Saturday, December 19, 2020


Dave Philipps- Providence Journal
(Newport, RI)- It is with great sadness that J/Boats reports that David M. Philips passed away November 27 at Brightview Commons in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He was age 94.

David was a long-time fan of J/Boats since the company first started building J/24s in Warren, RI and setup its world headquarters in Newport, RI. David was THE sailing reporter for the Providence Journal, the principal newspaper for the State of Rhode Island. David became quick friends with Bob and Rod Johnstone, J/Boats' co-founders in the summer of 1977. Dave took great pride in reporting on the success of the J/24 at Block Island Race Week in 1977 and subsequent events later. Dave reported every single day of the first J/24 World Championship in 1979 held in Newport, RI. He interviewed participants, the winner Charlie Scott from Annapolis, MD, and provided great coverage of the event. In later years, David would continue to report on the continued growth of J/Boats and the successes of numerous J/Designs over the next three-plus decades. In fact, Dave was particularly proud of Rhode Islanders that were winning across the USA, Europe, and World Championships- like Ken and Brad Read, Ed "Moose" McClintock, Scott Ferguson, Ed Adams, amongst others too numerous to mention.

After graduating high school in 1944, Dave enlisted in the U.S. Navy and deployed to the Pacific as a meteorologist on an aircraft carrier. Stationed as part of the 8,000-vessel fleet gathered at Ulithi for the invasion of Japan, he and his fellow sailors were relieved to learn of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Following the Japanese surrender he finished his tour of duty in 1946 and returned home to go to college on the GI Bill. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1951 he began his career as a journalist working for publications in Prescott, AZ, Nampa, ID, Wallingford, CT and New Haven, CT before coming to the Providence Journal, where he worked as a sports journalist for 36 years until his retirement.

David loved covering sailing and his coverage of the America’s Cup races in Newport, RI, San Diego, CA and Perth, Australia made the Providence Journal the newspaper of record for following the America’s Cup. Even 20 years after his retirement, a trip to the waterfront always included people recognizing him and coming up to reminisce.

“If you raced sailboats on Narragansett Bay from the 1960s to the 1990s you knew Dave Philips,” recalled Providence Journal colleague Michael Szostak. “If you skippered a 12-meter yacht on Rhode Island Sound during the hey-day of America’s Cup racing in Newport, you knew Dave Philips. If you crewed aboard a boat in the Newport-Bermuda race, you knew Dave Philips.”

Dave served as Chairman of RI Boating Council, held memberships in US Sailing and Narragansett Bay Yachting Association, and worked as a correspondent for Yachting Magazine for 10 years in the 1970s. The Narragansett Bay Yachting Association awarded him the William E. Tripp trophy for making an outstanding contribution to yachting and yacht racing on Narragansett Bay for 36 years.

Known to have quipped, “I’ve covered every sport but ladies wrestling,” his interests ranged well beyond his impressive knowledge of sports statistics and facts. He recalled a vast repertoire of college and university fights songs and could add a song lyric or apt quotation to any conversation. He knew all the songs and cheers for his alma mater, Wesleyan, where he served as Secretary of the Class of 1951 from 1971 until 2019.

His love of singing led him to sing in a cowboy barbershop quartet in Prescott, AZ and later in his church choir at St. Martin’s Church in Providence. Additionally, he possessed an abiding interest in the weather sparked by his naval service as a meteorologist. He faithfully followed The Weather Channel, which may have even preempted ESPN as his favorite. Each year he purchased a Farmer’s Almanac and inserted blank pages to keep track of the actual weather compared to the Almanac’s prediction.

As much as he loved sports, weather and singing, he also loved dogs, especially a series of Miniature Schnauzers. His idea of contentment was a comfortable chair in front of a roaring fire with a dog in his lap.

He is survived by two brothers, Daniel Philips of Pompano Beach, Florida and John Philips of Silver Spring, Maryland, a sister, Caroline Norwood of Emeryville, California and his special friend, Constance Hargreaves and her family of Cranston, RI.

He is also survived by many cousins including, Nancy Burroughs of Peace Dale, RI, Tom Rowe of Middletown, RI, Andy Rowe of Hope, ME, Clark Tyler of McLean, VA, Terry Tyler of Dorset, VT and David Rowe of Northbrook, IL.

Due to COVID restrictions the graveside service at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI will be private. A memorial to celebrate his life will be held next spring or summer. In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent to St. Martin’s Church, 50 Orchard Avenue Providence, RI 02906. 

Friday, December 18, 2020


(San Diego, CA)- While the sailing calendar for Cortez Racing Association (San Diego, CA) was hampered for much of 2020 due to strict government regulations for recreational boating, when racing did begin, the organization recognized four teams that put others before themselves. One of them was an amazing rescue of another boat offshore by a J/35 team.

Don Fulton and the crew of the J/35 BLUE LUNATIC, on September 12, during the “Dennis Conner Around the Coronado Isle Race”, came to the aid of a sinking power boat. Don and his crew assisted the sinking vessel by contacting the Coast Guard and, at the request of the CG, standing by to continue rendering assistance until the CG could arrive, as they were many miles off the coast. Even though stopping to help this boat meant the end of their long anticipated first race after months of quarantine, the Blue Lunatic was happy to help. Congratulations and kudos from all of the J/Family around the world for such a generous and heroic act of seamanship to help other boaters in peril offshore!

Thursday, December 17, 2020


 J/120 sailing off Seattle, WA

(Anacortes, WA)- In the "it's never too late to report" department, the Anacortes Yacht Club hosted the Northern Century Race in the beginning of the fall. It is a 100.0 nm offshore triangle that delivers the toughest race you’ll ever love. The course extends through and around (skipper’s choice) the San Juan Islands, and each year competitors are met with a unique set of challenges and some of the most beautiful conditions the Salish Sea has to offer.

