Wednesday, October 18, 2017

J/Newsletter- October 18th, 2017

J/121 sailing under spinnaker
J/121 Boat Show & Offshore Test Update
(Annapolis to Newport)- The debut of the new J/121 Offshore Speedster in the Newport and Annapolis Sailboat Shows was welcomed by enthusiastic J/sailors from across the spectrum of experience.  Long-distance offshore cruisers, one-design offshore racers, and a number of performance-oriented couples that enjoy coastal cruising without having to turn on the “iron genny”, were all quite passionate about what the J/121 had to offer to them.

J/121 offshore speedster- Annapolis docksWhile the overall response to the 1-2-1 at the shows was fantastically positive, what we had yet to learn about the boat in all sea-trials to date was how would she perform offshore in the conditions she was designed for.  On the first delivery from Newport to Annapolis, the remnants of a hurricane delayed the departure date, and created difficult conditions for delivering a brand new boat.  As a result, it was mostly motoring under the J4 jib or motoring period.  However, after a fantastic reception at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, it was clear that after the three days of media reviews, testing, and demos, the weather window might permit an excellent chance to determine how the 1-2-1 behaved in reaching conditions offshore.  Here is Clay Burkhalter’s report delivering the J/121 from Annapolis to Newport:

“On Saturday October 14th, Andy Williams, Arturo Pilar and I moved the new J/121, INCOGNITO, from Annapolis to Newport. I have been delivering boats for 38 years, and despite being a partner in two restaurants, I still manage to do 5 or 6 offshore trips each year. To the extent that I still do any racing, it is almost exclusively offshore… the Mini Transat 10 years ago, numerous Newport to Bermuda races and the occasional Bermuda 1-2, including the 2017 race in which I competed on a J/133. So it was with great anticipation that we’d be testing out the J/121 in the 20-25 knot southwest breeze predicted offshore between Cape May and Montauk, starting on Sunday morning.

J/121 offshore speedsterAfter motoring north up the Chesapeake in no wind, we passed through the C&D canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay with Delaware Bay, across the top of the state of Delaware.  We continued to motor south in Delaware Bay and rounded Cape May about 0600 on Sunday, heading northeast, still motoring in no wind.  At 1100, the breeze started to fill in and within 30 minutes, it was blowing 15 knots. By sunset, the winds would build to 25 knots with seas of four to six feet.

Typically, on deliveries, I am cautious about sail choice, often reefing early and rarely using spinnakers. The risk of damage to sails, rigging, and steering increases dramatically when pushing a boat with too much sail up. It’s one thing to have a problem on your own boat, but entirely different when you have to explain to an owner that the sails are now ready to donate to the folks who make fashion bags from sail material.

However, I knew the J/121 had yet to be sailed in the offshore conditions it was designed for, and since Al and Jeff Johnstone are my cousins, I figured they might be more understanding if we dialed the boat up a bit and see what she could do… so after a lame attempt at sailing deep with the main and the jib (Montauk was almost dead downwind, 200 miles away), we hoisted the A4 heavy weather spinnaker, and bang, we were off and running. It was an exciting moment for us as the boat instantly accelerated to double-digit speeds.

J/121 offshore speedster- going fastThere was a leftover east-southeast swell combining with a new southwest wind wave; which made for challenging steering at the outset.  We then filled the starboard water-ballast tank to about 65%; and instantly the motion on-board smoothed out and INCOGNITO began to slide through the waves like she was on rails. Speeds became more consistent and steering was effortless.  We also soon realized, that despite the occasional roll at the bottom of a wave, combined with a puff, and perhaps a momentary lapse in steering concentration, if the boat got to 100 degrees APA (apparent wind angle) and wanted to keep going, it was easy to steer her back to our course average of 120 degrees AWA . . . no blowing the vang, easing the main sheet or releasing the spinnaker sheet. After the first hour, we sailed with those controls cleated and simply steered to the kite, it was that easy to steer. With three crew, one could rest below, while the other two maintained watch.

The ease at which the boat accelerated and sustained its speed was incredible. In 18 kts TWS (true wind speed) we were averaging 10.5 and surfing at 13 to 14 kts. In 22 kts TWS, we were doing a steady 12-13 kts and surfing for sustained periods at 14-16 kts, running up and over waves ahead.  And in 24-25 kts TWS, we were doing 13.5 to 14 kts consistently and surfing at 16 to 18.5 kts quite easily.  Needless to say, for all those who steered her in these conditions, it left everyone with a big grin on their face!

I often reach a point on a boat where I say to myself, I don’t want to go this fast. . it could be the keel and rudder vibrating excessively, the bow submarining in waves, steering on the edge of control, and so forth.  Not once did we have a panicked feeling on board the 1-2-1, and not once in seven hours did someone have to lunge for a sail control to put the brakes on an incredible ride!!  Ease-of-handling is great no matter how many crew are on-board, but it’s especially critical when you’re out there way offshore, short-handed, tired, and steering for hours-on-end, or when the autopilot is running the show. The easier the boat steers in demanding conditions, the less fatigue and also the less drain on your batteries when you’re on autopilot!!

J/121 sailing at sunsetAt sunset, the delivery side of my persona kicked in. knowing that the chances for problems ramp up significantly after dark, so we snuffed the spinnaker and put it below decks.

We then sailed with mainsail-only Sunday evening and Monday morning at 160 degrees AWA, heading for Block Island, averaging 9.5 knots in 25 knots of wind.

As we slid by Block Island, we considered continuing on, over the horizon. . thinking maybe we could send a note to Jeff to let him know that the son of a deceased Nigerian King would be wiring money to the J/Boats account. . he would just need to send along his bank account details.”  For more J/121 Offshore Speedster sailing information

J/133 sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceROLEX Middle Sea Race Preview
(Gzira, Malta)- Starting and finishing in Malta, an island often referred to as the ‘Crossroads of the Mediterranean’, the Rolex Middle Sea Race is an international competition of distinction and an offshore race par excellence. The proof lies in the numbers. Registrations for this year’s 38th edition come from yachts representing 30 different countries. The expected number of race starters from Valletta’s Grand Harbour on Saturday 21 October is on course to challenge the record of 122 yachts set in 2014.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC), bears all of the hallmarks and qualities of a Rolex-partnered offshore race. Its 608nm course, principally a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Sicily, is tactically and navigationally challenging. Frequent corners lead into different geographical segments and expose the fleet to changing weather patterns. With most crews expected to spend at least five nights at sea, it is an exacting test of resources, requiring mental fortitude, excellent preparation and shrewd anticipation, as well as an ability to make precise decisions in a pressured environment. Teamwork and seamanship are vital to succeed.

Rolex Middle Sea Race courseThe Rolex Middle Sea Race course is 608 nautical miles long and is sailed counter-clockwise. Starting from the Grand Harbour, Valletta, beneath Fort St Angelo and the Saluting Battery in Valletta, the fleet head north along the eastern coasts of Sicily up towards the Straits of Messina. Mt Etna is usually visible on the fleets’ port side, billowing ashes and lava throughout the night. Once through the Straits, the course leads north to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli where the yachts turn west to the Egadi Islands.

Passing between Marettimo and Favignana, the crews head south towards the island of Lampedusa leaving Pantelleria to port.

Once past Lampedusa the fleet turns northeast on the final leg towards the South Comino Channel and the finish at Marsamxett Harbour. En route the crews take in an amazing diversity of landscape and sea conditions, all of which combine to create the attraction and challenge of the race.

There is no doubt that Maltese skippers are competitive and have a long and proud participation in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Malta has produced overall race winners on seven occasions, most recently in 2014. Crews regularly feature on the Class podiums.

This year the Maltese flag will be flown by several boats, including the J/122 OTRA VEZ, a boat with a strong association with the race. This year there is a twist, with the J/122 entrusted to Sean Arrigo and Brian Flahive who will be flying the Maltese flag in the IRC Doublehanded Class.

J/122 Otra Vez sailing Middle Sea RaceSean Arrigo is looking forward to another adventure, “having decided to go doublehanded for this year’s race brought some anxiety, but most of all, excitement, and the urge to do well. Preparations are well-advanced, with some final touches and tweaks to lines and hardware. We also feel that we’re well-prepared mentally and physically, thanks to dedicated training, something quite new to us, but very effective! Finally and above all, we want to enjoy ourselves.”

