J/70 North Americans Preview
(San Diego, CA)- The fast-growing J/70 class is holding its first major championship on the Pacific Ocean this week. With fifty boats participating, the San Diego YC will be hosting one of the more competitive fleets the J/70 class has seen to date.
Greg Koski, a veteran in the J/70 class and owner of Ullman Sails Cleveland, provides his perspective: “The J/70 class is gearing up for their third North American Championship, this year in sunny San Diego, California. The event, which will take place September 24-27, will be hosted by none other than the prestigious San Diego Yacht Club, which has set the standard in terms of race management and accommodation. The 50-boat fleet is substantial. While it is not the biggest North Americans held by the class to-date, it might well be the most competitive.
The fleet in general has gotten stronger and stronger since the class was founded in 2012, and now any of the top 20 boats has the potential to win. Not only will the event see the 2015 and 2014 J/70 World Champions, Julian Fernandez Neckelman and Tim Healy, in attendance, but they will be pressed hard by others ready to take the title.
On the start line will be Jud Smith (Etchells World Champion), J/70 newcomer Bruce Golison (sailing with five-time Olympian Richard Clarke), Joel Ronning (second place at the 2014 World Championship), Allan Terhune (J/22 World Champion), Brad Boston (two-time Olympian), and Brian Keane (third place at the 2014 J/70 North Americans), etc.. etc. And the list just goes on and on. Brace yourselves for some close racing.
The event’s weather forecast looks pretty much like your typical San Diego forecast with a sea breeze setting in around noon or so, but the system that is currently flowing through Southern California could mix things up. With starts scheduled for 11:30AM the fleet might be waiting on the water for the breeze to fill before they get going.
There are two possible sailing areas, either inside the harbor on the South Bay course or offshore at the Coronado Roads racing area, and am assuming that both venues will be used depending on weather conditions.
The inside course, which can have very tricky winds and currents, could be a little tight for the 50 boat fleet, but would showcase more exciting, close-quarters racing. The good thing about sailing inside is that there is NO kelp!
The outside course offers pretty straight-forward sailing – the challenge is to understand the wind and the tide. That being said, the kelp will be a huge problem. Keep your eyes open and be on the constant lookout. Having your kelp stick ready at all times is a must, as is backing down before every race, no matter if you’re sailing inside or out. We look forward to some great weather and tight racing.”
The weekend before the NA’s, the SDYC hosted the J/70 Tune Up Regatta. Many boats participated as it gave teams a chance to test their speed and setup for the conditions many expected to face in the NAs. The winner was Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT, followed by Brad Rodi’s BLISS and Al Terhune’s DAZZLER, in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Other teams that had top five finishes included Chris Snow & Mary Bridgen’s COOL STORY BRO, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR, Chris RAAB’s SUGOU, Jeff Brown’s J70 (his business JK3 Yachts is a regatta sponsor), Neil Senturia’s CACHONDO and Peter Vessella’s RUNNING WILD. It will be tight competition for the NA’s! Thanks for partial contribution from Scuttlebutt News. For more J/70 North American Championship sailing information
J/30 North Americans Preview
(Marion, MA)- One of America’s oldest and most prestigious yachting clubs, the Beverly YC of Marion, MA, will be hosting the 2015 J/30 North Americans on the waters of the notorious Buzzards Bay this coming weekend. If there’s one thing the J/30 sailors can count on, it’s that no matter what wild and crazy conditions are thrown at them by the weather Godz this coming week, the BYC team will ensure the nine J/30 teams assembled from across the northeastern seaboard will have fun and get in some good racing.
With so many fresh faces appearing in this year’s edition, it’s difficult to determine some of leading teams. Nevertheless, based on their reputations in other classes, watch out for one of the true “hot shot” locals, Bill Saltonstall on ARBELLA. Then a “foreigner” in these parts of New England is the Dan Mather/ Dave Irwin team from Oswego YC on the crusading CRUSADER. Based on previous J/30 NA’s, you can count on Charlie Stoddard’s FALCON from Barrington YC in Rhode Island and also John McArthur’s SMILES from Cedar Point YC to be a factor on the leaderboard.
Based on the upcoming weather forecast this weekend, on Friday the J/30s will face stronger ENE/Easterlys building during the day. Those ENE winds fade a notch Saturday before refreshing and veering further Easterly on Sunday. High pressure remains in control through the extended period as it slowly slides E from Canada, causing NE’rly winds to veer more ENE Friday through Sunday. Sunday is now looking to show strongest values as High pressure slides offshore, wedging a trough from the S into the coast. Should be fun, very very shifty racing with lots of puffs and streaks sliding down Buzzards Bay!
For more J/30 North American Championship sailing information
J/Fest San Diego Preview
(San Diego, CA)- The San Diego YC is proud to host the 20th Anniversary of the J/Fest regatta in Southern California! One design fleets included in the event are J/105s and J/120s. The racing consists of a Fun Bay Pursuit race on Friday afternoon and windward/leeward courses in the Coronado Roads on Saturday and Sunday.
This year J/Fest San Diego will coincide with the J/70 North American Championship. The social events will be fabulous- a Beer/Food pairing party on Friday evening, a Mexican Fiesta with musicalentertainment on Saturday night, and the awards party on Sunday after racing. JK3 Yachts is proud to sponsor not only the J/70 NAs, but the 20th Anniversary of J/Fest!
Joining the festivities in the J/105 class are Steve Howell’s BLINK!, Dennis Case’s WINGS, the Hurlburt/Driscoll duo on JUICED and Stew Cannon’s J-OK. The J/120s are out in force, with Ernie Pennell’s MADMEN, Rudy Hasl’s HASL FREE and Peter Zarcades’ MELTEMI hoping to overcome the historical dominance of Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY and Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER. For more J/Fest San Diego sailing information.
J/24 East Coasts Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- The J/24 East Coast Championships has traditionally been one of the most competitive J/24 regattas in the world. With an average of over 35 boats in the past 10 years, competitors have been challenged and excited by the event. Make sure to join us for the 37th year October 30th to November 1st. Great Fall Breezes in Annapolis, MD and nice fall temps create an excellent playground for some sharp racing. Make sure to not miss the average of 8 races over three great days.
Plus, here are the Top 10 Reasons why you shouldn’t miss this event:
- Excellent Competition; most of the top boats compete in this event.
- Join the ranks of America’s Cup and J/24 World Champion sailors that have competed in this event- like Terry Hutchinson, Brad Read, Tim Healy, Will Welles, Dave Curtis and Jim Brady.
- Easy In & Out – with multiple hoists you are sure to get in and out of the water fast!
- Extend your season. If you are from the Northeast, its starting to get cold. Come down a few hours south and get in on more super-hot J/24 sailing.
- Adult Halloween in Annapolis- its FUN, maybe even insane!
