Wednesday, July 18, 2018

J/Newsletter- July 18th, 2018

J/145 sailing Mackinac RaceChicago-Mac Race Preview
(Chicago, IL)- The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the most popular and loved annual fresh water race in the world. "The Mac" starts at the Chicago Lighthouse, just off Navy Pier and ends after a 289nm dash to Mackinac Island. 306 boats will start off the Chicago city-front on Saturday afternoon, July 28th. The race has become a bucket-list event for America’s Cup winners, Transpac and Volvo Ocean sailors. More than 2,500 people attend the race annually and participants traveled to Chicago from over 500 different cities, 35-plus states and a dozen countries.  The 2018 edition will be well attended by J/sailors in a dozen-plus classes, including one-design divisions for J/111s, J/120s, J/109s, and J/105s.

Known as “America’s Offshore Challenge™,” the Chicago-Mac Race is shaping up to be a “gear-buster” for its 110th year. With potentially strong northerly conditions forecast of 20 to 30 kts, race organizers are emphasizing preparation and safety for the competitors.

J/122 sailing Chicago Mackinac Race“If current weather/ wind models hold, strong northerly winds will be smack in the middle of our race course as a result of a stationary low-pressure system over Michigan,” said Sarah Renz, CYCRTM chair. “Sailors should prepare for some wet and wild upwind conditions for the first part of the race. Lake Michigan can deliver big seas and some of the most challenging conditions. It will be a tough race, but we hope everyone races hard, stays safe, has fun and we will see you up at the Island.”

Eighteen J/111s will not only be expecting to have strong one-design class racing, but a shot at occupying over 50% of the top 20 overall as they have done in the past, including an overall Chicago-Mac winner- David Irish’s NO SURPRISE.  Other top boats will include KASHMIR, MISTY, LUCKY DUBIE, ROWDY (winner of Class E in the Bayview Mackinac Race), SKULL CRACKER, UTAH and WIND CZAR.

The nine-boat J/120 class will have a few survivors from the longest Bayview Mackinac Race ever recorded.  Most boats doing a quick turn-around at Mackinac Harbor to do a super fast delivery 290nm down Lake Michigan in time for the Chicago-Mac Race this coming weekend! Those top crews include HOT TICKET (2nd Bayview Mac), J-HAWKER (3rd Bayview Mac), VICTRIX (4th Bayview Mac), and NIGHT MOVES (5th Bayview Mac).

The J/109s have thirteen boats ready to do battle on the starting line Saturday afternoon.  Top teams included VANDA, TIME OUT, SLAPSHOT, CALLISTO, GOAT RODEO and NORTHSTAR.

J/133 sailing Chicago Mackinac RaceThe fifteen-boat J/105 class will have PTERODACTYL, SEALARK, THE ASYLUM, the Petkus’ VYTIS and FLYING PIG.

Mackinac Cup Division
Section 2 will have the famous bright-red J/145 MAIN STREET sailed by Bill Schanen’s family from Port Washington, WI.

Section 3 has fourteen boats racing, of which five are J/crews, including three J/130s (SALSA, WILLIE J, EDGE) and two J/133s (RENEGADE and SIROCCO 3).

Section 4 has sixteen boats heading to the starting line with one J/44 (CHEEP N DEEP II- Randy Kuhn & Jim Richter from Lake Forest, IL) and four J/122s (BLITZKRIEG- Matt Schaedler from Toledo, OH that was this year’s overall Bayview Mackinac Race winner; EVVAI- Matt Songer from Marquette, MI; GOTTA WANTA- Robert Mampe from Traverse City, MI;  & HOLLIGAN II- Bruce Pierce from Toronto, Ontario).

Section 5 has fourteen boats and one lone J/crew sailing the J/112E MARY GAIL- Ben Lumpkin from Evanston, IL.

Chicago Mackinac Trophy Division
Section 7 has thirteen boats registered with two custom-outfitted J/109s doing battle (Bruce Danly and Jimmie Mitchell’s TOA and FANDANGO).

Section 8 thirteen boats, with three J/88s and six J/35s vying for class honors.  The J/88s include EXILE, RAMBLER & WINDSONG.  The J/35s are having a bit of a renaissance with ALPHA PUPPY, BAD DOG, BOZO’s CIRCUS, OB LA DI, THE FLYING SPHAGETTI MONSTER, and TOUCH OF GREY (the winningest J/35 in the world, other than MR BILL’S WILD RIDE).

Section 9 has fourteen boats, with just the J/100 BARRACUDA hoping to get a podium finish.  For more Chicago-Mackinac Race sailing information

J/24 sailing Europeans in GermanyJ/24 European Championship Preview
(Glucksburg, Germany)- The Flensburg Sailing Club in Glucksburg, Germany is hosting the 2018 J/24 European Championship on the famous fjord off the southwestern parts of the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.

There are twenty-five teams competing from five nations (Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden) with the large contingent of very competitive Italian and Monagesque J/24 teams noticeably absent- as the J/24 Worlds are concentrated on Lago di Garda, Italy in a few weeks time.

The top teams that should be factors on the leaderboard are familiar to those in the world of J/24s; the principal United Kingdom team- Ian Southworth’s IL RICCIO (a World & European Champion); a number of top German teams, such as Hauke Kruss’ PFAU, Fabian Damm’s HUNGRIGER WOLF, Stefan Karsunke’s GER 5381, Emily Kern’s ROTOGIRL, and Daniel Frost’s JJONE; Dimitrios Altsiadis’ EVNIKI from Greece; Dirk Olyslagers’ TEAM JOOL/ EVAPCO from the Netherlands; and two Swedish teams with some pedigree (Per Hakan Persson’s FRONT RUNNER and Andreas Olovsson’s FOR FUN (PINK).  For more J/24 European regatta results click here  For more Flensburg Segel-club sailing information

J/70 UK NationalsJ/70 U.K. National Championship Preview
(Hamble, United Kingdom)- Thirty-three J/70 teams will compete for the 2018 GJW Direct J/70 UK National Championship, including the reigning Open and Corinthian Champions, Wilson & Marshall's Soak Racing and Patrick Liardet's Cosmic, who will be representing the host club, The Royal Southern YC. The championship will also feature youth teams including Fiona Hampshire's Royal Thames Academy Team racing Elizabeth. The 2018 GJW Direct J/70 UK National Championship is a non-discardable event in the J/70 UK Grand Slam Series. Doug Struth's DSP, with Geoff Carveth on the tiller, leads the series. Soak Racing is second, Clive Bush's Darcey third, and Martin Dent's Jelvis and Phil Rees' Bryn are fourth and fifth respectively. All will be in action for the GJW Direct J/70 UK National Championship.

The 2018 J/70 UK National Championship is proudly sponsored by GJW Direct, as Jeremy Entwistle explains. “GJW Direct has provided marine insurance since 1826, this tradition now continues from our brand new office based in Swanwick Marina on the South Coast. GJW Direct insures all manner of dinghies, yachts, motor cruisers, speedboats/ribs and we even have a new small craft product that covers SUPS, canoes, kayaks and smaller motorboats GJW Direct is proud to be sponsoring the J/70 Nationals this year, and with our experience in insuring racing yachts and dinghies, we are able to offer the right cover at competitive rates for entrants, so why not come and visit us in our new office for a coffee and a quote.”

J/70s sailing off EnglandIan Wilson's Soak Racing has a full Corinthian lineup this year, and expects to make a highly competitive defence of their National title. “This year business commitments have meant that both myself and Marshall have not spent enough time racing and looking at the level of competition in the J/70 UK Class we will be aiming for top five this year, there are a lots of teams in top form,” commented Ian Wilson. “Having said that we will be giving it our all on the race course, and we are delighted to see how the class has developed, because it is producing outstanding racing.”

Calascione & Ripard came desperately close to winning the title last year, having been crowned National Champions in 2016. “Having just lost out last year, we are definitely looking to get the title back,” commented Seb Ripard. “The team has been racing a lot in the early season including Solent racing, the Euros in Vigo and the Italian Nationals, so we have been putting a lot of time on the water. During those regattas, we have seen a number of teams really improve their performance, with the top guys using new techniques to get the most out of the boat and the sails. We expect a very tough competition, but as always, we will be trying to win every race.”

Ten races are scheduled in the Central Solent with the first race due to start at 12:30 BST on Friday 20th July. Racing will conclude on Sunday 22nd July. The Royal Southern Yacht Club will provide dockside refreshments after racing each day, with North Sails providing daily weather forecasts via WhatsApp. A full social program will include the J/70 UK Class Dinner. The Doyle Sails Prize Giving for the GJW Direct J/70 UK National Championship will take place after racing on Sunday.  For the full entry list for the GJW Direct J/70 UK National Championship.