In addition to OTRA VEZ, a Russian team on yet another J/122 will be joining them in the IRC Double-handed Class.  Calling themselves STELLAR RACING TEAM, the Russian crew of Dmitry Kondratyev & Alexander Grudnin have become students of the race, are fast learners, very tough, and don’t be surprised if they are contending at the end for class honors.

Then, in the fully-crewed IRC handicap divisions there are also a number of very-well sailed J/crews; totaling three J/133s and, remarkably, FOUR more J/122s!  That’s a total of SIX J/122s vying for the overall prize.

In the IRC 4 Division are the two J/133s.  The Canadian team on BLUE JAY III consists of Matthew Stokes and crew of Todd Rutter, Andrew Childs, Allan MacDonald, Peter Sargeant, Hugh Goodday, Crosby Johnson, and John Simpkin- the boat is from Edmonton, Alberta and calls Bras d’Or YC home.  They will have a tough fight on their hand with a British crew on board JINGS!, one of the top U.K. J/133s, having won a number of RORC offshores in the past.  Owner David Ballantyne has a full crew that includes Nicola Ballantyne, Nicky Vella, Lydia Coffey, Bernard Hilli, Jonathan & Chris Mckay, Albrecht Seer, James Alviles, Kelly Alviles, Charlotte Vella, and Marianna Kozlova.

J/133 Jings sailing Rolex Middle Sea RaceArguably, one of the toughest, and largest, fleet in the race is IRC 5 Division; the class has routinely produced the overall race winner and often several boats in the top ten.  The lone J/133 in the class from France is famous in French offshore circles. JIVARO will be sailed by Yves GROSJEAN and crew of Goulven Royer, Jean-Paul Mallet, Séverin Richter, Jean-Michel Diemer, Patrick Paris, Julien Orus, Marie Chabanel, Julien Herve, and Zasika Musdi.  Arrayed against them are a formidable group of J/122s.  From Chile is the brand new J/122E ANITA- with owner/ skipper Nicolás Ibáñez Scott and crew of Juan Pablo Dominguez, Jordi Rabasa, Jorge Mendez, Didac Costa, and Rueben Castells.  A Russian team is sailing the J/122 JOLOU- Sergey Senchenko is sailing with a crew consisting of Serguei Chevtsov, Alexander Agafonov, Dmitry Piskovatskov, Natalia Agafonova, Elena Strelina, Nikolay Sbitnev, Pavel Popov, Roman Medvedev, and Igor Skalin.  Then, there are two Italian teams both sailing J/122s- DAMACLE RC BROKER (Roy Caramagno and crew of Domenico Campo, Moreno Boldini, Giuseppe Fazio, Francesco Merluzzo, Giuseppe Boscarello, Remon Sant Hill, Daniel Bartolo, Enrico Civello) and JOY (giuseppe Cascino and crew of Carlo Brenco,  Duccio Colombi, Carlo Bellanca, Vittorio Ruffolo, Giuseppe Sferruzza, Tom Alessi, Conrad Muscat, and Fabio Galea.  For more Rolex Middle Sea Race sailing information

J/80s sailing in sunlightJ/80 North Americans Preview
J/70 Fall Brawl Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- This coming weekend, there is no question the Eastport YC will have their hands full hosting two of the more aggressive one-design classes in the world- the J/70s and J/80s.  For the J/80s, they are hosting their 2017 North American Championship, while the J/70s are sailing their annual Fall Brawl.

J/80 North American Championship
The J/80 class on the Chesapeake Bay, New Hampshire, Toronto, and Buzzards Bay continue to have excellent one-design class racing.  For this year’s North Americans, a talented fleet of twenty-one crews have come from nearly all four corners of the continental USA to participate, with twenty-one teams representing five states.  In the mix are several leading contenders, including past N.A. Champions like Kerry Klinger on LIFTED from Cedar Point YC and Will and Marie Crump on R80 from New York YC. They will be challenged hard by teams that have also won Key West Race Week in the past, like Bill & Shannon Lockwood on SHENANIGANS from the local club as well as Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS from Sausalito, California.  Plus, there are top crews like Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI and Ken Mangano’s MANGO that have proven they can dish out top five results.  Most interestingly, the entire top three from the previous weekend’s AYC Fall Series will be raring to go to battle against these top crews that had not shown up for that event; those crews include John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB, Alex Kraus’ COOL J, and David Andril’s VAYU.

J/70 sailing offwindJ/70 Fall Brawl
The 2017 edition of the Fall Brawl should be an interesting mix of teams that have just come off sailing the highly competitive and challenging J/70 North American Championship sailed at American YC in Rye, New York.  A top five finisher overall was Marty Mckenna, though sailing a different boat called RARITY this weekend.  Then, you have the Corinthians Division winner, Jenn & Ray Wulff sailing JOINT CUSTODY.  Joining them in the hunt to be Chief Brawler are fast teams like Mark Hillman’s SIX, Tim Finkle’s JUNIOR from Youngstown YC in New York, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE, Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE, and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.  Should be fun racing for this group!  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wilkes Media.  For more J/80 North Americans & J/70 Fall Brawl sailing information & results

J/105 sailing Galveston BayJ/Fest Southwest Preview
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of J/Boats!
(Seabrook, TX)- This coming weekend, the waters of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay will come alive again with dozens of J/sailors competing for honors in the 8th annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta, hosted by the always gracious Lakewood YC members.  The event features one-design racing for J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/105s (who are also using it as a tune-up/ training regatta for the upcoming J/105 North Americans), J/109s, and two classes of J/PHRF boats ranging from J/27s up to a J/122!

As part of celebrating J/Boats’ 40th Anniversary, the kick-off event for the regatta will be the “spectator-friendly” LEGENDS RACE sailed on Friday afternoon on Clear Lake, literally right in front of Lakewood YC!  The event can be viewed from Barge 295 (formerly, The Turtle Club).  The participating “Legends” are:  Scott Young, Farley Fontenot, Jay Lutz, and Jeff Johnstone (President of J/Boats).  The sailors will be racing borrowed J/24s from the Houston J/24 Fleet.  And, spectators can follow the “live” video broadcast on Barge 295’s Facebook page for a live feed of the event.

Seventy boats have signed up which will make the event truly EPIC! No one will believe a hurricane had just ravaged the Houston/ Galveston Bay coastline; such is the amazing turnout of volunteers and support from friends across the nation.  The 330+ sailors will be looking forward to the amazing LYC shoreside entertainment, it starts with pool-side talent when the racers return from the course on Saturday, followed by a great dinner and then more live music in the evening! Pretend like you’re 35 again, stick around, and have fun!

The biggest class at the regatta is the J/105s, most of whom are also participating in the J/105 North Americans the following week, also hosted by Lakewood YC.  Many strong local crews have upped the ante and have great crews; such as Mark Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club, Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from LYC, Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY from LYC, JB Bednar’s STINGER from LYC, Bill Lackenmacher’s RADIANCE from LYC.    Visiting crews include some of the top crews in the J/105 class, such as J/105 NA Champion Bruce Stone’s GOOD TRADE from St. Francis YC and Rick Goebel’s SANITY crew from San Diego YC- a winner of the San Diego NOOD Regatta.

The J/70s are bringing their best local heroes to the event, and at fifteen boats the next largest fleet in the regatta. Perhaps top seed goes to past J/80 World Champion Glenn Darden and crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club, on-board as tactician is Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician.  Giving them a serious run-for-the-roses will be other top traveling teams like Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, also from Ft Worth BC, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, and Jay Lutz’s ZOUNDS HEARING.

At a round dozen boats and fielding the third largest fleet of sailors in the event are the J/24 teams!  Featured are top local crews like Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin YC, one of the top women skippers in the class; Chris Holmes’ BADMOON from Dallas Corinthian YC; Stu Juengst’s VANG GO from Austin YC; and Tonja Holmes-Moon’s SIREN 2.0 from Dallas Corinthian YC.

Fielding a fleet of fifteen boats and fourth largest fleet (in terms of number of sailors) are the J/22s.  Hard to handicap this group, nevertheless several teams have done well in regional events in the past, like Chris Moran’s TILT, Danny Pletsch’s SKETCHY, Stu Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE, Dov Kivlovitz’s USA 951, and Anne Lee’s HELMS A LEE.

