Thursday, January 30, 2020

J/Crews Sweep Cabrillo Offshore I Race

J/145s crushing Cabrillo Race offshore
(San Diego, CA)- The start of the southern California offshore season may be attributed to the very laid back, but serious, Cabrillo Offshore Series hosted by the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, CA. The first race was a 36.0nm affair that went from the San Diego Harbor start line, out around the North Coronado Island in Mexico, and return to the start/ finish line.

In the end, it was a complete domination of the fleet by J/Teams across the board, from the big silver-platers to the classic offshore racer-cruisers. Winning the eight-boat ORR Division was Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON in a very competitive fleet of boats.

In the PHRF Division 2, Robert Pace’s J/145 ANDIAMO 2 took 1st place, followed by Hasl’s J/145 PALAEMON in second, and completing the podium with the bronze was Mark Surber’s J/125 SNOOPY.

Finally, it was J/120s all over the top of the leaderboard in PHRF 3 Division. Winning was John Laun’s CAPER, with good friend Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER taking the silver.

The Cabrillo Offshore Series consist of four races. The next race is a 73-mile race around Sugarloaf Rock in Mexico. For more Southwestern YC Cabrillo Offshore series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

J/111 Worlds 2020 Announcement!

J/111 Worlds
(Cowes, England)- With a rich history of international competition from Chicago, Breskens, San Francisco, Newport Rhode Island and The Solent, the J/111 World Championship regatta returns to beautiful Cowes for the third time since it was held there for the inaugural event.

The 2020 J/111 Worlds will be decided on the Solent from August 30th to September 5th, 2020. The event will be hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, under invitation of the J/111 Northern European Fleet, and with events taking place out of the RORC's Cowes station on the harbour.

According to the RORC, "The Royal Ocean Racing Club are delighted to have been asked to organize the 2020 J/111 World Championship to be held in Cowes during September. Up to 20 of these highly competitive one design boats will compete, firstly in a pre-worlds regatta over the 30th and 31st August, and then four days of championship racing from the 2nd to the 5th September before the winner is crowned at the prize-giving dinner on the Saturday night."

In anticipation of the interest registered at last year's J/111 World Championship in Chicago, the J/111 European Class is delighted to announce it has partnered with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics, to offer two alternative routes for J/111s to cross the pond (and back as required).

J/111 Worlds winner in UK
Sevenstar's Wouter Verbraak comments, “this partnership should add to the growing competitive J/111 fleet racing around the World, and we are delighted to be an enabler, and partner for the future.”

With mast up and keel on sailings twice a month from Cleveland, OH and once a month from Baltimore, MD the options are open. More details for owners are available on the Sevenstar and J/111 Worlds websites.

The timing of the 2020 Worlds is designed to make it as easy as possible for the North American J/111 owners and crew to participate. This should mean the least disruption to their local and national US sailing programs.

Simon Bamford, the J/111 Northern Europe Fleet Captain says, “we are delighted that Sevenstar has chosen to partner with us, hopefully making it as simple and as cost effective as possible for multiple boats to participate from the USA.”

With entertainment planned for the evenings, no doubt impromptu challenges are laid down for the World Championship between differing nationalities. The Solent and Northern Europe J/111 Fleet looks forward to welcoming you to some world class sailing in the Solent.  For more 2020 J/111 World Championship sailing information

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

J/Crews Sweep Duwamish Head Race

J/160 JAM wins race(Seattle, WA)- The Three Tree Point Yacht Club kicked off the Pacific Northwest offshore sailing season with their incredibly challenging Duwamish Head Race. For the hard-core sailors in the greater Seattle region, the race happens to have a bit of a cult following, with a number of familiar top offshore teams taking up the annual rite of passage of their first offshore race for 2020.

Duwamish Head Race courseThe course is simple enough. Start in a northerly direction between an offshore orange mark and the RC flag on the Des Moines Marina fishing pier, leaving the green navigation buoy to starboard. Proceed to the Duwamish Head Light, leave it to port, then proceed to Blakely Rock Light, leaving it to port. Finish in a southerly direction between offshore orange mark and the RC flag at the end of the Des Moines Pier, keeping the green navigation buoy to port.

In the "big boat" PHRF 2 Division, J/Crews dominated the top four places. Winning was John McPhail's J/160 JAM by just 3 minutes over Ron Holbrook's J/133 CONSTELLATION that took the silver. Not far off the pace and missing the podium by a mere 10 seconds (!) was J. McKay's J/130 FLASH taking a fourth place.

The PHRF 4 Division saw a complete sweep of their class by J/Teams taking the entire top five spots. Winning was Tolga Cezik's J/109 LODOS, followed by Stu Burnell's famous J/109 TANTIVY in second, and Brian White's J/35 GRACE E in third. Rounding out the top five was Dan Wierman's J/35 GREAT WHITE in fourth and Jason Vannice's J/35 ALTAIR in fifth place.

Winning PHRF 6 Division was Matthew Gardner-Brown's J/105 DULCINEA. Taking third place in PHRF 7 Division was Christine Nelson & Paul Grove's J/29 SLICK. North American Editor David Schmidt, who lives in the Seattle area, sailed the race with a few friends and here is a summary of his experience racing against the three big J/Boats that dominated PHRF Division 2:

"I was looking for an adventure when I woke up at 0430 hours on Saturday (January 11) for the annual Duwamish Head Race, only to discover that NOAA had issued a small-craft advisory for the section of Puget Sound where our race would be unfurling. While this might have been cause for concern amongst some boats, I count myself incredibly lucky to sail aboard one of the fastest and best-skippered boats in the area and with a crew that defines the word "experienced", so my mind instead turned to thoughts of fast spinnaker rides.

