Wednesday, June 12, 2019

J/Newsletter- June 12th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

The summer sailing season has truly kicked into full-gear in America with no less than eight major events taking place across the 3,000 mile expanse of the 51 states. The biggest event took place in the Midwest, where the HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta was hosted by the Chicago YC for a cast of thousands on Lake Michigan, off the extraordinary, magnificent Chicago city waterfront lined with some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. The racing included one-design fleets of J/70s, J/105s, J/109s, J/88s, and J/111s and PHRF Racers. Crazily enough, simultaneously taking place in the northeast coastline were three big events; the Annapolis to Newport Race hosted by the Annapolis YC for a PHRF fleet that included a J/111, J/120, J/44, J/110, J/42, and J/35. Sailing across their bows, literally, was the Bermuda One-Two Race fleet, hosted by Newport YC, which included two J/120s and a J/121. Then, as those two fleets sailed past New York, the Lady Liberty Cup Regatta was taking place on the infamous Hudson River under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty. The regatta was sailed on a fleet of J/24s for a dozen women’s teams at Manhattan YC in New York.  Back to the Midwest, we got our usual Mills Trophy Race report from the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP in Cleveland, OH- their sailing video is quite amusing, as usual!

Out west, there were a number of big events taking place. For starters, the biennial Van Isle 360 Race has been taking place for a fleet that includes a J/121, J/122, J/109, and J/111. The race is a 487.0nm circumnavigation of Vancouver Island that takes place in exactly nine legs; both an endurance contest and enormous adventure! Add it to your “Bucket List”! The vistas of snow-capped mountains, killer whales, seals, golden eagles, bald eagles, and all matter of WILD LIFE would make your eyes water in tears at the raw beauty of the Pacific Northwest. No question a number of the boats sailing in the Van Isle 360 passed by a number of the participants in the infamous Race 2 Alaska.  An event that includes a brother’s J/24 team- Team McGuffin Brothers from British Columbia; they’re racing from Seattle (essentially) up the inside passage to Ketchikan, Alaska- only 725.0nm! Easy peasy in a J/24, right? Down south in somewhat warmer waters (51 F max) was the Farallones Race for fully-crewed yachts hosted by San Francisco YC for a group of four J/120s and four dozen other boats; it was a fast race.

Over in Europe, the biggest offshore event just completed in the Mediterranean. The increasingly popular Rolex Giraglia Race is actually a series of events that starts in one of the world’s most famous “watering holes”- St Tropez, France. After three days of inshore races, the fleet took off on the 241.0nm race around Giraglia Rock off the northeastern point of Corsica- going from St Tropez to Monte Carlo, Monaco; participating were J/122s, J/112, and J/109s. Then, up in Scandinavia, the Marstrand Big Boat Race took place off Marstrand, Sweden; two J/111s and J/109 were vying for class honors.

J/105 sailing off Cleveland, OHCleveland Race Week Preview
(Cleveland, OH)- The Edgewater Yacht Club will be hosting their week-long event known as the Cleveland Race Week. Unique amongst most major yacht clubs in America, it features three types of offshore and one-design sailing in one week of fun! Those events are the PHRF Offshore Regatta for big boats, the One-Design Regatta for all kinds of one-design classes, and then a PHRF Women’s/ Doublehanded Regatta.  As a pioneer in sailing, the Edgewater YC continues to innovate and attract a broad spectrum of sailors to their events, from kids to women, novices to experts, sailors from all across the spectrum.

Offshore Regatta
For the offshore regatta, there is an enormous twenty-six boat PHRF Spinnaker handicap class that has numerous J/Teams participating. Featured in that group are two J/111s- Don Hudak’s CAPERS and Hugh Scott Seaholm’s PAPA’s TOY. Joining them is Tim Yanda’s J/120 VIVA LA VIDA. In the PHRF Non-Spinnaker division will be Doug Wahl’s classic J/offshore design- the J/30 RUBBER SOUL.

Also sailing the offshore event is the J/105 Class. A number of the top J/105 teams on Lake Erie will be sailing, including the famous Uhlir Brother’s TRIO, Ron Carson’s DARK N STORMY, Tom & Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION, Robert Mock’s UNBRIDLED, and Eric Sutherland’s ROLLICK.

One-Design Regatta
The one-design portion of the regatta includes fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/105s, and the J/120 North American Championship.

The J/24s have nine boats participating; including two women’s teams- Cathleen Graf’s GRAFIX and Natalie Dugan’s OHIO STATE BUCKEYES.

The nine-boat J/70 class has several top teams, such as Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA from Long Island Sound, Tod Sackett’s FM, and Mark Wolff’s JAM.

The J/105s will have the same six boats that participated in the Offshore Regatta.

Finally, the event marks the 2019 edition of that classic offshore racer, the J/120 North American Championship. Participating will be most of the top teams from across the Great Lakes (ranging from Lake Ontario to Lake Michigan), including such legends as Charlie Hess’ FUNTECH RACING, Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, Ken Brown’s J-HAWKER, Tom Lewin’s SLEDGE HAMMER, Tim Yanda’s VIVA LA VIDA, Mike Fozo & Robin Kendrick’s PROOF, and John Harvey’s SLEEPING TIGER.

PHRF Women’s Division
The third component of the event is the Women’s and Doublehanded Divisions.  Sailing in the Women’s Division are two J/105’s- Harriet Uhlir, Mindy Sminchak, Laura Schaefer are sailing TRIO from Edgewater YC and Cindy Einhouse’s OVATION for Edgewater YC. Then, in the Doublehanded Division will be Tim Vining’s J/22 FERDAAA.  For more Cleveland Race Week sailing information

J/80 Spanish women's team 
Women Lead J/80 Campeonato de Espana
(Santander, Spain)- The Spanish J/80 Championship that takes place in Santander shows the evolution of the women's sailing in both Spain and Europe; with five women's teams among the forty-three participants. The J/80 class is widely known for the large number of women sailors that participate in the class, either as members of mixed or totally women crews.

The Real Club Marítimo de Santander, cradle of great international sailors and possessor of one of the most powerful fleets of J/80’s in Spain, faces the challenge of organizing the thirteenth edition of the Spanish J/80 Championship.

"The J/80 class is the perfect showcase and clear example of the increase and presence of women's participation in sailing. The number of women in mixed and female teams has always been high, but in this Spanish Championship we undoubtedly beat all the records; I believe that there is not a one-design class where the participation of the women has been so wide and example of parity,” commented Alex Diaz, President of the J/80 Class Association.