Sailing as a four-boat class will be the largest big-boat one-design- the J/109s.  The frightful thing about this class is they are all about dead even.  In short, it’s whom they bring to the table in their crews that may make the difference between “lights-out” over the horizon, or shrimping the spinnaker at the leeward mark.  While no one ever expects the latter, most are banking on the horizon job scenario; teams like Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBUG (a past winner), David Christensen’s AIRBORNE (another winner); Andy Wescoat’s HARM’S WAY (another winner) and Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE (yet, another winner).  So, will be interesting to see how the cards are played in this quartet!

Finally, in the J/PHRF world, the big boat class in PHRF A (Asym chutes), led by JD & Susan Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR.  They will be chased hard on handicap by Scott Spurlin’s J/88 FIORNA-J, Dan Sullivan’s J/92S LITTLE JOE, and Dan Kelsey’s J/80 HARMATTAN (who hails from Dillon YC in Colorado and Puerto Vallarta YC in Mexico).   PHRF B class (Sym chutes), will be led by Beverly Caldwell’s J/40 SHAKEN NOT STIRRED, with two J/29s in hot pursuit (John McCuthen’s SUPERGIRL and Glenn Stromme’s PRESS TO MECO), and Gary Trinklein’s J/27 TOCCATA hoping to be in the same zip code when the bigger boats finish (as a result, he’s win!).  For more J/Fest Southwest Regatta sailing information

J/80 Spain sailing off BarcelonaSpanish Winter Sailing J/70s & J/80s
Come Join the Barcelona or Vigo Winter Series!!
(Barcelona, Spain)- Over the October 21st and 22nd weekend, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona held the first stage of the Barcelona Winter Series (BWS) for J/70s and J/80s.

The seven J/70’s and seven J/80’s competed in three races every day.  It marked the inaugural event for J/70’s in Barcelona, with more J/70 teams planning to arrive when winter freezes northern Europe!!

The first provisional leaders of the series after six races were NOTICIA in J/70s and AKEWUELE in J/80s.  The fleets are quite competitive, with several J/80 World Champions and Olympic class medal winners sailing in both classes- it makes for great “tuning” and “training” over the winter in preparation for the 2018 sailing season!

Barcelona is a great place to sail in the winter to prepare for the J/70 Europeans in Vigo, Spain and the J/80 Worlds in Les Sables d'Olonne, France for 2018, so don’t hesitate to come down with your J/teams for a great winter sailing!

The sailing conditions in Barcelona during the winter are gorgeous.  It’s warm weather on the Mediterranean, with mostly thermal sea breezes every day from 6 to 13 kts, nice temperatures and sunny!!  Our friends in northern Europe and Scandinavia who are no longer experiencing “the land of the midnight sun”, should join us for lots of “fun-in-the-sun” on the gorgeous Spanish Riviera!

The Barcelona Winter Series will be held one weekend every month from October 2017 through March 2018, with very professional sailing management by RC Nautico de Barcelona.  For more RCNB Winter Series sailing information

J/70 Spain Vigo winter seriesVIGO WINTER SERIES
While Barcelona is in northeastern Spain in the beautiful Catalonia province, essentially the Spanish Riviera along the Mediterranean Sea, Vigo is on the opposite coast on the Atlantic, in northwestern Spain.

Real Club Náutico De Vigo invites teams to participate in their winter series. They promise a warm welcome, wind, races on Saturdays and Sundays.  The most significant attraction for J/70 sailors is that RC Nautico De Vigo will be the host for the 2018 J/70 European Championship, running from June 12th to 16th, 2018.  Here are their dates for the 2017/ 2018 Winter Series:

- October 28-29th
- November 18-19th
- December 16-17th
- January 13-14th
- February 3-4th
- February 24-25th
- March 17-18

Please note, it is possible to rent boats for individual events for the complete series in Vigo. It's not too late to order a new boat that will be waiting for your team at the yacht club!  J/70 Spain Facebook page

J24 sailing East Coast regattaJ/24 East Coasts & J/22 Mid-Atlantics Championship Update
(Annapolis, MD)- Join us for the 39th J/24 East Coast Championship October 27th to 29th and the J/22 Mid-Atlantic Championship October 28th & 29th at Severn Sailing Association! Late October in Annapolis boasts great fall sailing conditions and a regatta you don't want to miss!!

Best Fall Sailing Around!
- Twenty-three J/24s & thirteen J/22s already registered- Tip-Top Competition!
- 2018 Qualifier for J/24 World Championship!
- Free Housing & Boat Storage Available
- The Rigging Co. will put up your rig - first come, first served!
- Dock Talks & Weather Briefs with your favorite pros

On-Shore Fun - All Included With Entry!
- Beers & Snacks After Racing Friday
- Saturday Night Regatta Party with Live Band- “The Shatners”. Dinner for 5 & Dancing Under the Tent!
- Post-Race Burgers 'n' Brats Sunday afternoon

Please contact Pat FitzGerald at or Kelly Brice FitzGerald at 443-600-1182.  For more J/24 East Coast and J/22 Mid-Atlantic Coast Championship sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past fortnight was busy with many fall regattas in the northern hemisphere and a significant one in the southern hemisphere, many of them including the hyperactive active J/70 fleets around the world.

Starting Down Under, Australia is moving into their springtime and, therefore, into the world’s longest sailing summertime!  No wonder so many Australians know how to sail well, nearly nine months of perfect summer sailing weather.  And, what better way to kick it off than have the famous Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Sydney host the 2017 Australian J/70 Nationals!  Great turnout and fantastic racing!

Flipping ourselves up over the Equator to Europe and Asia, we find Russian J/70 sailors completing two significant regatta series.  For starters, the Russian Sailing Federation supports the Russian J/70 National Sailing League, a series of six events that start in May in Sochi (site of the Winter Olympics) and ends in Sochi in October.  Just this past weekend, a fleet of 24 teams sailed J/70s in the Grand Finale at Sochi; some familiar faces to sailors on the European J/70 circuit finished on the leaderboard.  Then, PROyachting with partner ULYSSE NARDIN, completed their summer-long weekly regatta series sailed on J/70s and hosted by the Royal YC in Moscow in an amazing “stadium sailing” venue.

Off to the west in Europe/ UK, we find the French J/80 sailors sail a tricky weekend series in the Crouesty J/Cup, hosted by YC Crouesty-Arzon, in Crouesty, France. Then, just across “La Manche”, the  Hamble Winter Series completed their third weekend, hosted by the Hamble River Sailing Club in Hamble, Southampton, England for IRC fleets and the J/88 class.  Still further west, we get a report from the Lough Erne J/24 fleet sailing their Autumn Series at Lough Erne YC in Ireland- they sure know how to have fun!

Hopping west across the Atlantic, a fleet of 53 teams assembled at American YC in Rye, New York to compete for the 2017 J/70 North American Championship; it was a deeply talented fleet, including two World Champions and three North American Champions.  Finally, we get a report from the fun and entertaining Annapolis YC Fall Series, in Annapolis, Maryland, for ORC/ PHRF handicap fleets and one-design classes of J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, and J/105s.

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 pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 19-22- J/30 North American Championship- New Orleans, LA
Oct 20-22- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 21-22- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
Oct 21- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Valleta, Malta
Oct 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Seabrook, TX
Oct 27-29- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 27-29- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- French J/80 National Championship- Quiberon, France
Oct 28-29- Great Pumpkin Regatta- Point Richmond, CA
Oct 28- Nov 1- J/70 South American Championship- Algarrobo, Chile
Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 18- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica

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

Joel Ronning's J/70 Catapult wins North AmericansCATAPULT Swings to Victory @ J/70 North Americans!
(Rye, NY)- It was an epic regatta in more ways than one.  Fifty-three boats from thirteen States and two Canadian Provinces participated in the 2017 J/70 North American Championship presented by Domaine Chandon, hosted by American YC in Rye, New York.  There was no question the AYC volunteers, Race Committee and mark boat team, the PRO Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the entire AYC shore team made a magnificent effort to ensure everyone in the event were treated as “family” all weekend long- it is not often that an entire club rallies from members to volunteers to their shore teams to make everyone feel welcome- it was greatly appreciated by all the J/70 teams in attendance!

