Friday, July 21, 2017

Fabulous Women's J/22 Match Race Clinic!

Women's J/22 Match Race training- San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)- A J/22 Women’s Match Race clinic was hosted last weekend by women all-stars in match-racing, all managed and coached by U.S. Sailing’s top ranked women’s match racer- Nicole Breault from San Francisco, CA.  Here is the report of this pioneering event to get women more engaged in all kinds of sailing, and get an introduction into the craziness of the tactics associated with rules and the exciting, heart-thumping elements of match-racing “mano-a-mano” against your competitors.

Over the past weekend, from Friday through Sunday, Nicole Breault and members of her Team Vela Racing led over three-dozen women in their “San Francisco Bay Match Race Clinegatta”.  This was the first of its kind event on the West Coast. Inspired by a format that was first pioneered by match-race guru Dave Perry, Nicole was excited to welcome 36 women sailors to St. Francis Yacht Club to learn and compete on their fleet of J/22s. These ladies spent Friday and Saturday in sailing clinics on and off the water on StFYC’s fleet of J/22s; then culminated with a regatta on Sunday.

There were 36 women, nine J/22s, four to a boat. Two days of classroom work plus on-the-water drills, followed by a full day on the water, completing a round-robin, fully-umpired, Grade 5 match-racing regatta, with Bartz Schneider as PRO and Rob Overton as Chief Umpire, and Nicole Breault as Head Coach. Here is Nicole’s report below:

“Those who participated would say that the 2017 SF Bay Women’s Match Race Clinic and Grade 5 Regatta was an absolute success! 36 female sailors from the Bay Area, Southern California, the East Coast, and even St. Petersburg, Russia, assembled at the St. Francis Yacht Club on the San Francisco City Front this past weekend to take part in a 2-day learn-to-match race clinic and 1-day grade 5 match race regatta and our VELA RACING Team (Molly Carapiet, Dana Riley, and Karen Loutzenheiser).

Women's J/22 Match Race clinic participantsThe Club offered its matched set of J/22s for the Clinic and Regatta.  Some of the sailors entered as teams, but more than half entered as individuals, willing to join forces with one another to tackle learning a new game.  Adding to the challenge was that many were dinghy sailors, while others had spent years on larger boats, and they were jumping onto a small keelboat for the first time and doing so in the often-humbling winds and waters just East of the Golden Gate Bridge in July.

It really took brave hearts and open minds to take on such an intensive task. In the end, we were amazed by the progress every sailor made. It is a testament to what women can do in this sport when they get a chance and go all-in.

After two days of classroom work and on-the-water drills, the teams raced a single round-robin, fully-umpired grade five match racing regatta on Sunday, with Bartz Schneider as PRO and Rob Overton as Chief Umpire. Only a few skippers had ever match raced previously. The objective was to expose experienced women sailors to match racing and instill further interest. Quite a few participants said they would take the extensive course materials and bring them back to their home clubs to use as a template for training.

J/22s sailing women's match race clinicFriday’s instruction focused on boat-handling as a fundamental aspect of match racing. This afforded sailors the chance to get to know one another and the J/22. The 4 coaches, who comprise a team that regularly match races J/22’s, gave specific instruction on their individual tasks in getting the boat efficiently through maneuvers, how they support one another in these efforts, and the importance of clear communication roles. Friday evening shifted the discussion toward the match-racing game and Saturday’s drills exercised tactical thinking and execution in the pre-start and around the course. Members of the StFYC volunteer RC corps and several of Overton’s umpire team supported clinic sessions with mark set, flag work and a taste of how umpiring works. The sailors fully engaged their brains and their bodies in the learning. Blustery 15-20 knot winds and afternoon full of ebb chop did not stop them from trying out aggressive boat-on-boat moves and pushing for improvement each time.

On Sunday morning, racing was delayed briefly while an armada of support boats and kayaks escorted the Golden River Swim from the Golden Gate Bridge, through the race course, to McCovey Cove at AT&T Park. Once underway, the course was visited by a couple of the humpback whales that have been enjoying the Bay waters these last few weeks. In spite of all these fantastic distractions, the organizers rolled through 9 flights of match racing in west-southwesterly winds that built from 10 to 18 kts through the afternoon.

Katie Ananina of St. Petersburg, Russia (currently a student based near Miami, FL) and her crew of Bethanie Maples, Lisa Anderson, and Linda Molnar (all Bay Area sailors) swept all of their matches (8-0) to win top honors. Katie was one of the few participants who came in with match-racing experience, which proved immensely valuable for both her team and the others. According to Bethanie Maples, Katie was “laser-focused on winning, her competitive vibe was infectious… [she was] a best friend to these other crews, not a new friend. A new friend is nice and non-confrontational. A best friend pushes you past your comfort zone so you can learn more and be the best sailor you can be.”

Claiming second on the tie-breaker (6-2), was StFYC member Krysia Pohl and her teammates Susannah Carr (Seattle, WA), Johanna Altorfer and Nehal Gajjar (both from the Bay Area). Finishing third was skipper Marilyn Cassedy along with Patricia Lapadula, Jennifer Arrington, and Britney Belcher, all from Cal Yacht Club, Marina Del Rey, CA.”  Sailing photo credits- Karen Loutzenheiser (karen@mcweekly.com)  For more Women’s J/22 Match Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vineyard Cup Regatta Fun & Games!

J/120 sailing Vineyard Cup Regatta J/Teams Garner Gold, Silver and Bronze! 
(Vineyard Haven, MA)- The host for the annual Vineyard Cup Regatta was Sail Martha’s Vineyard, based in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.  The regatta is managed like the FIGAWI Race, a PHRF “pursuit style” event that has your starting time based on the distance of the race sailed and your handicap rating.  The goal is “fun & games” and not at all based on serious racing, although based on the tenacity that some boats fought to trim sails, sit on people’s wind, and cross-tacks, would have you thinking otherwise!!

The PHRF Non-spinnaker Class 2 saw two J/100s have a blast.  Taking second in class was Phil & Rob Hale’s TANGO, while taking 5th place after the two races (one on each day) was Tom Welch’s ESCAPE.

Their colleagues in the PHRF Spinnaker Racing class, it was Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES that took class honors by a wide margin- two bullets in two races!  Third was Matt & Lisa Schmitt’s J/105 HARDTACK with a 4-4.  Sixth place was Ed Lobo’s J/105 WATERWOLF with an 8-5.  Then, sitting in ninth was John Ryder’s J/70 AMONINI with a 7-8.  For more Vineyard Cup Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

J/70 Stadium Sailing Takes off in Moscow!

