Friday, May 26, 2017

Vashon Island/ Tri-Island Series Report

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

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

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

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

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

Awesome, Fast Oregon Offshore Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Edgartown Race Week- The Long & the Short of it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epic, Windy Edlu Distance Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

USA Adult Sailing Championships @ St Petersburg YC!

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

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jachtclub Scheveningen Leads Netherlands J/70 Sailing League

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 International Women’s Keelboat Champs Go To Mexico!

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

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

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

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

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

MOSS Wins Norwegian J/70 Sailing League Opener

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cedar Point One-Design Regatta Announcement

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

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

J/133 Wins @ RORC De Guingand Bowl Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

RC Oberhofen Triumph @ Swiss Sailing League- Act II

J/70 Swiss sailing league- Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)- The twelve best sailing clubs in Switzerland have already been fighting for valuable points in the Swiss national league. The brilliant start on Lake Maggiore has shown that the level of sailing is enormously high. Many clubs have once again strengthened their teams with top sailors, including several Olympic athletes.

The fastest climbers were SV Kreuzlingen, with the Olympic sailor Tom Rüegge at the wheel; their goal in Zurich was to show that the victory on Lake Maggiore was no coincidence. The winners of the Swiss Sailing Super League 2016 and second in the Sailing Champions League finale in Porto Cervo, Sardinia were the Regattaclub Bodensee, they were not satisfied with the fourth place in the Lago Maggiore opener; the young sailors from St. Gallen (Massimo Soriano, Lea Rüegg, Stephan Zurfluh and Rene Ott) came to Zurich with the firm determination to win.

The air at the top of the Swiss Sailing Super League is, however, literally quite thin. A whole series of teams- SN Geneva, SN Role, RC Oberhofen/BE, Thunersee YC and Neuchâtel- have the potential to sail for victory and podium places.  Plus, the Zurich Yacht Club in particular has strengthened and converted its team since Locarno and wants to free itself from the bottom of the barrel.  That was the “form” going into last weekend.

J/70 swiss sailing league mark roundingThe weather happened to be the determining factor in the event, playing to some team’s strengths and other’s weaknesses. The Swiss Sailing League meteorologist, Nicola Möckli, expected good sailing conditions, however, spiked with thunderstorms, rain and sunny sections.

In difficult wind conditions between doldrums and storms, the Regattaclub Oberhofen won the second round and is now sitting in the overall lead for the series. The Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen confirmed, by taking second place, their performance of Locarno and they are sitting in second place based on a tie-breaker with Oberhofen. In third for the series is Regattaclub Lake Constance.

Swiss J/70 sailing league winnersA mix of sun, clouds with occasional wind fields from the southwest and in the evening thunderbolts- these were the challenges the sailing teams had to master over the weekend in Zurich. On Friday, the first 4 races could be sailed in the wake of a thunderstorm. On Saturday morning, two races were taking place with rolling, light southern winds. Then postponements were announced. Only in the evening, with the thunder and winds growing again from the west could the Zurich YC PRO conduct another three races. However, when the thunderstorm discharged directly above the regatta course, the races had to be stopped and every returned to the safe harbor. Unfortunately, only one race was possible on Sunday morning and the second round was completed with 10 races.

The Regattaclub Oberhofen (RCO) with Alain Stettler, Simon Brügger, Christoph Rytz and Stephan Rupp were best able to handle the changing and difficult to read wind conditions. With three straights firsts, they tackled the team of the Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen (SVKr) with skipper Tom Rüegge.  Third place went to Regattaclub Bodensee from St. Gallen on Lake Constance; they were beaten with a penalty by the referees on Saturday because of a race offense and ended this race in the second place. This slip-up cost the St. Gallen the chances for victory.  That is how close the racing was between the top three teams- one point!!

Rounding out the top five were Societe Nautique de Geneve in 4th and Cercle de la Voile de Neuchatel in 5th place. The next round of the Swiss Sailing Challenge League will take place in Estavayer and Davos.  Follow the Swiss J/70 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more Swiss Sailing League information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Monday, May 22, 2017

J/70 Debuts in Argentina!

