Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J/Newsletter- April 11th, 2018

J/121 sailing offshoreJ/121 Spring Tune-Up & Open Course Racing
(Newport, RI)- J/Boats will be hosting the first J/121 Spring Tune-Up on May 11-12 for recently launched boats in Narragansett Bay, RI.  The event will be based out of Newport Shipyard, and up to five boats are expected.   With the support of major sailmakers (including North Sails, Quantum Sails, Doyle Sails, UK Sails), a two-day coaching and training session will focus on getting teams up to speed fast, with an emphasis on tuning, sail trim, sail selection & changes, and boathandling.

The program will be especially beneficial for crews that will be participating in the 2018 Newport to Bermuda Race, hosted by the CCA (Cruising Club of America) that starts on June 15th.  The format will include on-board coaching both days and video debriefs after sailing each.  As an added benefit, each boat will have a app collecting real-time GPS speed, course, heel, and implied wind direction for analysis post-sailing (broadcast LIVE here on

Friday at 1230 hrs is registration and a welcome briefing.  At 1330 hrs, the teams rendezvous off Fort Adams for boat-on-boat testing for speed, trim and tuning all afternoon.  A few boathandling maneuvers will be evaluated and coaching will be done via “open mike” on VHF so that all teams can learn from each other.  Sailing is followed by debrief and refreshments at Newport Shipyard.

On Saturday, the teams will gather at 0930 hrs for a skippers meeting, followed by a 1030 hrs warm up race. Then, an “open course” race will be started by 1200 hrs, again with on-water and on-boat coaching, followed by post-race debrief and refreshments.

Post-race analytics will be displayed by and the Open Course scoring will be evaluated for the following:
  • Overall winner- speed and time
  • Winner of each leg- base on average speeds
  • Fastest speed on any leg
As part of the discussions over the weekend will be 2018 J/121 Open Course Circuit schedule for the northeast region.  Currently, the proposed schedule follows:
  • Jun 1-2- Leukemia Cup- Newport, RI
  • Jun 9-10- New York YC Annual Regatta- Newport, RI
  • Jun 15th- CCA Newport to Bermuda Race- Newport, RI
  • Jul 17-21- New York YC Race Week- Newport, RI
  • Aug 17th- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
  • Aug 31st- STC Stamford Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
Learn more about the J/121 Offshore Speedster here

J/70s sailing CharlestonSperry Charleston Race Week Preview
(Charleston, SC)- Why do sailboat racers throughout the country return to Sperry Charleston Race Week year after year?  According to Randy Draftz, now in his 14th year as the event director, “Our focus on first-class customer service has produced remarkable loyalty and transformed the regatta into one of the premier events of its kind. What started in 1996 as a regional gathering has steadily grown into the largest keelboat regatta in North and South America. We feel we have found a formula that resonates with the sailors and we are constantly working to refine what we are offering.”

Draftz said the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, organizing authority and owner of event, hit a home run when it landed Sperry as title sponsor. Sperry’s involvement has been a driving force behind the remarkable development of Charleston Race Week, helping take the event to another level in terms of quality and prestige.

“Sperry is more than just our title sponsor, they are a true partner,” Draftz said. “As a company, Sperry is fully invested in Charleston Race Week and brings incredible value that makes the event better.”

Sperry Charleston Race Week is also fortunate to have the continued support of three critical corporate sponsors in Quantum Sails, Gosling’s Rum and Vineyard Vines. West Marine has been added to the lineup of corporate sponsors with the world’s premier retailer of boating, fishing and paddling gear announcing it will give away up to $30,000 in gift cards.

Sailors from all over the United States and beyond are gearing up for the 23rd edition of Sperry Charleston Race Week, being held April 12-15 out of the famous South Carolina port. Nearly 250 boats in 16 classes are slated to compete in the three-day regatta, which combines one-design and handicap racing along with inshore and offshore courses.

Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 will feature eight returning champions, including the top two award winners. Skipper Joel Ronning and his CATAPULT crew will be back to defend the Charleston Race Week Cup after capturing the highly-competitive J/70 class last year.