J/70 Moscow stadium sailing at The Royal Yacht Club (Moscow, Russia)- The legendary Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin and the leading Russian sailing project- PROyachting- partnered again for the 2017 stadium sailing series that is taking place on the “Water Stadium” in front of Royal Yacht Club in Moscow, Russia.  The main prize for the winner of popular Wednesday Night Races will be a brand new Marine Chronograph series from Ulysse Nardin (that’s one of only 150 units made in the world- priceless!!).

J/70 sailors in Moscow, Russia- at Royal Yacht ClubFor over 170 years, the Swiss watch maker has created models that embody the latest technological developments and impeccable style. Director General of Ulysse Nardin Russia, Maxim Andrianov, commented on their partnership, "This is a very interesting partnership for both sides. First, the history of the Ulysse Nardin brand is closely connected with the sea, and we participated with the Artemis Racing team in the America's Cup, the oldest competition in the world that has been held since 1851. Of course, for us it is very important that our brand is associated with watchmaking, advanced technologies in the manufacture of watches, but also with the rich history that we possess associated with sailing and the Seven Seas. And, the cooperation with PROyachting gives us this opportunity in Russia."

PROyachting- Ekaterina Skudina- Moscow, RussiaEkaterina Skudina, a World and European sailing champion and partner in the PROyachting project, commented that “we are very glad to continue cooperation with the legendary Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin. This year is very symbolic, because Artemis Racing Team, sponsored by Ulysse Nardin, reached the final of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger Playoffs and showed excellent skills. We are pleased that Ulysse Nardin is so close to the sport of sailing, and we hope their partnership with PROyachting will bring the expected result this season here in Russia. For our part, we continue to develop Russian sailing and set higher standards for our yachting events."

PROyachting is a leader in attracting and integrating the world's leading brands into Russian yachting. The creative team at PROyachting continues to come up with new formats and develop numerous projects in Russia and abroad. The popular series of evening regattas- the “Wednesday Night Races on J/70s” by PROyachting- was the most notable development for yachting life and activity around Moscow. And, watches from the Swiss brand Ulysse Nardin provide an honorary trophy. That will increase the competitive nature of the sailors for winning the Wednesday Night season series on J/70s!

During the summer season, PROyachting plans to conduct 24 days of racing, which will determine the winner of the unique Marine Chronograph watch from Ulysse Nardin. The ceremony presenting the main prize for the season will be held in November and it will be awarded as the "PROyachting- Sailor of the Year!"

J/70s sailing in Moscow, Russia at Royal Yacht ClubIn the 2016 sailing season, it was the ALEX Team that won the valuable trophy- the Marine Diver watch from Ulysse Nardin. The prize was presented personally by Maxim Andrianov from the Ulysse Nardin Russia. In total, the Wednesday Night Race series in 2016 was attended by 45 teams!

This year, the event has grown even further in popularity! At least 45 teams have registered to compete and they participate in the round-robin style format as the teams rotate in and out of boats each evening.

For example, on June 27 was the seventh day of racing for the series for the “Tuesday Training Series”. A good wind allowed the organizers to hold 5 races. The leader of the evening was Team HURRICANE, having won three races in a row; they finally broke into first place in the standings. So, the top three were Team HURRICANE (Elena Buyanova, Pavel Ovanesyan, Alexey Sikirin, & Pavel Kiriluk), then in second place was Team BIG FISH (Inna Ozhogina, Polga Selezneva, Ivan Bodyagin, & Igor Puzanov), third step on the podium went to Team MOSCOW 24 (Denis Elahovsky, Ivan Lozovoy, Eugene Sutyrin, & Valentin Uvarkin).

J/70 sailing at Royal Yacht Club- Moscow, RussiaFor the next day of racing on June 28th, the 8th evening of racing for the Ulysses Nardin Wednesday Night Races, three races were sailed in a very complex and changeable wind by top Muscovite-based teams.  The results swung wildly for many boats.  However, for those who follow J/70 sailing on a European level, a familiar face was at the top of the leaderboard.  Winning the evening was none other than Russia’s top women keelboat skipper, Valeriya Kovalenko, leading her SSA-9 team to victory (Nikolai Chernikov, Alexey Tarasov, & Sergey Avdonin).  Second for the evening was NO PASARAN (Mikhail Loskov, Nikolay Khlystov, Igor Manshin, & Valentin Uvarkin).  Third for the night was TREM (Alexandra Peterson, Andrey Dmitriev, Pavel Kirilyuk, & Andrey Novikov).  At this rate, Valeriya’s SSA-9 Team may be on track for that fancy watch!  Follow the PROyachting/ Ulysse Nardin J/70 Wednesday night series on Facebook

To learn more about the PROyachting Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin J/70 series, please call +7 499 393 31 33, + 7 988 143 17 57 or email info@pro-yachting.ru / website- http://pro-yachting.ru Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NEK SPORT Wins Russian J/70 Sailing League Act IV

J/70s sailing Russian Sailing League (Pskov, Russia)- The fourth act of the 2017 Russian J/70 Sailing League had challenging weather conditions at Pskov, Russia; the teams were sailing on the beautiful Lake Pihkva that borders Estonia at the far western end of Russia (just to the north is the famous historical city of St Petersburg on the Baltic Sea).

NEK Sport win Russian J/70 Sailing League eventThe three-day event featured a lot of variable wind conditions, mostly on the lighter side, that kept things interesting as all the top teams had some bad races. As a result, there were significant lead changes all weekend long.  Winning easily was the NEK SPORT Team from Moscow.  However, the final two spots on the podium behind the NEK SPORT Team were determined on a tiebreaker at a race average of 2.733 pts each.  The KOREG Sailing Team from Sochi was awarded the silver based on count-back and taking the bronze was the TRAKTOR Sailing Team from Chelyabinsk.  Rounding out the top five were the CARAMBA Sailing Team from Moscow in 4th place and the CALYPSO Sailing Team from Tuapse in fifth place.

After the final tally from the weekend’s racing on Lake Pihkva, the KOREG Sailing is still leading the overall series points standings with 12.746 points after four regattas (Sochi, Sevastopol, Moscow, & Pskov)- it is a point system based on adding up your average points for races sailed in each regatta.  The winner of the first regatta in Sochi, the QPRO Sailing Team from Moscow continues to hold on to second place in the series with 15.798 pts.  Sitting in third by a very small margin over the fourth place team is the CALYPSO Sailing Team with 18.300 pts; fourth is the CARAMBA team with 18.365 pts! Rounding out the top five is the TRAKTOR Sailing Team with 19.162 pts.  Follow the Russian J/70 Sailing League here  For more Russian J/70 League Sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

J’s Cruz RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race!

