Thursday, July 31, 2014

J/125 TIMESHAVER Flies Dana Pt Offshore.

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Dana Point offshore (Dana Point, CA)- This years’ Seal Beach to Dana Point Offshore race had around 50 boats and they were treated to a beautiful day.  From Ericsson 38's to a J-125 the race had a plethora of boats, each with a good shot at the overall.  Here’s the report from Keith Magnussen from the perspective aboard the J/125 TIMESHAVER:

“For most of the race, we were hoping to use our new Code 0 on the J/125 TIMESHAVER.  Viggo Torbensen (who owns the J-125) is keen to optimize his boat for Transpac 2015 and has chosen Ullman Sails to power his awesome boat.  Viggo had this to say about the Code 0 and working with Ullman Sails, ‘It starts with a desire to win then comes the boat keeping it dialed in and in top top shape, next would be align yourself with a sailmaker that understands the goal and is willing to go the extra mile to make the boat go fast, Ullman has become an easy choice for me because of Keith, yourself (Erik Shampain) and the team behind you. The code zero proved to be an amazing sail yesterday, but again, I recognize it came out right because someone sat down and put thoughts into and designed the sail for the boat. All of the sails I have purchased from you guys have come with the same impressive attention to detail."

We started the race in a southerly and were the first boat to put up any sort of spinnaker when we raised our Code 0 about 30 seconds after the start.  Immediately we powered through the slower boats that started in front us.  We also put a substantial gap between us and the Farr 40.  The Melges 32 "Pendragon" had the ability to keep up with us in the light stuff and stayed close on our heels.  As the race progressed, we easily sailed at 70 TWA at wind speed or more.  Fantastic conditions for us and we excelled when the wind went to 110+ TWA and we changed to the 3A.  This was short lived and we went back to the Code 0 and put more distance on the fleet.

We were thinking about the overall as we rounded the iconic Dana Point and switched to the 1A.  In the end we got nipped by a bunch of friends on another well-sailed offshore program.”
For more J/125 sailboat information

The SOUP & HAMACHI Crush Pacific Cup

J/125 sailing Pacific Cup race (San Francisco, CA)- What an amazing outcome for one of the slower and crazier trans-Pacific races in a long, long time.  This year’s Pacific Cup that runs from San Francisco to Hawaii was not exactly a barn-burner.  Many in the fleet suffered light airs in the beginning of the race and at least midway through the race due to the wobbly Pacific High that couldn’t make up its mind which way to move next.

After 13 days at sea, the big winner in the Weems & Plath PHRF Division B, was the J/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP from the Corinthian YC Portland, OR (Eric Hopper skipper with crew of Eric Albertson, Scott Davey, Keith Sheets, and Doug Schenk as Navigator)!  What a fantastic achievement for this brazen crew from Oregon who believed after surviving gale forces winds and winning their “warm-up” event, the Oregon Offshore, that they could continue to cross the Pacific and vanquish all competition!

J/125 sailing off Hawaii in Pacific CupIn PHRF C Division, the J/109 BLUE CRUSH (Eric, Will, Yong, Ken and Eric Devaney with Scott Prysi as a watch captain) managed a fourth overall in their division.

The Kolea PHRF Double-Handed Division saw the J/120 SHEARWATER sailed by Justin & Christina Wolfe from Seattle, WA, scouring for breeze headed west all week long and managed to score a 4th overall, too.

Finally, the SONNEN BMW Division D ORR fleet, featuring the battle of the J/125s- Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 HAMACHI from Corinthian YC Seattle and Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG 2 from Los Angeles YC was, indeed, a “rope a dope” to the most for the entire 2,070nm race.  In the end, HAMACHI sailed near flawlessly to win line honors in their class by over 9 hours, also taking handicap honors along the way.  Second in an equally awesome performance was REINRAG 2’s family crew!    Sailing photo credits- Leslie Richter/  For more Pacific Cup sailing information

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

J/Teams Sail Tough Chicago Mackinac Race

J/120 sailing to Mackinac(Mackinac Island, MI)- This year’s Chicago Mackinac Race was up to its usual tricks again, offering the fleet the dilemma of starting off with breezes in the NE to SE quadrants, with a hole forming in the middle of the rhumbline on late Saturday evening after the start, and then forcing teams into choices of staying west of rhumb and playing anticipated pressure arriving from the west or heading across the lake towards the classic eastern shore “dunes acceleration” of southerly breezes and playing the “point strategy” going up the Michigan coastline before rounding Pt Betsie halfway into the race.  Then, the choice again was whether to hang outside and north of the Manitou Islands or stay the rhumbline course inside and south, the more direct route to Greys Reef before the 35nm sprint down the Straits of Mackinac to the finish line.

No matter what fleet you were sailing in, it seemed everyone had slightly different variations on the three main choices on the menu from a strategic standpoint.  What was self-evident was that all five one-design J/Fleets all had variations on those themes and no one could point to the “perfect” race. Nevertheless, 10 of the top 25 boats in the Mackinac Cup Division were J/Teams in a fleet of 135+ boats; J/111’s again took 3 of the top 6 overall!

For the Level 35 Division, BAD DOG (Larry Taunt) and TOUCH OF GREY (Larry Schell) were virtually glued together the entire race, matching each other’s tactics all the way up to the finish line at Mackinac Island.  Both stayed west of rhumb all the way up to Pt Betsie and both took the rhumbline track inside the Manitous to Greys Reef.  In the end, BAD DOG took 2nd in class and edged out TOUCH OF GREY in third place.

J/105 tracks in Mackinac RaceAs one of the earlier classes to start, the J/105 class simply took off up the Illinois/ Wisconsin shoreline as one huge pack.  Like most other boats in the area off Racine to Milwaukee, the big hole emerged over rhumbline around 11:00pm and their class rapidly evolved into two schools of thought— one group kept heading north along the Wisconsin shore while another pack took off on starboard tack west of rhumbline.  It was the latter group that took 1st and 2nd in class and both of them also went inside the Manitous on the way to the major turning point at Greys Reef.  Leading the fleet home was HERE’S JOHNNY (John Moore), followed by BUZZ (Mark Gurney) in 2nd, then PTERODACTYL (Mark Symonds) 3rd, GREEN FLASH (Jane Enterline) 4th and VYTIS (Gytis and Tomas Petkus) in 5th place.

The fleet of nine J/109s followed a similar course of action as their J/105 colleagues.  The leader was established between the 11pm “shutdown” and the new breeze that filled in by 3:00am from the SE around 175.  The boats that could maintain headway in 2-5 kt winds dramatically lengthened, or newly established, their leads over the fleet at that time.  As one of the top three boats, NORTHSTAR (Dave Gustman) made the most of the situation and established a jump on the fleet they never relinquished.  Behind them the balance of the top five juggled positions all the way to the finish with MOMENTUS (Kevin Saedi, George & Robin Simkins) taking 2nd, followed by CALLISTO (Jim Murray) in 3rd, DRIVEN 2 (Jim Milliken) 4th and SLAPSHOT (Scott Sims) 5th.

