Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Vineyard Race Preview

Vineyard Race (Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event. The 238.0nm course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of Plum Gut past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.

Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

The Vineyard Race was described in Yachting Magazine as, "The greatest distance races of the world have several things in common - a challenging course, competitive fleets and an interesting array of famous yachts. By those standards, the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race rates close to the top. Like a miniature Fastnet, the Vineyard has a combination of coastal cruising, where currents play a big role, a stretch of ocean sailing, and a mark to round - the Buzzards Bay tower - before returning. Well over a dozen J/Teams will be participating in the classic Vineyard Race as well as the shorter “Seaflower Reef Race”.

Vineyard Race
Sailing the IRC 6 Doublehanded Class is Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI and Mike Greene’s J/35 LOBLOLLY. In the PHRF 8 Class is American YC’s famous YOUNG AMERICAN J/105 team- a youth team comprised of mostly under-25 age kids. In PHRF 9 Class are three J/109s- Dan Nash’s MISTRAL, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, and Cao Deambrosio & Chris Nicholls’ RHIANNON III. Joining them is Jim Farrell’s J/35 SAPPHIRE. In PHRF 10 Class is Arthur Hanlon’s J/112E DAUNTLESS and two J/120s- Brian Spears’ MADISON and Rick Oricchio’s ROCKET SCIENCE. In IRC 11 Class are Don Dwyer’s J/122 BLUE YONDER and Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP. Sailing in PHRF 12 Class are four J/111s- John Donovan’s LIBERTAS, US Merchant Marine Academy’s BLACK DIAMOND YCC, Bill & Jackie Baxter’s FIREBALL, and Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA. Joining that ferociously fast and competitive quartet is Kevin Kelley’s J/122 SUMMER GRACE. Finally, in IRC 13 Class is Steve Levy’s J/121 EAGLE and in IRC 14 Class is Brian Prinz’s J/145 SPECTRE.

Seaflower Reef Race
Sailing in PHRF 4 Doublehanded Class is Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE. In the fully-crewed PHRF 5 Class are Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR, Justin Scagnelli’s J/88 ALBONDIGS, and Todd Aven’s well-traveled J/92s THIN MAN.  For complete Vineyard Race results  For more Vineyard Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, August 30, 2019

J/Crews Smoke Ida Lewis Distance Race

J/109 sailing Ida Lewis Distance race (Newport, RI)– For a 15th year the Ida Lewis Distance Race indulged competitive racing sailors in an overnight sprint that proved both challenging and extraordinary. Thirty-one teams, in five classes for boats of 28 feet and longer, set out after noontime on Friday, August 16 to engage in a 110-mile course that took them from the start off Fort Adams, past Castle Hill to Buzzards Bay Tower, then to a mark southwest of Block Island (near Montauk) and back to Buzzards Bay Tower before returning to Newport Harbor where a finish was sighted from the deck of host Ida Lewis Yacht Club and teams were greeted on the water with a bottle of Prosecco. The course was the shortest of four options chosen by the Race Committee prior to the start in anticipation of extremely light breezes.

“The goal is always to have the bulk of the fleet back to shore by late morning/early afternoon,” said Event Chair Pat Kennedy, “and we were concerned at one point that even our shortest course might not accommodate that, but in the end, the fastest boat – the Volvo 70 Warrior (skippered by Stephen and Steve Murray of New Orleans) – made it back before last call (12:30 a.m.), and the last three boats finished just before 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.”

“The wind was east and southeast when it’s usually from the south and southwest. It was the first time we’ve put up a spinnaker coming from Buzzard’s Bay Tower back to Newport; usually it’s a reach. And coming from Montauk to Buzzard’s Bay, we were tacking, which is unusual,” commented skipper Brian Cunha. His team saw 7-12 knots of breeze the entire time, which was more than the smaller boats experienced. “They had a more challenging time getting around the Montauk mark because of the dying wind and the current against them.”

J/35 sailing Ida Lewis distance raceThis year marked the first time for the PHRF Spinnaker Aloha class (for smaller boats with PHRF ratings of 55 and higher). Winning that was the J/35 BREAKAWAY skippered by Paul Grimes Portsmouth, R.I. and dual scored as a Collegiate team entry. Grimes enlisted the talents of five college sailors (daughter Megan Grimes (Yale), Aili Moffet (Conn. College), Colin Moffet (Princeton), Spencer Dellenbaugh (Brown Univ.) and Victoria Boatwright (Georgetown Univ.).

“This year was a nice change from last year, which had thunderstorms and lightning,” said Colin Moffet. “It was tough getting by Block Island with two knots of current and two knots of breeze, but it was nice once we got out of there.”

BREAKAWAY led a sweep of the PHRF Spinnaker Aloha class. Taking second was DC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT and third was Bill Kneller’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE.

