Thursday, January 31, 2019

J/Crews Fly Around Florida Keys

Key West sunset
Fast Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race
(Key West, FL)- The 2019 edition of the Storm Trysail Club’s Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race started at 1000 hours last Wednesday in a light east/northeasterly breeze of 4-7 kts.  The fleet took off on port tack, with most of the big boats sporting either Code Zero’s or A1 spinnakers. While not setting any records, the fleet enjoyed near postcard perfect sailing conditions offshore with a warm breeze powering the boats down to Key West in about 24 hours for most boats (about a 6.7 kts average).

In the ORC B handicap class, it was Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX that took line honors for the J/Teams and second in class on handicap calculation.  In addition, rounding out the podium with the bronze was Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association in Spring, TX.

A similar scenario played out in PHRF B handicap class.  Continuing their string of epic performances, Brad Stowers’ J/92 HILLBILLY took the silver while Matt Self’s J/105 RUCKUS took the bronze.   Follow the SORC Series on Facebook here  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Grenada Sailing Week Preview

J/24 sailing Grenada(St Georges, Grenada)- From January 27th to February 1st, Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina and Secret Harbour Marina are continuing their loyal support as host venues for the 2019 edition of the Grenada Sailing Week.

The regatta kicks off at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, one of the most prestigious names in the marine industry. Marina manager Charlotte Bonin says, “Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina is delighted to be hosting the Grenada Sailing Week again in 2019.”

Racers will be welcomed for the first two days of racing and parties. Port Louis is a luxury super-yacht marina located in the beautiful lagoon just outside St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, and overlooking the colorful waterfront of the Carenage.  With 160 berths for yachts up to 300 feet, they provide the perfect base from which to race in the protected waters off Grand Anse beach and the beautiful Caribbean Sea. The marina includes The Victory Bar and Restaurant and Yolo Sushi and Wine Bar, a swimming pool, as well as nearby chandlers, provisioning and all the amenities the capital of Grenada has to offer.

The transition race on the afternoon of Tuesday 29 January moves the fleet to Secret Harbour Marina in Mount Hartman Bay. The manager Catherine Delcroix says, “Come and enjoy the Secret, experience the breath-taking views and discover the hidden gem of Grenada. Secret Harbour Marina, Boutique Hotel and Restaurant is proud to host the mid- races and the grand finale of this fantastic Grenada Sailing Week edition 2019.” Secret Harbour Marina have 50 berths, they offer a quiet and secure bay away from the hustle and bustle of town but within easy reach to nearby Grand Anse and its beautiful beaches. Sel & Poivre Restaurant elegantly overlooks the waterfront. The marina will be hosting the lay day, the last two days of racing, the final prize giving parties.

Grenada Sailing week is excited to announce their support of the first youth sailing team to join the J/24 class.  The Grenada Sailing Association National Youth Sailing Team is a new team made up of 16 to 20 year old’s. Prior to this, they sailed on Optimists and Lasers at the various sailing clubs around the island (Gouyave Sailing Club and Woburn Wind Warriors). This is a huge step for them to progress into J/24 sailing, helping to bridge the gap between dinghy and keelboat sailing. This program is supported by Grenada Sailing Association, Caribbean Sailing Association, Grenada Tourism Authority and Glenelg Spring Water. The team is coached by Robbie Yearwood of the J/24 Team DIEHARD and another J/24 owner- Kevin Banfield- the GSA Olympic & World Sailing trained coach.

Participating offshore teams in the event include two in CSA Racing Division; Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Jolly Harbour, Antigua and Jonathan Totten’s J/105 DOGSMILE from Black River Falls, Wisconsin.

Then, in the half-dozen boats in the J/24 class are Fred Sweeney’s ATTITUDE from St Lucia, Robbie Yearwood’s DIE HARD from Grenada, Gus Reader’s FADEAWAY from Barbuda, Rick Amerling’s FRIGATE from New York, Stephen Bushe’s HAWKEYE from Trinidad, and James Benoit’s SHAKIN OBTW from Grenada.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ PhotoAction.com.  Follow Grenada Sailing Week on Facebook here  For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

95 Clubs In 2019 SAILING Champions League Qualifiers

J/70s Sailing Champions League- St Moritz, Switzerland (Hamburg, Germany)- For the first time ever, ninety-five clubs from the National Sailing Leagues will participate in the SAILING Champions League 2019 qualification process that culminates in the SCL Finale to be sailed, yet again, in St. Moritz, Switzerland in August.

“The fact that we are hosting three qualifying events shows the growing importance of the SAILING Champions League and also of the National Sailing Leagues”, says the CEO of the SAILING Champions League (SCL), Oliver Schwall, after the draw that took place on Wednesday in Hamburg (Germany).

The first qualifier will be hosted by the Club Nautic S’Arenal in Palma de Mallorca, Spain from May 9th to 12th in their fleet of J/80s.

Two weeks later, from May 23rd to 26th, the second regatta will take place in Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy. For the fifth year in a row, the Italians from Yacht Club Costa Smeralda are hosting an SCL event as one of their top sailing regattas in their matched fleet of one-design J/70s.

