Friday, December 27, 2019

SORC Islands in the Stream Series Update

Eleuthera Race, Bahamas
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- A new season of SORC sailing is upon us, bringing with it a mix of tradition and change for the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series.

The series kicked off with the Nassau Cup Ocean Race on November 14th, 2019. It was the 78th edition of the race and it was a windy one at that...with the fleet buffeted by a storm/ frontal passage for the first part of the race, producing strong winds on the nose as the fleet beat across the very rough Gulf Stream to the Bahamas Bank. After 24 hours of sailing, most of the fleet got freed up from the Berry Islands southeast down to Nassau, Bahamas.

J/92 sailing Nassau Cup RaceThen, nearly a month later, the fleet sailed the very light and drawn out Wirth M Munroe Palm Beach Race, the so-called “Race to the Buffet” that started on Friday December 6th. Most boats were late for the Sailfish Club of Florida’s legendary party, feast and awards presentation.

The series then heads south for some island time in the Florida Keys. The next event is the 160.0nm Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race on January 23rd, 2020. The tropics in January provide the perfect spot to unwind with the Conch Grinder Race, and to enjoy the treasures and pleasures of Key West before the awards party at First Flight Island Bar and Restaurant (formerly Kelly’s Caribbean).

The series then finally wraps up with another trip to the Bahamas with the inaugural Eleuthera Race, starting off South Beach, Miami on March 11th, 2020 and finishing at the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina. The race and series awards party will take place on the beach overlooking Exuma Sound!

J/121 Incognito sailing SORC series
The host clubs for the series includes Coral Reef Yacht Club, Nassau Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Sailfish Club of Florida, and Lauderdale Yacht Club.

J/44 Kenai sailing SORC seriesOn an overall basis after the first two races, Chris Lewis's J/44 KENAI from Houston, Texas is sitting in a fourth place tie-breaker with Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Bristol, Rhode Island, both boats have 13 pts total. Just two points back is Brad & Angie Stowers' J/92 HILLBILLY from Melbourne Yacht Club in Melbourne, Florida, sitting in 6th place with 15 pts total; their crew consists of David Nesbitt, Karl Krahmer, Brad Bristol, Sebastian Gauza, and Marty "Kiwi" Stoll. Finally, Seth Hall & Tom Pollack's J/124 MARISOL currently sits in eighth place with 17 pts. At the completion of the series, three of the four races will be counted.  Follow the SORC Islands in Stream Series on Facebook  For more SORC sailing information   For more Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Russian J/70 Winter Series in Full Swing!

J/70s sailing off Sochi, Russia
(Sochi, Russia)- The third stage of the Russian J/70 Sailing League Winter Series just completed last weekend in Sochi, Russia.  The fleet was blessed with wonderful racing weather on the sometimes-tempestuous Black Sea; over the two days of sailing, the sailors enjoyed a total of nine races! Yug Sport FSBI played host to the teams from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Tuapse.

J/70s sailing off Sochi, Russia on Black Sea
The first race day produced fantastic sailing.  The PRO managed to run six races in winds up to 19 kts of breeze. Most races were around 30 minutes duration, so the teams were being pushed to their physical and mental limits, all races being double windward-leeward courses.

“We were very lucky with the weather! On the first day, the wind was from 10 to 19 knots with good waves," said Nikolai Yushkov, Chief Judge for the Winter Series. “We had six races of 30-40 minutes each, which all participants were very pleased with.”

J/70s sailing downwind off Sochi, Russia
The results after the first day produced a very tight standings at the top of the leaderboard, with BARS Sailing team leading with 11 pts, followed by ZID ART Sailing team in second place with 13 pts, and the Battleship Team in third position with 15 pts.

Russia J/70 Winter Series winners podium
Sunday's wind was not as nice as the first day, so the PRO managed to run three races for the teams. For the first time this season, the winter series awarded both Professional (Open) and Corinthians Division teams. Winning the Professional Division for the first time was Ilya Polishchuk's BARS Sailing team. Taking the silver just behind and also winning the Corinthians Division was Zoran Paunovich's ZID ART Sailing team. Taking the bronze medal on the podium was Cyril Frolov's “Battleship”.

Rounding out the top five were Maxim Taranov's CALIPSO in fourth position and Igor Ignatov's DOBRYNYA in fifth place.