J/70s sailing youth league- Travemunde, GermanyTravemunde Week Youth SAILING Champions Debut!
(Travemunde, Germany)- Eighteen clubs from seven nations will be competing in the Youth SAILING Champions League for three days of racing in Travemünde Bay in the Baltic Sea.  Those teams come from across Europe- Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Nynne Desirée Ammundsen, General Secretary of ISLA, told us why Youth SCL is such a great innovation for the sport: “Following up on the successful Women’s SAILING Champions League event held in Kiel, ISLA is plowing full speed ahead with another important category of sailors, the youngsters. Now we dedicate our attention to the launch of a Youth SAILING Champions League for sailors in the age range of 16 to 23 years. We see many activities for youth sailors in our ISLA nations and especially in Russia, Denmark and Germany. It delivers inspiration and gives young sailors the possibility to step into a keelboat just when they are coming to the end of their dinghy career. The youth is the future and therefore ISLA can only applaud all the great work that has been done so far to make the Youth SAILING Champions League event happen."

J/70 Youth team sailing practiceJens Kath, Sports Director of Travemünder Woche, is welcoming Youth SAILING Champions League to debut as part of Travemünder Woche: “Youth SAILING Champions League unites multiple characteristics of Travemünder Woche and therefore is a perfect addition to our event. Supporting youth sailing is one of our major objects for a long time now, what we have shown in the last year when we hosted all German youth championships. In the German Sailing League, we are involved since the start because we are totally enthusiastic about the concept. And we are always open to new ideas and concepts and willing to implement them together. Travemünder Woche and Youth SAILING Champions League: it just fits!”

The participating youth sailing club teams are the following: Croatia (Val Sibenik), Denmark (Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub, Skolerne i Oure, Hellerup Sejlklub, Roskilde Sejlklub), Finland (Nylandska Jaktklubben & Esbo Segelforening), Germany (Bayerischer Yacht Club, Berliner Yacht Club, Munchner Yacht Club, Bodensee Yacht Club Uberlingen, Lubecker Yacht Club, Konstanzer Yacht Club), Italy (Circolo della Vela Bari & Club Velico Crotone), Netherlands (WSV Giesbeek), and Switzerland (Zurcher Yacht Club & Regatta Club Oberhofen).  Sailing Photo Credits: Lars Wehrmann.  For more Youth SAILING Champions League information

J/80s sailing with spinnakersUK J/80 National Championships Update!
(Lymington, United Kingdom)- The U.K. J/80 Nationals will be hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club from Saturday, August 18th to Monday 20th August. Preparation work for the event has entered its final stage and generous sponsorship has allowed the organizers to offer competitors an excellent on the water and social program.

The Club looks forward to welcoming back the J/80s to compete in Christchurch Bay, one of the finest race venues in the UK. To celebrate their return to Lymington after a hugely successful 2016 Nationals, the Club will offer competitors the fabulous local Ringwood beer at just £1 a pint!!

Lymington’s twenty-two strong J/80 fleet has been practicing hard for the J/80 Nationals- eighteen have competed in the summer-long weekly race series, with 12-14 boats routinely on the starting line.  Never to late to join in on the fun!  On-line entry, event information and tickets for social events can be found on the Club’s website.

J/105s sailing at Whidbey Island Race WeekWhidbey Island Race Week Preview
(Whidbey Island, WA)- An annual right of passage in the Pacific Northwest is to attend what many consider to be the “adult summer sailing camp” of the year- the infamous Whidbey Island Race Week.  It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular with sailors from the state of Washington and the province of British Columbia.  The entire week is predicated on having fun and the social calendar is heavily populated with all kinds of fun events.

That there are twenty-eight J’s racing of 68 boats registered (1/3 the fleet) is a testimonial to the broad popularity of the event. Sailing in PHRF 1 Racing are three J/109s (Ed Pinkham’s JEOPARDY, Tolga Cezik’s LODOS, & Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY), Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE, three J/29s (Veli-Juhani Levaho’s AMELIE, Christie Nelson’s SLICK, and Pat Denny’s HERE & NOW), Rex DuPuis’ J/30 GADZOOKS, Jay Pyles’ J/33 DASH, and David & Vernice Cohen’s J/90 EYE EYE.

J/105s sailing off Whidbey Island, WAThe ten-boat J/105 Class includes Tom Kerr’s CORVO, Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM, Chris Phoenix’s JADED, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE- in other words, the creme’d’la’creme of the Pacific Northwest J/105 fleet.

The J/80 class continues to expand.  This year there will be six boats, including Mike Poole’s JOLLY GREEN, David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL, Mike Gridley’s CRAY IVAN, and Lek Dimarucot’s UNDERDOG.  Finally, in PHRF 9 Cruising enjoying the festivities will be Steve Kirsch’s J/35C WILDFLOWER.  For more Whidbey Island Race Week sailing information

J/70 sailing Santa Barbara YC Fiesta CupFiesta Cup Regatta Preview
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The annual Fiesta Cup Regatta will be taking place this weekend in the “Riviera of America”- the famous crescent shaped miles long beach that forms the waterfront for Santa Barbara, California.  Hosting the event from their prominent position literally right on the beach/ waterfront will be the laid-back, fun-loving Santa Barbara Yacht Club.  Rolling out the proverbial red-carpet as their members always do for visiting yachtsmen, the SBYC will be entertaining a deeply talented fleet of nine J/70s representing several of California’s major sailing regions.

For starters, the local champions and top sailors cannot be underestimated.  The J/24 North American Champion Pat Toole is now sailing J/70s in the modern version of THREE BIG DOGS.  They have been quick learners and, in due course, have started to regularly punch in top three finishes at various J/70 regattas over the past few months in the Southern California J/70 circuit- a very talented group to start with.  Also, from the local fleet that has done well on a regional and national basis is Scott Deardorff’s CAKE.  Then, sailing an all-women’s team on CUP CAKE will be Heidi Zisskind’s crew from Santa Barbara YC.  Other top teams include multiple West Coast J/80 Champion Curt Johnson on AVET 2.01; he, too, like Toole’s BIG DOGGERs, has been on a fast learning curve and is getting comfortable sailing at the top of the leaderboard.  Then, a J/70 West Coast Champion from San Diego, CA will be amongst the visitors hoping to steal the Fiesta Cup- Chris Snow and John Brigden’s COOL STORY BRO.  Should be an entertaining weekend of racing in Santa Barbara, famous for massive kelp beds and wild puffs off the bluffs!  For more Santa Barbara Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

There were two World Championships that took place in Europe this past week as well as two significant offshore races that took place in the Americas.  In Europe, the Offshore Sailing World Championship was sailed off the beaches of The Hague, Netherlands, sailing out of the Scheveningen yacht harbor.  A J/112E just completed what many consider to be one of the comebacks of the century in the 49-boat IRC/ORC C Class.  Then, just south of them, the J/80 World Championships were being sailed out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France for a fleet of 70+ teams from 14 nations around the world; again it was a repeat battle from last year’s championship between the top Spanish and French teams that all had truly world-class talent on each boat.  As if that wasn’t enough Worlds/ Olympic caliber competition, the Italian J/70 Nationals were sailed on Lago di Garda (Lake Garda) off the picturesque lakeside village of Malcesine, Italy for a fleet of 73-boats!  Off to southwestern Ireland, we have a report from the conclusion of the Volvo Round Ireland Race off Wicklow Harbour, Ireland.  Then, we find the incredibly popular biennial CORK Week being sailed in the Atlantic Ocean off Cork, Ireland for a fleet of J/109s and a fast J/122.

Hopping over to the Americas, there was complete domination by J/122s of big offshore races, famous ones at that!  For starters, a J/122 was awarded overall honors in the annual Bayview Mackinac Race that is raced the entire length of Lake Huron from the start at Port Huron to the top of the lake at Mackinac Island.  The race went down as the slowest on record!  Yet another J/122E (the new luxurious European version), sailed an extraordinary race to take overall honors in the Vic-Maui Race, an event that starts in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and finishes in Maui, Hawaii, 2,308nm distant.

