Wednesday, July 17, 2019

J/Newsletter- July 17th, 2019

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It has been a very busy week on the European sailing scene. Currently taking place in Bilbao, Spain is the J/80 World Championship; the 80-boat fleet is being hosted by Real Club Marítimo del Abra and the annual battle between the two leading nations in the class- the French and the Spanish- continues to play out for the top five spots. Also, currently taking place is the annual J/Cup U.K. Regatta; hosted by Royal Southampton YC in Hamble, England for one-design fleets of J/70s, J/92s, and J/111s, plus IRC handicap classes that include J/105, J/97, J/109s, and J/122s.

This past weekend, the U.K. J/24 National Championship was held in conjunction with Plymouth Week Regatta for a fleet of 29 J/24s.

Then, the J/22 World Championship in Warnemuender, Germany finished for a fleet of thirty-one J/22s hosted by the Warnemuender Segel-Club with help of Berliner YC and YC Berlin-Grunau.

Ireland’s largest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close Sunday afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with 500 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing. Participating in this epic regatta were a J/80 one-design class and several fleets of IRC handicap racing that included sixteen J/109s, a J/125, a J/122E, J/35, J/92, J/97 and a new J/99.

Over in the USA, the granddaddy of all offshore events in the Midwest is Chicago YC’s annual Chicago to Mackinac Race, a 289.4nm blast up the entire length of Lake Michigan. Participating were one-design fleets of J/105s, J/109s, J/111s and an ORR handicap fleet that included the new J/99, new J/121, J/120s, J/35s, J/145, J/122s, J/130, and J/133s, amongst others.

Out west off California, the 50th Transpac Race is currently taking place, a 2,225.0nm downwind sleigh ride across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles, CA to Honolulu, HI. Several J/Teams are currently leading, including a new J/121 and the classic J/125s, plus a J/44 and J/105 are also in the podium mix!!

J105 sailing past Chicago Mackinac finish line 
J/Crews Dominate Chicago to Mackinac Race
(Mackinac Island, MI)- The 111th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, sponsored by Wintrust, will go down as one of the slowest on record, with even the “big boats” (e.g. just TP 52s) completing the race in 40+ hours! Yikes, just a 7.1 kts average for some of the world’s fastest boats; that is way, way below their hull speed of 9.2+ kts. For the rest of the fleet, that meant a lot of the notorious “fly-swatting” and staring at “triple naughts” on the speedo for extended periods of time on Sunday, in particular!

The wind conditions favored the lighter side of the spectrum, with teams that played the delicate balance of hugging the Wisconsin shoreline and then venturing into the middle of Lake Michigan finding huge dividends in the upper half/ third of the race. The move was contrary to tradition that finds veteran teams typically jumping over to the Michigan shoreline early in the race.

The 2019 edition had a diverse fleet; thirteen states and three countries are represented, and there were over sixty J/Teams competing in the fleet of 240 offshore keelboats (about 25% of the fleet).

This was Doug DeVos’ 39th Chicago Mac Race (a J/44 owner over time), and it’s one of only four or five times he spent significant time in the middle of the lake and sailed on the west side of the Manitou Islands. His TP52 WINDQUEST earned the Royono Trophy as the first monohull to finish. “This definitely was a race when finding the right spot was very good and finding the wrong spot was very bad, so it was a very tricky race in that regard,” he said.

No kidding! “Go West, young man” may have been the overall theme for the race for ultimate sailing success!
Lake Michigan
Why was the 111th edition of the Chicago to Mackinac Island Race such a challenge? Here is a synopsis from a leading offshore weather forecaster to give you an idea of the trade-offs associated with tactical/ strategic considerations for the race:

“The most significant change in the forecast is for a cold frontal passage Saturday during daylight hours- winds to veer WSW'ly to N-NE'ly swiftly in the afternoon. Expect intermittent “pop-up” thunderstorms/ cells forming and disappearing in southern part of the lake.

Continue to favor the West side of the Lake, left of rhumbline, where the further progression for winds to clock SE-S'ly by early daylight Sunday is still expected up to the middle of the Lake.

There will be opportunity to maximize boat speed in gusting 20 kt W'ly wind speeds within 2-5nm of the western shoreline Saturday afternoon just after your start at 11:30 hrs, albeit briefly ahead of the frontal passage.

Lulls as winds veer NW-NE, or even SE for early Saturday evening hours near shore a sign to head more offshore 5+ miles…for more reliable wind speeds, yet veering and flexing angle, to prevail over open Lake waters.
Lake Michigan sunset
The Sunday and Monday forecasts look more timely and in line with previous forecasts, the aforementioned cold front is expected to remain stretched East-West just south of Lake Michigan, and begin transitioning into a warm boundary and lift north over the northern lake region by Monday.

The outlined zone depicted in purple on the charts (rhumbline to the E and W extent on the W side) is the area where I expect the strongest wind speeds and most reliable wind angles for efficient, fastest sailing angle opportunities.  The Wisconsin “shoreline” strategy is at best a 10-15% probability of success due to gradient development offshore. Nevertheless, that gradient will develop from the northwest and gain strength southeast across the top of the Lake after midday Sunday.

Also, keep in mind the most stable sky conditions are to prevail for Sunday and you will want to gain northerly distance to avoid the re-development for wet, potentially convective weather to develop over the middle/southern parts of the Lake.

