Friday, November 29, 2019

CAL Dominates The J/22 Big Sail

J/22s sailing The BIG Sail
STANFORD Wins Varsity Division
(San Francisco, CA)- One of the pillars of college football’s identity is its rivalries. Think UCLA vs. USC, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Alabama vs. Auburn, Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. Other sports have rivalries, but a rivalry shapes the history of the programs involved in a college-football feud.

Winning the rivalry game can salvage a team’s entire season.

The rivalry game between the California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal has a 127-year history, and for the 16th year the two sailing teams have joined in, holding The Big Sail each November on the Tuesday before “The Big Game” which this year takes place on Saturday, November 23.

The Big Sail consumes St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA) with bands and cheerleaders from both schools, alongside the membership with deep roots in both schools. For a club perched on the edge of the race course, it is a scene like no other.

The 2019 Big Sail featured five divisions: Varsity, Women’s, Young Alumni, Masters Alumni, and Grandmasters Alumni, and is raced in a fleet of one-design J/22s provided by St. Francis Yacht Club. Each division match-races on short courses for the best two out of three races.

For the student teams, it’s hardly a fair fight as the Bears are a club team compared to the massive varsity team budget at Stanford. But, after Cal won all but the Varsity match, a school fan publication was not above taking a jab at the Cardinal team’s involvement in the college admissions scandal. Aren’t rivalries great?

Stanford wins Varsity division
First, here is Stanford student paper's report:

With a 2-0 win in the Varsity Division, the Stanford sailing team captured its 15th-straight Big Sail win against Cal. The event concludes the sailing team's fall season, and they will start back up in the spring.

Stanford sailing captured the Big Sail trophy for the 15th consecutive year after the varsity boat swept Cal in their best of three races at the St. Francis Yacht club in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cardinal got off to a rocky start at the annual rivalry event. The event is composed of five total divisions: grandmasters alumni, masters alumni, young alumni, women and varsity. The Golden Bears started by sweeping Stanford in the first four divisions. Given that last year the Cardinal beat Cal in every division except for the master’s alumni, the initial few losses at this year’s event may have furrowed many Stanford brows.

However, as they always do, the Cardinal prevailed over the Golden Bears when it mattered most. Behind junior skipper Jack Parkin, junior Victoria Thompson, senior Jacob Rosenberg, and sophomore Wiley Rogers, the Stanford varsity boat handily swept Cal, making the Cardinal victorious in the Big Sail for the 15th consecutive year.

The event marked an exciting end to what has been a successful autumn season for the sailing team. Parkin in particular has become a force to be reckoned with at skipper, as highlighted in the prowess he showed against the Golden Bears on Tuesday. Earlier this month, he also served as skipper of the varsity boat at the Match Race National Championship, an event which he and his crew won.

The sailing team will be back in action this spring when they start racing in the remaining three categories of competition held by the Inter-collegiate Sailing Association. Women’s and men’s single-handed as well as match racing are conducted in the fall, while women’s dinghy, co-ed dinghy and team racing are raced in the spring. Look for Stanford to continue the success it has had this fall when the new season starts after this winter.

J/22s sailing the BIG Sail in San Francisco, CA
Secondly, here is Cal's student paper "tongue-in-cheek" report:

Tuesday marked the first time when the Cal and Stanford Sailing teams have faced each other in a head-to-head match-up since the College Admissions scandal broke earlier this year. An estimated 1,000 spectators, the Cal and Stanford Bands, and the schools’ respective cheerleaders were in attendance for the regatta in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay.

Cal beat Stanford 4–1, with the only loss coming in the Varsity division (current students); and Cal swept the races in the four winning divisions, each in a best-of-three format. The race results, however, are only a part of a larger story—namely, the impact the college admissions scandal has had on the Big Sail and collegiate sailing.

In March, the college admissions scandal was made public, charging 51 individuals with conspiring to influence undergraduate admissions decisions at elite American universities. John Vandemoer, the former head coach of the Stanford Sailing Team, was one of the first coaches to be charged after evidence produced alleged that the team had received more than USD 610,000 in bribes from Rick Singer, the organizer of the scheme. Singer had offered the bribes to Vandemoer in exchange for having his clients—prospective Stanford Students—apply to the University as sailing recruits, significantly increasing their chances of being accepted.

Vandemoer was arrested in March of this year, subsequently fired by the University, and then sentenced on June 12, 2019 to one day in prison for racketeering conspiracy, in addition to a USD 10,000 fine and two years of supervised release. According to the New York Times, Vandemoer now lives at the vacation home of a Stanford University benefactor and coaches privately with his wife at a Club just a few hundred yards from the Stanford Sailing facility in Redwood City. Importantly, Vandemoer did not personally profit from Singer’s donations to the program.

The Big Sail traces its roots back to at least the 1940s, when the event was originally hosted by the Berkeley Yacht Club. While race records are not readily available, the original trophy from that iteration of the series now permanently resides at the Stanford Boathouse, a 16,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility which boasts a multi-story indoor boat garage, locker rooms, laundry facilities, and offices.

