Wednesday, November 20, 2013

J/Newsletter- November 20th, 2013

J70 sailing off  South AmericaInternational J/70 Class Update
(London, England)- Over 500 delegates from more than 60 nations gathered together in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman for the 2013 ISAF Annual Conference. Held from 9-16 November, the ISAF Council made decisions that affected the sport of sailing in the immediate future.  Most importantly, the J/70 one-design class was awarded “International Class” status.

As one looks back on the history of one-design classes that have achieved International Class status with ISAF (and its precursors like International Yacht Racing Union), never has a boat from any nation achieved “international” status in less than eighteen (18) months from its initial commercial introduction to the world’s marketplace.

Remarkably, the J/70 is now sailed on five principal continents that are part of the ISAF World of Sailing (North America, South America, Europe, Asia & Australia).  To date there are over 500+ boats ordered in some of the world’s best places to go sailing anywhere.    For more ISAF Conference information   For more International J/70 One-Design Class sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week was busy on the European front despite the simply awesome fronts and enormous gales that were besieging the western coast across the region. The Garmin Hamble Winter Series continued with the J/111s, J/97 and others having a wonderful time in the somewhat benign conditions offered up to them this past weekend.  Also taking place were the J/70 Western Ligurian Championships off the famous San Remo seaport of Italy.

Over in Asia, the J/80s just completed their most famous and long-standing championship, the “China Club Match Race Challenge” off Xiamen, China to wildly popular acclaim from many local sailors.

In the America’s, a number of J/Teams competed in the Round The County race off Seattle, WA with several dozen friends. Just south, the Brazilian J/24 Championships were completed off Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Nov 16-17- J/24 Regata de la Revolucion - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Nov 16-17- J/70 Fall Fling Regatta - Hampton, VA
Nov 21-25- J/24 South American Championships- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec 6-7- Jamaica Jammin' J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jan 19-24- 2014 Key West Race Week- Key West, FL

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/97 sailing Solent Hamble Winter SeriesHamble Winter Series- Weekend VI
(Hamble, England)- After weeks of gales, it was with some trepidation that the Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet nosed out of the river on Sunday in time for their start. Fears of wintry weather were misplaced, however, and some hours later the fleet returned with grins on their faces. ‘Awesome day on the water’ and ‘Champagne sailing conditions’ were some of the phrases heard bandied around the clubhouse after racing by competitors sporting that most unseasonal of things – sun-kissed faces.

The north-west 15-18 kts breeze provided some delightful but testing sailing conditions for the assembled racing yachts, with big shifts offering up big gains for some competitors with their eyes out of the boat and big losses for the less fortunate. One race was sailed.

In IRC 0, David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J/111 J-DREAM continued to sail a consistent series in their class and maintained their strong record with a 2nd this past weekend to hold on to their bronze podium position as well as their gold position in the J/111 one-design class overall.

In IRC 2, Paul Heys’s J/88 JUNGLE DRUM won class for the second time in the series and Louise Makin’s J/105 JOURNEYMAKER took fifth.

Nick Munday’s J/97 INDULJENCE won their fifth race in IRC 3 Class to take a commanding lead overall.  Just behind them is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J-RONIMO lying in fourth overall.

In the J/109s it was Ivan Burden’s JACOBI who won, ahead of David McLeman’s OFFBEAT for the weekend.  At this stage in their series, David McGough’s JUST SO is leading the series, followed by Sir Owain Frank’s JYNNAN TONNYX in second and Paul Griffiths’s JAGERBOMB in third.  Thanks for the contributions from Ben Meakins.   For sailing photo credits-  Paul Wyeth Pictures   For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing in China Club Match RaceXiamen’s Blue Sea Wins J/80 China Match Race!
(Xiamen, China)- Who said good sailing didn’t exist in China. 4 Days, 4 umpires, 17 teams, 64 Races, 2 Black Flags, more ‘Y’ Flags, green, blue and yellows than you could shake a stick yet not one Rule 14 infringement and all this with a loss of 2 hours a day on the first 3 days. In one semi-final, on one 800m windward leg, 27 tacks apiece and on the final day 23 knots of wind – more than they can seemingly handle in the America’s Cup.

