Wednesday, August 29, 2018

J/Newsletter- August 29th, 2018

J/70s sailing off starting line2018 J/70 Worlds- Most Competitive Keelboat Regatta Ever?
(Marblehead, MA)- The J/70 World Championship may be the most competitive event in the sport of sailing. Ninety-eight teams from 19 different nations have qualified to compete in the 2018 WEST MARINE J/70 World Championship. After three days of inspections for the strict one-design class, racing for the championship will commence on Tuesday, September 25th. Five days of action are scheduled with up to three races per day. The Open and Corinthian Class Champions will be crowned on Saturday September 29th, at an Awards Ceremony at the Eastern Yacht Club.

The inaugural J/70 World Championship was held in 2014, and today more than 1,700 fast planing J/70 sportboats have been sold worldwide. Three American skippers have won the championship and all of them will be racing in Marblehead: Tim Healy (Sail Newport), Joel Ronning (Wayzata YC), and the defending J/70 World Champion, Peter Duncan (American Yacht Club). The 2018 J/70 North American Open Champion, Tom Bowen (Annapolis YC), will also be competing, as will the runner up from the 2017 J/70 World Championship, Brian Keane (Beverly Yacht Club).

Eight American skippers will be representing the Eastern Yacht Club, hosts for the 2018 J/70 World Championship, including Jud Smith, part of Peter Duncan's winning team last year, but racing his own J/70 Africa for the World Championship at his home club. “I am so excited to share my home club with these elite racers from around the world,” said Jud Smith. “Wind in September should be great, as long as there are no hurricanes, and we should see some really competitive racing.”

Nearly half of the extraordinary fleet will come from overseas, including the best teams from Europe. The current J/70 European Champion Alberto Rossi (Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Italy) and his daughter, the 2016 & 2017 J/70 European champion, Claudia Rossi (YC Costa Smeralda, Italy) will both be competing. Notably, Alberto himself is two-time Farr 40 World Champion. Top Spanish teams include the 2018 J/70 Corinthian European Champion, Luis Bugallo (RCN Vigo, Spain), and Jose Maria Torcida (RCM Santander, Spain) who has won the J/80 World Championship twice. Top teams will be competing from Great Britain including two-time (2015 & 2018) J/111 World Champion Martin Dent (Royal Southern YC).

Six teams from Mexico will be racing including, Javier Navarro (Club Izar), third in the 2018 J/70 North American Championship. J/70 teams will be competing from all over South America including; Argentina Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. Teams will be travelling thousands of miles to compete at the 2018 J/70 World Championship from as far away as Australia, Germany, Japan, Monaco, Russia, Sweden and Turkey.  For more West Marine J/70 World Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing on Swiss lakesSAILING Champions League Finals Preview
(St Moritz, Switzerland)- Thirty-two of the world’s best sailing clubs representing twelve nations are set to fight for the prestigious silver trophy in the SAILING Champions League Final 2018, due to take place in St Moritz from August 30th to September 2nd. Whoever ends up earning the title of “Best Sailing Club of the Year” will quite literally feel on top of the world, as the winning crew will be celebrating on top of a podium that stands 1,856 metres above sea level, on the shores of Lake St Moritz.

The host club of Sailing Club St Moritz has been working closely with the city of St Moritz and the region Graubünden to make sure that this gathering of international talent is given a world-class reception in this beautiful corner of Switzerland, high up in the Alps. The 32 clubs that have made it to the Final qualified through highly competitive Semifinals, the first held in the warm winds of Porto Cervo back in June, the second in St Petersburg when the Russian city put on some very strong and challenging winds.

Quite what conditions will meet the competitors in St Moritz is anybody’s guess; it could be cold and light airs like last year’s event, or St Moritz could show its other side with warm, strong breezes as the predominant theme. Whatever St Moritz sends their way, the best sailors are those that are most adaptable to changing conditions in 15 flights of eight identically-prepared one-design sportboats.

This year’s Final will be the first time for running a four-boat Final Series which was successfully trialed a month ago in Travemünde at the inaugural Youth SAILING Champions League. The top four boats from the Qualifying stage go through to the Final Series, carrying forward their ranking from Qualifying as a single race score. So, the winner of Qualifying would carry through a race win, the runner-up would carry through two points, and so on. In the Final Series, the teams will race against each other until one team has won two races. If the winner of Qualifying wins the first race of the Final Series, they become the outright winner of the SAILING Champions League 2018. On the other hand, the maximum number of races that could take place is four, if the race wins have been evenly distributed across all four teams.

J/70 sailing in St MoritzThe aim of the format is to provide more of a climax for the spectators whilst retaining a format that is fair to those who have performed consistently over the previous days of competition. Emil Kjaer, helmsman of Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub, runner-up at Youth SAILING Champions League, commented, “The new format makes the event really exciting for the spectators and for us sailors. We like to sail under pressure.”

Based on the outcome of the first two events, the following clubs should be near the top of the leaderboard; Circolo della Vela Bari (Italy), YC Bregenz (Austria), Club de Voile Saint Aubin Elbeuf (France), Regattaclub Bodensee (Switzerland), Segel-und Motorboat Club Uberlingen (Germany), YC Monaco (Monaco), Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (Germany), Deutscher Touring YC (Germany), three from Russia (Navigator Sailing/ Lord of the Sail- Europe/ Lord of the Sail Asia), and Societe Nautique de Geneve (Switzerland).

Martin Berthod, Director of St Moritz Tourism, welcomes the sailors and visitors: “This event is an absolute high point of the year. For those that have not visited us before, I think St Moritz will take their breath away, and not just because the air is thinner up here! We believe it’s a spectacular place to stage the big SAILING Champions League Final. Thanks to the legendary Maloja winds, St Moritz and the Upper Engadine have become world-renowned sailing destinations. Furthermore, I would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors and partners, without whose support this event would not be possible.”

The SAILING Champions League is proud to be supported by a number of key partners: Juvia, KRAFTWERK, DEDON, Breitling, Badrutt’s Palace, DKSH, SAP and Marinepool.

Livestream and results by SAP
As with all SAILING Champions League events, the final two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday will be live broadcasted by SAP from 12:00 hrs (UTC+2), with expert commentators providing blow-by-blow analysis of the racing, aided by the detail provided by SAP Sailing Analytics. The final races are schedules for Sunday, 14:00 hrs (UTC+2). The SAP Sailing Analytics provide 24/7 additional statistics and data for sailors, fans, spectators and media like GPS tracking, real-time analysis, live leaderboard combined with 2D visualization. You find all results on!  Watch the SAILING Champions League Finals promo video here   For more SAILING Champions League Finals information

J/80s sailing World University Sailing ChampionshipWorld University Sailing Championship Preview
(Cherbourg, France)- The 2018 edition of the FISU World University Sailing Championship will be taking place from August 30th to September 6th on the inner harbor of Cherbourg, France.  The event is being hosted by YC de Cherbourg and supported by the FISU (International Federation of University Sports), World Sailing, and FFV (French Sailing Federation). The YC Cherbourg PRO will be Roland Galliot from France with real-time, on-the-water umpiring of all races.

