Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fiesta Cup ECLIPSED!

J/70 eclipse winning Fiesta Cup regatta (Santa Barbara, CA)- The 8th annual Fiesta Cup at Santa Barbara Yacht Club had an excellent turnout of J/70s and the fleet of eight boats enjoyed two good days of racing.  As has been the tradition since the event started, the sailors were treated on Saturday evening to an awesome luau-styled barbecue sponsored by Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard and Cerveza Pacifico and supplanted by the famous Santa Barbara YC “margaritas”.

The J/70 fleet is growing nicely in Santa Barbara and this year’s event attracted a competitive cross-section of fun-loving 70 sailors from across California.  On the first day, BOTTLE ROCKET (Jeff Thorpe & David Schuman) took off like a rocket and posted an unbeatable scoreline of 2-1-2 to lead the fleet on the first day.  In their wake was Scott Deardorff’s CAKE with 4-3-3 for second and in third was Ken Kieding’s SMOKE & MIRROS with a 1-4-4.

J/70s at Santa Barbara Fiesta Cup- sailing off startThe next day of racing saw dramatic “chutes & ladders” scorelines for the entire fleet with a surprising outcome for the regatta.  After starting slowly, very slowly in fact, the ECLIPSE team led by past J/24 North American Champion Pat Toole (of THREE BIG DOGS fame) took the bit in his teeth and was determined to beat the others around the track.  When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon ECLIPSE’s three straight bullets for the day gave them a record of 7-6-1-1-1-1 for 17 pts.  In short, they simply “ECLIPSED” the fleet.  Sailing with Pat were Shawn Hughes, Andrew Nunn, and Mike Drammer.

The balance of the top five was extremely close, with just three points separating them after six races; the outcome determined by the last leg of the last race!  After posting a strong finish at Long Beach Race Week, Scott Deardorff’s team on CAKE (wife Leslie Dierdorff and Matt & Laura Wilson) sailed a very consistent series and, in fact, were the only team to post all top four finishes in the regatta.  Their record of 4-3-3-4-4-2 for 20 pts was good enough for second place.  CAKE just beat Mike Wolfe’s IN SHEEP’s CLOTHING crew by one point.  The “Sheep” posted a 3-5-5-2-3-3 tally for 21 pts to secure third.  Fourth was Chris Gabriel’s DIVERSION with 22 pts and fifth was the top visiting team, Jeff Thorpe & David Schumann’s BOTTLE ROCKET from San Francisco YC.  The sailors commented the event was as fun as ever and “kudos” should go to Fiesta Cup Regatta Chairman Jane Watkins and to Santa Barbara YC’s PRO Brad Schaupeter. Sailing photo credits- Taggart Lee.  For more Fiesta Cup sailing information

J/133 BLACKJACK Wins Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race

J/133 Blackjack wins Cowes Dinard St Malo race (Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- A favorite of the RORC offshore sailing community is the annual Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race.  After starting off the famous Royal Yacht Squadron starting line, the fleet heads off around a 150nm triangle that ends up in St Malo, France- a wonderful seaside town on the north coast of France steeped in history and a place that offers the weary sailors delicious seafood delicacies enhanced by the equally impressive wines from the local vineyards.

The big story for this year’s race were the fact that two J’s swept the top two spots both overall and in IRC 2 Class.  The overall winner of the race was Eric Gicquel's J/133 BLACK JACK skippered by Nils Boyer. François Lognoné's J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER, also from St.Malo, was second.

Nils Boyer, BLACK JACK’s skipper, was born in St.Malo and, under the tutelage of Franck-Yves Escoffier, is one of the rising stars in French solo sailing. Nils Boyer's goal is to participate in the Route Du Rhum and his dream is to win the transatlantic race that starts from his hometown of St.Malo. Nils Boyer will be racing across the Atlantic this November in L'eau de là, from St.Malo to Guadeloupe, West Indies.

