Wednesday, May 9, 2018

J/Newsletter- May 9th, 2018

J/121 sailing double slotJ/121 Offshore Speedster Spring Tune-Up!
(Newport, RI)- This weekend, from Friday to Saturday, a number of J/121’s will be stretching their legs, dialing in the numbers, getting crews organized, and working on a combination of boatspeed and boathandling with a focus on this year’s Newport to Bermuda Race that starts in just one month- June 15th!

J/Boats will base the event out of Newport Shipyard.  With the support of major sailmakers (including North Sails, Quantum Sails, Doyle Sails, UK Sails), a two-day coaching and training session will focus on getting teams up to speed fast, focusing on tuning, sail trim, sail selection & changes, and boathandling. The format will include on-board coaching both days and video debriefs after sailing each day by a panel discussion of sailmakers.

As an added benefit, each boat will have a app collecting real-time GPS speed, course, heel, and implied wind direction for post-sailing analysis.  In fact, the data collected from each boat will be broadcast LIVE here on

The schedule is simple.  Friday 1230 hrs is registration and welcome briefing. At 1330 hrs the teams rendezvous off Fort Adams for boat-on-boat testing for speed, trim and tuning all afternoon.  Coaching will be done via “open mike” on VHF so that all teams can learn from each other quickly.  At 1700 hrs will be a post-sail debrief and cocktails and munchies.

On Saturday, the teams will gather at 0930 hrs for a skippers meeting.  Thereafter, the first “open course” race will be started by 1100 hrs, again with on-water and on-boat coaching.  By 1500 hrs, there will be another debrief and cocktail party with a closing panel discussion.

Post-race analytics will be displayed by and the Open Course scoring will be evaluated for the following:
  • Overall winner- elapsed time
  • Winner of each leg- elapsed time
  • Fastest speed- on any leg
As part of the discussions over the weekend will be 2018 J/121 Open Course Circuit schedule for the northeast region.  The proposed schedule is:
  • Jun 9-10- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
  • Jun 15th- Newport to Bermuda Race- Newport, RI
  • Jul 17-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
  • Aug 17th- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
  • Aug 31st- STC Stamford Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
In addition, teams will be contemplating the 2018/ 2019 J/121 Open Course Winter Circuit, which may include:
  • Wirth Munroe Race- Palm Beach, FL
  • Miami to Nassau Race- Miami, FL
  • Lauderdale to Key West Race- Ft Lauderdale, FL
  • Miami to Montego Bay/ Pineapple Cup- Miami, FL
  • RORC 600 Challenge- English Harbour, Antigua
  • Heineken St Maarten- Simpson Bay, St Maarten
  • St Thomas Regatta- Cowpet Bay, USVI
  • BVI Spring Regatta- Tortola, BVI
  • Voiles St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
  • Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
For more J/121 offshore speedster sailing information

Italian J/70 Cup- Porto Ercole 
Italian J/70 Cup Preview
(Porto Ercole, Italy)- The second act of the Italian J/70 Cup is about to take place in Porto Ercole with three days of racing scheduled.  The event will be hosted by Club Nautico e della Vela Argentario, and their PRO is planning on a maximum of eight races, with one discard permitted.  The best crew on Saturday will be awarded the Garmin Cup.

Among the fifty-one crews racing from nine countries (Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Switzerland), there will be the winners of the Sanremo event, both in the overall ranking and in the Corinthian division reserved for non-professionals. Alberto Rossi will be racing with his ENFANT TERRIBLE, assisted in the tactical choices by Branko Brcin; CALVI NETWORK with the tandem team of Noè/ Desiderato; and PETITE TERRIBLE skippered by Claudia Rossi with Michele Paoletti on tactics.

Among the Corinthians, Paolo Tomsic will try to defend the gold won in Sanremo aboard his LA FEMME TERRIBLE against teams like NOBERASCO DAS skippered by Alessandro Zampori, winner of the Silver fleet in the Audi J/70 World Championship.

J/70 sailing Italian J/70 CupArriving directly from the Palmavela 52 Super Series in Palma Mallorca, British TP52 owner Peter Harrison chose the Italian J/70 class to test himself with J/70, skippering SORCHA J. Similarly, Vincenzo Onorato will also be there with MASCALZONE LATINO, as well as Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio with G-SPOTTINO, Mauro Roversi with J-CURVE and the World bronze Medallist- Luca Domenici aboard NOTARO TEAM- LEGGI D’ITALIA.

Having benefitted from sailing the Warsash Spring Series will be Malta’s Sebastian Ripard, racing CALYPSO for the Royal Malta YC.  And, having sailed all spring are several crews that participated in the YC Monaco Winter J/70 Sportboat Series and the Primo Cup; Stefano Roberti’s Monaco crew on PICCININA, several top Polish teams (Krzysztof Krempec’s EWA, Pawel Tarnowski’s APOTEX, Michal Jablonski’s GTJ, a trio of top Russian teams (the series winner- Valerya Kovalenko’s famous ARTUBE RUS-1 team, Andrey Samoylov’s COMPUTEL, Dmitriy Shunin’s GOLDEN WING), and a top Swiss crew- Tom Studer’s JERRY.

The Porto Ercole event promises to be the ideal training scenario to compete one last time with the fleet before the J/70 European Championship taking place in Vigo, Spain from June 12th to 16th.

Moreover, the first two crews in the open division and the first of the Corinthians will earn the right to enter the Marblehead 2018 J/70 World Championship; that event has a limited number of 100 entries for the best crews of each country.

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 Lago di Garda July 12th to 15th.  For more Italian J/70 Cup sailing information

J/70 Valle de BravoJ/70 North American Championship Preview
(Valle de Bravo, Mexico)- The Club de Vela La Pena in Valle de Bravo, Mexico will be hosting the 2018 J/70 North American Championship from May 14th to 19th on their gorgeous mountain lake high above Mexico City.

Thirty-two boats from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the USA will be competing for the North America title over four days of racing.  The top USA boats include Oivind Lorentzen’s NINE from Stamford, CT, Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO from San Diego, CA and Tom Bowen’s REACH AROUND from Charleston, SC.  Pablo Despontin’s ARG 707 will be representing Club Nautico San Isidro from Buenos Aires, Argentina (a J/24 champion in South America).  Brazil’s leading team from YC Rio de Janeiro will be skippered by Mauricio Santa Cruz, a four-time J/24 World Champion.

The large Mexican contingent will have many top sailors vying for class honors from across the spectrum of one-design and offshore sailors.  Those teams include Javier Navarro’s BANDOOLA, Diego Berho’s BBB, Roberto Escalante’s LAMPUGA, Ricardo Brockmann’s VINCITORRE, Luis Barrios’ XPRESS, and Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO.  For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information

J/22 sailing off FranceJ/22 Europeans & GPEN J/80 Preview
(Laveoc, France)- This coming weekend, the Grand Prix Ecole Navale will be taking place in France for over a dozen one-design fleets across five race course areas.  Included in this regatta is the second act for the French J/80 Cup season championship as well as the 2018 J/22 European Championship.

The J/22s will have a dozen teams competing from France, Germany, and the Netherlands.  The French will be well represented by the defending champion, Patrick Huet’s EUROPEAN HOMES.  The leading Dutch crew may be the TU DELFT BROACH boat skippered by Christiaan Felj.  Then, Germany will have one of its top teams in the hunt, Thomas Loesch’s JOUJOU 3.  Two women’s teams will be vying for top women’s honors, the Netherlands Annefleur De Zeeuw on DJINN HISTOS and the French Helen Maugard on JM sailing for SNO Nantes.

J/80 sailing off FranceWith forty-four boats, the J/80 class is by far the largest fleet in the event.  Teams are participating from all three coasts in France (Med, Bay of Biscay, North Sea).  The winner of the first event, Patrick Bot on ECOLE NAVALE- CG29, will have his hands full, as more leading crews will be challenging him for a spot on the podium.  Chief amongst those protagonists will be Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT; they will be joined by Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, Ludovic Gilet’s NUMERO J, and Sylvain Pellissier’s INTUITIVE SAILS.  Remember, the J/80 Worlds are taking place in France later this summer, so it’s all “hottin’up” for the local heroes!

