• J/Newsletter- October 18th, 2017
    J/121 Boat Show & Offshore Test Update
    (Annapolis to Newport)- The debut of the new J/121 Offshore Speedster in the Newport and Annapolis Sailboat Shows was welcomed by enthusiastic J/sailors from across the spectrum of experience.  Long-distance offshore cruisers, one-design offshore racers, and a number of performance-oriented couples that enjoy coastal cruising without having to turn on the “iron genny”, were all quite passionate about what the J/121 had to offer to them.

    While the overall response to the 1-2-1 at the shows was fantastically positive, what we had yet to learn about the boat in all sea-trials to date was how would she perform offshore in the conditions she was designed for.  On the first delivery from Newport to Annapolis, the remnants of a hurricane delayed the departure date, and created difficult conditions for delivering a brand new boat.  As a result, it was mostly motoring under the J4 jib or motoring period.  However, after a fantastic reception at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, it was clear that after the three days of media reviews, testing, and demos, the weather window might permit an excellent chance to determine how the 1-2-1 behaved in reaching conditions offshore.  Here is Clay Burkhalter’s report delivering the J/121 from Annapolis to Newport:

    “On Saturday October 14th, Andy Williams, Arturo Pilar and I moved the new J/121, INCOGNITO, from Annapolis to Newport. I have been delivering boats for 38 years, and despite being a partner in two restaurants, I still manage to do 5 or 6 offshore trips each year. To the extent that I still do any racing, it is almost exclusively offshore… the Mini Transat 10 years ago, numerous Newport to Bermuda races and the occasional Bermuda 1-2, including the 2017 race in which I competed on a J/133. So it was with great anticipation that we’d be testing out the J/121 in the 20-25 knot southwest breeze predicted offshore between Cape May and Montauk, starting on Sunday morning.

    After motoring north up the Chesapeake in no wind, we passed through the C&D canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware Bay, across the top of the state of Delaware.  We continued to motor south in Delaware Bay and rounded Cape May about 0600 on Sunday, heading northeast, still motoring in no wind.  At 1100, the breeze started to fill in and within 30 minutes, it was blowing 15 knots. By sunset, the winds would build to 25 knots with seas of four to six feet.

    Typically, on deliveries, I am cautious about sail choice, often reefing early and rarely using spinnakers. The risk of damage to sails, rigging, and steering increases dramatically when pushing a boat with too much sail up. It’s one thing to have a problem on your own boat, but entirely different when you have to explain to an owner that the sails are now ready to donate to the folks who make fashion bags from sail material.

    However, I knew the J/121 had yet to be sailed in the offshore conditions it was designed for, and since Al and Jeff Johnstone are my cousins, I figured they might be more understanding if we dialed the boat up a bit and see what she could do… so after a lame attempt at sailing deep with the main and the jib (Montauk was almost dead downwind, 200 miles away), we hoisted the A4 heavy weather spinnaker, and bang, we were off and running. It was an exciting moment for us as the boat instantly accelerated to double-digit speeds.

    There was a leftover east-southeast swell combining with a new southwest wind wave; which made for challenging steering at the outset.  We then filled the starboard water-ballast tank to about 65%; and instantly the motion on-board smoothed out and INCOGNITO began to slide through the waves like she was on rails. Speeds became more consistent and steering was effortless.  We also soon realized, that despite the occasional roll at the bottom of a wave, combined with a puff, and perhaps a momentary lapse in steering concentration, if the boat got to 100 degrees APA (apparent wind angle) and wanted to keep going, it was easy to steer her back to our course average of 120 degrees AWA . . . no blowing the vang, easing the main sheet or releasing the spinnaker sheet. After the first hour, we sailed with those controls cleated and simply steered to the kite, it was that easy to steer. With three crew, one could rest below, while the other two maintained watch.

    The ease at which the boat accelerated and sustained its speed was incredible. In 18 kts TWS (true wind speed) we were averaging 10.5 and surfing at 13 to 14 kts. In 22 kts TWS, we were doing a steady 12-13 kts and surfing for sustained periods at 14-16 kts, running up and over waves ahead.  And in 24-25 kts TWS, we were doing 13.5 to 14 kts consistently and surfing at 16 to 18.5 kts quite easily.  Needless to say, for all those who steered her in these conditions, it left everyone with a big grin on their face!

    I often reach a point on a boat where I say to myself, I don’t want to go this fast. . it could be the keel and rudder vibrating excessively, the bow submarining in waves, steering on the edge of control, and so forth.  Not once did we have a panicked feeling on board the 1-2-1, and not once in seven hours did someone have to lunge for a sail control to put the brakes on an incredible ride!!  Ease-of-handling is great no matter how many crew are on-board, but it’s especially critical when you’re out there way offshore, short-handed, tired, and steering for hours-on-end, or when the autopilot is running the show. The easier the boat steers in demanding conditions, the less fatigue and also the less drain on your batteries when you’re on autopilot!!

    At sunset, the delivery side of my persona kicked in. knowing that the chances for problems ramp up significantly after dark, so we snuffed the spinnaker and put it below decks.

    We then sailed with mainsail-only Sunday evening and Monday morning at 160 degrees AWA, heading for Block Island, averaging 9.5 knots in 25 knots of wind.

    As we slid by Block Island, we considered continuing on, over the horizon. . thinking maybe we could send a note to Jeff to let him know that the son of a deceased Nigerian King would be wiring money to the J/Boats account. . he would just need to send along his bank account details.”  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

    ROLEX Middle Sea Race Preview
    (Gzira, Malta)- Starting and finishing in Malta, an island often referred to as the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean’, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. The proof lies in the numbers. Registrations for this year’s 38th edition come from yachts representing 30 different countries. The expected number of race starters from Valletta’s Grand Harbour on Saturday 21 October is on course to challenge the record of 122 yachts set in 2014.

    The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), bears all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race. Its 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, is tactically and navigationally challenging. Frequent corners lead into different geographical segments and expose the fleet to changing weather patterns. With most crews expected to spend at least five nights at sea, it is an exacting test of resources, requiring mental fortitude, excellent preparation and shrewd anticipation, as well as an ability to make precise decisions in a pressured environment. Teamwork and seamanship are vital to succeed.

    The Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed counter-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets’ port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.

    Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.

    Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

    There is no doubt that Maltese skippers are competitive and have a long and proud participation in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Malta has produced overall race winners on seven occasions, most recently in 2014. Crews regularly feature on the Class podiums.

    This year the Maltese flag will be flown by several boats, including the J/122 OTRA VEZ, a boat with a strong association with the race. This year there is a twist, with the J/122 entrusted to Sean Arrigo and Brian Flahive who will be flying the Maltese flag in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

    Sean Arrigo is looking forward to another adventure, “having decided to go doublehanded for this year’s race brought some anxiety, but most of all, excitement, and the urge to do well. Preparations are well-advanced, with some final touches and tweaks to lines and hardware. We also feel that we’re well-prepared mentally and physically, thanks to dedicated training, something quite new to us, but very effective! Finally and above all, we want to enjoy ourselves.”

    In addition to OTRA VEZ, a Russian team on yet another J/122 will be joining them in the IRC Double-handed Class.  Calling themselves STELLAR RACING TEAM, the Russian crew of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin have become students of the race, are fast learners, very tough, and don’t be surprised if they are contending at the end for class honors.

    Then, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions there are also a number of very-well sailed J/crews; totaling three J/133s and, remarkably, FOUR more J/122s!  That’s a total of SIX J/122s vying for the overall prize.

    In the IRC 4 Division are the two J/133s.  The Canadian team on BLUE JAY III consists of Matthew Stokes and crew of Todd Rutter, Andrew Childs, Allan MacDonald, Peter Sargeant, Hugh Goodday, Crosby Johnson, and John Simpkin- the boat is from Edmonton, Alberta and calls Bras d’Or YC home.  They will have a tough fight on their hand with a British crew on board JINGS!, one of the top U.K. J/133s, having won a number of RORC offshores in the past.  Owner David Ballantyne has a full crew that includes Nicola Ballantyne, Nicky Vella, Lydia Coffey, Bernard Hilli, Jonathan & Chris Mckay, Albrecht Seer, James Alviles, Kelly Alviles, Charlotte Vella, and Marianna Kozlova.

    Arguably, one of the toughest, and largest, fleet in the race is IRC 5 Division; the class has routinely produced the overall race winner and often several boats in the top ten.  The lone J/133 in the class from France is famous in French offshore circles. JIVARO will be sailed by Yves GROSJEAN and crew of Goulven Royer, Jean-Paul Mallet, Séverin Richter, Jean-Michel Diemer, Patrick Paris, Julien Orus, Marie Chabanel, Julien Herve, and Zasika Musdi.  Arrayed against them are a formidable group of J/122s.  From Chile is the brand new J/122E ANITA- with owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells.  A Russian team is sailing the J/122 JOLOU- Sergey Senchenko is sailing with a crew consisting of Serguei Chevtsov, Alexander Agafonov, Dmitry Piskovatskov, Natalia Agafonova, Elena Strelina, Nikolay Sbitnev, Pavel Popov, Roman Medvedev, and Igor Skalin.  Then, there are two Italian teams both sailing J/122s- DAMACLE RC BROKER (Roy Caramagno and crew of Domenico Campo, Moreno Boldini, Giuseppe Fazio, Francesco Merluzzo, Giuseppe Boscarello, Remon Sant Hill, Daniel Bartolo, Enrico Civello) and JOY (giuseppe Cascino and crew of Carlo Brenco,  Duccio Colombi, Carlo Bellanca, Vittorio Ruffolo, Giuseppe Sferruzza, Tom Alessi, Conrad Muscat, and Fabio Galea.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

    J/80 North Americans Preview
    J/70 Fall Brawl Preview
    (Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, there is no question the Eastport YC will have their hands full hosting two of the more aggressive one-design classes in the world- the J/70s and J/80s.  For the J/80s, they are hosting their 2017 North American Championship, while the J/70s are sailing their annual Fall Brawl.

    J/80 North American Championship
    The J/80 class on the Chesapeake Bay, New Hampshire, Toronto, and Buzzards Bay continue to have excellent one-design class racing.  For this year’s North Americans, a talented fleet of twenty-one crews have come from nearly all four corners of the continental USA to participate, with twenty-one teams representing five states.  In the mix are several leading contenders, including past N.A. Champions like Kerry Klinger on LIFTED from Cedar Point YC and Will and Marie Crump on R80 from New York YC. They will be challenged hard by teams that have also won Key West Race Week in the past, like Bill & Shannon Lockwood on SHENANIGANS from the local club as well as Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from Sausalito, California.  Plus, there are top crews like Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI and Ken Mangano’s MANGO that have proven they can dish out top five results.  Most interestingly, the entire top three from the previous weekend’s AYC Fall Series will be raring to go to battle against these top crews that had not shown up for that event; those crews include John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB, Alex Kraus’ COOL J, and David Andril’s VAYU.

    J/70 Fall Brawl
    The 2017 edition of the Fall Brawl should be an interesting mix of teams that have just come off sailing the highly competitive and challenging J/70 North American Championship sailed at American YC in Rye, New York.  A top five finisher overall was Marty Mckenna, though sailing a different boat called RARITY this weekend.  Then, you have the Corinthians Division winner, Jenn & Ray Wulff sailing JOINT CUSTODY.  Joining them in the hunt to be Chief Brawler are fast teams like Mark Hillman’s SIX, Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR from Youngstown YC in New York, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE, Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.  Should be fun racing for this group!  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes Media.  For more J/80 North Americans & J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information & results

    J/Fest Southwest Preview
    Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats!
    (Seabrook, TX)- This coming weekend, the waters of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay will come alive again with dozens of J/sailors competing for honors in the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members.  The event features one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s (who are also using it as a tune-up/ training regatta for the upcoming J/105 North Americans), J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!

    As part of celebrating J/Boats’ 40th Anniversary, the kick-off event for the regatta will be the “spectator-friendly” LEGENDS RACE sailed on Friday afternoon on Clear Lake, literally right in front of Lakewood YC!  The event can be viewed from Barge 295 (formerly, The Turtle Club).  The participating “Legends” are:  Scott Young, Farley Fontenot, Jay Lutz, and Jeff Johnstone (President of J/Boats).  The sailors will be racing borrowed J/24s from the Houston J/24 Fleet.  And, spectators can follow the “live” video broadcast on Barge 295’s Facebook page for a live feed of the event.

    Seventy boats have signed up which will make the event truly EPIC! No one will believe a hurricane had just ravaged the Houston/ Galveston Bay coastline; such is the amazing turnout of volunteers and support from friends across the nation.  The 330+ sailors will be looking forward to the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment, it starts with pool-side talent when the racers return from the course on Saturday, followed by a great dinner and then more live music in the evening! Pretend like you’re 35 again, stick around, and have fun!

    The biggest class at the regatta is the J/105s, most of whom are also participating in the J/105 North Americans the following week, also hosted by Lakewood YC.  Many strong local crews have upped the ante and have great crews; such as Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from LYC, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY from LYC, JB Bednar’s STINGER from LYC, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE from LYC.    Visiting crews include some of the top crews in the J/105 class, such as J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from St. Francis YC and Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego YC- a winner of the San Diego NOOD Regatta.

    The J/70s are bringing their best local heroes to the event, and at fifteen boats the next largest fleet in the regatta. Perhaps top seed goes to past J/80 World Champion Glenn Darden and crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club, on-board as tactician is Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician.  Giving them a serious run-for-the-roses will be other top traveling teams like Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, also from Ft Worth BC, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, and Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING.

    At a round dozen boats and fielding the third largest fleet of sailors in the event are the J/24 teams!  Featured are top local crews like Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, one of the top women skippers in the class; Chris Holmes’ BADMOON from Dallas Corinthian YC; Stu Juengst’s VANG GO from Austin YC; and Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN 2.0 from Dallas Corinthian YC.

    Fielding a fleet of fifteen boats and fourth largest fleet (in terms of number of sailors) are the J/22s.  Hard to handicap this group, nevertheless several teams have done well in regional events in the past, like Chris Moran’s TILT, Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE, Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951, and Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE.

    Sailing as a four-boat class will be the largest big-boat one-design- the J/109s.  The frightful thing about this class is they are all about dead even.  In short, it’s whom they bring to the table in their crews that may make the difference between “lights-out” over the horizon, or shrimping the spinnaker at the leeward mark.  While no one ever expects the latter, most are banking on the horizon job scenario; teams like Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBUG (a past winner), David Christensen’s AIRBORNE (another winner); Andy Wescoat’s HARM’S WAY (another winner) and Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE (yet, another winner).  So, will be interesting to see how the cards are played in this quartet!

    Finally, in the J/PHRF world, the big boat class in PHRF A (Asym chutes), led by JD & Susan Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR.  They will be chased hard on handicap by Scott Spurlin’s J/88 FIORNA-J, Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE, and Dan Kelsey’s J/80 HARMATTAN (who hails from Dillon YC in Colorado and Puerto Vallarta YC in Mexico).   PHRF B class (Sym chutes), will be led by Beverly Caldwell’s J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, with two J/29s in hot pursuit (John McCuthen’s SUPERGIRL and Glenn Stromme’s PRESS TO MECO), and Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA hoping to be in the same zip code when the bigger boats finish (as a result, he’s win!).  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

    Spanish Winter Sailing J/70s & J/80s
    Come Join the Barcelona or Vigo Winter Series!!
    (Barcelona, Spain)- Over the October 21st and 22nd weekend, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona held the first stage of the Barcelona Winter Series (BWS) for J/70s and J/80s.

    The seven J/70’s and seven J/80’s competed in three races every day.  It marked the inaugural event for J/70’s in Barcelona, with more J/70 teams planning to arrive when winter freezes northern Europe!!

    The first provisional leaders of the series after six races were NOTICIA in J/70s and AKEWUELE in J/80s.  The fleets are quite competitive, with several J/80 World Champions and Olympic class medal winners sailing in both classes- it makes for great “tuning” and “training” over the winter in preparation for the 2018 sailing season!

    Barcelona is a great place to sail in the winter to prepare for the J/70 Europeans in Vigo, Spain and the J/80 Worlds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France for 2018, so don’t hesitate to come down with your J/teams for a great winter sailing!

    The sailing conditions in Barcelona during the winter are gorgeous.  It’s warm weather on the Mediterranean, with mostly thermal sea breezes every day from 6 to 13 kts, nice temperatures and sunny!!  Our friends in northern Europe and Scandinavia who are no longer experiencing “the land of the midnight sun”, should join us for lots of “fun-in-the-sun” on the gorgeous Spanish Riviera!

    The Barcelona Winter Series will be held one weekend every month from October 2017 through March 2018, with very professional sailing management by RC Nautico de Barcelona.  For more RCNB Winter Series sailing information

    While Barcelona is in northeastern Spain in the beautiful Catalonia province, essentially the Spanish Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea, Vigo is on the opposite coast on the Atlantic, in northwestern Spain.

    Real Club Náutico De Vigo invites teams to participate in their winter series. They promise a warm welcome, wind, races on Saturdays and Sundays.  The most significant attraction for J/70 sailors is that RC Nautico De Vigo will be the host for the 2018 J/70 European Championship, running from June 12th to 16th, 2018.  Here are their dates for the 2017/ 2018 Winter Series:

    - October 28-29th
    - November 18-19th
    - December 16-17th
    - January 13-14th
    - February 3-4th
    - February 24-25th
    - March 17-18

    Please note, it is possible to rent boats for individual events for the complete series in Vigo. It's not too late to order a new boat that will be waiting for your team at the yacht club!  J/70 Spain Facebook page

    J/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Championship Update
    (Annapolis, MD)- Join us for the 39th J/24 East Coast Championship October 27th to 29th and the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship October 28th & 29th at Severn Sailing Association! Late October in Annapolis boasts great fall sailing conditions and a regatta you don't want to miss!!

    Best Fall Sailing Around!
    - Twenty-three J/24s & thirteen J/22s already registered- Tip-Top Competition!
    - 2018 Qualifier for J/24 World Championship!
    - Free Housing & Boat Storage Available
    - The Rigging Co. will put up your rig - first come, first served!
    - Dock Talks & Weather Briefs with your favorite pros

    On-Shore Fun - All Included With Entry!
    - Beers & Snacks After Racing Friday
    - Saturday Night Regatta Party with Live Band- “The Shatners”. Dinner for 5 & Dancing Under the Tent!
    - Post-Race Burgers 'n' Brats Sunday afternoon

    Please contact Pat FitzGerald at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past fortnight was busy with many fall regattas in the northern hemisphere and a significant one in the southern hemisphere, many of them including the hyperactive active J/70 fleets around the world.

    Starting Down Under, Australia is moving into their springtime and, therefore, into the world’s longest sailing summertime!  No wonder so many Australians know how to sail well, nearly nine months of perfect summer sailing weather.  And, what better way to kick it off than have the famous Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Sydney host the 2017 Australian J/70 Nationals!  Great turnout and fantastic racing!

    Flipping ourselves up over the Equator to Europe and Asia, we find Russian J/70 sailors completing two significant regatta series.  For starters, the Russian Sailing Federation supports the Russian J/70 National Sailing League, a series of six events that start in May in Sochi (site of the Winter Olympics) and ends in Sochi in October.  Just this past weekend, a fleet of 24 teams sailed J/70s in the Grand Finale at Sochi; some familiar faces to sailors on the European J/70 circuit finished on the leaderboard.  Then, PROyachting with partner ULYSSE NARDIN, completed their summer-long weekly regatta series sailed on J/70s and hosted by the Royal YC in Moscow in an amazing “stadium sailing” venue.

    Off to the west in Europe/ UK, we find the French J/80 sailors sail a tricky weekend series in the Crouesty J/Cup, hosted by YC Crouesty-Arzon, in Crouesty, France. Then, just across “La Manche”, the  Hamble Winter Series completed their third weekend, hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club in Hamble, Southampton, England for IRC fleets and the J/88 class.  Still further west, we get a report from the Lough Erne J/24 fleet sailing their Autumn Series at Lough Erne YC in Ireland- they sure know how to have fun!

    Hopping west across the Atlantic, a fleet of 53 teams assembled at American YC in Rye, New York to compete for the 2017 J/70 North American Championship; it was a deeply talented fleet, including two World Champions and three North American Champions.  Finally, we get a report from the fun and entertaining Annapolis YC Fall Series, in Annapolis, Maryland, for ORC/ PHRF handicap fleets and one-design classes of J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, and J/105s.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Oct 19-22- J/30 North American Championship- New Orleans, LA
    Oct 20-22- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Oct 21-22- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
    Oct 21- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Valleta, Malta
    Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
    Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
    Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
    Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
    Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
    Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
    Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
    Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
    Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    CATAPULT Swings to Victory @ J/70 North Americans!
    (Rye, NY)- It was an epic regatta in more ways than one.  Fifty-three boats from thirteen States and two Canadian Provinces participated in the 2017 J/70 North American Championship presented by Domaine Chandon, hosted by American YC in Rye, New York.  There was no question the AYC volunteers, Race Committee and mark boat team, the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the entire AYC shore team made a magnificent effort to ensure everyone in the event were treated as “family” all weekend long- it is not often that an entire club rallies from members to volunteers to their shore teams to make everyone feel welcome- it was greatly appreciated by all the J/70 teams in attendance!

    The sailing itself was challenging with winds, waves, and current literally coming from every quadrant on the compass.  Plus, the fleet was incredibly talented and very deep, with many champions of many different sailing classes pushing the starting line hard all weekend- reflected in the number of general recalls and U-flag/Black-flag starts. AYC’s “homie” and Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY were pre-regatta favorites, having just won the AUDI J/70 World Championship off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy at YC Costa Smeralda.  However, success can be fleeting and it’s hard to maintain 100% perfection, even on your home waters.  In the end, with Duncan’s team leading the regatta going into the last day, it was the 2016 J/70 World Champion at San Francisco, California that prevailed; Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT, including J/24 World Champion John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, were declared the 2017 J/70 North American Champions!  Here is how it all took place over the course of four days.

    Day One- Blow-Out Thursday!
    With sustained winds over 25 kts and gusts breaking 30 kts, the race committee spared the sailors of the difficulties of broken boats and risk of injury. As result, a number of crews went exploring; which meant a quick visit to New York City to see the “bright lights and big city” that it can be on such a gorgeous day.  For the rest, the regatta hosts and sponsors did not disappoint. Thanks to the sponsors, Greatest Blaze & Co. and Watson's Catering, a barbeque of grilled delights calmed the nerves of the sailors eagerly awaiting the start of the Championship. Fine slices of filet mignon, mini-Reuben sandwiches, Kobe beef mini hot dogs, and skewered shrimp ... what a spread! Such a great party kept everyone engaged for the rest of the evening.

    The raging Long Island Sound, only suitable for windsurfers and kite-boarders on Thursday, was expected to settle down to a perfect 10-15 kts on Wednesday from the east with huge waves, setting the stage for a fun and competitive day on the water.

    Day Two- Blustery, Head-banging Friday!
    The morning weather conditions arrived as expected, though a bit misty, chilly and grey with the forecast predicting partly sunny, warmer weather later in the afternoon. The wind had been mostly out of the East all week, blowing across the longest fetch of Long Island Sound, creating nasty, steep 4-5 ft waves in a tight frequency; somewhat reminiscent of Lake Michigan “chop” off the Chicago lakefront.

    The AYC Race Committee was able to pull off four action-packed races by 1700 hrs- a long day for the exhausted sailors! The entire fleet was very competitive with the top four boats earning a bullet each. Current J/70 World Champion, Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY was in first, but Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew were right on his heels only two points back. The MIDLIFE CRISIS team from Long Beach, California, led by Bruce Golison, held third, and only a few points separated them from the next two boats.

    Sarah Renz from the Chicago Yacht Club, sailing BERTEAU GROUP, led the Corinthians Division, only one point ahead of Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE and yet another point back was Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY.

    Upon reaching the docks after racing by 1730 hrs, the tired and satisfied sailors were treated to fine sparkling wine given out with white glove treatment, thanks to main sponsors- Domaine Chandon. Domaine Chandon is from California's famed Napa Valley region and uses the same three noble grape varietals as used in French Champagne.

    The American Yacht Club put on a wonderful feast to accompany the bubbly, while Tanqueray gin provided fine spirits. The evening was topped off with a generous quantity of great raffle prizes provided by Eric Magnuson and Patrick Aylward's Landfall Navigation, specializing in gear for the adventurous.

    Day Three- Saturday Glass-out!
    Many throw-outs were likely used on the only race that was sailed on Saturday, as the breeze lightened and began to turn southeast and die across the Sound- a familiar scenario for many Long Island Sound sailors!  However, AYC past Commodore, Peter Duncan, managed to stay consistent with a 6th place in the lone race. Ronning's CATAPULT, currently 2nd, did not fare so well, finishing in 18th place- that's a number that would likely remain a throw-out for them, leaving no room for error on the final day.

    Victor Diaz de Leon, sailing with Peter Duncan said, "today we tried to focus on minimizing maneuvers. When we did t, to tack or jibe, we did it in a puff because that makes it so much less painful."

    An impressive light-air performance was delivered by John and Molly Baxter, sailing Team VINEYARD VINES to a 1st today, moving them up to 9th overall. Current 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place boats all posted big numbers making their final day a challenge.

    Meanwhile, competition for the Corinthian crown had become fierce. The Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY was now equal on points with Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP. Gregg/ Bardenheier’s MUSE was holding on just one point behind. The stage is set for a critical final day where the breeze will be back but from another new direction- the southwest. Anything can happen on the race course Sunday, as the southwester will inevitably throw a few curve-balls at the fleet, a very tricky direction based on current and winds coming off the high-bluffs of Long Island to the south.

    On land, the hospitality at AYC remained consistent all week- superb!  Saturday evening, the sailors settled in with chili, clam chowder and a fantastic drink selection. The finest Scotch whiskeys Johnny Walker has to offer were on display for tasting. Aficionados be jealous! Sailors were able to come off the water and enjoy several blends including the 18-year-old Platinum Label blend. All of these fine delectables led the sailors into our second Doyle Sailmakers debrief. Tony Rey guided the discussion and called upon several top pro sailors to give their thoughts and opinions on sail trim and boat-handling techniques. Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay shared their secrets on how they make the J/70 go fast, while Judd Smith shed some light on how to deal with the tough sea state while on the helm.

    Day Four- The Dramatic, Tricky Finale
    Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY team controlled this regatta from day one. Not surprisingly, coming off a J/70 World Championship title, his crew was at the top of their game. But, there was a twist to the plot. Ronning's CATAPULT never fell very far behind in points, always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. And, pounce they did in the final race; a bullet in the final race by CATAPULT, coupled with a 10th place finish by RELATIVE OBSCURITY, was enough to push them ahead with a 3 point cushion.

    Sunday’s conditions were challenging. A new wind direction with varying intensity made for a tactician's nightmare. Credit to Bruce Golison for staying in the hunt and finishing 3rd overall with line honors in race seven. This was not an easy task with Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Mary Kullman’s NEW WAVE right on his heels, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

    The Corinthian title was no easy achievement either. The lead swapped multiple times throughout the day.  After race 6, Gregg’s MUSE crew was leading the division on a tiebreaker.  After the 7th race, Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP was leading by one pt. But, with a 7th in the 8th and final race, Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY managed to win in the end. BERTEAU GROUP and MUSE held their top three spots, finishing in that order. What is remarkable about that outcome was that it was the first time in J/70 class history that three women skippers swept the Corinthians Division!  Notably, women crews were also present on the next two boats- Mallory Loe on DIME in 4th and Melissa Fisher on BUTTON FLY in 5th place!

    Ashore after the racing and the frenetic process of hauling and preparing boats for traveling home, the AYC Team hosted a wonderful awards presentation with crystal and framed photographs as prizes. Tanqueray took center stage in relaxing the tired sailors with their signature gin & tonic for any and all in attendance- it was a warmly received and generous effort by the Domaine Chandon team and their team of hostesses to look after the sailors!

    What a fantastic regatta it was. In addition, it would not have been possible without the generosity of the sponsors of the event:
    • Presenting sponsor Domaine Chandon and their portfolio of fine spirit brands - Lead Sponsor Doyle Sailmakers who generously shared their knowledge and expertise in sailor with all the competitors
    • Lead Sponsor Tanqueray traditional gins and cocktails
    • Supporting Sponsor Landfall Navigation - "Your journey starts here…”
    • Supporting Sponsor Greatest Blaze Co.- offering exotic kiln dried wood, fire pits, and 41 sorts of grilling essentials
    • Supporting Sponsor Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, second to none in outfitting sailors
    • Supporting Sponsor Sail 22, the premier sailing concierge service providing all of your campaign management needs.
    Additional Sponsors included: Captain Lawrence, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Bulleit Bourbon, Watson's Catering, Summerties, Anne Arundel Dive Services, and Poland Spring.

    Sailing photo & video credits- Tim Wilkes Media Productions  American YC Promotions Team- Donavan McSorley/ Steffie Pomp

    J/70 NA’s Facebook sailing videos
    Day 1   Day 2 first day racing   Day 3- second day racing   Day 4- third day racing   American YC Facebook page   For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and scoring information

    JUNO Tops Australian J/70 Nationals
    (Sydney, Australia)- The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

    Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturday’s breeze was forecast for 25 kts, but abated to 15-20 kts providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sunday’s winds softened to 10-12 kts from the southeast.

    First place with 6 bullets was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on JUNO from the CYCA.  A thrilled Reg said, “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and boat-handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable.” Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168-boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sportboat event ever.

    In 2nd place, also from the CYCA were Tim Ryan and crew on JAMES. Third place was tightly contested and ultimately went to JACKAL team from Royal Sydney YS.

    It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.

    Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.  Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.

    The J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three-generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.

    Nick Rozenauers, sailing THE JACKAL with brother Alex, Dad, Peter, and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80 minutes and four of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing!”  New to the J/70, Andrew from JABBERWOCKY said, “it was a great learning experience for the crew, but good fun!”

    The J/70 is a dream to sail.  Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does.  This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack of other sportboats and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.

    Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the four short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.

    The J/70 fleet thanks Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year.  Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their on-going support of the J/70 Australian Class.

    ARTTUBE Wins Sochi J/70 Sailing League Finale!
    LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA Crowned Russian National League Champions!
    (Sochi, Russia)- After sailing six events all season, it can be said the twenty-four teams in the Russian J/70 Sailing League were easily the most-traveled J/70 crews in the world; having to crisscross the vast expanse of Russia, from as far east as Sochi, the resort on the Black Sea that hosted the Winter Olympics, to the far west to St. Petersburg, on the eastern end of the Baltic Sea!  The logistics sound intimidating, but the Russian Sailing Federation worked hard to include sailing teams from every part of Russia to participate in the summer-long series over a period of nearly six months.

    The season started and ended in Sochi.  So, at the start of the decisive regatta season these were the twenty-four teams: LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA (skipper Sergei Musikhin); LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE (Vyacheslav Ermolenko); KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB (Mark Kagansky); NAVIGATOR Sailing Team (Igor Rytov), ROCK’N’ROLLA Sailing Team (Alisa Kirilyuk); PIROGOVO TEAM (Yuri Morozov); ARTTUBE RUS7-2 (Valeria Kovalenko); ST. PETERSBURG YC SAILING ACADEMY (Anna Basalkina); LEVIATHAN TEAM (Vadim Yakhinson); DC TEAM (Denis Cherevatenko); X-FIT SPORTS (Vladimir Silk); NAVIGATOR NEXT (Irina Sorokina); REGION 23 TEAM (Evgeny Nikiforov), USC TEAM (Dmitry Sharubin); M1-CLOUD TEAM (Alexey Danilyants); PARMA LUKOMORYE (Vitaly Tarakanov); VOS TEAM (Yevgeny Anishev); FPS SOCHI-YUG SPORT (Oleg Kuzmin); KOMATEK (Yuri Kryuchenkov); SPORTTECH TEAM (Andrei Nikolaev); RUS7 TEAM (Anatoly Arnautov); CSKA TEAM (Darya Ivanova); SKOLKOVO SAILING TEAM (Andrey Davidyuk); and the ROYAL YC TEAM (Sergey Peshkov).

    In the Grand Finale, it was great racing all three days right on the Sochi waterfront.  Every team had a chance to sail in a wide variety of wind and sea conditions.  Showing that her experience in winning the YC Monaco Winter Series in the J/70 class was no fluke, Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE with crew of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Egor Ignatenko, simply showed their tail-feathers to the fleet for most of the regatta, winning most races and never finishing out of the top three to win by a commanding margin.

    As a result of the Sochi regatta, Sergei Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA team managed to sail a solid regatta to claim the ultimate sailing prize in Russia- to be crowned Russia’s Best Sailing Team- winning the Russian J/70 National Sailing League for 2017!  Here is how it all took place off Sochi.

    Day One- Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE Leads
    On Friday, twelve races took place, each team had 4 starts.

    It was an excellent beginning for ARTTUBE RUS7-2 and their skipper Valeriya Kovalenko- one of Russia’s top women sailors and skippers.  Her team produced two 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 6 pts to easily lead the regatta.  Next came PIROGOVO’s Morozov and NAVIGATOR SAILING TEAM’s Rytov tied on 8 point each.  Rounding out the top five were LORD OF SAIL- ASIA’s Musikhin sitting on 10 pts in fourth.  Then, 5th place had a three-way tie at 12 pts each between KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Kagansky, ST PETERSBURG YC ACADEMY SAILING TEAM’s Basalkina, and LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Ermolenko.

    Day Two- ARTTUBE Maintains Furious Pace!
    The penultimate day of racing had some seriously crazy, unpredictable weather patterns.  The weather on Saturday was a struggle for all teams: in the morning, Sochi was covered by a torrential rainstorm; then the sun came out and a stable wind of 12-14 knots appeared for awhile; and then at the end of the day, arrived a big frontal system with winds of 25+ kts and sheets of rain again!  Yes, the weather Godz must be crazy!

    Despite the difficult weather, the Race Committee and the race judges managed to ensure a good pace of the competition; fourteen races were held, for a total of twenty-six races run by the close of Saturday.

    Continuing to demonstrate their outstanding performance was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS7-2, adding three 1sts and a 5th to their dominant scorecard for a total of 14 pts in eight races!  Seven points back was Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, having clawed there way back onto the leaderboard after a disappointing start on the first day. Lying in third new was Morozov's PIROGOVO.

    On Saturday evening, the Russian J/70 sailing teams celebrated a tradition for Sochi, launching 350 balloons into the sky in honor of the 350th anniversary of Russian shipbuilding and the 10th anniversary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The volunteers of the “World Festival of Youth” and “Students 2017” launched the balloons. As part of the celebration, a race was held for guests and partners of the League, as well as volunteers of the World Festival of Youth and Students-2017.

    Day Three- ARTTUBE wins finale!
    On the final day for the Grand Finale of the summer-long series, six more races were completed to determine the winner of the Sochi Regatta, but also the overall champion for the Russian J/70 National Sailing League.  After thirty-two races, the winner of the "big finale" of the season was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team, sporting a scorecard that had only one race outside the top three, including six 1sts in ten races!

    Second place went to yet another woman skipper- Anna Basalkina from the ST PETERSBURG ACADEMY SAILING TEAM!  There is no question that would a “first ever” scenario in the history of Russian sailing that two women skippers swept the top two spots in a major national sailing championship!

    Finally, taking the bronze on the podium was Igor Rytov’s NAVIGATOR Sailing Team.

    The Grand Finale in Sochi also produced the Russian J/70 National Sailing League Champions- that crowned was award to LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, with skipper Sergei Musikhin and crew of Pavel Trofimchuk, Denis Tyurikov and Mikhail Korznikov.  Their fourth place in the Grand Finale earned them their hard-won championship title.

    The overall series silver was awarded to NAVIGATOR Sailing Team and rounding out the podium with the bronze was LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Vyacheslav Ermolenko and crew.

    The success of the 2017 Russian J/70 National Sailing League could have happened without the generous support of its partners and sponsors.  “Thank You” to the following:
    • General partner- JSC "United Shipbuilding"
    • Official partners- GAZPROM and NORD STREAM AG
    • Financial partner- ALFA Private
    • Fitness partner- X-FIT fitness clubs across the federation
    • Sochi Regatta partner- SOCHI GRAND MARINA by Burevestnik group
    • Technological Partner- INTERPROCOM provided tracking
    • Radio communication partner- COMPASS-R.
    • Sport media partner- TV channel “MATCH!”
    • Radio partner- radio station MAXIMUM.
    • General media partners- the newspaper SOVETSKY SPORT, MAXIM magazine, FORBES.LIFE, Sport FM, YACHTING magazine.
    Russian J/70 Sailing League video highlights:
    Day 3 Highlights     Day 2 Highlights    Day 1 Highlights
    Grand Finale on Russian Sports TV News- MATCH:
    Day 3    Day 2    Day 1
    For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

    Hamble Winter Series- Week 3 Report
    (Hamble, England)- The third weekend of sailing took place last weekend for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 kts range.

    Nevertheless, in spite of the conditions, the hotly contested racing continued unabated with some boats beginning to consolidate their positions atop the leaderboard while others were still getting a handle on why they were seemingly signed up for the “Magical Mystery Tour” on some yellow bus that careened frenetically around the race track!

    In the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued to set the pace, adding a 3-1 to the tally to be leading the fleet by one point.  The next J/team is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL sitting in 7th place.

    The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, posting three straight bullets since showing their faces on the racetrack on October 1st.  While three 1sts does not create a lead, at the pace they are going, the discard races will start to kick in and they should fault towards the top of the standings; currently they sit in 3rd place.  In 5th place is Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew and in 6th is Roger Phillips DESIGNSTAR 2.

    Currently having a strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts in six races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts.

    Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by an extraordinarily comfortable margin- 3 bullets and a 3rd give them 8 pts in six races.  The next three teams are all very tight on points.  Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 pts, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough and they are having great sailing on the Solent!   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    Pellissier Tops Crouesty J/80 Regatta
    (Crouesty Arzon, France)- The Crouesty J/Cup could have been nicknamed the "Crouesty-tricks Cup” this year, in view of the crazy weather the YC Crouesty- Arzon Race Committee and the crews had to contend with over the weekend.  Nevertheless, in the tricky conditions, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE and his crew (Mathieu Durand, Edouard Gendreau, & Gabriel Couronne) sailed their J/80 smartly and conservatively to win the regatta.

    On the first day of sailing Friday afternoon, there was barely ripple on the water, with a very light easterly wind of 3-5 knots. Fortunately, on this flat sea, the J/80s moved nicely and the YCCA Race Committee (bravo!) was in an opportunistic mode and made the most of the light air/ glass-out conditions. Two races were run, both won quite easily by Sylvain Pelissier's VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, obviously very comfortable on this playing field.

    Saturday’s weather was more in line with the forecasts, moderate winds at best. Forgot the surfing and planing at 18 knots like last year, this year it was necessary to finesse the boat in a light to moderate south-east breeze between 5 and 10 knots. Luc Nadal’s GANJA, that had started modestly the first day, returns to the forefront with 2 victories over the 5 races. Despite a modest fleet of thirteen teams, the races were very close, with no less than 4 different winners in the 5 races of the day. With two 2nd and one 3rd, Pellesier’s VOILERIE AP was still doing very well and kept a comfortable points lead.

    Sunday’s racing was wild and different!  With a good 15+ kts forecast by midday, the crews tightened their rigging in anticipation of a good breeze. Strangely, it was the fog, and not the wind, that dominated this day’s one and only race! 10 minutes after the start, you could not see more than 50m! Over the VHF radio, the YCCA RC strongly urged the sailors not to lose sight of the nearest competitor, not just to avoid his wind! Luc Nadal, in the lead, was the leader of the expedition. A 1st place well deserved! But, GANJA’s efforts were not enough to displace Pélissier’s crew.  GANJA’s crew (Luc Nadal, Pierre Mousselon, Yvon Goude, David Nadal) finished two points back after their discard race to finish with 21 pts.  Third was a local YCCA crew, that of Gaétan Le Guil sailing GUESS WHO’S BACK with crew of Brice Menay, Pierre Hervet-Cozette, and Quentin Le Saout.

    Congratulations to the YCCA Race Committee chaired by Marc Eymond, who did everything humanly possible to make a regatta work in light winds ... and fog and run eight races against seemingly insurmountable odds!  Applause also for the YCCA volunteers who have provided a benevolent and warm welcome in the very quaint club house.

    The Coupe de France rankings are determined by the seven race series sailed from the spring to the fall.  Starting with SPI Ouest France in April (La Trinite sur Mer), the fleet then went to GPEN in March (Brest Lanveoc), then Pornic J/Cup in June (Pornic), then Obelix Trophy in August (Benodet), then Atlantique Telegramme in September (Lorient), then Crouesty J/Cup in October (Crouesty), and finishes with the French J/80 Nationals in first weekend of November in Port Haliguen over the Halloween weekend!

    With more than 100 points ahead of his pursuers, Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT is guaranteed to win the Coupe de France J/80 for 2017. On the other hand, the fight for the podium promises to be exciting between five teams: Nadal, Pélissier, Guilhot, Bot and Le Guil.

    The Masters J/80 title will be played out between Patrick Bot and Luc Nadal, provided each have a sufficiently senior crew (> 40 years on average). There are four contenders for the third step of the podium with a short lead for Xavier Tinel.

    Top women’s teams are Elodie Bonafous’s BAIE DE MORLAIZ, Christelle Phillipe’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE I and Margot Riou’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE II.  For more French J/80 Coupe de France sailing information

    Gorgeous Moscow J/70 ULYSSE NARDIN Finale
    Kovalenko’s SSA-9 wins coveted ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph!
    (Moscow, Russia)- In 2017, two series of summer racing took place on a fleet of matched J/70 one-design class sailboats at Royal YC Moscow: the Tuesday Warm-Up Races and the Wednesday Night Races. PROyachting managed the regatta schedule and the teams and the principal partner was the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.

    Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series
    For the Tuesday Warm-Up Races, a total of thirty-five teams competed! All teams were made up of people that work and sail in the greater region surrounding Moscow.  Winning the Tuesday series was MOSCOW-24, a team comprised of young professionals with a woman skipper; they never missed a single race all season-long!  Taking second place was Team HURRICANE and, finally, taking the bronze was Team BIG FISH!

    Throughout the entire yachting season, the teams were very close in the provisional rankings, with at least four different teams leading the season and changes taking place virtually every Tuesday.

    Wednesday Night Race Series- Sponsored by ULYSSE NARDIN

    While the Tuesday races were oriented to sailors with little or no experience and included a lot of training on the water for them, the Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin races were focused primarily on more advanced sailors that had experience in regional, national, or European regattas.  Forty-two teams participated in the 2017 season.  Guess who won??

    The winner and winner of the main prize for the season- the ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph- was Team SSA-9 skippered by Valerya Kovalenko. The NO PASARAN Team took second place and third place went to Team ULYSSE NARDIN.

    Valeria Kovalenko, the woman skipper of SSA-9, commented:  "I sailed this summer series for the first time in the summer of 2015 and I fell in love with incredible pink sunsets! In the 2016 season, we formed a team of my fellow students at the Startup Academy of Skolkovo and began to participate in the series Tuesday Warm-Up Race, where we took second place. The guys from the first regatta liked everything: the opportunity to race right in the city, a soulful atmosphere, strong rivals, a clear organization, and wonderful prizes! Therefore, for the 2017 season, we prepared in advance and formed a large and strong team. I really believe the series of summer evening regattas created by PROyachting and hosted by Royal YC Moscow is the best way for a relaxing and fun evening of sailing with friends!!"

    Maxim Andrianov, CEO of ULYSSE NARDIN Russia, summed up the 2017 yachting season 2017 with the following words: "First of all, I want to thank PROyachting for the great opportunity to go sailing each week! Three years ago, I could not even imagine that I would sail and participate in competitions. This applies not only to me, but also to other regatta participants in Moscow and Sochi. And this is the main merit of PROyachting. I want to note the increased level of the organization and the participants themselves. This is a very serious level- imagine that, seventy-two teams from around Moscow were racing every evening this summer! Many youth take part in the National Sailing League and international competitions sail J/70s, and it all started here at the Water Stadium west of Moscow on a matched fleet of J/70s- perfect! I will tell you a secret that I also thought about developing in this direction. It is a pity that the season is over, but we will wait for the start of new season in 2018 and, of course, I will go to Sochi to support the National Sailing League and the 24 teams competing on the famous J/70 class sailboats! Thank you, PROyachting, you are good fellows!"

    For more PROyachting sailing event information, please contact PROyachting at ph- +7 499 393 31 33 (Moscow), +7 988 143 17 57 (Sochi) or email- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Lough Erne YC Autumn J/24 Series Report
    (Lough Erne, Ireland)- Lough Erne YC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday series got underway a week late on Sunday, 17 September.  The previous Sunday’s racing had been cancelled with a gale forecast. Race Officer, JP McCaldin, did very well to manage three races for the fleet in sunny light winds with calms that provoked the tense tussle pictured above to gain and retain momentum downwind to finish.

    Barry’s TJ with crew of Martyn, Philomena and Deidre, scored 2-2-3 for 7 pts to place 2nd overall.  Nipping at their heels was Michael’s JERIATRIX with crew of Sheila, Karen and Lisa with a 3-3-2 for 8 pts, securing third position.

    Finbarr in JELIGNITE won all three races for a 3 point total, with top deck crew June and James. And Finbarr even had time after finishing to take these pictures. Thanks!

    J/24 Autumn Sunday Series - Programme
    Repeating what worked well in 2015 and 2016, LEYC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday Series plans 20 races, 4 on each of 5 Sundays (10) 17, 24 September and 8, 15, and 22 October. Crew gather 1100 hrs, tea/coffee, boat preparation, registration 1130 hrs, Briefing 1200 hrs, first of four races on simple windward/leeward courses, at 1300 hrs, ashore before 1700 hrs for BBQ (own food) and Bar! Prize Giving on final Sunday afternoon.

    Many LEYC sailors have raced in International J/24 events. Nearly all our boats have been at international events: notably JIGALO, winning boat in two J/24 World Championships, with Tim Rippey’s name on the placards.

    Crew Needed & Welcome: Expert & Novice
    On Sunday, second time sailing, Karen steered J/24 JERIATRIX downwind as the owner trimmed spinnaker.  They got 4th overall, best race was a 2nd place! Amazingly, they did it in an old Westerly and they challenged the fleet’s three better modern J/24s! Dockside preparation included sharing out crew amongst boats that needed crew. Brenna, for example, went from TJ to JIGALO, as did Michael from INDIGO KISS to JERIATRIX.

    This is the core spirit of our Autumn J/24 Series, enjoying ancient sport and bringing new folk into it, for the sailing and companionship. Seeking this opportunity? Come crew in races in October!  More news to follow at the end of our Autumn event!

    Riveting Annapolis YC Fall Series
    (Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

    In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

    In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

    The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

    The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

    The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

    Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

    The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

    Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
    For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results.

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Terry Hutchinson has accrued a track record of being a winner. He gets involved in big-time keelboat racing programs and makes them better. However, the basis for what he does today is deeply rooted in extremely tough one-design racing at a world-class level.  After sailing FJ’s and 420’s in college and became a College Sailor of the Year, Terry competed in J/24s for a long time, ultimately winning the J/24 World Championship.  Like other J/24 World Champions, such as his colleague Ken Read at North Sails (now its President), Terry also capitalized on his know-how on what it takes to win and proceeded to help Quantum Sails Racing program, first in one-designs, then later in big boats.

    It is now through his work as tactician for Hap Fauth’s Maxi72 Bella Mente and Doug DeVos’s TP52 Quantum Racing that Terry has brought these two successful owners together, alongside New York Yacht Cup, to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. Here Terry discusses this new campaign.

    CL: Let’s start with some background.
    TH: It’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. I’m incredibly mindful of the history and the tradition that the New York Yacht Club has for the event, and so from the team side, it’s an honor to be a part of New York’s effort in this 36th America’s Cup.

    This campaign probably started five years ago with Doug, and three years ago with Hap, as our sailing relationships have evolved over that period of time. When it became obvious that Team New Zealand was going to win, and after having discussions with them and their Challenger of Record where they indicated what they were going to do with the boat, it seemed like an opportunity to at least sit down and discuss if this was a challenge we wanted to take on.

    The more myself, and Doug, and Hap talked about it, the more it became apparent how our goals were aligned in what we wanted to do, what we wanted the team to look like, and if we’re fortunate enough to be successful partnering with New York, to make the next match another step towards what we feel is represented in the sport. To get to this point has been about six month’s worth of work and it’s just on the front side of a lot more.

    But I think when I look at our team and where we’re at, we have a lot of great sailing infrastructure already in place, and that component of the program has been operating at a reasonably high level for just over the better part of five years.

    So under Hap’s and Doug’s leadership, they’re helping us get the business infrastructure in place and I think Hap summed it up best when he said, “Being successful in the America’s Cup is as much of a sailing venture, as it is a business venture,” and so it’s going to take an absolute team effort from all of us to be successful.

    CL: Any particular vision for the team?
    TH: For starters, we have two great principals. We have Doug and Hap. Then we have a third partner with the New York Yacht Club. But we are going to need to continue to find commercial and private funding to help support this challenge. Additionally, an important point to make is how this is going to be a US team. It’s a US flag team.

    When you travel and you race the 52s or the 72s, you realize there is a massive gap in sailors from my generation, or slightly behind, to people in their early twenties. So as a team, we want to return the America’s Cup back to the base of our sport and garner support in that manner. In all of our minds, we want to represent the United States in the manner we feel is appropriate and do it through hard work and good results on the race course.

    Is the team going to be 100% American? Probably not, but again, it’s going to be born and bred here. The way the Protocol is written right now, the sailing team must be comprised of 20% nationals and 80% have to be residents. I’m expecting the residency clause to be a pretty difficult to achieve by bringing in outsiders, so our goal is to have a team that is US based and using and developing sailors in our country.

    When you talk about winning and then defending in the grand scheme of things, if we’re successful enough on the water this is time around, the goal would be to have developed a team of younger sailors that can then defend it. If you think about it in the big picture world, if it’s a nine-year cycle, I will have probably aged out of it by then. And that’s why we have to do a good enough job developing the younger generation.

    That’ll likely be a combination of American sailors and international sailors, but as the skipper of the team and as an American, my feelings and thoughts are in this is going to be an American team. Is every single person going to be an American citizen? Probably not, but we’re going to definitely wave the flag proudly.

    CL: Any details at this time about team members?
    TH: It’s a bit too soon for specifics but I will say that my role is team skipper and not helm…. though in the America’s Cup you never say never. If you break down the timeline, and start working backwards from when the actual match, there’s not a lot of sailing time in the boat itself. But there’s some great young American sailors right now pursuing various avenues, so there’s a lot of talent that we have to go and cultivate and see who is going to be the right fit for this campaign.

    It’s pretty simple when the underlying agenda is winning, which it is, and then doing it in a manner that’s going to make us all proud. When you work backwards from there then the cream will rise to the top. We just have to make sure that we then have a structure in place that allows us to pick the best sailors and execute on the day.

    CL: What do we know about the boat?
    TH: In all the discussions that we’ve had with the defender, we have a sense of the direction but it’s premature to know the full scope as there are a lot of variables that need to get addressed. The challenge for the organizers is how they want to make sure they have a great event that has participation and that brings people to New Zealand, and that brings the event back to where the base of the sport feels like it should be. Within all that the America’s Cup needs to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the sport.

    So this is a tricky challenge. They want participants, they need to control the costs so it doesn’t become a ridiculous arm’s race, yet it needs to be the pinnacle of our sport. Having been in the loop of the conversations and email exchanges with Grant Dalton, I see clearly how he’s in a tough spot. While he’s in a great spot because he just won the thing, but he has got a great responsibility as well. I know they’re not taking any of it lightly.

    CL: What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned in the past that are now directing you out of the blocks?
    TH: With regard to the game itself, you can make extremely complicated, so lesson number one is to seek simplicity and focus on the priorities which is to design a fast boat and race it well with good people. If you keep those principles you can make it an easier game.

    Significant to keeping it simple is getting the right people for the job. As I’ve evolved in my sailing, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be tactician for some really great teams, and what you learn in those experiences in how vital it is to have the right people for the jobs ashore and on the water. So we will be focused on bringing together those people.

    One of the strengths for Bella Mente and Quantum Racing programs is to have great teams from bow to stern, where everybody works hard and respects the process that’s in place. We have a great system sailing where we evaluate our performance each day and we critique it and we go back out and we do the same thing the next day. We look forward to continuing this approach with this new campaign.

    When the club announced this challenge, Hap made mention to how the event would now embody “a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar…” Does this infer the America’s Cup got off track with the previous few additions?

    I wouldn’t say it went off track. In fact, I’d say there was some great things as a show. The last America’s Cup, as a visual spectator, was pretty darn impressive. The organization did a really good job of producing a broadcast product that was pretty exciting to watch.

    However, I’m not sure it’s the vision I would’ve followed but that’s not really my position to say because we weren’t in their situation. They followed what they thought was a correct vision to take sailing to a different part of the sport. And that’s what they did. Team New Zealand has won it now and as competitors we follow their vision.

    Four years from now, if we’re fortunate enough to be the defender, our vision will likely be a variation of several of the recent America’s Cup. But without question, the vision going forward is to do what we can to broaden our sport.”  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter for this contribution.

    * Volvo Ocean Race: Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team that includes as its leader the J/24 World Champion Charlie Enright.  Furthermore, he is joined by friend Mark Towill, both avid sailors and racers since they were little kids growing up on Narragansett Bay, sailing out of the Bristol YC on Sunfishes, J/24s, J/35s, J/105s and even the new J/121 recently.

    Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they've teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

    American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

    Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more, and now they're back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

    The team's partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best to respect them.

    Joining Towill and Enright in the team's high command is Simon 'SiFi' Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's win in 2014-15 from the navigation station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

    Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA's Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer, all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders. Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

    Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crew member, then there are the team's under-30 crew members, bursting with enthusiasm and talent. Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark's Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds, Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016. Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America's Cup.

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they've been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.

    Follow these guys as the go around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race website (great tracker, too!). Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- October 11th, 2017 J/105 International Masters Regatta Preview
    (San Diego, CA)- Returning to the San Diego Bay on October 20-22, 2017 is the International Masters Regatta, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club for the sixth consecutive year. Twelve teams from all around the world will compete in this year’s regatta, which will be sailed in a round robin format.

    Historically, the International Masters Regatta was first established in 1975 and took place in the San Francisco Bay until 2012 when SDYC began hosting the distinguished event. The name of the event originates from the rule that invited skippers must be over the age of 60 and crew members must be over the age of 45.