We left the dock at 0645 hours on an unusually high tide that was following several days of hard rain (did I mention that I live in Seattle?) that deposited plenty of logs, branches and other flotsam in the water, so our skipper wisely stationed a rotating staff of crew on the foredeck with a spotlight to search for deadheads (meaning logs, not Grateful Dead fans...the latter were all back in the cockpit, your scribe included). We carefully threaded our way past several big logs and root balls, but even more impressively, the rains that were lashing the Olympic mountains to the West stayed put, giving us a (mostly) dry ride down to our starting line off of the city of Des Moines.

While NOAA might have been hyperbolic with their small-craft advisory forecast, the wind was piping at the starting line, funneling from behind Vashon and Maury islands. We hoisted our trusty J2 and a full main, with our Code-0 on the ready on the deck, knowing that the air would almost certainly lift once we cleared the starting area.

Erik, our intrepid tactical weather expert and an all-around great sailor, smartly advised that there would be an easterly component to the predominantly south-southwest breeze later in the morning, so the afterguard set us up for a low-road lane that proved to be key for several reasons (more later). Better still, we had clear air to hoist and unfurl the Code-0, and to pick and choose our own destiny.

This soon set us up to hoist the A2, and to ratchet up our VMG speed.

Things were flowing perfectly, with the wind, which was blowing at ballpark 12-15 knots, giving us ideal angles for fetching Three Tree Point and Alki Point Lighthouse with minimal gybes.

Our boatspeed was right where it should have been as we cleared Three Tree Point, when the cockpit handheld VHF crackled to life with the two most dreaded words in winter sailboat racing: "Man Overboard! Man Overboard!"

We quickly determined that the vessel in distress was roughly one nautical mile directly in front of us, separated only by the TP52, which had smartly abandoned their high-road tussle.

Instantly, our skipper and crew proved that their seamanship skills are even better their racing skills. The A2 was instantly doused, all eyes ensured that we had no cordage in the water, and the iron Genny roared to life. Paul dropped the throttle hammer, and we charged towards the stricken vessel. Soon, we could see the vessel's crew struggling unsuccessfully to pull their MOB back aboard via their port bow.

While we were a ways away, our friends aboard Sonic (said TP52) were closer and also immediately dropped their sails and motored over to assist. They approached via starboard and transferred some of their biggest guns onto the little cruising-class boat. While I was too far away to see individual faces or rescue tactics, Sonic sails with many strong bodies who wasted zero time in pulling the MOB back aboard. Better still, Jan Anderson, the area's best sailing photographer, was instantly on station with her fast-running RIB and took the MOB back ashore.

Once the situation was clear, we spun our bow, motored back to our pre-MOB-crisis position, and quickly re-hoisted the A2. While there's no question that sailing on Puget Sound in January is playing for keeps with the cold water, we quickly shifted gears from crisis mode to performance sailing mode. I'll admit that it took me a few minutes to shake off the adrenaline rush, but our afterguard afforded themselves no such luxury and instead scanned the waters for the easterly shift that Erik assured us was coming, while calling for the Code-0 to be brought onto deck.

The shift arrived, and we wasted zero time capitalizing on this evolution. The Code-0 was deployed, our VMG spiked, and we soon rounded the marker at Duwamish Head. The J2 made a reappearance as we jib-reached over towards Blake Island. Better still, the heavy-looking rains to our north were staved off by the convergence zone that we were sailing through, and our sails stayed full and at fast angles.

While I've sailed on Puget Sound for over ten years, I've never seen the breeze cooperate so well with a racecourse. A few quick tacks were required to get around Blake Island, but as we started charging back uphill towards the still-distant finishing line, Bates (another fantastic sailor and friend) made the call that we'd be able to fetch the entire leg on starboard tack, provided we could clear Three Tree Point.

We peeled to our J3 as the wind speeds built with the growing white caps. We crossed the finishing line just after 1400 hours to the astonishment of all onboard, as this is a race that we've previously only finished after sunset.

While the racing was fun, the day's highlight came as calls for the A2 resounded once we cleared Three Tree Point for the fourth and final time, our bow aimed for the barn. As soon as we finished jumping the halyard, all crew to piled onto the port quarter as our fun meter started kicking off the day's best metrics. Jake, an accomplished all-around skiff and big-boat sailor, took the helm and promptly posted the day's best number: 18.2 knots.

Regardless of which crew helped make the save, with these kind of winter races, our community of sailors all looks out for each other, providing a broad safety net. At the end of the day, all Puget Sound racing sailors are fortunate to be a part of a community with so many well-sailed boats and safety-minded skippers and crews." Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson.  For more Three Tree Point Yacht Club's Duwamish Head Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, January 27, 2020

BRUTUS Nips J/70 Monaco Winter Series III

J/70s sailing off Monaco
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- It took one small point to clinch victory, as Act 3 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series went down to the wire. The event was organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with clothing supplier SLAM.

