Wednesday, January 22, 2020

J/Newsletter- January 22, 2020

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It has been busy at the first major boat show of the 2020 season. Reception at the boot Dusseldorf show in Germany has been very encouraging overall and it is wonderful to catch up with many members of the J/Family- owners, sailors, crew, and new prospects! As both Europe's and the world's largest indoor boat show, you should seriously contemplate a last-minute visit for the weekend, a fun show as well as an enjoyable social event. This weekend, for those in the northeast, there is an opportunity to see the J/99 at the Toronto Boat Show and, similarly, there is an opportunity to see a J/99 at the Seattle Boat Show!

Meanwhile, the European one-design sailing season kicked-off with the third Act of Yacht Club Monaco's J/70 Winter Sportboat Series that took place this past weekend off Hercules Bay; one of the most exotic confines of the French, Monegasque, and Italian Rivieras on the northern Mediterranean coastline. The fleet of forty-five world-class crews enjoyed two days of amazing racing in a variety of wind/wave conditions.

On the same basis, the first of their offshore seasons took place off Seattle, WA and San Diego, CA.  The Duwamish Head Race was hosted by the Three Tree Point Yacht Club in Seattle, WA for a fleet of PHRF offshore teams, including the usual cast of top Seattle offshore teams on a J/160, J/133, J/130, J/109, J/35s, and J/29. Then, the Cabrillo Offshore Series Race 1 took place off San Diego, hosted by Southwestern Yacht Club. It is a series of long offshore day races out and around various rocks and islands in the Mexican archipelago south/ southwest of Point Loma. J/Teams are tearing it up in both ORC and PHRF offshore handicap racing divisions, the fleet included two J/145s, and top J/120s.

J/112E sailing off Dublin, Ireland
Visit boot Dusseldorf Show Extravaganza- see J/70, J/99, J/112E!

(Dusseldorf, Germany)- The massive, world-famous, Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show is taking place from January 18th to 26th in Dusseldorf, Germany at the sprawling Messe Conference & Exhibit Center.

With over 300 sailboat-related exhibitors, there is no question the world’s largest sailboat show in the heart of Europe is an exciting place to visit.

Renowned as one of the major “arts” centers in Europe, Dusseldorf is both a cultural attraction along the gorgeous Rhine River as well as an amazing boat show to attend- truly one of those cultural events the entire family can enjoy!

On display in Hall 17/ Booth A22 will be the latest J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster, the World Champion J/112E sports cruiser, and the world’s most successful sportsboat- the International J/70.

In Germany alone, the most significant impact on sailing sport has been the evolution of the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, with over 80 sailing clubs participating and thousands of sailors across Germany enjoying fun, tight club racing.  Then, across Europe, there are 14 national SAILING Champions League series that use fleets of 6 to 12 J/70s to ensure close, fair racing- it's a boat that can be sailed by anyone in your sailing community- young and old alike, women, children, and 8 to 80 yrs old! Learn more about the J/70 here.

The premiere next-generation sport-cruiser, the J/112E, is proving to be quite popular in Europe. The J/112E has been enthusiastically enjoyed by sailing families seeking to combine the “joy of sailing” with a comfortable, spacious, sunny interior. Learn more about the remarkable performance of the J/112E the past two summers in European racing circles- repeating as IRC/ ORC European Champion as well as expanding on her IRC/ ORC World Championship performance in 2018. Learn more about the J/112E sport cruiser here.

Finally, winning enormous accolades across the spectrum of sailors is the latest edition to the J/Sport range, the J/99 offshore speedster. Learn more why she has already been awarded SAIL's Best Boats- "Best Performance Boat", SAILING WORLD's Boat of the Year- "Best Crossover", and British Yachting Awards- "Racing Yacht/ Sportsboat of the Year". Learn more about the J/99 here.  For more Boot Dusseldorf show information and to get on-line tickets.

J/99 at Seattle show
J/99 Pacific Northwest Debut at Seattle Boat Show!

