Saturday, December 24, 2016

What are the ingredients for one-design class success?

J/105 Mandata- with Terry McLaughlin as skipper(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)-  Terry McLaughlin shares commentary on why the J/105 has been fun to sail for him, his family and friends.  Terry has earned his place at the pinnacle of Canadian sailing: Olympic medalist, Pan American Medalist, World Champion, Canada’s Cup winner, America’s Cup skipper, and so on. When Terry goes racing today, you’ll find him in the J/105 class. Why? Read on:

J/105: This North American Championship had one of the highest attendances in many years. What keeps a 25-year-old boat like the J/105 relevant in 2016?

TM: I often comment that the J/105 is a great and comfortable boat to sail. Unlike a lot of boats, I find it very nice to race on whether you are at the back of the boat, in the middle or up front. I like the fact that you can go down below and comfortably sit or lie down when waiting for races to start. It is not a modern foiling multihull, but speeds between boats are similar and that provides close racing.

J/105: The breeze was on for all seven races. In those circumstances, what is the most important factor during the start? Upwind? Downwind?

TM: In the NAs this year, we had good breeze and big waves on the first day and then quite strong, gusty winds with less waves on the weekend. On Friday, there was little wind, and we didn’t quite complete the one race that was started. In the breeze and current, having a good idea of exactly where the starting line is was key. It was important to have a bowman who was good at getting transits on land and being able to use those transits in the large fleet. We also put a lot of emphasis on getting good pings with our Velocitek ProStart. This always gave us a good idea of how far back from the line we were. Upwind in the breeze, it was important to have the headstay as straight as possible, and when necessary move the jibs leads back enough so that we didn’t lose the mainsail. Downwind in the puffy conditions, it was important to move the crew weight fore and aft depending on whether the puff was on or not, and always have someone with a hand on the vang, especially coming out of a gybe. As we learned in race six, it is also important not to allow both spinnaker sheets to wrap themselves around the same winch in a heavy air gybe!!

J/105 Mandate- McLaughlin and Wilmer at LarchmontJ/105: You also won the North Americans in Toronto two years ago, which was more of a light air regatta. What are the ideal conditions for a J/105?

TM: The J/105 is more of a challenge in the light air, as it is somewhat of an underpowered boat. The first thing we did when we bought Mandate is to switch over from wheel to tiller steering. I think there is much more feel in the light air with a tiller. When the breeze is on, the boats come alive. The good thing is that, as the fleet proved in Larchmont, most crews can handle the boat in 20-30 knots of wind.

J/105: Many Classes seem to struggle with attracting youth and women sailors. What can the J/105 Class do to better appeal to those demographics?

TM: We might not be the best example of a coed crew. Perhaps it is the name of our boat that keeps us usually as a male crew. There are quite a few women in the fleet in Toronto, including two woman skippers. The Class crew weight limit promotes lighter crew members on boats when the crew includes some big guys. Lighter can often mean female or youth, both of which are good for the Class. In Toronto, it is the most competitive one-design fleet, so that does attract younger sailors.

J/105: Do you prefer to have a throw-out race when a certain amount of races has been completed? Why or why not?

TM: It is my belief that in a lengthy series like the NA’s where 11 races were scheduled, having a throw-out after six or seven races have been completed makes sense. It is one thing to reward consistency, but having your regatta score ruined by one breakdown, OCS or just an off race can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth.

J/105: The J/105 Class has detailed Rules limiting sail tag purchases and professional sailors. Did that play a role in why you got involved with the Class? Do these Rules sustain the Class or are they restricting it?

TM: I think the sail restriction and Category 1 rules are good for the Class. They both assist in controlling the cost of campaigning a J/105. I am not sure that my boat partner Rod Wilmer and I would have bought into the Class if we thought it was going to be any sort of an arms race to be competitive!  We Canadians have to make every dollar work without losing our shirts, you know?  If Stu J just bought more Dubarry boots for his lovely wife Julia, we could afford more sails (or beer)!”

Friday, December 23, 2016

Italian 2017 J/24 National Circuit Update

J/24s sailing off Italy(Rome, Italy)- While many Winter Championships are providing J/24 crews across the peninsula some great racing,  the Italian J/24 class is beginning to outline the stages of the 2017 National Circuit.

The proposed circuit will be divided into seven stages from late March to mid-November.  Several new innovations will be incorporated into the series in terms of dates and locations.  Here is the schedule:

Italian J/24 Winter Series Reports

Italian J/24 sailing Mediterranean(Rome, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continues to enjoy a loyal following in many of the Peninsula’s famous seaports on the Mediterranean.  Fleet activity takes place in Trieste and Cervia on the east coast on the Adriatic; in Taranto on the “heel” of Italy on the south coast; on the west coast are Anzio & Nettuno (Rome), Porto Rotondo (Sardinia), La Maddalena (Sardinia), Portoferraio (Elba), Livorno (Tuscany), Marina di Carrara (Tuscany, famous for marble!), Porto Santo Stefano (Tuscany), Portofino (Genoa); and, finally, in the “Lakes District” in the north are Mandello del Lario (Lake Como and home of Moto Guzzi motorcycles), Lecco (Lake Como), Lago di Caldonazzo (Trento), and Castelletto di Brenzone (Lake Garda). Here are the latest updates in some of those winter series.

Three good races marked the second event of the Winter Championship in Taranto.  The races were well-organized out in the bay by the Ondabuena Academy Sailing Cub; Molo Sant’Eligio assisted them from the local Italian Navy base.

