Wednesday, July 31, 2019

J/121 and J/125s Crush 50th Transpac Race!

J/125 Snoope/ Derivate in Transpac Race
The J/Race Horses Are Back in the Barn and Celebrating!
(Honolulu, Hawaii)- First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the biennial Transpac Race attracted a record fleet of 90 boats for its 50th edition. Three waves of starts over a four-day period got the fleet onto the 2,225.0nm race track from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

The early starters on Wednesday, July 10th (Classes 6 to 10) dove south for better winds that never fully materialized; and they continued to be plagued by lighter airs relative to the rest of the fleet as they surfed to Diamond Head. The second wave of starters on Friday, July 12th (Classes 3-4-5) had favorable, windy breezes, after fetching Catalina Island on starboard tack, the fleet simply bore off, set Code Zeros, then A3s and A2s as they flew down the track for the rest of the race! However, the third group starting on Saturday, July 13th (Classes 1-2) was not as lucky as they dealt with light winds for their escape from California. As a result, the big winners in the “wind lottery” in the first 72 hours were the second wave of starters.
J/125 sailing Transpac Race
J/125s crush 50th Transpac Race Overall!
For the first time in the fifty years of Transpac Race history, a one-design class nearly swept the entire top five results overall- the famous J/125s!! Congrats to all four teams!

Winning was Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’s Seattle-based J/125 HAMACHI, taking both Division 3 and Overall honors. Taking silver in both class and overall was Zachary Anderson & Chris Kramer’s San Francisco-based J/125 VELVET HAMMER. Fourth in class and overall was Mark Surber’s San Diego-based J/125 SNOOPY (ex-DERIVATIVE). And, fifth in class and overall was Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG from Los Angeles.
J/121 BlueFlash crew win Transpac
J/121 Smokes Division 6!
Congratulations to Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH from Portland, Oregon! They easily won the “first wave” of starters overall (5 classes in total). Amazingly, BLUE FLASH was eighth boat to finish on elapsed time and won Division 6 by 4 1/2 hours corrected time!

Also, in that first wave of starts was Division 7, Paul Stemler’s classic J/44 racer-cruiser, named PATRIOT, took the silver in her group.

For the first time, the 50th Transpac also had a Corinthians Division. Winning Corinthians overall was Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG 2, plus they won it in Division 3 as well. Winning Corinthians in Division 6 was Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH, and taking 5th overall. Finally, winning Corinthians Division 7 was Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT, taking 8th overall.

To give you an idea of what it is like to sail a 2,225.0nm race, take some time to read the various J/crews’ blogs they were posting over satellite phone links.  Some of them are pretty amusing.
J/121 Blue Flash crew
J/121 BLUE FLASH- Scott Grealish
“After all the training we had done in the light airs Cabo San Lucas Race and the moderate winds in the Ensenada Race, and sail testing off San Diego prior to the race, we were excited to see what kind of legs we would have on our new J/121 in the open Pacific on a 2,225nm race track. We had no idea what to expect in the forecasted 10-20 kts winds, other than to push hard, keep experimenting with sail combinations for wind/wave angles and press on regardless.

On Wednesday, we had a good start, good lane, and we got to the right of fleet. A Farr 57 and Swede 55 were water-lining us, but we got around Catalina quickly in 16-18 kts breeze. The Farr just in front of us and the 55 just behind.  We were pleased with our speed, using the water ballast upwind helped at this stage and we were fast.

Based on the forecast and grib files, we could see the Pacific High was split in two, the east side was weaker, and the 500 mb pressure line was wobbly. We hoped for a solid High that would recede NW, tighten the gradients south, produce more winds, but that that didn’t happen. Initially, we had to go south after passing Catalina, which adds a lot of miles. But, that was not enough, in retrospect, as we never got the winds the Friday starters got for the whole race.

After rounding Catalina, we held on to our J2 jib for some time, sheeted to the rail. We wanted to hold higher (to the right) of the fleet so we could set our Code Zero once we could get the wind around to 75-125 TWA. Once we did that, we ran our genoa staysails underneath double-slotting- that was fast!  Once the wind moved further aft, we had what we called our “A10”, basically an A3/A5 flat reaching kit, flew the J4 on the inner forestay- that was even faster! Two days into the race we were constantly in the high teens boatspeed, hitting 22.5 kts at time in just 17-19 kts TWS. Note, we also used this combo in the reaching we encountered going into the finish like in the Molokai Channel in 20-30 kts TWS.

For the main part of the course for a good 7+ days, the wind dropped into 12-16 kts TWS. We were further north than most of our class/ fleet. We used our A2 chute (running kite) up to 18-21 kts TWS with large spinnaker staysail underneath. Late at night, we’d switch sometimes to the A5/ J4 for squalls. The staysails were very effective!

As for driving and boatspeed, connecting wave-sets was key, especially once we got up to 15 kts plus boatspeed. Like sailing our J/88, you had to watch to not go too high or too low on TWA’s downwind. We watched our VMC constantly and would adjust our angles based on wave trains and wind angles/ pressure. Basically, we’d sail between 150 to 160 TWA for best VMC. 165 was too deep, 145 was too high.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to my crew- ‘Thank You, for being such a fantastic team!’ We sailed all amateur with three youths (my son- Sean- and two other 20-somethings) and three “old guys” (50-something’s). As I've told others- sometimes we needed their energy, sometimes they needed our wisdom, and sometimes the roles reversed. But, they always stayed focused.

Andrew (our navigator) and I would spend 20 minutes pouring over the GFS grib files, surface analysis, 500mb pressure lines, yellow brick tracker, routing at various polar percentages, then give a discourse about why we needed to do such and such an angle, etc. Then, in the end they'd say ‘so you mean, sail fast, right?’ Haha, right! Reflecting on the experience, it was priceless to share it with friends, my son Sean, and having the added bonus of collecting silverware, we didn’t expect that!”
J/125 Hamachi win Transpac
J/125 HAMACHI blog- Shawn Dougherty / Jason Andrews
July 14- 1700- After solid 10-20 for the first 40 hours it got light this morning. Hamachi switched to its A2.5 at the 4am watch shift and worked south/southwest in 10 kts most of the day. The lighter air and flat seas allowed us to do some much-needed house keeping, which included going up the rig and doing a check as well as configuring halyards. We flew the drone for the first time and captured these pictures of the boat and crew with Matt Pistay aloft. A general funk has permeated the boat and its been traced to many damp socks and gear. It's now 5pm and the skies are clearing and the wind is filling.

July 15- Sunday- 1730- After a slow and cloudy Sunday, we had a nice evening sail under partly to mostly cloudy skies and nearly full moon. The skies cleared this morning and the wind filled around noon. Currently 15-20 kts and Hamachi is rumbling along. The boys are eagerly lined up awaiting their turn to drive and the Godfather Fred is sitting in the barko lounger critiquing their performance. The Hamachi crew had a relaxing lunch of fresh spaghetti bolognese on the back patio. The tunes were pumping. Everyone is well fed, rested and loving the experience!