    Competitors will race the three day regatta in equalized J/105 sailboats and teams will rotate boats after each race. Local J/105 owners generously lend their boats for both the Masters Regatta and the Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup Regatta held October 27-29, 2017. To keep racing fair among the teams, the J/105 boats are rigged to a one-design standard. SDYC appreciates the generosity of these owners.

    The 2017 event will feature some of the most accomplished skippers in the sport of sailing. Included below are just some of their many highlights over the years.

    • Bill Campbell (SDYC): World Champion in the 420 Class in 1971, E-Scow National Champion in 1981, three time America’s Cup sailor in 1983, 1992, and 1995
    • Bill Menninger (NHYC): Defending Champion- 2016 Masters Regatta winner and crew for 2016 Lipton Cup winning team, former Governor's Cup Winner from the mid-1970s, US Team Racing Championship Team Winner
    • Jon Andron (St. Francis YC): has completed 15 Transpac races, is a former 505 North American Champion, sailed on Intrepid in the 1970 America’s Cup.
    • Richard du Moulin (Larchmont YC): past winner of Block Island Race Week, the Vineyard and Block Island Races, lifetime goal is to sail 30 Bermuda races.
    • David Irish (Little Traverse YC): three time past President of US Sailing, former Vice President of ISAF (now World Sailing), in 2013 was awarded the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.
    • Tad Lacey (SFYC): winner of the San Francisco Cup in 2013, class winner at the Rolex Big Boat Series (has raced the Rolex Big Boat Series for almost 40 years), SFYC Commodore in 2013.
    • Jimmie Lowe (Nassau YC): 2016 Snipe Worlds Grandmaster Class Winner, currently the Director of Sailing at the Bahamas Sailing Association.
    • Ted Moore (NYYC): won the 2017 NYYC Grandmaster’s Team Race, tied for first at the Nantucket Pro Am in IODS for the past two years.
    • Dave Perry (Pequot YC): 1975 Intercollegiate Dinghy National Champion (Yale) and 2-time All-American in college, the 1983 & 1984 Congressional Cup winner, the 1978 Tasar North American Champion, the 1994, 1999 and 2003 Ideal 18 North American Champion.
    • Doug Rastello (NHYC): participated in three America’s Cups, 1989 Prince of Wales trophy winner at the US Match Racing Championship, two-time winner of the Big Boat Series as crew.
    • Dr. Laura Schlessinger (SBYC): has raced the Corona del Mar to Cabo Race (Class D winner and second boat to finish), Transpac, and Puerto Vallarta Races, only female skipper in the 2017 International Masters Regatta.
    • Tom Webster (YC of Hilton Head): South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association Penguin and Y-Flyer Champion and a National Junior Champion, chairman in past NA Finn, NA Europe Class Regattas, and the 1998 MUMM 30 World Championship.
    Defending Champion Bill Menninger won the International Masters Regatta for the first time in 2016, which was also the regatta’s first win from a Newport Harbor Yacht Club skipper. Never a dull moment on the San Diego Bay, Menninger won last year’s regatta after breaking a three-way tie for first place going into the last race. Jon Andron and Richard du Moulin who were involved in that three-way tie will be back this year for the opportunity to claim the 2017 title.

    To kick-off the 2017 Masters Regatta, SDYC will once again host the popular Taste of Point Loma on Thursday, October 19 on the Sail Wash Lawn. Regatta competitors, guests, and SDYC members are invited to attend and sample dishes and beverages from over 30 restaurants in the Point Loma community.

    The intended race area will consist of typical windward-leeward courses set on South San Diego Bay. Competitors are invited to practice on Thursday, October 19.

    Following the practice day, the International Masters Regatta will consist of three days of competitive sailing with a dockside social on Friday night and a Saturday night banquet for competitors and guests upon the conclusion of racing. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday after racing on the front deck.

    Event Co-Chair Alli Bell extends a warm welcome to the 2017 competitors. “SDYC is excited to once again host the International Masters Regatta and we look forward to competitive racing and great fun on and off the water. This year, we are sailing in the South Bay, which is a new venue for this event, and we are eager to see how this raises the caliber of racing.”

    The International Masters Regatta would like to thank its event sponsors: Helly Hansen and Cutwater Spirits.  For more J/105 Masters Regatta sailing information

    Caribbean Winter Regattas- Go For It & Help!!
    (Gustavia, St Barths)- Sadly, the islands in the Caribbean were recently devastated by the full force of one of the strongest series of hurricanes in history. The islanders and wider communities have rallied together and incredibly many businesses, marinas, bars and restaurants are already open!  Such is the power of perseverance, love, and passion amongst sailors around the world.

    The message is loud and clear; the Caribbean will be open and ready to welcome sailors for the 2018 racing and cruising season.

    The 2018 season is going to be a very special year in the Caribbean, as we all come together to rebuild the livelihoods of the resilient locals who will open their hearts and share their wonderful islands with all those who visit and enjoy the love for the sea.

    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will celebrate its 38th anniversary and takes place from March 1 – 4, 2018. This Regatta is the largest warm water Regatta in the world and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic parties, keeping with the event’s motto “Serious Fun”!

    The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is open to all levels of sailors from professional teams to novice and first time on the water sailors.

    The event kicks off with the GILL Commodores Cup on Thursday 1st March, with windward-leeward races starting and finishing between Philipsburg and Simpson Bay.

    Friday 2nd March is a race around the Island of St. Maarten clockwise from Simpson Bay, passing Tintamarre in the north and finishing back in Philipsburg.

    Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th, will see the racing fleet enjoying some windward leeward racing in the Anguilla Channel followed by a coastal race back to a grand finish in Simpson Bay.  For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information
    Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) are pleased to announce that 2018 event, set for March 23 to 25, will take place as scheduled despite damage to the island from Hurricane’s Irma and Maria. Never in the 48-year history of STIR has a fall storm, even a major one, interrupted the running of the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’, and it will not in 2018. The host St. Thomas Yacht Club suffered some damage and the fleet took more than a few dents, but the venue for fantastic round the island races is still very much here. The resilience of regatta organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and club members as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands’ business community, hotel and tourism sectors is strong. Show your support and be part of our island’s recovery and future.

    EL OCASO, Caribbean Yacht Racing’s swift-sailing J/122 is signed up and ready for a team who wants to charter her to a podium finish like last year.

    If you are concerned about helping out, please help in the Virgin Islands’ recovery efforts by donating to the non-profit VI Marine Build Fund (tinyurl.com/savethevi). All funds will be used for the cleanup of the current cruising grounds, growth of marine industry offerings and development of marine vocational programs.  Register Now for Round the Rocks Race and STIR 2018

    There is no question the Les Voiles de St. Barth Regatta will carry on in 2018!

    Considered a high point of the tourist season on the island of Saint-Barthélemy, Les Voiles de St. Barth will take place as planned over April 8-14, 2018.

    A little over two weeks ago, the Caribbean Islands were ravaged by one of the deadliest hurricanes of the century. While it took a hard hit, Saint-Barthélemy is already well on the road to recovery, revealing its courage and energy to rise up, much like the organizers of Les Voiles de St. Barth who have decided to maintain the regatta in 2018.

    “We are working hard so that our island can welcome all of our guests, crews and spectators with the same level of hospitality and professionalism as usual,” announced François Tolède, who organizes Les Voiles along with Luc Poupon and a large group of volunteers. “We will produce this ninth edition of Les Voiles as a symbol of our reconstruction, with the same quality of service and the same degree of competition. We are going to concentrate our energy in organizing a regatta every bit as exceptional as in past years, with five days of competition, a day off, concerts every evening…the fundamentals will be there!”

    Looking Toward the Future
    There is one very clear common goal: to get the island ready for a limited 2018 tourist season. “We must remain confident,” said Bruno Magras, president of the Collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy. “We are capable of getting the island back in shape and putting its best foot forward!”

    French President Emmanuel Macron noted with great optimism when he visited the island just one week after the storm, “Saint Barth is an island that is still standing, that retains its strength and values, and is in the process of getting back on its feet.”

    Every Boat Matters!
    With boats ranging in size from 24 feet to 100+, Les Voiles de St. Barth is defined by the diversity of its fleet, and every boat, be it large or small, professional or amateur, is invited to participate to show its support for the regatta and for the island of Saint-Barthélemy.

    There are already some boats that have registered for this ninth edition of Les Voiles. The organizers of Les Voiles are sending this message to crews around the world: ”Come next April, participate and discover our paradise re-found. Hurricane Irma tried to destroy us, but we have nerves of steel, and by rebuilding together, our island will be even more beautiful.”  Here is a highlights reel from the last edition  To register for Les Voiles de St. Barth:

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    While it may be fall in Europe, that does not slow down many J sailors across the continent and the United Kingdom.  The second weekend of racing took place in the Hamble Winter Series for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, and J/109s.  The event is hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club, with the fleet sailing in the halo’d confines of the Southampton Water and the Solent.  Across the continent, the J/24s sailed their fourth event in the Italian Winter Series, sailing the regatta off the pretty, quaint seaside town of Cervia on the western shoreline of the Adriatic Sea.

    Over in the Americas, the Canadians hosted their J/105 Canadian Championship at the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario and sailed on Lake Ontario.  Not too far south the 30th annual J-Jamboree took place on Lake Winnipesaukee hosted by the Winnipesaukee YC, the event also served as the J/80 East Coast Championship.  Then, further south on western Long Island Sound, two regattas took place within sight of each other.  To the east, the American YC hosted their annual HPR Regatta for J/70s and just to their west towards New York City, Larchmont YC hosted their incredibly popular “college big boat” regatta, a.k.a. Storm Trysail Club’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta- the boat owners acted as “chaperones”, sailing on board their boats in fleets of J/105s, J/88s, J/109s, J/44s and a few PHRF boats, too.

    Finally, down in South America, the Chilean J/70 fleet hosted the last of their qualifying regattas for the J/70 South Americans in Algarrobo, Chile.  Racing took place on giant Pacific Ocean swells on the Chilean coastline.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    TSUNAMI Wins Chilean J/70 Regatta Qualifier
    (Algarrobo, Chile)- On September 23rd and 24th weekend, the last qualifying regatta for the 2017 J/70 South American Championship took place at Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico.  Eighteen Chilean teams participated in the racing, the fleet was treated to light to medium winds all weekend from the southwest.

    In the relatively cold weather, the crews had to choose to go right and get slightly more breeze, or go left into the bay and get a more geographical wind shift that would help at the windward mark.

    After just four windward-leeward races were sailed, the winners were the team on TSUNAMI, consisting of the Ducasse family- four brothers (Andrés, Ignacio, Coco, Rodrigo) and their father Andrés Ducasse. Andrés Jr and Cocó (Francisco) represented Chile in the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 470 class.

    Taking second was WINDMADE, sailed by Juan Reid, his wife Francisca, Alvaro, Sebastián and Mati.

    Third place went to Pablo Amunátegui and Rodrigo Guzman onboard BLACK JACK with Tomás Guzman Jr, Pipe and Pablo Herman. Both brothers are coming from the 49er and Lightning class.

    In addition to the top three boats, the J/70 class in Chile will other sailors participating in the J/70 South Americans, like Per Von Appen (former J/24 sailor), Matías Seguel (former J/24 and Laser sailor), Alejandro Pérez (former Optimist and Lightning sailor), Rodrigo Zuazola (former J/24 and Lightning sailor), Felipe Robles (former Lightning sailor), and Vernon Robert (ex-J24 sailor).

    All of these crews will be participating from the 26th to 30th of October for the second J/70 South American Championship.  The twenty local boats that have qualified will welcome five teams from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay- for a total of twenty-five teams.  Thirteen races are programmed for the J/70 South American in Algarrobo.

    Windy Hamble Winter Series Regatta
    (Hamble, England)- The first day of the Hamble One Design Championships began with wind in the low 20s, and gusts of up to 30 knots. The Hamble River Sailing Club race committee team headed out to Jonathan Jansen, and after a short AP the wind began to ease to around 16 knots, and the race team delivered a full schedule of four windward-leeward races in short order. The conditions provided spectacular autumn racing for the sportsboat classes, with fast and thrilling downwind surfing conditions. By contrast, the second day produced light winds of about four knots, which slowly built allowing one race for competitors. However, after the first race of the day, the wind died and sadly did not rebuild.

    In the J/70 Class, there was a dramatic final flourish. Doug Struth's DSP gained the upper hand in the very last race to finish top J/70 for the regatta. Graham Clapp's JEEPSTER was second, but only on countback from Marshall King's THE JANITOR third. Patrick Liardet's COSMIC scored a bullet to claim fourth on countback, ahead of David McLeman's OFFBEAT.

    In the J/80 Class, Mike Lewis' JESTER reeled off three straight bullets to stamp his authority on the class. However, Louise Makin's RYOKO MEKA and Nigel Skudder's HARLEY QUINN took a race win each and ended the regatta tied on points. RYOKO MEKA was second after countback.

    For the second round of the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble, there were class wins for Gavin Howe's TIGRIS in the J/88 Class and Annie & Andy Howe's J/97 BLACKJACK II in IRC Three. Matt Harris General Manager of The Bugle, Hamble, was on hand to congratulate the winners with complimentary wine and dinner invitations to the gastro-pub located on the River Hamble. "The Bugle is only 100 metres away from the Hamble River Sailing Club, and many of the members are regular customers, so by supporting the Hamble Winter Series, we are giving a little back to our community."

    In IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship, currently lying in first place with a 6-1-2 record is Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E Grand Prix DAVANTI TYRES.  A little further down the ladder is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL with a DNF-4-5 for a total of 18 pts; they are in a three-way tie for 5th place!

    In the IRC 2 division, a number of J/109s are registered, but only started racing on October 8th. While they are all sitting in the top six, it was Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE that won on Sunday, followed by another sistership- Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW in 5th place.

    The three 30-foot J’s sailing in IRC 3 Class are leading a clean sweep in their division.  Sitting on top is Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with a 1-3-1 for 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with a 3-2-2 tally for 7 pts.  And, sitting in third is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO with a 2-1-6 record 9 pts.

    Finally, in the J/88 class, Avia Willment’s GBR 2688R is leading with a 3-1-2 scoreline for 6 pts.  Tied at 8 pts each are Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J-DREAM and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS.

    Racing organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club continues 7-8 October, with another double helping of exciting racing in the Solent. The Hamble One-Design Championship, supported by Grapefruit Graphics, and The Bugle PH, Hamble, will consist of fast thrilling sportboats racing over two days. Thirty teams have already entered, with room for more! The Second round of the Hamble Winter Series will take place on Sunday October 8th.   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page  Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft  For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    Awesome Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta!
    (Larchmont, NY)– Over 360 college students from the United States, as well as international teams from Canada and France, participated in the 2017 Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR).

    Conditions for the regatta varied between 8-10 knots of breeze on Saturday to a slightly more rugged 18-20 knots with higher gusts on Sunday. Sunday’s more-challenging conditions led to two crew overboard situations. In the first instance, the Grand Valley State crew on the J/109 MORNING GLORY– under the guidance of long-time Storm Trysail Club member and boat owner Carl Olsson - initiated a successful recovery maneuver while sailing downwind. In the second instance, one of the two safety boats swiftly picked up the crew person who had fallen off of the J/105 ELMO. Both were recovered quickly and unharmed.

    Barry Gold, Chairman of the event, said “In spite of some of early Saturday pea-soup fog and intermittent rain on Sunday, we had two days of fantastic racing, with steady and increasing breeze. With a few well-timed postponements and relocations, the race committee gave the teams five competitive and fun races. We want to thank The Corinthians, who started the Corinthians Intercollegiate Regatta in 1983 and ran it until 1999, for transferring their original four perpetual trophies to the Storm Trysail Foundation. These four beautiful trophies bring together the initial regatta with its later reincarnation by Storm Trysail, and begin new traditions for the competitors. The re-dedicated trophies were presented to class winners this year for the first time along with two perpetual trophies donated by Larchmont Yacht Club.”

    Boston University took home the overall honors and the “Paul Hoffmann Trophy” in the hotly contested J/105 class on YOUNG AMERICAN with four bullets and a second place in the second largest class in the regatta. ECHO, crewed by Vanderbilt University (a first time entrant to the regatta), took home second place in the J/105 class by edging out Drexel University on FAIRHOPE with a tie-breaking first in the third race. Robert Alexander and Peter Becker received the “Ed du Moulin Trophy” awarded to the boat owner/syndicate of the overall winning team.

    In the J/44 class– which by tradition is a generally an all-service academy class– was won by Maine Maritime Academy on GOLD DIGGER, closely followed by the US Coast Guard Academy sailing their own GLORY, just 1 point ahead of last year’s overall winner, the US Naval Academy on MAXINE.

    The University of Rhode Island ran away with the J/109 Class with four 1sts in five races on EMOTICON. Taking second was MORNING GLORY sailed by Grand Valley State University and Tulane University on GROWTH SPURT rounded out the class podium.

    There were three PHRF classes. In PHRF 2, the University of Michigan on the J/133 placed third.  Then, in PHRF 3 the J/88 WINGS with the University of South Florida aboard took second and Roger Williams University on the J/92 THIN MAN took third position.

    Erica Vandeveer, Captain of the victorious Virginia Tech squad, is a Behavioral Psychology Major and sees the relevance of big-boat sailing, “communication is critical to being successful on the race course. We had some challenges but we were able to talk and work through them to win.”

    Juliette Joffre, captain of the Club Voile EDHEC Business School team who came all the way from Lille, France declared, “this is a big, serious and very competitive regatta.”

    Marianne Pierres, another member of the EDHEC crew, described how offshore racing is similar to business, “the starts were really exciting, and so was the broach! But you have to manage and keep calm; you have to understand roles and do your job.” Juliette continued “There is a lot of pressure to perform at your best, but I know that the team is much closer now because of this experience.” This was their first time at the IOR, and they had to win an international student regatta in France for the right to come to the IOR with an all-expenses paid trip through a partnership between the Storm Trysail Foundation and the EDHEC Sailing Cup.

    Thanks to the high-quality list of sponsors, some private donations, and the generosity of participating boat owners, Storm Trysail Foundation and Larchmont Yacht Club were able to run the regatta at no cost for the college sailing teams! The sponsors include Rolex, North Sails, Gill North America, Safe Flight Instruments, Flintrock Construction, and Dimension-Polyant.  For more Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta sailing information

    MANDATE Three-Peats J/105 Canadians!
    (Toronto, ONT, Canada)- Continuing their extraordinary run in the J/105 class is the dynamic Canadian duo on MANDATE from the Royal Canadian YC- Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer. They added yet a few more pickle dishes to their already over-stuffed trophy shelves by winning the 2017 J/105 Canadian Championship for the third time in as many years.  The McLaughlin/Wilmer crew are already two-time J/105 North American Champions.

    Host for this year’s regatta was the world-famous Royal Canadian YC, also home to the largest J/105 fleet on Lake Ontario.  Sixteen boats were treated to three-days of good racing, with seven races completed by the close of racing on Sunday.

    The MANDATE crew did not win the regatta very easily. In fact they started off slowly in the first race with a 6th place, then had a streak of 1sts and 2nds, before closing on a low note with a 7th place.  Their total score of 22 pts was just enough to take the championship.

    Fighting the MANDATE crew the entire regatta was yet another J/105 North American Champion, Jim Rathbun’s fun—loving crew on HEY JUDE.  Other than a bad third race, their crew posted all top three finishes to take the silver just one point back with 23 pts total.

    Sailing their best regatta in awhile was Frank McLaughlin’s STARCROSS, taking third place another three points in arrears.  Then, one point behind them in fourth place was Mike Chapman’s SENTIENT and in fifth place was Kevin Pask’s FULL TILT.  For more J/105 Canadian Championship sailing information

    J/70 RIMETTE Tops HPR Regatta
    (Rye, New York)- The American Yacht Club hosted its annual HPR Regatta (formerly known as the High Performance One-Design Regatta) on western Long Island Sound off Rye, New York.  Twenty-one J/70 teams participated in the event as it provided them an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the often-tricky wind and current conditions before they sailed in the upcoming J/70 North American Championship.

    Winning his first event on the Sound was John Brim’s RIMETTE from Fisher’s Island, New York.  Sailing with John was tactician Taylor Canfield, one of the world’s top match racers.  Their very consistent scoreline of all top five finishes enabled them to finish with just 15 pts in eight races.  Just four points back was Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE with a total of 19 pts.  Then, rounding out the podium was Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE from Newport/Boston with a total of 27 pts, they were also the winning Corinthians Division team.  Fourth was Jack Franco’s FLOJITO3 JT crew from Austin, Texas with 31 pts, and fifth place was a local American YC crew- Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY with 36 pts- they were also second Corinthians Division team.  Third in Corinthians was Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED.  For more AYC HPR Regatta sailing information

    J/24 JAMAICA Leads Italian Winter Series
    (Cervia, Italy)- After five races run by the well-organized by Circolo Nautico Brenzone, the Italian J/24 Class President- Pietro Diamanti- won the fourth regatta in the J/24 Winter Series sailing on ITA 212 JAMAICA.  His crew included Paolo Governato, Antonio Lupo, Edoardo Ghirlanda and Nicola Bocci.

    As a result, the top teams for the series in the provisional standings have a familiar team in the lead- Ignacio Bonanno’s ITA 416 LA SUPERBA and his crew from the Italian Naval Base in Naples.  Second is Diamanti’s JAMAICA and this is AVOLTORE sailed by owner Massimo Mariotti and skippered by Francesco Cruciani.

    After the next stage in Cervia (www.circolonauticocervia.it), the J/24 fleet will move to Lecco for the sixth and final stages of the National Circuit, the Interlaghi a seasonal classic organized by Società Canottieri Lecco (canottierilecco @ canottieri. lc.it) on Saturday 28 and Sunday, 29 October. For more Italian J/24 winter series sailing information

    MANGO Mashes 30th J-Jamboree
    (Gilford, NH)- The annual J-Jamboree celebrated its 30th Anniversary this fall, the event also served as the J/80 East Coast Championship.  The Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association, the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club, J/80 Fleet 1, and Fay's Boat Yard held the on Lake Winnipesaukee, with sailing taking place out of Sanders Bay.

    A highly talented fleet of fourteen teams participated in this year’s regatta.  In the end, it was the Annapolis crew on MANGO, led by their fearless leader Ken Mangano, that won the regatta and earned the title of J/80 East Coast Champion!

    Taking second was Guy Nickerson’s PRESSURE, just one point back.  Rounding out the podium was Peter D’Anjou’s LE TIGRE.  The balance of the top five included the Hayes/ Kirchhoff duo on MORE GOSTOSA and Les Beckwith’s FKA, fourth and fifth, respectively.  For more J-Jamboree and J/80 East Coasts sailing information

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Perspectives on sailing the J/70 Worlds- by Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz De Leon- team members that sailed on Peter Duncan’s winning boat- RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  Thanks to Jud Smith and Doyle Sailmakers for the stories.

    Willem’s report:
    “I recently had breakfast with my good friend, Fabian.  He owns a J70 at Coronado Yacht Club and is very excited about his boat, racing one design, and improving his skills on the race course.  The weekend before we had a local San Diego J70 Regatta called J Fest.  Fabian was a little frustrated with his results in the 13-boat fleet.  He only sailed Saturday and the conditions were quite challenging- shifty, light, and a little sea swell- plus he was sailing one man short.  As a big, beautiful plate of Huevos Rancheros landed in front of me Fabian asked, "How do you do it?  How have you been top 2 at all 4 J70 Worlds?  How do I get better?  What does it take? How do I get a steady team?  What should I do?  Help me please."

    I said, "Fabian: you tell me what your budget is, what your goals are, and what kind of time you can dedicate to this. I'll do my very best to get you where you want to be."  Fabian is by no means alone in his quest to improve his results, take down some of his friends in the class, have a team with great chemistry, enjoy himself, etc.  One thing I like about Fabian is that he’s never shy about asking questions about how he can improve.  It’s ok to ask questions, and when you want the best answer go the person you think is the most qualified to answer it.  It's often like in middle school where the prettiest, most popular girls don't have a date to the dance.  It's not because they don't want one, but more because all the boys were afraid to ask.  The worst thing that can happen is they could say no.  One of the biggest lessons in life that I've learned is that it never hurts to ask.

    I hope that what I share here will help Fabian and others like him have a better idea of what it really takes to be at the top.  Unfortunately, there is no quick answer, no magic pill, no trick rig set up.   Yacht racing is a very unique sport in that the list of variables is limitless.  We don't just strap on some shoes and run the 100 yard dash.  I used to race road bikes competitively and that's a sport with a lot of important elements for success: fitness, endurance, diet, weight, body type, lung capacity, managing lactic acid and pain, lack of fear, bike handling, tactics, terrain covered, length of race, drafting, and of course the bicycle.  Yacht Racing has ten times the factors involved (fortunately, all the physical fitness aspects are relatively less important in our sport!)  In order to be the very best, we need to think less about the big picture and focus almost obsessively on all the little things, understanding that each of them is important for success.  If we focus on the top 10 most important things, we can maybe win our Club Championships, top 20 things we might be able to win Bacardi, top 30 variables we might be able to take down Charleston, North Americans, or the Europeans.  If we check everything off of the list and have a little luck on our side we might have a chance going into the final race to win the World Championships with 160 + boats, 8,000 miles from home.  It’s all the little things that add up to a successful campaign.

    When I won the Worlds in 2015 with Flojito, it was because we put in the most time, did the most regattas, and simply worked really hard.  In 2016 the pure determination and dedication of Joel Ronning and team Catapult crowned them champions.  Better coaching, more time in the boat at the venue, and more extensive sail testing gave them the edge.  This year our team, on Relative Obscurity, followed suit and did the hard work to put all the little pieces in place.

    Victor and I showed up a couple extra days prior to practice to make the boat and rig as close to perfect as possible.  The boat was marked beautifully throughout, all settings perfectly symmetrical, we’d gone over the rigging meticulously, any possible breakdown or malfunction had been considered, windage was scrutinized and discussed while any piece of hardware or line was rigged, no extra gear was allowed on board (Vic was so obsessed with weight he was getting a little on my nerves.   "Victor- when you were like 5 I was trying to win a Farr 40 Worlds here and we were loading every tool in the trailer onto the boat for extra weight.. get to the top mark first in chop and 20 kts and we would figure it out from there.")  Anyhow, my point is, from the bottom of the keel to the top of the mast, drag, weight, windage, strength, and reliability was discussed.  We changed out some of the hardware at the base of the mast that we had seen break in the past- through-bolted on a heavier spin cleat and block…”We are in Italy and we don't have any of the right tools, this a massive pain and probably wouldn’t break but we are going to spend an extra 5 hrs to know we can trust it to hold up.”  We figured out how to best clean the bottom of the boat during the regatta (it wasn't legal to dive the boat or tip it over using halyards or hanging on shrouds once it was splashed but Victor and I had a 45 min technique that was pretty exhausting and ridiculous, but we didn't care, we just wanted to go faster).  We had a velocitek for each side of the starting line, installed Erik Shampain's wider hatch cover with stronger Velcro to keep the boat super dry down below, put together a break down kit, etc.  The boat would only have the parts and tools we absolutely needed.  This boat was ready for anything.   In 2014, I thought we had Catapult perfect, in 2015-2016 I thought Flojito was tricked out even better, Relative Obscurity was top level/no excuses.  What's next?

    Fortunately, Jud had the exact same attitude with his sails.  His attention to the details is impressive.  He has done his homework over the last few decades; he's worked with some of the best guys in the business, and undoubtedly taught them some tricks of his own.  Any class (Etchells, Star, J70, etc) that he has ever become passionate about has some beautiful Doyle sails that can only improve her results.  Vic and Jud sailed together in the San Fran Worlds and they made some pretty big positive changes to the main for the breeze.  Jud is a fantastic team player and always willing to share his ideas.  A couple times, we shared coaches with other good teams in regattas leading up to the Worlds (2nd place Savasana with Stu McNay and no slouch Bruce Golison with Steve Hunt).  Jud would just happily discuss with Steve and Stu how to better tune the rig, inhaul more efficiently, or best balance twist between the jib and main.  Sometimes the rest of his team, sitting on the other side of the table, would just stare at each other thinking ‘WTF:)’.  I'm sure I was just as guilty when explaining the wing on wing, or weight movement downwind when the coach asked me a question.

    Boat speed makes everything easier out there; as the conditions become more challenging so does the possibility of an increased speed edge.  Fortunately for us, Porto Cervo was very choppy with plenty of breeze.  It was tough stuff.  That being said we were also very prepared for the flat water and light breezes that we experience in Porto Cervo the other half of the time.  Boat preparation, efficient sail testing, and time together as a team are the main keys to superior boat speed.  Time, money, and the team's dedication to the cause are the limiting factors that simply determine how extensively we can work on getting that speed edge.

    The best way to measure speed is with a very good paddle wheel and a good eye on the rail. We went with the B&G system- it has an excellent compass and it updates the speed more frequently.  As the trimmer, I'm sitting in the very best spot to see the machine and the competition to weather.  You need to be brutally honest about speed and height with those boats that the driver and trimmer can't see.  After sailing with Bill Hardesty for three years, we developed a system that worked very well.  We had a target number on each tack that was the responsibility of the driver and main trimmer to stay near.  That being said, I could personally adjust that target to improve our tactical situation.  Fortunately, if we were ever slower than another boat or even lacked height the solution was usually pretty simple.  I would raise the target number- example 6.3 was our target but in this particular piece of water I would raise the number to 6.5.  Victor and Peter would focus on going faster (usually putting the bow down and freeing up the main a touch). This new speed would turn into more lift and our almost dangerous situation would quickly improve.  The more we can forecast shifts, puffs, and lulls from the rail the better the driver/main trimmer can anticipate their next move.  Sometimes you’re going to be wrong with your call but you'll probably be right 80+% of the time.  Never give up and force yourself to perform the same regardless of your position in the race.

    Coach, training partners, and team dynamics are probably the most critical parts of the whole puzzle.

    Our coach at the worlds was Tony Rey and he did a fantastic job.  He was attentive, focused, great with the weather, took photos of other top boats, etc.  He didn't try to change our set up or boat handling techniques but if he thought someone did something better we had a video of it.  Our training partners were Peter Cunningham with teammates Lucas, John, and Ben- a team that Tony Rey and I had assembled.  Young, hungry, strong guys determined to bring Peter to a new level and help us with our project.  They trained with us 5 days prior to the event, also had Doyle sails, and seemed to be the closest to our equal in upwind straight line boat speed.  Sometimes even faster- when we had a question- Lucas and team shared immediately.  They even won a race in gold but unfortunately snapped their rudder prior to the first race on the final day.  Our other training partner Glen Darden with Jonathon McKee did the same- add check pintles and gudgeons to that quickly growing list.

    Our team- Relative Obscurity: Peter Duncan, Victor Diaz de Leon, Jud Smith, and myself.

    We worked hard on our team dynamics; it's never super easy.  Sometimes too much talent is a bad thing. It's a shame when that happens, but it's pretty common in all team sports.  We were all very committed and focused, but every once in awhile we would have a little hiccup/blow up that would be distracting and detrimental to our results.  We all wanted to win and constantly make gains on the race course; being all very experienced we often had our own ideas about how to best do that.   Victor would often display his Latin passion and young confidence.  His effort was never lacking, he wanted this as much or more than any of us, but there were times when the young stud just needed to listen to us old and older farts.  In my often-shaking head during these situations, "Flojito y Cooperando"(relaxxxxx and cooperate in Spanish) was my mantra.  Becoming a cohesive unit takes time, it doesn’t just fall into place on day 1.  Just like a Navy Seal Team on a night mission we needed to stay focused, trust each other, have each other’s back, and only talk about what’s most important.  Countless hours training together enable the Seals to perform this way: we needed our time together and training too.  Instead of ever pushing a teammate down we needed to make the mission to pull him up.  Now that’s the goal of course but typically after most regattas I’m apologizing to teammates for being such a hard ass; we can only do our best.

    I would say that there were four regattas that were major steps to our success at worlds… this was our rehab institute, we all needed work.  At each event we had breakthroughs that heavily influenced us and helped us grow into our final product at Porto Cervo.  Bacardi, New England Champs, the Italian Nationals, and the Ted Hood Regatta in Marblehead.

    Bacardi Miami:
    Moose joined us here instead of Jud and it was my very first event ever with Peter Duncan.  Moose had been the trimmer for Peter in the past but here he would move to bow and let me slide into his old spot. With more J24 worlds championship wins than Tom Brady has Super Bowl rings, Moose acted as an absolute true professional.  Winning was our goal and no egos between us ever caused any friction.  His wind calls were spot on great to have an awesome trimmer in the bow spot giving me the exact input I needed to make the boat go faster downwind.  We came back on the final day to win the event.  In the last race we got unlucky off the line, but after rounding the weather mark deep in the high 20s, we just powered through the fleet with good speed and great tactics in the building breeze to finish 7th or so and win Peter his biggest event ever in the J70.  Peter gained confidence in his campaign and I gained a ton of confidence in Jud's sail package and Peter’s driving.  To be at the top in Italy we needed to start winning- great to check that off my list.

    New England Champs in Newport:
    Victor had previous commitments so he couldn’t race with us this time.  In a big fleet with a fair amount of talent, I would do the main sheet, tactics with Jud's help, and trim the kite downwind.  Dirk Johnson, a young sailor from The College of Charleston and a Newport local, would be tossed into our hot fire.  He tacked the jib, helped Jud where he could, and hung on tight.  He listened, left any FJ and laser ego at the door and just did his very best to be a team player and improve himself on the boat.  A great 5 day crash course on how to race a J70 with 3 pretty seasoned teachers.  We trained a few days before the event with Glen Darden, Jonathon McKee, and team Hoss.  We focused a great deal on the wing on wing- I knew the wind strength would be mostly 8-14 and I wanted to have that part of my play book with the boys pretty dialed in.  I've worked hard over the years on this part of the J70 game and wanted to share it with Peter and Jud without Victor jumping around with different ideas.  I knew that better mastering this element would not only greatly improve our chances here but also at the Worlds.  Not just using it to gain right away, round a leeward mark easier, cut off some distance at the finish line or stay in a leeward puff longer.  I wanted to experiment more with it- actually feel the shift and jibe the appropriate sail to take advantage of that shift.  Nice to have a team with me that can handle the boat handling tasks I wanted to execute.  We lead the event from race 2 and never looked back.  On day two we sailed a couple entire runs in wing from top to bottom, making insane gains.  On one run I remember the pressure being entirely 6-8 knots.  Our position was pretty established in that race so I opted to race the entire leg in Wing.  Not easy for 100 feet to a finish line in that breeze; we went for 1+ miles and never lost an inch.  We won both races on the final breezy day and learned some upwind techniques in 20+ knots and chop.  Lessons learned- better understanding of the wing on wing and Victor gained more confidence in his team.  We were not a one-man band.  We're not going to be Weird Al Yankovick... let's be Talking Heads or The Cure.  Let's continue to improve as a team and have some time near the top cranking out hits.

    The Italian Nationals:
    With a stacked fleet of 50+ boats we sat in 6th or so after day 1.  This wasn't working.  These guys were better than us, we were all heads down and frustrated during the sail in.  5 hrs or so after racing that day we all took a couple big deep breaths and regrouped ourselves.  We chatted with one another about how to better distribute roles and responsibilities because our current style wasn't going to cut it.  This style would not win here and probably not get top 10 at worlds.   Peter would have to trust Victor on the starting line and tight situations.  Vic's instincts in those tight situations are excellent, and his communication of those instincts is pretty damn spot on.  Victor has had some great results with relatively inexperienced drivers - here we had an awesome driver but the mojo wasn’t quite right yet.  Peter’s main focus now would be to keep the boat at target speeds and simply do what he does best: drive the boat.  Victor would trust Jud and me more with big picture tactics/strategy (Jud and I would agree on a game plan and try to speak always as one voice tactically.  We shared wind and wave calls from the rail while doing our best- within the rules- to hike the boat flat).  Victor could then spend more energy on trimming the main right and keeping the boat fast with Peter.  Now we were finding a new gear.  This new trust, and next level appreciation for one another on the boat, enabled us to finish off the regatta with a 1,1,4,1,1 and an unexpected win.  A few of those firsts came by passing Claudia and Petite on the final runs usually in some type of wing battle.  “We can do this.  We will be a contender at the Worlds in 2 months!  If we put our heads down, be willing to grind for every point, work together through thick and thin, and push each other to our limits we are going to be hard to beat.”

    Ted Hood Regatta:
    A small but stacked fleet, the perfect wake up call.  We decided to train with Savasana and Midlife Crisis for two days.  Both of these teams are excellent, very polished with changing gears, boat handling, and tactics.  We were the heaviest team and it was mostly 4-7 kts but still we managed to lead by a point or two after two days of racing.   Saturday night there was the big fight between Mayweather and McGregor.  Peter's good friend had ordered the fight and wanted us all to join.  Being on the east coast that meant being up well past 2am and drinking a few more cocktails than needed.  Hung over, we lost the regatta in the final day, argued half the time, felt like s$&@ and ended up third, losing to both our training partners.   Probably just what we needed- a good slap in the face.  We can only win when we are at our very best.  “Winning isn't easy, let's not get cocky!  Let's not screw this up!”

    The Worlds:
    The stage had been set and we were as ready as possible.  Boat, sails, and team were all prepped and looking forward to being tested.  Looked like it was going to be nasty- big wind with unrelenting chop.  After days of training in that stuff our confidence rose.  We needed to use our speed to our advantage, properly control the risk, enjoy ourselves, and try to stay loose.  Most importantly, we needed to avoid drama, stay out of trouble on the start line, and just do what we do best.  Bill Hardesty had a comment years ago that has always stuck with me: "Let's just keep it boring boys.”  Another boring 4- that'll do... Oh a 5 that's ok… low risk 2nd- we'll keep it.

    We ate in at the house a lot, quick and easy.  We avoided alcohol and Claudia's Bday party at the YC, we got lots of sleep.  We stuck to the same program and did the same boring thing day in and day out.   Racing in one of the most epic places on the planet and I'm home with my team by 6 and just chilling- pretty lame but winning isn't.  I wore the same clothes every day and washed them every night.  I'm a superstitious guy and I wasn't going to race with some unlucky or untested undies.  We stayed pretty loose, enjoyed our view of the water, dined on home cooked pasta with the freshest anchovies and Parmesan cheese we could find.  We kept as much of our lives during those 5 days simple and clean, the basics done very well.  We facetimed with our families, and when people got excited about our results we simply said, "It's far from over, 3 more races, anything can happen", etc.  This was our job for the week, nothing else mattered.  "Let's just get through another day."

    The event was like a dream.  We averaged less than 2 points per race including our drop.  In all my years of racing, I've never been able to put a score line like that together; I’ve never even seen it.  Not in a fleet of that caliber and size. This was our time-we peaked at the perfect moment- nothing was going to stop us.  We had a few challenging moments but it seemed as though, just before we got into serious trouble (sitting in the mid 20s and approaching a lay line), the world would adjust for us.  The winds would head us, force us to tack, and then lift us so that we could cross the fleet and lay the mark.  Our team was silent on the rail thinking, ‘Holy crap!!  What is going on out here?!?!’  A few days earlier my daughter Vela (“sail” in Italian) was learning to meditate with her amazing mother Stephanie.  At 2 1/2 years old, in a lotus position on a little round cushion she said something like, "winds will push daddy right."  Did this have something to do with our good fortune?

    It was awesome sailing with this team.  We came a long way and it was a fantastic voyage.  Thanks Peter and team for involving me.  It was great to make new friends and to accomplish a lofty goal that the four of us had set together just 6 months earlier.  We believed in ourselves and never gave up.  No one can ever take this away from us.  Biggest one design, keelboat world championship attendance in history.  This was our year!  Our time!  Champions!!

    Winning the Worlds is one thing.  But, the main point is that if you ask the right questions, if you enjoy what you’re doing, involve people you trust, and invest the time and energy, any team can quickly move up towards the top of the fleet.  My objective here is not to overwhelm people with all that is involved to win a World Championship, but instead to encourage others that with desire anything is possible.  Since the Worlds, I was asked by J/Boats and Jeff Brown to coach the entire fleet at the event Fabian was asking me about (J Fest in San Diego).  Through the course of the weekend I watched teams quickly improve simply by having their questions answered and by making little changes to gain speed; sometimes that gain was 40+ boat lengths a race.  It was fun to be involved and to watch the light bulbs flicking on!  It’s not always just about having the most expensive program, it’s about being efficient with your time and your money.  Sometimes a quick question, a little change, or a few hours working with the right coach can make all the difference.  Spending money on something does not necessarily mean your project will be done right; find the best person for the task at hand and wait for him if he’s busy.   He’s probably busy for a reason.  Good luck friends, hope this helps.”

    Victor’s report:
    “The first time I sailed a J70 was at the 2013 Key West Race Week. I had recently met Willem Van Waay and he had asked me to join his team. He thought I was the right weight to complete his crew trimming main legs in. Once there, I quickly volunteered to dive the boat, bail between races, and do other chores. It seemed to me that those had my name all over it, since I was the youngest and most inexperienced by a long stretch! Going forward from that regatta, Willem took me under his wing and took me along with most of the programs he was involved with. I guess he saw my passion and enthusiasm for the sport. He introduced me to pro-sailing, always having my back and looking after me. He still does.

    Willem and I sailed with Catapult for two years. We had so many great tacticians sail with us including: Jeremy Wilmot, Vasco Vascotto, Chris Rast, and Bill Hardesty for the longest stretch. I picked up tricks from all of them and observed what aspects of racing each guy valued. I learned the importance of boat speed from Billy. We spent most of our time speed testing with various set ups and techniques. Sailing with all these guys was like getting a college degree in sailing.

    I decided to find my own team to try calling the shots and being in charge. I started sailing with Gannon Troutman and his dad on Piper. Gannon was very young and therefore a great listener and fast learner. Some of our highlights were placing second at Charleston Race Week with over eighty boats competing for two years in a row. The first we lost on a tie breaker to Catapult, which Willem and Hardesty were sailing on. I was hoping to kick their ass, but it was still rewarding to battle with the old mentors!

    This was the first time I had sailed with a high clew jib in the J70 with the possibility of unlimited in-hauling. It was also the first high clew jib on the market. Jud and I sailed together in the J70 for the first time in the San Diego NA's. We decided to team up in order to have a chance at winning the event. We showed up about four days before the start of the regatta with the rest of our team: Will Felder and Marc Gauthier. We had plenty of work to do as we had never sailed together, the boat needed work, and we had different sail combinations to try.

    I knew this was a great opportunity. I was sailing with Jud Smith as his tactician.  This was my chance to learn from one of the best sail makers in the industry. We tried different sail set-ups before the regatta started. All built by him. To me, it was fascinating. We finally decided to sail with the M1 and the new, at the time, J6 jib. This was the first time I had sailed with a high clew jib in the J70 with the possibility of unlimited in-hauling. It was also the first high clew jib on the market. Boy did it work well! We thought we had a speed edge with this combo and we eventually proved to be right. It was a very good light air set up.
    Double Bracket: Peter is one of those owners that are hard to come by. He is a very talented driver, comparable to a 'pro-driver,” and has the time and desire to put the hard hours in.  During the event, Jud and I clicked and developed an enjoyable friendship, as well as a deep trust of each other's sailing. Well, I already trusted and admired the guy: but I was surprised that despite my young age, he fully trusted my tactics. He asked for my opinion in sail combos and rig tune. I guess for Jud, it was an opportunity he didn't yet have since he started sailing the J70s. To sail with a younger guy who pushed him to think outside the box and was deeply invested in getting the program to the top.  We went on to win the event. It was my first big win as a tactician and what a great feeling it was!

    After Winning the NA's, Jud and I decided to sail the San Francisco Worlds together, holding the same key positions of him driving and me on tactics. In the meantime, Jud hooked me up with his long-time client, Peter Duncan, to be his tactician. Peter is one of those owners that are hard to come by. He is a very talented driver, comparable to a "pro driver,” and has the time and desire to put the hard hours in. We did a few events and had Jud's team as tuning partners. We did a week plus of two boat testing in Key West 2016. We kept refining shroud tuning ratios, jib lead positions, in-hauler amounts throughout the wind range, etc. We finished in second place behind Calvi Network and beat some of the top guys like Tim Healy, and the reigning world champion at the time, Julian Hernandez.

    Jud and I made our way to San Francisco to get ready for the Worlds. We showed up a few days before big boat series, which was the tune up event. We again had a new team and hadn't done a lot of practice. Alec Anderson trimmed and Fin legend, Ed Wright, did the bow. We were off the pace compared to the top teams. It took a week of long days to get the heavy air set up dialed in. We added rake, tweaked main luff curve, completely changed shroud ratios, etc. We finally found another gear and led the first and second day of Worlds. Having Jud trim the main sheet upwind gave me the freedom to keep the jib in-hauler in my hands and off the cleat. I experimented with it and discovered how powerful this tool is. I played it constantly, depending on sea state and wind changes. Off: during puffs or in chop. On: in flat water and lighter air. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the cards for us to take that Worlds home. I called a gybe set in a race and lost a lot of boats. I still remember the moment: it was too high risk and cost us the chance of winning the event. It was a bitter sweet regatta for having a chance and losing it. But, it was very rewarding to sail amongst the best and be a contender. It gave me confidence in our approach and philosophy. I felt that if we put more time and a greater effort, we could take Porto Cervo home.

    After Worlds, Peter Duncan and I teamed up again and did many regattas together. We even did Melges 24 Worlds and Nationals. Willem Van Waay joined our team in Bacardi cup. We passed boats every downwind. Willem’s downwind expertise helped us improve our technique and we became one of the fastest boats downwind. We won the event.

    Jud joined our J70 team for The Europeans in Cowes. He was so cool to come in and do the bow. It was trial by fire, since it blew 25 plus in every race. It was the windiest event I have yet sailed. Jud's experience in sail design and sail making was so helpful in our campaign. We kept refining the heavy air technique in Cowes. We sailed most of the regatta using the winch to allow us to play the jib upwind. It proved to be very effective in terms of speed, but made tacking and sailing in close quarters very difficult.

    Next up on the events were the Scarlino Italian Nationals and the New England's in Newport. We won both using the same set up used in Porto Cervo: The M2 mainsail and J6 jib.

    Jud built the J7: a jib of the same radial design as the J6, but slightly fuller in certain areas of the sail. We tested it in Porto Cervo and it proved to be very fast throughout the range. For our final tune up event before Worlds, we did the Ted Hood regatta. We experimented with an older Main design version that I thought might be better in light air. But I was wrong. We were reminded that the M2 is so far the best main in all conditions that we have used. We took a third place. It was a good wake-up call that there are other strong teams and that we needed to keep working towards Worlds. What we did take away was that maybe a fuller jib would be better for light air. Jud built the J7: a jib of the same radial design as the J6, but slightly fuller in certain areas of the sail. We tested it in Porto Cervo and it proved to be very fast throughout the range. We decided to go with the J6 because of a windy forecast, and a flatter sail would probably be better.

    In Porto Cervo, we had a great tuning session with our training partner Peter Cunningham, which was the fastest boat we lined up with in Porto Cervo. They won a day in gold fleet, but unfortunately had a break down the last day, which kept them out of two races. We were able to test some ideas I had of rake combinations with different tack shackle heights. We also developed a jib trim that was as fast as using the winch for heavy air.  It is nice to have Jud around to monitor my ideas and experiments. He is very open-minded, but also has so much knowledge and experience. I have many ideas but little experience so it’s a good balance! He says one out of every ten ideas I have work out.

    By the end of the tuning session, we never lost a line up against any team, including the former World Champs on Catapult. I knew then we had superior gear.  By the end of the tuning session, we never lost a line up against any team, including the former World Champs on Catapult. I knew then we had superior gear. All the hard work we put into tweaking the sails, the set up, and technique paid off. This gave me confidence that if we had good low-density starts, we would probably win the event. So we focused on low risk starts and races, so our speed could take care of business. We sailed away from the fleet. What a great feeling, we won the Worlds!

    I loved sailing with Peter, Willem, and Jud. They are all badass sailors and I learned from all of them. It is so special when you win something so big with your friends. After all, we are all buddies and enjoy hanging out with each other. Four buddies conquered the world for a week.

    I am thankful that Willem, Jud, and Peter have taken me under their wing. Willem showed me work ethic and taught me how to sail keelboats. Jud taught me about sail trim and sail design. Peter showed me that I can do it. He trusted me to lead the best team one could ask for.”
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- October 4th, 2017

    Annapolis Boat Show Update!
    On Display- NEW J/121, J/112E, & J/70
    (Annapolis, MD)- Make your last minute plans now to visit the famous US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD that runs from October 5th to 9th over the Columbus Day holiday weekend.  Sailors from around the world gather on miles of docks in beautiful historic Annapolis for this internationally acclaimed sailboat show, recognized as the largest, most prestigious, and only remaining in-water sailboat show in the world.

    J/Boats, in partnership with our mid-Atlantic dealer North Point Yacht Sales, will have on display the NEW J/121 offshore speedster, as well as the J/112E cruiser-racer and the famous J/70 one-design speedster.

    J/Boats’ 40th Anniversary and North Pointe Yacht Sales 10th Anniversary Dock Party!
    Please join us and our boat show neighbors (Musto, Quantum Sails, Selden, Spinlock) on Friday, October 6th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the United States Sailboat Show on Dock S- look for the red J/flags in front of Pusser’s Restaurant/ Bar.  Thanks also to our sponsors- AKZO NOBEL (AWLGRIP & INTERLUX), Sweetwater Brewing, and the Maryland Coastal Conservation Association.

    For more U.S. Sailboat Show information

    J/70 North American Championship Preview
    (Rye, NY)- It is going to be a busy week on the famous Rye Point that extends into Long Island Sound off Peningo Neck in Rye, New York!  The American YC is hosting their HPR Regatta on the weekend from October 7-8 for over a half-dozen classes (dinghies mostly) that also includes J/70 teams.  That event will act as a “warm-up” and training regatta for many teams that will then be participating in the 2017 J/70 North American Championship that starts racing on Thursday, October 12th and finishes on Sunday, October 15th.

    While it may not be the largest J/70 North Americans held in recent history, it is more than making up for the numbers with a deeply talented fleet and all of the top American teams that sailed the AUDI J/70 World Championship at YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy.  Fifty-eight teams are registered and that includes Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY, not only the Rear Commodore of the host American YC, but also the current J/70 World Champion! Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team is also participating; the runner-up in this year’s J/70 Worlds!

    Then, the 2016 J/70 World Champion is sailing- Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Excelsior, Minnesota. Jumping ship to sail his own boat will be Jud Smith aboard AFRICA from Marblehead, MA (Jud was crew with Peter Duncan at the Worlds in Sardinia)- he is an Etchells 22 North American and World Champion, too.  Joining those elite teams will be the first J/70 North American Championship winner and the first J/70 Worlds Corinthians winner- the duo on MUSE with skipper Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier.

    Many other top crews will be in the mix on the leaderboard that have won or placed in various NOOD Regattas, Charleston Race Weeks, Bacardi Miami, Midwinters, or Quantum Winter Series; including Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Melissa & Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, Mallory & Andrew Loe’s DIME, Jack Franco’s FLOJITO 3 BALL JT, Trey Sheehan’s HOOLIGAN: FLAT STANLEY RACING, Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS, Martie Kullman’s NEW WAVE, John Brim’s RIMETTE, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, Peter Vessella’s RUNNING WILD, Will Welles’ SCAMP, Dave Franzel’s SPRING, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, Scott & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR, and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information

    Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta Preview
    (Larchmont, NY)- While American YC’s HPR Regatta will be taking place off Rye, NY, their “next door” neighbors on western Long Island Sound- Larchmont YC- will be hosting what has become the most wildly popular event in the college sailing season across the America’s and Europe!  That is the Storm Trysail Club’s annual Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (a.k.a. the “college big boat” regatta)!

    This year’s event will be held on the weekend of October 7th and 8th at the Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, New York. This is an invitational event and will feature racing in approximately five classes of offshore yachts: J/105, J/109, J/44, PHRF 35 foot-boats and IRC 40-boats.

    The event has grown every year and last year the event was able to accommodate almost 400 college sailors. European teams have come from France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.  In addition, several colleges from Canada fielded crews and from the USA teams came from literally every corner of America and the Great Lakes- from west to east and north to south!

    Thanks to the high-quality list of sponsors, some private donations, and the generosity of participating boat owners, Storm Trysail Foundation and Larchmont Yacht Club are able to run this regatta at no cost for the college sailing teams! The sponsors include Rolex, North Sails, Gill North America, Safe Flight Instruments, Flintrock Construction, and Dimension-Polyant.  For more Storm Trysail College Big Boat Regatta sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The close of September was an eventful one.  For starters, the J/24 European Championship took place on the beautiful waters of Lake Balaton in the middle of central Europe.  Hosting was the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club along the northern shores of the lake at Balatonfüredi, Hungary.  Off to their west, the kick-off weekend of the Hamble Winter Series was hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club, in Hamble, England- racing took place on the Southampton Water and the infamous Solent for fleets of IRC handicap boats and the J/88 one-design class.

    Over in the Americas there was a lot of activity taking place on the eastern seaboard.  For starters, the American YC in Rye, NY completed their annual two-weekend Fall Series Regatta on western Long Island Sound for one-design classes of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s, plus PHRF handicap classes that included J/111s, J/100s, J/133, and J/145. Just down south on the southern end of Chesapeake Bay, the Fishing Bay YC in Deltaville, VA hosted the J/70 East Coast Championships.  Off to the Midwest in the Great Lakes, the Edgewater YC in Cleveland, OH hosted their season finale called the Cleveland 216 Regatta for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/70s, and J/105s.  Then, the J/88 class provided their update on various events that closed out their summer season and outlined events for the fall and winter for one-design regattas.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA
    Sep 30- Oct 1- American YC Fall Series II- Rye, NY
    Sep 30- Oct 1- Cleveland 216 Regatta- Cleveland, OH
    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Hungarian Bakoczy Crowned J/24 European Champion!
    American Whittemore Tops Open Europeans
    (Lake Balaton, Hungary)- Two hundred fifty competitors from eight nations sailed on forty-eight boats in the 2017 J/24 European Championship, that was organized by the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club in Balatonfüred, Hungary between September 24th and October 1st.

