Wednesday, July 31, 2019

J/Newsletter- July 31st, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Perhaps the biggest news in the offshore racing community last week was the triumph of a new J/121 with an Irish owner in the annual RORC Channel Race. The event is emblematic of the final practice race/ training mission prior to the biennial 605.0nm Rolex Fastnet Race. Meanwhile, the German J/70 Nationals took place in conjunction with Travemunde Race Week in Travemunde, Germany for thirty-one teams.

In the USA, there was widespread offshore racing and “race weekend” activities from deep “Downeast” Maine to the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest.  In the nether-regions of Downeast Maine, ten J/46 owners got together in their annual J/46 Rendezvous in Camden Harbor, Maine for three days of fun family activity and enjoying the splendor of sailing in some of the most picturesque waters in the world on Penobscot Bay.  South of them, enjoying their round-the-cans racing at the Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta were one-design fleets of J/24s, J/70s, and J/105s hosted by the amazing trio of clubs- Eastern YC, Boston YC, and Corinthian YC. Down southeast off Cape Cod, the Edgartown Yacht Club held their annual Edgartown Race Week for a J/70 fleet as well as PHRF boats sailing Round the Sound and Round the Island Races. Not far away in Rhode Island Sound, the Newport YC hosted their annual New England Solo-Twin Race for a fleet of mostly doublehanders- due to light airs the course was shortened to just 72.0nm. Out in the Great Lakes, the Little Traverse YC held their annual “finale” for the twin Mac Race fleets, sailing were one-design classes of J/70 and J/105s and also a fleet of J/PHRF racers. Out West, it was a sad, but joyous ending, to the final Whidbey Island Race Week ever. Dozens of J/sailors in one-design classes of J/80s, J/105s, and J/PHRF sailors enjoyed a spectacular three days of sailing. Finally, the Santa Barbara YC and King Harbor YC hosted their annual 81.0nm Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, leaving the craggy, tall Anacapa Island to port as their only mark of the race course; J/crews collected an enormous haul of silver for their trophy rooms!

J/121 Darkwood- winner RORC Channel Race winners 
J/121 DARKWOOD Triumphs in RORC Channel Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Seventy-seven boats competed in the 2019 Royal Ocean Racing Club Channel Race. The international fleet experienced a variety of conditions and wind angles, testing boat handling and tactical skills.

Perhaps the surprise overall winner, from a fleet including many professional racing teams, was the J/121 DARKWOOD owned by Irishman Michael O'Donnell. O'Donnell last competed in the Channel Race in the 1983 Admiral's Cup, as a 15-year old nipper. His J/121 DARKWOOD was only launched this year, and four of the crew including Michael, race in the classic Solent-based XOD Class. DARKWOOD is very much a team of friends and family and will be competing in next month's Rolex Fastnet Race.

“I was basically a rope-puller on big boats such as Mike Slade's LEOPARD, but I have learnt a huge amount in the XOD Class, especially from Steve Lawrence and Alistair Shaw who are part of the DARKWOOD team,” commented O'Donnell. “We are pretty good at getting off the start line, but I have not done any offshore racing since 2013. I am glad that the RORC make us do the qualifying races before the Fastnet; you learn so much about the boat and how to sail together as a team. We made a lot of sail-changes especially during the night, which was hard work with just five on board. Rosie (O'Donnell’s wife) did a great job in the pit, and Jamie (Holmes) impressed on the bow. We are thrilled to have won the race, but we have a long way to go, I am sure that the wily teams in the Fastnet are not quaking in their boots just yet!”

More good news for J/Aficionados!  The win in IRC Two went to Yves Grosjean's French J/133 JIVARO! “This result is very encouraging, as it has been an effort to get JIVARO back to the Solent to compete for the Fastnet,” commented Grosjean. “After the Channel Race, the team is in the right mood, we have great anticipation for the big race to come. At the start of the Channel Race, we were the only boat in our start to go inshore at the Squadron Line. It paid off as we led our class out of the Solent. Inshore after the Needles Fairway Buoy avoiding the worst of the tide worked well, and we had a good lead at the virtual mark. After that it was all about fighting to maintain our lead, but the big wind shift towards the end of the race was a nerve-racking moment, as we saw the JPK 11.80 Sunrise catch up, but we held on to win!”

Notably in IRC Two, sailing well was Andy Middleton & Alex Fisher’s J/120 SUNSET, taking 6th in class and David Richards’ J/122 JOLLY JELLYFISH finishing in 8th.

The next race of the RORC Season's Points Championship will be the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race. The race village on Cowes Parade will be open from 1100 BST on Thursday 1st August. The 48th edition of the epic offshore race, the Rolex Fastnet Race, will start on Saturday 3rd August from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line in Cowes.  For more RORC Channel Race sailing information

J/24 winners- Seabags Women's Sailing Team 
Dramatic Finales @ Marblehead NOOD Regatta
(Marblehead, MA)- The 2019 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta at Marblehead Race Week took place this past week in Marblehead, MA, July 25 to 28. Boston Yacht Club hosted more than 150 teams across 14 fleets. J/One-Design classes included J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/105s. Here are the daily reports on what took place amongst the J/crews.

Day One
Light winds and shifting currents had teams battling for top honors and a chance to earn a trip to the British Virgin Islands in late October for the NOOD Caribbean Championship sponsored by Sunsail.

Erica Beck Spencer helmed her boat SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM to a pair of bullets to lead the J/24 fleet after the first day of racing. “Jess Harris and I put the team together after the 2014 Worlds in Newport, RI, where we were frustrated to only see two all-female teams competing,” says Beck Spencer (Portland, ME). “It’s been such a great journey for us, and being sponsored by Seabags makes it all possible.”

Four crew members aboard the SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM are from Maine. They are in their fifth season sailing together and aim to peak at the J/24 World Championships in Miami later this year.

“There was a moment today when we realized how much we’ve learned,” says tactician Hilary Noble (Newport, RI). “We take something away from each race, which is why we love the sport and love sailing with each other.”

Bill Zartler (Houston, TX) and his crew lead the J/105 fleet with a pair of wins of their own. With a veteran team, it’s easy to come out swinging on the first day of an important event. “Our team has been sailing together on and off for 15 years in a bunch of different boats,” says Zartler. “We’re all good friends who’ve been sailing together for a long time.”

Zartler and crew are preparing for the J/105 North Americans in Marblehead in September. Sailing in the NOOD will prepare them for the unique winds and challenging current this sailing area is known for.

“Today we had light air, but it was pretty steady,” Zartler says. “There was current, but it wasn’t as bad as Annapolis [Maryland], where you get it in a bunch of different directions. The wind went right all day, but it still paid to be on the left side of the competition, so we were kind of scratching our heads about that one.”

Zartler has been sailing in the NOOD Regatta series since the early 1990s, and competed in the Annapolis NOOD in early May. “It’s great competition out here,” says Zartler. “The first three boats are just a couple of points apart so it’s going to be tight racing. Hopefully we get a little more breeze out there tomorrow.”
J/24 women's team
Day Two
Three additional fleets joined the racing to bring the total number of fleets competing to 13. With stronger winds and a rolling sea-state, competitors had to work harder to earn top finishes.

Joel Ronning (Excelsior, MN) leads the J/70 fleet on CATAPULT. This particular J/70 fleet includes three past world champions, including Peter Duncan, Jud Smith, and Ronning. “There’s a lot of good sailors out here,” says Ronning. “It isn’t the biggest fleet, but the quality of racing is outstanding. These boats are so dynamic, and our team is getting to the point where things happen automatically.”

Ronning is supported by a veteran crew that continues to strive for excellence. The CATAPULT team is using this weekend’s NOOD Regatta to train for the J/70 World Championship in Torquay, UK, in late August. “We’ve boiled down our communication onboard to the point where everyone knows what the guy next to them is thinking,” says Ronning. “Since we’ve been sailing with each other for so long, the vibe onboard is great. There’s a lot of good banter, that’s for sure.”

In today’s more challenging conditions, Ronning kept his sails powered up to get through the steep chop. Once he got his boat moving fast, he was able to focus on positioning his boat on the crowded racecourse. “Whenever we were in doubt,” says Ronning, “we put the bow down and just went faster.”

In the J/80 fleet, Sam Cushing (Newport, RI) leads Brian Gibbs (Rowley, MA) by 2 points. “This is our second year sailing together,” says Cushing. “Our whole crew sailed at the University of Rhode Island together, and after graduation we decided to partner on a boat.”

Cushing and crew have since undertaken a full restoration of their hull, which was the third boat built when production began in 1992. “It’s been quite the process putting the boat together, but we just completed most of the major repairs and now we have new sails, which has helped a lot.”

Day Three
The final day reached a dramatic conclusion across multiple fleets. With lighter winds and a strong cross-course current, the opportunity for both gains and losses presented trying circumstances for hundreds of one-design sailboat racers.

The J/70 fleet saw a stacked leaderboard, with three past world-champions in contention on the final day. After three final races, Peter Duncan emerged victorious with his team on RELATIVE OBSCURITY. “There were four or five boats that could have won this event,” says Duncan, “so we were really happy to come out on top.”

After suffering a bad result early in the regatta, Duncan and team put together an outstanding score sheet for the final two days of the event, never finishing out of the top three. “It’s awesome coming here to Marblehead,” Duncan says. “Having the NOOD as part of Marblehead Race Week is a great thing. The hospitality here is always superb, and the racing is top-notch, especially when there’s wind.”

Duncan has been sailing with crew Willem Van Waay for the last couple of seasons, but this year, he added heavy-hitters, Will Felder and Bill Hardesty to the lineup. “This was a really important regatta for us leading to the J/70 Worlds in September,” says Duncan. “There isn’t much on the J/70 schedule in August, so our goal was to get out and compete against some stiff competition. With the talent in this fleet, we were obviously able to achieve that.”

Rounding out the podium was Ronning’s CATAPULT in second and John & Molly Baxter’s VINEYARD VINES in third.

One of the most dramatic storylines of the day came out of the J/105 fleet, where Bruce Stone (San Francisco, CA) and Bill Zartler (Houston, TX) were tied going into the final race. Stone and his wife, Nicole Breault, are both match-racing veterans. However, they opted to start clean and sail fast in order to beat their competition, a strategy that ultimately paid off. Zartler ended up in foul trouble with another boat, resulting in him being disqualified from the day’s second race.

Stone’s win at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta at Marblehead Race Week is part of a larger rivalry between the two boats. Stone edged out Zartler at the J/105 North Americans in Harbor Springs, MI, last year, so Zartler will be looking for revenge at the North Americans in September in Marblehead. “The boys from Texas always sail well,” says Stone. “We were happy to come away with the championship this time, but we know we haven’t seen the last of those guys.”

Behind Stone’s GOOD TRADE in first, was Ken Horne’s FINAL FINAL, sneaking into the silver after Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO crew had to count a 16th in the last race.

In the J/24s, Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM took the win for the all-women’s team. Second was Martin Gallagher’s SHIFTY took the silver, while John Wells’ SHELDON J took the bronze.

Things changed around a bit in the J/80 class. Winning was Sam Cushing’s THE PARTY TREE, followed by Brian Gibbs’ BLIND FITH just one point back. Rounding out the podium in the bronze position was Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER.  For more Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/46 sailing off Camden, Maine 
Ten J/46s Celebrate Rendezvous In Maine
(Camden, Maine)- Ten J/46s enjoyed a fabulous rendezvous July 25 to 27 as part of the Camden Classics Cup in the absolutely stunningly beautiful harbor of Camden, Maine.

Instead of enduring the high density, five deep raft up at Lyman Morse Wayfarer for the Classics Regatta, all of the visiting J/46s took over the nearby Town of Camden dock and slips for their own private J/Community. 

The secret sauce for this event was for any J/46 to cruise into Camden and be able to race competitively without going into “race mode”. No spinnakers, Max 100% jib, dodgers up, anchor and chain on the bow. Most boats had their bimini up, a grill on the rail and here and there, an outboard to round out the cruise attitude. Whisker poles, electric winches, auto pilots, canine crew were all permitted and encouraged.  Deep keel boats owed shoal keel boats 9 seconds a mile.
J/46s at Camden Marina, Maine
While the prospect of 120 tons of J/46s converging at the start sounds daunting, everyone behaved nicely and on the water, where the action was close and very exciting (think ten 46 foot Lasers). Friendships were still strong at the end of each day.

Friday’s race was in a sparkling 15 to 20 knot sea breeze. On the weather leg, the local knowledge went left and the smart money went right, and the smart money was in the lead with Scott Miller’s RESOLUTE leading the way.  At the finish, it was RESOLUTE (deep keel) first by 14 seconds over Bernie Coyne’s MYSTIC ROSE (shoal) with Jay Nolan’s AKAI (deep) third.
J/46 sailing fast cruising mode in Camden, Maine
Saturday was another cracking good sea breeze day and more very close racing, on a course that saw a tight fleet maneuvering through the beautiful islands of Penobscot Bay.  RESOLUTE, AKAI and Jeremy Fletcher’s THISTLE (shoal) led a tightly bunched fleet around the weather mark. At the end of a ten-mile run leaving 700 Acre Island to port and Dark Harbor to starboard, it was THISTLE and Tom Babbitt’s BRAVO (shoal) nearly overlapped for the lead with AKAI. RESOLUTE and the rest of the fleet were just boat lengths behind. At the finish, it was THISTLE (shoal), AJKAI (deep) and BRAVO (shoal) edging RESOLUTE off the podium by 13 seconds.

Overall, RESOLUTE took the honors on a tie breaker over AKAI with MYSTIC ROSE third.

How much fun was the sailing?  Well five of the J/46s have committed to race singlehanded on August 25th in Camden! Mark your calendar for next year’s event July 23 - 25 2020!  Learn more about the versatile J/46 offshore cruiser here.

J/109s sailing Whidbey Island Race Week 
Glorious Whidbey Island Race Week
(Oak Harbor, WA)- After nearly four decades, Whidbey Island Race Week delivered one of the nicest three days of sailing the Pacific Northwest has seen for awhile- three straight days of sun and breeze. This year’s event has attracted a fleet of sixty-one boats; twenty-eight of them are J/Crews- 46% of the regatta! There were one-design classes for J/80s and J/105s, with the rest sailing in various PHRF handicap classes. Here are the reports from those three glorious days of sailing.
Whidbey Island seals relaxing
Day One
Just two days before “the Whidbey” started, the weather did not look so promising. However, the first day of the 37th edition off Oak Harbor made for many happy memories before the fleet moves over to Point Roberts for the 2020 race week edition.

