Wednesday, April 4, 2018

J/Newsletter- April 4th, 2018

J/88 sailing upwindThe Exciting J/88 @ Pacific Sail Boat Show
(Richmond, CA)- The 2018 Pacific Sailboat Show will be held from April 19-22 at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor on 1340 Marina Way South in Richmond, CA.  Click here for more boat show information

SAIL California, the J/Boats San Francisco dealer, will have a J/88 in the water at their dock/ booth.  The J/88 hits the sweet spot in J/Boat’s performance sprit range. This mid-size 29 foot family speedster is fast, fun and stable with the security and comfort of a sit-in cockpit, inboard diesel, weekending interior and onboard head. She is small enough to be single-point lifted without having to rely on the boat yard.

Furthermore, J/88 one-design activity continues to blossom across America.  In fact, at Charleston Race Week, nine (9) J/88s will be sailing inside the famous Charleston Harbor, with the equally infamous Fort Sumter as a backdrop (site of the start of the America Civil War) on the fringes of Course Area 3.  Then, later in the summer, the Great Lakes Championship will be from July 28-29 in Youngstown, NY and then two weeks later the J/88 North American Championship will be held from August 10th to 12th at Chicago Yacht Club!

Learn more here about the J/88 one-design class and you can contact the San Francisco Bay Fleet 3 Fleet Captain (Gary Panariello) via email-

Please feel free to contact SAIL California’s Norm Davant for more boat show information or an appointment to talk about all things J/Boats- Mobile- 510-685-7453 or email-

Alcatel J/70 Cup sailing fast!Italian J/70 Cup Preview
(Sanremo, Italy)- The first event of the Italian J/70 Cup Series is about to start this coming weekend in Sanremo, Italy and, again, the Yacht Club Sanremo will be providing their tremendous hospitality ashore and excellent regatta management on the water.

Sailing off the famous "City of Flowers" will be fifty-eight boats from nine countries, with racing taking place from Friday to Sunday.

Vittorio Di Mauro, President of J/70 Italian Class, commented, "In this year’s regatta there are many newcomers, but it is also a pleasure to see some of the veteran members of J/70 Italian Class being present on the entry list once again. This is clear demonstration that, further than being the One-Design of the moment, people love sailing the J/70 as a fun, fast, tactical boat for all ages. The 2018 season, taking place over four events, will include the Italian Championship at Malcesine on Lago di Garda- the site for the 2019 J/70 European Championship!”

J/70s saiilng Alcatel CupThe competitiveness of the class continues to get better and better. Top Italians crews include J/70 Worlds bronze winner Luca Domenici with his NOTARO Team; the twice J/70 European Champion Claudia Rossi with PETITE TERRIBLE; the winner of the ALCATEL J/70 CUP in 2015 and 2016- Franco Solerio and his L'ELAGAIN; Achille Onorato on MASCALZONE LATINO; Alberto Rossi on ENFANT TERRIBLE (2-time Farr 40 World Champion), Mauro Roversi with J-CURVE; CALVI NETWORK sailed by Gianfranco Noè and Karlo Hmeljak at tactics; and the J/70 Worlds Corinthians winner in Porto Cervo-  Alessandro Zampori with NOBERASCO DAS.

In addition, there are many top competitors from around Europe and the rest of the world.  Returning for the third time is Brazil’s Mario Soeresen Garcia sailing MANDACHUVA from YC Rio de Janeiro; from Germany is Michael Grau’s PAINT IT BLACK team from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein; from Monaco is Stefano Roberti’s PICCINANA from YC Monaco; four top crews from Poland, such as Krempec Krzysztof’s EWA, Pawel Tarnowski’s APOTEX, and Michale Jablonski’s GTJ; five teams from Russia, such as the Monaco J/70 Sportboat Winter Series winner Valeriya Kovalenko and her ARTTUBE team; three Swiss teams, including Tom Studer’s JERRY; and a Swedish crew- John Christian De Champs’ WHITE SOUND sailing for KSSS (Royal Swedish YC).

Many of these teams will be participating in the entire series as part of their long-term training for the J/70 Europeans in 2019 at Malcesine on Lake Garda.  Here is the Italian J/70 Cup 2018 Schedule:
  • Apr 6-8 - Sanremo
  • May 11-13 - Porto Ercole
  • Jul 12-15 - Malcesine - Open Italian J/70 Championship
  • Sep 7-9 - Trieste
Sailing photo credits- Fabio Taccola.  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information

J/70 sailing Cowes, Solent, UKJ/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series Announcement!
(Southampton, England)- With nearly 1,400 J/70s worldwide, the fast planing sportsboat is the fastest growing one-design class in sailing, and with 49 boats racing in the 2017 UK fleet, it is one of the largest in the world.

The 2018 UK regatta schedule will once again provide thrilling one-design racing on short courses with multi-race days, but with one significant change. The major UK events will combine to form the J/70 Class UK Grand Slam Series. The best five event results will decide the overall winner in professional and Corinthian classes, with the top teams qualifying for the 2019 J/70 World Championship, which will be hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.

J/70s sailing England on Solent“The Grand Slam Series will decide the 20 slots for the 2019 J/UK Worlds,” commented J/70 UK Class President, Hannah Le Prevost. “The overall aim is to expand and encourage the UK fleet and improve the performance of the teams. We see this as an 18-month program, including winter training, running into the 2019 J/70 Worlds. Every team will have to qualify through the series to compete at Torbay next year. We aspire to take on the world's best J/70 teams, with everybody working together in the UK Class.”

The first event of the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series will take place 21-22 April as part of the Spring Series organized by Warsash SC. A big turn out of J/70 teams is expected from independent owners and teams racing for the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

In action will be Jonathan Calascione's HARLEQUIN, representing the Royal Yacht Squadron, which was top British team for the 2017 J/70 European Championship. The class attracts a huge variety of sailors, including world-class professionals and Corinthian sailors, both young and old. Ian Wilson's SOAK RACING, the reigning J/70 UK National Champion, and top British team at the 2018 J/70 Worlds, will also be competing.

J/70 UK sailing fast“The Grand Slam Series gets qualification for the 2019 Worlds done and dusted this year, which means we can really focus our training this winter to get ready to compete with the best teams from Europe and America. It will get the UK fleet all racing together and get everyone to understand what will be required to get to the Worlds. By the time we get to Torbay, we should be right at the top of our game, without the worry of having to qualify. This year is going to be really exciting and will really get the UK fleet on its toes to fight for the top spots.”

Simon Cavey will be racing JUST4PLAY for the fourth consecutive year. “The ball is definitely rolling and we have top guys who want to race J/70s, which is great. Racing against professionals and young aspiring Olympic sailors is thrilling. The top sailors are coming into the class because the boat is fantastic. I love sailing the boat and the racing is so close.”

John Greenland will be representing the Royal Thames YC, as a Corinthian sailor. Greenland has brought success to the club at the helm of entries for the NYYC Invitational Regatta and the RORC Commodores Cup. “Work and family commitments will always come first, we have two young children and both of us have careers,” commented John. “The Royal Thames has an extremely well-maintained fleet of J/70s available to club members and you don't need a big crew to race in the class. To be able to arrive and simply launch the boat to enjoy fast competitive racing is the big attraction. As it is a one-design class, there are no excuses; the best team wins.”

