Thursday, October 31, 2019

HONEYBADGER Chomps J/24 East Coasts

J/24s sailing off starting line
(Annapolis, MD)- The Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD hosted the 2019 edition of the J/24 East Coast Championship for a fleet of twenty-three boats from across the northeastern seaboard. The SSA PRO managed to run a nine-race series over a three-day race weekend.

Winning the regatta was the infamous Travis Odenbach and his consistently successful team aboard HONEYBADGER. They won the event with an impressive record that included three aces, two deuces, and two treys to win by a huge margin. While looking in the rear-view mirror, Odenbach did not need to worry about any of his pursuers. Seventeen points back was Tony Parker’s generally very competitive crew on the equally famous BANGOR PACKET. Proving their first day’s debacles were an anomaly, Mark Hillman’s ORION posted triple bullets in the last three races to quickly climb back onto the third step on the podium. As a basic precursor to the upcoming J/24 Worlds in Miami, Florida, it was an abject lesson in sailing fast and conservatively. Rounding out the top five was a J/24 World Champion- Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS and in fifth was Evan Petley-Jones Nova Scotia crew.  For more J/24 East Coast Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/111 Wins ORC Class in Rolex Middle Sea Race

J/111 sailing offshore
(Gzira, Malta)- The 40th Edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, will go down in the history books as the tale of two races. After the calm conditions for the first half the course, increasingly rough weather in the second half of the course posed enormous challenges for the fleet, with winds gusting to over 30 kts with steep, mountainous seas that looked more like walls to most sailors. 

As described by one sailor, “the last 24 hours were hell. We were soaking wet with water coming in everywhere. No matter how good a sailor you are, in those conditions you were miserable and cold.”

Another famous skipper, Gerry Trentesaux, explained, “the course conditions were the reverse of last year, with downwind to Messina and then upwind from Trapani to the finish. The race was more difficult, especially the second half. At Stromboli, we were about 2.5 hours behind our main competition. And, the J/111 Blur was also sailed really well too.” Because of the severe wave conditions, over seventeen boats had officially retired from the race, nearly 20% of the fleet.

Weathering the extreme conditions were a crew of battle-hardened Vikings from Sweden, Peter Gustafsson’s crew on the J/111 BLUR.SE. It was their first time sailing the Rolex Middle Sea Race and it is clear they were both well-prepared and well-trained for the conditions. It helps that Gustafsson’s crew know the boat well, having raced BLUR.SE for over three years on the northern European J/111 and offshore circuit, often sailing in winds of up to 40 kts. They knew they were up to the challenge, but were surprised by the steepness of the breaking seas in just 20 to 30 kt winds.  In the end, their perseverance paid off, winning ORC 5 Class and taking 3rd ORC Overall. On the IRC handicap side of the ledge, they scored third in IRC 5 Class and 10th IRC Overall. A great showing by an experienced offshore team. For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fall Classic Delivers Great J/109 Racing

J/109s sailing offshore
(Stamford, CT)- Long Island Sound J/109s assembled one more time in 2019 for the inaugural Fleet 10 Fall Classic at Stamford Yacht Club over the weekend of October 19-20.  Thankfully, the forecast for each day was incorrect and the Sound delivered great conditions for October racing.

On Saturday, a light westerly breeze built into a consistent 7-10-knot southwesterly over the course of the afternoon.  The Race Committee rolled the 9-boat fleet through four windward/leeward races with four legs each.  The fleet was tight throughout the day with mark roundings providing tactical challenges and some interesting passing lanes.

On Sunday, the breeze shifted to the east and remained in the 7-11-knot range.  With three races run about a mile offshore, the top boats had to balance pressure with the incoming tide to stay on top.
J/109s sailing Long Island Sound
The regatta came down to the last race, when Trevor Roach’s INCENDIARY posted a 2ND and won the event with 13 points.  JR Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON led after the first day, but finished second with 15 points.  Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG held onto third Place with a bullet in the final race and resisted the second-day charge from Julia O’Dowd’s TBD and John Greifzu Jr.’s GROWTH SPURT (both of which finished with 22 points).  In addition, GROWTH SPURT was the top boat fulfilling the Class's Corinthian requirements.

The Stamford YC provided an excellent venue for post-race camaraderie among the fleet and the J/109 Fleet 10 is already  looking forward to building the Fall Classic in the future.  Learn more about the J/109 Class here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CLOUD 9 Triumphs at J/88 North Americans

J/88 Cloud 9 winners of NA's
(Larchmont, New York)- Fourteen J/88s competed in the 2019 North American Championship held at Larchmont Yacht Club in New York from October 16-20. Teams came from San Francisco, Canada, Youngstown, Rochester, Shelter Island and Long Island Sound.

