Wednesday, April 25, 2018

J/Newsletter- April 25th, 2018

J/88 demo day @ Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, MIJ/88 Freshwater Demo Days!
(Grosse Pointe Shores, MI)- Port Sanilac Marina presents their J/88 Freshwater Dealer Demo Days at the 2018 Great Lakes Boating Festival from May 18th to 20th, 2018.  The event will be held at Grosse Pointe YC, 788 Lakeshore Rd, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI.

Head on down to the yacht club and go for a sail on the exciting J/88, a family speedster that has proven itself on the Great Lakes, winning both PHRF and ORR events everywhere.  In addition, one-design activity has taken off on the Great Lakes.  In fact, in 2018, the J/88 Great Lakes Championship will be at Youngstown YC from July 28th to 29th on Lake Ontario and the J/88 North American Championship will take place August 10th to 12th at Chicago YC on Lake Michigan. Learn more about J/88 one-design class activity here.

Before or after your demo, watch some awesome J/70 “stadium sailing” taking place literally right off the docks!  Fast, hot, riveting action that makes use of the “movable marks” pioneered in Detroit for super accurate, quick course adjustments.

Contact Chester Kolascz at Port Sanilac Marina for an appointment to take the exciting J/88 family speedster for a demonstration sail- phone- 810-622-9651 or email-
For more J/88 sailboat information

J/122 Liquid from AntiguaAntigua Sailing Week Preview
(Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)- More than 100 boats registered from 30 countries worldwide and crews from many more will be taking part in a nine-day festival of racing and shoreside events that is Antigua Sailing Week 2018, the Caribbean’s longest running regatta.

“The DNA of Antigua Sailing Week is professional race management and fun ashore after racing,” commented Commercial Director of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams. “Last year we celebrated 50 years of Antigua Sailing Week and this year we see as the start of the next half century.

“We have a great format with 3 to 4 hours of racing each day off the South-East coast of Antigua. Once competitors get ashore, they experience fantastic events suitable for everyone. We have tried hard to listen to what the competitors want and also provide a great environment for non-racing friends and family.”

Over 70 yachts will be racing in the CSA Classes and winning skippers of the famous Lord Nelson Trophy will be competing.

Antigua Sailing Week beach partyThe CSA racing fleet has a huge variety of professional and Corinthian sailors, young and old. In the CSA Racing Class, there will be a trio of J/122s going for the gold, such as hometown hero Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID, Victor Vasiliou’s NOISY OYSTER from France, and Kym Kapalla’s EL OCASO from Roadtown BVI.  The J/120 JAGUAR, skippered by Ben Jelic from St Maarten and another local hero, Tanner Jones’ J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE, will join them.

Racing kicks off with the stand-alone Peters & May Round Antigua Race on Saturday April 28 followed by six days of Antigua Sailing Week from April 29 to May 4. While racing always comes first at Antigua Sailing Week, the shoreside fun is very much part of the regatta.

Competitors gather after racing for the daily prize giving. On May 1, internationally acclaimed reggae artiste, Tarrus Riley is set to headline at Reggae in the Park along with DJ Puffy and Private Ryan, one of the most highly anticipated events on the Antigua Sailing Week Party Calendar. After the big party night, the Wadadli Lay Day Beach Party on May 2 will this year include fun dinghy and SUP racing and zany beach games along with a line-up of seven DJs.

The Final Awards Ceremony & Party is always a memorable occasion and the fun doesn’t stop there, with Dockyard Day and the Inet Dickenson Bay Beach Bash closing the 2018 regatta on May 6th.   Follow Antigua Sailing Week on Facebook   For more Antigua Sailing Week information

J/80 sailing Lake GardaThe J/80 Regatta “Triple Play” Announcement!
Three Regattas, Three Cool Sailing Venues!
(Marion, MA)- Here is a personal invitation from Deb Gayle, the Co-Chair of the J/80 North American Championship and the Rear Commodore of Beverly Yacht Club.

“We are hosting this year's J/80 North Americans at the Beverly Yacht Club (BYC) in Marion, Massachusetts from September 7th to 9th.  We are located in Buzzard's Bay, famous for its big breeze and competitive racing fleets.

J/80s sailing downwindOn behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to personally extend an invitation to J/Sailors to participate in this Championship event.  We have a very seasoned race committee and promise exceptional racing and sailing.  Beverly YC is extremely welcoming and the membership is looking forward to once again hosting the J/80 fleet.  In addition to great racing and wonderful camaraderie, we are offering housing to those coming from a distance (first come- first served).

I would also like to let you know about the J/80 “Triple Play,” a terrific opportunity for racing, with three great J/80 regattas being held all two weeks apart from one another:
  1. Aug 24-26- J/80 East Coast Championship- Boothbay, ME
  2. Sep 7-9- J/80 North American Championship- Marion, MA
  3. Sep 21-22- J-Jamboree Regatta- Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
These events present an awesome opportunity for spectacular J/80 sailing and competition within a reasonable drive of each other.  Boats competing in the East Coast Championships in Boothbay can drive directly to Marion, MA.  We will store your boats and give you an opportunity to race during the intervening two weeks prior to the North American Championships.  Then, you can head up to Lake Winnipesaukee for the J-Jamboree for fall sailing on the most scenic mountain lake in New Hampshire!

