Wednesday, October 1, 2014

J/Newsletter- October 1st, 2014

J/70 Swedish sailing league- master of masters regattaJ/70 Sweden Master of Masters Regatta
(Marstrand, Sweden)- As J/70 class momentum continues to build in Europe, other countries are adopting the format pioneered by Oliver Schwall that started the J/70 Segel-Bundesliga in Germany.  Count Sweden as the next sailing federation to select the J/70 for a major event.

From October 10th to 12th, the Swedish Sailing Federation will be hosting the Master of Masters Regatta in eight J/70s at Bastad, Sweden.  Champions from all classes across Sweden are invited to find out who are the best sailors in Sweden.

In addition, two “wildcard” teams are invited to be made up of “mixed crew”, one from the Swedish West Coast and one from the East Coast.

Like their counterparts in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Russia, the Master of Masters Regatta will be broadcast “live” over the Internet with real-time tracking and live video on both blogger and websites for major media outlets in Sweden.  For more J/70 Master of Masters Regatta sailing information, please contact- Jan Nilsson- or at phone- +46 760 244 077

J/44 racer cruiser sailboats- sailing one-designAmerican YC Fall Regatta Report
(Rye, New York)- The famous end-of-season, around the buoys, fall series held at American Yacht Cub always takes place the last weekend in September and the first weekend of October.  This coming weekend, the fleet will be racing on Western Long Island Sound just southeast of AYC’s spectacular location on a peninsula off Rye, New York.  A combination of IRC/ PHRF handicap racing as well as one-design racing for J/70s, J/105s, J/109s and J/44s is taking place.  Like the rest of the East Coast this past weekend, summer-like 70-degree weather and no wind permitted just one or two races to be completed all weekend long.  With an excellent forecast for 15-25 kt SSE breezes on Saturday (due to a massive low pressure system passing by) and gorgeous, sunny, 10-15 kts WNW winds on Sunday, everyone hopes to get in a least 3-4 races per day to make up for last weekends “glass-out”!

Currently, the J/122 WINGS is leading IRC 2 followed by Ron Richman’s J/133 ANTIDOTE lying in fourth place.  In PHRF 1, the J/111 PARTNERSHIP sailed by David & Maryellen Tortorello is sitting in third, followed by Paul Strauch’s J/111 ANDIAMO in 6th.  In PHRF 2, Ken Hall’s J/100 NEVERMORE is sitting in  second.  Then, in PHRF 3, Tom & Julie Sinatra’s J/29 SMOKIN J is tied for 1st with a 1-2 followed by Jason Viseltear’s J/80 UPSETTER in 4th and Aleksandr Tichter’s J/29 AKLUA in 5th.

In one-design circles, the twelve boat J/44 fleet is being led by Len Sitar’s VAMP, followed by Joerg Esdorn & Duncan Hennes’ KINCSEM in second and Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE in third.  The twelve J/109s have Jonathan Rechtschaffer’s EMOTICON leading with William Rogers’ BIG BOAT in second and George Tay’s COSMO in third.  The fifteen J/105s are being led by Paul Beaudin’s double-bullets on LOULOU, followed by George & Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION in second and Jeremy Henderson & Harald Edegran’s CONUNDRUM in third.  The biggest fleet in the regatta are the J/70s, seventeen strong and growing!  The Ploch Sisters (Megan & Madelyn) are leading the fleet with two bullets on SUGAR DADDY, followed by Scott Bursor’s SLINKY in second and the Furnary Brothers (Scott & Alex) in third sailing ANY COLOUR.  Should be more fun and games this coming weekend, especially with good breezes forecast both days! For more American YC Fall Regatta sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Remarkably, the last week of September had some of the nicest sailing most J/sailors had seen all year long!  While some venues had uncharacteristically light airs and sunny days, others had awesome breezes with a full slate of racing every day.

The biggest news was the awesome 70-boat fleet that showed up to race the 35th anniversary of the J/24 World Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.  Hosted by the capable crew at SailNewport, the sailors from eight nations around the world were challenged by epic conditions over five days.  The J/22s also recently sailed their Changing of the Colors Regatta on the gorgeous Lake George in upstate New York, hosted by the Lake George Club.  Also sailing in J/22s was the Mallory Cup, emblematic of the US Adult Sailing Championship, hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club in Fort Worth, Texas.  Out West, the San Diego YC held their annual fall J/Fest San Diego with fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s.  Then, up north in Canada, the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, Ontario provided its usual exceptional hospitality, hosting the J/105 North American Championship on Lake Ontario.

In Europe, a lot was happening across the continent.  In the northern parts, the Russian Sailing Federation hosted the first stage of their new J/70 Russian Sailing League, just northwest of Moscow on the Upper Volga River; teams came from across Russia and Belarus to partake in this amazing project to grow sailing in Russia.  Down in Italy, the famous Fraglia della Vela yacht club in Riva del Garda hosted the first J/70 European Championships on Lake Garda.  Nearby in Loano, Italy on the Italian Riviera, the J/80s held their Italian Nationals with a number of famous Italian sailors aboard as tacticians.  Then, there’s a fantastic report by Peter Gustafsson, of BLUR.SE blogger fame, of his experience sailing the J/111 BLUR.SE in the Silver Rudder Challenge off Denmark!

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:

Sep 27-28- American YC Fall Regatta- Rye, New York
Sep 28- Oct 5- J/80 World Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 10-12- Lorient J/80 Open- Lorient, France
Oct 24-26- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 24-26- Seattle Grand Prix Regatta- Seattle, WA
Oct 25-28- China Cup International Regatta- Shenzhen, China
Oct 30- Nov 2- French J/80 Nationals- La Rochelle, France
Oct 31- Nov 2- J/105 Lipton Cup- San Diego, CA
Nov 1-2- J/70 Chesapeake Championship- Deltaville, VA
Nov 8- Hot Rum Series #1- San Diego, CA
Nov 10-16- J/24 South American Championship- La Punta, Chile
Nov 16- Around Island Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 19-22- J/105 International Invitational- Hamilton, Bermuda
Nov 22- Hot Rum Series #2- San Diego, CA
Dec 4-7- J/22 Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 6- Hot Rum Series #3- San Diego, CA
Jan 18-23- 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/24 Cougar- Will Welles and crew celebratingCOUGAR Claws Way To Epic J/24 Worlds Victory!
(Newport, RI)- The 35th anniversary of the J/24 Worlds sailed in Newport, Rhode Island was both epic and challenging for the 70 teams that participated in this year’s event.  Experiencing conditions not unlike the first J/24 Worlds also sailed in Newport back in 1979, the J/24 crews were pushed to the limit in conditions that ranged from “fresh to frightening” on the first day offshore (with 6-9 ft waves and 10-22 kts of breeze from the West) to flat, shifty, and windy from the Northeast inside Narragansett Bay on Thursday.  Starting out fast and furious, Will Welles’ team sailed COUGAR into the top three day one and after day two never relinquished their lead, taking their first J/24 Worlds crown and holding off several past J/24 World Champions in the process!

For Newport resident Welles and crew, it was a tough grind for the whole regatta.  Nevertheless, the COUGAR-gang thrived in the 12-20 kts and massive swells running counter to the breeze on the first day, posting a 1-6 to keep their record clean and just two points from the lead.  Virtually all “wannabe’s” to the throne suffered SCP (scoring penalties) or extraordinary “snakes and ladders” scorelines.  Keeping it clean were Mark Hillman’s SOKOKUMARU (USA) and Vernon Robert’s GRINGA DC (Chile) both tied at five points for the lead, with Hillman having the first-place advantage thanks to a bullet.

