Friday, May 31, 2019

Beautiful, but Light Almere Regatta

J/109 sailing Almere, Netherlands regatta
(Almere, The Netherlands)- The 9th Almere Regatta was a great sailing challenge for the teams that had assembled in Almere, The Netherlands.  Like many other places in Europe, a big High pressure system meant there was not much “gradient winds” flowing down around it, with isobars spread out so far it was a wonder there was any wind for the weekend.  On Saturday, that was certainly the case, with gorgeous sunny weather, but little to no wind.  Sunday improved bit with winds hitting 8 kts, wonder of wonders!  In the end, the J/80 and J/109 fleets both managed to sail six races.
J/80s sailing the Almere Netherlands regatta
The ten-boat J/80 class had tight racing for all three spots on the podium.  Naturally, for the first major regatta of the season, some teams start out hot and fade, others do the reverse.  As a result, there were many anxious moments taking place on the last three races on the second day. Starting hot, but losing their edge on Sunday was Bob Jansen’s FUN-J, posting a 2-1-2-3-3-7 tally for 11 pts net. The balance of the podium was determined by a tie-breaker at 13 pts each. On countback, it was Bram Adema’s NJORD record of 7-2-3-5-1-2 that overcame Bernard Holsboer’s JUUL scores of 3-3-1-4-2-8! That was close racing!  Rounding out the top five were JOYRIDE in 4th and OANT SJEN in 5th place.

Winning the nine-boat J/109 one-design class was Roy Heiner’s TEAM HEINER 4 with an outstanding record of 2-1-1-3-3-1 for 8 pts net.  Magically taking the silver was Arnout Jorrtisma’s MAJIC with a 4-2-3-4-1-2 tally for 12 pts net.  Just one point back to snag the bronze was the 2018 winner of the class, Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE with a 5-3-4-1-2-3 scoreline for 13 pts net.   Sailing photo credits- Hans Knapper  For more Almere Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Ida Lewis Distance Race Announcement

J/35 sailing Ida Lewis Distance Race J/Fest Sailors Invited; Newport Junior Safety @ Sea Seminar!
(Newport, RI)- The Ida Lewis Distance Race, scheduled for Friday, August 16, has added a second PHRF perpetual trophy, so that the two PHRF divisions that compete will each have their own declared overall winner (as opposed to a single overall PHRF winner as in the past). The late-summer sailing tradition, which starts and finishes off historic Ida Lewis Yacht Club, also awards an overall trophy in IRC and top-three trophies in PHRF (including Cruising Spinnaker), IRC, One Design, and Doublehanded classes as well as special trophies for top-finishing Youth and Collegiate teams.

“We think this will be a nice incentive for more PHRF boats to enter, especially the smaller ones sailed by families and friends,” said Event Chair Pat Kennedy, explaining that often in the past, boats in the lower half of the handicap rating break didn’t have much of a chance to out-perform the larger boats, some of them veteran Grand Prix racers, in the upper half. “Now that we have separate trophies, we also are able to send the two PHRF divisions on different courses, if we think that makes sense.”

J/109 sailing Ida Lewis Distance RaceInterestingly, the Ida Lewis Distance Race is not one course but any of four, ranging from 112 to 169 nautical miles. The Race Committee looks at the weather forecast before each race to determine the courses that are most likely to get all teams back to the dock within 18-24 hours. The courses, which in each case send the fleet past Castle Hill on the way out of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage to Block Island and Long Island Sounds, are “The Montauk”, “The Block Island”, “The Point Judith”, and “The Buzzards Bay Tower”. As the names imply, the courses incorporate some of the most iconic cruising grounds in New England.

Invitation to J/Fest Teams
By design, the Ida Lewis Distance Race offers an offshore experience that is not too long, not too short and just challenging enough. With that in mind, organizers have invited participants in the third annual New England J/Fest Regatta (August 9-11), which is sailing out of Sail Newport, to extend their stay for the following week in order to include the Ida Lewis Distance Race on their sailing schedules. The PHRF division is perfect for the J/30s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/121s competing at J/Fest.

Junior Safety @ Sea Seminar June 2!
All Ida Lewis Distance Race Youth competitors must attend a Storm Trysail Foundation (STF) Junior Safety @ Sea seminar or the equivalent within 24 months of the start of the race. A local opportunity to fulfill this requirement will be on Sunday, June 2 when Sail Newport partners with STF and the Storm Trysail Club Newport Station to present the one-day 2019 Newport Junior Safety @ Sea seminar at Fort Adams State Park.