As part of the French J/80 Women’s Cup, there will be ten women’s teams participating.  Also hoping to defend their first position in the first event will be Elodie Bonafous’ ECOLE NAVALE CDV29.  She will be faced by a formidable cadre of the best women sailors in France, including Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES from CN St CAST, Helena Lucas’ OMAN SAIL, Stephanie Puyraud’s MODERN BALEINE from Societe Regate Havre, Laurie Buffiere’s TEAM VENDEE FORMATION from Club Nautique Pornic, Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN from YC Crouesty Arzon, and Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE from Societe Regate Rochelaises.  For more GPEN and J/22 Europeans sailing information

J/111 sailing NetherlandsNorth Sea Regatta Preview
(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 kicks 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.

After a two-day layover, on the 11th of May, the RORC North Sea Race takes place along a similar route, but with more northerly buoys to pass to make for a 210nm race to Scheveningen.

Thereafter, the ORC/ IRC offshore classes enjoy a series of inshore races from May 18th to 20th.  That is when the regatta also kicks off for the J/22 and J/80 classes.

J/122E Ajeto sailing Netherlands North Sea doublehandedWith seven strong J/crews in sixteen-boat field, it is likely the ORC Two-Handed Class will see the possibility of a sweep of the top honors.  Last year, most major races were won by J/Boat duos.  Leading the charge will be two J/122s, the famous team of John van der Starre and Robin Verhoef on AJETO (2017 Dutch National Double Champion) and Chris Revelman & Pascal Bakker’s JUNIQUE.  Chasing them hard are four J/109s, such as Wim van Slooten & Jochem Hamstra’s FIRESTORM, Paul van der Pol & Adrian Schaml’s YETI, Kees & Camille Mijs’ ARETHUSA, and Abel Blaauw & Sarah Moss’ JIBE.  Hoping to stay in the hunt will be the only all women’s double team- Edith Voskamp & Yvonne Beusker’s familiar black panther painted J/105 called PANTHER!

J/109 sailing Netherlands North Sea regattaIn the thirty-two boat ORC/ IRC 2 class are four fast J/109s; including Arnout Jorritsma’s MAJIC, Nick Zondervan’s TEAM HEINER 4, Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI, and Arjen van Leeuwen’s JOULE.

Two J/92s will be battling for class honors in the eight-boat ORC 3 class; Luc Oomen’s JINX and Uco Sonnenberg’s JUNO.

The J/80 class will have a round dozen boats on the starting line for their weekend event.  All the top Dutch boats are present, such as Nick Elsink’s J’ZUSTER, Bernar Holsboer’s JUUL, Otte Jan Golverdingen’s LED2LEASE and Roel Wever’s JOYRIDE.

With the J/22 Europeans conflicting in France, the J/22’s will be seeing an all-Dutch class of seven boats.  Leading crews include Dirk Jan Verdoorn’s JUT EN JUL, Jesper Overbeeke’s TU DELFT BROACH SJOEFF, Max Groen’s DJINN and Rutger van de Leur’s JUNIOR.  Follow the North Sea Regatta on Facebook here
For more North Sea Regatta sailing information

Regata al Sol- Isla MujeresRegatta al Sol Race Preview
(Isla Mujeres, Mexico)- Gulf Coast sailors will be celebrating the 30th sailing of the Regata al Sol from Pensacola, Florida to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. This biennial premier offshore race is sponsored by Southern Yacht Club, Pensacola Yacht Club, and the Club de Yates Isla de Mujeres. The start of the race will be May 9th (cruising class) and May 10th (racing class) 2018. The course angle of 177 deg. will take racers from Pensacola Bay 620nm across the Gulf of Mexico to Isla Mujeres, Mexico just off the Yucatan coast from Cancun. This race offers all the excitement of an offshore race as well as the challenge of navigating the Gulf loop current.

Regata al Sol- Isla Mujeres turtlesEighteen boats are participating in this 30th anniversary race and there are two fast 40+ foot J/teams in the PHRF Racing Class. Patrick Waring’s brand new J/121 HOT PURSUIT has gone through their shakedown/ training program and cannot wait to unleash their beast on the mostly reaching race track.  Giving them a solid run-for-the-money will be Ralph Junius’ proven offshore cruiser-racer, the J/122 MADAM J.

Based on current forecasts, it should be an interesting 4-5 day race for these offshore thoroughbreds.  After starting in the lightish airs of Pensacola Bay, the boats should encounter most easterly tradewinds (from 80 to 120 deg) of 7-15 kts for the next 4-7 days offshore all the way down the track, around the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and down to the southeast to the finish line off Isla Mujeres.  Follow the Regata al Sol Race on Facebook here   For more Regatta al Sol Race sailing information

J/105 sailing Oregon Offshore raceOregon Offshore Race Preview
(Portland, OR)- An interview with Dennis Damore about the 2018 Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race gives you a great perspective regards why the event has continually attracted members of the Pacific Northwest offshore community (thanks for contribution from David Schmidt).

If you’ve ever looked at a chart of the Oregon and Washington coasts, you’re familiar with the fact that this gorgeous stretch of shoreline gets hammered with weather, both in terms of the long-fetch seas and the storms that barrel in across the open Pacific. These waters can be millpond-calm on some days, but things can get nasty quickly, and while this is true of many areas, the rugged coastline is largely void of harbors to dodge the weather.

Because of this, entering the Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) of Portland's Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race (May 10-13, 2018) gives skippers and crews a great coastal and open-water adventure while also exposing them to the kinds of preparation needed to engage in bigger events such as a Hawaii race.

Oregon Offshore race courseThis 193-nautical-mile race starts in Astoria, Oregon, and finishes in Victoria, British Columbia, giving sailors a taste of everything from offshore conditions to the tricky currents that flow through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, while also treating them to one of the most visually stunning racecourses in North America (provided, of course, that the old-growth forests and glacier-capped peaks aren’t shrouded in cloud cover).

This year’s fleet includes boats from two countries and multiple U.S. states, it ranges in size and sophistication from modest 30-footers to a 70-foot sled, and the race has set up a crew bank for sailors looking to catch rides from Oregon to Canada. Here is the interview with Dennis.

DS: The Oregon Offshore has a bit of a reputation as a gear-buster race that is often defined by rough weather—is this fair and if so, is the Oregon coast always a washing machine?

DD: Although the race is called the Oregon Offshore, it really only starts off the Oregon coast and then heads north along the Washington coast to the Straits of Juan de Fuca and then on to Victoria, BC. Like any true offshore race, the conditions are extremely variable. We’ve had years of pounding up the coast contrasted with races, like last year, where it was a downwind ride with squalls setting the pace. We’ve seen dead flat calm off Destruction Island and almost everywhere in the straits at various times. We’ve finished in foulies and in shorts and T-shirts. So, gear-buster? It’s not any more so than any other race. It’s a race of contrasts in scenery, weather, and tactics.

DS: How are your numbers looking this year versus previous recent editions? Also, what percentage of your 2018 fleet is American vs. Canadian (or other international entries) and is this percentage typical of this event?

DD: This year is gearing up to be a well-participated race. We average about 20-25 boats each year. Roughly 40 percent are Canadian, with several more from the Seattle area. Right now we are feeling pretty good that 30 percent of this year’s entries are first timers from out of state. We have been focusing on a grassroots marketing movement that seems to finally be paying off. Our best performance was in 2014 with 30 entries, and we happened to get epic wind conditions for that race.

DS: Strategy wise, what are the biggest considerations of the race’s 196 nautical mile course? What about tactics? Are there any bits of the course that typically require all hands on deck, say for a 0200 hours tack or gybe?

DD: This is a navigator’s race. What makes the Oregon Offshore a unique experience is that, from a tactical perspective, it is really three distinct races in one: the race up the coast, the race down the straits, and the passage through Race Rocks to the finish. Each segment has very different tactical considerations. After the start, in a typical northwest breeze, there are current and wind-shift considerations that can be challenging. Some years, boats stay within miles of the coastline, carefully avoiding crab pots and jutting-out landmasses like Destruction Island. Other years, we will see boats out twenty miles or more. After entering the Strait [of Juan de Fuca], knowledge of the tide conditions and being able to anticipate the direction, timing and strength of the typical Westerly [breeze], coupled with the critical decision of when to cross to the Vancouver Island side, require a whole new set of tactics to avoid shipping lanes and current, and to maximize wind angles. Then comes Race Rocks with the decision to cut through or sail around that [waypoint] can make or break the race. This is most likely going to be your 0200 hours, all-hands-on-deck situation. Then you just pray the wind doesn’t shut off before you coast into the harbor.

DS: Given that the “brochure” for Hawaii races typically calls for a rough first two or three days, followed by trade-wind sailing, is the Oregon Offshore a good stepping-stone event for bigger offshore passages, or do you see it more as it’s own stand-alone event?

