Wednesday, January 31, 2018

J/Newsletter- January 31st, 2018

J/122 sailing Heineken St MaartenHeineken St Maarten- Sailing Competition HOT’ing Up!
World famous “Shaggy” Doing Benefit Concert
(Simpson Bay, St Maarten)- With less than 50 days before the start of the 38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 1-4), the entry list continues to grow, 45 teams representing 13 countries are signed up to compete. The regatta has been a key event on the Caribbean race schedule since its inception in 1980, attracting world-class sailors– racing monohulls, maxis and multihulls – to the island of Saint Martin for four days of serious fun, both on and off the water.

“Our registration numbers are tracking close to last year at this time, which is great news,” said Regatta Race Director Paul Miller, adding that despite Hurricane Irma hitting Saint Martin this past September, the island is recovering in short order. “We have another great year of racing ahead and are seeing a lot of enthusiasm from local and international sailors alike.”

Coming from the United Kingdom is Chris Body and his team on the 40-foot J/122 EL OCASO. The boat won its class last year with a Michigan-based team onboard.

J/122 sailing off St Maarten Heineken regatta“The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta puts on some really good racing, and it’s easy for a team to come in from Europe or the U.S. and charter a boat to compete,” said EL OCASO Captain Bob Hillier, a regatta veteran who will be returning as the team’s tactician this year. “This will be my tenth St. Maarten Heineken Regatta with EL OCASO. The J/122 class is the premier racing boat class in the Caribbean and typically the largest class at the regatta. The CSA ratings are so close that you are finishing within seconds of each other.”

A longtime goal for organizers has been reached this year with the addition of a “Regatta Village” located at Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino and the Yacht Club at Port de Plaisance (across from race host St. Maarten Yacht Club). The venue, on the Dutch side of the island of Saint Martin in Cole Bay, will bring all the regatta essentials together: housing registration, shore-side entertainment, regatta offices, docking, food stands and beer tents. In addition, The Yacht Club Port de Plaisance will be offering free dockage in their South Basin for competitors as their way of saying thanks for supporting the regatta this year.

reggae pop star- Shaggy- from JamaicaShaggy To Headline the "Legendary Night" Concert
There are promises of a “Legendary Night” to close off the final evening on Sunday. Organizers are proud to announce the return of “Mr. Boombastic” – international recording superstar: Shaggy – who will be the headline act for the evening of March 4th at Port de Plaisance. Shaggy is a multi-Grammy Award winning artist from Jamaica, and is the only "Certified Diamond-selling Dance hall Reggae Artist."

Since exploding on the music scene, Shaggy's several gold and multi-platinum selling albums have won him a Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Reggae Album, 5 Grammy nominations, and topped an impressive chart list that included the Top 40 Rhythmic charts, Hot 100, Billboard 200, among others. Shaggy’s illustrious career has seen the international superstar perform alongside some of the biggest names in all genres of music, notably he recently collaborated with his longtime friend and producer Costi, as Shaggy joined Afro Pop artist Mohombi and Australian singer Faydee on the recently released vibrant and catchy single, "I Need Your Love.”

Shaggy's I need your love music videoJohn Leone of International Liquor & Tobacco Trading Ltd. states “We are extremely excited to bring Shaggy back to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Shaggy has been a great supporter of the island and has offered to perform to support fundraising efforts for hurricane relief. We are extremely excited about having him back on stage again for this truly unique edition of the Regatta. It’s time for some Serious Fun!”

Entrance to the performance on Sunday night will have a $25.00 USD admission fee for the general public, with $5.00 USD of each ticket going to the Charity Fund.

J/105 sailing Heineken St Maarten regattaRegatta Format
The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, March 1, 2018 with the Gill Commodore’s Cup. The optional event is separately scored and followed by an evening prize giving where winners are awarded Gill gear. On Friday, the fleet embarks on the event’s 26 nautical mile Around the Island Race before taking on a series of windward-leeward races on Saturday and a single coastal race on Sunday. Each day of racing is rounded out with serious shore-side entertainment, including concerts and parties (see above!).

