Wednesday, July 20, 2016

J/Newsletter- July 20th, 2016

J/120 sailing offshoreChicago Mackinac Race Preview
(Chicago, IL)- The 108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has 268 keelboats registered for the 333-mile race that starts on Saturday, July 23. Throngs of sailors are feverishly preparing for this year’s race at the Chicago YC Belmont and Monroe St clubhouses as they look forward to one of the windier Mac Races in recent years.  The past few years have been some of the slowest on record, with much of the fleet not finishing until late Monday and Tuesday morning.  However, the forecasts for the start on Saturday are encouraging, with a frontal passage of a Low (depression) taking place sometime late Sunday with southerly winds in the 5-15 kts range feeding the arrival of the front for the previous 24 hours.  Then, during the frontal passage on Sunday, a classic westwards shift veering into the northwesterly quadrants, with occasional squalls in the 20-30 kts range- making things a bit exciting during the night!

Eighty-four J/Teams are participating, approximately 1/3 of the fleet, with the first boats starting at 1130 hrs and the last of the big J’s blasting off the line at 1350 hrs.  Starting with the big boys, sailing in Section 2 starting 1350 CDT, are two J/145s that have been collecting lots of silverware all over the Great Lakes.  The bright red boat is Bill Schanen’s MAIN STREET from Port Washington YC, sailing with mostly family members aboard.  The other is Chris Saxton’s VORTICES from the Detroit, MI area that recently won her class in the Bayview Mackinac Race!  The VORTICES team is hoping to go for the magic “double” for the two Mac races!

Sailing in Section 3 starting 1330 CDT is a trio of fast J/130s- SALSA (Jim Gignac from Chicago Corinthian YC), FAST EDDY (Mike & Maryellen Ferring from Arizona YC), and WILLIE J (Bert Vanderweele from Macatawa Bay YC).  Joining them is a family team from Winnetka, IL, the mighty J/133 RENEGADE (Tom & Beth Ann Papoutsis from Columbia YC).

J/111 sailing Chicago-MackThe J/111 one-design section starts 1320 CDT and it will be an enormous battle between the fifteen boats, including many top North American Championship teams.  The veterans in the class with both round-the-buoys as well as offshore experience include Brad Faber’s UTAH, Richard Hobbs’ HOBGOBLIN, Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE, Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, the trio of Miz/ Dreher/ Hatfield on IMPULSE and Dave Irish’s NO SURPRISE.  Looking forward to their first fast Mac Race on 111’s are newcomers like Kevin Saedi & Rama Yousefi’s MOMENTUS, Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK, Tracy Brand’s SOLUTION, Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE, Mark & Colin Caliban’s NO QUARTER, and Dan Kitchens’ SKULL CRACKER.

In Section 4 starting at 1310 CDT are a range of 42-45 foot J crews, including Robert McManus’s J/130 EDGE from Milwaukee YC, Bob Klairmont’s J/133 SCIROCCO 3 from Chicago YC, and Randy Kuhn/ James Richter’s J/44 CHEEP N DEEP II from Chicago Corinthian YC.

The Detroit mafia of J/120s will also have their own one-design section that starts 1300 CDT.  Many of the top teams that also sailed the Bayview Mac Race will be on hand, including Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET from Bayview YC, Ed Vermet & John Hughes’ NAUTI BOYS from BYC, Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA from BYC, Sandlin/ Brown/ Schram’s J-HAWKER from BYC, and Frank Giampoli’s JAHAZI.

From an overall race winners perspective, Section 5 that starts 1250 CDT has a trio of J/122s that hope to duplicate their past performances, including Mitch Padnos’ family crew on SUFFICIENT REASON from Macatawa Bay YC- a 1st in Class, 1st Overall Chicago-Mac Race winner!  They will be joined by Matt Songer’s EVVAI from Marquette YC and Bob Mampe’s GOTTA WANTA from Grand Traverse YC.  In addition, they will be contending with a real sleeper in their class, Ben Lumpkin’s brand new J/112E sport-cruiser, MARY GAIL from Chicago YC.

Another big one-design section is the J/109 Division that starts 1220 CDT.  Hauling the mail off the line to prove once again they are always contenders overall will be Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT from Chicago YC, David Gustman’s NORTHSTAR from Chicago YC, Peter Priede’s FULL TILT from Columbia YC, and Jack & Jim Toliver’s VANDA III from Chicago YC.

Perhaps one of the scariest sections on a handicap basis, depending on weather, is the Level 35s that start at 1210 CDT.  Why?  Because it has seven J/35s sailing and they are not slow, many of them have won the Chicago-Mac in class and overall in the past and are always the “sleeper” group in the Mac Race- a.k.a. “run silent, run deep” and surprise them in the end!  That fleet includes Larry Schell’s famous TOUCH OF GREY from Columbia YC and David Timmer’s HAT TRICK from Muskegon YC.

The Section 7 division that starts 1200 CDT is a mixed bag of fast J/crews, including the Bayview Mac Race 2016 division winner- the J/109 TOA sailed by Bruce Danly & Jimmie Mitchell from Chicago YC.  Joining them are two J/35 family teams- BOZOS CIRCUS (Bruce, Chris & Eric Metcalf from Chicago YC) and OB LA DI (Rick, Bobby & Kelly Jean Reed from Chicago YC).  Hunting for tactical and strategic advantage amongst the crews without a clue will be the J/33 RETRIEVER sailed by Matt Beer from Chicago YC.

Seventeen boats are sailing the one-design J/105 Class that starts 1150 am CDT.  That is an amazing turnout and a credit to the Great Lakes fleet of J/105 owners, past and present, to continue to attract newcomers to the class.  Going against the mass of class veterans is the Petzold family- the GREEN FLASH from Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI- family members include Jane, Tricia, Tom & Cathy Petzold!  They will have their hands full taking on past Mac veterans like Gyt & Tom Petkus’ VYTIS, Nancy Glover’s TEMPEST, Clark Pellet’s SEALARK, Carter Williams’ CREATIVE DESTRUCTION, Ken Ganch’s GONZO, Mike & Ed Newman’s VALHALLA, Sandy Curtiss’ ROCKING HORSE, Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL, Mike Ludtke’s SMOKIN J, and Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM. Do not try to handicap this fleet; it is truly “anything goes” based on past, present, and future performance!

J/88 sailing Chicago-MacThe battle of the 30-footers will be taking place in Section 8 that starts 1130 CDT. Three J/88s and two J/92s. OMG, they are all fast crews.  For starters, the J/88s include Ben Wilson’s RAMBLER from Chicago YC, Boyd & Janice Jarrell’s SLOT MACHINE from Columbia YC, and Scott & Sean Grealish’s BLUE FLASH from Willamette SC in Portland, Oregon.  All three boats have won races offshore, so handicapping them from a Ladbroke’s UK or Vegas bookmaker’s perspective would be just about impossible.  Of note, it is a “bucket race” for the boys from Oregon on BLUE FLASH that have won their division in three major California offshore races.  No wallflowers themselves are the two J/92s, Bruce Santerre’s SPLIT DECISION from Lake City YC and John Madey’s CYCLONE from Chicago Corinthian YC.  DO NOT be surprised the Overall Race Winner comes from this grouping of five boats- they all push hard, sail hard, are adrenaline junkies, and do not quit- squalls or not in 25-35 kts winds!  In other words, this year’s Mac Race has all the makings of a small boat race and these crews are all perfectly capable of planing mode for the full 289nm to Mackinac Island!