- Free hosted Housing- we can make this event inexpensive for you- just ask (see below)
- Great Value- Early Entry fee is just $150 and includes sailing, beer, drinks, food and more.
- Experience Annapolis- home of the Naval Academy, National Sailing Hall of Fame, great food and nightly entertainment
- Expert Race Management by the team from Severn Sailing Association.
- Its FUN!
The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide
With the northern hemisphere experiencing the first cool breezes of the fall “shoulder season”, the racing world is also transitioning into the fall/winter series and events that mark the end of the northern sailing season.
In Europe, the most dramatic and largest season finale was the SAILING Champions League that recently took place off Porto Cervo in Sardinia, Italy. The YC Costa Smeralda was the host for the top thirty teams in Europe, with racing taking place in their brand new fleet of matched J/70s! They were blessed with simply spectacular sailing conditions all weekend long. Not far away on the “inner Baltic”, the Badnytt magazine and the Svendborg Sailing Club hosted the famous Silverrudder challenge- an enormous single-handed race that starts/finishes off Svendborg, Denmark, then sails 134nm around island of Funen- a challenging race for a famous J/111, J/109 and J/80. Then, hopping across the North Sea to the United Kingdom, three “regattas within a regatta” were taking place on the Solent with the Royal Southern YC being host to the J/111 UK Nationals, the J/80 UK Nationals and the AVEVA September Regatta that featured a large J/70 class. Finally, we got a report from friends in Ireland regards the offshore success of various Irish J/Boats teams.
Heading still further west to Canada, we find the J/24 Canadian Nationals were held at Ashbridges Bay YC off the eastern beaches of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; one of their largest turnouts in years! Then, way, way out west on the Pacific Coast, the St Francis YC was hosting their 51st annual Rolex Big Boat Series, it featured the J/105 North American Championship along with racing for fleets of J/111s, J/120s and handicap racing for J/88s and J/125s.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north. Check them out! More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page! Below are the summaries.
Regatta & Show Schedules:
Sep 18-20- J/22 Dutch Open Nationals- Medemblik, The Netherlands
Sep 18-20- J/70 SAILING Champions League- Porto Cervo, Italy
Sep 19-20- The HOOD- Houston Open One-Design Regatta- Houston, TX
Sep 21-27- J/70 North Americans- San Diego, CA
Sep 24-27- J/30 North Americans- Marion, MA
Sep 25-27- J/105 Canadian Championships- Toronto, ONT, Canada
Sep 25-27- J/80 Atlantique Telegrame- Lorient, France
Sep 25-27- J/FEST San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 30- Oct 4- J/22 North Americans- Houston, TX
Oct 3-4- AYC Fall Series – Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD
Oct 3-4- J/70 Chesapeake Championship – Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Deltaville, VA
Oct 8-12- Annapolis Boat Show (88, 97E, 122E, 95)- Annapolis, MD
Oct 9-10- J/22 (216) Regatta- Cleveland, OH
Oct 9-11- J/80 North Americans- Seabrook, TX
Oct 9-11- J/88 New England Championship- Greenwich, CT
Oct 10-11- J/FEST Southwest- Seabrook, TX
Oct 12-17- J/70 European Championships- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Oct 24-25- J/70 Fall Brawl- Eastport, MD
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.
Royal Norwegian YC Is Best Sailing Club in Europe!
(Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy)- Royal Norwegian YC (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening- KNS) wins SAILING Champions League 2015 and claims title of “Best Sailing Club” ahead of hosts YC Costa Smeralda of Italy and, the most surprisingly fast team at the event, YC Navigator from Moscow, Russia. A fleet of 30 club teams from 14 nations participated in the regatta with the top sailing clubs from all across Europe.
The second SAILING Champions League finished Sunday after three days of thrilling racing, a range of challenging sailing conditions during the last three days, ranging from lots of wind the first day, where races were sailed without spinnaker, to relatively light and shifty winds on the last day.
The final day of racing brought a change from the strong mistral breeze that teams had faced over the previous two days. As the wind moved to a more northerly direction and turned lighter and more shifty those competitors who thrive in light airs had a chance to shine in today’s 12 races. There was little hope, however, of ousting the reigning KNS team of Kristoffer Spone, Christen Horn Johannessen, Sigurd Paulsen and Erik Kongshaug who deservedly held on to first place thanks to seven victories and two second places out of 10 flights raced.
“We were a bit excited today, because we didn’t know how it would go,” commented Royal Norwegian skipper Kristoffer Spone, “but now we have the trophy, we are very happy. The level of competition at the SAILING Champions League was very high, so it’s a very good feeling having won against the best clubs in Europe. It has been a terrific event here in Porto Cervo.”
Second-placed YC Costa Smeralda (with a superstar team of Flavio Favini, Branko Brcin, Filippo Molinari & Federico Michetti) flew the home flag high by chalking up six victories over the weekend. Meanwhile, Yacht Club Navigator of Moscow (Igor Rytov, Anton Sergeev, Konstantin Besputin, & Nikolay Kornev) claimed five wins to take third place overall.
YCCS team captain Federico Michetti commented on the club-centered ethos that is at the heart of the Sailing Champions League concept: “It was an honor to compete here for my club together with the team. These were great races with a superb organization behind them. It’s a format where you can really feel how everyone is fighting for their Club and I think that is important.”
“As always our thanks go to everyone who made this event possible: the race committee, jury, umpires and the sponsor Audi as well as all of the teams who travelled from across Europe to participate in this first event in our waters,” commented YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo, during the afternoon’s prize giving ceremony.
In addition to the Robbe & Berking Trophy for the winning Club, trophies were awarded to the second and third-placed yacht clubs. Special prizes were also awarded to the Royal Malta YC, whose team was entirely composed of members of the Ripard family (Sebastian, John, Thomas & Julia) and the Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) that fielded an all-female team- Lotte Meldgaard, Tina Gramkov, Helle Ørum, and Anne Sofie Munk.
Coming just a year after the premiere of the new, international club competition, the SAILING Champions League, this is the second showdown of the best sailing clubs from Europe. The 30 clubs have travelled from all directions to Sardinia, from Finland in the North and from Italy in the South, Great Britain in the West and Russia in the East, to fight for the title currently held by the Royal Danish Yacht Club.
The only all female crew on the starting line was the title defender from Copenhagen. Skipper Lotte Meldgaard and her crew were the reigning World and European Champions and have a great deal of experience in match racing. However, they were looking forward to the challenge of competing in fleet races at the event. “We always want to be at the top of the ranking, whenever we are sailing – also at the Champions League, of course. At the Danish league events that we sailed for the Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) this year and in the previous year, we were always on the podium. This is what we want to achieve here in Porto Cervo as well,” explained Meldgaard.
Being the strongest nations as regards the number of league clubs, the Danish Sailing League and the German Sailing League each had four participating clubs each. The Austrian Sailing League, the Italian Sailing League and the Swedish Sailing League sent three clubs. Two clubs came from Poland, Switzerland, Russia and Norway. The Netherlands, France, Malta, Great Britain and Finland were all represented by one club each.
