Wednesday, March 7, 2018

J/Newsletter- March 7th, 2018

J70s sailing off MiamiBacardi Cup J/70 Invitational Preview
(Miami, FL)- After a near perfect three days of sailing on Biscayne Bay two weeks ago, the J/70s are returning to Miami to race the Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational.  Coral Reef YC in Coconut Grove, FL will again host the racing.  The forecast certainly looks promising with good breezes and sunny skies on the menu from Thursday through Saturday, with winds starting in the 10-20 kts NW and slowly swinging to the SE in the 10-15 kts range to conclude the regatta.

The 50-boat fleet has an international flavor to it since there are many teams from Europe and South America joining in for early training time before the J/70 World Championships being hosted in Marblehead, MA by Eastern YC in September 2018.  Teams are sailing from Great Britain, Brazil, Canada, Monaco, Chile, Argentina, Norway, and Mexico.

Amongst those to challenge current J/70 World Champion Peter Duncan is his J/70 World's winning teammate Jud Smith (USA) and 2017 Worlds runner-up Brian Keane (USA). Italy’s Vincenzo Onorato, who holds World titles in the Farr 40 and M32, will be racing his well-known Mascalzone Latino with a formidable team including three-time Olympian and Gold Medallist in the Laser Class and two-time Moth Class World Champion Paul Goodison (GBR). Joel Ronning (USA), who won the 2016 Worlds and the recent J/70 Midwinters, will also be in the field.

In fact, most of the top five from the recent J/70 Midwinters will be participating, including Ronning’s CATAPULT, Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS, and Keane’s SAVASANA.  In addition, two more top teams will be mixing it up with these leading boats, such as the first J/70 World Champion- Tim Healy on USA 2 from Newport, RI and also the J/105 North American Champion and J/80 World Champion Glenn Darden from Forth Worth Boat Club who will be sailing HOSS (his crew includes Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan McKee as tactician).

Overseas visiting teams include the 2017 J/111 World Champion- Martin Dent on JELVIS from England and J/24 South American Champion- Vernon Robert from Algarrobo, Chile sailing MORENITA.
For more Bacardi Cup J/70 Invitational sailing information

J/22 sailing one designJ/22 Midwinters Sailing Texas-style!
(Houston, TX)- Houston Yacht Club and J/22 Fleet 6 are excited to host the 2018 J/22 Midwinter Championship, March 16-18.

Houston YC’s warm friendly clubhouse nestled in Shore Acres, TX is a great place to have fun on and off the water. High temperatures average in the 70s and lows around 55. Fleet 6 is looking forward to this event and is planning to show off Texas hospitality. Facilities at the club include launching cranes, floating docks and plenty of paved trailer parking.

The harbor is open to the bay with quick access to the race area, and chop is usually only 1 to 3 feet on sunny, warm Galveston Bay. The racing will be fiercely competitive, however, it will be a fun regatta with no crew weigh-ins required. Registration begins Thursday, March 15, with racing commencing Friday through Sunday. 35-plus teams are one of them! For more J/22 Midwinters sailing & registration information

J/70s sailing champions league17 National Sailing Leagues Competing Europe 2018
(Hamburg, Germany)- Five years after the first National Sailing League kicked-off in Germany, 16 other sailing leagues were founded in Europe. The newest “family members” are Croatia and Lithuania, starting in 2018.

The wave of success is still running strong and sailing leagues are taking over Europe. Each country that has sailable waters within its borders has sailors that are crazy about the league format; most of them are getting prepared to start their own National Sailing Leagues.

J/70s sailing champions leagueBesides the Premiere Sailing League in the USA as the only non-European sailing league, Greece hosts its kick-off event of “Hellas Sailing League” in July 2018.