DD: We like to think of it as both. Despite being a relatively short race, the race provides valuable experience and practice in preparing a boat for offshore conditions, giving crew valuable offshore experience, building a crew into a cohesive team and, probably most memorably, giving participants a valuable and ever-expanding store of great stories to tell. Moreover, it is a qualifying race for the Vic-Maui, and is also a means for Oregon[-based] skippers to get their boats north to participate in the Swiftsure International race. While some might consider doing it only as a shakedown cruise for their Hawaii race, it really is its own adventure. There is a reason why we have multiple participants who have done the race over twenty times. You get the adrenal rush of offshore racing in the space of just a few days, rather than the week and half or more it takes to get to Hawaii.

DS: Obviously an offshore race is just that, but has the event tried to do anything to “green-up” and reduce it’s environmental footprint?

DD: Over the years there has been a growing understanding and respect for the responsibility all of the participants have to keep a clean footprint. [For example,] we have reduced the amount of printed materials we use to promote the race, and [we] have opted for face-to-face meetings and focused more on social media. While [we] have not made a deliberate attempt to associate ourselves with outside organizations, there is always more we can do in this regard and partnering with a national organization is on our short list of things to do for future races (hint, hint national organizations).

DS: Anything else that you’d like to add, for the record?

DD: There are two cool things that make this race unique. One is that we have someone blog through the entire race so friends, family and race supporters at home can get a more in depth understanding of what is happening in real time. In conjunction with the race trackers, this creates an edge-of-your-seat experience for even those who have never stepped foot onboard. And two, we greet each boat in Victoria, BC with warm wet towels and champagne!

In the 2018 edition of the Oregon Offshore, twenty-three boats are entered, six are J/teams (26% of the fleet, a significant increase over last year).  Those rugged, adventurous souls include the following crews:

J/46 Riva sailing Oregon Offshore raceJ/46 RIVA- She is based in Portland, Oregon and skippered by Scott Campbell. She has had an active racing schedule since 2003 with almost annual participation in both the Oregon Offshore and Swiftsure races. She has taken first place trophies numerous times in both races in her division and class. She is also a three-time veteran of the Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii in 2006, 2010, and 2016 and also the Van Isle 360 race in 2013. RIVA will stay to compete in the Swiftsure Cape Flattery race.

J/122 Anam Cara sailing Oregon Offshore raceJ/122 ANAM CARA- Her Portland-based skipper, Tom Kelly, will close the gap this year for participating in the most Oregon Offshores ever. This will be Tom's 37th year (this will be the 42nd year of the race period, so this is quite the feat)! ANAM CARA is no stranger to the race, with a 2013 First Overall Win under her belt. She has also performed well in Swiftsure's Cape Flattery with two Overall wins and a Second Overall, to boot.

J/42 Velocity sailing Oregon Offshore raceJ/42 VELOCITY- He's back for more punishment! Hood River based skipper, Tom Keffer, and his VELOCITY crew will be racing hard aboard his J/42 in the A2 class again this year. These guys know how to work the coast and Straits (not to mention they are usually up for some post-race shenanigans, too)!

J/105 Free Bowl of Soup teamJ/105 FREE BOWL OF SOUP- Team Free Bowl of Soup began in 1999 with a J/24, now being campaigned in Seattle as "Sopa Libre" by one of the team members. In 2011, a 3-way partnership was formed with Eric Hopper, Matt Davis, and Doug Schenk to acquire a J/105 to continue to race Offshore races, including Pacific Cup, as well as regional One-Design races. This will be the Soup's sixth Oregon Offshore, with the highlight being the overall win in 2017! The Soup guys will also be competing in the Swiftsure Cape Flattery race this year.

J/105 Abstract sailing Oregon Offshore raceJ/105 ABSTRACT- This is their second Oregon Offshore.  After an action-packed year of one-design racing throughout the Pacific Northwest, skipper Doug Pihlaja plans to compete in this year’s Swiftsure and the 2019 Pacific Cup in the Double-hand division!

JJ/30 Taku sailing Oregon Offshore race/30 TAKU- Yet another new participant! Hailing from Bellingham, WA, skipper Theo Singelis and crew will race their beloved J/30 TAKU. Over that past five years, they have been participating in the Pacific Northwest's longer races that include Swiftsure, Southern Straights, Race to the Straights and Round the County. Some of their best results have been Second in class in last year's Swiftsure Juan de Fuca race, which they will be participating in again this year.  For Oregon Offshore Race sailing & tracking information

J/46 Bravo sailing Caribbean and MaineJ/46 Rendezvous @ Camden Classic Cup!
(Camden, Maine)- “Greetings from the Caribbean,” says Tom Babbitt. “I had a crazy idea this winter while cruising the eastern Caribbean and reflecting that there are at least eight J/46’s based in Maine.....we should do something together!

Lyman-Morris runs an excellent event in late July based at Camden Yacht Club- it’s the Camden Classics Cup.  And, with a minimum 4 boats we can have a one-design start, trophies and a wonderful time.  A few years ago I was able to get six J/160’s on the line and it was a blast!

Our one design rules would be as follows (so no one gets out of cruising trim):
*  Appropriate cruising anchor and chain in place on the bow
*  Dodger up and in place
*  jib maximum is 100%, no Genoa’s
*  no spinnakers
*  auto pilots, electric winches and whisker poles permitted
*  single handed, double handed or a whole gang of crew all good
*  deep draft will carry a PHRF handicap relative to shoal draft boats- per Rod Johnstone’s recommendation

Come one, come all, love to see you all there from anywhere!”

For more information, contact Tom at email- or cell +1-207-632-1262. He is currently delivering his J/46 BRAVO from the Caribbean (St Thomas) to Maine.  For more Camden Classics Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Across the world of sailing, there were several significant events for J/Sailors that took place in the Americas (North & South), Europe, and the Caribbean.

For starters, the 41st J/24 North American Championship just took place in Charleston, South Carolina, hosted by the Charleston YC.  Not far off to the north, the Annapolis YC hosted their annual Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta on Chesapeake Bay for big one-design fleets of J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s, and J/111s.  Also sailing on the east coast was the finale for the American YC Spring Series for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, J/109s, and J/44s.

Out west on the left coast of America, there was an enormous amount of activity taking place up and down the Pacific coastline.  Up in the Pacific Northwest, it was the occasion for the famous Sloop Tavern YC to host their Race to the Straits from Seattle to Port Townsend, WA for a mostly double-handed fleet of J/105s, J/80s, J/109s, J/120, J/35, J/27, J/29, J/37C, J/35C, J/46, J/145, and J/122.  Off to their south, the St Francis YC hosted the J/105 J/Stop on San Francisco Bay for a huge fleet of 23 boats.  Moving further south down the coast, the Santa Barbara Sailing Club held their enormously popular Cinco de Mayo Regatta off Santa Barbara, CA for enthusiastic fleets of J/70s and J/24s.  Heading still further south, it was one of the signature events for the San Diego YC, their strongly attended Yachting Cup for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s.

In the Southern part of the Americas, it was the last 2018 J/70 Worlds qualifiers for the Chilean J/70 fleet.  The Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico took place off Algarrobo, Chile in what could only be described as “bizarre” sailing conditions off the Pacific coast- fog and breeze!!  Hmmm, something most often known as “June gloom” off Santa Barbara and Los Angeles or even off Newport, RI.

Just north of South America, the Caribbean winter sailing circuit finally concluded with the epic Antigua Sailing Week held off English Harbour.  Involved were the usual suspects of leading teams on J/122s, a J/109, and J/30 collecting even more silverware for their trophy dens/ shelves/ caves.

Hopping over to the European theatre of sailing, the RORC (Royal Offshore Racing Club) started off their epic summer season of offshore sailing with their Cervantes Trophy Race- from Cowes to Le Havre, France.  Incredibly, it marked a J/133 “three-peat”, a podium J/121 offshore speedster debut, a winning J/109 and J/105!  Over in Europe’s gorgeous Alps, it was the next event for the J/70 Swiss Sailing League in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland on the Bodensee.  Then, down in the Mediterranean, it was the first major offshore event for the Spanish offshore sailing season- the famous PalmaVela sailed off Palma Majorca, Spain- a fleet of J/80s had a fabulous time soaking up the atmosphere of one of Europe’s most famous and “glam” yachting watering holes.