By late day Sunday/ early Monday, intermittent downpours/ squalls to develop over open Lake waters west of Beaver Island.  The weather will be slow to develop east of Beaver Island toward Mackinac Island until the mid-morning to midday hours Monday. We still expect about a 3-4 hour period of weather that will additionally muddy the persistently light gradient easterly winds for the final stretch during early Monday. Winds stabilize finally on rhumbline Monday afternoon with least impact from local downpours/ squalls, from ENE to ESE.

In summary, with the exception of isolated downpours/squalls with cold frontal passage Saturday afternoon into early evening, maximizing northerly distance sailed in the period Saturday night to Sunday night in the fairest sky conditions is key!!

The weather development of downpours/ squalls over Lake Michigan Sunday night and Monday will be a sloppy trend of weather over the Lake. In this scenario, keep your eyes wide open, as wind angles can vary widely and wind speeds trend to lull and gust inefficiently in such a weather development.”

In retrospect, the forecast was not far off. However, there were serious weather anomalies that many Mac Race veterans had never seen before, due in particular to the relative coldness of the lake surface (58 to 61 deg at mid-lake buoys).
sailing off Chicago
The fleet started off at 11:00 AM in Southwesterly winds of 8 to 15 kts, set spinnakers, and headed between 0 and 23 degrees (rhumbline course) towards Point Betsie 165.0 nm away, the first major turning point to the Northeast.

Not long after the start, the cold front rolled through as a “dry” front with no rain, just a massive windshift from the SW to the N/NE around 2:00 PM. The entire fleet flipped from port tack broad reaching to a starboard tack beat in a matter of minutes. The NE winds persisted until sunset Saturday night.

Then, another massive windshift rolled through from the Northwest, when 95% of the fleet flipped back over onto port tack.  Through the course of that night and into Sunday morning, the winds persisted right, ultimately passing 25 degrees.

Once the breeze swung right past the rhumbline course, most of the fleet again flipped back onto starboard tack to get further north up the lake around 2:30 AM.

The breeze basically swung back and forth all Sunday on a beautiful sunny day, the winds coming from 90 to 120 degrees for several hours. However, a very bizarre phenomenon was taking place; the cold surface waters created a very thick boundary layer and a significant sheer between the surface wind and those at the top of the masthead. The sails would set so the top was “over-trimmed”, while the bottom was “under-trimmed” (or seemingly luffing). This was having a weird effect on what sails you had flying, whether genoas, code zero’s, or spinnakers. As a result, tall-rigged boats with lots of sail up high had a big advantage over smaller boats just because of the wind sheer phenomenon alone. You could be sailing in 4-7 kts of wind at the masthead, cooking along at 5- 7.5 kts boatspeed, but the surface was like glass, perfectly reflecting the sun and clouds. The only “wind” you felt sitting on deck was, ironically, only your apparent wind!

At this stage on Sunday afternoon, the breeze was getting light (sometimes to “triple naughts” on the speedo), but visible wind lines were forming farther west that were difficult to get to for many of the leading boats.

In fact, it was the “tail-enders” in many of the classes that benefitted from that phenomenon as they carried just 1-2 kts of breeze more than boats a few miles inside them (to the east). Ultimately, many of the mid-marker to tail-enders sailed the “great circle route” around the fleet, 20 or 30 miles more than those closer to rhumbline, in other words closer to the Door County Wisconsin shoreline than much of the fleet in “mid-lake”. Those that went that way sailed “outside” (to the northwest) of the Manitou Islands, cut back through the Fox Islands, to pass through Greys Reef and win many of the classes in the race!

On Monday morning around 6:00 AM, the next front rolled in with lighting, thunder, 15-25 kt winds, and torrential rain conditions for about two hours.  When the front hit, the wind swung from 170 degrees to 270 degrees for about an hour. Then, it swung back to 160 to 180 and continued to blow at 15-23 kts.  That made for a fast ride for at least half the fleet that was in the Manitou Passage to Greys Reef.  However, by noon, the wind shut down again.  At first, the southeaster tried to establish itself. That died. Then, the breeze filled in from the northeast, which then swung to the east in the Mackinac Straits, past the Mackinac Bridge to the finish at Mackinac Island.

The big winner of the 113-boat Mackinac Cup Trophy Division was the J/109 GOAT RODEO, sailed by the 29-year-old owner and skipper Robert Evans, sailing with members of the Clemson University Sailing Team. They were also winners for the second year in a row of the J/109 Class.
Watch the GOAT RODEO video interview here.

Behind GOAT RODEO in the J/109 division were several more performances that are outstanding.  Second in class and third overall was Chris Mallet’s SYNCHRONICITY, third in class and fourth overall was Jim Murray’s CALLISTO.