This amazing learning opportunity is inspired by safety programs for ocean racers but is carefully designed for a teen audience and stresses fun, hands-on practice, communication, teamwork, and the anticipation of trouble before it happens. Participants will leave with working knowledge of safety issues surrounding the operation of keelboats in the 30-45 foot range that are suitable for offshore sailing. The morning consists of dockside instruction while the afternoon is on the water, using the skills discussed in the morning. Instruction will be conducted by Storm Trysail Club members and other highly experienced offshore sailors.  Register for the 2019 Newport Junior Safety At Sea Seminar through the Ida Lewis Distance Race website:

Ida Lewis Yacht Club hosts this world-class race with the help of generous sponsors. Gold sponsors for the 2019 Ida Lewis Distance Race are Ocean Navigator and City of Newport. Silver sponsor is Newport Shipyard; Bronze sponsors are North Sails, Rig Pro Southern Spars, and Stella Artois. Contributing Sponsors are Goslings Rum, Mac Designs, Toni Mills Graphic Design, Triton Insurance and Z Blok.  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

RORC North Sea Race Preview

J/122E sailing North Sea Race
(Harwich, England)- The next step in the RORC Offshore Season Points Series leading up to the 2019 Fastnet Race is the North Sea Race. The event has attracted 79 boats for the 1100 BST start on Friday 31 May. Hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in their fabulous modern clubhouse, the North Sea Race starts outside Harwich and meanders around the Galloper wind farm before heading north to Smith’s Knoll Buoy and across to the famous sailing city of the Hague and the Scheveningen Yacht Club. The majority of the teams come from the Netherlands, teams from Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, France and Germany. Fast downwind conditions are predicted providing exhilarating conditions for approximately 450 sailors racing across the North Sea.

The fleet sails one of two courses to Scheveningen, The Netherlands. The larger boats sail the long course of about 179.0nm, while the smaller boats sail the short course of 148.0nm.  In either case, it amounts to heading NNE across the Channel to buoys in the southern parts of the North Sea, then turning right and heading back down to Scheveningen for the finish.

Close to a dozen J/teams are participating in ORC/ IRC and the Doublehanded divisions in the race, including most of the top Dutch and Belgian teams that won their Benelux doublehanded championships in 2018.

In the 11-boat IRC 2 Class is the Belgian team of Sebastien de Liedekerke Beaufort, racing the J/111 DJINN.  They will be going head-to-head with three Dutch J/122s, all of whom have won various offshore RORC races; including Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s AJETO, Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s JUNIQUE- RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, and Frans Chappelle’s MOANA.

Sailing in the 15-boat IRC 3 Class will be three J/109s, including Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE, Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI, and Wim van Slooten’s FIRESTORM.

Entered in the dozen-boat IRC Doublehanded Class are Revelman/ Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE- RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM, Verhoef/ Starre’s J/122 AJETO, and Slooten’s J/109 FIRESTORM.

Several of the same boats are also rated for ORC and racing in the ORC Class.  In addition to the J/122s (AJETO, JUNIQUE, MOANA) and the J/111 DJINN, is Michel Hof’s J/122 AMBITION (making them the fourth J/122 sailing the race). The J/109s include JAI ALAI and JOULE. Then, add in Alexander Hardell’s J/105 MAJIC POTION.

Similarly, in ORC Doublehanded class are three J/122s (AJETO, AMBITION, JUNIQUE), the J/109 FIRESTORM, and the J/105 MAJIC POTION. It will be fascinating to watch how the IRC vs ORC scoring determines the outcomes of each class over the course of this race.  For more RORC North Sea Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Awesome Elite Keel Regatta for J/105s & J/70s

J/105s sailing on San Francisco Bay (Belvedere, CA)- One of the more popular events on San Francisco Bay late in the spring is the Elite Keel Regatta hosted by San Francisco YC in Belvedere, CA, on the north side of the Bay. The regatta has proven to be a popular one for the large J/105 class, with twenty-six boats participating in the two-day event. This year, a J/70 class was invited as well.

The J/105s are beginning to see a “wash, rinse, repeat” for the top of the leaderboard.  Once Tim Russell decided to jump back into the fleet two years ago (after a long reprisal due to work/ family stuff), he bought Lowell North & Dennis Conner’s J/105 #3 (ever heard of them?), purported to be the lightest and fastest J/105 ever built (about 600 lbs light- a “pre-scrimp” boat). He renamed the boat NE*NE and over the last two seasons, the two decades old classic continues to show her tail feathers to the fleet, once again winning a major J/105 regatta on the Bay by a significant margin. Russell’s talented crew posted a 2-3-3-1-2 for 11 pts total to win by 7 pts. However, behind them it was a real battle for the balance of the podium. The final results were not determined until the last race between Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK and Phil Laby’s GODOT. Both teams are consistently at the top of the leaderboard, but it was J/70s sailing San Francisco Baythe BLACKHAWK crew that held on to take the silver with a 4-4-2-2-6 for 18 pts.  Just one point back was the GODOT team with a record of 3-2-4-5-5 for 19 pts.  The rest of the top five include Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION in 4th with 23 pts and Ian Charles’ MAVERICK taking 5th with 25 pts.

