Saturday, February 29, 2020

J/24 Midwinter Championship Preview

J/24s sailing upwind
(Indian Harbour Beach, Florida)- The Melbourne and Eau Gallie Yacht Clubs will again be hosting the J/24 Midwinter Championship for a competitive fleet of thirty-three J/24 teams from across the country. 

Perhaps the long distance award, and some of the premiere competitors in the regatta, goes to a formidable trio of teams from the Seattle, Washington area.  For starters, there is Keith Whittemore's FURIO team from Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. A close friend of their's is yet another top Seattle team, Mark Laura's BABA LOUIE from Seattle Yacht Club. Then, the third part of that trio is Scott Milne's TREMENDOUS SLOUCH also from Corinthian YC of Seattle.

Taking them on will be two past J/24 World Champions, Mike Ingham's NAUTALYTICS from Rochester Canoe Club in Rochester, New York and John Mollicone's BUCKAROO/ NEW ENGLAND ROPES from Sail Newport and Newport, Rhode Island. All of those teams will be sorely tested by class septuagenarian Tony Parker on his famous BANGOR PACKET from Annapolis Yacht Club and Washington, DC.

Several veterans that will always be near the top of the leaderboard given certain weather conditions will be teams like Dick Tillman's LINDA from the host Melbourne YC, Kirk Reynold's TYRUS from Skaneateles, New York, and Al Constants' BLITZ from Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club from Locust Valley, New York.
For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

J/Crews Love St Petersburg NOOD Regatta

J/24s sailing on Tampa Bay
(St Petersburg, FL)– The season opener for the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series (a.k.a. NOODS) — the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States- was blessed with nice weather conditions, albeit on the light to medium side of the equation on Tampa Bay this year. The St. Petersburg NOOD regatta, organized by Sailing World and hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, has developed into the one of the largest regattas in Florida, and its 32nd edition saw 185 boats and more than 1,000 professional and amateur sailors converging onto Tampa Bay and the bustling downtown area for racing and fun on the Valentine’s Day weekend on the Bay.

The one-design classes of J/24s, J/70s, and J/88s, saw spirited competition, for the most part. Here is what took place day-by-day on the various race courses.

J/70s sailing on Tampa Bay
Day 1- Light and Fickle
Iris Vogel, of New Rochelle, NY, skipper of the J/88 DEVIATION, won her recent J/88 Midwinter Championship and, Friday, on the waters off St. Petersburg, Vogel and her teammates continued their winning streak with a win in the only race of the day. Light winds proved challenging for the race committees and the regatta’s 193 teams racing in 13 different classes.

Vogel came away with the race win, but it wasn’t easy. “We were deep at the first weather mark, but just focused downwind going from puff-to-puff,” Vogel said. “The team did an excellent job coming back to win the race.”

Four of the six J/88s hail from New York and use the St. Petersburg NOOD for winter training. Vogel says the level of competition in the class is very high as a result. “We are an active travel fleet; not to mention every team is well sailed and it’s anyone’s win at each regatta,” Vogel said. “The racing is that close.”

J/111s sailing on Tampa Bay
Day 2- Moderate and streaky
David Jannetti, skipper of the J/70 VERY ODD, moved into the top spot on the J/70 leaderboard, which Jannetti credits entirely to his professional crew of Scott Nixon, Patrick Wilson and Danny Lawless.

“These guys really know what they are doing, and I am learning a ton from them,” Jannetti said, of Miami. The St. Petersburg NOOD is Jannetti’s fourth regatta after returning from an eight-year absence from the sport. “I’m sitting in the back [of the boat focused on keeping the yarns upfront flying evenly, and they are changing gears constantly,” Jannetti said. “They’re keeping everything tuned perfectly, working the body weight on the boat and helping me minimize mistakes.”

He credited Nixon for saving the day’s last race after a poor start. “With great tactics and the right windshifts, we still managed to round the top mark in first. I initially thought ‘Oh, where is that throwout,’ but he turned it around.”

Jannetti is looking forward to accelerating the learning curve in tomorrow’s final day of racing, but he is fully aware of the depth of talent at the top of the class. “The other boats will remind you very quickly if you make a mistake,” he said. “My goal is to keep it light, keep it fun and go home with a smile on my face.”

J/70 Youth sailors in St Petersburg, FL
Two junior teams sponsored by Helly Hansen are battling hard in the J/70 fleet. The all-female team, skippered by 17-year-old Heather Kerns, of Apollo Beach, Fla., is made up of high school-aged sailors and say they are “having a blast doing the event with ‘girl power.’” Together for almost four years, they finished third overall in the 2019 J/70 U.S. Youth National Championship, held at the NOOD’s host club, St. Petersburg YC.

