Wednesday, January 29, 2020

J/Newsletter- January 29th, 2020

J/Sailing Newsletter

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

With a SARS-like coronavirus spreading like the plague across the globe, more Australian brush fires consuming thousands of acres, world leaders deliberating "sustainability" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom's celebration of "BREXIT" leaving the European Union, it's a wonder anything is getting done in life, work, much less sailing in major sailing events around the world.

Nevertheless, J/Sailors pursue their very "green" level of competition, powered by Mother Nature's natural winds. Last week, in the somewhat safe and benign confines of Florida/ Caribbean waters, a number of high-profile regattas took place off Miami, the Florida Keys, Tampa, and the island of Grenada.

For starters, the Storm Trysail Club held their annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, a 160.0nm reach/ run down around the string of ocean pearls known as the Florida Keys. As one wag puts it, "start the race, leave the right turn signal blinking, first to Sloppy Joe's Bar wins!" Well, that is nearly accurate... a fast-reaching J/121, a comfortable J/44, and wicked quick J/92 all had a wonderful race, all collecting silverware for their trophy rooms! Also, taking place on Florida's East Coast was the J/70 Bacardi Winter Series, held at Shake-A-Leg's facilities in Miami. Then, across the "Alligator Alley" and Lake Okeechobee to the west, the J/88 and J/111 Midwinter Championships were hosted by St Petersburg YC in St Petersburg, Florida, with two nice days of sailing on Tampa Bay. Over to the far eastern Caribbean, the first of a half-dozen famous "race weeks"- Grenada Sailing Week- is taking place in St Georges, Grenada, where a fleet of CSA Handicap classes have a J/121 and J/122 competing along with a hotly-contested fleet of J/24s.

J/121 sailing off Miami, Florida
J/121 Wins Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race!

(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 was the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race that started 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 event.

As usual, it was a challenging race for the navigators and tacticians. The race track was simple enough.  Start off the Ft Lauderdale inlet, then head south to several Florida Keys 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!

Here is the report from the race-winning J/121 INCOGNITO owned and skippered by Joe Brito from Bristol, Rhode Island. His boat captain, Jesse Fielding, a veteran of the Volvo 70 Around the World Race, provides a synopsis of their performance:

"It was a gorgeous, blue-skies day in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with a fresh, warm, easterly breeze blowing across the Gulf Stream from the Bahamas.  The boats approached the line luffing on port tack, then collectively put their bows down on port off the start line and easily fetched the first mark- the Miami Sea Buoy.

Heavy jibs were trimmed to the rail and after getting settled, reaching sails were deployed!

On the Incognito we kept our J3 in in the sky, added in our storm jib staysail (see photo - orange sail) and deployed our newest reaching sail.

Everyone makes a good joke about my luggage when I turn up for a race because it always includes something in a blue bag, but this Masthead Helix Code Zero did not disappoint. We were off, with a "triple-head/ triple-slot" setup and the helm locked in for our owner/skipper Joe.

Loading up the front of the sail plan allows the helm to neutralize and the driver can really put the bow where they want to in order to catch a wave.

J/121 Incognito winners of Key West Race
If we saw a squall line coming, we could quickly top down furl our Code sail and carry on with the two headsails or even take a reef if needed.  Using all of our tools in the kit kept us reaching down the upper keys nicely.

Joe had his boat hit a new 'all-white sails' top speed of 17.8 knots as he connected three big waves together.  Nothing but smiles on board.

Joe set a precedent for this race of a "push" mentality, utilizing the "buddy system" for watches and keeping drivers and trimmers fresh. Full credit to the team for keeping boat above polar boat speed through cloud lines and around fishing fleets.

The last third of the race was a VMG run with stars lighting the way to the Key West Sea Buoy and a quick beat into the channel off of the infamous city at the Southernmost point of the United States- Key West, Florida! It was an amazing race for us, taking 1st in ORC B Class and 2nd ORC Overall!"