(Seattle, WA)- Make your plans now to view the brand new, triple-award winning, 32' Offshore Speedster- the J/99! Sail Northwest in Seattle will be showing their boat indoor at the Seattle Boat Show, Century Link Field Event Center. The Seattle Boat Show goes from January 24th to February 1st, 2020.
The J/99 is the newest addition to the J/Sport range, combining headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven responsiveness of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World Champion J/112E. The interior features twin aft cabins, a proper sit-down forward facing nav station, an L-shaped galley, and a private forward head with sail locker.  For more Seattle Boat Show information and tickets

J/99 Debuts @ Toronto Boat Show
(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- Visit the Toronto International Boat Show, North America’s largest indoor boat show and is the preeminent selling venue for Canada’s recreational boating industry! The show is celebrating 62 years and runs from January 17th to 26th at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, in downtown Toronto.

Making her 2020 Canadian boat show debut will be the exciting J/99 offshore speedster! You can find her at Stand B2 & B3. Presenting the J/99 will be Pat Sturgeon Yachts from Mississauga, ON. For more J/99 visitation information, please contact Pat Sturgeon at phone- 905-278-5100 or email-   For more Toronto Boat Show information and tickets

J/111 Worlds
J/111 Worlds 2020 Announcement!

Cowes, England)- With a rich history of international competition from Chicago, Breskens, San Francisco, Newport Rhode Island and The Solent, the J/111 World Championship regatta returns to beautiful Cowes for the third time since it was held there for the inaugural event.

The 2020 J/111 Worlds will be decided on the Solent from August 30th to September 5th, 2020. The event will be hosted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, under invitation of the J/111 Northern European Fleet, and with events taking place out of the RORC's Cowes station on the harbour.

According to the RORC, "The Royal Ocean Racing Club are delighted to have been asked to organize the 2020 J/111 World Championship to be held in Cowes during September. Up to 20 of these highly competitive one design boats will compete, firstly in a pre-worlds regatta over the 30th and 31st August, and then four days of championship racing from the 2nd to the 5th September before the winner is crowned at the prize-giving dinner on the Saturday night."

In anticipation of the interest registered at last year's J/111 World Championship in Chicago, the J/111 European Class is delighted to announce it has partnered with Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics, to offer two alternative routes for J/111s to cross the pond (and back as required).

J/111 Worlds winner in UK
Sevenstar's Wouter Verbraak comments, “this partnership should add to the growing competitive J/111 fleet racing around the World, and we are delighted to be an enabler, and partner for the future.”

With mast up and keel on sailings twice a month from Cleveland, OH and once a month from Baltimore, MD the options are open. More details for owners are available on the Sevenstar and J/111 Worlds websites.

The timing of the 2020 Worlds is designed to make it as easy as possible for the North American J/111 owners and crew to participate. This should mean the least disruption to their local and national US sailing programs.

Simon Bamford, the J/111 Northern Europe Fleet Captain says, “we are delighted that Sevenstar has chosen to partner with us, hopefully making it as simple and as cost effective as possible for multiple boats to participate from the USA.”

With entertainment planned for the evenings, no doubt impromptu challenges are laid down for the World Championship between differing nationalities. The Solent and Northern Europe J/111 Fleet looks forward to welcoming you to some world class sailing in the Solent.  For more 2020 J/111 World Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing off Monaco
BRUTUS Nips J/70 Monaco Winter Series III

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- It took one small point to clinch victory, as Act 3 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series went down to the wire. The event was organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with clothing supplier SLAM.

The 45 teams of 13 nationalities who had made the trip were not disappointed, with five races completed in optimal conditions ranging from a 5-12 knot westerly, ending on a 10-14 knot easterly.  For the 180 sailors it was another opportunity to experience the race area that is set to host the J/70 World Championship in October 2021. A dress rehearsal which drew international competitors like the Corinthian team from Seattle Yacht Club, as well as 11 Nordic teams including four from Sweden, one from Finland and one from Denmark.