Spain already sent tracking operators to the latest training session by SailTracks even though there is no sailing league founded– yet. The organizers of SAILING Champions League were also contacted by Estonia. So, the “sailing league family” of International Sailing League Association continues to grow…

Of note, of the 17 leagues to date, a dozen of the largest leagues have all standardized on the wildly popular J/70, the world’s fastest growing and largest sportboat class.  Its popularity stems from its tremendous ease-of-sailing by all ages (young and old alike), as well as by its attractiveness for speed and one-design competition by all levels of competitive sailors, from beginners to Olympic Medallists. For more SAILING Champions League information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There was a lot of activity taking place out on the Pacific coast, where two significant events bracketed the two extreme western corners of America.  First, the 21nm Blakely Rock Benefit Race marks the start of spring sailing on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest.  A large contingent of J/sailors ranging from J/29s up to a magnificent J/160 all participated in the annual benefit race for local charities.  Corinthian YC Seattle and Sloop Tavern YC hosted the event.  Secondly, bi-annual 1,000nm San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race took place with two J/125 crushing it for class honors, while a stately and gorgeous J/65 cruised (raced) in extraordinary sybaritic comfort. That race was hosted by San Diego YC and Puerto Vallarta YC- up next for most of those ocean racers is MEXORC 2018 in in the lovely Banderas Bay.

Taking it out to the eastern seaboard, we find that Shake-A-Leg Miami proudly hosted the 40-boat fleet of J/24s for their 40th Midwinter Championship, sailed on the always challenging Biscayne Bay.

Then, down in the eastern Caribbean, the amazing organizers at St Maarten YC managed to host against all odds the 37th Heineken St Maarten Regatta.  SMYC pulled off the amazing feat of hosting a 100-boat fleet off Simpson Bay just months after the massive Hurricane Irma crushed the island in September 2017 and devastated the entire island, sank/ destroyed many boats, and rendered 1,000s of hotel rooms useless.  Nevertheless, the “call to duty” for sailors worldwide was to support “#stmaarten strong” and that they did, with everyone again having a fantastic time having “serious fun” with “serious sailing” offshore.  A fast, competitive contingent of J/crews participated, including two J/122s, the new J/121 offshore speedster, a gaggle of three J/105s, and a J/30.

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:

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.

Heineken St Maarten regatta stageGorgeous, Chill Heineken St. Maarten Regatta
(Simpson Bay, St. Maarten)- The 38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta wrapped up on Sunday, March 4 with hundreds of sailors gathering at the event’s “Regatta Village” at Princess Port de Plaisance in St. Maarten to celebrate victors in the event’s 16 classes.

Ever since Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean island of St. Maarten this past September, the support from the yachting community has poured in, and the regatta welcomed an international fleet of 100 boats for spectacular racing on the crystal-clear waters of the Northeast Caribbean Sea. With another epic event in the history books, organizers announced that the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta’s 39th edition has been scheduled for February 28 – March 3, 2019.

The turnout of teams was impressive. They represented 25+ countries and participated in four days of stellar competition. Every day, racing concluded off Simpson Bay and boats were greeted with cheers and champagne spray from fans at the St. Maarten Yacht Club as they paraded to Simpson Bay Lagoon by way of the famed Simpson Bay Bridge opening. From there, the sailors headed shoreside to top off their “Serious Racing” with some "Serious Fun” that included a series of concerts and performances culminating on Sunday with a performance by Grammy Award winning musician Shaggy.

The battle began for the four-day Heineken St. Maarten Regatta on Thursday, March 1, 2018 with the Gill Commodore’s Cup. Set in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, powered by the cooling northeast trade winds and run by an experienced, friendly race team, the sailors were hoping for four days of world-class racing in idyllic conditions. However, that was not going to be the case for the 2018 edition, as light airs uncharacteristically plagued the race courses for three days before a highly unusual westerly settled in at 12-18 kts for the finale on Sunday.

J/111 sailing St Maarten Heineken RegattaJ/111 Wins Gill Commodore’s Cup
In the light, but consistent easterly breeze, all fleets sailed series of stadium-style racing off Simpson Bay, competing in short around the buoy courses. Taking home the event’s coveted “Most Worthy Yacht” trophy was Sam Talbot and his team racing the J/111 SPIKE, which finished the three races in fiercely competitive CSA 3 Class with straight bullets.

“We were up against a lot of very competitive boats that are well known on the Caribbean circuit, so we were excited with this outcome,” said Talbot whose team – of U.S. and BVI sailors – is probably one of the younger ones competing, with the average age onboard being 30.  “This is my second time racing in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and we are so happy to see such an incredible turnout of competition. We owe today’s win to some great crew work onboard, and will have to stay on our ‘A Game’ for the remaining three days, as we now have a target on our back with the competition.”  Rounding out the top four in CSA 3 Class were the new J/121 APOLLO (Don Nicholson) in third place and the J/121 EL OCASO (Chris Body from the United Kingdom) in fourth place.