J/133 sailing on Solent (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- In excess of 1,500 sailors, from all over the world, competed in the 2017 Cowes Dinard St Malo Race. The largest RORC fleet since the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race, comprising of 176 yachts took part for the magnificent King Edward VII Cup.  The hope was for a WSW breeze, warm midsummer air, an almost full moon, and a glorious downwind race for 151nm.  As it turns out, the prognosticators were not that far off the mark for this year’s event.

The racing “form” for the race was interesting for each class.  In IRC 2, Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 PINTIA was within striking distance of overtaking the lead for both the class and overall lead in the RORC Season's Points Championship. PINTIA also won IRC Two in last year's St Malo Race. Plus, Eric Gicquel's J/133 BLACKJACK is formidable offshore, hoping to win the class back to home base- St Malo!

Similarly, in IRC 4 class with 51 entries, it was an impressive line up as the first to start on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. The largest class racing to St Malo included Robert Nelson's J/105 BIGFOOT and local St Malo teams like Jean Pierre Briand's J/97 L'AMORROSSO.

In the end, it turned out to be a fast race for 151nm from Cowes to St Malo. Eric Gicquel's J/133 BLACK JACK had a victorious return to their home port of St Malo, winning IRC Two. However, that was not the entire story for J/133s!  They fought tooth-and-nail with their fellow J/133 PINTIA and only just beat them home by 9 minutes after 27 hours of racing at the very edge of mental control! Taking 10th in class was Chris Daniel’s gorgeous J/122E JUNO.

In the IRC Doublehanded Division, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE took the bronze on the podium with Nick Martin’s perennial contender, his J/105 DIABLO-J, taking 5th in class.  Not far off the pace in the reachy conditions were Robert Nelson’s J/105 BIGFOOT in 7th and Chris Schram’s J/120 MAVERICK in 8th. Four J/Crews in the top ten, and all 20-year-old designs at that- proving the timeless performance built into the boats from day one!

In the monstrous forty-three boat IRC 3 Class, the top J/crew was a new J/112E called MUSIX, skippered by Phillipe Baetz from France, taking 7th in class.  However, despite the reachy conditions, he led home a train of other J/Crews right behind him.  Next were Trevor Sainty’s J/109 JELENKO in 8th, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE in 9th, David McGough’s J/109 JUST SO in 12th, Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J in 12th and Jean-Baptiste Crepin’s J/105 JOB D’ETE from France in 13th.

The enormous fifty-one boat IRC 4 Class saw Jean-Pierre Briand’s J/97 J L’AMOROSSO take 8th in class.

The 2017 RORC Season's Points Championship continues with notoriously simple, but incredibly difficult tactically, Channel Race on Saturday 22 July. The race offers more opportunities for good all-around J/Boats to excel when there is a good mix of beating, reaching, and running in a variety of wind and wave conditions.  At the moment, the J/133 PINTIA is third in the Overall Standings and 2nd her IRC 2 Class, but having sailed one less race than the leader (all bets are off here once the Channel Race takes place!).  The same holds true for the J/105 BIGFOOT currently 2nd in her class for the series.  The most amusing element for the IRC Doublehanded class is that it has become the battle of a 25 yrs old design- the J/105- versus the 4 yrs old design of the SunFast 3600.  With mostly reachy races to date, it’s not surprising the top three are SF3600s.  However, the “tide will change” once races like the Channel Race, the Fastnet Race, and others are factored in that force boats to be less one-dimensional and more multi-dimensional in terms of their performance parameters.  For more RORC Cowes Dinard St Malo Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Fabulous Sail Newport Regatta

J/70s sailing Newport RegattaAwesome Sailing for J/70s & J/24s!
(Newport, RI)- The largest regatta of Newport’s summer sailing for one-design sailboats is the Sail Newport Regatta. The fleet of seventy keelboats had thirty-nine J/crews (55% of keelboats) competing in two of the world’s leading keelboat classes- the J/70 and J/24.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the racing over the three-day weekend was the weather.  On Friday, a pernicious low pressure system was working its way ever, every so slowly east, just south of Long Island Sound and south of Newport.  In the morning until about 2:30pm on Friday it rained, from a persistent drizzle to a sheer monsoon-like downpour.  Everyone was pretty much soaked to the skin and cold with temperatures in the high 60s.  Then, as predicted in several “grib” forecasts, like magic the skies went overcast and a strong northerly filled in behind the front, providing the fleet 10 to 18 kts winds for two quick races.  Saturday and Sunday could not have started out more differently, but ultimately, both days produced simply classic Newport sunny, windy seabreeze conditions at SSW 10-17 kts.

J/70 HOSS sailed by Glennn DardenWith twenty-nine teams, the J/70s were by far the largest and most competitive fleet of the event, with more than half of the total sailors participating in the regatta. For a modest-sized fleet, there was extraordinary depth of talent; from various classes there were Olympic and Pan Am Medallists, plus World, European, North American and National Champions all represented in just half of the teams entered! In the end, it was Peter Duncan’s very talented RELATIVE OBSCURITY team (that included Juddie Smith and Willem van Waay) that won the regatta with just 13 pts net, winning three of the seven races.  Taking second place with 20 pts net was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA team from Beverly YC in Buzzards Bay.  Third on the podium was Oivind Lorentzen’s crew on NINE with 23 pts net.  Rounding out the top five was John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES with 26 pts in fourth and in fifth place was Glenn Darden’s crew on HOSS that included Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician and main trimmer.

The Corinthians Division in the J/70s was won by Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE team from New York YC with 43 pts, followed by Mallory & Andrew Loe’s crew on DIME in second place with 53 pts, third was Daan Goedkoop’s LOCOMOTION with 68 pts.

In the Youth Teams Division, 1st place was Brendan Read’s SCUBA STEVE, followed by Brad Gibbs’ GLIDE in second and Rachel Bryer’s JUNKANOO in third place.