The 45 teams of 13 nationalities who had made the trip were not disappointed, with five races completed in optimal conditions ranging from a 5-12 knot westerly, ending on a 10-14 knot easterly.  For the 180 sailors it was another opportunity to experience the race area that is set to host the J/70 World Championship in October 2021. A dress rehearsal which drew international competitors like the Corinthian team from Seattle Yacht Club, as well as 11 Nordic teams including four from Sweden, one from Finland and one from Denmark.

J/70 Russia ARTTUBE
The Russians on ARTTUBE, led by the talented Valeriya Kovalenko, pulled out all the stops in an attempt to snatch victory, but their record of an 8-1-1-9-2 for 12 pts net was not enough to dethrone Charles Thompson’s British team on BRUTUS. They may be in the Corinthian (amateur) category, but the BRUTUS boys proved they have what it takes to win at the highest level. Impeccable from start to finish, the British Royal Southern Yacht Club team kept up the pressure throughout the three days, showing remarkable consistency in their record with a 2-2-4-3-5 for 11 pts net total.

It was the Bo Pedersen's Danish crew on UPUPUP that grabbed third to complete the podium with an 11-23-2-12-3 tally for 28 pts net. In fact, they were equal on points and won the tie-breaker over Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G-SPOTTINO from the Yacht Club de Monaco, their record was a commendable 6-UFD-7-8-7.

J70 Monaco Winter Series podium
Rounding out the top five was another top Russian team, Sergey Sobolev's ELF team posted another consistent record that was punctuated by a last race win- a 13-11-10-10-1 tally for 32 pts net.

Corinthians Division
Winning the Corinthians was Thompson's BRUTUS, with a significant lead. Taking second was the Swiss team of QUARTER2ELEVEN, skippered by Nick Zeltner, and following them in third was the Netherland's JELLOW helmed by Maarten Jamin.

Winter Series Provisional Rankings
This weekend’s win was enough to propel BRUTUS to the top of the provisional ranking for the Winter Series with 43 points under their belts after 15 races. Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, who had led the fleet after the first two Acts, now sits in 2nd place. Winners in 2017 and 2018, Kovalenko's ARTTUBE have their sights set on a three-peat, and their 2nd place this weekend takes them onto the third step of the provisional podium after three Acts.

All eyes are now on the 36th Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse which is racing in two weeks from February 6th to 9th in Monaco.  For more Yacht Club Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

J/Fest St. Petersburg Regatta Preview

J/88 sailing J/Fest St Petersburg (St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January marks the occasion for the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida. Sailing will take place from January 23rd to 26th, with teams of J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay.

The regatta represents the 2020 J/88 Midwinter Championship, with crews participating from the Midwest and the Northeast. Many top crews in the class will be looking forward to a break from the frigid temperatures up North. No one would be surprised if Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE team is already on the road headed south from Chicago, IL to escape the sub-zero temperatures in the upper Midwest! From the northeast, watch for these teams to be near the top of the leaderboard; Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from New Rochelle, NY; Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO from Rochester, NY; Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss's ONE TOO MANY from Storm Trysail Club, and William Purdy's WHIRLWIND from City Island Yacht Club in New York.

J/111 sailing J/Fest St PetersburgSimilarly, the J/111s will be hosting their Midwinter Championship at J/Fest St Pete. A quartet of very competitive crews will be in attendance. Top dog with current bragging rights should be the 2019 J/111 World Champion- Rob Ruhlman and family aboard their famous SPACEMAN SPIFF. In addition, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY, Doug Curtiss's WICKED 2.0 from New Bedford YC, and Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Hampton, VA will be mixing it up with the Cleveland gang for class honors. For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

J/70 Bacardi Winter Series II Preview

J/70 Bacardi Midwinters in Miami, FL (Miami, FL)- As event 2 of the 2019/2020 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series unfolds January 23rd to 26th, many of the world’s top J/70 sailors will resume their battle for supremacy on the waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami.

In December 2019, the first of this three-event series featured twenty-one boats for the J/70 fleet, coming from Brazil, Canada, Germany and the USA, with a climb to fifty-three entries for this weekend’s event and three new nations: Great Britain, Italy and Mexico.

Six windward/leeward races are scheduled for the J/70 fleet. The breeze set to be light and fickle as the regatta kicks off, building to a different race track over the weekend with an expected 11-13 knots forecast.

A mixed weather system in December’s event 1, with big breeze followed by light airs for two days led to mixed results in the J/70 class. The J/70 to beat is the team on SURGE skippered by Ryan McKillen, who showcased their tenacity to bounce back after a mid-series shocker to claim the win in December. His team was not exactly comprised of a bunch of "hacks", they included Mark Mendelblatt, John Wallace, and Sam Loughborough- all champion sailors in their own right. They are just one of twenty-five talented teams making the trip to Miami to stake out front of fleet finishes in a fight that will be finely balanced.

Amongst those strong on talent are Jeff Janov on MINOR THREAT, racing with a crew of Dave Ullman, Ben Mercer and Doug McLean, all highly experienced in getting results in under-powered wind conditions. MINOR THREAT finished second in December, just two points behind SURGE. Trey Sheehan and crew on HOOLIGAN also proved their ability to nail fluky breeze wins back in December, scoring two bullets in light pressure to finish third overall.