    The Opening Day kicked off with beautiful sunshine and a pleasant, but light, easterly wind which some of the competitors took advantage of for training. Unfortunately, the wind completely died down by the late afternoon, so the practice race was canceled by the Race Committee.  That outcome presaged what was going to happen for the rest of the regatta, a lot of time spent waiting for winds to develop enough to run proper races for the aggressive fleet of J/24s.  In fact, it may have been the first Europeans in recent memory where every race took place in less than 8 kts of wind, with just 150% genoas flown, and rare moments of crews sitting on the windward rail hiked out hard.  Nevertheless, the weather was pleasant, sometimes cool, but those warmer days brought out the “shorts & shades” for the more ambitious crews.

    The regatta marked the first time a Hungarian crew was victorious in the continental championship!  After ten races, winning the 2017 European Championship title was the young Robert Bakoczy and his local Lake Balaton crew on FGF SAILING TEAM (Domonkos Rozsnyay, Kristof Takacsy, Levente Takacsy, Maxim Szigeti).

    “The J/24 European Championship was a great adventure for us. It was great that there was no pressure on us and this brought us victory. We are extremely delighted. I don’t know, I am just overwhelmed right now. It hasn’t yet sunk in that this has happened to us and we won,” said Bakoczy after his win.

    Silver went to Farkas Litkey with his mixed Hungarian-Italian Team on board PELLE NERA (Alberto Forti, Paolo Ceccamore, Barbara Frigyer, Mihaly Szanto), while the bronze was earned by Balazs Tomai and his Team on JENESIS (Tamas Tompa, Balazs Boros, Gabor Nagy).

    The Open Trophy was taken home by American Keith Whittemore and his Team on FURIO from Seattle, Washington (Kevin Downey, Shelby Milne, Brian Thomas, Mark Rodgers). “It was amazing to race on this beautiful lake where, to our surprise and biggest delight, powerboats are banned! You cannot believe how lucky you are with this. We had 10 great races, great organization, fair start lines,” said Whittemore after the races. Here is how it all took place over the four days of competition.

    Day 1
    Two races were sailed on September 27th, the first day. Both races were dominated by the Hungarian teams, they occupied 10 spots in the top 20. JUKEBOX, helmed by local Miklos Rauschenberger, secured 2 wins by confident sailing, followed by the current American National Champion Keith Whittemore on FURIO, while last year’s World Champion, the German team on JJONE helmed by Daniel Frost and his crew came in third.

    The first race started out in light, easterly 7-9 kt winds at 1000 hrs as scheduled. First start was under U flag, but loads of excited competitors went over the start line early, so the second start was under the Black Flag. Seemingly, the teams were more careful at the second start in order not to be disqualified.

    JUKEBOX took over the lead after the first upwind leg and won the race. In second was JJONE, followed by fellow German LUV, helmed by Tom Stryi. The wind lost its strength by the 2nd race, dropping to 5-7 knots, further boosting the Hungarian teams’ self-confidence on the start line. The tricky winds require expert starting technique, where choosing one’s starting position is key to a successful race. Those starting closer to the pin end proved to be faster coming up the 1st upwind mark.

    Six Hungarian teams got there fastest. 1st to round the mark was Tamas Madarasz and his team on REBEL. The first downwind leg was fastest on the right side. After the first round, the dying wind was also shifting northwards, forcing a course alteration. The frontrunners split into two. The 2 leading teams, JUKEBOX and PELLE NERA chose to remain on the left, while the rest of the fleet kept to the right hoping to find stronger breezes.

    By the end of the 2nd race, winds had died almost completely, though the spinnakers were still holding up nicely. Patience and focus were the strongest virtue to finish the race. The second race was ruled by JUKEBOX, while 3-time Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey came in second on PELLE NERA followed by fellow Hungarian Madarasz on REBEL. As the wind completely died, there was no chance to do the third race.

    After two races, JUKEBOX was leading the regatta with 2 wins. He summarized the day, “In today’s light winds local knowledge was definitely an advantage. We knew at both starts that we must choose the pin side and it proved right. It is very good to see that the Hungarian teams are doing well, though today’s tricky conditions haven’t given foreign competitors the chance to really prove how good they are.”

    FURIO’s Whittemore was second with two 4th places at both races, while JJONE was sitting in 3rd place.

    Day 2
    The second race day continued with two further races. After four races, three Hungarian teams ruled the leaderboard. JUKEBOX continued to lead, shadowed by JENESIS in second and PELLE NERA in third.

    Due to the black flag start rules, yesterday’s favorites, the FURIO and JJONE lost their top positions, as they haven’t been able to drop their BFD’s.

    The day started out beautifully in 7-9 knots of easterly winds. The first three teams to round the first upwind mark during the 3rd race were Germany’s Tom Stryi (LUV), Hungary’s Gabor Sallai (IJRONCAT) and PELLE NERA, keeping their positions until the finish of that race. Germany’s Stefan Karsunke on SULLBERG finished fourth, while the current overall leader on JUKEBOX crossed the finish line 5th. The middle of the fleet pretty much clustered up due to dropping winds and finished really close to each other, so the Race Committee decided to shorten the course on the third and fourth legs.

    Race 4 was preceded by an on-water postponement, as the wind started shifting and it also dropped well below 5 knots. After a bit of waiting the race course moved southwards, a new course was set and racing continued. Excited teams were unable to hold back enough, six teams were BFD, including FURIO and JJONE, so they were forced to watch the race from the sidelines.

    The repeat start for Race 4 was clear. The rounding order at the 1st upwind mark was Jörn Harms on VITESSE, Tomai’s JENESIS, and JUKEBOX. The order pretty much remained the same at the end of the first round at the downwind gate.  JUKEBOX decided to take the left-hand mark and continue upwind on the right while JENESIS opted for the right-hand mark and sailed on the left upwind. The 2nd upwind mark was rounded by VITESSE first, followed by JENESIS, then FAST FORWARD. The race was won by Jörn Harms on VITESSE, JENESIS finished second, while the 3rd was taken by a female skipper, Johanne Maske!

    Race 5 started in somewhat annoyingly shifty 5-6-knot easterly winds that later completely died, so the race committee decided to abandon the race to the biggest disappointment for the two-race leaders- FURIO and PELLE NERA!

    Day 3
    Incredibly, four races were sailed on the third day of the regatta, for eight races total! Friday was a busy day, not only in race numbers but also in number of protests, so the international jury was kept busy as well!  Litkey’s PELLE NERA took over the lead, though tied on points with Whittemore’s FURIO.

    The day started out with a shore postponement. After a short wait, the fleet headed out to the course area. The fleet sailed Race 5 in 6-8-knot easterly winds. JUKEBOX won Race 5, followed by Frank Schönfeldt’s HENK, Peer Kook’s BOCKDRUF third and JENESIS fourth.

    Winds dropped by Race 6, though it was about 5-6 knots at the start. Winds dropped further during the race, forcing the RC to shorten the length of the 2nd upwind leg. Race 5 finished with 5 Hungarian teams occupying the top 5 slots- PELLE NERA, Robert Sarina’s JBOND, JENESIS, Bakoczy’s FGF SAILING TEAM, and IJRONCAT. Race 7 was preceded by a lengthy on-water postponement, as the Race Committee decided to move the course southwards in hope of more steady winds. The new course was set and Race 7 started in an 8-knot northeasterly.

    The start for Race 7 had to be repeated due to a general recall, 3 teams including leading JUKEBOX collected BFD’s. The 2nd start for Race 7 was clear. The Swedish FOR FUN crew rounded the upwind mark first, followed by VITESSE and IJRONCAT. The order shifted by the downwind mark, which was rounded first by FGF Sailing Team, followed by FURIO and EVNIKI. FGF ended up winning race 7 by consistent sailing. VITESSE came in second, FURIO third.

    The wind had dropped to 5-6 knots by Race 8 while keeping its direction, so no course change was needed for the last race of the day on Friday. Teams really had to be alert and decide which side to choose that would bring them fresh breezes. JENESIS opted for the left and rounded the 1st upwind mark first, beating VITESSE and PELLE NERA. At the end of the first lap, VITESSE overcame JENESIS and held onto the lead position until the finish.

    Jörn Harm from Vitesse commented, “It is difficult to sail here, as there is relatively little wind and there are lot of wind direction changes and there are no waves. We, from the North of Germany on the Baltic Sea are used to different conditions: mostly a lot more wind and waves, where it is somewhat easier to sail.  Nevertheless, the organization of the regatta has been perfect.”

    PELLE NERA finished second, FURIO came in third, JENESIS landed in 4th while FGF Sailing Team nailed the 5th spot.

    The winner of the day was definitely Farkas Litkey, whose consistent sailing paid off with his PELLE NERA team taking the lead in the regatta.

    Litkey commented after the races, “We sailed 4 races today out of the total 8. We had four good races, so we are happy with our scores! It was light wind, which benefits us as we are fast in light winds. We have enough speed there to stay among or ahead of the best. The Regatta organization is fantastic. It is incredible that there are 48 boats. I’m truly impressed. Shore events are perfect. New videos, edited every night, the day’s photos displayed is really unique. I haven’t seen this at any other regattas. This is the best organization, I’ve ever seen!”

    Day 4
    Despite the challengingly shifty conditions, the Race Committee, headed by Bence Fluck, managed to run two more races on the final day.

    Race 9 was sailed in 7-8 kts northeasterly winds in which 3 German Teams gathered BFD penalties due to jumping out early. LUV was the first boat to reach the 1st upwind gate, shadowed by the young girls-only team on GER 5266, while DJANGO rounded third. By the end of the 2nd leg, leading positions had shifted as the left side of the course proved faster, but LUV and the girls on GER 5266 managed to hold onto their leads while EVNIKI completed the leg third. The second upwind leg saw LUV maintain their lead, but 2 teams came in from the right, JUKEBOX in second and FURIO in third. In the end Stry’s LUV won Race 9, with JUKEBOX in second and FGF in third in a massive comeback!

    Race 10 was a nerve-wrecking course, testing the endurance of the teams with its dropping, shifty winds.

    EVNIKI was first to round the 1st upwind mark, followed by Dutch Team JOOL and JMANIA.  At the downwind mark, EVNIKI swapped positions with Team JOOL. Dropping winds clustered up the teams at the mark, there were fierce struggles for inside positions, coupled by load protest calls. Team JOOL struggled to the 2nd upwind mark to round first, followed by EVNIKI and VITESSE. The Dutch Team JOOL won the race, beating EVNIKI and VITESSE in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

    The Race Committee was determined to do an 11th race that had to be started by 4 pm. The wind was picking up to 7-8 knots, shifted east, but the 1st start attempt had to be interrupted by an AP due to a sudden wind shift. The 11th race started clear at the 2nd start attempt, though radically shifting conditions forced an abandonment, closing the regatta with a total of ten races in very challenging weather!

    Following the J/24 Class legacy of awarding special prizes, here are some of those winners below:
    • “The Old Boat Trophy”- was earned by JUST A BIG DINGHY- helmed by Annamári Sabján. The boat had been used by a Swiss fisherman who shortened the mast by 6 cm. So, the mast had to be restored to its original length before the European Championship in order to comply with class regulations. The girls-only team went to great lengths to make their boat race compliant!
    • The “Ladies Trophy”- was won by Emily Kern and her German crew of all-women on ROTOGIRL.
    • The “Top Youth Boat Trophy”- was won by the GER 3634 team, FAST F helmed by Johanne Maske.
    • The “Top Senior Boat Trophy”- went to Italian Attilio De Battista on ITA 498- PILGRIM.
    Erik Hercsel, the President of the Hungarian J/24 Class concluded the event as follows, “I am grateful that I had a chance to sail the same course with such great sailors during this regatta. Seeing the Hungarian fleet, the teams, and the helms achieving such great results makes me even happier. Long months of organization and many late nights preceded this event. Big ‘thank you’ to my entire Team who made this event such a success, to the many supporters, volunteers, J/24 Class members, to Balatonfüredi Yacht Club, and, of course, to our sponsors whose support was inevitable in the realization of this great event.”   J/24 Hungary Facebook group.

    J/24 Hungary sailing videos
    First day- https://www.facebook.com/hunj24class/videos/1574122279311655/
    Second day- https://www.facebook.com/hunj24class/videos/1574942895896260/
    Third day- https://www.facebook.com/hunj24class/videos/1576005189123364/
    Fourth day- https://www.facebook.com/hunj24class/videos/1577399228983960/

    For Balatonfüredi YC information   For more J/24 European Championship sailing information

    Hamble Winter Series Kick-Off Weekend!
    (Hamble, England)- The 36th edition of the Hamble Winter Series kicked off on Saturday 30 September, and included the inaugural IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship, organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club.

    Five races were held for all classes competing in the IRC Spinlock Autumn Championship, and for those competing in the Hamble Winter Series, two races were completed on Sunday 1 October.

    A wide variety of yachts racing under IRC and in One Designs, enjoyed a perfect southerly wind of 15 knots on Saturday with a 16-18 knot southwesterly intensifying condition on Sunday, typifying fantastic autumnal racing.

    For the Spinlock IRC Autumn Championship, in IRC 1 Class, Tony Mack’s J/111 McFLY is lying in second for the series with a 4-1-3-8-1 for 17 pts total.  Third is Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO with a 6-2-5-4-3 for 20 pts.  However, it is very tight with two more J/111s just off the mark; Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II is currently 5th with a 5-7-6-2 tally for 25 pts and Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG is 6th with a 2-6-4-6.5 record for 25.5 pts.

    Meanwhile, Roger Phillips’ J/109 is second in IRC 2 Class and is being chased by Chris Burleigh’s J/109 JYBE TALKIN in 4th place and Bill Stock’s J/109 JENGU in 5th.

    Rachel Hunt's J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 is winning IRC Three division quite handily with triple 1sts in her tally, followed by David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO in 2nd place and Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II in 3rd position.

    And, Ian Smyth's team is winning the J/88 Class, with Kirsty & David Apthorp’s J/DREAM in 2nd and Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place.

    The results from Sunday 1 October constituted the first round of the Hamble Winter Series.

    In IRC One, the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, skippered by Paul and Marie-Claude Heys took second on the first weekend, with a 3rd in the first race and a 1st in the second race!

    In IRC Three, three J/teams are leading a sweep of the class.  David Greenhalgh's J/92 J’RONIMO finished the weekend on a high, winning the last race to win class with a 2-1. “Excellent courses, and just the right length,” commented Greenhalgh!  Stablemates Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II are in second by just one point with a 1-3.  And, Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART is third with a 3-2.

    In the J/88 Class Kirsty and David Apthorp's J-DREAM was the victor for the weekend with a 1-2.  Ian Smyth’s GRB 2688R is second with a 3-1 and lying third is Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with a 2-4.

    The Hamble River Sailing Club was a hive of activity after racing, with all competitors, friends and family welcome to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere with a licensed bar.

    Racing organized by the Hamble River Sailing Club continues 7-8 October, with another double helping of exciting racing in the Solent. The Hamble One-Design Championship, supported by Grapefruit Graphics, and The Bugle PH, Hamble, will consist of fast thrilling sportboats racing over two days. 30 teams have already entered, with room for more! The Second round of the Hamble Winter Series will take place on Sunday October 8th.   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

    Drama-filled Conclusion @ AYC Fall Series
    (Rye, NY)- The American YC’s annual Fall Series that takes place over two weekends at the end of September and start of October always seems to have a combination of benign sailing weather and dramatic storms to round out the experience.  The 2017 series was no exception.  The first weekend produced near pristine sailing conditions on Saturday and much lighter breezes on Sunday- all punctuated by clear skies and sunny days.  The second weekend was anything but that scenario- with Saturday’s weather influenced by the “tail feathers” of Hurricane Maria offshore, producing an enormous “water spout” (a water-borne tornado) just six miles southeast from where the fleet was sailing and stormy northerly winds all day. By contract, Sunday had virtually no winds and was a sunny warm "shorts & shades" day!

    For the 120-odd boats that registered to sail over the two weekends, they sure got their money’s worth.  Great sailing on at least one day for both weekends, that’s a good thing in western Long Island Sound at this time of year!

    In the J/70 class, Scott & Alex Furnary on ANY COLOUR easily won the class with five bullets in their scoreline to win with just 11 pts net in nine races sailed!  A forecast of things to come in the J/70 North Americans??  Time will tell if they can maintain that pace against J/70 class veterans.  Second was Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED with 29 pts net and third was Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK with 45 pts net.  The balance of the top five were Ernest Bourassa’s ALTHEA in 4th place and Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA in 5th position.

    The J/105 class saw the St Francis YC duo of Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault on GOOD TRADE just eke out another win, just barely.  Tied on points at 18 pts net each with Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE, the GOOD TRADE duo just squeezed out another win against great competition.  Third was Paul Beaudin’s LOU LOU with 25 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were George & Alex Wilbanks REVELATION in 4th and Randy Bourne’s STRANGE BREW in 5th place.

    The J/88 class had incredibly tight racing for the top three spots on the podium.  In the end, it was Newport’s Doug Newhouse’s crew on YONDER that took the class prize with just 19 pts net.  Two women skipper’s featured in the next two slots on the podium, a first for this highly-competitive class.  Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE was second with 22 pts and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION was third with 27 pts net.  Mike Bruno’s WINGS was 4th with 29 pts net and Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE ended up in 5th position with 40 pts.  Again, showing the depth of the fleet, all five boats in the top five won races!

    It sure is hard to slow down a freight-train once it is moving fast!  That has seemed to be the case for David Rosow’s crew on the J/109 LOKI.  Continuing on their successes all season-long, they won five of ten races to easily be crowned kings of the J/109 class for the falls series.  Second was Jon Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON with 22 pts, third was Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG, fourth Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT and fifth was Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY.

    Upsetting the momentum of the “gold diggers” on the second weekend was Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE in the J/44 class, winning class by just one point.  Jim Bishop’s crew on GOLD DIGGER closed with a bullet in the last race, but it was not enough to overcome back-to-back 4-4’s on the beginning of the day to ultimately take second in class.  Third was Len Sitar’s VAMP, fourth Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE and fifth the US Coast Guard Academy’s GLORY.

    In the PHRF handicap-racing world, J/Teams just about cleaned house.  Winning PHRF 1 Class was Neil Hindle’s J/145C MUSKOKA, with Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE taking 4th in class.

    Crushing the PHRF 2 Class was David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP with just 9 pts net.  They were followed by Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO with 13 pts, tied for 2nd place but losing the tie-break to take 3rd in class.

    In PHRF 3 Class, Andy Oeftering’s J/92 SHOOTING STAR sailed a solid series against a variety of high-powered boats to take 2nd in class.  For more American YC Fall Series sailing information

    NOSTALGIA Crowned J/70 East Coast Champion!
    (Deltaville, VA)- The J/70 East Coast Championship was held by Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) in Deltaville, Virginia on September 30/October 1. According to the J/70 Class, the event will not qualify boats for the 2018 J/70 Worlds in Marblehead due to an insufficient number of boats racing (15 boats pre-registered, but only 9 ended up racing).

    Sailors enjoyed gusty/shifty northwest to northeast winds on Saturday and Sunday ranging from 8 to 20 knots. Given the strong wind, current and steep chop, the race committee moved racing inside to Fishing Bay so that they could set their anchors properly.

    Blake Kimbrough and his long-term NOSTALGIA crew of Julia and Lud Kimbrough and FBYC Vice Commodore, Rob Whittemore, was the top boat on Saturday with finishes of 1-5-2-3 and the top boat overall for the weekend.  Even though Blake did not race his J/70 in 2016, he clearly did not lose his touch as he won the J/70 Class at the Stingray regatta Labor Day weekend and followed up with his win at the East Coast Championship. The NOSTALGIA crew consistently started well, sailed fast (despite their aged sails) and got around the corners in good shape.

    Henry Filter and his WILD CHILD crew sailed very well and were exceptional at close quarters maneuvering. The WILD CHILD team placed second in the regatta, with their performance ramping up from 3-7-1-6 on Saturday to 1-2-3 on Sunday.

    Gannon Troutman sailed at Fishing Bay after a couple of years of racing top-flight regattas around the world. Gannon and his all junior crew on PIED PIPER (fellow classmates from Christ Church School near Deltaville, VA) sailed extremely well both days with finishes of 2-2-8-2 on Saturday (tied for second for the day) and finishes of 7-3-4 on Sunday to end up third for the regatta.  We hope to see Gannon and his crew at the J/70 Youth Champs next year at St. Petersburg Yacht Club!  For more J/70 East Coast Championship sailing information

    Cleveland 216 Regatta Report
    (Cleveland, OH)- On Lake Erie, the season-ending finale has symbolically become the Cleveland 216 Regatta hosted by the Edgewater YC for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/70s, and J/105s.

    The eight teams competing in the J/70 class were certainly not expecting a “master class” in how to get a 70 around the race track, but that’s exactly what they got!  “Schooling” the fleet was David Koski’s SOUL from Edgewater YC, winning 6 of 7 races to win by a large margin.  Second with four 2nds and the only boat to “steal” a win from SOUL was Lee Sackett’s AQUA DUMP, with 15 pts total in seven races.  A distant third was Tod Sackett’s FM with 23 pts total.

    In the J/22s, a similar scenario played out, with Tim Roberts’ DEUCE winning every single race in their seven race series for a total of 7 pts.   Second was Jim Latham’s RAMBLE ON with 14 pts and third place went to Mike Meaney’s MEANIAC.

    Unlike their stablemates, the J/105s had a fierce battle for the top spots on the podium.  In the end, just four points separated the top four boats.  After starting off with three 1sts in a row, Robert Mock’s crew on DARK HORSE stumbled a bit to post top three finishes; in the end they won with 15 pts total.  Just three points back, two boats were tied on 18 pts each, with Stephen Mitcham’s BREEZIN BAYOU taking 2nd place on count-back over Jim Uhlir’s TRIO.  Just one point behind them was Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION to take 4th position.  Rounding out the top five was Rick Drucker’s KNOT GUILTY in 5th place.
    For more Cleveland 216 Regatta sailing information

    J/88 Class Update
    (Rye, NY)- The J/88 class continues to enjoy excellent class racing in the Great Lakes and the East Coast.  Here is a class report and update from J/88 Class President Iris Vogel, she is the owner of DEVIATION.

    “For starters, we would like to congratulate the winner of the STC Championships at Rochester YC, Al Minella and the team of ALBONDINGAS, well done!  Second went to DEVIATION and third to ESCAPE.  Team ALBONDIGAS also took first in the “Can One” Thursday night series.

    At American Yacht Club’s annual Fall Series Regatta, we congratulate Doug Newhouse and the team of YONDER for an excellent performance followed by Elizabeth Barry and team ESCAPE in second and team DEVIATION in third.

    In both regattas, the racing was extremely close and every competitor had great races with many different boats taking firsts in individual races.  Saturday, 9/30 finally gave us some big breeze to show what the J/88 can do- gusts hit 29 kts at one point on Saturday!

    With two great OD events behind us, let's finish the 2017 Long Island Sound season in style.  There is still the Gearbuster (IHYC) and Manhasset Bay Fall Series - dates are October 14th, 15th, & 21st.  Let's have a strong showing at these two end of season events!

    Also, we look forward to some J/88s that are also participating and supporting college sailing teams in the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta at Larchmont YC.

    For all who are planning their winter schedule, we will again focus on three great regattas!  They are:
    • Jan 19-21- J/FEST St Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
    • Feb 16-18- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
    • Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
    Please note- in St Pete, the J/88 fleet has a special rate for storage at the Sailor's Wharf.

    I look forward to seeing you all in the fall and winter events!  Best, Iris”

    What is interesting to note about the J/88s is that it is a very “women-friendly” owner class- with four top teams all owned and skippered by very good women sailors!

    For more J/88 one-design class information   For more J/88 family speedster sailing information

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * The environmental sustainability initiative promoted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in its 50th anniversary year in the form of the One Ocean Forum and presentation of the Charta Smeralda in Milan on 3rd and 4th October, has garnered the support of the SAILING Champions League (SCL) and the International Sailing League Association (ISLA).

    On 23rd September, during the Audi SAILING Champions League event in Porto Cervo, both associations signed an agreement undertaking to promote the principles of the “Charta Smeralda” to an audience of more than 150,000 members of international yacht clubs.

    The Sailing Champions League launched a new type of sail racing competition in 2013 utilizing the International J/70 one-design class that has revolutionized the sport of sailing. The League sees individual yacht clubs competing in national leagues within a dedicated circuit. The ISLA was created successively and encompasses each of the individual national leagues, most of which use the J/70 one-design class as their base sailboat for competition.

    "I am pleased that two associations such as the SCL and ISLA, which oversee all of the national leagues and their respective members, have given their support to our environmental sustainability initiative, undertaking to promote the Charta Smeralda to a wide audience that is closely linked to the sea." commented Riccardo Bonadeo, YCCS Commodore and Vice President of the One Ocean Forum.

    Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the SCL declared: "Behind the SAILING Champions League and the International Sailing League Association (ISLA), are up to 300 sailing clubs from 15 countries involved with more than one hundred and fifty thousand members. This gives us a great opportunity to make the ideas of the Charta Smeralda known throughout Europe. We are thrilled to integrate the One Ocean Initiative into our communication activities and I am convinced that many of the clubs will follow the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and will adopt the ideas of the Charta Smeralda to protect the sea."

    The signing of this agreement underlines one of the primary objectives set by the One Ocean Forum: raising awareness of an environmentally sustainable culture. Awareness is being promoted principally towards realities close to YCCS, such as yacht clubs and associations like the SCL and ISLA which are intrinsically linked to the sea; the element that plays host to their activities.

    The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, promoter of the One Ocean Forum, will be the first organization to sign and adopt the principles of the “Charta Smeralda” which is to be presented on 4th October in Milan.  For further information please visit: http://www.yccs.com or http://www.oneoceanforum.org

    * Sailing J/80s on the Queen Mary Reservoir in London, England can be quite an exciting experience.  This large “lagoon” is located directly beneath the southerly approach to the famously busy Heathrow Airport.  Even on light air days, the tip vortices off the biggest jets like the Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 can be felt on the water!  Makes for some interesting shifts or wind shear sometimes!

    Nevertheless, the fleet of J/80s supplied by Royal Thames YC and the Royal Yacht Squadron were team raced this past weekend by four teams for the bi-annual “Cornerstone Cup”- an event between the Royal Thames YC, Royal Yacht Squadron, New York YC and St Francis YC.  After 54 races, Team NYYC won not only the Cornerstone Cup, but also the Madcap Trophy, the Nichols Trophy and the Quissetta Trophy!  New York YC Commodore Phil Lotz was providing the on-water cheering section and coaching for the happy team that was sailing a 2 vs 2 format- where “last loses” the race.

    * Close encounters of the J/70 kind!  According to the skipper, “we were going around 14 knots downwind when another boat broached just ahead of us, we pulled up higher and higher until we were nearly broaching ourselves. The gennaker trimmer had no idea anything had happened so he kept responding to the skipper’s commands to let the sheet out with: "why?? the kites flying awesome!" We were able to narrowly avoid a collision, thanks to the great steering and cool head of our skipper! Top speed was 15.8 kts on that run.”   Watch YouTube J/70 sailing video hereAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- September 27th, 2017 Annapolis Boat Show Time!
    On Display- NEW J/121, J/112E, & J/70
    (Annapolis, MD)- With the official start of fall, it’s time to make plans to attend the famous US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD that runs from October 5th to 9th over the Columbus Day holiday weekend.  Sailors from around the world gather on miles of docks in beautiful historic Annapolis for this internationally acclaimed sailboat show, recognized as the largest, most prestigious, and only remaining in-water sailboat show in the world.

    J/Boats, in partnership with our mid-Atlantic dealer North Point Yacht Sales, will have on display the NEW J/121 offshore speedster, as well as the J/112E cruiser-racer and the famous J/70 one-design speedster.

    The new J/121 offshore speedster has received rave reviews from those who have had the privilege to go sailing on her after her worldwide debut in the Newport International Boat Show in September.  Like her fellow “speedster” siblings, what amazes those that have steered her is the extraordinary acceleration in the puffs and instant response to finger-tip helm movements on any point of sail.  Plus, many remark the twin-wheel system provides excellent visibility forward to waves and tell-tales on the jib.  And, what everyone appreciates is the extremely large ergonomic cockpit that provides plenty of “elbow-room” for any sail-handling maneuvers and that it can also handle an “after-race” party of over a dozen friends!  Finally, the big surprise for most sailors is the enormous, wide, open, airy interior below.  Learn more about the J/121 offshore speedster here

    The J/112E cruiser-racer will have her U.S. Sailboat Show debut.  After an incredibly successful offshore racing season in Europe, many sailors are waking up to the fact they really can “have their cake and eat it, too!”  The J/112E is a “big” 36 footer, with a gorgeous interior designed to satisfy even the most discriminating eye and loaded with creature comforts.  After winning her class at SPI Ouest France and in four more events in 2017 across Europe and the United Kingdom, the J/112E has proven herself to be a potent offshore weapon in both IRC and ORC handicap racing events.  Learn more about the J/112E here

    Finally, the famous ramp-launchable International J/70 will be on display.  The class continues to maintain its momentum with over 1,300 boats built in less than four years with class racing taking place in five continents.  And, the recent Audi J/70 World Championship featured the largest ever sportboat regatta in history- 175 boats registered to sail the event off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, hosted by YC Costa Smeralda.  Learn more about why the “sailing league” concept continues to grow both in Europe and the USA, featuring the easy-to-sail J/70- a boat that is friendly for both women and youth sailors and equally challenging for the world’s best pro sailors.   Learn more about the J/70 here
    For more U.S. Sailboat Show information

    J/80 North American Championship Announcement
    (Eastport, MD)- From the October 20th to 22nd weekend, the Eastport Yacht Club will be hosting the 2017 edition of the J/80 North American Championship on the fabled waters of the northern Chesapeake Bay.

    As per their usual high-standards, expect the complete red-carpet treatment from Eastport YC and its members for the J/80 competitors!  The EYC PRO promises fair weather, great sailing and a lot of races!

    To get you J/80 aficionados fired-up, here is a most amazing J/80 video planing in heavy weather

    It’s not too late to register NOW for the 2017 J/80 North Americans.  Go now to the registration site here on Yachtscoring.com.  For more J/80 North American Championship sailing information.

    J/70 East Coast Championship Preview
    (Deltaville, VA)- The Fishing Bay Yacht Club will be hosting the 2017 J/70 East Coast Championship from Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 1, 2017.  Already, there is a strong group of competitors from around the Bay as well as from places afar and the regatta is a qualifier for the 2018 J/70 World Championship to be held next September in Marblehead, MA.

    Fishing Bay Yacht Club is ideally situated at the mouth of the Piankatank River at the Chesapeake Bay, offering a variety of sailing areas to suit the weather conditions. The water temperature will still be mild, and the breezes should allow for excellent racing.

    FBYC will be offering a continental breakfast in the mornings prior to racing and dinner on Saturday evening.  Of course, FBYC will have their famous regatta bar set up throughout the event, beginning at check-in on Friday afternoon.

    FBYC and its members look forward to welcoming you to their gorgeous facilities this fall for another spectacular regatta!

    So far, with fifteen boats registered, a number of top local crews are participating, including Al Terhune’s DAZZLER, Gannon Troutman’s PIED PIPER, Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD, Taz Coffey’s DANGER MOUSE, Drake Johnstone’s CAT's PAJAMAS, and Clark Dennison’s BAD DECISIONS. For more J/70 East Coast Championship sailing information

    Cleveland 216 Regatta Preview
    (Cleveland, OH)- On Lake Erie, the season-ending finale has symbolically become the Cleveland 216 Regatta hosted by the Edgewater YC for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/70s, and J/105s.

    All fleets are about a half-dozen strong.  In the J/70s, expect to see Tod Sackett’s FM and Lee Sackett’s AQUA DUMP defending the host clubs’ honors.

    In the J/22s, watch out for Mark Stuhlmiller’s EUDAIMONIA from Buffalo YC hoping to overcome the hometown boys from EYC led by quartet of crews- Tim Roberts’ DEUCE, Rick Raymond’s LONDON FOG, Jim Latham’s RAMBLE ON, and Mike Meaney’s MEANIAC.

    Similarly, the trio in J/105s from EYC hope have a least a representative or two on the podium between Jim Uhlier’s TRIO, Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION, and Robert Mock’s DARK HORSE.  For more Cleveland 216 Regatta sailing information

    J/24 Italy Handicap Children Benefit
    (Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy)- In the waters of Porto Rotondo, the Italian J/24 class and its fleet on Sardinia are hosting a benefit for handicap children, to give them the eye-opening experience of sailing on the deep blue emerald waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

    "While waiting for the 2018 J/24 season, I would like to propose you to participate in the seventh edition of the Vita da aMare event,” explains Captain of the Sardinia J/24 Fleet- Marco Frulio. “The event, sponsored by the municipal administration of Olbia in collaboration with the Lombardy Region, will allow people with different handicap abilities, coming from the peninsula and the city of Olbia, to enjoy and experience three days sailing in the sea of the Gallurian coast.”

    For the event, Boomerang Yachting Charter company will make available its J/24s to accommodate one hundred children and fifty volunteers. The children with different abilities will be under the responsibility of adult captains to skipper the 18 boats provided by Boomerang.

    "At the seventh edition of Vita da aMare, about one hundred special children and some fifty volunteers and expert sailors are expected. This event took place last year in Genoa.  The initiative enjoys the logistical support of the Italian Red Cross organization.  In the weeks before the event, the Yachting Club of Porto Rotondo held a presentation about the importance of the event for handicap children and for the sport of sailing in Italy.  The presenters included the organizer (Claudio Pedrazzini- the head of FIV in the Lombard Regional Council), the Mayor and the Councilor of Tourism in Olbia (Settimo Nizzi and Marco Balata), the President of Porto Rotondo Consortium (Leonardo Salvemini), Boomerang (Angelo Usai) and entrepreneur Paolo Berlusconi.

    "The event started eight years ago, thanks to the idea of a group of friends who wanted to share the passion for sailing with less fortunate people. And so," said Claudio Pedrazzini, "something unique has come about not only to people with different fragility but to all those who are able to make themselves available to others with great sensibility. Every year we take the challenge and, at the same time, we grow. This year, thanks to the support of Angelo Usai of Boomerang, our children will have at their disposal 18 boats."

    "Being able to help handicapped children at least for the three days of the event is a wonderful thing. Our community,” said the Mayor of Olbia- Settimo Nizzi, “will support the event to make it unforgettable to all those who are participating."

    For Marco Balata, Councilor of Tourism in Olbia, this is the “crystallization of a project born about a year ago and that is part of the sector where there is so much to do in our country: the so-called accessible tourism. As soon as we started contacts with Pedrazzini, we immediately thought of dedicating the event to the memory of Patrizia Bigi."

    On the same tone, the organizer of the event, Angelo Usai: "We are not new to this kind of initiative," said Boomerang, a nautical tourism company.  “Although in the past, we welcomed handicap people on board to sail boats in Italy, we are still well behind compared to other nations like Germany."

    For Leonardo Salvemini, President of Porto Rotondo Consortium, “We are here to thank the special people who will come here. Well-done initiatives like these are important for Italian society and important for broadening the positive social impact of the sport of sailing for everyone.”

    Paolo Berlusconi also expressed words of appreciation for the initiatives. "Getting to Porto Rotondo and talking about disability and volunteering is good for the heart," said the entrepreneur, "and makes us understand that man is also capable of doing good things to include all manner of handicapped sailors.”

    For more information about this special event on J/24s in Olbia, Sardinia, Italy (just south of Porto Cervo).

    J/Fest Southwest Announces “Legends” Sailing Event
    (Seabrook, TX)- J/Fest Southwest organizers in conjunction with Lakewood Yacht Club and J/Boats Southwest announce a new celebrity racing event featuring past World and North American champion sailors.

    For those of you looking to start enjoying the festivities surrounding this year's regatta early, you'll want to get here before 4pm Friday, October 20th, to enjoy the two planned celebrity races on Clear Lake the afternoon before the J/Fest Southwest Regatta.

    The celebrities include Jeff Johnstone, Scott Young, Farley Fontenot and Jay Lutz. They will be sailing J/24s loaned out by the J/24 Fleet. Each boat will have their celebrity name across the mainsail. There will be on the water judging and spectators can watch the action from the newly opened Barge 295, in the location of the old Turtle Club. Live commentary will include humor and historical tidbits for additional entertainment value- sailing’s version of “fake news”- up to you to determine what’s “real”- prizes later for those who are right!!

    The 8th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta will be raced on Galveston Bay October 21-22, and this year's event marks 40 years of J/Boat history. With over 50 boats entered so far, 2017 will be a landmark regatta.

    Don't miss the Oct. 14th registration Deadline. The entry is just $95 for all classes. Racers who register by 1700 hours on Oct. 14 will receive a free t-shirt and two wristbands to get you into the post-race dinner and party at Lakewood YC.

    Please visit http://www.jfestsouthwest.com to register. Crew waivers and information about local accommodations are also available.

    For regatta information or questions about the celebrity or cruising events, contact J/Fest Southwest Regatta Race Co-Chair Chris Lewis atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The penultimate weekend of September marked the end of summer and the beginning of fall for sailors in the northern hemisphere.  Nevertheless, it also marked one of the busier weeks of sailing for the 2017 yachting season both in Europe and North America.

    Starting with Canada, we find yet another excellent turnout for the J/24 World Championship that was sailed on Lake Ontario, just off the amazing city-front of Toronto.  Host was the Port Credit YC in Mississauga, ONT, Canada- finally, a Canadian won the Worlds!

    Also, several other major events took place in the Americas.  Down on the Chesapeake Bay, the J/35 North American Championship was hosted by the Annapolis YC for a fleet of over a dozen boats!  Then, the weekend before the J/22 East Coast Championship was hosted by Eastport YC. Further up the northeast coastline, the American YC Fall Series sailed its first weekend on western Long Island Sound for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, & J/44s and a PHRF handicap fleet for J/111s and J/122s.

    Meanwhile, out West, the 22nd annual J/FEST San Diego Regatta was hosted by the San Diego YC for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, & J/120s and a PHRF Navigators Race for more J/crews.  Then, the weekend before, the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay (e.g. the SSS) held their annual single and doublehanded Half Moon Bay Race; a trio of J/120s enjoyed their silverware haul!

    Hopping over the Atlantic Ocean to the east, we find the British held their first J/70 Sailing League Finale at Royal Thames YC’s based at Cowes, Isle of Wight- they had three great days of sailing on the infamous Solent.  Just off to the southeast on the Bay of Biscay, French sailors enjoyed their Atlantic Telegramme Regatta in Lorient, France that included one-design fleets of J/70s & J/80s and offshore handicap racing for a J/111 and J/122.

    Over on the Mediterranean, thirty-two teams from across Europe all qualified to sail in the AUDI SAILING Champions League, an event sailed in identically-matched and equipped J/70s at YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Italy. The regatta determined the “Best Sailing Club in Europe” for 2017!  Still further northeast, in fact about 400 km east of Moscow, Russia, the 6th stage of the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place at Nizhny Novgorod, Russia- at the confluence of the famous Volga River and the Oka River; the eleven teams that took part were challenged by a devilish combination of current and significant wind streaks and shifts!

    Finally, headed still further east, the thirty-seven teams from across China sailed a huge fleet of J/80s off Shenzen, China to compete for honors in the 13th China Club Challenge Match over the course of a three-day weekend and a total of eleven races!

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA
    Sep 30- Oct 1- American YC Fall Series II- Rye, NY
    Sep 30- Oct 1- Cleveland 216 Regatta- Cleveland, OH
    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Milev Crowned J/24 World Champion!
    SEA BAGS Women’s Sailing Team Top Women’s!
    (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- For those who place in the bottom third in the first race of a World Championship, look to Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR for inspiration. The local team overcame double-digit finishes in the first three of eight races to become the 2017 victors at the driveHG.ca J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and hosted by the incredibly friendly and gracious members of Port Credit YC.

    Going into Saturday’s final day of competition, Milev trailed Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET by 5 points. Nailing a second-place in the only light-air contest earned CLEAR AIR the title with 47 net points. Parker ended just one point back, settling for the silver position after a very consistent week of sailing. Ariko Murohashi’s LULL of Japan claimed the bronze spot with 62 points.

    Milev was an integral player in his club— Port Credit YC— earning hosting duties for this Championship. “It hasn’t sunk it,” beamed Milev. “The first race went against us, but I said ‘don’t give up, it’s a long regatta.’ We just plugged away.”

    Crew Gayle Gray (mast), Mark Goodyear (trim), Jon Messenger (tactics) and Jeremy Edwards (bow) were up to the challenge in the persistently light air affair. Milev continued, “We had great speed all around, and could hold the lane. We sailed the rig a little bit lighter than what the tuning guide says. You never know when your time will come. You try to figure out what’s going on, but it wasn’t easy!”

    The Jaeger Women’s Trophy- emblematic of the top women’s team at the J/24 Worlds- was awarded to Erica Beck Spencer’s Sea Bags Women's Sailing Team.  And, the Turner Trophy- emblematic of the top Under-25 team was awarded to Finn Hadlock, skippering BOREAS.

    Sixty-three teams from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the USA competed in the 2017 J/24 Worlds in Canada and it was tough sailing in the predominantly light-air conditions on Lake Ontario, taking place right off Toronto’s picturesque and magnificent city waterfront.  Here is how it all unfurled over the four days of competition.

    DAY 1- Light & shifty
    Fickle breeze was the theme of the opening day and the sailors endured winds around 6 knots to complete two races. Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET and James Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT were tied at 9 pts each, with Parker holding that tie-breaker by way of a 7-2 on Tuesday (Freedman earned a 4-5) for the early advantage. David Klatt’s JADED and Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE sat tied at 21 pts each for third and fourth place, respectively.

    A big wind shift in the opening contest doomed teams to the left, but benefited Klatt’s JADED and two Japanese teams (Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA and Einosuke Morita’s WAILEA) who comprised the top three. Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS took line honors in the second race, ahead of Parker’s BANGOR PACKET and Blair Dinsdale’s JOURNEY.

    DAY 2- Moderate breeze & sunshine!
    To the delight of sailors, Mother Nature provided more consistent breeze and sunshine on the second day of racing. As the conditions improved, so did the lead for Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET, who notched a 5-8 on Wednesday to bring him to 22 overall points after four races. Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH moved into second place with 48 points, and James Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT slipped to third with 51 pts. Look for a shake-up in the standings when five or more races have been completed, as the discard kicks in.

    The competitors appreciated Wednesday’s 8-10 knots as another two contests went in the books. Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED won race three, trailed by Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT and Ariko Murohashi’s LULL. Local Rossi Milev’s CLEAR AIR took the next victory, with Petley-Jones and David Klatt’s JADED completing the top three.

    DAY 3- More light airs!
    If good things come to those who wait, then Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED is the perfect example on day three. The teams waited a multiple hour, on-water postponement, hoping for enough breeze to get a start off.  Finally, around 3:30 p.m., light winds allowed two more races to be completed, which brought into effect the discard.

    Petley-Jones’ LIFTED tallied a 7-1 on Thursday to leap into first place overall, able to drop a 39 from race 1. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET fell to second place with 32 points. John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN launched up to the third spot with 33 net points after tossing a 52 from Tuesday. Six races are now finalized.

    The competitors started race 5 in about 5 knots, when Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA collected the win. Mollicone and Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED followed. Looking at Petley-Jones cross the finish line first in the next meeting were David Klatt’s JADED and Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER when winds increased slightly.

    DAY 4- Even more light airs!
    Light winds continued out on Lake Ontario, as just one race was accomplished on day four. Parker’s BANGOR PACKET returned to the top of the leaderboard, placing eighth today, leaving him with 40 net points heading into the final day of competition on Saturday. A fourth by Milev’s CLEAR AIR moved him into second overall, five points off Parker’s pace. Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED scored a 28th in Friday’s lone battle, dropping him to third place with 49 points.

    Parker, from Washington D.C., has remained in the top two each day of the Championship. He is the most seasoned racer on the course, sailing 1978 J/24 hull #58, a testimony to the J/24’s quality and ruggedness, and the skill and consistency of the crew at this event. Parker is a five-time winner of the J/24 US East Coast Championship (which he has sailed 38 times).

    Friday’s race winner was Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED, shadowed by Laura’s BABA LOUIE and Carter White’s YOU REGATTA.

    DAY 5- Light Finale!
    For the finale on Saturday, all Parker’s BANGOR PACKET crew had to do was finish within six places of Milev’s CLEAR AIR to assure them his first J/24 World Championship title.  Alternatively, Parker’s crew could match-race Milev’s team into the bottom of the fleet, knowing Milev had a 46th for a toss race and BANGOR PACKET only had a 15th for a toss race.  In either case, the formula appeared to be straight-forward in terms of execution.  Nevertheless, in the end, CLEAR AIR lived up to its namesake, escaping and getting clear air to sail off around the track and score a 2nd to BANGOR PACKET’s 9th, thus winning by just 1 pt.

    Rounding out the top five were Evan Petley-Jones LIFTED taking the tie-breaker over Carter White’s YOU REGATTA at 68 pts each.  For more J/24 World Championship sailing information

    Europe’s "Best Sailing Club“ 2017- YC Costa Smeralda!
    (Hamburg, Germany/ Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The 2017 Audi SAILING Champions League Finale took place in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, exactly one week after the conclusion of the epic Audi J/70 World Championship. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in collaboration with the SAILING Champions League, and with the support of title sponsor Audi, and Technical Partner Quantum Sails, a maximum of 48 races were scheduled over the three-day event and the 32 competing teams had until the close of play on Sunday, the 24th of September to claim the title of “Best Sailing Club 2017”.  The teams were competing in eight perfectly-matched J/70s with new Quantum Sails supplied for the event.

    After the entire 48 races were sailed, 12 in total for each team, it was the YC Costa Smeralda team of Flavio Favini, Federico Michetti, Branko Brcin, and Luca Faravelli that took home the grand prize and were crowned the 2017 “Best Sailing Club” in Europe.  Here is how it all took place over the course of three days.  Here is the complete SAILING Champions League Finale- Team Introductions

    Day 1- Classic seabreeze
    Fourteen races were completed on the first day. Racing got underway at 12.30 after an hour’s wait for the breeze to fill in. At the conclusion of five hours at sea, three full flights had been completed along with two races of the fourth of a total of 12 scheduled flights. The 32 participating teams did battle on the regatta course of Porto Cervo accompanied by a southeasterly breeze of 10-12 kts that built to around 15 kts over the course of the afternoon. Each race saw eight teams take to the starting line aboard one-design J/70 craft for fast races of approximately 10 to 15 minutes’ duration each.

    With day one’s racing filed away the home club- YC Costa Smeralda- team topped the overall leaderboard with three wins in three races! Just one point behind in second place was the Swiss team Société Nautique de Genève (Guillaume Girod – Marc Stern – Nicolas Kauffmann – Mathieu Fischer) with a 1-1-2 scoreline. In third place, four points behind and with four races run, was the Russian team LORD OF THE SAIL– EUROPE (Evgeny Neugodnikov – Viacheslav Ermolenko – Iurii Popov – Sergey Musikhin).

    Flavio Favini, an America’s Cup sailor and helm of the YCCS team declared: “We didn’t expect this result today, we didn’t get a chance to practice over the past few days. We’re really happy because we managed to get 3 wins one after the other, but there is still a lot to work on. Today’s conditions were fantastic, racing in 10-12 knots of breeze was great.”  After the day at sea, crews gathered in Piazza Azzurra for the Opening Ceremony.  Day 1 Highlight video

    Day 2- Maximum Racing Day
    It was a busy day for the teams that saw them reach a tally of nine flights completed. Racing ran perfectly to schedule with teams taking to the regatta course at 1000 hrs and completing 22 races over the course of more than 7 hours at sea accompanied by a 12-13 knot south-easterly breeze. This brought the participating Clubs to a total of 36 races run out of a maximum possible 48.

    Competition was incredibly close at the top of the leaderboard where each point counted towards losing or retaining a podium position today.

    The YCCS team gave a mixed performance, alternating top finishes with low scores, but they maintained their lead of the overall classification, thanks to victory in the final race. The extremely competitive Société Nautique de Genève team sat just one point behind the Italians and posted a 5-3-1-6-2-3 scoreline. In third place were the Russians on LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE; they came back from taking an OCS in day’s second race with a victory in the third (4-OCS-1-3-2).

    Guillaume Girod, Swiss Laser sailor and helmsman of Société Nautique de Genève, commented on the day’s events: “At the start of racing we weren’t very consistent, but we got better towards the end and finished in the top three so it went well! The crew has trained, they took part in the Audi J/70 World Championship last week and we also sailed together for a few days before this race but we can always learn more. We were more aggressive in our starts today compared to yesterday and we will try to improve again for tomorrow’s final day.”

    After a full day of competition, teams gathered in the evening for a Team BBQ Dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse in Porto Cervo.   Day 2 Highlight video

    Day 3- Fantastic Finale
    A decisive final day saw the team from the host club YCCS claim the title of “Best Sailing Club 2017”. The event, organized by the YC Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the SAILING Champions League and with the support of title sponsor Audi and technical partner Quantum Sails, concluded Sunday after competitors completed the full schedule of 12 flights of races over the three-day program.

    At 1000 hrs, the teams took to the starting line off Porto Cervo for the final sprint. After approximately 5 hours on the race course, with wind conditions that reached 20 knots and swung from southeast to northwest, prompting repositioning of the race area, the full quota of 48 races was completed.

    The Italian team representing YCCS, in the lead from day one, secured victory with a first place finish (bringing them to 6 wins in total) and two second places in Sunday’s racing.

    Federico Michetti from the YCCS team was delighted with the result, “It is a great honor to represent the Best Sailing Club 2017. It’s been a great day and a great weekend spent with fantastic friends Flavio Favini on the helm, Branko Brcin and Luca Faravelli together with Filippo Molinari as Team Captain. They were great teammates and I can’t think of a better way to round off the sporting season! There were a lot of strong teams here, a lot of young sailors and I really think this is a winning formula!!”

    Thanks to two victories and a second place today the Russian team of OST LEGAL SAILING (Vladimir Lipavsky, Andrey Kochnev, Egor Larionov, Nikolay Korneva) climbed up the leaderboard to claim second place four points clear of the Swiss team of Société Nautique de Genève in third place with a 4-6-2 scoreline.

    “Luckily we had a good today, we finished in seventh place overall yesterday so we thought we might not get onto the podium. But, today we were concentrated and we had a bit of luck as well so we were able to finish in second place,” exclaimed Andrey Kochnev of OST LEGAL SAILING.  Their performance was indicative of the high standard of J/70 sailing being achieved by Russian sailors across Europe, building upon the win by Russia’s top woman skipper- Valerya Kovalenko- with her ARTTUBE team at the YC Monaco’s 2017 J/70 Winter Sportsboat Series.  In the 2016 SAILING Champions League, there were no Russian crews in the top ten, now in the 2017 edition they placed two Russian teams in the top four.  And, the winners of the German, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, French, and Austrian sailing leagues finished behind them— an extraordinary achievement in just twelve months!

    Speaking about the event during the final prize giving ceremony YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented,  “The Audi SAILING Champions League brings the YCCS sporting season to a close in this, our 50th anniversary year. I would like to ‘Thank’ all of the 32 teams who travelled from across Europe to take part in three days of thrilling competition. My congratulations got to all the participants and to our own team who honored the YCCS colors. Special thanks must go to the SAILING Champions League Association for collaborating with us on the organization of the event, to the title sponsor Audi, the Race Committee, the International Jury and the staff of YCCS who made this all possible. I hope to see you all here in Porto Cervo during the 2018 sailing season.”

    The YC Costa Smeralda will be in Milan from the 3rd to 4th October for the ONE OCEAN Forum, an initiative that aims to promote the safeguard and conservation of the marine environment. During the Forum the “Charta Smeralda” will be presented, a code of conduct comprised of environmentally sustainable principles.  A SAILING Champions League Regatta Highlight video.

    As the technological partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP provided spectators worldwide with a professional livestream. Races were commentated and explained for everyone by sailing experts and sailing reporters. All races were broadcast live via the internet Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm CEST.   SAILING Champion League results and live stream can be found here.

    WILD RIDE For J/35 North American Championship!
    (Annapolis, MD)- With the “tail feathers” of Hurricane Jose just scraping by on the mid-Atlantic coast, the ten-boat fleet that assembled for the 2017 J/35 North American Championship were expecting to be in for a wild, wild ride during the course of their four-day regatta.  However, it was MR BILL’s WILD RIDE that truly gave them a lesson in “wildness”, how to go fast and have a helluva-lotta fun at the same time.  The notoriously fun-loving crew of Bill Wildner and friends from Detroit, MI were, ultimately, crowned the winners of this year’s event.

    Sailed on the Chesapeake Bay and hosted by the Annapolis YC, the J/35 fleet enjoyed the usual most-excellent red-carpet treatment from AYC and its amazing crew of Race Committee volunteers.  The AYC RC and PRO managed to run five races in the difficult sailing conditions.  After starting off with 3 straight bullets, Wildner’s crew on the “WILD RIDE” took a breather and dropped back to 3rd place in their fourth race. However, after clearly disappointing themselves with a blemish on what was a perfect record until that time, they put the hammer down again for the 5th and final race to post yet one more bullet to win the series with just 7.0 pts total.

    Behind the WILD RIDERS, it was a very close regatta for the balance of the podium and the top five. Taking the silver was Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT with a record of 5-2-3-2-2 for 14.0 pts.  Third just three points back was William Vogan’s MAJORD DETAIL with a scorecard of 3-4-4-1-5 for 17 pts total.  A scant one point back was Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel’s AUNT JEAN with a 2-3-2-7-4 tally for 18 pts.  Rounding out the top five was Bruce Artman’s T-BONE with a 7-5-5-4-6 record for 27 pts.   J/35 N.A. Yachtscoring.com results   For more J/35 North Americans sailing information

    Itchenor SC Tops British Sailing League 2017!
    (Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom)- From the 22nd to 24th September, the Royal Yachting Association & the Royal Thames YC hosted the finale for the British Sailing League on the infamous Solent for the top qualifying eighteen teams from across the United Kingdom.

    The regatta was modeled after the European J/70 Sailing Leagues- like the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga.  It was an inter-club fleet racing competition in supplied J/70 one-design keelboats run by the RYA and the Royal Thames YC. The format was simple- 15-minute races with umpires on the water to adjudicate. Regional qualifiers and a UK finale with the top club being awarded a place in the 2018 Sailing Champions League.