During the training session, Porto Cervo offered perfect sailing conditions, with wonderful late summer weather and great breeze. The weather forecast for the three racing days promised sailing action at its best for sailors and spectators.
Day 1- Windy Start
The first day of racing was spectacular, with racing in survival mode with seven races completed. The sailors were facing a typically brisk Sardinian mistral breeze. After 7 races were completed, the wind reached 25 knots and a postponement was called for the day.
Promising early performances were put in by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) of Hamburg who chalked up victories in both of their races today. Norway’s Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS) also performed well, claiming a first and a second place. The Russian Team of Yacht Club Navigator (YCN), took a third and first place while the young crew representing the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (DTYC) who boast an average age of just 23 years – won their first race and came third in their second. With a possible 41 races left to run the games have only just begun however and the leaderboard tomorrow could well tell a different story.
“It was a pretty good day for us,” confirmed NRV helmsman Carsten Kemmling. “Our first race was dramatic because it was more survival mode in these conditions. It was a tough fight and a photo finish with the club from Geneva. In the second race we sailed without the gennaker so the boat handling was more important than tactics.”
The crew representing host club the YCCS also got off to a good start as they took victory in the first race of the event. “It was a good feeling,” commented team member Filippo Maria Molinari, “the team has trained well and we won with a good lead which is very encouraging even though we have only completed one race so far.
Day 2- More Mistrals!
The second day was an intense one for the teams. A lively Mistral wind once again put teams to the test over the course of 21 fleet races, bringing the total number of flights completed to 7.
The provisional rankings at the conclusion of racing saw Norway’s Kongelig Norsk Seilforening (KNS) heading the fleet of clubs from across Europe with five victories and two wins in the seven races run. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda team followed hot on their heels with four wins. The Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (DTYC), one of four German teams present, continued took look strong despite a sixth place in one of today’s races, as does Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genève (SNG).
“It was a terrific day on the water,” commented Kristoffer Spone, skipper of Kongelig Norsk Seilforening. “My guys did a great job. Maybe from outside it looks perfect but we made a lot of mistakes. Normally, we are better in light winds, so we’re excited for tomorrow. This format of league sailing is what we want to do.”
Julian Stückl, skipper of DTYC was also pleased: “It was a great day for us but tricky, as well. On the top it is very tough sailing. We know the guys from other regattas. In the league sailing it is more about maneuvers than speed. Tomorrow we want to have fun again and do our best and try not to be too nervous.”
Day 3- No More Drama
After the conclusion of racing on Sunday, it was clear the Norwegian team was not going to be displaced from the top of the podium. By closing out the last three races of the regatta with a 3-1-1, Norway’s KNS team won by over 8 pts- a landslide in this extremely talented fleet. Proof of their steep learning curve, the host club’s YCCS team won three of their last four races, but a last race 7th hurt their chances to stand atop the podium in their first major sailing league finale. In the end, the Italian YCCS team was extremely happy with their results, happily taking home the silver. Third was the remarkable YC Navigator Team from Moscow, Russia, talk about a fast ascent up the leader board! They also closed with a 1-1-3 to take the bronze overall. The balance of the top five included the Societe Nautique de Geneve (the former America’s Cup winner) in fourth place and in 5th was Deutscher Touring YC- the top German team at the event. Sailing photo credits- SCL/YCCS/Francesco Nonnoi Facebook/SailingSCL– https://www.facebook.com/
SAILING Champions League sailing video summaries:
Day 2- Highlights- https://youtu.be/lY0Zwd6fQig
Day 2- Replay- https://youtu.be/SNBcyitG21E
Day 3- Replay- https://youtu.be/VJSzERSt23o
Regatta Summary- https://youtu.be/ycQ5tUQUJ_E
For more SAILING Champions League information
JOSE CUERVO Blitzes J/105 NAs!
(San Francisco, CA)- No, the crew on JOSE CUERVO may not have been totally blitzed after the regatta. But, they sure did blitzkrieg their J/105 comrades in what may have been one of the most dominating performances ever in a J/105 NAs. Counting four bullets straight Shawn Bennett and crew on JOSE CUERVO threw down a 4 of hearts on the table for their opening gambit then simply aced the rest, much to the chagrin of their buddies on San Francisco Bay.
As the largest fleet of boats in the Rolex Big Boat Series, 27 in all, Bennett walked off with his first Rolex Submariner stainless steel chronometer in his life. He was a happy camper.
The first day of racing was somewhat prophetic in terms of who was going to rise to the top after some early tough going. On Thursday, the unthinkable happened, when the club’s race committee – known for expertly conducting more than its fair share of regattas thanks to San Francisco’s ideal winds (consistently strong), challenging conditions (currents aplenty) and superior setting (stadium sailing at its best) – had to postpone the morning race for all classes by two hours, due to lack of breeze. It left the J/105 sailors champing at the bit, but in the end nothing was missed when both of the day’s scheduled races were completed in 15-plus knots of westerly breeze.
As all classes in the RBBS must do, the J/105s rotate from the “Treasure Island” circle to the “Alcatraz” circle (named for the famous island that sits precariously in the middle of the Bay) during the day. On Thursday, the J/105s started with Treasure Island, sailing a 10.9 mile race that Ryan Simmons’ BLACKHAWK won in a photo finish with Shannon Ryan and Rolf Kaiser’s DONKEY JACK, which had led over much of the distance.
“Our original plan was to play the ‘cone’ (an area east of Alcatraz Island that shelters from the current), but we changed our mind mid-leg and decided to go to the city front,” said Simmons. “We came out well, but it was a very long beat: all the way from Treasure Island to the Golden Gate Bridge in a flood tide.”
BLACKHAWK finished fourth in its second race, an 11 miler, held on the Alcatraz circle; Simmons was happy about that, since it involved a mediocre start and a “super high powered boats-wiping-out-everywhere reaching leg” where the wind indicator showed 18-20 knots. The performance put him at the top of the scoreboard, tied on points with Shawn Bennett’s JOSE CUERVO and one point ahead of Jeff Litfin’s Mojo.
“Everyone gears up for this regatta,” said Simmons, who sailed the J/105 North Americans once before when it was part of the Rolex Big Boat Series in 2009 and skippered to second in last year’s Rolex Big Boat Series after having crewed for his father, two-time winner Scooter Simmons, 15 times in the event. “Our goal going into this season has been to win this regatta, the North Americans, and get that Rolex.” (Rolex timepieces accompany St. Francis Yacht Club perpetual trophies as prizes in six of the 11 classes here.)
After two more days of racing, the cat was out of the bag. After racing J/22s for much of the season in the match-racing world, Bennett’s crew were simply unassailable in the tricky SF Bay conditions- demonstrating a mastery that was far, far beyond their wise years.