J/88 sailing CharlestonThat prestigious perpetual trophy is presented for the best overall performance by a one-design entry. J/70, which is once again the largest class in the regatta with a whopping 72 entries, will certainly contend for the Charleston Race Week Cup as racing figures to be fierce in a fleet comprised of numerous class champions.

All the elements that have made Sperry Charleston Race Week so popular remain in place, starting with the sheer beauty and elegant atmosphere of the historic host city. Factor in world-class accommodations along with top-notch facilities and you immediately have the makings of a big-time regatta.

Draftz and his team have steadily built on the basic template to enhance the event and every year brings further improvements. One major development in 2018 is the addition of the Columbus Street Terminal as a new facility for boat storage, launching and hauling.

Organizers of Sperry Charleston Race Week have made arrangements with the South Carolina Port Authority to facilitate launch, haul and trailer storage service at this spacious facility, which is conveniently located almost directly across the Cooper River from the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for allowing the regatta to utilize their superb facility. This is a much-needed service and the Port Authority has been very gracious to offer the services of its equipment and staff,” Draftz said.

J/24s sailing off CharlestonCollege of Charleston, which has historically provided considerable support to the regatta, will be docking numerous boats at its J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center. Many of those boats are affiliated with the school’s sailing program, including four that will be crewed by members of the College of Charleston intercollegiate dinghy or offshore teams.

Volunteer coach Chuck Coyer will lead one team onboard the J/36 SOUL in ORC B. Members of the College of Charleston Development Team will race a pair of J/22 entries.

“We’re really excited that our team performs well on the collegiate scene, but we’re also extremely proud that they do a lot of sailing outside that realm,” said Greg Fisher, Director of Sailing for the College of Charleston. “We want our sailors to enjoy the sport of sailing and take advantage of all it offers. There is no better way for them to gain tremendous experience and learn a different aspect of the sport than by competing in Sperry Charleston Race Week.”

College of Charleston has been dedicated to supporting adaptive sailing and recently hosted a clinic with Warrior Sailing. Fisher is thrilled that six teams from Warrior Sailing will compete in Sperry Charleston Race Week aboard J/22s provided by the college.

As always, all shoreside activity will be based at the fabulous Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, largest in the state of South Carolina with 459 slips. Sperry Charleston Race Week is renowned for its nightly beach party featuring the Gosling’s Rum Bar and live music.

Seventeen South is scheduled to perform on Thursday while Chewbacky will be onstage Friday with tickets available online or at the gate. An Event Pass for all four days of race week can be purchased for $85 while daily tickets will also be sold.

J/70s sailing off CharlestonQuantum Sails returns as a corporate sponsor and will present the very informative daily dock talks and video debriefs featuring accomplished professional Ed Baird. A veteran of multiple America’s Cup campaigns and a champion match racer, Baird will deliver his “Applying the Forecast to the Race Course” presentations twice each morning – once for the offshore and pursuit classes then later for the inshore classes.

During the beach party each evening, Baird will utilize the Jumbotron to conduct Daily Debrief sessions specific to each circle by utilizing on-course video action provided by Keith Brash. College of Charleston assistant coach Mitch Hall will assist Baird with opening remarks about the local conditions in Charleston Harbor following the initial competitors meeting on Thursday.

An important hallmark of Sperry Charleston Race Week involves expert race management provided by a dedicated team of US Sailing certified volunteers. Hank Stuart returns as the overall Principal Race Officer and will lead a contingent of vastly experienced volunteers.

Back by popular demand for the second straight year is the Pro-Am regatta, being held on Saturday night using J/22 sloops donated by College of Charleston. Racing will be held off A Dock at the south end of the marina with Ed Baird providing commentary to a live stream of the action on the Jumbotron.

Past Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin and former Olympian Paris Henken headline the list of professionals participating. US Sailing president Bruce Burton and Gill North America president Dave Pritchard bring further prestige to the Pro-Am, which will also feature Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck, North Sails professional Allan Terhune and one-design standout Travis Odenbach.

College of Charleston senior sailor Christophe Killian is the defending champion and will be joined this year by women’s team member Paris Henken, who represented the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in 49erFX class.

