Wednesday, May 16, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 16th, 2018

J/121s sailing off NewportSuccessful Spring Tune-Up for J/121 Speedsters!
(Newport, RI)- With most boatyards and boats still under shrink-wrap, and the Volvo Ocean Race just into town, J/121 owners gathered for the first J/121 Spring Tune-Up at the Newport Shipyard.  Eight owners from as far as England, Japan and Oregon sailed on four locally launched boats and enjoyed two days of coaching to kick off the 2018 sailing season. Friday afternoon’s session was led by Kimo Worthington and Chuck Allen of North Sails and included onboard coaches Alan Terhune, Reed Baldridge, Jack Orr, Kerry Klingler (Quantum Sails) and Wayne Zittel (J/World).

As this was the first time two or more J/121's has had sailed alongside each other, the learning curve was steep.  Hulls #1 (INCOGNITO) and #2 (APOLLO) showed early speed thanks to previous time in the boat, but as the session went on hull #4 (ALCHEMY) and #6 (EAGLE) dialed right in.

J/121 sailing off Newport with code zeroThe on-the-water tuning session was followed up with refreshments and a debrief back at the dock, with each team sharing their 2-3 top take-aways.

Watch this video of the simply “beautiful day” of sailing Friday afternoon in a classic, sunny, Narragansett Bay seabreeze from the southeast.

Saturday’s forecast was for wet weather and variable winds – perfect for Open Course round the island style racing!    From the comforts of the MJM 50z  “ZING” (captained by Bob Johnstone), the race committee sent the fleet clockwise around Conanicut Island (a 20 mile track) with the course divided into 6 individual legs (to be scored separately as well as overall).

In true distance race fashion, the starting line was set up square to the first mark (Beavertail Point) in an easterly wind, meaning the boats would start on a close reach on port tack. 

J/121s Apollo and Eagle trainingDavid Southwell’s ALCHEMY nailed the start at the committee boat with the big A2 kite trimmed tightly in the 8 knot wind, with INCOGNITO close behind with main and jib.   APOLLO opted for the Code 0, and once things cleared, INCOGNITO unrolled the Code 0 and EAGLE hoisted the A2.   It became clear a few minutes into the race that the A2 could be carried, and with its bigger size (155m2 vs. 104m2), was a speed advantage that allowed both ALCHEMY and EAGLE to surge ahead and round Beavertail comfortably ahead.  The fleet jibed at Beavertail and proceeded north against the current on a tight starboard tack reach.   With lighter breeze in the bay, the leaders slowed, and thanks to carrying a Code 0 closer to shore, APOLLO was able to pass the leaders and win the second leg, which was shortened at the Red Bell south of Dutch Island. 

Thanks to the flexible nature of the event, and the ability of the race committee to “reset the fleet” after any given leg, the teams were instructed to take a lunch break and proceed under engine to the northern end of the island where a steadier southeasterly was filling in. 

MJM Yachts 50z ZING as Race Committe boatTaking advantage of the MJM Yachts 50z ZING’s ability to hover in place on a precise GPS coordinate, a starting line was set up in seconds using a government marker as the port end, and the fleet was sent off on a short windward sprint to the northeast corner of Conanicut, followed by a long port tack favored beat to the Newport Bridge (featuring lots of tacking along the shore to keep out of the building flood current), and finally to the finish line just off the Volvo Race village at Fort Adams.  INCOGNITO got the early jump to win the first windward leg (Leg 3), and then after 8 miles of short tacking the Conanicut shoreline, ALCHEMY came through to win the final two legs and the first ever J/121 fleet event.  Three of the four boats won an individual leg (measured by elapsed time).  EAGLE came within 10 seconds of winning a leg, and notably finished 2nd on three out of the five legs.

After racing, the teams were greeted dockside at Newport Shipyard with trays of Dark & Stormy’s followed by a race debrief and awards. 

J/121's tuning and training togetherComing up next, four J/121’s will be sailing in the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race starting June 15th and a total of five boats will be actively sailing in the New England area this summer.

All four boats had mobile phones equipped with the tracking app that were used for both days to analyze the differences in performance.  And, on Saturday’s “open course” races, it also reflected how the teams chose sails and tactics as the fleet went around Jamestown Island.  Here are the 3D replay links below.
Narragansett Bay chartThe “open course” race was defined for the following legs, which you can see on the 3D replay:
  • Leg 1- Dumplings to Beavertail Bell
  • Leg 2- Beavertail Bell to Dutch Harbor Bell
  • Leg 3- Red Nun to Red Bell- top of Jamestown
  • Leg 4- Red Bell (NE Jamestown) to Newport Bridge
  • Leg 5- Newport Bridge to Red Nun (Fort Adams)
For more J/121 offshore speedster sailing information

J/70s sailing on the SolentJ/CUP Regatta Preview
(Cowes, IOW, England)- The Island Sailing Club will be hosting the annual J/CUP U.K. this coming weekend for an amazing fleet of fifty-eight boats from eight countries (United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Wales, France, Ireland).  There will be One-design racing for J/70s, J/88s, J/92s, J/97s, J/109s, J/111s, and an IRC handicap class.