Perhaps the ultimate sleeper in the year’s Mac Race sits in Section 10 that starts 1100 CDT.  Scott & Kimberley Petritz’s J/29 TFWB RELENTLESS from Grand Traverse YC has proven time and again to lead fleets when it matters most, when the proverbial B.S. hits the fan.  J/29s have won the Chicago-Mac Race in class and overall in the past.  If that is the scenario in 2016, they will be fighting hard with their colleagues in Section 8 that only starts 30 minutes behind them.  In fact, a simple prediction is that if the start takes place with a building southerly breeze (any quadrant), the J/29, J/92s and J/88s clean house overall. Why? They start planing VMG in just 13-15 kts of wind and the rest of the race is reaching- one of their ultimate strengths sailing on any point of sail.  For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information

J/70 sailing champions leagueSAILING Champions League Act I Announcement
(St Petersburg, Russia)- The first event of the SAILING Champions League 2016 will take place in St Petersburg, Russia from August 26th to 28th at St. Petersburg Yacht Club. The line-up for the qualification event for the finale that takes place at YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy includes a total of 32 sailing clubs from across Europe.  For the first Act in St Petersburg, the teams will be sailing in a matched fleet of International one-design J/70s.

So far, twenty-two clubs have already registered for the SAILING Champions League Act I in St. Petersburg. The current list of participants include the following:
  • Austrian Sailing League- Burgenländischer Yacht-Club & Segelclub TWV Achensee
  • Dutch Sailing League- R.R. & Z.V. Maas en Roer & WV Almere Centraal
  • Danish Sailing League- Hellerup Sejlklub & Aarhus Sejlklub
  • Finnish Sailing League- Nyländska Jaktklubben & Wasa Segelförening
  • German Sailing League- Berliner Yacht-Club & Norddeutscher Regatta Verein
  • Italian Sailing League- Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano & Yacht Club Adriaco
  • Norwegian Sailing League- Nesodden Seilforening & Arendals Seilforening
  • Polish Sailing League- Yacht Klub Polski Szczecin & JKW HRM Racing Poznań
  • Russian Sailing League- Yacht Club PIRogovo & St Petersburg Yacht Club
  • Swedish sailing League- Ekolns Segelklubb & Värmdö Jolleseglare
  • Swiss Sailing League- Regattaclub Bodensee & La Société Nautique de Genève
For more SAILING Champions League regatta information

Edgartown Round Island RaceEdgartown Round Island Race- J/Boats Fleet Trophies!
(Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)- This past week, Clare Harrington, Charlie Hodge and Hal Findlay- the Edgartown Race Week Chairs- announced that, “We are delighted at the robust J/Boat participation in the Edgartown 'Round-the-Island Race for 2016.  As a result, we will recognize and honor these yachts by presenting trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on corrected time amongst all the J/Boats in all classes.  We hope that this will encourage and entice even more of the owners of J/Boats to participate in this classic circumnavigation of Martha's Vineyard race, now and in the future!”  Like many of the world’s epic “round island races”, the blast around Martha’s Vineyard Island ranks amongst one of the most challenging anywhere and is about the same distance as the famous JP Morgan Round Island Race of the Isle of Wight- the origin of the infamous 100 Guinea Cup that was won by the yacht America skippered by Charlie Barr and a crew of mostly professionals from Scandinavia (historical footnote- that was the basis for the America’s Cup as we know it today!).

Why not sail America’s version of that famous race around beautiful Martha’s Vineyard?  The challenges are every bit as crazy as you round various points, bluffs, tidal races and gorgeous beaches resplendent with dozens of gorgeous Hollywood A-list celebrities hanging out in teenie-weenie-bikinis!

No question, one of the ten best weekends of the year, especially if you live in New England, is upon us.  Often, we’ve dreamt of these days while shoveling mounds of snow or paying the heating bill.  For sailors, especially, who look to combine competition with great camaraderie, there is no better way to spend one of these precious weekends than competing in Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend, which offers the option of racing ‘Round-the-Buoys (Thursday and Friday, July 28-29) or ‘Round-the-Island (Saturday, July 30), or both.

First held in 1938, Edgartown Yacht Club’s ’Round the Island Race was inspired by a similar, albeit shorter, race around the Isle of Wight in England.  With staggered starts by class (IRC, ORC, PHRF-NE Classic, One-Design, Multihull and Double-Handed) the fleet leaves Edgartown Harbor on a 54.7 mile course that takes it over Nantucket Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and Vineyard Sound, sailing past seven lighthouses while circumnavigating, clockwise, the 100 square mile island of Martha’s Vineyard.

For Massachusetts resident Steve Dahill, who races his J/35C RIVA out of both Beverly Yacht Club (Marion) and Constitution Yacht Club (Boston) and has been participating in the ’Round-the-Island Race for six years, there are numerous reasons to make room for this event on his summer calendar:

“There is the beauty of racing around all the sights of Martha’s Vineyard from the gentle slopes and beaches of Wasque, to the cliffs at Squibnocket, to the iconic rounding at Devils Bridge and Aquinnah.  Then, there’s great competition from boats we don't always see in our local club - from Nantucket, to Boston and the North Shore, from Newport and beyond - a real nice mix and we've met new friends. It also doesn't get more competitive or compelling, racing that far in one day is a marathon for most of us club racers and for many it is a goal that we think about and plan for all year. It’s also an opportunity to race against the best. Seeing George David’s Rambler rush by (in 2014) or the TP52s squeaking upwind with their pro teams- it’s right out of SAIL or Sailing World magazines. Can the average golfer tee off with Jason Day? No, but at the Round-the-Island Race you can be neck-and-neck with the best local and pro teams.”

Edgartown Yacht Club’s Edgartown Race Weekend starts with the two-day Round-the-Buoy Races, which are entry free and open to boats racing with a PHRF, ORC, IRC or CRF rating. The Friday night “Jump-Up” sponsored by Mount Gay is held at Edgartown Yacht Club and follows the ’Round-the-Buoy awards presentations for winners of each day as well as overall for both days.  Saturday’s Round Island Race is open to IRC, ORC, PHRF-NE (including spinnaker and non-spinnaker divisions), classic, one-design, multihull and double-handed boats. The Round Island awards ceremony is on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. at Edgartown Yacht Club.

In the PHRF Round Buoy series, we find Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0 from New Bedford YC up against Stephen McManus’s J/120 SAYKADOO from Annapolis YC.  Then, in the Round Island Race, there’s a “yuge” fleet racing for class honors in the twenty-two boat PHRF Racing Class, including the above mentioned teams plus Jim Maseiro’s J/122 URSUS MARITIMUS, Dick Egan’s gorgeous J/46 WINGS, Butch Joy’s J/120 KINDRED SPIRITS, Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES, Ed Dailey’s J/109 RAPTOR, Eliot Shanabrook’s J/109 HAFA ADAI, Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST, and Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA.  Sailing twenty-boat PHRF Non-Spinnaker will be Wesley McMichael’s J/44 BALLYHOO and Kent Nicholas’ J/42 PANASEA.  For more Round-the-Island Race sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The most amazing adventure and experience to take place in the past fortnight or so for any J sailors has to be the blog that describes what it is like to sail a J/88 singlehanded across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.  This recently took place with a celebration in Hawaii as part of the San Francisco Bay’s Singlehanded Sailing Society completed their famous TransPac Race.  While not nearly as epic, dozens of J/crews also sailed the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- a 200nm plus event for a raft of J/teams ranging from the J/145s to J/120s, to J/111s, J/88, J/35s, J/105s and J/34 IOR. Still underway and happening at a frenetic pace is the 2,300nm Pacific Cup, their is a quick update regards the crews sailing a J/109, J/42, J/46, J/44, J/35, and J/124 in the race.  On a coastal basis, the New York YC Race Week hosted the J/109 North Americans, offshore handicap divisions and the J/88 class.  Then, down in the Chesapeake Bay, the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge in Solomons Island, MD with J/70s, J/111s, J/105s, and J/80s is an event enjoyed by all.  Also, out east was the New England PHRF Championship in Portland, ME with J/105s, J/24, J/30, J/80 and J/111 in attendance.  Down south of them in the mid-Atlantic coast was the Red Grant Regatta in Perth Amboy, NJ with a fleet of one-design J/105s.  Then, out West was the J/70 West Coast Championship hosted in parallel with the Santa Barbara YC’s famous Fiesta Cup Regatta.