Though a 50-mile option exists (for the sane people), the Northern Century 100 course starts to the north in Fidalgo Bay off Anacortes and heads further north to Point Roberts, then south any way you choose to Hein Bank, followed by a return finish at Anacortes.

J/99 sailing on Puget Sound, Seattle, WA
The race starts on Friday evening, and night-time spinnaker runs are the norm on the way up to the first mark of the course. Due to the time of year, meteor showers and phosphorescence that light up the night add to the excitement of the race.

Bruce's Briefs from had this sobering forecast to offer the sailors this year:

"We said summer had arrived last week and this weekend it will arrive with some very, very warm temps especially on Sunday. Today’s satellite pic shows just how spectacularly clear conditions are over the Salish Sea.

NOAA satellite photo
That’s both the good news and the bad news as the Surface Analysis Charts show our Pacific high weakening and tending to flatten while a thermal trough of low-pressure expands along the coast running from San Francisco inland to southern BC. This will convert our current onshore flow to an offshore flow on Saturday which will bring some downslope winds and compressional heating to the area, hence the high temps. The weather charts also show the distinct lack of any kind of pressure gradient over the area. This will make for, once again, a very challenging Northern Century Race.

The real challenge for this race is that in this transition period from onshore to offshore flow, the Race course is right in the convergence zone where the flow coming down the Strait of Juan de Fuca (SOJ) meets the flow coming down the Strait of Georgia (SOG). As the flow coming down the SOJ weakens, the flow coming down the SOG will build slightly turning the southerly/southwesterly flow over the San Juan Islands to a north/northwesterly flow. The big question is always, when will this happen? The models are not in agreement which is not surprising considering the lack of a pressure gradient.

The keys for the race are getting out of the starting area, getting through the lee of Guemes Island, and getting up Lummi Island. From there to the Point Roberts Buoy there will probably be more wind slightly to the east of the rhumb line. The wind will be light and from the south/southwest with it generally going very light after around 0200hrs. You would really like to be around the Pt Roberts mark before 0200 and then be sure to take your time at the shorten course mark.

One model does have a northerly of 5-8 kts filling down the SOG and down San Juan Island just before dawn. That combined with the big ebb of the day could get you to Hein Bank in time to catch the flood to the finish. If you’re a big boat with a tall rig and really wanted to roll the dice, you could try sailing down the inside of San Juan Island and gamble that you could make it out of Cattle Pass before about 0900 Saturday morning and the start of the big flood of the day. The big boats could finish by mid-afternoon Saturday.

Century race courseFor the once this year, expect the lighter air to be in the SOJ while the central Sound will have a delightful northerly of 10-15 knots on Saturday before it becomes light on Sunday. This will be a great weekend to be on the water just be sure to have plenty of sunblock and be sure to reapply throughout the day."

That was a pretty accurate forecast by the famous "Bruce the weatherman"! It was a light airs race, with beautiful vistas, and lots of flying code zeros to keep things moving. 

In the three divisions that had thirteen J/Crews participating, each had a podium finish by a top J/Boats team. In the Full Crew 100 Division, taking second was Jim Hinz's J/120 HINZITE. The balance of the top eleven included Dougherty & Andrew's J/125 HAMACHI in 4th, Cathy Van Antwerp's J/111 VALKYRIE in 7th, Phil Dean's J/80 RUSH in 8th, Bob Brunius' J/120 TIME BANDIT in 9th, Jason Vannice's J/35 ALTAIR in 10th, and Tolga Cezik's J/109 LODOS in 11th. An amazing performance by these teams in very challenging conditions. 

Similarly, in the Doublehanded 100 Division, J/Crews took 5 of the top 10! Taking the silver was Vincent Townrow's J/105 KINETIC. They were followed by Christina & Justin Wolfe's J/111 RAKU in 4th, Emre Selzer's J/80 RECKLESS in 5th, Mike Powell's J/33 KEET in 9th, and Karl Halfkinger's J/35 SHEARWATER in 10th. 

Finally, in the Full Crew 50 Division, taking 3rd was Walt Meagher's J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL. All in all, kudos to all crews for their perseverance and concentration to get the job done!

Also, in the recent Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter, there was a great article by a participant in the race that gives you a front row seat perspective on the amazing beauty and the trials and tribulations of sailing this tough race.  Read more here on Scuttlebutt.  Sailing photo credits- Sean Trew 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020


 J/22s sailing on Lake Charlevoix, MI

(Charlevoix, MI)- Near the northwest tip of the Michigan peninsula is Charlevoix, with sailors enjoying access to Lake Michigan but also connected with two inland options. In this report by Tom Barnes, he shares how the locals use what they have to great advantage.

The Charlevoix Yacht Club J/22 Fleet 45 has been holding Arena Racing in Round Lake since 1988 (with a break for about six years). Arena Racing is named after Arena Football which packed a lot of excitement into a much smaller venue.

Starting on the first Sunday after the 15th of October (because that’s when dockage is free), the J/22 Fleet moves from the commodious Lake Charlevoix to the confines of Round Lake for another season of Arena Racing.

What’s so cool about racing on this 55-acre lake is this year we have 10 boats! We race main and jib only to keep people off a potentially icy foredeck and out of the 43-degree water. The average race takes about 15 minutes and we get 6 of them in from 1:00PM to 3:00PM, finishing in time to watch the Detroit Lion’s lose.

The starting line is long enough for 6-7 boats, so there is always a second row…and sometimes a third. Crappy start, caught on the wrong side of 120-degree shift…no worries, the next race is only minutes away. It’s very shifty and this year I’ve blamed “bad luck” on getting caught in knock after knock…but the best skippers have been consistently near the top and so I know the problem is my own.

