Sunday, September 30, 2018

Pink Boat Regattas Raise 1/2 Million Dollars!

J/35 sailing Pink Regattas series in Seattle, WA (Seattle, WA)- Kurt Hoehne, an active sailor and writer of the popular blog- in the Pacific Northwest offered some thoughts on their popular charity sailing event held each summer- the “Pink Boat Regattas”.

Said Kurt, “The Pink Boat Regattas have proven an effective and extremely fun fundraiser for sailors to help fight breast cancer. The final tallies aren’t in for this year’s three Pacific Northwest events (Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma), but Jennifer Mathis of the Pink Boat Regatta reports that more than a half million dollars have been raised over seven years, and that Tacoma exceeded their goal of $20,000.

Jan Anderson was on hand in Seattle and Tacoma to catch some of the action– e – costumes and smiles. If you want to plenty more pink, check her Seattle and Tacoma galleries!!”  To learn more about the Pink Boat Regattas and, read more here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

AYC Fall Series Preview

J/109 sailing Long Island Sound(Rye, NY)- For the next two weekends in succession, the American YC will be hosting their annual Fall Series Regatta for IRC and PHRF Handicap fleets as well as one-design classes for J/44s, J/109s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/70s.  Racing will be taking place in Western Long Island Sound just south of Rye, New York.

Showing up with a fleet of seven teams are the remarkably resilient, and popular, J/44 One-Designs.  This was a class that was popularized by the late Jim Bishop that used to sail his famous Caribbean green-colored GOLD DIGGER for decades.  Honoring that legacy will be teams like Willets Meyer’s BEAGLE, Tom Blackwell’s BREAKAWAY, SUNY Maritime’s CHARLIE V, Chris Lewis’ KENAI, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, and Len Sitar’s VAMP.

Fourteen teams are sailing in the J/109 one-design class, with many of the top east coast teams participating.  Those crews include John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG, Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE, David Rosow’s LOKI, Adrian Begley’s MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Robert Schwartz’s NORDLYS, and Dave & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP III.

The eight-boat J/88 one-design class has a number of class veterans as well as several new participants in the event.  The more experienced crews include Mike Bruno’s WING, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS, and Doug Newhouse’s YONDER.

Amazingly, the biggest one-design class will be the twenty-strong J/105s. Leading crews include Duncan Hennes/ Za & Lib Jelliffe’s ARETE, Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE, Paul Beaudin’s LOU LOU, Jon Rechtschaffer’s RAPTOR, George Wilbanks’ REVELATION, and the Young American Sailing Academy’s YOUNG AMERICAN team.

Despite the fact that ninety-one teams from around the world are competing this week in the J/70 World Championship off Marblehead, MA, there are nearly a dozen J/70s participating in the Sound this weekend!  Those top crews include Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, Mike Zupon’s LOKI, Andrew Shea’s SHAKE’N’BAKE, and Alex Meleney’s TRUCKIN.

The sole handicap participant in the J/stable will be sailing in PHRF 2- Scott Devine’s new J/112E REVIVER.  For more American YC Fall Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

J’s Love Sloop Tavern YC’s Wild “Jack & Jill” Regatta

J/105 sailing double handed offshore (Seattle, WA)- The annual end-of-season Jack & Jill Regatta is hosted by the Sloop Tavern YC for a very enthusiastic fleet of “mixed doubles” crews.  Each team is comprised of a man/woman and you can only sail doublehanded. Consequently, there were over four dozen boats that made it to the starting line to race the 13.848nm course- a random leg affair this year that took the fleet around six marks from start to finish!

Said one of the STYC Committee members, “our J&J racers had a wild ride out on the water today! There was sun, rain, hail, sun, then rain again, then.. I lost track. There was also wind, lots of it and over 25 knots at points during the day! Wow! Wild stuff! Thanks to everybody who came out!”

Loving and reveling in the crazy conditions were several J/Crews participating in the event.  In the all J/Boats PHRF Class 5 FS, it was Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD that took class honors by only ONE SECOND! Yes, you read that right, literally winning by a nose!  Second was Phil Dean’s J/80 RUSH, while just 22 more seconds back on corrected time was Cindy Gossett’s J/30 OUTLAW.  Whew! Tough, close racing for those doublehanded crews- flying spinnakers, too!

Clearly at home in the wild conditions were the J/105s in the PHRF 6 FS division, as they swept the podium!  Winning was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE, followed by John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN in second, and Paul Viola’s PEER GYNT in third!

Also enjoying the rough and tumble affair was Reed Bernhard’s J/109 MOUNTAIN, winning their PHRF 7 FS division by the slimmest of margins- 5 seconds!  For more Sloop Tavern YC’s Jack & Jill Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

U.S. Adult Sailing Championship Preview

J/22s sailing one design(Wayzata, MN)- The Clifford D Mallory Trophy, emblematic of the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship, will be taking place this coming weekend in Wayzata, MN, sailed on Lake Minnetonka on a fleet of matched J/22 one-design class sailboats.

The format has been different in past years, with the 2018 participants determined by submission of their team’s C.V. and selected by a U.S. Adult Sailing Committee to determine the twelve crews sailing in the round-robin format, providing three days of challenging racing by sailors from around the country.

Those twelve teams are the following:
  • BBYRA- Sean Bradley, Jarret Lynn, Russell Schon-  Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
  • Detroit YRA- Matthew Debois, Ellen Debois-Gossman, Kip Stoneburner- Detroit, MI
  • Gulf YA- Benz Faget, Randal Richmond, Josh Deupree- New Orleans, LA
  • Inland Lake YA- Mike Hanson, Tim Siemers, Mark Swift- Wayzata, MN
  • Inter-mountain Lakes- Robin Jackson, David Baker, Greg Shertz, Jeanne Strathamns- Littleton, CO
  • Hawaii YRA- Maddey Kennedy, Mike Van Woerkom, Morgan Stevenson, Karina Berry- Honolulu, HI
  • Interlake YA- Ryan Lashaway, Connor Madden, Ryan Kyel- Rocky River, OH
  • Texas SA- Fred Meno, Marc Nilsson, Mike Schwinn- Fort Worth, TX
  • Twin Cities RSA- Mike Schmid, Uta Moncur, Mike Miller- Minneapolis, MN
  • YRA San Francisco- Vaughn Seifers, Kurt Lahr, Nick Nash- Foster City, CA
  • Duluth SA- Susan Mattis-Turnhan, Monica Bertani, Ann Heimbach, David Turnham- Duluth, MN
  • Southern Massachusetts SA- Paul Wilson, Allison Coleman, Natalie Coleman-Fuller, Christina Persson- Oak Bluffs, MA
Based on known experience in the J/22 class, it would be easy to handicap Benz Faget’s team from New Orleans, LA as the odds-on favorites on a 1-to-1 bet to at least place on the podium (he is a J/22 World Champion).  For more U.S. Adult Sailing Championship information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, September 28, 2018

AQUAHOLIKS Top J/70 Great Lakes

J/70 sailing fast downwind (Grosse Pointe, MI)- The 2018 J/70 Great Lakes Championship was hosted September 14-16 by Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI. Their new Sailing Center, in full view of the race course, proved to be an excellent base for operations.

The event started off Thursday with a light-air practice session hosted by multi-Class world champion Tim Healy, followed by a two-hour debrief and Q&A session. It was very helpful for the sailing conditions, ultimately, to follow through with a nice onshore breeze. PRO Joe Colling and team did their best to get races off in very light conditions for the 23 competitors.

Friday started off with a postponement onshore, followed by a lot of drifting out on the water before racing for the day was abandoned around 2:30 pm.

Saturday was a wash/ rinse/ repeat of the previous day- starting with a postponement on shore. Race-able wind, but no visibility due to fog. The fog finally lifted, but, perversely, the wind speeds diminishing. PRO Joe got a start off around 1pm.....only to abandon it shortly after the start as the wind died. Racing for the day was abandoned about an hour later after hopes of a thermal breeze never materialized.