The sailing itself was challenging with winds, waves, and current literally coming from every quadrant on the compass.  Plus, the fleet was incredibly talented and very deep, with many champions of many different sailing classes pushing the starting line hard all weekend- reflected in the number of general recalls and U-flag/Black-flag starts. AYC’s “homie” and Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY were pre-regatta favorites, having just won the AUDI J/70 World Championship off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy at YC Costa Smeralda.  However, success can be fleeting and it’s hard to maintain 100% perfection, even on your home waters.  In the end, with Duncan’s team leading the regatta going into the last day, it was the 2016 J/70 World Champion at San Francisco, California that prevailed; Joel Ronning’s crew on CATAPULT, including J/24 World Champion John Kostecki as mainsheet/ tactician, were declared the 2017 J/70 North American Champions!  Here is how it all took place over the course of four days.

J/70 sailing North AmericansDay One- Blow-Out Thursday!
With sustained winds over 25 kts and gusts breaking 30 kts, the race committee spared the sailors of the difficulties of broken boats and risk of injury. As result, a number of crews went exploring; which meant a quick visit to New York City to see the “bright lights and big city” that it can be on such a gorgeous day.  For the rest, the regatta hosts and sponsors did not disappoint. Thanks to the sponsors, Greatest Blaze & Co. and Watson's Catering, a barbeque of grilled delights calmed the nerves of the sailors eagerly awaiting the start of the Championship. Fine slices of filet mignon, mini-Reuben sandwiches, Kobe beef mini hot dogs, and skewered shrimp ... what a spread! Such a great party kept everyone engaged for the rest of the evening.

The raging Long Island Sound, only suitable for windsurfers and kite-boarders on Thursday, was expected to settle down to a perfect 10-15 kts on Wednesday from the east with huge waves, setting the stage for a fun and competitive day on the water.

J/70 North Americans - fleet reachingDay Two- Blustery, Head-banging Friday!
The morning weather conditions arrived as expected, though a bit misty, chilly and grey with the forecast predicting partly sunny, warmer weather later in the afternoon. The wind had been mostly out of the East all week, blowing across the longest fetch of Long Island Sound, creating nasty, steep 4-5 ft waves in a tight frequency; somewhat reminiscent of Lake Michigan “chop” off the Chicago lakefront.

The AYC Race Committee was able to pull off four action-packed races by 1700 hrs- a long day for the exhausted sailors! The entire fleet was very competitive with the top four boats earning a bullet each. Current J/70 World Champion, Commodore Peter Duncan on RELATIVE OBSCURITY was in first, but Joel Ronning and the CATAPULT crew were right on his heels only two points back. The MIDLIFE CRISIS team from Long Beach, California, led by Bruce Golison, held third, and only a few points separated them from the next two boats.

Sarah Renz from the Chicago Yacht Club, sailing BERTEAU GROUP, led the Corinthians Division, only one point ahead of Heather Gregg and Joe Bardenheier on MUSE and yet another point back was Jen & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY.

J/70 sailor enjoying refreshmentUpon reaching the docks after racing by 1730 hrs, the tired and satisfied sailors were treated to fine sparkling wine given out with white glove treatment, thanks to main sponsors- Domaine Chandon. Domaine Chandon is from California's famed Napa Valley region and uses the same three noble grape varietals as used in French Champagne.

The American Yacht Club put on a wonderful feast to accompany the bubbly, while Tanqueray gin provided fine spirits. The evening was topped off with a generous quantity of great raffle prizes provided by Eric Magnuson and Patrick Aylward's Landfall Navigation, specializing in gear for the adventurous.

J/70s sailing on SaturdayDay Three- Saturday Glass-out!
Many throw-outs were likely used on the only race that was sailed on Saturday, as the breeze lightened and began to turn southeast and die across the Sound- a familiar scenario for many Long Island Sound sailors!  However, AYC past Commodore, Peter Duncan, managed to stay consistent with a 6th place in the lone race. Ronning's CATAPULT, currently 2nd, did not fare so well, finishing in 18th place- that's a number that would likely remain a throw-out for them, leaving no room for error on the final day.

Victor Diaz de Leon, sailing with Peter Duncan said, "today we tried to focus on minimizing maneuvers. When we did t, to tack or jibe, we did it in a puff because that makes it so much less painful."

An impressive light-air performance was delivered by John and Molly Baxter, sailing Team VINEYARD VINES to a 1st today, moving them up to 9th overall. Current 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place boats all posted big numbers making their final day a challenge.

J/70 MUSE sailing past markMeanwhile, competition for the Corinthian crown had become fierce. The Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY was now equal on points with Sarah Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP. Gregg/ Bardenheier’s MUSE was holding on just one point behind. The stage is set for a critical final day where the breeze will be back but from another new direction- the southwest. Anything can happen on the race course Sunday, as the southwester will inevitably throw a few curve-balls at the fleet, a very tricky direction based on current and winds coming off the high-bluffs of Long Island to the south.

On land, the hospitality at AYC remained consistent all week- superb!  Saturday evening, the sailors settled in with chili, clam chowder and a fantastic drink selection. The finest Scotch whiskeys Johnny Walker has to offer were on display for tasting. Aficionados be jealous! Sailors were able to come off the water and enjoy several blends including the 18-year-old Platinum Label blend. All of these fine delectables led the sailors into our second Doyle Sailmakers debrief. Tony Rey guided the discussion and called upon several top pro sailors to give their thoughts and opinions on sail trim and boat-handling techniques. Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay shared their secrets on how they make the J/70 go fast, while Judd Smith shed some light on how to deal with the tough sea state while on the helm.

J/70s sailing SundayDay Four- The Dramatic, Tricky Finale
Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY team controlled this regatta from day one. Not surprisingly, coming off a J/70 World Championship title, his crew was at the top of their game. But, there was a twist to the plot. Ronning's CATAPULT never fell very far behind in points, always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce. And, pounce they did in the final race; a bullet in the final race by CATAPULT, coupled with a 10th place finish by RELATIVE OBSCURITY, was enough to push them ahead with a 3 point cushion.

Sunday’s conditions were challenging. A new wind direction with varying intensity made for a tactician's nightmare. Credit to Bruce Golison for staying in the hunt and finishing 3rd overall with line honors in race seven. This was not an easy task with Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Mary Kullman’s NEW WAVE right on his heels, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

Joint Custody- J/70 Corinthians NA winnersThe Corinthian title was no easy achievement either. The lead swapped multiple times throughout the day.  After race 6, Gregg’s MUSE crew was leading the division on a tiebreaker.  After the 7th race, Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP was leading by one pt. But, with a 7th in the 8th and final race, Jenn Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY managed to win in the end. BERTEAU GROUP and MUSE held their top three spots, finishing in that order. What is remarkable about that outcome was that it was the first time in J/70 class history that three women skippers swept the Corinthians Division!  Notably, women crews were also present on the next two boats- Mallory Loe on DIME in 4th and Melissa Fisher on BUTTON FLY in 5th place!

Ashore after the racing and the frenetic process of hauling and preparing boats for traveling home, the AYC Team hosted a wonderful awards presentation with crystal and framed photographs as prizes. Tanqueray took center stage in relaxing the tired sailors with their signature gin & tonic for any and all in attendance- it was a warmly received and generous effort by the Domaine Chandon team and their team of hostesses to look after the sailors!

What a fantastic regatta it was. In addition, it would not have been possible without the generosity of the sponsors of the event:
  • Presenting sponsor Domaine Chandon and their portfolio of fine spirit brands - Lead Sponsor Doyle Sailmakers who generously shared their knowledge and expertise in sailor with all the competitors
  • Lead Sponsor Tanqueray traditional gins and cocktails
  • Supporting Sponsor Landfall Navigation - "Your journey starts here…”
  • Supporting Sponsor Greatest Blaze Co.- offering exotic kiln dried wood, fire pits, and 41 sorts of grilling essentials
  • Supporting Sponsor Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, second to none in outfitting sailors
  • Supporting Sponsor Sail 22, the premier sailing concierge service providing all of your campaign management needs.
Additional Sponsors included: Captain Lawrence, Don Julio, Captain Morgan, Bulleit Bourbon, Watson's Catering, Summerties, Anne Arundel Dive Services, and Poland Spring.