In the PHRF Doublehanded, taking second was Jonathan Burt’s J/130 LOLA from Hingham, MA.  For more Ida Lewis YC Distance Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

J/Teams Sweep Chester Race Week

J/120 sailing Chester Race Week
(Chester/ Halifax, Nova Scotia)- The one-and-a-half dozen J/Teams that were participating in the 2019 edition of Chester Race Week enjoyed good sailing conditions for their long weekend of sailing, with most fleets completing six races in the offshore courses of combined buoy-racing and random-leg offshore racing.

In the PHRF 1 Division, Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION sailed a solid series to take second place.  Another J/120, Richard Calder’s BRILLIANCE won the last race to boost their position to fourth in class.

J/Crews swept the top five places in PHRF 2 Division. Leading the pack were two J/100s, Larry Creaser’s YOUNG BLOOD won, followed by Terry McKenna’s DOG PARTY in second.  The next three places were taken by J/35s, with Andrew Childs’ HELOC taking the final bronze spot on the podium, then fourth was Gary Bennett & Rod Johnstone’s J’AI TU in fourth and Than MacDonald’s J-HAWK in fifth place.

J/35 sailing Chester Race Week
Rod Johnstone interview with host Lisa Ross from Sail Halifax Project here.

Similarly, J/Crews swept the top three spots and four of the top five in PHRF 3 Division. Leading the pack was local hotshot Colin Mann on his famous J/92 POOHSTICKS. Second and third were two J/29s, Chris MacDonald’s SCOTCH MIST IV in second and Don Williams’ PARADIGM SHIFT in third.  Fifth went to yet another J/29, Ann Covey’s RUMBLEFISH.

Winning PHRF 4 class was Jesleine Baker’s J/30 JUST ADD WATER. She was followed by another J/30 in fourth place, Jordan MacNeil’s FLUX.

In the PHRF 3 Inshore class, twin J/29s battled in a bare-knuckled brawl to a tie after seven races, both teams counting only 1sts and 2nds! On countback, it was Jane Fibee’s PAINKILLER that took the gold, with Terry Schnare’s HEAD GAMES having to settle for the silver. Fourth place went to Don McAlpine’s J/80 HARPOON and fifth to Bernd Hackstein’s J/27 BUZZ.

The PHRF 4 Inshore class saw Karen Fowler’s J/22 CHEAP THRILL take the silver, while fellow J/24 sailor, Steven Countway’s WAVERUNNER.

The one-design J/105 class was treated to a “whitewash” of the fleet, with Sean McDermott & Rory MacDonald’s McMAC winning all seven races and tossing out a 1st to finish with 6 pts net. The balance of the podium was a dog fight for sure, with James Mosher’s MOJO coming out on top of Barry Eisener’s BUZZ by just two points.  Follow Chester Race Week on Facebook here   For more Chester Race Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Australians Crowned J/70 SAILING Champions League Winner!

J/70 Sailing Champions League
(St. Moritz, Switzerland)- Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron turned on the afterburners in a thrilling four-boat showdown to win the SAILING Champions League 2019 on the lake of St. Moritz (15 to 18 August 2019). The crew from Sydney were the only non-European team among twenty-four clubs representing ten nations, and now the trophy flies out of Europe for the first time, winging its way to Australia. Finishing in second place was Norddeutscher Regatta Verein from Germany, the overall winner from the Deustche Segel Bundesliga. The other two clubs that contested the four-boat final represented Denmark: Kaløvig Bådelaug finishing third, and Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in fourth place.

David Chapman, skipper of the winning team, commented: “We are absolutely stoked. We struggled to get a crew together for this regatta so we nearly didn’t come here at all. But, what a great team to have sailing with me: Finn and Charlotte Alexander and Zac Quinlan.”
J/70s sailing St Moritz, Switzerland
Compared with the 51 races of eight-boat heats over the previous days of competition, the four-boat final required a more aggressive approach. No one could match the starting prowess of Chapman and his crew who won the first race of the finals and then followed up with an even more dominant display in race two. That was game, set and match to Australia.

“I know a lot of people back home in Australia were watching online,” smiled Chapman, “and I hope we’ll inspire more teams from Down Under to compete in the SAILING Champions League. It’s such great racing – turn up with your mates, race in equally-matched, J/70 one-design class sailboats, and go sailing. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m going to stick around an extra day to celebrate tonight.”
J/70 sailing champions league winners
Oliver Schwall, the German founder of sailing league concept, commented: “Thanks to beautiful sunny days and the mighty Maloja Winds bringing up to 19 knots of breeze across the outstanding sailing stadium on Lake St. Moritz, the sailors have enjoyed champagne sailing conditions. The organizers ran the event like clockwork, delivering 17 flights of qualifying, along with an incredibly exciting four-boat final.”

The SAILING Champions League is supported by a number of key partners: Juvia, KRAFTWERK, DEDON, Badrutt’s Palace, Breitling, St. Moritz Tourism, Graubünden, DKSH, SAP and Marinepool.