Hopping back across the Atlantic pond to its eastern parts, the biennial VOLVO CORK Week took place in Cork, Ireland with J/109s and J/112E and J/24s and J/80s having a more than wonderful time collecting silverware.  Just east of them in the United Kingdom, the J/111 European Championship sailed in Hamble, England hosted by Royal Southern YC.  Across the Solent, the newly-formed British J/70 Sailing League Championship was hosted by the Royal Thames YC in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.  Similarly, the Italian Sailing League sailed in Porto Cervo, Sardinia and hosted by YC Costa Smeralda, with the teams enjoying their fleet of matched J/70s.  Finally, up north in Denmark, the ORC Worlds are taking place in Copenhagen with a new J/112E sport-cruiser sailing in ORR Class C.

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:

July 22-24- CanAm Challenge Regatta– Youngstown, NY
Jul 27-31- Travemunde Race Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 28-31- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 1-4- J/111 World Championship- Cowes, England
Aug 4-7- J/80 North American Championship- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Aug 5-7- J/27 North American Championship- Oakville, ONT, Canada
Aug 6-13- AAM Cowes Week Regatta- Cowes, IOW, England
Aug 13-14- J/FEST New England- Bristol, RI
Aug 13-19- J/24 European Championship- Plymouth, England
Aug 14-20- Women's J/70 World Keelboat Championship- Rye, NY
Aug 19-25- J/22 World Championship- Kingston, ONT, Canada
Aug 19-21- J/120 National  Championship- Detroit, MI

J/70 Events:
Jul 22-24- J/70 Great Lakes Championship– Youngstown, NY
Jul 22-24- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Sep 15-18- J/70 Rolex Big Boat Series/ Pre-Worlds- San Francisco, CA
Sep 24-Oct 1- J/70 World Championship- San Francisco, CA

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

J/88 TransPacJ/88 Sails Singlehanded TransPac
(Hanalei, Hawaii)- The Singlehanded Sailing Society puts on the Singlehanded TransPac race every two years, ever since the first race, way back in 1978.  Since then, more people have made it to outer space than have raced singlehanded from San Francisco to Hawaii.  But, if you like to sail by yourself, paradoxically, you’re still in good company.

The race is open to ocean-going boats and skippers.  This is not an event catering to the latest and greatest go-fast machines, but rather attracts the adventurous skippers that want to test themselves out on the Big Blue Pacific Ocean, and do it in the boats they already own.  It’s a long way from here to there.  Single-handing doesn’t make the race any easier; every skipper is navigating, cooking, sailing hard, all the while fixing what breaks along the way, but as long as you and your boat meet the safety requirements, you are set.  No foils needed.

For many, it is the adventure of a lifetime.  The camaraderie amongst skippers begins even before the fleet assembles for race day inspection.  At the docks, competitors fine-tune last minute preparations, and it’s great to visit the other entries to see the varying solutions to shared problems.  Where does one best stow the “dog” food?  How many spinnakers will fit in the forepeak?  Who is carrying ice cream to Hawaii?

Making landfall in Hanalei Bay marks the completion of an enormous undertaking – a personal victory!  By race finish, you will be a different person.  You will know more about yourself, your boat, your competitors, and what lies beyond the horizon.  As Mike Jefferson put it in his 1996 race log, “Offshore sailing by oneself is a strenuous test of a person’s inner character.  Technical skill and experience are, of course, very useful.”  If you didn’t get enough on the way there, there’s always the sail home. Though not part of the race itself, the return trip becomes a significant part of the experience.

The Hanelei treeThe Ultimate Objective is to get to the “Tree”!  A tree?  Yes, a very special Tree.  Under this Tree at sunset in Hanalei Bay, you will share the highlights and lowlights (which eventually become highlights) and just swap “sea stories” of your journey with race committee, family, friends, and your fellow sailors. If a “Tree experience” isn’t enticing enough, you can compete with the likes of Stan Honey and Steve Fossett to see if you can best their record times- for keelboats it’s Stan’s Cal 40 ILLUSION time of 11:10:52:21 set in 1994.  This year’s boats were not far off the mark until beset by light sections in the race.

The latest update from Chris Cartwright on his J/88 VENTUS proved it was a most eventful experience.

For starters, Chris was second boat-for-boat to finish against an over-powered, modded Olson 30 KATO sailed by Jiri Senkyrik.  Then, Chris was up against similarly updated, over-powered (e.g. big chutes on big poles) of other classic California downwind speedsters.  Nevertheless, his extraordinary performance was marked by hoving-too (sailing nowhere) to fix a boom gooseneck issue and then, again, having to do the same to offset some “5 or more things I hit” during the course of the race.  Subtracting even an hour from his boom scenario would have put Chris’ J/88 as the easy overall winner of the SSS TransPac Race. That is a significant achievement to have finished 2nd overall and, despite all obstacles, fourth in class against well-known offshore sleds like an Olson 29, Olson 30, Santa Cruz 27, Express 27, Wilderness 30 and “wedges of cheese” like Pogo 2 and a MiniTransat 6.0!  Notably, the J/88’s class cleaned house for all overall and class positions that is how tough the competition was over 2,000nm of Pacific Ocean!  More of a report later from Chris about his experiences offshore.  Here were some blog posts from Chris’ experience:

Chris- J/88 sailor extraordinaire offshoreJuly 2nd 1559 hrs- “A little rusty from not enough sailing and much planning.  Managed to start cleanly, this was my only goal.  1/2 way across bay before finally got reefs tucked in!  And, went wrong way tactically! Ugh.  One competitor, “Fast Lane” surprised me with a close port crossing.  No need for coffee!!

Outside the gate, it became very light.  One of the Olson’s put up a Genoa and reeled me in quickly.  I am trying hard just to get west now and into synoptic breeze.  For months, I had imagined cracking off and going south.  Not today!  But, the boat is moving well going west with south swell.”

July 3rd 0659 hrs- “Last night was thrilling and scary.  Winds built to a solid 25 with higher gusts and seas 8-12 feet.  Ventus going 10-12 knots with double reefed main and small jib.  Visibility was nil!  Boat was great. Skipper has a bad case of mal du mere (bad stomach). Slowing boat down today and making some recovery.  Kites are begging to be launched as winds have eased! But, given time and better stomach. Some Wi-Fi issues but solved for now.  Engine charging working well.”

July 4th 0900 hrs- “I “met” Jeane Socrates (Nereida). At about 0200 today as our bows crossed.  Lovely lady. Mal du mere improving and hoping to see some sunshine soon. I keep thinking the overcast is thinning. But, probably my imagination. Starting to get into a rhythm with the boat.  It’s become nicer sailing each day.  Please correct any typos as the saltwater has given me even fatter fingers!”

J/88 sailing offshoreJuly 4th 2100 hrs- “No fireworks and able to eat my first freeze dried meal. Yay for the nutrition!   Now that brain has some glucose, trying to figure out plan for rest of race. Despite having a fast boat and lots of input from very very good racers, my goal has always been a fun sail. I am juggling the usual rhumb lines vs what Expedition (routing software) tells me.  So far, I have basically been sailing comfortable angles towards Hawaii. I have been below Polars in part because I have no crew and probably not sailing to max. I see a couple tropical storms in the future and have some concerns about them.  It appears I should be able to get in ahead of them.”

July 5th 0900 hrs- “Here I am sitting in my nav station- a bean bag chair!  For me, one of the hardest parts is managing other people’s expectations leading up to the trip or managing what I think they except.

I have always loved sailing, the feel of the invisible force propelling a boat forward.  I love a boat that balances out and feels good to drive.  I ended up with a J/88 because I made the mistake of trying it and loved the feel and responsiveness!  I didn’t purchase the boat because I want to race or necessarily go fast.  There is always someone going much faster. One of my fond memories was sailing with a friend on San Francisco Bay going 4 knots in a J/24 and being passed by an AC-72 foiler going 40 kts(ish)!