The third qualifier will take place from July 4th to 7th in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Russian city and Saint Petersburg Yacht Club are hosting the SAILING Champions League for the fourth year in their fleet of matched one-design J/70s.

In this year’s qualifying events, the SCL will grant “wildcard slots” to the new National Sailing Leagues from Estonia, Portugal, Spain and Belgium.

At the SCL final in the Swiss Alps, 24 clubs will compete for the trophy.  The fleet will include three clubs with wildcard slots; the hosting club Segel-Club St. Moritz, one club from Australia and one from New Zealand/ Oceania.

Livestream and results by SAP
As with all SAILING Champions League events, the racing will be live broadcasted by SAP, with expert commentators providing blow-by-blow analysis of the racing, aided by the detail provided by SAP Sailing Analytics. The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media. Watch how your favorite team performs with GPS tracking, real-time analysis, and the live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You will find all results on SAP SAILING (http://www.sapsailing.com)!   For more 2019 SAILING Champions League information here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

NEW J/121 Offshore Speed Guide!

J/121 North Sails speed guide

North Sails experts Kimo Worthington and Chuck Allen answer questions in this speed guide for the J/121 offshore class.

Who sails a J/121?
There are several distinct types of people who sail a J/121, and most are experienced sailors. Some race the boat one design, some race shorthanded or fully crewed offshore, and some head south and cruise the Caribbean. Many are individualists who have been changing keels and adding sails. In the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, four J/121s raced in three different configurations. The point is, the J/121 is a versatile boat that’s ready to sail offshore, and the sailors who buy one all seem to agree that they’d rather do something other than race windward-leeward course configurations.
J/121 magic heel angle
What’s the ideal J/121 crew size?
That’s a trick question for this boat. The most crew you’ll ever need is five or six, total, for an event like Block Island Race Week. But, the boat was designed for sailing doublehanded. It sails well without water ballast, but it really shines when you fill the windward tank with 850 pounds of water; that’s like having four or five extra people on the rail. Testing in a strong breeze, we have found the performance is spectacular with a reefed main and inner jib.
J/121 cross-over sails chart
If you wish to learn more about sailing this high-performance offshore shorthanded speedster, be sure to read the rest of the 10+ page guide. It discusses sail combinations and cross-over charts, Rig tuning, Sail handling, and Boat handling.   Read it all here on the North Sails J/121 website. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

MARIA Wins Monaco J/70 Winter Series Act III

J/70 sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The new year offered proof the one-design J/70 fleet is thriving in Monaco and Europe, judging by the number that turned out to compete in Act III of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, with 40 boats out on the water.

“The race area and conditions were awesome, with a steady wind and flat sea. I was especially impressed by how responsive the Race Committee, the PRO Thierry Leret, and staff were in managing races in such quick succession,” said Ian Wilson, International J/70 Class President. He was racing this weekend on one of the Irish boats (Soak Racing) to see the Yacht Club de Monaco’s organization ahead of the J/70 Worlds that are set to take place in Monaco in 2021.

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, MonacoFor certain, the competitive level at the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series continues to rise. Many new teams were participating in anticipation of the 2021 J/70 Worlds in Monaco. Teams came from Finland (for the first time), Sweden, and so did a veritable armada of Swiss, Germans and Russians, ever-loyal to Monaco’s monthly regattas.

It was tough racing over the weekend and after seven races, the leader was the Russian Andreï Malygin skippering MARIA, winning both the Open and Corinthian Divisions! Knowing the record of some of the professionals out on the water, one can only be impressed by Malygin’s Russian team that were always in the lead group, posting an amazingly consistent 1-2-UFD-4-6-2-1 for 16 pts net.

Flanking them on the podium were two Yacht Club de Monaco boats, Loïc Pompée’s ALLO III who was celebrating his birthday by taking the silver with a very consistent 7-5-6-17-5-3-6 for 32 pts net. Starting out mid-fleet but winning their next two races enabled Ludovico Fassitelli on JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE to not only take the bronze, but continue as the leader of the overall winter championship; JUNDA’s record was 16-23-1-1-7-7-4 for 36 pts net.

J/70 Monte Carlo winnersRounding out the top five was the top Swiss team, Florian Geissbuehler’s ATTAQUE with a 3-11-2-18-1-14-8 for 39 pts net and the top Irish team, Marshall King’s SOAK RACING with a 15-16-4-5-10-1-10 tally for 45 pts net, both fourth and fifth, respectively.  Tied on 45 pts with SOAK RACING was the top woman helm, Laurane Mettraux’s Swiss team on CER APROTEC VILLE DE GENEVE.  Remarkably, there was one other team tied on 45 pts, yet another Swiss crew- Jean-Luc Leveque’s SWISS WATCH!

All teams will meet again for the 35th Primo Cup presented by Credit Suisse, and garments from technical clothing supplier SLAM, 7-10 February 2019.