Sunday was the day to “fish or cut bait”, so to speak.  Finally, a 3-8 knot oscillating northeasterly with better pressure on the left side of the course built in the morning.  As a result, three races were run and completed so the regatta and World qualifier was/is official!

Congratulations to Martin Johnsson and his AQUAHOLIKS out of Libertyville, IL on their victory, starting out strong and getting better every race.  They came back from a two-point deficit in the last race, beating out Ryan McKillen’s SURGE from St. Francis Yacht Club by one point. Nicely done. Locals Gary Warner and Bob Pethik’s MOAB finished third.

In the Corinthian division, Mark Allen and Mike Welch’s HELIUM, from GPYC, took first place and finished fourth overall in the regatta. Glenn Gault out of League City, Texas took the prize for farthest travelled. Emily Simon and team from GPYC won the “Women’s division" on Bill William’s CHROMA.

Thank you all for your effort, help, patience and participation! Thanks to Michael Welch for this report.  For race results, please click here.  For more J/70 Great Lakes Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Lautier Crowned J/22 Dutch Champs

J/22 sailing off Netherlands (Medemblik, The Netherlands)- The 2018 Delta Lloyd Open Dutch J/22 Championship took place off Medemblik, The Netherlands last weekend for a fleet of a dozen J/22s from across the country.  The fleet was blessed with great sailing conditions, with the PRO producing a stunning NINE races for the happy campers sailing on their beloved J/22s.

J/22 off NetherlandsWinning the regatta by a country mile was NED 1273, skippered by Jean-Michel Lautier with crew of Denis Neves and Giuseppe d’Aquino.  After winning the first race, getting a bit too excited in the second race (earning an OCS), the team settled down to simply smoke the fleet with five bullets and a pair of deuces to win with just 10 pts net.  Watching their colleagues sailing over the horizon, but collecting virtually all of the other top two places was Gideon Mastenbroek’s NED 1295.  His all-women crew of Anneloes Krikhaar, and two sisters (Liselotte and Rosemarijn Verdoorn) got off to a slow start with a 4-3, but then the team coalesced and focused hard on the job at hand, running the table with five deuces and two bullets, mirroring their compatriot’s scores on Lautier’s NED 1273.  As a result, Mastenbroek’s team took the silver with 15 pts net.  This pair of teams were “head and shoulders” above the rest of the fleet.  The bronze Medallist sat 13 pts back, with 28 pts net- Jesper Overbeeke’s NED 1514 crew of Christiaan Feij and Michelle Koopmans.  For more J/22 Delta Lloyd Dutch Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship Update

J/70s sailing at Worlds (Marblehead, MA)- The 2018 edition of the J/70 World Championship, sponsored by WEST MARINE, will be hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA for a fleet of ninety teams from around the world. It may represent the most unprecedented assemblage of world-class talent ever gathered together in a single one-design regatta in history- keelboat or dinghy. Teams will be travelling thousands of miles to compete at the 2018 J/70 World Championship from as far away as Australia, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. Furthermore, J/70 teams will be competing from all over South America including; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.

J/70s sailing off start- WorldsDay 1- Big, Fat Tuesday
The first day will be remembered for tough racing conditions. A cold and wet southeasterly wind brought true Atlantic conditions to the combat zone. The big factor was the sea state, with waves topping out at over three metres. Upwind J/70s were climbing, then launching off huge waves. The downwind rollercoaster ride was an adrenalin pumping rush, the opening day was extreme, and right on the edge for racing.

PRO Hank Stuart and his team kept a close eye on the weather, and just before the bad weather really closed, called a halt to racing after two heart-thumping races. As the fleet headed into a warm welcome at the Eastern Yacht Club, torrential rain engulfed the race area, and there were no complaints about not running a third race.

Reigning J/70 Open World Champion, Peter Duncan (USA) racing Relative Obscurity, was second in both races to top the leaderboard. In second place, Claudia Rossi (ITA) racing Petite Terrible scored a 4-1, and lying third after Day One is Bruce Golison (USA) racing Midlife Crisis, after a 3-3 scoreline. Alberto Rossi (ITA) racing Enfant Terrible is fourth after two races, having scored a 5-5, and Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino, racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de Monaco, scored a win and a 13th to finish the day in fifth.

In the Corinthian Class Jim Cunningham (USA) racing Lifted leads the fleet after two races. Ignacio Perez (MEX) racing Zaguero with all family members is second, and Lucas Authier (ARG) racing Manuto is third. Luis Bugallo (ESP) racing Marnatura scored the best result in Race One, but retired in Race Two after sustaining damage.

“It was a struggle today,” commented Jim Cunningham racing Lifted to top of the Corinthian Class. “Keeping in clear air was key, but to do that in the pack you have to anticipate much more about the boats around you. Staying on the edges, especially downwind was our game plan today, and it was a lot of fun, we hit 19 knots as a top speed, which is something you don't often experience. Mark roundings were a challenge, we came in on Port a couple of times, which was interesting to say the least!”

“It was a great day for us with two good results but the championship is really long so we have to be focused and strong until the end,” commented Claudia Rossi. “ I prefer big conditions, I feel strong, and I am not scared by the waves or high winds. I absolutely enjoy these conditions and I hope we get it every day!”

Bruce Golison from San Diego is one of the most experienced skippers at the championship, and is a past winner of the Etchells Worlds and J/24 North Americans.  “Well done to the race committee today, under pressure, Hank and his team did a stellar job. On the first day of the worlds you just want to have a couple of keeper races, and things worked out for us,” commented Bruce. “It is a pretty darn tough fleet, so we are very happy with the start to the regatta. I hate sailing in the rain, but this is a world championship - you cannot let that bother you. I have been around since the first J/24 Worlds in 1979, and this is the deepest fleet in terms of overall talent. A lot of the owners have all sailed against each other for years and years, and this is spectacular racing, in a great fleet, who are pretty cool on the race course. It's the best of the best in one design keelboats.”

J/70s sailing World ChampionshipDay 2- Spanish Flyboys Dominate
After the rollercoaster ride on the first day, a change in the conditions provided a tactical and strategic second day of action. It was a gorgeous sunny day, most welcomed by the salt-encrusted crews from the day before.

Two Spanish teams reveled in the Mediterranean conditions and were leading the Open and Corinthian Classes. The wind was oscillating 15 degrees either side of the course axis and the wind speed varied from 14-17 knots; it was definitely a day for keeping your head out of the boat, anticipating the changes in the conditions.

After being deep in the fleet in Race 3, Jose Maria Torcida (ESP) racing Noticia, clawed back through the fleet to finish 14th. The Spanish team followed that with a 2-1 in the last two races to take the lead for the championship.

“We are very happy! ” smiled Noticia skipper, Jose Maria Torcida. “Today we recovered from the back of the fleet in the first race to fight back up to fourteenth, basically we got the wrong side of the shift in that race. We got the tactics right in the second race, rounded the top mark in second and nearly won the race but Savasana made a good move on the downwind to pass us. In the last race we Port tacked the fleet and held on to take the win, which was fantastic, but we have only had five races.”

Judd Smith (USA) racing Africa, posted a 2-6-11 to move up to second place. Brian Keane (USA), runner up for the 2017 J/70 World Championship, scored a bullet in Race 4 but a 28th in the last race, pegged his team racing Savasana back to third. Bruno Pasquinelli (USA) racing Stampede on his birthday, was challenging for the overall lead going into the last race but 31st place put Stampede into fourth by the end of the day. Mascalzone Latino (MON) helmed by Matteo Savelli, is in fifth place after scoring a bullet in Race 3.