Perhaps the most dominating performance of the regatta was Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, winning the J/70 class by 8 pts with a record of three bullets and two deuces! The balance of the podium was determined by a tie-breaker at 15 pts each between Peter Cameron’s KANGAROO JOCKEY and the duo of Tom Thayer & Robert Milligan on RAMPAGE. Taking that countback was KANGAROO JOCKEY over RAMPAGE.  For more Elite Keelboat Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Susan Hood Trophy Race Announcement

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario (Port Credit, Ontario)- Since 1955, fully crewed yachts have been taking on the challenge of a spring offshore race on Lake Ontario to get their crews trained and coordinated for summer races- it's the 75.0nm Susan Hood Trophy Race.

The 2019 edition of the Susan Hood Trophy Race is presented by Hosting the race is Port Credit Yacht Club and is scheduled to run on Friday, May 31, 2019 at Port Credit YC. Boats typically are back at PCYC mid-day or during the afternoon of the following day. The first great race of the season!

Why race the Susan Hood??
  • Excellent warm up race for the Lake Ontario 300
  • Experience the weather challenges offered in spring
  • Convenient overnight racing will not tie up the weekend
  • Great pre-race and post-race camaraderie
  • Post-race party is AWE-some!
For more Susan Hood Trophy sailing information.   Entries/ results here.   Regatta site here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Surprise First Winner @ Swiss J/70 Super League

J/70s sailing Swiss League on Lake Constance
(Brissago, Switzerland)- The Swiss Sailing J/70 Super League started this past weekend for a dozen sailing teams on Lago Maggiore. The Regattaclub Bodensee won the series in 2018 and is hoping to defend their title.

The RCB President Julian Flessati commented, "We have sailed several training programs in the winter with different teams. In addition, we train each team in advance of an event. Of course, it would be nice to defend the title again. I think you always go to the competitions with the hope to defend the title. As a goal, we have set ourselves a top 3 placing. As in the previous year, the RCO, SNG and SVK will certainly provide very good, competitive teams. But in general, the level is very high, so that probably all Super League teams can win. CNV Versoix got stronger and stronger last year and is my secret favorite. Even the newcomers must not be forgotten!”
J/70s sailing Swiss league on Lago Maggiore
The organizing clubs for the first event, Yacht Club Locarno (YCLO) and Friends of Sailing Brissago (FSB) selected the Yachtsport Resort Brissago as the event venue. While hoping for good weather conditions, the regatta could only manage to run seven races for each of the dozen teams all weekend long, such was the light weather all across Europe.

Winning the event was a team that was not even considered to be “on the radar screen”- Bordee de Tribord- La Neuveville (Lorenz Kausche, Laurent Forrer, Timon Kausche, & Morgane Emery) with a total of 17 pts. Taking second on a tie-breaker was another surprise team- Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen (Tom Ruegge, Michael Hermann, Stefan Staheli, & Jens Lichtblau) with 19.8 pts. The loser on that countback was the bronze medal winners- the renowned Regattaclub Bodensee (Massimo Soriano, Jonathan Rutishauser, Stephan Zurfluh, & Rene Ott).  Rounding out the top five were past SSL Super League winners Societe Nautique de Geneve with 21 pts.  For more Swiss J/70 Super League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NSV Tops German J/70 Sailing League II

J/70 sailing Deutsche Segel Bundesliga
(Konstanz, Germany)- Germany’s J/70 Deutsche Segel Bundesliga held their second event of the season on the beautiful, majestic surroundings of Lake Constance, sailing off Konstanz on the northwestern side of the lake.  The thirty-six sailing clubs from across Germany enjoyed a gorgeous weekend from May 17th to 19th, but the wind Gods would not cooperate all weekend, producing just five races for each team over the three days.
J/70s sailing in Germany league
Summer, sun, and sunshine, what’s not to love about that?! But, where was the wind? Friday and Saturday did not happen, unfortunately, from the sailing perspective. In fact, the “glass outs” on both days produced gorgeous photos of the snow-capped mountains reflected on the lake’s surface. Sunday dawned gorgeous and “glassed out” as well, but ultimately a gradient wind materialized, enough to run five races per team.