The Club Cup, as it is often known amongst sailors in China, is the oldest keelboat regatta in China and it would be a fair guess that it is the largest (for Chinese sailors), the highest quality, and most respected keel boat regatta in the country.

Started as a challenge between two clubs in beat up J-24s almost 10 years ago it pre-dates the more commercial China Cup International Regatta by a couple of years but the biggest difference is that this is a Chinese Regatta for Chinese teams not racing charter for predominantly a bunch of foreigners and the event has grown in size, quality and stature year on year.

The speed at which this event has matured both in terms of race management and the skill levels of the competitors is little shy of unbelievable, there is obviously a lot of coaching, practice and perhaps even video watching going on in Chinese sailing circles.

In the past it has been run over the week of the Chinese National Holiday, this year the event had to be split into a preliminary fleet racing regatta where the 30 entries were whittled down to 16 who returned to Xiamen 3 weeks later (this past extended weekend) for 4 days of knock-out match racing.

This match racing could best be described as competitive with the flags flying almost as much as the spray on the final day yet so often the teams could be seen giving each other the thumbs up and applauding each other as they crossed the finish line with victories that were incredibly frequently not assured until the last 100m of the race track.

J/80 China Match Club challengeThe first 3 days lost an average of 2 hours per day due to the breeze being, simply put – somewhere else but the team comprising of PRO Kang Peng, Li Li, the “glue” that held the event together, and the umpire team of Jono, Al, Lauren and GG, not forgetting Jim Johnstone who tirelessly fixed breakdowns and handled boat swaps kept the event pretty much on schedule albeit with nav-lights required on the umpire boats for the return to the marina on a couple of days.  The semi-finals saw both extremes of weather from 6 knots for the first 2 races to over 25+ kts for the completion of the final matches.

Little by little the 16 teams were whittled down to the finalists Xiamen’s Blue Sea YC and Yomovo Sailing Club from Hainan. Each race within this match was won by boat lengths rather than legs and proved to be a hard fought battle to the final finish line. In one pre-start the boats did so many spins round each other than the umpires appeared to be demoted with the umpire flag on their RIB turned from a ‘U’ to a ‘J’. (Think about it)!

There were attempts, some more successful than others, to use just about every rule in the book to encourage the umpires to fly the other boats flag but the umpires decisions were accepted in the right spirit with, quite naturally, one or two close decisions having to be talked through on the dock later.

There were lead swaps where a runaway leader dropped the kite in the tide allowing the other boat to take over and run away themselves, to races where the protagonists crossed the finish line overlapped as they had been for virtually the whole race.

Ultimately it was Xiamen’s Blue Sea SC who prevailed winning the competition to become the challengers to the current holders Liuzhou Sailing Club with the local team from Xiamen Island prevailing 4-1 over the defenders although the scoreline suggests less close racing than reality.

So it is all over for another year, and although there may be pretenders to the throne of the Club Cup, certainly as far as match racing is concerned, nothing in China even comes close. Thanks for the contribution from Hong Kong’s Alistair Skinner.

J/70s sailing on Lake Garda, ItalyJ/70 Liguria Championship Report
(San Remo, Italy)- Last weekend the final races were sailed to complete the first West Liguria Championships off San Remo— for many, it was the best winter sailing event in northwestern Italy.

The regatta saw steady northeast to easterly breezes blowing from 25-30+ knots for both days of racing. The J/70s delivered an extraordinary show of power & performance, sailing upwind against big waves at a very competitive speeds compared with bigger boats in the 35 to 45 ft size range.