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:

Jul 16-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
Jul 19-20- Edgartown Race Week- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 19-22- Whidbey Island Race Week- Whidbey Island, WA
Jul 20-29- Travemunde Race Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 21- Chicago to Mackinac Race- Chicago, IL
Jul 21- Edgartown Round Island Race- Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 21-22- Fiesta Cup- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-28- J/24 European Championship- Glucksburg, Germany
Jul 26-29- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26-29- J/105 North American Championship- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 26-29- J/35 North American Championship- Cheboygan, MI
Jul 27-29- J/88 Great Lakes Championship- Youngstown, NY
Jul 27- New England Solo-Twin- Newport, RI
Jul 27- Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 27-29- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 28-29- CanAm Regatta- Youngstown, NY
Jul 28- RORC Channel Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

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

J/112E J-Lance 12 sailing worlds- championJ-LANCE 12 Crowned World Sailing Offshore Champion!
The Dutch Team Stage Epic Comeback, Winning in the Last Race!
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship started on Monday for the fleet of 90 yachts from 15 nations. The fleet represented a diverse cross section of teams from around the world comprised of seasoned champions, newcomers and older production cruiser/racers, as well as brand new custom racing designs being sailed by professional crews and Corinthian amateurs.

The championship was sailed under a unique regatta/ scoring format. Each boat had a mandatory IRC/ ORC rating.  And, for the ORC scoring, there were four winds ranges to select from.  The scores of each race were a combination of both your IRC and ORC handicap finish positions.  Then, the regatta format started with one long offshore race of 135nm, with a scoring gate at 60nm for Race 1 score, and the finish of the offshore counted as Race 2- for a 2x score that could not be thrown out.  Thereafter, it was four days of seven (7) windward-leeward inshore races right off the beaches of The Hague.

Class C had forty-nine boats from twelve nations across Europe; it was by far the largest most competitive class in the event with numerous World, European, and Olympic champions aboard many boats.  Starting so many big boats on one starting line proved to be a challenge with so many pro’s fighting for every millimeter of advantage! Most races started off with at least one general recall, and often more with the “U” flag flying.

J-Lance 12 team- winners Offshore Sailing WorldAfter starting themselves off in the depths of despair on the first day, posting a 1st & 40th as their first scores and starting out the regatta in 12th place, Gideon Messink’s team on the J/112E J-LANCE 12 (Nic Bol, Ko Stroo, Rick Bomer, Yves de Block, Martin Rinckes) staged the comeback of the century to climb back up the leaderboard and win an epic battle in the last race to be crowned World Champions.  What’s more, they did it sailing with only six (6) crew versus all their top competitors that sailed at maximum weight and bodies (8-9 people)! Despite their self-imposed handicap for righting moment, sailing in at least six races where crew weight on the rail mattered, the J-LANCE 12 team never lost their composure. They sailed smart and fast, and completed the regatta with a 1-40-4.5-1-3-5-10-3-(43) tally for 66.5 pts net and a five-point margin of victory.  Perhaps most remarkable about their performance was the fact the J-LANCE 12 team of mostly Dutch sailors had only one weekend of training on the boat, and all of them were brand new to the boat!  Here are the daily highlights below on how they accomplished their epic comeback.

Day 1- Saturday- Practice
Under bright sunny skies and a gentle 10 knots of wind, many entries made it out to the race areas to test the waters of the North Sea in preparation for the next day’s opening round of races in The Hague Offshore Sailing Worlds 2018. The conditions were perfect to test not only the racers and their inshore racing skills, but also the race committee team members led by Peter Anink on their skills of handling a highly competitive fleet.

Bruno Finzi, Chairman ORC, said, "ORC was founded almost 50 years ago as a service to the sailors, and for the past 20 years we have helped organize World Championships. We have been working towards a unified system, and are pleased to have this championship represent a good start towards this goal."

"Along with our partners in IRC-UNCL, we too are pleased with the efforts made to having this combined World Championship event," said Michael Boyd, past Commodore RORC. "There were many that have worked hard for this, and we thank them all."

J/112E J-Lance 12 sailing World Offshore regattaDay 2- Sunday/ Monday- Offshore Races 1 & 2
The sun continued to shine at the start of racing on the first day, with many thousands of beachgoers watching nearly a thousand sailors on their boats in the fleet start the long offshore race portion of the program.

Class B & C competitors were sent on a 135nm long course with a scoring gate set at 60nm. By having a scoring gate, race officials were able to scale two races at once, a clever and efficient way to fulfill the offshore sailing requirement in this championship, since the remainder of the week will feature only windward/leeward courses, with seven races planned for around-the-buoys.

Wind forecasts for the offshore race were consistent, with the forecast being a light northerly seabreeze, light enough to postpone the start from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, as race managers had to wait to for the breeze to become steady enough to set a windward leg, before the fleet headed off on their respective courses. With the complex currents and numerous exclusion zones throughout the course areas, navigators would be busy all day and night.

But, it was not be easy; the light air conditions were tricky, and changes were in the forecast for the evening as the onshore northerly switches to being a light offshore east/southeaster at night, and then, switching back to being a light northerly onshore wind once the land starts heating up again in the morning (e.g. “reach for the beach”!).

At the first 60nm gate, the “1st offshore race” was concluded, with Gideon Messink's J/112E J-LANCE 12 scoring their first win of the regatta. 

However, the next 95nm proved to be a roller coaster ride for the J-LANCE 12 team. After leading the race for 110nm (both boat-for-boat and on corrected time) at the last mark rounding off the Netherlands coastline, it was just 25nm to go to the finish.  At 0700 hours, it looked good for the J-LANCE 12 team sailing in the light offshore southeasterly winds sailing down the rhumbline.  But, by 1100 hrs when the sun was up, heating up the shoreline quickly, the wind died and shifted onshore from the northwest, very light at first, then building into a seabreeze of 6-8 kts.  This wind scenario was predicted for over 48 hours by the weather models (gribs). Somehow, the J-LANCE 12 team did not get that “memo”. 

Just northwest of the harbor at Ijmuiden in the mid-morning breeze, about 25 miles from the finish, J-LANCE 12 and the X-37 Hansen were on rhumbline leading boat-for-boat.  However, like a car wreck on the highway, J-LANCE 12 stopped, followed by Hansen and the pack of 3 other boats around them- the Farr 30 Cheyenne (SWE), the Melges 32 Old Jug (GER) and the Cossutti 36 Katarina II (EST).

Meanwhile, the first boat from back in the midpack to “hit the beach” was the Waarschip 36 Hubo (NED), a solid and seemingly hopeless 5.0nm behind the leaders. They came on fast from nowhere to grab the lead by flying along the beaches and never let it go for the remaining 20 miles to the finish, bringing along with them a passing train of over two dozen boats. Other competitors, seeing Hubo do the end-around behind them, jumped on the train too, leaving those to the west helpless, with only Katarina and Hansen able to get out of the trap as they bailed much earlier than J-LANCE 12 by heading east as fast as they could go.

"We did not do very well in the first part of the race," said Hubo’s skipper Eric van Vuuren, "but we did have a game plan to hit the beach hard on the final leg and pick up the sea breeze late in the morning.”

"Besides the weather forecast and knowing the tides, we also used the AIS system quite a bit to see what the others were doing," said Hubo navigator John van der Starre (ironically, for J/Boats owners- you will recognize him as the co-owner of the famous doublehanded champion in the Netherlands sailing his J/122E AJETO).

The results were spectacular, slinging Hubo and others in their wake into the lead to finish well ahead of many other rivals who were ahead of them at the scoring gate by well over 5.0nm (in other words, they could not see the leaders at the time).

So, after all that drama in Class C, sitting in third was Alain Bornet's J/109 JAI ALAI (NED) on scores of 5-6; a beneficiary of jumping on the “Hubo train” down the coast in the lightly building onshore seabreeze.  Meanwhile, “out at sea”, J-LANCE 12 was eating “humble pie”, having to gybe inshore at a horrible angle, watching 25 boats sail past them and, ultimately, go from an easy winning position down to 20th place on corrected time (40 pts that could not be thrown out).  For them, tomorrow was only going to be a better day.

J/112E J-Lance 12 sailing off starting lineDay 3- Tuesday Inshore Races
In contrast to the past few days of light shifty winds, Tuesday’s superb 12-17 knot southerly breeze made for fast and furious racing on all courses. And, so even with a later 1300 start, Principal Race Officer Peter Anink informed everyone that two inshore races would be held to take advantage of the favorable conditions.

The southerly breeze combined with a south-flowing flood current to bring even more pressure on the water as well as some big waves, so all teams had to be at their best to avoid being over early at the starts and running into turning marks.

With an impressive crowd of 49 boats on the start line of the south course area, Class C was particularly difficult to control, but had only one general recall in the day's second race. On the Class C course area, the ORC High option was used for the first race, and the ORC Medium option for the second, as the tide diminished in strength.