J/44 Kenai sailing Key West Race
Also taking silver in ORC B Class was Chris Lewis' merry bandits from Houston, Texas, racing their famous J/44 KENAI to second place on the podium.

J/92 sailing Key West Race
Finally, proving that their success last year in the same race was no fluke, Brad Stowers' J/92 HILLBILLY from Melbourne YC in Melbourne, FL pulled off a podium finish in PHRF B Class with the silver medal! Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate Sailing.  For Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race results   For more Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race sailing information

J/88s sailing Midwinters off St Petersburg, FL
DEVIATION Crowned J/88 Midwinter Champion

(St Petersburg, FL)- Five J/88s participated in the 2020 J/88 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Conditions on Tampa Bay ranged from 6-8 knots on Friday and Sunday, with Saturday having the best breeze at 10-12 knots.

Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION won half of the eight races to capture victory with 11 net points. Vogel is the J/88 Class President based out of New York, and her crew included Alan Capellin, Kevin Costello, Dave Coughlin, Tim Longo and Bill McCulloch.

J/88 Deviation winners of Midwinters
Giving Vogel's DEVIATION team a run-for-the-money all weekend was the highly regarded crew from the Chicago J/88 FLeet, Andy & Sarah Graff's EXILE. Both boats were mostly a step ahead of the rest of the fleet in terms of boat-handling and boat-speed; between them they collected six 1sts and six 2nds! EXILE secured the silver with 13 pts net, while William Purdy's WHIRLWIND just sneaked onto the podium on the last day with 22 pts net. Losing that battle in the last race for the coveted bronze position was Larry Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOO MANY.  For more J/88 Midwinters & J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information

J/111 Spaceman Spiff
SPACEMAN SPIFF Takes J/111 Midwinters in Thrilling Finale!

(St. Petersburg, FL)– Current J/111 World Champion Rob Ruhlman on SPACEMAN SPIFF narrowly took victory at the J/111 Midwinter Championship, a part of J/Fest hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. Conditions on Tampa Bay ranged from 6-8 knots on Friday and Sunday, with Saturday having the best breeze at 10-12 knots.

J/111 sailing off St Petersburg, FL
After eight races in three days, the Cleveland, OH-based SPACEMAN SPIFF team, including Karl Felger, Doug Moose, Debbie Probst, Ryan Ruhlman, Abby Ruhlman, Jim Sminchak and Mark Wiss, tied on points with Ian Hill’s SITELLA at 12 pts each. Both crews racked up the exact same scoreline (three 1sts, three 2nds, one 3rd), but Ruhlman placed one better than Hill in the final race to claim the title.

J/111 winners- Spaceman Spiff
Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Andrew and Sedgewick Ward's BRAVO from Shelter Island, New York. The BRAVO team certainly had their moments of boat-speed and flashy brilliance during the three days event, taking six podium finishes and even winning two races!  For more J/88 Midwinters & J/FEST St Petersburg Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing off Miami, Florida
NINE Shreds J/70 Bacardi Winter Series II

Segal Tops Corinthians Division
(Miami, FL)- As the second Act of the 2019/2020 Bacardi Invitational Winter Series unfolded last weekend, many of the world’s top J/70 teams resumed their battle for supremacy on the waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami. Twenty-five teams came from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Mexico, and the USA. Despite the light to medium winds and a hyper-aggressive fleet on the starting line, the six windward/leeward races that were scheduled were completed.

Winning their first major J/70 regatta was Oivind Lorentzen's NINE crew from the greater New York area. His crew included Ian Coleman, David Shreiner, and the immensely talented Lucas Calabrese from Buenos Aires, Argentina (an Olympic Silver Medallist in the 470 class). Giving the NINE team moments of anxiety all weekend-long was past J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning and his crew on CATAPULT (Victor Diaz de Leon, Patrick Wilson, and Chris Stocke); they finished five points back to take the silver. The final spot on the podium was determined on a tie-breaker at 25 points each.  Winning on countback to take the bronze was long-time Chicago sailor John Heaton on EMPEIRIA with crew of Will Felder, Zeke Horowitz, and Zach Mason. Losing the tie-breaker to take fourth was another talented Chicago-based team- Pamela Rose's ROSEBUD with Goncalo Ribiero, Willem van Waay, and Bernardo Freitas. In fifth place was Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas; his team featured two brother who were both Olympic Medallists- Jonathan and Charlie McKee from Seattle, Washington- and Orrin Star.