Joel Ronning and his team on CATAPULT, who won event 2 of last year’s Winter Series and claimed the J/70 World Championships silver medal in September 2019, struggled to balance out an up and down scorecard in event 1. They finished in 6th place, so they will be eyeing a return to form and upgrade to their usual podium placing. Joining the fleet after some time off is Glenn Darden's talented crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, his crew includes two rock stars- Eric Doyle and Max Skelley (Star and J/105 Champions). Other teams that have dialed up their efforts include Oivind Lorentzen's NINE, John Brim's RIMETTE, Pam Rose's ROSEBUD (with superstar crew Willem Van Waay aboard), Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE also from Fort Worth Boat Club, and perhaps the "sleeper" of the regatta- Buddy Cribb's VICTORY with a few characters on his crew list that actually know how to sail- Scott Ewing and Greiner Hobbs.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing and scoring information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 24, 2020

STC Lauderdale to Key West Race Preview

J/121 sailing Lauderdale Key West Race
(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The third week of January has traditionally marked the start of the American offshore sailing season on the east coast. That event is the next race in the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series- the famous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race that starts on January 23rd, 2020. The race is a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port. The Storm Trysail Club and Fort Lauderdale YC host the race.

It is always a challenging race in light or strong breezes as teams are forced to sail in a narrow band of water to avoid the adverse, northerly-flowing, Gulf Stream currents and the precipitous walls of coral on the northern side of the course that are the Florida Keys.

The race track is simple enough, start off the Ft Lauderdale inlet, then head south to several key turning marks to be left to starboard- 68.0nm to Elbow Key Light, 12.0nm more to Molasses Reef Light, 53.0nm more to Sombrero Key Light, 45.0nm more to Key West Channel buoy #2, then a short 6.0nm sprint north up the Key West Channel to the finish off Truman Annex Navy base.  Because of the current off Key West (a channel that seemingly has half the Gulf of Mexico empty through it), the last 6.0nm can often be the most frustrating in the race in an ebb tide and light winds!

J/44 sailing offshore Lauderdale to Key West RaceSailing in ORC B class is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX and Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Bristol YC in Bristol, RI.

Racing PHRF A Class is Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG from North Cape YC in Toledo, OH and Hanson Bratton & Thomas Anderson's J/120 KAIROS from Bayview Yacht Club from Michigan.

Finally, sailing PHRF B is the J/92 HILLBILLY, sailed by Brad Stowers from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL. For Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race results.  For more Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/99 Pacific Northwest Debut at Seattle Boat Show!

J/99 at Seattle show

(Seattle, WA)- Make your plans now to view the brand new, triple-award winning, 32' Offshore Speedster- the J/99! Sail Northwest in Seattle will be showing their boat indoor at the Seattle Boat Show, Century Link Field Event Center. The Seattle Boat Show goes from January 24th to February 1st, 2020.
The J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World Champion J/112E. The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker.  For more Seattle Boat Show information and tickets Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Warrior Sailing Update for 2020

J/22 Warrior sailingThe Warrior Sailing organization has steadily expanded over time to better serve the needs of America's war veterans. It is a noble effort to get those veterans an on-the-water experience that helps them better cope with both themselves and a team of people. A large part of the Warrior Sailing experience makes use of standard J/22s and handicap-equipped J/22s at various sailing organizations across the USA. From the West to the East and the Great Lakes to Florida, thousands of war veterans have had the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of sailing on J/22s everywhere. Here is the current Warrior Sailing schedule for 2020: 
  • Mar 13-17:  Charleston, SC, Certification Course
  • Apr 22-27:  Charleston, SC, Charleston Race Week Regatta
  • May 14-18:  Fort Worth, TX, Basic Training
  • Jun 8-12:  San Diego, CA, Basic Training
  • Jun 19-20:  Great Lakes Basic Training 
  • Jun 26 to July 27: Warrior Sailing Great Lakes Tour
  • Aug 17-21 Certification Course (Park City, UT)
  • Sep 12: Newport, RI- Sail For Hope 
  • Sep 21-25: San Diego, CA- National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic
  • Oct 12-16: Annapolis, MD- Basic Training Camp 
  • Nov 30 to Dec 4:  St Petersburg, FL, Basic Training Camp
Please help the Warrior Sailing program in any way possible; whether it's volunteering, providing money support, or support in-kind.  Please contact Cory Kapes, Warrior Sailing Program Manager here: / (727) 773-6164 Add to Flipboard Magazine.

CHECKMATE Crowned 2020 Australian J/24 National Champion

J/24s sailing off Sydney, Australia
(The Spit, Mosman, NSW, Australia)- The 2020 Australian J/24 Championship was sailed over four days of racing in a variety of sailing conditions.  Race Officer Steve Tucker and the Middle Harbor Yacht Club Race Management Team completed the full schedule of twelve races with two days of north-easterly winds and two days of cooler southerly breezes on Sydney Harbour. It was a closely-fought battle for the top of the leaderboard, but in the end, it was the 2019 J/24 Australian Champion that managed to defend their title in 2020- Brendan Lee's team on CHECKMATE from Sandringham, Victoria. Here is how it all went down for the sixteen teams in the four-day, twelve-race, two-discards regatta.

J/24 sailing off Australia
Day 1- Light and Shifting
The first day saw racing on The Sound of Sydney Harbour in a light south-easterly that became moderate in the afternoon. It was a gentle start to four days of racing, with wind strength and temperature forecast to rise as the event progressed.

