Wednesday, May 2, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 2nd, 2018

J/22 sailing off AnnapolisHelly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta Preview
(Annapolis, MD)- The first major regatta of the 2018 Chesapeake Bay sailing season is ready to roll this coming weekend- the Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta hosted by Annapolis YC.  As one of the largest of Sailing World’s NOOD Regattas held nationwide, the Annapolis event also ranks as the one perhaps most dominated by the various J/One-design classes- 133 J’s in an overall fleet of 188 boats (or about 71.0%)!  Sailing one-design will be J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s and J/111s.

Having one of their best turnouts in years is the J/22 class, with thirty-one boats registered.  The class continues to attract a relatively young crowd with many new faces in the class. The class veterans are also showing up en-masse, including notables like Brad Julian’s CAPSTAN CONSULTING, Pete Levesque’s DUSTY, Peter McChesney’s FAKE NEWS, Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, Sandy Adzick’s HOT TICKET, Cory Sertl’s LUCY, Chris Doyle’s THE JUG 4 1, Zeke Horowitz’s UNCLE FLUFFY and Matt Dunbar’s WHARF RAT.

The J/24s have a half-dozen boats, about 1/5th of their normal turnout due to the fact that most of the top boats are participating in the J/24 North American Championship taking place in Charleston, SC.  Nevertheless, it may come down to a match race between Pete Kassal’s SPACEMAN SPIFFF and Pat Fitzgerald’s RUSH HOUR.

J/70 sailing AnnapolisWith thirty-two boats on the starting line, the J/70s have the largest fleet at the regatta.  Leading teams may include Mark Hillman’s USA 6, Andrew & Melissa Fisher’s BUTTON FLY, Jen Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE, Doug Clark’s POLAR from the US Coast Guard Academy, Marty Mckenna’s RARITY, Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, John Brim’s RIMETTE, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE (fresh off from a 2nd at the J/70 Corinthian Nationals!).  A third of the J/70s are sailing in the Corinthians Division; such as Hillman, Jack Wallace’s SELKIE (3rd Corinthians in Charleston Race Week), and Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD.

Continuing to show strength in numbers in the second oldest class (J/24’s being the oldest) is the fleet of eleven J/30s.  The Chesapeake J/30 class has continued to grow and they sure know how to have fun!  Who’s going to be at the top of the leaderboard this year?? Watch for crews like Tom Watson’s AVITA, Bob Rutch’s BEPOP, Jim McGinnis’ BLITZ, Charles Lutz’s POGO and Rob & Beth Lundahl’s RAG DOLL to be factors on the scorecard.

The third oldest class in the regatta is the J/35s, with a half-dozen boats ready to do battle for class honors over the three days of sailing.  One wonders if the infamous duo of Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel will once again defend their titles in three previous events in their equally famous steed- AUNT JEAN?  Time will tell.

With twenty-one boats, the J/80 class has also experienced a significant resurgence since last year’s Annapolis NOOD event.  In addition to a number of new faces in the crowd will be several class veterans ready to help them out.  Amongst them will be Gary Panariello’s COURAGEOUS, Les Beckwith’s FKA, Ken Mangano’s MANGO, Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI, Ramzi Bannura’s STACKED DECK (also the J/80 Class President), and David Andril’s VAYU.

Always sporting a strong fleet is the Chesapeake J/105 fleet, one of the largest in the world.  Eighteen boats will be queued up to start with many local hotshots expecting to defend their home turf.  Chief amongst those teams will be Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV, Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL, Hugh Bethell’s JESTER, Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen’s MIRGE, Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN DEAR, and Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS.  The lone out-of-town boat is Mark Masur’s well-traveled TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth, TX.

J/111 sailing off AnnapolisAfter two excellent regattas in January and February in St Petersburg, FL, the J/111 class is congregating for another “de facto” East Coast Championship on the Bay.  Eight teams from across the country (San Francisco, New York, Cleveland, Buzzards Bay) will be vying for class honors.  The current J/111 World Champion- Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY from St Francis YC- will be hoping to be competitive against several hot local teams.  The “locals” include Marty Roesch’s VELOCITY, Dave McCreight’s DARK HORSE, and Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND (3rd at the 2017 Worlds).  However, a small posse of teams from Cleveland could challenge them all for the top spots- two-times J/111 Midwinter Champion Rob Ruhlman and crew on SPACEMAN SPIFF and the 2018 Midwinter Champion- Jeff Davis’s SHAMROCK.  Then, the two northeastern teams may truly be the “dark horses” on the race track.  Both boats are Block Island Race Week Champions- Sedge Ward’s BRAVO and Doug Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis MOOD Regatta sailing information

J/24s sailing one-design 
41st J/24 North American Championship Preview
(Charleston, SC)- The Charleston YC will be hosting the 41st J/24 North American Championship from May 2nd to 6th on Charleston Harbor; home to some of the strongest currents and trickiest winds on the eastern seaboard.  A fleet of thirty-seven boats are signed on for the challenge of getting around the race track without hitting each other, hitting bottom, or hitting marks- all of which is easily possible to do on this compact race track south of Shutes Folly Island and northwest of the famous Fort Sumter.

The J/24 National Champions of the USA, Mexico, and Argentina are participating, as well as three J/24 World Champions! The competition will be fierce amongst the top teams, most of whom know each other well and have been competing for decades.  Teams that should be in the hunt include Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA; Will Welles’ BOGUS from Newport, RI; John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN from Newport, RI; Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from Rochester, NY; Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS from Rochester, NY; and Carter White’s YOUREGATTA from Portland, ME.

The two Latin American teams include Ken Porter’s MONSTER FISH from Valle de Bravo, Mexico and Nicolas Cubria’s ELVIS from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Finally, two women’s teams are entered; Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME and Jessica Koenig’s WOW from Charleston, SC.  For J/24 NA race results and regatta information.  For more Charleston YC host information

J/120s sailing off San DiegoYachting Cup Preview
(San Diego, CA)- Hosted by the San Diego YC, the 2018 Yachting Cup will be held from May 4th to 6th off the promontory of Point Loma. The Yachting Cup is one of SDYC’s signature events, along with the Lipton Cup and the International Masters Invitational held in the fall.  The principal one-design classes in the regatta are the J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s. In addition, there are PHRF Offshore handicap classes.

