Wednesday, July 5, 2017

J/Newsletter- July 5th, 2017

J/80 World Championship J/80 World Championship Preview
(Hamble, England)- The 16th edition of the J/80 World Championship, is proudly hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. 47 teams from Australia, France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Spain will be competing. 14 races are scheduled to take place in The Solent, providing four days of top class racing for a truly fleet world class fleet.

Viva España!
Spain has been the dominate nation in the J/80 World Championships with eight wins, and Rayco Tabares Alvarez has won the title an unprecedented three times, including the last two years. Rayco is no stranger to the Royal Southern Yacht Club, he was tactician for Jose Maria Torcida's J/70, which was runner up for the J/70 Europeans, hosted by the Royal Southern last month. Alavrez's team is one of four Spanish teams competing. Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg won the J/80 Worlds in 2012 and an Olympic Gold Medal for Spain, in the Finn Class in 1992. Pepequin Orbaneja has placed third and fourth in the last two J/80 World Championships, and Javier Chacártegui Cirerol was fifth in 2016.

Rule Britannia!
25 teams from Great Britain will be competing, and hoping to emulate Great Britain's only J/80 World Champion, Ruairidh Scott in 2005. Another Scotsman, Kevin Sproul is the reigning J/80 UK National Champion, winning his seventh title at the Royal Southern last month. Scottish prowess in the class seems to be growing, Luke Patience is new to the J/80 Class, however the Olympic 470 Silver Medallist reeled off a string of wins at last month's J/80 UK Nationals. Jon Powell pushed Kevin Sproul all the way in this year's UK J/80 Nationals, and several other British skippers showed their pedigree including, Chris Body and Nick Haigh.

Vive la France!
13 teams from France will be competing including; Eric Brezellec, a former French J/80 National Champion and runner up at the 2016 Worlds. Simon Moriceau is the reigning French National Champion and Elodie Bonafous is one of France's top female drivers. Luc Nadal was eighth at the 2016 World Championship. Claire Montécot, owner of French J/80 Startijenn, sits on the French Class Committee and has been working with the UK J Boats agent, Key Yachting, to help promote the event in France.

The Royal Southern Yacht Club will be hosting daily prize givings with refreshments available to all crew. The 2017 J/80 World Champion will be crowned on Friday 14th July, with regatta sponsor Raymarine providing a wealth of top of the range marine electronics.

Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore, Karen Henderson-Williams promises a warm welcome to all competitors. “The Club is honoured to be chosen to host the J/80 World Championship, we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to the club. Our race management team and all of the staff at the clubhouse will be doing their best to make sure that you have an enjoyable and memorable regatta.”  For live updates from the 2017 J/80 World Championship, including video and pictures from the race course.  For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/70 women's teamJ/70 UK Nationals Preview
(Hamble, England)- The Royal Southern YC will be hosting the 2017 J/70 U.K. Nationals in their amazingly fabulous facilities this coming weekend. For many of the crews that are participating in this year’s event, it is a warm-up to both the upcoming Cowes Week in August as well as the J/70 World Championship that is taking place at YC Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy in mid-September.

An all-star line-up of U.K. teams is participating in this year’s regatta.  The top crews include Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, the duo of Calascione/ Ripard on HARLEQUIN, David McLeman’s OFFBEAT, Jeremy Thorp’s PHAN, Ian Wilson’s SOAK RACING, an Jack Davies’ youth Under-25 team on YETI.  For more U.K. J/70 National Championship sailing information

J/70 Petite Terrible sailing fast!173 Teams @ AUDI J/70 World Championship!
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Registration has closed with a record breaking fleet of 173 teams from 25 different nations for the upcoming J/70 World Championship that will be organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of Title Sponsor AUDI and Official Event Sailmaker QUANTUM Sails.

The chance of competing in one of the world's most famous areas for yachting has been a contributing factor in the even-better-than-expected turnout for this J/70 World Championship. J/70s are increasingly popular thanks to the fact that it's easy to sail by all types of sailors; such as top women (like the famous Italian Claudia Rossi and the famous Russian Valeriya Kovalenko), kids, family and friends.

