Wednesday, September 30, 2020

KSSS Repeats as Swedish Sailing League Champion

 J/70 sailboats in Sweden

(Västerås, Sweden)- With consistent sailing of an experienced crew, the KSSS Team (Royal Swedish YC) managed to take home the Allsvenskan gold racing in their fleet of match J/70 one-design sailboats. A second place in the last regatta of the series in Västerås was enough for the Stockholmers to take their fifth gold in six years!

Sailing for KSSS this weekend was skipper Hedvig Liljegren and crew of Carl Leuckfeld, Fredrik Liljegren and Niklas Edler.

"This was the plan from our club- go to Västerås and, hopefully, take home the gold! It has been a fantastic weekend, with a great event and great conditions. We sailed consistently, but also made some unnecessary mistakes," said Niklas Edler. "But it is a bit sad that we missed the victory in Västerås. We had a golden opportunity before the final race. But, were locked in at the start by Ö-vik, who got off to a flying start. Although we should have recovered well, we were having a debate on our boat and made some bad decisions. Had we stayed cool; we could have won. But, Halmstad sailing club are good sailors, it was a really good team that won."

Taking the silver in the overall standings was GKSS team. They were leading the series before the weekend, but a poor showing in the finale dropped them to second. The most amazing, rocket-like rise in the standings was, not surprisingly, the winners in the Västerås finale- Halmstad SS. Prior to the finale they were 5th overall and managed only a 10th in the previous regatta in Örnsköldsvik. Their impressive win in the finale vaulted them to the bronze step on the podium! Rounding out the top five were Hjuvik SS in fourth place and the newcomer Ekoln SC from Uppsala in fifth position.

Sailing for the Halmstad SS team were the experienced Hellekant family; three of them! On board were Christoffer, Rebecca, and Anders Hellekant. Their fourth was a close family friend- Petter Norrgren. They were an impressive team; this weekend, they won half of their races, e.g. eight out of 16 total! Coincidentally, KSSS had the same result.  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in sailing

 J/80 women sailing

The September 2020 issue of 48° North Magazine, which serves the northwest corner of the USA, reports on a new event founded by Jennifer Harkness. Here she explains:

On August 3, US Sailing had Ayme Sinclair host a panel on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program with Karen and Joey Harris, Lou Sandoval, and Captain Bill Pinkney. It was one of the best moderated panels on diversity I have seen in my 15 years of diversity exploration and work. US Sailing is doing some amazing and essential anti-racist work. In these uncertain times, we need to come together more than ever; and organizations creating missions like this lead us forward.

Karen Harris described diversity as the invitation to the dance, equity as making sure you can get to the dance, and inclusion as making sure you dance. 

Lou Sandoval offered statistics to support the necessity and opportunity of expanding DEI. Gen Z (currently ages 5-25) value inclusion and make up 27.3% of the population.

Women are 51% of the population and are obviously diverse in race and ethnicity. Sadly, 0.01% of sailing is diverse in ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Lou noted that the untapped potential boat buying market for black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and women is estimated at $3.9 trillion in the market today.

Each of these extremely skilled sailors and community leaders shared examples of blatant racial profiling. White sailors approached them assuming they worked in labor roles at the yacht clubs, they didn’t belong there at all, and even suggested they were trying to steal their own boats.

Similarly, I hear many stories of sexist bias and behavior toward women in sailing. All of these assumptions and behaviors provide examples of why many BIPOC, LGBTQ people, women and disabled folks either stay away or quit the sport. We need to do better, and we can.

They emphasized that to start, community leadership needs to name the issue and explore it. We need more internal diversity in organizations and leadership. It is critical to have mentors and leaders that look like the folks we would like to introduce into the sport. And, organizations need to create specific invitations for new audiences to participate. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

J/99 JEDI Scores a Trifecta!

 J/99 sailing fast off Sydney, Australia

(Sydney Harbour, Australia)- Entering their first double-handed race, husband and wife team Ray and Sandra Entwistle on their new J/99 JEDI scored a stunning trifecta win on IRC, ORC and PHS competing with the fully crewed mixed fleet in the Short Offshore race. More amazingly, at 32.6′ the J/99 was the smallest boat in the fleet by some margin. The J/99 was placed in Division 2, the combined fleet comprised yachts up to 47ft.

The course was a 20-mile offshore race starting from the heads at Pittwater and beating NE up to a laid mark off the headland known as First Point (just south of Terrigal) and spinnaker return via a turning mark finishing near Mackerel Beach back in Pittwater. Both divisions started together (comprising 20 yachts) which made for an interesting start! It was a lumpy seaway with winds NNE varying from 8-15 knots but dying towards the finish.

Ray commented, “We knew we were in good shape when we rounded the top mark with some of the 40+ footers then stayed in touch with them downwind. The J/99 is so easy to sail, perfectly balanced, highly versatile and comfortable.  She was also very dry considering the lumpy seaway and simply carved her way through the swell.  The race was tactically challenging as we had to keep out of as much dirty air as possible with so many larger boats around us.  We popped the A2 for the return run, Sandra cross sheeted the kite sheets and enjoyed the ride home, gybing a couple of times to clear the Barrenjoey mark. As we neared the entrance to Pittwater, we gybed a bit early as we didn’t want to get tangled up with one of the 40-footers. So, unfortunately came a little too close to Barrenjoey headland and into less breeze. Fortunately, we made the most of every little puff to soak down to the finish, with a final gybe to cross the line.”