Sailing will take place on the infamous Solent, where tidal current tactics matter at least as much as playing windshifts and wind streaks on what many consider to be one of the trickiest bodies of water to sail on in the world.  In short, it’s a river that shifts tidally up to 4.5 kts with powerful wind-bending attributes off the highlands surrounding the Solent.

J/70s sailing Solent- Cowes, EnglandAs the largest class, the seventeen-boat J/70 fleet will have most of the top U.K. contenders present as they continue to marshal their resources with a view to a strong showing in the 2019 J/70 Worlds held in Weymouth, UK.  The leading contenders should be Terry O’Neill’s AQUA-J, Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, Geoff Carveth & Doug Struth’s DSP, Paul Ward’s EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Andrew Barraclough’s JENGA 8, Graham Clapp’s JEEPSTER, David McLeman’s OFFBEAT, and Marshall King’s SOAK RACING.

J/88 sailing J/Cup in Great BritainWith four teams, the J/88 class will have fierce competition amongst crews that have all won major events of one form or another over time.  The betting form on this group won’t make any sense, since they are all capable of winning.  The real question is, who’s got the complete team to make it happen for starts, tactics, and boathandling?  The contenders are David & Kirsty Apthorp’s familiar J-DREAM, Richard Cooper’s JONGLEUR, Dirk & Diane van Beek’s SABRIEL JR, and Gavin Howe’s TIGRIS.

The six-boat J/92 class will be their largest gathering in years.  Watch for class veteran David Greenhalgh’s family on J’RONIMO to set the standard for this grouping.

Similar to their J/88 class colleagues, there is no question that Ladbroke’s betting parlor would have a helluva hard time laying betting odds on each team in the five-boat J/97 class.  Each of the teams is formidable; it all depends on the crew/ tactics and staying out of trouble.  As such, those crews are Andy & Annie Howe’s BLACKJACK II, Mike Sellers & Chris Miles’ HIGH JINKS, Bob & Jon Baker’s JAYWALKER, Bob Hunt’s JUMBLESAIL 2, and the French crew from La Trinite sur Mer, Yann Gindre’s L’OPALE.

With eight-boats, the J/109s are looking forward to their annual get-together at the J-CUP.  Look for these teams to factor on the leaderboard, Mike & Susie Yates’ JAGO, Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, and Chris Burleigh’s JYBE TALKIN.

J/111 sailing the SolentAs part of the J/111 Northern European Championship Series, the J/CUP was considered key, “not to miss” regatta, in the whole circuit.  With eleven boats in attendance, virtually all of the top crews of a very European contingent are participating from the U.K. (Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Louise Makin/ Chris Jones’ JOURNEYMAKER II, Tony Mack’s McFLY, and Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG), Belgium (Sebastian de Liederkeke’s DJINN), Netherlands (Sjaak Haakman’s RED HERRING & Paul van Driel & Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY), Germany (Norbert Burkert’s TOP JOB), and Switzerland (Michiel van de Meulen’s LALLEKONIG).

In the IRC handicap division are Chaz Ivill’s J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, Mike & Sarah Wallis’ J/122 JAHMALI, Angus Bates’ J/133 ASSARAIN IV, and Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER.  For more J/CUP Regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing on SolentRORC Vice Admirals Cup Preview
(Cowes, IOW, England)- This Solent-based inshore regatta is primarily for one-design classes or similar style of boats to enjoy three days of intense racing.  After each day's racing, competitors can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and socials in the RORC Cowes Clubhouse.

The regatta takes place from Friday, May 18th to Sunday, May 20th.  A mixture of windward/ leeward and “random leg” round-the-cans races are planned for the fleet with up to four races per day!

There are over a dozen J/crews sailing the event, with a J/109 class of seven boats, a J/111 class of seven boats, and the sole J/team in IRC 1 class is Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO.

The J/111s include the 2016 J/111 World Champion, Martin Dent’s JELVIS, along with a cadre of top U.K. crews like Chris Jones/ Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II, Paul Griffiths’ JAGERBOMB, Tony Mack’s McFLY, Cornel Riklin’s JITTERBUG, and the top Dutch Team- Hans Zwijnenburg’s SWEENY.

The top J/109 crews include Simon Perry’s JIRAFFE, Dave Richards’ JUMPING JELLYFISH, John Smart’s JUKEBOX, and Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR 2.  For more RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The action was flying thick and fast at a number of regattas in Europe.  For starters, fifty J/70s were doing battle in the second act of the Italian J/70 Cup in Porto Ercole, Italy.  There was more J/70 action up in Scandinavia. Hosted by Halmstad Segelsallskap in Halmstad, Sweden, it was the Swedish J/70 International Regatta that hosted thirty boats from Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Then, down in central Europe, the North Sea Regatta completed the first two legs of that event with the offshore races- the Vuurschepen Race and RORC North Sea Race.  Next on the agenda for them are the one-design and inshore races.  Finally, on the Bay of Biscay, the Grand Prix Ecole de Navale was held off Brest/ Laveoc, France in Brittany for the J/80s Championnat de France and also the J/22 European Championship.