We get the cream of the crop for skippers and crew. All other area racing is done for the season so Melges 24, J/70, J/35 skippers and crews jump onto J/22s. Two sailors from our sister fleet across the peninsula in Tawas made the three hour drive each way to crew on a boat.

J/22s sailing on Lake Charlevoix
Not just the sailors enjoy Arena Sailing. On November 1st, we had a warm sunny day and there were 50+ people onshore taking pictures and trying to understand the action. My wife was providing color commentary from the docks and verbally abusing me for being mid-pack.

Our Volunteer Race Committee, John Kunitzer, is a Demi-god. He and his crew set the windward marks (sometimes 2 or 3 to accommodate wind shifts), start line and get us going promptly at 1:00PM. Between races they are a way station for beer and brownies. They host members of the local photography club and volunteer helpers who enjoy the antics.

Our NOR and Instructions give the RC a lot of leeway as to courses. On a fickle, light air day, John sent us on a downwind start race; a triangle race where you were allowed to go either way around; and a starboard rounding race. It keeps you on your toes to know the rules.

John also has three different scoring systems running all the time…The Ricky Bobby System – points only if you win (“if you ain’t first, you’re last”); High points scoring based on how many boats you beat; and the daily low point scoring system.

In the late 90s, Charlevoix boasted 16+ J/22s. Seven years ago we were down to one lone J/22 owned by Bob Grove. Bob is an enthusiast and champion of good causes. He set a goal of building the fleet back to 20 boats by 2024. He bought three good used boats and started loaning them out.

I borrowed mine for three years and then bought hull #483 from Bob. He promptly bought another. He sold one last fall and in October bought hull 744 from Cleveland. Bob has a likely buyer that will start racing with us next year and he is starting to shop for #11.

Each year, the Cranberry Cup is the final official race of the season. The Cup is so named as the regatta is held on the Sunday following Thanksgiving (thus the “Cranberry”). It’s a perpetual Trophy and tradition has it that the previous winner is to fill the chalice with dried cranberries to be distributed to participants following the race (this year we had to settle for only the new winner getting the cranberries).

Lake Charlevoix, Michigan
The 2020 edition was held November 29, with Charlevoix Yacht Club arranging a cheering section while three drones filmed the action while 100s of pictures were taken and shared. Even the Petoskey News Review came down and interviewed us right after racing.

With 10 J/22s on the line in WSW winds at 5-15 on a mostly cloudy 45-degree day, we had six races which allowed one throw-out. The RC set two potential weather marks and at race time settled on the more southern of the two.

Despite the well-intentioned square start line, the 45-degree wind shifts every 30 seconds meant one end was going to be favored. More often than not that ended up being the pin end. Being close to that end and having a crew ready to quickly tack allowed boats to cross the fleet on port just after the start.

When the wind stayed right, it was a very short starboard tack to the south shore and boats were calling for “sea room” causing a mass of quick tacks by those with the weather gauge.

The weather mark is only 3 minutes away and while the first-place boat usually got around clean, the middle of the pack was almost always a cluster with lots of calls for “buoy room” and disagreements over when and if an overlap occurred.

The first downwind leg was an opportunity for passing. The breeze came more from the south side so staying high gave an advantage of getting the new breeze first. This ran against the tactic of going left to ensure you were inside at the mark rounding. I tended toward staying left and unfortunately, that cost me several boats over the six races. Lesson learned!

That downwind mark rounding saw some of the most interesting events of the day. Our eventual winner and another boat got a late inside overlap and were denied room (by me). They hooked the mark on their rudder and hung there a while getting it clear… this became their throw out race.

The final score was amazingly close. The top three boats separated by only two points.
The cream always rises to the top and “Sailing Inc” – Bow #8 skippered by Dan Tosch with George “Bear” Peet Jr and Brian Prokuda won the cherished cup with 11 points.

Dan dedicated the win to George Peet Sr. who passed away last year. George was a huge sailing advocate, supporter of junior sailing and a very tough competitor in J/22s, Lightnings, and Lasers. Bear is an outstanding sailor in all sizes and boat types. Brian is an experience helmsman and worked hard on bow.

Second Place went to last year’s winners on Pale Face Lite – Owner Bob Grove, skipper Steve Pirie and crew Beverly Cady with 12 points. They received a bottle of Mount Gay, which Beverly eagerly accepted! Steve was also awarded the “Best Damn Skipper” flag (signed by all participants), for most points accumulated during the series (high scoring system).

This came down to the last day of racing with Kevin Meier holding a 10-point lead going into the day…but Kevin made the bad choice of working for a living and missed the Cranberry Cup, leaving the door wide open for Steve. Considering the fickle conditions of Round Lake, these two dominated the top of the leaderboard almost every week.

Third Place went to Bow #02 with Bill and Tom Babel on “Eminence Front” (they are big “The Who” fans) and crew Laura Johnson with 13 points. Bill founded Arena Sailing in 1988, stayed with it until 1992 and had a hiatus until he and Tom jumped on a boat again last year. They now are hooked and we’re hoping to see them back for many years to come. The Babel’s are tough enough when they sail separate, together it almost isn’t fair.

Below are the results for the Cranberry Cup, Arena Sailing Series, and the Ricky Bobby. Steve and Bill tied for the most wins. The tiebreaker was proposed, as in the movie, that they have a footrace and then kiss…at this suggestion Bill promptly conceded the win to Steve.  Sailing photo credits- Dan O’Haver  Thanks for contribution from Scuttlebutt Sailing newsletter

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


 J/44 sailing SORC Palm Beach Race

(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The second event of the 2020-21 SORC Islands in the Stream Series on December 5 was a revised course when it was deemed the traditional Wirth M Munroe Palm Beach Race course could not be held due to COVID-19 regulations. Instead, a round-trip 80.0nm course from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach and return to finish off Fort Lauderdale attracted 15 teams in ORC.