Yet again, winning the J/105 class was Mark Symond’s PTERODACTYL, finishing a respectable 11th overall. Second in class was Mark Gannon’s GANGBUSTERS, and third was Peter Schwarzbach’s PHANTOM.
J/111 sailing Chicago Mackinac Race
The J/111’s had their usual battles all the way up the lake with various boats leading the race at one point or another. Prevailing in the end was Rich Witzel’s ROWDY, followed by Tom Dickson’s WARLOCK in second and Scott Sellers’ NO SURPRISE in third. The tale of the tape was extraordinary in the J/111 class. ROWDY and NO SURPRISE were always amongst the leaders, WARLOCK was not. At 3:00 AM on Sunday morning, WARLOCK was not doing so great. When the big right-hand shift came through, they were over 10.0nm behind the leaders (ROWDY/ NO SURPRISE). And, they made the fateful mistake of paralleling rhumbline at 25 deg. thereabouts until 7:30 AM. At that point, recognizing they were near last in fleet, sitting in about 12th place, a “back marker” for sure in the J/111 class, they dove left. Not just a few degrees left, very hard left. Like 305 deg at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning, hard turn left! In other words, they were sailing AWAY (beyond 90 deg) to the rhumbline course to Point Betsie (28 deg)! Radical? Yes! At 12:00 PM high noon Central time, they were 15.0nm behind the two J/111 leaders. Not exactly the recipe for success, or was it? But, by 2:30 PM, at 87.22.50 W, they finally turned back to steering 30.0 deg.  By 5:00 PM, just 8 hours after their “left turn”, they were further north than ROWDY and exactly the same distance to Greys Reef at 91.0 nm! Scary movies? No question for those boats inside them. At 2:30 AM in the morning on Monday, guess who was first to the northern tip of the Manitou Islands? WARLOCK! Last to first. Hokey Smoke said Rocky the Racoon, to Bullwinkle the Moose! At that point, it was not until Beaver Island that ROWDY re-passed WARLOCK. From there on end, ROWDY simply covered WARLOCK’s every move to the finish to win class.

The Level 35 class was yet again won by a J/35, this time it was Dan & Jill Leslie’s NOMATA that led the eight-boat class.

In the ORR handicap world, there were a number of great outcomes across the dozen or so classes. In ORR 2 Class, Bill & Jean Schanen’s beautiful red J/145 MAIN STREET was hunting down the SC 70s and TP 52s in ORR 1 for most of the race, finishing amidst them at the finish to take 2nd in class.
J/133 sailing Chicago Mackinac race
Section 4 saw Robert Christoph’s brand new J/121 LOKI (its inaugural Mac Race) take third in class and sixth overall (missing 5th place by a mere 6 seconds!). LOKI’s team had sailed a remarkable race up to midday Sunday, leading both Section 4 as well as the lead for the overall Chicago Mackinac Trophy division. At that point, they made the fateful mistake to not keep heading due north and, instead turned right and started to parallel the rhumbline course of 25-30 deg. As a result, LOKI ran out of wind and “parked up” in a glassy calm for the better part of four hours! At one point, several J/105s and J/109s west of 81.25  deg West sailed past them going north! It was a devastating blow for the team. Despite that fact, they clawed their way back into the race, they lost the overall Chicago Mackinac Trophy by just three hours (less than the time they parked up!). Meanwhile, Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3 placed 5th in class.

A mix of classic and newer J’s was participating in Section 5. Taking third place was Matt Songer’s J/122 EVVAI, with Randy Kuhn & James Richter’s J/44 CHEEP N DEEP finishing 4th. Fifth went to Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI.

Taking 4th in Section 6 was Ben Lumpkin’s J/112E MARY GAIL, the only J/Boat in the fourteen-boat section.
J/99 Hokey Smokes team
The brand new J/99 HOKEY SMOKE was sailed by the veteran Mac Race team of Rich & Lori Stearns’ in Section 7. It was Rich’s 43rd Mac and Lori’s 25th- a great celebration was had by all at the “Old Goats” party at the Island House after the race on Tuesday afternoon. The HOKEY SMOKE team celebrated their good fortune to take the bronze on the podium. There’s was the story of the “comeback kids”. After trading off the lead with a well-sailed Express 37 (last year’s class winner) for both Section 7 and Mackinac Cup Overall for the better part of 24 hours into the race, all hell broke loose from a weather and strategy perspective. The aforementioned “wind shear” played to the advantage of the taller rigs on larger boats and, strategically, several “back marker” boats that took “corner shots” westward towards the Wisconsin shoreline early to midday Sunday. With those two elements combined, HOKEY SMOKE dropped to 9th in section and 60+ overall late Sunday evening before approaching Point Betsy and the Manitou Islands. However, the tenacious crew on HOKEY SMOKE simply worked hard to reel the leaders back in. From the Manitou’s to the Greys Reef turning point, a 60.0nm leg, the J/99 flew down the track when the cold front hit at 0600 hrs on Monday morning, planing at 9 to 13 kts most of the way in 15 to 25 kt winds, gaining over 10.0nm on the Section 7 leaders. In the short 3.0nm Greys Reef leg, HOKEY SMOKE passed the third place boat, and then sailed away upwind to take the bronze medal!

Rounding out the ORR fleet for J’s in Section 8 were two J/88s that battled the entire 289.4nm! In the end, taking J/88 honors was Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE by finishing third in class. Meanwhile, their stablemates on MISTY (Dan & Dana Floberg) were just over a half-hour behind them to take 4th in section.

