Wednesday, November 22, 2017

J/Newsletter- November 22nd, 2017

J/Boats Sailing Wall Calendar
Happy Holidays! Order Your 2018 J/Calendar!
(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew. For 2018, we have created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places.

The 2018 sailing calendar features the most popular as well as latest creations from the J/Design team sailing in many of the worlds most popular sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, San Francisco Bay, Russia, France, Italy, Monaco and French Polynesia in the Pacific!  See the 2018 J/Calendar photo gallery and order here

J/70 Sailing Champions League2018 SAILING Champions League Announcement
(Hamburg, Germany)- There are still a few months to go before the first event of the SAILING Champions League 2018 in Porto Cervo, Italy (31 May – 3 June), but the preparations are already in progress. As in 2017, the first four clubs from every nation qualify for Act 1 and Act 2, where they will compete for their places in the SAILING Champion League Finale.

J/70 SAILING Champions League sailorsThese are the teams that are eligible for the two qualifier events in Porto Cervo and St Petersburg:
  • Austria- Burgenländischer Yacht Club, SCTWV Achensee, Union Yacht Club Wolfgangsee, Yacht Club Bregenz
  • Czech Republik- ICZ RODOP, TJ LS Brno, JK Truc Plzeň, YC Neratovice
  • Denmark: Frederikshavn Sejlklub, Kongelig Dansk Yachtclub, Kerteminde Sejlklub, Hellerup Sejlklub
  • Finland: Åländska Segelsällskapet, Nyländska Jaktklubben, Mariehamns Seglarförening, Brändö Segalare
  • France: tbd
  • Germany: Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club, Segel- und Motorboot Club Überlingen, Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen
  • Italy: Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Yacht Club Adriano, Circolo della Vela Bari, Società Canottieri Garda Salò
  • Lithuania: tbd
  • Netherlands: WV Almere Centraal, Jachtclub Scheveningen, WSV Giesbeek, VWDTP Groningen
  • Norway: Moss Seilforening, Åsgårdstrand Seilforening, Ran Seilforening, Trønsberg Seilforening
  • Poland: Jacht Klub Kamień Pomorski, Yacht Club Sopot, MOS IIawa, Olsztynski Klub Zeglarski
  • Russia: Lord of the Sail – Asia, Navigator Sailing Team, Lord of the Sail – Europe, PIRogovo
  • Slovenia: tbd
  • Sweden: Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet, Cape Crow Yacht Club, Hjuviks BK, Malmö Segelsällskapet
  • Switzerland: Regattaclub Bodensee, Regattaclub Oberhofen, Société Nautique de Genève, Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen
  • United Kingdom: Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Wessex Sailing Club, Port Edgar Yacht Club
  • USA: Winner of Women’s Worlds in Mexico and Winner of US Sailing Mallory Trophy
In the qualifier events for Act 1 (Porto Cervo) and Act 2 (St. Petersburg), the top four ranked clubs from sixteen National Sailing Leagues compete against each other to win a ticket for the 2018 Grand Finale in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

J/70 SAILING Champions League teams 2018The principal upcoming events for the 2018 SAILING Champions League are:
  • Act I: May 31 to June 6- Porto Cervo, Italy- Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
  • Act II: tbd- St. Petersburg, Russia- St. Petersburg Yacht Club
  • Final: August 30 to September 2nd- St. Moritz, Switzerland- Segelclub St. Moritz
2018 SAILING Champions League sailing video overview  For more SAILING Champions League sailing information

J/70 North Americans MexicoMexico J/70 Valle Week!
Get Ready for 2018 J70 North Americans!
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- Sailing has never been as exciting in Valle de Bravo as it is with the amazing J/70´s. J/70 fever hit the lake in 2014, and only a couple of years later the fleet was already 29 strong.  Hosting the 2018 North American Championship will definitely boost local enthusiasm, and having amongst the best J/70 sailors on the continent in our home waters as our distinguished guests will make it the hottest ticket yet. 

We are very eager to put together "J/70 Valle Sailing Week 2018".  A week to devote to sailing and friendship.  A week to remember for many years to come.  A grown up "Sailing Disney trip" if you will.  The regatta is being hosted by Club de Vela La Peña and the J/70 Mexican Class Association from May 12th to 19th, 2018 on their gorgeous mountain lake.

The venue and its warm collaborators make the Valle sailing experience entirely pleasant.  No early wake up calls, hour-long motor trips to the course, heavy foul weather gear and cold water.  Only sailing under the sunny Mexican sky and being greeted with cold margaritas at the dock as soon racing is over and your boat is put away for you.  Hollywood sailing, Mexican style.

The Race Management will be top level.  With the formidable Mark Foster from Corpus Christi, Texas as the regatta PRO and the legendary Willii Gohl as Chief Judge, nothing can go wrong!

So, brace yourselves and stay tuned, for we have all the ingredients for an unforgettable Sailing Festival.  All we are missing is you, and our daily breeze, of course!  Call us now for local charter boats!

You may contact the Regatta Chairman Roberto Escalante at email- or mobile# +51 55 4181 4016.   For more J/70 North Americans sailing and registration information

SailsUp 4 Cancer TuesdaySails Up 4 Cancer!
#GivingTuesday #SailsUp4Cancer
(Mystic, CT)- #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaborative efforts. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. This November 28th, join the movement and give.  Your contribution to SailsUp 4 Cancer will fund research, prevention & care.