J80s sailing off France- World University Sailing ChampionshipA total of nineteen teams are participating from ten nations, all racing a matched fleet of J/80 one-design sailboats supplied by the organizers.  The Open Division includes the following nations and number of teams: Australia (2), Austria (1), China (1), France (2), Italy (1), Japan (1), Netherlands (1), Singapore (2), South Korea (1), Spain (2).  In the Women’s Division, the following nations are participating: France (2), Netherlands (1), Singapore (1), South Korea (1).

There will be an overall World University Sailing Champion for all teams participating.  In addition, there will be a Nation’s Champion for the best combined scores of the Open and Women’s Division, plus there will be a Women’s Champion trophy.  Watch the introductory World University Sailing Championship video here on YouTube  For more FISU World University Sailing Championship information

Women on Water team sailing J/70Women On Water (WOW) Regatta Preview
(Sundby, Denmark)- The WOW organization has now joined the Danish J/70 Sailing League and will have their first event in Sundby, Denmark from September 22nd to 23rd.  The format will be the same as the open sailing league, eighteen teams of five women on board each boat, with teams rotating on each flight.

“WOW is expecting to get more women on the water, securing the next generation of girl sailors, and creating strong networks among women,” says Josefine Boel. "There has been a lot of support, from Sundby Sailing Association there are two teams. Henriette and I sailed a major European event last year, where there were more women. And, then we talked about how we get more women with in this.  When we spoke to the Danish Sailing League organizers, we created the WOW concept and created this event. We hoped for ten teams, but ended up with eighteen, and we even have four on waiting list! It's very overwhelming!”

J/70 womens sailing teamThe WOW concept is off to a flying start. Over 200 women have joined the network - and it does not stop there.

"Both Henriette Koch and I have an elite sailing background, but it was not what we wanted. The most important thing is to get more women sailing,” said Josefine. “Henriette is somewhat older than me, and she was the one girl I looked up to, she often beat all the boys.  I have seen many girlfriends stop sailing because they did not fit into the elite and Olympic sailing environment. There are many skilled young girls. But, there are no fun opportunities (or divisions like in soccer) for those who are not the top five percent. That is what we will try to improve. So, this is not just about sailing, but just as much to have fun, get together, and help each other. We tried to mix the teams, so there are veterans- including Dorte Jensen with a host of Olympic campaigns behind her- and young girls mixed together," continued Josefine.

J/70 WOW- Women on Water sailing teamDorthe Alvang is part of one WOW team in Sundby. She was born on the island and sailed in Roskilde before she returned to Amager. And, she has missed such an initiative women. Said Dorthe, ”I’m what you can call an ordinary sailor, there are lots of us! There is not much activity in sailing for women.  So, if you do not go all-in, there are not many opportunities to go sailing on a small sailboat.  For this WOW event, I formed a team with other women better than me. So, now we train for the competition every weekend. It is often the case in sailing that the men are very active and the women are so strangely withdrawn. So this is a perfect way to turn it up a bit and get out on the water!”

The WOW organizers invite women to the WOW meeting on Thursday, September 20th, entitled "Women on the Podium”, at HORTEN Lawyers in Tuborg Harbor.

"I've learned more about team dynamics by sailing than by going to work over the years. I have used my sailing experiences a lot in my work life. And, this is about focusing on the fact that there are too few women represented in boards and management positions in Danish businesses. Subsequently, the participants from the Thursday meeting are invited to sail at the WOW event in Sundby the following weekend. Here the participants could get a ride on a J/70 with some of Europe's best women sailors; and, further the opportunity to strengthen their network. So, it's not just about sailing together, but also helping each other in relation to the things we do- networking and collaboration," explains Josefine.
Follow the WOW Women’s sailing event on Facebook   Facebook video highlights   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The last week in August has seen an enormous uptick in sailing activity across the planet; in particular Europe with the advent of the “post-European vacation” regattas for the J/70 sailing leagues taking place from Europe to Russia.  For starters, the J/111 World Championship was held in Breskens, The Netherlands, with sailing on the North Sea. Off to the east, the J/24 Worlds were being sailed on Lake Garda, Italy, hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva in Riva del Garda for an amazing fleet of 80+ teams- the 40th edition of the regatta.

Meanwhile, the J/70 sailing leagues across Europe kicked back into high gear to complete their seasons.  In Germany, there were two events sailed on the Wansee in Berlin, one for the 36 teams in the 1st & 2nd Leagues and also the 20 teams in the German J/70 Youth Sailing League.  Over in Denmark, they also had their Danish J/70 Sailing League sail in Skovshoved with 18 teams in the Open league and also another dozen teams in their Youth League! Over in the Swiss Alps, the Swiss J/70 Sailing League took place on the gorgeous lake of Davos for 18 teams.  Up north, there were 18 teams participating in the Swedish J/70 Sailing League, sailed off Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.  Just east of them, it was the occasion for the next event in the Russia J/70 Sailing League that was sailed on the Neva River in St Petersburg, Russia.  Finally, down in Crouesty de Arzon, France, it was the 5th of seven regattas in the J/80 Coupe de France that took place- the J/80 Duo Crouesty Regatta- sailing J/80’s doublehanded.

Over in the America’s, the top women match racers participated in the US Sailing Women’s Match Race Championship, hosted by St Francis YC, and sailed in J/22’s on San Francisco Bay, CA.  Off to the Midwest, the Verve Cup Inshore Regatta was sailed on Lake Michigan, hosted by Chicago YC for fleets of J/70s and J/24s.  Still further east, the J/80s sailed their East Coast Championship in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  Then, the Storm Trysail Club held their annual Ted Hood Regatta in Marblehead, MA for fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and handicap fleets- PHRF and ORR-EZ for J/111, J/124, J/122, J/33, J/109.