“We just want to have a chance when we go into the last day. Right now we are just looking to sail ourselves into a winning position with some good scores.” commented Judd Smith. “Obviously like the other 90 boats out there we want to have a good regatta, and do as well as you can, against a lot of great sailors.”

In the Corinthian Class, Luis Bugallo (ESP) racing Marnatura leads after scoring three good results today. It was a much better day for the team from Vigo, Spain. After sustaining damage on the first day and retiring, Marnatura now has a big lead in the Corinthian Class. Aldo Centanaro (URU) racing Pura Joda, was the top Corinthian team in the last race, moving the Uruguay team up to second. Lucas Authier (ARG) racing Manuto, remains in third for the Corinthian Class.

It was not a good day for the overnight leader and reigning world champion, Peter Duncan (USA) racing Relative Obscurity. “We set up to go left in the first two races, but it did not work out for us,” commented Duncan. “In the last race we went right and that didn't work either. Sometimes, that happens but we are only two days into the regatta and there is plenty more racing to come.

J/70s sailing downwindDay 3- Black Flag Thursday
There were thrills and spills on the third day with 15 teams falling foul of the Black Flag during the three races held. Flatter seas and a shifting nor-easterly provided yet another different day. Eight of the maximum 14 races have now been sailed, and challengers for the championship are now emerging.

It was a day of high and lows for Peter Duncan (USA) racing Relative Obscurity. The defending J/70 World Champion did the business in Race 6, scoring their first bullet of the regatta but was disqualified in Race 7 for being OCS with the Black Flag flying. Race 8, Duncan's team scored a fourth to finish the day at the top of the rankings, on countback from Jud Smith (USA).

“For the Black Flag it was close but we were highly visible as the first boat on the pin,” commented Victor Diaz de Leon, who is calling the starts on Relative Obscurity. “It was immature on my part, and maybe a lack of experience, I feel like I let my guys down, because I say when to pull the trigger. Peter and the team back me 100% but it was a low point. We had to watch for over an hour before we got into the next race, and we were hungry. In the last race, we had a mediocre start and battled back, and ended up having a great race. We are very happy that we are leading the regatta but we have the biggest drop of the top boats. As I see it the top six are all level, and who ever sails the best for now on, is going to be the winner.”

Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida (ESP) was leading the regatta at the start of the day but a 7-43-31 drops the Spanish team to third. Bruno Pasquinelli (USA) racing Stampede is in fourth place just four points off the lead. Jack Franco racing 3 Ball JT scored a bullet today to move up to fifth. Brian Keane (USA) racing Savasana drops to sixth after a 18-17-26. Congratulations should also go to Gannon Troutman (USA) racing Pied Piper who won the last race of the day.

In the Corinthian Class Luis Bugallo (ESP) Marnatura has extended their lead with two solid results today, the young team from Vigo, Spain have now broken into the top ten for the entire fleet. Finishing the day in style, Aldo Centanaro (URU) racing Pura Joda, scored a fifth keeping the Uruguay team firmly in second place. Jim Cunningham (USA) racing Lifted had a consistent day, keeping out of trouble to move up to third.  For more J/70 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

China Club J/80 Match Challenge Announcement

Asian J/80 Games, Xiamen, China (Xiamen, China)- The famous China Club Match Challenge event will be taking place off Xiamen, China from November 19th to 22nd.  The event starts with fleet racing for forty-four J/80 teams from across China and Asia. That event then qualifies twelve teams to sail in the final match-racing event to determine the overall winner.

The level of sophistication of the sailing teams has increased dramatically over the years. The top Chinese teams are now doing a lot more boat preparations, with bottoms being worked on for hours before practice. That is a large improvement over years ago, when they ignored the bottoms altogether. This will be the largest ever keelboat event in China with a one-design class.

J/80s sailing off Xiamen, ChinaThen, in December, Xiamen is also hosting the first Asian J/80 Championships. This is an open event, but using International J/80 class rules. However, the Chinese J/80 Class has modified the class rules for championship events, with no restriction to professional sailors, since most Chinese sailors are professional (they have sailed for prize money in many local events). So far, teams that have committed to participate come from Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia. The event organizers are expecting 40 to 65 entries! Boat weights, sail measuring, safety gear and crew weight will all be done in the three days before registration.

For anyone interested in attending either the China Club Match Challenge or the Asian J/80 Championships, please contact Jim Johnstone- at email- or at China cell# +86 185 7722 9501. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Light Long Island Sound PHRF Championship

J/88 sailing around markWINGS takes J/88s, STRANGE BREW led J/105s (Riverside, CT)- The Storm Trysail Club and the Riverside YC were the hosts of the 2018 PHRF/ J/88/ J/105 Long Island Sound Championship.

Like their colleagues in the Great Lakes sailing the J/70s on Lake St Clair, the Long Island Sound sailors are accustomed to having complete “glass outs” for an entire day, or even days at a time!  While Saturday was an overall non-starter for all fleets, Sunday at least produced two races to save the day for everyone.

In the seven-boat J/88 one-design class, it was Mike Bruno’s WINGS that took the title with a 2-1 tally for 3 pts total.  Second was Bill Purdy’s WHIRLWIND with a 1-3 score for 4 pts.  Third was class leader Iris Vogel and her New York crew on DEVIATION, posting a 3-2 for 5 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDINGAS in 4th and Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE in 5th position.

The seven-boat J/105 one-design fleet saw a blitzkrieg from Randy Bourne’s STRANGE BREW, winning with two bullets. Similarly, second was taken by David Price’s TRIFECTA, posting a pair of deuces. Yet again, taking third with two “treys” was George Wilbanks’ REVELATION.  The balance of the top five included Max Kalehoff’s LAURA BEA in 4th and Richie Palmer’s TOLO in 5th.

In PHRF handicap world, the SUNY Maritime Sailing Team took 3rd in PHRF 1 on their J/44 CHARLIE V.  Then, in PHRF 2, Chris Ercole’s J/109 SWEET CAROLINE finished third.  For more Long Island Sound PHRF Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Grand Pavois La Rochelle Boat Show- J/112E, J/88 & J/70

J/112E sport cruiser- family sailing(La Rochelle, France)- The Grand Pavois La Rochelle Boat Show will be taking place from September 26th to October 1st at the Port des Minimes in La Rochelle.  As in past years, over 750 boats are on display and at least 80,000 visitors are expected to attend the six-day show- one of the most popular in Europe due to the wonderful fall weather often experienced at this time of year along the Atlantic coastline on the Bay of Biscay.

J/Composites will have on display the World Offshore Sailing Champion J/112E sport cruiser, as well as the highly popular J/88 family speedster and the internationally famous J/70 one-design class. The boats will be located at Pontoon 5, Row 5, Location 04.

J/70 womens sailing teamThe J/70 class continues to gain momentum in France, as more top crews are learning that to compete on the international level in sportboats requires that you test yourself against the world’s top sailors in a class that has, literally, taken over Europe as the leading sportboat keelboat one-design class in most countries.  The catalyst for that activity has been the formation of national sailing leagues, with all of Europe’s leading sailing clubs in over 14 nations participating in the latest SAILING Champions League event in St Moritz, Switzerland. Learn more about the J/70 one-design class sailboat here.

J/112E sport cruiser- family cruising interiorThe J/112E sport cruiser has been on a tear in European offshore sailing circles.  It's the 2018 Offshore Sailing World Champion (ORC & IRC), the 2018 IRC European Champion, two-time Round the Island winner (IRC class in 60nm round Isle of Wight race), Cowes Week IRC winner, and two-time SPI OUEST France IRC winner.  What is most remarkable about the J/112E’s performance is that she’s a fully-equipped cruising boat, too, with a gorgeous interior fit for a King and Queen; unlike its erstwhile competitors that are virtually stripped-out, full-on racing machines.  Learn more about the J/112E and how it can fit not only into your bucket list racing plans, but also how you can enjoy a very comfortable family cruise to your favorite islands and harbours.  Learn more about J/112E here.

