Wednesday, June 10, 2020

J/Newsletter- June 10th, 2020

sunset in Chile Summer is here in the northern hemisphere and across Europe, North America, and Asia. The so-called "opening-up" process is seeing people finally getting on the water! And, our friends "down under" that have weathered the "pandemic storm", particularly Australia and New Zealand, have not gotten back to "normal", but are at least experiencing a "new normal" that enables sailors to get back on the water again practicing the known "safe protocols".

As for Newport, it has been complete madness. As soon as the beaches were open, the bars and restaurants open, it seems as if the locusts from across the northeast have descended upon the famous America's Cup Avenue, Ocean Drive, the three beaches. Biker gangs with their festooned leather vests, Corvette rallies, Ferrari rallies (yes, they do exist), and good Lord knows what else have come from afar, "escapees" from their life in lock-down mode. Perhaps, a case of "cottage fever" run a mock. Who can blame them, if one were stuck in a city apartment for nearly 3 months in a concrete canyon, you would too.

Two creative "lock-down" events concluded in this past week, sailing J/70s in their Virtual Regattas. One in Germany, a virtual version of the Deutsche J/70 Segel-Bundesliga and the other the J/Boats Portugal VR Regatta series.

Social Distance Sailing
SORC Social Distance Race Announcement
(Miami, Florida)- As event organizers navigate their local health restrictions, for some areas that means participation is permitted only with same household crew while other areas focus on group size.

On June 27, the SORC Social Distance Race will offer rating racing along a 21.0nm course around Key Biscayne in Miami, FL. A pursuit start will meet the mandate that boats must remain more than 50 feet apart, and participants must follow the crew capacity limits based on boat length:

• Boats less than 25 feet: 4 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 8 people.
• Boats 25 to 36 feet: 6 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 8 people.
• Boats greater than 36 feet: 8 adults max. plus children 17 and under; max. of 10 people.

Initially scheduled for May 24, the storm that became Tropical Storm Arthur caused a postponement to the week after Father’s Day. We look forward to seeing as many of you on the water as possible! For more SORC Social Distance Race sailing information

German J/70 eSailing League winners
Muhlenberger Segel-Club Crowned Champions of e-Sailing Bundesliga!
(Hamburg, Germany)- On Friday evening, the Hamburg club confidently prevailed against its eleven competitors in the heartbeat final of the e-Sailing Bundesliga powered by BAY. As the top-ranked sailing club in Germany, the Mühlenberger Sailing Club can call itself "e-Sailing Master of the Sailing Clubs". The runner-up was the Lake Constance Yacht Club Überlingen. Third place went to the Düsseldorf Yacht Club.

Over seven days of matches, a total of 68 clubs qualified for the final. Then, during the finale, the top twelve finalists competed against each other in three races to determine the four teams that ultimately fought for overall victory in the Final Series.

The duo of Philipp Schrader and Timon Treichel from the Düsseldorf Yacht Club dominated the first races and confidently secured a place for the Final Series alongside Tim Federspiel and Lukas Ammon from the Württemberg Yacht Club and Jonathan Koch from the Bodensee Yacht Club Überlingen. Hamburg-based Till Krüger from the Mühlenberger Segel-Club was the only one of seven northern clubs represented in the final.

In the final series, Mühlenberg and Überlingen each won their third race to qualify for the heartbeat final. With another win, Mühlenberg, Überlingen and Düsseldorf could have won the overall victory. However, after a tough and exciting duel with Überlingen, the Mühlenberg sailing club finally prevailed and became the first club to become the "e-Sailing Master of the Sailing Clubs."

“It's an extremely cool format. We loved the eSailing Bundesliga series event and proud for our home club," said Till Krüger.

The races were broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook and and followed by eSailing and league fans across Germany.

"The success of the series, both in terms of the number of participating clubs and the media attention, has shown great interest in the virtual version of the Bundesliga. There will certainly be a continuation at the national level,” said Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the Segel-Bundesliga. "Other countries such as Italy and Denmark have already adapted the format. So, implementation at the international level is conceivable as a counterpart to the SAILING Champions League."

After the e-Sailing season is over, the league clubs are now fully concentrated on preparing for their first on-the-water racing for the 2020 sailing season. The season start of the German J/70 Segel-Bundesliga will take place on July 17th at the Chiemsee Yacht Club in Prien, Germany.  Sailing Photo credits: DSBL/ Lars Wehrmann.  For more Deutsche J/70 Segel-Bundesliga information.