After an opening evening of renewing cross-border friendships, while dancing to live music on the lawn of the Oak Harbor Yacht Club, and a night of crispy winds and an unexpected rainfall, Charley Rathkopf’s Race Committee led the fleet of 61 US and Canadian boats south into what most sailors were hoping was the last day of an unusually cool and cloudy July.

The two one-design classes of J/105s and J/80s and J/PHRF sailors enjoyed the day’s courses that tested the crews’ fortitude and patience thanks to dying breezes and a 10-foot tidal exchange. Wednesday’s uncertain waters and wind caused skippers to greet the week with conservative starts and no “over-earlies”. The J/109 Lodos reveled in Wednesday’s southerly breeze though rued the calm waters that ensued as the wind slowly achingly and shifted to the west before finally evaporating for the day.
J/105s sailing Whidbey Island Race Week
Day Two
What better way to stave off Saturday’s inevitable tears with a fun-filled blast from the past. Thursday’s 1980’s Reggae theme brought out a colorful cacophony of garb, from retro polo’s to tie-dye tees, plus boom boxes and wigs galore, including mullets, fro’s and dreadlocks. Even the weather seemed to join in and add to the light-hearted mood of the day.

Under intensely blue and cloudless skies, the cool morning soon grew into a warm afternoon. And right on schedule, Penn Cove’s forecasted westerly filled in by the “noon o’clock” first gun.

With a waning flood, most of the day’s first of three starts had at least one OCS. But, that minor inconvenience didn’t seem to deter some of those who were a bit too hasty to take a bite out of the on-course side.

Stuart Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY, for example, turned their OCS, and a subsequent foul plus 360, into a tactical advantage and maneuvered to a third place finish, showing that a solid background of hard-earned experience can turn a negative into a positive.

Others weren’t as fortunate. For example, Buckey’s J/105 INSUBORDINATION managed to make contact with the committee boat’s fenders at the start. After that, and a series of other unfortunate events, they retired from the day’s third and final race, skulking back to the Oak Harbor marina with their tail between their legs and a whopping 12 points added to their score card.

Regardless, if Charley and his committee can pull out more multiple-race days like Thursday’s, INSUBORDINATION may be able to throw out that last-place finish. It’s not inconceivable that they’ll make a comeback, as they have several race week veterans, and winners, aboard, including Pat Denny (owner) and Gary Harr (skipper) of that infamous black boat- the J/29 HERE & NOW.

Mike Kalahar’s Port Angeles-based LITONYA darted around the course on Thursday to earn another bullet in the wily J/80 class.

No strangers to race week, John Aitcheson and his veteran crew aboard the J/105 MOOSE UNKNOWN took home first place honors for Thursday’s three races with two bullets and a second. With just 5 points going into Friday’s racing, they are poised to take home the overall trophy. It’s just the halfway point of the regatta. However, the J/105 fleet is one of the most hotly contested one-design classes on the Salish Sea, so they’ll have to fight hard to keep their lead.
J/90 sailing Whidbey Island Race Week- Mount Baker in background
Day Three
The bovine aroma off Blowers Bluff signaled the arrival of a solid westerly breeze (a bit like Mackinac Island’s famous aroma of fudge and horse manure wafting across the Straits!). On such a day, the air becomes very clear with no haze on the horizon. One crew excitedly announced, “the mountain is out!” While passing through the channel from Oak Harbor into Saratoga Passage, she was exclaiming that Mt. Baker had emerged over the eastern horizon.

Knowing with confidence that if that marine layer burns off over the Straits beyond Penn Cove’s west head, the breeze will indeed fill in nicely. As a result, that meant the smart money would try port tacking the fleet to hitch the elevator ride up the cove to finish line at North Beach. For that final leg, sailors were salivating, anticipating getting to Coupeville’s Red Barn, the garlic shrimp, and ice cream at Kapaw’s. Others, of course, were wishing there was more time for beer and fish’n’ chips at Toby’s.

Jerry Diercks’ crew on DELIRIUM was maybe a bit delirious in the beginning of the regatta, starting off quite slowly with a 3-4-8 tally in the eleven-boat J/105 class. However, in the next six races they came on strong like a locomotive gathering steam downhill, smoking the closely-fought class with three 1sts, two 2nds and a 3rd to win with 17 net pts after a single discard.  Second was Chris Phoenix’s JADED with 20 pts. Then, just two points back doing the “reverse fade” of the DELIRIUM tally was John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN, a fun-loving Canadian crew. While the “Mooser’s” opened up with a stunning three bullets in a row, they slowly faded to black, closing the regatta with a 5-3-5-8 in their last four races to drop down to the bronze medal. The balance of the top five included Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE in 4th and Buckey’s INSUBORDINATION in 5th place.
J/80s sailing Whidbey Island Race Week
Never looking back after day one in the seven-boat J/80 class was David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL. After leading day one, Schutte’s crew keep up the pressure on the fleet and won with just 12 pts net, counting only podium finishes in their scoreline that included five 1sts! Second was Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN and third place was earned by Mike Kalahar’s LITONYA.

The six-boat PHRF 1 Class saw Bruce Chan’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II take the silver, missing the gold by a mere point.  Then, in PHRF 2 class, David & Vernice Cohen’s J/90 EYE EYE took the bronze. Rounding out the top five were Stu Burnell’s J/109 TANTIVY in 4th an Brian White’s J/35 GRACE E in 5th position. Two other J/109s finished behind them, with Tolga Cezik’s LODOS in 6th and Mike Campbell’s LAPA in 7th. In PHRF 3 class, it was Stephanie Arnold’s J/33 DASH that took 4th place. Finally, in PHRF 5 class, Christine Nelson’s J/29 SLICK took the silver.  For more Whidbey Island Race Week sailing information

J/109 sailing offshoreChallenging Light Air Test @ Edgartown
(Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)— Light air became a challenge for racers and organizers at this year’s Edgartown Race Weekend hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club, but the show went on for all to enjoy on Martha’s Vineyard.

The event’s most illustrious of three events– the 56-mile ’Round-the-Island (RTI) race that has been a New England racing tradition for 81 years now– started Saturday, July 27 in “triple-naught” to “whispers” of breeze.  Without making much progress in the first few hours, the EYC Race Committee wisely elected to shorten course on the south side of the island for two-thirds of the fleet. Those boats completed a 25-mile course, while another nine boats sailed for 45 miles to finish near West Chop.
J/105 sailing Edgartown Race Week
For this year’s ’RTI race, there were 42 boats in eight classes, two of which were non-spinnaker. Twelve boats opted for the ’Round-the-Sound (’RTS) race, the third component of Edgartown Race Weekend and an option for those wanting a shorter course. While last year this fleet’s course was 18 miles, this year it was 11.

“We had three courses from which to choose, and that worked out well that we could opt for a shorter one based on the wind conditions,” said Race Chairman Bob Hurst. “The ’Round-the-Sound sailors started 15 minutes after the last start of the ’Round-the-Island race on Saturday, and the first boats finished the course in a little over three hours.”

Edgartown Race Weekend’s ’RTI/’RTS and ’RTB races are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class. Sailors enjoyed a Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 26) and awards for the ’RTB on Friday afternoon and the ’RTI and ’RTS on Sunday morning (July 28).
J/122 Moxiee sailing Edgartown
Sailing in the Round the Buoys Races, winning PHRF B Division was Dan Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE.  In PHRF C Division, the two J/105s- Matt Schmitt’s HARDTACK & the trio of Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner on DARK’N’STORMY- finished second and third, respectively.

For the Round the Island race, leading a clean sweep of the podium and winning PHRF 2 Division was Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0 (below) with a corrected time of 8:15:26! Wow, that was a long race!  Second was Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES and taking third place was Jonathan Burt’s J/130 LOLA! Finishing in 5th position was Eliot Shanabrook’s J/109  HAFA ADAI.
J/111 Wicked 2.0 winning Edgartown Round Island Race
Winning PHRF C Division in the RTI race was Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA with Phillip Stathos’s J/110 AIRBENDER taking third place.

In the PHRF “white sails” division, Alan Fougere’s J/160 AVATAR took the bronze, while Kent Nicholas’ J/42 PANASEA placed 5th.

Finally, in the Round the Sound Races, winning the J/70 class was Veronica Lundgren’s GHOST. Second was Anthony Giordano’s TONIC and third went to JP Bretl’s SEAHAWK. In the PHRF 2 Division, winning was Daniel Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE.  Sailing photo credits- Stephen Cloutier/ BlockIslandSteve. For more Edgartown Race Week sailing information

J/125 Warrior sailing Santa Barbara to King Harbor RaceJ/Teams Win Silver in Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race!
(Santa Barbara, CA)- According to the winning skipper of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, “it was a great race, good breeze in the high teens, low 20’s, nice little waves to jump on, finishing the 81 mile race in a tad over 9 hours… we stayed slightly outside to King Harbor, stayed in pressure the entire 50 mile leg, got headed in perfectly and suddenly found ourselves atop the podium overall by a mere 22 seconds! Wow, what a thrilling finish!”

The Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is a distance race spanning 81.0nm and has been a tradition for Santa Barbara and King Harbor sailors for 47 years. Seventy boats sailed the 2019 edition, of which 23% (16) are J/Teams.

The SB-KH is a deceptively simple race, since the tactics are pretty well understood by most teams. From the start line, sailing in a building northwesterly seabreeze, it is a straight shot on starboard tack to the bottom of the Channel Islands, with either Code Zeros or reaching spinnakers. The one and only turning mark is Anacapa Island, left to port.  The principal issue is getting around the wind shadow of Anacapa before gybing and dashing off on port tack under spinnakers towards the infamous Point Dume (a.k.a. sometimes Pt Doom!) in the glittery, fashionable village of Malibu, CA. The reason why that strategy works is that late afternoon winds from the NW are significantly accelerated around that point due to the fact the seabreeze is getting sucked into the entire Los Angeles Basin (all pavement, black roofs, and desert mountains off to the east! Upon reaching Point Dume, most boats gybe back onto starboard tack and head for the finish line at the opening to King Harbor in Redondo Beach, just north of the gorgeous Palos Verdes peninsula.

As described above by the winning skipper overall, it was a “textbook” race. The most significant  question was- “when do we gybe under Anacapa Island to avoid the wind cone and make the dash for Point Dume?” The gamblers that are willing to throw the dice and “go for it” gybe early and try to take an inside line underneath the island. But, there can be enormous holes that develop where boats have parked for hours and disappeared behind the fleet. The more conservative approach is to continue offshore on starboard until well clear of the dreaded “wind cone”, then gybe onto port and head for the vicinity of Point Dume and the stronger, greatly accelerated winds curving around the giant bluff.

In the end, it was Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s J/125 WARRIOR that nearly pulled off a perfect race on a perfect day of sailing. With breeze-on at the starting line, the smaller, faster, planing boats have a distinct advantage, as it’s a spinnaker reach to the 4.0nm gap between Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island. The big boats have to chase them down and hope the smaller boats don’t navigate the Anacapa “gap/ cone” scenario well! Dr Laura’s veteran crew on WARRIOR sailed fast, completing the 81.0nm course in 8:13:48. That was good enough for first in ULDB B Class, but 22 seconds shy of PHRF Overall honors!

It was ULDB C Class that “cleaned” up overall. Three J/111s finished 3rd to 5th in class, with Kenny Kieding & John Vincent’s ARGO 3 leading the way, followed by Bernie Girod’s ROCK & ROLL just one minute behind and Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s PICOSA just 30 seconds behind them! That was a very tight three-way battle between very well-sailed J/111s.

PHRF A Class saw two J/crews on the podium.  Second was Scott Torrance’s J/124 FORGIVENESS, followed in third by Tom & Terri Manok’s J/120 POLE DANCER.

Similarly, in PHRF B Class, Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR took the silver.  The J/105s occupied most of the top spots in PHRF C Class. Second was Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN, followed in third by Tom Bollay’s ARMIDA, fourth was Chuck Spear’s TWELVE BAR BLUES. Then, rounding out the top five as Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT.

A total of seven awards were handed out to happy J/Owners in the fleet of 69 keelboats in 9 PHRF racing classes- that’s one-quarter of all podium silverware!  For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information

Ugotta Regata pancake breakfast 
Fabulous Fun @ Ugotta Regatta
(Harbor Springs, MI)- The Little Traverse Yacht Club hosted its 59th Annual “Ugotta Regatta” this past weekend. The event went from Friday, July 26th and ran through Sunday, July 28th. Start times were at 12:00 pm daily. Most one-design fleets enjoyed three days of windward-leeward racing, while the rest of the Divisions sailed the traditional “Tour of the Bay” races Saturday and Sunday.

The one-design fleets on Friday included J/70s and J/105s. The largest Fleet with nineteen-boats competing was the J/70 Fleet. Nine of the 19 J/70’s registered were local boats hailing from Little Traverse YC. Many J/70’s used the Regatta as a tune-up race as they will be back competing in the J/70 Corinthian National Championships hosted by LTYC from August 8th to 11th. Currently there are 43 J/70’s signed up for this major amateur championship event.

J/70s sailing Ugotta RegattaThe J/70’s continued with one-design, windward-leeward racing Saturday and Sunday. The J/105’s joined the rest of the divisions and raced the traditional and ever popular “Tour of the Bay” race format on Saturday and Sunday. This was a combination of windward-leeward legs, and reaching legs using the fixed racing buoys located around Little Traverse Bay.

After three days of racing in the J/70 class, winning was Ryan McKillen’s SURGE with an amazing scoreline of all podium finishes- five 1sts and a 2-3 in seven races counted- to win with 10 pts. Despite their dominating performance, it was a three-way battle between three Corinthians teams for the balance of the podium. Winning the Corinthians and taking the silver on a tie-breaker at 33 pts each was Scott Seller’s TRES BURRITOS. Losing the countback and taking the bronze was Jake Christy’s PALE HORSE. Fourth just four points back was Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH and fifth place went to John Evans’ AIRPLANE.

In the PHRF A Class, sweeping the top two spots were J/111s.  Winning was Brad Faber’s UTAH, followed by Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE.

Finally, in PHRF B Class, Mark Symonds’ J/105 PTERODACTYL achieved the “impossible dream”- to podium in all three major offshore events of the “Mac Race Trifecta” (Chicago, Bayview, Harbor Springs). PTERODACTYL won their first race, but took 5th in the second “bay tour” to take the bronze, just 2 pts off first place. An amazing achievement and “congratulations” to his weary crew!