J/70 Argentina debut (Buenos Aires, Argentina)- As the J/70 class continues to grow around the world, it was clear the rapid adoption of the J/70 in Chile and Uruguay was going to stimulate interest across South America. Many of the world’s top J/24 and Olympic sailors have come from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In fact, the passion for the J/70 was so strong that when J/Boats announced several months ago that J/Boats Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, would become the next licensed builder for J/70s, the order book grew quickly to 20+ boats.

Roberto Authier, President of J/Boats Argentina, said this about debuting their first boat a fortnight ago, “We were very pleased the J/70 reception went so well. J/70 sailing off Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWe launched the first boat shortly after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many sailors eagerly checking out their next boat. It's going to be a very busy year!"

"The J/70 becomes the second J design we've licensed for production in South America," added Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats. "We couldn't be happier having Roberto and Lucas Authier building the J/70 and continuing to provide long-term support for both the J/24 and J/70 classes."

The first Argentinean J/70 was launched after the christening ceremony and went sailing for a few hours with many new J/70 sailors eagerly hopping aboard to check out the new boat.  For more J/70 speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

NEW J/121 Offshore Speedster Update!

J/121 offshore speedster hull deck fitting(Newport, RI)- It’s spring fever in New England and the boat yards and builders are buzzing with activity, no more so than at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI, where the J/121 project has expanded from the prototype shop into the mold room and now the assembly room.

Two J/121 hulls and one deck are now molded and the first deck was just test-fit onto a hull (pictured here) to finalize the interior bulkhead patterns.  One of the benefits of having had the hull and deck plugs precision-machined at Symmetrix was readily apparent when the mating flanges of the finished hull and deck matched together perfectly.  The newly molded deck also shows off the subtle refinements made to the footrest locations and seat-back coamings during the plug process.  These are now beautifully molded in, along with the high-traction, non-skid deck surface essential for offshore sailing.

J/121 deck vacuum baggingThe J/121 hull, deck and bulkheads are vacuum-infused molded to provide high strength to weight ratios and consistent part weights.  The J/121 deck (shown under vacuum) utilizes Corecell structural PVC core for the primary deck panels and then high-density PVC core inserts in way of highly loaded hardware and components.

Specifications update
  • the Jefa twin wheel pedestal steering system includes both a wheel brake and a wheel disengagement control (for reduced cable wear when under auto-pilot). The Jefa autopilot transmission drive is available as an installed option.
  • Two Carbonautica J/Boats custom-styled composite wheels finished in black Awlgrip are included- the same beautiful wheel design that has been an option on other wheel-driven J models.
  • the Harken Performa winch package for the cabin top and primary winches will be available as electric. The same Harken winch body/gearing is used for both manual and electric versions which allows one to easily “electrically power” the winches later in life.  Harken is also supplying the hydraulic backstay system which includes a pump and release button on the front of each wheel pedestal.
  • the Southern Spars carbon mast package features an auto-claved, tapered carbon mast with carbon spreaders and an Antal mainsail luff track.  We’ve added an internal halyard lock for the inner jib, and the masthead has a built-in provision to accommodate an external halyard lock (commissioning option) for a Code 0 spinnaker.  
  • for the inner jib forestay deck fitting, there is a structural chainplate (attached to the forward bulkhead) with a twin ferrule set-up to allow a 3:1 tack purchase.  One hoists the pre-rolled inner jib until the halyard is locked in place and then adjusts forestay tension with the 3:1 downhaul led aft to a clutch/winch.
Project Schedule
With all of the major parts tooled, the prototype shop is now finalizing small part moldings such as the settee, galley and nav station base units, the aft head, and the v-berth supports.  Specifying these components in all-composite material provides an opportunity to save weight, enhance the finish, and provide better long-term durability.  Next for production is installing the deck hardware, while the structural bulkheads and interior components are installed in the hull (from stem to stern).  This will be followed by the mechanical and systems installations and finally the bonding of the deck to the hull. We are eagerly anticipating the launch and sea-trials later this summer in Newport.  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Youth J/70 Sailors Sailing Fast Offshore!