Exclusively women crews, from Catalonia, the Basque Country and Santander, will compose five of the 43 participating teams. Those teams include Leticia Gandarias’ AVE FENIX; Julia Casanueva is the owner of GENERALE OPTICA; Carlota Massana skippers DORSIA SAILING TEAM; Olatz Muñoz is sailing DECOEXSA; and Lourdes Bilbao is leading PINTACODA.

The regatta is a “de facto” Pre-Worlds for the J/80 World Championship that will be sailed in one month’s time in Getxo (Basque Country).  That is why so many of the top Spanish teams are participating, as well as a few top European teams.

The Spanish teams are notorious for being at the top of the J/80 class. World Champions such as the Cantabrian José María Torcida with his "Aila" or Ignacio Camino with "Solintan", the Basque runner-up in the 2018 Worlds Iker Almandoz at the helm of "Grupo Garatu", the champion Jaime Piris with "Mercury", the Balearic Javier Chacartegui with "", and Diego Botín’s “ONO M&G Tressis" (yes, part of that famous yacht design family).  Sailing Photo credits- Jesus Lastra  For more Spanish J/80 Sailing Championship

J/160 sailing to BermudaMarion to Bermuda Race Preview
(Marion, MA)- The Beverly Yacht Club, Blue Water Sailing Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, are hosting the 2019 Marion Bermuda Race. This will mark the 22nd running of the Race of the biennial event.

The 2017 race was a wonderful experience for all who participated. The fact that the America’s Cup competition coincided with the fleet’s arrival added to the excitement. However, even without the Cup, Bermuda is just a wonderful place to visit. The Dinghy Club is a welcoming facility. Their hospitality is legendary.

Back in 1977 when the first race was run, all navigation was celestial. Over the years, with the advent of GPS, the sextant has been put aside for the ease and accuracy of GPS.

The Marion Bermuda Race is now the only ocean race in North America that offers a celestial class for those skippers that want the challenge. To help stimulate participation in using celestial, in 2015 we increased the time adjustment from 2% to 3% over electronically navigated yachts.

Also, to encourage younger sailors to participate in an offshore race, the Race added a Youth Trophy to the 2015 event, with the goal of increasing the number of younger sailors in our sport. This is another first in offshore racing. If you can accommodate a minimum of four young sailors between the age of 16 and 23, you can qualify for this new trophy and give some young sailors and opportunity of a lifetime!

This year’s Founder’s Division has 39 entries.  Amongst those teams are the J/122 AUGUST WEST, skippered by Jamey Shachoy from Marion, MA and the J/46 MOJO sailed by Eric & Robert Grubman from Milford, CT.  For more Marion to Bermuda Race sailing information

the course
Three Buoy Fiasco Race Preview
(Seattle, WA)- The wonderfully edgy, laid back, somewhat infamous Sloop Tavern Yacht Club in Seattle, WA is hosting its annual Three Buoy Fiasco.  Patterned after the equally infamous Three Bridge Fiasco in San Francisco Bay, the Puget Sound version has also grown quite popular with sailing enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest.  This year, thirty-nine boats are entered into the 13.46nm “pursuit style” race.

The course uses three marks in the Sound, you may round them in any order and in either direction you choose.  Those marks are off Skiff Point, Point Jefferson, and the Meadow Point Buoy.

Looking forward to their annual debate on how do it best are a small flotilla of J/crews. Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD (lowest rating J/team) will be up against two J/105s (Jeremy Boynes’ AVALANCHE & Sara Billey’s PEER GYNT), and three J/109s (Mike Campbell’s LAPA, Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA, and Reed Bernhard’s MOUNTAIN).  For more Three Buoy Fiasco sailing information

J/109 sailing J-CupThe Landsail Tyres J-Cup Preview
(Hamble, England)- The Landsail Tyres J-Cup, organized by the Royal Southern Yacht Club by invitation of Key Yachting is set to be a special event. The 2019 edition will run alongside the J/70 UK Class Training Event, incorporating the UK Grand Slam Series, part of the build up to the first J/70 World Championship to be held in the UK. Racing action is expected to be exciting and highly competitive, especially in the J/109 and J/88 Classes, which will decide their respective UK National Championships. Up to nine races are scheduled on tight Solent courses over three days of scintillating action and legendary parties.

A Welcome BBQ on the eve of the regatta will be followed by daily video debriefs from experts at North Sails, along with daily prize givings for boats of the day, and crew suppers. The grande finale will be the J-Cup Gala Dinner on Saturday 20th July held at the Royal Southern YC Clubhouse, on the banks of the Hamble River, with live music from the Soul Lounge Band!

J/111s at J/CupEarly entries for the J/111 Class include three teams all from the host club, the Royal Southern YC. Louise Makin & Chris Jones Journeymaker II is the J/111 UK National Champion, Tony Mack's McFly, and Simon Grier-Jones' Snow Leopard will also be representing the host club, joined by Jan van Berne's Red Herring from the Haarlemsche Yacht Club, Netherlands.

The J/109 UK National Championship has provided some of the closest racing in the J-Cup. Mike & Susie Yates Jago and Simon Perry's Jiraffe will be racing for the host club. Christopher Preston's Jubilee will be flying the burgee of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and Andi Radburn's Red Arrow will be representing the RAF Sailing Association.

“The J-Cup is the National Championships for the J/109 class and a fantastic opportunity to enjoy being part of the extended J-Boat family,” commented Simon Perry. “We love the rapid fire windward/leeward racing and are expecting to follow that with dock parties and of course the class Annual General Meeting. It’s the high point of the J/109 Calendar and we’re hoping for strong participation. It is always a great event with a very special atmosphere.”

In the J/92 Class Robin Stevenson's Upstart returns having won last year by a single point from Night Jar, which will also be racing this year, sailed by Penny Jeffcoate. Alan Macleod's Samurai J, representing the Cove Sailing Club, will travel over 500 miles to take part. Six teams are currently entered for the J/92 Class. 2018 J/97 National Champion, Bob and Jon Baker's Jaywalker, returns to action. J/88 early entries include Dirk & Dianne van Beek's Sabriel Jr and Gavin Howe's much-travelled Tigris.