“Winning means a lot to us, because we’ve tried a few times at the North Americans and have fallen short of winning a few times at the Rolex Big Boat Series,” said Bennett. “It’s two things in one: checking boxes that we weren’t successful at checking in the past.” As for winning a Rolex timepiece for his efforts, he added, “Hands down, it’s the nicest trophy I’ve ever won.”
With the top of the podium pretty much determined by day two, the fight for the balance of the top five spots was typically worse than a sorority pillow fight- can’t see anything until the feathers clear! In other words, no obvious winners at all until the very last leg of the very last race. Roller coaster rides everywhere when everyone seeks the ultimate goal of just plain, simple, consistency on the Bay.
When the feathers & down settled from the fields of battle, it was Jeff Litfin’s MOJO that succeeded in nearly the same degree of proficiency as Bennett’s crew, pulling together a 3-3-2-4-5 for 17 pts to secure second. Behind them, and just staying free of the dust-up, was Jason Woodley & Scott Whitney’s RISK with another all top 10 tally of 8-9-3-2-3 for 25 pts. Perhaps the biggest disappointment may have been felt by past J/105 NA Champion and RBBS Champion, Bruce Stone on ARBITRAGE; a last race 12th torpedoed their chances at a silver on the podium, instead settling for 4th place with 26 pts. In 5th place was early regatta leader Simmons on BLACKHAWK only 1 pt back. Exciting racing for all! Kudos to Regatta Chairman Bruce Stone and Fleet #1 Captain (Shannon Ryan) for wearing about 12 hats to help pull off this exciting regatta with a host of sponsors and volunteers far too numerous to mention here! Watch J/105 NAs sailing video summary. For more J/105 North American Championship sailing information
Theis’ J/111 Two-Peats Rolex Big Boat Series
Halliwill’s PEREGRINE Tops J/120s
(San Francisco, CA)- While the J/105s were dueling for class honors in their North American Championship, the J/111s, J/120s were racing one-design in the Rolex Big Boat Series, also striving for that ultimate prize- the famous Rolex Submariner stainless steel chronometer watch. In addition, two J/125s in HPR Class were hoping to win the same “wrist candy”, as were a pair of J/88s and J/90 in the PHRF section.
The San Francisco Bay J/111 is growing nicely and the competition could not be any closer for the top of the leaderboard. The racing was not without its dramas! After rolling off a 3-1-1, Dorian McKelvy’s MADMEN suffered a scoring penalty in the 4th race to make their bid to win the coveted prize that much more difficult. On Sunday’s famous “Bay Tour” race, they pretty much had to win it to guarantee win based on a tie-breaker with AEOLUS, presuming the latter finished 2nd. Unfortunately, for the “MADMEN”, that scenario did not play out— but it sure came close! Instead, Rob Theis’ Team RINGCENTRAL-AEOLUS took the crown by finishing 2nd for a total of 11 pts. McKelvy’s crew took 2nd with 12 pts and Peter Wagner’s fast-learning crew on SKELETON KEY took third- posting an impressive scoreline of 2-5-3-2-1 for 13 pts.
About their victory, Rob Theis said: “This was tough, very fun racing. Hats off to all our competitors for some great sailing on the Bay! At the end of the day, the familiar orange & blue colors on the sails of Team RINGCENTRAL-AEOLUS were hoping to repeat our victory of the internationally recognized Rolex Big Boat Series. That we did it was amazing! Team RingCentral finished one point ahead of the fleet securing our place as the 2015 champions.
The Rolex Big Boat Series attracts over one hundred boats from around the United States, and world, to come take on the notorious San Francisco Bay waters that played home to the 2013 America’s Cup where Team Oracle took home the crown. The J111 class of boats are a high-performance, elite sailing machines that require perfect coordination and communication between the skipper (boat driver) and crew in making sail adjustments, and strategically navigating the course. Our RingCentral team was able to outwit the unpredictable winds, currents that make San Francisco Bay one of the most sought after venues in the sailing world.
In the end, strong teamwork, experience, and endurance lead to a wonderful victory on the bay this weekend! Thanks to our crew and, again, congratulations to our fierce competitors and thanks to the amazing program run by Rolex and the St Francis YC!”
As an interesting perspective, this was the first Rolex BBS for skipper Peter Wagner (Atherton, Calif.) and his team aboard the J/111 SKELETON KEY. Peter started as a junior sailor, racing dinghies on Long Island Sound. He went on to become captain of his college sailing team at Harvard University, where he was twice named a Collegiate All-American. Wagner knew he would be racing one-design in one of the toughest classes at the RBBS this year.
“What has always attracted me to the sport of sailing is how it draws on four challenging elements; it blends both a technical and physical component while also calling for strategic thinking and organization,” said Wagner, a founding partner of Wing Venture Capital. This year, he was included in Forbes Magazine’s top-100 list of “World’s Smartest Tech Investors” and has been part of a number of IPOs, 16 of which have exceeded $1 billion in market capitalization.
“Being a part of the innovation economy in the San Francisco Bay Area today is like being in Florence during the Renaissance. It’s a gathering point for the world’s most talented and ambitious individuals,” said Wagner. “As far as sailing goes, I think the sport and the Rolex Big Boat Series in particular benefit from that group of people. Even if they aren’t specifically involved in technology, that mindset pervades the whole region and definitely manifests itself on the race course!” Wagner’s 3-2-1 in the last three races was unmatched by the eventual regatta winner’s scoreline of 5-1-2, is that a bit of foreshadowing of what’s to come in this exciting class?
The rest of the top five in the J/111s were Dick Swanson’s BAD DOG in fourth place and taking fifth on a tie-breaker was Gorkem Oszcelebi’s DOUBLE DIGIT over Nessrin Basoz’s SWIFT NESS.
Like their J/111 colleagues, the top slots in the J/120 class were contested very tightly over the course of the four-day regatta. The class leaders were tied with identical records of two 1sts and two 2nds after the first three days of sailing- Dave Halliwill’s PEREGRINE and Barry Lewis’ CHANCE. The last day, the epic “Bay Tour” was going to determine the outcome for class bragging rights for another year! In the end, it was Halliwill’s PEREGRINE team that won the watch by winning the last race over Lewis’ CHANCE that finished 2nd! Tough hombres these two are! Third was Ludovic Milin’s SAETTA with 17 pts, fourth was Timo Bruck’s TWIST and fifth was Steve Madeira’s MR MAGOO.
In the HPR Class, the two J/125s went head-to-head for class honors and nearly cleaned up across the board. Greg Slyngstad’s HAMACHI from Seattle, Washington, simply could not overcome the tremendous local knowledge advantage and good boatspeed of four-time Rolex BBS winner, DOUBLE TROUBLE skippered by Peter Krueger. Counting three 1sts and two 2nds for a total score of 7 pts, there was no one holding back the “local boys” from getting their FIFTH Rolex Submariner- not surprisingly, skipper Peter Krueger was grinning that cheshire-cat grin from ear to ear- proud of his “DT boys” for having done the job well, again!
