Wednesday, July 4, 2018

J/Newsletter- July 4th, 2018

J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d'Olonne, FranceJ/80 World Championship Preview
(Les Sables d’Olonne, France)- “Being a serial pioneer of nautical events, eager to innovate and energize the sailing community, as well as our Vendée territory, the Sports Nautiques Sablais YC has the immense pleasure of welcoming the J/80 World Championship from the 7th to the 18th July 2018 in the home port of the 'Vendée Globe Challenge’!

It is a great privilege for us to host a seventy-boat fleet crewed by more than 400 sailors, from nine nations that will be racing for five days in the bay of Les Sables d'Olonne.

I am delighted and thankful to Ludovic Gilet, Chairman of the French J/80 Class. And, I would also like to thank all those who support us in this adventure: WORLD SAILING and the French Sailing Federation (FFV), our institutional and corporate partners. I cannot fail to mention the organizing committee, led by Bernard Devy, our honorary president and friend. And … let the best team win,” commented Michel Poitevineau, Commodore of SNSYC.

J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d'Olonne, FranceThe J/80 World Championship will be an all-out battle between the top French and Spanish teams that have been at the top of the J/80 class for quite some time.  In addition, there are top British and Dutch teams that are hoping to tip that balance in their favor by the end of the regatta. The nations that are represented include France (59), Spain (6), Netherlands (3), Russia (1), Belgium (2), Oman (2), Ireland (1), Portugal (1), and Great Britain (4)- missing are the top teams from the USA, Germany, and Scandinavia.

Watch for these teams to be a factor in the overall regatta leaderboard. The top French crews hoping to defend their home town honors should be Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT, Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG 29, Luc Nadal’s GAN’JA, Sylvain Pellisier’s INTUITIVE SAILS, and Ludovic Gilets’ FRA 797.

J/80s sailing World ChampionshipChallenging the local French teams will be Great Britain (Nick & Annie Haigh’s SLIGHTLY STEAMY & Jon Powell’s BETTY); Spain (Inigo Jauregui’s GARATU, Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA, & Javier Chacartegui’s IBO.ES); Netherland’s Otte Jan Golverdingen’s LED2LEASE; Ireland’s Patrick O’Neill on MOJO; Russia’s Alexei Semenov racing NEW TERRITORIES; and OMAN SAIL’s team of Helena Lucas.

There is a very strong contingent of women skippers participating; Julie Simon’s CDV 22- IMAGO; Clara & Lucie Scheiwiller’s CLICK & BOAT- LADIES NORMANDIE; Corentin Kieffer’s CN SAINT CAST CDV 22; Maxime Rousseaux’s CN ST CAST GRAND OUEST ETIQUETTES; Elodie Bonafous’ ECOLE NAVALE CDV 29; Claire Ferchaud’s ELITE APRIL MARINE- SN SABLAIS; Elisabeth Cabus Bordron’s IFI DEVELOPMENT OUEST; Isabelle Maggiar’s LES MISSMERS DE L’OUEST; Stephanie Puyraud’s MODERN BALEINE; Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGATLANTIQUE; and Claire Montecot’s STARTIJENN.

In addition, there are two “Youth Under 25” teams that include Theo Carayon’s VITEL COTES D’ARMOR SAILING TEAM and Laure Buffiere’s TEAM VENDEE.    Follow the J/80 World Championships on Facebook here   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

Dawn start for UK's Round Island Race off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Round the Island Race Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- If it is the first weekend in July, it must be time for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The challenging 60nm race that goes around the Isle of Wight is by far the most popular race on any sailor’s social calendar all year long in the U.K.; particularly for those that love to get thrashed and challenged by the intricacies of the Solent.

As has been the case for over a decade, over a thousand boats will begin starting at 0630 hrs.  First off is the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the summer morning soft orange light.  It should be absolutely gorgeous for the thousands of sailors aboard all the teams making their annual, epic adventure around the Isle of Wight.

On Saturday, the High pressure system should be over the center of the U.K., with a light NE to start, veering SE or even S during the afternoon depending where you are. It will be hot & sunny, so apart from the sunburn danger, thermal effects and possible sea breeze cell developments, it will be a very tactical day. In other words, no chance of any records getting broken from a sailing standpoint, more like a recipe for maximum sunburn/ tanning opportunities.

Taking on the challenge will be a veritable J/Navy sailing across the spectrum of classes.  In the world of IRC handicap classes, here are some of the notable teams to watch.
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight
In the 25-boat IRC 0 Class will be the J/121 ROCK LOBSTER. Following them is IRC 1A comprised of mostly J/111s and J/122s.  Those teams are the following, J/111’s (JITTERBUG, JOURNEYMAKER II, KESTREL, & SNOW LEOPARD), J/122’s (JAHMALI, JOLLY JELLYFISH, KAYA, R&W, & JANGLE), the J/133 ASSARAIN IV, and the J/120 HANNAM & PARTNERS TEAM 3.

Sailing in IRC 1B Class is the new J/122E JIB & TONIC. The dominating J/112E DAVANTI TYRES is sailing in IRC 1C.

Sailing in IRC 2A Class are twelve J/109s- including JIRAFFE, JASSY JELLYFISH, JUKE BOX, and JUMPING JELLYFISH.

Then, in IRC 2B Class are seven J/105s and six J/109s. J/105’s (JIN TONIC, JELLY BABY, JOS OF HAMBE, MOSTLY HARMLESS, REDEYE) and J/109’s (JINKS & JYBE TALKIN).

Holding their own in IRC 2C Class is the J/92S UPSTART.  And, in the IRC 2D Class is the J/92 JABBERWOCK and the J/97’s (HIGH JINKS, JAYWALKER JET, & JUMBLESAIL 2).

Planning to sail fast and stealthily in IRC 3A Class are the J/32 DOMAINE, J/92S’s (J’RONIMO, JACKDAW, LUNA, NIGHTJAR, SAMURAI J, & VAGABOND), the J/95 JUST IS, and two J/97’s (BLACKJACK II & JURA GB).
Round Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
In the world of Island Sailing Club handicap rules (ISC), there are a number of J/crews participating.  In ISC 4A Class is the J/109 SQUIBS, in 4B Class is the J/92 JUST IN TIME, in 5B Class is the J/100 TIDERACE, and in the 6C Class are several J/24s (J-RIDER, JOBS FOR THE BUOYS, TEAM IMPACT RACING).

In addition to the handicap classes, there are also one-design classes for the Round Island Race!