The Big Sail regatta is formatted as a series of best-of-three match races. A match race is when one boat from each team goes head-to-head, with rules that are slightly more complex than those of traditional racing. Sailors compete across five divisions: Varsity (current students), Women’s (female Alumni), Young Alumni, Masters, and Grand Masters (all based on year of graduation). Cal has consistently done well in the Alumni divisions. However, Stanford has now won the last 16 consecutive Varsity contests. In national events, Stanford has routinely qualified for the coed national championships, while Cal and other Pac-12 schools qualify on a more sporadic basis.

The recent disparity of Varsity results can be largely explained by the team structures and finances. Sailing is a Varsity sport at Stanford, meaning that the team is completely funded by the school’s $26.5 billion endowment USD, of which the sailing portion was partially contributed to by Singer and Vandemoer’s arrangement.

The Stanford Sailing Team’s budget in 2017 was $182,000 USD, the second highest of any collegiate program nationally (second to Boston College) and more than double that of national championship programs Yale and Georgetown. It is also important to note that this figure does not include equipment and facilities, with the program spending upwards of $120,000 USD on new boats every 5–8 years, giving the Stanford team a considerable advantage over its West Coast competition in terms of equipment. As a result of being well-funded, Stanford is able to recruit the best sailors on the West Coast, as it is currently the only fully-funded program not on the Eastern Seaboard.

The Cal Sailing Team is a student-run organization and is designated a “Club Sport” by the University. Since there is no varsity sailing program supported by the Cal Athletic Department, the Cal Sailing team represents the University as a varsity team at events around the country, including events on the East Coast and in Hawaii. The team is entirely student-led and student-run, with occasional coaching assistance from volunteers who themselves are former collegiate sailors.

The team operates on a budget of less than $10,000 USD annually, and is funded by the students on the team, generous donors, and sponsors such as Berkeley Research Group, when in 2015 the Emeryville-based firm donated a new boat to help compete against Stanford’s 18 new boats. The Cal Sailing team has historically done well against other club teams and there is hope for future improvement, as US Sailing announced in 2018 that it will be opening a cutting-edge Olympic training facility at the Treasure Island Sailing Center—the current Cal Sailing practice venue.

The two teams, while geographically and competitively close are structural and financial opposites. One is a private, heavily bureaucratic institution with generous donors, a high tuition price tag, and a corruptible system seeking to raise significant funding to bring a national championship to a non-revenue generating athletic program. The other program, which is far more common and historically recognizable, is about a group of students with a common passion and the desire to organize and pursue that passion while balancing school, and often multiple forms of employment to support their passion.

The differences in the teams raise the question about the role of collegiate athletics: should athletic programs primarily be vehicles for pursing passions and learning life lessons or programs for refining technical ability and winning championships? They certainly could be utilized to pursue all the above, but to which degree will certainly be a topic of debate for some time to come. Thanks for a special contribution from Craig Leweck/ Scuttlebutt News.  For more The BIG SAIL regatta information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

J/Cruiser Tops 39th Sarasota YC Invitational

J/34c sailing off Sarasota, FL
(Sarasota, Florida)- The Sarasota Yacht Club 39th Annual Invitational Regatta was held from November 1st and 2nd for a fleet of 140+ boats on Sarasota Bay.

The weekend began with a Friday night Opening Night Party/Skipper's Meeting with live entertainment, lite bites, and keg beer. Saturday was a full day on the water, where even non-boating members can get a front row seat of the action aboard the Spectator Fleet. Participants enjoyed the electric post-race atmosphere on Saturday evening featuring Chef Anthony's spectacular Pig Roast Dinner, the Regatta Awards Ceremony, and live entertainment.

J/34c MOJO sailing off Sarasota
According to J/34C MOJO owner and skipper Mauro Harto:

"November 2nd was setting up to be one of those days that only a Southwest Florida fall day can be; a picture-perfect chamber of commerce kind of day. The temperature, winds, and stars all aligned.

The crew of MOJO matched the day with a perfect race. All shifts, tacks, and tactics fell into place. When you compete in a pursuit race with 14 other PHRF boats, it’s a bit tough watching 11 of your competitors sail away from you as you await your start time. The crew of MOJO (Tom Beames, Gary Denton, Todd Rippy and owner Mauro Harto) took it in stride. One by one, MOJO picked off the boats in front of her.  As the wind built in the late afternoon, she really fell into her zone. On the last downwind leg, the crew felt MOJO slow a bit more than expected. As they looked behind them, 40+ boats were stretched out stealing her wind. The crew dropped the pole, headed up, and shot for the committee boat end. It was a fantastic day of sailing on Sarasota bay. MOJO bested the PHRF cruising fleet. It was extra special for the crew as they each landed a coveted Mount Gay red hat!" Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

JAMMIN Leads Royal Hong Kong YC J/80 Winter Series

J/80 sailing off Hong Kong
(Hong Kong, China)- The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's J/80 fleet continues to grow annually and has gained a loyal following that is the envy of not just Asian-based one-design keelboat fleets, but others one-design groups in the rest of the world. Fostering a family-oriented vision and having fun over blood-thirsty competition, the RHKYC's J/80 fleet has seen amazing participation in the 2019/2020 Winter Series program.  Starting in October and ending in February, there have been twenty J/80 teams scored in the nine-race series so far.

