Friday, November 30, 2018

2019 Marblehead to Halifax Race Registration Open!

J/crews sailing Marblehead to Halifax Race (Marblehead, MA) - Registration is now open for the 38th biennial Marblehead to Halifax Ocean race July 7, 2019.

“We are looking forward to an elite fleet of racers again this year,” says David Bows, Rear Commodore of the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead and co-chairman of the race. “This is truly one of the great racing events of the summer.”  Michael Simms of the RNSYS is the co-chair.

The organizing committee is considering the addition of an ORRez division. Co-Race Directors Anne Coulombe of BYC and Richard Hinterhoeller of the RNSYS have already received two requests for an ORRez division. “We get the sense that this could be quite popular”, said Richard. “Anyone interested in having this division, should contact race@marbleheadtohalifax.com and let us know”. Hinterhoeller says the sooner they can establish this interest, the better they can integrate it into the event.

Marblehead to Halifax race courseThe 363-nautical mile Marblehead to Halifax is one of the oldest races on the eastern seaboard. It began 1905 and has continued every other year except during war time. It is co-sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, NS. Major support comes from the Steele Auto Group of Nova Scotia.

“Marblehead is the idyllic place for the start of this race,” Bows declares. “There will be a round of parties and social events throughout the weekend before starting the race.”

The fleet will be competing for trophies at every level including best-combined result with the Newport to Bermuda race. There will also be prizes for teams such as U.S. vs. Canada, double handed, all women crew, maritime academies, schooner ketch or yawl and over the hill gang.  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race registration and sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

J/24 Worlds Miami Announcement

J/24 Worlds Miami 2019 
(Miami, FL)- J/24 Sailors from around the world are looking forward to the 2019 J/24 World Championships in Miami, Florida, October 19–26.

This is the first time in the 41-year history of the J/24 Worlds that the event is being held in Florida, with its sunny skies, palm trees, warm breezes and excellent sailing conditions. The J/24 Worlds will be held on the same course used by ISAF every January for the World Cup Olympic Classes Regatta. The weeklong event will feature six days of exciting racing on the emerald-green waters of Biscayne Bay, one of the world’s great yachting venues.

The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) will be the race committee, and will host the opening night ceremonies on their sweeping lawn overlooking Biscayne Bay. The rest of the week will feature food, music and an open bar every night sponsored by Bacardi.
J/24 Worlds Miami 2019
The week’s festivities and social events will be located just down the waterfront from CRYC in the historic Pan Am Flying Clipper hanger on the water’s edge at Shake-A-Leg Miami, the sailing center in the heart of Coconut Grove that hosts sailing programs for the disabled and disadvantaged. Measurement, boat storage, launch and retrieval will be a short walk away at beautiful new Regatta Park, a purpose-built facility designed to host regattas of large fleets, used by Olympic hopefuls during the World Cup.

Eighty boats and more than 400 sailors and their support teams are expected from all over the world, representing approximately twenty countries. Mark Pincus, regatta chairman and well-known Miami J/24 sailor and regatta organizer for many South Florida regattas said, “the pristine waters of Biscayne Bay have always beckoned sailors from around the world, and the J/24 Class has always produced world-class sailors. This will be the perfect marriage of sailors and setting. In addition to the excellent sailing facilities, Miami boasts a wealth of great restaurants and lodging opportunities. Keep an eye on our website for our special hotel bureau coming soon.” Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.com.  For more J/24 Worlds Miami sailing and registration information

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hamble Winter Series- Week 5 Report

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter Series (Hamble, England)- The fifth week of HYS Hamble Winter Series coincided with Remembrance Sunday and the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day for World War 1. The first warning was put back until after the 11:00am two minutes silence, and Jonathan Blanchard, played the Last Post, live from the deck of his boat.

The Committee Boat set up station at 4S (Royal Southern) in 20 knots of breeze from 240 degrees and with "Yankee" flying once again. With the breeze forecast to increase, Race Officer Steve Parry decided on a two-course strategy for the day. The bigger boats in Class 1 and 2 would disappear off round the cans, whilst Class 3 and 4 would be kept close on a 1.6 mile Windward/ Leeward so that they could be shortened if the worst of the forecast came to pass.

As it turned out the smaller boats managed the three rounds of the course though with varying degrees of skill and technique, especially downwind. Windward/Leewards with their associated gybes downwind are not everybody's cup of tea in these conditions, though not many would manage tea anyway.