Sailing photo & video credits- Tim Wilkes Media Productions  American YC Promotions Team- Donavan McSorley/ Steffie Pomp

J/70 NA’s Facebook sailing videos
Day 1   Day 2 first day racing   Day 3- second day racing   Day 4- third day racing   American YC Facebook page   For more J/70 North American Championship sailing and scoring information

Australian J/70 Nationals winners- JUNOJUNO Tops Australian J/70 Nationals
(Sydney, Australia)- The inaugural J/70 Australian Championship was held on the weekend of 14-15 October, with the race management support provided by the team from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Six races were held over the weekend of racing. Saturday’s breeze was forecast for 25 kts, but abated to 15-20 kts providing some exhilarating kite runs down the harbour for the fleet. Sunday’s winds softened to 10-12 kts from the southeast.

First place with 6 bullets was a clean sweep by Reg and Sally Lord, Jordan Reece, Tom Grimes, and Cam Gundy on JUNO from the CYCA.  A thrilled Reg said, “We had good speed around the course, expert tactics from Jordan, and great trim and boat-handling all round. Sailing with the team on a J/70 is just so enjoyable.” Reg and crew were fresh from competing in the 168-boat fleet in the J/70 Worlds held in Sardinia, the largest sportboat event ever.

In 2nd place, also from the CYCA were Tim Ryan and crew on JAMES. Third place was tightly contested and ultimately went to JACKAL team from Royal Sydney YS.

It’s great to be part of the J/70 International Class, and have the opportunity to sail a high-performance boat with family and friends, and compete in International regattas.

Not since the J/24 have we seen such a worldwide response to a new one-design keelboat.  Like its predecessor, the J/70 has struck a chord across a wide age and skill range and has proven itself to be an extremely versatile platform.

J/70s sailing off Sydney, AustraliaThe J/70 Class offers the highest level of competition and yet the boat can be successfully crewed by a three-generation team. The real secret to the success of the J/70 is its inclusiveness of all sailors.

Nick Rozenauers, sailing THE JACKAL with brother Alex, Dad, Peter, and two mates really enjoyed the racing. “The first race on Sunday was nearly 80 minutes and four of the J/70’s finished within 16 seconds of each other, brilliant close racing!”  New to the J/70, Andrew from JABBERWOCKY said, “it was a great learning experience for the crew, but good fun!”

The J/70 is a dream to sail.  Most expect her to fly downwind, but few expect her to sail to windward as well as she does.  This “two-way” ability (thanks to excellent stability) clearly distinguishes the J/70 from the pack of other sportboats and presents a compelling option and appeal to both youth and mature sailors.

Over 1,400 J/70’s have been delivered to happy owners in the four short years since its launch, making the J/70 the fastest growing and largest sportboat class in the World.

The J/70 fleet thanks Chris Stone and Margaret Carney at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for their support of the Championships, and also for running the W/L Mini Regatta series throughout the year.  Thanks also to North Sails and Harken for their on-going support of the J/70 Australian Class.

J/70 ARTTUBE team- Valerya Kovalenko skipperARTTUBE Wins Sochi J/70 Sailing League Finale!
LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA Crowned Russian National League Champions!
(Sochi, Russia)- After sailing six events all season, it can be said the twenty-four teams in the Russian J/70 Sailing League were easily the most-traveled J/70 crews in the world; having to crisscross the vast expanse of Russia, from as far east as Sochi, the resort on the Black Sea that hosted the Winter Olympics, to the far west to St. Petersburg, on the eastern end of the Baltic Sea!  The logistics sound intimidating, but the Russian Sailing Federation worked hard to include sailing teams from every part of Russia to participate in the summer-long series over a period of nearly six months.

Russian J/70 National Sailing LeagueThe season started and ended in Sochi.  So, at the start of the decisive regatta season these were the twenty-four teams: LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA (skipper Sergei Musikhin); LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE (Vyacheslav Ermolenko); KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB (Mark Kagansky); NAVIGATOR Sailing Team (Igor Rytov), ROCK’N’ROLLA Sailing Team (Alisa Kirilyuk); PIROGOVO TEAM (Yuri Morozov); ARTTUBE RUS7-2 (Valeria Kovalenko); ST. PETERSBURG YC SAILING ACADEMY (Anna Basalkina); LEVIATHAN TEAM (Vadim Yakhinson); DC TEAM (Denis Cherevatenko); X-FIT SPORTS (Vladimir Silk); NAVIGATOR NEXT (Irina Sorokina); REGION 23 TEAM (Evgeny Nikiforov), USC TEAM (Dmitry Sharubin); M1-CLOUD TEAM (Alexey Danilyants); PARMA LUKOMORYE (Vitaly Tarakanov); VOS TEAM (Yevgeny Anishev); FPS SOCHI-YUG SPORT (Oleg Kuzmin); KOMATEK (Yuri Kryuchenkov); SPORTTECH TEAM (Andrei Nikolaev); RUS7 TEAM (Anatoly Arnautov); CSKA TEAM (Darya Ivanova); SKOLKOVO SAILING TEAM (Andrey Davidyuk); and the ROYAL YC TEAM (Sergey Peshkov).

In the Grand Finale, it was great racing all three days right on the Sochi waterfront.  Every team had a chance to sail in a wide variety of wind and sea conditions.  Showing that her experience in winning the YC Monaco Winter Series in the J/70 class was no fluke, Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE with crew of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Egor Ignatenko, simply showed their tail-feathers to the fleet for most of the regatta, winning most races and never finishing out of the top three to win by a commanding margin.

As a result of the Sochi regatta, Sergei Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA team managed to sail a solid regatta to claim the ultimate sailing prize in Russia- to be crowned Russia’s Best Sailing Team- winning the Russian J/70 National Sailing League for 2017!  Here is how it all took place off Sochi.

J/70 sailing Russian National Sailing LeagueDay One- Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE Leads
On Friday, twelve races took place, each team had 4 starts.

It was an excellent beginning for ARTTUBE RUS7-2 and their skipper Valeriya Kovalenko- one of Russia’s top women sailors and skippers.  Her team produced two 1sts and two 2nds for a total of 6 pts to easily lead the regatta.  Next came PIROGOVO’s Morozov and NAVIGATOR SAILING TEAM’s Rytov tied on 8 point each.  Rounding out the top five were LORD OF SAIL- ASIA’s Musikhin sitting on 10 pts in fourth.  Then, 5th place had a three-way tie at 12 pts each between KONAKOVO RIVER CLUB’s Kagansky, ST PETERSBURG YC ACADEMY SAILING TEAM’s Basalkina, and LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Ermolenko.

J/70s and super yachts- a natural combinationDay Two- ARTTUBE Maintains Furious Pace!
The penultimate day of racing had some seriously crazy, unpredictable weather patterns.  The weather on Saturday was a struggle for all teams: in the morning, Sochi was covered by a torrential rainstorm; then the sun came out and a stable wind of 12-14 knots appeared for awhile; and then at the end of the day, arrived a big frontal system with winds of 25+ kts and sheets of rain again!  Yes, the weather Godz must be crazy!

Despite the difficult weather, the Race Committee and the race judges managed to ensure a good pace of the competition; fourteen races were held, for a total of twenty-six races run by the close of Saturday.

Continuing to demonstrate their outstanding performance was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE RUS7-2, adding three 1sts and a 5th to their dominant scorecard for a total of 14 pts in eight races!  Seven points back was Musikhin’s LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, having clawed there way back onto the leaderboard after a disappointing start on the first day. Lying in third new was Morozov's PIROGOVO.

J/70s sailing Russian National Sailing LeagueOn Saturday evening, the Russian J/70 sailing teams celebrated a tradition for Sochi, launching 350 balloons into the sky in honor of the 350th anniversary of Russian shipbuilding and the 10th anniversary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The volunteers of the “World Festival of Youth” and “Students 2017” launched the balloons. As part of the celebration, a race was held for guests and partners of the League, as well as volunteers of the World Festival of Youth and Students-2017.

Day Three- ARTTUBE wins finale!
On the final day for the Grand Finale of the summer-long series, six more races were completed to determine the winner of the Sochi Regatta, but also the overall champion for the Russian J/70 National Sailing League.  After thirty-two races, the winner of the "big finale" of the season was Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team, sporting a scorecard that had only one race outside the top three, including six 1sts in ten races!

J/70 Russian Sochi finale winnersSecond place went to yet another woman skipper- Anna Basalkina from the ST PETERSBURG ACADEMY SAILING TEAM!  There is no question that would a “first ever” scenario in the history of Russian sailing that two women skippers swept the top two spots in a major national sailing championship!

Finally, taking the bronze on the podium was Igor Rytov’s NAVIGATOR Sailing Team.

