Wednesday, February 26, 2020

J/Newsletter- February 26th, 2020

sunset in ChileJ/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

If there was one theme that seemed to hold true in various sailing venues around the world this past weekend, it was this- epic and windy!  For starters, the J/70 Midwinter Championship was hosted at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, Florida for a fleet of fifty-four boats. What no one ever expected was that the forecast might even be right for once! For the first time in recent memory, the fleet was treated to "blowing dogs off chains", epic planing conditions all three days of the regatta. With mostly northerly quadrant winds (shifting NW to NE) driven by massive weather fronts off to the north, the fleet experienced 15 to 30 knot winds from Friday to Sunday, with a few clouds, a few showers, and lots of sun in 68 to 75 degree temperatures. Not one person could recall better sailing conditions for three days in a row on Biscayne Bay! Nor, could anyone recollect being so sore after eight races!

Similarly, over in Europe, the Spanish J/70 class held their fifth and final event of the Villalia J/70 Vigo Winter Series in Vigo, Spain- site of last year's J/70 Europeans. The finale was punctuated by two straight days of 15 to 25 kts from the south-southwest for their four-race regatta (the seas got too big in the afternoons!).

Sharing similar stories was the Argentina J/24 Class, hosting their Campeonato del Oeste on Lago Potrerillos in Potrerillos, Mendoza, Argentina for a fleet of twenty boats..the same site as next year's 2021 J/24 World Championship! Two straight days of "jib-only", 15-22 kts of "sea breezes", unrelenting sun, high in the Andes Mountains was a recipe for sheer sailing ecstasy!

Finally, while not as windy as the aforementioned venues, the Islands Race enjoyed good breezes and sybaritic sailing conditions offshore of southern California. A fleet of twenty-five offshore thoroughbreds raced 108.0nm from Long Beach to San Diego, CA leaving all islands to port... sailing were three J/Crews- a J/109, J/111, and J/125. 

J/80 sailing World Championship
J/80 Worlds Fleet Special!

(Newport, RI)- The J/80 World Championship returns to Newport, Rhode Island in September 2020 for what promises to be another epic event. J/80 sailors are still talking about the last Newport-hosted Worlds in 2010.

The demand for charter boats this year is high, so J/Boats is offering a limited number of new J/80s on a pre-order Worlds Fleet Special. The new fleet will be commissioned in Newport, RI and sailed during the J/80 Worlds by international teams (September 28 – October 3) and then available for pick-up by owners following the event.

J/80 Worlds Fleet Special:
  • 2020 Model J/80 with standard specifications including:
  • AG+ mast and boom
  • Profurl R250 New Gen roller furling system
  • Lewmar winches and Harken deck gear
  • Triad Trailer - Galvanized, double-axle lift off trailer
  • Companionway spinnaker bag.
  • Safety Gear package – anchor, chain & rode, bucket, bilge pump, first aid kit, two fenders, two docklines.
  • 3.5hp Outboard motor (TBD) with padded engine bag.
The special package price is $52,900 FOB Bristol, Rhode Island with an order deadline of February 28, 2020. This represents an $8,000+ savings and is the best opportunity to get a race-ready J/80 at a great price. Please contact your J/Dealer or J/Boats to learn more!

J/70 Vineyard Vines
Team VINEYARD VINES Crowned J/70 Midwinter Champions
(Miami, Florida)- The 2020 J/70 Midwinter Championship will go down in the history books as an epic, thrilling regatta punctuated by big winds, big waves, big competition, and an outrageous, amazing final race to determine the entire top five teams on the leaderboard. From the beginning, most of the 225-plus sailors on the fifty-four boats from eight nations (USA, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Denmark) expected the Midwinters to be an incredibly competitive event. With multiple World Champions represented on the various leading teams (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, Lightnings, Stars, Lasers, Etchells 22, etc) there was going to be a high-level of performance unlike anything seen since the recent J/70 Worlds in Torquay, England.

