Wednesday, November 14, 2018

J/Newsletter- November 14th, 2018

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In the upcoming week, the 2nd annual U.S. J/70 Youth Championship will be taking place in St. Petersburg, FL, with up to ten youth teams participating on St. Petersburg Yacht Club’s fleet of matched, one-design J/70 sailboats; it is a three-day event that takes place from Friday to Sunday. The week before, the J/24 Southeast Championship also took place out of StPYC.  Then, from across the Gulf, we got the insiders view from J.D. Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR of what took place at last week’s offshore race in the Gulf of Mexico- the 32nd Annual Harvest Moon Regatta from Houston/ Galveston Bay south to Port Aransas. North of them in the chilly Midwest, the Charlevoix J/22 Fleet hosted their annual Cranberry Cup in Charlevoix, MI on a snowy, cold day! Then, out in the Pacific Northwest, Corinthian YC of Seattle hosted one of the more popular offshore races; the annual “Round the County Race” sailed on Puget Sound. And, south of them on San Francisco Bay, the annual Red Bra Regatta took place to support women’s breast cancer research!!

Heading east across the Atlantic, we received the Hamble Winter Series “Mid-Series” report from Trevor Pountain.  Still way further east, the Royal Hong Kong YC will be hosting their favorite offshore race- the Round Hong Kong Island Race- see preview below.

Finally, from way Down Under, we also got a report from “Mick” for the J/24 New South Wales Championship sailed off Bates Bay, Sydney Harbour, Australia.

J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster hull 
J/99 Offshore Speedster Update
(Newport, RI)- We’re excited to report that J/99 hulls #1 and #2 are nearing completion at J/Composites and the J/Team is gearing up for a very busy December. Twenty (20) J/99 orders are already confirmed which extends the initial backlog into July 2019.

Hull #1 will make its world boat show debut at the Paris Show (Salon Nautique Paris) from December 8-16 and then ship to J-UK in Hamble, England to launch and sail in the Solent.

Meanwhile, hull #2 will splash just before Christmas in Brittany, France for some end-of-the-year sailing. To kick off 2019, the J/99 will be displayed at the Dusseldorf “boot” Show in Germany from January 19-27.

The first boat to North America will arrive in Rhode Island in early February and be commissioned for an early season (March) launch. The J/99 will make its North American boat show debut at the Pacific Sail Show in Richmond, CA, April 4-17, 2019.

Hull #1 is shown above with graphics already in place and in final prep mode for deck installation at the end of the week.  For more J/99 doublehanded offshore speedster information

J/Gear Christmas Holidays SpecialA Happy Holiday Special at the J/Store is taking place NOW through November 24th! Receive 20% off your entire order, just enter code “JB2018x” when you place the order.  Please note- 1/2 models and J/Prints are exempt from this offer.  Check out all the cool gear, hats, shirts, and so forth online here today!

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 7- Dec 2- Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Nov 11- Around Hong Kong Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 13- The BIG Sail- San Francisco, CA
Nov 15-18- U.S. J/70 Youth Championship- St Petersburg, FL
Nov 17- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Nov 30- Wirth Munroe Memorial Race- Palm Beach, FL
Dec 1- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
Dec 8-16- Salon Nautique Boat Show- Paris, France
Dec 1-2- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series I- Miami, FL
Dec 8-9- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series I- Tampa, FL
Jan 5-6- Davis Island J/70 Winter Series II- Tampa, FL
Jan 19-20- Bacardi J/70 Winter Series II- Miami, FL
Jan 24-27- J/Fest St Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
Jan 26-28- Festival of Sails- Geelong, Vic, Australia
Feb 9-10-  Davis Island J/70 Series III- Tampa, FL
Feb 15-17- Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 21-24- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL

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

Around Hong Kong Island courseAround Hong Kong Island Race Preview
(Hong Kong, China)- The annual Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is one of the biggest offshore events in Hong Kong. It is a 26.0 nm race around Hong Kong Island involving Keelboats, Dinghies, Beach Cats and Cruisers.