"Winning the Cowes-Dinard-St.Malo is magical," smiled Nils. "BLACK JACK is a young team all from the Sociéte Nautique de la Baie de St Malo and the champagne will be flowing with all our family and friends tonight. I have been part of teams that have won a class in the race on four occasions but this is the first time that I have won the trophy overall. L'eau de là is an association of young sailors, 16-20 years of age, and to win this prestigious trophy in our home town is fantastic".

IRC Two was highly competitive with J/Teams taking five of the top seven spots. The top seven yachts finished the 150 mile race within half an hour after time correction. BLACK JACK was the winner with J/122 NUTMEG- SPARKLING CHARTER second and fourth was Ian Dewhirst’s J/133 JUMP.  Sixth was Nigel Passmore’s J/133 APOLLO 7 and eighth was Chris Radford’s J/122 RELENTLESS ON JELLYFISH.

IRC Three was the largest class with 22 yachts competing and there was less than an hour on corrected time between the winner and 14th place. J/teams enjoyed the conditions, taking 4 of the top 10 places.  Taking 6th in class was Nick Martin’s J/105 DIABLO-J (they also took 6th in IRC Double-handed class).  Eighth in class was Chris Palmer’s J/109 J-T’AIME, ninth was Fred Nadaud’s J/105 VERONIKA and tenth was Kevin Armstrong’s JAZZY JELLYFISH.

In IRC Four the top eight yachts were all from France, including Francois Boue's J/109, FIROUZEH 4 taking the bronze and in eighth was Jean-Pierre Briand’s J/97 JJ L’AMOROSSO.  For more RORC Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race sailing information

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

J/Fest Southwest Announcement

J/80s sailing Galveston Bay, Houston, Tx (Seabrook, TX)- The final Lakewood YC sponsored regatta of 2014 will again be one of the regatta highlights of the year: the 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest will be held on November 1-2 and promises to be the biggest and best yet! The previous editions of this unique event have each seen strong increases in participation, as the quality of the regatta has become better known in the region and beyond.

The City of Seabrook is again the title sponsor of the event. The city’s contribution allows us to put on a very special event with amenities and services for participants and spectators that set the event apart from other area regattas. J/Fest Southwest attracts a large number of boats that travel from other areas of the state and as far away as Colorado. We’re still working on getting the travel happy crews from the Northeast to come down and extend their racing season. What could be better than to take your boat to a great event instead of putting it on the hard for the winter?

J/105 sailboat- sailing Galveston Bay- Houston, TXWe are again expecting a record attendance in 2014. The super popular J/70 has seen its local fleet grow substantially, with several LYC members getting into this great speedster. Last year we were very successful attracting a number of J/Boats that don’t currently have strong one-design fleets but came out to race in PHRF handicap classes. We’re hoping to again expand our reach in these classes. To all you racers and crew members: talk it up with the J/Boat owner friends! Every J/Boat is a race boat, even if it’s a ‘cruising J’! We also expect strong participation for the J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes as well as several J/120s.  We have a new J/122 SECOND STAR in our LYC family. New members J.D. and Susan Hill will be at the starting line as ‘scratch boat’ that everyone else will chase. It will be exciting for sure! We hope to give participants an event that will put it onto their ‘can’t miss’ list.

Further to Seabrook, a number of returning sponsors have committed to supporting this regatta: Hayes Rigging, UK Sails, North Sails, The Sundance Grill II, Rejex, Blackburn Marine, Harken to name a few. I know that the racers appreciate their support! You can help by thanking them when the opportunity arises. Use their services, and when you do, mention their support for this regatta!

As always, J/Fest Southwest is co-sponsored by Scott and Terry Spurlin of J/Boats Southwest. Scott was instrumental in developing the concept of this unique regatta and the Spurlins have every year invested countless hours in the promotion and preparation of the event, prominently including the event’s informative web site at www.jfestsouthwest.com. Scott and Terry are also using their considerable network of J/Boat owners to spread the word about the regatta and bring in new crews from around the country.