The Coral Reef YC PRO Mark Foster (himself a J/22 North American Champion from Corpus Christi, Texas) was blessed with nearly postcard-perfect, epic sailing conditions all weekend-long. The regatta started off in 15 to 25 kt Northwest, shifty breezes on Friday. The forecasted "blowing dogs off chains" nuclear wind conditions for Saturday ultimately materialized, with mostly North to Northeast winds averaging 22 kts, gusting to 30 knots in squalls. Sunday dawned with a gorgeous sunrise over Biscayne Bay and the fleet was blessed with "champagne" sailing conditions for the final day; sunny and 75 degrees, with winds in the Northeast to East at 10-20 knots.

Winning the regatta on the final day and in the final race was John & Molly Baxter's Team VINEYARD VINES from Riverside Yacht Club in Connecticut. Their crew included Allan Terhune and Ben Lamb.  Taking the honors in the Corinthians Division was the Turkish team from Istanbul- Team EKER KAYMAK skippered by Ahmet Eker, with crew of Burak Zengin, Bilge Kerem Ozkan and Yasar Doga Aribas. Here is how it all went down over the three challenging, fun-filled days.

J/70s sailing off Florida
Day 1- Friday Frontal Follies
A significant weather front was forecasted to pass over the racing area on Biscayne Bay Friday with forecasts for thunderstorms, squalls, and lightning. At the 0900 hours skipper's meeting, the PRO Foster wisely postponed until the frontal system passed by. Following the onshore postponement, the winds shifted, and teams were able to complete two exciting races starting at 1330 hours. Fast off the line and sailing away to nearly insurmountable leads in both races was past J/70 World Champion Joel Ronning; he and his CATAPULT crew of Victor Diaz De Leon, Christopher Stocke and Patrick Wilson seemed untouchable. Ignacio Perez’s ZAQUERO from Valle de Bravo, Mexico also excelled in the windy, shifty conditions, posting a 3-4 for 7 points. Then, two teams are tied at 9 points for the third position; John Heaton’s EMPEIRIA and John & Molly Baxter’s Team VINEYARD VINES

J/70s sailing off start in Miami, Florida
Day 2- Stormy Squally Saturday
Truly epic "blowing dogs off chains" conditions on Biscayne Bay presented a challenging three races on Saturday, testing both crews and equipment. With gusts hitting 30 knots, several teams reported hitting speeds of 19 to 21 knots on their speedo's downwind, sending walls of salt water bursting into the air and clouds of spray flying over the boats.

Standing out in the crowd was the Perez family team on ZAQUERO- skipper Ignacio, with Santiago and Juan Perez and their friend Moritz Spitzauer. In the big breeze with near three-foot, boat-stopping square waves, the team from Mexico eclipsed the large fleet with stunning scores of 1-2-1 to finish the day with 7 net points in five total races (discarding a fourth from Friday). Ronning’s CATAPULT dropped to second overall with 11 net points, following scores of 4-7-5. Pamela Rose’s ROSEBUD moved up to third with 18 net points. Pedro Camargo’s MANCHA NEGRA from Brazil led the Corinthians Division.

Perez racked up his first bullet of the day in race three, trailed by Ryan McKillen’s SURGE and Rose's ROSEBUD. Coincidentally, the same group comprised the top spots in fourth race, but in this order: McKillen, Perez, Rose! In the final battle, Perez returned to first, ahead of Heaton’s EMPEIRIA and the Baxter’s Team VINEYARD VINES.

J/70 Surge sailing Midwinters off Miami, Florida
Day 3- Simply Splendid Sunday
Biscayne Bay delivered its third consecutive day of epic conditions, as winds averaged 10-20 knots with blue skies. Three more races were completed for a total of eight, as Team VINEYARD VINES won two of three races on Sunday. Day two leader ZAQUERO suffered a BFD in race seven, and was overtaken by Ronning’s CATAPULT and McKillen’s SURGE, that finished second and third overall, respectively. In the end, the Baxter’s tallied 27 net points, two better than Ronning. McKillen finished third with 37 net points.

In the 12-boat Corinthian division, Team EKER KAYMAK of Turkey claimed victory. Zachary Segal’s USA 1154 and Andrew Fisher’s BUTTON FLY followed in second and third, respectively.