RPAYC also published the results for the combined Div 1 and 2 fleets – all the Div 1 boats were also fully crewed and included some very high profile race competition. In addition to winning Div 2, the double-handed J/99 finished 4th overall on ORC and IRC in the combined results and missed out by 3rd by only 13 seconds to the Farr 40, Farr45 and XP44.

We wish to thank Sailing Director Nick Elliot and his team at RPAYC for all their effort in promoting and encouraging shorthanded sailing and we hope this result goes some way to proving you can have an enormous amount of fast fun with the simplicity of just two crew.  

We dedicate this race to our dear friend Joe Millward (who passed recently) and his family who introduced me to sailing many years ago when I was a youngster.   Sailing photo credits- RPAYC
For more J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

NRV Leading German J/70 Sailing League

 J/70s sailing off alster, germany

(Berlin, Germany)- Over the past two weekends, the eighteen teams that are participating in the 2020 Deutscher Segel-Bundesliga have been fortunate enough to have great sailing over their three-day events.  The third event in the series was sailed on Berlin's Wansee Lake, while the fourth event was sailed off Kiel on the Baltic Sea. Two very different event sites (a tactical shifty, puffy lake versus an open bay with steadier breezes) produced two very different winners. Here are the reports below. 

J/70s sailing off Berlin, Germany
In the last race of the regatta, the VSaW (Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee) clinched a victory for the fifth time over the weekend and thus achieved the overall victory at the same time. "It's a great sense of achievement to show your performance in the area where you always train and to see that the work pays off," said VsaW skipper Popken. “We didn't look at the score and started the last race super relaxed - for me this is the best strategy not to get nervous and to keep a clear head.” 

The third event of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing in a matched fleet of 12 J/70s day brought a few leaps in position in the season table. The ONE Kiel team, which started as leader of the table and favorite in the event, only finished 15th after winning the first two events of the year. As a result, they slipped down to third place and giving the overall lead to the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Hamburg from. The Segel un Motorboot Club Überlingen holds its own in second place overall. 

J/70s sailing off Kiel, germany
The competition for the 2020 championship title in Kiel-Schilksee entered the final phase before the big season finale in Hamburg. For the second time this season, the 36 clubs from the 1st and 2nd league competed in front of Kiel. The Baltic sailing club, the Kiel sailing association and TSV Schilksee hosted the regatta.

The four-time German champions, the Norddeutsche Regatta Verein (NRV), made a spectacular comeback on the last match day in Berlin on the Wannsee and took the lead in the overall standings.

Anke Lukosch, Project Manager of the German J/70 Sailing League, gave an outlook on the thrilling duels on the Baltic Sea, “many clubs are currently very close together, so the pressure is high. Even small mistakes can mean valuable positions in the table. In Kiel, it will be decided who will lead the table and thus from pole position to the season finale."

In the end, winning the Kiel event was Munchner Yacht-Club from Munich, followed by the ONE Kiel Team resurrecting themselves after a disastrous Berlin event. Taking third was by far the most consistent team in the league, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV). 

J/70 podium
As a result, the NRV team continued to solidify their lead in the overall standings, sitting with 15 pts at the top of the leaderboard. By virtue of their strong performance in Kiel, the early series leaders- ONE Kiel Team- have also solidified their position in second place.  There are two teams tied for third at 27 pts each after four events, Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen and Chiemsee Yacht Club. Just one point back in fifth place is Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen. 

There will be plenty of fireworks in the finally taking place on Hamburg's Alster Lake in October with the championship trophy on the line. With just four points separating the two leaders, every race will count. And, behind them will be an all-out battle for the bronze step on the podium between three, if not, four teams (including Berliner YC).  For more German J/70 Sailing League informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, September 28, 2020

NYYC Race Week Report

 J/109 sailing offshore

(Newport, RI)- The New York Yacht Club’s Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex was first run in 1998 and takes place this year from September 23 to 26 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport. R.I. The biennial regatta, traditionally run at the apex of the summer sailing season, has established itself as one of the premier summer race weeks in the Northeast thanks to its attractive combination of great racing conditions off Newport and the superlative shoreside hospitality at the Club’s waterfront Clubhouse overlooking Newport Harbor. Partners for the 2020 edition of Race Week at Newport include presenting sponsor Rolex and regatta sponsors Hammetts Hotel and Helly Hansen.
After the first day of racing, the ORC 2 Class featured some of the closest racing of the day. Tom Sutton’s J/109 LEADING EDGE is living up to its name in the overall standings, two points ahead of their competitors. With three days of racing remaining, however, no lead is safe in this class where five of eight boats finished a race in the top 3 on Day 1.

Racing in Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex is taking place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound through Saturday, September 26.  Sailing photo credits: ROLEX/Daniel Forster  For more NYYC Race Week sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Annapolis YC Double-Handed Distance Race Announcement

 J/105 double handed off Annapolis

(Annapolis, MD)- With thirty-eight entries confirmed in three classes, the Annapolis YC’s Double-Handed Distance on October 3rd & 4th is the largest double-handed overnight race of the 2020 USA season. Its popularity after last year’s debut is impressive, having doubled in size in only its second year.

Driving this popularity are the favorable early Fall sailing conditions on the Chesapeake and an accessible yet challenging format: an overnight race of 24 hours duration held on course options that vary from 95 to 100 miles in length.