J/111 tracks in Mackinac RaceHaving started quite a ways behind the J/109s and J/105s, the J/111 class roared up the lake in the building Easterly breeze under jibs and by late afternoon were already setting their mind-numbingly fast Code Zeros to continue to rapidly catch the fleets in front of them.  By 11pm when the wind shutdown, the top three boats were IMPULSE (Miz, Dreher & Hatfield) in 1st, WIND CZAR (Rick Lehmann) in 2nd and NO SURPRISE (Dave Irish) in 3rd.  For the next three hours, the boats all juggled positions with half the fleet gybing early in the new SE breeze and headed for the Michigan shoreline, another group continued to struggle north in hopes of more breeze.  Emerging from the “mix-master” at midnight was NO SURPRISE in 1st with a pack of boat hot on their tail spread across just behind them.  At sunrise, KASHMIR had leapt in 2nd followed by WIND CZAR in 3rd and IMPULSE dropping to 4th.  For the next hours, the four boats played a game of “cat & mouse” along the eastern side of rhumbline along the Michigan shore.  By Pt Betsie, IMPULSE had jumped back into 2nd followed by WIND CZAR in 3rd and KASHMIR in 4th.  The standings jumbled again as a late-arriving pack of 4 boats from way out west of rhumbline headed by Martie Roesch’s VELOCITY stayed out and rounded the Manitous outside and to the north.  That plus the fact that KASHMIR took one more fateful gybe into shore before Pt Betsie dropped them into 5th.  Meanwhile, the battle between WIND CZAR and IMPULSE was finally settled when an enormous 35 degree header rolled in from 175 degrees at 15-17 kts and WIND CZAR jumped back into 2nd place.  From there on end the “die was cast” for the top five, NO SURPRISE sailing an excellent race to win class and take 2nd overall in the Mackinac Cup Division.  Second in class and 4th in fleet was WIND CZAR, followed by IMPULSE 3rd in class and 6th in fleet.  The balance of the top five was VELOCITY 4th and KASHMIR 5th.

The J/120 Class report is courtesy of Frank Kern (owner/skipper of CARINTHIA).  He reflects what others had done from a tactics/ strategy standpoint during the race.  Here is Frank’s commentary: “This week the Detroit area fleet moved on to Chicago with 7 of the 8 J/120 fleet participating. The race began with an 8 knot wind out of the northeast with the fleet flying genoas for the first few hours on the Illinois shore. When the spinnakers went up as the wind shifted to the southeast the J120s spit with half sailing out in the lake and the other half continuing to sail up the shore towards Wisconsin. On the left was last week’s Bayview Mackinac winner Bob and Mike Kirkman’s Hot Ticket initially in the lead, Canada Sarnia based Irresistible 2 owned by Gerry Hines, Dennis Dettmer’s Perversion, and Frank Kern’s Carinthia. To the west was Jerry Bresser’s Flyin’ Irish, 2012 winner Henry Mistele’s Night Moves, Chicago based Frank Giampoli’s Jahazi, and new entrant John Hughes and Ed Vermet’s Nautiboys.   As the racers approached Point Betsy, Irresistible 2 was leading the fleet with Carinthia sailing much farther west on Lake Michigan. Much of the fleet was sailing the Michigan shore in pursuit of shore breeze. Hot Ticket was no longer in the lead and Perversion was in 2nd, Carinthia in 3rd. At the Manitou Straits, the majority of fleet passed through and Carinthia passed through farther north, south of the Fox Islands. As the wind was stronger on the outside and using a hotter angle, Carinthia gained the lead at Greys Reef. She managed to finish 54 minutes ahead of the next J/120s but the battle was not over. Irresistible 2 was 1.3 miles ahead of Perversion with the two yachts gybing to the finish. Perversion managed to take 2nd place by one second at the finish line. Flyin’ Irish was 4th, Night Moves was 5th, Hot Ticket 6th, Jahazi 7th, and Nautiboys 8th.”

In the big handicap divisions, the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen and family from Port Washington, Wisconsin finished 4th in Division 2.   The Cup Division 3 fleet had two good performances, the J/130 EDGE skippered by Bob McManus took 4th and the J/133 SCIROCCO 3 sailed by Bob Klairmont took 5th.

The J/122s battled it out this year in Division 4 and basically sailed a match race from start to finish.  Both boats ended up east of rhumb after the 11pm to 3am black hole and proceeded to match each other off the Michigan dunes, but never taking advantage of any of the “point acceleration” strategies.  In the end, Matt Songer’s EVVAI got the upper hand early and never let go, taking 5th in class and 21st in Mackinac Cup division overall.  Mitch Padnos’s & Tracy Brand’s famous SUFFICIENT REASON (the 2013 Overall and Class Division winner) had a rougher go of it this year and settled for 8th in class.

In the Double-Handed Division, the J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS sailed by George & Scott Petritz sailed well, finishing late afternoon on Monday to take 2nd overall in their division.

In Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division 6, it was the Mac “debut” of the J/88 HOKEY SMOKE sailed by Richie Stearns.  Their strategies were similar to most of the fleet, starting due north and staying west of rhumbline until the infamous Racine “hole” between 11pm to 3am.  However, HOKEY SMOKE gybed earlier than most and ended up in less pressure along and just east of rhumb as they approached Big Sable dunes on the Michigan shoreline.  Nevertheless, Stearns and crew sailed very fast, capturing not only 2nd in Division but managed 13th overall.   For more Chicago Mackinac Race sailing information

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

North Sails J/70 Worlds Sponsorship

J/70 world championship in Newport, RI(Newport, RI)– The J/70 Class Association is pleased to announce that North Sails has committed to a Gold Sponsorship and will be the Official Regatta Support Partner for the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen, which will be contested September 8-13, 2014, in Newport, Rhode Island, and hosted by the New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court.

As the Official Regatta Support Partner, North Sails’ North U Regatta Services team will be onsite all week working with sailors to improve their boat setup, rig tune and sail trim. Available to all competitors, expert sailing performance analysts Andreas Josenhans and Chuck Allen will offer on-the-water performance analysis followed by daily photo and video debriefs. Additionally, North Sails’ J/70 class experts will host dock talks immediately after sailing throughout the regatta; North’s sail care van will be available to pick-up and drop-off sails needing overnight repair; and North Sails has partnered with Sailing Weather Service to provide free detailed daily weather forecasts for all competitors.

“The J/70 has quickly become one of the fastest growing one-design classes in North America and I have firsthand knowledge of how fun it is to sail and how competitive the racing has become,” said North Sails One Design President Tim Healy (Jamestown, R.I.). “The boat is a solid design, and J Boats has done a great job backing the class’s growth, which has contributed to its popularity. This regatta is sure to be a marquee event with huge participation, and personally I can’t wait for September.”