Livestream and results by SAP SAILING
The final two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live broadcasted by SAP SAILING from 12:00 hrs (GMT) on, with expert commentators providing blow-by-blow analysis of the racing, aided by the detail provided by SAP Sailing Analytics. The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media like GPS tracking, real- time analysis, live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You can find all results on  Sailing Photo credits: SCL/Sailing Energy.  For more J/70 SAILING Champions League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Lovely Aldo Alessio & Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Cup

J/111 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- Sailors were treated to three good days of sailing on San Francisco Bay, sailing their annual regatta honoring famous sailors from St. Francis Yacht Club- the Aldo Alessio & Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Cup. The event is always well-attended by Bay area J/Sailors.

In the Aldo Alessio ORR division on Friday, it was Reuben Rocci’s J/111 SWIFTNESS that took third in division, followed by David Halliwill’s J/120 PEREGRINE in fourth and Ian Charles’ J/105 MAVERICK in seventh.

For the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Cup event, Reuben Rocci’s SWIFTNESS again took a third in ORR A class.  Then, sweeping the top two spots in ORR B class were J/120s. Eclipsing the fleet with three bullets was Halliwill’s PEREGRINE, followed by Barry Lewis’ CHANCE with a 3-2-2 for 7 pts. In the ORR C class, it was Charles’ J/105 MAVERICK winning on a tie-breaker over Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS in second, Sergey Lubarsky’s J/105 RUSSIAN ROULETTE followed them in third place.  For more Aldo Alessio & Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Cup Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fantastic J/70 Fall Package Special!

J/70 Fleet Special (Newport, RI)- There is no hotter class in the new millennium than the J/70.  With 1,500 boats sailing in 25+ countries, the worldwide growth of J/Boats’ first ramp-launchable keelboat has been remarkable.

The owner-run J/70 Class is thriving with events for all ages and levels, youth and women’s championships, and includes upcoming World Championships in Torbay, England (2019), Marina del Rey, CA (2020), Monte Carlo, Monaco (2021), and Newport, Rhode Island (2022). 

More than just a world-class one-design, the J/70 is FUN to sail, easy-to-own, and easy-to-trailer for that next family adventure.   And now, it’s never been easier to get started!  From today until October 15, 2019, J/Boats is offering a special North American J/70 sail-away package.

J/70 Fall Package Special:
  • 2020 Model J/70 with standard equipment
  • Selden carbon mast and boom
  • Harken Snubbair low-profile winches
  • Cross-sheet jib cleats and vang cheek blocks
  • Galvanized, single-axle, float off/lift off trailer
  • One-Design Class Sails – mainsail, 100% jib and A2 class spinnaker with class sail tags.
  • Companionway spinnaker bag.
  • Safety Gear – anchor, chain & rode, bucket, bilge pump, first aid kit, two fenders, two dock lines.
The Package Special is $49,900 (Bristol, RI) for orders placed prior to October 15, 2019.  Please contact your local J/Dealer or J/Boats for more information.  Learn more about the world’s most successful sportboat- the International J/70 here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Windy, Fast, & Furious Cowes Race Week

J/70s sailing off Cowes
(Cowes, England)- For many of the hundreds of sailors that participated in the 2019 edition of Lendy Cowes Race Week, it was one of the windiest on record, with many days in the 18-24 kts end of the range. For a few dozen J/Teams, the tough, demanding conditions made for some of the most exhilarating sailing experiences of the summer season.

In the IRC 2 Class, J/Teams took four of the top five. Three J/111s were 2-3-4; Tony Mack’s McFLY, Hans Zwijnenburg & Martijn Worseling’s SWEENY from The Netherlands, and Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II. Fifth place went to Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO.

In a similar fashion, J/112E’s dominated IRC 4 Class. Winning was David Franks’ LEON, followed by B Huber’s XANABOO in second, Marie Claude Heys’ DAVANTI TYRES in fourth, and Team Knight Build’s HAPPY DAIZE in fifth position.
J/99 sailing Cowes Week
In IRC 5A Class, it was James & John Owen’s J/99 JET that took fourth place. Then, in IRC 5B Class, it was the J/92s that led a clean sweep; winning was David Greenhalgh’s family on J’RONIMO, second was the NIGHTJAR trio (Banks, Overstall, & Searle), and third was Andy Knowles & Alan Macleod’s SAMURAI J. Two J/97s ended up 6th and 7th, Bob & Jon Baker’s JAYWALKER and Nick & Adam Munday’s INDULJENCE.

While Tilly Harrison’s crew on SORCHA J won the J/70 Mini-Series, it was Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT that took the J/70 class win for the week. Yet another woman skipper took the silver- Katie Davies along with her crew of Isabel Davies, Rhos Hawes, and Martin Wrigley on AURORA. Third was RTYC 5 team skippered by Stephen O’Driscoll.
J/70 women's sailing team
In the J/92 Class, it was NIGHTJAR winning over J’RONIMO in second and SAMURAI J in third.  Fourth was Rob Salter’s JACKDAW and fifth Brian Malone’s BLUE DIAMOND DODJER.