J/Gear ronstan bag
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Sailing Calendar

Jul 3-5- Italian J/70 Sailing League- Santa Marinella, Italy
Jul 11th- Belles Beer Bayview Mackinac Race- Port Huron, MI
Jul 11-12- SAIL Newport Regatta- Newport, RI
Jul 17-19- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Chiemsee, Germany
Jul 18-19- Fiesta Cup (J/70 & J/111)- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 23-26- Sailing World Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 24-26- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Aug 13-16- SAILING Champions League- St Petersburg, Russia
Aug 14-16- Swedish J/70 Sailing League- Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
Aug 15-16- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Aarhus, Denmark
Aug 15-16- J/Fest Newport- Newport, RI
Aug 28-30- J/70 Segel Bundesliga- Wannsee, Germany
Aug 28-30- Under 21 Italian J/70 Sailing League Championship- Rimini, Italy
Sep 5-6- Danish J/70 Sailing League- Skovshoved, Denmark

J/70 Virtual Regatta
DEJA VU Wins 10th edition of J/Boats Portugal Virtual Regatta Series
(Planet Earth)- Over time, the popularity of J/Boats Portugal's Virtual Regatta program using the popular J/70 has continued to grow and this past weekend it had its largest participation yet. 169 entries from around the world participated in the 10th edition of the J/Boats Portugal VR Series, a three-day event! After the qualifiers, 20 boats sailed in the Grand Finale on Sunday, the racing was exciting, fast & furious, with many lead changes!  Teams hailed from over 14+ countries, including United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Portugal, Argentina, Spain, France, Denmark, Croatia, United States, Italy, Belgium, and Slovenia.

To get a feel for how the event was staged, you can watch an hour-long highlights video with live commentary, live analysis, and replay of the principal races. The entire program was produced by eSailing.TV with passionate and knowledgeable sailors providing the blow-by-blow of each race.

Here is that link on

In the end, it was clear the top British boat DEJA VU, skippered by Mike O'Donovan from Stokes Bay Sailing Club in Aberdeen, Scotland was setting a hot pace throughout the three-day event. However, it was a trio of Turkish sailors from Istanbul, Turkey that were giving him a run-for-the-money! In fact, in the final "Gold Medal" race (modeled after the Olympics where it's winner-take-all) the ultimate outcome literally came down to the last gybe into the finish!

J/70 eSailing virtual regatta
Here is how it all finally played out.  Winning was O'Donovan's DEJA VU from Aberdeen, Scotland. Just losing the finale by a hair's breadth to take home the silver was Turkey's Umut Efe Alpkoçak from the eSailing Club Turkey. Rounding out the podium taking the bronze was fellow Turkish countryman Kaan Mazlunca sailing for Istanbul Yelken Kulübü.

Rounding out the top five and not that far off the pace were Oguz Er in 4th position, sailing for Istanbul Sailing Club and in 5th position was John Kok from the Thessaloniki Sailing Club in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The links to the live stream of the Finals and Medal Race.
For more information about the J/Boats Portugal VR Series.

J/122 sailing RORC offshore series
RORC Offshore Series Updates

(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As with other major offshore events, the window of opportunity to get back to racing on the Seven Seas depends on jurisdiction and where the races start and end. For the race management team at RORC, the varying rules and jurisdictions are particularly vexing when conducting races between the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands.  Here are some of the latest updates.

IRC National Championship - move to September confirmed
The RORC Committee have confirmed the move of the IRC National Championships from its scheduled June time slot to September 11th to13th, Friday to Sunday. The move sees the IRC Nationals being run together with the IRC Double-Handed National Championship scheduled for the same weekend.

IRC Rating Director Dr Jason Smithwick commented, "The later schedule is a good result for the IRC fleet and allows us the best chance of giving them a top-level event with sailing in good conditions."

Channel Race & L'Île d'Ouessant Race
The Club now turns its attention to August and the traditional Channel Race and the quadrennial favorite of the L'Île d'Ouessant Race (or Ushant race), where it is hoped club racing can begin again.

RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone discusses some of the complexities and considerations in getting racing under way, "we are working to provide information as early as possible for all races, with a view to giving members and competitors an update about races no later than 30 days (4 weeks) before the scheduled race date. We will continue to ensure these updates come as early as possible to limit the disruption to those competing. There are many areas to monitor and consider, including the safety of the RORC staff and volunteers before we simply set off and go racing."

"With the cancellation of the July events, we now look more seriously at the Channel Race and the L'Île d'Ouessant Race," continues Stone. "Will Government regulations allow yachts to sail fully crewed? Current social distancing measures make it difficult for that to happen safely. Regulations also currently don't permit people to stay away from their primary residence, so we eagerly await some changes before overnight races can return to normal. There is also more serious border and immigration issues that need to be resolved. At present, sailing into foreign waters in a recreational capacity is against regulations. But, potentially, there may also be some quarantine issues to consider going forward. And lastly, we need to be extremely aware of the situation with our search and rescue authorities and examine their willingness to have events start up again. They are, after all, crucial to our sport, especially in maintaining the safety of all those competing."