After a morning postponement ashore, the fleet got off two more races on Day two. The teams sailed offshore in slightly more stable sea conditions with winds ranging from 10 to 14 knots out of the southwest. COUGAR moved into the lead with a 9-1 while Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA (BRA) moved into second place with a 10-2; and in third place just two points behind was Robert’s GRINGA DC (the result of an SCP/23-17 tally). Uruguay’s Pedro Garra on EXTASIS climbed into fourth place, and TEAM TARHEEL with Greg Griffin at the helm won the day with a 4-3 and moved up to fifth overall.

J/24 Worlds- Newport, RIFor the third day of racing, the fleet was again sent offshore to experience yet again the large swell with 2-4 ft chop on top with winds starting at 10-12 kts and building to 14-18 kts out of the SSE.  After a struggle to set the line square to the shifting wind, the fleet got off two more races.  COUGAR held the lead with a 4-4 for a total score of 16 points and BRUSCHETTA also held onto second place with a 1-7.  At this point, Griffin’s TEAM TARHEEL moved into third place with an 11-8.  John Mollicone’s TEAM HELLY HANSEN (with J/70 World Champion Tim Healy as tactician onboard) had a strong day with a 2-9 and moved into fourth place.

With marginal conditions and diminishing visibility offshore, the Race Committee PRO chose to sail the fourth day of racing inside on Narragansett Bay, north of the Newport Bridge for races 7 and 8.  Overcast skies, cool temperatures and rain greeted the teams as they sailed to the start. Wind speeds starting at 8 to 10 and built slightly out of the Northeast.  It was clear there were very different strategies and thought processes between the teams for the first beat of the first race.  Big packs of boats favored the sides of the course while only few boats played the middle.  In the end, the right side of the course was generally favored all day.  COUGAR didn’t get that memo for the first start, posting their throw-out race, a 46th for the first race.  Nevertheless, licking their wounds and learning quickly, they started right and stayed right for the second race and held onto their led with a 6th place.  BRUSCHETTA’s Santa Cruz sailed a strong set of races, posting a 9-4 to hang onto second overall.  However, you could just about here the two leading teams “quaking in their boots” as the big mover on the day happened to be multiple World Champions, the dangerous duo of Mollicone/ Healy on TEAM HELLY HANSEN slid into third with a 1-10, just 14 points off the lead!

J/24 Bruschetta- Brazil sailing team- Mauricio Santa CruzThe stage was now set for a dramatic finish for the fifth and final day of the J/24 Worlds.  Could the COUGAR team avoid yet another colossally bad race?  Was Santa Cruz’s team on BRUSCHETTA simply living with ice in their blood, coolly sailing with all top 12 finishes (the only boat not to have a toss race of 20 pts or worse in their scoreline!); poised to add his 5th J/24 Worlds title to his resume and tying the famous Ken Read (now President of North Sails)!?  Or, were the HELLY HANSEN team simply going to hammer home yet another win after posting by far the best record of the fleet in the last four races?

For the last day, the PRO sent the fleet offshore again.  Friday’s weather was sunny with wind speed from 10 to 12 kts out of the northeast, a picture perfect day for the finale. With just a few points between COUGAR and BRUSCHETTA, there was no room for error in the final two races; COUGAR in particular could not accumulate another toss race since BRUSCHETTA had all “counters”.  In the end, Welles and crew of Nick Turney, Richard Bowen, Daniel Rabin and Luke Lawrence, sealed the deal with a 2-5 to not only win the day, but the World Championship title as well.  Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA settled for second place after posting a 10-8.  The “hail mary” attempt to climb into the lead for TEAM HELLY HANSEN just fell short, posting a 1-33 (their toss race) to claim a hard-earned third overall. Taking fourth was Griffin’s TEAM TARHEEL and sitting on fifth was Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER.  Of note, Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET took 10th overall, continuing his most excellent showing at World Championships for the past four decades!

J/24 Worlds- sailboats are sailing around markWelles tipped his hat to his COUGAR teammates, crediting their crew work in addition to a little luck throughout 10 races over five days. “The whole mental aspect is huge,” Welles said. “There’s a reason why everyone on the team gets a trophy at the end of this.” Cougar had a solid week, but notched a 46 in Race 7. “We had a tough day Thursday, and it felt like the dream might be over.” Welles praised Danny for picking the team up after that score. “He said let’s not let it snowball. Go out there and keep fighting.”  This led to a rebound in the next contest. “When one of us was lagging behind, we just threw a hand and pulled him up.”

Next on the schedule is the J/24 Worlds 2015 to be sailed from August 28 to September 4th, hosted at Boltenhagen, Germany.    For some amazing J/24 Worlds sailing photos, visit Paul Todd’s OUTSIDE   For more J/24 World Championship sailing information.

J/70 Calvi Network- sailing Europeans on Lake GardaCALVI NETWORK First J/70 European Champion!
BABY-J is European Corinthians Champ
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- The first J/70 European Championship saw a fantastic turnout of 35 teams from 8 nations.  From the competitors’ perspective, it was an exciting event and one that many were looking forward to with great anticipation.  Clearly, the J/70 momentum is building rapidly in Europe and many top teams from across many other competitive international classes have jumped into the class, hoping to test their talents against the best J/70 teams from across the continent.  After having led the J/70 Italian Circuit all season, Carlo Alberini and his CALVI NETWORK team just hung onto their lead going into the last day to be crowned the first J/70 European Champions.  Sailing like a man possessed, Charlie Esse’s crew on BABY-J from Great Britain won the J/70 European Corinthians title with all top 12 finishes (the only boat to do so in the entire fleet!).

J/70s sailing on Lake Garda, Italy- EuropeansAs everyone had hoped for, the Fraglia Vela Riva did a magnificent job both hosting the on-shore social festivities as well as providing excellent racing on the famous Lago di Garda.  The fleet was blessed with a perfect first day, with three races completed in southerly winds of 16+ knots.  After the first race in 8-12 kts, the wind grew in strength, with puffs climbing into the high teens. Coming out ahead amongst the Brits and Slovenians were the Italians, with Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK posting a commanding 1-2-2 for a 12 pt lead over Esse’s BABY-J, who posted an 11-1-5.  In fact, BABY-J was tied on points at the end of day one with Mario Beraha’s Italian team on SASHA GREY Sailing from La Spezia.  A strong performance was also put in by the Slovenian crew on TEAM CEREEF, skippered by Igor Lah with tactician Michele Ivaldi- both leaders in the challenging RC-44 regatta circuit pioneered by “Mr America’s Cup”- Russell Coutts.  A ways behind the leaders was the Olympic 470 bronze Medallist and J/80 World Champion Hugo Rocha of Spain, sailing NEW TERRITORIES. His first race 20th was followed by a 7-3, good enough for fifth place overall.