With such strong upwind performance the J/70’s then hoisted their spinnakers and were literally flying downwind, holding the best breeze and angles, catching the big boats before the end of the downwind leg!

What was most impressive was the result of the second day, when the breeze was a little stronger and waves bigger: the small J/70 won “overall” for the day and, as result, finished second in the overall standings!  In Group “B” the J/70 was easily leading both days.  At the docks after sailing, many sailors came down to look at this little Speedster— all astonished!

Many thanks to Gian-Luca Grisoli, a new happy J/70 owner, for his experience in sailing such a wonderful regatta. And, a special and friendly thanks to Beppe Zaoli YCS President for the welcome hospitality to the new J/70 class in San Remo!

J/Sailors Enjoy Round the County
(San Juan, WA)- 89 boats made it out for Orcas Island’s annual romp around the San Juan Islands, well they made it out and a few made it around, some almost made it, and most just didn’t have a chance. Boats began their deliveries as early as Wednesday, some chose the rippin’ southerly on Thursday to make the trip, with Here & Now breaking their boom on the way up, and a large group made the trip in the sedate conditions on Friday. Beginning what for many is a four day marathon – delivery on Friday (often a 50 mile delivery), head out at O-dark-thirty Saturday to get to the starting area and then the 34 mile sail from Lydia Shoals to Roche Harbor, head out just after sun up Sunday for the 31.4 mile sail back to the finish inboard of the Lydia Shoals Buoy, then deliver back home on Monday. What seems like a short race around the San Juan’s quickly develops into over 200 miles of deliveries and racing in what is usually 40 to 45 degree fall weather – yet still 89 boats made it out to race.

The current was flying at the start on Saturday. The fleet had winds out of the North but with a current of 3 knots heading into the wind the boats had some good power heading off the starting line. The problem became holding position before the start, timing it just right and spinning around at precisely the correct moment to fly across the line with the current. 34 boats in the first start barely making headway against the current on the non-course side then spinning around and charging towards the start with really no way to bail out if things went wrong. Inevitably some spun too early and with 6 boats OCS the race committee decided to call a general recall instead of naming the boats that were over early. Everyone spun around as quick as they could, fired up their motors and began the long slog against the current to get back across the line for another try. 20 minutes later they tried again and this time the RC let ‘em go, but that 20 minutes became a huge loss on a day that had a large group of boats not make the halfway point at Patos, 8 boats missing the time limit by just 5 minutes or less.

Muffin quickly charged into the lead after the start and worked a bit East before heading North around the Pea Pods - looking great, but as they approached Orcas the wind just crapped out and it became painfully apparent that the further East you went towards Lummi the more wind you had. More wind, but not much wind, and with this information Here & Now, More Uff Da, and Chinook worked well up the course on the right before the faster boats began catching up and working through the early starters. Dragon Fly, of course, defied the logic of the right and worked through low along Orcas and Clark with Neptunes Car, Wasabi & Flash hot on their transoms. Eventually, though, it became a race against the clock in the light air, and since the tide waits for no man, the current eventually went against the majority of the fleet and spun them every which way.

Boats that had made it past Sucia and up to the South end of Patos without rounding Alden Point got swept back with the change in tides. Some scooted through the large gap between the islands and began the slow slog up into the eddy below Patos but Bravo Zulu & More Uff Da were lucky enough (thick sarcasm) to find the river along the North end of Sucia Island. The current sucked their transoms closer and closer to the island until they were just feet away and charging sideways towards the west at over 2 knots – testing their nerves to the point that motors were readied and eventually fired up and engaged on both boats to avoid ripping the rudder off on the jagged cliff wall - An exciting few minutes for the two adrift boats. Bravo Zulu decided to throw in the towel here but More Uff Da killed their motor after one boat length and kept racing, but in the end missed the halfway point by 5 minutes. Soon after the excitement along Sucia, the Northerly finally filled in and everyone worked their damnedest to make Alden Point before 4pm. Chinook almost made it, missing it by just over 30 seconds with Por Favor just behind them. The RC could be seen packing things up on shore as boat after boat sailed around the point and aimed their bows towards Roche and another 2 hour delivery to the marina.