We look forward to hosting you at the J/80 North American Championship.”  Register here today.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Deb Gayle at email -   For more J/80 class information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past weekend, the sailors in the United Kingdom finally got their wish for actual “spring-like” weather for sailing on their fabled Solent.  The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series and the Crewsaver Spring Championship were blessed with nice conditions and the racers enjoyed a lot of racing over the weekend.  The J/70s managed to sail eight races while the J/88s, J/111s, J/97s, J/92s and others sailed multiple races in their respective fleets.

On Lake Garda, the famous Fraglia Vela Riva sailing club in Riva del Garda, Italy hosted the week-long fun and festivities for the annual YACHTING RUSSIA Cup in J/70s and J/80s; 36 teams from across Russia participated in the event.

Along the North Sea, the Van Uden Reco Regatta, emblematic of the start of the Dutch offshore sailing season, took place off Stellendam, The Netherlands for fleets of J/111s, J/22s and ORC Doublehanded and offshore fleets.

Finally, on the Pacific coast of America, Corinthian YC of Seattle on Puget Sound hosted the J/80 Western Championship and the Puget Sound Spring Regatta; the event included a J/105 class and PHRF handicap for J/109s and others.

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:

Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 27-29- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 28-May 1- Grand Prix de Saint Cast- Saint Cast, France
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 2-6- J/24 North American Championship- Charleston, SC
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 4-6- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 8-12- J/22 European Championship- Laveoc, France
May 11-13- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- Porto Ercole, Italy
May 14-19- J/70 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
May 18-20- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, The Netherlands
May 24-28- J/Cup United Kingdom- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 25-28- The FIGAWI Race- Hyannisport, MA
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Offshore Race- Belvedere, CA
May 26-28- Swiftsure International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 26-28- U.K. J/24 National Championship- Poole, England
May 28-29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
May 31- SoCal 300 Race- San Diego, CA

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

J/111 sailing Warsash series on SolentA Spring-like Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series?
(Warsash, England)- Who knew?! There really is a “spring” on the seasonal calendar.  Given the fact that northern Europe and the upper half of North America have all experienced an extraordinarily cold and dreary early spring, one can be forgiven for jumping for joy like kids when the sun pops out, nice warm winds caress our faces, and shorts can be worn for once!

Yes, spring finally did arrive for the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.  The great weather on Sunday also produced some of the best racing on the water.

The White Group had a light shifty SW breeze of 5 to 6 knots that eventually settled into 13 knots. The “U” flag (no boats permitted in the start line windward mark triangle in the last minute of start sequence) was used for the three J/70 starts, which all got away cleanly with most competitors within half a boat length of the start.

J/70s sailing Warsash series on SolentThe number of J/70 entries was boosted by those boats in the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship which runs over the two weekends 21/22 and 28/29 April, and the quality of racing was excellent. The White Group J/70 fleet leader in the series is DSP (Douglas Struth) with JEEPSTER (Graham Clapp) in second position and PEGGY (Jon Powell) in third.

In the Spring Championship, after seven races, it is Jon Calascione’s CALYPSO leading with just 14 pts, with Marshall King’s SOAK RACING from Ireland in second with 19 pts and Philip Rees Bryn in third with 33 pts.  Rounding out the top five is Laurie Smith’s ALFIE in 4th and Martin Dent’s JELVIS in 5th.

Black Group Series
Black Group had two races on Sunday with mainly windward-leeward courses using fixed and laid marks. The wind was generally about 240 to 250 degrees and between 7 and 9 knots, but it did drop to 2 to 4 knots for a while during the first race, which meant the bigger deeper draft yachts who couldn't do as much tide dodging, came to a near standstill for a while. Tidal tactics were vital as the beats were quite long against the tide on the southern edge of the Brambles plateau and the breeze was unreliable.  The second race was a short and sharp one as the breeze picked up and the racecourse was busy and lively.

In IRC 1 Class race 4, Chris Daniel’s J/122 JUNO took second, while in race 5, Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II took the second. As a result, tied on third @ 8 pts for best records of the day were the J/122 JUNO and also Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG.

J/112E sailing Warsash series on SolentIRC2 is led overall by Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES with a first and third on Sunday to retain their lead with a total of 6 pts net in five races (four counted).

In IRC3, Rachel, David & Robert Hunt’s J/97 JUMBLESAL 2 has climbed onto the provisional podium by scoring two 2nds o the date, sitting just one point in arrears of the silver with one weekend to go!  Just three points back from them is a perennial contender in the class, David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

The J/109 fleet saw Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE go over the line early in the first race and, after restarting last, was able to overtake the boats ahead in breeze and held on to win! Thereafter, Robert Stiles’ DIAMOND JEM won race 5. Consequently, JIRAFFE holds a healthy lead in the J/109 class overall, tossing a 2nd to count just 1sts and 2nds for 6 pts net.  Sitting in second is Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO with 13 pts net and third id David McGough’s JUST SO with 16 pts.

J/88 sailing Warsash series on SolentIn the J/88 fleet, David and Kirsty Apthorp’s J-DREAM had a dominant day with two wins.  However, Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS continues to lead the class overall by just a point over Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR.  Holding comfortably onto third is Tim Tolcher’s RAGING BULL.

Black Championship
After the first weekend of sailing the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship, the IRC 1 Class sees groups of boats clumped together just one point shy of the podium, that is how close sailing has been in this tight fleet.  Cornell Riklin’s J/111 JTTERBUG is tied for 4th with 20 pts, only 1 pt away from the bronze. Her stablemates are just behind them, Daniel’s J/122 JUNO in 6th and Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II in 7th.