J/80s sailing off Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
Leading the series is Antoine Segaud & Jasper Ten Berge's JAMMIN with a remarkably low net score of 15 pts net after two discards. Sitting in second is Henry Wong's FOOTLOOSE with a 19 pts net scoreline.  Then, currently holding on to the bronze step on the podium is Romain Le Chevallier's JELIGNITE with 21 pts net.  Rounding out the top five are Fraser Boyd & Peter Lake's JOSS in fourth, with Tam Nguyen's JAHOO in fifth place.  For more J/80 RHKYC Winter series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hamble Winter Series Weekend VI- Zephyrs and Streaks!

J/88s sailing Hamble Winter Series
(Hamble, England)- The famous Hamble Winter Series continued on the Solent and Southampton Water, hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club. The classes include IRC handicap as well as a one-design fleet of J/88s. This past weekend marked the sixth weekend of sailing in challenging fall weather conditions...only one race was sailed due to a very light, shifty, and streaky northerly breeze blowing offshore.

The battle in IRC 1 Class continues. Falling off the pace a bit in the trying conditions was Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, posting a 5th place to fall one point back from first place after two discards were counted. A major tactical blunder sent them down the mineshaft quickly, never able to fully recover in the short 1.5-hour race.

The IRC 2 class looks to be a runaway for Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE, having never finished worse than 3rd place in the entire series to date. Currently, the JIRAFFE team are throwing out an amazing 2-3 to count just 8 pts in eight races- e.g. all firsts! Ten points behind them is Gavin Howe's J/88 TIGRIS with 18 pts net; feeling better about winning the 10th race of the series in the light stuff.  In fourth overall is Dirk van Beek's J/88 SABRIEL JR and in fifth place is Mike & Susie Yates' J/109 JAGO.

The famous Greenhalgh family boat, their J/92 J'RONIMO, is not likely to overcome their massive beginning of series deficit of three DNC's in a row to win IRC 3 Class like they have in the past. However, there is a reasonable mathematical chance they can, hopefully, hop on the podium in the bronze position as they are just 8 pts out of contention in a fleet that has proven to take nosedives on occasion.

Finally, in the J/88 class, Howe's TIGRIS is leading that grouping, followed by Van Beek's SABRIEL JR in second, and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR in third place.   Shaun Rosters pictures can be found here.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

J/99 Nominated for Multiple Performance Yacht of the Year Awards

J/99 sailing on a reach
(Newport, RI)- For the first time in recent history, a newly introduced "J" has been nominated for a record number of five "Performance Yacht of the Year" awards across the USA, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

European Yacht of the YearEuropean Yacht of the Year 2020- J/99 in the Performance Cruiser Category!
The European Yacht of the Year Award is the most important, influential, and most widely communicated boatbuilding prize worldwide. Often referred to as the "Oscar" of yachting.

Initiated by German sail magazine YACHT, it was first presented at boot Düsseldorf in 2004. Today, twelve magazines from all over Europe make up the jury, each of them the leading voice in their respective countries and respected beyond national borders. The announcement of the winners will take place during the Boot in Düsseldorf January 18th-26th 2020. Here was the commentary of the J/99 nomination:

"Even before being unveiled, the new offshore speedster by J-Boats sold in the dozens. And the J/99 was an instant success not just commercially– she also showed strong results on race courses right from the beginning. Available with single or twin rudders, symmetric or asymmetric spinnaker setup, she can be tailored to her owners' likings. While she may look rather modest compared to flashier new designs and weighs more than some of her direct competitors she is nonetheless right up there in the mix– including a relatively modest pricing compared to industry standards."  For more European Yacht of the Year Award information

SAIL Best Boats 2020SAIL Magazine Best Boats Award- Performance Monohulls
J/Boats have won numerous SAIL Best Boat Awards over the course of time, in fact since the very beginning that SAIL magazine created the awards!  Here is their commentary on the J/99 nomination:

"Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boat’s award in 2018, the new J/99 is similar in concept, with a deck layout and rig optimized for smaller crews in the interest of addressing the increasing interest in shorthanded racing both in the United States and abroad. Beyond that, the 33ft J/99 is vintage modern “J”. with its plumb ends, slippery “SCRIMP” infused hull, deep high-aspect rudder and similarly deep fin keel lead “shoe,” the latter designed to get the boat’s center of gravity as low as possible. As is the case the with the rest of the J/Boats fleet, the cockpit is a functional work of art, with plenty of room for trimming sail."  For more SAIL magazine Best Boats Award information

Sailing World Boat of the Year awardSAILING WORLD Boat of the Year
For the first time since inception, the Sailing World Boat of the Year was reduced to a single category with a dozen boats selected for their 2020 Award- e.g. a single boat will win.

