Friday, May 26, 2017

Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Series Report

sailing off Seattle on Puget Sound (Seattle, WA)- Last weekend, Seattle YC continued their popular Tri-Island Series of races, hosting the Vashon Island Race on Puget Sound for a fleet of nearly eighty boats.  The J/teams all faired well on the circuitous course down and around the island chains in the Sound, with some crews advancing their cause and continuing to elevate in the series standings.

In the PHRF 2 Class, Shawn Dogherty & Jason Andrew’s J/125 HAMACHI did not race, but they still sit third in class for the series.  In the PHRF 3 class, Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION took a 4th in class.

The PHRF 4 class was led by Jim Hinz’s J/120 HINZITE, taking 2nd in the Vashon and sitting in 2nd for the series.  Third was Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHASA (now in 4th for the series) and fourth was Mark Liffring’s J/120 WITH GRACE (now sitting in 3rd for the series).

The large J/105 class is experiencing a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail the tricky “island” series. Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE is on a winning streak, posting another first to easily be leading the series.  Lance Rummel & David Cohen’s INCONCEIVABLE added a 2nd to their scoreline to now sit in 2nd for the series.  Third in Vashon was Chris Phoenix’s JADED (4th in series) and then taking a 4th place and sitting in 3rd for the series is Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO.

In the PHRF 8 class, Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD is sailing well and consistently, posting a 3-6 tally in the Protection Island and Vashon Island races to be just 2 pts out of second for the overall.  Finally, in the PHRF 9 class, Bill Boyeson’s classic J/42 JIMINY won the Vashon to be leading the series by a point.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/  For more SYC Tri-Island Series sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Awesome, Fast Oregon Offshore Race

J/105 The Soup winners Oregon OffshoreJ/105 "The Soup" Wins PHRF Overall!
(Victoria, BC, Canada)- The prestigious trophy for winning first Overall in the Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year - Schenk, Hopper & Davis.  The trio sailed their J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. “Congratulations” to the crew! They were not only the PHRF Overall winner, but the J/105 Class winner, too.  In fact, J/Teams in general sailed extremely well; with six J’s in the top eight boats overall.

According to Schenk from “the Soup”, “another epic one is in the books with a Southerly up the coast, and not too dead in the straights for an early finish.  Having a J/105 division was super cool, and J/105’s finished 1st, 3rd, and 8th overall!  Riva (J/46) also had a great race winning their division and 3rd across the line behind Rage and the TP52!”

J/122 Anam Cara at Oregon OffshoreThe Oregon Offshore is one of the toughest races on the entire West Coast and also one that has seen very loyal teams participate year after year; the event is hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland and the Astoria YC in Astoria, OR along the opening of the Columbia River.

Historically, the race acts as a “feeder” for the Swiftsure Race and for the Vic-Maui Race, too.  The race starts off the Columbia River Buoy 2 and goes 193nm north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, leaving Duntze Rock buoy to starboard and finish off the piers at Victoria, British Columbia in Canada on the northern side of the Straits.

Twenty-one teams entered this year and besides the J/105s, other J/Crews gathered their fair share of silverware.

The PHRF A2 Class saw a sweep of the top three positions on the podium, led by Corinthian YC’s Scott Campbell and his team on the pretty blue J/46 RIVA (4th overall).  Second in class was Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY (5th overall) and third in class was Tom Kelly’s beautiful blue J/122 ANAM CARA (6th overall).

Behind the winners in the J/105 class (the “Soupers” that also won last year’s PHRF A class), it was Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT that took second place (3rd overall) while Dana Sibilla’s ESCAPE ARTIST placed third (8th overall). That is a great showing for the J/105s in general. For the two “newbies” in the race, it was especially gratifying to do so well overall, too!!  For more Oregon Offshore Race sailing informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Edgartown Race Week- The Long & the Short of it

J/120 sailing Edgartown Race Weekend (Edgartown, MA)— Edgartown YC Race Weekend isn’t your typical regatta. For starters, it has two parts: one for the much revered and time-tested (79 years old) distance race around Martha’s Vineyard and another for two days of short-course racing (added in 2012) in Edgartown’s Outer Harbor. And no need to fret if you can’t do it all. Only the ’Round-the-Island Race (‘RTI) on Saturday, July 22 requires an entry fee, and to boot, each day of the ’Round-the-Buoy Races (‘RTB) are scored separately, so if you can make one day and not the other, you can still win silverware in your class!