Nine events constitute the J/70 UK Class Grand Slam series, culminating in the presentation of two fabulous trophies, for the Overall winner and the Corinthian winner. Teams must compete at five events to qualify, including the non-discardable J/70 UK National Championship.  Here are the dates and the venues:
  • Apr 21-22- Warsash Spring Championship I- Warsash SC
  • Apr 28-29- Warsash Spring Championship II- Warsash SC
  • May 25-27- The J-Cup- Island Sailing Club
  • Jun 2-3- Southern Area Championship- Royal Thames YC
  • July 20-22- UK National Championship- Royal Southern YC
  • Aug 4-7- Cowes Week Mini-Series- Cowes Combined Clubs
  • Sep 22-23- Autumn Championship- Royal Yacht Squadron
  • Oct 13-14- Hamble One-Design Championship I- Hamble River SC
  • Oct 20-21- Hamble One-Design Championship II- Hamble River SC
Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright-  For more J/70 UK Class Grand Slam Series sailing information

J/70 Youth SAILING Champions LeagueJ/70 Youth SAILING Champions League Announcement
(Hamburg, Germany)- The new 2018 Youth SAILING Champions League kicks off from July 27 to 29 during Travemünde Week. Travemünde is an international top venue that has hosted numerous international youth championships over the years. Hence, the championship for the best youth club teams fits perfectly into the event’s strategy.  The teams will compete in a fleet of matched J/70 one-design sailboats supplied by the organizers.

J/70s sailing Travemunde WeekAt the end of July, up to 28 teams from more than 17 nations will compete in the first event of the Youth SAILING Champions League in Travemünde at the Baltic Sea in Germany. Each National Sailing League gets the chance to send up to two club teams to the event. The organizing authorities, ISLA and SAILING Champions League GmbH, leave the decision to the national leagues as to which clubs to nominate for the event. Additional spots will be granted as wild cards by ISLA and SCL.

Each club sends a team of four to five youth sailors under the age of 21 (born in 1997 or later) to Travemünde. The familiar format with six to eight J/70 boats, a pairing list and short, spectator and media-friendly races will be used. SailTracks provides the live broadcasting on behalf of SAP as “Official Technology Partner” of Travemünde Week.

Oliver Schwall, CEO of SAILING Champions League commented, “Looking back, we are super thrilled and proud of what the German ‘Segel-Bundesliga’ and SAILING Champions League add to the world of sailing. 17 countries, more than 300 sailing clubs and more than 3,000 sailors are competing in this beloved and innovative format. It’s great that two of Germany’s top sailing venues are taking the lead for Women’s SAILING Champions League (Kiel) and Youth SAILING Champions League (Travemunde).”

The hosting club is Lübecker Yacht-Club, the principal organizer of Travemünde Week, in close cooperation with Travemünder Woche GmbH.  Sailing photo credit- Sven Jürgensen  Further information about Travemünde Week here  For more SAILING Champions Youth League sailing information

J/122 Liquid sailing CaribbeanVoiles St Barth Regatta IX Preview
(Gustavia Harbor, St Barthelemy)- The IX edition of the Voiles de Saint Barth is about to start this coming weekend.  A fleet of forty-four offshore racing thoroughbreds and a dozen cruising multihulls will be plying the spectacular aquamarine waters around St Barths for a week of fun in the sun and fabulous sailing.  And, to be sure, the après’ sailing is simply outstanding and considered some of the best in the Caribbean.

St Barthelemy islandAfter Hurricane Irma in September 2017, the island community and friends from around the world answered the call for help and the island has been completely cleaned up.  Amazingly, most of the villas and hotels survived in great shape because building codes on St Barth are by far the strictest in all the Caribbean.  It was primarily the north facing beaches and waterfront villas that literally took a pounding, but were repairable.  As such, even the famous Nikki Beach Saint Barth beach club re-opened over the Easter Holiday weekend- Praise the Lord!  Just in time for the throngs of sailors to enjoy their annual ritual, a rite of passage for many, to enjoy their lay-day at Nikki Beach with jeroboams of rose’ wine, enormous “boats” of mouth-watering sushi, and fun & games in the water!

International support has also come in the form of the regatta’s “Ambassadors”, famous personalities in Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas, or in yachting that are present both on the water and ashore to add even more cachet to the overall experience.

French TV personality- Alessandra SubletFrench TV and Radio personality- Alessandra Sublet- has been named as the French ambassador for the ninth edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.  She says, “I take this opportunity to salute the courage of the population and organizers who are what make this event and the island come to life”, said Sublet who has parents that live on the island. “It was natural for me to be in solidarity with the island and the regatta, and I am very proud to be an ambassador to the event for its ninth edition. I have always loved sailing and sailing in Saint-Barth is a dream! The sight of these boats in this beautiful setting is an unforgettable experience.”

Jimmy Buffet - singer- St Barth ambassadorThe LVSB Regatta also welcomes back legendary musician and sailor Jimmy Buffett as the regatta’s official U.S. ambassador. “We all love our special island and we’re moving on from the wrath that Irma brought, and nothing signifies the recovery to me more than the return of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth,” said Buffett who owns a villa on Saint-Barth and last held this honorary position back in 2011. “All the boats and teams return this year to support the rebuilding of our island and have a little fun as well.” The American singer’s relationship with the island spans many decades and some of his most legendary songs were inspired by Saint-Barth. He is an active participant in the recovery of the island post Hurricane Irma!

Nikki Beact St BarthLes Voiles has been a bucket list event for sailors since its inception in 2010, and for its ninth edition, scheduled from April 8th to 14th, the sailors will be enjoying an extra (5th) day of racing! Regatta Director François Tolède commented, “The extra day of racing will bring even more competitiveness and fun to the regatta, which we know is exactly what our participants are interested in! We look forward to the regatta kick off on Sunday, April 8 and wrap up Saturday, April 14, with racing scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Still, the official “Day Off” is scheduled for Thursday and we hope to see you at Nikki Beach to celebrate!”

J/109s sailing Voiles St Barth RegattaAnswering the call to participate and support the event are also a half-dozen J/sailors from around the world.  Sailing in CSA 3 Spinnaker class will be the J/122 LIQUID sailed by owner Pamala Baldwin with skipper Julian White.  They are fresh off recent battles “down island” at St Thomas, Tortola, and nearby St Maarten.  They will be up against two J/120s; PAULISTA sailed by Sacha DAUNAR from France and JAGUAR skippered by Ben Jelic from Saint Maarten.

Then, in CSA 4 Spinnaker class will be two veterans of the Caribbean racing circuit; the J/109 LES VOILES AU FEMININ sailed by owner Sophie Olivaud from St Barthelemy and the J/105 WHISTLER skippered by her owner Peter Lewis from Barbados.  For more Voiles de St Barth Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing San Francisco BayJ/Fest San Francisco Preview
(San Francisco, CA)- This coming weekend, the St Francis YC will be hosting their annual J/Fest San Francisco Regatta for a fleet of forty-five boats and over 275 fire-breathing, wide-eyed, passionate J/sailors ready to do battle to be crowned “King of J/Fest” in their respective classes.  Participating this year are one-design fleets of J/111s, J/105s, J/88s, J/70s, and J/24s.

The largest class at the event will be the twenty-four J/105s.  The fleet continues to maintain its momentum and several new (used) boats and faces have joined what is arguably the most competitive 35 foot one-design offshore keelboat local class in the world.  For over two decades, J/105 Fleet #1 on San Francisco Bay has regularly seen at least two-dozen boats compete in most major events on the Bay.  Leading contenders for class honors will be a mix of veterans and “newbies” to the fleet, such as Adam Spiegel’s JAM SESSION, Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s ARBITRAGE, Ian Charles’ MAVERICK, Jeff Litfin’s MOJO, Phil Laby’s GODOT, Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK, Shannon Ryan & Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, and Tim Russell’s NE*NE.

J/70s sailing San Francisco BayWith eight boats, the J/70 fleet continues to grow its presence on the Bay.  Led by their capable Fleet Captain- Tracy Usher- the 70s depth of talent is ever increasing.  It’s hard to handicap this group since there are several new teams in the fleet. Local contenders certainly include the Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER and Scott Seller’s 1FA.  Joining them from Santa Cruz for a blast around the Bay is Pete Woodhouse’s ZED.