J/70s sailing under spinnaker on Lake Garda- EuropeansFor the second day of sailing, Riva del Garda provided gorgeous weather, sunshine and winds of 12-18 knots from the south.  It was an eventful day for some sailing teams, in particular for the former 420 European Junior Champion and 470 Italian Champion, Simon Sivitz Kosuta- he was forced to pull out of the competition after suffering serious damage to his boat in the fourth race (first race of day two)!  After three more races were sailed, the fleet could now count six races with one discard.  As a result, Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK was still in the lead after adding a 1-1-14 to his scoreline (the 14th being his discard).  Second place was now taken over by the Italian UJI team skippered by Alessio Marinelli from Porto Civitanova, they had gradually built-up their confidence racing J/70s to achieve a 4-3-1.  Rocketing into third place, not surprisingly, was Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES after they posted a 7-2-2 and discarding their 20th.  Still holding onto fourth place was TEAM CEREEF.  Dropping into fifth place was Esse’s BABY-J, but still holding onto their Corinthians lead.  At this stage, second in Corinthians was Andrea Magni’s PENSAVO PEGGIO from Alassio, Italy and third was David Atkinson’s British team on JAWBREAKER.

For the first time all week, Friday dawned with light airs and it stayed that way all day.  It was a beautiful “harvest fall day” on the lake, with temperatures in the 70s and 6-8 kts of breeze from the south.  Closing their gap on the leaders was Rocha’s NEW TERRITORIES team, posting a sizzling 2-1 to narrow the gap to just 6 pts going into the last day.  Alberini’s CALVI NETWORK added a 4-6 to their scores, clearly not liking the lighter winds as much as they enjoy the moderate to heavy breezes.  Still hanging on to third was Marinelli’s UJI with a 17-4.  Esse’s BABY-J posted an 8-7 to stay in fifth and retain their lead on the Corinthians.

J/70s sailing upwind on Lake Garda- EuropeansIt was a long last day of sailing for the fleet. Racing started early in the morning on a clear day with winds from the north, it was the fleet’s first opportunity to race with the north wind that is usually present in the morning on Upper Garda. The previous 9 races had all been raced with the winds from the south (the bora). Racing started at around 8.45am after a general recall and the fleet was able to complete the ninth and penultimate race. A stiff breeze brought out the most prepared of the competitors who tactically played between the shore and the center of the lake. The wind, however, soon dropped forcing the race committee, chaired by Ennio Pogliano, to hold off further racing until the wind changed, which it did at 12.30pm for the tenth and final race. Carlo Alberini and his crew managed to keep their cool despite Rochas of Spain closing in on them. After winning the morning race, Rochas had come to within 4 points of Alberini.  But, in the final race Alberini left no doubt about the ultimate outcome of the regatta by convincingly winning the last race.  Rocha held onto second by taking a 3rd and Marinelli secured third after getting redress for the last two races (he got hit and holed by another boat in the 9th race). Esse’s BABY-J sailed the third best record of the final day by posting a 2-4, securing fourth overall and winning Corinthians by a significant margin.  Fifth was Lah’s TEAM CEREEF, the best regatta yet for this strong Slovenian team.  The balance of the Corinthians saw Atkinson’s JAWBREAKER take second and Magni’s PENSAVO PEGGIO take third.

Fraglia Vela Riva did a great job with the organization of the first J/70 European Championship, as did the J/70 Italian Class Association and the Italian Sailing Federation. Furthermore, remarkable logistics support was provided by J/Boats Italy.  Finally, special thanks to sponsor Toyota, Alcatel Onetouch and GILL Sailing equipment.    Sailing photo credits   For more J/70 Europeans sailing information

J/105 sailboats- sailing North Americans off Toronto, OntarioMANDATE Rules J/105 North Americans
(Toronto, ONT)- Light air and spectacular sunny, cool weather was the forecast for nearly a week prior to the J/105 North American Championship, hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  And that is exactly what the fleet of twenty-seven boats from three nations (Canada, USA and Bermuda) enjoyed for the four-day event that ran from September 24th to 28th.  As anticipated, the RCYC threw down the red carpet for the J/105 crews all week long and provided a wonderful experience for sailors and visitors alike.  Sitting on an island right off the spectacular Toronto city skyline, the glittering shoreline and magnificent CN Tower “Space Needle” provided a magnificent backdrop for the evening social activities at the club.

J/105 Mandate- Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer- winnersWhile the RCYC members provided excellent festivities ashore, the weather Gods simply would not cooperate.  An enormously fat and wide high-pressure system lay across two-thirds of the North American continent for much of the week, with pressure gradients so weak and so far apart it was hard to find them even on continent-wide weather charts!  Nevertheless, having sailed for decades in such light-air conditions on Lake Ontario, it was hardly surprising that hometown hero Terry McLaughlin and co-owner Rod Wilmer dominated the five-race series.  Their crew consisted of themselves plus John Millen, Sandy Andrews, Fraser Howell, Graham Hicks and Andrew McTavish.  Starting fast out of the blocks on the first day of racing, they compiled an impressive top-three scoreline of 1-3-2-2-2 for only 10 pts in the no throw-out series.

Often starting in the front-row, the MANDATE team sailed a near flawless event, always rounding in the top five at the first windward mark and having to claw their way through the highly competitive fleet to post their impressive scores.  Fellow Canadian Rick Goebel, a resident of San Diego but having grown up sailing on lakes in Calgary, Alberta in the Rocky Mountains, also proved that his light-air expertise would  come into play. Goebel’s SANITY team included a renowned local expert, Greg “Twister” Tawastjerna, a former Toronto resident now living in Monterrey, California.  As tactician/ strategist, Twister kept Goebel’s team in the game, also posting all top four finishes of 3-1-4-3-1 for 12 pts to take second overall.  Keeping both leaders honest with perhaps their best performance ever in the J/105 class was Peter Hall’s crew on JAMAICA ME CRAZY, taking a well-deserved third place with a record of 4-2-3-1-3 for 13 pts.  To say the top three boats enjoyed a near three-way battle for the top would be an understatement.

J/105 crew sailing in TorontoWith such a difficult mission to accomplish, the RCYC PRO did a remarkable job to just get in the five races to constitute a North American Championship series minimum of five races. In fact, it nearly didn’t happen!  On the first day, a several hour postponement resulted in three races sailed in 4.0 to 6.5 kts of breeze in a light east/southeaster.  McLaughlin (current J/105 Midwinter Champion and Sail Canada’s Rolex Sailor of the Year) and the Mandate team tallied at 1,3,2 in Thursday’s contests for a three-point advantage. Goebel’s SANITY stood three points behind. Following closely in third was Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY (10 points) and James Rathbun’s HEY JUDE (current J/105 North American Champion) with 11 points.

Racing on day 2, Friday, was under harbor postponement until 1430 hrs when the RCYC PRO finally canceled racing for the day due to no wind— it was truly “glass-out” conditions all day long, making for pretty pictures of the Toronto waterfront perfectly reflected in the harbor like a mirror!

J/105 sailboats- sailing with spinnakers off TorontoThe third day of racing on Saturday was nearly washed out as well due to no breeze. Nevertheless, the PRO was determined to get some races scored since the Sunday forecast was even worse— 0 to 3 kts versus Saturday’s 2 to 4.5 kts!  With the fleet disembarking at 0930 hours to the race course area about two miles offshore, the fleet’s patience was rewarded with a small seabreeze that developed from 195 to 210 degrees at 3-5 kts.  It was just enough breeze to get in 2 races (the second one shortened to 3 legs only) before the wind completely died out again!