The J/70s have another strong fleet gathered together after sailing earlier in the season in the same location for the San Diego NOOD Regatta.  Thirteen boats are registered and several new teams are participating against the veterans of the SoCal J/70 regatta circuit.  Those experienced teams include Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO, Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR, Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU, Jay Janov’s MINOR THREAT, and Tom Jenkins DFZ.

J/105 sailing off San DiegoThe San Diego J/105 fleet will have nine crews on the starting line.  Watch for a repeat win from Rick Goebel & Donica Ryder’s SANITY.  Chasing them hard will be Stew Cannon’s J-OK, the Hurlburt/Driscoll duo on the bright agent orange colored JUICED, and Jon Dekker’s AIR BOSS.

The J/120s continue their annual ritualistic dance of the giants, a duel that happens to somehow change each year.  Consistency seems to be inconsistent depending not on the guy on the helm, but sail trimmers, mast, and bow gods(desses).  So, Vegas bookmakers would have a field day with this crew.  Who will step up and clean the slate with all bullets?  Or, will it be a roller-coaster experience for all?  The protagonists are the same.  The outcome most likely not.  Engaged in that dance are John Laun’s CAPER, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, Rudy Hasl’s HASL FREE, Chuck Nichols CC RIDER, and Tom & Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER.

In the PHRF handicap world, we have noticed that two J/35s are now on the start line in San Diego- a boat notorious for making modern designs look old fast. Watch out for Geoff Davis’ ZFORCE and David Boatner’s RIVAL to make hay and gather some silverware.  Plus, two J/80s in another division should be competitive- Patrick Farrell’s J/WORLD UNO and Suzie Bulkley’s J/WORLD TRES.  For more Yachting Cup sailing information

J/133 sailing RORC raceRORC Summer Season Starts
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The Royal Ocean Racing Club 2018 Season Points Championship continues with the first of the European offshore races, the Cervantes Trophy. In excess of 300 teams are expected to take part over the course of the season with sailors from around the globe racing in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. There are six European destinations: Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Malta, and the Netherlands. Five races are to count for Class Honours, and the highest total score will designate the winner overall racing under IRC.

Entries include some of the world's fastest professional crewed maxis and multihulls. However, more often than not, a passionate well-sailed Corinthian team is the overall winner. After a memorable RORC Caribbean 600, the focus is now firmly on European waters with the majority of races starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, within sight of the RORC Cowes Clubhouse. This year, the championship includes the North Sea Race, Volvo Round Ireland Race, Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, and the RORC Transatlantic Race.

A fleet in excess of 60 yachts is expected for the Cervantes Trophy Race, from Cowes to Le Havre, which will have a flexi-course of 110-160 nautical miles across the English Channel.

IRC champions from 2017 competing in the Cervantes Trophy include Gilles Fournier's French crew on the J/133 PINTIA.  They will be attempting to win the Cervantes Trophy for a third year in a row and start the defense of their overall win of IRC Two in the RORC Season's Points Championship. The race to Le Havre is a special one for PINTIA, as Gilles Fournier explains.

“I have been a member of the Société des Régates du Havre for over 65 years, and my daughter, Corraine Migraine is a past Commodore. This year the race is in early May, so the sea will still be cold, but I can assure everyone of a warm welcome at the club, which is the oldest in mainland Europe (established 1838) and has an excellent new menu. PINTIA will not have as intensive a season as last year due to work commitments. However, we are definitely aiming to defend our title, PINTIA has new sails for the season, and our IRC endorsed certificate is the same as last year.”  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  For more RORC sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There was plenty of sailing last weekend in the Americas coast to coast.  On the eastern seaboard, the two major offshore spring series started on Long Island Sound and the Chesapeake Bay.  The American YC Spring Series commenced off Rye, New York for one-design classes of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s.  Then, down in “Naptown”, the Annapolis YC commenced their popular Spring One-Design series on the Chesapeake Bay for one-design fleets of J/22s, J/70s, J/105s, and J/30s.  Over to the American southwest, the J/70 Corinthian National Championship was sailed on Lake Ray Hubbard in Fort Worth, TX and hosted by the Fort Worth Boat Club.  Out west on the Pacific coast, one of the great international offshore yacht races had record-setting runs for the big boats, and very fast races for the J/teams participating- it was the occasion for the Newport to Ensenada Race experience.  Going north up the California coast, we find the Vallejo YC hosted their very popular “Great Vallejo Race” for over 100 boats, 27 classes, including a one-design J/105 class.

The European theater was no less busy.  Starting in the United Kingdom, the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series had their Finale on the Southampton Water and the infamous Solent.  It was great sailing and an amazing host in the form of the Warsash Sailing Club for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/109s, and IRC handicap for J/111s and J/122s.  Over in France, the French J/80 Cup had their first event in their summer-long series- the Grand Prix de Saint Cast hosted by Centre Nautique Saint Cast.  The sixth year of the German J/70 Sailing League commenced on the gorgeous Lake Constance, with racing taking place out of Friedrichshafen, Germany.  Finally, the Spanish J/80 National Championship was held off Bayona, Spain, hosted by Monte Real Club de Yates.

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 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/88 sailing on SolentNo-Surprises @ Warsash Spring Series Finale
(Warsash, England)- The Warsash Sailing Club’s annual Helly Hansen Spring Series produced no surprises at the end of six weekends of racing.  In addition, the two-weekend Crewsaver Spring Championship also did not see measurable changes in the standings from last weekend.  As always with the wind off the mainland shore, big shifts were evident, and success in the final weekend went to those boats that managed to play the shifts correctly.

Peter Knight- PRO of White Group- exclaimed, “This second Saturday played out much the same as the first. We got the classes started, and then the Northerly wind shifted round to the left forcing us to delay the J/70 fleet whilst we moved the Committee Boat and re-set the start line.”

Overall, it turned out to be a taxing days racing for competitors and committee alike with the wind continuing to shift and the committee moving start lines and adjusting courses to the breeze. The wind started to drop off later in the afternoon but rallied with 6 knots of breeze enabling all four White Group races to run on Saturday.

Although still offshore, the wind on Sunday was further to the right and stronger, and the White Committee boat set up courses on a 020-degree axis. In the afternoon, it built to 15 knots by the final race giving White Group competitors a good blast to finish the Championship on.