I know many people look at my boat and think fast and assume I am trying to race.  I am not.  I am trying to learn about myself and have this experience and it is the boat I have now.  I am in the middle of my life (perhaps it is the classic midlife crisis) but I am trying to sort some things out.

I have been fortunate to have had contact with some excellent sailors who helped guide me through the myriad of decisions.  Sails, electronics, electrical systems, and on and on.  Because of their background, most of the stuff and decision for most things are go-fast oriented.

So far, the boat is performing beautifully! And, I am managing.  I have found I enjoy the open water but miss the company of other people both for problem solving and just companionship.  It is probably a good thing for all of us to develop some comfort with being alone.  And this is one of my challenges for this passage!

I saw the tropical storms predicted to cross our paths and thought hard about diverting to Santa Barbara.”

Chris off watchJuly 7th 0600 hrs- “Ah! Morning coffee on Ventus!  Watt & Sea hydro-generator hums along and keeps up with electrical demands even when going slow, it’s an nice change from charging with engine!

I have settled into a routine.  Basic plan is to not go further south in search of breeze.  The tropical storm/hurricane has my attention.  I am amazed by the southern ocean racers who actively seek out storms.  I am going to take to slow route from here.  It’s beautiful!”

July 7th 0830 hrs- “Kite up again on Ventus! After attempting to go wing and wing last night when winds were light and kite would not fill.  I had a night of rocking rolling and banging of rig with swell and no wind.  The fine trim mainsheet was caught in a gybe and is out of action (not an issue). The real issue was that a horizontal pin connecting the boom to gooseneck shook out. This was a bit of a low spot for me because although trades would blow me to Hawaii.  It would be a long long trip. After some encouraging words from friends and SSS community, a few Allen keys, a cotter pin and duct tape, things seem to be holding together!”

July 8th 0910 hrs- “Into the Goodies before midnight!  Port tack and a lot south overnight to move into more wind.  Plan to flip over to starboard to increase velocity to Hawaii for the day.  With luck might get into 1/2 way bag before midnight.”

J/88 in HawaiiJuly 8 1430 hrs- “Ooops.  Miscalculation: No goodie bag today for Ventus.  My previous longest spinnaker run was about 3 hours coming back from the Farallones Islands.   I’m over 30 hours now.  Wind has been light, but made enough south it seems it has filled in around 12 knots.  Sea state low.  Wish there was bigger swell to surf, but even with the little ones the boat releases fast down the waves!  What a surfboard the J/88 is!  Basically, enjoying boat in middle of ocean.  However, I have miscalculated.  Tomorrow should hit halfway. Fix on boom is holding.  Boat is rocking and rolling around and my brain isolated with it. Thanks to all for putting on this great event.  Hope the rest of fleet is doing well and enjoying themselves!”

July 10th 0400 hrs- In a very succinct text message received late last night. Chris reported hitting 5 objects. “So much stuff hit.  Carried something along.  Could not see it, killed my speed.  Had to stop and back down.  Now off, back at 8 – 9 knots!  Thank goodness!”

July 10th 1600 hrs- “Only 899nm left! Starting to feel that I will get there soon.  But, then I realize that is still a lot of sailing. I guess I’m in the trades now.  Water getting warmer.  Wind very steady.   And, a strong 20 knots of breeze, pretty consistent.  Still working on keeping the boat going straight as I pitch roll and yaw my way down the waves.  It’s pretty peaceful and wonderful.  The boat handles like a dream!”

July 11 1508 hrs- “Ventus cogitates.  I was once told when in doubt put the jib on a stick and point the bow at the barn.  Finally, listened and what do you know 8-9 knots boatspeed surfing to 12 kts and Hanalei bay direct.  Not much rolling and sitting in a bean bag contemplating life.  I remembered my gooseneck repair and decided to inspect before taking a nap.  Sadly, a couple jibes during the night had loosened up the pieces holding it together.  There is a reason Hall Spars doesn’t used bits of leftover tools to hold boom to gooseneck.  In an unbelievable stroke of luck, I found the original pin captured by the jib car underneath a line. I scavenged a nut from the boat that was too long but at least slathered in Duralac so it won’t shake free.  Kluged together a way to keep original pin in place.  At this point, turned into the wind to drop sails.  And the upwind against wave ride is quite different.  A lot of fiddling, but the repair seems more solid and Ventus is once again pointed in the right direction.  God, yet more hours given up against the competition. But, all is well here on the J/88 Ventus.  Happy to get home to the finish!”  For more SSS TransPac Race sailing information.

J/109 Cork Week winnersJ/109 Wins Volvo CORK Week Regatta!
(Cork, Ireland)- Shrouded in sea fog, the final day of racing at Volvo Cork Week was curtailed to just one race for some classes. However, as the mist cleared, class winners appeared and the inaugural IRC European Champion went to the wire. Located outside Cork Harbour, the visibility was just too bad for safe racing for IRC Zero, One and Two and the results remained unchanged from the previous day. The Final Prize Giving was held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, established in 1720, the antique silverware being presented includes some of the world oldest and famous trophies but the two biggest awards of Volvo Cork Week are brand new this year.

Commissioned by Irish Minister Simon Coveney, the Waterford Crystal Beaufort Cup has been won by Defence Forces B racing the J/109 JOKER 2, skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne.  Defence Force B Team have nominated Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin for the €10,000 award. However the winning team have donated €1000 to the RNLI Baltimore, who came second in The Beaufort Cup, as a show of their sportsmanship.

“To have so many teams and top quality racing in the first year of the Beaufort Cup is amazing,” commented Barry Byrne. “The offshore race around the Fastnet is one of the most enjoyable races I have ever done. We saw dolphins and whales literally the whole way round and eight boats rounded the Fastnet Rock within sight of each other. We already have confirmed interest from USA, France, Canada and Spain for 2018. The goal is to make The Beaufort Cup the biggest emergency and military services regatta in the world and I would like to applaud Minister Simon Coveney and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett for their continued support for the initiative and all of the teams that participated.”

It was great racing over the course of Volvo Cork Week; here is how it went down each day.

Day One
The week got off to a supersonic start with a fly-by of four PC9 aircraft passing over the start line of the Beaufort Cup fleet, heading for the Fastnet Rock for their offshore race. Thirteen teams entered the inaugural international services competition supported by the Irish Defence Forces, with a top prize of 10,000 Euros to a nominated charity.

For the remainder of the Volvo Cork Week fleet, there was racing on the first day in Cork Harbour and the Atlantic Approaches. A solid 12 knots of breeze from the North decrease during the day but a significant sea state remained for competitors on the Slalom Course and Windward Leeward course south of Roches Point.

IRC Two was extremely competitive, Ian Nagle’s Royal Cork team racing J/109 JELLY BABY was second for the day and Royal Irish skipper, Richard Goodbody racing the J/109 WHITE MISCHIEF finished the day with a second to secure a fourth in class.

J/109 at Cork WeekDay Two
The Irish Defence Forces team, racing the J/109 JOKER 2, and skippered by Cmdt Barry Byrne, won the inaugural Beaufort Cup’s 140-mile Fastnet Race, held as part of Volvo Cork Week. Racing continues for the Beaufort Cup with three days of inshore racing but the offshore win has put the team in the driving seat for the new trophy and 10,000 Euros for their nominated charity.

“We are over the moon.” smiled Barry Byrne. “Late last night in light airs, most of the fleet compressed together and we gybed out for more wind offshore and got it. From then on, we kept our position between the Fastnet and the boats behind to consolidate on that gain and those tactics got us through. But it was a tough fight all the way to the Rock and a tough slog all the way back.” We are looking forward to the inaugural Beaufort Cup Gala Dinner tonight, to meet our colleagues from overseas to discuss the challenges to come.”

J/24 sailing Cork, IrelandDay Three
The key to a top performance today was reacting to the squalls and shifts, emanating from the Old Head of Kinsale, sending a stream of pressure bullets down to Roches Point.