J/70 youth team off Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach, California)- Tom Garrett reported, “it was a fun J/70 day of racing here in SoCal. Robert Garrett, my son, and his team on Saturday beat a varied fleet of 23 other boats by a wide margin (about 2.5+ miles!).”  Here is their report:

“Newport Harbor Yacht Club on Saturday May 6th held its annual Opening Day Race over a 16 mile course that after a short upwind leg of about 2 miles, from lower Alamitos Bay to the west end light of the Long Beach breakwater, takes the racing fleet homeward to the finish off of the Newport Beach pier. The race conditions were pre-frontal with a gale blowing 40 knots plus 50 miles offshore that resulted in a Catalina Eddy with good pressure on shore. At the time of the starts for the pursuit race the wind was 14 – 16 knots from the WSW and this held down the course with left hand puffs coming in in the 16 – 18 knot range. The angle and velocity proved ideal for a J/70. Robert Garrett and his five man youth team (two of whom were part of his crew in winning this year High School Keelboat Championship in J70s, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club last November) came out on top by a wide margin.” Add to Flipboard Magazine.

USA J/24 Class Enabling Young Sailors!

J/24 youth sailing team (St Petersburg, FL)- The US J/24 Class Association has awarded the first-annual “Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Scholarship Boat” to students from the University of South Florida Sailing Team.

The crew members— Brendan Feeney (helm), Sean Cornell (tactician), Mikey Treblecock (primary trimmer/alternate skipper), Scott Ewing (primary trimmer), Orrin Starr (secondary trimmer/pit), Andrew “Ty” Baird (bow) and Alex Smith (bow)—will be campaigning the boat in 2017 through early 2018.

The program is named in honor of Kelly Holmes-Moon, a long-time supporter of the J/24 Class Association who served as US Class President and as the Copyright Holder’s Representative.

The program encourages talented young sailors to gain first-hand experience racing within the J/24 Class of one-design sailboats at virtually no cost. Dave Eggleton donated the first boat, USA 423, to the program, providing the Scholarship Boat recipients with the experience to escalate their level of competitiveness and inspire them to accomplish great things in the sailing world.

This summer, the program recipients will be racing at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, where they plan to participate in club and fleet events. During the school months, the boat will be located at St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL. They will consistently train during the week, as SPYC is only a few minutes from their USF campus, and they will practice during the Club’s Friday Night Series and local regatta circuit.

Feeney and his crew have an ambitious projected regatta schedule, including the J/24 North American Championship, Mayors Cup/Valcour Race, J/24 Northeast Championship, Marblehead NOOD, CamAm Challenge, East Coast Championship and more in early 2018.

The team is in need of contributions to help fund their campaign. To find out how you can help, e-mail

The application process for the 2018/ 2019 Kelly Holmes-Moon J/24 Boat Grant Program will begin in February 2018.  Here are the 2017 Scholarship Boat member biographies:

Brendan Feeney- from Jacksonville, FL, is a junior majoring in Finance. He is a starting member of the University of South Florida nationally ranked Coed Sailing Team and a member of the school’s #1 nationally ranked offshore team. Feeney had the honor of representing Team USA last year at the 2016 Western Hemisphere and Orient Championships in Cabo Frio, Brazil. He recently began training in the 470 Olympic Class, placing second at the 2016 470 Nationals, as well as finishing as the third US team at the 2017 ISAF World Sailing Miami (US Sailing Team Sperry Selection Trials).

Sean Cornell- from Centerport, NY, is a sophomore at USF and a member of the Coed Sailing Team. He began sailing Optimists at age seven and also has competitive youth sailing experience in 420s. Cornell later transitioned beyond dinghy sailing into numerous Classes and boats, focusing specifically on small keelboat fleet and match racing. He has experience at the helm, but also excels as tactician. Cornell was elected as an underclassman captain during his freshman year, and this year stepped into a role as the team’s A-Skipper. His college sailing goals include: the All-American award and a Match Racing National Championship.