The J/109 class was won by woman helm Caroline van Beelen on JACK RABBIT from the Netherlands. Second was Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE and third was Chris & Victoria Preston’s JUBILEE.

The J/80 class was won by Malcolm Thorpe’s KING LOUIE, second was Puddifoot family’s JIBBA JIBBA, and third was Alastair Ley’s JACKAROO from the Royal Naval Sailing Association.  For more LENDY Cowes Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/112E Crowned ORC European Champion!

J/112E Matilda 4 sailing ORC Europeans
(Oxelsund, Sweden)- The 2019 ORC European Championship took place off Oxelsund, Sweden on the Baltic Sea. The regatta had a simple format, with two buoy races on the first day, followed by a 58.8nm distance race, then closing with two more days of buoy racing. The entire championship was sailed in medium to strong winds of 8 to 22 kts.
J/112E Matilda 4 winners podium
Racing in the ORC C Class of forty-one boats (by far the largest in the regatta) was the J/112E MATILDA 4, owned by Kodutarve Ou from Estonia and skippered by Joachim Aschenbrenner. Starting off with two bullets on the first day, the team managed to avoid a deep race until the final day.  Going into the seventh and final race, MATILDA 4 had six points lead over the second place team, the Postimees Sailing Team also from Estonia.

In the last race, the MATILDA 4 crew took advantage of their faster setup to defend their lead by controlling the second and third boat on the leaderboard. They essentially matched raced the Postimees team into the middle of the fleet, using their last race as a discard, as did Postimees with a 15th place. Consequently, MATILDA 4 won the regatta with 17 pts net, three points clear of the reigning ORC European Class C Champion, the Arcona 340 Katarina II from Estonia. The J/112E MATILDA 4 also crushed the reigning ORC World Class C Champion Italia 9.98 SUGAR.  Follow the ORC European Championship on Facebook here.   For more 2019 ORC European Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

J/125s Still Racing on Ro/Ro Carrier to LA!

J/125s on RoRo carrier- Velvet Hammer and Snoopy ex-Derivative
* J/125s “still racing”!  Here is a very amusing photo of two J/125s. Not on the water. But, inside a RO/RO carrier from Hawaii to California.

It is SNOOPY versus VELVET HAMMER, going bow-to-bow at a constant 23 knots across the Pacific Ocean back home to California.  Thanks for contribution from Zach Anderson- co-owner of Velvet Hammer!

J/24 USA Nationals Preview

J/24s sailing regatta (Rochester, NY)- From August 21st to 25th, Rochester Yacht Club will be hosting the 2019 USA J/24 National Championship on Lake Ontario for an enormous fleet of forty-nine J/24 teams from across the USA, Canada, Trinidad, and Japan. That is easily one of the largest class turnouts in recent history!

There are many top boats participating as this will be one of the few events all top J/24 teams can race against each other before sailing their J/24 World Championship in the fall in Miami, Florida, hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club.

Some of the top crews include John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI (a 3x past J/24 World Champion with Tim Healy); Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from the host club; Will Welles’ BUCKAROO (a 2x past J/24 World Champion); Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from Davis Island YC in Tampa, FL; Al Constants’ BLITZ from Long Island, NY; Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR from Port Credit YC in Ontario; top woman helm Lee Ann Zaretsky’s LADY MINX from the host club; Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS (past J/24 World Champ from the Rochester Canoe Club); top woman helm Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME; and Carter White’s YOUREGATTA.COM also from Portland, ME. That should be tough, and very close racing amongst the top five boats on the leaderboard!  For more USA J/24 Nationals Sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Ted Hood Regatta Preview

J109s sailing off Marblehead, MA(Marblehead, MA)- The Eastern Yacht Club will be hosting the Ted Hood Regatta in conjunction with their amazing local partners, the Corinthian YC and the Boston YC for a fleet of both one-design racers and offshore PHRF handicap sailors.

The J/70 class has eight crews participating, including leading teams like Stein Skaane’s SHRED, Holly Fabyan’s ASTERIA, Graeme Carr’s JOYRIDIN, and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK.

As the largest class in the regatta, the J/105 sailors are using the event as their “training session” for their upcoming J/105 North American Championship being sailed two weeks later in the same waters.  With seventeen teams in attendance, many of the top J/105 North American teams are in attendance.  It will be interesting to see how these teams perform over the three-day event; Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from Houston, TX; Bruce Stone/ Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE from San Francisco, CA; Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU from Harlem YC in New York; Tim Russell’s NE*NE from San Francisco, CA; Mark Lindquist’s STERLING from Beverly, MA; and Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas.

In the ORR Division is Fred deNapoli’s J/124 ALLEGRO MALVAGIO, Chris Zibailo’s J/112E DOPODOMANI, Tom Mager’s J/122 GIG, Gary Weisberg’s J/111 HEAT WAVE, Ed Kaye’s J/111 PRAVDA, and Liz Smith & Ward Blodgett’s J/33 SIROCCO.