"It’s been an honor to serve as Chair of the Chicago Mac for the past two years," said Sarah Renz, Chair of Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. "As sailors, we’ve been challenged with a broad spectrum of conditions to test our talents. As a part of the organizational team, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make our race ‘America’s Offshore Challenge’."  Chicago Mac race video highlights of finish  For more Chicago to Mackinac Race sailing information

J/22 Worlds off the Netherlands 
Jean-Michel Lautie Crowned J/22 World Champion
(Warnemuende, Germany)- Thirty-one boats sailed the 2019 J/22 World Championship in Warnemuender, Germany this past week.  Hosted by the Warnemuender Segel-Club with help of Berliner YC and YC Berlin-Grunau, the fleet enjoyed good sailing conditions from the 6th to 13th July. The J/22 teams came from Austria, Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, and The Netherlands. In the end, Jean-Michel Lautie, the “Flying Dutchman” from The Netherlands won the J/22 World Championship. Here is how it all went down over the four-day event.

Tuesday- Practice Race
In fantastic conditions, the J/22s sailed a great practice race. Of the 31 registered crews, 25 were on the race course.

"Today we had the famous Warnemünde wave. It was just a great race,” commented Holger Schmitt, Chairman of the German J/22 Class.

Race Officer Lorenz Buchler, a J/22 sailor himself, commented, “we were really jealous today. 15 to 20 knots of wind, blue sky. In short, it was awesome sailing weather!”

Favorites for the World Cup title were the Duisburg-based Reiner Brockerhoff (FRA 1444), who sailed under the French flag, and Jean-Michel Lautier (NED 1273). Lautier is a twice Vice World Champion in 2015 and 2017. In addition, Martin Menzner from Kiel, who generally sails J/80s in Germany, certainly had the experience to be at the top of the leaderboard; he finished fourth at the J/22 World Championship 2015 in Travemünde.
J/22s starting at J/22 Worlds in Germany
Wednesday- Strong Start to the Worlds
Four races were sailed on the first day and, much to everyone’s surprise, Jean-Michel Lautier won all four of them! Nevertheless, the 2019 J/22 European Champion was on form and sent a sent a clear message to his competitors. Four wins in four races make it clear that it will be hard to beat them.

The gap to runner-up Reiner Brockerhoff was already ten points. Brockerhoff, who is also one of the favorites, has made a solid start to the World Cup with fourth, second, third and fifth places. In third place, four points behind Reiner Brockerhoff, was Johan Koppernaes from Canada (with American Mike Marshall as crew- himself a J/22 World Champion).

Fourth-placed Dirk Jan Verdoorn from the Netherlands was one point behind. For the Dutchman, it was already his fourth J/22 World Championship, after two World Cups in Scheveningen and one in Travemünde. The area off Warnemünde is new to Dirk Jan Verdoorn: "It is the first time sailing in Warnemünde. I especially like the beautiful Baltic wave, as we have here," said Verdoorn.

The Kiel-based yacht designer Martin Menzner is currently in sixth place, making him the top German team. "I think the J/22 is great. I used to sail it a lot, but that was a long time ago. I have not yet grooved fully to the J/22 yet. Yesterday, I almost fell off the boat a couple of times, because of the big waves. That can only get better," said Menzner laughing.

Race officer Lorenz Buchler was very satisfied with the first day of the World Cup on the evening after the races, “today we had a great wind between 14 and 20 knots again. Over the whole day, the wind only changed about 15 degrees. In the second race today four boats were too early over the starting line. One of them was Holger Schmitt. Despite the early start, it was fun today. We got four tight races through. Nevertheless, I do not think we can repeat that tomorrow."

Thursday- The Flying Dutchman extends lead
The second day did not bring too many big surprises. Jean-Michel Lautier continued to lead the overall standings, ahead of Reiner Brockerhoff and Johan Koppernaes.

Day two started with bright sunshine and a light breeze that rarely exceeded the six-knot level required for a World Championship. Therefore, Lorenz Buchler and his team decided to postpone the race start. The weather forecast had left open the chance in the morning that a light sea breeze could build up around noon if the land would warm up enough due to the sun.

The postponement was a good decision, as the wind built by 1300 hrs to 8-10 kts. As a result, three more races were sailed. The first race was completed quickly. After that, there were slight delays. The start of the second race dragged on for almost an hour due to changing wind directions. The start line had to continuously be reset.

"That was a bit exhausting, but otherwise it was a good sailing day again today.” summarized PRO Lorenz Buchler. In the first three places, there was no change today. Jean-Michel Lautier was able to maintain his lead by taking a 6-1-1 for the day to lead with six bullets in seven races!
J/22 World Championship podium 2019
Friday- No Wind, Flying Dutchman Wins!
With all racing canceled for the day, the Dutchman Jean-Michel Lautier was declared the 2019 J/22 World Champion.

The winning boat was 22 years old. In many classes, that would be considered outdated. But, the J/22 is different. “We call our boat ‘the old lady’. Nevertheless, she is still quite competitive”, said Lautier. "That's what makes the class so exciting. The boats are very robust and simple. Here it doesn't matter who has the latest boats.” Overall, Jean-Michel Lautier and his fellow sailors were very satisfied with the event, “it was wonderful here in Warnemünde. We had great weather, not always the best wind, but we still managed seven races.”