With five races now on the books, only three points separated the top three teams- MANDATE, SANITY and JAMAICA ME CRAZY!  In fact, Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY team tied for best record of the day with SANITY posting a 1-3 to close on the top two leaders. However, that’s how it all ended sadly enough!  Sunday’s racing was canceled due to no breeze after the crews again relaxed on the beautiful grounds of RCYC under a harbor postponement (and most witnessed a beautiful wedding under the trees at 11:15am, facing the Toronto skyline!).  With no racing permitted to start after 1430 hrs, the RC’s PRO wisely canceled all racing around 1300 hrs.  Behind the top three were Jim Rathbun’s HEY JUDE in fourth and the Suspect Syndicate’s USUAL SUSPECTS taking fifth.

McLaughlin has swept the major J/105 championships this year, as he is also the current J/105 Midwinter Champion. The next J/105 North American Championship moves to St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco from September 14-20, 2015.  Be sure to reserve your charter boats now!  The racing on San Francisco Bay promises to be epic, with fresh-to-frightening breezes under sunny, cloudless skies!  Sailing Photo Credits- Tim   For more J/105 North Americans sailing information

J/70s sailing Russian Sailing LeagueYacht Russia Sailing Academy Wins First J/70 Russian Sailing League
(Konakovo (Moscow), Russia)- Following a similar competition format that has gained popularity in continental Europe, the Russian Sailing Federation has embarked on one of its most ambitious sailing projects ever- the creation of the Russian National Sailing League using a fleet of J/70s.  The goal is to assemble the yacht clubs and sailing clubs from around Russia and C.I.S. countries and provide them a new impetus for development of sailing- from youth to adult sailing programs!  For 2015, the Russian Sailing League will have five regattas during the sailing season in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Konakovo, Minsk and Sochi.

Russian Yachting Federation- sailing J/70sAs part of sailing development within Russia, the SAILING Champions League has invited Russia to enter two teams for their event hosted on October 17th to 19th in Copenhagen, Denmark and being sailed in a fleet of 12 J/70s.  24 yacht club teams are invited and the Russian Sailing Federation will soon introduce the sailing team members that will defend the honor of Russia in this prestigious sailing competition.

The first stage of the Russian Sailing League was held September 19th to 21st at the YC Konakovo River Club. Ten teams were invited from across Russia and Belarus to sail on the seven J/70s.  The event was broadcast “live” on the Russian Federations website and the on-line TV sports channel (see

The sailors enjoyed a beautiful, cool weekend with relatively lights airs, peaking at 8 kts from the southerly quadrants.  The Upper Volga River is northwest of downtown Moscow and the YC KRC provided first-class facilities and a terrific onshore viewing point for all teams and spectators— true “stadium-style” sailing in challenging, shifty breezes.

J/70 sailboats- sailing off Konakova, NW of Moscow on Upper Volga RiverFor the first day of racing, the wind started light, but built into an 8 kts breeze, making for some entertaining, dynamic racing that also produced a number of protests, general recalls and somewhat overly excited skippers and crews.  Close racing it was for all and lots of fun for spectators ashore to watch unfold at every mark rounding.  After every two races, the crews rotated ashore and after a quick practice for any team that had yet to sail, the races commenced again.  At the end of the day, 7 of the 10 scheduled races were completed. As a result, the fleet was split into a “Gold” and “Silver” divisions.  Qualifying for the Gold fleet were Yacht Russia Sailing Academy (Michael Senators), RUS-7 (Kirill Podolsky). PIRogovo (Artem Kuznetsov), Konakovo (Ivan Hinds), and SportFlot (Victor Bukin).  The balance of the fleet that sailed in Silver were Teams SportTseh (Andrei Nikolayev), WFTU (Vladimir Silkin), Izobud (Sergey Kravtsov), YC St. Petersburg (Marina Larenkova), and Friendship Team (Valeryi Naskin).

After an intensive day of sailing on Sunday, marked by many close starts and even tighter mark-roundings, it was Michael Senators’ Yacht Russia Sailing Academy drawing “first blood” and taking the inaugural win in the Russian Sailing League.  Second was Kuznetsov’s crew sailing PIRogovo and third was Bukin’s crew sailing for the SportFlot Team.

Russian J/70 teams- winners of sailing league in KonakovaThe J/70 league is a very innovative project for the Russian Yachting Federation; one of the features was the improvement of technologies, providing integrated TV-production and the use of a GPS-tracking system for better describing the sport of sailing and educating the spectators about the regatta.  In fact, for the first time in the history of Russian sailing, all races for the regatta were broadcast online on the YouTube Russian Sailing Federation channel and on the website of the Federation. GPS-tracking ( worked in all the races of the regatta, providing a computer image with position and velocity of each yacht, providing information on the race course for the commentator and the fans.

Furthermore, after the race a record of all races permitted the sailors to return to the material and analyze how they performed. Photo and video shooting was done on the water and onshore, as well as using “drone helicopters” and cameras mounted on each boat. Such “live” coverage enabled viewers from across Russia to watch the action on their computers, tablets and smartphones, monitor developments on the water and cheer for their favorite team! All broadcasts were also conducted online by the League’s information partner, the Russian sports portal-

Women sailing J/70 Russian Sailing League"The first stage of the Russian National Sailing League, I am very pleased to note, was in fact a tremendous success,” said the President of the Russian Yachting Federation, Vladimir Silkin. He continues to explain, “All racing days had “live” online broadcasting, and we tried to sail the event so that all the fans received the latest information on the progress of the League. I want to thank the teams that took part in the regatta and, in spite of the light to moderate winds, showed real sportsmanship and tremendous competitiveness. It was spectacular, interesting and memorable. I am sure that the next sailing season, during which we plan to host 5 to 6 stages, will bring sailing regattas to our excellent sports community in Russia— it will be an interesting broadcast for our audience!”  In fact, the first stage of the league drew the attention of the general public across Russia; it was widely reported in the media and social networks.

The Russian Yachting Federation has attracted the participation of partners who provided prizes for the top three teams. Gift sponsors of the first stage included Vneshtreydservis and Villagio Estate, as well as the internationally renowned brands Lancaster and Calvin Klein.  Thanks for the story contribution (and sailing photo credits) from Catherine Zilina.   For J/70 Racing/ tracking replays.  For more J/70 Russian Sailing League information.

J/70 Russian Sailing League YouTube videos:
Summary/ Intro-
Day One-
Day Two-

J/80s sailing in EuropeLoro Piana Crowned J/80 Italian Champion!
Wins Three-way Tie for First Over World Champions!
(Loano, Italy)- There was no question the J/80 Italian Nationals had attracted some of the big names in international sailing circles that recently took place from the 25th to 28th of September in Loano, Italy.  While many of them did well, as anticipated, it was Giacomo Loro Piana (of the famous fashion house- Loro Piana) that provided all the drama on the final day, flying to the top of the standings with one race to go and, while holding onto their breath in the last race, just held on for dear life to win a heart-stopping, dramatic, three-way tie for first!  Needless to say, for the Loro Piana fashion house, Paris, Milan and New York runways have far less drama than this experience for Giacomo’s team!

How did the top three get determined by a three-way tie-breaker?  Well, it had a lot to do with the fact that on Saturday there was no wind.  Therefore, it was decided to start early on Sunday and get in as many races as possible.  The teams themselves had no idea how close the racing was until they arrived ashore and found out what happened!