Dave Reed, Editor of Sailing World, hopped aboard the J/99 immediately after the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Sailing on a particularly nasty weather day, the Sailing World evaluation team that included Dave, Greg Stewart, and Chuck Allen experienced 10-20 kt ENE winds, driving rain squalls, and a classic short, steep Chesapeake Bay chop. One reviewer commented, "wow, the J/99 has a beautiful feel on her helm upwind and she's stiff...maybe that's why we're going 7.1 kts upwind!"  Another commented downwind after a half-dozen gybes with the large A-sail up, "this boat is on rails downwind, cannot believe we just hit 13.0 kts in a 19 kts puff?! This boat will be fun offshore!"  For more Sailing World Boat of the Year Awards information

Cruising World Boat of the Year awardCRUISING WORLD Boat of the Year- Performance Cruiser Category
Cruising World magazine announced its roster of nominees for the 2020 Boat of the Year awards. Like their sister publication (Sailing World), testing for the awards took place after the U.S. Sailboat Show. The J/99 has been nominated in the "Performance Cruiser" Category.

Twenty-four boats – 17 monohulls, 6 catamarans and a trimaran – have been nominated for the 2020 Boat of the Year prizes. The annual awards, selected by an independent judging team, recognize the best new production cruising boats and multihulls laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore sailing and voyaging. This year’s judging panel is comprised of systems expert Ed Sherman of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC); Ralph Naranjo, a veteran cruising sailor and author; and well-known technical writer and cruiser Dan Spurr.

"This is a deep and highly diverse fleet, ranging in size from a compact 30-footer, to a full-sized 67-foot cruiser", said Herb McCormick, Cruising World Boat of the Year director. "It promises to be a very competitive contest, and our judges will certainly have their work cut out to determine the winning entries."  For more Cruising World Boat of the Year Awards information

British Yachting AwardsThe British Yachting Awards- Racing Yacht/ Sportsboat Category
For the first time this year, Sailing Today teamed up with presenting partner MUSTO and sister magazine Yachts & Yachting to bring you the British Yachting Awards, truly a celebration of every aspect of the sailing world – from Caribbean cruising to high-tech racing.

In the Racing Yacht/ Sportsboat Category, there were a half-dozen boats under consideration. The selection team commented on the J/99 nomination:

"The J/99 has proved an instant hit, with 30 boats ordered, mostly off plan, within a few weeks of the prototype’s first sailing trials. Although clearly aimed at the burgeoning short-handed scene, the boat is also set up to be raced fully crewed, suitable for amateurs and professional teams."  Learn more about the British Yachting Awards 2019 here   Learn more about the J/99 Speedster here Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

J/105 Bacardi Keelboat Regatta Preview

J/105 sailing off Bermuda
(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is once again hosting the Bacardi Keelboat Regatta from November 21st to 24th.  The J/105 fleet participation is at the invitation from the local J/105 fleet. The J/105s race with a combined Bermuda and Overseas crew to compete for a Bermuda, Overseas and Overall series. Over the three-day series, up to ten races can be sailed by the tams.

The participating local J/105 fleet boats include the following: AIRFORCE (Peter Bromby), BACK IN BLACK (Ed Faries), ELUSIVE (Bill Pollett), MAYHEM (Jon Corless), MORNING GLORY (Hasso Plattner), PASSION (James Macdonald), and WINDFIRE (Keith Chiappa).

J/105s sailing off Hamilton, Bermuda
After the "round-the-buoys" portion of the regatta, the last race is a fun "distance race" from the race area in the Great Sound, back through the islands to a finish line just off the Royal Bermuda YC docks!  Most often, the race sends the teams on a tour of the Great and Little Sound’s, before working down Granaway Deep back to RBYC.

At the awards ceremony, the International Team Trophy is sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.  The Bermuda Teams Trophy is sponsored by Goslings Rum. And, the Bacardi Keelboat Overall Trophy, sponsored by XL, is awarded to the Overall winner.   Follow the J/105 Bermuda fleet on their Facebook page  For more J/105 Bacardi Keelboat Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, November 22, 2019

3rd annual U.S. J/70 Youth Championship Preview

U.S. J/70 Youth Championship off St Petersburg, FL
(St. Petersburg, Florida)- The 2019 edition of the U.S. J/70 Youth Championship will be taking place from November 22nd to 24th on the sunny, warm waters of Tampa Bay.  Hosting the top J/70 youth teams from across the country will be the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, in St. Petersburg, FL.

The regatta will be sailed in supplied J/70s from StPYC’s Junior Sailing Center.  The goal of this event is to help develop and build leading-edge junior keelboat sailing programs across America. Selection for this year's event was done by application for the ten spots, with skippers and crews submitting their sailing CV's to the U.S. J/70 Youth Selection Committee.

Like the inaugural event held last year in Newport, RI by SAIL Newport, the youth teams will be sailing in a round-robin format and short-course racing of less than 20 minutes each.  The action should be fast and furious and will be held just off the beautiful St Petersburg city waterfront.