The party tent was hoppin’ and bouncin’ as everyone arrived at the marina, most well after dark and with a break in the live music the short list of finishers was rattled off, and I mean short list. One boat made the full course finish in the Multi-hull class and only 2 boats made the halfway point. The IRC division had 6 of 10 boats making it to the full course finish with Wasabi crossing the line first at 5:08:47pm. Division 0 had 1 boat finish the long course, The Farr 395 Ace, finishing with less than 5 minutes left on the time limit. 11 of the 20 in Division 0 made the halfway point. Division 1 had just one boat make the halfway point, the Express 37 Ptolemy. Division 2 also had just one boat make the halfway point before time ran out at 4pm, the 30/30 Blackout. The 16 boats in Division 3 didn’t have enough steam to make it to the halfway point by 4pm, many missing it by less than 5 minutes – that over early call really came back to bite them at Alden Point.

Sunday was different, the racers had wind, the current didn’t seem too bad and off everyone went from the start line near Snug Harbor. Boats shot out into the lead by working down the shore of San Juan Island, with Madame Pelle & Muffin leading the way. The closer you got the better you did. Although the big benefit was in making it to the Canadian shore from the starting area and then joining the incoming tide in the straits, but most of the early starters simply didn’t have the boat speed to cross the current and get to the huge benefit that Martha & Por Favor caught by working west. The bail out point on shore was obviously Lime Kiln Point. Every boat that bailed off the shore there and headed west made out huge, if you made a few more jibes along the shore you got stuck in the way back machine watching your competition pin wheel around you towards Cattle Point.

Still sailing along downwind, the racers had to make a serious tactical decision passing the South end of the islands. Follow the rules in the SI’s and sail within ½ mile of Iceberg Point so their halfway time could be scored while setting themselves up in light air and adverse current, or ignore the SI’s and stay well offshore in favorable current and breeze, ignoring the halfway time and hoping to make the full course finish. A tough gamble at the time, although in the end it didn’t matter for those fleets that used the halfway times as the RC decided to score everyone no matter how far offshore they were.

The leaders in the IRC & Multi-hull divisions got around Davidson Rock and into Rosario near slack water and were able to work their way up the strait in a nice northerly breeze to begin finishing at 12:15pm but the later it was when you got around Davidson Rock the harder time you had in making the finish. Division 0 began finishing at 2:50pm and the first boat in Division 1 didn’t finish until 4:30pm and the leader in Division 2 finished at 5:06pm! The current was rippin’ out Rosario towards Juan de Fuca as the majority of the fleet worked north towards the finish. The left shore worked great early and boats sailed along Jones to Blakely and then found themselves in everyone’s favorite hole to the North of Blakely island. The later boats made huge gains by sailing across to the right and along Cypress, at times in positive current until cutting across to Lydia Shoals and joining the drifting masses as the sun set and everyone spent the final painful hour trying to get to the finish well inshore of the Lydia Shoal buoy in little to no wind and adverse current. As the clock ran out at 6pm three boats had made it across the line in Division 2 and Martha had the line in site with More Uff Da hot on her tail after working up the Cypress shore and across to the Lydia Shoal buoy.

It was a tough day on a tough weekend when at moments boats made amazing tactical choices to get far ahead of their fellow racers only to run into an equalizer and watch everyone catch up or simply ran out of time within sight of the finish. 8 boats managed to finish the full course on Saturday and 40 boats managed to finish the full course on Sunday. It didn’t rain much, it never snowed, the racers were in the San Juan’s, and absolutely no one out there spent the weekend mowing their lawn or raking up leaves – another successful Round the County!   Full sailing results can be found at the Round the County website   Sailing Photo's by Jan Anderson

J/24 one-design sailboats- sailing off BrazilCreole VDS Team Wins Brazilian J/24 Championships
(Porto Alegre, Brazil)- What could be more of a surprise than to have a “local” win the Brazilian J/24s Nationals and to have a “foreigner” becoming a “spoiler” to the party??  Well, that’s exactly what happened in this year’s edition of the J/24 Brazilian National Championships.