After the first three races, the very experienced J/80 team led by Massimo Rama (the J/80 Italian Nationals winner in previous years) had compiled a 1-5-3 to be leading the regatta.  In the meantime, Loro Piana’s team with Francesco Ivaldi as tactician started slowly with a 7-2-2.  Alberto Signorini’s crew that included the famous tactician Tommaso Chieffi had posted a 2-3-7 and Michele Galli with J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup winner Francesco de Angelis as tactician were sitting on a 6-1-5.  It was clear the skippers and tacticians across the fleet were “feeling” out the boats, their speed and boathandling capabilities as well as who would be competitive going forward.

The next three races proved to be the determining factor for the regatta.  At this point, Loro Piana’s crew drove into high-gear and knocked out a 7-1-1 to grab the series lead.  The Galli/ de Angelis combo sailed nearly as well, accumulating a 2-7-3, while Lupi Edoardo and Lorenzo Bressani together posted a very steady 4-5-4 to stay in the game.  The only other top scorer for this series of races was Anne Soizic Bertin and tactician Andrea Trani, sitting on a 1-3-7, the second best score at this point.

Finally, the last race provided more than enough drama and emotions for the top teams; you could nearly feel the electricity in the air as the teams struggled off the starting line.  In the end, Loro Piana nearly lost the regatta, posting another 7th while Rama/ Coppa won the race followed by Edoardo/ Bressani in 2nd and Galli/ de Angelis in 3rd and Alberto Signorini with Tommaso Chieffi in 4th.  As a result, Loro Piana won the tie-breaker on most 1sts, Gallie/ de Angelis took 2nd on most 3rds over Edoardo/ Bressani.  Settling for 4th was Signorini/ Chieffi and in fifth overall was Rama/ Coppa sitting on 26 pts.

It was readily apparent the teams all had a fantastic time sailing and the event organizer, Giorgio Benussi (General Manager of Yacht Club Marina di Loano) and his staff and Race Committee did a terrific job hosting the sailors for the weekend.  Finally, Michele Rayneri from Blue Project commented, “Thanks to all the sailors for the beautiful atmosphere.  Please know that our J/80s can be chartered for our Winter Series at Marina di Loano from November 2014 through April 2015.”  For more information please contact-   For more J/80 Italian Nationals sailing information

J/120 cruiser racer sailboats- at J/Fest San DiegoAnother Gorgeous San Diego J/Fest!
WINGS Flies in 105s, JIM Marches past 120s, Golison Bullets 70s!
(San Diego, CA)- Over the past weekend, the three dozen J/Teams that sailed in the San Diego J/Fest Regatta could not have been more satisfied with the spectacular weather and warm gentle breezes offshore. Sponsored by JK3 Nautical Enterprises and hosted by San Diego YC, the J/Sailors were provided excellent racing and great social entertainment on the lawns of the club!

J/Fest San Diego has always proved to be a popular event as it marks the beginning of the active fall and winter series of racing in South Bay and offshore.  This year, there was a nice turnout of one-design classes for J/70s, J/105s and J/120s.

J/120 sailboats- sailing off startThe J/120s had an impressive group of competitors, many having won in the past J/Fest, San Diego NOOD or other major offshore SoCal events.  This time around, it was Jim Snook’s JIM team to take a turn at grabbing the brass ring.  Starting off with a 1st in the first race, they held their momentum together and kept posting mostly top three scores to take the event by a comfortable 4 pt margin with scores of 1-3-3-4-1 for 12 pts. For the J/120 class, that’s a winner by a country mile!  Building their mojo fast but then also fading fast at the end was Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER crew, posting a 4-2-1-5-4 for 16 pts to grab second overall.  Third place was taken by the super-fast-out-of-the-gate quarter horse known as SHENANIGANS skippered by Gary Winton.  However, their early fast pace in this derby meant they troubles later in the final stretch to the finish.  SHENANIGANS’ “snakes & ladders” scoreline of 2-1-7-2-6 for 18 points was just enough to stay on the podium.  Fourth with 19 pts was John Laun’s CAPER and fifth was Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.

J/105 WINGS sailing J/Fest San DiegoThe world of J/105s saw a very familiar face atop the standings.  After learning how to start and round marks in the first race, nothing was going to stop Dennis Case’s WINGS superstars from winning all the rest of the races, posting a 3rd and four 1st to win with a mere 7 pts.  Did anyone ask if there was a second place boat like the Queen once did in England?  Perhaps.  Nevertheless, the balance of the top five was a rough and tumble ride for those left in the ring to duel for the rest of the silverware.  Sailing a very consistent series was Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK!, with a 1-3-3-3-5 score for 15 pts.  Taking third was Sean O’Keefe’s DECOLORES 2 with a 6-2-2-5-2 for 17 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Dag Fish sailing VIGGEN to fourth and Jon Dekker’s AIRBOSS sliding into fifth.  Notably, the San Diego J/105 fleet was hoping to welcome their newest fleet member, Jimmy Spithill’s “17”, a play on his lucky number on the AC 72 America’s Cup catamaran that somehow won the last America’s Cup— unfortunately, Jimmy couldn’t sail with his wife due to a last minute business conflict.

J/70s sailing off San Diego in J/FestThe J/70s enjoyed spirited racing with a new face added to their fleet as well.  The latest member is Bruce Golison, a famous one-design sailor from SoCal who has far too many championships to name here.  Suffice it to say, Bruce was a quick study of the J/70, posting five 1sts on his way to a convincing victory in his newfound class.  Jeff Brown, whose JK3 Yachts was the regatta sponsor, took second with an equally consistent four 2nds and one 3rd.  Third was Dave Cheresh’s FLARE with one 2nd and four 3rds!   Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/   For more San Diego J/Fest sailing information

J/22 sailboats- sailing Mallory CupBenz Faget Three-peats US Adult Sailing Championship
(Fort Worth, Texas)– The historic US Sailing National Championship got underway Wednesday, September 22 and concluded Saturday, September 25, the event was hosted by the Fort Worth Boat Club on the beautiful Eagle Mountain Lake.

The U.S. Adult Championship honors the traditional club vs. club competition by mixing the best elements of the former Mallory Trophy and Adams Cup events, while recognizing that sailors may be representing a community sailing organization. Any sailing community can field a team to compete in the regional area events and national levels.  This year, teams competed in a J/22 round robin format with a minimum of three crew including the helmsperson.  Ten races were scheduled.

J/22 sailboats- sailing Eagle Mountain Lake- Fort Worth, TXA balanced field and limited racing usually leads to close races and a crowded leaderboard. This was the situation on Eagle Mountain Lake for the last day of racing on Saturday.  After just two races over the previous three days due to lack of wind, Saturday afternoon featured three races for the fleet of talented J/22 teams.  Following another lengthy delay, the late afternoon breeze returned, and the race committee scrambled to set up the race course. Faget won Races 3 and 5 and three out of five for the regatta.

Benz Faget wins Mallory Cup in J/22sIn the end, the Southern Yacht Club’s Benz Faget (Metairie, LA), Randall Richmond (New Orleans, LA), and Thomas Sweeney (New Orleans, LA) came away with the championship. The win for Faget represents his third Mallory Trophy (’99, ’94) and the first for the Southern Yacht Club. Faget is also a member of the New Orleans Yacht Club.  While not technically a “three-peat” (meaning three in a row), it’s still impressive to win this coveted crown three-times!

Behind them in second place was the Paul Wilson, Brett Davis, Reilly Scull and Sonya Stevens crew from Vineyard Haven Yacht Club in Massachusetts.  Third were the “local heroes”, the Matt Arno, Craig Johnson and Bryan Dyer team from Fort Worth Boat Club, Texas.  And fourth was yet another local team from Fort Worth Boat Club, the Meno/Schwinn/Keller team.