In the IRC 4 class, the Howth YC Under 25 team racing J/24 Ireland’s Eye Kilcullen took second and, as a result, was very much in the frame for the overall win in the IRC European Championship!

Day Four
One hundred yachts, of all shapes and sizes, graced Cork Harbour on the fourth day of Cork Week- the traditional “in the Bay” race made for quite a spectacle!  The weather lived up to the spectacular location with bright sunshine bathing the course for most of the day.

In the Beaufort Cup division, the J/109 JOKER 2 team sealed their win with yet another first place.  Taking sixth place was the Royal Engineers YC team on the J/109 TROJAN of UPNOR.

J/112E sailing Cork WeekSailing in the IRC Coastal Class 1 was the brand new J/112E sport cruiser- AQUELINA- owned and skippered by Sheila & James Tyrrell.  The more races they sailed, the faster they went!  Ultimately, they finished a solid third place, just one point out of second!

For the IRC Two class, a terrific battle for third place was won by Richard Goodbody’s Royal Irish team, racing the J/109 WHITE MISCHIEF. Their colleagues in the three other J/109s went 6th through 8th- Pat Kelly’s STORM from Howth YC, then Ian Nagle’s JELLY BABY from Royal Cork YC, then Michel Hiesweiller’s VRIJGEZEILIG from Cardiff Bay.

In IRC 4, the Under 25 Howth team, with skipper Cillian Dickson racing J/24 Ireland’s Eye Kilcullen took second place to remain in second overall for the regatta. Dave Lane & Sinead Enright’s J/24 YA GOTTA WANNA from Royal Cork YC took fourth place.

Finally, in the IRC Mixed Sports boat classes were two J/80s- Dominic Baxter & Ernie Dillon’s RIOJA took silver while Fergus Coughlan’s JEDI placed fourth.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/   For more CORK Week sailing information

J/35 Mr Bill's Wild Ride- winners Bayview Mac raceJ/Teams Dominate Bayview Mac Race
(Port Huron, MI)- The Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race proved to be a fast ride for the 214 boats that started Saturday, July 16, from Port Huron with all but 14 teams completing the contest in Mackinac Island.  After looking at weather models) most of the top boats stayed to the west of the fleet.

According to one winning navigator, “the first couple of hours were tricky, because the wind didn’t do what it was supposed to, but we still stuck with our plan, hugging the Michigan shoreline. We had some traffic issues in the first 6-8 hours, which cost us- by 7pm Saturday night, we were 3-4 miles behind everyone. But we stayed patient, and as the overnight hours came, we were able to see the rest of our class starting to sail higher and slow because they were being lifted toward the Canadian shore (that is what we wanted to avoid). Once we saw that, we made the effort to sail lower and keep getting the separation on our competition. We made our gains and passed them. There aren’t many passing opportunities on the second part of race, so we just got to the finish as fast as we could.”

The largest fleet of J’s sailed the longer “Cove Island Course”- from the start off Port Huron, the fleet headed NNE to Cove Island just off Canada in northern Lake Huron, then they headed practically due west to the Mackinac Island finish line.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mac raceWinning Class B was Chris Saxton’s J/145 VORTICES from Bayview YC.  Class C was the J/120 One-Design class with eleven boats entered.  It was a battle the entire way for this group, as it usually is!  Winning by just 7 minutes overall was Geoff Brieden & Jeff Clark’s SCOUT.  Taking second was Frank Kern’s CARINTHIA, third was Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, fourth Ed Vermet & John Hughes NAUTIBOYS and fifth Dave Sandlin’s JAYHAWKER.

Winning Class D by well over two hours corrected was the dynamic duo of Jim Mitchell & Bruce Danly on the J/109 TOA!  Third was the J/105 PTERODACTYL (Mary Symonds), followed by yet another J/105- GOOD LOOKIN (Mark DenUyl) in fourth position. Port Sanilac Marina’s J/88 SARALYSIA was fifth place.

Crushing it in Class G- the Level 35 boats- was none other than Bill Wildner’s famous J/35- MR BILL’S WILD RIDE!  Second was another J/35- Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON and in fourth was the next J/35- Gregg Whipple’s WHIPLASH.

Four J/teams sailed the shorter “Shore Course”.  That fleet started off Port Huron and basically went straight north along the eastern Michigan shoreline until they turned left to the finish in the Straits off Mackinac Island.  Taking third in Class I was Brett Langolf’s J/34 IOR- KNEE DEEP.  Duplicating their past success, the J/29 PATRIOT sailed by Lyndon Lattie took the silver in Class L Doublehanded Racing!  For more Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

J/109 Loki- David RosowRosow Wins J/109 North Americans
MAXINE Tops IRC 3, YONDER Dominates J/88s @ NYYC Race Week
(Newport, RI)- With 19 boats, the J/109 fleet was the biggest to compete in the 2016 New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. By the time the first race started on the final day, however, only two boats mattered. David Rosow's LOKI (Southport, Conn.) and Donald Filippelli's CAMINOS (Amagansett, N.Y.) started the day tied at 23 points each. With third place 14 points back and a morning delay limiting the class to just one race, the class's North American Championship, and a Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Date timepiece, came down to which of these boats beat the other around the track.

Rosow preached all regatta about keeping things simple. With the regatta on the line, he didn't see any reason to stray from the approach that had gotten them this far.

"We wanted the pin end and to be near CAMINOS,” he said. "If the opportunity presented itself we would’ve gotten in front of them. We knew we had boat speed compared to the fleet. We had a good start in the front row. We knew it was a two-boat race, and we just had to beat them."

While Rosow was able to get away cleanly from the pin end, CAMINOS found itself mired in traffic after a mid-line start, and was eventually forced to tack away. By the time the boats came together at the windward mark, LOKI was second, with CAMINOS two spots back.  With the early advantage, and a steady 6-10 kt breeze opening few passing lanes, the key was to simply not overthink the strategy for the remainder of the race.

"From there we just shepherded them around the course," said Rosow, who has owned LOKI for 10 years. "Full credit to CAMINOS, they sailed very impressively. They’re good competitors."

FJ/44 Maxine sailing New York YC regattaor Rosow, this is his first North American championship. He has won distance races before, but never anything on this scale in one-design competition. Adding in a Rolex watch and, no surprise, he was pretty elated, “pumped up! Incredible! I have a perma grin that won’t come off for a while."

NYYC Rear Commodore Bill Ketcham (Greenwich, Conn.) started the regatta on fire, his J/44 MAXINE winning the first four races in IRC 3 division. But a 10th in Race 5 put the lead back into play for two other boats.  However, after two races on the final day, the difference between the three boats' overall scores was just half a point!  In the end, it was Ketcham’s J/44 MAXINE taking the class win with the NYYC Annual Regatta Round Island Race winner- Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE- holding on to 5th place.

J/88 sailing New York YC regattaThe J/88 one-design class saw spirited and very close competition.  After the first day blitzkrieg of 1-1-2, it appeared that Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew was hot on the trail to yet another class win.  However, by days two and three their momentum faltered, posting a 5-5-4-4 to drop them into second place for the regatta.  Conversely, Doug Newhouse’s YONDER team also started off well with a 2-2-4 on the first day and managed to post three bullets in the next few races to ultimately win the class by six points.  Third was the New York YC Annual Regatta J/88 Class winner, Doug McKeige’s JAZZ.  Fourth was Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from Long Island Sound and fifth place was Jeff Johnstone’s family crew on ELECTRA.  For more New York YC Race Week sailing information

Italian J/70 sailing league winnersClub Vela Portocivitanova Wins Italian Sailing League Act II
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- This past week, the YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, hosted the third leg of the AUDI Italian Sailing League.  The Italians sailing clubs all participated on YCCS’s matched fleet of one-design J/70s.

After three beautiful days of racing, the Club Vela Portocivitanova won the Audi Italian Sailing League, the second Act of the Lega Italiana Vela series in Porto Cervo.