There are three more events taking place in the Russian J/70 Winter Series in Sochi in January, February, and March 2020.  Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook  For more Russian J/70 Sailing League Winter Series information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Pierini Leads J/70 Bacardi Winter Series I

J/70s sailing off Miami, Florida(Miami, FL)- The first of three events in the 2019/ 2020 Bacardi J/70 Winter Series took place this past weekend on Biscayne Bay. Hosting the series was the Shake-A-Leg Foundation sailing program located next to the completely refurbished Monty Trainer's Bar and Restaurant in Coconut Grove, FL. Seventeen team sailed the first event in somewhat challenging weather conditions; just three races were completed over the two days of competition, a rare scenario for the usually predictable sea breezes on Biscayne Bay.

Winning the first regatta was Geoff Pierini's "49" team from Perth Amboy, New Jersey with a 3-2-1 tally for 6 pts. Second was past World Champion Joel Ronning on his famous CATAPULT, his Wayzata Yacht Club (Minnesota) team posted a 1-5-2 record for 8 pts. Then, rounding out the podium was Trey Sheehan's HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING from Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland, Ohio. The balance of the top five included Henry Brauer's RASCAL crew from Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts in fourth place and Bruno Pasquinelli's Fort Worth Boat Club (Texas) team on STAMPEDE in fifth place.

Winning the Corinthians Division was Joey Kolisch's LIL team from Coral Reef Yacht Club (Miami, Florida), second place went to Jon Ewing's RUNNING WILD crew from Coral Reef YC, and third place was Marcus Wunderlich's STRATOS team from Jersey City, NJ and Edgewater Yacht Club.

The second of the three events in the J/70 Bacardi Winter Series takes place on January 25th to 26th in Coconut Grove, Florida.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Rossi Crowned J/70 South American Champion!

J/70 Petite Terrible- Punta del Este
(Punta del Este, Uruguay)- The 2019 J/70 South American Championship was hosted by Yacht Club Punta del Este and was sailed off the beautiful seaside city of Punta del Este, Uruguay. Blessed with big waves, big breeze most days, and a picturesque coastline, the fleet of thirty-two entries from Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Italy enjoyed fierce competition over the course of eleven races. The battle for the podium spots went down to the wire in the final race and, not surprisingly, two of the protagonists included the dynamic, talented Rossi family from Italy- both past European J/70 Champions. The top three spots on the podium saw a spread of only one point after the scores were tallied, ten races counting with one discard.

J/70s sailing offshore- Punta del Este, Uruguay
In the end, it was "girl power" that ascended to the top of the standings, with Ms. Claudia Rossi's Italian team on PETITE TERRIBLE surviving the last race to be crowned the "open" J/70 South American Champion on a tie-breaker at 48 pts each.  Losing that tie-breaker was Argentinian Guillermo Parada on ARG 1270. Just one point back in the bronze medal position was Claudia's father- Alberto Rossi- making the podium a family affair with his Italian team on ENFANTE TERRIBLE.

J/70s sailing off Punta del Este, Uruguay
As a result, it was Argentina's Parada that was declared the J/70 South American Champion as the top team from the continent. The second South American team was Renato Cunha's Brazilian crew on NEGRONI with 60 pts, and the third South American team was Francesco Avermaete’s SI QUERIDA.

J/70s sailing off Punta del Este, Uruguay
The winner of the Corinthians Division also happened to be Avermaete’s Argentinian crew on SI QUERIDA, with Guillermo Amondo's Argentinian crew on BEBETO taking the silver, and Diego Garcia's Uruguayan crew on CHAPULIN garnering the bronze medal.  For more J/70 South American Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Keane's SAVASANA Draws First Blood at J/70 Davis Island Winter Series

J/70 Savasana wins Tampa Bay series
(Tampa, FL)- Eight years ago when the J/70 was taking the sailing world by storm, Joe Colling and Mike Dawson came up with the idea of an affordable winter series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL. The concept was three two-day events, where owners could leave their boats with the mast up all winter. Competitors are scored for each weekend as an individual event, and also an overall winner is crowned at the end of the three-weekend series. Mike sold the idea to Davis Island Yacht Club, and the club cleared out the dry sail area to make it happen. This weekend, December 6-9, will mark the start of the seventh year of the series with nearly 50 boats on the starting line.

Davis Island Yacht Club has proved to be the perfect host; from providing breakfast every race day…to the keg at the dock at the end of racing. The post-race chalk talks have become a staple for the competitors who are looking for an edge on the competition.