Mikey Treblecock- from Cleveland, OH, is a senior and co-captain on the USF dinghy and offshore sailing teams. He developed the offshore sailing team in the fall of 2015, which has grown to compete in every collegiate offshore regatta throughout the year. The USF Offshore Team completed the 2016 season by winning the Kennedy Cup, awarded annually to the collegiate keelboat national champions. Treblecock is predominantly at the helm for the college offshore events, however most of his sailing experience has involved crew positions.

Scott Ewing- from Miami, FL, is a member of the USF Sailing team in St. Petersburg, FL. As an engineering major, he regularly finds himself on the USF Tampa Campus. He grew up sailing Optimists out of Coral Reef Yacht Club, one of the top youth teams in the country. After a successful youth career, he transitioned into the Skiff Class. Here he found himself as one of the top 49er sailors in the world, representing the US on a number of occasions. Ewing is a 49er National Champion and North American Champion. This summer, he will be representing Oracle’s Team USA Youth Program at the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Orrin Starr- from Block Island, RI, is a sophomore at USF. He sails dinghies most of the time with USF, and has also been a significant part of developing the school’s offshore team into being the current #1 ranked offshore team in the country. Starr has become heavily involved in the J/70 Class, regularly competing as a trimmer on the circuit, including a Worlds campaign as shore crew.

Andrew “Ty” Baird- from St. Petersburg, FL, has been a life-long sailor, involved in the sport on many different levels. Baird has competed in anything from an Optimist to a 49er and many other boats like the Melges 32 or the Navy 44. He looks forward to getting more involved with keelboats.

Alex Smith- from Sayville, NY, started sailing at the age of six pulling in the backstays and barber haulers for his father. He began sailing 420s, Vanguard 15s and Lasers on Long Island’s junior sailing circuit, and soon began running the pit on a Melges 24 when he was 17. Smith has continued to grow in the successful Melges 24 program as the spinnaker trimmer for the previous two seasons. In college, he has been a four-year member of the varsity team competing at venues throughout the eastern seaboard. Smith served as a student-athlete mentor and a two-year co-captain of the team. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

VINCITORE Wins Mexico J/70 Nationals

J/70s sailing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
(Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- On May 5th to 7th, the 5th Mexico J/70 National Championship was held in Puerto Vallarta, the fabulous coastal resort town on the western (Pacific) side of the country. It is now the fourth site the Mexican Nationals have been held; the others were Valle de Bravo twice, Acapulco, Cancun and now Vallarta.  A total of twenty teams attended and were graciously hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club.

Puerto Vallarta in May is a perfect choice as you are 99% sure you will get the thermal sea breeze, permitting the first start of the day at 13:00 hrs with 10-12 knots, building up to 18-20 knots everyday! The J/70 teams that participated in the event were looking forward to the “postcard” sailing weather, teams came from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta including a youth team sponsored by the BBB Sailing Program.

J/70 sailing off Mexico at NationalsWith three days of racing and 11 races scheduled, the VYC PRO and Committee were punctual and efficient, waiting patiently for the seabreeze to start at midday and, like clockwork, they could set the starting line and the marks, much to the delight of the happy fleet!

The first day of racing ended with Ignacio Perez Moret ZAQUERO in 1st place, tied on points with VINCITORE sailed by the Brockmann brothers and former World Champion Julian Fernandez in 3rd place sailing the familiar FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.

On the second day, consistency was the key and VINCITORE posted a 2-1-2-1 to move into the lead after eight races. After a 10th place in the lighter air first race of the day, ZAQUERO recovered with three great races (a 2-1-2), but now basically used their drop race. A solid day for Yon Belausteguigoitia´s team LA BALA (a 3-3-6-3) put them in 4th place; this team had a tremendous amount of talent onboard with countless World Championship and Olympic regattas on their CV’s and not to mention an easy 217 years of age between the 4 of them!! Eduardo Porter’s GOLDO’s was also having consistent results (a 4-4-4-5) and was now in 5th place.