    Winning the event was the Itchenor Sailing Club.  The team was comprised of Alex Irwin, George Yeoman, Andy Shaw and Ben Saxton.  They sailed a nearly perfect regatta, compiling a high-point average of 7.81 pts over 16 races sailed- out of a possible “perfect 8”.  In other words, they just about “ran the table” with all 1sts to win by a significant margin over their erstwhile competitors.

    Like the first “Round Island Race” back in 1851, when Queen Victoria watched the schooner yacht AMERICA cross the line first, she asked “who is second”? The response purportedly was “Ah, Your Majesty, there is no second.”  “Oh dear,” replied the Queen as she apparently walked away to enjoy a mint julep (or twelve) with friends at the Royal Yacht Squadron.  Much the same could be said for the outcome of the first British Sailing League finale sailed on J/70s- the Itchenor SC crew was simply dominant.

    However, in this event, there was a second place- that was taken by a comfortable margin by the RORC 2 Team with 111 pts and a 6.94 race average for the regatta.

    However, the bronze medal was a dog-fight between three teams, ultimately settling the top five on the leaderboard.  In what may become the new standard for tie-breakers, imagine sailing sixteen races and find yourself tied with two other teams! OMG, that’s impossible! Well, that was the story on the Solent, off Cowes, in front of “the Castle”.

    The three protagonists were Wessex Sailing Club, Cambridge University SC, and Queen Mary SC.  In the end, after sixteen races they all scored 97 pts total, for an average of 6.06 for the regatta.  The tie-breaker scenario was a bit mind-numbing, but Wessex SC took the bronze, followed by Cambridge USC in 4th and Queen Mary SC in 5th position.

    Watch the British Keelboat League Facebook- with live video recordings!   British J/70 Sailing League results here  For more information on the Royal Yachting Association and UK Sailing Leagues here

    Fun-Lovin' J/FEST San Diego '70's Celebration!
    “Saturday Night Fever” Award to Team ZUNNI BEAR!
    (San Diego, CA)- It was an outstanding weekend for racing and nostalgia, San Diego Yacht Club hosted the 22nd annual J/Fest Regatta on September 22-24, 2017. Over two days, 27 J/Boats raced on San Diego Bay and ocean courses in 4 classes and competitors had the opportunity to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats at numerous social events scattered throughout the weekend.

    Anyone who participated can tell you that this year’s J/Fest was a weekend full of fun and camaraderie amongst competitors and guests.

    Starting with a sellout crowd on Friday night, almost 100 attendees heard from J/Boats President, Jeff Johnstone, in SDYC’s Frost Room. Johnstone presented on the “Past, Present, and Future of J/Boats”, an appreciated topic for these sailors. Following the first day of racing on Saturday was the spirited “Sending it Back to ‘77” Party on the Spinnaker Deck and Sail Wash Lawn. With the help of 70’s music from the band “Side Traxx” (the lead singer is SDYC member Mike Palumbo), J/Fest sailors fully adopted the theme and time-traveled back to the 1970s, which is very apparent if you look at photos from the event. S/C Kyle Clark won the oldest J/Fest t-shirt competition (J/Fest was started back in 1986) and Rich Bergmann and his crew on ZUNNI BEAR won the best dressed contest, with one crew member decked out in a tie-dyed suit!

    On to the racing: Race Committee PRO Becky Ashburn reported sunny and warm conditions on Saturday morning with a light breeze. Winds were about 5 knots in the morning, and Race Committee arrived on station to find a car carrier parked where the weather mark should have been. They moved further south to avoid other obstructions, but that left the J/70s to motor almost 3 miles past Zuniga, which is a long way for those little boats! Luckily, they made to the course with a few minutes to spare.

    Races started on time - the 4 J/120s and 9 105s got a clean start and headed out on a 4 leg course. The 13 J/70s, having had too much coffee that morning, couldn't quite settle down, so R/C started with a general recall for that fleet. After that, R/C ran the scheduled 3 races for all 3 fleets, finishing the last race upwind. Course distances were about 4.5 miles for the J/120s, 3.8 miles for the J/105s, and 3 miles for the J/70s.

    Ashburn believed that day 2 was forecast to be much breezier. In order to get longer courses with less of a commute for the small boats, R/C set up just outside Zuniga jetty. After chatting with competitors from the fleets, as well as the J/70 Coach (Willem Van Waay, who recently won the J/70 Worlds), R/C made a bit of a change to the lineup. J/120s and J/105s started race 4 on time, and then R/C added a break between fleets so the J/70s had the chance to ping the pin and signal boat while keeping clear of the other fleets - something that was a bit of a problem the day before. This setup seemed to work, making all 3 fleets AND the coach happy- win, win! Sunday’s 2 scheduled races began in wind that started at 9kts and built to over 16kts during the last leg of race 5. One J/70 (Huckleberry) reported rudder damage during race 5 and had to be towed home, but everyone else had a beautiful sail in, with 22kts of breeze in the channel!

    Meanwhile, the 3 PHRF boats raced on a random leg course that provided a full tour of San Diego Bay. One race per day was scheduled, and they were to be scored Time on Distance. They ran their longest course option on Saturday and then did the same on Sunday. The breeze picked up so much on Sunday, though, that it ended up being a really short day for Mad Hatter, with just over 1 hour of sail time!

    The four class winners were Robert Noe on Mad Hatter (PHRF- 1), John Laun on caper (J/120), Chuck Driscoll on Juiced (J/105), and David Hochart on USA-540 (J/70).

    This was Robert Noe’s first class win at J/Fest, though he has won a few races over the years. “The crew and I loved the venue. It had enough wind and a good race course, 12 miles of races for PHRF, and outstanding R/C work. The trophies were outstanding, framed LPs of our favorite old groups. We could not ask for a better two days of racing.”

    The 2017 J/Fest marked the fourth time that John Laun and his team on CAPER have been J/Fest class winners. “J/120 fleet racing is a kick. We have a lot of fun with great skippers and crew and exciting close racing. Conditions this weekend were perfect with just enough variety in breeze velocity and shiftiness to make it challenging all the time. My favorite race was the last race, the second one on Sunday – it was the longest course and the most breeze. J/120s really come alive at 16 to 18 knots of breeze.”  Behind CAPER, it was a battle for the other podium spots.  After starting off slowly with a 2-3-4, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER got it going in the end to post a 2-2 to grab the silver.  Meanwhile, Scott Hogan’s SHAMROCK nearly threw away a near-certain third place finish after posting a 4-4 on the last day to take 3rd on a tie-breaker over Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN at 16 pts each.

    The J/70 fleet also had an exciting last race on Sunday. There was a tiebreaker going into the last race, which was ultimately won by David Hochart who ended the regatta as the J/70 class winner. “Going into the last race we had to decide whether to go one-on-one vs Team Fly to get more than three points between us to win the regatta. We ultimately decided to start close to them on the line but not be aggressive and sail a clean race. We ended up winning the last race and it was close as they finished fourth which resulted in a tie. Exciting to have the regatta decided by the final race!”  By virtue of losing the tie-breaker, taking second was Tony Collins’ FLY.  Third was taken by Drew Belk’s KAWAU BAY with 22 pts, followed by Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01 in fourth with 25 pts and Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU with 26 pts- close-racing, indeed!

    Hochart also expressed how he felt the whole weekend of racing went. “My team enjoyed a great event hosted by SDYC, J/Boats, and the event sponsors. We were very fortunate to have the event organizers support Willem Van Waay coaching all teams in the J/70 fleet. It was a rewarding event for the team as we were able to develop our teamwork thru the coaching and learning from other teams.” 
    The J/105s experienced a solid turnout with most top-teams in attendance.  Taking the win was Chuck Driscoll’s JUICED, winning the class handily with three bullets in their score-line for just 8 pts total.  However, for the rest of the crews it was an incredibly tight battle for the balance of the podium and, in fact, the top five- just four points separating four places!  Second and third place was determined by a tie-breaker at 18 pts apiece, with Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK! winning on count-back over Stew Cannon’s J-OK.  Just one point back in fourth place was Jeff & Karen Brown’s SWEET KAREN with 19 pts and placing fifth was Rich Bergmann’s ZUNI BEAR with 20 pts! “Holy tightrope” exclaimed Robin to Batman!  Where you finished in the last race pretty much determined how you finished overall!

    J/Fest thanks their 2017 event sponsors: Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Shelter Island Boatyard, Novamar Yacht Insurance, Nielsen Beaumont, Rigworks, Ullman Sails, and JK3. In addition to being the title sponsor of the whole event, JK3 provided the entire J/70 fleet the opportunity to receive coaching from Willem Van Waay over the weekend- a very unique and original element of the weekend.  For more J/Fest San Diego sailing information

    J/80 China Club Challenge Match Report
    (Shenzen, China)- Thirty-seven teams stepped up to the plate for the 13th China Club Challenge Match. Maybe not as many as the organizers had made allowances for but for an event which is only in its 13th year in a nation where sailing is not much older, it is an impressive figure, easily making it the largest one design keelboat regatta in China sailed on a fleet of J/80’s.

    There were three days of mainly champagne sailing on the waters off Xiamen. An overused expression perhaps, but in this case, it truly was the real deal.  Eleven races scheduled and eleven races sailed over the three days with sailors from the top to the bottom of the fleet giving it their all, but with the huge majority with the right attitude. In fact, the boat that was last in (I think) every race could always be seen with big smiles on their faces and a wave for every support boat that passed close by whether media, umpire or mark boa – that’s what our game should be all about.

    The event was overseen by an excellent PRO who set fair windward-leeward courses up and down the sometimes-fierce Equinox tidal current. In fact, when the tide started to go slack on a couple of days the huge number of OCS prompted general recalls with the black flag in evidence.  On the final day the BFG threat was enough to pull all the competitors into line for a clean start after their first attempt was more than a little eager, meaning it would have been easier for the race officers to count the legal starters than the OCS boats!!

    The racing was kept ‘honest’ by Addendum Q- on-the-water judging provided by a team of sharp eyed umpires, two of whom, John & Wayne were up from New Zealand with Cathy from Hong Kong (also a Kiwi) and Al from China making up the foursome. Although briefed and warned about early bowsprit deployment, the early races saw multiple penalties for over eager use of the prods.  But, by the final day the lesson had, it seemed, finally sunk in with only 2-3 red flags for this ‘over eagerness’.

    The racing was effectively policed, but with 2 umpire boats for a fleet of 37, many of whom seemed to have an almost magnetic attraction for each other, the on the water hearings were still busy with protests up into double figures at the end of day 2. Strangely, perhaps with the realization that a protestor wasn’t guaranteed a result, or worse still with a reverse decision, many protests were withdrawn. The spirit, however, was an example to sailors everywhere with the losers smiling, willingly shaking hands and the two skippers heading off together to the free beer.

    Nowhere was this spirit of sportsmanship better displayed than at the prize-giving dinner at the end of the event. All teams who sailed with at least one female crew member received a point “discount” on their score.

    One of the prize-winners realized that this meant that they had received a prize– and that prize was to come back for the match race finals and a nice silver trophy (plus, some Ronstan and Sunrise Marine goodies).  Yet, although they had entered with a female crew member, they actually sailed with an all male crew.

    When they realized what had happened they immediately informed the committee and handed over the lot to the crew below them. That was almost as cool as the actual team that won the event!

    In response to this, Alan, the owner of Sunrise Marine deemed they should keep his contribution to the prizes and awarded an additional set to the replacement winners.

    The main trophy remained on its plinth, as in reality the event has just reached its midway stage with 8 teams invited back in around 5 weeks time for the head-to-head match racing element to determine the 2017 champion.

    This is an event that is not ‘padded out’ by multiple teams of foreigners engaging in a bit of regatta tourism; every team was from within China. This a country where, 15 years ago, sailing outside vocational provincial teams of Olympic hopefuls was unheard of.

    This was an event of sailors trying hard to win for the honor. No big cash prizes, so why is the event proving to be successful, growing in numbers, stature and reputation year-on-year?

    Speaking to many competitors, the answers received are not quite unique, but follow a similar vein all the way through. This is a fun event with the balance between the quality of the racing, the competition, the race management, the ‘après-sail’ activities, the adherence to the rules, the camaraderie. Also interesting, were the comments that the competitors felt it was great to leave the race course knowing where they came was where they came with the majority of disputes settled on the water, instead of having to wait for a sometimes long drawn out process in the ‘protest room’. Perhaps, other events in more established areas might learn from this!

    It is interesting to note that a well-run event, designed entirely for the benefit of the competitors– call them the “customers” if you like– is growing in this manner, whilst in other, sometimes much more established sailing nations, the concern is about falling rather than rising numbers.  Could it be that in some cases the organizers believe it is THEIR event rather than the sailors?  The China Club Challenge Match most certainly belongs to the customer.  Thanks for the report from “Shanghai Sailor” on SailingAnarchy.com

    American YC Fall Series Report
    (Rye, NY)- American Yacht Club kicked off the Fall regatta season with the first and second days of the 2017 Fall Series. Saturday had near pristine sailing conditions and Sunday brought a much lighter breeze. Nearly 120 boats were listed on the scratch sheet. Competitors came from across the east coast to compete in a regatta that has become a staple of IRC, PHRF one-design classes such as the J/70, J/44, J/105, J/109 and more.

    Saturday brought sunshine and northerly oscillating winds with multiple races on each of the two courses.   Then, Sunday racing continued with beautiful weather, but the high temperatures translated into lighter wind velocities than hoped for. The AYC Race Committee had their work cut out for them due to light winds. The East Course did their best but were unable to race, and the South Course was able to have one complete race.  By the end of the first weekend of Fall Series, competition between classes was tight.

    In the J/70 class, Scott and Alex Furnary on ANY COLOUR are leading after posting four 1sts and a 2nd for 4.0 pts net.  Sailing nearly as well was Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED with a 7-2-2-2-1 tally for 7.0 pts net.  Then, sitting in third after the weekend was Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK with a 3-4-3-3-9 record for 13 pts.

    The J/105 class saw the St Francis YC duo of Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault compile an unassailable scoreline of 4-1-1-1-2 for 5.0 pts net to lead the class.  Second is another past winner of the event, Damian Emery’s ECLIPSE with a 1-2-2-3-5 record for 8.0 pts net.  Then, holding on to third is George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION with a 5-3-3-8-1 for 12.0 pts net.

    As a measure of how competitive the J/88 fleet has become, not one boat won more than one race.  The most consistent team was Doug Newhouse’s YONDER with a 2-1-2-5-2 record for 7.0 pts net.  They are leading by just two pts over Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE crew that has a 4-3-1-2-3 score for 9.0 pts net.  And, sitting in third are two teams tied at 11 pts each- Mike Bruno’s WINGS and Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION.

    Continuing to have a good year racing in the J/109 one-design class is David Rosow’s LOKI, currently leading the J/109s with a 4-5-1-2-1 record for 8.0 pts net.  Just behind them, it’s a fight for the top spots on the podium with Jon Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON having a slight edge with a 2-2-3-4-5 score for 11 pts net.  One point shy of them sitting in third place is Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG with a 3-1-2-9-6 for 12 pts net.

    Back on form in the J/44 one-design class is Jim Bishop’s famously-green GOLD DIGGER, having a great start to the series with a 1-2-1 for 4.0 pts.  Sitting in second is one of their arch-nemesis’, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE with a 2-3-2 for 7.0 pts.  Then, in third is Len Sitar’s VAMP with a 3-1-4 for 8 pts.

    In the PHRF handicap racing world, J/Teams are just about cleaning house, sitting atop the podium in many divisions.  Leading PHRF 1 Class is Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE with a 2-1-1 for 4.0 pts.  Second is Neil Hindle’s J/145C MUSKOKA with a 1-2-2 for 5.0 pts.  In PHRF 2 Class, the two J/111s are dueling for class supremacy, with David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP leading with a 1-2-1 for 4.0 pts, followed by Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO with a 2-3-2 for 7.0 pts.  In PHRF 3 Class, Andy Oeftering’s J/92 SHOOTING STAR currently sits in 4th place.

    Finally, the Leukemia Cup Navigators Course saw two J/crews on the race track. John & Corinne Forster’s J/92 SALTIRE placed 3rd while Jim Wilson’s J/100 LIBERTY took 7th place.

    Overall it was a thrilling weekend of sailing tied to an incredible cause. The excitement will continue next weekend for the final two days of the 2017 Fall Series, followed by the High Performance Regatta and the J/70 North American Championships in the coming weeks. American Yacht Club would like to thank Jim and Judy Wilson for their continuous efforts in organizing another successful Leukemia Cup Regatta.  For more American YC Fall Series sailing information

    J/120s Sweep Half Moon Bay Race
    (San Francisco, CA)- Over the September 16th weekend, while the famous Rolex Big Boat Series was taking place on San Francisco Bay, the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco held their annual “Half Moon Bay Race”- a sprint that starts inside the Bay, goes out underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and the fleet turns left to sail south down the coastline to pretty Half Moon Bay.

    In the PHRF 2 Doublehanded Class, a trio of J/120s swept the podium, occupying the top three spots in the twenty-five boat class!  Winning was the duo of Ludovic & Delphine Millin on SAETTA with a corrected time of 4 hrs 43 min 55 sec.  Second was the team of Tracy Rogers & Chris Sena on HOKULANI almost 3 minutes behind.  Then, the crew of Sean & Jeff Mulvihill on JAMANI took third place about another 3 minutes back on corrected time.  That was quite the tour-de-force for these teams, especially considering they were competing against some lightweight flyers like a Columbia C32, Worth 40, Express 27 and Sun Fast 3200.

    Notably, two classic J/30s were also in the race.  Tony Castruccio & Konstantin Andreyev’s WIND SPEED placed 9th and Peter Jermyn & Ed Mattson’s IONE placed 12th.

    The two J/120s- HOKULANI and JAMANI were using this race as part of their preparations for the 2018 Pacific Cup- a 2,300+nm race that goes from San Francisco to Hawaii.  For more SSS Half Moon Bay Race sailing information

    Atlantic Telegramme Regatta Fun 4 70s, 80s, 111, 122!
    (Lorient, France)- The past weekend saw the 18th Atlantic Telegramme Regatta take place in Lorient, France, organized and hosted by the Center Nautique de Lorient.  It was a three-day regatta that had 121 sailboats across a wide variety of classes for 800+ sailors.  Amongst those fleets were J/70s, J/80s and a J/111 participating in IRC Division.

    The sailing on Friday was not optimal, low winds with huge oscillations across the race course area.  Then, on Saturday it was almost perfect, with 10-15 kt winds from the southeast.  On the closing day on Sunday, a less than idyllic weather scenario played out as a Low (depression) swept across the Bay of Biscay, bringing with it rain, fog, and good breezes from the southwest.  In the end, the J/70 and J/80 classes enjoyed a lot of racing, both getting in a total of eight races.

    In the J/70 class, it was “fratricidal warfare” between the two brothers Phillipe and Eric Guigne- in fact, it was a friendly family battle, too.  After compiling seven 1sts, it was Phillippe’s crew on VIRTUAL REGATTA 70 that won quite handily with just 9 pts total.  His crew consisted of Damien Scelo, Tanguy Caron, and Benjamin Diouris.  Second was his brother Eric on FORCE G sailing with a complete family crew that included Antoine Guigne, Adrien Guigne, and Gregroire Guigne!  Finally, in third place was Ivan Damon’s JUNIOR SANGALKAM with crew of Lucie Ribet, Eric Kescaven, and Matthieu Kloek.

    Similarly, the J/80 class saw a runaway leader for their class.  Past regatta winner Simon Moriceau guided ARMEN HABITAT to six 1sts in 8 races to win with just 6 pts net.  His crew consisted of Jean Queveau, Pierre Loic Berthet, Stephane Geslin, Paul Medinger and Tiphaine Ragueneau- all from the APCC Voile Sportive sailing club.  Taking second was top French woman skipper Maxime Rousseaux on her CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES; her CN St Cast crew included Alexis Aveline, Corentin Kieffer, Julie Richeux, and Matthieu Legrand.  Third place wen to Thomas Launay’s AVEVA MSAASA; his crew included Matthieu Layus, Nicolas Richard, and Emmanuel Houze.

    Over on the handicap racing classes, it was the J/122 MUSIX winning IRC 2 Division, skippered by Philippe Baetz from La Trinité sur Mer.  Then, in the Osiris 2 class, it was Patrice Vidon’s J/111 J4F that handily won their class, too.  For more Atlantic Telegramme Regatta sailing information

    SCOOBY Scoops J/22 East Coast Champs!
    (Eastport, MD)- The Eastport Yacht Club hosted 16 teams for the J/22 East Coast Championships, held in the waters of the northern Chesapeake Bay.  The EYC RC team managed to run six races over the two-day event that produced a surprising last minute winner!

    On the first day, the clear leader of the regatta was Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS from Jamestown, RI with a 2-1-2 tally for 5 pts total.  Not far off that pace was JR Maxwell’s SCOOBY, a local team from Annapolis YC with a 3-4-1 scoreline for 8 pts.  Then, sitting in third after Saturday’s racing was Chris Junge’s THE CORNER OF SANITY & MADNESS with a 5-2-3 tally for 10 pts.

    Sunday’s racing brought about a dramatic change in the overall standings.  While they won the first race, Marshall’s crew lived up to their boat’s name, having some “bad news” for their final two races- posting a 3-10 to throw away their regatta lead and finish in second with 19 pts.

    With steady scores of 2-2-1, Maxwell’s SCOOBY easily ended up winning the event with 13 pts total.  Taking third for the regatta was Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY from Annapolis YC, posting a consistent scoreline of 1-6-4-5-4-3 for 23 pts total.  Rounding out the top five was Junge’s crew with 24 pts in fourth and Brad Julian’s team on USA 677 in fifth place with 37 pts.  For more J/22 East Coast Championship sailing information

    PEK: SPORT Wins Act VI- Russian J/70 Sailing League
    Moscow QPRO Sailing Team Leads Overall Series
    (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)- Lying 400 km east of Moscow’s famous Red Square, the confluence of the famous Volga and Oka Rivers and the famous Kremlin fort and Chkalov Stairs overlooking the sailing area, was the setting for the sixth regatta in the Russian J/70 Sailing League. The city of Nizhny Novgorod (once called Gorky- in honor of the famous Russian novelist- Maxim Gorky) was initially famous as “the Detroit of Russia” and is now home to three-dozen high-tech R&D centers and is, essentially, the I.T. center of Russia (even INTEL has 500 engineers in R&D working there!).

    Eleven teams from across Russia showed up for the penultimate regatta at Nizhny in the season-long Russia J/70 Sailing League that started out in April at the famous Black Sea resort of Sochi and will finish the season there for their Grand Finale. Those teams included Koreg Sailing Team (Sochi, helmsman Oleg Kuzmin), QPRO Sailing Team (Moscow, Egor Zuev), CARAMBA! (Moscow, Dmitry Kuznetsov), Calypso (Tuapse/ Moscow, Vladimir Shishkin), Traktor Sailing Team (Chelyabinsk, Eduard Podshivalov), PEK: SPORT (Moscow, Maxim Kuzmin), Ugar Crew (Moscow, Alisa Kirilyuk), ZidArt Sailing Team Moscow, Zoran Paunovich), Team Nizhny Novgorod Children's River Shipping Company (Nizhny Novgorod, Danila Lysanov), Tramontana (Nizhny Novgorod, Yuri Luzhbin), and the Winners Sailing Team (St. Petersburg, Victor Kapitonenko).

    The sailing teams were treated with good sailing conditions all weekend-long.  Each team sailed 27 races, seven on Friday, thirteen on Saturday, and thirteen more on Sunday!

    The winner of the regatta was Moscow’s PEK: SPORT, which was skippered by Maxim Kuzmin; the crew consisted of Vadim Filatov, Dmitry Ievlev, Dmitry Popkov and Konstantin Besputin.  This team is unique. They joined the Russian J/70 Sailing League at the fourth stage of the season in Pskov (Krivsk).  They won the regatta, repeated their winning performance in St. Petersburg, and now they did the same in Nizhny Novgorod!  An amazing performance!

    The first day PEK: SPORT did not perform well. But then, they found their form and after the second day of sailing ended up in 2nd overall in the provisional rankings.  Then, after another solid performance on Sunday’s finale, they had six 1sts and 14 more podium finishes!

    Taking the silver for the regatta was another Moscow team- QPRO Sailing Team with skipper Egor Zuev, and crew of Denis Rozhkov, Alexander Grishunin and Vyacheslav Bukin.  While leading the regatta after Saturday with a phenomenal four-race winning streak, they could not keep it together on Saturday.  Ultimately, they finished 11 pts back behind Maxim and her crew of sailing mercenaries.

    The bronze was taken by the Sochi KOREG Sailing Team, skippered by Oleg Kuzmin with crew of Inal Berbekov, Artem Avetisyan, Andrei Ignatenko and Yulia Dmitrienko. The gap between silver and bronze was only 4 points.

    “On the final day of the regatta, a stable western wind blew with a force of 12 knots,” said Chief RC PRO Dmitriy Shatagin. “The race was held at a high pace. I managed to run 13 starts, and it was very good! At the end of the final day, the protests were again brought to the finish line, but many of them were, shall we say, "dismantled" between the skippers themselves. In general, all three racing days were successful, and with excellent weather. Impressions are positive."

    "This is the third regatta for us in the league and the third time we win," said Vadim Filatov of PEK: SPORT. “Dmitry Ievlev and I have been engaged in rally-raids for six years, and now sailing became the next page of our lives. And, we never regretted that we came to yachting!! This is the kind of sport where emotions overwhelm, where you start every 20 minutes in a new race. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose! It turns out that throughout the racing day something new is always happening. This is an unforgettable experience. An unforgettable holiday! There are not enough words- many emotions. I'm ready to scream, laugh! The sailing is so cool!”

    “It was not easy- the weather conditions did not allow us to relax,” said the helmsman of the team-winner- Maxim Kuzmin. “In the first race day, the wind changed very much, in the second the wind also made its own corrections. But, the third day did not disappoint me, it was even, though weaker, than the day before. The race was significantly influenced by the current: it was possible to make a very big mistake at the start, well, in the course of the race, too, it was necessary to take this moment into account ... The regatta was chasing 11 teams, which is a record for the Premier Division. Plus, some of the teams have intensified their efforts with new crew for the Premier Division. Accordingly, the intensity of the struggle was high, and nothing was clear until the finish. Only 5 minutes before the award, we learned that we became champions!”

    "We went through the regatta well," says Yegor Zuev, from the Moscow-based QPRO Sailing Team. “The rivals are strong, the fleet is very even. The water area is non-standard, with a strong current, with good wind conditions. Everything is great, but I would like to see that in the Premier Division there was direct refereeing on the water, which would allow making the right decisions immediately on the water.”

    "The race was interesting, tense," says Oleg Kuzmin, the coach of the Koreg Sailing Team from Sochi. “The fight was going on until the last day, until the last start. We tried to show the best result, and won third place. The water area is not easy: the current, which always makes its own corrections, and the wind here is also complicated- unstable. The first race day was generally something for everyone! But, even in these conditions, we tried to show everything we could. As for our rivals, with each stage they are all more serious and serious. Many tried to strengthen their teams, so in one of the teams they recruited the current Melges 32 World Champion and the Melges 20 European Champion- Konstantin Besputin. Is this a world-class level here in the middle of Russia- on the Volga River in Nizhny!? The panel of judges worked remarkably well, the race was going well, without delay. Thanks to the hard work of the judges, good fellows.”

    The Grand Finale for the Russian J/70 Sailing League takes place in Sochi (site of the Winter Olympics) from October 19-22.

    So far, six stages have been held in Sochi, Sevastopol, Moscow, Pskov (Krivsk), St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. After the 6th stage, the leading troika has not changed for the overall series. Leading at the current time is the QPRO Sailing Team from Moscow, followed by the KOREG Sailing Team from Sochi in second place, then the CARAMBA! Team from Moscow in third, the CALYPSO Team from Yuapse/Moscow in fourth and the PEK: SPORT Team from Moscow in 5th place!

    The organizers wish to “Thank” the government and the Ministry of Sport of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the sailing association of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the hosts for this stage- the YC Leto and the Tramontana Sailing Club, as well as the Nizhny Novgorod Children's River Shipping company and, personally, the Commander Vladimir Ivanovich Dyakov.

    Watch some fantastic “3D” virtual tracking of all the races here- incredibly well done software by Tracker Regatta3d.ru.  Here’s one example to view

    Watch a highlight video of the Nizhny event here  Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook  For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Stephane Azzoni- a J/80 and J/92 sailor from Spain reports- “I would like to share the pleasure I always have sailing my J/92 and now my J/80, single handed or with crew, fantastic boats really!  I am still playing the lottery, let’s see if I'm lucky and I can buy a J/121…”  Stephane continues to explain his love for J/Boats:

    “I bought my J/92 after sailing a Mini-Transat 6.50 for some years: I was looking for a more versatile boat, that would allow me to bring onboard my small family for some short cruises, as well as to do some single-hand racing.

    I found "Geronimo" near Barcelona, in a port where she had been quietly resting for 3 years. She was equipped with a new set of sails, almost never used.

    After renaming the boat "Vol De Nuit" (from a Saint Exupéry novel), doing a basically cosmetic refit and buying a new running rigging in Dyneema, I started sailing and training in this nice playground that is the Costa Brava.

    I regularly took part in some very interesting coastal and offshore singlehanded regattas.

    I mostly remember one, the Dragonera, from El Balis (a port located a few miles to the north of Barcelona) to the island named La Dragonera, located to the South West of Mallorca Island.

    I say mostly because I had the chance to win the regatta (in compensated time) for 1 minute and 30 seconds on the second boat, after 120 miles and 21+ hours of racing, a 49 feet skippered by a great navigator who would then become a great friend and with who I continue to sail doublehanded on his magnificent X46.

    After that regatta I brought the boat to Pollença, on the North part of Mallorca, a beautiful bay with plenty of small beaches to anchor. My family arrived by plane and we spent a week sailing and enjoying the bay every day.

    The J/92 is more a day boat than a cruiser, the headroom inside is limited and the kitchen minimalist, but the cockpit is huge. Anyway, as it was the end of June, we spent most of our time outside and had some really great holidays onboard.

    Under sail she's an easy boat, stable, fast under asymmetric spinnaker and perfect for solo sailing as well as for sailing without an experienced crew.

    I sold "Vol de Nuit" to her new owner, a very kind Greek sailor who made the delivery by sea from Spain to Greece with some friends. We are still in touch and he's enjoying a lot sailing and racing his new toy. According to the latest news from him, she's the boat to beat in the local fleet, winning almost every race out there.

    After that I briefly owned a racing boat of 35 feet and finally bought my actual toy, a J/80 named "Valentina": she's really an amazing boat.

    I mounted an autopilot Raymarine ST2000+ to be able to sail single-hand, but my program is mainly the local club regattas with a small crew, and the J/80 regattas with the Barcelona fleet, with a crew of young guns coming from the dinghy world, and full of talent.

    And what a level in this fleet in Spain!! These guys have been sailing their J/80 for 6 years or more now, and they do it very, very well: the first 5 are really impressive.

    Every time I have the chance to sail with them, I learn a lot and realize how much I still have to learn from the boat and from them.

    I can only speak well of the J/80. If I consider the J/92 to be a good boat, for me the J/80 is nearly perfect in this size: well-built, strong, easy to handle, very fast under asymmetric spinnaker, and at the same time very stable, with a tremendous marine behavior for a 8 meter boat only, as at ease with 5 knots of wind, than with 25 or more.

    It also appears to be very competitive under ORC handicap in a mix fleet. This year, we even won a local championship (in our class and overall in corrected time), in windy conditions, beating a TP52, a DK46, a GS44R and some 40 and 35 feet boats, after a coastal race the first day and 2 windward leeward races the day after, amazing!!

    A very important thing I would like to add is that, unlike most of the large-scale production shipbuilders, when I call J-Composites in France for some technical advice, there is always a technician available to inform me- great service!!

    That said, I must admit being in love with the J/111 and the J/122. Therefore, I keep on playing the lottery, just in case luck smiles at me and allows me to buy a J/121: my absolute dream!!  Fair winds to everybody.  Best regards, Stephane Azzoni”

    J/80 (with Raymarine ST2000+ autopilot):

    J/92 Vol Nuit- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEljfZlEk2A
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- September 20th, 2017 Who Will be Europe’s "Best Sailing Club“ 2017?
    (Hamburg, Germany/ Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- This weekend the best sailing clubs from all over Europe will gather together for the finale of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. For three days, 32 clubs will battle for the title “Best Sailing Club” in front of the fantastic scenery of the hosting club, the YC Costa Smeralda (yes, the same club that just hosted two major regattas in a row- Maxi 72/ Maxi-yacht Worlds and the AUDI J/70 Worlds)!

    A maximum of 48 races will be sailed in fleet-race-mode on eight one-design J/70 boats on the northeastern coast of Sardinia. First practice-races on Wednesday will help the teams to get familiar with the sailing area before the races will take place Friday to Sunday. The weather forecast promises light winds with summer-time temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius.

    The favorites are the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg who won Act 1 in St. Petersburg, the Segelclub Mattsee (SCM) from Austria, winner of Act 2 in St. Moritz, and certainly the Deutsche Touring YC (DTYC) from Bavaria. The defending champions from 2016 just participated successfully in the Nord Stream Race and are placed at the top of the German Sailing Bundesliga.

    Among the participants are further top-class teams like Cape Crow YC, Swedish Champions and winner of the Nord Stream Race 2017, the Royal Norwegian YC, winner of the SAILING Champions League in 2015 and the famous YC Costa Smeralda.

    As the technological partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP will provide spectators worldwide with a professional livestream. Races will be commentated and explained for everyone by sailing experts and sailing reporters. All races will be broadcast live via the internet Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm CEST. Results and live stream can be found here 

    American YC Fall Series Preview
    (Rye, NY)- Starting this weekend, the American YC will be hosting the first of its two-weekend Fall Series Regatta for a range of IRC/PHRF handicap classes as well as one-design classes for J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s and J/44s.

    For the J/70s, it will represent the first of three-plus weekends of sailing that lead into the J/70 North American Championship hosted by American YC.  In the fourteen-boat fleet for the AYC series will be notable teams such as Scott & Alex Furnary’s ANY COLOUR, Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK and Mike Zupon’s LOKI.

    The J/88s have a robust turnout of nine boats, many of whom have been class leaders in the past two years on the 88 class circuit.  Incredibly, virtually all teams have posted at least a podium finish in a J/88 related event over the past 24 months.  Handicapping this event would be as effective as posting odds for the next 7.0 earthquake on the San Andreas fault- e.g. it’s not happening anytime soon!  Those crews participating include Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Kevin Marks’ VELOCITY, Doug Newhouse’s YONDER, Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, John Pearson’s RED SKY, Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE, Doug McKeige’s JAZZ, and Mike Bruno’s WINGS.

    The thirteen-boat J/105 class features last year’s winners- the dynamic duo of Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault on the mighty GOOD TRADE. Chasing them hard will be American YC’s Junior Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICAN, Duncan Hennes & Za/Lib Jelliffe on ARETE, Paul Beaudin’s LOU LOU, and Richie Palmer’s TOLO.

    The octet of J/109s includes the usual suspects of top teams from this past summer, such as Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, Bill Rogers’ BIG BOAT, and Jonathan Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON.

    With seven J/44s on the line, things will always be close amongst the evenly matched boats all sporting identical class-supplied sails.  As a result, “who’s on first” is always a great discussion, as it all comes down to which crews are dialed into the conditions for the day (or weekend).  Like other J/classes, the 44’s have most teams taking a “win-place-show” in some event in the past year or so.  Such teams include Len Sitar’s VAMP, the US Coast Guard Academy’s GLORY, Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, Jim Bishop’s GOLD DIGGER, and Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE.

    In PHRF 1 class, two veteran J/111 campaigners will be fighting hard for class supremacy- David & Maryellen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP and Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO.  They will be challenged by Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE and Neil Hindle’s J/145 MUSKOKA.

    The ten-boat strong PHRF 2 class will see Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKULA dueling with Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER for class honors.

    Finally, the Leukemia Cup Navigators Course has two J/crews on the race track, including John & Corinne Forster’s J/92 SALTIRE and Jim Wilson’s J/100 LIBERTY.  For more American YC Fall Series sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The world’s largest ever sportboat regatta took place this past week.  Building upon its extraordinary growth and popularity over the past four years, the remarkable ascent of the J/70 class worldwide continues unabated.  With 175 boats registered to sail the AUDI J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, hosted by the eponymous YC Costa Smeralda, the sailors were looking forward to fantastic sailing in the playground of the rich and famous in Europe.  They were not disappointed, with a stunning conclusion on the final day of racing.

    Meanwhile, in northern Europe, unaffected by the mistral conditions be-deviling the AUDI J/70 Worlds in Sardinia, the Danish J/70 Sailing League held their league finale in Skovshoved, Denmark on the Baltic Sea.

    Over in the Americas, the famous Rolex Big Boat Series took place on San Francisco Bay, hosted by St Francis YC, in typically epic Bay sailing conditions for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, J/120s and both PHRF and ORR handicap classes.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 22-24- J/80 Atlantic Telegramme Regatta- Lorient, France
    Sep 23-24- American YC Fall Series I- Rye, NY
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA
    Sep 30- Oct 1- American YC Fall Series II- Rye, NY
    Sep 30- Oct 1- Cleveland 216 Regatta- Cleveland, OH
    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    USA’s Duncan Crowned AUDI J/70 World Champion!
    Italy’s Noe' Tops Corinthians Division
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- In more ways than one, the 2017 edition of the AUDI J/70 World Championship, hosted by YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, will go down in history as one of the most memorable.  For starters, it was the largest fleet of sportboats ever assembled for a World Championship- 163 boats ultimately sailed, with 175 boats initially registered from 24 nations.  Then, over three days of measurement, seven boats were rejected and another six boats simply disappeared and withdrew from the regatta.  As the teams started to practice on Sunday, it was evident the forecasted “mistral” was going to be much stronger than expected; by Sunday evening winds were a steady 20-30 kts, gusting to 40 kts from the West.  The mistral was the central theme for the next three days, blowing out Monday’s practice race with 62 kts in the harbor and 85 kts in the Straits of Bonifacio (between the southern cape of Corsica and the northern points of Sardinia), then steady 30 to 45 kts for what was supposed to be qualifying races on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Overcoming a wide-variety of challenging weather conditions for the next three days was none other than the American team led by Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  Peter’s crew of Jud Smith, Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz de Leon, simply showed their transom to the fleet more often than not for the six races sailed, compiling an amazing record of 3-1-1-2-1-3 for 8 pts net to easily win Peter’s first J/70 World Championship.

    Another impressive performance was the Corinthians Division winner- Italy’s Gianfranco Noe sailing WHITE HAWK, sailing with his son- Emmanuele and crew of Giuliano Chiandrussi, and Samuele Semi.  Their scorecard of 22-2-3-13-14-16 not only earned an easy Corinthians win, but also placed them 10th overall in the Open division!

    Day 3- Thursday
    After three days of mistral, the fleet was quite anxious to go sailing. After the mandatory 0930 hrs skipper’s briefing run by the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC in Texas, the teams briskly walked down to their boats and headed out of the gorgeous Porto Cervo harbor into the big seas and big breezes that lay in wait offshore under spectacular sunny blue skies with torn cotton clouds racing across the horizon.  It was a magnificent start for the fleet.  A total of six races were run in 15-22 kts from the remnants of the westerly flowing mistral.  More often than not, the left hand side of the course was better than the right, due to the known geographical shift that would often show up in the top one-third of the race course.

    After the one-day, three-race qualifying series, Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY led with a 3-1-1 tally for 5 pts; followed in second place by Claudia Rossi’s Italian team on PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI with a 1-4-1 scoreline for 6 pts; and yet another Italian team, Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN, sitting in third place with a 2-2-7 for 11 pts.

    The top Corinthians Division leaders were Noe’s WHITEHAWK with a 22-2-3 record for 27 pts in first place; Follin Robin’s GIVE ME FIVE from France with an 8-29-14 for 41 pts in second; and Luis Bugallo’s MARNATURA from Spain with a 23-20-11 for 54 pts in third position.

    Day 4- Friday
    On Friday, the regatta moved up a gear, as the fleets were split into Gold and Silver Fleets. The early morning westerly Mistral wind, unexpectedly piped up to over 20 knots before the start of racing.  However, by the end of the day, a southerly wind caused the second race to be abandoned, and racing was shortly called to a halt. Four races had now been held, offically constituting a series, with one day to go.

    Following on their amazing performance on the first day of racing, Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew grew their lead to 10 pts by scoring a 2nd in the only race of the day.  Meanwhile, Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI team scored a 9th to drop into third place.  Leapfrogging her into second place by taking a 4th in the race was the Spanish FERMAX team, skippered by Gustavo Martinez Doreste.

    Meanwhile, Noe’s WHITE HAWK continued to lead the Corinthians Division, followed by the Mexican Ignacio Perez skippering ADRENALINE in second place and Bugallo’s MARNATURA in third.

    In the Silver fleet, it was Norway’s Eivind Astrup that was leading on NORWEGIAN STEAM and the Silver Corinthians leader was Alessandro Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS from Italy.

    The top three for Friday’s Gold Fleet race was all American; Peter Cunningham's POWER PLAY won in shifty conditions with an enormous lead of well over a minute. Despite not getting a great start, Cunningham's team, with Argentinian Lucas Calabrese calling tactics, came back to cross the finish line in first position. Duncan's RELATIVE OBSCURITY was second, scoring their fourth podium in the regatta and Brian Keane's SAVASANA made it a 1-2-3 for the American teams.

    "We still had the Mistral wind today, but it was much lighter,” commented Relative Obscurity's Jud Smith. "We thought the right would pay and it did, we rounded the top mark in second. In all my years, I have never been in a keelboat fleet this big. However, now we are in a fleet of about 80 boats, that is similar to last year's Worlds in San Francisco. I guess the popularity is down to the fact that the J/70 is a great boat, and it suits people of different sizes, gender, and ages, and its great to see a lot of young people at the regatta!”

    Day 5- Epic Saturday Finale
    With numerous General Recalls, a Black Flag in play, and a full on foam-up, the Worlds had a thrilling climax to remember for years to come. With sparkling sunshine, a significant sea state, and a warm westerly breeze, piping up to a ballistic 30 knots, the world's largest championship sportsboat fleet enjoyed a fantastic finale.

    After a stunning performance, scoring podium finishes in every race, including three race wins, the runaway winner of the regatta was America’s Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY. Another American team, Brian Keane's SAVASANA (with crew of Stu McNay, Tom Barrows, Ron Weed) scored a second in the final race, moving up to runner-up for the championship. Italian Luca Domenici on NOTARO TEAM (with crew of Diego Negri, Stefano Orlandi, Piero Vigo) moved up to third place after posting a BFD-5 in the last two races!  After posting a 9-BFD, Claudia Rossi's attempt to become the first lady helm to win the title was ended, her PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI team settling for 4th place just 4 pts back from 3rd.  Then, only 1 pt behind her in 5th place was another Italian crew, Mauro Roversi’s JCURVE.

    The Corinthians Division was easily won by Noe’s WHITE HAWK.  Second, was Bugallo’s MARNATURA and third was Follin’s GIVE ME FIVE.

    The overall winner of the Silver Fleet and also the Silver Corinthians winner was Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS from Italy. They were followed in second place by Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA from YC Monaco in Monte Carlo and in third place was Russia’s Dmitry Shunin from Moscow, Russia sailing GOLDEN WING. Rounding out the top five were Michael Grau’s German crew on PAINT IT BLACK in 4th and Horacio & Nicolas Carabelli’s Brazilian team on URUBU taking 5th place.

    In the Silver Corinthians Division, taking second place was America’s Henry Brauer sailing RASCAL from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA (host of the 2018 J/70 World Championship).  Third place went to Pawel Tarnowski’s APOTEX team from Poland.

    "Awesome! Top of the world,” exclaimed Peter Duncan dockside at the YC Costa Smeralda. "It is a great feeling, I have sailed with some great guys, we had a great event, and everything seemed to go our way, it was just one of those weeks. It is hard to put into words how I feel like now, but this was just exceptional. This fleet has some really great talent, and the organizers, and the yacht club have done such an amazing job. Most of all I want to credit the crew, Victor, Jud, Willem, they have been just fantastic."

    Runner-up was Savasana (USA) Brian Keane. "We chartered the J/70, so we are really pleased to have come second in the championship. I have been racing in the class since the beginning, and now that we have fleets racing J/70s all over the world, the standard is just amazing, and so is this regatta. A world record keelboat fleet in superb surroundings."

    Top team for the host club, YC Costa Smeralda, and first team with a Lady Helm (winning the Helen C Johnstone Memorial Trophy), was Petite Terrible (ITA) Claudia Rossi. "Peter Duncan is a worthy World Champion, his team sailed the best this week. Our fourth position is better than fifth in the last World Championship, so maybe I will not win for three years,” laughed Claudia. "However, I will be in Marblehead for the 2018 J/70 World Championship!”

    The Closing Ceremony and Awards for the Audi J/70 World Championship was held at the Piazza Azzurra. YCCS Commodore, Riccardo Bonadeo, spoke about the event before presenting prizes to the winners.

    "Congratulations to all of the winners at the Audi J/70 World Championship. This is a special year for the YCCS, as we are celebrating our 50th anniversary, over the years we have hosted many world championships. However, this is the largest world championship fleet hosted by the Club in all of those years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to welcome over 160 teams from 25 different countries, to enjoy the fantastic sailing grounds of the Costa Smeralda, and the Clubhouse at the YCCS. I would like to thank Audi the Title sponsor of this event, and our partner for a long time, which supports us in so many of these new challenges. I also want to thank the J/70 International and Italian Classes, the owners, their crews, the Race Committee, the International Jury and all the YCCS staff. We hope that all of the competitors will come and race again with the Club in the very near future."

    The 2018 J/70 World Championship will be hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Massachusetts USA from 22nd to 29th September 2018.  Follow the AUDI J/70 Worlds on Facebook here

    AUDI J/70 Worlds Summary video
    Day 3- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yge147XOAc
    Day 4- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUtBzYxpaHw
    Day 5- Finale- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJQu7MRHXAY

    Facebook Video interviews of J/70 Worlds winners here:
    Champion Peter Duncan- https://www.facebook.com/J70Class/videos/877195112432176/
    Corinthian winner- Gianfranco Noe- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/379790799106530/
    1st Woman helm- Claudia Rossi- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/379761999109410/
    2nd Woman helm- Lera Kovalenko- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/380363419049268/
    3rd Woman helm- Hannah Mills- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/379791925773084/

    Video Highlights
    Final race of Gold- https://www.facebook.com/Sail22Racing/videos/10155701957289868/
    Final race of Silver- https://www.facebook.com/Sail22Racing/videos/10155701943399868/

    Sponsor- Quantum Sails
    Time-lapse video- https://www.facebook.com/QuantumSails/videos/10155164917292098/
    Day 5 Gold fleet- https://www.facebook.com/QuantumSails/videos/10155170974467098/

    Sailing photo credits- Pierrick Contin, Max Ranchi & Kurt Arrigo  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information

    Claudia Rossi- VANITY FAIR Girl Sailing Amongst Giants!
    Rossi Led Many Top Women Teams Sailing the Worlds
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- No question, for a 25 year old girl growing up in Italy, Claudia Rossi has earned her fair share of accolades "sailing amongst the giants" of the sport- not just in Europe, but also worldwide.

    This month's Italian VANITY FAIR edition not only features Angelina Jolie on the cover, but also features Claudia as a woman that can compete on the world stage, a supremely talented sailor forging new levels of competition for women in sailing around the world.  She proved it, yet again, sailling her PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI into 4th place overall and was top women helm.

    Similarly, the second women helm at the J/70 Worlds was the 2017 Monaco Winter Series Champion, the top Russian women skipper- Valerya Kovalenko from Moscow, Russia.  Her team on ARTTUBE is often at the top of the Russian J/70 Sailing League and will, again, be sailing the Monaco Winter Series starting in mid-December 2017; a five regatta series that ends with the Primo Cup Credit Suisse at YC Monaco in March 2018.

    At the J/70 Worlds were several all-womens teams, too.  One was the United Kingdom's Hannah Mills, an Olympic 470 Gold Medallist, sailing with five other women on her team, including Suzy Russell and Hanna Peters.  Hannah was third woman helm at the AUDI J/70 Worlds.

    The Dutch all-women's crew was part of the "She Sails" team that have been competing all summer, including the J/70 Europeans sailed on the Solent and hosted by Royal Southern YC in Hamble, England. The crew on WATERLAND MONNICKENDAM included Rikst Dijkstra, Sanno Crum, Fettje Osinga, Milah Wouters, and Nova Huppess from Amterdam, The Netherlands.

    Then, there was an all-women's team from Germany that had been sailing on Lake Constance and were participants all year long in the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga that saw racing all over Germany, from the south to the north- Travemunda, Kiel, Lake Constance, Alster Lake in Hamburg, and so forth.  The "YC Langenargen Team" team sailed LADY LIKE, skippered by Anica Rimmele with crew of Lina & Rosanna Schnetz (sisters), Carla Rau, and Anne Winkelhausen.

    Epic Rolex Big Boat Series!
    (San Francisco, CA)- Burgees fluttered and spectra halyards slapped against carbon-fiber and aluminum masts on 89 highly tuned race boats assembled at the St. Francis Yacht Club for the 53rd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 13-17, 2017). The event is the West Coast’s premier regatta and one of the international sailing circuit’s most celebrated and anticipated Grand Prix events. There was a crackle of excitement in the late summer air as crews completed their final pre-race preparations for the four-day regatta.

    The StFYC Race Committee split the impressive entry list into eleven classes consisting of six one-design fleets (11 J/70s, 24 J/105s, five J/120s, Farr 40s, Express 37s and Pac52s), three ORR fleets (nine ORR-A entrants, nine ORR-B boats and five ORR-C entrants), a six-strong PHRF sportboat class and a multihull class.  Here is how it all went down over the course of the four days.

    Day One- Thursday
    While it’s tough to win a high-level regatta on Day One of racing, it’s possible to lose the series right away, especially in a highly competitive fleet racing on a challenging body of water.

    Throughout the two races, all 89 teams battled for strong leaderboard positions to set themselves up for the rest of the week’s racing. Fortunately, the Bay played nicely, at least at first, delivering five-to-eight-knot winds at the Treasure Island starting area. By the start of the second race, however, the breeze had built to a solid 20-plus knots, with a strong flood tide, as the sun marched west.

    Day Two- Friday
    Good wind is almost never in short supply on San Francisco Bay during the Rolex Big Boat Series, and day two of racing was no exception, even if it required a one-hour shore-side postponement to allow the breeze to build. But, once the starting signals began sounding, the air pressure gathered with the steepening seas, delivering what the 89 registrants came here for: full-on San Francisco Bay conditions that tested each team’s boathandling skills and endurance levels during two races stretching into the late afternoon. And, while the wind speed kept ratcheting upwards as the day progressed, so too did racecourse competition levels, especially given the fact there are no discarded races at the Rolex Big Boat Series, meaning that everyone is sailing for keeps.

    “Unlike short-course windward-leeward racing, the Rolex Big Boat Series uses longer courses that cover diverse parts of the Bay, which makes it possible to make significant navigational gains or losses—where a good move can reap large dividends or an error can prevent you from being able to dig back in by catching a shift,” said Bruce Stone, co-skipper of the J/105 ARBITRAGE (USA 116). “As a no throw-out regatta, you can’t take fliers or make large mistakes, but good straight-line boat speed is rewarded on the long legs, and any of the top boats who had a bad start will generally be able to make their way back at least to the middle of the pack and can still win the regatta.”

    After four races, Chris & Phil Perkins’ GOOD TIMIN’ was topping the J/105 leaderboard, followed by Phillip Laby’s GODOT and Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION.

    Skipper David Halliwill and his PEREGRINE team won the past three editions of the J/120 class at Rolex Big Boat Series, and after four races the StFYC-flagged team is again topping the leaderboard, followed by Barry Lewis’s CHANCE and Stephen Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO. “The crew is mostly small boat and dinghy sailors that have been sailing together for decades in large competitive fleets,” said Halliwill of his talented crew.

    As for the gravity that keeps drawing the PEREGRINE crew back to this regatta each year, Halliwill echoed the entire regatta’s sentiment: “The high level of competition, the big-breeze and strong-current racing conditions, the camaraderie, and the StFYC and their volunteers—they consistently deliver the best experience in the world.” And, added the skipper with a fine collection of Rolex Big Boat Series trophy hardware, “Winning is fun.” Amen!

    Day Three- Saturday
    When it comes to natural sailing amphitheaters, San Francisco Bay is virtually impossible to beat. Not only does the Bay present great geographical features for sailors to race around, but the late-September winds have a reputation for greeting each day with relatively calm velocities that climb into the high-teens to mid-20s as the racing unfurls. Best of all, the breeze hits a high note during the final finishes of each day, delivering a postcard-perfect experience for the crowds gathered on StFYC’s Race Deck. Day three of this exciting, every-race-counts regatta was no exception.

    “We started with a moderate breeze that filled in as the day progressed, allowing us to get off two great races that challenged crews sailing ability as well as endurance, especially later in the afternoon,” said Jenn Lancaster, StFYC’s Race Director. “After six races, the leaders are consolidating their positions going into tomorrow, which is their final chance to improve their standings."

    The ORR-B class is comprised of nine boats that range in vintage from a pair of J/44s (including Paul Stemler’s PATRIOT), to five J/111s, including Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY, which was fresh off of winning the 2017 J/111 World Championships. ORR-B began their day on the Treasure Island starting area on a long windward-leeward twice-around affair that included a final kite run along the city front as a San Francisco Fire Department fireboat arched its four water cannons high into the midday sky.

    The ORR-B class’s second race unfurled on the Alcatraz starting area on a course that brought the fleet out and under the Golden Gate Bridge for a taste of classic northern California sailboat racing. After six completed races, Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA was sitting in 2nd place with Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY in third.

    The crews aboard the 11-strong J/70 fleet also spent their day keeping their core temperatures warm as the building winds tested their foul-weather gear and their boathandling skills. “Geoff McDonald and I own the boat together, and we’ve been sailing together since 1991 when we were both on the Stanford sailing team,” said Scott Sellers, co-skipper of the J/70 1FA. As for the boat’s somewhat odd moniker, Sellers was circumspect: “That’s a secret among the crew,” he said. “I’ve had a series of boats with donkey-related names, including Swamp Donkey, Donkey Jack and Tres Burritos, and this one is no exception.”