Kerns and her team concluded today’s racing on a high note, finishing fourth, which she attributes to them sailing a well-rounded race. “We got a good start and stayed focused on boatspeed and good communication,” Kerns said. “The wind had picked back up and since we are a light team we really focused on de-powering. Everything just came together. It’s fun to show the guys that an all-girls team is competitive; and it’s great to have Helly Hansen supporting us.”

J/88 Deviation sailing St Petersburg NOOD Regatta
Day 3- Awesome Finale
First-time St. Petersburg NOOD skipper, David Jannetti in the J/70 class, won top honors. With a 1-5 scoreline Sunday, Jannetti and his teammates on VERY ODD, cemented their lead. While they finished fifth in the final race, Jannetti said it was the result of a strategic decision to ensure no surprises from Dave Kerr’s second-place USA 1516. “We were keeping tabs on them and doing a loose cover,” said Jannetti. “While that was our worst finish, it was still the right thing to do.”

Jannetti, of Miami Beach, Fla., said he is already planning his return. “St. Pete is such a fun and vibrant city. We enjoyed great sailing all weekend; and it has been a great way to warm up for next weekend’s J/70 Midwinter Championship.”

Rounding out the podium behind Jannetti and Kerr was the well-traveled Travis Odenbach on his notorious HONEYBADGER. The rest of the top five included Matt Braun's E.L.E. in fourth and Mike Schroff's ELECTRIC PICKLE in fifth place.

Michael Quaid, of Williston, Vt., skipper of the J/24 ICE CUBE is a longtime NOOD competitor, and while his team finished third in 2019, this was his year. “To win feels great,” said Quaid, praising his longtime crew and its light-air sailing skills. “We scored four firsts when it was light, but when the breeze came up like in Saturday’s first race, it was our worst finish [fourth place]. The mid-range conditions today were my favorite; it made for a lot closer racing. It was very tactical and exciting.”

Finishing in second place in the J/24s was Nate Vilardebo's SABOTAGE while third place went LUCIFERS HAMMER. The balance of the top five included Jon Stewart's BREEZE in fourth and Rick Jarchow's TEAM EXIT STRATEGY in fifth position.

Iris Vogel and her team on DEVIATION finished on top of the six-boat J/88 fleet with five first-place and two fifth-place finishes. She said the key to her team’s success was not to panic, especially after a few bad starts. “This fleet is so competitive,” said Vogel, of New Rochelle, NY. “There are no favors in this fleet; all the racing is very close and every little move counts. What saved us was good crew work, making the right calls and keeping our head out of the boat. The conditions were constantly changing all weekend.”

J/88 Exile from Chicago on Tampa Bay
The balance of the J/88 podium saw Andy Graff's Chicago-based crew on EXILE take the silver, with William Purdy's WHIRLWIND taking the bronze. The rest of the top five included Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOO MANY in fourth and Dave Tufts' GAUCHO in fifth.

In the PHRF handicap classes, the J/Crews nearly swept all the top spots. In PHRF 1 Division, the J/111s did sweep the podium in quite a convincing fashion against their eclectic fleet of a dozen boats. Winning yet again in successive weekends was SPACEMAN SPIFF skippered by Jim Sminchak. The silver went to Ian Hill's SITELLA and third to Doug Curtiss' beautiful black and green WICKED 2.0.

J/111 Wicked 2.0 sailing off St. Petersburg, FL
Winning PHRF 2 Division, it was Stephen Mitcham's J/105 BREEZIN BAYOU that set the pace all weekend to take class honors. Third on the podium went to yet another J/105, George Cussins' FIRE & ICE.

The PHRF 3 Division was bracing for yet another onslaught of the dueling J/29s to lay waste to the fleet. While it may have been a touch light airs for that outcome to happen, Ray Mannix's team on the J/29 SEMPER FI continued their annual tradition of collecting silverware in the St Pete NOOD Regatta...for perhaps the 20th time! This time it was silver....losing the regatta as a result of a last race DSQ! Ouch!! Fellow partners in crime, Robert Whetmore's J/29 FAMILY CIRCUS managed a fifth place in this year's edition.

Finally, in Saturday's North Sails Rally- Cruiser Racer Division- it was Jose Suarez-Hoyos' team on the J/35 NO WAY JOSE that managed to sail home after the one long day race with a bronze medal to add to their trophy cave.  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/Outside Images  For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/Crews Sweep Queensland Surf to City Race

J/111 sailing off Australia(Southport, Australia)- The annual Surf to City Yacht Race from Southport on the Gold Coast to Sandgate in Brisbane started on Saturday, February 1st.

There are two fleets for this race, an inshore fleet going inside Stradbroke Island, and an offshore fleet sailing a 100.0nm course up the seaward side of Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island, around Cape Moreton and back into Moreton Bay. Rodger Vinton's J/111 BLACK DOG and James & Sally Crowley's J/122 JAVELIN competed in the 100.0nm offshore course.