On the final day, three races were scheduled. VINCITORE had to be careful with ZAQUERO and FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO (who needed a perfect day to have a chance for the win).  The first race saw VINCITORE in 4th with ZAQUERO 3rd, FLOJITO 2nd and LA BALA in 1st place. VINCITORE went on to win the next two races as the sea breeze increased into the high teens.

J/70 sailing at Puerto Vallarta Nationals- MexicoDefinitely enjoying the event and conditions to win the National Championship was the crew of VINCITORE- Ricky Brockmann was skipper, Erik Brockmann (Ricky’s brother) was calling tactics, Jeronimo Mariscal was trimmer, and Diego Velasco was bowman. Second place went to Ignacio Perez Moret and team on ZAQUERO; they also won the Corinthians Division! Julian Fernandez ended in 3rd place with FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO.  Rounding out the top five were LA BALA in 4th and Porter’s GOLDO’S in 5th place.

According to Rod (“Caracas”) Favela, who was sailing in the regatta, “family and friends had a great time sailing in the gorgeous weather of the Pacific coast off Mexico, Bahia de Banderas is a beautiful place to sail!!  Great winds!

The most common, and probably most important phenomenon, I noticed was how many crews were families: Mom, Dad and the kids, and they were fast, talented crews that will get to the top without much difficulty.  No wonder why the class is growing so quickly in Mexico, as it allows a great family and social platform to be very competitive and fun!

I cannot say enough about the Mexican hospitality- great food, good laughs and very good quality racing, all happening under the umbrella of a top-of-the line Race Committee from Vallarta YC who ran perfect courses for all 11 races of the week! I want to go back already!!”  For more Mexico J/70 Nationals sailing information. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Italian J/24 Report- Week 18

J/24 sailing off Italy (Rome, Italy)- This past weekend marked the second stage of the Sardinia J/24 fleet spring series, completing their spring series.  The fleet is now focused on the Open J/24 National Championship that will be sailed in La Maddalena.

Arzachena/ Palau
The spring series in Sardinia finished with a total of nine races.  For the finale, three races were sailed on Saturday, but Sunday’s racing was canceled due to extreme winds.

As usual, Sardinia J/24 Fleet Captain, Marco Frullio, described how it all went down for the weekend. "On Saturday, there were three races with a cool fresh grecce wind. The first race was won by our team- ITA 443 ARIA.  Second was ITA 497 BOOMERANG skippered by Enrico Strazzera, and third was ITA 4121 SANTA LUCIA helmed by Lucio Balzano.

J/24s sailing off Sardinia, ItalyIn the second race of the day, ITA 405 VIGNE SURRAU from CN Arzachena took off and won easily over ITA 443 ARIA.  Third was ITA 318 NORD OESTE skippered by Salvatore Orecchioni and Tonino Chessa.

The last race saw the wind change to the expected western quadrant. The “dancer's wind” caused a shortening of the final race.  The shift rewarded the ever-attentive ITA 406 BOTTA DRITTA sailed by the proven duo of Mariolino Di Fraia/ Luca Montella.

As a result of the weekend’s racing, VIGNE SURRAU with 15 pts net, followed by SANTA LUCIA with 20 pts in second place, and BOTTA DRITTA in third place with 23 pts.

CNA President- Pietrino Demuro- awarded the crews at Hotel la Vecchia Fonte; the crews all tasting delicious local red wines and incredibly delicious spaghettata.  For more Italian J/24 fleet information Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Climactic Antigua Sailing Week!

J/39 sailing Antigua Sailing WeekJ/39 Sir LORD JIM Crowned “Big Banana”!
(English Harbour, Antigua) – The penultimate day of racing at the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week was held in near perfect conditions off the south coast of Antigua. The Caribbean surf and sea state had moderated in comparison to the start of the regatta, but the strength of the competition was undiminished. Apart from the Club Class, all classes have now completed six races or more, kicking in the discard rule which has caused yet another shuffle in the overall standings. The intensity of the racing at Antigua Sailing Week is confirmed by a single fact; in CSA 7, Sir Bobby Velasquez’s L’Esperance and Byerley & Sir Robbie Ferron’s J/39 LORD JIM/ MICRON 99, both from St. Maarten, will settle the duel on the regattas finale.

