number of the Shore Course boats would be in the vicinity, many boats made sure they were well inshore of the “bombing box”!  For more Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.