Another fleet that is developing nicely is the J/88s, with five teams sailing one-design for the first time in J/Fest.  Fleet Captain Gary Panariello has his friend Don Payan sailing his boat COURAGEOUS.  Other Bay area teams include Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY, Marc McMorris’ M-SQUARED, Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG, and Steven Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE.

J/24s sailing San FranciscoAmazingly, five J/24s are taking to the cool waters and even cooler breezes the Bay is famous for! These Bay stalwarts include teams that “never say die!”  For decades, it has been a friendly rivalry amongst these teams; familiar ones to many, such as Jasper Van Vliet’s EVIL OCTOPUS, Val Lulevich’s notorious SHUT UP & DRIVE, Darren Cunningham’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR, Paul Van Ravenswaay’s FERAL ROOSTER, and Randy Rasicot’s FLIGHT.

Finally, there will be a trio of J/111s headed to the start off the face of Alcatraz Island.  The fleet will be missing its 2017 J/111 World Champion since SKELETON KEY was shipped east for the winter/summer circuit.  Nevertheless, the three teams (Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN, Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS) are looking forward to a three-way dogfight for the podium.  In such a fleet, it will certainly drive the tacticians mad (if not to drink, quickly) since it’s quite easy to go from 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 1st on successive legs!  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

J/70 Texas CircuitJ/70 Texas Circuit Announcement!
(Austin, TX)- Huge news, cause for celebration!  After much debate, consternation, cogitating, planning, pleading, and brainstorming, the Texas fleet captains have created the J/70 Texas Circuit, sponsored by Parkway Chevrolet and J/Boats Southwest!  Please mark your calendars and go J/70 one-design racing all over Texas! Here are the dates and locations for each event:
  • Apr 20-22- Fort Worth Boat Club- Annual Regatta
  • May 19-20- Lakewood Yacht Club- Shoe Regatta
  • Sep 22-23- Houston Yacht Club- One Design Regatta
  • Oct 13-14- Lakewood Yacht Club- J/Fest Southwest
  • Nov 2-4- Fort Worth Boat Club- Ol’ Man of the Sea Regatta
For more J/70 Texas Circuit sailing information, please contact Scott Spurlin at Mobile# 512-423-2179 or email-

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Last week saw a lot of sailing taking place all across the Eur-Asian continent over the Easter and Bank holiday weekend.  For starters, SPI Ouest France sailed its 40th edition hosted by Societe Nautique La Trinite sur Mer in La Trinite, France.  The huge fleet of 374 keelboats sailed on the picturesque Bay of Quiberon. There was a huge 73-boat J/80 fleet, a strongly competitive J/70 fleet, and a number of J/crews that turned in excellent performances in IRC Handicap classes, such as a new J/112E, a J/97 and J/24.  Across “La Manche” in the United Kingdom, the RORC Easter Challenge was held at Cowes, England for “offshore training” and several J/teams, such as a J/109, J/111, J/35 sailed quite well in their respective IRC handicap classes.  Over in the Swiss and Italian Alps, the Swiss Geneva J/70 Match Race took place on Lago Maggiore, the spectacular lake bordered by Switzerland to the north and Italy to the south. The sailing took place off Locarno, Switzerland. An amazing 39 matches took place over two days, with four more to complete the semi-finals, Repechage final, and finals. The event is part of the Match Race Super League 2018 in Europe.  Then, in southern Russia, the J/70 Russian Premiere Sailing League, the second tier league, had 13 teams participating in Sochi, Russia in a wide variety of weather conditions on the somewhat tempestuous Black Sea. Teams were from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Kazan.

Heading across the Pacific to the USA’s West Coast, we report on the Three Tree Point Race; that was the conclusion of the Center Sound Series hosted by Corinthian YC of Seattle on Puget Sound- great performances by J/122E, J/109s, J/105s, J/35, J/92.  Then, this past Easter Weekend, the Southern Straits Race was hosted by Western Vancouver YC- it is three races in one event with both ORC and PHRF fleets. The boats have a choice of a Long Race of 160nm, Medium Race of 105nm, and Short Race on 60nm- there were great performances by a J/160, J/109, J/105s, and J/92.  Off to the eastern seaboard, we discover that J/24s had yet another fun and laid-back time in the annual J/24 Easter Regatta in Columbia, SC sailing on Lake Murray.

Finally, down in South America, the J/24 South American Championship sailed on Lago San Roque, a high mountain lake along the towering Andes Mountain range in western Argentina.  Host was YC Villa Carlos Paz, with the teams sailing out of the town in the southwest part of the lake by the same name.

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 6-8- Italian J/70 Cup- San Remo, Italy
Apr 7-8- J/FEST San Francisco- San Francisco, CA
Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 21-22- J/80 West Coast Championship- Seattle, WA
Apr 21-22- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Medemblik, The Netherlands
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/112E sailing SPI Ouest FranceJ/112E  Dominates SPI OUEST France Finale
Leduc Tops J/70s, Moriceau Eclipses J/80s, J/24 Smokes OSH-3!
(La Trinite sur Mer, France)- The 40th edition of Spi Ouest-France ended this past Monday afternoon in the Bay of Trinité-sur-Mer, in Morbihan. While it may not have been the sunniest regatta in years, it did fulfill the desire to have good breeze all four days for the 374 boats and 2,500+ sailors that were in attendance in the lovely, quaint seaside town of La Trinite.  As usual, the host club- Societe Nautique La Trinite sur Mer- and the city and its numerous restaurants rolled out the red carpet, made everyone feel at home, and provided excellent race committee work on the water for the passionate sailors.

The largest keelboat regatta in France has enjoyed tremendous support from J/enthusiasts over the past two decades.  Again, the J/80 class was the large one-design fleet by far with seventy-four boats in attendance.  Growing quickly has been its smaller sistership, the highly popular J/70 class with seventeen teams from across France, Spain and Russia.  Then, in the IRC and OSH handicap fleets, there were several notable performances.

J/80s sailing SPI Ouest FranceFriday
On Friday, the fleet was faced with a moderate west to northwest breeze of 10 to 12 kts.  That meant it was going to be a challenge for the Race Committee and PRO on the J/80 course.  Sure enough, with tremendous pent-up energy from a long winter ashore, the huge J/80 fleet took three general recalls to get the first race going.  That scenario repeated itself repeatedly for the ensuing races all weekend long.

Nevertheless, at the end of two races, there was an unprecedented three-way tie for first place.  Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAIL had a 1-5 for 6 pts, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA had a 2-4, and Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG 29 had a 4-2!  Watch a sailing video highlight of the 74-boat J/80 fleet here

Over on the J/70 course, three races were run in the “displacement mode” for the teams, as there was not enough wind to hop up on a plane.  Starting off with two bullets and closing with a 4th on the day to lead the fleet was Herve Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE.  Just one point back was Sergey Alexei’s Russian/ Spanish crew on NEW TERRITORIES with a 2-2-3.  Then, Luc Sambron’s French crew on HEMON-CAMUS sailed steadily to a 4-3-2 to hold on for third.

Then, in the competitive IRC 2 Class, Didier Le Moal’s team on the newly launched J/112E J-LANCE 12 posted a solid 2-2 to end the day in second place.

J/80s sailing SPI Ouest FranceSaturday
The second day saw the forecast strengthen over the earlier versions.  The wind started at about 10 knots from the northwest, then it would back and build into the 20-25 kts range, gusting even higher.  For the one-design fleets, three races were scheduled, but it did not happen that way.  And, for the IRC 1-2-3 fleets and OSH 1 fleet, they were all sent off on a 60nm coastal race- their race #3.