J/112E Davanti TyresUp in Classes 1 & 2, there was plenty of action. The beat took the fleet to 3S (Royal Thames) where there was an interesting split. The asymmetric boats mostly gybe set, but others made ground by using the last of the East going tide with a bear away set and then gybing when meeting the West going tide on the North shore.

The second downwind leg hoists at West Ryde Middle were dramatic as they coincided with a 30–33 knot squall! The J/88's appeared to come off worst with spectacular broaches and, indeed, Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL suffered a MOB. Some quick thinking aboard Malice, who stood by the incident, meant that the MOB was recovered.

Further down the leg the, Mike & Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO and Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE, were battling for 1st place and could not afford to go down to white sails only. Meanwhile, JOLLY JACK TAR, RNSA, and HOT RATS all decided to consolidate their 3rd and 4th positions and white-sailed home past a number of Class 1 & 2 kiting casualties!

J/109 racing Hamble Winter SeriesIn Class 1, Chaz Ivill & Paul Heyes’ J/112E DAVANTI TYRES finally lost a race, taking 2nd on corrected time.

In Class 2, loaded down with numerous J/109s, JIRAFFE held on (e.g. survived) to beat JAGO by 2 minutes and 19 seconds with JOLLY JACK TAR in 3rd.

For Class 3, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO was sailed by his daughter- Libby (one of the British Sailing Team’s top women helm).  This meant that, again, David was allowed to enjoy some golfing on the Algarve last week. Though, sportingly, he made it to the bar to celebrate her success whilst mumbling on about a torn spinnaker! Hard to please Dad, isn’t it, even though she finished 2nd!

There was much praise for the Race team for both suffering the conditions and putting on a great race for everyone. Back in the clubhouse, Athena Rossi, of Force 4, presented the day prizes. No doubt, there will be some brisk business at Force 4 this week replacing broken and strained parts.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

J/145 Wins Round Hong Kong Island Race

Royal Hong Kong Round Island Race (Hong Kong, China)- The annual Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is one of the biggest inshore events in Hong Kong. It is a 26.0 nm race around Hong Kong Island involving Class Keelboats, Dinghies, Beach Cats and Cruisers.

Winning IRC 2 Class and taking 12th overall in what was decidedly a big-boat race was David Mitchell’s J/145C REDEYE, rounding the 26.0nm course in 3:58:16, for an average of nearly 6 kts.  Fourth in IRC 2 was Rick Van Den Berg’s J/111 JUGGERKNOT.  Taking 5th place in the IRC 3 Class was Nick Southward’s J/109 WHISKEY JACK.

J/80s sailing off Hong KongIn the eighteen-boat J/80 class, it was a horse race all the way around the island, with several teams running neck-and-neck the entire way.  Ultimately, it was Henry Wong’s FOOTLOOSE that won the class by 11 seconds over Rita Yau’s JELIK 7! Then, just over a minute back was Ben Bulmer’s JASMINE in third place, just edging out by a half-boat length (4 seconds worth) Sarah Page’s SEABISCUIT.  Fifth place went to Andrew Blank’s JAVELIN and Pascal Martin’s J/105 LEGENDE took 7th place.  For more RHKYC Around Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, November 26, 2018

King Harbor YC Crowned U.S. J/70 Youth Champs

King Harbor YC- U.S. J/70 Youth Champions
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2018 U.S. J/70 Youth Championship, hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL, concluded with a total of twenty-one races over the three days for the seven youth teams from across America. The teams enjoyed the short-course “stadium-style” racing of 20 minutes per race, sailing the StPYC’s perfectly-matched fleet of J/70’s just off the beautiful St Petersburg city waterfront.  Winning the event in a convincing fashion was the King Harbor YC Youth Team (Kyle Collins, Brock Paquin, River Paquin, and Justin Zmina).

The regatta was blessed with a remarkable weather pattern that lasted the entire weekend.  As the northeastern region of the USA was blasted by its first winter storm, paralyzing major cities like New York, the southeast region of the continent-spanning frontal system provided nice N to NE breezes for four straight days with gorgeous sunny skies.  Here is how it all went down over the weekend.
U.S. J/70 Youth Champs- off St Petersburg, FL skyline and waterfront
Day One
The St. Petersburg YC welcomed the teams at the 8:30am Captain’s meeting and, facing winds gusting to 25 kts at 7:00am, Regatta Chairman and PRO Todd Fedyszyn wisely postponed for one hour. With a forecast of NNE winds of 15-20 kts diminishing to 6-15 kts by day’s end, the teams were blessed with a perfectly sunny, cool day, with not a cloud in the sky. As a result, the teams sailed a fast-paced series of ten races of about 20 minutes each, finishing by 4:00pm.