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 page  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Aug 30- Sep 2- SAILING Champions League Finale- St Moritz, Switzerland
Sep 7-9- Italian J/70 Cup- Trieste, Italy
Sep 7-9- German J/80 Open Nationals- Glucksburg, Germany
Sep 7-9- J/24 USA Nationals- Falmouth, ME
Sep 7-9- J/80 North American Championship- Marion, MA
Sep 7-9- J/109 East Coast Championship- Newport, RI
Sep 8-14- J/22 World Championship- Annapolis, MD
Sep 9-10- J/24 Great Lakes Championship- Sandusky, OH
Sep 12-16- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA
Sep 14-16- J/70 Great Lakes Championship- Grosse Pointe, MI
Sep 18-21- J/111 North American Championship- Macatawa, MI
Sep 21-23- Canadian J/105 National Championship- Toronto, ONT
Sep 21-23- J/22 Northeast Championship- Diamond Point, NY
Sep 21-23- J/80 Atlantic Telegramme- Lorient, France
Sep 22-29- J/70 World Championship- Marblehead, MA

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

JELVIS- Martin Dent- J/111 World ChampionsJELVIS Repeats @ J/111 World Championship
(Breskens, The Netherlands)- The 2018 J/111 World Championship was hosted in conjunction with the Breskens Sailing Weekend in the Netherlands.  A dozen J/111 crews participated from five nations (Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, & Switzerland). The teams raced offshore on the North Sea along the famous Benelux beaches and seashore.

Hosts for the Worlds were Watersportvereniging Breskens, Royal Yacht Club of Belgium, Koninklijke Roei & Zeilvereniging De Maas, Koninklijke Nederlandse Roei en Zeilvereniging Muiden, Koninklijke Antwerpse Watersportverenging SRNA and the Royal Netherlands Yachting Union (RNYU).

As anticipated, the powerful British J/111 contingent would prove formidable over the course of competition.  In the end, it was Martin Dent’s JELVIS that loved the big breeze and big winds and repeated their win from 2016 to be crowned the 2018 J/111 World Champion.

The first day of competition was already going to separate “the men from the boys” due to the big breeze, big waves, and difficult steering conditions in the chop that builds offshore of Breskens due to the current.  For those that relish the breeze (e.g. like the Solent sailors), they had a lot of fun offwind in the planing conditions.

The second day produced even tougher conditions than the first, with a steady 20-plus kts of wind and huge waves.  Spinnaker runs saw boats easily hitting 14+ kts boat speed most of the way down the track to the leeward gates.

J/111 JelvisDent’s JELVIS team scored an impressive, perfect 1-1-1 on the day.  The only downside was that Simon Bamford’s team on KESTREL had a massive collision with RED HERRING during the first race of the morning.

On the third day, the windspeed was gusting up to 23 kts and waves up to 8 feet high against the current!  Britain still ruled after three days of racing, with Dent’s JELVIS in an untouchable position for the final day.

In the end, the JELVIS crew won their second J/111 World Championship with a very consistent performance, reveling in the breezy, choppy conditions.  Taking second was Tony Mack's McFLY and the battle for 3rd place was won by the “Flying Dutchmen” aboard Paul van Driel's SWEENY (they were also declared the J/111 Worlds Corinthians Division winner).  For more J/111 World Championship sailing information

J/24s sailing at Worlds on Lake Garda, Italy40th J/24 World Championship Update
(Riva del Garda, Italy)- Lake Garda lived up to its “bucket list” reputation on the opening day of the J/24 World Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy. Eighty-nine teams from 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden and United States) descended on the picturesque lake for the 40th edition of the Championship.

Day 1- Monday
With sunny skies and breeze at 10-15 knots, American Will Welles’ Kaster got out of the gate with the early advantage, posting 2,5,2 for nine points in the three races. Hungarian Tomai Bala’zs’ J.Bond 037 started the day strong with 1,2, but a 13 in race three left him with 16 points for second place. Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger of the USA rests in third place with 29 points.

Bala’zs opened the regatta with a victory, ahead of Welles and Italian Ignazio Bonanno’s La Superba. Keith Whittemore’s Furio, USA, took the next battle, as Bala’zs dropped to second and Duncan McCarthy’s Madeleine of Great Britain put another nation on the leaderboard. The final contest saw McCarthy, Welles and Whittemore comprise the top three.

J/24s sailing on Lake Garda, Italy- WorldsDay 2- Tuesday
The leaderboard tightened up Tuesday at the J/24 World Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy. Lake Garda again produced fantastic conditions as the 89 teams recorded two more races, bringing the total to five, including now one discard. American Will Welles’ Kaster maintained the top spot with 18 net points, but Hungarian Tomai Bala’zs’ J.Bond 037 is just two points back in second place with 20, and Nobuyuki Imai’s Siesta of Japan launched up to third with 21 points. Both Welles and Bala’zs stumbled in the day’s final race, but benefited from the throw-out.

2016 World Champion Daniel Frost’s JJOne of Germany ruled the day, winning the first contest, and placing second in the next. Following Frost in Tuesday’s opener were two Americans: Keith Whittemore’s Furio and Travis Odenbach’s Honeybadger. Imai’s Siesta also had a solid day, leading the fleet home in race five, ahead of Frost and fellow Japanese sailor Tomomi Hatakeyama’s Gekko.

J/24s saiing upwind on Lake Garda, ItalyDay 3- Wednesday
Lake Garda delivered more of the same champagne conditions on the middle day of the J/24 World Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy. American Will Welles’ Kaster showed the same consistency, posting two second place finishes in Wednesday’s pair of races. Welles now boasts a seven-point advantage over Nobuyuki Imai’s Siesta of Japan, who won the opening contest but added a seven in the next. Daniel Frost’s JJOne of Germany continued his ascent up the rankings with a 4,3 to move into third at 36 points, with Keith Whittemore’s Furio of the USA looking over his shoulder one notch back.

Imai’s Siesta stayed hot, winning the opening match Wednesday in the familiar 10-16 knot lake winds. Welles and Whittemore followed. Whittemore’s Furio earned his first bullet of the series in race seven, with Welles repeating in second and Frost third.  For more J/24 World Championship sailing information

J/22s sailing US Women's Match Race- San Francisco, CABreault Takes 3rd US Women’s Match Race Title!
(San Francisco, CA)- Nicole Breault ran the table at the 2018 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, August 24-26. Without a single loss, Breault and her St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC) crew of Molly Carapiet (San Francisco, Calif.), Hannah Burroughs (San Francisco, Calif.) and Karen Loutsenheiser (Santa Cruz, Calif.) successfully defended their 2016 title.

Allie Blecher (San Francisco, Calif.), sailing with Ali Blumenthal (Bethport, N.Y.), Beka Schiff (San Diego, Calif.) and Molly Noble (Hood River, Ore.) for Cal Sailing Club, fought hard for second in a tiebreaker semi-final against Janel Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.).

"It was the frosting on the cake, to have run the table, but it wasn't my expectation. I knew either Allie and Janel, coming out of the semi-finals, would be tough. We had to be ready," said Breault.