    After six races, Chris Snow and John Brigden’s Cool Story Bro. (USA 369) was in first place, followed by Sellers’s 1FA in second and Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS from Santa Barbara, CA in third position.

    Day Four- Sunday Finale
    While the first three days featured long-course windward-leeward racing, the final day of racing sent competitors on the infamous “Bay Tour” courses with a finishing line directly in front of the StFYC clubhouse, providing onshore spectators a fine view of this year’s warhorses as they paraded past the Club’s stunning Race Deck.

    One-design sailing has always been a core component of the St Francis YC’s Rolex Big Boat Series, and this year the Commodore’s Cup— awarded to the winner of the regatta’s largest one-design class— went to brothers Chris and Phil Perkins and their J/105 GOOD TIMIN’.  They were followed by Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION in second place.  Then, third and fourth place were determined by a tie-breaker at 34 pts each, with Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE beating Jeff Littfin’s MOJO on count-back.  Fifth place went to Phil Laby’s GODOT.

    Scott Sellers and his 1FA crew won the 11-boat J/70 class, followed by Chris Snow and John Brigden’s COOL STORY BRO, and Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS in third place.

    David Halliwill and his PEREGRINE crew put in a strong showing to win the J/120 class with five 1sts and two 2nd to win by a large margin.  They were followed by Barry Lewis’s CHANCE in second and Stephen Madeira’s MISTER MAGOO in third. Impressively, this was Halliwill’s fourth straight J/120 class win at the Rolex Big Boat Series.

    The ORR-A Class was dominated by big boats. However, the two smallest boats in the class- J/125’s- faired well considering the circumstances. Taking 4th was Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER and 6th was Richard Ferris’ AUGUST ICE from Lake Tahoe, NV.

    In ORR-B Class, Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA (USA 120) took 2nd place, with Peter Wagner’s J/111 SKELETON KEY taking 4th, Dick Swanson’s J/111 BAD DOG in 5th, Jack Clapper’s J/44 PHANTOM in 6th, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s J/111 DOUBLE DIGIT in 7th and Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIO in 8th.

    Getting better each race, Marc McMorris’s team on the J/88 M-SQUARED nearly pulled off the silver in the PHRF Sportboat Division, settling for third on the podium.  Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS finished in 5th overall.
    Sailing photo credits- Rolex / Daniel Forster  Chris Ray   Tom Walker   Kara Hugglestone/ SAILCouture     Leslie Richter- Rockskipper.com   Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing   For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information

    Frederikshavn SC Two-Peats Danish J/70 Sailing League!
    (Skovshoved, Denmark)- The grand finale for the 2017 Danish J/70 Sailing League took place from September 15th to 17th at Skovshoved, Denmark. In the end, it was the Frederikshavn SC that was declared Denmark's best sailing club for the second consecutive year! Despite pressure going into the final event, the North Jutland team managed to keep the competitors away, as the year's sailing league ended Sunday in Skovshoved.

    The regatta had its tense and anxious moments for the Frederikshavn Sejklub team.  After twelve races in Skovshoved, they had a solid lead over KDY in the overall standings.  However, in the thirteenth flight, Frederikshavn scored a 6th place (last in their race) that threatened to drop them lower in the standings for the regatta, and thus the series lead.  It was tight racing for 3rd through 8th place in the event, with just four points separating all of them!

    In the penultimate race, both KDY’s skipper Henrik Jensen and Frederikshavn’s skipper Kris Houmann were racing in the same flight, with KDY taking 2nd and Frederikshavn 3rd— keeping them in the lead.  Then, in the last race, KDY started their flight first and posted a 4th place, effectively handing the overall series lead on a silver platter to Frederikshavn.  As a result, the Frederikshavn team could cheer on the dock before they even went out to sail the last race of the regatta.

    "We had a race where we finished last today. That put us in a bad mood and added a lot of pressure. But, we tried to focus on finding things that we know we can do right.  And, as we have shown at the other competitions this season, we managed to pull it off," explained Søren Steen, about the crucial moments on Sunday, where the title defense was suddenly endangered.

    Frederikshavn could "endure" seventh place at the competition and still win the Danish J/70 League overall. In the end, the team finished sixth, enough for the Championship title with a score card of 1-2-2-6 for 11 pts over the four regattas (Struer, Brejning, Aarhus, Skovshoved).

    "It was a lot of joy and redemption for us. We knew well before the competition and that it was only us who could lose the title on the race track. It was exciting, but eventually we did it,” said Captain Kris Houmann of Frederikshavn Sejklub.

    Frederikshavn Sejklub Chairman- Helmuth Melsen- was pleased to see their team take home the championship trophy to Frederikshavn, where it has adorned the wall of the clubhouse for the last year.

    "It is indescribable and wonderful for our club to have this great crew. They are a fantastic four- a lucky four-leaf clover! Since we won the title the first time a year ago, the club has received a lot of local attention in the press, which we did not experience before.  We hope to get a league match to Frederikshavn in 2018. So, winning the Sailing League has really meant a lot for our club," said a proud Mr Melsen.

    KDY secured this year's Danish Sailing League silver. KDY's crew in Skovshoved consisted of Niels Gramkow, Thomas Hartvig, Henning Lambertsen and Skipper Henrik Jensen.  KDY also finished second in the league debut in 2014.

    That same year in 2014, Kerteminde Sailing Club took the bronze. This year, again, Kerteminde took the bronze with their well-matched top crew- Thomas Møhl, Magnus Jung Johansen, Yann le Helleix and Skipper Jørgen Mohr Ernst.

    For Hellerup Sailing Club, 2017 was the club's weakest performance in the league so far. Without podium placements at any of the first three competitions, they were determined to redeem themselves in the final league event.  And, that they did! In Skovshoved, Hellerup was in the front all the way from beginning to end.  They won 8 of 15 races and ran the table completely in the last four races!  Q.E.D.!!  Hellerup's team in Skovshoved was Peter Wibroe, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Kristian Kvid Sørensen, and skipper Trine Abrahamsen.  Camilla Hylleberg Photography   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * Caribbean Regattas Support- Help Them Recover-
    Go Sailing!

    Said SEAHORSE’s publisher/ editor, Andrew Hurst (a J/80 owner in Lymington, UK)- “We’ve managed to remain in close touch with our friends in the Caribbean Sailing Association throughout their recent and dreadful experiences – offering by comparison minuscule but still sincere support wherever it can be of any use whatsoever.

    We were thrilled– and surprised– by the inspiring stated ambition to run their scheduled regattas for the coming 2018 Caribbean season. We at Seahorse will be digging deep and stretching ourselves a little thin, but we are committing now to having people at all the events we possibly can and we very much encourage the entire sailing community to do the same.

    The Caribbean regatta circuit plays a huge role in supporting the local economies of many of the islands that were just ravaged by Hurricane Irma (and, lately Maria)– islands and communities that have been incredibly welcoming to us all in the past.

    Now it’s our turn. As racing sailors, if ever you had an interest in visiting or revisiting a Caribbean Regatta then early 2018 is the best– and most public spirited– opportunity (hopefully) any of us will have in our lifetimes.

    The following article (which was written pre-Irma) maps out the CSA’s key events – we urge you to commit to one or more today, notify the organisers of your intention to take part and support wonderful communities that are at this moment working desperately hard to provide their families with something approaching normal living in the most adverse and dispiriting of conditions.”

    Caribbean Regattas on track for 2018
    The Caribbean Sailing Association announced its five-year Winter Series International Race Calendar with events starting as early as November and the CSA website lists many additional events. Most of our member nations from the islands affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma have checked in and confirmed that planning continues for the coming season and we are confident that regattas and sailing events will proceed without interruption, even in the most severely affected islands. CSA members and friends are working together with those islands to assist in the recovery process.

    Want to help? You can make donations and send aid for those in need (see below), but one of the most helpful things you can do is proceed with your plans to visit our shores, participate in our regattas and recommend to your friends and peers that they do the same. Don’t delay until next season. Tourism is the life blood of Caribbean economies and they need your continued support to ensure they recover and those hit hardest bounce back quickly.

    President of the Caribbean Sailing Association, Kathy Lammers, encourages you to proceed with your plans for the coming season: “Our hearts go out to our friends, neighbors and colleagues who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Irma (and Maria) and we wish you a full and speedy recovery. The CSA is confident that our regattas and events will go on so please proceed with your plans to visit us this season and submit your online entries early. The sun still shines, the water is still warm and the ever-present trade winds won’t let you down.”

    Caribbean 2018 Regatta Circuit
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- September 13th, 2017
    September Boat Show Time!
    (Newport, RI)- The middle of September is the unofficial start of the fall/ winter boat show season.  A great time to review the latest models from the J/Design team and catch up on the latest in one-design and offshore news from the many popular J/Classes.

    Newport International Boat Show- featuring the NEW J/121!
    The new J/121 Offshore Speedster will be making its worldwide debut at the Newport show, take the time to meet the designer and the build team.  The 1-2-1 has exceeded the expectations of those who’ve sailed her to date- the spacious ergonomic cockpit, the visibility from the wide spacing of the twin-wheels, and the extraordinary acceleration in puffs are some of the oft-repeated comments.  Plus, most importantly, its “short-handed” features for cruising couples or one-design racing crews of five people are getting high praise from all that have played with the roller-furling headsails (Code 0, J1, & J4) and the snuffer design on the A2 asymmetric spinnaker.   Learn more about the J/121 here.  For more Newport International Boat Show information

    Southampton Boat Show- J/112E Grand Prix Debut
    Key Yachting Ltd will be exhibiting several boats at the Southampton Boat Show from the 15th to 24th September at the marina berths M427-433.

    J/112E - Grand Prix version- Show Debut
    This multiple award-winning, two-cabin performance cruiser, is now available as a Grand Prix version. Fresh from her Round the Island victory, the J/112E GP features full race upgrades, including an IRC friendly keel without bulb, Axxon high modulus carbon mast with carbon spreaders, carbon boom and carbon steering wheel. She is also equipped with 3DI race sails and B&G H5000 with a Zeuss 3 plotter. This will be the first UK show for this formidable new IRC weapon, which has already won four French regattas this year.

    The J/112E joins her sisterships, the J/97E and J/122E, as an exceptional upwind performer. V-shaped bow sections provide superior directional stability and reduced slamming in waves. Freeboard forward and topside flare help to keep the deck dry. A long waterline combined with a low vertical center of gravity results in a smooth, sea-kindly motion – more like that of a 40 footer.   Read more about the J/112E offshore racer/cruiser here.

    The Infamous J/70 Sportsboat
    The J/70 is J/Boats’ first slipway-launchable keelboat - designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy to own, high performance one design, that is exciting to sail, stable enough sailboat for the family, and built to last. A natural evolution of its J pedigree, the J/70’s 7m of sailing length with high aspect, all carbon rig and deep lifting keel, provides spirited performance and stability that feels like a much larger boat. There are now 70 boats sailing in the UK, with an active class association and one design program. An incredible 170 boats are signed up for the Worlds in Porto Cervo this September.

    Key Yachting will be running a demo sail week from Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th September, please get in touch to arrange your trial on the J/112E or J/70.  Read more about the exciting, the infamous J/70 speedster here.

    For more Southampton Boat Show information or a boat show or demo appointment, please contact Key Yachting UK here:  Gemma Dunne at ph- +44 (0) 2380 455669 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | http://www.keyyachting.com  For more Southampton International Boat Show information- September 15-24

    J/FEST San Diego Announcement
    “Sending it back to ’77!”
    (San Diego, CA)- If you have ever sailed on, owned, raced on, cruised on, loved a J/Boat, you will not want to miss any of the special events of this celebration of all things J/Boats!

    San Diego YC is inviting all J/Boats from all over SoCal to participate in fall sailing in San Diego from September 23rd to 24th.  Most importantly, it will be a weekend to celebrate 40 years of sailing J/Boats!

    One-design fleets slated for J/Fest include the fast growing, super hot J/70 fleet as well as J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105, J/109, and J/120 fleets. Any J/Boat is eligible to participate, and all are welcome to race in One-design or J/PHRF classes.

    The weekend starts off on Friday with the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats Celebration in San Diego YC’s “Frost Room” from 1800 to 2030 hours, with hosted wine and pupu’s.  Jeff Johnstone (President @ J/Boats) will be presenting a “J/Boats 40 Years Past, Present and Future.”

    According to Jeff; ”the story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: with a small investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod & his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That was 1977. Now, that boat (the J/24), has become the most popular recreational offshore keelboat in the world. Not only that, but the waters of SoCal have produced several J/24 Champions, including Vince Brun and Chris Snow. The Johnstone family has made an undeniable mark on the sailing world. In addition to the 5,400 J/24s cruising the waves, there are over 7,000 more J/Boats, ranging from the International J/22 to the J/65, that sailing enthusiasts have enjoyed over the last 40 years.”

    Then, on Saturday, there will be a J/22 Clinic starting at 1000 hrs with on-water coaching.  Then, after racing that starts around noon, there will be a “J/Fest Regatta Party” on the Sailwash Lawn.  Join the J/Boat sailors for a fun throw-back to 1977! In other words, a “70’s Party!”  There will be fun competitions among the crews, including “Best Vintage J/Fest T-shirt”, “Best Dressed for the Disco”, and more surprises! Giveaways, 70’s band, and much more!  For more J/FEST San Diego sailing information

    American YC Fall Regattas Announcement
    (Rye, NY)- Over the next few weeks, the American YC in Rye, New York will be hosting a series of events for both offshore racers as well as the J/70 class.

    As most sailors on the northeastern seaboard may be familiar with, the AYC will be hosting their annual Fall Series, a popular two-weekend event that is held on western Long Island Sound for both offshore boats as well as one-design fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s. The event takes place on September 23rd/ 24th and September 30th/ October 1st.  For more American YC Fall Series information

    In addition, the AYC is also hosting the “HPR Regatta” (high-performance-regatta) for fleets of dinghies as well as J/70s from October 7th to 8th. It is the 14th Annual High Performance Regatta, originally named the “HPDO”, the regatta has been renamed to indicate the focus on a wider array of boats.  Commodore Andy Giglia commented on this regatta, “the membership of AYC is aware of the changing landscape of sailing and to further support our mission statement ‘enhancing our heritage of leadership in the sport of sailing and furthering the growth of the sport’, we are committed to help lead that change.”

    “We are working very hard to provide a competitor focused event.  Our objective is to maximize the number of races and we will be embracing a short course/ high volume format.  All of this with the New York city skyline in the background and the great shore side facilities AYC has always been known for,” said Rich Hulit, the event Co-Chairman.  For more HPR Regatta information

    Finally, from October 9th to 15th, the AYC is hosting the J/70 NA’s on western Long Island Sound for a four-day regatta.  The likelihood of a 75+ boat fleet is quite high with 55+ boats already entered as of the 1st of September!    For more J/70 North Americans sailing information  For more American YC sailing information

    J/24 European Championship Preview
    (Lake Balaton, Hungary)- Founded in 1867, the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club (BYC) was the first sailing club in Hungary located on beautiful Lake Balaton.  The BYC is also one of the oldest sailing clubs in Europe and continues to be the most successful and prestigious sailing club in Hungary. Located right in the center of Balatonfüred, the club plays a key role in the youth development and talent management,

    The BYC is proud to be able to host the 2017 J/24 European Championship on the gorgeous waters of its lake.  The regatta is taking place from September 24th to October 1st.  The local J/24 Hungarian fleet is enthusiastic and excited to be supporting the event.

    The goal is to host a ten-race championship for the forty-seven teams registered for the event.  Eight countries are represented, including Great Britain (1), Germany (19), Greece (2), Hungary (19), Italy (2), Netherlands (1), Sweden (2), and USA (1).

    Many top crews in Europe that are not participating in the J/24 World Championship being held in Port Credit, ONT, Canada virtually the same week will be looking to take home the European crown.  Amongst the top German teams will be Lars Hager’s PFAU, Stefan Karsunke’s Sullberg, Frank Schonfeldt’s HENK, Emily Kern’s ROTOGIRL (an all-women’s team), Manfred Konig’s VITESSE, and Dan Frost’s JJ-ONE.

    The host fleet from Hungary has a number of championship caliber teams, like Peter Tamas’ JUKEBOX, and Erik Hercsel’s DJANGO.  Ironically, perhaps Hungary’s most famous sailor, Farkas Litkey, will be sailing a combined Italian and Hungarian team on PELLE NERA/ ST JAMES.  From Sweden are two very strong crews; Per-Hakan Persson’s FRONT RUNNER and Andreas Olovsson’s FOR FUN (PINK).  Finally, a past “European Champion” will be a serious consideration for the top of the leaderboard- America’s Keith Whittemore from Seattle, WA sailing the familiar FURIO.  For more J/24 European Championship sailing information

    SAILING Champions League Preview  
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Europe ́s top sailing clubs will compete in the final of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia from 22nd to 24th September. The aim is to win the sought-after silver trophy by Robbe & Berking and earn the title of Europe ́s “Best Sailing Club”.  The teams will be sailing a matched-fleet of J/70 One-designs.

    The teams competing in the grand final in Sardinia are the top clubs of the qualification events in St. Petersburg (August 2017) and St. Moritz (September 2017). Here are the 32 clubs that qualified: Ost-Legal Sailing, Åländska Segelsällskapet, Cape Crow YC, Circolo Canottieri Aniene, CV St Quentin, Deutscher Touring YC (SCL Champion 2016), Ekolns Segelklubb, Frederikshavn Sejklub, Hellerup Sejlklub, Jachtclub Scheveningen, Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, Kongelig Norsk Seilforening, Kullaviks Kanot och Kappseglingsklubb, Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Lindauer Seglerclub, Lord of the Sail– Europe, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Nyländska Jaktklubben, Port Edgar YC, Regattaclub Bodensee, SCTWV Achensee, Segelclub Mattsee, Société des Régates d’Antibes, Société Nautique de Genève, St. Petersburg YC, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, Wasa Segelförening, WV Almere Centraal, YC APCC Voile Sportive, YC Bregenz, YC Costa Smeralda, and YC Sopot.  Follow the SAILING Champions League on Facebook here.
    For more SAILING Champions League information

    European Sailing League Updates
    (Hamburg, Germany- Over the next two weekends, several of Europe’s sailing leagues will be having their season-ending finales.  Over fifty-four clubs will be participating in those events with over 300 people sailing on matched J/70 one-design class sailboats.

    The next event will be the Danish J/70 Sailing League sailing from September 15th to 17th at Skovshoved, Denmark.  For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

    Then, the following weekend, the British J/70 Sailing League Finale will be taking place in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England from September 22nd to 24th.  For more British J/70 Sailing League information

    Finally, the Russian J/70 Sailing League will be holding their penultimate event at Konakovo River Club at Konakovo, Russia, northwest of Moscow.  The event will be taking place from September 23rd to 26th.  Follow Russian J/70 Facebook page here.

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The past week has seen activity taking place mostly in Europe as the first week of September came to a close.  The AUDI J/70 World Championship has started in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, hosted by the YC Costa Smeralda.  The regatta has seen many challenges to overcome in the first few days from measurement issues to an overwhelming mistral weather condition blowing over 50 kts for three days- a highly unusual scenario, even for the Mediterranean.  Then, the J/70 sailing leagues were busy across Scandinavia, with the Norwegian and Swedish events both closing our as their finales for the season.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Sep 12-16- J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Italy
    Sep 14-17- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 22-24- J/80 Atlantic Telegramme Regatta- Lorient, France
    Sep 23-24- American YC Fall Series I- Rye, NY
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA
    Sep 30- Oct 1- American YC Fall Series II- Rye, NY
    Sep 30- Oct 1- Cleveland 216 Regatta- Cleveland, OH
    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    AUDI J/70 Worlds Update
    USA's Duncan Leads After Qualifiers
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- After waiting for three straight days to go sailing in the spectacular venue of Port Cervo, Sardinia, J/70 sailors from twenty-four nations were certainly chomping on the proverbial bit to get out on the water and test their months of training and competing in many regattas leading up to sailing in the AUDI J/70 World Championship, hosted by the famous YC Costa Smeralda.

    For four straight days, sailors had to contend with the infamous “mistral” conditions, when a huge Low/depression forms over central Europe and the incessant High pressure pushes on the bubble to create a phenomenon that generates powerful west/northwest winds across the archipelago of Corsica and Sardinia in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

    As sailors went out for practice on Sunday, the mistral began to develop, producing 20-35 kts winds by late afternoon.  A number of boats that practiced ended up blowing up practice spinnakers.

    For the next three days, it was a mistral condition that refused to quit.  Most mistrals last two, maybe three days. On Monday, the day of the opening ceremonies and the only “practice race” for competitors; it was all but blown out by 30 to 62 kts winds in the Porto Cervo Harbor and gusts to 85 kts in the infamous Straits of Bonifacio between the northern tip of Sardinia and the southern tip of Corsica.

    The next two days produced more of the same, with spectacularly clear skies, dotted intermittently with torn-cotton clouds flying across the horizon, creating dramatic perspectives of boats, the islands, and “white-out” conditions offshore.  The sailors endured two days of postponements while waiting at the beautiful YCCS facilities, both Tuesday and Wednesday ending in “AP over A” flags, symbolizing the end of a long frustrating day for both sailors and the race organizers.

    Finally, on the third day, Mother Nature cooperated with more moderate breezes on a spectacularly sunny day with moderate temperatures in the upper 70s F.  After the Skipper’s Briefing at 0930 hours, sailors just about ran to their boats to get rolling for the day, in high anticipation of a full day’s of racing offshore.  It was quite a sight to see 163 J/70s all departing the beautiful Porto Cervo harbor as they headed out to sea.

    The racing for the day was challenging for all.  The forecasts showed westerly winds varying from 260 to 300 degrees- a wildly fluctuating breeze is normal in a waning mistral.  Sure enough, “local knowledge” that said “go left” in an offshore breeze was good advice.  Most of the top boats in the first two races played the left side of the course upwind and, conversely, played the middle to left downwind.  The principal factor driving decisions downwind were the crossover between “planing mode” and “soak mode”; dramatically different tactical considerations as each is governed by “VMG made good” downwind.  In a big puff, those who pushed “planing mode” would scream away in 12-14 kt bursts for several hundred meters, then stop as they ran out of wind!  Others would try to push hard downwind in “soak mode” and make it work, or not!

    From a tactician’s point of view, it was a nightmare.  Going left paid off, but not all the time.  Going into the left corner was “death”.  Those that faired best-played shifts going left upwind.  And, conversely, the same downwind as the fleet struggled with what tactic/ strategy worked best, minute-by-minute, and often at the finish line second-by-second!  And, in the third and last race of the day, boats that had played middle-right upwind made significant gains!  So much for "local knowledge"!

    It was fun, challenging racing for all and there were several impressive performances from a number of top teams.  The qualifying series for the Gold and Silver fleet was finally completed, with three flights (six total races) taking place over a unique “trapezoid/ windward-leeward” course format.  The first flight sailed the outside/left course and the second flight sailed the inside/right course- a simple way to keep the large fleets separated from each other.

    In the end, the top five qualifiers for the Gold fleet saw USA’s Peter Duncan skippering RELATIVE OBSCURITY into the lead with a consistent 3-1-1 for 5 pts.  Continuing her success in top-level events, Italy’s Claudia Rossi from the host YC Costa Smeralda, helmed her well-known PETITE TERRIBLE #AUDI into second place with an equally impressive scoreline of 1-4-1 for 6 pts.  Sitting in third place is Italy’s Franco Solerio driving L’ELAGIN to a 2-2-7 tally for 11 pts.  Just behind them in fourth place is Spain’s Gustavo Martinez sailing FERMAX to a 5-6-2 record for 13 pts.  And, lying in fifth is Argentina’s Sebastian Halpern’s CEBOLLITA with a very consistent 5-5-5 for 15 pts.

    All scores count for all teams, so these crews will carry forward their points into the Gold Championship round to compete for the 2017 World Championship title.  With two days of racing left, the weather forecasts indicate the fleet will be able to sail at least five more races.  Sailing photo credits- Kurt Arrigo & Max Ranchi.  Follow the AUDI J/70 Worlds on Facebook here

    Facebook Video interviews and race action here:
    Jonathan McKee interview- https://www.facebook.com/J70Class/videos/875658612585826/
    Qualifier 1- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/378790425873234/
    Qualifier 2- https://www.facebook.com/j70italianclass/videos/378899059195704/

    Regatta updates and perspectives here

    For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information

    Moss SF Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League
    (Moss, Norway)- For the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League finale, both the 1st and 2nd Divisions sailed over the course of an extended weekend of sailing.  At the end of the day, Moss SF won the 1st Division despite a poor performance in their fourth event in the series.  And, Risor SF ended up winning the 2nd Division by closing with a strong performance in the finale.

    The 1st Division finale was not without its drama for the top two teams- Moss Sf and Asgardstrand SF.  Starting out the regatta, Moss SF had an enormous lead on the fleet.  However, by having one of their worst regattas of the season, their OCS in race 6 simply amplified the hard times they had to stay in hunt on their home waters! Their final result of 8th place was just sufficient enough for them to retain the overall series lead with a 1-1-2-8 for 12 pts. Taking second for the series was Asgardstrand SF with a 6-3-4-2 for 15 pts- a steady progression up the leaderboard. Then, RAN SF won the final regatta to jump on to the podium for the season series to secure the bronze with a 7-6-6-1 for 20 pts.  Notably, third in the Moss event was Grimstad SF, just one point behind Asgardstrand with 18 pts.

    In the 2nd Division, Bundefjord SF put their stamp on the results in Moss, winning with five 1sts and three 2nds to win, incredibly enough by just one point!  A complete mirror of their results was posted by Risor Sf to conclude the regatta with 12 pts.  Third was Bodø SF with 16 pts, counting four 1sts in their totals.

    For the season series in the 2nd Division, Risør SF wins the gold; the silver goes to Askøy SF and the bronze to Bundefjorden SF. Together with Hurum SF, these four clubs move to the 1st division in 2018.
    Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information.

    KSSS Wins Swedish J/70 Sailing League
    (Gottskär, Sweden)- The dramatic finale of Allsvenskan Sailing 2017 took place in Gottskär, Sweden.  Only after the twelfth and final round of racing was it clear that the KSSS held off the Cape Crow YC to win the season series for the Swedish J/70 Sailing League.

    "Before the final race we did not look at our position. We knew it was tough and that we needed a good race. It blew quite a lot today.  Our tactic was to only make a good race, without stupid maneuvers," said KSSS Fredrik Bergström.

    The last round of Allsvenskan offered tough conditions with a lot of rain and wind at the beginning, very light winds on Saturday and lots of winds on the last day- mostly up to 10 m/s. But, neither the KSSS nor the Cape Crow, which are the clubs that dominated this year's all-Swedish tournament, sailed well in the final event. On the other hand, the Sotefjord Sailing Company won nine of the twelve races to win the final regatta at Gottskär.

    KSSS came to Gottskär as a favorite to sail home with the gold. However, after half of the twelve rounds were completed, they were far behind and at that time, Cape Crow was the possible league champion. But, KSS's young, good-natured skipper, 19-year-old Vilma Bobeck, and her crew of Fredrik Bergström, Patrik Erlandsson and Göran Bobeck made some changes in their tactics and completed the last six races with all top three finishes to seal the series win, despite finishing sixth in the regatta!

    "We did not sail at our peak earlier this weekend. But, on Sunday when it blew much harder, we managed to keep it together, sail well and take advantage of big mistakes by our competitors. We also improved a lot during regatta because we have not sailed this format before and I have never sailed the J/70,” said KSSS’s Fredrik Bergström- an Olympic 470 sailor at the Rio Games.  Follow the Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information   

    What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
    * J/70 Sailor Claudia Rossi Inspires On and Off the Water. Kara Hugglestone from SAIL Couture had a chance to catch up with Claudia prior to her competing in this year’s AUDI J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.  Here is Kara’s story:

    The one to watch is PETITE TERRIBLE helmed by the brilliant young Claudia Rossi who, at just 24, is a two-time J/70 European Champion, as well as the youngest skipper ever and first female to hold the title. And, she just started sailing in college—four years ago!

    I had the pleasure of meeting Claudia at last year’s J/70 World’s in San Francisco. I was as taken by the Italian sailor’s beauty, sparkling eyes, and infectious laugh as I was by her impressive sailing skills. She was relentless on the racecourse, although in the end, it was not to be her regatta. She is out to right that wrong on the water in Sardinia.

    “I still have a bit bitter taste in my mouth from the San Francisco World Championship last year, but I­ won’t let that get in the way. It will be difficult this year because there are 175 boats and the best sailors in the world. Petite will do as much as ever. We never give up,” Claudia told Sail Couture.

    One could say her fighting spirit is a family trait; her father is the skipper of the famous Farr 40 Enfant Terrible. Claudia enjoys navigating for her father, but true competitors they are, they also compete against one another in the J/70 and Farr 40 classes. Indeed, last July, she became the Farr 40 Worlds Corinthian Champion (fourth overall) at the helm of Pierluigi Bresciani’s Pazza Idea; her father was second in the overall standings.

    Claudia says she chose the J/70 class because of its size and the skill level. Indeed, at 1,300 strong, the J/70 fleet is the fastest growing fleet worldwide and has attracted many of the world’s top professional and Corinthian sailors.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth and Rick Tomlinson  Follow Claudia’s PETITE TERRIBLE J/70 team on Facebook here  Full SAILCOUTURE.com article from Kara Hugglestone here
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- September 6th, 2017 AUDI J/70 World Championship Preview
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- The 2017 AUDI J/70 World Championship may go down in history as the class’ largest event ever- with 175 boats registered.  Hosted by YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, it can be said there are few yacht club and marina facilities in the world that can handle such an enormous fleet of very talented sailors from across the world.

    The regatta format has been updated twice because of the record number of entries. The YCCS PRO for the event will be Mark Foster from Corpus Christi YC in Texas- one of the survivors of the recent catastrophe caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico.  Foster has significant experience with big fleets, including acting as the St Francis YC’s PRO for the 2016 J/70 Worlds that had 83 boats on a single starting line.  The fleet will be split randomly into four “flights” and the goal is to have a double-round robin consisting of six races for each flight to determine a Gold and Silver Fleet.  Thereafter, the Gold fleet will consist of 85 boats racing for the World Championship with up to nine races scheduled over the three remaining days.  The start line will consist of three boats, including a mid-line signal boat.

    Twenty-four nations are represented in the fleet with sixteen European countries, four North American countries, three South American countries and Australia.  By far the largest contingent is from the greater European continental region.  As the host nation, Italy has thirty-nine teams registered, including all of the top names and teams that just completed their ALCATEL J/70 Cup on Lago Maggiore- emblematic of their Italian J/70 National Championship series.  Amongst those teams are two-time J/70 European Champion- Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE, Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK (2x J/70 Midwinter Champion and 2017 ALCATEL J/70 Cup winner), Gianfranco Noe’s WHITE HAWK (the 2017 ALCATEL J/70 Cup Corinthians champion), and Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN (a multi-regatta winner in the ALCATEL J/70 Cups over the past two years).

    In addition to these top teams, there is also strong family participation in the Italian J/70 class.  Claudia’s father- Alberto Rossi- is sailing ENFANT TERRIBLE (he’s also a Farr 40 World Champion).  The famous fashion and sailing family- the Loro Piana’s also will have father and sons racing- brothers Giacomo & Pietro sailing on CU-J and father Pier Luigi sailing on MY SONG.  Similarly, another past Farr 40 and M32 World Champion, Vincenzo Onorato will be sailing MASCALZONE LATINO with Cameron Appleton as his tactician, while his son Achille Onorato will be sailing MASCALZONE LATINO JR with Francesco Bruni on board as tactician- a formidable pair those two!

    Just behind the large Italian group is an entire German armada of thirty-two teams heading south to take over Porto Cervo!  Clearly, their famous Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga is having an impact on sailing all across Germany, and Europe, for that matter!  Most all of the top German J/70 teams will be present, such as the uber-fast combo of Pit Finis and World Champion match-racer from Poland- Karol Jablonski- sailing on DRALION.DE for Dusseldorf YC. Other German colleagues should be in the hunt, such as Phil Mecklenburg’s HANDWERKER (with brothers Lukas & Tobias Feuerherdt aboard), Klaus Dieche’s LED ZEPPELIN, Martin Christiansen’s MARE-Z, Bjorn Bielken’s PROCEDES DIVA, Margale Rudiger’s REALITY DISTORTION FIELD, Jurgen Waldheim’s ROSAROTER PENGUIN and Christian Soyka’s VOICE OF ITZEHOE. An all-women’s crew from YC Langenargen will be sailing LADY LIKE- Anica Rimmele, Lina & Rosanna Schentz, Anne Winkelhausen, and Carla Rau.
    The next largest contingent is, surprisingly, the Swiss mountain lakes teams, with thirteen teams making the trek south for fun in the Mediterranean sun! Leading teams from their highly popular sailing leagues include the SN Geneva crew on Cde.CH- Nicolas Anklin, Fredrik Hedluns’ Buchillon YC crew on AGERA 3, Vieter Casas’ SN Geneva team on CER 1 APROTEC, Thomas Studer’s SC Enge crew on JEAN, and Alain Stettler’s team from Regattaclub Oberhofen on QUARTER-2-ELEVEN.   

    With a dozen crew making the migration across the English Channel and the Moby Lines Ferry ride out to Olbia, Sardinia, no question the teams from Great Britain will have had a lot of practice in a wide range of wind and sea conditions- all good for the waters off Porto Cervo.  Those leading teams include Allan Higgs’ ESF ENERGY, Dan Schieber’s HELLY HANSEN, Martin Dent’s JELVI 8, and Jeremy Thorp’s PHAN.  Amongst their crews are also a top women’s team- Suzy Russell and Hannah Peters’ HANZY.

    Also headed to Sardinia are several formidable Spanish teams; amongst the dozen crews are Olympic Medallists and multiple J/80 World Championships.  Not surprisingly, the first time these teams appeared at the J/70 Europeans in the United Kingdom, they had a very strong showing- at one point holding 2 of the top 5 places in the regatta!  While not well-known yet, they will be serious contenders for the top ten overall. Their top crews include NOTICIA from RCM Santander (“Pichu” Torcida and Rayco Tabares), PETITE PALACE HOTELS (Laureano Wizner), FERMAX (Gustavo Martinez) and the Canal brothers sailing on separate boats- ABRIL ROJO (Jorge Perez Canal) and ABRIL VERDE (Luis Perez Canal).

    Familiar with the local waters and certain to have teams at the top of the leaderboard will be the nine crews attending from YC Monaco.  Those crews include Pierrik Devic’s FRASER YACHTS, Ludovic Fassitelli’s JUNDA-BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA (with United Kingdom’s Olympian Chris Grube aboard) and Maiano Herve’s SOPWITH CAMEL.

    Also showing up with a strong contingent that has been doing a lot of racing and practicing in Monaco are the nine Russian crews.  Their top teams include Valeria Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE, Daniel Odintsoy’s GOLDEN WING, Peter Nosov’s JESSIE TANTA, Aleksander Generalow’s JANE, and Alex Semenov & Hugo Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES- a Russian & Spanish combined team.

    Similarly, the seven French teams have top J/80 sailors amongst them- including a French National Champion.  Those crews are Laurent Sambron’s EJP 14 and Elizabeth Valliant’s TRISKELL from SN Marseilles.

    Five teams are sailing from The Netherlands, including J/22 European Champion Wouter Kollmann sailing PLAJ and Rikst Dijkstra’s WATERLAND MONNICKENDAM.
    Other top crews from across Europe include Poland’s Krzytof Krempec skippering ENA, Norway’s Eivind Astrup sailing NORWEGIAN STEAM, Sweden’s Magnus Tyreman sailing TYRA with the American Jay Lutz onboard, Turkey’s Emir Icogoren racing AMEERA JET, Austria’s Klaus Diem skippering PFANDER, Croatia’s Pavel Kostov steering MINI NAHITA, and Malta’s Ripard brothers (Sebastian & John) sailing CALYPSO with Jon Calascione.
    The North American contingent is certainly the most deeply talented in the fleet- perhaps the “dirty dozen”- armed and dangerous and all fast.  Amazingly, all dozen teams have finished in the top three in large J/70 regattas in both the “open” and “Corinthians” divisions, including the Midwinters, Sailing World NOOD Regattas, Great Lakes Championship and the past three World Championships. Hoping to defend his World Championship title will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT crew that includes John Kostecki (himself a J/24 World Champion).  Chasing them hard will be teams like Glenn Darden & Reese Hillard’s HOSS with Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee on tactics; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew (2nd in the J/70 Europeans and won the final ALCATEL J/70 Cup in Italy against all top European teams) that includes Victor Diaz de Leon from Venezuela and Willem Van Waay from San Diego; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team (winner of the 2017 Corinthian Nationals) that includes US Olympic Medallist Stu McNay; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew that has Australia’s Champion skipper Jeremy Wilmot; and Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER team from St Francis YC that includes none other than the famous Paul Cayard (Star World Champion and Volvo/Whitbread Race Champion) calling tactics!

    Other top crews from across the America’s and the Caribbean include Peter Cunningham’s POWER PLAY from the Cayman Island Sailing Club (with top Argentinean Olympic sailor Lucas Calabrese calling tactics); the Weakley brothers (Scott & Dave) from Toronto, ONT Canada sailing REX; Mauricio Santa Cruz from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sailing MANDACHUVA (a four-time J/24 World Champion); Chilean J/24 Champion Victor Lobos and the Molina brothers (Cristobal & Benjamin) sailing LEXUS CHILE; Argentinean J/24 Champions Sebastian Halpern and the Despontin brothers (Pablo & Ezequiel) racing CEBOLLITA; and the Perez brother trio (Ignacio, Juan & Santiago) from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico sailing ADRENALINE.

    The lone crew from way, way Down Under is Reg Lord’s team from the Cruising YC of Australia racing JUNO!  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information

    Rolex Big Boat Series Preview
    (San Francisco, CA)- When it comes to determining the fastest guns in the west, Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by the venerable St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC), has long served as the left coast’s pivotal proving ground. Of the 40 regattas StFYC hosts each year, Rolex Big Boat Series is the signature event and enjoys a proud 52-year history of testing competitors’ skills in the demanding, rewarding conditions of San Francisco Bay.

    "Rolex Big Boat Series draws the top skippers and crew from around the U.S. and abroad, who should be prepared for four days of racing in challenging conditions," said Dennis George, Rolex Big Boat Series regatta co-chair. "While the fleets vary in size, the competition in every fleet is fierce."

    Racing is anticipated to take place in nine classes including robust fleets of J/70s, J/105s, J/111s, J/120s, and ORR handicap class.

    All told, this year’s fleet will be competing for six perpetual trophies, accompanied by a Swiss-made Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date Timepiece, as well as additional take-home trophies.

    “September is the sweet spot for weather,” said Jim Kiriakis, Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club, who added that while it can get breezy in the afternoon, the Bay rarely delivers “nuclear” conditions in September. “The day develops from morning’s tranquility into a dynamic breeze often in the 15-25 kts range that provides great competition.”

    Despite the fact the AUDI J/70 World Championship is taking place simultaneously half a world away on the Mediterranean, a great fleet of thirteen J/70s are looking forward to yet another four-days of awesome competition on the Bay.  The event has become popular with the J/70s since it offers a wide-range of sailing conditions as well as “random-leg” racing.  Often the first race in the morning is a Windward-Leeward race starting off either the face of Alcatraz Island or down in the infamous Berkeley Circle.  Then, if it’s breeze-on early, a second W/L takes place before the afternoon race- designed to get all boats racing back to finish off the line in front of St Francis YC.  Then, of course, is the famous “Around the Bay Race” that traditionally takes place on Sunday- a.k.a.- the “Bay Tour” that can be from 18 to 25nm in length.  Ironically, even for J/70s, those can turn out to be “short races”, especially if it is an “ebb tide” event, which it will be for 2017.  Those conditions permit J/70s to sail at 6-7 kts VMG upwind while planing downwind at speeds averaging 13 kts in full-on planing-mode conditions.

    Looking forward to that challenge are a number of West Coast’s top J/70 crews, such as the Snow/ Brigden team on COOL STORY BRO, Pat Toole’s famous 3 BIG DOGS crew from Santa Barbara YC, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Scott Sellers’ 1FA, David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET, and Peter Cameron’s PRIME NUMBER.  Joining them from Amagasaki, Japan is Akinori Takezawa’s crew on PETIT STAR.

    As usual, the J/105 class turns out in droves for this event, being one of their most popular regattas all season-long. Two-dozen J/105s will be lining up on the starting line. Leading the cumulative standings for the J/105 season series are BLACKHAWK, followed by GODOT, ARBITRAGE and DONKEY JACK. The fleet is deeply talented, including numerous RBBS Rolex watch winners to J/105 North American Champions to Block Island Race Week Rolex watch champions!  Sure to be on the leaderboard over the four days will be crews like Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, Shannon Ryan & Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, Chris & Phil Perkins’ GOOD TIMIN’, Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Rick Goebel’s SANITY from San Diego, CA, and Jeff Littfin’s MOJO.

    The J/120s have always loved the event and virtually every team on the Bay is in attendance.  Who will it be this time in this incredibly tight-knit fleet?  Seemingly, one boat seems to hit the “easy button” and just powers away, for no apparent reason.  And, each year its been different teams!  In any event, the players are Barry Lewis’ CHANCE, Tom Grennan’s KOOKABURRA, Timo Bruck’s TWIST, Steve Madeira’s MIST MAGOO, and Dave Halliwill’s PEREGRINE.

    In the PHRF Sportboat class, three J/88s are taking on all comers in their seven-boat class.  Hoping to grab silver are Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS, Jeremy Moncada’s JUNO, or Marc McMorris’ M-SQUARED.

    Finally, the 23-boat ORR class has a very wide-range of boats and may get broken up into two divisions.  Nevertheless, five J/111s that are fresh off sailing for five days in their recent J/111 World Championship will be out for blood, yet again.  With all that “training” against a very tough fleet of one-design crews, they will be formidable sailing in the ORR handicap division; those crews include J/111 World Champion Peter Wagner and his SKELETON KEY team, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT, Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and Doug & Jack Jorgenson’s PICOSA crew for Los Angeles (2nd in the Worlds).  Fighting them tooth and nail will be two of the famous J/125s- Richard Ferris’ AUGUST ICE for Lake Tahoe YC and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER for Dana Point YC south of L.A.  Finally, two J/44s will be right in there, Paul Stemler’s PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC and Jack Clapper’s PHANTOM from Mill Valley, CA.  Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.com. For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information

    J/24 World Championship Preview
    (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)- The Port Credit YC of Mississauga, Canada, will be hosting the 2017 driveHG.ca J/24 World Championship. The J/24 is an international One-Design keelboat class and the most popular racing keelboat in the world with over 5,480 boats built and being sailed in 165 fleets and 110 countries.

    Over 400 yachtsmen and women on sixty-nine boats will be participating in this year’s Worlds representing ten countries- Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the USA.

    The opening day of the 2017 Worlds at Port Credit YC will feature 3-time J/24 North American Champion and World Champion Will Welles of North Sails, speaking at 5 pm about performance racing, along with fellow J/24 World Champion Tim Healy, the North Sails One-Design President.

    The host country is showing a bit of resurgence in J/24 activity, with twenty teams participating in this year’s event on Lake Ontario.  Top crews include Canadian Champion Rossi Milev steering CLEAR AIR, as a member of PCYC, clearly the hometown favorite.  Joining is Evan Petley-Jones’ LIFTED from Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in Halifax, and Katie Coleman Nicoll’s QUICK NICK also from PCYC.

    The largest, and arguably most talented, contingent comes from the USA, with thirty-four teams lining up on the starting line.  In that line-up are several past J/24 World Champions, European Champions and North American Champions.  An impressive group, to say the least.  Heading up that group are John Mollicone’s Newport team on HELLY HANSEN, with fellow World Champion Tim Healy on board.  Fellow Newport colleague Will Welles will be racing his familiar BOGUS.  Then, yet another J/24 World Champion, Mike Ingham’s crew from Rochester Canoe Club in New York will be racing USA 5443.  J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall will be racing with his Newport-based crew on PIPE DREAM.  Tony Parker’s famous BANGOR PACKET should be in the hunt with his talented crew, so will be Scott Milne’s TREMENDOUS SLOUCH for Seattle, WA, Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS from Lloyd Harbor YC, Al Constants’ BLITZ from Long Island Sound, Todd Fedyszyn’s SPOONY TACTICS from St Petersburg, FL, Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME, Carter White’s YOU REGATTA from Portland, ME, and Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA.

    The top South American crews include the entire trio from Argentina- Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE, Matias Pereira’s CARRERA and Nick Cubria’s ELVIS- all from Buenos Aires and Club Nautico Olivos- all Argentinian or South American Champions.  Joining them is Mexico’s National Champion- Ken Porter on MONSTER FISH from Club Nautico Valle de Bravo.  In addition, are two Peruvian Champions- Luis Olcese’s SCARAMOUSH and Javier Arribas’ WAYRA.

    From Europe are a number of competitive women's teams, including Ann Taylor’s ROCKELY WATERSPORTS from Parkstone YC in England, Ann-Kathrin Frank’s Hamburg, Germany crew sailing JUELSSAND and Lizzy McDowell’s’ Howth YC team from Dublin, Ireland sailing SCANDAL.

    Finally, a substantial Asian contingent is looking forward to sailing on Lake Ontario’s “sweet water”.  Four Japanese teams are on hand, including Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA and Tokuma Takesue’s GEKKO.  Plus, Gyeongwon Jo’s crew from Korea will be sailing KOR 7777 SUMMER SANTA!  Follow J/24 Worlds on Facebook here  For more drive.hg J/24 World Championship sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The start of September has surely been one of the craziest experienced by J/sailors in recent memory. Friends down on the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana were experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Harvey and having to contend with a coast-wide human catastrophe.

    Now, the northern Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and the southeast coast of America may be bracing for the massive Category 5 Hurricane Irma (sustained 185 mph winds, gusting to 225 mph) due to hit sometime late in the week!  We wish them all our best and hope everyone comes through OK.

    Meanwhile, on American waters, the Stamford YC’s Vineyard Race took place, an “end of summer” classic that takes racers 150nm from Stamford, CT out through the famous “Race” off the end of Long Island, around Buzzards Bay Tower then back into Long Island Sound to the finish at Stamford.  It was the fastest race on record, with several records broken and top J/Teams leading the way in a number of classes.  Then, on the southern part of Lake Michigan, another “end of summer” classic took place, hosted by Columbia YC- the Bit-State or Tri-State Races.  The Bi-State is a 50nm sprint from Chicago to St Joseph, MI and return. The Tri-State goes Chicago St Joe, Michigan City, IN and return.  In the Bi-State Race, there were several notable performances, especially by J/88s and J/111s!  Finally, the Conanicut YC’s 90th Round Island Race took place on Narragansett Bay, starting two hours delayed due to the stormy remnants of Hurricane Harvey passing through New England!  The waves were so huge offshore, pushing higher than 10-12 ft, only the bigger boats (30-60 ft) did the actual round island course of 21nm while the smaller boats did a 14nm course inside the Bay.

    Over in Europe, the second qualifying act for the SAILING Champions League took place in the gorgeous alpine setting of St Moritz, Switzerland sailed in J/70s.  24 teams were hoping to qualify for 16 spots to participate in the SAILING Champion League Finale at YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy in late September.  Meanwhile, over in the English Channel between France and the United Kingdom, the RORC Cherbourg Race completed the “local” overall Offshore Season Points series; a series of races that starts with the Rolex Caribbean 600 Race in February and ends in October with the Rolex Middle Sea off Malta in the Mediterranean.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Sep 12-16- J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Italy
    Sep 14-17- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 22-24- J/80 Atlantic Telegramme Regatta- Lorient, France
    Sep 23-24- American YC Fall Series I- Rye, NY
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA
    Sep 30- Oct 1- American YC Fall Series II- Rye, NY
    Sep 30- Oct 1- Cleveland 216 Regatta- Cleveland, OH
    Oct 7-8- Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Big Boat- Larchmont, NY
    Oct 9-15- J/70 North American Championship- Rye, NY
    Oct 13-15- J/80 Crouesty Cup- Crouesty, France

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Segelclub Mattsee Wins J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Moritz
    (St Moritz, Switzerland)- This year the best European Clubs sailed the SAILING Champions League in two different events (Act 1 - St. Petersburg (August) and Act 2 - St. Moritz (September)) to snatch one of the much sought-after starts for the grand finale in Porto Cervo (September) where Europe´s best sailing club will be crowned. The races take place in fleet-race-mode on one-design-J/70 class sailboats.

    24 sailing teams from 12 nations defied freezing temperatures and weak wind conditions in 24 exciting races in front of the fabulous alpine backdrop of St Moritz and the Engadin valley. On the third and last day of the SAILING Champions League Act 2, Segelclub Mattsee from Austria defended its lead to finish at top of the regatta. Second was Hellerup Sejlklub of Denmark, followed by the Seglerhaus am Wannsee from Germany in third place.

    In light and shifty winds, the team from Mattsee upheld good rankings over the entire weekend on the Lake of St. Moritz. In particular, the relatively low weight of this crew of four (Stefan Scharnagl, Anna Scharnagl, Lisa Leimgruber and Hanna Ziegler) paid off under such wind conditions.

    "We are overjoyed to have defended our lead from yesterday. We certainly didn't expect this victory, and are, of course, very happy about it“, says helmsman Stefan Scharnagl. The coveted trophy from the presenting partner JUVIA was handed over by Judith Dommermuth, founder and proprietor of the renowned fashion brand.

    With this overall win in Act 2 of the SAILING Champions League in St. Moritz, Red Bull Youth-America’s Cup helmsman Stefan Scharnagl and his team demonstrated their potential. At the Grand Finale in Porto Cervo on September 22-24, they aim to confirm it by winning the "Best Sailing Club“ trophy.

    Hellerup Sejlklub from Denmark again put pressure on the club from Mattsee on the last day with three wins out of four races. But, that was still not enough to overtake the Austrians. In the end, this team had to make do with second place. Runner-up in third place after a wonderful third day of racing was the German team, Seglerhaus am Wannsee, who won two of the last three races to gain a place on the podium.

    In these short close-to-the-shore “stadium races”, held in front of the fabulous alpine backdrop on the St. Moritzersee, the 24 teams rotated into eight J/70 one-design class keelboats over the three days.  It was classic “mountain lake sailing”, with very streaky, shifty winds- putting a premium on boat-handling and acceleration in the fickle breezes.

    As a result of the completion of this event in St Moritz, the top sixteen teams are qualified to sail in the SAILING Champions League finale hosted by YC Costa Smeralda, in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy. They include two German teams (Seglerhaus am Wannsee and Lindauer Segelclub) and a Swiss team (Societe Nautique de Geneve).  The SAP Sailing results can be found here   For more SAILING Champions League information

    J/Crews Sweep Vineyard Race Divisions!
    (Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race was a classic. This 238-mile course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of The Race, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.  This year, a massive offshore Low was spinning away, producing strong Northerly winds that ultimately swung East as the fleet rounded Buzzards Bay Tower.  Needless to say, under such idyllic conditions, several records were broken.

    The race had many J/teams from J/97s up to J/160s.  Of the 103 keelboats registered to sail this weekend, twenty-six were J/crews (representing one-quarter of the fleet)!  The race has expanded its format to include three races being run simultaneously.  The “classic” is the “round Buzzards Bay Tower” and back.  The two additions are the Cornfield Point Course (the shortest) and the Seaflower Reef Course (middle distance).  Remarkably, J/crews won virtually every division they were sailing in on every single race track!

    Winning the PHRF 2 class in the Cornfield Point course was John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II from Stamford, CT.

    Winning the PHRF 3 Doublehanded class in the Seaflower Reef course was Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE.  On the same track, sweeping the top six in PHRF 4 class were all J/crews- 1st was Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR, 2nd Al Minella’s J/88 ALBONDIGAS, 3rd Iris Vogel’s J/88 DEVIATION, 4th John Pearson’s J/88 RED SKY, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN, and 6th Ken & Drew Hall’s J/88 NEVERMORE.

    On the “classic” Vineyard Race track, Gardner Grant’s famous J/120 ALIBI crushed it in IRC 5 Doublehanded class.

    In PHRF Class 7, American YC’s Young American Jr Big Boat Team, took 2nd place racing their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN!

    Then, in PHRF 8 class Chris Nicholls’ J/109 RHIANNON took 4th, Jim Farrell’s J/35 SAPPHIRE 5th, and Mike Greene’s J/35 LOBLOLLY 6th place!

    PHRF 9 class saw J/crews sweep the top two spots and take 6 of the top 8!  Winning was Greg Leonard’s J/120 HERON, 2nd was William Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE.  Fourth was Brian Spears’ J/120 MADISON, 5th John Greifzu’s J/109 GROWTH SPURT, 6th the Young American Jr Big Boat crew on the J/120 VAREKAI, and 8th was Steven Levy’s J/120 EAGLE.

    Winning PHRF 10 class MaryEllen Tortorello’s J/111 PARTNERSHIP, followed by John Donovan’s J/111 LIBERTAS in 3rd place, Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 4th and Kevin Kelley’s J/122 SUMMER GRACE in 5th place.

    Finally, winning IRC 11 class Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP followed by SUNY Maritime’s CHARLIE V in 4th place..
    Follow the Vineyard Race on Facebook here   For more Vineyard Race sailing information

    J/133 Leads @ RORC Offshore Season Series!
    2nd @ Cherbourg Race Clinches Overall!
    (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Yacht Club de Cherbourg, and the Royal Yacht Squadron, the 75nm Cherbourg Race stared on Friday at 1850 and sent the fleet off on a straight shot across “La Manche” to Cherbourg, France.

    The RORC Cherbourg Race is the penultimate race of the RORC Season's Points Championship, between the record-breaking entry for the Rolex Fastnet Race, and the highly acclaimed Rolex Middle Sea Race. The 75nm “sprint race” from Cowes to Cherbourg is the last of the UK-based races for the RORC Season’s Points Championship, and for many teams this was the swan-song for their 2017 racing season.

    The 75-mile race featured a tight reach west out of the Solent, followed by a moonlit downwind sprint to Cherbourg across the English Channel.  The wind speed was up to about 20 knots from the northwest, boats were surfing towards a rising moon on starboard tack, just classic offshore racing. During the night, the wind speed decreased, and with a westerly going tide, the teams had to be careful not to heat up too much in the quest for speed, and end up too high at the finish.