J/70 Russia ARTTUBE
The Russians on ARTTUBE, led by the talented Valeriya Kovalenko, pulled out all the stops in an attempt to snatch victory, but their record of an 8-1-1-9-2 for 12 pts net was not enough to dethrone Charles Thompson’s British team on BRUTUS. They may be in the Corinthian (amateur) category, but the BRUTUS boys proved they have what it takes to win at the highest level. Impeccable from start to finish, the British Royal Southern Yacht Club team kept up the pressure throughout the three days, showing remarkable consistency in their record with a 2-2-4-3-5 for 11 pts net total.

It was the Bo Pedersen's Danish crew on UPUPUP that grabbed third to complete the podium with an 11-23-2-12-3 tally for 28 pts net. In fact, they were equal on points and won the tie-breaker over Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G-SPOTTINO from the Yacht Club de Monaco, their record was a commendable 6-UFD-7-8-7.

J70 Monaco Winter Series podium
Rounding out the top five was another top Russian team, Sergey Sobolev's ELF team posted another consistent record that was punctuated by a last race win- a 13-11-10-10-1 tally for 32 pts net.

Corinthians Division
Winning the Corinthians was Thompson's BRUTUS, with a significant lead. Taking second was the Swiss team of QUARTER2ELEVEN, skippered by Nick Zeltner, and following them in third was the Netherland's JELLOW helmed by Maarten Jamin.

Winter Series Provisional Rankings
This weekend’s win was enough to propel BRUTUS to the top of the provisional ranking for the Winter Series with 43 points under their belts after 15 races. Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA- BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, who had led the fleet after the first two Acts, now sits in 2nd place. Winners in 2017 and 2018, Kovalenko's ARTTUBE have their sights set on a three-peat, and their 2nd place this weekend takes them onto the third step of the provisional podium after three Acts.

All eyes are now on the 36th Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse which is racing in two weeks from February 6th to 9th in Monaco.  For more Yacht Club Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information

J/160 JAM wins raceJ/Crews Sweep Duwamish Head Race
(Seattle, WA)- The Three Tree Point Yacht Club kicked off the Pacific Northwest offshore sailing season with their incredibly challenging Duwamish Head Race. For the hard-core sailors in the greater Seattle region, the race happens to have a bit of a cult following, with a number of familiar top offshore teams taking up the annual rite of passage of their first offshore race for 2020.

Duwamish Head Race courseThe course is simple enough. Start in a northerly direction between an offshore orange mark and the RC flag on the Des Moines Marina fishing pier, leaving the green navigation buoy to starboard. Proceed to the Duwamish Head Light, leave it to port, then proceed to Blakely Rock Light, leaving it to port. Finish in a southerly direction between offshore orange mark and the RC flag at the end of the Des Moines Pier, keeping the green navigation buoy to port.

In the "big boat" PHRF 2 Division, J/Crews dominated the top four places. Winning was John McPhail's J/160 JAM by just 3 minutes over Ron Holbrook's J/133 CONSTELLATION that took the silver. Not far off the pace and missing the podium by a mere 10 seconds (!) was J. McKay's J/130 FLASH taking a fourth place.

The PHRF 4 Division saw a complete sweep of their class by J/Teams taking the entire top five spots. Winning was Tolga Cezik's J/109 LODOS, followed by Stu Burnell's famous J/109 TANTIVY in second, and Brian White's J/35 GRACE E in third. Rounding out the top five was Dan Wierman's J/35 GREAT WHITE in fourth and Jason Vannice's J/35 ALTAIR in fifth place.