Breault, along with Carapiet and Loutsenheiser, also won the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy in 2015.

With the win, Breault is invited to compete at the 2018 U.S. Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club on October 19-21, 2018. She had already qualified to represent the U.S. at the 2019 Nations Cup Grand Final. Breault is the #1 ranked women's match racer in the country and #8 in the world.

Eight teams were whittled down to two during three stages of match racing on San Francisco Bay. Commencing Friday with a round robin to determine seeding, racing was initially delayed due to light winds – a rare occurrence on these waters. This allowed for a little extra practice in the J/22s provided by StFYC. By Saturday there was enough breeze to power the teams rapidly through the rounds, with Breault picking off one after another to remain on top.

Blecher's team said they were enjoying the bay's breeze-on conditions and sorry to see the Race Committee remove spinnakers when the wind reached upper limits, "though it was the right call," said Blumenthal.

Sunday once again dawned light and shifty for the semi-finals, which would determine seeding for the final and petit final. Marilyn Cassedy (Los Angeles, Calif.) won her pair against Stephanie Wondolleck (San Rafael, Calif.) to advance, but lost against Breault, finishing fourth overall.

The battle between second and third came down to a tiebreaker between Blecher and Zarkowsky. Blecher led during the first upwind and gained further when Zarkowsky scored a penalty on the downwind run. A tacking duel on the second upwind made for a close rounding and sailing down the course. Just short of the finish, Zarkowsky dropped the chute and smoothly executed a jibe, but it failed to fully clear the penalty, allowing Blecher to advance to the finals against Breault.

"I should have waited but my heart was racing and I knew what was on the line," Zarkowsky recounted. "We're glad we gave her a hard time and we're glad she'll be at the Nations Cup."

The light, shifty winds settled into a steady 15 knots heading into the final, where the first race was a textbook example of Breault and her crew's prowess. Blecher had the better start and a solid lead, but Breault clawed up her back, tack for tack, eventually seizing control and owning the first rounding. Her dialed deck crew had the spinnaker set and filled to lock in a solid lead they held to the finish.

"We've got to be really aggressive," Breault said of her mindset on that first upwind. "We initiated a tacking duel and we knew were tacking better and gaining. It was like, 'We're behind, let's fight right now.'"

Race two again saw Blecher control Breault through the pre-start and carry the lead all the way to the windward mark. Breault, on the hunt, shadowed her chute forcing her off to starboard.

"As soon as I saw her spinnaker collapse the second time, I knew we were going to reel her in," said Breault. "But it's always a struggle. We'd come out of the jibe at a crazy angle and the kite would pop and we'd ratchet forward a couple of feet."

Breault capitalizing on every micro error, took down Blecher in three races. "I felt like we were a triple threat. We had a clear advantage, being in home waters, sailing as an experienced team in boats we know," said Breault. "They gave it their all and did good match racing. From the grassroots women's sailing standpoint, there was a really good vibe. There was camaraderie among competitors and it bodes really well for the regatta going forward."

Blecher was awarded the Mrs. Charles Frances Adams Perpetual Trophy, and as the top finisher of the event who hadn't previously qualified for the Nations Cup, she will be nominated by US Sailing to participate in the 2019 regatta, also hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club.

"We had potential, we just lost to them upwind. We just don't have the time together in the boat," said Blecher. "It was nice to spice things up at the starts and it was definitely fun racing."

The U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship was sponsored by Gill, with prizes for top finishers provided by Hobie Cat and gifts for the umpires from Cameron Hughes Winery.

Randy Smith conducted a match-racing clinic with the participating sailors on Thursday, August 23.

Previous winners of the U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship include an impressive list of the top women's sailors in recent U.S. history. Cory Sertl, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Anna Tunnicliffe, Stephanie Roble, Genny Tulloch, Liz Baylis, and Debbie Cappozi have all won this US Sailing National Championship.
For more US Women’s Match Racing Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing off St Petersburg, RussiaSurprise @ Russia J/70 Sailing League
(St Petersburg, Russia)- The fourth regatta of the season for the Russian J/70 Sailing League took place in St Petersburg, Russian, with sailing taking place in front of the Peter & Paul Fortress on the Neva River.  Twenty-seven teams participated in the event; including ArtTube RUS1 (Valery Kovalenko), Konakovo River Club (Dmitry Shunin), NAVIGATOR Sailing Team (Igor Rytov), Leviathan (Vadim Yakhinson), Calipso (Maxim Taranov), "Sail Lord- EUROPE" (Vyacheslav Ermolenko), PIRogovo (Alexander Yezhkov), Sailor EUROPE (Sergei Musikhin), Rocknrolla Sailing Team / RUS76 (Andrey Kirilyuk), St. Petersburg Yacht Club Academy of Sailing (Anna Basalkina), Region-23 (Evgeny Nikiforov), Black Sea (Carina Teliants), Navigator Sailing Team (Alexandra Peterson), DC TEAM (Denis Cherevatenko), ZID PRO (Zoran Paunovich), RUS-7 (Igor Ginzburg), X-Fit (Igor Ginzburg), Resourcekomplekt (Alexander Mikhailov), CSKA (Ilya Kozhevnikov), Imperial Yacht Club (Irina Sorokina), Sochi- South Sport (Alexey Krylov), KOMATEK Kochnev), USC (Boris Kucherenko), Parma Lukomorye (Vitaly Tarakanov), East-West (Evgeny Anishev), Skolkovo Sailing Team (Konstantin Umnov), and Yacht Club of St. Petersburg (Sergey Dobrovolsky).

J/70s Russian sailing teams- St Petersburg, RussiaFor the first two days, the fleet was blessed with strong winds and sunny skies.  By the final day, an overcast sky with intermittent rains scattered across the northern capital of Russia, but it did not dampen the spirits of the sailors as they enjoyed more great racing in 8-14 kt winds.  Forty-five races in total were run on the windy, choppy river course with each team sailing at least fifteen races.

In the end, it was a surprising outcome for the incredibly competitive fleet at the top of the leaderboard.  Winning the event by just a half point was CALIPSO, skippered by Maxim Taranov, with crew of Vladimir Shishkin, Egor Zuev, Dmitry Kolesnikov and Ilya Polishchuk.  Just missing the gold was a new top woman skipper- Vadim Yahinson; by winning her last race, she led her LEVIATHAN team (Alexander Prokofiev, Maxim and Mikhail Sheremetyev) onto the silver step on the podium.  Rounding out the top three to take the bronze was another woman skipper- Anna Basalkina and her crew of Ivan Zotov, Christian and Yakh Czech on the Y.C. ST PETERSBURG SAILING ACADEMY TEAM.