J/88 sailing upwindThe J/88 continues to gain enthusiastic, passionate followers, both offshore and in one-design class activities.  As many J/88 owners have learned in Europe, the boat is extremely fast offshore in the light to moderate conditions that prevailed in Europe this past summer.  Given that climate change is making Europe hotter, with lighter winds in the summertime, it’s not surprising that J/88s are featuring at the top of the leaderboard in many events. Learn more about the J/88 speedster here.

J/99 shorthanded offshore speedsterFinally, don’t forget to catch up with the latest news on the new J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster, the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sportboat!  Given that solo and double-handed circuits throughout Europe are very active, this will be a great time to learn more about this incredibly exciting evolution from the fast J/Design Team.  The first J/99 will be launching soon off Les Sables d’Olonne, France- - expectations are that a dozen J/99’s may be sailing in France before the end of 2019! Learn more about J/99 now.  For more Grand Pavois La Rochelle boat show information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bayerischer YC Win @ Kiel

J/70s sailing off Kiel, GermanyGerman J/70 Sailing League Act IV Windy Sunny!
(Kiel, Germany)- It was a heart-stopping final for the 2nd Sailing Bundesliga and the penultimate appearance of the first division this weekend in Kiel.Sailing.City (14 to 16 September). For the second league, it was about all or nothing, because it decided which four clubs make the promotion to the first league 2019. The four lucky ones are the Mühlenberger Sailing Club, the Schlei-Segel-Club, the Sailing Association 1903 and the sailing community Lohheider See.

For the 1. Liga it was the last, and thus groundbreaking, event before their big final in October. The Bayerischer Yacht-Club won the event, followed by Seglerhaus am Wannsee and the Rupenhorn Sailing Club. Over 10,000 spectators watched the races live on site, watching all the racers finish just meters off the seawall finish line!

"It was a great event, which fits well with the city of Kiel and were very satisfied with the excitement and enthusiasm of the sailing clubs and the spectators. The 10,000-plus spectators was fantastic to see, it reflects the passion people have for this short-course, sailing league format.

We look forward to hosting the Bundesliga again next year and thanks to the organizers, all the helpers and the sailors," said Gerwin Stöcken, City Councilor for Social Affairs, Housing, Health and Sport of the City of Kiel.

J/70s sailing Germany2nd Sailing Bundesliga
Even though the Mühlenberger Segel-Club was already determined as a premature qualifier for the 1st Sailing League in 2019, the other 17 second division teams still had plenty of pressure and tension in the air. In the end, after a total of five events, these four clubs are in the lead in the overall classification and are rewarded with the promotion to the 1st Sailing League 2019: Mühlenberger Sailing Club, Schlei Sailing Club, Sailing Association 1903, Sailing Association Lohheider See.

"It was a very demanding event here in Kiel, especially because we had to make a crew change due to illness. Nevertheless, we are thrilled that we have qualified for the 1st Sailing League," said helmsman Andreas Willim after the event in Kiel. He sailed with Chris Hartkopf, Henning Sohn and Suzanne Willim.

German J/70 Sailing League winners1st Sailing Bundesliga
The 1st League teams "rehearsed" in Kiel one last time, hoping to secure the best possible outcomes for their final next month in Hamburg.

The reigning German champions in Kiel weakened a bit with a 5th place finish, but the Norddeutsche Regatta Verein, as the championship leader with an 8 pt gap, still have a very good chance to defend their title in front of the home crowd.

Currently, in second place overall is the Bavarian Yacht Club, and sitting in third position is Seglerclub Hemelingen in third place. The final of the 1st Sailing Bundesliga will take place from 18 to 20 October in Hamburg.

Did you miss the races of the Bundesliga? Then simply go to to watch race replays and review the scoring for individual events and the overall leaderboard.  For more Deutsche J/70 Segel Bundesliga sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship Preview

J/70 sailing downwindThe World’s Most Competitive Regatta Ever?
(Marblehead, MA)- The 2018 edition of the J/70 World Championship, sponsored by WEST MARINE, will be hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA for a fleet of ninety teams from around the world. It may represent the most unprecedented assemblage of world-class talent ever gathered together in a single one-design regatta in history- keelboat or dinghy. Teams will be travelling thousands of miles to compete at the 2018 J/70 World Championship from as far away as Australia, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. Furthermore, J/70 teams will be competing from all over South America including; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.

To appreciate the relative “fire power” and depth of talent that some J/70 teams bring to the table, here are the notable combinations of the top USA skippers & pro-sailors on the leading teams:
  • Jud Smith’s AFRICA- 3x Etchells 22 World Champion, 2017 J/70 World Champion/ Lucas Calabrese- Olympics 470 Bronze Medallist for Argentina
  • Tim Healy’s USA 2- first J/70 World Champion, 3x J/70 Midwinter Champion, 2x J/24 World Champion/ John Mollicone- Brown University Coach and 2x J/24 World Champion
  • Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT- J/70 World Champion, Melges 32 World Champion/ John Kostecki- J/24 World Champion/ Offshore World Champion, America’s Cup Champion
  • Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY- J/70 World Champion/ Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz de Leon- 2x J/70 World Champion crew
  • Glenn Darden’s HOSS- J/105 North American Champion, J/80 North American & World Champion/ Jonathan McKee- Olympic Gold Medallist
  • Brian Keane’s SAVASANA- 3x College All-American & J/80 North American Champion/ Thomas Barrows was College Sailor of the Year at Yale.
  • Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS- Etchells 22 World Champion/ J/24 North American Champion
  • Martie Kullman’s HYDRA- J/22 World Champion
  • John Brim’s RIMETTE- Storm Trysail Offshore Champion on Farr 60 RIMA/ Taylor Canfield- 3x World Match Racing Champion/ 2x Congressional Cup Match Race Champion
  • Will Welles’ SCAMP- 2x J/24 World Champion/ J/24 North American Champion
  • Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT- 2x College All-American/ Bill Hardesty- Etchells-22 2x World Champion & J/70 World Champion/ Allen Terhune- J/22 World Champion.
  • Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS- J/24 North American Champion
  • Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO- J/24 North American Champion & J/70 West Coast Champion
  • Bill Lynn’s FLYING NONE- 2x Sonar World Champion
  • Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY- J/70 North American Corinthian Champion
  • Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND- J/70 North American Champion
  • Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE- J/70 Midwinter Series Champion/ Eric Doyle multi-class champion
  • John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES- J/70 Midwinter Series Champion
  • Mark Foster’s WINTERWIND- J/22 World Champion and J/24 North American Champion
Nearly half of the extraordinary fleet will come from overseas, including the best teams from Europe:
  • Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE from Italy- J/70 European Champion and 2x Farr 40 World Champion/ Branko Brcin a famous offshore champion tactician
  • Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE from Italy (daughter of Alberto)- 2x J/70 European Champion and women’s J/70 World Champion
  • Valeria Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS1 from Russia- 2x Monaco Winter Series Champion & Russia J/70 Sailing League Champion
  • Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO from Italy- Farr 40 World Champion, Melges 32 World Champion
  • Luis Bugallo’s MARNATURA from Spain- J/70 Corinthian European Champion
  • Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida’s NOTICIA from Spain- 2x J/80 World Champion, 2nd J/70 Europeans
  • Martin Dent’s JELVIS form United Kingdom- 2x J/111 World Champion/ Ruairidh Scott- J/70 United Kingdom Champion
  • Javier Navarro from Mexico- 3rd J/70 North American Championship
  • Vernon Robert’s MORENITA from Chile- 5x J/24 Chilean Champion
In short, THIRTY boats (1/3 of the 90 boat fleet) have on their teams Olympic Medallists, World, European, North American, or Midwinter Champions in various classes.  Not exactly a stacked deck, is it?!  Quite frankly, a mind-numbing proposition for those determined to become the 2018 World Champion. The five days of sailing off Marblehead in the cool Atlantic Ocean waters teeming with wildlife like whales, dolphins, and bluefish will be interesting.  Just cracking the top 25 will be a feat for most teams sailing in the regatta! Perhaps, what is most fascinating of all, is that no one knows what to expect with such an enormous gathering of talent from across the spectrum of experience in the sailing world!  For more J/70 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Gorgeous Sun-kissed Big Boat Series!