Not surprisingly, the J/24 class turned into a shoot-out at the OK Corral between three teams that all have North American or Worlds credentials on their collective resumes. After the dust cleared, it was Travis Odenbach’s crew on HONEY BADGER that won with 11 pts net, collecting four 1sts in the six races they counted.  Second were the lethally competitive combination of John Mollicone and Tim Healy on Team HELLY HANSEN, starting out very slowly (a 9-5 in the first two races), but closing fast as they worked out their bugs for a 1-2-2 in the last three races for 15 pts net.  Third only one point back was Rochester YC’s Mike Ingham sailed NAUTALYTICS to 16 pts net and collecting four 2nds along the way.  Fourth place went to Matt Coughlin’s FUDGIE and fifth position to Ted Winston’s PASSAGE EAST.  For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fast, Record-breaking Marblehead to Halifax Race

J/120 sailing Marblehead to Halifax Race (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)– A fleet of 75 boats crossed the starting line off Marblehead Harbor and set a 353nm course to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The skies were fair and winds out of the southwest, averaging 10 knots to start the 2017 biennial edition of the Marblehead-to-Halifax regatta that dates to 1905.  “The competitors were forcing each other up to the starting line, so I am predicting 363 miles of head-to-head competition,” said Anne Coulomb, of the Boston Yacht Club, co-director of the race. The fleet started near Halfway Rock and head west toward the shore, turning south just off Marblehead Neck, before turning again at Tinkers Rock, to then set a course for Halifax, 363 nautical miles away!

The Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race began in 1905. It has been held every other year, except during war time. The event is sponsored by the Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. It caps a full weekend of Independence Day festivities in Marblehead which includes 4th of July fireworks, the Marblehead Arts Festival and the harbor illumination.

J/120 starting Marblehead to Halifax RaceThe 363-mile journey is billed as the “grand daddy” of ocean races. It was inaugurated in 1905, one year before another East Coast classic, the Newport Bermuda Race. The Marblehead to Halifax race originally ran as an occasional, informal competition between sailors from the Boston and Eastern Yacht Clubs in Marblehead and the New York Yacht Club. In 1939, it was established as a biennial event, on years when the race to Bermuda isn’t scheduled.

In the early races, most crews needed five days to reach Halifax, the coastal capital of Nova Scotia. Today, a former top J/24 sailor, Paul McDowell and friends on board the 68 ft Prospector, set a new course record of 28 hrs 28 min 50 sec!!

Just under 20 hours behind them, the J/44 KENIA from Houston, TX, finished in 47 hrs 43 min 26 sec to win class honors in the IRC 2 Class!

Marblehead to Halifax Race courseIn ORR 3 Class, Fred Allardyce’s J/40 MISTY placed 4th, completing the track in 53 hrs 1 min 4 secs!  Though completing the course over 3 hours faster, veteran Halifax Race skipper Brad Willauer and his crew on the J/46 BREEZING UP could not overcome their handicap deficit to their class mates and ended up 6th in class on handicap.  Similarly, Will Passano’s J/37 CARINA finished behind the J/40 on elapsed time and was 9th on handicap.

The eleven-boat PHRF 2 Division nearly saw a clean sweep by J/crews.  Winning was Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE, followed by Jim Praley’s J/120 SHINNECOCK in 3rd, Gardner Grant’s J/120 ALIBI in 4th, Jeff Eberle’s J/130 CILISTA in 6th, Stu McCrea’s J/120 DEVIATION in 7th, Kris Kristiansen’s J/130 SAGA in 9th and Keith Amirault’s J/130 DRAGONFLY in 10th.

In the twelve-boat PHRF 3 Division, Eliot Shanabrook’s J/109 HAFA ADAI captured the bronze, while Evan Petley-Jones’s J/35 HARRIER placed 6th.  Follow the Marblehead to Halifax Race on Facebook here  For more Marblehead to Halifax Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wilson Crowned J/70 UK National Champion

Wilson's J/70 SOAK Racing team (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Twenty-nine J/70 teams from across the United Kingdom assembled to sail the 2017 U.K. J/70 National Championship, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.  The RYS PRO managed to conduct seven races over the weekend in a variety of conditions on the notoriously current-influenced Solent race track.

After a nerve racking final day of racing in The Solent, Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING Team (with crew of Marshall King, Ben Saxton, Adam Brushett) were declared the overall winners of the 2017 U.K. J/70 National Championship.

Race 8 started in a light southwesterly breeze with a Spring tide running against the airflow. SOAK RACING got a bad start, and was at best mid-fleet at the first top mark. SOAK RACING gybed early to get into the full strength of the tide, and looked to take advantage of a big wind shift to the south. However, as the wind veered, it weakened and by the time the fleet got to the first bottom mark, it became evident that the race could not be deemed fair, and PRO Simon van der Byl, called for an abandonment of not only the race but an end to the regatta!

“It hasn't really sunk in yet, but this is my fifth attempt to win the National Championship, coming fourth, third and runner-up twice, so I can't tell you how much it means to me to win this regatta,” smiled Ian Wilson.

J/70s sailing UK Nationals on Solent“We could have got stressed out this morning, waiting to race, but we stayed together as a team and cracked a few jokes; we looked after each other. Once we got out on the race course, we were in the office, doing what we have trained for. All that effort has paid off. This is a new crew and the dynamics worked immediately. We are great mates and through that we work as a team, we do occasionally snap at each other, but we have agreed that it stays on the boat and goes away 30 seconds later. This year's nationals has been ten times harder to win than before, the fleet has improved massively. Look how many top guys have come in from the Olympic and dinghy classes, to beat those guys you know you have had a good regatta.”

The SOAK RACING team from Royal Southampton YC was the winner by eight points from last year's winners, Calascione & Ripard's Harlequin from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Martin Dent's JELVIS was third and was also winner of the Mixed Crew fleet (he was sailing with his daughter Ruby and Youth America’s Cup champion tactician- Annabel Vose). The top Corinthian team was Patrick Liardet's COSMIC from Royal Southampton YC and Jack Davies' YETI from Royal Solent YC was the top Under 25 Youth division winners. SOAK RACING was also the Masters Champions!

The Royal Yacht Squadron Race Management team received a tremendous amount of praise from the J/70 fleet, for providing clear communication and excellent courses.  Thanks for contribution from Louay Habib/ Royal Yacht Squadron.  For more U.K. J/70 National Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

J/70 Pacific Coast Championship Preview

J/70s sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco Bay, CA)- The small but mighty J/70 fleet will be competing for the J/70 Pacific Coat Championships this weekend, hosted by St Francis YC.  There is some remarkable talent that will be vying for class honors.

For starters, Whitbread Around the World winner, Star World Champion and America’s Cup helmsman Paul Cayard is sailing on Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER. Kostanecki is going to the J/70 World’s with Cayard and this will be a great training event for them and their team.