Taking the Corinthians Division by a large margin was Zach Segal's USA 1154 with crew of Ashton Hamerlin, Enrique Quintero, and Peit Van Os. Twelve points back in second place was Doug Weitz's AGENT 99 with team of Yumio Dornberg, Brian O'Mahony, and Paul Zambriski. Another thirteen points in arrears to take the bronze was the Brazilian team on MANCHA NEGRA, skippered by Pedro Camargo with crew of Eduardo Penido and Danilo Santana.  For more Bacardi J/70 Winter Series sailing and scoring information

J/121 sailing Grenada Sailing Week
Grenada Sailing Week Update

(St Georges, Grenada, West Indies)- Racing for the international fleet at Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week started, Monday 27 January. Grenada delivered perfect conditions for the first day of racing with 12-15 knots of trade winds from the south east with a comfortable sea state. The regatta features enthusiastic fleets of CSA Handicap classes and a very hot fleet of J/24s.

J/122 sailing Grenada
Pure Grenada Race Day One
The CSA Classes enjoyed three races varying in length from 7-14 miles on the leeward side of Grenada. The J/24 Class had five short, sharp races on their own windward leeward course.

In CSA 1, Pamala Baldwin's J/122 LIQUID from Antigua, skippered by Jules White, led the class after three races, having scored a 2-1-1.

"LIQUID has a young team that has a lot of agility," commented Pamala Baldwin. "We had a few errors today, but the team recovered well, and a lot of our success is down to time on the water, we practice a lot."

Robbie Yearwood's DIE HARD from Grenada has won nine titles at the regatta in the J/24 Class and came out on top after five races.

"We switch crew positions each race to make it interesting," said Robbie. "The racing is really close with just seconds deciding the winner. We love it here."

Racing on a windward leeward course off Grand Anse Beach. The J/24s got a good square course with plenty of small shifts in the breeze which oscillated between 100 and 120 degrees. DIE HARD scored three bullets, but only lead the class by three points from two boats tied on points for second which both won races today: Gus Reader's FADEAWAY from Barbados and Nick Forsberg's JABAL (LCA).

Kimron Corion, Communications Director of Grenada Tourism Authority, awarded prizes for Pure Grenada Race Day. The After-Race Party featured DJ King Turbo at the Victory Bar, Port Louis Marina, with the whole party jumping late into the night.

J/24s sailing Grenada
Silversands Race Day Two
Principal Race Officer James Benoit reported a light south easterly wind of 8-10 knots, which built during the day, veering south and pumping up to 14 knots.

Race winners again included Baldwin's pretty blue J/122 LIQUID. The CSA and Classic Classes enjoyed races varying in length from 7.6 to 14 nm on the leeward side of Grenada.

In CSA 1, Baldwin’s J/122 LIQUID extended their lead by scoring a 1-3-1 for the day. Peter Lewis’ J/121 WHISTLER from Barbados scored two podium finishes to move up to third place.

“Starts were important today, as was sail choice, especially downwind,” commented LIQUID's skipper Jules White. “In general, the start of each race was more competitive and getting a good start into clear air is so important when the wind is on the light side. Local effects made sail choice downwind another key area, with plenty of gusts and lulls and changes in wind direction.”

The J/24 Class had another five short, sharp races on their own windward leeward course. Gus Reader’s FADEAWAY was the new leader after scoring three bullets. Forsberg’s JABAL (LCA) won two races to close the gap to a single point after ten hotly contested races. Yearwood’s DIE HARD (GRN) was knocked off pole position down to third and was now three points off the lead.