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 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/70 Rimette- John Brim wins overallJ/70 RIMETTE Awarded Annapolis NOOD Regatta Overall Champion
(Annapolis, MD)- Warm weather, sunny skies and moderate breeze set the stage for a solid day of racing on the Chesapeake Bay for the first day of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in Annapolis on Friday. All classes on three race courses completed five races to kick off the three-day event.  Then, Saturday dawned with a light northerly breeze fiasco with only a few fleets completing one race.  Sunday dawned with little more promise, giving most fleets a chance for two more races in yet more light northerly winds.

In the end, it was John Brim of Palm Beach, Florida, and his crew on the J/70 RIMETTE that not only scored their first-ever major regatta win in the J/70 class, but also earned the coveted title of Overall Winner at the event.  Here is how it all went down for the three-day event.

J/111s sailing in formation at Annapolis NOODFriday- Gorgeous Southerly and Sun!
With 32 boats registered each, the J/22 and the J/70 fleets were tied for largest of the weekend. The J/22s had an especially competitive roster this year as competitors prepare for their J/22 World Championship in Annapolis in September. The day’s J/22 class leader, Pete Levesque, of Tiverton, Rhode Island, said it’s still anyone’s game.

“The top five are all going fast and, even behind them, there are a bunch of people who are capable of winning races,” he said. “It’s a pretty deep fleet.”

Levesque and his crew on Dusty took a conservative approach to the day, establishing a one-point lead over Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY, of Annapolis, after five races. Facing an “uphill current and an aggressive fleet,” Levesque wanted to get off the starting line cleanly and avoid taking risks.

“It is my first time back at it in Annapolis in a while and first time sailing in a fleet this size in a while, so I just wanted to tip-toe into it,” he said. “We’ll probably have to take more risks as the weekend goes on.”

J/70 Savasana sailing Annapolis NOODJ/70 class leader John Brim, of Palm Beach, Florida, found success was on the western edge of the course, where, in one race, he and his crew aboard RIMETTE found tide relief and breeze in a pivotal moment on a downwind leg, which resulted in a five-boat recovery that he said was a big factor in his team’s overall lead.

But, the strategy didn’t work in their favor on the last race of the day, when team RIMETTE— already several places deep in the fleet— made its move to the west and watched as the boats sailing straight down the middle of the course gained speed. They held a strong lead most of the day, but that 10th-place finish left them narrowly ahead of class veteran Brian Keane on SAVASANA.

The RIMETTE skipper also found the variable conditions challenging, with shifty winds and a “fair amount of chop” thrown into the mix. He said his crew found it was best to keep sailing through the chop than try to sail around the unavoidable waves. He also credited a brand-new mainsail and “fantastic” trim and tactical work by his crew for team RIMETTE’s first-place standing at the end of day one.

The J/80 fleet’s opening day leader on COURAGEOUS, skipper Gary Panariello, of Sausalito, California, echoed Brim’s analysis of the conditions out on the racecourse.

“Every single race was different,” he said. “All the things we thought would work didn’t, so we just had to pay attention to what was going on during each race. The pressure was better on the west side of the course for most of the day, but by the end of the day, the right side worked just as well as the left. Which is really interesting in Annapolis, because it’s usually a much more one-sided [advantaged] racecourse.”

J/70s sailing off Annapolis NOOD regattaSunday- Light Airs Finale
After the virtual glass-out on Saturday where only the Yellow course managed to complete one race, the rest of the day’s racing for all fleets on all courses was canceled.

Sunday dawned with some promise, with the northerly winds showing a somewhat steady 6-8 kts of breeze.  However, the forecast was for it to die slowly and shift east.  What transpired was nothing like the forecast, with the breeze dying fast and oscillating back and forth from 350 deg to 60 deg across the race course and with huge, spotty wind streaks dropping down to 1-3 kts at times.  To say it was rough and challenging on tacticians and sail trimmers would be an understatement.

Victory didn’t come easily for the J/70 team on RIMETTE. In fact, it all came down to the eighth and final race of the weekend. Heading into it in second place, the crew had difficulty getting off the starting line and then committed a port-starboard foul, for which they had to perform a penalty turn in light air. Fortunately, Rimette’s tactician Taylor Canfield soon made a call that put them on the path to redemption.

“We were mid-fleet after the penalty turn, but our tactician was brilliant,” Brim said. “He saw a breeze and we went hard left. I focused my eyes on the jib and the waves, and the next thing I knew we were lifted to port-tack with fresher breeze. We rounded the mark in second, amazingly.”

From there, third-place NINE sailed by Oivind Lorentzen worked its way between RIMETTE and SAVASANA, which was holding the top spot at the time. Brim’s team finished that race in second, gaining the necessary two points to tie with Brian Keane’s Savasana. The tiebreaker— based on which team has the most first-place race finishes— worked in Brim’s favor, as team RIMETTE had three to SAVASANA’s two.

“Frankly, we were surprised at the whole thing, and delighted,” Brim said, whose crew also included Scott Ewing and Collin Leon. “I’ve sailed in Annapolis many times and it’s always a challenging place, but this weekend was one of the nicest Annapolis regattas I remember.”

J/70 Selkie sailing CorinthiansAs the Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD’s overall winner, Brim earns a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship Regatta, presented by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

Behind the two leaders, it was Lorentzen’s NINE that secured third place, followed by Doug Clark’s POLAR from the US Coast Guard Academy in fourth and Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX in fifth.

Winning the J/70 Corinthians division was Jennifer & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY from Annapolis, MD.  Second was Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD, third Tod Sackett’s FM, fourth Jack & Vivien Wallace’s SELKIE, and fifth Mark Hilman’s USA 6.

Like Brim, this was the first Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD win for Gary Panariello, whose COURAGEOUS team took the top spot in the competitive J/80 fleet, where only two points separate the first and third finishers in the final standings.

J/80 Courage winners- Gary Panariello“This is very typical of J/80 racing,” Panariello said. “It’s usually this tight. All of the people at the top of the fleet are very good. We had a sizable lead going into the day and our goal was just to be in first place when we finished. We weren’t very aggressive about what we did, and we were just able to hang on.”

After a “tough” first race, where Panariello finished well behind the second-place boat in the standings, team COURAGEOUS had one goal in the last race.

“We just needed to stay near Thomas Kopp’s KOPP-OUT no matter where they went on the racecourse,” he said. “And that’s what we did. We followed them around and made sure we didn’t get disconnected from them or let any boats between us.”

Behind the two leaders were John White’s USA 1162 in third, Les Beckwith’s FKA fourth, and Mike Hobson’s MELTEMI in fifth.

J/22s sailing Annapolis NOOD regattaSimilarly, local J/22 class winner Zeke Horowitz and the UNCLE FLUFFY had to face their own challenges today despite starting the day with a strong lead. A bad start during race one landed them in the back of the 32-boat fleet.

“We had a really good comeback in the first race,” Horowitz said. “There was definitely luck involved in that one, no doubt about it. On the final beat, we were out right hard and a big shift with pressure filled in. We probably passed 20 boats or more the last two minutes into the finish. It was one of those moments where you cross the line and you’re like, ‘How did that just happen?’”

The team then had to recover from another bad start in the second race, where they were able to claw their way to first place after rounding the first mark in eleventh. Horowitz said he knew all they needed was to complete the race in the top 10 to maintain their overall position, which made the eventual win even more sweet.

“It was really fun to be able to win the last race in a regatta like this,” he said. “These crews sailed great and really fast, and they’re extremely hard to beat. We’re really fortunate to be in the spot that we are.”

Rounding out the top five places were Jeff Todd’s HOT TODDY in second, Pete Levesque’s DUSTY in third, JR Maxwell’s SCOOBY in fourth and Aden King’s RHYTHMIC PUMPING in fifth place.

J/80 Helly Hansen youth teamFor the six-boat J/24 class, it was yet another class that determined the winner based on a tie-breaker.  Pat Fitzgerald’s RUSH HOUR and Pete Kassal’s SPACEMAN SPIFF each finished with 16 pts each, with countback going to Fitzgerald’s team based on number of 1sts.  Third place wen to Peter Rich’s BUXTON with 20 pts total.

The ten-boat J/30 class saw a repeat winner from last year.  Bob Rutsch’s BEBOP won two races and took three 2nds to comfortably win their class.  They were followed by Doug & Amy Stryker’s TOTALED MAYHEM in second and Ron Anderson’s INSATIABLE in third position.

With a half-dozen boats, the betting was how many races were Jim Sagerholm & Jerry Christofel’s fabled AUNT JEAN were going to win??  In the end, just five in seven races for an easy win with 12 pts total.  The real battle was for the next two spots on the podium.  Trading 2nds and 3rds all weekend, it was ultimately the ABIENTOT crew with skipper Roger Lant that took the silver by one point over Chuck Kohlerman’s team on MEDICINE MAN.