A fine spectacle is in store in the bay of Monaco for this major one-design regatta that has been opening the Mediterranean season for the last 35 years.  For more J/70 Monaco Winter Sportsboat series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 28, 2019

CATAPULT Takes Bacardi J/70 Winter Series Act II

J/70 Catapult win Bacardi Winter Series II (Coconut Grove, FL)- The 2019 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series continued with the second event of the 3-stage inaugural series on January 19-20 in Miami, FL. With two-dozen J/70 teams from the USA, Monaco, Germany, and Great Britain on the line, Biscayne Bay delivered two distinctly different days for the competition.

Three races were completed for the J/70s on day one in 10-12 knots and sunny skies. However, the remnants of Winter Storm Harper proved disruptive for day two. Once the system passed, a cloudy and colder WSW breeze at 15-18 knots allowed for two more races.

Starting off with a mid-fleet finish in the first race, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team of Patrick Wilson, Victor Diaz De Leon, and Chris Stocke set a blistering hot pace for the remaining four races, peeling off a 4-1-1-2 to win with just 8 pts net. For this team, that is two wins in two weekends of racing J/70s, first Tampa Bay, then Biscayne Bay!

Yet another J/70 World Champion was chasing the CATAPULT team hard and keeping Ronning’s crew honest; that would be Peter Duncan’s World Championship caliber crew on RELATIVE OBSCURITY (Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty, and Will Felder) that posted a very steady performance, collecting a 2-6-4-3-4 for 13 pts net to take the silver.

Taking the bronze with a record of 1-1-8-4-10 for 14 pts net was Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS with crew of Jeff Reynolds, Steve Hunt, and Erik Shampain.

TP52 Platoon team sailing a J/70Rounding out the top five was an international affair. Taking fourth place was Germany’s Harm Müller-Spreer, skippering a “baby” PLATOON. Harm normally sails his World Champion TP 52 of the same name with an awesome “metal plating-look” paint job. His crew of Eric Doyle, John Kostecki, and Doug McLean managed a 4-9-2-5-5 for 16 pts net in their first event as a team.

In fifth was another talented crew from Monte Carlo, Monaco; Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-SPOTTINO. His team of Alessandro Franci, Ettore Botticini, and Luca Faravelli posted a 9-2-5-7-12 for 23 pts net.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series Act II sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Festival of Sails Preview

J/121 racing Festival of Sails- Geelong, AustraliaAustralian J/111 Champs Preview
(Geelong, Vic, Australia)- A fleet of more than 270 boats will compete in the 2019 Festival of Sails, Australia’s biggest celebration of sailing, which kicks off with the 176th Passage Race from Melbourne to Geelong on Australia Day.  The regatta runs from January 26th to 28th and is hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

Festival of Sails Chairman Stuart Dickson said, “It’s fantastic to see so many keelboat entries with participants coming from nearly every part of Australia and international competitors heading to Geelong in the coming days from Malaysia and the United States. We expect about 3,000 participants will take part in the event and we are already seeing boats arriving at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club in preparation for the Festival of Sails. We are looking forward to welcoming more competitors over coming days, ahead of what is looking like three spectacular days of sailing on the beautiful flat waters of Corio Bay.”

Australia's Festival of SailsTens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the Geelong waterfront over the Australia Day long weekend. Complementing the sailing is the Waterfront Festival, presented by Geelong Connected Communities, which will provide visitors with a smorgasbord of activities, live music and the Regional Artisan Fair, showcasing local produce.

The Royal Australian Airforce’s elite formation aerobatic display team, the “Roulettes”, will also make a stunning return to Geelong. They will perform a breathtaking 15 minute aerial display in their PC-9/A aircraft, over the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and Eastern Beach Reserve, from 1pm on January 26.

The Royal Australian Navy Band, one of Australia’s most widely recognized military bands, will also entertain crowds on Australia Day, with two sets starting at 12:30pm, from the Eastern Beach Reserve stage.

A fireworks display, proudly sponsored by AirAsia, will be held at 9.15pm on Australia Day. The best vantage points will be from Eastern Beach Reserve and Ritchie Boulevard.

Australian J/111 Nationals boatsThe event is concurrently hosting the 2019 J/111 Australian Nationals.  The very competitive fleet includes Rod Warren’s JOUST, Stu Lyon’s JAKE, Matt Powell’s PLAYLIST, Rob Date’s SCARLETT RUNNER 11, and Phil Simpendorfer’s VELOCE.

Meanwhile, sailing in the offshore, random-leg, handicap racing divisions will be a number of other J/Crews. In the AMS Cruising Division is the new J/121 JAVELIN. She was newly commissioned this year and is based in Mornington.  The crew has steadily optimized their performance and is proud to be the recent winners of the ORCV 2018 Winter Series.  Skipper/ owner Mark Nicholson and crew will have their hands full taking on many of Australia’s best offshore teams.