"By the second event, the Winter Championship in Taranto came alive!  Joining the fleet were Massimo Ruggiero’s CANARINO FEROCE and Leonardo Cappelluti’s crew,” commented Nino Soriano, skipper of JEBEDEE. “It was perfect weather conditions, a sunny day with a fresh northeast wind around 11-12 kts.  The regatta PRO was smart and provided the fleet short courses in the shifty winds blowing offshore from the mountains to the north of us.”

After sailing three fairly tight races, it was Thomas De Bellis Vitti’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING J that established an early lead on the fleet and never relinquished their position. As a result, after five races in the Taranto winter series, they are leading by two points over Soriano’s JEBEDEE.  Sitting in third for the series is Marcello Bellacicca’s MARBEA.

J/24s sailing off ItalyPORTOFERRAIO
On the beautiful island of Elba, the J/24 fleet sails out of the historic port of Portoferraio on the northeastern side of the island.  The second event of the Elba Winter Cup was a fun one, a challenge for the crews as the course consisted of a 7.0nm windward-leeward course, sailing out of the Bay and out to a sea-buoy and back into the finish line.  Participants included teams from several historical seaports, including Marciana Marina and Porto Azzuro.

According the organizers, “Despite the light and shifty winds, it was a great show to see the boats sail between Scoglietto and the Gulf offshore, the fleet was visible from the promenade in front of the fortress all day. Simply beautiful! We hope everyone had a wonderful time socializing and enjoying our wonderful wines at Restaurant PIER G!”

Once again, it was Enrico Gambelunghe’s BE-BEEF that led the fleet home after their gorgeous sail.  Marco Cardenti’s STELLA POLARE in second place and Marco Marmeggi’s ZIO CELESTE in third position followed them home.

After the opening round was lost due to the complete absence of wind, the Club Nautico Marina di Carrara in collaboration with the Circolo della Vela Marina di Massa, were really hoping to deliver a nice weekend of racing for the ten J/24 crews that were in attendance.  In the end, the PRO managed to run two windward-leeward races on Saturday in the light northerly winds that had started at 8 kts in the morning and slowly diminished all day.  Sunday was not much better, with just one more race completed.

Race victories were scored by Pietro Diamanti’s JAMAICA (he is the Italian J/24 Class President) and Italian Navy sailor, Vetrugno Carmine, who skippered EUTERPE.

The provisional rankings for the weekend showed that JAMAICA was leading with 4 pts, followed by EUTERPE in 2nd place with 6 pts, Giuseppe Diamanti’s SON OF RABBIT in 3rd position with 8 pts, Roberta Banfo’s TALLY HO in 4th with 9 pts and the young woman skipper, Eugenia De Giacomo, placing 5th skippering TAKE IT EASY.

The Italian Navy Sailing Club (Trieste section) hosted the XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race regatta in Trieste this past weekend.  Teams from nine countries (Italy, Russia, England, Estonia, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) participated for a weekend of racing in a Grade 3 World Sailing match race event aboard J/24s.

The President of the Italian Navy Sailing Club Trieste, Pierpaolo Scubini, pulled together a strong team to manage and conduct the event.  The world-class race committee included the Slovenian David Bartol as PRO and the Chief Umpire was the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Cordonnier.  Their teamwork was almost flawless in its execution.  Over 19 flights of races were run in very demanding weather conditions over three days, with two Semi-final round robins and the Finale on Sunday.

The first day of racing on Friday was tough on everyone.  The wind was oscillating between 3 to 5 kts and the wind direction kept changing significantly.  In the end, just two flights were held that day.

Saturday dawned with much better conditions.  With a north to northeast wind at 5 to 10 kts, the PRO managed to “catch up” the entire rotation and rounds for everyone.

Sunday’s sailing ended with a typical “Borino” breeze between 6 and 10 knots, which allowed the event to complete the semifinals and finals.

In the finale match, it was champion Austrian sailor, Christian Binder, that had the boats and the breeze figured out.  Using his skills as a tactician in the extremely competitive RC44 circuit, Binder overcame Frenchman Simon Bertheau to win the overall title.  Third place went to the Italian team of Rocco Attili and fourth position went to the Slovenian Bojan Rajar.

A special feature of this 12th edition of the regatta was that all races were run with the “New” match racing rules that will take effect in 2017.

Pierpaolo Scubini commented, “This was a beautiful event. The competition was outstanding amongst the field of eleven crews from eight European nations. For us, it was great satisfaction to be able to see sailors come from Russia, England and other countries and enjoy the tight combat of match racing in one-design J/24s!”

“We are very happy to be here in Trieste and win this XII International Christmas J/24 Match Race. We have been here before and we knew how difficult it was to race in this regatta.  On Friday, we were lucky to not lose the field, because the light winds were difficult for us to manage.  On Saturday and Sunday, we sailed well and we closed with this victory. I really like Trieste and the club and its volunteers run an amazing event,” exclaimed the winner- the Austrian Christian Binder.  For more Italian J/24 class sailing information

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas Announcement

J/105s sailing Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta(Newport, RI)– In 2017, Sailing World magazine’s annual racing circuit, the National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta Series, will revisit the country’s top sailing destinations for another five-stop series, culminating in a tropical championship regatta.