J/70s sailing on Neva River- St Petersburg, RussiaThe balance of the top five included two multi-regatta winners in the series; securing fourth place was Igor Rytov’s NAVIGATOR Sailing Team and in fifth place was yet another woman skipper- ARTTUBE RUS-1’s Valeria Kovalenko with her team of Alexander Bozhko, Igor Lisovenko and Denis Rozhkov.

What was notable about this regatta was that for the first time in the history of Russian sailing and in Russian J/70 Sailing League history, three women skippers were in the top five (two on the podium) and were significant factors in the overall competition all weekend long!

The next regatta will take place on September 20-23 at the unique sailing area in harbor of Vladivostok, Russia- the easternmost point of civilization on the Eur-Asian continent!

Watch these Russian J/70 Sailing League highlight videos on Facebook here:
DAY 1-
DAY 2-
DAY 3-

For more Russian J/70 Sailing League information  SAILING PHOTO CREDITS- Andrey Sheremetyev   For more Russian Sailing Federation League information

Danish J/70 Youth teamYOUNGSTERS II Takes Danish Youth League Act III
(Skovshoved, Denmark)- The Danish J/70 Sailing League created their Youth League two years ago and it continues to grow in popularity with young kids at sailing clubs across Denmark.  The combination of young girls and boys competing on the water and socializing ashore has made it fun and exciting for them. Last weekend, they enjoyed great sailing with racing managed by the Skovshoved Sailing Club.

This year, it was the YOUNGSTER II team that won the event at Skovshoved- the second time they have done so. The team consists of brothers Jeppe & Nikolaj Borch, Amanda Ulmdal, Mathias Rossing and Nikolaj Rasmussen.

The skipper- Jeppe Borch- talked about the close sailing they experienced over the weekend, “it was very close sailing each day.  In fact, we did not win until we beat the SUNDBY MARLINS in the last race, on the last run to the finish! We luckily pulled the longest straw!  Thank goodness! The SUNDBY MARLINS got a few penalties at the start, so we got a little distance on them right from the beginning. It was great that we could finish the weekend standing at the top of the podium!”

The second place SUNDBY MARLINS, consisting of Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Kristian Schaldemose, Søren Andersen and Marc Wain, beat their previous best position in the Youth League by taking a podium for the competition. Before the competition, the team hoped for lots of fun and good wind, and they got what they came for!

SUNDBY’s female skipper- Josefine Boel Rasmussen- said that, "we were happy with the weekend. Our not so good results in some races were mainly due to our mistakes or situations where we had fouled other teams. So, when we managed to get off with free wind, it was good to sail the boat fast, get a few good wind shifts, and hit it right, even winning some races!”

With only one point separating the other teams on the podium, the game was a tough battle through the final race. The BANDHOLM WHITETAILED EAGLES team, that included skipper Bo Schulein, Ole Lindberg, Christian Torp and Peter Ammundsen, ended up landing on the podium at the last minute, even though they nearly threw away that opportunity several times. Sunday’s last race 4th place was due to the fact they had to do circles to exonerate themselves from a penalty incurred during the race; had they taken 5th, they would have finished 5th!

The balance of the top five included the DTU SAIL RACING TEAM in 4th place and the THURO PIRATES in 5th position.  Follow the Danish J/70 Youth Sailing League here on Facebook  For Danish Youth Sailing League video highlights  For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

Danish J/70 sailing league actionKDY SHARKS Lead J/70 Danish Sailing League
(Skovshoved, Denmark)- This past weekend, the Skovshoved Sailing Club, together with the Danish Sailing League, hosted the third of four events in their season series off Skovshoved.  The eighteen teams that were participating had good weather all three days.

Winning the third event and cementing their position at the top of the leaderboard for the season was the KDY SHARKS.  The team consisted of Michael Hestbæk, Thomas Hartvig, Henning Lambertsen and Niels Gramkov. After decimating the fleet in Skovshoved, they now count a 2-1-1 tally for a total of 4 pts for the season series.

J/70 Danish Sailing League actionKALØVIG COBRAS made a big jump in the last day and secured 2nd place as they got two bullets in the last two races. It was undoubtedly a very good event for the KALØVIG COBRAS team (Lars Vilhelmsen, Sophus Jarvig, Nikolai Tiedemann, & Jesper Vogelius). The FAABORG FALCONS ended in 3rd place, 9 points behind.

As a result of the third round, the top five positions in the Danish J/70 Sailing League are the following:
1. KDY SHARKS (4 points)
3. KALØVIG COBRAS (13 points)
4. SEAHORSENS (13 points)
5. AARHUS SHARKS (16 points)

Follow the Danish J/70 Sailing League on Facebook   Facebook video highlights.   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information

German J/70 Sailing League action- BerlinNRV Leads J/70 German Sailing League
(Berlin, Germany)- Thirty-six teams from both the 1st and 2nd Levels participated in the fourth round of the German J/70 Sailing League at the club Seglerhaus am Wannsee.  As anticipated, the Wansee Lake was a challenge for the 36 clubs; the teams fought hard over the three days with spinning winds, sun, rain, and difficult conditions.

After 48 races (16 for each club), clubs from Hamburg were at the top of the podium for the second time in a row, but the outcome was made in the last race. The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and the Mühlenberger Sailing Club (MSC) defended their places at the top of the leader table.

"It's impressive how strong the NRV is and how they stay at the top without great mistakes,” commented Dennis Mehlig of the Württemberg Yacht Club. “Our goal was to be in the front again, so we are super happy with our result. The overall ranking has mixed up a bit because of the Berlin results.”

German J/70 Sailing League winners- BerlinBy winning seven of their sixteen races, it was quite clear that NRV was sailing in a league of their own.  Only Dusseldorf YC challenged them in most races, winning five races on their way to securing a second on the shifty lake.  Third went to Bayerischer YC, fourth was Wurttembergischer YC, and fifth was Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen.

As result, for the 1st level, NRV are counting a 1-8-1-1 for 11 pts to lead the series by 8 pts.  Second with an 8-5-2-4 tally for 19 pts is Wurttembergischer YC, and third is Bayerischer YC with a 2-7-10-3 for 22 pts.

Watch the YouTube sailing highlights of the sailing on Wansee in Berlin
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Day 3-

German J/70 sailing league video- BerlinWatch more sailing highlights of the German J/70 sailing league on Facebook here
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Day 3-
Sailing photo credits- Lars Wehrmann  For more German J/70 Sailing League information

German J/70 Youth Sailing LeagueMunchner YC Tops German J/70 Youth Sailing League
(Berlin, Germany)- The second round of the German J/70 Youth Sailing League took place on the Wannsee lake in Berlin. Despite summer holidays all over Germany, there were 20 passionately enthusiastic youth teams on the starting line, happily hosted by the Berlin Yacht Club.