After an average start to the season two weeks ago, the reigning German champion from Hamburg’s Norddeutscher Regatta Verein regained their former strength to win the second event of the DSBL.

"We knew what to expect in terms of the weather this weekend. We are glad that we were able to sail at all. It's just perfect for us," explains Tobias Schadewaldt, skipper of the winning NRV team that consisted of Johann Kohlhoff, Hinnerk Müller and Florian Thoelen.
German J/70 Sailing League podium
On the podium behind the NRV, it was the Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen (WVH) team (Jan SEEKAMP, Sven GAUTER, Björn SCHÜTTE, & Jens TSCHENTSCHER) from Bremen that took the silver medal and the Bavarian Bayerischer Yacht Club (BYC) team (Veit HEMMETER, Teresa HEMMETER, Leopold LINDNER, & Jan NÜRNBERGER) from Lake Starnberg that took the bronze. Rounding out the top five was Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee in 4th and Wurttembergischer YC in 5th.

As a result, the overall leaderboard changed quite dramatically for the season series.  Leading now is Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee with a 1-4 for 5 pts.  Second is Bayerischer Yacht Club with a 3-3 for 6 pts.  And, third is Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen with a 5-2 for 7 pts. After their mediocre 7th place start in the first event, NRV’s 7-1 gives them 8 pts, just 3 pts off the overall lead!

In the 2nd Sail Bundesliga, the team of ONE KIEL with helmsman Magnus Simon, Fabian Kasüske, Hinnerk Siemsen and Philipp Sudbrack prevailed in their first season against the competition.

Behind ONE KIEL, the Lübeck Yacht Club (LYC) and the Bocholter Yacht Club came in second and third.

From the 20th to the 22nd of July, the 18 clubs of the 1. Segel-Bundesliga will continue with the third match day in Travemünde. The clubs of the 2nd Sailing Bundesliga have a match break and will be back in Berlin from 23 to 25 August.  For more J/70 German Sailing League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

J/70 Downwind Sailing- When to Switch Modes?

J/70 World Champs- Lucas Calabrese tactician for Jud SmithThe following question was asked of Lucas Calabrese, winning tactician on Jud Smith’s AFRICA in the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA (btw, Lucas is also a bronze Medallist skipper in 470s for Argentina in the 2012 Olympic Games):

What are approximate boat speeds/ wind speeds to transition from displacement mode/ VMG light winds to WoW (wing-on-wing) to Planing Mode (jib out trimmed)?

Lucas- “It all depends on tactics, but a good guideline I think is:
  • Planing: it works when you do over 9.5 to 10 kts of boatspeed.
  • From planing to wing-on-wing: if you are trying to plane and you are doing between 8.2 and 9.5 kts, wing-on-wing is probably the best mode.
  • From wing-on-wing to VMG: if doing less than 8.2 kts of boatspeed while on the wing you are better off going displacement/ VMG mode.
Experiment! These are rough guidelines. It all depends on sea state and strategy, but those numbers should be pretty close.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/121 Spring Tune-Up Report

J/121 Whistler sailing off Newport, RI
(Newport, RI)- For the second year in a row, J/Boats hosted the J/121 Spring Tune-up Regatta at Newport Shipyard on the famous Newport Harbor. Five J/121’s participated in the event- David Southwell’s ALCHEMY, Don Nicholson’s APOLLO, Joe Britto’s INCOGNITO, Greg & Jen Manning’s SARAH, and Peter Lewis’ newly-launched WHISTLER from Barbados. Like last year, the North Sails Team provided the highly-talented (and entertaining) duo of Kimo Worthington and Chuck Allen to provide on-the-water coaching, video, and post-race debriefs.

The format was designed to help the J/121 teams better understand tuning, sail trim, sail choices, and boathandling. Each day started off with practice starts. The owners were given a choice of short-course buoy racing or sail the Around Island Race (an 20.0nm circumnavigation of Jamestown/ Conanicut Island that sits in the middle of Narragansett Bay). The teams all voted to sail the Around Island Race for both days to give everyone time to dial-in faster trim, boatspeed techniques, and sail settings.
J/121 Incognito sailing Spring Tune up off Newport
The weather cooperated both days. Friday dawned with grey leaden skies, light drizzle, and a WSW breeze of 5 to 15 kts.  As a result, the teams got around the island in just over three hours.