A combination of more general recalls and general carnage on the race track (broaches, torn spinnakers, etc) meant that the enormous J/80 fleet could only manage two more races.  Pellisier’s team continued to lead by adding a 2-4 to their tally.  Bot’s 4-5 kept them in the hunt for second. However, third saw past J/80 champion Simon Moriceau’s ARMENT HABITAT revel in the breeze and posted a 6-1 to leap onto the provisional podium.

Over in the IRC 2 coastal race, the PRO set a course that was essentially 25nm downwind, 25nm upwind, and 10nm reaching, sailing all over the Bay of Quiberon.  While leading IRC 2 Class and sitting around 2nd overall IRC, the J/112E J-LANCE 12 suffered an equipment breakdown on the long beat home, resulting in a torn jib and a 10 minute “bald-headed” change to a smaller jib.  Unfortunately, that dropped them from a sure 2nd to an 11th place on corrected time (in a race that could not be discarded from overall points totals).

J/80 spinnakers at SPI Ouest FranceSunday
Easter Sunday was not what the masses had hoped for- sunny, warm, gentle breeze, perfect for hunting for chocolate Easter bunnies and hundreds of eggs hidden around the town of La Trinite.

Instead, the fleet was greeted by leaden-grey skies, with dark clouds and squalls dumping rain on the fleet all day long. However, again the breeze held strong and all classes sailed in 13 to 20 kt winds.

On the IRC handicap class course area, the fleet was treated to three windward-leeward races.  Winning the day and keeping themselves in contention for the IRC 2 class lead was Le Moal’s J-LANCE 12, posting a convincing 3-1-1 to put the fear of God in all their competitors.

Over on the congested J/80 course, the drama continued to build between the top three protagonists.  Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT posted a 3-1 to jump into 2nd place, while Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS scored a 2-2 to hold on to first place.  Meanwhile, Nadal’s GAN’JA had a 3-7 tally to drop to third position.

The J/70 fleet did not see any change in the overall standings after three more races, with Leduc’s PIERRE OCEANE still holding a commanding position on their competitors.

J/70 spinnakers sailing SPI Ouest FranceMonday
On the final day, it was still more good breeze and for most fleets, just two more races.  The lone exception was the J/70 fleet; after three more races for a total of 12(!), Leduc’s crew proved unstoppable, posting a 2-1-3 to close with 23 pts total.  Hanging on to their position since the first day was Alexei’s Russian/ Spanish crew on NEW TERRITORIES, closing with a 4-2-1 to finish with 27 pts. Then, while trading the top three spots in just about every race all weekend long with the first two teams, Sambron’s HAMON-CAMUS could not quite match the other’s consistency, completing his series with a 1-5-2 for 31 pts and the bronze.

The drama and anxiety continued on the J/80 racetrack.  Closing strongly with two bullets was Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT to take the overall win with 16 pts net (including a throw-out race).  Pellisier’s crew on INTUITIVE SAILS must have blinked in race 7, scoring a 15th, and having to use that as their toss race; they dropped down one notch to take the silver.  Then, the big surprise was the ascent of the Spanish team AD GRUPO GARATU with Almandoz Ortigala skippering. After tossing their first race black flag and closing fast with a 1-2-5 and winning two other races, the Spanish crew were happy to grab the bronze, much to the disappointment of Nadal’s team.

In IRC 2 Class, Le Moal’s J/112E J-LANCE 12 won their fourth race in a row, simply decimating their highly competitive fleet. Le Moal and his crew from Societe Regate Rochelaises ended up finishing 1 pt out of first place to take the bronze in IRC 2 Class, by far the most competitive IRC fleet on the water.  Perhaps most notably, the J/112E took 2nd IRC Overall and was first production keelboat by a comfortable margin behind a custom, professionally-sailed TP52. A slow start in the first four races was a result of having launched their new boat just days before the start of the regatta.  Getting their crew work refined, tactics ironed out, overcoming an equipment failure on the 60nm coastal race (costing them a solid 2nd place), tuning the rig better for the conditions, and simply trimming the sails faster all added up to a solid third place position after the first two days of competition.  Interestingly, the last two days of sailing had both IRC 1 and IRC 2 Classes on the same racetrack and with the same PRO running them on equal length courses.  There was nowhere to hide; you had to sail clean, smart and fast.  And, that is exactly what Le Moal and his J-LANCE 12 crew did for four races.  Those two days produced four bullets and there was no question in everyone’s mind in the entire IRC fleet of 24 boats who was in charge->> J-LANCE 12! The domination was so overwhelming; the competition could be seen crying in their glasses of expensive French wine on Monday afternoon.

In the final analysis of the leading IRC boats, some fascinating facts emerge.  For those four races, the J/112E beat the winning First 40.7 (with pro’s and sailmakers driving) by an average of 1:56 elapsed and by 1:36 on corrected.  And, versus the JPK 10.80 DREAM PEARLS (a famous Fastnet Race winner), the J/112E beat them by an average 1:29 elapsed and 1:14 corrected.  Perhaps even more fascinating, the brand new JPK 11.80 sailed in IRC 1 Class by owner Gery Trentesaux (“Mr JPK” and Fastnet Race/ RORC winner) and professional skipper Jimmy Pahun and a fully pro’d up crew, got beaten by the J/112E “sport cruiser” by an average 2:04 corrected on the same race track!  In fact, the 11.80 (a bare-bones, semi-custom, IRC-optimized racing boat) could barely muster a 2:30 elapsed time over the J/112E family sport cruiser.  Amazing.

In the twenty-one boat IRC 3 Class, B. Fagart’s MISPICKEL V from SR Rochelaises sailed quite well after the first three days, finally getting their act together and closing with a bullet in the final race to secure 4th place.

In the OSH handicap class, it was the smallest and oldest J/Boat in the fleet that took top honors in her class!  S. Gras’ J/24 FRA 1404 JIBUS from YC Crouesty-Arzon won the first race and never looked back, scoring five more bullets and two seconds to win her class by 11 pts!  Sailing photo credits- Marc Olivier and Thomas Brégardis  For more SPI OUEST France Regatta sailing information

J/24 South Americans- sailing Lago San RoqueCARRERA Crowned J/24 South American Champion
(Villa Carlos Paz, Cordoba, Argentina)- For the first time, the J/24 South American Championship was held high in the Andes Mountains, in the spectacular setting of Lago San Roque.  The views are simply awesome, clear blue waters, with majestic 14,000 ft snow-capped mountain peaks ringing the horizon around the western part of lake.  Twenty-one teams from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay made the long trek up into the mountains to savor the delicious wines of the famous Cordoban region- the world-renowned “malbec” reds- and the lovely, quaint waterfront of Villa Carloz Paz on the southwestern corner of the lake.

After the 10th and final race of the regatta, Matias Pereira’s team on CARRERA from YC Olivos (Buenos Aires) were crowned the winners after winning 7 of the 10 races!  There is no question they are one of Argentina’s top crews, with Pereira having won the J/24 South Americans five times before, won five Argentine J/24 National Championships, and were the Gold Medallist at the Pan-American Games sailed on J/24s in Toronto, ONT, Canada!

J/24s sailing South Americans- Villa Carlos Paz, ArgentinaThe first day of racing produced a roller-coaster ride for most of the fleet, in particular, the top five teams. After three races in the shifty, puffy winds that Lago San Roque is famous for, the leading crew was a local Cordoban team- Julian Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.  Their 3-5-1 record for 9 pts was just one point ahead of another local boat- Ezequiel Despontin’s INDIGO that had a 5-2-3 for 10 pts.  Then, sitting in the third spot was Sebastian Halpern’s MORRUCHO with a 6-3-4 tally for 13 pts.  Winners for each race were Sergio Pendola’s CACIQUE, Matias Pereira’s CARRERA and Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.