The Passage+Twilight and Corio Bay series include many members of the ubiquitous Australian J/24 class. Those teams include Peter Kirman’s BAILE DE LUNA, Jeff Harris’ FUN, Pauliina Mattila’s BRUSCHETTA VI, Simon Grain’s JET, Chris Ravesi’s SANGUINE, and Miles Hurrell’s SCRUMPY.  Follow the Festival of Sails on Facebook here   For more Festival of Sails sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Reflections on the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race

JOY RIDE J/122E Sydney Hobart team (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)- John Murkowski and friends on the J/122E JOYRIDE share their perspective sailing the famous Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

JOY RIDE team: John Murkowski, Quill Goldman, Maaike Pen, Bron Miller, Alex Fox, Erik Sjogren, Byron Meseroll, and Robin Slieker

“3 Days, 16 hours and 49 minutes. Sydney Hobart 2018 is in the bag!! Sitting here on a New Years day, finally rested post race, reflecting on this unique experience, there are a few things that stand out for me.

Sydney:
The first time you walk the dock in Sydney the amount of race boats is overwhelming. Joy Ride isn’t a slow boat, but on the dock of Sydney Hobart there are only a dozen boats slower than us and it is clearly apparent when you walk the docks, look at the crazy race boats and talk to their crews. The first time you sail out into Sydney’s harbor, there are boats everywhere with sail races going on up and down the harbor. Coach boats chasing, high speed ferries going everywhere and race crews preparing for the race. The actual start is crazy with three different start lines and 40+ boats in our start, a very favored committee end of the line, 6 helicopters flying overhead, and hundreds of spectator and chase boats surrounding the course.

The race to the Heads goes much faster than you might think. The harbor looks much bigger on TV than it is, despite several areas of dirty air, we won our start, and put a lot of faster boats behind us by the time we passed the South Head.

The Race:
Great first 24 hours of downwind running with the big A3 in 20-25 knots of wind. We lost the tack eye off the sprit during the night and we’re knocked down for a few minutes until the crew got the kite back in and we could repack and launch again off the other tack. By the midnight check in, four boats had retired due to damage. One demasting, one lost rudder, one broken sprit and one ripped out sheave box. The race down the coast was great and we made our safety call upon entering the Bass Straits. If you had told me that we would be becalmed in Bass Straits for 8 hours, I would have never believed you. During the second night, we put 25 boats behind us and felt really good about how we were sailing. Then we sailed into a huge hole and with the advantage of AIS, most of our fleet escaped to the east and we quickly found ourselves back behind. With two high pressure systems separated by a low pressure trough, there was significant instability as we moved from a big Northerly to an even bigger Southerly. We did more sail changes than I can remember trying to get the boat moving and find the new southerly wind. The southerly came in strong with 30-40 knots of wind and with the huge fetch from Antarctica, some significant sea states. The temperature dropped and we all put on our foulies for the first time as waves started breaking over the boat. The third night came and we sailed past the pipes and started to try to find our way into Storm Bay. Turning further right at the famed “Organ Pipes” allowed us to start quartering the sea state and helped empty the cockpit of the cold Antarctica water. We entered Storm Bay before sunrise and passed three more boats. As the sun rose and we entered the river, we were fortunate to find pressure after another 20+ sail changes. We crossed the line early in the morning with the J1 doing 7+ knots.

Hobart:
We crossed the line, got our horn and waited for the escort boat to come out to meet us. We docked and were immediately met with a case of beer from the race committee. As we drank our 6 am beers and walked the dock, it was clear that a lot of sailors had been there for a while and had also enjoyed their beers. In Sydney, the big boats weren’t in the marina, but in Hobart the whole fleet is together and as you walk the dock, Joy Ride looks like a tender for one of the big boats. Hobart’s welcome was overwhelming and with two races finishing together (Sydney Hobart and the Melbourne Hobart), the taste of Tasmania and the race village; there was a great energy at the docks. We cleaned the boat and waited for our hotel rooms to become available. Breakfast and more cleaning and then the rooms were available and we could go rest and get clean. At three and a half days, the race is much more of a sprint than Vic Maui. More like an extra-long Southern Straits race. Definitely a boat of exhausted sailors when we finally tied up.

As I sit in Sydney waiting to fly home, I’m immensely proud of our crew. They put so much effort into preparing the boat and worked so hard during the race. While we always want to win, I don’t have any regrets about our effort and how we did in the race. We sailed our boat 7000 miles from Seattle to do the famous Sydney Hobart. From leaving Elliot Bay to arriving in Hobart, it has been an epic adventure that will be with all of us for the rest of our lives! Four of the crew will be returning the boat on January 6th back to Sydney where she will live until we figure out what the next great adventure will be.

Finally a huge "Thank you" to one and all for the wonderful words of encouragement over the last few weeks. We are overwhelmed by all of your support.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2019 from all onboard Team Joy Ride! Sail safe, go fast and have fun!"

Sailing photo credits- ROLEX/ Carlo Borlenghi.  Follow the J/122E JOYRIDE Team here on Facebook  Follow Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on Facebook here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta Preview

J/Fest St Petersburg J/111 class(St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January marks the occasion for the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida.  Sailing will take place from January 25th to 27th, with the teams of J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay.