J/125 sailing Rolex Big Boat Series (San Francisco, CA)– Bright sunshine, steady breeze and flat seas greeted the 76 teams for the final day of racing at the 54th edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 12-16, 2018), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. That was the recurring theme for the entire regatta, considered one of the premiere “bucket list” events on the world yachting calendar amongst knowledgeable sailors anywhere.

In the ginormous fleet of twenty-eight J/105s, it was Jeff Littfin’s MOJO that cruised to a class win with virtually all top five finishes- a rarity in that class. Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS won class with all top three finishes. The MADMEN on Dorian McKelvy’s J/111 eclipsed, literally, ORR B Class with nearly straight bullets. The same was true for ORR C Class, with David Halliwill’s J/120 PEREGRINE simply blowing away their fleet with all top three scores. Here is how it all went down on a daily basis.

J/105s sailing Rolex San Francisco BayDay One
It’s not often that Mother Nature’s agenda perfectly aligns with a regatta’s racing schedule, but that’s exactly what unfurled for the first day of racing. Warm sunshine and a flooding tide ensured that the good times only compounded as the day unfurled and the breeze slowly but consistently built, eventually just knocking the tops off the waves to punctuate San Francisco Bay with sporadic white caps.

And, while the racers more or less stayed dry (by San Francisco Bay standards, of course), the smiles were visible from multiple boat lengths away as teams put their steeds through the paces, their sails staying powered-up throughout both of the day’s races.

“I’m really excited about all three ORR classes,” says regatta co-chair Susan Ruhne, about the week’s racing. “It’s the most robust and competitive handicap fleet that we’ve had in years. I’m also excited about the first race of each day, as some fleets will have their finishes off of the Race Deck. This is new and it will bring racing to the clubhouse windows.”

Sailors competing in Class ORR-B began their day on the Treasure Island racecourse, and while the flood tide effectively lengthened each beat, the fastest teams did a great job finding maximum current relief along the City Front.

J/105s sailing Rolex San Francisco BayDay Two
What goes up must come down, but the flat, fast conditions that greeted sailors at Day One, continued on Day Two, following a short postponement to let the breeze gather. But, once the starting guns began sounding, racers were rewarded for their pre-racing patience by a flood tide and 10 to 15 knots that built all day. The net result of westerly wind cooperating with tide was long beats juxtaposed with blistering runs, bow spray and big grins aboard the boats that gathered on San Francisco Bay to contest the West Coast’s most prestigious regatta.

“It’s been awesome!” says Gary Panariello, skipper of the J/88 Courageous (USA 77), about conditions. “It was a long way upwind— it took days!! I needed to shave! But, downwind was super-quick with the flood tide.”

San Francisco Bay’s legendary breeze was the gravity that pulled Panariello to the Bay Area from New York City. First in his fleet after four races, he’s clearly adapted well to his new hometown. “If we can just dial up [the wind] it would be awesome!” he says with a smile reflective of the week’s phenomenal conditions and his team’s enviable 2-1-3-1 scorecard. Tied for points with Marc McMorris’ M Squared (USA 75) and only three points ahead of Aya Yamanouchi’s Benny (USA 79169), means he’ll have to keep working to hold his place.

“Everyone in the fleet has been having a great time, irrespective of where they are in the fleet,” says Betsy Weiler, who is serving as Panariello’s strategist. “On Day One, we finished both races within one boat length of M Squared.”

M Squared’s McMorris echo’s Weiler’s sentiments, even if the two crews are fierce on-the-water rivals. “It’s been lots of fun,” he says. “It’s a great group and great competition. It’s our first year having our own start, which has been terrific.” As for strategy, McMorris is succinct. “Stay fast,” he says with a knowing smile.

While the flat waters have been making for long uphill legs for the sailors, the swiftly flooding tides haven’t exactly been making racecourse management easy. Here, however, the StFYC’s highly experienced teams of professionals and volunteers, as well as the father-and-son team of Peter and Anderson Reggio, the event’s Principal Race Officers, have a steady pulse on an otherwise highly complex situation.

“No two races are ever the same,” says Anderson Reggio. “That’s what makes it interesting in my mind. StFYC provides a great venue. It’s one of the most well set-up facilities for running an event of this style. The volunteers are amazing, and they provide us with a level of confidence that we can do what we need to. I don’t mean to say the company line, but the quality of the sailors, from the Pac 52 class to the largest class—the J/105s—is great and is a testament to time spent sailing on the Bay. You become a hardened person sailing here.”

Class ORR-B was currently being controlled by Dorian McKelvy’s J/111 Madmen (USA 17), who was seven points ahead of the 2nd place team and 13 points up on Zachery Anderson’s J/125 Velvet Hammer (USA 51517).

Among the stacked J/105 class, after four races, Jeff Littfin’s Mojo (USA 119) was currently sitting in first, followed by Tim Russell’s Ne*Ne (USA 3) and Chris and Phil Perkins’ Good Timin’ (USA 35).

While ORR-C may be last on the scratch sheet, alphabetically, this does nothing to lower the competition levels among these talented sailors. David Halliwill’s J/120 Peregrine (USA 25487) was currently first in the ORR-C class, followed by Stephen Madeira’s J/120 Mister Magoo (USA 28289) in second.

J/106 Arbitrage- Bruce Stone and Nicole BreaultDay Three
Strong airs and freshening white caps greeted the third day of racing. Long uphill bashes in three to four-foot seas and 20 knots, gusting higher, were rewarded with blistering downwind runs and adrenaline-saturated kite rides juiced by a flooding tide.

“I’d say these conditions are typical of San Francisco Bay, but the courses are so much longer that it’s testing people’s endurance,” says Jenn Lancaster, StFYC’s Race Director. “We tried to improve the reaching angles on the course for the handicap boats, and it’s been exciting to see them perform. These fleets are really competitive this year.”
Racing was tight in the J/105 class, which is the 2018 Rolex Big Boat Series’ largest one-design class. “It’s a little bit of chaos, a little bit of analytical planning and a lot of guts,” says Ian Charles, skipper of the J/105 Maverick (USA 385) about what it’s like to be on the helm on a 28-boat strong Rolex Big Boat Series starting line.

When queried about the hardest aspect of driving a J/105 on a racecourse with 27 other identical boats in the West Coast’s most prestigious regatta, Charles, who races with his wife, Natalie, pointed to the entire experience as the crux. “It’s everything,” says Charles. ”You’ve got to have your eyes on everything, the crew, the lines, right-of-way situations, tidal influences— you’ve got to process a lot of information at once.” After three days of racing, he’s sixth in the standings, with Jeff Littfin’s Mojo (USA 119) in the J/105 class’ pole position, followed by Tim Russell’s Ne*Ne (USA 3) and Ryan Simmons’ Blackhawk (USA 40).

Competition was also predictably fierce in the J/88 one-design class, as well as in the ORR-B and ORR-C handicap classes. Among the J/88s, which were enjoying their first Rolex Big Boat Series as a one-design class, Gary Panariello’s Courageous (USA 17) heads into the regatta’s final day in first place, with Aya Yamanouchi’s Benny (USA 79169) and Marc McMorris’ M Squared (USA 75) close astern. In the handicap classes, Dorian McKelvy’s J/111 Madmen (USA 17) dominates ORR-B, with Zachery Anderson’s J/125 Velvet Hammer (USA 51517) in third.  Meanwhile, in ORR-C, David Halliwill’s J/120 Peregrine (USA 25487) was commanding headlines, followed by Stephen Madeira’s J/120 Mister Magoo (USA 28289) in second.