Over in the Americas, the Corinthian YC of Portland held its annual offshore classic that acts as a feeder race to the Swiftsure International Race, the 183nm Oregon Offshore Race from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to Victoria, BC in Canada.  Then, south of the border in Mexico, the J/70 NA’s are taking place on the pretty mountain lake of Valle de Bravo, hosted by Club Vela de la Pena.

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:

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/70 Enfant Terrible- Italy winnerENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES Two-Peats!
Win Italian J/70 Cup Act II- Porto Ercole
(Porto Ercole, Italy)- A battle for the podium until the last gybe characterized the finale of the J/70 Cup in Porto Ercole, the second act of the Open Italian J/70 Circuit. The event consisted of three-days of racing, with eight races completed in wonderful sunny conditions and with moderate breeze up to 18 kts for the fleet of fifty-one crews racing from nine countries (Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Switzerland).

On the last day, going into the last race, a six points gap separated the fleet leader, Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES from Gianfranco Noe’s CALVI NETWORK, and Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE (a family affair, as she is Alberto’s daughter); a race where there was a potential for a drastic change in team placements on the final podium.

J/70s sailing off Porto Ercole, ItalyThe first boat to cross the finish line for the leading trio in the final run to the finish was CALVI NETWORK in 8th position, four boats ahead of ENFANT TERRIBLE. But, the gap was not enough to gain the overall lead, despite a disastrous 24th in race 7 for Alberto Rossi’s crew that included Branko Brcin, Andrea Felci, Stefano Rizzi and Bianca Crugnola. As a result, ENFANT TERRIBLE took the gold with 33 pts net, Noe’s CALVI NETWORK just two points back to take second with 35 pts net.  Then, with an easy shot at the lead, Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE crew could not crack the top ten in the last race, posting a 15th to remain in third overall with 41 pts net.

J/70 Petite Terrible- Claudia RossiEnjoy a cool sailing video of PETITE TERRIBLE sailing team (Claudia Rossi, Michele Paoletti, Simone Spangaro, Gaia Ciacchi, & Matteo Mason) here.

Rounding out the top five in the open division was Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN in 4th and Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM LEGGI D’ITALIA in 5th.

In the Corinthian division, the winners were Alessio Marinelli’s UJI UJI, who managed to overtake Paolo Tomsic’s LA FEMME TERRIBLE, leader of their division for the first two days of racing. Second place went to Alessandro Zampori’s NOBERASCO DAS who maintained their position at the end of the races of Saturday.  Third place went to LA FEMME TERRIBLE after disastrous last day finishes of 13-39.

J/70s having fun sailing off ItalyIn the last day of racing, the two races were won by Valerya Kovalenko’s Russian crew on ARTTUBE and Germany’s Markus Wieser on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

Maurizio Belloni, Vice-President of CNV Argentario, commented, "We are honored that J/70 Italian Class chose Porto Ercole as the location of its regatta and we were blessed with great weather conditions and the excellent work of the Race Committee.”

Leaving Porto Ercole, some of the fleet will head to Vigo, Spain, where from June 12th to 16th many crews will take part in the J/70 European Championship, sailing on the open waters of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Among these, Claudia Rossi on board PETITE TERRIBLE will be there to defend her title earned in the last two years.  However, this year may be her most challenging event yet.  Also competing will be ENFANT TERRIBLE, JENIALE EUROSYSTEM, LA FEMME TERRIBLE, NOBERASCO DAS and many other top European teams.

The next event organized by Italian J/70 Class will be the third act of the Italian J/70 Cup in Malcesine, hosted by Fraglia Vela Malcesine on the fabulous Lago di Garda from July 12th to 15th.  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information

J/70s off Halmstad, SwedenMattson Takes Swedish J/70 Nationals By A Whisker!
(Halmstad, Sweden)- Twenty-nine boats from across Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Norway) participated in the J/70 International Swedish Championship, hosted by Halmstad Segelsallskap.  The racing was fast and furious and produced a lot of close racing, with every team in the top five having to discard huge double-digit finishes after seven races and not one team counted all top ten scores!

Last year's Scandinavian Champion, Oscar Lundqvist, crewed for his brother and friends on HILDA.  Their team consisted of Jacob Lundqvist, Erik Skoting, Pelle Vickberg, and Oliver Österberg.  After missing an opportunity to win the regatta for the second straight year in a row by posting a disastrous last race 20th, Oscar commented on why they enjoy racing J/70s in Europe, "I do not think there is any class in the Nordic countries that can collect an even start-up field where all participants are well placed to win. We have also shown that the boat can sail at all ages, young and old. From our side we would have liked to see more young teams on the track. With a little will and hard work you can get a boat and get started with good conditions. When we were in Denmark recently, about half the field consisted of young crews, which was encouraging. Hopefully, this may happen here at home in Sweden as well, and in view of all the clubs that are now around the country, the conditions have never been better. Just jumping into a boat and driving is easy!”