J/70 sailing on SolentThere was no change in places in the J/70 class from last weekend with CALYPSO (Calascione/ Ripard) winning, SOAK RACING (Marshall King & Ian Wilson) in second and JELVIS (Martin Dent) in third.

Black Group race committee was busy moving around the Solent and adjusting courses as well. To begin, it set two windward/leeward courses each of 4-5 miles on the East Knoll bank from near 4N QXI International. However, as the tide began to drop it had to move the fleet down to the Ryde Middle Bank near 4U Fevertree. Then, followed an unfortunate delay of three quarters of an hour as the wind shifted to the NW and it had to take the fleet further east to near 43 Wightlink to avoid the 10 boats racing in a Fast 40 class event who had set up in the middle of the bank. This meant there was no time for the planned fourth race.

Sunday was an easier day with the Black Group Committee boat setting up near 4W Goodall Roofing Courses were two triangle-sausage races each of around 8-10 miles using a mix of laid and fixed race marks and starting with beats to a laid mark inshore off Lee-on-the-Solent.

J/111 sailing on SolentIn Black Group, IRC 1 Class saw Chris Jones’ J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II take 4th, while Cornel Riklin’s J/111 JITTERBUG finished 6th. Taking 8th was Chris Daniel’s J/122E JUNO.

In the IRC 3 Class, it was Mike Lewis’ J/80 JESTER, Jack Banks’ J/92 NIGHTJAR, and Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II taking 2nd to 4th, respectively.

For the J/109 class, it was JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) that was once again piped to the post (by 1-point only) by the 2017 Spring Champions JUKEBOX (John Smart & Chris Copeland).

Apart from the first cancelled weekend of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series, this year's series has been characterized by generally light winds.  However, on Sunday during the last race, the fleet did see up to 15 knots out of the North.  The White Committee boat set up courses on a 020-degree axis and adjusted the length as the breeze varied.

The J/70s did their normal routine of treating their first start as practice start, with a big bulge of boats in the middle. Subsequent starts under black and then U flags saw their starts returning to their normal good standard.  In the last J/70 race the increasing breeze allowed them to start planing which gave them an exhilarating end to the series.

From an entry of thirty J/70s, DSP (Douglas Struth) sailed consistently well to win this class from PEGGY (Jon Powell) and OFFBEAT (David Mcleman).  The standard of sailing in the J/70s is high and purportedly that there are at least two world champions and the twice winning Nigerian GP14 National champion in the fleet!

The Black Group had two races on Sunday starting near Goodall Roofing on the tail of the Bramble bank. The breeze was 8 to 15 knots NNE and two triangle sausage type races were set, using fixed and laid marks, starting with beats towards laid marks near the mainland shore off Lee-on-Solent, and forays across the main tide to the Ryde middle bank. A longer course set for the second race as the breeze increased.

In IRC 1, Paul Griffiths’ J/111 JAGERBOMB closed with a 10-5 and finished 4th, just two points out of third.

J/122e sailing on SolentDAVANTI TYRES (Chaz Ivill) won the first race in IRC 2 and was 2nd in race two. With consistent results in the IRC 2 series, DAVANTI TYRES has won overall.

IRC 3 class saw J/97E JUMBLESAIL 2 (Rachel, David & Robert Hunt) finish the series in third position. Fourth, just two points back, was David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO.

In the J/109 fleet JUKEBOX (John Smart & Chris Copeland) won the first race with DIAMOND JEM (Robert Stiles) second, while in the second race JIRAFFE (Simon Perry) won with JUKEBOX second. This gave JIRAFFE a good series win, with JUKEBOX second and JAGO (Mike and Susie Yates) third. After the racing, Perry (JIRAFFE) said he had enjoyed the racing and the courses, and it had been a good series for the J/109’s, with ten boats taking part and most boats out most weekends.

It was close racing for the J/88s with TIGRIS (Gavin Howe) and J-DREAM (David & Kirsty Apthorp) each getting a first and second on Sunday.  This also meant that over the series they were equal on points and final positions!  They were separated on countback with J-DREAM winning from TIGRIS with JONGLEUR (Richard Cooper) third.

So, overall as PRO Peter Bateman commented, “it was an uncharacteristically chilly day, but excellent sailing conditions and some great racing! A good finish to the Series and the Championships!”   Sailing photo credits- Closed Hauled Photography  Follow the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Facebook here.  For more HELLY HANSEN Warsash Spring Series sailing information

J/70 Hoss- Corinthians winnersDarden Crowned U.S.A. J/70 Corinthian Champ
(Ft Worth, TX)- The third annual J/70 Corinthian U.S. National Championship, was hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas from April 27-29, with sailing on Lake Ray Hubbard for fifteen Category I (World Sailing) amateur teams.  Racing was scheduled for Friday to Sunday.  After two light air races late in the day Friday, the group got shut out with no wind on Saturday. PRO Bruce Golison moved up the start time Sunday, and managed to run four races to cap off the event with six total races.

In the end, local sailor Glenn Darden and his crew on HOSS (Jake Scott, Brian Tyrrell and Tony Waldon), won the 2018 J/70 Corinthian U.S.A. National Championship, hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas

The regatta started out on Friday with winds of 5-8 knots under sunny blue skies. David Hiebert’s USA 546 grabbed the day one advantage, by way of a 4-1 in Friday’s two races. Dave Dennison’s PIRANHA was hot on his heels with 6 points, after posting a 2-4. Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO held third place with 9 points.

Eagle Mountain Lake provided a gorgeous setting as Glenn Darden’s HOSS began the Championship with a victory in the first race, trailed by Dennison and Durdin. Hiebert took the day’s second contest, while Elizabeth Barker’s YOUR MOM’S A HOOLIGAN and the Mark Allen/ Mike Welch team on HELIUM Racing completed the top three.

Saturday morning was gorgeous, with the sun rising over a misty lake.  However, conditions were less than satisfactory for racing.  In fact, the pool, the bar, and the famous Trey Sheehan/ Curtis HOOLIGAN RACING spontaneous combustion monster blender party was more like the order of the day when the “AP” over “A” flags were hoisted.  Sadly, the lake was a complete and perfect “glass out” with no forecasts for any “gradient” breezes to generate any hope for racing later in the day- this is a unique problem with Texas and Midwest lakes that do not have a Lake Garda-like “wind factory” to produce natural thermal “sea breezes”.