Cary Lee Byerley, co-skipper of the J/39 LORD JIM/ MICRON 99 reported: “It was a long sail out to Standfast, where Bobby (Velasquez) and Carlo (Falcone) got away from us. We caught back up on the reach and looked like we were back in the game for the first part of the downwind leg, but it was not to be as Bobby got the win and we got second. So now, our trusty knights have to battle it out in the final race. Sir Bobby has 8 points, while Sir Robbie has 9.5. Wish us luck; we need it if we are going to beat Bobby as his boat is very fast.”

Antigua Sailing WeekAfter a great day on the water, there was plenty going on for teams once ashore. During a lively daily prize-giving held at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, a press conference was taking place for visiting international and local media at the beautifully restored 1783 Clarence House, just across the water. Callaloo Cay announced they are donning a prestigious new brand name – the Waldorf Astoria– for their next chapter as a premier luxury destination.

Later in the evening at Clarence House, competitors and some of the legendary Antigua Sailing Week veteran sailors were invited to celebrate the next 50 years of Antigua Sailing Week at a very special function sponsored by Callaloo Cay – The Lord Nelson Cocktail & Party.

The finale for the 50th Antigua Sailing Week produced absolutely classic trade wind conditions, serving up one last helping of awesome yacht racing. There were some shocking results.  In CSA 7, Ferron & Byerley’s J/39 Micron 99 Lord Jim needed to make up a 1.5 point deficit to Sir Bobbie Velasquez’s L’Esperance to win CSA 7. Effectively, Micron 99 Lord Jim had to win the last race and hope L’Esperance was third or lower – and their dreams came true!! Micron 99 Lord Jim won the last race by just two seconds with L’Esperance third by just 24 seconds!!  Wow, what a cliff-hanger to the very, very end of the regatta!

Winning the “Big Banana Trophy” for Best Caribbean Yacht and the “Grant Thornton Trophy” for Best Boat Overall in CSA 7-9 was Cary Byerley and Sir Robbie Ferron’s J/39 Micron 99 Lord Jim from St. Maarten. The team had to overcome a 1.5 point deficit in the last race to their long-term rivals, Sir Bobby Velasquez and his St. Maarten team racing L’Esperance. They went on to achieve victory by just two seconds!

J/122 sailing Antigua Sailing Week“Two seconds and half a point; shockingly dramatic,” commented Sir Robbie Ferron. “I could never believe it would be that close. In all my years, I have never won a regatta like that and I doubt if anyone else has. For the last three years, I have been racing against Bobbie in many regattas and we have always just missed out. I have great respect for him so we have a great respect for one another. Reflecting on how Antigua Sailing Week had evolved, this regatta has done the right things for the competitors, and it is getting the appropriate response. Sailors are enjoying the experience and that is why it has such a great turnout and I believe that the momentum will continue beyond the 50th regatta.”

In CSA 4 Racing Class, local knowledge was playing itself out amongst the many top crews in the hotly contested class.  Many top boats accustomed to garnering top three podium finishes in prior Caribbean regattas were noticeably absent; such was “the locals factor”.  Nevertheless, Doug Ayres’ charted the famous J/122 EL OCASO and his Team Skylark sailed a very consistent series to pull off a 4th place.  Next best J/crew were the UK/Australian crew on the J/133 JINGS with David Ballantyne, finishing 9th in class.

Similarly, in CSA 6 Racing class, the top J/crews could only muster a 5th (Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER from Barbados) and a 6th (David Cullen’s J/109 POCKET ROCKET from St Barths).

And then, the final party was played out by the amazing Antiguan band, Asher Otto & Itchy Feet.  In the end, 152 teams from 28 nations sailed the 50th Antigua Sailing Week from around the world.  Fourteen European countries were represented, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland.  At least ten Caribbean island nations participated, including Antigua, Saint Maarten, St Barths, Puerto Rico, St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Trinidad, Barbados, Martinique, and Jamaica.  And, from the “America’s”, there were teams from Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/
For more Antigua Sailing Week information Add to Flipboard Magazine.