In the first race of the day, Lee's CHECKMATE was third behind Steve Wright’s TINTO (Cronulla SC), the runner-up for last year’s championship, but thirty seconds ahead was Middle Harbour sailor John Crawford and the crew of INNAMINCKA.  In race two, CHECKMATE took a narrow win from David West’s Ace (MHYC) and TINTO was third.

For the final race, Race Officer Steve Tucker signaled for three laps of the windward-leeward course running from south of Cannae Point out through the Sydney Heads, where the breeze held steady around 130 degrees throughout the afternoon and kept the fleet clear of the ferry lanes. David McKay’s STAMPED URGENT, the Cronulla team who placed third at the 2019 Nationals, were first home ahead of Simon Grain’s JET (Sandringham YC) and CHECKMATE.

At the end of day one, CHECKMATE led the series score by 3 points with TINTO (Steve Wright) second and INNAMINCKA (John Crawford) tied for third with STAMPED URGENT (David McKay).

J/24s sailing off Sydney, Australia
Day 2- Moderate and Pretty Day
As the morning southerly slowly turned east, and then northeast, and freshened, the smoke haze cleared over Sydney Harbour to provide some good racing conditions. The MHYC race management team set a course between Middle Head and North Head for another three races.

Race 4 was completed in an unsettled breeze with TINTO the winner by 11 seconds from CHECKMATE and VORTEX. The breeze had increased slightly for Race 5 but it was still fluky close to the top mark. STAMPED URGENT made the best of the conditions to finish ahead of Middle Harbour’s David West on ACE and TINTO in third.

Race Officer Steve Tucker “tweaked” the course for Race 6, but there was some excitement on the start line with a number of boats making contact.  CALYPSO (Paul Donnelly / RMYC) and PHOENIX (Joanna Lecka / CYCA) both suffered damage; with PHOENIX later sinking on Clontarf Beach within sight of the Middle Harbour Yacht Club marina!  The boat was eventually re-floated and hoped to be back for the following day (nothing a lot of epoxy cannot fix!).  Back on The Sound this afternoon, TINTO claimed another win, this time ahead of Warren Slater’s JAB and CHECKMATE.

Two wins for the TINTO crew moved them to the top of the series table, one point ahead of CHECKMATE and eight points clear of the top local boat  ACE.

J/24s sailing upwind off Australia
Day 3- HOT and Great Breeze
With the mercury rising to the mid-thirties C (that's HOT!), humidity around 40% and the breeze topping 20 knots, it was an exhausting third day for the sailors.

Three windward-leeward races were completed on a course set between the Sow & Pigs Reef and North Head with an axis of 025 degrees for the first two. INNAMINCKA was fast out of the blocks, claiming their second win of the series in Race 7 ahead of STAMPED URGENT and CHECKMATE. The breeze freshened to 18 knots in Race 8 and TINTO was back at the front, leading STAMPED URGENT and CHECKMATE to the line. For the final race of the day, the breeze had backed to 015 degrees and was 20-plus knots.  Grain'S JET crew loved the conditions and scored their first win, with TINTO in second and INNAMINCKA third. 

After nine races, TINTO had a four point lead over CHECKMATE in the championship series score; meanwhile STAMPED URGENT was another seven points adrift in third.

J/24s starting off Sydney
Day 4- Epic Finale!
The final trio of races on the fourth day started in a moderate to fresh southerly with the course moved out of The Sound and set between Obelisk Bay and Neilson Park in search of flatter water. Shockingly, regatta leader TINTO posted their two worst results in races 10 and 11 (an 8th & 7th), handing the series lead on a silver platter to the CHECKMATE crew that had posted another steady 2-1 tally. In short, with just one race left, the CHECKMATE could have DNF'd the race and went home delirious with their good fortune and celebrating with a few dozen "tinnies"; however, that was not the case. The story gets better, or worse, depending on which boat you were on.

With the wind building to 20-25 knots, things got very interesting for the final Race 12. It took two General Recalls before the last race got underway. After getting completely flumoxed and frazzled in the first two races to give away the Championship, the TINTO team managed to collide with the Committee Boat in the final pre-start...adding insult too injury, as one might say. As a result, they were slow off the line and 11th at the first leeward rounding, half-way through the W2 course.  Meanwhile, CHECKMATE was having issues of their own! At the same half-race leeward gate, they managed put their spinnaker in the water (yes, a full-on shrimping mates!), and the resulting tangle caused them to retire and take a DNF! Meanwhile, STAMPED URGENT, the boat placed third in the series, was following INNAMINCKA in the lead at the first leeward rounding, and held on to post a handy second. A shocking outcome to all, to say the least! It was a "rumble in the jungle" in the blustery finale, the final tally showed a much closer finish and a complete re-shuffling of the leaderboard as a result of several fiascos in that last race!

Australian J/24 Champions
At the conclusion of four day’s racing, Brendan Lee and the CHECKMATE crew of Daniel Abbas, Daniel Cave, Will Shears, Keren Reynolds and Belinda Christie were declared the Australian J/24 Champions for 2020.  While CHECKMATE was able to drop their DNF score and finish on 25 points, Steve Wright’s TINTO had a disappointing day posting 8-8-7 to slide back from series leader into third place behind McKay’s STAMPED URGENT.

MHYC’s Vice Commodore of Racing, Geoff Charters, presented the J/24 National Championship awards and J/24 Australia Class President Ron Thomson presented the Handicap Prizes. First on handicap was PHOENIX (Joanna Lecka), second BAILE DE LUNA (Adam Keyes-Tilley) and third KAOTIC (Geoff Pearson).  A special award was made to David McKay for an incredible effort getting the sunken PHOENIX back on the race track the following day.