J/88 sailing San Francisco BayDay Four
The race committee announced a 15-minute postponement on both the Alcatraz and Treasure Island race courses to allow the breeze to consolidate and, given the flood-tide cycle that the racers have been enjoying all week, the water to flatten-out prior to the day’s single long-form Bay Tour race.

This traditional final-day course selection allowed all seven competing classes to finish this no-drop series directly in front of StFYC’s Race Deck, giving onshore spectators a fantastic view, their cheering audible from the water as winning sailors crossed the finish line in one of the sailing world’s greatest natural amphitheaters.

“It’s been very successful with the wind, great sailing and competitive classes,” says Susan Ruhne, regatta chair. “San Francisco Bay delivered the breeze and flat water to allow all boats and classes to show off great teamwork. I liked having all handicap boats in ORR, including the sportboats, and we continue to learn about the ratings.”

Others agree. “We’ve been blessed with amazing conditions,” says Jenn Lancaster, StFYC’s Race Director, who explains that some of the pre-regatta work entailed editing the course shapes and scratch sheet breakdowns. “I think the new courses worked well,” continues Lancaster.

“The classes were still compressed, especially in the handicap fleets, and we saw the one-design boats finish close to each other. We tried to group “like” boats more than worrying about rating bands, and it’s been successful.”

While all teams were primarily racing for top honors in the West Coast’s most prestigious regatta, six classes— Express 37s, J/88s, J/105s, ORR-A, ORR-B, and ORR-C— raced for StFYC’s perpetual trophies. Of these perpetual-trophy winners, five will also be rewarded with gleaming new Rolex Submariner Date timepieces.

Dorian McKelvy and his crew aboard his J/111 Madmen (USA 17) fully owned the ORR-B class, winning the City of San Francisco Trophy— one of the Golden Spades used during the 1933 groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Gate Bridge.

While the Madmen team sailed away with a Rolex, they faced plenty of racecourse competition from Zachery Anderson’s J/125 Velvet Hammer (USA 51517), who sailed to a third-place finish.

StFYC’s Commodore’s Cup went to the winner of the largest one-design class– once again the J/105 class, which has commanded this enviable perpetual for the past decade. With 28 on the starting line and top contenders shuffling firsts, this was one of the regatta’s toughest wins.

After seven races, Jeff Littfin’s Mojo (USA 119) crew claimed top honors and a beautiful new Rolex chronometer, followed by Tim Russell’s Ne*Ne (USA 3) and Ryan Simmons’ Blackhawk (USA 40).

ORR-C sailors competed for the Keefe-Kilborn Trophy, a prestigious perpetual trophy that was established in 1976 to honor the memory of the late StFYC members Harold Keefe and Ray Kilborn.

David Halliwill and his crew aboard his J/120 Peregrine (USA 25487) out-pointed and out-ran Barry Lewis and company aboard Lewis’ J/120 Chance (USA 28484) to win the Keefe-Kilborn Trophy, and accompanying Rolex timepiece, for his fourth win in four years.

J/88 sailing upwindJ/88 sailors raced as a Rolex Big Boat Series’ one-design class for the first time this year and, in addition to dockside bragging rights, were competing for the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy, which honors former StFYC member Richard Rheem and his crew aboard Morning Star, Transpac record-breakers in 1949 and again in 1955.

This year’s trophy and accompanying Rolex were presented to J/88 fleet winners Gary Panariello and his Courageous (USA 77) teammates, who beat out Marc McMorris and his M Squared (USA 75) squad and Aya Yamanouchi and her Benny (USA 79169) team.

In short, there were four Rolex Submariner watch winners in just six classes in the 2018 edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series- J/88, J/105, ORR B an ORR C. Congratulations to all J/Sailors for their class wins and for supporting what many consider to be the premiere West Coast event on the California summer circuit of regattas. Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/ Daniel Forster and ULTIMATE SAILING/ Sharon Green.   For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

UNCLE FLUFFY Dusts J/22 World Championship

J/22s sailing World Championship(Annapolis, MD)- The Annapolis YC hosted the 2018 edition of the J/22 World Championship from September 9th to 14th on the Chesapeake Bay, for a fleet of sixty-three entries from the USA, Canada, South Africa, and The Netherlands. Winning the event was a last-minute, come-from-behind victory by Zeke Horowitz’s UNCLE FLUFFY.

Zeke’s team accomplished what none of the other teams could avoid- a high-number finish in the nine-race series hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club in Maryland. As a result, Zeke and crew Jackson Benvenuti, Jo Ann Fisher and Emmy Stuart were named the 2018 J/22 World Champions. Rounding out the podium were Allan Terhune’s THUNDER CHICKEN with the silver and Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY with the bronze, based on a tie-breaker with Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS.  Taking fifth place was Chris Wentjes.

J/22 World Champion- Zeke HorowitzSurviving the battle to win the war
This report from Bill Wagner, of the local newspaper Capital Gazette, provides some great insight on what took place to win the regatta for Zeke Horowitz.

Annapolis skipper Zeke Horowitz won the regatta on the water, then survived a lengthy challenge in the protest room to capture the 2018 J/22 World Championship on the Chesapeake Bay.

“It’s an incredibly humbling thing, for sure,” Horowitz said. “We were going over some of the other names on the perpetual trophy and it’s a very impressive list. It’s certainly quite an honor to get my name on there.”

Horowitz was a member of the College of Charleston sailing team and had Greg Fisher as head coach his last two years. Remarkably, the inscription on the J/22 World Championship perpetual trophy listing Horowitz as 2018 winner was placed adjacent to the one recognizing Fisher as the 2008 champion.

“Greg Fisher is my ultimate mentor, and made a major impact on my life, both as a sailor and as a person,” Horowitz said. “So it was really cool when I saw the columns lined up perfectly so that our plaque is right next to Greg’s.”

Allan Terhune led the regatta at the end of racing on both Day One and Day Two and carried a nine-point lead into the final day of an event ending one day early due to the threat of Hurricane Florence. Horowitz held second place, but readily admitted he needed Terhune to make a mistake in order to have a chance of claiming the title.

Terhune did just that, drawing a “U” Flag penalty in Race 7, for committing a rules violation during pre-start maneuvers. That saddled the Annapolis skipper with a finish of 65th, which he was forced to throw out.

That meant Terhune had to count an 18th place finish in Race 5, that he had previously used as a throw-out. Meanwhile, Horowitz tossed his worst result of 11th in Race 4, and his consistency made the difference.

“Allan’s team sailed an incredible regatta. They were really fast, and in the right place a lot of the time,” Horowitz said. “We had to hope they made a mistake and that’s what happened.’

It took almost two hours for the final results to become official as a series of protest hearings dragged on through the scheduled awards ceremony and held up formally crowning the 2018 J/22 World Champion.

Horowitz and Terhune, who worked together at the North Sails-Chesapeake loft in Eastport, were adversaries in a protest that potentially could have changed the final outcome.

Terhune alleged that he was fouled by Horowitz in the ninth and final race. That protest was ultimately dismissed by the International Jury after hearing testimony from both sides.

Terhune then protested being assigned the “U” flag penalty in Race 7, hoping to receive redress and a result that would have wiped out the three-point deficit. That protest also was eventually denied.

“I really don’t want to comment on any of that,” Horowitz said of the protest ordeal. “I’ll just say it’s not the way anyone wanted the regatta to end.”