The Grand Finale in Sochi also produced the Russian J/70 National Sailing League Champions- that crowned was award to LORD OF THE SAIL- ASIA, with skipper Sergei Musikhin and crew of Pavel Trofimchuk, Denis Tyurikov and Mikhail Korznikov.  Their fourth place in the Grand Finale earned them their hard-won championship title.

J/70 Russian National Sailing League winnersThe overall series silver was awarded to NAVIGATOR Sailing Team and rounding out the podium with the bronze was LORD OF THE SAIL- EUROPE’s Vyacheslav Ermolenko and crew.

The success of the 2017 Russian J/70 National Sailing League could have happened without the generous support of its partners and sponsors.  “Thank You” to the following:
  • General partner- JSC "United Shipbuilding"
  • Official partners- GAZPROM and NORD STREAM AG
  • Financial partner- ALFA Private
  • Fitness partner- X-FIT fitness clubs across the federation
  • Sochi Regatta partner- SOCHI GRAND MARINA by Burevestnik group
  • Technological Partner- INTERPROCOM provided tracking
  • Radio communication partner- COMPASS-R.
  • Sport media partner- TV channel “MATCH!”
  • Radio partner- radio station MAXIMUM.
  • General media partners- the newspaper SOVETSKY SPORT, MAXIM magazine, FORBES.LIFE, Sport FM, YACHTING magazine.
Russian J/70 Sailing League video highlights:
Day 3 Highlights     Day 2 Highlights    Day 1 Highlights
Grand Finale on Russian Sports TV News- MATCH:
Day 3    Day 2    Day 1
For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information

J/92 sailing Hamble winter seriesHamble Winter Series- Week 3 Report
(Hamble, England)- The third weekend of sailing took place last weekend for the Hamble Winter Series, sponsored by The Bugle Hamble. The weather was typical of the fall, with a light mist, wisps of fog, cool temperatures and breezes in the 7-13 kts range.

Nevertheless, in spite of the conditions, the hotly contested racing continued unabated with some boats beginning to consolidate their positions atop the leaderboard while others were still getting a handle on why they were seemingly signed up for the “Magical Mystery Tour” on some yellow bus that careened frenetically around the race track!

J/97 sailing Hamble winter seriesIn the Hamble Winter Series IRC 1 Class, Paul & Marie-Claude Heys’ J/112E GP DAVANTI TYRES continued to set the pace, adding a 3-1 to the tally to be leading the fleet by one point.  The next J/team is Simon Bamford’s J/111 KESTREL sitting in 7th place.

The HWS IRC 2 Class is full of J/109s, the top boat is Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, posting three straight bullets since showing their faces on the racetrack on October 1st.  While three 1sts does not create a lead, at the pace they are going, the discard races will start to kick in and they should fault towards the top of the standings; currently they sit in 3rd place.  In 5th place is Tom Chatterton’s RED ARROW crew and in 6th is Roger Phillips DESIGNSTAR 2.

J/88 sailing Hamble Winter seriesCurrently having a strangle-hold on the top two spots in HWS IRC 3 are Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II with just 9 pts in six races and in 2nd place is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with just 13 pts.

Finally, in the HWS J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s crew on GBR 2688R are leading by an extraordinarily comfortable margin- 3 bullets and a 3rd give them 8 pts in six races.  The next three teams are all very tight on points.  Leading that pack is Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS with 15 pts, followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR with 16 pts, then David & Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM with 18 pts.  The eight-boat class is tough and they are having great sailing on the Solent!   Hamble Winter Series follow on Facebook page   Sailing photo credits- Hamo Thornycroft   For more Spinlock Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing off starting linePellissier Tops Crouesty J/80 Regatta
(Crouesty Arzon, France)- The Crouesty J/Cup could have been nicknamed the "Crouesty-tricks Cup” this year, in view of the crazy weather the YC Crouesty- Arzon Race Committee and the crews had to contend with over the weekend.  Nevertheless, in the tricky conditions, Sylvain Pellisier’s VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE and his crew (Mathieu Durand, Edouard Gendreau, & Gabriel Couronne) sailed their J/80 smartly and conservatively to win the regatta.

On the first day of sailing Friday afternoon, there was barely ripple on the water, with a very light easterly wind of 3-5 knots. Fortunately, on this flat sea, the J/80s moved nicely and the YCCA Race Committee (bravo!) was in an opportunistic mode and made the most of the light air/ glass-out conditions. Two races were run, both won quite easily by Sylvain Pelissier's VOILERIE ALL PURPOSE, obviously very comfortable on this playing field.

J/80s sailing downwindSaturday’s weather was more in line with the forecasts, moderate winds at best. Forgot the surfing and planing at 18 knots like last year, this year it was necessary to finesse the boat in a light to moderate south-east breeze between 5 and 10 knots. Luc Nadal’s GANJA, that had started modestly the first day, returns to the forefront with 2 victories over the 5 races. Despite a modest fleet of thirteen teams, the races were very close, with no less than 4 different winners in the 5 races of the day. With two 2nd and one 3rd, Pellesier’s VOILERIE AP was still doing very well and kept a comfortable points lead.

Sunday’s racing was wild and different!  With a good 15+ kts forecast by midday, the crews tightened their rigging in anticipation of a good breeze. Strangely, it was the fog, and not the wind, that dominated this day’s one and only race! 10 minutes after the start, you could not see more than 50m! Over the VHF radio, the YCCA RC strongly urged the sailors not to lose sight of the nearest competitor, not just to avoid his wind! Luc Nadal, in the lead, was the leader of the expedition. A 1st place well deserved! But, GANJA’s efforts were not enough to displace Pélissier’s crew.  GANJA’s crew (Luc Nadal, Pierre Mousselon, Yvon Goude, David Nadal) finished two points back after their discard race to finish with 21 pts.  Third was a local YCCA crew, that of Gaétan Le Guil sailing GUESS WHO’S BACK with crew of Brice Menay, Pierre Hervet-Cozette, and Quentin Le Saout.

Congratulations to the YCCA Race Committee chaired by Marc Eymond, who did everything humanly possible to make a regatta work in light winds ... and fog and run eight races against seemingly insurmountable odds!  Applause also for the YCCA volunteers who have provided a benevolent and warm welcome in the very quaint club house.

The Coupe de France rankings are determined by the seven race series sailed from the spring to the fall.  Starting with SPI Ouest France in April (La Trinite sur Mer), the fleet then went to GPEN in March (Brest Lanveoc), then Pornic J/Cup in June (Pornic), then Obelix Trophy in August (Benodet), then Atlantique Telegramme in September (Lorient), then Crouesty J/Cup in October (Crouesty), and finishes with the French J/80 Nationals in first weekend of November in Port Haliguen over the Halloween weekend!

With more than 100 points ahead of his pursuers, Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT is guaranteed to win the Coupe de France J/80 for 2017. On the other hand, the fight for the podium promises to be exciting between five teams: Nadal, Pélissier, Guilhot, Bot and Le Guil.

The Masters J/80 title will be played out between Patrick Bot and Luc Nadal, provided each have a sufficiently senior crew (> 40 years on average). There are four contenders for the third step of the podium with a short lead for Xavier Tinel.

Top women’s teams are Elodie Bonafous’s BAIE DE MORLAIZ, Christelle Phillipe’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE I and Margot Riou’s APCC EQUIPE FEMININE II.  For more French J/80 Coupe de France sailing information

J/70s sailing evening race off MoscowGorgeous Moscow J/70 ULYSSE NARDIN Finale
Kovalenko’s SSA-9 wins coveted ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph!
(Moscow, Russia)- In 2017, two series of summer racing took place on a fleet of matched J/70 one-design class sailboats at Royal YC Moscow: the Tuesday Warm-Up Races and the Wednesday Night Races. PROyachting managed the regatta schedule and the teams and the principal partner was the Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin.

Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series
For the Tuesday Warm-Up Races, a total of thirty-five teams competed! All teams were made up of people that work and sail in the greater region surrounding Moscow.  Winning the Tuesday series was MOSCOW-24, a team comprised of young professionals with a woman skipper; they never missed a single race all season-long!  Taking second place was Team HURRICANE and, finally, taking the bronze was Team BIG FISH!

Throughout the entire yachting season, the teams were very close in the provisional rankings, with at least four different teams leading the season and changes taking place virtually every Tuesday.