The beautifully restored J/35 BENGAL MAGIC/ KNIGHT BUILD LTD is winning the class after closing with two bullets in the final two races for a total of just 9 pts in six races (5 counted).

J/111 sailing Warsash series on SolentThen, in IRC 3 Class, Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II sits in second place with 9 pts, just one point off the lead.  And, Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER is third with 10 pts and Jack Banks’ J/92 NIGHTJAR is fourth.

Finally, leading the J/109 fleet in this event also happens to be Perry’s JIRAFFE.  Second is John Smart & Chris Copeland’s JUKEBOX and third is Chris Preston’s JUBILEE.

Peter Bateson, Series Chairman "Good luck to everyone for next Sunday 29th April, the final day of racing in this year's Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series.”

The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Helly Hansen @HellyHansen #feelalive and organized and run by the Warsash Sailing Club. It is supported by race partners Crewsaver and Doyle Sails.   Sailing photo credits- Closed Hauled Photography   Follow the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/111 sailing Van Uden Reco regatta in The NetherlandsSunny, Sweet Van Uden Reco Regatta
(Stellendam, The Netherlands)- The traditional season opener for the Dutch offshore community is the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta, sailed off Stellendam, The Netherlands.  The competition was open to ORC, IRC, J/22 and J/111 one-design, and double-handed handicap classes.

As anticipated, the Friday evening food, drinks, and dance party in the warehouse at the Marina was epic; the band "Back to Basics" rocked the house all night long, warming up the sailors for their exciting races on Saturday and Sunday.  Fortunately, for those sailors a bit “groggy” the next morning, the weather Gods delivered flat waters, light to moderate winds and plenty of warm sunshine all weekend.

J/22s sailing Van Uden Reco regattaThe J/22s enjoyed one of their strongest and largest fleet in years with fourteen boats making the trek from all over the Netherlands, Germany, and France.  In the end, it was Dirk Jan Verdoorn’s JUT EN JUL family crew (including Rosemarijn & Liselotte Verdoorn and Renee Groeneveld) that out-classed the rest of the field by winning their first four races and taking home an 11 pt margin of victory.  While the Verdoorn family could not see their competition in the rear view mirror, it was quite the three-way battle for the balance of the podium.  Jesper Overbeeke’s NED 1514 (Michelle Koopmans, Christiaan Felj, & Carmen Platteeuw), Reiner Brockerhoff’s JAZZY from France, and Ivo Jeukens’ ELAINE from The Netherlands all traded off getting 2nds and 3rds in the eight races sailed.  The final race determined the outcome for this trio.  Jeauken’s crew got a BFD (black flag), so were immediately left out of the running.  Overbeeke’s team rose to the occasion and took a 1-3 in the last two races to grab the silver while Brockerhoff’s team posted a 3-4 to secure the bronze.  Rounding out the top five was Daan Grundeman’s TU DELFT BROACH.

J/111 sailing off Stellendam, NetherlandsSimilarly, the J/111 Northern Europe class had a great turnout of a half-dozen boats from The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Germany.  Racing was very close and any mistakes were quite costly.  After five races, there was a tie-breaker for first place!  Paul van Driel’s Dutch crew on SWEENY and Sebastian de Liedekerke’s French team on DJINN both finished with 8 pts each, the win going to SWEENY based on number of 1sts. In a remarkable feat of consistency, DJINN’s crew counted only 2nd places!  Third was nearly another tie-breaker, but Sjaak Haakman’s Dutch crew on RED HERRING was able to toss their last race OCS and finish with 10 pts net.  One point behind in fourth place was Jorg Sigg’s Swiss team on LALLEKONIG, helping them was Wouter Kollmann as “local knowledge” (a past Dutch, European and J/22 World Champion).

J/109 sailing Van Uden Reco doublehanded ORC classOne of the largest offshore classes in the regatta was the 11-boat ORC Doublehanded Class.  This discipline continues to gain more participants that are passionate and J/sailors are often seen as the ringleaders in the rising momentum.  Top J/crew this time in the light stuff was the J/109 FIRESTORM sailed by the English/ Dutch team of Wim van Slooten and Jochem Hamstra; they won the first race handily, but struggled in their next two races (a 7-5) to hang on for the bronze.  Not so lucky was the J/122 JUNIQUE, a team accustomed to winning regattas.  Their team of Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker took 2nd in the first race, a DNF in the second (a breakdown) and 3rd in the last race to finish in 6th overall.  Of note, they were quite easily leading the fleet in virtually every race boat-for-boat and were contenders for the regatta win.

Three J/109s sailed in the ORC 2 Division, but it was only Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI that managed to crack the top five, finishing tied on points at 17 each with another boat but having to settle for 5th place on the countback.

One would never guess the 40+ year-old J/24 design would be a rule-beater under ORC handicap measurement.  But, sure enough, Dirk Olyslagers’ J/24 JOOL walked away with class honors in the ORC 3 Division, counting just 1sts in five races!   Follow the Van Uden Reco Regatta on Facebook here  For more Van Uden Reco Regatta sailing information

J/80 sailing Yachting Russia CupGlorious Sailing @ Yachting Russia Cup
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- Each year, the principal yachting magazine in Russia- YACHT RUSSIA- hosts their annual Yachting Russia Cup on the famous “wind factory” known as Lago di Garda.  Fraglia Vela Riva, the local yacht club is renowned for hosting European and World-class event off the shores of Riva del Garda at the northern end of the lake.