These are the words of Edoardo Recchi YCCS Sporting Director, “we are very happy with the record number of registered participants, it's the fruit of a project we began in 2015 when the YCCS bought a fleet of eight J/70s. We have gotten to know the J/70 both in the water and on the shore, it is an amazing and versatile boat for our membership here at YCCS. In 2016 we held ten regattas for J/70s, and this has given us a solid basis of experience that we will use to prepare for the arrival of a fleet that is more than double the size of the one that participated in last year's World Championship in America."

"The most challenging part of the event for the YCCS will be organizing the complicated logistics of the arrival, the measuring of such a large fleet of more than 1,000 sailors!! We want to meet the needs of all the teams that are arriving in Porto Cervo from twenty-five different nations in the best and most efficient way possible. We are planning carefully for this World Championship because we know it will be a demanding event for our Club, both on land and on the water. But for sure the size of the fleet that has registered to come and race here is already a success and it is guaranteed to be a thrill to see so many boats on the water. We have never seen a J/70 fleet this large," said Edoardo Recchi.

Amongst the many names present the current World Champion, Joel Ronning owner/helmsman of Catapult. Another name to watch is that of the current European Champion, the 24-year-old Claudia Rossi who will be helming her Petite Terrible.  Want to know more?  Check out registrations for the AUDI J/70 World Championship here

J/70 sailing upwindSail Newport Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- The largest regatta of Newport’s summer sailing for one-design sailboats has always been the Sail Newport Regatta that takes place in the beginning of July. In a fleet of seventy keelboats, it is not surprising that thirty-nine are J/crews (55% of keelboats) competing in two of the world’s leading keelboat classes- the J/70 and J/24.

With twenty-eight crews, the J/70s are unquestionably the marquee fleet of the event, with more than half of the total sailors participating. For a modest-sized fleet, the depth of talent is considerable; from various classes there are Olympic and Pan Am Medallists, plus World, European, North American and National Champions all represented in just half of the teams entered!  It is no joke, virtually every team has multiple podium finishes, so the “training” mission for many are a simple measure for the upcoming J/70 Corinthians Nationals in Buzzards Bay in August and the J/70 North Americans at American YC in October.

“Who’s on first in the J/70 fleet”?? You would do better to handicap the Kentucky Derby horse race than this assorted crew of both amateur and professional tactical assassins! What many do not know is that many teams have mainsheet trimmers and tacticians that make the Glenn Ashby’s of the world (Australian skipper for ETNZ) incredibly anxious in real-world one-design situations! For starters, there is Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING (with brother’s Jay & Jody Lutz from Houston, TX aboard that are Pan Am Games Gold Medallists), then there are Corinthian’s Winners like Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY from American YC; then Glenn Darden’s HOSS (Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee on tactics/mainsheet trim); and Corinthians Champions Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY; and both J/70 World Corinthians and J/70 North American Champions Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE; Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE; Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY (2nd at the recent J/70 Europeans); Doug Clark’s POLAR with a US Coast Guard Academy Sailing Team; John Brim’s RIMETTE (with Taylor Canfield- World Match Racing Champion); Will Welles’ SCAMP (J/24 World & North American Champion); Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE (Women’s World Champion); Dave Franzel’s SPRING (Corinthians Champion); John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES (two-times QUANTUM Winter Series Champions); and Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS (a J/105 champion).  Who’s left?  Plenty of other amazing talent that have proven they can upset this apple cart, that is for sure!!  The J/70 class is famous for upcoming teams to rapidly re-arrange the pecking order!

In the world of J/24s, there are even more World and North American Champions in the fleet of a dozen boats.  On a percentage basis, the J/24s might even have the J/70s beat in terms of World Titles!! That would make a good debate around the proverbial beer tap!! In the mix are Steve Kirkpatrick’s BUCKSHOT, the John Mollicone/Ogden duo on HELLY HANSEN, Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER, and Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS.  For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information

J/Gear Special- 20% offJ/Gear Special!
(Newport, RI)- From now until July 20th, 2017, enjoy the simple lines and full-on function of the J Stretch Fleece ½ Zip makes layering on and off the water a practical solution. Our warm polyester stretch fleece with a comfortable flat-locked seam construction allows liberal movement. Marmot quality and durability through out!  Click here for a 20% OFF SPECIAL.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