However, Sunday was another story altogether.  After Sunday’s four races, the Darden HOSS crew proved they actually know the lake (somewhat).  And, yet another local, namely Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE, followed Darden overall with 15 points.  Taking third was Forbes Durdin’s MOJITO with 17 points. Dave Dennison on PIRANHA and David Hiebert on USA 546 rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The event served as an incredible learning experience with sailmakers Tim Healy, Jud Smith and Bill Draheim on-site to conduct on-water clinics and briefings for the Corinthian sailors. With debriefs on Thursday and a nearly three-hour session on Saturday morning, these professionals shared immense amounts of knowledge and tuning tips. Next year’s Corinthian US National Championship will be in Harbor Springs, MI, and the sailmakers have already committed to an even higher-level training and education for the participants.  For more U.S.A. J/70 Corinthian National Championship sailing information

J/80 sailing SpainMAUI JIM Crowned Spanish J/80 National Champion
(Bayona, Spain)- The 12th Spanish J/80 Championship took place from April 27th to May 1st off Bayona, Spain, hosted by Monte Real Club de Yates.  Twenty-six teams from across Spain participated, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean (Cantabria, Balearic Islands, Galicia, and Basque fleets).

After the eleven-race, four-day series, it was the Cantabrians aboard MAU JIM SUNGLASSES, skippered by Javier Aguado, that were crowned 2018 Spanish J/80 National Champions.  The road to the top of the podium was not an easy one for Aguado and crew; in fact, the championship came down to the outcome of the final race between them and fellow Real Club Maritimo Santander member, the Olympian Jaime Piris on MERCURY.  Here is how it all went down over the four days.

J/80s sailing off SpainDay One- Saturday
The first day of racing saw three races take place on the Bay of Biscay. The sailing conditions were excellent, a day with little cloudiness, a northwest wind that remained stable blowing 10-15 kts.

The Basques of the AD GRUPO GARATU, owned by Juan Vázquez, were the leaders after the first day, with a brilliant performance in all three races. Their skipper- Iker Almandoz- and crew of Íñigo Jáuregui, Íñigo Sánchez and Borja Ponte, took three 1sts, much to the mind-numbing shock of their fellow J/80 sailors.

In second place was another of the favorites to take the championship, the Javier Aguado’s MAU JIM SUNGLASSES. The Menorcans, with aspirations to retake the title they achieved in 2016, started somewhat weak, with a fourth place in the first race, but managed two 2nds to stay in contact with the leader.

The Galician crew of OKOFEN, helmed by Javier de la Gándara, closed the provisional podium on the first day..

J/80s sailing off Bayona, SpainDay Two- Sunday
Sunday saw a big a struggle between the Basques and Cantabrians for the only two races sailed that day. On a day of overcast skies, lots of rain and rough seas, MAU JIM SUNGLASSES managed to get closer to the AD GRUPO GRATU team, posting 1-4 to their 5-6.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to finish the day like that, as leaders," assured the skipper of AD GRUPO GRTU- Iker Almandoz. "The regatta starts again tomorrow and it will be very fun, because there are boats that are fighting very hard for the championship. I can only say that the atmosphere is great and many crews sailing really well. "

With discards now applying to the standings, third place was taken over by Jesus Amaliach’s LA GALLOFA over Javier de la Gándara's OKOFEN.

J/80 sailing upwind off SpainDay Three- Monday
There was great excitement and anxiety on the third and penultimate day of the regatta.  It was marked by a great rivalry in the water, with the crews giving the maximum of themselves to take control of the national title.

After the bad weather conditions on Sunday, Monday dawned sunny, but with very little wind.  As a result, several onshore postponements took place before the fleet went offshore to get in three more races. There was no question, the fleet leaders all experienced “roller coaster” scorelines, with no clear domination by any one of the top teams.

Aguado’s MAUI JIM SUNGLASSES did take over the lead with a 2-6-1 tally.  The Basques on AD GRUPO GARATU fell to fifth place with a horrendous 7-9-9 tally.

OKOFEN’s Gándara commented on the difficulties all teams were facing, “it's a very strong fleet, very competitive. And, when the wind drops down, it compacts the fleet and tactics/ strategies become more complicated."  Their Galician team is third behind Piris’ MERCURY and tied on points with LA GALLOFA’s Jesus Amaliach, both are members of the Real Club Marítimo de Santander.

J/80 Spanish Nationals winnersDay Four- Tuesday Finale
The final day saw the Monte Real Club de Yates PRO manage to fire off three more races, with plenty of drama unfolding race-by-race for the regatta leaders.

Winning the first race was Piris’ MERCURY, while Aguado’s MAU JIM SUNGLASSES posted a sixth.  In the second race, both protagonists tanked, Aguado with a 8th to Piris’ 11th.  Then, with everything riding on the last race, Piris won, but Aguado’s crew managed a 3rd place to clinch the title by just one point!  It was a thriller to the final minutes of the last race!

"It's been a long, four-day championship, with all the wind conditions to struggle through. There are teams that have been better in strong wind conditions and others with light breeze, but what has paid off in the end has been the fact of being versatile in all conditions," said Aguado (Maui Jim).  “What surprised us is the strength of the Galician local fleet, we have grown a lot and we have shown a very high level of competitiveness! On behalf of my team, I want to thank the Monte Real Yacht Club of Bayonne. As always, the level of race organization is perfect. "

Behind the top two teams of MAUI JIM SUNGLASSES and MERCURY was Fernandez’s OKOFEN in third, Amaliach’s LA GALLOFA in fourth, and Javier Chacartegui’s IBO.ES in fifth place.  Sailing Shots by María Muiña

J/111 sailing Newport Ensenada RaceFast Newport to Ensenada Race!
(Newport Beach, CA)- The annual Newport to Ensenada Race had one of its fastest races ever, especially for the “big boats”.  The race is a ritualistic dance for much of the southern California offshore racing community.  It has evolved over time to accommodate more sailing enthusiasts.  Today, it provided the 193 boats entered three choices: the “classic” Newport to Ensenada race of 125nm, the Newport to San Diego race of 75nm, and the Newport to Dana Point race of just 15nm.

What is the attraction of this fabled offshore race down the Pacific coastline from California to Mexico?  Perhaps, it was best captured by a story from Mike Lawler, a boat captain that lives on Balboa Island.  Here are some snippets from his story for the Los Angeles Times (

“Experience, of course, is valued, but working well together as a crew is essential. On our boat, several of the crew have been racing together for decades, which is a huge advantage. This will be my 16th N2E race on Amante.