Winning PHRF 6 Division was Matthew Gardner-Brown's J/105 DULCINEA. Taking third place in PHRF 7 Division was Christine Nelson & Paul Grove's J/29 SLICK. North American Editor David Schmidt, who lives in the Seattle area, sailed the race with a few friends and here is a summary of his experience racing against the three big J/Boats that dominated PHRF Division 2:

"I was looking for an adventure when I woke up at 0430 hours on Saturday (January 11) for the annual Duwamish Head Race, only to discover that NOAA had issued a small-craft advisory for the section of Puget Sound where our race would be unfurling. While this might have been cause for concern amongst some boats, I count myself incredibly lucky to sail aboard one of the fastest and best-skippered boats in the area and with a crew that defines the word "experienced", so my mind instead turned to thoughts of fast spinnaker rides.

We left the dock at 0645 hours on an unusually high tide that was following several days of hard rain (did I mention that I live in Seattle?) that deposited plenty of logs, branches and other flotsam in the water, so our skipper wisely stationed a rotating staff of crew on the foredeck with a spotlight to search for deadheads (meaning logs, not Grateful Dead fans...the latter were all back in the cockpit, your scribe included). We carefully threaded our way past several big logs and root balls, but even more impressively, the rains that were lashing the Olympic mountains to the West stayed put, giving us a (mostly) dry ride down to our starting line off of the city of Des Moines.

While NOAA might have been hyperbolic with their small-craft advisory forecast, the wind was piping at the starting line, funneling from behind Vashon and Maury islands. We hoisted our trusty J2 and a full main, with our Code-0 on the ready on the deck, knowing that the air would almost certainly lift once we cleared the starting area.

Erik, our intrepid tactical weather expert and an all-around great sailor, smartly advised that there would be an easterly component to the predominantly south-southwest breeze later in the morning, so the afterguard set us up for a low-road lane that proved to be key for several reasons (more later). Better still, we had clear air to hoist and unfurl the Code-0, and to pick and choose our own destiny.

This soon set us up to hoist the A2, and to ratchet up our VMG speed.

Things were flowing perfectly, with the wind, which was blowing at ballpark 12-15 knots, giving us ideal angles for fetching Three Tree Point and Alki Point Lighthouse with minimal gybes.

Our boatspeed was right where it should have been as we cleared Three Tree Point, when the cockpit handheld VHF crackled to life with the two most dreaded words in winter sailboat racing: "Man Overboard! Man Overboard!"

We quickly determined that the vessel in distress was roughly one nautical mile directly in front of us, separated only by the TP52, which had smartly abandoned their high-road tussle.

Instantly, our skipper and crew proved that their seamanship skills are even better their racing skills. The A2 was instantly doused, all eyes ensured that we had no cordage in the water, and the iron Genny roared to life. Paul dropped the throttle hammer, and we charged towards the stricken vessel. Soon, we could see the vessel's crew struggling unsuccessfully to pull their MOB back aboard via their port bow.

While we were a ways away, our friends aboard Sonic (said TP52) were closer and also immediately dropped their sails and motored over to assist. They approached via starboard and transferred some of their biggest guns onto the little cruising-class boat. While I was too far away to see individual faces or rescue tactics, Sonic sails with many strong bodies who wasted zero time in pulling the MOB back aboard. Better still, Jan Anderson, the area's best sailing photographer, was instantly on station with her fast-running RIB and took the MOB back ashore.

Once the situation was clear, we spun our bow, motored back to our pre-MOB-crisis position, and quickly re-hoisted the A2. While there's no question that sailing on Puget Sound in January is playing for keeps with the cold water, we quickly shifted gears from crisis mode to performance sailing mode. I'll admit that it took me a few minutes to shake off the adrenaline rush, but our afterguard afforded themselves no such luxury and instead scanned the waters for the easterly shift that Erik assured us was coming, while calling for the Code-0 to be brought onto deck.

The shift arrived, and we wasted zero time capitalizing on this evolution. The Code-0 was deployed, our VMG spiked, and we soon rounded the marker at Duwamish Head. The J2 made a reappearance as we jib-reached over towards Blake Island. Better still, the heavy-looking rains to our north were staved off by the convergence zone that we were sailing through, and our sails stayed full and at fast angles.