Although Tampa conditions can sometimes be a challenge, the race management and volunteers have always made the best out of the two-day format. Mike Dawson was the PRO for that first year, and then Judy Hanlon jumped in and managed the racecourse until last year. This winter, the club has recruited Chip Till to manage the PRO duties. Chip has extensive familiarity with the J/70 and will deliver the competitors the big fleet experience they are looking for.

From the Class’ perspective, this event supports the long-term commitment to an affordable winter option accessible to everyone. The Class thanks DIYC member Kat Malone, who has been the brains of the Series’ event management from day one.

For the first event of the 2019/ 2020 Davis Island Winter Series that took place this past weekend, forty-six teams made it to the starting line. With Saturday's racing canceled due to no wind, it was all or nothing for the teams no Sunday.  Three races were completed Sunday in winds of 8-10 knots on Tampa Bay. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team (Nic Baird, Mack Bryan, & Conner Harding) posted all seconds for 6 points to top both the Open and the 19-boat Corinthian division. Will Welles’ BRIBONA crew (Steve Liebel, Colleen Walsh, & Judah Rubin) held second place with a record of 5-6-3 for 14 points. Rounding out the podium in the bronze medal position was John and Marissa Koten’s PLANET CLAIRE with crew of Zeke Horowitz and Mike Coe; posting a 4-7-8 for 19 pts total. 

The balance of the top five included Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in 4th place with a 1-8-12 for 21 pts; his "all-star" crew included Victor Diaz-De Leon, Chris Stocke, and John Wallace.  Fifth place went to Buddy Cribb's VICTORY team (Barr Batzer, Scott Ewing, & Griener Hobbs) with a tally of 6-4-15 for 25 pts. total.

Race winners were Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Mark Foster’s HONEYBADGER and Darby Smith-Long’s AFRICA.

In the Corinthians Division, beside Keane's SAVASANA winning both Open and Corinthians titles, taking second place was Peter Firey's PHOENIX team (Tim Mangus, Eric Mentzell,& Sean Nunes) from Annapolis Yacht Club, and bringing home the bronze was Frank McNamara's CHINOOK crew (Paula Grasberger, Rick Guardia, & Rick Myers) from Eastern Yacht Club. A total of eighteen teams qualified to sail as Corinthians.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 hosts the "Porch Series", including a North Sails debrief. Jackson Benvenutti was this week’s coach. Practice races were run, followed by a debrief and prizes. The Series continues January 10-12 and February 7-9. Photos are available on the USA J/70 Class Facebook page.
For complete scores of DIYC Winter Series I Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Light, Shifty Wirth Munroe Ocean Race

J/30 sailing off Palm Beach, FLJ/88 Crushes the "Sprint Race"
(Palm Beach, FL)– Light and shifty winds challenged the 32-boat fleet in the Sailfish Club of Florida’s 63rd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race, the second event of the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series. The 60-mile Classic course from Miami to Palm Beach was shortened to 50 miles because of the light conditions while the 40-mile Sprint course from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach was completed without change.

“This year’s Wirth Munroe was a true test of patience and strategy,” said Race Committee Chair Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club. “Boats that took full advantage of the Gulf Stream’s push north were rewarded.”

Bowler said the fleet of 32 boats marked the race’s highest participation level in a decade, and reflected the growing appeal of the two-course format, introduced by the Sailfish Club two years ago as a way to increase participation.

“We are delighted to see entries grow, and while we would have liked to see more wind for this year’s race, the two-course format continues to generate positive feedback from skippers and crews,” he said.

A number of J/Teams participated in their first winter blast up the spectacular, cobalt-blue, Gulf Stream.

In the ORC A Class, Seth Hall & Tom Pollack's J/124 MARISOL from Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA took on a very mixed class that included the globe-girdling Mills 68 PROSPECTOR down to a Farr 40! In the end, MARISOL took the silver in this hugely competitive class loaded with pro sailors. It took them nearly 8 hours to complete the 50.0nm course, even with a 4.0+ knot boost from the fast-moving, northerly flowing Gulf Stream!

In the ORC B Class, Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Newport, RI and Chris Lewis's J/44 KENAI from Seabrook, TX also took on a kaleidoscope of sailboats ranging from a GP 26 to an old Aerodyne 38. In the end, INCOGNITO managed to drift home to a bronze medal on the podium with Lewis's KENIA taking a 5th place.