While there were no red flags on the final day, the protest committee were kept busy with eight protests and hearings held on each of the first three days. It took two hearings to unravel the facts of the start line incident in Race 6 involving four boats which saw two with significant damage and one sinking at Clontarf Beach before reaching the safety of the MHYC Marina.

Many thanks to the Middle Harbour Yacht Club race management volunteers, the protest panel and NSW J24 Association volunteers for enabling the Championships to run so smoothly, and to Marg Fraser-Martin for the great photography.  For more J/24 Australian National Championship sailing information: Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Franco's 3 BALL JT Smokes J/70 Davis Island Winter Series II

J/70 Savasana sailing Tampa
(Tampa, FL)- Fresh off their winter holidays, fifty-three J/70 teams savored spectacular conditions on Tampa Bay for the middle part of the 2019-2020 J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida. With record high temperatures in Tampa, winds were ripping on Saturday, starting at a sustained 16 knots with gusts in the 20s. Four races were completed, as the wind slowly backed off. Sunday saw about 8 knots, dying throughout the day, when two more races took place.

Reveling in the spectacular sailing conditions was Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT. His all-star cast of Bill Hardesty, Alec Anderson and Rob Lindley, ruled the six races, posting five bullets and an eighth for just 5 net points. Brian Keane’s SAVASANA placed second on the weekend with 26 points, but leads the overall ranking (with the final of the Series to come). Darby Smith’s AFRICA took a second in Sunday’s final contest, moving her into third for the weekend with 28 points. Rounding out the top five was a tiebreaker at 31 pts each, winning the countback was the duo of Mark Foster and Travis Odenbach on HONEYBADGER while the duo of Josh Goldman and Allen Terhune took the fifth.

Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH Team of Matt Clark, Michael Whitford and Patrick Hitchins, topped the 23-boat Corinthian division. They were followed by Peter Firey's PHOENIX in second and Tod Sackett's FM in third.

Each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 leads the "Porch Series', which includes a North Sails debrief. Mike Marshall was this week’s coach. Practice races were run, followed by a debrief and prizes. The Series concludes February 7-9.  For more Davis Island Winter Series sailing information

Monday, January 20, 2020

J/70 Fastest Growing One-Design Class in South America

J/70 sailing off Chile
Just after North Sails swept the podium at the J/70 Chilean Nationals at the end of 2019, we sat down with Torkel Borgstrom to talk about class growth across the continent. He says the J/70 is growing in a very similar way to how the J/24 grew, thirty-plus years ago. With boats built in Buenos Aires, “It is becoming one of the most important and competitive classes in South America. And most of the sailors here use North Sails, including the top ones, because they perceive that it’s an advantage in terms of performance.” The first South American country to build a fleet was Chile, about seven years ago. “Right now there are probably 30-35 boats, and the numbers are stable.”

Uruguay has another 30-boat fleet, he continues. “And Brazil was one of the first countries that started with a J/70, but due to some restrictions on importation, they only have around ten boats. But every time they participate internationally, they do well.” Add in another 35 boats from Argentina, and it’s easy to see why Torkel says the J/70 “has become one of the strongest and most interesting one design classes. The regattas are very, very competitive, and normally there are a lot of boats participating.”

In Brazil, a lot of professional sailors have moved into the J/70 because the competition is so good. In the rest of South America, Torkel explains, the approach is more like in the US; most sailors are either amateur or people work in the industry, but don’t specialize in J/70s.

The J/70 South Americans in Punta del Este had great conditions but only 32 boats participated, which surprised Torkel—though he wasn’t surprised to see a  Argentinian tie for first. “Most of the sailors are new, and so when you put together a good crew like the one Guillermo Parada has, they normally will win most of the events.” As for the disappointing turnout, he blames it on the current political instability, particularly in Chile but also in Argentina. “Every time we have elections here, things get a little bit unstable. So I believe this is the reason why we haven’t seen more boats.”

Based on what he’s seen so far, Torkel is excited about the future of the class. “In January, we have the Rolex Atlantic Circuit regatta, which is one of the most important ones here. I expect to see more boats sailing in that event.” Longer term, “the good sailors ended up sailing in the J/24s, and the same thing is going to happen with the J/70s. So you will see more people from South America, Argentina especially, going into the international events and starting to do much better every year. We foresee that in the next five to eight years, we’ll continue growing slowly, and continue improving in terms of competitiveness.”  Sailing Photo Credits- Matias Capizzano Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NEW WAVE Wins J/70 Chilean Nationals

J/70 sailing off Chile
(Algarrobo, Chile)- Fresh off sailing the recent J/70 South American Championship in Punta del Este, Uruguay, a number of teams headed back across the formidable Andes Mountains range back northwest to Algarrobo, Chile for the 2020 J/70 Chilean National Championship, hosted by Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico.

Twenty-six teams participated in the regatta and many them participated in the training program provided by the Doyle Sails Team. Running the sailing clinic was non other than J/70 World Champion Jud Smith from Marblehead, MA. After the pre-regatta full-day training program that included an onshore debrief, the competitors continued to learn even more about Smith's "speed secrets" during the course of the regatta. Juddie was on-the-water all three days of racing and provided post-race day debriefs at the yacht club for any of the sailors.