“In all there were 81 boats competing, making it exciting to watch from on the water or around the shoreline of Little Traverse Bay. This Regatta featured boats from 23 to 70 feet in length, all competing for line honors and bragging rights” said Tom Trautman, Vice Commodore and Chairman of the 59th Annual LTYC Regatta. “It was once again a fabulous three days of sailing for the sailors. Mother Nature didn’t disappoint and we had varying wind conditions all three days to challenge the sailors and keep them on their toes” said Trautman. “There were 8 classes competing on 2 circles and a lot of close sailing. There were a few classes where it came down to the final race on the final day to decide the winner”.
J/Flag as band back drop
The Regatta brings to Harbor Springs hundreds of crew members, their families, and friends from across the Midwest and beyond. The town was bustling and the shops and restaurants were busy entertaining our guests. With a noon starting time each day, it gave everyone time in the morning to explore the town of Harbor Springs and get their boats prepped for the afternoon. It also gave everyone time to enjoy the Little Traverse Sailors Famous Pancake Breakfast! On both Saturday and Sunday morning from 8:00 to 11:00 am, the Yacht Club hosted the LTS Pancake Breakfast. This was an important fundraiser for the LTS program and was open to the racers and the public alike. LTS reported a record year in pancake sales and wanted to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the pancakes and support their program.

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

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

J/121 sailing New England Solo-Twin Race 
Slow New England Solo-Twin Race
(Newport, RI)- Newport Yacht Club held their annual New England Solo-Twin Race, on Friday, July 26th.  The Newport YC PRO wisely shortened course quite dramatically for the fleet, as the prognostication for breeze was depressing, at best! SE swinging SW 3-8 kts max offshore.  Course C (77.2nm long) was picked in the hopes most of the fleet would finish within 24 hours! Even then, the fastest boats covered the course in just over 13 hours, fighting the notorious currents swirling around Block Island and Rhode Island Sound- that’s a 6.0 kts average for the fastest boat!
J/121 sailing New England Solo-Twin Race
The fleet started off in absolutely idyllic weather conditions- ESE breeze of 6-10 kts, sunny, cloudless sky.  The sailors were treated to music wafting across the harbor from the Newport Folk Festival that was "live" at the end of Fort Adams.  Several J/Crews participated in the doublehanded divisions.  In PHRF 1 Spin class, David Southwell’s J/121 ALCHEMY won the First-to-Finish Award and on handicap took 2nd in class. The J/121 was the fastest elapsed time at 12:58:25.

In the PHRF 2 Spinnaker class, Paul Grimes’ J/35 BREAKAWAY took the silver while Bill Kneller’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE won the bronze.  Taking fourth was Kevin Dakan’s J/110 MEMORY.  The J/35 was 2nd overall and the J/109 4th overall.  For more New England Solo-Twin Race sailing information

German J/70s sailing offshorePAINT IT BLACK Crowned German J/70 National Champion
(Travemunde, Germany)- During last week’s Travemunde Race Week in Travemunde, Germany, the German J/70 Class hosted their National Championship for a fleet of thirty-one teams from across Germany.  The regatta PRO managed to run eleven races over the course of four days.

Winning the regatta in a very close battle for the top of the podium was Michel Grau’s PAINT IT BLACK team from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein that consisted of Florian Thoelen, Malte Pasler, David Chapman, and Juliane Adelssen. Taking the silver just two points back was Sergei Dobrovolskii’s AMAIZ.COM Sailing Team from Cyprus Sailing Club. Third was Bjorn Beilken’s PROCEDES DIVA from SDWB sailing club in Bremen, Germany.  For more German J/70 National Championship sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:
Aug 2-4- Buzzards Bay Race Week- New Bedford, MA
Aug 3- Rolex Fastnet Race- Cowes, England
Aug 8-11- J/Fest New England- Newport, RI
Aug 9-11- J/105 East Coast Championship- Newport, RI
Aug 9-11- Verve Offshore Cup- Chicago, IL
Aug 10-17- Cowes Race Week- Cowes, England
Aug 10-18- Nantucket Race Week- Nantucket, MA
Aug 14-16- Surfin’ Safari Regatta- Corpus Christi, TX
Aug 15-18- SAILING Champions League- St. Moritz, Switzerland
Aug 17-24- AUDI Hamilton Race Week- Hamilton Island, Australia
Aug 17- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
Aug 20-24- J/109 North American Championship- South Dartmouth, MA
Aug 20-23- J/111 World Championship- Chicago, IL
Aug 21-25- J/24 USA Nationals- Rochester, NY
Aug 23-25- Irish J/24 Nationals- Lough Erne, Ireland
Aug 23-25- Ted Hood Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 23-25- Verve Inshore Cup- Chicago, IL
Aug 24-26- J/80 U.K. Nationals- Lymington, England
Aug 30- Sep 6- J/70 World Championship- Torquay, Devon, England
Aug 30- The Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
Sep 4-8- J/105 North American Championship- Marblehead, MA
Sep 12-15- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA

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

Rolex Fastnet Race start 
Rolex Fastnet Race Preview
(Cowes, England)- For the previous four editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the elation of overall victory has been enjoyed by a team racing a yacht in the 35 to 42 foot range. In the 2013 and 2015 editions of the 605.0nm offshore race, the top three boats overall came from IRC Three and Four. This year, currently 340 teams will race under IRC for the overall win and over half of them will be competing in IRC Three and Four. The vast majority of the 3,000-strong competitors in the 400-boat fleet are passionate amateurs, racing on a huge variety of boats, with 88 different designs found in these two classes. A majority of the J/Teams participating in the race are in the IRC Two, Three, and Four classes.

For all of those J/Crews, the big decision everyone has been strategizing for the past week is weather routing decisions up and down the track.

Whether to go inshore or offshore, how long will it take, will it be a ‘big boat or small boat’ race, how to handle the powerful tides and will I need an anchor and an umbrella?

The answers for this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race are profoundly different according to whether you are on an monster 130 ft trimaran or one of the vast armada of J/109s.

In essence, the forecast for this year’s race is starting Saturday at the beginning of the ebb tide in an unusual southeasterly breeze (rather than upwind in the normal prevailing southwesterly).
Fastnet Race weather routing
According to Rolex Fastnet Race meteorologist Libby Greenhalgh, overnight for the leaders, or well into Sunday for the tail-enders, the crews will have to negotiate a “transition zone” that will see the wind drop before filling in from the southwest, a scenario that may benefit being north (in search of thermal breeze close to the coast) or offshore and south (to get to the new gradient pressure first), as always, also dependent on the state of the tide.

“Faster boats will tend to dig further south towards the Casquets TSS (Transportation Separation Scheme- a ‘no-go’ zone) and will be the most southerly,” continues Greenhalgh. “For everyone else it will be of more rhumb line or just south of the rhumb line route.”

In a “typical” Fastnet Race, the choice between going west or east of the TSS off Land’s End is significant. However, earlier in the week the only way to go was west, maintained Greenhalgh. However, this has since changed with the easterly route opening up for the slower boats.

The good news is that after this the scenario becomes more straightforward with a reach across the Celtic Sea to the Fastnet Rock and back to the Scilly Isles, in southwesterly or WSWerly winds and in pressure that will vary between 15-25 knots according to the timing. At present, it seems very unclear if the overall prize will go to the smallest boat in the race, which will get held up least in the transition zone or one of the bigger boats.

One IRC Doublehanded navigator, Henry Bomby, had some thoughtful perspectives on race strategy. “I did quite a bit of pre-race analysis and whenever an IRC Three or Four boat does well it is because they just make it through the tidal gate at Portland Bill,” says Bomby. “Normally you are upwind through there, but we’ll be straight line sailing. There appears to be more wind in the south where the transition is also shorter, but then you end up more upwind anyway. So, our route will take us quite close to the Casquets and we’ll be offshore for the transition, then tacking and getting lifted.

After the transition, we’ll be fully upwind, pointing at Penzance, but then eventually getting lifted. That will be quite a tricky thing– when you start getting the new breeze filling in. The more west you get, the quicker you’ll get through it, but the chance of sailing extra miles because you overlay is quite high. That will be a critical part of the race. For boats in this size range the crossing of the Celtic Sea will still be a reach but in a more moderate 12-14 knots, routing suggests a time of 3 days 12 hours.”
J/121 sailing offshore with triple-slots
IRC One Division
The massive 64-boat IRC One fleet has boats that range from the high-rating boats of custom Ker 46 to low-raters of a First 40- a pretty extreme range. As the lower-rating boats, the trio of J/121s will certainly enjoy the challenges associated with the current weather forecasts as outlined above with winds forcing sailing a variety of sailing angles. Those three 121s include the recent Class and Overall Winner of the recent RORC Channel Race- Mike O’Donnell’s Irish team on DARKWOOD. Joining them to press their class hard will be Nick Angel’s ROCK LOBSTER and Andrew & Sam Hall’s JACKHAMMER.

J/122E AJETO sailing Fastnet RaceIRC Two Division
The 60-boat IRC Two class has a number of highly competitive J/Crews, all proven offshore champions in recent years.  For starters, there is the J/122E AJETO that is also qualified to sail in the IRC Doublehander class, she will be sailed by joint owner-skippers- Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre- from the Netherlands. The engineer and dentist from The Hague have been Dutch IRC champions four times, and were European J/111 champions in 2015 with a previous boat, Xcentric Ripper, with which they won class in the 2015 Fastnet. It's the fourth Fastnet for another the J/122 JUNIQUE RAYMARINE Sailing Team, especially adapted for shorthanded sailing and a proven performer in the hands of Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker who took 3rd in class at the 2018 Round Britain and Ireland race.

J/133 PINTIA sailing Fastnet RaceUp to the challenge will most certainly be the two J/133s from France- JIVARO and PINTIA.  Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine have sailed PINTIA to the RORC Overall Seasons Points Championship last year and are a contender again in 2019.  Plus, PINTIA has won and podiumed on a number of RORC season races criss-crossing southern England and the Channel over to France.  Yves Grosjean’s JIVARO has also podiumed in a number of French events like the SPI OUEST France Regatta in La Trinite sur Mer, France and winning IRC 1 Class in the Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race.

Four other J/122s are joining this incredibly talented group. Moving fast up the “tune-up/ training” program on the Solent and a few RORC offshore races have been Chris Daniel’s JUNO, Clive Miles’ JANGLE, Alain & Marie Catherineau’s LORELEI, and David Richards’ Russian team on JOLLY JELLYFISH.

Joining the battle are two J/111s- Sebastien de Liedekerke’s DJINN from Belgium and Simon Grier-Jones’ SNOW LEOPARD. Additionally, Andy Middleton & Alex Fisher’s J/120 SUNSET from the USA will be well-sailed by a veteran offshore team.

J/109s sailing Rolex Fastnet RaceIRC Three Division
A massive number of boats are sailing IRC Three class- eighty-five yachts on the starting line! 46 from Great Britain, 18 from France and also Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and the USA.

Sailing their hearts out off the start to gain early advantage will be Philippe Baetz’s J/112E MUSIX from France, Philippe Girardin’s J/120 HEY JUDE from France, and a veritable armada of J/109s.

Sixteen J/109s will be competing in IRC Three and IRC Four. The 35ft bowsprit design has its own prize, the J/109 RORC Trophy!! The leading J/109 for the RORC season is David McGough's JUST SO, overall winner of the 2019 Morgan Cup with 85 teams racing under IRC. JUST SO won the J/109 RORC Trophy in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race.

The British Armed Forces have a long history in the race and this year, four teams from Her Majesty's Armed Forces will be racing in the J/109 fleet. The RAF with RED ARROW, the Royal Naval with JOLLY JACK TAR, the Royal Engineers with TROJAN, and the Royal Armoured Corps with AJAX.

JOLLY JACK TAR’s skipper- Lt Tom Thicknesse RN- started yacht racing with the Royal Navy; this will be his second race, and first as skipper. "Whatever the weather, we are expecting a mentally and physically draining race that demands everything from the crew. We have our sights set on the Inter-Regimental Trophy for the best service yacht and aim to be in the top five J/109s overall," says Thicknesse. "Offshore sailing has been a key element of Royal Navy sport and adventurous training for many years as the mental and physical challenge gives the opportunity to develop the endurance, leadership, teamwork and courage of our crew. The race epitomizes this challenge," continued Thicknesse.

IRC Four Division
This giant 87-boat class not only has the aforementioned J/109s, it also has Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JUILETTE and Chris Miles & Mike Sellers’ J/97 HIGH JINKS.

IRC Doublehanded Division
Over the last few editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the IRC Doublehanded class has shown steady growth from 45 entries in 2013, to 53 in 2015, and 57 in in the last race. At the time of writing, 63 doublehanded competitors were entered this year.

Back again are the other podium placers from the IRC Doublehanded class in the last race, including Dutch aces Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre once again on AJETO. “We have more experience with the boat and her performance since the last Fastnet and we are really looking forward to another tough and good competition, especially after becoming Dutch Two-Handed champions for a fifth time in a row,” says van der Starre. “The RORC North Sea Race went very well for us, beating the famous Frenchman Gery Trentesaux with his new, IRC-optimized JPK 11.80 in IRC 2. We won both IRC and ORC Doublehanded Divisions!”

For Christopher Preston, sailing with Austrian yacht design student Felix Trattner on the J/109 JUBILEE, this will be his tenth Rolex Fastnet Race, but his first double-handed. “I did the Round Britain and Ireland non-stop in 2000 doublehanded and absolutely loved it,” he says. “It was a challenging and interesting race. I loved the combination of helming and tactics and organization.” Having sailed Jubilee fully crewed with his old Clipper crew in 2017, racing it doublehanded is something of a bucket list affair. Over the winter he and Trattner has been optimizing the J/109 for double-handing in terms of the sail set-up and internal ballasting.

The biggest competitors to these two top teams will be Revelman & Bakker’s J/122 JUNIQUE RAYMARINE Sailing Team, Kees Mijs’ J/109 ARETHUSA, Joppe Schepers & Jasper Heike’s J/109 JOMALIJA, Alistair Doughty’s J/109 JELENKO, David & William McGough’s J/109 JUST SO, Jerry Freeman’s J/105 JULIETTE, and the Miles/ Sellers duo on the J/97 HIGH JINKS. Not surprisingly, given the state-of-the-art in technology and boat-handling equipment in offshore double-handed racing, do NOT be surprised if a number of these experienced J/Duets produce good results!  For more Rolex Fastnet Race sailing information

J/80s sailing Buzzards Bay Race WeekBuzzards Bay Race Week Preview
(New Bedford, MA)- The 47th annual Buzzards Bay Regatta will be held both at the New Bedford Yacht Club and at Beverly Yacht Club and will be the largest BBR ever. It will feature fourteen handicap and one-design classes racing on seven circles. The sailing on Buzzards Bay features the most reliable summertime breeze anywhere on the East Coast, and this combined with warm water, warm air and warm shoreside hospitality make BBR a not to be missed event.