After three more races, it was quite clear that one team had finally found their “mojo” and blitzed the fleet for three straight bullets- Pereira’s CARRERA.  Now counting net totals after tossing your lowest score, Pereira could now dump his 3rd race Black Flag (19 pts) and take the lead with just 11 pts.  Despontin’s INDIGO was solidly in second place with all 2nds and 3rds and sitting in third place was Pendola’s CACIQUE.

Waking up on the third day, the teams were greeted by a strong wind of 15-20 kts and with big shifts and big streaks, the top teams sailed away from the fleet.  The CARRERA team from Buenos Aires loved the big breeze, posting three more bullets to take a commanding lead.  However, not to be outdone too badly, getting all deuces was Despontin’s INDIGO to take a firm grasp of second place.  The big change was the final spot on the podium, where Halpern’s MORRUCHO sailed a consistent 5-3-6 to leap back into contention.

The tenth and final race on the fourth day did nothing to change those standings from the previous day, with Pereira’s crew taking the Championship.  Winning the last race was Pendola’s CACIQUE pulling themselves back into 4th place for the regatta.  Rounding out the top five was Dadone’s GRIDO-SCIROCCO.

Congratulations to all competitors and organizers for a brilliant event!  It was a great celebration of yachting of the highest magnitude (and altitude) in Argentina!  Special mention must be made for their participation and enthusiasm at the regatta- to Patricio Rodriguez’s Team VIKING from the Bio Bio flee in Chile and, especially, to the passionate women’s team on PEPPER from YC Uruguay led by skipper Carolina Rodriguez.  For more South American J/24 Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing Russia Sailing League off SochiRussian J/70 Sailing League- Premiere Division Debut
(Sochi, Russia)- Like their counterparts in Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland, the Russian J/70 Sailing League has seen such strong participation and interest that it created a “junior” league as well- dubbed the “Premiere Division”.  The “new” teams that have joined the league can now sail the Premier Division series to, hopefully, qualify for the “A” division series in 2019.

The first event had thirteen sailing clubs from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Kazan. The goal over three days was to run 39 races to complete a full rotation.

Day One
On the first day of the regatta, thirteen races were sailed.  The racing was held in great,”classic” Sochi weather conditions; a southeasterly wind of 10 kts, gusting to 16 kts greeted the sailors in the earlier part of the day.  As the breeze built and swung more south, it built in intensity and by the last three races, the winds were gusting over 20 kts!  The crews loved it, as it was full-on planing mode by the end of the day!

Each team sailed 7 races. It was an impressive performance by 7 YACHTS Team that consisted of Karina Teliants (a top women skipper), Alexander Andrianov, Vyacheslav Bukin and Dmitri Tarba.  They managed to win 5(!) victories; their total was 11 points, giving them a 7 pt lead.  Behind them, it was a three-way tie on 18 pts each between DEMIDOV EXPRESS (Vladislav Morozov), PARUSNIK 74 (Eduard Podshivalov), and GRANIT INVEST (Albert Gorkunov).

J/70s sailing off Sochi, RussiaDay Two
Saturday saw 15 more races sailed, making it 28 in total so far for the regatta.  That meant each team had sailed 15 races- the sailors were exhausted, but elated by the fierce pace and fun sailing.

Continuing to maintain her lead was Karina Teljants’ 7 YACHTS team, winning three more races for a total of 8 victories in 15 races!  The big shakeout took place just behind her.  Now, Morozov’s DEMIDOV EXPRESS secured 2nd while Gorkunov’s GRANIT INVEST held on to 3rd place.  Podshivalov’s PARUSNIKA 74 dropped to 5th place, while leaping over them into 4th position was Zoran Paunovich’s ZID ART Sailing Team.

"Compared with the rest of the participants, we are perfect newcomers," said Boris Petukhov, skipper of the KHIMGRAD KAZAN Team. “We have much to strive for and to learn. We do not give up, we need to analyze our mistakes!”

Day Three
On Sunday, the amazing Sochi NPL Race Committee and PRO managed to complete 37 races, getting 9 more on the final day.   As a result, each team sailed twenty races!

In the end, lady helm Karina Teljants and her 7 YACHTS crew (Alexander Andrianov, Vyacheslav Bukin and Dmitry Tarba) were indomitable. The team won 11 races (of 20 total) and finished 7 times on the podium for a total of 38 pts! It was an unexpected and very decisive victory for her team.

Finishing in second place was the team from Ekaterinburg- DEMIDOV EXPRESS sailed by Morozov and his crew of Sergey Musikhin, Maxim Podbeltsev and Alexander Shpagin.

Clinching the bronze was the ZID ART Sailing Team, led by Zorana Paunovich with crew of Sergei Volchkov, Dmitry Narozhenko and Vitaly Ignatenko.

Just one point back and having to settle for 4th place was Gorkunov’s team on GRANIT INVEST (Yuri Popov, Leonid Tarasov, Igor Shimko).

J/70 Russia Sailing League sailorsSome of the sailors offered interesting perspectives on sailing their first event in the J/70 Premiere Russian Sailing League Series.

"Of course, we did not train in vain all winter sailing in the Radio Monte Carlo Winter series,“ said Zoran Paunovich, skipper of ZID ART Sailing Team. “However, the current team here did not race that series with me, so the first day was more of a training day for us! It's a shame that we made three false starts. That, of course, killed our chances. But, the weather was "ours”- strong wind and big waves- the same conditions we practiced in all winter. I think we could show a very good result next time ... It turned out that after the first day we fell far behind our rivals.  Then, in the remaining days we had to play catch up. As a result, one point was not enough for second place! Alas, but in the last two races of the regatta we did not perform well- twice we were fourth. In short, the second place swam away from us from under our nose! On the other hand, we have something to strive for. The main thing is that we realized what mistakes we made. It remains until the next regatta to work through them, which we will definitely do!"

"The racing was intense, mentally and physically," said the skipper of DEMIDOV EXPRESS, Vladislav Morozov. “First the rain, then the sun, then calm, then the big winds and waves! We are all, in general, exhausted! What we did not have was experience on our team. Nothing!  However, we will continue to sail in the next act and we will come to the third and the fourth acts, too!  Watch out, we will learn fast!“

"I now have a feeling that this event has become such a memorable moment of my life that I will remember it until old age," reflected Karina Teljants, skipper of 7 YACHTS. "I'm delighted with all that has happened! The organization, the refereeing, and the participants- everything was fantastic! And, to be honest, I'm a little shocked by the fact that we won. Such a result was completely unexpected. Especially, after the winter series of regattas, during which we searched for our place in the results and we counted it from the back because it was easier,” she said laughing out loud.

She continued to say, “So, for this first Premier Division regatta, we decided to strengthen the team. We added Alexander Andrianov to help on boat speed and strategy.  And, we added as our tactician Vyacheslav Bukin, who kept us out of trouble! Their experience had an immediate impact on our ability to be competitive, thank goodness!  We hope we can maintain our strong performance in the second regatta later in April! We will try and then we'll see how we do.”

The next regatta of the Premier Division of the Russian J/70 National Sailing League will be held on April 19-22, again in Sochi.  For more Russian J/70 Premiere Sailing League sailing information

Swiss J/70 MatchraceMettraux Leads Swiss Geneva J/70 Match Race
(Locarno, Switzerland)- The opening regatta for Matchrace Switzerland was filled with a strong field of participants from seven nations. It was also the opening event of the Match Race Super League 2018, the worldwide match race series that honors the international champion in the classic match racing format sailing only on keelboats.  This first regatta was sailed on a matched-fleet of J/70’s on beautiful Lago Maggiore, bordered by Switzerland and Italy.

The Geneva Match Race team, with skipper Nelson Mettraux, led the Swiss Grand Prix with six wins after the first two days of the event. Behind them was the Austrian team of Max Trippolt, in front of the top-seeded Estonian match race expert- Mati Sepp- and the Albert Riele Swiss Team with Eric Monnin at the helm.