In PHRF A Class Tom Anderson & Hanson Bratton's J/120 KAIROS from Bayview Yacht Club in Birmingham, MI pulled off a bronze medal performance as well, taking just over 8 hours to complete the course. 

Finally, sailing the shorter "Sprint Race" in PHRF 7 class, John Kearn's J/88 LOOSE CANNON from Castaways Sailing Club in Jupiter Island, FL simply smoked their class, winning by over one hour on corrected time to win class honors!

The Organizing Authority for the race consisted of The Sailfish Club of Florida in partnership with the Storm Trysail Club and with the support of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. The SORC, Storm Trysail Club and the Sailfish Club of Florida oversee race management.  For more Wirth Munroe Race sailing information and scoring Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ocean De-oxygenation- a problem for all sailors and human beings

.... read this and learn the consequences!
blue ocean
Ocean deoxygenation is one of the most pernicious, yet under-reported side-effects of human-induced climate change. The primary causes of deoxygenation are eutrophication (increased nutrient run-off from land and sewage pollution) and nitrogen deposition from the burning of fossil fuels, coupled with the widespread impacts from ocean warming. Oxygen loss from warming has alarming consequences for global oceanic oxygen reserves, which have already been reduced by 2% over a period of just 50-years (from 1960 to 2010).

blue ocean CO2 issue
Oxygen decline will impact marine ecosystems and the dependent human population.  Even the smallest fall in oxygen levels, when near already existing thresholds, can create significant issues with far-reaching and complex biological and biogeochemical implications.

blue ocean de-oxygenation
At a global-scale, warming-induced oxygen loss is driving progressive persistent changes in nutrient cycling and recycling, species distributions, marine ecosystem services and habitat availability. Whereas at a regional scale, the formation of low oxygen zones and harmful algal blooms become more frequent. In a ground-breaking new report, IUCN, in partnership with leading scientists, explore the causes, consequences and socio-economic implications of ocean deoxygenation, and discusses how we, as a planet, must react.  Here is the full report on Ocean De-Oxygenation (23 MB download PDF- 588 pages) Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Ainslie Wins J/70 Frostbite Challenge

J/70- Ben Ainslie- Team INEOS
(Marstrand, Sweden)- Henri-Lloyd’s new Chairman- Hans Eckerström- wanted to put the new 2020 Henri-Lloyd range to the test. Not the standard factory model and tests, but the kind that would really put the kit through its paces.

The Swedish investor and sailor decided to enter two J/70 teams in the J/70 Frostbite Challenge at Marstrand and have Henri-Lloyd as title sponsor of the event. With just eight hours of sunshine in early December and temperatures hovering around 0 C., surely this would provide the kind of grueling conditions that would test both sailors and their kit to the limits?

J/70s sailing Marstrand, Sweden
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of sailing at Marstrand, the venue is a picturesque island off the west coast of Sweden, with clusters of islets dotted around its coast. Racing usually takes place in the more open water to the west of the town, but the Frostbite Challenge is a bit different. Initiated in 1989 by Stellan Westerdahl, the social side of the racing has always been the focus, with many crews donning Santa Claus beards and great camaraderie between the crews, albeit with a few stronger words when spinnakers ‘brushed’ shrouds and backstays in the confined waters… nothing that a shared drink ashore didn’t resolve though.

Almost a "stadium event", the eight races held over the weekend have the marks tucked up into the harbour and close to the many rocks and headlands. The course was a simple triangle-sausage, but taking straight lines between the buoys is usually impossible, unless your boat has suddenly become amphibious or can straddle pontoons. These natural and man-made obstacles make the racing incredibly fun to watch and many of the locals turn out to enjoy the spectacle.

Hans invited a select group to sail on the two teams. The brand's Chief Technical Advisor is none other than the United Kingdom's Sir Ben Ainslie, so he was naturally one of the helms, sailing together with Peter Gustafsson, who helms the Swedish J/111 BLUR and describes himself as an 'entrepreneur, angel investor and troublemaker', and Henrik Ottosson, Manager at North Sails in Sweden. Hans himself helmed the other boat with INEOS TEAM UK's Ben Cornish, Henri-Lloyd's Ross Partridge and Christian Düring on bow.