    In IRC Two, Gilles Fournier's French J/133 PINTIA, secured class victory for the season, which was decided by the best five results. Gilles Fournier is full of praise for their rivals: “Having such close racing with ‘Lisa’, has definitely improved our performance, and we have enjoyed every battle in every race. After the Fastnet, we met for lunch, and we both worked out the same mathematics.”  In the end, PINTIA beat their rival in all five of their highest scoring races- Cervantes, Myth of Malham, Cowes Dinard St Malo, Channel Race, & Fastnet Race. Finishing third place for the season was Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W.  And, 5th place was Chris Daniel’s new J/122E JUNO! Not far off the pace was Chris Schram’s J/120 MAVERICK from The Netherlands, finishing 8th place.

    At the Prize Giving held at the YC de Cherbourg, RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd, spoke on behalf of the competitors, thanking the club for their generous hospitality. The President of the YCC, Jean Le Carpentier, and RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott, officiated at the awards ceremony.  For more RORC Cherbourg Race & Series sailing information

    J/88s & J/111s Dominate Chicago Bi-State
    Fast Ride for J/105 Class!
    (Chicago, IL)- The Bi-State and the Tri-State is a multi-leg offshore race held over Labor Day Weekend on the southern parts of Lake Michigan. Chicago to St. Joseph, MI is the first leg of the race. More than 100 boats departed Friday evening for a fast sprint of 50.5 NM across the lake, most boats finishing early Saturday morning.

    For most, Saturday was a day of rest in St. Joseph with the Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament and live entertainment at the St. Joseph River YC. Then, on Sunday morning, racers chose whether to continue to Michigan City, IN as part of the traditional Tri-State or head back to Chicago for the Bi-State leg of the race.  Most chose the latter based on the forecasted light winds down the Michigan shoreline.

    The first leg of the event saw 104 boats starting, 24 of them J/teams from across the spectrum (about 23% of all entries).  The J/105s raced as a one-design class, with eight crews vying for control.  Winning the leg across was Mike Hettel’s GLOBAL NOMADS.  Then, on the Bi-State leg back to Chicago, Kris Reichert’s ANGRY SLOTH won.  As a result, the combined scores saw Hettel’s GLOBAL NOMADS win with a 1-3 for 4 pt, followed by a rare three-way tie for 2nd place!  Winning that on countback was Reichert’s ANGRY SLOTH with a 5-1 for 6 pts. Third went to ESPRIT D’ECOSSE (Judith & Ross McLean) with a 4-2 for 6 pts and fourth position went to SEALAKR (Clark Pellet) with a 2-4 for 6 pts.

    The rough and tumble seventeen-boat PHRF 4 handicap class had a quartet of J/88’s dueling for class honors.  Amongst the J/88s, taking first was EXILE (Andy Graff) with a 2-1 for 3 pts.  Second was SLOT MACHINE (Boyd Jarrell) with a 4-3 for 7 pts, winning the tie-breaker based on “who-beat-who-last” over RAMBLER (Ben Wilson) with a 3-4 for 7 pts.  Rounding out the J/88s in 4th place was HOKEY SMOKE (Rich Stearns) with an 8-2 for 10 pts.

    With eighteen boats, the PHRF 2 class was the largest in the event.  In short, J’s took 3 of the top 4 spots in the Bi-State event.  Winning easily was the J/111 PURA VIDA (John Kalanik) with a 1-2 for 3 pts.  Third in class was the J/111 WARLOCK (Tom Dickson) with a 6-1 for 7 pts and sitting in 4th was the J/120 JAHAZI (Frank Giampoli) with a 5-4 for 9 pts.

    Finally, in PHRF 1 class, carrying the J/banner all alone was Tom Papoutsis’ J/133 RENEGADE, sailing in a class with an eclectic mixture of much larger offshore racing machines- like an Andrews 77 and a TP52! In the end, they took a commendable 4th place in the Bi-State with a 5-4 for 9 pts.

    Find all the YachtScoring information here
    Chicago to St Joe- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4306
    St Joe to Michigan City- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4333
    St Joe to Chicago- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4332
    Michigan City to Chicago- https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4334
    For more Columbia YC Bi-State & Tri-State Race sailing information

    Blustery Conanicut YC Round Island Race
    J/29 Dominates Class B, J’s Sweep Class G!
    (Jamestown, RI)- Sunday dawned with a rather intimidating forecast.  The remnants of Hurricane Harvey that left a catastrophe in its wake across the Texas Gulf Coast had moved northeast and was rolling over New England on Sunday morning.  Strong rains and wind gusting 15-30 kts greeted the sailors ready to participate in the 90th Annual Around The Island Race- an end of summer tradition for most active sailors on Narragansett Bay.  This year, an enormous fleet of 101 boats were registered, 23 of them J/Crews (about 23% of the fleet) in various classes!

    The Conanicut YC Race Committee wisely postponed the start of the race for nearly two hours to let the strong easterly winds abate into the 15-25 kts range.  By noon, the small boats took off on a shortened course going north up Bay towards Prudence Island, rounding the green buoy and heading back down beneath Newport Bridge for a fast, safe race.  Offshore, the storm swells were hitting upwards of 10 to 12 ft at the traditional turning point off the southern end of the island- Beavertail Point bell.  The big boats- the last four divisions to start, did sail the traditional race, but also heading counter-clockwise, going north beneath Newport Bridge, leaving the green bell and green can at the northern end of the island to port, back south through Jamestown Bridge, around Beavertail Point bell to port, back up the Bay past Castle Hill Lighthouse, leaving Clingstone Rocks to port and into the finish line at Jamestown.

    With a strong ESE breeze, it was a quick race for the two race tracks as it was essentially a “fetch” in all directions to each turning point.  In the small boat fleets, the race was less than two hours elapsed.

    In Class B Spinnaker, it was Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX that won their class quite handily.  Then in Class D, the two J/24s that raced could still hold their own in the demanding conditions, with Mike Hill’s OBSTREPROUS finishing 3rd and Rob Lambert’s BARFLY taking 4th in class.  Similarly, in Class E, the two J/30s both finished in the top five, with Chris Tate’s BLITZ finishing 4th and Daniel Borsutsky’s FLYING HIGH taking 5th place.

    For the larger boats that actually did race around the island, it was Classes G, H, J & K- four classes in total.  Class G saw a clean sweep of the podium by J crews, with Sean Doyle’s J/105 KESTREL winning, followed by Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY just over 3 minutes back on corrected to take 2nd.  Third position went to Doug Newhouse’s J/88 YONDER, just 40 second back corrected.  Fourth was Dawson & Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE another minute back and in 5th was EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

    Finally, in the “J” class, appropriately enough, it was the first shakedown race for the new J/121 INCOGNITO co-skippered by Joe Brito and Jeff Johnstone. INCOGNITO led the class off the start and through Newport Bridge on a close fetch with the J1 sheeted to the rail. Half way to the north end as the reaching angle broadened, three smaller sport boats in the class leap-frogged ahead with early Code 0 sets. INCOGNITO eventually followed with a Code 0 and by the north turn, the four had stretched out from the rest of the class. Then the J/121 crew proved their mettle and ground down all but one sport boat on the port tack fetch to the Beavertail, rounding that mark 2nd before heading back to the finish under J1 jib trimmed to the rail to Clingstone Rock bell, then popping an A4 kite for the short burst to the finish for second on elapsed and third on corrected. The J/122 TARAHUMARA sailed by Jack Gregg from Corinthian YC of Philadelphia, took 5th in class, correcting our 4 minutes behind the J/121. All in all, it was a fun day for the INCOGNITO team who has their sights set on the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Conanicut YC Around Island Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- August 30th, 2017
    The NEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Flying Along Under Asymmetric Spinnaker!

    J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Moritz Preview
    (St Moritz, Switzerland)- Europe´s sailing elite will meet at the Segel-Club St. Moritz for the SAILING Champions League during the first weekend of September- the 1st to the 3rd. Teams like the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (SAILING Champions League winners 2015 and Norwegian champions 2016), the Yacht Club Bregenz (Austrian Champions 2015 and 2016), and the hosts, Segel-Club St. Moritz will be among the participants. Altogether 28 clubs will come to St. Moritzersee to qualify for the final in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. So, lots to look forward to as the top teams from the best sailing clubs in Europe face-off over the weekend in this gorgeous, picturesque Alpine setting nestled in a long valley.

    For the first time in SAILING Champions League (SCL) history, the participants have the chance to prove their skills on this outstanding sailing area in St. Moritz. Quick maneuvers, excellent tactics, and perfect boat handling are demanded on the St. Moritzersee, which is only 600 meters wide!

    One of the favorites in Switzerland is the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club who won the SAILING Champions League in 2015. They were Norwegian Champions last year and want to prove this year that they are right on track for this international field. Their crew is composed of Kristoffer Spone, Sigurd Hekk Paulsen, and Lars Horn Johannesen.

    Furthermore, top sailors from different Olympic and International classes will crew the boats during this internationally respected competition to win the European Champion´s bowl. Among others Michael Meister (SCTWV Achensee)- the Austrian 470-champion; Hendrik Kadelbach (Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee)- the German 470-champion U21; and Bo Petersen (Hellerup Yachtclub, Denmark)- the European Dinghy-champion in 2016. High-classed sailors, short races, identical J/70 class sailboats, and a standardized course will guarantee a thrilling weekend in St. Moritz.

    St. Moritz is one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world, it was twice host city for the Winter Olympics, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its name is synonymous worldwide with style, elegance and class.

    Some places on earth are simply unlike anywhere else. The mere mention of their name is strangely compelling and brings to mind all manner of stunning imagery. St. Moritz is one such place. And, that’s not just because this is where James Bond dashed down the ski slopes in the movie- “The Spy Who Loved Me!” For it was here, 1,856 metres above sea level, in the heart of the spectacular Upper Engadin lakes district, that the notion of winter holidays and present-day winter sports were born, and where Olympic Winter Games were held on two occasions. The first electric light, the first skiing school, and Switzerland’s first electric tram are among the pioneering feats in St. Moritz’s long list of achievements. And yet, St. Moritz originally rose to prominence due its mineral springs, which have been attracting visitors for more than 3,000 years, and lay the foundation for its spa tradition.

    Today, St. Moritz is the number one alpine holiday destination. The sun-kissed Alpine metropolis on the south-facing flank of the Alps boasts an airport, the Engadin Airport, and it is the terminus of both the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express – two names that stand for quintessential classic train travelling. When UNESCO bestowed the accolade of World Heritage Site on the Rhaetian Railway’s Albula and Bernina train lines in 2008, St. Moritz became the only destination in the world to unite both the Olympic Games and the UNESCO labels.

    St. Moritz is well known for its grand hotels and high-end cuisine; set in a privileged position over Lake St. Moritz, the Badrutt’s “Palace Hotel” is, possibly, the most famous hotel in the Alps and no doubt an icon of St. Moritz’s league of five-star hotels. Award-winning restaurants top it all off– the valley at an altitude of 1,856 metres amasses so many Gault Millau points that «haute cuisine» gets a whole new meaning.

    The Via Serlas is to St. Moritz what the Rodeo Drive is to Los Angeles. Just a bit more condensed. High-end art galleries round off the exclusive shopping opportunities in the town center. The Segantini Museum is internationally renown, and the St. Moritz Casino caters for entertainment late into the night. Those inclined to be sporty will be thrilled by the Olympic Bob Run St. Moritz–Celerina and the Cresta Run, two legendary bobsleigh and skeleton institutions. Top events on the frozen Lake St. Moritz such as the White Turf horse races and the Snow Polo World Cup are just as legendary. They have long become the extravagant social highlights in St. Moritz’s remarkable calendar of events that so far counted five Alpine World Ski Championships.

    In short, the sailors will have plenty of “après-sailing” distractions after a long day of racing on the water!  As the technological partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP will provide spectators worldwide with a thrilling livestream. Races will be broadcast live via the Internet Saturday and Sunday at noon. Results can be found here: http://www.sapsailing.com.  For more SAILING Champions League information and “live” broadcast

    The Vineyard Race Preview
    (Stamford, CT)- Labor Day weekend's Vineyard Race is a classic American yachting event. This 238-mile course stretches from Shippan Point through the swirling currents of Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard's Bay. Once reached, sailors return by leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.

    Begun in 1932, it has attracted the finest sailors and fastest boats for nearly 80 years, and its intricacies and challenges bring them back time after time. Those who are successful nearly always credit local knowledge of these tricky waters and a good deal of luck.

    The Vineyard Race was described in Yachting Magazine as, "The greatest distance races of the world have several things in common - a challenging course, competitive fleets and an interesting array of famous yachts. By those standards, the Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race rates close to the top. Like a miniature Fastnet, the Vineyard has a combination of coastal cruising, where currents play a big role, a stretch of open ocean sailing, and a mark to round- the Buzzards Bay tower - before returning."

    The race has continuously attracted top J/teams over the years from J/29s up to J/160s.  Of the 103 keelboats registered to sail this weekend, twenty-six are J/crews (representing one-quarter of the fleet)!  The race has now expanded its format to accommodate the wide range of sailors in the northeast, with three races being run simultaneously.  The “classic” is the “round Buzzards Bay Tower” and back.  The two additions are the Cornfield Point Course (the shortest) and the Seaflower Reef Course (middle distance).

    Sailing in the PHRF 2 Cornfield Point course is John Krediet’s J/97 PARTICIPANT II from Stamford, CT.

    In the Seaflower Reef course, Greg Imbruce’s J/109 JOYRIDE will be sailing in the PHRF 3 Doublehanded class.  On the same track in PHRF 4 class will be seven other J/crews; such as Frank Conway’s J/105 RAPTOR; Chris Ercole’s J/109 SWEET CAROLINE; four J/88s (Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS, Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION, Ken & Drew Hall’s NEVERMORE, & John Pearson’s RED SKY); and Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN.

    Sending it on the “classic” Vineyard Race track will be Gardner Grant’s well-traveled J/120 ALIBI, racing in IRC 5 Doublehanded class.  Hoping to repeat earlier offshore success in the Ida Lewis Distance Race will be the American YC’s Young American Jr Big Boat Team, racing their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN in PHRF 7 class.  PHRF 8 class is a battle of the 35-footers, such as Chris Nicholls’ J/109 RHIANNON up against two J/35’s- Jim Farrell’s SAPPHIRE and Mike Greene’s LOBLOLLY.  PHRF 9 class includes another J/109- John Greifzu’s GROWTH SPURT, along with four J/120’s (Steven Levy’s EAGLE, Brian Spears’ MADISON, another Young American Jr Big Boat crew on VAREKAI, & Greg Leonard’s HERON), and William Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE.  PHRF 10 class has a trio of J/111s fighting for class honors (John Donovan’s LIBERTAS, MaryEllen Tortorello’s PARTNERSHIP, & Abhijeet Lele’s VARUNA), and Kevin Kelley’s J/122 SUMMER GRACE. Finally, IRC 11 class has two J/44’s racing- Len Sitar’s VAMP and SUNY Maritime’s CHARLIE V.  Follow the Vineyard Race on Facebook here   For more Vineyard Race sailing information

    Chicago Tri-State Race Preview
    (Chicago, IL)- The Tri-State is a 3-leg offshore race held over Labor Day Weekend on the southern parts of Lake Michigan. Chicago to St. Joseph, MI is the first leg of the race. More than 100 boats depart on the 50.5 NM journey across the lake on Friday night. Saturday is a day of rest in St. Joseph with the Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament and live entertainment at the St. Joseph River Yacht Club. On Sunday morning, racers choose to continue to Michigan City, IN as part of the traditional Tri-State or head back to Chicago for the Bi-State.

    In the fleet of 104 boats, 24 of them are J/teams (about 23% of all entries).  The J/105s are racing as a one-design class, with eight crews ready for the sprint across the lake.  Several top crews are in the mix, including Vanessa Gates’ STRIKING, Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS, and Clark Pellet’s SEALARK.

    In the tough seventeen-boat PHRF 4 class are a quartet of J/88’s, including Andy Graff’s EXILE, Rich Stearns’ HOKEY SMOKE, Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER and Boyd Jarrell’s SLOT MACHINE.  Joining in on the fun will be John Madey’s J/92 CYCLONE.

    The sixteen-boat PHRF 3 class is shaping up to be yet another battle of 35-footers.  Three J/109s vs. two J/35s vs a bunch of other 35-somethings.  The J/109 ringleader must certainly be the Chicago Mackinac Race winner, Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO, up against his colleagues Elwood Hansmann’s BLOODLINE and Jim Caesar’s LIQUID LOUNGE II.  The J/35’s are Mitch Weisman’s FLYING SPHAGETTI MONSTER and Rick Reed’s OB LA DI!

    With eighteen boats, the PHRF 2 class is the largest in the event and will have a lot of stiff competition.  A trio of J/111’s with extensive offshore experience should be contenders, such as Kevin Saedi & Raman Yousefi’s MOMENTUS, John Kalanik’s PURA VIDA, and Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK.  They will have to contend with Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI and Jim Gignac’s J/130 SALSA.

    Finally, in PHRF 1 class, carrying the J/banner all alone will be Tom Papoutsis’ J/133 RENEGADE in a class with an eclectic mixture of much larger offshore racing machines- like an Andrews 77 and a TP52!  For more Tri-State Race sailing information

    Conanicut YC Round Island Race Preview
    (Jamestown, RI)- The 90th Annual Around The Island Race is taking place this weekend on Narragansett Bay and an enormous fleet of 101 boats are participating, 23 of them are J/Crews (about 23% of the fleet)!

    The event signifies for many sailors on Narragansett Bay the culmination of their summer sailing season.  Since it coincides with America’s Labor Day holiday weekend, it also marks the transition from summer vacation to children and youth going back to school in September for their new school year. In other words, for many families, the “last blast” before the fall season kicks in.

    Amongst the highlights of this year’s Round Island Race will be the debut of the brand new J/121 INCOGNITO, skippered by her new owner Joe Brito with Jeff Johnstone aboard helping on speed and tactics.  They will be tested hard by Jack Gregg’s J/122 TARAHUMARA in PHRF Class 1.

    Then, in PHRF 2 Class, will be a trio of J/109s (Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE, Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA, & John Sahagian’s PICANTE), Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY, Dawson & Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE, and Doug Newhouse’s J/88 YONDER.

    In PHRF 3 Class will be a mix of classic J’s.  At the top of the fleet will be Stephen Lipman’s J/37C DUCK SOUP; they will be chased hard by Sean Doyle’s J/105 KESTREL and a ubiquitous Narragansett Bay competitor- EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT!

    The next class will be an interesting mix of boats that includes J/70s and J/80s.  Who will beat who?? Who knows?  It all depends on the course, the breeze, and the breeze angles!  Three J/70s are sailing- Chris Murray, Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA, & Suzy Leech’s JUNKANOO.  Victor Bell’s J/80 PHANTOM will be working hard to hold off the onslaught of those “little boats”!

    In PHRF 5 Class, it will be a battle of the classic “J” 30+ footers!  Two J/30s- Chris Tate’s BLITZ and Daniel Borsutzky’s FLYING HIGH versus James Cornwall’s J/35C SUGAREE and Dennis Nixon’s J/29 LYNX!

    Whether or not the CYC considers them a J/24 “class”, there is no question that after 40 YEARS, the J/24 Newport Fleet #50 has been a long, long-time supporter of the Conanicut YC Round Island Race!  Past winners over time sailing J/24s- Ken Read, Brad Read, Tony Rey, Anthony Kotoun, Terry Hutchinson, Bob, Stu & Jeff Johnstone.  Not exactly chump change in the world of sailing.  The J/24 fleet includes several Newport J/24 #50 Fleet winners.  For more Conanicut YC Around Island Race sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The final week of sailing in August in the northern hemisphere was highlighted by the J/111 World Championship that took place in San Francisco, CA, hosted by the St Francis YC; it was an epic and challenging affair for the four-day regatta.  Just south of them in King Harbor, CA (the Los Angeles basin), the King Harbor YC hosted their annual King Harbor Regatta that had J/70s as their largest fleet, and it was part of their SoCal series.  Heading across the continent about 2,000 miles east (e.g. bigger than Europe geographically), the Verve Cup Regatta took place at Chicago YC’s Belmont Station for yet another huge fleet of J/70s.  Then, heading another 1,000 miles further east to Boston (exhausting to even think about it riding my bike!), we find the annual Ted Hood Regatta took place in Marblehead, MA, hosted by their famous trio of clubs (Boston YC, Corinthian YC, Eastern YC) for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s and a big PHRF handicap fleet!

    Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean, there was a lot of sailing activity taking place from the United Kingdom to the Continental Europe. Starting in the U.K. the Dartmouth Regatta took place in Dartmouth, England- the event saw a J/112E win (!), and great performances by J/122, J/88, J/109 teams.  Heading across “La Manche”, we land in Breskens, The Netherlands.  Why?  It was the occasion of the Breskens Sailing Weekend that included the European J/111 fleet, plus IRC classes that included J/97s, J/105s, and J/109s.

    In France, the J/80’s participated in their annual Obelix Trophy.  As part of their J/80 Coupe de France, sailing on the lake at Bénodet, France is a special occasion for many J/80 teams that participate in the French J/80 season sailing circuit.

    The past week was also a very busy one for the J/70 sailing leagues in Europe. This popular format is only getting more popular, the European version of what many know in America as “college sailing”- rotating teams onto a fleet of just six boats for 12 or 18 teams- the socializing between the clubs and teams on-shore between time on the water is what makes it so, so fun!  You get to meet people while racing during the day! Not just in the morning, or the evening, but actually having a chance to compare notes and meet each other during the day!  A radical concept, for sure!  Socializing sailing with friends as you watch the racing in front of you take place just dozens of meters offshore!

    Such was the case in Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.  Ever go skiing in Europe?  Perhaps you have heard of Davos? It is famous in the circles of the World Cup in skiing for the F.I.S. World Championship. It is also a very dynamic community in the summer.  The lake at Davos is, perhaps, more famous in the summer-time for European cognoscenti!  Famous for attracting the people that love the Alps, the cool temperatures in the summer, there was no question J/70 sailors were excited to sail in a famous Alpine resort.  The host for the 4th event was the Davos Sailing & Surf Club!

    Similarly, the Swedish J/70 Sailing League took place in Jönköping, Sweden- a city on the shores of Lake Vättern, in southern Sweden. It’s known for its long lake-side beach, Vätterstranden. In the center is the 19th-century Sofia Church, with its neo-Gothic design and towering spire.

    Then, the Danish J/70 Sailing League took place in Aarhus, Denmark- a city first settled in the 5th Century AD and has always enjoyed a strong sailing heritage- dominated first by the infamous Vikings of Scandinavia, then later successive waves of settlers that made the seaport their commercial home for fishing the Baltic Sea.

    Meanwhile, an Australian team nearly won the J/111 Worlds in San Francisco Bay, California.  Their friends Down Under were cheering them on, flying the “boxing kangaroo” flag at the AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week.  Each year, this famous “spring time” event in Australia takes place on the northern end of the famous Great Barrier Reef of Australia- a world UNESCO site that all sailors should be concerned about as it is dying a slow, painful death.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Aug 19-26- AUDI Hamilton Race Week- Hamilton Island, Australia
    Aug 23-27- J/111 World Championship- San Francisco, CA
    Aug 25-27- Breskens Sailing Weekend- Breskens, The Netherlands
    Sep 12-16- J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Italy
    Sep 14-17- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    SKELETON KEY Crowned J/111 World Champion!
    (San Francisco, CA)- After nine races spread over four grueling days, Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY was crowned the 2017 J/111 World Champion. Going into the final day, the regatta was still anyone’s game, and all eyes were on the top three contenders that had battled for pole position throughout the event- Skeleton Key, Slush Fund & Joust. The regatta was hosted by St Francis YC, with sailing taking place on the notoriously challenging San Francisco Bay.

    In total, there were eight teams competing for the J/111 world title, with four boats from the Bay Area, one boat from Los Angeles, two from Annapolis, Maryland, and one boat— Rod Warren’s JOUST— from Melbourne, Australia.  Here is how it all went down over the course of the four-day event.

    Day 1- Thursday
    Spend enough time sailing on any body of water and it slowly reveals its secrets, giving sailors a set of rules-of-thumb that should—theoretically— be the keys to success, provided that time-honored patterns prove consistent. San Francisco Bay certainly has its closely guarded secrets, as the sailors learned during the first three races. But, instead of delivering conditions that were consistent with the tacticians’ hard-won playbooks, Thursday’s action was defined by big fleet splits that delivered interesting returns on investment at the rounding marks, leeward gate and finishing line.

    “By running three races, our goal was to let the fleet leg-out a bit,” said Jeff Johnson, the StFYC Principal Race Officer. “We saw gradually building conditions throughout the day that gave people time to shift gears and to introduce their crews to San Francisco Bay.”

    The build-up began with a slowly gathering morning breeze that filled in on the Bay’s Berkeley Circle, where the racing was held, with a steady 10-knot breeze and a tide that was flooding by the time the first starting gun sounded. While common wisdom on the Berkeley Circle holds that one should go right until it doesn’t work, some of the fleet instead opted for better current relief and while others sought out stronger pressure.

    Once the starting signals began sounding, all crews brought their A-game to bear against their rivals on a windward-leeward-twice-around course. And, while rules-of-thumb were certainly considered, the fastest sailors also knew when to go off-piste in terms of their rulebook strategy. “It took a lot of grinding,” said Peter Wagner, skipper of Skeleton Key (USA 115), immediately after taking the regatta’s first bullet. “The race was won upwind.” When queried about the favored side of the course, Wagner’s crew reported that things oscillated, requiring sharp focus from the entire team, and from their skipper.

    The breeze continued to slowly gather for the day’s second race, forcing teams to work through their gear changes and apply more rig tension as needed. Again, the fleet chose opposite sides of the racetrack up the first uphill hike, with Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund (USA 119) winning the start and holding her advantage all the way around to the finishing line, where Skeleton Key almost nicked victory. Rod Warren’s Joust (AUS 1110) crossed the finishing line next to complete the second race’s Top Three.

    “Our plan was just to have fun and sail fast,” said Jason Currie, Slush Fund’s mainsail trimmer, just after crossing the line. “We won the pin end of the start, and we tacked and sailed away. Currents played into it a fair amount, and we sailed into the cone of Alcatraz” to seek relief from the flooding waters.

    St. Francis Yacht Club’s race committee was clearly paying attention to the shifting weather conditions as the daily high-pressure system tried valiantly to push blue skies above the course, but the marine layer remained steady, even as the breeze swung to the south for the day’s final race. Skeleton Key enjoyed a tactically wise mid-line start, followed by Martin Roesch’s Velocity and Doug and Jack Jorgensen’s Picosa, but the building breeze and steepening waves saw numerous lead changes. By the first weather mark, Picosa was in the pole position, followed by Skeleton Key and Slush Fund. But, instead of the rich getting richer, Warren’s Joust team crossed the upwind finishing line in first place, followed by Velocity and Slush Fund.  At the end of the first day of racing, Skeleton Key was topping the leaderboard, followed by Joust and Slush Fund.

    Day 2- Friday
    Despite forecasts for lighter-than-average wind on San Francisco Bay, the second day delivered fresh conditions that gathered as the day’s action unfurled. Berkeley Circle conditions started with a gentle 5-7 knots for the first race and topped out in the high-teens with puffs into the low-20s by the end of the day. But while Mother Nature was dynamic in her temperament, the fleet’s fastest guns kept their performances consistent, proving once again that one-mode boats don’t win world championship titles.

    Unlike yesterday, the old saw about the Berkeley Circle (“going right always works until it doesn’t”) proved accurate today, especially for teams that worked the inside lanes. Jim Connelly’s Slush Fund beat the fleet to the first mark, followed by Wagner’s Skeleton Key— positions that both boats held across the finish. Warren’s Joust rounded out the top three.

    “We had great upwind speed, clean air and a great start off the line,” said Connolly, just after taking his proud win. “We were off the line nicely. It was upwind performance— that’s what did it for us!”

    The breeze continued to freshen for the day’s second race, which was also a windward-leeward-twice-around contest that sent teams on a 1.8 nautical mile climb that, in turn, was rewarded with big-grin kite rides. Wagner’s Skeleton Key and Connelly’s Slush Fund both enjoyed strong starts.  However, six of the eight-boat fleet broke left, ditching the typical wisdom exercised on the Circle. While Skeleton Key and Slush Fund covered each other tightly on the first leg, Warren’s Joust rounded the first mark in the pole position and managed to stave off Skeleton’s Key’s advances until an ugly looking gybe coming into the finishing line almost cost the Aussies their bullet. Fortunately, the team from Down Under man-handled their kite just in time, leaving second and third places to Skeleton Key and Slush Fund, respectively.

    “These were perfect conditions,” said Joust’s Aaron Cole, just after finishing. As for that final gybe, “we got a little chicken-winged out and came in a little bit hot, but we got control and luckily pulled it off!”

    Interestingly, almost all teams doused their headsails on the downhill legs in favor of a main-and-kite-only configuration, but once the wind began to gather to around 15-17 knots, most headsails remained at full hoist. “It’s our cross-over between planning and soaking,” said Cole. “If you do it at the right time, you get on the plane and go downwind fast.”

    The Race Committee gave competitors an extra few minutes to tighten their shrouds between the day’s final two races, the latter of which saw big breeze that was complimented by a flooding tide. While the wind was with the water, the Bay’s long fetch still managed to churn the Berkeley Circle into the notorious “washing machine chop” wave pattern.

    Warren’s Joust enjoyed another fine start to the day’s third race, followed by Connolly’s Slush Fund and Wagner’s Skeleton Key, but by the first weather mark Roesch’s Velocity managed to nose in between Joust and Slush Fund. While Velocity’s pace looked strong as the team worked their way around the top of the course, a series of leader changes unfurled that saw Slush Fund reap the day’s final win, followed by Picosa and Velocity, with Skeleton Key being forced to settle for a fourth-place finish.

    After six races over two days, Connolly’s Slush Fund was in the pole position and tied with Wagner’s Skeleton Key for total points (15). However, Slush Fund were sitting on a net score of 9 points (due to discarded races), while Wagner carried 11 points and Joust was in third place with 12 net points.

    Day 3- Saturday
    One of the marks of a world-championship-level sailing team is the ability to rapidly adjust to evolving conditions while also being fast at courses of all lengths and shapes. Such was the test Saturday as the race committee sent the eight-strong fleet on a 26.4-nautical-mile tour of the Bay that took teams from Alcatraz out under the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Bonito, then back into the Bay for some seriously fast legs that tested teams at all angles and all wind velocities, while also challenging their ability to stay focused for hours.

    “There’s a strong precedent in the J/111 class to have a distance race with their Worlds, so we’re including it,” said Jenn Lancaster, St. Francis Yacht Club’s Race Director. “It worked out great with our schedule, and we created a course that gave people good exposure to all corners of the Bay and a chance to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a Bucket List item for most sailors.”

    Given that conditions outside of the Golden Gate Bridge are usually a different animal than conditions inside, the adventure quotient was high come dock-out. “Lead, cover, extend, come home early, and watch out for whales,” said Warren, skipper of Joust, which hails from the Sandringham Yacht Club in Sandringham, Australia, of his teams strategy. As for if his team prefers distance races or windward-leewards, Warren jested, “I’ll tell you after today!”

    A 5-8 knot breeze greeted sailors at the starting line, however the days forecast called for must stronger winds as the sun marched west. At the start, Jorgensen’s Picosa crossed first, followed by Wagner’s Skeleton Key and Roesch’s Velocity. The Golden Gate Bridge’s north and south towers were just emerging from the Bay’s infamous marine layer as the fleet headed for the Marin side of the course and some current relief. Here, the key to success lay in hugging close to the Marin Headlands’ rocky coastline, practically scrapping the bricks as rigs cleared the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Outside of this world-famous landmark was a confused and sometimes-choppy seaway and even less wind pressure. Teams continued to hug the shoreline, their laminate sails and carbon rigs camouflaged against a backdrop of dark oceanic basalt cliffs and hills punctuated by redwoods, sequoias and juniper trees.

    Sticky, light-air conditions prevailed until teams rounded a mark off of Point Bonita Lighthouse, popped their kites, and headed back towards Treasure Island, with Slush Fund leading the way, followed by Picosa and Skeleton Key, with Joust in hot pursuit.

    Whales flashed their fins as the teams fought to keep their kites full— an issue that would quickly vanish once teams entered the Bay where the breeze was building fast.

    Once past the bridge, the “Nantucket sleigh rides” commenced as teams fought to control their steeds in 20+ knots of breeze. At the second turning mark, situated off Treasure Island, Picosa had snatched the lead, followed by Skeleton Key and Slush Fund, with Joust still skirmishing for a spot in the top three.

    Next, the fleet aimed their bows back upwind for Harding Rock, the third turning mark, as a flood tide pressed hard against the buoy. The top four boats held their positions as crews prepared for the next kite-set and screaming sleigh-ride back down the Bay.

    The Berkeley Pier Ruins were the fourth turning point on the Bay Tour, and teams prepared for the final beat back up to Point Cavallo, where they would bear off and aim their bows for the finishing line.

    While the boathandling wasn’t easy, Skeleton Key picked-off Picosa’s lead at the last mark, however both boats went low after hoisting their kites, setting themselves up to cross the finishing line under jibs and mainsails, given the angles involved. Joust’s position gave them time to study the leaders’ fortunes and they opted for a very different angle that allowed them to carry their kite all the way to a screaming first-place finish.

    “On the last run down, Aaron Cole, my tactician, worked out that we shouldn’t hoist our kite right away but instead cross the current and then go up with the kite,” said an elated Warren at the dock. “We were in third place, but this queued us with the guys ahead of us, who we passed in that last bit, which I guess is the only bit that really counts!”  After seven races over three days, Slush Fund topped the leaderboard, followed by Joust and Skeleton Key.

    Day 4- Sunday- the Finale
    Bright sunshine and 10 knots of air greeted the crews for the final day of racing. Racing had been consistently competitive throughout four days of competition, with regular leader changes and a good mix of boats winning top-three finishes. Better still, the weather cooperated perfectly, giving sailors a hearty dose of what they came for- San Francisco’s legendary summer breeze.

    Going into the final day, Connolly’s Slush Fund had 12 pts net, with Joust sitting on 13 pts net, and Skeleton Key in third place with 13 net points.  To say it was anybody’s game was certainly going to ring true after two more races were scheduled to determine the World Champion.

    “Coming into today, we had already enjoyed three days of racing,” said Jenn Lancaster, St. Francis Yacht Club’s Race Director. “After a challenging distance race yesterday, it was great to round-out this championship with racing on the Berkeley Circle.”

    A moderate breeze worked in tandem with the current and tide to create lumpy seas that would only increase in height, steepness and frequency. The Race Committee signaled Course 4 (windward-leeward, twice around), and teams jostled for a favored spot on the starting line. Come the starting signal, Skeleton Key, Velocity and Joust were the quickest off the line, with five of the eight boats opting for the stronger pressure on the course’s left-hand side.

    A strong North Bay push threatened to set boats to the southeast that didn’t properly account for this influence, and— at the first windward mark— Slush Fund rounded and hoisted their kite first, followed by Skeleton Key and Picosa. Slush Fund successfully held their lead through the gate, followed by Skeleton Key and Joust.  But, fortunes changed come the second weather mark as Skeleton Key rounded first, followed by Picosa and Slush Fund. Numerous gybes and more leader changes ensued before Skeleton Key’s bow pierced the finishing line to take the win, followed by Picosa and Slush Fund.

    The RC promptly signaled the day’s last race, which was a windward-leeward-twice-around affair, fortified by an extra windward leg for an uphill finish. The starting signal sounded, with Skeleton Key again enjoying a fine start, followed by Velocity and Reuben Rocci’s Swift Ness. By the first windward mark, Joust had claimed the pole position, followed by Skeleton Key and Slush Fund. Kites were hoisted and the bow spray instantly started flying.

    Positions held at the leeward gate all the way to the finishing line, where a loud chorus of cheers could be heard coming from the Australian boat. While Joust sailed a phenomenal last race, it wasn’t enough to earn them the world title.  Instead, that went to Skeleton Key, a team that consistently proved their mettle. “Congratulations to Skeleton Key and Slush Fund,” said a tired-but-happy Warren, reflecting on his third-place overall finish. “I thought four bullets would have done it, but not quite.”

    After nine races, Peter Wagner’s Skeleton Key crew are the new J/111 World Champions, and their victory on their home waters is made all the sweeter by the fact that they came in second at last year’s J/111 Worlds in Cowes, United Kingdom.

    “It took a lot of patience,” said an elated Wagner. “There was a lot of depth at the top of the fleet. Slush Fund had the best speed; Joust was consistent and fast; we had our moments; and several others such as Picosa and Velocity sailed well. We took nothing for granted out there. It was a long regatta that wasn’t decided until the final beat. It took a lot of concentration, but I’m glad we held it together.”

    When asked about the origins of his boat’s moniker, Wagner cracked a wry smile. “A skeleton key is an Australian term for a surfboard that performs well in a variety of conditions, and we like to think that we sail well in all conditions.” For those that wonder where Peter came from in his sailing career, he was an All-American at Harvard University’s Sailing Team in the world’s toughest collegiate sailing competitions in New England for a period of four years on the Charles River- famous for producing many of America’s top competitors.  Think Kenny Read at Boston University as a simple poster child.

    Rounding out the top five were Connelly’s Slush Fund in 2nd, Warren’s Joust in 3rd, Jorgensen’s Picosa in 4th and Roesch’s Velocity in 5th. Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray/ Christy Usher/ Gerard Sheridan/ Leslie Richter.  For more J/111 World Championship sailing information

    J/112E Victorious @ Dart Regatta!
    (Dartmouth, United Kingdom)- For the Dartmouth Regatta 2017, the J/U.K. Team asked J/80 sailors, Nick and Annie Haigh. If they would like to put a crew together for the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES campaign. Now living in The West Country, Nick and Annie recruited a friendly crew of great sailors, most of whom are Devon based. Nick helmed the boat and Annie trimmed the spinnaker.

    Day 1- Thursday
    The first day of the regatta saw the crew sail together for the first time; Nick and Annie had sailed onboard for a day at the J/Cup. The Mast man- Mike- was the only other crew member to have previously sailed a J/112E.

    The day dawned with sunshine and a 10 knot breeze. The fleet was made up of some very good teams, Ed Fishwick's Redshift had won the RORC Easter regatta as well as races at the IRC Nationals and Cowes Week. Tim Cunliffe's Insatiable from Falmouth was a class winner at Dartmouth Regatta 2016. Sistership J/112E J'OUVERT is a local Dartmouth boat that had shown great bursts of speed at the J/Cup. Mike Bridges Elaine is a serial winner, although her configuration perhaps suits stronger winds than the regatta forecast.  And, the J/88's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT and J-DREAM were fresh from their 1-2 success at the J/88 Nationals.

    Paul Heys from J/U.K. was to miss the first day of racing, travelling back from the launching of the new J/121 in Newport. Arriving in Dartmouth he was delighted to hear that the team had scored a 1-1-3 and were leading Redshift by 2 points.  Nick, like all who have sailed her, expressed delight at the boats ability to outpoint rivals.

    Day 2- Friday
    The dawned with a very light wind forecast and only one race was sailed. Becoming boxed in at the start and then finding ourselves on the wrong side of a wind shift, we found ourselves buried deep at the first windward mark. Good sailing and raw speed allowed us to carve our way back to a third place, meaning we were now only retaining the lead by virtue of count back.

    Day 3- Saturday
    Unfortunately, there was even less wind on Saturday and the full day programme was cancelled.

    Day 4- Sunday
    On the final race day, there was just a little more wind forecast. Not much, that’s for sure!

    The race officer set the line with a very large port bias, adding extra pressure for the helm and tactician. In both races Nick Cherry, helming Redshift, made great starts at the pin with us very close behind. Redshift, our closest rival, had to give the J/112E time so if the J/112E can finish within 14 seconds of her after an hours sailing, the J/112E takes the win!  However, there was no question the crew preferred the safer bet of leading Redshift home!

    Here is the report from Paul Heys on what ultimately happened on the last day:

    “In the first race of the day, we were able to sail down inside of Redshift on the first run, despite the fact that we have a centerline bowsprit and A sail, whilst they have a symmetrical pole. It may be the case that our hull shape and single rudder has less drag than their fatter stern, twin rudder design?

    In the second race, we followed them and the Mumm 30 for the first lap, then we adopted our preferred strategy of sailing the boat very upright upwind, whilst most others were inducing heel in an attempt to reduce drag. In this upright mode, the new keel designed by Al Johnstone really works well, allowing us to move forward and climb out from first the Mumm and then Redshift. Thus, we ended the regatta with double line honours and handicap victories, winning the class with four straight firsts!!

    Sailing this regatta reminded me of 2009 when we first campaigned the J/97; both boats have an extremely competitive performance with no weak spots.

    As all-round boats that can compete doublehanded, fully crewed and then serve as an express cruiser, they are very hard to beat.

    The J/97’s went on to become serial winners at many, many regattas. We are confident that the J/112E has a similarly bright future.”  For more J/112E sailboat information

    J/133 EUPHORIA Wins @ AUDI Hamilton Race Week
    (Hamilton Island, Australia)- Following the destruction wrought by Cyclone Debbie just 5 months ago, Hamilton Island was back to its beautiful best for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week held August 19th to 26th, contested by 215 yachts from all around Australia.

    Five J/Boats contested various divisions in the event, including Stephen Everett’s J/160 SALACIA, Chris Morgan’s J/130 RAGTIME, James Crowley’s J/122 JAVELIN, Norman Weaver’s J/122E JAZZAMATAZZ and Tony Coleman’s J/133 EUPHORIA.

    JAZZAMATAZZ and EUPHORIA both made the 1,000nm delivery voyage from Sydney to compete in the beautiful warm waters of the Whitsunday Islands.

    Euphoria’s overall win in the Racer Cruiser division was particularly notable. Competing against a very diverse group of yachts that included the previous year’s divisional winner (a Sydney 32), several Beneteaus, a very fast one-design canting keel 40ft racing yacht, three Melges 32’s and some other sports boats, Euphoria scored 3 wins out of 6 races in a variety of wind strengths that ranged from less than 5 knots to more than 20 knots over the week. As a result, Euphoria comfortably won the point-score for her division.

    Euphoria has now built an enviable track record at HIRW having also won her division in 2011 and coming second on a count-back in 2015 when tied equal first on points. Her owner, Tony Coleman, also won at HIRW in 2003 with his previous Euphoria – a J/120.

    It is also notable that a majority of Euphoria’s crew (six out of ten) are ladies – so she also became quite a popular boat at the various social events held on Hamilton Island during Race Week. Lots of fun was had by all!

    Day 1- racing began in idyllic conditions, excited and some nervous crews facing the prospect of a 25-30 knot sou’easters and strong tide making for a wild downwind run from the narrow start in Dent Passage.  The fleet handled the fresh conditions over the 24nm course reasonably well, save for a few broaches by some.

    Day 2- four hours after the original scheduled start and with the entire fleet moved to open water on the southwestern side of the island, the first start on day three got underway near Surprise Rock in a light south-east breeze.

    Coleman’s J/133 EUPHORIA from Sydney won at Race Week in 2011 and so far they are on track to repeat the success in the Racer/Cruiser division with 1-4-1 scores. Owner/driver Coleman says their results are down to a good crew and the boat being an all-rounder. “The boat performs in most conditions; it’s happy in the strong winds and reasonable in the light stuff. Today was very pleasant, a 10 knot breeze and nice sunny skies. What more could you ask for?”

    Day 3- the winter tradewinds returned to the Whitsundays on the penultimate day of competition, allowing for an expanded schedule to make up for some races missed due to light winds mid-week.

    Coleman’s J/133 Euphoria was on either side of a tug-o-war in the Racer/Cruiser division, with the team dismayed by a 10th in the first race followed by a massive change of fortune in the second race of the day, winning by a comfortable margin to continue to lead class.

    Day 4- Crews from Tasmania to Western Australia to the American classic Dorade on a Southern Hemisphere odyssey used what was left in the tank in the sou’east tradewinds 15-18 knots to firm up a divisional placing, or just see out the series in spectacular North Queensland winter sailing conditions.

    All week the battle raged in the Racer/Cruiser division between Coleman’s J/133 EUPHORIA from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Adrian Walters’ Little Nico from Middle Harbour.

    “Little Nico is a seriously fast boat- it just disappeared over the horizon - but we managed to sail to our handicap and we are very happy with our result,” said Coleman on Saturday afternoon. “The boat’s been here once before, back in 2011. She’s 13 years-old and we have a majority of women crew so we are probably a bit unusual in that respect. It does make us quite popular in the evenings! We had a really good range of conditions over the week. We only lost the one day with no wind and the rest of the time it was decent sea breezes.”

    Of note, Stephen Everett’s J/160 SALACIA just four points shy of the podium, settling for 5th place in her Cruising Division I class.  For more AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week sailing information

    J/111 SWEENY Wins @ Breskens Sailing Weekend
    (Breskens, The Netherlands)- The forecast for this year’s Breskens Sailing Weekend was not far off the mark.  The three days were characterized by generally light winds in the 5-8 kts range, with two of the days starting off postponed, waiting for the wind to build into a race-able breeze for the fleets sailing on the two course- A & B.

    On the final day, Course A PRO Walther de Block was forced to shorten the first race. "I hoisted the S-flag. It took more than an hour before the sailors arrived at the first buoy and that is too long. The second race was better and we managed to run the maximum number of seven races this weekend. A great achievement given the tough circumstances!”  Course B sailors were also able to get in seven races over the weekend.

    All in all, it was a nice weekend, for the one-design fleet of J/111s as well as the IRC classes.  Winning the J/111’s was Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY, fresh off their win in the J/CUP held a fortnight ago in Torquay, United Kingdom.  Certainly, they are on a roll, having won most of the races.  Taking 2nd was Jorg Sigg’s LALLEKONING and in 3rd position was Sebastien de Liedekerke’s DJINN.

    In the IRC Two-handed class, taking the silver for the weekend was Tom De Jonghe’s J/105 DJ.

    There were several J/crews sailing in IRC 3 Class.  In the end, it was tough battle against light-air flyers.  Finishing 4th was Rene van Quekelberghe’s J/97 JAI HO, 6th was Bart Wauters J/92 JOLO, and 7th was Dimitri Vanvyve’s J/105 JUGGERNAUT.

    Follow Breskens Sailing Weekend on Facebook here  For more Breskens Sailing Weekend information

    ROSEBUD Romps @ J/70 Verve Cup Regatta
    (Chicago, IL)- Great Lakes J/70 sailors were treated to two great days of sailing on Lake Michigan last weekend.  Other the three-day event, eleven races were run by host Chicago YC Belmont Station Race Committee and PRO team.  In the end, the regatta came down to a duel between Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD crew and Jim Prendergast’s USA 167 crew, with Rose’s team taking the regatta win.

    Eighteen teams from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois participated in the regatta.  The win was not an easy one for Rose’s ROSEBUD crew that included Match Racing World Champion Taylor Canfield trimming main and calling tactics.  Their first four races were a 4-1-8-5.  However, from there on end they nearly ran the table, getting settled into better starts, more consistent speed and excellent crew work, compiling four 1sts in their last 7 races to take the regatta with 34 pts total.

    Starting off with all top five finishes in the first six races was Jim Prendergast’s crew on USA 167.  Then, after a disappointing 7th in race 7, they seemed to have been shocked into drinking a can of Popeye’s “whupass” and rattled off a 1-2-3-1 to close out the regatta and grab the silver position on the podium.

    Behind the top two players, it was quite the rumble going on for the balance of the top five.  All three teams were playing the game of “chutes & ladders”, winning races, getting top three scores, then dropping like a stone in next race.  After the dust settled on Sunday afternoon, it was Mark & Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP that closed the deal and snagged the bronze with 52 pts total.

    Taking the fourth spot and winning the Corinthians Division was Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH with 58 pts.  Five points back to take fifth place and 2nd in Corinthians was Martin Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS with 63 pts and 6th overall/ 3rd in Corinthians was Jake Christy’s PALE HORSE with 66 pts.  Follow Chicago YC Verve Cup on Facebook here   For more Verve Cup J/70 Regatta sailing information

    J/Crews Loving Dartmouth Regatta!
    (Dartmouth, England)- The Dartmouth Regatta is a great way to end the summer sailing season along the south coast of the United Kingdom.

    Set in the beautiful West Country, the sailing regatta forms part of a larger event that includes rowing championships and has many onshore attractions, a true British Summer festival!

    Many J/Teams attended the regatta this year, some fresh from the J/Cup, other’s post-Fastnet race finish, some locally based and other’s travelling from afar.

    The weather was perfect for rowing and beach activities, but not so good for sailing.  For example, 2/3 of day 2 and all of day 3 lost to lack of wind. Race day 1 saw three races sailed in 8-15 knots, day 2 just one race in 7-10 knots. The final day saw two races completed by 1330 in a 6-11 knot breeze.

    The J/Clan had great success, J/DREAM prevailed, reversing the Nationals result with EAT SLEEP J REPEAT in the J/88 battle. Peter Symonds J/112E J'OUVERT was declared top Royal Dart boat under IRC.

    Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE team completed their 2017 JIRAFFE Safari with first place in the hotly contested fleet.

    Bob Baker and his Lymington-based team sailed their J/97 JAYWALKER to a hard-fought victory in IRC 3 Class.

    New to the circuit were the J/122 BLACK DOG and the new J/122e TIGH SOLIUS from Hamble. Despite perhaps trying a little too hard on day one, both boats showed nice bursts of speed, hinting at great future potential.

    The superb hospitality and organization of the Royal Dart Yacht Club, the Kingswear Marina, and the two towns of Kingswear and Dartmouth, will ensure that most will return in 2018!

    J/80 Obelix Trophy France
    (Bénodet, France)- Created in 1971 by Dominique le Page and Erwan Quéméré, the Obelix Trophy that took place from August 25th to 27th has become over the years an essential rendezvous for all those who sail during the summer in France.

    The event takes place every year and brings together J/80s and over 100 other sailboats on the Bénodet Lake. The Obelix Trophy, also counts for the overall season championship, the J/80 Coupe de France.

    This year’s event enjoyed the most beautiful sailing conditions in a wonderful place!

    Reveling in the conditions was Damien Fortini’s crew on J-GANTESQUE from CN Lorient.  His crew consisted of Stephane Brouillet, Anne Le Gouguec, Julien Le Granvalet, and Nathan Meric-Pons- a mostly Lorient-based crew.  However, their record of 2-1-5-1 for 9 pts meant they had to win on a tie-breaker, based on number of 1sts, over Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE crew from Societe Regate Rochelaises that had a 1-3-2-3 tally.  Anne’s crew consisted of Bertrand Nun, Thomas Haddouche, and Loig Leon.

    Rounding the top three for the regatta was Xavier Tinel’s team from CN Lorient on JEROBOAM MARINE LORIENT (Christophe Audic, Christophe Dreyer and Julien Bregegere).  Their record of 3-5-1-2 for 11 pts meant they were just two points off the pace!  For more J/80 Obelix Trophy sailing information

    J/Crews Enjoy Sunny Ted Hood Regatta
    (Marblehead, MA)- How nice can sailing possibly be off Marblehead, MA in the summer time?   Sometimes amazing, as was the case this past weekend for the annual Ted Hood Regatta.  Fleets of J/70s, J/105s and PHRF handicap boats enjoyed three days of racing with winds below ten knots, with plenty of sun!

    The event was hosted by the trio of famous Marblehead clubs- Boston YC, Eastern YC and Corinthian YC- with each club hosting a circle for the various fleets.

    Following on his win in the J/70 Corinthian Nationals at Buzzards Bay Regatta, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA seems to be developing a lot of momentum going into the AUDI J/70 World Championship that starts in a fortnight at YC Costa Smeralda’s facility in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy.

    With Stu McNay, USA Olympic 470 sailor and World Champion, as his tactician, Keane’s crew could seem to do no wrong, except for one nearly catastrophic 12th place in the 4th race.  They won five of the seven races to finish with 19 pts and the regatta win!

    Hot on their tail all weekend long was Bruce Golison’s crew from California racing MIDLIFE CRISIS- sailing by far the most consistent series in the top five with all finishes in the top 4!  While never winning a race, Golison’s crew ended up with 21 pts for the silver.  Taking the bronze with 23 pts total was Peter Duncan’s high-powered RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew, coming off a 2nd in the J/70 Europeans in the United Kingdom and having won the finale of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup in Italy with all of Europe’s top J/70 sailors competing.  Rounding out the top five were Bruno Pasquinelli’s crew from the Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas in 4th place and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND team from Annapolis YC in 5th place.

    In the J/70 Corinthians Division, it was Tyler Doyle’s USA 245 that took honors with 60 pts total, followed by Stein Skanne’s SHRED in 2nd with 62 pts and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK in 3rd with 63 pts- close, eh??  Those results, literally, came down to the last race and the last leg of the regatta!

    Meanwhile, in the J/105 one-design class, it looked like it was just about a “walk-in-the-park” for Nicole Breault & Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE.  The J/105 team from San Francisco, skippered by Nicole Breault, dominated the Marblehead fleet with a 1-3-5-2-1-1-1 scoreline for 14 points. Her team consisted of Dave Marshall at bow, Halsey Richartz at mast and tactics, Casey Williams at pit and jib trim, Jamie Ewing at main, and co-owner Bruce Stone at spin trim.

    The top local team skipperedd by Fred deNapoli on ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA was 13 points behind with 27 points, followed by Matthew Pike and Dave Nelson's GOT QI with 35 points.

    Nicole and Bruce are on a roll in the J/105 class, having won three regattas on SF Bay (St Francis YC Spring One Design, SF Bay J/Fest and SF Yacht Club Resin Regatta), plus Cedar Point One-Design, Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week, Buzzards Bay Regatta and now the Ted Hood Regatta- the latter two skippered by Nicole.

    Nicole commented on their regatta, ”It was great to get back to Marblehead and its picturesque harbor and its strong racing heritage. I remember coming here to race in the USYRU Bemis championship in the 1980s and the 420 North Americans in the early 1990s.  So, it was fun to return in a big-boat and run into many friends from those years. The hospitality was terrific and we plan to be back in a few years for the J/105 North Americans!”