Loving the conditions and working on their path to redemption was Messink’s J/112E J-LANCE 12.  After nearly winning the first race and settling for a 4th place, they won the second race comfortably to post their second bullet of the regatta. At the beginning of the day, they started in 12th place, after the first race of the day they had jumped up to 8th place, and with their win in the day’s finale, had leapt into 4th place; by far the single biggest leap up the standings of ANY boat in the regatta.  Yesterday’s winners were mostly Tuesday’s “dog meat”, virtually every single boat in the top ten from the previous day ALL had double-digit finishes; as a result, most of them got punished on the leaderboard, a scenario that will continue to unfold in a tough fleet of 49 world-class competitors.

More inshore racing was planned for Wednesday, but with an earlier start time of 1100 hrs. The wind forecast was in the light to moderate 7-11 knot range. The first race Wednesday would be the fifth in the series, and thus the worst scores among all but the long offshore race would be discarded, to further shuffle the standings.

J/112E sailing upwind of The Hague, NetherlandsDay 4- Wednesday Inshore Races
While there was no change at the top of the leaderboards, the fight for the other podium positions remained keen as the points totals tighten up going into tomorrow as the penultimate day of the event. And, unlike yesterday's booming southerly with its big waves, today's moderate flat-water conditions in a sunny southwesterly helped keep the action tight on both course areas.

Another significance to today's two races is that tomorrow's fifth inshore race will trigger a worst-race discard opportunity, and further compress the results: those teams who are otherwise strong but may have got unlucky in the short offshore race or one of the inshore races will now have a chance to advance.

In Class C, the fleet sailed in different winds than the A-B course further north: winds were lighter and shiftier, prompting race managers to do many course changes and score the two races using the Low Triple Number ratings. This fleet was also quite aggressive, earning numerous general recalls before the U flag went up to hold them back off the start line.

The class leader is holding on to their position, but slowly shedding their point advantage to the second place boat.  Gideon Messink's J/112E J-LANCE 12 is only one of two teams in the class who have nothing but single-digit scores for all the inshore races.  As a result, after two days of racing (5 races), they jumped from 12th to 2nd, an enormous delta against such a hot, competitive fleet of boats.

"We've been sailing very conservatively, until now," said Messink. "We had a bad result in the second offshore, maybe we could have prevented that one. The rest of the week, we've had good results, but that first place is going to be very hard. We don't have the illusion to win this regatta, but we're still going for a podium spot. Tomorrow, we'll try and find the Swedish First 36.7 Team Pro4u more on the water, and sail a bit less conservatively."

J/112E sailing downwind- Offshore Sailing Worlds- NetherlandsDay 5- Thursday Inshore Races
With yet another sunny day on the North Sea coast, and in a little gentler wind than in the last few days, another two inshore races were held. The completion of the first race prompted a discard of the worst race score for all competitors, with the exception of the twice-weighted long offshore race. And as predicted, this action compressed and dramatically reshuffled the results in Class C, making the race for the podium positions even tighter in this class.

And, for the first time, the Low range of ORC ratings was used to score the first race, but a slight pressure increase prompted race managers to shift to the Medium range in the second race.

In Class C, up until today, the highly modified First 36.7 Pro4U (SWE) had been doing so well that their lead looked unassailable, especially after their drop. However, two high scores earned today pushed them back to within reach of the reigning IRC European champion, Gideon Messink's J/112E J LANCE, only 7 points behind. Messink and his team have been strong in the inshore racing and scored their only double-digit result today in six inshore races sailed, so the Swedes are worried.

Pro4U's skipper Johan Tuvstedt said, "It was a really tough day for us, and tomorrow will be difficult. J-LANCE 12 is rated 10% faster than us, so we cannot control them. But, they can control us. If we had only ducked one boat we would not be in this position..."

He is referring to a mark rounding where tacking inside on a thin layline rather than ducking made them hit the mark, hook the mark, and in the ensuing chaos have to get the mark off and take penalty turns, leading to an uncharacteristic 24th place earned in the last race. So, its all on tomorrow for the Class C Gold!

J/112E J-Lance 12 tacking upwindDay 6- Friday- Epic, Dramatic Finale!
Going into the last day, J-LANCE 12 was seven points ahead on total points, but six points back on net points versus the regatta leader from day one- the Swedish crew on the modified First 36.7 Team Pro4u.  It was clear the objective for Messink’s J-LANCE 12 crew was to match race their rivals into the bottom of the fleet.

On a day that produced another beautiful breeze that was shifting back and forth from the northwest at around 6-10 kts, the J-LANCE 12 crew went to work at the 4:00 minute signal, match-racing their Swedish Team Pro4u rivals going into the start and simply matched them tack for tack, driving them deep down the fleet.  By the time the double windward-leeward race had finished, the J-LANCE 12 crew was ecstatic, celebrating  their epic win as they crossed the finish line, knowing this was their drop race and, more importantly, their competitor had to use their 39th as their toss race. In fact, the Swedes were driven so far down, they dropped from 1st on the leaderboard at the start of the day down to 3rd.  Messink’s crew won the regatta by five points net.  A truly amazing performance that will be talked about for a long time to come, especially, in European offshore sailing circles!

Another strong performance by a J/Team was posted by Alain Bornet’s J/109 JAI ALAI.  After the two offshore races at the beginning of the regatta, they stood in 3rd place.  In the next seven inshore races, they rode a roller-coaster, at one point dropping to 9th place, not surprising considering how tight the fleet was and how easy it was to pick up double-digit scores.  However, in the end they closed with three single-digit scores of 6.5-7-8.5 to leap back into the top five, finishing in 5th place- a great result for a J/109 in that fleet of 49 boats!  For more Offshore World Championship sailing information

J/80 World ChampionsHOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA Wins 5th J/80 Worlds!
Spanish Teams Win the Battle Over the French
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- The Sports Nautiques Sablais YC in Les Sables d’Olonne, France hosted the J/80 World Championship from the 9th to the 13th July.  The seventy-boat fleet enjoyed a tremendous variety of weather conditions, but in the end the full-on battle between the top French and Spanish teams at the top of the leaderboard saw the Spanish prevail, as they have done for over eight previous J/80 Worlds in the past.

J/80 Princess Yaiza Hotel- wins WorldsAfter fourteen races, the remarkably poised team from Spain, Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, managed what no other J/80 crew have done, win an unprecedented, record, fifth World title!  Rayco Tabares commented on their performance, “this was a very tough championship. We piled the pressure on “Garatu” yesterday and today we enjoyed a virtually flawless day, compared to our direct rivals, getting off to some solid starts. We’re very happy to pocket a fifth World J/80 Champion title here in Les Sables d’Olonne. The J/80 Class is great as it’s really the crew, tuning and trimming the sails that make the difference. Amazingly, we’ve won all five World Championships on charter boats!! For my part, I’m now going to focus on the J/70 Worlds, which will be held in the United States in September at Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.”

Below are the daily reports on how Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA crew managed to overcome their slow start and, ultimately, climb up the leaderboard onto the podium yet again.

J/80 Worlds startDay One
Under the leadership of the Race Committee (managed by Corinne Aubert), the fleet was treated to three closely fought races around the cans.  What made it more challenging was the particularly fluky northeasterly breeze of around 5-10 kts in glorious sunshine.

The provisional standings at the end of the day saw the Spanish crew “IBO.ES”, fifth at the 2017 J/80 Worlds, headed by Javier Chacartegui, leading the regatta with an amazingly steady 3-3-3 record!  In second place, was another Spanish Iberian boat, GARATU skippered by Iker Almondoz, and sitting third was French Finistère sailor Simon Moriceau, skippering ARMEN HABITAT.

Javier Chacartegui on IBO.ES said, “we’re satisfied. Obviously, it’s been a great day, as we’ve taken the lead in the Worlds. We posted consistent performances in today’s three races by ensuring we were always well placed for some sound tactical moves. Things have kicked off in the best possible way for us, but there’s still a long way to go until Friday.”

J/80s sailing on reachDay Three
After three days of competition and eight races, the fleet continued to enjoy great racing conditions.  Today, it was an easterly breeze of 10-15 kts, blowing offshore, so much shiftier than the onshore sea breezes.

Chacartegui IBO.ES lost their pole position to Almondoz’s GARATU; they are now leading the fleet by 12 pts over Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA, the reigning J/80 World Champions.  Fifteen points behind in third is Juan Luiz Perez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA. So, the top three are all Spanish teams!