July 16- Monday- 1600- Hamachi is approaching its halfway point so we passed the flask, flew the drone and had a dance party… all while hauling the mail!

July 18- Wednesday- Team Hamachi is laying down the gauntlet-time to do the serious business of racing…. to win it all. Transpac is a race within a race within a race. There are four J/125s, an above average collection, who are competing with each other to be the fastest J/125 on the west coast. Each boat has donated to a prize for the first across the line. This was our main focus going into Transpac, as its been a friendly rivalry and a great chance to meet other J/125 owners. All four J/125's are racing within Division 3, which is highly competitive and comprised of 13 boats. It's a great honor to win your class at Transpac, especially in a class this competitive. Finally, there is an overall winner based on corrected time for all 92 boats.

For Team Hamachi, we have been tracking the other J/125's from the start. After day 2 we started tracking other boats in our Division and were both surprised and excited to see Hamachi climb our Division ladder. Then on Tuesday, Hamachi started trending towards the top of the overall standings and now we've held the #1 in ORR (fastest boat overall) title for 24 hours.

The crew is ecstatic but a little uneasy. We like being a pursuit boat, quietly seeking to pass the leader. We are not used to being the boat everyone is watching and trying to take down.

So, needless to say, the dance parties have stopped, along with the drone flying. We spend every moment pushing to boat to go as fast as possible. Living below is like driving your VW camper van down a black diamond mogul run. We constantly pull weather and position reports, and we are gybing to find the best wind and wind angles. We are 920 miles from the finish and SENDING IT. Our current 24 hours record is 336.0nm (a 14.0 kts average). Top boat speed is 21.8kts (David Rogers).

Summary: This may be the last at sea update as time is now very short:  eat, sleep, sail fast, repeat…

Here are two well-done videos by the HAMACHI Team and commentary from co-owner Jason Andrews:
“Team Hamachi had a magical run to Hawaii.  We power reached across the line at 16 kts at 2:21 am Sunday (7/21) morning to complete the 50th Transpac in 8 days 16 hours and 21 minutes, which gives us a corrected time of 8 day 0 hours and 52 minutes.

It’s been a hell of an adventure and one that will not be repeated anytime soon.  We were fortunate to start on the “right day” and the high pressure materialized in a manner that allowed us to power reach the whole way to Hawaii in winds that averaged between 15-20 kts.  We never saw winds above 22 kts except for a few minutes, and always between midnight at 2 am to make it more exciting. We couldn’t have asked for a better crew and having one additional crew member became a clear advantage in the heavier wind versus the other J/125s. It’s going to take several days to catch up on sleep and begin to process the magnitude of this adventure and accomplishment. We have really appreciated all the support from our friends, family and Pacific Northwest sailing community. Mahalo!” A few videos from Hamachi for your amusement:
J/125 Hamachi video

J/125 Snoopy sailing Transpac Race
J/125 SNOOPY blog- Mark Surber

July 16- 1830- Transpac day 5. The last 24 hours has been fast. Great trade breeze, great tunes, beautiful sailing and we remain in touch with our other J/125 competitors. Before the trade winds, the game was straightforward: Sail to the right point to enter the trade winds in the desired position against your competitors. Once entered into the trade winds, the game is even simpler: sail as fast as you can to the right corner (depending on its location, on the west/southwest side of the high, or northeast of Hawaii).

We did a great job executing on the first, entering the trades just to the south of our competitors. Since entering into the trades yesterday, we have sailed as fast as we could while near-parallel tracking our competitors (Hamachi north and ahead, Velvet Hammer directly to the north, and Reinrag2 south and behind).

It was funny, about three hours ago we saw Velvet Hammer for the first time since day 1. We were sailing a bit higher and they a bit lower and we came within sight. Almost as soon as we saw each other, we again diverged to our private missions.

What happens next is the effect of the high. The wind slowly changes direction in a clockwise fashion until it is almost directly out of the east heading into Hawaii. The effect of this is that we slowly turn towards the north and ultimately jibe toward Hawaii. Thus, the boats to the north, will gain on the boats to the south. If all things stayed as they are now, Hamachi would likely be ahead of us, Velvet Hammer close to slightly behind, followed by Reinrag. Of course, this slow right turn won't fully develop for a couple more days making any outcome possible.

All aboard is very good. Typical breaks and fixes, but nothing worth writing about. Food remains my most pleasant surprise. Kinda like the Jetsons… just add water and presto! A ten-course meal (almost). The flying fish watch continues. No one has been hit, but one about a foot long flew over Pike's head while he was driving. Then an hour ago, a baby was found on the deck grasping at every last breath to reach Scott. He had made the hazardous voyage onto the boat only to fall a foot short. So sad. We took a picture.

Weather continues to warm. I wore swim trunks, a dry shirt and straw hat today. A bit cold for 20 kts breeze, but way better than sweating in the foul weather gear.

(Oh, we just hit 20 kts again. It’s just not as special as it used to be!)
J/125 sailing offshore
J/125 REINRAG 2 blog- Tom Garnier
July 16- 1700- Last night in the Pacific was spectacular. The wind was blowing us towards Hawaii with enough pressure to allow Reinrag 2 to surf from 12 to about 20 kts on the smallish 2 to 4 foot seas. The air was in the low 70s, chilly with wind on wet clothes, but pleasant to my New England accustomed senses. Oh, and the moon was full and shining down on all, the white foam of breaking waves, the sparkle of the spray from the bow, and the ghostly white of the spinnaker curl in trim.

As I relieved Tom and took my turn at the helm, he admitted understatedly, “Ok, maybe I had fun for a few moments there.” Pointing out that, there is something here in these moments of driving a small boat across this wide ocean that make it worth the price of admission.

The expense, the months of preparation, even for a boat and crew that’s done it before, and the time away from family and career. Why do we do it? And, why do we come back and do it again? We do it for last night, that feeling.

Behind the wheel, I started to think how I can describe it. I chuckle to myself as I think in my SoCal raised way, “it’s just awesome dude!” And in a way it is… a feeling of awe. No, not so much in the natural world around us; it is just too alien.

The ocean raging from the trade winds, the tiny sails of the jellyfish, the moon and Jupiter beside it are indifferent to our passing (although the porpoise do check in on us from time to time).

No, I feel the awe about the humanity invading this night so far from land. This boat, these five primates on it, riding, crashing, bursting towards Hawaii.
sunset over the Pacific
I stand behind the wheel, my feet firmly planted on the deck, through which I feel the boat almost as though it were an extension of my body. The pitch and roll of the boat tells me what the waves are doing, though I see only a crest reflecting the moonlight. The boat pitches down and begins to roll to leeward as the stern is lifted by the oncoming wave. Like a dinghy, I shift my weight unconsciously to windward and will the boat to catch (in fact, I move the wheel to leeward and the boat rolls windward). She catches the wave and accelerates. Tom is watching the sail and grinds in to keep her pulling as the apparent wind shifts forward. The boat is now doing half again as much speed as before and I hunt by feel and moonlight for a second wave to catch, or a clean exit from the one I’m on. Eventually the boat slows and Tom eases the sheet.