All J/Boats are invited to attend the Landsail Tyres J-Cup to race in the one-design fleets or under IRC.  For Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information

J/80 sailing United Kingdom
J/80 UK Nationals Returns to Lymington
(Lymington, England)- Following the success of the 2018 Championships, the J/80 UK Class Association is delighted that their 2019 Nationals will be hosted again by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Racing will take place from Saturday 24th August to Monday 26th August, with a total of 9 races planned for the Championship. Registration will be available on Friday 23rd.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available from the Club’s website;

The event is generously supported by North Sails, Seahorse Magazine, Harken, Nick Cox Chandlery, and Priory Wines.

The racing will take place in Christchurch Bay, which is a great open water venue with minimal tidal influence. The Club’s highly experienced race team will lay courses. Races will be held in the more sheltered Western Solent in the event of inclement weather.

A discounted three-night berthing package has been arranged with Berthon Marina in the center of picturesque Lymington and adjacent to Royal Lymington YC, and which is only a short sail to Christchurch Bay.

The fun social programme will be centered on the Royal Lymington’s delightful riverside clubhouse, which has stunning views over the Lymington River and towards the Isle of Wight.

Lymington and the surrounding New Forest are popular tourist destinations, so early booking of accommodation for crews, supporters and families is recommended.  For more J/80 U.K. Nationals sailing information

J/99 sailing offshore 
New York YC Annual Regatta Preview
(Newport, RI)- The 165th Annual Regatta will run June 14 to 16 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. All classes will enjoy the traditional race around Conanicut Island on Friday, June 14, followed by two days of buoy and navigator racing over the weekend for PHRF, IRC, and J/109 one-design class.

The social program is always a highlight of this event and includes Friday’s Around the Island Awards Party presented by the 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship, the Annual Regatta Dinner on Saturday and another awards party on Sunday for the weekend series. For New England sailors eager to shake off a long winter—and in this case, an inclement spring—the Annual Regatta is always a great way to kick off the Newport sailing season. Furthermore, the weekend forecast is looking pretty awesome, with mostly southwesterly winds in the 15 to 25 kts range and sunny!  Get out the shorts and shades!

The regatta enjoys strong support from enthusiastic J/Teams looking to start their summer sailing seasons. Thirty J/Crews are participating in the fleet of ninety offshore keelboats- J’s are 30% of that fleet!

In the IRC 3 Class, Joe Brito’s J/121 INCOGNITO will be up against a quartet of Farr 40s in both the Round Island and offshore W/L racing.

The IRC 4 Class is a veritable den of thieves, comprised mostly of fast J/111s, J/44s, and J/122s. Many of the teams have won their class or major championships over the years; the betting parlour at Ladbroke’s would have a very tough time handicapping this class.  Nevertheless, some great sailing will be had by these crews; the teams include two J/111s (Doug Curtiss’s WICKED 2.0 & Andrew/ Sedge Ward’s BRAVO), two J/44s (Commodore Bill Ketcham’s MAXINE & the US Coast Guard’s GLORY), and three J/122s (Paul Milo’s ORION, Robin Team’s TEAMWORK, and Jack Gregg’s TARAHUMARA).

The PHRF Random Leg classes will be racing inside Narragansett Bay. In the PHRF 2 division  is Greg and Sarah Manning’s J/121 SARAH, John Thouron’s J/122 DUNDER, Abhijeet Lee’s J/111 VARUNA, and Bob Manchester’s J/120 VAMOOSE.

The PHRF 3 division of fourteen boats has nine J/crews! Watch out for the new J/99 AGENT 99 sailed by Jeff Johnstone, they are the top rated boat n class and are up against a rogue’s roost of J/105s and J/29s.  The three J/105s include Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN DEAR, Mark Lindquist’s STERLING, and the trio of Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner on DARK’N’STORMY.  EC Helme will be in the mix with his J/92S SPIRIT.  The two dark horse J/29s are Jack McGuire’s DIRTY HARRY and Steve Thurston’s MIGHTY PUFFIN.  Then Dan Stone’s J/80 HOT STREAK, the lowest rated boat in the class, will be watching from the bleacher seats hoping to stay close to the fleet and do well on handicap time.

The J/109s have a half-dozen good boats sailing all weekend.  Similar to the IRC 4 class, virtually every team is capable of getting podium finishes, the question will be who’s clicking tactically with good boat speed and boat handling after the dust clears.  The protagonists include familiar names like Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE, Bill Sweetser’s RUSH, Carl Olsson’s MORNING GLORY, Brooke Mastrorio’s URSA, and Ted Herlihy’s GUT FEELING.  For more New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jun 14-23- Cleveland Race Week- Cleveland, OH
Jun 14-16- J/80 Campeonato de Espana- Santander, Spain
Jun 14- Marion to Bermuda Race- Marion, MA
Jun 14-16- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 15- Three Buoy Fiasco Race- Seattle, WA
Jun 16- Chicago to Waukegan Race- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-23- J/22 North Americans- Wayzata, MN
Jun 20-21- J/24 Florida States- Melbourne, FL
Jun 20-21- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Stellendam, The Netherlands
Jun 21-23- Pornic  J/80 Cup- Pornic, France
Jun 21- Scotch Bonnet Lighthouse Race- Rochester, NY
Jun 21-23- Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week- Long Beach, CA
Jun 22-30- Kiel Week- Kiel, Germany
Jun 22-24- J/70 Youth SAILING Champions League- Kiel, Germany
Jun 23-28- Block Island Race Week- Block Island, RI
Jun 25-29- IRC European Championship- San Remo, Italy
Jun 28- Queen’s Cup Race- Milwaukee, WI
Jun 29-30- New York YC One-Design Regatta- Newport, RI
Jun 29- Round Island Race- Isle of Wight, England
Jun 29- Stratford Shoal Race- Riverside, CT
Jul 4-7- J/70 SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Jul 5-7- RORC IRC National Championship- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 5-7- Sail Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 6-13- J/70 European Championship- Malcesine, Italy
Jul 6-13- J/22 World Championship- Warnemunde, Germany
Jul 10- 50th Transpac Race- Los Angeles, CA

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

J/111 sailing off Chicago 
Gorgeous & Foggy Chicago NOOD Regatta
(Chicago, IL)- After a fog cancellation on the first day of racing and another fog cancellation of racing on Sunday, the 2019 Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD Regatta became a one-day wonder. But, what a day it was for all the racers. Simply postcard-perfect sailing conditions greeted the sailors on Saturday, with most race course getting in up to four races. Good thing the Chicago YC RC and PRO’s pushed the sailors into a fourth race, with most boats not getting into the dock until after 5:00pm.