In addition to the British team sailing the J/122 EL OCASO, a number of J/sailors across the spectrum have also registered for the regatta, such as Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID from Antigua, Tanner & Shari’s J/30 CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE from Antigua, Jordan Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE from New York, Sam Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE from British Virgin Islands, and Remco van Dortmondt’s J/105 JENK from The Netherlands.  For more Heineken St Maarten Regatta sailing information

J/125 Timeshaver offshoreSDYC’s Islands Race- Kick-Off for SoCal Season
(San Diego, CA)- Back for its ninth year, San Diego Yacht Club will host the 130nm Islands Race on February 16-17, 2018. The Islands Race is one of SDYC’s signature offshore races, and the first of the 2018 racing calendar for most boats. Following the Islands Race will be the Puerto Vallarta Race in March, the SoCal 300 in May, and the Rum Runner Race in October.

The Islands Race brings San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club together when the race starts in Long Beach Harbor. From there, competitors will head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands before finishing in Point Loma. This scenic course showcases Southern California’s gratifying sea breezes and profound ocean swells.

J/124 Marisol offshoreWith registration now open, a fleet of over 25 boats is expected to compete in 2018, similar to past years. In 2017, the smallest boat entered was a 33 footer, while the largest boat entered was Roy Disney’s 70 ft Pyewacket.  A number of J/Crews are already registered, including Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC, Tom Barker’s J/65 GOOD CALL from Cortez Racing Association, Ed Sanford’s J/105 CREATIVE from SDYC, Seth Hall’s gorgeous flag-blue J/124 MARISOL, and Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC.

SDYC Staff Commodore Wayne Terry and Daniel Giessmann from NHYC will again co-chair the 2018 running of the event. For those sailors who enjoy an assortment of conditions within 130nm of offshore racing, Giessmann recommends you register.

“The Islands Race is great because it gives sailors a real taste of what offshore racing is like in Southern California. For some racers this may be the longest offshore race they do and for others it is a great tune-up for the PV or Cabo races that follow. Being early in the season also allows for a wide variety of weather scenarios to keep navigators busy. I enjoy being the chair to help promote and grow west coast offshore racing.”

Additionally, Terry provides a summary of the 2017 Islands Race and what to expect in 2018.  “The normally well-attended Islands Race, co-sponsored by the San Diego and Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs, will soon enjoy the 9th year of this annual event. The race normally draws 25+ competitors, many of whom will use it as a tune-up to SDYC’s semi-annual running of the Puerto Vallarta Race, which is scheduled to commence on March 2nd. Over the years, the Islands Race has experienced weather conditions ranging from mild to extreme, while usually fun and always challenging. The Islands Race is one of those many events where the respective sailing offices do most of the work, and deserve a big thank you for doing so. On behalf of the organizing authority, we hope everyone participating in this year’s event has a fun, fast and most importantly, safe race to San Diego. As always, refreshments will be on the front deck awaiting your arrival at the prize giving ceremony.”

SDYC will host the award ceremony on the clubhouse main deck on Saturday, February 17 with food and drinks for competitors beginning at 3pm or later depending on when the majority of boats complete the race.  Friends, family, and the sailing community can follow the race by tuning in to the YB Tracking website.

J/80s training off La Rochelle, FranceFrance Expands Sailing League 2018
(La Rochelle, France)- Launched in 2016, the French National Sailing League (LN VOILE), the only 100% inter-club competition in France, will pass a new stage this year.  For 2018, the clubs will compete for the first time in a championship format that includes two events sailing in J/70s and J/80s. The first event is in Brest (June 29 - July 1), organized by the Union of Brest clubs (USAM, SR Brest, Crocodiles Elorn). And, the second will be in La Rochelle (October 19 to 21), organized by the Société des Régates Rochelaises.

Who will succeed in 2018? Will it be the Sailing Club of Saint Quentin (first winner of the LN Voile) or the Saint Aubin-Elbeuf Sailing Club that won in 2017?

After two single editions in La Rochelle (SRR) in 2016 and Le Havre (SRH) in 2017, this year's LN Voile will move to a championship format. This expansion of the event permits more clubs to sail and it increases the participation by more club members for each time- a much better dynamic overall for the LN VOILE.

Ed Russo, President of LN Voile Commission, commented, "I am pleased that LN Voile 2018 is taking place in a two-step format. This will allow clubs to put in place a real internal dynamic around this project. In Germany, they are on a 5-step format, which strengthens the program within the clubs. And, more importantly, that sportingly permits each club to have dozens of members participate in a summer season long championship.  That remains a goal for us."