Team VINEYARD VINES is based out of Long Island Sound, and they have recently excelled in heavier air, including placing fourth at the breezy 2019 North American Championship in Cleveland, OH (the last J/70 event they had raced). Reflecting on the final day’s strategy, which they started in fourth place, skipper John Baxter said, “There were a lot of teams that were in the top group. Our strategy was to sail clean, get off the line and go straight. Although we weren’t winning right off the line, we chipped away. We were really quick downwind, and then at times we were fast upwind. We were able to hold lanes, which we couldn't do before, and now we’ve figured it out.”   Sailing photo credits- Chris Howell/ Tim Wilkes

J/70 Vineyard Vines interview
Team Vineyard Vines/ Baxter interview- winners

Mexican J/70 sailing Midwinters
Zaquero/ Perez family interview- #23

Sailing video of epic sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay

For more J/70 Midwinter Championship sailing information

J/125 sailing offshore
J/Crews Sweep Class in The Islands Race

(San Diego, CA)- The 2020 edition of the Islands Race was the second fastest on record for the 108.0nm race track that starts from Long Beach, California and sends the fleet around offshore landmarks Santa Catalina Island and San Clemente Islands, and then to the finish off Point Loma in San Diego.

Hosting the race for the twenty-five-boat fleet for the 11th time were San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

J/111 sailing offshore
In the end, the trio of J/Crews that swept the podium of ORR Class 5 were jubilant! Leading the way was a newcomer to the race from Texas, Andrew Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY. They not only won class, but finished third ORR Overall, just 4 seconds from the silver and only 5 minutes from the top of the podium! Putting up an excellent performance was Doug & Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, taking second in ORR Class 5 and fifth overall. Rounding out the podium was Standish Fleming's J/125 NEREID, also taking sixth overall. That was an outstanding performance by those three top offshore teams! Sailing photo credits- JOY Sailing.  For more Islands Race sailing information

J/24s sailing in Mendoza, Argentina
CARRERA Crowned J/24 Campeonato del Oeste Champion

(Potrerillos, Mendoza - Argentina)- After two simply spectacular days of sailing in unbeatable weather, the twenty J/24 teams from across Argentina could go home with big smiles on their faces after sailing nine races for the Campeonato del Oeste (the Western Championships).  Adding to the sailor's big grins may have been plenty of amazing Malbec wine from some of the famous vineyards in the region.  Sailors take note- Lago Potrerillos is the site of the 2021 J/24 World Championship in July!

J/24s sailing in Andes Mountains
For this year, there was lots of glacier-fed icy-blue water in the lake (a damned-up reservoir) and plenty of wind. Like many mountain lakes, Lago Potrerillos enjoy "adiabatic winds", so morning "downslope" winds die off and, punctually at noon, the winds come roaring in from the southwest ta 15 knots and gradually increases to 18-20 kts every least that's what the local Chamber of Commerce claims! However, the weather really was that good for this past weekend- sunny skies, wind burn, and plenty of wine! If you do not believe them, just ask any one of the three USA J/24 sailors that took part in this year's event- Tony Parker, Barbra Gold or Steve Lopez.

J/24s sailing in Argentina
After warming-up on the first day with all top five finishes, Miguel Pereira's team on CARRERA (Delgado, Gerra, & Scarpatti) managed to close the last four races with straight bullets to win the regatta in convincing fashion. The balance of the podium saw a closely-fought three-way battle between CACIQUE, MORRUCHO and RINA.  In the end, it was Ezekiel Despontin's CACIQUE that took the silver with crew of Novillo, Borgstrom, & Homps. Third just two points back was Sebastien Halpern's MORRUCHO with crew of S. Despontin, Miralles & P. Despontin. Rounding out the top five was Nicolas Cubria's RINA in fourth and Tomas Agusti's CAMBURY in fifth place.  For more Argentina J/24 Campeonato del Oeste sailing information

J/70s sailing off Vigo, Spain
NOTICIA Wins the Villalia J/70 Vigo Winter Series

MARNATURA Takes Final Act V
(Vigo, Spain)- The Real Club Náutico De Vigo hosted the five event Villalia J/70 Vigo Winter Series. The finale was an epic one, with the fleet treated to 15 to 25 knot winds from the south to southwest all weekend long, with the RCNV PRO managing to run just four races in the somewhat extreme wave conditions.