There are instruments to help… a compass, apparent wind angle, boat speed etc… but these are secondary checks. Surfing is done by feel. You feel the wave, and you move the boat… and it’s a wonder. Standing at the wheel, riding over the ocean is just awesome.
J/145 sailing Transpac Race
J/145 KATARA blog- Roger Gatewood
July 21- 0630- We're on the final approach! Yesterday in the afternoon, we took some of our medicine and went West to get to the corner despite non-ideal VMC numbers. We gybed on to port tack for the 500+ mile run in to Molokai where we'll gybe again near Kalaupapa in the accelerated pressure zone that surrounds the NW corner of Molokai. From there we will gybe down that coast and around it's western edge before lining up for a final gybe over to starboard to finish the race off Diamond Head in Honolulu. We're told that channel has some of the finest big-boat surfing conditions seen anywhere. I'm looking forward to the ride. Might be a bit more excitement than we originally anticipated as we're almost guaranteed to hit it at night. Luckily, we've had an excellent near-full moon to guide our way each night.

Wind pressure was lighter than hoped for yesterday afternoon and in to the night, so our arrival has been delayed slightly. Estimating some time in the early morning on Monday.

Conditions being quieter we've been able to get most of the crew caught up on sleep and everyone seems to be doing well.

Just witnessed an absolutely stunning sunrise on deck with the Blue watch. They've got the reigns until Green takes over in about an hour. The fight to capture the most miles in this final push is on, and the helmsmen are focused as can be.

Inventorying the food reserves, we appear to have sufficient rations aboard to sail right past Honolulu and head for Fiji instead. The only things running low are the chocolate covered espresso beans and the trail mix.

Our trusty little water maker has been treating us right. We run it about an hour a day during charging and it whips up 6-8 gallons of good tasting safe potable water straight out of the sea.

It's pretty weird on port tack at the moment after nearly a week on starboard. Exercising muscles we haven't tried in a while and we had to do some clean up as everything went flying from its starboard tack optimized positioning. Roger was threatening to lead crew-yoga on the foredeck to get everyone stretched out again, but it's still mighty wet on that end of the boat.

The captain just gave up the helm a bit ago and is now sitting back and enjoying a nice hot up of tea as he surveys our progress. Seems to be having a blast.

Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate  Analyze how the J/121 and J/125s crushed the 50th Transpac here on YB Tracker   For more 50th Transpac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Stormy Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

J/121 wins Bayview Mackinac Race
(Port Huron, MI)- While last year was a drifter, this year was anything but for the 202 boats competing in the 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. The 95th running of the longest consecutively held freshwater race in the country started Saturday, July 20 at noon on lower Lake Huron and served up a “little bit of everything” on its way to the finish line at Mackinac Island.

“It included reaching, running, a lot of beating, and a pretty nasty storm thrown in on Saturday evening,” said Bill Martin (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the skipper of a Santa Cruz 70. According to Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman Robert Nutter, the storm dumped torrential rain for three hours straight and harbored gusts in excess of 30-40 knots. Nutter commented, “there were some breakdowns, but most everyone persevered. and enjoyed a great race with average wind speeds of 15-20 knots.”

Cove Island Course
On the Cove Island Course of 259.0nm, the first leg northeast to the Cove Island buoy along the Canadian shoreline was a reach for the entire fleet. Then, a storm rolled through with winds in the 20-30 kts range from the west-northwest, with the fleet finding themselves beating for over 75.0nm. Then, as the storm passed, it veered as predicted into the northerly quadrants and got lighter, permitting most of the fleet to be lifted on starboard tack and some of the faster mid-fleet boats basically had a long fetch on starboard tack into the Mackinac Island finish line.

Out for redemption in Class D was Robert Christoph’s J/121 LOKI. As they did in the Chicago-Mackinac Race, LOKI set a fast, hard pace in the first part of the race to the Cove Island buoy, comfortably leading the class boat-for-boat and punishing the Chicago to Mac Race winner- the 1D35 Turbo called Chico 2. Thereafter, as the front rolled through, the J/121 LOKI reveled in the windy conditions, played the shifts for the favored tack to the Mackinac Island finish line, and continued to sail away from the class. Finishing at 4:34 AM Monday, they covered the track in 39:44:35 to win their class comfortably by nearly 2 hours corrected time! As a result, a very happy J/121 LOKI crew was now on the podium for the second time in just one week! Rounding out the top five were Jeff Schaeffer’s J/111 SHMOKIN JOE in 3rd, Don Hudak’s J/111 CAPERS in 4th, and Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3 in 5th.

Class E was comprised solely of ten J/120s. Taking class honors was Henry Mistel’s NIGHT MOVES, joining them on the podium was Charlie Hess’ FUNTECH RACING in 2nd and Kenneth Brown & Mark Pikula’s J-HAWKER in 3rd (these two were only separated by 30 secs at the finish!). The balance of the top five included John Harvey & Rick Titsworth’s SLEEPING TIGER in 4th and Curtis Kime’s VICTRIX in 5th position.

Guess who won Class H that was made up of mostly J/35s? Yes, you guessed right! Bill Wildner’s infamous MR BILL’S WILD RIDE. Second was Dennis Meagher’s SNIPE and third was Bill Vogan’s MAJOR DETAIL. Fourth was Phil Velez’s AMANTE and fifth Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST.

Winning the all J/Boats Class I was yet another familiar name at the top of the podium, none other than the Chicago Mackinac Race winning J/109 GOAT RODEO sailed by Robert Evans! And, yet another champion team took the silver, Mark Symond’s J/105 PTERODACTYL- winners of the J/105 class in the Chicago Mackinac Race. In fact, both boats earned the honor of being the winning J/109 and J/105 for the second respective Mac Race, a feat that has been repeated in previous Mac Races for these two teams. Third was Chris Mallet’s J/109 SYNCHRONICITY, fourth was Jim Murray’s J/109 CALLISTO, and fifth went to Mark DenUyl’s J/105 GOOD LOOKIN.

Gary Gonzalez’s J/42 DOS MAS took the silver in Class K Cruising Sails. Then, Brad & Ian Faber’s J/111 UTAH took the silver in the DoubleHanded Class L division.