As you can tell from the photos, this was light airs affair for most of the race. Virtually all boats went off the starting line with Code Zeros flying and crew sitting on the leeward rail. Occasional "puffs" (more like big zephyrs) would waft gently across the course and crews would slowly move to the windward side!  

J/121 sailing off Fort Lauderdale, FL
In the end, J/Crews did quite well. Winning the fleet in ORC Overall was Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI, crushing the fleet by literally one hour corrected time. Finishing second behind them in ORC Class 2 was Ashley Maltempo & Bill Wiggins J/121 WINGS. The WINGS team sailed well considering it was their first time on the boat, taking 6th ORC Overall behind a few TP 52's. Taking 5th in ORC Class 2 was Brad Stowers' J/92 HILLBILLY and sixth place went to Andy Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY.

J/92 sailing off Miami, FL
The winter plan for the 2020-21 Islands in the Stream Series in south Florida and the Bahamas has evolved due to COVID-19 restrictions. See updates below.

2020-21 Islands in the Stream Series
• January 21, 2021: The series then heads south for some island time with the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. 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). More information here

• February 17, 2021: It all wraps up with another trip to the Bahamas with the 2nd annual Eleuthera Race, starting off South Beach, Miami and finishing at the Cape Eleuthera Resort and Marina. More information here.   For more SORC Islands in the Stream sailing information

Monday, December 14, 2020


 J/111 sailing off Peru

(Puerto Callao, Peru)- This past weekend, the Puerto Callao Yacht Club held the first of its summer series on the Pacific Ocean, with a fleet of ten boats sailing in Puerto Callao Bay.

There was a lot of excitement amongst J/Boats enthusiasts in Peru with the arrival of the new J/99 TUNCHE. After her launching and a tune-up sail the TUNCHE team sailed in their first regatta of the summer. Anticipation was high amongst many ex-J/24 racers that have gotten a bit older and are racing in offshore ORC handicap events.

J/99 sailing off Peru
After the weekend of sailing, it was clear the J/111 CHALLWA was determined to maintain their control over Peru's ORC fleet, winning the regatta with room to spare on points. However, fast out-of-the-box, the J/99 TUNCHE progressed fast up their learning curve and managed to pull off a silver in the regatta, a great start for the inaugural race of the J/99.

J/99 sailing upwind off Peru on Pacific Ocean
According to J/Peru dealer German Fuchs, "it's expected the new J/99 will continue the winning saga of J/Boats in Peru. After all, Peru has always been one of the largest and oldest fleets of J/24s in South America. Many sailors are looking closely at the new J/99 and, perhaps, there will be a J/99 fleet soon in Perú."  For more J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster information

Friday, December 11, 2020


 J/70s sailing on Biscayne Bay off Miami, FL

(Miami, FL)- While the Midwest and northeastern regions of the USA are caught in the grips of multiple Lows (depressions) bringing lots of nasty weather; like northeast winds, rain, sleet, snow, ice, slush, and just ugliness, the J/70 class will be hosting its first major event since the March 2020 coronavirus lockdowns shutdown every imaginable regatta in America, and the rest of the world, for that matter.

Hosted between Shake-a-Leg-Miami, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and the USSC, the first race weekend for the Bacardi Invitational Winter Series will be December 11-13, 2020 with the next face-off on January 22-24, 2021. Then, the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta will complete its final event from March 10-13, 2021.

A very star-studded sixteen boat fleet of enthusiastic participants are very excited to get back out on the water on the gorgeous aquamarine Biscayne Bay, with sailing taking place off Miami, Florida. Many of the top American teams will be participating, all familiar faces to J/Sailors that have sailed the J/70 circuit.

Several World Champions are in attendance, including Joel Ronning's CATAPULT (Morgan Reeser and Erik Shampain on speed/ tactics), Germany's Mike Illbruck sailing PINTA (John Kostecki on tactics), Steve Benjamin's SAINT team has THREE World Champions on the team (himself, plus Chris Larson and Al Terhune), Dave Janetti's VERY ODD (Travis Odenbach and Kris Werner on speed/ tactics), and Ryan McKillen's SURGE (Lucas Calabrese on tactics). So much for teams with World Champions on board, just one-third of the fleet! LOFL!

In addition, there are several hot teams that are no "wallflowers", such as John Evans' AIRPLANE (Martie Kullman on tactics), Trey Sheehan's HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING (Curtis Florence and Brad Boston on speed/ tactics), Ryan Foley's JOHNNY UTAH (Nic Baird- College Sailor of Year- on tactics), John Brim's RIMETTE (Zeke Horowitz on tactics), Pam Rose's ROSEBUD (Tomas Dietrich on tactics), and Peter Vessella's RUNNING WILD (Tracy Usher on tactics). 

WOW!! On a percentage basis, this regatta likely has the "deepest bench" of College All-Americans, National, North American, and World Champions in a sixteen-boat fleet, ever! Chill the beer, fire up the popcorn machine, and pull up a chair...this will be an interesting regatta to follow! 