The regatta represents the 2019 J/88 Midwinter Championship, with a half-dozen crews participating from the Midwest and the Northeast. Many top crews in the class will be looking forward to a break from the frigid temperatures up North. No one would be surprised if Andy Graff’s EXILE team is already on the road headed south from Chicago, IL to escape the sub-zero temperatures in the upper Midwest! From the J/88 class sailing St Petersburg J/Festnortheast, watch for these teams to be near the top of the leaderboard; Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from New Rochelle, NY; Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO from Rochester, NY; and Mike Bruno’s WINGS from American YC in Rye, NY.

Similarly, the J/111s will be hosting their Midwinter Championship for the fleet of four boats. Last year’s winner- Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK from Cleveland, OH- will have to contend with battling a fellow Cleveland team for top honors- Rob Ruhlman and family aboard their famous SPACEMAN SPIFF.  In addition, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY and Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Hampton, VA will be mixing it up with the Cleveland gang for class honors.  For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Weakley Tops 2018 Texas J/22 Circuit

J/22 Weatkley team in Texas (Houston, TX)- Texas is a stronghold for the J/22 one-design sailing; areas like Galveston Bay can see 18 boats on the line for Wednesday night racing, which makes for plenty of competitive racing. Sailing his J/22 consistently throughout the seven regattas making-up the Texas J/22 Circuit, Doug Weakley (Corpus Christi, TX) came out on top after winning four events and placing well in the remaining three.

The primary keys for his success were Doug’s relentless drive to keep his older boat (hull #24) and his crew competitive. Sporting a new suit of sails, combined with awesome crew-work, good speed, and extraordinary perseverance to do tactically well in all weather conditions, ultimately, led to their tremendous performance.  Here is Doug’s take on the season:

“2018 started out great with Jim Kondziela and Joe Mayfield sailing with me on HNL (#24) at the Houston Yacht Club’s Midwinter regatta. We were really fast throughout the event and starting with a bullet in race one. We were pretty excited about our 6th place finish in the 39-boat fleet, competitive fleet.

J/22 sailing in TexasWe then sailed using our new radial jib at Austin Yacht Club and took first in a competitive fleet made of locals and traveling boats.

We got back into the boat in the fall and took back-to-back wins at Corpus Christi and Canyon Lake yacht clubs and the HYC Heritage Cup. At Corpus, we sailed with the cross-cut jib for power through the chop and we used it again at Canyon Lake in the light conditions. Canyon is all about avoiding a really bad race in the shifty conditions there, and we were the boat that did just that.

At HYC’s Heritage Cup, we went back to the radial jib and we were very fast in all the conditions. Saturday started out in very light air and we were quick in the light stuff, coming back from a terrible start to win the first race. The breeze quickly built and our old boat was set up really well for it. The radial jib was great, the boat just felt really fast. We had great downwind speed also with the new spinnaker design.

We look forward to more success in 2019, beginning with the J/22 Midwinters at Ft Walton Beach in March!” Thanks for contribution from Adam Loory at UK Sails.  For more J/22 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Announcing The 2019 J/80 World Championship!

J/80s sailing off Bilbao, Spain (Bilbao, Spain)- From the 13th to 20th of July, the Real Club Maritimo del Abra and the Real Sporting Club will host the 2019 J/80 World Championship in the gorgeous waters off Arenas/ Bilbao (the Basque country of Spain).  The class expects over 75 boats and more than 500 sailors from all over the world that will compete for the title on the challenging conditions of the Cantabrian Sea.

Spain has previously hosted the J/80 World Championship in Santander (2009) and in Sotogrande –Cádiz- (2016).

J/80s sailing off SpainFor the host nation, it will be a real fight for national honors for the top three teams from last year’s 2018 J/80 Copa de Espana that were held on the same waters. Winning that event was ONO EUROFRITS-AVIKO sailed by local Cantabrian Daniel de la Pedraja; the silver went to a J/80 World Champion- BRIBON MOVISTAR- sailed by Marc de Antonio Altimira; and the bronze was taken by a double J/80 World Champion, Ignacio Camino’s PAR!  Will history repeat itself again? Or, will the top French, German, or United Kingdom teams have done enough homework, refined their speed and tuning, to displace those hot Spanish teams from the podium?  There is no question many leading J/80 crews across Europe are already working hard on that idea!

“As Chairman of the RCMA-RSC and skipper on a J/80, I would like to encourage you to take part in the upcoming J/80 World Championships that are going to be held in the Port of Bilbao from the 13th to the 20th of July 2019. Our Club is fully committed to making this regatta a success, especially as it is a one-of-a-kind event for the Club since it was founded 120 years ago.

During race week you will not only be able to enjoy sailing on a magnificent course, but also enjoy a variety of social events organized ashore where you will get a first-hand taste of the wonderful gastronomy and hospitality our Club and our Getxo region. Nearby Bilbao and the Basque Country, in general, are also ideal holiday destinations for you and your companions.

J/80 Worlds SpainI would also like to express my gratitude to the Spanish J/80 Class Association and to other worldwide national associations for their backing of our bid to host these Championships. Likewise, I would also like to thank the public institutions who have given us their full support and the private companies that have helped us in this bid; in particular, BRITTANY FERRIES, COCA COLA, and EL CORREO.