If it’s 4th of July weekend in America, it must be the time to celebrate Independence Day.  While true, the biggest celebration for sailing in the world may still be the Island Sailing Club’s famous 53nm Round Island Race took place last weekend for 1,342 entries- that was about 7,500+ sailors all on the water by dawn on the capricious Solent.  First starters took off by 0600 hrs the famous Royal Yacht Squadron line at Cowes, Isle of Wight on the south shore of the United Kingdom. There were many great performances amongst J/teams, the most notable was the latest cruiser-racer- the J/112E.  Read about their amazing experience in Paul Heys’ report below!

While the Round Island Race was taking place, which had two dozen J/70s doing the course, there were four other major J/70 sailing events taking place all across Europe.  For starters, the Scandinavians just held their GRUNDIG J/70 Nordic Championship off Hanko, Norway and hosted by the Royal Norwegian YC (KNS).  Then, next door (off to the east), literally, the Finish J/70 sailing league sailed their first event off Marianhamina, Finland.  Then heading further south in Europe, the Deutsche Segel-bundesliga, the German J/70 sailing league, sailed their third event off Warnemunde, Germany along the North Sea.  And south of them along the same coastline, the Dutch J/70 sailing league sailed their second event off Aalsmeer, Netherlands.

During the American Independence Day holiday weekend, the Riverside YC held their popular Stratford Shoal Race, an event that included J/105s, J/124, J/88, J/109, and J/92.  Then, out on the Pacific coast, the Transpac YC started the first two divisions of boats for their bi-annual Transpac Race that goes from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI- a 2,225nm epic adventure for the intrepid fleet of 55 boats.  Already, the J/105 and two J/125s are flying down the mostly downwind track!

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:

Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England
Jul 6-9- U.K. J/70 National Championship- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 7- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 7-9- The Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 7-9- Vineyard Cup- Vineyard Haven, MA
Jul 8-14- J/80 World Championship- Hamble, England
Jul 14- Lake Ontario 300 Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jul 14-16- Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge- Annapolis, MD
Jul 15- Chicago to Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 15-16- J/70 Pacific Coast Championship- San Francisco, CA
Jul 20-23- J/22 North American Championship- Buffalo, NY
Jul 21-23- J/FEST Great Lakes- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Jul 22- Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 22-23- Fiesta Cup Regatta- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 27-30- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 28-30- CAN-AM Challenge- Youngstown, NY
Jul 28-30- J/88 North American Championship- Youngstown NY
Jul 29- Aug 5- Cowes Race Week- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 29- J/FEST Annapolis- Annapolis, MD
Aug 3-5- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- South Dartmouth, MA
Aug 3-5- Buzzards Bay Regatta- South Dartmouth, MA

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

J/112E sailing the Round Island RaceFast Round Island Race!
J/112E Posts Thrilling Victory!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- This year’s annual Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, was one of the faster circumnavigations of the 53.2nm circuit around the Isle of Wight!  This year’s race attracted 1,342 entries comprising about 14,000 sailors.

In general, many J/Teams did quite well, garnering their fair share of the silverware in each of their classes.  Here is the report from Paul Heys who sailed aboard the new J/112E DAVANTI TYRES experiencing her debut in the world-famous Round Island Race!

“A week before the race, long-time J/owner Chaz Ivill and I came up with a plan for a last minute summer campaign.

Our first requirement was for a fast boat and we knew where to look; J/Europe and J/Composites President Didier LeMoal had built and prepared a brand new J/112E. This was a GP (Grand Prix) version with full race upgrades. Since launching in March the boat named J/LANCE had entered and won four straight regattas and races!

The spec included an IRC-friendly keel without bulb, Axxon high modulus carbon mast with carbon spreaders, carbon boom, carbon sprit and carbon steering wheel.

Sails were designed by Laurent Deage of North Sails France and built of 3Di all-carbon racing fibers. The sailing instruments were an all B&G H5000 system with a Zeus-3 plotter.

A deal was agreed and I travelled down to Les Sables D’Olonne. We un-rigged the boat and loaded her onto a truck on Tuesday morning.  Over lunch, I discussed with Didier boat tuning settings and some of the new features on the boat; such as the mast lock on the jib halyard and the integral hydraulic mast jack that enabled quick rig tension adjustment in between races.