The J/105 Class will have mandatory mixed-gender crews, while the other two classes will be raced using ORC ratings determined for boats varying in size and design diversity from a 21-foot Mini-Transat to Jim Demerest’s J/46 SODALIS III.

Each ORC entry has an ORC Double-Handed certificate, introduced this year to give not only more accurate ratings due to the smaller crew weight aboard, but the option of having a different sail inventory that is more suitable for shorthanded sailing as well. 

This versatility along with four scoring model options will give Annapolis YC PRO Dick Neville the opportunity to better tailor the race to the course and weather conditions for fair and transparent scoring. For more AYC Double-handed Distance Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

J/42 Jaywalker Still Cruisin' After 20 Years!

 J/42 cruiser/ daysailor

* Here, we get yet another gorgeous photo of Bill and Judy Stellin's J/42 JAYWALKER sailing on the beautiful azure waters of northern Lake Michigan off Harbor Springs, a very special place in the northeastern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  

Commented Bill, "if you think cruising J/Boats can’t go fast, here is our JAYWALKER, J/42 hull #6, doing 6.3 knots in 7.9 knots of true wind. Notice how glassy the water is. Amazing! Great boat still, we love it!"

Friday, September 25, 2020

J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster for sale!

 J/99 sailing off Texas

J/99 Hull #007 is a well-outfitted capable and versatile J/99. Profurl roller furling jib and Code 0. Great B&G Instruments, Fusion Stereo and Speakers, North 3Di Main, 3Di med/hvy jib, 3Di light/med. jib, AirX A2 Asym, Code 0 NPL on roller furler, all safety gear. Factory options include: Upgraded interior cushions, 110v Shore Power, 12V DC refrigeration, Additional 100 Amp battery, 2 burner propane stove, Pop Up morning cleats. Instruments include: 3 Triton Mast mounted displays, 2 bulkhead mounted multi-displays, V60 VHF Radio, Nav Station mounted Chart Plotter, Triton, speed, depth, wind, GPS sensors. The blue stripes are a wrap and can be easily removed.  Learn more about this beautifully equipped J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster here.Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

J/CUP and the SmartTune advantage on a J/122E

 J/122e sailing upwind

* J/CUP and the SmartTune advantage on a J/122E
Winning four races in the J-Cup IRC 1 Class series and going into the final day with half a point lead, the J/122E JUNO sealed their victory 5.5 points clear, showing great consistency over the regatta. 

Cyclops Marine had the opportunity to catch up with skipper Toff Daniels and his mainsheet trimmer Keiron Hill to ask how SmartTune helped in their dominant win.  A jubilant Toff cut straight to the point, “it is a big step forward in trimming a race boat.”

On the mainsheet, Keiron emphasized the reassuring influence of the wireless load sensor. “The forestay load data was a really useful second check for my trimming. Looking at the main leech, I would sanity check what I was feeling with the forestay load.” 

Referring to the loads, Keiron went into more detail: “we tended to set up for the lulls upwind, with forestay around 2.1 tons. In the solid pressure, we would go to 2.5/2.6 tons using the backstay and mainsheet tension. If I got to 2.7 tons, it was too much and we really flattened out the main. It was great having the headstay number to help with this, then we looked at jib cars to de-power.”

On further discussion, Kieron pointed out one of the challenges with race boats is the balance of achieving max forestay load without over compressing and bending the mast and starving the mainsail out. “Having marks on your backstay is not enough as your mainsheet load is such a factor in inducing load on the rig, too. The whole rig is working as a dynamic structure and it is essential to have accurate data as to the impact of the loadings.” 

He went on to talk about having accessible data, “without a load sensor [SmartTune], you are just guessing. We love the product as we know it is accurate and we don’t have to mess about with wiring or calibration… it’s just wind on to the existing headstay toggles and go! It's that simple, truly a no-brainer.”

For J/122 and J/122E owners, here are the basic fast tuning numbers:
  • Base forestay settings on the dock = 800kg (0.8T)
  • Upwind max power (9-12 kts), hard leeches on mainsail for max power– forestay 2.1T (2,100kg). This is where they transitioned from J1 to J2 jibs.
  • Upwind overpowered 13–18 kts– forestay up to 2.5/ 2.6T using combination of backstay and mainsheet. Once at 2.7T, it was too much mast compression and the main flattened out too much. At that point, above 18 kts it was time to switch to the J3 jib.
In a typical year, the J/122E JUNO would have a full program of both Solent inshore and RORC offshore races. However, this was the first Landsail Tyres J-Cup they've attended. JUNO took home their class win and the "Best Newcomer Trophy".  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  Learn more about the Cyclops Marine SmartTune here.  Learn more about the beautiful offshore racer/cruiser J/122E here.

J/35 North Star Sailing Club Fleet Announcement

 J/35 sailing teams in Detroit

(Detroit, MI)- The renaissance of J/35 racing continues to expand! All sailors like to race stick against stick and that is exactly what we are doing this coming September 27, October 4th, 11th and the final race day on Sat. Oct 24th. This is North Star Sail Club's premier regatta of the year. 

According to J/35 Class leader- Dean Fitzpatrick- of Detroit, MI, "there is, as you know, a lot of pent-up racing enthusiasm this year. The finger is about to be pulled out of the dike and the J/35s are going to be cut loose. This is going to be the most exciting J/35 regatta because we will have ten J/35s registered to race. The J/35s are leading the way for one design racing in this region of the country, along with the J/120s I might add. There are other makes of boats that are now following the J/35 lead and putting in the effort to have their own one-design start. 