In the J/70s, Buddy Crib (Jupiter, FL) steered his boat, VICTORY, to the top of the leaderboard in the 18-boat fleet. “We were trying hard, that’s for sure,” says Crib. “There was more lump than breeze, and for us Floridians, it was cold out there.”

The J/70 is one of the most competitive one-design classes in the world, often featuring the “who’s who” of the professional sailing ranks. For Crib, bringing on world champion crew Victor Diaz de Leon as mainsail trimmer, Bar Batzer as jib trimmer, and Patrick Powell as bowman had his team sailing fast through the challenging Chicago sea-state.

“We had four good starts, which put us in a position to sail our own race,” says Crib. “Consistency is key in a fleet this size, so we were being conservative tactically. We focused on keeping the boat powered up through the waves, which was challenging.”

Cribb’s primary goal at the Chicago NOOD was to qualify for the 2019 J/70 World Championship in Torquay, UK, and with a first-place finish at the NOOD, he earns an entry to the class’ biggest stage. “Qualifying for worlds was one of the reasons I came up here,” says Cribb, “so I’ll be driving 20 hours back to Florida with a smile on my face.”
J/109s sailing off Chicago
In the J/109 fleet, 10 boats completed four races. Doug Evans (Whitefish Bay, WI) and Jim Murray (Lake Bluff, IL) finished the day tied for first with 15 points each. “Keeping the boat moving was the name of the game today,” says Murray. We had good breeze with lumpy seas, so keeping the rig loose and the boat powered up helped us with our boatspeed.”

With the J/109 fleet sharing the same course at the Tartan10s, finding clear wind and going to the correct side of the racecourse was key to success. “It’s great having 10 boats on the J/109 starting line here at the NOOD,” says Murray. “Participation in the fleet is at an all-time high, which is great because the fleet has been pushing hard to have out-of-town teams come down for this event. Time Out came down from Milwaukee, so it’s great having them here with our local fleet.” In the end, it was Scott Sims’ SLAPSHOT II that took the bronze in the class.

On Sunday afternoon, Gyt Petkus (La Grange, IL), winner of the J/105 fleet, had the luck of the draw, winning his second Caribbean Championship appearance since 2007.

“We’ve owned our J/105 VYTIS for 25 years,” says Petkus, who’s nephew Keith Krause trims the boat’s mainsail. Steve Druzbicki calls tactics, Mike Brown trims jib, and Petkus’ daughter Julija is the team’s foredeck crew. The team started the regatta with two third-place finishes on Saturday, before winning the next two and taking the lead. “Friday was a bit frustrating with the fog coming through,” says Petkus of the first day’s cancelled races. “But yesterday was awesome. The conditions were great. The J/105s are tweaky boats, so the little details made a big difference as far as point and speed.”
 J/105 winners
Petkus finished the shortened series tied with rival skipper Clark Pellet (Chicago, IL) aboard SEALARK. The tiebreaker went to Petkus and his crew. Petkus says he’s looking forward to returning to the Virgin Islands, this time with his daughter, Julija. “All I’ve heard growing up was how much fun sailing in the Caribbean is,” says Julija Petkus. “I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have the chance to go down there and sail with my Dad.” Third place went to Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM.

In the six-boat J/88 fleet, John Leahey’s DUTCH was the top team. “Overall we had a great time with some tough competition from EXILE and WINDSONG, who were just a few points behind,” says the skipper from Colorado. “We were looking for more competition today, but we were happy to take the win.”

Sailing with Leahey was Connor Coorgard (Blaine, MN), who served as tactician. “Connor was really good at playing the shifts. We started a race today and we were way ahead before the race was abandoned. He had us going really fast, which definitely paid off in the end.”

An out-of-town crew from Cleveland, Ohio, won the eight-boat J/111 fleet, with skipper Jeff Davis leading his team on SHAMROCK. “It’s a lot of fun when you can sail in challenging conditions like we had this weekend,” says Davis. “The fog and the waves and the varying wind we had made the racing really tricky, so we’re happy to leave town with the championship.” Second in the J/111s was Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK and third was the duo of Mike Mayer & Steve Henderson on KASHMIR. Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside   For more Chicago NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/111 wins Marstrand Big Boat Race 
J/111 Wins Marstrand Big Boat Race
(Marstrand, Sweden)- The Marstrand Big Boat Race started out as a local spring regatta, but have turned into Scandinavia’s biggest annual short course event. With almost 70 yachts from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany, it is also the first test for the more ambitious teams going on to European championships or international events.

This year, three J/boats attended the regatta; J/ racing in the newly formed sports boat class (sprit boats bellow 10 meter LOA) and J/111s BLUR and DACAPO (this tend to be a yearly battle).

Saturday morning was grey, but 18-20 knots westerly on the Marstrand fjord tend to be pretty epic, with big waves and challenging conditions, so most teams were excited to go racing.

The team on Blur has focused on offshore sailing after their Fastnet Campaign in 2015, and is planning to do the Middle Sea Race in October. But they have continuously worked to improve rig trim, sail design, and other speed factors.

And the result of this work was evident as they posted a 4th and a 1st before race management took the decision to cancel the last race of the day due to increasing wind and sketchy condition on the bigger boats.

So Blur grabbed the daily first champagne just in front of FinnFlyer 36 Zlatan with match racing star Johnie Berntson helming, Scandinavia’s fastest Farr 30 Cheyenne and the former CEO of North Sails Europe in his Xp-38 Soldier Blue.

Skipper Peter Gustafsson explains: "We had great speed upwind with our bulletproof J3.5 and managed to hang with the bigger boats.  Ideally, we want to go for speed, bet we managed to keep our lane. Downwind we stayed upright with the 'whomper', our 155 sqm A2 and managed to move ahead quite a bit. Especially on the last run where we observed a late shift and went for the A3."

Not bad for an offshore team approaching the regatta as a great training opportunity.

Sunday morning's forecast had 10-14 knots of wind moving from SW to S during the day. Also, the current plays an important part when racing in Marstrand, so with at least five boats in the mix, racing would be tight.

Most top boats opted for the right corner, close to land, to get relief from the current. Blur showed superior speed, this time with a recut J2 and led at all the marks to win with almost a minute on corrected time.

At this point, even the team was surprised.