J/70s sailing upwind off Royal YC MoscowWednesday Night Race Series- Sponsored by ULYSSE NARDIN

While the Tuesday races were oriented to sailors with little or no experience and included a lot of training on the water for them, the Wednesday Night Ulysse Nardin races were focused primarily on more advanced sailors that had experience in regional, national, or European regattas.  Forty-two teams participated in the 2017 season.  Guess who won??

The winner and winner of the main prize for the season- the ULYSSE NARDIN chronograph- was Team SSA-9 skippered by Valerya Kovalenko. The NO PASARAN Team took second place and third place went to Team ULYSSE NARDIN.

Valeria Kovalenko, the woman skipper of SSA-9, commented:  "I sailed this summer series for the first time in the summer of 2015 and I fell in love with incredible pink sunsets! In the 2016 season, we formed a team of my fellow students at the Startup Academy of Skolkovo and began to participate in the series Tuesday Warm-Up Race, where we took second place. The guys from the first regatta liked everything: the opportunity to race right in the city, a soulful atmosphere, strong rivals, a clear organization, and wonderful prizes! Therefore, for the 2017 season, we prepared in advance and formed a large and strong team. I really believe the series of summer evening regattas created by PROyachting and hosted by Royal YC Moscow is the best way for a relaxing and fun evening of sailing with friends!!"

J/70 sailing Ulysse Nardin summer series off MoscowMaxim Andrianov, CEO of ULYSSE NARDIN Russia, summed up the 2017 yachting season 2017 with the following words: "First of all, I want to thank PROyachting for the great opportunity to go sailing each week! Three years ago, I could not even imagine that I would sail and participate in competitions. This applies not only to me, but also to other regatta participants in Moscow and Sochi. And this is the main merit of PROyachting. I want to note the increased level of the organization and the participants themselves. This is a very serious level- imagine that, seventy-two teams from around Moscow were racing every evening this summer! Many youth take part in the National Sailing League and international competitions sail J/70s, and it all started here at the Water Stadium west of Moscow on a matched fleet of J/70s- perfect! I will tell you a secret that I also thought about developing in this direction. It is a pity that the season is over, but we will wait for the start of new season in 2018 and, of course, I will go to Sochi to support the National Sailing League and the 24 teams competing on the famous J/70 class sailboats! Thank you, PROyachting, you are good fellows!"

For more PROyachting sailing event information, please contact PROyachting at ph- +7 499 393 31 33 (Moscow), +7 988 143 17 57 (Sochi) or email-

J/24s sailing IrelandLough Erne YC Autumn J/24 Series Report
(Lough Erne, Ireland)- Lough Erne YC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday series got underway a week late on Sunday, 17 September.  The previous Sunday’s racing had been cancelled with a gale forecast. Race Officer, JP McCaldin, did very well to manage three races for the fleet in sunny light winds with calms that provoked the tense tussle pictured above to gain and retain momentum downwind to finish.

Barry’s TJ with crew of Martyn, Philomena and Deidre, scored 2-2-3 for 7 pts to place 2nd overall.  Nipping at their heels was Michael’s JERIATRIX with crew of Sheila, Karen and Lisa with a 3-3-2 for 8 pts, securing third position.

Finbarr in JELIGNITE won all three races for a 3 point total, with top deck crew June and James. And Finbarr even had time after finishing to take these pictures. Thanks!

J/24 Autumn Sunday Series - Programme
Repeating what worked well in 2015 and 2016, LEYC’s third J/24 Autumn Sunday Series plans 20 races, 4 on each of 5 Sundays (10) 17, 24 September and 8, 15, and 22 October. Crew gather 1100 hrs, tea/coffee, boat preparation, registration 1130 hrs, Briefing 1200 hrs, first of four races on simple windward/leeward courses, at 1300 hrs, ashore before 1700 hrs for BBQ (own food) and Bar! Prize Giving on final Sunday afternoon.

Many LEYC sailors have raced in International J/24 events. Nearly all our boats have been at international events: notably JIGALO, winning boat in two J/24 World Championships, with Tim Rippey’s name on the placards.

Crew Needed & Welcome: Expert & Novice
On Sunday, second time sailing, Karen steered J/24 JERIATRIX downwind as the owner trimmed spinnaker.  They got 4th overall, best race was a 2nd place! Amazingly, they did it in an old Westerly and they challenged the fleet’s three better modern J/24s! Dockside preparation included sharing out crew amongst boats that needed crew. Brenna, for example, went from TJ to JIGALO, as did Michael from INDIGO KISS to JERIATRIX.

This is the core spirit of our Autumn J/24 Series, enjoying ancient sport and bringing new folk into it, for the sailing and companionship. Seeking this opportunity? Come crew in races in October!  More news to follow at the end of our Autumn event!

J/70s sailing off AnnapolisRiveting Annapolis YC Fall Series
(Annapolis, MD)- For the 2017 edition of the annual fall tradition on the Chesapeake Bay, a large turn-out of J/crews participated in the Annapolis YC’s Fall Series.  A wind variety of weather conditions greeted the eager crews that were sailing in J/22s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and a smattering of J’s in ORC handicap division.

In six windward/leeward races and one long distance coastal race, the Annapolis YC Fall Series “Big Boat” division in ORC 1 Class was won by Jim Connelly’s J/111 SLUSH FUND; they were well-tuned and trained after going up against the world’s best at the J/111 World Championship held earlier in the summer on San Francisco Bay.  Conditions were varied enough to use all three levels of ORC Triple Number Scoring – Low, Medium and High – and both the Windward/Leeward and Long Distance scoring models. In the end, Connelly’s SLUSH FUND posted five 1sts and 4-2 to win with just 11 pts, well clear of the next boat. Fourth in class, after having to count a DNC/9 in the first race, was Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY; posting the second best scores in class other than the 9th they had to count!

In the PHRF ToT Division, the same boats above were scored using PHRF handicap ratings.  Connelly’s crew on SLUSH FUND still won, but Roesch’s VELOCITY crew jumped into 3rd place.

The eighteen J/105s had their usual tight racing throughout the fleet.  Depending on how well “crewed-up” each team is for the series will have a dramatic effect on how each boat gets around the track- an easy way to tell is whether (a) they can start and (b) they can get around the corners without making bad mistakes!  Leading the pack after seven races was the duo of Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen on MIRAGE, posting all top four finishes to win with 20 pts.  Not far off their pace was Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, never winning a race and had all top five finishes to close with 24 pts!  Taking third on the podium was John White’s USA 113 with 35 pts. Rounding out the top five were Jim Koningsberg’s INIGO with 39 pts and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS with 42 pts.

The familiar couple team of Jenn & Ray Wulff, posting a 3-2-1-1-3 for 10 pts, won the eight-boat J/70 class.  Two points back was the Chip/ Steiner/ Vickers team on GNIXE with a 1-4-4-2-1 tally for 12 pts.  Only one point back in third place was Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE with a 4-1-3-3-2 for 13 pts. Just off the pace in fourth was Mark Hillman’s SIX with a 2-3-2-4-4 scoreline for 15 pts.  Yes, it was very close racing for the top four teams in this event!

The J/80 class had good participation with ten boats on the line.  Winning was John White’s ANOTHER ON THE TAB with a 3-5-3-1-1 record for 13 pts.  Alex Kraus’ COOL J had to win a tiebreaker on 16 pts each to take second over David Andril’s VAYU.  Taking 4th was Derrick Lynch’s OUTLAWS and 5th was Will Crump’s R80.

Also showing up with ten boats on the line were the J/30 class, experiencing a “classic renaissance” on the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s a tough class and all the top boats are completely re-conditioned and look nearly “as-new”!  Still setting the standard for the fleet is Bob Rutsch’s BEPOP, winning four of six races to easily win with 10 pts.  However, behind him it was “gloves-off” all series long for the next four places behind them.  Despite trying hard to throw away their advantage with a 6th place in their last race, Ron Anderson’s crew on INSATIABLE survived to tell the tale of the tape, taking second with 21 pts.  Starting off very slowly with a 6-8, Rob & Beth Lundahl’s crew on RAG DOLL got it all together and blitzed the fleet in the last three races with a 1-1-2 to take 3rd on a tie-breaker, much to the surprise of everyone!  Losing the tiebreaker and taking fourth place was Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.  Then, fifth was taken by David Johnson’s AVENGER with 27 pts.