The Yachting Russia Cup is unique in its format since it is sailed as fleet racing in J/70s, J/80s and CB66s with live judging on the water.  There are 32 teams with 140 sailors in total that rotate in two shifts, Alpha and Bravo, for three days of qualifying.  Then the top half sail in their fleets for the winners of each class.  Twelve teams were racing J/80s and eight teams were racing J/70s.

The first day of racing started on Sunday, April 22nd and the last day ended on Thursday, April 26th. Top social media and yachting “empress” from Russia, Elena Otekina, provided the reports and play-by-play here for the event.

J/80 sailors at Yachting Russia CupDay 1- Sunday
Thanks to the sunny and hot weather on the first race day, the “wind factory” worked almost without interruption. The main local wind- the “ora” that blows in from the south- began to blow in the morning to the surprise of everyone. At the beginning, it was extremely unstable and weak, but by noon, it was up to 15-18 knots and continued building until racing was finished for the day. In both groups, Alpha in the morning and Bravo in the afternoon, three races were held for all fleets.

The Alpha group in J/80s was a tight fleet, with a lot of the strongest teams in close company; including the winner of last year's Yachting Russia Cup- Vladimir Bodrikova. At the end of the first race, almost the entire fleet came in to the finish at the same time and it was nearly impossible to sort first from last in the photo finish.

In the J/70s, Yuri Firsov’s team was able to win the first day with 1-3-1 for 5 pts.  However, they were tied on points with Igor Puzanov’s DREAM TEAM that posted a 2-1-2 for 5 pts, too.

After lunch, the Bravo teams took to the water.  Unlike the morning Alpha crews, they did not have to wait and suffer from the lack of wind and unpredictable wind shifts.

In the J/80s, COMPUTEL’s Andrei Samoylov left nothing for chance to their rivals. Despite an over early in the first race, Samoylov’s team managed to post all firsts on day one.  Second was Roman Gorev’s ICEBERG team from St Petersburg and third was the team from Kaliningrad- Sergei Ezhikov’s TEAM EZHIKI.

In the Bravo J/70 group, Boris Mashunkin’s YES TEAM duplicated the record of their comrades in the J/80s, winning all three races! The team of Renata Hejdera sat in second place, third was Sergei Golofast, and fourth Timothy Zubkov’s TESTAROSSA team.

On Sunday night, there was a holiday dinner for all teams to celebrate the opening of regatta in one of the best restaurants of Riva del Garda- “Osteria la Contrada”- with unlimited quantities of wine and prosecco!!

J/70 sailing Yachting Russia CupDay 2- Monday
Monday’s racing was a study of contrasts.  Unlike the previous day, the morning Bravo group was able to run 4 races per class.  Meanwhile, after lunch, the famous “Ora” did not appear in the afternoon for the Alpha group; leaving them just a single race in an extremely gusty and unstable local breeze that turned the race into a lottery!

The first Bravo group race started in the morning north wind (the “PelĂ©re”), but at the height of the race, the wind died down, and then changed direction to the opposite. The race had to stop and wait for the stabilization of the temperate southeasterly wind that the locals called the “Venedez.”

As a result, three long and one short race consisting of one windward-leeward loop were completed. Reveling in the conditions were the gangsters from Kaliningrad- Sergei Ezhikov’s TEAM EZHIKI.  They managed to win all four races in the variable morning wind conditions. Such a brilliant performance led the team to become the new leaders of group.  In fact, on total points they were tied with Andrei Samoylov’s COMPUTEL team that had dropped to second place after posting three 2nds and a 3rd for the day.

J/70s sailing Lake Garda, ItalyIn the J/70 class, the leader of the first day, Boris Mashunkin’s YES TEAM managed to keep first place with two 4ths and two 1st places. But, they were tied on points with Sergei Golofast’s FASTER TEAM, with two 2nds and two 1sts! Sitting in third place was Zubkov’s TESTAROSSA team.

After the lunch, the Alpha group had to wait for their start for more than two hours.  Then, after three hours, they were finally given just one race; one that generated a lot of anxiety amongst the leading teams. The wind seemed to come from all directions, starting at 90 degrees, then 180 degrees. To guess which way to go was absolutely impossible; someone in this lottery was going to get the lucky ticket, others would lose a lot. Throughout the race, almost every team were winners and losers, and the outcome depended only on the game of chance.

In J/80 Alpha group, the leader of the first day- Vladimir Bodrikov’s ALEONORA- had a roller-coaster performance, including a last place, but managed to hang on to their lead.  Moving into second place were Alexander Smagljuk’s crew from Krasnodar and the MAESTRO crew skippered by Konstantin Nazarenko moved up to third place.

In J/70 Alpha group, Boris Burmentiev won the race and climbed to third place in the final standings. The first and second places were retained by the teams of Yuri Firsov’s FIRSOV SAILING and Igor Puzanov’s DREAM TEAM.

J/80 sailing on Lake Garda, ItalyDay 3- Tuesday
The three-day qualifying series was now complete and the fleet was divided into Gold and Silver for the Grand Finale that would take place over the next two days.

After a difficult day with the wind on Tuesday, the “ora” wind factory appeared again, starting with about 6-8 kts in the morning and increasing to 16-18 kts by afternoon with gusts well into the low 20s!

In total, all four scheduled races for the morning group (Alpha) and two races for the Bravo group were held. The afternoon racing saw a number of spectacular broaches by the less experienced teams.