By the way, there are two Corinthians teams that have hot hands on the tiller and smart sailors in their line-ups that may surprise a lot of the top teams. The BEARNARCHY team from Philadelphia, PA has Kelly McGlynn driving with Luke Adams on speed/ tactics (College All-American and son of the famous Ed Adams). Then, Team LIL from the local Coral Reef Yacht Club have proven to be surprisingly fast and smart; after all, they know Biscayne Bay quite well. The LIL team includes skipper Joey Kolisch and tactician/trim Val Schestopalov; both excellent youth sailors and a product of the Optimist/ 420 wars as kids.  Follow the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series here for complete results

Thursday, December 10, 2020


 J/145 sailing off San Diego, CA

(San Diego, CA)- So, there we were. Hot Rum race 3, watching all the weather and forecasts and guessing how the day was going to unfold. It is "local knowledge" that there is always a nice little "point effect"- light winds accelerating down the east side of Point Loma- that create some artificially significant winds. With that wind in their sails easing them along the first leg of the Hot Rum race course, racers also had the benefit of an outgoing tide (in effect all day) to get them out to Mark 2. The race committee had little confidence the race would even get that far.

J/111 sailing off San Diego, CA
Just as the first boats were rounding Mark 2 to begin their downwind sail into the Roads, those light Point Loma winds started to ripple their way east to the otherwise glassy sea that extended way past Mark 3 and Mark 4 deep in the Roads. Over the next hour and a half, boats reached and gybed their way to the bottom of the course in 3 to 5 kts of wind. From there, a two mile beat back to Mark 5 challenged the fleet. There, the RC Signal boat Corinthian sat looking east over the race course, then north, 3 miles up the bay to the course finish. Decision time.

J/120 sailing off San Diego, CA
With no certainty of the wind holding (that wasn’t forecast to be there in the first place), and 50% of a very high 5 foot-plus all-day tide ebb still making the final 3 miles to the finish an uphill effort, the RC hoisted the sierra flag (S) and anchored approx. 330 yds south of Mark 5, laying a ‘shorten course’ finish line perpendicular to the course from the previous mark. Their impression at that moment was that unless they shortened the course, up to a third of the fleet would have no hope of finishing even in the current conditions, and half or more wouldn’t make it to the charted finish if there were any deterioration.

The first six boats lined up to cross this new finishing line were predictably all ultralight sleds that can muscle their way through light air with apparent winds and boat speeds fractionally higher than the actual wind speed. The RC understands that the finish might have seemed premature. But, to the mortal seaman and mermaids aboard the other 90 boats still racing, we think it was the correct move.  

J/70 sailing off San Diego, CA
Still, no good deed goes unpunished. And, there were two uncomfortable things that the RC still needed to address. First, was to note the boats that missed the “S” finish line. You can reference your Racing Rules of Sailing book inside back cover for the picture of flag “S” (a.k.a. sierra). It identifies RRS 32.2. Reading 32.2 (a) it informs the finishing line “…shall be at a round mark, between the Mark and a staff displaying flag S.“

A few focused sailors, not seeing the S flag, and likely not hearing the Race Committee announce on the race channel VHF 69, sailed on starboard, south of and past the RC signal boat with flag S displayed. They tacked to port and their course took them completely around the signal boat and the finish line. It is frustrating to see this breakdown of understanding, but we always hope that those that were confused by what a RC does can learn from it and be better informed in the future. Trying to "save a race" for many but losing a few that aren’t familiar with flag S is always the trade-off.

J/105 sailing off San Diego, CA
Then, there is the scoring. Fun fact. A Hot Rum “shorten course” race has happened twice before, in 2008 and 2009. While rare, it is not unprecedented, and the solution is not untried. First, understand a Pursuit Start - basically boats are given a particular start time based on a formula that estimates boat’s speed around the course relative to other boats. Bigger faster boats "owe" smaller slower boats more time as the course gets longer. And the inverse – less time is owed on a shorter course. In virtual terms, everyone but the first boat to start got a late start for HR3. By shortening the race at mark 5, approx. 3.2nm was cut off the race course. We know how long it took for boats to sail around the 8.7nm course, so we refigured new ‘virtual’ start times based on 8.7nm and added the actual elapsed time to that to generate new ‘virtual’ finish times. Those are found on the Hot Rum race 3 finishes page. The boat finish order is different than you actually may have witnessed. That’s because like a regular PHRF handicap race where you adjust times after the finish, we adjusted times both before AND after.

J/145 sailing off San Diego, CA
Shortening course is not easy to do or understand, especially in a unique format like a Pursuit race with all the handicap incentive given at the start. But, it seemed like a better option than leaving 45 boats floating in the channel. Either way, there was a lot of gratitude from most finishers. The Hot Rum, to quote 1981 its creator- Herb Sinnhoffer- “is a fun race and to be able to meet afterwards and make friends”. Given COVID protocols, the "fun race" intent still holds up. It is great that some will work really hard and compete at a high level, while others will just enjoy a nice social sail around the waters of San Diego-- in December! Either way, remember the Race committee is doing its best to honor the intent race, and balance the efforts of those participating.

In the third and final race in the San Diego Yacht Club Hot Rum series, two of the J/145s finished with the same point total for Class I. After count-back, it was Rudy Hasl's PALAEMON and Ernie Pennell’s MORE MADNESS taking 3rd and 4th out of fifteen boats in Class I (the BIG boats!). They were barely beaten by a custom carbon fiber Swan 601 and Pat Disney's custom carbon Andrews 68. 

In the PHRF Overall results for 113 boats, Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON and the custom Swan 601 STARK RAVING MAD finished tied for second place at 30 points each, with the countback going to the Mad-men. Notably, taking fifth place was the other J/145 MORE MADNESS. 

J/120 sailing off San Diego, CA
The sailing conditions for Race 3 were very challenging, with winds ranging from under 5 Kts to 10 kts, with shifty winds at the start and steadier winds later in the race. As a result of the decreasing wind conditions, the race was shortened to enable most boats to finish the race.