In the PHRF Spinnaker class is Chris Lund’s J/133 JUMP from Rye, New Hampshire. In PHRF Non-Spinnaker Class is Sam Foster’s J/40 CAHOOTS from Marblehead, MA.  For more Ted Hood Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Everett Pearson Honored by National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Everett Pearson- J/Boats builderNational Sailing Hall of Fame- honors J/Boats builder Everett Pearson
The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced ten people that will make up its 2019 class of inductees. The members of the class of 2019 join seventy-one previously recognized individuals as the NSHOF continues to fulfill its mission by drawing attention and recognition to Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. One of them includes the founder of Tillotson-Pearson Inc- Everett Pearson, the principal builder of J/Boats for thirty years- from 1977 to 2007.

“We are proud to recognize and celebrate these Inductees and their extraordinary contributions to the sport we love,” said Gus Carlson, President of the NSHOF. “Their accomplishments set them apart, and their stories will inspire sailors for generations to come. Their commitment to excellence embodies the spirit and substance of the National Sailing Hall of Fame.”

Everett Pearson- J/Boats builderAfter sailors from all corners of the country nominated their choice for induction, a selection committee – made up of representatives from US Sailing, the sailing media, the sailing industry, community sailing, a maritime museum, a previous inductee, and the NSHOF Board– reviewed a wide range of nominations.

Inductees are American citizens, 55 years of age or older, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the U.S. in the categories of Sailing, Technical/Design and Contributor (coach, administrator, sailing media).

The 2019 class will be formally celebrated on Saturday, November 9, 2019, with an Induction Ceremony hosted at Seattle Yacht Club, Seattle, Wash. The Induction Weekend has also become notable as a reunion of sailing’s “Who’s Who” as previous inductees join the celebrations to welcome their peers into the Hall of Fame.  For more information on the Inductees Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 U.K. Nationals Preview

J/70 sailing off Cowes, England
(Torquay, Devon, UK)- In the penultimate event leading up to this year’s 2019 J/70 World Championship, thirty-five boats are looking forward to sailing in the same venue in the J/70 U.K. Nationals sailing on Torbay at Royal Torbay YC.

Teams from around the world are participating in the open event. For example, the following Eurasian teams are participating: the Norwegian team of AGERA 3 skippered by Fredrik Hedlund; Alexander Bozhko’s AKHMAT sailing team from Taganrog, Russia; Sergei Dobrovolskii’s Cyprus team on AMAIZ SAILING TEAM; Marcos Soares’ Brazilian crew on HIGHLANDERS; Denis Cherevatenko’s Russian team on JOYFUL; Jose Maria “Pichu” Torcida’s NOTICIA from Spain; Patrik Forsgren’s Swedish crew on PRO4U; and the powerful father/ daughter teams from Italy- Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE and Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE.
J/70s sailing on Solent, U.K.
Several American teams are preparing for their World’s campaign, including two past J/70 World Champions- Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT.

Hoping to defend home turf against the onslaught of foreign invaders will be a number of top British crews, such as Martin Dent’s JELVIS, Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER, Charles Thompson’s BRUTUS, the Maltese/ British Ripard brothers on CALYPSO, Jeremy Thorp’s PHAN, Ian Wilson & Marshall King’s SOAK RACING, and Jack Davies YETI.  For more J/70 U.K. Nationals sailing information and results Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Verve Cup Inshore One-Design Regatta Preview

J/70 sailing off Chicago (Chicago, IL)- The Chicago Yacht Club is coincidentally hosting the Verve Cup Inshore Regatta as the J/111 World Championship concludes this week. For the J/70 class, it acts as a J/70 World’s qualifier for the 2020 J/70 World Championship in Long Beach, CA. The J/24 class is also participating in the event.

Amongst the sweet sixteen teams participating will be Steve Knoop’s AMERICAN FLYER, Marti Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS, Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP, John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE, Amy Neill’s NITEMARE, Leif & Laura Sigmond’s NORBOY, John & Marisa Koten’s PLANET CLAIRE, and Bob Willis’s RIP RULLAH.

In the J/24s, anything goes in this class. Nevertheless, Erica Trejo from YC Argentina is taking on the locals. Those teams are Mark Soya’s 2XS, Eric Christenson’s BUBBLES, and Dan Walsh’s GOLDRUSH. For more Verve Cup Inshore Regatta sailing info Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

EVIL DR. PORK CHOP Slams Slammer Cup

J/22 slamming Slammer Cup
(Tawas Bay, MI)- The Slammer Cup is an annual competition between the Tawas Bay Yacht Club (Tawas, MI) and Huron Yacht Club (Caseville, MI) and this year was sailed on Tawas Bay.