Swedish J/70 Dynamant Racing team sailing SwedenAfter the first day's four races, Mikael Lindqvist’s DYNAMANT RACING from KSSS was the leader with a 14-1-2-16!  Second was Martin Fridh’s ISBAR crew (Ylva Hofvander Trulsson, Jakob Reuterskold, Jan-Erik Jonsson) with an equally scary tally of 16-6-7-2!  Then, even more eye-opening was the third place scores for Daniel Mattson’s Finish crew from Ålandske Segelsällskapet (Mathias Dahlman, Johan Nystrom, Staffan Lindberg), with an eye-popping 2-14-15-1!

Sunday’s three races produced even more extraordinary roller-coaster rides for everyone in the top ten.  The only boat to avoid a double-digit score was the ultimate regatta winner- Mattson’s FIN 673, posted a blistering record of 7-1-2 for a total score of 27 pts net.  The Swedish Lundqvist brothers on HILDA started the day with a 2-2 and were leading the regatta going into the final race. However, an unfortunate “digger” of a last race- a 20th- became their discard and they had to settle for the silver with 37 pts net.  Coming on strong in the last two races with a 4-3 was Henrik Lundberg’s Finish crew on ALMACO, finishing with 41 pts net.

Rounding out the top five were Anders Kemmler’s Swedish crew on DYNAMANT RACING in 4th and Jan Nilsson’s hometown Swedish crew on NN in 5th.  The top Norwegian boat was Eivind Astrup’s NORWEGIAN STEAM in 15th place.

A big “Thank You” to everyone in the HASS club that hosted and ran a great regatta! From the kitchen, to the secretary, and to the volunteers on the race track. Amazingly good work everyone!  Sailing photo credits- Daniel Stenholm  For more Swedish J/70 Nationals sailing information

J/22 Europeans sailing under spinnakerTU DELFT BROACH Wins J/22 Europeans
Moriceau Crushes J/80 French Championship
(Laveoc, France)- The Grand Prix Ecole de Navale in Brest/ Laveoc, France hosted their annual GPEN Championnat de France from May 10th to 12th on the choppy, windy waters of the Bay of Biscay- it’s one of Europe’s largest one-design events.  The event also marked the 2018 J/22 European Championship, where eleven teams from the Netherlands, Canada, France, and Germany managed to sail eleven races.  Concurrently, a forty-two boat J/80 class enjoyed the third event in their France J/80 Cup- a season-long series of eight regattas.

Women crew sailing fast on J/22sThursday- Gorgeous Spring Sailing
The fleet was blessed beautiful, mild weather conditions on the first day sailing off the tip of Brittany.  The J/22s and J/80s both enjoyed three races in a weakening northwest breeze that started early in the day at 12-18 kts and slowly diminished to 8-13 kts by late afternoon.

It was the Canadian team of Johann Koppernaes on RAISED J (Michele Cimon, Mike Marshall, Adrienne White) that took the lead in the J/22 Europeans after a 3-2-1 score for 6 pts. Perhaps the Dutch and French teams were surprised, but it certainly helped to have J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall from North Sails on board as trim/ tactician! Second on the day was Jesper Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH with a 1-3-4 for 8 pts.  Sitting in third was Patrick Huet’s French crew on EUROPEAN HOMES, one of the pre-regatta favorites that managed a consistent 2-5-2 for 9 pts.

Over on the J/80 course, the forty-two boats were creating havoc, getting off the starting line was difficult and it was hard to recover if any of the top boats were deep early.  Nevertheless, avoiding those pitfalls and winning the first two races were Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, finishing with a scoreline of 1-1-4 and 6 pts for the day.  Second after posting a steadily improving tally of 12-2-1 for 15 pts was another top crew, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA.  Rounding out the top three were Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 with a 4-8-5 score for 17 pts.

J/80s sailing off Brest, FranceFriday- Grey, Chilly, Windy!
After enjoying a lovely day of sailing to start out the regatta, everyone knew the forecast was going to change dramatically for the second day, with grey skies, cold temperatures and 15-25 kt southwest winds producing big seas.

Four boats stand out overall after 6 races in the J/80 class. Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT dominated the first day but still managed to post all top five races of 3-5-5 to end the day at the top of the leaderboard.  Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA also posted good scores of 2-9-2 to hang on to his second place from day one.  However, below them it was chaos.  Leaping up the standings was Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS with a white-hot tally of 1-3-1 to snatch the bronze position.

Simon Moriceau from APCC Sports Sailing commented on their performance, "It was a harder day for us today. We lost some points to our opponents. We were more in trouble off the line today. We have a new crew, two of the crew members had some boathandling issues- but, fixed now! Tomorrow, it will be a battle, we will have to be focused and watch our opponents."