Mau, an employment agency based in the Charleston, is sponsoring the Pro-Am Regatta. Two high school sailors from the seven teams in the Charleston area will serve as crew members aboard the nine boats competing.

J/88 sailing at Charleston Race WeekIn addition to Ronning’s CATAPULT returning to defend his title, a veritable armada of top-flight J/70 teams will be challenging them for class supremacy.  Right at the top will be J/70 Midwinter Champion, Jack Franco and his all-star crew on 3 BALL JT (with multi-class World Champions Bill Hardesty and Allen Terhune as tactician and sail trim) and 2017 World Champion Peter Duncan’s RELATIVE OBSCURITY crew from Rye, NY.  In addition, look for these teams to be at the top of the leaderboard, Travis Odenbach’s USA 40 from Rochester, NY; Vincenzo Onorato’s MASCALZONE LATINO from YC Monaco, Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Kevin Downey’s MR PITIFUL from Seattle, WA; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Peter Cunningham’s POWERPLAY RACING from Caymans Islands; John Brim’s RIMETTE from Palm Beach, FL; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Beverly, MA; Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, TX; and John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES from Riverside, CT.

The J/88 class has assembled a strong contingent of eight boats from across the country; a boat as simple to rig and launch as a J/70!  Towable by an SUV and launchable off a 3-ton yacht club crane, it’s a matter of minutes to swing it off the trailer into the water and hoist the mast up on its deck-stepped mast base!  Looking forward to the weekend competition are a number of leaders in the class.  Recent J/88 Midwinter Champions, Justin Scagnelli’s ALBONDIGAS from Milwaukee, WI will be hoping they can maintain their momentum.  J/88 North American Champion Laura Weyler and her HIJINKS crew from Youngstown YC will also be testing their 2018 setup to see if they are still in the hunt with boats that had sailed throughout the winter.  The same holds true for teams like Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago, IL; Brian O’Malley’s BLUE from Charlotte, NC; Mike Bruno’s WING from American YC; Tim Finkle’s SEAWEED from Youngstown YC; and Rob Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH.

As mentioned above, the dozen boat J/22 fleet features seven teams from the WARRIOR SAILING PROGRAM, including the following skippers- Scott Ford, Rachelle Pontes, Tyra Moore, Michaela Dahlke, Nick Trado, Keith Moore, and Ramesh Haytasingh.  The two College of Charleston teams include skippers Jon Noyes and Sylvia Skerry.  And, the three private boats include Ryan Davidson’s INVISIBLE BOATMOBILE from Balboa, CA; David Buckley’s MAGIC 8 BALL from Charleston, SC; and Pat Isherwood’s SPIFFY from Barrington, RI.

Always a huge supporter of the regatta from its inception, the fourteen-boat J/24 class features some of its class veterans and champions from across the spectrum of decades.  Top bananas should be Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Washington, DC; Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM from St Petersburg, FL; and the young hot crew from Miami, FL- Patricio Sly’s MUY MUY.

Returning as a one-design class for the first time in years are the half-dozen J/105s.  The all South Carolina contingent include Joe Highsmith’s DEAD ON ARRIVAL, Gebel Seese’s HIGH VISIBILITY, Robert Scribner’s JOYRIDE, Paul Jacques’ RUCKUS, Fred Martschink/ Bill McKenzie’s RUM FRONT, and Miles Martschink/ Ben Hagood’s SKIMMER.

Sailing in the offshore ORC classes are a dominant slate of top J/crews from across the region.  In ORC A is Robin Team’s championship crew on his J/122 TEAMWORK from Lexington, NC; he may his hands full taking on Steve Benjamin’s fast TP 52 SPOOKIE.  Then, in ORC B class, is John Keenan’s J/120 ILLYRIA from Mt Pleasant, SC; Willy Schwenzfeier’s J/35 ARROW from Charleston, SC; and the College of Charleston’s J/36 SOUL.