With a great crew the Creole VDS team, led by Samuel Albrecht, was the winner of the 2013 Brazilian Championship off Porto Alegre. In second place were the Uruguayan’s PANTHER team, skippered by Diego Garcia from Punta Del Este.  Third was BRUSCHETTA sailed by J/24 World Champion Mauricio Santa Cruz from Brazil.

J/24 Brazilian sailors"It was a sensational championship, things were happening that were favorable to us.  We tried to sail without pressure, without getting anxious and doing little risk. It was fun,” said Renato Plass.  It’s also interesting to note this team will represent Brazil in the sailing competition in the South American Games in March 2014 in Chile.

The Uruguayan team that sailed very well in strong winds, left satisfied by the result obtained in Porto Alegre. "The regatta was very good, with great races, and it is always good to compete here," said the captain Diego Garcia .   Sailing photo credits     For more J/24 Brazilian Championships sailing information


What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

*  RI Narragansett Bay Archipelago Rally!?  Rhode Island ‘classic’ comfortably reaches ‘annual’ status.  It was 2006 when Olympic silver Medalist Bob Merrick won the inaugural Archipelago Rally on a beat up Hobie 14 by a mere 30 seconds over windsurfing champion Nancy Johnson.  That first weekend in December was thrown together the week before with a few phone calls and emails and with a 20-25-knot Westerly, about a dozen “craft” raced, slowest starting first, to Spar Island, a scrubby little sand bar in the middle of Mt. Hope Bay in the middle of Narangansett Bay.

Now in its eighth year, this Rhode Island ‘classic’ has comfortably reached ‘annual’ status, sticking to its small boat pursuit race roots (under Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings). How else would everyone have an equal chance to enjoy the BBQ/Beach Party afterwards?  There were PLENTY of J/Sailors participating in this year’s edition!  Chris Museler reports on the 2013 edition:

“The only thing we expected about his year’s Archipelago Rally was having a fantastic time on the water. The unexpected was the icing on the cake at Quonochontaug Pond with aqua-marine colored water and white sand shoals the size of football fields, there was a lot of walking of boats and damaged rudders and centerboards but nothing could dampen the Rally spirit!

The highlights this year weren’t that there were thirty-five craft and more than forty kids sailing or that the breeze and bright sun made for a spectacular venue. I would say the main takeaway was the fact that two young girls were second and third and that a windsurfer won for the first time in the eight year history of the event. The third place girl miraculously has placed in the top five each time she has competed!

We tell everyone, it is impossible to plan on winning the Archipelago Rally. Just ask newly anointed Head of Sales for North Sails- Kimo Worthington, who was on his way to a top three finish before hitting a shoal in his Penguin sailboat!  He wound up steering the boat to the finish with his legs hanging off the transom while Bridget Murphy trimmed the sail on their wooden Penguin dinghy!  Jeepers, can you imagine other Volvo 70 Round the World Sailors doing anything different?”  Here are some of the Special Awards:

- Broken Head Perpetual (first place): Will Tuthill, Mistral Windsurfer
- Last Place: Matt Gineo, Crosby Fast Cat
- Lonely Loon: Rush and River Hambleton, Dyer 9
- Furthest Traveled: Ray Garcia, Zef, Babylon, NY
- First All Family: Tim, Karen, Benjamin (2) and Jamie (2 months) Fallon, Beetle Cat
- Vintage Rallier: Adam Walsh, McCaffery-built Peapod Sailing Dory

Video by Annie Tuthill, who has yet to miss a rally.