SailsUp 4 CancerSailsUp 4 Cancer is extremely proud of its Spinnaker Fund.  This Fund has been specifically tailored to individuals and families who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the loss of income due to their struggles with cancer. SailsUp realizes that the last thing a cancer patient needs is additional stress.
“The SU4C board has saved my life in more ways than one. I can’t say thank you enough. You are true angels and your generosity has made life a little less stressful and that means so much.” Sincerely forever, B.D.

“There are not enough words to express my thanks for the Spinnaker Fund Grant I received from you. I put it toward paying my mortgage.”  Warmly, B.F

“I am writing on behalf of my father, L.P., who unfortunately is suffering from metastatic liver cancer. Your organization brightened his day when he received your letter containing the generous spinnaker fund grant that your organization provided. Your contribution clearly will help with the cost and more importantly, brightened his day knowing that others are helping him though this difficult time.”  Sincerely, K.W.

"SailsUp 4 Cancer is a wonderful local charity that assists people dealing with a cancer diagnosis. They have assisted many of my customers at The Pink Mermaid that are dealing with cancer & lymphedema. The group is devoted to their cause and I wish them blessings of every type! When you see their many events advertised you should attend! The concerts are soooo much fun and such a worthy cause!!"  ~ C.R.
Please make any donation here and learn more about SailsUp 4 Cancer.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The third week of November is traditionally marked in America by the “Thanksgiving” celebration, a national holiday that honors the first harvest feast held in November 1623 by the first European settlers (the “pilgrims”) at Plymouth colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  It was an occasion to give “thanks” to God for their surviving a horrible winter, and “thanks” for an amazing harvest of food with help from friendly local Indian natives. Today, it has become a time for families and friends to gather together and enjoy a reunion of sorts to celebrate that first feast nearly four centuries ago.  Not much sailing takes place on this weekend!  However, last weekend, the San Diego YC held yet another lively race for their Hot Rum Series off of San Diego Harbor and Point Loma.  And, on San Francisco Bay the Fifth Annual "Crew You" Regatta took place with "beer ducks" as marks of the course! :)

As for the rest of the world, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Royal Bermuda YC and Bacardi held their annual Bacardi Keelboat Regatta and J/105 Invitational for seven teams on the beautiful Great Sound- the recent site for the America’s Cup this past summer.

Hopping over to Europe, we find more time to celebrate for J/sailors in the Netherlands.  Recently, the Noordzeeclub held their annual Dutch Doublehanded Series Awards, with J/crews on a J/109, J/120, and J/122E nearly sweeping all the top prizes in this fast-growing discipline in Europe.  Just across the English Channel, the Hamble Sailing Club hosted their penultimate weekend of racing for the Hamble Winter Series- for a J/88 one-design class and three IRC classes with a J/112E, J/111, J/109, J/97E, J/92 participating.  Then, southeast across the European continent, the Italy J/24 class had several winter series events take place with three fleets (mostly in the southern parts of the isthmus)- Marina di Carrara, Cervia (Rome), and Taranto.

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:

Dec 2- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 9-10- Jammin Jamaica J/22 Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 8-10- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-21- J/Fest St Pete- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 9-11- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-18- St Pete NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 17-18- SCYA Midwinter Regatta- Long Beach, CA
Feb 19- RORC Caribbean 600 Race- English Harbour, Antigua
Feb 23-25- J/70 Midwinters- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 1-4- Heineken St Maarten Regatta- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
Mar 7-11- Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational- Coconut Grove, FL
Mar 16-18- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 22-25- St Thomas International Regatta- Red Hook Bay, St Thomas, USVI
Mar 29- Apr 1- Easter Regatta- Columbia, SC
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua

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

J/122E doublehanded championJ/Crews Dominate Dutch Doublehanded Awards
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- At the season-ending awards banquet hosted by the Dutch Noordzeeclub, J/Boat teams swept all three season-series spots in the highly competitive doublehanded class, and picked up another season trophy in the fully crewed IRC classes.

Doublehanded racing is the fastest growing discipline in the Dutch racing circuit, with over 120 boats taking part in at least one of the season series and 30 boats competing in multiple events.

J/120 Maverick- doublehanded championThis season three J/crews took the top honors with the J-109 FIRESTORM, crewed by Wim Van Slooten and Jochem Heemstra, completing the season series in third place and the well campaigned J-120 MAVERICK, crewed by Chris Schram and Raymond Roesink, added to their 6th place finish in the RORC 2-handed class and 2017 EAORA Doublehanded Trophy with a second place finish for the season. 

Overall, the competition was dominated by the shorthanded-optimized J-122E AJETO, crewed by John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef, winning five of the six events they entered.  John and Robin also took their top form abroad this season with an impressive second place finish in the IRC Double-handed class in the famously tough 635nm RORC Fastnet Race.

Finally, Alain Bornet’s J-109 JAI ALAI earned a third place trophy for the season in the fully-crewed IRC 2 Class, highlighted by a second place class finish in the North Sea Regatta inshore series.  For more Dutch Offshore sailing season information at Noordzeeclub

J/125 sailing Hot Rum seriesAnother Classic Hot Rum Series II
(San Diego, CA)- Despite attempts by the weather Gods to throw another curveball for the weekend, with a large system brewing offshore that natives call “the pineapple express” (a wet, rainy, warm front with moisture flowing from as far west as the Hawaiian Islands), the sailors were instead treated to another classic day of sailing off San Diego’s beautiful Point Loma.