J/105 Bat IV team- Kennedy and crew- 2ndAs the biggest big boat fleet on the Bay, the eighteen-boat J/105 class is always a challenging fleet to race in due to the many class veterans that continue to sharpen the tools of the trade each year.  This time, it was a near (and surprising) “white washing” of the fleet by Cedric Lewis & Fred Salvesen’s MIRAGE, winning five of seven races for a mere total of 16 pts!  Second was the tenacious crew on-board Andrew Kennedy’s BAT IV.  However, speaking of “tenacious”, it was Carl & Scott Gitchell’s TENACIOUS that finished only one point back to take the bronze.

As anticipated, the eight-boat J/111 class was going to be a “shoot-out @ the OK Corral”.  Indeed it was.  With a multitude of champions in the class in attendance, it was not going to be a battle for the faint of J/111 Velocity- Martie Roesch crew- winnersheart.  Multiple gladiators squared off and, in the end, it was local hotshot Martie Roesch’s crew on VELOCITY that avoided the major pitfalls to take the title with a final race win.  Going into the final race, Peter Wagner’s J/111 World Champion SKELETON KEY team had the lead by two points.  So long as Wagner’s crew maintained contact with VELOCITY, with even one boat in between, they won the regatta.  Somehow, it wasn’t so.  Just six points back was Rob Ruhlman’s Cleveland, OH team on their famous SPACEMAN SPIFF. Perhaps the highlight for the J/111 crews was the “huuuuge” fiesta for the “Derby de Mayo” party at Roesch’s house on Saturday evening; after all, racing was canceled at 1:30pm, so the crews had plenty of time to don sombreros, feathered boa hats, and drink whatever moved them- mint juleps or massive pitchers of margaritas!  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis MOOD Regatta sailing information

J/24 North American winnersIngham Crowned J/24 NA Champ By A Nose!
(Charleston, SC)- Thirty-five J/24s teams descended upon Charleston, South Carolina for the J/24 North American Championship at Charleston Yacht Club. Blessed with three straight days of good onshore breezes to help overcome the strong tides that Charleston Harbor is notorious for, the CYC PRO managed to run eight races for the teams from USA and Mexico.

Winning the 2018 41st edition of the J/24 NA’s was Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS crew of Swedish goddess Marianne Schoke, Max Holzer, Justin Coplan and Quinn Schwenker. There’s was not an easy win as it took until the final day, final race, and final leg for the Shakespearean drama to play out for them to win on a tie-breaker over Will Welles’ BOGUS from Newport, RI.

Day One- Strong Start
After four races, Welles’ BOGUS got off to a solid start in attempting to earn his fourth consecutive North American title. Following a 3-5 in the first two contests, Welles banged out two bullets to end the day with 10 points. Carter White’s YOUREGATTA notched scores of 4-1-3-8 for 16 points and second place. John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN held third place with 18 points.

Under clear skies and in breeze between 5-10 knots, Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS opened the Championship with a victory, with Mollicone and Welles behind him. White moved up to the top spot in race two, in front of Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM. Welles took the next two battles, ahead of Mexican Kenneth Porter’s MONSTER FISH and White in race three, and Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS in the final duel.

Day Two- Light & Goofy
While three teams were tied on points for second through fourth place, they were all looking up at Welles’ Bogus that kept a hold on the top spot with 13 net points in six races so far. A harbor postponement started the day. Racing got underway at 1400 hours in winds of just 6 knots.

BOGUS recorded a sixth in Saturday’s opening race, but able to discard it and add a third in the day’s only other contest, to lead the fleet. Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS leapt up the leaderboard into the silver position, although he shared a tally of 20 points with White’s YOUREGATTA and Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN.

In the first race of the day, Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA crossed the finish line ahead of James Howard’s CLASSIC and Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER. Ingham made his move in the next battle, as the breeze increased to 10-12 knots. Following him were Mollicone and Welles.

J/24 Nautalytics winning North AmericansDay Three- Anxiety-ridden Finale
Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS came on strong down the stretch to edge out reigning Champion Welles’ BOGUS and win on a tie-breaker.

Ingham entered Sunday’s racing seven points behind Welles. A NAUTALYTICS bullet in the day’s first race, followed by a third, put the pressure on Welles, who recorded a 17 with a scoring penalty (his discard) and then a 5 to tie the two teams on points at 24.

Ingham broke Welles’ three-year North American Championship winning streak from 2015-2017, and it was actually Ingham who held the title prior to that in 2014. Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN completed the top three overall with 30 points.

“We were third and Will was fourth at the last rounding of the last race,” recalled Ingham, knowing he needed to put one more boat in between them to secure the Championship. “We match raced the final leg. John Mollicone passed Will, and we maintained!” Ingham noted how tough a venue like Charleston can be due to the current and big shifts. “It’s a heads-up venue. You’ll have bad moments, but the teams who survive those moments will excel. We definitely picked a bad side a bunch of times, but we recognized it and got out. The key is reacting quicker than the next guy.”

Rounding out the top five were White’s YOUREGATTA in fourth and Argentina’s Nicolas Cubria’s ELVIS in fifth, by virtue of winning the last race!

Finally, of the two women’s teams entered, Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME was 1st followed by Amy Kubie’s LONESTAR.  For J/24 NA race results and regatta information   For more Charleston YC host information

J/133 Pintia sailing RORC Cervantes raceThree-peat Overall for J/133 PINTIA In RORC Cervantes Race!
J/121 ROCK LOBSTER Rocks in IRC 1 Debut!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- The overall winner of the 2018 Cervantes Trophy Race after IRC time correction is Gilles Fournier's French J/133 PINTIA, winning the Cervantes Trophy for a third year in a row. And, in her RORC Offshore Racing debut, it was Nick Angel’s brand new British J/121 ROCK LOBSTER that took second in IRC One class!

Forty-seven yachts competed in the Cervantes Trophy Race, the first summer race of the 2018 RORC Season's Points Championship. It was a glassy start to the race, with a light breeze and a warm sunshine bathing the Solent. The Royal Ocean Racing Club chose to select a course of approximately 130 nautical miles, with strategic and tactical decision required for the Solent start, crossing the English Channel, the J/133 Pintia winning team in RORC Cervantes RaceNorth Coast of France, and a reaching finish into Le Havre. After a light airs downwind start, the fleet experienced a building breeze overnight in the English Channel from the northeast, increasing boat speed towards Cussy Buoy, nine miles off the Normandy Coast. A light wind 23-mile beat to navigational buoy A5, was followed by a fresh broad reach to the finish, giving the fleet a variety of wind angles in which to maximize their performance.

Gilles Fournier was delighted to win the Cervantes Trophy and celebrated in his home club Société des Régates du Havre, having won by nearly 40 minutes on corrected IRC handicap time over a brand-new JPK 11.80 IRC rule-beater. Speaking to RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone, Gilles commented. “It was a J/121 Rock Lobster sailing on Solenttactical race, but I have to admit a lucky one for us as well. Staying in the best breeze was the key, and we found breeze west of the rhumb-line in the Channel, and for the last beat we managed to keep boat speed up by heading east after Cussy Buoy.”

In IRC One,  Nick Angel's brand new, freshly launched, British J/121 ROCK LOBSTER was second in her class; she was just 12 minutes off from winning her race debut in class.

In IRC Three, third was Rob Cotterill's J/109 MOJO RISIN’. Then, in IRC Two-handed Class, Jerry Freeman's J/105 JULIETTE was third.

The RORC Season's Points Championship continues Friday 11th May with the North Sea Race, approximately 180 nautical miles from Harwich to Scheveningen.   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth   For more RORC Offshore series sailing information

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, ChileJ/70 TSUNAMI Tops Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico
(Algarrobo, Chile)- The 2018 J/70 Worlds qualifier for the Chilean J/70 class took place this past weekend in Algarrobo.  The event was called the Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico and eighteen boats participated over the weekend.

The weather condition was different and stronger than expected and the teams enjoy the series of six races. Two were run on Saturday and four on Sunday.  The first race on Saturday was thrown out due to an improper mark change, so an extra race was added on Sunday.

Conditions on Saturday were quite rare, with west winds and fog blowing onshore!  In the first windward-leeward race, the fog made it impossible to see the leeward mark! So, combine the crazy weather conditions with the tough fleet and made it much more complex than usual.

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, ChileDuring the two days, especially downwind, gybing onto port at the weather mark to get into the stronger sea breeze was the best strategy. So, all teams worked hard to perform their gybe-set maneuver to gain or maintain advantage on the boats around them.