North Sails President Ken Read (Newport, R.I.) will kick off the week at Sail Newport on Sunday, September 7, with a local knowledge presentation followed by the North Sails-hosted J/70 Worlds Welcome Party featuring beverages from local brewery Newport Storm.

“The J/70 Class is exploding right now,” said Read. “North Sails has been a supporter of the boat since its inception, and we’re proud to sign on for J/70 Worlds. Newport is the perfect venue and the New York Yacht Club will ensure the regatta is well run. We look forward to welcoming all J/70 sailors, especially the international competitors, to Newport in September.”   For more information about the inaugural J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen

NRV Wins J/70 Bundesliga- Travemunde

J/70s sailing Travemunde, Germany (Travemunde, Germany)- Travemünde Week was a week of championships, and it also featured the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (18 – 22 July).  The SAP Media Race Course at the mouth of the river offered a spectacular program for the sailors from all eighteen clubs participating in the event.

The waterfront festival and regatta is so enormous and has such broad appeal to Europeans that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered her perspectives on this popular summer destination event: “Travemünde is considered to be the jewel in the crown of the city of Lübeck. Indeed, Travemünde offers no less than an ideal backdrop to an international maritime sporting festival. The Travemünder Week – which originally came about as a result of a contest between two merchants over a bottle of wine – has long been a major event that attracts around one million visitors each year. No wonder so many come – a very special regatta week awaits them. Some 2,000 yachtswomen and men from 30 nations come together to pit their skills against each other in various competitions.

J/70 supporter- Chancellor Angela Merkel from GermanyWhether you’re looking for a sporting event or a festival with a programme of activities suitable for all the family – the Travemünder Week has something for everyone. This also applies to Travemünde itself, considering the wonderful opportunity to showcase the town as a coastal resort rich in tradition and an important ferry port.

As patron, I am pleased to see that the Travemünder Week is already into its 125th year. I would like to congratulate the organizers on this remarkable anniversary. My special thanks go to the Lübeck Yacht Club and the numerous helpers who are ensuring that the Travemünder Week runs smoothly. All that remains is for me to wish all yachtsmen and women and sailing enthusiasts from near and far an unforgettable Travemünder Week jubilee!”

The kick-off for the next event of the Bundesliga in Travemünde could not have been more perfect: fantastic sailing conditions with sun, summer, beach and wind with nine races completed - three for each club. After taking three firsts in winds approaching 25 kts and 6 foot waves, the Flensburg Sailing Club team were comfortably in the lead (FSC’s crew were Sven Koch, Alexander Erichsen, Hans Henning Hoeft and Morten Massmann).  They were followed by four clubs who tied: the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, YC Berlin-Grunau, the VS Am Wannsee and the Deutscher Touring YC.

J/70s sailing Segel-bundesliga, GermanyThe second day of sailing was phenomenal, winds around 20 kts, sunny, big waves and perfect conditions.  After ten races, the Flensburg SC was still in the lead and just one point back tied for second were Norddeutscher RV and the Deutscher Touring YC.  At this point, a total of 30 races had been sailed, ten for each club.  Said Kathrin Kadel Bach, a team member of VS am Wannsee, “everything hurts, today was really exhausting. All clubs are fighting for every point, because it matters in the end."

After the final set of three races on the last day, it was Norddeutscher RV that took over the lead with a strong showing on the last day.  Taking second in Travemunde was Flensburger SC and ending up third despite a great, effort on the last day was Deutscher Touring YC.

For sailing fans, sailors and spectators, they were completely thrilled with the live broadcast of SAP and the highly exciting race taking place on the waterfront.

SAP Sailing pavilion- J/70 segel-bundesligaSecond placed Flensburg SC led to the penultimate race and lost to the favorites from Hamburg by a whisker. "We had it in our hands today. Unfortunately, we made a stupid error in the penultimate race itself," says Morten Massmann (his crew was Sven Koch, Alexander Erichsen and Hans Henning Hoeft).  Despite giving up first place, FSC made a big jump from 8th to 4th place in the overall Bundesliga season series.

"There is still a long way to the title. We did not expect to have a win here in Travemünde. The competition was really strong," said helmsman Johannes Polgar (his crew was Klaas Höpcke, Florian Spalteholz and Niklas Meyerinck).

Besides the two northern clubs, the Deutscher Touring YC from Lake Starnberg that finished third is now standing in second place in the overall season standings.  "The Bundesliga is really intense. Even during the breaks between races, it’s hard to relax, because we are still thing of the last race. And now it's back on the water and we get going again. Real madness," says Max Weiss, skipper of DTYC.

After the top three (NRV, FSC and DTYC), the balance of the top five at Travemunde includes Wurttemberg YC in 4th and VS am Wansee in 5th.

At this stage of the series, behind NRV in 1st and DTYC in 2nd, the series is quite close for the top five.  Third is VS am Wansee with 31 pts, just one point back from 2nd.  Fourth is Flensburg SC with just 28 pts and fifth is Wurttemberg YC with 27 pts.  Each regatta is producing a juggling of the standings, thus putting a premium on strong, conservative racing to avoid an unnecessary bad race.

Here are YouTube J/70 Bundesliga sailing video summaries:
Day 1-
Day 2-
Day 3-

For more J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

Monday, July 28, 2014

Healy Wins J/70 North Americans

J/70s sailing North Americans in Rochester, NY (Rochester, NY)- As two-time winner of the J/70 Midwinters at Key West Race Week, no one was surprised that Tim Healy’s crew (John Mollicone, Gordon Borges and Geoff Becker) sailing HELLY HANSEN would end up be crowned as the 2014 J/70 North American Champion.  It was a tough battle all the way through the regatta for Healy to overcome numerous obstacles along the way.  What is clear is that after two years of competition, the J/70 class has achieved “parity” in terms of boatspeed and boat-handling amongst the top 25 teams, with the ultimate outcome primarily determined by good starts, sailing in clean air and minimizing massive mistakes around the race track.  That Healy did not win until his last race when his primary competitor bombed a race underscores that development.  Even more remarkable, no one in the top ten won more than one race and, in fact, every team in the top ten all counted at least one double-digit score! The average of 11th was all that was needed to finish in the top five.

The second annual J/70 North Americans was sailed in Rochester, New York and hosted by the Rochester YC.  An enormous fleet of 71 boats sailed just six races with no discards.  Unfortunately, there was no sailing on the last day due to no wind.

On the first day, it was a very tight battle for first between Healy and Brian Keane’s SAVASANA after three races were completed.   Only one point separated Healy and Keane for the top position, with Healy holding the advantage 12 points to 13. Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA from Brazil sailed well and took third place on the day with 21 points. Healy tallied a 3-3-6, while Keane managed a 5-6-2.