Third in Division N in the Shore Island Course was Brett Langolf's happy crew on the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP!
J/34 IOR Knee Deep in Bayview Mac race
A total of 20 classes sailed in three divisions at the 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which prides itself on being one of the most spirited events on the Great Lakes. On Friday night (July 19), participants lined the Black River with their boats to participate in Boat Night. They paraded to the start on Saturday morning to the cheers of spectators lining the shore. After finishing on Sunday and Monday, skippers and crews found their way to the Pink Pony (an iconic bar on Mackinac Island) to get a delicious Bell’s Beer once they cleaned up, and Tuesday afternoon they attended a giant awards party and concert on the grounds of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel.  Follow the Bayview Mackinac Race on Facebook here  For more Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Epic, Windy Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta

J/70s flying on Solent
(Hamble, England)- The J/Boat family bid a fond farewell to Paul Heys who “sailed away” in February this year. Before the start of racing, the sixty-boat fleet gathered in the vicinity of the proposed location for the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy for a special tribute. Whilst observing a minutes silence, Paul Heys' ashes were released in a seashell by his wife Marie-Claude, assisted by Paul's daughters, Gemma and Natalie. Over £25,000 has already been raised, covering the cost and maintenance of the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy for ten years. The target of £34,000, will ensure that the buoy will be raced around by Paul Heys' grandchildren and those of the J-Boat family. To make a donation:

Martin Dent (owner of the J/70 and J/111 named JELVIS) commented after the memorial to Paul Heys, “It was fantastic when we came in and congregated, I looked at the other boats and teams were standing in rows on deck to attention. It was very moving. We got to our feet as well in honor of an absolute legend. I am glad that we are fund raising to put a mark in to celebrate Paul. I hope the mark will be a place of much carnage..... If ever we are doing a mark rounding there, we will leave the drop late, rodeo drop, and possibly fling it in with borderline rights in honor of the greatest rogue. Paul Heys has made more impact on sailing than any other single person, and is responsible for so many Solent sailors, including my family and team Jelvis. I miss him.”
J/99 sailing J/Cup
The Landsail Tyres J-Cup is an annual event in which all J/Boats are invited to attend, to race in one-design classes or under IRC. The 2019 edition was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club with racing in the Solent. Sixty teams racing ten different examples of the J/Boat range were in action with skippers from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and the United States. This year's regatta also featured the J/70 UK Class Training Event.

All nine races were completed over three days of thrilling racing for over 300 sailors. Conditions ranged from moderate to fresh and frightening. Mother Nature saved her best until last with 25 knots of breeze in clear blue skies for the last race of a fantastic regatta. Competitors enjoyed the use of modern facilities at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, including the spacious Upper Bar with elevated views over the Hamble River. In the dining room North Sails delivered a video debrief, a master class on heavy airs trimming and boat handling from: Dave Lenz, Ruairidh Scott, Jeremy Smart and Charlie Cumbley.

In the 16-strong J/70 Class, Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat scored seven bullets out of nine races to win the class from Charles Thompson's Brutus. Clive Bush's Darcey was pushed hard by Graham Clapp's Jeepster for the podium, with Jeepster winning the last two contests. However, Darcey was third by a single point after nine race.
J/111 start on Solent, England
Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was awarded the J-Cup for their impressive performance, the first time a J/70 team has won the prestigious trophy. A very surprised Paul Ward was quick to thank his team and Paul Heys at the Prize Giving. “I am shocked, this is totally unexpected!” commented Paul. “A big thank you to Paul Heys, all of us here wish he was still around, and like many many of us, he has helped me enormously with my sailing. A big thank you to the Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat team, Charlie (Cumbley), Ruairidh (Scott), and Mario (Trindade).”

In the IRC Big Boat Class, Chaz Ivill's J/112 Davanti Tyres won the class for a third year in a row, but it was far from easy. Davanti Tyres put in a stellar performance on the last day, winning all three races to win the class, just ahead of Mike Wallis' J/122 Jahmali. Isabelle Hung's “The Outsiders” racing J/122 Jolly Jellyfish were competing in their first J-Cup, and finished on the podium in third.

In the IRC Small Boat Class, Frédéric Bouvier's J/99 J Lance 14 was in commanding form, scoring all podium finishes in nine races, including six bullets. Jeff Johnstone racing J/99 Jet was runner-up, and the American skipper gave the French J/99 a great battle, succeeding in victory and one tie during the regatta. President of J Composites SAS, Didier Le Moal was part of the J Lance 14, racing against the President of J/Boats Inc, Jeff Johnstone.

“What an amazing weekend,” commented Jeff Johnstone. Having this many J/Sailors together is when the magic happens - you can design boats in a vacuum, and you are never quite sure how people respond to it until you show up at a regatta like this. The racing has been fantastic, run by a stellar race committee. Meeting up with so many friendly people, enjoying their boats and testing them to the limits. I know I speak for the J Boat Company back home, and Didier (Le Moal), when I say that the great camaraderie shows great respect for Paul Heys, who started this event.”

Ten teams competed in the J/92 Class, a bumper entry for the high performance 30-footer. Robin Stevenson's Upstart impressed, scoring four race wins and a tie for first place to win the class and retain the J/92 National Championship. David Greenhalgh's J'ronimo, with VOR sailor and daughter Libby on tactics was second. A very close third was Alan Macleod's Samurai J scoring eight podiums out of nine races.

“With a new baby this year, the J-Cup is the first regatta of the season for Upstart,” commented Robin Stevenson. “The J/92 is the only boat I know, and this is a regatta full of great competition in the class. Boat handling was the key, especially for the last two days, and the Upstart crew performed very well in the big conditions”
J/99 sailing J/Cup UK
In the J/111 Class, Tony Mack's McFly held off a strong challenge to win the class from 2018 J/111 National champion, Chris Jones & Louise Makin's Journeymaker II, and 2018 J-Cup winner Paul van Driel's Sweeny. In a high-octane close encounter, races were won by just seconds. Tony Mack was full of fun at the Prize Giving, and was quick to praise his crew. Journeymaker II and Sweeny tied for second place, both scoring equal points after nine races. Sweeny was scored second on countback after winning the last race of the regatta.

In the J/109 Class, eleven teams duked it out over nine races. Last year's runner up, John Smart's Jukebox, won the class scoring five race wins with Ireland's Mark Mansfield calling tactics. Simon Perry's Jiraffe was second, scoring seven race podiums, including a win in big conditions in the last race. Racing in the class is highly competitive, with a full program of J/109 events through out the year. Thirteen J/109 will be competing at Cowes Week and 19 J/109s are set for the Rolex Fastnet Race for the J/109 Fastnet Trophy.

Kirsty & David Apthorp's J/88 J-Dream was on the race podium for all nine races, including six bullets, to retain the J/88 National Championship for a third year in a row. Gavin Howe's Tigris scored all but one podium finishes, including a race win to finish the regatta in second place. Tim Tolcher's Raging Bull saved their best until last scoring a 2-1-4 on the final day to finish on the podium in third.

Video action from the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup and J/70 UK Class Training Event. (Thanks to Louay Habib, Shaun Roster, and North Sails). Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, July 29, 2019

J/121 Offshore Speedster Winning Silverware Worldwide!

J/121 downwind
(Newport, RI)- The 2019 offshore racing season continues to see J/121 teams developing their knowledge regards sailing techniques for maximizing their offshore speed potential in a variety of conditions across the Pacific Ocean, the Bass Strait/ Tasman Sea, the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean. That knowledge has been leading many J/121 owners to several amazing trophy-winning performances across the world.