Rounding out the podium was the French team of Reiner Brockerhoff in second and the Canadian John Koppernaes in third. The balance of the top five included German Martin Menzner in 4th and Dutchman Dirk Jan Verdoorn in 5th position.  For more J/22 World Championship sailing information

J/99 sailing J/Cup UK 
The Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta Update
J/70 Worlds Training Event
(Hamble, England)- Before the start of the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup, the J/Boat family gathered for a special tribute to Paul Heys. All of the racing fleet gathered their yachts and all crew observed a minute silence. Surrounded by the J/Boat fleet, Marie Claude Heys, accompanied by Paul's daughters Gemma and Natalie, released a seashell containing Paul's ashes into the Solent. Funds are being raised to support a campaign for a permanent mark in the Solent, the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy. Nearly £20,000 has been raised of the target, to maintain the racing buoy for generations of sailors to come. To make a donation:

Racing for the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup and J/70 UK Class Training Event, started shortly after noon, with 15 knots of breeze from the southwest. Six classes enjoyed highly competitive racing with 24 teams achieving race podiums in the three races held for all classes.

Michael Wallis' J/122 Jahmali leads the Large IRC Class, from J/112 Davanti Tyres, skippered by Marie-Claude Heys. Isabelle Hung's “The Outsider” racing J/122 Jolly Jellyfish is third on countback.

“Paul Heys was like a father to all of us, and personally we go a long way back,” commented Michael Wallis. “We have been coming to race at just about every J-Cup. It is a fantastic get-together with like minded people, who like to race but observe the rules, and every now and then you let someone cross ahead, knowing they will return the favour. Paul Heys was a huge inspiration to all of us, and it was wonderful to pay tribute to him with such good people out on the Solent.”
J/111s sailing J/Cup UK on Solent
There was close racing in the J/92 Class right from the start, with a tie for the win in the first race between Robin Stevenson's Upstart and Alan Macleod's Samurai J. Upstart continued to impress with a second and first to end the day at the top of the leaderboard. David Greenhalgh's J’Ronimo scored a 4-1-2 to finish the first day in second place, just 1.5 points in front of Samurai J.

In the J/111 Class, Tony Mack's McFly scored a 3-1-1 to lead the class but only by a single point for Chris Jones & Louise Makin's Journeymaker II. Paul van Driel's Sweeny is in third position. In the J/109 Class, John Smart's Jukebox is ahead by a single point from Christopher Preston's Jubilee; Simon Perry's Jiraffe is third. In the J/88 Class, Kirsty Apthorp's J-Dream scored a 2-1-1 to hold a five-point advantage over Gavin Howe's Tigris. Richard Cooper's Jongleur is third. In the Small IRC Class Frédéric Bouvier J/99 J Lance 14 scored a 1-1-2 to top the leaderboard. Bob Baker's J/97 Jaywalker is just a point behind in second, and Jeff Johnstone's J/99 Jet is third.

In the J/70 UK Class Training Event, Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was fully launched, winning all three races. Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was the top performing U.K. J/70 team at the recent European Championships, and that time on the water against top international competition, is reaping rewards.

Clive Bush's Darcey posted a 5-3-2, to end the day in second place. Charles Thompson's Brutus is third by way of countback despite equaling Darcey's scoreline. Martin Dent's Jelvis is fourth, also by virtue of countback from Tim Collins' EV Experts.  Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright-    Landsail Tyres J-Cup results page   J/70 UK Class Training Event  For more Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information

J/125 sailing Transpac Race 
Transpac Update- The Horses are on the track
(Honolulu, Hawaii)- First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the biennial Transpac Race has attracted a record fleet of 90 boats for its 50th edition. Three waves of starts have gotten the fleet onto the 2,225.0nm course from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Here are some updates:

The early starters, after an initial dive south for better winds, are now straightening their course toward the finish line. However, the third group isn't as lucky as most are dealing with light winds for their escape from California.

J/Crews are leading several 50th Transpac Race divisions!
The eight J/Teams that are sailing are having good racing conditions so far and many are either leading or have podium positions so far. Here is the latest position report (as of 0500 on July 17):

In the thirteen-boat Division 3, leading is Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’ HAMACHI from Corinthian YC Seattle in Seattle, WA, following in third position is Mark Surber’s SNOOPY from Coronado YC in San Diego, CA, fourth is Zach Anderson & Chris Kramer’s VELVET HAMMER from San Francisco, CA, sixth is Tom Garnier’s REINRAG 2 from Los Angeles YC, and tenth is Roger Gatewood’s J/145 KATARA from St Petersburg, FL.

In the eleven-boat Division 6, leading is Scott Grealish’s new J/121 BLUE FLASH from Willamette Sailing Club in Portland, Oregon.

In Division 7, sitting in third position is Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT from Newport Harbor YC in Newport Beach, CA.

Finally, in Division 8, also sitting in third place is David Gorney’s J/105 NO COMPROMISE from Anacapa YC.

Current ORR Overall Leaders for the entire fleet of 90 boats are the following: 1st HAMACHI, 3rd SNOOPY, and 4th VELVET HAMMER.

Many of these positions can change, of course, over 4 to 5 more days of sailing for this J/Navy traversing the gorgeous deep cobalt blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. All will be working hard on their gybe angles for their final approach into the Molokai Channel and the finish off Diamond Head, Hawaii!  Cheer them on and follow the fleet on YB Tracker here  For more 50th Transpac Race sailing information

J/80 sailing Worlds 
J/80 World Championship Update
(Bilbao, Spain)- The Real Club Marítimo del Abra has been hosting the 2019 edition of the J/80 World Championship that started on July 13th off Bilbao, Spain. Eighty teams have been battling on the Cantabrian Sea from twelve nations across the world (Canada, Spain, France, USA, Russia, Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and India).