At 1000 hrs the race started in 4 knots of breeze that built during the day. Most boats started under Code 0 before the breeze shifted further north, that meant a change to headsail and tacking up the shoreline of Stradbroke to stay out of the current; astonishingly, there were FORTY-TWO tacks recorded on the J/111 BLACK DOG.

J/122 Javelin winning team
Then, it was a long, tight starboard lay to Cape Moreton before turning the corner across the top of Moreton Island to the entrance of the bay at NE2. From there, the course took the fleet on a spinnaker run along past Tangalooma via a series of shoals and channels which are a challenge in the dark. Finally, turning to the southwest at Cowan Cowan for the 14 miles to the finish line, the fleet saw the wind gradually fading and rotating further north. As luck would have it, the wind shifted to the northwest about 1 mile from the finish line! Who knew that J/Boats asymmetrics can double as a headsail! The net result was the J/122 JAVELIN taking IRC handicap honors with the J/111 BLACK DOG taking the silver...good on ya, good show mates! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Hot J/122 Gathering Australian Offshore Silver!

J/122 sailing off Australia
(Perth, Australia)- The Perth-based J/122 JOSS and owner/skipper Ian Clyne continued their winning ways in Western Australia and is proving to be one of the hottest boats on the Western Seaboard. There doesn’t seem to be a week go by that JOSS isn’t on the podium.

Saturday, February 1st saw the 32.0nm "Pot of Gold Race" from Fremantle to Hillary's Yacht Club. While Hillary's YC is located only 14.0 nm north of Fremantle as "the crow flies", so to speak, the zig-zag course produces over 32.0nm of sailing.

J/122 JOSS crew
The race started in a very fluky ESE breeze which saw a spinnaker run to the first mark. That breeze ultimately dropped out during the first seaward leg. During this leg, the breeze shifted south and started to increase. The largest boat in the fleet, a Carkeek 47 began to ease away as the breeze increased. However, JOSS was in the pack with other front runners and it became a closely fought battle between the J/122, a King 40, an Archambault 40 RC. As the race progressed the breeze strengthened and moves to the southwest at about 24 kts, culminating in an exciting duel between JOSS and a King 40 owned by local sailmaker Geoff Bishop. The IRC results produced a 3rd place for JOSS.

The next day was the return to Fremantle Race, known as the "Shepherdess Cup".  The fleet left Hillary's in a very blustery ESE breeze starting with a 6.0nm tight reach. As the fleet moved south, the wind dropped away to a glass out, and it was all about maneuvering to get the new wind first. JOSS was well placed with the southwest wind change and finished 1st on IRC with a corrected time of nearly 4 minutes ahead of the second placed boat. As a result, Clyne's JOSS won the weekend with their 3-1 record! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

J/99 Debuts at Pittwater Sail Expo!

J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster(Pittwater, Australia)- The multiple award-winning new J/99 will be making its Australian boat show debut at the Pittwater Sail Expo from March 21st to 22nd, 2020. 

The J/99 is Category A Certified for offshore racing, due to its exceptional build standard and superior engineering. She is an accessible, high-performance yacht that can easily be adapted to your needs.  The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy-handing by short-handed and fully crewed teams. The 99's enhanced form stability, minimal wetted surface, plus the high-tech rig reflects the latest technological advances. Learn more here about the J/99 Offshore Speedster

Please contact J/Boats Australia here- email- or phone- 02-9997-7158 or visit website- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 24, 2020

RORC Caribbean 600 Race Preview

RORC 600 start
(English Harbour, Antigua)- Sailors from over thirty-seven nations will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 12th edition of the spectacular race will start off Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Monday 24th February 2020. Over 70 teams, featuring close to 700 sailors, are expected on the start line.

RORC 600 sailing race course
The challenging 600-mile race, in tropical heat with ocean swell, is renowned for stunning vistas of the eleven Caribbean islands that are featured as turning marks on the race track. Winners from the Olympic Games, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and multiple world champions have gathered in Antigua and will be competing alongside passionate Corinthian sailors, both young and old.

J/122 Liquid in Caribbean
For a number of J/Teams that love participating in the Caribbean winter offshore sailing circuit, the "reaching tour" of the islands could not be a more perfect scenario. Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan crew on the J/122 LIQUID (with talented young skipper Julian White) will be participating for the fourth time in this “bucket list” race; her team has proven time and again they can race against the world’s best sailors in their Caribbean “backyard” and her “homies” can get the job and get on the podium.

J/160 True sailing offshore
Two other J/Crews are making their debut in the race. From the New England region is Howie Hodgson's J/160 TRUE; they have sailed in the northeast for decades and have sailed Block Island Race Weeks, FIGAWI Races, and Bermuda Races, often jumping onto the podium to garner silverware.