Most recently, Scott Grealish’s team from Portland, Oregon sailed BLUE FLASH to 1st Division 6 in the 50th Transpac Race and earned the prestigious Navigator’s Trophy. BLUE FLASH took off in the first flight of starters from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii and won their class outright by over 2 1/2 hours corrected time, racing under the ORR handicap system. Winds ranged from 10 to 20 kts from the NE to ESE under the Pacific High as they raced across the 2,225.0nm race track at speeds up to 22.5 kts! Scott reported the boat had plenty of “grip” and felt in full control flying down the huge Pacific swells.

In much flatter, choppier waters on the Great Lakes, the newly launched J/121 LOKI from Charlevoix, Michigan sailed both “Mac Races”- the famous Chicago-Mackinac and the Bayview-Mackinac- and collected a gold and bronze medal for their efforts! The two races could not have been any more different; Chicago was 85% 0-10 kts (upwind & downwind) and 15% 15-25 kts (reaching), while Bayview was the converse with 80% 15-25 kts (upwind) and 20% 6-12 kts (reaching/ downwind).

In the Chicago-Mackinac Race, LOKI had set a furious pace in the constantly changing winds from their start on Saturday afternoon until Sunday midday. The winds started SW, shifted NE, then NW, back to SE and dying. 24 hours into the race, LOKI was leading class and overall until around noon Sunday. At that point, LOKI “parked” for nearly five hours, going just a few miles. Behind them, mid-fleeters and tail-enders did an “end around”. The most extreme examples saw smaller J’s leading the much faster, more powerful J/121 LOKI into the Manitous by midnight Sunday (165.0nm into the race)- a J/105, J/111, and J/109! How bizarre is that? In the end, LOKI scrambled their way back to a 3rd in class!

Segue to the Bayview Mac one weekend later. On the redemption path, LOKI was determined to bury their top competitors, including the Chicago-Mackinac Overall winner- the 1D35 Turbo Chico 2. That movie did not take long to unfold. Fresh off their start, LOKI simply took off on port tack headed for the first mark off Cove Island; reaching the turning point over 5.0nm in front of their class. Not soon after heading for the Mac finish line, the front rolled in from the WNW and LOKI proceeded to tack on the shifts in 20-25 kts TWS, steadily opening up their lead. By the finish, LOKI opened up a 12.0nm lead on Chico 2 and the rest of the fleet, winning class comfortably with a 2 hour margin over the next boat.
J/121 sailing off Seattle, WA
Scott Campbell’s J/121 RIVA raced two huge offshore events in the Pacific Northwest and collected silverware in both. Sailing conditions ranged from drifting to 40 kts plus.  RIVA won the 193.0nm Oregon Offshore Race from Astoria, OR (opening of the notoriously dangerous Columbia River) to Victoria, BC, Canada. Then, RIVA sailed the 487.0nm Van Isle 360 Race- a 10-day, nine-leg, event- that circumnavigates the spectacular Vancouver Island in some of the most treacherous waters in the world- that effort earned them the silver medal!

In addition to the Transpac Race, Grealish’s BLUE FLASH sailed both the Ensenada Race and the Cabo San Lucas Race. Their inaugural race was the 800.nm Cabo Race- going from Newport Beach, CA to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (the tip of the Baja Peninsula). That was quite a “shake-down cruise”, certainly not for the faint of heart! Sail-testing and boatspeed analysis was the order of the day. After two days, they were dueling with the J/125 for the class and overall lead. However, the wind went flat, disappeared, and BLUE FLASH was too far outside, dropping to 5th ORR 3 Class in the end. For the 125.0nm Ensenada Race- from Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico- BLUE FLASH sailed in light 0-10.0 kts TWS and all Code Zero/ A1 spinnaker sailing conditions for the entire race, ultimately taking 2nd in ULDB B Class- a great test of the J/121’s light air performance.

In February, a new J/121 sailed her inaugural event in the Geelong Festival of Sails, off Geelong/ Melbourne, Australia. Mark Nicholson’s J/121 JAVELIN sailed in the offshore AMS Cruising Division. Three races and over 100.0nm of sailing later offshore, JAVELIN won her first major offshore event in winds ranging from 6 to 20 kts!  Earlier, JAVELIN won the 2018 Offshore Winter Series hosted by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, Australia. The ORCV Winter Series is a series of 5 passage races of varying distances, from medium distance races around fixed marks at the top end of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne to several longer distance passage races to popular destinations- such as Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron (BYS), Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), and Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club (HBYC).
J/121 sailing upwind
Sailing double-handed, David Southwell’s J/121 ALCHEMY won the 100.0nm Ida Lewis Distance Race PHRF Doublehanded Class, starting/ finishing off Newport, RI and sailing around an ocean triangle in Rhode Island Sound; winds were mostly SE to SW in the 6 to 15 kts range, sailing a balanced beat/ reach/ run with just about “all the laundry” the duo could hoist- J2, J4, Code Zero, A1, A2!

If J/News readers recall, Don Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO first major ocean race was the famous 635.0nm Newport to Bermuda Race. Blessed with good fortune, solid navigation and well-executed strategy, they managed to win their Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division class and finish 6th overall.  An amazing performance considering the magnitude of variables and weather decisions necessary to stand atop the podium in the professional Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division! The first two days of the race were light, drifting conditions. Then, for the last 24 hours, APOLLO set their Code Zero and J4 jib as a staysail and sailed away from their competition, winning the race, literally, in one day and just over 160.0nm of sailing in the slowly building WSW breeze of 5 to 14 kts TWS.

Are you ready to have fun offshore? Ready to race an amazingly easy-to-sail offshore 41-footer?! Give one a try today and go for a test sail!  For more J/121 Offshore speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ugotta Regatta Preview

J/70s sailing Ugotta Regatta
(Harbor Springs, MI)- Hosted by Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI, the annual Ugotta Regatta has become a very fun, sociable “Post Mac Race” regatta to enjoy day-racing in what has to be one of the prettiest horseshoe-shaped bays in the world, with Caribbean-like aquamarine waters so clear you can see over 35 feet below the surface. It has become quite popular for J/sailors since it now includes the J/70 class, in addition to a J/105 class and PHRF handicap racing.

The enormous twenty-boat J/70 class is likely due to the fact that the J/70 Corinthian National Championship will be taking place in the same venue in a few weeks time. Some of the top crews include John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE, Don Glover’s MISS KILLER, Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH, Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRISTIBLE, Ryan McKillen’s SURGE, and Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS.

Racing the J/105 class are a quartet of mostly local boats, such as Bill Petzold’s GREEN FLASH, Sam Powers’ GRYPHON, Jay Vander Wall’s MANITOU, and Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL (hoping to complete the “triple crown” - Chicago Mac/ Bayview Mac/ Ugotta).