Silversands Hote in GrenadaSilversands is a ground-breaking hotel in Grenada, which opened December 2018. Located on the award winning Grand Anse Beach, the design of the hotel is under-stated using natural materials and landscaping of indigenous plants to Grenada. The location is amazing, one of the highlights is the sunset and the floor-to-ceiling windows letting the natural beauty of the island flow through. Intelligent guest room connectivity includes the Silversands App. The spa features treatment rooms, sauna, ice cave, and a modern fitness center with equipment by Technogym ― all built around a beautifully serene private pool. A focus on community and culture flows through the menus at Silversands Grenada, along with global influences. From a casual, beach club-style poolside restaurant to a refined Asian-influenced dinner venue, showcasing the wild abundance of local ingredients and spices.

After racing, the "Pirate Party" at Victory Bar, Port Louis Marina was a real show with prizes for the best pirates! With no racing the following day, the dance floor was alive to the Fahrenheit Band long into the night!

There will be three more days of racing, with the event concluding by the weekend.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/    For Grenada Sailing Week scores   For more Grenada Sailing Week sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

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 Invitational- 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/70s sailing off Monaco
Primo CupРTroph̩e Credit Suisse Preview

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)– The tradition continues in the Royal Principality of Monaco as the clock ticks down to the 36th Primo Cup, for the Credit Suisse Trophy and Slam garments, organized by the Yacht Club de Monaco. A meeting par excellence for one-designs, the regatta has been held every February since 1985, the month it was launched at the instigation of YC Monaco President HSH Prince Albert II.

This year again the profile of classes and competitors points to this being a regatta of a level that will live up to expectations with some 450 sailors expected. Primo Cup regulars now include a big fleet of J/70s with several Nordic teams who have based themselves in the Principality for the winter for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas from October to March.

The J/70s have a much larger fleet due to the fact Monaco is hosting the J/70 World Championship from 18-23 October 2021, a deadline attracting international teams like the Americans on Team Newport Harbor and the British on REDSHIFT. The latter will have Hannah Diamond onboard who recently cut her teeth on the Volvo Ocean Race after years in dinghy classes.

Yacht Club Monaco
Bernard d’Alessandro, YC Monaco's Regatta Director, commented that "Monaco is an amazing destination resort and facility for international sailors. Between the sea and the mountains (we’re just an hour and a half from the ski slopes), it is an exceptional setting with conditions that vary hugely and challenge all the qualities of a good sailor. That’s not to forget the facilities we have in the Clubhouse, inaugurated in 2014, which is ideal for hosting crews and organizing high-level regattas. All these advantages attract many international teams who decide to come to Monaco to sail, as evidenced by the success of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, now in its seventh season from October to March and also organized by us.  For more Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing Tampa Bay series
J/70 Davis Island Winter Series III Preview

(Tampa, FL)- The third and final regatta of the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series is taking place this coming weekend. An all-star cast of fifty-one boats will be assembled on the choppy waters of Tampa Bay to vie for both regatta and series awards. The Davis Island Yacht Club Race Committee team and PRO are hoping the forecasted weather conditions give them enough breeze on Saturday; after the frontal system passes overnight, Sunday looks to be a nearly perfect day- sunny, 60s, 8-14 kts from the northwest.

Will Brian Keane’s SAVASANA sail another solid, conservative regatta to maintain his lead in the overall ranking and become crowned the J/70 Winter Series Champion for the first time? T.B.D. as they say! Keane's crew will again have to contend with top crews like Darby Smith’s AFRICA, Mark Foster and Travis Odenbach on HONEYBADGER, a top Italian crew on ENJOY 1.0 skippered by Carlo Tomelleri, Rob Britts HOT MESS, a top Argentinean team on JUICY skippered by Francisco Van Avermaete, Kevin Downey's MR PITIFUL (with Willem van Waay as mainsheet/ tactician), a top German TP52 owner/ skipper- Mike Illbruck's PINTA with J/70 World Champion crew John Kostecki, and Buddy Cribb's VICTORY.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information
Add to Flipboard Magazine.