J/105 Soltice sailing St Maarten regattaHeineken- Day One
It was a fun but challenging day of racing for the 100-boat fleet at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The light breeze and tricky conditions resulted in only the larger boats completing the regatta’s famed 26-mile around the island race, while the remaining classes completed a shorter coastal race.

The CSA fleets took off on a 15.0nm course, on the western coast of the island, starting and finishing off Simpson Bay with turning marks north of the island in the Anguilla Channel.

“It was really nice going downwind at the start and then around the western side of the island, but on the way back toward the finish, the conditions were a little chaotic,” said tactician Colin Symes, whose team on Peter Lewis’ J/105 WHISTLER took the win in CSA 4 Class. He added that many boats got parked with no wind off Baie Longue. “We were lucky and managed to sniff out the wind and stay in it. The whole team was better today and we hope to take that momentum through to the next few days.”  Fourth in CSA 4 Class was the J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE and 5th was Jordan & Shannon Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE.

In the CSA 3 Class, it was a runaway win for Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO, finishing fifteen minutes ahead of the next boat on elapsed time.  They not only won class on corrected time by nearly 9 minutes, but also earned the overall win over all CSA classes. Taking second was Body’s J/122 EL OCASO and third was Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE- a clean sweep for the day by J/Teams.

J/122 El Ocaso- Chris Body- sailing St MaartenDay Two- Light & Squirrely
It was game on for competitors on Saturday, with many class leaders holding onto their positions by just a thread. Punctuated with abnormally light breeze from due south, the 100-boat fleet took to the water for shorter buoy-to-buoy racing off Simpson Bay. All CSA Classes were able to get two races off while the rest of the fleet finished with one.

In the event’s highly competitive CSA 3 fleet, Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO was holding onto a two-point lead. “This class is very well sailed with really high quality crew onboard,” said Nicholson who finished the first race of the day in fourth, but came back in race two, to take the bullet. “There was definitely an absence of wind today. We’ve never sailed this boat in light air, so we weren’t quite sure of settings and sail choices. We were underpowered with the kite we used in the first race, but for the second race we made some adjustments to the boat and that got us moving.”  Posting a 2-4 and holding on to third place was Talbot’s J/111 SPIKE.

In the CSA 4 class, the best J/crew was Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE, posting a 4.5-3 to jump into third position with the J/105 WHISTLER in fourth place.

J/122s sailing St Maarten Heineken regattaDay Three- Gorgeous Finale
A gorgeous westerly breeze of 12-18 kts made for a spectacular grand finale of racing, and with lead positions still up for grabs in several classes, many teams were eager to make their final claims on class victories.

Chris Body’s J/122 EL OCASO sailed a brilliant final day, posting a 1-1-4 to take their very competitive class by three pts.  “We had a really tough class, so for us to be on top today means a lot,” said Bob Hillier who raced onboard with owner Chris Body. “There was no one dominant boat in the fleet, and taking the overall win came down to the last race.”  Taking third in class was Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO with 15 pts net.  Then, not able to maintain their momentum from the Gill Commodore’s Cup, Talbots’ youthful team on the J/111 SPIKE took fourth place with 15 pts net, losing the tie-breaker to APOLLO.

Nicholson commented on their performance with his new J/121 APOLLO after the regatta:

J/121 sailing off St Maarten“I’m extremely pleased with our first regatta in Apollo (J121 hull#2).  We placed 3rd in CSA class 3 of both the Gill Commodore's Cup and the Heineken Regatta in diverse and challenging conditions against a fleet of extremely well-sailed boats.  Being scratch boat in the class and crossing the line first in most races was a thrill.  The J/121 handles extremely well, with dinghy-like responsiveness and quick acceleration.  She pointed higher to weather than I expected and we routinely found ourselves both higher and faster than the other boats in the fleet, giving us many tactical opportunities, especially in close quarters at the start.  Downwind she was delightfully fast and competently handled all the sail area we put up.  My crew was awesome and the J/121 provided them a great opportunity to experiment with trim, weight distribution and boat handling so that we got up the learning curve quickly.  Our next regatta will be the St Thomas International Regatta in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the adjacent British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta, where we hope to hone our skills and push the boat to its full potential.  After that, Apollo will return to her homeport of Newport, RI in preparation for the Newport-Bermuda race.  I’m a big fan of the J/121 already and it’s great to be able to reduce our crew numbers and simplify the logistics of the Apollo program.”

