Thursday, August 21, 2014

J/88 Buzzards Bay Report

J/88 leading at Buzzards Bay Regatta (Marion, MA)- The J/88 #35 “Yonder” sailed her debut race at this year’s Buzzard’s Bay Regatta, competing in a tight fleet of J105’s, 109’s and a 120 in PHRF 2. Owner Doug Newhouse (Newport, RI) was competing in his first-ever regatta and dealt with a mix of conditions, assisted by crew from Quantum Newport.

Friday saw the fleet touring the Bay in a 30+ nm distance race where local knowledge came in handy. Saturday brought rain and breeze in the 10-16 kt range, giving the J/105’s just enough breeze to beat the 88 upwind despite a rating difference of 9 seconds/mile. Team Yonder was quickly getting the boat dialed-in though, with an 8-6-4 going into Sunday.

The light air on the final day worked well for the 88, and she was able to climb the ranks with a 4-3 finish in conditions under 10 kts, leaving her in 5th for the event. Yonder is looking forward to more racing and may join the six other 88’s on nearby Long Island Sound for a late season regatta at American YC! For more J/88 sailboat information-

J/Fest Southwest Announcement

J's sailing under spinnaker (Seabrook, Texas)- J/Fest Southwest Committee Chairman Al Goethe has announced that Lakewood Yacht Club (LYC) will be hosting its 5th Annual J/Fest Southwest Regatta on November 1st and 2nd.   “We wanted to get a ‘save the date’ message out to racers now so that racers will be sure to plan on participating in this superb event,” Goethe explained.  The regatta is open to the public and all races will be held on Galveston Bay.

J/Fest regattas have been held for at least 30 years in Annapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, New Orleans and Seattle.  The focus of the J/Fest is to give J/Boat racers a chance to compete in one-design races.  “Our J/Fest Southwest will be another great opportunity for Lakewood to promote and support a national caliber event,” added Goethe.

With the City of Seabrook again being the primary sponsor of the event, the overall theme of the J/Fest Southwest Regatta is to provide a venue that is all-inclusive to J/Boat owners, their family and friends.  While the racers are on the water, their spouses and family can enjoy a myriad of activities and tourist attractions in and around the Bay Area Houston arena.

One design fleets slated for the J/Fest Southwest Regatta include J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80, J/105, and the J/109.  It will be a circuit stop for the J/24, J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/109 classes.  Race tracking will be available to the one-design classes and can be observed live on large screen TV’s in the clubhouse.

For more information, please contact Scott Spurlin at or Al Goethe at   For more J/Fest Southwest sailing information


J/105 winner of Verve Cup- Rocking HorseKASHMIR Smokes 111s, NORTHSTAR Overwhelms 109s
(Chicago, IL)- This year’s Verve Cup, which featured a three-day offshore course race from Friday through Sunday and a one-day distance race on Saturday, included 12 racing sections.

Sailing conditions were ideal throughout the weekend. On the final day of sailing on Sunday, temperatures were in the upper 70s with winds out of the ENE at 7-11 knots. Both circles completed a total of nine races throughout the weekend, with Circle A completing three races and Circle B completing two today.

“A lot of the sailors have said that this is the best weather we’ve had for a regatta in quite a while,” said Verve Cup Chairman Martin Sandoval. “The Race Committee did a great job on the water cycling through the sequences to get racers started. They worked very efficiently on the water.”

CYC Member Sandy Curtiss, skipper of ROCKING HORSE, won the J/105 section with his crew, which included his two sons, Alex and Will.  “Sailing in the race today with my two sons was pretty special,” Curtiss said. “I haven’t sailed with them in quite a while, so it felt good to have them as part of the crew.”

“We had fun. We did our job,” said ROCKING HORSE crew-member Ted Towey. “I’d emphasize how much fun we had. We all get along extremely well, so it was good humor and hard work out on the water this weekend.”