Winning the J/80 Alpha group was Vladimir Bodrikov’s ALEONORA, posting a 2-2-1-4 to win by a large margin.  The balance of the qualifiers on the podium included Alexander Smagljuk and Dmitry Kurshina’s SEABEAR team from Moscow.

The J/70 Alpha group saw no change in the standings after their four races. The top two qualifiers were Yuri Firsov and Igor Puzanov’s DREAM TEAM, both scoring two 1sts and two 2nds!

The Bravo group got the strongest and steadiest wind of the day; two long distance races were held, which allowed the teams to enjoy high-speed planing under the gennakers back and forth across the lake!

In the J/80 Bravo group, the two leaders did not change, with Sergei Ezhikov’s ESHIKI winning and Andrey Samoylov’s COMPUTEL in second.  However, in third place there was a change, with Roman Gorev’s ICEBERG taking the final spot on the podium.

The J/70s saw some epic broaching in the first race.  However, nothing was going to slow down Sergey Golofast’s FASTER TEAM from winning with a final 3-1.  Meanwhile, Mashunkin’s YES TEAM maintained their second position to qualify for the Gold fleet finale.

J/80s sailing Lake Garda, Italy - Russia Yachting CupDay 4- Wednesday- Grand finale I
On the first day of the finals, the moment of truth finally arrived. On Wednesday morning, the best teams of the Alpha and Bravo teams met in the Gold Fleet on the water, and after lunch, the crews of the Silver Fleet got to compete against each other.

Again the whole lake was covered with haze, so the convection of the air necessary for the emergence of the “Ora” did not work. However, the southeastern “Venedez” that reached 15-18 knots in the afternoon rescued the participants. As a result, four dynamic races were held for both Gold and Silver fleets.

With the top six crews all racing in the J/80 Gold division, no one was sure who was going to rise to the top.  Nevertheless, the J/80 Alfa group leader, Sergei Ezhikov’s EZHIKI had a bad day, posting a 4-3-3-5 to finish in third for the day.  As Ezhikov explained, “we go crushed at the start of the first race and got a 4th.  Then, everything somehow went wrong, bad mark roundings, a tear in the spinnaker and a terrible fourth race.”

J/70s sailing upwind on Lake Garda, ItalySimilarly, the leader of the J/80 Bravo group had an even worse day. Vladimir Bodrikov’s ALEONORA ended up in 4th place in the Gold fleet after posting a 6-5-4-3. According to Bodrikov, “everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for us! We had a false start, a drowned (shrimped) gennaker and bad tactical mistakes. We hope to rise from the depths of despair and have a brighter day tomorrow! The crew is not discouraged and we promise that we will compete for prizes and get on the podium!”

The most impressive performance of the day was Andrei Samoylov’s COMPUTEL, posting all bullets!  Not surprisingly, after posting four 2nds, it was Roman Gorev’s ICEBERG that closed the day in second place.

Like their classmates in the J/80s, the J/70 Gold fleet was dominated by Igor Puzanov’s DREAM TEAM, also posting an unassailable record of 1-1-1-2 for a comfortable first day lead.  Yuri Firsov’s had a rough start to the day, to say the least!  Off the starting line in the first race, they were over early, and then hooked their keel on the anchor line of the port end boat!  After taking a last in the first race, they acquitted themselves by climbing rapidly into contention with a 2-2-1 for the day, sitting in second place. In third place was the J/70 Bravo group winner, Sergei Golofast’s FASTER TEAM.  Fourth was Boris Mashunkin’s YES TEAM.

In the Silver Fleet, the fight was very close in both fleets.  However, with the strong breeze, boathandling issues were paramount with the less experienced crews; plenty of shrimped kites, epic broaches, and unfortunate collisions with out-of-control boats.  Nevertheless, everyone made it home safe to lick their wounds and repair the boats for the final day.  Leading the J/80 Silver division was Boris Yudin’s 40-PLUS with a 2-2-2-4.  In the J/70 Silver division, it was Boris Burmentiev’s team leading with a 1-1-4-3.

J/70s sailing upwind on Lake Garda, Italy- Russia CupDay 5- Thursday- Grand Finale II
The final day of racing for both Gold and Silver fleets saw a total of four more races sailed for each, thanks to another good day of winds from the famous “Ora”.  After eight races, it was quite clear that Puzanov’s DREAM TEAM in the J/70s was going to run away with the class honors, adding a 2-1-1-1 to finish with just 8 pts net, seven pts clear of the next boat.  In a similar fashion, Firsov’s team had already redeemed themselves after their horrific start to the final series the day before.  After closing with a 1st yesterday, Firsov started with a 1st on the final day and finished with scores of 1-2-3-4 for 15 pts net to take the silver.  Rounding out the podium was Golofast’s FASTER TEAM from Moscow.

The J/80 Gold fleet experienced a “white-wash” or “blitzkrieg”, depending on your point of view.  In short, after posting all bullets for seven races, Samoylov’s COMPUTEL TEAM from Moscow sailed home and took a DNS in their last race to finish with 7 pts net for a comfortable win.  Gorev’s ICEBERG crew maintained their consistency to post a steady 3-4-3-1 for a total of 15 pts net to take home the silver.  However, behind them it was an all-out battle for the final spot on the podium.  In fact, whoever beat whom in the last race would determine the final outcome.  Taking the bronze after a ferocious last race was Bodrikov’s ALEONORA, his 3rd place cemented by a 3rd in the last race.  Losing that battle was Ezhikov’s EZHIKI, posting a 4th in the finale to drop to 4th overall.