In the J/88s you will fined top teams like J/DREAM, JONGLERU, RAGING BULL, SABRIEL JR, & TIGRIS.  In the J/80s there are JUMPIN JACK FLASH, JUNO, and JUSTIFY.  And, in the J/70s there are JENGA 8, JACKAL, RITA, JACKATOO, JINX, and a number of Royal Southern/ Royal Thames YC teams.  For more Round the Island Race sailing information

J/70s sailing upwindSAIL NEWPORT Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- For many sailors throughout the Northeastern seaboard, the best multi-class regatta of the season is “THE Newport Regatta”, hosted by SAIL NEWPORT, in conjunction with its supporters- New York YC, Ida Lewis YC, and Newport YC.

There is no question the regatta’s motto is an enticing, fun-loving promotion for sailors of all stars and stripes- "Fast Racing, Cold Beer”!  As it has for the past three decades, it will continue in 2018!

Shoreside after-race socials are planned for both Saturday and Sunday. On July 7th, you will be able to make your own custom taco at the famous “Taco Bar!”  Enjoy Heineken beer, Mt. Gay Rum, and Whispering Angel wine and live music. Sunday's awards party will include food, drinks, and prizes.

Regatta Manager Matt Duggan and Event Manager Emily Greagori are also hosting the first annual Sail Newport Corn Hole Championship (SNCHC) on Saturday, July 7 at the tent. Start training now!!  All parties will be at the new building this year!!

The J/70s will be repeating as the largest one-design class by far in Newport for the past two weekends.  Last week, the occasion was the New York YC One-Design Regatta.  This week, it’s another two-dozen boats that are racing as part of their pre-J/70 Worlds preparations that will be taking place in September off Marblehead, MA.

Incredibly, there are at least a baker’s dozen teams that are all capable of top ten finishes in any J/70 Worlds that are participating this coming weekend. Three J/70 World Champions- Tim Healy’s USA 2, Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, and Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY.  That is for starters.  The other top teams include, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA (2nd in 2017 Worlds), Jud Smith’s AFRICA (World Champion crew), Glenn Darden’s HOSS, Martie Kullman’s HYDRA, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS (West Coast Champion), Heather Gregg & Joe Bardenheier’s MUSE (first J/70 NA Champion and 1st World’s Corinthian Champion- tied 4th overall), Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE, John Brim’s RIMETTE, Pam Rose’s ROSEBUD, and Hannah Swett’s SPARKLE (a Women’s World Champion). Watch the leaderboard this weekend!  For more Newport Regatta at SAIL Newport sailing information.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The first week of July always seems to be a cause for celebration somewhere around the world.  For the American’s, of course, the huge holiday week/ weekend celebrates Independence Day on July 4th with massive fireworks displays and all kinds of parades.  New York’s fireworks are easily the largest in America, with well over 75,000 shells blowing up in the span of an hour or so, all choreographed to music.  Canada celebrated its Canada Day/ Dominion Day on the 1st. Other notable celebrations include World UFO Day on the 2nd, World Bikini Day on the 5th, International Kissing Day on the 6th, Chocolate Day on the 7th, and, of course, the French celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th- “Vive La France”!

Speaking about the French and Europeans, there was much to celebrate for the first French J/80 Sailing League event in Brest, France.  The regatta provided two qualifiers to the SAILING Champions League Finals in St. Moritz, Switzerland and two qualifiers to the SAILING Champions League Semi-Finals in St Petersburg, Russia (both sailed on fleets of twelve J/70s). Then, up north in Scandinavia, the Norwegian J/70 Nationals took place in the gorgeous seaside resort village of Hanko, Norway; hosts were the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and Hankø Yacht Club.

Over in the Americas, we got the report from Rich Stearns on sailing the J/88 in the Mackinac Solo Challenge race, 289nm from Chicago, IL to Mackinac Island, MI on Lake Michigan- a race he did to raise Prostate Cancer Awareness. In Newport, RI, the New York YC One-Design Regatta included a very competitive fleet of thirty-seven J/70s, a light air event to say the least- a wind average of around 4.0 kts! Out West, 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 goes from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

Then, down in South America, the Chilean J/70 Autumn Championship Circuit qualified their three teams for sailing in the 2018 WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA, hosted by Eastern YC.  Their third and final event took place off Algarrobo, Chile, hosted by the Cofradía Nautica del Algarrobo.

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:

Jun 30- Vic-Maui International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
Jul 7-14- J/80 World Championship- Les Sables d’Olonne, France
Jul 7- Round the Island Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 7-8- Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 12-15- Italian J/70 Cup- Malcesine, Italy
Jul 12-14- Canadian J/70 National Championship- Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Jul 12-20- Offshore Sailing Worlds- The Hague, The Netherlands
Jul 12-15- Vineyard Cup- Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Jul 13- Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race- Port Credit, ONT, Canada
Jul 13- RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race- St Malo, France
Jul 14- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
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/88 Hokey Smokes skipper- Richie StearnsJ/88 Wins Mackinac Solo Challenge
Racing to Raise Funds for Prostate Awareness
(Mackinac Island, MI)- Recently, Richie Stearns sailed his J/88 HOKEY SMOKES in the annual Mackinac Solo Challenge, a 289nm adventure starting off Chicago, IL and sailed north up Lake Michigan to that famous jewel of horses and fudge residing in gorgeous azure blue waters between two Great Lakes (Michigan and Huron)- Mackinac Island.

For many sailors in the Midwest, the races to Mackinac have a disarming allure, as if there is an invisible magnetic pull that weighs on your conscience, as sailors migrate almost “zombie-like” towards the island for a good dose of rest and relaxation on an island where time has seemingly stood still- just bikes and The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Islandhorse-drawn carriages to get you around the island.  And, of course, the majestic landmark that stands out like a white beacon on its southern cliffs, welcoming sailors from afar- the gorgeous Grand Hotel.  Stepping foot on the island is as close to anyone gets to take a walk back in time.  Here is Richie’s story about his solo racing experience in this year’s Mackinac Solo Challenge, winning his class and 5th overall:

“Solo sailing has never been on my bucket list. I have sailed buoy races all my life.  I’ve been on an America’s Cup campaign and tried out for the Olympics.  I’ve done two double-handed Mackinac races and 44 crewed Mac races. I sailed with Buddy Melges for years and when asked why he doesn’t sail singlehanded or long-distance races, his reply always was “why would I want to sail overnight with a bunch of guys when I can go home to a warm bed and my wife Gloria?” That always seemed like good advice.