For the third consecutive year, HELLY HANSEN— a global leader in technical sailing apparel with more than 135 years of experience protecting professionals on the water— will continue as title sponsor for the elite sailing series.   The Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Series will return to:
  •  St. Petersburg, Fl-  Feb. 17-19, St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  •  San Diego, CA-  March 17-19, San Diego Yacht Club and Coronado Yacht Club
  •  Annapolis, MD-  May 5-7, Annapolis Yacht Club
  •  Chicago, IL-  June 9-11, Chicago Yacht Club
  •  Marblehead, MA-  July 27-30, Corinthian Yacht Club
The overall winner from each event earns a berth at the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship Regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands Oct. 22-27.

“Helly Hansen is excited to continue its partnership with a regatta series as strong as the NOOD Regatta,” said Brian Leslie, Watersports Sales Director at Helly Hansen. “The events are a major way for us to connect with sailors, and seeing the fleets grow—as well as youth participation with programs like the Junior Crew— is great.”

Operating since 1988, Sailing World’s National Offshore One Design Regattas, known as the “NOODs,” are the longest-running and most popular sailboat racing series in North America. Thousands of sailors aboard hundreds of race boats competed in the 2016 NOOD season; a vast majority of them are J sailors that participate in J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/105s, J/111s, J/120s and more in the PHRF divisions.

Every NOOD regatta attracts regional, national and international talent to compete against the local community on their home waters. Registration opens approximately two months prior to each race.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/   For more HELLY HANSEN NOOD Regatta sailing information

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Kullman Dominant @ Quantum J/70 Winter Series I

J/70 Africa- woman skipper Darby Smith(Tampa, FL)- Fifty-four J/70 teams traveled to Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida for the first event of the 2016-2017 Quantum J/70 Winter Series on December 10th and 11th.  Basking in sunshine and breeze between 10-18 knots for seven races, Marty Kullman and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND finished strong with three straight bullets to secure the weekend victory with 13 points.

It was a tough fleet and the forecasted breezes, surprise surprise, actually filled in on the notoriously fickle Tampa Bay for most of the weekend.  The Davis Island YC’s PRO took full advantage of their good fortune, pumping out seven quick races with speed and surgical precisions.  The sailors were enthusiastic, raced hard, and virtually every mark rounding, as has become customary in tight J/70 class racing, saw teams living with “snakes & ladders” mark rounding positions every race.

J/70 Stampede sailing Tampa BayThere were several “storybook” performances in this event, notable for yet another top woman skipper’s performance, but also for the number of new faces from across the American landscape that finished at the top of the leaderboard.  Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE crew from Fort Worth, TX was the only team to sail all top 7 races to take 2nd overall.  The top women helm was Darby Smith’s AFRICA from Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA, taking third overall.  A Chicago-based team that sails on Lake Michigan took fourth place, Mike Whitford’s RIP RULLAH from Columbia YC.  Then, David Kerr’s crew from Edgewater YC in Cleveland, OH took fifth position.

J/70s sailing off Tampa Bay waterfrontThe winner of the “Old Man of the Sea” Award (top skipper over 60) at the 2016 J/70 Worlds in San Francisco, CA, the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s Peter Cunningham, sailed his POWERPLAY into 11th overall in the talented fleet, posting a 3rd in one race Saturday and a 2nd in the last race Sunday!

The 23-boat Corinthian division was topped by Andrew Loe’s TBD from Seattle YC with 84 pts.  Second was Bryan Cameron’s B-SQUARED from Sayville YC and third was Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from host Davis Island YC.  The balance of the top five included Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY in 4th and Frank McNamara’s CHINOOK in 5th.

The next events for the Quantum J/70 Winter Series are January 7-8, 2017 and the finale is February 4-5, 2017.   For more Quantum J/70 Winter series sailing information

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Battle Royale @ Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series II

J/70s sailing off Monaco(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The final day of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series regatta was intense with the J/70 fleet completing four races.  Now in its fourth season, this series of regattas organized from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with clothing supplier SLAM, have been given new impetus with the arrival of the massive fleet of European sailors participating in the J/70 class- the world’s fastest growing and largest sportboat class.

In this dynamic international class, where women and men, young and old alike, compete on an equal level, thirty-four teams from eleven nationalities saw a wide open battle for the top of the leaderboard, with only five points separating the first six boats!! Monaco continues to smile on the Italian Luca Domenici (skipper of the NOTARO Team), crowned European Champion at YC Monaco in 2015.  Domenici was fast out of the starting blocks, posting a 4-1 on the first day and led the fleet going into Sunday’s racing.  However, their feverish pace diminished somewhat as their 6-9 tally at the conclusion of racing gave them just a one point win!

Russian J/70 woman skipper- Valerya Kovalenko at Monaco“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!”  That amusing refrain was part of a Cold War movie comedy about Americans reacting to a beached Russian submarine off the fishing village of Gloucester, MA. In the case of the J/70 class at the Monegasque winter series, it’s not only the Russians coming ashore, it’s the Swiss, British, Germans, Italians and Brazilians that are flying around in waves of brilliant sailing!  Perhaps the most remarkable story evolving at this year’s event is, in fact, about a Russian!  A Russian woman, at that! For the second Act running, the top women sailor was Russia’s Valerya Kovalenko, skippering her ARTTUBE into second overall.  In fact, after three races, her smokin’ hot 3-3-1 record was leading the fleet.  Unfortunately, her team took an uncharacteristic 14th place in the last race to lose the regatta by just one point; but, more importantly, it was good enough to break a tie-breaker over Charles Thompson’s British crew racing BRUTUS- the winners of the last race!  Valerya certainly did not make it easy on herself, but apparently was quite elated with the outcome!