Frenchman Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, with multiple Tour de France à la Voile winner Pierre-Loïc Berthet calling tactics, is currently lying in fourth place. Meanwhile, the Russian Alexei Semenov’s NEW TERRITORIES (with Hugo Rocha aboard- a J/80 World Champion and 470 bronze Medallist in the Atlanta Olympic Games) is lying in fifth position.

Marc Reine, top sailing coach for the French Sailing Federation commented, “there are two coaches at these Worlds including myself and Benoit Charon. Our aim is to make sure a French crew wins the Worlds. We’ve been hunting down this title for some years now. The Spanish crews have several things in their favor, which makes them a little bit better than our ‘top’ crews. In my view, they have slightly more stabilized teams, namely they’ve been sailing together a long time and they’re more opportunistic in certain sailing phases. Even though they’ve got the overall ranking well covered, we’re going to do everything we can to get them.”

J/80 Worlds- unders spinnakerDay Four
The fourth day of competition saw another very beautiful day of sailing on the Bay of Biscay, with the thermal sea breezes producing onshore winds of a steady 18 kts.

Maintaining a slim lead was the Basque skipper, Iker Almondoz on GARATU.  Closing the gap and putting a lot of pressure on their Spanish colleagues was the Canary Islands crew of Tabares on HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA. Still maintaining third by a very slim margin was Paez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA.

Tabares commented, "here is another beautiful day for our crew! We return to be amongst the leaders and we are now in the capacity to win the Worlds! Our DSQ for a premature start a few days ago, hopefully, should not pose a problem for us!”

Meanwhile, the French contingent, big fans of the J/80 class, just don’t seem to have found the magic ingredient in the Vendée with which to break the Iberian hegemony; and that is despite repeated efforts from the crews of Simon Moriceau, winner of one race today, Vianney Guilbaut on “AG+ Spars” and Sylvain Pellissier on “Intuitive Sails”.

Rayco Tabares, “Hotel Princesa Yaiza”, 2nd: “What a great day for our crew! We’re back on the top spot in the overall ranking and we’re now in a position to win the Worlds tomorrow. Our disqualification for overshooting the start a few days ago, hopefully, is not an issue.”

J/80s sailing World ChampionshipDay Five- Finale
The final day had nice breezes again and it was clear from the outset that it was going to be an epic HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA day.  Starting smart and fast, Tabares’ crew smoked the fleet for two bullets to win their 5th J/80 World Championship by a margin of seven points!

Rounding out the podium was the Spanish Almondoz’s GARATU in second and the top French team- Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT- in the bronze position.  Notably Moriceau’s crew got themselves going a day too late, posting the best record of any crews of a 6-1-2-6-3 in the last five races.

Moriceau commented on their performance, “we began the day with a second place, which enabled us to catch up with our direct rivals in the overall ranking. After that, we continued on a roll by being opportunistic and we achieved our goal of finishing on the podium. We’ll be in Bilbao, Spain in 2019 in a bid to win the next Worlds from our friends in Spain!”

The winner of the Corinthians Division was Paez’s PUENTE ROMANO MARBELLA from Spain, also taking a 4th in the Open Division. Second Corinthians was another Spanish crew- Chacartegui’s IBO.ES, the early regatta leader.  And, third was the French Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPE JEUNE IXINIA (also the top Youth team).

In the MIXED Division (50% women), it was Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS that won.  She commented, “it was a superb championship, superb weather, superb Race Committee, superb sailing area. We’ve had an absolute ball throughout the whole week at these Worlds. We’re happy with our result, which matched up to the objective we set ourselves.”  Taking second in that division was Remy Hurdiel’s DUNKERQUE VOILE- WHITE SAILS and third Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN.

In the MASTERS Division (average age 46+), it was the British team of Jon Powell’s BETTY that took the honors.  Second was an Irish team, Dan O’Grady’s JAMMY. And, third was the Dutch team on LED2LEASE skippered by Otte Jan Golverdingen.

J/80 womens crew- World ChampionshipThe WOMENS Division (all women’s team) was an all-French sweep of the podium.  Taking the crown was Elodie Bonafous’ ECOLE NAVALE/ CDV 29, followed in second by Clara Scheiwiller’s CLICK & BOAT- LADIES NORMANDIE, and third was Isabelle Maggiar’s LES MISSMERS DE L’OUEST.

The YOUTH DIVISION was also an all-French affair on the podium.  Winners were Jeremy Jean’s APCC EQUIPE JEUNE IXINIA, with Theo Carayon’s VITEL COTES D’ARMOR SAILING TEAM in second and Oussama Lotfi’s MERITIS TEAM SRR in third.

Bernard Devy, President of the Organising Committee for the J/80 Worlds, said, “we’re delighted as we feel as if we put on a great World Championship for the numerous competitors, who were full-on both on land and at sea. The atmosphere was great throughout the week. The organizing committee has been working on the organization of this competition for a little over a year. Thank you to all the volunteers and obviously our partners, which include the town of Les Sables d’Olonne and its suburbs, the Vendée department, the Pays de la Loire region and Port Olonne... Finally, the SN Sablais congratulates all the racers and the winners of the different rankings.”

Ludovic Gilet, President of the French J/80 Class remarked, “it’s a fantastic result: perfect weather, competitors who fought to the very last. Since yesterday evening, there was just one point separating the first and second placed teams. We couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. I think I can safely say that all the competitors had fun on the race course in Les Sables d’Olonne. Unfortunately, the Spanish dominated proceedings once again, but our French crews were valiant throughout the competition. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to the SN Sablais who, together with the French Class, organized these Worlds. The volunteers from the SN Sablais, Les Sables d’Olonne and the Class have been fantastic! Thank you, too, to the umpires, the Race Committee and its PRO Corinne Aubert. Finally, I’d like to add that Rayco Tabares’ crew sailed these Worlds on a new J/80 supplied by J/Composites- a completely standard boat! That just goes to show that you don’t need a boat specifically prepared for the Worlds to secure victory!”  Sailing photo credits- Pierrick Contin.

Winners interview- Rayco Tabares- Princess Yaiza Hotels

Follow the J/80 World Championships on Facebook here.  For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/122E Blitzkrieg- winners Bayview Mackinac RaceJ/122 BLITZKRIEG Blitzes Bayview-Mackinac Fleet!
(Port Huron, MI)- The “slowest race in decades” implies and defines the light winds that plagued the 2018 edition of the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which began on Saturday, July 14. Over fifty boats had dropped out of the race, many due to the consideration they wanted to complete the delivery all the way to Chicago for the start of the Chicago-Mackinac Race!

199 boats started the 93-year-old race. The largest brand represented in the fleet was J/sailors from across the Great Lakes- thirty-three crews in total; virtually all of them sailed the 259nm Cove Island Course.

The Overall winner and Class E winner was Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKREIG from Tecumseh, MI.  His crew included Zack Rush, Mike & Chris Cyrul, Terry Reid, Brian Goldberg, Rick Rothenbuhler, Bruce Huddleston, Paul Healy, and Chris Edwards.

J/109 Callisto- winner- Bayview Mackinac RaceSchaedler commented on their performance, “We got the boat this spring. It’s phenomenal, a great sailing boat, comfortable and fast. We sailed with 10 people.  Great race, fast crew, we were in the right place at the right time. We sailed down the rhumbline, either stopped or going slow all the time. We did 31 headsail changes, but kept going and never let up, always looking for wind. We’d see it and got to it, that’s what made the difference for us.”

Taking seventh Overall and the J/105 One-Design class win was Mark Symond’s PTERODACTYL, with crew of Matthew Morin, Arthur Rose, John Quinlan, Kevin & Mike Morin, Thac Nguyen, and Duane Rose.

Then, in ninth Overall and the J/109 One-Design class win was Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, with crew of Juan Lois, Brad Stocker, Douglas Wolfe, Katie & John Davis, Sam Kashy, and Rob Evans.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mackinac raceDivision I- Cove Island Course
Class D was comprised of only J/111s and J/120s, fourteen-boats in all.  In the end, it was the J/120s that won bragging rights this time around.  The J/120s swept the podium- winning was Geoff Brieden & Jeff Clark’s SCOUT, followed by Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, and J-HAWKER (Dave Sandlin, Ken Brown, Mark Pikula).

Sailing in the eleven-boat Class E were seven J/Teams. It was yet another sweep by J/teams.  Winning, of course, was Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG.  They were followed by Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL and Jim Murray’s J/109 CALLISTO.

The dozen-boat Class G (the “Level 35” class) had ten J/35s.  The top J/35s were Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST in second and Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON in third (btw, a team with 200+ years of Bayview-Mac experience on board, having won class 3x and the J/35 NA’s 5x!).