While I've sailed on Puget Sound for over ten years, I've never seen the breeze cooperate so well with a racecourse. A few quick tacks were required to get around Blake Island, but as we started charging back uphill towards the still-distant finishing line, Bates (another fantastic sailor and friend) made the call that we'd be able to fetch the entire leg on starboard tack, provided we could clear Three Tree Point.

We peeled to our J3 as the wind speeds built with the growing white caps. We crossed the finishing line just after 1400 hours to the astonishment of all onboard, as this is a race that we've previously only finished after sunset.

While the racing was fun, the day's highlight came as calls for the A2 resounded once we cleared Three Tree Point for the fourth and final time, our bow aimed for the barn. As soon as we finished jumping the halyard, all crew to piled onto the port quarter as our fun meter started kicking off the day's best metrics. Jake, an accomplished all-around skiff and big-boat sailor, took the helm and promptly posted the day's best number: 18.2 knots.

Regardless of which crew helped make the save, with these kind of winter races, our community of sailors all looks out for each other, providing a broad safety net. At the end of the day, all Puget Sound racing sailors are fortunate to be a part of a community with so many well-sailed boats and safety-minded skippers and crews." Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson.  For more Three Tree Point Yacht Club's Duwamish Head Race sailing information

J/145s crushing Cabrillo Race offshore
J/Crews Sweep Cabrillo Offshore I Race

(San Diego, CA)- The start of the southern California offshore season may be attributed to the very laid back, but serious, Cabrillo Offshore Series hosted by the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, CA. The first race was a 36.0nm affair that went from the San Diego Harbor start line, out around the North Coronado Island in Mexico, and return to the start/ finish line.

In the end, it was a complete domination of the fleet by J/Teams across the board, from the big silver-platers to the classic offshore racer-cruisers. Winning the eight-boat ORR Division was Rudy Hasl's J/145 PALAEMON in a very competitive fleet of boats.

In the PHRF Division 2, Robert Pace’s J/145 ANDIAMO 2 took 1st place, followed by Hasl’s J/145 PALAEMON in second, and completing the podium with the bronze was Mark Surber’s J/125 SNOOPY.

Finally, it was J/120s all over the top of the leaderboard in PHRF 3 Division. Winning was John Laun’s CAPER, with good friend Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER taking the silver.

The Cabrillo Offshore Series consist of four races. The next race is a 73-mile race around Sugarloaf Rock in Mexico. For more Southwestern YC Cabrillo Offshore series sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:
Jan 23- STC Lauderdale to Key West Race- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan 23-26- J/Fest St. Petersburg- St Petersburg, FL
Jan 25-26- J/70 Bacardi Winter Series II- Miami, FL
Jan 26-31- Grenada Sailing Week- St Georges, Grenada, West Indies
Feb 7-9- J/70 Davis Island Winter Series III-Tampa, FL
Feb 14-16- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 20-23- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Feb 28- Mar 1- J/24 Midwinter Championship- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Mar 4-7- J/70 Bacardi Cup- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten
Mar 5- Puerto Vallarta Race- San Diego, CA
Mar 6-8- St. Croix International Regatta- Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI
Mar 10- SORC Miami to Eleuthera Race- Miami, FL
Mar 17-21- St. Augustine Race Week- St. Augustine, FL
Mar 19-22- J/22 Midwinter Championship- New Orleans, LA
Mar 20-22- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 26-29- St. Thomas International Regatta- St. Thomas, USVI
Mar 30- Apr1- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Apr 12-18- Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 17-25- EDHEC J/80 Sailing Cup Regatta- Port du Crouesty, Arzon, France
Apr 23-26- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies
May 1-3- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 27-31- J/24 North American Championship- Blue Point, NY
Jun 11-14- Helga Cup Ladies J/70 Regatta- Hamburg, Germany
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-21- J/70 East Coast Championship- Cape May, NJ
Jul 26-Aug 1- J/70 World Championship- Marina del Rey, CA

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

J/121 sailing Lauderdale Key West Race
STC Lauderdale to Key West Race Preview

(Fort Lauderdale, FL)- The third week of January has traditionally marked the start of the American offshore sailing season on the east coast. That event is the next race in the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series- the famous Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race that starts on January 23rd, 2020. The race is a 160.0nm dash down the eastern Florida coastline, bound by the Florida Keys reefs to starboard and the swift-moving 4-6 kt Gulf Stream off to port. The Storm Trysail Club and Fort Lauderdale YC host the race.