The sailors were fortunate that forecasts for 8 to 15 kt winds from the west provided the best sailing conditions they could expect on the Wannsee for two days.  As a result, it made for great sailing on Saturday but Sunday’s had to be canceled since the wind died and turned the lake in a complete “glass out”.

Winning the abbreviated event was the Munchner YC with a 1-2-1-1 for 5 pts.  Second was the Bayerischer YC 2 team with a 1-1-4-1 for 7 pts. Then, third was the One Kiel Team with a 2-5-2-1 with 10 pts. Sailing photo credits- Lars Wehrmann.  Follow the German J/70 Youth Sailing League on Facebook here.   For more German J/70 Youth Sailing League information

Swedish J/70 Sailing LeagueKSSS Lengthens Lead @ Swedish J/70 League
(Örnsköldsvik, Sweden)- Eighteen teams participated in the third round of the Swedish J/70 Sailing League in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden this past weekend.  What transpired over the three-day event was not unexpected regards which team continued to demonstrate speed, strong tactics, and great boathandling.  In the end, the overall leader of the Swedish J/70 Sailing League (a.k.a. the Allsvenskan Segling 2018), the KSSS (Royal Swedish YC), added yet another bullet to their season scoreline to count just 4 pts after three events (Malmo, Ekero, Örnsköldsvik).

Nevertheless, winning for the KSSS did not come easy in this event. The inner harbor of Örnsköldsvik has very shifty, puffy winds. That combined with very short legs both upwind and downwind put a premium on “short course” tactics and positioning, as well as a very strong premium on excellent boat handling.  Add in 10-20 kt winds, the speed of the race can get to you quickly, one bad tack, one bad spinnaker set, a bad gybe, a blown leeward gate rounding, all add up quickly when you are racing six teams on a short, quick track.

Swedish J/70 Sailing League actionWhile it was tough on the competitors, it was fantastic sport for the spectators along the quayside, literally a few meters offshore the boats were dueling for position from start to finish.  Plus, a few spectacular wipe-outs (broaches) downwind kept everyone entertained.

"It's fair racing, but it feels like we've been moving so fat, so quickly! You cannot relax until you're finished the race, it can be exhausting working so fast! There is so much happening during the race,“ said Tobias Bergqvist from Särö Båtklubb (the team that was in 2nd after the first day).  At the end of Friday’s racing it was blowing a solid 18-25 kts!

Saturday’s racing didn’t see much change in the standings. The wind conditions moderated into the 10-15 kts range, making it easier for crews to get around the race track in a somewhat organized fashion (e.g. fewer broaches and spinnaker “shrimpings”).  However, it did produce a tie-breaker between KSSS and the Särö Båtklubb at 14 pts each.  And, Hjuviks Boatklub was not sitting in 3rd place with 16 pts.

Swedish  J/70 Sailing League woman skipperAt dawn on Sunday, everyone was hopeful for a final showdown between KSSS and the Särö Båtklubb teams. It was not meant to be, as the weather Gods instead produced 20-25 kt winds, gusting to 30 kts.  A bit much for the eighteen crews looking at the loss of a perfectly beautiful, sunny, warm, day of sailing in true “blowing dogs off chains” conditions.  So, the third day of racing was canceled and, thus, the KSSS won the round after only seven races during Friday and Saturday.

The four who won the victory for KSSS were Mikael Lindqvist, Christian Harding, Linnea Floser and Hanna Mauer.

"It feels great to be on top. There are shifty, puffy winds inside the harbor, but we managed to handle them well,” said Hanna Maurer from KSSS.

“Varied sailing in beautiful surroundings inspired us. We dared to make quick and difficult decisions. Our experienced skipper- Mikael Lindqvist- led the team to a tight, but lovely victory. Many thanks to the organizers who gave us the opportunity to sail on such a nice sailing arena," said Christian Harding of the KSSS crew.

Swedish J/70 Sailing League winnersWith three out of four rounds completed for this year's Allsvenskan, the ruling champions and favorites from KSSS have a safe lead after a second place and two wins in the three rounds.

The rest of the teams are now chasing Särö Boat Club that is sitting in 2nd place with 3-7-2 record for 12 pts, 8 pts back from the leaders KSSS.  Hot on their heels in third place overall is GKSS with a 9-2-4 tally for 15 pts.  And, only 2 pts in arrears of them in fourth place is Hjuviks BK with a 5-9-3 scoreline for 17 pts. In short, given the wildly gyrating performances between these three teams from event to event, it would be fair to say the balance of the podium behind KSSS is wide open!

The Allsvenskan season outcome will be determined in the final round in Gottskär, outside Gothenburg, from September 7th to 9th.  Sailing photo credits- Daniel Stenhol.  Follow the Swedish J/70 Sailing League here on Facebook.   For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information

Swiss J/70 Sailing League action in Davos, SwitzerlandRegattaclub Bodensee Lead in Swiss J/70 League
(Davos, Switzerland)- On the first day of the sailing on the beautiful mountain lake of Davos, the favorites, the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) and the Regattaclub Bodensee, made it clear they were in top form. In difficult wind conditions, the fresh north wind turned strong, and both teams constantly sailed in the top two places, with the Lake Constance team from Bodensee getting the best of their fellow sailors 1-1-2-3-3-3-1 tally to easily lead the fleet of a dozen teams from across Switzerland.

All crews were surprised by the massive windshifts and many found themselves, unexpectedly, at the back end of the field after one shift.  Or, they could work their way back to the top from a bad position if they caught some of those shifts to gain on their competitors.

After a poor start on the second day of the competition, the Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen clawed their back up the ladder to take the 2nd position behind the Bodensee crew as the winner of the day.  Meanwhile, also experiencing a meteoric rise up the leaderboard was the Club Nautique de Versoix (CNV); they were third on the day and leapt from 11th place to 3rd overall was back in the race for third place from second to last place.  CNV’s tally was a blistering hot 1-2-1-4-1-2!!

Swiss women J/70 Sailing League teamOn the final day, the sun shone on the Davos mountain peaks and with a nice westerly wind between 4 to 8 kts, a further 12 races were scored and the round was completed for the regatta with the maximum program of 42 races. Thanks to the excellent organization of the Davos Sailing and Surfing Club, including President Johnny Wenger and the PRO Gian-Andrea Giovanoli, the Davos RC work ran like a well-oiled, precise Swiss clock!

Regattaclub Bodensee’s crew of Massimo Soriano, Lea Rüegg, Stefan Zurfluh and René Ott won four of their last six races to clinch their victory in the Davos event, the second to last one of the Swiss Sailing Super League Series.