The fleet sailed PHRF and it was a combined JAM and Spinnaker fleet. Spinnaker boats were penalized 12 seconds a mile. Courses were modified Olympic and two races were sailed. Both races for the Spinnaker Division were won by the J/22 EVIL DR. PORK CHOP sailed by Chris & Matt Princing, and Grant Hilger. Overall, EVIL DR. PORK CHOP also won and taking second place was another J/22, the Scott family’s SQUEALER (sailed by Mike, Tim, & Matt Scott).
J/22 Evil Dr Pork Chop winners
The fleet was made up of a variety of boats including Beneteau 36.7, Beneteau First 38, Olson 40, C&C 35, Tartan 34, N/M 36, C&C 38, Jeanneau 43DS and bunches of Catalinas and other popular brands of the lakes. Anyone got any questions?  Contact Matt Princing! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

JENNIFER Tops J/70 Corinthian Nationals

J/70 Corinthians sailing Harbor Springs
(Harbor Springs, MI)- Thirty-six amateur crews sailed the 2019 J/70 Corinthian National Championship in Harbor Springs, MI from August 8th to 11th. Regatta host Little Traverse Yacht Club did an amazing job of running the event, managing eight races over the three-day event.

It was an impressive, talented group for a “corinthian” event, with teams attending from fourteen states from across America, Canada and Brazil. In the end, it was JENNIFER (Chris Kostanecki, Matt Sessions, Carlos Robles, & Scott Kozinchik) from San Francisco, CA that won the event in the final race. Here is how it all went down over the three days of racing.
J/70s sailing Corinthians
Day One- Postcard Perfect?
Under sunny skies, temperatures in the 70s and winds in the mid-teens, Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS excelled in the epic conditions with a pair of firsts and a fourth for 6 points in three races. Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER tallied a 3-3-4 for 10 points and second place. Two teams— Jake Christy’s PALE HORSE and Peter Vessella’s SISTERSHIP— were tied at 14 points for the next two positions.

Local Fleet Captain Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS kicked off the event with a win, as Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD and Kostanecki’s JENNIFER followed. Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE from Maryland racked up the next bullet, ahead of Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP and Kostanecki again in third. Sellers secured the day one lead in the final contest, notching his second victory. Christy’s PALE HORSE and Vessella’s SISTERSHIP completed the top trio.

Representatives from North Sails (Jackson Benvenutti) and Quantum Sails (Travis Odenbach) were on the water for Thursday’s practice race and Friday’s competition. Both nights also featured “Hear from the Pros” sessions at LTYC, including video education and question-and-answer opportunities.
J/70s sailing Corinthian Nationals
Day Two- More Storybook Conditions!
All teams again reveled in glorious conditions on Little Traverse Bay. Winds between 12-14 knots, puffy white clouds and temperatures in the 70s greeted racers on the middle day of the Championship. Kostanecki’s JENNIFER moved to the top of the leaderboard, rebounding from a sixth in Saturday’s opening contest (eventually discarded) with a 1-2 to hold a three-point advantage after six races. Friday’s frontrunner, Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS, ended the day successfully, but two lower finishes in the earlier competitions dropped him to second place with 16 points. Peter Vessella’s SISTERSHIP was five points in arrears of Sellers for third place.

Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD got off on the right foot in race four, topping Vessella’s SISTERSHIP and Dave Dennison’s PIRANHA. Kostanecki’s JENNIFER triumphed in the next battle, as Tod Sackett’s FM and Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE got in on the action too. Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS then got their third bullet of the regatta, shadowed by Kostanecki and Bowe.  Jackson Benvenutti of North Sails was again on the water to offer helpful advice to the Corinthian sailors.

Day Three- Wash, Rinse, Repeat!
Kostanecki’s JENNIFER handled the closing race of the J/70 Corinthian US National Championship like true experts. They went into Sunday’s final pair of races with a three-point advantage over Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS. But Sellers nailed another bullet (his fourth of the regatta) in race seven to take the lead. Back came Kostanecki, with crew Matt Sessions, Carlos Robles and Scott Kozinchik, to win the eighth and final contest and become the 2019 J/70 Corinthian National Champions. Sellers placed eighth in that race for the runner-up position, ultimately five points behind the winner. A pair of threes on Sunday shot Christy’s PALE HORSE into the bronze spot with 37 points.

This event was California-based Kostanecki’s first in Harbor Springs. “Fresh water, windy, and the waves were bigger and steeper than San Francisco,” commented Kostanecki. “It was the Pure Michigan experience with world-class sailing and social activities.” Kostanecki admitted that, “We thought we nearly threw it away in the last day. Thank you to my team who worked hard in some difficult moments.”

Rounding out the top five were Filter’s WILD CHILD in fourth and Vessella’s SISTERSHIP in fifth place. For more J/70 Corinthian National Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

HONEYBADGER Dominates J/24 Great Lakes Championship

J/24 sailing Great Lakes(Oswego, NY)- The Oswego YC in upstate New York hosted the 2019 J/24 Great Lakes Championship for a star-studded fleet of fifteen-boats on the eastern reaches of Lake Ontario.