In the J/80 Silver fleet, nothing changed after four more races, with Yudin’s 40-PLUS winning, followed by Boris Lysenko’s KREBIAN RACING I in second and Nazarenko’s MAESTRO TEAM in third place.

Similarly, the J/70 Silver fleet saw Burmentiev’s team hold on to their lead to win their division. Taking the silver was Vadim Korkovidov’s LETJAT KIRPICHI and it was Zubkov’s TESTAROSSA taking the bronze.
J/70 Yachting Russia Cup winner

J/70 winner- Igor Puzanov on DREAM TEAM interview

J/80 winner- Andrei Samoylov on COMPUTEL interview

Sailing photo & story credits- Elena Otekina   For more YACHT RUSSIA magazine information  Follow YACHT RUSSIA on Facebook here

J/80 sailing off Seattle, WACRAZY IVAN Takes J/80 Westerns
PSSR Blessed With Lots of Racing!
(Seattle, WA)- Over the past two weekends, the annual Puget Sound Spring Regatta (PSSR) was hosted by the Corinthian YC Seattle for both offshore PHRF racers as well as one-design classes of J/109s, J/105s, J/24s and J/80s.  In fact, for the J/80s was their first J/80 Westerns ever.

After seven races, nine-boat J/80 fleet enjoyed tight racing.  In fact, so tight, it was a two-way tie-breaker for first place and was nearly a three-way tie-breaker!  Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN and John Sezer’s RECKLESS both ended up with 13 pts net, with the countback advantage going to those “wild & crazy guys” on the IVAN.  Just three points back was Mike Gridley’s RAVEN with 16 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL and Lek Dimarucot’s UNDERDOG in 4th and 5th, respectively.

J/24 sailing off Seattle, WAThe ten-boat J/24 fleet sailed the first weekend. Saturday was raining and the breeze was 5-7 kts early and built to 9-14 kts from the south running against a strong flood tide. Fortunately, on Sunday, the rain was gone and the breeze had switched to a northerly, 8-10 kts early, building to 15-24 kts in the afternoon.  Establishing their hegemony over the fleet early, Jako Lichtenberg’s HAIR OF THE DOG won the first two races and added five more 1sts in eleven races to win by a convincing margin.  However, behind them it was a huge battle all weekend for the next two spots on the podium between Bill Taylor’s ATOM ANT and Carl Sheath’s TUNDRA ROSE.  Neither gave an inch all weekend and in races the “hairy dogs” didn’t win, one of these guys did!  By winning the last race, Taylor’s “ants” took it by one point over Carl’s “rosebuds”.  Fourth was Chris Archer’s CHALLENGER.

J/105 sailing off Seattle, WAThe J/105s had an excellent turnout of seven teams from across the various Puget Sound clubs.  Following on their successes in 2017, Jerry Diercks’ crew on DELIRIUM truly did go wild once they found out their last race 1st place earned them the top of the podium over the 2017 J/105 Seattle Boat of the Year- Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE- the difference was just one point.  Third was John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN, fourth Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO and fifth Chris Phoenix’s JADED.

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, the J/crews acquitted themselves quite nicely.  In PHRF 2 Class, Jerry Woodfield’s J/109 SHADA took the bronze while Natalie Pryde’s J/92S SHIVA finished 6th and Tola Cezik’s J/109 LODOS was 7th.  Assuming the usual position of first place in PHRF 5 Class was none other than Pat Denny’s beautifully restored J/29 HERE & NOW, eviscerating their class with five bullets in seven races and having to toss out a 2nd!  And, that was against top-ranked teams on Ross 930s, Farr 1020, and an Olson 911!  A spanking it was!   For more Puget Sound Spring Series and J/80 Westerns sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/122 Liquid sailing Caribbean regatta* J/122 LIQUID Smokes POP-UP Regatta Pursuit race to Saint Kitts.

The heat was on Monday, April 16th during the inaugural “POP-UP Pursuit Race” from Gustavia Harbour, St Barthelemy to Christophe Harbour, on the southeastern tip of St Kitts.  Race Promoter Becky Rutland promised a beautiful, fun Pursuit Race followed by two delightful days of surprises and fun for all ashore.  The event acted as the ideal feeder race for the Antigua Classics and Antigua Sailing Week regattas.

The exhilarating 5-6 hour, 52.0nm race gave sailors an unforgettable experience and a bird’s eye view of one of the Caribbean’s most prominent marinas.

The race from St Barts to Christophe Harbour’s Super Yacht Marina was pretty much a straight shot across gorgeous, aquamarine Caribbean seas.  Taking it all in stride and winning the coveted POP-UP CUP was none other than Pamala Baldwin’s hot J/122 LIQUID, making the crossing in just over 6 hrs for an average speed of 8.67 kts!

According to Pamala, “one of the best parts of this race was the promise of “gratis” docking and three days of spontaneous fun-- parties, games, barbecues! Plus, the dance parties at the ever popular Salt Plage water front club at Christophe Harbour were loved by our crew!”

Christophe Harbour was founded by S/Y “Andromeda la Dea” owner “Buddy” Darby, who designed the superyacht marina with superyacht owners and crew in mind. The marina currently houses 24 alongside superyacht berths and is estimated to provide 250 state-of-the-art alongside berths. For private or charter yacht homeport, the marina is considered an extension of crew ashore and offers exceptional guest concierge services to fulfill guest and crew needs, such as VIP clearance, provisioning, freight forwarding, local itineraries as well as ultra-fast Wi-Fi.