The entry list is over 200 boats and at least 1,500 participants come from all major yacht, sailing and rowing clubs around Hong Kong island.

In the past, a number of the J/Teams entered have collected more than their fair share of silverware.

Hoping to repeat those silverware winning successes will be teams like Nico Cohen-Addad’s J/122E JINN, Rick Van Den Berg’s J/111 JUGGERKNOT, Pascal Martin’s J/105 LEGENDE, Wing Hung Ng’s J/35 NO ONE ELSE, David Mitchell’s J/145C REDEYE, and Nick Southward’s famous J/109 WHISKEY JACK.  For more RHKYC Around Island Race sailing information

J/112E sailing Hamble seriesHamble Winter Series- Mid-series Report
(Hamble, England)- The second four weeks of the series have only one race per day as the nights close in and the winter proper begins. Even so, these four races can be crucial as discards start to play their part. So, with eight races gone and four to go it is time to look at the story so far.

In Class 1, Chaz Ivill and Paul Heys, sailing the J/112E DAVANTI TYRES, continue to lead the way with a pretty solid 8 point lead.

J/109 sailing Hamble seriesFor Class 2, it is very much a J/Boats battle. Mike and Susie Yates’ J/109 JAGO, is in first place on 11 points over Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE, second with 20. But, once again, JIRAFFE has a 15 point DNC to discard. With no cancellations in the series so far, the likelihood of eleven races and three discards is pretty strong. Then, Gavin Howe’s J/88 TIGRIS also has 20 points in third place; just ahead of their sister ship J-DREAM (Kirsty & David Apthorp) on 22 points.

As a result of those races in Class 2, the J/88 One-design calculations show that Howe’s TIGRIS is winning the class, followed by the Apthorp’s J-DREAM in second and Dirk van Beek’s SABRIEL JR in third.

J/88 sailing Hamble seriesIn the top five of Class 3 is David Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO, sitting on 31 pts, but including a DNC (17 pts).  As they’ve done before, don’t be surprised if they leap up the standings after collecting more discard races.  The races they have sailed in gives them a 3rd average, good enough to vault them onto the podium if they keep up that pace.

One of the HYS Hamble Winter Series' great supporters, Force 4 Chandlery, will be the day sponsor this weekend. Force 4 at Port Hamble Marina open early on Sunday mornings to cater for last minute purchases by our competitors. Watch out for Force 4 money off vouchers at the prize giving in the club on Sunday lunchtime, always useful for Christmas presents at this time of year. Remember, if you don't come in your prize will cascade down to the next boat. For the rest of us it will just be beer and chips as usual.  Thanks for contribution from Trevor Pountain.  For more Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Harvest Moon Regatta startHarvest Moon Regatta Report
(Port Aransas, TX)- Nearly 120 sailing yachts of all shapes and builds milled about under overcast skies as they awaited their gun to begin the 150.0 nm trek from Galveston Island to Port Aransas, TX.

The Harvest Moon Regatta, run annually by Lakewood Yacht Club, is the largest port-to-port sailing regatta on the U.S. gulf coast.

This year, the regatta was returning for the first time to Port Aransas after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The grand finale to Texas’s sailing season, there would be upwards of 1,500 sailors, family and friends at the Welcome Sailor Rum Party (aka the “Bacardi Party” named after Founding Sponsor Bacardi Rum) at the newly rebuilt Dennis Dryer Municipal Harbor in Port Aransas.

Although the conditions at the start line were gray and gusty, the forecast was calling for clearing skies and moderating winds. It would be a gorgeous night of sailing under twinkling stars with a brilliant, full harvest moon to light the way!

Six J/Boats entered the regatta. So it was an astounding accomplishment when it was announced that J/Boats had swept the podium in the premier racing division, which was sailed under the ORC rating rule.

J.J/122 Second Star winnersD. and Susan Hill’s J/122 SECOND STAR took home the prestigious Bacardi Cup and the overall win. John Barnett’s J/105 PESTO was second overall and first in ORC Division B, and James Liston’s J/120 AEOLUS rounded out the “J” podium sweep by coming in third overall and second in ORC Division A.