Saturday’s weather was simply postcard perfect!  Sunrise saw cool 55 deg temps, 10-18 kts from the NNW, with brilliant sunshine. By the time the fleet had three practice starts the fleet elected to sail the reverse of day one, heading counter-clockwise around the island, going through the Newport Bridge first, then Jamestown Bridge, starting/ finishing at the green Bell #11- Dumplings Rocks.  After a quick restart due to full-moon tides and very strong currents, the fleet took off in the remnants of a dying NNW breeze. What everyone anticipated was the typical scenario, the norwester dying and a quick build of a fresh seabreeze from the SSW. By the time the fleet had rounded the top of the island under spinnakers, the wind shifted in literally minutes from NNE to SSW blowing 10-14 kts…the new breeze filled in extremely fast, making for a spectacular sail through Jamestown Bridge, past Dutch Island, and around Beavertail Lighthouse and point, popping kites again for a quick spinnaker run past Castle Hill to the finish between Fort Adams and Dumpling Rocks bell.
J/121 planing off Beavertail Point, Conanicut Island
Each race was filled with its own set of tactical and boathandling challenges in the 20.0nm course; they served as a good warm-up for the rest of the season as it was interesting to observe decisions being made on board for sail selection, wind angles, sail trim and so forth. Commented Kimo Worthington, “the Round Island race format worked out great! It gave us time to follow each boat, get sail trim photos, take videos, and comment on how to improve their go-fast settings. What was cool is that it's the one time in the season the owners and crew can share what they learn on the water and get feedback and pictures from the North Sails team. It was a very productive and informative event!”

The event chairman, Jeff Johnstone from J/Boats commented, "The J/121 Spring Tune-up was a great chance for J/121 owners to get together and shake out the early season cobwebs before heading off to conquer this year's bucket list of offshore sailing events; such as the FIGAWI Race, Storm Trysail Block Island Race, Bermuda 1-2, Block Island Race Week and New York Yacht Club's 175th Anniversary. Thanks again to everyone for helping making the second annual J/121 Spring Tune-Up a success! Thank You to Veronica Brown and the Newport Shipyard team for a fantastic home base. And, kudos to Kimo and Chuck for two days of informative coaching and videos.”  We're pleased to share this Dropbox link from photos/ videos taken on Friday and Saturday.  To learn more about the J/121 offshore speedster Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, May 27, 2019

SFS Hunnebo Leads Swedish J/70 League

J/70s sailing in Sweden
(Strängnäs, Sweden)- The first event of the Swedish J/70 Sailing League (the Allsvenskan) took place on the Lake of Strängnäs, about 40 miles west of Stockholm. During Friday and Saturday, Strängnäs offered nice racing conditions with a good wind of 4–6 m/s, mostly sunny, warm, and comfortable. But, on Sunday it was not possible to sail because there was never any wind.

“Strängnäs really showed its best side on Friday and Saturday with fantastic conditions. Sailing on a lake instead of out on the sea often gives more whimsical winds. Hunnebo mastered these best while Särö, who were newcomers to the Allsvenskan 2018, continued to impress,” said the regatta Chairman Isabelle Lindsten.
Swedish J/70 sailing league winners
It was SFS Hunnebo that won the premiere round of the Allsvenskan that was settled this past weekend in Strängnäs. But, there’s was not an easy victory as they won on a tie-breaker over Särö Sailing Club at 23 points apiece.  The countback determined the win, with SFS Hunnebo’s six wins bettering Särö’s four wins in the twelve races each team sailed.

For the SFS Hunnebo team from Hunnebostrand, just over ten kilometers north of Gothenburg, it was their first major win in the Allsvenskan.  The team was comprised of Magnus Lundgren, Urban Lagnéus, Julia Edvardsson, Kajsa Mattsson and Peter Busck.

The win for SFS Hunnebo was not entirely unexpected. The victor’s winning skipper was Magnus Lundgren, he had the record for most race wins in a row while sailing for Gottskär SC in 2017, when he led his team to eight straight wins. Nevertheless, they were offered good competition from the Särö team (Tobias Bergqvist, Christian During, Björn Palmquist, and Lisa Rydbacken).
J/70s sailing Swedish league
The competition amongst the top four was exceedingly close. While the win was determined on a tie-breaker, the Hjuviks BK sailing club was just two points back for the bronze, while the past champions KSSS took fourth place just another two points back; just five points separating the leaders from 4th place!