J/120 sailing off San DiegoIt's also about the camaraderie through shared experiences on the water with other sailors. Both before and after the race, it's fun to have a beer with a fellow sailor, sharing stories about their boats and the race, what went right and what went wrong.

It's about the start. It is thrilling to see so many racing sailboats circling for position in racing sequence just before their start. It is even more of an adrenaline rush to be on one of the boats, doing your best as part of a crew to get a good start, with your competitors all around you, and then hear that starting gun go off!

It's about the breeze. Sometimes we have good breeze all through the night, but that's rare. Usually, on this race the wind eases up after the sun sets, with light air racing through the night, just trying your best to keep the boat moving. Every few years we have a fresh breeze of 15 to 20 knots from the northwest throughout the night, which means an early Saturday morning finish.

J/124 sailing Newport Ensenada raceIt's about the course. From the starting line off the Balboa Pier to the breakwater off the Hotel Coral Marina in Ensenada is 125 nautical miles. Along the way are the Coronado Islands, and the skipper must choose to go either outside or inside those islands. Usually there is more breeze outside the islands, but sometimes an offshore breeze fills in after midnight and the inshore track may be more favored. Other years, sailing the rhumb line directly to the finish, and thereby sailing fewer miles, works best.

It's also about the adventure. Sailing offshore at night is always exciting, and at times challenging. This year, we will have the benefit of a near full moon.

It's about the finish. Often, several boats are converging from different directions, some sailing deep right for the line, and others reaching in at hotter angles. One time we had heavy traffic with about 20 boats bunched together and finishing within a minute of each other. It can be dramatic, at times chaotic, and always exhausting, after racing for 20 to 24 hours or so with little or no sleep.

It's all about the parties. Of course, Hussong's, established in 1892, is famous as not only Baja's oldest bar but also one of a few that claims to have invented “the margarita!” Papas & Beer is another favorite watering hole. The Coral Hotel is hosting a Saturday Night Fiesta for the N2E racers with muchos cervezas and a dance band.”

J/65 sailing Newport Ensenada raceFriday was the start of the 2018 N2E, which is actually several starts 10 minutes apart, with two side-by-side starting lines, beginning at 11:00am just off the Balboa Pier.  In the end, several J/crews managed to collect more silverware for their trophy rooms; here are some of the highlights.

In the PHRF E class of ten boats, the J/92 DOUBLE DOWN sailed by Brian Kerr took 1st in class!  Not far behind was the J/105 ROCINANTE skippered by Juan Lois, pulling off a 5th in class.

The fourteen-boat PHRF B class saw Doug Jorgensen’s J/111 PICOSA take 4th, missing the podium by a mere 34 seconds!

Finally, in the “big boat” PHRF A class of eleven-boats, it was the mighty J/65 GOOD CALL, skippered by her owner Tom Barker, that took home the bronze!

J/70 sailing Newport Dana Point raceIn the “medium distance” the Newport to San Diego race, taking second in PHRF A class was Seth Hall’s J/124 MARISOL.

Then, in the “little boat” Newport to Dana Point race, a number of J/crews scored well!  In the PHRF Spin Division, it was a near clean sweep.  The Jock McGraw’s J/22 TEKEELA won the class of eleven boats, followed in second place by Tom Garret’s J/70 SLOOP JOHN B, and by Charles Brewer’s J/124 HEARTBEAT 4 in 5th place.  Sailing photo credits:  Joy Sailing / Bronny Daniels  and  Tom Walker Photography  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information

J/70s sailing German sailing leagueNRV Leads German J/70 Sailing League..Again!
(Friedrichshafen, Germany)- Last weekend, the German J/70 Sailing League celebrated the start of its sixth season, with the opener taking place in Friedrichshafen (Lake Constance). A total of 36 clubs with 144 sailors from all over Germany are participating. Of course, the reigning German champion from Hamburg, the North German Regatta Club (NRV), was also present.

"We continued to prepare extensively for the new season, we even trained a few weeks ago with ice and snow on the Alster Lake in downtown Hamburg! Come what may, the guys are hot and want to play again this year at the top level,” said Klaus Lahme, team manager of the NRV.

German J/70 sailing league rounding“The league is no longer just a pastime, if you want to win, you need to prepare. Self-employed professional trainers, the clubs own J/70s for training their team, and detailed performance analysis takes place with the help of SAP Sailing Analytics. That shows how professional the league has become in the past five years,” says Oliver Schwall, founder and CEO of Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga GmbH. "It's going to be the toughest league ever!”

Schwall’s assessment was spot on. Sailing on Lake Constance was challenging, as the winds remained light for most of the weekend. In the end, the reigning German Champion, the Norddeutsche Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg, won the kick-off event in Friedrichshafen.

German J/70 sailing league winnersThe three-time German champion, the NRV, showed impressively this weekend that he has not forgotten sailing in the winter break.

"We feel great after this victory at the season opener. We have linked our performance directly to last year's. There were three great days on Lake Constance. Our goal for the season is clearly title defense,” said a happy helmsman- Florian Haufe. Together with his crew David Heitzig, Dorian Heitzig and Miklas Meyer, the northern team rocked Lake Constance.

Also strong and just one point behind the NRV, the Bavarian Yacht Club team took second place. Behind them in third place was the Water Sports Club Hemelingen from Bremen.

In just under six weeks (8th to 10th June 2018), the next event will take place in Tutzing, on Lake Starnberg.  German J/70 Sailing League highlights video from Friedrichshafen  For more German J/70 Sailing League information

J/105s sailing Long Island SoundAmerican YC Spring Series Report
(Rye, NY)- The annual Spring Series hosted by American YC got off to a great start this past weekend.  Blessed with good sailing conditions on Long Island Sound, the PROs on the two courses managed to run a total of six races over two days.  The seventy boats, of which fifty are J/crews (71.0% of the fleet), enjoyed the close, fun racing.

After winning the first race right out of the gate in the eleven-boat J/70 class, Alex Meleney’s TRUCKIN just kept right on truckin’, posting four 3rds to count all top three finishes for a total of 13 pts so far.   Right on his heels was Trevor Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED, winning two races but bombing two with a pair of 8’s to hold on to second with 16 pts net, tied with Mike Gavin’s USA 202.