Horse drawn carraiges on Mackinac Island at Grand HotelHowever, after a bout with prostate cancer, I thought it might help survivors to see someone doing crazy things, and show them that Prostate cancer is not the end of the world. So, I decided to undertake the challenge to raise money for Prostate cancer awareness and information.

One of the cool things about sailing in general, is there are so many ways to enjoy it. Cruising, racing, single-handed, double-handed and sailing with crew all lead to great times and memories.

You would think solo sailing would be for people who want to get away from it all. That is not exactly true, the Great Lakes Single-handed Society is a group of passionate sailors who use solo sailing as a shared passion. They are there for the challenge, but they also sail to be “with” the other competitors. They talk to each other on their VHF radios to make sure they are OK, or just to find out if there is any wind, or how they are feeling. After the race, everyone helps put the boats away and everyone comes to the parties to talk sailing and about the experience. It is similar to a fleet or a class that promotes camaraderie, except there seems to be more pride in the accomplishment of doing it solo (and rightly so!).

J/88 Hokey Smokes leads Mackinac Solo ChallengeThe conditions were perfect for a J/88 at the 0900 hrs start on Saturday. With light air and the Code 0 up, all but one boat was out of sight behind “Hokey Smoke” after a few hours. Boats started to drop out early, either with electrical issues or Autohelm issues (code for “this race will take too long…I’m dropping out").

The first night brought cold air and fog. I have no idea what the temperature was, but 40 F. to 50 F. is my guess. The wind built all night to 15 to 20 kts on the nose, sailing straight upwind to Point Betsie (the first major turning point). As the waves grew to 3-4 ft+, I realized I had never used the tiller pilot to steer the boat in those conditions. These are short steep Lake Michigan waves, not long ocean waves. I am sure there is a way to calibrate it, but it was too late for me. The steering system just could not compensate for the waves and over corrected until it just auto-tacked the boat. An auto-tack while singlehanding in waves catches you off guard. Getting things back under control is tough enough rested, but without sleep and at 10:00 am and 25 hours into the race it makes you think twice about what you are doing.

The Autohelm is the driver, but you are the only crew. I had done quite a few sail changes early on in the race and found running around on a 29-foot boat in 4-foot + waves gets a bit tiring.

The J/88 is a fantastic boat in light air, but with the breeze on and going upwind, it definitely needs crew weight on the rail.

With the tiller pilot problem, I had already lost my lead. By later afternoon Sunday, the big heavy boats were quickly catching me. I had to get out of the waves and hope the autopilot would work in order for me to get some rest. It took hours to get to the eastern shore and out of the big waves. There were fewer waves there, but almost no wind. I could tell by the conversation on the radio and the call-in positions that a few of the big boats had gotten by me.

J/88 sailing to Mackinac Soleo- full moon!At this point, about 150 miles into the race I kept hearing more boats drop out. It is an appealing idea when you have sailed for 40 hours on a heavy beat and are only halfway there.  Once I got closer to shore, the waves were less and the tiller pilot worked again.  I set my course and went to sleep for an hour or so.  I may have lost additional ground to the others, but I needed the sleep more!

By late on Sunday (36 hours into the race), I had passed Point Betsie and I was entering the Manitou Passage.  Once you get into the passage, you are surrounded by islands and the sea conditions are no longer a problem.

There was not a boat in sight.  The lead two boats were 10 miles ahead and the others were 10 miles behind me. With smooth water, I was able to get more rest. Probably, too much rest, but the tiller pilot steered fine and the day was beautiful. Just setting the course from one side of the straights to the other with long two-hour tacks made for a great day…and it was warm and dry (the dodger was a life-saver on this race)!

Going into the third night on Monday, it was cold again, but the air was dry, making life on deck much nicer.

I suppose this is what singlehanded sailors come out for. A steady breeze of 8 to 10 knots, fairly smooth water and a full moon. Yes, it is time to reflect how nice things are, how good life is and how much fresh water is in this darn lake? I was close enough to land to use my cell phone and used Google to found out there is 1,000,000,000,000,000 gallons (one quadrillion) of fresh water in the lake.  Lake Michigan does seem big when you are alone on a 29-foot boat.

J/88 sunrise at Mackinac Island BridgeThrough the night I was able to get updated on my position.  The boats from behind were catching me and I was catching the boats in front. I had already halved their lead after rounding Can 3 at Grays Reef, which is a mark of the course before you head east down the Straits of Mackinac to Mackinac Island. You would think when you take an 80 degree turn you would be on a reach, but it was my luck to get a shift to the east and, instead, got more beating into the wind! The J/88 was performing great with 8 to 10 knots of breeze and smooth water the boat just flew along. I was treated with the sunrise of a lifetime when I got to the Mackinac Bridge and made my last tack to the finish line.

When you are alone the work isn’t over at the finish. Someone still has to put things away and that person was me. In an early morning blur, and after over 70 hours of sailing, the main gets flaked and the jib gets rolled up.  Fenders and dock lines are put out. It is over.

J/88 sailing at sunriseIt’s just after dawn and onshore people are just getting up.  However, my wife Lori has been there waiting so I have someone to help dock the boat. Then, it’s straight to sleep for a few hours followed by my first hot meal in days.

I sailed Stearns Boating’s stock J/88 to Mackinac Island. I had a main, one jib (light medium), and two spinnakers (Code 0 and a regular spinnaker). The J/88 proved to be a great boat to sail singlehanded in all conditions. It is easy-to-handle and fairly comfortable. It is very dry, and in most conditions might be the boat of choice for singlehanded sailing. Having one jib was a blessing in that I did not have to change sails, however J/88’s are much faster with their smaller #4 jib up. I reefed the boat quite a bit and the reef really helped. Upwind with a tiller pilot the boat has to be trimmed/ balanced perfectly, then the tiller pilot does well. If the boat is not balanced, the tiller pilot has a hard time steering straight.

I finished the race and raised over $10,000 for Prostate Cancer awareness, you can still help!  Please help more men understand prostate cancer!”   To learn more about Prostate cancer awareness, please go here.   Please make a donation here- University of Chicago/ Medicine & Biological Sciences   Kattack tracker for the J/88 HOKEY SMOKES in the Mackinac Solo Challenge.