“Some years I do the buoy racing in addition to the ’Round-the-Island and some years just the ’RTI,” said Stephen Besse (Guilford, Conn.), skipper of the J/120 Après. “I use a lot of family for crew, so it all depends on where my son is, where my daughter is.... For this year, I haven’t yet decided whether to do both or not. The boat serves the family, rather than the other way around.”

Besse has raced in the event on at least five different kinds of boats, and he has done the ‘RTI every year since he has owned the J/120 (2009.) He Lives on Martha’s Vineyard half the year, sails out of Vineyard Haven, and

Besse sailing his J/120Though he considers himself to be “basically a local racer,” Besse broke the pattern last year and competed in the Newport to Bermuda Race. He and his Après team wound up winning the J/120 class.

That bodes well for this year’s ’Round-the-Island Race. Since J/Boat participation in the ‘RTI is typically robust (16 boats in 2016), event organizers have, for a second year, decided to expand the awards to recognize first- through third-place finishers, on corrected time, among all J/Boats in all classes

“I’m fascinated with sailing around the island,” said Besse, who first circumnavigated Martha’s Vineyard in a Rhodes 19 at age 17 (he will be 68 in June). “It’s breathtakingly beautiful, particularly around Squibnocket Point, which you see when you go between Nomans Land, south of the Vineyard, and the Vineyard itself. It’s sand dunes on top of cliffs.”

Besse also appreciates the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque as well as the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah. “It’s one of the few races where I don’t have any trouble getting crew,” he said. “In fact, I’m usually oversubscribed for crew when it comes to the ’RTI.”

Regularly attracting entrants from the Eastern Seaboard and beyond, Edgartown Yacht Club Race Weekend delivers exceptional racing opportunities for boats 28 feet and longer in classes for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF (spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), Double-Handed, and Classic. A Welcome Reception on Wednesday night (July 19); a Mount Gay-sponsored “jump-up” party on Friday night; and prize givings on both Friday and Sunday (July 23) round out the schedule for competitors who are entered in one or the other, or both, of the racing sessions.

Deadline for entry is Wednesday, July 19 for the ’Round-the-Buoy Races and Friday, July 21 for the ’Round-the- Island Race. For more information, go to or contact Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Epic, Windy Edlu Distance Race

J/88s starting Edlu race
AYC Young American J/105 Wins, Again!
(Larchmont, NY)- This year’s 62nd annual Edlu Distance Race, a quick 32nm race from Larchmont breakwater to Eaton’s Neck and back was a bit more of a classic tune-up race than most people expected.  Saturday morning dawned, grey, cold, and quite breezy- in fact, blowing up to 30+ kts.  As a result, there was a bit of carnage on the race course with broaching, torn sails, ripped chutes and bruised egos.  For those that finished the race (about 25% of the fleet DNF’d), it was an epic race to tell tall tales at the LYC party afterwards.

J/105 sailing Edlu RaceThe big winners of the event were, once again, the incredibly talented young sailors from American YC’s Offshore Youth program.  Their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN won the Edlu Trophy, emblematic of the overall winner and the Wilfred Kluss Trophy for winning PHRF 2 class.  Behind them in second place was another strong J/105 team, Duncan Hennes with Za & Lib Jelliffe on ARETE.  Taking 4th in class was another J/105, Hobie Ponting’s PRIVATEER YCC.

In PHRF 1 class, Bill Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE took 4th in the rough conditions while Cory Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM was 5th and Greg Slamowitz’s J/111 MANITOU was 7th place.

J/88 Deviation sailing Edlu raceThe five-boat J/88 class became a walk-away for Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION YCC team, as they were the only boat that finished the race!  Needless to say, it was a very rough race for smaller boats, plus quite cold.