After a bad start in race 4, they managed to catch the top boats and post a 3rd place.  Just ahead of the Norwegian J/111 Dacapo. Heading into the last race, Blur lead  FinnFlyer 36 Zlatan with only one point.

Another good start made it possible to both work the shifts and keep a light cover on Zlatan. After a long run to finish inside Marstrand harbor, Blur posted another 1st with just a 3-second margin.

Peter Gustavsson commented on their performance, “Wow.  This is unbelievable! After 6 years and over 12,000nm we know the boat well and are pretty confident with our targets. But, with more rake and harder jib in-haulers- we're almost a degree tighter than the North tuning guide. As a result, we sail higher without sacrificing speed. This is a team effort, both getting the boat blazing fast, but also when it comes to tactics and strategy, where we typically involve more people than many other crews. Comes in handy when we run watches at sea, but apparently, it's useful on tight courses as well."  For more Marstrand Big Boat Race sailing information

J/122 sailing Annapolis to Newport Race 
J/Teams Dominate in Annapolis to Newport Race
(Newport, RI)- Picture-perfect conditions greeted the Friday fleet of starters for the 2019 Annapolis-to-Newport Race, which got underway at 11:00am on the Chesapeake Bay. North-northeasterly winds ranging from 8 to 12 knots enabled the 23 boats in five classes to enjoy a downwind start and many miles of port tack beam reaching SSE out of the Chesapeake Bay to the first, and only, turning mark offshore of the Bay entrance.

A popular strategy was to come off the starting line on port jibe and make a beeline to the deep water of the shipping channel since the current was about to begin flowing out the bay from an unusually high tide.

Off the boats that went southeast in search of the expected current advantage, LADY GREY– a J/110 skippered by Herrington Harbour Sailing Association member Joe Laun– showed strong form and speed in leading the entire fleet down the Bay.

Annapolis resident Ken Comerford skippered the J/111 MONEYPENNY and had his two sons– Kyle and Willy– as part of the crew. Kyle Comerford recently completed an outstanding career as skipper of the SUNY-Maritime offshore sailing team while younger brother Willy competes at the College of Charleston.
“As you get older, I think you do anything you can to spend time with your kids,” said Ken Comerford. “I do very much appreciate every opportunity I get to go sailing with my sons.”

There is quite a rivalry between the Comerford brothers, and it will no doubt manifest itself at some point during the long trip between Annapolis and Newport. Kyle is serving as navigator while Willy has agreed to handle the foredeck out of necessity.

“They both have their own strengths and skills,” Ken Comerford said. “Willy has really impressed me with his ability on the bow. Kyle will be doing the navi-guessing the whole way, making sure we’re pushing the boat as fast as we can and living up to our polars.”

Comerford, a veteran ocean racer with many miles under his belt, expected a fairly straightforward passage. “I don’t think it’s going to be a big tactical race. I think it’s going to be a drag race with a lot of reaching,” he said. “Every time we run our models the wind seems to go farther and farther aft, which would be good for this boat.”

In short, it was a simple race.  After starting in the Northeast breeze which sent the fleet flying down the Bay on port tack, a Low pressure system moved by to the south and offshore, so the wind swung quite rapidly from 50 degrees to 120 degrees.  As Comerford mentioned, they just tacked at the first turning mark and fetched Newport on starboard the whole way.  The only mistake the J/111 MONEYPENNY made was to go “over” to windward (leaving Block Island to port) on their way in to Newport from offshore. Most of the fleet went to leeward (leaving B.I. to starboard and benefitted from an enormous current boost over the northern bar near the 1-BI Green bell buoy.

In ORC 1B Division, the J/44 GLORY sailed by the US Coast Guard Academy took 2nd, while the Comerford family took third on their J/111 MONEYPENNY.

In ORC 2 Division, the J/110 LADY GREY maintained her good pace and in the end, her skipper Joe Laun was quite happy to take the bronze.

In PHRF Racing 1 Class, the J/120s gave everyone and themselves a serious run-for-the-money.  Winning was Rick Hanson’s NO SURRENDER from North East River Yacht Club. Jim Praley’s SHINNECOCK, a past winner in class and overall, took third, while Richard Born’s WINDBORN was fourth and James Chen’s CHAOTIC FLUX was fifth.

In PHRF Racing 2 Class, it was Albert Bossar’s J/42 ALLEGIANT that won from the Herrington Harbour Sailing Association, while Lynn McClaskey’s J/110 CIMARRON placed fifth, just 11 seconds from 4th place!

Finally, in the PHRF Doublehanded Class, Mike Greene’s J/35 LOBLOLLY placed third.  For more Annapolis to Newport sailing information

J/111 sailing offshore 
Van Isle 360 Race Report
J/Crews Leading Sweeps in PHRF 1 & 2!
(Victoria/ Nanaimo, BC)- The biennial Van Isle 360 Race has been going on for well over a week now. The race is actually a series of nine individual legs that circumnavigate the outrageously picturesque Vancouver Island off the Pacific coastline of British Columbia.

The combination of the nine legs determines the class winners as well as the overall winner.  The legs are:
  1. Nanaimo to Comox- 36.9nm
  2. Comox to Campbell River- 27.6nm
  3. Deepwater Bay to Hardwicke Island- 24.2nm
  4. Hardwicke Island to Telegraph Cove- 41.0nm
  5. Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy- 28.7nm
  6. Port Hardy to Winter Harbour- 69.1nm
  7. Winter Harbour to Ucluelet- 138.1nm
  8. Ucluelet to Victoria Harbour- 98.2nm
  9. Victoria Harbour to Nanaimo- 59.9nm
That makes for a total of at least 486.8nm as the crow flies down the rhumbline. However, as all sailors know, it could be almost 30% more than that depending on weather conditions. This year it has been quite windy at times and there were reports of 40 to 50 kt blasts (more like microbursts) tripping down off the mountains peaks on Vancouver Island while racers were in the notorious Johnstone Straits.

At this time, J/Teams are leading sweeps in the two largest big boat divisions.  In the PHRF Division 1, leading is B. Chan and A. Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II with 15 pts and they are also sitting in 1st PHRF Overall (six classes). Tied for second place on 22 pts each are Bill Fox’s J/160 JAM and Scott Campbell’s J/121 RIVA.

Then, in PHRF Division 2, leading is T. Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY with 21 pts, Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO is second with 22 pts, third is C & J Wolfe’s J/120 SHEARWATER with 25 pts and fifth is Tolga Cezik’s J/109 LODOS with 38 pts.