The Seglervereinigung Kreuzlingen team of Tom Rüegge, Peter Fritschi, Stefan Stäheli and Michael Hermann sailed a brilliant, consistent series to easily take the silver.

Swiss J/70 Sailing LeagueWhile the leaders finally settled their scores with each other, it was nothing even close to that in the fight for the final bronze position on the podium; in fact, it was a wide-open battle until the final race between four teams! The Société Nautique de Genève, the junior team of Regattaclub Oberhofen, the Club Nautique de Versoix and the Yacht Club Bielersee were all within five points of each other before their last race! The juniors from Oberhofen seized the opportunity and overtook the favorites from Geneva to snatch the bronze, much to the delight crossing the final finish line cheering wildly and “high-fiving” each other as they headed into the docks.

As a result of the Davos regatta, Regattaclub Bodensee have increased their overall series lead with finishes of 3-2-2-1 for 8 pts total for the Swiss Sailing Super League series.  Now sitting 5 pts back is the Societe Nautique de Geneve with 13 pts total.  Then, the “fast kids” from Oberhofen closed their gap considerably with the Genevans, sitting just one point back in third overall with 14 pts total.  And after winning the first two regattas then taking a disastrous 12th in the Luzern event, the SVK Team are back in the hunt with their 2nd place finish to sit in fourth for the series with 16 pts total.  Watch out!  The SSSL Finals in Versoix is going to be a big battle between those three teams for the final two podium spots (given the fact that it is unlikely RC Bodensee will finish worse than 5th!).  Sailing photo credits- Claudia Somm / SSL  Watch the SSSL sailing highlights video here on Facebook  Watch one of the SSSL daily sailing highlights here on YouTube   Follow the Swiss Sailing Super League on Facebook here   For more Swiss J/70 Sailing League information

J/80s sailing in FranceGAN’JA Tops J/80 Duo Crouesty Regatta
(Crouesty, France)- Over the past weekend, the YC du Crouesty Arzon hosted the J/80 Duo Crouesty Regatta using new racing format- doublehanded racing of J/80s.  This was done because of the “European Vacation” problem; traditionally, it is always difficult to gather crews at the end of August, hence the idea of testing a new racing format. And, it was also an opportunity to show the versatility of the J/80 as the “Swiss Army knife” of sailing- the ability to sail it for a variety of purposes, such as leisure, sailing school, match race, fleet race, and now as a doublehander.

The fleet enjoyed very varied wind conditions from 6 to 18 kts, very sunny days/ hot, and the YCCA PRO managed to run six races for the nine teams that participated.  Note, this event counted as one of the regattas towards the overall J/80 Coupe de France season series.

After sailing four windward-leeward race and two random-leg courses around government markers, it was pretty clear that the top of the leaderboard had become a duel between the Nadal’s and the Pellisier’s!  Starting off fast was the husband/wife duo of Sylvain & Caridad Pellisier on the INTUITIVE SAILS with a 1-2-1 the first day for only 4 pts.  Sitting in second after day one was Frank Vallet and Remi Rabbe’s AKAJOULE with a 2-3-4 for 9 pts, then sitting in third was another husband/wife team- Luc & Maureen Nadal’s GAN’JA with a 4-6-2 with 10 pts.

However, the next day, the standings virtually flipped over on the leaderboard for the top three on the podium!  After posting a 2-1-1, the Nadal’s on GAN’JA claimed the top spot, crowned as French J/80 Doublehanded Champions!  Then, dropping to second place after a mediocre performance of 6-3-4 was the Pellisier’s on INTUITVE SAILS, losing the regatta by a half point.  Then, just on the verge of winning the event outright was Vallet/ Rabbe’s AKAJOULE, starting with a 1-2 but then adding a DNF to their scoreline to drop into third on the podium.

As a result of this regatta, the standings remain fairly fluid for the top ten in the overall season series for the J/80 Coupe de France.  Still leading is Simon Moriceau’s ARMEN HABITAT with 350 pts after four regattas.  However, by winning the Duo Crouesty event, the Pellisier’s leap into the second spot with 317 pts.  Dropping to third is Patrick Bot’s ECOLE NAVALE CG29.  Then, leaping into fourth is Nadal’s’ GAN’JA with 270.5 pts, dropping Anne Phelipon’s NAVIGANTLIQUE into fifth position with 266.5 pts.

The battle is on still to determine the final spots in the top five for the J/80 Coupe de France since there are two large regattas left on the calendar- The Atlantique Telegramme in Lorient from September 21st to 23rd and the final event will be the French J/80 Nationals in Pornic from November 1st to 4th. For more French J/80 class sailing information

J/70s sailing off Marblehead, MASunny, Summery Ted Hood Regatta
Healy Tops J/70s, Masur Takes J/105s
(Marblehead, MA)- The annual Storm Trysail Club Ted Hood Regatta took place from August 24th to 26th for fleets of J/70s, J/105s, and a variety of ORR-EZ/ PHRF handicap racing teams.  The regatta was significant for the forty-seven J/70s since was the last major event prior to the upcoming 2018 J/70 World Championship being hosted by Eastern YC in late September.

What was remarkable about the regatta for the J/70 class was the fact that every team in the top five had at least one or two double-digit finishes, which is how tough the fleet was over the three days.  Winning was Tim Healy’s NEW ENGLAND ROPES with a 5-11-2-6-3-3-4 tally for 34 pts, handily winning the event. Second was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, the only boat to win two races, with a record of 1-22-4-5-5-1-8 for 46 pts. Then, third was Umberto de Luca’s Italian crew on MASCALZONE LATINO with a scoreline of 10-3-15-1-2-7-10 for 48 pts. Winning the Corinthians Division was Jim Cunningham’s LIFTED from San Francisco, CA.

The J/105s enjoyed good racing off the east of Children’s Island.  Winning that fleet with four bullets in their scoreline was Mark Masur’s Texan team on TWO FEATHERS.  Second, was Ken Bowden’s KNOTLESS and third was Jon Samel’s BLOWN AWAY.

In the ORR-EZ Division 1, Gary Weisberg’s J/111 HEAT WAVE took third, followed by Fred de Napoli’s J/124 ALLEGRO MALVAGIO in 4th, Tom Mager’s J/122 GIGI in 5th, Chris Lund’s J/133 JUMP in 6th, and Ed Kaye’s J/111 PRAVDA in 7th.