Starting off with a 2-1-1-1, there was no question the team from King Harbor YC (Kyle Collins, Brock Paquin, River Paquin, and Justin Zmina) in Los Angeles, CA were determined to set a high bar for the rest of the top youth keelboat teams from across the country. A few lapses in concentration in races 5 and 7 were their only blemish on a record that closed with three bullets to lead the fleet with 16 pts total.

Their arch-nemesis all day long was the Chicago YC team headed by Ray Groble and crew of Bridgette Groble, Remington King, and Jack Hemmelgarn.  While emphatically winning the first race, the Chicago team accumulated six more 2nds in the ten races to comfortably hold on to second place.

Sitting in third was Little Traverse YC skippered by the top woman skipper Merideth Moran and her team of Ellie Wagner, Molly Matthews, Luke Baker, and Jack Miller (pictured below).
Little Traverse Youth Sailors
Day Two
Based on the weather forecast that indicated a brisk north/ northeaster of 8-12 kts in the morning would diminish to 3-5 kts by mid-afternoon, the StPYC PRO Todd Fedyszyn immediately sent the teams out to start promptly at 10:00am in the morning. The stated goal for the day was to get in at least seven races.  In the end, the amazing RC and mark set boat teams managed to pump out eight races before the wind diminished to below the 4-5 kts threshold at 3:00pm.

Starting off where they left off the first day, King Harbor YC Youth Team’s won the first race of the day in what only could be described as a “horizon job”, despite the short course.  Thereafter, they accumulated five more 1sts in the eight races to extend their lead in the championship by 21 pts.

Jumping into second place with an amazingly consistent day was the Little Traverse YC Youth Team with top woman skipper Merideth Moran.  They posted five 2nds in those eight races and had a total of 58 pts by day’s end.

Not having one of their better days was Chicago YC Youth Team’s skipper Ray Groble. In the shifty, variable conditions, they started off with a promising 3-2-3 in the first three races. But, then the wheels fell of their shopping trolley, posting a tough 6-6-2-6-5 record for their last four races to drop back into third on the leaderboard, 8 pts off the pace from second place.
U.S. J/70 Youths sailed off St Petersburg, FL
Day Three
Given that the enormous front that first hit on Thursday was losing a lot of steam, it was not surprising to see the forecast for Sunday’s racing was indicating even lighter winds. The morning dawned grey with overcast skies, with winds again ranging from 30 to 45 deg, light from the NNE at 4-7 kts. The StPYC PRO wisely scheduled a half-hour earlier start time of 9:30am with the goal of completing at least two races. In the end, three races were run for a total of 21 races in three days!

The sailing was tough on the tacticians, as the puffs were streaky and spotty across the race track.  Mastering the day was Merideth Moran’s Little Traverse YC team, winning two of the races and adding a 2nd to win the day by a large margin.  Also, showing vast improvement since their first day was South Carolina YC’s youth team (Matthew Monts, Bradlee Anderson, Colin Meidler, James Thurlow, and Bobby Soares), posting an equally impressive 3-2-2 in their final races to take 2nd for the day!  Having their toughest day of the regatta was Ray Groble’s Chicago YC Youth Team, having to contend with a PMS, a mark rounding foul, and another PMS, resulting in a 7-7-7 tally.
U.S. J/70 Youths podium- King Harbor, Little Traverse, Chicago
In the end, King Harbor YC’s youth team sailed an amazing event, closing out their finale with a 1-4-3 to win by a 17-point margin; that record included fourteen bullets in the 21 races!  Taking the silver was Little Traverse YC’s youth team, garnering the best record of the fleet in the last five races (2-2-2-1-1).  And, despite their miserable last day, the Chicago YC team had sailed such a strong event in the previous two days that they managed to hold on to the bronze medal on the podium! Sailing photo credits- Chris Howell/ J/70 Class.  For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Hot Rum Series II Report

J/105 sailing Hot Rum series (San Diego, CA)- The second installment of San Diego YC’s famous Hot Rum Series took place last weekend, just one more to go!  There were a lot of position changes for various teams going up and down the standings as they navigated the waters of San Diego Harbor and the Pacific Ocean off the majestic Point Loma.  Again, the conditions were generally favorable to the bigger boats starting later in the PHRF “pursuit-style” race, as they started with more wind than the earlier slower boats.

In PHRF Class 2, Ernie Pennell’s J/120 MAD MEN sailed another good race to score a 2-7 so far and hang in for a 2nd place in the series lead.  Just behind them is Rudy Hasl’s J/120 HASL FREE with a 6-6 for 12 pts.  Then, third J/120 is Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER with a 9-8 for 17 pts.