The regatta started with a coastal storm on Thursday, with steady winds of 35 knots and gusts exceeding 45 knots, leading to an abandonment of all racing for the day. Four races were held on day two in a shifty NW wind of 20 knots, gusting to 28. Laura Weyler and the team of HIJINKS, winners of two previous North American Championships, took an early lead with 6 points, ahead of John Sommi’s CLOUD 9 (15 points) and Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE (17 points). Boat handling and consistency paid off, as even the smallest mistake could lead to a deep finish. This was evidenced by Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s team on OH JEE, who sailed three spectacular races with two bullets and one fourth but had to retire from race 3 because of a broach at the finish line, leading to a scrape with another boat.

Day three started with 6-8 knots out of the West, testing everyone’s light air skills. Four races were held in flat water and sunny skies. Keeping the boats moving and finding lanes of clear air paid off. At the end of the day, CLOUD 9 was leading the pack with 28 points, while second to fifth place were only points apart, with HIJINKS in second (32 points), Andrew Weiss’s team of ONE TOO MANY moving into third (38 points), OH JEE in fourth (39 points) and ESCAPE in fifth (40 points).
J/88 Corinthians winners- Stone/ Breault
Day four brought an Easterly breeze of 8-12 knots with lumpy seas. Three races were held, and Sommi’s CLOUD 9 finished the day winning the 2019 North American Championship with a total of 36 points (11 races, no throw outs). His crew included Victor Diaz de Leon, Edward Kiaer, John King, Hugh MacGillivray and Carlos Lorente Robles. Second went to Weyler’s HIJINKS (41 points), third to Stone’s OH JEE (47 points), fourth place Barry’s ESCAPE (51 points) and fifth to Weiss’ ONE TOO MANY (55 points). The Corinthian Trophy was awarded to Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault, who placed third in the Overall Division.

Said OH JEE boat owner Nicolas Delcourt, who handled the pit for the Corinthians winners Stone & Breault, “I loved the on-board choreography and team work, roll-tacking the boat in the light stuff and planing during the big breezes. OH JEE has never been so fast, and lending out my boat turned out to be a wonderful experience!”  For more J/88 North American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

J/121 Smokes Harvest Moon Regatta

J/121 sailing offshore
J/Teams Sweep ORC Offshore Division!
(Port Aransas, TX)- The weather forecast for this year’s Harvest Moon Regatta race, hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club south of Houston, was either intimidating to some, or a thrill for others. An impending front that ultimately produced deadly tornados north in the Dallas/ Fort Worth region also produced 5-10 foot steep Gulf of Mexico “chop” with 23 to 45 kt winds. Not exactly a recipe for a family’s “walk in the park”, a 150.0nm race from Galveston Bay to Port Aransas down south towards the equally famous Corpus Christi region of the Texas Gulf Coast.
Harvest Moon Regatta starting line
According to Scott Spurlin, “in the 60+ boat fleet, it was Forbes Durdin and his brand new J/121 BEAR that took line honors, won the Bacardi Cup in the ORC fleet overall, won their division and received the first annual J/Boats Award (courtesy J/Boats Southwest). The brand new J/99 YOLO finished 2nd in their ORC Division. Great showing by the two J/46's, the J/105's and the J/120!”

Reflecting on their fun-loving performance, Forbes Durdin had this to say, “great weekend aboard BEAR in the 2019 Harvest Moon Regatta. Monohull line honors— 16 hrs 22 minutes— Bacardi Fleet (ORC) win, matching division win and J/Boats Trophy. Water-ballasted J-121 is a rocketship! Love it!”
J/121 silverware- Harvest Moon Regatta
Perhaps, what was more remarkable was the fact that in the 22-boat ORC Division, by far the biggest in the regatta, was that J/Teams took six of the top 7 places overall!  Here is how that panned out: the J/121 BEAR in first, then Jim Demarest’s J/46 SODALIS III in second, Albrecht Goethe’s J/46 HAMBURG II in third, JD Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR in fourth, John Barnett’s J/105 PESTO in sixth, and James Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS seventh.  Congratulations to all on such a remarkable performance!

In the class breakdowns, ORC A was won by the J/121 BEAR, with the J/122 SECOND STAR in second. In ORC B class, first was the J/46 SODALIS III, second the J/46 HAMBURG II, fourth the J/105 PESTO, and fifth the J/120 AEOLUS.

In the ORC C Class, second was the J/99 YOLO, followed by John Bell’s J/105 KINDERSPIEL 2 in third.

Finally, in the 13-boat PHRF Fleet, third in PHRF A Class was Rob & Stephen Epstein’s J/120 SCOUT, and taking 4th PHRF Overall. An excellent outcome for J/Crews across the board offshore in the Harvest Moon Regatta! For more Harvest Moon Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Beautiful 3rd Weekend @ Hamble Winter Series

J/70s sailing on Solent
(Hamble, England)- The famous Hamble Winter Series continued on the Solent and Southampton Water, hosted by the Hamble Sailing Club. The classes include IRC handicap as well as one-design fleets of J/70s in southern United Kingdom. This past weekend marked the third weekend of sailing in beautiful fall weather conditions.