Then, fresh off a 2nd at the J/70 Europeans on the Solent in England and a win with Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY at the Sail Newport Regatta, Willem Van Waay will be sailing on David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET. Their team will be training hard this week on Wednesday and Thursday and they plan to sail with five crew!

Also fresh off a 2nd as team-mate with Willem at the J/70 Europeans, Victor Diaz de Leon will be sailing on Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE. With Bennet’s usual main trimmer Eric Doyle racing on Joel Ronning’s Santa Cruz 70 Catapult for the Transpac, this leaves an opportunity for Bennet to invite Victor on board and simply go faster!

In addition to these top crews, look out for these other contenders, Tracy and Christy Usher on CHRISTINE ROBIN and Chris Snow and John Brigden on COOL STORY BRO!

Regatta Chair Tracy Usher commented on the upcoming weekend, “As of yesterday morning, the National Weather Service is predicting patchy morning fog through to the weekend with a slight warming trend at the end of the week. The Windsurfing wind forecaster is predicting moderate westerlies over this period. Finally, current tables indicate a light flood tide during the racing time Friday-Saturday. All should make for great sailing conditions on the City Front!

The St Francis YC is working hard to make sure it is a great event. This will be one of the first events for the club's new race director, Jen Lancaster, and I know she is looking forward to meeting one of the Bay Areas most dynamic fleets. PRO duties will be shared by John Callahan and Tony Chargin, both of whom are among the most experienced local PRO's St Francis has. So, we can be sure the racing will be top level. As well, there are post racing socials planned for both Friday and Saturday nights at which our local fleet captain has arranged for two of the top pro sailors in the J/70 class to run debriefs.

This event is meant to be a qualifier for the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead. Marblehead is going to limit entries to 100 boats total, with about half coming from North American teams. With one open and one corinthian berth being awarded from this weekend’s PCC’s, this is the only local opportunity to qualify for the worlds.”  Sailing Photo Credit- Sergei Zavarin  For more J/70 Pacific Coast Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge Preview

J/111 sailing Screwpile Challenge(Annapolis, MD)- When you can fry an egg on deck and your dog won’t even go outside, you know it’s time for Southern Maryland’s saltiest summer regatta: the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge (SPLC)- a.k.a. “the Screwpile”.  This year it will be sailed over the July 14th to 16th weekend outside the mouth of the Patuxent River in Solomons Island, Maryland. As per usual, race headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Select.

If you’re new to this scene, first thing you should know is this: it’s a lighthouse, not a bad word. Screwpile-style lighthouses, cottages on stilts that screwed into the mud, once marked shoals up and down the Bay but then didn’t work well for various reasons (ice floes). One is left (Thomas Point). So, the memorable regatta name has roots in Chesapeake history, and those who’ve competed in it over its 24-year history have been known jokingly as Screwpilers.

More than 75 volunteers from host club Southern Maryland Sailing Association (SMSA), the local community, and yacht clubs up and down the Bay contribute to making this annual event a success. SPINSHEET magazine has been an active sponsor for 21 years and will be on the water taking photos, tossing tee shirts to the party crowd for Friday night—SpinSheet night—running our popular tattoo booth, and taking lively party photos that surely you will frame and keep forever.

J/70 sailing Screwpile ChallengeNewcomers to this regatta should know this: it’s relaxing and fun, so sailors come back. The race committee is filled with top-notch talent, so top competitors come back. Teams come in from as far north as Baltimore and as far south as Virginia Beach.

Dress code? The parties are very fancy. Just kidding. Wear something cool, as it’s always hot. Bad Hawaiian shirts tend to find their way to the Screwpile, so be yourself- there might even be a “Bad Hawaiian shirt contest”! Don’t be shy. Don’t bother shaving; no one else will. Make sure to bring some cash for food, as Mount Gay Rum sponsors this thing, and the rum flows. They sell some nice shirts at the party, too, so come wallet-ready.

As in the past few years, Friday and Sunday will be set up for buoy racing; Saturday will be for the distance race. Cruising class participants will only race Saturday and Sunday on their own course (but they’re welcome to come to SpinSheet night Friday at the party tent).

The event is a popular one for J/sailors on Chesapeake Bay.  Taking part in PHRF A1 Class are two J/111s; Jim Whited’s BAD CAT (a past regatta winner) and also Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND.

In PHRF A2 Class, Mark and Robin Witte’s J/105 RAKALL and Dave McCullough’s J/33 DELIRIUM are taking part.

Finally, in PHRF B class, Larry Ray’s J/70 JRAY, Neal McKinney’s J/80 HOMEGROWN, and Dan Shannon’s J/29 THE DOGHOUSE will be vying for class honors.  SPINSHEET Magazine is the official media sponsor- visit them here    For more Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

driveHG.com Lake Ontario 300 Race Preview

J/109 sailing Lake Ontario (Port Credit, ONT, Canada)- The first gun for the eighty-six boat fleet sailing the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge presented by drive.HG is the morning of Saturday July 15th, 2017. At 300nm, it has been one of the longest Great Lakes races and is certainly the longest one sailed on Lake Ontario- it’s basically a start at the western end of the lake, head to the eastern end and back.

With lake levels super high this year, the challenge will be getting to and from the docks for many of the boats at Port Credit YC in Port Credit, Ontario.  A number of J/Crews are up for the challenge.  In the ten boat PHRF Doublehanded class is Murray Gainer’s J/109 LIVELY, a past winner of the race.  In the IRC class of six boats is Bruce Pierce’s J/122 HOOLIGAN III; they are taking on some of the hottest big offshore boats on Lake Ontario.  In the twelve boat PHRF Solo class, we find Geoffrey Roulet’s J/35 JEANNIE that he will be racing singlehanded.  Finally, in the thirty-one boat PHRF Class, are Geoff Clarke’s J/105 CASUAL ELEGANCE and Sean Matthew’s J/33 WEE BEASTIE III.  For more Lake Ontario 300 Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The Chicago to Mackinac Race Preview

J/111s sailing off Chicago on Lake Michigan (Chicago, IL)- More than 300 boats have registered for the 109th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac presented by Wintrust, one of the world’s longest-running freshwater distance races. "The Mac", which takes most competitors well over 24 hours to complete, is a 289nm sprint from the Chicago Lighthouse, just east of Navy Pier, to the Round Island Channel near the eastern end of Mackinac Island, Michigan. This year’s race kicks off on Saturday, July 15 at just after noon Chicago time.