As usual, the little boats and early starters (the lower rating boats) go off in relatively light winds as they sailed out the channel to the first turning mark.  Then, with the building WNW seabreeze, the “platinum raters”, the big boats, took off in a decent breeze that was starting to hit 8-10 kts off Point Loma.  As a result, the “big boats” had huge advantage for the second weekend in a row as they steamed out of the channel with their enormous A5 spinnakers or double-slotting with their Code Zeros.  As they barreled through the fleet, they again occupied most of the top 15 slots overall.

J/120 CC Rider sailing Hot Rum seriesAs a result, in the 137-boat fleet, a number of J/teams are doing well overall in this popular series, with six teams in the top 16. The top banana is Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE in 5th place overall.  Just behind in 7th if John Laun’s J/120 CAPER, followed by Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN in 8th, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER in 11th, Gomez-Ibarra’s J/70 VAGAZO in 15th and Chuck Nichols’ J/120 CC RIDER in 16th.

On a class basis, Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE is also sitting in 5th place in PHRF 1 Class.  Meanwhile, Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER is in 8th place.

In PHRF 2 Class, the J/120s generally predominate over the course of the series.  And, this year is no exception.  Laun’s CAPER is leading, with Nichols’ CC RIDER in 3rd position, and Pennell’s J/120 MAD MEN is in 10th place.  Chasing the top three boats hard is local America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner sailing his Nelson Marek 43 MENACE.

J/105s sailing Hot Rum series off San DiegoThe PHRF 3 Class probably wishes the J/105 didn’t exist, that is how dominating they can be in their class.  However, a few missteps here and there don’t have them occupying the entire top five of the leaderboard so far.  Dagfish’s J/105 VIGGEN is in 2nd; just 2 pts back from the lead.  Scheel’s J/105 PUFFIN sits in 5th place, 10 pts off the lead. And, Jan Dekker’s J/105 AIRBOSS is in 9th, but only 14 pts off the lead.  All three boats have proven they can win not just class, but overall.  The final race in the series will have quite an impact on this group.

J/70 sailing Hot Rum series off San DiegoThe one class that has seen J/crews predominate like they never have before is PHRF 4 Class.  The only three J/70s racing must be having a three-way match race to see who wins, and who has to pay-up at the bar later!  So far, the Gomez-Ibarra duo on VAGAZO is leading with a 1-2 for 3 pts.  Then, Wyman’s NUNUHUNU sits in 2nd with a 2-3 tally for 5 pts.  And, tied in 3rd place is Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR with a 4-5 for 9 pts.  Any hiccup in the last race could easily flip-flop the standings amongst the three boats.

Finally, in PHRF 5 Class, the Case’s are sailing the J/22 ZO ZO and have sailed fast and smart, posting a 3-6 to hold on to 4th place, only 4 pts off the lead! Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/   For more San Diego YC Hot Rum Series results

J/105s sailing BermudaBromby/Murphy Three-peat Bermuda J/105  Regatta
(Hamilton, Bermuda)- The Royal Bermuda YC and the sponsor/partner Bacardi host their annual Bacardi Bermuda Keelboat Invitational every year just prior to Thanksgiving weekend.  For three days, one-design fleets of J/105s, IOD’s and Etchells 22s are treated to spectacular sailing on the Great Sound, the recent site of the America’s Cup.

For the J/105 fleet, the format is designed to be fun and inclusive of J/105 sailors around the world.  The local fleet provides their boats and three crew and invite three “international” sailors (e.g. non-Bermudian) to race with them.  In the past, the international crews have come from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.  The racing format is all short-course W-4’s, the Bermudians race against each on odd-numbered races, the International skippers on even-numbered races.

For the first time in the event’s history, one team has posted a “three-peat” performance.  The local hero and Star World Champion Peter Bromby from Warwick, Bermuda partnered with Kevin Murphy from the USA to dominate this year’s series with three bullets and two deuces in their six-race tally to win with just 12 pts.

While the Bromby/Murphy team may have sailed away with the event, it was nothing like that taking place for the balance of the podium.  After six races, three boats finished 3 pts apart.  A 5th in their last race nearly “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat” for the trio of Trevor Boyce/ Mike Neff from Bermuda and Stew Neff from Marblehead, MA, USA.  Onboard their team was the third Neff, brother Terry from Wisconsin.  While posting top three finishes in 3 races, a last in race #2 and a 5th in the last race gave the trio 20 pts, just enough to hang on for the silver. Hot on their heels with a nearly identical scoreline was the duo of James Macdonald from Smiths, Bermuda and Bill Lackenmacher from Seabrook, Texas in the USA.  Their last two races were a mirror of the Boyce/ Neff record of 2-5, posting a 5-2 to finish with 21 pts to close out the podium.  Dropping out of contention completely for silverware was Keith Chiappa’s team on BER 535, a last place on the last race torpedoed all hopes of a top three finish.
Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing video- leeward gate roundings   Follow the J/105 Bermuda keelboat event here on Facebook   For more Bacardi Bermuda J/105 Invitational sailing information

The Big Sail on J/22s at St Francis YCHot Sailors + Hot Bands + Cold Waters = The Big Sail
(San Francisco, CA)- The weekend of Thanksgiving in America has become what is known as “Rivalry Week” in American college football.  Over time, many events have been created that augment the gathering together of the “tribes” that support each university, whether competing schools have fun in tug-of-wars, go-kart racing, battle of the bands, chili cook-offs, or bocce ball.  All in the name of fun and, for the most part, engaging in a friendly reparte’ with the opposing team and alumni.