It is always a challenging race in light or strong breezes as teams are forced to sail in a narrow band of water to avoid the adverse, northerly-flowing, Gulf Stream currents and the precipitous walls of coral on the northern side of the course that are the Florida Keys.

The race track is simple enough, start off the Ft Lauderdale inlet, then head south to several key turning marks to be left to starboard- 68.0nm to Elbow Key Light, 12.0nm more to Molasses Reef Light, 53.0nm more to Sombrero Key Light, 45.0nm more to Key West Channel buoy #2, then a short 6.0nm sprint north up the Key West Channel to the finish off Truman Annex Navy base.  Because of the current off Key West (a channel that seemingly has half the Gulf of Mexico empty through it), the last 6.0nm can often be the most frustrating in the race in an ebb tide and light winds!

J/44 sailing offshore Lauderdale to Key West RaceSailing in ORC B class is Chris Lewis’ J/44 KENAI from Lakewood YC in Seabrook, TX and Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Bristol YC in Bristol, RI.

Racing PHRF A Class is Matt Schaedler’s J/122 BLITZKRIEG from North Cape YC in Toledo, OH and Hanson Bratton & Thomas Anderson's J/120 KAIROS from Bayview Yacht Club from Michigan.

Finally, sailing PHRF B is the J/92 HILLBILLY, sailed by Brad Stowers from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL. For Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race results.  For more Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race sailing information

J/88 sailing J/Fest St PetersburgJ/Fest St. Petersburg Regatta Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)- The third weekend of January marks the occasion for the annual J/Fest St Petersburg Regatta, hosted by the St Petersburg YC in Florida. Sailing will take place from January 23rd to 26th, with teams of J/88s and J/111s racing on Tampa Bay.

The regatta represents the 2020 J/88 Midwinter Championship, with crews participating from the Midwest and the Northeast. Many top crews in the class will be looking forward to a break from the frigid temperatures up North. No one would be surprised if Andy & Sarah Graff’s EXILE team is already on the road headed south from Chicago, IL to escape the sub-zero temperatures in the upper Midwest! From the northeast, watch for these teams to be near the top of the leaderboard; Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from New Rochelle, NY; Dave Tufts’ GAUCHO from Rochester, NY; Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss's ONE TOO MANY from Storm Trysail Club, and William Purdy's WHIRLWIND from City Island Yacht Club in New York.

J/111 sailing J/Fest St PetersburgSimilarly, the J/111s will be hosting their Midwinter Championship at J/Fest St Pete. A quartet of very competitive crews will be in attendance. Top dog with current bragging rights should be the 2019 J/111 World Champion- Rob Ruhlman and family aboard their famous SPACEMAN SPIFF. In addition, Andrew & Sedgwick Ward’s BRAVO from Shelter Island, NY, Doug Curtiss's WICKED 2.0 from New Bedford YC, and Ian Hill’s SITELLA from Hampton, VA will be mixing it up with the Cleveland gang for class honors. For more J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information

J/70 Bacardi Midwinters in Miami, FLJ/70 Bacardi Winter Series II Preview
(Miami, FL)- As event 2 of the 2019/2020 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series unfolds January 23rd to 26th, many of the world’s top J/70 sailors will resume their battle for supremacy on the waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami.

In December 2019, the first of this three-event series featured twenty-one boats for the J/70 fleet, coming from Brazil, Canada, Germany and the USA, with a climb to fifty-three entries for this weekend’s event and three new nations: Great Britain, Italy and Mexico.