“Based on the tracks of the winning boats over the years, the odds greatly favor those who can sail fast along the rhumb line,” said J.D. Hill, skipper of SECOND STAR. "But this year was different,” said Hill. “Because our forecasts showed the weather clearing with breeze getting lighter and turning clockwise, even though we would sail a longer route, we went offshore so we could sail almost the entire race powered up with a kite.”

Port Aransas, TX- Harvest Moon RegattaThen next morning as the wind veered from northwest to northeast, boats that followed the traditional wisdom of sailing along the rhumb line found themselves pointing at the shore, where they would then have to beat or close reach to the finish in light breeze and an adverse current.

“This was truly a team win,” according to Hill. “Not only did we sail the optimal route, but I’m pretty sure we were the first boat to put up a kite, and the last one to take them down. We did eight sail changes during the night to keep Second Star perfectly powered up, and rarely did anyone go below for an off-watch cat nap. It was so nice out, and we were so excited by the way the race was playing out, that everyone wanted to stay on deck and contribute.”

The City of Port Aransas worked round-the-clock to have the harbor renovations completed in time for the regatta, and their efforts paid off. The new facility is bigger and better than ever– truly a first-class facility.

"We had a great time at the Bacardi Party too,” said Hill. “Lots of competitors were walking the docks, so we had the opportunity to meet new friends and invite them onboard. Due to the J/122’s performance, I guess most people just assume it’s a stripped-out racing sled. Visitors were surprised to see below, where we were entertaining in air-conditioned comfort from a stylish and elegantly appointed ‘cruiser’ salon.”

Round County Race start 
Round The County Race Fun & Games
(Seattle, WA)- 117 boats signed up (25% were J’s) for the 2018 running of everyone’s favorite “welcome to winter” race in the Pacific Northwest– the Round the County, hosted by the Orcas island Yacht Club and the Friday Harbor Sailing club.

The forecast for the Islands turned out to be reasonably accurate.  For Saturday, it was East winds 5 to 15 kts becoming NE in the afternoon. Then, on Sunday, the wind shifted into the North and was about 8-10 kts and relatively flat waters.

Furthermore, the currents didn’t look to be too strong compared to previous years, but it was a factor for Saturday’s racing; the bigger boats could get through Haro Straits at the halfway point before it started ebbing against the rest of the fleet.  Then, on Sunday the currents lined up well with the northerly winds.

J/29 sailing Round County race
Class 5 had two of the classic J/performance cruisers, the J/30. Jim Bottles CELEBRATION & Theo Singelis’ TAKU were among the fastest rated boats in their class. As it turned out, they had their work cut out for them going up against a gaggle of Santa Cruz 27’s and the world’s fastest Catalina 36.  In the end, only Bottles’ CELEBRATION cracked the top five, going home with a 4th place flag.

The only J/crew in Class 4 was one of Seattle’s best-sailed boats- Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW (a.k.a. known by locals as “beer & now!”). As they have done so many times before, they crushed Saturday’s race with a 15+ minute corrected time win.  Then, hung tough on Sunday to take a comfortable win over their class of fifteen boats.
J/109 sailing Round County
Class 3 had a plethora of J/crews, four J/105’s, a J/40, a J/33 and a J/88.  Taking third was Phoenix’s J/105 JADED, they were followed by Powell’s J/33 KEET in fourth, Hayward & Townrow’s J/105 KINETIC in fifth, White’s J/88 BON BINI in sixth, Le Moule & Pace’s J/105 LIFTOFF in eighth, and Gardner-Brown’s J/105 DULCINEA in tenth- a good showing for the crews taking six of the top ten.