J/70s sailing Italian League off Porto Cervo, ItalyDuring the last day of races the team of Club Vela Portocivitanova that consisted of Alessandro Battistelli, Alessio Marinelli, Gabriele Giardini and Sandro Iesari reconfirmed its high level of performance- thanks to perfect teamwork and tactics, the team closed the qualification series with seven 1sts, four 2nds, three 3rds for a 62 pt total!

Second place in the final ranking was the Marina Militare team. An excellent performance on the last day of racing (winning two of the four races sailed) saw the Yacht Club Adriaco team climb into third place, just one point back from second! A second to last place in the 24th race set back the Aeronautica Militare team, dropping them into fourth position.  Then, holding onto fifth place was Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia Napoli.

Italian J/70 sailing league winners podiumThe President of the Lega Italiana Vela, Roberto Emanuele de Felice, underlines the great result achieved by the teams: “Once again we witnessed an important evolution in the Lega Vela regattas; the most coordinated, most close-knit team wins. Experience, coordination and passion are the main ingredients in order to make the difference in the Lega Italiana Vela and the “Club Vela Portocivitanova” gave a great lesson to everybody by performing at such a high level!”

The Commodore of YC Costa Smeralda, Riccardo Bonadeo declared, “During the three days of this event organized together with Lega Italiana Vela, we had very fast and highly technical races.  In particular, we are very proud of organizing sailing events that promote sailing at a club level by spreading out the culture of this sport together with its unique values: commitment, teamwork and sportsmanship. Beside the teams, I thank our sponsor AUDI- they have supported our sailing activities for years and they provided us a wonderful party!”  For more Lega Italiana Vela sailing information

J/70s sailing British Sailing LeagueHayling Island SC Wins British J/70 Sailing League
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Hayling Island Sailing Club team won the inaugural UK National Sailing League Final in association with Bainbridge & Seldén.  Sailed over the weekend of 16-17 July, HISC beat ten other teams to be crowned champions and secure a place at the SAILING Champions League Final in Porto Cervo, Sardinia (23-25 September).

The HISC team of Imogen Stanley, Paul Childs, Chris O’Neill and Chris Witty dominated the first day, winning four of their six races held in J/70s, showing great consistency given the shifty conditions in Osborne Bay on the Solent. On Sunday, HISC followed up with another race win and a handful of top three scores to win the event with a race to spare. Winning helm Stanley said: “Our strategy was just to sail fast and keep out of the way of the other boats, we managed to get some really good starts and just sail away. I had a great team with me from Hayling – Chris, Chris and Paul – which meant I could put our boat exactly where I wanted without worrying about the boat handling.”

J/70s sailing the British Sailing League off CowesThe UK National Sailing League is a new initiative launched in March and run in partnership between the RYA and Royal Thames Yacht Club, with the format of 15 minute umpired races in keelboats.  HISC’s mainsheet trimmer Paul Childs enjoyed the format: “It makes the racing really close and really tactical.  Any mistake you make you instantly get punished whereas sometimes in a fleet race if you make a few mistakes you can wind it back in, but in this you’ve got great sailors from around the country really chomping at the bit. We do a lot of sprint racing down at Hayling which I think helped us this weekend, we sail in the tide and are used to making those quick decisions.”

The second and third placed-boats both qualified for a spot to race in St Petersburg at Act 1 of the SAILING Champions League in August. Sunderland YC Team finished second overall securing the first spot, just one point ahead of Port Edgar YC team in third.

Port Edgar won the final race of the day to sneak ahead of Cardiff University who finished their weekend in fourth, and their helm Callum Calder said: “It was great to up amongst it, we were in the chocolates all the time. At points we were lightening quick and at points we were dog slow but that’s the great thing about the short-course racing as you can get back into it so I’m really happy with that.”

Jack Fenwick, RYA Keelboat Development Manager: “The UK National Sailing League has been a great success. We ran four qualifying events and the final in Cowes was very competitive. All the feedback from host clubs and sailors has been positive and we are looking forward to developing the league next year.”

A full schedule of 22 races was completed over the two-day event with eleven teams from around the country competing.  Follow them on their UK J/70 Sailing League page here.  For more UK J/70 Sailing League information

J/70 Fiesta Cup off Santa Barbara, CAWyman Crowned J/70 West Coast Champ!
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The J/70 West Coast Championship was hosted by Santa Barbara YC as part of the fun-loving annual Fiesta Cup Regatta.  After the amazing luau-styled barbecue on Saturday night (a BBQ on the beach with awesome local band and free-flowing margarita bar), nothing was going to slow down nor stop Steve Wyman’s crew on NUNUHUNU from winning the regatta.  In fact, after three bullets and two 3rds in the first seven races, they did not have to sail the last race to win!

Starting out the weekend with two bullets in two races, Pat Toole’s crew on 3 BIG DOGS look set to repeat past performances at the top of the J/24 class.  However, the wheels flew off their shopping trolley sometime around races 3 & 4, posting an 11-7 in succession to fall back to mid-fleet.  However, after collecting their wits back together, they quickly rattled off a 3-2-2-1, improving every race to close out the regatta with a win and securing the silver overall.

For the balance of the top five, it was bloody battle to the very end.  Essentially, all weekend-long, three boats were tied- Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS 3, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE and Steve Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE.  It really came down to the last race to determine their three-way tie.  By taking a 2nd in the finale, Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRRORS snagged the final spot on the podium to take the bronze.  However, tied on 36 pts each, it was Deardorff’s CAKE that grabbed fourth place over Hendricks’ MONKEY HOUSE.  Great sailing for all!  For more J/70 West Coast Championship sailing information

J/111 sailing EuropeansJELVIS Clinches J/111 European Championship!
(Hamble, England)- With a stiff south westerly breeze and sparkling sunshine, the J/111 European Championship went right to the wire with the champion decided on the very last race.  The J/111’s enjoyed beautiful weather for their six race series hosted by the Royal Southern YC on the River Hamble in the United Kingdom.

Chris Jones' JOURNEYMAKER II scored two bullets to lead the class after the first day of racing, but three straight bullets from Martin Dent's JELVIS, on the second day, secured the European Championship for the Scottish skipper’s young team.  Third was Paul Griffith’s JAGERBOMB.

"This was yet another weekend of very close racing ... All the boats were sailing well, every mark rounding we were in company, and if you made a mistake you would let somebody through: yes it’s competitive, but there is a fantastic spirit in the fleet. there’s healthy rivalry and banter in equal proportion between the teams.  We are now looking forward to the Pre-Worlds, Worlds and then straight into Cowes Week- - 14 days of continuous J/111 sailing!! It just doesn’t get any better than that!"

During the same weekend, the Royal Southern YC was hosting their Joseph Perrier Champagne Summer Regatta.  The J/80 MOCKINGJAY scored a win and a second to lead the fleet on countback in the Sportsboat Class. “Two days of great sailing, rewarded with a magnum of Joseph Perrier, so I am not complaining,” smiled MockingJay's Chris Body.

In IRC 1, Mike Wallis' J/122 JAHMALI was always pushing hard and scored a podium place in every race to take second place.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE scored their first ever regatta win! Team JIRAFFE shouted with joy as they crossed the line.

In IRC Three, Andy Howe & Annie Kelly's dream season continued with yet another win with their J/97 BLACKJACK II. Last year the couple won the Barbados Tourism Marketing prize of flights and a holiday on the Caribbean island, and their performance this year certainly puts the team in the frame once more for the magnificent prize.

In the J/70 Class Alan Higgs' ESF ENERGY won by a single point from Jack Davies' YETI. Meanwhile, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC took home the bronze.

Royal Southern Commodore, Chris Mansfield officiated at the Prize Giving, which was well attended in the Upper Bar at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The Commodore introduced Martin Gammon, Joseph Perrier Champagne UK Director who presented winners with generous prizes of Joseph Perrier champagne.  For more J/111 Europeans sailing information

J/111 Crowned New England PHRF Champion!
(Portland, Maine)- This year’s New England PHRF Championship was hosted by Portland YC in Portland, Maine and was sponsored by Handy Boat Service & Hallet Sails.  Over the two-day weekend event, thirty boats participated in four divisions- Cruising and three PHRF Racing divisions.  Sitting on top of the world after winning PHRF 1 Class was Mike Williamson’s J/111 BRIGADOON, handily winning their class and the overall regatta.