The new PHRF Sportboat division was full of surprises, as anticipated beforehand. Local knowledge on two old Farr 36s played a hand in the outcome, that’s for certain. Nevertheless, Gary Panariello’s J/88 COURAGEOUS was learning the ropes quickly on SF Bay, sailed steadily to start out with three 4ths in a row, won the 4th race, but then “tanked” the Bay Tour with a 5th place to drop from 2nd place into 3rd overall. Still, a great performance for their first outing in a major regatta and with lessons learned the hard way on the Bay, will be looking to return with a vengeance. Having a roller-coaster of a ride was Trig Liljestrand’s J/90 RAGTIME, firing off a 2-4 in the tally to ultimately secure 6th overall. For more Rolex Big Boat Series sailing information
SilverRudder Challenge Report
(Svendborg, Denmark)- The singlehanded sailing event, the Silverrudder Challenge of the Sea, started in 2012 and has gone from being a national Danish event with 15 entries to become an international event where 330 skippers from nine nationalities compete.
“The event is no longer only Danish. This year it has for real gone into international waters. I have just been to Croatia, where I attended another singlehanded sailing event and down there all know about Silverrudder Challenge. The same goes for Germany, where it has become talk of the town which is clearly reflected in this year’s list of participants. Here the group of German participants is the greatest,” says the man behind the event BådNyts editor Morten Brandt.
Silverrudder Challenge in numbers
The largest group is the German sailors, with 163 entries. Then comes the Danes, with 141 sailors. The next major group is the Swedish sailors who entered 15 teams. The next biggest group, surprisingly, are the five skippers from Slovenia!
A detailed analysis of the entries shows that it primarily consist of recreational sailors, a pattern that highly comparable to the crowds that enjoy marathon running and Ironman triathlon.
According to BådNyts’ Brandt, “From the beginning, my aim was to make a kind of extreme sport for skilled recreational sailors. An event in adventure-racing style, where the participants get close to their own boundaries, which was new in a Northern European context at that time. Participants leave their comfort zone to go into a zone where it’s all about coping with the situation and the elements in the best possible way by demonstrating good seamanship. We also made the rules very simple and abolished the hypothetical measurement rules. The course has only two marks that have to be respected – the marks that constitute the starting and finishing line. This means that it has again become a challenge to navigate the boat safe and fast!”
The event even brought good-natured competition in the Keelboat Large-class; it featured a duel between two of Europe’s dominant yards- X-Yachts and Dehler Yachts. During the European Yacht of the Year prize-giving party at the BOOT Dusseldorf boat show in January, the CEO of the German Dehler Yachts, Karl Dehler, made a direct challenge to the Danish yard X-Yachts, who accepted the duel a month later. Karl Dehler in his Dehler-38 will himself face Torsten Bastiansen from X-Yachts in his XP-38. More on that outcome shortly.
The Silverrudder Challenge is a 134nm singlehanded race around the Danish island of Funen, it is really a navigational and tactical challenge since the channels are narrow and the wind is often shifty and full of massive holes. BådNyts magazine is the promotional partner and the local yacht club, Svendborg Amateur Sailing Club, provides the logistics and support.
According the J/111 BLUR skipper, Peter Gustafsson, “it’s hard to pinpoint what it is that makes Silverrudder so attractive for all types of sailors. At one end, we have the “factory drivers” (or lap owners) from Dehler, Dragonfly, Elvstrøm, Kolhoff, Seascape, X-yachts and many others. We have Olympic medalists. We have serious amateurs who typically perform well with a full crew. We have dedicated solo sailors in specially built Minis or open-boats. At the other end, we have experienced sailors and ordinary sailors that have not raced in many years (but which may be cruising solo during the summer months). The youngest participant was 19 years. The oldest was 81 yrs old. In short, a spectrum that spans our whole sport.
Most importantly, the organizers have been careful to address all sailors. Everyone can find their own challenge, whether it is pursuing, beating a teammate, or going home with a Silverrudder. Everyone has their own reasons to sail around Funen. Everyone can find their “fight to fight”. And, all harbor enormous respect for each other, since it is an enormous accomplishment to just take your boat 134 nautical miles around Funen.”
Gustafsson goes on to say, “the objectives this year are more difficult, especially because of the weather forecast. Last year it was easy. The goal was to get around in a good way. That my J/111 BLUR was the fastest monohull round was a bonus. Plus, it was completely unexpected and fun!
This year, if the wind blows more that forecast, there are some big trade-offs. Plus, I will be competing against bigger boats that will do well in a bigger breeze. The biggest trade-off is to first, be safe, and second, to sail conservatively. I think it is possible to beat the course record of 19:20:27 that I set last year, we’ll see! That would mean 7 kts average, which is not at all impossible.
I think I will try to sail the boat as close to 100% as it will go until it gets dark. Conservative choices and low risk are needed to keep all options open. Then, facing the longer “ocean” leg on the north/eastern side of Funen, an assessment on the status board and how it looks in fleet and determine how hard to push at the time. In any event, it should fun as hell and a real challenge- as always!!”
It turns out that after 20 hours of sailing, Peter’s prediction was not that far off. First, the record was broken by Andreas Rhode on Ratzfatz3, in the time of 19:02:16, just under 18 minutes faster than Peter’s 2015 time on his J/111 BLUR. While Peter was hoping to repeat his performance from last year, winning both class and overall, the conditions were less favorable for that to happen. However, a shift here and a shift there and Peter could not hold off his competition. It’s a challenging race and the J/111 BLUR managed to finish 4th in the Keelboat Large Class, completing the circumnavigation in 20:05:08, about a 6.7 kts average.
Behind Peter, the J/109 JONA sailed by Jochen Rieker, took a total of 23:28:39 to finish 21st in class and overall (330 boats!). Remember that duel taking place between the Dehler and X-Yachts yards?? Well, Karl Dehler sailed his Dehler 38 to 6th in class, 35 minutes behind Peter’s J/111. And, both beat Andreas Wulfes sailing the XP-38 that took 13th overall, 2:21:00 further behind.
Badnytt editors talked with the youngest sailor in the race, the 18 yr old woman skipper- Helle Jespersen- who hoped to make it around on her borrowed J/80 One-design class sailboat. Morten Brandt spoke to her shortly after she missed her attempt to participate in this years Silverrudder Challenge. It was a disappointed, but still cheerful Helle who came into the harbour.
According to Brandt, “While we where waiting for the crane to get her small J/80 boat out of the water, she explained what went wrong. It all started with a hectic morning, everything took a little longer than she had expected and she was stressed.”
Brandt: “Well, Helle, please tell us what happened?”