Class 2 had a good group of J’s, with one J/40 and four of the classic J/35’s.  In the end, Stenwick’s J/35 THE BOSS was the only one to make the podium, capturing the bronze.  Only Murphy’s J/40 SEMPER QUARENS managed to crack the top ten, taking 8th in a tightly-fought class.
J/120 sailing Round County
Class 1 had ten J/Teams! Yes, ten classy performance cruisers carrying full interiors all the way around the course against Flying Tigers & Farr 30’s along with some other big performance cruisers.  Six J/109’s and four J/120’s were up against some great boats and sailors. Despite the shifty, lighter conditions favoring the stripped out ultra-lights, Petersen’s J/109 LEGACY sailed well to take the bronze on the podium.  Then, Halliday’s J/120 HERON 2 took fifth in the closely-fought class.

Class Zero went all the way from the slowest rated boat, Welch’s J/111 RECON, to the beautiful J/122 GRACE sailed by the Mack family, to the fastest boat in the fleet, the amazing performance cruiser that is Fox and McPhail’s J/160 JAM.  In the end, it was the slowest-rated boat that won- Welch’s J/111 RECON; they were followed by the Mack’s J/122 GRACE in sixth.
J/125 Hamachi- sailing Round County
In the ORC Class, Tenneson’s J/145 JEDI and Andrew’s J/125 HAMACHI were up against some amazingly advanced designs along with three TP52’s and an RP55.  Nevertheless, the J/125 HAMACHI found the conditions to their liking and took the class win, while the J/145 JEDI managed a fifth place. A great outcome for all in the J/Tribe!!  For more Round the County Race sailing information

J/24 Australia winners 
KAOTIC Stomps J/24 NSW Champs
(Sydney Harbour, Australia)- Cronulla Sailing Club, in partnership with the J/24 Southern Sydney Fleet, again hosted the NSW State Championships in the waters of Bate Bay.

Saturday started off with the crew briefing, led by CSC’s PRO Bruce Swane. He laid down the law and set the scene for what was to come, two days of exciting, frustrating, but most of all enjoyable and friendly One-Design racing!

Race 1 got underway in a steady though light 8 kt easterly shooting out from Shark Island into Bate Bay. Twelve J24s headed out, popping spinnakers and heading into Cronulla only for half the fleet to be becalmed at the bottom mark and the leaders TINTO (Stephen Wright) and INNAMINCKA (John Crawford) streaking ahead on the breeze. However, the wind returned with TINTO first followed by INNAMINCKA in second and WATERBORNE AGAIN (Brendan Lee) in third.

Race 2 and the cream began to rise. Sean Kirkjian driving KAOTIC, past multiple Australian and NSW Champion came in first followed by TINTO and the forever-young Cronulla local David Mckay in STAMPED URGENT.

The race committee then began the search for the elusive wind.  The AP flew and the fleet began the race into the Club house for some stories of where’d the wind go!?  That was followed by some great BBQ delights! And, to enjoy the $500 bar tab supplied by the Harbour Fleet. Cheers!!!

Sunday arrived with an increasing northeasterly and by race 3, all bar one boat, went with the jib. Brenden Lee from Sandringham Yacht Club took race 3 followed by KAOTIC and ACE (David West).

J/24 spinnaker- AustraliaAll under Jib in race 4 and again the man from Sandringham driving WATERBORNE AGAIN came first, VORTEX (Chris Lee) in second, and STAMPED URGENT made up the podium. Special mentions go to the team on JARGON (Jarred Macquart) making the most of the one design nature of a J/24, flying his kite sideways to take advantage of the blustery NE summer breeze!!

Race 5 and KAOTIC returned to the top spot, ACE in second and WATERBORNE AGAIN in third, the title was to be decided in the final race.

With the course reset into the estuary, the results of Race 6 where to reflect the final overall result. KAOTIC in first followed by WATERBORNE AGAIN and TINTO following.

Congratulations to Sean Kirkjian and his crew on KAOTIC, NSW Champion 2018, in front of Brenden Lee’s WATERBORNE AGAIN from Sandringham on count back, and Steve Wright’s TINTO from the Cronulla Sailing Club in third.

Performance Handicap results saw VORTEX skippered by Chris Lee, making a return to One-Design racing, in first place.  He was followed by KAOTIC in second and WATERBORNE AGAIN in third.