The boat arrived in Southampton from France by Thursday morning.  She was moved to Hamble Point Marina where she was re-rigged and launched on the Hamble River. In honor of our sponsor, Chaz renamed her DAVANTI TYRES.

J/122 sailing Round Island RaceWe used Facebook to find a crew and were lucky to get a great team!!  On the bow, we had Jack Daniels (no joke, that is his name, not the American scotch whisky!), a young, strong, university student who often races with his father Chris aboard the family J/122e BLACKJACK II. Backing up Jack was our only lady, 19 yr old Nina Luckmann from Cowes. This was Nina’s first big boat race and her first views of the South side of the island!  On mast and then serving as a downwind helmsman, was Stewart Hawthorn; Stewart has owned many J’s since 1993 and won many, many races. The pit was run by Nick Stone, the Bristol-based owner of the J/109 ROLLER COASTER.  Simon Carter and Will Lane took care of jib trim. Dave Chisholm hung up his foiling moth gear and took care of mainsheet and provided the crew assorted Round the Island anecdotes.  Ex-J/109 and J/133 owner Jonathan Goring took care of navigation and stories from the craziness of the America’s Cup in Bermuda. Owner Chaz Ivill helmed and took care of crew morale. I made sandwiches and served drinks!

The forecast promised a swift, warm, dry race and for us on DAVANTI TYRES, that was the case.  We did not get rained on and the wind held for our 6hr 50min circumnavigation of the island!

J/122 sailing Round Island RaceThe first leg, a fetch on starboard tack out of the Solent, saw boats from both ends of the start line arriving at Hurst Castle at the western end of the Solent quite close to each other.  The cleaner wind at the mainland (starboard side) of the fleet countered the tidal advantage of the island side. The eventual overall race winner YES popped out at the front on the start line and managed to hold her lead and clean air very well. We, too, had a good start, but were gently out dragged by a number of 40 ft plus boats, we certainly seemed to hold our own against boats of our size even though many of them rated higher. At times, seeing 11 knots over the ground, we were soon through Hurst Castle straits headed to the famous Needles Lighthouse (the red & white candy cane striped tower). Some of the leaders in the field popped Code 0’s. Sadly, we lacked such a sail, which would have been a huge advantage.  Instead, we had to choose the correct time for a spinnaker set and then negotiating the inside channel at the Needles.  At the Needles, we took the inside line and gained a great many places. We then gybed onto port tack for a long run against the tide to St Catherine’s Point- the next major turning point.

Our downwind speed was good flying an A2 at 165 TWA.  Some of our rivals that set large spinnaker staysails laid St Catherine’s Point on one gybe.  We could not, so we performed a couple of gybes at the very end of the leg, utilizing the counter current that runs close to the beach approaching the headland.

We felt in good shape at this mid-way point; most boats we were with had to give us time and we were half way around the course.

Classics and J/109s- perfect sailing juxtaposition of Round IslandThe leg from St Catherine’s to Dunnose Point saw the wind increase in strong gusts and was now further forward. Boats inshore that could handle the gusts did better than the boats offshore that had a more manageable ride but much stronger foul tide. The 112E was tremendous on this leg, with swift reactions of the helm and trimmers and the crew hiking hard, we remained in control while many boats around us were broaching. The boat is super stiff and the rudder well balanced and with tremendous grip, we gained many places on this leg.

Looking ahead, we could see a white sail procession across Sandown Bay, so we knew a spinnaker drop before Dunnose would be required. This was a tricky maneuver in strong gusts, but our crew pulled off takedown flawlessly.

The leg from Dunnose to Bembridge Ledge buoy was a fetch with the code 2 jib on the outside lead, barber-hauled outboard. Many boats sailed higher to search for a tidal advantage. We straight-lined it, which paid until the last mile or two when some of the windward boats came down over and passed us. In fairness to Stewart, he called that strategy and the collective crew over-ruled him! Doh!!