The Hamble One-design Championship was sailed on both the Saturday and Sunday of Week 3. PRO Ian Bullock, set up station in the vicinity of William buoy for the Saturday starts to take advantage of the WSW airstream. The J/70’s sailed a series of windward/leeward courses in the bright sunshine and steadily increasing breeze. The Race Team, with Ian Sumner, guesting as Time Keeper, on his annual return to the Solent, managed to get four races completed just in case the weather for the next day was not so helpful. As the wind built throughout the day, all the fleets began to surf and plane down the waves.
J/70 sailing on Solent, England
Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT showed very quickly why he was the current J/70 World Champion with four bullets on Saturday.

Sunday arrived and this time, although sunny, the wind was from the ENE and decidedly chilly. Everyone was now very happy that only two races were needed to finish the series. Mike Foster was PRO and he placed the start near East Knoll, with the windward mark off the Hill Head shore. Once again, the pressure slowly built, so that when Paul Wyeth appeared to take the pictures, the teams were parting the waves and creating impressive water features.

Having missed the first weekend, Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was unable to feature on the overall podium. Marshall King’s SOAK RACING, took the J/70 Championship with 14 points, followed by Tim Collins’ EV EXPERTS in second with 24 pts and Simon Cavey’s JUST 4 PLAY in third with 37 pts.
J/109s sailing on Solent
The IRC boats in the main HYS Hamble Winter Series were taken to Goodall Roofing (40), to battle it out for the Key Yachting day prizes (wine and chocolates) for the first race. The second race started around the "Ryde Middles” and went NE to Fastnet Insurance or East Bramble (depending on your size), then back towards the Isle of Wight, before heading NE to the Lee on the Solent shore, returning to South Ryde Middle and appropriately to a finish off Hamble Yacht Services.

In the IRC 1 Division, race 1 saw the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES take second. Then, DAVANTI TYRES took the win in race two, followed by Paul Griffith’s J/111 JAGERBOMB.

In IRC 2 Division, Simon Perry’s J/109 JIRAFFE continued her winning ways with two first places. "We just kept our nose clean,” said a crewmember. Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS was also literally in the Key Yachting chocolates with a fourth and a second. Sitting in third for the series is John Smart’s J/109 JUKEBOX to round out a current clean sweep of the class podium for J/Crews.

Continuing to extend their lead in the J/88 class scoring is Howe’s TIGRIS, with Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in second 4 pts back, and Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL in third yet another 4 pts in arrears.

Next week is Race Week 4 of the HYS Hamble Winter Series and the culmination of the Hamble Big Boat Championship.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, October 28, 2019

DAS Sailing Crowned Italian J/70 Cup Champion

J/70s sailing off San Remo, Italy
L’ELAGAIN wins Finale in San Remo
(San Remo, Italy)- The Italian J/70 class continues to grow and gain an increasing number of converts from other one-design class sailors from across the Italian peninsula. In addition, more teams from middle and northern Europe are making the trek down across the continent to participate in some of the strongest one-design sailing fleets in the world; remarkably fifteen nations from across the Eurasian continent participated- Poland, Russia, Germany, Monaco, United Kingdom, Malta, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, and France. In addition, there were teams from the USA in North America and Argentina from South America.

For the 2019 edition of the Italian J/70 Cup, ninety-eight teams participated in the Overall Division and forty-four teams participated in the Corinthians Division (nearly 50% of the fleet). The four event series started in Scarlino, then went east to Marina Dorica Ancona, back north to Malcesine on Lago di Garda, then west to San Remo in the Italian Riviera. It was a nice way to end the season on the sunny Mediterranean in the fall, with good breezes and excellent sailing. The YC San Remo hosted the event and provided a warm welcome to the fifty-two teams that competed in the finale.
L'Elagain J/70 San Remo winners
In the end, winning the San Remo event was a familiar team to Italian racers, Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN Team of Giulio Desiderato, Manuel Giubellini, Nick Dal Ferro, and Simone Spina. However, the big surprise was the team that took the silver; Germany’s Markus Wieser skippered MISSION IMPOSSIBLE to an easy second place. In fact, his crew of Diego Negri, Victor Marino, and Wolfgang Kaefer nearly did pull off the “mission impossible” of winning the San Remo event as the first foreign team to do so! It all came down to their last race, posting a dismal 24th that became their discard race and, thus, losing the regatta by three points! Italian Alessandro Zampori’s DAS SAILING TEAM took the final step on the podium with crew of Andrea Felci, Enrico Fonda, Filippo Amonti, and Martino Tortarolo. Then, rounding out the top five were in Italian Mauro Roversi’s J-CURVE with crew of Carlo Fracassoli, Federica Salva, Michele Ivaldi, and Stefano Orlandi in the fourth spot, and Russian diva Valeriya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS1 with team of Denis Rozhkov, Fabio Gridelli, Igor Lisovenko, and Sergey Avdonin settling for 5th place. The Russians only missed the podium by four points, again due to their 8th place in the last race.