Thursday dawned with winds between 6-8 knots, as Jenn and Ray Wulff began the regatta with a victory. Marco Teixidor and Healy completed the top three. With sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees, the breeze increased to 10-12 knots in the next contest when Brian Elliott grabbed the win, and Joel Ronning and Healy followed. Santa Cruz ended the day successfully in the final bout, which saw winds build to 12-14. Keane trailed in second, and Ian Atkins in third.

On the second day of racing, two more race were completed and Keane continued to post consistent scores, with nothing lower than a 6th and moved solidly into first place with a 5-6-2-4-5 score for only 22 pts. Healy dropped to second with 33 points, and Ian Atkins sailing BOATS.COM from England moved into third with 49 pts.  Brian Elliott led the Corinthian division after the first five races.

Teams were briefly postponed on shore as the wind filled in. When it did, the breeze ranged between 6-8 knots under clear skies. Bennet Greenwald scored the victory in race four, just ahead of Martin Johnsson and Jud Smith. Joel Ronning grabbed a bullet in the next battle, as Martin Kullman and Allan Terhune finalized the top three spots.

And that is how it all ended on Saturday!  Rounding out the top five behind Healy, Atkins and Keane were Brazil’s Mauricio Santa Cruz in 4th and in 5th was Allan Terhune from Annapolis, MD.  Martin Johnsson won the Corinthian Division, with Adam Burns in second and Brian Elliott in third.

Healy praised the Race Committee, led by PRO Hank Stuart, saying, “Hank and his crew did a really great job getting races off in the tough conditions that we had. The race management was excellent.” He also complimented the welcoming hospitality at the Rochester Yacht Club. “For the J/70 Class, this is a great place to have a Championship regatta,” Healy continued. “Everything was done first-class. We enjoyed every part of it, and stayed for all the dinners. It was fun for us; we had
a great time in Rochester.”   For more J/70 North Americans sailing information

Win A J/70 One-design Speedster!

J/70 Raffle (Jamestown, RI)- The Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation (CISF) and East Coast Yacht Sales are conducting a raffle for a J/70. The raffle will be held at CISF's annual auction on August 30th at Conanicut YC in Jamestown, RI.

Only 650 tickets will be sold at $100.00 USD each- in other words the “odds” are incredibly good!  CISF is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization promoting marine access and education and has teamed up with East Coast Yacht Sales to raffle a brand-new J/70 sailboat complete with trailer, valued at over $47,000!  Note- you do not have to be present to “win the J/70” at the raffle!

For more “Win a J/70 Raffle” information, please contact Suzy Leech at cell# 860-995-4300 or email-   For more information and how to buy raffle tickets- please see the J/70 Raffle website. Sailing photo credits- Onne Vanderwal Photography

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stephanie Roble wins U.S. Women’s Match Racing

Step Roble and the EPIC Race Team- winning match race (Long Island Sound, NY)-  Having sailed a diversity of boats in the past few years, especially J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/80s in various one-design fleet and match-racing regattas, Steph has applied her extraordinary ability to adapt to different boats to go fast and win!

Having just come off an excellent performance in the recent ISAF Women’s Match Race Worlds sailed on J/80s in Ireland, Steph added yet another feather in her distinguished list of accomplishments by defeating another long-time J sailor (J/22s, J/24s, J/80s, J/105s), Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, 2-0 in Sunday’s final series to win the 2014 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing.

The win for Roble marks her first U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship title in five attempts. Roble receives an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed October 3-5, 2014 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif. She also receives an invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan (Wis.) on September 23-28, 2014. The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee will be providing travel grants to the team for both events.

Crewing for Roble’s Epic Racing Team this week was Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.), Jane Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), Martha Pitt (Newport, R.I.), Hollister Poole (Falmouth, Maine), Elizabeth Shaw (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

An exuberant Roble explained her team’s success this week: “We expected light air this weekend and we got a wide range of conditions, including heavy breeze today. We did a great job getting in good position for the finals. We had our hands full in the finals with Nicole’s team. They led us along the track, but we were able to get some lead changes. I thought we had great boat handling and Maggie did an amazing job downwind on the kite, which is where we made most of our moves.”

Roble advanced to the Finals with a 2-0 series win over Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) in the morning semifinals. Breault also advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.).

“We learned a lot this week in the Swedish Match 40s,” said Breault. “At times we felt like we were in control and other times it got hectic. Our hats off to Stephanie’s team. In more breeze they were able to handle their chute better. We are looking forward to our next chance to race at this championship.

Roble placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in June at Cork, Ireland. Roble is the third ranked women’s match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She also won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women’s Trophy. She returned to the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship after placing second last year in Chicago.   For more US Sailing Match Race sailing information

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CanAm Challenge Regatta Preview

J/88 sailing downwind (Youngstown, NY)- For decades the Youngstown YC has run many popular regattas on Lake Ontario, inviting everyone and virtually any boat that floats to its beautiful location in Youngstown, NY at the western end of the lake, not far from the famous Niagara Falls.  In keeping with their one-design traditions, the club created a new event called the CanAm Challenge that was focused primarily on popular one-design classes in their region and, in addition, created a fun “pursuit-style” race for PHRF sailors.

Due to their tremendous group of enthusiastic volunteers, great reputation for hosting social events each day and, perhaps important to some, the fact that Youngstown YC has an excellent Race Committee and PRO’s running the various courses, the sailors look forward to lots of good sailing and camaraderie ashore.

This new event features FIVE J/Classes, including the J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s and J/105s.  In the J/22s, it looks like PROST (Darcy Fuller), RAISED J (Michele Cimon), RUFUS (David Krystaf), THREE’s COMPANY (Paul Davignon), TRAINWRECK (Adam Masters) will all have fun determining bragging rights for their new event.

It also looks like the J/24 class will have an equally challenging time figuring out who’s going to be top dog with teams like A1 (Tom Taylor), HANG LOOSE (Gabriel Lewis), IN THE MOMENT (Rick Sherk), J-TRIPPER (Tom Raes), and Skylar Munger flying around the race track.

The biggest one-design fleet in the regatta happens to be the fifteen boat J/70 class, an exceptional attendance record for this new class.  The fleet is deeply talented and boats to watch for amongst the leaders include HONEY BADGER (Travis Odenbach), JUNIOR (Tim Finkle), LATE LIFE CRISIS (Corbo Corbishley), RARITY (Marty McKenna), RISK (Gary Tisdale/ Adam Burns), SUPERFECTA (Kris Werner) and two Canadian teams- REX (Scott Weakly) and HONGI HIKA (Mark Bird).

The newest of the fleets surely must be the debut of the new J/88 one-design fleet- the first regatta in the world for J/88s!  The fleet of five boats includes NIGHT OWL (Rick Lohr), RUMBLE BEE (John Frank), SEAWEED (Don Finkle), SQUIRMY (Joe O’Brien) and USA 2 (Joe Pawlowski).  It will be quite interesting to see what these teams learn about making J88s go fast around a one-design windward-leeward “sausage course”.