* The J/122 STELLAR RACING TEAM won the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2017 in the IRC Doublehanded Division, racing around Sicily and a set of Mediterranean islands in the famously grueling and challenging 650nm race.  Recall that nearly 80% of the fleet retired due to mountainous waves and a 25-40 kt “mistral” whipping the Med into a hellish maelstrom.
J/122 Stellar Racing team
The real heroes of that race were the two Russian sailors that felt like they had been to hell and back on their J/122 STELLAR RACING Team.  Here is their remarkable story, as told by Alexander GRUDNINA and Dmitry KONDRATIEV, to YACHT RUSSIA magazine and published in their December 2017 issue.

YACHT RUSSIA: In your opinion, what led to your amazing success on the race? Did luck play a role in the game? And, was there a Russian millionaire oligarch that wanted to sponsor you and say- “Get everything ready, shall we go?”

AG: If we were only to be so lucky! Everything depended on us and on the boat (said Alex laughing).

Our boat was very fast and strong! But, we were still afraid, can she (their J/122) survive in such difficult conditions?

So, we tried hard.  We changed our sails in time. The waves were huge, five-meters high! It was crazy!  True, the instruments did not always work. When one of these giant waves crashed over us, all the instruments and electrics went out. To be frank, it became scary.

But, our J/122 took the punishment, she flowed beautifully through the waves, and we kept going!

We did not intend to leave the race! But, our thoughts were, when would these storms end? And, will we be able to sail in quieter weather?

YACHT RUSSIA: Nevertheless, it looked like the unified battalion of eight Dueling Hammers from Hell were trying to force you from the dance?

AG: Probably! But, we wanted to win more than others.

DK: To finish off the race, one must have the power of forging strong determination and a will to win. Of course, we survived, both for the boat and for each other!

You have to know, both of us are “Persians”, we do not like something that has not worked out! And, if we do something, it's either good or not! And, we were sure that we would cope and persevere!
J/122 Stellar Racing team - Rolex Middle Sea Race winner doublehanded
YACHT RUSSIA: Overcoming yourselves or the extremes of nature and the elements- what was harder for you to do?

AG: I had doubtful questions about myself. For me, it was my first 600 nm offshore race in the Mediterranean in such insane weather.  And, I would not go into it without great faith in ourselves and abilities to overcome adversity. There was hope for us. I, myself, doubted whether I could come up with the strength to do it. But, I did it. I did not want to disappoint my teammate!

DK: We were going to chase our dream and enjoy it. Somehow.  It may seem crazy, what pleasure is there in the storm conditions? For us, this was an invaluable experience and provided unforgettable impressions for life.

YACHT RUSSIA: What was your preparation for the race and how long ago did your team come together?

AG: We met in Dima in September 2013.  Then, the next year we had two 600-mile races- the Caribbean 600 Challenge and the Newport to Bermuda Race. We had a training session in April this year, we went to the race around Malta on a 40-footer, not our current boat. But it was only 55 miles, just a day race.

DK: ...and yet it became clear, we must pay special attention to preparation and strategy.

J/122 Stellar Racing Team- finishing Rolex Middle Sea RaceYACHT RUSSIA: How are the duties divided, changing sails, making tactical decisions?

AE: We made all decisions together. Strategy and tactics were developed on shore, before the race, and we tried to strictly follow the strategic plan- to win!

And, almost everything we saw was as expected in our scenario/ strategic planning.  Only, a little more than the expected, as we stayed awake the entire first night off the coast of Sicily.

We changed and furled sails.  We took turns, of course, steering and changing sails together. How else? On the morning going around Sicily and the Straits of Messina, when the wind was a steady 30 knots, we began to change from the #3 jib to the #4 heavy weather jib.  But, after two or three attempts, when we were both swept across the deck by huge waves, we realized that we could not change sails going upwind!  Far too dangerous!  So, we turned downwind and changed sails.  With the reefed main and #4 we could get back on course— that took us about 40 minutes!

YACHT RUSSIA: Did you have a much more difficult race than boats with full crews?

AG: Yes, much harder! For example, you cannot change sails quickly, since you do not have 10 people on board. No one will help, except your partner!

JK: Yes, the race doublehanded is much more difficult. It depends on clear planning, slower processes and longer time for operational decisions. The higher the speed of work, the faster the yacht. Sasha and I worked well together, and at times, we even thought that we were not two on a yacht, but a whole team! Often, without even discussing, one look at the knotmeter or wind gauge, and we knew what to do and how.

YACHT RUSSIA: Understood. So, what was the most difficult part of the race?

AG: For me - it was the overall experience. Will the body and spirit stand up to the punishment? The J/122 is strong, an amazing boat.  Even though we had “older” sails, we were still fast in a big breeze. The boat was not difficult, just the sailors were having trouble!

DK: For me, the hardest part was getting myself to rest. When the elements got rough and violent, I sat at the helm for exactly 10 hours. Time seemed to stop. I was like bewitched. But, this euphoria had the opposite side. Going down into the warm cabin, you realize that there is no more strength. But, even when resting, we did not forget to monitor the speed of the yacht; any change in the wind, the character of the wave, the roll, was under constant control by the helmsman. You can feel that even while sleeping or resting down below.