The two Henri-Lloyd teams arrived on Friday evening, slightly delayed by heavy snow in Stockholm which closed two of the three runways and delayed flights to Gothenburg later in the day. A precursor of conditions to come? Hans had slow-cooked a chili and the teams quickly settled into the delicious meal while chatting about sailing, participation and flying 75 footers amongst other things. The first of the competitive aspects for the weekend then started with round-the-table ping pong, providing much entertainment and one mobile phone taking on a curved aspect and not being so useful for calls... or anything else for that matter.

J/70 sailing off Marstrand, Sweden
Saturday morning dawned with light winds and not a cloud in the sky, but was a cool -2 degrees Celsius. The Henri-Lloyd mid-layers were definitely welcome when rigging the boats and washing the ice off the decks with salt water! It wasn't quite possible to double the hours of sunshine since there are only seven hours of daylight at this time of year in these northern climes. Five races were scheduled with a break for lunch ashore- after all, this is a social regatta!

From the beginning, it was clear the local Swedish teams were well-practiced and weren't holding back. Tomas Skålen's team laid down the marker with a bullet in the first race, with Ben's team fifth and Hans in ninth. The racing was super-tight, and many places could be lost with the slightest error or wind shift. The approach to the windward mark, set right up the harbour channel, was one of the trickiest areas, followed by the reach round the pontoons and past the Södra Strandverket fortress. It was at this corner that Ben's team were caught out by a lack of practice in race two, dropping the spinnaker into the water and tearing it on the keel- not the greatest start to the event!

J/70 Santa Claus sailing off Marstrand, Sweden
Hans and his team put it all together beautifully in race four with a well-deserved race victory, showing the fleet a clean set of heels around the race track, and Ben's worry was beginning to grow. While both teams were mid-fleet in the results, Hans was a point ahead of Ben going into the final race of the day and bragging rights were seriously on the line.

Most sailors have learned through the years to never write off Ben during an event; his comeback in the Finn class at the London 2012 Olympics was legendary, and, of course, the famous comeback on Oracle Team USA against Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2013 America's Cup being two of the most famous instances. And, Ben showed his fighting spirit in the final race of the day. Fast off the line, second round the windward mark, and then a quick pair of gybes saw him take the lead, never to be relinquished. Still mid-fleet in the event, but ahead of Hans in the ranking going into Saturday evening. The relief on his face was evident!

Hans and Ben then gave a talk to the sailors and their families at the Villa Maritime in Marstrand. Since the acquisition of Henri-Lloyd, Hans and his team have been incredibly busy planning the iconic brand's future direction and focus. 2019 saw the award-winning Fremantle range released, and Hans explained that 2020 is when Henri-Lloyd fully returns to the market, showcasing and giving the M-PRO range a real-world test at the Frostbite Challenge.

Ben then spoke about INEOS TEAM UK, their first AC75 (which is known in-house as 'The Beast') and how it is more akin to flying a plane than sailing at times, but at the end of the day sailing skills are paramount when racing. The Swedish sailors had many questions for Ben, which he happily answered in this relaxed setting. It was very evident that Ben was hugely enjoying the Frostbite Challenge. The America's Cup is so much about technology and testing the new foiling 75-foot monohulls, meaning that both Ben's (Ainslie and Cornish) have had to let fleet racing take a back seat. The sparkle was in their eyes as they engaged in the tight racing in a one-design fleet. The sailors than settled into a great evening of dinner and chat at the Villa Maritime, followed by another round-the-table ping pong tournament, ahead of the final three races the next day.

J/70s sailing off Marstrand, Sweden
Sunday morning dawned with a few clouds in the sky, a freshening breeze and another layer of ice on the pontoons and decks. Points were incredibly close in the J/70 fleet, and pretty much the whole fleet was still in the running. Ben and his team were clearly fired up after the win in the final race on Saturday; a combination of a great start, improved boat handling and good use of lanes took another race win, with Hans and his team in fourth.

The Race Committee, led by Annika Bjurmalm, mixed things up for the final two races of the event, deciding on starboard roundings which led to some 'close calls' throughout - the already tight racing became even tighter! The two Henri-Lloyd teams saw both the front and back of the fleet at various points throughout race seven, with Ben eventually taking fourth and Hans sixth. It was all down to the final race. Magne Klang was tied with Tomas Skålen on 19 points, with Thomas Vigenberg a point behind them, and Ben Ainslie was in fourth on 21; just about as tight as it can get.