J/22 sailing the Big Sail on San Francisco BayIn California, the San Francisco Bay region enjoys two of the more prestigious universities in the world- University of California- Berkeley (a.k.a. “Cal”) and Stanford University.  Alumni from both schools, many of whom are members of St Francis YC, decided it would be fun to have an informal, off-beat, regatta at StFYC prior to “the game”.  In recent years, it has been a fun event sailed on StFYC’s J/22’s literally right off the clubs extended waterfront decks. This year, the club hosted the 14th edition of the “Big Sail” with Paul Heineken as chief on-water commentator.

The shoreside entertainment has sometimes eclipsed the hot and heavy action on the water.  As it turns out, this year that was the case.  The “battle of the bands” and the “battle of the cheerleaders” all drew a lot more attention than the “drift-a-thon” that was occurring just off the waterfront.  Watch the entertaining video here- The Pac-12 TV Network showed up for the event and produced a nice highlight of Pac 12 TV highlights of Big Sail on J/22sall the hot and heavy action- particularly on shore.

Nevertheless, the sailing still took place.  The two schools fielded teams in all four categories- Varsity, Young Alumni, Masters Alumni, and Grandmasters Alumni.  Due to the insanely light conditions on a perfectly sunny day, a most unusual scenario for sunny, windy San Francisco Bay, each division was only able to sail one race.  After winning three of the four divisions, Stanford was declared the 2017 winner of the Big Sail with a 3-1 record.  For more Big Sail event and sailing information

J/88 woman sailor going fastMore Hot Winter Sailing @ HWS
(Hamble, England)- Competitors for the sixth weekend of the Hamble Winter Series enjoyed more racing with the Hamble River Sailing Club, supported by OneSails.

In IRC One, Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES scored their fifth bullet of the series, and was yet again the fastest boat around the track in any class after IRC time correction. They are now leading their class by the considerable margin of ten points.

J/88 hot water action on SolentIn the J/88 Class, Avia Willment’s team is sailing remarkably well, scoring a sixth bullet for the series.  They, too, are leading their class by an enormous margin of ten points. As a result, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS is holding on to 2nd place with 16 pts net. They are followed by Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR in third place, just three points adrift.

In IRC Two, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE continues to sail fast and consistent.  Despite missing three races, their blistering pace of three 1sts and a 2-3 have them now sitting in third place just 2.5 pts away from the silver.

In IRC Three, Annie & Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II have two drop scores after ten races sailed, giving them a comfortable leading margin of 5 pts.  Second is Robin Stevenson’s J/92S UPSTART with 16 pts net.

Racing at the Hamble Winter Series continues with weekend #eight, the finale, on Sunday 26th November.
For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/24 no crew beer duckGrab-da-duck, F%$#&, OK?
"Crew You Regatta" Fun & Games
(San Francisco, CA)- Five years ago Northern California resident Jasper Van Vliet, a sailing instructor at that time, was lamenting the lack of opportunities for non-boat-owning enthusiasts to drive during a race. So he invented a regatta, then turned to his favorite San Francisco fleet—J/24, number 17. What he and peers developed is the Crew You Regatta sponsored by OPB-YC (Other Peoples’ Boats Yacht Club). This group staged the fifth annual regatta on Sunday, November 19. It’s a simple-no frills parade of fun for sailboats of length 24 feet and less, and the owner is disqualified from touching the tiller— the crew must drive. Courses are short windward-leeward loops, and there’s a "beer duck" placed mid-course; come within proximity and try to grab a longneck from the net. A beer in the hand is worth, well, subtract one point from your day’s total.

J/24 beer duck at No Crew Regatta“The premise is to permit more sailors the opportunity to helm during race conditions,” says Van Vliet. “This year we were able to run several back-to-back starts. And I hear that the beer duck was next to empty. Either that equates to an extra degree of navigation and boat handling skills from our ranks, or a higher level of exertion and thirst on the course.” This year, courtesy light winds and flat water, the fleet was scored for five official starts. Additional races were run late in the day when two Richmond Yacht Club junior sailor J/22 crews, returning from the day’s match racing along the San Francisco city front, joined. Coming out on top with 2017 accolades was Downtown Uproar owned by the Melissa Litwicki/Darren Cumming combo. In second was Valentin Lulevich’s Shut Up and Drive, Randall Rasicot’s Flight took third, Jasper and Robin Van Vliet’s Evil Octopus nabbed fourth and Brandon Whitney’s Backwards claimed fifth.

J/24 no crew beer duck markSan Francisco Bay race conditions in November can be a mixed bag. Last year, officials called a shortened course in order to complete the first and only race of the day. Quite the contrary in 2015 with its non-stop tip and clench, dip and drench. Once conditions hovered near 25-knots, race execs deemed it best to wrap for the day.   Thanks for photos and words by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing.  More sailing photos of “Crew You Regatta” on Facebook here.   Read more about the Crew You Regattas

Italian J/24 crew winnersJ/24 Italy Winter Racing Report
(Rome, Italy)- The Italian J/24 class continued to enjoy a full-slate of racing in their on-going winter series events taking place in Cervia (Rome), Taranto, and Marina di Carrara.  Over fifty teams are competing in these various series, a wonderful turn-out for this 40th Anniversary class that has enjoyed over three decades of popularity in Italy.  Here are the latest reports from each fleet.