In the end, the winner was determined by a tie-breaker.  Winning the countback on 12 pts was Andrés Ducasse’s TSUNAMI, while Juan Reid’s WINDMADE had to settle for 2nd place.  Taking the bronze was Pablo Amunátegui’s KENMORE with 17 pts, fourth was Vernon Robert’s MORENITA with 20 pts, and fifth was Carlos Vergara’s SENSEI with 25 pts.

This was the final regatta in the three event qualifying series for the 2018 J/70 Worlds in Marblehead, MA, USA.  Chile took 1 slot from the J/70 South American Champion and 2 more due to having 33 boats in the Chilean national fleet.  Therefore, the following three boats qualified and will be attending the J/70 Worlds this year in the USA- 1st TSUNAMI (Ducasse), 2nd VOLVO (Matias Seguel & Mark Jux), and 3rd WINDMADE (Reid).

The J/70 Fleet will be back to Algarrobo on May 19th to celebrate the Chilean Navy Week again in Cofradía Náutica del Pacífico.

J/70 Tangaroa- winners Yachting Cup San DiegoJ/70 TANGAROA Wins Yachting Cup Overall!
(San Diego, CA)- Seventy-nine teams competed in ten fleets in the 2018 Yachting Cup, held May 5-6 in San Diego, CA. David Hochart’s J/70 team on TANGAROA won the final race to secure their class victory and get recognized as the overall event winner.

Hosted by the San Diego YC, the 2018 Yachting Cup was held from May 4th to 6th off the promontory of Point Loma and in the South Bay southeast of the city of San Diego. The Yachting Cup is one of SDYC’s signature events.  The principal one-design classes in the regatta were J/70s, J/105s, and J/120s. In addition, there were PHRF Offshore handicap classes.

J/70 sailing Yachting Cup San DiegoThe J/70s had a dozen boats racing, with seven races sailed over the two days. Winning was Hochart’s TANGAROA with three bullets in their scoreline and a total of 16 pts next.  Second was Chris Snow’s COOL STORY BRO with 19 pts and third was Jay Janov’s MINOR THREAT with 23 pts.  Rounding out the top five were Curt Johnson’s AVET 2.01 and Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY in 4th and 5th, respectively.

Nine teams sailed in the challenging J/105 fleet.  While generally a very close battle for the podium, it was anything but this year.  Somehow, Stew Cannon’s crew on J-OK found the “whup-ass” button and hit it hard every race, posting three bullets and tossing a 4th to win with just 12 pts net, 6 pts clear of last year’s winner- Rick Goebel & Donica Ryder’s SANITY.  Third was the duo of Hurlburt & Driscoll on JUICED, J/105s sailing Yachting Cup San Diegolike SANITY, throwing out a last race DSQ to secure their position.  Rounding out the top five were Rich Bergmann’s ZUNI BEAR in 4th and Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLNIK in 5th.

Perhaps the most crushing performance came in the very competitive J/120 fleet.  Talk about a “schooling”, John Laun’s CAPER crew truly achieved one of the most amazing performances ever in the class, winning with all 1sts and having to throw out a 1st to win with only 5 pts! In the meantime, it seems everyone else conceded the win to CAPER while the next three boats spent the weekend trading body blows every race. In the end, second place for three boats was determined by a one point spread and a tie-breaker! It was so tight that it came down to the last race and the last run home to the finish line to determine who-beat-who! Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FEE finished with a 3rd to close with 14 pts total, enough to secure the silver.  However, Chuck Nichol’s CC RIDER crew must certainly feel the pain, as in the last race they dropped from a certain 2nd place to third after posting a 5th in the final race.  That created a tie-breaker on 15 pts each between CC RIDER and Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN, with Nichol’s taking 3rd on the countback.

In PHRF C Division, it was David Boatner’s J/35 RIVAL that placed 2nd, while Geoff Davis’ J/35 ZFORCE took 4th place- a great show for the venerable J/35 in sunny SD! Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/  For more Yachting Cup sailing information

J/122 sailing Antigua Sailing weekClassic, Gorgeous Antigua Sailing Week
(Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)- One hundred and sixteen teams from 37 different countries raced in the 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week held from April 29 to May 4. Strong trade winds blew all week, delivering classic Caribbean conditions to over 1,000 competitors.

Over 3,000 revelers attended Reggae in the Park, featuring international reggae artist Tarrus Riley and Peter Harrison’s Superyacht SOJANA (a Farr 115 foot ketch) was awarded the coveted Lord Nelson Trophy after a perfect scoreline of seven race wins in CSA 2 (Peter is racing his J/70 SORCHA J in this weekend’s Italian J/70 Cup in Porto Ercole, Italy).

J/122 Liquid sailing Antigua Sailing Week“This is fantastic. It is the second time we have won the Lord Nelson Trophy and I am really thrilled to win it again,” commented Peter Harrison, owner of SOJANA. “We have had beautiful crew work, everybody was really on their game. We had our boat restored three years ago and have new sails and the crew have all done her justice.”

Added SOJANA crew boss Jonny Malbon, “This week has been amazing, with perfect conditions for SOJANA; breezy and lumpy and full-on. We have pushed ourselves and the boat. The crew is very diverse; we have a couple of young guys from the National Sailing Academy of Antigua and professional sailors from all over the world. We broke a few things, but always repaired them. It has been an epic week and the boss is super-happy. This is his favourite regatta, because it’s intense and fun.”

J/30 sailing Antigua Sailing WeekIn the dozen-boat CSA 5 Class, the famous J/122 EL OCASO, sailed by Kym Kapalla, started off slowly with an 8-7-6 and closed fast with a steady 3-3-2-2 to take fourth place with 23 pts net.  Perhaps with a bit more practice beforehand, they may have had a great chance for 2nd or 3rd in their class.  Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID suffered a DSQ in their 6th race, hurting their chances for a top five finish.

In the nine-boat CSA 7 Class, David Cullen’s Irish crew aboard his J/109 POCKET ROCKET sailed a solid series to take the bronze.

Finally, in CSA 8 Class, it was Tanner Jone’s Antiguan crew on the J/30 BLUE PETER/ CARIBBEAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE that lost a tie-breaker on 16 pts each for third place on the podium.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more Antigua Sailing Week sailing information

J/80 sailing PalmaVela regatta- Palma Mallorca, SpainJ/80 OPERA SEASON Wins Palma Vela
(Palma Majorca, Spain)- The 15th edition of the Sail Racing PalmaVela ended on a high note after four days of racing.  The sailors experienced the entire spectrum of wind intensities between just two and more than 20 knots, days in full sun and others under heavy rain, but always with the common denominator of exciting competition in the bay of Palma. 132 boats of 26 nationalities fought for glory, including a J/80 class with sailors from Spain, Germany, and United Kingdom.

The final day saw a gentle, challenging breeze on a gorgeous sunny day on the Bay of Palma.  The pressure of performing in the fluky, shifty winds determined which teams collected the winners' trophies at this traditional Mediterranean season opener.

For the J/80 class, that meant the German skipper, Thomas Bscher (on Pedro Mari’s J/80 OPERA SEASON), would finish with an almost perfect championship scoreline!  They won the last two races to add to their 1sts in the first four races to close with just 9 pts net, six points clear of the next boat. Second and third, respectively, were taken by two German teams, Sebastian Allebrodt’s MNEMONIC and Kristyn Gills’ JOTA JUERGA.

The 15th Sail Racing PalmaVela was organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, with the sponsorship of Sail Racing, the institutional sponsorship of the Balearic Government and the City Council of Palma, and with the collaboration of the Balearic Sailing Federation, Club Náutic S'Arenal and the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands.  For more J/80 PalmaVela sailing information

J/70s sailing Swiss Sailing LeagueSV Kreuzlingen Leads Swiss J/70 Sailing League
(Kreuzlingen, Switzerland)- The host club for the second act of the Swiss J/70 Sailing League were not disappointed by the performance of their hometown team- SV Kreuzlingen.  From Friday to Sunday, the “bise” winds blew on the Bodensee Lake between Beaufort 1 to 5 and allowed the Super League teams to sail 42 races for the 12 participating teams from across Switzerland.

The local Bodensee team took advantage of their local knowledge. Bringing home the victory and the series lead was the SV Kreuzlingen crew of Tom Rüegge, Stefan Stäheli, Peter Fritschi and Caroline Tanner-Keller.