In the PHRF 2 Division, it was a duel of J/105s, with Hank Seeselberg’s UBUNTU taking those honors by placing 2nd in class while Wolfgang Bauchinger, with his wife Lynn skippering INTANGIBLE, took third position.

The PHRF 3 Divisions was made up of mostly J/80s with a J/24 and J/30 giving them spirited racing.  Nevertheless, despite the preponderance of 80s on the course, it was Andrew Carey’s J/24 MR HANKEY that took class silver with Bill Hunt’s FIREBOLT happily taking the bronze medal.  Rounding out the top five was Tony Blanchard’s J/80 JUNE MOONE.  For more New England PHRF Championship sailing information

J/Fun @ Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge
(Solomons Island, MD)- The “regatta run by sailors for sailors” enjoyed wonderful conditions all weekend for the 2016 Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge- a rac­er’s favorite for years on the Chesapeake Bay.  The event is held every July in the mid­dle of the sum­mer near Solomons Island, Maryland.

After all the fan-fare, awards, and parties, it was clear the J/teams in attendance were happy to have participated in the three day event hosted by the Hol­i­day Inn Solomons Island.

Winning the J/70 one-design class Peter Firey’s PHOENIX, taking three 1sts in four races on their way to a triumphant victory, their first in years!  Second was Larry Ray’s JRAY and third was Holly Graf’s SPICE.

Nearly pulling off a win in the PHRF A1 class was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; but a last race 4th place torpedoed those chances for glory, having to settle for second place.  Jim Whited’s J/111 BAD CAT finished in 6th place, Craig Wright’s J/109 AFTERTHOUGHT was 7th and Dave McCreight’s J/111 DARK HORSE rounded out the top ten in 9th position.

Sailing in PHRF B class were two J/80s- Mark & Robin Witte’s RAKALI from Leonardtown, MD finished 4th while Clarke McKinney’s FAMILY TRUCKSTER from Solomons Island, MD was 5th in class.  For more Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge sailing information

J/112E sailing offshore in EuropeJ/112E- ORC Worlds Update
(Copenhagen, Denmark)- The ORC World Championship 2016 is organized by KDY and Egaa Sejlklub and taking place out of Skovshoved Habour, just a few kilometers north of Copenhagen. Sailing for the inshore races have been on Öresund, a well known racing venue, renowned for having hosted numerous Worlds, Europeans and Nordic championships. The offshore races have been off the southern part of the Kattegat north of Helsingör, or into the area where Öresund meets the Baltic Sea.

Favorable 8-15 knot conditions on the opening day enabled the PRO to hold three inshore races.  The day was characterized by very tight racing all day.  Leading after the first day in Class C with 59 teams was Bo Teichmann’s J/112E LANCE 12, posting a 2-3-1 scoreline.  The J/112E is being sailed by a mixed German and Dutch team that includes racing legend Bouwe Bekking (famous for both one-design and offshore championships in various classes as both tactician and skipper).   Racing continues until July 23rd.  You can follow their progress here.

J/105s sailing offshoreJ/105 LOULOU Leads Red Grant Regatta
(Perth Amboy, NJ)- On its 151st anniversary, the Raritan Yacht Club, located in Perth Amboy, NJ, hosted the 70th annual Red Grant Regatta in Raritan Bay approximately 10 miles South of the Verrazano Bridge.  The regatta continued its tradition as the largest keelboat regatta in the New York Harbor and New Jersey region.  Forty-six boats raced in various windward/leeward and point-to-point races, including a competitive ten-boat J/105 division.  Competitors benefitted from steady breezes in the 15-knot range and good weather.  There were 3 races on Saturday in warm cloudy weather with 10-15 knots out of the Southeast.

In the J/105 class, Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU took 2 bullets and a 6th to lead Paul Zajac’s SKAL by a point and Mark van Schalkwyk’s CIRCE by 2 points in close racing.

On the second day of the regatta, a front came through along with a fresh Northwest breeze.  SKAL pulled ahead in the first race with Ann & Gary Myer’s MAGIC taking a bullet and moving up to within 3 points of SKAL and tying LOULOU.  LOULOU showed its real potential by coming back to clearly win the last race to take the regatta.

In fact, the last race produced a very compressed fleet, very close racing with all finishing within a few boat lengths.  SKAL got lost in the mix by finishing 9th and MAGIC finished 6th.  In the final results, LOULOU won with 16 points.  MAGIC won the tie breaker over SKAL, both with 22 points.  CIRCE and Marcus Wunderlich’s STRATOS finished just behind with 22 and 25 points, respectively.

The regatta and charity auction proceeds benefited the US Coast Guard Foundation, and Goslings was the primary sponsor.  For more Red Grant Regatta sailing information

J/42 sailing Pacific Cup transpac racePacific Cup Race Update
(San Francisco, CA)- The "FUN Race to Hawaii" from San Francisco to Kaneohe (Oahu) Hawaii has been going for several days for the fleet and, so far, the weather has been producing high average speeds down the course, much to the delight of the various J/teams in the race!  The biennial Pacific Cup has sixty-four entrants for the 2,070 nm course from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Sailing in the Weems & Plath Division B are Ray Sanborn’s J/109 ALOHA from Kaneohe YC in Hawaii; Karl Haflinger’s J/35 SHEARWATER from Corinthian YC Tacoma in Washington; Scott Dickinson’s J/42 TIKI J from Coyote Point YC in San Mateo, CA; and Bill Williams’ J/44 VIAJANTE from Richmond YC in San Francisco, CA.  In the Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D are Graham Ellis’ J/124 ALBION from Encinal YC in Alameda, CA and Scott Campbell’s famous J/46 RIVA from Portland YC in Portland, OR.

Follow these teams on the YellowBrick tracker and you can even cheer them on in the blogs the teams are updating during the race!  Here are some of the latest reports.

July 16th report
After yesterday’s starters blasted out the Gate, they quickly encountered a hole at the Farallones — but they’re now bombing along and heading into strengthening wind that could still carry them to Hawaii in record time. YB Tracker data is showing 19+ kts of boat speed for Rio 100 and 17+ kts for Varuna VI. From the third group of starters, Adrenalin reports beam reaching at 14-17 kts with an occasional 20, under white sails.

J/42 positionOne of the sailors on the J/World Hula Girl team described the early part of their race, “the breeze and waves were our constant companions once we got away from the opening of the Golden Gate. I’m not sure it has dipped under 20 knots yet this race. So for the first 36 hours, it was hard on tight reaching. That means a loud boat as she launches off waves. That means a wet boat, as she lands back in the sea hurling wall of water in the wind, which in turn hurls it at the crew.

On day two we reefed the main again, and went up with the blast reacher. Perfect combo, and proved to be fast and controllable. And while the entire crew was wet, and cold, and uncomfortable, our soggy spirits were lifted to see that we were in second place! So suddenly it is all worth it… and the good stuff should be coming any time now…

The good stuff happens when you cross ridge of the Pacific High and into the SE corner of the semi-permanent Pacific High pressure system that lives in the northern Pacific. This shifts the breeze (and the swells) around behind the boat, and, well, away we go. It’s what makes this race so famous and popular. Well, I’m happy to say that this morning, just after roll call, we shook the reef and set our 4A spinnaker (heavy runner) in some 26 knots of breeze. We are instantly surfing in the 15 knot range and it is trial by fire for the fresh crew!”

Pacific Cup weatherJuly 17th report
Halfway to Hawaii! Overnight, the first of the racers reached their halfway point, but it’s likely that there wasn’t a lot of time for celebration given the big breeze carrying them along at top speeds. The forecast still looks strong and near perfect for the entire fleet with wind speeds in the high teens to mid 20s.