J/70s sailing U.S. Youth Nationals off St Petersburg, FL
The following teams have qualified for the event:

  • Augusta Sailing Club (Georgia)- Nathan Bowen skipper, with crew of brother Mike Bowen, Isabel Smith, and sisters Ellie & Lucy Spearman
  • Brown Sailing (Rhode Island)- Jack Murphy skipper, with crew of Blaire McCarthy, and siblings Chase & Julia Reynolds
  • Cooper River YC (New Jersey)- Zack York skipper, with crew of Sean Groskoph and friends
  • Eastern YC (Massachusetts)- Haley Andreasen skipper, with crew of Jack Dalton, Phil Jeffries, Anders Kearney, Anna O'Conner
  • Lauderdale YC (Florida)- Joey Meagher skipper with crew of Garret Dixon, Sam Juskiewicz, and Bobby Rielly
  • Little Traverse YC (Michigan)- Trip Wagner skipper, with crew of Caroline Grin, Maren Matthews, Jack Miller, and Kate Moran
  • Mudratz Youth Team (Connecticut)- Lily Flack skipper, with crew of Jack Derry, Dylan Flack, Jonathan Gardner, Tanner Kelly
  • San Francisco YC (California)- Jim Golden skipper, with crew of Luke Koerschner, Hannah Sellers, and Caleb Yoslov
  • South Carolina YC (South Carolina)- James Thurlow skipper
  • St Petersburg YC (Florida)- Heather Kerns skipper, with crew of Emily Allen, Heidi Hicks, and Emma Shakespeare
  • TS Golden Bear (California)- Kyle Collins skipper, with crew of Justin Zmina, and brothers Brock & River Paquin.
For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing and results information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Annapolis YC Doublehanded Offshore Race highlights video

J/105 Doublehanded class - Annapolis Doublehanded Offshore Race
The recent Annapolis YC Doublehanded Offshore Race featured a large seven-boat one-design class for the “Mixed Crew One-Design” division. Randy Smyth & Christina Persson won the J/105 division in MIRAGE. Meanwhile, two classic older designs from the J/Design team both won medals in the ORC Division. Roger Lant & Mike Welin’s J/35 ABIENTOT was the first boat to finish in fleet, but corrected to the silver spot just 15 minutes off the lead in the 23-hour race. Then, John Loe & Matt Schubert’s J/33 HORNET took the bronze. Notably, these 30+ year old designs beat two of the latest “shorthanded” boats from France- the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300 and the Beneteau Figaro 3 (both boats are dog slow upwind).

Here is a nice summary of that race, called “Testing the New Olympic Mixed Doublehanded Event,” from the world-famous Gary Jobson from Annapolis, MD. Enjoy watching the video here: Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

ENJOY 2 Leads J/24 Anzio & Nettuno Winter Championship

J/24 women sailor
(Rome/ Anzio-Nettuno, Italy)- The 45th Winter Championship of Anzio-Nettuno, organized by the Circolo della Vela of Rome, by the Reale Circolo Canottieri Tevere Remo, and by the Italian Naval League of Anzio. The sailing is taking place from the Nettuno Yacht Club off a prominent cape on the shores of the Mediterranean, southwest of Rome. The event is a series divided into five weekends, one a month (16 and 17 November, 14 and 15 December, 18 and 19 January, 15 and 16 February, 29 February and 1 March).

The second weekend welcomed the Roman J/24 Fleet crews with a nice Sirocco wind around 15 knots with a rolling cross-swell.  Chairman of the NYC RC- Mario de Grenet- was able to run two good long races for the fleet.

The day was dominated by Ita 428 PELLE ROSSA skippered by Gianni Riccobono. Their two bullets enabled them to climb up to third place in the series standings.

Second in both races was Luca Silvestri's Ita 458 ENJOY 2.  As a result, they now lead the overall ranking after four races.

After starting strong in the first weekend with two bullets, Paolo Cecamore’s ITA 447 PELLE NERA bombed out their second weekend with a 7-5 to drop into second place overall.

Currently sitting in fourth position is Ita 399 MOLLA skippered by Massimo d'Eramo. They are followed by Ita 487 AMERICAN PASSAGE SAILED by Rome J/24 Fleet Captain Paolo Rinaldi.

The day ended with the usual favorite- the wine and pasta party on the terrace of the Circolo della Vela of Rome!! For more Circolo della Vela of Rome club information   For more Italian J/24 Winter Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CARRERA is Argentine J/24 National Champion 7x!

J/24s sailing Cordoba, Argentina
(Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba, Argentina)- Organized by the Club Nautica Cordoba, Leo Rivas and a seasoned team were in charge of the regatta and run eight races in two amazing days of sailing on the lake called- "Lago San Roque". It is a beautiful place to sail, high in the Andes Mountains, with snow-capped peaks ringing the lake (see here- The twenty J/24 crews from across Argentina sailed their 38th edition of the Argentine J/24 National Championship in simply epic conditions, starting off with 13-18 northeast winds on Saturday, and ending with more northerly winds from 18-22 kts!

Matias Pereira's CARRERA (Club Nautica Olivos) and his team comprised of Andrés Guerra, Hernán Suarez, and Joaquín Delgado, again managed to win the Argentine J/24 Championship! This his seventh consecutive year as Argentine Champion, winning five of eight races, an astonishing record!
J/24s in Argentina
Pereira was accompanied on the podium by Nicolas Cubria's RINA (C.N. Olivos) taking the silver, with crew of Hernan Cubria, Federico Bertrand, and Nico Gorelik Mazur. Then, attaining the bronze medal position was the top local boat, Ezequiel Despontin's U2 (Club Nautico Cordoba) with crew of Pablo Aguirre, Alejandra Zicovich, and Daniel Distefano.