Luc Nadal from NDCV Angers said, “We were very happy to sail fast and smarter today. We have sailed several times in the GPEN regatta and we dreamed of having a great day in Crozon-Morgat. And, finally, we did! We are now in second and happy with our place, despite two or three little issues slowing us down. Tomorrow will be a decisive day, if we do three races, the top five is still totally open."

Patrick Bot from CV Ecole Navale offered his perspective, "This day went well for us. There was a lot of wind and waves, so it was fast and exciting! We are quite happy with ourselves, our speed and our sails. Yes, we dropped to fourth place with a 4-7-3, but tomorrow we will fight to be on the podium!”

The J/22s also had four good races in the big seas and big breeze. No one was going to slow down the dominance of Overbeeke’s Dutch crew on TU DELFT BROACH.  Loving the big stuff, they smoked the competition with a 1-3-1-1 to easily take over the lead for the title of European Champion.  Dropping to second place were the Canadians on RAISED J with four 2nds!  And, moving into third was Auke Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE with a 5-1-3-3.

J/80s sailing GPEN in FranceSaturday- Grey & Cool & Light
After an exhausting wet and windy day on Friday, the sailors appreciated sailing more benign weather conditions. Though still grey and cool, the wind had moderated to 8-12 kts from the west.

The battle for the title of J/22 European Champion was not decided until the end. With four more races scheduled and completed, it was anyone’s guess how the cards would drop on the table for the top three boats. In the third race of the day, the regatta leader TU DELFT BROACH got DSQ’d, adding 12 pts to their scoreline and potentially torpedoing their chances of winning.  Meanwhile, Holtrop’s RSZ ROTTERDAM WORLDGATE posted a sizzling 2-2-1 with a chance to win the crown!  Furthermore, the Canadians on RAISED J slipped a little with their 3-5-4 scores.

As a result, the three boats were essentially tied, with the outcome riding on the final race.  It must have been a wake-up call for Overbeeke’s crew to get tossed in race 10, as they simply sailed fast and smart to win the last race and be crowned the 2018 J/22 European Champions by just 3 pts!  Doing their best to close the gap, but never quite succeeding was Holtrop’s crew, taking 2nd in the finale to grasp the silver.  Meanwhile, the Canadian’s on RAISED J slipped yet again, finishing with a 6th to hold on for the bronze.

The rest of the top five had Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES in 4th and Annefleur De Zeeuw’s DJINN HISTOS in 5th place (she was also top women’s skipper).

In the J/80s, Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT started the day with their worst score of the regatta, a 12th.  Then, followed it up with a 7th and closed with a 2nd for the third and finale race of the day. While not their best outing, it was enough to be take the title of “J/80 Championnat de France Monotype Habitable.”  Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29 stayed mostly out of trouble and finished the event with a 7-4-4 to take second.  Like Moriceau, Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS crew started off with a horrendous 18th (their toss race) and then closed with a vengeance, smoking the fleet for two bullets to take third place.

The balance of the top five was Nadal’s GAN’JA in 4th and Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE in 5th (she was also top women’s skipper).  Second women’s skipper was Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES (7th overall) and third was Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS (8th overall). It was a fantastic showing for these three women skippers to crack the top ten and between them win two races and get seven podium finishes!

No question, the competition is getting hotter in the Open and Women’s divisions as the J/80 teams are preparing for their J/80 World Championship that will be sailed at Les Sables d'Olonne, France, also on the Bay of Biscay in very similar wind/wave conditions.

After winning, Simon Moriceau (Armen Habitat) commented, "It was very tight, as we were only two points ahead this morning. It was hot! The first race of the day, we gained control over the next three boats, despite our 12th place! It was not necessarily obvious what to do, because at that time, the wind was moving in all directions.  But, we always had an eye on our competitors and didn’t lose them. Without a bad race this morning, it would have been much easier. We had a new crew that responded very well, we had a good cohesion in the team.  I am really happy to win my third title of Championnat de France!  With a wind like today, it was very shifty, adding a little spice and challenge to the regatta! Thank You to GPEN for a great event!”  For more J/80 GPEN and J/22 Europeans sailing information

J/109 sailing North Sea RaceJ/Crews Leading North Sea Regatta
(Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- Hosted by the Jachtclub Scheveningen, the North Sea Regatta is the largest event hosted in the Netherlands each year for a host of one-design classes (dinghies, cats, and keelboats like J/22s and J/80s) and offshore ORC/IRC classes.

The event kicked off on May 8th with the Vuurschepen Race, a North Sea Regatta Feeder Race that goes from the starting line off The Hague (Scheveningen) and takes a 3 mark course of 130nm across the North Sea to Harwich in the United Kingdom.  Several J/teams were sailing and almost all had podium finishes!