This event is also designed to reach out to those who want to watch the regatta: Family members, friends and other sailing enthusiasts can board LYC member Paul Dunphey’s Liberty Belle, which is again serving as our spectator boat. Thank you Paul and Amy!! Another excellent way to follow the racing is to volunteer on the water: run or crew a mark-set boat or help out on the signal boat. Contact Kathy Goethe (281) 844-7010 if that’s interesting to you. Of course, it is still best to hop on a J/Boat and mix it up with the others! It’s friendly competition at its best!! See you there! I can’t wait!   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information

J's Perform In Bayview Mackinac Race

J/120s at starting line for Bayview Mackinac race (Mackinac Island, MI) – This year’s Bell’s Beer 90th Bayview Mackinac Race began on July 12 in Southern Lake Huron, with 9-11 knots of breeze offering the 227 boats in 14 classes a swift downwind leg along the two courses offered, either to the Presque Isle Lighthouse (on the Michigan shoreline), where the Shore course begins taking a left, or the Cove Buoy where the Cove Island Course does the same (about 130 miles away from the start).

The shorter Shore course covers 204 nm along the Michigan shoreline before heading west to Mackinac Island Bell’s Beer finish line. The longer Cove Island Course is 259 nm and takes sailors around a buoy off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Canadian waters before heading west toward the finish line.

A westerly breeze of 9-11 knots allowed an initially mellow downwind spinnaker run to the first turning points in each of two courses. During the evening, however, “a lot of everything” happened when it came to weather and wind, including rain, dense fog and gusts up to 36 knots.  The front continued to move and produced a brisk westerly breeze that kept the fleet “on its nose” throughout Saturday evening and into Sunday. That meant the Cove Island course had the unfortunate task of playing windshifts for nearly 90nm upwind to Mackinac Island after rounding the Cove Buoy.

J/120 sailing Bayview Mackinac race- Hot TicketThis year, the J/120 one-design fleet sailed the longer Cove Island Course with a big fleet of ten boats participating.  All the usual suspects from the Great Lakes J/120 fleet were sailing, including most past winners in class.  The big class winner was HOT TICKET (Mike & Bob Kirkman), beating the next set of boats by over one hour!  No question there was a duel all the way to the finish for the next two boats, both finishing within 45 seconds of each other!  Taking second was FUNTECH RACING (Charlie Hess) and at the short end of that stick was CARINTHIA (Frank Kern).  The balance of the top five was NIGHT MOVES (Henry Mistele) in fourth and FLYIN IRISH (Bill Bresser) in fifth.

In PHRF A on the Cove Island Course were also two J/111s, Tim Clayson’s UNPLUGGED took 5th and Don Hudak’s CAPERS took 7th.

J/105 one-design offshore sailboat- sailing Bayview MacThe Short Course had the largest contingent of J’s sailing.  In the Level 35 Division, there are nine J/35s sailing in the fleet of eleven boats!  Taking the class honors was PAPA GAUCHO II (Keith Stauber) with the Bayer/ Bayer/ Barnes trio on FALCON only 1:50 sec behind them!  In fourth was MR BILL’S WILD RIDE sailed by Bill Wildner and fifth was MAJOR DETAIL (Bill Vogan).

Sailing into fourth overall in the 12 boat PHRF C Division was the classic navy-blue J/44 SAGITTA sailed by the team of Jon Somes and Larry Oswald from Bayview YC.

PHRF D division had an eclectic, diverse group of boats in their fleet of 16 entries.  The J/105s swept the class. The resounding winner by over 1.5 hours on elapsed time was the J/105 PTERODACTYL (Mary Symonds). J/29 sailing Bayview Mackinac race A country furlong behind was the J/105 SEND IN THE CLOWNS (Terry Timm) in second place.  Fourth was SNAKE OIL (Don Harthorn) and a J/92 took 7th- KOHATSU (John Stromberg).

Top J in the PHRF E division was the J/33 SHENANIGAN skippered by the team of Dick & Dan Synowiec from North Cape YC, placing a respectable third place.  Then in PHRF G, the J/30 CONUNDRUM skippered by Donald King from Lake Shore Sailing Club took 4th place.