The J/105s are hanging in with a trio of good teams from Canada sailing in preparation for their J/105 North Americans in Toronto, Ontario in early October.  Those teams include ALI-KAT (Ed Berkhout), LIVE EDGE (Mike Mountford), and TRIDENT (Jenny Farrand).

An innovative addition to the regatta is the PHRF Pursuit Class style format (where slowest boats start first and fastest go last, whoever crosses the line first wins).  Sailing in that division are two super-fast J’s, the J/111 LAKE EFFECT skippered by Bob Hesse and the J/92 J-HAWK helmed by Eric Herbert.   For more CanAm Challenge Regatta sailing information.

Team Alvemedica Training Update

Charlie Enright and Team Alvemedica- sailing Volvo Race (Newport, RI)- The Volvo Ocean Race may not officially start until October, but this isn't stopping Team Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing from engaging in a 'friendly delivery' thanks to some special permission from the race organizers. According to reports, the two teams organized a 'promotional start' out of Newport, Rhode Island on Wednesday that was enjoyed by hundreds of spectators. Both boats are bound for the UK, with Team Alvimedica destined for Southampton and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing bound for Gosport.

“It's not easy to leave friends and family behind but it is time to get out and go sailing,” said Charlie Enright, skipper of Team Alvimedica (a champion Newport J/24 sailor).  “While we have achieved a lot in our month here in Newport, we now need to maximize our time at sea together as a team.”

The next time that either Team Alvimedica or Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sail into Newport Harbor will be during the actual Volvo Ocean Race stopover, so this was obviously a big moment for both teams, especially the American- and Turkish-flagged Team Alvimedica, whose skipper is a proud Newport-area local.

Marblehead NOOD Regatta Preview

J/70s sailing around mark (Marblehead, MA)- The upcoming Sperry Top Sider Marblehead NOOD Regatta also marks the 125th time the event has been held in Marblehead, MA with its three leading clubs (Eastern YC, Corinthian YC and Boston YC) playing hosts to the event for a wide variety of local one-design classes.  This year’s primary host will be Corinthian YC and the event is expecting as strong a turnout as it has seen in recent years.  Featured amongst the J/Classes will be J/24s, J/70s and J/105s.

The J/24s have a solid eight boat turnout featuring many new faces in the crowd along with class stalwarts from the area.  Notable teams that have participated actively in Marblehead events include AIRODOODLE (John Denman), GRACE UNDER PRESSURE (Greg Williams) and SHELDON J (John Wells).  Looking to make their mark this year could be ASTERI (George Aangnostopoulos), BLACKFIN (Mike Lachmayr), LITTLE MARTHA (Chris Clancy) and XINGU (Mike Taber).

The J/70 class has an excellent fleet of sixteen boats registered and many in the fleet will be competing for some of the last slots to qualify for the 2014 J/70 Worlds in Newport this coming September.  While some experienced teams like Jud & Cindy Smith’s AFRICA, Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING, Will Welles’s RASCAL, Dave Franzel’s SPRING are already qualified for the Worlds, other new teams with top talent could be in the hunt.  Some of the new teams include ASTERIA (Holly Fabyan), HALF FULL (Marc Poirier), HURRICANE (Alex & Ian Cook), JOUST (Tim Molony), SCAMP (Bill Lynn & Matt Hooks) and WINTER WIND (Nancy Glover).

The J/105 class has seen one of its best turnouts this year with eighteen teams competing from the New England region. Expect to see local hotshots like Fred deNapoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA, Marty Galligan’s ATALANTA, Ric Dexter’s CIRCE’s CUP, Steve Hollis’s SIROCCO, Mark Lindquist’s STERLING ben amongst the leaders.  In addition, a Dallas, Texas crew led by Mark & Jolene Masur sailing the well-traveled TWO FEATHERS will always be a factor amongst the top crews.   For more Marblehead NOOD sailing information.

J’s Reign Supreme In LO 300 Race

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario 300 Challenge race J/133 HOT WATER Tops IRC, J/35 SHORTHANDED Tops PHRF
(Mississauga, Ontario)- The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge always provides a challenging circumnavigation of Lake Ontario.  Co-hosted by Oakville Yacht Squadron and the Port Credit Yacht Club.  Teams have the option of two courses, the Main Duck Island course of 300nm and the shorter Scotch Bonnet Island course of 190nm.  Both courses start and finish at Port Credit YC.

On the longer MDI course it was John McLeod’s J/133 HOT WATER sail a fantastic race to take IRC Overall honors.  Not far behind on handicap time was Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY in fourth place (a past overall winner of the race).

In PHRF A division, Mike Pietz’s J/35 SHORTHANDED grabbed the top honors followed by Graham Toms’s J/120 THE CAT CAME BACK in 3rd place, Bob Hesse’s J/111 LAKE EFFECT in 5th place, Geoff Clarke’s J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE in 6th, then Geoff Roulet’s J/35 JEANNIE in 7th and Paul-Angus Bark’s J/35 CRIME SCENE.

In the Scotch Bonnet Race, the PHRF “white sail” class saw Bonnie Reib’s J/33 DAYBREAK sail a beautiful race to take 2nd and Leszek Siek’s J/35 JAEGER finish 3rd.   For more Lake Ontario 300 Challenge sailing information

Friday, July 25, 2014

SB-King Harbor Race Preview

(Santa Barbara, CA)- One of the most popular mid-summer offshore races in Southern California is the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race.  The race has been a tradition for 42 years and this year’s 94 boats is one of the largest in decades; a notable increase in the fleet size is attributable to the seventeen fun-loving J/Teams spanning three divisions (18% of the fleet).  It’s no wonder, the race is one of the premier distance races, its part of the Wilson Offshore Series, and the teams love the legendary hospitality of the co—hosts- Santa Barbara and King Harbor YC’s- famous for their pre-race party and the giant crab & beer awards luncheon.

The PHRF Sprit Division might as well be called the “J-Sprit” class, as 11 of 16 boats are all J/teams.  Amongst those participating are two J/133s- Joe Simpkins’s FORGIVENESS and Roy Jones’s TANGO.  Joining them are two J/111s, Bill Webster & Mike Moorhead’s JATO (2nd in class for 2013) and Glenn Griley’s STAMPEDE, both from King Harbor YC.  Giving those two a run-for-the-money is Tom & Terri Manok’s J/120 POLE DANCER.  The race will feature the debut of the J/88 CRAZY 88 sailed by Dr Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara YC.  A trio of J/109s will be tackling the course that includes Tom Brott’s well-known, Long Beach Race Week winning ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC, Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR, and Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE from Cal YC.  Chasing them will be Tom Bollay’s J/105 ARMIDA from Santa Barbara YC as well as Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN also from SBYC.