For Saturday’s PHRF Pursuit Race, there are 36 boats evenly split between Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker.  This element of the regatta has continued to grow consistently year over year.  In the PHRF Spin division are Rick Moore’s J/120 MOOSE DOWN and Bob Musor’s J/130 SCEPTRE.  Then, in PHRF Non-spin are Bill Hanckel’s J/120 EMOCEAN and Mark Swatta’s J/30 LAS BRISAS.  For more Charleston Race Week sailing information

Women's J/109 team in EnglandDubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship Announcement
(Hamble, England)- The Women's Open Keelboat Championship (WOKC) will be returning to Hamble for its 10th anniversary edition in 2018.  This year the event, hosted once again by Hamble River Sailing Club, is being held on the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd. The volunteer team which organizes WOKC is delighted that Dubarry has agreed to return as title sponsor, having been a generous supporter of the championships since their inception in 2008 and having been the title sponsor for the last seven events. This means there will be some fantastic Dubarry prizes up for grabs, yet again!

UK Women's Keelboat Championship"The Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championships is an event that Dubarry has been involved with for the past seven years. The camaraderie both on and off the water drives the growth and popularity of this event each year and we thoroughly enjoy sponsoring this wonderfully talented group of sailors. The WOKC event is now bigger than ever due to its excellent organization, complimented by eager participants and organizers and Dubarry is delighted to be associated with this event and wish everyone a successful and enjoyable weekend on the water,” said Marketing Director, Michael Walsh.

The organizers are looking forward to offering two days of fun and competitive racing on the water along with some great social events ashore (the frocks and flip-flops party is unmissable), with funds being raised for the event's two charities- “Breast Cancer Care” and the “Hamble Lifeboat Trust.” The racing format will focus on IRC racing and, after last year's record entry of twenty boats and the return of the J/80 class, the WOKC is anticipating the 10th anniversary edition will be the biggest and best yet.

J/111 women's sailing team"We are thrilled that Dubarry have once again agreed to be our title sponsor", commented Jen Smyth, one of the organizers of the Dubarry Women's Open Keelboat Championship 2018. "With their continued support we have seen entries increase steadily and, we hope, this 10th anniversary edition will see even more ladies on the water. It's a pleasure to be working with the team from HRSC again and we are all looking forward to putting on a competitive regatta and a top notch party for all the teams and supporters."

Entries are now open and early entry is advised to take advantage of the early-bird booking fee of £75, available until 17:00 on Friday 25 May. After that date, entry fee will increase to £95. Boat entry is available from HRSC either online or via the admin team on +44-2380-452070.  Follow Hamble River SC here on Facebook  For more Dubarry Women’s Open Keelboat Championship sailing information

J/80 sailing off EnglandJ/80 UK Nationals Return To Lymington!
(Lymington, England)- The Royal Lymington Yacht Club has published its Notice of Race for this year’s J/80 Nationals, to be held Saturday 18th to Monday 20th August.

The dates for the Nationals dovetail well with Cowes Week, which finishes on Saturday 11th August. The short gap is convenient for teams entering both events, especially those not based in the Solent and having to transport their boats by road.

The Championship was last held at Lymington in 2016, when 26 boats competed in what was universally agreed to be a hugely successful and entertaining event. The race report and video from 2016 can viewed on Royal Lymington’s web page.

The team responsible for the 2016 event has re-assembled to anchor this year’s Nationals. Arrangements largely replicate 2016’s; Berthon Marina is providing a comprehensive berthing package, race management and protest / umpire teams will be international standard and, weather permitting, racing will be in Christchurch Bay, one of the country’s finest race areas.

The event has already attracted generous support from a range of companies; Solent Projects Ltd, North Sails, Berthon Marina, Harken and Nick Cox Chandlery.

So what are you waiting for? Use this wet weekend to get your entry in for the J/80 event of the year! On-line entry is now open, with incentives available for early entrants.

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

In Europe, the J/70 season is starting to get underway in earnest with summer long series in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and elsewhere.  This past weekend marked the beginning of the Italian J/70 Cup series, with their first regatta taking place in the gorgeous “city of flowers”- Sanremo, Italy- in what is known as the “Italian Riviera”.  The event was the first of five events that lead up to the conclusion in Trieste on the far eastern part of Italy on the northern part of the Adriatic Sea.