With Jackson Benvenuti on tactics, Jo Ann Fisher handled the foredeck while Emmy Stuart worked the pit aboard Uncle Fluffy, which represented Eastport Yacht Club.

“I owe it all to my team. They were on point the whole event. They were all calm, cool and collected even when things weren’t going well,” Horowitz said. “Everyone was totally focused on doing their job. It’s a really, really cool thing to be able to focus solely on driving boat and going fast while letting the team worry about everything else.”

Horowitz was born in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he developed into a top-notch youth sailor. He became an All-American competitor at the College of Charleston, where he was a teammate of Benvenuti. Those two have been friends since they were competitors on the Optimist class travel circuit as pre-teenagers.

“I can’t say enough about Jackson’s contributions this week. He is such a gifted sailor. It’s really a pleasure to sit next to him and watch his brain work,” Horowitz said. “How Jackson can focus on trimming the jib and also concentrate on watching the race course in order to make sound tactical decisions is truly remarkable.

“Jackson is a brilliant, but conservative sailor who is always looking to hit singles instead of home runs and that was really the key to our success in this regatta,” Horowitz added.

Horowitz also had high praise for Stuart and Fisher, former of whom just happens to be his girlfriend and latter of whom is a past J/22 World Champ as crew for her husband.

“We set this goal two year ago and it’s been a long process,” Horowitz said. “This is particularly special because I got to do it with my closest friend, my girlfriend, and a veteran sailor, who I respect immensely, in Jo Ann. Getting this outcome with people you love is really rewarding.”

As an up and coming professional with North Sails, Horowitz readily admitted this result was a big boost for his career. The 28-year-old previously captured the 2016 Viper 640 World Championship off Bermuda.

“It means everything. My career revolves around winning championships, so getting my name on a World Championship trophy is a huge steppingstone,” he said. “Winning a World Championship in a class as competitive as the J/22 is very validating.”

J/22 Netherlands Youth teamBringing a Dutch Youth Team to J/22 Worlds- a retrospective
There were eight foreign entries in the 2018 J/22 World Championship on the Chesapeake Bay.  None was a more interesting backstory than RSZV-RWG, skippered by Auke Holtrop from South Africa.

Holtrop was leading a youth entry from the Netherlands that was representing the Rotterdam Student Sailing Association. The official name of the organization in Dutch is Rotterdamse Studenten Zeil Vereniging, hence the RSZV in the boat name.

Holtrop was the helmsman, while Anique Noordam was trimming the main and calling tactics. Sipke de Man was the headsail trimmer and strategist, while Lotte Brasser was on the foredeck and assisting with tactics. Holtrop, Noordam and Brasser are all 22 years old while de Man is 23.

Those four team members were selected to campaign a J/22 owned by the Rotterdam Student Sailing Association for one year and have competed in regattas throughout the Netherlands, performing well and posting impressive results. Holtrop was so encouraged by the showing in national events, that he entered the youth team in the J/22 European Championship, held in Brest, France. The young sailors from Holland stunned a talent-laden fleet, by placing second overall.

That result led the youngsters to consider a bid for the J/22 Worlds. It was not going to be easy to travel all the way to Annapolis, but several notable members of the J/22 class made that dream a reality.

Veteran North Sails professional Mike Marshall finished behind the Dutch team at the European Championships and came away impressed. Marshall reached out to current U.S. Class president Matt Dunbar, who had purchased a used J/22 for the express purpose of providing a platform for youth participation in major class events.

“We need to do whatever we can to grow the class, and that starts with encouraging younger sailors to get involved,” said Dunbar, who raced his boat, Wharf Rat, in the 2018 J/22 World Championship. “I wanted to do my part to pull younger members into the class to help keep it vibrant.”

Needless to say, Dunbar was totally on board when told by Marshall about the talented group of youth sailors from the Netherlands that were looking for a ride for the J/22 Worlds.

“Having a team from Holland show up, and use my boat to enter the J/22 Worlds, is a real bonus. It is very valuable and a huge boost for the event,” said Dunbar, whose intention was to eventually donate this particular J/22 to a Rhode Island-based sailing foundation, with the caveat that it be made available to youth teams for participation in major class events.

Holtrop and crew arrived in the United States and spent a week in Newport getting the boat sorted. Marshall, a resident of Jamestown, RI, helped with the process of tuning the rig and setting up the sail package.

“I went out on the water with the team and answered a lot of questions about tuning and sail shape,” said Marshall, who welcomed the four Dutch sailors into his home.

Marshall also played an instrumental role in getting some sponsorship help from Harken (deck hardware), Vela Sailing Supplies (standing rigging, ropes) and North (sails).

“We are grateful to all the companies that came aboard and helped with the boat. It has turned into quite a nice overall boat package,” he said. “Auke and his crew are very adept at fixing things themselves. They have worked really hard to get this boat prepared for worlds.”

Dunbar lent the Dutch team his own vehicle to trailer the restored J/22 to Annapolis, borrowing a friend’s truck to get his own boat here. More assistance for the Netherlands’ program was provided by Canadian sailor Michele Cimon, who was housing the young sailors in Annapolis.

“Michele Cimon, Matt Dunbar, and Mike Marshall, have been super important to making this happen, and we cannot thank them enough,” Holtrop said. “It’s unbelievable that this is possible, and we are going to be racing in the J/22 World Championship.”

Holtrop felt good about the boat setup, which was quite different from the J/22 his team sails in the Netherlands. “We had a lovely week of training in Newport, and put a lot of effort into rigging the boat, and optimizing everything the way we wanted,” he said. Holtrop knew the competition at the 2018 J/22 World Championship would be the toughest the Dutch crew had faced to date.

“We know the level of J/22 sailing in the United States is a lot higher than in Europe, so this will be a great learning experience,” he said. “Our goal was to finish Top 15, or somewhere around there. I think the most important thing is that we have a lot of fun and we definitely plan to do that. We are already having a wonderful experience over here.”

There are six Canadian boats entered in J/22 Worlds, with most coming from the Quebec province. Ron Harris, who served as President of the Canadian J/22 Class Association for six years, was competing in his fifth world championship and had a top finish of 11th in New Orleans in 2011.

“This is one of the best turnouts of Canadian boats at the J/22 Worlds in a while, so we are pleased with that,” said Harris, who is currently chairman of the Technical Committee for the International J/22 Class Association.

Harris said the six Canadian boats in Annapolis all come from Lac des Deux Montagnes (“Lake of Two Mountains” in English). Several of the owners are members of the Hudson Yacht Club, including Harris and current Canadian class president Trevor Collins (Alternative Girlfriend). “We have really pushed the class in the greater Montreal area,” said Harris, who bought his first J/22 in 2005.

Canada has hosted one J/22 World Championship, the 2016 edition that was held as part of the legendary Canadian Olympic Regatta at Kingston (CORK). It was a tremendous success and has the Canadian Class Association, which includes approximately 20 members, to bid for future North American and World championships.

“Kingston is the best location for fresh water sailing in Canada and I think all the teams that came to the world championship we hosted enjoyed the venue,” Harris said. Harris has an extremely experienced crew aboard Broomstick and is quite familiar with Annapolis, having sailed several North American and East Coast championships here.

“Annapolis is quite different from what we are accustomed to in Canada. When we sailed here in the past, the tidal currents were a major issue,” he said. Rounding out the list of international entries is Solstice, which will be representing South Africa. Skipper David Waiting and his wife Natalie both grew up sailing on Table Bay in Cape Town – he an avid Laser racer and she aboard various sport boats.

Waiting was introduced to the J/22 while in college, crewing for Buddy Phillips who won the World Championship one of the four times the World Championship was held in South Africa.

Natalie Burls is a Professor at George Mason University, and the couple joined Severn Sailing Association shortly after moving to Fairfax, VA. Waiting is the current J/22 fleet captain at SSA but is also a member of the South African Class Association and chose to race this year’s J/22 Worlds under the banner of his home country.