Helle: “I had a hectic start and I didn’t really have enough time to come up to the start in good time, I had a Code Zero sail hanging wrong and problems with the mainsail, but I still made it to the starting point. There were five boats at the northern tip of Tåsinge in Svendborgssund and the boat in front of me hit the sand bed, and a second later I did the same! Aaaggh!”
Brandt: “What did you think about at that point?”
Helle: “There where a lot of thoughts going through my head at that point, but I thought that I had to make sure I got the boat heeled, so I could get away from the sand bed, I was thinking that I simply would not give up, I just hadn’t seen it coming!”
Brandt: “How did you get your boat out?”
Helle: “I was lying there almost an hour before a motorboat came up to me and helped me, the only thing I was thinking there was that I had to get the boat back without any damage, because it’s a boat that I have borrowed, luckily there weren’t any critical damages. It has been painful for my inner pride to give up because of such a stupid thing, but now I look forward to the next time I get the chance to participate! Meanwhile, I will come back for the party on Saturday. And, I am sending now good thoughts off to all my friends out on the water!!”
Brandt goes on to say, “This year’s Silverrudder went according to plan. However, there was- unfortunately for some of the sailors- quite shallow water in the starting area. So, many boats grounded close to the Circle harbour.
The wind was a challenge for most sailors, until they reached the Lillebælt, where it calmed down. Despite the relatively weak wind Saturday, there was no wind, like the two previous years.
For most sailors the wind has been good and we have had remarkably few accidents. Many others came off the seabed safely, all by themselves.
On behalf of BådNyt, I whish to thank all participants, sponsors, partners, associates and friends of BådNyt and Silverrudder Challenge of the Sea.
This year’s event was a great success, and there was plenty of positive mood and energy Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the harbor, at sea and in the Meeting Point as the town of Svendborg had made available for the event.
The event is unparalleled and more die hard sailors from both Denmark and abroad dropped by to talk about their experiences and about Silverrudder Challenge as among the best if not the best sailing experience they have ever attended. We hope that the cooperation with Ole and Per Ingemann and all the other volunteers from Svendborg Amatørsejlklub will continue in 2016 so the event once again will set new standards for how a sailing event is held. I hope to see you all back in 2016! Fair winds, Morten Brandt.” For more Silverrudder Challenge sailing information
JESTER Crowned J/80 UK National Champion
(Hamble, England)- The Royal Southern YC, proudly sitting on the incredibly busy, sailor-friendly, Hamble River, played host to the 2015 J/80 UK National Championship. A nice turnout of fifteen boats participated and enjoyed every minute of the fabulous sailing conditions and the enormous social festivities that took place each night at the club. Coinciding with the J/80 Nationals was the AVEVA September Regatta that also hosted the J/111 Nationals and the J/70 Fall Regatta.
After ten races over three days, Mike Lewis’ JESTER sailed the most amazing series, posting all top five finishes and, in fact tossing out a 5th place to win the regatta with just 21 pts net- just over a 2nd average! Thundering along behind and shadowing them every step of the way was Yannig Loyer’s J-OUT-OF-THE-BOX from the host RSYC, nearly pulling off the regatta win save for two nasty surprises in the form of non-top-10 finishes in races 7 & 8. Instead Loyer’s team held onto the silver in a thrilling tie-breaker situation with the third place finisher- Jon Powell’s BETTY from Warsash SC.
Day One report
The first of three days competition for the J/80 UK Nationals was held in highly changeable conditions in the Eastern and Central Solent. PRO Stuart Childerley and his team delivered four excellent race courses to the J/80 fleet. After two races, an angry sky manifested to the west bringing thunder and rain. Once the vicious squall had passed, the wind settled in the southwest for the third race and by the fourth and final race, a sea breeze kicked in to enhance the gradient wind to a good 15 knots.
The first race was held in a light northwesterly breeze and with a positive tide, the first start was a conservative one for most. However, Yannig Loyer’s French team, racing J out of the Box, nailed the pin end and extended on the first beat to lead from start to finish. Terence O’Neil’s Aqua J showed great pace downwind, finishing second with the J/80 Raymarine Championship leader, Jon Powell’s Betty, in third. Race Two was won by Mike Lewis’ Jester, with a great start at the committee boat end aiding their performance. Ray Apthorp’s Jezebel from the West Mersea YC was second with Craig Niven’s Isle of Wight based Jasmine in third.
After the first two races, the skies darkened over Southampton Water and the heavens opened up. Race Control informed the fleet that there would be a short postponement to let the new breeze settle. The second half of the day’s racing was blessed with superb conditions; watery sunshine and a building southwesterly breeze.
Yannig Loyer’s J out of the Box continued to impress, winning the last two races to establish a four point lead for the championship. Mike Lewis’ Jester finished the day in second place, having notched up a consistent 4-1-3-3. Jon Powell’s Betty was second in Race 3 but a fifth in the last race of the day, pushed the team down to third after four races. Laurence Orchard’s young team racing Boysterous finished the day’s racing with a second, lifting the Royal Southern Academy Team to fifth, just a point behind Terence O’Neil’s Aqua J.
“We are all from France but work in London,” commented Yannig Loyer, skipper of J out of the Box. “We moved the boat to the Royal Southern about two years ago, so we know the J/80 fleet well. The racing today was extremely well managed with great courses in very shifty conditions. I would say that the main reason for our success today was getting good starts and at the right end of the line.”
“The team has only been together for a weekend, so we are chuffed to bits,” smiled Jester’s mainsheet trimmer, Jeremy Troughton. “We had good speed today, both upwind and downwind, and the winning race today was about getting the start right and nailing the first shift. The courses are quite short, so it is very important to get away well on that first beat.”
Day Two report
On the second day of racing, three teams were coming to the fore. Yannig Loyer’s French team racing J out of the Box, scored a win and a second today to retain the championship lead. However, Jon Powell’s Betty and UK Class Captain, Mike Lewis racing Jester were tied for second place, just six points behind J out of the Box. The French team was off to Twickenham in the evening to watch France play Italy in the Rugby World Cup and hope to be fresh tomorrow to wrap up the championship.
Day Three report
As if it was pre-destined, Lewis’ JESTER walked off with the last two races, winning them and the regatta in the hotly contested 15-strong fleet. “It’s been an excellent few days with really good racing,” said Mike. “For us consistency paid off. J out of the Box were leading early in the regatta but were OCS on one race and had to go back, which was their discard, and then in the first race on Sunday they got buried at the pin and couldn’t recover which dropped them out of first place.”
Racing the J/80 since 2010, Mike is the class captain and is looking forward to 2017 when the Royal Southern is hosting the J/80 World Championships. He added: “We do a lot of racing here and we have twice won a Royal Southern series. I would like to move the home of the J/80 to the Club so we can incorporate the Academy boats while sailing out of here. There is just a really good atmosphere.”