After a weekend of sailing, it was Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER from Rochester YC that decimated the fleet with a blitzkrieg of five bullets in a row and taking a DNC in the sixth and final race to win with just 5 pts net.

For the balance of the podium, it was a three-way OK Corral shoot-out with Morley Flynn’s SEAWEED, Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC, and Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED from Port Credit YC in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. All virtually tied going into the last race, it was Flynn’s SEAWEED winning the last race to secure the silver. Glackin’s crew suffered the ignominy of dropping from an easy second place to third after finishing 4th in the last race.   For more J/24 Great Lakes Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tilly's Triumph @ J/70 Grand Slam Series

J/70 sailing- woman skipper Tilly

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- 26-year-old Tilly Harrison's SORCHA J won the J/70 Mini-Series at Cowes Week in a thirty-three boat fleet. Tilly's father Peter owns the Maxi 72 SORCHA, and they often race together, but not on this occasion. Tilly lives in Putney with her two dogs and loves to sail in her spare time. Aptly on Ladies' Day at Cowes Week, Tilly scored her first J/70 race victory, and went on to win the Grand Slam J/70 Event.

“I am really happy,” smiled Tilly Harrison. “I have been racing with my Dad in the class for about two years and I wanted to get into something smaller so I could learn more. We have a family house in Fishbourne (Isle of Wight), so it was a no-brainer to get racing whenever I come to visit. Racing in a J/70 made me pick up things quickly, and I would definitely recommend the class to anyone! Such fun! This regatta was great, with 32 boats on the water, and a good atmosphere ashore. I had no idea we would win the regatta even after we won the first race today; the last two races were really competitive. When we got ashore, I had no idea that we had won overall, so it came as a nice surprise.”
J/70s sailing Cowes Week on the Solent
Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was always in the running, and finished the regatta with two bullets to finish second for the mini-series. New to the UK scene was Victor Migraine's TEAM OHLALA. Victor shared the helm with 420 World Champion Vita Heathcote from Lymington, England. OHLALA had a star-studded crew, including top Figaro3 sailor and Fastnet champion Alexis Loison, and 2018 Tour de Voile champion Valentin Sipan (yes, they were dealing with a “loaded deck”, so to speak!). Jack Davies’ YETI, from Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) was the top youth team for the Grand Slam Event.

The next event in the 2019 J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series is non-discardable. An impressive fleet is expected for the J/70 UK National Championship, 23-26 August, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. Thirty-six teams have confirmed their participation. As an open event, top teams from abroad will be competing including past and present world and continental champions: Joel Ronning's CATAPULT (USA), Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE (ITA), Jose Maria Torcida's NOTICIA (ESP), Claudia Rossi's PETITE TERRIBLE (ITA), and Peter Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY (USA). For more Lendy Cowes Week sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

SPACEMAN SPIFF Wins J/111 Pre-Worlds

J/111 sailing off Chicago
J/88s, J/105s, J/109s Battle @ Verve Offshore Cup
(Chicago, IL)- As one of the largest offshore regattas in the Great Lakes, the Chicago Yacht Club’s Verve Cup Offshore has developed into a world-class regatta attracting many national and international competitors. This year, that level jumped up a few notches as the Verve Cup also served as the J/111 Pre-Worlds regatta; the J/111 World Championship will be taking place starting August 18th the following weekend off the beautiful Chicago lakefront and skyline.

Last weekend, the Chicago YC hosted the 28th annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta in a dizzying array of weather conditions over the three-day event. On Friday, a post-frontal, shifty, breeze from the northwest started at 15 kts, then quickly diminished and swung to the north-northeast by late afternoon in the 5-8 kts range. Saturday saw a light east-southeast wind slowly build after a one-hour on-shore postponement into the 4 to 8 kts range, with wild 40-degree swings across the race track. Then, Sunday dawned with the possibility of another frontal system with enormous embedded thunderstorms. Fortunately, the front moved south, not southeast, and only the western suburbs of Chicago got pounded by lightning, hail, and tropical-like heavy rains. Out on the lake, the wind started in the SSE quadrant in the 4-7 kts range, then swung strongly SSW to 240 deg and increased in pressure to 8-12 kts, before oscillating from 230 back to 190 for the last two races of the regatta.

J/111 Spaceman Spiff
J/111 Pre-Worlds Drama
For the extremely competitive seventeen-boat J/111 class, the wildly oscillating breezes produced a roller-coaster scoreline for the entire fleet; with not even the top three boats scoring all top five finishes. Starting fast out-of-the-blocks on Friday was Rob Ruhlman’s family team on SPACEMAN SPIFF, leading after the first day with an amazing 4-1-1-2 tally with a huge 10 point lead over Jeff Davis’ SHAMROCK that had a 3-5-9-1 scorecard for 18 pts. Sitting in third was Peter Wagner’s J/111 World Champion crew on SKELETON KEY with a 1-8-5-6 for 20 pts.