Curtiss went on to say that, “We had great starts (until they ganged up on us the last day) and excellent boat speed.  The wind was shifty and 7-20 kts E/NE. Some confused chop.”

ROCKING HORSES’s Verve victory also secured the 2014 J/105 Fleet 5 Goose Island Championship.  More congratulations are in order for Sandy and crew!

J/105 fleet sailing Verve Cup off ChicagoWhat is remarkable was to see the turn-around of the ROCKING HORSE crew, posting all top five finishes in nine total races and winning three races on their way to the class win.  Their record of 3-3-1-4-3-1-1-4-5 for 25 pts total enabled them to take the class by four pts.  Behind them were a J/105 class “who’s who” of past champions in the Great Lakes.  Second was Clark Pellett on SEALARK with a 1-6-3-2-2-2-4-5-4 for 29 pts.  Past winner HERE’S JOHNNY, John Moore, posted an equally impressive 6-1-6-1-5-5-3-1-3 for 31 pts.  Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM took fourth while Steve Knoop’s BELLA took fifth.

Perhaps the “flip-flop” fleet award must go to the J/109s.  After a “momentous” Chicago-Mackinac Race, the J/109 fleet must’ve been taking a breather.  This time it was Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR that took class honors by a Chicago-country-mile (e.g. more than most).  Their record of five 1sts (including the last three races) simply dusted their fleet.  Second was Doug Evans’ TIME OUT with 24 pts and in third was Peter Priede’s FULL TILT.

Having just finished their J/111 North Americans, the class was not only well-practiced after the NOOD and the Chicago-Mackinac Race (again having dominated the fleet overall), but it was clear there were a few “axes to grind” for the Verve Cup finale in this class.  Having licked their wounds in the preceding events, it was a command performance by the “three musketeers” on KASHMIR (skippered by Karl Brummel) that took the event with four 1sts and three 2nds in nine races for 17 pts total.  Second was Chesapeake Bay Champion Martie Roesch on VELOCITY from Annapolis YC, showing he and his team had learned a thing or two about sailing in Chicago.  Third was Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE, the crew being happy that Lenny had survived a bike accident and could still sail fast, in fact, winning two races he was so fast!!  Fourth was Steve Dabrowski’s NIGHTHAWK and fifth was Rich Witzel’s ROWDY.

In the ORR Distance Races, the J/Crew did well.  Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI took the class win in ORR 1 Class.  In the ORR Distance Race 2, the J/88 RAMBLER skippered by Benjamin Wilson took third.

Finally in the ORR 3 Class which race around the buoys, it was the Bayers /Welch/ Busker gang aboard the J/35 FALCON from Detroit that won class honors with a “runaway”- six 1sts and three 2nds to win by a Detroit Minute (which is farther than a Chicago country furlong!). Larry Schell’s J/35 TOUCH OF GREY from Chicago, normally accustomed to winning by enormous margins, may have punted their first regatta in quite some time. Perhaps the Detroit guys got into their heads (ya know, Redwings vs Hawks, Pistons vs Bulls, Tigers vs White Sox, that kinda stuff!).  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

J/24 Sailors a bit too far “Down Under”!?

Australia J/24 Ladies Race winners in pink boas (Sydney, Australia)- Well, it is the middle of winter down there for them- but here’s the latest update from this beyond fun-loving group of Australian J/24 sailors from Simon Grain and crew:

“Well, Doug has been at it again, under a number of alias' and with a few ring-ins he has stitched together another one of his famous dissertations on the state of the “J/Nation” at Sandy.  Great reading that will keep you warm and fuzzy through our chilly winter. Guys, there's a headline about the pool party, there's pictures of girls, pictures of boats (don't get the two confused) and one about the big apple. Sorry pics of blokes in this one, although there is...a small ladder!