Swiss J/70 Matchrace39 matches were sailed on those two days thanks to good breezes and efficient race management. On Friday, there was a lot of sun and an oscillating, gusty north wind that strengthened up to 13 kts. After a midday break, the beautiful, constant south wind called “the Inverna” became established in the late afternoon. As a result, the first 21 matches could be sailed.

Saturday dawned cloudy and with a complete “glass out” across the lake. Nevertheless, the Inverna winds arrived in the afternoon and were very cold. For the first time, the new robot buoys were used- quite successfully! The course could be changed much faster and more precisely in a matter of minutes; this allowed another 18 matches to be sailed.

For the final day, the first semi-final race between Nelson Mettraux from Geneva and Mati Sepp from Estonia had been eagerly awaited by many sailing in the regatta. If the Genevan’s win this match, they had the best chance of winning the Matchrace Switzerland, and, therefore, the first stage of the Grand Tour for the Match Race Super League.

On this day, Lago Maggiore was at its best. With 6 to 10 kt winds, sunshine and spring-like temperatures.

Swiss J/70 Matchrace winnersThe two teams delivered a dramatic sailing duel that was only decided at the finish line. The Estonians tried with a daring maneuver to take the lead, violated the rules of entry, and were punished by the referees with a penalty turn and a deduction of half a point. Thus, the victory to the Geneva team was safe. However, due to the points penalties, Team Estonia also lost the podium and finished the regatta in fourth place.

With an equally convincing performance, Max Trippolt’s Austrian team took second place.  More importantly, they defeated the winner of the Match Race Super League 2017, Eric Monnin with the Albert Riele Swiss Team, placing them third.

Following the success of Matchrace Switzerland 2018, the Swiss J/70 Sailing League is planning to further expand this world-class event in the coming years as a highlight in the Swiss sailing calendar.  Sailing photo credits- SSL/ Claudia Somm  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/160 JAM sailing at SeattleJ/Crews Triumphant in Southern Straits Race
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)- The 50th annual Southern Straits Race took place this past weekend, hosted by the West Vancouver YC in British Columbia- the Canadian side of the infamous Straits of Juan de Fuca that separate the wild and majestic Olympic Peninsula from the Canadian Maritimes to the north.

The race is a popular one in the Pacific Northwest for the offshore racing fraternity.  Like the Swiftsure International Yacht Race that sails later in the year, the West Vancouver YC has also evolved the race over the course of time to be more accommodating to the reality of today’s lifestyles.  The participants have the choice of three course- the Long Course (140nm), the Medium Course (106nm), and the Short Course (73nm).  A majority of the J/Teams participating sailed the Long Course (mostly 35 footers on up), while the smaller J’s did the Medium Course.  Here is a report of what took place during the race by Peter Salusbury who sailed on a boat called Longboard.

“This was the 50th anniversary of the Southern Straits Race classic and weather cooperated for what most will admit was a very pleasant and enjoyable race. Bruce Hedrick’s pre-race forecast was mostly spot on, though the NW wind stayed on a little longer than forecast into Saturday morning and then re-built closer to Vancouver to get most boats home early Saturday evening.

After a brief postponement waiting for the westerly winds to build into English Bay, all the fleets started in a light westerly which built fairly quickly as we passed Point Atkinson and hit the Bowen Island shore. On the long course, most boats left the Bowen Island shore after reaching Cowan Point and started the long starboard tack over to the Nanaimo harbor area. The now NW wind built to between 12 to 16 knots all afternoon. The J/160 JAM and others really legged out with their long waterlines on the smaller long course boats. The long and fast downwind sail to T10 was beautiful, with a huge full moon all night long and clear skies. On our boat, we seemed to notice an unusual amount of wood in the water and twice ran smack into substantial logs doing 10+ knots!

On the downwind leg, it seemed to pay dividends to keep tacking to port offshore every time the wind went light while on starboard tack. We always found bigger breeze offshore and made big gains on our fleet by approaching T10 from the north.

After rounding T10, we had a solid beat upwind to Ballenas (second time) with winds peaking out over 20+ knots at time, but lightening substantially after Nanaimo Harbor. Going upwind, it seemed advantageous to be a little closer to the Valdez/ Gabriola Island shores as we picked up a nice port tack lift that definitely helped us on those competitors who were more offshore.

J/105s sailing off SeattleAfter rounding Ballenas, the NW backed to more of a westerly and softened to less than 5 knots. We favored the north side of the course home, found a very nice 4 to 7 knot northerly that seldom hit the water, but we were able to keep the boat moving at 3 to 5 knots and sneak along over boats. Eventually the NE wind disappeared, and after a short period of calms (good time for hot oatmeal and cinnamon buns), a very light westerly started to build, which continued to build all the way to the finish. The smaller, slower boats on the Long Course were a little less fortunate with the westerly dying off not long after we finished, with many finishing late into Saturday evening– well done to them for persevering and getting a result! Overall, a very pleasant but somewhat ‘longer’ Long Course race compared to more recent years – but no rain, no clouds, full moon, lots of sun – none of us were complaining!

The boat that really impressed us on the Long Course was Bill Fox’s J/160 JAM who took the ORC Overall win by a wide margin– they appeared to sail a flawless race– super-fast up wind, and really managed the light air on the last leg to get the win– kudos to their team.

On the Medium Course, the J/109’s seemed to love the conditions as they took 3rd to 5th overall with a double handed J/120 called SHEARWATER, skippered by Justin Wolfe, taking an impressive 6th place overall, beating some very talented fully crewed boats. Great job to you both!

Once again, the race organizing committee deserves so much credit for making the 50th anniversary race so successful. On behalf of all participants, I’d like to thank first time Race Chairman, Mike Seper, and his army of volunteers at West Vancouver Yacht Club for making the race possible – great job, Mike! And lastly, thanks so much to all the participants who travelled from afar from home bases like Seattle and Victoria for the race – we appreciate the commitment you make to deliver your boats up and back at this time of the year and hope to see you all back next year.”  Thanks for contribution from Peter Salusbury and (

Winning the Long Course ORC Division was Bill Fox’s J/160 JAM, correcting out by nearly two hours over a TP52 and 1D48.

J/109 sailing off SeattleWinning the Medium Course ORC Division was Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY.  They were followed by Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II in third place.

For the Medium Course PHRF 2 Division, J’s took 5 of the top 6 places. Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY took the silver, with Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO awarded the bronze, John Peterson’s J/109 LEGACY in 4th, Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER in 5th (sailing doublehanded!), and Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II in 6th.

The Medium Course PHRF Doublehanded Division was dominated by two J/Teams.  Winning was Justin Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER and taking second was Scott Shaw-Mac & Brian Isaacs’ J/30 NATURAL HIGH.

The Medium Course PHRF 3 Division saw Ron Mackenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE almost in the chocolates, having to settle for 4th place only 3.5 minutes back on corrected from taking the bronze!  Ouch.

Finally, in the Medium Course PHRF 4 Division, winning class was Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF, taking the class by over a half hour on corrected time.  Taking the bronze was the Doublehanded team of Shaw-Mac and Isaacs on the J/30 NATURAL HIGH!

As a result of their performance, the J/crews did well in the Medium Course PHRF Overall scoring, with 5 of the top 8 going to J’s.  Top boat was Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY taking the bronze, with Hansen’s J/109 MOJO in 4th, Peterson’s J/109 LEGACY in 5th, Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER in 6th (sailing doublehanded!), and Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II in 8th.  Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/  For more Southern Straits Race sailing information

J/109 sailing off Cowes, EnglandGreat Training @ RORC Easter Challenge
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)-The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s sailing season started this past Bank Holiday weekend with the RORC Easter Challenge. This inshore event on the Solent provided a mix of windward-leeward and round-the-cans racing over three days, in 15-20 knots of breeze.  The event culminated in a prize-giving at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse on Sunday afternoon where a seemingly endless supply of Easter eggs was up for grabs!