J/70 CUP Overall
As a result of the San Remo event, the final tabulations of the 28 race series, with 5 discards, showed a clear winner amongst the 98 entrants.  Winning by a margin of 57 pts was Italian Alessandro Zampori’s DAS Sailing Team with 155 pts total; his crew consisted of Andrea Felci, Enrico Fonda, Filippo Amonti, and Martino Tortaroio. Second was another Italian team, Carlo Tomelleri’s ENJOY 1.0 with 213 pts total; sailing with crew of Alberto Taddei, Daniele de Luca, and Umberto de Luca. This year’s series produced yet another surprise podium finisher! The final race 8th in San Remo would surely come back to haunt her as finishing just 2 pts back was top Russian women skipper Valeriya Kovalenko on ARTTUBE RUS1; finishing with 215 pts! Nevertheless, after winning Monaco’s famous Primo Cup, Kovalenko has proven that she has not lost her touch once she has a strong team with her. Rounding out the top five was Luca Domenici’s NOTARO Sailing Team in fourth place, winning a tie-breaker at 231 pts on countback over another Italian team- Gianfranco Noe’s WHITEHAWK with crew of Emanuele Noe, Giuliano Chiandussi, Irene Giorgini, Maurizio Planine.
Italian J/70 Cup winners
In addition to placing 5th in the Overall division, Noe’s WHITEHAWK team also collected more silverware as the winner of the 44-boat Corinthians Division. Behind them in second place was Alessio Zucchi’s WHY NOT SLAM with crew of Alessandro Maldina, Elisabetta Saccheggiani, Gabriele Arnulfo, and Amerigo Brandimarte and taking the bronze was Mauro Brescacin’s LA FEMME TERRIBLE with crew of Francesca Russo Cirillo, Paolo Tomsic, Matteo Omari, and Lorenzo Coslovich.  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

J/111 McFLY wins J/111 Northern Europe Series

J/111 sailing off United Kingdom
The J/111 Northern Europe Series was primarily organized between Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London, England. This year’s Series was sponsored by Sweeney from Holland with individual Regatta prizes sponsored by competing boats on a revolving basis.

Ten J/111’s participated in the series and scoring was based on seven regattas with three race discards; the scoring enabled boats to compete fairly given the calendar pressures many owners and crews were contending with during the summer. It was a great turnout and, in fact, several more boats have indicated they will be participating next in next year’s 2020 racing circuit!

The Mack’s McFLY was the winner of the inaugural J/111 Northern European Series- The “Paul Heys Trophy” was presented at the owner’s awards dinner at the Royal Thames Yacht Club on Tuesday evening.

The Northern European Fleet consists of boats from a variety of countries including Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK amongst others. A new schedule for the 2020 Series was under discussion at the meeting and is due to be confirmed soon. Thanks for the report from J/111 SNOW LEOPARD owner- Simon Grier-Jones. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

GO VOTE for J/Boats in Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest!

Here are the four images, the four photographers, and the four links!
Tim Wilkes- J/70
Tim Wilkes
This is an amazing photo of J/70s off Cleveland, OH for J/70 North Americans. “As a yacht racing photographer, there are certain days that you live for,” commented Tim. “They are the most difficult days to create photos in, given the extreme wind and sea state. This was one of those days on Lake Erie… of all places! Purely magical. Pure excitement. Surfing a breaking wave down the course with the entire fleet behind you is a great feeling. I'm happy I was able to be there in the right spot and stable enough to capture it.”   View image and vote here.

J/125 off Ireland
Andy Green
“This was a cool shot of the J/125 JACK KNIFE from the IRC Regatta held at Pwllheli in August,” said Andy. “It had been champagne sailing with blue skies and 20 knots of breeze. I could see a squall moving to us and within minutes we where in 40+ knots of wind, heavy rain, and near zero visibility. The fleet where being battered by the conditions. But, as soon as it came the squall lifted, we returned to blue skies and 20 knot winds!”  View image and vote here.

J/70 Sweden sea grass
Daniel Ljungsvik
“This was very amusing and picturesque perspective of a J/70 at this year’s Swedish J/70 Nationals taking a shortcut back to harbor! Through the weeds!!,” said Dan.   View image and vote here.

J/70 French Nationals off Marseille, France
Pierrick Jeannoutot
It was an amazing regatta for the French J/70 class on the Mediterranean this summer. The J/70s were sailing off Marseille, France for their French J/70 Nationals.. fabulous conditions and love the backdrop, too! Said Pierrick, “I like this photo because, just before the finish line on the last leg of the regatta, the two J/70’s were symmetrically aligned on the two different gybe angles downwind.. So cool!”  View image and vote here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta Preview

J/105s sailing in San Diego, CA
(San Diego, CA)- One of the San Diego Yacht Club’s most coveted trophies is back up for grabs, going home with the winning team of the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup on October 25-27, 2019. Eleven yacht clubs that battled for the title in 2018 return to South San Diego Bay for a rematch. In the running are: San Diego Yacht Club (2018 winners), Balboa Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Coronado Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, and Southwestern Yacht Club.