The sailors were treated to a fairly typical cross-section of wind and wave conditions off Algarrobo. Friday's racing was light and shifty winds for most of the day. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the fleet enjoyed 10-18 kts of breeze, increasing on Sunday to 15-20 kts...making for a few fun, full-out planing races downwind.

J/70s sailing off Chile
Day 1
In the lighter breezes on the first day, the right side of the course upwind paid off the best. However, late in the day, the seabreeze affect started to pull the breeze left with a little more pressure.  The strongest performance of the day was the Herman brothers on NEW WAVE, they had great starts, solid tactics and very good speed to post a 3-3-2 to sit atop the podium at the conclusion of racing. Not far behind was Matias Seguel's crew on TEAM VOLVO with a 7-1-5 and in third was Vernon Robert's MORENITA team that had just finished 6th in the J/70 South Americans in Punta, posting a 2-2-10 for the day.

J/70 sailing downwind off Chile
Day 2
On Saturday, the wind built a little more and some of the stronger teams took advantage of the wind and wave angles, particularly downwind. The Ducasse family onboard TSUNAMI posted the best record for the day with a 6-9-1. Meanwhile, the regatta leaders on the Herman's NEW WAVE posted a 3-11-4 to hold on to their lead. Meanwhile, Seguel's Team VOLVO also held on to their 2nd spot with a 4-12-2.

Chilean women J/70 teams
Day 3
The stronger wind conditions on the final day certainly played into the hands of the more experienced teams. Dominating the final day and closing out the regatta with a strong performance was the Herman brothers on NEW WAVE, posting a 2-1-4 for a 22 pts net (after one discard); that gave them a 13 pts winning margin. This was the second J/70 Chilean Nationals the Herman brothers have won, taking the first event in 2015 at Lago Panguipulli onboard CAROLINA.

Chile J/70 champions
Taking the silver was Seguel's VOLVO team, closing the regatta with a 3-5-8 for 35 pts net.  Then, rounding out the podium was the Ducasse family on TSUNAMI. Their final day was a bit of a disappointment, as they had been in the running for the overall lead with VOLVO and NEW WAVE. They started off the day winning their second race in a row, but suffered an OCS in Race 8 and, therefore, ruining their chances to win the regatta. They closed with a 2nd to take the bronze. 

After an uncharacteristically bad fourth race- a 21st place- Robert's MORENITA crew demonstrated why they are one of South America's best J/70 teams, closing the gap very quickly on the leaders to finish just 7 pts from second place! In fact, they posted the best record of any team in the last five races- a 1-3-6-2-1, winning the last race by a big margin and securing fourth place. Rounding out the top five was Alejandro Perez's team on PELIGRO.

Winning the Corinthians Division was young Alfredo Urzua on LA NEGRA, second went to Cristóbal Pérez's IL MOSTRO, and third was José A Jimenez and family on DARK SIDE. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

J/160 AVATAR Back to the Caribbean!

We just got a report over the holidays from owner Alan Fougere talking about his beloved J/160 AVATAR:

"Happy Holidays to the extended Johnstone family! Just wanted to let you know, we love our AVATAR. She is a great boat, offshore she's just a rocket! We have completed many upgrades and try to keep her in "Bristol" condition. I have a new power plant ready for installation next summer. This is our 14th season with her, and I hope to keep her for another 14, if I am still walking the planet!

We get many other boaters who swing by and compliment her lines. And, when they see her powered-up, with a bone in her teeth, then they are really impressed!

J/160 off St John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Recently, AVATAR averaged 17 knots all the way from Newport, RI to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Yes, we took the easy way out, we loaded her aboard a transport ship. She has had her winter haul, new clear coat on the topsides, and bottom paint over at BVI Painters @ Nanny Cay Marine Tortola. She is now back in the water and back at her winter home on St. John U.S. Virgin Islands, again at Proper Yachts. She is now a 20-year-old lady, just getting into her prime... built in 1998!

We do normally sail on offshore delivery passages. Last year, in the spring 2019, we sailed San Juan, Puerto Rico to Bermuda. It was an incredible passage! 965.0nm in just over four days! Over 200 nm each day! All white sails the whole way, 100% Jib and double-reefed main. It was truly four days of perfect offshore weather and sailing!"

Saturday, January 18, 2020

VOTE Now for Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year 2020!

Two well-known J sailors are in the final running for the 2020 Rolex YoY Awards for men and women sailors.
Willem and Nicole for Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of Year
VOTE now for Willem van Waay and Nicole Breault for the People's Choice Award for Rolex YoY in their respective categories! Click here.

Willem Van Waay Profile:
Hailing from Coronado, California, Willem proved his wide array of skill sets again in 2019 for several teams across many events and various classes. The tactician’s year was highlighted by a win at the J/24 World Championship in Miami with skipper Keith Whittemore aboard Furio. Van Waay and crew outlasted the fleet of 79 to claim the first-place prize by 16 points through 10 races. They won two races, including two of the last three of the regatta, and posted six top five finishes. The stacked fleet featured five former J/24 World Champions. In addition, Willem has also been J/70 World Champion as trimmer and in 2019 was the winning tactician in the J/70 Midwinters, the Rolex Big Boat Series J/70 Class, the San Diego NOOD J/70 Class, and the Marblehead NOOD J/70 Class.