Rounding out the top five was Javier Moyano's GRAN CARAJO in fourth place with crew of Adrian Berelejis, Angeles Mensa, and Francisco Agusti.  Taking fifth was Sebastian Halpern's MORRUCHO with crew of Gaston Jaren, Gabriel Miralles, and Roberto Monetti.

The "Long Distance Award" went to the fun-loving Uruguayan crew sailing MARIA MARIA, skippered by Guillermo Pla with crew of Fernando Castro, Paola Rapela, and Ismael Caballero- all from YC Uruguay in Montevideo (see-

Remember, this event also scores in the "Triple Corona Series 2019-2020". It was the first of 3 events to be completed, the next two are the "West Championship (February 22 to 25)" and the "Central Republic Championship (from April 02 to 05). For more Argentina J/24 Class sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Awesome Vaeterchen Frost Regatta

J22 netherlands (Hamburg, Germany)- Over a three-day weekend, the Hamburger Segel Club in Hamburg, Germany hosted their annual fall extravaganza on the famously beautiful and quaint Alster Lake. With flat water, shifty breezes, and streaky puffs, it is a tactical nightmare for some and an amazingly entertaining, fun, challenge for others that revel in the wildly erratic sailing conditions.

The 2019 edition had near record entries for this late fall regatta for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, and J/70s. The racing was hot, fast, and furious and extremely competitive. No one dominated any of the classes, as each winning team had roller-coaster finishes in the light and fickle winds; only four races were sailed over the two days.

Winning the seventeen-boat J/70 fleet was Gordon Nickel's GER 3 team, posting a 4-1-2-1 for 4 pts net.  Carsten Kemmling's GER 928 managed to overcome an OCS in race 2 to finish with net scores of 2-1-4 for 7 pts net. Then, rounding out the podium was top woman skipper from the host HSC club, Christina Schober's GER 978 with a strong tally of 1-2-7-6 for 9 pts net.  The balance of the top five included Ulf Plessmann's GER 966 with 10 pts in fourth and another top woman skipper from Flensburger Segel Club, Tania Tammling on GER 1416 placed fifth with 12 pts.

In the seventeen-boat J/24 class, it was Jan Kaehler's GER 5281 that took a tie-breaker at 7 pts each over Hauke Kruess's GER 5073. Ascending to the third step on the podium after starting out with a devastating Black Flag in race one was Fabian Damm's GER 5316 with 9 pts, winning two of the races!  The rest of the top five included top woman skipper Lynn Wolgast (Muehlenberger Segel Club) on GER 5266 in fourth place with 13 pts. Then, fifth position went to Stefan Karsunke's (Bayerischer Segel Club) GER 5381 with 17 pts.

The winner of the J/22 class was also determined by a tie-breaker at 7 pts each. Taking the countback win was Andreas Dillmann's GER 1141 with a 1-OCS-1-5 scoreline for 7 pts net. Second was Dagmar Hilcken's GER 1445 that sailed to a 6-3-3-1 score, also for 7 pts. The bronze was also determined by a tie-breaker! That countback went to Tom Loesch's GER 1640 that had a 5-1-6-2 for 8 pts; having to settle for fourth was Tom Lau's GER 1541 with a 3-2-4-3 tally.  Fifth place was taken by Christian Greving's GER 1343 with a 4-6-2-7 scoreline for 12 pts. For more Vaeterchen Frost Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Sailors Love San Diego YC Hot Rum Series I

J/105 off San Diego(San Diego, CA)- The San Diego Yacht Club's incredibly popular Hot Rum Series started this past weekend for the 133 entries, proving that the event is as popular as ever for southern Californians. Starting and finishing just off the western end of Shelter Island, the fleet heads out en-masse through the Point Loma passage to two buoys offshore and return to the same start line to finish the race. Since it is consistently one of the world's largest PHRF "pursuit races", the little boats know they almost always have no chance of winning overall and simply enjoy the parade of beautiful large sailing yachts gliding past them in all their glory. The smallest, slowest boats (J/22s & J/24s) start well over an hour before the biggest boats- the J/145s and J/160s, for example. 

For the first time in a while, several J/Crews cracked the top five overall, an amazing feat for them! Rick Goebel's J/105 SANITY took second place, while Nico Landuer's J/34 MARLEN took fourth (a beautifully refurbished J/34 IOR boat that is all white and seriously fast in the lighter airs).

In the PHRF 1 class, Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON placed sixth, while Standish Fleming's J/125 TIMESHAVER settled for seventh. Yet another J/145, Robert Pace's ANDIAMO 2 placed ninth. All boats that placed ahead of these J's were all highly customized boats in the 44 to 60-foot range.