    In the world of PHRF handicap racing, there were plenty of stories to tell and, like their one-design colleagues, many “shoulda-coulda-woulda’s” going around the race track.

    In PHRF 1 Class, J/teams dominated the top five overall.  Gary Weisberg’s J/111 HEATWAVE took 2nd, Tom Mager’s J/122 GIGI was 3rd, Ed Kaye’s J/111 PRAVDA was 4th, and Ben Chigier’s J/122 ESCAPE VELOCITY was 5th.

    In PHRF Class 2, Dan Boyd & Mitch Wiest’s J/109 WILDTHING closed out their regatta with double bullets, wishing they had found that formula earlier in the series.  Nevertheless, they ended up 4th, only 5 points out of first place!  Tough fleet they were in!

    PHRF 3 Class saw Ward Blodgett & Liz Smith’s J/33 SIROCCO earn their handicap-racing debut to take second place in class!

    Then, in PHRF 4 Class, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the J/24 was none other than Dave Smith’s J/24 AIRODOODLE, dominating with six 1sts in seven races!  Wow, a fast J/24 is forever young!  Peter Pappas’ J/80 AIRPLAY completed J domination of the class, taking second with just 12 pts.  For more Ted Hood Regatta sailing information

    J/70’s Cruz King Harbor Regatta!
    (King Harbor, CA)- Here is the “pitch” for the King Harbor YC Summer Regatta…
    “Welcome Racers, come race with the whales (the cetacean kind, not the Wall St types) on a two-day premier sailing regatta using windward-leeward legs, Saturday & Sunday, in the scenic waters between Hermosa Beach and the Manhattan Beach piers. All PHRF classes, One-designs, J/70s, Farr 40s, etc… are invited. Beer included on the docks! With Rum tastings upstairs. Plus, a complimentary huge taco bar with live band after the races Saturday (dancing encouraged!). Trophy presentation and hors d'oeuvres on Sunday. Complimentary docking provided at KHYC.”

    Sounds good, right?  No question, that is a very attractive proposition to many sailors.

    Heeding the call of duty and looking forward to yet another weekend of fun were the J/70 SoCal fleet!

    Wow, what a circuit they enjoy between Santa Barbara in the north to San Diego in the south.  Eight boats sailed the event and enjoyed seven races over the two-day weekend!

    A new name and team leaped to the front of the fleet, James Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY from the host King Harbor YC won the event by just the “hair of their chinny, chin, chin.”  For the top three boats in the regatta, it was an up and down affair.  Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY had two 1sts, three 2nds in their seven race scoreline to win with 12 pts.  Pushing them hard all weekend-long was Craig Tallman’s JAYA, a fellow KHYC member, winning three races, but not enough to overcome their tough closing tally of a 4-1-6 to have to settle for second overall.  Third was a very competitive youth team comprised of Robert Garret’s Newport Harbor YC team on SLOOP JOHN B; winning the first race and hanging in to secure the bronze on the podium.  Rounding out the top five were Anthony Collins’ FLY from KHYC in 4th and Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01 in 5th from California YC.

    In the PHRF A Class, it was the J/92 H2 BLUE sailed by Ross Moore from King Harbor YC that placed third.
    For more Kings Harbor J/70 Regatta sailing information

    Horsens SC Triumphs @ Aarhus- J/70 Danish League
    (Aarhus, Denmark)- The 2017 season's third league match in the 1st Division ended last weekend in the spectacular sailing location of Aarhus.  The sailors loved enjoying a sunny summer day, sailing in front of DOKK1 in Aarhus.  The difficult urban sailing conditions throughout the competition gave the sailors a lot of challenges, and for some, rather frustrating wind conditions when massive windshifts would roll across the course and upset the standings!

    Horsens, Hellerup, KDY and the defending masters from Frederikshavn, were the top four teams in the event. For this quartet, everything came down to the final race to determine the top three! Both KDY and Hellerup scored 6’s on the final day to negatively affect their chances of winning, but not affecting their chances to at least get on the podium.  In the end, Horsens young crew scored a 3rd in their last race to secure the win at Aarhus over Frederikshavn by two pts.  Never recovering from their 6th score in race 10, KDY had to settle for third place just 2 pts in arrears of the silver.

    There were a lot of nerves on the four young Horsens boys (Mikkel Hougaard, Jeppe Bregendahl, Andreas Skjerning and skipper Jakob Nikolajsen), but they kept their heads cool, and secured victory for their club!

    "We were in the groove and we were confident of sailing well. We had good speed and good tactics, luckily!  We knew we had to avoid a bad race.  It’s been funky and exciting racing with the winds jumping all over the place and up and down in strength.  It is great to celebrate our win with so many people from our club, it was absolutely indescribable,” said Horsens crew Mikkel Hougaard.

    Horsens Sejklub has been in the league's 1st division since 2015, but has never been on the podium, nor even near it!

    The Frederikshavn Sejklub ended up 2nd, but could rejoice in the fact they had extended their lead for the overall series after their scores at Stuer, Brejning, and Aarhus.

    "It was a cool competition, a bold backdrop and close sailing. The sailing conditions were difficult- almost impossible- but at the end of the day we took 2nd. We're happy," said captain Kris Houmann from Frederikshavn.

    As a result, after the three events, Frederikshavn has 5 pts, a commanding lead for this series!  Sitting in second is KDY with 11 pts, third is Kerteminde Sejklub with 14 pts, fourth is Horsens Sejklub with 18 pts, and fifth place also sitting on 18 pts is Skovshoved Sejklub.

    The final and decisive 1st division event will be sailed in Skovshoved from the 15th to 17th September.

    Sailing Photo Credits: Camilla Hylleberg Photography
    Live from Susanne Salminen + Jonathan Bay. Media credit to Risk It Media Sports Marketing.

     Follow Danish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

    Malmö Surprises Swedish J/70 Sailing League!
    (Jönköping, Sweden)- The third round of Allsvenskan Sailing (the Swedish J/70 Sailing League) was settled this past weekend on Munksjön in central Jönköping. And surprisingly, it was Malmö SS that took home victory, only one point ahead of the heavy regatta favorites-  KSSS (the Royal Swedish YC).

    “This feels fantastic. We managed to get together a team just two days before starting,” says Per-Håkan Persson from the Malmö SS team.  That is even more of a shocker for the rest of the Swedish sailing league crews!  In other words, the Malmo crew were a pretty talented collection of sailors.  However, do know the team are excellent J/24 sailors that have raced “mano-a-mano” against the world’s best J/24 competitors for years!

    There was no question the Malmo team upset the status quo that saw KSSS and the 2016 Champion Cape Crow YC from Gothenburg fighting for their lives to figure out how to stay in front of the Malmo SS team!  Nevertheless, the Malmo SS team won no less than seven races in the total of thirteen races sailed!!  Impressive, to say the least against the firepower assembled by their erstwhile competitors at KSSS and CCYC!

    In the end, Malmo won by just one point over the powerful KSSS team that had finally gotten their momentum going, winning five of their last six races! They were the only team to even have a “snowballs chance in hell” of succeeding to overcome the fast-sailing Malmo team.  Third was Cape Crow YC’s notoriously fast team that somehow had a hard time sailing on the lake in Jönköping.

    As a result, the overall season series has one more event to close out the season finale.  Currently, after three events in Strangnas, Ekero, and Jonkoping, the KSSS have posted a 1-1-2 for an almost unassailable lead for the 2017 Swedish Sailing League series.  Three points back are their arch-rivals, the Cape Crow YC that have a 2-2-3 for 7 pts total.  A long way back in third place is Hjuviks BK team with a 3-13-4 for 20 pts total.  However, that means it has become a battle royale for the final spot on the podium for the season series!  Just 2 pts back in 4th is Ornskoldsviks SS with 22 pts and in 5th place is the rapidly ascending Malmo SS with an outrageous 17-6-1 for 24 pts.  However, don’t discount the fact that sitting in the hunt just 1 pt further back in 6th is Ekoln SK with a 14-3-8 for 25 pts.

    Watch some of the race-by-race action of the Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here (it is all commentary in Swedish):

    Follow the Swedish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information

    CN Versoix Tops Swiss J/70 Sailing Challenge League
    (Davos, Switzerland)- The final of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League took place in Davos on the Davosersee. Reliable thermal winds and the opportunity to sail directly in front of the shore were the best prerequisites for a sailing spectacle. In the final showdown for the top three teams to qualify for the Swiss Super League for 2018 were six teams with a mathematical possibility of qualifying.

    While the top two teams, the Segelclub Zürich-Enge and the Club Nautique de Versoix, could hardly be overtaken, the third-place Yachtclub Kreuzlingen had to defend itself against their pursuers from Murten, Männedorf and Thalwil.

    After three days of sailing with excellent sailing conditions, the final winner of the regatta as well as the overall season series was decided in the last race and the last leg to the finish!

    Three clubs, the Yachtclub Kreuzlingen, Thalwil and Cham still had chances to win the fourth round of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League.

    However, the overall victory for all four events- Lucerne, Romanshorn, Estavayer and Davos- still stood on a razor’s edge. Both the Segelclub Zürich-Enge and the Club Nautique de Versoix were able to win the overall Swiss Sailing League Cup!

    In the 24th and last race, the showdown took place. For starters, Kreuzlingen, Thalwil and Cham were fighting each other for the regatta win.  Meanwhile, the series leaders had their own battle going on!

    Versoix and Zurich-Enge sailed their own race, forgetting about anyone else. It was primarily “who beat who” to determine the 2017 Swiss Sailing Challenge League winner. Both teams were locked into a match race and tried to keep the competitors behind them. In the 24th and final race, Versoix was second behind Cham at the first windward mark.  However, on the last downwind leg, Versoix attacked the leaders and took the lead shortly before the finish line!  This meant Versoix secured the season championship.

    As a result of the last, wildly challenging races, it was Segel Club Cham that won the Davos event on a tie-breaker over YC Kreuzlingen at 32 pts each; with SCC winning on countback.  Third was Segler-Vereinigugn Thalwil a very narrow 1.8 pts further back with a total of 33.8 pts.

    Therefore, the final outcome for the Challenger series (Luzem, Romanshorn, Estavayer, Davos) had CN Versoiz winning  with a 2-1-3-4 tally for 10 pts.  Second was SC Enge with a 1-4-1-5 for 11 pts.  Third was YC Kreuzlingen with a 5-2-5-2 for 14 pts (symmetry there??).  Rounding out the top five were SC Thalwil with 21 pts in 4th and SC Murten in 5th with 23 pts.

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary on Lake Davos, the Davos Sailing & Surf Club was overwhelmed with the enthusiastic turnout of sailors for the Swiss J/70 Sailing League.  It was a great sailing festival for sailors from all over Switzerland in Davos; a special place in the world most famously notable for its incredibly challenging skiing terrain in the world of F.I.S. snow-skiing world championships.  Sailing Photo credits- Claudia Somm   Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

    What J/sailors and friends are doing around the world

    * Dave Schmidt, the Sail-World.com USA Editor based in Seattle, WA has a wonderful story to tell about his participation in the sport of sailing on a friends’ J/80..

    “As a lifelong sailor from a sailing-obsessed family, I sometimes forget that not everyone has been sailing since they could walk. Mind you, I'm certainly not professing to be any sort of polished tactician or accomplished skipper, but I do know how to trim sails, drive, stand watch and run a foredeck, and I've also been around sailing culture long enough to (more or less) be able to step onto a new boat and (hopefully) not cause too many headaches. After all, sailors are sailors the world over (read: salty), and odds are reasonably solid that if you can hang at one yacht club, you'll be OK at the next.

    However, this summer a good friend bought his first boat, and I had the opportunity to watch firsthand as a great bunch of newer sailors gelled into a winning team over the course of the racing season.

    While I wasn't on board for the full summer's racing program due to work obligations and a distracting mountain-climbing problem, I was there enough to see and appreciate this team's impressive improvement curve as the boat's leadership settled into a successful groove and people learned and refined their onboard roles and gained some miles in the new boat.

    For example, during the first few races of the season, the crew tended to want to play outside their roles, leading the skipper to try and actively 'manage' everyone's jobs, even though his hands were more than full with driving. Fortunately, the skipper is also a whip-smart engineer at one of Seattle's bigger tech companies, and he wisely parlayed the strong leadership and management lessons gleaned from his professional life into bolstering our team. Specifically, one mid-season Wednesday night, instead of assuming the tiller, he announced a crew shake-up that would see our tactician driving, our skipper calling tactics, and other people shuffled to new jobs (I somehow stayed on the mainsheet, which is A-OK with me). The results were dramatic.

    Rather than mid-fleet and ‘back-of-the-congo-line’ finishes, we took a bullet in our first race, promptly followed by a second place in race two. High fives were exchanged, but it wasn't until we consistently started repeating these results that the full fruits of our skipper's leadership moves-ncoupled with the crew's swelling experience, confidence levels and hard work-became evident.

    And that's to say nothing of the big improvements and growth that all sailors onboard (myself included) experienced as we started gelling into a can-do crew. These guys might not have spent their summer vacations taking sailing junior-sailing lessons, but the sheer level of psych and “beginner's eyes” excitement that these guys brought to the dock, week after week, was a cool thing to see and experience.

    While there's no danger of us winning any world-championship titles in the near future, odds are good that we will be the boat in our class to beat next summer on Puget Sound.

    For my part, I had a great look at what it's like for a relatively green sailor to step up and buy a sportboat, become a skipper, and build and nurture a crew capable of disrupting the order of things in a local class. Having spent more than a little bit of time trying to diagnose and solve our initial teething pains in my head on my morning runs, none of my solutions for improving performance were as elegant as our skipper's decision to relinquish the tiller and focus solely on tactics, while also placing other crewmembers in positions that best played to their strengths. I've seen some smart moves on boats over the years, but this ranks as one of the more impressive things that I've seen in a while.

    So, while I've been sailing for 41 of my 40 years on this lonely planet, I'm walking away from this summer's sailing with newfound appreciation for the kind of leadership skills that can be learned onshore and brought aboard. Moreover, I'm also walking away with a much better appreciation for what can happen when enthusiasm and psych are given the right environment to learn, grow and thrive.” Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ PWPictures.com

    * Sail Newport Christens New Sailing Center! Sail Newport, along with a slate of dignitaries, officials and supporters, celebrated the opening of its new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center today.  Over 200 people joined Executive Director Brad Read for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Governor Gina Raimondo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Director Janet Coit, former Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, Representative Marvin Abney and Rob MacMillan, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing among other city and state leaders.
    "This is a center truly worthy of the Ocean State," Raimondo said. "The state-of-the-art sustainable design will allow Sail Newport to bring the magical experience of being out on the water to more Rhode Islanders. In particular, the center will teach our younger generation that these natural resources are gifts we must protect and preserve for the future."

    The 8,500 square foot LEED-compliant building located in Fort Adams State Park was conceived, designed, engineered and built with support and guidance from the State of Rhode Island and many construction and sustainability partners.

    In addition to sustainably-resourced materials and a flood-resilient design, the new center operates with energy-efficient heating and cooling, solar power, and a rainwater harvesting system for irrigation, boat wash and restroom water.

    "I am thrilled to celebrate the completion of the Mid-Park Education and Recreation Center at historic Fort Adams State Park - a place of profound beauty and culture and home to exceptional recreation, facilities, and marquee events," says Coit. "Beautiful waters and green-spaces, breathtaking vistas, and world-class boating - all of which surround you at Fort Adams- are hallmarks of Rhode Island. They are an intrinsic part of life here. And they attract streams of people and opportunity for our state," she adds.

    "Kudos to Sail Newport and all partners involved in making this project a reality and continuing to enhance and promote Fort Adams as a destination. I look forward to the many public programs and opportunities Mid-Park will offer- and the love of sailing and enjoyment of our parks that it will help inspire," Coit adds.

    The growth and progress of Sail Newport, which was founded in 1983 after the loss of the America's Cup, prompted the organization's leaders to set a goal five years ago to expand their public access sailing programs and marine education for the community. The new center was designed to facilitate more education with year-round classrooms and restrooms and an upgraded facility in order to offer more public sailing programs and more access to the water for all ages.

    "The State of Rhode Island, DEM and many generous donors have brought us to this day," Read says.  "Not only do we now have a sustainable headquarters, this new center will serve the community with more public access sailing programs and access to Narragansett Bay," he adds.

    Read notes that the first program to use the new center will be a fourth-grade learn-to-sail educational initiative with the Pell Elementary School which starts on September 18.  The program was developed by Sail Newport and Donna Kelly, a Newport Public School teacher and former board member of Sail Newport, and Superintendent of Schools- Colleen Burns Jermain.

    The unique program will align with the public school's fourth-grade core curriculum in the areas of math, science, social studies and art.  In addition to the on-the-water classroom of sailing instruction, the new indoor classrooms will house students for the land-based curriculum portions.

    Sail Newport also partnered with 11th Hour Racing for the design of the building to include sustainability at the heart of its sailing center operation and green events and programs. It was announced almost a year ago that 11th Hour Racing granted $1.0 million towards costs for the new center.

    11th Hour Racing’s Director MacMillan commented, ”We are thrilled to see the grant that 11th Hour Racing awarded to Sail Newport in 2016 come to fruition, with the new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center ready to welcome and expand Sail Newport's educational programs, while integrating the message of preservation and maintenance of our ocean and shoreline. Since 2010, 11th Hour Racing has been harnessing the power of sport with an innovative and comprehensive approach, and this new sustainable headquarters is a testament to our core values centered around environmental and social responsibility.”

    MacMillan adds, "We exist to provide public access sailing programs and services. The new center will have a positive impact on all of our community-based programs that we provide at low cost or no cost to other non-profit organizations. He adds, "Most importantly," he says, "we hope to inspire all sailors as to the importance of preserving and maintaining our ocean and shoreline."
    Learn more about Sail Newport here.

    * J/Sailors Ruling J/Class!  The first ever J/Class World Championship took place this past week in Newport, RI and was hosted by the New York YC Harbour Court.  Six of the 140 foot (~ 43 meter) sailing yachts participated in the five day event that saw racing take place on Tuesday in a “Navigators Race” inside Narragansett Bay and the next four days offshore in Rhode Island Sound about 4nm southwest of Castle Hill point.

    Not surprisingly, literally every single boat had local talent and local knowledge on board as strategists/ tacticians- virtually all of them were top J/Boats sailors.

    Foremost in everyone’s minds were the two brothers aboard Jim Clark’s HANUMAN- Ken Read (steering) and Brad Read (tactician)- if there was ever a combination of sailors that knows the Bay and the Sound well, it would be them- needless to say both are multiple J/24 World Champions. Their world-famous navigator was none other than Stan Honey- he and his wife Sally have also raced J/105s on the West Coast. They also had Chuck Brown on runners, a Caribbean Champion and raced J/24s and J/30s for years- winning a few Rolex St Thomas Regattas along the way.  Despite all the talent on board, they could only muster a second place.

    On the winning boat- LIONHEART- they, too, had a Newporter on-board that was also a J/24 World Champion- Anthony Kouton- feeling perhaps a bit out of his element as a Moth World Champion (foiler), too! Plus, they had aboard Bouwwe Beking from the Netherlands- himself having raced on J/105s and J/109s in the Netherlands.

    As for the third place boat TOPAZ, they “only” had Tony Rey, Scotty Vogel and Peter Holmberg aboard taking up most of their afterguard, plus running the boat as “Crew Boss” (Scotty).  Peter is from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has raced J/24s, IC/24s, and J/105s over the years as Caribbean and CORT Champion- in addition to being an expert match-racer.  Tony Rey is from Newport and has also raced at World Championship levels on J/24s, J/70s, J/122s, J/105s and others.  Scotty has also raced a wide variety of boats, including J/24s, J/35s, J/105s, J/109s and J/111s.

    RANGER had aboard Andrew Cape from the U.K.- a famous Volvo Ocean Race navigator and also guides the mighty RAMBLER 88 for George David.  He is a two-time Round Island (Isle of Wight) Doublehanded winner on a J/44 sailing on Stu Johnstone's J-HAWK, plus he’s raced quite a few J/24s, J/105s and J/109s in the U.K. over time.

    VELSHEDA had some veteran offshore and match-racing team members on board that have raced J/105s and J/80s in various events, such as Tom Dodson, Campbell Field and Don Cowie.

    Finally, Tom Siebel’s crew was practically 100% managed by top J sailors from all parts of the world. Growing up in Wilmette, IL, Tom himself sailed J/24s and out West has owned and race J/105s and J/125s on San Francisco Bay! His navigator was Peter Isler- a regular on the SC 70 PYEWACKET for Roy Disney Jr and has raced J/24s, J/80s, J/105s and J/44s.  Tom Whidden was his strategist, the former President of North Sails, a person that has raced on practically all of the earlier J/Boats, including J/24s, J/29s, J/35s, J/41s, J/105s, J/44s, J/160s, etc.  Francesco de’Angelis from Italy was serving as coach, and raced J/24s and recently J/70s for years- including winning a J/24 World Championship in Capri.  Steve Calder from North Sails Canada has also been J/24 Canadian Champion and has raced J/105s, J/109s, J/35s, J/70s in Canada and the USA.  Vince Brun from North Sails San Diego is a J/24 Champion, West Coast J/70 Champion and has raced just about everything in the J/range including J/105s and J/109s. Sailing photo credits- Onne Van der wal/ Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing/ Carlo Borlenghi. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- August 23rd, 2017
    NEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Launched!
    (Newport, RI) - The first J/121 named “Incognito” was launched at Stanley’s Boat Yard in Barrington, Rhode Island on Monday 8/21/17 at 9:45am.  Within 15 minutes the Southern Spars carbon deck- stepped mast was installed, shrouds pinned and the next few hours the rigging systems were assembled.  By late afternoon, the design and build team, several suppliers and the new owner and friends, were rewarded with a beautiful first sail on Narragansett Bay.

    The J/121 took off with the very first puff once the new carbon North Sails were raised, and even with twice the normal number of crew on-board the boat responded nicely.  There is a light touch on the wheel, combined with a big boat feeling of substantial stability and control.  Everyone is raving about the uniquely open, secure and comfortable cockpit design on this boat.  There are versatile trimming and driving positions and clear/wide paths for crossing the boat during all maneuvers.  The twin wheel system with floor-mounted traveler provides open access to the back of the boat and great visibility of headsails from the helm both while sitting and standing.  With 13 crew on this maiden voyage one might expect to feel a bit over crowded but that was not the case at all.  The J/121 cockpit might just be the most comfortable of any 40 footer and is combined with the best layout for sail handling by just a few at the same time.

    This exciting first sail and introduction to the J/121 did hint at her speed potential both upwind and down.  After sailing close hauled for a few miles tacking back and forth and tweaking shroud turnbuckles, 3D jib leads and in-haulers, the team was excited to turn the corner and try out the large A2+ asymmetric spinnaker.  The spinnaker filled and the boat accelerated quickly and confidently jumping above 10 knots of boatspeed with ease.  Stay tuned for more news, photos and details as sea-trials continue.  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

    New J/112E & J/70 @ Southampton Boat Show!
    (Southampton, United Kingdom)- Fashion and Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Millie Mackintosh, will headline Britain’s biggest festival of boating this year. Often found out on the water herself, Millie will be officially opening the Show on Friday 15 September at 11am, helping to kick off 10 days of incredible fun at one of the world’s premier nautical events.

    Millie comments: “I’m thrilled to be opening this year’s Southampton Boat Show. I’m really looking forward to spending some time at the event, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring some of the beautiful boats that shall be on display.”

    Key Yachting Ltd will be exhibiting several boats at the Southampton Boat Show from 15th September, including one model that will be making her show debut. Step aboard all of these boats on marina berths M427-433, the show runs until Sunday, September 24th.

    J/112E - Grand Prix version- Show Debut
    This multiple award-winning, two-cabin performance cruiser, is now available as a Grand Prix version. Fresh from her Round the Island victory, the J/112E GP features full race upgrades, including an IRC friendly keel without bulb, Axxon high modulus carbon mast with carbon spreaders, carbon boom and carbon steering wheel. She is also equipped with 3DI race sails and B&G H5000 with a Zeuss 3 plotter. This will be the first UK show for this formidable new IRC weapon, which has already won four French regattas this year.

    The J/112E joins her sisterships, the J/97E and J/122E, as an exceptional upwind performer. V-shaped bow sections provide superior directional stability and reduced slamming in waves. Freeboard forward and topside flare help to keep the deck dry. A long waterline combined with a low vertical center of gravity results in a smooth, sea-kindly motion – more like that of a 40 footer.  Read more about the J/112E offshore racer/cruiser here

    The Infamous J/70 Sportsboat
    The J/70 is J/Boats’ first slipway-launchable keelboat - designed to fulfill the growing need for an easy to own, high performance one design, that is exciting to sail, stable enough sailboat for the family, and built to last. A natural evolution of its J pedigree, the J/70’s 7m of sailing length with high aspect, all carbon rig and deep lifting keel, provides spirited performance and stability that feels like a much larger boat. There are now 70 boats sailing in the UK, with an active class association and one design program. An incredible 170 boats are signed up for the Worlds in Porto Cervo this September.

    Key Yachting will be running a demo sail week from Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th September, please get in touch to arrange your trial on the J/112E or J/70.  Read more about the exciting, the infamous J/70 speedster here

    For more Southampton Boat Show information  For a boat show or demo appointment, please contact Key Yachting UK here:  Gemma Dunne at ph- +44 (0) 2380 455669 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | http://www.keyyachting.com

    Breskens Sailing Weekend Preview
    (Breskens, The Netherlands)- The forecast for the upcoming Breskens Sailing Weekend looks good, especially for the fleet of J/sailors participating in the J/111 class. All in all, it will be a nice three-day weekend.  In fact, it looks a lot like a copy of last weekend.

    The weekend starts with the passage of a Low pressure disturbance on Friday with solid southwesterlies, after which unstable air is fed on Saturday and the wind veers into the north.  But, then on Sunday, a High pressure is pushing in and backing the winds into the southwest again.

    Sailing in this year’s regatta is a range of boats from the J/92 and 97’s in IRC 3 up to the J/111’s sailing one-design. Participating in the J/111 class are Peter Huysman’s J-HAWK, Norbert Burkert’s TOP JOB, Jorg Sigg’s LALLEKONIG, Sebastien de Liederkerke’s DJINN, and Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY.

    Two J/109s are racing in IRC 2, Andre de Kegel’s J-VENTURE and Andre Vincke’s JULIETTE.  One J/105 is sailing in the IRC Two-handed class, Tom de Jonghe’s DJ.  One J/80 is sailing in CR 5 class, Marc Fobert’s BAD JOKE.  Then,  four J’s are sailing in IRC 3 Class, including Bart Wauters’ J/92 JOLO, Richard Sparrow’s J/97 ONLY MAGIC, Rene van Quekelberghe’s J/97 JAI HO, and Dimitri Vanvyve’s J/105 JUGGERNAUT.  Follow Breskens Sailing Weekend on Facebook here   For more Breskens Sailing Weekend information

    J/70 Verve Cup Regatta Preview
    (Chicago, IL)- While the Chicago YC’s Belmont Harbor station is hosting what is technically called the Verve Cup Inshore Regatta, they might as well re-label it the J/70 Verve Cup Regatta!  After all, by far the largest class by an order of magnitude is the Great Lakes J/70 fleet on the starting line- eighteen boats strong from across the Midwest!

    The competition promises to be excellent, with a number of Chicago’s top names in offshore and one-design classes in the hunt.  Watch for some of these teams to be on the leaderboard, such as John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Steve Knoop’s AMERICAN FLYER, Mark & Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP, Preston Wake’s HOBGOBLIN 8, Amy Neill’s NITEMARE, Leif & Laura Sigmond’s NORBOY, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, Peter Wright’s TAIPAN/ SB and Richard Lehmann’s WIND CZAR!  For more Verve Cup J/70 Regatta sailing information

    Ted Hood Regatta Preview
    (Marblehead, MA)- In honor of one of Marblehead’s more famous yachting personalities and marine leaders, the Boston YC on Marblehead Harbor’s northern shore is hosting the Storm Trysail Ted Hood Regatta for J/70s and J/105s.  The weekend promises good weather for Marblehead- breeze!!

    The J/70 class has an incredibly competitive event, perhaps the last major J/70 event on the East Coast prior to some teams taking off to sail the AUDI J/70 World Championship in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy, and hosted by YC Costa Smeralda. Amongst the twenty teams are crews like Jud Smith’s AFRICA; Duncan Swain’s CLOWN CAR (winner of the Marblehead NOOD Corinthians division); Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Alamitos Bay, CA; Henry Brauer’s RASCAL (2nd in the NOOD Corinthians in Marblehead); Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND from Annapolis; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from Rye, NY (winner of the last ALCATEL J/70 Italian Cup on Lake Garda, Italy); Brian Keane’s SAVASANA (winner of the 2017 Corinthian J/70 Nationals) from Beverly YC; Will Welle’s SCAMP from Newport, RI; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas; and Tyler Doyle’s USA 245 from Boston YC.

    With a round dozen boats, the J/105s will also be facing remarkably strong competition in such a modest-sized fleet. Leading the charge may be Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE, with locals like Fed deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SEMPLICITA giving them local tactical knowledge indigestion. Others in the hunt should be Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHER from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, Charlie Garrard’s MERLIN from Boston YC, and Steven Goldberg’s AIR EXPRESS from Beverly, MA.  For more STC Ted Hood Regatta sailing information

    King Harbor J/70 Regatta Preview
    (King Harbor, CA)- Like their colleagues in Chicago, the J/70s have completely taken over the King Harbor Regatta at the end of the summer sailing season.  As part of their “SoCal J/70 Circuit”, the fleet has nice participation from across the region.  The weather forecast looks typical for this time of year, cool upper 60s in the mornings followed by general heating in the Los Angeles Basin into the mid-upper 80s F.  That produces a fairly reliable seabreeze along the waterfront that should produce good racing for the King Harbor YC PRO to knockout up to 4 races per day.

    Looking forward to the regatta will be crews like Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU, Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01, Robert Garrett’s youth crew on SLOOP JOHN B, and Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY from the host KHYC.  For more Kings Harbor J/70 Regatta sailing information

    Surfin Safari Preview
    How to Have a Hurrican Harvey Party??
    (Corpus Christi, TX)- Every year, when it is about as hot as it can possibly get at the southernmost sailing point of Texas (e.g. next to the Mexican border), the Corpus Christi YC hosts its famous “Surfin Safari” Regatta on the famous Corpus Christi Bay.

    However, the latest weather updates indicate it may be truly a “blowing dogs off chains” event as there is now a hurricane warning in the Gulf of Mexico.  It indicates that “Hurricane Harvey” will hit the Texas coast with 80-125 mph winds with massive flooding everywhere! Oh dear.  For sure, the regatta will get postponed.

    For those of you that have not had the pleasure of sailing in Corpus, just remember one thing- it blows like hell, hot, dry. The key is just drink lots of water.  While the natives of the city are used to the heat, and don’t be surprised to see people wearing long-sleeved shirts, blue jeans, and black sombreros on their heads, for any northerners it will be a study of contrasts, even for northern Texans!!

    When we say it does “blow dogs off chains”, we know it can be the equivalent of, or more, of San Francisco’s famous gear-busters in July/ August.  Do remember, in Corpus if it’s blowing 25-35 kts it’s 100 F “hot air”- in other words, it’s a “softer” breeze (air molecules are spaced farther apart, like your mind would be in such heat) than a 22-30 kts 55 deg on SF Bay.  Nevertheless, the enormous chop will cool you off to some degree as you blast upwind and downwind.

    There are three J/fleets that form the backbone of the Corpus Christi regatta, the J/22s, J/24s (5th stop of their Texas Tour), and the J/105s.  In the J/22 class, there are crews from Houston, Austin, Kemah, Fort Worth, and, of course, Corpus.  Notably, two of the teams are women owner/ skippers- Nataleigh Perez’s FORGET ME NOT from Fort Worth Boat Club and Linda McDavitt’s BONFIRE from Austin YC.

    The J/24s are counting all the races they can in their Texas circuit.  Amongst the notable teams are Stu Juengst’s VANG GO, John Parker’s CHUPACABRA, Chris Holmes’ BAD MOON, Natalie Harden’s famous GIGGLES, Jim Freedman’s MISS CONDUCT and Mark Smith’s AFTER MIDNIGHT.

    The J/105 trio includes Josh Richline’s VELOCE, Duncan Samo’s 5th LANDING, and John Bell’s KINDERSPEL 2- all from Corpus Christi YC. All of these J/sailors are looking forward to yet another Corpus “blow-out”!!  For more Surfin Safari Regatta sailing information

    SAIL First J/80 Cup Announcement!
    (Limassol, Cyprus)- The Sail First Club has been involved in the sailing scene in Cyprus since 2012 when they imported ten J/80 One-Design Racing boats.  Since then, the J/80 fleet has become a normal sight on the waters off Paphos, Latchi and Limassol as they compete for everyone to see.

    The Sail First club invites you to participate in their SAIL FIRST J/80 CUP that will take place from September 19th to 24th on the beautiful island of Cyprus!

    You can join the regatta as an individual or as an entire crew of five people!  Before the regatta, there is a drawing for the individual crews and also a drawing for the individual boats before going out to sail the event.

    After the first three days of racing, the fleet will be split into a Gold Group and a Silver Group.  Twelve races are planned for each group on windward-leeward courses of about 4nm in length (double W/L).  Furthermore, depending on weather conditions, a fun offshore random-leg race of 10-15nm will be held around islands, rocks and government markers.

    While the sailing should be beautiful and lots of fun, the on-shore social and entertainment schedule should be enjoyable and exciting- surrounded by the sea, Cyprus is famous for its shore-side dining and simply amazing sea food!   For more SAIL FIRST J/80 CUP sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    The third week of August had several significant events taking place around the world.  For starters, the J/70 Women’s Keelboat World Championship was hosted at Club de Vela La Pena in Valle de Bravo, Mexico for ten teams.

    Up north of the border, the Ida Lewis YC in Newport, RI hosted their annual Distance Race that included J/105s, J/109s, J/120s, and J/122s.  This year it was a stormy affair for the 150nm race around Rhode Island Sound.  Still further northeast near Halifax, Nova Scotia, the famous “largest keelboat regatta in Canada” took place!  Known as Chester Race Week, it was sailed in Chester, Nova Scotia for one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s and J/29s plus PHRF racing for J/120s, J/35s, J/105s, J/100s and others.  Then across the continental USA to San Francisco, we find the J/105s and J/111s on the Bay sail the Aldo Alessio and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta, hosted by St Francis YC.

    Hopping over the Atlantic the United Kingdom, J/sailors enjoyed a challenging, stormy, and sunny Landsail Tyres J/CUP, held in Torquay, England and hosted by the Royal Torbay YC. The event also acted as the U.K. National Championship for the J/88s, J/109s, J/111s, and J/97s.  On continental Europe, we find J/70 sailing leagues happening everywhere.  Up in Helsinki, Finland, the Finnish  Sailing League held their second act for ten teams from across the country.  Then, down in Glucksburg, Germany, the 5th series event took place for 18 teams in the German Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga); their Grand Finale takes place in Berlin in November.  Also in Scandinavia, the Norwegian Sailing League held an event in Larvik, Norway, a pretty seaside resort at the opening to one of Norway’s many large fjords.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Aug 19-26- AUDI Hamilton Race Week- Hamilton Island, Australia
    Aug 23-27- J/111 World Championship- San Francisco, CA
    Aug 25-27- Breskens Sailing Weekend- Breskens, The Netherlands
    Sep 12-16- J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Italy
    Sep 14-17- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    TEAM’MER Trounces J/70 Women’s Keelboat Worlds
    (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- For the first time in event history, the revitalized 2017 International Women’s Keelboat Championship, a US Sailing Championship, was held outside the United States. Club de Vela La Peña A.C. in Valle de Bravo, Mexico hosted the 16th edition of this historic event and provided the competitors with a unique experience.

    Eleven teams representing Canada, Germany, Mexico, and USA raced on a matched fleet of J/70 one-design sailboats from August 15th to 18th.  In the end, the team representing the American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.), led by skipper Megan Ploch (Pelham, N.Y.), edged out the competition in a closely contested 6-team Championship Round. After beginning the final day in third place, their victory earned them the right to compete at the 2018 SAILING Championship League World qualifier in Europe!

    The winning TEAM’MER featured American YC skipper Megan Ploch (Clearwater, FL) along with the trio of Alix Hahn (Norwalk, Conn.), Carolyn Russell (Greenwich, Conn.) and Erin Sprague (Greenwich, Conn.). Amazingly, Megan’s “trio” was also the winning crew in the 2016 International Women’s Keelboat Championship hosted by American YC.

    Placing second was CHIQUITAS PERO PICOSAS, a local team representing Club de Vela La Peña, skippered by Camila Flores (Mexico City, Mexico) with teammates Casilda Flores (Mexico City, Mexico), Ana Clare Sole (Houston, Texas) and Manuela Legorreta (Mexico City, Mexico). Flores was in first place entering the Championships Round, and although they sailed well in each of the six races, they were unable to stay atop the leader board.

    TEAM CJ RACING- comprised of Emily Maxwell (New York, N.Y.), Elizabeth Dudley (Boston, Mass.), Avery Field (New York, N.Y.) and Katy Nastro (Huntington, N.Y.)- finished in third place.

    While Megan Ploch’s crew on TEAM’MER dominated the finals- posting two bullets, two 2nds and three 3rds- no one else even came close to their consistency.  The Flores sisters on CHIQUITAS PERO PICOSAS won the first two races of the Championship Round, but then they faded into the blue with a 3-5-4-2 in their final races.

    The racing was so tight in race six that any of four teams behind TEAM’MER could have finished second through fourth. Flores had 17 points, and Maxwell was tied at 19 with Giselle Camet (San Diego, Calif.), so it was anyone’s race to take. In the end, Maxwell just edged out Camet on the final run to secure the Bronze medal.  As a result, rounding out the top five were Camet’s San Diego YC Team in 4th place and Eliane Fierro’s RACING COMADRES in 5th place.  Follow the J/70 Women’s Keelboat World’s on Facebook here   For more International J/70 Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information

    Stormy, Sunny J/CUP UK
    (Torquay, United Kingdom)- Not surprisingly, the weather forecast for this year’s Landsail Tyres J/CUP UK was “a sticky wicket” at best, as they say in the U.K.  Storms, lotsa winds, then some sun!!??  Well, it is a British summer.  Surprised?? It can range from hail, to Fastnet-like 70 kts “lows” (in other parts of the world your basic hurricane), to the glorious “5th” with tea and crumpets and a benign breeze of 8-12 kts from the west-southwest- your classic “shorts & shades” conditions.  Well, for the J/CUP UK 2017, the modus-operandi for the event was to keep rolling with the punches from the weather Gods- clearly, Neptune was not pleased and instead served forth some outrageous sailing conditions.

    Day One- Tough Competition
    Thrilling close racing was in the DNA of J/crews!! With no less than four National Championships, the competition was incredibly close, for the first day. Spotting the shifts, and extra breeze, were keys to winning performances, with 15-20 knots of solid pressure coming off the land.  The planing, asymmetric J’s were romping around Tor Bay having a great time!  The Royal Torbay YC set two excellent WL courses, with three races completed by all classes.

    For the J/88 UK National Championship, the competition was intense, the biggest winning margin was 21 seconds, with four teams within a point of pole position after three races. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, was tied on points at the top, with David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream. Reigning J/88 UK National Champion, Gavin Howe's Tigris, won the last race of the day, to claim third, tied on points with Tim Tolcher's Raging Bull.

    “It was a cracking good day, great courses, great racing and a lot of fun,” commented Paul Ward. “The standard in the J/88 fleet just keeps going higher and higher. We are changing places three or four times every race. Make one mistake and you drop a place or two, get a good shift and you make it back again. Everybody is sailing really well, we have got half of a nose in front, and it is all to play for!”

    The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's Blackjack II, opened their defense in style, winning two races. However, Bob Baker's Jaywalker was just a point behind, having won the last race of the day. George Rock-Evans, skipper of J/97 Juno, scored three podium places to finish the first day, third in class.

    For the J/109 UK National Championship, three teams are tied at the top for first place, but only one of them actually won a race today. Robert Stiles' team racing Diamond Jem won the last race of the day, to secure pole position on countback from Simon Perry's Jiraffe, and David Richards' Jumping Jellyfish. Race winners in the J/109 Class included, Steve Berry's Blue Jay, and Stuart Hills' Jenesis. Mike Yates' Jago, and David McGough's Just So, also made the podium.

    For the J/111 UK National Championship, Tony Mack's McFly, continued their impressive form exhibited at Cowes Week, to lead the class after three races. However, Marco Van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeney, showed championship winning from pushing McFly in every race. Paul Griffiths' Jagerbomb scored two podium finishes to claim third.

    “We come all the way from Holland because we know we will get a great competition.” commented Marco Van Driel, owner of Sweeney. “The British J/111s are ahead of us, and we like to measure ourselves in a real competition, after a lot of effort and training back home. We did a good job today, we decided to go for it from the first start, to be keen and go for it. One thing that we really love about the J/111 Class, is that all of the other teams are so helpful, we are so happy because they make us feel incredibly welcome!!”

    In the IRC Class, Chaz Ivill's brand new J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, scored three straight bullets, to take a commanding lead in the class. By comparison, Andy Roberts J/105 Jin Tonic is second and William Newton's Jelly Baby is third. In the Handicap Class, J/70 Mjölnir, helmed by Rob Larke, leads after winning two of today's races, but it was far from easy, with Ralph Mason's J/92 Jaberwock just 3 seconds in Race 2, and Richard Puddifoot's J/70 Jibba Jabba less than a minute behind in today's first race.

    Day Two- Stormy and Wet!
    Thirty-knot squalls interspersed with beautiful sunshine and flat water, produced a testing race course for six classes. At times, the fleet disappeared upwind into the raging tempest, to return downwind, in a halo of bright sunlight. The bizarre weather tested boat handing skills, and stamina, considering the teams had now completed six races in two days.

    For the J/88 UK National Championship, all guns were blazing with three different teams scoring race wins in the feisty conditions. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream won the first race of the day by 35 seconds to take the lead in the championship. Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat, fought back winning Race 5, to regain the lead for the national title. The last race of the day was won by Tim Tolcher's Rajing Bull, by just 7 seconds. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat lead the class going into the final day.

    The reigning J/97 UK National Champions, Andy & Annie Howe's Blackjack II, still lead the class after winning two of today's races. However, the competition was hard on their heels. Bob Baker's Royal Lymington team, racing Jaywalker, was North Sails boat of the day, after finishing every race on the podium. Royal Torbay YC member George Rock-Evans, scored his first National Championship win, and Nick Barlow's Jeopardy II, scored two podium finishes.

    “We have our mascot, Blackjack Davy, strapped to the back of the boat, and he kept us all safe today. There was a lot of breeze and plenty of water below us and falling down from the sky.” smiled Blackjack's Andy Howe. “Our boat handling kept us in it today, and kept us in front.  Torquay holds a special place for us. We did our first J-Cup here and it is great to come back. It is a great place to sail. We are in a good position but we need at least one good result tomorrow, and the fleet are not far behind us, it is still all to play for.”

    For the J/109 UK National Championship, there is a new leader. Steve Berry's Cardiff Bay YC team, racing Blue Jay, scored three keepers today, and now lead the championship after discard. Simon Perry's Jiraffe had a day of ups and downs but two good races means that the Royal Southern YC team retain second place, just a single point off the lead. “Laugh rhymes with Jiraffe, hence the name.” commented Simon Perry. “We race hard but we love to enjoy our sailing as well, and the J-Cup has the right balance of fun and great racing.” David McGough's Just So, scored two good results and then won the last race of the day, to climb to third, just two points off the lead. “This is definitely the most competitive racing I have done.” Declared David Gough. “This is an exceptional regatta.”

    For the J/111 UK National Championship, Paul Van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeney was in scintillating form today. The team from Breskens showed excellent boat-handling skills in the brutal conditions to win all three races and take the lead in the championship. Sjaak Haaman's Dutch team, racing Red Herring, scored well, as did Tony Mack's McFly. The British owner driver was also spotted wearing a pair of frogman's goggles, ripping fun at the wet weather!

    In the IRC Class, Chaz Ivill’s J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, has now scored a perfect six bullets, securing the class win with a day to spare. The battle for second is a very even contest between two J/105s, both from the Royal Lymington YC.  Andy Roberts Jin Tonic holds the upper hand, by two points, but failed to finish the last race, William Newton's Jelly Baby is two points behind. Mike Wallis' J/122 Jamali, scored a 4-4-2 today, to challenge for the podium.

    Day Three- the Finale
    The last day was blessed with champagne conditions in beautiful Tor Bay. However, as we all know, when you pop a champagne cork it doesn't always all end up in the glass. A southwesterly breeze oscillated 20 degrees left and right during the day, and with tight racing in one design fleets, and closely matched handicap classes, getting the wrong side of a shift proved costly. The Royal Torbay Yacht Club produced two well-managed windward leeward courses, as the club has done for the entire event, and two races were held for all six classes.

    The intensity of racing in the J/88 fleet was exemplified by the fact that the winner only won a single race out of eight starts. Every mark rounding and wind shift became important with teams swapping places on many occasions. Richard Cooper's Jongleur and Tim Tolcher's Rajing Bull, both made the podium during the regatta, and 2016 National Champion, Gavin Howe's Tigris, finished in style, winning the last race. However, two teams battled for three days to take the prize. David & Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream, scored three bullets over three days of top class racing, but victory went to the new J/88 UK Open National Champion; Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat.

    “Awesome racing, it was really really close. The J/88 is a fast cool boat and lots of great people race in the class, who enjoy a drink and a get together after racing.” explained Paul Ward. “We were just in front when we started the last race, and it was very quiet on board - game face on. In the pre-start J-Dream came and had a little play, and we managed to defend that, and sailed our own race. This year the same team has sailed together for the whole of Cowes Week,  and the whole of this regatta, and we really won this yesterday, when the boat handling in tough conditions was spot on.”

    Torquay is a special place for Annie and Andy Howe; the Blackjack II team was formed at the 2009 J-Cup, which was held in Torquay. Back then the team's best result was a third, fast-forward to 2017, and Blackjack II has retained the UK National title for the J/97 Class. Bob Walker's Jaywalker was a worthy runner up, proudly representing the Royal Lymington YC, and local hero, George Rock-Evans, representing the Royal Torbay YC, was third.

    “Eight years ago we came to Torquay, and we picked up a few sailors here and there and we didn't do very well, but we started dreaming of winning,” commented Annie Howe.  “It has been an amazing adventure since then, and we have been getting better and better, and our dream has come true, we have had the most amazing time racing J/Boats. It is brilliant to back in Torquay, and come full circle, it is just so emotional and fantastic to come back and win, and it means a huge amount.”

    One of the most competitive J/109 Nationals for many years was played out in Torbay with ten boats scoring podium finishes during eight races. The winner came from behind, taking the championship in the very last encounter, having not won a single race. There is no finer example of the attitude - never give up.

    Before the last day, David Richard's Jumping Jellyfish was lying mid-fleet, but after gaining redress for a Race 6, the team moved up to fourth, and scoring a second place in Race 7, Jumping Jellyfish was leading the championship by 0.4 of a point from Simon Perry's Jiraffe. Steve Berry's Blue Jay was third. In the last race, Jumping Jellyfish held their nerve to score a fifth place, enough to win the J/109 Open UK National Championship. Blue Jay was runner up, and Jiraffe third.

    “It was an amazing win, unbelievable,” commented David Richards. “It was about never giving up, we thought we had an opportunity, and we took it. I have been racing J/109s since 2004, and that was probably the hardest ever, because there was no stand out boats, and winning was all about consistency, not making rash calls and trying to be a hero. Of the top three boats, only one got a bullet. This means absolutely everything to me; I have been trying to win this competition for 12 years. We came within an ounce of winning it three years ago, and we are a team of good sailors and great friends.”

    Paul van Driel's Dutch J/111 Sweeny is the new Open UK National Champion, after an impressive performance in Tor Bay. Sweeny scored five race wins out of eight, to lift the title. Tony Mack's McFly kept the championship alive with a win in Race 7, but Sweeny won the last race, to make no mistake. McFly was runner up for the championship, with Dutch team Red Herring, skippered by Sjaak Haaman in third.

    “It is unbelievable to beat the top British guys in British waters,” smiled Paul van Driel. “We have trained so hard for this, and I am incredibly proud of the crew. We have really put a lot of effort into this, everybody is so dedicated, they are second to none, and that is why we have won. Our feeling was to focus on McFly, they are the fastest boat in the fleet, and we were on them from the start, and we like strong wind, and it came good for us on the second day. On the last day, McFly was on us, and we were defending, and that worked out, but we had to be careful, because the other boats were coming good as well, and we were like two dogs fighting for a bone.”

    In the Handicap Class, Rob Larke helming J/70 Mjölnir, scored a fifth race win in the last race to secure the class, and Ralph Mason's J92 Jabberwock won a keen contest for runner up, from Richard Puddifoot's J/70 Jibba Jabba. Rob Larke's win was all the more amazing as he had undergone neck surgery, and was told by his doctor and his wife, that sailing was out of the question. However, Rob Larke was not going to miss the J-Cup!

    A total domination in the IRC Class was complete with Chaz Ivill's J/112E Davanti Tyres scoring eight straight bullets. Helmed by Marie-Claude Heys, the brand new design showed a great turn of speed at all angles of sail. The J/112E has now been unbeaten in 2017 in major regattas in France, and was also a class winner in this year's Round the Island Race. Key Yachting's Paul Heys was racing on board, as co-skipper.

    Key Yachting Sales Director, Hannah Le Prevost, took to the stage to announce the winner of the Landsail Tyres J-Cup. “Paul and Marie Claude Heys have been running the J-Cup for 18 years, and supporting J/Boats in the UK, and many other places. Always going above and beyond what was asked of them. They have raced at every J-Cup and have never walked away with the trophy. The new J/112E is a new boat, they have put together a team that have not sailed together before and made it work. If any team here was to make a score line of all bullets, we would be handing them the J-Cup. Paul and Marie Claude said they were not going to have it, that it was not for them. They have always given so much of themselves to other people, so perhaps this is a good time to give them the J-Cup.”

    Chaz Ivill's J/112E Davanti Tyres, helmed by Marie-Claude Heys and co-skippered by Paul Heys, was declared the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup winner. Three hundred guests at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup party gave the Davanti Tyres crew a standing ovation, followed by a superb set from Britain's best ten-piece soul-funk band- Joey the Lips. The party lasted well into the night, with the J-Cup family fully letting their hair down.   North Sails UK video footage.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ www.photoaction.com
     Follow the J/CUP on Facebook here   For more J/CUP U.K. sailing information

    MOSS SF Leads J/70 Norway League!
    (Larvik, Norway)- For the third event in the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League, there was much at stake for both Moss SF and KNS sailing clubs. Both had 1st and 2nd place overall for the series, respectively, to defend and to make sure they maintained their leads heading into the crucial finale in Moss, Norway over the September 7th to 9th weekend.

    For this past weekend’s regatta, Moss SF managed to sail into a second place, thus securing their place in final event to be a contender. At this stage in the overall series, the Moss Sf team will have to sail incredibly badly in their home waters if they are to avoid taking the 2017 gold! They have a 9-point lead over Åsgårdstrand SF.

    The KNS team did not have one of their better performances in the regatta series. The team sailed into a 13th place in Larvik and, thus, bring so many points into the final that it is in no way given that they fit into the finale in Moss.

    As for the Larvik event itself, it was Arendal SF that dominated completely by winning 8 of the 11 flights!  Taking second was Åsgårdstrand SF with 13 pts and third was KNS with 17 pts.   Follow the J/70 Norwegian Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Norwegian J/70 Sailing League information

    DTYC Lead German J/70 Sailing League Series!
    (Glucksburg, Germany)- It could not have been a more exciting weekend for the 1st and 2nd Sailing League J/70 Germany Sailing Leagues in Glücksburg. For the 2nd league, it was all or nothing; because the weekend decided which four clubs were going to be promoted to the 1st league in 2018!

    The four happy climbers into the 1st league after the weekend’s sailing were Itzehoe SC, Flensburg SC, the Academic Sailing Association Warnemünde, and the Blankeneser SC.

    "Our goal was not to finish any of the events worse than the fifth place. We succeeded! So, we are at the top of the table and we are very happy about participating in the 1st league," enthuses Christian Soyka, skipper of Itzehoe. Soyka’s crew included Moritz Burmester, Ole Harder and Oliver Lewin.

    1st Sailing League Report
    In the first sailing league, Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee won the event in Glücksburg. The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and the Deutscher Touring YC (DTYC) took second and third place. Before the Grand Finale, the DTYC leads the overall season series table ahead of the NRV and the Segel-und Motorboot Club Überlingen.

    The team from Bavaria still has a chance to defend their championship title from last year and there is no question it will be close, tough racing in Berlin.  Just six point separate the top three teams after five events in the season series- Prien, Lindau, Kiel, Travemunde, & Glucksburg.

    The Grand Finale will take place from the 1st to 3rd of November in Berlin.

    Sailing League videos:   NRV Sailing Team   Summary      Interviews
    Follow German J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here  For more German J/70 Sailing League information

    Åländska Lead Finland J/70 Sailing League
    (Helsinki, Finland)- By winning eleven of their fifteen races sailed, the remarkably fast and smart crew on the Åländska Segelsällskapet 1 Team walked off with the honors at their most recent Finnish sailing league event in Helsinki.

    Taking place over the August 19th and 20th weekend, the regatta PRO managed to run the full slate of fifteen races for the teams gathered from all four corners of Finland.  While the Åländska team sailed head and shoulders above everyone else in the fleet, behind them it was quite a battle for the balance of the podium.  Taking second was the Mariehamns Seglarforening with 31 pts and finishing in third place was Helsingors Segelklubb with 37 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Turun Pursiseura Team in 4th and the Brando Seglare Team in 5th position.