Loving those sailing conditions for years are entire generations of J/Boat sailors from across the range of sailing experience. Buzzards Bay can be very deceptive. Wake up to morning fog, calm, but a gently building breeze on a sunny day by 11am. By the time the races start late morning, the breeze from the WSW can easily be in the 8-12 kts range.  And, if there is an ebb tide in the building 15-25 kts WSW breezes, it can make for some of the most difficult “washing machine” chop/waves to sail in the world- a bit like the infamous Solent off Cowes, England- but it is an entire Bay that looks like that. Scary movies. Upwind sailing sucks for skippers since it seems you are only steering into constant vertical 4 ft walls of water.  However, downwind is a scream since the disorderly massive chop permits skilled drivers to simply dive from trough-to-trough-to-trough on an all-out plane for miles!

Loving those conditions is the local J/80 class. Top local crews include Peter D’Anjou’s LE TRIGRE, Greg Packard’s PLAN B, Dan Cooney’s AMERICAN PRAYER, Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER, Bill Snyder’s THE PARTY TREE, and Jack Gierhart’s AEGIR.

In the PHRF 1 Racing class are two J/122s (Jamey Shachoy’s AUGUST WEST & Jim Maseiro’s URSUS MARITIMUS), two J/120s (Mark Nannini’s SALACIA & Mark Verville’s ISURUS), and Corey Eaves’ J/109 FREEDOM.

Three J/105s are sailing in PHRF 2 Racing class, including Mary Schmitt’s HARDTACK, Mass Maritime’s BOUNTY, and Ed Lobo’s WATERWOLF. Joining them is Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST- a previous winner of the division. For more Buzzards Bay Regatta sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Falmouth Team Takes on Solent Rockstars and Win it all?  Incredibly, that was the case at the 2019 U.K. IRC National Championship when Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 BLACK DOG was crowned the 2019 U.K. IRC National Champions!
J/122 Black Dog sailing Solent
The IRC National Championship in Cowes, UK, attracted over 100 boats and twenty-two boats in IRC2, the most competitive  and hottest fleet in the regatta. Stuart Sawyer’s J/122 BLACK DOG scored four bullets in eight races to secure the IRC Performance 40 division win and the Overall IRC title by 15 points. Stuart has been racing with the same team for the better part of nine years, but this was their first time competing in the IRC Nationals. It was an idea that came to him after the Dartmouth Royal Regatta race last year, when Jeremy Smart was onboard calling tactics; “we may have a chance to do well if we keep this up,” Stuart realized.

“It was encouraging racing with Jeremy,” he told us a few days after the IRC Nationals victory. “That planted the seed—maybe this year, we should go a bit further and push ourselves. Jeremy was pleased with how the boat was running, and that was very encouraging. Believing in our boat, and our sails, was all the positivity we needed.”

Stuart was “over the moon” with his crew’s hard work over the course of the weekend, which required every bit of the team’s attention. He grew up racing dinghies with his brother Andrew and windsurfed professionally for many years. In 2007, after a hiatus, he came back to racing sailboats. “I’m a surfer at heart,” says Stuart. “So I like asymmetrical sailing, the A2 is great, you can play all the waves and soak better, it just suits my style of sailing.”
J/122 Black Dog- UK IRC National Champions
Stuart had a J/97 for three years, and after winning the Nationals, he upgraded to a J/111—where he also won the Vice Admirals Cup and National Championships in his third year. He says the J/122 is a “significantly stiffer boat,” with more displacement, and goes upwind very well. “It doesn’t plane like the J/111, but for a 40-footer it sure can surf and is responsive downwind. The best part about racing J boats is that the layout is mostly the same. The loads are greater as we increased our waterline, but we were able to quickly adapt and connect with the boat as a team.”

Stuart claimed the 2019 title with his long-time team of friends: Mainsail trimmer Garth Weaver, also known as “company secretary” as he handles all the logistics, Roger Ford in the pit, aka the Terrier for pushing everyone to hike harder and never let up; jib trimmer Josh Redgrave, who joined the team when he was 16 years old and now runs the boat; kite trimmer Jonathan ‘JB’ Barnicoat; Tom Redgrave (Josh’s brother), pit #2 for the Nationals and also covered navigation as normal navigator Simon Boote didn’t race; bow was run by Sandy Proctor, who has been sailing with Stuart for 11 years; mast Hans Wehmeyer; and mid-bow/grinder Jack Elsby. Two new crew also joined for the regatta: floater Ruby Dent [daughter of J/111 World Champion Martin Dent]; and tactician and North expert Shane Hughes.

“There is something special about sailing with friends,” says Stuart. “I think that’s why we’ve come so far and done so well over the years. The crew work was spot-on, and we know each other very well. When we get into the moments where we felt slow we are happy to change gears, if we have a bad start or there is an issue we are able to shout ‘reset!’, and everyone knew to work harder to improve boat speed.”

“One of our best moments last weekend was race 2 on the Saturday: we didn’t get off the line well, and we were buried at the start. We were outside the top 15 around the windward mark but we kept working at it, making huge gains on the downwind leg. Shane focused on keeping our air clear and the crew worked the boat really hard to keep fast and deep. We were able to get ourselves ahead of a pack and into a place where our tactician Shane had some freedom to make decisions, and we had a great second beat, a pulled out a 4th in that race. Being able to fight back helped us win overall.”

“It took a lot of time to get the rig right on our 11-year old boat, he adds. We put new rigging on the boat in 2017 when it was refurbished, but we weren’t happy with the set up. Dave Lenz then analyzed some photos and we went about a re-set before Dartmouth last year. I feel our settings now are good and we have found a sweet spot for performance”.
J/122 Black Dog sailing Solent
Shane Hughes says it was a pleasure to join this team. “The event went very well for us—better than expected in many ways. We had a lot to figure out, in a very short period. Stuart and the guys were great, very welcoming, and open to taking on a few new ideas and suggestions. The team (other than me) has been together for 9+ years, which makes them quite a cohesive unit. They sail the boat well and know how to get the most out of the boat. So it was easy to step in and add a little extra value to that.”

The effort that the team put in was impressive, Shane continues. “They wanted to get a good result at the event. The whole atmosphere on and off the water helped their performance. I have been lucky enough to sail with some great Cornish sailors in the past, and there is always plenty of banter flying around, which helps create a relaxed and inclusive team culture. There is a good mix of experienced, very keen, and talented younger guys too. It was a fun process and a successful regatta.”

After the regatta, the boat went home to Falmouth, where it will do some local sailing before competing in the Dartmouth Regatta later this summer. No Rolex Fastnet Race for this team! It’s summertime in “the West”, time to relax and chill!   Sailing photo credits- Paul Wyeth  Thanks for this contribution from North Sails U.K.

J/125 Hamachi winner Transpac Race
* Transpac 2019: How the race was won on the J/125 HAMACHI
Frederic Laffitte, President of marine supplier PYI Inc in the Pacific Northwest, shares how his team topped a fleet of 90 starters to win the 50th edition of the 2225 nm race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Here is his commentary with a lot of “lessons learned” for any offshore racer:

“Being the strategist on the overall winner, a 20 year boat with speed to burn, was a treat but involved a lot of prep work that at the end was all worth it.

We did not start this biennial race with the ambition to win it all but to at least beat the three other J/125s entered. Even if we did not have new sails (the youngest one was 4 years old), we did our homework and prepared the boat as well as could be.

Boat prep:
  • We went over all the mechanical and electronic systems.
  • Had brand new halyards and sheets made, taking special care regarding spin halyard chafe guards.
  • Went through any possible water ingress areas, plugged every holes, taped every seam in order to have a proper water management. The J/125 is a low freeboard, fast boat which results in a very wet ride at any wind over 15 knots, including downwind.
  • Tested all the sails and documented all the leads so there was no fumbling around after a sail change.
  • Found a location in the boat for every single item, in order to keep the mess to a minimum.
  • Serviced the rudder bearings.
Weather and routing prep:
  • Followed the weather evolution from two weeks prior the start.
  • Watched and studied Stan Honey’s briefing (see video).
  • During the race we conferred and discussed weather and routing endlessly.
Morning of the race:
  • After watching the latest weather we chose our sail selection for the race. This is always a tough one as we had to weigh the potential of a given sail versus its weight across the length of the race. We got lucky this trip and had on hand all the sails we needed, yet we did not carry any extra.
  • Worked out where we wanted to be on the race course for the first 300 miles or so.
The race:
  • We started in clean air and were lucky enough to almost clear the West End of Catalina Island in one shot. Our start (second of the three staggered starts) was lucky in that we had decent breeze right away unlike the earlier or later starters.
  • Our first goal was to get to the real breeze (synoptic wind) as soon as possible, regardless of bearing or angle before dark.
  • Once in the wind we decided to stay north of most of our fleet, sailing under J1 and Staysail and only on day 2 did we decide to fly the code zero and accelerate south.
  • We had to stay south for the first 2 or 3 days as the remnants of a very South high pressure threatened a Northern route.
  • Late on day 2 we had the spinnaker up and started sailing the boat to its maximum speed potential, even if that meant sailing high. A few degrees up on the J /125 made the difference between sailing 12 knots in 18 knots of breeze or sailing 16 knots in the same breeze. Looking back that late second day and all the third day is where we made most of our gains in our fleet. It seemed that for a time we had another gear.
  • Day three is when we learned that we were leading race overall, on board we realized that not only we could beat the other 125s but we could win it all. We became very aware of our speed and made a 24/7 effort to sail the boat to its maximum potential….. for the next 5 days. We gave it our all.
  • Days 4, 5, 6, and 7 were days of back and forth with the three J/125 on our tail and the very well sailed Rogers 46 Bretwalda in front. We were in a tough position as we tried to take a middle track between these two threats.
  • One item that I want to emphasize is the fact that in order to keep the boat at 100% the helmsman must be 100%, and the particularity of our crew this race is that no one had to tell the helmsman that he was not performing; it was simply “guys I am not on it…. someone else steer.” Everyone owned it without hesitation.
Last 36 hours:
  • The J/125 Velvet Hammer was nipping at our stern; they were sailing as good or better than us at this time and were able to gain a Northern leverage which threatened our position ( we owed them 1 ½ hour corrected). At the same time in front, Bretwalda was stretching their lead sailing very fast and to the South of us (they owed us 14 hours or us corrected).
  • We jibed on every shifts, sometime less than 15 minutes in order to cover our position on the Hammer, but each time on starboard tack we would quickly lose time on them and Bretwalda so it became a matter of how much are we willing to lose in order to minimize the threat of the Hammer’s leverage. The wind was also lighter to make this agonizing sailing.
  • The wind eventually filled in, somehow we picked the shifts correctly and we finished with enough time on both boats to win overall. Sailing the Molokai channel at 20 knots of boat speed, knowing we were winning the race was an amazing feeling, and we all took turns at the wheel with a grin on our faces.
As stated before, we did not start this race with the dream to win it, yet when it mattered, we were able to put it all together. The party thrown by our hosts Shawn and Marla O’Kelly at the Waikiki Yacht Club was fantastic (even if we finished at 2 AM) and for Hamachi’s owners, Shawn Daugherty and Jason Andrews, it was a memorable first Transpac that they are not about to forget.”

Team Hamachi – Seattle, WA
  • Jason Andrews – Co-Owner – Group 1
  • Shawn Dougherty – Co-Owner – Group 1
  • Frederic Laffitte – Strategist- Group 1
  • Lucas Laffitte – Bow- Group 1
  • Matt Pistay – Cooler Jockey – Group 3
  • David Rogers – Navigator- Group 1

J/125 Hamachi sailing / race strategy- Transpac Race
* J/125 HAMACHI Strategy Review with SEAHORSE editor/contributor Dobbs Davis and HAMACHI’s navigation/ strategy team.  Again, many great “lesson’s learned” for offshore racers in any event.  This segue’s to the pre-race review with Stan Honey below- fascinating stuff for any offshore racing strategists and navigators.  Watch this!

Stan Honey Transpac Race tactics and strategy
* Transpac Race: Tactics and Strategy as described by multiple Transpac Race winning navigator- Stan Honey.  

Stan was the Maxi 100 footer COMANCHE navigator in this year’s edition of the race. Before the race started, Stan offered tips to help the record 100-boat fleet in the 50th edition. Bookmark these links in your “pre-race strategy” briefings for future Transpac’s! Incredibly helpful and informative for any offshore racing.

J/34 IOR Knee Deep sailing Mac Race
* Watch this fun and entertaining Bayview-Mackinac video from Brett & Katie Langolf’s J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP that sailed the Shore Course- 3rd in Class N.

J/34 IOR Knee Deep Mac Race video highlights
The boys of KNEE DEEP went offshore for the annual race. Friends, family & rivals always make for a great week of racing, socializing and storytelling. This year’s KNEE DEEP sailing team included- Brett Langolf, Katie Langolf, Jim Herald, Ryan Lashaway, Evan Wilkins, Mark Teborak, Jason Huffman, Tom Patterson and Ryan Kyle. Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

J/Newsletter- July 24th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

This past week was an epic one for offshore racing. In just over ten days, the Chicago to Mackinac Island race finished (Chicago, IL to Mac Is, MI on Lake Michigan- 289.4nm), the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race finished (Port Huron to Mac Is, MI on Lake Huron- 255.0nm), and the 50th Transpac Race finished- 2,225.0nm! And, in Europe, the RORC’s Cowes-Dinard-St Malo 165.0nm race finished in St Malo, France! That is a lot of offshore racing, nearly 3,000nm worth of enjoying spectacular sunrises, sunsets, and watching playful dolphins/ porpoises jumping in your bow wakes. In all of those races, J/Teams collected plenty of silverware. A J/121 and a quartet of J/125s hammered their classes in the Transpac, with J/125s going 1,2,4,5 Overall! In the Mac Races, the J/121 podiumed both times, winning the Bayview Mac in their class; so did J/105s, J/109s, a J/99, J/111s, and so forth.

Two very cool, fun, sociable “J/Fests” took place on either side of the Big Pond- the Atlantic Ocean. The largest- J/Cup U.K.- took place on the Solent off Hamble, England, hosted by the Royal Southampton YC. Sailing were J/70s, J/80s, J/88s, J/92s, J/105s, J/109s, J/111s and J/122s.  Over in Canada, the Royal Canadian YC hosted the J/Fest Great Lakes off their extraordinary facility in Toronto, Ontario for a PHRF Class and one-design fleets of J/105s, J/27s and J/80s. South of them, the New York YC hosted their 175th Anniversary Regatta off Newport, RI for offshore yachts that included J/105s, J/109s, J/120s, J/111s, and J/44s. Off to the west, the Santa Barbara YC hosted their annual Fiesta Cup Regatta in the Channel Islands Channel for fleets of J/70s and J/111s. Finally, J/Teams enjoyed a rather hot and steamy Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge Regatta on the Chesapeake Bay for J/111s, J/105s, J/109, J/70 and so forth.