The battles have been epic so far, especially between the two top countries that have continuously been at the top of the world in J/80 events for over a decade- the French and the Spanish.

As a reflection of that fierce competition, tied on points at 23 each are the Frenchman Laouenan Pierre’s COURRIER ECOLE NAVALE and the Spaniard Pablo Santurde’s M&G TRESSIS. The balance of the top five are all Spanish, including two former J/80 World Champions, and they are all within 6 pts of the lead! The final two days of competition promise to be epic and full of anxiety as the five teams duel to the end.  Sitting in third is Jose Asqueta’s BIOBIZZ, fourth is Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESA YAIZA, and fifth is Marc de Antonio’s BRIBON MOVISTAR.  Follow the J/80 Worlds on Facebook here   For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/109 sailing off Ireland 
J/109s Top Dun Laoghaire Regatta
(Dun Laoghaire, Ireland)- Ireland’s largest sailing event, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, came to a gentle close Sunday afternoon after an exciting four days of racing in Dublin Bay with 500 boats and almost 2,500 sailors competing.

A light northerly breeze of six knots allowed organizers to complete nearly all 290 scheduled races with many class titles hanging on the outcome of the final race.

Many of the hottest boats were racing the IRC Coastal class of twenty-eight boats. It was tough competition and J/Teams faired well overall. Taking the silver overall was Peter Dunlop’s J/109 MOJITO, while Nigel Ingram’s J/109 JET STREAM took 4th place. In the IRC B Coastal division, MOJITO won, leading a J/sweep of the podium.  Second was JET STREAM and third was Lindsay Casey & Denis Power’s J/97 WINDJAMMER.

In the Celtic Cup RC35 class, two J/109s swept the top honors. Winning was Pat Kelly’s STORM and taking the silver was Brian & John Hall’s SOMETHING ELSE.

In the IRC Cruiser 0 class of six yachts, Jonathan Anderson’s J/122E EL GRAN SENOR from the Clyde Cruising Club in Scotland started the regatta slowly and closed with a 3rd place average to take 4th in class, just 2 pts off the podium.
J/109s sailing off Dublin, Ireland
The twenty-seven boat IRC Cruiser 1 class was the most competitive and hardest class, especially because sixteen J/109s were vying for summer series offshore honors as well. Not surprisingly, J/Teams swept the top six places. The first five teams were all J/109s. Winning was John Maybury’s JOKER 2, taking the silver was Tim & Richard Goodbody’s WHITE MISCHIEF, the bronze went to Pat Kelly’s STORM, fourth was Cowell Murphy’s OUTRAJEOUS, and fifth was Brian Jones’ JELLY BABY. Taking 6th was the newly launched J/99 JUGGERKNOT 2 sailed by the trio of Andrew Algeo, Richard Knatchbull, & Paul Nolan from Royal Irish YC.

The IRC Cruiser 3 had a gaggle of J/24s. Top team was Steve Atkinson’s BAD in fourth and Flor O’Driscoll’s HARD ON PORT took fifth place.

The fourteen-boat J/80 class experienced a bit of a runaway in the form of Jonathan O’Dowd’s Royal St George YC crew on JABS, winning quite handily with a scoreline that only counted podium finishes for 11 pts net. The race for the balance of the top five was quite spirited as only two points separated them at the conclusion of the regatta.  Tied for second on 22 pts each were Philip Watson’s JAM JAR and Robert Dix’s JEANNIE, with JAM JAR winning the countback.  Fourth place went to Norbert Reilly’s RED CLOUD and fifth was Conall O’Halloran’s JITTERBUG.  Sailing photo credits- David Branigan  For more Dun Laoghaire Regatta sailing information

J/24 sailing off England 
U.K. J/24 Nationals Got HUSTLED!
(Plymouth, England)- The Plymouth Yacht Regatta took place from the 12th to 14th July and the event co-hosted the U.K. J/24 National Championship. The Port of Plymouth Sailing Association organized the regatta and the RNSA (Royal Navy Sailing Association) and Plymouth Yacht Clubs provided the on-the-water race management.

The twenty-nine J/24s enjoyed great racing, with the fleet enjoying an exhausting, but rewarding, ten races over the three-day event. In the end, it was Sam Pearson’s HUSTLE that won the regatta with 39 pts net. There’s was not an easy win as Nick Phillips’ CHAOTIC was running away with the regatta until the seventh race, as they had posted three bullets and a 2-4 in their tally. However, a 7th race DSQ torpedoed Phillips’ chances of winning the regatta, consequently hanging tough in the last three races to take the silver by a whisker.  Tied on 49 pts net with them was the Swedish team on FRONT RUNNER (JIVE), sailed by Monica & Per-Hakan Persson, a perennially top J/24 team in Europe.  The Swedish team finally got their act together and gelled in their last four races, posting a 1-2-2-12 to leap up the standings to tie CHAOTIC, but lose the countback to settle for the bronze on the podium.