On the Shore Course Cruising (white sails) division, Cruising A class saw the J/42 DOS MAS sailed by Gary Gonzalez from Grosse Pointe YC finish second!  Then, in the Division IV Shore Course Double-handed group the J/29 PATRIOT led by Lyndon Lattie took second place followed by the J/100 VANQUISH sailed by Don Fick in sixth.   For more Bayview Mackinac sailing information

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

J’s Love CORK Week

J/88 speedster sailboat- sailing Cork, Ireland J/109s Dominate IRC 3
(Cork, Ireland)- Thrilling conditions welcomed the international fleet of yachts from all over Europe and the United States to Volvo Cork Week. 100 yachts racing in Cork Harbour produced a magnificent spectacle. Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and provides stunning scenery and tricky wind and tidal conditions. The gusty northeasterly breeze tested the boat handling skills of the international fleet, with several yachts reporting boatspeeds of up to 20 knots on the surf.

The first race of Volvo Cork Week started just outside Roches Point, the wind speed piped up to 17 knots with a short sea state. The beat into Cork Harbour had the fleet swapping tacks past Spike Island, before negotiating close tight reaching legs along the picturesque town of Cobh. For many it was a race of over three hours, before returning to the Royal Cork Yacht Club to enjoy the full facilities of the exclusive race village. Victory in IRC Three went to Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC). It was a long day on the water in IRC Five, but Dave Lane & Sinead Enright’s J/24, YaGottaWanna took second.

The second day saw more fresh wind conditions for the fleet.  Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, and IRC 5 Classes enjoyed three races on the Windward-Leeward Course, three miles south east of Roches Point. Warm sunshine and stable conditions prevailed, with blue skies and fresh breeze coming off the land to provide a classic racetrack. “Champagne sailing,” described one sailor. “12 knots of breeze, a great course and really competitive racing. I just love Cork Week and today was a very special day to be out on the water.”  In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) was in impressive form scoring a win and a second in today’s races to open up an 8.5 point lead at the top of the class.

J/80s sailing Cork Week in IrelandUnsettled weather provided changeable conditions for the third day of racing at Volvo Cork Week. The day started with bright sunshine and balmy conditions causing a short postponement for many classes and light rain (honestly!) and a stiffer breeze was encountered during the day. With many classes now completing six races, the discard has kicked in and front-runners have become more apparent. What is plainly obvious from the results is races and places are being contested by mere seconds.

Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, and IRC 5 Classes enjoyed three races on the Olympic Course, near Roches Point with over 40 yachts racing on a tight triangular course.  In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) still leads the class after an intense battle.  Last year’s class champion, Ian Nagle & Paul O’Malley’s J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was the winner of Race 6 by just 23 seconds from Storm. However, the Kelly family racing Storm, finished the day on top by winning the last race of the day.

“The Olympic Course is a real test, especially the gybe mark, where yachts are converging for a maneuver all at the same time. Just a few seconds can make the difference between first and fifth.” Explained Joss Walsh, trimmer on the J/109 Storm. “The overall game plan was to keep with the yachts around us and try and compete with them for speed and avoid errors, which would be very costly. Pat Kelly has four sons on board, Storm is a real family boat but we are quite a heavy crew, which has made racing difficult in light conditions. We are all here to enjoy very competitive racing and a few pints at the club afterwards. We are here to win but having fun is just as important.”

Storm leads IRC Three by 10.5 points points from Paul O’Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC). Jelly Baby is just half a point behind Rockabill V in third.  In IRC Four, Ronan Fenton’s J/35, Sky Hunter (Blackwater SC) finished the day in style, taking their first win of the regatta in Race 7.

J/105 sailing off Cork Harbour, IrelandThe fourth day started out ashore under harbor postponement. Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s get it on” and The Stranglers “Something better change” rang out over the air waves as the Volvo Cork Week fleet waited for the breeze to set in for the final day of racing. However, the wind was sufficient to allow for a full racing programme to decide the winners for the regatta.