Over in Spain, 80-plus teams from nine nations sailed the J/80 World Championship off Getxo/ Bilbao, Spain. As usual, there was intense competition between the top French and Spanish teams for the coveted top spots on the podium.

J/121 downwind 
J/121 Offshore Speedster Winning Silverware Worldwide!
(Newport, RI)- The 2019 offshore racing season continues to see J/121 teams developing their knowledge regards sailing techniques for maximizing their offshore speed potential in a variety of conditions across the Pacific Ocean, the Bass Strait/ Tasman Sea, the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean. That knowledge has been leading many J/121 owners to several amazing trophy-winning performances across the world.

Most recently, Scott Grealish’s team from Portland, Oregon sailed BLUE FLASH to 1st Division 6 in the 50th Transpac Race and earned the prestigious Navigator’s Trophy. BLUE FLASH took off in the first flight of starters from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii and won their class outright by over 2 1/2 hours corrected time, racing under the ORR handicap system. Winds ranged from 10 to 20 kts from the NE to ESE under the Pacific High as they raced across the 2,225.0nm race track at speeds up to 22.5 kts! Scott reported the boat had plenty of “grip” and felt in full control flying down the huge Pacific swells.

In much flatter, choppier waters on the Great Lakes, the newly launched J/121 LOKI from Charlevoix, Michigan sailed both “Mac Races”- the famous Chicago-Mackinac and the Bayview-Mackinac- and collected a gold and bronze medal for their efforts! The two races could not have been any more different; Chicago was 85% 0-10 kts (upwind & downwind) and 15% 15-25 kts (reaching), while Bayview was the converse with 80% 15-25 kts (upwind) and 20% 6-12 kts (reaching/ downwind).

In the Chicago-Mackinac Race, LOKI had set a furious pace in the constantly changing winds from their start on Saturday afternoon until Sunday midday. The winds started SW, shifted NE, then NW, back to SE and dying. 24 hours into the race, LOKI was leading class and overall until around noon Sunday. At that point, LOKI “parked” for nearly five hours, going just a few miles. Behind them, mid-fleeters and tail-enders did an “end around”. The most extreme examples saw smaller J’s leading the much faster, more powerful J/121 LOKI into the Manitous by midnight Sunday (165.0nm into the race)- a J/105, J/111, and J/109! How bizarre is that? In the end, LOKI scrambled their way back to a 3rd in class!

Segue to the Bayview Mac one weekend later. On the redemption path, LOKI was determined to bury their top competitors, including the Chicago-Mackinac Overall winner- the 1D35 Turbo Chico 2. That movie did not take long to unfold. Fresh off their start, LOKI simply took off on port tack headed for the first mark off Cove Island; reaching the turning point over 5.0nm in front of their class. Not soon after heading for the Mac finish line, the front rolled in from the WNW and LOKI proceeded to tack on the shifts in 20-25 kts TWS, steadily opening up their lead. By the finish, LOKI opened up a 12.0nm lead on Chico 2 and the rest of the fleet, winning class comfortably with a 2 hour margin over the next boat.
J/121 sailing off Seattle, WA
Scott Campbell’s J/121 RIVA raced two huge offshore events in the Pacific Northwest and collected silverware in both. Sailing conditions ranged from drifting to 40 kts plus.  RIVA won the 193.0nm Oregon Offshore Race from Astoria, OR (opening of the notoriously dangerous Columbia River) to Victoria, BC, Canada. Then, RIVA sailed the 487.0nm Van Isle 360 Race- a 10-day, nine-leg, event- that circumnavigates the spectacular Vancouver Island in some of the most treacherous waters in the world- that effort earned them the silver medal!

In addition to the Transpac Race, Grealish’s BLUE FLASH sailed both the Ensenada Race and the Cabo San Lucas Race. Their inaugural race was the 800.nm Cabo Race- going from Newport Beach, CA to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (the tip of the Baja Peninsula). That was quite a “shake-down cruise”, certainly not for the faint of heart! Sail-testing and boatspeed analysis was the order of the day. After two days, they were dueling with the J/125 for the class and overall lead. However, the wind went flat, disappeared, and BLUE FLASH was too far outside, dropping to 5th ORR 3 Class in the end. For the 125.0nm Ensenada Race- from Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico- BLUE FLASH sailed in light 0-10.0 kts TWS and all Code Zero/ A1 spinnaker sailing conditions for the entire race, ultimately taking 2nd in ULDB B Class- a great test of the J/121’s light air performance.

In February, a new J/121 sailed her inaugural event in the Geelong Festival of Sails, off Geelong/ Melbourne, Australia. Mark Nicholson’s J/121 JAVELIN sailed in the offshore AMS Cruising Division. Three races and over 100.0nm of sailing later offshore, JAVELIN won her first major offshore event in winds ranging from 6 to 20 kts!  Earlier, JAVELIN won the 2018 Offshore Winter Series hosted by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, Australia. The ORCV Winter Series is a series of 5 passage races of varying distances, from medium distance races around fixed marks at the top end of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne to several longer distance passage races to popular destinations- such as Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron (BYS), Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), and Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club (HBYC).
J/121 sailing upwind
Sailing double-handed, David Southwell’s J/121 ALCHEMY won the 100.0nm Ida Lewis Distance Race PHRF Doublehanded Class, starting/ finishing off Newport, RI and sailing around an ocean triangle in Rhode Island Sound; winds were mostly SE to SW in the 6 to 15 kts range, sailing a balanced beat/ reach/ run with just about “all the laundry” the duo could hoist- J2, J4, Code Zero, A1, A2!

If J/News readers recall, Don Nicholson’s J/121 APOLLO first major ocean race was the famous 635.0nm Newport to Bermuda Race. Blessed with good fortune, solid navigation and well-executed strategy, they managed to win their Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division class and finish 6th overall.  An amazing performance considering the magnitude of variables and weather decisions necessary to stand atop the podium in the professional Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division! The first two days of the race were light, drifting conditions. Then, for the last 24 hours, APOLLO set their Code Zero and J4 jib as a staysail and sailed away from their competition, winning the race, literally, in one day and just over 160.0nm of sailing in the slowly building WSW breeze of 5 to 14 kts TWS.

Are you ready to have fun offshore? Ready to race an amazingly easy-to-sail offshore 41-footer?! Give one a try today and go for a test sail!  For more J/121 Offshore speedster sailing information

J/70s flying on Solent 
Epic, Windy Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta
(Hamble, England)- The J/Boat family bid a fond farewell to Paul Heys who “sailed away” in February this year. Before the start of racing, the sixty-boat fleet gathered in the vicinity of the proposed location for the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy for a special tribute. Whilst observing a minutes silence, Paul Heys' ashes were released in a seashell by his wife Marie-Claude, assisted by Paul's daughters, Gemma and Natalie. Over £25,000 has already been raised, covering the cost and maintenance of the Paul Heys Memorial Buoy for ten years. The target of £34,000, will ensure that the buoy will be raced around by Paul Heys' grandchildren and those of the J-Boat family. To make a donation:

Martin Dent (owner of the J/70 and J/111 named JELVIS) commented after the memorial to Paul Heys, “It was fantastic when we came in and congregated, I looked at the other boats and teams were standing in rows on deck to attention. It was very moving. We got to our feet as well in honor of an absolute legend. I am glad that we are fund raising to put a mark in to celebrate Paul. I hope the mark will be a place of much carnage..... If ever we are doing a mark rounding there, we will leave the drop late, rodeo drop, and possibly fling it in with borderline rights in honor of the greatest rogue. Paul Heys has made more impact on sailing than any other single person, and is responsible for so many Solent sailors, including my family and team Jelvis. I miss him.”
J/99 sailing J/Cup
The Landsail Tyres J-Cup is an annual event in which all J/Boats are invited to attend, to race in one-design classes or under IRC. The 2019 edition was hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club with racing in the Solent. Sixty teams racing ten different examples of the J/Boat range were in action with skippers from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands and the United States. This year's regatta also featured the J/70 UK Class Training Event.

All nine races were completed over three days of thrilling racing for over 300 sailors. Conditions ranged from moderate to fresh and frightening. Mother Nature saved her best until last with 25 knots of breeze in clear blue skies for the last race of a fantastic regatta. Competitors enjoyed the use of modern facilities at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, including the spacious Upper Bar with elevated views over the Hamble River. In the dining room North Sails delivered a video debrief, a master class on heavy airs trimming and boat handling from: Dave Lenz, Ruairidh Scott, Jeremy Smart and Charlie Cumbley.

In the 16-strong J/70 Class, Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat scored seven bullets out of nine races to win the class from Charles Thompson's Brutus. Clive Bush's Darcey was pushed hard by Graham Clapp's Jeepster for the podium, with Jeepster winning the last two contests. However, Darcey was third by a single point after nine race.
J/111 start on Solent, England
Paul Ward's Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat was awarded the J-Cup for their impressive performance, the first time a J/70 team has won the prestigious trophy. A very surprised Paul Ward was quick to thank his team and Paul Heys at the Prize Giving. “I am shocked, this is totally unexpected!” commented Paul. “A big thank you to Paul Heys, all of us here wish he was still around, and like many many of us, he has helped me enormously with my sailing. A big thank you to the Eat, Sleep, J, Repeat team, Charlie (Cumbley), Ruairidh (Scott), and Mario (Trindade).”

In the IRC Big Boat Class, Chaz Ivill's J/112 Davanti Tyres won the class for a third year in a row, but it was far from easy. Davanti Tyres put in a stellar performance on the last day, winning all three races to win the class, just ahead of Mike Wallis' J/122 Jahmali. Isabelle Hung's “The Outsiders” racing J/122 Jolly Jellyfish were competing in their first J-Cup, and finished on the podium in third.

In the IRC Small Boat Class, Frédéric Bouvier's J/99 J Lance 14 was in commanding form, scoring all podium finishes in nine races, including six bullets. Jeff Johnstone racing J/99 Jet was runner-up, and the American skipper gave the French J/99 a great battle, succeeding in victory and one tie during the regatta. President of J Composites SAS, Didier Le Moal was part of the J Lance 14, racing against the President of J/Boats Inc, Jeff Johnstone.

“What an amazing weekend,” commented Jeff Johnstone. Having this many J/Sailors together is when the magic happens - you can design boats in a vacuum, and you are never quite sure how people respond to it until you show up at a regatta like this. The racing has been fantastic, run by a stellar race committee. Meeting up with so many friendly people, enjoying their boats and testing them to the limits. I know I speak for the J Boat Company back home, and Didier (Le Moal), when I say that the great camaraderie shows great respect for Paul Heys, who started this event.”

Ten teams competed in the J/92 Class, a bumper entry for the high performance 30-footer. Robin Stevenson's Upstart impressed, scoring four race wins and a tie for first place to win the class and retain the J/92 National Championship. David Greenhalgh's J'ronimo, with VOR sailor and daughter Libby on tactics was second. A very close third was Alan Macleod's Samurai J scoring eight podiums out of nine races.

“With a new baby this year, the J-Cup is the first regatta of the season for Upstart,” commented Robin Stevenson. “The J/92 is the only boat I know, and this is a regatta full of great competition in the class. Boat handling was the key, especially for the last two days, and the Upstart crew performed very well in the big conditions”
J/99 sailing J/Cup UK
In the J/111 Class, Tony Mack's McFly held off a strong challenge to win the class from 2018 J/111 National champion, Chris Jones & Louise Makin's Journeymaker II, and 2018 J-Cup winner Paul van Driel's Sweeny. In a high-octane close encounter, races were won by just seconds. Tony Mack was full of fun at the Prize Giving, and was quick to praise his crew. Journeymaker II and Sweeny tied for second place, both scoring equal points after nine races. Sweeny was scored second on countback after winning the last race of the regatta.

In the J/109 Class, eleven teams duked it out over nine races. Last year's runner up, John Smart's Jukebox, won the class scoring five race wins with Ireland's Mark Mansfield calling tactics. Simon Perry's Jiraffe was second, scoring seven race podiums, including a win in big conditions in the last race. Racing in the class is highly competitive, with a full program of J/109 events through out the year. Thirteen J/109 will be competing at Cowes Week and 19 J/109s are set for the Rolex Fastnet Race for the J/109 Fastnet Trophy.

Kirsty & David Apthorp's J/88 J-Dream was on the race podium for all nine races, including six bullets, to retain the J/88 National Championship for a third year in a row. Gavin Howe's Tigris scored all but one podium finishes, including a race win to finish the regatta in second place. Tim Tolcher's Raging Bull saved their best until last scoring a 2-1-4 on the final day to finish on the podium in third.

Video action from the 2019 Landsail Tyres J-Cup and J/70 UK Class Training Event. (Thanks to Louay Habib, Shaun Roster, and North Sails). Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/  For more Landsail Tyres J-Cup sailing information

J/125 Snoope/ Derivate in Transpac Race 
J/121 and J/125s Crush 50th Transpac Race!
The J/Race Horses Are Back in the Barn and Celebrating!
(Honolulu, Hawaii)- First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the biennial Transpac Race attracted a record fleet of 90 boats for its 50th edition. Three waves of starts over a four-day period got the fleet onto the 2,225.0nm race track from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

The early starters on Wednesday, July 10th (Classes 6 to 10) dove south for better winds that never fully materialized; and they continued to be plagued by lighter airs relative to the rest of the fleet as they surfed to Diamond Head. The second wave of starters on Friday, July 12th (Classes 3-4-5) had favorable, windy breezes, after fetching Catalina Island on starboard tack, the fleet simply bore off, set Code Zeros, then A3s and A2s as they flew down the track for the rest of the race! However, the third group starting on Saturday, July 13th (Classes 1-2) was not as lucky as they dealt with light winds for their escape from California. As a result, the big winners in the “wind lottery” in the first 72 hours were the second wave of starters.
J/125 sailing Transpac Race
J/125s crush 50th Transpac Race Overall!
For the first time in the fifty years of Transpac Race history, a one-design class nearly swept the entire top five results overall- the famous J/125s!! Congrats to all four teams!