With just one race left, the approx. 60.0nm leg from Vancouver Harbour to the finish line off Nanaimo Harbour, anything goes for 2nd and 3rd spots on the podium in PHRF 1 and no question it will be one heck of a battle in PHRF 2 class for all three spots on the podium as the three boats are only separated by 3 pts!  For more Van Isle 360 Race sailing information

J/122 sailing Rolex Giraglia Race 
Gorgeous Rolex Giraglia Race
(St Tropez, France)- The Yacht Club Italiano, St Tropez Yacht Club, and the Yacht Club de Monaco hosted the 67th edition of the Rolex Giraglia Race. 297 yachts were entered in both IRC and ORC classes. The regatta format included a “feeder” race to St Tropez from Sanremo, Italy. Then the fleet sailed three days of inshore races that include three Windward/ Leeward races. Ultimately, the fleet took off on the famous Rolex Giraglia Race, essentially a straight shot from St Tropez to a port round of the Giraglia Rock off the northeastern end of Corsica/ Sardinia, and head straight back to a finish in Hercules Bay off Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Rolex feeder race
Feeder Race
104 yachts were on the starting line for the coastal race from Sanremo to Saint Tropez. The starting gun went off at midnight for the 10th anniversary of the 60.0nm race. The fleet included yachts from 16 different countries, with some boats flying the Latvian, Polish, Czech, Maltese, Russian, Swedish and Turkish flags.

The forecast for the midnight start was for an easterly/north-easterly wind of around 10 kts. The strategic decision for navigators was to decide whether to hug the coast, lengthening the course but picking up more wind, or head straight for Saint Tropez. The northeast breeze held and most boats simply sailed a straight, fast, rhumbline course, with most boats finishing by noon the next day.
Rolex Giraglia Race start
Inshore Races
There was only two days of racing the inshore races due to the fickle weather pattern that had setup over the Mediterranean.  The first day saw the northeasterly flow continue, with moderate 5 to 15 kt breezes. The front moved further east, leaving behind a broad, light gradient flow that was not strong enough to conduct any racing on the second day.  Then, a new front moved in and the fleet had good racing on the final inshore day with more breezes again filling in from the east at 6-10 kts.
Rolex Giraglia Race spectators
Rolex Giraglia Race
The start for the famous 241.0nm race was blessed with a crisp southwesterly wind of 15 to 20 kts that would carry the fleet all the way to the Giraglia Rock in near record time.

It was thrilling as ever to see such a mixed fleet leave the quays of Saint Tropez head out of port for the long race: 241.0nm with still uncertain weather keeping up the suspense that reigned on the quayside this morning.

The weather outlook remained uncertain, as anything could happen, especially with the stronger wind expected for Friday the 14th. Navigating on board Rambler 88 was Silvio Arrivabene, who reckoned that they were likely to arrive at the Giraglia rock "before dusk" on Thursday evening and cross the finish line in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Thursday). "There is a relatively fresh westerly, which will hopefully get us to Giraglia in the afternoon. It is downwind, so maybe we will put in a couple of gybes. Then we will come back on port tack all of the way to Monaco where we can expect the usual park-up. That will depend on if the westerly remains strong during the night." The course from Giraglia Rock to the finish line off Monaco is 297 degrees, which made for a quick fetch/tight reach.
J/122E sailing Rolex Giraglia Cup Race
In the end, several J/Crews had good outcomes for their week of sailing in the Mediterranean in some of the most historical, famous, and enjoyable, “watering holes” in the world- St Tropez and Monte Carlo.

In ORC A Class, Chile’s Nicolas Ibanez Scott sailed his J/122E ANITA into 4th place in the huge forty-four-boat class in the Rolex Giraglia Race, a great showing for their team. The only teams to beat them were flat-out carbon fiber races, like the winning canting-keeler, a Cookson 50. Then, in the ORC B class of thirty-six boats, Marcello De Gaspari’s Italian crew on the J/109 FREMITO D’ARJA sailed an awesome first inshore race, taking third place, but got black-flagged in the second race, ending their bid for a podium finish in a no-discard-race series.

In the IRC Division, Frenchman Yves Grosjean’s RORC race-winning J/133 JIVARO sailed a steady series to take 6th in IRC A Class of forty-eight boats, by far the highest placing production racer-cruiser in a class comprised of custom carbon racers such as the half-dozen TP52s! Not far behind them in 8th place was the British team on the J/122 CREME ANGLAISE skippered by John Rainger. Then, in the enormous fifty-boat IRC B Class, David Estoppey’s new J/112E NINOTCHKA from Switzerland started off slowly in the first inshore race, but sailed well to close the series with a 6-9 to take 7th place.  For more Rolex Giraglia Race sailing information

J/120 sailing offshoreJ/120 Wins Bermuda One-Two Race- First Leg
(Newport, RI)- Hosted by Newport Yacht Club in Rhode Island and the St. George’s Dinghy & Boat Club in Bermuda, the 635.0nm Bermuda One-Two Race is one of the premiere shorthanded races in the USA. For the twenty-nine-boat fleet, the race started on June 8th at 11:00 AM in Narragansett Bay. The first leg is singlehanded out to Bermuda

Winning PHRF 1 Class was Josh Reisberg’s J/120 ABILYN in an elapsed time of 98:00 hours. Only the four Class 40s had quicker times and, at that, the winning Class 40 was just six hours ahead! An amazing accomplishment for Reisberg’s J/120. His performance amounted to a 6.5 kts average, including traversing adverse currents in the Gulf Stream on his way to the Bermuda finish line off St David’s Lighthouse on the northeastern end of the island.

On June 11th 0600 hrs, Reisberg suffered an electronics failure, commenting that “Autopilot computer down on Abilyn. Trying to figure out problem. Hove to. / Cannot repair pressing on for now. / Full electronics malfunction. Electricity is working. But no nav instruments. Can not identify issue. Boat can still be sailed...250 miles to Bermuda. / Update: have jury rig working on the autopilot. Bungees attached to spin sheets going through spin blocks to winches. Keeping sails full and me pointed to Bermuda.”

On June 12th at 0800 hrs, Reisberg sent a note to Race Command, “"I’m trying to chase these Class 40s down! About 35 miles to northeast breakers, then another 6 to the finish. Went through multiple sail changes this morning at around 0445 to keep the boat going fast in a light, clocking breeze. J3 to code zero to A3 to J3 to J1. Settled with the J1 (156%), which is keeping me going at around 8 knots VMG. Hope to see you folks in a few hours!"