AG: But, we did not sleep much on the day when the bad weather came; we only rested for two or three hours. That was enough. Once we were in the big storm (mistral) and crazy, breaking waves, you could rest a few hours at a time.  That was the hardest part, not getting enough rest.
Rolex Middle Sea Race course for J/122 Stellar Racing team
YACHT RUSSIA: And, how was the food on board?

AG: Everything was prepared on shore. Cooked pasta, rice, podlivka and all the sauces for them. Then, it's all vacuum-packed and put into the freezer. On the boat, it was only necessary to put the food in for an hour in the oven, or boil water to heat the food bags.  We always had a pleasant appetite and great meals! Even in the big waves, the J/122 is comfortable enough to cook! We had breakfast at about 0800 hrs, dinner was about 1800 hours. Dima would announce “food’s on!” He did it perfectly, and my task was not to interfere and just sail the boat!

YACHT RUSSIA: What was your first reaction when you found out that everyone in your IRC Doublehanded Division quit racing/ dropped out, except you?

AG: What's wrong, we wondered? We were sailing our J/122 just fine! We realized how bad the weather was for other boats when we saw our class leader with a badly torn mainsail, it was terrible to watch! He flew past half a dozen meters from us. At that moment, we ourselves went towards the nearest island, to hide from the monstrous waves.  We decided to make a minor repair to our mainsail and change from the #4 jib to the storm jib in the lee of the island.  It was a good move.  We then returned to the race, losing only an hour.  The RMSR Race Committee once again confirmed our position in the race and made sure we were “OK” and they notified us that we were the only boat left racing from our IRC Doublehanded Division. That is how it remained until we reached the finish line.

DC: It was a very unusual feeling, both joyful and sad. We felt we were competitive and, at the time the other boats dropped out, we knew we were in the top 1st or 2nd position in our class.

YACHT RUSSIA: To participate in the regatta, you raised funds with “crowd-funding” on the Internet.  Was that easier than finding a sponsor?

DK: We worked in both directions, looking for sponsors, offering partnerships, looking for support among sailing enthusiasts, our friends and acquaintances. Sponsorship on such a scale, when it is only one small race, is not very attractive for sponsors.  And, to get support from the sailing audience would be hard, very few people knew of us and our successes offshore.  Even when we returned from getting a 3rd place in the 2014 Newport to Bermuda Race- that went unnoticed and we did not get much press, if any. Russia and the Russian Sailing Federation need victories!! Then, publicize them, too!

YACHT RUSSIA: What is your greatest dream- is it to keep sailing?

AG: I'm not too attracted to offshore racing, ironically.  And, if six years ago I was called to sail the Volvo Ocean Race, I would think about that a hundred times. That would be a challenge!  But, today?  For me the highlights are fun, but brief.  To win the World Sailing Cup in some prestigious one-design boat, that would be great!  As for Dima here, he thinks otherwise, I am sure.  He likes long offshore passages, it’s special for him.

DK: For me, the big dream is to go on a long offshore race, maybe singlehanded.  For that, it might be worthwhile to dream a little more ...

YACHT RUSSIA: How is it possible to combine sailing and a normal lifestyle? Are there other hobbies that you might enjoy and share with family or friends? What is it, Alexander?

AG: Me? I love mountain skiing. And fishing, when there is time. In fact, we have an annual trip with friends to fish on the Volga! Huge catfish, sturgeon, too, maybe some with caviar! Plus, I love table tennis.

YACHT RUSSIA: And, for you Dmitry?

DK: In my “normal life”, I love snowboarding and hiking in the mountains. And, I adore spending time with my wife and children- I have two of them, a little boy and a girl. In general, I love the sea and the things associated with it- work, people, sports, and nature. Sailing is constantly evolving, so there is always room for improvement.

YACHT RUSSIA: Thank you both for taking the time to chat with us and sharing your incredible experience winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race IRC Doublehanded Division.  A truly amazing feat of seamanship!  Good luck on your future endeavors!

J/122 Russian team- Dmitry KondratieveDmitry KONDRATIEV
He’s been sailing since 2001. He accidentally learned that there was a sailing school at the Moscow Institute, and immediately decided to go racing.

Commented Dmitry, “There, for the first time, I saw how the skipper/solo cruiser yachts compete. At that moment, there was a push for such a unique format to get more sailors into it. A few years later, I already had two wins in singlehanded races, and I wanted something more complicated.

In 2008, I took part in an offshore crossing on a yacht of the Voytor-Osear class and learned a lot from a skipper from New Zealand. This year in Malta was my ninth 600+ mile race with the role of captain. It just so happened that I did not get a podium finish in any race, except Bermuda. In general, I graduated from one of the Russian Sailing Federation schools, then worked for several years, teaching people to sail. Now, I teach sailing with regards to racing, specifically with a focus on offshore racing.”

Alex GrudninaAlexander GRUDNINA
"How did I get into the sailing? I think it was in 1986, though not entirely sure why, like many of those times in life decisions and experiences!

A teacher came to our school, who turned out to be a “Saratov Sailing Merit” expert in Russia.  He recruited children for the sailing section in Saratov.

At first, I was not going to participate, because I was more attracted to team sports. However, he looked me in the eyes, and began to convince me that I really should definitely go! He was nice and a wise man, and I agreed!  Then, I grew up, grew and grew, to become an International Master of Sports in the Russian Sailing Federation. Among my personal achievements, I now have three victories in regattas that were sponsored by ROLEX- Rolex Middle Sea Race, Rolex Newport Bermuda Race, and Rolex RORC 600 Challenge Race. Not bad for a kid from Saratov, right?!”
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