Perhaps the most amusing (or scary, depending on your point of view) element of this year’s race was the “Special Notice” that was posted on the Notice Board for all competitors.  In short, it read:

J/105 sailing Bayview Mackinac Race“We have been notified by the United States Air Force that a special training mission will be taking place on Monday, July 16th after 1400 hrs. in the special military training box noted on Lake Huron chart #14860 that lies 13 miles east of Thunder Bay. This exercise will involve dropping inert bombs from very high altitude B-52 aircraft (e.g. from 30-45,000 feet high).

Any BBBMR racing boat that is in that box after 1400 hrs on Monday will be escorted out of the box by the USCG cutter Bristol Bay. Failure to obey the USCG, US Air Force, or any other military or law enforcement representatives may result in those persons and vessel being taken into custody and/or fined. This warning supersedes the Racing Rules of Sailing and any other BBBMR race documents.”

Needless to say, given that it was a light air race and a large number of the Shore Course boats would be in the vicinity, many boats made sure they were well inshore of the “bombing box”!  For more Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

J/122E Joyride wins Vic-Maui RaceJ/122E JOYRIDE Tops Vic-Maui Race!
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)- The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, got underway July 1st. The 2,308nm course went from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

The lone J/Crew sailing the race was the gorgeous J/122E JOYRIDE from Seattle, WA skippered by her owner- John Murkowski from Seattle YC. They are one of the most successful offshore racing teams in the Pacific Northwest.

In the end, JOYRIDE took not only class I honors, but she also won the Vic-Maui Race Overall.  JOYRIDE finished at 0959 hrs in the morning of July 14th- Saturday; completing the course in 13d 2h 59m and corrected out ahead by 3h 6m. This was JOYRIDE’s first Vic-Maui and adds more silver to the trophy room after winning the Round Saltspring Race earlier this year!

J/122E Joyride crew swim celebrationIt was a gorgeous morning in Lahaina, and after hitting the dock to the traditional call of the conch shell and the welcome of their families, the JOY RIDE crew then celebrated with a swim off the transom. It was all fun until one of the family threw in a bar of soap as a reminder! “The trip of a lifetime and everything that was promised” is how John, navigator Bron Miller, and Alex Fox all described their first adventure across the Pacific. The only negative came from Bron, who described the plastic littering the ocean as more intense than he remembers from past trips- a sad reminder to us all.   Follow the Vic-Maui Race here on Facebook  Watch “live” real-time tracker of the fleet here   For more Vic-Maui Offshore Race sailing information

J/70 Italian National- Malcesine, ItalyCALVI NETWORK Crowned Italian J/70 Champion
(Malcesine, Italy)- The Fraglia Vela Malcesine hosted the 2018 edition of the Campionato J/70 Nazionale Italiano on the spectacular waters of Lago di Garda, Italy.  Enough said.  The truly fabulous sailing conditions experienced every summer on the famous “wind machine” known simply as “Garda” is worth the millions of spectacular photographs you may have seen over the course of several decades.  In this case, it was a truly spectacular long weekend of sailing for the nine races sailed by seventy-five entries from fourteen nations- Austria (3), France (1), Great Britain (1), Germany (8), Italy (34), Malta (1), Monaco (4), Poland (3), Russia (7), Switzerland (11), Sweden (1), Turkey (1), and the “foreigners” from offshore- USA (1) and Brazil (1).

J/70 sailing upwind on Lake Garda, ItalyIt was incredibly close, tight racing throughout the championship. Nevertheless, consistency was critical and avoiding any “death traps” getting caught outside of a group of boats and not being able to tack to the favored side of the course.  In the end, it was Gianfranco Noe’s crew on CALVI NETWORK that won by the comfortable margin of 11 pts, with 45 pts net after nine races.  In such a tight, deeply talented fleet, their performance was quite remarkable, other than a 5th race BFD, posting seven top 10 scores… no one else was even close to such consistency.

A long-time J/Owner over the course of time, Vincenzo Onorato, has sailed J/24s and a J/39 in his passion for sailing that has carried over into Melges 32 and Farr 40 World Championships.  However, J/70 success has proved elusive for Vincenzo.  The simpler the boat, the harder it is to win.  So, along comes a nice guy named Paul Goodison (who’s C.V. is not bad in the world of sailing), and with a little bit of training, they are working a bit of magic! For a long-time supporter of yachting in Italy and someone who loves one-design racing, it was gratifying for Vincenzo and crew to enjoy their best performance to date in the J/70 class.  Starting off with a 3-2-16-1, the goal was to stay out of trouble and sail fast!  Indeed, despite some issues in races 5 & 6, they closed with an amazing 3-7-4 to take the silver.

J/70 Petite Terrible- Claudia Rossi- 3rd Italian NationalsThe Princess of Italian J/70 sailing is undeniably PETITE TERRIBLE’s Claudia Rossi.  After two European Championships, her team is consistently at the top of their game and always in contention at the top of the leaderboard.  After a strong start of 5-3-9, a BFD-21 torpedoed their bid for the Italian National Championship.  Nevertheless, her team of Michele Paoletti, Simone Spangaro, Matteo Mason and Gaia Ciacchi are still, by far, the most consistent Italian team.  Rounding out the top five were Luca Domenici’s NOTARO TEAM in 4th and Tommaso Pavan’s VIVA team in 5th place.  For more Italian J/70 Class sailing information

J/122 wins Round IrelandJ/Teams Win Round Ireland Race!
J/122 Leads IRC 2, J/109 Tops IRC 3!
(Wicklow, Ireland)- July has brought sizzling good fortune to J/Teams in the United Kingdom & Ireland, with tremendous success in the granddaddy of all offshore races on the Irish sailing calendar- in fact, the longest competed for on a regular basis.

"A hidden gem and a perfect fit for the island nation."  That’s how the 700nm Volvo Round Ireland Race can be summed up by veterans and newcomers alike.  Far from the popular image of blazered “yachties” Round Ireland race track maplolling aimlessly around the marina, this is a tough challenge involving few creature-comforts and plenty of rigor for the best part of a week at sea. But, the upsides are worth it and even if only one boat can win, judging by the celebrations in Wicklow Sailing Club at the end of previous races, just completing the course is considered a huge achievement.

This year’s event was one of the more remarkable on record.  Why? Because the fact was, that this crazy event- dominated weather-wise by unprecedented High pressure over the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean- went along its 700-mile course, there were times when the pundit’s predictions seemed woefully off the mark, as in completely askew!

Mostly northeast winds dominated the early part of the event, sometimes with very considerable strength, becoming nor’westerly and then southeasterly at the end.

Irish coastlineSoutheast of the line from Fair Head to Mizen Head, the conditions made for reasonably fair and manageable racing. But northwest of that line, out along the Wild Atlantic Way, it was unfair in every way.  It was a slogging match in which whoever could slog the hardest and the mostest and the fastest and in the best direction was ultimately going to come out top. Because, that meant they were soonest back into reasonable conditions where they could make sailing hay and live again.

It meant that at different stages, many boats had their moment in the sun of success in addition to being in sun-factor-50 conditions of bright, if hazy ultra-sun from dawn to dusk.

Eight J’s entered the bi-annual Volvo Round Ireland Race, where the rule is simply to leave Ireland and her islands to starboard.

J/122 winners of Round Ireland RaceFirst J/crew into the finish line off Wicklow Harbour after the brutally demanding race, like punching upwind in 45 kts and 10 foot seas off the rugged northwest coast of Ireland, was Chris & Pat-Anne Power Smith’s J/122 AURELIA from Royal St George YC.  As a result of their tremendous crew, they pulled off a win in IRC 2 class and took third in IRC Overall!

Chris commented, “A class win was our strong ambition against very experienced and tough competition, including the X41 and the JPK 10.80.  After five strenuous days and nights of relentless close quarters sailing over the 704nm course, we finally managed to cross the line 150 meters ahead of the higher rated X41 for the Class win. The icing on the cake was that we won top ISORA boat of 18 starters, and third overall in the 52 boat IRC Fleet. The J/122 performed flawlessly and comfortably on all points of sail in winds from near calm to over 25 knots.”