The Allsvenskan series sails four regattas and the next round is held in Limhamn in Malmö in two weeks (May 31-June 2). The third competition is in Örnsköldsvik from August 23rd–25th and the last is Västerås from September 13th to 15th.   Follow the Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

See the NEW J/99 Offshore Speedster

J/99 offshore speedster
Newport - Houston - San Francisco!
(Newport, RI)- There's a new 33 footer in town, and based on early sailing reports, it's fast, stable, and has a surprisingly comfy interior (with headroom). If that sounds familiar, it's because J/Boats has been re-defining the ultimate racer/cruiser for over three decades, leaving its indelible mark on the sailing world with racer-cruisers like the J/35, J/109 and J/120 amongst many notable others.

With racing recently trending towards adventure-style, open-course events, the J/99 is optimized for straight-line speed for both a short-handed and normal sized crew – taking its cues from its bigger sister, the 40' J/121 (Sailing World BOTY winner in 2018). High customer demand has already pushed the order backlog out to the spring of 2020, but three J/99s are just hitting the water for this season, and you're invited to see and sail one at the upcoming:

J/99 Open House & Demo Day
Saturday June 1st in three locations:

  • Newport, Rhode Island
  • Houston (Seabrook), Texas
  • San Francisco (Alameda), California
Everyone is welcome to climb aboard and check out the new design, and weather permitting even go for a sail!  Please RSVP below for an invitation to the J/99 Open House nearest to you. Please fill out the online webform here to get an invitation and more details.   For more J/99 Shorthanded Offshore Speedster information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What Does Performance Bring to Cruising?

J/112E cruising off France
Contrary to popular belief, a fast yacht has a lot of advantages when you’re heading off on holiday as a couple or with family.

Safety, effortless maneuverability and fun sailing even in light airs are all substantial, if not essential assets, when you want holidays on the water to play out without a hitch. Indeed, its benefits are in stark contrast to a typical heavier cruiser, which has less ballast stability and a deck layout geared around lounging about rather than maneuvering. Below are four reasons why a high-performance cruiser is the best choice for sailing with confidence.

1. Greater safety
“Between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, we encountered 40 knots of breeze on very choppy seas. I was very happy to be on a seaworthy yacht with a deep draft and a cockpit designed to maneuver quickly,” explains Thierry Douillard, an inshore and offshore racer, who also relishes family cruises every summer on his J/112E.

To escape a gale, a high-performance boat with a reasonable draught (1.90m) and well-proportioned deck fittings, which are positioned in such a way as to enable effortless maneuvering, is a guarantee of safety.

“For years, I’ve chartered yachts designed for anchoring rather than sailing. Close-hauled in a strong breeze, it’s impossible to get to your destination so we’ve had to turn back on several occasions. It’s enough to put you off sailing!” admits Gilles Mendiboure, owner of the J/122 ELEGANCE, based in the Mediterranean and built at JComposites in Les Sables d’Olonne on France’s Atlantic coast.
J/112E sailing- cruising with family
2. More fun when sailing
Meticulous work by the naval architects and the design office goes into these high-performance J/Cruisers, particularly with regards to the power-weight ratio, which ensures the best possible balance. At the helm, this translates as a thrilling ride: finesse, precision, a bow clear of the water and, hence, responsive to the slightest twitch of the rudder as well as safe reactions in the gusts. In short, it ensures you get an immense amount of pleasure from sailing!

“I often sail alone on my boat and I love feeling that trimming is serving a purpose- you see it immediately on the boatspeed! Such responsive boats! The boat sure is nifty. I only sail along the coast from island to island. I love the idea of going from place to place under sail with a well-trimmed sail wardrobe,” smiles Gilles Mendiboure.

Thierry Douillard echoes this sentiment: “An ergonomic deck layout designed around trimming your sails and set up for maneuvers like reefing, well-positioned mainsheet tackle… All this makes for a seaworthy boat and that’s the definition of pleasurable sailing. Equally, it’s more comfortable for everyone on-board and it’s less hard on the crew.”
J/112E cruising France offshore islands
3. Devouring the miles faster
Isn’t the pleasure of cruising associated with discovering an unknown island, a solitary anchorage or a foreign port?

Whether it’s a question of a long sea crossing or a shorter passage, making fast headway across the water means you can get much more out of a stopover.

“Only yesterday it took me just 5 hours to cover 30 miles. Close-hauled in 18 knots of breeze, the boat racked up an average speed of 7 knots. What more could you ask, enquires Gilles. At 30° to the apparent wind at an average speed of 7 knots, or at 55° making 4.5 knots, this takes cruising to another level.”

“The extra 50cm of draught on these high-performance yachts makes a huge difference when you’re sailing and ultimately it’s not a hindrance at anchor, especially if you’re sailing in the Mediterranean. 1.50m and 1.90m makes no difference when you’re dropping anchor, but it makes a world of difference when you’re sailing!” explains Thierry Douillard.