The CSA 4 racing class was able to sail four quick races- all windward-leewards with a finish leg that consisted of sailing through the “Heineken Gate” to the finish near the harbor mouth.  With a course setup just off the Simpson Bay point, the winds were blowing offshore and were quite shifty.  After missing the first race of the day and scoring a DNS, Mindich’s J/105 SOLSTICE nearly ran the table, posting a 1-1-2 to win the day on points and also leap onto the podium, taking the silver with 16.5 pts net.  Just behind them was Lewis’ Barbados team on the J/105 WHISTLER, posting a steady 5-4-2-3 to take third with 19 pts net. Fourth place went to the Antiguan J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE with 21 pts net.  Sailing photo credits- Laurens Morel  For more Heineken Regatta sailing information

j24 startWelles Crowned 40th J/24 Midwinter Champion
(Miami, FL)– All eight scheduled races were completed in gorgeous conditions at the J/24 Midwinter Championship, hosted by the Shake-A-Leg Foundation team and PRO in Coconut Grove.  Will Welles’ BOGUS only needed seven races to tie up the victory over the 35 competitors.

The Rhode Island-based helmsman led his team of Rich Bowen, Jock Hayes, PJ Schaffer and Nick Turney to a score of 15 points, allowing them to forego the eighth and final race. Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET secured second place with 33 points, six ahead of both Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS in third and Ron Medlin’s BASH in fourth. Rounding out the top five in fifth place was John Poulson’s LONG SHOT.

The BOGUS team is a blended group of all J/24 World Champions— Welles, Bowen and Turney from COUGAR in 2014 and Hayes and Schaffer from SALSA in 2004. This Championship was the first time they had all sailed together, and it was on a chartered boat.

Welles said Miami is one of his favorite places to sail, but his team definitely had to earn this win. “Super shifty and hard to see the puffs and lulls. There was a lot of gear shifting and trying to get on the lifted tack.”

The J/24 Midwinter Championship debuted 40 years ago in 1978 in Key West, Florida. “There are a lot of famous names today who cut their teeth in this class,” said Welles. “The difference today is that people know all the tricks when it comes to sail trim and rigging. It usually comes down to good starts and teamwork.”

The top women’s skipper was Natalie Harden’s GIGGLES from Austin, TX in 13th place, followed by Erica Beck Spencer’s famous SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Falmouth, ME in 19th place and then Elaine Haher’s A GOOD HAIR DAY from Atlantic Highlands, NJ in 24th position.  For more 40th J/24 Midwinters sailing information

J/125 sailing Puerto Vallarta raceJ/125s Crush Puerto Vallarta Race
(San Diego, CA)- For the first roll call of the 2018 Vallarta Race, it was clear that Peter Isler’s weather briefing the morning before had been spot on. “You’re going to have a banner evening with full moon and full breeze…” he advised.

At Peter Isler’s very detailed pre-start weather briefing for the Friday starters (Division 6, 5, and 4) Peter mentioned the Friday starters drew the proverbial “Short Straw” – alluding to the less favorable forecast for boats leaving Friday. But, observations from the start line showed full sun, winds 10-12 kts from 230ish degrees. The velocity will be lighter Friday night, but sailors are expected to avoid the impact of a low-pressure system filtering down the west coast.

“I’m feeling very excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve been offshore, so I’m really looking forward to getting out under the stars and having some nice quiet sailing with my friends. I’m lucky enough to be sailing with my dad, John, who is navigating. It sounds like it’s going to be a little light, which simply means we get to enjoy the ocean for that much longer I guess,” commented Erik Shampain who is sailing on Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER.

And, although the forecast had diminished in severity for Saturday, the velocity will be up and the direction will be down…or rather more southerly. Saturday starters are expected to be beating for most of their first day. The winds will back and become more southwesterly as they progress down the coast and into the evening.