In other classes, J/Crews faired extremely well. In PHRF 2 Class, it was Chuck Nichols' J/120 CC RIDER that won the first two races handily, but suffered in the lighter going in the third race to post a "down the mine shaft" 9th place.  As a result, the CC RIDERS had to settle for the silver in this year's series. A similar fate befell the J/111 CREATIVE sailed by Ed Sanford. After the first two races with a 5-3 tally, their finale had to count an 18th....dropping like a rock from the top three down to 9th in class. 

J/29 sailing off San Diego, CA
The twenty-seven boat PHRF 4 Class was crushed, as usual, by a slew of J-mercenaries. In fact, it was a clean sweep of the top six in class. Not surprisingly, leading the charge and sweeping the podium were top J/105 teams. Winning was Jim Dorsey's J-OK, followed by the Vieregg/ Bermann duo on ZUNI BEAR in second and Jeff Brown's SWEET KAREN in third.  Following them were Chuck Bowers' J/29 RHUMB RUNNER in fourth, George Scheel's J/105 SUN PUFFIN in fifth, and Nico Lindauer’s J/34 IOR beauty MARLEN in sixth place. Notably Lindauer’s J/34 IOR won the last two races quite handily...they suffered from having to count a 28 pt DNC for not sailing the first race. Sailing photo credits- Mark Albertazzi.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series sailing information

Wednesday, December 9, 2020


 J/111 sailing Edgartown Regatta

(Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA)- "We hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  Our team at Edgartown YC is hard at work organizing the 2021 Edgartown Race Weekend (“ERW”) and have just gone live with the NOR on Yacht Scoring for both the 'Round-the-buoys racing (“RTB”) and 'Round-the-Island (“RTI”) segments of ERW.

For decades, the Edgartown Race Weekend has been a favorite of J/sailors on Cape Cod, the Islands, and Vineyard Sound. The event attracts J/teams from as far north as Maine and as far south as the Chesapeake Bay. Dozens of J/Crews have made the event an annual ritual as they look forward to catching up with friends and families from afar that also make it a tradition to participate.  Come one, come all! The 2021 edition promises to be a fun one and may we all hope to rejoice such great events yet again on the water next year!  For more information follow the links belowWe encourage participants to register ASAP to receive information and updates from the Organizing Authority throughout the offseason. Please note the entry fee is not required to complete your registration on Yacht Scoring.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns to the Edgartown Race Weekend Administrator- Margaret Passafiume- email: Sailing photo credit- Stepen Cloutier.

Monday, December 7, 2020


 J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica

Interview with Spencer May by

(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- If you're a J/22 sailor, it's hard to imagine a better regatta than the Jamin' J/22 International Regatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of Jamaica's beautiful Montego Bay and the nearby vicinity on December 12, 2020. The event, which is being hosted by the Montego Bay Yacht Club, typically supplies boats, sails and equipment, allowing visiting participants to focus on winning races rather than organizing their kit. To facilitate this, local J/22 sailors participate in "qualifiers" that allow the strongest teams to represent Jamaica. The rest of the fleet is then loaned to the visitors in a lottery system.

While the still-raging pandemic has impacted the Montego Bay Yacht Club's ability to host a full invitational event, including the usual home-stay accommodations and parties, participating sailors can still look forward to plenty of on-the-water competition. In honoring the "international" component of Jamin, local teams will each represent a foreign fleet for the day of racing. Jamaica will be represented by the recent Nationals champion Renegade, which will be skippered by the veteran Jamin competitor Richard Hamilton.

Once on island, participating sailors can look forward to great racing. Provided that the weather Gods cooperate, the event is planning on running four races. 

J/22s at Montego Bay Yacht Club
David Schmidt from checked in with Spencer May, Jamin Chair and Vice Commodore of the Montego Bay Yacht Club, to learn more about this classic warm-water One-Design regatta.

SW: Can you tell us about the regatta's culture?

Spencer: Jamin' has a longstanding culture of inclusion and hospitality. Offering North American and the rest of the world sailors an opportunity to sail and enjoy pristine conditions (warm prevailing trade winds and the clear, warm water of the Caribbean Sea) in early December, with the U.S. and Canada are usually battling snowstorms.

During the event's infancy, the late Tony Hart (the original "host") would take visiting sailors on excursions to some special places around the island. Good Hope in the interior and Sea Grapes Villa in Discovery Bay were both incredible day trips for the visiting teams. Home-stays were common and visitors would usually extend their trip to explore Jamaica on either end of the three-day regatta.

Jamin' has a culture of fun-loving friends gathering to compete and create memories, with laughter and smiles galore (and plenty of cold drinks!).

SW: Can you tell us how the 2020 edition of the regatta will be different than previous years?

Spencer: 2020 will be unlike anything we have seen before. The event has been closed to foreign teams, as travel restrictions and Jamaica's regulations have been a constantly moving target.

We did not want prospective visitors to have to cancel flights or accommodations due to all the factors currently out of our control.

We also will not be hosting the usual themed parties that have been such a standard as there are currently Government restrictions on the number of individuals allowed to gather.

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
SW: Given the pandemic, how many boats are you expecting to attract this year? Also, where will they hail from?

Spencer: We are hoping for eight boats on the starting line. This number represents just over three-quarters of the local fleet with a couple of the teams traveling to the Montego Bay Yacht Club from Kingston's Royal Jamaica Yacht Club.

SW: What kind of competition levels are you expecting this year?

Spencer: With our Nationals behind us, we have a very good idea of the level of competition...HIGH!

The first and third places finished within three points of one another. Renegade took the win with 12 points and Ayahso and Tsunami scoring 15 points each over the two-day, six-race weekend.