The PHRF Doublehanded division, one of the largest in the race with ten boats, was dominated by top-performing J crews taking 4 of the top 6 slots.  Top boat was Peter Hein’s J/120 VAREKAI, taking 2nd.  They were followed by Randy Saunders’ J/100 JACKAL in 3rd, Todd Aven’s J/92 THIN MAN in 4th, Abhijeet Lele’s J/111 VARUNA in 6th.

Finally, the IRC Division saw Len Sitar’s J/44 VAMP from Storm Trysail Club finish in fourth place. Sailing photo credits- Howie McMichael/ McMichaels Yachts.  For more Edlu Distance Race sailing information

USA Adult Sailing Championships @ St Petersburg YC!

J/70s sailing at St Petersburg YC (St Petersburg, FL)- The 2017 edition of the US Sailing Adult Championship will be hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, FL from November 9th to 12th.  The qualifiers from the various US Sailing regional sailing associations will be racing in StPYC’s new fleet of matched J/70 class sailboats!  The competitors will be in for a real thrill, racing a short course format, all hoping to win the coveted Clifford D Mallory Trophy.  In addition, the winner will be the USA representative racing J/70’s at the Sailing Champions League World qualifier, the principal event that all fourteen European national sailing leagues participate in as well to determine the world’s best sailing club!  The Notice of Race is here.

How do you qualify?  Here is what you will need to do for each individual Regional Sailing Association (RSA):
  • Each Regional Sailing Association (RSA) will select the team they submit. These determinations can include qualification or resume submission to the RSA representative of US Sailing
  • Teams must be made up of sailors from the RSAs they are representing and members of sailing organizations that are members of that RSA.
  • Team members must be current members of US Sailing
  • Sailing organizations must be current members of US Sailing
  • The event will be sailed in J/70s using the league sailing format
  • The minimum number of crew for the event shall be four including the helmsperson.
For more information on how your RSA will select a team, contact them here. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jachtclub Scheveningen Leads Netherlands J/70 Sailing League

Netherlands J/70 sailing league spinnakers (Almere, The Netherlands)- The first act of the Netherlands J/70 Sailing League started this past weekend on the Weerwater in Almere. Eighteen well-prepared sailing clubs will be competing in five rounds for the 2017 season championship. The national champion will automatically end up in Champions League Sailing in 2018.

The big question was how the various teams would evolve after a long winter? WSV Almere Centraal, the 2016 champion, is hoping their home field advantage might help them during the season opener. In addition to Almere Centraal, KWS Sneek, Jachtclub Scheveningen, VWDTP Groningen, WSV Giebeek, RR & ZV Maas and Roer from Roermond and WV Brassermermeer would also be great contenders, at least on paper.

women's J/70 Netherlands teamThe International Yacht Club Amsterdam (IYCA), an all women’s team, was one of the two debutants this season. Fettje Osinga- team captain of IYCA commented, "The IYCA has only existed for two years. For us, it is great to be able to compete in the league. As a women’s team, we believe that you should always participate in winning. We are all bloodthirsty and ready to take on everyone! But, we know this is our first event, so we do not have high expectations to win. The league events are fun to bring friends and family together; that is something that cannot really be done at regular sailing matches."

The opening day was characterized by little wind. In the morning, a 5-6 knot wind (2 beaufort) enabled some races to be held.  But, in the afternoon, the breezes left and it was perfectly flat across the water.  As a result, it was test of light air sailing skills.  The initial leader of the regatta was a result of the good performance put in by the Groningen crew at the VWDTP sailing club.  Wouter Westerhof, team member of VWDTP, commented, "Yes, we have started to work hard and the results have paid off. Last winter we chartered two boats in Monnickendam at Waterland and sailed every two weeks, and we have been able to grow our team to about ten sailors."

Coach Frans Robertus explained the VWDTP selection process, "We started by making everybody try out the different positions on the boat. As we get closer to the start of the season, we focused crewmembers on specific positions to improve their performance. And, we then combined the two best crew from each boat. So, that is how we created crew.  Ironically, it was the same four crew as in 2016! But, they now sail on different positions this year!”