You know how tough it is to corral crew to be there every week to race. The J/35s at North Star have the pleasure of extra people wanting to be part of the action. That's right, extra! The people at North Star have the leadership to put over 40 new people on sailboats in the past two years. The J/35s are able to take advantage of so many new sailors wanting to race and sailors who want to return to their roots after being away for a while. It is all very
exciting for the entire sport. 

With strong leadership you can attract people who want to participate. Here are some examples below for you:
  • Jim Watts purchased GRIFFIN earlier this year. Jim sold his other boat and joined the J/35 fleet. Being an excellent experienced sailor, Jim has trained lots of newbies on his boat. Jim is nipping really close to the 6-time National Champion Bill Wildner's, MR BILL'S WILD RIDE on weekday racing at NSSC. 
  • Tim and Amie Ross with their newly fixed mast have been racing three times a week on BLACK HAWK. 
  • Bill Vogan, is still riding high after winning the Port Huron to Mackinac. Bill and his team on MAJOR DETAIL like to battle with four-time National Champion Ed Bayer on FALCON. 
  • Cheryl Miller has the youngest crew on her boat DEAN'S LIST. She will be watching the University of Michigan professor Robert Gordenker very close on TIME MACHINE. Robert sails in both Michigan and over in Europe, a very skilled and competitive sailor; which is why he's always in the hunt. 
  • Dennis Meagher owner of SNIPE has his experienced crew on the fast track. Dennis used to own a different sailboat last year, but now he sings the praises of his J/35.
On the last day of racing, when the awards are being announced, we will raise our glasses and make a toast to Rod and Bob Johnstone, creators of the amazing J/35! We will take some pictures and post them for all to see. The J/35 is really a special racing sailboat. It was the first sailboat inducted into the US Sailboat Hall of Fame."  Thanks for this contribution from Dean Fitzpatrick, J/35 class principal "cheerleader"! Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Welcome to Orcas Island BOOT CAMP!

 J/70s sailing in Seattle, WA

* Welcome to Orcas Island BOOT CAMP!
Ron Rosenberg from the Pacific Northwest is a life-long J/Boat lover since the late 70s. He wanted to share his story about a "J/70 Orcas Island BOOT CAMP" that recently took place in Seattle (joined by other J/Lovers in J/111s, and so forth). 

Said Ron, "obviously we’re big J/70 fans here and when this story was written, we had built up our J/70 fleet to five boat. And, it now appears that we’ll be closer to ten boats come spring of 2021!! And, we have a lot of interested potential buyers of used J/70s as well."

J/70s sailing upwind
Here is Ron's story from the HARKEN "AT THE FRONT" Newsletter:

"Thank you for the opportunity to share what we’ve been doing here in the Pacific Northwest since the global pandemic began for us in early March. As a marine industry marketing professional, my job with Team McLube Marine Products (part of Harken Equipment) allows me to continue to professionally sail and coach all over the world. As travel shut down and sailing championships were cancelled, we were all forced to rethink how sailing might look going forward.

Not far from where I live near Seattle is a place called Orcas Island, home to dozens of amazing sailors of all ages. Here, everyone pitches in to make sailing fun, easy, and accessible to all. Orcas Island Yacht Club, near West Sound Marina, is where it all happens. Sailing is important to these people and their families, so they quickly figured out how to do it safely by limiting it to families or those they quarantine with, and they encouraged double-handed racing (DH) too. This local blend of family-oriented sailing and DH racing was an overnight huge hit. Lots of great husband/wife and parent/kid teams began trying it out and quickly realized how much more fun and challenging it can be. Add in a bit of coaching, and suddenly you have an inspired group of talented sailors learning so fast and having so much fun they can hardly wait to get back on the water to continue improving together. Some even have realistic Olympic DH aspirations! From my perspective, the success of our collective efforts has been astounding during this strange time period. Sure, it helps to be removed from a major metro area, but if we can do this here, certainly others can enjoy similar success.

HARKEN: What maneuvers are the most difficult to accomplish double handed? (Kite changes? Jib changes? Kite douses?)

RON: My experience is that most maneuvers around the race course can be mastered quickly and easily if the team is able to first practice them in slow motion a few times and learn the best order or proper procedure for two people to manage the set of tasks. In manageable wind conditions, tacks, gybes, spinnaker sets, and sail changes can be executed just as fast with two people as can be done with a full crew. I often hear from new DH teams that the boat feels roomy and is devoid of distracting noise when DH sailing. The most challenging of all is still the leeward mark rounding with a spinnaker drop. I remind my DH sailors that it’s ALWAYS better to drop the kite a bit early, as we all know that spinnakers are much faster when flying them downwind rather than upwind!

coach from Harken
HARKEN: Can you talk a little bit about different techniques required for double-handed sailing that you wouldn’t see as much (or in as light a wind range) in a full-crew situation?