J/70s off Hanko, NorwayNORWEGIAN STEAM Smokes Norwegian J/70 Nationals
(Hanko, Norway)- GRUNDIG Hankø Race Week is one of Norway's most famous annual regattas, and one of the summer's absolute highlights for sailing in Eastern Norway. Hankø is renowned for its good sailing conditions and location, and has been a focal point for sailors from home and abroad for more than a hundred years. The Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) collaborates with Hankø Yacht Club, founded by a bunch of adult sailors from KNS in 1954. Idyllic Hankø Yacht Club (HYC) is well protected from wind and on the other side of the bay lays the guest harbor and the royal Norwegian family cottage- “Bloksberg”.

Perhaps more importantly, Hankø's climate made the island attractive for summer holidays in the 20th century, and laid the foundation for what is today the Hankø spa hotel.  The venue is famous in Scandinavia for hosting numerous World Cup, Nordic Championship and National Norwegian Championships.

For 2018, the KNS hosted the J/70 Norwegian Championship, the world’s fastest growing, and leading sportsboat class.  For the first Norwegian Nationals, a baker’s dozen boats participated to compete for the nation’s bragging rights as top team.

In the end, it was the most experienced J/70 team in Norway, Eivind Astrup’s NORWEGIAN STEAM, that was crowned Norwegian J/70 Champion after posting a very consistent scoreline of 2-4-1-2-2-2-1-3-1 for 14 pts net. Giving them a run-for-the-money with near identical scores was Jorn-Erik Ruud’s NOR 1242 from Moss Seilforening Club with a tally of 3-1-3-1-1-3-4-2-2 for 16 pts net.  Rounding out the podium was Magne Klann’s VIEW SOFTWARE from Soon Seilforening with a record of 1-3-2-3-5-4-8-4-3 for 25 pts net.
For more Norwegian J/70 Nationals sailing information

J/70s sailing off Algarrobo, ChileSANTANDER Wins Tiebreaker @ Algarrobo
WINDMADE Crowned Chilean J/70 Autumn Circuit Champion
(Algarrobo, Chile)- In the last weekend of June, six races were sailed for the Autumn Championship, hosted by Cofradía Náutica Algarrobo, off the Pacific Coast of Chile.

Seventeen J/70 showed up at the starting line, thanks to the delay of the incoming winter and the lack of snow in the Andes Mountains ski resorts. It is true, many J/70 sailors are also snow skiing fans but the fun-in-the-sun on the ocean was far more appealing!

As the sun rays dawned over the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains to the east on Saturday morning, it was clear the wind was a “no show” for the first part of the day, leading to a postponement until the early afternoon.  Nevertheless, a cold and nice breeze from the west started blowing around 2:30pm.  Three races were sailed with winds ranging from 10 to 13 knots.  It could have been a cold winter day of sailing, but the nice winter sun and the tight racing made the atmosphere warmer than expected.

From the beginning, the battle between Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER and Juan Reid’s WINDMADE started in the first race. In the first beet, WINDMADE (J/70 hull #001) managed to get in front after SANTANDER tried (and failed) to do lee bow getting to the 1st weather mark. On the 2nd beat, SANTANDER chose the left, tacking immediately after rounding the leeward gate.  A good left line of breeze gave them the advantage on the second windward leg. The final result of the 1st race- 1st SANTANDER and 2nd WINDMADE.  In short, that was the summary of the close racing between these two boats all weekend.

The conditions for sailing were very nice.  In general, the left side is favored in the westerly winds, but that was not the case this weekend.  As a result, the fleet could spread out and play windshifts and breeze lines across the race course.

J/70s sailing on Pacific Ocean off ChileThe second race of the day was a lot more complicated for SANTANDER, finishing 13th while WINDMADE finished 5th.  First was Pedro Cabezón (Corinthians and very new skipper in the class!!) and second, again, was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSEI.

For the third race of the day, Reid’s WINDMADE won handily, followed Cristobal Molina’s LEXUS in second and Matias Seguel’s VOLVO in third.  The day closed with WINDMADE leading, followed by SENSEI in second and VOLVO in third place.

The weather forecast for Sunday was complicated, some rain during the morning, but the day continued to get better than expected. The breeze start blowing from the north at 8-12 kts, with tricky, choppy seas (north seas comes directly from offshore) and that made for a challenging race course with difference in pressure and direction.  The seas were very difficult to steer on starboard tack, as you were going perpendicular to the wave train!

It was close racing all day long Sunday. Pablo Amunategui & Rodrigo Guzman’s SANTANDER sailed clean, posting a 1-3-2. With three great starts and perfect tactics/ strategy, they deserved their excellent results.

Meanwhile, WINDMADE struggled a bit on the last day, with finishes of 7-1-3.  In fact, in the last race, Reid’s WINDMADE had a bad start and made an amazing recovery (thanks to great tactics from Rodrigo Amunátegui) to get the third place.

J/70s racing off Algarrobo, ChileWith six races, one discard race came into play.  On total points, WINDMADE won, but with discards, both WINDMADE and SANTANDER were tied with identical records of 1-1-2-3-5 at 12 pts each.  Amazing! Shocking! In any event, “c’est la vie, c’est la guerre”!  It came down to “who-beat-who” in the last race, tipping that advantage to SANTANDER over WINDMADE. Rounding out the podium was Diego Gonzalez’s SENSIE with 14 pts- the most consistent boat in the regatta, throwing out a 5th place and on straight points/ no throw-outs had won the regatta!  Tight racing to say the least for this trio.  The balance of the top five included Seguel’s VOLVO in 4th and Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI in 5th position.

In the Corinthians division, there was just about a three-way tie for first!  Two cousins, and both Lightning skippers, Cristóbal Pérez on TRILOGIA and Francisco Pérez on ELEANOR RYGBY, both finished with 46 pts! That tiebreaker went in favor of TRILOGIA.  Just one point back with 47 pts was Paolo Molina’s ALBATROSS.

After the Algarrobo event, the eighteen-race Chilean J/70 Autumn series concluded, with two discards permitted for overall results.  Crowned as champion was Juan Reid’s WINDMADE with 49 pts total. The silver went to Andres Ducasse’s TSUNAMI with 62 pts and the bronze to Pablo Amunategui’s SANTANDER with 67 pts.

In the Corinthians Division, winning the Autumn Series was Pablo Cisternas’ UROBORO with 153 pts. Second was José Antonio Jiménez onboard JUMENEZ with 170 pts and third was Francisco Pérez skippering ELEANOR RYGBY scoring 183 pts.

The Chilean J/70 class begins their Spring series on September 8th and 9th with one regatta per month until the middle of December (when the Summer Series commences). Twenty boats are expected for the Spring series.