Over in the Americas, the annual J/Fest San Francisco took place on the infamous San Francisco Bay and hosted by St Francis YC.  One-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s had a challenging time fighting remarkably strong flood tide vs ebb tide scenarios.

In the Pacific Northwest, the annual Blakely Rock Benefit Race was sailed on Puget Sound with a number of J/crews enjoying success on the race track and collecting a few more “pickle dishes”.

Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or  upload onto our J/Boats Facebook pag  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Apr 12-15- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 8-14- Voiles de Saint Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barth
Apr 21-22- J/80 West Coast Championship- Seattle, WA
Apr 21-22- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Apr 26-29- J/70 Corinthian Nationals- Ft Worth, TX
Apr 27-29- Newport to Ensenada Race- Newport Beach, CA
Apr 28-May 1- Grand Prix de Saint Cast- Saint Cast, France
Apr 28- May 4- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua
May 2-6- J/24 North American Championship- Charleston, SC
May 4-6- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 4-6- Yachting Cup- San Diego, CA
May 8-12- J/22 European Championship- Laveoc, France
May 11-13- ALCATEL J/70 Cup- Porto Ercole, Italy
May 14-19- J/70 North American Championship- Valle de Bravo, Mexico
May 18-20- North Sea Regatta- The Hague, The Netherlands
May 24-28- J/Cup United Kingdom- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
May 25- Storm Trysail Block Island Race- Larchmont, NY
May 25-28- The FIGAWI Race- Hyannisport, MA
May 26- Spinnaker Cup Offshore Race- Belvedere, CA
May 26-28- Swiftsure International Yacht Race- Victoria, BC, Canada
May 26-28- U.K. J/24 National Championship- Poole, England
May 28-29- Coastal Cup Race- Santa Barbara, CA
May 31- SoCal 300 Race- San Diego, CA

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

J/70s sailing off ItalyENFANT TERRIBLE Triumphs @ Italian J/70 Cup I
The famous Italian Rossi yachting family makes history!
(Sanremo, Italy- The first Italian J/70 Cup saw epic sailing for the fleet of fifty-nine boats from eight countries across Europe sailing off the “Garden City” of Sanremo and hosted by YC Sanremo.  The fleet was treated to steadily building winds over the three days, culminating with cancellation of all racing on Sunday due to the Mistral blowing in excess of forty knots!  In the end, a famous, familiar name in Italian yachting circles stood atop the podium after five races, Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE- ADRIA FERRIES, a name most often associated with winning multiple Farr 40 World Championships.  There’s was not an easy win as a rogue’s gallery of Italy’s top sailors were fighting hard to be atop the leaderboard.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay One- Light and Shifty
The first day started under light wind conditions and the YC Sanremo RC and PRO managed to get two races off for the very aggressive fleet.

Chaired by Fulvio Parodi, the YC Sanremo Race Committee promptly started the fleet at 1230 hrs in the “levante” breeze of 8-10 kts, a breeze that ultimately kept decreasing all afternoon.

Leading after the first day was Gianfranco Noe skippering CALVI NETWORK- LIGHTBAY SAILING TEAM, their 1-2 score gave them a three point lead.  Sitting in second place was Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team with a 2-4 for six points.  Winning the second race was Valerya Kovalenko’s ARTTUBE team from Moscow (Taganrog), Russia; they were sitting in the third position with a 12-1 for 13 pts.

Rounding out the very talented top five was Franco Solerio’s L’ELAGAIN Italian crew with a 4-10 (they are two-time winners of the Italian J/70 Cup) in fourth place and the fast Polish crew of MAG EWA with Krzysztof Krempec as skipper posted a 5-8 to secure fifth.

The Corinthians Division saw Gianluca Lamaro’s JERIATRIA leading (12th overall), following by Paolo Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTICO GRIGNANO and Alessandro Zampori’s BOBERASCO.