RON: The biggest difference is that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT in DH sailing! I think that’s why it is so appealing to so many people. Rather than being one part of a larger team and only being responsible for a small percentage of roles, you are now involved in every aspect of racing the boat. Kids especially love being highly engaged in EVERYTHING that happens onboard, and they are mentally responsible for so much of the decision making as well as the more physical tasks of sail handling. We have an inspired group of 13-15 year olds that typically helm while their parent crews for them, and these teams quickly bond and grow together. I know the kids love it… and I think the parents love it even more. Sure, from a technical standpoint, we make an effort to simplify everything onboard without sacrificing performance and I think that goes a long way toward successful DH sailing. One obvious strong theme here is always asking yourself how can you do your job better in a way that can help your teammate do their job better too. Simply steering down low as you approach the leeward mark so the kite collapses behind the mainsail and can be easily dropped is one example of this. I think with only two people onboard you’re keenly aware of the stress and strain on the other person, and you realize how much easier you can make their work by just being aware and being present.

HARKEN: You’re using the J/70 in your Orcas Bootcamp. What makes it a good trainer for teams honing their double-handed skills?

RON: The J/70 has proven to be a great platform for improving DH sailing skills. The boat is light and responsive and the helm is quite sensitive to sail trim, body weight and heel angle. The main and jib are never loaded much and are easy to handle. It’s basically a big dinghy with just enough weight on the keel to keep you out of trouble in heavy air. These characteristics make it easy to feel the differences between small adjustments. The boats are just so much fun to sail with two people, and they really light up in a breeze off the wind. Essentially, they sail very much like a scaled down TP52, and they reward excellent driver focus and execution of great sail trim. Sailors often comment that they love double-handing sailing the J/70 so much that going back to full crew racing someday could be tough!

J/70s sailing doublehanded in Seattle, WA
HARKEN: What seems to separate really good teams from ones that have ground to make up?

RON: The critical components are teamwork and coordination, and the necessary glue is communication. Both sailors have to be on the same page all the time in order to keep the boat sailing efficiently all around the track. The teams that have practiced together can communicate clearly, stay in step with each other, and simply get around the track faster than the rest. If communication or timing is off even just a little, the boat slows down and you’re losing boat lengths quickly. In DH sailing, those boat lengths are valuable, and they’re hard to earn back against the really good teams. With enough practice, it’s impressive to me how even the most difficult maneuvers can be smoothly handled with very little verbal communication between the two sailors. The basic rule onboard a DH boat is to be sure you get your tasks completed first, and then support and assist your partner if they need help completing theirs.

HARKEN: What kind of complementary skills do you find absolutely necessary for teams to possess?

RON: In my opinion, all that is required is an open mind and a “learn-it-all” mindset. If you’re willing to work with your partner and you gain satisfaction from your own self-improvement, you’re likely going to excel in the DH sailing world. Sure, at the highest level of DH sailing, it might be nice to have two perfectly complementary individuals teamed up; however, what if something unexpected happens? Now you need to adjust, and suddenly what was once a nicely organized roles-and-responsibilities chart matching the team’s strengths is now in disarray, and you have to shift to Plan B. Here in West Sound, our most skilled DH team is a husband/wife team who have worked hard to learn to sail their J-111 very efficiently. They both are equally capable, physically and mentally, to accomplish any onboard task, and they constantly switch positions and roles as they race around the course. These two determined athletes have clearly improved faster than any other team.

BACKGROUNDER: Ron Rosenberg has a unique passion for sailing and coaching. As a sailor he’s won five world titles (Youth Worlds, J/24, Olympic Soling, Etchells, and 5.5 Meter), two Finn Gold Cups, and one European championship. He has more than 50 national titles in a wide variety of One-Design classes. Ron was elected Team Captain of the US Olympic Sailing Team in Barcelona 1992 with USA winning medals in 9 of 10 disciplines. He has either competed or coached in every quad since 1984. He has coached others to many more meaningful wins than he has achieved himself (including back-to-back worlds in the Dragon class). Over the past two years he’s been focused on coaching Dragons, Etchells, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and TP 52s in Europe and Australia. He most enjoys helping others efficiently achieve the results and goals they set for themselves.  For more J/70 Class sailing information  Here is the link to the Harken International Newsletter.

"G'day From Down Under!"

 J/109 sailing off Sydney, Australia

(Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia)- We got a fun, enthusiastic report from yet another J/Boat owner from our friends Down Under. In this case, it was from Carl Braden sailing his gorgeous navy-blue J/109 BLUE SKY.

Braden commented, "last weekend delivered a fantastic coastal sailing day with southerly winds for the Sydney Harbour to Lion Island and return race, some 33.0nm distance with forty-one boats across two crewed divisions, as well as a doublehanded division.

Two J/109s were sailing in Division 2. On BLUE SKY, we finished 5th less than 1 1/2 minutes behind 2nd on corrected time based on a 6 1/4-hour race, with the other 109- SWEET CHARIOT coming in 11th, crossing closely behind us.

It was near perfect sailing conditions, with fast Code-zero reaching heading north, with a close-hauled bash heading back to Sydney.  Everyone was happy to be out of COVID lockdown to be enjoying sunny skies on the coastal run up and back to Lion Island. Fantastic day! And, we love our J/109!"Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

J/112E Wins Class 2 @ U.K. IRC Nationals!

 J/112E sailing on Solent

(Cowes, IOW, England)- Mid-September it may be, but conditions for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2020 IRC championships felt more like June last weekend, with shorts and T-shirts conditions and allowing a full schedule of racing to be laid on by PRO Stuart Childerley and his team. The event concluded Sunday with two windward-leeward races on the central-eastern Solent in more variable and generally lighter winds than on Friday or Saturday.