In PHRF A class are two J/111s (Brad Faber’s UTAH and Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE). Then, in PHRF B class is Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG and Gary & Susan Stewart’s J/32 ZONE.  For more Ugotta Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Edgartown Race Weekend Preview

J/111 sailing Edgartown Race Week (Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)- According to world-famous New Zealand sailor Gavin Brady, “Edgartown Race Week always produces a lot of great stories.” He should know, since he sailed for years in Martha’s Vineyard on the TP52 VESPER- which belongs to summer native Jim Swartz (notable for his prescient investment in a little social media company called Facebook). Brady goes on to say, “the Vineyard is an awesome destination, and the club has a great feel to it with loads of history. The ‘Round-the-Island Race is a very tactical race with tides and plenty of passing opportunities– always enjoyable and never the same. This will be as much a great adventure as a race.”

Edgartown Race Weekend divisions includes racing for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), Classics, One-Design, Multihull and Doublehanded boats. ’RTI/’RTS and ‘RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 26) and awards on both Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (July 28) round out the amazing social schedule.

J/122 sailing off Edgartown Race Week
Not surprisingly, the event is incredibly popular with many New England J/Crews, especially for those in Cape Cod and surrounding waters. Sailing in the RTB race PHRF B is Dan Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE.  In PHRF C are two J/105s (Matt Schmitt’s HARDTACK & the trio of Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner on DARK’N’STORMY).

For the RTI race, in PHRF 2 is Alan Fougere’s J/160 AVATAR and Kent Nicholas’ J/42 PANASEA. Sailing PHRF 5 are three J/105s (HARDTACK, DARK’N’STORMY, & Nantucket Community Sailing’s CLIO), Phil Stathos’ J/110 AIRBENDER, Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA, and Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST.  Racing PHRF 6 are Jonathan Burt’s J/130 LOLA, Dick Egan’s J/46 WINGS, Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0, Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES, and two J/109s (Ed Dailey’s RAPTOR & Eliot Shanabrook’s HAFA ADAI).

Finally, in the RTS race, in PHRF 2 is Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE and the J/70 Class includes JP Bretl’s SEAHAWK, Veronica Lundgren’s GHOST, and Anthony Giordano’s TONIC.  For more Edgartown Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race Preview

Point Dume, Malibu, CA
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The 2019 Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is a distance race spanning 81.0nm and has been a tradition for Santa Barbara and King Harbor sailors for 47 years. The race is quite popular with sailors up and down the Southern California coastline, seventy boats are registered, of which 23% (16) are J/Teams.

The SB-KH is a simple race, too, since the tactics are pretty well understood by most teams. From the start line, sailing in a building northwesterly seabreeze, it is a straight shot on starboard tack to the bottom of the Channel Islands, with either Code Zeros or reaching spinnakers. The one and only turning mark is Anacapa Island, left to port.  The principal issue is getting around the wind shadow of Anacapa before gybing and dashing off on port tack under spinnakers towards the infamous Point Dume (a.k.a. sometimes Pt Doom!) in the glittery, fashionable village of Malibu, CA. The reason why that strategy works is that late afternoon winds from the NW are significantly accelerated around that point due to the fact the entire Los Angeles Basin is boiling hot (like 100 F deg hot!) and the Santa Rosa/ San Jacinto Mountain range to the east are like giant frying pans sending all that heat skywards! Upon reaching Point Dume, most boats gybe back onto starboard tack and head for the finish line at the opening to King Harbor in Redondo Beach, just north of the gorgeous Palos Verdes peninsula.

J/125 Warrior sailing Santa Barbara to King Harbor RaceThe sixteen J/Teams participating include four J/111s (Bernie Girod’s ROCK & ROLL, Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s PICOSA, Kenny Kieding & John Vincent’s ARGO 3, & Mike Drammer’s TITANIUM), Dr Laura Schlessinger’s J/125 WARRIOR (a multiple race winner), two J/120s (Tom & Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER & Jack Rose’s PRIVATEER II), Scott Torrance’s J/124 FORGIVENESS, two J/109s (Tom Cullen’s FUEGO & Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR), Doug Steick’s J/100 JIB & TONIC, Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT, three J/105s (Chuck Spear’s TWELVE BAR BLUES, Tom Bollay’s ARMIDA, & Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN), and Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN.  For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Whidbey Island Race Week Preview

J/109 sailing in Puget Sound, WA(Oak Harbor, WA)- The kids are now adults. And, the adults are still acting like kids. And, after nearly four decades, Whidbey Island Race Week remains the stalwart among true race weeks. This year’s event has attracted a fleet of sixty-one boats, twenty-eight of them are J/Crews- 46% of the regatta! There are one-design classes for J/80s and J/105s, with the rest sailing in various PHRF handicap classes.

The J/105 class has, perhaps, its largest turnout ever. Eleven teams are making the trek north to enjoy some fun in the sun, lots of socializing, and perhaps a few round-the-cans races! If they have not gone delirious at the evening parties, these teams should be contenders in the leaderboard; Tom Kerr’s CORVO 105, Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM, Chris Phoenix’s JADED, John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN, and Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE.

Similarly, the J/80 class of eight crews also have one of their largest turnouts ever.  Watch for these crews to stay somewhere near the forefront of the leaderboard, David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL, Ryan Porter’s JOLLY GREEN, Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN, and Morris Lowitz’s UPROAR.

In the PHRF handicap racing world, the J’s are well represented across the board. In PHRF 1 is Bruce Chan’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II. In PHRF 2 are three J/109s (Mike Campbell’s LAPA, Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, & Tolga Cezik’s LODOS), Brian White’s J/35 GRACE E, and Dave & Vernice Cohen’s J/90 EYE EYE. Then, in PHRF 3 class is Stephanie Arnold’s J/33 DASH (yet another woman owner ready to dust the class).  For more Whidbey Island Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, July 26, 2019

New England Solo-Twin Race Preview

J/99 sailing doublehanded offshore
(Newport, RI)- Newport Yacht Club is hosting their annual New England Solo-Twin Race, starting on Friday, July 26th at noon.  The NYC PRO has an opportunity to select from five race courses for the singlehanded and doublehanded racers that are 60.0 to 100.0nm ocean triangle courses that start and finish in Narragansett Bay.  The selected course is based on weather forecasts for the two-day race.  So far, the various weather models (NAM, ECMWF, GFS) are showing seabreeze SSW 10-15 kts for the start, slowing swinging SE by evening and more ESE Friday night and Saturday morning in the 5-10 kts range.

Looking forward to the challenge are several well-sailed J/Crews.  In the Monohull Spinnaker Solo division is Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE.  In the Monohull Spinnaker Twin division are two J/121s (David Southwell/ Scott Meier on ALCHEMY and Greg Manning/ Todd Johnston on SARAH), Bill Kneller/ Eric Irwin’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE, Patrick Gavin-Brynes/ Evelyn Hull's J/99 AGENT 99, Paul Grimes/ David Moffet’s J/35 BREAKAWAY, Kevin Dakan/ Bob Kinsman’s J/110 MEMORY.  For more New England Solo-Twin Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Marblehead NOOD Regatta Preview

Marblehead harbor (Marblehead, MA)- The 2019 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta at Marblehead Race Week returns to Marblehead, MA, July 25 to 28. Boston Yacht Club will host more than 150 teams across 14 fleets. J/One-Design classes include J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/105s.

Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Jud Smith (Swampscott, MA), won the 2018 Marblehead NOOD and the 2018 J/70 World Championship in the same venue. “It’s a new year,” says Smith, “And, a lot of good boats are registered. We have three past J/70 World Champions in the fleet, including myself, Peter Duncan, and Joel Ronning, so the top end of the fleet is going to be stacked.”

Training and preparation were vital to Smith’s past success, and this season he plans to share his knowledge as a coach and mentor. Smith notes the importance of working out the kinks throughout the season so teams can peak at the right time.

J/70s sailing off Marblehead, MA“The best method I’ve seen is to do a regatta every month or so, with intensive training in between,” shared Smith. “With the wind and currents in Marblehead, the NOOD will serve as a perfect training platform for the World Championships in Torquay [England] later this season. Marblehead is one of the top ocean venues in the country, and with the NOOD Regatta coming here each year, it keeps the area at the forefront of one-design racing. It’s the biggest regatta of the season for many of us in New England, so everyone gets really excited to go out and compete.”

Joining these world-class competitors in the 25-boat J/70 fleet are Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER, Bill Lynn & Ed Keller’s KEY PLAYER, Sam Altreuter’s LEADFOOT, Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, David Franzel’s SPRING, John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES, and Nancy Glover’s WINTERWIND.

The J/80s will have good racing with top crews like Peter d’Anjou’s LE TRIGRE, Sam Cushing’s THE PARTY TREE, Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER, Brian Gibbs’ BLIND FAITH, and Fred Baker’s BLUE SKIES.

J/105s sailing off Marblehead, MAOn a roll in the J/105 class is Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE. Having had much practice in their hometown J/105 Fleet #1 in San Francisco Bay. Fifteen J/105s are expecting to learn more about the tricky Marblehead offshore sailing conditions, as it is also the site for the 2019 J/105 North American Championship in September. Hoping to give GOOD TRADE a run-for-the-money are teams like Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from Houston, TX; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Mark Lindquist’s STERLING from Buzzards Bay, MA; and Mark Masur’s globe-trotting TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth, TX.

The Marblehead NOOD, hosted by Boston YC, with race committee support from Eastern and Corinthian yacht clubs, will produce the final entrant for the Caribbean Championship sponsored by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands on October 27 to November 1, 2019.  For more Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

59th Little Traverse YC “Ugotta Regatta” Preview

J/70 sailing Harbor Springs, MI
(Harbor Springs, MI)- The Little Traverse Yacht Club is hosting its 59th Annual “Ugotta Regatta” beginning Friday, July 26th and running through Sunday, July 28th. Start times have been pushed back to 12:00 pm daily allowing for the thermal or sea breeze to fill in. This should alleviate postponements either on land or on the water. It will also allow for more consistent wind pressure and direction, which will result in better racing. The One-Design Fleets will enjoy three days of windward-leeward racing, while the rest of the Divisions join in on the fun with the traditional “Tour of the Bay” races Saturday and Sunday.

The One-Design Fleets include fleets of J/70s and J/105s. The largest Fleet with 22 boats registered is the J/70 Fleet. Ten of the 22 J/70’s registered are local boats hailing from Little Traverse YC. A lot of these J/70’s will be using the Regatta as a tune-up race as they will be back competing in the J/70 Corinthian National Championships hosted by LTYC August 8th through the 11th. Currently there are 43 J/70’s signed up for this major amateur championship event.

Leading boats in the J/70 class include John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE, the Little Traverse Sailors Team, Don Glover’s MISS KILLER, Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH, Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, and Scott Seller’s TRES BURRITOS.

The J/105 class includes Bill Petzold’s GREEN FLASH, Sam Powers’ GRYPHON, Jay Vander Wall’s MANITOU, and Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL.
J/Fest Harbor Springs
The rest of the divisions will be racing the traditional and ever popular “Tour of the Bay” race format on Saturday and Sunday. This is a combination of windward-leeward legs, and reaching legs using the fixed racing buoys located around Little Traverse Bay. “In all there will be 90 plus boats competing, making it exciting to watch from on the water or around the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay. This event will feature boats from 23 to 70 feet in length, all competing for line honors and bragging rights,” said Tom Trautman, Vice Commodore and Chairman of the 59th Annual LTYC Regatta. Again, racing begins at 12:00 pm each day and boats will be out competing on the water for 3 to 4 hours during the afternoons.

“Some of the boats will be coming down from Mackinac Island on Wednesday after completing the Port Huron to Mackinac Race which starts on Saturday, July 20th and usually finishes on Monday or Tuesday morning. Some of the boats will already be here from the Chicago to Mac Race which took place the weekend prior, and a handful of boats are local boats that live and dock here in Harbor Springs,” said Regatta Chair Tom Trautman. “Starting Wednesday evening spectators can stroll the docks and check out the boats up close and personal at the Harbor Springs Municipal Marina and Irish Boat Shop.”

Sailing in the PHRF A Class will be two J/111s, Brad Faber’s UTAH and Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE. Then, in PHRF B Class are two J/crews, including Gary & Susan Stewart’s J/32 ZONE and Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG.

The Regatta brings to Harbor Springs hundreds of crewmembers and their families from across the Midwest and beyond. With a noon starting time each day, it gives everyone plenty of time in the morning to explore the town of Harbor Springs and allows the sailors time to get their boats prepped for the afternoon. It also gives everyone time to enjoy the Little Traverse Sailors Famous Pancake Breakfast. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8:00 to 11:00 am, the Yacht Club hosts the LTS Pancake Breakfast. This is an important fundraiser for the LTS program and is open to the racers and the public alike. The Pancake Breakfast is a delicious way for the sailors to fuel up before getting on the water. One highlight of the breakfast: the young sailors flip less-than-perfect pancakes over their shoulders to land on the roof of the sail shed behind them.

There are many shore-side activities scheduled around the Regatta. Friday night kicks off with a private Ugotta Regatta Party for the competitors, volunteers and sponsors at Irish Boat Shop. After racing on Saturday, the Club hosts a party for the competitors featuring the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. The race weekend ends on Sunday evening as the Club hosts a final Regatta Party and awards presentation for competitors, volunteers and sponsors.

“It takes incredible teamwork and a village to run a Regatta of this size and we couldn’t do it without our 100+ volunteers,” said Trautman. “We express our deepest appreciation to all who have helped support this event. The Ugotta Regatta rules state no coats, no ties, no socks - no problem! Just great racing on the pristine waters of Little Traverse Bay, a chance for some relaxation in beautiful Harbor Springs, and a guaranteed good time”.  For regatta scoring go here.  For more Little Traverse YC Ugotta Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

U.K. J/24 Nationals Got HUSTLED!

J/24 sailing off England
(Plymouth, England)- The Plymouth Yacht Regatta took place from the 12th to 14th July and the event co-hosted the U.K. J/24 National Championship. The Port of Plymouth Sailing Association organized the regatta and the RNSA (Royal Navy Sailing Association) and Plymouth Yacht Clubs provided the on-the-water race management.