We came hard on the wind on port tack at Bembridge Ledge buoy at the eastern end of the Isle of Wight.  We were surrounded by higher rating boats that were generally longer, and thus faster than us.  We tried to avoid wind shadows and too many right of way issues.  We worked the inside line closer to the island, it seemed advantageous from a tidal perspective.

J/110 sailing fast on Round Island RaceFrom Ryde Sands onwards to the finish off the Royal Yacht Squadron, it was a full beat against the tide, mostly on starboard tack. In close tacking maneuvers, the boat excelled, we could pick off the forty-footers that were nearby. Once clear of Ryde Sands shoals, we settled down on the long leg toward Osborne Bay. Some boats had tacked inside us, seeking tidal relief behind Peel Bank.  Because of our relatively small size, we positioned ourselves slightly to windward of the pack.  We could see one of our class rivals- Red Shift- a long distance ahead.  We found that we were gaining both height and distance on her and on pretty much all the boats inshore of us.

A quarter of the way up the leg, Jack up on the bow asked, “can you see the yacht Incognito?” He wasn’t joking. The question threw Dave Chisholm into a tizzy, if the yacht was Incognito, how would he recognize it? Once we had calmed Dave down, Jack explained that he was viewing the tracker on his phone (damn kids!) and that at this stage there were just two boats in our class ahead of us- Red Shift and Incognito. At this point, Incognito (a very well-sailed First 40.7) appeared on port tack below us.  Amazingly, they were not able to cross us, so they tacked below our line.  We were now probably winning our class on handicap. However, this was not good enough for Jonathan! He reminded us of a regatta we had sailed with Glen Bourke; Glen refused to understand handicap racing and was only interested in beating all rivals no matter their size, on the water!! Jonathan suggested to Chaz, that anything less than line honours would be a failure!! Those were fighting words, indeed!!

While great upwind speed and height had brought us to the front of our fleet, we now had to negotiate the corner of Norris Castle, with its fickle breeze and strong foul tide.  About the time we got there, we were experiencing the rolling wind-shadows of the big Clipper 72’s going by to weather of us.

Nevertheless, once we had passed the Sunfast 3600 Redshift, we extended on them quickly.  However, the First 40.7 Incognito was a much tougher proposition.  We traded places with them twice as we played the shifts before we claimed class line honours and the handicap win!!

Chaz, who has owned a great many J’s, said the J/112E is the best one yet!  So, thanks and hats off to Al J and the J/Design team in Rhode Island and to Didier and his J/Composites team in Les Sables!  Amazing boat!  We now we look forward to Cowes Week and the J/Cup in Torquay!”

The J/112E was not the only winner of the one hundred nine J/crews sailing on Saturday.  In fact, there were many winners and podiums for J/crews in the 14 classes.

The J/88s had a helluva run, rounding the island in just under 8 hours.  The top two boats finished virtually overlapped, with JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper) getting the gun at 7:43:29, just four seconds better than TIGRIS (Gavin Howe)!!  That was a nail-biter of a race for both boats with many an anxious moment on the final beat into the finish line!  Just over 23 minutes behind was JUMUNU FIVE (Alistair Ray) taking the bronze.  The balance of the top five was EAT SLEEP J REPEAT (Nick Martin) and RAJING BULL (Tim Tolcher), 4th and 5th, respectively.

J/109 sailing Round Island RaceIncredibly, the fastest J/70s nearly got around the island as fast as the top five J/88s!  Winning the class by a significant margin was the Under 25 crew of YETI, helmed by Jack Davies (a past Cowes Week U25 winner)! Their elapsed time was 8:09:09, over six minutes clear of the second place 70 team, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC crew.  Third was JACKAL, fourth JENGA 8, and fifth VALKYRIE.

The J/80 fleet saw a real battle all the way to the finish for the top three boats. From Ryde Sands to the finish line, it was a nip-n-tuck fight.  In the end, the first two boats finished overlapped with Andrew Hurst’s FIDUCIAL (publisher of the famous SEAHORSE magazine in Lymington, Hants) taking the win by one second, in a time of 8:17:49.  The short end of that stick went to Chris & Cecil Wright’s JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH, having to settle for the silver.  Nevertheless, in the hunt for quite some time and finishing just one minute behind them in third position was Claire Montécot’s French team on STARTIJENN. Fourth was Terence O'Neill’s AQUA-J and fifth went to JEMINI.