The second placed Regattaclub Bodensee (RCB) had a difficult start and was third after the first day. However, the crew found their rhythm and finished their last 7 races with all first and second places. With this amazing performance, the RCB team was able to overtake the Regattaclub Oberhofen (BE) in front of them and work their way up to the leading Kreuzlinger’s. However, the RCB team could never challenge the consistent sailing of SV Kreuzlingen.

J/70 sailing Swiss Sailing LeagueAs a result of the weekend series, the SV Kreuzlingen team has now posted a lofty 1-1 for 2 pts in the series, with three events left for summer 2018.  Sitting in second is RC Bodensee with a 3-2 for 5 pts.  Third is Societe Nautique de Geneve with a 2-6 for 8 pts. They are tied with RC Oberhofen that has a 5-3 for 8 pts.  Then, in provisional fifth place is YC Bielersee with an 8-4 for 12 pts.

The Swiss Sailing Clubs are international leaders in the Sailing Champions League. This year, the sporting level has risen again. The clubs send their best sailors into the regattas and the list of participants reads like a "Who's Who" of Swiss sailing. Olympians, World Champions, European Champions and Swiss Champions in various classes are at the start and want to win the Swiss Sailing League Cup and the Swiss Championship title for their club.  Sailing photo credits- Claudia Somm.  For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/105s sailing J/Stop RegattaFun J/Stop Regatta on San Francisco Bay!
(San Francisco, CA)- San Francisco Bay gave sailors and race committee some of the usual course challenges, but the result was a great weekend of racing for the twenty-three J/105s that came out for the J/Stop Regatta. The regatta commenced on Saturday, May 5, with overcast skies and raw conditions that had sailors commenting on the cold by the end of four races. Fortunately, the sun broke through in time to warm up competitors during post-race beers on the docks.

The wind cooperated early with westerlies building steadily to the mid-teens. Racing started with the tide just turning from ebb to flood and, as often happens with this very competitive fleet, the first start led to a general recall as most boats got to the line too early and were pushed over. From then on, Saturday’s races were started under the “U” flag rule and the fleet behaved much better. (Under this rule, a boat caught over the line any time after one minute before her start is disqualified, unless the race is restarted or resailed). To the sailors’ great credit, Sunday’s starts were all under the regular “P” flag, with no boats called over early.

J/105s sailing J/Stop Regatta- San FranciscoWind was brisker on Sunday, reaching into the high teens. As veteran Bay racers know, the tide first turns close to shore, so in the early races there was a greater advantage in getting out to the middle of the Bay when going upwind to catch the last of the ebb tide heading out the Gate. To compensate, the race committee set a start line that initially favored the pin, making adjustments for each race as the flood set in across the whole Bay. It’s always a challenge to convince the sailors that the line is fair so they don’t all crowd one end, but it doesn’t always work, even if the math is done right. In race 6, for example, while the bulk of the fleet thought the committee boat end was the place to be, ARBITRAGE and MOJO came in from the pin end and port-tacked the whole fleet with room to spare. ARBITRAGE went on to win that race and took third overall in the regatta. 

Many of the top competitors shuffled first-place finishes, and prizes were awarded for each, so several skippers took home some StFYC glassware, including SFYC’s Ryan Simmons on BLACKHAWK for races 1-2, and Tim Russell’s NE-NE in races 3 and 7. StFYC’s DONKEY JACK (skippered by Shannon Ryan and Rolf Kaiser), Walter Sanford’s ALCHEMY and Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault on ARBITRAGE finished first in races 4, 5 and 6, respectively.

Winning their first event in quite some time was Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK with a total of 18 pts.  Though StFYC’s Ian Charles’s MAVERICK didn’t take any firsts, they finished 2nd overall with 25 pts.  Third was Stone/Breault’s ARBITRAGE with 34 pts and rounding out the top five were Russell’s NE-NE and Jeff Litfin’s MOJO, in 4th and 5th, respectively.  For more J/105 J/STOP Regatta sailing information and results

J/70s sailing Cinco de Mayo Regatta- Santa Barbara, CAJ/70 3 BIG DOGS Win Cinco de Mayo Regatta
JADED Dominates J/24s
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The annual Cinco de Mayo Regatta in Santa Barbara, CA is one of the all-time favorites for dinghy and one-design keelboats in the region.  The laid-back Sail Santa Barbara Sailing Club does a fantastic job hosting the event, making sure their party on Saturday evening is well-attended due to the copious amounts of delicious Mexican food and massive pitchers of Margaritas.

The Sail SBSC RC and PRO crew managed to knock out seven races for the J/24s and eight races for the J/70 class.  The sailing conditions could not have been any better all weekend long, with Saturday’s winds ranging from 240 to 270 deg at 4-8 kts and Sunday’s sunny breezes also building midday from the west around 4-8 kts.

Winning the J/70 class was Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS crew with a remarkably consistent record of five 1sts and three 2nds to win with just 9 pts net.  Second was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE, winning the only two races the Big Doggers did not, finishing with 16 pts net.  Then, taking the third spot on the podium was Wolfe’s SHARK with 20 pts net.

In a somewhat similar fashion as the 70s, it was Klatt’s J/24 team on JADED that simply dominated the J/24 fleet with all bullets to end up with just 6 pts net after discarding a 1st! Ouch! Almost taking all 2nds for the silver was Taylors USA 2223 with 12 pts net.  Rounding out the podium in the bronze slot was Nidzieko’s YOUNG FOOLS with 18 pts net.   For more Cinco de Mayo Regatta sailing information

J/105 sailing Race to Straits- SeattleMind-blowing Race To The Straits Doublehanded Race
(Seattle, WA)- Every year, the amazingly laid back, fun-loving sailors that call the Sloop Tavern YC home in Ballard, WA hold their annual Race To The Straits Regatta. The format is simple, essentially a double-handed race from Seattle to Port Townsend and back. This year, 101 sailboats sailed in the 18 keelboat divisions.   Kurt Hoehne from had this to report on the racing.

At what point will the other clubs take notice of what a fun race format this is? A rhetorical question based on the fact that the “RTTS” hit its limit of 125 boats several days before the race, and it’s no wonder. The atmosphere before, during and after the event is special. Let’s get to his question later. First, the race.

J/80 sailing Race to Straits regatta- SeattleThe Leg North
It was hard to find a frown in Port Townsend Saturday afternoon. The fleet had just spent 4-6 hours beating in 12-18 knots of breeze all the way from Seattle, with a boost from a strong ebb much of the way. The winners, of course, had something to smile about. But the staggered start (starting times reflecting each boat’s time allowance for the race) meant that the slow boat crews got to watch as much of the fast boats came thundering by.

The winds were perfect for those non-overlapping headsail boats that could keep up the performance by flattening out the main and not change headsails (or have to sail with the wrong one up). Boats like MADRONA, the J/120 SHEARWATER and the J/105s all thrived. Boats with genoas were stuck changing down to #3s when the wind built and changing back up to #1s as the wind lightened up near the finish.  There was the usual puzzle of fitting everybody into Point Hudson, and nearly all the fleet fit.

J/109 sailing Race to Straits regatta- Seattle/ Port TownsendThe Return Leg
The race back to Seattle presented a different challenge – the beautiful northerly of Saturday teased the fleet with some great conditions that disappeared at times and the wonderful tides of the day before played havoc with the fleet, especially getting around the Double Bluff buoy.

The orca J-pod (the enormous “killer whales”) made an appearance in Admiralty Inlet, presumably to help Dieter Creitz with his orca science project at school.

The conditions meant a lot of gybes seeking out the right breeze while staying out of bad current. It took a toll on all these shorthanded crews, especially in the flying sails classes.

That was a theme for much of the fleet on Sunday. Where few, if any, were expected to finish the full course, several did in a building southerly.

The results show a familiar list of winners. But, the thing that is truly special about this race is how welcome everyone feels, even the skippers who aren’t the serious types and the boats that haven’t seen a new sail in 15 years. There were kids, dogs, dodgers, grills hanging off about half the rails, moms and pops, and live-aboards. There’s no doubt each and every one adjusted their expectations for the racing part and had a great time pursuing them.

J/doublehanded crews sailed in a total of ELEVEN divisions! Holy smokes! That’s a LOT of most excellent race management work by the amazing volunteers at the “Sloop”.

In Class 3, Dan Wierman’s J/35 took fourth.  Scott Galbraith’s J/24 FLYER nailed the silver in Class 5.