The J/105s seem to rule the roost in PHRF Class 4.  Leading the fleet is Dennis Case’s J/105 J-OK with a 4-2 for 6 pts.  Third is Erostino Dagfish’s VIGGEN with a 6-5 for 11 pts.  Fourth is Steve Wyman’s J/70 NUNUHUNU with a 2-10 for 12 pts.  And, sitting is 5th place is Donica & Scott Ryder’s J/105 SANITY with a 14-1 for 15 pts.

Finally, in PHRF Class 5, David Cattle’s classic J/27 BLACKADDER is hanging tight, in a three-way tie for 4th place with a 4-6 for 10 pts. And, they are just 5 pts off the lead.  So, anything can literally happen in the next race for this class!  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOY Sailing.com.  For more Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

J/122E ANITA Report- M

J/122E Anite in Rolex Middle Sea Race (Gzira, Malta/ Santiago, Chile)- After a really tough 50th edition of the ROLEX Middle Sea Race, the J/122e ANITA finished 3rd in IRC Class and 24th among 115 boats sailing.

The Spanish-Chilean team led by owner/ skipper Nicoléas Ibañez Scott, put up a strong effort in wildly variable weather conditions on the Mediterranean Sea, from “glass-outs” with burning sun, to 40+ kts, grey, cold, and 15 ft seas rolling over the deck.

Here is their “insider’s report” on what went down in this incredibly challenging “bucket list” race on the Mediterranean Sea.  Thanks to ANITA’s owner- Nicoléas Ibañez Scott.

“This was the second year that Anita, a J/122E, participated in the Middle Sea race, 600-mile race around Sicily and the islands that surround it.

It was an especially hard race, with only one-third of the fleet completing the race.

This year we sailed with more sails, more crew (8), and made various improvements in our maneuvers and how we used our navigation/ electronics equipment.

The race started off for us with a collision! The other boat came from behind and hit us in the stern and they ended up getting a badly broken bowsprit. We just got a little scratch astern.

The first long leg is getting to the Straits of Messina between Sicily and the mainland.  It was a long windward leg, with 12-16 knots. Our closest references were the J/133 JIVARO that was easily advancing on us in these conditions. And, the other was the J/122 JOY; they helped us find the correct sail trim.

At nightfall, the wind got lighter and near land, it also became unstable in intensity and direction.  Good tactical decisions and the use of our Code 0 in some transitions allowed us to place ourselves at the head of the fleet in our group and very well positioned in the overall fleet.

In the morning, a zone of total calm trapped the fleet. We floated for hours trying to move. Our new windseeker became crucial!
J/122E ANITA crew on rail- Rolex Middle Sea Race
In the afternoon, the wind finally returned astern and propelled us towards the Strait of Messina. We sailed in sight of the JPK 1180 for hours; in the end they would end up winning the regatta in our class and overall.

In the Straits of Messina, the wind and the currents became capricious, and forced us to continuous changes of sails and maneuvers.

The duel with the JPK 1180 "Courier Recommandée" in this section of the race was exciting for us, we go forward several times, sometimes the boats sail backwards due to the current.  In fact, we sailed just 20-30m from the shore to reduce the current effects.

Finally, we managed to escape from the "claws" of Messina and with a strong wind we got to the Strómboli volcano.

Then, there was one of the biggest highlights of our race, a port-starboard under spinnaker with the JPK 1180 in the middle of the night. From there, they would escape from us, culminating in a masterful race for them! But, frustrating for us!!

Soon after, an enormous lightning storm hits us. The wind came from every direction and intensity. Fortunately, a heavy thundershower caught us with the spinnaker on deck!

After rounding Strómboli, we began a long windward course to the Egades. The wind raged (up to 40 kts) and the waves were difficult to steer through.  In this section, the larger and heavier boats could pound through the seas better and took off from us.

We rounded Favignana rocks on the third night.  We believe this is where the JPK 1180 got away from us, as until this time we were still very close to them after beating upwind for so many hours.  At this stage, the wind was aft and the big waves behind us.  This leg was over 150 miles with 20-30 kts of wind.

J/122E ANITA- in Malta
We tried the A4 spinnaker for 15 minutes.  But, we quickly realized the boat was difficult to control in the big waves.  So, we lowered the A4 before losing control and breaking something. We sailed this leg with the main and 105% jib only, sailing much slower than many of our rivals.

We finally rounded Lampedusa the fourth night and we had a very wet leg from there to Malta, with 20 knots of wind.