The Lipton Cup is sailed in a fleet of J/105s, graciously loaned from local J/105 owners, with rotating boats between each race allowing for fair, even racing. The first warning signal is scheduled for 1125 each day.

The San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup dates back to the early days of yachting on the Pacific Ocean, circa 1900. Sir Thomas Lipton, the famous yachtsman and tea baron, requested that a trophy be created in his name for West Coast yacht racing excellence. This exchange soon ushered in a new, prestigious yachting event – the San Diego Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. Read more about the history of the Lipton Cup.

San Diego Yacht Club has been the winning team for the past two years, keeping the trophy in their home court since 2017, thanks to Skipper Tyler Sinks and crew. “I’ve competed in the Lipton Cup four times. Our crew has been pretty consistent these past four years. We have the same team as last year except Erik Shampain is on board in place of Nevin Snow. We’re looking forward to another great year of competitive sailing,” expressed Sinks.

Last year, the participating Southern California teams came ready to battle. Back for another shot at first is Allie Blecher of California Yacht Club. “We have been practicing at home in Marina del Rey on a local J. It’s been lots of hours spent perfecting our boat handling and racing tactics,” started Blecher. “One of the biggest lessons learned when you field a team of the best from one yacht club is to leave your ego at the door. So many teams clash because of grueling egos, but we've made it a point to leave those items on the dock and give it our best for the team.”

After the racing on Friday, sailors can enjoy a post-racing social, followed by a Saturday night banquet and Sunday evening awards. The Lipton Cup’s Saturday night dinner is known as a don’t-miss roast-like event with good-natured ribbing between the clubs.

According to Lipton Cup Chair Tim Fuller, the key word associated with the event is “intensity.” SDYC Commodore Jerelyn Biehl agrees, also commenting on the competitiveness between teams. “The best part about the Lipton Cup weekend is the incredible competitiveness on the water.  Many of these sailors have known each other and competed against each other for decades, and they’re back at it for one weekend. Cheering for SDYC both at the Club, when they return, and on the water gives our team great pride and a huge boost of confidence!”

Thank you to our local J/105 owners who are lending the boats and sponsors who are allowing this event to happen. For more SDYC Lipton Cup sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/80 Singlehanded Challenge Launches in China

The dream of sailing a singlehanded boat across the China Sea started back in 2015. “Hualian”, as he is known, dreamed of sailing a J/80 sailboat specially equipped to handle the challenges of sailing offshore for 1,600 nm (about 3,000 km). No one has done it before and, in China, such challenges are seen in the same light as other famous Chinese climbers getting to the top of the world’s tallest mountain- Mount Everest at 29,029 feet tall.

Hualian’s first two attempts in 2019 were not completed. In the first attempt, he exclaims, “I experienced 30 knots sustained winds and very low temperature of minus 5 degrees (that’s very cold with wind chill!). I hang up the fishing net, so to speak, and I give up, as the conditions were getting dangerous. The second attempt was just before the late fall. However, because I experienced failure of my main power generation and navigation equipment, I had to stop sailing before the end of the first 24 hours. So, sadly and unfortunately, I had to give up, again.

After more than a year of preparation, Hualian plans to start again from Qingdao at around 10:00 am on October 16, 2019, driving the his J/80 WHITE WAVE all the way south to the beautiful island of Sanya (China’s version of America’s Hawaii).

The challenge is strictly in accordance with the standards of Solo and Non-stop in the international maritime industry. During this period, he will not stop at any port and will not accept any material help from the outside world. There will be no replenishment and no security team will follow. Hualian will be alone on the 1,600 nm (about 3,000 km) voyage, avoiding the ubiquitous fishing nets and the busy ships on the Chinese sea, while managing himself and the ships at all times.

Because it is difficult and dangerous, this level of challenge has not been completed in China, and it is worth exploring and making progress.

Singlehanded sailing does not stop at the China Sea! Follow the J/80 WHITE WAVE as part of championing the Extreme Challenge Environmental Protection project.  Follow the J/80 WHITE WAVE on YB Tracking here 24x7 on his 1,600 nm voyage Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

J/Fest Southwest Preview

J/70 sailing in Texas
(Lakewood, TX)- This coming weekend, the Lakewood Yacht Club south of Houston, TX will be hosting the annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta on Galveston Bay from October 25th to 27th. A record fleet of sixty-nine boats is participating from across the Deep South. There are big one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s and a J/ORC class.

The 20-boat J/22 class features a number of leading teams from the region, including Casey Lambert’s BLACKBURN MARINE RACING, Jeff Jones’ GAS STATION SUSHI, Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE, Farley Fontenot’s OLD TIMES, Dan Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Gary Theis’ STUDENT DRIVER and Kevin Orff’s TROUBLEMAKER.