In the meantime, three teams are preparing to sail the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA (Boston)- WINDMADE, TSUNAMI, and BLACK SAILS.

French J/80 National Sailing LeagueAPCC Voiles Sportive Top French J/80 Sailing League
Moriceau’s Team The Best in Brest Big Time!
(Brest, France)- Eighteen sailing club teams from across France participated in the first of three events in the 2018 French National Sailing League, supported by the F.I.V. (French National Sailing Federation).  The first regatta was hosted by USAM Brest, the next in La Rochelle by Societe Regate La Rochelle, and the third the SAILING Champions League qualifier in St. Petersburg, Russia from August 3rd to 6th.

Of the eighteen sailing clubs from across France, the three principal Brest clubs were participating- Societe Regate Brest, Crocs L'Elorn and USAM Brest.  Five teams were from Normandy- Club Voiles Saint Aubin- Elbeuf, YC Granville, YC Cherbourg, and the two Le Havre clubs- Societe Regate Le Havre and the Societe Nautique Pointe Le Havre.  Interestingly, five of the clubs are from the inland lakes, such as Club Voiles Saint Aubin-Elbeuf.

Day 1- Friday
It was around 12:30pm that the first race was launched under the beautiful sun off Brest. Picture perfect conditions awaited the eighteen crews in the northeasterly winds of more than 10 knots.

With a great big blue sky, the theme for the day could have been “Tropical Brest sailing” for the entire day. Twelve races were sailed, divided into four “flights”, each of the crews sailed four races.

French woman skipper at J/80 Sailing LeagueLast year, both sailing clubs from Le Havre (SNPH and the SRH) ended up tied at the end of the sailing league series, with NHP finishing in fourth place ahead of their rival club. This year, nothing has changed except the regatta location! Even far from their homeport, the two Le Havre clubs put on a good show and this time it was the crew of the SRH that took the lead with an amazing 1-2-1-2! Incredibly, behind them it was three-way tie on 7 pts each for second place between APCC Voiles Sportive Nantes (1-1-2-3), CV St Aubin- Elbeuf (2-2-1-2), and SNP Le Havre (1-1-3-2).

The Daily ”SAP" Statistic
121 meters. That was the distance where APCC Voile Sportive- Nantes team beat their closest opponent to the finish of the second flight of Flight 1. A considerable difference, when we know that the courses are rather short! Clearly, the people of Nantes are in Brest to get the win!

The Tactical Maneuver of the Day
That award goes to the young crew of YC Mauguio Carnon. Despite their fatigue, they arrived at 5am in Brest after more than 10 hours of driving on Friday to get to Brest! And, lack of experience in the J/80, the southerners made their talent speak for themselves, especially during a very nice maneuver during the 2nd race of the 1st Flight.

5th at the 1st mark, the crew of YC Mauguio Carnon managed to "slip under the buoy" to take the inside and pass three competitors. Then, by managing to slide below them on the starboard gybe, they managed to prevent them from being able to gybe as leeward boat. Holding them past the layline to the leeward mark gates, they gybed first and forced their opponents to gybe after them and, thus, to line up behind them. As a result, they took 2nd in the race!

Dolphin checking out J/80 sailing off Brest, FranceDay 2- Saturday
After an idyllic first day with perfect conditions in the Brest Bay, the 18 teams were back on the race track for another day of near perfect sailing conditions.  The goal was six races for each team!

At the end of the day, a big sun and a gorgeous northeasterly wind between 10 and 15 knots permitted the six races per team and a total of 18 races!

In the lead after the first day, the SRH's Le Havre fell behind on the rankings. On the contrary, their rivals at CV Saint-Aubin Elbeuf had a hot start with three bullets in three races!

Last night's arrival of Pauline Courtois, just off her podium at the Finnish WIM Series stage, was good for the CVSAE crew! But, despite this perfect morning, the CVSAE has the same number of points as APCC Voile Sportive.

Total suspense at the top of the rankings! The SNPH from Le Havre just one small point behind the leading duo, and just two points ahead of the crew from CV Saint-Quentin.

The Daily ”SAP" Statistic
31 seconds. During Flight 8 Race 2 was particularly tight. The 6 boats arrived almost at the same time and only 31 seconds separated the winner, the APCC Voile Sportive de Nantes, the 6th, USAM Brest. For comparison, during the same Flight, in the other 2 races, the gaps between the 1st and the 2nd were 51 and 52 seconds!

J/80 sailing league- Brest, FranceThe Tactical Maneuver of the Day
Flight 5, race 1. In regattas, it is often said that a good start is 50% of the job done.

The crew of CV Saint Aubin Elbeuf was able to prove it in the first race of the day. At 50 seconds before the start, the positioning of the boats suggested that the line was favorable to the right. At 30 seconds from the start, the CVSAE luffs to slow down, and not to arrive too early on the line. This maneuver forces the boat of the CV Saint-Quentin to luff too to not be penalized (the leeward boat being a priority over the windward one).

By a sort of "domino effect”, the crew of SR Brest is obliged to luff, too, and must wait for the boats to sink downwind. Priority, is therefore, the CVSAE that can afford to "trigger" its maneuver at the appropriate time. This is what the crew does 5 seconds before the start. They leave with more speed than the others and with two competitors in their backwind. A high-class departure!

J/80 sailing off Brest, FranceDay 3- Sunday
The third and final day of competition started off with a postponement on another beautiful day, but no wind!

Sitting ashore, here was an interview with regatta leaders- Edouard Champault (APCC Voile Sportive - Nantes):

What was your feeling about yesterday's conditions?

EC: Good races yesterday with still very good conditions. A little less wind than the first day, but the sun and no rain was great. It is very satisfying for us to be in the lead overall. The wind was there, too, so it was perfect!

How do you approach the last day of racing today?

EC: Today, it's much softer in the wind, so we'll see. Otherwise, no particular strategies.  The goal being to finish in front of as much as possible and look for the points!

J/80 woman crew hiking hard- Brest, FranceLike the previous two days, the sun showed brightly in the morning. But, the wind was again a “no show”- a complete “glass out” across the bay.

However, by 12:15pm a light breeze blew into the Brest Bay and allowed the Race Committee to launch two more flights and a total of six races.

In the light airs, the Nantais team from APCC Voile Sportive, led by Simon Moriceau and Pierre-Loïc Berthet, worked miracles and benefited from a poor performance by the crew of the CVSAE during Flight 11 (3rd place) to take the lead in the overall standings before the last race of the weekend.