J/80 league training off FranceThe experience of the past two years has shown that the LN Voile project can be approached differently depending on the club. Between those who sign up for a performance goal in order to qualify for the European semi-finals, those who take the opportunity to discover a great national competition to their members, or those who select their representatives after an internal selection, all the formulas work and enable clubs to participate in the scenario that suits them best.

League Training Programs
Since the start of the year, a number of clubs have already organized themselves and are having training events in J/70s and J/80s.  For example, last weekend there were very good conditions for their training for two days. Between four boats on Saturday, and seven on Sunday, the fleet sailed on a “banana courses” near the West Minimes of La Rochelle.  Crews worked a lot on tacking and gybing.  After an intense day on the water, a debriefing was organized at the clubhouse of Société des Régates Rochelaises, with a video analysis of Sunday maneuvers.  The next training weekend is again at Societe des Regate Rochelaises over the February 3rd to 4th weekend.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The final week of January saw a few unique regattas taking place around the world.  Down Under in Australia, the Royal Geelong YC held their 175th annual Festival of Sails Regatta off Geelong in Port Phillip Bay for sailors from Melbourne and Sydney.  Truly a “celebration” of sail in southeast Australia.  The J/111 class had a fantastic time sailing as one-design and handicap in their “Super 11s” class.

Also, taking place “down under”, but over at the bottom of the South American continent was none other than the famous Santander Bank Chiloe Regatta that took place south of Puerto Montt, Chile in the Chiloe archipelago- one of the world’s most beautiful places to sail.  Imagine, hundreds of islands like Sweden’s archipelago off Stockholm, mixed with rolling hills and a massive Andean mountain range towering up to 12-14,000 ft snow-capped volcanoes. A fleet of 28 J/Boats that included a J/88 and one-design classes of J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s had a fabulously warm, windy time.

Then, in the “norte-americano” part of the world, the infamous San Francisco Singlehanded Sailing Society held their notorious “Three Bridge Fiasco” for legions of single and double-handed sailors on the Bay.  In short, sadly enough, the event lived up to it’s billing as a “fiasco.”

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:

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/105 HDI Seguros women's sailing teamExciting Chiloe Santander Regatta in Chile
(Puerto Montt, Chile)- The archipelago of Chiloé in the southern region of Chile known famously as “Patagonia”, has been the site of the extraordinary event called the “Regata de Chiloe” (Chiloe Regatta) that takes place every two years.  The boats and crews all convene in Puerto Montt, then head south towards the archipelago, one of the most unique places to sail in the world- imagine spectacular snow-capped Andes Mountains mixed with the Swedish archipelago off Stockholm- truly a mind-bending spectacle of nature in its most raw, unspoiled form.

Chiloe regatta courseIt's a wonderful stage and a very complicated one to sail. For a week, more than 800 sailors gather together for lots of sailing and socializing.  There are more than 200 miles (370 kilometers) of racing in eight legs, where winds and strong currents can be a problem even for the most seasoned navigators.

One of those teams this year were a 100% all-women’s crew on the J/105 HDI SEGUROS.  The group of eight women between 18 and 49 years old sailed well and certainly had their moments of glory!

Paula Herman (18), Carmina Malsch (19), Roberta Herman (19), Sofia Middleton (24), Renatta Parodi (20), Amelia Zulueta (33), Valeria Vila (49), and skipper Aurelia Zulueta (35) were well-prepared to face the top competition in the J/105 class.

J/105 women's sailing team in ChileThe team trained hard for months prior to the competition; they knew that it was not an easy mission to race against Chile’s top offshore sailors. But, they were competitive, relying on their experience (6 of them had already sailed the 2016 edition of Chiloe), teamwork, and determination.  Sofia Middleton commented, "Our performance was quite good, the fact that we are women does not scare us.  The funny thing is that we are a team competing in a category that is characterized by people who have been sailing a long time together, and despite that fact, we have been in the fight for the whole regatta! Thanks to our supporters- our families and HDI SEGUROS that helped sponsor our team!”

This year’s event was not without some hiccups, as twenty-eight J/Boats showed up for the 2018 edition of the Regata de Chiloé, in the Southern part of Chile, that took place from January 20 to 27.  For those “in the know”, this event truly ranks as one of the most awesome “bucket list” events you should sail anywhere around the world- the vistas are truly eye-opening!