J/70s sailing upwind off Sanremo, ItalyDay Two- Strong Winds, Big Waves
In the morning, the fleet was greeted by 15+ kt winds and enormous waves rolling into the bay.  By the time the racing started just before midday, the breeze kept building with gusts over 22 kts.  Fortunately, three more races were added to the overall scoreline and crews could now discard their worst race for their total “net scores.”

Relishing the big breeze and big waves was none other than Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE team, posting a 1-1-3 to dominate the day’s standings and, as a result, win the coveted GARMIN CUP- a special trophy given for Saturday’s racing.  Holding on to second place was Noe’s CALVI NETWORK with their 3-2-BFD, throwing out their BFD to sit just one point back from ENFANT TERRIBLE.

J/70 winner- Alberto Rossi- Enfant TerribleRossi commented, “I am extremely pleased with today's outcome, as well as yesterday's. The crew is new, compared to last year, and things on board are going well. Today's conditions, though very wet, have been extremely fun. I also want to thank and give recognition to the YC Sanremo Race Committee that produced great racing today in strong winds to bring home three races on a beautiful day of sailing.  Another reason for my satisfaction today is the amazing series of top three races by my daughter- Claudia and her crew on PETITE TERRIBLE! It brings me great pride to see she found her rhythm, knowing how to recover and get back in the game.”

J/70 women skipper- Claudia RossiThe third victory of the day went to Claudia’s PETITE TERRIBLE Sailing Team.  Her 2-3-1 scores were added to her 9-29 from day one to give her 15 pts net and the bronze position on the podium!

In the Corinthians Division, the leader after the first day, Lamaro’s JERIATRIA, slipped to fourth place after posting 45-45-49 for a total of 110 pts.  After a slow start, Tomsic’s SOCIETE NAUTIC GRIGNANO posted good scores of 15-16-12 to leap into the lead with 51 pts net.  Similarly, Edoardo Meroni’s GIJETTA added a 27-13-19 to take over the silver position on the podium with 89 pts net.  Then, sliding into the bronze slot was Marco Schirato’s JOSETTE with a 15-50-17-26-18 tally for 94 pts net.

On Saturday evening, during the cocktail hosted by Royal Hotel Sanremo, the crew of ENFANT TERRIBLE was awarded the Garmin Trophy and a Garmin Quatix 5 smartwatch.

J/70s sailing off Sanremo, ItalyDay 3- Game Over
As the sailors woke up on Sunday morning, they were greeted by the spectacular view of monstrous waves rolling in from offshore, crashing on the beaches and breakwater, tops getting blown off in 40+ kt gusts.  Needless to say, it was not unexpected as the mistral kicked into high gear, forcing cancellation of the days racing.  As a result, the leaders after day two did not change.

What is notable about the regatta was the phenomenal comeback by Claudia Rossi’s PETITE TERRIBLE team on Saturday.  It may be the first time in one-design yachting history that father & daughter skippers lead their teams onto the podium (1st and 3rd) in any ISAF/ World Sailing one-design class!

“It is always a pleasure to host the huge J/70 fleet at our yacht club. With these five races at the beginning of season, we hope to have satisfied your hunger for sailing after the long winter break.  We wish you fair winds and God Speed for the rest of the season.  We hope to be able to host you again in Sanremo in 2019,” commented Beppe Zaoli, President of YC Sanremo, during the award ceremony.

Next, after the Sanremo event, will be the Italian J/70 Cup Act II in Porto Ercole, hosted by YC Argentino from May 11th to 13th.  Facebook sailing video- Alberto Rossi’s ENFANT TERRIBLE off San Remo  For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information

J/105s sailing San FranciscoWild & Crazy J/Fest San Francisco
(San Francisco, CA)- “In the face of a challenging weather forecast, the St Francis Yacht Club held its annual J/Fest last weekend, with J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/105s, and J/111s competing.

Rain? Low Clouds, Wind? Sun? Well, parts of all of the above; it all turned into a glorious weekend. The tide charts professed that we would have an ebb tide but the starting line had strong flood currents going well into the early afternoon, making "local knowledge" all the more important,” commented photographer Chris Ray.