The balance of the top five included Dave Hale’s CACCON in fourth place and James Torr’s MAJIC U25 youth team took fifth position.  Follow the Plymouth Regatta Week on Facebook here  For more Plymouth Regatta sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jul 10- 50th Transpac Race- Los Angeles, CA
Jul 13-21- J/80 World Championship- Bilbao, Spain
Jul 14-20- New York YC 175th Anniversary Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 20- Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 20-21- Fiesta Cup Regatta- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 20-21- J/Fest Great Lakes Regatta- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Jul 20-28- Travemunde Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 25-28- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26- Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 26-28- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 27- RORC Channel Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 24-27- Whidbey Island Race Week- Oak Harbor, WA

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

Mackinac Island finish 
Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Preview
(Port Huron, MI)- Even though it is 95 years old, the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is showing no signs of slowing down. The longest consecutively run freshwater race in the country starts July 20 with 202 boats on the starting line. The fleet, representing nine states in the U.S. and two provinces in Canada, has been divided into 20 classes in three divisions on two courses.

The race starts on lower Lake Huron and finishes at Mackinac Island to the north. “We’ve come a long way since the first race in 1925 when 12 boats entered,” said Event Chair Robert Nutter, adding that even through the Great Depression and World War II, the race carried on. “It’s now a can’t-miss event on the Great Lakes sailing schedule, and it has been enjoyed by generation after generation of sailors.”

The weather forecast for Saturday looks a bit questionable, showers and thunderstorms are forecast, temps in the upper 90s, and west to southwest winds in the 5 to 15 kts range (e.g. a roasty toasty humid start!). A least the fleet will be able to start their northerly tracks and escape the heat near Detroit. After the slow-moving cold front moves off to the east, another one rolls in on Sunday late morning to early evening, with winds backing into the northwest in the 6 to 12 kts range.

Cove Island Course
The longer Cove Island course takes the “big boats” due NNE to an island in Canadian waters in the northeast corner of the lake. From there, the fleet heads nearly due west to the finish at Mackinac Island, using the same iconic Old Round Island Point Lighthouse as the southern marker for the line.

Class D includes several hot J/Teams, such as Robert Christoph’s J/121 LOKI, Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3, and four J/111’s (Don Hudak’s CAPERS, James Cooper’s FREEDOM, Jeff Schaeffer’s SHMOKIN JOE, and Tim Clayson’s UNPLUGGED).

Class E is comprised of ten J/120s. Those teams include Charlie Hess’ FUNTECH RACING, Mike & Bob Kirkman’s HOT TICKET, Marv Ihnen & Ken Tanner’s IHNSANITY TOO, Dave Sandlin, Kenneth Brown & Mark Pikula’s J-HAWKER, Stephen Polk’s KAIROS, Arne Fliflet’s MAZAL TOV, Henry Mistel’s NIGHT MOVES, John Harvey & Rick Titsworth’s SLEEPING TIGER, Curtis Kime’s VICTRIX, and Tim Yanda’s VIVA LA VIDA.

Class H is virtually all J/35s, ten of them are making the trip north across Lake Erie! No question the “gold standard” for the class will be Bill Wildner’s infamous MR BILL’S WILD RIDE. Hoping to give them a “run-for-the-money” will be teams like Tim & Amie Ross’ BLACKHAWK (Team Detroit Lions), Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST, Ed & John Bayer’s FALCON, and Bill White & Bill Mosher’s STEELIN GOLD.

Class I is comprised of J/105s, J/109s, and a J/112E. The J/105’s include Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL and Cynthia Best’s PHANTOM. The J/109’s include Jim Murray’s CALLISTO, Robert Evan’s Chicago-Mac Cup winner GOAT RODEO, and Chris Mallet’s SYNCHRONICITY. The lone J/112E is Tim & Cathy McGuire’s ELEVATION.

Class K- Cruising includes Gary Warner’s J/35 DYNOMYTE and Gary Gonzalez’s J/42 DOS MAS.

Class L- Doublehanded has Brad & Ian Faber’s UTAH racing against two other good fast boats- a Farr 30 and Olson 40.
Shore Course
The Shore Course for smaller boats goes straight NNW direct to Mackinac Island, so the Michigan shoreline becomes a factor in decision-making regarding how the hot shore, cool lake dynamic affects the winds.

Sailing in Class N is the famous J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP sailed by Brett & Katie Langolf from Sandusky, OH and Adam Lawing’s J/29 KOLOA.  Follow the Bayview Mackinac Race on Facebook here  For more Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

J/80 sailing off Toronto, ONTJ/Fest Great Lakes Regatta Preview
(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- The Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario is hosting their first J/Fest Great Lakes on their magnificent setting on an island offshore of the majestic city of Toronto.  The event will feature one-design fleets for J/27s, J/80s, J/105s and a PHRF fleet that includes J/88s, J/35s, and J/109. Thirty-three boats are participating in the event, an excellent turnout for the inaugural event at RCYC.

The five-boat J/27 class includes Chris Johnston’s AFTERNOON DELIGHT, Madeleine Beese’s MESSING ABOUT, Christian Greenfield’s MISS TRIXIE, Rich O’Hare’s TAKE 5, and Bruce Scott’s WARPED PERCEPTION.

The nine-boat J/80 class includes three women owner/ skippers, including Trudy Murphy’s FEISTY, Janet Geisberger’s HAPPY J, and Chrissy Thompson’s PUFFIN. They will up against “the boys”, six of them, that include Owen Schneider’s ENIGMA, Gary Stephenson’s FLYER, Martin Rutter’s FREE RADICAL, Dave Doyle & Mark McLean’s INNOCENT BYSTANDER, Richard Bruneau’s JUBILATION, and Chris Hobb’s LIFTED.