J/105 sailing Chiloe RegattaThis year, the regatta started in Castro, the main island in the Chiloe archipelago.  Then, for seven days the sailing teams and their “mother ships” meandered through the channels, straits and fiords that give form to the Chiloé Archipelago.  The point-to-point coastal racing saw the boats visit gorgeous anchorages and harbors in Dalcahue, Mechuque, Hornopirén and Calbuco and finished in Puerto Montt, where two windward-leeward buoy races where scheduled.

Logistics posed a challenge to the enthusiastic captains, since the nearest marina with lift services was in Puerto Montt.  That meant a 650 mile trip trailering boats from their base in the ports near Santiago and then a two-day delivery trip crossing the Ancud Gulf and down south through several straits just to be on the starting line at Castro.

J/105 in ditch in ChileOf all the hiccups some boats suffered, perhaps the J/105 TRICALMA had the “closest near miss’ (like total loss) halfway down the Pan-Americana Sur highway.  The boat and trailer ended up off the road with minor scratches after crossing a four feet wide ditch on a US-made Triad trailer that kept it safe.  However, the SUV towing it had a far worse outcome, while the driver was OK, the truck was declared a total loss!

Another J/105, RECLUTA, also faced difficulties.  While they were repairing their broken down trailer in Temuco on the side of the highway, they could see a huge logging truck flying down the highway towards them on the same side of the road.  Unfortunately, the truck driver misjudged his distance while passing, leaving an enormous gash 12 feet long and 1-2” inches deep along the side of the hull!  After emergency repairs J/88 sailing off Chilein Puerto Montt, RECLUTA made it to the start.

On the water, Chiloé gave the fleet all the expected challenges. In an abnormally sunny week, the crews had to deal with 90º wind shifts, calms, 30 knots gusts crossing the gulf (that made the boats plane along at 15+ knots), tide currents and shallow sea obstacles.

According to Juan Reid, the twenty-seven one-design J/Boats (J/24, J/70, J/105) and the one J/88 sailing IRC Class constituted nearly 50% of the sixty-boat fleet.

J/105s reaching in Chiloe regatta in ChileSaid Juan, “the most spectacular day was the Mechuque to Hornopirén leg with 30nm of sailing and winds up to 25 kts crossing the huge gulf.  That produced large, choppy seas with a TWA of 135 to 150 degree.  The J/70s and J/24s started first, with the J/70s basically planing the entire 30nm up to 16 kts of boatspeed, and averaging well over 14 kts the whole way!  In fact, the only boats in the entire fleet of 60 to beat the J/70s to the finish line was just one of the Soto 40s that started only a half-hour later!

In the same conditions, the dozen J/105s also had a fast ride, though they could not keep up with the J/70s that kept sailing away.  Even then, the J/105s were going downwind at speeds of 12-15 kts.

But, the best J/Boat performance of the day may have been the J/88, hitting top speeds of 18.5 to 19.0 kts constantly and, a result, won the leg on corrected time in the IRC Class!”

J/105 Grand Slam off ChileFrom day one, the J/105 fleet saw GRAND SLAM, with Patricio Seguel at the helm, take a comfortable lead.  Then, with three 1sts in the five coastal races they finished with just 6 pts net (including one toss race).  The silver went to Rufino Melero’s RUFIAN with a 4-1-8-3-4 record for 12 pts net.  Then, rounding out the podium with the bronze was the broken/ repaired TRICALMA skippered by Claudio Leon, accumulating a 3-5-3-8-3 tally for 14 pts net. Rounding out the top five for the J/105s were Miguel Perez’s RECLUTA in 4th place and Jose Manuel Ligarte’s SCIMITAR in 5th position.

J/70 sailing off ChileThe seven-boat J/70 class saw a similar scenario play out like the J/105s.  In this case, it was Carlos Kuhlental’s CHUCRU that aced the first three races and took home a 1-1-1-6-2 record for a mere 5 pts net. However, behind them it was a real dogfight all week long between four boats- Marcos Fuentes’ COMAU, Javier Melero’s PEGASUS, Vernon Robert’s MORENITA and Carlos Vergara’s COLUMBIA- SENSEI.  At one point or another over the five races, each team held a podium position!  In the end, Fuentes’ COMAU closed with a 2-1 to secure the silver with a record of 3-6-5-2-1 for 11 pts net.  A bad last race dropped Melero’s PEGASUS to third place, winning a tie-breaker, after posting a record of 2-7-3-1-6 for 12 pts net.  Losing that tie-breaker was Robert’s MORENITA with a 5-2-2-4-4 tally also sitting on 12 pts net.  Then, taking 5th place only one point back was Vergara’s COLUMBIA-SENSEI with a very steady record of 4-3-4-3-3 for 13 pts net.