The PHRF Sprit ULDB Class is loaded with many of the top California offshore speedsters and the top carbon-flyers from the J design team.  At the head of the J class is Carolyn Park’s J/145, the beautiful red RADIO FLYER from Santa Barbara.  She will have to contend with a duo of J/125s that include Viggo Torbensen’s Dana Point Offshore series winner TIMESHAVER as well as Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC.  One of the 125 teams, TIMESHAVER, was recently out testing some ideas, here’s commentary from Keith Magnussen on their progress: “We are continuing to improve our speed and understanding of the J-125 and part of our learning process is testing sails.  Here is a short video of what that looks like.  I know it seems like all we do is have fun but trust me we are working hard at almost 15kts (see ‘Rinsed Lifestyle’ sailing video-”

In the huge 34 boat PHRF Racing class, there are two J/33s sailing including Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s TIGGER from King Harbor YC and Mark Weinberger’s PRIMA from San Diego’s Cortez Racing Association.  They will be up against Shawn Ivie’s J/30 FRICTION LOSS from the Santa Barbara Yacht Racing Club.  For more Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race sailing information

MAGIC J/35 Enjoys IRC Nationals

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- For over a decade, the RORC IRC National Championship has produced great racing and this year’s was an absolute cracker. The open event features yachts from six different countries, crewed by 400 sailors from all over the world. Bolstered by nine yachts competing for the 2014 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, the international fleet, of nearly 50 yachts, had an intense three-day battle on tight Solent courses.

In IRC Three James Chalmers' J/35 BENGAL MAGIC, was back to defend their class win. Last year, the team from Weymouth Sailing Club had a close battle with the overall winner in 2012, David Franks' Strait Dealer.  "It will be nice to line up against Strait Dealer again; they are always going to be strong in their home waters," commented James Chalmers. "We had to sail well last year but the light airs contributed to our victory so we will be praying for more of the same. There is a lot of talent right through our class - we will just have to see how we go."

IRC Nationals startThe largest and most diverse class racing at the RORC IRC National Championship was IRC Four, with most of the class comprised of Quarter and Half Tonners, immaculately restored for racing.  Meanwhile, father and son team Nick and Adam Munday, were back to defend their title onboard their J/97 INDULJENCE.  "It is definitely a tough class this year and we will have our work cut out for us," commented Adam Munday. "This is one of the big regattas of the year and we have been training hard right through the winter. I share the driving with my dad throughout the season but dad will be driving all three days and we have a couple of new sails for the regatta, which we are really happy about. The conditions will play a big part in deciding the winner; the Quarter Tonners are hard to beat in the light and when the breeze gets up the heavier boats, like Winsome, have `get up and go' - it's going to be a hell of a challenge."

Here is how it all went down for the two J/Teams participating.  For the first day of sailing, the hottest day in the UK this year caused a delay to the start but it was well worth the wait. Once a sea breeze had fully developed in the Western Solent, three races were completed: two windward leewards, followed by a round the buoys race back to the central Solent. The stable westerly breeze of 10 knots lasted all afternoon, building for the last race, to give a late but great finish to the first day of action for the RORC fleet. The boat-on-boat action was intense with a wall of boats arriving in unison at mark roundings and results decided by seconds. The Western Solent is famed for its tidal race and with Spring Tides in force, the effects were accentuated. Reading the tide today was a crucial factor towards performance.

J/35 offshore sailboatThere was a dramatic start to the championship with reigning class champion, James Chalmer's British J/35 BENGAL MAGIC coming last in the first race. After hitting a mark in a crowd of yachts, BENGAL MAGIC took a penalty and couldn't recover.

Three vintage yachts dominated the podium with every race winner being decided by a matter of seconds. Reigning class champion, Nick and Adam Munday's J/97 INDULJENCE struggled against the opposition on the windward leeward courses but came back in the last round the cans race to lift the team to fourth in class.

The Eastern Solent provided a fascinating combat zone for the second day of racing. A fickle northerly breeze at the start provided shifty conditions before clocking east and building to a solid 15 knots of pressure. During the final race a massive rainsquall brought a short sharp intensity to the final race with over 20 knots of wind and driving rain, testing the endurance of the teams. The second day of the championship was full of incident and intense boat-on-boat action. The teams that handled their yachts well, in close quarters and rapidly changing conditions, were the outstanding performers of the day.

The best performer of the day in IRC Three was Chalmers' J/35 BENGAL MAGIC, which won the first race of the day and followed up the victory with two second places. Their performance kept them solidly in second place.

The Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE experienced somewhat of an “off” day, posting a 10-14-6 to likely take them completely out of contention for a podium finish.

The last day of racing was critical for a number of boats.  Most importantly, keeping in clear air and playing the shifts were the big factors towards a top performance, but maintaining concentration, in an adrenalin packed final day, was just all important.

In IRC Three, last year's IRC Three champion BENGAL MAGIC posted three solid races on the last day (2, 3.5, 2) to finish second overall— losing their on-going annual battle with their friends on David Franks’ Strait Dealer.

In IRC Four, the Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE finished the regatta on a high, winning the ninth (and last) race after posting an equally impressive 2nd in the 8th race.  A bit late finding their “high gear”, but nevertheless good enough for them to capture fourth overall.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more RORC IRC Nationals sailing information

J/111 North Americans Preview

J/111s sailing one-design class(Harbor Springs, MI)- The 2nd annual J/111 North American Championship will be hosted by Little Traverse YC from July 23rd to 27th in Harbor Springs, MI.  Eight states are represented amongst the thirteen competitors that range from Arizona to Florida and Maryland to Ohio; the largest contingents coming from the Great Lakes fleets in Michigan and Illinois.

Many of the teams recently experienced a spectacular Chicago-Mackinac Race with sunny weather, starlit skies and mostly Code Zero to A2 reaching conditions for over 35 hours straight.  Some of that experience may help in the race format being introduced to the teams for the upcoming event. In addition to the traditional windward-leeward race courses, the teams will also join the “random leg” Bay Tour that is a popular race within the Harbor Springs Regatta being held at the same time.

Coming off their dominating performance in the Chicago-Mackinac will be Dave Irish’s crew on NO SURPRISE, who not only won the J/111 Class with ease but also finished 2nd overall in the 150+ boat Mackinac Cup Division.  Many other top teams will be participating from the Great Lakes fleets, including Key West Race Week winners Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Lakeside YC in Ohio; last year’s J/111 NA winners Dick Lehmann’s WIND CZAR from Paradise Valley, AZ; Chicago NOOD Regatta winners KASHMIR (Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer); Great Lakes Double-handed winners NIGHTHAWK (Dabrowski & Edman); and East Coast Champion Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY from Annapolis YC.  Newcomers to this year’s event include Don Hudak’s CAPERS from Mentor, OH; George Gamble’s Gulf Coast Offshore Series champion MY SHARONA from Pensacola YC; Dan Kitchens’s SKULL CRACKER from Huntleigh, MO and Brad Farber’s UTAH from Owosso, MI.