A “Texas-style” welcome reception, with a barbecue buffet, was wildly popular with the crews on Wednesday night. Sailors wore western attire and two-stepped to live country music. Plus a few crew tried the mechanical bull riding challenge and failed miserably!   For more US Adult Sailing Championship sailing information

J/111 wins Silverrudder challengeJ/111 BLUR.SE Silver Rudder Challenge Report
(Copenhagen, Denmark)- As was reported in last week’s J/Newsletter, the J/111 BLUR.SE sailed by Peter Gustafsson from Stockholm, Sweden participated in the world’s largest solo offshore race, the Silver Rudder Challenge- a 134nm  “round island” race (Isle of Fyn) with 200 other boats. And, you get to choose which way to go around- clockwise or counter-clockwise.  Here is Peter’s story:

“134nm distance solo around Fyn together with nearly 200 other boats, for me it was 29 hours of active sailing in very mixed conditions!  And an extraordinary experience.

Silver Rudder course- around Isle of Fyn, DenmarkI tend to always be careful on preparation. And this time it felt more important that I wanted to be well rested and feeling good before the start. Therefore, I sailed the boat down in good time, and I was on location a day beforehand. The only thing that was left was to set the rig for a steady breeze.

I also wanted to soak up the atmosphere, which of course, is very special at a shorthanded race. Everyone is of course, a bit tense, but also very social. They have coffee in each other's boats, lend tools and compare weather forecasts.  It was nice to be able to relax and just be.

Peter Gustafsson- skipper of“We’re the boat to follow,” I wrote on Facebook. There was good opportunity to follow the race via tracking and now I got my own little cheerleader who excited me the whole race. Amazing.

The forecast for the morning looked good, at least I thought so. Light airs of 2-4 m/s and parallel flow both in Svendborg Sound and Little Belt. I was out one hour before our start to look at the previous races and ping the line. It sounds a bit stupid to do it in a solo race, but for me it is good to follow the same routine hours before starting to get into the race the right way.

I ended up too close to the line and had a tough job to sail away from it with great speed ... I wanted to start on the left side in order to get a stylish tack to starboard. Now I stood still in the wrong direction when the shot rang out. The rest of the field took off ahead of me before I got up the gennaker and could start the hunt.

Here I was actually surprised that I was not more pissed off ... but I had long since set up the rules and it might work out:

- Sail the boat actively. J/111 is demanding to sail fast, but you will be rewarded for their toil.
- Identify the critical transition rate and make active (and good) decisions on the 3-4 places where it counted.
- Rely on boat speed. Sail conservatively and not take any flyers.
- Forget the mistakes directly. All will do at least as many.
- Be in the present. This was a unique experience, so I wanted to take as much as possible of this adventure home with me.

J/111 sailing light air- Silverrudder ChallengeJust before the narrow passage under the bridge. Looks pretty fast getting out? Big gennaker on 157 m2, Code Zero is ready to be hoisted and the jib is attached, but not blanketed. I wanted to wait to be sure of what was to come during the evening and night.

All other boats drifted largely with the flow, so I could quite easily pace myself through. In fact, it was quite crowded to be gybing in the narrow channel. In retrospect, it's looking good, but at the time it was pretty sweaty with power boats, competitors and spin trim etc ...

I had managed to get around almost the entire field under the bridge, but a few boats went fast in the light wind. Straight before C12-One off Garfield it was a bit odd, for me it slid by way too easy.

Beachball spinnakers on skinny sailboatsIn Denmark, it seems to be the boats are all very long and narrow with big fat, wide spinnakers (they look like “beachballs”). Even some of the more modern designs were designed in the same way. They went fast at times, but then became larger distances behind me all the time— perhaps they don’t accelerate so well.

It was a relief to get away from the chaos of the start. Drinking a lot of water, eat something, clean the boat and be able to sail a bit more strategically!! It could be a great day at sea!

The focus was to sail in more wind pressure, and it seemed to always be on the right closer to Funen. This had been discussed before the race, it very well could be better near the windward side of the course, so it felt good to find a track to the right of all others.

I continued to press right and the distance grew back over my competitors. Now, I was able to make out the boats that I knew were fast. Especially, the IMX-40 MANDALAY with William Friis-Møller from Elvstrøm Sails— he is fast, smart and holds the record around Fyn in my class. He drove a Code Zero at the start and had some problems in the beginning.  But, he too held the right side of the course, but was well away.

Additionally, the Wasa 38 LEGOLAS looks very good, and I was a little stressed. But I soon got help from my fans on Facebook!  Per Holgerson said, “She’s our old boat. One of the lighter Wasa 38 built. Higher mast too.  What has happened in DK over the years I do not know.”  Another person commented.  Göran Frick said, “After building it, I, Leffe and Ake sold Wasa.  That Wasa 38 LEGOLAS went under the working title Lustre Iris but was named Spring when she was sold again.  The motor was then relocated right in the salon with straight shaft. Other modifications were keel depth (no keel sump, was bolted directly to the hull), plus thinner and taller rig that we crafted together, wondering if it's still alive? Longer boom if I remember correctly. Plus, we cut up the cockpit and built it with parts from a Wasa 55 cockpit, with indented winches etc. .. We sailed several Skaw Races, Kiel Week, Fearder and GR course. Many great memories come back. Fast now and seems to keep sailing well.”

How sick is this!? I'm curious about the boat and those who have built and owned it follow me during the race!!  Amazing this connected world of social media!!  Here it dawned on me that people actually sat at home and followed me on tracking and Facebook. Now it was not just for my own sake I sailed, but also for those who followed me. More press. But fun!

J/111 sailing upwind off DenmarkThe atmosphere was great after first stages. Good distance backwards after DYO, where I was fortunate that all others in the fleet followed the same path. For a while it looked good to go south of the DYO, and one Mini had tried greatly to do it ... but, most of all I just wanted that my class would hold together on the rhumb line and now I had simple track to extend my position.  But it would be more difficult and harder work.

Just round the southwest corner of Funen, I had identified this as a crucial site where I was to be careful and not make mistakes.

There were many boats just off the Cape, and I wanted to go west of them. I got a good shift and was able to cut out on a light breeze line. So far, so good, but it looked very light out in front of my nose. When I was far enough left, I jibed back onto starboard and passed through the crowd that was at the cape.

Now I was a bit perplexed. The wind seemed to fill-in along the shore, just as on the south side, but it was really right to change the strategy in this way. Suddenly the wind died. Damn ... now I lie the far right. I should have sailed safe in the middle ... But all boats had the same idea.  A painful position to be in!!

Then I saw that the wind was a few boat lengths away ... and the boats around me swung to starboard and sailed with the Code Zero or flat spinnakers ... It turned out to be a southwest wind and it filled in very close to shore. Phew ... this was making me nervous!!

In retrospect, it looked brilliant out- and it had not been possible to do it better- but I must admit that it could have ended in a very different way.

Gaining steam in the north with pressure in the Code Zero felt liberating. The boats in the rear view mirror became smaller and a new one popped up in front of the bow. This was my chance to eke out a little distance.

So it looked like large parts of the sea opened up in front of me and I had a large choice of sails to use in this part of the race. The large A2 gennaker, or "whomper" as I call it, went up and down in the usual way. The Code Zero on a furler ready to roll out and the shorthanded jib that usually lives on the furler, too. Now, I began to approach the decision for the evening and night, reports indicated for continued light winds ... so it was probably the right choice to have these three sails “ready to roll-out”.