On June 9th at 0130 hrs, about 12 hours into the race, sadly, David Southwell’s race-leading position on his J/121 ALCHEMY was cut short by a wayward steel fishing cable that literally ripped the rudder out of the boat. Thanks to the built-in safety of an offshore hatch and waterproof stern bulkhead, Southwell was able to enlist the help of a US Coast Guard dive team to cut the rudder free, implement his emergency rudder setup, and motor back home to Newport at a 5.2 kts average to get his boat repaired. Also, taking a DNF was Thomas Amory’s J/120 FLOW, mentioning to Race Command that he had too many things to sort out on the boat and decided to turn north and head back home to Maine.

The next portion of the race is the doublehanded leg back to Newport that starts on June 20th.  For more Bermuda One-Two Race sailing information

J/120 sailing San FranciscoFast Farallones Race
(San Francisco, CA)- The San Francisco YC hosted their annual Farallones Race for both full and shorthanded crews this past weekend. The 65.0nm sprint from a start inside the Bay out around the infamous Farallones Rocks was a very fast sprint this year, with the top J/120 sailing the race in 6.5 hrs!

There were four J/120’s that went head-to-head for PHRF class honors.  In the end, top dog was David Halliwill’s PEREGRINE from San Francisco YC, finishing 2nd in class. Halliwill’s crew consisted of John Verdoia, Alex Verdoia, Matthew Skafel, Denis Mulligan, Chris Davison, Cole Kromer, Michael Ocallaghan, Jennifer Krone, Michael O’callaghan, Alex Rothenberg, Zach Stiggelbout, and Patrick Kearney. The next J/120 was Timo Bruck’s TWIST placing sixth.  For more Farallones Race sailing information   For more San Francisco YC sailing information

J/24 women's Liberty teams 
Morgan Wins J/24 Lady Liberty Cup Regatta
(New York Harbor, NY)- “The Lady Liberty Cup Regatta was a resounding success! Great competition on the water and fantastic camaraderie off the water! When sixty-five women sailors get together, good things happen,” according to the winner Katie Morgan from the host Manhattan Yacht Club.  Her crew consisted of Linda Kaiser, Andrea Sengara, Deiane Abajos, Tricia Lynch, and Lainey Battiston.

The regatta opened on Thursday with practice racing and kick-off party on the Manhattan YC lawn. Then, the women were treated to an Ernst & Young LLP sponsored competitor dinner on Saturday evening on MYC's flagship, the sailing superyacht ARABELLA! It was a sunset cruise and dinner aboard the ARABELLA on a simply spectacular evening, sunset and all.
J/24s sailing off Manhattan YC
In the end, Katie Morgan’s team sailed an excellent regatta to take the overall win, much to their ecstatic delight!  Second was a familiar name in the world of J/24 sailing, Erica Beck Spencer and Jess Harris and their SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM (Karen Renzulli Fallon, Hillary Noble, Kim Calnan, Barbara Gold from Portland YC- Portland, ME). Rounding out the podium in third place was Natalie Harden’s team from Austin YC (Rachel Loziuk, Molly MacMillan White, Sally Lloyd, Chandler Self, and Eliza Price).  Watch great J/24 women’s sailing action on the Hudson River on Facebook here  For more Lady Liberty Cup Regatta sailing information

J/24 sailing to Alaska 
J/24 Race 2 Alaska Update
(Vancouver, BC)- The report from Race Control HQ is somewhat amusing and enigmatic from the race blog:

“Sometime around 2 am on the third day, some boats got hit with a wind hammer microburst in Johnstone Strait that pounded them with a right-now and out-of-nowhere 40 knots that beat them up and “took two years off the sails.”

There are, of course, dramas playing out farther back. But, it’s hard not to mention the 100% pure R2AK moment of a 116 year old, 15 ton gaffer, neck-and-neck with an outrigger canoe at the turn into Johnstone Strait.

In the history of forever, we’re pretty sure that those teams’ end-of-the-spectrum defining vessels have never been in the same race, let alone neck and neck, and here they are, clear of Seymour and duking it out. We’ve scrambled the air wing in the hopes of getting an image, but we’ve got a megawatt smile just imagining it.

While for most of us the story of Day 3 was dominated by a sincere and lasting tracker rage, the teams keep melting the miles, and with the steady southerlies, winds predicted the half of the race from Bella Bella could be won on Monday. Time to get our lantern and get on the roof.

24 Hour Fact Sheet:
  • 3 boats- bought on Craigslist sight unseen (Tri Baby Tri, which is a monohull), Ripple, and Yankee Peddlers.
  • 6 times- Angry Beaver restarted their SPOT satellite tracker before they hit the right button
  • 61 years- since they blew the crap out of Ripple Rock in the middle of Seymour Narrows so boats would stop running into it
  • 0- the number of people of McGuffin Brothers J/24 Team (Team MBR) who wanted to say hello to during their live Facebook interview
  • 11- the number of lead trades between Teams Sail like a Girl and Educated Guess
  • 2 hours- the length of time the top three lead teams (Pear Shaped Racing, Givin’ the Horns, Angry Beaver) traded tacks in Seymour Narrows
  • 1 maybe 2- the number of McGuffin Brothers who lied about sailing their J/24 naked when we saw them
For the J/24 crew of Team McGuffin Brothers, they had about 400 nm left to go, about half the race. Here are some excerpts from their blog:

June 8- 12:39 PM
Seymour Narrows can be one of the easiest passages if you plan correctly, or, if you don’t plan at all, one of the scariest. Those little circles represent the usual whirlpools, but currents and water levels change from minute to minute so you must be 100% on your game while navigating this passage. .

Seymour Narrows was described by Captain George Vancouver as "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world." Wikipedia

Seymour Narrows is notable also because the flowing current can be sufficiently turbulent to realize a Reynolds number of about one billion, which is possibly the largest Reynolds number regularly attained in natural water channels on Earth (the current speed is about 8 m/s, the nominal depth about 100 m)[citation needed]. Turbulence develops usually around a Reynolds number of 2000, depending on the geometric structure of the channel. Wikipedia. Here we go!