Cronulla SC and the J/24 Fleet of Southern Sydney would like to thank all the sponsors- Spot-A-Yacht Photography, MySail Team Management, Macquart Marine, Wet Tech Rigging and Infinity Rigging.

J/24 SSF would also like to thank the team of volunteers at Cronulla Sailing Club, making this Championship one of the best to date, from the cooks on the BBQ to the servers behind the line, the on-water crew moving marks and setting courses to the results team getting everything online quickly and efficiently. The next J/24 regatta is the 2019 Australian Titles, hosted in Adelaide at the CYCSA from January 3-6, 2019.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again – Anarchist Mick.  For more Australian J/24 Class sailing information

J/24 sailing off FloridaLiebel Captures J/24 Southeast Championship
(St Petersburg, FL)- The J/24 fleet was created on Tampa Bay back in the early 1980’s, when the first US Sailing “Championship of Champions” was hosted by St Petersburg YC in a fleet of 24 J/24s.  Since then, the fleet has maintained a strong presence on the Bay for over four decades.  This past weekend, a fleet of fifteen boats assembled from all over the region to compete for the Southeast J/24 Championship crown.

The fleet was blessed with the ability to run six races over the two day weekend.  It was abundantly clear that one team stood head and shoulders above the rest.  After posting three straight bullets in the first three races, Mark Liebel’s team on USA 799 closed with a 2-1-2 to win with just 6 pts net.  Doh! That was essentially a “whitewash” of the local competition due to an amazing combination of brilliance, speed, luck, and just more brilliant tactics.

The balance of the podium included several local hotshots that are almost always “in the money”.  Taking second was John Poulso’s LONG SHOT with a 4-4-2-1-2-5 tally for 13 pts net.  Then, taking the bronze was none other than St Pete YC’s Sailing Director- Todd Fedyszyn- racing with friends and family on SPOONY TACTICS with a slightly variable scoreline of 8-3-3-3-7-1 record for 17 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were Jim Howard’s CLASSIC in fourth and Eamonn Delisser’s MAIN SQUEEZE in fifth place. Top woman skipper was Amy Kubie’s YELLOWTAIL.  For more J/24 Southeast Championship sailing information

J/22 frostbite CharlevoixSnowy J/22 “Cranberry Cup” Report
(Charlevoix, MI)- The Charlevoix Yacht Club hosts its Wednesday Night Series, Spring-Summer-Fall, ending about October 15th each year.  But, that isn’t quite enough for the J/22 Fleet.  Here is their report from Tom Barnes:

“Starting in 1987 we’ve been moving from Lake Charlevoix into the Round Lake Harbor to race in “The Arena”.

Each week stands on its own and we compete for bragging rights at the Bridge Street Tap Room after sailing. Many a war story is told there!

J/22 frostbite Charlevoix, MISo, races start at 1:00pm and, in almost all conditions, we get in six races and are done in time to watch the Detroit Lions football team lose. A sore subject for many of us!

Our final race of the season is the Sunday following Thanksgiving, appropriately called, “The Cranberry Cup”.  Tradition has that the previous winner fills the Cup with dried cranberries and presents it to the new winner (preferably with vodka, too).

Our fleet peaked the first time in 1997 with 12 boats racing in “the Arena.” The fleet waned until only Bob Grove with Pale Face Lite was the last J/22 in Charlevoix. Bob, though, is not a man to be deterred. He loves the J/22, loves sailing, and has undying enthusiasm.  He bought several older J/22s and offered them to anyone willing to race them. He grew this “starter” fleet to five boats.  One has now been sold to a local sailor, and Bob is on the hunt for another.  Meantime, two other local sailors caught the bug and bought two more boats.  We’ve done a little travelling, and our dear friends, from the Tawas fleet have been sending over two boats for the Arena series.  Next weekend, we will also be joined by Warrior Sailing out of Traverse City, giving us the potential for 10 boats on the start line!!