J/125 sailing offshore SoCalMark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE issued this report on Friday, March 3rd, 1330 hrs:
“We are enjoying a beautiful day, 70 degrees, sun, blue water and winds slowly going right to a Westerly... not always this nice, so pretty happy here!

Friday's start was typical... aggressive and leading out. Four boats in our class (Timeshaver, our J/125 sistership; Fast Exit, a beautifully redone Andrews 40; and Fractions a turbo 1D35), all got away clean and picked our way out the harbor towards the Coronado Islands. We and Fast Exit took the highest line with the others a bit lower. We were the first to reach the islands and elected to go between North and Middle Coronado Island. Fast Exit and TS to the left of Middle Island. They snuck through nicely and came out abeam and to leeward. As the inshore route was forecast to be light, we and Fast Exit stuck to our plan of getting ~20-25 miles West of Todos Santos. Timeshaver went a bit lower and in the end paid off as they came out ahead of us this AM. They are currently off our Starboard bow and offshore from us (probably 6-8 miles closer to the finish). We are positioning ourselves to line up close to Cedros to cut distance off the easterly turn and perhaps gain a few back. Long ways to go. We shall see...

Everyone is doing well, well-fed (beef burgundy for last night dinner, fresh roll and frozen chocolate truffles for dessert. Today's breakfast was chorizo, egg and cheese burritos. Tonight's menu includes cage-free pork and wild rice with devils glazed chocolate brownie surprise. Not bad for a one-pot stove (thanks to Ian and Rob for putting these meals together!).

Everyone says hi and is setting up for another long-night battle. Hopefully, no more rain!”

Saturday Update
“It’s going to be Champagne Sailing…” a phrase meant to bring to mind ‘optimal’ sailing conditions. In the case of the Puerto Vallarta race, it would bring to mind a full moon lighting the seas at night, fresh winds of 12-15 kts aft of the beam, and long ocean swells just large enough to lift the transom and give your boat a little invisible push, followed by a subtle roar of your bow wave peeling past the hull.

Between rain squalls, the fine tuned sailing teams leaving Saturday were not so much concerned with the sunshine as much as the wind direction and velocity.  West of south, and as much as possible are the answers to those ‘wants’. Unfortunately, the quickest boats in the fleet are going to have to press through some unstable southerly winds as the anticipated arm of a  pressure swings through southern California.  By Saturday night, weather models show the boats reconnecting with the regularly scheduled westerly trade wind patterns.

Sunday, March 4- 1300 hrs- J/125 DERIVATIVE update
“Mostly sunny, 18-22 kts wind good rollers and back sitting in first.  Good times, but still a long way to go!

As hoped last night, the inshore passage at Turtle Bay paid off and we gained massively, retaking first from our sistership and catching the quicker boats ahead. Good routing was part to blame, having solid breeze and waves always helps! Lots of high teen boat speeds and many 20s. The boat is a washing machine, but no one gives a crap when we're ripping! Yee haw!

Next tactical decision is Mag Bay. That ETA is about 1 AM tonight. That said, we are a little perplexed where our competition is as their YB Tracking system is apparently on the fritz. Suuure it is. That said, we snuck a  private antennae on their mast before leaving the dock and the jokes on them! (OK. Just kidding...) While we are on a long distance race, this is still buoy racing. Know where your competition is, stay in the pressure and stay between your competition and the finish. I think we know clearly how to do two of three, but will for now keep it a secret which we are less confident. Time will again tell.

Dinner: Ian is currently icing his elbow on dinner. Not sure why, but it is thawing quicker with his generosity. He's OK, but I think the wait to beer-thirty at the finish got a little more real.

Just hit another 21 kts boat speed. Hard to type on spin cycle... gotta run and get me some of that!”

Monday update- March 5- 1620 hrs
“Here I sat, tired and dirty, hoping like hell that we didn't screw the pooch - but then...

Touching back on yesterday, very fast, very wet, very good. Still in first! As mentioned the Saturday night Cedros "corner cut" paid big time and set us up for an epic day of planing in close quarters with Timeshaver. Before getting to that... Fun breeze (mostly 18-22 kts, with a few 25 knot puffs late in the evening). While our goal is to always stay straight and maintain solid average speeds and prolong wave rides, the occasional (ahem, Pike) stray occurs and large speeds are reached. Pike was the day's master with 23 knots, I was in a solid 5th with a few 21s. Other than that, lots of 20s and sustained 18-19 knot runs each a minute or so at a shot. Great surf, right direction, crap-load of water (a little down below... maybe all of it), and fun breeze. Good times! Oh! I failed to mention the huge moon! Wow! Doing 20 knots while surfing across moon sparkled ocean is spectacular. It's why we do these events!