We passed between Gozo and Malta before sailing under kite the last 15 miles and crossing the finish line after four exciting days of racing.

Good times, exciting duels, new lessons, a 3rd place in our class and we want to repeat next year!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

SPI OUEST France Easter Regatta Announcement

J/80s sailing SPI OUEST France (La Trinite sur Mer, France)- For many sailors in the northern hemisphere Easter regattas are the first major test of a new season. Perhaps the most competitive Easter regatta of all is SPI OUEST France- the largest inshore regatta in France and home to some of the world’s most competitive sportsboat and IRC fleets in Europe.

The fleet is based in La Trinité-sur- Mer and racing takes place in the splendid surroundings of the Quiberon Bay in southern Brittany. The islands of Belle Ile, Houat and Hoëdic offer shelter and also spectacular scenery for coastal races. Lorient is only 15 miles to the north, which means the regatta attracts the cream of French offshore racing sailors who are based there. The beautiful scenery, consistent winds, and top-level competition of SPI OUEST France are a hard combination to beat.

The Société Nautique de La Trinité-sur- Mer (SNT) organizes the regatta. The club is undergoing a rejuvenation at present under the stewardship of its ambitious president, Antoine Croyère.

“My fondest memories of sailing are of competing internationally– as a youngster racing around the world with Eric Tabarly and more recently racing double-handed in the Fastnet. One of my aims since becoming president of the SNT has been to have more international involvement, both of our club members competing abroad and with international teams coming to race with us,” commented Mr. Croyère.

One-design sports boats make up more than half of the SPI OUEST fleet. The J/80s will once again be the biggest fleet (there were 73 last year), with numerous world champions from France and Spain expected to attend in 2019. There are also signs that the French J/70 fleets are developing well; aided in part by the SNT’s own youth teams.

“Traditionally our youth teams have raced in French boats such as the Open 5.70. Recently, however, the club has bought two J/70s and we would like to buy eight more. It will enable our youngsters to race internationally and, hopefully, encourage more international teams to come and race us here,” said Croyère.  For more SPI OUEST France sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Brassieres Topless @ Red Bra Regatta

Red Bra Regatta participants 
(San Francisco)- San Francisco’s Red Bra Regatta is as much fun as its cheeky name suggests. Now in its seventh year, more than 100 women on fourteen boats met on San Francisco Bay to share camaraderie and spirited competition, against one of sailing’s most beautiful backdrops. For the first time, the Red Bra Regatta was sponsored by another stunning, yet relatively undiscovered, sailing destination— Taiwan.

No protest flag? Just use your red bra…
The idea for the Red Bra Regatta was hatched from an amusing protest incident in the Jazz Cup, the annual Labor Day weekend race to Benicia, a decade or so ago. A small group of women created an all women’s fleet within the mostly-male fleet, but one of the group’s husbands was serving as the PRO (principal race officer) for the race. As they charged toward the starting line, the opposing female skippers (jokingly) decided to protest her colleague’s “unfair advantage”— using her red bra. Not only was the protest registered, but the uproarious laughter created a commotion that helped the protesting skipper win the race.

The group continued the tradition in the Jazz Cup for the next two years before founding a new regatta at the South Beach Yacht Club to elevate their skills and share in the fun of sailing.

J/105 red bra crew
Festive fun at the 2018 Red Bra Regatta! Clockwise from the top: J/105 AIRJALDI crew: Janet McDaniel, Gene Harris, Maggie Heilman, Kim Zimmer, Kira Taylor, Jane Hratko, Vicky Haller, (missing: Samantha Clarke and Logan Ashcroft)

Padded or push-up?
Red wigs, berets, headscarves, boas, and of course red bras were a dime a dozen on the dock at San Francisco’s Pier 40 the morning of the event. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau provided competitors with beautifully designed technical t-shirts and then it was time to dock out.

The breeze in October in San Francisco can be temperamental and Saturday, October 20, was no exception. The regatta didn’t get underway until 2:00 PM., but it was worth the wait and beautiful to behold. There were fourteen incredibly diverse boats on the starting line, including J/22s, J/30, and J/105s.

“Joan Byrne’screw is called Heart of Gold and Taiwan is known as the “Heart of Asia,” so it just seemed like a natural connection and one that would be a win-win for everyone,” said Frances Larose of PR Magic, who coordinated the sponsorship on behalf of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. Frances is a member of the South Beach Yacht Club, and she raced in the 2017 Red Bra Regatta.