On the Mediterranean Sea, in front of the beach at Milano Marittima, sixteen crews from the Romagna J/24 fleet have now completed three regattas for their Winter Championship- the X Memorial Stefano Pirini Cup- hosted by Circolo Nautico Cervia  ( ).

The day's winners for the three races were ITA 402 ARMED sailed by Marco Maccaferri, ITA 424 KISMET owned by Francesca Focardi and skippered by Dario Luciani from CN Cervia Amici della Vela, and ITA 400 CAPTAIN NEMO co-owned by co-armed by Guido Guadagni and Domenico Brighi from CV Ravennate.

As a result, of the third weekend of racing, the J/24 KISMET is still in the lead for the series. They are followed by CAPTAIN NEMO in 2nd place and in third place is ITA 382 VENTO BLUE sailed by Mauro Martelli.

The Winter Championship- X Memorial Stefano Pirini Cup is divided into two stages.  The first stage will conclude with races on Sunday, December 3. The second stage starts on February 18, 2018 and ends on March 18th.

J/24 winter series in ItalyTARANTO
Thanks to the three wins in the opening day and three more excellent races on the final weekend ITA 417 LA SUPERBA won the 2017 Cup Final, the closing leg of the J24 Trofeo Ciccolo National Circuit that took place off Taranto. The Italian Navy team sailing LA SUPERBA is skipper Ignazio Bonanno and crew of Simone Scontrino, Francesco Picaro, Francesco Linares and Alfredo Branciforte.

Taking second position was a new fleet member, ITA 427 JEBEDEE owned by Nino Soriano and skippered by Luca Gaglione from the Puglia fleet.  Included on the crew were Nino’s son Remo Soriano at the mast, Vittorio Renzi in the cockpit and Silvio Tullo at the bow- all of them are from the Circolo Nautico Sailing School.

Rounding out the podium in third place was ITA 467 CANARINO FEROCE owned by Massimo Ruggiero and skippered by Giuseppe Maglietta.

"It was an honor for us on JEBEDEE and for our fleet to be able to compete with crews like those who came to Taranto to qualify for the J/24 Worlds," commented Puglia J/24 Fleet Captain- Nino Soriano. “It was impressive to watch LA SUPERBA being at ease in the difficult sailing conditions.  It surprised us and incentivized us to practice and train more to raise our level of competition. It was a great event and very good organization!  Thank you!”

"It was a national qualifier for the J/24 Worlds with a very high level of talent. The presence of competitive teams such as JEBEDEE and CANARINO FEROCE (with tactician Paolo Montefusco) made the races very tough,” added the helmsman of LA SUPERBA, Ignazio Bonanno. “Taranto’s offshore winds made it very difficult to make the best tactical choices all the time and the conditions certainly favored the local crews.”

“The 2018 J/24 World Championship 2018 will take place from 24th to 31st August on Riva di Garda and with ten races scheduled.  The host is Fraglia Vela Riva. The Italian J/24 Class, as the regatta organizer, has the right to enter twenty-four boats, plus additional teams for a former World Champion, one for the 2017 National Champion, a female team, a youth under-25 team, and two boats selected by the organizing committee,” explained the President of the Italian J/24 Class, Pietro Diamanti.  “The worlds are limited to 80 boats.  As one of the world’s most beautiful and famous places to sail, with spectacular mountain landscapes, fabulous breezes, and the impeccable organization of Fraglia Vela Riva, we expect to fill all 80 entry slots (limited by qualifiers worldwide).”

J/24s sailing Italian winter seriesMARINA DI CARRARA
For the opening weekend of the Autumn Cup sailed on the Golf of Poets off Marina di Carrara, five races were completed in a variety of wind conditions over a sunny Saturday and Sunday weekend.  The host RC crew from CN Marina di Carrera was pleased to run 2 races the first day and 3 very nice races on the final day.

Twelve teams headed out with great anticipation on Saturday, enjoying in particular the warm temperatures and the bright sunny day.  However, the conditions were not conducive for the regular seabreeze to build, so two races were barely completed in the dying breeze.  The day’s winners were ITA 212 JAMAICA sailed by Pietro Diamanti and ITA 449 RAZOR BILL owned by Giuseppe Simonelli and helmed by Davide Sampiero.

However, the standings changed dramatically on the second day. ITA 304 FIVE FOR FIGHTING sailed by Eugenia De Giacomo (with crew of Nicola and Matilde Pitanti, Lorenzo Cusimano and Bruna Marco) did not leave anything to chance for their erstwhile opponents, winning all three races in the sunny southwest winds of 8-10 kts.

Consequently, De Giacomo’s FIVE FOR FIGHTING team led the standings with a 3-4-1-1-1 for 6 pts net.  They are followed in second place by ITA 202 TALLY I owned by Roberta Banfo and skippered by Luca Macchiarini with a record of 4-3-2-5-2 for 11 pts net.  Sitting in third place is ITA 481 COCO sailed by Riccardo Pacini with a 2-ocs-4-2-4 for 12 pts net.