The “J/All-stars” were in the ORC Two-Handed division.  Winning was Robin Verhoef & John van der Starre’s J/122E AJETO.  Taking the silver was Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE/ RAYMARINE and 4th was Wim van Slooten & Jochem Hamstra’s J/109 FIRESTORM.

In the ORC 2 division, taking 3rd was Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI and 4th Arjen van Leeuwen’s J/109 JOULE.

J/122E AJETO winning North Sea RaceAfter a two-day layover, on the 11th of May, teams representing Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands entered the 181nm North Sea Race; the start was off Harwich, England and finished in Scheveningen, The Netherlands. The race was organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, the East Anglian Offshore Racing Association, and the Yacht Club Scheveningen.

“The race was mostly upwind and reaching, with very few teams getting their spinnakers out of the bag,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone. “Conditions conspired to favor the smaller yachts, as the faster boats did not get the breeze that arrived later in the race. Over the course of the season, favorable conditions will average out through the fleet. Well done to the teams that did well, even when the conditions are right for your team, you still have to put in a top performance to win your class, and have a chance of the overall win.”

Women's J/105 double handed team- Panther- NetherlandsIn the IRC Two-Handed Class, Robin Verhoef & John Van Der Starre's Dutch J/122e AJETO was second, and Wim van Slooten's Dutch J/109 FIRESTORM was third.  Then, 4th were the amazing women duo of Edith Voskamp & Yvonne Beusker’s J/105 PANTHER, finishing 5th behind them were Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE.

“We are very please with our result, as Two-handed racing in Holland has become very popular and very competitive.” commented AJETO’s Robin Verhoef. “Our J/122e was specially built for Two-handed sailing, and we love to sail that way because we don't need any more crew or all the additional equipment and provisions required when more people are on board. We do have systems designed for two-handed racing, and our preparation is always a big part of producing the best performance.”

As a result, the three teams that are dominating the podium for the overall regatta in the ORC Two-handed Division are AJETO on top, followed by JUNIQUE and FIRESTORM.

On the return trip to the Netherlands, the ORC 2 division J/crews had a rough time.  Settling for 5th was Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI (currently sitting 2nd in class for the overall regatta) and ending up in 9th was Arjen van Leeuwen’s J/109 JOULE.   Follow the North Sea Regatta on Facebook here   For more North Sea Regatta sailing information   RORC North Sea Race information

J/46 Oregon Offshore RaceJ/46, J/105, J/30 Top Oregon Offshore Race
(Portland, OR)- The 42nd annual Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race was held this past weekend. The race started on May 10, 2018. The starting line was off the mouth of the Columbia River.  The boats then proceeded north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and finished at Victoria, British Columbia, inside the harbor entrance. The course distance is 193 miles; twenty-two boats entered the race (six of them J/teams) while fourteen boats finished.

From the start and going up the coast, it appeared the boats that worked offshore had better winds.  However, once turning the tip of the Olympic Peninsula to head back southeast down the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the big battle became the flood turning to ebb and which side to pick?  Canadian (north shore) or Washington (south shore- USA)?  Virtually all boats chose the northern shore to escape current and for more breeze.

In PHRF A1 Division, it was Scott Campbell’s beautiful flag blue J/46 RIVA that took second in her class, followed by Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY in fourth position.  Then, in PHRF A2 Division, it was Doug Pihlaja’s J/105 ABSTRACT that won class honors.  Finally, in PHRF C Division, Theo Singelis’s J/30 TAKU took class honors, too!

Next up for these intrepid adventurers is the annual Pacific Northwest offshore classic- the Swiftsure International Race in a few weeks time.  For Oregon Offshore Race sailing & tracking information

J/70 MexicoJ/70 N.A. Championship Update
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- It has been a busy week in Mexico’s Valle de Bravo.  This past weekend, Club Vela la Pena hosted the J/70 Mexican National Championship, and after a brief respite, the J/70 North American Championship began Wednesday morning this week.  Here is Aly Di Nas’ report as bow girl on XPRESS (thanks to Sailing

“I am thrilled to be sailing for my first time ever in Mexico! The 32 teams competing represent both coasts of the USA, Argentina, and many of Mexico’s main racing towns – Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and locals from Valle.

This mountain lake venue is a challenge for anyone, but especially those of us visiting for the first time. The prevailing breeze is a thermal that fills over the mountains like clockwork at noon daily, only to be fought back by a cool southern breeze and thunderstorms from the west a few hours later.

Conditions are shifty and puffy, but as the lone Gringa on a team of locals aboard Luis Barrios’ XPRESS, I seem to be assimilating quickly.  After two days of racing in the Mexican Nationals, our team slid into First Corinthian by just two points! (We can add a few style points for the already-outdated Anarchy III flat brim, which made the pilgrimage with me south of the border). The overall national champion was Javier Navarro’s BANDOOLA Racing.