“Linda Lin, the executive director of the SF Taiwan Tourist Bureau, and I were both delighted to have Joan and her crew represent Taiwan. She is such a strong sailor and a visionary for the expansion of the Red Bra Regatta into the future,” Frances added.

Joan has a reputation for winning San Francisco regattas and having fun doing it— for the past 20 years. It was a pleasure to watch Joan and her talented crew work together on the water, flying a glorious “Taiwan, The Heart of Asia” spinnaker barreling downwind across the Bay.

Because the boats were so different, the performance handicap racing fleet (PHRF) formula was used to calculate the results. Each boat is assigned a handicap based on size and weight, which means the boat that crosses the finish line first doesn’t necessarily win. Once all the boats had finished the race, skippers and crew headed back to the dock and up to the club for the party and the results.

Red Bra party starts
Après race celebrations begin! Top: Team Squirrel, on the cabin top, left to right, Graziella Solinas, Karen Clarkson-Colombo, Collette Meyers, Elizabeth Little, and Joan Byrne (skipper), on the lower rail: Lisa Anderson, Angie Liebert, and Mara Guttman; bottom left, Team Boudicca Lisa Caswell, Cathy Moyer (skipper), Petra Gilmore, Jenna Recupero; bottom right, the Iseult crew: Phaedra Fisher, Patricia Corcoran, Yuning Pathman, Fernanda Castelo (skipper). Iseult was on loan from Larry Mayne, Sequoia YC Staff Commodore. Photos: top, Joan Byrne; bottom row, Kara Hugglestone/Sail Couture.

Yacht club celebration
On the dock and in the yacht club, the champagne bottles were a-popping! We enjoyed a short presentation by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, which is celebrating the “Year of the Bay”— including pristine coastlines, stunning islands, bay recreation, and the beauty of the ocean itself. Taipei and San Francisco are sister cities and also both members of the exclusive “Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club,” made up of only 43 bays worldwide.

J/105 crew and party bearThe adorable O’Bear was a popular party guest, here with Logan Ashcraft, left, and Collette Meyers, right. Photos: Kara Hugglestone/Sail Couture.

Interestingly, Taiwan is both the world’s largest producer of sailing parts and a spectacular sailing destination. Taiwan spokesperson Frances Larose inspired us with imagery of scenic vistas, creative festivals, gourmet cuisine, and blue water sailing! Taiwan yacht clubs host regattas throughout the spring and summer, with several premiere events in April and May.

Taiwan’s beautiful Turtle Island, or Guishan Island, which is also in the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area, is a favorite destination for whale-watching from April to October. Photo: Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Taiwan islands
With Taiwan added to all of our “To Sail” lists, it was time for the awards! Fernanda Castelo took home the top prize in the non-spinnaker division. Fernanda is an inspiring and passionate advocate for the sport. The president of California Inclusive Sailing for sailors of all abilities, she uses a wheelchair on land, but you wouldn’t know that from her skill on the water. Joan Byrne, proudly flying the Taiwan kite, triumphed in the spinnaker division. I love that two such important women sailors won, Fernanda, who makes dreams come true regardless of the challenges, and Joan for supporting the sport of sailing so well and so long. In short, it was a phenomenal day for women empowerment.

red bra regatta winners
Regatta Co-chairs Winnie Kelly, Joan Byrne, and SBYC Rear Commodore and PRO Andrew Lorenzen present the award in the non-spinnaker division to Fernanda Castelo (skipper and President of California Inclusive Sailing with the mission of sharing a love of sailing with people of all abilities), Patricia Corcoran, and Yuning Pathman. Photo: Gerard Sheridan.

The event concluded with a delightful raffle of travel trinkets, stadium blankets, and Chinese Zodiac figurines based on birth year, the latter I actually won. My table enjoyed reading about the Asian zodiac and accessing its accuracy, which we agreed was right on—just like the Red Bra Regatta!

Many thanks to the South Beach Yacht Club organizing committee, all the fun-loving and talented competitors, and most of all, to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau for supporting women’s sailing in such a wonderful way.  Thanks for the story from Sail Couture’s Kara Hugglestone

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

J/99 Offshore Speedster Update

J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster hull
(Newport, RI)- We’re excited to report that J/99 hulls #1 and #2 are nearing completion at J/Composites in France and the J/Team is gearing up for a very busy December. Twenty (20) J/99 orders are already confirmed which extends the initial backlog into July 2019.

Hull #1 will make its world boat show debut at the Paris Show (Salon Nautique Paris) from December 8-16 and then ship to J-UK in Hamble, England to launch and sail in the Solent.