As in 2017, all sizes of yachts were competing, including J/109s, J/111s, and a newly launched J/121.  All made use of the free coaching laid on for Easter Challenge competitors by the RORC, led by coaching legend Jim Saltonstall. Saltonstall’s team includes RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen and Mason King, a strong posse from North Sails UK and the welcome addition of Australian international coach and Etchells sailor, Andrew Palfrey.

“The philosophy behind the weekend was to give everyone with new boats, crews and equipment the opportunity to start bringing it all together ready for the season’s events,” Saltonstall explains. “We covered all 10 aspects of the most challenging sport in the world- information that would normally cost you £1000s! In short, crews can get what they want out of the weekend.”  With the RRS Coaching/ Outside Assistance rule eliminated, sailors could step on to a coach RIB or the coaches on to the boat, at any time during a race.

J/109 sailing RORC Easter ChallengeDay One
The Easter weekend is traditionally when flowers start blossoming, birds return to the trees, animals rouse from hibernation and the earth generally warms up. Day one of the RORC Easter Challenge, supported by North Sails, saw none of the above with the competitors across the four classes braving the conditions, with raindrops that felt like icy bullets and an easterly wind from Russia that brought a Southern Ocean chill.

From his race committee boat located in the central Solent just east of the Brambles Bank, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s PRO Stuart Childerley had three windward-leeward races scheduled but in the end cancelled the last one sending competitors home to gently steam and thaw out ashore.

Good Friday was a good day for Chris Preston’s J/109 JUBILEE. They were unbeaten on the day, claiming the lead in the IRC Two ahead of the well-sailed J/35 BENGAL MAGIC skippered by James Chalmers. Preston, who has owned his J/109 JUBILEE for two years now, ‘IRCed it’ over the winter, changing for example to non-overlapping jibs. He is sailing this Easter Bank Holiday weekend with a supreme team that includes newly appointed Cowes Week Regatta Director Laurence Mead and renowned coach, umpire and rules expert Bill Edgerton. The trio are rotating roles this weekend to enable any or all of them to be able to take the boat out during the summer: Preston is keen to ‘give back’ to sailing and on Tuesday nights regularly takes out UKSA Junior Instructors.

Of their performance, Preston said, “We have done good preparation this year and have a crew with nicely diverse experience which just seems to fit together really well. Today we were lucky, we had really good starts and wind with tide is good for an J/109.”

JUBILEE has a highly mixed program this year; from J-Cup and Cowes Week, to some offshores, where Preston will compete doublehanded with Mead. This being the RORC’s annual coaching regatta, the club’s CEO Eddie Warden Owen and former professional coach, bucked the conditions, to assist the JUBILEE team (among others) with some upwind trim issues.

J/35 sailing off Cowes, EnglandDay Two
At Friday’s post-race debrief at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Cowes clubhouse, coaching legend Jim Saltonstall advised crews that he and the coaching team from North Sails would be examining rules. The competitors duly obliged, assisted by one of the strongest tides of the year. This caused numerous close encounters; taking boats over the start line early; on to weather marks; one even snagging the race committee boat’s anchor chain. As a result, the queue outside the protest room resembled a doctor’s waiting room.

For day two of competition there were 6-12 knots of wind, the temperature on the water was just 5°C, but seemed balmy compared to yesterday’s Siberian conditions. Stuart Childerley’s race management team staged three windward-leewards on the central Solent followed by a round-the-cans grand finale to get the boats home.

Competition was tight in IRC Two, where the crew of BENGAL MAGIC, the 1983 vintage J/35 that competed in the Commodores’ Cup two years ago, made a sterling return after a year out of sailing.

“Today was fantastic racing, very close,” said skipper James Chalmers. “The second race was so exciting. We got to the weather mark among Jubilee, Cora, Strait  Dealer and even Redshift- a proper mark rounding! We were pushed left on the run, but we saw a bit of a gap, popped the gybe in, soaked into the mark, and got inside Strait Dealer to win the race. There were only seconds between us.”  As a result, BENGAL MAGIC, that is older than the majority of her crew, pulled into the lead.

J/121 sailing off Cowes, EnglandDay Three
Conditions caused racing to be cancelled on the third and final day of the RORC Easter Challenge.  At 0900, when the decision was announced, PRO Stuart Childerley explained, “Currently, we have less than five knots on the Solent and we have a lot of flood tide for the next hour and a half which will be very hard for the boats to make over the ground in that wind strength. Then as the tide improves for a very short window the wind is forecast to drop to nothing and then the tide will deteriorate. So, the long-term future for the day is not good, and the current conditions are not sailable. In view of it being a training regatta, Easter Sunday and having had two really good days, let’s make a decision and move on.”

In IRC 1 Division, the top J was Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, sitting in 6th place.  Just behind them was Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO in 7th, and after a very slow start, Nick Angel’s brand new J/121 ROCK LOBSTER ended the series on a high note, taking 2nd in the last race to finish in 9th.

Chalmer’s J/35 BENGAL MAGIC won IRC 2 followed by the first day class leader, Chris Preston’s J/109 JUBILEE in third place.

The next event in the RORC calendar is the Cervantes Trophy, starting on May 5th, while the inshore program continues with the Vice Admiral's Cup from May 18th to 20th.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth
  Follow the RORC sailing events here on Facebook  For more RORC Easter Challenge sailing information

J/122E Joyride sailing off SeattleJ/122E JOYRIDE Wins Three Tree Point Race
J/122E, J/29, J/105 MORE JUBILEE Top Classes in Center Sound Series
(Seattle, WA)- Corinthian YC’s Center Sound predictably kicks off the central Puget Sound racing season with three medium distance, one buoy rounding, 20-30 mile races. And, it seems usually, one race ends up a drifter and one a gear buster. 2018 had some different things in mind. Saturday’s Three Tree Point Race, which usually takes the fleet from Shilshole to Des Moines and back, was re-routed back and forth and up and down the central Sound so that it could be easily shortened if the wind died.

The course took the fleet to Blakely Rocks, across to Duwamish Head, to a temporary mark off Edmonds, back to West Point and finish for a total of nearly 27 miles. According to Cahill and others, the most interesting thing was reaching across the Sound. “The reaches were fun,” Cahill said. “It was marginal between going with a spinnaker or headsail.”

J/92 sailing off SeattleIn Class 3, there’s not a lot of room for error. It is arguably the most competitive, closely rated and fun handicap class in the Seattle scene right now. Gaucho, Here & Now, Kiwi Express and Madame Pele were neck and neck for the whole series. They’re all racer-cruisers, and while they are all different, they have basic performance parameters in the same ballpark. It harkens back to the day when performance curves weren’t so dissimilar and the racing that much closer on the water.

Class 7 saw an epic battle between the J/122E JOY RIDE and Madrona with Absolutely not far behind. Fittingly, in the end it was John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE breaking the tie for the class win, but Carl Buchan’s Madrona taking the overall top boat spot. JOY RIDE was second in fleet.

CYC’s Race Fleet Captain Matt Wood was happy, particularly with the turnout. “Over 80 boats total in ORC, Casual and PHRF classes entered the series, easily the most participants the event has seen in several years.” He did admit to some glitches along the way but was pleased with how the races were managed in light of the ominous weather forecasts.”  Thanks for this contribution from Kurt Hoehne from

As for the rest of the J/Teams, here is what happened class-by-class.  In the fifteen boat PHRF Class 2, John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS took 5th, while Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD took 6th and the J/80 TAJ MAHAL finished 7th. 3D replayWinning the PHRF Class 3 was Pat Denney’s J/29 HERE & NOW by a comfortable margin after placing 1-1-2, respectively, in the Blakely Rock, Scatchet Head, and Three Tree Point races. Watch a 3D replay of their 3-Tree Pt Race- it can be seen here

The ten-boat J/105 class, one of the largest in years, had close racing amongst the top three boats.  In the end, it was Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE taking class honors with an unassailable 2-1-1.  After winning the first race, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO could not find that gear again, posting a follow-on 4-4 to hang on for second.  Chris Phoenix has JADED sailed a solid, consistent series to post a 4-3-4 to take the bronze.