Starting over a half-dozen years ago, several members of the Royal Canadian YC wanted to come up with a “family-friendly” day sailor and offshore racing keelboat that was also easy to maintain. They focused on picking up “gently used” J/105s and the fruit of their continuing efforts has materialized in a class of sixteen boats for the event.  Perhaps even more amazing is that the local J/105 fleet includes two past multiple J/105 North American Champions- Jim Rathbun’s HEY JUDE and Terry McLaughlin & Rod Wilmer’s MANDATE. Other top contenders include Mike Mountford’s LIVE EDGE, Peter Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY, Mike Chapman’s SENTIENT, Ian Farquharson’s SONIC BOOM, and Frank McLaughlin’s STARCROSS.

The J/PHRF class includes Tim Sweet’s J/88 PUFFIN, two J/105s (Paul-Angus Bark’s CRIME SCENE and Andrew Koolman’s LOYALIST), and Denys Jones’ J/109 CARPE VENTUS.  For more J/Fest Great Lakes Regatta sailing information

J/70 sailing Harbor Springs, MI 
59th Little Traverse YC “Ugotta Regatta” Preview
(Harbor Springs, MI)- The Little Traverse Yacht Club is hosting its 59th Annual “Ugotta Regatta” beginning Friday, July 26th and running through Sunday, July 28th. Start times have been pushed back to 12:00 pm daily allowing for the thermal or sea breeze to fill in. This should alleviate postponements either on land or on the water. It will also allow for more consistent wind pressure and direction, which will result in better racing. The One-Design Fleets will enjoy three days of windward-leeward racing, while the rest of the Divisions join in on the fun with the traditional “Tour of the Bay” races Saturday and Sunday.

The One-Design Fleets include fleets of J/70s and J/105s. The largest Fleet with 22 boats registered is the J/70 Fleet. Ten of the 22 J/70’s registered are local boats hailing from Little Traverse YC. A lot of these J/70’s will be using the Regatta as a tune-up race as they will be back competing in the J/70 Corinthian National Championships hosted by LTYC August 8th through the 11th. Currently there are 43 J/70’s signed up for this major amateur championship event.

Leading boats in the J/70 class include John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE, the Little Traverse Sailors Team, Don Glover’s MISS KILLER, Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH, Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, and Scott Seller’s TRES BURRITOS.

The J/105 class includes Bill Petzold’s GREEN FLASH, Sam Powers’ GRYPHON, Jay Vander Wall’s MANITOU, and Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL.
J/Fest Harbor Springs
The rest of the divisions will be racing the traditional and ever popular “Tour of the Bay” race format on Saturday and Sunday. This is a combination of windward-leeward legs, and reaching legs using the fixed racing buoys located around Little Traverse Bay. “In all there will be 90 plus boats competing, making it exciting to watch from on the water or around the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay. This event will feature boats from 23 to 70 feet in length, all competing for line honors and bragging rights,” said Tom Trautman, Vice Commodore and Chairman of the 59th Annual LTYC Regatta. Again, racing begins at 12:00 pm each day and boats will be out competing on the water for 3 to 4 hours during the afternoons.

“Some of the boats will be coming down from Mackinac Island on Wednesday after completing the Port Huron to Mackinac Race which starts on Saturday, July 20th and usually finishes on Monday or Tuesday morning. Some of the boats will already be here from the Chicago to Mac Race which took place the weekend prior, and a handful of boats are local boats that live and dock here in Harbor Springs,” said Regatta Chair Tom Trautman. “Starting Wednesday evening spectators can stroll the docks and check out the boats up close and personal at the Harbor Springs Municipal Marina and Irish Boat Shop.”

Sailing in the PHRF A Class will be two J/111s, Brad Faber’s UTAH and Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE. Then, in PHRF B Class are two J/crews, including Gary & Susan Stewart’s J/32 ZONE and Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG.

The Regatta brings to Harbor Springs hundreds of crewmembers and their families from across the Midwest and beyond. With a noon starting time each day, it gives everyone plenty of time in the morning to explore the town of Harbor Springs and allows the sailors time to get their boats prepped for the afternoon. It also gives everyone time to enjoy the Little Traverse Sailors Famous Pancake Breakfast. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8:00 to 11:00 am, the Yacht Club hosts the LTS Pancake Breakfast. This is an important fundraiser for the LTS program and is open to the racers and the public alike. The Pancake Breakfast is a delicious way for the sailors to fuel up before getting on the water. One highlight of the breakfast: the young sailors flip less-than-perfect pancakes over their shoulders to land on the roof of the sail shed behind them.

There are many shore-side activities scheduled around the Regatta. Friday night kicks off with a private Ugotta Regatta Party for the competitors, volunteers and sponsors at Irish Boat Shop. After racing on Saturday, the Club hosts a party for the competitors featuring the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. The race weekend ends on Sunday evening as the Club hosts a final Regatta Party and awards presentation for competitors, volunteers and sponsors.

“It takes incredible teamwork and a village to run a Regatta of this size and we couldn’t do it without our 100+ volunteers,” said Trautman. “We express our deepest appreciation to all who have helped support this event. The Ugotta Regatta rules state no coats, no ties, no socks - no problem! Just great racing on the pristine waters of Little Traverse Bay, a chance for some relaxation in beautiful Harbor Springs, and a guaranteed good time”.  For regatta scoring go here.  For more Little Traverse YC Ugotta Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.