Concerns about the tropical storms are waning, with TS Cecilia moving off to the north and Hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. Closer to Hawaii, racers will be facing squalls, advancing the big dogs and challenging the smaller boats. Everyone will be focused on VMG and gybing in local shifts.

Continuing to hold her first place position in the Weems and Plath Division B, is the J/42 TIKI J. However, others are nipping at her heels, and with half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.

July 18th report
Most of the racers are crossing their halfway point, and the fleet is flying along in 20kt winds that will likely to carry them all the way to the finish. The spinnakers are up, crews are drying out, and the rides are fast. The boats are now in what Stan Honey refers to as the “slot car” segment of the race, with most having gybed to a position that should carry them all the way to Hawaii.

Concerns about the tropical storms have waned, with Cecilia moving off to the north and hurricane Darby forecast to weaken to a tropical storm and track South of Hawaii as it hits cooler waters. The Pacific High has moved west and with the tropical storms coming up from Mexico, strong trade winds are present over the entire fleet. There are close competitions in many of the divisions, but there’s still a long way to go.

In the Weems and Plath Division B, it’s a tight race between the J/42 TIKI J, Encore and RV Aloha with TIKI J holding on to a small lead. With half the race still to go, this will be a competition to watch.  For more Pacific Cup Race sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/22 for Warrior sailing According to Ben Poucher, “Warrior Sailing has been plugging away with 55 new sailors from our basic level camps and 2 advanced level camps completed this summer.  We have also had some great success this year competing in the J/22 and Sonar divisions throughout the country with our competitive team.

We were hosted last weekend by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco for some big breeze training in their J/22s to prepare for the J/22 Worlds this August in Kingston, Ontario.  We are going to train out of College of Charleston August 2-5 in J/22s as our final preparation for the big week from August 19-25th in Canada.

However, we need a J/22 Trailer.  We were donated a J/22 for our own use, but it didn't come with a trailer.  We are looking to have one donated or one for purchase prior to the J/22 worlds in August.  We would need the trailer to be in or around Charleston on the 15th of August!?! Is there any J/22 sailor out there who could help us??

In the meantime, we are looking to expand the program to not only compete in the J/22 open competitions, but also looking to get into some slightly bigger boats for our team.  We have expanded our team and would like to get into a donated J/80, J/105, J/109, or J/111.  I am seeking out potential donations to Warrior Sailing and strategically place these boats in location throughout the US for our team to attend and compete in various classes.  We would also be developing and building adaptive equipment for these boats as we progress.”  If any J/Sailors can help, please contact Ben Poucher - ph 269-598-7119

J/35 sailing New York* One effort to diversify sailing in New York City involves a non-profit called Hudson River Community Sailing, which teaches underprivileged children how to sail, focusing on the mathematics and physics of the sport. Knickerbocker Sailing Association’s annual “Pride Weekend Regatta,” in which members race J/24s up the Hudson, is a fundraiser for Hudson River Community Sailing. Last year, 50 Knickerbocker members competed on 10 boats, their most to date.

“We find ourselves in midtown Manhattan in a Fiat with James Weichert. We make a pit stop in Queens to pick up his friend Martin and his dog Luca, who only understands Spanish, and then we’re bound for City Island, in the Bronx, where Weichert anchors his 35-foot-long J/35 racing boat named RUNAWAY.

RUNAWAY sleeps six, though to say comfortably would be a stretch. But, Weichert says, “You need a crew of six to race it.”

According to Weichert, competitive sailing is experiencing a surge in popularity, thanks mostly to advances in broadcast technology.

“Sailing is less known than some of the other sports because up until very recently it was impossible to get good footage of sailing, because it happens out on the water,” says Weichert. “But now, with drones and the Internet, that’s really changing,”

It’s a rainy Thanksgiving night in Brooklyn, and a friend has invited me into the home of strangers for supper. Laid out on the kitchen table is a spread of bacon-wrapped squash, honey-baked ham, turkey, green beans, brussels sprouts, and all the fixings. In the living room a dozen men are seated in a circle on sofas and folding chairs, plates neatly placed squarely on their laps. Curiosity strikes their faces when one of them rises to his feet.

“I think he’s choking,” says one guest, a doctor, who looks across the room at his boyfriend, also a doctor, who returns the look with a shrug.

The choking victim is our host, and he’s stumbled into the middle of the circle with his face switching patriotically from red to blue to white.

“Are you choking?” asks another guest. The men look around the room at each other. “Is he choking?”

“Yeah, he’s definitely choking,” says another guest.

All the men here have two things in common: their homosexuality and their deep love for sailing. They’ve crossed land and sea, traveling from their houseboats — anchored in New Jersey or Long Island — or their Manhattan apartments, to be together for the holiday.

One person is missing. A great cannonball of a man, who was carving the bird in the kitchen with one hand and holding his lap dog with the other, has picked up on the bother in the adjoining room. He crooks his neck around the corner, tosses the dog and the carving knife, and barrels through the hallway.

“Step aside! I’m a flight attendant!” he shouts. “I save lives!”

He thrusts the host’s head toward the ground, and, with a great, flat-palmed whack between the shoulder blades, a brussels sprout launches from the host’s mouth onto the floor, where our hero’s lap dog scuttles over and devours it.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Dingy,” says the host to the dog through gasps and coughs, the dog still licking up the gooey spot on the carpet.

Uncomfortable laughter and a golf clap cut the tension. The host will live, and he takes his seat.

“Why didn’t you use the Heimlich?” asks one guest.

“No one uses the Heimlich anymore,” says the flight attendant. “It’s outdated.” The doctors nod.

This is my unofficial introduction to a handful of the roughly 150 members of the Knickerbocker Sailing Association, a gay sailing club serving the New York metropolitan area. Gay sailing clubs proliferate around the globe, and there are two other clubs, Boston’s Yankee Cruising Club and the Open Seas Yacht Club in Annapolis, Md., on the Eastern seaboard. What makes Knickerbocker different, members say, is the club’s openness and egalitarian approach to membership. The club consists mostly of crew, rather than being mostly or exclusively made up of boat owners. It welcomes different types of sailors, too: those who go out for leisure and those who race. Its members also span ages, economic backgrounds, sexual identities, and race — sort of."  Read more about the Knickerbocker Sailing Associations experiences in sailing here.

J/133 JUMP owner- Chris Lund in England* J/133 JUMP will be coming to America!  So says Chris Lund of Portsmouth, NH.  “I had the pleasure of traveling to Hamble in Southampton UK this past weekend to pickup J/133 Hull #9 for her journey back to the US. J/133 "Jump" owned by Ian Dewhirst was listed by Key Yachting LTD. The boat was loaded on the M/V Spaarnegacht of Seven Star Yacht Transport for delivery to Baltimore by way of Bermuda. The ship was also loaded with gear and containers in support of the Americas Cup event.

We plan to campaign the boat in New England next year for a combination of buoy and distance racing and aspire to race JUMP at the upcoming Marblehead Halifax and the 2018 Newport Bermuda races.

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent "blogs" written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You'll love it.

* The J/40 HERON REACH sailed by Virginia and Jerry is participating in the Blue Planet Odyssey project and have recently joined them in the Marquesas Islands in the Eastern Pacific.  Learn more about their adventures and experiences here-
Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands* J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!

J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our "blue planet Earth" in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, "The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell 'Painkiller' at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:

* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again, for 2015/ 2016!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update regards their various improvements and refit to the boat (see above).  They will again be based at Proper Yachts in St John, US Virgin Islands.

Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin were interviewed about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called "Retiring on the Open Sea".  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ's Editor desks. Here's the update:

Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers' Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety

Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— "Retiring to the Open Sea"— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.

WSJ- "What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?"

Bill- "In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.

Although long-distance cruising wasn't what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.

People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather."


* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel's big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:

* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at

J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world's oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).

-  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they've gotten to New Zealand- "Avante Cruises the Pacific".

- Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet--she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.