Ben and his team shot out of the blocks and led around the course, working well as a team to spot the lanes and opportunities. The question was whether the race win was going to be enough? A third place for Tomas Skålen left them tied on points with Ben, but the three race victories gave Ben and his team the Frostbite Challenge title on countback. Ben can now add this event to an already impressive list of comeback victories.

J/70 sailing past Marstrand, Sweden fort
A huge thanks to Annika and her Race Team, also Marcus Blomberg and all those at Marstrand Segelsällskap (MaSS) for the superb weekend of racing. It's hard to imagine a better setting and more fun way to race in early December. Hans then invited the team back for a traditional Swedish sauna, followed by a dip in the sea for those willing to give it a go. The sauna was hot, the sea less so, but when in Sweden it's important to take part in the local pastimes!

The Henri-Lloyd Frostbite Challenge offered real racing with hugely passionate sailors and showcased various aspects of sailing which stands it apart from other sports; the welcoming nature of sailors around the world, multi-national teams coming together and quickly improving, and how the very top sailors are more than happy to mix it up in local events. This really was the sport of sailing at its very best.

Hans summed it up beautifully saying, "I loved every second of the weekend. It is so great to be able to show friends both new and old the best of Marstrand. I really love the genuine passion for grass root sailing that Ben demonstrated as well as the huge commitment by Marcus Blomberg, Commodore of the local sailing club, to re-establish Marstrand as a premier arena for all kinds of sailing."

Watch the highlights of the J/70 Frostbite Challenge here   For more J/70 Frostbite Challenge Regatta sailing information
   Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Hamble Winter Series VII Finale

J/88 sailing on Solent, England

(Hamble, England)- With wind from the North East, and a fair bit of it, the Hamble River Sailing Club PRO went to East Knoll (4H) to run the final day of the 2019 HYS Hamble Winter Series. IRC Classes 1 & 2 were dispatched upwind to William (4L) with the smaller boats, IRC Classes 3 & 4, to the slightly closer (4J). There followed a series of up and down legs between the windward marks and buoys in a southwesterly direction before everybody ended with a beat to William to finish.

A couple teams had worked out that they would win their class without venturing into the cold December air. Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE had such comfortable lead in IRC 2 Class that they stayed ashore to prepare for the prize giving! There was a three-way fight for the final podium places in IRC 2, with Gavin Howe's J/88 TIGRIS taking home the silver.

In IRC 1 Class, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES posted a third place in the final race to hang on for the silver. It was not what the crew had hoped for, going for an unprecedented "three-peat" for the IRC 1 Class honors. 

Finally, in the J/88 Class, Howe's TIGRIS won quite handily, followed by Dirk van Beek's SABRIEL JR in second and Richard Cooper's JONGLEUR in third place.
Back in the HRSC clubhouse it was a double prize day. Force 4, who were unable to give away their Christmas presents last week, due to the abandonment, turned up again with the day prizes. Athena Rossi, who opens the Port Hamble shop early during the series, was there to give them away.

Lee Pollock from Hamble Yacht Services then proceeded to present the overall series prizes. As well as the HRSC glassware, Lee gave the winners a HYS goody bag with vouchers for lifts and Champagne.

Finally, Chaz Ivill, presented the Paul Heys Trophy to Simon Perry's team on the J/109 JIRAFFE. This trophy will now be presented annually to the best J/Boat Team in memory of Paul Heys- J/Boats U.K. late founder.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth Pictures   For more HYS Hamble Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Sailing World Boat of the Year- Best Crossover-J/99 Offshore Speedster!

J/99 sailing upwind
(Newport, RI)- The J/99 was a favorite and a serious Boat of the Year contender. The judges sailed it on the snottiest day on the week, and as the breeze ratcheted ever higher, the boat, they said, comes alive. They’ve come to expect nothing less of a J Boat, because designer Alan Johnstone is on a roll. For J devotees and owners, of which there are many, the J/99 will feel like home.

J/99 Sailing World Boat of the Year“We’ve been missing a sweet spot in the 33- to 35-foot range with a performance boat that combines headroom and accommodations for family sailing, but is also purpose-built for owners aspiring to do double­handed sailing,” J Boats’ Jeff Johnstone tells the judges.