Back to the point, Timeshaver did a great job reeling us in, and after several hours of hauling ass and a few jibes, we were able to pull back away. We ultimately separated about 1 this AM (they stayed on an in-shore path, we headed out). Fun playing with you guys!

In the middle of this goings-on, Ian made another stellar meal. Jambalaya, and jumbalaya. As this was a pot full of food and paper bowls, and flat out blasting off waves, there was zero need for sides. Only time for a quick shovel. Another solid effort!

So what has happened since then? As mentioned, we split with Timeshaver. All our forecast models said light inside today and that we need to go wide and far past Cabo to miss the huge wind shadow.  All according to plan until today's new weather arrived... a bit late as we had already made our bed. That said, while we had zero second guessing (OK. Maybe a little), it was entirely satisfying to just now have Rio100 go blasting by a quarter mile to weather. If they're doing what we are doing, my confidence just went way up. Hope we aren't both idiots. Tomorrow will tell the story. Did our competition, who appear to be heading for a tight turn at Cabo do better? Or did our path, much longer sail, much further South, pay. We will know at roll-call. Please send us good vibes!”

Well, all good things must come to pass.  In the end, it was the “little guys” against the “big guys” in this year’s PV race.

Incredibly, the J/125s proved, yet again, why they are so notoriously fast offshore against the best the world has to offer.  Viggo Torbensens’s TIMESHAVER won the bruising battle between the top two J/125s in their final approach to the finish line off Punta Mita, taking 1st in Division 6 and 2nd overall!  Taking 2nd in class and 5th in fleet against the world’s best offshore SoCal sailors was Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE!

More news later on this incredibly epic battle for class supremacy and overall offshore domination by these J/125 grand prix crews!  Congratulations to both teams for an amazing performance!  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOY SAILING-
For more Puerto Vallarta Race sailing and YB Tracking information

J/122E Joyride cruiser racerGorgeous Blakely Rock Benefit Race
(Seattle, WA)- This past weekend marked the completion of the first of the Center Sound Series; a total of three events that start spring-time sailing on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, with the start and finishing lines in Shilshole Bay:
  • Blakely Rock Race- March 3
  • Scatchet Head Race- March 10
  • Three Tree Point Race- March 24
According to Jan Anderson, the famous Pacific Northwest sailing photographer from Seattle, WA, “at long last, it was a GORGEOUS day for sailing the Blakely Rock Benefit Race.  And, the action on the water reflected that.

But, great weather alone doesn’t come close to describing what this sport is really about- - it’s more about the people with whom we share our experiences, and the relationships we’ll cherish for all time.

blakeley benefit race flowersEach year, this day, this race, this moment rounding Blakely Rock, is about celebrating the life of Kelly O’Neil, the photographer that impacted all of Pacific NW sailing, forever. Neither I nor my Boat Boy Skip had ever met Kelly, but fate would have it that Skip and I met the same year she passed. To this day, literally this day, Skip and I are both deeply moved with the fleet’s expression of love for Kelly, by casting daffodils into the water. Above all others, this is a day where everyone wins. From the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you, Kelly.”

Dozens of passionate J/sailors turned out for the 21.0nm race and, in many cases, enjoyed the spectacular day and took home some silverware to commemorate their contribution to the causes the race benefits.

In the Overall category, John Murkowski’s jet-black J/122E JOY RIDE took third overall, while Jimi Geros’ well-known J/105 LAST TANGO took 8th overall.

J/160 cruiser racer sailboatIn what amounts to the full-on racing boat fleet, with three TP52s and a Fox 44 in the mix, the J/160 JAM sailed by Bill Fox acquitted herself quite nicely, taking third in Class 9; not bad for a fully-equipped cruiser/racer with heating, air conditioning, freezers, refrigerators, hot & cold running water with two enclosed heads.  It would be safe to say the only creature comfort on the other race boats was a carbon toilet on centerline! Meanwhile, Murkowski’s crew on the beautifully appointed J/122E JOYRIDE took second place in Class 7, while Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’ J/125 HAMACHI finished sixth.