In addition, Powell’s BETTY won the overall, season-long Raymarine Championship, a series of seven regattas over the season. For more J/80 UK Nationals sailing information
McFLY Zooms To Take J/111 UK Title
(Hamble, England)- Jumping into the fray and jumble of boats participating in the AVEVA September Regatta were a half-dozen J/111s competing for their 2015 UK National Championship. After the two-day affair in rather sparkling weather conditions, it was Tony & Sally Mack’s McFLY that took home the title of J/111 National Champion for the 2015 season. Behind them it was an absolute dust-up for the balance of the podium, indeed the top five positions overall.
There was quite the tussle among the ever-competitive J/111 fleet, with three different winners from three races on the Saturday. In the first race, McFLY won, followed by Stu Sawyer’s BLACK DOG in 2nd and Chris Jones & Louise Makin’s’ JOURNEYMAKER II in 3rd. The second race was Martin Dent’s JELVIS win followed by Sawyer’s second 2nd of the day and McFLY in 3rd. For the third race, Jones & Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II won the final race of the day, followed by Chris Body & Andrew Christie’s ICARUS in 2nd and McFLY collecting another third. As a result, five of the teams had a podium finish in three races! McFLY led with a 1-3-3 on 7 pts, followed by BLACK DOG in 2nd with a 2-2-5 for 9 pts and sitting tied on 3rd place at 10 pts each were JOURNEYMAKER II and ICARUS.
Sunday would become the proving ground for this white-hot close racing. However, overnight it was clear one boat got their “mojo” going and would not look back. A pair of bullets on the Sunday – to add to a win in the first race – saw Tony Mack’s McFly take the J/111 UK National Championship title ahead of Martin Dent’s Jelvis and Chris Body and Andrew Christie’s Icarus.
“With three winners from the first three races all credit to the J/111 class, they are all terrific sailors,” said Tony. “Sunday saw more solid breeze and we found it a little easier – if you can make the windward mark first it’s a lot easier than having to battle your way through the fleet. We were delighted, but even if we had not done well what a brilliant weekend to go sailing. It was lovely.”
And he was full of praise for the race organization and the atmosphere within the Club itself: “The courses have been marvelous and really clear. Some places you think they are trying to catch you out, but here it’s been really clear over the radio about what was going on. It’s worked really well.” He added: “In business you get a feel, a smell, an atmosphere of success, and you can also go to businesses and you find the opposite feeling, but the club has that vibrant feel about it everywhere.” For more J/111 UK Nationals sailing information
Zennstrom’s RAN Wins J/70s @ AVEVA Regatta
(Hamble, England)- Over the course of the September 18th to 20th weekend, the Royal Southern YC hosted the AVEVA September Regatta for a host of classes, both IRC handicap as well as J/70 one-designs. The fleets were split into the Black Group handicap racing teams and the White Group one-design class fleets. Winning their first regatta in the J/70 class was Niklas Zennstrom’s J/70 RAN, sailing with his wife and friends. Then, in the IRC 3 Class, the J/92 J’RONIMO sailed by David & Libby Greenhalgh sailed home with the silverware.
After the first day of racing for the Black Group start, Greenhalgh’s J/92 had straight bullets and their friends Annie Kelly & Andy Howe on the J/97 BLACKJACK II had straight seconds!
Greenhalgh’s J’RONIMO is crewed by friends from Hamble and nearly all girls. “My dear wife Judith is a volunteer on the Committee Boat, so she could keep a good eye on me,” laughed David. “The crew work was really good today and we started pretty well and didn’t make too many mistakes. The crew complain that I only provision the boat with pork pies but it is the only food you can eat with one hand and not make a mess. Great racing today, thoroughly enjoyable, and we will be looking forward to much of the same tomorrow.”
Over in the White Group, it was Zennstrom racing RAN that led the J/70 Class having scored a 3-1-1 for the day.
“We could have got a second in the first race but we are very happy with our performance today,” commented Zennstrom, who was enjoying a celebratory drink with his wife Catherine and the racing crew in the Royal Southern Yacht Club. “The J/70 is very easy to race, we just launch the boat, pull up the sails and go racing. The class is very competitive and no one boat is dominating so it is a lot of fun. With a TP52 or MiniMaxi 72, things are much more complicated, racing the J/70 only requires four people and there is no time spent on working out sail development and modifications to the boat, so it really is a lot of fun, but at the same time very challenging!”
In the J/70 Class, Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY won the first race and finished the day in second place behind RAN. Ian Wilson’s GILL RACE TEAM is in third place, but only a single point ahead of two yachts; Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC and Team Juicy racing ESF Energy.
After racing hundreds of competitors and guests enjoyed the Royal Southern Pirate Party with a Caribbean BBQ and a welcome dark’n’stormy refreshment. For those with enough energy left after a great day’s racing, Ed and Al provided live music into the early evening.
For the second day of sailing, the weather provided a spectacular conclusion to the AVEVA September Regatta! It was simply perfect late season Solent racing.
And if the on-the-water action delivered, so did the onshore atmosphere in the club, described as ‘vibrant’ by a number of racing sailors!
For the Black Group Line racing on Sunday, it was Greenhalgh’s J/92 J’RONIMO that ended up tied on points but winning on countback from Annie Kelly and Andy Howe’s J/97 Black Jack II in IRC 3 division!
In IRC 1 Division, the J/122 JUNO sailed by Chris Daniel placed 5th, even after not sailing the first day. In IRC 2 Class, the J/109 JIRAFFE sailed by Simon Perry took the bronze also after not sailing the first day!
Finally, over on the White Group start line, it was someone well versed in high-performance racing, but successfully choosing the J/70 class for the AVEVA September Regatta, that ended up winning overall-, was Niklas Zennstrom aboard RAN.
“What’s great with these small J/70s is that they are so easy to sail,” said Zennstrom. “You just launch the boat, hoist the sails and off you go, so compared to the TP52s and the Maxis it’s a very different thing – quite nice actually to just go out sailing from the Royal Southern. It is our third regatta with the boat and I think we have now figured out how to sail them, so we had a pretty good weekend with a 3-1-1-1-2,” he added. “Downwind we have improved quite a lot, and also our boat handling and just our speed, just putting it all together really. The summer series here at the Southern has been really good, a great atmosphere with good race management, it’s been a great success!”
RAN finished ahead of Patrick Liardet’s COSMIC, who won the last race, and Simon Carvey’s merry crew of bandits aboard JUST4PLAY that finished third. For more AVEVA September Regatta sailing information
Milev wins J/24 Canadian Championship
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)- It was one of the best turn-outs in years for the J/24 class in Canada. Twenty teams competed at the J/24 Canadian Championship, held September 18-20 in Toronto, Ontario. The regatta was hosted by Ashbridges Bay YC, known for its spacious clubhouse with bar and restaurant in the heart of Toronto’s Eastern Beaches community.