4. Less time under power
These high-performance yachts may not be able to boast a Louis XVI chest of drawers, but the layout is very adequate and above all there is a concern for weight distribution, like water and diesel tanks generally being positioned close to the center of gravity. Add to that a light, stiff construction, and you’ll get a lively craft, which gets up and going in the slightest puff of breeze.

High-performance boats love the light airs!
Gilles Mendiboure backs this up, “In three years of sailing for six months of the year, I’ve only clocked up 120 hours on the engine. In fact, I only use it to exit and enter port.” Less motoring, less noise, even greater pleasure under sail!

Here is an example of a course between Marseille and Ajaccio, mostly upwind in strong breeze.
J/112E cruising course
Green boat: fast cruiser-racer sailboat (our J/112E)
Pink boat: cruising sailboat
We noticed a difference of 7 hours at the arrival!

So, you’ve got it! For sailing along the coast or long passages, a high-performance cruising yacht can only be an advantage.

The very essence of navigation is respected on these cruising craft, with more and more emphasis on habitability. The equation of performance = less comfort, no longer holds true. So why deprive yourself when you love real sailing? Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Watch J/125 Flying Down Pacific Coast!

J/125 Hamachi sailing fast offshore
The J/125 HAMACHI and her delivery crew had some fun taking their recent trip down the California coastline- lots of sun, wind, and big Pacific swell to surf along on.  Here is their drone video- check it out!

They commented, “here is some Mavic Air drone video of our awesome 360 nm delivery down the California coast from Richmond YC to the California YC in Marina Del Rey. The video taken about 25 miles off of Morrow Bay in 18-20 kts of wind with Hamachi doing 14-16 kts of boat speed. Hamachi covered 240 nm in a 24 hour period between Point Sur and the Channel Islands. Make sure to watch this 4K video on a large screen!

This was only the second time we've attempted to fly the drone from Hamachi. We were pretty excited to get it back on board, as you will see here, because we had no idea if we could in these conditions... Enjoy!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Swiftsure Race Preview

Swiftsure Race start- Victoria, BC (Victoria, British Columbia)- The fourth major Memorial Day offshore event is simply  known as “the Swiftsure”.  One hundred sixty-six yachts are entered in the 76th Swiftsure International Yacht Race that will start on Saturday, May 25th. The fleet will use either PHRF or ORC rating system for one of the four courses ranging from 79 to 138 nm that start and finish in Victoria, BC. There are dozens of J/Teams that are participating in this famous offshore event in the Pacific Northwest.  Below are the courses and the J/Teams sailing each race.

J/160 JAM sailing Swiftsure RaceThe Cape Flattery Race for Monohulls (PHRF handicapped boats)- it goes from the Clover Point start, leaves the mark at Neah Bay to port, and crosses the finish line across Victoria Harbour– 101.9 nautical miles. Sailing this race is Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY, Bill Fox’s J/160 JAM, Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION, Scott Campbell’s J/121 RIVA, three J/120s (Kirk Palmer’s SCOUT, Mike Picco’s WILD BLUE, Chris Johnson’s WITH GRACE), three J/109s (Tom Sitar’s SERENDIPITY, Kirk Fraser’s ECLIPSE, Tolga Cezik’s LODOS), and three J/35s (Karl Haflinger’s SHEARWATER, Don Leighton’s TAHLEQUAH, Chad Stenwick’s THE BOSS). In addition is a one-design fleet of nine J/105s, including Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP, Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT, Chuck Stephen’s PANIC, Georgina Martin’s TROUBLEMAKER, Dana Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST, Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE, Bob Hayward’s KINETIC, Steve Summers’ PUFF, and Chris Phoenix’s JADED.

J/105 sailing Swiftsure RaceThe Juan de Fuca Race for Monohulls (PHRF handicapped boats)- goes from the Clover Point start, leaves the mark at Clallam Bay to port, and crosses the finish line across Victoria Harbour– 78.7 nautical miles. J/Teams participating in this race include Ron Mackenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE, Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF, Peter Dorsey’s RUSH, and two J/30s (John Collins’ SPUD & Ulf Gwildis’ IMPULSIVE),

In addition, there is a “day race” that is comprised of random legs around government marks that is announced the morning of the race; course lengths vary based on wind strength and direction.  Participating in the inshore race is Matt Dahabieh’s J/29 GODZILLA, two J/30s (Jim Bottles’ CELEBRATION & Bart Blainey’s LIMELIGHT), and Tom Kerr’s J/105 CORVO 105.  For more Swiftsure Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

FIGAWI Race Preview

Figawi Race (Hyannisport, MA)- The third major offshore Memorial Day event, “The Figawi”, arose originally to celebrate community and local charity over thirty-three years ago. The event started last Saturday, May 18th for the 33rd Annual Figawi Charity Ball at the Resort & Conference Center in Hyannis, MA.  This year’s theme was FIGAWI FIRE & ICE and the music was provided by America's #1 Dance Party Band, the “Soul Sound Revue”, the hottest 9-piece Motown show this side of Detroit.