Winning was Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’s Seattle-based J/125 HAMACHI, taking both Division 3 and Overall honors. Taking silver in both class and overall was Zachary Anderson & Chris Kramer’s San Francisco-based J/125 VELVET HAMMER. Fourth in class and overall was Mark Surber’s San Diego-based J/125 SNOOPY (ex-DERIVATIVE). And, fifth in class and overall was Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG from Los Angeles.
J/121 BlueFlash crew win Transpac
J/121 Smokes Division 6!
Congratulations to Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH from Portland, Oregon! They easily won the “first wave” of starters overall (5 classes in total). Amazingly, BLUE FLASH was eighth boat to finish on elapsed time and won Division 6 by 4 1/2 hours corrected time!

Also, in that first wave of starts was Division 7, Paul Stemler’s classic J/44 racer-cruiser, named PATRIOT, took the silver in her group.

For the first time, the 50th Transpac also had a Corinthians Division. Winning Corinthians overall was Tom Garnier’s J/125 REINRAG 2, plus they won it in Division 3 as well. Winning Corinthians in Division 6 was Scott Grealish’s J/121 BLUE FLASH, and taking 5th overall. Finally, winning Corinthians Division 7 was Paul Stemler’s J/44 PATRIOT, taking 8th overall.

To give you an idea of what it is like to sail a 2,225.0nm race, take some time to read the various J/crews’ blogs they were posting over satellite phone links.  Some of them are pretty amusing.
J/121 Blue Flash crew
J/121 BLUE FLASH- Scott Grealish
“After all the training we had done in the light airs Cabo San Lucas Race and the moderate winds in the Ensenada Race, and sail testing off San Diego prior to the race, we were excited to see what kind of legs we would have on our new J/121 in the open Pacific on a 2,225nm race track. We had no idea what to expect in the forecasted 10-20 kts winds, other than to push hard, keep experimenting with sail combinations for wind/wave angles and press on regardless.

On Wednesday, we had a good start, good lane, and we got to the right of fleet. A Farr 57 and Swede 55 were water-lining us, but we got around Catalina quickly in 16-18 kts breeze. The Farr just in front of us and the 55 just behind.  We were pleased with our speed, using the water ballast upwind helped at this stage and we were fast.

Based on the forecast and grib files, we could see the Pacific High was split in two, the east side was weaker, and the 500 mb pressure line was wobbly. We hoped for a solid High that would recede NW, tighten the gradients south, produce more winds, but that that didn’t happen. Initially, we had to go south after passing Catalina, which adds a lot of miles. But, that was not enough, in retrospect, as we never got the winds the Friday starters got for the whole race.

After rounding Catalina, we held on to our J2 jib for some time, sheeted to the rail. We wanted to hold higher (to the right) of the fleet so we could set our Code Zero once we could get the wind around to 75-125 TWA. Once we did that, we ran our genoa staysails underneath double-slotting- that was fast!  Once the wind moved further aft, we had what we called our “A10”, basically an A3/A5 flat reaching kit, flew the J4 on the inner forestay- that was even faster! Two days into the race we were constantly in the high teens boatspeed, hitting 22.5 kts at time in just 17-19 kts TWS. Note, we also used this combo in the reaching we encountered going into the finish like in the Molokai Channel in 20-30 kts TWS.

For the main part of the course for a good 7+ days, the wind dropped into 12-16 kts TWS. We were further north than most of our class/ fleet. We used our A2 chute (running kite) up to 18-21 kts TWS with large spinnaker staysail underneath. Late at night, we’d switch sometimes to the A5/ J4 for squalls. The staysails were very effective!

As for driving and boatspeed, connecting wave-sets was key, especially once we got up to 15 kts plus boatspeed. Like sailing our J/88, you had to watch to not go too high or too low on TWA’s downwind. We watched our VMC constantly and would adjust our angles based on wave trains and wind angles/ pressure. Basically, we’d sail between 150 to 160 TWA for best VMC. 165 was too deep, 145 was too high.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to my crew- ‘Thank You, for being such a fantastic team!’ We sailed all amateur with three youths (my son- Sean- and two other 20-somethings) and three “old guys” (50-something’s). As I've told others- sometimes we needed their energy, sometimes they needed our wisdom, and sometimes the roles reversed. But, they always stayed focused.

Andrew (our navigator) and I would spend 20 minutes pouring over the GFS grib files, surface analysis, 500mb pressure lines, yellow brick tracker, routing at various polar percentages, then give a discourse about why we needed to do such and such an angle, etc. Then, in the end they'd say ‘so you mean, sail fast, right?’ Haha, right! Reflecting on the experience, it was priceless to share it with friends, my son Sean, and having the added bonus of collecting silverware, we didn’t expect that!”
J/125 Hamachi win Transpac
J/125 HAMACHI blog- Shawn Dougherty / Jason Andrews
July 14- 1700- After solid 10-20 for the first 40 hours it got light this morning. Hamachi switched to its A2.5 at the 4am watch shift and worked south/southwest in 10 kts most of the day. The lighter air and flat seas allowed us to do some much-needed house keeping, which included going up the rig and doing a check as well as configuring halyards. We flew the drone for the first time and captured these pictures of the boat and crew with Matt Pistay aloft. A general funk has permeated the boat and its been traced to many damp socks and gear. It's now 5pm and the skies are clearing and the wind is filling.

July 15- Sunday- 1730- After a slow and cloudy Sunday, we had a nice evening sail under partly to mostly cloudy skies and nearly full moon. The skies cleared this morning and the wind filled around noon. Currently 15-20 kts and Hamachi is rumbling along. The boys are eagerly lined up awaiting their turn to drive and the Godfather Fred is sitting in the barko lounger critiquing their performance. The Hamachi crew had a relaxing lunch of fresh spaghetti bolognese on the back patio. The tunes were pumping. Everyone is well fed, rested and loving the experience!

July 16- Monday- 1600- Hamachi is approaching its halfway point so we passed the flask, flew the drone and had a dance party… all while hauling the mail!

July 18- Wednesday- Team Hamachi is laying down the gauntlet-time to do the serious business of racing…. to win it all. Transpac is a race within a race within a race. There are four J/125s, an above average collection, who are competing with each other to be the fastest J/125 on the west coast. Each boat has donated to a prize for the first across the line. This was our main focus going into Transpac, as its been a friendly rivalry and a great chance to meet other J/125 owners. All four J/125's are racing within Division 3, which is highly competitive and comprised of 13 boats. It's a great honor to win your class at Transpac, especially in a class this competitive. Finally, there is an overall winner based on corrected time for all 92 boats.

For Team Hamachi, we have been tracking the other J/125's from the start. After day 2 we started tracking other boats in our Division and were both surprised and excited to see Hamachi climb our Division ladder. Then on Tuesday, Hamachi started trending towards the top of the overall standings and now we've held the #1 in ORR (fastest boat overall) title for 24 hours.

The crew is ecstatic but a little uneasy. We like being a pursuit boat, quietly seeking to pass the leader. We are not used to being the boat everyone is watching and trying to take down.

So, needless to say, the dance parties have stopped, along with the drone flying. We spend every moment pushing to boat to go as fast as possible. Living below is like driving your VW camper van down a black diamond mogul run. We constantly pull weather and position reports, and we are gybing to find the best wind and wind angles. We are 920 miles from the finish and SENDING IT. Our current 24 hours record is 336.0nm (a 14.0 kts average). Top boat speed is 21.8kts (David Rogers).

Summary: This may be the last at sea update as time is now very short:  eat, sleep, sail fast, repeat…

Here are two well-done videos by the HAMACHI Team and commentary from co-owner Jason Andrews:
“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. Mahalo!” A few videos from Hamachi for your amusement:
J/125 Hamachi video
J/125 Snoopy sailing Transpac Race
J/125 SNOOPY blog- Mark Surber

July 16- 1830- Transpac day 5. The last 24 hours has been fast. Great trade breeze, great tunes, beautiful sailing and we remain in touch with our other J/125 competitors. Before the trade winds, the game was straightforward: Sail to the right point to enter the trade winds in the desired position against your competitors. Once entered into the trade winds, the game is even simpler: sail as fast as you can to the right corner (depending on its location, on the west/southwest side of the high, or northeast of Hawaii).

We did a great job executing on the first, entering the trades just to the south of our competitors. Since entering into the trades yesterday, we have sailed as fast as we could while near-parallel tracking our competitors (Hamachi north and ahead, Velvet Hammer directly to the north, and Reinrag2 south and behind).

It was funny, about three hours ago we saw Velvet Hammer for the first time since day 1. We were sailing a bit higher and they a bit lower and we came within sight. Almost as soon as we saw each other, we again diverged to our private missions.

What happens next is the effect of the high. The wind slowly changes direction in a clockwise fashion until it is almost directly out of the east heading into Hawaii. The effect of this is that we slowly turn towards the north and ultimately jibe toward Hawaii. Thus, the boats to the north, will gain on the boats to the south. If all things stayed as they are now, Hamachi would likely be ahead of us, Velvet Hammer close to slightly behind, followed by Reinrag. Of course, this slow right turn won't fully develop for a couple more days making any outcome possible.

All aboard is very good. Typical breaks and fixes, but nothing worth writing about. Food remains my most pleasant surprise. Kinda like the Jetsons… just add water and presto! A ten-course meal (almost). The flying fish watch continues. No one has been hit, but one about a foot long flew over Pike's head while he was driving. Then an hour ago, a baby was found on the deck grasping at every last breath to reach Scott. He had made the hazardous voyage onto the boat only to fall a foot short. So sad. We took a picture.

Weather continues to warm. I wore swim trunks, a dry shirt and straw hat today. A bit cold for 20 kts breeze, but way better than sweating in the foul weather gear.

(Oh, we just hit 20 kts again. It’s just not as special as it used to be!)
J/125 sailing offshore
J/125 REINRAG 2 blog- Tom Garnier
July 16- 1700- Last night in the Pacific was spectacular. The wind was blowing us towards Hawaii with enough pressure to allow Reinrag 2 to surf from 12 to about 20 kts on the smallish 2 to 4 foot seas. The air was in the low 70s, chilly with wind on wet clothes, but pleasant to my New England accustomed senses. Oh, and the moon was full and shining down on all, the white foam of breaking waves, the sparkle of the spray from the bow, and the ghostly white of the spinnaker curl in trim.

As I relieved Tom and took my turn at the helm, he admitted understatedly, “Ok, maybe I had fun for a few moments there.” Pointing out that, there is something here in these moments of driving a small boat across this wide ocean that make it worth the price of admission.

The expense, the months of preparation, even for a boat and crew that’s done it before, and the time away from family and career. Why do we do it? And, why do we come back and do it again? We do it for last night, that feeling.

Behind the wheel, I started to think how I can describe it. I chuckle to myself as I think in my SoCal raised way, “it’s just awesome dude!” And in a way it is… a feeling of awe. No, not so much in the natural world around us; it is just too alien.

The ocean raging from the trade winds, the tiny sails of the jellyfish, the moon and Jupiter beside it are indifferent to our passing (although the porpoise do check in on us from time to time).

No, I feel the awe about the humanity invading this night so far from land. This boat, these five primates on it, riding, crashing, bursting towards Hawaii.
sunset over the Pacific
I stand behind the wheel, my feet firmly planted on the deck, through which I feel the boat almost as though it were an extension of my body. The pitch and roll of the boat tells me what the waves are doing, though I see only a crest reflecting the moonlight. The boat pitches down and begins to roll to leeward as the stern is lifted by the oncoming wave. Like a dinghy, I shift my weight unconsciously to windward and will the boat to catch (in fact, I move the wheel to leeward and the boat rolls windward). She catches the wave and accelerates. Tom is watching the sail and grinds in to keep her pulling as the apparent wind shifts forward. The boat is now doing half again as much speed as before and I hunt by feel and moonlight for a second wave to catch, or a clean exit from the one I’m on. Eventually the boat slows and Tom eases the sheet.

There are instruments to help… a compass, apparent wind angle, boat speed etc… but these are secondary checks. Surfing is done by feel. You feel the wave, and you move the boat… and it’s a wonder. Standing at the wheel, riding over the ocean is just awesome.
J/145 sailing Transpac Race
J/145 KATARA blog- Roger Gatewood
July 21- 0630- We're on the final approach! Yesterday in the afternoon, we took some of our medicine and went West to get to the corner despite non-ideal VMC numbers. We gybed on to port tack for the 500+ mile run in to Molokai where we'll gybe again near Kalaupapa in the accelerated pressure zone that surrounds the NW corner of Molokai. From there we will gybe down that coast and around it's western edge before lining up for a final gybe over to starboard to finish the race off Diamond Head in Honolulu. We're told that channel has some of the finest big-boat surfing conditions seen anywhere. I'm looking forward to the ride. Might be a bit more excitement than we originally anticipated as we're almost guaranteed to hit it at night. Luckily, we've had an excellent near-full moon to guide our way each night.

Wind pressure was lighter than hoped for yesterday afternoon and in to the night, so our arrival has been delayed slightly. Estimating some time in the early morning on Monday.

Conditions being quieter we've been able to get most of the crew caught up on sleep and everyone seems to be doing well.

Just witnessed an absolutely stunning sunrise on deck with the Blue watch. They've got the reigns until Green takes over in about an hour. The fight to capture the most miles in this final push is on, and the helmsmen are focused as can be.

Inventorying the food reserves, we appear to have sufficient rations aboard to sail right past Honolulu and head for Fiji instead. The only things running low are the chocolate covered espresso beans and the trail mix.

Our trusty little water maker has been treating us right. We run it about an hour a day during charging and it whips up 6-8 gallons of good tasting safe potable water straight out of the sea.

It's pretty weird on port tack at the moment after nearly a week on starboard. Exercising muscles we haven't tried in a while and we had to do some clean up as everything went flying from its starboard tack optimized positioning. Roger was threatening to lead crew-yoga on the foredeck to get everyone stretched out again, but it's still mighty wet on that end of the boat.

The captain just gave up the helm a bit ago and is now sitting back and enjoying a nice hot up of tea as he surveys our progress. Seems to be having a blast.

Sailing photo credits- Sharon Green/ Ultimate  Analyze how the J/121 and J/125s crushed the 50th Transpac here on YB Tracker   For more 50th Transpac Race sailing information

J/80 at Worlds in Bilbao, Spain 
Spain’s Santurde Crowned J/80 World Champ!
(Getxo, Bilbao, Spain)- The Real Club Marítimo del Abra hosted the 2019 edition of the J/80 World Championship that started on July 13th off Bilbao, Spain. Eighty teams battled hard on the Cantabrian Sea; twelve nations were represented from across the world (Canada, Spain, France, USA, Russia, Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, and India).