"The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is an amazing freshwater long distance classic. It brings sailors from all over to participate in this ‘bucket list’ event," said Chicago YC Commodore Leif Sigmond. “This year, about 3,000 sailors from 40 states and nine countries, spanning from Australia to the United Kingdom, will be competing.”

The race has always been popular with J/Teams.  This year, a large contingent of 69 J’s is competing (23% of the entries), with one-design class starts for J/111s, J/109s and J/105s.

J/111s racing off ChicagoLooking for both class and overall honors will be the huge J/111 class with nineteen teams from across the Midwest and the East Coast. Over the past five years, the J/111 teams have been notorious for occupying over half of the top twenty teams in the overall standings, often placing most of the top ten! For starters, the “visiting” teams to the Midwest are Martie Roesch’s VELOCITY and Dave McCreight’s DARK HORSE from Annapolis YC; given they are known fast-sailing teams in buoy-racing, if they are in contention down the Straits of Mackinac, they will be tough to beat.  The top contenders from Lake Michigan include many past winners and podium teams like Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN from South Shore YC, the trio on IMPULSE (George Miz, Peter Dreher, Mark Hatfield), the trio on KASHMIR (Karl Brummel/ Steve Henderson/ Mike Mayer), Len Siegel’s LUCKY DUBIE, the duo on MOMENTUS (Kevin Saedi / Raman Yousefi), Dave Irish’ NO SURPRISE, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER, Art Mitchel’s SNOW GOOSE and Brad Faber’s UTAH.

J/105s sailing off ChicagoAnother large J/Class is the twenty-one boat J/105 class.  Like their colleagues in the 111’s, many of their top contenders in past Mac Races, Chicago NOOD regattas and other offshore events will be present.  Some of those contenders will include teams like Carter Williams’ CREATIVE DESTRUCTION, Ken Ganch’s GONZO, the Petzold family (Jane, Tricia, Tom & Cathy) on GREEN FLASH, Mark Stoll’s PEREGRINE, Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL, Clark Pellett’s SEALARK, and Tom and Gyt Petkus’ VYTIS.

With ten teams, the J/109 class will always be tough and competitive, not just in class but also in the overall standings.  If the long-term forecast holds for southerly breezes feeding a fast-moving front that produces north-northeast winds for the rest of the race starting Saturday evening, then the 109s will be a factor overall, too!  Some of the leading crews include Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT, Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR, Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT II, Doug Evans’ TIME OUT, and Jack & Jim Toliver’s VANDA III.

The Level 35 Class of eight teams includes a trio of J/35s, such as Rick Stage’s ALPHA PUPPY, Larry Taunt’s BAD DOG J, and Mitch Weisman’s THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER.

The class make-up for Section 2 is rather diverse, including a half-dozen Farr 40s plus the J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill and Jean Schanen of SAILING magazine fame from Port Washington YC.

J/130 sailing off ChicagoSection 3 will be the battle of the 130s and 133s for sure!  In the J/130 category are Jim Gignac’s SALSA, Doug Petter’s WILLIE J, and Bob McManus’ EDGE.  In the J/133 department, that duo includes Tom & Beth-Ann Papoutsis’ RENEGADE and Bob Klairmont’s SIROCCO 3.

Fighting for brand and class honors all by themselves in Section 4 will be Randy Kuhn & James Richter’s J/44 CHEAP’N’DEEP, a proven winner based on their performances off the Chicago waterfront this summer.

The Section 5 class that normally sees a fairly large turnout of J/120s will only be seeing two of them this year (which generally happens in the West to east “Super Mac” years).  The two stalwarts are class cheerleader Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA from Bayview YC and Frank Giampoli’s JAHAZI from Columbia YC. Joining them is the J/122 GOTTA WANTA skippered by Bob Mampe, a boat and team from Grand Traverse YC that has proven they can win silver offshore.

Another lone wolf will be chasing class and brand honors in Section 6, Martin Luken’s J/109 FANDANGO from Chicago YC.

Then, in the fairly large Section 7, a past winner of both the Bayview-Mackinac and the Chicago-Mackinac Races is the duo on the J/109 TOA- Bruce Danly and Jimmie Mitchell from Chicago YC.  They will be up against three of the fastest J/35s on the Great Lakes; the Metcalf family’s BOZO’s CIRCUS (Bruce, Chris & Eric), the Leslie Family with Jack Amedio on NOMATA, and Larry Schell’s TOUCH OF GREY- a perennial class winner in the Mac Race.

Finally, the Section 8 class of 28-33 footers can often produce the biggest surprises in the Mac Race, especially with a trio of offshore-winners in the J/88s and the classically fast J/33 RETRIEVER skippered by Matt Beer. The J/88 teams include Ben & Amanda Wilson’s RAMBLER, Boyd & Janice Jarrell’s SLOT MACHINE, and Tim Wade’s WINDSONG.  For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Friday, July 14, 2017

J/105s Dominate Doublehanded Class @ Stratford Shoal Race

(Stratford, CT)- This past 4th of July Independence Day weekend marks the annual mad 45nm offshore dash from Riverside, CT to the Stratford Shoal Light and back to the finish link just off the club.  This was the 86th edition of the Stratford Shoal Race, hosted by the Riverside YC on Long Island Sound.

The highlights of the race included a duel between two well-sailed J/105s vying for class honors in the PHRF Doublehanded division.  Sailing in one-design class configuration at a PHRF rating of 93, the top two boats finished just minutes apart after criss-crossing the Sound for 45nm.  Winning by just over 4 minutes was Randy Bourne’s STRANGE BREW and taking the silver was Josh Burack’s PEREGRINA.  In fleet, they did quite well, taking 4th and 6th, respectively, overall.  Furthermore, Todd Aven’s well-traveled J/92 THIN MAN took fourth in class and 16th in fleet.

Stratford Shoal LightIn PHRF Division 1 class, William Ingraham’s J/124 TENEBRAE took fourth place.  In PHRF Division 2, Steve Chronert’s J/109 ZUMA placed third in class and 15th in fleet.  In PHRF Division 4, the Young American Junior Big Boat Team sailed their J/105 YOUNG AMERICAN YCC to 4th in class and 12th in fleet.  Ken & Drew Hall’s J/88 NEVERMORE managed a 5th in class.  After starting at 0955 hrs on Saturday morning, virtually the entire fleet was finished by 1730 hrs, in time for fireworks, cocktails and munchies and a gorgeous sunset over New York City.  For more Stratford Shoal Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Nylandska Jaktklubben Leads Finnish J/70 Sailing League

J70 Finland crew(Maarianhamina, Finland)- The first event of the Finnish J/70 Sailing League took place in Aland, Mariehamina over the first weekend of July- on an island in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden!  In the end, it was a very tight finish for the top two teams, Nylandska Jaktklubben and Åländska Segelsällskapet 1 Team.  After eleven races just three points separated these teams with Nylandska YC just beating out Åländska SS by three points to take the initial lead in the four regatta series.