The J/35 class continues to have fun on the Chesapeake.  However, like their J/30 colleagues, the J/35s also experienced a bit of a “schooling” on how to sail J/35s fast and furious and have a lot of fun doing it!  With straight bullets, the duo on AUNT JEAN, Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel, carried home yet more silverware and pickle dishes for their “man cave” trophy room at home.  The balance of the podium was another story altogether.  Battling it out all series were Bruce Artman’s T-BONE and Roger Lant’s ABIENTOT, with Artman getting the upper hand in the end to take the silver.

Finally, the J/22s had a somewhat abbreviated series.  Nevertheless, winning was Cassie Todd on HOT TODDY.  She was followed by Chris Wilson’s LIL’PUFFY in second and Jason Goscha’s DOUBLE J in third.
For more Annapolis YC Fall Series sailing information and results.

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Terry Hutchinson- J/24 World Champion* Terry Hutchinson has accrued a track record of being a winner. He gets involved in big-time keelboat racing programs and makes them better. However, the basis for what he does today is deeply rooted in extremely tough one-design racing at a world-class level.  After sailing FJ’s and 420’s in college and became a College Sailor of the Year, Terry competed in J/24s for a long time, ultimately winning the J/24 World Championship.  Like other J/24 World Champions, such as his colleague Ken Read at North Sails (now its President), Terry also capitalized on his know-how on what it takes to win and proceeded to help Quantum Sails Racing program, first in one-designs, then later in big boats.

It is now through his work as tactician for Hap Fauth’s Maxi72 Bella Mente and Doug DeVos’s TP52 Quantum Racing that Terry has brought these two successful owners together, alongside New York Yacht Cup, to challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. Here Terry discusses this new campaign.

CL: Let’s start with some background.
TH: It’s an incredible opportunity in front of us. I’m incredibly mindful of the history and the tradition that the New York Yacht Club has for the event, and so from the team side, it’s an honor to be a part of New York’s effort in this 36th America’s Cup.

This campaign probably started five years ago with Doug, and three years ago with Hap, as our sailing relationships have evolved over that period of time. When it became obvious that Team New Zealand was going to win, and after having discussions with them and their Challenger of Record where they indicated what they were going to do with the boat, it seemed like an opportunity to at least sit down and discuss if this was a challenge we wanted to take on.

The more myself, and Doug, and Hap talked about it, the more it became apparent how our goals were aligned in what we wanted to do, what we wanted the team to look like, and if we’re fortunate enough to be successful partnering with New York, to make the next match another step towards what we feel is represented in the sport. To get to this point has been about six month’s worth of work and it’s just on the front side of a lot more.

But I think when I look at our team and where we’re at, we have a lot of great sailing infrastructure already in place, and that component of the program has been operating at a reasonably high level for just over the better part of five years.

So under Hap’s and Doug’s leadership, they’re helping us get the business infrastructure in place and I think Hap summed it up best when he said, “Being successful in the America’s Cup is as much of a sailing venture, as it is a business venture,” and so it’s going to take an absolute team effort from all of us to be successful.

CL: Any particular vision for the team?
TH: For starters, we have two great principals. We have Doug and Hap. Then we have a third partner with the New York Yacht Club. But we are going to need to continue to find commercial and private funding to help support this challenge. Additionally, an important point to make is how this is going to be a US team. It’s a US flag team.

When you travel and you race the 52s or the 72s, you realize there is a massive gap in sailors from my generation, or slightly behind, to people in their early twenties. So as a team, we want to return the America’s Cup back to the base of our sport and garner support in that manner. In all of our minds, we want to represent the United States in the manner we feel is appropriate and do it through hard work and good results on the race course.

Is the team going to be 100% American? Probably not, but again, it’s going to be born and bred here. The way the Protocol is written right now, the sailing team must be comprised of 20% nationals and 80% have to be residents. I’m expecting the residency clause to be a pretty difficult to achieve by bringing in outsiders, so our goal is to have a team that is US based and using and developing sailors in our country.

When you talk about winning and then defending in the grand scheme of things, if we’re successful enough on the water this is time around, the goal would be to have developed a team of younger sailors that can then defend it. If you think about it in the big picture world, if it’s a nine-year cycle, I will have probably aged out of it by then. And that’s why we have to do a good enough job developing the younger generation.

That’ll likely be a combination of American sailors and international sailors, but as the skipper of the team and as an American, my feelings and thoughts are in this is going to be an American team. Is every single person going to be an American citizen? Probably not, but we’re going to definitely wave the flag proudly.

CL: Any details at this time about team members?
TH: It’s a bit too soon for specifics but I will say that my role is team skipper and not helm…. though in the America’s Cup you never say never. If you break down the timeline, and start working backwards from when the actual match, there’s not a lot of sailing time in the boat itself. But there’s some great young American sailors right now pursuing various avenues, so there’s a lot of talent that we have to go and cultivate and see who is going to be the right fit for this campaign.

It’s pretty simple when the underlying agenda is winning, which it is, and then doing it in a manner that’s going to make us all proud. When you work backwards from there then the cream will rise to the top. We just have to make sure that we then have a structure in place that allows us to pick the best sailors and execute on the day.

Terry Hutchinson sailing J/70sCL: What do we know about the boat?
TH: In all the discussions that we’ve had with the defender, we have a sense of the direction but it’s premature to know the full scope as there are a lot of variables that need to get addressed. The challenge for the organizers is how they want to make sure they have a great event that has participation and that brings people to New Zealand, and that brings the event back to where the base of the sport feels like it should be. Within all that the America’s Cup needs to maintain its position as the pinnacle of the sport.

So this is a tricky challenge. They want participants, they need to control the costs so it doesn’t become a ridiculous arm’s race, yet it needs to be the pinnacle of our sport. Having been in the loop of the conversations and email exchanges with Grant Dalton, I see clearly how he’s in a tough spot. While he’s in a great spot because he just won the thing, but he has got a great responsibility as well. I know they’re not taking any of it lightly.

CL: What have been some of the lessons you’ve learned in the past that are now directing you out of the blocks?
TH: With regard to the game itself, you can make extremely complicated, so lesson number one is to seek simplicity and focus on the priorities which is to design a fast boat and race it well with good people. If you keep those principles you can make it an easier game.

Significant to keeping it simple is getting the right people for the job. As I’ve evolved in my sailing, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be tactician for some really great teams, and what you learn in those experiences in how vital it is to have the right people for the jobs ashore and on the water. So we will be focused on bringing together those people.

One of the strengths for Bella Mente and Quantum Racing programs is to have great teams from bow to stern, where everybody works hard and respects the process that’s in place. We have a great system sailing where we evaluate our performance each day and we critique it and we go back out and we do the same thing the next day. We look forward to continuing this approach with this new campaign.

When the club announced this challenge, Hap made mention to how the event would now embody “a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar…” Does this infer the America’s Cup got off track with the previous few additions?

I wouldn’t say it went off track. In fact, I’d say there was some great things as a show. The last America’s Cup, as a visual spectator, was pretty darn impressive. The organization did a really good job of producing a broadcast product that was pretty exciting to watch.

However, I’m not sure it’s the vision I would’ve followed but that’s not really my position to say because we weren’t in their situation. They followed what they thought was a correct vision to take sailing to a different part of the sport. And that’s what they did. Team New Zealand has won it now and as competitors we follow their vision.

Four years from now, if we’re fortunate enough to be the defender, our vision will likely be a variation of several of the recent America’s Cup. But without question, the vision going forward is to do what we can to broaden our sport.”  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing Newsletter for this contribution.

Charlie Enright- Team Vestas* Volvo Ocean Race: Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team that includes as its leader the J/24 World Champion Charlie Enright.  Furthermore, he is joined by friend Mark Towill, both avid sailors and racers since they were little kids growing up on Narragansett Bay, sailing out of the Bristol YC on Sunfishes, J/24s, J/35s, J/105s and even the new J/121 recently.

Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they've teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more, and now they're back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

The team's partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best to respect them.

Joining Towill and Enright in the team's high command is Simon 'SiFi' Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's win in 2014-15 from the navigation station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA's Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer, all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders. Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crew member, then there are the team's under-30 crew members, bursting with enthusiasm and talent. Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark's Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds, Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016. Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America's Cup.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they've been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.

Follow these guys as the go around the world on the Volvo Ocean Race website (great tracker, too!). Add to Flipboard Magazine.