Meanwhile, hull #2 will splash just before Christmas in Brittany, France for some end-of-the-year sailing. To kick off 2019, the J/99 will be displayed at the Dusseldorf “boot” Show in Germany from January 19-27.

The first boat to North America will arrive in Rhode Island in early February and be commissioned for an early season (March) launch. The J/99 will make its North American boat show debut at the Pacific Sail Show in Richmond, CA, April 4-17, 2019.

Hull #1 is shown above with graphics already in place and in final prep mode for deck installation at the end of the week.  For more J/99 doublehanded offshore speedster information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

J/24 World Champions Bleeding Edge??

New York YC American Magic prototype- the Mule
* Pretty cool to see what past J/24 World Champions and College Sailors of the Year are doing recently.

One of them, Terry Hutchinson, is spearheading the AMERICAN MAGIC team in the New York YC’s quest to win back the America’s Cup in foiling monohull 75 footers.

Just this past week, they launched a 1/2 scale model using a heavily customized production 38-footer’s hull and launched it, flying around Narragansett Bay at 25+ kts. Pretty wild to see how the boat actually works.  Watch the “Mule”, as the test boat is called, on this very cool YouTube sailing video here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

PRO Yachting J/70 Series Awards Announcement

PRO-Yachting J/70 regatta awards (Moscow, Russia)- On Tuesday, November 20, the PRO-Yachting project will complete the 2018 sailing season with their annual gala prize-giving award banquet at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow, Russia.  The occasion is the “PRO-Yachting Persons of the Year Award.”

By tradition, PRO-Yachting will celebrate the most significant yachting events of the season and the people who have made a significant contribution to the development of sailing in 2018. The awards will be granted for the following categories: “Children's Coach of the Year”, “Sailing Event of the Year”, “Teapot PRO-Yachting J/70 series- Moscow, Russiaof the Year”, “Discovery of the Year”, “For Lighting of Sailing”, “Photo of the Year”, “Patron of the Year”, and “Man of the Year”.

At the gala evening, PRO-Yachting will award the winners of the evening series of regattas- the Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series and the Wednesday Night Race Series.  All races were held on one-design J/70 class yachts at the Royal Yacht Club from May to October 2018.

The leader of the Wednesday Night Race series will receive the main trophy of the season- the Marine Torpilleur series watch from the Swiss watch manufacturer- Ulysse Nardin.

J/70s sailing at Royal YC in Moscow, RussiaThe overall winning team of the Tuesday Warm-Up Race series will receive four fully sponsored travel vouchers to Germany to visit the unique natural region of “Eifel”- the mountain source for the premium-class mineral water “Gerolsteiner”.

The award banquet for the "PRO-Yachting Man of the Year” has been held since 2014. Last year, SSA-9 Moscow24 Team were the winner of the Wednesday Night Race series. The Tavatuy team (Pavel Kuznetsov, Yevgeny Neugodnikov, Yegor Konyukhovsky) was recognized as the “Person of the Year” for the development of sailing sports in the Sverdlovsk Region.

Partners for the event include: watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin, mineral water premium-class Gerolsteiner, marina luxury Porto Montenegro, yachting clothing Marinepool, sunscreen Lancaster, the Belgian premium beer Asteria, Czech Beer Bakalar. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, November 16, 2018

U.S. J/70 Youth Championship Preview

US J/70 Youth Champs (St Petersburg, FL)- The 2018 edition of the U.S. J/70 Youth Championship will be taking place from November 16th to 18th on the sunny, warm waters of Tampa Bay.  Hosting the top J/70 youth teams from across the country will be the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, in St. Petersburg, FL.

The regatta will be sailed in supplied J/70s from StPYC’s Junior Sailing Center.  The goal of this event is to help develop and build leading-edge junior keelboat sailing programs across America.

Like the inaugural event held last year in Newport, RI by SAIL Newport, the youth teams had a series of twelve qualifying events that started in February at the St Pete NOOD Regatta and ended in late August with the J/70 Pacific Coast Championship in San Francisco, CA.  The teams will be sailing in a round-robin format and short-course racing of less than 20 minutes each.  The action should be fast and furious and will be held just off the beautiful St Petersburg city waterfront.