“The race tracks are quick and short.  So, if you are not alert, the small mistakes can easily get you bogged down and you quickly lose many places. I have the impression that at least half of the teams managed to get a top three finish. This shows that every team really has the chance to win," said Nylandska YC team captain- Georg “Tusse" Tallberg.

“In fact, the league has taken a huge leap forward this year. The increase in the level of performance is similar to that of other sailing league countries, and the actual losers are the clubs and sailors who are not here,” Tallberg sums up.

J/70 sailing in FinlandÅländska SS was second and they are already planning to improve their game for the next event.   “It was not a good thing that NJK won the regatta in our home waters. But, we will return to the waters of Helsinki more and more, and we will do the same for them,” laughed Åländska skipper, Daniel Mattson.

The next event in the Finnish J/70 series takes place at Helsinki's Hernesaare from August 19th to 20th. Then, the league culminates in the finals competition at Helsinki's South Harbor on October 7th and 8th.

The Finnish J/70 Sailing League is sponsored by Nord Stream, Gazprom and SAP, as well as Evli, Freja, Henri Lloyd, Mercedes-Benz and Roltrade.  Sailing photo credits- Petri Korteniemi  Follow the Finnish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook   For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Astrup Crowned GRUNDIG J/70 Nordic Champion!

J/70 sailing(Hanko, Norway)- Over the three-day weekend in Hanko, Norway, the Royal Norwegian YC (KNS) hosted the GRUNDIG J/70 Nordic Championship.  The racing took place just outside the island of Hankø and offered great course racing for the enthusiastic J/70 sailors. The island is located in the south-eastern part of Norway at the opening of the Oslo Fjord, not far from the Swedish border.  As anticipated, the fleet enjoyed good sea breezes from the southwest and generally good and fair sailing. The wind conditions were normally stable with no tidal problems.

The KNS cooperated with Hankø Yacht Club (HYC) to provide the J/70 teams with nine races over the three days!  It got windy enough that Team VISUAL ART RACING reported hitting their record speed yet of 21.2 kts in the big waves!  However, they were not fast enough to catch the train running away from them called NORWEGIAN STEAM.

In the end, after winning six of nine races, Eivind Astrup’s crew on STEAM walked off with their first GRUNDIG J/70 Nordic Championship with just 12 pts net.  Although fast, and very consistent (never finishing out of the top four in any race), the VISUAL ART RACING team took the silver after posting mainly 2nds and 3rds with 19 pts net. Rounding out the podium was SWE 713 TYRA with a total of 30 pts net.  Check out and follow the Norwegian J/70 class on Facebook.  For more GRUNDIG J/70 Nordic Championship sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Transpac Race Update

J/125 RESOLUTE sailing Transpac Race J/Crews on J/125 and J/105 Leading Classes
(Los Angeles, CA)- The 49th edition of the 2017 biennial offshore classic, the Transpac Race, started on July 3rd, 5th, and 6th from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2,225nm away. Among the fifty-five teams, there will be no shortage of anxiety playing the big Pacific High as it wobbles around, avoiding the notorious U.F.O’s (underwater floating objects), and breathless anticipation as Diamond Head looms over the horizon knowing that you have less than 10 miles to go to the finish line!

As of Wednesday, in Class 5 we find Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from San Diego YC currently 2nd in class on 6th day of racing.

Then, in Class 3 are the two notoriously fast J/125s- RAISIN’ CANE and RESOLUTE.  Each team has been blogging via Inmarsat satellite service almost every day.  Here are interesting perspectives on their progress below from each team.

Tim Fuller’s J/125 RESOLUTE from San Diego YC
Day 1- July 5, 2017
All is well onboard Resolute. No major issues so far. A few leaks here and there and our gyro-heading sensor has decided to quit on us so we are down to a backup. We currently have 18 kts of wind and are doing 11.5 avg w/ the Jib Top, genoa staysail and reefed main. We are looking forward to get a more favorable wind direction tonight so we can put up the code zero and send it.

It's been a bumpy and wet last 24 hours w/ 4-5' swells w/ 1-2' wind chop on top of it. Making good progress already logging 252 miles and 2007 to go.  Brian

Day 2- July 6, 2017
Greeting Resolute fans! After a pretty fair start and first (24) hours of sailing thing are settling down. The wind Gods have been friendly so far, but its been a wet ride. Our top speed has been just under 20 knots with a reefed main, Code 0 and a genoa staysail flying. A couple of annoying leaks have cropped up, but we have McGyvered solutions. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have brought along new foul weather pants. I can honestly say I have the wettest butt on the planet right now, and so looking forward to when it sailing in shorts time ahead. The guys and Alli are all doing great. I feel very fortunate to be out here with such a fantastic and fun group of people. As I type, we have 1,968 miles to go. That is a long way on a 41' sailboat, but before you know it, we'll hear the HYC greeting "Aloha Resolute." Thanks for following along.  Tim Fuller - Skipper

Day 3- July 7, 2017, 1400
Hello Resolute fans. We are just cruising along today. Since about 6:00 last night we have a double head rig working with a C0, GS and now a full main. For all you non-sailors that's as many sails as we can fly at this wind angle without tipping over!

Our top speed so far is 22 knots. Interesting sight today as Comanche (100 foot and largest boat in the fleet) passed right next to us about noontime. AIS showed them ripping along at 24 knots in about 14 knots of wind! Yes, that is REALLY fast. They went from the horizon behind to the horizon ahead in about an hour. Famed navigator Stan Honey is aboard so we felt good about our position knowing we were sharing the same water at least for a while.

Our routing and weather predict a spinnaker up for us later tonight, and that's when we turn on the jets. Things should flatten out and dry out at least then too. I do have dry shorts on now in case anyone out there was wondering. We still have 1,773 miles to go out here in the blue pacific, so stay tuned.  Tim Fuller - Skipper

Day 4- July 8, 1500- RESOLUTE winning class!
Good morning Resolute Fans!  We're somewhere in the middle of our third day out here and things are feeling fine. I know you've likely seen the sailing updates from Brian, so I'm here to give you a little glimpse into life on board.