In IRC Three, Pat Kelly’s J/109, Storm (Rush YC) had a shaky start to racing on the final day, placing 12th but a 2nd place in the last race secured the all Irish team the class win. Ian Nagle’s J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was third. Liam Shanahan’s J/109 RUTH took 7th and another 109 took 9th- Chris Moore’s POWDER MONKEY.  The J/88 JONGLEUR sailed by Andrew Creighton and James Davis claimed the 10th spot, making for 5 J/teams in the top 10!

In IRC Four, the J/35c SKY HUNTER sailed by Ronan Fenton took 6th place and fellow J sailor Patrick Beckett placed 7th on his J/92 JOSTLER.

In IRC Five, the J/24 YAGOTTAWANNA skippered by the duo of Dave Lane and Sinead Enright sailed a great last half of the series with all scores posted in the top five to claim 4th overall!

Happy Cork Week sailorsVolvo Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O’Leary was quick to praise both the race management team and the staff of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. “To conduct such magnificent races in difficult conditions was highly commendable, congratulations should go to the Race Officers, Jack Roy, Robert Lamb and Peter Crowley and all of the management team out on the water. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has welcomed competitors to the club with open arms and Gavin Deane, all of the staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make sure the competitors have had a memorable time. That result is ably assisted by good race management, sailors coming off the water happy are much easier to please at the bar!”

The Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving was well attended, the music and the drinks were flowing long into the night. “Souldriven” playing live at the Volvo Cork Week Marquee followed by DJ – Bar with a bar extension until 2.00am! The legendary Craic of Cork Week went on long into the night.  Thanks for the contribution from Louay Habit/ RORC.   Sailing photo credits- Tim Wright/ Photoaction.com  For more CORK Week sailing information

DAZZLING Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta

J/70 Muse sailing around markTerhune Tops 70s, Mollicone Dominates 24s
(Newport, RI) – Sailors from 21 U.S. States and eight countries gathered in Newport for Sail Newport’s annual Newport Regatta on July 11-13, featuring Bacardi Newport Race Week with long-term sponsors Heineken and new sponsor Helly Hansen.  The mammoth event on four circles of racing on Narragansett Bay, in its 31st year, required over 100 volunteers and partnerships with New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Club and Barrington Yacht Club.

The fleet was blessed with three straight days of absolutely gorgeous weather.  Friday started out slowly for some fleets with light northerlies dying out and the classic Newport seabreeze built into the 6-10 kts range.  Saturday and Sunday were nearly perfect sailing conditions for both the offshore fleets in Rhode Island Sound and fleets inside Narragansett Bay; winds were SSW both days with Saturday seeing 6-12 kt breezes and Sunday was blessed with even more sun and fun with breezes building from 10-15 kts and ending in the 18-25 kts range for the last race.

The event featured two large, competitive fleets of J/24s and J/70s.  The 33-boat J/70 fleet was by far the largest in the regatta and the competition was perhaps the deepest overall as well.

J/70s sailing upwind off NewportThe 70 fleet saw competitors having remarkable roller-coaster experiences each day; such as Dave Franzel’s SPRING, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA and Jud Smith’s AFRICA all in the top five but dropping down the ladder quite far due to their finishes on the heavy air day on Sunday.  Conversely, Allan Terhune’s DAZZLER raced up the ladder on the last day to take the overall win.  In fact, after the first day, DAZZLER sailing with rock star Moose McClintock on board as tactician weren’t even in the top ten with their 5-3-23 record.  But, their blistering “big breeze” performance Sunday with a 1-3-4 record enabled them to win class with just 16 pts net (after toss race).  Sailing the most consistently all weekend was Martie Kullman’s TOUCH2PLAY, scoring 3-7-9-8-1-5 to easily take second with 24 pts net.  Third was Will Welles sailing RASCAL, posting an 8-1-6-13-6-9 for 30 pts net.  Rounding out the top five were BLACK RIVER RACING sailed by Doug Strebel & Jay Lutz with 31 pts net and in fifth was Tim Molony’s JOUST with 33 pts net.