J/22 Cranberry CupNot only is Round Lake picturesque, but it offers outstanding spectator opportunities from the City docks. They get to watch a uniquely challenging series of races.  Round lake has shifty conditions. Couple that with 6-10 boats in a small venue and it places a premium on starting skills, rounding tactics and rules knowledge. Not a week goes by without a learning opportunity.  Most exciting, is seeing the new sailors, or new to J/22s, getting into the competition.  This past week we had eight boats and 21 sailors of which at least six are new to the fleet!!

The J/22 is a perfect platform for this type of racing. We run main and jib only (in order to keep crew off the icy foredeck), so it can be raced with only two people. The J/22 is robust, forgiving and great for new sailors. Round Lake is more about good starts and then good tactics, so “old” sails are not a significant detriment to performance, which keeps it affordable also.

Starting last year, we gained the luxury of an on the water race committee, which has made a great improvement.  Previously it was rabbit or on-your-honor timed starts.  The RC has also provided video and photo support including hosting the local TV news stations, which like to come out and take pictures of the crazy sailors.  A big thanks to J/Boats for creating and supporting such a great boat.”  Thanks to Tom Barnes for his report!

Red Bra Regatta participants 
Brassieres Topless @ Red Bra Regatta
(San Francisco)- San Francisco’s Red Bra Regatta is as much fun as its cheeky name suggests. Now in its seventh year, more than 100 women on fourteen boats met on San Francisco Bay to share camaraderie and spirited competition, against one of sailing’s most beautiful backdrops. For the first time, the Red Bra Regatta was sponsored by another stunning, yet relatively undiscovered, sailing destination— Taiwan.

No protest flag? Just use your red bra…
The idea for the Red Bra Regatta was hatched from an amusing protest incident in the Jazz Cup, the annual Labor Day weekend race to Benicia, a decade or so ago. A small group of women created an all women’s fleet within the mostly-male fleet, but one of the group’s husbands was serving as the PRO (principal race officer) for the race. As they charged toward the starting line, the opposing female skippers (jokingly) decided to protest her colleague’s “unfair advantage”— using her red bra. Not only was the protest registered, but the uproarious laughter created a commotion that helped the protesting skipper win the race.

The group continued the tradition in the Jazz Cup for the next two years before founding a new regatta at the South Beach Yacht Club to elevate their skills and share in the fun of sailing.

J/105 red bra crew
Festive fun at the 2018 Red Bra Regatta! Clockwise from the top: J/105 AIRJALDI crew: Janet McDaniel, Gene Harris, Maggie Heilman, Kim Zimmer, Kira Taylor, Jane Hratko, Vicky Haller, (missing: Samantha Clarke and Logan Ashcroft)

Padded or push-up?
Red wigs, berets, headscarves, boas, and of course red bras were a dime a dozen on the dock at San Francisco’s Pier 40 the morning of the event. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau provided competitors with beautifully designed technical t-shirts and then it was time to dock out.

The breeze in October in San Francisco can be temperamental and Saturday, October 20, was no exception. The regatta didn’t get underway until 2:00 PM., but it was worth the wait and beautiful to behold. There were fourteen incredibly diverse boats on the starting line, including J/22s, J/30, and J/105s.

“Joan Byrne’screw is called Heart of Gold and Taiwan is known as the “Heart of Asia,” so it just seemed like a natural connection and one that would be a win-win for everyone,” said Frances Larose of PR Magic, who coordinated the sponsorship on behalf of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. Frances is a member of the South Beach Yacht Club, and she raced in the 2017 Red Bra Regatta.

“Linda Lin, the executive director of the SF Taiwan Tourist Bureau, and I were both delighted to have Joan and her crew represent Taiwan. She is such a strong sailor and a visionary for the expansion of the Red Bra Regatta into the future,” Frances added.

Joan has a reputation for winning San Francisco regattas and having fun doing it— for the past 20 years. It was a pleasure to watch Joan and her talented crew work together on the water, flying a glorious “Taiwan, The Heart of Asia” spinnaker barreling downwind across the Bay.

Because the boats were so different, the performance handicap racing fleet (PHRF) formula was used to calculate the results. Each boat is assigned a handicap based on size and weight, which means the boat that crosses the finish line first doesn’t necessarily win. Once all the boats had finished the race, skippers and crew headed back to the dock and up to the club for the party and the results.