Starting off slowly on the first day, Thompson’s British team were pretty far down the leaderboard at the start of Sunday’s racing.  Nevertheless, after sailing an amazing 3-1 to wind up the series, Team BRUTUS from Royal Southern YC were ecstatic with nearly pulling off a bid for the overall win!

With three different nations representing the top three, it’s fitting two more rounded out the top five.  What is notable is that “sailing league” participants in the dozen-plus European countries are going up a very, very steep learning curve.  Evidence of that were the Swiss team performances; with Fredrik Hedlund’s AGERA 3 from Buchillon YC sailing to an extremely consistent scoreline of 5-6-7-5 for 23 pts, the only boat to have all single-digit finishes in the entire fleet.  Fellow countryman, Stephane Meylan from Société Nautique de Geneve, sailed CER 3 APROTEC into 6th overall, just 2 pts back!  Taking fourth place was the Brazilian team on MANDACHUVA, skippered by Mario Soerensen-Garcia from YC Rio de Janeiro.

The 2015 European Vice-Champion, Stefano Roberti’s PICCININA, was the leader of the Monegasque armada (comprising 11 entrants) by finishing 8th place.  The top German team was Jan Nurnberger’s Bayerischer YC crew on UNITED DOMAINS, taking 13th place.

The next Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series regatta is 13-15 January 2017.  For many, their New Year’s resolutions for 2017 will be to secure top step of the podium at the famous Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse (2-5 February 2017).  For more YC Monaco Winter Sportsboat Series sailing information

Monday, December 19, 2016

GRAND SLAM Crowned J/105 Chilean Champion

J/105s sailing off Chile(Valparaiso, Chile)- The 2016 Chilean J/105 National Championship was sailed at Higuerillas Yacht Cub, located in Con-Con Bay, from November 26 to 27th.  It was a significant milestone for HYC to host the event!  Back in August 2015, the HYC was heavily damaged in a storm that was originally forecasted to be a minor gale, but instead spun-up into hurricane-force winds that mercilessly pounded Chile’s Pacific shoreline with massive 15-20 foot waves. The Valparaiso/ Con-Con area was devastated, virtually destroying all buildings at the yacht club, including many boats on moorings and on-shore.  Three 40 footers sank that day and one 54 foot sport fishing boat was totally destroyed by waves on the rocky shoreline.

Valparaiso, Chile houses on cliff with view of J/105s sailingWhat a metamorphosis to behold! After a year and a half, the Higuerillas YC is standing again!  The club members welcomed the big fleet of twelve J/105s with open arms and red carpet treatment that went above and beyond everyone’s expectations.  Six teams were from Algarrobo and six came from the Valparaíso/ Higuerillas area.

On Saturday, the fleet was treated to four races, with winds up to 20 kts from the south.  The crews worked hard in the tricky, shifty winds to sail consistent and fast.  Downwind, the teams had fun surfing down ginormous 10-12 ft waves!  Big grins and “war-whoops” were heard on every downwind run!

On Sunday, the sailor’s prayers were answered, but a bit too much of the famous Chilean “vino rojo” must have been offered to Neptune and the Wind Gods!  The teams woke up Sunday morning to even more ginormous waves and even stronger winds!  With steady breezes in the 25-30 kts range, gusting higher (and forecast to get even stronger), plus waves cresting over 15 feet, the fleet realized it was going to be impossible to sail any race.  As is Chilean tradition, a fabulous Sunday brunch and awards presentation took place instead, much to the delight of the many kids that were sailing and Mom’s and Dad’s that were looking forward to well-deserved R&R after the four tough races on Saturday!

J/105s sailing off Valparaiso, ChileThe clear winner was declared, with Chile’s National Champion J/24 sailor, Patricio Seguel, guiding the appropriately-named GRAND SLAM to a comfortable win with a 1-3-1-1 record for 6 pts total.  They were chased hard around the race track by yet another Chilean J/24 champion sailor- Vernon Robert skippering ARCHIMEDES.  Robert won the second race, but simply could not match the combination of speed, crew work and brilliant tactics on GRAND SLAM; settling for the silver with a 2-1-3-2 tally for 8 pts.

While the top two boats were battling for the overall lead, just behind them it was “clear as mud” who was going to grab the final spot on the podium.  It was a three-way slam-dancing contest between Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA, Martin Baeza’s UTOPIA, and Jose Manuel Ugarte’s SCIMITAR.  After the dance floor was cleared, the teams were just three points apart.  Starting out strongly with a 3-2 was Perez’s RECLUTA in a bid to be at the top of the heap overall.  However, their last two races clearly saw both mental and physical fatigue set in, as their 4-9 closing tally was just enough to score the bronze medal with a total of 18 pts.  The other two teams were riding their own roller-coaster up and down the standings. In the end, both posted top three scores in their records, but it was Baeza’s UTOPIA that finished with 19 pts to Ugarte’s SCIMITAR with 21 pts to round out the top five.

The Chilean J/105 fleet now prepares for the central circuit that will be run from February 22 to 28th.  Fifteen boats are expected for the summer’s final week of racing!  That is an amazing turn-out for their final regatta in Puerto Montt- the largest fishing village/ town that is closest to the famous Cape Horn at the tip of South America.  It also enjoys being the jumping-off point for many cruising boats that explore the extraordinary Chilean Archipelago of Patagonia!

New J/121 Offshore Speedster Update

New J/121 offshore speedster hull plug(Newport, RI)- The shape of offshore speed continues to evolve at the Symmetrix facility in Bristol, Rhode Island.  If you recall, their amazing 5-axis CNC milling machine took just 2.5 days of actual “carving” to produce the sweet lines of the J/121 hull plug to the initial tolerance of 0.1mm (100 microns)!  You can revisit that time-lapse video here.