Nicole Breault Profile:
Sailing most of her year on the famous San Francisco Bay, renowned match racer Nicole has always been a well-rounded and versatile sailor. Her skills as a tactician aboard Good Trade were on full display at the 2019 J/105 North American Championship, held last September in Marblehead, Mass. at the Corinthian Yacht Club. Breault and the crew on Good Trade defeated the fleet of 18 teams. They posted 18 points over eight races and won by an eight-point margin. They won three races, including the final race of the regatta, and never placed outside the top five. Plus, she won the U.S. Match Racing Championship Women's Division racing J/22s and also too the silver in the Nation's Cup Match Racing Championship Women's Division, emblematic of the Women's Match Racing Worlds.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Visit boot Dusseldorf Show Extravaganza- see J/70, J/99, J/112E!

J/112E sailing off Dublin, Ireland
(Dusseldorf, Germany)- The massive, world-famous, Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show is taking place from January 18th to 26th in Dusseldorf, Germany at the sprawling Messe Conference & Exhibit Center. 

With over 300 sailboat-related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.

Renowned as one of the major “arts” centers in Europe, Dusseldorf is both a cultural attraction along the gorgeous Rhine River as well as an amazing boat show to attend- truly one of those cultural events the entire family can enjoy!

On display in Hall 17/ Booth A22 will be the latest J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster, the World Champion J/112E sports cruiser, and the world’s most successful sportsboat- the International J/70.

In Germany alone, the most significant impact on sailing sport has been the evolution of the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, with over 80 sailing clubs participating and thousands of sailors across Germany enjoying fun, tight club racing.  Then, across Europe, there are 14 national SAILING Champions League series that use fleets of 6 to 12 J/70s to ensure close, fair racing- it's a boat that can be sailed by anyone in your sailing community- young and old alike, women, children, and 8 to 80 yrs old! Learn more about the J/70 here.

The premiere next-generation sport-cruiser, the J/112E, is proving to be quite popular in Europe. The J/112E has been enthusiastically enjoyed by sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with a comfortable, spacious, sunny interior. Learn more about the remarkable performance of the J/112E the past two summers in European racing circles- repeating as IRC/ ORC European Champion as well as expanding on her IRC/ ORC World Championship performance in 2018. Learn more about the J/112E sport cruiser here.

Finally, winning enormous accolades across the spectrum of sailors is the latest edition to the J/Sport range, the J/99 offshore speedster. Learn more why she has already been awarded SAIL's Best Boats- "Best Performance Boat", SAILING WORLD's Boat of the Year- "Best Crossover", and British Yachting Awards- "Racing Yacht/ Sportsboat of the Year". Learn more about the J/99 here.  For more Boot Dusseldorf show information and to get on-line tickets. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/42 Rendezvous 2020 Announcement!

In 2019, the J/46 One Design Class totaled 9 boats on the starting line of the Camden Classic Cup. It was a wonderful showing and fun time on the water. However, a J/42 fleet could be larger! Who wouldn’t want to cruise in one of the world’s greatest cruising destinations (Camden, Maine on Penobscot Bay), participate in the spectacular Camden Classics Cup Regatta, and hang out with bunch of enthusiastic J/42 owners? Remember - July is wonderful in Maine.

J/42 sailing off Camden, Maine
Make your plans now to cruise the coast and enjoy two fun days of racing with fellow J/42 skippers and crews. Mark your calendars now- July 23rd, 24th and 25th in Camden, Maine!

In addition to the Camden Classic Cup events, the J/42 fleet will have an Owners Forum “meet and greet” and a post regatta skipper’s race debrief.

The one-design rules, taking into account that J/42 owners are mostly cruisers first, racers second, will be as follows:

  • #3 jibs only, no overlapping sails, spinnakers or drifters – keep it simple
  • Suitable anchor and chain in the bow
  • water tanks and fuel at cruising levels
  • dodgers and Biminis up
  • autopilots, electric assisted winches permitted
  • outboards and grills on the stern rail are encouraged
  • single handed, doubled handed, or a whole gaggle of crew- whatever works for you!
  • One-design ratings: shoal drafts rate 96 and deep keels rate 88
  • no other rating penalties or adjustments
Learn more here: Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/99 Debuts @ Toronto Boat Show


(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- Visit the Toronto International Boat Show, North America’s largest indoor boat show and is the preeminent selling venue for Canada’s recreational boating industry! The show is celebrating 62 years and runs from January 17th to 26th at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, in downtown Toronto.

Making her 2020 Canadian boat show debut will be the exciting J/99 offshore speedster! You can find her at Stand B2 & B3. Presenting the J/99 will be Pat Sturgeon Yachts from Mississauga, ON. For more J/99 visitation information, please contact Pat Sturgeon at phone- 905-278-5100 or email-   For more Toronto Boat Show information and tickets Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, January 17, 2020

J/99 Pacific NW Debut at Seattle Boat Show!

J/99 speedster- awards winner
(Seattle, WA)- Make your plans now to view the brand new, triple-award winning, 32' Offshore Speedster- the J/99! Sail Northwest in Seattle will be showing their boat indoors at the Seattle Boat Show, Century Link Field Event Center. The Seattle Boat Show goes from January 24th to February 1st, 2020.
The J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World Champion J/112E. The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker.  For more J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster information   For more Seattle Boat Show information and tickets Add to Flipboard Magazine.