J/Crews faired better in ORR-EZ Division 2, with Dan Boyd’s J/109 WILD THING winning with Ward Blodgett & Liz Smith’s J/33 SIROCCO in third. For more Storm Trysail Ted Hood Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing off Chicago, ILJ/Crews Enjoy Chicago's Verve Cup
Renz Wins J/70s, J/24s Got Boned!
(Chicago, IL)- From August 24th to 26th, the Chicago YC hosted the Verve Cup Inshore Regatta on the beautiful blue waters of Lake Michigan, right off the majestic waterfront of Chicago.  The J/70s enjoyed a total of nine races over the three days and the J/24 one-design class a total of just five races.

Sarah & Mark Renz’s BERTEAU GROUP won the ten-boat J/70 class with all finishes in the top three, including three 1sts, three 2nds, and two 3rds for 17 pts total.  Starting off slowly with a 4-4-6, Martin Johnsson’s AQUAHOLIKS virtually smoked the fleet for four 1sts and two 2nds for 22 pts total to take the silver… just imagine if they had started off the regatta with that streak?  Third was Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH a long distance back with 43 pts.

The J/24s saw Josh Bone’s MOTORHOME actually motor home to the top of the leaderboard with a blistering 2-2-1-1-3 tally for 9 pts total. Not panicking was Richard Graef’s DON’T PANIC, collecting a 1-4-5-5-1 for 16 pts to take the silver.  Then, Cory Huseby’s BORK BORK BORK! took the bronze with an 8-1-2-3-5 for 19 pts total.  For more Verve Cup Inshore Regatta sailing information

J/80 sailing upwindFKA Crushes J/80 East Coasts
(Boothbay Harbor, ME)- Over the August 24th to 26th weekend, the Boothbay Harbor YC hosted the 2018 J/80 East Coast Championship.  A competitive fleet of sixteen J/80s from across the East Coast high-tailed it up to Maine to enjoy spectacular sailing in the gorgeous waters off Boothbay Harbor.

Starting off the first day leading the regatta, Les Beckwith’s crew on FKA never looked back, despite a disappointing 10th in the 5th race.  In the end, they accumulated six firsts in nine races to win with just 18 pts total.  Kevin Hayes’ MORE GOSTOSA sailed a very consistent series, collecting 5 seconds along the way, to take the silver with 20 pts total.  Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Dan Shanahan’s LAWYERS GUNS & MANGOS with a total of 32 pts.  For more J/80 East Coast Championship sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

Women's J/24 sailing team* Women’s J/24 Team- Lee Ann Zaretsky, owner of the J/24 LADY MINX, had a tremendous experience sailing in last weekend’s Lambert Lai Memorial Regatta, hosted by Rochester YC.  Here is her story…

“The all-female J/24 Sailing Team, Lady MINX, recently spent a wind-whipped weekend racing on Lake Ontario in the J/24 District 7 Pendant Series Lambert Lai Memorial Regatta at the Rochester Yacht Club with many other J/24 competitors.  This regatta was organized by fleet captain Dave Stoller as a tribute to an amazing man, Lambert “Lambo” Lai and significant to many of us because Lambert called Rochester home.  For those of you not fortunate enough to have known him, he was an avid J/24 sailor and past president of the J/24 Class association.  Lambo loved racing his prized J/24, USA 5020 - Dr. Feelgood, and took pride in advancing the sport.  Case in point:  When Lambo heard I wanted to buy a J/24 and start racing it with an all-female crew, he took me under his wing.  He walked me through his boat pointing out all that I needed to know so that I was knowledgeable to find the right boat for me, and he helped me weed through the many boats I traveled to inspect over the summer of 2014.  His insights and words of wisdom were invaluable.

Women J/24 sailors on Lady MinxSadly, Lambo passed away soon after I purchased my boat.  Lady MINX was never able to race against him, but his influence, kindness, and willingness to support us lives on in our commitment to the sport and to this memorial regatta.  We sail in remembrance of this talented, respected, and likeable man and he would be proud of the Lady MINX sailing team!  While we are far from top-fleet competitors, we are beginning to turn heads and hear encouraging comments from our opponents as we make inroads sailing against the likes of Travis Odenbach, Kris Werner, Jack DePeters, Dave Stoller (new owner of Lambo’s USA 5020 Dr. Feelgood), Ed Gardner and other local experts who have been racing J/24’s for many years.

Lambo was with us in spirit this weekend!  We experienced a great regatta filled with sailing coups and conquered challenges.  On day one, Lake Ontario threw everything she had at us from gusty gusts to shifty shifts to deadpan lulls challenging both competitors and the race committee alike.  Winds were anywhere from 5 to 20+ knots depending on one’s location and timing.  To say it was challenging, is an understatement.  Weighing in at a mere 600-ish pounds of rail meat, we were easily over powered in the Women's J/24 sailing teamgusts; so we started the day with a blade but quickly realized we needed the power of a full genoa to compete in this fleet, as the competition was tough!  Race committee kept a tight starting line making it difficult for many to get off in clean air, but we managed a majority of stellar starts that kept us in the game from the get-go.  Our challenge for the 5 races that day was keeping the boat flat, tacking smoothly, and staying in phase with the shifts – all proving difficult.  But we had a secret weapon that helped us reclaim lost footage – our new Quantum hot pink spinnaker that made it a breeze to shoot downwind.  Our skill at spinnaker handling, combined with our lower weight, finally gave us a respectable advantage and we were able to overtake other contenders!

Lake Ontario calmed down a bit for day two with the winds settling into 12-15 knots and staying somewhat consistent and pleasing to all who came out to play.  It was definitely easier to keep the boat flat, to stay in-phase with the shifts, and to tack smoothly.  Alas, we found ourselves nipping at the heels of more opponents and competing for the finish with a solid pack of competitors.  We finished 3 races that day and proudly moved up a notch on the final race results.

J/24s sailing upwindSailing with an all-female team has its advantages!  We always have great snacks and drinks and we can easily share gear!  The down side is that there are a limited number of female competitive sailors, so that makes finding crew daunting.  Those of us who do sail are often already dedicated to a boat.   Lady MINX is supportive of and would like to see, more all-female J/24 sailboats on the racecourse.  If any females are interested in getting started and would like to learn from our experiences, then please contact us and we would be happy to share our insights and struggles with you.  
A team is only as good as its members.  Therefore, I would be remiss if I did not thank my amazing crew for their hard work, skill, and willingness to give up the weekend to sail in the J/24 District 7 Pendant Series Lambert Lai Memorial Regatta:  trimmer – Shelly Strachan, bow – Leah Krauss, tactician – Tracie Patane-Neefuss, and mast – Stephanie Crittenden.  Moreover, final thanks goes to Lambert “Lambo” Lai for his positive support and encouragement the day that I told him I wanted to buy and skipper an all-female J/24.  Mahalo, my friend!  Your legacy lives on in those of us you touched!” Add to Flipboard Magazine.