In IRC 1A Division, top J was the J/122 JAHMALI (Mike & Sarah Wallis), taking second place.  They were followed by the J/133 GICQUEL ASSOCIES (Ernest Gicquel) in 4th place, the J/111 JELVIS (Martin Dent) in 7th, the J/111 McFLY (Tony Mack) in 8th, and the J/122 R&W (Andy Theobold) in 9th place.  In total, J’s were half the top ten!

The IRC 2A Division saw a strong showing by the 35-foot J/crews.  Taking 2nd was the J/109 JIRAFFE (Simon Perry), the J/109 DIAMOND JEM (Robert Stiles) was 3rd, the J/35 KNIGHT BUILD LTD (James Chalmers) took 4th, the J/109 JAM SESSION (Dennis Zuidam from The Netherlands) finished 6th and the J/109 JUBILEE (Chris Preston) placed 8th. In all, also half the top ten!

J105 off Isle of WightThe enormous IRC 2B class is pretty much populated by all 35-foot J/teams, an unfortunate scenario for their many competitors.  Not surprisingly, J’s took 8 of the top ten! It was a battle of the J/105s and J/109s.  It was about an even split down the standings.  Taking 2nd was the J/105 JIN TONIC (Andy Roberts), 3rd the J/109 JUDGEMENT DAY (Richard Marsden & Emma Toman), 4th the J/105 JELLY BABY (William Newton), 5th the J/105 REDEYE (Pip & Pete Tyler), 7th the J/109 BLUE JAY (Alan Bennett), 8th the J/105 JOS OF HAMBLE (Professor Roger Williams, CBE), 9th the J/109 JURA (Colin Walker), and 10th the J/109 JAGO (Mike & Susie Yates).

Most of IRC 2D class was comprised of J/Crews.  Finishing 3rd was the J/97 HIGH JINKS (Mike Sellers / Chris Miles), 4th the J/97 BLACKJACK II (Andy Howe), 7th the J/92 JABBERWOCK (Ralph Mason), 8th the pretty J/110 SHADES OF BLUE (Ed Holton), 9th the J/97 JAYWALKER (Bob & Jon Baker), and 10th J/97 JET (James & John Owen)- that’s 6 of the top 10!

The Greenhalgh family, as usual, sailed a very nice race in IRC 3A class.  They were rewarded for their efforts by taking a 5th in class on their J/92 J’RONIMO.

J/88 polka dots sailing Round Island RaceBesides the IRC handicap classes, the local “beer can racing rule” popularized by Island Sailing Club- the ISC Rating System- a.k.a. ISCRS had enormous participation. In the ISCRS 4B class the J/109 SQUIBS (Ken Raby) was 6th and the pretty navy blue J/124 ECLIPSE (Robert Bishop) was 14th.

In ISCRS 4D class was the world-famous black-hulled J/36 JAZZ (formerly designer Rod Johnstone’s personal boat), sailed by Norm Curnow and Tim Stoneman.  They kept it all together and finished a very respectable 10th!

Winning the ISCRS 5B class was Andrew Norton’s pretty blue J/100 TIDERACE!  She won by the incredible margin of 23+ minutes corrected over the second place boat!

Celebrating 40 years plying the world’s seven seas and the hundreds of J/24s that have gone around island before were a trio of J/24s in this years race!  In the end, it was the All Under 21 crew of George Kennedy’s NORTHSHORE HOMES that took home the silver medal!  Good on ya mates! Close behind was Quinton Hall’s JABULANI (sailing with “good friends and my loving wife”), taking 5th place.  And, the last J/Boat to get around was Roger Ayres’ J-RIDER taking 11th in class and finishing at 16:04:36 in the afternoon on Saturday, just in time for the PIMM’s Party at the Island Sailing Club!  For more Round The Island Race sailing information

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

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

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

J/70 womens Netherlands sailing teamWSV Almere Centraal Lead Dutch J/70 Sailing League
(Aalsmeer, Netherlands)-  The local team of WSV Almere Centraal won the second act of the Dutch J/70 Sailing League on their home waters of the Aalsmeer.  Finishing second was WSV Giesbeek and SZ & WV Uitdam took the bronze. With this result the WSV Almere Centraal team have taken the overall lead in the series, overtaking Jachtclub Scheveningen and holding on to a five point gap over second place SZ & WV Uitdam.