Numerous tequila shots later, we are back into it as of Wednesday morning, with four races completed on the first day of NA’s. The results of day 1 have three American teams in podium position, with the Argentines close on their heels. Racing continues through Saturday.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information and results

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/24 World Champion, Volvo Ocean Race leader- Charlie Enright* What is the common denominator of the top three Volvo Ocean Race boats finishing in Newport on Leg 8 and also the top three teams in the VOR overall??  All have championship J/Sailors on their teams- in key roles.

MAPFRE- Xabi (skipper) and his brother Iker Fernandez sailed J/80s for years in Spain and sharpened their offshore keelboat skills in perhaps the world’s toughest one-design fleet in Spain- producers of SEVEN J/80 World Champions. Another Spanish sailor with extensive J/80 experience in Barcelona is Juan Vilar, their famous navigator (a multi-America’s Cup winner).  Where “giving an inch, means taking a mile” is the sword you live and die by in one-design events, it’s no surprise they dug deep to go from 5th to 1st on the Itajai, Brazil to Newport, RI leg and lead the standings overall.

Andrew CapeBRUNEL- Bouwe Bekking (skipper) and Andrew Cape (navigator) are no strangers to racing at the top of the game, both one-design and offshore.  Bouwe cut his teeth early in life racing J/24s as well as J/109s later with friends offshore in the Netherlands.  “Capey” sailed numerous J/Boats over times, including sailing with Stu Johnstone on his J/44 J-HAWK in the Island Double Race hosted by the Royal Southampton YC- which they won together and awarded the coveted blue & white towel! In addition, they have Rome Kirby aboard; he and his father Jerry Kirby have sailed on many J’s over time in both local J/24 racing and PHRF handicap racing offshore. If that wasn’t enough one-design experience and toughness, one of America’s top women’s match racers, sailing coach and has raced extensively on J/22s and J/80s is none other than Wisconsin’s Sally Barkow.

VESTAS- Charlie Enright (skipper) and Mark Towill (captain) have grown up around J’s their entire lives.  Charlie was a J/24 World Champion and both have sailed with the Commodore of Bristol YC and others on J/24s, J/109s and the new J/121 offshore speedster all over Narragansett Bay- no wonder they made huge gains in the last five miles of the race from Itajai to Newport- cannot get much better “local knowledge” than those two!

Dong Feng racing teamDONG FENG- Charles Caudrelier (skipper) grew up in France and has extensive experience sailing the incredibly hot and competitive J/80 class in France.  Like Xabi on MAPRE, the J/80 one-design experience in Europe taught them the value of extracting every ounce of performance from their boats, never settling for second best.  In fact, when “testing” Chinese candidates for crew in China, Charles used J/80s to determine the best sailors and used them to practice hard to “sensitize” the sailors to small changes in tune/trim for superior performance.

Needless to say, it is not surprising that top three crews in the Volvo Ocean Race have extensive J/Boats experience on their resumes.  If you want to learn how to get to the top of the sailboat racing game, hop into any one of the world’s most popular one-design offshore keelboat classes- J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/88, J/105, J/109, J/111 (and soon- the new J/121 offshore speedster!).

Read the fascinating analysis of how these champions tackled the final part of the Itajai-Newport leg here.

J/121 Jackhammer* The J/121 JACKHAMMER was sail-testing and training off Newport, RI the past two weeks; newly launched off Bristol, RI by her owner Andrew Hall from the United Kingdom.

“We have been working hard on this project for many months this winter,” explains Barry Hayes of UK Sailmakers Ireland. “We are very excited to see JACKHAMMER in the water and out sailing. JACKHAMMER’s owner (Andrew Hall) has put a lot of work into this project and we are delighted to be involved. Our goal was to provide a turnkey sail package for Andrew. He was able to step aboard, throw off the lines, and go fast straight away– goal achieved.”

JACKHAMMER was built in the US, the sails were designed in Ireland, built in our production facility in Hong Kong, and then fitted and tested in Newport– such is the global reach and expertise of the UK Sailmakers Group.

JACKHAMMER is powered by Uni-Titanium upwind and an extensive downwind wardrobe consisting of Matrix spinnakers and Top Down furling Code Zero and Flying Jib.

The J/121 is designed with ease of use in mind – as such, all fore sails are set on furlers. The J1 and J2 jibs work on a Selden Furling unit with the J3 Staysail working on an Ubi-Maior furling unit. The J3 is hoisted to a halyard lock and tensioned using a 3:1 purchase tack line– this enables it to be cleared off the bow when not in use but deployed with ease and speed when needed.

In addition to her A2 and A3 downwind Matrix Asymmetric spinnakers, JACKHAMMER is also equipped with a top down furling Code Zero, direct furling Flying Jib and heavy weather direct furling A5 Asymmetric spinnaker.

This setup is versatile and enables the power output of the sailplan to be managed very effectively, especially offshore. In our sailing video you will see the Flying Jib set on a small bowsprit and used in conjunction with the J3 Staysail. Also shown is her Top Down Furling Code Zero and her J2 and full mainsail configuration.  J/121 UK Sails Ireland sailing video.