Stone further noted, "we appreciate that it must be terribly frustrating watching the season go by from land. We feel the same and would like to ensure all our competitors that we are doing everything within our power to get us back to racing as quickly and as safely as possible."  Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/  For more RORC Offshore event sailing information

J/22s sailing off Montego Bay, Jamaica
2020 J/22 North Americans Cancelled

(Kingston, Ontario, Canada)– The International J/22 Class Association (IJ22CA) and CORK in Kingston, Ontario Canada have determined, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, that the 2020 J/22 North American Championship scheduled for August 6-9 is cancelled. The Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our hosts dedicate to such events.

The Class intends to hold the 2023 J/22 North American Championship at CORK in Kingston, following the 2021 J/22 World Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas (July 18-24) and the 2022 J/22 North American Championship in Tawas Bay, Michigan (September 13-17). In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/22 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.

Trevor Collins, J/22 Canadian Class President, said, “It was important to the organizing group that we would be able to offer competitors an event complete, memorable and worthy of a North American Championship title. We hope all J/22 sailors get on the water soon, and we look forward to inviting you all back to CORK in the near future.”  Learn more about the J/22 and the class here.

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
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J/133 Scirocco 3 for sale
A very pretty 2006 J/133 is available on Lake Michigan. Having sailed most of her life in fresh water for about five months per season, this boat is in impeccable condition. SIROCCO 3 was originally customized with the help of Butch Ulmer (of the famous Ulmer-Kolius Sailmakers). SIROCCO 3 has many custom features such as aft pilot berths. Sails and electronics updated. Beautiful condition!  Learn more about the J/133 SIROCCO 3 here

J/111 Shorthanded ready to sail on Lake Michigan!
* J/111 SHORTHANDED- we recently got a report from the new owner of the famous J/111 LUCKY DUBIE. Now renamed SHORTHANDED, Bob Hughes of Macatawa, MI was excited about getting her ready for sailing this summer on Lake Michigan.  

Bob had this to report, "our J/111 Shorthanded is now home in Macatawa, MI after a safe crossing from Waukegan, IL in mid-May. The trip was actually quite pleasant considering the chilly air temperature. The sun was shining, and we motor sailed with the main up, with the autopilot in charge, while we (Bob Hughes and Jeff Deyoung) took shelter from the wind under the dodger. We had a southerly wind around 15 knots and averaged over 8 knots for the trip. When we checked the water temp, it was a chilly 39 degrees. Shorthanded will participate in the usual distance races on Lake Michigan, both fully crewed and double handed, as well as mixing it up with the other Lake Michigan J/111s in one-design racing. We cannot wait to get back on the water again with family and friends!"

Howie McMichael - sailor extraordinaire* Eight Bells- Howie McMichael

Howard McMichael, Jr. died at the age of 82 on June 2, 2020 in White Plains, NY. Howie, as he was known to family and friends, suffered a stroke on May 28 from which he never recovered.

Howie was the longtime leader of and inspiration for McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers, having taken over the company from his father, Howard Sr., upon Howie’s return from serving in the U.S. Army in 1962.

Having grown up in the boat yard, Howie started selling boats, managing purchasing and marketing for the company. Under his leadership, McMichael grew to one of the country’s major yacht brokerages and yacht servicing companies.

Howie served as President of McMichael through 2019 at which time he became the company’s Chairman. Under his watchful eye, the leadership of the company transitioned to its current President, Steve Leicht, a McMichael family member.

The company continues to be fully family-owned with a board comprised of his sister Susan McMichael Robertson, his sister Joan’s son-in-law Steve Leicht, and his son-in-law H.L. DeVore.

Nothing pleased Howie more than being out on the water. You could find him on his beloved boat “Puff” setting the weather mark with his best friends Joe Fontanella and perpetual PRO Butch Ulmer. If he wasn’t at that perfectly set weather mark, then he was off cruising on the family J/44 HONAHLEE with his grandchildren.

Howie was a yachtsman in the truest sense of the word. An active sailboat racer his entire life, he was a former Commodore of Larchmont Yacht Club and active member of the Storm Trysail Club.

His love and dedication to the yachting and boating communities was demonstrated in many ways, including countless hours volunteering for Storm Trysail’s Safety-at-Sea programs and Intercollegiate Offshore Regattas, as well as recently supporting the Newport-to-Bermuda Race and the youth sailors of the MudRatz and the Young American Sailing Academy.

Howie will be missed for those and his many other contributions to the sport he loved. More so, he will be missed by all to whom he was a friend. Gregarious and willing to share his vast knowledge about sail and power boats, Howie was always willing to stop whatever he was doing to help answer a question or address a concern. For those and his other inspiring characteristics, his legacy as a leader and crew mate will continue for generations.

Howie is survived by his wife Carolyn of 56 years; children James McMichael (Kirsten), Heather Conner (Steve), and Catherine DeVore (HL); seven grandchildren JB, Jack, and Teddy Conner; Katie, Jackie, Lindsey, and Daisy DeVore; and sisters Joan McMichael Kelly and Susan McMichael Robertson.

Plans for a celebration of Howie’s life will be forthcoming. In the meantime, fair winds and following seas, Howie.
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