I sincerely hope many J/80 sailors from around the world take part in this fantastic event (an “open” J/80 Worlds), it’s a beautiful place to sail and the food, wine, ambience, hospitality are second to none,” commented the Chairman of the RCMA-RSC, D. Ramón Zubiaga Garteiz-Goxeascoa.

With the practice race scheduled for Sunday, racing commences on Monday, July 15th with the goal to run as many as fifteen races by Friday, July 19th.

At the conclusion of racing, the World Championship title will be awarded along with trophies for the best Women’s team, top Youth team, top Masters, top Mixed, and the top Corinthian crews.  For more 2019 J/80 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

2019 Block Island Race Week Announcement!

(Block Island, RI)- The 28th Edition of the famed Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week will take place from June 23rd to 28th, 2019.  The STC Committee expects 150 boats and the number of racing formats has been expanded to attract an even wider array of yachts; ranging from Grand Prix teams to family-friendly cruising boats. Besides the usual Windward/Leeward racing, there will be Pursuit-start and ‘Solent-Style’ racing formats, too.

IRC, ORC and PHRF are returning, as one might expect. In addition, an exciting, new, innovative format will be introduced– “Plus+1”.  Plus+1 allows the crew to be one person larger than the first digit of hull-length. (30-39’= 4 crew, 40–49’= 5 crew, etc.) Plus+1 fills a sweet spot between double-handing and fully crewed racing, lowering costs and the need for crew. The Plus+1 class will be sailing a windward/ leeward course in the morning and a “random-leg” race around government marks in the afternoon. They will also do the famous Around the Island Race on the day the whole fleet goes around.

A spring schedule of Plus+1 Races is coming together and the first event will be the American Yacht Club Spring Series (April 27, 28 and May 4, 5) where the group will sail courses around government marks. The second race is the Edlu Trophy (May 11), which is a short distance race that goes east 16 miles, rounds a mark and returns to the finish. The third event is the 186-mile Block Island Race (May 24) that goes from Stamford, Ct., around Block Island and the back to Stamford. The last scheduled Plus+1 regatta will be Block Island Race Week.

7 Reasons To Sail Plus+1:
  1. Easier to find enough crew. Reduces the time e-mailing and calling.
  2. Everyone on the boat has a lot of jobs to do. No bored rail meat.
  3. It's safer. If someone gets hurt or goes overboard, two or more people can help.
  4. Teams can sail in a broader range of events; windward/ leewards, race around government marks, and classic distance races.
  5. Saves money. Fewer lunches and fewer post-race cocktails to buy. Rent a smaller house!
  6. Makes your boat better for cruising. Setup to be handled by less people, better for couple cruising
  7. Sail with your friends, not your friends’ friend.
Over time, J/Sailors have been big supporters of their favorite summer race week on the East Coast.  Starting in 1977, the J/24 sailed against the best the MORC Class had to offer and won by a significant margin.  The rest, as they say, was history. Having started an “instant legacy”, droves of J/24s, then J/30s, J/35s, J/29s, and J/44s up to the recent offshore sprit machines like the J/105, J/109, J/111, J/88, J/122, J/120, and the new J/121, will continue to expand on that legacy of J/Boats participation across the board.

J/105 Good Trade- Stone/ Breault winnersSo far, twenty-three J/Teams have signed up for PHRF, ORC, and one-design racing (J/88, J/105, J/109). Will the EVERETT B. MORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY Winner (emblematic of the Overall Winner of BIRW)- the J/105 GOOD TRADE (sailed by Bruce Stone, Nicole Breault, Marc Acheson, Bill Higgins, John Sahagian, and Casey Williams)- repeat their performance from 2017? You will need to go sailing to find out!  Come one, come all, it’s an amazing event run by crackerjack Race Committees and PRO’s organized by the Storm Trysail BIRW Committee. Sailing Photo Credit- Alan Clark/ PhotoBoat.com.   For more Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Trio Top ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards!

US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year finalists
(Newport, RI)- Three J/Sailors are finalists in ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards 2018, based on winning recent World Championships in a J/Boats class - J/22, J/24 and J/70!

This historical occasion marks the first time in the history of the ROLEX Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year awards that a brand has “swept the podium” in the most prestigious individual yachting award in America. Congratulations to Zeke Horowitz (J/22 World Champion in Annapolis, MD); Will Welles (J/24 World Champion in Lake Garda, Italy); and Jud Smith (J/70 World Champion in Marblehead, MA)! May the best man win!

Once again, the annual rundown of the year’s “best in the U.S.” represents a wide range of accomplished sailors from various disciplines and at different stages of their respective careers. The finalists for US Sailing’s 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award are:

- Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Md.) – The versatile sailor came out on top at the closely contested J/22 World Championship (Annapolis, Md.) in his home waters. He captured the Flying Scot North American Championship (Rockwall, Texas) and was second at the Viper 640 North American Championship (Kingston, Ontario, Canada).

- Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) – A second J/24 World Championship (Riva del Garda, Italy) title in five years places Welles back on the shortlist for 2018. Welles was the runner-up at the J/24 North American Championship (Charleston, S.C.) and later in the year he dominated the fleet of 89 boats at the J/24 Worlds.

- Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) – The 2006 Yachtsman of the Year returns to the shortlist after besting the fleet of 91 boats at the J/70 World Championship (Marblehead, Mass.). Smith added another win to his 2018 resume by placing first at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Marblehead.

The nominees and their 2018 sailing resumes will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists and past winners of these awards that discuss the merits of each sailor’s racing results before voting to determine U.S. Sailing’s 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

The winners will be announced in February and honored on Thursday, February 28, 2019, during a luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by ROLEX Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of U.S. Sailing’s ROLEX Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.

Over its history the coveted awards have been presented to 44 men and 35 women, including these distinguished sailors that have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Terry Hutchinson, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O’Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.  

NOTE- the highlighted names sailed J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, or J/80s at Championship events.  In other words, Zeke, Will and Juddy are in good company!  For more ROLEX Yachtsman of the Year Awards 2019 information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Another J/Family Performs in St Maarten Heineken- “The Jacksons”!

Jacksons performing at St Maarten Heineken Regatta (Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)– The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for world-class racing and attracting some of the world’s top musical acts for their legendary parties. This year is no different. Another famous “J/Family” will be present- Motown royalty, no less! “The Jacksons” (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon), will perform on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 at the final Awards Ceremony!

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Production Director, John Leone, comments, “Along with an action-packed race schedule this year, we are ecstatic to announce The Jacksons will headline our final party on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. They need no introduction. We are 100% certain their iconic through-the-decades beloved music will inspire all regatta competitors and party revelers. The Jacksons, will take us on an unforgettable journey through their historic lives and influential musical careers. Hearing this band on this beautiful Caribbean island will be Legendary!”

The Jacksons made history in 1970 as the first recording act whose first four singles reached number 1 in the Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, they celebrated 50 years as one of the most successful groups in music history. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, five brothers from Gary, Indiana, began as the Jackson 5 and later The Jacksons, and rose to fame for their combination of extraordinary musical talent and spectacular choreography.

First signed to Steeltown Records in 1967, The Jacksons found international success with the songs: "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There". Five albums later, the brothers went on The Victory Tour in 1984, and it became the highest-grossing concert series ever staged in the United States. The group, already inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, came to serve as inspiration for several generations of boy bands, including Backstreet Boys, New Edition, N*SYNC, News Kids on the Block, and today, the Jonas Brothers, One Direction, and many more.

J/105 Solstice sailing St Maarten Heineken RegattaThe St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is now in its 39th year, and now sports a brand new 2-handed racing class. The sailing and parties take place over four days, from February 28th to March 3rd, 2019. Four days of World-Class racing mixing perfectly with the awesome Heineken parties, electrifying the island well into the night. The entire event is located at the St. Maarten’s Heineken Regatta Village at the Port de Plaisance Resort, Casino and Yacht Club. Get ready for some Legendary “Serious Fun”!

To date, there are nine members of the J/Family participating, with more rumored to be hopping aboard the bandwagon of “serious fun” soon!  Here are the J/Teams currently registered:
  • Emilio Torres-Requena’s J/130 MAZU from Puerto Rico
  • Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from the USA
  • Bob Hillier’s J/122 OCASO from the USA
  • Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua
  • Kathy Campbell’s J/120 JAGUAR
  • Remco van Dortmondt’s J/105 SUNBELT REALTY JENK from Curacao
  • Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados
  • Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE from USA
  • Tanner & Shari’s J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE
Follow the action on social media links here:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/StMaartenHeinekenRegatta
Twitter – www.twitter.com/sxmheineken
Instagram – www.instagram.com/stmaartenheinekenregatta
YouTube - www.youtube.com/heinekenregatta

Sailing photo credit- Laurens Morel.  For more St. Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Nations Cup Grand Final Sailing J/22s!

J/22s sailing Nations Cup match racing San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA has been selected by World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, to host the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final from April 9th to 14th, 2019 and will use its matched fleet of J/22 one-design sailboats. St. Francis Yacht Club previously hosted the Nations Cup back in 1995 using J/24s.

Ten Open and ten Women’s division skippers have registered for the Grand Final, including some of the top world-ranked skippers from various countries.

As winners of the last Nations Cup Grand Final, USA’s Nicole Breault earned a spot in the Women’s division and Russia’s Vladimir Lipavsky earned a spot in the Open. World Sailing Member National Authorities (MNA) filled out the field by nominating their most recent National Match Racing Champions in each division. Nominations were allocated by region to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America & Caribbean, Oceania and South America, and the event will have ten countries represented in the Open and eight countries in the Women’s.   For more Nations Cup Grand Final sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Get Ready for Boot Dusseldorf!

J/99 offshore doublehanded speedster
The massive, world-famous, Dusseldorf Boot Boat Show is taking place from January 19th to 27th in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Renowned as one of the major “arts” centers in Europe, Dusseldorf is both a cultural attraction along the gorgeous Rhine River as well as an amazing boat show to attend- the world’s largest by far!