It was a happy coincidence that both boats were in the same race during the 12th and final flight, which obviously gave a superb show on the water!

The Normans tried "to get" their rivals in the starting procedure (see "The Maneuver of the Day below), but the Nantes managed to get off the start, win the last race and first place overall!

French J/80 National Sailing League winnersAs a result of this regatta, APCC Voile Sportive Nantes and CV St Aubin-Eleuf have qualified for the SAILING Champions League Finale in in St. Moritz, Switzerland. In addition, SNPH (Le Havre) and the CVSQ (Saint-Quentin en Yvelines) have qualified for the second semifinal of the SAILING Champions League, scheduled from 3 to 6 August in St. Petersburg, Russia.  If these two teams finish 1st and 2nd, they also qualify to go sail the SCL Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland!  “Vive La France”!

The Tactical Maneuver of the Day
Last Flight, Race 1. The most anticipated race of the weekend. One of the few battles between the two regatta leaders and, most importantly, making for a dramatic finish to the regatta!

Sitting just two points back in second place, the Normans of the CVSAE knew they had to put one or two boats between them and their rivals- the Nantais of APCC Voile Sportive.

Their goal was to “destroy” the start of their opponents. At 1:30 from the start, the CVSAE were “hunting” the APCC and made a 180 turn to put themselves in front of their bow. Cédric Château, the CVSAE helmsman, then managed to pass under his opponent, who then found himself in a delicate position, because the Normans then have the opportunity to “close the door” by putting their bow next to the stern of the RC boat. The APCC must wait until the Normans bear-off to start their race. But, just as Cédric Château turns to cut speed and cut-off APCC at the line, two other boats are battling in the immediate vicinity of the RC boat! He found himself obliged to pass under these boats. The APCC used that opportunity to slip through a mouse hole near the RC boat and to jump across the starting line at the gun and enjoyed a clear air start!  Luck?  Skill?  Perhaps.   At the first crossing between the two boats, it was the Nantes APCC team that had the advantage and who, in turn, "scored” a direct attack on their opponent, tacking on top of them with no escape! Real match-racing!

Not surprisingly, the winning team included a French J/80 Champion sailor as its skipper- Simon Moriceau.  His team members for APCC Voile Sportive were Simon Bertheau, Paul Medinger, and Pierre-loic Berthet.   Watch the French J/80 Sailing League video highlights on Facebook here.   Follow the French J/80 Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more French J/80 Sailing League information

J/122E Joy Ride sailing Vic-Maui RaceVic-Maui Race Underway
J/122E JOYRIDE Amongst The Leaders!
(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 goes from Victoria, British Columbia to Maui, Hawaii.

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

Day 1- The Start
And they’re off! At 10:00 am Pacific Time, the 2018 Vic-Maui fleet sailed through the start line outside Victoria Harbour, tacking into a stiff, building westerly breeze.

In the days leading up to the start, the sun broke out just in time for the fleet Send-off Party that rocked the Wharf Street docks on June 29. Transient orcas (killer whales) patrolled the entrance to Victoria’s Harbour on a damp June 30.

Today, July 1st (Canada Day) dawned sunny, breezy, and warm (if not exactly tropical).  The Race Committee vessel hung on a tenuous anchor off Brotchie Ledge, while the spectator boat fleet circled and a drone flew overhead.  The VIP spectator boat Midnight Sun elegantly patrolled the spectator boat zone.  

After the start, the J/122E JOY RIDE pressed hard going west into the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Eight hours into the race, the fleet was working its way towards the big left turn at Cape Flattery, and the open Pacific Ocean, where the adventure truly begins.  Weather systems including the North Pacific High, and a developing Low pressure trough, lie ahead in wait.

Cape Flattery, WADay 2- Past Cape Flattery and Onto the Rhumb Line
After a great run down Strait of Juan de Fuca, most of the fleet rounded Cape Flattery before the sun set and got to see a sight that most people never get to. Cape Flattery is the very northwest corner of the lower 48 states and a major landmark. But, it is very remote by land and very few sailors venture out into the open Pacific.

After rounding Cape Flattery, the fleet starts sailing down the rhumb line, more or less, depending on breeze strength and direction around the notoriously wobbly Pacific High. Roll Call happens at 1200 hrs Hawaiian Time (1500 hrs Pacific Time). Today the fleet is relatively close together about 160 miles offshore of Ocean Park, Washington on Willapa Bay.

The weather pattern is setting up for boats to ride a path between the Pacific High hovering to the northwest of its usual location, and a Low pressure zone along the Washington Coast that caused the cool weather and rain before the start. If this weather pattern holds, it may result in a short, sweet, fast ride to Hawaii. But, the only thing constant about weather is change and the sailors will need to put the beautiful sight of Cape Flattery behind them and focus on figuring out what their weather crystal ball is telling them.

The match race between the two leading boats in Racing 1 is a tight one. Firefly and the J/122E JOY RIDE are taking turns with the lead. At roll call, it was Firefly with a 10nm lead. But, leads are fleeting, and it remains to be determined which has the right weather track.

Weather strategy- VicMaui RaceDay 2- Weather strategy update
Here is a quick primer on weather systems in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, between Cape Flattery and Hawaii (courtesy of David Sutcliffe).

1) The dominant summer pattern in the Northeast Pacific Ocean is usually the North Pacific High.  Winds blow in a clockwise rotation around the High that is usually centered somewhere North of Hawaii and West of the US West Coast, say about 40N – 150W.  The High usually spreads over a very large area of the ocean and wobbles around, expanding and contracting, usually without the center moving too far.  Sunny and warm!

2) Temperate zone low pressure weather systems travel from West to East in the temperate zone which technically is between about 23 degrees and 66 degrees North latitude.  Put another way, this zone is roughly between the Southern tip of Baja Mexico and the Bering Strait off Alaska.  In summer, the lows usually travel in the higher or more Northern areas of this zone, and are usually deflected above the High.  Winds blow in a counter clockwise direction around the lows.  Cloudy and rainy!

3) In summer, the High usually deflects Low pressure systems up into the Gulf of Alaska, keeping nice summer conditions over the West Coast of North America.  When a high and a low system press against each other, there is usually a squeeze zone with stronger winds between the two systems.  Breezy and lumpy!