J/121 Whistler sailing offshore
Similarly, Peter Lewis' new J/121 WHISTLER is just starting to get their legs under them. They sailed the Grenada Race Week as their Caribbean 2020 winter season "warm up". Still learning their boat, they are getting faster and faster and with good tactics/ navigation they should be a strong contender in the 600.  For more RORC Caribbean 600 sailing information  Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Islands Race Preview

J/125 sailing Islands Race(San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Islands Race is making its way to the starting line on February 21-22, 2020. Returning to the sea for its 11th annual running, this signature event is expecting over 25 boats to race from Long Beach, California, around offshore landmarks Santa Catalina Island and San Clemente Islands, and then to finish off Point Loma in San Diego.

For many, the Islands Race kicks off start of the 2020 Offshore Racing Calendar and doubles as a shakedown for the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Cabo San Lucas Race or, on alternate years, San Diego Yacht Club's Puerto Vallarta Race. With the race only involving one night at sea, it works as the perfect opportunity to gain offshore experience.

"The Islands Race is our final check before Puerto Vallarta 2020 and we are preparing for it as we would any other major offshore regatta...with safety gear, boat preparation, weather planning, communication, et cetera," explained navigator Ivan Batanov.

J/111 Picosa sailing Islands RaceNewcomer Andrew Wescoat, sailing the J/109 HARMS'S WAY, has an array of offshore races planned after the Islands Race and looks forward to spending some time on the west coast. "This is our first Islands Race. We're bringing Harm's Way from Texas to California to race in a number of offshore events between February and June. Over this past summer, we've been sailing in a number of offshore events in the Gulf of Mexico, so we're really looking forward to this chance to sail with everyone in California."

Roy Disney's giant sled PYEWACKET has a loyal crew that can attest to some of the challenges of the Islands Race. "I've done this race about five times, and it seems to always be a challenge," said Robbie Haines. "There's either lots of wind, or tricky navigational issues. Rounding San Clemente Island is very tactical, especially on the East End. We always seem to finish early morning off Point Loma with interesting transitions to stay in the wind on our way in."

Islands Race course mapCompetitors in the Islands Race will head offshore in west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. Boats will typically encounter better sailing winds in the evening as they get further into the trades, and round Catalina and San Clemente islands. However, as they pass to windward off these islands, they are exposing themselves to larger swells and wind waves that are not blocked by the islands.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges with these offshore winds. “As the winds flow down the coast, they continue south even as the coastal shoreline recedes to the east. This creates a gap between those trade winds and the coastline, over most of Southern California. During the day, the thermal effect pulls those offshore winds into the coast. But, at night, coastal waters are largely calm. However, the trade winds continue to flow, just further out to sea. The Islands Race course places competitors among those night-time winds and gives them valuable night-time offshore sailing experience."

A number of top offshore Southern California J/Teams are participating in this classic "SoCal" race. Sailing the ORR 5 Division is Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY, Doug & Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID, and Paul Stemler's J/44 PATRIOT.  For more Islands Race sailing information

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Eight Bells: Bill Alcott

J/44 Equation - Bill  Alcott William D. Alcott III (“Bill”) of St Clair Shores, Michigan sailed off over the horizon on February 3, 2020 at the age of 83. He had been winning a battle against cancer for 14 years when it finally overtook him, but he enjoyed life to its fullest, even during those battle years, living his life, not his disease.

During that time, he sold his company, immersed himself further in his favorite pursuit, sailboat racing, created an elaborate model train layout, married his long-time sweetheart, built a home on Lake St Clair, and adopted his beloved dog Murphy.

Bill traveled a lot, won a half dozen Mackinac races overall and had most recently shifted his focus to a classic mahogany Hacker Craft, as a tender to his cherished sailboat, Equation. There was no slowing down for retirement or disease.

Perhaps the best inspiration for his successful healthcare informatics business was his love of sailing. Bill was the proud owner of the “Equation” brand – seven sequentially larger racing sailboats (one was his beloved J/44 for ten years) and a long-time member of Bayview Yacht Club. Bill was also a member of the Storm Trysail Club, Society of Mackinac Island Old Goats (BYC), and the Island Goats Sailing Society (CYC), which put him in the illustrious group of “Double Goats” having completed in 25 races each.

Bill raced the Great Lakes, East Coast, Key West, and he especially loved the Caribbean with his devoted crew members, and these were long standing, close personal relationships for him. His crew were family members. His boat rules were simple – no shouting, always show up with a hangover, and if you were late for boat call you had to buy drinks for the entire crew.

His racing program and success on the course are well known and include 47 Port Huron to Mackinac races and 35 Chicago to Mackinac races. He is survived by every sailor who ever had the good fortune to participate on Equation.