"These have been beautiful races, particularly Sunday, very fun and hard-fought," commented Pietro Diamanti. "The next and last event of our Autumn Cup 2017 is on Saturday 2 and Sunday, December 3rd."
For more Italian J/24 Winter series sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Russian J/70 women sailor- Valerya Kovalenko- winner ProYachting* Top Russian woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, was honored this past week for her performance in the PRO-Yachting series hosted by The Royal YC in Moscow, Russia.

On November 14, in the private club “SPY Moscow,” an awesome celebration and awards ceremony took place for the PRO-Yachting 2017 Ulysse Nardin Summer Series.  The event was attended by well over 300 people and was presided over by Ekaterina Skudina, a famous Russian woman Olympic dinghy sailor and Maxim Andrianov, the Managing Director of Ulysse Nardin Russia.

The culmination of the evening was the awarding Wednesday Night Race series winners, whose participants fought for the whole summer season for the possession of the gorgeous (and wildly expensive) Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph watch.  In the end, it was Russia’s top woman keelboat skipper, Valerya Kovalenko, that led her Team SSA-9 (Valeriya Kovalenko, Alexey Tarasov, Nikolay Chernikov, and Sergey Avdonin) to victory in the summer-long series.

J/70 ProYachting winner- Team ss9- Valerya Kovalenko“Thanks to PROyachting, there is always wonderful organization and a wonderful atmosphere. It seems to me this is the best place in Moscow to spend an evening sailing and watch absolutely incredible sunsets,” commented Ms Kovalenko. "I would like to wish everyone who are starting to get involved in sailing great success, to find their place in the boat where they feel most comfortable, find their place in sailing where they enjoy friends and competition, and choose those classes and regattas they like most.” NOTE- she and many other top women and youth sailors in Russia have chosen the J/70 class!

Second place in the series was taken by the NO PASARAN Team (Mikhail Loskov- skipper, Nikolai Khlystov, Valentin Uvarkin, Ekaterina Sychev, and Igor Manshin).

Third place overall was taken by Team ULYSSE NARDIN (Maxim Andrianov- skipper, Denis Trynin, Jonas Gigon, Victoria Chelnokova, Arman Chobanyan, and Egor Zuev).

Maxim Andrianov, the ULYSSE NARDIN team captain said, “although we did not aspire to do this well, we honestly worked and trained hard to improve each race, we are quite happy to have achieved this result!”

The Tuesday Warm-Up Race Series was won by the Team MOSCOW 24 (Denis Elahovsky- skipper, Anna Semkina, Ivan Lozovoy, Svetlana Zaboleva, and Valentin Uvarkin).

Note that the troika of winners of the Tuesday series of regattas finished the season with a minimum separation from each other. "It was a constant stress, constant nerves, it was very competitive.  At some point I realized that I was tired, but when it was all over, I began to regret that now I will have to wait for May," commented Denis Elahovsky, team captain of MOSCOW 24.

Second place went to the Team HURRICANE (Elena Buyanova- skipper, Alexey Sekirin, Pavel Ovanesyan, and Pavel Kirilyuk). Then, third position was Team BIG FISH (Inna Ozhogina- skipper, Olga Selezneva, Ivan Bodyagin, Stanislav Melinger, and Igor Puzanov).

Canadian J/24 sailor- Rossi Milev* Canadian J/24 sailor Rossi Milev recently won his first J/24 World Championship at Port Credit (Toronto), Ontario this past summer.  His success was a story of how much time and perseverance it took to win in the J/24 class.

Milev sailed his first J/24 Worlds in 2000 in Newport. He didn’t win, but really enjoyed the class and the boat, so like a lot of J/24 sailors, he kept coming back for more.

Seventeen years later, he finally sailed to victory at his home yacht club in Port Credit, Ontario. He set his sights on the Worlds, which happened in September of this year. Boats began to collect in the parking lot days before the event with sailors who were eager to get their boats measured in and race-ready.

Port Credit Yacht Club was so “on-point” for the World Championship, they were able to get all 63 boats registered and measured one day ahead of time. From a racer’s perspective, this speedy inspection was ideal, as sailors wanted to start focusing on racing and put in some practice time.

Given the conditions that happened this year, and keeping in mind that weather is unpredictable, Rossi worked hard to get this regatta to his home yacht club, as he knew they would do a great job running a World Championship for the J/24 Class. Once they won the bid for hosting the event, Rossi set his sights on taking home the trophy.

Before the first race came to an end, the fleet knew this was going to be a very tough regatta. Rossi’s team Clear Air came across the finish line not quite where they expected.

J/24 Clear Air- World Champion“Looking at our results from the first race, local knowledge did not pay off. The fog was thick. Halfway through the beat we had committed to the left, which was normal, but it didn’t pay off at all.” Team Clear Air was disappointed, but before the second race they put their heads together and shared a prediction. “Everybody can have a 46th place. This is the World’s. It’s going to come down the last leg of the last race.”

“We had pretty good starts, and some not so good ones. When we had bad ones we flipped on port and made the best of it. It was the perfect opportunity to crack off the sails and get the boat going as fast as we could. We would take some sterns, and even duck, which wasn’t necessarily bad. Boat speed was so important.”

All the teams found their own challenges during 8 light air races, including current. Rossi stated; “The current here was going east to west, it wasn’t really normal. We usually see [that] more in windier weather.” This unexpected adverse current became an obstacle when coming in on the starboard lay line and at mark roundings.