The fleet sailed nine qualifying races to determine the Gold fleet in the first three days of competition.  Thereafter, the final two days were scheduled for six more. But, the weather Godz would not cooperate.  The first championship day saw just one race sailed due to light airs. As a result, the grand finale on the last day saw three more races sailed to determine the 2019 J/80 World Champion.  Winning in the end was Pablo Santurde’s Spanish crew on M&G TRESSIS.

The exciting final day had spectacular weather, sun, cool, and a northeaster of 18 to 20 kts, enabling a total of thirteen races to be sailed with one discard race for the final scores.

The battles were epic all week, especially between the top two nations that have continuously been at the top of the world in J/80 events for over a decade- the French and the Spanish.
J/80 sailing Worlds off Spain
After the first three days of qualifiers, the two leaders were tied on points at 23 each, the Frenchman Laouenan Pierre’s COURRIER ECOLE NAVALE and the Spaniard Pablo Santurde’s M&G TRESSIS. Going into the one and only race of the Gold flight on Thursday, both teams had bad races; having to ultimately make them their discards- Pierre had a BFD and Santurde a disappointing 22nd.

On the final day, Santurde’s M&G TRESSIS crew sailed brilliantly, posting a 2-2-1 to win the regatta with 28 pts net.  Meanwhile, Marc de Antonio’s Spanish crew on BRIBON MOVISTAR sailed equally as well, posting a 1-1-3 to leap into the silver spot. The flying Frenchman could not keep the pace with the top Spanish crews, posting a 6-3-4 in the finale for 36 pts net to take the bronze.  Rounding out the top five were Rayco Tabares’ HOTEL PRINCESS YAIZA from the Canary Islands in 4th and Jose Asqueta’s BIOBIZZ taking 5th place.

“We have done very well on the last day. We were not first until this final day, but we have been very consistent and never gave up on anything. We are very happy with this outcome. We have competed against the World’s best and sailed at a higher level than we expected,” said a satisfied and much relieved Pablo Santurde.
J/80 Worlds sailing off Bilbao, Spain
In addition, the best Women’s Team was that of Eva González's OPTICAL IVF CANADIO CENTRAL from the Royal Maritime Club of Santander.

The “J80 WORLDS 2019 GETXO” crew from the José Luis de Ugarte Sailing School (R.C.M.A.-R.S.C.), took the world title in the Youth Team category, after having also recently been champion of Spain.

The prize for the best Corinthian Team went to the Ignacio Camino’s SOLINTAL.  The best Mixed Team was the French NAVIGATLANTIQUE skippered by Anne Phelipon, while TROCADERO MARBELLA Team skippered by Juan Luis Páez took the Masters Team category and SLIGHTLY STEAMY skippered by the Englishman Nick Haigh won the Over-60 Team category.  Follow the J/80 Worlds on Facebook here  For more J/80 World Championship sailing information

J/121 wins Bayview Mackinac Race 
Stormy Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race
(Port Huron, MI)- While last year was a drifter, this year was anything but for the 202 boats competing in the 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. The 95th running of the longest consecutively held freshwater race in the country started Saturday, July 20 at noon on lower Lake Huron and served up a “little bit of everything” on its way to the finish line at Mackinac Island.

“It included reaching, running, a lot of beating, and a pretty nasty storm thrown in on Saturday evening,” said Bill Martin (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the skipper of a Santa Cruz 70. According to Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman Robert Nutter, the storm dumped torrential rain for three hours straight and harbored gusts in excess of 30-40 knots. Nutter commented, “there were some breakdowns, but most everyone persevered. and enjoyed a great race with average wind speeds of 15-20 knots.”

Cove Island Course
On the Cove Island Course of 259.0nm, the first leg northeast to the Cove Island buoy along the Canadian shoreline was a reach for the entire fleet. Then, a storm rolled through with winds in the 20-30 kts range from the west-northwest, with the fleet finding themselves beating for over 75.0nm. Then, as the storm passed, it veered as predicted into the northerly quadrants and got lighter, permitting most of the fleet to be lifted on starboard tack and some of the faster mid-fleet boats basically had a long fetch on starboard tack into the Mackinac Island finish line.

Out for redemption in Class D was Robert Christoph’s J/121 LOKI. As they did in the Chicago-Mackinac Race, LOKI set a fast, hard pace in the first part of the race to the Cove Island buoy, comfortably leading the class boat-for-boat and punishing the Chicago to Mac Race winner- the 1D35 Turbo called Chico 2. Thereafter, as the front rolled through, the J/121 LOKI reveled in the windy conditions, played the shifts for the favored tack to the Mackinac Island finish line, and continued to sail away from the class. Finishing at 4:34 AM Monday, they covered the track in 39:44:35 to win their class comfortably by nearly 2 hours corrected time! As a result, a very happy J/121 LOKI crew was now on the podium for the second time in just one week! Rounding out the top five were Jeff Schaeffer’s J/111 SHMOKIN JOE in 3rd, Don Hudak’s J/111 CAPERS in 4th, and Robert Klairmont’s J/133 SIROCCO 3 in 5th.

Class E was comprised solely of ten J/120s. Taking class honors was Henry Mistel’s NIGHT MOVES, joining them on the podium was Charlie Hess’ FUNTECH RACING in 2nd and Kenneth Brown & Mark Pikula’s J-HAWKER in 3rd (these two were only separated by 30 secs at the finish!). The balance of the top five included John Harvey & Rick Titsworth’s SLEEPING TIGER in 4th and Curtis Kime’s VICTRIX in 5th position.

Guess who won Class H that was made up of mostly J/35s? Yes, you guessed right! Bill Wildner’s infamous MR BILL’S WILD RIDE. Second was Dennis Meagher’s SNIPE and third was Bill Vogan’s MAJOR DETAIL. Fourth was Phil Velez’s AMANTE and fifth Cheryl Miller’s DEAN’S LIST.

Winning the all J/Boats Class I was yet another familiar name at the top of the podium, none other than the Chicago Mackinac Race winning J/109 GOAT RODEO sailed by Robert Evans! And, yet another champion team took the silver, Mark Symond’s J/105 PTERODACTYL- winners of the J/105 class in the Chicago Mackinac Race. In fact, both boats earned the honor of being the winning J/109 and J/105 for the second respective Mac Race, a feat that has been repeated in previous Mac Races for these two teams. Third was Chris Mallet’s J/109 SYNCHRONICITY, fourth was Jim Murray’s J/109 CALLISTO, and fifth went to Mark DenUyl’s J/105 GOOD LOOKIN.

Gary Gonzalez’s J/42 DOS MAS took the silver in Class K Cruising Sails. Then, Brad & Ian Faber’s J/111 UTAH took the silver in the DoubleHanded Class L division.

Third in Division N in the Shore Island Course was Brett Langolf's happy crew on the J/34 IOR KNEE DEEP!
J/34 IOR Knee Deep in Bayview Mac race
A total of 20 classes sailed in three divisions at the 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, which prides itself on being one of the most spirited events on the Great Lakes. On Friday night (July 19), participants lined the Black River with their boats to participate in Boat Night. They paraded to the start on Saturday morning to the cheers of spectators lining the shore. After finishing on Sunday and Monday, skippers and crews found their way to the Pink Pony (an iconic bar on Mackinac Island) to get a delicious Bell’s Beer once they cleaned up, and Tuesday afternoon they attended a giant awards party and concert on the grounds of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel.  Follow the Bayview Mackinac Race on Facebook here  For more Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race sailing information

J/105s sailing offshore 
Fun J/Fest Great Lakes Regatta
(Toronto, ONT, Canada)- The Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario hosted their first J/Fest Great Lakes on their magnificent setting on an island offshore of the majestic city of Toronto.  The event featured one-design fleets for J/27s, J/80s, J/105s and a PHRF fleet that included J/88s, J/35s, and J/109. Thirty-three boats participated in the event, an excellent turnout for the inaugural event at RCYC.

In the five-boat J/27 class, winning was Bruce Scott’s WARPED PERCEPTION.  Second was Chris Johnston’s AFTERNOON DELIGHT, and third was Madeleine Beese’s MESSING ABOUT.  Rounding out the top five were Rich O’Hare’s TAKE 5 and Christian Greenfield’s MISS TRIXIE, in 4th and 5th, respectively.

There were three women owner/ skippers in the nine-boat J/80 class. It just so happens the women triumphed! Winning was Trudy Murphy’s FEISTY and in third was Chrissy Thompson’s PUFFIN. Sandwiched in between were two guys- Dave Doyle & Mark McLean’s INNOCENT BYSTANDER.

Surprise, surprise, guess who won the sixteen-boat J/105 class? MANDATE? No, couldn’t be!? Well, after posting six straight bullets, who else would it be? Yet again, the 3x J/105 North American Champions, Terry McLaughlin & Rod Wilmer on MANDATE walked off with the J/105 title at J/Fest with just 12 pts total- an astonishing, eye-popping, draw-dropping, low score compared to the rest of the fleet. As the Queen was once rumored to have remarked after the yacht AMERICA won the 100 Guinea Cup after rounding the famous Isle of Wight in 1851, “who was second”? The answer was purported to be, “Your Majesty, there was no second!”  And so it goes for the J/105 class in North America, the “Mc/Wilmer” duo is pretty unstoppable, with MANDATE usually seen at the top of the leaderboard.  Second was, in fact, Peter Hall’s JAMAICA ME CRAZY and third was Frank McLaughlin’s STARCROSS.

The J/PHRF class was won by Paul-Angus Bark’s J/105 CRIME SCENE. Second was Tim Sweet’s J/88 PUFFIN and third was yet another woman boat owner on the podium- Denys Jones’ J/109 CARPE VENTUS.  For more J/Fest Great Lakes Regatta sailing information

J/133 PINTIA from France sailing RORC race 
Fast RORC Cowes St Malo Race
(St Malo, France)- 198 boats were entered in the 151.0nm RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo race; it was the largest fleet for the race since 2007. Well over one thousand sailors took part from twenty different countries. The fortified city of Saint-Malo, France was celebrating French National Day during the weekend, with fireworks and music festivals around the medieval walled-city.

In the IRC 1 Class of thirty-three boats, Mike O’Donnell’s British team on the J/121 DARKWOOD took fifth in class, their best performance to date in the RORC Seasons Point Series. Their ultimate goal is to peak for the Rolex Fastnet Race.

The IRC 2 class of thirty-nine boats saw a quartet of French J/Teams all finish in the top nine.  Top boat was Gilles Fournier & Corinne Migraine’s J/133 PINTIA in 4th place, just 4 minutes from 3rd and 6 minutes from the silver! That scenario had to make for a few anxious moments, as they were the first-to-finish boat in the class!  Taking 5th was another J/133, Yves Grosjean’s JIVARO. Then, in sixth was the J/122 ROCH HIR 3 sailed by Pierre-Yves Danet and in ninth-place was Patrice Vidon’s J/111 J4F.

All of these teams are participating in this coming weekend’s RORC Channel Race, a famous dash back and forth across the English Channel and is often seen as the last “offshore practice race/ training mission” prior to the start of the famous 635.0nm RORC Rolex Fastnet Race on Saturday, August 3rd off Cowes, England and the majestic Royal Yacht Squadron starting line.  For more RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race sailing information

J/121 sailing New York YC regattaJ/Teams Sweep NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta
(Newport, RI)- Celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding in 1844, the New York Yacht Club hosted a week-long regatta at Harbour Court, July 15 to 20. The participation was limited to members of New York YC and the four invited yacht clubs (Royal Thames Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, St. Francis Yacht Club and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda). It has been a busy summer of sailing at NYYC HC, starting with the Annual Regatta, followed up by the One-Design Regatta, the 175th, and then soon a slew of team racing and culminating in the Invitational Cup in September.

J/Crews participated in both the IRC and PHRF fleets. Appropriately leading a sweep by J/crews of the IRC 2 Division was NYYC Commodore Bill Ketcham on his gorgeous navy-blue J/44 MAXINE. Ketcham’s team opened the regatta with a stunning trio of bullets on the opening day on Tuesday. However, it was apparent that even the “lay day” after the enormous 175th Anniversary party Tuesday evening was not enough time for his crew to fully recover. Their next four races saw them never cracking the podium spots, posting a 5-5-7-5. Thereafter, a much sobered up and fiercely determined team cracked the whip and closed with a magnificent set of races on the last day with two bullets. Their win was not an easy one, as those two bullets meant they tied at 37 pts each with St Francis YC’s Peter Wagner on his J/111 SKELETON KEY, with Wagner losing the tie-break on countback. Rounding out the J/Sweep of the podium in third was yet another J/111, Andrew & Sedge Ward’s BRAVO. The balance of the top five was also J/crews, with Joe Brito’s J/121 INCOGNITO in 4th and Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION in 5th place.

Easily eclipsing the PHRF Navigator’s Division was Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s J/105 GOOD TRADE, counting all podium finishes to win with just 13 pts total! Fourth went to yet another San Francisco J/105 team, led by Bill Dana. For more New York YC 175th Anniversary Regatta sailing information

J/70s sailing Fiesta Cup- Santa Barbara, CAJ/70s Battle @ Fiesta Cup
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The Santa Barbara YC hosted their annual Fiesta Cup Regatta for one-design fleets of J/70s and J/111s.  In the two-day regatta, the SBYC PRO managed to run four races in the challenging, kelp-laden, conditions often seen on the scenic Pacific Ocean waterfront in front of the club.

Trading off 1sts and 2nds all weekend in the J/70 Class was the Janov family on MINOR THREAT and Pat Toole’s famous 3 BIG DOGS crew.  In the end, Jeff Janov led family members Jay, Ryan, Grant and Jordan, plus a local World Champion sailor (David Ullman, no less), to a trio of bullets and a 2nd to win with 5 pts. Two points back was Pat Toole’s “big doggers” (George Witter, Dale Turley, and Chris Weiss) with a tally of three deuces and a bullet for 7 pts. Third was Doug Weitz’s crew on AGENT 99- Brian O’Mahony, Paul Zambriski, and Ryan Eastwood.

In the J/111 class, Kenny Kieding and John Vincent’s ARGO 3 won the class with all bullets, followed by Mike Drammer’s TITANIUM in second with all deuces.

As usual, the fleet was treated to an amazing BBQ cookout on the beach next to the club; the sailors enjoyed a great band, lots of tacos, pitchers of tequilas, and lots of camaraderie discussing the days racing. By the end of the evening, the sea stories were epic- the tactics were brilliant, the speeds supersonic, the leads huuuuuge, and enemies vanquished at every turn!  For more Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/105 at Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge regattaHot’n’Steamy Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge
(Solomons Island, MD)- Since 1993, the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge has been a Chesapeake Bay racer’s favorite regatta in the summertime.  The three-day regatta is held every July, in the middle of the summer, in the middle of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, near Solomons Island, Maryland. Hosting the event was the Southern Maryland Sailing Association.