While tempting to cater to an emerging shorthanded market with a highly specialized boat, he adds, they didn’t want a one-trick pony with the J/99. “That’s not how we, or our owners use our boats,” Johnstone says. “We like a boat that can day sail well, have room for a full crew and set up right for shorthanded sailing.”

To that end, he points out, everything in the halyard and sail-control department is within reach of the tiller; at the same time, the cockpit can accommodate a busy five- or six-person crew for hustling around the cans.

Johnstone’s preferred model for comparison is the company’s big seller of earlier days. “Think of it as a modern J/105, with more headroom,” he says. “In terms of interior volume, it feels like twice the boat of a 105. But it’s quicker. It’s 2 feet smaller, and it’s more stable. It’s also slippery in light air.”   Read on here on SW BOTY review.   For more J/99 offshore speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

2019 Hot Rum Series Closes with a Whimper

J/120 sailing off San Diego, CA

(San Diego, CA)- Sadly, the third and final race of the 2019 San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum Series could not be sailed due to a substantial lack of wind... the expected sea breeze that often develops from the WNW never fully materialized to launch the fleet of 125+ boats across the starting line with any hope of getting them all back in by sunset.  As a result, the series standings from the previous two races stood as this year's overall results.

In the huge twenty-eight boat PHRF 1 Class of "gold platers", three J/crews all finished next to one another.  Standing Fleming's J/125 TIMESHAVER took 5th place, while Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON took sixth position and Robert Pace's J/145 ANDIAMO 2 took seventh.

The twenty-one boat PHRF 2 Class saw John Laun's J/120 CAPER win their last race to leap into fourth place for the series.

J/105s sailing off San Diego, CA
The usual suspects in the large twenty-eight boat PHRF 4 Class saw J/105s predominate.  Leading the class was Dennis Case's J/105 J-OK, followed by Tom Garrett's youth team on the J/70 SLOOP JOHN B in second place, followed by Jeff Brown's J/105 SWEET KAREN in 5th place, Steve & Lucy Howell's J/105 BLINK in 7th, Chuck Bowers's J/29 RHUMB RUNNER in 8th, and George Scheel's J/105 SUN PUFFIN rounding out the top ten.

The thirty-one boat PHRF 5 Class saw Tim Lynch's J/30 RUFFIAN sail consistently to take fourth place.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Fun-lovin' J/22 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta

J22 Jamaica sailors
(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- When the final boat docked at the Montego Bay Yacht Club on Sunday, signaling the end of the 30th Annual Jamaica International Invitational (JAMIN) Regatta, it was Team ADJUSTED from the Cayman Islands that were declared the winners.

J/22 Jammin Jamaica winners

Members of Team ADJUSTED (from left) Joe Palone, Mike Farrington and Karin McGarth took the first-place prize.

Five teams from the United States, two from Canada, two from the Cayman Islands arrived on the island on Thursday, along with four teams from Jamaica to assemble the largest fleet of J/22s ever on the island.

Taking second place was Michele Cimon and her team from Ottawa, Canada sailing JIM SCREECHIE and third was Drew Mutch's crew on JUST WING IT from Annapolis, MD (sailing for their first time in Mo'Bay). The Jamaican teams AYAHSO and TSUNAMI placed sixth and ninth, respectively.

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
At the end of the event, JAMIN organizing committee chairman- Richard Hamilton- thanked the volunteers for their tremendous support:

“This would not have been possible without a number of volunteers who believe in reviving the sport of sailing and boating in general in Jamaica. A number of owners, including myself, gave up our boats to visitors to the island who came with the intent of participating in the regatta. We also sought the support from Seaboard Marine and major lubricant distributor Lubit; combined they were very instrumental in getting two additional boats from Cayman. The turnout was absolutely tremendous, and we look forward to bigger and better events next year,” he said.

In addition to the daily races, participants were given a taste of Jamaican culture with an opening cocktail party hosted by CPJ at the Montego Bay Yacht Club on Thursday and a fete at the Hard Rock Café the following evening. On Saturday night ahead of the final races, participants were shuttled to pirate themed party hosted by Lynn and Brian Langford at their Great River home.

Seaboard Marine - sponsor of J/22 Jammin Jamaica Regatta
The Jamaica International Invitational is one of the oldest regattas in the Caribbean, which aims to highlight the island as a premier sailing destination in the world.