J/70 Netherlands sailing leagueAfter two days of sailing, SZ & WV Uitdam was sailing fast and was leading the standings. VWDTP from Groningen fell to third place and Jachtclub Scheveningen was second.  What was most striking was the comeback of the KWS Sneek team, who, after the disappointing performance on Friday, was able to dramatically leap up the leaderboard after winning four races.  Amazingly, the WSV Almere Centraal team, international champions 2016, ended up fourth in the ranking and cannot even score a victory on the water! In other words, the fleet is quite deep in talent and the top is getting wider!

Wietze Zetzema, crew on SZ & WV Uitdam was very pleased with their results. He commented, "We are very happy. Well, that is the result of a combination of factors. We are growing better at this game. We know when we have a bad start. We are better aware of how we can prevent problems and penalties. We found a mode to stay out of trouble. In short, we are growing better and better in our league sailing competitiveness!  We joined the league as a sailing club, so we have 15 people on our team, young, old, women and men- all very good sailors!  The sailing is really exciting and so close together!  The difference between us and number seven in the rankings is less than six points. Six points can be gained or lost in one race!”

After the smoke cleared on the race course after Sunday’s racing, it was the Jachtclub Scheveningen sailors that scored seven wins over fourteen races in three days to win the first act. In total, there were 42 races sailed on the Weerwater in Almere in beautiful and challenging circumstances.

Evert Jansen talks about the success of Scheveningen, the club that finished third in 2016. "Our secret? Consistent sailing, keep calm and keep the same team of 2016 together. We have also received no penalties, as far as I know. So go well, stay calm and stay out of trouble. That certainly matters."

In the “time to eat humble pie category” were the big winners in 2016, WSV Almere Centraal.  They had a wildly fluctuating scoreline all weekend long, but managed to get it all together to win the last three races and secure third overall.  SZ & WV Uitdam was second.  Taking fourth place was WSV Giesbeek and in fifth place was the original regatta leader- VWDTP sailing club.  Meanwhile, after a brilliant second day where they could do no wrong, KWS Sneek fell off their shopping trolley into 7th place; it was easy to fall down the slippery slope with such close competition!   Follow the Dutch J/70 Sailing league on Facebook here.   For more Netherlands J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

2017 International Women’s Keelboat Champs Go To Mexico!

Women's J/70 sailing team off Newport (Valle de Bravo, Mexico)– For the first time in event history, the storied International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC) will be contested outside the United States! The revitalized championship, organized by US Sailing, will offer women sailors an opportunity for high-quality racing in J/70’s on the international stage. Club de Vela La Peña in Valle de Bravo, Mexico will host this championship on August 14-19, 2017 and will be providing the J/70’s for the event.

Up to 20 teams will be selected through an application process. The goals is for half the teams selected to represent North American countries and half will represent countries from around the world. The top American boat will be the U.S. representative at the 2018 Sailing Champions League World qualifier. International teams are encouraged to apply.

To ensure fast and competitive racing, the round-robin format for the championship features team rotations after every five races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the other teams. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. The host club will ensure quick rotations and J/70 women's keelboat sailing videoon-the-water umpiring, in addition to a quality viewing experience for spectators.  Here is a nice sailing video summary of the 2016 IWKC event held at American YC in Rye, NY.

If you are interested, please make sure to submit your application by Friday, May 19 to access early registration discount!

We hope to see your team sailing J/70’s in Mexico this August! For more International Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

MOSS Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League Opener

J/70 Norway sailing league- Oslo (Oslo, Norway)- This past weekend, the Norwegian Sailing League opened in Oslo, Norway. There were thirty sailing clubs participating in two divisions, the Premiere League and the Challenge League.  The weather was a bit brisk, even by Norwegian standards, moderate breezes but with temperatures at 15 degrees C!  No one wants to mention, of course, that it was snowing at times just before and during the regatta!  Host was the Vippa sailing club, famous for serving both food and drinks, with many nice sailors volunteering to make everyone feel at home and having a great time!  By all accounts, they succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations- hot sailing, hot food, great refreshments- all in the grand Norwegian tradition of sailing hard, sailing fast and having fun!

Norway J/70 sailing league winnersAfter two days of sailing, it was the “newcomers”, the Moss Seilforening and Risør Seilforening who set the standard in each division in this year's first Seilsportsliga event. The conditions in Inner Oslofjord were quite demanding and challenging for all the teams.