“Winning the J/24 Worlds is as hard as winning the Worlds in any other class. It may actually be harder, because the boats are all even. There are a lot of great sailors in the class who had deep results. Up until the last race it was still not determined who would win.”

Rossi’s team sailed the 2016 North Americans (minus 1 crew member) as well as many local races, so they knew each other; they just hadn’t been sailing the J/24 together leading up to the Worlds. Rossi only sailed one J/24 event a couple weeks before the Worlds at his home club, with a different team. “Everyone has families, work, growing businesses. We all kind of parted ways for a while.”

For the Worlds, he said, “Each day our communication got better.” He was very confident in his crew. Although they hadn’t been sailing much together, they were able to pick up where they left off. By the end of the week, they were right where they wanted to be. Rossi was also very familiar with his boat, which had won a previous J/24 Worlds. He claims she has unbelievable speed, especially in light air.

J/24 Clear Air- Rossi Milev- CanadaRossi worked with Will Welles when he won the 2014 J/24 Worlds, and he says he learned a lot from his experiences sailing with and against Will about technique and boat setup during their tuning sessions. “I keep my rig just a bit looser than what the tuning guide says. I can feel the boat better, and I feel quicker and have more options and can settle into the groove.” He uses the tuning guide as a tool. He knows he is in a “safe” range, then goes by feel. He has a great feel for the boat and knows when changes need to be made for overall boat speed improvement. Rossi had trained on Lake Ontario in light air ahead of the Pan Am Games a few years ago. He said that contributed to his loose rig setting at this years’ Worlds; in the same conditions, he felt very confident in his settings.

“The steps I would move to on the rig were in increments, at a half-turn rate. Small adjustments are key in lighter air, and I never go the next full step unless the wind picks up more significantly. I have a great feel for the boat and helm, and can tell when changes need to be made.”

We asked Rossi what he thought about moving the mast butt. “I did move it a couple of times when I was training with Will and Tony Parker in the days prior to racing. I found a sweet spot that I liked and the boat felt great. I ended up leaving it there for the whole regatta, as it was the right balance between my sails, foils, and helm.” As for moving the mast butt, he says, “just gives you a piece of mind.”

We asked Rossi what his number one tip would be to all J/24 sailors. He replied;

“Always look at your leeward shrouds. You want to see them dangle a bit. That’s how I decide how much I need to come on or off the rig.”

Rossi is focusing on work again, but he’d like to sail with other teams in 2018. He already has his sights set on the 2019 Worlds in Miami, and the upcoming winter circuit is of interest to him spending time sailing with good friends.

“Miami will be awesome. It will be another hard Worlds to win again. The stronger more prominent current, bigger breeze, and waves will have more effect on overall performance. It will be very different from this year.”

We asked Rossi what he likes about the J/24 Class and what keeps him coming back for more. He was humble as he replied;

“I like the J/24 Class because it is affordable and the sailors are very good. We wouldn’t have as many youth and women’s teams out there if it was expensive like a lot of other more high-performance classes. The J/24 is a great boat to learn from and race, and the events are a lot of fun. There is a reason why nothing has replaced it. How many young people have learned how to sail on a J/24? A lot of them. Because it is fun. It’s a good Class to be a part of.”  Thanks to North Sails and Scuttlebutt for this contribution.

J/70 Japan- Petit Star at San Francisco Rolex Big Boat Series* Japan’s PETIT STAR J/70 crew- Infectious Grins @ Rolex Big Boat Series.  It’s day three of Rolex Big Boat Series and the photo boat is pointed at the J/70 fleet fresh off the start line. The fleet tacks left. We slowly follow for a few moments. That tunnel vision forward tracking racers yields to a huge surprise when dropping the viewfinder and stepping round to face back of boat. There is a lone J/70 immediately behind and its bow splash is close enough to reach us. The surprised expressions from we three in the photo boat initiated a grin and a wave from all racers--those infectious smiles from the Japanese crew of PETIT STAR inspired this post.

Back on land, PETIT STAR’s Yu Stanly Fujinaga told me, “Every time we passed near a media boat I would say to the crew: ‘With a smile!’ because I was nervous about unfamiliar strong winds.” The team is comprised of members from the Osaka-Tannowa Yacht Club. The core crew, Akinori Takezawa, Hirokazu Hayasi and Akiba Kawaguchi, started sailing together on a J/24; three years ago they shifted to a J/70.

Following a Star
Fujinaga is the new tactician/navigator/sailing manager. “Our crew races in the Osaka-Kansai area. In Japan, handicap races use IRC and local ratings system so there few opportunities to race One Design. Mr. Takezawa, owner of PETIT STAR, and I both have a desire to travel abroad and compete in One Design competition. Racing One Design is a new experience for me.”

Six months ago, a decision was made to enter the 2017 Rolex Big Boat Series San Francisco, J/70 division. In March, the crew began preparations. The local winds of Tannowa being on the weaker side, the sailors usually headed to Wakaura, approximately 19nm south, to participate in Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club competition.

Fujinaga is the newest of the crew. His experience counts Farr 31, Beneteau First 36.7 and X35 boats; he says this was his first J/70 campaign. In preparation for Big Boat Series, he steadfastly monitored San Francisco Bay marine weather condition for the six weeks in advance of the competition. Fujinaga personally put in more than 50 hours training, plus participated in many regional races back home. “I set my goal to be 70 hours practice, but that was still not enough. It was hard work, but it paid off,” adding that he is very proud to work aside peers Akinori and Hiroko.  Smiling, he says it felt as if he was, “Starting from scratch, with a fumbling start.”