J/70 sailnig off Long Island SoundWinning all but one race in the seven-boat J/88 class was Elizabeth Barry’s ESCAPE, counting just 5 pts net to lead her class by a wide margin.  Winning the lone race she didn’t, Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew hold on to second place with 10 pts net.  Then, sitting in third is Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION with 13 pts net.

Playing a similar game in the thirteen-boat J/105 class is Paul Beaudin’s LOULOU, winning four races to lead with just 7 pts net.  Harald Edegran & Jeremy Henderson’s CONUNDRUM is sitting in second with 13 pts net.  Just two points back in third is the Young American Sailing Academy sailing YOUNG AMERICAN.

A new team is leading the eight-bat J/109 class.  Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG won three races and is counting just 8 pts net.  Nevertheless, two class veterans are tie on 10 pts each just 2 pts back- Long Island Sound Champion Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY and Jonathan Rechtshaffer’s EMOTICON, both winning races themselves in this tight cluster at the top of the leaderboard.

J/44s sailing Long Island Sound spring seriesA familiar crew is at the top of the leaderboard in the eight-boat J/44 one-design class.  Sporting their familiar white chutes with blue stripes, it’s Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE leading the pack with three bullets in the scoreline with a total of 8 pts net.  Chris Lewis’ KENAI is second counting two bullets themselves with a total of 10 pts net.  Then, another two points back is Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE, also winning a race!

In the PHRF 2 handicap class, the J/120 MADISON sailed by Brian Spears is currently sitting in third place, just one point behind second and four points from the class leader.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information

J/70s sailing on Chesapeake BayAnnapolis YC Spring One-Design Report
(Annapolis, MD)- Like their counterparts on Long Island Sound, the Chesapeake Bay also has its annual Spring One-Design series that takes place over two weekends.  Hosted by Annapolis YC, series brackets the immensely popular Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta.  The Bay delivered good conditions to get off three races in each of the four J/Classes (J/22, J/70, J/30, J/105).

Leading the sixteen-boat J/22 class with straight bullets is Peter McChesney’s THE CAT CAME BACK.  Posting an equally impressive record was Jake Doyle’s ZESTY ENTERPRISE with a 2-2-4 for 8 pts.  Then, sitting in third is JR Maxwell’s SCOOBY with a 6-3-2 for 11 pts.

Following a similar theme as the J/22s for the class leader, the eleven-boat J/70 class saw Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY post all 1sts as well to comfortably lead the fleet.  Lying second is Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD with 7 pts and in third is Peter Firey’s PHOENIX with 11 pts.

Ten boats are registered for the J/30 class but only seven made it to the starting line on the first weekend.  Like their J/22 and J/70 colleagues, Doug & Amy Stryker’s TOTALED MAYHEM is leading with straight bullets.  Behind them, it is a battle for the silver, with two boats tied on 10 pts each- Bon Rutsch’s BEPOP and Tristan & Sheila Keen’s INFECTIOUS SMILE.

The fourteen-boat J/105 class has a tighter spread between 1st to 5th than any of the other fleets, perhaps a reflection of their three decades of racing one-design on Chesapeake Bay. In fact, three different boats won a race! Leading is a relative newcomer in the class- Ben duPont’s CTRL ALT DEL with a 1-2-3 for 6 pts.  With a 4-1-4 for 9 pts, Cedric Lewis & Fredrik Salvesen’s MIRAGE is still within striking distance of the lead.  Then, Jim Konigsberg’s INIGO started slow, but improved each race, posting a 6-4-1 for 11 pts to have a narrow lead over the next three boats for the final position on the podium.  For more Annapolis YC Spring Series sailing information

Great Vallejo Race on San Francisco BayA Fun Great Vallejo Race
(Richmond, CA)- The Great Vallejo Race has become a time-honored tradition every year for northern San Francisco Bay sailors. The event is hosted by the Vallejo YC.  It is a popular race, with over 100 boats sailing in 24 divisions, including everything from multihulls to J/24s up to J/125s.

The race most often starts near the Berkeley Circle on Saturday morning, rounds a single weather mark near Alcatraz, and then heads to Vallejo, usually under spinnaker for the remainder of the race.  The challenge is to maintain speed through the shadow of Angel Island, find the best combination of wind and current past the Richmond-San Rafael bridge and East Brother Light Station, and then avoid the mud shoals on the east side of the San Pablo Bay. Depending on the day, the passage can be a challenging breeze (intentional pun), or a miserable drifter, complicated- as always - by the currents, no matter its direction.

As the boats enter Carquinez Strait, they bunch together, making the turn into Mare Island Strait.  Because of the topography of Mare Island, as well as the fact that it sits at the mouth of the Napa River, local knowledge (or many years of sailing the race) can make the difference as the yachts maneuver toward the finish line on the Vallejo city waterfront.  Winds vary from light to heavy, and becoming exceedingly shifty.  By the time they enter the Strait, many of the crews are let's say "over-relaxed" by sun, surf, and suds.  This is where the fun really starts!  In the mad dash for the finish line, sharp crews can usually pick off several places with close attention to trim, wind, and current. A good depth sounder is usually a big help in this part of the race.

The event is popular for J/crews as it is relaxed and is never the same twice, that is for sure.  In the PHRF 3 Sportboat class, Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 RAGTIME took third place.

The J/105 one-design class of six boats had stiff competition.  It was nearly a three-way tie for first place!  As it was, two boats tied for first with identical records of 2-3, with the countback going to Richard Butts’ MELILANI over Chuck Pick’s BOX OF RAIN.  Third was Chris Kim’s VUJA STAR with a 5-1 for 6 pts!

The five-boat J/24 class had tight racing around the Bay course.  This time it was Jasper Van Vliet’s turn to win on his famous EVIL OCTOPUS by scoring a 1-2 to win with 3 pts.  Darren Cumming’s DOWNTOWN UPROAR had a 4-1 record for 5 pts to snag the silver. However, behind him it was a tiebreaker for third place at 6 pts each, the countback going to Randy Rasicot’s FLIGHT over Val Lulevich’s notorious SHUT UP & DRIVE.