In the fourteen-boat PHRF 6 Class, Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE finished 3rd, just ahead of two J/109s- Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY in 4th and Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA in 5th position.

As mentioned above, winning PHRF Class 7 was Murkowski’s J/122E JOYRIDE with a 2-4-1 tally.  Finishing in 5th was the duo of Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews on their J/125 HAMACHI.  For more Corinthian YC Seattle Center Sound Series sailing information

J/24 Easter RegattaTEAM TARHEEL Crushes Easter J/24 Regatta
(Columbia, SC)- Sailed in J/24s since 1987, THE Easter Regatta has been one of the world’s most popular and enduring J/24 events. This year, no one was disappointed by the first-class, red carpet treatment rolled out by the always-fabulous host- the Columbia Sailing Club. As always, everyone appreciated the awesome Bath House at the beach and camping area, especially the campers! The “never-leave-the-club option” was just freakin-awesome, said many! The club offers FREE camping (first-come, first-served), meals every day, and parties GALORE!! The beautiful peninsula and gorgeous beach provided that unparalleled camping experience that everyone that sails the Easter J/24 Regatta have come to know and love.

Looking forward to that amazing Southern hospitality were nineteen J/24s from across the universe.  What no one expected was a “schooling” put on by one of the J/24 class veterans.  Who knew!? This early in the season to be smoking white hot, lights out, shake my booty at everyone all weekend long??

J/24 sailing Easter Regatta on Lake Murray, SCSure enough, that’s what can happen sometimes. Paul Abdullah’s TEAM TARHEEL won the regatta with five 1sts and three 2nds in 9 races to win with just 11 pts!  Yikes.  Wow, just slap us across our collectives faces why don’t ya! Simply put, it was a beat down no one saw coming.  Perhaps, we can get a story for next week’s J/News on how Abdullah pulled it all off!?

Behind the TARHEEL team, it was pretty rough sledding for most as it was a combo of getting off the starts, hitting shifts, moving sails up and down at the corners of the race track, like all the stuff that matters and can kill you if it don’t go right.  In that category was second place finisher, Steve Shaw’s ULLMAN SAILS, closing the deal with 28 pts.  Only four points back to take third was James Howard’s CLASSIC with 32 pts total.  Rounding out the top five was Chris Stone’s VELOCIDAD with 37 pts in fourth and Ron Medlin’s BASH with 44 pts in fifth position.  Follow J/24 Easter Regatta on Facebook here   For more J/24 Easter Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 sailng off Seattle* Jim Geros, proud owner of the J/105 LAST TANGO from Seattle, WA, provided his insights into why the Pacific Northwest J/105 fleet continues to have fun after nearly two decades of sailing on Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

“The PNW J/105 Fleet is active and building over that past few years. The fleet is composed of fourteen Seattle-based boats and four Portland-based boats. Each of these home bases has active sailing races during the year with a mix of formal competitive buoy and distance races, as well as local evening "beer can" racing, both PHRF and one-design. There are regularly 7-13 boats on the line for key races. In the Seattle area, turnout for J/105s includes 18 major races, 22 Wednesday evening one-design buoy races and 15 Monday evening PHRF distance races. In these races, the J/105 fleet gets its own class and start when turnout is five or more boats, which is regularly the case.

J/105 sailing off SeattleThe Fleet maintains an active Facebook group page with key events and race outcomes during the year.  The J/105 Fleet is becoming more competitive every year as the new owners get to know how to make their boats go fast and rise in the standings. Many times, the top J/105 boats in the fleet seem to have results where order can be random as to leadership outcome; it is true one-design racing.

Most remarkable of all?  Due to the extremely high level of the class, the J/105s also rank high in the standings against other PNW PHRF non-J/105s in offshore handicap races!

In 2017, one boat consistently took home bullets throughout the year— J/105 #114, MORE JUBILEE owned and skippered by Erik Kristen. Erik has consistently been in the top rankings for many years.

J/105 awards in SeattleMORE JUBILEE was honored with the prestigious Corinthian YC Seattle “2017 Boat of the Year Award” in a ceremony held January 2018.  Erik had firsts at Scatchet Head, Three Tree Point, Puget Sound Sailing Regatta, Puget Sound Sailing Championship, Puget Sound One-Design, all four Wednesday night series, Tri-Island Short Course, winner of the Northwest Challenge Cup and seconds at Grand Prix and Doublehanded Race to the Straits. Erik's consistent racing results won out over other nominated finalists; those CYC member boats included a Melges 32, Fan 39ML, Farr 30, J/29 and a Wauqeuiez Centurion 40. This was the second year in a row that a J/105 won this CYC award (last year's 2016 winner was LAST TANGO).

48° North magazine each year recognizes the high level of racing in the Pacific Northwest. Tracking the racing results of selected series from Olympia, Washington to Vancouver, B.C., this Top 25 rewards not just the occasional bullet, but participation and consistent, top-notch sailing. With a mix of distance and multi-race regattas, the 12 races in the region used for scoring make for a good representation of Northwest racing.

J/105 spinnakers off Seattle, WAThis year, Erik Kristen's J/105 MORE JUBILEE #114, took the coveted first place spot in the Top 25 list! Congratulations to Erik and his crew for having a 100% perfect race result for the scored races. This was also an impressive outcome for the J/105 fleet with three in the Top 10 and six in the Top 25 with 1st MORE JUBILEE #114, 4th LAST TANGO #212, 9th JADED #299, 11th INCONCEIVABLE #403, 21st DELIRIUM #272, and 25th MOOSE UNKNOWN #89.

MORE JUBILEE with Erik Kristen also capped off his performance with being awarded the Fleet 20 PNW J/105 Championship Trophy for 2017!

PNW J/105s participate in many of the Seattle racing events. There were 13 boats out for the past two years at Whidbey Island Race Week (, eight boats at Swiftsure International Yacht Race (, three boats for Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race ( and five boats at Round the County (, just to name a few.

J/105 crewThe Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race hosted by Corinthian YC of Portland, has had a few J/105s competing over the years, but 2017 was the first year that sufficient number of J/105s registered to have their own class. This distance race starts outside the Columbia River in the Pacific and runs north along the Washington coast, turns into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and finishes in Victoria Canada.

Finishing order in the J/105 class was Free Bowl of Soup #519, Abstract #459 and Escape Artist #372. This year, Free Bowl of Soup had the honor of taking the prestigious trophy for winning first Overall PHRF in the Oregon Offshore. This trophy will have another THREE names emblazoned on it this year— Doug Schenk, Erik Hopper and Matt Davis. The trio sailed their J/105 Free Bowl of Soup to an overall victory in the 2017 race under blustery conditions. Congratulations to that boat and crew! (

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is hosted by the Victoria Yacht Club of Canada. 2017 was the first year we had seven boats (four from Seattle and three up from Portland, Oregon) as a one-design division for the 102nm Cape Flattery Race. We needed to have five or more J/105s turn out and that happened in 2017 (currently five are registered for 2018). It's a great race with a great host city, lots of boats from all over and competitive camaraderie. Top three finishers were Last Tango #212, Jaded #299 and Panic #482.

Big time congratulations to the committed and consistent competitors that make our PNW J/105 Fleet racing fun and competitive. And every bit as important, thanks to everybody who takes to the water to be a part of the racing community, whether the races are long or short, serious or casual, fully-crewed or short-handed, and everything in between! Add to Flipboard Magazine.