Going the Distance
The crew chartered a J/70 from an owner in San Francisco, and transported two sets of sails, control rope and additional items within three suitcases. “I was worried whether it would fit within the weight limit of an airplane, but it was nice to stay safe. For racing, we have experiences of short distance [travel] from our home port, but this is the first time [for us to make] a long way traveling abroad.”

This was also a first time for PETIT STAR crew members to experience the signature heavy wind conditions of San Francisco Bay. For the most part, their field practice and race conditions saw southwest afternoon sea breezes at 15 to 20 knots. “Since we were only here for a short amount of time we did not have much time to practice in a lot of strong wind.”

J/70 Japan- Petit StarLooking West to Conditions in the East
Fujinaga says that things are notably different between the two sailing venues. “Back home in Japan there are numerous local yacht clubs at each marina. Kansai Yacht Club, which belongs to Softbank Team Japan, is also located near us in Osaka Bay. At club races we usually see 10 to 15 boats gather.” Larger races, where 50 to 60 boats may compete, include events such as ‘Around KIX Yacht Race’ organized by the Farewell Yacht Club. There are about 80 boats at the club where PETIT STAR is kept. Organizers welcome entries from other countries and, for the most part, sailing occurs year round in the Osaka Kansai area; most popular times are May to November. Competition is brisk during even the coldest months of January to March. “Those who sail at this season are serious people. I participate in ‘New Year Sailing’ every year.”

Is sailing a popular sport in Japan? Is yacht racing in Japan a sport for the wealthy or do students and middle-income people compete?

Replies Fujinaga, “Unfortunately, sailing is a minor sport in Japan. In general, the impression that yachting is a hobby of wealthy people is also believed.” While there are many sailing clubs at the high school and university levels, few people continue after graduation. “At Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club, I hold sailing events several times a year to recruit the public. I also ask friends to invite friends to join us on a day cruise. We try to increase the number of young people, but I think perhaps many have the impression that the threshold to participate in this sport is high; or that it is difficult to get on to a boat.”

He goes on to assert that with an aging sail demographic, attracting young people is important. “I joined Wakayama Ocean Yacht Club nine years ago when I was 18 years old. Since that time I remain the youngest member. Recently, Koujiro Shiraishi, who first challenged in Vendée Globe and of Softbank Team Japan (America's Cup), was featured in the media. I think his participation and comments in the media will help the sport gain popularity here.”

Having spent one week in San Francisco, the crew cites their time at Rolex Big Boats was quite valuable. “It is important to our sailing careers. I am thrilled with the hospitality of the race organizers and the management staff at St Francis YC. The greatest appreciation to all the people who have accepted our challenge to this event.”

With a wide grin, “Thank you so much! From Team Petit Star:
Skipper: Akinori Takezawa from Amagasaki, Hyogo
Pit: Hirokazu Hayasi from Settsu, Osaka
Trim: Akiba Kawaguchi from Misaki, Osaka
Tactician/navigator/sailing manager: Yu Stanly Fujinaga from Kanan, Osaka
Onshore manager: Hiroko Takezawa from Amagasaki, Hyogo
Learn more about Renegade Sailing on their blog (thanks for their contribution)

Russia J/70 class* The Russia J/70 Class Association ( has been formalized as part of the Ministry of Sport in the Russian Federation.  It is a tribute to the efforts of Dmitri Zarickij and Grigory Aksenov, partners in J/Boats Russia to have gotten the class this far and have made such an enormous impact on a national basis across the Russian Federation- from as far east as Sochi (the Black Sea resort) across the continent to St Petersburg in the west on the eastern Baltic Sea.

The Russia J/70 Association started developing the J/70 class across Russia in 2013. In the spring of 2017 year, a decision was made to register as a formal organization with the Russian Ministry of Sport.  The association operates in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Krasnodar Krai (east of Moscow).

The class is healthy.  As of September 2017, 29 boats are members, including 11 boats that have been used in three commercial projects- such as the Russian J/70 Sailing League. Around 200 people are constantly sailing (more than 10 days a year), about 1,000 people at least once a year.

J/70s off St Petersburg, RussiaThe J/70 class participates annually in the boat shows in Moscow and Europe.  Russian J/70 sailors are quite active both nationally and internationally.  They have participated in the YC Monaco Winter Sportboat series; the Sochi Winter Series; several stages of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup National circuit in Italy; the Russian J/70 Sailing League series; the SAILING Champion League series (and finale); and seven Russian crews sailed the 2017 AUDI J/70 Worlds in Porto Cervo at YC Costa Smeralda.

Notably, the Russian J/70 class plans to engage the help of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Sports to put in a bid to host the J/70 World Championship in 2019, most likely in St Petersburg on the eastern Baltic Sea!  For more information, contact these class representatives:

President- Irina Gorbatûk- phone +7-9062-346422, email- Irina_gorbatyuk@Mail.Ru and Facebook-

Class Officer- Dmitry Zaritskiy- phone +7-9062-399929, email- and Facebook-

J/Boats Russia- Grigory Aksenov- phone +7-9091-576924, email-, and Facebook-

For more Russian J/70 Class Association information, please see Facebook page
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