The regatta was held in conjunction with the Jamaica Olympic Association, the Jamaica Yachting Association, the Montego Bay Yacht Club and the 2019 committee of volunteers- Welcome to Montego Bay, Welcome to the Yacht Club and Welcome to Jamin 2019. The beginnings of the regatta was enabled by the generous heart of Tony Hart, he was instrumental in bringing the boats to Montego Bay in the 1980s. Finally, it's important to recognize the historical supporters of the regatta: 
  • the longest standing repeat customer: Galen Freeman- who was in MoBay 30 years ago at the inaugural regatta. Galen is from Tennessee.
  • the second longest sailor- Bruce Berner– who was in MoBay 28 years ago and still has the T shirt to prove it. Bruce is from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Follow the J/22 Jammin' Jamaica Regatta on Facebook here  For more J/22 Jammin' Jamaica Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

J/70 Bacardi Winter Series I Preview

J/70s sailing upwind

(Miami, FL)- While the Tampa Bay Winter Series launched this past weekend, the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series starts this coming weekend on Biscayne Bay. Hosting the series will be the Shake-A-Leg Foundation sailing program located next to the completely refurbished Monty Trainer's Bar and Restaurant in Coconut Grove, FL.  Twenty-three boats have registered and despite being half the size of the Tampa Bay series fleet, the concentration of many top American teams ensure the fleet will have plenty of hot competition to begin gearing themselves up for the 2020 J/70 World Championship in Marina del Rey, CA in late July 2020.

Featured amongst those leading teams are past World Champion Joel Ronning skippering CATAPULT from Wayzata Yacht Club in Minnesota.  Ronning will be have to contend with other hot teams like Dan Goldberg's BAZINGA from American Yacht Club in New York, John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago Yacht Club in Illinois, Jeff Janov & David Ullman sailing MINOR THREAT from the 2020 J/70 World's host California Yacht Club, John Brim's RIMETTE from Fishers Island Yacht Club in New York, Buddy Cribb's VICTORY from Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, and Pamela Rose's ROSEBUD from Chicago Yacht Club in Illinois.  A stellar group of teams with hot prospects for a podium finish!  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Award-winning J/99 @ Paris Boat Show!

J/99 sailing offshore doublehanded

J/Composites Celebrates 25 Years!
(Paris, France)- The 2019 edition of the Salon Nautique Paris will be taking place on the southside of Paris in its usual location at the Parc d'Exposition from December 7th to 15th.  The J/Composites team from Les Sables d'Olonne, France will be in attendance with the award-winning J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster at Pavillon 1, Stand 1-G-64.  For Salon Nautique Paris boat show information

Since its debut one year ago, the J/99 has been critically acclaimed by many of the world's leading sailboat analysts as an exciting new entry into the mid-size offshore cruiser-racer marketplace, with a focus on offering an exceptional experience for those focused on short-handed sailing- doublehanded offshore or a family wishing for a fun, fast, easy-to-sail, weekday evening "beer can" racer.  The J/99's pedigree is without peer and her performance is enough to get anyone out for a spontaneous sunset sail with family and friends in comfort and style.  For more J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster sailing information

J/Composites teamJ/Composites Celebrates 25 Years!
J/Boats is pleased to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the J/Composites and J/Boats partnership with a truly great group of yacht builders and dedicated sailors. The journey with J/Composites (based in Les Sables d’Olonne, France) began with the J/92 in 1994, quickly followed by the J/80 the following year. Before long, hundreds of J/Composites built J’s were sailing in dozens of countries across Europe, and the foundation was firmly laid that would lead to building the full-line of J/Models from 22’ to 43’ and a successful 25+ year relationship together.

An important turning point came in 2001 with the launch of the J/109- the first new "J" design to be tooled, developed and launched outside of the USA. The success of this model opened the door to new collaborations between J/Boats designer Alan Johnstone and Didier LeMoal, President of J/Composites, including the development of the J/97, J/122, the E series of racing/cruising yachts (J/97E, J/112E, J/122E) and most recently- the award-winning J/99.

In addition to other models like the J/88, J/92s, J/100, J/105, J/110, J/120 and J/133, J/Composites has successfully built and helped promote and grow the most active keelboat one-design classes sailing in Europe today, including the International J/70, International J/80, and International J/111.

Congratulations to Didier LeMoal, Fred Bouvier and the entire J/Composites staff for 25 years of great work! Add to Flipboard Magazine.