While the J/24 Worlds are taking place in Miami, FL, a solid fourteen-boat J/24 class is assembling on Galveston Bay. Leading crews include Kirk Reynolds’ TYRUS, John Parker’s CHUPACABRA, Amanda Casey’s MOMENTOUS, Ryan Miller’s TRICK BAG, Darren Hill’s FRAT HOUSE, and Stu Juengst’s VANG GO.

Perhaps the most competitive fleet will be the 14-boat J/70 class as the event is a 2020 J/70 Worlds qualifier for the regatta in Marina del Rey, CA. Top teams on the leaderboard should include Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Mallory & Andrew Loe’s DIME, Glenn Darden’s HOSS, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, and Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS.

The J/ORC fleet features a few gold-platers from the region. Two J/46s that recently collected some silverware in the Harvest Moon Regatta will be participating; Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG II and Jim Demarest’s SODALIS III. In addition, there will be J.D. Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR, two J/109s (David Christensen’s AIRBORNE and Andy Wescoat’s HARM’S WAY), the new J/99 TBD, Bill Sutton’s famous J/35 LEADING EDGE, George Cushing’s J/92 USA 77, and Ray Bentele’s J/29 PRESS TO MECO. Should be fun handicap racing in that fleet!  For J/Fest Southwest results   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

A Family Affair- the J/122e JUNO- 2019 Performance 40 Champion

Christopher Daniel's J/122e JUNO won the 2019 Performance 40 Class Series.  “Chris and the Juno team are exactly what the Performance 40 Class is all about,” commented Performance 40 Class founder Dave Swete. “Juno is a corinthian boat with a core crew of the Daniel family mixed with young, and especially women sailors. The team has improved as a crew year on year and the atmosphere on board is just fantastic. After racing the Performance 40 Class love to get together for a drink in the yacht club bar, which is fundamental part of the spirit of Juno and the whole class.”

Daniel has been racing Juno for five years with a young crew of family and friends, including three siblings all in their twenties.

“When the kids were younger I drove to them to the extremities of the country to attend various dinghy regattas, and now all three of them are crewing for me, which is great, sailing as a family makes it more fulfilling. Juno normally sails with at least four girls on board and half of the crew is under 25. When we started racing Juno, the network for potential crew was thrown very wide and slowly over the years that has resulted in a pool of about 15 sailors to make up our racing crew of 10. We all go sailing for fun because we enjoy it, and that is definitely an ethos we have on board. This keeps the team together, as does improving our ability and results. Having a young crew gives a great energy on board but we run a quiet boat, to me a leader shouting at his crew is a sign that the skipper has lost control. Everybody is encouraged to give their feedback at the end of the race and every opinion is respected.”

The Performance 40 Championship is all inshore racing but Juno has also enjoyed success racing offshore, making the class podium for the 2019 RORC Myth of Malham and a strong performance in the Rolex Fastnet Race rounded off a successful offshore season, and Christopher Daniel has big offshore plans for the future.

“We targeted winning the P40 Championships at the beginning of the season,” commented Daniel. “It was a tall order given the strength and depth of the competition and our position last year. We set about it with some structured training sessions from Dave Swete, a largely consistent crew and a programme of reflection and improvement. We ended up winning three of the events, but still only managed to win by half a point owing to Cobra’s consistency and the strength of the rest of the fleet, and if you look down the finish times, most races were won by just a few seconds. Juno is a very capable offshore boat and the added performance means that you can get from A to B quickly, as well as in comfort,” said Daniel.

The funny thing is we originally bought Juno to race and cruise, and although my wife Lucy is very supportive, and we couldn't do it without her, Lucy prefers sailing in the Caribbean and the Med, and we have plans to take the boat to Malta and Antigua for the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the RORC Caribbean 600. We have a real focus on the Rolex Fastnet Race for 2021. Juno is a very capable offshore boat and the added performance means that you can get from A to B quickly, as well as in comfort. We have charted boats abroad before but it is difficult to find a boat as good as Juno, and when you come to sell a boat like the J/122e it is attractive to both the racing and cruising market.

Racing Juno with the family and our friends is a wonderful experience, and I can't thank Paul Heys enough who sold us the boat and was always helpful and supportive. Sadly Paul is no longer with us, but all of our success on the race course is dedicated to him.”

The J/122e Juno was purchased at the Southampton Boat Show from Key Yachting, the exclusive agent & distributor for J/Boats in the United Kingdom. The new offshore-capable performance yacht in the J/Boats range is the J/99, which has been nominated for the 2019 European Yacht of the Year, the 2019 British Yachting Awards Performance Yacht of the Year, the Sailing World Boat of the Year- Performance Racer-Cruiser, and the Cruising World Boat of the Year- Performance Cruiser.  For more information about the J/Boats range. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/24 World Championship Update

J/24 Worlds- Miami, FL
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Enthusiasm for the J/24 Class was still running high after the opening ceremony and flag parade to open the 41st J/24 World Championship when racing got underway Tuesday in hot and sunny Miami, Florida. The 80 teams had to wait out a two-hour onshore postponement while the seabreeze kicked in at 8-10 knots.