J/24 sailing off ChileThe J/24 class had a great turn-out with a total of eight teams from across the Andes Mountains and coastlines.  Dominating the proceedings was the Chilean Naval Academy’s QUIQUE with a record of four 1sts and a 4th for a 4 pts net tally!  A distant second was yet another Chilean Naval Academy team on TRIUNFANTE with a 2-2-1-5-DNF for 10 pts net.  Third was another school team, the Grumetes College sailing MARISCAL to a 3-5-2-4-4 record for 13 pts net.

Remarkably, no class or right-of-way protests were filed by anyone in the entire regatta.  After the racing was completed, all captains, crew, family and friends left the water and the support vessels and met inland at the neighbor city of Puerto Varas to celebrate the regatta and the winners.

Watch some nicely composed Facebook videos of the Chiloe Regatta here
Day 2-
Day 3-
Day 3-
Day 4-
Day 6-

For more Santander Bank Regatta Chiloe sailing information

J/24 sailing San Francisco Three Bridge FiascoThree Bridge Fiasco Lives Up To Its Name
(San Francisco, CA)- The 2018 Three Bridge Fiasco on January 28 lived up to its name, with a number of adjectives that can be tossed for good measure, such as chaos, anchoring, ripping ebb, light air and determination. This was classic winter sailing on San Francisco Bay.

For many, it was the impromptu voyage out under the Golden Gate Bridge when the currents overwhelmed hull speed after rounding Blackaller and attempting to cross the river. For others, it was a day of setting the hook and waiting; either for stronger wind or less current. Or both.

But, the one thing this edition will be remembered for is the extremely small percentage of finishers, just four boats out of the 359 registered singlehanded and doublehanded teams managed to get around the course before the 7:00 PM witching hour bell struck!! A record that hopefully won’t be repeated again!

3BR- Three Bridge Fiasco courseThe 21.67 nm course is defined by the Golden Gate, Richmond, and Bay Bridges, with adjacent marks that the fleet must round, but in any order and direction.  The three course marks are:
  • YRA 16 (“Blackaller” a yellow cylinder 0.2 nm east of Fort Point),
  • Red Rock, and
  • Yerba Buena Island.
Boats shall round all three marks in any order and in either direction they wish.

The counter-clockwise course was predestined for the winners, finding enough wind to clear the starting line and made tracks for the west edge of Treasure Island, where they found a nice counter current allowing them to make progress upstream until just under the bridge where the wind died and the current was relentless.

There they played the puffs, advancing the anchor when possible then holding till the next round. Said the winners, “we set the hook 3 times and moved maybe 50 feet in between each set!”

A miracle, short term switch in wind direction allowed the duo to escape the Yerba Buena wind hole and work their way back up the east side with kite pulling them all the way to the north end of Treasure Island.

The wind would subside, die, then refill and allow them to work their way up to Red Rock in a NW wind that they rounded about 3:00 PM, set the kite and rode her back to Raccoon Strait.

“The wind backed off there, but we were able to ride the current to Pt Stuart and then found some westerly, enough to make progress against the building flood to Blackaller, where the wind switched south and eased.” They managed to finish in daylight at 17:25:30.

A trio of boats, including the J/24 FLIGHT, with Randall Rasicot & Rosanne Scholl, all worked their way towards Red Rock well in advance of the rest of the fleet. And, things looked remarkably in their favor. Until the wind died. The light westerly they had enjoyed from 11:00 am on, took a 1:30 pm siesta before staging a northerly comeback, where it jumped to 10-plus knots for an hour and 1/2, allowing them, and a handful of Raccoon Strait Refugees a shot of getting around Red Rock, set kites and boogie towards Treasure Island/ Yerba Buena.  They were the only other finishers.

The fleet included large one-design double-handed fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s.  Thanks to Erik Simonson from for story and images.

J/22 Match Race- St Francis YC women's team“Wonder Women” Lead California Dreamin’ Series
(San Diego, CA)- The 2018 California Dreamin’ Series got underway with the first of its three match race events that will advance the overall winner to the 2018 Ficker Cup, held April 13-15 in Long Beach, which is a qualifier for the Grade 1 2018 Congressional Cup in Long Beach.