    As a result, after two events, the Åländska team is leading the series with a 2nd in their home waters of Aland and a 1st in Helsinki for a total of 3 pts.  The biggest battle is for the rest of the top five; all separated by just 3 pts- meaning the provisional standings can shift quite dramatically each regatta.  Sitting in second is Mariehamns with 8 pts, Brando is third with 9 pts, Nylandska is 4th with 10 pts, and Helsingfors is 5th with 11 pts!  Follow the Finnish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here   For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information

    Biblical, Stormy Ida Lewis Distance Race
    J/105 Youth Team Dominates-- Again!
    (Newport, RI)– The weather started out gloomy, then got downright nasty for the 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race, which started Friday, August 18 off Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI. A forecast calling for storms to pass over the race course during the night convinced seven of the original 40 entrants to drop out prior to the start for six classes (IRC, PHRF Spinnaker A, PHRF Spinnaker B, PHRF Cruising Spinnaker, Doublehanded and Multihull). Of the remaining 33 teams, an additional ten were forced to retire due to damaged equipment or other problems incurred during multiple squalls that left memorable impressions and their calling cards of driving rain and winds gusting 40+ knots.

    “It was biblical,” said Brian Cunha, who took overall honors in PHRF division and won his 11-boat PHRF Class A with a crew comprised primarily of local sailors. “It was just one cell after another, and it was raining so hard you couldn’t have your face into the wind, because it hurt so much. We were waiting for Noah’s Ark to come floating by!”

    The two PHRF Spinnaker classes and the IRC class sailed a 150 nautical mile course that took them to Buzzard’s Bay Tower, past Block Island to a government mark off Montauk Point, back to Buzzard’s Bay Tower and then back to Block Island before heading home. The first storm hit on the first stretch to Buzzard’s Bay Tower, making for a long, wet, yet exhilarating night of competition.

    Perhaps most impressive was the performance by the American YC’s Junior Big Boat Team aboard their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN.  They persevered with three others teams in Spinnaker B to finish the race and take the top trophy for its first-place finish as well as the Arent H. Kits van Heyningen Trophy for the race’s Top Youth Challenge.

    “We knew the forecast wasn’t going to be easy on us but we didn’t think we’d see 50 knots,” said Constantyn van der Voort (Rye, N.Y.), who helped steer and ran things in the J/105’s cockpit. “That was a little scary, because we had three sails up… the storm jib, the #3 jib on the furler and the mainsail.” His crewmate Nick Hein (Westport, Conn.), who was on bow, said that the team of eight is preparing for the next Newport to Bermuda Race. “This was the most open ocean sailing we’ve ever done as a team,” he said.

    In the PHRF A division, Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE took the silver.  Then, in the IRC Big Boat division, Jack Gregg’s J/122 TARAHUMARA took 5th place.  Finally, in PHRF B class, Bill Kneller’s crew toughed it out as well sailing their J/109 VENTO SOLARE to 4th.

    Photo is of Maddie Ploch, one of two members that were so successful in last year’s Newport to Bermuda race.  She’s driving the Young American J/105 off the start of Friday’s Ida Lewis Distance Race.  Sailing photo credits- Stephen Cloutier.  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information

    Ida Lewis DR photos and videos on Facebook here:

    Blustery Chester Race Week!
    (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)- Rain, cold and expected gusts of 30-plus knots per hour held back some Chester Race Week fleets, but others headed out on the water to finish their races on the fourth and final day of the regatta.  The event provided four days of racing on August 16 to 19 in the picturesque and historic seaside Village of Chester, Nova Scotia.

    In addition, the event is famous for its onshore entertainment, food and parties.  For starters, four great food trucks were on the grounds for all four days giving all lots of options for tasty eats, drinks, and hot coffee.  Then, the entertainment schedule was full all four days; the “Hopping Penguins” opened and closed the event on Wednesday and Saturday! Then the group “Party Boots” will be on Thursday and on Friday and, in addition, they had one of Atlantic Canada’s finest party bands “Asia & NuGruv!”  Sounds exhausting!

    The weather had some spectacular days and some ugly ones.  The fleets included one-design racing for J/70s, J/24s, and J/29s as well as offshore PHRF fleets. Winning the J/70s was Graeme Carr’s JOYRIDIN’ with, literally, all 1sts in 12 races!  Lying second was Kim Gibson’s SEE’YA and third was Peggy Bethune’s POINT EIGHT.

    In the J/24s, it was Chris Veinot’s HYPEWAVE that won with all 1sts and 2nds.  Second was Jon Reid’s BARELY LEGAL and third place went to Caroline Muselet’s CODFATHER.

    The large 8-boat J/29 fleet saw Scott Covey’s RUMBLEFISH take the title with three wins in six races.  Second was Jane Fibee’s PAINKILLER, winning the last race and amassing 15 pts in six races.  Third was Don Williams’ PARADIGM SHIFT with 17 pts.

    In the world of PHRF handicap racing, winning PHRF 1 was Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION.  In fact, there were four J/120s sailing in the class.  Ron Stewart’s J/120 SLICE took 5th place.  In PHRF 2 class, three J/35s dominated the top five.  Winning was Andrew Childs’ HELOC with Thane McDonald’s J-HAWK in 2nd and Rod Johnstone & Gary Bennett’s J’AI TU in 5th.  Winning PHRF 3 class was Terry McKenna’s J/100 DOG PARTY, followed by Colin Mann’s J/92 POOHSTICKS; rounding out the top five were Richard Gerstenberger’s J/105 AXIS in 4th and James Mosher’s J/105 MOJO in 5th place. Finally, in PHRF 4 class was yet another J/crew winning- Jesleine Baker’s J/30 JUST ADD WATER.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes.  For more Chester Race Week sailing information

    J/Crews Enjoy Whale-watching in San Francisco!
    (San Francisco, CA)- On a day that started grey and not particularly windy, the St Francis YC hosted their annual Aldo Alessio & Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regattas for boats LOA >35' or holding an ORR-fully measured certificate.

    Friday's races involved heading out the Golden Gate to marks out in the ocean. As if on cue, some of the Pacific's more majestic creatures joined in as the attached pix will attest. Humpbacks, Dolphins and Seals were all in attendance and a good time was had by all.  Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the fleet continued sailing in J/105 and J/111 classes in the Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta.

    In Friday’s racing, Chris Kim’s J/105 VUJA STAR took third in the PHRF ToT Division.  Meanwhile, the J/111’s cleaned up in the ORR ToT Division, with Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY winning and Reuben Rocci’s SWIFT NESS taking 2nd, Gorkem Ozcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT placed 5th.

    Over the two-day weekend, Ryan Simmons’ crew on BLACKHAWK won two races and closed with two 2nds to seal the deal in the J/105 class with just 9 pts in five races.  Second was the duo of Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault on ARBITRAGE, winning the last race but not enough to reel in BLACKHAWK, finishing with 13 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Doug Bailey’s AKULA, closing with two 3rds to finish third place with 18 pts.

    In the J/111s, the fleet was gearing up for this week’s J/111 World Championship.  Winning with three bullets and two 2nds was Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY.  Just one point back with the flip-flop of the KEY’s record was Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY- two bullets and three 2nds!  Taking the bronze was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS with 20 pts total.

    In the weekend ORR ToT Division, Jack Clapper’s J/44 continued racing and was sitting in 3rd place, but unfortunately, had to score a DNF in their last race and dropped to 4th place.   Sailing Photo credits- Chris Ray   For more Swiftsure & Aldo Alessio sailing information

    What J/sailors and friends are doing around the world

    * The J/24 Districts took place on Lake Erie two weekends ago.  We got a quick report from Brett Langolf, crewing for his J/24 friends while not sailing his famous light-air flyer- the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP! Said Brett,

    “Our J/24 fleet came out strong- young and old alike- for the 2017 District 12 championships at Sandusky Sailing Club in Sandusky, Ohio.

    We had a great mix of sailors across many generations, and that brought very tough competition to Sandusky Bay. BOOYAH! US 3689 came out on top to win the regatta without winning a single race!!  Our team consisted of owners Louie Palmer and Bill Semans, along with John Stauffer and me as crew (Brett Langolf).  We had a blast on the old J/24!!”
    Add to Flipboard Magazine.

  • J/Newsletter- August 16th, 2017
    J/121 Offshore Speedster Decked!
    Launch Week of August 21st!
    (Newport, RI)- The amazing new J/121 Offshore short-handed speedster is coming together, in more ways than one.  She is looking fast, sleek and powerful- an offshore reaching machine!

    Just this past week, after all systems had been installed for engine, power-train, steering, plumbing, electrical and the water-ballast distribution pumps and manifolds, the deck was fitted and installed!

    Exciting times for the J/Design team and the team at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI!  Yet another “All-American” design, engineering, and build program is now coming to fruition and it is expected the J/121 will ultimately make its maiden voyage down Narragansett Bay to be in Newport for the boat show.
    For more J/121 Offshore Short-handed Speedster sailing information

    AUDI J/70 Worlds Update
    (Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Every year sailors from all over the world check out Porto Cervo’s ideal sailing conditions characterized by prevailing northwesterly breezes which make it an outstanding place to sail in crystal clear, emerald-colored sea.  The Italian J/70 Class is going full steam ahead to make sure to provide J/70 sailors with the best possible experience on and off the water for what is going to be a great event: a mix of very competitive racing, steady breeze, emerald water, warm weather and the worlds’ best after sail parties where you'll feast on fantastic Italian food and wine.

    Now, there is just one month to go for the first start of the most awaited one-design keelboat event of 2017, the Audi J/70 World Championship, thta will be hosted in the facilities of YC Costa Smeralda from September 12th to 16th.

    Registrations, which had to be closed more than two months before the start of the event, reached the record the record of one hundred and seventy-five participants representing twenty-four nations: numbers that make the Audi J/70 World Championship one of the most populous events ever with one-design keelboats.

    Among the entries, the Americans aboard CATAPULT will arrive in Italy to defend the title won last year: the owner and helmsman Joel Ronning will be assisted in tactical choices by John Kostecki.

    In the large group of American boats, SAVASANA is also to be kept in the spotlight: owner Brian Keane, eighth in the San Francisco World Championship of 2016 and winner of the 2017 USA Corinthian J/70 Nationals, will be entrusted with Stu McNay’s tactical calls- McNay is a 470 sailor for the US Olympic team and won the M24 World title in 2016.

    Then, the three crews on the podium at the recent J/70 European Championship will also be in attendance- 1st- Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE (now a two-times continental champion), assisted on tactics by Olympian athlete Michele Paoletti; 2nd- Josè Maria Torcida’s Spanish crew on NOTICIA and 3rd- Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY from America. The American entry came to Italy for the last event of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP season and promptly won the event!  They aspire to do the same in the World Championship.

    The Italian fleet will be the most represented with thirty-seven boats, followed closely by the German teams, with thirty-one crews in the entry list.

    Among the Italians, in addition to the already mentioned PETITE TERRIBLE, there will also be the winners of the 2017 ALCATEL J/70 CUP circuit on board Carlo Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK, as well as the champions of the 2015 and 2016 editions of the same circuit, with L’ELAGAIN skippered by Franco Solerio.

    The battle will also be tough in the Corinthian category, reserved for non-professionals: eighty crews will be in play to find out who will succeed Shawn Bennett, winner of the 2016 Corinthians.  Among the favorites, there is also an Italian boat, WHITE HAWK skippered by Gianfranco Noè- they won Corinthians in every event of the 2017 season for the ALCATEL J/70 CUP.

    For the members and sailors of YCCS, it will be a September to remember!  Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, they are also hosting the ROLEX Maxi 72 Worlds, many with top J/70 sailors/ tacticians on board!

    The YCCS 50th Anniversary Regatta will be held between these two events, on 10th September, and will be open to all yachts of over 20 feet with an ORC or IRC measurement certificate. Given the large numbers of J/70s, the fleet will have a separate start and real-time scoring. This will be a unique opportunity for racing and cruising boats to take part in the celebrations to mark a significant anniversary in Italian and international yachting.

    The month concludes with the third edition of the AUDI SAILING Champions League (22nd to 24th September) sailing on the YCCS fleet of a dozen J/70s.  It is the finale for teams from top yacht clubs around Europe having qualified through their individual national leagues. Winning in 2016 was the team representing the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club and more than 30 teams will fight it out in a series of flights on board the YCCS J/70 fleet.

    With the sporting events taken care of, the YC Costa Smeralda's activities then move to Milan where the One Ocean Forum will take place on 3rd and 4th October. The event is supported by UNESCO and the SDA Bocconi Sustainability Lab. Advocated by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, President of the YCCS Board of Directors, this will be the first Italian forum addressing the theme of sustainability relating to marine and coastal environments. The initiative, which will become a recurring appointment, and will be the highlight of the activities to celebrate the YC Costa Smeralda's 50th anniversary.  For more YC Costa Smeralda club information  For more AUDI J/70 World Championship sailing information

    J/111 World Championship Preview
    (San Francisco, CA)- Every team’s journey to a starting line is a tale of organization, crew alignment, vessel preparation and practice. Add in international travel, and the complexity snowballs. Then, weave in the pressures and prestige of a World Championship— in this case the 2017 J/111 World Championships (August 23-27, 2017), hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California— and the situation compounds. The emphasis on organization and practice is a constant, but the logistics escalate the farther afield you venture.

    But, what if the crew is (mostly) from Australia, the regatta is in San Francisco, and the boat is one that no one on the team has sailed? For skipper Rod Warren (AUS) and his crew, the rhumbline to the 2017 J/111 Worlds hasn’t been simple. While Warren has owned and raced his J/111 JOUST (AUS 1110) for the last four years in Melbourne, Australia, bringing her to the USA was a bridge too far. With transpacific vessel shipping off the table, he said “the hardest thing was finding a charter boat and a good owner.” When these efforts came up shy, Warren got creative.

    One of Warren’s Aussie mates, Phil Simpfendorfer, was shopping for a J/111 and found one in the Bay Area (Rob Theis’s former Aeolus). Phone calls and discussions ensued, and— to cut a long, dead-downwind leg short— Simpfendorfer generously offered Warren and crew (including Bay Area locals Chris Watts and Jennifer Canestra) a crack at the World Championship title using his boat before she gets shipped back to Australia.

    “It's a lucky break and an incredibly generous friend,” said Warren, who is now busily preparing for San Francisco conditions. “We love the wind and are used to big seas. Recently, we’ve been sailing in heavier winds, perfecting some new techniques. Time will tell if they work.”

    The St. Francis YC is no stranger to hosting international teams for World Championship events, or to welcoming sailors to San Francisco Bay’s gorgeous natural amphitheater. “My event co-chair Susan Ruhne and I are looking forward to welcoming competitors and their families to the Club,” said Gerard Sheridan, co-chair of the 2017 J/111 Worlds. “We love sharing the St. Francis YC experience with visitors, many who will be here for the first time.”

    In addition, for some sailors first experiencing St. Francis YC and the Bay through this regatta, this will be the first time the J/111 Class (established 2012) will host an international championship on the West Coast, as their previous two World Championships were in the United Kingdom (2014 and 2016) and Newport, Rhode Island (2015).

    “With our typical August conditions here on the Bay, a fleet of local and visiting J/111s will be a sight to behold, planing downwind in the afternoon breeze,” said Sheridan.

    Of the ten teams currently registered, four are from the Bay Area while the other six, including Warren’s JOUST crew, are from elsewhere. “Local knowledge is almost always a factor at most racing venues,” said Sheridan. “However, I find most good visiting teams to the Bay quickly get the big picture of our current patterns, tidal cycles, and rules of thumb that locals are happy to share.”

    Sheridan suggested that visiting teams consider arriving a week early and competing in the Aldo Alessio and Phyllis Kleinman Swiftsure Regatta (August 19-21).  He also advised that St. Francis YC’s world-famous Rolex Big Boat Series (September 14-17) unfurls a few weeks later and could be a consideration for teams that mastered the Bay during the J/111 Worlds.

    No matter your plotted rhumbline to this World Championship, you can bet your last shackle that St. Francis YC’s seasoned Race Committee will deliver world-class racecourse management and the Club’s shoreside volunteers and staff will ensure welcoming après-sailing activities.  For more J/111 World Championship sailing information

    J/70 Women’s Keelboat Worlds Preview
    (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- “There is a precise word to describe how we feel regarding your visit- honored.  Honored that you have chosen our little oasis as the venue for your prestigious championship. The peña that backs our club house and watches over the lake has witnessed four generations of friends become family.

    From the days in the late 50´s when our grandparents sailed Lido fourteens, to the days in the 80´s and 90´s when our parents enthusiastically made sailors of us on the Optimists, sailing has been the core of our story of affection.  Out of it we have harvested many gifts, perhaps the most meaningful is the understanding of sportsmanship.

    No matter how feisty a race might become, the victory has always been rejoicing over a petroleo* chased by a beer at the club bar.  The “petroleo”- a traditional Mexican tequila-based cocktail, and staple at the club´s bar.

    Another facet that has enhanced this tale has been the camaraderie developed among the sailors of the several clubs in Valle de Bravo.  Thus, sailing has been the basis of our Valle community.

    Once more, sailing is the basis of an even greater community that transcends borders with your visit. The passion that we all share for the telltales flying and the waves splashing creates an immediate connection of a brethren kind that we are certain you will feel as soon as we embrace you in a welcoming hug.

    Your visit is very meaningful to us.  It will rejuvenate the sailor´s blood in our community and inspire us to pass on the joy of sailing to our children.  For this and much more, we are thankful.

    My most heartfelt gratitude to the members and employees of our club, the J/70 class, the sponsors, and US Sailing for your generosity and support.  Please feel most welcome!”  Those are the kind, welcoming words from Roberto “Pollo” Escalante, the Vice Commodore of Club de Vela La Peña and also the Chair of the 2017 IWKC in Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

    The summer is Valle de Bravo´s rainy season.  A typical summer day begins with a sunny morning.  It develops the thermal breeze that comes in between 11 am and 12 pm.  Then the breeze holds until 3-4 pm, when the traditional afternoon shower comes in. Sometimes the rain comes in earlier, sometimes later, and sometimes it does not rain at all.  The temperature will range from low 60´s to mid 70´s.  Very temperate.  However, as many J/24 and J/70 sailors will tell you, NEVER trust local weather forecasts, since there are no stations at Valle, forecasts are often wrong!

    A very competitive contingent of women’s J/70 teams have assembled for the event.  Here are the individual team biographies:

    American Teams:
    - Team Despacito Senoritas- Vivien Allan is our main trimmer/tactician, Amy Clark is our jib/kite trimmer and Lindsay Benton is our bow gal.  Don’t be fooled by the direct translation of our team moniker Despacito (Slowly) Señoritas; instead, like us, it is inspired by the very popular, super fun, sassy, sexy, Spanish/English song Despacito by artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
    - Team BAAM!- Allie Blecher, Beka Schiff, Molly Noble, and Ali Blumenthal
    - Team Seattle- Kathryn Meyer, Ramona Barber, Melanie Edwards, Nikki Daniel
    - Team Your “Mom”- Team "Your Mom" is very excited to sail in the 2017 IKWC. All four of sailors grew up sailing on Lake Erie in Ohio. Liz Barker, Taylor Robinson, Megan Riddle, Audrey Sheehan
    - TEAM ‘MER- Megan Ploch (skipper), Erin Dubinski (main), Alix Hahn (tactics/jib), Carolyn Russell (kite trim and bow), representing American Yacht Club in Rye, NY,
    - Team Scooter- Liz Hjorth, Stine Cacavas, Karyn Jones, and (inset) Jennifer Arrington
    - Team CJ Racing- Team CJ Racing is comprised of Emily Maxwell, Elizabeth Dudley, Avery Field and Katy Nastro. Emily and Avery are cousins and grew up competing against one another in Optimists
    - Team SDYC- The team is made up of San Diego Yacht Club sailors – Giselle Camet Nyenhuis, Betty Sherman, Stacey Szabo, and Alexa Cavalieri.

    Mexican Teams:
    - Team Racing Comadres- Eliane Fierro, Margarita Pazos, Caty Pi-Suñer, Valeria Pi-Suñer
    - Team Chiquitas Pero Picosas- The Flores sisters (Manuela, Casilda, & Camila) and the Sole sisters (Ana Clare & Sophia)

    The Valle de Bravo “Weather Report” on YouTube.   Follow the J/70 Women’s Keelboat World’s here  For more International J/70 Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information

    Landsail Tyres J/CUP U.K. Preview
    (Torquay, United Kingdom)- The thrill and fun of the J-Cup, celebrating its 18th birthday at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Torquay, South Devon, England, will be running this coming weekend from 17th to 19th August.

    The Landsail Tyres J-Cup in Partnership with B&G, has eight races scheduled over three days of highly competitive racing, with excellent facilities ashore and a great social program.

    The regatta features four UK National Championships for the J/111, J/109, J/88 & J/97 Classes, and other J/Boats are also racing under IRC handicap classes.

    “The first J-CUP was in 2000, and it has proved to be a fantastic get together for the J/Clan,” commented Paul Heys from Key Yachting, the exclusive agent for J/Boats in the UK and Ireland.

    “Every Fastnet year, it makes sense for the regatta to be based in the West Country, and the dates are chosen to fit after the Fastnet finish, and before Torbay and Dartmouth Royal Regattas. We have been to Torbay Yacht Club twice before, and the club is so keen to have us back, plus the facilities are excellent with a superb marina and a lovely bay to sail in, which is easy to reach from the Fastnet finish at Plymouth, just 50 miles away.

    The J-CUP is not a rally, it is a very competitive regatta, and the motto of the event is to ‘race hard and play hard’. So once the final race is finished, we have a big hoedown on the Saturday night, with a grand prize giving, and live music from the sensational soul, rock and funk band- Joey the Lips.”   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ photoaction.com   Follow the J/CUP U.K. on Facebook here   For more J/CUP U.K. sailing information

    AUDI Hamilton Race Week Preview
    (Hamilton Island, Australia)- AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival. Every August, spectators and yachties from around the globe sail to Hamilton Island for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta.

    Perfectly situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, amongst Queensland's 74 Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.

    This year, the regatta is taking place from the 19th to 26th of August.  Participating this year is a select group of top J/crews sailing their larger boats.  The biggest J/team as the event is the J/160 SALACIA, sailed by Stephen Everett and his wife, family and friends.  Stephen bought the boat in America, and sailed her across from California, then Mexico, then across the Pacific to Australia!  An epic cruise it was! Now the Everett’s are enjoying their boat in the gorgeous waters of the Whitsundays!

    Then, a similar story holds true for the J/130 RAGTIME.  Chris & Bernadette Morgan acquired her in 2012 and brought her across the Pacific to Australia. Based at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, RAGTIME has been actively racing in Queensland events. RAGTIME’s major win so far was the 2014 Brisbane to Keppel Race!

    Finally, the J/122 JAVELIN was recently purchased in May 2017 by skipper James Crowley.  Her first regatta success was the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta, skippered by Sally Crowley, taking EHC Division 1 1st!  They are aiming for a full racing program in 2017/18 commencing with the Brisbane to Keppel Race and Hamilton Island Race Week.  For more AUDI Hamilton Island Race Week sailing information

    Ida Lewis Distance Race Preview
    (Newport, RI)- The list of registrants for the annual Ida Lewis Distance Race is growing daily.  Currently, 42 teams are signed up for the event’s 13th edition, scheduled for Friday, August 18. Ida Lewis Yacht Club has been hosting and running sailboat races all summer long, but this is its signature regatta, much adored by local sailors as well as those who travel here from across the region and the continent to compete.

    “It’s always nice to do a short offshore race,” said John Gowell. “This one is not too intense, it’s overnight, and it covers beautiful sailing grounds. The logistics are also easy; that’s a big attraction.”

    With turning marks at Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Tower, the race course for the Ida Lewis Distance Race can be anywhere from 107 to 169 miles. The course is chosen on the day of the start and driven by the forecast conditions.

    The race’s – and club’s – namesake is the heroic lighthouse keeper who saved many a life during her tenure at “Lime Rock” upon which Ida Lewis Yacht Club is famously perched in Newport Harbor. Ida Lewis often rowed a dory to rescue soldiers in peril on the water between the “rock” and the hard place of Fort Adams. Off Fort Adams is where the start is planned on Friday at 12:30, so spectators can take a lunch-hour break to catch the action.  The Double-Handed Fleet starts first, followed by Multihulls at 12:45, PHRF Class at 1:00 and IRC Class at 1:15.)

    The finish is off the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, anywhere from 18 to 29 hours later, depending on the weather.

    A total of 10 J/Boats are sailing in the event after Ida Lewis organizers reached out to participants competing in J/Fest New England, which precedes the distance race on Aug. 11-13; that’s about 25% of the 40-boat fleet.

    IRC class will host an interesting mix of boats.  Three J/122s – MOXIEE (Daniel Heun, Franklin, Mass.), ORION (Paul Milo, Leesburg, Virginia) and TARAHUMARA (Jack Gregg, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) – will make it interesting with their equally matched hulls.

    PHRF Spinnaker Class has five J’s in the field, including two J/105s (Charles Stoddard’s FALCON 2.0 and the Young American Junior Big Boat Team on YOUNG AMERICAN), Bill Kneller’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE, Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE, and EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT.

    In the PHRF Doublehanded Class, Dwight McMillan’s J/109 AVIATO will be taking on four other classmates for line and handicap honors.

    The Ida Lewis Distance Race includes Youth and Collegiate Challenges and is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF) and the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC). Top Trophies are The Russell L. Hoyt Memorial Trophy for best elapsed time in IRC division; The Commodore’s Trophy for best-corrected time in IRC division; The Lois J. Muessel Memorial Trophy for best elapsed time in PHRF division; and The Lime Rock Trophy for best-corrected time in PHRF division.

    Gold sponsors for the 2017 Ida Lewis Distance Race are New England Boatworks and City of Newport. Silver sponsors are Bluewater Technologies, Helly Hansen, and Newport Shipyard; Bronze sponsors are North Sails, Rig Pro Southern Spars, and Stella Artois. Contributing Sponsors are DYT Yacht Transport, Flint Audio & Video, Goslings Rum, Mac Designs, Toni Mills Graphic Design, and Triton Insurance.  Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown  For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information

    Calling All J/Boat Owners and Sailors!
    Spend Your Winter Sailing in Puerto Vallarta!
    (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta Mexico would like to welcome all J/Boats to come and race with us this winter in beautiful Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

    For those of you that have not sailed in Banderas Bay, the weather is perfect everyday and the wind comes up about Noon-time and blows 7 to 20 knots!

    Club Membership entitles free use of the single point hoist and there is a large boat storage lot with rates of just $3.00 per day.  Slips are available but sell out each year. We have a wonderful facility with a great Restaurant, locker room, pool, small boats and many fun events.

    We currently have and active fleet of J/70’s with about 9 boats and 5 J/80's. J/World Sailing is also here to improve your skills on J/80's.  We have one J/105 that seems to win many of the big boat races.

    We have an active race schedule planned this year with weekly beer-can races. If you can't bring your boat, come on down and crew!

    Some of the recent and future Regattas, J/70 Mexican National Championships, Vallarta Cup, WesMex Internacional Small boat Regatta (240 boats), Banderas Bay Regatta, Banderas Bay Blast, Regatta de la Revolucion, and Races after The Baja Ha-Ha. We also have an active Junior Program.  Plus, it is a San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race year, which means lots of fun on all kinds of boats for MEXORC- a series of races held in Banderas Bay after the race finishes!

    Dan Kelsey from Dillon, Colorado explains, “I trailered my J/80 HARMATTAN from Lake Dillon Colorado to Puerto Vallarta last November and returned in April.  Planning to go back again this year stopping in Texas for J/Fest October 21-23! Shipping your boat can be arranged.”

    Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest cities in North America with easy access via the busy Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport. Here is the link to Rentals and Documentation on safest cities.

    To learn more about the VYC’s fabulous winter program, please don’t hesitate to contact- Daniel Kelsey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or Daniel Green (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or Wayne Zittel @ J/World (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).   For more Vallarta YC member and sailing information

    J/Sailing News

    The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

    This past week saw the inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship take place in the hallowed waters of Narragansett Bay, with nine youth sailing club teams from across America competing to win a FREE J/70 for their unlimited usage at their sailing club. Hosted by SAIL NEWPORT at their Fort Adams Sailing Facility, the RC/PRO team managed to run 25 races over the three-day regatta!  Simultaneously, the 2nd annual J/Fest New England Regatta took place, also hosted by SAIL NEWPORT for fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/109s.  Then, out in the Midwest, sailing on the Great Lakes were two other significant events.  Off Chicago’s spectacular waterfront, the Chicago YC hosted their annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta for one-design fleets of J/105s, J/109s, and J/111s.  Then up on Lake Superior, the Apostle Island Station of the Wayzata YC in Minnesota hosted their annual Bayfield Race Week for a range of J/crews from J/70s up to a classic J/120!

    Across the big pond, there were two significant events that concluded this past week.  One was the first act of the SAILING Champions League.  It was sailed on J/70s in St Petersburg, Russia and hosted by the Royal St Petersburg YC.  Then, the “mother-of-all-offshore-races”, the one and only famous ROLEX Fastnet Race, took off with a record fleet and after the cloud of salt spray had been cleared away, again several J/teams had fantastic performances; including a J/122E, a J/133, and a J/109.

    Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page  Below are the summaries.

    Regatta & Show Schedules:

    Aug 18-20- Swiftsure Regatta- San Francisco, CA
    Aug 18- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
    Aug 19-26- AUDI Hamilton Race Week- Hamilton Island, Australia
    Aug 23-27- J/111 World Championship- San Francisco, CA
    Aug 25-27- Breskens Sailing Weekend- Breskens, The Netherlands
    Sep 12-16- J/70 World Championship- Porto Cervo, Italy
    Sep 14-17- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
    Sep 15-23- J/24 World Championship- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Sep 22-24- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
    Sep 24- Oct 1- J/24 European Championship- Lake Balaton, Hungary
    Sep 30- Oct 1- J/70 East Coast Championship- Deltaville, VA

    For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

    Santa Barbara YC Crowned U.S. J/70 Youth Champions!
    SBYC Wins FREE Use of a J/70 for 12 months!
    (Newport, RI)- The inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship had its fair share of drama after two days of sailing.  Tight racing.  Teams pushing the envelope tactically all weekend long.  Close-quarters racing producing dramatic turn-arounds at each corner of the course. As each race unfolded, yet another wind shift and puff pushed another group of boats past leaders in front of them.  To say the least, it was about as atypical weather conditions anyone could imagine from a “locals” point of view in Newport.

    Ultimately, winning and demonstrating good tactical decision-making capability, extraordinary boat-handling, and a steady boat-speed advantage through-out the regatta was the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team- skippered by Lucas Pierce with an excellent crew of Ryan Eastwood, Chris Kayda, Payne Donaldson, and Kris Ozolins.  It was a remarkable performance, especially considering the wildly fluctuating and variable wind conditions every team had to contend with over the three-day regatta.

    The sailing conditions delivered by the weather Gods surely contributed to the drama and anxiety experienced by the various teams.  On Friday, it was a cruise ship floating around the bay off Newport that kept winds fluctuating from the SSE to SSW direction.  Then, on Saturday, after a long weather delay/ postponement, an ornery passage of a weather front ultimately produced a heavy gray mist and a good breeze from the south to finish a second round of nine races by early evening.  Sunday’s finale was no different, fog, then sun, then good breeze, then a thermal breeze shutdown by a front with high-level northwesterly breezes!

    All things considered, the regatta format permitted good teams to rise to the top given enough opportunities to get there!  In the Sunday morning “repechage” round that consisted of four races on Sunday morning, the top three teams were Annapolis YC, Little Traverse YC and Coral Reef YC.  They joined the double-round-robin leaders- Santa Barbara YC, Sail Newport and Severn Sailing Association.

    The finale started just after noon time. Winning the first race was Sail Newport’s team led by Brendan Read.  Then, in the second race, Annapolis YC (skippered by Porter Kavle) won by a large margin.  Then, in the third race, Sail Newport Youth Team won again.  There was no question the Santa Barbara YC crew were feeling the heat, especially from the local youth team from Sail Newport.

    In the fourth race, the wind went crazy, going light and mixing cat’s-paws with small streaks and shifting at least 50 degrees.  Two boats shot into a leg and half lead, in second was Santa Barbara, having seen the first streak and shot right to grab it and take off around the windward mark.  Sail Newport went left and missed it, bobbing in the powerboat chop. The race was ultimately canceled due to the time limit, much to everyone’s delight!  As a result, with no visible wind in sight and less than forty minutes to the regatta time limit, PRO Dooley wisely decided it was time to call it a day and fired off three guns to mark the end of racing.

    As a result, winning the regatta by ten points was the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team.  Second was the SAIL NEWPORT Youth Team comprised of Brendan Read, Andrew Sherrin, Kate Nota, and Ted Bjerregaard.  Third was Annapolis YC Youth Team comprised of Porter Kavle, Will Comerford, Benjamin Podlich, and Jake Viskers.  Rounding out the top five was Severn Sailing Association Youth Team in 4th and Coral Reef YC in 5th place.

    At the awards ceremony, the Santa Barbara YC Youth Team (pictured here) was presented not just with their keeper trophies, but also the FREE J/70 their club gets to use for twelve months!  The SBYC Vice Commodore Scott Deardorff, himself a J/70 sailor, is looking forward to utilizing their FREE J/70 (complete with a brand new suit of North Sails and Triad Trailer) for club events, youth keelboat development and, perhaps, even women’s keelboat development!

    Regatta Chairman- Stu Johnstone- remarked, “it was amazing to see the high-level of competitiveness by all nine teams.  Having sailed against some of them in past J/70 events, it was evident most could compete in the top ten in any major J/70 regatta, that is how much they had improved over the course of the year.  I also wanted to thank all the boat owners who donated their boats for the event- SAIL 22 (Ed & Becky Furry), Tim Healy, Henry Brauer, and Juan Reid from Chile- without them there would be no regatta!”

    Regatta sponsors included North Sails (providing 6 brand new suits of sails), Harken (promoting their “Blockheads” project), MJM Yachts’ Bob Johnstone (who also donated the free J/70), Sail Newport (Brad Read and Vinnie Pattavina), and SAIL 22 (especially, the help of Sam House- as the regatta bosun).

    Finally, kudos to the Regatta PRO Kevin Dooley, the Offshore Racing Coach from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy- amazing job for running 25 races in crazy weather conditions!  And, thanks to his supporting  cast on the Race Committee- Bill Canfield, Oakley Jones, Paul Hazlett, Bob Spagnolo, Richard Barker, Jack Fisher, and Macken Offspring!  Follow U.S. J/70 Youth Championships on Facebook here.   Sailing photo credits- Matthew Cohen   For more U.S. J/70 Youth Championship sailing information and results

    German NRV Team Win SAILING Champions League- Act 1!
    (St Petersburg, Russia)- A thrilling climax saw the regatta come down to the final race to decide Act 1 of the SAILING Champions League. The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg won the decisive race in St. Petersburg.

    The NRV managed to handle the difficult conditions best with shifty, weak winds on the Neva River in the city center of St. Petersburg. On Sunday, the north Germans won four out of three qualifying races and managed to keep up their performance from the previous days.

    “We were of course hoping to reach the podium. During the qualifying races we became more and more relaxed and stayed confident even in these difficult currents,” said helmsman Johannes Polgar.

    With this victory during the SAILING Champions League in St. Petersburg, Johannes Polgar proved that he is still fully motivated to work on his 2020 Olympic campaign.

    Frederikshavn Sejlklub from Denmark finished second ahead of the hosts, Saint Petersburg YC.

    The Frederikshavn Sejlklub (FS) from Denmark lost their overnight lead to the NRV. Helmsman Kris Houmann commented, “In the decisive race unfortunately the NRV overtook us and due to the wind shifts, we could not control them anymore. We are still very happy with second place and are looking forward to come to St. Petersburg again.”

    The last race of the event was extremely thrilling as the hosts from Saint Petersburg YC (SPBYC) sealed the final podium spot.

    “It was an incredible race. After our terrible start, I never thought we would win this race. A huge thanks to my wonderful team,” commented a relieved Anna Basalkina, skipper of the SPYC team. The Russian Olympic sailor from 2000 in Sydney surely deserved to reach third place overall and her place on the podium after such a herculean recovery!

    Twenty-one teams from all over Europe were trying to qualify for the finale of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The races in St. Petersburg on the one-designs J/70’s were extremely short and close to the audience on-shore.

    The SAILING Champions League will continue in September in Switzerland. Act 2 of the SAILING Champions League will take place from September 1st to 3rd in St. Moritz. Then, the second group of the best international sail clubs will fight to qualify for the final of the SAILING Champions League in Porto Cervo, Italy.

    In Porto Cervo, the best teams from Act 1 and Act 2 will fight for the title “Best European Sail Club” and for the beautiful silver bowl by Robbe and Berking.

    As a technology partner of the SAILING Champions League, SAP is providing professional livestream coverage with expert commentary along with live results of the events.  SAP SAILING Champions League results are here

    The primary regatta sponsor is GAZPROM- a global energy company. Being a socially responsible company, GAZPROM is supporting Russian sports at all levels. As a general partner of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club since 2013, GAZPROM devotes much attention towards the development of sailing in the Northern Capital and Russia at large. Supporting different local and international events, the St. Petersburg YC and GAZPROM aim at establishing St. Petersburg among the top sailing cities of Europe.

    From 2017, the St. Petersburg YC and GAZPROM, together with its subsidiary NordStream Company, became partners of the National Sailing Leagues of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany as well as of Act 1 of the European SAILING Champions League in St. Petersburg in August.   Sailing video teaser- by GAZPROM for the SAILING Champions League   For more SAILING Champions League sailing information here

    Challenging J/FEST New England Regatta
    (Newport, RI)- The 2nd annual J/Fest New England Regatta, hosted by SAIL NEWPORT, took place in the waters of southern Narragansett Bay and offshore on Rhode Island Sound.  Following in the footsteps of the fun-loving event held last year in the northern bay by Bristol YC, in partnership with Barrington YC, local J/sailors had yet another fun event on the Bay!

    While the regatta was missing the classic Newport summer sailing conditions of great sea breezes each day, the regatta PRO’s more than made up for it with clever race management.  The regatta hosted the celebratory J/24 40th Anniversary Round Island Race with twenty-one entries on Friday.  Then, on Saturday and Sunday there were one-design classes for J/22s, J/24s, J/30s, J/105s, J/70s, J/109s, and PHRF handicap racing.

    In the five boat J/105 class, there emerged a surprise winner!  New J/105 owners Alex and Alexandra Clegg and their team on ALLORA! won their class against Buzzards Bay Champion Nicole Breault on GOOD TRADE.  Alex reports:

    “After a multiple hour postponement in light winds on Saturday, the fleet was sent in with no racing completed. Sunday had a better forecast and excitement was palpable to get some racing in.  Fog was thick when we arrived at the boat, and the RC made the prudent decision to race up in the northern section of Narragansett Bay, in the vicinity of Halfway Rock.

    The sun burned the fog off and we had 10-12 knots, flat water, and an incoming tide for the first race, relatively perfect conditions for racing.  The five boat class of Allora!, Good Trade, Madcap 2.0, Pieces of Eight, and Tonto got off a race close to on time and proceeded to have two more great races in a slightly weaker breeze.  Allora!, Good Trade and Tonto mixed it up quite close at the front, rounding all the marks within a couple boat lengths of each other. 

    Allora! won the first race and Good Trade the second race, and were tied on points at 3 each going into the final race with Tonto 3 points back from us, so it was down to the third and final race of the day in a fading 8 knot breeze. We jockeyed fairly hard for position at the pin, to go left which had been slightly favored all day. 

    Allora! managed to avoid getting hooked from a leeward Good Trade by inches, and still make the pin without being over early.  The race was a very close one with Good Trade and Allora! in a tacking duel to an upwind finish, with Allora! squeezing it out.  Great fun and an awesome finish to our first OD regatta on Allora!

    Most of the credit is due to my crew, my wife Alexandra, Todd McGuire and Josh Parks with whom I have sailed years and countless miles, and Ben and Kelley Steinberg.  Final results were Allora! in first, Good Trade second, Tonto third. Excited to get to our next OD event, hopefully soon!”

    Then, in the J/22 class, former College All-American sailor Peter Levesque stole the show, winning class with a 2-1-2-1 tally for just 6 pts.  William Porter’s CONUNDRUM was second with a 3-5-1-3 for 12 pts.  Just one point back was Cory Sertl’s WHARF RAT with a 1-2-5-5 tally for 13 pts.

    In the J/24 class, they enjoyed two events.  In the Round Island 40th Anniversary race, the winds were so light that it was changed to be an all East Passage of Narragansett Bay race- a wise choice.  From the start off Rose Island, the fleet went around the Clingstone Rocks Bell to starboard, then north through the Newport Bridge to the Prudence Island green bell to starboard, then back to the finish off Fort Adams.  Winning that race by a country mile was Steve Kirkpatrick’s BUCKSHOT, followed by Ted Winston’s PASSAGE EAST and Matt Coughlin’s FUDGIE in third.   Then, taking their momentum into the weekend regatta was Kirkpatrick’s BUCKSHOT, taking a 1-6-1-1 for 9 pts to win the J/24 class by a longshot.  Second was Tim Corbett’s ESKIMO SISTERS with a 4-9-2-2 tally for 17 pts.  Just two points back was Mike Quaid’s ICE CUBE with a 3-1-7-8 record for 19 pts.

    The J/109 class had a strong turnout of nine very talented teams.  At the end of the day, it was Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON that won the class with a 1-5-2 for 8 pts.  Sitting one point back was regatta Chairman Bill Kneller’s VENTO SOLARE with a 6-2-1 scoreline for 9 pts.  Third place went to John Sahagian’s PICANTE with a 2-3-5 score for 10 pts.  Top Corinthian boat in class was Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING, followed by Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA in 2nd and Dan Corcoran’s STRIDER in 3rd place.

    The J/70 class was won by Rachel Bryer’s all-women crew on JUNKANOO with all 1sts for 4 pts!  Second was Chris Murray’s LUCKY with a 2-2-3-2 for 9 pts and third place went to Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA with a 3-3-2-3 for 11 pts.

    In the PHRF Class, it was Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY winning with two bullets.  Second was Peter Colby’s J/92S STING with two deuces.  And, third was Stephen Lipman’s J/37C DUCK SOUP with a pair of thirds.  For more J/Fest New England sailing information

    Great J/Team Performance @ Rolex Fastnet Race!
    J/133 Wins IRC 2, J/122E 2nd in Doublehanded, J/122E Wins IRC 2B, J/109 Wins IRC 3B!
    (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- There is no question that well-sailed, all-around J/designs, even those over ten years old, can win major events like the RORC’s ROLEX Fastnet Race.  In a tour’de’force, the French J/133 PINTIA, the Dutch J/122E AJETO! and the Irish J/109 JEDI quite handily won their respective IRC divisions in this years incredibly challenging 605nm race.

    The Royal Ocean Racing’s biennial flagship event this year attracted another record-sized fleet of 362 boats, six more than 2015. It continues to be the world’s largest offshore yacht race, and also the most popular – when registration opened, the IRC fleet’s maximum limit of 340 boats was reached in just 4 minutes and 24 seconds!

    As ever, the course took the giant fleet west down the English Channel, either side of the prohibited ‘traffic separation scheme’ zone between Land’s End and the Scilly Isles, across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, four miles off southwest Ireland, back south leaving Bishop Rock and the Scilly Isles to port and then, on past the Lizard, to the finish off Plymouth– in total 605nm..

    Equally impressive as the size of the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet was its diversity, ranging from many of the world’s top offshore racing teams, either privately owned or sponsored, down to smaller amateur family and friends entries and to sailing schools featuring individuals for many of whom the Rolex Fastnet Race would rank as their “Mount Everest” (the world’s tallest mountain at 29,000+ feet) of their offshore racing careers.

    The traditional Sunday staggered start on the Solent, taking place the day after Cowes Week, was spectacular.  The giant fleet setting off by class, starting with the multihulls at 1100 and finishing 1hr 40 minutes later with the biggest monohulls. They were accompanied west down the Solent by the substantial spectator fleet before squeezing through the bottleneck at Hurst Castle Narrows and out into the English Channel headed west to the first turning point at Land’s End.

    This year’s race was a “classic” weather-wise.  The race started off with a prolonged beat all the way to the Fastnet Rock, followed by a run back to Bishop Rock and a reach to the finish. Conditions for the frontrunners were moderate, albeit somewhat awkward with a front lying across the southern UK, creating a small pause in the wind before filling in from the northwest.

    The medium-small sized boats got their money’s worth with a hard beat into winds approaching 30 knots en route to the Fastnet Rock. These same conditions made for a blistering sleigh ride back from the Rock for the larger boats.  J/Boats excelled in the all-around conditions.

    In IRC Two Class, Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 PINTIA won the first prize following their arrival at the finish line at 0533 hours. Incredibly, they placed 4th overall in IRC for 340+ boats!!  They were, by far, the highest finishing standard production boat in the entire race!

    “We had some good results already in IRC Two this year,” said Fournier. “But, the Rolex Fastnet Race is the peak of the season. We have had an internal battle with our friends on Lisa, including Commodore of the RORC Michael Boyd, since the beginning of the season.”

    Due to the tidal state at the time, PINTIA went to the west of the all-important traffic separation scheme off the Scilly Isles. Fournier said he enjoyed rounding the Fastnet Rock, even though it was at night.

    “You are pleased when you round that because it is an amazing place. You wouldn’t want to spend your holidays there, but it is a legendary place and we are now part of the legend!”

    RORC Commodore Michael Boyd acknowledged that PINTIA had stolen a march on them at Portland Bill.  “We failed to get to there in time. PINTIA went in and we probably should have followed her and they just managed to get through the gap. We went outside and lost quite a few miles, but we gained them back at Lyme Bay when an awful lot of boats went inside and we were surprised to see some of our competitors at anchor there. We were further offshore, in the wind. That kept us up with the IRC One boats.”

    The boats in IRC 2 Class saw 25 knots on the nose, some of the strongest conditions crossing the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock, requiring the crew to live on the rail. Boyd described the Fastnet Rock, off his native Ireland, as “extraordinary, absolutely magical.”

    The IRC Two Handed prize was just missed by “the Flying Dutchmen” on the J/122e AJETO!- sailed by Dutch Two-Handed Champions, Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre. The Netherlands boat had been leading the IRC Two-Handed class until Night & Day finally overhauled them yesterday, leaving them second.  They also placed 4th overall in the entire IRC 2 division and were the winners of IRC 2B Division!

    The Dutch duo, racing their new J/122E, which they have optimized for two-handed racing, had an up and down race.

    "We sailed well, but we had some bad luck with a wind hole at the Lizard,” said Verhoef. “We were not close enough to the shore and not far enough from the shore to get away from there. There was a big wind hole and we had to anchor twice for about 30 minutes letting out 120m of line!”

    This episode dropped them to 13th by the time they reached Land’s End, however they recovered this lost ground by going up the favorable east side of the Land’s End traffic separation scheme and then sailing into the favorable right hand shift in the Celtic Sea.

    “The Irish Sea was like lake sailing– wind shift-tack, wind shift-tack,” said van der Starre. “Then at the TSS we were up with the leaders in the group again.” They rounded the Fastnet Rock shortly before dawn, under the full moon. After the prolonged upwind conditions, there was tangible relief as they turned downwind. “That was one big smile. Then at the Scillies we saw for the first time we were leading our class again.”

    However, soon after they got stuck in another wind hole forcing them to back down, virtually perpendicular to the course, and then sail south in order to extricate themselves. It was this huge problem that allowed Night & Day to move ahead of them in the IRC Two Handed class! How frustrating for one of Europe’s top two-handed duos!  A win firmly in their grasp, not once, but twice, only to lose it again!  It seems they had a similar fate two Fastnet Races ago on their J/111, sitting stranded in no wind within 200 meters of the finish line, in no wind, anchored against the current flowing out of Plymouth Harbour, talking to the finish line officials- for 7+ hours!!  Yet, they did not go crazy, and still got second despite the fact they were winning by a country furlong on their approach to the final few meters at the Plymouth pier!

    The J/122 JUNIQUE RAYMARINE SAILING TEAM sailed by yet another top Dutch crew- Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker- took 8th in IRC Two-handed Division and 7th in IRC 2 Division overall and 4th in IRC 2B Division!  They were followed by Nick Martin’s ever-present J/105 DIABLO-J in 11th and Wim van Slooten’s J/109 FIRESTORM in 12th.

    In the IRC 2A Class, the J/122 LORELEI from France, skippered by Marie & Alain Chatherineau, took 4th place.  Meanwhile, just 45 minutes corrected behind them in 5th place was their J/122 sistership- Andy Theobald’s R&W. Yet another J/122E took 9th place- Chris Daniel’s JUNO.

    Then, in IRC 3B class J/crews were 9 of the top 12 teams! First was the Irish J/109 JEDI skippered by Kenneth Rumball.  Third was yet another J/109, Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox’s MOJITO, and 5th place was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J!   YB Tracking video  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information

    Thrilling Finale @ Verve Cup Offshore Regatta!
    J/111 Podium Determined On Last Leg of Last Race!
    (Chicago, IL)- It was Chicago’s version of “the Thrilla from Manila!”  Going around and around in the proverbial ring, a jab here, a roundhouse punch there, the top three boats in the J/111 class and the outcome on the podium was not determined until the final minutes of the seventh and final race of the regatta on Sunday!  In short, “who beat who” determined the finish positions, with the trio of Karl Brummel/ Steve Henderson/ Mike Mayer on KASHMIR winning the final race, followed by Brad Faber’s UTAH in 2nd and Rich Witzel’s ROWDY in third place!  Rounding out the top five were Mark & Colin Caliban’s NO QUARTER in 4th and John Kalanik’s NO QUARTER in 5th position.   Here is J/111 KASHMIR- Mike Meyer interview

    As for the rest of the competitors in Chicago YC’s 25th annual Verve Cup Offshore Regatta, the racing was close, but not the anxiety-ridden thriller experienced by the J/111 class.

    The J/109 class saw the overall Chicago to Mackinac Race winner add more silverware to their trophy room collection!  Winning with three 1sts and three 2nds in the 7 race series was Jim Mitchell & Bruce Danly’s TOA.  Six points back in second place was Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, also winning three races along the way but having to contend with three high-scoring finishes (5-4-6) that hurt their chances for a shot at the top.  Third as David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, followed by Bob Evans’ GOAT RODEO in 4th (the J/109 Chicago-Mackinac Race winner), and in 5th place was Keith Ecklenberg’s BLACKFIN.

    The J/105 class of ten boats also witnessed another “walk-away”, this one in the form of Gyt Petkus’s crew on VYTIS finally getting their “mojo” and collecting three bullets and three deuces on their way to a huge class win.  Second was past winner, Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM, third was Clark Pellet’s SEALARK (another past winner), fourth Mike Sheppard’s FLYING PIG and fifth Robert Amos’ SOUTHBOUND.

    The J/88 teams were lumped into the ORR 2 Division of eleven boats.  After eight races on their circle, Andy Graff’s EXILE placed 4th and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG took 5th. Rick Stage’s J/35 ALPHA PUPPY finished just behind the J/88s in 6th position.  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information

    J/Crews Lovin’ Bayfield Race Week!
    (Bayfield, WI)- Bayfield Race Week is the centerpiece of the Lake Superior offshore racing season, hosted by the Apostle Islands Station of the Wayzata Yacht Club.  It is a week long festival of sailing on the south shore of Lake Superior, with racing taking place around the spectacular Apostle Islands. The event surrounds the 4th of July, and attracts boats and crews all points of the compass, including: Canada, Florida, Duluth, and the Twin Cities.

    To say that it is also a “love fest” for J/sailors would be an understatement.  J/crews have been sailing the event for years and has become a fixture on their calendars once you’ve had the pleasure to experience the fun and camaraderie of the event!  It is truly one of the prettier corners of the sailing world you’ve ever seen, with plush green, pine-treed islands, magnificent tall bluffs, and incredibly clear deep blue waters- a color that could easily mistaken for the azure waters of the Caribbean.

    This year, J/Teams won three divisions and took silver in two others- a rather dominating performance by one brand of sailboats!

    The Mid-Distance PHRF A group of the big boats was swept by J/crews; these were races around a combination of government marks, islands and set marks- a lot like what you see in the Caribbean race weeks.  Winning was Keith Stauber’s J/35 PAPA GAUCHO II with a 2-4—7-3-2 record for 18 pts.  They also won the “Family Affair Award”.  Second was another J/35, Bob Vander Ploeg’s BOBSLED from Thunder Bay, Ontario with a 4-6-2-2-7 for 21 pts.  Third was David Resch’s J/120 FOREVER YOUNG with a 1-8-3-7-5 tally for 24 pts.  Then, Chris Wells’ J/41 IOR NORTHERN HARRIER from Thunder Bay, Ontario posted a 3-3-5-9-4 for 24 pts, losing the tie-breaker with the J/120 to take fourth place.

    In the Mid-Distance PHRF B class, George Johns’ J/80 JAVALINA sailed consistently well with a 1-2-1-5-6 for 15 pts, just one point from first!  Also taking silver was Jim Vaudreuil’s J/109 ZIGZAG in the Buoy Racing PHRF B class, also just missing a class win by one point.

    Winning the Jib and Main PHRF class was Edward Alspach’s J/36 RADIO FLYER- a bright, fire-engine red boat that looks great sailing on the lake!  They pretty much crushed their class with four bullets in their 5 races.  Similarly, winning the Sport Boat PHRF class was Erik Wilson’s J/70 FLY 2.0 from Fargo, ND- a long drive away!   Follow Bayfield Race Week on Facebook here   Watch the local Fox 21 News video of the event here   For more Bayfield Race Week scores and sailing information

    What J/sailors and friends are doing around the world

    * J/109 JUNKYARD DOG report- owner Jim Goldberg has been having a fun time racing in a number of California offshore events this summer.  Here’s the latest:

    “After an extremely long wait for a weather window to get our boat back after the California Offshore Race Week, then some unexpected repairs once home, we finally have her out racing again.  We have another video of our J/109 racing in the San Francisco Drake’s Bay race.

    Drake’s Bay is a 31-mile race from San Francisco, out the Golden Gate into the Pacific Ocean and north to Drake’s Bay.  We anchor out overnight with the fleet, and then race back the next morning.  Usually, this allows the boats to raft up and socialize with the other boats and crew that we usually only see in passing.  This year we had 35-knot winds through the night so many of us chose to not raft up!!  A few boats had some anchoring issues and ended up aground in the middle of the night.  I can't help but wonder if this is expected when a group of racers tries their anchoring skills out!

    Junkyard Dog saw both ends of the spectrum, 2nd place Saturday and, well, not so good Sunday.  Enjoy the video, it was a fun, but challenging set of races!”   Watch the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG sailing video here
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