J/109 winners of Round Island RaceFor the J/109 teams, as ever, there was much at stake. Ireland’s Defence Forces were represented by Commandant Barry Byrne (originally from Wicklow) and navigator Mick Liddy with the J/109 JOKER II. Like every other boat in this demanding 700-mile race, JOKER II has had her moments of glory and her times of frustration. But, as they approached the finish line off Wicklow in the late afternoon, the dying seabreeze wasn’t helping them much. JOKER II slowly crawled to the finish to win the Services Trophy Overall, take 1st in IRC 3 Class, and the silver in IRC Overall!  A fantastic performance for the Irish Defence Forces team!  For more Volvo Round Ireland sailing information

Cork Week- Round Fastnet Rock RaceVolvo Cork Week Reports
(Cork, Ireland)- 120 teams from eight different nations will compete at Volvo Cork Week, enjoying up to six days of racing in the Celtic Sea and Cork Harbour on a variety of courses. This year, the biennial regatta organized by the Royal Cork Yacht Club is celebrating 40 years and Volvo Cork Week continues to provide fantastic racing, superb award wining facilities and great fun ashore.

Volvo Cork Week provides racing for yachts racing under IRC, including the highly popular non-spinnaker and coastal classes. Once again, Volvo Cork Week will include an offshore element to the Beaufort Cup with a race around the iconic Fastnet Rock. All competitors will take part in the scenic yet tactically challenging Cork Harbour Race. For 2018, Volvo Cork Week will also feature Southern Championships for One Design Classes: 1720 Class, the International Dragon Class, and the SB20 Class.

“There have been big changes for the format of this year's regatta, splitting up into a number of different series. This was done to ensure that we were catering for everyone's needs,” commented Volvo Cork Week Chairman, Kieran O'Connell. “We have teams from 32 yacht clubs and entries are up 30% on 2016, which shows that the new format is working for people.”

Full podcast with Tom MacSweeney here.

J/109s sailing Cork WeekThe Beaufort Cup starts with the challenging Fastnet Race on Monday 16th July followed by three days of short course racing to test the all round ability of the teams. Beaufort Cup entries feature 50% of the crew coming from active personnel in the Armed Forces and Emergency Services. 17 teams will be racing from Ireland, Great Britain and the United States of America. The inaugural Beaufort Cup was held as part of the 2016 edition of Volvo Cork Week, Commandant Barry Byrne skippered the Irish Defence Forces to victory, and the team is back to defend their title. The winner will once again nominate a charity to win €10,000.

“The Beaufort Cup is fully part of Volvo Cork Week, and any team competing is eligible for the boat of the week,” commented Barry Byrne. “The Beaufort Cup is challenging, and a test in a real environment of leadership, team work and resilience, which are all values of the services we represent. The inter-services rivalry is very exciting; something special that raises the level of the competition, whilst still keeping the friendly rivalry and banter, which is brilliant. The field has really toughened up this year; everyone competing has done their best to raise their game. It is a great fleet and the fastest growing element of Volvo Cork Week.”

J/109 sailing Cork WeekDay One- Monday
“If you don't like the weather at Volvo Cork Week – wait a minute,” is the common refrain you here around the Cork waterfront.

A mixture of clear blue skies and blankets of clouds made for highly changeable conditions for the first day of Volvo Cork Week. Thankfully, the warm sunshine won the day, providing light air racing in beautiful Cork Harbour and the Celtic Sea. The teams returned to the dock with color in their cheeks, a glint in the eye, and a thirst for the refreshments at the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Racing kicked off with an early start for the 17 teams racing in The Beaufort Cup, which set off on a 150-mile offshore race from Cork Harbour, bound for the Fastnet Rock and back to the finish. After a fly-by from the Irish Air Force, the Baltimore RNLI team, skippered by Andrew Algeo, and the Irish Defence Force team, led by Barry Byrne, got away to a great start with the duo leading the fleet past the iconic town of Cobh. However, it was Simon Coveney's Irish Defence Force team that led out of Cork Harbour and away along the south coast of Ireland. The fleet will be on the wind for the first night, and expected to make the Fastnet Rock in the early hours of Tuesday 17th July.

J/boats fleet sailing Cork WeekDay Two- Tuesday
The wind gods smiled on the second day with a 15-knot southwesterly piping up, giving the international fleet a day to remember in the Celtic Sea. Barry Byrne's J/109 Irish Defence Forces team came from behind to win the double points scoring Fastnet Race for the Beaufort Cup. During the 130-mile race, four teams swapped the lead in an intense battle around the Fastnet Lighthouse. Meanwhile 100 teams were competing inshore for the second day of Volvo Cork Week. A long coastal race, in good breeze along the wild South Coast of Ireland produced fantastic racing.

The Irish Defence Force team, racing J/109 JOKER 2, skippered by Barry Byrne, opened their defence of the Beaufort Cup with a win in the 150 mile Fastnet Race. After digging in for trench warfare, with a beat all the way to the Fastnet Rock, JOKER 2 was fourth around the iconic lighthouse, and picked off the leaders to take the gun by just over four minutes from the Baltimore Lifeboat team skippered by Youen Jacob. The Baltimore Lifeboat team, with Olympian Peter O'Leary calling tactics staged their own comeback, sailing offshore into extra breeze to move up the ranks and threaten the leaders. Tánaiste Simon Coveney (Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland) racing J/109 JEDI, with an Irish Defence Force Team, led the fleet for much of the race, but lost out in the last few hours to come third.

The Fastnet Race is a double scoring race for the Beaufort Cup, three days of inshore racing will decide the overall winner, who will also nominate a donation of 10,000 Euros to the charity of their choice.

“Incredible,” commented Barry Byrne as JOKER 2 crossed the finish line of the Fastnet Race for the Beaufort Cup. “The offshore race was a great battle, we were fourth at the Fastnet, but I knew that we were still in it, and we were confident of our downwind speed. We know the job is not done yet. We have three more days of racing with no discard and the last race will be weighted 1.5. The level of competition is very high, probably the highest at Volvo Cork Week.”

Barry Byrne- skipper of Irish Defence Force J/109 Joker IIFull Audio Interview with Irish Defence Forces Commandant Barry Byrne:

In IRC One, Jonathan Anderson's J/122 EL GRAN SENOR (Clyde Cruising Club) was today's winner. “I have been coming here for year's, because it is always a good regatta,” commented Jonathan. “We were competing with the same team in Bangor a few weeks ago, and we have a great crew. We have managed to beat Conor Phelan's Jump Juice in two races, which is a rarity, and there are plenty of well sailed boats in the class.”

In IRC Two, Ronan Harris' J/109 JIGAMAREE (Royal Irish YC) corrected out to win by under a minute from yesterday's winner, Dunlop & Cox's J/109 MOJITO (Pwllheli SC). “I am a Cork Week virgin,” admitted Ronan Harris. “I have a home in Baltimore and love to come and sail in West Cork. We are having a cracking battle with MOJITO. We chose to duck them near the end of today's race, and it worked out for us, plus the crew did a good job getting us through the light airs patch near the finish.”

J/122 sailing Cork WeekDay 3- Wednesday
85 yachts formed an impressive single starting line for Volvo Cork Week's signature race in the beautiful surroundings of Cork Harbour. After a General Recall, the fleet readied themselves for a Black Flag restart, which was far from conservative, many of the massive starting line up hitting the line on the B of the Bang! A kaleidoscope of spinnakers made for an amazing sight as the fleet entered Cork Harbour for close quarters racing past Spike Island and Cobh. Race Officers Jack Roy and Rob Lamb were roundly applauded at the daily prize giving for their team’s efforts in producing a great day of racing.

The Beaufort Cup switched to inshore mode for the Harbour Race. Barry Byrne's Irish Defence Force team, racing JOKER 2, pulled off a Harry Houdini Act to win the race by just seven seconds from Simon Coveney's Irish Defence Forces Team, racing JEDI. JOKER 2 was deep down in the class rounding in front of Cobh, but came back with some tenacity. The two J/109s were overlapped going through the finish line, JEDI took the gun by one second but JOKER 2 was the victor after time correction. Youen Jacob's Baltimore RNLI team, racing J/109 JUGGERKNOT was third. JOKER 2 now has a three-point lead in their defence of the Beaufort Cup. JEDI and JUGGERKNOT are tied for second place.

In IRC Two, Brian & Mary Jones' J/109 JELLY BABY (Royal Cork YC) put in a strong performance to win the Harbour Race and in doing so lead the class for the series after three races but only on countback from Dunlop & Cox's J/109 MOJITO (Pwllheli SC).

J/109s sailing offfshore- Cork WeekDay 4- Thursday
After a delayed start, a warm sea breeze blew into Volvo Cork Week to give over a thousand sailors champagne conditions in the Celtic Sea outside Cork Harbour. Leaders in all classes are emerging but many of them will be going to the wire.