Several J/Crews participated in what may be the hottest and steamiest Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge in recent memory. The regatta started on July 22nd, but it was too hot and too sunny for the wind to develop much anywhere on the Bay.  As a result, the PRO postponed the start and waited for the wind to develop before sending everyone off on their merry way for a few races.
Screwpile Lighthouse social entertainment
In the end, Marty Roesch’s J/111 VELOCITY won PHRF A Division by just a single point over Ian Hill’s J/111 SITELLA that took the silver.  Yet another J/111, Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND took fourth.  In PHRF A-2 division, Craig Wright’s J/109 AFTERTHOUGHT managed a fourth place.  Meanwhile, in PHRF A-3 division, Mark & Robin White’s J/105 RAKALL won quite easily, posting all firsts! Finally, in PHRF B division, Larry Ray made the commitment to go all the way in his J/70 JRAY and slid home in 5th place.  Follow Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge Regatta on Facebook here  For more Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Jul 20-28- Travemunde Week- Travemunde, Germany
Jul 25-28- Marblehead NOOD Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Jul 26- Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race- Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 26-28- Ugotta Regatta- Harbor Springs, MI
Jul 27- RORC Channel Race- Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Jul 24-27- Whidbey Island Race Week- Oak Harbor, WA
Jul 26-27- New England Solo-Twin Race- Newport, RI
Aug 2-4- Buzzards Bay Race Week- New Bedford, MA
Aug 3- Rolex Fastnet Race- Cowes, England
Aug 8-11- J/Fest New England- Newport, RI
Aug 9-11- J/105 East Coast Championship- Newport, RI
Aug 9-11- Verve Offshore Cup- Chicago, IL
Aug 10-17- Cowes Race Week- Cowes, England
Aug 10-18- Nantucket Race Week- Nantucket, MA
Aug 14-16- Surfin’ Safari Regatta- Corpus Christi, TX
Aug 15-18- SAILING Champions League- St. Moritz, Switzerland
Aug 17-24- AUDI Hamilton Race Week- Hamilton Island, Australia
Aug 17- Ida Lewis Distance Race- Newport, RI
Aug 20-24- J/109 North American Championship- South Dartmouth, MA
Aug 20-23- J/111 World Championship- Chicago, IL
Aug 21-25- J/24 USA Nationals- Rochester, NY
Aug 23-25- Irish J/24 Nationals- Lough Erne, Ireland
Aug 23-25- Ted Hood Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 23-25- Verve Inshore Cup- Chicago, IL
Aug 24-26- J/80 U.K. Nationals- Lymington, England
Aug 30- Sep 6- J/70 World Championship- Torquay, Devon, England
Aug 30- The Vineyard Race- Stamford, CT
Sep 4-8- J/105 North American Championship- Marblehead, MA
Sep 12-15- Rolex Big Boat Series- San Francisco, CA

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

Marblehead harborMarblehead NOOD Regatta Preview
(Marblehead, MA)- The 2019 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta at Marblehead Race Week returns to Marblehead, MA, July 25 to 28. Boston Yacht Club will host more than 150 teams across 14 fleets. J/One-Design classes include J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, and J/105s.

Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Jud Smith (Swampscott, MA), won the 2018 Marblehead NOOD and the 2018 J/70 World Championship in the same venue. “It’s a new year,” says Smith, “And, a lot of good boats are registered. We have three past J/70 World Champions in the fleet, including myself, Peter Duncan, and Joel Ronning, so the top end of the fleet is going to be stacked.”

Training and preparation were vital to Smith’s past success, and this season he plans to share his knowledge as a coach and mentor. Smith notes the importance of working out the kinks throughout the season so teams can peak at the right time.

J/70s sailing off Marblehead, MA“The best method I’ve seen is to do a regatta every month or so, with intensive training in between,” shared Smith. “With the wind and currents in Marblehead, the NOOD will serve as a perfect training platform for the World Championships in Torquay [England] later this season. Marblehead is one of the top ocean venues in the country, and with the NOOD Regatta coming here each year, it keeps the area at the forefront of one-design racing. It’s the biggest regatta of the season for many of us in New England, so everyone gets really excited to go out and compete.”

Joining these world-class competitors in the 25-boat J/70 fleet are Dan Goldberg’s BAZINGA, Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER, Bill Lynn & Ed Keller’s KEY PLAYER, Sam Altreuter’s LEADFOOT, Henry Brauer’s RASCAL, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, David Franzel’s SPRING, John & Molly Baxter’s TEAM VINEYARD VINES, and Nancy Glover’s WINTERWIND.

The J/80s will have good racing with top crews like Peter d’Anjou’s LE TRIGRE, Sam Cushing’s THE PARTY TREE, Jason Viseltear’s UPSETTER, Brian Gibbs’ BLIND FAITH, and Fred Baker’s BLUE SKIES.

J/105s sailing off Marblehead, MAOn a roll in the J/105 class is Bruce Stone & Nicole Breault’s GOOD TRADE. Having had much practice in their hometown J/105 Fleet #1 in San Francisco Bay. Fifteen J/105s are expecting to learn more about the tricky Marblehead offshore sailing conditions, as it is also the site for the 2019 J/105 North American Championship in September. Hoping to give GOOD TRADE a run-for-the-money are teams like Bill Zartler’s DEJA VOODOO from Houston, TX; Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA; Mark Lindquist’s STERLING from Buzzards Bay, MA; and Mark Masur’s globe-trotting TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth, TX.

The Marblehead NOOD, hosted by Boston YC, with race committee support from Eastern and Corinthian yacht clubs, will produce the final entrant for the Caribbean Championship sponsored by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands on October 27 to November 1, 2019.  For more Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD Regatta sailing information

J/109 sailing in Puget Sound, WAWhidbey Island Race Week Preview
(Oak Harbor, WA)- The kids are now adults. And, the adults are still acting like kids. And, after nearly four decades, Whidbey Island Race Week remains the stalwart among true race weeks. This year’s event has attracted a fleet of sixty-one boats, twenty-eight of them are J/Crews- 46% of the regatta! There are one-design classes for J/80s and J/105s, with the rest sailing in various PHRF handicap classes.

The J/105 class has, perhaps, its largest turnout ever. Eleven teams are making the trek north to enjoy some fun in the sun, lots of socializing, and perhaps a few round-the-cans races! If they have not gone delirious at the evening parties, these teams should be contenders in the leaderboard; Tom Kerr’s CORVO 105, Jerry Diercks’ DELIRIUM, Chris Phoenix’s JADED, John Aitchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN, and Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE.

Similarly, the J/80 class of eight crews also have one of their largest turnouts ever.  Watch for these crews to stay somewhere near the forefront of the leaderboard, David Schutte’s TAJ MAHAL, Ryan Porter’s JOLLY GREEN, Bryan Rhodes’ CRAZY IVAN, and Morris Lowitz’s UPROAR.

In the PHRF handicap racing world, the J’s are well represented across the board. In PHRF 1 is Bruce Chan’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II. In PHRF 2 are three J/109s (Mike Campbell’s LAPA, Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, & Tolga Cezik’s LODOS), Brian White’s J/35 GRACE E, and Dave & Vernice Cohen’s J/90 EYE EYE. Then, in PHRF 3 class is Stephanie Arnold’s J/33 DASH (yet another woman owner ready to dust the class).  For more Whidbey Island Race Week sailing information

J/111 sailing Edgartown Race WeekEdgartown Race Weekend Preview
(Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard)- According to world-famous New Zealand sailor Gavin Brady, “Edgartown Race Week always produces a lot of great stories.” He should know, since he sailed for years in Martha’s Vineyard on the TP52 VESPER- which belongs to summer native Jim Swartz (notable for his prescient investment in a little social media company called Facebook). Brady goes on to say, “the Vineyard is an awesome destination, and the club has a great feel to it with loads of history. The ‘Round-the-Island Race is a very tactical race with tides and plenty of passing opportunities– always enjoyable and never the same. This will be as much a great adventure as a race.”

Edgartown Race Weekend divisions includes racing for IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF-NE (including Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker), Classics, One-Design, Multihull and Doublehanded boats. ’RTI/’RTS and ‘RTB are scored separately, with top-three prizes awarded in each class.

A Mount Gay-sponsored “Jump-Up” party on Friday night (July 26) and awards on both Friday afternoon and Sunday morning (July 28) round out the amazing social schedule.

J/122 sailing off Edgartown Race Week
Not surprisingly, the event is incredibly popular with many New England J/Crews, especially for those in Cape Cod and surrounding waters. Sailing in the RTB race PHRF B is Dan Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE.  In PHRF C are two J/105s (Matt Schmitt’s HARDTACK & the trio of Joyce/ Reservitz/ Wagner on DARK’N’STORMY).

For the RTI race, in PHRF 2 is Alan Fougere’s J/160 AVATAR and Kent Nicholas’ J/42 PANASEA. Sailing PHRF 5 are three J/105s (HARDTACK, DARK’N’STORMY, & Nantucket Community Sailing’s CLIO), Phil Stathos’ J/110 AIRBENDER, Steve Dahill’s J/35C RIVA, and Ira Perry’s J/29 SEEFEST.  Racing PHRF 6 are Jonathan Burt’s J/130 LOLA, Dick Egan’s J/46 WINGS, Doug Curtiss’ J/111 WICKED 2.0, Stephen Besse’s J/120 APRES, and two J/109s (Ed Dailey’s RAPTOR & Eliot Shanabrook’s HAFA ADAI).

Finally, in the RTS race, in PHRF 2 is Heun’s J/122 MOXIEE and the J/70 Class includes JP Bretl’s SEAHAWK, Veronica Lundgren’s GHOST, and Anthony Giordano’s TONIC.  For more Edgartown Race Week sailing information

Point Dume, Malibu, CA 
Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race Preview
(Santa Barbara, CA)- The 2019 Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is a distance race spanning 81.0nm and has been a tradition for Santa Barbara and King Harbor sailors for 47 years. The race is quite popular with sailors up and down the Southern California coastline, seventy boats are registered, of which 23% (16) are J/Teams.

The SB-KH is a simple race, too, since the tactics are pretty well understood by most teams. From the start line, sailing in a building northwesterly seabreeze, it is a straight shot on starboard tack to the bottom of the Channel Islands, with either Code Zeros or reaching spinnakers. The one and only turning mark is Anacapa Island, left to port.  The principal issue is getting around the wind shadow of Anacapa before gybing and dashing off on port tack under spinnakers towards the infamous Point Dume (a.k.a. sometimes Pt Doom!) in the glittery, fashionable village of Malibu, CA. The reason why that strategy works is that late afternoon winds from the NW are significantly accelerated around that point due to the fact the entire Los Angeles Basin is boiling hot (like 100 F deg hot!) and the Santa Rosa/ San Jacinto Mountain range to the east are like giant frying pans sending all that heat skywards! Upon reaching Point Dume, most boats gybe back onto starboard tack and head for the finish line at the opening to King Harbor in Redondo Beach, just north of the gorgeous Palos Verdes peninsula.

J/125 Warrior sailing Santa Barbara to King Harbor RaceThe sixteen J/Teams participating include four J/111s (Bernie Girod’s ROCK & ROLL, Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s PICOSA, Kenny Kieding & John Vincent’s ARGO 3, & Mike Drammer’s TITANIUM), Dr Laura Schlessinger’s J/125 WARRIOR (a multiple race winner), two J/120s (Tom & Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER & Jack Rose’s PRIVATEER II), Scott Torrance’s J/124 FORGIVENESS, two J/109s (Tom Cullen’s FUEGO & Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR), Doug Steick’s J/100 JIB & TONIC, Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT, three J/105s (Chuck Spear’s TWELVE BAR BLUES, Tom Bollay’s ARMIDA, & Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN), and Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN.  For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information

J/70s sailing Ugotta Regatta 
Ugotta Regatta Preview
(Harbor Springs, MI)- Hosted by Little Traverse YC in Harbor Springs, MI, the annual Ugotta Regatta has become a very fun, sociable “Post Mac Race” regatta to enjoy day-racing in what has to be one of the prettiest horseshoe-shaped bays in the world, with Caribbean-like aquamarine waters so clear you can see over 35 feet below the surface. It has become quite popular for J/sailors since it now includes the J/70 class, in addition to a J/105 class and PHRF handicap racing.

The enormous twenty-boat J/70 class is likely due to the fact that the J/70 Corinthian National Championship will be taking place in the same venue in a few weeks time. Some of the top crews include John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA, Polk Wagner’s ESCAPE, Don Glover’s MISS KILLER, Bob Willis’ RIP RULLAH, Glenn Gault’s SIMPLY IRRISTIBLE, Ryan McKillen’s SURGE, and Scott Sellers’ TRES BURRITOS.

Racing the J/105 class are a quartet of mostly local boats, such as Bill Petzold’s GREEN FLASH, Sam Powers’ GRYPHON, Jay Vander Wall’s MANITOU, and Mark Symonds’ PTERODACTYL (hoping to complete the “triple crown” - Chicago Mac/ Bayview Mac/ Ugotta).

In PHRF A class are two J/111s (Brad Faber’s UTAH and Carl Hanssen’s VARIANCE). Then, in PHRF B class is Larry Taunt’s J/35 BAD DOG and Gary & Susan Stewart’s J/32 ZONE.  For more Ugotta Regatta sailing information

J/99 sailing doublehanded offshore 
New England Solo-Twin Race Preview
(Newport, RI)- Newport Yacht Club is hosting their annual New England Solo-Twin Race, starting on Friday, July 26th at noon.  The NYC PRO has an opportunity to select from five race courses for the singlehanded and doublehanded racers that are 60.0 to 100.0nm ocean triangle courses that start and finish in Narragansett Bay.  The selected course is based on weather forecasts for the two-day race.  So far, the various weather models (NAM, ECMWF, GFS) are showing seabreeze SSW 10-15 kts for the start, slowing swinging SE by evening and more ESE Friday night and Saturday morning in the 5-10 kts range.

Looking forward to the challenge are several well-sailed J/Crews.  In the Monohull Spinnaker Solo division is Ben Hodgson’s J/100 GRIMACE.  In the Monohull Spinnaker Twin division are two J/121s (David Southwell/ Scott Meier on ALCHEMY and Greg Manning/ Todd Johnston on SARAH), Bill Kneller/ Eric Irwin’s J/109 VENTO SOLARE, Paul Grimes/ David Moffet’s J/35 BREAKAWAY, Kevin Dakan/ Bob Kinsman’s J/110 MEMORY.  For more New England Solo-Twin Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.