Red Bra party starts
Apr├Ęs race celebrations begin! Top: Team Squirrel, on the cabin top, left to right, Graziella Solinas, Karen Clarkson-Colombo, Collette Meyers, Elizabeth Little, and Joan Byrne (skipper), on the lower rail: Lisa Anderson, Angie Liebert, and Mara Guttman; bottom left, Team Boudicca Lisa Caswell, Cathy Moyer (skipper), Petra Gilmore, Jenna Recupero; bottom right, the Iseult crew: Phaedra Fisher, Patricia Corcoran, Yuning Pathman, Fernanda Castelo (skipper). Iseult was on loan from Larry Mayne, Sequoia YC Staff Commodore. Photos: top, Joan Byrne; bottom row, Kara Hugglestone/Sail Couture.

Yacht club celebration
On the dock and in the yacht club, the champagne bottles were a-popping! We enjoyed a short presentation by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, which is celebrating the “Year of the Bay”— including pristine coastlines, stunning islands, bay recreation, and the beauty of the ocean itself. Taipei and San Francisco are sister cities and also both members of the exclusive “Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club,” made up of only 43 bays worldwide.

J/105 crew and party bearThe adorable O’Bear was a popular party guest, here with Logan Ashcraft, left, and Collette Meyers, right. Photos: Kara Hugglestone/Sail Couture.

Interestingly, Taiwan is both the world’s largest producer of sailing parts and a spectacular sailing destination. Taiwan spokesperson Frances Larose inspired us with imagery of scenic vistas, creative festivals, gourmet cuisine, and blue water sailing! Taiwan yacht clubs host regattas throughout the spring and summer, with several premiere events in April and May.

Taiwan’s beautiful Turtle Island, or Guishan Island, which is also in the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area, is a favorite destination for whale-watching from April to October. Photo: Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Taiwan islands
With Taiwan added to all of our “To Sail” lists, it was time for the awards! Fernanda Castelo took home the top prize in the non-spinnaker division. Fernanda is an inspiring and passionate advocate for the sport. The president of California Inclusive Sailing for sailors of all abilities, she uses a wheelchair on land, but you wouldn’t know that from her skill on the water. Joan Byrne, proudly flying the Taiwan kite, triumphed in the spinnaker division. I love that two such important women sailors won, Fernanda, who makes dreams come true regardless of the challenges, and Joan for supporting the sport of sailing so well and so long. In short, it was a phenomenal day for women empowerment.

red bra regatta winners
Regatta Co-chairs Winnie Kelly, Joan Byrne, and SBYC Rear Commodore and PRO Andrew Lorenzen present the award in the non-spinnaker division to Fernanda Castelo (skipper and President of California Inclusive Sailing with the mission of sharing a love of sailing with people of all abilities), Patricia Corcoran, and Yuning Pathman. Photo: Gerard Sheridan.

The event concluded with a delightful raffle of travel trinkets, stadium blankets, and Chinese Zodiac figurines based on birth year, the latter I actually won. My table enjoyed reading about the Asian zodiac and accessing its accuracy, which we agreed was right on—just like the Red Bra Regatta!

Many thanks to the South Beach Yacht Club organizing committee, all the fun-loving and talented competitors, and most of all, to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau for supporting women’s sailing in such a wonderful way.  Thanks for the story from Sail Couture’s Kara Hugglestone

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
New York YC American Magic prototype- the Mule 
* Pretty cool to see what past J/24 World Champions and College Sailors of the Year are doing recently. 

One of them, Terry Hutchinson, is spearheading the AMERICAN MAGIC team in the New York YC’s quest to win back the America’s Cup in foiling monohull 75 footers.

Just this past week, they launched a 1/2 scale model using a heavily customized production 38-footer’s hull and launched it, flying around Narragansett Bay at 25+ kts. Pretty wild to see how the boat actually works.  Watch the “Mule”, as the test boat is called, on this very cool YouTube sailing video here.
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