The next step in the process was coating the hull with fairing epoxy for yet one more pass with the CNC 5-axis head, a finish that is equivalent to #36 grit sandpaper.  The next step was spraying the hull with the black “finish” epoxy; this will get hand-sanded and buffed to #800 mirror-like smoothness.  Then, the hull plug is prepped to make tooling for the boat.  Stay tuned!

The excitement is building for the most innovative 40 footer yet from the J/Design team.  Nearly a dozen enthusiasts have committed to getting their 121 to sail in many of the world’s famous offshore races- Fastnet, RORC 600, Bermuda, Chicago-Mackinac, Transpac, Halifax, Pineapple Cup and so forth.  The concept of “less is more” for crew is resonating with many experienced offshore sailors!  Learn more about the innovative J/121 Offshore Speedster here

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Make Your Office Merry & Bright With Ultimate Sailing!

JBoat photos on Ultimate Sailing
Choose from prints of the world's top regattas or select a digital download and use a D.I.Y. print and frame.  You'll be a star this holiday season, with images from Sharon Green and Ultimate Sailing- another famous Canadian sailor!

J/Sailors get 30% OFF prints and digital downloads.  Please use coupon code- PHOTO30 - at checkout.

Recent regattas that feature Sharon's extraordinary shots of J/Boats include:

Order Your 2017 J/Calendar Today!

2017 J/Calendar 
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.  Order yours today and get it in time for the New Year!

For 2017, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2017 sailing calendar features J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/88, J/105s, J/111s, J/112E and J/65 sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the gorgeous photo gallery and order your 2017 J/Sailing Calendar here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

J/30 ZEPHYR Top Fund Raising Sailboat!

(New Orleans, LA)-  A J/30 sailing team from New Orleans, LA is doing good community things!  The New Orlean’s based J/30 Team ZEPHYR was awarded the top fund raising sailing program in the nation after raising $127,000!!

J/30 Zephyr sailing in New Orleans, LACheck out their annual video kicked off by San Francisco Yacht Club’s Rhett Krawitt who is now “GONE WITH CANCER”.

Music “Hold On” by NBC’s The Voice and Zephyr sailor, Terry McDermott, with his band Lotus Crush. #J30 #OD48 #GoSailing #LLS.

Watch this awesome sailing video of the J/30 ZEPHYR here:

Friday, December 16, 2016

J/70 High School Sailing- Awesome photos!

J/70s sailed by high school sailing teams(St Petersburg, FL)- The inaugural ISSA High School National Championships were held on St Petersburg YC’s brand new fleet of J/70s sailing off St Petersburg, Florida.

Phil Pape was out shooting the event on his RIB and took some beautiful photos of the kids racing around the track on an absolutely spectacular weekend of sailing on Tampa Bay.

Check them out here:

Johnson Tops Jamin Jamaica J/22 Regatta!

J/22 sailors at retro party(Montego Bay, Jamaica)- For the 2016 edition of the Jamin’ Jamaica J/22 Regatta, there was a lot of early interest from possible teams from Trinidad, Puerto Rico and the usual suspects from the USA, Canada, Cayman Islands and the rest of Europe.  The Montego Bay YC and J/22 Fleet ended up welcoming four visiting teams, three repeats from Cayman Islands and a new team from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

J/22 sailing Jamin JamaicaWith the phenomenal support from the Cayman Islands J/22 fleet, there were mutterings about changing the regatta name from “Jamin” to “Cam-Jam”, or something similar.  A hearty “high five” to Mike Farrington, Bruce Johnson, Suvi Hayden, and their teams for making the effort and putting in a great showing– again!  It is 20 years since Mike did his first Jamin regatta and 22 years for Bruce!  Other big names from year’s gone by didn’t make it this year, but we hope they are going to return in 2017!

Jamaica J/22 Jamin International Regatta
This annual regatta is an open invitation to the global sailing community to bring a crew to Jamaica, race someone else’s boat (with no rental fee), get home hosted (at no cost), and get the ultimate high on a great race track for a very modest entry fee.  The perfect regatta for these tough economic times; something to look forward to during the dark winter months of our northern neighbors!

J/22 sailing Jamaica with woman skipperRace Days
With 82% of available boats in the country appearing on the line, thanks to owner’s Steven Cooke and PJ Gibson bringing their boats from Kingston, there were some exciting mark roundings and odd bits of damage despite the light to moderate conditions.

With the surprise disappearance of the mark set last year by the Commodore and his team in 110’ of water, the race courses all got a lot shorter than anticipated!  What was more of a challenge was the usual easterly breeze tending to shift further to the south, falling outside of the race committee’s defined marks.  As usual, the very tricky wind shifts were the critical element for the whole weekend.

J/22s sailing Montego Bay, JamaicaWho won?! It may or not matter to some, thanks to the copious amounts of rum supplied by local sponsor Appleton Rum- Jamaica’s Best!  A total of seven races were sailed, all counters, no throw-outs.  It turned out those cavalier Cayman Islanders must’ve been doing some kind’a practicin’!  Good Lord, three of the top five this year?? What gives??.  In the end, Bruce Johnson from Cayman Island Sailing Club had one of his best years ever sailing the Jamin regatta.  He sailed DEFENDER to first place with just 20 pts total.  Second was the CALYPSO team led by Michele Cimon from Canada with 27 pts.  Rounding out the podium was Peter Harper’s ZIPPER from Mo’Bay just 2 pts back with 29 pts.  The balance of the top five was filled out by 2015 winner, Mike Farrington from Cayman on NINA with 31 pts and fellow Cayman Islander Suvi Hayden’s crew on AWESOME in 5th place with 32 pts.  Holy tightrope, Batman!  The top five was determined by just 5 points!  Fun, fun, fun racing for all.  But, the sailing paled in comparison to the social side of things.