Summer sounds like a long way away in the middle of winter, but we have just over 50 days till the summer season starts up  - less than 2 months!  Read on fellow J lovers .... Cheers, Simon”

A small excerpt is no doubt required:

“Heaven Knows No Joy as a Woman Who Has Just Won The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta”- By Pink Boa (see photo above).

“Hyperactive! Hyperactive again! Have won The Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta! Winning 5 from 6 races they simply blasted the RMYS assembled fleet and held the trophy aloft. The facts are that they have won it three times before on PHD and twice on AMS. This most recent victory they won AMS 2nd Division but on corrected time actually beat all the Div 1 boats. (Reporter’s note; I just loved writing all of that!)

The crew of Amanda Aylward, Mary McCauley, Robyn Coombs, Kirsty Harris and Joelle Roderick, although somewhat pulled together at the last moment, “jelled like white on rice.. and got it on like Donkey Kong” to quote proud boat owner and trimmer Robyn Coombs.

“We really enjoyed every single second out there and every single second in the bar. I really couldn’t have hope for us all getting along and working so well together... I mean, we only met Mary on the morning of the event!!!! It is true, bitches be crazy!!!”   Er, OK... if you say so happy pants!

Either way, a huge result and once again J/24s leave what are supposed to be superior craft, in their wake. Go The Women!! I am singing “Hyper, Hyper, Hyper” to the tune of “Quando, Quando, Quando” (an Italian pop song from 1962... Robyn knows all the words... see reference above re ‘old’)  Read on and download the whole “HIT THE MARK” episode here.

Empowering Women In Sailing- WOW!

Carolyn Russell and her sailing family (Rye, NY)- Carolyn Russell is the rare leader in the sailing community who sees just as much, if not more, value in creating space for others to thrive on the water as she does in developing her own skills as a sailor. Carolyn spearheads the Women On Water (WOW) program at American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. where she looks to create opportunities for women sailors of all levels to deepen their knowledge of sailing, whether for recreational purposes or with the objective of competing successfully in various regattas. The club as a whole, but especially the contingency of women sailors, has benefitted enormously from Carolyn’s leadership that promotes inclusivity of sailors of all levels and values learning collaboratively above everything else.

“For me, and the WOW Committee, it’s all about getting more women on the water sailing,” said Carolyn. “Having all women clinics and an all women crew out on Friday nights, allows women to engage in the sport, play an active role on a boat and meet other women who love to sail. Since founding our program, I have spoken to other clubs about their own women’s sailing programs. It’s exciting to see WOW take off at other clubs.”

Carolyn saw a commonality between the goals of the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship and the sailing philosophy of American Yacht Club and pursued the opportunity to host this US Sailing Championship at AYC. As chairwoman of this prestigious event, held at AYC on June 15-21, 2014, Carolyn had a clear vision for the experience that the girls would have during their week at AYC and in partnership with US Sailing successfully energized a large contingent of coaches, race committee members and other club volunteers to utilize their individual talents and knowledge to contribute to this success of this event. Under Carolyn’s leadership, 82 young women sailors had an unforgettable opportunity to learn, grow and compete with the support of American Yacht Club.

Carolyn is currently one of two woman trustees of American Yacht Club. In addition to her efforts on behalf of women sailors at her own club, she has been instrumental in starting the Women’s Invitational Team Race at AYC in 2012, and in June this year she led the effort for this event for the third year in a row, bringing as many as eight teams of women to AYC from clubs around the U.S.  Carolyn is also the head coach of the Women’s Sailing Team at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Conn., where she empowers high school girls to be the best athletes they can be. Coach Russell is an intuitive teacher who can connect off the water theories to on the water experiences to deepen the girls’ understanding of the sport.

Her own sailing resume is also impressive. Carolyn sails regularly on the J/44 MAXINE, serving as the unstoppable bow woman in races all around Long Island Sound. She has completed numerous Newport to Bermuda races and countless Block Island Race Weeks. She also never misses the opportunity to compete locally in smaller boats, having won the LIS Women’s Championship (Queen’s Cup) in 2010 and the Area B Women’s Championships (2008), both held in the Ideal 18. Carolyn has taken her talents and great attitude to the national level, having competed twice in the U.S. Women’s Championship (Adams Cup, now known as U.S. Adult Championships), finishing second in 2011.