Transpac Aloha Mahalo Party sendoffLet's start at the very beginning -- the dock. Somehow, media got word that the youngest member of the fleet was aboard Resolute: Allison Bell, the 12 year-old. I appreciate the 25 years back! After an interview and some video footage (maybe keep your eye on the Transpac Facebook page and other sites), we satisfied the paparazzi, finished up final prep and headed to the start line. It was pretty neat to see Westward out there, at least for me, and nice to have all the support from loved ones.

We started, headed to Catalina and beyond. We settled nicely into our watch system and are doing 4 hours on during the day, 3 hours on at night. Everyone seems to be happy and healthy. The food is pretty good and so far, it doesn't smell too badly down below. The only complaint is that I apparently snore, which I have yet to believe because I haven't heard it!

The men on board have likely been keeping things cleaner than usual, is my suspicion, but they'll soon forget to mind their manners.  Time to go-- today is one of my favorite days-- underwear change day! All is well aboard Resolute!  - Alli Bell

Day 5- July 9th
Well, we are just having a heck of a time out here. The great sailing conditions are offsetting the lack of sleep, odor in the boat, and overall hygiene.

Just received the latest position report and we continue to climb up the leader board. We now stand first in class and 6th overall after a 300-mile day and 281 of that DMG. The new Pac 52 boats are going to be tough to beat but we are doing our best to keep up the pace.

After the latest weather download we expect the winds to continue to be 14-18 knots with a gradual lift trending as we sail around an isobar. There is a high pressure moving down with really light winds so we will be monitoring that closely. There is still a long way to go but at this point in time we will continue on starboard for another 600 miles and then gybe close to our layline to finish. We are all looking forward to some time on port tack so our bodies can straighten out and we can do some grinding with our left arms.  Stay tuned for more updates.  - Brian

Day 6- July 10, 2017, 1300
Hi you’all. There is so much that I forgot to tell you in my last post and that has happened in the last day.

First, sailing at night is usually pretty cool, but the last few nights have been WAY cool! It has been so bright outside that we have been able to call puffs (incoming wind) at two in the morning. Usually, it's too dark to do that. The moon is full and behind a thin layer of clouds, so we've been able to see the horizon better than usual, which makes sailing at night easier.

Second, the most awesome thing happened on Friday afternoon. Trevor, Brian and I are on deck when we see a sail in the distance. We'd been sailing for almost 48 hours at that point; so seeing another boat is definitely a topic of conversation. After some speculation, Brian went to check the AIS and saw that it was 100-footer COMANCHE. Within the hour, they'd passed us within a mile and disappeared in the horizon in front of us. That was less than 24 hours after their start. They'd already sailed just about 500 miles. As I write this, they're just about to Hawaii- maybe within a day.

Third, and this I think is probably the most important, we are halfway there- both in terms of distance sailed and geographically. To celebrate, Brian made us Pad Thai. It was delicious. If any of the Tiger Pants crew are reading this - mine are about to go on in celebration of this accomplishment- I'm sure there will be photos.

Today was also exciting because we got passed closely by Chim Chim just after we repaired a sail (Trick, if you're reading this, you definitely owe Brian and Matt a beer for their excellent mid-ocean TOP batten pocket repair) and backed down to get something off our keel. We've spent most of the day, though, sailing fast and having fun.

We've not seen a lot of trash or sea life, so far. A few flying fish and we smelled a whale the other night. Today, we saw an albatross. Those are cool creatures- and they good luck!

All is well out here on Resolute. The boys are still behaving, mostly. Oh, and if you were wondering, underwear change day exceeded expectations!! - Alli Bell

Day 7- July 11, 2017, 0100
Greetings Resolute fans. It's Monday and we are 1st in class and 4th overall as of this morning’s position report. The two big boats in our class are tough and it looks like the approach to the finish off Diamond Head will be a tricky one weather wise.

We are trending toward the north side of the course for now, but looking to make a left turn south with a favorable shift in the wind. Here we go again on the fine sailing ship Resolute as we find ourselves in the giant killer mode.

For now we are pushing as hard as we can. Alli, too, has moved into the crew boss role as her competitive nature is taking over more each day! We love our Alli Bell. A couple more shout outs... Matt Smith the freeze-dried food is awesome. Second, to my buddy Erik Shampain who could not make the race this time. It's just not the same in the middle of the ocean without you. Thanks for following along. More to come over the next few days. - Tim Fuller- Skipper.   Follow RESOLUTE’s Facebook page here  Follow RESOLUTE’s Transpac blog here

J/125 Raisin Cane from Palm Beach, FLFrank Atkinson’s J/125 RAISIN’ CANE from West Palm Beach, FL
Raisin' Cane's Race Day 2- July 7, 2017, 1900
Raisin' Cane had an issue yesterday that affected their speed for a while. Issue appears to be resolved and they have been steadily gaining speed through out today and are doing their best to catch up. Let’s all send them pleasant thoughts for good wind and increased speed. Not sure how close they were or if Raisin' Cane saw them but Comanche, a 100ft competitor, passed by them earlier today.

Raisin' Cane is now 41 hours into the Transpac and doing OK. Typical early passage bugs and deficiencies are being overcome and conditions aboard are improving as we settle in, shake down, and sort out. It also helps that the wind is drawing aft.

We set our first kite 30 minutes ago and, if your typist's (Joe) collected weather forecast data can be relied upon, we expect to be under spinnakers for the foreseeable future. The deck guys are busy flaking and stowing jibs so I can get away with being brief with this message by passing none of their remarks along. This is good because it is "peppy" at the nav station as it is everywhere on board."

Raisin' Cane's Day 4- July 9, 2017
Raisin Cane is charging downwind in a deep, cobalt blue. ocean, her A2 running spinnaker, straining at her sheets, skipping from wave to wave in a sailor’s dance till she reaches the sun baked white beaches of Hawaii. Cane’s crew has settled into their hourly watches and daily routines, focusing all their efforts to race across the Pacific. Sailing has been steady with good winds. The fleet is now in the trade winds for the most part, sailing westerly to the Islands with the winds at their back with a little over 1200 miles to go.  Follow Raisin’ Cane here on the Transpac Race boat blogs.

Follow these teams each day and give them your support- Yellow Brick’s YBTracking is providing the hourly updates.  For more Transpac Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.