I passed a number of Seascape 27s, it was nice to see that many choose to do this race.

I continued follow John to the north. Here were the fastest boats at the front of the class: X-99, Cheetah 30 and a few others. But, I still know I was missing some Seascape 27s and a Mini-transat boat? When I got by the Cheetah 30, I heard 5-6 boats slipped away and were "over the horizon”!?  OK.  Must keep working harder.

J/111 sailing upwind off DenmarkHaving caught up with the front peloton, it was once again time for a difficult transition. The problem was that we had a big sandbank that I did not dare go diagonally across. Several of the Danes seemed to know something that I did not know and drove on. Then, we pulled off one by one with the promised northeast wind.  At this point, going to windward in the J/111 was fast, stable wind, relatively easy to find a good trim.

On my windward side (off to starboard), I had the Open 32 BLACK MAGGY who started a half-hour before me, but they were having difficulty going upwind.  Only the Cheetah 30 seemed to do OK. Otherwise it started becoming sparse with boats now.

Without other boats around it will be totally different sailing. Now, it was about to sail the boat fast and push the boat without directly seeing the results. I think I'm pretty good at it and I felt confident and strangely relaxed after a hard day's work.

Now I also got the chance to get something hot to eat. Here I have thought a lot about how to replenish energy during a race like this. The most important thing is that you do not relax about it, but drink and eat food regularly all the time. My eating looked like this:

- Continuous intake of water and Vitargo Carboloader (sports drink high in carbohydrates).
- Sandwich, yogurt and different types of bars as "snack". Provides energy, keeps stomach even and elevates mood.
- pasta with rice & chicken. Dinner, which is heated in the oven.
- Freeze-dried pasta dish (dinner) and fruit compote with bran (breakfast) that can be done even when there is chaos.
- Red Bull and coffee drinks in cans to brighten up when it feels sluggish.
- Minimal chocolate / candy (most to celebrate when things go well).

Now, I approach Little Belt and the north side of Funen. It was this passage that I worried about most before the race. Quite unnecessarily, as it turns out.  For it was a fantastic sailing. Sunset, 6-7 m/s and parallel flow made it easy. I had company (or saw) BLACK BETTY just in front and two X-99s that were fighting with each other just behind me.  I tried to keep myself powered-up without too much sail for this long leg.  Everything was going well so far.

On the way out of the Little Belt, I tried to keep myself in the stream and then come out in the right corner when the tide would turn. Went quite ok, although I was a bit inattentive, because I came too far north on the first beat (lured by the high fine course).

That last little battle north was to check up on BLACK BETTY. Suddenly they turned and sailed back. I called them and everything looked to be in order on board. Strange how you look after competitors when sailing solo ... pretty good feeling that we take care of each other.

Now it was pitch black and the waves were a bit annoying. But, I found a good location for the autopilot where it kept us in 92-94% of the target speed, which is extremely good under these circumstances. I tried to get some sleep, but it was just a couple of minutes.  I downloaded the weather to make new analysis, and then I lay down on the windward side and looked at the sky and enjoyed the spectacular view, I wanted to enjoy the moment.

The approach to Aebleø was uneventful, the next cape to pass by.  I kept to the right and hit the 3 meter curve to avoid the current stream, which had now turned. It was difficult to see the other boats, and many seemed to be careless with their navigation lights.

When rounding off Funen Head to turn and sail south, I made my biggest mistake. Here the water drops to 1.8m of water.  Several of the smaller boats could continue to head south in shallower waters, which I did not dare to do then. Now, in retrospect, I see that it worked and I could’ve sailed a little closer to shore.

Now, I had at least halved the distance to the little boats in the lead (not that important but good to keep motivated).  I had a good eye also on the IMX-40, just as I thought before, he was the toughest competitor and holder of the record. He was now nearly 10 km behind me, or 45 minutes behind on time. And this beat should have been his strongest stretch?

It's always good to round a big corner like Funen Head. A new chapter. New opportunities.

Now the wind had dropped to 3 m/s and current turned against me. I knew that I was probably the last boat that came around Funen Head without having to tack, so now was a good time to create some distance. Out with the Code Zero, which was a bit difficult in pitch darkness. But it went well. Full throttle south with 1 to 1.5 knots counter-current.

Initially, I had planned to go into a more easterly track, behind Romsø, and then around to the east side before I headed for the bridge. This would probably give less counter-current. The good news here was that all behind would probably choose the same path, and that I now had an eye backward to the fleet.

J/111 sailing through fog off DenmarkAfter Romso, it became a close reach to the high bridge. Because of mast height, I had to take the longer route, but the boats that were heading towards the small side of the bridge parked anyway. Maybe I could get lucky with a more easterly route choice?

The moon was up there a little while, but then turned on the fog. Damp and chilly and very little wind.

It's a bit funny how you look at this bridge. One thinks that it is a bit like a “portal”- I'll just get there and then everything will be much better on the other side. Once you make it, it turns out that it's just as bad there!!

Now it was getting tough. First, just north of the bridge where I lay completely still for a while. And then again south of the bridge. I was not at all hungry for a fresh restart, but MANDALY went from 10 km behind the second boat to now just a few km behind me. In retrospect, one can take comfort in that the small boats inside the Lagbron island (smaller bridge) had it even worse.

As someone wrote on Facebook: "Now all that’s left is just a Tjorn Around Race!” Ha! Funny guys.

At dawn we went south in the light (or nonexistent) winds. Wind streaks lasted just 20 minutes and ranged from 50 to 140 TWA.  It was hard work capturing all the puffs in the fog and I think I changed the Code Zero to A2 6 to 7 times! Pretty tough work when you are by yourself ...

The approach to Svendborg is pretty messy. Only one strait and then a pretty narrow fairway. Super light wind but counter-current. Now I was 100 meters ahead of Andraž Mihelin in his Seascape 27 with the IMX-40 MANDALY some distance behind.

Andraž Mihelin is a Slovenian and one of the founders of Seascape. He has sailed the Mini-Transat twice and had a 24-hour record for minis with 294 nautical miles! So, Mihelin is not just anyone, probably the most experienced and famous solo offshore sailor in the race!!  And, now I am ahead of him.

J/111 sailing videoI found puffs on the right near shore and the distance increased on the first set ahead of him. Then, I parked and he caught up again. So it went on a few times. Before I finally did myself in with a massive wrap in my A5 spinnaker sock!!  I had decided to run my little flatter A5 gennaker to sail closer to the wind with more power than the Code Zero.  The A5 sits in a sock, which worked fine until I rolled the sock take-down line into the jib!. With both sails halfway out/in/down/up, it became so clear that I was parking until I cleared up the mess!

At this point, Andraž slipped past and we were cheering happily at each other!

Down with all the crap I had thrown up and now up again with the A2 to be able to slide into the finish line!  Damn, nearly won the whole race boat-for-boat against ALL classes.  Cheers to Andraz!

The goal was to sail safe and do the best I could. With the exception of a few small hiccups, I'm incredibly happy. To win the class and be quickest monohull around Fyn with nearly an hour's margin was simply unbelievable!!  I love this crazy J/111.  So fast.  So forgivable. So easy to sail!