J/22 Cayman Island sailors“The” Retro Party
Saturday evening’s social festivities took place at Bryan and Lyn Langford’s house at Great River Pirate.  It has become a famous tradition for Jamin J/22 Jamaica and this year’s “theme” was “funkadelic retro”.  The evening entertainment was punctuated by a full-on retro session with a rocking DJ and awesome decorations.  As usual, the bar was flowing and the food was simply amazing!  There was a delicious smorgasbord of food donated by Mo’Bay members and the visiting yachtsmen and yachtswomen enjoyed every bite. The highlight of the evening was “Bob-ette”, the personal guest of Commodore Nigel, who had provided “figurehead” services on the race course during the day. It was a night to remember!   Checkout the Jamin FB page of social festivities here.   Flickr photos of sailing on Mo’Bay.   From Krystian Dear- a rockin’ video drone of awesomeness of sailing Mo’Bay.

Jamaican J/22 sailors dancingAbout Jamin
Jamin is a regatta of volunteers and amateurs getting together to do something they love- sailing on Mo’Bay!  The J/22’s are loaned for the use of visitors, home hosting is arranged for those that need, and the land-based entertainment is all sorted.  The regatta first started in 1989 as the Jam-Am Invitational when there were close ties with the US J/22 sailing fraternity.  The regatta was designed as an open invitation to the USA and designed with the emphasis on fun.

The regatta evolved into an international invitational open to entries from the entire planet.  Jamin’ is now held at the beginning of December every year for any sailors who are willing to come and risk the warm tropical trade winds, sun and the blue waters of the Caribbean- tough duty, we know.  The whole event revolves around having fun on and off the water.  The winner of the event by extension is a “J/22 Global Champion” and obviously a “Living Legend” as every year the entire world is invited to come and play!

Jamin Jamaica J/22 sailorsHa’yuuuge, ginormous “Thank You’s” to the following cast of characters and supporters that make this event happenin’ mon!
- Montego Bay Yacht Club, MBYC Management Committee, Taddy, Heather and Zeirain, MBYC Dockmaster, Dawson and assistant Anthony
- J/22 owners who allowed their boat to be sailed by others
- Bryan and Lynda Langford for the prize giving venue – Landfall!  This has become the best part of the weekend!
- Race committee volunteers Robin Delisser, Lyn Langford and Phil Slow and particularly Captain Slow for the use of his home- Diva.
- Carole Small for organization of names and food for prize giving
- All those who donated food and drink for the Retro – you know who you are!
- J/22 owner Frank May for lending his boat while he went back to the golf course, again…
- Frank May and Peter Harper – handmade prizes and plaques
- Ev Harrington for all her silly prizes!
- Sarah Hart for the updated logo
- Accommodations:
    - Inga Hjartar for home hosting
    - Jacqueline Hamilton for apartment lending
    - Sandals Resorts for apartment lending
- Ian Johnston photography on the water and Nigel Lord off the water
- Montego Bay Yacht Club Restaurant - Robbie Joseph’s Seahorse Grill
- PJ Stewart for the new perpetual trophy
- Suvi for the T-Shirt branding

Next race! Book your ride early for Jamin’ Jamaica J/22 Invitational Regatta- December 9th and 10th, 2017!!  Nothing beats it! One-design yacht racing in Jamaica– clean starts, protest free, fun racing in challenging conditions! Plus, did we mention that it’s sunny, 70s-80s, and windy on Mo’Bay??  Also, remember that Jamaica is the heartbeat and soul of the Caribbean (remember reggae superstars Bob Marley & the Wailers?).   For more Jamin Jamaica J/22 International Regatta sailing information

Thursday, December 15, 2016

J/30 SUDAKA Wins Key Biscayne Round Island Race

J/30 sailing Round Biscayne Island Race(Key Biscayne, FL)- The 50th Anniversary Edition of the Ed Willman Memorial Regatta took place on Saturday, November 19th and was hosted by the Biscayne YC. It was another “classic” around Key Biscayne race, with the sailors looking forward to a nice seabreeze to develop; enabling the crews to sail a nice, easy-going leg off the southwest tip of the island before they headed north in a building breeze to ultimately finish back in the Bay.

J/30 Sudaka crewIt was another fantastic regatta on the J/30 SUDAKA.  The crew consisted of Captain Carlos Mandiola (Coldwell Banker) with his crew Greg Mandiola (Stearns Weaver), Tom Bremen (Bremen Sails), John Green (Chairman of the YC adult sailing program), Manuel Balbontin (United Airlines), Theodore Holloway (Council Member Village of Key Biscayne), and Ashley Sullivan (Daughter of our reminded friend and mentor Ray Sullivan).

Thank you for all the hard work of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club members that organized this fun regatta!!

Cold sailing Hamble Winter Series Finale

J/88 sailing Hamble winter series(Hamble, Great Britain)- A brisk and chilly 12-20 knot breeze greeted competitors in the final race of the 2016 Hamble Winter Series, providing some great conditions for a fitting end to a close fought series in all classes, much to the delight of the regatta hosts- the Hamble River Sailing Club!