The hardest fought victory across the three classes was that of 2012 winner David Franks aboard his J/112E LEON. They had been handicapped with Franks only coming out of COVID-19 isolation on Friday; maths not working in their favor from the event’s mandatory crew number reduction rules (for social distancing), but mainly from being one of the lowest rated boats in IRC Two and having to find lanes and constantly fight their way up through the fleet. On the plus side the Leon crew had sailed together previously this year. 

Franks commented on the regatta, saying “it has been fabulous, a very good event, well organized. It was lovely to see so many boats out on the Solent.”

“Normally we do well in the light, despite the fact that we are the smallest boat,” continued LEON's Franks. “Today the wind’s velocity was going up and down and was all over the place in direction, so it was hard to know what was going on. It was very challenging, a lot of work.”

In the IRC 3 Division, the Royal Air Force Sailing Association team on their J/109 RED ARROW managed a few good races on the final day to finish 4th in class. Posting nearly all 5th's, Ross Bowdler's J/80 JUSTIFY ended up finishing fifth place, surprise-surprise! 

Joining the UK IRC Nationals fleet on Saturday and Sunday were the twenty-two entries for the IRC Two-Handed Nationals.  After a four-race series, Mike Yates' J/109 JAGO sailed a consistent 2-5-6-2 series to end up tied for second place on 9 pts total, but losing the tiebreaker on countback to settle for the bronze.  After a disastrous second race, Bruce Huber's J/112E XANABOO posted a 4-10-2-4.5 tally to secure fifth place, a great performance for their first outing of the year! Other J's in the top 10 included Stephen Roberts' J/105 JIN TONIC in 7th and David Greenhalgh's J/92 J'RONIMO in 9th place.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more UK IRC Nationals sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Fast Fun Racing @ J/70 UK Nationals

 J/70 starting line

(Hamble, United Kingdom)- The 2020 J/70 UK National Championships saw three days of absolutely fantastic racing for the fleet of twenty-one teams that assembled for a bit of fast & furious racing on the Solent. Blessed with good breezes all three days and a fast, planing-mode finale, the Royal Southern Yacht Club regatta PRO managed to fire off nine races from Friday, 11th of September to Sunday, 13th of September.  

The racing was incredibly competitive despite the enormous amount of time spent off the water in this pandemic year. The top five teams, in particular, took turns trading off podium finishes over the three days.  In the end, it was Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER that was declared 2020 J/70 U.K. National Champion over the reigning J/70 World Champion- Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT.

Not surprisingly, the regatta started off with a three-way tie for first place after the first three races. 
As if by magic, a solid south westerly breeze kicked in shortly before the start of the first race. The wind speed rose steadily through the day, piping up to 20 knots in the gusts. The RSYC Race Team, led by PRO Charlie Stowe, reeled off three excellent windward leeward races in the spectacular conditions.
At the end of the day, three teams were tied on points at the top of the leader board: Martin Dent's JELVIS led on countback from EAT SLEEP J REPEAT and Peters & Calascione’s CALYPSO. Clapp’s JEEPSTER was also a race winner. In the Corinthian Division, King & Wilson’s SOAK RACING was on top of the charts.
J/70s sailing off start at UK Nationals
Spectacular conditions with close racing right through the J/70 fleet. (© Louay Habib)

Martin Dent’s Jelvis is somewhat a family boat, with Martin on the helm and his daughter Ruby at the front, with the two Wetherell brothers, Jack and Henry, mid-boat.

J/70 sailing fast
Martin Dent's J/70 Jelvis (© Louay Habib)

“We are kind of a North Britain boat, the Dents from Scotland and the Wetherell’s from Yorkshire,” smiled Martin Dent. “It was amazing to be out there today, having missed, like everybody else, a summer of sailing.  We were blessed with fantastic conditions giving us the full spectrum of J/70 sailing modes from displacement downwind to full-on planing mode, sending it downhill.  The class has always provided competitive nip and tuck racing and this year, despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, the UK fleet is getting stronger with some serious new teams.  I am sure everybody enjoyed themselves today.”

J/70s off Cowes, England
L-R SOAK RACING and Jonnie Goodwin's RYS team lock horns downwind. (© Louay Habib)

Marshall King & Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING is the reigning J/70 Corinthian World Champion and at this regatta, defending the national championship.

J/70 sailing downwind
King & Wilson's J/70 SOAK RACING. (© Louay Habib)

“Tactically, we decided that we wanted to win the right and the first two races went well in that respect, but in the last race we had a bad start and paid the price,” commented Ian Wilson. “The competition was really good today, and it’s great to see new young teams joining the class and going fast, we need them to turn up, and make it worth our while to retire! Spending Friday, away from work, surfing around The Solent at 15 knots was just fantastic!”

J/70 Argentina team
JP Alvarez YC Argentino - GBR 742 (© Louay Habib)

JP Alvarez is racing at the UK J/70 Nationals with a crew all from Argentina. “We have chartered a J/70 from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, and we all work in London,” explained JP. “We have never sailed together before as a team, and we knew that this regatta would be a very high standard. We sail at home in the Rio de la Plata, so we know about current, but The Solent is a very tricky place to sail. We really enjoyed today, and we hope to improve during the regatta. During the second race today, one of the crew said look at the boat next to us. I did and it was the world champions! It is great take part in this regatta.”

J/70 planing downwind
The Solent is a tricky place to sail, especially when the wind is all over the place. Uber wind shifts postponed the start of the second day of the J/70 UK National Championships, but once the wind direction stabilized, three windward leeward races were hard fought for the 22-strong fleet. Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT took a brace of bullets to lead the regatta by two points. Clapp’s JEEPSTER scored a 1-2-1 to move up to second. Dent’s JELVIS dropped to third but was still in with a shot at the title going into the final day.