J/24 one-design sailboat at startThe world of J/24s was subjected to a “clinic” by the current World Champions in the form of Tim Healy & John Mollicone joining forces on Team HELLY HANSEN. Taking three 1sts in six races sealed the deal for their team with a total of 8 pts.  Up and coming J/24 hotshot, Mike Marshall, sailed PIPE DREAM into second by winning the first and last races and keeping Team HELLY HANSEN honest by keeping the racing close- accumulating just 10 pts.  This was Mike Ingham with a total of 14 pts with three 2nds in their scoreline for 14 pts.  After these “three musketeers” dominated the top three finishes nearly every race, the 4th to 7th place boats were only spread apart by 6 pts.  Taking fourth was the Japanese entry, SOKOKUMARU skippered by Sumio Shimoyama, with 24 pts and fifth was Kevin Coughlin finishing with 25 pts.   Sailing photo credits- Cate Brown Photography   For more Bacardi Sail Newport Regatta sailing information

Monday, July 21, 2014

RORC Ladies Victorious

J/80s ladies- sailing at Royal Yacht Squadron- Cowes, England J/80 2+2 Team Racing at Royal Yacht Squadron
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Congratulations to the RORC Ladies Team that finished in First Place at the Royal Yacht Squadron Inter-Club Sailing Regatta in Cowes on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July 2014.

Here’s the report from the RORC Helm/Team Captain and RORC Member Laetitia Mason:

“The Royal Yacht Squadron invited various yacht clubs from around London and the South Coast to participate in the first event of its kind- all women, 2 boat team racing. Upon invitation, I jumped at the chance to pull together a team of girls with (and some without) team racing experience for what seemed to be a fun event. The RYS is opening its doors to women members and alongside that, all women events as well.

We turned up on Saturday for the brief (after a rather raucous brief of our own at the Pier View the previous evening) and received a warm welcome from the race committee, Jonathan Peel and our fellow competitors. . The race officers explained the schedule for the day and off we went down to the pontoon to find our J/80s with brand new jibs, kindly supplied by the RYS and the RTYC.

The wind looked very light on the first morning and appeared to be quite shifty as we sailed (and got towed) out to the start. We sailed a practice race, which set the scene of things to come! Upon the completion of 6 more races and 4 wins for team RORC, we felt very satisfied with our first days racing results. The race officers and umpires did a brilliant job setting a box course in Osborne bay that provided very interesting team racing with the tide and eddies constantly challenging us.

Upon our return to the RYS, we were supplied with a much needed cup of tea and a slice of cake; all very civilized and sat down with our fellow competitors to chat about the day and plan our social event in the evening together.

Christopher Sharples, the Commodore, invited us to a fantastic 3-course meal at the Squadron, to which we attended in our frocks and heels. It was brilliant to get to know the ladies and gentleman of the RYS discussing many elements of yachting life including the evolution of both our clubs, which we are all embracing.

Sunday's sailing conditions were expected to be about 12-15 knots with light drizzle; but it turned out sunny and around 10 knots; perfect conditions for more idealistic team racing in the Solent. There was a little more consideration today as we had swapped boats and were racing for double points so by no means was this a done deal! Team racing proved to be very successful again for team RORC as we nailed down another 4 wins to put us safely into the lead of the regatta.

I would like to thank the RYS for generously hosting this event, making us feel very welcome and putting on some truly enjoyable sailing. Thank you to Commodore Christopher Sharples who was on the race committee on Sunday alongside the Richard Acland and Mrs Boyd. Thank you to Chris Mason who ensured the J/80s were in peak condition and for umpiring alongside Graham Bailey. Thank you also to Ally Acland for making us feel so welcome and relaxed at the RYS.

My team and I had a fantastic weekend and we would love to participate again in this event next year. I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to my brilliant team for racing with me and showing skill and commitment to the team.”

The winning RORC team was comprised of Laetitia Mason, Marianthe Evangelidis- tactician/mainsheet, Carol O'Kelly, Sachi Sault and Ellie Aarons on jib trim.  The other RORC boat was comprised of skipper Josie Glidden, Mugs Gohl on mainsheet, and Lizzie Chellew and Stephanie Hensley on jib trim.  For more RORC Ladies sailing information