Six windward/leeward races are scheduled for the J/70 fleet. The breeze set to be light and fickle as the regatta kicks off, building to a different race track over the weekend with an expected 11-13 knots forecast.

A mixed weather system in December’s event 1, with big breeze followed by light airs for two days led to mixed results in the J/70 class. The J/70 to beat is the team on SURGE skippered by Ryan McKillen, who showcased their tenacity to bounce back after a mid-series shocker to claim the win in December. His team was not exactly comprised of a bunch of "hacks", they included Mark Mendelblatt, John Wallace, and Sam Loughborough- all champion sailors in their own right. They are just one of twenty-five talented teams making the trip to Miami to stake out front of fleet finishes in a fight that will be finely balanced.

Amongst those strong on talent are Jeff Janov on MINOR THREAT, racing with a crew of Dave Ullman, Ben Mercer and Doug McLean, all highly experienced in getting results in under-powered wind conditions. MINOR THREAT finished second in December, just two points behind SURGE. Trey Sheehan and crew on HOOLIGAN also proved their ability to nail fluky breeze wins back in December, scoring two bullets in light pressure to finish third overall.

Joel Ronning and his team on CATAPULT, who won event 2 of last year’s Winter Series and claimed the J/70 World Championships silver medal in September 2019, struggled to balance out an up and down scorecard in event 1. They finished in 6th place, so they will be eyeing a return to form and upgrade to their usual podium placing. Joining the fleet after some time off is Glenn Darden's talented crew on HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, his crew includes two rock stars- Eric Doyle and Max Skelley (Star and J/105 Champions). Other teams that have dialed up their efforts include Oivind Lorentzen's NINE, John Brim's RIMETTE, Pam Rose's ROSEBUD (with superstar crew Willem Van Waay aboard), Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE also from Fort Worth Boat Club, and perhaps the "sleeper" of the regatta- Buddy Cribb's VICTORY with a few characters on his crew list that actually know how to sail- Scott Ewing and Greiner Hobbs.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing and scoring information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Get ready to get your Ya-Ya's Out Offshore in 2020!  Here are two highlights reels you gotta watch- both winners in the 2019 Transpac 50th! Both teams from the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon and Seattle, WA). Freakin' awesome footage from both boats... talk about "sending it down the mineshaft offshore"!

J/121 sailing Transpac Race
We always get reminders and updates from owners from around the world of their team's exploits around-the-cans or smoking offshore and obscene speeds and extraordinary conditions.  In that latter category, we get the latest from the crew on Scott Grealish's J/121 BLUE FLASH- a 6:28 YouTube video showing highlights of them winning their division in the Transpac 50th Race to Honolulu, Hawaii.  Watch and relive their experiences on the J/121 BLUE FLASH here:

In addition, here is to reliving the memories as well for Jason Andrew & Shawn Dougherty's J/125 HAMACHI, winning class and winning ORC overall!

J/125 racing to Transpac video
As they recalled, "Team Hamachi had a magical run to Hawaii. We power reached across the line at 16 kts at 2:21 am Sunday (7/21) morning to complete the 50th Transpac in 8 days 16 hours and 21 minutes, which gives us a corrected time of 8 day 0 hours and 52 minutes. It’s been a hell of an adventure and one that will not be repeated anytime soon. We were fortunate to start on the “right day” and the high pressure materialized in a manner that allowed us to power reach the whole way to Hawaii in winds that averaged between 15-20 kts. We never saw winds above 22 kts except for a few minutes, and always between midnight at 2 am to make it more exciting. We couldn’t have asked for a better crew and having one additional crew member became a clear advantage in the heavier wind versus the other J/125s. It’s going to take several days to catch up on sleep and begin to process the magnitude of this adventure and accomplishment. We have really appreciated all the support from our friends, family and Pacific Northwest sailing community."   Watch and relive their Transpac experience here:
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