Eat Sleep J Repeat’s Ruairidh Scott is a World Champion in the J/70, J/80 and J/111 classes, and commented after racing, “it wasn’t easy in a competitive fleet, especially upwind when the chop gets going, it is challenging to keep the speed up. Crew weight, technique and also mast rake has a big influence on performance. This fleet is spirited and upwind there is not a lot in it. However, the first downwind leg today, we were the first boat to go into wing-on-wing, and that got us away.”

Ben Saxton, NACRA 17 World Champion, has been racing in the J/70 Class for four years, Ben is part of Clapp’s crew on JEEPSTER. “To win in the J/70 Class, you need good teamwork,” commented Saxton. “If you start well and you are quick enough, then you can bring your tactics into play. We are pretty stacked for weight, so quick upwind but not as fast downwind. We have been working on downwind technique and we are getting faster, which shows in the results. We have worked hard to get it right and we passed EAT SLEEP J REPEAT upwind today for our win, so that was a good feeling.”

J/70 sailing on Solent, England
Tales from the Peloton
Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, sitting in 12th position with a crew of young talented sailors (son Freddie, Jack Hanslope and Richard Anderton), had an interesting perspective from "the peloton". 

On the race track and in the results, COSMIC is mixing it with sailors from the Olympics, World Champions and top professional sailors.

“It is the first time we have all sailed together and mixing it up in the fleet has been good fun,” commented Patrick. “This is a very tough fleet with strong sailors, and it’s tremendous. Richard is a World Champion Fireball crew, Freddie is very strong in dinghies and keelboats and Jack is his friend from University, who is a great team racer. The boats are evenly matched, so you are really fighting for every place, all the way down the fleet.”

The J/70 UK Class boast reigning World Champions in both the Open and Corinthian Classes. However, a dramatic end to racing resulted in two new national champions. Spectacular conditions on the final day were used to the full by the Royal Southern YC Race Team, led by PRO Charlie Stowe, the scene was set for a memorable finale to a superb regatta. Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER is the new J/70 UK Open National Champion, and Charles Thompson’s Brutus is the new J/70 UK Corinthian Champion.

In the Open Championship, Paul Ward’s World Champion team on EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was second. Newcomers to the class, Nick Phillip’s CHAOTIC was third.

Graham Clapp’s J/70 Jeepster (© Louay Habib)

“We have really got the boat going well, and we are also having a lot of fun on board, which is a winning combination,” commented Clapp. “I have known Ben (Saxton) since he was a child, but this team have only come together recently, and our performance improved as the regatta went on. The competition has been really exciting with great racing which is what this class is all about. A big thank you to Charlie (Stowe) and the all the Royal Southern team, who did a fantastic job in organizing the regatta.”

Charles Thompson was grinning from ear to ear after a bullet in the last race secured the Corinthian title for J/70 BRUTUS. 2019 World Champions, Wilson & King’s SOAL RACING was second and Doug Struth’s DSP, runners up at last year’s world championship, third.

J/70 winners
Charles Thompson’s J/70 Brutus (© Louay Habib)

“It feels good to have the trophy in my hands, but I have to say quite a surprise after the first couple of days, we didn’t think we would make the top three” commented Thompson. “The last two races went well for us, and that was helped by getting off the start line in the right place. Thanks to my crew, we got a bullet at the end! Teamwork is unquestionably important, sailing with a positive crew is fundamental.” Thompson is the only owner/ bowman in the fleet. “I am definitely the oldest bowman in the fleet, and there is only one word for it– wet!”

J/70 UK Class Chairman, Paul Ward was quick to congratulate both JEEPSTER and BRUTUS. “They both had a fantastic last day and have sailed well all regatta. To knock two world champions of their perches is great for the class. We have four more events in the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series, and they are going to provide fantastic racing.”   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  Follow the J/70 U.K. class on Facebook here.  For more J/70 U.K. Class sailing information 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Spectacular Finale @ Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta

 J-Cup regatta UK

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- By invitation of Key Yachting, the 2020 Landsail Tyres J-Cup celebrated the 21st birthday of the annual regatta exclusively for J/Boats. While the regatta was somewhat different this year, the spirit of the J/Family was as strong as ever. Hosted for the first time by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the regatta was a huge success. Fifty J's with over 200 crew enjoying great racing, plus safe and secure social functions at the RORC Clubhouse in Cowes.
The regatta featured two National Championships. Tony & Sally Mack’s McFLY retained the J/111 National Championship and was also awarded the J-Cup. Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE won the 2020 J/109 UK National Championship. In the J/70 Class, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT was the winner for the second year in a row. IRC One was won by Christopher Daniels’ J/122 JUNO. In IRC Two, Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE was the victor.
 J/111 McFly sailing J-Cup UK
Tony & Sally Mack's J/111 McFLY - J-Cup winners and J/111 UK National Champion (Paul Wyeth)

At the final prize giving ceremony, Tony & Sally Mack and team McFly got the biggest cheer of the party. This was McFLY’s fourth championship win but the first time to win the J-Cup. The final day’s racing was far from easy; Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, won the last two races. Finishing in third place, Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB, beat McFLY in the penultimate race. 