J/70 eSailing World Championship* VIRTUAL Regatta has announced the “eSailing World Championship” in conjunction with the World Sailing association and it features the J/70 one-design as the primary “virtual” racing sailboat for the finale.

World Sailing is launching into the digital world as it announced that the Official eSailing World Championship starts May 10th; the game is now available online for millions worldwide to play and enjoy for free. Learn more here.

The launch of the eSailing World Championship takes sailing into a brave new world, where the core skills of sailing remain, but the constraints of venue and equipment are removed. Sailing demands constant inputs and an acquired skillset to manage the relationship between the boat and the forces of nature.

These unique qualities are all captured accurately in this virtual world and will provide sailors onshore, and fans without access to sailing equipment, to become engaged and inspired by the excitement of sailing.

In partnership with Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, the eSailing World Championship will be comprised of a series of weekly Challenges and Play-Offs, with the boat types and venues changing on a regular basis. The series will culminate in a Live Arena Final to be held in Sarasota, Florida on the 30th of October- the boat of choice will be the J/70!

Governed by the Virtual Racing Rules of Sailing, the 2018 eSailing World Championship open access game will start on May 10 and run through to the start of September. Each Challenge will be graded based on the importance of the Challenge with Players earning Ranking points. The top five Players from each weekly Challenge will automatically qualify to the Play-Offs.

The Play-Offs will bring together the pre-qualifiers and the top ranked Players from the eSailing World Championship World Rankings, until a quota of 1,000 is reached. The Play-Offs will be an online virtual regatta and will last up to 14 days in September.

J/70 virtual regattaThe top four ranked women and top four men from the Play-Offs will qualify for the eSailing World Championship Final. They will be invited on a full expenses paid trip to compete against the best eSailors in the world. It will be held in front of a live crowd on October 30th 2018 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, USA, and streamed worldwide on a range of Internet channels from Twitch to Facebook Live.

Each Challenge will be held in boats that are internationally recognized with the intricate details that make them challenging to sail on the water, seamlessly incorporated into the game. Players will be able to race on a variety of boats.  However, the eSailing World Championship will be raced using the J/70 and its well-known polars- the world’s most popular one-design sportboat.

Alongside the announcement of the launch, World Sailing welcomes North Sails, a worldwide leader in sailmaking, as an Official Technical Partner for the eSailing World Championship.

Speaking at the launch event, World Sailing President Kim Andersen stated, “Sailing as a sport is constantly pushing the boundaries of human innovation and engineering and today, World Sailing is entering a brave new world that is going to revolutionize our sport.

As the world governing body, World Sailing has a duty to develop and promote the popularity of the sport. We are moving the sport into an exciting new future that will inspire millions more to fall in love with a sport that so many of us here hold dear to them.

Aimed at everyone from expert sailors to sports gamers, the eSailing World Championship will enable sailors on shore and fans without access to sailing equipment or facilities to become engaged and inspired by the excitement of sailing.”

Philippe Guigne, Founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta said, “It’s a very big day for Virtual Regatta. We are launching the most ambitious project we have ever undertaken and we are proud to be partnering with World Sailing who have become one of the first international sports federations to enter this industry.”

The game can be played on desktop PCs/ MacBooks and via your mobile devices (iOS and Android) by following the link here.

J/109 sailing offshore*  Jim Goldberg, owner of the J/109 JUNKYARD DOG has another video out of a recent ocean race outside of San Francisco.

As Jim says, “This was another wild one, bad, big swells and big winds.  Truth in advertising, we didn't catch any of the spinnaker run on video, too busy trying to the keep the boat sunny side up so I forgot to turn the camera on.  Still some decent footage though! Enjoy!”   Watch the JUNKYARD DOG sailing video here on YouTube.

Julie- J/24 sailor* Eight Bells: Julie Goetschius- A long time member of the J/22 fleet, she passed away in Houston, Texas on May 6, 2018 at the age of 63. Julie led the J/22 Fleet 6 as Fleet Captain for many years, chaired countless events, and never missed the opportunity to teach new sailors.

She was the first woman to hold the title of Houston Yacht Club Champion in 2013, competed in the Adams Cup finals 4 times, the J/22 Worlds in Holland, the Harvest Moon Regatta (winner of the Luna Trophy in 2006), the US Sailing Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, and many other circuit and national events.

Julie always included new sailors in her crew, no matter how big the event, and always gave back to the sport through supporting the fleet, coaching the Special Olympics Sailing Team at HYC, and being part of the local sailing community.

She was a counselor at Houston Yacht Club’s Windward Bound Women’s Sailing Camp every year, and so many women across Texas took the helm or flew a spinnaker for the first time on Julie’s boat, CRAYOLA. In 2017, she won HYC’s Fairfax Moody Women’s trophy with, as always, a new sailor as crew.

Julie’s love for the sport and mischievous sense of humor will be missed on Galveston Bay.  Thanks to Marie Wise for this tribute.
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