The second day for the J/111s saw a few seismic shifts in the scores, but little change for the top three. SHAMROCK posted a 3-3 (tied for the best record of the day with KASHMIR’s 1-5) to close the gap significantly with SPACEMAN SPIFF that posted an 8-4, the spread was now only 4 pts!

The dramatic finale on Sunday had more than its fair share of anxious moments for the top three boats. In the seventh and penultimate race, SKELETON KEY nailed down a 2nd, SPACEMAN SPIFF a 4th, and SHAMROCK 6th. With their lead back up to a 6 pts advantage, the SPIFFER’s could breath a little easier. But, the sailing conditions were so unpredictable that just about anything could go wrong. Well, that is just about what happened. The final race was set for a 230 deg wind, but just before the start, it swung left to 190 deg- a 40 deg. change of course! Nailing the start was SHAMROCK, rounding the weather mark 1st with SKELETON KEY in 4th and SPIFF back in 9th. At that moment, SHAMROCK was winning both the race and the regatta. However, it was never a dull moment on that first run. The wind swung back slowly to 220 deg and the tail-enders that had either sailed low or gybed made big gains, namely SPIFF and SKELETON KEY. The ensuing windward leg saw even more lead changes. While the lead group of SHAMROCK, SKELETON KEY, and KASHMIR stayed left, a breakaway pack behind them of four boats took off from the leeward gate on port, hitting the right corner hard. That move paid off huge, as the wind swung further right to the 230+ range with more breeze, and that group took 1-2-3 (UTAH, VELOCITY, & ROWDY). Meanwhile, SHAMROCK dropped back to 6th, SPIFF jumped up to 7th, and SKELETON KEY secured a 4th. As a result, Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF team won the J/111 Pre-Worlds and also the overall trophy for the regatta- The Verve Offshore Cup Trophy! Second was SKELETON KEY and third SHAMROCK.

J/109 sailing off Chicago
J/109 Class Chutes & Ladders
The eight-boat J/109 class saw similar dramas to the J/111s play out on the final day. Leading going into the last race was Jim Murray’s CALLISTO with a 3 point margin over David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR. In the last race, there was a lot of shuffling in the standings due to similar huge shifts and changes in wind pressure. Winning the final race to take the J/109 title was Gustman’s NORTHSTAR; meanwhile, Murray’s CALLISTO team had their worst race of the regatta, posting a 7th to drop into second place.

Perhaps the most unfortunate victim of the changing winds of fortune was Doug Evans’ TIME OUT. After four races on the first day, TIME OUT posted a mind-numbing, eye-bleeding 2-1-1-1 scoreline to torch the J/109 fleet for a 6-point lead. Perhaps living up to their namesake, the crew perhaps did have a “time out” and could never recover their swagger or “mojo” for the next two days. As they say, they had moments of sheer brilliance interspersed with moments of stark terror, the latter winning out in the end. They closed their last four races with a painful 7-2-7-8 scorecard to drop into third place.

J/88s sailing off Chicago
J/88 Class Lots Of Drama
The seven-boat J/88 class had a somewhat acrimonious regatta. It was very close racing amongst the top four boats with just a few points separating them after seven races on Saturday. Those teams were Tim Wade’s WINDSONG, John & Jordan Leahey’s DUTCH, Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE, and Ben Marden’s BANTER.

After much protest room drama, it was Tim Wade’s WINDSONG that won the regatta with three 1sts, five 2nds, and a DNC in the ninth and last race for 21 pts total (they had already won on points by winning race 8). Second was the Leahey’s DUTCH team with 28 pts and third went to Todd Patton’s BLONDIE 2 with 32 pts.

J/105s sailing off Chicago
J/105 Class Whitewash
While their colleagues in the J/111 and J/88 classes had plenty of drama to worry about, the six-boat J/105 class was suffering from a good-old-fashioned butt-whipping by none other than one of the long-standing veterans of the class- Clark Pellett’s SEALARK. It was quite apparent after winning the first two races, SEALARK’s wily veterans onboard were not going to be dissuaded, nor distracted, in their mission and their march to the victory stand.  In the end, SEALARK hammered home six bullets and a 2-3 to win with just 11 pts. Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS veterans made a run at them, winning races 3 & 4, but could not maintain the furious pace and pressure they were subjected to by the SEALARK gang. Nevertheless, they had a rather impressive scoreline of two 1sts, four 2nds, two 3rds for 16 pts total to take the silver. Rounding out the podium with the bronze was Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, closing out the regatta with soul-satisfying double-deuces on the last day.

ORR Division
Not surprisingly, Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY sailed a very solid series in the nine-boat ORR 3 Division, winning three races along the way, to take the silver. After a rather slow start, they had the best record in the fleet in the last four races with a 2-1-1-3, not enough to get the job done to get the gold, but darn close!  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.