Bill loved reading and always had his Kindle in his pocket. He was a skilled banjo and ukulele player and could harmonize to fit in with any barbershop quartet. He taught all his kids to play Frisbee and when they grew up, he taught the dog.

His personal loyalty, his passion for integrity, his bewitching intensity had the power to make everyone feel like family. The foundation of that ability, though, was his real family. He is lovingly and forever remembered by his wife and partner of 32 years- Kim- his three children, his two sisters, and multiple grand-children.

Fair winds and safe harbor, Bill. You will be missed by all of us. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/70 Midwinter Championship Preview

J/70s sailing off Miami, Florida
(Miami, Florida)- The 2020 J/70 Midwinter Championship promises to be a fun, sociable, and wildly competitive regatta; a bit of a reunion of sorts for many top teams that have been at the top of the leaderboard at past Worlds, North Americans, Europeans, and South Americans. Fifty-seven teams from eight nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Denmark) will be represented on the race track on Biscayne Bay. As host for the event, the Coral Reef Yacht Club will have their hands full managing a fleet that has the same depth as most World Championships. At play for the strong representation from foreign crews is the fact the 2020 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by California YC in Marina del Rey, CA in July.

The Coral Reef YC PRO Mark Foster (who performed the same role at last fall's J/24 Worlds) will be blessed with an amazing weather forecast for the weekend. The sailors may see strong northerly breezes on Friday in the 10-20 kts range as a classic weather scenario sets up with a big High pressure to the north squeezing a Low Pressure off to the east. On Saturday and Sunday, the breeze will simply keep swinging Northeast to East and gradually lighten into the 8-15 kts range.

J/70s sailing off Miami, FloridaLooking forward to that weather forecast will be a number of top American teams that have successfully sailed in Biscayne Bay waters with a near "carbon copy" scenario. Those teams may include Jack Franco's 3 BALL JT from Kemah, TX; Doug Strebel's BLACK RIVER RACING from Dallas, TX; Joel Ronning's CATAPULT from Wayzata, MN; John Heaton's EMPEIRIA from Chicago, IL; Glenn Darden's HOSS from Fort Worth, TX; Bruce Golison's MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; the Jeff Janov/ Dave Ullman duo on MINOR THREAT from Malibu, CA; Kevin Downey's MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Heather Gregg skippering MUSE from Boston, MA; Oivind Lorentzen's NINE from Greenwich, CT; Henry Brauer's RASCAL from Marblehead, MA; John Brim's RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Pamela Rose's ROSE from Chicago, IL; Brian Keane's SAVASANA from Boston, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; Ryan McKillen's SURGE from New York, NY; John & Molly Baxter's TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT; David Jannetti’s VERY ODD 1513 from Miami, FL; and Mike Goldfarb's WAR CANOE from Seattle, WA. To say the least, that is an incredibly diverse, amazingly talented group of teams.

As if the USA teams were not strong enough, the foreign teams in attendance are not exactly "window-dressing" or "chump-change".  On the contrary, "the British are coming" is a refrain that may not make many J/70 sailors quake in their proverbial "wellies".  However, most of the teams participating either won the J/70 Worlds in Torquay, England, or have placed in the top ten in the past few Worlds and Europeans.  Britain's Ladbrokes Betting Parlour would certainly place odds on teams like Charles Thompson's BRUTUS (recent winner at Primo Cup Monaco), Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (2019 J/70 World Champion), Martin Dent's JELVIS (J/111 World Champion), and Tilly Harrison's JOLT (Monaco J/70 winner). Then, the two Brazilian teams are always contenders; Selmo Nissenbaum's HIGHLANDERS (with 5x J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz as main/ tactician) and Pedro Camargo's MANCHA NEGRA (a few Lightning Worlds aces on board).  For more J/70 Midwinter Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Golison Tops SCYA J/70 Midwinter Regatta

J/70s sailing SCYA Midwinters off Los Angeles, CA
(Marina del Rey, CA)- The annual Southern California Yachting Association J/70 Midwinter Regatta took place last weekend in what will be the site for the 2020 J/70 World Championship later this summer.  The sixteen J/70s sailed off Marina del Rey, hosted by California Yacht Club. The J/70 teams soon found out which teams were the boats to beat over the two-day regatta.