The racing promises to be close and exciting.  After two year’s of one-design and offshore racing in various parts of the country, most J/111 teams are experiencing similar speeds and it has been the basics of racing (tactics/strategy, boat-handling, and starts) that are the primary determinants of ultimate success sailing around the race track.   For more J/111 NA’s sailing information

J's Trounce Round Ireland

J/109 sailing RORC Round Ireland race J/109 Tops IRC 3, J/111 2nd IRC 2
(Wicklow, Ireland)- When the fleet of 35 ocean racing yachts took off on the from the starting line at Wicklow, Ireland, in the RORC Round Ireland Race, everyone secretly hoped the relatively light wind forecasts were wrong.  After all, sailing 704nm in 5-10 kt winds might take awhile!  In the end, for most it took 5+ days to complete the race and the competitors commented on the fantastic views, the pods of dolphins, whale and shark sightings, as well as the wonderful navigational challenges that the island of Ireland offered. For most, the significant amount of reaching mixed in with some running and beating provided a fairly high average speed for the boats finishing in just over 5 days— about a 9.0+ average!

J/105 offshore sailboat- sailing RORC Round Ireland raceThe Round Ireland Yacht Race is one of the classic middle distance offshore yacht races of the world and over the years, the challenging, interesting and beautiful race course has attracted world-class sailors and their boats.  The event is Ireland’s premier offshore sailing race and is held every two years by Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. The 704nm race was first held in 1980 and still retains the original course; “leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard.”  With a long range forecast for relatively light winds, one hopes it doesn’t become another “Bermuda 2014 (the new longest version ever)!”

Loving the conditions were the four J’s entered in this year’s edition.  In IRC 2 Class, the J/111 FUJITSU skippered by veteran offshore yachtsman DB Cattle took 2nd in class and 7th overall!

An even more remarkable story was that of another veteran Irish offshore yachtsman- Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH not only won IRC 3 Class, but also took 2nd overall!  Another J/109 sailed by P Dunlop & V Cox took 3rd in class and 11th overall!  They were closely followed by the fourth place J/105 JET DREAM sailed by Philip Bourke.  Good show mates!   For more Round Ireland Yacht Race sailing information

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fiesta Cup ECLIPSED!

J/70 eclipse winning Fiesta Cup regatta (Santa Barbara, CA)- The 8th annual Fiesta Cup at Santa Barbara Yacht Club had an excellent turnout of J/70s and the fleet of eight boats enjoyed two good days of racing.  As has been the tradition since the event started, the sailors were treated on Saturday evening to an awesome luau-styled barbecue sponsored by Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard and Cerveza Pacifico and supplanted by the famous Santa Barbara YC “margaritas”.

The J/70 fleet is growing nicely in Santa Barbara and this year’s event attracted a competitive cross-section of fun-loving 70 sailors from across California.  On the first day, BOTTLE ROCKET (Jeff Thorpe & David Schuman) took off like a rocket and posted an unbeatable scoreline of 2-1-2 to lead the fleet on the first day.  In their wake was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE with 4-3-3 for second and in third was Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRROS with a 1-4-4.

J/70s at Santa Barbara Fiesta Cup- sailing off startThe next day of racing saw dramatic “chutes & ladders” scorelines for the entire fleet with a surprising outcome for the regatta.  After starting slowly, very slowly in fact, the ECLIPSE team led by past J/24 North American Champion Pat Toole (of THREE BIG DOGS fame) took the bit in his teeth and was determined to beat the others around the track.  When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon ECLIPSE’s three straight bullets for the day gave them a record of 7-6-1-1-1-1 for 17 pts.  In short, they simply “ECLIPSED” the fleet.  Sailing with Pat were Shawn Hughes, Andrew Nunn, and Mike Drammer.

The balance of the top five was extremely close, with just three points separating them after six races; the outcome determined by the last leg of the last race!  After posting a strong finish at Long Beach Race Week, Scott Deardorff’s team on CAKE (wife Leslie Dierdorff and Matt & Laura Wilson) sailed a very consistent series and, in fact, were the only team to post all top four finishes in the regatta.  Their record of 4-3-3-4-4-2 for 20 pts was good enough for second place.  CAKE just beat Mike Wolfe’s IN SHEEP’s CLOTHING crew by one point.  The “Sheep” posted a 3-5-5-2-3-3 tally for 21 pts to secure third.  Fourth was Chris Gabriel’s DIVERSION with 22 pts and fifth was the top visiting team, Jeff Thorpe & David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC.  The sailors commented the event was as fun as ever and “kudos” should go to Fiesta Cup Regatta Chairman Jane Watkins and to Santa Barbara YC’s PRO Brad Schaupeter. Sailing photo credits- Taggart Lee.  For more Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/133 BLACKJACK Wins Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race

J/133 Blackjack wins Cowes Dinard St Malo race (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- A favorite of the RORC offshore sailing community is the annual Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race.  After starting off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line, the fleet heads off around a 150nm triangle that ends up in St Malo, France- a wonderful seaside town on the north coast of France steeped in history and a place that offers the weary sailors delicious seafood delicacies enhanced by the equally impressive wines from the local vineyards.

The big story for this year’s race were the fact that two J’s swept the top two spots both overall and in IRC 2 Class.  The overall winner of the race was Eric Gicquel's J/133 BLACK JACK skippered by Nils Boyer. François Lognoné's J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER, also from St.Malo, was second.

Nils Boyer, BLACK JACK’s skipper, was born in St.Malo and, under the tutelage of Franck-Yves Escoffier, is one of the rising stars in French solo sailing. Nils Boyer's goal is to participate in the Route Du Rhum and his dream is to win the transatlantic race that starts from his hometown of St.Malo. Nils Boyer will be racing across the Atlantic this November in L'eau de là, from St.Malo to Guadeloupe, West Indies.

"Winning the Cowes-Dinard-St.Malo is magical," smiled Nils. "BLACK JACK is a young team all from the Sociéte Nautique de la Baie de St Malo and the champagne will be flowing with all our family and friends tonight. I have been part of teams that have won a class in the race on four occasions but this is the first time that I have won the trophy overall. L'eau de là is an association of young sailors, 16-20 years of age, and to win this prestigious trophy in our home town is fantastic".

IRC Two was highly competitive with J/Teams taking five of the top seven spots. The top seven yachts finished the 150 mile race within half an hour after time correction. BLACK JACK was the winner with J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER second and fourth was Ian Dewhirst’s J/133 JUMP.  Sixth was Nigel Passmore’s J/133 APOLLO 7 and eighth was Chris Radford’s J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH.

IRC Three was the largest class with 22 yachts competing and there was less than an hour on corrected time between the winner and 14th place. J/teams enjoyed the conditions, taking 4 of the top 10 places.  Taking 6th in class was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J (they also took 6th in IRC Double-handed class).  Eighth in class was Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME, ninth was Fred Nadaud’s J/105 VERONIKA and tenth was Kevin Armstrong’s JAZZY JELLYFISH.