Thanks also to GVA who have supported my efforts wholeheartedly. Thanks also to North Sails, Henri-Lloyd, J/Boats, Liros and many others!  Here is the BLUR.SE YouTube sailing video of the Silver Rudder Challenge

J/22 sailing Lake George, New YorkDoyle Smokes J/22 Changing of the Colors Regatta
(Lake George, New York)- The 2014 Lake George Open/ NE District Championship was successfully defended by Chris Doyle and his crew of Adam Burns and Christian Schwabe on Jug 41 of Youngstown, NY who scored a 2-1-3-1-2-1-(DNS) for 10 points in the seven race series. They topped the 26 teams in the annual event, held September 20-21 by Fleet 61 and The Lake George Club, Diamond Point, New York. Chris' closest competitor was Jeffrey Love with Kevin Brown and Mark Bird on Stampede from Toronto, who sailed an excellent series of 1-2-(5)-2-4-3-4 to finish in second place. Rounding out the top five are Kevin Doyle/Vic Snyder/Aaron Snyder on Mo’ Money from Youngstown (4-3-(8)-4-3-8-5), Richard Hallagan/John Steiner/Sarah Culver/Hendrix TenEyck on Chibougamau, Fairport, NY (5-4-7-(10)-6-4-2), and David Godin/Yves Godin/Marc Olivier Bourgeois on Won Ton, Verdun (Montreal), Quebec, (3-5-10-5-1-6-(13)). Other award winners were Alfie Merchant/Carlton Elmer/Bernie Zabeck on Craic Attack, Lake George, Best Local Boat, and Trevor Collins/Douglas Mair/Alexandra Leus on Alternative Girlfriend, Hudson, Quebec, awarded the traditional "Grab Bag" prize. Complete results are posted on the Club website,

J/22 sailboat- sailing with spinnakers on Lake George, New YorkThis year the race conditions were excellent and provided exciting and varied sailing. Saturday morning started with a brisk temperature of 54°F with winds from the south at 10 to 12 mph with gusts to 16 and then warmed to almost 75°F as the winds lightened throughout the day. The Race Committee was able to complete 4 races for all 26 boats by 4pm. Sunday morning continued the same trend with winds from the south at 8 to 13 mph and higher gusts, and increasing temperatures and beautiful sun and blue skies. The Race Committee completed 3 more races for a total of 7 races for the regatta.

The Lake George Club repeated its outstanding tradition of great food, plenty of beverages and an entertaining Saturday night band that hosted a guest singer from the Doyle clan singing an awesome rendition of “Mustang Sally”. Add that to the beautiful venue, usual outstanding hospitality of The Lake George Club, fine regatta organization under Chair Joe Favero, and competent RC work under PRO Dave Dougall, and you have another successful not-to-be-missed annual fall J/22 event. Please plan on coming in September 2015.  Thanks for contribution from Joe Favero- J/22 Fleet 61.  For more J/22 Changing of the Colors Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/111 Joust- sailing in Australia* More good J/111 news from Down Under.  Rod Warren, the owner of J/111 JOUST, recently commissioned his new boat in April 2014.  Since then he has been learning the ropes and getting JOUST sailing faster all the time.  Here’s Rod’s latest report on their adventures offshore:

“When five laser sailors begin their keel boat careers on a J/111 anything could happen.  As it turned out we won Division One in the Winter Series at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, Australia, narrowly beating a highly rated First 40 that had famously finished 3rd in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. This speaks to the simplicity, function and fun of the J/111.  With little keelboat experience, no recent experience with spinnakers or headsails, five amateur laser sailors were able to secure this result. As skipper, I find steering this boat is a joy; it’s just a large dinghy that doesn’t require large crew numbers and can be managed by even inexperienced crews. We are hoping to learn more and improve and if we get any good we might come over to Newport!  My crew has said that anyone looking for a fast, fun manageable, high performance, keelboat need look no further than the J/111!”  Thanks for contribution from Rod Warren, owner J/111 JOUST- Melbourne, Australia.

J/111 ODYSSEY crew for Ida Lewis Distance Race*  Kate Nota and J/111 Team ODYSSEY Win “Ripple Effect” Short Video Contest!  Awesome work, too!  Kate and the J/111 crew on ODYSSEY created the video as part of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this summer (August 15). The contest was introduced to the popular overnighter with the intention of engaging youth sailors (ages 14-20) by asking them to answer the question, “What do you like most about offshore/overnight sailing?” through a video essay or documentary no longer than five minutes in length.  See the ODYSSEY sailing video here on YouTube:

J/111 ODYSSEY sailing videoThe ODYSSEY team also won the event’s separately scored Youth Challenge (to qualify more than 40% of the crew had reached their 14th birthday but not turned 20 prior to August 15) and finished sixth in the 13-boat PHRF class. All classes sailed a 150-mile race that started and finished in Newport, Rhode Island. Hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the race celebrated its 10th edition in 2014 with a record 47-boat fleet.

The ODYSSEY Team: Fred Van Liew, Bob Goff, Trevor Davidson, George Moss, Kate Nota, Noah Kelleher, Sarah Kelleher, Jimmy Gieseke, and Johnny Gieseke.   For more Ida Lewis Distance Race sailing information

Sally Barkow sailing Opti in Wisconsin* Sally Barkow: From inland lakes to open oceans, from Optis and J/22s to Volvo 65 ocean greyhounds!  It’s as long way from Neenah, Wisconsin to sailing offshore in the Volvo Ocean Race.  But, having grown up sailing Optis, raced for years on J/22s, Sally Barkow has now stepped into the limelight on the biggest stage imaginable!

You could say that Sally has been taking steps toward the Volvo Ocean Race all her life. Now 34 years old, her road from learning to sail on scows in Wisconsin would take her to the international Olympic and match race circuit, with her successes earning her the US Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year award in 2005 and 2007.

After competing for the US team in the keelboat event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and missing out on the match racing event at the 2012 Games, the next step, albeit a big step, was offshore racing. When Team SCA proposed an all-women’s crew for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, Sally answered the call:

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime which I couldn’t miss out on, made possible by this team forming, and I just knew I had to be a part of it. Coming from an Olympic background, it was a big decision to shift gears into offshore racing but it is such a new challenge for me and something I have wanted to do for a long time.

My roots are in lake sailing which is really good at preparing you for short course and unpredictable wind. And it also teaches an incredible level of patience. I was not sure how these skills were going to transform into ocean racing but I was surprised to learn that sometimes patience and the ability to read unpredictable winds are really valuable skills to have on the ocean, in offshore racing.

I knew the boat was going to be totally new to me as I had always sailed smaller boats, so coming with an open mind and trying to learn as fast as possible was my priority. I think it has also helped that the Volvo 65’s are completely new to everyone so we all had to start from scratch and work together in figuring out the most efficient ways to sail these boats.

There has been endless learning about the boat inside and out. Also working with such a large team makes it possible to focus on your specific role and trust that others are doing the same; that way we will be as strong as possible by the start of the race. The program managers took their time to be sure to sign the correct people and have the right mix of team players. I think we have come out with a very committed and strong team of people.

There have been countless lessons to get to where we are now, but I think the really exciting lessons are still to come once we begin racing!”   Follow Sally, Team SCA and the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race here.

* John Messinger- a long-time J/33 sailor from King Harbor Yacht Club passed away this past week.  He was an avid sailor in Southern California offshore circles for decades and will be fondly remembered by his friends.  The J/Family of sailors and friends offer John’s family our heartfelt condolences, we wish his family well and will keep him in our hearts and prayers.