4) Trade winds usually blow from the Northeast or East between about 30 degrees and 5 degrees North latitude.  This band is roughly between the USA-Mexico border and just North of the Equator.  Trade winds usually blow steadily, but El Nino and La Nina cycles affect them, and there will usually be some squalls.  The bottom of the High and the North edge of the trade winds blend together over the ocean.  Champagne sailing!

5) Tropical Low pressure systems usually develop off the coast of Central America, and some strengthen to tropical storm or hurricane strength.  As with other lows, the wind blows counter clockwise around these lows.  These systems usually move Northwest to the open ocean area West of Baja Mexico before weakening and dissipating far from land.  Sometimes, they curve North and East to make landfall in Mexico, and occasionally they travel West towards or all the way to Hawaii.  Pay attention!

So it’s all very simple, or maybe not!  A dozen mentions of "usually".  Now, imagine being the navigator onboard an ocean racing boat, sleep-deprived, peering at a laptop screen below-deck at “oh-dark-hundred” (0200 hrs local time) while the boat rolls, pitches and heaves.  Your information is limited to weather forecasts and observations that can be obtained over a very low-bandwidth and sometimes expensive communications link using either marine radio or satellite systems.  Nothing is certain, and reality often doesn’t look like the textbook said it would.  The rest of the crew each have their own opinions (of course!), and then there are the armchair quarterbacks back home on dry land, cozy, warm and dry, sipping their coffees.  Which way to go?  What to worry about?  How best to get to Hawaii safely and fast? One eye to weather!

Day 3- Weather update
Ocean weather, never a dry topic, is getting more interesting - we have a High, we have a Low, which way to go, don’t you know?   "Green eggs and ham, Sam I am" (Dr Seuss, of course).

The North Pacific High is established and centered at about 43N 155W. It’s strong – about 1036mb – which is good, and about 600-800nm in diameter. There is a Low developing about 500nm West of Vancouver Island.  A squeeze zone should develop between the High and the Low.  Interesting!

Tue Jul 3, 0800PDT
The High is forecast to drift West while the Low is forecast to move SE and should be affecting the fleet from about Tuesday evening (tonight) through to Thursday morning.  Most boats should see sustained wind speeds in the 15-25 knot range, while some may see up to 30 knots, bordering on gale force.  Wind angles will change as the Low crosses the track, leading to a flurry of sail changes, and once settled the angles should be behind the beam and very favorable for fast sailing. Hopefully, fast!

The fleet is currently sailing very close to the rhumb line, the shortest route to Hawaii.  Shortest, but not necessarily the fastest.  The High is likely to move farther West than usual, and combined with the Low it will be very attractive for the fleet to sail West of the rhumb line. Might be a risky move!

VicMaui Race trackerWed Jul 4, 1600PDT
This is not the textbook route to Hawaii!  The risk of being West of the rhumb line is getting swallowed up into the middle of the High if/when it comes back to its usual position.  There is little to no wind in the middle of a High.  On the other hand, trying to go East of the rhumbline means beating into the Low and possible light and variable winds when it dissipates.  So, the navigators will be thinking this routing decision out carefully.  And, there is always the possibility, or probability, that the actual weather will be different from the expected weather.  A conservative strategy might be to sail on the favorable side of the Low, stay as close to the rhumb line as practical, sail less distance, stay in the squeeze breeze, and take less risk of getting becalmed.  Sounds easy!

Beyond the next few days and the passage of the Low, the trade winds ahead are looking good.  Off to the southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio strengthening and forecast to dissipate before affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii.    

Day 3- Who Stole the Wind?
After a day and half of blast reaching in conditions best described as “not martini weather”, the fleet has hit the wall. A Low pressure zone (described above) moved over the fleet, substantially altering the weather and putting the brakes on the wind and boat speed.

The relief from turbulent seas and stress on the boat is welcome. One boat reports that everyone is eating again and, for a lucky few, the daily constitutional has resumed. But, having to fight their way through a region of relative calm is not.

At Roll Call, the boats are generally about 270 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon.  The leaders in Racing 1 have slowed from 8 kts to 5 kts and the boats in Racing 2 who are 40 miles behind have put the brakes on slowing to less than 2 kts. Ouch!

In Racing 1, Murkowski's J/122E JOY RIDE sits in second just 16nm back. The boats in Racing 2 are essentially in a dead-heat with all within a few miles of each other.

The next trick will be who is best positioned to get the wind first as the Low pressure system moves toward the east and the prospect of wind filling in behind it. Will that be Firefly who are positioned a bit to the east, or will it be JOY RIDE and the other Division 2 boats positioned well to the west of the rhumb line. And for the armchair sailors taking bets, it would be wise to consider that multiple winning navigator Brad Baker is calling the weather shots on Firefly.

The over-arching concern is what happens next with the experienced veterans knowing that the fastest route to Maui is not usually the straight line.

Oh and did we mention Hurricane Fabio? Fabio (who makes up these names?) is churning away well south of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and is forecast to dissipate well before the fleet arrives. But, big Low pressure systems coming from the south usually disrupt the trade winds.

Whatever happens, the navigators and weather dudes aboard the boats are going to earn their keep this year.

Day 4- Three Big Things to Think About
This is not a textbook year!  The weather situation for this Vic-Maui is developing into a true ocean racer’s challenge, where seemingly small decisions and a few miles one way or the other early in the race could make for big gains and losses.  That doesn’t mean it’s all on the navigators, who do have their work seriously cut out for them, as it’s also on the whole team who will have to sail the boat very well and work hard with sail changes, trim and transitions to get ahead or stay ahead. Here are three scenarios:

1. Wednesday & Thursday
The near term weather is all about getting past the Low that is currently (0900 PDT) centered about 42N 133W.
- All of the boats appear to be going over the Low, varying distances West of the rhumb line.
- There is a squeeze zone with strong winds, possibly to gale force, predicted.  Careful!
- Leaders Firefly and JOY RIDE appear to be splitting this morning, with Firefly making a move further West and JOY RIDE staying the course.  With over twenty miles of lateral separation, and the passage of the Low to be threaded, the risk/reward is likely to be significant for both boats.  If one does a better job of passing the Low, they could stretch that into a very significant lead for the next stage of the race.
- The Low may drift North, back across the fleet’s track, potentially catching the tail-runners in lighter, variable winds.  Sailing fast, now, is especially important for these boats.