In each race, around 20 of the 27 J/105 teams tried to start at the signal boat, tack to port and foot out to the late ebb in the middle of San Francisco Bay.  Those who were pinned off the line on starboard, going southerly toward the shore into more flood, even for just 1 minute, quickly found themselves a quarter mile behind any who escaped to the North into the westerly river, swollen by recent heavy rains.  Those in the river found themselves sliding sideways, at several knots, upwind toward the starboard lay-line, accomplishing impressive VMGs up to 9.5 knots due to both the favorable tide and the enhanced apparent wind.

J/105s sailing at J/FestDespite being in some second or third row starts, Bruce Stone and Nicole Breault’s ARBIRTAGE and others were still able to tack around the signal boat, and go bow down on port, reaching out to the river and catching up to anyone in the peloton sailing their boats normally upwind on a beat.

Nevertheless, there are always exceptions to the rule and in one start, ARBITRAGE spotted a left shift before the gun and boogied down to the tidally-unfavored pin end, starting on port and crossing the entire fleet, then footing back out to the ebb.

The regatta was initially dominated by new owner Tim Russell and the talented team on NE*NE that scored two bullets and two 5ths, leading ARBITRAGE by 3 points going into the last race.  However, just before arriving at the three boat length circle around the last leeward mark, NE*NE violently luffed ARBITRAGE sharply and caused a collision.  After untangling themselves, both boats passed several others on the remaining two legs, with NE*NE finishing that race in 2nd and ARBITRAGE 3rd, while securing 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the regatta. However, after a long evening in the protest room, NE*NE was DSQ’d and ARBITRAGE moved up to the top spot on the podium.  Ryan Simmons on BLACKHAWK took second, Phillip Laby on GODOT third, Ian Charles on MAVERICK fourth, and Jeff Littfin’s MOJO in fifth position.

J/70s sailing at J/FestAccording to Christy Usher, skipper on the J/70 CHRISTINE ROBIN and also the local San Francisco Bay Fleet Captain, “the Pineapple Express late-season weather system finished its 24+ hours of rain just in time for J/Fest 2018! Sufficient sun, adequate breeze and San Francisco currents greeted the 48 boats in five classes. The 27 boats in the J/105 fleet made for challenging starts with everyone angling for the "ebb elevator" in the middle of the bay. 

With the top three contenders in the J/70 fleet swapping firsts, seconds and thirds across five races, it was SFYC’s Chris Kostanecki on JENNIFER who ultimately bested StFYC’s 1FA and CHRISTINE ROBINE, helmed by Scott Sellers and Tracy Usher, respectively. Taking fourth was Justin Foox’s FLOTEK and fifth was Tom Thayer’s RAMPAGE.

After three races on Saturday, competitors enjoyed a taco buffet, Mt. Gay cocktails, Stephanie Teel's awesome band and the eternally amusing and rowdy J/Fest Raffle, thanks to our supportive sponsors. The two looming Sunday races ensured everyone stayed upright after the party and the next morning lined up for clearer skies and ample wind. Thank you to the Race Committee and Protest Committee (who were busy all weekend).”

J/88s sailing J/FestThe J/88 class saw Marc McMorris’ crew on M-SQUARED from San Diego YC overcome all the “local knowledge” teams to win counting just 1sts and 2nds in the scoreline, finishing with 7 pts total.  Ironically, counting just 2nds and 3rds and taking second overall with a dozen points was Paul Recktenwald’s LAZY DAWG from Stamford YC, yet another “alien” visiting San Francisco Bay!  Third was top St Francis YC team COURAGEOUS, skippered by Donald Payan.  Rounding out the top five was Aya Yamanouchi’s BENNY in fourth and Steve Gordon’s INCONCEIVABLE fifth.

In the J/111 class, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN just missed an “all bullets” regatta, winning with just 6 pts total.  Second was Nesrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS and third was Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG.