Winning the final weekend was Luis Bagallo Arriola's MARNATURA 1 team (Gerardo Prego, Alberto Basadre and Javier de la Gándara) from the host club by posting an impressive 4-1-1-1 in the wild waters offshore. Second was two-time J/80 World Champion Pichu Torcida from Real Club Maritimo de Santander, sailing his NOTICIA team to a 2-8-2-2 tally. Then, third was determined on a tie-breaker between Gonzalo Araujo's LAGUARDIA & MOREIRA and Luis Albert's PATAKIN, with Araujo's team winning the countback.

J/70s sailing off Vigo, Spain
As a result of the final weekend's results, it was Torcida's NOTICIA that was proclaimed the Villalia J/70 Vigo Winter Series Champion! The balance of the podium included Bugallo Arriola's MARNATURA 1 in second and Araujo's LAGUARDIA & MORERIRA in third. The rest of the hotly contested top five included Luiz Perez Canal's ABRIL VERDE in fourth place and Albert's PATAKIN in fifth place. Note that Rayco Tabares from the Canary Islands (himself a two-time J/80 World Champion) was crewing on ABRIL VERDE and Hugo Rocha (a Spanish Olympic Gold Medallist) was crewing on Albert's PATAKIN...not many "shrinking violets" in that fleet!  For more Villalia J/70 Vigo Winter Series sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

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

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

J/24s sailing upwind
J/24 Midwinter Championship Preview

(Indian Harbour Beach, Florida)- The Melbourne and Eau Gallie Yacht Clubs will again be hosting the J/24 Midwinter Championship for a competitive fleet of thirty-three J/24 teams from across the country.

Perhaps the long distance award, and some of the premiere competitors in the regatta, goes to a formidable trio of teams from the Seattle, Washington area.  For starters, there is Keith Whittemore's FURIO team from Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. A close friend of their's is yet another top Seattle team, Mark Laura's BABA LOUIE from Seattle Yacht Club. Then, the third part of that trio is Scott Milne's TREMENDOUS SLOUCH also from Corinthian YC of Seattle.

Taking them on will be two past J/24 World Champions, Mike Ingham's NAUTALYTICS from Rochester Canoe Club in Rochester, New York and John Mollicone's BUCKAROO/ NEW ENGLAND ROPES from Sail Newport and Newport, Rhode Island. All of those teams will be sorely tested by class septuagenarian Tony Parker on his famous BANGOR PACKET from Annapolis Yacht Club and Washington, DC.

Several veterans that will always be near the top of the leaderboard given certain weather conditions will be teams like Dick Tillman's LINDA from the host Melbourne YC, Kirk Reynold's TYRUS from Skaneateles, New York, and Al Constants' BLITZ from Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club from Locust Valley, New York.
For more J/24 Midwinter Championship sailing information

J/70s sailing Bacardi Miami, FloridaJ/70 Bacardi Invitational Preview
(Miami, FL)- Forty-three J/70 teams from ten nations (USA, Argentina, Italy, Thailand, Brazil, Great Britain, Chile, Germany, Canada, and Mexico) are looking forward to the third and final series of the Bacardi J/70 Winter Series- the Bacardi Invitational- that is being sailed from March 4th to 7th, 2020.  Coral Reef YC hosts the event, in coordination with Biscayne Bay YC, and the combined PRO’s hope to get in at least 3 to 4 races per day.

A stellar fleet is assembled for the event, following on the previous week’s J/70 Midwinter Championship that was hosted in the same venue. Leading teams from the USA include Doug Strebel’s BLACK RIVER RACING from Houston, TX; Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT from Wayzata YC in Minnesota; Andrew & Mallory Loe's DIME from Seattle, WA; Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC in Massachusetts; Bruce Golison's MIDLIFE CRISIS from Long Beach, CA; Oivind Lorentzen's NINE from Greenwich, CT; John Brim's RIMETTE from Palm Beach, Florida; Pam Rose's ROSEBUD from Coconut Grove, FL; Bruno Pasquinelli's STAMPEDE from Fort Worth, Texas; and Ryan McKillen's SURGE from New York, NY.