The Cal YC PRO managed to get three races completed the first day and two more on Sunday to close the series with five races, all counters and no discards.  Jay Golison's IT'S ALL GOOD from Alamitos Bay YC took the title with a fast-out-of-the-box tally of 2-1-2-3-10 for 18 pts.  Second was Jim Murrell's HUCKLEBERRY with multiple-World Champion David Ullman aboard with a record of 1-4-1-6-9 for 21 pts. The podium was pretty tightly packed as the bronze medal team of Craig Tallman on JAYA finished just three points back with a 5-3-3-10-3 scoreline for 24 pts total. Rounding out the top five was Tony Collins' FLY in fourth and Chris Raab's SUGOI in fifth place.  For more SCYA Midwinters 2020 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

J/Crews Sweep Catalina Island Race

J/145 Katara sailing offshore (Los Angeles, CA)- The Los Angeles Yacht Club held their annual Midwinter Around Catalina Island Race the past weekend. Starting the 80.0nm race next to Angels Gate Lighthouse, the PHRF handicap fleet of nearly twenty offshore racers head due west, leaving Catalina Island to port, then head back and finish at Angles Gate Lighthouse. It was a relatively quick race for the fleet, with the bigger boats getting around in about 16 hours.

Winning the PHRF A Division quite handily was Roger Gatewood's J/145 KATARA, winning both class and fleet with a corrected time of 15:49:16.  Winning the PHRF B Division by a country mile was Doug and Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, crossing the line not far off the J/145 pace and correcting out to 17:04:53, good enough for fifth overall. Finally, taking the silver in PHRF B was Daniel Murphy's J/105 CUCHULAINN.  For more Los Angeles YC Catalina Island Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

SAVASANA Wins Davis Island Winter Series Overall

J/70 Savasana wins Davis Island Winter Series
KEY PLAYER Takes Act 3 on Tiebreak with PINTA
(Tampa, FL)- Forty-eight J/70 teams qualified to win the 2019-20 J/70 Winter Series, requiring them to compete with the same boat and skipper in two of the three events held in Tampa, Florida. For the third consecutive year, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA is Series Champion.  Keane’s crew included Nic Baird, Christian Koules, and Conner Harding. The Corinthian Division Series was won by Peter Firey’s PHOENIX with team of Timothy Mangus, Michael McNamara, Ray Wulff, and Eric Mentzell.

J/70s sailing on Tampa Bay, Florida
Fifty teams competed in the final event on February 8-9 which saw perfect sailing conditions all weekend, with winds of 8 to 15 knots, clear blue skies, and temperatures in the 70s. After seven races, it was clear there was going to be a battle for the top of the podium. In the streaky, shifty offshore breezes in the upper part of Tampa Bay, it was a 100% Corinthian team on Eddie Keller's KEY PLAYER fighting off a very professional German team led by Mike Illbruck on PINTA. By winning the last race, Illbruck's super-star crew on PINTA (John Kostecki, Patrick Wilson, and Chris Stocke) put themselves into a tie at 41 points each with Keller's team on KEY PLAYER (Wade Waddell, Chris Keller, and Peter Lynn). KEY PLAYER took the win on countback. Rounding out the podium was Josh Goldman's team on BUILDING A (Al Terhune, Cate Terhune, and Francisco Lobato).  The balance of the top five included the overall series winner- Keane's SAVASANA- in fourth place and the Italian team of ENJOY 1.0 taking fifth place (Carlo Tomelleri, Pietro De Luca, Daniele De Luca, and Alberto Taddei).

J/70 Corinthians winners
Remarkably, the winner of the "Open Division" was also the winner of the Corinthians Division- Keller's KEY PLAYER. Second went to the Argentinean team on JUICY- Francisco Van Avermaete, Geronimo Galvan, Carlos Lacchini, and Rafael De Martis. Third was Tod Sackett's FM with crew of Jeff Haase, Ted Pinkerton, and John Rampe.

For the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series (best 2 of 3 regattas), Keane's SAVASANA won, followed by Goldman's BUILDING A in second and Will Welles' BRIBONA in third.  The rest of the top five included Darby Smith's AFRICA in fourth and John Koten's PLANET CLAIRE in fifth position.

The Corinthians Division series winner was Firey's PHOENIX, followed by Bob Willis' RIP RULLAH in second and Tod Sackett's FM in third place.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Russian J/70 Wins Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse!!

J/70s sailing off Monaco
ELF Dominates J/70 Primo Cup- Credit Suisse Regatta

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Yacht Club Monaco's 36th Primo Cup– Trophée Credit Suisse took place last weekend off Monte Carlo, Monaco in what could only be described as "champagne" sailing conditions. For the first time in recent memory, the enormous sixty-five-boat J/70 fleet was treated to brilliant sunshine, relatively flat waters, and southerly breezes in the 8 to 15 knots range for all three days.

Yacht Club Monaco and harbor
The regatta was the first "dress rehearsal" for the 2021 J/70 World Championship that will be sailed in the same waters and hosted by YC Monaco from 18th to 23rd October, 2021. Last year's winner, Ludovico Fassitelli on JUNDA, commented that, “you have to be constantly on the alert, always on the lookout without ever lowering your guard. Obviously, we want to win, but at the same time we are trialing new sails to decide which to use for the Worlds”.