On-site in Hall 15/ Booth B21 will be J/Composites and the European J/Boats team, presenting the latest J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster, the world champion J/112E sports cruiser, and the world’s most successful sportsboat- the International J/70.  For more 2019 Boot Dusseldorf boat show information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Storm Trysail Ft Lauderdale- Key West Race Update

Lauderdale Key West Race tracker (Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The infamous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race started today at 1000 hours in a light east/northeasterly breeze of 4-7 kts.  The fleet took off on port tack, with most of the big boats sporting either Code Zero’s or A1 spinnakers. The beginning of this a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port, does not look like it will set any records of any kind.  However, with the ECMWF Euro forecast showing a steadily increasing breeze clocking into the east/southeast overnight and strengthening to 10-15 kts by Friday evening, it should be a beautiful race!

At this time on Thursday afternoon, leading the J/Fleet is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX. They are followed boat-for-boat by Andy Wescoat’s J/109 HARM’S WAY from Galveston Bay Cruising Association in Spring, TX; then Matt Self’s J/105 RUCKUS from Charleston YC in Daniel Island, SC; then Brad Stowers’ J/92 HILLBILLY from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL.

If the reaching conditions persist for the next 24 hours (perfect for the asymmetric configured J/Teams- including the J/44 KENAI), don’t be surprised if they all win class and overall!  Follow the fleet on the Kattack Tracker here  Follow the SORC Series on Facebook here  For more SORC Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Local J/24 Knowledge Pays Dividends in Mexico’s Yucatan!

J/24 Yucatan, Mexico sailors (Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico)- “Until the 1950’s and 60’s when Yucatán was linked by rail and road, respectively, with the rest of Mexico, it traded by sea more with the USA, Cuba, Caribbean, and even Europe. It is home to one of the largest indigenous populations in Mexico, the Mayan people. Mérida is its capital city, and it is part of the Yucatán peninsula. This is all to say yes, Yucatán is part of Mexico, but it is a world unto its own.

I made my way back to Yucatán Friday for my second year documenting (and sailing with) this enthusiastic new fleet which began just a few years ago, when El Capitan Jorge Ojeda convinced his friends to start racing one-design. They have captured my imagination for their casual determination to grow a fleet without scholastic programming or access to competitors. New to the fleet this year was Janko, a club boat named in memory of Jacobo Sosa, an active fleet member who died this spring. She was crewed by school-aged kids representing the youngest group of Yucatán sailors. The fleet is looking to add another club boat in 2019.

Current J/24 US class president Chip Till flew in to lead a rules and tuning clinic preceding the regatta. In its second year, the format consists of a clinic on Saturday, a Christmas boat parade of lights, and the regatta on Sunday.

With average December temperatures of 82°/ 69° F, it makes for a very good J/24 winter weekend. While Till stayed closer to the front of the pack and one of the fleets leaders Tomás Dutton, I sailed with the crew of X’kau (Mayan for blackbird), who kept yelling “perro” to my confusion as I connected the associated following action.

They later explained they took this term from the Hobie class that once thrived there, who used it because a cam cleat “bites” like a dog. Applied linguistics will never stop being the most fun part of intercultural sailing to me. When he wasn’t expertly trimming, Till had fun with it, too.

My other favorite part outside of the sailing is the food.

Homemade horchata is one of the million gastronomic perks of Yucatan casual dining. No better way to put back a fresh cochinita roll for a pre-regatta breakfast of champions. I also ate grasshopper doused in hot sauce and lime from a beach vendor bought by one of our hosts- Ignacio “Nacho” Ponce Manzanilla, the man behind Yucatán’s yachting growth, although Nacho said grasshopper wasn’t local. On a weekend with shifty, often low, and challenging winds, it was great to enjoy the delicious local cuisine.

Sailing took place off Progreso, a port originally planned for fishing and tourism and now the largest exporter of octopus and scaled fish in Mexico.  As a result, the J/24 Yucatán class is geographically isolated from the nation’s only other J/24 fleet, the established and skilled sailors in Valle de Bravo. The J/24 sailors of Yucatán could just as easily reach Miami to compete, which is to say they can’t reach either place easily. This creates national level friction as they work to create competitive opportunities outside themselves. J/24 Yucatán cannot easily come to its competitors, but urge its competitors to come enjoy racing in Yucatán.

After 25 years of a yacht club with no facility, Club de Yates de Yucatán has a home a block from the beach now, surrounded by marinas, and is at work to secure a hoist and ideal water access. The world’s longest pier creates an artificial harbor for their course, buffering prevailing northeast winds to create year round ideal conditions. That’s not to say it never blows from the northwest. Once a month or so, including this weekend for the final in the annual Regata de Amigos series, a “chikinic” (Mayan for “northwestern wind”) blows in and challenges the sailors on the race course.

J/24 Yucatán are organizing a team for 2019 Charleston Race Week, and planning other efforts to connect with the international J/24 community. Proof that being isolated does not have to mean being alone.” Thanks for contribution from SailingAnarchy.com- Anarchist Heather.  Learn more about J/24 Yucatan here Add to Flipboard Magazine.