In IRC Four the top eight yachts were all from France, including Francois Boue's J/109, FIROUZEH 4 taking the bronze and in eighth was Jean-Pierre Briand’s J/97 JJ L’AMOROSSO.  For more RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race sailing information

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

J/Fest Southwest Announcement

J/80s sailing Galveston Bay, Houston, Tx (Seabrook, TX)- The final Lakewood YC sponsored regatta of 2014 will again be one of the regatta highlights of the year: the 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest will be held on November 1-2 and promises to be the biggest and best yet! The previous editions of this unique event have each seen strong increases in participation, as the quality of the regatta has become better known in the region and beyond.

The City of Seabrook is again the title sponsor of the event. The city’s contribution allows us to put on a very special event with amenities and services for participants and spectators that set the event apart from other area regattas. J/Fest Southwest attracts a large number of boats that travel from other areas of the state and as far away as Colorado. We’re still working on getting the travel happy crews from the Northeast to come down and extend their racing season. What could be better than to take your boat to a great event instead of putting it on the hard for the winter?

J/105 sailboat- sailing Galveston Bay- Houston, TXWe are again expecting a record attendance in 2014. The super popular J/70 has seen its local fleet grow substantially, with several LYC members getting into this great speedster. Last year we were very successful attracting a number of J/Boats that don’t currently have strong one-design fleets but came out to race in PHRF handicap classes. We’re hoping to again expand our reach in these classes. To all you racers and crew members: talk it up with the J/Boat owner friends! Every J/Boat is a race boat, even if it’s a ‘cruising J’! We also expect strong participation for the J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes as well as several J/120s.  We have a new J/122 SECOND STAR in our LYC family. New members J.D. and Susan Hill will be at the starting line as ‘scratch boat’ that everyone else will chase. It will be exciting for sure! We hope to give participants an event that will put it onto their ‘can’t miss’ list.

Further to Seabrook, a number of returning sponsors have committed to supporting this regatta: Hayes Rigging, UK Sails, North Sails, The Sundance Grill II, Rejex, Blackburn Marine, Harken to name a few. I know that the racers appreciate their support! You can help by thanking them when the opportunity arises. Use their services, and when you do, mention their support for this regatta!

As always, J/Fest Southwest is co-sponsored by Scott and Terry Spurlin of J/Boats Southwest. Scott was instrumental in developing the concept of this unique regatta and the Spurlins have every year invested countless hours in the promotion and preparation of the event, prominently including the event’s informative web site at Scott and Terry are also using their considerable network of J/Boat owners to spread the word about the regatta and bring in new crews from around the country.

This event is also designed to reach out to those who want to watch the regatta: Family members, friends and other sailing enthusiasts can board LYC member Paul Dunphey’s Liberty Belle, which is again serving as our spectator boat. Thank you Paul and Amy!! Another excellent way to follow the racing is to volunteer on the water: run or crew a mark-set boat or help out on the signal boat. Contact Kathy Goethe (281) 844-7010 if that’s interesting to you. Of course, it is still best to hop on a J/Boat and mix it up with the others! It’s friendly competition at its best!! See you there! I can’t wait!   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J's Perform In Bayview Mackinac Race

J/120s at starting line for Bayview Mackinac race (Mackinac Island, MI) – This year’s Bell’s Beer 90th Bayview Mackinac Race began on July 12 in Southern Lake Huron, with 9-11 knots of breeze offering the 227 boats in 14 classes a swift downwind leg along the two courses offered, either to the Presque Isle Lighthouse (on the Michigan shoreline), where the Shore course begins taking a left, or the Cove Buoy where the Cove Island Course does the same (about 130 miles away from the start).

The shorter Shore course covers 204 nm along the Michigan shoreline before heading west to Mackinac Island Bell’s Beer finish line. The longer Cove Island Course is 259 nm and takes sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading west toward the finish line.

A westerly breeze of 9-11 knots allowed an initially mellow downwind spinnaker run to the first turning points in each of two courses. During the evening, however, “a lot of everything” happened when it came to weather and wind, including rain, dense fog and gusts up to 36 knots.  The front continued to move and produced a brisk westerly breeze that kept the fleet “on its nose” throughout Saturday evening and into Sunday. That meant the Cove Island course had the unfortunate task of playing windshifts for nearly 90nm upwind to Mackinac Island after rounding the Cove Buoy.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mackinac race- Hot TicketThis year, the J/120 one-design fleet sailed the longer Cove Island Course with a big fleet of ten boats participating.  All the usual suspects from the Great Lakes J/120 fleet were sailing, including most past winners in class.  The big class winner was HOT TICKET (Mike & Bob Kirkman), beating the next set of boats by over one hour!  No question there was a duel all the way to the finish for the next two boats, both finishing within 45 seconds of each other!  Taking second was FUNTECH RACING (Charlie Hess) and at the short end of that stick was CARINTHIA (Frank Kern).  The balance of the top five was NIGHT MOVES (Henry Mistele) in fourth and FLYIN IRISH (Bill Bresser) in fifth.

In PHRF A on the Cove Island Course were also two J/111s, Tim Clayson’s UNPLUGGED took 5th and Don Hudak’s CAPERS took 7th.

J/105 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing Bayview MacThe Short Course had the largest contingent of J’s sailing.  In the Level 35 Division, there are nine J/35s sailing in the fleet of eleven boats!  Taking the class honors was PAPA GAUCHO II (Keith Stauber) with the Bayer/ Bayer/ Barnes trio on FALCON only 1:50 sec behind them!  In fourth was MR BILL’S WILD RIDE sailed by Bill Wildner and fifth was MAJOR DETAIL (Bill Vogan).

Sailing into fourth overall in the 12 boat PHRF C Division was the classic navy-blue J/44 SAGITTA sailed by the team of Jon Somes and Larry Oswald from Bayview YC.

PHRF D division had an eclectic, diverse group of boats in their fleet of 16 entries.  The J/105s swept the class. The resounding winner by over 1.5 hours on elapsed time was the J/105 PTERODACTYL (Mary Symonds). J/29 sailing Bayview Mackinac race A country furlong behind was the J/105 SEND IN THE CLOWNS (Terry Timm) in second place.  Fourth was SNAKE OIL (Don Harthorn) and a J/92 took 7th- KOHATSU (John Stromberg).

Top J in the PHRF E division was the J/33 SHENANIGAN skippered by the team of Dick & Dan Synowiec from North Cape YC, placing a respectable third place.  Then in PHRF G, the J/30 CONUNDRUM skippered by Donald King from Lake Shore Sailing Club took 4th place.

On the Shore Course Cruising (white sails) division, Cruising A class saw the J/42 DOS MAS sailed by Gary Gonzalez from Grosse Pointe YC finish second!  Then, in the Division IV Shore Course Double-handed group the J/29 PATRIOT led by Lyndon Lattie took second place followed by the J/100 VANQUISH sailed by Don Fick in sixth.   For more Bayview Mackinac sailing information