We are expecting some tight competition from this year's Jamin' Regatta as many of the same teams will be represented (though they will all be flying different colors as we are representing different countries).

We will be missing the international teams and their ability to mix it up with the fleet, but rest-assured racing will be competitive. The plan for the final race of the series is to do a reverse start. The boat with the fewest point going into the last race will need to cross the start line last and the team with the most points will have a bit of a head start. Call it the handicap race for this series, as we are not doing any throw-out races.

J/22s sailing downwind off Montego Bay, Jamaica
SW: Do you have your eye on any pre-racing favorites in both classes? What about any dark horses?

Spencer: Using our 705-pounds limit on the boats keeps everyone honest and if the wind is light for any races that will give the three-person teams an advantage over the teams that sail just below the limit.

In the absence of last year's 30th-anniversary race winner, Mike Farrington, it will once again give local heroes a chance to shine!

SW: Does the event still plan to hold post-racing festivities/parties, given the pandemic? If so, can you tell us what we're missing out on?

Spencer: We are not going to be hosting the traditional booze-soaked parties as alcohol doesn't make it easy to follow local Covid protocols... So, we will have to party double-time in 2021.

In the '90s there was a tradition of a boating "Parade of Lights" in the past and it was revamped last year for the first time in recent history. Open to motorboats, cruisers, and catamarans, all clad with festive lights and blasting holiday tunes, this event is perfect for respecting Covid protocols.

On a quiet evening (just after sunset) we will leave the club and do a few laps around the harbor, gleefully singing and drinking on our own boats with friends and family, celebrating together and apart! J/22s are traditionally towed behind one of the larger motorboats.

SW: Can you tell us about any efforts that you and the other regatta organizers have made to try to lower the regatta's environmental footprint or otherwise green-up the regatta?

Spencer: We utilize one five-gallon bucket per boat for the entirety of the event to dish out the ice/food/drinks/welcome packets and t-shirts. These buckets are re-used year after year.

SW: Anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

Spencer: We have had a 30-plus years of historic events, creating lifelong friendships from all over the world, and it has been incredible to build those relationships and see some familiar faces over the decades.

Many of the members have connected with us on Facebook and Instagram. Anyone that is interested in seeing future event details should also follow along.  Follow Jamin J/22 Jamaica Regatta here on Facebook  Follow Jamin J/22 Jamaica Regatta on Instagram here

Friday, December 4, 2020

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Thursday, December 3, 2020


 J/24 Jacksonville, FL

(Jacksonville, FL)- The Florida Yacht Club and J/24 Fleet 55 hosted twenty-one very enthusiastic J/24 competitors to a wonderful weekend of competitive sailing at the 2020 Kings Day Regatta November 21-22, 2020.  

The racing Saturday and Sunday had a total of six races sailed on the St. Johns River south of Jacksonville in the traditional fall breezes of Northeast Florida. It was a see-saw battle for the podium all weekend long as each time was trying to "dial-in" not just speed-mode in the flat water, but also getting into sequence in the shifty breezes.

Starting off with a 1-5-1 on the first day, Greg Griffin's MAJIC played their local knowledge to the max, ending the day with a strong lead. The other day's winner was Robby Brown's ANGEL OF HARLEM from Davis Island YC, gliding into second for the day. They were followed by Dan Borrer's JESUS LIZARD just one point behind.

The die was cast for the battle that would unfold on Sunday morning. The first race of the day saw all three teams struggling to even finish in a podium position as they covered and watched each other like hawks as they rounded the race track. However, it was Borrer's JESUS LIZARD that closed the regatta with an emphatic double-bullets to take the silver. Griffin's MAJIC hung in close and avoided disastrous races to take the win by a mere two points. Brown's ANGEL OF HARLEM crew was fast and consistent, but a Black Flag in the last race dispelled their chances for the overall win. Instead, the HARLEM crew had to settle for the bronze.

The winning team on MAJIC consisted of skipper Greg Griffin and crew of Will Newton, Skip Allcorn, Mike Reddaway, and Emma Newton. The silver medal crew on JESUS LIZARD was Dan Borrer driving, with team of Kelly Holleran, Steve Lopez, Barbara Gold, and Max Lopez. The bronze medal winners on ANGEL OF HARLEM were Robby Brown on the helm, with crew of Beau Delapouyade, Richard Shellow, Steve Lowery, and Kevin Ratigan. For Kings Day Regatta sailing results and information  For J/24 Fleet 55 information
  For more J/24 one-design class information

Wednesday, December 2, 2020


 J145 sailing San Diego Hot Rum series

(San Diego, CA)- J/Boats continue to perform well in the competitive Hot Rum Series in San Diego, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club.  

Two J/145s are near the top of the overall results from the first two races. PALAEMON (Rudy Hasl) is 3rd and MORE MADNESS (Ernie Pennell) is 4th out of 124 boats registered. 

The competition within Class I is also very strong, with MORE MADNESS taking 1st place with 6 points and PALAEMON taking 2d with 8 points. The J/145s have been very competitive against famous offshore racing competitors such as Pyewacket, Stark Raving Mad, Blue Blazes, Staghound, Fast Exit, Volpe, Pendragon, and Compadres.

The J/120 CC RIDER (Chuck Nichols) has taken two bullets in Class 2 against some stiff competition. Also, very competitive is the J/125 NEREID (Standish Fleming) and a trio of J/105s- ZUNI BEAR (Vieregg/ Bermann), J-OK (Jim Dorsey), and SWEET KAREN (Jeff Brown).