This year's series saw an increase in entrants over 2015, and for the first time in over 10 years, the Hamble Winter Series hasn't lost a single race to bad weather. HRSC PRO Stuart Childerley summed up the series, “We have set out to provide a real mix of course types for the broad range of boat types and given something for everyone at some stage of the event. All of the Hamble River SC race team volunteers did a great job supporting the series and the HRSC house team were magnificent is revitalizing sailors after racing. Well done everyone; it's been a great winter series!!”

J/88 sailing Southampton WaterIn IRC 1 class, Christopher Daniel's J/122 JUNO closed out their season nicely by taking a third in the final race.  Overall, they took 8th place with Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL winning the participation award for J/sailors, participating in every single race of the 12 race series from October 2nd to November 27th; they took 6th for the event.

In IRC2, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE won the final race, bringing them to within 2 points of overall leaders, but it wasn't enough to knock them off the top spot. JIRAFFE was followed by Chris Burleigh’s J/109 GYBE TALKIN’ in 5th and Rob Cotterill’s J/109 MOJO RISIN’ in 6th position.

In IRC3, it was David Greenhalgh and crew on the J/92 J’RONIMO that scored a bullet in the final race of the series to secure 4th overall for the series.  Meanwhile, Robin Stevenson's J/92S UPSTART took a fourth in the last race, just enough to hand them first overall!  Behind these two were Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II in fifth place.

J/88 sailing upwind on SolentIn the J/88 fleet, class leaders, Kirsty and David Apthorp on J-DREAM, added another bullet to their score to win the race and take first overall. Behind them, a closely fought race for second place went to Gavin Howe and crew on TIGRIS, who finished 20 seconds ahead of Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT. This wasn't quite enough for them to stay ahead in the overall series rankings, with ESJR sitting second overall by one point and TIGRIS in 3rd.  Rounding out the top five were Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL in 4th and Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ JENGA in 5th place.

Thanks to all sponsors, competitors and volunteer race teams and helpers for a great series!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/ and Hamo Thornycroft   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Vashon Island- “Hippie” Drag-Racing in Seattle!?

J/122E and J/160 sailing Vashon Island race(Vashon Island, WA)- Ahh Winter Vashon – lovingly sitting at the forefront of sailors minds as they think longingly all year long about this balmy jaunt around the last stronghold of “hippiedom” in the Pacific Northwest- Vashon Island.  At just over 30 miles, it’s an easy 6 hour sail with those consistent south sound winds the area is known for and with our 8 hours of light this time of year finishing in daylight is even a possibility!  Right?  Well it was this year!  Here is the report from SAIL Northwest’s Ben Braden:

“Sailors began arriving into the super-fund cleanup site, previously known as Tacoma Yacht Club, soon after sunlight began filtering through the cloud layers, increasing everyone’s sight noticeably, well everyone except the delivery crews that arrived late Friday night under the veil of darkness that needed to be kicked out of their bunks and told to clean themselves up and try to smell a little better, but that’s another story.  For those of you that haven’t been down to TYC recently its now a huge clean-up/construction site complete with every kind of large piece of equipment, gravel and construction mud are the new parking lot surfaces along with some new rock outcroppings both in the entrance of the marina and outside near the starting area that grabbed ahold of at least 2 different boats (watch out for that).

Winds were forecast in the normal south sound 6 to 11 range but as the cruising classes started down the course at just after 9am it quickly became apparent that the fore-guessers were wrong once again; but for the first time since man learned to cure cod with lye they had under-guessed the wind speeds!  The waiting boats watched as the cruising class boats began rounding-up in the puffs while reaching across the south end of Vashon towards Colvos Passage with a few chutes opening up in the middle to help de-power the rounding up boats. Not good, but lovely for sailmakers!

Not deterred by the out of control behavior of some of the cruising class boats the rest of the fleet began crossing the line as their class start horns blared away with chutes pulling hard. The bigger faster boats had their fun, too, as the puffs continued to build over 20 knots and took their toll on a few more boats.

Once around the point, and into Colvos passage, the drag race was on. The J/160 JAM barreled her way through the slower boats that started well ahead of them.  Even though the wind was behind the fleet, the excitement wasn’t over yet as the sailors were treated to views of a few keels and nice shot of the bottom of a 30 footer before sailing past the north end of Vashon Island, the turning mark in sight.

A full mix of boats came charging into the anchored turning boat just north of Vashon island and to make things even more interesting, and unbeknownst to almost everyone in the PNW, shrimping season was open and in full effect when the big J/133 were seen slowly and painfully grinding their spinnakers back aboard after dunking them in the water looking for those tasty little buggers, I’m sure!!  Small jibs pulled in tight, crews on the rail, it was time for the starboard tack drag race all the way down the island to the light house on Point Robinson – all the way on starboard tack with boats footing or pinching for clear wind lanes and mainsail trimmers praying for just one tack after the point so they could switch to their other hand.

The winds stayed consistent in the 12 to 16 knot range on the drag race to the light house and once around the point it even backed down into the 9 knot range causing many to peal down to their big jibs, warming their crews and testing their abilities – if the sail change was done smoothly boats made huge gains on their competition. With gear or crew problems boats were left bareheaded for a short time as the J/109 TANTIVY got to experience.  Then, less than 20 minutes later, the winds were back over 20 knots and those happy crews got to pull that little jib out of the always too small foredeck hatch and make that change all over again for the windy final stretch into the finish off the Tacoma Yacht Club clubhouse grounds.