Using J/22s in San Diego on January 27-28, Nicole Breault (second from left) and her all-women's match racing team of “wonder women” edged out Charlie Welsh in a tie-breaker with Bruce Stone in third.

The series continues with J/22s at the second stop in San Francisco on March 10-11 before sailors return to Southern California to compete in the final leg of the California Dreamin’ Series, this time going at it on 37 foot keelboats on April 7-8 in Long Beach.

J/111s sailing off Geelong, Melbourne, AustraliaVELOCE Triumphs @ Festival of Sails Regatta
111s Sweep Podium in Super 11s Class Too!
(Geelong, Australia)- It is always on everyone’s calendars in eastern Australia to make sure that you have enough time with family and friends to enjoy the “Festival of Sails” off Geelong, an amazing event hosted by the Royal Geelong YC. More importantly, it was the 175th annual celebration of sailing in this beautiful corner of Australia on the long holiday weekend known as “Australia Day”!

Participating in this year’s regatta was the Super 11s class and the J/111 one-design class.  After a seven-race series, there was no question who was the dominant team in the J/111 class- Phil Simpfendorfer’s VELOCE with a 4-2-2-1-1-2-1 tally for 9 pts net (after toss race).  Keeping pace most of the time was Rob Date’s SCARLET RUNNER 11 with their tally of 1-3-3-2-2-1-2 for 11 pts net.  Then, rounding out the top three in class was Rod Warren’s team on JOUST with a 3-1-1-3-3-4-3 record for 14 pts net.

J/111 winners at Geelong Festival of SailsWhat is remarkable about these results is the fact that top Australian sailors on J/111s are advancing the ball quite rapidly in terms of overall performance.  Why?  Because, JOUST’s crew recently sailed the J/111 World Championship in San Francisco, CA and finished 3rd, just 2 pts off the lead!  Good news for the Australian J/111 contingent!

While the J/111s were competing for one-design honours, they were also competing for handicap honours in their “Super 11s” handicap class.  Guess what?  The J/111s swept the podium as well!  Same cast of characters- 1-2-3 in handicap class as well, with Simpfendorfer’s crew on VELOCE collecting all the silverware.

J/111 & Super 11 honours to VELOCE

Sports boats class on last day- “a glam day”

Festival of Sails FB page

For more Festival of Sails sailing information

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Peter Duncan named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year!
A seasoned veteran, the 2017 J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan (Rye, New York) was selected as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his remarkable sailing performances in 2017.

The selection follows the announcement in December of the six men and eight women who were shortlisted for these prestigious awards and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing.

A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, was presented to a panel of accomplished sailing media professionals, who together discussed the merits of each nominee and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners.

Duncan will be honored on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, where he will be celebrated by family and friends, team mates and crew, past winners, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex. He will also be presented with a specially-engraved Rolex timepiece.

Peter is a life-long one-design sailor and proud member of the American Yacht Club, and was at the top of his game in 2017 at the highest-levels of international competition and in a variety of sailboat classes. He received this honorable distinction for first time in his illustrious career.

“I was just honored to be nominated for the award,” said Duncan. “When I found out I won, I was just stunned. It is just so humbling to be associated with so many great sailors who have won this award. It’s an honor of a lifetime.”

“With all the racing and training we did in 2017, I was actually on the water for 110 days last year, which is absolutely extraordinary. That’s what you have to do to accomplish what we did last year.”

His year was highlighted with a win at the ultra-competitive Audi J/70 World Championship in September off the waters of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy. Duncan and his talented crew including Jud Smith, Victor Diaz de Leon and Willem van Waay, won the 161-boat World Championship by a 15-point margin over contender Brian Keene. Duncan’s Relative Obscurity was dominant through six races. They placed in the top three in each race, including three wins.

“You can’t find a better crew to sail with as far as I’m concerned,” added Duncan. “We got there early to practice and we spent a great deal of time preparing ourselves for this event. It was a serious venture.”

One member of the selection panel noted that “to win first place so convincingly in a highly-talented and large fleet at the J/70 World Championship in Italy is a testament to Peter’s abilities and preparation.”

He won four other J/70 regattas in 2017, including the Italian National Championships (Alcatel Cup), New England Championships, Bacardi Cup and Sail Newport Regatta. His team placed second out of 58 at the J/70 North American Championship in Rye, New York and third at the European J/70 Championship.