In PHRF 9 class, Aya Yamanouchi’s J/88 BENNY scored a 1-9 to take fourth.  Class 12 had Jack Vetter’s J/80 PEARL take third after breaking a three-way tie for second place!  Class 18 Non-Spinnaker had John Kalucki’s J/109 LINDO crush the class with two bullets.  Meanwhile, Jeff Johnson’s J/35 AKIALOA posted a 3-3 to secure third place.  Class 21 Cruising Division saw Elvin Valverde’s J/35 JOKER post a regatta-winning 4-2 for 6 pts, winning with the highest score in the whole regatta!  For more Great Vallejo Race sailing information

J/80 sailing off FranceBot Leads French J/80 Cup Series
Wins Grand Prix de Saint Cast!
(Saint Cast, France)- The first regatta in the season-long French J/80 Cup took place over the April 28th to May 1st weekend in Saint Cast, France. Fourteen J/80s participated in the five-race regatta hosted by Centre Nautique Saint Cast.

After a rough start to the series, Patrick Bot’s team (Frederic Hauville, Fabrice Morin, and Ned Bigi) on ECOLE NAVALE CG29 posted a 8-1-1-1-2 record for 5 pts net to win the first regatta.  The most consistent team was Luc Nadal’s veteran crew (David Nadal, Yvon Goude, Killan Cabanes) on GAN’JA, sailing to a 2-4-3-2-1 for 8 pts net.  Then, an all women’s crew on ECOLE NAVALE CDV29 sailed a beautiful series to take the bronze on a tie-breaker, much to the delight of skipper Elodie Bonafous and her crew of Anne Guillou, Morgane Keramphele, Louise Acker, and Romane Maledant.  Losing that tie-break was Tom Dubois’ JUMPER.  Then, fifth went to Eric Herve’s CN ST CAST VOILERIE ST MALO.

Notably, by finishing third, Elodie Bonafous’ team sit at the top of the women’s standings, leading the Women’s Cup for the season.  For more J/80 Grand Prix de Saint Cast sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/40 cruise in company* Bring the Family!  Tips for an Unforgettable Annual Cruise

Brad Read, owner of the J/40 NEPENTHE (and Executive Director of SAIL NEWPORT), wrote an awesome article for Windcheck Magazine about the fun and amazing times their family have had for decades cruising in company with friends.  Here is his story.

“To paraphrase Lt. Jonathan Kendrick from A Few Good Men, “I have two books on my bedside table: the Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book and The 12 Volt Bible. The only proper cruising authorities I’m aware of are George W. Eldridge, Donald J. Street, and Robert W. Read.” With that in mind, here are a few things my wife Cara and I have learned over many years of family cruising.

1. Start planning early. (It’s your one big “event” for the summer.)
Each Christmas as far back as I can remember, my Dad has given my brother Kenny and me an “Eldridge” (George W. Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book). It is literally my cruising bible for Southeastern New England. As the turkey hangover is setting in, I grab a pencil and start figuring out the prospective weeks of the cruise and how the raging river of current in Vineyard Sound will affect our daily planning. I know, that sounds weird. And it is… My kids laugh at me, my wife sprains her eyeballs rolling them back in her head watching me curled up in the big chair with my readers on, diligently going through the tables and determining the right day and tide cycles when we can get into (and out of) a certain harbor on the eastern shoulder of East Chop. (Can you guess which?)

We have, for the last six years, scheduled our “Kiddie Cruise” to coincide with several other families’ summer plans (as well as Eldridge’s guidelines!). This is a Read family tradition that goes back to when I was a boy. Our parents teamed up with six or seven other families and we “went east” as a group. I seem to remember those days more than I remember any other time during my childhood, thanks to the Pearson, Boss, Hazelhurst, Walls, Barney and Mulervy families, and so many other families we cruised with! We are so fortunate to have cruised with a great group of families over the years: The Burkes, the Marstons, the MacGillivrays, the Hoods, and other families that we have met up with along the way. Usually by February, we have chosen “the week” so that one of our team can arrange their charter.

2. Prioritize proper provisioning.
For the boys, we plan on how to adequately balance the weight of the “adult beverages” offset by the food and water tanks! The girls have been the masters of the food planning and have it down. We tend to eat on the boats whenever possible, grilling on the stern pulpits of two or three boats with pastas and vegetables cooked down below. We set up a kids boat and an adult boat. The food is always amazing…everything is better when you are floating in a harbor!

3. Keep the kids psyched.
Cara and I both grew up cruising, so it was natural for us to bring our kids cruising when they were little. We’ve been cruising with the kids since they were 5 and 7. We didn’t do much of the ‘toddler cruising’ when they were younger, opting instead for more day trips to secret beaches in our outboard.

Although kids of all ages enjoy adventure outings to find new secret beaches, we’ve learned that toys are key. Board games, water toys, beach toys, sailing dinghies, paddleboards, rope swings off the spinnaker pole, dinghy rides…got to make it fun or they won’t want to come!

The best thing we ever purchased was an inflatable paddleboard. It is a constant source of entertainment for the kids. We also bring regular paddleboards, kneeboards, surfboards, tow rope, etc., and of course the 11-foot inflatable dinghy. We also tow a small sailing dinghy.

Perhaps most importantly, games keep the kids unplugged from the devices!
When we are cruising, there are many harbors (coincidentally? conveniently?) that have no cell service! Perfect! I can’t tell you how many games of Bananagrams, go fish, gin rummy, Monopoly and other board games they’ve played! For the most part, the kids unplug from their phones and simply enjoy being in the company of the other kids. 

J/40 cruising off New EnglandThen there is fishing. Thanks to our good friend Nate Burke, we’ve found the secret to keeping the kids occupied on the anchor. Literally before the anchor is set, in whatever harbor we enter, the fishing rods are out. While there are a variety of techniques, we’ve discovered the magic of the “sabiki” rig! We never leave Newport without a stash of Sabiki rigs. Comprising six to ten small hooks on individual dropper lines, they are perfect for small scup that are prevalent in southeastern New England, and also for smaller bluefish, schoolie bass, and the dreaded sea robin. We are a catch and release family, so we don’t do much trolling from harbor to harbor.

4. Go cruising in company.
Being with just the family is great for a three-day weekend, but cruising with other families is a huge advantage! From pre-cruise provisioning and who is bringing what toys to dealing with any issues we have with the boats, we are a team, and having other kids, friends and boats around makes it so much fun.