The Moss Sailing Association moved up to the 1st division after last year's superb effort in the 2nd division and this weekend they showed they had certainly qualified to the right division!  In fact, they won four races in their six races to beat last year’s Seilsports League winner KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening)!!  Brevik Sailing Association also showed good form after a winter's rest. They ended up in a 7th place last year, but opened the season much stronger by taking a third place in the first regatta.

J/70 sailing league team- Norway- OsloIn the 2nd division, newcomers also made changes. Risør Sailing Association had its very first regatta in the Seilsports League this weekend. They set the standard for the rest of the season by securing the first place. Hurum SF, who finished in 10th place last year, showed new moves and got 2nd place; while another newcomer Askøy Seilforening opened their participation in the Seilsports League 2nd Division with a 3rd place.  Follow the Norwegian J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Norwegian Sailing League informationAdd to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cedar Point One-Design Regatta Announcement

J/109 sailing Cedar Point (Cedar Point, CT)- Cedar Point Yacht Club’s One Design Regatta in Westport, CT, June 3 & 4 is an early season sailor favorite event on Long Island Sound. This year, several J/Boat classes have very strong fleets, ten J/70, eight J/88, six J/105 and the biggest class is J/109 with seventeen boats.  J/Boats make up 75% of the registered competitors for the 2017 regatta.

The One Design Regatta is also the 2017 East Coast Championship for the J/109 class with entrants as far away as Annapolis to the south and Newport to the east. It is a very competitive fleet including the past three East Coast Champions Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON, Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG and David Rosow’s LOKI. LOKI is also the current National Champion that will try to defend that title at Block Island Race Week in just a few weeks. Several other top boats in the class are also competing Bud Roger’s BIG BOAT, Carl Olson’s MORNING GLORY and Bill Sweetser’s RUSH just to name a few.  For more Cedar Point One-Design Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

J/133 Wins @ RORC De Guingand Bowl Race

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- This past weekend, the RORC held their fourth event in their season-long RORC Offshore Points Series, the De Guingand Bowl.  The race starts and finishes off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The course picked for the fleet included a fair amount of fetching, reaching and running.  In fact, the intensity of competition is such that a good start can make all the difference, the first leg being a spinnaker run off the starting line. North Head was tough for a number of boats. At this point, the competition had all positioned themselves for the maximum tide running out of Portland. Some boats continued across to Swanage to see if the anticipated lift provided gains; and it worked to a tee. Those who did get there made the East Shingles Buoy without a tack and the wind freed enough that some boats even got the Code Zero aloft.  Another boat remarked that using their Code Zero on the leg back to St. Catherine's Point was the one part of the race where they made significant gains on their class.

In the end, the J/133s have done it again.  In the last race, the French J/133 PINTIA won IRC 1 Class and Overall.  In this race, a big shout out to Angus Bates’ J/133 ASSARAIN IV, “congratulations” to Angus and crew for winning IRC 1 Class!

Meanwhile, IRC 2 class saw Andy Theobald’s J/122 R&W take 2nd; while Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK took 4th and Chris Daniel’s new J/122E JUNO took 5th place!

In the extremely competitive IRC Doublehanded fleet, it was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in 6th, followed by Elin Haf Davies & Chris Frost’s J/120 NUNATAK in 7th, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE in 9th and Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT in 10th.

For the RORC Season Series, here is the big picture: in IRC 2 class the J/122 R&W is 2nd; in IRC 3 class the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/109 JELENKO (Trevor Sainty) is 7th, and the J/105 JULIETTE is 8th; in IRC 4 class the J/105 BIGFOOT is 3rd; and in the IRC Doublehanded class, the J/105 DIABLO-J is 5th, the J/105 JULIETTE (Jerry Freeman) is 7th and the J/105 BIGFOOT is 9th.

Next race is the Myth of Malham Trophy Race, basically a “mini-Fastnet Race” that starts off the Squadron line in Cowes and heads west, turn around and head back for the finish- very much a coastal race with a number of “tidal gates” and shoreline breezes to take into consideration.  For more RORC de Guingand Bowl Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.