The usual battle for J/24 supremacy had the usual protagonists slugging it out all weekend-long.  In the end, it was the EVIL OCTOPUS from Richmond YC, skippered by Jasper Van Vliet, that posted a scoreline of 2-1-1-2-4 for 10 pts to win.  Second was good friend Paul Van Ravenswaay on FERAL ROOSTER with a record of 5-2-2-1-3 for 13 pts.  Sailing was much tighter than meets the eye on the scoring.  As such, third place was determined by a tie-breaker between DOWNTOWN UPROAR and Val Lulevich’s SHUT UP & DRIVE, both with 14 pts each and just one point in arrears of FERAL ROOSTER.  On countback, it was DOWNTOWN UPROAR getting the nod for third place.  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray  For more J/Fest San Francisco sailing information

Blakely Rock Benefit RaceBlakely Rock Benefit Race Report
(Seattle, WA)- The race is dedicated to the loving memory of Carol Pearl.  Carol was a Sloop Tavern YC member for 39 years.  She was a two-term past Commodore, a very active board member, the club historian, champion, mentor, friend and she was involved in organizing the Blakely Rock Benefit Race for as long as anyone can remember.

Many sailing teams from across the northwest participated in the event, many of them being J/Boats owners. In the PHRF Class 5, Mike Poole’s J/80 JOLLY GREEN took second place, while Leo Morales’ J/27 WIZARD took the bronze. Even better yet, Ulf George Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE landed the fourth position and Dennis Clark’s J/27 “63” was fifth.

In Class 7, Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW, a long-time winner in her class in the Pacific NW, took the silver.  Class 8 was dominated by the J/105s.  Winning was Tom Kerr’s CORVO, followed by Chuck Stephens’ PANIC in second and Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO and Jon Aitcheson’s MOOSE UNKNOWN tied for 5th place.

Class 9 saw Natalie Pryde’s J/92S take fourth place. Then, in Class 11, it was Don & George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH that took 2nd and Kirk & Nill Fraser’s J/109 ECLIPSE took fourth.

In the wildly disparate Class 12, Ken Jones’ J/120 WITH GRACE took 2nd, while Andy Mack’s J/122 GRACE placed third. Finally, in Class 13, Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI won her class over many of the Pacific Northwest’s best offshore teams.  For more Blakely Rock Benefit Race sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/70 women's German team LadyLike* The J/70 TEAM LADYLIKE have been sailing on Lake Constance, training for the Helga Cup in Hamburg, Germany- an all women’s regatta for the top women’s keelboat teams in Germany.

For the first time in March, the LADYLIKE Team was on the water on Lake Constance training against another women’s team Team WYC-S├╝dseeperlen. With Coach Jochen, the team worked on boat speed, boat handling and maneuvers with potential new crew members.

The current Helga Cup 2018 team includes: Anica Rimmele, Rosanna Schentz, Carla Rau und Anne Winkelhausen

J/70 Women's German team trainingThen, last weekend, the crew spent a weekend training on Lago di Garda in Italy.  As explained by Carla Rau, “we're back from Lake Garda! The winds were a little unusual, and we were able to train every wind condition you could imagine in the five days we were there. As always, we learned a lot! Thanks to the W├╝rttembergischer Yacht-Club for the great organization!”  Learn more about the J/70 TEAM LADYLIKE project here

* Sir Ernest Shackleton conquered the Antarctica against impossible odds. Learn how and why on May 10th, Thursday at 1730 hrs at the Casino Theater in Newport, RI.  

There will be a presentation by internationally renowned explorer Tim Jarvis, including clips from his PBS documentary, “Chasing Shackleton.”

Live & silent auction featuring truly unique Shackleton-related items, to benefit The Shackleton Climate Project including an exploration of Antarctica, a one of a kind Newport sailing adventure on the Alexandra Shackleton, first batch whiskey and original expedition paintings, photographs and memorabilia.

In January 2013, explorer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis led a team that was the first to successfully retrace the 1916 Antarctic journey of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton- a journey described by many as “the greatest survival journey of all time”.

Using the same rudimentary equipment, period clothing and technology as Shackleton, his team sailed 800nm in an exact replica of the wooden lifeboat “James Caird”, now “Alexandra Shackleton”, from Elephant Island, Antarctica to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, followed by a dangerous climb over South Georgia’s treacherous mountains. Tim will provide a gripping, first-hand account of the challenges he faced in achieving the impossible— prepare to be inspired!
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