June 9- 12:00 AM
Back in the day. When we had wind and no current against us! A few miles back, surrounded by mountains. Life is good. Especially when you are running with the current and have wind. A few more hours to reflect on how much more we love sailing over sitting still.  Follow TEAM MBR’s exploits on Instagram here and on their Team MBR Facebook page here   Here is Team MBR’s website  For more R2AK sailing information and tracking information

J/34 Knee DeepMills Trophy Race Report
(Cleveland, OH)- We get another classic sailing report from the Langolf family leader, Brett Langolf, regards their sailing exploits and experiences on their J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP.

According to Brett, “we had another great trip around the Lake Erie Islands for the Knee Deep Sailing Team. The boat really took off with the new shape of the Doyle Stratis sails, some of the best point in years! We took a nice lead into mark one, but after 40 miles of jib reaching for the ole IOR design proved to be too much distance. We spent the night barreling through the islands for fast and balanced ride to a 2:00AM finish, bourbon anyone?”   Watch the Langolf family racing experience here on their YouTube sailing video

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/111 sailing off Chicago, IL* Dave Reed, Sailing World’s Editor, interviewed Jeff Davis, owner of the winning J/111 in the recent HELLY HANSEN Chicago NOOD Regatta held off Chicago.  

“The name of Jeffrey Davis' J/111, Shamrock, has nothing to do with luck, although he recognizes a stroke of good fortune could come into play at the class's world championship in Chicago in August. Davis' says the name is simply a nod to his Irish wife, who blessed his decision to sell the family Beneteau 36.7 four years ago and upgrade to a more challenging race boat.

“We raced the Beneteau throughout the Midwest and went as far as we could, winning a lot of regattas on the Great Lakes and finishing second at the North Americans,” says Davis, of Cleveland, Ohio. “We were looking for a new challenge, something more interesting and competitive. It turned out to be way more fun to drive.”

His search for a new ride led to George Gamble's World Championship-winning J/111 My Sharona. Buying a proven steed, however, was no guarantee of overnight rookie success.

It was well taken care of, Davis says, but keeping the boat competitive is an on-going process. "We're always innovating on the boat," he says. "If we don't, someone else will."

Immediately after buying the boat, Davis and his core crew set about getting used to the boat, to sailing with an asymmetric spinnaker and fast downwind angles. “It has a much bigger range than the 36.7 so it took a lot to get used to in the first year,” Davis says, “and it was clear we needed a lot of work.”

They did go right to work, trailering the boat to Key West Race Week in their second year, and after five days of racing, gained a better feel for the boat and what they needed in terms of crew, sails, and boat preparation.

“My tactician and coach for last 10 years, Wally Cross, had experience in the J/111 fleet,” Davis says, “our philosophy was to have everything simple and repeatable. It takes time to understand how the boat performs in different conditions how you want it to.”

The boat had an epoxy bottom that wasn’t ideal for wet sailing at Cleveland YC, so they attacked the bottom, switching to Interlux VC Offshore ablative paint, laboriously sanding it to a mirror finish. Upgrades to the boat’s running rigging followed. Then came a weight-loss program, the sail inventory, and addressing simple improvement to prevent future mistakes.

The final piece was the crew. “Along the way, we tried different crew because we need different characteristics on this boat,” Davis says. “The crew turned out to be the last factor we could really change on the boat. It’s much a more athletic boat and a more competitive fleet. They’re all very serious racers and fitness, stamina and agility are important. To sail it well we have to sail it like dinghy, with roll tacks and jibes and other things to maintain momentum and speed.”

All improvements to the boat were focused on ensuring maneuvers were as consistent as they could be, says Davis. “The old set up was good, but we had to take it a step further, so we could better shift gears. The best sailors take advantage of changes on the race course, but to do that you have to make last minute decisions strategically. To support that, you need the crew— and the boat— to work perfectly all the time.”

On an impromptu tour of his improvements to Shamrock, Davis starts at the bow: carbon tubes cover the lifelines and station tops to prevent spinnaker snags. The forestay was a major change as well. They lobbied hard to be able to change from the old roller furler to a Tuff Luff foil. In the forward cabin, they eliminated snag points, covering the head and sink with mesh, and added a string take-down line to all spinnakers. “It gets it into the boat quickly, which means we can carry it longer,” Davis says “My foredeck guy says it’s a massive improvement for him, and I’m all about convenience and comfort for the crew.”

All the pit clutches were removed and replaced with constrictors, which Davis says saves wear and tear on the lines, are more reliable than traditional clutches, and are easier to maintain. “It’s also about weight because we sail on Lake Erie for club racing and it’s a light-air lake,” Davis says, adding that weight is an easy speed-sapping source to tackle. It just takes diligence. “Most crews have a bad habit of bringing stuff to the boat and never taking it off, so the boat captain sweeps through the boat every night and makes sure we have all the stuff off the boat that’s not class required or necessary.”

With the Worlds in August creeping ever closer, Davis is confident team Shamrock is making the right steps to get to the podium. “If you look at our results over the past three years, we’re in the top quarter and often on the podium,” he says. “Were fine-tuning the crew and the boat and our goal is to win, which takes skill and luck.”

And that, perhaps, is where Mrs. Davis’ Irish influence may come into play some day. But for now, with a day’s racing in the can and three wins in four races, there’s no need for any luck yet.”

Women sailing to clean ocean plastics
* Women Sailors doing amazing things!  Meet the Woman Sailing Around the World to Raise Awareness About Plastic Pollution

The first time self-described “ocean advocate” Emily Penn was confronted by the magnitude of the plastic pollution problem was during an international sailing expedition 10 years ago. She spotted bits of debris, things like toothbrushes, floating in the water a thousand miles from land, and saw beaches on remote Pacific islands piled high with waste. “I saw these huge changes to our marine environment that I had no idea were happening,” she says.

Now 32, Penn has since led numerous scientific sailing expeditions around the world that have conducted research on things like ocean acidification and toxics in the water. Plastic is a big source of those toxics; according to the U.N., about 13 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, damaging marine ecosystems and eventually infiltrating the global food chain. The material has been found in the depths of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, the bellies of whales and the excrement of humans. One study suggests that micro-plastics can even be passed from pregnant women to their unborn babies.

Read the rest of their eye-opening adventure here at

* NOTE- SpinSheet photographer Shannon Hibberd has been selected as crew for eXXpedition Round the World voyage! She will be sailing from Fiji to Tonga May 2020 with a group of women, spreading awareness about plastics in the ocean! Add to Flipboard Magazine.