“We won the Italian Nationals on the last race of the last day,” explained Duncan. “We got there early and were hopeful to learn a lot about the competition. We knew that the Italian fleet was going to be very strong and it was a very deep fleet. It was really close racing. And again, we got what we put into it. We worked hard and got the result in the end.”

Duncan participated in multiple classes throughout 2017, including the Etchells, Melges 20 and Melges 24. His Etchells team took home first place honors at the Sidney Doren Memorial Regatta featuring 45 competing boats last January in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Duncan has been sailing for about as long as he can remember. He started sailing with his parents on the weekends at American Yacht Club in their 210 sailboat.

“I love the competition and I enjoy racing in large fleets. That to me is wildly exciting. But it’s also about all the camaraderie and the people that you meet and the places you go. Luckily, the fleets we compete in are generally the same, so whatever issues you might have had out on the water are usually left on the water and it’s really a great group of people to spend time with.”  For more information about the ROLEX Sailor of the Year Awards

* Promoting Offshore Sailing for Women
The Storm Trysail Club, which is working on an initiative to encourage more women sailors to experience sailing offshore, has produced WOMEN OFFSHORE, a new video in which ten highly experienced women sailors share helpful ways to get more women on the water. Here is a 3-minute trailer of WOMEN OFFSHORE.

WOMEN OFFSHORE is being offered to yacht clubs and sailing organizations wishing to present this important video to their memberships. Free downloads of WOMEN OFFSHORE can be requested by contacting Storm Trysail Club member Charles “Butch” Ulmer- email-

WOMEN OFFSHORE is the latest addition to the Storm Trysail Video Library. In addition to this new program, this collection offers a range of videos covering specific safety-at-sea best practices. By making these informative videos available, Storm Trysail seeks to encourage more women to safely participate in offshore sailing.

* Eight Bells: Warren Miller- a great J/Boats sailor in Southern California
Warren Miller, the iconic and beloved filmmaker who introduced generations to the thrills and freedom of skiing and outdoor adventures (e.g. sailing), passed away at the age of 93 on Wednesday evening, January 24th. He died peacefully of natural causes at his home on Orcas Island, WA.

Miller earned global acclaim and a passionate, multi-generational following for his annual ski feature films, which kicked off the ski season for more than 60 years, showing in hundreds of cities across the U.S. and around the world. Packed with adventure and exotic travel, Miller’s distinct, droll narration and humorous hijinks on the slopes highlighted his films.

Beyond his ski films, there are legions of sailing enthusiasts that knew Miller for how his films captured their sport. A sailor himself, Miller was active in the P-Cat, J/24 and Tornado with his son Kurt. Their highlight was finishing third in the 1981 J/24 Worlds in Sydney, Australia.

“Nothing got my dad more excited than having our boat well prepared, sailing out to the start line, and the excitement of racing around the buoys with friends,” remarked Kurt.

Miller used his template of blending action, adventure, youth, light hearted moments and his engaging dialogue to entertain yacht club audiences and millions of television viewers. In all, there were over 20 sailing films including “Hot Yachts, Cold Water”, “High Performance Sailing” and “Gold Medal Sailors”.

Many iconic manufactures used the Warren Miller films to launch their brands including Windsurfer, J/24, Hobie 33, and Laser. Overall, Miller produced more than 500 films that primarily covered outdoor pursuits. As an artist, cartoonist, and author, he wrote some 1,200 columns and 11 books.

In retirement, he turned to destination motor boating in his 70s and 80s, exploring the Northwest and Alaska from his home on Orcas Island. During his 80s and 90s, Miller’s philanthropic efforts provided entrepreneurial training to thousands of youth nationwide, emphasizing hard work, ingenuity, and creativity.

Perhaps one of his most cited quotes provides some insight as to how Miller packed so much into one lifetime: “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”

Miller is survived by his wife Laurie; by his sons Scott (Melissa) and Kurt (Ali); by his daughter, Chris (David Lucero); and by his stepson, Colin Kaufmann; three granddaughters (Valeska, Kasimira, and Jenna) and two grandsons (Alexander and Ryan).  A detailed look at Warren’s incredible life is available here:

* Pressure Drop USA says->> J/70s are HOT in Chile, Baby!!
Eric Simonson celebrates fellow professionals in the world of sailing photography with his tribute to a photographic essay of J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, Chile, the sailing mecca due west of the capital of Santiago on the Pacific Coast-
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