Figawi Ball charity fund raiser
The sailing regatta is held every Memorial Day Weekend. The schedule begins on Friday in Hyannis with the Kickoff Summer Party that includes registration for the race and merchandise sales. Saturday morning, sans hangover (hopefully), the PHRF pursuit-style races starts off Hyannis at 10:00am and sends the fleet off on a 25.0nm race to Nantucket usually arriving late afternoon. Sunday is a lay day to enjoy the various events in the Figawi tents, walking the docks of Nantucket Boat Basin to take in all the activity, joining the spectators at the parade honoring fallen soldiers, and the infamous party in the big tent to close out Sunday night.

Figawi fuzzy spectatorsThe race annually expects over 240 boats and 3,000 participants in 13 classes; it is quite popular with J/sailors in New England! Four teams are sailing in PHRF S1 division, David Southwell’s J/121 ALCHEMY, Jimmy Masiero’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS, Chris Lund’s J/133 JUMP, and Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM.

Seven J/105s are sailing in PHRF S2 division, such as the Nantucket High School Sailing team on CLIO, the trio on DARK’N’STORMY (Joyce, Reservitz, Wagner), Mary Schmitt’s HARDTACK, Gerry Lorusso’s LYRIC, Dwight Greenhouse’s SKIPPERDEE, Mass Maritime’s BOUNTY, and Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF. Joining them are Sam Cushing’s J/80 THE PARTY TREE and Andrew Meincke’s J/97 ADRENALINE.

J/105 sailing Figawi RaceTwo J/46’s are sailing PHRF B division, Nathan Owen’s SEABISCUIT and Richard Egan’s WINGS. There is also a duo of J/35s racing, Jeff Kent’s BLACKSEAL and Mike Hersey’s RESILIENCE.

PHRF C division has three J/crews, Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST, and Kirk Brown’s J/40 JAZZ. In PHRF D division is John Ryley’s J/30 OTIS. Tom Ellis’ J/34 COVERAGE is racing PHRF H division. Mark Barrett’s J/30 MOJO will be sailing PHRF L division.  FIGAWI Race sailing information-  Entries/ resultsRegatta site. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

California Offshore Race Week Series Preview

J/88 sailing Spinnaker Cup race (San Francisco, CA)- The 2019 California Offshore Race Week is hosted by Encinal Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club. Together, they connect three distances races into a full offshore race week series. The series first race is now the fifth major offshore Memorial Day event!

Said one owner that has participated in previous series, “it’s the perfect series of races to kick off summer. Condensed into a tight window to accommodate our busy schedules - we get the chance to experience all of the challenges of too much and too little wind while racing along the picturesque California coast. We are all looking forward to the exhilarating downwind conditions and finishing in the San Diego sun. We’re packing the sunscreen!”

The three events are the following:
  • May 25- Spinnaker Cup Race- San Francisco, CA to Monterey
  • May 27- Coastal Cup Race- Monterey, CA to Santa Barbara
  • May 30- SoCal 300 Race- Santa Barbara, CA to San Diego
J/111 sailing Spinnaker cup raceThe event has proved popular with J/Teams on the Pacific coast. Participating in all three races in both the ORR-A Class and PHRF B Class will be the J/125 VELVET HAMMER, skippered by Zachery Anderson from Richmond YC (note- they are also entered in the 50th Transpac Race).

Sailing just the Spinnaker Cup Race from San Francisco down to Monterrey, CA will be seven J/Crews.  In the PHRF D Class are two J/120s, Timo Bruck’s TWIST and Michael Clarke’s J/120 SHENANIGANS from Richmond YC. In the PHRF E Class are three J/105s (Shafaq Sheikh’s SPARTAN, Chris Kim’s VUJA STAR, and Charlie Abraham’s JAVELIN), Vern Zvoleff’s J/88 RABIAN, and Kevin Mills’ J/36 DAWNS EARLY LIGHT.

Finally, joining the fleet for the SoCal 300 Race are two more high-octane, extremely fast offshore teams.  Sailing in ORR E class are Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH and Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 LIVE WIRE.  For more California Offshore Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.