After two races, three teams were tied at 7 points: Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR (1,6 on the day), Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD (5,2) and Keith Whittemore’s FURIO (4,3). Eighty teams from 19 nations (Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Grenada, Hungary, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States) are scheduled for 10 races through Saturday.
J/24s sailing World Championship on Biscayne Bay, Florida
Milev, 2017 J/24 World Champion and winner of the first contest, summarized his starting strategy, “We started just above the mid-line boat. There were a couple of boats we barely lived with, and then we saw something on the left. It was nice pressure, and more about the wind than the five-degree shift.” Milev and Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS traded the lead until CLEAR AIR passed them on the second downwind for the victory. Todd Fedyszyn’s SPOONY TACTICS followed in third. Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET and Stone were launched on the fleet in race two, when winds decreased slightly. Whittemore placed third, lining up the three-way knot for first.
J/24 Worlds- Miami, FL start
However, everything changed on day two as the entire top ten leaderboard was jumbled by the relatively light winds in the 5-7 kts range.

Only one team has recorded all scores in the top 10 so far, and that is the day two leader after four races: Whittemore’s FURIO. Conditions were such that it really tested the competitors’ ability to locate the better breeze and tackle the shifts. The Seattle, WA-based FURIO crew (used to similar light air condition in Seattle) added scores of 7-3 on Wednesday for 17 points overall. Milev’s CLEAR AIR team (also used to the light airs off Toronto on Lake Ontario) notched their second bullet of the Championship in race four, however a 14th in the day’s initial contest gives them 22 points and second place. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET held their own Wednesday, tallying a 6-2 for third place (24 points). When the fifth race has been completed, a discard will take effect.
J/24 Worlds sailing on Biscayne Bay, Florida
Keiji Kondo’s FOX finished ahead of all others to start Wednesday’s matches, and the Japanese team was exuberant to earn a World Championship race win. With his son Wataru among his crew, Kondo shared, “I did come to Miami last year for the J/24 World Council Meeting, representing Japan. It was so nice weather and a good place, so I wanted to bring my guys here.” Following Kondo across the line were Andrew Carey’s MR. HANKEY and Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM. Milev’s CLEAR AIR racked up bullet number two to close Wednesday, with Parker and Whittemore behind.

It is still an all out battle for the top five as the point spreads are quite close. Complete event results and details may be found here.   For more J/24 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, October 25, 2019

* Eight Bells: Olaf Harken

Olaf (left) and Peter (right)- the Harken Brothers
Olaf Theodore Harken, 80, passed away October 21, 2019. Born May 6, 1939 in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia, Olaf died where he lived most of his adult life, in Pewaukee Wisconsin.

Olaf and his older brother, Peter, created the hugely successful marine hardware business that bears their name, by working hard, delivering excellence, and having fun every day.

Harken Inc. makes marine hardware, hydraulics and winch systems for racing and cruising sailboats of all types and sizes. Industrial hardware applications include the commercial marine, architectural, and rescue industries.

The brothers took many chances over the years – and they still encourage their employees to do the same.

When Olaf was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2014 along with Peter, he explained the brothers’ business philosophy: “When trying new stuff our rule is to ask, ‘if it all goes bad, can we survive?’ Then we go to the bar and forget what we just said and do it anyway!”

Olaf and Peter quickly learned that the real fuel behind their company’s success was its people.

“Peter and I were not very smart,” Olaf said in his 2015 memoir Fun Times in Boats, Blocks & Business, “but we did know that success is linked directly to trust and treating people with dignity, and maybe a little sprinkling of humor.”

The Harken story has been full of twists, turns, successes, and reinventions, but through it all the goal of challenging the status quo and commitment to being at the front remains.

Today at Harken, Peter Harken told an assembly of Harken members, “my brother did all the hard work, so I could have all the fun. During the days when the company was just getting going, Olaf was in charge of the money. He kept us in business. If I had been in charge of that, we would have been in big trouble. His legacy is in this culture. So, let’s just keep doing what we do. Just keep getting better. You are a great family. Thanks a lot. He’ll be watching you, so no sloughing off!”

Olaf was born of Dutch and Swedish parents in Indonesia at the beginning of World War II. In 1941, the Japanese attacked Indonesia. During the fighting and nightly bombings, Peter, Olaf, and their Swedish mother managed to escape to Borneo. Their Dutch father, Joe, joined the very small Dutch army and helped fight the Japanese until his capture.

Joe was imprisoned for five years and was not liberated until the end of the war. Meanwhile, Peter, Olaf, and mother Ulla lived first in Borneo, were then troop-shipped to New Zealand for a year, to Australia for another year, and finally shipped to San Francisco in 1944. While in San Francisco, they were miraculously reunited with their father in 1946 after the war was over.