“I’m very proud that we were able to put together a fully South African crew,” said Waiting, who will have his wife doing foredeck and longtime friend Neil Mackeller– a Cape Town resident– in the middle.

“We have no expectations of doing well in the regatta. We’d be happy to finish in the middle of the fleet,” Waiting said. “We are still learning the J/22 so this opportunity to sail in a big fleet is invaluable. We’re the only blue boat in the regatta so we’ll be extremely conspicuous on the starting line.”  For more J/22 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Augie Diaz- from Optis to J/24s to Stars- sailing profile

Augie Diaz medal winner(Miami, Florida)- James Boyd from wrote an interesting piece on Augie Diaz, titled “Master of the Classics”.  It is an insightful, entertaining story and perspective on how Augie evolved into one of the world’s better sailors, truly a story reminiscent of Robert Frost’s famous poem- “The Road Not Taken”.

For starters, Augie is a Cuban émigré as a child, when his father- Gonzalo “Old Man” Diaz- brought his family to Miami to escape the wrath of the communist dictator- Fidel Castro.

In his early racing days, Augie first met the Johnstone family sailing 470s in the 1973 to 1977 time frame.  At that time in college, Augie had teamed up with a buddy of his from Tulane University- Doug Bull- and sailed the USA 470 National circuit for awhile, achieving good success against the likes of David Ullman (a 4x 470 World Champion) and the two Johnstone brothers (Stu and Drake) sailing USA 600. In addition, Augie had met Bob & Mary Johnstone as well as Rod & Lucia Johnstone sailing 470s and, later, in J/24s.

By 1977, the J/24 had been created by Bob and Rod Johnstone and the first J/24 Midwinters took place in Key West, FL in 1978. Seeing that it was going to be a “hot” class and a lot of fun, Augie jumped in to race his own J/24 against famous names such as Dave Ullman, Ken Read, Mark Ploch, David Curtis, Jud Smith, the crazy Brazilian- Vince Brun, and others (all familiar to most J/Boats sailors for having won multiple J/24, Etchells 22, 470, and Star World Championships). The pinnacle of Augie’s J/24 success was winning the J/24 Midwinters in 1983 on Biscayne Bay, his home waters and hosted by his home club- Coral Reef YC.

Since that time in J/24s, Augie stopped sailing and focused on his family business in the medical supplies business in Florida.  After helping grow the business, the Diaz family sold their healthcare business and, as a result, Augie dove back into sailing his beloved Snipes and Stars.  Here is that story from James Boyd below:

Few boats reward both brains and brawn in such equal measure as the Star. It was partly this that enabled a 64-year-old ‘amateur’ to claim this year’s Star European Championship in Flensburg, Germany.

Admittedly Cuba-born American Agustín ‘Augie’ Díaz was sailing with one of the class’ top crew – in addition to his four Star World Championship titles, Brazilian Bruno Prada scored Star silver and bronze respectively at the Beijing and London Olympics with his long-term helm Robert Scheidt.

But with more than 35 years’ experience and wisdom gained from competing against the world’s best in the class, Díaz is today one of the top helms as he proved when he and Prada became Star World Champions in 2016. The European Championship trophy is the latest silverware for this successful partnership’s trophy cabinet.

Díaz comes from a sailing dynasty. His grandfather sailed and in 1959, his father Gonzalo and uncle Saul claimed silvers for Cuba in the Snipe both at the Pan American Games and at the Snipe Worlds, on the latter occasion to none other than Paul Elvstrøm.

After his parents immigrated to Florida, an eight-year-old Augie took up sailing in the Optimist. While studying mechanical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans, in 1974 he led Tulane Green Wave sailing team to win the coveted Leonard M. Fowle Trophy for the top scoring overall collegiate team. That same year he was voted College Sailor of the Year.

Despite his success in the Star in recent years, for most of his life Augie has been known, like his father, for racing Snipes. In this 1931 vintage doublehanded dinghy, his record is exceptional. He twice won the class’ biennial World Championship (in 2003 and 2005), something that only a handful of sailors have achieved, among them Torben Grael and Santiago Lange.

He also won Snipe World Masters Championships in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2012, along with countless US and North American titles. Fifty-two years on, he emulated his father winning silver at the 2011 Pan American Games.

So, what is it about boats from the first half of the 20th century that he prefers? “Some of the classes that are popular are more about boat handling and speed, which are also important,” explains Díaz. “But, I prefer tactical sailing where you have to do both – be good tactically, good athletically, and have good boat handling.”

Although he was never selected to go to the Olympic Games, he tried in 1976 and 1980 in the Flying Dutchman and in 1984 made as far as the trials in the Star, but was up against Bill Buchan and Stevie Erickson who went on to claim the gold at Los Angeles.

After that Díaz admits, “My time was passed. I had a fast-growing business and family. In fact I didn’t sail from 1986 to 1999.” This he describes as his “period of slavery…work and Little League coaching!”

His first Star World Championship was in 1983 in Los Angeles but he competed in them again two years later in Nassau, on the very same waters albeit some 30 years on that the Star Sailor’s League Finals are held annually.

The partnership with Bruno Prada began in 2006-7, whenever there was an event that Robert Scheidt couldn’t make – usually the ones in Miami over the winter. “I was very fortunate that I was the same weight as Robert, so Bruno didn’t have to lose any weight,” recalls Díaz. “And for Bruno it was a safe: If we did well it was because of him. If we did badly it was because of me!”

Díaz says that his partner is much more than just a crew. “He is one of the guys in the class who has extensive helming experience in the Finn and in the Snipe when he was younger. He is really a skipper on the boat. Fortunately, our tactical approaches are very similar, so there’s no great discussion.

“There are several classes that are ‘driven by the crew’ – there’s also the 505 and you even see it in the 49er. It is easy to feel the boat when you have the helm, much harder when it is just through your backside! The elite guys like Bruno can do that.”

Personally for Díaz it also coincided with his pulling out of the medical supplies business he’d built up. Retiring into some “real estate and other investment stuff” he had more time on his hands for sailing, until he agreed to sell the MJM line of 35-53 ft long motor yachts designed by Bob Johnstone of J/Boats fame, which has proved more successful (and time-consuming) than he had hoped…

Thanks to his Europeans result, Díaz is currently ninth in the Star Sailors League ranking which guarantees his invitation for the Star Sailors League Finals 2018, the annual event that determines who is the best sailor among the ‘stars’ of the sailing world and allocation of the US$200,000 prize pot. For a sixth year, the Finals will be held in the azure waters of Nassau in the Bahamas, from December 3rd to 8th.

Having been based in Miami most of his life, he knows Nassau well and has been sailing there for decades: “It is one of the world’s premier venues. They say that when ‘God decides to go sailing’ he goes there – the combination of the breeze, which is usually quite strong, plus the waves and water color and the warm climate. And the Nassau Yacht Club is very friendly. You couldn’t find better people.”

Díaz is aware that at 64 his profile doesn’t entirely fit in with that of the Star Sailors League, which aims to recognize the world’s best sailors, but more typically professionals, especially those on the ascent in their careers, but he remains a big fan.

“The reason the Star continues to grow is because the Star Sailors League started right after we were taken out of the Olympics. The way it is run, where all the elite sailors in the world can get together in one platform and have an incredible regatta – for me you can forget about the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and all those races, at the Star Sailors League Finals you are sailing against the best.”

He is especially in awe of the next generation such as Paul Goodison and even younger talent like Sime Fantela and Ben Saxton. “It was awesome that Paul could come in and be able to do what he did (winning the 2017 SSL Finals). That was huge for the Star Sailors League. It shows that people from the outside can come and be competitive in the Finals.”

But will they once again get the better of the old timers this December? We wait to find out... Add to Flipboard Magazine.