In total, 45 races have been sailed in very different circumstances. There are three more events left in 2017.

Women J/70 sailing team kicking ass!!The leader of the WSV Almere team, Alex Hoeve, had the following comment, “we had a lot of wind. Occasionally even 20-25 knots. And everybody on our team was fine with that. I saw many exciting matches, and there are many tactical hazards out there! The performance level of all the teams has risen significantly!!”

What was also noticeable for this event was that Jachtclub Scheveningen was struggling in the bigger breezes over the weekend.  They had disappointing results at Aalsmeer, uncharacteristically winning just two races in the fifteen total that they sailed over the two days.  They ended up in fifth place, the principal reason why the fell down to third in the overall series standings.

After a second place at the first event in Almere, the WSV Almere Centraal team is getting their act together. Willem-Jan van Dort is the driving force behind this team. Van Dort has a range of trimming and sailing and brings a lot of experience on board.

"We are extremely pleased. The sailing league level has risen a lot compared with last year. The weather has been exciting this year, great breeze this weekend! It is very close racing. Each race can change your position in the overall rankings very fast! That makes it very fun. The mutual respect and atmosphere between the teams is also very cool.  So, yes, we are very happy and satisfied with our performance this weekend!“

J/70s sailing women Dutch Netherlands leagueWik Becker was also new for their team and made an impressive debut. “It was fantastic sailing, of course. The level is very high. I joined a team that was last year’s national champion, so the pressure was also very high. But, I think we are a good team. Clear communication, clear task allocation on board and we evaluate our performance after each race."

Another talented crew member for WSC AC is Yuri Hummel, a world-class Laser sailor that wants to represent the Netherlands in Tokyo at the Olympic Games sailing the Laser. This is his second time around in the sailing league for WSV AC. How did Hummel experience that? He commented on their performance, “This is very cool. The pressure on us, of course, is obvious. WSV AC was champion last year. We have to go well. Last time in Almere, we went well and got second.  And, this time, it's a bit better, first is good!”

The fourth WSV AC crew member, Rinse Ubbink, was front man doing the spinnaker work.  He looks forward to the next round at The Hague on the North Sea. How do you prepare for Scheveningen? "We are well-prepared for big seas and big winds! We are going to train in advance with the team that will be sailing offshore.  We can’t wait!"  Follow the Dutch J/70 Sailing League on Facebook  For more Dutch J/70 Sailing League information

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

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

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

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

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

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

German Sailing League- Audi Deutsche SegelBundesligaGerman J/70 Sailing League Update
(Warnemünde, Germany)-For the second time in the history of the German Sailing League (DSBL) an event was held in front of Warnemünde on the big open waters of the North Sea. For three days, eighteen clubs in the 2nd Sailing League fought for important points that could enable them to qualify for the 1st League.

Warnemünde is a source of great excitement for sailors, spectators and the responsible people.  "The spectacular sailing area for the regatta is directly in front of the magnificent beach of Warnemunde.  Plus, it is famous for its near-perfect sailing conditions, especially its local sea breezes. We are looking forward to three exciting event days," explained Deutsche Segel Bundesliga project manager- Laura Hatje.

No question that Ms Matje’s predictions were spot on!  The teams enjoyed demanding, but fantastic sailing conditions, for the third event of the 2nd Sailing League, with steady 18-20 kt breezes each day! After 45 tight head-to-head races, victory came down to the wire for the ultimate regatta winner- Joersfelder Segel-club and their crew of Christoph Cornelius, Timo Chorrosch, Jeronimo Landauer and Daniel Schwarze.

"We had a perfect event here in Warnemünde. It was so exciting and we did not know until the end whether it was enough for the first place. This was a huge victory for us," said a euphoric Timo Chorrosch of JSC.