J/70 Monaco Primo Cup winners
From day one, the Russians on ELF flew into the lead, never to relinquish the top of the podium.  On the first day, they were fast out the starting blocks with three 2nd places. By Sunday afternoon, they had won their first-ever YCM Primo Cup Trophee Credit Suisse regatta; their skipper Mikhail Sheremetev and crew (Sergey Sobolev, Maksim Sheremetev, Pavel Sysoev, and Mikhail Chegurov) were overjoyed with their amazing performance. The Swiss team on CER APROTEC- VILLE DE GENEVE, skippered by Nelson Mettraux, took back to Geneva the silver medal. Finally, taking the bronze was YC Monaco's own Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, skippering G-SPOTTINO. The balance of the top five included the "hard-luck" American team on FURIO in fourth place, they were in second place overall going into the last day, but a disastrous last race 26th dropped them off the podium. Taking fifth position was the Cyprus/ Russian team on AMAIZ, skippered by Viacheslav Martynov.

J/70 Monaco Primo Cup Corinthians winners
The Corinthians Division saw extremely tight racing with the winners determined on a tie-breaker at 60 points each.  Winning that tie-break on count-back was United Kingdom crew on BRUTUS- skipper Charles Thompson with crew of Tony Hanlon, Ian Southworth, and Craig Burlton. Taking the silver was Cesar Gabasio's Monaco team on TINNJ70 that included Paolo Canale, Pietro Corbucci, and Gianluca Caboni.  Third went to a well-known YC Monaco crew- Stefano Roberti's PICCININA with crew of Axelle Foucaud, Yves Drappier, and Ludovic Broquaire.   Sailing video highlights of first day   For more YC Monaco Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Seeking Sailors for Mixed Double-handed Offshore– Newport Bermuda Race

J/105 Young America youth offshore team
(Newport, RI)- The Young American Sailing Academy (YASA) is seeking interested sailors to join the YASA sailing team and participate in a mixed double-handed offshore program.

The first step of this program is sailing the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race as mixed double-handed entries. Do you have the passion and the skills to be part of a winning team, sailing mixed double-handed offshore for three to four demanding days? If this is your calling, please apply with YASA.

J/105 Young America youth teamNewport Bermuda Race
YASA will have two mixed double-handed entries in the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race. At 640 nm the Newport Bermuda Race is the only race of distance and duration to be relevant to the upcoming World Championships and the 2024 Olympic event, which is planned to be a 3-4-day duration. The Newport Bermuda Race is an ideal training event for those seeking the near-term goal of qualifying for the World Sailing Championships to be sailed October 2020.

Using the boats immediately available, YASA is upgrading its two J/105s for double-handed offshore sailing. The boats are being equipped and configured with high quality instruments/auto pilots and offshore sail configurations. J/105s have successfully sailed transatlantic and transpacific races, and given their size and setup are considered appropriate equipment for mixed offshore training.

If the demand is sufficient from skilled and qualified sailors, YASA will work to provide additional boats for mixed duos.

Selection Process
Interested skippers are asked to submit their sailing resumes and their expression of interest. The YASA selection committee will select a short list from the submissions from which interviews will be conducted leading to the selection of the final skippers. Second tier and backup crews will be selected at the same time. Interested sailors may apply either as individuals or as a pre-formed team.

The Application Information
The selection committee anticipates starting to review applications February 25 with the intention of making selections by March 15. Contact Peter Becker below.

YASA has been a youth centric program from its inception and consistent with that bias we encourage interest from youthful participants (< 25), however all candidates regardless of age will be considered.

Some of the qualities and characteristics that are desirable in a skipper candidate are the following:

  • “Skipper” frame of mind and team attitude
  • Having a gas-pedal – i.e. the ability to do all things to make a boat go fast in all conditions
  • Prior experience with offshore endurance sailing, preferably short-handed
  • Tireless, flexible, curious and tenacious
  • Focused and with a willingness to commit to an intense campaign
  • Knowledge in weather and weather routing
J/105s sailing offshore
YASA Framework & Support

Projects such as this are dependent on funding, YASA as a 501(c) (3) provides the tax advantaged framework for charitable donations and commercial support to help meet the funding requirements. YASA will enhance its social media campaign promoting the project, its sponsors and highlighting the sailors.

As previously mentioned, YASA is providing the boats and is working hard to deliver the associated equipment and upgrades. There is and will be plenty of work and preparation required which YASA will support in every way possible.