Rossi Milev’s COUGAR AIR dominated the 9-race event, posting all top three scores to win prior to the final race, in fact they did not sail the last race. Taking 2nd place as well as the Women’s J/24 Canadian Championship was Katie Coleman Nicoll skippering QUICK NICK from Port Credit YC at the western end of the lake (same club that Milev is a member of). To round off the podium, Nick Jako’s TAZ was third overall, one of the only other boats to grab two wins off the bullet-hunting COUGAR AIR team! The balance of the top five included Ted Bartlewski’s DRIVERS WANTED in 4th and Kevin O’Brien’s FUGUE STATE in 5th position. For more J/24 Canadian Nationals sailing information
Ireland Offshore Report
(Dublin, Ireland)- The J/crews in Ireland continue to demonstrate their extraordinary resilience sailing the wild & wooly Irish Sea. The 2015 season was yet another very successful one for the J clan simply messing around their boats off Dublin, points north and west! Here’s a report we just received from Maurice O’Connell of North Sails Ireland about how the J/Navy is doing:
“The all-conquering IRC-optimized J/109 fleet in Ireland is showing no signs of releasing it’s grip on cruiser-racing in Ireland.
Firstly, the 300 miles offshore classic in June – the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race – was won by Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH. In fact, J/Boats took the top four places overall, triumphing against a super-competitive fleet that included Tony O’Leary’s Ker 40 ANTIX.
At the IRC Nationals in beautiful Kinsale on the southcoast in June, J/109’s took 1st, 2nd and 4th in the super competitive IRC 1 division- led by John Maybury’s JOKER II with quadruple Olympian Mark Mansfield aboard.
The J/109 Irish Championships were held during Volvo Dun Laoghaire Week. 12 boats contested the event under the one-design rules. JOKER II again triumphed after a last minute gate mark selection decision saw them take the title in the dying minutes of the last race from Pat Kelly’s STORM II.
It was then out to the west coast in August for the annual WIORA inshore series, hosted by Galway Bay SC. Glenn Cahill’s J/109 JOIE DE’VIVRE triumphed against the IRC 1 fleet in Galway Bay.
The annual ISORA offshore series finished in early September in Dublin. This is an offshore season-long series consisting of long day and overnight races across the Irish Sea. J/Boats filled the first five places overall under IRC. RUTH won the series for the second year running, successfully defending her title after a strong challenge from Andrew Hall’s J/120 JACKKNIFE and Peter Dunlop’s J/109 MOJITO. Liam races with his family and friends and their latest win was celebrated long into the night in the National Yacht club!
The J/24 here continues to attract a loyal championship and IRC following, with the Under-25 “kids” from Howth YC winning the title for the second year running!
The J/80’s are continuing to have fabulously close IRC racing on Dublin Bay.
2016 sees a new J112E arriving on our shores and some more J/109’s! Wow, they are multiplying like wild rabbits over here! Hopefully it will be the best season yet! Cheers, Big Mo”
What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
* Families Sailing J/70s Competitively! According to Tim Finkle at RCR Yachts in New York, “We had a nice turnout at our signature one design event in Youngstown- the Can-Am Challenge. With 17 boats, we had the largest fleet in the regatta. There were many very good sailors in the fleet, but there were also a lot of family crews. The winning boat was Thom and Anne Bowen, third place team was Morgan Paxhia with sisters Emily and Jordan. Corbo and Donna Corbishley in 4th, The McKennas family, Tony and Patrick Byrne, The Weibels, and Winkelsteins, all with family crew. We also had some boats travel to their first ever J/70 regatta, which was a fun learning experience for them and hopefully we were hospitable and they will come back. We would like to continue this trait in future CanAms and we will do whatever we can to support the teams interested in attending, just let us know what we can do to help.”
Here is a quote from one of the competitors, Marty McKenna who sails his boat with his wife, his kids and brother, which is what the J/70 is all about:
“For me it is an intense chess match played out on a changing board. And the struggle to compete has been important to share with my family and to teach my children. I have enough activities that pull me away from family, so when we bought the J/70 it was with the intent of sailing as a family. Others have come to the same place – you will see multiple Weibel children on “Tigress” and three siblings on Paxhia’s “Penny Pincher” just within the competitive J/70 class. We have sailed both CanAm Challenges with just McKenna’s on board.
A family team from Pittsburgh competing well against a strong class with many top pro’s is a great story. We were thrilled to compete well Sunday in very light air winning the last two races. For me it was interesting to see the journey my brother and I have taken in Youngstown, my wife sailing very well and my 12 year-old daughter that named the boat after her favorite My Little Pony flying spinnaker all weekend and having the opportunity to fly the purple spinnaker across the line to close out the regatta. Many thanks to the YYC team and surrounding clubs for making this weekend a huge success…for a very long period of time.”
* The J/36 JAZZ is at it again. Norm Curnow was completing their summer-long cruiser-racer series in Plymouth, England. Here’s what he had to say:
“We were first in the Round Scilly Isles Race, over the water and on handicap! Plus, we were simply steaming over to the islands, flying actually!
On the way home, we were gently outboard motoring JAZZ. She has no smelly inboard sense 1982! She has done more then 50,000 miles since with nothing more than an outboard motor! She’s sailed New York to Caribbean at least 3 times; up and down the Caribbean at least 5 times; gone to Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba; 5 trans-Atlantic’s; 5 Lands End, Bay of Biscay’s to the Mediterranean; at least 5 trans-Mediterranean’s, most of them far has the Greek island of Crete; lots of this was achieved single-handed, including the trans-Atlantics. Cheers, Stormin Norman!
* Eight Bells: Joe Woods– The Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Devon, England, is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its staunchest and most generous members. Joe Woods, who was also one of the club’s most successful international sailors, died after on Friday 18th September after a very brief illness.
Joe will be remembered by the international sailing community for his string of successful campaigns in his various boats called “RED”. Most recently, Joe had been sailing a J/70 one-design for two years at Key West Race Week, Bacardi Sailing Week and Charleston Race Week during the winter time. In the summers he sailed his J/70 in the UK and Europe. In this photo- he won Dartmouth Week with straight 1sts!
Joe started his sailing career in International Cadets back in the sixties at Royal Torbay Yacht Club, going on to be one of the great ambassadors for the club and the bay as a sailing venue. Successful in business, he was always happy to use his wealth to help and encourage local youngsters to achieve their goals.
His favourite regatta was Key West Race Week, which he has contested fourteen times since 1999, frequently finishing on the podium, and winning his class in 2012 and 2015. He was also a top competitor on the European circuit, and as usual keen to try something new, finishing third in the first J70 European championships.
The core of team “Red” was always Corinthian sailors from the Torbay area, though the list of top British Olympic sailors who joined him as tactician included Paul Goodison and Chris Draper. Draper, who is now with the Japanese SoftBank America’s Cup team said, “People like him are such an incredibly rare bree
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