Then, in PHRF 4 class, Rick Goebel's J/105 SANITY won class (garnering his second trophy for the day!), with Nico Lindauer’s J/34 MARLEN in third.  Sixth to eleventh was all J/crews, including Steve & Lucy Howell's BLINK! in sixth, Ryan McCrillis' J/80 HAKA in seventh, Tom Garrett's J/70 SLOOP JOHN B in eighth, Chuck Bowers' J/29 RHUMB RUNNER in ninth, Jeff Brown's J/105 SWEET KAREN in tenth, and Dennis Case's J/105 J-OK in eleventh.

Finally, in PHRF 5 class, Tim Lynch's J/30 RUFFIAN took home the bronze for the day. Similarly, in PHRF 6 Cruising class (white sails only), Bill Engle's J/160 LIBRA pulled off the bronze, too. For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Hong Kong Round Island Race Preview

Hong Kong Round Island start (Hong Kong, China)- The annual Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is one of the biggest inshore events in Hong Kong. It is a 26.0nm race around Hong Kong Island involving Big Boats, One-Design Classes, Dinghies and even Beach cats!  It is a complete free-for-all as the start takes place off the RHKYC starting line in front of the magnificent, skyscraper laced, Hong Kong city waterfront. The average entry list is 200+ boat entries, with more than 1,500 participants.

Around Island Race courseThe race is popular amongst J/Teams in southeast Asia and amongst the local Hong Kong offshore community.  In the Big Boat Class there is a good turnout of J/Aficionados. At the top of that group is the J/122E JINN skippered by owner Nicolas Cohen-Addad. He is joined by the J/111 JUGGERKNOT (Kanev Pavel), the famous race-winning J/109 WHISKEY JACK (Nick Southward), the J/35 NO ONE ELSE (Wing Hung Ng), and the J/105 LEGENDE (Pascal Martin).

There is a large J/80 one-design class going out for their circumnavigation of Hong Kong, fourteen-boats to be exact. Some of the leading boats could be Henry Wong's FOOTLOOSE, Ben Bulmer's JASMINE, Andrew Blank's JAVELIN, Belinda Ng's JENA PABE, Lonny Chen's MAY 13, and Richard Johnston's UNKNOWN PLEASURES. The lone J/70 sailing the race is Andrew Ellis's DAZIBAO. Good luck to all!  For more Royal Hong Kong YC Around the Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hong Kong Round Island Race Preview

Hong Kong Round Island start (Hong Kong, China)- The annual Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is one of the biggest inshore events in Hong Kong. It is a 26.0nm race around Hong Kong Island involving Big Boats, One-Design Classes, Dinghies and even Beach cats!  It is a complete free-for-all as the start takes place off the RHKYC starting line in front of the magnificent, skyscraper laced, Hong Kong city waterfront. The average entry list is 200+ boat entries, with more than 1,500 participants.

Around Island Race courseThe race is popular amongst J/Teams in southeast Asia and amongst the local Hong Kong offshore community.  In the Big Boat Class there is a good turnout of J/Aficionados. At the top of that group is the J/122E JINN skippered by owner Nicolas Cohen-Addad. He is joined by the J/111 JUGGERKNOT (Kanev Pavel), the famous race-winning J/109 WHISKEY JACK (Nick Southward), the J/35 NO ONE ELSE (Wing Hung Ng), and the J/105 LEGENDE (Pascal Martin).

There is a large J/80 one-design class going out for their circumnavigation of Hong Kong, fourteen-boats to be exact. Some of the leading boats could be Henry Wong's FOOTLOOSE, Ben Bulmer's JASMINE, Andrew Blank's JAVELIN, Belinda Ng's JENA PABE, Lonny Chen's MAY 13, and Richard Johnston's UNKNOWN PLEASURES. The lone J/70 sailing the race is Andrew Ellis's DAZIBAO. Good luck to all!  For more Royal Hong Kong YC Around the Island Race sailing information
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

MADELAINE Triumphs @ Irish J/24 Westerns

J/24 Irish Westerns podium winners
(Lough Erne, Ireland)- A thirteen-strong fleet defied the aftermath of Hurricane Lorenzo to return Lough Ree for a re-run of the event which was originally blown out in mid-April. The easterly breeze on day one ranged between 10-15 knots with increasingly persistent rain, although the conditions did not dampen the competition with closely fought racing throughout the fleet.

Principal Race Officer David Dickson and team performed with textbook efficiency to deliver four high-quality races in typically shifty lake conditions that ensured there were plenty of snakes and ladders to contend with.

The Gold Fleet became a shoot out between Il Riccio helmed by JP McCaldin from Lough Erne Yacht Club and local boat Headcase helmed by Cillian Dickson. Il Riccio reveled in the shifty conditions to return three bullets, however, a fourth place in Race Three allowed the consistent performance of reigning Irish National Champions Headcase to finish the day within one point of the lead.

A strong performance by Diarmuid O’Donovan’s Yahtzee was marred by retirement in Race Four, however, it remained enough to lead the Silver Fleet overnight and stay in contention for the overall podium places with Mark Usher in Jumpin’ Jive and Flor O’Driscoll in Hard on Port.

A fine dinner provided by Lough Ree Yacht Club and numerous hot whiskies revived cold competitors ashore– at least until the next morning.