J/70 sailing off Wartemunde, GermanyAs a result of winning the third event, the Joersfelder SC has now moved up to 7th in the overall standings, a considerable improvement after their disastrous debut in the first event at Prien am Chiemsee- a 15th place.  Taking second was Akademishcer Segelverein Warnemunde, the local favorites!  This result moved them into third in the overall series standings.  Taking third in the regatta was Seglervereinigung Itzehoe, that enabled them to hold on to their overall series lead by three points over the Flensburger Segel-club team (who finished 4th at Warnemunde).

The next event for the Deutsche Segel-bundesliga for both the 1st and 2nd sailing league takes place in Travemünde from July 21st to 23rd.   Follow the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga on Facebook  For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information

J/125 ResoluteTranspac Race Update
(Los Angeles, CA)- 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race has starts on July 3rd, 5th, and 6th for the course from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away. Among the 55 entrants, there will be extra anticipation for the one of the boats to start on that final day, as Paul Allen reports for Adventure Sports Journal.

The cold 57-degree water sprays over the bow as the crew stacks heavy sails on one side for stability. Not long after the stack of sails is secured, it’s time to change sails. All hands are required to raise the new sail and pull the old sail down as the boat leaps over the waves. A crew member on the leeward side vomits over the side and quickly returns to his task, for there is no time for seasickness.

The boat continues to pound and smash through waves into the night. The next day comes and another sail change is needed. This time it’s a sail change to accommodate downwind sailing. The boat begins to surf down the large following swell instead of smashing into it. This is typical of the first 24 hours of the 2,225- mile race from Los Angeles to Honolulu known as the Transpac.

For the next several days of downwind sailing the air and wind will get warmer as the boat enters the tropical tradewinds. Evening squalls must be handled with caution and efficiency to gain the most from their high winds. The finish line off the Diamond Head lighthouse is among the best in yacht racing and is often the warmest and windiest part of the entire course.

Monday start
Seventeen yachts, including Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from San Diego YC, set off on Monday, July 3rd in the first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race. Under sunny skies and light winds, the fleet left the start area promptly at the start signal of 1:00 PM local time to head west towards the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2,225nm away.

This was both an end and a beginning for these teams: an end of months and even years of preparation and planning, and likely a welcome relief after this arduous task, especially those doing the race for the first time. Finally setting out to sea will be a break from all the endless checklists that go along with planning a race of this length and endurance.

And of course, the race is also the beginning of an adventure of many days and even weeks of sailing ahead, where crew camaraderie, seamanship, navigation and strategy and other skills will be tested. The best in each division will be rewarded with trophies and prizes at the end of the race, but even those who do not fare well will be rewarded with the satisfaction of having completed one of the world’s oldest and greatest ocean races.

The morning started with a parade of boats out of Rainbow Harbor en route to the start, with friends, family and well-wishers lining the shore to wish the fleet a fast and safe passage to Hawaii.

The weather at the start featured a pleasant westerly sea breeze and enough sun to reduce the chill of the coastal water, which for the teams will get colder as they head west into the first few nights of the race.

The long-term forecast for this fleet is for the typical northwest coastal winds to start out to be moderate in strength, and as the fleet moves south and west it will bend more towards the northeast and become the famous downwind slide to Hawaii.

While the wind speeds in the current forecast do not show to be very strong, the pattern does look more typical and normal to this time of year than that experienced in the unusual El Nino conditions experienced in the last race in 2015.

Wednesday start
On Wednesday, July 5th, the second wave of three divisions started and left Pt Fermin in a pleasant 8-10 knot Southern California seabreeze, en route to a finish line awaiting them 2225 miles away at Diamond Head in Honolulu.  The group of 16 boats in Divisions 3 and 4 were today faster and livelier than the cruiser/racers crossing the line on the first start (July 3), with plenty of action and even one boat over the start line at the gun.  Starting in that fleet were two notoriously fast J/125s- Frank Atkinson’s RAISIN’ CANE from West Palm Beach, FL and Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE from San Diego YC.

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

J/105s Dominate Doublehanded Class @ Stratford Shoal Race
(Stratford, CT)- This past 4th of July Independence Day weekend marks the annual mad 45nm offshore dash from Riverside, CT to the Stratford Shoal Light and back to the finish link just off the club.  This was the 86th edition of the Stratford Shoal Race, hosted by the Riverside YC on Long Island Sound.

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

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