The twenty-nine J/24s enjoyed great racing, with the fleet enjoying an exhausting, but rewarding, ten races over the three-day event. In the end, it was Sam Pearson’s HUSTLE that won the regatta with 39 pts net. There’s was not an easy win as Nick Phillips’ CHAOTIC was running away with the regatta until the seventh race, as they had posted three bullets and a 2-4 in their tally. However, a 7th race DSQ torpedoed Phillips’ chances of winning the regatta, consequently hanging tough in the last three races to take the silver by a whisker.  Tied on 49 pts net with them was the Swedish team on FRONT RUNNER (JIVE), sailed by Monica & Per-Hakan Persson, a perennially top J/24 team in Europe.  The Swedish team finally got their act together and gelled in their last four races, posting a 1-2-2-12 to leap up the standings to tie CHAOTIC, but lose the countback to settle for the bronze on the podium.

The balance of the top five included Dave Hale’s CACCON in fourth place and James Torr’s MAJIC U25 youth team took fifth position.  Follow the Plymouth Regatta Week on Facebook here  For more Plymouth Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

J/109s Top Dun Laoghaire Regatta

J/109 sailing off Ireland
(Dun Laoghaire, Ireland)- Ireland’s largest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close Sunday afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with 500 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing.

A light northerly breeze of six knots allowed organizers to complete nearly all 290 scheduled races with many class titles hanging on the outcome of the final race.

Many of the hottest boats were racing the IRC Coastal class of twenty-eight boats. It was tough competition and J/Teams faired well overall. Taking the silver overall was Peter Dunlop’s J/109 MOJITO, while Nigel Ingram’s J/109 JET STREAM took 4th place. In the IRC B Coastal division, MOJITO won, leading a J/sweep of the podium.  Second was JET STREAM and third was Lindsay Casey & Denis Power’s J/97 WINDJAMMER.

In the Celtic Cup RC35 class, two J/109s swept the top honors. Winning was Pat Kelly’s STORM and taking the silver was Brian & John Hall’s SOMETHING ELSE.

In the IRC Cruiser 0 class of six yachts, Jonathan Anderson’s J/122E EL GRAN SENOR from the Clyde Cruising Club in Scotland started the regatta slowly and closed with a 3rd place average to take 4th in class, just 2 pts off the podium.
J/109s sailing off Dublin, Ireland
The twenty-seven boat IRC Cruiser 1 class was the most competitive and hardest class, especially because sixteen J/109s were vying for summer series offshore honors as well. Not surprisingly, J/Teams swept the top six places. The first five teams were all J/109s. Winning was John Maybury’s JOKER 2, taking the silver was Tim & Richard Goodbody’s WHITE MISCHIEF, the bronze went to Pat Kelly’s STORM, fourth was Cowell Murphy’s OUTRAJEOUS, and fifth was Brian Jones’ JELLY BABY. Taking 6th was the newly launched J/99 JUGGERKNOT 2 sailed by the trio of Andrew Algeo, Richard Knatchbull, & Paul Nolan from Royal Irish YC.

The IRC Cruiser 3 had a gaggle of J/24s. Top team was Steve Atkinson’s BAD in fourth and Flor O’Driscoll’s HARD ON PORT took fifth place.

The fourteen-boat J/80 class experienced a bit of a runaway in the form of Jonathan O’Dowd’s Royal St George YC crew on JABS, winning quite handily with a scoreline that only counted podium finishes for 11 pts net. The race for the balance of the top five was quite spirited as only two points separated them at the conclusion of the regatta.  Tied for second on 22 pts each were Philip Watson’s JAM JAR and Robert Dix’s JEANNIE, with JAM JAR winning the countback.  Fourth place went to Norbert Reilly’s RED CLOUD and fifth was Conall O’Halloran’s JITTERBUG.  Sailing photo credits- David Branigan  For more Dun Laoghaire Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta Update

J/99 sailing J/Cup UK
J/70 Worlds Training Event
(Hamble, England)- Before the start of the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup, the J/Boat family gathered for a special tribute to Paul Heys. All of the racing fleet gathered their yachts and all crew observed a minute silence. Surrounded by the J/Boat fleet, Marie Claude Heys, accompanied by Paul's daughters Gemma and Natalie, released a seashell containing Paul's ashes into the Solent. Funds are being raised to support a campaign for a permanent mark in the Solent, the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy. Nearly £20,000 has been raised of the target, to maintain the racing buoy for generations of sailors to come. To make a donation:

Racing for the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup and J/70 UK Class Training Event, started shortly after noon, with 15 knots of breeze from the southwest. Six classes enjoyed highly competitive racing with 24 teams achieving race podiums in the three races held for all classes.

Michael Wallis' J/122 Jahmali leads the Large IRC Class, from J/112 Davanti Tyres, skippered by Marie-Claude Heys. Isabelle Hung's “The Outsider” racing J/122 Jolly Jellyfish is third on countback.

“Paul Heys was like a father to all of us, and personally we go a long way back,” commented Michael Wallis. “We have been coming to race at just about every J-Cup. It is a fantastic get-together with like minded people, who like to race but observe the rules, and every now and then you let someone cross ahead, knowing they will return the favour. Paul Heys was a huge inspiration to all of us, and it was wonderful to pay tribute to him with such good people out on the Solent.”
J/111s sailing J/Cup UK on Solent
There was close racing in the J/92 Class right from the start, with a tie for the win in the first race between Robin Stevenson's Upstart and Alan Macleod's Samurai J. Upstart continued to impress with a second and first to end the day at the top of the leaderboard. David Greenhalgh's J’Ronimo scored a 4-1-2 to finish the first day in second place, just 1.5 points in front of Samurai J.

In the J/111 Class, Tony Mack's McFly scored a 3-1-1 to lead the class but only by a single point for Chris Jones & Louise Makin's Journeymaker II. Paul van Driel's Sweeny is in third position. In the J/109 Class, John Smart's Jukebox is ahead by a single point from Christopher Preston's Jubilee; Simon Perry's Jiraffe is third. In the J/88 Class, Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream scored a 2-1-1 to hold a five-point advantage over Gavin Howe's Tigris. Richard Cooper's Jongleur is third. In the Small IRC Class Frédéric Bouvier J/99 J Lance 14 scored a 1-1-2 to top the leaderboard. Bob Baker's J/97 Jaywalker is just a point behind in second, and Jeff Johnstone's J/99 Jet is third.

In the J/70 UK Class Training Event, Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was fully launched, winning all three races. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was the top performing U.K. J/70 team at the recent European Championships, and that time on the water against top international competition, is reaping rewards.

Clive Bush's Darcey posted a 5-3-2, to end the day in second place. Charles Thompson's Brutus is third by way of countback despite equaling Darcey's scoreline. Martin Dent's Jelvis is fourth, also by virtue of countback from Tim Collins' EV Experts.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright-    Landsail Tyres J-Cup results page   J/70 UK Class Training Event  For more Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.