Dennis Clark’s J/27 nearly led a clean sweep for J/Teams in Class 9.  Behind him in third was Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD.  Then, he was followed by John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS in 4th, Ulf Georg Gwildis’ J/30 gorgeous blue IMPULSIVE in 5th, David Schutte’s J/80 TAJ MAHAL in 6th and Lek Dimarucot’s J/80 UNDERDOG in 7th.

J/105s sailing off Seattle, WAClass 10 was lucky that Christine Nelson’s J/20 SLICK had a DNF on Sunday, taking 2nd as a result.  David Jade’s pretty J/35c SHADOWFAX placed 6th.

The J/105s had a fantastic time sailing doublehanded.  Probably the perfect boat for a couple to sail in this type of event.  With enough room to swing a cat down below, and have some fun racing, while not being overwhelmed in the sail-handling department.  Winning was Vince Townrow’s KINETIC, followed in second by John & Leslie Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN, and Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO in third.

J/100 sailing Race to Straits - Seattle to Port TownsendTad Fairbank’s pretty J/100 SELAH was fourth in Class 13.

The J/109s just about led a J/team clean sweep of Class 14. Winning was Kirk Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE, Reed Bernhard’s J/109 MOUNTAIN was second, Tolga Cezik’s J/109 LODOS took 4th, Stu Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY placed 5th, Bill Harter’s J/37C was 6th, and Tyson Varosyan’s J/35 was 7th.  Amazing performance and kudos to all!

Crushing their Class 15 was Chris & Justin Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER, winning by over an hour on combined corrected times for both Saturday and Sunday!  Jim Fletcher & Dana Clark’s J/46 BEAUTY rounded out the podium in third place just 5 minutes off second place!

Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE smoked their Class 17 division of mostly high-performance boats (e.g. Melges 32, Aerodyne 38, 1D35, etc).  Similarly, John Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI in the “big boat” division took the bronze in their high-flying fleet behind World Champions like Carl Buchan in Class 18.

J/29 sailing Race to Straits- Seattle to Port TownsendIn the Doublehanded Overall Division, the Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER took 3rd, Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI 3rd place, Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE 6th, Mack’s J/122 GRACE 7th, Townrow’s J/105 KINETIC 9th, the Aitchison’s J/105 MOOSE UNKNOWN 11th.  So, SIX of the top ELEVEN boats overall- not a bad outing for fellow J/sailors!

In the “Jack & Jill” division comprised of guy/girl teams, it was the Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER that took 2nd place to the world-famous Carl & Carol Buchan.  Then, the Kristen’s J/105 MORE JUBILEE took 4th.  Fletcher & Clark on the J/46 BEAUTY were 6th. And, the Mack’s J/122 GRACE was 7th. Again, 4 of the top 7 is indicative of how easy to sail and handle the J/designs are for male/female teams across the spectrum of weather conditions, both upwind and downwind!

Amazingly, the Sloop Tavern YC had established enough of a following/ reputation in social media that none other than Thomas Cook Travels online media magazine “Holiday” from the United Kingdom felt their quirky, fun-loving approach to sailing and the world was worthy of an “Into the Blue” feature article (by fellow U.K. sailors, of course!).   Read on here in this PDF download- Thomas Cook Travels "Into The Blue" article- fun reading!   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson   For more Race to the Straits sailing information

J/88s sailing AYC Spring seriesThrilling Finales @ American YC Spring Series
(Rye, NY)- The final weekend of the American YC Spring Series was full of “comeback kids” stories.  However, the flipside of that scenario, were the anxiety-ridden tactics and strategies of many boats to try to maintain control and position on the racetrack without falling further behind!

This past Saturday, sailors aimed to pick up where they had left off. However, the weather had other plans. With very little wind on both courses, sailors were forced to wait for breeze throughout the day.

J/44 Maxine sailng AYC Spring regattaIn total, the East Course was only able to get one race in. In the J/44 division, Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE battled it out with Chris Lewis’ KENAI. In the end, KENAI won the only race of the day by one point as MAXINE finished second.

The South Course managed to get two races in by shortening the last race.  Trevor Roach’s J/70 SEMI-CHARMED bounced back from a rough finish to last weekend by placing first and second in the two races.

In the J/105 division, LOU LOU held on to its lead, winning both races; making it four race wins in a row.

Bengt & Marie Johansson’s ZIG ZAG and Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY maintained control of first and second place, respectively, with two points separating them in the J/109 division.

J/105 Young American youth teamAfter racing, sailors were treated to a special presentation in the American Yacht Club ballroom by Tucker Thompson, who was the official host of the 35th America's Cup. Tucker gave a unique behind the scenes look at the competition for the 35th America's Cup held in Bermuda. His presentation included stories, analysis, and a look at the rich history of the America's Cup. Tucker also gave the attendees a sneak peek at the 36th America's Cup in New Zealand. On a day that also celebrated Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby, it's safe to say Saturday had plenty of fun for sailors both on and off the water.

Sunday morning brought overcast skies as competitors returned to AYC for the final day of racing.

J/44 Maxine- Bill Ketcham winnerOn the East Course, the J/44 MAXINE sustained its solid performance throughout both weekends to win the J/44 class. By winning three of the last four races, Lewis’ KENAI rocketed into a solid second place.  Third was Don & Dick Rave’s RESOLUTE.  Fourth and fifth, respectively, were Len Sitar’s VAMP and Tom Blackwell’s BREAKAWAY.

On the South Course, the battle in the J/70 division continued, where first place was anyone's for the taking. Roach’s SEMI-CHARMED persevered to win the division with Daniel Goldberg's BAZINGA right behind finishing second. Both boats had quite the comeback considering at the end last week SEMI-CHARMED was second in the division and BAZINGA was fifth.  Third was Alex Meleny’s TRUCKIN, fourth Carrie & Ed Austin’s CHINOOK, fifth Mike Gavin’s USA 202.

J/105 Young American sailing AYC Spring seriesWith thirteen boats, the J/105 class was the largest fleet in this year's regatta. Paul Beaudin's LOU LOU was no stranger to the competition, as it took first place for the fourth year in a row. Trailing right behind in second place was the YOUNG AMERICAN SAILING ACADEMY helmed by Maddy Ploch. This junior team boasted a crew of sailors mostly under the ages of 18. Third was Harald Edegran/ Jeremy Henderson’s CONUNDRUM.  Rounding out the top five was Thom Hering’s TRIFECTA and George Wilbanks’ REVELATION in 4th and 5th, respectively.

J/88 Wings sailing AYC Spring seriesIn the J/88 division, Elizabeth and Matt Barry’s ESCAPE finished first, with Mike Bruno’s WINGS finishing second. Perhaps the most surprising performance was the extreme contrast of results from the first weekend to the second by Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS.  Sitting in fifth after round one, the screamed back into contention and leapt onto the podium after posting a 1-1-1-2 tally to finish only 4 points in arrears of second!  Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION dropped back into 4th, while Paul Strauch’s ANDIAMO/ JAZZ sailed steadily to take 5th in their first outing in the 88 class.

Over the course of both weekends, the J/109 division was hotly contested. Though neck and neck, ZIG ZAG pulled through to win the division. MORNING GLORY placed second just one point behind. Then, in an eerily similar fashion to their 88 colleagues on ALBONDIGAS, Adrian Begley’s MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN truly went mad, mad, mad round and round the track and finished with all bullets in their last five races! As a result, they took the bronze after a less than stellar outing the previous weekend.

In the ORR division, Neil Hindle's J/145 MUSKOKA won not only the division but also the only distance race of the regatta.  For more American YC Spring Series sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 Braun family St Petersburg YC* Family sailing on J/70s off St Petersburg? Yes, of course. The perfect “youth trainer” and “family day sailor!”

Matt Braun and his family have been participating in the “Twilight Series” at St Petersburg Yacht Club in one of the club’s J/70’s.

Commenting on their family outing, Matt said, “I believe we had 5 boats that evening.  Generally, we have between 5-7 J/70 club boats.  The StPYC Youth Team makes it a regular training date, as do many local sailors.

J/70 Braun family sailing St Petersburg YC seriesOn the day of this picture, my 10-year-old daughter Ainsley was at the helm from beginning to end.  It was a warm 10-12 knots breeze with the beautiful St. Pete skyline as a backdrop.

We sailed a 3 1/2 mile windward-leeward course, finishing a close 3rd behind 2 boats sailed by very talented crews.

Our effort was truly a family affair. My son Guthrie trimmed jib and helped with tactics. My wife (Ann Lisa) flew the kite and did pit.  I was mostly ballast and trimmed main.  All and all, we had a great time.  Hopefully, the boats we beat were not too embarrassed to be bested by a 5th grader!!”
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