There are several formidable foreign teams that will be on the starting line, many having already sailed the recent J/70 Midwinters in Miami. Those teams include three from Great Britain: the 2019 World Champions- Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, Martin Dent's JELVIS, and Tilly Harrison's JOLT. The three Chilean teams include Rene Vidal's MEMPHIS, Pablo Herman's NEW WAVE, and Vernon Robert's CHI-1038. A leading German team will also be on the starting line- Michel Grau's GER 1250 from Hamburg, Germany.
For more J/70 Bacardi Invitational sailing information

St Maarten Heineken stageSt Maarten Heineken Regatta Preview 
(Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten)- Over 100 yachts from thirty-five countries will compete in the 40th Heineken St Maarten Regatta. A key event on the Caribbean race schedule, the regatta attracts some of the world’s elite sailors and crews, with fast and furious racing in monohulls, maxis and multihulls.

Crystal clear waters and east-northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. And with Heineken as title sponsor, the racing days blend seamlessly into four nights of exceptional parties. The event is a bucket list must-do! The "Serious Fun" goes for four days from March 4th to the 8th.

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is famous for both its parties and racing. Over four nights, some of the world’s top artists take to the stage and ensure that each day of racing starts as well as it ends with the festivities continuing long into the night.

J/105 sailing off St MaartenLooking forward to enjoying all the Serious Fun are a several J/Crews from the USA, Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.  In the CSA 4 Racing class are four J/crews. Having just won Grenada Sailing Week, Pamala Baldwin’s LIQUID (including her international crew of Julian White, Matt Kasorzycki, and Sil Grijpma) from Jolly Harbour, Antigua will be looking forward to another run at the top of the podium with her talented team.  Joining them in class are Peter Lewis' debut of his new J/121 WHISTLER from St. James, Barbados. Additional teams include Sam Talbot's J/111 SPIKE from Centerport, NY and the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club, and Andrew Guhl's Charleston, SC team on the J/120 JAGUAR.

The CSA 5 Racing class has a fleet of 35 footers that will push each other hard and such tight racing keeps the scores very close.  The two J/105s include SOLSTICE (Jordan Mindich from Long Island, New York) and JENK (Remco van Dortmondt from Curacao). Joining them this year will be Tristan Marmousez's J/109 SANG NEUF from Saint Lucia, Martinique; Roland Wagner's J/35 PEGASUS from Hergiswill, Switzerland; and Garth Steyn's J/70 FRANNY from the hometown of Simpson Bay, Phillipsburg, St Maarten.

Finally, the CSA 6 Cruising class has two quite competitive J/Crews; Tanner Jones' famous J/30 BLUE PETER / ABSOLUTE PROPERTIES from Jolly Harbour, Antigua and Ryan Schenck's J/42 SHAZAAM from Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida.  For more St Maarten Heineken Regatta sailing information

J/145 sailing off CaliforniaPuerto Vallarta Race Preview
(San Diego, CA)- Held bi-annually, anticipation has been building for the 2020 Puerto Vallarta Race as race day approaches. Hosted by San Diego YC, the 1,200 nm race has been famous for two elements- the classic spinnaker-driven sleigh ride down the Mexican coast to the end of the Baja Peninsula, then a left turn at Cabo San Lucas across the Sea of Cortez, to the finish line off Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico that is at the opening of Bahia de Banderas (Banderas Bay).

The race has always attracted J/sailors of various stripes and experience over the course of time.  This year, two veteran offshore racing teams will be going at it hard in a 1,200nm dog-fight for offshore supremacy. One of the protagonists is well-known in SoCal racing circles; that is Mark Surber's J/125 DERIVATIVE from San Diego YC sailing in ORR 3 Division. The other is a first-timer to the event, Roger Gatewood's J/145 KATANA from Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida that will be sailing in ORR 5 Division.  For more San Diego to Puerto Vallarta sailing information