The final race in the series will be on December 5. The conditions for the 2d race were very different from the windy in-bay first race. With many boats struggling to get off the starting line and dealing with light shifty winds for the beginning and at the end of the race. Fortunately, the offshore portion of the race saw steady winds in the 10-15 kt range and some fog.  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series information

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 J/70 sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico

(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- As they often say, be careful of what you wish for when you invite World-class American sailors to your gorgeous lake high in the mountains west of Mexico City. Over a four-day regatta last weekend, the Mexican J/70 class held their 2020 National Championship in Valle de Bravo for a fleet of twenty-two teams. Host for the event was the Club de Vela La Peña Valle de Bravo.

J/70s anchored on Valle de Bravo, Mexico
After a nine-race series, the American team on PIED PIPER, led by skipper Gannon Troutman easily won the event. Starting out with three bullets on the first day of racing, they never looked back, and no one could seemingly challenge their supremacy on the race track. It certainly helped that Troutman had a world-class sail trimmer in the form of Venezuelan Victor Diaz de Leon on mainsheet and calling tactics.  The balance of their team included Tomas Dietrich and Roberto Escalante. The PIED PIPER's never had a finish out of the top four, such was their dominance over the regatta, finishing with just 16 pts.

J/70 Pied Piper- winners
Yet another American had a significant impact on silver medal winner- LA BALA. Also trimming mainsheet and calling tactics for skipper Yon Belausteguigoitia was none other than J/70 World Champion Bill Hardesty from San Diego, CA. The LA BALA team sailed consistently in the top ten to finish a distant second with 32 pts net. Their crew consisted of Yon and brother Ander, Hardesty, and Elaine Fierro. Notably, the LA BALA team was declared the "real" Mexican J/70 National Champion as the top Mexican team in the regatta.

J70s sailing Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Taking the bronze medal on the podium and also winning the Mexican Corinthian J/70 National Championship was Jorge Murrieta's FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, sailing with crew of Jose Alfonso Gutierrez Frusch, Jeronimo Mariscal, and Pablo Rion. 

Behind the Corinthian J/70 Mexican Champions on FLOJITO was Hector Guzman Gonzalez's team on ESCIPION (Gerardo Lozano, Juan Pablo La Pena Guzman, and Mariana Guzman). Third went to Eduardo Oetling's AXOLOTL, with crew of Eduardo Oetling Jr, Ricardo Guzman, and Alfonso Aguilar. Thirteen of the twenty-two teams were Corinthians, over 50% of the fleet.  For more Mexican J/70 National Championship sailing information

Monday, November 30, 2020


 J/99 doublehanded offshore

(London, England)- Offshore Doubles is pleased to announce at the end of its first month of operation we have 1,600 members from 66 countries with all six continents well-represented. 

Our Facebook page shows a video series featuring well-known sailors like Dee Caffari (GBR) and Kenny Read (USA), younger sailors like Erica Lush (USA) and Federico Waksman (URU) and the team of Jade Cole and Barney Walker (AUS). Each weekend with the help of World Sailing, we are featuring new stories of Offshore Doubles sailors from many countries and all continents. Next up is Croatia, then China, South Africa and more. Come to the Offshore Doubles Facebook page to see these amazing people and hear their stories.

The Olympic Event of Mixed Offshore Doubles is a pinnacle event of our discipline and it was proposed and ratified as the Olympic slate by World Sailing at the Annual Conference in Sarasota in 2018 and sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2019. Over the next month the IOC is expected to make their final decisions on the slates proposed by all sports.

J/99 sailing doublehanded offshore
There have been some reported questions about security and cost of the Paris 2024 Olympic event. The security question has been solved by the French Navy’s assurance that they will provide security on the course. The operating costs of the event have been reviewed by the World Sailing and will be significantly lower than other sailing events because the Offshore Mixed Doubles Event is one race with a single start and finish. Other than the final short leg, all protests will be heard electronically using the 24/7 media and tracking during the event. Penalties will be assessed and taken before the last short leg to the finish and first boat across the finish line first wins.

In discussion with many of the teams, even from many smaller countries, the cost of the boat is not the big issue some claim. The boats in the event will be supplied without additional cost to competitors and the boats used for training can be any boat of appropriate size and configuration. These types of racer/cruiser boats represent 70% of sailing and hold their value well for resale. The World Sailing Equipment Committee is planning to produce a tender early in 2021 to solicit proposals for the Olympic event and there are 12 boats already proposed in a prior Request for Information.

Many countries have already started training for the event and Doubles are now a specific class in the most famous and long-established races like the Sydney Hobart, Fastnet, Round Gotlund, Bermuda and Transpac races. There are also many dedicated Doubles events and series now in Poland, Norway, Sweden, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Italy, USA and many other countries. The events list on the homepage shows 50 events currently and is increasing daily.

Larry Rosenfeld, President of Offshore Doubles, said, “Thanks to the many people that have helped us successfully launch including Matt Allen, Stan Honey and the rest of our very experienced Board of Advisors and organizations such as SYRF, ORC, RORC, CYCA, Storm Trysail Club, all the country rating offices and federations and many suppliers like North Sails, J/Boats, Quantum, World Sailing, The Magenta Project and many others for helping to spread the word. To our members and partners, we plan to introduce new features and ways of connecting in the coming months. Thank you for your donations, your guidance so far, and your continued input.”

About Offshore Doubles
Offshore Doubles is for everyone interested in double-handing offshore from couples and friends doing weekend races to Olympic athletes and serious programs globally. We all have much to learn and teach and it's our mission to bring this community together. There are more than 5,000 boats racing double-handed under rating rules and thousands in many strong one design fleets around the world, so we know the interest is there.

If you haven’t already done so, please come join us NOW at! We need to continue to show the IOC that Doubles has broad global support. Don’t forget to invite your co-skipper and share with your friends!