For the Beaufort Cup, Barry Byrne’s Irish Defence Forces team, racing J/109 Joker 2, still lead the series but their lead has been cut down to just three points after two races today. Youen Jacob’s Baltimore RNLI team, racing J/109 Juggerknot, moved up to second place, and could have gone into the lead, but for a headsail problem in the first race.

In IRC Two, Ronan Harris’ J/109 JIGAMAREE (Royal Irish YC) was in sparkling form, winning both of today’s races to go top of the class after five races. Brian & Mary Jones J/109 JELLY BABY (Royal Cork YC) scored two podium results, but dropped to second, just two points off the lead. Dunlop & Cox’s J/109 MOJITO (Pwllheli SC) now sits in third.

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What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Round the Island Race start* Memories were strong for a number of J/Boats owners after their fantastic success in the recent 60nm-long Round Island Race; that fabulously popular blast around the Isle of Wight with 1,000+ boats sailing.  Here are some descriptions of their sailing experiences on the J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II, the J/109 JUBILEE, and J/97 JAYWALKER.

Victoria Preston’s J/109 JUBILEE were the winners of IRC2A, the fifteen strong J/109 class, and the extracted J Boats results. Victoria said “The Jubilee team with Bill Edgerton on helm, Felix Trattner on trim and myself on nav, sailing with a crew of family and friends, were delighted with our victory in a long and exciting race, despite periods of little wind. Overcoming a slow start, the crew kept J/109 Jubilee- Round Island Race class winnerfocused and were rewarded with the J-trophy for fastest J/J109 and the Yeoman Bowl for best in IRC Class 2."

Bob Baker, owner of J/97 Jaywalker who won the IRC2D class, described the tough conditions; "It was a good race, I think it would’ve been even better if we hadn’t sailed into two horrible wind holes. One just before the Bembridge ledge buoy trapped a few yachts ahead of us and then completely stopped almost all the IRC2 class, we went left and finally managed to escape quicker than the rest. The second lasted 30 or 40 minutes. Again we went left and had slightly favourable drifting tide. As the sea breeze restarted we were drifting over the edge of Ryde sand with about 0.2 m clearance! But this position left us well ahead of the rest of IRC2, except for the two fastest J/109s who presumably went round just before either wind hole opened. It was really great to win the group, and the crew, boat, and new sails performed very well."

J/111 Journeymaker II- Makin & JonesJ/111 JOURNEYMAKER II
The J/111 JOURNEYMAKER II sailed by Chris Jones and Louise Makin was the 10th boat overall out of a fleet of 1,200+ boats across the finish line in the recent Round Island Race, hosted by the Island Sailing Club- it’s a 60nm adventure around the famous Isle of Wight, with an early morning start in the Solent on the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line.

Tenth in a fleet of 1,200+ sailboats up to 100 feet long is an extraordinary achievement, especially for a J/111- just a 36 foot long boat!  Here is the story from Chris Jones on how they managed their amazing feat!

“For a slow race it went pretty quickly. The start was not too crazy; at 07:30 it only meant we had to be off the dock at 06:30. Plenty of time to make the bacon baguettes that we would need to maintain morale down to the Needles. The early wind was Southwest, so we were looking at a light wind beat with up to 6 knots of tide underneath us.

As always, the strongest tide was close in to the Island shore at the start line, but with the light wind we had to trade off the normal short tacking route staying in the stream with the loss of speed on every maneuver. We got a good gap on the line and with a long fetch we only had to do one tack off the Island shore. By the time we reached the entrance to Beaulieu River (on the north side of the Solent) we were already getting into the back of the fleet in front.

The Needles- famous west end of Isle of WightWe had class zero, all the multihulls, the Open 40’s and the entire Sunsail fleet starting in front of us. We wanted to get through the Sunsail fleet before The Needles as they can become a bit of a roadblock when they all converge and luckily, we were clear of them by Yarmouth. The optimum route from Hurst Castle to the Needles is along the north side of the channel by the Shingles Bank. Always spooky to see the water swirling around invisible underwater obstructions at 4 to 6 knots, often it is the lumpy bits where it is deep and safe and the tempting glassy flat bits are where danger lies!

We got a good line down to the Needles with a little bit in hand and sailed over a few more boats as we slowly freed up on starboard and the boats close in to the Island shore ran out of wind. Then the tricky decision, inside or outside of “the wreck?”

J/111 Journeymaker II- Makin & JonesAs we were now able to get the A2 up, we decided on a low risk loop around the outside of the wreck that worked well and we kept the kite full. The next leg to St Catherines Point is against the tide (the southwestern-most point of the island. The tactical choice is how far inshore to go given the light onshore breeze was lifting off the sea to go over the land. Watching our SOG closely to try to judge how much tide to avoid, we worked our way down to St Cats. It did look like there were not many boats in front of us, but we assumed at this stage that the early starters must have just got away on the last of the gradient wind and we were not going to see them.

The usual route at St Cats is as close inshore as you dare, as there is significant adverse tide. However, there was a large shiny patch extending up to a mile offshore, no apparent explanation, but we had seen a couple of boats flirt with it and stop dead. The bulk of the fleet went for speed and headed out into the channel on starboard. As we approached, it looked like the shiny patch was reducing and we decided to gybe early, just skirt the shiny patch and try to get the inshore tide relief. It turned out we were luckier than we could imagine. Not only did we manage to keep moving in the right direction, but the boats that went offshore found there was never a good route back towards land and were stuck on a long track all the way to Bembridge Ledge buoy on the eastern end of the island.

the forts at eastern end of SolentAs we passed along the south coast of the island, we alternated between the Southwest sea breeze and the building Southeasterly. Each time they clashed, there was a 1/4-mille dead patch to try to cross. There were several kite up, kite down, kite up events with out any change in heading.

By the time we rounded Bembridge Ledge, we were in a steady Southeast breeze and still with the A2 up, we gybed up the eastern shore of the island. There are several traps for the unwary here, especially as everyone is a bit jaded by this point.

There are a series of Napoleonic Forts, circular structures built in the water, and now converted into exclusive hotels. These “guard” the entrance to the Solent, but there is a small gap in the underwater wall connecting Horse Sand fort to the island marked by a red post. (We are not red right returning here!). There is just enough water to sneak through and minimize the tide, and then you have to avoid Ryde Sands along the northeastern shore of the island.

The SE breeze was still with us until we passed Ryde. We could see that the breeze had held for a Class 40 that took a route close inshore all the way to Osbourne Bay and we wanted to go that way, but there were some bigger boats that we could not afford to get to leeward of and so worked our way down the shallow water to the north of the island without getting too far inshore. By now, the more westerly weather stations in the Solent were showing 10-15 kts of wind from the west, while we were in 2-5 kts of SE. Some of the fleet headed north to try to reach the new wind first, but they struggled to get through the boundary shut down and had a lot of adverse tide.

We stayed with the boats on the Island side, hoping that we would be able to get through the 100m or so of absolute flat calm in reasonable time. We could see the new wind coming and had watched it develop for nearly an hour. When the change came, we barely had time to get the kite off deck and wished we had been braver to call for the J2 rather than leave the J1 rigged. We only had a couple of miles to go to the finish by now and figured we would make the best of it.

We lost out to a Class 40 and a Class 0 boat that had taken a more northerly route on the finish line, missing 8th place by only a few seconds. However 10th over the line in the largest yacht race in the world is a once in a life time moment!!

The bacon baguettes went down really well; wrapped in foil in a thermal bag they kept nicely warm for a couple of hours. The new A0/3 is still in its bag! We sailed 3 sides of the island with the A2 spinnaker, never done that before! But, there is no substitute for looking for the good breeze and a nice helping of good luck.”

J/70s for Royal Southern YC* Three New J/70s for the Royal Southern Yacht Club!  Royal Southern Yacht Club Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams, invited club members and their crews to gather after racing at the Charles Heidsieck RSrnYC July Regatta on Saturday, to celebrate three new J/70s for the club. On a glorious sunny evening on the terrace, past commodore Colin Hall, described to the small crowd how the original fleet of J/80s was the result of incredible generosity by previous members. He concluded, “there was a time you looked out on this car park and saw a row of J/80s, those have been replaced by J/70s. Our members have changed their boats, so we have followed suit to support them.”

Named Lightfoot, Boysterous, and Excess, the new J/70s will no doubt be popular with both regular members, and Royal Southern Academy members, an initiative set up to help 18-25 year olds enjoy the many benefits of being a member of the club. Meanwhile the J/70 Class Association will hope that the new trio’s first event will be the GJW UK National Championships, which will be hosted by the Royal Southern next weekend, 20-22 July.
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