On our cruises, there are seldom times where just one family is on one boat. The kids (and adults) are everywhere. We set up a ‘kids’ boat’ and an ‘adult boat’ for dinners and breakfasts. Coffee in the morning often turns into a full comedy show among the parents, and everyone loves blowing off the cannon at dusk. From dinghy adventures into town to poring over the Eldridge and the weather to find the next night’s anchorage, it’s so fun going with other families!

5. Secret spots
It has been great having all of our boats draw less than 5.25 feet. We can get into some really skinny spots and anchor where there are not a lot of boats. I have been cruising southeastern New England for nearly all my life. I absolutely love sailing on Narragansett Bay, and encourage everyone to explore its nooks and crannies and many wonderful harbors.

When we travel outside Narragansett Bay, we tend to head east, with Cuttyhunk being the natural first night/last night harbor. It’s quaint but busy, with great little beaches where you can watch the world go by coming in and out of the harbor. (Editors Note: They gotta wicked awesome fish dip there too, Pally) We also enjoy visiting Quick’s Hole, Tarpaulin Cove or West Beach along the Elizabeth Islands chain for lunch and swimming. Depending on weather and tide, we might also hop over to Menemsha or maybe Tashmoo on Martha’s Vineyard for an overnight.

We always go to Edgartown, rent a mooring and do a trip to Katama and South Shore beaches of the Vineyard. A personal favorite is Cotuit, which we can (barely) fit into. The channel leading in is amazing and while we don’t go there each year, it is a treat to make it through that amazing waterway and into Cotuit Harbor.

And then there is Hadley’s Harbor, which is simply one of the most idyllic harbors in the world. With deer and horses roaming the hills above the anchorage and gorgeous shallow rivers to explore in the dinghies and paddleboards, it is my favorite harbor, bar none.

6. Sail and power?
We have been (mostly) an all-sail squadron, but one of our families has just gone the lobster boat route, refurbishing a beautiful Holland 32. This will be the first year of that boat, which will allow for a bit more range on day trips: Cape Poge Bay, and maybe a jaunt to Tuckernuck. Can’t wait to see the dynamic of all the kids wanting to go on the powerboat to get to the next harbor quicker!

7. Success!
In 2017, we scheduled our cruise and the kids all dropped everything to join us. Brendan, our 20-year-old (he celebrates his birthday on the cruise almost every year) qualified for the J/70 Youth Nationals, and after his team received their silver medal he hopped on the ferry from New Bedford to the Vineyard and walked the three miles to the town dock in Tashmoo to join the cruise. There was no way he was going to miss “the cruise.”

That night, while the “kids’ boat” was deep in the 50th game of Rummy Cube in a row, one of the parents overheard a conversation about what kind of boats they would all have when they were older to start their own cruise. It’s unclear if the parents will be invited…

Brad Read is the Executive Director of Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center. “I love being on the water, being around the water, cruising, racing – anything that involves boats,” he enthuses. “That is probably why I am in the business of sharing that experience through Sail Newport!”
Thanks to Ben Cesare and Windcheck Magazine

Hungary women's J/24 sailing team winners* A women’s J/24 Team from Hungary’s Lake Balaton won the Ladies Cup in Vis, Croatia.
The Hungarian all-women J/24 Team “JUST A BIG DINGHY“ opened their 2018 sailing season with a dominating win at the LADIES CUP in Vis, Croatia, racing on the gorgeous Adriatic Sea!

The Sailing Club Vis were the organizers of the unique sailing event, a regatta dedicated exclusively to women crew all sailing on the same 35-foot sailboats.

This year, the seven women’s teams from five countries (Croatia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Montenegro) attending Vis arrived on Thursday- marking the occasion of the International Women's Day.

On Friday, they started sailing a three-race practice format, with three teams sailing against each other, and then rotating after each race. The women learned quickly and it was lucky it was a benign, warm breeze of just 7 to 9 kts all day.

For the formal regatta taking place on Saturday and Sunday, the teams selected their first boat by lottery.  From there, a rotation was established for all teams to participate in a total of six races, three races scheduled per day.

Furthermore, due to the lack of experience of some of the participants, the regatta PRO decided to prohibit the use of spinnakers. One of the reasons was the location of the race course, the rocky lee shore of Kutu can be dangerous and had the possibility of creating unwanted encounters with the coast!

The most successful crew was the PENGA VSE team from Hungary. Their team was comprised of sailors that were extremely skilled and were definitely the most experienced team. There were crew was made up of sailors that raced J/24s extensively on Lake Balaton in Hungary against such skippers as J/24 European and Soling World Champion Farkas Litkey (a very famous sailor in European sailing circles).

The Hungarian women knew how to get their boat moving off the start and their maneuvers were flawless; resulting in six bullets to win the regatta by a significant margin.

Immediately after them, the QUAKA STWE women’s team secured the silver with four 1sts and two 2nds for 8 pts total.  This team has been regular participants in the event and are part of the Split Training League sailing on the same type of boats.  Finally, in third place was the FRAPA WST women’s crew, one of the top teams that has participated in the regatta over time.

J/22 women's match race sail-training on San Francisco Bay* Creating Opportunities for Women Sailing!
The second running of the “Women’s Match Race Clinegatta” opened the door for eight teams of mostly women sailors (but some great guys too) to advance their sailing skills. Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on April 27-29, coaching was led by world champion Liz Baylis and ably assisted by defending US champion Nicole Breault and members of her Vela Racing team.

After two perfect training days of 10-15 knot westerly winds while being drilled in J/22 boat handling and match racing tactics, day three brought slightly higher speed winds on San Francisco Bay for some wild prestart battles as teams tested their mettle in a Grade 5 regatta. Stephanie Wondolleck and her crew Dana Riley, Alicia Magdeleno, and Rebecca Hinden ran the table 7-0 to top the field.

It is a mission of StFYC to help boost participation in the match racing discipline. This event was designed to attract teams aiming to race in the 2018 US Women’s Match Race Championship, to be held August 24-26 at StFYC, but also to attract greener teams looking for a chance to learn.

“I was really excited to have three youth teams attending the clinic,” said Breault, who also chaired the event. “I loved watching them in action and seeing their enthusiasm for learning the game. These kids have a bright future if they keep at it like they did this weekend.”  For details on the 2018 US Women’s Match Race Championship… click here.
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