The following teams have qualified for the event: Musto Youth Team from Stonington, CT; Coral Reef YC from Miami, FL; King Harbor YC from Los Angeles, CA; South Carolina YC from Hilton Head, SC; Annapolis YC Youth Team from Annapolis, MD; American YC Youth Team from Rye, NY; Gotham Racing Team from Chicago YC in Chicago, IL; Little Traverse Sailors from Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI; Manchester YC from Manchester, MA; and Santa Barbara YC from Santa Barbara, CA.  For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

J/Sweep @ Harvest Moon Regatta

Harvest Moon Race offshore sunset (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club hosted the 32nd Annual Harvest Moon Regatta from October 25th to 28th. This year's regatta had 119 sailboats returning to the usual finish line in Port Aransas after a one-year hiatus because of the extensive damage rendered to the city by Hurricane Harvey the previous year.

Hundreds of racers look forward to this event each fall. No matter their sailing skill-levels, novice to expert, the “Harvest Moon” is a fun offshore race that ends with a fabulous outdoor party with plenty of refreshments, excellent BBQ dinner, and live entertainment.

According to JD Hill, owner of the J/122 SECOND STAR, “it was a big weekend for J/Boats down here in Texas, as J’s swept the podium in the ORC division at Harvest Moon Regatta. In a 119 boat regatta, our J/122 SECOND STAR was the best monohull in ORC Overall, followed by John Barnett’s J/105 PESTO and James Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS.”

Here was the breakdown of this year's big winners:

In the ORC A Class, the “Bacardi Cup” was awarded to Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR.  Taking 2nd in class was Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS.

Then, in the ORC B Class, winning was Barnett’s J/105 PESTO, followed by Charles Wielchowsky’s J/105 TEXAS RANGER IV in fourth place.

Finally, in the PHRF Spinnaker Division, taking 5th place was the J/46 SODALIS III sailed by Jim Demarest and crew from Lakewood YC.   Follow the Harvest Moon Regatta on Facebook here   For more Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hamble Winter Series- Mid-series Report

J/112E sailing Hamble series (Hamble, England)- The second four weeks of the series have only one race per day as the nights close in and the winter proper begins. Even so, these four races can be crucial as discards start to play their part. So, with eight races gone and four to go it is time to look at the story so far.

In Class 1, Chaz Ivill and Paul Heys, sailing the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, continue to lead the way with a pretty solid 8 point lead.

J/109 sailing Hamble seriesFor Class 2, it is very much a J/Boats battle. Mike and Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO, is in first place on 11 points over Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE, second with 20. But, once again, JIRAFFE has a 15 point DNC to discard. With no cancellations in the series so far, the likelihood of eleven races and three discards is pretty strong. Then, Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS also has 20 points in third place; just ahead of their sister ship J-DREAM (Kirsty & David Apthorp) on 22 points.

As a result of those races in Class 2, the J/88 One-design calculations show that Howe’s TIGRIS is winning the class, followed by the Apthorp’s J-DREAM in second and Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in third.

J/88 sailing Hamble seriesIn the top five of Class 3 is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO, sitting on 31 pts, but including a DNC (17 pts).  As they’ve done before, don’t be surprised if they leap up the standings after collecting more discard races.  The races they have sailed in gives them a 3rd average, good enough to vault them onto the podium if they keep up that pace.

One of the HYS Hamble Winter Series' great supporters, Force 4 Chandlery, will be the day sponsor this weekend. Force 4 at Port Hamble Marina open early on Sunday mornings to cater for last minute purchases by our competitors. Watch out for Force 4 money off vouchers at the prize giving in the club on Sunday lunchtime, always useful for Christmas presents at this time of year. Remember, if you don't come in your prize will cascade down to the next boat. For the rest of us it will just be beer and chips as usual.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Beautiful Start For Hot Rum Series I

J/105 sailing Hot Rum series- San Diego, CA (San Diego, CA)- The annual fall bacchanalian festival in San Diego known as the “Hot Rum Series” took place last weekend, hosted by the San Diego YC.  A fleet of 136 boats is participating in the series of three weekend races that take place on Saturdays.  The race is a simple “pursuit style” event, where the slowest boats start first and the fastest boats start last; whomever crossed the finish line first boat-for-boat is declared the winner.  As has been the case over time, the building seabreeze often benefits the bigger faster boats that start late.  In last weekend’s event, that was certainly true for most of the classes.

In PHRF 2 Class, the J/120s led the way home, with John Laun’s CAPER winning with Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN second by just 1 min 40 sec behind.  Fifth was the J/124 CIRRUS.

In the PHRF 4 Class, it was Steve Wyman’s J/70 NUNUHUNU that took 2nd, followed by Dennis Case’s J/105 J-OK in 4th, Erostino Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN in 6th and Dave Vieregg’s J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR in 7th.

Then, in PHRF 5 Class, it was David Cattle’s J/27 BLACKADDER in 4th position.  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOYSailing.com.   For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.