Carolyn is also a well-loved and loyal friend, a devoted mother to two amazing kids (Parker, 11 and Lane, 9) and has been happily married to Christopher Russell for 15 years. Not surprisingly, you can usually find the family together on the water.

“Women juggle a lot to be on the water, especially for those of us that have a day job, a family and other commitments off the water,” mentioned Carolyn. “I am very lucky as my husband and kids love the water and to sail – it’s a true family event and now that the kids are in their own programs they are helpful when we sail as a family.”

Russian J/70 Sailing League Starts!

Russian J/70 sailing on Upper Volga River (Konakovo, Volga River, Russia)- The first eight J/70s have been delivered (of a ten boat fleet) to the famous Volga River. They will be based at a four-stars Konakovo River Club (a hotel-conference center) situated on the shores of the Upper Volga ( northwest of Moscow.  The Konakovo River Club was selected by the Russian Sailing Federation as a growth point for sailing in Russia.

Much like their counterparts in Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands, all events are supported by their national sailing federations as a way to grow sailing participation for all citizens and communities, the Russian Sailing Federation will start the Russia's National Sailing League in late September 2014!  At least ten clubs are invited to participate in this inaugural event and the hope is to grow it across the country from the Baltic Sea to the west, to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the south and maybe even the Bering Sea to the east, and all principal sailing lakes in between!!  Please note, the J/70 Fleet will be available for charters, regattas and other activities like sailing seminars and coaching!

For more information about the Russian J/70 Sailing League, please contact Grigory Aksenov- mob: +7-909-157 6924 or email-

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WARPED PERCEPTION Tops J/27 North Americans

J/27 sailing off Oakville, Ontario (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)- The Oakville Yacht Squadron hosted 15 boats for this year's J27 North Americans.  The event was the 3rd consecutive year that the OYS has hosted the event and this year also marked the 30th anniversary of the boat's introduction and domination of the 1984 MORC Internationals as commemorated in this year's t-Shirt.

Absent from this year's event were the 2012 (“Northern Seitz”)  & 2013 (“SuperG”) Champions so it was certain that a new champion would be crowned.  To do so they would need to master the notoriously fickle & light winds that can be common at the Western End of Lake Ontario during the dog days of summer.  And dog days they, sunny and winds never exceeding 6 knots for the duration of the event; conditions that would favour the local boats with the most experience in both light air and fleet racing (OYS has 8 boats locally).

Due to an exemplary race committee, 3 races were run on Day 1 resulting in "Messing About" in sole possession of 1st place with "Curved  Air" 2nd tied with "Warped Perception" 3rd both 1 point adrift of the leader.

J/27s sailing with spinnakers at North AmericansDay 2 - not much different but definitely moving day with threats from Newcomer "Tenacious" (ne "Mind Bleach") racing in their first regatta and making her presence known by taking one of 2 bullets she would eventually score.  Also making a charge "Seamma" with two 2nds in the two races that day.  In the end however it was "Warped Perception" with a 1, 3 combination on the day leapfrogging into 1st, bumping both "Messing About" and "Curved Air" to 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Day 3 saw a bit more air; enough to get in 4 races.  Strongest boat on the day  was "Curved Air" trying to close the 2 point gap to "Messing About" in 2nd and "Warped Perception" a further 4 points ahead in first.  In the end 3 points was all that could be erased and "Warped Perception" held on to 1st with "Curved Air" 2nd and "Messing About" 3rd.  As a testament to the ferocity of competition, the last two races saw the top three boats finish 1, 2, 3  within a boat length of one another.  Full results can be found here.
For more J/27 North Americans sailing information