2. Thursday & Friday
After navigating the Low, the teams will move on to sailing around the High and setting up for crossing the ridge which typically extends to the SE from the center of the High.  The models show a significant “plateau” developing on that ridge, and winds would typically be much lighter in such a feature.  Once again, teams will have to evaluate the risk/return on miles sailed vs. wind speed/angle, and decide where to go to avoid the plateau and to stay in good breeze.  Having parked on a similar plateau (making just 65 miles in 24 hours) in 2006, and had boats pass us on both sides (ouch!), I am going to watch this potential trap with great interest.

3. Saturday
The fleet should still be sailing around the High that should be centered about 40N 165W.  It is predicted to continue to be strong at about 1036mb.  One strategy could be to sail an isobar contour line around the high, say at about 1026-1028mb, to stay away from the center, sail in good pressure, and be closer to the rhumb line.  All the while not getting stuck on any “flat” spots.  Lead boats should be looking ahead to curve around the bottom right hand shoulder of the high and set up for calling the port gybe lay line to Maui.  Calling a layline from 800 to 1,000nm out!

Beyond the One-Two-Three scenarios above, the trade winds ahead are looking good.  Champagne sailing ahead!  Off to the Southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio forecast to peak and then dissipate without significantly affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii.   

Going out on the proverbial limb, I would say the first finishers could arrive in Maui on July 12 or 13.  Or not.  Time will tell. More news to come!    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 New York YC One-Design winners- Vineyard VinesVINEYARD VINES Wins NYYC One-Design Regatta
(Newport, RI)- Thirty-sevens J/70s sailed in the second annual New York YC One-Design Regatta.  The fleet was comprised of numerous one-design class National, North American, and World Champions, most of whom are sailing the regatta as part of their training programs leading up to the WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship, hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA later in September 2018.

A bad start in light air in a 37-boat fleet can be fatal. If you let it be. Skipper John Baxter and his team on the J/70 Team VINEYARD VINES were determined not to let a mistake at the outset of the first race define their regatta. So instead, they got to work, found the advantageous puffs and shifts, and battled through a fleet of top amateur and professional sailors to an 11th in the only race on the first day of the second annual New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta, which was sailed Saturday and Sunday out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it was enough to keep them in the hunt.

On the finale on Sunday, in virtually identical conditions, Baxter and his team (wife Molly, Jake LaDow and Ben Lamb), were nearly unbeatable, winning two races and placing third in the final race to secure a seven-point win in the regatta's biggest class.

"Yesterday we didn’t start very well; we were real deep and then we ground back to an OK finish," said John Baxter, from Riverside, N.Y. "Today, we started better and were able to use our speed to get out of some sticky situations. The goal was really to minimize the bad starts, because a lot of the teams go the same speed. You’ve got to have a front-row start and just go fast."

Second was World Champion Tim Healy on USA 2 with a 1-9-3-10 tally for 23 pts.  Third was Ryan McKillen’s SURGE (with Mark Mendelblatt as main/ tactician) with a 5-6-11-1 for 23 pts, losing the tiebreaker.  Fourth was John Brim’s RIMETTE (with Taylor Canfield as main/ tactician) with a score of 3-2-4-20 fort 20 pts.  Fifth was the top Japanese team- Eichiro Hamazaki’s THE SLED with a tally of 2-5-5-18 for 30 pts.  For more New York YC One-Design Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/105 Windshear sailing off Spain* Hans Mulder, the Dutch owner of the J/105 WINDSHEAR, recently sailed a 35nm doublehanded race in L’Escala Spain.  Here is the report from Hans and the Club Nautic L’Escala.

“The J/105 WINDSHEAR from Club de Vela Golfus is the winner of the IX Commodore’s Cup- Jotun Grand Prix, that brought together a total of 20 doublehanded racers to the starting line. The long distance regatta began at 1105 hrs and was the second sporting event in the calendar of activities that the Club Nàutic L'Escala has prepared to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

J/105 Windshear sailing off SpainThe Dutchman sailing the J/105 WINDSHEAR- Hans Peter Mulder- took the absolute class and overall victory after being one of the few boats that managed to finish the race in the established time. The northeast wind, between four and eight knots at the start, began to diminish when the fleet began to reach Messina Island.  As a result, many boats did not finish within the time limit for the race.

WINDSHEAR was also the first boat to arrive at 22:37:36 hours after racing for a total of 11 hours, 32 minutes and 36 seconds to complete the 35.5nm course. With departure from L'Escala, the route made the fleet navigate to a virtual buoy, the Medes Islands, and the island of Messina before returning to the starting point.”

J/70 Youth team* How Youth Sailing Programs are Failing, and Ways to Fix Them.
There is no doubt that competitive pressure on kids is resulting in the decline of sailing in some youth sailing programs.  However, this trend can be reversed.

Twenty years ago, our club established a sailing camp.  In the early years, we had about ten kids, but sixteen years later, we hit a peak of 92 with ten on the waiting list.  This was about 10% of all the school-aged children in town.

We supplement our racing program with a set of skill-building games.

By far the most popular game is “pirates”.  The kids are divided into teams of five - a merchant captain, two coastguardsmen, and two pirates.  The activity is so popular that we tell the kids they cannot play it until they sail expertly, which usually happens about the middle of the summer.

The second most-liked game is “sailing Frisbee”.  It uses a start/finish line, a race course and Frisbee or aerobie for each team.  A boat cannot tack while in possession of her Frisbee.  The Frisbee must go around the course, no shortcuts!

J/70 youth teamNext is “sail-ball”, a field/team sport for sailors, like football, lacrosse, soccer, etc.  There are two goals and two teams.   Like soccer, play is continuous, with teams throwing the ball to each other to get it in the goal (usually a floating water polo net).  Within the three-boat length circle around the goal, defense has the right of way, otherwise racing rules apply.

“Cheaters race” is always a winner on light days.  Setup a small race course- about 100 yards.  Ooching, pumping, skulling, etc., are all allowed.  Even swimming!

We invented more than fifty games and add more each year.  Most games are fun, competitive, but low pressure.

In addition to having a good time all summer, some youngsters become local regatta champions.

So take heart, there are ways to get kids passionate about our sport.  And, ours is not the only approach.”

Videos of some games can be viewed at  And for written rules, visit  Thanks for this wonderful contribution from Jay Eveleth and Scuttlebutt USA

J/34 KNEE DEEP sailing women's team off Cleveland, OH* Katie Langolf led the effort to assemble an all Mother-Daughter Crew for the Cleveland Race Week Women's Regatta aboard the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP.

Four Moms, five daughters (ages 8-13), and their coach raced an offshore course with plenty of laughs and maybe a glass of wine after!

Cheers Ladies!
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