At the final prize giving, Key Yachting’s Hannah Le Prevost commented. “It was fantastic to see the J/111s racing again and well done to McFLY for a terrific performance. Tony and Sally Mack have been coming to the regatta for many years always with a fantastic spirit. Marie-Claude Heys (MD, Key Yachting) and I, have no hesitation in awarding the J-Cup to McFLY.”

J/111 McFly sailing upwind
McFLY leads the J/111 Class. (Paul Wyeth)

“One mistake and you pay for it in the J/111 Class,” commented Tony Mack. “Credit to all of the competitors, the racing was fantastic!” Sally Mack added: “The J-Cup is like a family get together; we really enjoy the friendship. It is a special occasion and really lovely to win the J-Cup.”

J/109 sailing upwind
Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE (Paul Wyeth)
Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE won the J/109 UK National Championship for the first time. Racing on board JIRAFFE were four members of the Perry family, and the rest of the crew are godfathers to the children and family friends. The 2019 national champion, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, was runner-up this year. David Richard’s JUMPING JELLYFISH came within a whisker of winning the championship with victory in the last race but finished third for the regatta.

J/109 winners
2020 J/109 UK National Champion - Simon Perry's JIRAFFE. (Paul Wyeth)

“JUKEBOX had a big lead going into the final day’s racing, so we decided to go out and enjoy ourselves by sailing well and see what would happen,” commented Simon Perry. “We won the first race of the day, caught up JUKEBOX on the scoreboard, and we realized we could do it. We were 30cm ahead of JUKEBOX at the finish of the last race. It was literally that close.”

J/70 sailing fast downwind
Paul Ward's J/70 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT. (Paul Wyeth)
Paul Ward’s J/70 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT is the reigning J/70 World Champion and the top crew of Scott, Cumbley and Trindade have come a long, long way together. However, they had to be at the top of their game to win the class. New to the J/70 is Nick Phillips’ TEAM CHAOTIC, and the young team from Parkstone YC put in a stellar performance in a RTYC charter boat to take runner-up in the 21-boat fleet. Charles Thompson’s BRUTUS managed two bullets in the series and was a close third.

J/70 fleet at J/Cup
J/70 fleet of 21 boats at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup (Paul Wyeth)

“To have 21 teams out racing was just superb,” smiled Paul Ward. “I have to say that the race management and shoreside organization by the RORC was first class, and that is so important. Well done especially to CHAOTIC and BRUTUS who gave us a run for our money in every race. EAT SLEEP J REPEAT are looking forward to some great racing at the J/70 UK Nationals next weekend.”

J/122E winners
Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO. (Paul Wyeth)
Christopher Daniel’s J/122 JUNO won the ten-strong big boat class in IRC One. Going into the final day of racing, JUNO was just half a point ahead of Chaz Ivill’s J/112 DAVANTI TYRES. JUNO finished the regatta in style winning the last two races to clinch the class. DAVANTI TYRES was second with Mike & Sarah Wallis’ J/122 JAHMALI in third. Competition in IRC One was first class; DAVANTI TYRES, JAHMALI and TIGIRS and J-DREAM are all past winners of the J-Cup. This was JUNO’s first J-Cup regatta and their impressive performance also earned JUNO the North Sails Trophy for Best Newcomer. 

"JUNO normally has quite a full program of racing, but this year with all the cancelled regattas, we finally made it to the J-Cup. We are glad that we did, and we will definitely be back," commented Christopher Daniel. "Three days is a perfect length for the regatta and it was great to get boat-on-boat with other asymmetric designs. The race management and shoreside was extremely well organized with great communications, we thoroughly enjoyed the event."

J/97e sailing J-Cup
Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE. (Paul Wyeth)
Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE scored a string of five bullets and two second places to win IRC Two, Nick was sailing with a crew including son Adam Munday, from regatta sponsor Ocean Rope. David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO was second, David is a veteran of the J-Cup as depicted by his J-Cup 2000 t-shirt, which still fits! Making their debut regatta was Lawrence Barnett’s J/97 JACKAROO, and a great performance lifted the team to third in class.

J/97e Induljence sailing J-Cup UK
Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE. (Paul Wyeth)

“It was just fantastic to get out racing, it is something we really enjoy, and a lot of credit should go to Key Yachting for getting the regatta on,” commented INDULJENCE’s Adam Munday. “The competition was good especially with J’RONIMO, and it took us a little time to get going, as we do not race as much these days. As regatta sponsor Ocean Rope, many of the J/Boats are customers, and personally we were absolutely blown away by the generosity of all the sponsors. In particular, B&G donating a superb chart plotter. All of the prizes were well thought out; items that sailors really want.” commented Munday.

J/70 sailing off Cowes, England
Ian Poynton's POWDER MONKEY winner of the Nipper Trophy. (Paul Wyeth)

While the racing champions receive great applause from their competitors, the Landsail Tyres J-Cup, also acknowledges great spirit and friendship. The Nipper Trophy is awarded to someone who acted in the spirit of the event. This year’s winner was Ian Poynton racing J/70 POWDER MONKEY. Faced with reducing his crew to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions for the regatta, Ian chose to charter another boat as a solution, which was named POWDER MONKEY JOBSEEKERS, and crewed by university graduates, looking for employment in these difficult times. Well done to Ian Poynton!

The 22nd edition of the regatta will be organized by the Royal Southern Yacht Club by invitation of Key Yachting, 24-26 June 2021. There is a prize for the first entry! Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  For more J-CUP United Kingdom sailing information.