Team/ Skipper Commitments
Each skipper should be committed to providing the following:
  • Commitment to working and training hard to become an elite short-handed sailor
  • Achieving and maintaining a high level of physical conditioning
  • Commitment to fundraising in support of the project budget (approx. $8,500/crew member)
  • Providing personal safety equipment, offshore gear and associated supplies
  • Having the time, energy, passion and excitement about mixed offshore sailing
Provisional Budget
The provisional budget for each of the two boats for the Newport Bermuda Race campaign is approximately $17,000. This budget includes the entry and operational expenses as well as the necessary safety equipment and ORR rating. It does not include capital upgrades, which include B&G H5000 Hercules instruments and pilot and offshore sail inventory.

This is the moment to find and create American’s talent in the short-handed offshore discipline. In four years, there is an Olympic medal up for the taking, let’s set a course toward that goal and enjoy the journey.

Contact- Peter Becker- phone- 917-715-1471 or email- or website- Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Preview

J/70 Helly Hansen Youth teams (St Petersburg, FL)– Everything is shaping up in St. Petersburg, Fla., to kick off a great season opener for the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series — the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States. The St. Petersburg NOOD regatta, organized by Sailing World and hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, has developed into the one of the largest regattas in Florida, and its 32nd edition will see 185 boats and more than 1,000 professional and amateur sailors converging onto Tampa Bay and the bustling downtown area for racing and fun on this Valentine’s Day weekend on Tampa Bay.

J/88s sailing on Tampa BayThe weekend weather forecast is promising to deliver perfect Florida conditions for the sailors representing 27 states and three countries: seasonal temperatures, sunshine and a mix of breezy and moderate winds will challenge the 17 different classes of sailboats racing in either one-design J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/111s or PHRF (handicapped). A distance race across Tampa Bay will be held for select classes on Saturday only.

Travis Odenbach, of Pittsfield, NY, returns to St. Petersburg this year to defend his J/70 class win against sixteen other teams, but also another chance to represent St. Petersburg at the series’ season championship invitational, the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship Regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

Odenbach, a professional sailor, has competed in the previous six NOODs and considers the February event a great chance to mix sailing business with pleasure. His goal is twofold: gain valuable training for the J/70 World Championship later this summer in California, as well as enjoy a warm-weather family vacation. “Coming here is a win-win for great sailing and family time. You can’t beat the combo,” he said.

The St. Petersburg NOOD is also a favorite event for Tampa resident Chip Merlin, thanks to the typically gorgeous weather, protected water and ability for Tampa Bay to accommodate so many boats and race courses. “The multiple courses give you that ‘regatta within a regatta’ feeling when sailing, but we get to hang out with all the other fleets at the party after. It’s a great chance to see so many sailing friends in one place,” Merlin said.

J/88 sailing at St Petersburg, FLHelly Hansen—a global leader in technical sailing apparel with more than 135 years of experience protecting professionals on the water—continues as title sponsor for the elite sailing series for the sixth consecutive year. As part of Helly Hansen’s commitment to the sport, the company will also continue to sponsor two teams of local teens, competing as the Helly Hansen Junior Crew at each stop this year. One crew will be helmed by top woman youth sailor Heather Kerns from the host St Petersburg YC Youth Team. The other crew will have Preston Weaver as skipper, also a member of StPYC's Youth Team.

The J/88 class will feature all the top boats that recently participated in the J/Fest St Pete J/88 Midwinters two weeks ago.  Those crews include the winners- Iris Vogel's DEVIATION- plus other leading teams like Andy Graff's EXILE from Chicago, IL; Jim & Scott Sorbie's LEGACY from Detroit, MI; Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOO MANY from Mamaroneck, NY; and Dave Tufts' GAUCHO from Rochester, NY.

J/111 sailing St. Petersburg, FLSimilarly, the J/111 class will also have their leading crews from their recent J/Fest St Pete J/111 Midwinters, including Ian Hill's SITELLA from Hampton, VA; Jim Sminchak's SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; and Doug Curtiss' WICKED 2.0 from Buzzards Bay, MA.

The J/24 class sports a cast of characters from primarily the southeast USA. Those crews include Chris Jackson's LUCIFER'S HAMMER, Nadia Daggett's MUSTACHE RIDE, Seth Rosenthal's NO RULES, and Jonathan Stewart's BREEZE. The lone exception to that group is one team that literally traversed the United States north to south (about 2,300 miles)- Mike Quaid's ICE CUBE from Mallets Bay Boat Club near Burlington, VT!

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, two J/105s from Davis Island YC are racing in PHRF 2 Division; Stephen Mitcham's BREEZIN BAYOU and George Cussins' FIRE & ICE. Then, in PHRF 3 Division, two familiar and hotly competitive J/29 crews will be dueling for class supremacy; Robert Wetmore's FAMILY CIRCUS and Ray Mannix's SEMPER FI. Notably, in the North Sails Rally Racer Cruiser Division will be the Ford/ Mistele duo on the J/112E SILVER SURFER and Jose Suarez-Hoyos on the J/35 NO WAY JOSE!   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/Outside Images   For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.