Day two provided a spectacular autumnal morning with lighter breeze from the west. A prompt start from David Dickson ensured two tight races to close out the event. The clinical Il Riccio crew only required one race to secure overall victory, a further bullet enough to win with a race to spare from Headcase. Il Riccio had successfully snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on several previous occasions during the year so this victory in the season finale was greatly welcomed by the crew. The evergreen Flor O’Driscoll and crew completed the Gold Fleet podium placings in third.

The lighter breeze saw new competitors enter the fray with Fergus Kelliher from Tralee Bay SC on Jibe securing their best individual result with a second in Race Five with newly installed Class President Mark Usher’s Jumpin’ Jive narrowly missing on a race win in Race Six.

Diarmuid O’Donovan’s Yachtzee completed a successful weekend for Lough Erne crews by securing Silver Fleet honours with a narrow victory over Conor Haughton’s Jade from Wicklow Sailing Club. Dave Lane’s YaGottaWanna from Royal Cork Yacht Club completed the Silver Fleet podium.

Lough Ree Yacht Club delivered an excellent event with special mention at the prize giving reserved for J24 stalwart and event organizer Finbarr Ryan. The J24 Irish fleet now enter the winter period following an excellent season of racing including a record-breaking entry for the National Championships and a different winner in each of the four events demonstrating the competitiveness within the fleet. 2020 will see the prestigious J24 World Championships hosted in Poole, Dorset; therefore, the Irish circuit will be full of well-primed crews preparing for the challenge.

Away from Lough Ree, Colm O’Flaherty from Sligo Yacht Club represented the fleet at the hotly contested All Ireland Sailing Championship in Dun Laoghaire. The Rosses Point helm won the Repechage before finishing 7th overall. Thanks for the report by Chris Scott.  For more Irish J/24 Westerns sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

KSSS Crowned Nordic J/70 Champions

J/70s sailing off Finland
(Mariehamn, Finland)- After completing the Finnish J/70 Sailing League Championship the previous weekend, the Åländska Segelsällskapet hosted the Nordic Sailing Clubs Championship again in Mariehamn, Åland. Eleven teams from across the Scandinavian peninsula participated in the event, with teams representing Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
J/70 KSSS winners in Finland
After two days of racing and nine races sailed, it was the KSSS (Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet) team of Björn Hansen, Phillip Kai Guhle, Nils Bjerkås and Mathias Bredin that took home the gold medal with 15 pts total.  Second was the host club’s Åländska Segelsällskapet 1 Team with 17 pts total.  Then, taking the bronze was GSF (Grimstad Seilförening) with 19 pts. The KSSS team was pretty dominant overall, winning five of their nine races.  Follow the Finnish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, November 15, 2019

WSV Giesbeek Win Dutch J/70 Sailing League

J/70s sailing off The Netherlands
(Muiden, The Netherlands)- In the first weekend of October, Jachtclub Veere and the Royal Dutch Sailing & Rowing Association (KNZ & RV) organized the Eredivisie Sailing 2019. In total, seventeen sailing club teams competed for qualification for the SAILING Champions League 2020 on the Ilsjmeer in front of the port of Muiden!

In three days, 15 flights were run for an amazing 45 short races! Under challenging wind conditions, all races were sailed off the coast of Muiden this weekend. Until the last set of races, there were seven teams that claimed the podium. It was the youth team of WSV Giesbeek that finally won the title. The other tickets for the Sailing Champions League were for Almere Centraal in second, WV de Meeuwen in third and the KNZ & RV in fourth.
J/70s sailing league in The Netherlands
Chairman Michiel Dis about this weekend: “We are very happy that we have been able to host the Eredivisie and that it has been so successful. Strongly changing circumstances made it very tactical for the teams trying to maintain consistent performances. The level of competition was very high and the differences in points were very tight. I think we have demonstrated that we can give the Eredivisie Sailing as associations an excellent follow-up. The continuity of this format therefore appears to be guaranteed. We are most happy with that!”

Hard training pays off
WSV Giesbeek was the team that had by far the most hours training and racing in the J/70; and that effort paid off big time! WSV Giesbeek had a young and very talented team. Last year, they were the 2018 Dutch J/70 National Champions. Now, they can add to their trophy case the Dutch J/70 Sailing League award!
J/70s sailing off Netherlands
Team member Koen Sibbel commented on this weekend, “we sailed extremely hard and well all weekend. The teams are very close together. We have trained a lot in the past year and that paid off. The tactic was to stay out of trouble and to limit the damage with bad starts. We did not have to do any penalty turns the entire weekend and that, of course, made a big difference. At the end, we made it a bit difficult for ourselves by sailing an OCS (too early start, ed.). But, then picked up the pace again and closed with the win. We are very happy that we succeeded!”
J/70s Netherlands league winners
Great fight
The other two teams on the podium also agreed on the fun, the sportiness and the excitement of the competitions.

Gosse de Boer from WV de Meeuwen explained, “what a pleasure to sail such a wonderful event! It was a great battle on the water with strong teams and good organization. We are happy with our qualification for the Champions League and look forward to a continuation of the Eredivisie next year.”  For more Dutch J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.