Class 6 had a flock of J/109s and a J/120.  Taking 5th place was Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE, with the top J/109 finishing two places back- Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, then Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA sitting in eighth place.  Two J/35s and a J/92S sailed in Class 5, with Don & George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH snagging 5th place.

The J/105 One-Design Class 4 had one of their largest turnuts in years, with nine boats on the starting line.  Winning was Geros’ LAST TANGO, followed by Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILE in second, Chuck Stephens’ PANIC in third, Chris Phoenix’s JADED sitting fourth, and John Atchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN rounding out the top five.  For Class 3, Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW walked off with class honors. In Class 2, John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS was 5th place.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ Jan Pix  For more CYC Blakely Rock Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/125 sailing offshore* When the Effort is Worth the Reward
Preparing for an offshore race is an arduous task, but when the destination is a resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the effort is worth the reward. Ullman Sails’ Keith Magnussen reports on the final days before the 1000 nm San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race.

Last year was relatively mellow for Team Timeshaver, as our only offshore race on the J/125 was the NHYC-Cabo San Lucas race and, like a majority of boats, we dropped out due to a real lack of wind. Needless to say, but I will, we have been really looking forward to the PV Race.

We ended up with a good amount of time to prepare the boat and Viggo Torbensen (owner) has really done an amazing job in getting the boat ready. After a trip to the boatyard, some new sails and new additions to the crew, we are finally feeling ready. Our team is fortunate to have Erik Shampain joining us, as he is someone I have known since I learned to sail in Oceanside nearly 30 years ago (wow) and sailing with friends is what I am into.

We have spent the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on the boat. We tuned the rig, looked at new sails, tried some new configurations for reaching (will elaborate after the race!) and installed the mandatory AIS.

Viggo Torbensen has been working tirelessly to get all the details finished. Not often you witness a boat owner take so much responsibility with boat projects, and it is truly astonishing how many things Viggo juggles to make this all happen. It is a pleasure to be part of his team.

The race itself is one of my favorites. Yes, you might get some light air in the Sea of Cortez, but the marine life spectacle makes up for it in many ways. On Transpac, you see relatively nothing for a week and that can get a bit monotonous. In the 2016 PV Race, we actually took a sail by the Arches in Cabo (yes I have pics to prove). We had a fun morning being entertained by boats and jet skis. This might have cost us the race, but hey, it is a talking point forever now.

With our March 2 start approaching we can finally talk about the weather. It will be a bit cold to begin, and maybe some rain, but promises to get warmer with each day. There will be some wind, and maybe some light spots followed by a puff. Standard Mexico racing!

The fleet this year is fairly interesting. Some big boats, a couple bigger boats, and some smaller boats make this a well-rounded entry list. I think that a big multi-hull will finish first, followed by a big mono-hull. We are hoping to do well overall and win our fleet. It will be tough due to the amount of amazing sailors out there, but we are confident in the boat and our abilities.

J/70s sailing* J/70 sailboat training videos to help keep your crew work at a higher level can be found at these links below.  In all cases, the basic concepts are applicable to all sailmaker’s main and jib trim:

Basic starts and sail trim hints:

J/70 Jib Trimming tricks:

J/24 sailboat* Frank Hanavan’s New York City Maritime History in 10 Boats!
What can we learn about New York City and its waterfront from its boats? Waterwire is inviting those across the maritime world and beyond— historians, planners, artists, business people, and scientists to share their perspectives on New York City History in 10 Boats. The third installment comes from Frank Hanavan.

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, artist Frank Hanavan moved to New York City in 1990 and has lived in Jersey City since 2001. That same year Frank began volunteering on the historic ships at the South Street Seaport Museum. Over time, he incorporated his love for ships into his art, building miniature ship models and painting seascapes. His History of New York in 10 Boats includes which J/Boat? The J/24, of course.

#10- The J/24 sloop, 1977
Returning to Stonington, Connecticut, the ubiquitous J/24 fiberglass sailboat was invented there in 1977 by Rodney Johnstone. Now, virtually every sailing school in New York uses this design.
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