Boats from out of the area did the quick touch and go’s, folding some sails, discarding some of their crews and throwing their dodgers back on before heading back out into the dwindling sunlight and building breeze for the trek back up to Shilshole that many in the fleet were making that night.  Boats reported winds up to and over 30 knots as they set record speeds on their deliveries from Tacoma to Seattle with at least one blown up spinnaker and broken pole.”

J/crews, in general, faired pretty well in the randomness of Pacific NW weather conditions.  Endlessly entertaining, always challenging!  In the world of big boats in PHRF 2 Class, the top J/Jockey was John Murkowski’s gorgeous navy blue/teak-decked J/122E JOY RIDE taking 2nd in class.  They were followed by one of PNW’s most famous offshore boats, John McPhail’s J/160 JAM, happily taking a 3rd in the freaky conditions.  Despite their new “shrimping” technique, Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION placed 5th in class.

It was tough going in PHRF 3 Class, hanging on by a thread for an uncharacteristic 6th place was the J/109 TANTIVY skippered by Stu Burnell.

The PHRF 4 Class was all J/35’s.  A boat that is still going strong and just killing it in PHRF events nationwide, if not in IRC/ ORR/ ORC rated events around the world.  After all, it still is the “classic” rating standard for many of those handicap rules!  Winning class was Glenn & Joanna Cowling’s SOMETHING SPECIAL.  They were followed by Dan Wierman’s GREAT WHITE in 2nd, Jerry & Chona McKay’s MELANGE in 3rd, Jason Vannice’s ALTAIR in 4th and Karl Haflinger’s SHEARWATER in 5th.

PHRF 5 Class was a massive battle for the overall leadership, pretty much defined by the “wind/ current gates” as described above.  In the end, Matt Gardner-Brown’s J/105 DULCINEA took 2nd against all odds; recognizing that race conditions were aligned against them. Despite having a number of opportunities to hop into “the chocolates”, Christine Nelson & Eric Johnson’s J/29 SLICK took a 7th in class.

The Commodore-FS Class is “cruising world” and is greatly enjoyed by its laid-back participants.  In the end, it’s not known which is the higher priority, “hot rum cinnamon cider” on the weather rail or simply something HOT, period, like tea or hot chocolate!  Appropriately enough, it was Bill Harter’s J/37C MERRY MAKER that took top honors for J/crews, finishing 4th in class.  They were followed by Tim Cleary’s J/35 JUMPIN JACK in 6th and Ed Pinkham’s J/109 JEOPARDY in 7th.  Good times were had by all!!

Thanks  for contribution from Ben Braden from Sail Northwest- who is best known in the Pacific Northwest for his unique racing style: winning races with a BBQ on the transom!  Jan Anderson’s beautiful pictures of deranged sailors that think sailing around Vashon Island in December is a good idea can be found here.   For South Sound Sailing Society’s Vashon Island Race sailing information

LEXUS Wins J/70 Chile Spring Series

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, Chile(Algarrobo, Chile)- The Cofradía Nautica del Pacifico in Algarrobo held the final race in the Chilean J/70 Spring Series last weekend.  Fifteen boats were participating from all three fleets in Chile (Algarrobo, Lago Panguipulli, Puerto Montt).  The CNPA race committee crew managed to hold eight races over the two-day weekend finale for the happy crews.  Winning the event on a tie-breaker at 20 pts each was Felipe Robles’ crew on LEXUS over Matias Seguel’s ALEGRO

The regatta started off with light winds on Saturday, with the race committee managing to run four races.  Leading after the first day with a very steady 2-3-2-3 was Seguel’s ALEGRO- he was 10th in the San Francisco J/70 Worlds and was winner of the Chilean J/24 Nationals just three weeks ago.  Needless to say, Seguel’s crew felt like they were on a roll with their skipper,  Felipe "Flecha" Robles, at the helm.  In second for the day was Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI with a 4-6-3-2 and sitting in third was Jorge Gonzalez’s MAL CRIADO with a 3-1-8-6.

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, Chile in wavesOn the second day of racing, the winds increased substantially over the day before.  With bigger waves and “planing mode” conditions, the differences in each teams performance changed dramatically; some crews were much faster than others in the bigger breeze.  Consequently, Robles’ LEXUS crew closed with a convincing record of 2-1-3-4 to be able to throw out a first race 13th place to win the regatta on the tie-breaker.  Behind the two leaders in third place was Pablo Amunategui’s BLACK JACK with 23 pts total.  The balance of the top five included Vergara’s SENSEI in 4th and Per Von Appen’s BLACK SAILS in 5th place (he was the 2016 Chilean J/70 Nationals winner on Lago Panguipulli).

According to Juan Eduardo Reid, the Chilean J/distributor, “we had five teams debuting this weekend.  Four of them received their boats from the J/70 Worlds San Francisco purchase program!  The sixth team to debut was J/70 156, it was donated by entrepreneur Nicolás Ibañez young sailors to campaign on the Chile J/70 circuit; for this regatta Branko Markinovik, former Chile National Opti and Laser coach, crewed for the young skipper Ezequiel Grez- a very promising sailor at the National and World level!”

The next major regatta for the Chilean J/70s will be the 2017 J/70 Nationals on Panguipulli Lake from February 10th to 12th; this regatta will be the largest since the class was formed in late 2014, with 18-20 J/70 teams expected from all fleets!  There will also be a Pre-Nationals Regatta on Frutillar Lake (close to Puerto Montt and Patagonia) from February 3rd to 5th.