After studying at Georgia Tech, Olaf took an engineering job in New York City, but in 1967, he returned to Wisconsin to help Peter build boats for the college market. “Why I made that decision then I’ll never know,” said Olaf.

Inside the office were a couple of doors on saw horses used as desktops, an old typewriter, a telephone, and a file cabinet. A plastic sheet separated the offices from the fiberglass and assembly area. Marketing consisted of all-night drives with Peter at the wheel and Olaf typing brochures in the back seat of an old Chevy wagon. That first year they made $3,800 together (not a typo- in total!).

The Harkens aren’t sure exactly when the turnabout happened, but Olaf the engineer ended up running the business side of Harken Inc., with Peter the economist handling design and production.

“Peter designed the blocks, and knew more about manufacturing than me,” Olaf said.

“Olaf was more patient, better at the business than me,” Peter said. “Each of us was better at the other guys’ education. We kept it quiet, figuring people wouldn’t want blocks designed by an economist.”

Today, Bill Goggins, current CEO of Harken, read this passage from Olaf’s autobiography in remembrance:
“Peter and I have long believed there is a word that should apply to almost every action and decision. That word is honesty. I got my first lesson in honesty shortly after we started the business— back when we were building those first six boats for Ohio State University.

“Like almost every boat builder, we were behind by quite a few weeks. When our customers called and wanted to know when we were going to deliver, I lied. I said they would be ready in about a week. Peter overheard me and was furious. He made me call them back and tell them I was wrong, that we were further behind and would not be able to deliver for a few more weeks.”

“This was very embarrassing, but it taught me a good lesson. For one thing, I didn’t have to keep on lying each week. Taking the beating once is a lot easier than building one lie on top of another. It’s not easy to do and the customer is going to be angry or disappointed, but that’s the end of it.”

Goggins also said:
“You couldn’t have scripted a nicer weekend for Olaf than the one just past. Pewaukee Yacht Club honored Olaf on Saturday night with a Lifetime Achievement Award to a full-house standing ovation. He rose, walked to the front and accepted the award with his usual grace and dignity.”

“The evening was highlighted by Olaf and his wife Ruth on the dance floor. Sunday was a simple Packer game with his family and then, a remarkable chance 30-minute walk with his brother in the sunshine.”

“He died peacefully in his sleep with his loved ones nearby. The company mourns his loss. However, the company celebrates his life by doing what we do… working hard every day… headed into a bright future.”

Olaf is survived by his wife of 47 years Ruth, 3 daughters, 4 granddaughters, and 1 grandson.

Preliminary plans include a visitation and service Saturday morning, October 26 at Galilee Lutheran Church in Pewaukee, followed immediately by a celebration at Harken corporate headquarters. For overseas friends, another celebration of Olaf’s life will be held during the annual METS show in Amsterdam in November. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

41st J/24 World Championship Preview

j/24s sailing offshore
(Coconut Grove, FL)- Forty-two years after the first J/24 was built in Rod Johnstone’s garage, the Class will attract 81 boats from 20 countries to Miami, Florida for the 2019 J/24 World Championship. Sponsored by Bacardi Rum, the combined efforts of the US and International J/24 Class Associations, Coral Reef Yacht Club, Shake-a-Leg Miami and Twelve USA will present five days of racing on the spectacular Biscayne Bay from October 22-26. Participating in the event will be five J/24 World Champion helmsmen, plus countless Continental and National Champions. The nations represented include Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Grenada, Hungary, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The 2019 edition will be the 41st World Championship for the enduring Class. A complete list of all J/24 World Champions can be found here.
J/24s sailing off Miami, FL
Jeff Johnstone, President of J/Boats, said, “The J/24 Class is thriving in 2019 for the same reasons it took the world by storm 40+ years ago. It’s all about people. Great racing in the world’s best sailing venues is one thing, but making life-long friends along the way, that’s priceless.” J/Boats and the US J/24 Class Association will launch the Championship by sponsoring Monday’s Opening Ceremony. The festive atmosphere will include classic memorabilia, a photo slideshow, flag bearers from each country, live music and food/beverages.

Will Welles, reigning J/24 World Champion, said, “The J/24 Class is alive and strong! I don’t think the racing has ever been closer. The boat is so refined these days, with everyone knowing the tricks; it’s great one-design racing.”

Nancy Zangerle, IJCA Chair, said, “The 2019 World Championship will be a celebration and culmination of 42 years of J/24 Class history. It is a testament to how one man’s idea has grown into a worldwide family of sailors. The International J/24 Class continues to attract new sailors with affordable boats, great competition and adherence to strong Class Rules that really provide a level playing field on the water. The J/24 Class has sustained its popularity with the enthusiasm of so many racers and J/24 alumni who keep coming back to the premier Class events, year after year. This year’s World Championship will see crews from age 16 to 70. While I’m looking forward to five days of exciting racing, the World Championship is as much a reunion with so many J/24 family and friends.”

Complete J/24 World Championship results and details may be found here.  For more J/24 World Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.